GWJ Conference Call Episode 628

SoulCaliber 6, Dragon Quest 11, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, Beautiful Games, Your Emails and More!

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This week Allen, Lara and Sean fend off the podcast curse to bring you a conversation about appreciating beautiful games.

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00:02:02 SOULCALIBUR VI
00:09:45 Dragon Quest XI
00:15:35 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
00:17:50 Magic: the Gathering Arena
00:19:47 Beautiful Games
00:37:56 Your Emails

Lara: "Dragon Quest 11 is the best JRPG of the decade"

Jon: *adds to wishlist*

Lara: "I'm finishing Act 2 and I'm 110 hours in"

Jon: *removes from wishlist*

Alan's question of the Tribes map with two bases:

Broadside

Lots of memories there.

Jonman wrote:

Lara: "Dragon Quest 11 is the best JRPG of the decade"

Jon: *adds to wishlist*

Lara: "I'm finishing Act 2 and I'm 110 hours in"

Jon: *removes from wishlist*

Hehe. I'm sure not everybody will take as long as I did, but look, like I said on the show, this is a game that demands to be savored. I have never once gotten lost or had to grind for levels, and I've never been bored with where the story has taken me. I wish all RPGs offered this much solid, enjoyable story in them.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Lara: "Dragon Quest 11 is the best JRPG of the decade"

Jon: *adds to wishlist*

Lara: "I'm finishing Act 2 and I'm 110 hours in"

Jon: *removes from wishlist*

Hehe. I'm sure not everybody will take as long as I did, but look, like I said on the show, this is a game that demands to be savored. I have never once gotten lost or had to grind for levels, and I've never been bored with where the story has taken me. I wish all RPGs offered this much solid, enjoyable story in them.

Bizarro world Jon, who has many more gaming hours available than I do, would be all over this. There's just no space for 100+ hour games in my life these days. And that's OK.

I loved the discussion of "beautiful games" and each host's different initial approach to the question (though Lara Crigger's take on it was the best )

My answer isn't very indie-cred, but Lara's description of beauty through experience and exploration made me think of Skyrim – particularly, those moments in a dungeon when you hit a "vista" point. The bats/birds flutter away, a little musical chord plays and your companion will say something.

Then of course there was the beauty experienced through the general combination of soundtrack, landscape, collection, combat and crafting. Look and sound is one thing, but random encounters give you a chance to play with the various mechanics -- try out a new sword, skill or spell, and finding stuff in a random shack to make that potion or whatever was also part of the beauty of realising how everything kinda clicked together.

I have been collecting desktop wallpaper/backgrounds for a couple of decades now - ugh, that hurt a bit to say... One of my favorite categories is to take screenshots in games that I found interesting or beautiful. There are the usual bigger-budget games like AC: Black Flag, Guild Wars 2, God of War, etc. But some of my favorites are from smaller games like Transistor or Remember Me. It seems to carry more weight when I know that some deep-pocket publisher isn't funding the effort to make something look beautiful...

I just want to point out that Alan's definition of beauty appears to involve cartoon mice.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Lara: "Dragon Quest 11 is the best JRPG of the decade"

Jon: *adds to wishlist*

Lara: "I'm finishing Act 2 and I'm 110 hours in"

Jon: *removes from wishlist*

Hehe. I'm sure not everybody will take as long as I did, but look, like I said on the show, this is a game that demands to be savored. I have never once gotten lost or had to grind for levels, and I've never been bored with where the story has taken me. I wish all RPGs offered this much solid, enjoyable story in them.

I totally agree with this. DQ XI is wonderful. I had been splitting my time between this and a couple other games, trying to check things off my list, and recently have realized that I should just be playing DQ. My time there is always well-spent.

I have to say, I've really been enjoying how much Lara has been on recently!

Loved the discussion around beauty in games too. There are two games that sprang to mind when I was listening. The first is Breath of the Wild. That's a game that I happily spent a lot of time in just exploring, and looking at the amazing world around me. There's a certain "song" that plays when you're riding a horse for a while, and in the right setting it's just a gorgeous moment.

The second game that came to mind is a little less obvious, but it's Undertale. I wouldn't say that it's beautiful in a visual sense, but it has some really beautiful moments thanks to its use of dialogue, story-telling and music. There's a part towards the end where the music rises and falls as you're literally being told a story that I would definitely describe as beautiful.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is really beautiful.