Valorant Beta

GWJ Conference Call Episode 706

VALORANT beta (PC), Butter Royale (Apple Arcade), Control (PC), Magic: The Gathering Arena (PC), Minecraft RTX(PC), Round Guard (Apple Arcade), Final Fantasy 7: Remake (PS4).

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Amanda, Greg, Julian, and Rich talk about Sense Memories in Gaming.

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00:02:00 VALORANT
00:19:12 Butter Royale (mobile)
00:25:38 Control
00:32:50 Final Fantasy VII Remake
00:42:00 Minecraft RTX
00:45:01 Magic: The Gathering Arena
00:46:22 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
00:48:26 Roundguard
00:52:18 Sense Memory in Gaming
01:06:55 Your Emails

I really related to the discussion about sensory memories of playing Counter Strike at a LAN party. Broadband was not widespread and affordable where I lived when I was in high school and CS was out, so we still went to cybercafes to play. Some places had deals where it was pretty cheap to go and play all night so me and a group of friends would go every Friday and play from 10pm to 5am. It was awesome but the ugly part was that smoking was allowed in those places so I remember the unbearable smell of cigarettes on my clothes as I got home. It was 20 years ago and I still have really vivid memories of it. I also remember leaving the place and walking home while the sun was coming out. Good times.

I really appreciate the talk about new gamers. I just started playing games less than a year ago on the Switch and I started by playing Zelda BOTW. I could not for the life of me figure out the camera/view controls. I could never see the things I was fighting and just kept falling off of things for days. I finally got that down and a friend wanted to introduce me to Dark Souls on Playstation but I didn't realize the buttons were different so instead of attacking like I would in BOTW, I just kept rolling around everywhere. My friend just laughed while I died repeatedly.

rabbit really glossed over the bit where he was running a 'Boiler Room' situation out of his basement in Boston.

kazooka wrote:

rabbit really glossed over the bit where he was running a 'Boiler Room' situation out of his basement in Boston.

Just like everyone glossed over the existence of Control.

The conversation about sense memories in gaming had me thinking about how I have none of them, and that therefore maybe my brain is broken?

In a larger sense, I do think that while I have excellent memory that something happened, I don't have memory of the thing actually happening. It's like my memory works like a narrative rather than a recording.

Love the diverse games this (and every) week! (:

Re: FF7 Remake

I missed commenting last week, but I loved the thoughts last week and this week. This is top tier nostalgia for me so I am sooo happy they (seem to have) nailed it. I'm only ~1/3ish through, but everything has been brilliant so far, coming from somebody who just wants more.

The gameplay modification has been fantastic (with small complaints about camera positioning occasionally).

I LOVE the art and expanded vision of the world for all the areas. I just got to Wall Market and it's just brilliant. Iconic imagery is incorporated in a way that makes it feel familiar yet so expansive and new.

My only concern so far is ... does all this extra content actually make it a better game? There's a reason you could just blow past a lot of this in the original and get to the "meat" of the game. The pacing is completely reimagined, with a LOT of emphasis put on stuff that was just a side note originally. I want to get to stuff I know is coming and then I look at the clock and realize I just spent an hour exploring a slum that took 5 minutes originally.

Also, it's very interesting reflecting on this as an adult compared to a young teen. The story feels so ridiculously Male Power Fantasy that it's hard to take seriously. Everybody fawns over you, even when you're being emotionally distant and just "acting tough". You can do anything and be anyone. In the original, I recall just rolling my eyes and mashing X to get through the dialogue I thought was too cheesy or dumb. Now, like (I think) Amanda mentioned last week, it's zoomed in further and it's hard to blow past things: "Listen to this cheesy dialogue and silly posturing! NO SKIPPING or you might miss something! Now zoom in on our super HD resolution character models doing dumb poses and being anime!!" Before, it was big blocky polygons doing silly stuff and you could excuse it because how else are they going to show emotional responses for these literal blockheads?

Anyway, I'm loving it so far, but trying to spread it out so I can appreciate it all.

Re: Sense Memory Topic
Great topic!

This is amazingly individualized. Music is a major trigger for me, for better or worse. I have albums I listened to when playing Final Fantasy Mystic Quest that will instantly transport me back to that phase of life (particularly the emotions I was feeling at the time). But that's true for all music. The FF6 and FF7 piano compilations will pull out deep rooted anxiety because I played those on repeat while cramming for tests in college. There's a Vampire Weekend album I listened to one random night I was really into playing World of Warcraft and it was permanently sealed as an emotional link.

I don't have a lot of smell or taste sense memories, weirdly. We're all so different.

Re: Difficult to explain game stuff to beginners
As mentioned above, twin stick controls is super difficult to grasp. I've been working on getting my wife further into gaming for years, and have been mostly successful with 2D games or isometric 3D. But that hurdle into 3D space is real tough.

Re: stuff that's hard to explain to beginners, that was actually the topic of the inaugural Triple Click podcast with Jason Schreier and Maddie Myers (formerly of Kotaku) and Kirk Hamilton (still there).

Ah, cool! Great minds, thanks to the emailer for bringing it to our attention as well
I think more experienced gamers welcoming new gamers into the fold is pretty relevant to the times, so I'm glad there are a bunch of perspectives out there.

Yeah, it's a very timely topic right now! I was listening to the podcast while cooking, and as soon as you all started talking about how weird WASD controls are to a non-gamer, I thought, "wait a second, I just heard someone talking about this!"