Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 35

Dread and loving it.

I haven’t spent much time with Metroid Dread since its release but what little time I have spent with the game has been enjoyable. It also happens to look amazing on the OLED Switch. In handheld mode this game shines and even when docked it still looks and plays great.

I’m currently not a fan of the EMMI rooms. It’s the “dread” part of the title. And while I’m not a fan of them because of the stress and anxiety they bring about, I understand and accept their place in the game. And it’s essential.

Then there’s Destiny. It’s a game that I can notice myself running out of patience with at times. Some of their decisions on things are so odd and feel more like a punishment than anything else. I don’t like that feeling. I don’t like feeling that way about a game I’ve put so much time into. I want it to keep me coming back. I want that drive to play, and when they release updates as they did which, again, feels like a punishment then it really puts a damper on my desire to fire up the game at all.

But as soon as this is posted, there I’ll be.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,979 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 34

That thing you do.

You know the thing. Where you say you won’t do something but you end up doing it. Almost every single time.

I was able to sell my launch Switch System and, with all that GameStop credit I had from last week, also picked up a new Switch OLED version. Something I’d said probably as early as 2 weeks ago was something I wouldn’t do. But here we are.

I’m not at all unhappy with the system, by the way. Screen is gorgeous. The build feels better and it really feels like Nintendo will probably continue going in this direction with further iterations of the system.

A quick note about this episode, the audio isn’t at the quality you’ve come to expect from us. It wasn’t noticeable as we were recording. However, I’m now aware of what the issue was caused by and we’ll have this corrected come next episode. Really sorry about that.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,972 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 33

Let’s make a deal.

And boy did we ever. Rarely will I ever shill for a store. For one, on the air, I can’t really do that. Not unless they pay for it. BUT, I love deals. And this was more of a PSA for folks than anything else. We know how hard it can be to sell off old systems when the new stuff is flying off the shelf. You’re competing with brand new and better stuff for what was essentially the price you paid for the older stuff when it was new. Currently, however, that new stuff is hard to come by for folks so they’re buying up pre-owned systems from last gen to hold over with.

GameStop is pretty low on stock of both the new stuff and the last gen stuff. They’re running a promotion now until the 9th where you get a pretty big chunk of store credit for what you have. For example, if you’re a Pro Member ($15 a year), you’ll get a percentage bonus on any Xbox One or PS4 system along with a straight up $50 bonus on top of it. A PS4 Pro retailed for like $400 when it was new and they’re giving you $325 for it. Now, if you can find a buyer to give you more cash than you would get store credit, by all means. But most of us can’t or don’t want to deal with the hassle of eBay and the like, and this is a really decent alternative. You can then use the credit for a new system or games or even buy OTHER gift cards with it for the Xbox Store or…well, anything. You can then also FLIP that and sell the cards to someone who’ll pay the cash for them. It’s up to you.

I felt like a criminal walking out of that store Friday with over a grand in store credit. Then I turned around the next day and offloaded 15 older games (Days Gone, Watch Dogs 2, Dark Souls 3) for $250 in credit.

By the way, if you have any questions about this deal, find us on Twitter or Facebook or hit us up on Discord or something. Happy to help you make sense of this and figure out what to do. Again, I’m all about the deals and I love passing them on to folks so I can help them save money or get a better return on the initial investment. The trade-in system for most stores, GameStop included, usually never falls into the customers favor. But every now and then it does. And right now is that time!

Speaking of time…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,965 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 32

I don’t need no game to tell me what to do.

But I sorta miss instruction manuals. Back before I could drive they were quality reading on the way home to play the game. I can remember for some game I got I hadn’t finished reading the manual, so I sat on the couch and finished it before I put the game in the system. Almost as if there would be some sort of quiz making sure I’d read it before playing. I dunno, but it just seemed like it was almost criminal to play a game without reading about how to play it first.

I also didn’t realize how long they were still being produced. We talked about it on the show, but I came home afterwards and grabbed the nearest PS3 game (happened to be Uncharted 1), and there was the instruction booklet. Even though by then the games came with tutorials. Speaking of, was Halo the first? Half-Life, perhaps? What game is considered to have the first tutorial built within it? There’s some trivia to hunt down.

Also, outside of writing down save codes, did anyone actually use the notes in the back of an instruction manual? I took notes for games, but rarely did I write them in the booklet.

Speaking of needing instructions on how to do something…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,958 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 31

You could hear the complete change in tone I had in my voice as soon as RJ said he’d fired up Destiny on the PS4.

And it isn’t like it was his first time, but I think he’d all but given up on the game in my mind until I had heard this. Not that I’m looking to convert and especially not him – he’s been here before. We both have. But it was a long time ago, somewhere around the release of the PC version of the game where I’d abandoned my console brethren. I was going to try and keep going on both platforms but it was too much trouble. And once I’d really put in the work on the PC side of things, it was hard to go back. Both with controls, looks of the game, and the people I was playing with.

Now that both cross-save and cross-play have been enabled, this was the reason for the excitement you could hear. But not only that, I had a chance to get a look at the game from a former heavy player of it and what it was like to return after…basically years, pretty much.

I’d experienced it before with myself and other games. I even mentioned one such example during the show. Even then, I can’t remember why I stopped playing, especially given it was in the Uncharted series. By the way, Lost Legacy still holds up on PS5. So that remaster coming next year is going to look phenomenal, I imagine.

What was your experience coming back to an old game? Did it still hold the interest you remember? Was it more confusing coming back in the middle or did muscle memory kick in after a while? Did it still hold the same weight for you or was something lacking? How hard was it to come back?

Speaking of games you haven’t gone back to in a long time…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,951 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 30

Push the button. Get a reward. Push button. Get reward. Button. Reward.

This is every video game, ever, when you get down to the fundamentals of it. And that’s not a negative. Most games find a way to make that whole operation fun and rewarding. So much so that you may not even realize it’s happening, or even how long you’re doing it.

I’ve often referred to that as the “one more turn” technique. You tell yourself you’ll just do one more thing and then you’ll step away for a while. Except one more thing became one more thing and 5 minutes have now become an hour or more. Like seeing a movie and never checking your watch. Like sitting down for one episode of Deadwood, but watching 5. Of course we call that binge watching, but I’m not sure the same applies here since a game can be ongoing. Still, the effect is the same.

Until you find yourself sitting in front of a screen clicking a giant cookie to make more cookies.

In the meantime…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,944 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 29

First things first: No show next weekend.

Secondly, the video for this episode might seem a little different since we’ve switched studios. This room has windows!

So, Gamescom was like a little mini-E3 there for a bit. I still wish they’d stop with all the interview segments or, at the very least, just put the voice over on top of video of the game. If you’re trying to sell me on something in a visual medium, well…visuals help.

Then again, sometimes they don’t. He says with a slight glance over to Saint’s Row.

Speaking of the 3rd Street Saints, I’m ambivalent about what was shown. Or, more accurately, I’ll wait to see a lot more before I pass judgement. Currently, again from what’s shown, I’m perfectly fine with it, but I’ll wait for more. The studio has already said they aren’t backing down from the direction they are going with the title, so I’ll trust them to that and see where it goes.

In the meantime…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,930 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 28

I really want to play Humankind. And I can actually play it right now with my Gamepass subscription. It isn’t on the console versions but it is on the PC versions. But…I can’t play it.

Actually, I can, but there’s a risk involved because of Gamepass on PC and something Microsoft has done. There’s a chance, and seemingly a high one, that wherever that game gets installed, a number of issues could crop up. Mostly, it’s that you can’t fully delete a game from your system when you are done with it. Something stays behind. Sometimes it reinstalls the game later. Sometimes other bugs occur. And the thing is, it isn’t because of the game, it’s “Gamepass On PC” that has the issue. So any number of those games available could cause problems.

The other problem about this issue is that Microsoft doesn’t seem at all concerned with it. Not from the numerous threads I’ve read about this and tweets which show no sign of any sort of update coming that could fix it. I mean, there’s not even acknowledgement of it.

Speaking of things that game companies aren’t talking about…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,923 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 27

We had something brought up in this episode that I haven’t given thought of in more than 25 years or so. Probably longer. And I probably only thought about it for the span of maybe a day or so when I did all those years ago.

Made me wonder about the other things in gaming that weren’t really given much thought, but you still remember it. And I don’t mean moments in a game or even items like the VirtuaBoy or whatever. The specific thing I’m speaking of is the Sega Channel. That’s what started the thought process. Cause…I only gave that channel attention up to the point that I realized I’d never see it (cable companies and what not) – and that was pretty quick.

But I remember it. And now I’m left wondering of those other things that stuck with us for a brief moment and then just went away. Except, gaming related, of course.

Speaking of things that went away and never came back…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,916 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 26

If the same thing that’s happened at Activision took place at another company that you support by playing their game, would you continue playing it?

I asked that question at the tail end of this episode so there weren’t any responses. It is a question I tried asking myself, and couldn’t easily answer. The reason being is that until you are put in that situation, you can’t really say for sure. I’d like to think I know what I’d do and that I’d actually follow through, but that’s not always the case. A lot of the time your mind likes to work it’s way around things if it inconveniences you or might put you out. You can stand outside of a situation and look at it play out and say you’d do it differently if it were you, but then, when that time comes, you may or may not actually do it. Context matters, of course, but really, until you’re in the middle of it you don’t know. If the same exact thing were to happen at Bungie, then yes, I say I would stop playing their games. But, it would have to be the same exact thing.

But it’s almost never the exact same thing, is it? So, how far does it have to go? What has to happen to get you to stop playing your favorite game because of things like this?

I give an example on the show of a situation I went through where, before it happened, I was pretty sure of how I’d react and handle the situation. That wasn’t the case. And it’s one of the reasons that I can’t tell you with certainty of how I would handle it.

And to be clear, this whole thing I’ve put forth is pretty trivial in comparison to what is actually going on. And a person can be far more proactive than simply not supporting the company with playing or purchasing their games. But what does it take for you? Where is your stopping point, even at the lowest level? And how do you know for sure?

In the meantime…Ubisoft (insert irony here), it’s been 2,909 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 25

I can’t remember the last time James was on the show. He may have called in for a segment or two but the last time he was in-studio I think we talked about Prey. The newer one…not the portal one with the awesome intro of the bar getting sucked into the spaceship or Art Bell playing through parts of the game. Not that one. The one with all the ink blots and space stuff. That one.

He joins us on this episode to talk about the current situation with ActiBlizzard, the Steam Deck, and we try real hard to remember what we’ve played in the years since we’ve talked about games. It was great to get back in touch and good to have him on the show again.

Speaking of ActiBlizzard…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,902 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 24

It’s a strange place to be in gaming when the highlight of a publisher/developer showcase is a remake of a game from over ten years ago. We shouldn’t even be getting a Dead Space remake since there’s really no reason this series should have ever ended. I mean, sure, sales numbers or critical reviews may have dropped for the last game in the series way back when, but that’s never stopped EA before. Somehow it did with the Dead Space series.

And now we’re getting a sort-of remake. It’s the first game but it’ll look prettier, come with updated mechanics and stuff from the second and third game in the series, and also, a better story. Most of these aren’t really needed when doing a remake. And we go over a little bit of why we think they’re doing it this way and what that may mean down the road. There’s debate about the story in Dead Space. That it still needs an ending. The third game did not wrap it up. And while the DLC for it made an attempt to end it, it still split the community as to what might have happened at the end. A conclusion to that would be nice, but we’re getting a remake.

I don’t know if it’s a one and done sort of situation, but knowing EA they’re likely testing the waters. Just…where do you go after remaking the first game of a trilogy? Do you then remake the remaining two? Do you move on to a fourth or add a subtitle?

It feels like they had the right idea with Mass Effect. In fact, the more I think about it, something like that would have been perfect for Dead Space. I guess we’ll see what their plan is. I only hope that if Dead Space can come back, even as a remake, there’s still hope for Splinter Cell. Both series had their last game released in the same year – 2013.

Speaking of that…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,895 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 23

Valve can really sneak up on you. Just out of nowhere announce a new device. And more so, a device we’ll see this year. Usually for console reveals or announcements, you’ll get a head’s up that something is coming or something will leak or you’ll get some sort of vague hints that lead to major speculation and even more disappointment.

Not with Valve. Surprise, here’s a handheld PC!! It’s a thing you didn’t expect because it’s something that wasn’t on anyone’s radar. And yeah, the thing looks like a Switch. Okay, it REALLY looks like a Switch, but I don’t think that’s the competition. I don’t think Valve looked at the other consoles out there and picked one to try and compete with. They just noticed something missing and made something to fill it. They’ve done it before in the past and the results…aren’t the greatest. About the only thing that survived from their previous product launches was the controller. And that’s a stretch, I think, to say it survived. And this isn’t to say what they made was garbage, it just didn’t grab on to the public enough to last – or even get updated.

I want the Steam Deck to work. I want it to thrive and succeed and be amazing. And then I want a second version down the line that works even better. And a third. And fourth. And then get some competition with other models. We’ll have to wait until later in the year though to get an idea of how this might play out. But I’m hopeful.

In the meantime, Ubisoft, it’s been 2,888 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
Episodes

Season 15, Episode 22

First up is a note to apologize for the audio issues after the first 30 minutes or so. If you’re listening to the audio from iTunes, it’ll just cut from music to talking, and if you’re watching the video, it’s about 2 minutes of trying to read our lips and suddenly realizing no one can hear us.

We’re gonna blame all that on Dave. Even though it’s clearly my fault.

Speaking of, welcome Dave! He’s only here for the one show and only in town to visit the folks, but it was good to see him again and have him on. Our schedules aren’t the best for getting to hang out and this was one way to make it all work. So I’m sorry for the off topic conversation, but I appreciate you indulging me so I can visit my friend.

We’re kind of all over the place for this episode. There’s video game talk, movie talk, old classic game talk, Limited Run game talk, and arcade machine talk. Like I said, kinda all over the place but that’s usually how it goes with us anyway so not much different.

In the meantime, Ubisoft, it’s been 2,881 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

Categories
E3 Episodes

Season 15, Episode 21

Just a head’s up that there will be no show for next weekend. We’ll see you back on Saturday the 10th.

Thinking back on this episode, I mentioned why we weren’t talking about Activision and all the money they are giving to ol’ Bobby. I’d said it was because it always happens, each year, without fail. Doesn’t matter how much they made or how many they laid off, Bobby gotta eat.

So, after saying why we wouldn’t talk about that, I go on to do the exact same thing but with E3. It’s sort of the same cycle. Year after year, the same complaints and praises roll around. The companies those are directed at may change, but it’s the same thing. And then, after it’s all over, the same discussion always takes place about the need or needlessness of E3.

So, we’ve had it a bit of both ways. Last year there was no E3 and it felt strange. This year was a sort of digital E3 kind of thing and it also felt a bit strange. I can’t really tell what I like better. Sporadic E3 where over the course of some months we get a presentation here and there or the buffet E3 where it all happens over the course of a few days.

Either way, I think these companies are going to make their own decisions. They’ve had it both ways as well, and I’d suspect the future will show us exactly what they prefer of the two.

In the meantime, Ubisoft, it’s been 2,867 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).