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The dark side did nothing wrong at the following link.

While there is probably two hours worth of conversation to debate the justifications of the Empire Vs. the Rebellion in Star Wars, there’s only about 10 minutes to discuss the single player campaign found in Battlefront 2. According to one of us, because no one else has played or has any interest in playing it. It really didn’t matter how bad EA was going to screw up this game mechanically or ethically, Matt was still going to be there day one. Or day one minus a month or however long ago he pre-ordered it. I can’t fault him for that. We knew he would do it. It’s Star Wars and gaming and he’s going to be there regardless. Even if the story disappoints for him. We cover spoilers, by the way, for what it’s worth. There’s really no other way that story was going to end without it being a setup for a sequel and to have Matt tell it, this seems like something they tacked on for fan service or to just get the single player folks to finally shut up about it. EA has made it very clear in their actions as of late, both with the loot boxes and Visceral’s closing, single player games do not make them the kind of money they want.

As you know we’re having to stretch the soup a bit to get our 500th episode to fall at a time that is more convenient. That comes in two parts as holiday vacations – the first of which is this week. So, there will be no show on Saturday the 25th. You’ll hear a replay of, I think, our music episode. But we’ll be back the following weekend to talk about whatever on hand plus our hauls from the sales this weekend. Good luck out there, let us know what kind of deals you picked up.

 

The movie opinions of Matt are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of IGC, its staff and, probably, some of the listeners at the following link.

I’ve been stuck in a Destiny rut for awhile now. I’ve got other games, but I can’t seem to tear myself away from Destiny that I now own and play on TWO different platforms. This is something I wouldn’t mind so much if they’d just let us cross save between the two so my progression could carry over system to system.

Anyway, before I get stuck in another rut for WRITING about playing Destiny so much, I actually broke away this week to play a few more games. I only just started into one of those games so I’ll talk about it later, but just before the show I had an hour to spare and brought my Switch to the studio. I played a bit of Mario Odyssey and I’d already put some time into it, but this session took me back to my time with Civ games. I know that’s an odd comparison so let me explain: In the Civilization series the whole thing is about “one more turn”. You’ll just take one more turn and then you’ll go do that thing you have to do or go to bed or whatever, but you’ll stop playing after “one more turn”. You never do. One more turns into like ten more and so on and suddenly what only felt like an hour to your mind actually means three hours have passed. This is true with Super Mario Odyssey and the phrase becomes “one more moon”. You’ll collect a moon and then see the other one in another part of the map and think you’ll grab it and be done, but you won’t. Just one more moon is right there in sight for you to go get. I started my session an hour before the show started and didn’t look up until 45 minutes later wondering where the time had gone and where my co-hosts were – they were downstairs waiting for me to let them in. They had been for the past 15 minutes. I’d missed their texts I was so engaged. This game has a grip, folks.

The other game I played came after the show. I put more time into South Park and actually made some good progress in the game. It doesn’t have a grip like Mario Odyssey but that’s the appeal. It’s something I know I can play and not get sucked into. I can quit it anytime I need to. That isn’t to say I’m not having fun, but it doesn’t have that pull on me like Mario does. Like I said, not a bad thing. Sometimes it’s good to have a game to go to just to kill time rather than stealing time.

 

We’re almost finished talking about Destiny 2 at the following link.

How do you celebrate 500 episodes? We’re not sure yet, but we’re looking over the options. It’s happening in January of 2018. So it’s close.

I think we have enough gaming wise to hold us over. Destiny 2 is still being talked about since the PC release is getting in the hands of folks who either waited for that version or have never played the first one.

What really needs to be done is wrapping up of Wolfenstein 2. Only one of us has done that and we’re having difficulty talking about it because of spoilers but it’s something I really hope to have done by the next episode. At least far enough in to really give some opinions on it. Then there’s South Park. And Mario Odyssey. And Shadow Of War. And Assassin’s Creed Origins. And, if anyone else is doing it, Call Of Duty.

Even without that last one I think I’m well set for gaming for a good while. And we didn’t even talk about the Xbox One X coming out on Tuesday.

The gaming is good right now and I’m not complaining. Mainly because that’s it. That’s the end of the line for the year pretty much. A few other small things on the horizon maybe, but we’re good. It feels like it’s JUST the right amount of gaming available to kill the downtime and get through the year on.

Probably longer knowing me.

 

We’re not all there at the following link.

The day has finally come and gone. This past Friday saw the release of a bunch of things. New iPhone pre-orders started, Stranger Things 2 arrived, and in gaming we saw the release of 3 VERY big titles. You could include this past week in that mix just to throw in Destiny 2’s release on PC but Friday itself saw the release of Assassin’s Creed Origins, Wolfenstein 2, and Super Mario Odyssey. This is capping off a month of pretty high profile releases of Shadow Of War, Evil Within 2, South Park, Cuphead, and probably more. My point being is that we have A LOT to play.

And I haven’t played nearly ANY of it. I’ve put just a few hours into Destiny 2 on PC. Just a few hours into South Park. And now, writing this, I’ve spent a tiny, very TINY, bit of time with Mario. The best part of all of this is that even with those short amounts of time, things look promising for everything I’ve played – which is kind of new for me. Normally it takes a while to build a backlog this good, but this isn’t even considered a backlog with how recent these games are. These are back to back to back good games being released. While I wasn’t hopeful for what was to come after, I don’t need to be. These titles already will keep me busy for the rest of the year on into the next. I’m set. We’re good. This is one of the happiest times I’ve been for a fall release schedule.

Everything is awesome.

 

We’re early at the following link.

I wish we could have Sara on with every episode. A female perspective in gaming is something this show has lacked for a long time and it isn’t without me trying to make it happen. That said, if you’re a woman who loves talking about games and can make it to the studio every Saturday we do this, then by all means reach out to us and let us know. The schedule isn’t that accommodating for some and the pay is completely non-existent, but it’s fun and we’d love to have you.

When Sara was talking about Destiny she was referring to her characters with female pronouns and that made me pose the question about selecting gender in gaming. I’ve only ever deep dive role-played with one specific game and that was City Of Heroes/Villains. In other games when given the chance to select gender I go male 99.9% of the time (Sara reminded me of FemShep from Mass Effect, and that may have been one of the times I selected the opposite – the voice acting was impeccable).

It was an interesting and WAY too short of a conversation to have because for some reason I am fascinated by gender selection in gaming. I imagine there’s plenty of stats out there on how it plays out, but I was more curious about the people in the room, the people listening, and the people reading this. Which brings me to the question, when given the choice of gender in a game do you pick your own or the opposite? And, if you feel like saying, what’s the reason behind your choice?

 

Happy Birthday Matt!! Oh, and the show is at the following link.

How many times do you replay a game? Practically never, for myself. I think of maybe one or two times I’ve replayed a game. Also, this doesn’t count the whole New Game Plus thing you sometimes find in games. After Arkham Origins, I replayed Arkham Asylum and Arkham City on PC to get both of those at 100%, but I haven’t gone back to any game I can think of to do a replay. Oh, the other exception is when beating it once unlocks a harder or different difficulty. When there’s no change from when you played the game before, do you play it again? And I get the movie comparison or book comparison – going back through something you’ve already experienced allows you to notice other details you might have missed the first time. But man, as much as I’ve revisited things in other mediums, I rarely EVER do it for video games.

What about you?

 

We’ll apparently just let anyone on this show at the following link.

We’ve complained before about grouping up game releases. Usually it’s over the span of a month or a few weeks. It’s not really a complaint we mind having, but it’s still an issue since we usually can’t buy everything we want when it releases much less have the time to enjoy it all either. Then there’s the 27th of October. Nevermind that Shadow Of War releases this week along with The Evil Within 2. Nevermind that South Park releases the week after that. Nevermind that Call Of Duty and Battlefront 2 release just mere weeks after the 27th of October. No, on that day we see the release of Wolfenstein 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Destiny 2 on PC, and Super Mario Odyssey. Oh, and by the way, the 27th is also the release of Stranger Things Season 2.

So yeah, I’m going to be busy but it won’t be because I’m buying all those games. I’ll stick to one or MAYBE two of them, but not all. I can’t afford it with either money or time. There’s also the personal rule I have of buying ANYTHING so close to the Black Friday sales week. Just don’t do it, folks. You can be sure Nintendo won’t drop in price on that Mario game, but all the rest are even odds we see them fall at least to $30 within a few weeks and at least for a day.

 

We’re making Matt do all the work at the following link.

We don’t normally play games during the show and there’s a very good reason for that. The best example I can give you is the last hour of this show when we broke out the SNES Classic and Matt played it for the entire hour. Meanwhile, I pretty much just gave commentary or let the folks on the phone speak while I watched and gave snarky comments to Matt while he got his bearings playing StarFox so he could unlock StarFox 2 for me.

This past week saw the release of Cuphead along with a few other high profile titles and October (especially near the end) has a ton as well. And here I am, mostly likely not going to play even half of them. Most of these releases will see price cuts not long after the release with Black Friday and the holidays on the horizon. I’ll be there for Destiny 2 and Mario Odyssey. They both release on the same day so it’ll be interesting to see which one I stick with more (I’m guessing Mario).

Nintendo doesn’t really do deals and price cuts like we see with games like Assassin’s Creed and Shadow Of War/Mordor. And Destiny 2 for PC is something I want to be with on the ground floor if only to get more game time in with my PC friends who might be experiencing the game for the first time. Plus, that 1440p, unlocked framerate, and mouse/keyboard shooting is eye opening compared to how many years I’ve been playing this game on consoles.

Hopefully that keeps me busy for a few months since I don’t see ANYTHING coming after October 27th…for me, anyway.

 

We’re enjoying a nice glass of squirrel milk at the following link.

I promise a lot of the Destiny 2 talk will go away, only to resurface again when it releases on PC next month. Still, even with that talk we manage to have a discussion about releasing unfinished games and what that means in the realm of honest business practices. We seem to come to the conclusion that it’s not and should probably be looked at on a case by case basis. No Man’s Sky is real good example of how that all goes wrong, but we’re not sure that was dishonest business as it was just….dishonest PR from the head developer. Again, case by case. Cause then there’s Warner Bros. Arkham Knight PC release. Case by case, the console was fine but the PC and what we came to find out about it was horribly wrong and very unfriendly to the consumer. And it even got worse when the DLC came into play. Again, going with a case by case basis, it’s hard to fault games like Destiny 2 and Overwatch. These games can be tested by never with the scale by which they’ll be played. I’m not giving them a pass. They know this and they are on top of it as fast as they can be with whatever needs to be done to fix an issue. It’s the state of the game when you talk about those types of always online always evolving always changing games.

And to close on Destiny 2 since I opened a little with it – Bungie, if you’re reading this and I know you aren’t – cross saves. Just…look, Epic accidentally did cross play and I’m not even asking for that – hell, I don’t even WANT that. Just let me progress carry over from platform to platform. PLEASE. We’ve got a month. Make it happen.

 

We’ll be doing this all over again in about a month at the following link.

Finally we’re able to talk about Destiny 2. Sort of. It’s a little scattered of a discussion we had but the talk is there and we’ll have more to say next week as well. Then, in about a month or so, we’ll have completely new takes on the game as the PC crowd finally gets their hands on it. I’ll be there with them, but it’s going to be interesting to see what happens for me. Do I pick a platform and stick with it? I don’t have to, obviously. I can play both the console and PC versions, but I’m more interested in finding out if that actually happens. Will one draw me in more than the other to the point that I just stick with that version or can I realistically play both, without issue of controls, visuals, or people to regularly play with? These are the questions I need answering.

As it stands now, Destiny 2 has my full attention on PS4 and I don’t see it changing very much until the day it releases on PC. BUT…that day also brings with it a LOAD of other games and attention grabbers. Not to mention I’ll probably have some actual work things going on during release week that will keep me from playing as much as I want to. Still, on console, I’m playing this game on a daily basis, even if just a little bit to knock something out of my list of things to do. The grab it held on me with the first game is easily back in full force for the second, as much as I was worried it might not be. I’m glad it’s back, honestly, because I am having fun playing the game and when all’s said and done for ANY game, that’s the point – are you enjoying it?

Yes. Yes I am.

 

We’re STILL doing that PAX thing at the following link.

I’m not sure, but I think if you picked any other weekend previously this year to not do a show, we’d have come back and not had so much to talk about. But with PAX happening AND that little game from Bungie getting released, well…it was packed. And we didn’t even get to the Bungie part.

PAX pretty much DOMINATES the conversation to this episode and will probably have a chunk of it next week as well as I get more thoughts together and remember other games I checked out just walking through the expo hall. If you ever go to any of the PAX conventions there is at least one area just overflowing with games for everyone. And I mean that in the sense that you’ll find at least one or more games that suit whatever kind of player you may be. The Indie Mega Booth is the heart and soul of the show floor of PAX. You want originality, it’s there. You want passionate developers ready to show you their game and talk about their game, it’s there. You want short lines to play, it’s there. That’s the thing about the IMB that stands out from the big publishers elsewhere on the show floor. I have no doubt the people who created the triple A titles being shown are passionate about what they worked on and would talk to you about it, but those are made by a LOT of people on all aspects of one game. Compare that to the IMB and you’ve got games made by 2 to 10 people on a small budget but who make the best with what they’ve got. I want to be clear, I’m not saying any one developer/game is better than the other – triple A or otherwise, but the access you get with the IMB is leaps and bounds above what you’ll get at the other places.

Put the time in with the bigger titles, that’s fine, but I’m almost certain you’ll find yourself going back again and again to the Indie Mega Booth and, in some cases, dragging along your friends to show off a great game you found there. It’s a wonderful place. And it’s the best thing about PAX on the show floor, next, of course, to all of your friends being in one place playing games.

 

We’re doing that PAX thing at the following link.

Yes, another PAX is upon us and we won’t be here next week so please enjoy the sounds from our music episode from a few weeks back while we take in the sights and sounds of PAX. We’ll be back with a new episode the week after next. Still, there’s this episode to enjoy until then.

So, it’s out there now. Probably. Pretty sure. Does it satisfy you? Are you happy with it? I wasn’t as heavily invested as some were for the next Half-Life. I wasn’t there at the beginning to know what this was like. I can relate it to like…television shows or movies, but I don’t think it’s the same. But it’s out there now supposedly. Not the game itself but apparently the story of how it all would have gone. Does it disappoint you because you never got to play it? Do you feel better now knowing how it would have ended? The thing of it is, at this point, if it were to come out, I don’t think anyone would actually be happy about it. Maybe as some kind of closure that it’s just done, regardless, may satisfy some people. I think in the end, however, it might actually be more like when Duke Nukem was finally released. The proverbial whimper instead of a bang. Maybe not to the extent of DN but something like it. I think there’s a timeline for a series. A path of longevity where there are certain points of no return. At some point along the line you really can’t go back and your options of continuation turn into a reboot, a la Tomb Raider. Maybe around that same point on the timeline could be the option of “spiritual successor”, a la Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls or System Shock 2 and Bioshock.

Either way, I hope this finally puts to rest a long national nightmare in the video game world of speculation and ghost hunting. Trying to make sense out of random statements and updates and store games and goose chases. Because you’re never going to get what you always wanted and even if somehow you do, it’ll probably never be what it could have been or, even, good enough.

 

We’re not familiar enough with card games to make a witty line here at the following link.

I’ve never gotten into the card game racket. Cards, yes. But card games, never. I should also say that I’ve never actually given them a try, either, so there’s that. Outside of a standard deck of 52 playing cards, collectible cards were never a game for me growing up. They were exactly what they implied in their name – collectible. Maybe they were Pokemon in a way, where you had to get a whole set and it was random to do so. You just buy packs and packs and over time amass a collection of cards that eventually could be made into a full set for whatever series was out that year. Also complete with your special cards of foil or whatever thing set it apart from the standard cards. Also, I’m not talking baseball, here. This is going WAY back to the days of GarbagePail Kids, MARVEL series, and things like that. I still have them somewhere here in the house but yeah – these were never made into a game.

I grew up to see the evolution of collectible cards turning into a game though with Magic. It never hooked me but I also never gave it any time to do so. I looked at the cards and would watch people play from time to time but I didn’t really know what was going on and it never set its claws into me to begin with. I never bit. On any of the card games that eventually arose from Magic’s success – and it was a massive success. I really felt like I’d missed the boat a lot of the times but again…the interest was never there. There’s been card games now based on plenty of different properties and some of which should totally pull me in, but nope. Still nothing.

I’m not saying it won’t ever happen for me. I’m completely open to trying to let these things set root inside my interest, but so far they haven’t. Eventually maybe something will come along and do it or I’ll experience the right play setting and it’ll all snap in, but for now, I’m totally fine watching others and wondering what I’m missing.

 

We WILL do this again at the following link.

What’s your favorite part of a video game? Is the story? Is the beauty of the graphics? Is it the gameplay? Is it the ending? The beginning? A certain part somewhere in the game?

I think more and more I find myself drawn to the music of games. Some games I don’t even have to play to enjoy the music. I can experience them outside of ever having touched the game or known anything about it and can still appreciate the music from the game. There’s a multitude of examples of that very thing in this episode.

Of course, there’s also the insight of the two composers we talk with on the show. I’ve known Gareth Coker since we had him on the show for his Ori & The Blind Forest score and we’ve stayed in touch so it was really nice to catch back up with him again on his current work and go a bit deeper into his head on how he writes for video games. I’ve only met Jason Graves briefly at an autograph session where he signed my vinyl of his score for The Order 1886. Being able to talk to him at length though along with Gareth gave me a better understanding of the whole process. But every composer is different so I doubt much of the questions asked will ever change from composer to composer.

It’s a beautiful thing to make emotion out of music and memories out of melodies. Sometimes it’s just a good beat. Sometimes it’s a sweeping epic of a music track. Sometimes it’s hearing something from your childhood in a totally brand new way (see the Donkey Kong Country track in this episode).

I’m not too big on going back and replaying games. You can never recreate that feeling you had first playing it, but I go back to the music of my favorites all the time. That’s the portal to a good game for me. If I want to step back into that feeling and those memories, then the music from the game is that door for me. We’ve done this show for 481 episodes and this is only the second time we’ve spent a whole show dedicated to the music of video games. We’ll do it again, and we won’t wait 4 years in between either.

 

We’re not mad at that doughnut at the following link.

I really hope you like video game music. Chances are, if you listen to this show, you do. Next week we’re going to do a music show. Barring any massive gaming news we’ll just be playing and talking video game music for the whole show. And we’ll be doing it with the help of your song submissions and two exceptional composers. Gareth Coker has been on the show before. He’s the composer for Ori & The Blind Forest, ARK, and Mean Greens, as well as plenty of other games. He’s also just fun to talk to and hang out with. Jason Graves is someone I’ve met at PAX but we’ve never had him on the show before. He’s composed for Dead Space, Until Dawn, and The Order 1886.

Now the only thing left is you. Send us your submissions for songs to play on the show and a little bit about why you like whatever it is you’re sending. No vocal tracks please and no covers – a familiar theme but played on a didgeridoo or something like that. We want to hear from you and what you enjoy in video game music.