Season 17, Episode 09

The games we love and enjoy leave a mark. And sometimes, the people involved in making those games do as well. And when we lose those people, we lose a friend.

Lance Reddick may be known to you by many other characters he’s played in television and film, but for me, he was a character in Destiny. A character who has been with the game as long as I have – from the very beginning. Commander Zavala.

Lance passed away, unexpectedly, on Friday.

What follows is a poem a player wrote many many years ago when one of their Destiny friends passed away.

Praise the sun in memory of those whose light has been extinguished.

Remember the light they brought into this world,

Remember how it made yours brighter.

The battle with the Darkness is not only outside our walls,

But inside ourselves.

In this time of great loss and greater Darkness,

Remember that even the strongest of guardians can fall.

Not a failure, but merely the doom of life that we each carry over us,

At all times, the edge between Light and darkness.

Eyes up, Guardians.

For our friends and fellow warriors,

For those whom the Light was cut short,

For the protectors, for the ones who stood at your side,

For those who were the brightest of all.

Eyes up, Guardians.

In memory of Lance. Always our Commander.


Season 17, Episode 08

Is this near the third time in a row that I’ve brought up Suicide Squad?

Because it got delayed this week. And as much as I wish it was to retool and throw out all that live service game garbage, that will sadly not change at all. Apparently it’s for polish, but you can only shine something like that so much. The Calisto Protocol shined as bright as the sun in the looks department but it still fell short in sales and reviews.

I feel like the look of a game is the icing on the cake. There’s usually more cake than icing because the looks of a game can only carry it so far. If there’s no compelling gameplay or some sort of very well told story, then you’ve just got something nice to look at and not play.

I’ll reference two games that exemplify this: Papers Please and Obra Dinn. Obra Dinn actually looks pretty cool, but still, it’s not on par, visually, with something like Suicide Squad or Calisto. Regardless, both Papers Please and Obra Dinn have very compelling gameplay and a good story to go along with them. Suicide Squad seems to have none of this.

And I’ll totally eat my words if this thing releases and somehow hooks me, but I don’t see it happening.

A new Splinter Cell would hook the hell out of me. Ubisoft…it has been 3,477 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 17, Episode 07

That new Suicide Squad game is possibly going to live up to its name. I mean, that kind of game hasn’t had much luck recently and given most of the response to it we’ve seen, it’s nearly DOA.

I’ve ranted and raved about this before in previous shows and show posts, but the same can be said again now, except…without speculation. We were shown gameplay of the new Suicide Squad game from Rocksteady and it’s a big let down for a lot of people. I don’t know of anyone who saw that and got excited, but I’m sure they’re out there. Even people who aren’t excited about this are likely to play it.

Rocksteady hasn’t really stumbled that bad with their Batman games. Sure, there’s some nitpicks to make on a few of them, but they’ve overall received positive feedback. I can’t remember a time we were shown new gameplay from them before and had this kind of a reaction though.

This game began development in a time before Games As A Service was even a term. As well before a time when most people disliked them. And originally, we don’t know what they were developing but at some point, it was all scrapped and started over from scratch and now we’ve seen what all that work has resulted in and we aren’t happy.

But we’ll play it. We might get a refund on it or return it or take it outside and shoot it, but we’ll play it. As though we need actual confirmation of what we’re all pretty sure of at this point.

It sucks.

And while we’re being certain of things, Ubisoft…it has certainly been 3,462 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 17, Episode 06

Where do we go from here?

There may come a time when you ask me what I’ve been playing and I will NOT say Destiny.

I don’t know what the plans are for that game once they wrap it all up sometime next year, but part of me doesn’t care. Part of me thinks that when this saga ends after ten plus years, so does mine with it. I’m sure there’s something up Bungie’s sleeve to keep us all engaged and continuing to play the game, but even if they do, I don’t know that I’ll follow that pied piper any longer.

I’m not sad about it or anything. I’m not looking forward to it, either. There’s really nothing there other than an opportunity to jump off the wagon. But not knowing what’s to come makes all of this rather moot. They could easily create another game that buries its hooks into me, or they go a different direction into something I have absolutely no interest in.

Only time will tell in that regard because, to be honest with you, I’ve never been here before with something like this. I finish games all the time and have completed numerous ones. Never like this, however. I’d say the closest might be City Of Heroes, but that game died before it was really finished. And Destiny…is something different.

Again, there’s no fear here or anything more than curiosity of what’s to come. Both on their part and on mine as well.

Speaking of curiosity, Ubisoft…it has been 3,455 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 17, Episode 05

Apparently lately my time in gaming keeps reminding me of old lines from…things. Last week was Alan Moore and this week is Emerson.

It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

This was how I felt after finally completing God Of War Ragnarok.

You see, I’m often left wondering after I finish a game like that if the story had held more weight or had more of an impact if I prioritized it rather than all the side stuff on offer during the journey. But that’s usually when I felt let down after I’ve finished a game and there was nothing in that way of Ragnarok. This game’s ending was absolutely more about the journey itself than the final moments of the story. In fact, you could not have had those final moments be what they are in this story without everything coming before it. And I don’t even mean in this title alone but in the two games that make up this story.

Still, I wonder. This isn’t a negative to the game or even a nitpick. It’s just me wondering how much more satisfying it could have been if I had put more focus on the main story campaign.

In the end, my conclusion was that I got exactly what I wanted out of the game, doing it in whatever way I chose to do it. And, furthermore, you will too, I believe. We all experience things in our own way and there’s no right or wrong about that…usually.

As for these two God Of War games, it was an amazing journey. And you absolutely must experience the first game to get the full weight of the second. Both are well worth your time and money. Although I will say, for those of you who may not play these kinds of games or games at all who happen to be reading this or listening to the shows each week. Find some YouTube videos of the two games and watch them. You’ll get the gist and I’m almost certain you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did.

No show next week, we’ll return in two weeks. Speaking of no shows, Ubisoft…it has been 3,441 (bad) days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 17, Episode 04

There’s that old line from “The Killing Joke” – “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy.”

It’s been a long time since I’ve let a game get under my skin, but in the wrong ways. The kind that frustrates you to no end or just…changes your whole attitude.

Marvel Snap is doing that currently and I’ve been trying my hardest to find out what triggers the change and how I can better respond to it or eliminate it altogether. The first option, obviously, is to stop playing the game. However, I really enjoy this game, so I’d like to find a better solution. So far, just muting the other player is actually doing a great job at keeping me calm. Or at least brings down the anger level of wanting to chuck my very expensive phone across the room.

I don’t like feeling that way, and nearly 99% of games that I play will not have that effect on me. But I can tell Marvel Snap is doing that and it reminds me that I’ve been there before. I can’t remember what game it might have been but this isn’t a new sensation for me. It’s a horrible feeling and sort of makes me reevaluate not only the game I’m playing but my emotions in general.

Is there a game you absolutely avoid because you know how it’ll make you feel? I’m sure we all have at least one. Be it a feeling of anger, or sadness, or anxiety, frustration – some games are meant to elicit an emotion of some kind. But then there’s the games that…I don’t know, they change your state of being or mind. A completely different person emerges.

This isn’t only with games, of course. It can be with anything competitive or not even that, really.

Speaking of bad days, Ubisoft…it has been 3,434 (bad) days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 17, Episode 03

I was never too keen on Marvel’s Avengers. I had interest in it when it was announced, but the more I was shown it, the less I cared. It didn’t look bad, really, although given what we’ve seen, it probably could have looked better, but it never had a chance.

It was a GaaS out of the gate, and a bad one at that. I never played it, but you couldn’t find an article, review, message board post, anything that wasn’t calling it out as a bad game. Or, if they weren’t, they had hopes of it either getting better or felt they could look past the flaws. But the flaws piled on, some corrected, some overcorrected, but by that time the damage was done and the player fall off was very real.

And now, they’re ending support for the game only three years after release. Something deemed a “game as a service” doesn’t do that. The “service” part of that means it goes on and on until, as I said earlier, the players stop playing. And they have. Be it from bugs, or maybe even the lack of consistent updates and content – either way, it’s toast and probably really never had a chance to be anything else. I don’t blame the developers. This is all on SquareEnix – the publisher. They wanted money after the game was bought and turned it into something it never should have been.

I really hope Warner Brothers is paying attention here. The Suicide Squad game set to release later this year (also, seemingly, as a GaaS), could live up to its namesake if they don’t nail it.

Oh well, at least Splinter Cell will never be a GaaS – cause it has been 3,427 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 17, Episode 02

I’m currently somewhere around 30 hours into God Of War. I’ve been playing it on and off since just a week after its release in November. Earlier this week, I felt like I hit a pretty crucial story point with, what seemed like a pretty crucial boss fight.

When things like that tend to happen, and this far into a game, it feels like maybe we’re about to hit our stride and start to focus on moving the story forward to an ending. God Of War had other plans. Here I am thinking that MAYBE I’m close to an ending here but then…THEN…the world opens up again. I go on this side quest thing and there is this gigantic area for me to explore.

Let me say again, 30 hours into a game and they just…opened it up more. Not only did they do that, they threw in a mechanic to change aspects of the new area. And when changing those aspects, they threw new puzzles at me. These puzzles, when solved, ADDED ANOTHER LAYER of this new massive area.

It’s like a gaming clown car or something. This game never stops going. I’d been in areas before that were quite large to explore but here I am again, what feels like late in the game (but maybe that’s because I spend so much time exploring everything), and they just…give you more.

I don’t know why that feels like some sort of novel concept. I can’t say that all games should do this, but given this and I think Elden Ring does the same sort of thing, it’s a wonder more don’t. I get it takes time and effort to make all of that, but it was amazing to see this area open up to me and my sudden realization that I could go explore it. As though I had conditioned myself to think it was all set dressing. It’s the background of where you are playing and while it’s massive, you only have a small space to explore.

God Of War devs said nope – if you build it then let the player explore it.

Now if only Ubisoft could build a new Splinter Cell for me to explore. It’s been 3,420 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 17, Episode 01

Welcome to season 17!

We’ve been away for two weeks and, on my end, there isn’t a whole lot to show for it. Still, we do try to pick our best games of last year, even though we…well, I, haven’t really had a lot of variety there. Still, as a spoiler, here were my three picks:

God Of War Ragnarok. I’m still playing this game and making my way through it. I’m slow with these kinds of games as I take my time and secure every little thing I can on the path to the boss, feeling as though I’ll lose the ambition to go back once the game is complete. None of that actually matters though because it keeps me entertained. By that I mean the game keeps pushing me forward, even with the distractions. Overall, when I’m finished, I’m sure I could find a few points of where the game drags, but, currently playing in the moment, I can’t find those points. The story is easily holding its own and nothing, so far, feels like a waste or something thrown on to lengthen the game. Again, retrospect may prove otherwise but I’m enjoying every moment of the game.

Vampire Survivors. This would probably be my game of the year. It’s cheap, it’s fun, and the loot/replay loop is fantastic. Then again, it was developed by one person who used to make casino games. They know a thing or two about getting you hooked and keeping you there. And this game does it flawlessly. It’s not the prettiest looking game out there and this proves the point that looks and story aren’t everything. Gameplay can come in and trump them all. Spend the five bucks. It’s worth it.

Marvel Snap. I never thought a card game would ever hook me but this one has. It’s absolutely free to play and there is some monetization there, it’s completely your choice to spend money. I haven’t spent a dime and if you think it means you’re missing out, I’ve won far more games with the base cards than I have lost. You don’t win the game by spending money. And that’s the best thing I could probably say about it. Still, it’s free, takes maybe less than 3 minutes to play a match, and you can play it anywhere on your phone or PC. It’s currently still in “early access” with a full release pending for the middle of this year so there’s tons of potential here and room for improvement. And you can’t beat free.

Maybe one day I can add a Splinter Cell game to a list like above, but until then we wait. Ubisoft, it’s been 3,413 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 16, Episode 43

The final show of the year is always kind of hard to write about and, sometimes, given whatever may be going on, just as difficult to find a subject to focus on.

We had a good year and a good run of episodes and we can’t thank you enough for being there with us. You have been and will always remain to be our reason for doing this. When you’re done then we’re done. We appreciate the year you’ve given us. The feedback, the phone calls, the emails, likes, shares, comments, and contributions. It all means a great deal to everyone involved with the show.

We can’t wait to see you in the new year and we look forward to everything on the horizon from 2023. Even without a new Splinter Cell release.

Thanks again for listening for all these years. We absolutely cannot do this without you.

In the meantime, the clock keeps ticking. Ubisoft, it’s been 3,399 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 16, Episode 42

Given how the night started off with the game awards, I wasn’t hopeful for Elden Ring. God Of War was just raking in the wins right from the start and the more they pulled in the more I felt like the momentum of a recent release would carry the game to a sweep – or close to one.

That isn’t how it actually turned out, however, and the big Game Of The Year award going to Elden Ring seemed, I don’t know, fitting. I can’t really make a comparison as I haven’t played Elden Ring. My only factors of thinking it would take home the big prize was the reach it had and the popularity it gained. Now, I have no clue if those were factors in how it was selected, but that was my criteria, for whatever reason.

I won’t complain too much about the awards presentation themselves. My complaints from previous years pretty much still stand. Stop steamrolling through awards. Give the devs (not the publishers) their time for recognition. Cut back on reveals. Oh, and maybe cut back on categories as well. And as a recent addition to the complaints – beef up security.

We’ve got one more show left to go before we say goodbye for the year. Join us next week for our Christmas show – whatever that entails.

In the meantime, Ubisoft, it’s been 3,392 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 16, Episode 41

It wasn’t my biggest haul of games over the holiday weekend but it was enough. Though I suppose at this point getting the deals is the easy part. It’s finding the time to play them – that’s the tricky one.

I probably pulled in about 10 news games or so over the weekend, but I’ve only really been playing Ragnarok. And given what was told to me in the chat room during this episode as far as where I was in the game, I’ll be playing that for a good while this month.

It’s the only game of the year contender I’ve played all year. That’s almost literally speaking given the nominees for that category in this year’s game awards. So, sure, it has my vote, I guess.

Speaking of, I’ll try my best to not fall into rant territory when we discuss the results of those awards next week. We watch it for one reason, and sadly, it isn’t the awards. Hell, this year we’re watching it for another reason and that’s bribery (steam deck giveaway).

In the meantime, Ubisoft, it’s been 3,385 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 16, Episode 40

A show so nice we’re playing it twice.

Actually, we do this every year around this time. Mainly because what we’re talking about in this episode will still apply come next weekend.

It’s Black Friday week, so we’re all about the deals. So long as they are console related. The PC folks among us take a backseat on the deals, sadly. I mean, we get some PC deals from a few places but digital retailers don’t advertise ahead of time as to what kind of discounts we’ll see. Hopefully a few of these on the consoles line up on PC, but it rarely happens.

If you’re looking for the Black Friday spreadsheet of deals, you can find it on our Facebook page or in our Discord. We’ll likely throw out a tweet about it soon, as well. I always talk about how fast games get a discount after being released and I think Sonic Frontiers takes home the gold this year for only being out about a week and already getting a fifty percent slash, but there are plenty of other discounts out there.

However you go about getting your video game deals, we hope you have a great holiday and get the games you want at the price you want! We’ll be back in two weeks!

The original Splinter Cell game is free right now on Ubisoft’s store in celebration for like 20 years since it first released. We’re almost at HALF that since the last Splinter Cell released. In fact, it’s been 3,371 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 16, Episode 39

It’s either A or B. Two choices. Sure, there will be more choices, of course, but it’s really down to just two.

Elden Ring or God Of War Ragnarok.

Those are your Game Of The Year contenders, and I haven’t played either of them. Yet. Ragnarok is only a matter of time for me. Elden Ring…is likely something I’ll never play. It’s just not my cup of tea when it comes to gaming. That isn’t to say it’s bad. I just don’t drift towards those types of games, but I easily tip my hat to what it has been able to pull off. And, in fact, I think it’ll win more Games Of The Year than it loses. But I could be wrong, as Josh pointed out in this episode, God Of War has the advantage of being fresh of mind for folks.

Again, I haven’t played either of them, but Elden Ring pulled off a lot. The sales are phenomenal and I know that isn’t a factor, but it likely has some effect just given the sheer number of people who’ve played the game. So, yes, Ragnarok has the fresh of mind advantage, Elden Ring has the longevity factor. The game has been out longer and had enough time for a massive amount of people to have played it. There’s also the benefit of being multi-platform. Ragnarok is stuck on the PS4/PS5. For now.

My case for Elden Ring is not only the sales numbers but the reviews were nothing but glowing and this game opened a lot of doors for a lot of people. Strictly speaking, games who never ventured into such a genre did so with Elden Ring. Bottle. Lightening. Captured. Was it George RR Martin who pulled them in? Maybe. Was it the promotion of the game? Maybe. Was it the developer? Sure, but that audience was already built in from their previous games. Like I said, it all came together in such a way that I don’t think anyone expected what actually happened. Successful, sure, but THIS kind of success – it surprised a lot of people.

That’s not to take away from God Of War Ragnarok. I think both titles are worthy of the recognition, but, oddly enough, I give the edge to Elden Ring. A game I’ll never play.

But watch Forza Horizon 5 take home the trophy.

Did you know there’s almost been a decade of Games Of The Years given out since Splinter Cell Blacklist released? Ubisoft, it’s been 3,364 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive) was released.


Season 16, Episode 38

I’m not sure we’ve ever had a peripheral cost more than the console it was made for. Now, sure, I can imagine going back to the NES days with the Power Glove/Pad/Gun/Etc, those would cost more given the console had already been out for a while. But the PSVR2 coming out next year will cost $50 more than the console you have to have to use it with. I mean, you’ve spent over a thousand dollars and still haven’t bought any games to play with the system or the VR.

We haven’t really seen any sort of reviews yet for the device so I’m sure somewhere in all of it you can find a reason for $550. I was going to just recommend the Quest 2 and call it a day, but I can imagine for that amount of money you’ll be getting something significantly better. On paper, it’s already there. And the few previews we do have say it’s pretty amazing. But, just like the console it was built for, the library will keep it alive. Or kill it.

I poked around with the first VR headset Sony did and just a year or so ago it went back to the store for credit. For me, too much was involved, especially compared to something like the Quest, where I can just put it on and play. The VR attached to the console meant I needed a camera and a ton of connections. It was far less than what I needed for the HTC Vive or original Oculus, but it was still an effort to get it all connected and then get it all out of the way when I was done playing.

The Quest 2 has spoiled me, in that regard. And maybe the PSVR2 would do that as well with just the quality, but it’ll need more games than what’s on offer to keep me invested.

And also a price cut too.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,357 days for a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).