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We’re talking shop at the following link.

It’s nice to detour around the discussion of actual games from time to time in order to talk to one another about the ergonomics and hardware of playing them.  We’ve only ever grazed the issue, but there are nearly unlimited variations on the theme of gaming hardware, and there are loads of things to be said about how each of us chooses to play and what interfaces we choose to use.  When and whether we use controllers or mice or keyboards or speedpads says a lot about our tastes and priorities (and budgets, sadly.)  It’d be lovely if we could make it a regular part of our conversation, though the last thing we need is to add a hardware backlog to the one we already have.

 

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We’re dismantling exotics at the following link.

Destiny, in case there was any doubt, is very far from perfect.  We continue to play and assess the game so that we may, every week, tell you in detail how broken, shallow, or disappointing any particular mechanic happens to be.  But we do keep playing it, don’t we?  That phenomenon is hardly unique to Destiny, and it’s hardly new.  Broken (or mildly sprained) mechanics can’t quite suppress the pleasure of solid moment-to-moment gameplay.  Wrong or right, it’s hard to ignore and not at all worth the effort of denying, though it’s probably time to look away to some other game that has no hope of living up to its hype.

 

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We should forfeit our lives at the following link.

We’ve done enough work in Destiny by this point to justify a shift away from a ravaged future earth and toward the strife and conflict in Middle-earth.  We haven’t made that move yet, but it’s becoming harder to avoid with every stream, review, and friends list testimonial making it clear what a great game we’re missing out on.  We generally can’t stand being late to a party, but it’s looking more and more like we’d be fools to wait much longer.  There’s every chance, then, that by next week’s show we’ll have hung up our guns and strapped on our swords in their place.

 

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We’ve got our noses to the grindstone at the following link.

More Destiny talk tonight, and more to come, it’s safe to say.  Surely we should have categorized Destiny as either a write-off or a god-send, but neither classification is a just fit.  Destiny is second-to-second, bullet-to-bullet satisfaction coupled with a broader sense of disappointment and disaffection.  Magnify this by the grand budget and much grander expectations and you’ve got a working plan for a perpetual conversation machine.  The only thing that can stop us at this rate is a crowded holiday release schedule…and would you look what’s coming our way.

 

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We know where it comes from at the following link.

We can only guess at what the process has been like for Bungie in the years they’ve been working on Destiny.  There’s sure to be a lot of stories that would generate sympathy in critical circles and further devotion among the fans.  But there are no doubt also troubling things we could learn from the sausage making, and plenty enough of it to put us off our games…for a while, at least.  For now, there’s just no stopping; bounties and heroics won’t clear themselves, and there’s always more Hive in the cave.

 

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We’re back on our feet again at the following link.

We’re not entirely sure now what Destiny means to us as players, or what it might end up meaning to the game playing public at large.  There are a lot of opinions about what the game has and hasn’t done right, and there are a lot of emotions invested in those opinions.  We’re still trying to muscle through the story, such as it is; we’re hard-bitten guardians slowly fighting our way through the various ruined landscapes of the solar system.  We might be able to offer a consensus in a few days, but it’s a frustrating game to think and to talk about, even while it’s perfectly entertaining to play.

We take a break from infighting and the dispensing of career advice during the second hour to share some time with Casper Van Est of Double Dutch games, maker of SpeedRunners, the finest friendship destroyer I’ve played in ages.

 

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We’re on the mend at the following link.

Scott has, as usual, returned home from PAX bearing the gift of pox and illness for us all.  There are nearly as many strains of plague attacking his system as there were indie games and discussion panels for him to lost track of.  He had a swell time, allegedly, so I’m sure it was worth it in the end.  He has also returned having borne witness to a long list of desirable and sadly far-distant games, most of which we’d love to own and cherish right this very minute.  Until we can, rambling stories from a sick man will have to do.

 

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We have a different point of view at the following link.

There was most definitely a show last week, but there was no Scott to host it or to help it on its way from the studio to the internet.  He’s back now, and all is right with the world, so we apologize for the lateness of the post and the strangeness of the episode it contains.

 

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We’re spending too long on a topic we shouldn’t at the following link.

I suppose it’s my fault for opening the door to the conversation, but at the time I was very uninformed with the goings on of Phil Fish, Zoe Quinn, and that whole situation happening for the past week. What I realize now, after the fact, is that I, personally, have very little to say on the matter that hasn’t already been said. Someone on the CoG forums said it best, I think, “Just treat people like people.” Thinking back on the situation, it was a topic we shouldn’t have brought up. It didn’t go anywhere on the show and only led to us trying to get off the topic onto other things. It also makes writing a summary of the episode even more difficult. Even now I’m ready to move on to some other topic to tell you about from the show.

So, moving on, Firefall seems to come highly recommended by a regular listener of ours, even to the point of calling into the show to give it his praise. Speaking of praise, James returns to the show this episode and we give Wolfenstein: The New Order its due (by that we mean, hey…you should probably play this, it’s good). On the other side of that coin, his opinion of Destiny has changed since playing the beta but it opened the doors to our discussion of space combat games – something we seem to possibly seeing a revival of in the very near future.

Show Note: While I will be at PAX, the show will be LIVE this weekend!

 

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There’s 30 minutes of more show for iTunes pre-orders at the following link.

We’ve done bonus content for our show before and if we ever did it again we’d never hide it behind a paywall or make it exclusive to iTunes or YouTube or something like that. We’d like everyone to be able to enjoy it with the least amount of hoops to jump through as possible. Which is why it sometimes comes as a head scratcher when a previous game becomes exclusive to a system. Even when DLC becomes exclusive to certain retailers. I mean, we know WHY it happens, we’re just not fans of it.

Money makes the world go round, as it were, and that seems to be the case for games as well with the recently revealed Rise Of The Tomb Raider being exclusive to Xbox consoles for “holiday 2015”. We know it’s a timed exclusive, but that doesn’t make it any better for us to come to terms with. Then again, it seems like something we should since there’s no sign of this ever stopping.

Money: now you’re playing with power.

 

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We’re [text removed due to copyright claim] at the following link.

I suppose I could just do a running joke of having copyright claims throughout this post, but we’ve had enough of that on just this episode alone (if you watch it on Twitch). I’m honestly not opposed to it, personally. It’s something I know isn’t really ever going to go away, but I’m not very fond of how it’s being handled on Twitch. In fact, I’m not fond of a few things they’ve recently done over there. We’re trying out some streams on Hitbox for the time being and may actually move over completely at some point, but we’ll keep you posted on that.

It wasn’t a far stretch to figure this particular episode would get flagged for audio, both on Twitch and Youtube. That’s due to a request made from Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann on audio he’d like us to use for opening and closing the interview we had with him and Jason Gregory. They joined us (pre-recorded) to talk about The Last Of Us Remastered. It’s a more technical conversation than I was expecting and it really surprised me how interesting that actually was over just talking about the game itself.

And, by the way, it’s mentioned in the show during the beginning but the song choice was the one played during The Last Of Us: One Night Live, done exclusively for the live audience at the theatre.

 

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The name of the game is the following link.

At least once in the show for the past two weeks I’ve been bringing up the fact that I was reading Console Wars – a new book by Blake J. Harris. Finally, Blake is able to join us live on the phone and we talk for a solid hour about growing up during the Nintendo Vs. Sega war of the early 90s. During the conversation we learn what sparked him to write such a book and set out on what must have felt like a daunting task to reach back into the past and pull out so many nuggets of information as to what went on in the houses that Mario and Sonic built.

It’s a fascinating story. Sometimes funny (the hell that was Super Mario Bros. The Movie) and a little sad (again, Super Mario Bros. The Movie), but always fun to follow the timeline of what I remembered doing way back then and see how the companies were…well, actually making me do those things.

I was their puppet, and I enjoyed every minute of it as a 13 year old.

 

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We’re trying to find the positive side of things at the following link.

I’ve told this story before, but my favorite press conference at E3 this year was Sony’s. Although it had nothing to do with what they presented. All of my enjoyment of that press conference comes down to the person I sat next to while in attendance.

I’d seen HipHopGamer at previous E3’s and other events. I mean, the guy’s hard to miss. He’s outspoken. He’s loud. He’s very loud. And that wrestling title belt sticks out like a sore thumb at something like E3. However, I’d never met him or really spent ANY kind of time around the guy. That is until this year’s Sony E3 press conference. My experience of which I won’t soon forget.

HipHopGamer joins us in this episode to tell us what (or who) got him into gaming and shares with us a little of why, not only is he so excited at these press conferences, but also why he’s always so positive.

His attitude towards things, gaming in particular, is one I hope rubs off on me, personally. He seems in a much happier place because of that, and I’d really like to be in that place myself.

 

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We’re kickstarting our patreon for paypal donations at the following link.

First things first, if you aren’t reading or haven’t yet read Console Wars about the Nintendo Vs. Sega battle in the 90s, you really should check it out. We won’t have the author on for another week or so, but it worth bringing up now because I’m enjoying the hell out of it.

I don’t know the statistic of successful Kickstarters versus those that failed, but in the 20 or so that I’ve backed, 2 of them didn’t meet their goal, and there’s a few left that are still in development (one of those gets a trailer at Comic Con this week). My personal experience hasn’t been a bad one and there’s probably a lot of people who’ve experienced the same. One bad Kickstarter doesn’t make them all bad. Just…be careful where you put your money and, just as important, understand the rules of Kickstarter….and “early access” for that matter.

 

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We’re saving Marvel at the following link.

Actually, we’re not doing anything of the sort, but most of us watched EVO all weekend and would have during the show had we not had to do…a show. I can imagine ArJay shares the sentiment, but for me, personally, EVO is fascinating to watch and no matter the game being played, I am transfixed with the competition and skill being displayed during the fights. It really has everything you could want in almost any kind of competition. I’m not really a sports guy. I can watch a game and get the point and empathize with fans of a team, but there’s still a disconnect of some sort. That isn’t something I have while watching EVO – in fact, I know from how it feels watching these matches what sports fans feel and can easily understand their passion to something I was so dismissive of before.

Oh yeah, I’m also building a virtual pinball machine – and don’t worry, we DO NOT talk about Wolf Among Us in this episode.

 

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