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Season 14, Episode 24

The Switch is beginning to serve a purpose as of late. And maybe it always did but I just needed the game to make that happen. Apparently I found it in Animal Crossing.

I’ve had downtime at work due to the whole world situation. I mean, not always downtime but easily more than I did before the pandemic and I’ve been bringing my Switch with me to work. As for Animal Crossing, it’s been to basically do the daily maintenance on my island. That takes maybe 30 minutes or less to really worry with but it’s also been to sell those stupid turnips to make a small fortune with the in-game currency.

However, recently, I just picked up Burnout Paradise for the Switch. I can’t really count how many times I have bought this game in both regular and remastered form, but it’s a lot. I even played a small bit of it during a break on this episode and I was hooked. Even for just two whole minutes of driving around the map, I was hooked. All over again.

The point is, I’m actually using the Switch for what most people use it for – on the go gaming. And I’m suddenly giving it more time now than any of the other consoles.

God help me if they ever put Destiny on this thing.

Ubisoft, it’s been 2,546 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series).

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Season 14, Episode 23

Apologies up front. I did as much as I could to take out a horrible hum in the audio. We’re not sure what that is, but we’re going to look into it and hopefully have it corrected by the next episode. I almost completely eliminated it, but if you were perhaps tuning in live, it was probably there and annoying. Sorry for that.

A few weeks back I mentioned I was working on building a new PC. Currently still in the gathering-of-parts phase of the project. Well, I mention a little on this episode as to WHY I’m doing that. Microsoft Flight Simulator is honestly probably one of the reasons I built a PC to begin with. The 2004 edition is the last one I played and I played a TON of that when it was released. Now, we’ve got another one releasing in a few weeks and it is looking to be one of those moments in not only simulation gaming but gaming in general that are revolutionary.

Find any video online of people playing in the beta and just be blown away from the detail and the beauty of what Microsoft has been able to accomplish. And that’s just a beta. There’s over 37,000 airports in the simulation and it even goes deeper than that when it comes to real word weather data and location data. It is something remarkable to behold and I cannot wait to take to the skies again (in a massive variety of planes at that).

Ubisoft, it’s been 2,539 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series).

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Season 14, Episode 22

It’s been over a month since I’ve dipped my toes back into The Last Of Us Part 2. Exactly…I played it the first weekend it released and then left it alone for a whole month. I think a lot of that was anxiety to get back into that game and that world. I’m usually far more methodical in these kinds of games and for that first weekend I played it – that’s exactly what I was. It took me a full 3 days of playing to not even get near halfway into the game. And the thought of doing that again was apparently weighing down on me to the point where I just didn’t want to do it.

So when I stepped back inside the game this past weekend, I went in and put it on the easiest setting I could with as much assistance as I could. Now the combat’s a breeze and so is the stealth, but I’m also moving quicker (a bit) through the game and I’m fine with that. It isn’t taking away anything from the story but it is helping the story move along quicker – which I’m fine with.

I’m much too far behind in this game to keep holding off playing it if I want to find out what others think of it. I have to avoid almost any and all conversations about it just in the event that something might get spoiled for me. There’s another slice of anxiety there as well. So…onward we go to finally finishing up this game. My thoughts so far, as best I can relate to where I am without giving anything away are contained in this episode. Hopefully I’ll have even more to say and maybe even feel differently come next episode.

Ubisoft, it’s been 2,532 days since the last Splinter Cell release.

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Season 14, Episode 21

The PC Build Bug has bitten yet again. The last time an actual build took place for me was back in 2012 and I still can’t remember why I did it. Usually I’m driven by a game or a few games on the horizon but going back to 2012 and I can’t see a thing I would have reason to build a PC for – at least not at the magnitude I built mine back then.

Since 2012 I’ve only added hard drive space, replaced the power supply, and put in a new video card back in 2015. So, yeah, I’d say it’s time for at least some of the main parts to get replaced. I’m taking it slow, however. I’ve no reason to rush and I can sit around and wait for deals to fall into my lap. One of those already presented itself in the form of a CPU so I’m on the AMD train as far as that’s concerned. I’ll still likely stick with NVIDIA for my video card, however.

Also, it’s another year and so yet another E3 without a new Splinter Cell from Ubisoft. I think I’ll start a count up and reference it every week until we get another announcement.

Ubisoft, it’s been 2,525 days since the last Splinter Cell release.

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Season 14, Episode 20

I don’t know if anyone listens to the show who makes video games, but please excuse our talk about gaming moving to a higher price tag. It’s mostly me, and I apologize for speaking out of turn as I have absolutely NO idea how to make video games or even how they are made. Thinking back on that I probably sound pretty dumb. My apologies.

Oh hey, Matt’s back…for at least one episode anyway. He also got a switch! And I got my switch back from Nintendo repair so we talk a lot about that again and his time with the system. Actually, we talk about his whole time away and what he’s been playing.

Speaking of the Switch, I now know why people are excited for “turnip day” in Animal Crossing. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go play the “stalk” market.

I still don’t understand the hook of this game, but it’s hook is very deeply embedded within my mouth.

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Season 14, Episode 19

Just a quick note, first off, to say there will NOT be a new episode next weekend due to the holiday.

Well, it’s week two and I haven’t finished Last Of Us Part 2. I’ve gotten further than last time I wrote this but still don’t even think I’m halfway through the thing. Which is a nice change of pace when it comes to my usual game of choice: Destiny – the never ending hamster wheel.

I can remember not too far back when a new game like Last Of Us (although I even think my memory here goes back further) would be something I would tackle in a weekend. It’s just not like that anymore for the long games. I don’t know if it’s time to play that gets in the way or maybe it’s more my desire to soak it all in rather than speed through it in a few nights. Whatever the case, I much prefer the aspect of taking my time with a game like that – something story driven and single player. I can easily attest to trying to speed run some of my other games or well…essentially Destiny again. There have been numerous times where I just run through that for the sake of getting it done to move on to something else.

I don’t want to say slow and steady wins the race, mainly because there is no race for the most part except where I’m trying to beat being spoiled randomly by the internet.

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Season 14, Episode 18

Just a head’s up for this episode – we do discuss The Last Of Us Part II. However, we keep it pretty spoiler free outside of a location you visit in a major US city. Other than that it took a lot longer to discuss just the few hours I’d already put into it – more time to talk about than I thought we’d spend.

Currently, I’m sitting at 8 hours in and that really tells you nothing considering how much time you can take to play a game like this. At 8 hours I’ve spent over half of those in just random walking story discussions but mostly, covering every nook and cranny of every single building and room I come across for supplies and resources. Reminds me of exactly what happened when I played the first one – or any game like this.

I don’t mind the exploration, but with all the settings they have in this game (there’s a ton even before you start the game but there’s even more when you go to the settings while in the game), I’d have loved one where I wouldn’t have to spend SO much time looking for things. That part actually gets annoying and I can see myself getting tired of it during gameplay and just moving on to the next story point.

Anyway, we have some thoughts on the game from the early point of it and we’ll continue to have more as I make my way through it.

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Season 14, Episode 17

Console reveals are fun, aren’t they?

I wasn’t expecting to get a look at the actual Playstation 5 when Sony did their showcase this past week. If I remember correctly it only mentioned it would be showing off games for the new system but then at the end we get the reveal. Nice surprise. I liked that. And I also liked the console. I like the looks of both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X.

Because I don’t care what they look like. I never have. Outside of the television itself, I’ve never been particular to the looks of my equipment. It’s not an aesthetic I genuinely have interest in. It’s what the machine can do that sells me on it. Specs and price. Not design. And they haven’t designed a system yet where I’ve changed my mind about getting it because it was ugly.

That’s not how game systems work. Oh sure, I enjoy the memes and jokes on their design. It’s some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever seen, but it doesn’t sway ANYONE on getting a system. At least it shouldn’t. Go where the games are that you want to play. That’s how it’s always been.

And still, we’re clueless on price for both of these and that’s still the part that REALLY holds my interest.

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Season 14, Episode 16

We really didn’t have a lot to talk about where video games were concerned. A lot of what we might have been talking about in that regard was delayed. And for good reason.

Even what we had to talk about was a delay – 90 minutes of watching a ship explode.

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Season 14, Episode 15

We can send people to space….

One thing leads to another leads to another and so on. That’s how this episode starts out and we take a little walk down memory lane. Mostly just how badly we all miss arcades. I mean, I say we miss them but I can easily remember being in them and wish I could play those things at home. Now I can and I want to go back to where they came from. I guess we can’t actually have it both ways. But really, we can. Arcades were about playing games with friends on systems we didn’t have at home. You couldn’t. It was just too top of the line and consoles weren’t there yet. But they caught up. Still, at the arcade you had the big machines – ones you could sit in that moved. You had some of the physical games like skee ball or the basketball hoops and you had redemption games (some are fun, I’ll admit), and you had pinball too.

A lot of those games you couldn’t replicate at home on a console, but now…arcades are dead. You’ll find a few here and there but mostly arcades exist to be mostly exactly what I mentioned above, and mainly the redemption game part. It’s what keeps the money coming in.

I’m not sad about that, but I am a little in the fact that a lot of people now won’t get that feeling of what an arcade was (stand by for an old man statement) back in my day.

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Season 14, Episode 14

In my head, it’s more fun to think that Sony and Microsoft are having a stand off and seeing which one moves first. Like some weird game of marketing chicken or a staring contest. But, there’s likely a reality that the price of both systems has already been set. And actually, it probably has except that it’s been set on memos and spreadsheets. Points at which the consoles can sell and make profit or, more likely, how much they’ll take at a loss for how ever many systems until they start actually making money on the things. Obviously they stand to lose less money the higher the price of the console, but then there’s another spreadsheet somewhere from an analyst who likely tells them that once you cross a certain price point of the system, the public’s prospect of buying it starts to lower. And then comes the balancing act.

And then comes the stand off. You do not (at least so far as we’ve seen in years past) want to be the company whose console costs more than the other guys.

In my head, like I said, it’s far more dramatic, but I’m guessing it’s probably something so very anticlimactic and, even worse, boring.

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Season 14, Episode 13

As much as I go on a rant at the end of the episode about Ubisoft providing gameplay for what’s touted as a gameplay trailer, I suppose I should take a dose of my own medicine for very little talk of games on a show about video games.

Still, when I get folks calling in that I haven’t spoken to in months and even more so on this show, it’s good to catch up and reminisce. And just to twist the knife further into Ubisoft (not hard to do), we were still able to fit more game talk in than they did gameplay.

Speaking of, I don’t really feel as bad as I sound when ranting. We’re going to get that gameplay and we’re going to get the game. Why blow it all on a 45 minute Xbox presentation when you can devote 30 or more minutes in your own later in the summer?

It’s fine. We all want gameplay and we’ll get it, we just wanted it…you know…NOW, when they said they’d show it. Here we are in 2020 and we’re still having to parse through footage to see what’s real and what’s cinematic. We’re still reading between the lines of what was shown and what was promised. Still not able to REALLY take a publisher’s word for it. At least right now in Ubisoft’s case, anyway.

EA, you’re next.

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Season 14, Episode 12

Pardon the dust and a bit of the rust, as well. Our site is back to…normal? I mean, it looks different, but it works again and is also feeding shows back to iTunes now. And speaking of that, we’re back on iTunes in case you noticed we were missing. And that was because of the site being down and the feed being broken. Anyway, that’s all to say that everything works now.

Let’s talk again about E3, or the lack of it this year. I mention this in the episode but we’ve got a rare incident here where there is no E3. Sure, E3 has undergone changes before – some very strange ones at one point in time – but there’s never NOT been an E3. There’s plenty to talk about of the validity or the need of an E3. Plenty of debate on it one way or the other, but this year there isn’t one. And this gives publishers, especially the more small of the pack to figure out a different way to showcase their games.

I don’t think there will ever NOT be an E3 so far as it just going away, but this is a fantastic year to experiment and see what you can do, as a publisher or developer, to show off your product without the confines of E3. No floor space to rent, no crunch for demo levels or presentations because there’s now no time table for you. There’s a lot of freedom here and a lot of opportunity to get a lot more attention instead of a 30 second snippet in a crowded montage of games shown off by a bigger company. Sure, you want that as well, but see what you can do on your own. You don’t have to bet the farm on a good showing at E3 anymore. Give it a shot. Put it out there your own way. Stand apart in what was normally an overload of information to begin with.

Also, let me just say that I don’t want E3 to end. But I do think they’re long overdue for a change, and hopefully, as much as this gives an opportunity for devs and pubs to do their own thing, it also gives E3 a chance to make some of those changes for the years to come.

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Season 14, Episode 11

Show Note: Our site is still down. We’ll keep you posted on the progress when we make some. Eventually.

Show Note Note: No show next weekend. And maybe the weekend after. But we’ll DEFINITELY be back on May 2nd. Regardless, absolutely no show next weekend.

I need to make an apology to a long time listener of the show. Daniel writes to us from time to time and, in fact, did so THREE times this week. I had every intention of answering him live on the air for this episode, but completely forgot to do so. I am so terribly sorry. Especially given near the end of the show I talk about running out of things to talk about when I had your emails right there.

To make up for this, I plan to do a special video to answer those emails but do so while playing some pinball (the questions were pinball related, you see). Look for that video soon.

Finally, let me thank all of you for sticking with us during this time of…whatever this is. It’s weird and different and strange and sometimes uncomfortable. But you all keep coming back to us for a show and so I promise you that we will all do our best to keep bringing you a show as often as we can.

Thank you! And we’ll see you soon.

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Season 14, Episode 10

Show Note: We’re having issues with our website and it’s being looked into but as no one is getting paid and this is being done on favor-work, it’s not getting rushed. We’ll get it fixed, but please bear with us while we do so. The episodes can still be found on YouTube and the audio is always where it has been if you know how to work the url. Our apologies at this time. On with the show post…

We’ve come to a point in time now where, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be the only one actually doing the show. This isn’t for any other reason than because of the current situation in the world, and our state, at the moment. I explain the whole thing within the first 10 minutes or so of this episode. It amounts to the whole state-wide stay-at-home order going on and while I have the means to show I’m employed as an essential person with the radio station I work for…everyone else on the show, sadly isn’t. And yes, it may be fine for them to make it to the station and likely won’t see anything come of this as far as the police are concerned, I can’t, in good faith, ask them to put themselves in that position.

Anyway, it’ll be a while like this and I’d rather not run replays for weeks on end until this is over, so you’re going to be getting a whole lot of me for the next few weeks or more. We’ll all try to make the best of it as we can.

That being said, it was nice to hear from some folks in this episode that we haven’t spoken with in a while and also to get some idea of how the rest of the world is handling this – even individually. And we still try and talk about games as well for a little bit too.

Look, as much as I hate these precautions and not having my friends on the show with me, I understand it has to be done. And this is just a small part of it and I hope you’re doing your part as well to keep yourself and others safe during this time.

We’ll…I’ll see you next weekend.