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We’re down to our last save-ribbon at the following link.

No matter where we look recently we feel we’re being met by a horror game of every type and kind you can imagine.  Except the kind we used to love, that is.  It’s awfully hard to scratch the Resident Evil 2 itch without actually playing RE2, and sometimes that just won’t sate the hunger.  Something modern but very much in the same spirit would be welcome.  Sadly, a plodding adventure game with tank controls that’s as much about inventory management as it is about the zombie apocalypse doesn’t seem to be everyone’s idea of a good time, though it should be because they were awesome!  Says the old man.

 

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We’re live from a galaxy far, far away at the following link.

There are any number of satisfying outcomes that could have followed Amy Hennig’s departure from Naughty Dog, and as lifelong fans of the Star Wars universe we’ve found ourselves as satisfied as could be.  There are endless numbers of people who had some other dream job or personal project in mind for her, but we’re frankly glad they didn’t get their way.  Star Wars – as a universe in general and a universe of games, in particular – has always held a special place in several of In-Game Chat’s hearts, but the quality has dropped in recent years and by no small amount.  Star Wars is in need of saving, and we expect Amy will play a part in its rescue.

 

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We’re less than the sum of our parts at the following link.

We did our level best to present a lively discussion this week, but there’s no getting past how awkward the hosts are without Scott at the helm.  He was in hospital, flat on his back and high as a kite, suffering from a gruesome affliction.  Those of us in the studio were more than a little uncomfortable, like lost children who needed an adult.  Scott made it through his ordeal, somehow, and so did we, but our typically flawless (not really) execution wasn’t to be had.  In any case, we apologize for the lateness of this posting, but it couldn’t be avoided.

 

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We’ve raised no alerts and triggered no alarms at the following link.

We take real issue with a lot of Kojima’s shenanigans, and we’ve failed completely to understand the story material behind Ground Zeroes, but there’s something curious and wonderful about playing through such an exquisitely polished…something that’s probably almost a complete game, maybe?  We don’t generally think it’s a great idea to go on the record about the value of a game, unless we’re talking about ourselves alone.  But it’s hard to imagine anyone stumbling into a game like this unawares, and even harder to imagine that well-informed gamer being displeased by what they find.

Also we played inFamous and HOLY CRAP THAT GAME LOOKS GREAT!!

 

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We’ve got eyes in the backs of our heads at the following link.

It matters more than we can possibly say to invite one of our very best friends on the show for his first appearance ever, really.  It matters something extra that it might, in the future, be  more than a rare event.  To some degree, we all became who we are together – the ‘who we are’ on the show, at the very least – and at the ripe old age of late-ish thirties, you begin to wonder how you came to think and feel the things you do, especially as regards the vidja games.  It’s super swell, then, to touch base with someone else who knows where you’re at, because he’s been where you’ve been.  You, too, may one day have to reconcile the grey hair with the midnight launch, and when you do, you’ll be chuffed to find you’re not alone…so long as you’re not alone.

 

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We’ve seen the shape of things to come at the following link.

It’s not as though we ever imagined getting through the spring months without turning out our pockets, so the only comfort now is knowing exactly when, where, and for which games we’ll be going broke.  We’re all over menu as well, with triple-A product at a premium price, and mid-priced digital games that are damn near impulse buys.  And there’s a Steam sale out there, somewhere, no doubt, which puts our extensive wish lists in play as well.  We were recently, and fleetingly, sad to hear of more than one release date delay, but a quick glance at what we’re already due this month and the next has brought us to our senses.

 

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Claim your five-finger discount at the following link.

After long years of skeptical previews, rumors of development strife, and the unmatchable expectations of the elderly, Thief the Younger has been released to hilariously uneven industry reviews and community impressions.  There’s a good chance that without the marquee nameplate and the years of cloudy recollections this game would have been received to general acclaim, but there’s no fair shake for anyone who thinks they’re deft enough to follow in Garrett’s nearly silent footsteps.

Perhaps, though, in a year or two, Thief could conjure the embarrassing levels of praise currently being hurled toward Blizzard for making their game what it should have been at launch.  Diablo 3 has, with the surprise release of a not-objectively-horrifying loot system upgrade, banished a large part of the angry fog that’s clung to the game and subdued its legacy.  I’m not usually a fan of the idea that the customer is always right, but as one such customer who’s finally gotten his way, I’ll gladly cling to it in this case.

 

 

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Don’t call us bots at the following link.

Four days of wall-running, jump-jets, ejector seats and the roaring atmospheric entry of the Titanfall beta haven’t done a damn thing to help us decide what we actually think of Respawn’s imminent multiplayer shoot-bang.  A huge number of people seem to have fallen head-over-heels for this thing, but we’re still absolutely certain that we’ve missed some important element that’s only been experienced by other people.  It’s a good game, no doubt, but we’re more than a little sad to be left off the hype train.  Maybe all of this excitement will suddenly make sense if I give EA some money?

That is, of course, if I have any left after giving it all to Blizzard, who seem dedicated to offering new and controversial paid options in World of Warcraft, so long as those options don’t involve giving us new content.  Their newest addition involves paying what many consider irrational sums of money to skip the only content that matters; hand over sixty dollars and go straight to level 90.  It’s hard to say if this is truly the pay-to-win scenario that we’re all afraid of, but it’s clear this is Blizzard’s favorite sort of feature creep, and buying levels may one day seem quaint and simple compared to what they have planned.

 

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It’s an honor just to be nominated at the following link.

We’re still harboring an awful lot of suspicion surrounding the early hype and imminent release of Titanfall.  It’s one thing to mistrust the wave of praise from reporters of various stripes who might well be overstimulated and over-handled at any number of media events, but it’s another thing entirely to mistrust the legions of regular gamers with access to this past weekend’s alpha test.  Try as we might, though, some of us can’t see our way past the pedigree of the developers and the incredible baggage carried by their previous franchise.  Jetpacks, wall-running, and not-mechs might not be enough to turn it around, but we’ll find out for sure in a few long weeks.

 

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We’re part of a well-balanced meal at the following link.

It’s looking less likely over time that we’re going to find love in our hearts for the Steam Machine.  We wish it well with whatever it’s trying to do, and we’re happy on behalf of everyone who finds it compelling.  We haven’t written the idea off completely, though, as the only thing we like more than being proven right is having our negativity proven wrong.

PlayStation Now, on the other hand, has (by doing nothing whatsoever) generated many lustful and love-filled thoughts among the hosts.  We’re perfectly aware of the limitations and restrictions we’re likely to encounter, but we nonetheless choose to dream sweet dreams of all games from all eras available at all times wherever the hell we want.

 

 

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What would you do with a drunken sailor at the following link?

I suppose it’s fitting to put last things first for this episode, as we offer beginnings and endings all together in a single show.  It’s a new year for everyone, and with that a chance to build new game-of-the-arbitrary-time-period contender lists (and to fight over them as if our lives depended on it), for platform-warriors to further entrench their positions, for outsiders to misunderstand what we love and for insiders to misappropriate it.  It’s a time for each of us to lift several nagging titles out of the backlog, and then to dig that backlog even deeper.  Keeping the past twelve months in mind, I’m not particularly optimistic about the next twelve.  But, in the spirit of renewal, I’ll wish us all — console and PC, indie and triple-A — a very happy and prosperous new year.

In light of his years of service, I’d also like to wish Jeremy a happy new year and rest of his life.  He’s decided the small matter of home life and child-rearing should take precedence over broadcasting and podcasting during one of his only free days, so we bid him farewell and hope that he will at least be kind enough to offer sideline opinions and technical support for the remaining manbabies with no actual babies to call their own.  Thank you very much for everything, sir.

 

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We’re ringing out the old at the following link.

We’ve yet to discover a good way to summarize a year in gaming, and we aren’t going to start now.  Even if we were inclined to do something other than follow the (sometimes unbelievable) progression of the year’s news events, we’d have a hard time reconciling our current state of mind with our memories and predictions from the previous spring and onward.  It’s been an ugly and uneven year in a lot of respects, and I’m not especially sad to see it gone.  I don’t know what there is to be optimistic about in the new year, but we haven’t given up hope for pleasant surprises for gamers, pleasant exchanges between gamers, clear backlogs, and a renewal of the childlike enthusiasm that dragged us into this hobby in the first place.

 

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We’re paid in full at the following link.

Every exit is an entrance someplace else, and we’re about to find out if leaving the old gen for the new is worth our time and money.  We don’t have much to offer now beyond recollection, lamentation and stupid stories of the last seven years of console gaming.  We’re honestly very tired of, and from, all the discussions about the transition from this gen to the next, so let’s just get with the transiting already.  There’s a thousand dollars of toybox hardware to pass judgement on this month, and we’re not getting any younger.

 

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We’re hearkening back at the following link.

The consoles are damned close now, aren’t they?  We’re near the end of a six-month campaign of speculation, spec comparisons, theorycrafting, and shit-slinging, and we’re about to enter a six-year period sure to be filled with more of the same.  It’s nice to take a quiet moment, then, and enjoy oneself by tearing through a flimsy package and liberating a fresh new toy.  For a few minutes, the PS4 was less important than its controller, and the console war less interesting than the satisfying click of a button.

In an effort to get even further away from a cynical present, we connect with a wonderful memory and speak with one of the men who helped deliver it.  Twenty years after the release of Myst, Rand Miller of Cyan, inc joins us to discuss the development of exploration and puzzle-solving game Obduction, and the history of the games that shaped a genre.

 

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We’d like to buy a vowel at the following link.

For insights into the host’s week twenty-something opinions about the state of the next-generation console wars, I refer you to the first hour of our show.

For insights into how we spend our studio time during a pre-recorded interview(Outlast developers Red Barrels Studios, good stuff there), I ask that you tune in live if you’ve got nothing else going on a Saturday night.

 

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