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We agree to disagree at the following link.

We obviously don’t agree on the specific qualities of games at all times, but we could honestly stand to disagree a deal more than we do.  One of the effects of spending so much time with friends of the same vintage is that your tastes, which were probably similar to begin with, have aligned even further as time rolls on.  The conflicting opinions keep the conversation interesting, and the friendships keep them civil.  It’s too bad, then, that we find so many reasons to tell one another how right they are.  Of course, if Scott continues to enjoy his time in Destiny as much as he has, there will be no shortage of material to fight about.

 

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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 stopping to smell the backlog at the following link.

The quiet interval between E3 and the holiday market rush really ought to be a sacred time for us who play games, even if it’s a bit dreary for those in the mood for new releases.  The doldrums don’t quite last as long as they seem, if we’re honest, and they aren’t really all that bare, either.  But the spectacle of news and marketing that immediately precedes the summer lull is matched only by the crush of new games that follows in the fall, and we spend the months in between disoriented, with our ears ringing and our nerves jangling.

As hosts, we’re forced to do what we’d have preferred to do all along, which is to talk to one another, and to you, about what we’ve played or wished we had, and how we felt about whatever we can remember.  Being starved for public relations messages, marketing hype, press releases, developer controversy, and endless other tabloid gossip is a strongly positive thing.  None of us first developed an interest in games for the drama, unless that drama was in the cartridge or on the disc.  Sadly, it takes a near total lack of triple-A news to remind us of this.  Maybe one day the lesson will stick.

 

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We’re fashionably late at the following link.

We’re spending time on things both old and new in this episode, as we invite to the long neglected interview one Karl Roelofs, co-founder of Zojoi and developer of Shadowgate in all its forms.  Karl takes us through the history of Shadowgate, and the imminent release of its newest incarnation due this summer.

Sadly, outside of hosting storied game developers and awaiting their newest wares, we’ve absolutely run out of things to say.  The passing of this years E3 and exhausting of every news item has left us with not a single healthy rumor or tabloid story to cover.  We’re within the summer doldrums again, and we expect it to be weeks before we see something worth getting in a fight about.  If this goes on long enough, we may actually have to play some games.

 

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We’re all dressed up with nothing to play at the following link.

E3′s annual blitz of showmanship and overpromises has come and gone and left a whole lot of nothing in its wake.  2015 will evidently be a good year for those of us with disposable income and a strong yen for gaming, but the outlook for this year remains tame.  There’s still a few things to look forward to, no doubt, and there’s always that backlog we’d like to address.  And, of course, it turns out that Bungie and Activision’s Destiny is turning our heads in a way we hadn’t expected.  The surprise alpha access was maybe the best thing on offer last week, and it looks like it will fill the sadly empty bill nicely this fall.

 

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We’re not remotely pessimistic at the following link.

Every one of us on the show knows better than to entertain our hopes and dreams for any particular game, or studio, or platform, or for E3 and the hobby of gaming as a whole. We know there are and always will be wonderful games to explore and a goodly number of surprises in every future, but we’ve learned what it means to maintain a wishlist and see it go unfulfilled. We’ve sworn in the past never to do it again…but that’s always been a lie, hasn’t it? It probably always will be. Every one of us is an optimistic twelve-year-old on the inside, and we’ll be damned if we let the hard shell of adulthood muffle our enthusiasm. At least not this year.

 

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We’ve crashed into a bollard at the following link.

So Watch Dogs is out, and even though we were never certain what we wanted from it, we’re pretty sure that this wasn’t it, and we’re very sure we just don’t care.  We’re actually exhausted from the effort of giving a shit about this game, and it’s neither good enough or bad enough to move us toward any particular emotion.  The only genuinely tragic thing is that it’s drowned several good ideas beneath a lot of poor story and derivative gameplay.  There’s not much here that we really want to be doing, which makes it all the more troubling that we can’t stop playing.

 

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We’re holding our breath and stamping our feet at the following link.

The hype and hoopla for the now current-gen consoles was pegging the meter for the better part of a year – and still manages to raise a lot of noise –  but aside from roaring of console warriors, there doesn’t seem to be much going on.  The first year of new hardware is historically slow to deliver games, but that first year has also tended to amaze or innovate at some perceptible level.  Anymore, “next-gen” may as well mean “keeping pace”.  But these boxes aren’t going anywhere soon, and we gripe and complain when we’re hungry for first-class exclusives.  We’ll revisit the bitchiness on the eve of next year’s E3 and see if we’ve managed any progress.

 

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