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We really miss crash mode at the following link.

Give me an inch and I’ll take a mile. More, actually. I’m not sure how it came up, but no doubt I brought it up, but the topic of the Burnout franchise was mentioned and I just ran with it. I could talk about the game for house. It didn’t help that a former Criterion developer was in the chatroom during the conversation.

I’m headed to PAX South for the weekend and we talked a little bit about that…or as much as could be said about something that doesn’t seem to be on the radar for most folks, including publishers and developers. It’s a bit slim. Still, the rest of the guys WILL do a show this Saturday. And I’ll try to call in during that time and talk about the very few appointments I’ve made (Homeworld Remastered just made today).

Speaking of, if anyone else is going to PAX South please let me know! It’d be great to meet some listeners!

 

We’re gaming in our golden years at the following link.

One of the things I love about doing the show the way we do it now has to be the ability to take phone calls. Emails are great and so are tweets and other means of getting in touch with us, but the live phone calls give us that direct, instant contact with our listeners. And sure, we run the risk of getting the idiots from time to time, but those are few and far between. I mention this because of the calls we got on this week’s show, specifically from two older gentlemen that called us to talk gaming. One was a player of Fallout 3/New Vegas while the other was an avid WoW player. Both of them in their 60s. It isn’t a myth or anything that older people are gamers, in fact it’s very well known even if you only look at the early years of the Wii. I think, for me, it was more the fact that you don’t really hear from them so having two people call in to talk about gaming with us was a wonderful moment. And a reminder that most of us on the show aren’t far from being those people ourselves. And I don’t really have a problem with that after hearing from people already there.

 

We’ve got some strange perspectives at the following link.

I can’t really explain why it is I do the things I do regarding games I really, REALLY love. Something about if you never play them then you’ll always have them to look forward to. It’s really stupid, and I freely own up to that, but it’s odd. I play a game I really enjoy and after it’s done, it feels a bit empty. I explain this a lot better in the show, so hopefully you’ll take a listen there for a bit of context as to why and how. It isn’t anything I find a solution for or even seek one out. It’s just an odd quirk of mine – one of the many, I imagine.

Outside of that strange reveal we talk about our hauls from the Steam sales and what will either become a recently played game or another stack to the backlog.

 

We’re as surprised as you are at the following link.

I’m not exactly sure how it happened. For the most part, it was never supposed to given a few circumstances, but we managed to do 52 shows in a year. Somehow, every single Saturday, we pulled off a live show. While I can’t put a finger on all the reasons as to how we did this, I know one of them, and that reason is you. I’ve said it before but really, if you all keep listening, we’ll keep doing this.

It is somewhat of a year end show and we cover some of our highlights and lowlights of the past 12 months in relation to gaming. It isn’t a top ten list or game of the year awards or something like that, just our own personal favorites and disappointments.

This coming Saturday marks our 348th episode and a brand new season of In-Game Chat. We hope you’ll join us. No surprises or special guests planned or anything like that, but we really love seeing all of you in the chatroom while we do a show. And, besides, if you miss it, we’ll apparently give you 51 more chances in the year.

I said it last week and it is always worth repeating every week: Thanks for listening.

 

We’re the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse at the following link.

It’s that time of year again! Once again we fall victims to the holiday season and roll around in it discussing our Christmas past while playing Christmas themed video game music. There’s also talk about the Steam sale going on and the temptations we’ve either resisted or given into.

Outside of that, it’s another week and another chance for Ubisoft to screw something up. Hard to believe that something was Tetris. I mean…it’s Tetris. But yeah, Ubisoft found a way.

Next week is our 52nd episode of the year. This means we’ll have done a show every weekend of the year. It’s something we’re all pretty sure has never happened before, and we’re also pretty sure I’ve just jinxed the hell out of it by bringing it up. But you’ll have to tune in next week to see if that actually happens. We hope it does.

Merry Christmas, and as always, thanks for listening.

 

We’re doing something puzzling at the following link.

You’ll have to forgive my enthusiasm when talking about The Talos Principle. For those of you long time listeners you no doubt have an idea of how much I enjoy puzzle games. For those of you new to the show: I really enjoy puzzle games. And The Talos Principle from Croteam nails it for me. We spend a large chunk of this episode talking with a developer from Croteam, Damjan Mravunac, about the Talos Principle.

Outside of that, however, we still have time to talk about the delay of Witcher 3, remembering the first games we saved up our money to buy (disappointments be damned), and Nathan giving the rest of us a little something for the holidays.

 

We’re watching 2015 with a skeptic’s eye at the following link.

So, did it feel a little bit like a winter E3 over the weekend? Cause it felt a little bit like a winter E3 to us. Game reveals left and right, more footage of previously announced titles. All of it pretty much pointing to a fantastic 2015. And, of course, let’s hope the delay fest of 2014 doesn’t strike again next year (already has for Witcher 3, but it’s still releasing in 2015…so far).

Given the recent issues with games being released broken or needing patch after patch, it was hard for me to get excited about what I was seeing. I mean, I want to see more, no doubt, and I look forward to the release of all these great things, but I’m doing so while keeping it in the back of my mind that things aren’t always as they seem when being presented in such a way. Save for maybe that Uncharted 4 live demo. Nothing says this is live real working code like a death during an onstage performance with a glitch included.

 

We’re still disappointed in Ubisoft at the following link.

Again, to be the fly on the wall during conversations with corporate would be a wonderful superpower to have. Ubisoft seems to dig a hole with one hand and then fill it with the other, only to dig it back out again. In case it wasn’t clear in the show I’ll try to timeline it a little for you:

Ubisoft sets a review embargo on Assassin’s Creed: Unity for 12 hours after release of the game. Game releases and 12 hours later everyone know how big a bug-filled, unoptimized mess the game turns out to be. Maybe 24 or 48 hours later, the embargo for FarCry 4 ends and mostly positive reviews flood the internet. Why end embargo so late for one but not the other? Or the reverse of that. Then we come to last week and news about The Crew. A game that has NO embargo but won’t be shipped early to reviewers. They give an excuse as to why but it’s falling on deaf ears for myself.

At least we got a Star Wars teaser (for Matt) to talk about.

 

We’re not matching Amazon’s prices at the following link.

Sometimes there isn’t one single topic to dominate the conversation. A segment spent here and another segment spent there. Maybe a call, maybe an email. Whatever the case, when something doesn’t dominate the show, you get a grab back of topics thrown around. Such as the case with this episode. We talk about the games we’ve played, as we always do, but we somehow manage to make that last an hour. I don’t exactly remember how, but I had something to do with, I know. Then we talk about getting deals on games and consoles that aren’t…illegal, really, but may have a bit of moral weight to them.

Whatever the topic and whenever the week, we’ll be here live each Saturday night to talk about them with you. As always, thanks for listening.

 

We’re under review embargo at the following link.

We often talk about being a fly on the wall during certain conversations, though the one that must have taken place at Ubisoft wasn’t likely as interesting as we might make it out to be in our heads. There likely wasn’t any push back saying that Assassin’s Creed Unity wasn’t ready for release. Probably just questions about if a day one patch would fix it or something along those lines. Hell, it may not have been any question at all. Pre-order numbers were probably enough to justify release. Told PR to make sure the review embargoes were far enough out to make any cancellations negligible and then ship it.

Whatever the case may be, the problems with Ubisoft as well as the matchmaking issues and day one patch needed for Microsoft’s big Halo collection on Xbox One made for a pretty depressing week to enjoy this hobby. Nothing works when you pay for it anymore and there’s a chance even after you pay for it, it may still not work.

 

We’re not as excited about Overwatch as you might be at the following link.

Blizzard did a thing and announced some stuff. But no manner of flash, pomp and circumstance could rile the excitement of most of us on the show. Particularly that of Nate and James, the two people on the show with the most experience of what it is Blizzard does.

The rest of us had no real opinion either way, but speaking for myself and what Overwatch showed off didn’t seem like anything new to me, and, in fact, it seemed VERY familiar what with the banging of wrenches to make a thing and setting up portal stuffs. I’ve done that before. I can do it now, in fact. There’s more to be said for Overwatch, particularly after more is revealed and known, but for now…we’ll probably just be watching over it for something to strike our collective fancy to draw us in. Also, we’re keeping an eye on how they’ll want us to spend our money with it as well.

 

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!

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.