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Season 14, Episode 19

https://youtu.be/6eE6TX4rplE

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.

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Season 14, Episode 09

We try to go over just exactly what was revealed on the new consoles this week. It’s mostly a lot of technical stuff. The guts of the systems. And while that’s always good to have and gives you some idea of what we’re getting with these machines, it doesn’t really give us much of an idea of anything else. On paper, with stats and everything, Microsoft seems to pull ahead here with power. So, there’s that, but you can only go so far on power if there aren’t any games to use it with. And there will be, but the decision on buying a console doesn’t come from stat sheets. It comes from price, availability, and games available. We’re pretty much in the dark on all three of those at this point.

Things happen fast. No sooner had we finished our broadcast when news broke about the change in GameStop’s operations. This was less than 30 minutes after being off the air. So keep that in mind as you listen to us talk about it towards the end of this episode.

Also keep in mind that we won’t have a show next week. In case you’re curious it has nothing to do with what’s currently going on in the world. It’s just a simple break, that’s all.

We all hope you and your family are staying safe during this time and doing what’s needed to keep yourself and others safe as well. Our hobby goes a long way in helping that happen or to at least pass the time while doing so.

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Season 14, Episode 08

From last week with an abundance of topics, or at least having topics with plenty of discussion to be had…to a show with very little to be discussed. We do, in fact, run out of content well before the end of the show.

The dominating topic is, obviously, the one that’s currently dominating all discussions. Locally, here in our state (and city) where our broadcasts originate from, we’ve only started dealing with the effects of COVID-19 since Friday with our first confirmed case being that morning. It’s grown since then and as all of you know, it grows hour by hour. Either in cases found or new closings or shut downs to prevent the spread.

And that’s a little bit of where gaming steps in. After so many other cancellations or postponements, the really big show of E3 finally made their choice this week to cancel. This leaves so many windows open as to what will happen. A few companies were kind of on a timeline to reveal some pretty big things and now they aren’t. Now they all get to pick when to have their E3 moment.

It’s an interesting time, to be sure, and could become MUCH more interesting in the months ahead, even past that of June. Like pretty much everything and everyone else, we’re just going to have to take it day by day to see how things play out.

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Season 14, Episode 07

Leave it to some survey to bring out a topic that could last us an entire show. I mean, it doesn’t last the whole show, but we easily could have squeezed an hour out of discussing video game movies. And we were just talking about ones that haven’t even been made yet much less the talk we could have had on the ones already out there and upcoming.

I’ve been recently getting back into DOOM from 2016. It’s fun, of course, but there isn’t much to say about it outside of that. I could say it’s all style and no substance but that wouldn’t be correct either. It’s got both, but not much of either. It isn’t a bad game at all. It does pretty much one thing and it does it well. I mean, it’s practically the best at what it does, but I can’t go much further than that. I’m not very far into it, actually, so maybe I’m being a little too hasty with the comments and this thing will blow my mind in a few levels, but so far…it’s DOOM. Again, let me stress, it’s not bad. It’s not boring. It’s absolutely fine and fun and enjoyable. There’s just, so far at least, not much to it.

So, what’s the appeal of DOOM Eternal? I honestly haven’t looked much into it and that’s something that will change here not long after I post this, but I’m guessing it’s just more of the same and, really, for a game like DOOM – that’s all it has to be.

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Season 14, Episode 06

Video gaming confession: When a game lets you pick sides of good or evil (Mass Effect, Infamous, etc.), I have ALWAYS taken the good path first.

There is always the intention of going evil on a second play through, but there is rarely ever a second play through. I may dip my toe in the evil waters for a bit to start with a second time, but it almost never ends up that I play the whole campaign again.

And honestly, I feel like I’ve missed out. I’ve talked about this before but the evil side of things is usually the more fun play through. In Infamous, I’m too concerned about collateral damage when playing as a good guy, yet when going the evil route – nothing matters. And honestly, that’s more fun for me. Or maybe it’s more fun because I just spent days and hours being so cautious as to what I was doing that finally having that off my shoulders just makes it more fun.

An example for Mass Effect would just be that you put an ungodly amount of time into that game that going back to it isn’t all that fun of an idea. Maybe years down the line you may take another look, but the investment is so great it isn’t the most exciting idea to be starting over.

Someone once said, and I guess they were right: Evil will always triumph. Because good is dumb.

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Season 14, Episode 05

I know we’re going to be getting new consoles this year, but that’s about all I know. There’s details on each, yeah, but the things like a release date and price are yet to be determined. And while normally we’d expect these things at E3, that hasn’t always been the case. And especially now with Sony saying they won’t be at E3 or even have a press conference, it puts their reveal up in the air.

I’m okay with this. They’ll do it on their own time and that’s fine. Microsoft has done this as well, so to speak. I think we got a ton of details about the Xbox One at a special event in May of that year (boy did they push that whole TV aspect) before E3 and then they used E3 to highlight the games. I’m not sure Sony has ever done anything like that but it seems this will be the year they do, since they won’t be at E3. Now the fun part is when. Who shows their hand first? Release date isn’t so much of an issue as price. Being first on the shelf doesn’t really mean anything if you aren’t the cheapest on the shelf. And honestly, if ANY of these companies are looking at a five hundred dollar price tag, Nintendo is going to look awfully good at $300 come the holiday season for parents. Which, by the way, is all I’m considering here. The die hards and enthusiasts, they’ll be out in full force for the console of choice they want and price be damned. But the holiday season and sales, when the kids are asking for a new game console and parents look at the options – that five hundred dollars will NEVER win over something less than that. I get that Nintendo is an outlier, but five hundred may be a bridge too far for a lot of families.

Five hundred, so far, seems to be the cap on a price people are willing to pay for a gaming console. But that’s hard to tell, really. When the Xbox One was released it was five hundred and Sony was four. People went the cheaper route. Had Sony also been five at the time, I don’t know what would have happened. The first SKU’s of the PS3 were in the six hundred dollar range and that was a disaster.

This part of the new console release cycle is always my favorite. Who pulls the trigger first and what happens when they do?