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We’re pretty sure Matt loves his voice packs at the following link.

Not sure how I was able to squeeze in more pinball talk, but here we are.

Destiny 2 is back on the topic of discussion, at least a little bit. It’s dominating my game time and maybe not in the best way. It’s a grind-fest at the moment. A whole lot of things to do before the whole event is over with at the end of the month. And don’t underestimate what I mean by a whole lot of things. It’s the end of the first year of the game and I actually have a spreadsheet of things to do in it before the month is out. I’ve never been involved in something like this before. Destiny has done stuff like this before but never on the level it’s on right now. It’s tedious and time consuming and demanding, and…lucky too, probably. There’s certain requirements that took me weeks to knock out way back when and if you didn’t do those things, you’ve got a hell of a hill to climb.

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like extra things on his plate to do and all of this they’ve added for me just feels like something I need to knock out so I can get back to what I was doing. I know that doesn’t REALLY make much sense, but understand that I’m not complaining about any of what they’ve offered me to do. I accept the challenge and push through it. And sometimes I have fun when I do.

 

We’re making every shot count at the following link.

Gonna warn you up front, there’s about thirty minutes of pinball talk here on a specific table and a visual aid if you happen to see this on YouTube. I had a hell of a run on a table the other night and I always get asked about my high scores. So, I wanted to see how well I could explain it since the idiot that I am didn’t record the session even though I have the ability to. I promise, next time I do this, I will totally record it so I can show the actual session happen. Even then, it might be a little confusing to figure out what’s happening and why.

Pinball is a game of points and those just don’t happen by knocking the ball around the table. Think of it maybe like cooking a meal. A few (or a lot of) things have to be done to get the meal ready. Same in pinball. Steps have to be taken to open up the playfield to bigger points. Lock balls (usually 3) start a multi-ball which opens up the chance at jackpots. Jackpots are where the majority of big point scores in pinball come from. But in order to lock the ball you usually have to trigger something on the table. It’s all about repetition to trigger events to make other events happen.

This is a really horrible explanation but one I hope I did better on the show.

 

We’re way too thrilled for JULY FOURTEENTH at the following link.

I can’t really remember the last time I spent money on what’s called a “micro-transaction”. That’s a fun marketing word to get people to think they are only spending a tiny bit of money on something. You’ll find it in a LOT of games – mostly mobile games, but they show up in regular games as well.

“Fortnight” is a game that costs nothing to play. It’s free. Play all you want. There’s things in the game you can spend actual money on and that’s how they make money off the game. Apparently, there’s enough need of whatever is actually for sale in that game that people have spent over a billion dollars on it. That kinda blows my mind. Takes me back to the phone/tablet days of when you’d hear of parents getting massive bills cause their kids kept buying things because the app made it easy (or tricky). I don’t know if we’re there yet with a game like “Fortnight”. It’s on pretty much every available platform, but when a game that cost nothing to play pulls in that kind of money, it makes you wonder. It also turns on just about that many lightbulbs in the minds of executives who want to hop on that gravy train.

As much as I’d hoped this whole battle royale mechanic of gaming was going to stay in it’s own circle, this tells me otherwise. Unfortunately, it’s just getting started.

 

We’re way too thrilled for JULY FOURTEENTH at the following link.

In gaming, whenever you find something new (it’s actually not very new at all) and it’s a lot of fun you really want to tell people about it. Especially when it seems like no one else knows anything about it. That’s where I am right now with DropMix.

It’s also tickling the collector side of me. A side I didn’t think I had given my experience with other collectible card games. Yet, here I am looking at checklist spreadsheets, promo cards that have long since become easily available and looking for ways to complete a collection. It was easy enough to get started what with the base game having a huge 70 percent discount, but stores don’t put things on clearance for no reason. The community seems to think this game has legs enough for a new round of cards coming soon, but in stores it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like it’s dying. Some card packs were exclusive to Toys R Us and that isn’t really helping the feeling of things just going south with this game.

The game also has to contend with the fact that I just found out about it and I really like it. I have a history of jumping on things at their dying breath. TV Shows, electronics/gadgets, and yeah, even video games.

Good luck with that curse, Harmonix.

 

We’re not horsing around at the following link.

Begun, the cross play war has.

Not so much a war, really. But there’s a whole lot of people who wish Sony would give in and just make it happen. Five years ago and I’d have told you to keep dreaming on cross play of ANY kind, but a lot can happen in five years, I guess. Especially since we’re at the point that Sony is the ONLY one who is holding out. Originally, with Destiny, I was advocating for cross play, but it was something I had never expected – that’s about 5 years ago, actually. And that eventually turned into just wanting them to let me cross save my characters. Now, something I never thought was possible seems like it might actually happen at some point. Maybe.

Sony isn’t letting go of this. They won’t budge, not until they have to, and even then I’m not so sure. Last fall we were all talking about the evil of loot boxes and now, we’re at the cross play talk. I’m almost sure that if this holds out through the year, Microsoft will hit the cross play tick points with every single game they can – at least with the multiplats.

Again, assuming Sony doesn’t bend on the issue.

 

We’re cutting it rather close at the following link.

I sure do love pinball! Look, for the first 30 minutes of this episode we talk about what the others guys played during the week, then for the second 30 minutes, I take it all over just trying to say I played 3 games. Except, one of those was pinball and it sparked a long tangent of talk – all about pinball.

For a good while growing up, there was a pinball machine in my house. And I played it from time to time. But that’s not when I got hooked. It wasn’t until sometime in the early 90s. I was on a trip with my parents to Knoxville, TN. We’d stopped for the night in Helen, GA. Helen’s one of the nicer tourist traps that I can remember. Anyway, just across the street from the motel was a miniature golf place, if I remember right, and inside was a single pinball machine. That’s when it started for me. The machine was called FUNHOUSE. And it hooked me.

What hooked you? When did it happen? Was it a particular game, or a genre? What’s your “pinball” story?

It’s something I think we’ll talk about in the next episode and we’d love to tell your story.

 

We’re catching up with old friends on new systems at the following link.

After posting last week’s episode we realized we recapped E3 but didn’t really analyze it too much. So that’s kind of what we start off doing here and throughout the episode. Spoiler alert: we weren’t all that impressed. It’s fine though because Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has like…6 different editions to throw money at (I’ll take the cheapest with a steelbook, please).

Gaming made the news again this week by becoming an official “disorder”. By the definition presented we see exactly why that’s the case but also how it could be the case for, well, pretty much anything if you word it the way it was.

Anything can really be a disorder if you apply their definition to it.

 

We’ve got a line on a great deal on ribs at the following link.

E3 is over. What did you think?

Sony was a surprise for me and not really in any sort of a good way. I recognize their idea to do something different, but I don’t think it played to their favor. As much as I can’t stand someone on stage talking on end from a PR checklist of things to say about a game, it goes the same for me watching someone play music from the game (and, as much as I love him, that goes for AWK as well). That isn’t to say I don’t appreciate it, but I’m really here to see the game they’re promoting. A compromise maybe would be to show some parts of the game intercut with the live performance. Same with someone on stage talking about the game, come to think of it.

Microsoft was a surprise for me in that they showed off A LOT of games. Not too many exclusives, however, but that segment where they rattled off all the new companies they bought may change that in the next few years. Plus, we got the very first mention of a new console, ever so small as it was. Then again, I’m not so sure some of the games we saw we’ll actually be playing on our current systems anyway.

That was the other thing about this E3. A lot of publishers were short on dates. Very few games got them and those that did were either just “2019”, February of 2019 – have you looked at what we’re getting in the span of 31 days starting on January 29th?

Seriously, check it out, we’re all going to be VERY busy right after the new year if those dates hold.

 

Our cynical sense is tingling at the following link.

E3 is upon us. EA’s announcements are already off the table and that wasn’t all too fulfilling for us so we’re hoping the next few days have a little more meat on the bones. We have a bit of a recap for EA’s event here but there just wasn’t that much to bite into. Even with Anthem being less than a year away they gave us very little on that game. The gameplay shown was edited video. How do you form a team? How do you find other players? Can we fast travel to locations on a map? Movement is flying, it seems, but are there vehicles that can also get us around? How’s the in-game economy work? What do we get when we defeat enemies? How do we obtain new weapons or armor? They answered a lot of questions but very little of those questions had to do with how the gameplay works but more how the game works. There’s no PVP, there’s no lootboxes, it’s always online, there can be a team of four, you can go underwater, etc. They didn’t sell me on the game and they’ve got less than a year to do that.

Let’s hope the longer times we get from the other companies press conferences this week can show off a bit more about how a game plays and less about how a game works.

 

We’re on long distance at the following link.

You miss two weeks and like three games get announced. Then again, it’s a week before E3 so when three games get announced you’re still pretty clueless about a lot of them until AFTER the whole E3 thing happens.

Detroit was released last week and we didn’t really have much to say about it. When only one of us has played it, it can be difficult to talk about given a game with so many choices can easily lead to spoilers without ever getting into the meat of the title. So we didn’t say much.

There’s thoughts we have on the new Battlefield, though to listen to the show you’d only think we really cared about how the hell it’s titled. Is it FIVE or is it V? Then there’s the quick thing about a new Assassin’s Creed and it’s just as quickly discussed on the show. Plus, Fallout. We give it a bit more time, but with any of these things the only thing we really know is that we’ll know more about them all after E3. EA’s big event will kick off just before the show next weekend, so we’ll have some idea and plenty to talk about. Then, the week following that, we’ll know a WHOLE lot more about everything else.

 

We’re good through 2032 at the following link.

Destiny 2 is keeping my attention. Easily noticeable by the fact that it was really the only thing I played all week. They’ve given us some strings to keep pulling us along week by week, but if it’s not enough they risk losing our interest early cause we finished, and if it’s too much, they risk losing us to not wanting to put in the time for what we eventually get for it. I can see the tough act of balancing they have to figure out, but I’m still enjoying it so I’ll still carry on. For now.

We won’t be having a show next week. Most of us – actually, ALL of us will be out of town for the weekend, but when we return we’ll be one week out from E3. Plenty to speculate on for the return episode and plenty to actually talk about from the E3 fallout on the one after.

 

We renewed our license at the following link.

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Destiny 2 got another expansion. Bigger, it seems, than the last one, which is good, although short on story it expands afterwards. Which is what it should do, but that story could have been better. I can look past that though if it keeps giving me more carrots on the end of the stick, and that’s happening. The bug hasn’t completely bit into me yet, but it feels close. Time will tell just how this ends up, but it’s better than before.

On the surface, it looks like we’re getting more things to chase so that’ll keep me interested, but that’s only on the surface. Once that chase begins, it’s really got to hold me and that’ll be where I really grade this new expansion. How long can it keep me coming back?

You know how we cover Destiny, here. It was almost weekly talk of the game since it was played so much and then nothing. For months it was nothing because nothing was there. Now there’s something but is it enough?

We’re about to find out.

 

We can google that for you at the following link.

I have finally started God Of War, but that really isn’t saying much for me and my way of playing games. Which brings us to a small side discussion about having too many collectibles in games, or branching paths in something that should really be more linear. It’s all subjective to the player than the game, so it isn’t really any sort of fault I put on the developers. It’s just my oh-look-a-squirrel way of playing games.

There’s also a bit of a rant about video game trailers as well, but I think I’m being extremely cynical with that way of thinking. The point is, a trailer for a game is made to sell you on the game. We complain about movies putting all the best parts in a trailer, but that’s EXACTLY what a video game trailer will do. They want to show you all the best parts to hold your interest and get your money. This doesn’t really apply to franchise games, so much, when we know what to expect, but for new IPs, you’re going to see the best of what they have to offer – but it’s usually in cinematic form, rather than something significant like gameplay. Cinematics being the least percentage of a video game (unless you’re a Kojima game) and gameplay being the most of anything else you ever do in a video game. In the marketing world of video games, I’m probably in the minority, but you’re going to sell me a whole lot more on your product by showing me what’s inside (gameplay) rather than the art on the box (cinematic).

Then again, with games like God Of War, the cinematic is the gameplay. And it’s amazing.

 

We put it on a bomb, an actual bomb, at the following link.

We haven’t spoken to Twisted Pixel in a few years but we hope to change that and keep a regular correspondence with them and the show. We used to have them on every time they released a new game and then they went silent for a while. You’ll find out why when you hear our interview with Amanda May in this episode.

We all played games this week, but the only thing new for me was the Detroit demo. I was already sold on the game from all the branching paths, but the demo showed me this was much better than Beyond Two Souls – their last effort at the “your choices matter” type of gameplay style. Because in that game, it didn’t. At all. However, Detroit looks like that course was corrected. We’ll see later this month when it releases.

At some point I should probably start (and finish) God Of War. I’m a bit behind.

 

It’s behind a glass display case at the following link.

I never started out doing this show to reach any kind of goals. It was, and still is, a great hobby of mine and everyone else involved. It just comes with perks every now and then. Like realizing that you’ve not only spoken with, but also met and visited the people and places behind your favorite games. And not just recent favorite games, but the games that made you. The games that shaped who you’d become as a gamer.

MYST was that game for me, no doubt about it. That goes all the way back to 1993. And I have been in love with every game in the series ever since, never once ever expecting that I’d get to talk to one of the people who created the game, but also getting to meet him and visit the studio.

It will never not be special to me to have these people on our show.