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We’re unwrapping our booster packs at the following link.

I never did catch on the to card game craze that happened in the early days of the genre. I don’t know why. I knew people that played it or saw it being played but it never grabbed hold of me. No one ever sat me down and showed me the ropes of it and that even extends to modern CCG’s and virtual CCG’s. I still, to this day, have no idea how to play Hearthstone. Or GWENT, or any of them. I can play all manner of card games with traditional playing cards, but not the CCG’s.

I’m hoping to change that.

What hasn’t changed is the games I’ve played. Still hunting monsters in a world. But I’ve been having an itch to get back into Civilization. I’ve talked about this before but that’s a game that needs a considerable length of time ahead of it with nothing on my plate. Because “just one more turn” becomes 100 more turns and hours fly by in minutes. You think I’m exaggerating and making a joke, but that is rock hard solid truth and nowhere near a joke, I assure you.

What is a joke, is how I ever thought I would want to play a realistic medieval RPG like Kingdom Come, but here we are.

 

We played 13 hours and only finished the prologue at the following link.

This may read like a review, but it’s not. The last time I played Shadow Of The Colossus was when it released – on my birthday in 2005. That was it. I never went back and replayed it and I haven’t even started on the “remaster” that was released this week. By the way, we tend to think of these video game remasters as being a few touch ups to display on larger and higher definition screens with other quality of life improvements, but this particular remaster was built from the ground up to do all of that and has now set the bar on how remasters should aspire to be – just to make that clear.

Anyway, Shadow Of The Colossus is a game that I hold very dear and I think a lot of other gamers do as well and they all have their reasons. It’s a phenomenal game with nothing but boss battles. That’s it. There’s 16 of them in total and that’s all you do. Go out and bring down the Colossus one by one. It’s just you, them, your horse, and a massive wide open land to explore. No other inhabitants besides a few birds here and there. And maybe that’s the appeal to me…the connection. The isolation and solitude of that and there’s very little in the way of dialogue because it is just you and these giant beings. There’s a story being told as well, and I refuse to spoil that here, but the ending of the game is less to do with the story told and more to do with the journey getting there. It’s…complicated to tell without spoiling. And, it’s a feat most games would have trouble reaching and I’m not so sure anyone else has tried it before because of what publishers feel that we, as gamers, need. But they aren’t looking at what we need, they are looking at what we’ll pay for and what we’ll keep coming back for again and again.

Because they don’t want us to pick up a game in 2005 only to play it a single time and never return. And yet this game still remains top of mind when it comes to some of our most cherished experiences in gaming.

 

We’re not saying he cheated, but he probably cheated at the following link.

Destiny 2 is now out of my system. It’s likely out of most of our systems at this point. Now replaced, for me, with Monster Hunter World. The hook was finally found and the skinner box is in full effect of keeping me there – for the time being. There’s other games soon, of course. That Shadow Of The Colossus remake is on the way this week and it’s been rebuilt from the ground up. It won’t be the same as going through it the first time, but it’s nice to have (and comes with a beautiful steelbook). Then God Of War hits later on (again with a steelbook…see a pattern here?) and that’ll take some time to run through the story but it has no lasting value on me. I don’t really want to talk about FarCry 5, but that’s soon too and while I have no desire to play it, I’ll have it on day one (stupid steelbook addiction).

My point here is that I’m no longer locked down to what Destiny 2 was doing to me and I’m free to roam the gaming grounds in search of new experiences and stories and I’m extremely happy about that. I’m looking forward at what’s to come, more so now, because I don’t have to add to the statement “I’ll play it” with “when I’m finished with my weeklys with Destiny 2”.

The cycle is broken (until May when they release new content).

 

We may finally find out what Matt has played at the following link.

Monster Hunter World just might be finding a way to win me over. It damn sure didn’t with customizing my cat companion, though that would do it for almost anyone else, but the mechanics of the game may be finding a hold somewhere in my head. It isn’t there yet, but last night after this show I played a little bit and I think some of it may be setting in for me. We’ll see if it continues as I play more.

From time to time I like to dip my toes into the waters of the unknown as far as gaming is concerned. The Monster Hunter games have been around for a long time but they’ve never struck me as something I wanted to play. This new entry in the franchise had the fortune of releasing when there was nothing else to hold my attention for weeks before or weeks after. And currently, it’s what everyone else is talking about so I’m a bit sucked in. Also, it has a steelbook (don’t judge me).

Sometimes going out of your comfort zone doesn’t work. I’ve tried Final Fantasy a few times and gave Dragon Age a few tries as well. No luck with either, but I tried. Monster Hunter World looks like it might actually be a success for me, however. Time will tell, but it’s promising, at least.

Here’s hoping you venture outside of your norm from time to time and find something you enjoy that you never thought you would. It’s a rewarding experience.

 

For the 500th time you can listen to the show at the following link.

I had a lot written here but it basically comes down to this:

Thank You

 

We’re knocking on 500’s door at the following link.

There is no show next week. I’ll be in San Antonio for PAX South. Normally, when we get back from such a trip I go over all the things I saw and played, but the return episode will be just a bit different given the timing.

Anyway, for this episode there is some talk on Burnout Paradise and my thoughts of how I felt playing it originally. This is going back a ways so my memory is clouded a bit by just my sheer love of the franchise but I can look back on it and see where things maybe should have been different. The game wasn’t a failure by any means but it did sort of split the fan base, it felt like. Those who liked the predetermined paths during events from the previous games and those who enjoyed the openness of the events in Paradise. I didn’t really meet a lot of people who liked what Paradise was doing with the events. I can see where they were coming from but I just made do with what I had and played the game how they wanted me to play it. I eventually came around and was fine with it, but looking back I can see what side of the fence I ultimately fell on for that debate. Regardless, it is what it is and whatever this remake ends up being, you know I’ll be there – on probably every platform they release it on.

My fandom knows no bounds.

See you again for the 500th episode in two weeks.

 

We can’t thank you enough at the following link.

Welcome to the end of our 11th season. Welcome to the end of 2017. This year saw us do less episodes than any previous year since we’ve been back on the radio. Only 48. Mainly because of the two recent breaks we decided to take in order to push back our 500th episode.

Speaking of that, it’s coming up on January 20th. For those of you keeping score that this is episode 498, you’ll notice we’re missing a week there. That’s because I’ll be in San Antonio the weekend after next for PAX South. Then, when I return, we’ll have our big five oh oh celebration.

Doing 48 episodes in a year when you only do one episode per week is nothing to sneeze at. Doing 498 episodes when you only do one per week is also nothing to sneeze at. We’re grateful to have been doing this as long as you’ve let us, and that’s the part that means the most. You let us do this. You keep coming back and calling and showing up in the chat room and emailing us and downloading. We keep doing this because you keep doing that. And even more, it’s the random people I’ll meet out and about or who call to other shows I’m on and mention this one – it makes you realize there’s way more people out there who may not do all the things I mentioned above but still listen and enjoy the show.

We hope this year was good to you. We hope next year is even better for you.

As always, thank you for listening….for 11 years going now.

 

We’re carefully unwrapping our presents at the following link.

This is our Christmas episode! Yeah, so normally we’d do a show next week but in the event of trying to place our 500th at a time when people are available we’ve been stretching the soup, so to speak. This episode will play again next week while we’re away.

There’s games discussed here, but seemingly for only a very little bit. We spend a good chunk of the beginning of the show talking Star Wars – no spoilers, of course. And then later we open up gifts!

We’ll be back on the eve of New Year’s Eve and maybe talk about how our year was in gaming. Having said that, we’d like to know how your year in gaming was for 2017. Make a comment or send us an email. Or call in next week if you catch us live.

Until then, Merry Christmas!

 

We were live (and you weren’t there) at the following link.

Award shows are a thing and video games have been trying their hand at them for a good while now. Never quite getting it right but each year getting closer.

They’re almost there. Like most award shows they need to trim the fat. A nearly three hour award show for anything is far too long. There is far too many categories and some of them seem a bit redundant. They should probably trim the amount of trailers and game announcements too, but, in all honesty, that’s probably 90 percent of why people watch. Then there’s the issue of the internet. Where everything about the award show from just moments before can be seen without having to sit through it all. This pretty much goes for every award show. Hell, it works for almost anything that’s appointment television. Movie trailer during the football game? It’ll be on the internet just before or immediately after. Something strange or amazing happen during the live show? It’ll be on the internet. Hell, every skit from SNL is on YouTube the next day. I don’t actually know the solution to this or how to get people to actually watch live, but being a little more condensed and to the point is worth a try. Also, cutting back on the categories could prevent the really annoying trend of announcing like 5 winners during a speed break and moving on to a game announcement or interview when we actually kinda wanted to see those winning developers accept their award and recognition for what they did.

 

We’re back with our Black Friday hauls at the following link.

I think, in my heart, I feel like companies are pretty honest. The customer is always right and everything that goes with that. All of that stuff. Then there is what I think or, basically know, that is in my head. Companies are out to make money and they will do that in whatever way works to make them the most. First, it was EA. And now, sadly, it’s Bungie.

It’s a bit different than the EA situation, and I explain how in this episode as well as why I’m not really upset over this but that I am uneasy over it. They were actively lying to their players. Like…not even in words, but in the actual gameplay. They were being misleading and deceitful. And money is the reason. Their online store never bothered me when it was implemented. They were very clear how it was all cosmetics and nothing in there would give you an advantage and that still holds true. I’ve never spent money on Destiny beyond paying to play the game. Never bought in-game currency, never wanted an emote, a dance, a piece of armor, or anything of that matter. It never held any significance for me and it still doesn’t. But then, then the actual game itself was misleading the player. It’s a trust issue. And while I’ve never been a diehard loyal true believing follower of anything Bungie ever told me (“see those mountains in the back? You can go to them!” – D1 reveal way back when), that was all game PR crap that we pretty much get from EVERY game company for the most part. But this…this was in the game, and that’s pretty bad.

None of this, however, has stopped me from playing. Hell, I just bought the game AGAIN as a gift during a one-day sale. So yeah, it isn’t like we haven’t been here before in some way or another with Bungie. It’s just a bit more of a sting when they actually coded the deceit into the actual game.

 

The dark side did nothing wrong at the following link.

While there is probably two hours worth of conversation to debate the justifications of the Empire Vs. the Rebellion in Star Wars, there’s only about 10 minutes to discuss the single player campaign found in Battlefront 2. According to one of us, because no one else has played or has any interest in playing it. It really didn’t matter how bad EA was going to screw up this game mechanically or ethically, Matt was still going to be there day one. Or day one minus a month or however long ago he pre-ordered it. I can’t fault him for that. We knew he would do it. It’s Star Wars and gaming and he’s going to be there regardless. Even if the story disappoints for him. We cover spoilers, by the way, for what it’s worth. There’s really no other way that story was going to end without it being a setup for a sequel and to have Matt tell it, this seems like something they tacked on for fan service or to just get the single player folks to finally shut up about it. EA has made it very clear in their actions as of late, both with the loot boxes and Visceral’s closing, single player games do not make them the kind of money they want.

As you know we’re having to stretch the soup a bit to get our 500th episode to fall at a time that is more convenient. That comes in two parts as holiday vacations – the first of which is this week. So, there will be no show on Saturday the 25th. You’ll hear a replay of, I think, our music episode. But we’ll be back the following weekend to talk about whatever on hand plus our hauls from the sales this weekend. Good luck out there, let us know what kind of deals you picked up.

 

The movie opinions of Matt are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of IGC, its staff and, probably, some of the listeners at the following link.

I’ve been stuck in a Destiny rut for awhile now. I’ve got other games, but I can’t seem to tear myself away from Destiny that I now own and play on TWO different platforms. This is something I wouldn’t mind so much if they’d just let us cross save between the two so my progression could carry over system to system.

Anyway, before I get stuck in another rut for WRITING about playing Destiny so much, I actually broke away this week to play a few more games. I only just started into one of those games so I’ll talk about it later, but just before the show I had an hour to spare and brought my Switch to the studio. I played a bit of Mario Odyssey and I’d already put some time into it, but this session took me back to my time with Civ games. I know that’s an odd comparison so let me explain: In the Civilization series the whole thing is about “one more turn”. You’ll just take one more turn and then you’ll go do that thing you have to do or go to bed or whatever, but you’ll stop playing after “one more turn”. You never do. One more turns into like ten more and so on and suddenly what only felt like an hour to your mind actually means three hours have passed. This is true with Super Mario Odyssey and the phrase becomes “one more moon”. You’ll collect a moon and then see the other one in another part of the map and think you’ll grab it and be done, but you won’t. Just one more moon is right there in sight for you to go get. I started my session an hour before the show started and didn’t look up until 45 minutes later wondering where the time had gone and where my co-hosts were – they were downstairs waiting for me to let them in. They had been for the past 15 minutes. I’d missed their texts I was so engaged. This game has a grip, folks.

The other game I played came after the show. I put more time into South Park and actually made some good progress in the game. It doesn’t have a grip like Mario Odyssey but that’s the appeal. It’s something I know I can play and not get sucked into. I can quit it anytime I need to. That isn’t to say I’m not having fun, but it doesn’t have that pull on me like Mario does. Like I said, not a bad thing. Sometimes it’s good to have a game to go to just to kill time rather than stealing time.

 

We’re almost finished talking about Destiny 2 at the following link.

How do you celebrate 500 episodes? We’re not sure yet, but we’re looking over the options. It’s happening in January of 2018. So it’s close.

I think we have enough gaming wise to hold us over. Destiny 2 is still being talked about since the PC release is getting in the hands of folks who either waited for that version or have never played the first one.

What really needs to be done is wrapping up of Wolfenstein 2. Only one of us has done that and we’re having difficulty talking about it because of spoilers but it’s something I really hope to have done by the next episode. At least far enough in to really give some opinions on it. Then there’s South Park. And Mario Odyssey. And Shadow Of War. And Assassin’s Creed Origins. And, if anyone else is doing it, Call Of Duty.

Even without that last one I think I’m well set for gaming for a good while. And we didn’t even talk about the Xbox One X coming out on Tuesday.

The gaming is good right now and I’m not complaining. Mainly because that’s it. That’s the end of the line for the year pretty much. A few other small things on the horizon maybe, but we’re good. It feels like it’s JUST the right amount of gaming available to kill the downtime and get through the year on.

Probably longer knowing me.

 

We’re not all there at the following link.

The day has finally come and gone. This past Friday saw the release of a bunch of things. New iPhone pre-orders started, Stranger Things 2 arrived, and in gaming we saw the release of 3 VERY big titles. You could include this past week in that mix just to throw in Destiny 2’s release on PC but Friday itself saw the release of Assassin’s Creed Origins, Wolfenstein 2, and Super Mario Odyssey. This is capping off a month of pretty high profile releases of Shadow Of War, Evil Within 2, South Park, Cuphead, and probably more. My point being is that we have A LOT to play.

And I haven’t played nearly ANY of it. I’ve put just a few hours into Destiny 2 on PC. Just a few hours into South Park. And now, writing this, I’ve spent a tiny, very TINY, bit of time with Mario. The best part of all of this is that even with those short amounts of time, things look promising for everything I’ve played – which is kind of new for me. Normally it takes a while to build a backlog this good, but this isn’t even considered a backlog with how recent these games are. These are back to back to back good games being released. While I wasn’t hopeful for what was to come after, I don’t need to be. These titles already will keep me busy for the rest of the year on into the next. I’m set. We’re good. This is one of the happiest times I’ve been for a fall release schedule.

Everything is awesome.

 

We’re early at the following link.

I wish we could have Sara on with every episode. A female perspective in gaming is something this show has lacked for a long time and it isn’t without me trying to make it happen. That said, if you’re a woman who loves talking about games and can make it to the studio every Saturday we do this, then by all means reach out to us and let us know. The schedule isn’t that accommodating for some and the pay is completely non-existent, but it’s fun and we’d love to have you.

When Sara was talking about Destiny she was referring to her characters with female pronouns and that made me pose the question about selecting gender in gaming. I’ve only ever deep dive role-played with one specific game and that was City Of Heroes/Villains. In other games when given the chance to select gender I go male 99.9% of the time (Sara reminded me of FemShep from Mass Effect, and that may have been one of the times I selected the opposite – the voice acting was impeccable).

It was an interesting and WAY too short of a conversation to have because for some reason I am fascinated by gender selection in gaming. I imagine there’s plenty of stats out there on how it plays out, but I was more curious about the people in the room, the people listening, and the people reading this. Which brings me to the question, when given the choice of gender in a game do you pick your own or the opposite? And, if you feel like saying, what’s the reason behind your choice?