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Happy Birthday Matt!! Oh, and the show is at the following link.

How many times do you replay a game? Practically never, for myself. I think of maybe one or two times I’ve replayed a game. Also, this doesn’t count the whole New Game Plus thing you sometimes find in games. After Arkham Origins, I replayed Arkham Asylum and Arkham City on PC to get both of those at 100%, but I haven’t gone back to any game I can think of to do a replay. Oh, the other exception is when beating it once unlocks a harder or different difficulty. When there’s no change from when you played the game before, do you play it again? And I get the movie comparison or book comparison – going back through something you’ve already experienced allows you to notice other details you might have missed the first time. But man, as much as I’ve revisited things in other mediums, I rarely EVER do it for video games.

What about you?

 

We’ll apparently just let anyone on this show at the following link.

We’ve complained before about grouping up game releases. Usually it’s over the span of a month or a few weeks. It’s not really a complaint we mind having, but it’s still an issue since we usually can’t buy everything we want when it releases much less have the time to enjoy it all either. Then there’s the 27th of October. Nevermind that Shadow Of War releases this week along with The Evil Within 2. Nevermind that South Park releases the week after that. Nevermind that Call Of Duty and Battlefront 2 release just mere weeks after the 27th of October. No, on that day we see the release of Wolfenstein 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Destiny 2 on PC, and Super Mario Odyssey. Oh, and by the way, the 27th is also the release of Stranger Things Season 2.

So yeah, I’m going to be busy but it won’t be because I’m buying all those games. I’ll stick to one or MAYBE two of them, but not all. I can’t afford it with either money or time. There’s also the personal rule I have of buying ANYTHING so close to the Black Friday sales week. Just don’t do it, folks. You can be sure Nintendo won’t drop in price on that Mario game, but all the rest are even odds we see them fall at least to $30 within a few weeks and at least for a day.

 

We’re making Matt do all the work at the following link.

We don’t normally play games during the show and there’s a very good reason for that. The best example I can give you is the last hour of this show when we broke out the SNES Classic and Matt played it for the entire hour. Meanwhile, I pretty much just gave commentary or let the folks on the phone speak while I watched and gave snarky comments to Matt while he got his bearings playing StarFox so he could unlock StarFox 2 for me.

This past week saw the release of Cuphead along with a few other high profile titles and October (especially near the end) has a ton as well. And here I am, mostly likely not going to play even half of them. Most of these releases will see price cuts not long after the release with Black Friday and the holidays on the horizon. I’ll be there for Destiny 2 and Mario Odyssey. They both release on the same day so it’ll be interesting to see which one I stick with more (I’m guessing Mario).

Nintendo doesn’t really do deals and price cuts like we see with games like Assassin’s Creed and Shadow Of War/Mordor. And Destiny 2 for PC is something I want to be with on the ground floor if only to get more game time in with my PC friends who might be experiencing the game for the first time. Plus, that 1440p, unlocked framerate, and mouse/keyboard shooting is eye opening compared to how many years I’ve been playing this game on consoles.

Hopefully that keeps me busy for a few months since I don’t see ANYTHING coming after October 27th…for me, anyway.

 

We’re enjoying a nice glass of squirrel milk at the following link.

I promise a lot of the Destiny 2 talk will go away, only to resurface again when it releases on PC next month. Still, even with that talk we manage to have a discussion about releasing unfinished games and what that means in the realm of honest business practices. We seem to come to the conclusion that it’s not and should probably be looked at on a case by case basis. No Man’s Sky is real good example of how that all goes wrong, but we’re not sure that was dishonest business as it was just….dishonest PR from the head developer. Again, case by case. Cause then there’s Warner Bros. Arkham Knight PC release. Case by case, the console was fine but the PC and what we came to find out about it was horribly wrong and very unfriendly to the consumer. And it even got worse when the DLC came into play. Again, going with a case by case basis, it’s hard to fault games like Destiny 2 and Overwatch. These games can be tested by never with the scale by which they’ll be played. I’m not giving them a pass. They know this and they are on top of it as fast as they can be with whatever needs to be done to fix an issue. It’s the state of the game when you talk about those types of always online always evolving always changing games.

And to close on Destiny 2 since I opened a little with it – Bungie, if you’re reading this and I know you aren’t – cross saves. Just…look, Epic accidentally did cross play and I’m not even asking for that – hell, I don’t even WANT that. Just let me progress carry over from platform to platform. PLEASE. We’ve got a month. Make it happen.

 

We’ll be doing this all over again in about a month at the following link.

Finally we’re able to talk about Destiny 2. Sort of. It’s a little scattered of a discussion we had but the talk is there and we’ll have more to say next week as well. Then, in about a month or so, we’ll have completely new takes on the game as the PC crowd finally gets their hands on it. I’ll be there with them, but it’s going to be interesting to see what happens for me. Do I pick a platform and stick with it? I don’t have to, obviously. I can play both the console and PC versions, but I’m more interested in finding out if that actually happens. Will one draw me in more than the other to the point that I just stick with that version or can I realistically play both, without issue of controls, visuals, or people to regularly play with? These are the questions I need answering.

As it stands now, Destiny 2 has my full attention on PS4 and I don’t see it changing very much until the day it releases on PC. BUT…that day also brings with it a LOAD of other games and attention grabbers. Not to mention I’ll probably have some actual work things going on during release week that will keep me from playing as much as I want to. Still, on console, I’m playing this game on a daily basis, even if just a little bit to knock something out of my list of things to do. The grab it held on me with the first game is easily back in full force for the second, as much as I was worried it might not be. I’m glad it’s back, honestly, because I am having fun playing the game and when all’s said and done for ANY game, that’s the point – are you enjoying it?

Yes. Yes I am.

 

We’re STILL doing that PAX thing at the following link.

I’m not sure, but I think if you picked any other weekend previously this year to not do a show, we’d have come back and not had so much to talk about. But with PAX happening AND that little game from Bungie getting released, well…it was packed. And we didn’t even get to the Bungie part.

PAX pretty much DOMINATES the conversation to this episode and will probably have a chunk of it next week as well as I get more thoughts together and remember other games I checked out just walking through the expo hall. If you ever go to any of the PAX conventions there is at least one area just overflowing with games for everyone. And I mean that in the sense that you’ll find at least one or more games that suit whatever kind of player you may be. The Indie Mega Booth is the heart and soul of the show floor of PAX. You want originality, it’s there. You want passionate developers ready to show you their game and talk about their game, it’s there. You want short lines to play, it’s there. That’s the thing about the IMB that stands out from the big publishers elsewhere on the show floor. I have no doubt the people who created the triple A titles being shown are passionate about what they worked on and would talk to you about it, but those are made by a LOT of people on all aspects of one game. Compare that to the IMB and you’ve got games made by 2 to 10 people on a small budget but who make the best with what they’ve got. I want to be clear, I’m not saying any one developer/game is better than the other – triple A or otherwise, but the access you get with the IMB is leaps and bounds above what you’ll get at the other places.

Put the time in with the bigger titles, that’s fine, but I’m almost certain you’ll find yourself going back again and again to the Indie Mega Booth and, in some cases, dragging along your friends to show off a great game you found there. It’s a wonderful place. And it’s the best thing about PAX on the show floor, next, of course, to all of your friends being in one place playing games.

 

We’re doing that PAX thing at the following link.

Yes, another PAX is upon us and we won’t be here next week so please enjoy the sounds from our music episode from a few weeks back while we take in the sights and sounds of PAX. We’ll be back with a new episode the week after next. Still, there’s this episode to enjoy until then.

So, it’s out there now. Probably. Pretty sure. Does it satisfy you? Are you happy with it? I wasn’t as heavily invested as some were for the next Half-Life. I wasn’t there at the beginning to know what this was like. I can relate it to like…television shows or movies, but I don’t think it’s the same. But it’s out there now supposedly. Not the game itself but apparently the story of how it all would have gone. Does it disappoint you because you never got to play it? Do you feel better now knowing how it would have ended? The thing of it is, at this point, if it were to come out, I don’t think anyone would actually be happy about it. Maybe as some kind of closure that it’s just done, regardless, may satisfy some people. I think in the end, however, it might actually be more like when Duke Nukem was finally released. The proverbial whimper instead of a bang. Maybe not to the extent of DN but something like it. I think there’s a timeline for a series. A path of longevity where there are certain points of no return. At some point along the line you really can’t go back and your options of continuation turn into a reboot, a la Tomb Raider. Maybe around that same point on the timeline could be the option of “spiritual successor”, a la Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls or System Shock 2 and Bioshock.

Either way, I hope this finally puts to rest a long national nightmare in the video game world of speculation and ghost hunting. Trying to make sense out of random statements and updates and store games and goose chases. Because you’re never going to get what you always wanted and even if somehow you do, it’ll probably never be what it could have been or, even, good enough.

 

We’re not familiar enough with card games to make a witty line here at the following link.

I’ve never gotten into the card game racket. Cards, yes. But card games, never. I should also say that I’ve never actually given them a try, either, so there’s that. Outside of a standard deck of 52 playing cards, collectible cards were never a game for me growing up. They were exactly what they implied in their name – collectible. Maybe they were Pokemon in a way, where you had to get a whole set and it was random to do so. You just buy packs and packs and over time amass a collection of cards that eventually could be made into a full set for whatever series was out that year. Also complete with your special cards of foil or whatever thing set it apart from the standard cards. Also, I’m not talking baseball, here. This is going WAY back to the days of GarbagePail Kids, MARVEL series, and things like that. I still have them somewhere here in the house but yeah – these were never made into a game.

I grew up to see the evolution of collectible cards turning into a game though with Magic. It never hooked me but I also never gave it any time to do so. I looked at the cards and would watch people play from time to time but I didn’t really know what was going on and it never set its claws into me to begin with. I never bit. On any of the card games that eventually arose from Magic’s success – and it was a massive success. I really felt like I’d missed the boat a lot of the times but again…the interest was never there. There’s been card games now based on plenty of different properties and some of which should totally pull me in, but nope. Still nothing.

I’m not saying it won’t ever happen for me. I’m completely open to trying to let these things set root inside my interest, but so far they haven’t. Eventually maybe something will come along and do it or I’ll experience the right play setting and it’ll all snap in, but for now, I’m totally fine watching others and wondering what I’m missing.

 

We WILL do this again at the following link.

What’s your favorite part of a video game? Is the story? Is the beauty of the graphics? Is it the gameplay? Is it the ending? The beginning? A certain part somewhere in the game?

I think more and more I find myself drawn to the music of games. Some games I don’t even have to play to enjoy the music. I can experience them outside of ever having touched the game or known anything about it and can still appreciate the music from the game. There’s a multitude of examples of that very thing in this episode.

Of course, there’s also the insight of the two composers we talk with on the show. I’ve known Gareth Coker since we had him on the show for his Ori & The Blind Forest score and we’ve stayed in touch so it was really nice to catch back up with him again on his current work and go a bit deeper into his head on how he writes for video games. I’ve only met Jason Graves briefly at an autograph session where he signed my vinyl of his score for The Order 1886. Being able to talk to him at length though along with Gareth gave me a better understanding of the whole process. But every composer is different so I doubt much of the questions asked will ever change from composer to composer.

It’s a beautiful thing to make emotion out of music and memories out of melodies. Sometimes it’s just a good beat. Sometimes it’s a sweeping epic of a music track. Sometimes it’s hearing something from your childhood in a totally brand new way (see the Donkey Kong Country track in this episode).

I’m not too big on going back and replaying games. You can never recreate that feeling you had first playing it, but I go back to the music of my favorites all the time. That’s the portal to a good game for me. If I want to step back into that feeling and those memories, then the music from the game is that door for me. We’ve done this show for 481 episodes and this is only the second time we’ve spent a whole show dedicated to the music of video games. We’ll do it again, and we won’t wait 4 years in between either.

 

We’re not mad at that doughnut at the following link.

I really hope you like video game music. Chances are, if you listen to this show, you do. Next week we’re going to do a music show. Barring any massive gaming news we’ll just be playing and talking video game music for the whole show. And we’ll be doing it with the help of your song submissions and two exceptional composers. Gareth Coker has been on the show before. He’s the composer for Ori & The Blind Forest, ARK, and Mean Greens, as well as plenty of other games. He’s also just fun to talk to and hang out with. Jason Graves is someone I’ve met at PAX but we’ve never had him on the show before. He’s composed for Dead Space, Until Dawn, and The Order 1886.

Now the only thing left is you. Send us your submissions for songs to play on the show and a little bit about why you like whatever it is you’re sending. No vocal tracks please and no covers – a familiar theme but played on a didgeridoo or something like that. We want to hear from you and what you enjoy in video game music.

 

We’re tuning up the band at the following link.

In two weeks, my two co-hosts of the show will be off enjoying the very first (I think) local comic/sci-fi/etc con here in town. In fact, a lot of people will. Even myself, but while I’ll be there as just someone enjoying it, they actually have responsibilities for it and won’t be able to make the show. I’m not one to skip shows for many reasons. Hell, we used to keep going even when I made my trips or was stuck in a hospital. It was seriously something we didn’t miss for any reason if we could help it. And given we’re already going to miss a show later in the month while I’m at PAX, I didn’t want to miss another one so soon before. So, what’s a host to do when they’ve got no one to talk to for two hours?

Music Show!! We’ve been wanting to do something like this annually but haven’t done it since going all the way back to September 7th, 2013. I’ve gotten the ball rolling with some interview request to composers, but we’re also going to need your help. Got a favorite track? Send us an email with it along with a short explanation of WHY it’s your favorite. No idea how this will line up as far as timing with whatever guests we may get so let’s limit it to one submission per person for now.

Keep an eye on us on twitter as we announce there who we’ll be having on the show.

 

We can never be satisfied at the following link.

Destiny 2 is on our minds this episode and it isn’t all good. But what does it even matter when regardless of the issues I and others may have we know damn well where we’ll be when this thing goes live.

Destiny has always had this grip over us. We can find plenty of things we hate about it but in the end we keep coming back to it and we’ll be doing the same with Destiny 2. The new weapon thing will take some getting used to along with the other changes, but we’ll be there. Some of us in more than one place come October or so. I don’t know what will happen when I have this game on PS4 and PC. I don’t picture myself keeping up with both platforms but stranger things have happened when it comes to my time and gaming.

Speaking of, if anything I can find positive with this recent beta of Destiny 2, it’s that I’m way more excited to play the beta on PC.

Although with my luck it’ll drop the same time I’m out of town for PAX West.

 

One-eyed Willy has been found at the following link.

Life tip: Keep those eyes clean and keep clean anything that touches them.

I think I own a few early access titles. But not many. I dipped my toe into that pool once or twice and the water never got comfortable enough for me to dive into. That’s a way of saying I don’t like early access. But, I also don’t mind early access. I’m pretty sure I was the same way when it first started to come into practice. One of those…”Hmmm…I’ll keep my eye on this” kind of things. I’m not against it though. We’ve actually gotten some great games from the concept, but, I don’t know. I think, for me, getting the game early like that let me play it to the point that when it came out of early access I wasn’t excited about it. It was all over news sites and review sites and people were talking about it, but here I was just…meh, I played it already months ago. And while things were tweaked and changed, I’d already moved on. Maybe that’s my issue with the practice. I’m really not sure. I just know when I see something that interests me on Steam and then see it in early access, I just move on to something else. It isn’t something at that stage that I’m willing to spend my money on. Again, though, keep in mind, this is just my opinion. And understand I’m not condemning the practice of early access. It’s just not my thing.

Then there’s the whole issue of Kickstarter/crowd funding types. An issue better saved for a future episode.

 

The origami killer can be found at the following link.

Microsoft finally let loose with more details of the guts of the Xbox One X – which I still prefer the name Scorpio. It lives up the hype, but as the risk of sounding like a PC purist, everything it can do has to end with the phrase “for a console”. And they don’t really deny that. Marketing right now is calling it the world’s most powerful console. That’s absolutely true. But even with all that power, it’s still not giving you true 4K content in your games. Movies? Sure. That’s not a problem, but the games still have a hill to climb. Along with…other issues.

I would love to say that Microsoft’s flagship title to usher in this new power is Crackdown 3, but I don’t even think they care about that anymore as shown in their E3 presentation. It was buried deep into the show with a silly trailer that did nothing for me and then they moved on. No, the flagship title is a racing game. It opened E3 and was pretty much given the most amount of time on stage, even if some of that time was spent displaying a real car (I’ll never understand the people who organize these shows – the marketing makes no sense to me). Forza Motorsport 7 is one hundred gigabytes. I don’t know how or why that is. I can’t think of a single PC game that comes in at that size (without DLC). But if this is the road to (not even true) 4K gaming on consoles….we’re gonna need a bigger boat. The default 1TB drive that comes on the Xbo..Scorpio isn’t going to cut it if we’re getting 100GB games right out of the gate without patches or DLC.

Oh yeah, then there’s the issue of people with internet caps and the like.

 

We’re unboxing a lot of boxes at the following link.

The lazy days of summer are never more apparent for me than in the world of video games. Sure, we have E3, but we blow through that in a day or two at most. What we are left with is the need for summer to speed on by as fast as possible so we can get to everything we just saw from E3.

There’s the issue of a backlog, however, and it’s usually where you can find me during the summer months. Finishing up games that are usually getting sequels in the coming months. Just recently I finished up Shadow Of Mordor and I’ll be moving on to the Dishonored DLC and Dishonored 2 in preparation for the new expand-alone or whatever it is. At some point in all of this I’ll have to make time for the Destiny 2 beta.

There’s also a sprinkling of new release games due up in this month and next, with more of the higher profile ones getting released in late August.

Those are my summer plans, anyway. What are yours?