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We’ve crashed into a bollard at the following link.

So Watch Dogs is out, and even though we were never certain what we wanted from it, we’re pretty sure that this wasn’t it, and we’re very sure we just don’t care.  We’re actually exhausted from the effort of giving a shit about this game, and it’s neither good enough or bad enough to move us toward any particular emotion.  The only genuinely tragic thing is that it’s drowned several good ideas beneath a lot of poor story and derivative gameplay.  There’s not much here that we really want to be doing, which makes it all the more troubling that we can’t stop playing.

 

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We’re holding our breath and stamping our feet at the following link.

The hype and hoopla for the now current-gen consoles was pegging the meter for the better part of a year – and still manages to raise a lot of noise –  but aside from roaring of console warriors, there doesn’t seem to be much going on.  The first year of new hardware is historically slow to deliver games, but that first year has also tended to amaze or innovate at some perceptible level.  Anymore, “next-gen” may as well mean “keeping pace”.  But these boxes aren’t going anywhere soon, and we gripe and complain when we’re hungry for first-class exclusives.  We’ll revisit the bitchiness on the eve of next year’s E3 and see if we’ve managed any progress.

 

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We’ve been spun right round at the following link.

Following the course taken by the Xbox One over the the last year has been a bewildering experience.  It’s nice, we suppose, to have a cheaper console that’s less restrictive in its policies, and there are certainly people who are ready to become One owners once these changes take effect.  But there’s also something grotesque about Microsoft’s console now, as if it’s had every offending limb hacked off and other, mismatched parts bolted into place in an effort to fit into a certain mold.

This is without a doubt the result of the healthy competition we all want from the games industry, but it’s sad that the Xbox couldn’t have been designed to meet these expectations from the beginning, rather than being hectored and beaten into compliance.  It’s been a hard year for the Xbox, and a long one, but it’s a single year, and only half of that on the market.  They’ve made more changes in that year than most consoles would make in their lifetime, so for the sake of not looking too terribly foolish in the future, we’re going to give them the benefit of the doubt and wish them the very best of luck.

 

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Now we’re playing with power at the following link.

Topics for the episode start out with Nintendo and how things seem to be going for what has really become the “granddaddy” of console gaming, portable or otherwise. None of us want bad things to happen to Nintendo and most all of us say that while hardly owning ANY of their current product, be it 3DS or WiiU. They are relevant, to be sure, but what is unsure is how relevant they are in the discussion of the new, current gen systems. The numbers, as it were, don’t lie.

I’m writing this on a Wednesday and trying to keep the description as close to the discussion in the show as possible, but this week, even before this was posted or written, has been a busy one when it comes to numbers, sales, charts, and SKU’s. None of us are oblivious to it, and you can easily guess how this post will be written next week.

 

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We’re a podcast in harm’s way at the following link.

There are apparently always going to be weeks where we absolutely cannot exercise our boundless optimism and enthusiasm, no matter how hard we try.  Those would be the weeks where the most recent Call of Duty is announced and information dumps for a much-vaunted IP fail to materialize.  It’s clearly important that we preach to the converted about the shortcomings of any particular CoD release, and I think we’ve done what’s expected.  How else would you know what a sickening travesty the franchise has become?

Our responsibilities concerning Destiny are a little less clear, as we’re divided on whether Bungie have done anything wrong.  Or anything at all, really.  An ongoing project on our show is to roll our eyes and pshaw at the incredible power of the overpromise used in nearly all official communications between videogame developers and the fans of said videogames.  We have no doubt there’s a lot on the line when you introduce your half-billion-dollar baby to the world, but there’s quite a bit going on for the guy at the end of the line as well.  Since that’s us, we’re going to bellyache until they’ve delivered the goods.

 

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We’re digging up the past at the following link.

For me, personally, this whole E.T. in a landfill thing was never a myth or some urban legend. For whatever reason throughout my life I always knew it to be true and, in fact, I never knew there was any question as to the validity of the claim. It kind of surprised me to see tweets and headlines about “the rumors are true” or “legend confirmed” or whatever. Now that I think about it, I guess that’s why they went out there to dig them up – because if it was a known fact, then why do it to begin with?

Regardless of reasons we had other things to discuss, such as the new DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins. You’ll only get my take on it, but hopefully it’s enough to give you that informed decision before a purchase or putting in the time.

Also in this episode we get to speak again with Rand Miller from Cyan. We had him on about 6 months ago to talk with us about Obduction’s kickstarter and he’s back to give a bit of a development update. This interview is actually about 45 minutes long but only 30 minutes are in the show proper and stick to talk about Obduction. Those of you looking for talk of Myst, Riven, and an interesting little story about Disney & Myst should stick around after the show.

 

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We’re letting Matt go without cause at the following link.

We’re not really letting him go, but we have no say in what his job needs of him and it apparently needs him to fly 9 and a half hours ahead of us in time zones where he’ll spend most of the rest of the year. As with most of these things, we wish him well in his future endeavors.

Speaking of future endeavors, we’re quite curious what’s going on with Bungie and the release of Marty O’Donnell from their staff. These things happen but not usually on the terms that we know of publicly from what he’s tweeted so far in being fired from the company. Normally it is either a mutual split or both parties stay mum on the subject. Although, either way, people are going to speculate and that’s no different here.

Unexpectedly in this episode we received a call from Cailleah Scott-Grimes who tells us of her kickstarter project, She Got Game, a documentary about women’s experience in gaming. This was a completely unplanned and unprepared interview. I only mention that because of how easy it was to conduct given the subject matter – something worth talking about, and something worth making a documentary over. If you’d like to contribute, there’s still time left before the Kickstarter is over.

 

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We’re down to our last save-ribbon at the following link.

No matter where we look recently we feel we’re being met by a horror game of every type and kind you can imagine.  Except the kind we used to love, that is.  It’s awfully hard to scratch the Resident Evil 2 itch without actually playing RE2, and sometimes that just won’t sate the hunger.  Something modern but very much in the same spirit would be welcome.  Sadly, a plodding adventure game with tank controls that’s as much about inventory management as it is about the zombie apocalypse doesn’t seem to be everyone’s idea of a good time, though it should be because they were awesome!  Says the old man.

 

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We’re live from a galaxy far, far away at the following link.

There are any number of satisfying outcomes that could have followed Amy Hennig’s departure from Naughty Dog, and as lifelong fans of the Star Wars universe we’ve found ourselves as satisfied as could be.  There are endless numbers of people who had some other dream job or personal project in mind for her, but we’re frankly glad they didn’t get their way.  Star Wars – as a universe in general and a universe of games, in particular – has always held a special place in several of In-Game Chat’s hearts, but the quality has dropped in recent years and by no small amount.  Star Wars is in need of saving, and we expect Amy will play a part in its rescue.

 

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We’re less than the sum of our parts at the following link.

We did our level best to present a lively discussion this week, but there’s no getting past how awkward the hosts are without Scott at the helm.  He was in hospital, flat on his back and high as a kite, suffering from a gruesome affliction.  Those of us in the studio were more than a little uncomfortable, like lost children who needed an adult.  Scott made it through his ordeal, somehow, and so did we, but our typically flawless (not really) execution wasn’t to be had.  In any case, we apologize for the lateness of this posting, but it couldn’t be avoided.

 

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We’ve raised no alerts and triggered no alarms at the following link.

We take real issue with a lot of Kojima’s shenanigans, and we’ve failed completely to understand the story material behind Ground Zeroes, but there’s something curious and wonderful about playing through such an exquisitely polished…something that’s probably almost a complete game, maybe?  We don’t generally think it’s a great idea to go on the record about the value of a game, unless we’re talking about ourselves alone.  But it’s hard to imagine anyone stumbling into a game like this unawares, and even harder to imagine that well-informed gamer being displeased by what they find.

Also we played inFamous and HOLY CRAP THAT GAME LOOKS GREAT!!

 

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I’m typing this early and while still at my day job because when that’s over with my time will be consumed by both inFAMOUS: Second Son and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Second Son being released on Friday lined up perfectly with the GameFly delivery time of Ground Zeroes, so both James and myself will be devoted to getting in as much time as we can with both titles.

Joining the two of us tomorrow night will be ArJay and Matt and we’ll be talking of all these games we’ve been playing – the two I mentioned previous along with ArJay’s time in Atlanta for Final Round plus whatever he has put into Dark Souls II. Oh, and I think at least one of us took a crack at Deus Ex: The Fall.

If you’ve dived into any of the games mentioned or some that we haven’t, why not call in with your thoughts at 334-272-9228?

We hope to see (and hear from) you LIVE tomorrow night!

Remember, all the links you need to listen or watch the show live can be found just over to the left there.

 

We’ve got eyes in the backs of our heads at the following link.

It matters more than we can possibly say to invite one of our very best friends on the show for his first appearance ever, really.  It matters something extra that it might, in the future, be  more than a rare event.  To some degree, we all became who we are together – the ‘who we are’ on the show, at the very least – and at the ripe old age of late-ish thirties, you begin to wonder how you came to think and feel the things you do, especially as regards the vidja games.  It’s super swell, then, to touch base with someone else who knows where you’re at, because he’s been where you’ve been.  You, too, may one day have to reconcile the grey hair with the midnight launch, and when you do, you’ll be chuffed to find you’re not alone…so long as you’re not alone.

 

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We’ve been doing this show for 8 years now and from the beginning we’ve made mention of someone that most of you have never heard or seen. This person exists in casual mentions and stories from the past. You may have once heard this person’s voice in a phone call, but for the most part they’ve been in the background and only part of the show in conversation.

Tomorrow night, after 8 years, James, Dennis, Matt, and myself will be joined in-studio by Kevin. It’s a pretty big deal for us as we’ve always considered him part of the show, but he’s never physically been able to be a part of the show. Until now.

Outside of that we hope to have an update from ArJay on his time in Atlanta at Final Round, plus, there’s the whole world of gaming to talk about along with your calls and questions at 334-272-9228!

We hope to see (and hear from) you LIVE tomorrow night!

Remember, all the links you need to listen or watch the show live can be found just over to the left there.

 

For the past few episodes we’ve been mentioning the fact that our very own ArJay will be heading off to Atlanta this weekend to compete in the Final Round fighting game tournament. This week, he finally got his schedule as to when he’d be competing.

First up is Soul Calibur 5. That will take place tomorrow (Friday) from 2 to 5 Eastern. He’s in Pool 4 for this game.

After that, he’ll be fighting again on Saturday from 2 to 4 Eastern with Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition v2012. He’ll be in Pool 21 for this game.

Beyond that, we don’t know when exactly he’ll be up to bat, but you watch the live stream on Twitch.

We hope to have updates and possibly have ArJay on the phone with us during the show Saturday night.