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We’ve got Irishmen and Canadians at the following link.

I should probably prepare you for the coming weeks. Listen, we all know my love for everything Burnout. So when there’s a game trying to do at least a little of what that series did, I’m going to be promoting it. The game isn’t out yet, but when it releases, I’m going to be pushing hard for you to pick it up if possible. Its success means the development team can make more of it, be it a bigger version or add in new elements and stuff like that. Then again, there’s also the chance of it being downright garbage, but I really don’t see that happening from this team. Anyway, that’s just a warning.

Meanwhile, I finally played a game on my Nintendo Switch! You’d think it would be Zelda after having the console for almost 2 months now, but NOPE – it’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. And I am completely addicted. I think in my lifetime I’ve bought 2 other Mario Karts. The very first one and Double Dash on the GameCube. So I was due for getting another one in the series and I’m pretty sure I’ve picked the best. Also, that whole portable thing with the Switch? That thing is awesome. I brought it with me to this episode and played more of the game while waiting for the guys to arrive. That usual addiction you get with Mario Kart has finally set in as I try to score gold in ALL the cups available. This is also my first Mario Kart with online play. Double Dash never had it, so I’m curious to see how that addiction holds over when I try out multiplayer, if I could ever pull myself away from constantly trying to do better in the single player.

 

There’s a whole lot of chiptunes at the following link.

We didn’t start the conversation near soon enough to find any sort of completion on the show, but how do you change up the common WW2 shooter? Actually, how do you change up nearly any shooter?

I think we all have ideas on how we could mess around with things and put different spins, and we’ve seen developers try new things before but what we haven’t seen much of, that we could remember, was a shooter based in WW2 from the perspective of the German soldier. We got some calls about this during the show and people didn’t seem all that against it, but I can’t help but think there’s a chart in almost every studio that develops shooters with a massive (or even short but immensely important) list of reasons why it can’t happen. I mean, this has to have come up and for one reason or another is just not possible. Or it is, but it isn’t marketable. Or something else I haven’t thought of.

Can it be done? Sure, I think it can, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it has already in some way been done and I’m forgetting it. Can it be done now and if so, how do you market something like that? For that matter, how do you build it? What’s the story, do you keep the politics in it, do you make it just one level – a lot like the “No Russian” mission in Modern Warfare 2?

I think there’s a lot of discussion there and maybe one we’ll really focus on in a future episode to get a better grasp on the subject and have more time to talk about it. Until then, however, we’d like to know your thoughts in the comments or feel free to email us what you think.

 

There’s a strange but familiar voice at the following link.

Gonna be talking about the Scorpio, again. Actually, it’s more about the direction Microsoft is moving in or the direction Phil Spencer is taking it. We talk about a lot of what he’s doing to turn the tide for Microsoft and it’s all good news for consumers. Mostly.

Refunds on digital content is great. We loved it on Steam and we welcome it in our console space as well. Complete backwards compatability down the line (One, S, Scorpio), that’s also great as well as the desire to have the new system (and systems down the line) portmap to the previous systems. Just as an aside, that’s a really small thing, I know, but as someone who tries to keep his cables managed and neat, not having to go through all that again with a new console is a small victory overall but a big one for me.

Still, we have to fall back on what we said last week and what we say any time a new console gets released – where are the games? Switch buyer over here aside, you’ve got to have something to play on the brand new shiny play thing that’s only job is to play things. I get that it’ll make my pre-existing Xbox library look better, but that library isn’t very big as it is (minus whatever is backwards compatible from the 360 days). It’s a very small stack that only seems to increase to an average one or two games per year. Seriously, 2016 saw me pick up Gears and Forza. Anything else was either exclusive to PS4/PC or multi platform where the options were better on another system.

Of course, E3 is on the horizon. I’m sure there is more to be known about the new console, but it’ll be the games I’ll be interested in. They need the exclusives and it’s pretty much a given with Scorpio they’ll have the better machine in the market until Sony does something and that can win over in the multi platform battle for a little while. I wonder if this is the kind of leap frog we’re going to see in the coming years between Sony & Microsoft. Instead of winning wars and generations – they’ll just be winning a year here and there until the competition takes over for a year or so and then back and forth. I also wonder if the marketplace can sustain such a thing. I’m kind of excited to find out.

 

Our train of thought derails quite often at the following link.

I have a lot more in my head about The Last Guardian than was said on the show. Mainly because I finished the game the night after we finished this episode. I want to talk about that and I think I will, but probably on next week’s show.

For this week’s episode we talk about Microsoft’s new console, Project Scorpio. It wasn’t really revealed this past week but the guts of what’s inside of it were. So we have an idea on the power of this thing. That’s all well and good and at least lets us know that Microsoft wasn’t just spouting specs at E3 last year – they are actually backing up the claims. Now…show us the games. That’s usually our go to line when it comes to new consoles, but…we’re in a bit of a boat like the PS4 Pro, sort of. You can’t adequately show 4K gaming footage. It’s like 3D – it needs to be seen to be believed. Also, given their determination of EVERYTHING released for the new console will be able to be played on the old consoles (the One and One S), it doesn’t really lend itself to people going out and spending money on the most expensive machine on the shelf at the time. It may be a Microsoft exclusive game, but you’ll have options on what machine you can play that game on. DO NOT misunderstand – we’re fine with that idea. Sony is doing it with the PS4 Pro and Nintendo did it for their most wanted game of the past few years. It’s good when companies don’t alienate, but then, how do you ever drive sales of a new console when you’re old ones will get the job done just fine (with a little less shine)?

Keep in mind the guy saying all this bought a Nintendo Switch.

 

Christmas comes early for one of us at the following link.

I shouldn’t let addictions get to me, but I guess that’s what addictions do, really. I’m also pretty dead set on never letting this one touch me, however. I talk about it in the episode but Destiny has a new record book. It’s the biggest one they’ve ever had and it tracks stats with specific things you do and have done in the game. Some of it was retroactive and I guess I’m glad more of it WASN’T, because it really might have gotten to me if more of this thing had been filled in automatically. And it would have, to be sure. There’s a lot with my 3 characters that I’ve done to easily fill in their respective pages in the record book.

There’s one thing, however, that I haven’t done. Well, there’s a lot actually and even though some of those seem out of reach, they are achievable. With a lot of work and consistent play, I could actually make those things happen (he says, eyeballing the Lighthouse). But there is one that I can never obtain. It is out of my reach and I missed it about 2 years ago. I can never get it back. It’s gone forever. And my ability to 100 percent this thing goes with it. No matter what I do I’ll have a 99.99 percent staring back at me for the rest of time. And so…I’m going to leave it be. I don’t know what it’s at right now but it’s so far from 99.99 that it doesn’t bother me. I mean, to be fair, I’m bothered I can’t do a full run on this thing, but whatever – it is completely out of my control and those are things I never let bother me – in life or in gaming.

I hate you Destiny. I can’t wait for Destiny 2.

 

Our lips are moving but we aren’t saying anything at the following link.

How bad does something have to be before you can’t put up with it anymore? Loaded question, I know, so let’s constrain it to what we know best – video games. It’s sort of the video game version of the chicken/egg question. If a game plays phenomenally with a fantastic story but looks like crap, is it still a good game? If a game looks amazing but the story is weak, is it still a good game? I think all of these are subjective to the player. In the end it’s up to them on if they got their money’s worth and if their time was spent well with a game.

None of us have played Mass Effect Andromeda, but at least from the people we spoke with on this episode who have, they’re easily enjoying what they are playing regardless of what they might be seeing. The animations have their drawbacks at times but it isn’t enough to take them away from the enjoyment the game is giving them. It’s a win for them and seems to come highly recommended. It’s what works for them.

So what about you? Where does a game succeed or fail for you? Does it need to hit certain points on all levels to be something you’ll enjoy or can a game knock it out of the park in one single area for you to look past the other faults? We have reviews and videos for other people to tell us what they think. We even have our show for that. But really, after all is said and done, it’s up to you, the player, to make those choices for what works best for you.

 

We call do-overs from time to time at the following link.

I know I’m usually talking about the upcoming or just released games when I write these things but I want to go back to a game that had an interesting release last year. And it lasted all of last year. I was skeptical of how they’d pull it off at first but HITMAN has surprised me. And…it’s actually made me regret not going about it the way Matt did and the way it was intended – episodically.

Normally in the way of usual games released in episodes I’d wait for the full season to release and I did that with HITMAN. It’s because playing it in episodes so close together I have better memory of what just transpired in the previous installment. But that doesn’t work with HITMAN. One episode doesn’t really carry over to the other. Each level was released one at a time and when you finished it up you had the chance to go back and try new ways to complete the level. This idea is lost a little bit when ALL the episodes are available to you at the outset. Finish it one way and you have the freedom to move to the next target. There’s very little to sway you to go back in and try again a different way.

Then there’s the constant updates to the game and the elusive targets they unleash pretty regularly. Hats off to the devs for continuing the support – free support at that. Reminds me a bit of Burnout Paradise. You may not be a fan of the HITMAN games, and that’s one thing, but if you are and had doubts, this is an easy game to recommend you jump right in on. It deserves it and the devs with their continued support deserve your support as well. Tell other companies out there how much you enjoy what they’re doing and hopefully this will extend to others. Vote with your wallet, right? For everyone who’s ever preached that, here’s a game and a team well worth your vote.

 

We still haven’t played a Switch at the following link.

I once again find myself in that wonderful situation where there’s just a lot to be played and more on the way. I’m 3 missions shy of finishing up Sniper Elite 4, I’m just starting to sink my teeth into Horizon Zero Dawn. My special edition Zelda order finally showed up Saturday. Last Guardian is STILL on the shelf for me waiting to really be played, and then Destiny is doing it’s final big update for the game at the end of the month.

My cup runneth over.

While I’m only listing a few games here, both Horizon, Zelda, and Destiny to some extent are MASSIVE games that will require a lot of my time to finish them. I put Destiny in there out of my own self admitted addiction I have whenever they give me a record book or new stuff to do. Give me the challenge and a list to tick it all off with and you’ve got me by the short hairs.

Zelda is actually really intimidating waiting this long to get around to playing it. Reading the massive amount of praise it’s getting and knowing how massive a game it actually is – you’re a little nervous to make the leap into it. Well, I am, anyway. My only experience of Zelda was Wind Waker and it was marvelous for me. I loved it and I haven’t been excited for another Zelda since then until Breath Of The Wild came about (maybe a little excitement for Link Between Worlds – which I also haven’t played).

 

We react on impulse at the following link.

Go back and listen to the past few shows leading up to the Nintendo Switch release. Hell, go back and just read some of these posts for shows – it’s enough to make a good bet I wouldn’t be getting a Nintendo Switch.

I got a Nintendo Switch.

 

We appear as a hologram that only you can see and hear at the following link.

It’s that new console feeling in the air. Except…it isn’t. It’s weird. The Nintendo Switch releases this week and it feels a bit odd. We’re used to having these things release usually in November and usually within weeks of other consoles from Microsoft & Sony. The Wii U bucked the competition tradition by releasing a year before the Xbox One and PS4, but still came out in November.

Regardless, it all still feels a little…off. The lineup of games for this thing available at launch doesn’t seem to go beyond Zelda. I imagine people will be picking up a few titles and you usually do when buying a new system, but I just can’t see myself playing ANY of them. It’s a new gadget and the temptation is completely there, but it’s been easy to avoid. Mainly because of the library.

Outside of the month, this feels really familiar with the release of the Wii U. A system with a pretty weak launch library and releasing without any competition to pull you one way or another. That system is actually the more tempting one in my eyes due to all the great games it has available – plus getting the new Zelda as well.

We’re curious where you stand. If you get the system, we’d like to hear from you in the comments. You can also email us or, better yet, call in to the show on this week’s episode.

 

We’re never doing that again at the following link.

Before you listen to this episode let me first apologize. Sometimes things will play out in our head better than they actually do when we implement those ideas. The song choices for this episode is the VERY best example I can give of such a situation. Never again. I swear it.

Gaming is about to get busy. This past week alone saw the release of at least THREE games I know of that had substantial interests. Sniper Elite 4 – which we discuss on the show, Halo Wars 2, and For Honor. This current week is sort of a…buffer. A time to make use of and get in all we can of whatever we wanted to play. Next week is Horizon Zero Dawn. The reviews and general conversation seems to put this one in a good light. One not to miss kind of a thing. Then the week after is the Switch release which means Zelda. That early March release should give you plenty of time before Mass Effect at the end of the month.

And that’s only the big hitters and even then I feel like I’m leaving stuff out. In between there’s PC releases of all kinds and probably some lesser known things that could come in under the radar and surprise us all.

To the publishers – I know we used to beg you to step out from the Fall/Holiday release schedule and you did that. Keep that going, but now back it off the early year release as well. Summer is still a massive drought of nothing new worth playing. Fill that in from time to time and you’ll see that releasing a good game in ANY month of the year will still get you the returns you want. We’ll buy it. We totally will. But throwing them in the crowded early and late months of the year doesn’t do you any favors.

 

We’re statistically speaking at the following link.

Sometimes we think we know our audience. Mainly because most of you show up in the chat room during the live shows (if you listen to this outside of the live broadcasts we’d love to hear from you and know you’re out there). But then we have calls like we did during this episode. A much older gamer calling us about Doom posed the question to us about the demographic of gamers these days and one of our listeners in the chat room provided us a lot of information on that very subject. It was necessarily eye opening to any of us – the statistics anyway. The phone call, however, was a different story. There is no defining age of a gamer, I mean, statistically yes there is, but we all know you can be as young or old and still enjoy gaming. There’s videos all over the internet that exemplifies this and proves the point. But…it’s honestly different when you actually have a conversation with someone who exemplifies this.

I’ve seen my interests in things come and go as I’ve grown older. Food that I didn’t like as a kid don’t seem so bad now. Or television shows I enjoyed as a kid seem to be difficult to understand why as I’ve gotten older. Gaming has been one of these things that I’ve wondered and often been afraid about – will I grow out of this? Is this a phase that’ll eventually pass? I don’t ponder too long on the questions cause we really can’t predict these things, but hearing from these callers make me a little more comfortable in the fact that it isn’t likely my love of gaming will pass on or phase out.

 

We’re pretty sure size matters at the following link.

I’m back from PAX South and being under the weather and everyone else is back from their convention locally as well. I love going to the different PAX’s that I am able to attend, but this one afforded me something no other PAX has been able to do up until now – hands on time with a not-yet released console. And you can take that term literal. Hands on this console in particular was something that had been bugging me since the main reveal last month. Everything about it looked small, and while that’s usually in Nintendo’s favor, something about this seemed to be on the extreme side of the size. Yes, it’s small. Very small. Too small. And, oddly enough, they’ve got it backwards when used as a handheld – it’s too big. When you’ve got a 3DS and you need to focus on something else at a moment’s notice you just close it up and move on. You can’t do that with the Switch. There’s no folding. Maybe there’s a bag you shove it into, but there is no quick sleep. This thing has problems up and down and that’s outside the already limited launch library that we’ve discussed before.

 

We’re all going out of town next week at the following link.

To start with, we’re running a replay next week. I’m going out to San Antonio for PAX South with the other two are headed to a comic convention. The dates kind of worked out pretty well in that regard. Anyway…on with the show.

We’re still looking at Nintendo and trying to figure out where the value is – for us. We can possibly see it for some if the games are there but they aren’t really providing them. Not now anyway. They might be there by the time the system drops about fifty bucks and becomes a $250 console (or less), but with all costs involved you’re looking at a $350 – $380 dollar system. At the low end, it’s $50 less than a PS4 Pro and $50 to $100 more than an Xbox One S or PS4…Non-pro or whatever. And most of those systems come with packed in games at the moment. I don’t think Nintendo has failed. They just aren’t in a position right now to get my money. A lower price would help, sure, but more games are needed for me to buy into this thing and we likely won’t see anything like that until E3 – and even then those will likely be released for next year. It’s very much a wait and see sort of thing, at least for me.

What isn’t wait and see right now is VR – Matt is currently getting his first experience with PSVR and so far it seems to be blowing his mind. We’ll get more out of him when we return on February 4th.

 

We’re really thrown off by fighting game soundtracks at the following link.

Like Nintendo’s previous console releases there’s any number of puns I could make here involving the name of their latest – but none of us on the show are fathers so we’ll leave the dad jokes to the experts.

But, like any parent, we’re (somewhat) responsible adults who look at spending three hundred dollars and try to see what value we have in it. So far, based on the launch library, we’re finding none. Look, I don’t care if the console came with all the launch titles and still cost three hundred bucks, if they aren’t games I want to play, then I’m not interested. And outside of Zelda, at the moment, there’s nothing else. And even with that I can play it on a WiiU, seemingly without any loss of visual quality or anything else for that matter outside of portability. And if everything we know were to hold true for the rest of the year, I’m still at a loss on spending three hundred dollars to play Zelda AND Mario come the fall. I’m sure other titles we’ll be announced and shown off, but the WiiU never became an interest until just this past year with a great library of games to pick from and now you can toss Zelda into that which knocks the Switch down to ONE game I’d be interested in.

I admit the allure is there. For me, anyway. It’s something new in the world of gadgets and games and that’s always a siren song for me, but Nintendo has shown me THREE times now that this isn’t a console I’ll play at launch and we’ll need to wait for the library to hopefully grow with some worthwhile exclusive titles. I say all of this knowing full well if they threw in something with Metroid I’d be in on day one more than likely.