Monday, August 9, 2010

JTS Episode 30

So a while back I asked Bill why he doesn't post about the show any more and he "harrumphed" and said something about people here not caring about the show. So then I asked Todd why he didn't post about it and he said that Bill doesn't so he doesn't.

Do you see what I have to work with here?

Episode 30 is now live for those that do care. The full crew was still on hiatus with Danielle out sailing the Caribbean seas however we had Tom Chick and Michael Barnes sitting in so that we could talk about Metro 2033 and ask if it was better than Half-Life 2. We never got to a definitive answer on that topic which is my fault as host but you can add that to the list of failings as host. It's a long one. Here are some points about the show to peruse as/before you listen.
  • Along with being our 30th show, this marks six months in the podcasting business for us. When we first started this, had you told us we'd be doing it six months from now I think we all would have laughed at you. Then you would have gone to prom any way and ended up killing us in a blood soaked, telekinetic nightmare.
  • We had to go with the Skype feed as some of the individual audio tracks were messed up. I give Todd shit all of the time but his insistence on audio redundancy has saved this show on more than one occasion. The day we lose an entire show is coming and when it happens we'll have Todd act out Dr. Horrible in its entirety in the show's place. We all know he can do it.
  • Michael Barnes is, hands down, my favorite guest on the show because the man is an absolute force of nature once he gets started. On the one hand, it's like trying to corral a tornado but when you see someone so passionate about games, it's hard not to get caught up in it. I want to make a ringtone of him saying "Gordon Freeman!". It would probably also act well as one of those super-sonic mole deterrents.
  • I'm glad to have Tom back on the show because Tom is one of those people who makes you better at your job simply by talking to him. It's very easy in this job to get caught up in the "fun" and think a game is great because it's fun, and fun certainly has it's place, but Tom makes you think about why you like the things you say you like. I remember walking back from E3 with him and talking about Epic Mickey and when I told him what it was about, his response was "So it's just a platformer?" He wasn't dismissive, just probing to get me to think about what it was about the game that I liked. We don't have enough people like that in this business, and I include myself in that deficiency.
  • Speaking of Tom, I'm so glad Todd asked Tom his thoughts on being a contrarian. It is easy to remember the high profile dislikes of any reviewer and come to the incorrect assumption that they don't like anything. I know I've done it as I'm sure we all have. Getting Tom's take on things was great.
  • Since recording the show I have played Bonnie's last mission in Red Dead Redemption and I still don't get it. I guess Miss McaFarlane just didn't resonate as deeply with me as she did with others. Now that guy who likes to sleep with horses? We need more of him.
  • As I mentioned before, I we didn't come to a consensus on which game was better, Metro 2033 or Half-Life 2 but that wasn't really the point. It's like when the news tells you that there's an item in your house that can kill you and they mean some obscure food item that causes cancer and not the rack of unsecured shotguns. In talking about Half-Life 2 though I remembered how much I ended up not liking that game by the end of it. The two episodes afterwards didn't help much as playing Strider tag was an exercise in supreme frustration. I wish I had liked Metro 2033 more so that I could see these awesome set pieces and this amazing ending. I guess Metro was my Alan Wake in that I'd like to see the story but I don't want to have to play it to do so. For the record, I was able to make that distinction without calling Metro a "piece of shit." Not that anyone on the show did that with Alan Wake. No sir.
I think that's enough blathering for one episode. I don't want to wear out my welcome on the first day. If you like the show, don't forget that you can subscribe to it as well as rate and review it in iTunes. All hail the Apple hegemony. I have no idea what episode 31 will be about. Open world gaming maybe? It's only Monday. Way too early to be thinking about what Thursday's show will be about. Check back on Thursday, say thirty minutes before recording.

4 comments:

Greg said...

Currently, I'd have to say that JTS is my favorite podcast of the half dozen or so that I listen to regularly. Gamespot's Hotspot used to be my favorite, but after Rich Gallup left it wasn't as good. After Jeff Gerstmann left, I stopped listening. Anyway, great job with the JTScast, guys - keep it up!

Half-Life 2 and the HL2 episodes are my favorite games of all time if you ignore Beyond Good and Evil. Which you should never do. I have yet to play Metro 2033 - I greatly fear the death of Vladimir - but if it rivals Half-Life 2, I seriously need to play it. The story of the Combine's occupation of planet Earth and the assimilation of humanity is one of my favorite science fiction stories. And Alyx Vance is my favorite character from any video game ever. Valve's faceposer technology combined with excellent voice acting makes Alyx feel like a real person. If you've never seen the very end of Half-Life 2 episode 2, you're missing the best dramatic scene in a video game ever created. Anyway, looking forward to hearing the discussion comparing the two games.

P.S. I totally want to hear Todd sing "On the Rise" from Dr. Horrible.

Brandon Cackowski-Schnell said...

Metro 2033 is worth checking out as they do a phenomenal job of world building in that game. Probably better than any game I've played in recent memory. It doesn't do as good a job with the supporting characters as HL2, and no Robert Guillaume is always a bad thing, but the atmosphere is really well done.

todd brakke said...

"I totally want to hear Todd sing 'On the Rise" from Dr. Horrible.'"

That is my favorite of the Dr. Horrible tracks... be careful what you wish for. :)

Greg said...

Oh, I think "On the Rise" is absolutely amazing. The only thing better than NPH's voice on that track is the killer writing that Jed Whedon put into it.

I'm going to stop raving now.