Monday, August 23, 2010

JTS Episode 32

It's Monday. Woohoo! It's also the day my kids go back to school, which is even more of a woohoo! I work about ten minutes from home so now that my brood isn't hanging around the place, I can go home at lunch and play video games. Sure, I could have done that before but then I'd have to let them watch and Red Dead Redemption ain't exactly the game you want the second graders gathered around. Plus, were I to come home during the summer to play games I'd have to answer all sorts of uncomfortable questions from my wife about why I'm able to come home for video gaming but not to take the kids out to lunch and off of her hands. Explaining that one is a thing that I want to do while the other is not would not go over well so best to just avoid the whole thing and place a three month moratorium on lunch time gaming. Those questions could easily come up now, but if I'm lucky I can get down into the basement and into the Cone of Silence before they arise.

This week's episode was not planned as a guest episode but Bill had some last minute obligations that had to be met and as a result Mitch took his place. Mitch is always a good host because he's easy to talk to and, more importantly, he plays more games than all of us combined given that he writes for pretty much every outlet imaginable. The dude writes for Best Buy's games magazine for Christ's sake. Still, even with Mitch in the chair, Bill's presence was missed as is the case any time one of the regulars can't make it.

Here's a link to the show before we get on with the bullets.
  • Listening to the show I wish I had realized how completely dense I sounded during the Battlefield conversation. I don't know why I didn't get the fact that you had to blow up the control points, but I didn't. I thought that you blew them up so that other people couldn't capture them so that you then lost slower. Seriously, this was my thinking. In retrospect, that's just stupid and I should have kept my mouth shut. Now that I think of it, that describes about 90% of my interactions with other people.
  • The decision to take online co-op out of Lara Croft and the Light Whatever is seriously, one of the dumbest decisions to come down the gaming pike in some time. Yeah sure, it's a great co-op couch game, but seriously, who has people over to play co-op games? I'm 38 fucking years old. I'm not in third grade. I'm not going to ask my friends to come over and play Lara Croft. I don't care how great your game is, it's not going to happen. It's entirely possible I'm not the audience for this game, and I get that, but still, taking out online co-op was just plain stupid and in this hobby, asking people to wait a month for something like that is like asking them to wait a decade. By the time the co-op feature is available, people won't give a shit any more. I hope I'm wrong as it sounds like a good game and I'd like to see the people who made it rewarded for their efforts.
  • To Todd's Starcraft point, pretty much every game that has a multiplayer component does a horrible job at preparing you for said component when you play the single player, but in the case of Starcraft where things like build order and tech tree management is so important, along with a highly developed twitch response, I can see it being even worse. In shooters, the single player campaign is going to have you learning the basic mechanics of MP, namely shooting at dudes who are also shooting at you. Crank up the difficulty and you have to do a better job at shooting them, even if it's not as good as a job as you'd have to do in MP. In RTS's, if you have a mission that emphasizes the use of a particular unit, getting really good at that unit won't mean jack shit if Homeboy on the other end has a strategy that makes your unit useless. I'm just sayin'. Of course, having a useless unit is something Todd should be familiar with by now, so I don't know what he's complaining about. Zing!
  • I'm not kidding about the bears in RDR. They are frequent occurances, presumably because, unlike many of the other animals in the game, they only show up in one geographical area and that area is a very small subsection of the map. As a result, they pop up all of the time. In fact, elk and big horn sheep also show up there and unlike every other hunting challenge in the game which will make your current target of choice impossible to find even if you were ankle deep in said creature not seconds before they became your target, I had no problems getting enough elk meat and sheep horns. I also killed over 20 bears while doing so and this was in the space of about 45 minutes. This is not an exaggeration.
  • I wish Bill had been on the show to agree with me about Rock Band 3. I feel like we disagree a lot, or can't speak to each other's opinion so this may have been our only chance. I'm sure the game will be great, I just don't like the idea of starting all over. Plus, the achievements are not appetizing at all. I usually don't take achievements into account for rhythm games as I suck on pretty much every instrument, but with the Pro mode and the keyboard, the amount of points I can get is even further reduced. Yes I'm a slave to my score, and no I don't have a problem with it. I think Harmonix will do just fine without my 60 bucks.
  • As for Halo: Reach, I've been killing the Covenant for like ten years now. It'd be nice to shoot something new.
  • Hydrophobia looks interesting, even if the trailer is suprisingly bereft of water power action. See for yourself.
  • I'm with Mitch on Fable 3. I played both of the previous games and got all of the points in the second one, but I could give a shit about making my kingdom's subjects happy. Plus, the game simply will not deliver on what it promises and will instead shoehorn some shitty design invention into everything and take away from the interesting stuff as a result. Not to mention that they have some seriously shitty character design. I'd rather not spend another 40 hours with a female character that looks like the offspring of Frankenstein and an East German swimmer.
  • Danielle was not kidding about her room at E3. It was disgusting. It smelled like you were living in someone's armpit. And that was after Danielle watched the cleaning staff clean the place.
  • I still don't understand playing updated versions of old games for the sake of nostalgia, much along paying for the experience. As Todd has said before, I hate old games and this is pretty much true. Either do something really new with it or don't even bother. Hell, I don't even want to play updated versions old games I haven't played so much do I hate old games. Die old games, die!
That's it for this week. Hopefully we'll have everyone at the table for the next show as Danielle may be out for two weeks at the beginning of September so it would be nice if we could have full attendance before her departure. I may have to agree with Bill on whatever he says to make up for him missing the Rock Band 3 discussion. I fear this may lead to some troublesome revelations.

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