@tolkoto I would certainly be up for something like that… depending on what exactly the tiers are for the kickstarted.
And yeah @bluesforbuddha… Squad Secret Santa time. guess I need to review my Steam wish list :O
@bowlisimo Christ, and the loveable Red Faction Guerilla won over that? I’m not surprised on account of it being great fun, but I’m perhaps most alarmed that not every bloke and his dog haven’t already played it. Well, fingers crossed JA:BiA pops up in a flash sale. I really would love someone else to get their mitts on it so we can compare notes and war stories. Will do another run with the new LoS patch on hardcore – like the old days – after I’m done with my Endless Space/Krater and, soon to be, Confrontation run. Bit of a noble lame duck, that last one. Looking forward to sinking teeth into it, although Krater is more than a mouthful of Swedish goodness.
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action DOES have a demo on Steam, if you care to try it. Hideous demo, on account of the scenario within being a construct of fangs, grenades and razorblades, but baptism of fire, right?
@asatiir Man, if you get some time in the gaming schedule, let us know what you think of JA.
@beige I see @tolkoto is perineum-deep in Anno 2070! Wonderful stuff. Wondering what he’ll have to say on the next EBP.
@tolkoto I saw a few ignorant tweets, followed by the sound of someone on the hill shouting “Retweet, Sirrahs! Retweet!” and hundreds of thundering hooves churning clods heralded a schwerpunkt so vicious that the unfortunate Perez’s head was still spinning when he received his Destructoid marching orders.
The scariest thing about all of this is that many people still, astoundingly, still do not appear to comprehend the ramifications and responsibilities of this particular module within the greater social media construct – especially when you mix in (my personal pet peeve) twitter outrage and the ease of either running yourself aground or being part of a career-killing or life-altering armada between coffees.
As @angryjedi so sagely said: “more BAP”. Just behave.
I’m certainly interested in seeing some Vita Oddworld shenanigans…Oddworld Inhabitants state we’ll get to see footage of Munch and Stranger running on the portable at the event, which will be terrific.
Outside of that, a little more Soul Sacrifice footage would be nice. Can’t really think of anything beyond that. Yeah, this show is, for me, all about seeing what will be hitting the Vita down the line. Generally speaking, though, these events only make me a little weary and perhaps unwillingly cognizant at industry hyperbole. I do wish there was an RPS-esque filter one could apply and sieve out only the interesting gems hidden in the shadows.
Gravity Rush in a few days (or a week, to include shipping from the States). @tolkoto loved it, I certainly loved what I played of the JPN version.
*Ahem* Demon’s Souls straight into Dark Souls into MGS1-4 and Peacewalker.
@tolkoto still wins though. Ugh. Final Fantasy. I can’t even play through one of them, let alone all of them.
@tolkoto At last year’s E3 Nintendo confirmed that you’ll at least be able to rig up an external HDD to the system.
@feenwager I hear ya. It’s all people will bang on about on Twitter, and I even have people I know inviting me to “SUPPORT BIOWARE” Facebook groups. (I rejected the invitation.)
I’m in three minds about the whole thing. (Shush. That’s totally a thing.) On the one hand, I see where the disgruntled fans are coming from from what I do know of the situation having not played it but read a lot about it. On the other, petitioning people to change the ending to a story is just dumb, particularly it all it will result in is an “Ending Pack” DLC. And on the third mutant hand sprouting from my chest, I wish people would shut the fuck up about Mass Effect and talk about some of the fifty billion other games that are out right now. A new Ys game just came out on Steam and I want to know if it’s interesting, for example — and a couple of “double-A” PR people I’m friends with are inordinately frustrated by the whole thing because it means their poor games don’t get a look in from the press or the public.
Basically, everyone needs to accept each other’s viewpoints without feeling the need to try and yell hard enough to change each other’s minds, step back, chill the fuck out and then go play something else.
Or, you know, go outside.
@beige Bring on the sports episode! We’ve all played a sports game over the years in one form or another, right? And that shouldn’t discount your Out of the Park Baseballs, International Cricket Captains, Football Managers and other hands-off sports-centric games.
As @tolkoto said, this new breed of dynasty games…taking a shmoe from some boondock league and dragging him up through the ranks into stardom…adds so much of what we love of other games; the JRPGs, persistent unit/veterancy in strategy games etc.
And even then, what about the arcade sport set? The NFL Blitzes, the NBA Jams, 2K Sports The Bigs. What about things like Tony Hawk or SSX?
@tolkoto YES. Seconded. While I did track down a copy of Anachronox, I have never made it to the end. It is burning a hole in my pile of shame, I heartily suggest as well that we consider this for mission. Judging from what I know of the Squad’s taste I think this will be a nice fit. GOG knows what is what, its a true classic deserving of a a rerelease.
@tolkoto I really liked Arrival, but what happens in it becomes moot pretty much almost immediately.
Also, stay away from Sentinel. They nerfed tech armor for some reason. No fun, moving on to Adept.
@tolkoto I love the analogous mode in the recent FIFA games (Be a Pro). Surprising that it took until the last few years for that mode of play to catch on.
@tolkoto You have to at least have a face code from ME2. Even then, people are reporting severely altered faces when they make it to ME3.
@tolkoto Well shit. If you kept the same Shepard face all the way from ME1, you can’t import it into ME3 since it doesn’t have an ME2 face code. It’ll still import the character, but not their face. BioWare already admitted that you’ll have to remake it completely.
Yeah I’m the same as @tolkoto in regards to WRPGs. I think that’s the situation most console-only gamers find themselves in now. WRPGs weren’t big on consoles until the current generation (last gen if you count KOTOR and Morrowind). Fallout 3 was pretty much the first one I ever touched, and I still haven’t had the time to actually play a pre-current-gen WRPG unless System Shock 2 counts, despite having bought dozens of them now.
I’m actually kinda going backwards in time with BioWare. First Mass Effect then Dragon Age, and some time in the future I plan to install my Steam copy of KOTOR, then the D&D collection I just picked up. If I ever get into this we’re gonna be seeing a shitload of LTTP here.
I could probably stop buying games for the whole of the next console generation and already have enough to play off of my Steam account and surprising collection of old console games I’ve gotten from a local Pay N Trade and eStarland. Hell man, in the last 10 years I think I’ve bought something like 20 handheld RPGs between the GBA, DS, and PSP, and actually finished two of them.
@tolkoto in all seriousness, I think it has more to do with the immature nature of most video game narratives, and the desire to appear ‘edgy’ without necessarily having the writing chops to paint the necessary shades of grey.
Or, in the Japanese games’ case, it’s because all Japanese people are crazy.
@tolkoto I’d love to hear your impressions of Torment present-day.
Also, glad I didn’t ruin EBP.
@shingro @scribl @angryjedi It’s a very condescending infographic, it’s not like we all make games for a living and know the ins and outs of game development, why should we? But, I thought the insight into the process, even if not fully represented, was worth bringing into the Squad conversation.
I agree with you guys, consumer perception would be better if this thing wasn’t released on the same day with the full game. I’m willing to bet for most people, all will be forgiven as soon as the game gets here and it blows people away (if it blows people away).
At the risk of @feenwager shaking his head and saying “stop worrying and go cure AIDS in Africa”, all of you please do continue to ask “why?” and do what you feel is right. As for me, I HAVE TO PLAY THIS GAME and EA knows it.
@redswir1 CD Projekt Red being awesome aside, I think the expansion pack era ended because with digital distribution you no longer needed to build up a lot of content to justify putting it in a box on a store shelf. Don’t quote me on that, though.
@tolkoto The infographic? Can’t take credit, I poached it from a Kotaku comment thread.
@tolkoto I think playing “bad” in Mass Effect isn’t the same as playing evil in games like KOTOR. Paragon and Renegade are much closer together on the good/evil spectrum than Light Side and Dark Side. When I used to play KOTOR, I couldn’t stomach the evil choices.
A renegade Shepard might punch out a reporter, but a dark Jedi would straight up force-choke her in cold blood.
Actually, I think Mass Effect was the first series where I played a “dark/bad” character.
@tolkoto I almost never have any interest in making evil choices in Mass effect games and video games in general. Writers usually, on some level, don’t want the player to choose the evil choices. Consequently they spend almost no time making them compelling.
@tolkoto I’d argue that while ME2 was an overall more entertaining experience, ME1 was a more successful narrative, at least to me. I think like ME2 was supposed to be driving home this sense of urgency and futility and I don’t feel that it delivered either, especially the futility part. I enjoyed the shadow broker, and Arrival DLCs more than I did all of ME2, narrative wise anyways.
ME1 had a compelling story, and the universe was fresh and interesting. The player was given a sense of wonder and intrigue. You felt epic, and unraveling the mystery behind the reapers and the Protheans was great. Not to mention Saren was an incredibly interesting antagonist. Sorry for speaking in generalities but it’s been so long since I’ve played either game.
All that considered, ME1 aged horribly, it’s worst flaws making it more of a pain to play than anything else really. While ME2 is still really approachable.
Also nice to meet you guys, I’m Wrds. Quite a unique method of discussion you all have.
@tolkoto Teehee. You noticed that, huh?
@unmanneddrone the world has a nice, consistent look, but overall it’s the usual forest, swamp, desert kind of stuff. Not sure what else a developer can really do, other than make these things look as good as possible, right? Overally, I have no complaints about the art style in the environments. I do wish there was a greater variety of enemies, though.
@tolkoto are you talking about the main storyline for KoA or the side/faction stuff? I haven’t done enough of the main plot to have a strong opinion about it, but I have enjoyed both faction quests I’ve done, and I’ve found a good amount of the side quests to be pretty interesting. Certainly better than the usual “kill 10 wolves” we get. I will agree with you that I would love more interesting characters, but I think BioWare has a trademark on those.
@tolkoto Mike you’re just saying that because you weren’t here for October AKA Dark Souls month here at the Squad.
I actually quite liked Skyward Sword – I threw that article out more to just throw a bucket of fish heads into the swimming pool and stir up some debate. That said, you’re probably not old enough to remember back in 1986 when Zelda was brand new and it was the hotness for everybody at Hillcrest public school to run back home and fuck around with Zelda 1 or the Adventure of Link after class let out at 3:30. Oh, so many days spent spending my parents money on the Nintendo Hint Line arguing with that guy about where Ganon’s hideout on Death Mountain was (Help line dude eventually: “Look kid, all I have is a spreadsheet in front of me. This is what I know.”).
If you were there what you’d remember was that the first two games were just “throw you down into the middle of somewhere, see if you survive. ENJOY!!!” No hand holding, no guidance. No real story either, beyond just the Princess is Asleep, save her.
I’m a fan of narrative in my games so I can’t really complain, but it hadn’t hit me until I read that article just how much I MISSED that whole experience of just “Jeebus, there sure is a world out there.” Every heart container you ran across was a discovery, every area of the map contained at least 1 secret. Paths went god knows where and you could totally end up dead following the wrong one. Progression was measured by survival and you played maps so often that they burned themselves into your brain. I can still remember the sense of being on the overworld in Zelda II and being jumped by “oh my god what is that toughenemyshiit!!!”
I think the point of the article is that Zelda no longer strikes those appeal elements. The series no longer means what it once meant to the gaming populace. It means something else now… something with bombs and boomerangs and whatever that plays more Ocarina of Time-ish.
The reason I mentioned it here is because I had forgotten until I played Dark Souls / Demon’s Souls how GOOD that felt, and how much I wanted to experience that sense of wonder again. It’s a different world post gameFAQs. Once upon a time you literally didn’t know if you COULD ever finish games. “beating” it meant something.
@tolkoto welcome home, sir.
@beige By the by, I saw you’ve picked up King Arthur Collection. A very fine choice, and a very unique experience. Would love to hear your opinions of it whenever it gets the treatment. Few issues, such as a slightly wonky camera during tactical battles and the UI text in particular menus can be ultra-hard to read at particular resolutions (I quizzed the devs on this, as King Arthur 2 is just around the corner and they stated it’ll be fixed in the sequel), but it’s a fantastic dark fantasy take on the Arthurian legend, pressing Celtic lore and Eastern European medieval design into the source material.
What’s most elegant about it is the text adventure questing and diplomacy aspect, folded neatly between the grand strategy and the tactical battles. The tangible flow-on effect from these quests ripples through each level of the experience…choices made within one of many branches of a particular quest can lead to further quests, a battle, diplomacy changes, items to equip in a Diablo-esque inventory system etc. etc.
A really charming game with a lot to offer. Bloody @tolkoto always wisecracks about there being a new King Arthur title every week! I should lie and tell him Pluto Pup is one of Sir Gawain’s entourage.
Hello Squaddies! Cannot wait until I’m back on Skynet/real net to continue this chatter – bring on Friday, as nobody in particular has stated. Housekeeping:
@bowlisimo Keep up with the X3 talk! It might bore the testes off a rhino to some, but it’s thrilling stuff for me. 100 hours into it?! Amazing. And a testament to the sheer number of options a fellow has at his fingertips.
@redswirl Great call on the iOS title Edge. Terrific little platform-puzzler. Killer soundtrack, too. I used to be as snobby as dear ol’ @beige when it came to iPhone gaming. There is a fair whack of trash and cash-in going on, but it’s also a terrific platform of proving grounds for interesting and ingenious gameplay experimentation.
@tolkoto I don’t mind puzzle games, but for the most part, I’m no great fan of them. I prefer either adventure game problem-solving or, to use a buzzword, ‘emergent’ puzzle/problem solving. It’s far from convention, but I look at a lot of strategy games as puzzle titles. How can you utilise a single PaK AT gun and its crew to hold off an infantry advance? How can I improve relations with a neighbouring kingdom to bolster against an invasion without an arranged marriage? These scenarios are, for me, far more rewarding than beating a level of falling blocks, but at their core, remain the same thing; considered choice implemented for later outcome. Utilisation of delayed HE rounds on the infantry unit for maximum effect at minimum range equals stacking tetris blocks judiciously for the four-length power-slot.
I just like my puzzles to have less abstract context when it comes to most games. I only played a little of Braid, though it was the artstyle that didn’t do much for me – as well as (recently tweeted) not being the kind of platformer I reall love, in the vein of Flashback, Bermuda Syndrome, Abe’s Oddysee etc. Great soundtrack, though.
@tolkoto I’m with you, Mike, that game’s design was genius, despite all the wtf heady bullshit.
@tolkoto Want to make that the prize for whoever wins this SoS Frozen Synapse tourney?
@redswirl I appreciate Civ and all that, but I’ve never felt that burning urge to spend entire evenings in any of the games – which could be considered treasonous by a few folks. Great games, just one of those series that never sank the barbed talons into my sallow hide for extended periods of times. You ever tried more beer-n-pretzels TBS games, ala Panzer General? Shattered Union, for instance? Another one just came out (snidely palmed off by @tolkoto on the last EBP as “another boring strategy game”…beginning to wonder about him) in Storm: Frontline Nation…a modern EU/North Africa fast-paced TBS with an emphasis on military and research-lite. I’m considering nabbing it to replace Shattered Union. I read of a few issues with the tactical combat mode – nothing a patch couldn’t iron out – but the grand strategic mode is tip-top as an middle-ground between your brain-busting Paradox titles and, say, Age of Booty.
In other news, would Squaddies be up for kicking off the SoS Frozen Synapse tourney at some point? Especially with the game now 33% off in the Steam Sales for folks who haven’t nabbed it yet and want to split the cost with a friend or something.
@tolkoto Sold my account in 2005. Nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure (…that you don’t spend 70 days out of one year playing WoW ever again).
@tolkoto I’m just leaving the office, I’ll think up some questions on the way home.
I’ve resisted WoW for 5 years now, that trend maybe coming to an end. I’m debating starting a trial account. Truth be told, I have no idea when I would be able to play.
But your exclamations of glee on EBP have got me rethinking my 0 MMO stance.
@angryjedi If it’s so easy, then you can educate me when you come out to Cali next week. My biggest beef with the iPod/iTunes ecosystem (besides my general malaise towards the layout and presentation) is that my iPod Nano and all iPod Touches have proved incompatible with the 360 and a mega-pain in the ass on the PS3. I know it’s minor and petty but there we are.
…and DON’T play WoW. @tolkoto‘s a drug pusher and he knows it.
@tolkoto I haven’t played WoW since the RealID system hit. Does the cross-server messaging extend across territories as well as servers?
@tolkoto I will do so if you promise to post here once a day for the next 7 days.
I second @tolkoto
@tolkoto You’ll find the server pretty dead, I check it occasionally but noone has been on it in over 3 weeks.
Ive switched over to server.minecraftaddicts.com its canadian based but well run, check out my Enterprise model near spawn when you’re on.
I see all this love for Super Meat Boy and all it does is make me sad for poor, underappreciated Trials HD.
God help me but I love Super Meat Boy. This is a surprise. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered for those ‘oh jesus I’ve done an 8 hour day and then 2 and a half hours of coursework and now it’s 9:30 and I’m tired as hell’ marathons. You’d think dying and dying again would be frustrating but for me it’s kind of a zen experience, super mindless and relaxing. I can’t explain.
You can only get so invested in a level that takes 5 seconds to play. If you die… oh well, it starts again instantly. The sensation feels like tossing cards in a hat. There’s no pressure. You just toss those cards over and over again until one lands in the hat. The music is awesome (and downloadable here as of today: http://dbsoundworks.bandcamp.com/album/super-meat-boy-soundtrack ) the art is hilarious and I like Meat Boy as a protagonist. The game just feels good.
Beating a level under a ‘par’ time unlocks a dark world version of that level which is more evil. I’ve so far managed to A-rank every stage on the first 3 worlds without too much trouble, and A-ranked most of the dark worlds up through levels 1-3 besides. It’s hard as hell sure, but not TOO hard, at least in my opinion. “Just right” difficulty that handily rewards player skill but also asks a lot of you technically in a tough-but-fair way. You have to be precise on all your jumps and dashes, but after playing for about 20 minutes I find it’s easy to get into the meat groove.
Anyway, yeah… I can’t see starting Fallout until I’m done with Meat. Shouldn’t take more than a few more sessions… though it’s doubtful that I’ll ever finish or try to finish those -1 glitch worlds.
@beige I grabbed it this morning before work, got about 5 levels in and loving it already. The leader board function’s cool.
In other news, SMB’s creator was talking with Notch (Minecraft) this morning and it seems like they are going to put the Minecraft guy in the PC version of SMB.
@tolkoto Don’t let the “wah they didn’t finish making the game!!!” stuff keep you off KOTOR 2. It’s a better game than the original. Does it kind of trail off into nothing right at the very end? Well, yeah. But it’s a long, excellent game all the way up until that point. Honestly, when I played it, I didn’t even find the ending extraordinarily sudden or unfinished compared to most games.
Guys, I don’t really like to shamelessly plug my 1up blog here, but this is a subject that I have wanted to discuss with you for some time now (and that I already discussed with @bowlisimo): The death of the space flight combat game, which to me is a downright mystery.
I’m not just talking about the PC sims either. We don’t even get the more arcade-like space flight games anymore. The later PS1 era and early PS2 era had some great shit on all platforms like Rogue Squadron, Tie Fighter, Wing Commander, StarLancer, all kinds of shit. That one part in Halo Reach is about all I’ve gotten since Rogue Squadron II back in 2001.
What the fuck happened? Don’t you wanna fly into the face of a space battle-cruiser alongside your Xbox Live buddies chattering over the radio? I could see this shit now:
**Battle of Endor**
@angryjedi: “All Wings Report In”
@unmanneddrone: “Rogue Two standing by”
@beige: “Yellow Leader standing by”
@tolkoto: “Rogue Six standing by”
Even though I played that game in 2006, I still managed to be blindsided by the Usual Suspects “Revan moment”. Also, I remember writing a shitty long blog about it back during the 1up days, but my takeaway was that I love Firefly-like cobbled together space crews.
@tolkoto did you go in with prior knowledge of the Revan “moment”? If so, how did that impact your enjoyment of the game?
@tolkoto LTTP but better late than never. High five?
@tolkoto I really enjoyed the demo for Lords of Shadow. I’ve also noticed a bit of dissent due to it’s un-Metroidvania-ness; I think people forget that it was originally an action game first and foremost.
@feenwager: YOU SHOULD TRY THE MULTIPLAYARRR
Hah. No, seriously. I think you’d enjoy it a lot more. Campaign is infuriating, particularly on Heroic or Legendary. It just stops being fun when you die over and over and over, which is what put me off the series in the first place. Same for Gears. But I persevered and completed it on Heroic, and I’m glad I did. I ended up enjoying it. Now I feel I can go back and help other people out with co-op, which is infinitely more fun than single-player, incidentally, for the simple reason that one person dying doesn’t mean restarting the whole section again.
Firefight, though, is super-fun. It keeps the good bits of the Halo shooting experience, strips out the indecipherable plot and gives you a good excuse to go wild with a variety of weapons. It’s also one of the most hugely customisable modes there is in the whole game, so you can make it as easy or as hard as you want. You can even make yourself invincible and provide yourselves with infinite-ammo fast-firing rocket launchers that you never have to reload, for example. So if you just want to blow shit up in a fit of rage… you can.
@Tolkoto: I was exactly the same. I actually beat Halo: CE in split-screen co-op and really enjoyed it. I tired of Halo 2 well before the ending and same with Halo 3. I never even tried ODST. Actually, though, I’ve found that with Reach, I’m now more inclined to go back and play the old ones. Perhaps I’ll still hate them. But I certainly like Reach a whole lot more than any previous Halo title.
@Beige: You’re quite right, we don’t need a Halo game every 2 years. As far as I’m concerned, the series is done. Bungie are setting it aside, the story is complete… I don’t need to play another Halo game unless they do something really significant with it, like make it into System Shock 2 or something. Which is never going to happen.
Hope everyone enjoyed/is enjoying/is about to enjoy the new SquadCast. Thanks for the props, Beige. I figured a musical episode should have at least a little music throughout it. For those who didn’t like the background music in past episodes, it’s at a much quieter level than before. Should be very subtle. The musical interludes are a little longer than usual, too, to celebrate its musical episode-ness. (Sorry, Feen. )