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  • Matt Mason 3:53 am on November 19, 2010 Permalink  

    Because of nuclear poisoning? 

    Because of nuclear poisoning?

  • Matt Mason 3:42 am on October 6, 2010 Permalink  

    @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.

  • Matt Mason 2:24 am on October 6, 2010 Permalink

    The whole reason I even pontificate and play games to this day is owed in part to my cousin got an NES for his birthday. Contra and Zelda II were like a revelation. Luckily, my pop was equally smitten by an odd elfin kid with a pointy green hat. As they say, the rest is history.

  • Matt Mason 4:31 am on October 4, 2010 Permalink

    I guess I should have rephrased my question as “are traditional reviews worth reading?” There’s a certain mechanical quality to them, that they’re more concerned with the parts rather than the whole. IGN’s aggregate reviews have always bugged me the most, scoring not just the package but each of it’s singular parts. I realize people care about the score, but is it just me or do they often betray what the author of a particular review wrote in the body of his writing?

    Often times, what an author writes betrays what he writes anyways. Such as the Batman incident I mentioned earlier. Pete brought up 1up’s Civ V broken review, that bares mentioning too. I think professional reviewers often have a muddied message because they just don’t play games in the same way that we do. That may be the difference I was looking for, now that I’m rambling.

    I’m not looking at games as a product: I’m looking at them as an experience.

    That’s why word of mouth, blogs and columns are so much more impactful on me.

  • Matt Mason 6:13 pm on October 3, 2010 Permalink

    These days I read reviews for entertainment, not so much as any kind of help towards purchase recommendations. I find that my gut is the best critic I know. However, lately I’ve been finding more fun in poking holes in other peoples arguments.

    For instance: I’ve been playing Batman: The Brave and the Bold quite a bit, so I thought I’d tool around the internet for a bit to see what other people thought. I came across a review that chided the game because it should have been a downloadable title that’s best played in chunks. The first thing that came to my mind when I read that was…why can’t it be a disc based game that you play in chunks? At $40, were you to split the four episodes up, you’d more than likely pay that price anyways were you to sell them for $10 a pop, so really it’s kind of a wash.

    My point of contention with the review wasn’t that it shouldn’t be played piecemeal, ’cause that’s how I’ve been playing it, but the fact that the writer had to sat down and played it the completely opposite way than complained that he did so. I understand that they were more than likely under a time restraint and had to push through, but why should that affect his score when he could have just come to the realization that it’s better episodically and left it at that?

    It’s got me thinking how busted and rote the whole review process is and makes me wonder…should they die? I know there’s a lot of people who rely on the numbers, but they seem to have no bearing on what was written, making the whole process seem a little bullshit. No matter how we stack it, reviewers inevitably break apart the disparate parts of a game and quantify them. And soon enough everything has devolved into tropes and unnecessary expectations.

    It’s why over the past year I’ve become a bigger fan of columns. I prefer to read peoples experiences and their commentary sans the need to critique it. It’s easier to swallow opinions when they don’t have to be quantified. And for some reason, it makes them feel more valid. @feenwager read an article I wrote about Halo: Reach and hated my message. But he read it. And that actually means a lot to me, because even though he didn’t agree, he at least took the time to ponder a different point of view. And that’s the thing: like anything else in life, you can’t always assume that you’re right and that your word is law.

    The only reason I brought this big-ass thought blob to the SoS is because I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on the decline of reviews and the rise of the writer. Or if you even think there is a decline at all. Or, other examples of the contradictory nature between scores and viewpoints.

  • Matt Mason 4:29 pm on September 24, 2010 Permalink  


    I’d like to hear Squad’s thoughts on where music themed games (i.e. Rock Band, Dance Central) are going and what you think needs to change in order for them to stay relevant. Caveat: you can’t use the “they should just die” excuse, I don’t think they’ll go away that quick.

    Also: maybe bands/songs you’d like to see hit Rock Band, maybe?

    Maybe you guys could talk about games whose soundtracks were more impactful that perhaps the gameplay itself? I think music is understated in gaming, like a good movie score they can help convey more emotion and feeling that the most wooden dialog or robotic facial animation could ever provide.

  • Matt Mason 2:38 am on September 3, 2010 Permalink

    I have to say my piece of Cheap Fu — because not only do I heavily practice in the art, I am a bona fide master.

    Admission: I haven’t paid over $30 for a game in almost three years. I have three mouths to feed and a significant other who rightly controls the family coffers. Which is, to say, $60 is not a price tag I can drop unless it’s in regards to grocery costs or car repairs.

    Thankfully, the wonderful world of downloadable games is burgeoning these days, easily matching any excitement I have for disc based games. In other words, they hold equal ground for me. It’s like you guys said in episode 2.2, the true commodity for us olden’s is time. I like the gratifying feeling of finishing something, and it’s easier for me to do so in a more concise title. That’s not to say I don’t love slow burn epics like Dragon Age, but they’re more like the expensive steak you get every now and again and not a weekly meal in my gaming diet.

    It’s also worth noting that you can game the triple A titles for scalpers prices if you’re willing to get over the notion that you have to play everything brand new and out of the gate. I recently picked up BioShock 2 for all of $13 a few months ago, and I just got Mass Effect 2 for a paltry $25. And I’ll enjoy them as much now as the people who bought them $60 new at the beginning of the year.

    Strangely, the times I do get games close to day and date of release are ironically during my birthday or Christmas. It’s like I’m 8 all over again.

    The moral of my story? I’m cheap.

    p.s. before I return to Squawk Box back to it’s rightful owners, I would like to congratulate Beige for adding “highbrow-ass show” to my vernacular.


  • Matt Mason 2:56 am on June 15, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: ,   


    I want to like Kinect, I really do.

    I’m conflicted, as A) I wish there were more games I could dig into and B) I’m tired of “core” gamers whining when somebody doesn’t make something for them.

    I’d be persuaded to get it if Kinectimals, Adventures and Sports were all bundled and it was under a hundred bucks; if nothing else than my kids really liked the trailers. Anything less may be a death sentence for it.

  • Matt Mason 1:54 pm on June 14, 2010 Permalink  

    Hello gents (and ladies?), nice pad you’ve got here. It’s about Goddamned time you guys did something; I grew tired of waiting for the next podcast.

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