Updates from December, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Pete Davison 9:52 am on December 7, 2012 Permalink

    @mjpilon I played that a while back when they first accidentally released it, and I thought it was a complete turd. Not up to Double Fine’s usual standards at all — the usual shallow free-to-play business “sim” (and I use the term loosely) gameplay with only some fairly amusing writing to redeem it from the million and one other almost identical titles on the App Store. (And believe me, given my day job, I see nearly all of the fucking things). I’d hope they’ve improved it a bit since then — the version they released was supposedly not intended for public consumption — but it left a very sour taste in my mouth.

  • RedSwirl 9:29 pm on November 21, 2012 Permalink
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    @mjpilon PC/Mac version has 360 pad support.

  • RedSwirl 6:48 pm on November 19, 2012 Permalink

    @angryjedi The problem with hardware reviews from my perspective (by the way, tech heads probably do review cameras) is that there’s no metric to which to compare it. What is a 9/10 or 10/10 piece of hardware? Do we even remember what people gave the 360 and PS3 seven and six years ago respectively? From my experience people were also quite negative on those two launches, even from a software standpoint.

    Not to be down on the Vita, but I kind of agree on the main criticism of its software library lacking unique games. I think it’s a great piece of hardware, but I can only think of maybe two games that I’d want to own on it. I already own quite a bit of unique 3DS software in comparison. That’s another discussion though. I think the Vita has great potential for certain kinds of games that just aren’t appearing.

    I tried out the Wii U controller at a GameStop and personally I like it a lot from a tactility standpoint. The screen is somewhere between the 3DS touch screen and an iPhone screen, which makes sense given the whole console costs less than an unsubsidized iPhone. I especially love the D pad and face buttons, which remind me a lot of the DS Lite pad and buttons.

    And on the whole artistic side, yeah it is the games that still matter. I’ve heard that several of the third party ports run worse than on 360. If I bought one now it would be for Mario, NintendoLand, and to check out ZombiU. That said, Rayman, 101, and Pikmin are gonna be looking pretty good in a few months.

    @mjpilon In terms of the next Xbox and PlayStation, I wouldn’t be surprised if people ended up being disappointed that the graphics weren’t “HD enough.” We really don’t know a damn thing, but some speculations are saying they won’t be much better than a current mid-range PC, and that a lot of the games will still be 720p and 30 frames per second in order to get more horsepower out of the hardware. Seven years ago a lot of people were unimpressed that the leap from PS2 to Xbox 360 wasn’t as amazing as the leap from PS1 to PS2. It’s very possible we could see that happen again next year. Personally, I’d be satisfied with graphics similar to what I’ve seen in PC gameplay videos of Crysis 3 and Medal of Honor Warfighter (seriously, the latter game looks insane on PC).

  • bowlisimo 3:35 pm on November 15, 2012 Permalink

    @mjpilon Sounds like advice from my Assassin’s Creed pamphlet. Yeah, I’m picking up thermoses (Why?) and pages if they’re in front of me, but I generally try to get from dark woods section A to location B as quickly as possible. I stop for hidden chests.

    I can’t get enough of the fake episodic nature of this game. There’s something inside of me that gets excited the instant “Previously on Alan Wake” is uttered, and the recap gets going. This is a great format. I can take the game in chunks, digest it, and come back to it later. Built in stopping points with cliff hangers as opposed to one long unbroken narrative that you quit out of when you’ve had enough. Or, maybe I’m down with this because of all of those childhood years being conditioned by television. “Previously on X-men”

    The PC version has the DLC (except American Nightmare) baked in to the game, so nothing to worry about there. Just hope the story holds up til the end.

  • bowlisimo 9:07 pm on November 13, 2012 Permalink
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    I found that interesting, but I can see it not being very useful if you’re looking for information. Jeff Gerstmann’s review on Giant Bomb is much more utilitarian. The one on Kotaku reads like one of those editorial pieces that you read a week or two later “Looking back on Black Ops 2” or whatever.

    Neither is better, it just depends on what you’re looking for. As someone who doesn’t plan on playing CoD, reading a review of the experience is more interesting, but that changes with the game. Right now, I’d rather read how broken the PC port of AC3 is or isn’t.

    @mjpilon Shit, I guess I need to play Spec Ops now. That description sounds like it fits Dragon Age 2 as well. Boring game, excellent story. It’s too bad, really.

    @cgrajko Welcome to the happiness club. It wears off, after a time, but you’ll never forget it. Journey is my GOTY.

  • bowlisimo 3:01 pm on October 10, 2012 Permalink

    @mjpilon I forgot about that! Go for it! Turn off the lights, immerse yourself in tension and fear (and relief), cower outside of a room for a while, whip open doors, or slowly peek in, whatever works for you, and keep going forward. Also acceptable, is turning off the game to deal with those horrible feelings… just as long as you go back.

  • Mohammad AlHuraiz 6:15 am on July 28, 2012 Permalink
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    @mjpilon I dunno, I kinda like the direction Darksiders 2 is going, I’m getting that “everything but the kitchen sink” vibe too, but it is looking quite fun to me.

    Also, what happened to the Minecraft server? I haven’t seen anyone on for the past few days, I haven’t seen any zombies or skeletons either.

    Edit: false alarm, I see the hostile mobs again.

  • bowlisimo 2:01 pm on July 24, 2012 Permalink

    @mjpilon Feel free to screw around when you’re there. Start small, make a house in our growing village (or way up in the sky like Sinfony), or dig a cave, and learn the basic tools that way. Everything pretty much follows from there naturally. For instance, “Hmm, now my house needs a stable, and a basement, annnnnd, you know what? Eff this house, this house is dumb now. Let’s make a castle, which needs a moat, and a bridge to it”, etc. etc.

    @shingro Horrible deep holes in the ground filled with terrible things already exist! @rampantbicycle finds them daily. Also, you can totally reskin your avatar to look like an anime character, just saying. Make a pixel shrine to Katawa Shoujo, while listening to j-pop, somewhere.

  • Shingro 2:41 am on July 24, 2012 Permalink
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    @mjpilon Oh man I hear you, same thing that happens to me, if I went on there I’d probably just dig some horrible deep hole in the ground and fill it with terrible things 😀 (enough monsters mean monstergirls right? ;___;)

    anyway, on somewhat game related news I went to a nightclub for the first time (yes, I know… >_>) and what were they serving there but Dragon’s Breath. I bellied up to the bar and ordered one…. very good! Didn’t even become a smoking crater or pile of ash or anything! 😀

  • RedSwirl 3:30 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink

    @mjpilon I think that has more to do with how those particular games are designed. You’re never really set back too far in Rayman Origins and the game feels so playable that you don’t mind jumping back in. Same with Meat Boy.

    For some reason though, I CAN NOT take high levels of frustration when playing 2D Mario games. I”m terrible at them and I ragequit very quickly. It’s why I haven’t finished a single one of them.

  • RedSwirl 4:55 am on July 5, 2012 Permalink
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    @sinfony @mjpilon If by any chance the speed is your sole problem with Gears, why not investigate Vanquish? It’s basically Gears but the whole game moves about 300 percent faster. It’s the controls of a shooter combined with the speed and chaos of a Devil May Cry game.

  • sinfony 6:43 pm on July 4, 2012 Permalink  

    @mjpilon I just picked up Gears 3 after trading in a pile of games, on the theory that I should probably play one of those damn games finally. Played through about 45 minutes last night and I kind of hate it. Everything about it seems best described as “lumbering.” Think it’s going back to the store, to be replaced by god only knows what, took me forever to find something I wanted last time.

  • RedSwirl 10:16 pm on June 14, 2012 Permalink

    @angryjedi The screenshots look interesting, but I learned my lesson from Tiny Tower, which I don’t consider to be a game at all, but rather a busywork generator.

    Man, if they made some kind of full-blown Harvest Moon for iOS or something I might be down for that. There’s something that feels very empty about those F2P click-a-thons though.

    @mjpilon I’m sure if you search “iOS” or something related you’ll find suggestion posts we made way back that should still apply. Currently I’m actually in the middle of a bunch of RPGs on my iPhone.

  • unmanneddrone 2:30 am on June 14, 2012 Permalink
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    @mjpilon This particular BoardGameGeek thread just became your bestest buddy.

    @redswir1 Personally, and of course, this is subjective and situational, when I want a console experience, I generally have to fight the Missus or the Daughter for use of the TV/PS3. Even then, I find myself being less and less inclined to turn the console on due to time and fatigue. To be able to recline at the end of the day in bed with a machine that offers horsepower and ergonomic comfort, enjoy console experiences, indulge in my library of PSone (soon, of course) and PSP titles if I feel like it…it’s just a good machine for me. We’re already seeing a trickle of interesting, artsy, Sony-level “indie” titles coming through on the Vita, and they’re not just tap-tap minigames. Retro City Rampage will also be a great portable experience on the machine, no doubt.

    I never held much affinity for the DS library outside of Anno 1701 and Panzer Tactics, and it looks the same with the 3DS. Horses for courses, definitely.

  • unmanneddrone 2:44 pm on April 24, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Rad Soldiers   

    @mjpilon Keep an eye out for Rad Soldiers, in the F2P async iOS realm. Pretty keen for this one, given my love of Brink/Splash Damage and the usual TB squad strategy tenets.

  • unmanneddrone 2:02 pm on April 18, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko Utterly useless factoid that would only be useful to terrorists and/or interrogators: Rez is the only game to ever make me feel woozy. A masterpiece, though!

    Another toll from the village bell.

    Music To Game By

    Submit two tracks via THIS FORM, supply links if you feel the need, send me MP3s IN ADDITION to your form submission with the appropriate details via email at unmanneddrone ( a t ) gmail (d o t) com IF tracks are really obscure.

    Throw ’em down, friends. I’ve received tracks from @feenwager and @mjpilon thus far. Should be a hoot, this mix.

  • beige 1:26 pm on April 13, 2012 Permalink  

    @mjpilon Just FYI, Saturday Morning RPG is episodic, and you can complete each episode in around an hour and a half, give or take. (One day’s commute both ways).

    The first episode is free, I think the next ones are $1.99 each. I enjoyed my time with Commander Hood substantially so have no problem shelling out a buck 99 for the next show. There’s a death laser hidden in my high school apparently and all the teachers have been replaced by Cobra agents. Ooooh that dastardly Hood. Also, my best friend (the tech guy, in a wheelchair, natch) has a design based off of Cutter John from Bloom County.

  • unmanneddrone 12:56 pm on April 13, 2012 Permalink
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    @mjpilon I hear you on the podcast front, have become a voracious podcast listener over the last couple of years, but always had a thing for radio. Audiobooks, also. I did Ready Player One via audiobook, made for rather pleasant listening on my way to work.

    Also, took @beige up on his Mielville recommendation. Embassytown is now ready to go.

  • RocGaude 3:07 am on March 23, 2012 Permalink

    @mjpilon @bowlisimo @angryjedi I just noticed that Dungeon Defenders is now on Mac. As long as it supports cross-platform play, I’m in for some Squad antics this weekend. Just text me or somethin’.

  • RedSwirl 2:02 am on March 23, 2012 Permalink
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    @mjpilon @bowlisimo Pick one. Dungeon Defenders and Gears 3 horde mode are remarkably similar to each other.

  • bowlisimo 3:40 am on March 13, 2012 Permalink  

    @mjpilon Watching that too. I couldn’t live with all that stuff, personally. Most of it would get recycled/thrown out.Thank you digital distribution. The only PC boxes I’m still hanging on to at the moment are Warcraft 3 Collectors and the expensive Darwinia tin I imported.

    I need to be careful with this PS3.

  • feenwager 2:52 am on March 12, 2012 Permalink  

    @mjpilon Should be an edit button on the top right portion of your comment.

  • Pete Davison 2:08 pm on March 6, 2012 Permalink  

    @mjpilon Sadly, I have it on PS3 and PC. Sorry!

  • unmanneddrone 6:58 am on March 4, 2012 Permalink |

    Squad Music Mix 3: Get Out the Map

    (More …)

    • CMWhittington 10:40 pm on March 4, 2012 Permalink

      Half way through. There are some great cuts in there. Current predictions:

      @sinfony – Caspian & Mastodon
      @bowlisimo – Billy Joel
      @bluesforbuddha – Thin Lizzy
      @shingro & @angryjedi – Anything Japanese or video game related

    • unmanneddrone 12:39 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      Crap, I misspelled Mastodon on both the poster and the MP3. This will haunt me.

    • bowlisimo 1:05 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      Holy shit, whoever submitted the theme to Last of the Mohicans really threw me for a loop. I had to go to wikipedia to figure out why the hell you had it credited to Dougie Maclean. So, technically the track in the mix is by Trevor Jones from the movie’s original score, but based on The Gael by Dougie Maclean, who, according to a youtube commenter, also based it on a tune that goes all the way back to Vivaldi.

      You learn something new every day.

    • bowlisimo 1:08 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      Edit: Nothing to see here.

    • Pete Davison 1:16 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      You can.

      EDIT: see?

    • unmanneddrone 2:17 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      Bowley, it was a bit of a mess trying to figure out who to attribute what to, so I went back to ol’ Dougie. Don’t tell Trevor.

    • bowlisimo 3:02 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      It’s cool. I didn’t even know The Gael existed.

    • beige 2:49 pm on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      Fuck yes to whoever submitted Uncharted Worlds / New Worlds. Like Bowley, I knew this needed to be in there but I didn’t want to be the one to throw it into the pile. Have a lot of coding today so this is a perfect compliment to the day. Will listen, post thoughts later. As always, big ups to Alex C for his hard work.

    • impynickers 10:20 pm on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      and that is why internet sourcing is wrong… doh! The mysterious individual who posted this one must be really sorry. He definitely didn’t get his source from a youtube soundtrack mashup. I am sure he checked the internet to make sure every detail was correct before submitting… yes … that sound like this mysterious person. *Shifty eyes*

      Ok Ok …. so the original song is by Trevor Jones, indeed. I later find out that the song I was listening to on youtube was a mashup of good old Trevor and Dougie. I had come across this a few times, and I hadn’t seen the movie in about 15 years so I couldn’t tell the difference. I feel a dope. That said, the original song is incredible as is.

      I have many appologies. To mr. Drone and the rest for depriving them of the challenge of guessing me. But lets face it…. I have left very little consistent trail from my other submissions. If you can find a link between this piece and anything else I have submitted… I will mail you a cupcake.

    • impynickers 10:21 pm on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      There is however one left outstanding.

    • bowlisimo 12:45 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      @impynickers Ahh, that’s the track you meant to submit? The title of that (in your youtube clip) is actually “Promentory”, and there’s another version floating around from the film that has some more bass in it and is superior to the one they put on the cd (IMHO). Take a listen.

      Believe it or not, I used to hum that song in my head on the schoolbus in elementary school. That movie may be one of the major contributors to my fascination with that time period.

      Also, I would have accepted “The Courier” as Get out the map worthy as well.

    • impynickers 1:58 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      I knew there had to be another Nujabes fan out there. Haven’t a clue which CD Far Fowl’s is off of, but it is pretty chill. Hmmm… Red …. could it be you?

    • impynickers 2:06 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      Well now I just want to watch the crap out of that movie. I suppose that is what I will have to do. Thank you sage of all things last and mohican.

    • mjpilon 3:51 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      That Nujabes song is now on permanent play on my iPhone until further notice…. much love to the person you put that in

    • bowlisimo 5:45 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      Nujabes is 100% @redswir1

      If it’s not, I’ll be very surprised, especially after he pimped the guy on facebook. Japanese hip hop is pretty cool, it turns out.

    • Shingro 6:58 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      @rocgaude Well sure, but can you tell us apart? =P

      Alright! It’s that time again! I think this time I’m going to put my firsthand impressions down as I go through the mix.

      1. The Proposition: I’m desperately curious why this great instrumental was submitted, it sounds forlorn and the drums make me think someone’s doing a stentorian last walk to their execution D:. Good, but I can only think of my desperate curiosity at the impulse behind the submission
      2. Hee! How perfect! A complete shoe in, I’d put money that whoever suggested this theme also submitted this song, am I right? 🙂 (Though the comment about ‘I’m going to love while my love is young and strong’ can only fill me with a powerful regret over my hermit-ness during earlier years, bittersweet.)
      3. I have never ‘gotten’ rap, I guess that’s probably a surprise to no one. I like the rolling notes in the background but this key just doesn’t fit my lock.
      4. I really like those chimes… then it started to RAWK and I kinda got lost in it while I played King’s Bounty, a good sign =) The ending irrevocably makes me think of The Path.
      5. Man, that piano solo is something else, and those breathy voices melt my heart. ❤
      6. "screw 'em… ONWARDS!" Is what I think when I hear this song, it's probably that drum thump and the cadence of the song, well chosen =)
      7. I as admiring the rattly instrument when the drum came in I had a forced flashback to the Matrix. Trippy D: I didn't expect the drum to feature so heavily and so late from the start of the song. I like the celtic-esque pipes and cadence a lot =)
      8. Jolly! I love the lyrics~ it's a thing I'd sing out loud with a goofy smile on my face =D
      9. The way he ends his ns at the end of lyrics is driving me out of my mind because I know it reminds me of another musical styling, but I can't think of it D: She married an en-glish-mannn
      10. Another one I’m really curious what tie this has to the theme of the mix, my traditionally terrible ears cannot really make out the lyrics, maybe that’s it? There’s a really nice wibbly bit on the guitar solo =D having only the very basics of guitar in me, I can’t imagine how he did it, but am impressed o_O
      11. “I’m just a cowboy” ARE YOU? BECAUSE I SUSPECT YOU MAY ALSO BE A MUSICIAN! >:D *staaaare* I… I’m sorry c_c I don’t know what came over me D:
      12. Interesting and unique, does a lot of different things all together at the same time~ the title also makes it a shoe-in
      13. This one immediately makes me think of far off deserts and colored tents, some middle parts of the music has a sort of ‘strain’ to it, certain notes seem to come out then stretch as if pulled from both ends.
      14. So mellow… so… Cowboy! I was lulled so effectively I was pretty shocked when it got epic near the end, coulda almost been battle music o_O.
      15. PIANO! 😀 Footloose and fancy free~ made me smile =)
      16. Guar plains! What a great theme =) so much violin and changes ‘tone’ so much throughout the song, much much love ❤ That stop beat is great too, so varied I can't imagine getting bored listening to this in-game
      17. Respectable! I like a ;_; song every now and again and am a big fan of 'narrative' songs. (Though I will not ever understand why there always seems to be some sort of devil referance… Is it part of some 'slow guitar music' contract? @_@)
      18. I almost expected the crazy guitar and "FOXEH!!!" to blare out after that opening sting Ala Wayne's World. =D long one! I was real worried early this was one of those 'screamin' songs that doesn't let you hear the music much at all, but there's actually a fairly decent amount of range to it o_O

      Time to sleep, I'll finish up tomorrow

    • unmanneddrone 12:28 pm on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      Some great guesses and impressions thus far, fellows. Keep it up.

    • Shingro 11:22 pm on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      Impressions 2: Son of Impressions

      19. Another great instrumental piece that I’d love to know what it means to the person who submitted it
      20. The middle of this song always gets me~ love it.
      21. Snazzy! Makes me want to groove embarrassingly in my seat, which I suppose is exactly the point
      22. Weapons in the band, title, and lyrics! Pretty good, Would like to hear from the person who submitted it as to the theme connection =)
      23. Nice song for the squad in general 😀 Will forevermore make me think of the squad when I hear it.
      24. Mellow! I like it~
      25. Acapella?! D: I’m startled and fairly impressed. Dem tricorn hats XD
      25. A good closer to the album =D

    • mjpilon 3:33 am on March 7, 2012 Permalink

      Okay… here are my surely completely in-accurate predictions based on feel, intuition, guesswork and insanity 😉

      1. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis – @unmanneddrone
      2. Indigo Girls – @rampantbicycle
      3. Aesop Rock – @redswir1
      4. Caspian – @Sinfony
      5. Ken Nakagawa & Akiko Shikata – @angryjedi
      6. Billy Joel – @bowlisimo
      7. Nujabes – @redswir1
      8. Alkaline Trio – @rocgaude
      9. Clutch – @feenwager
      10. Mastadon – @sinfony
      11. Thin Lizzy – @bluesforbuddha
      12. Yasunori Mitsuda – @shingro
      13. Ken Nakagawa & Noriko Mitose – @angryjedi
      14. David Newman – @impynickers
      15. Chuck Berry – Me
      16. Yasunori Mitsuda & Yoko Shimomura – @unmanneddrone
      17. The Boss – @rocgaude
      18. Iris – @feenwager
      19. Dougie MacLean – @impynickers
      20. Nobuo Uematsu – @shingro
      21. Voldmars – @cgrajko
      22. The Sword – @bowlisimo
      23. VAST – @cgrajko
      24. Jack Wall & Sam Hulick – @rampantbicycle
      25. Stan Rogers – @bluesforbuddha
      26. Willie Nelson – Me

      Highlights for me includes Aesop Rock, Nujabes, Clutch, Alkaline Trio, Thin Lizzy, Voldmars and Stan Rogers. A great mix all together. Good job everyone!

    • mjpilon 3:41 am on March 7, 2012 Permalink

      Also Stan Rogers just screams out submission from a Canadian…. Props to my fellow Squaddie Canucks (I hope…) 😉

    • RedSwirl 4:04 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink

      Impressive guys. Didn’t think I’d revealed any of my Nujabes love to the Squad.

      The reason I chose that track was because to me, it felt like it was symbolizing the end of a very long journey, or something like that. I guess that kind of fit, given that the song is actually from his latest posthumous album: Spiritual State, which came out not too long before I submitted the song.

    • bowlisimo 1:45 am on March 8, 2012 Permalink

      @rocgaude @mjpilon How the hell did you guys peg me on Billy Joel so quickly?

    • sinfony 4:10 pm on March 9, 2012 Permalink

      Seems people think I like Mastodon a bit more than I actually do.

    • unmanneddrone 2:21 pm on March 11, 2012 Permalink

      Fellows, let me know when you want the BIG REVEAL!

    • feenwager 2:31 pm on March 11, 2012 Permalink

      Dew eet!

    • unmanneddrone 3:20 pm on March 11, 2012 Permalink

      I’ll let it go for another day…then I’ll pull back the curtains.

      Also, any guesses as to who submitted the theme?

    • mjpilon 12:24 am on March 12, 2012 Permalink

      I’ve got @bowlisimo for this one….

    • feenwager 12:33 am on March 12, 2012 Permalink

      I had @rampantbicycle pegged as submitting the theme.

    • unmanneddrone 2:50 am on March 12, 2012 Permalink

      Alright comrades, here comes an avalanche of truth!

      Get Out The Map – A @rampantbicycle Theme

      1. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis – @unmanneddrone
      2. Indigo Girls – @rampantbicycle
      3. Aesop Rock – @cgrajko
      4. Caspian – @sinfony
      5. Ken Nakagawa & Akiko Shikata – @shingro
      6. Billy Joel – @bowlisimo
      7. Nujabes – @redswir1
      8. Alkaline Trio – @feenwager
      9. Clutch – @rocgaude
      10. Mastadon – @cgrajko
      11. Thin Lizzy – @feenwager
      12. Yasunori Mitsuda – @rampanybicycle
      13. Ken Nakagawa & Noriko Mitose – @shingro
      14. David Newman – @bowlisimo
      15. Chuck Berry – @mjpilon
      16. Yasunori Mitsuda & Yoko Shimomura – @angryjedi
      17. The Boss – @beige
      18. Iris – @sinfony
      19. Dougie MacLean – @impynickers
      20. Nobuo Uematsu – @angryjedi
      21. Voldmars – @redswir1
      22. The Sword – @rocgaude
      23. VAST – @unmanneddrone
      24. Jack Wall & Sam Hulick – @impynickers
      25. Stan Rogers – @bluesforbuddha
      26. Willie Nelson – @mjpilon

      Thanks to @rampantbicycle for providing a great theme. It certainly catalysed a rather nice blend.

      My submissions, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ “The Proposition #1” and VAST’s “Land of Shame” are not too outlandish. @shingro wanted to know the reason for the opener, and his inference that it sounded like a funeral dirge is not terribly far from the mark, I suppose. It’s a track from the movie of the same name, set in the outback in colonial Australia. The difference between the oft-romanticised Wild West of America and Australia was one of opportunity; America a veritable breadbasket of good agricultural lands and resources. Australia, to this day, remains a desolate and unrelenting land of failure and quiet solemnity. Almost every inland explorer ended up dead. This track, for me, evokes an incredible sense of lonely traversal and uncertain fate.

      And the movie is incredible. Incidentally, the script was written by Cave, and both him and Ellis are part of Grinderman. Little bit of trivia.

      And VAST’s “Land of Shame”? Well. I think we can all work that one out.

    • feenwager 2:54 am on March 12, 2012 Permalink

      Finally! My contributions weren’t so obvious!

    • beige 1:13 pm on March 13, 2012 Permalink

      Ha! You just beat me to the punch Alex, but I had you pegged as Intro Man.

      I knew that my wife was the only person who would have dared submitted the Indigo Girls to a Squad mix (unless someone is hiding an additional X chromosome I don’t know about) and “old yellow map” etc.

      Calin’s inclusion into the mix means that identifying the origin of metal just got more complicated. I had a sense that Willie might also have been from MJ – don’t know why… just a hunch. Billy Joel and Bowley seem correct together as well.

      For my own tracks:
      “My father’s house” is a song that I’ve got several versions of in my music collection. If you asked me “I need a song about the feeling of being utterly lost with no way to find my way back home”… well, there you go. I’m a big fan of the ending, too… like Heart of Darkness you get a Hero Walking Away into a world where nothing will be right again. Love Bruce’s wailing on his acoustic/harmonica there. So raw.

      Stan Rogers? I think it speaks for itself. Since I’m not the only one to submit nautical themed songs for our map compilation I think there’s probably something in the message of manly men singing acapella (!) about freezing to death in the Northwest Passage that is appropriate for this mix. Glad that we had Willie Nelson to cap off the mix though – I was slapping my head as soon as I saw that with a “I shoulda thought of this!” moment.

      In general, the Map Mix was exactly what I was hoping for. Breezy, ramblin’ road music appropriate for cruising down route 66 or wherever with the top down and a diner on the horizon. I’m continually impressed at the Squad’s musical acumen as well as our ability to tailor certain flavors to taste. Your feelings on folk music may vary, but with each one of these down I just get more excited about the next one. Great job everybody!

    • unmanneddrone 1:39 pm on March 13, 2012 Permalink

      Indeed, a fine job on every front. I mentioned this to @mjpilon prior that I do feel a bit self-conscious about providing the opener, but it didn’t really fit anywhere else without kinda killing the flow. If we were to sniff the cork slightly, maybe the title is somewhat thematically fitting…

      …the proposition, Squad, is get off the beaten track – either physically or metaphorically.

      And to follow that up, @rampantbicycle proffers the real kickstart with her fine choice.

      @beige I hope that Springsteen version was alright! Magic stuff.

      In a month or whenever folks’ feel like saying ‘now is the time’, I’ll unveil the next Squaddie-submitted theme and we’ll create another cracking mix.

      This next theme will be rather interesting…

    • cgrajko 6:50 pm on March 13, 2012 Permalink

      First of all, the phrase “get out the map” is way more evocative than it has any right being. @unmanneddrone nailed it: @rampantbicycle had a brilliant choice for the theme.

      My mind went in a lot of different directions when I saw the theme we were using. I initially thought about the type of songs that I would put in a road trip mix, but I worried that would be a bit too obvious for the type of high-brow, ultra-mosaic thinking necessary for The Squad. (Which, I was definitely right about, because there are some brilliant choices here.) So, I thought about the different possibilities for which one would “get out the map,” and I was torn between the idea that we need to get out the map because we’re lost/confused/taking off/etc… and the idea that we’re getting out some bad ass dusty old map to look for treasure (a la The Goonies or something).

      Ultimately, I chose one song for each possibility. The Aesop Rock song, “Skip Town,” was the first one that I decided had to be one of my two choices regardless of whatever else I chose or which direction I wanted to head. A lot of the lyrics here are based around the idea of transition and providing gravity for various moments in time. There isn’t a narrative, per se, it’s more of a post-modern exploration of what it means to travel and be in the mental space in which you need to travel. (As a sidenote, I love the way this guy uses language. He seems to repurpose and invert common phrases in really clever ways, and it makes me want to take a super active role when I’m listening.) I also assumed that a lot of people would include tracks that evoke the desert and wide open spaces, so I wanted something with a bit more of an urban, cityscape feel to it. The image on the cover for the mix is almost exactly what I envisioned when I chose this track.

      The Mastodon track was designed to evoke the idea of an epic adventure. The drums in the slower parts felt very Indiana Jones/Uncharted to me, and made me feel like I needed to have the map out in order to navigate my way through hostile territory. The spoken word part is actually a bit of a cop-out for me, as it ties it up a little too nice, thematically, but Blood Mountain, the album this track came from, is a concept album based around a journey. (To be fair, like three of Mastodon’s albums are about journeys: Leviathan is about Moby Dick, Blood Mountain is about an epic adventure to find a crystal skull, and Crack the Skye is about astral travel tied with Rasputin era Russian mysticism.)

      If anyone’s curious, I had some more folk/acoustic tinged songs that did not make the cut for one reason or another. I was going to submit “Road to Joy” or “Another Travelin’ Song” by Bright Eyes, but I ultimately decided not to submit either. I also almost submitted “Freddie Freeloader” by Miles Davis, but I figured that was a bit cliche and probably a bit too long.

    • mjpilon 3:23 am on March 14, 2012 Permalink

      My selections:

      To be honest, I had a heck of a time finding songs for this theme initially. In my mind, “get out the map” brought up Indiana Jones, Uncharted or some tropical adventure. I searched my music library for songs that evoke those franchises/ images but came up blank. Note that for these mixes, I try to stick to songs I actually have and avoid soundtrack music – I feel that is almost too easy depending on the theme, so I like the effort required to find other tracks to evoke the themes.

      After nothing came up, I froze for a while trying to find what I was looking. Then, my iPhone shuffle brought me to Route 66. Ding Ding Ding! Suddenly my view of the theme switched and it went to road trip and car rides. Nothing like this classic Chuck Berry hit to evoke that feeling. Just love this song. Suddenly, a bunch of songs came to mine although none as amazing as @Feenwager’s Movin’ Right Along (that song has been my go-to for about a week now…. and I am now looking for copies of the Muppet movies to watch as result). I ended up picking “On My Road Again’ because let’s be honest, it just HAD to be there and I guessed most of the Squad would avoid such an obvious choice.

      Just for fun, I consider C. W. McCall’s “Convoy” as a cheesy alternative for the mix but figured it was hard to drop either Willie Nelson or Chuck Berry just to ham it up some 😉

    • beige 1:26 pm on March 14, 2012 Permalink

      I came close to both ‘convoy’ and ‘truckin’ by the Grateful Dead except for the fact that ultimately neither of those are actually in my music collection. Try to stick to things that are actually representative.

      Movin’ right along was Jeff? Fucking fantastic.

    • RedSwirl 12:16 pm on March 15, 2012 Permalink

      Now that we all know, I don’t think I have to point out the pretty obvious title to my Voldmars track. Strangely though, both of my submissions, to me, each feels like the end of its own journey, each one a different journey.

      In the case of the Voldmars track, kind of like a hip hop version of Dorothy triumphantly dancing her way home with the gang… or some weird shit like that. The song also reminds me of a racing movie that recently came out and I don’t really know why. So there.

    • Shingro 4:32 pm on March 15, 2012 Permalink

      Ah, so much good music.

      For myself I was stumped for ages since I’d just submitted Utada Hikaru’s “Traveling” to the previous mix which would have been a shoe in for this. So weeks down the line I suddenly had that ‘oh man, video game themed board ‘get out the map’ Map musics! And from there it suddenly became incredibly hard to decide.

      In the end I cut things down to the music that I would actually ‘get out the map’ just to hear (enter that zone, go to the overworld, etc.) Chrono Trigger’s Corridors of Time is one such theme, Persona 3 and 4’s map music is another (Signs of Love, When the Moon’s Reaching out to the Stars, Etc.)

      The theme that plays in Croche’s Heart of Gaea is my easily my absolute favorite (Even if I liked Luca’s route better =P) That heartbeat at the start, and the wild piano solo, then the breathy vocals in Hymnos afterwards, for ages walking to work in the winter snow that song gave me the shivers =) (pretty sure that was the song at least, it does get a tad cold up here >_>)

      If I stuck to that theme my second would have easily been The World Ends with You’s Deja Vu http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF_Q6nL1AoI I loved it enough to set that to main map music and I’ve played through TWEWY at least 3 times now

      … but I started thinking theoretical again, and wanted to add a theme that really transported me to another place when I heard it and since I was already in Ar Tonelico 2 land my favorite character in there MirJakuri’s theme whenever you visited her in camp put me in mind of strange Arabian, desert locations with sand and tents and whatnot. Like her the theme is strange and somewhat alien yet unique and interesting. So I had to include it as well

    • Shingro 4:33 pm on March 15, 2012 Permalink

      Also, I’m greatly amused that @mjpilon managed to exactly switch all of Pete and my music selections =D

    • mjpilon 4:24 am on March 16, 2012 Permalink

      At least I got close…. I am right? :p

  • unmanneddrone 5:22 pm on March 2, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: A Few Acres of Snow,   

    @mjpilon Well, you are the very man for the job! It is now your mandate to get a little drafting/deck-building colonial skirmishing antics injected into your Catan sessions. Tell your fellows it’s a matter of honour.

    I dare not check the price of AFAOS, but it might be a little on the pricey side.

  • feenwager 1:50 am on March 2, 2012 Permalink

    @mjpilon I think putting the lists in a separate area for reference is a good call. If I knew how to do that, I would.

  • feenwager 3:55 pm on February 23, 2012 Permalink  

    @mjpilon I think you’re describing the best-case and most benign scenario for used games. In this argument I agree, used games aren’t killing the industry. I don’t think any of us know how much the “buy it 4 days later for 5 bucks less” version is hurting things, though.

    What I’m saying is that it must be taking a significant bite for all of this to be going on.

  • unmanneddrone 5:44 am on February 22, 2012 Permalink  

    @mjpilon Locked and loaded, brother. Your tracks are in the marshalling yards. Cheers for that!

  • bowlisimo 5:01 pm on February 20, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro @mjpilon Hmm, I’ll probably just do an early game with Pete and a late game with you guys if you want around 10 EST.

  • beige 3:05 pm on February 16, 2012 Permalink  

    @bowlisimo Yeah, I agree. On one hand, butt graphics and homebrew physics. On the other hand, up to 8 (EIGHT) fine Squad gentleman stuck in a Zombie apocolypse trading bon mots and leaving each other for the crows. The elevator just proved that adding multiple Squaddies to an online experience can elevate (hah!) any experience with our particular brand of wry wit. Perhaps with this and Dear Esther we can finally do that Half-Life Mods show.

    @mjpilon This is Emperor Palpetine doing a slow clap. Good, goooood. Interestingly, with your particular playthrough you’re saving the best for last, progressively. If you’ve come this far, you will enjoy. I guarantee.

    It’s a good long Squadcast with lots of chin wagging but we do spoil the sheeit out of basically every part of the game.

  • beige 2:46 pm on February 10, 2012 Permalink  

    I assume that some of us have put our money where our mouth is and ponied up the $15 to Tim? I have. Now, someone just gotta get on that Kickstarter and make Star Control 3 for real.

    @mjpilon Congrats on Chrono Trigger. You are now officially a better man. Much like you, I didn’t play it until way way past the time that the novelty had worn off for the most part but I certainly agree that it deserves its place in the videogame hall of fame for defining the archetype of the JRPG.

    I was living in Australia (I think) supernintendoless during the years when CT was making the rounds, which also caused me to miss Final Fantasy III (VI) when it was current. I’ve since rectified this problem. Those mid 90s were some great times for spritebased Japan — I wonder what happened to them. Kind of seems like somehow they hit an evolutionary wall along the line, though good RPGs were coming out for the DS and PSP right up until about 2009 or so. As mentioned by Calin, outside of Lost Oddyssey (and Ni No Kuni?) the JRPG has been notably absent in the current generation, not counting Personae released on PS2 hardware. I’ve always kinda believed it had something to do with the vast amount of $$$ it takes to create art assets for those WORLD SPANNING adventures compared to just cranking out textures for ShooterX. Japan though, what do I know, I’m just talking out of my ass. For all I know they’re still making great games (*cough Xenoblade) and then just refusing to translate or naturalize them for the west. Get Kickstarter on that shizz pronto. Fan translation of Snatcher HD. Think about it.

    Here’s some motivation for MJ courtesy of the 1400+ strong (I say again, 1400+!!!) image thread going on over at Know Your Meme.

  • ckim 7:00 am on February 10, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Final Fantasy VI, Phantasy Star   

    @mjpilon I played Chrono Trigger after the fact, although not quite as after the fact as playing it in 2012, and I am inclined to agree. My first exposure to the game was via the PSX version that came out with Final Fantasy IV. I’m told it’s a piece of shit and has terrible loading times, but I didn’t notice since I didn’t play the SNES version.

    At any rate, I agree that there is a lot to like. The combination attacks are done very well, and I feel like the whole “avoiding a fight by seeing enemies on the map” thing is just now getting the respect that it deserves. (Super Mario RPG did this as well, so you seem to have chosen well with your forays in to JRPGs.)

    Depending on what you liked about Chrono Trigger, I’m happy to offer a few recommendations. If the idea of combo attacks appealed to you, I would recommend Phantasy Star IV. It’s widely regarded as among the best 16 Bit RPGs, and it’s probably the only one that cracks the upper echelons and came out on the Genesis. I view it as the culmination of everything that was great about JRPGs of that era, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a devout worshiper of the first four Phantasy Star games. It gives you an interesting cast of characters, just like Chrono Trigger, but unlike Chrono Trigger you don’t have quite as much choice in who you use throughout the game. Though, this does change towards the end. The only downside I can point to, at least in terms of your post, is that you will probably forced to grind levels in a few places. It’s not as brutal of a grind as something like the original Phantasy Star or Phantasy Star II, but there are definitely some places where you won’t be able to afford new equipment without walking around in circles for an hour or two. It is, however, a pretty dope combination of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and I can recommend it for that alone.

    If you haven’t played it yet, Final Fantasy VI offers an almost overwhelmingly large number of characters to choose from, and the second half of the game is basically “go wherever you want, find adventure, make friends and influence people.” It’s probably the most open-world of all the FF games, if that appeals to you at all. FFVI is also generally considered the highpoint of JRPGs on the SNES (though some people would probably argue Chrono Trigger.)

    If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, there have been slim pickings for console RPGs this generation. Lost Odyssey is the only one I can point to and say that it’s worth playing, but it’s very much a traditional JRPG wrapped up in a pretty package. It does have very cool stories, though.

    Final Fantasy XIII has an extremely gratifying battle system, but a lot of people hate it, and the battle system doesn’t open up to its full potential for a long, long time.

  • impynickers 8:00 am on February 6, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Waiting on SCP till the opportune moment of quiet darkness. I am quite curious… though unaware of exactly what it is. I love surprises.

    So I have Resistance 3 on rental, and have been couch co-oping the game. The oddest thing about that experience is the classic random 2nd player that is never referenced in the story, and actually has to merge into the main character in order to open doors. My player 2 and I have devised a rather comprehensive subplot for what we consider a figment of our main characters imagination. It is a strange design choice, especially since there is almost always a story based A.I character with you throughout the game. You would think that player 2 would assume one of those roles. Our theory about the character being imaginary took an even bigger twist when we realized in one on rails part that we were in a motorized cart that had no apparent driver and we were both shooting at an oncoming monster. So… who was driving? Another Imaginary individual no doubt. The imaginary 2nd player has a big beard and looks like he is hiding something. If I find out what it is I will tell you.

    In other news, I finally pre-ordered Natural Selection 2 to play the beta. Their new trailer worked.
    (I encourage others to watch it) Holy shoot is the game ever great though.
    No other game really makes me feel the teamwork vibe quite like NS. Commanders barking orders, team mates looking out for one another. All the lovely upgrades. I wasn’t very good at the original, but seem to be better coordinated this time around. There are some user friendliness tweaks, and of course not everything is in the game yet. Balancing can be a little off in the beta, but that is due to its… betaness. I cannot wait for the final release. Once it hits steam I hope it gets the attention of the larger community, because this game deserves it.

    @mjpilon Good job man. A classic for sure. What is next?

  • impynickers 3:59 am on January 17, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @Redswirl I never beat XIII. I believe there are 13 chapters, I think I stopped around 9.
    The battle system was cool, true, but everything else was so flamboyantly uninteresting. If that is possible.

    @mjpilon Chrono Trigger took me almost 30 hours, but a normal JRPG player could probably do it in under 25. I am the smell the roses type sometimes. Great game.

  • unmanneddrone 2:28 am on January 7, 2012 Permalink

    @angryjedi I’m in love with Pierce, for his delicious and refreshing politically incorrect outlook.

    And Britta. For turning it into a snake.

    EDIT: @mjpilon Sir, I don’t know if it’s up your alley or not, but considering you’re a Civ fan and have more than a few strategic metatarsels in your body, Three Moves Ahead is a great podcast on strategy games and boardgames. Been listening since the fuzzy beginning, and with new and improved production values, Rob Zacny, Julian Murdoch (of Gamers With Jobs – another decent podcast), old host Troy Goodfellow and the occasional appearances by Bruce Geryk and Tom Chick, make for a great panel in discussing not only particular strategy games, but the greater strategy realm. Things like a focused show on diplomacy, on end games, the role of the tutorial in the genre etc. etc., as well as having guests on – like Randall Bills, old Battletech hand to discuss the boardgame, the lore and whatnot, or Brian Reynolds or Vic Davis.

  • RocGaude 7:44 pm on January 6, 2012 Permalink

    @mjpilon I’d be happy to oblige:


    • Giant Bombcast – It’s my gaming “comfort food” podcast. I’ve listened to these guys since the HotSpot days and have always liked hearing Gerstmann’s opinions on games. Having added Klepeck last year, they have the strongest regular lineup of any gaming podcast right now.
    • Irrational Podcasts – Hands down the highest quality shit out there. The shows are produced by Shawn Elliot, Chris Remo, & Ken Levine, all of whom “get” podcasting and are always cool to listen to. While the shows don’t come out very regularly, every one is worth listening to and makes you proud to be a gaming enthusiast.


    • This is Only a Test – As long as Gary Whitta’s on the show, it’s as close to the Brodeo as it gets out there. Fun tech show that’s not too nerdy and most of their guests are great, too.

    I still listen to an episode or two of some other shows (8-4 is notable but way too heavy on Japanese gaming for me) but I mostly just tune in if they have a good guest who rarely does podcasts anymore (most notably the old Ziff crew) or if there’s a big reveal on it.

    While I appreciate Garnett saying nice things about us from time to time on Weekend Confirmed, the show itself is just too “LA” for my taste. I think Xav brings the best input to the show by far. I used to really like Canata’s take on games but he’s fallen out of favor with me and I can’t remember why.

    One last thing, I used to go on and on about G4TV’s Feedback but now the show is falling on hard times. Although Sessler was replaced by the very competent Blair Herter, the quality of the guests is really spotty. Based on the things said on the show and on Sessler’s Soapbox, I think the network is going downhill fast. I fully expect Sessler to leave soon and hopefully to a better place for him to do his thing at.

  • RedSwirl 5:52 am on January 6, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    @mjpilon If you ain’t in Bayonetta then you might just need to get out right now. That’s pretty much the sole reason why it was one of my top games of that year.

    @bowlismo Whoa whoah whoah… you DID sit through the credits of each Metal Gear game right?! RIGHT?!

    Anyway, I don’t know what came over me with these last couple days of Skyrim. I decided to reroll my character and got to nearly level 20 (the same level as my last character) in two days. I think I’m ready to take another “break” though since I’ve arrived at a quest where I’ll have to walk a long goddamn way through the frozen northern wastes where I know about 1,000 sidequests are waiting for me. I really need to find a way to play Bethesda games in small bites instead of life-destroying chunks.

  • bowlisimo 4:07 pm on December 21, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    @mjpilon @beige Can either of you explain why I wouldn’t get Riddler bullshit in Arkham Asylum, wouldn’t get flags in AC1, but did get bandages in Super Meat Boy and feathers in AC2, cause I can’t.

    I’m shooting Kerotans in MGS3 and I don’t *really* know why (that game is awesome, btw, maybe that’s why).

  • beige 2:45 pm on December 21, 2011 Permalink  

    Secret Santa payload is in the air, ho ho ho. Games incoming.

    @mjpilon For me it’s a very hit-or-miss kind of thing where the reward for effort has to be commensurate with the work necessary to achieve said reward. Recent example: Batman AC in which I surprised myself by actually putting in the legwork necessary to round up all (or most) of the 400-or-so riddler/catwoman trophies.

    In the case of Batman the argument was certainly augmented by the fact that I only have very few games not in storage right now, but that aside my pattern went like this: Want to catch Riddler, want to see more story and peek inside whatever SAW-style skinner boxes the developers have cooked up. As soon as I actually CAUGHT the Riddler, all interest in rounding up the (probably less than 15) remaining trophies dried up completely. I doubt that I’ll ever go back and get them.

    This seems to be pretty solid evidence that Beige will walk a mile for narrative progression but won’t get up off the couch for the unlocking of an achievement. Ironic I guess since the achievement is totally public knowledge and the knowledge of these new rooms and cutscenes is something only I experience. If you need a reason to explain our motivations, there you go.

  • unmanneddrone 2:27 pm on December 16, 2011 Permalink

    @angryjedi @rampantbicycle @beige @mjpilon Awesome. Fine Squaddies laying down the inspiration.

    In the case of subsequent Squad Music Mixes, to avoid monopolising and perhaps marginalising tastes on account of theme, I’ve set up another submission form specifically for theme names. Once you’ve submitted a theme, I’ll randomise the submissions and we’ll move through the theme list with each subsequent mix.

    So, go HERE to submit your themes. To add another element of guesswork to the proceedings, the theme’s creator will stay anonymous and be unveiled along with the names of folks with their submissions.

    Cut-off for theme submissions is…hell…when all folks submit their theme, but the sooner the better, for planning and assembly’s sake. Oh, and @rampantbicycle, we’ll throw your covers request in there, but do submit another theme in the spirit of post-mix counter-espionage antics.

  • RedSwirl 12:42 pm on December 12, 2011 Permalink

    @mjpilon Nope. Way off bro.

  • impynickers 1:36 am on December 12, 2011 Permalink  

    @mjpilon I use a 360 wireless receiver I bought on ebay. You can get them really cheap on there.

    In terms of your guess…..
    Aint me bro. Though it is stylin’. *Puts on Sunglasses*
    *lights cigarette* *raspy voice* Your on the right track kid, but you need to dig deeper. */raspy voice*
    I may not be the master of cryptic messages, but someone could still get me in the end. Ill be waiting.

  • RedSwirl 11:37 pm on December 11, 2011 Permalink  

    @mjpilon Recently I’ve seen wireless 360 controllers sold with the PC adapters, branded as PC pad. Had to find one hidden in the corner of a computer section at Best Buy though. I had to get my adapter off eBay (or Play N’ Trade I think). Maybe Microsoft might sell them directly?

  • Pete Davison 5:20 pm on December 11, 2011 Permalink

    @mjpilon The Play and Charge kit doesn’t work for connecting a wireless Xbox controller to a PC, particularly if you have an Xbox in the nearby vicinity. You need the official wireless USB thingy.

    Wired controllers work with no problems, though.

    Anyone around for DunDef later tonight then?

  • unmanneddrone 4:16 am on December 8, 2011 Permalink

    @mjpilon Fixed. I umm’d and ahh’d over the space between, but upon your guidance, did a quick reworking. But yeah, a crazy mix! Enjoy, sir.

  • RocGaude 8:09 pm on December 6, 2011 Permalink |

    After years of talking about it, let’s finally start the yearly “Squad Santa” tradition. This will be a great way to endulge in some holiday spirit with our fellow Squaddies for $15 or less.

    Our cheap fu is very strong…

    Here’s how it works:

    • State your interest to participate here by Sunday, December 11th..
    • Send your Steam name and email address to me at: chris [dot] whittington [at] gmail [dot] com.
    • Stock up your Steam and/or GOG “wish lists” so that the person who gets your name will know what you want.
    • On Monday, December 12th, a non-participant (Mrs. RocGaude) will unanimously draw one name from a hat for each participant.

    …and that’s it. Please be sure to have all gifts sent out by January 1st!

    Note: We recommend sticking to Steam and/or GOG when gifting. Shipping costs suck.

    Happy gifting!

    • Pete Davison 9:48 pm on December 6, 2011 Permalink

      I will be participating!

    • RocGaude 10:05 pm on December 6, 2011 Permalink

      Thanks, @angryjedi! Also in the mix (as far as I know) are:


    • bowlisimo 11:02 pm on December 6, 2011 Permalink

      Yep, I’m in.

      I’d like to add that you can totally ignore a wishlist if you’re confident enough. Surprises are good.

      Also, it looks like you can buy Microsoft space bucks over Amazon and get a game code there. Just in case you get @feenwager.

    • unmanneddrone 11:13 pm on December 6, 2011 Permalink

      I’m in, but the issue with Steam and whatnot is it doesn’t accept card details when I’m ordering, due to being outside of the country of account registration. So…I dunno…I might have to resort to airmail or something. My goods and chattels usually are the product of a pan-Pacific trade system, so it skips the card issues.

      Still, will do my best or see what I can dig up.

    • Shingro 11:22 pm on December 6, 2011 Permalink

      I’m in~ you actually know my steam name already, how convenient!

    • mjpilon 4:15 am on December 7, 2011 Permalink

      I’m in! So happy I’m actually a working man now because I can actually afford to do this 😀

    • feenwager 5:21 pm on December 7, 2011 Permalink

      Definitely count me in. If GoG & Steam are the choices, GoG definitely has a more sensible wish list for me.

    • impynickers 5:48 pm on December 7, 2011 Permalink

      Yes! I am in too! Sounds awesome.

    • impynickers 5:50 pm on December 7, 2011 Permalink

      Oh and my Steam is currently Mr.Nickers while GOG remains ImpyNickers.

    • A.J. 5:02 pm on December 8, 2011 Permalink

      Put me in, coach!

    • cgrajko 8:36 pm on December 8, 2011 Permalink

      I’m in. I haven’t been on here in a while (something that I intend to rectify), but you all are about the only game enthusiasts I can handle these days.

    • RocGaude 9:28 pm on December 8, 2011 Permalink

      Attention everyone!!: Once the picks have been made, I will share everyone’s Steam handle so that they can “friend” everyone that’s participating. This way, we’ll all be able to see what each other owns and what we have on our “wish lists”. Duplicate gifts be damned!

      UPDATE: FYI, I’ll post the handles here and on the Steam group.

    • Shingro 6:05 am on December 12, 2011 Permalink

      Oh hey, one more while I’m thinking about it, I think it’d be fun considering our retro roots
      “Best game of 2011 that wasn’t made in 2011” : The game from another year that you had the most fun with in 2011

    • Shingro 6:34 am on December 12, 2011 Permalink

      ah hell wrong thread >_<

    • RocGaude 7:21 pm on December 12, 2011 Permalink

      …and that’s a wrap! From what I’ve been told by Mrs. Roc, the names have been selected and the emails have went out. If you didn’t get one, let me know and I’ll pass that along to her.

      FYI, GOG’s huge holiday sale just went live! If you want to gift your Squaddie up early, that’s a good place to go!

      UPDATE: If you want your GOG wishlist to be shown, go here for tips: http://bit.ly/GOGWishlistShare

      Please be sure to friend each other en masse over at Steam. Here are the handles there:

      Angry Jedi
      CMWhittington (rocgaude) [GOG Wishlist: http://www.gog.com/en/mix/rocgaude_wishlist%5D


      Along with gifting them a game they want, why not gift them one they wouldn’t necessarily have asked for? Better yet, how about a BAD one? I, for one, would LOVE to hear some “discovery/horror” stories here on the SquawkBox.

    • feenwager 8:06 pm on December 12, 2011 Permalink

      I don’t gots no email.

    • RocGaude 8:14 pm on December 12, 2011 Permalink

      Should be fixed.

    • impynickers 2:54 am on December 13, 2011 Permalink

      If a curious party wants to browse, here it is.

    • cgrajko 6:40 am on December 13, 2011 Permalink

      My collection: http://www.gog.com/en/mix/loveisunity_wishlist_1

      My wishlist: http://www.gog.com/en/mix/loveisunity_wishlist

      I also have a Steam wishlist.

      I will also definitely (definitely) be providing my santee with a bad game. I have one in mind already.

    • Shingro 4:35 pm on December 13, 2011 Permalink

      http://www.gog.com/en/mix/shingro <— Wishlist
      http://www.gog.com/en/mix/shingro_collection <— collection
      is what I ended up with o_O hopefully it works out! =) Actually I'm very curious about games I DON'T know, I kinda wish there was a way to indicate to the squad that I'd actually sorta prefer they surprise me o_O

    • bowlisimo 4:37 pm on December 13, 2011 Permalink

      Hey Santa, if you’re going milk & cookies old school style, here’s what I already have on GoG. Don’t judge me, a lot of those games were free.


      No wishlist, I surrender myself to your whim.

    • bowlisimo 4:41 pm on December 13, 2011 Permalink

      Nothing like a bad game to clog up your Steam library for the rest of eternity.

    • Pete Davison 5:15 pm on December 13, 2011 Permalink

    • impynickers 8:22 pm on December 13, 2011 Permalink

      Finally gathered my gog collection, incase people wanted to know

    • cptcarnage 6:32 pm on December 15, 2011 Permalink

      Thanks go out to LoveIsUnity! (not sure who that is on here LOL)

      Orcs must now be slain! WOOT!

    • cptcarnage 6:39 pm on December 15, 2011 Permalink

      Now my only problem is my recipient doesn’t have his GOG wish list posted.

    • cgrajko 6:49 pm on December 15, 2011 Permalink

      That would be me. I thought I included my real name as well, but I guess I didn’t. Whoops. Also, I need your gog info for… reasons…

    • cgrajko 6:56 pm on December 15, 2011 Permalink

      I received my gift as well today. I’m not going to say who sent it, since this is a small group, and it would be easy to start drawing connections, but my amazing Squad Santa sent me a copy of Penumbra: Black Plague. It was pretty much the perfect gift, and it is greatly appreciated.

    • impynickers 6:36 pm on December 16, 2011 Permalink

      My recipient has also not posted wishlists for either GOG or on Steam. No biggie. If it is not posted by Sunday I will get all creative on them.

    • unmanneddrone 12:17 am on December 17, 2011 Permalink

      My mad-long list of wishes from Steam for a Santa on overwatch: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198036229874/wishlist/

    • rampantbicycle 10:47 pm on December 17, 2011 Permalink

      GOG Wishlist: http://www.gog.com/en/mix/rampantbicycle_wishlist

      Steam wishlist also available – my steam ID is, unsurprisingly, rampantbicycle.

      (And then, surprises are fun too.)

      Now to shop for my own santee…hmm…wait a bit for sales? Or forge ahead?

    • cptcarnage 4:19 pm on December 19, 2011 Permalink

      Still waiting on a GOG wishlist from my squad santa, or i’ll have to resort to using Steam 😉

    • unmanneddrone 12:39 am on December 20, 2011 Permalink

      Good Lord, this was a mission on the phone – away from other netizenry today – but I set up a GoG wishlist:


      Hope that also aids my Santee.

    • unmanneddrone 11:34 am on December 20, 2011 Permalink

      On the arse-end of a Christmas season wisdom tooth stab, grab, twist and pop, so imagine coming home with a creaky and semi-leaky jaw to find out a slice of Squad Santa goodness bestowed upon me.

      The best kind of squad Santa is, indeed, the @feenwager kind of Santa. Merry Christmas and many thanks.

    • rampantbicycle 5:24 pm on December 20, 2011 Permalink


      My Squad Santa (whose identity I will hide a little bit longer, to preserve the mystery for others…) got me a lovely gift box o’scary things – with a sweet little puzzle-game chaser. Om nom nom! Very excited to play with them all, as soon as I can secure a nice quiet winter night to do so.

      Merry Christmas (or other winter holiday of choice), everybody! ❤

    • bowlisimo 6:53 pm on December 20, 2011 Permalink

      What’d you get what’d you get what’dyou get

    • rampantbicycle 7:04 pm on December 20, 2011 Permalink

      I got a Penumbra twinset (so to speak), a remastered Sherlock Holmes: The Awakening, and Puzzle Bots! Looking forward to trying them!

    • bowlisimo 7:57 pm on December 20, 2011 Permalink

      Good spread! Santa did his homework.

    • mjpilon 3:46 am on December 21, 2011 Permalink

      I received my initial gift – so called The Gift of Christmas Past (with the obvious implication that there are others to come… either way LOVE the creativity here)… a very interesting selection of Amnesia: the Dark Descent. Not a game I had on my list but always wanted to try. Much thanks to Santa on that inspired choice

    • RocGaude 5:21 am on December 21, 2011 Permalink

      Let it be known that my Squad Santa is a bad ass with excellent taste. Much love and appreciation for my gift, Civ V. Can’t wait to fire up some matches (and finish at least one of them)!

    • unmanneddrone 12:58 pm on December 21, 2011 Permalink

      That is one trusty Santa.

    • bowlisimo 10:16 pm on December 28, 2011 Permalink

      My wonderful Squad Santa (the one and only @unmanneddrone) bought me an actual thing and sent it around the planet, how’s that for awesome? The package was ringed with an ancient Eastern script that could only be brought out by the precise, windy coldness of Connecticut in December, and the grimey gloves of a US Postal worker. I have no idea what it said, but I’m sure it was sage and profound.

      Thanks UMD! You know me better than I thought. I’ll be sure to fend off “the Huns” over a cup of hot chocolate this winter, wherever they try to goosestep.

    • RocGaude 2:41 am on December 29, 2011 Permalink

      Indeed. For the record, my Squad Santa was the great @mjpilon. You are the man, sir!

    • unmanneddrone 9:21 am on December 29, 2011 Permalink

      My pleasure, Bowley! Hop you dig it. Would love to hear a compare/contrast between CoH and MoW:AS. Enjoy the chaos!

    • mjpilon 3:52 pm on December 29, 2011 Permalink

      I aim to please 🙂 Let it be know that the awesome @Bowlismo has now provided me with the same gift, so some East Coast – West Coast battles are in order 🙂

  • bowlisimo 4:03 pm on December 6, 2011 Permalink  

    @rocgaude Amen to that. I’ve definitely been on the receiving end of some amazing squad generosity these past few years. I’m very grateful. Good people here, for sure.

    Along those lines, is there any interest in a “Squad Santa” kind of gift exchange for the holiday? You know, people who want to can sign up and randomly get assigned someone’s name to buy something from PSN/XBLA/Steam for, say, 15 dollars or less. Just a thought.

    @Feenwager Good point. It’ll have to be on the back burner for a while, but I won’t forget it.

    @mjpilon Keep us updated. I decided to stop watching the E.R. to do the same thing eventually.

  • Shingro 3:16 am on December 6, 2011 Permalink

    @mjpilon pish tosh sir, ‘Tis the season and all that jazz… Just figured I’d spread the Xmas cheer a bit =P

    Good luck on that CT, Wonderful game. Not a lot of media holds up decades after it was made, but CT I think does in spades

    Also: sorry for being somewhat absent, projects and moving put a bit of a dent in my time

  • RedSwirl 10:27 pm on December 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @bowlisimo @feenwager @mjpilon I say go for it. I didn’t get to play Chrono Trigger until the DS version came out either. Even though I only made it a little ways into it until taking an indefinite break (that happens a lot with me and handheld RPGs), that game made me wonder what the fuck was wrong with every JRPG that had come out since.

    Seriously. CT on the DS felt like a JRPG that had been made that year (2009 I think). It wasn’t just the care with which they ported it to the DS (touchscreen UI is perfect), but a lot of the core design felt more progressive than most of the JRPGs I played on the PS2, and this game came out in 1995. The combat system feels fluid, the exploration is smooth, and the narrative is quite dynamic with around a dozen endings. When people keep talking about how JRPGs are old fashioned, they commonly talk about how most of them still haven’t surpassed Chrono Trigger.

    I don’t know if I’ve talked about it here, but one of the issues with JRPGs (and maybe Japanese games in general) is that they don’t iterate off of their peers a whole lot. Over here, Halo will come out and now every shooter since follows that game’s basic UI framework – regenerating health, grenade button, etc. Gears comes out and we got cover systems and horde mode everywhere. Our developers recognize an evolving general “language”. If JRPG developers had all learned from CT and iterated off of that game back in the 90’s we wouldn’t be complaining about them so much today.

  • unmanneddrone 5:58 am on October 10, 2011 Permalink

    @mjpilon Indeed! I was waiting for @beige and whoever else wanted to throw down their guesses, but I can do that in the next day or so.

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