Updates from November, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • unmanneddrone 11:55 am on November 29, 2012 Permalink  

    Welcome to the Squadron of Sale! Good to see a lot of hard…and well, comparatively easy sales being made. Just glad a few folks leapt aboard the Cargo Commander business. It is a joy.

    @beige Oh, indeed. Farming Simulator 2013…outside of being industrial vehicle pornography – consider it research material – the game milks that same dopamine teat stroked by the Harvest Moons and Animal Crossings of this world, minus the marriage proposals and raccoon mafioso respectively.

    I mean, just latch your orbs onto that trailer! I half expected a moustachioed Franz Mueller to walk towards the camera to introduce this week’s episode of EuroFarm and the unveiling of the new Krone wheat header. “Willkommen, unt haf ve got a great show in store!” he says, a shiny Case plough-rig turning clods in the background. This show, and the host, are sadly figments of imagination.

    There’s online co-op, if anyone picks it up and feels like shunting a Porsche bailer around a paddock while I turn a field for the canola crop. One of those curiosities that the German PC developer environment could not only make and sustain, but have a serious fanbase to the point of oodles of mods being available for the game.

    I do go to a fair few agricultural shows, but like you’d expect, we’re not dealing with the American midwest or the Australian wheat basin…so the hardware is pocket-sized for the most part – discounting earthworks machinery. Paddy planters and rice combine harvesters, tea picking caterpillar tractors and such. Certainly very specified gear, but the size of the big Western rigs is magical, perhaps even romantic. I certainly love to wander about these contemporary feats of industrial engineering whenever I get a chance.

    @cgrajko @shingro It’d be great to get some EYE co-op in, but it’s so hard to snag uninterrupted stretches of gaming these days, compounded by our time differences. Would love to, though, so perhaps if I can get a weekend to myself over the Christmas/New Year period, we can hack gothically…as the French seem to insist we must.

  • RedSwirl 6:11 am on November 20, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro I’m just sayin’, game critics spend a lot of time paying attention to the games, not the inner workings of the hardware they run on. Eventually after they’ve analyzed enough games they get a feeling of what the average game on that platform looks like, but I haven’t seen very many wax poetic about WHY one console is more powerful than another.

    Even everything they know about Microsoft’s and Sony’s policies with downloadable games comes from the news stories they write, not any “inside experience” with them, at least not to the extent of the developers actually trying to release digital games. The most a game critic can really give you on a “hardware review” is the feel of the controller and the OS. Those people in the past have been very wrong on more than one occasion when it comes to the future of a platform’s game library.

  • RedSwirl 4:38 am on November 20, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro Tech critics. @angryjedi said it best when he said that tech heads are more suited to review cameras than photographers. Well actually, a photographer reviewing a camera is probably more akin to a developer reviewing a game console, which actually sounds like something I’d want to read. I guess the equivalent of what we’re seeing here is like a photo art critic reviewing a camera. He should only review the art made with that hardware, not the hardware itself.

  • unmanneddrone 12:57 am on October 28, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @shingro Sounds a hell of a lot like the mileage they’re getting out of the Men of War engine. Cheers for the response.

  • unmanneddrone 12:24 pm on October 27, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro Worth picking up the new King’s Bounty if you feel you’ve had your fill of Armored Princess/the prior games?

  • unmanneddrone 12:05 am on October 21, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 @bowlisimo @shingro Kickstarter has had fantastic success with boardgame creation and production, but I think that’s more a reflection of that particular scene. Creators in the past have pitched an idea through manufacturing/publisher houses, audience interest is gauged, then a limited production run is made. With Kickstarter, the money just arrives earlier.

    May as well do some house-keeping and updates:

    Hotline Miami is coming out in a few days, a.k.a. psychotic Ryan Gosling simulator/rogue-like set in a nightmarish neon wonderland of depravity and carnage.

    Krater is getting its long-awaited co-op update and systems/loot/mechanics overhaul, with Mac version to follow hot on its heels. If you’re looking for a slightly different take on the ARPG, this is certainly where you’ll find it.

    Brain Candy are updating their slightly wonky but massively-promising Fray with a Reloaded Edition, which is free for prior owners and features single-player training, new UI and overhauled systems plus new maps and accoutrements. Very high hopes for this.

  • bowlisimo 10:34 pm on October 16, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro Perfect. Nice and dramatic. The ace in the hole always dies in the end, but the team can carry themselves now, they no longer need Lady Grey. She lives on in their memories and in the life of every newborn baby that grows up in an alien free world.

    See, and then you have Beige’s story, which just makes me anxious, like watching one those guys that spin plates on top of sticks.

  • unmanneddrone 1:16 pm on October 16, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro Great to hear. So much for that Take-Two Hartmann bloke saying strategy games are a moribund genre, especially when he sits atop Firaxis. Bizarre.

    Tactical strategy games especially have such propensity for emergent narrative. The skin-of-the-teeth scenarios, those moments of blind luck, last-ditch efforts, magnificent-bordering-on-unbelievable coups…but even those rare scenarios where your plan just unfolds as planned…

    …for a genre that isn’t particularly known for strong story-telling (Token Homeworld exception and, for my money, World in Conflict), you sure can find killer stories. I like XCOM, even owning the collector’s trilogy of those strange Altar UFO Aftermath/Shock/light interim reworkings, and shall pick up this new effort down the line. Jagged Alliance is most resonant with the emergent narrative or situational storytelling. Those crazy scenarios, proffering great feats or great loss (or both!), are the ones where you hit the end and flop back in the chair in accomplished satisfaction or bemused horror.

    Generally, it’s bemused horror with me. Come the end of the month when we get Krater’s big overhaul, that’ll be order of the day. Bemusement drizzled atop endless mounds of horror and loss.

  • bowlisimo 1:12 pm on October 16, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro That’s a great story, and it’s the only XCOM story so far that hasn’t given me anxiety.

  • ckim 1:31 am on October 12, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro Ohhh… That sounds like a solid plan right there.

  • ckim 1:27 am on October 12, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro We have actually flirted with the idea of doing The Void as its own mission. From what I understand, it’s about 20-30 hours, and it’s something that’s on my pile of shame as well.

  • bowlisimo 5:18 pm on October 4, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro Once upon a time @beige created a squad full of squaddies in X-Com: Terror from the Deep. I remember Feen being a heavy, super lobsters or something, and that’s about it. I wonder if that’s still on the old squad group page.

    I couldn’t get into that game from a modern day perspective, and I’m still on the fence about buying the new X-com. I guess I should buckle down and try that demo.

  • unmanneddrone 3:54 pm on September 19, 2012 Permalink

    @beige Interestingly enough, unlike the original, Borderlands 2 is – thus far – a remarkably competent and enjoyable single player experience. So, at least there’s that to fall back on. I do weep, as I always do, in regards to timezones…but @shingro picked it up on PC, that much I know.

    Runs like absolute butter on max on my aging laptop, too.

    @asatiir Good man.

  • Pete Davison 4:18 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager It’s me, @bluesforbuddha, @shingro and @cgrajko. We talk. A lot. And somehow manage to stay on topic. For about four hours. But then we were covering four games. 🙂

  • unmanneddrone 3:44 am on August 8, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Online, Star Conflict   

    Dear friends. Hearts still a-flutter on the Curiosity landing? Want to get your own arse to Mars? Fancy a little heavy-duty Russian space action? Come this way.

    So, I’ve been playing Star Conflict on and off since the first wave of alpha/beta applicants were allowed onto the hangar deck. It’s a F2P MMO of sorts, more of the World of Tanks notion than, say, EVE. Think Microsoft’s forgotten-but-still-played Allegiance mixed in with Battlefield’s conquest mode (at least, the main mode at this point). But the great thing is, this is being published by Gaijin Games, the Il-2 Sturmovik lads, and the vibe is so utterly Russian. It’s nice and hi-tech, and while still has a few issues given the beta status, is pretty unique. Something as simple as capturing space nodes is very satisfying when piloting amongst a wing of different vessel types…fighters, support frigates and corvettes.

    Not to mention, it’s a gorgeous game. Such scale. Such beautiful scale.

    Recommended. Especially since it’s free. Nothing really can beat Eastern Bloc science fiction when it’s this polished and boasts such delicious design on many fronts. And one hopes they keep the Russian radio chatter, because no other language sounds so at home in zero-G than that.

    @shingro Come to me, oh sweet Borderlands 2.

  • 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.

  • feenwager 1:48 am on July 17, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro I’ve played and thoroughly enjoyed both episodes of TWD already. Excellent stuff.

    I’ve tried to play through Witcher 2 so many times that at this point I may have to just admit defeat.

    So, PA3 it is…

  • ckim 10:37 pm on July 13, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    The SEGA Collection in the Steam sale is something I will gleefully purchase before the sale ends on the 23rd. Not only does it have a ton of great Genesis classics, but it also includes Binary Domain and Sonic Generations, both of which I have been meaning to pick up for a while now. For those of you who just want some of the old school Genesis goodness, there is a pack for that as well, although it leaves out the fifth pack which has some of the greatest games ever made (aka Phantasy Star II and PS IV).

    It’s incredibly surreal to look at my Wishlist and see everything but two games on sale, especially stuff like Jade Empire that never goes on sale as far as I can tell.

    @shingro I’ve been meaning to ask, since I figure you would know, what is the best arcade stick out there? I sold my SFIV stick a couple of years ago when I was moving along with my copy of SSFIV, but I am going to get back into 2D fighters when Persona 4 Arena comes out. I will definitely be going PS3 since I know that’s the system that tends to have the biggest communities, and it’s free to play online. I’m not super picky in that Sanwa and Seimitsu buttons both feel damn good to me, but I would like something that’s comfortable to hold in my lap since that’s how I prefer to play. (Bonus points if it’s easy to take apart and apply new artwork/buttons/balls for the stick.)

  • Pete Davison 2:06 am on July 13, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro You likes what you likes, and ain’t nobody can change that. This is the attitude I take these days, and it is serving me well. I am more than happy to talk about (and justify, if necessary) the fact I like MLP, but I certainly don’t expect everyone to do so. Likewise, I expect a similar courtesy in return — if someone doesn’t like MLP, I don’t expect them to try and convince me to come around to their way of thinking.

    Same with games. Just because everyone bangs on about how good, say, Assassin’s Creed is doesn’t mean you have to like it.

    Unfortunately, the Internet doesn’t always work that way. If you have an opinion that is against whatever The Consensus has decided that day, then God help you.

    It’s the fact the hivemind is so fickle that irritates me. A couple of days ago everyone was all like YAAAAAY about that new Ouya console, while today everyone is all like BOOOOO. There is no middle ground.

  • Pete Davison 10:03 pm on July 12, 2012 Permalink

    @bowlisimo Dude, I’ve been rocking a Fluttershy profile pic for months on Facebook and you’ve only just noticed I’m a Brony? Hah.

    @shingro I like MLP for exactly the same reasons I like JRPGs. Colour, strong characters, emotional engagement, cuteness. The fact that the opening episodes for both seasons are practically JRPGs in themselves helps, too.

    I won’t go off on one about how great MLP is but I will say you should give it a chance if you haven’t. You might be pleasantly surprised, particularly if you’ve ever enjoyed Lauren Faust’s past work.

  • bowlisimo 10:11 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro Thanks for the EVO heads up, I accidentally tuned in right before the Mad kof vs Bala championship match for KOF XIII. You know, I haven’t given a shit about fighting games since the MK/SF days, I don’t know what 99% of the lingo means, or know what the KOF series is about, or what any of the meters do, but man, that one match… I totally get it now. That series was insane and nail biting to watch.

  • RedSwirl 7:20 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @cptcarnage My problem is that I still need a computer to work on, and I can’t do that on a TV. I still need something with a screen two feet from my face. My choices are either get a laptop and turn my current system into an HTPC, or get a new gaming HTPC and relegate my old one to a work desktop. I’m choosing the latter because a new gaming HTPC would probably be less expensive than a powerful laptop, and because my Q6600 probably won’t be as useful a year from now. Don’t know if I’m gonna be able to do anything on account of joblessness though. My ultimate hope would be able to play a lot of the games coming out later this year on an HTPC. I’m also holding back on a lot of my current games (like Skyrim) until I can play them on such a setup.

    @shingro I’m gonna be practicing my Soul Calibur V all month. Anyone else on the Squad play it on PSN?

  • Pete Davison 2:44 pm on July 7, 2012 Permalink  

    Oh, in addition to what @shingro said below, I am primarily excited about EVO because My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic is on display there. Yes, that is a thing that exists.

  • bowlisimo 2:43 am on July 5, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro @sinfony @beige Installed Dwarf Fortress. Made it all the way to outfitting Dwarves and needed to come up for air. Baby steps, I guess. Surprisingly, I don’t hate not being able to use the mouse, must be my DOS upbringing. This Ironhand tileset is weird, might try something else. Any suggestions?

    Next time: Not thinking about the difficulty “curve”, actually reading a tutorial, maybe playing the game? I dunno.

  • bowlisimo 7:04 pm on July 3, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Oh god, please don’t send me down a nostalgic cartoon theme youtube death spiral, those trips are one-way only!

    @rampantbicycle You and I may have had this conversation already but I always thought that theme was iconic among 80’s cartoon viewers. I definitely remember that intro (especially random air kick with slipper flying off and animation over weird inverted photographs), just never watched the show. I like the time period they set it in, pretty unique.

    @unmanneddrone Wow, I can honestly say I’ve never ever ever seen that Spartakus thing, what the hell. You know it’s an 80’s cartoon when they describe the whole premise to you in the intro and then break into synthy music with vocals about it. Good times.

    @sinfony @shingro I guess I’ll find some time to train with the Dwarves (gulp).

  • bowlisimo 6:43 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: David the Gnome is a smug holier than thou asshole,   

    @shingro Googled succession game. I’m not looking forward to learning all the keys, but a round robin game where everyone is king for a year sounds interesting in a how fantastically can we collectively fail kind of way. How long does a typical in-game year last?

    @unmanneddrone David the Gnome… him and his smug wife, acting like they’re better than everyone else! OOooo, we’re so PERFECT, we live practically forever! We ride foxes and live with mice and we never do ANYTHING wrong. David the Gnome taught me that human beings are terrible short lived creatures that deserve nothing but nature’s ire.

    That theme song is pretty awesome though.

  • Pete Davison 5:13 pm on June 18, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro No Android version yet, but it is on the way.

    @pepperized Not as yet. We need to give everyone time to finish as much of the games as they’re going to.

  • unmanneddrone 5:00 am on June 18, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro That’s the ticket. Let’s get a little more strategy talk on the Squawk!

  • bowlisimo 2:43 am on June 18, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro I deleted that part of the post. A little research revealed them to be fanmade, seemed a little too early. Those tracks still sound pretty good, though.

  • Pete Davison 9:22 pm on June 1, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @shingro Glad you dug Bayonetta. I love that game a great deal. I think I said back around the time of its original release that the sexuality of the game goes so far beyond “sexy” (read: exploitative) that it just stops being sexy any more and is simply what it is. You’re right, though, it’s pure fun, and unashamed of that fact.

    Also glad to hear that you’re delving into Corpse Party. What a fantastic game that is. And you’re right, crazy Japanese. I really enjoyed it as an exploration of Japanese supernatural mythology as well as an immensely creepy, genuinely horrifying horror experience, too.

    EDIT: May as well post my Corpse Party review in our shiny new Articles section, since we’re talking about it.

  • Pete Davison 9:29 pm on May 11, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: Mission, ,   

    Quest for Glory 

    Mission Start!!

    All right, people. It’s been a while since we did a group mission, and recent talk of Quest for Glory suggests that this might be a good one for future podcasting. While the upcoming podcast’s topic is already set, let’s get some discussion rolling on this now so people have some thoughts to share in time for the next one.

    Grab the Quest for Glory series from GOG.com here for $9.99.

    The VGA remake of Quest for Glory II can be found here.

    • impynickers 12:50 am on May 12, 2012 Permalink

      Looking forward to starting my so called “adventures” in the town of Spielburg. The question is whether I go EGA or VGA. I know the VGA version slightly better, so I may go EGA for both 1 and 2. Kick it old school. Of the series 2 and 4 are my standout favorites. They have a slightly connected story arch, though both can be enjoyed independently.

      QFG is an anomaly. The adventure elements allows it to tell a story in the manner of an adventure game with some traditional puzzles, but at the end of the day you leave the adventure game trappings to actually explore and …. well… adventure. Its an RPG at its heart. Its got the stats. You can improve skills by using/practicing them. Different classes have different approaches to puzzles and combat. It is the only adventure/RPG hybrid I can think of, and it has a flavor all its own that has never been emulated since.

      Did you know that when I was 10 I drafted a Quest for Glory Pen and Paper roleplaying game? Isn’t that adorably nerdy? I think it would be hilarious to find that and share with you the loveable antics.

    • Shingro 3:09 am on May 12, 2012 Permalink

      The first time I saw Quest for Glory, it was the old command line version. We bought a new computer from the family’s resident Tech-Guru and he installed it as a bonus item. It was the first time I ever saw the computer as being able to handle serious gaming, and the reason I started messing with the machine in the first place. In a way, Quest for Glory is responsible (along with Betrayal at Krondor) for convincing me to put points into ‘Computer Tinkerer.’ directly influencing my career choice.

      It’s also probably the reason I find gated ‘is your skill high enough to achieve this and unlock another path’ mechanics cool. The series of different ways you could complete even the bird’s nest outside the town is really the first time I ever saw or imagined the possibility of branching gameplay mechanics.

      Along that line it’s worth noting that QfG is probably one of the best if not the best ‘how do you want to approach this challenge’ game series ever made. With the entire game capable of handing solutions from every class combination, and having some better then others.

    • asatiir 5:22 am on May 12, 2012 Permalink

      Will check out the game once I’m done with Xenoblade, listened to the JRPG episode just a few weeks back and that drove me to start.

    • beige 2:31 pm on May 12, 2012 Permalink

      OK, the life of Ricky the thief begins! SO YOU WANT TO BE A HERO?

      Character creation: Oh man, yeah this takes me back. Took the 20 point hit per attribute to take both parry and magic as initial talents to my already thiefy skill set rather than a big fat 0. Now I have at least 5 points in everything and can at least start learning spells and parrying things. I won’t get some of the wizard specific quests and items but at least FETCH is as useful as I remember it. Still a long way to go towards a perfect set of 100 in every skill.

      Goons. Forgot about these guys.

      That tree outside town. Still a fantastic place to level up strength and climbing. Poor Ricky, scrabbling and clawing all day until his stamina hits zero. It’s a hard knock life. Cleaning out the stables is mildly profitable and good for statbuilding as well, and at least you can sleep there safely for free, unlike most other places in the world.

      Forgot about your “character sheet” being stuck in that weird little menu alongside RUN and SNEAK in the VGA version. Took me a while to find where to check my skills and stats.

      Can’t remember if Thieves can use chainmail or not. 500 silvers is a hell of a lot of money. Perhaps I can get a five finger discount after the sun goes down. Also, robbing the old lady is hilarious as ever.

    • Pete Davison 3:08 pm on May 12, 2012 Permalink

      Pierre the Wizard’s adventures have begun. I am a badass spellcaster and quite handy with a dagger, but ask me to climb up something and I’ll just fall over or, hilariously, occasionally die of exhaustion.

      If a stat starts at 0 does it just not level up? I’ve tried scrabbling up that tree lots of times but it doesn’t seem to make any difference to my Climb stat.

      I have spent the morning mapping the whole game on graph paper. Can’t remember the last time I did that.

    • Pete Davison 9:51 pm on May 12, 2012 Permalink

      QfG1 is down for the count. I will personally reserve my thoughts for the SquadCast on the subject, but once the rest of you beat it, feel free to share what you think here.

      Tip: when the game asks you to save your character file at the end, change the “a:glory1.sav” to “c:glory1.sav”. This will save the export file into the folder in which you installed the game — by default C:\Program Files (x86)\GOG.com\Quest for Glory Pack\Quest for Glory 1\VGA (or EGA if you played the EGA version). Make sure you copy this glory1.sav file to the QfG2 folder manually to make sure you’ll be able to import it correctly.

    • cptcarnage 1:26 am on May 13, 2012 Permalink

      Wicked!! I LOVE the Quest for Glory games, I posted a tweeted a picture of the old school map bundled along with quest for glory 2 a while back.

      Gooood games 🙂 humor was decent too.

    • cptcarnage 2:03 am on May 13, 2012 Permalink

      Found it!

    • jar155 4:15 am on May 13, 2012 Permalink

      Man, I’ve played these games multiple times, but it’s been far too long since I’ve played either of them. I grabbed the GOG.com collection and am starting them up right now. You’re already a game ahead of me, so I probably have no chance at catching up, but dang it, I’m going to try.

    • theshums 8:56 am on May 13, 2012 Permalink

      Just started QFG1 VGA tonight. Been live-tweeting my playthrough @theshums. Using the hashtag #QFGLive if that’s easier.

      Man, I love so much about this game. I love the sense of humor, I love the multiple ways to achieve an objective, I love the dialogue trees, the inventory puzzles…even the clunky combat. Yes, it’s super-easy to game the skill systems — I’ve been sneaking everywhere and my Stealth score is already in the 80s after an hour of play — but that’s part of the fun. And I’m surprised at how well the writing holds up.

      Looking forward to playing more.

      (Oh, and lest I forget: Earl Sinclair cameo. CHECK AND MATE.)

    • Pete Davison 10:17 am on May 13, 2012 Permalink

      Welcome, chaps, good to see you.

      Yes, I’ve often been pleasantly surprised how well the humour holds up in old Sierra titles. The puns when you try and talk to something you shouldn’t come thick and fast, for example, and are frequently LOLworthy (or cringeworthy, depending on your outlook). This is, I can’t help but feeling, something that has been lost in a number of recent titles. How often do games have a narrator these days?

    • beige 2:13 pm on May 14, 2012 Permalink

      Pete, did you eventually figure out that you have to manually “give yourself at least 5 points” at character creation for one of those “starting at 0 level” stats to level up? You should do it. Never hurts to have a little athletics even if you’re basically a wizard. My thief has all the stats on the board, so he can theoretically level anything up.

      Protip: All you need is 5 points in pick lock to do a lot of the “thief specific” quests. You don’t have to be a thief, but if you start breaking into old womens’ houses you can kiss your chance at Paladinhood goodbye.

    • bowlisimo 7:55 pm on May 14, 2012 Permalink

      I want to jump into this, but Diablo (and like a million other games here and there). How long do they take? Or are they as long as you are stupid? or as long as it takes you to read gamefaqs?

    • Shingro 7:56 pm on May 14, 2012 Permalink

      Wasn’t Paladinhood a Fighter-Only style thing? I can’t remember for the life of me, once I knock my current game project out I think I’ll go in as a mage to carry between all games, but I’ll start a thief on each one to enjoy the crazy puzzle rooms that exist in everyone’s homes. With gold and loot and silver candlesticks as reward for my indiscretions.

      Bowli: Well, it depends on how much you’re into min/maxing yourself and whatnot, I’d note Pete went through QfG1 in a maximum time of 6 some hours (assuming he did stand up from his computer at some point or another =))

    • Pete Davison 8:06 pm on May 14, 2012 Permalink

      QfG1 is super-short. 2-3 hours tops if you know what you’re doing, more if you’re minmaxing. Certainly no more than 6 hours though, and probably less, even if you spend hours climbing that tree outside the healer’s hut and setting fire to goblins.

      The way I look at it, Diablo is going to be one to dip in and out of and treat like an MMO. Story has never been the series’ strong point. You can play QfG alongside it no problem.

    • bowlisimo 8:07 pm on May 14, 2012 Permalink

      That’s not too bad for time investment. As for the game itself, right now my perception without reading too much is that this an old style adventure game mashed up with a dungeon crawler like Might & Magic (which sounds like a pretty good idea).

    • Pete Davison 8:12 pm on May 14, 2012 Permalink

      That’s reasonably accurate. You remember how in old King’s Quest games there were loads of useless screens in which you occasionally got attacked by monsters that killed you instantly? QfG1 is like that, only you can fight and kill them. You can also grind stats by using them (such as through the aforementioned tree-climbing) and earn money in various ways. There’s no overall time limit, but you do have to eat, sleep and recover HP, MP and stamina. (You die if you run out of HP or stamina.)

      Protip: sleep in the location called Erana’s Peace. It’s free, safe and unlike most sleeping places restores all three of your HP, MP and Stamina bars to full.

    • beige 8:25 pm on May 14, 2012 Permalink

      @bowlisimo Think of it more as King’s Quest with real-time fighting. No “dungeons” as such, but plenty of hostile territory filled with monsters that you can kill to your heart’s content.

      You’re wandering along in idyllic countryside, moving your little mans map block to map block, trying to figure out your way to get to the spring that some guy told you was at the heart of the forest and solve the puzzle there. Then, randomly (because it is night time) some douche brigand or wandering monster ambles in from the left side of the screen. If his little sprite connects with your sprite it initiates a punch-out style battle where you have to push L/R on your arrow keys to dodge his attacks while pushing UP/DOWN to block and stab. You can cast spells and stuff in fights (or pre-emptively) and get better equipment, like magic swords and stuff. Thieves can do acrobatics and throw (poisoned) daggers.

      Finish battle, win gold and items. Your stats level up Skyrim style, depending on what you did during the fight. More mana, more endurance etc. results from more fighting Your spells level up too, so cast zap a lot.

      Note: Any class can become a Paladin (there is one opportunity at the end of QFG2 and one in the middle of QFG3 to become one) but taking the investiture means that you have to have sufficient “honor” which is a hidden stat that as a player you never get to see, but which is governed by doing honorable deeds. The more sneaky-ass dishonorable stuff you do (*cough THIEVES*) the less your chances of being tapped for Paladinhood.

      The Fighter is the most natural fit for promotion into Paladinhood as all those hard-won sword-and-shield skill points and buff athletic modifiers translate directly into proficiency with the flaming sword and the honor shield, but any class can theoretically become one if their honor is high enough at the right time. Wizard paladins are potent swordmage-style magic warriors, and in theory thieves can become paladins if they never behave like thieves for the course of the game, and basically solve all problems the Fighter way. Yeah.

    • Shingro 3:10 pm on May 15, 2012 Permalink

      ALERT!! Having now had the time to really jump into QfG I noticed the sound was really far off from what I remember. Poking around a bit revealed that this game is setup for Roland sound, and not in a good way. I’d CANNOT recommend people turn the sound to soundbaster enough, you get the good whistling, the inconic tunes, the notes don’t get botched post combat: etc.

      All you gotta do is run the Install.exe and switch it from Roland to Soundblaster. Depending on Os you might need to do that in Dosbox, but you don’t have to do all the Mount c c:\progra~2 or anything, just open the DOSBOX folder in the installation directory, open another window with the install file, drag the install file onto Dosbox.exe and you’re good to go =)

      Additionally: The adventures of Shingro the aspiring wizard have begun! (Though Thiefgro is going to be created afterwards in each game just to enjoy the wonderful puzzle houses =) )

    • beige 6:45 pm on May 15, 2012 Permalink

    • Shingro 1:28 am on May 16, 2012 Permalink

      Finished QfG 1: I gotta say, if there was ever an indicator that I spent FAR too many of my formitive years on this game… getting 487 of 500 without ever taking so much as a peek at the internet would be it. I didn’t take the time to minmax myself out the wazoo, but I’ve got quite a purse headed into shapier, looking forwards to the endless amounts of mana/stamina that is “3 pills a pop” at the apothecary. Good fun!

    • impynickers 8:01 pm on May 25, 2012 Permalink

      @shingro I noticed the oddity in the sound as well. Of course when I first played the QFG2 in I was using an internal speaker with bloops and bleeps. Nostalgia….. *sigh*
      I may just switch over to sound blaster though. There are some odd sound effects in its current state.

      Ive gotten mostly through QFG1 EGA edition. Its quite funny to see the minor differences in the art style between EGA and VGA. The main character wears what I could only describe as a super hero costume in the EGA edition, but is much more classic fantasy in the VGA edition with his iconic jerkin. The puzzles as far as I can tell are pretty much the same, just more long winded with the text interface.

    • beige 5:37 pm on June 2, 2012 Permalink

      Back on the QFG VGA train, now that Xenoblade is done. Thanks for the protip soundblaster advice. I’m much happier now that all my iconic old MIDI tunes are back where they’re supposed to be. Easist way I accomplished this was just opening two windows on my desktop – one with DOXBOX in it, and one with the QFG install file, which was up one directory. Dragging the quest for glory setup file from window 1 to the DOSBOX.exe file started configuration for me just fine. No text prompt required.

      Protip for those of you playing along at home: I’d forgotten until vestigial memory reminded me, that you can use the numeric keypad to do all your awesome moves and spellszorz. For the thief, this means pressing 3 a lot.

    • Lou Page 3:17 am on June 8, 2012 Permalink

      My first PC game was QFG2 and I loved it. Since GOG Release I played though the first and tried the Fan remake of QFG2. I can’t recommend the remake enough. Almost completely identical except for a new combat system and some small puzzle changes. I was so glad to have no text typing box.

    • cgrajko 6:28 am on June 8, 2012 Permalink

      I finally started QFG, and it’s a lot of fun. I rarely ever say this, but I feel as if I should have read the manual for it first, because I had a bit of a time getting back in to the groove of old adventure games. I haven’t played something like this in quite a long time, but I can definitely see why it’s so appreciated ’round these parts. I got up to 80ish out of 500 in my first hour or so of walking around and talking to folks, so I would say I got off to a good start. Playing as a fighter is not a bad time at all, since it’s made the few times I’ve gotten into a battle fairly survivable.

    • Pete Davison 7:46 pm on June 8, 2012 Permalink

      Started QfG2. Oh my. A 3D maze within about ten seconds of starting. What is this I don’t even… blargh. Time to get the graph paper out again?

    • Pete Davison 7:51 pm on June 8, 2012 Permalink

      For anyone currently suffering like I am, hopefully this will help a bit:

    • Pete Davison 7:58 pm on June 8, 2012 Permalink

      Also, you really don’t get puns like this in games any more. That makes me kind of sad. A side effect of our current “fully-voiced” age, I guess.

    • beige 8:18 pm on June 8, 2012 Permalink

      Pete, you can always run the fancy new QFG remake that is currently linked to off the homepage (it’s what I’ll be playing!) You can still import and export your character, but no text parser and you don’t have to navigate that crazy map. They only did that as a copy protection measure anyway. Failing that, enjoy playing Eye of the Beholder!

      Don’t forget, Questers: NUMPAD is for fighting! 9 and 7 swing sword, 1 and 3 dodges and shields. 5 casts awesome magickzorz.

    • Lou Page 8:43 pm on June 8, 2012 Permalink

      Also if you don’t feel like playing the remake remember that the map has an quick travel function once you have been buy one from that guy outside the inn. another tip too is that there is only 4 locations in the desert you need to go to for quests. Everything else out there is to battle for money and stuff to sell. The saurus is a huge joke so once you buy him don’t use him. He runs from battle and it can take hours to find him again.

    • Lou Page 8:55 pm on June 8, 2012 Permalink

      My brain goes faster than I type. What I meant is, “once you have been to the money changer, you can buy a map from the guy outside the inn.” Also if your a thief show the money changer the thief sign.

    • Pete Davison 3:09 pm on June 9, 2012 Permalink

      Restarted on the VGA version. Much easier to get going on. I like my retro as much as (or possibly considerably more than) the next person, but QfG2 EGA’s obtuseness was a little offputting.

    • Shingro 8:45 pm on June 9, 2012 Permalink

      Earth elemental is in the bag! (ha… HAHA! HAH… I…. I’m sorry :/ ) I will say that the combat in QfG2 suuuure is hard as a dagger user >_> by vast and unfortunate amounts it seems… but some solid training with Urhara is bringing me up to speed.

      Don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly better combat, but man, some of those critters sure can work you over if you’re not prepared. (instant kill with a brief tell from the scorpion? really? D: )

    • beige 3:40 pm on June 10, 2012 Permalink

      Yo: In case anybody is having difficulty importing / exporting your character, GOG.com’s FAQ has a few paragraphs on how to do it. I was having real trouble finding c:/glory1.sav until I headed over here.


    • Pete Davison 4:16 pm on June 10, 2012 Permalink

      Good call, sir. I ran into this issue but forgot to mention it earlier, I think.

    • impynickers 5:08 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink

      I don’t suspect people need another QFG game to play, but for long time fans looking for something new and fan made look no further than Quest for Glory 4 1/2: So you thought you were a hero. http://www.curlysworldoffreeware.com/games/view/238
      The hole thing is light hearted and full of pop culture references. Fairly impressive overall actually.

      I have finished QFG1 EGA finally. I was playing from a rusty memory, but it worked.
      Thus the hero from the east freed the man from form of beast, saved beauty from brigands band and forced the ogress to leave the land.

      I love that in the credits someone is credited as being responsible for the ‘Next Generation Graphics’
      I have no doubt the game was impressive in its time, but its funny how we are still talking about graphics in the same way as they did then.

    • Pete Davison 11:39 pm on June 12, 2012 Permalink

      QfG2 has been a slow burn for me, but once I sat down and started to spend some protracted time with it I’m really enjoying it. Even more so than the original, it’s clear that a lot of more recent games have their roots in this game. I’m currently playing through the Yakuza series, for example, and that certainly shares the idea of an entire epic adventure being set in the confines of a relatively small area, as does The Last Story.

      Just beat the Fire elemental. Three to go?

    • Lou Page 12:11 am on June 13, 2012 Permalink

      Glad to hear someone besides me has played some Yakuza games. I have only played the PS3 ones and both are great.

      On the QFG2 front, yeah you got 3, more to go. After that your only about 2/3’s of the way through the game. Personally, I think QFG 2 and 4 have the best plots of the series. I think you will find 3 more interesting since it does stray from the epic adventure in a small area.

    • beige 8:30 pm on June 17, 2012 Permalink

      Oh man, just finished QFG 2 (remake version), importing to Wages of War now. God damn that ending of 2 is great stuff, still holds up so well after all this time. 16 days of screwing around in Shapier culminating in 3 days of awesomeness of testing your skills in Raseir. As a thief, I was very happy that I’d done a ton of rope walking while I was biding my time – phew. Super glad about the little additions they put at the very end there to give more closure to Khaveen’s portion of the story. I’ll talk about this on the podcast for sure.

      Found, but did not bother killing the Pizza Elemental. Screw that secret boss man. He just dropped pizzas on my head and then I died. SO DIFFICULT. Also, not worth it though I understand you can give pizza from his corpse to people for extra honor. Any hope I had of becoming a paladin was gone as soon as I put those x-ray specs on to watch harem girls and 386-era boobies.

      HINT: I had difficulty importing my hero until from the QFG2 remake to QFG3 NON remake I did the following:

      A) Went to the directory specified in the forums here:
      “Any time a non-elevated account tries to save to a UAC controlled folder (like Program Files), the file is instead stored in the VirtualStore folder of that user. The location of that folder is at “C:\Users\\Appdata\local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\GOG.com\Quest for Glory Pack\”, with the AppData folder being a hidden folder, “Users” and “Program Files (x86)” may be localized in your language, and being your Windows User’s name. You can also use the %localappdata% alias in the location bar of Windows Explorer that will take you to the AppData\Local folder directly.
      So, after you find the VirtualStore directory that contains your file, copy it to the directory the game you want to import is installed at, meaning the “C:\Program Files (x86)\GOG.com\Quest for Glory Pack\Quest for Glory 2″ directory, not the one located in VirtualStore. ”

      b) Grabbed my save game, went back to the (NON virtual) C:/program files… /GOG/Quest for Glory Directory

      c) Now for some weird reason I could NOT import directly when the save was placed directly in that directory, but when I created a NEW DIRECTORY INSIDE THE GOG QFG3 DIRECTORY (I called it “/save”) and moved my saved game in there, I was able to “change directory” within the QFG 3 import screen to “C:/save/” My save game was there, and it imported fine.

      TLDR: QFG3 (and 4?) consider “C:/” to be “The Root Of Your Game Directory”. Make a new directory inside it, put your (QF2 remake) save file in there and import away!

    • beige 11:19 pm on June 17, 2012 Permalink

      Protip, since I was running into crashes in Wages of War due to clock cycle foolishness:

      ALT-ENTER switches between windowed mode and fullscreen mode in DOSBOX. In the title there in windowed mode you can see the number of cycles running.

      CTRL-F11 slows the clock cycles down, CTRL-F12 speeds them back up. I was able to prevent certain infamous crashes that were causing my game to die due to timing glitches by slowing down the clock cycles to 1% and then continuing the game as normal. After you’re past the glitchy spots, speed the cycles back up to 100%.

      Unless they’ve patched Quest for Glory 4, I anticipate having to do this to solve the dreaded Error 52 in the mordavian swamps.

      QFG3, still great though. More games need to be set in Africa with or without Sandford and Son jokes. Fighting still kind of sucks in this one, but who cares — it’s so not a focus of the third installment.

    • Pete Davison 11:46 pm on June 19, 2012 Permalink

      I beat QfG2 tonight. We’ll talk more about this on the podcast no doubt, but man, that game sure is back-end loaded. I woudln’t call it “dull” (though my girlfriend would as she watched me try and fail to struggle through the early stages without assistance) but it certainly is slowly paced until those last few days. The whole finale sequence is pretty great, though — and I had no problems importing my save from the VGA version into QfG3. Yay. I will start on that tomorrow.

    • Pete Davison 12:21 am on June 22, 2012 Permalink

      Played quite a bit of QfG3 today. NOW we’re talking. With this game, we’ve quite obviously entered a different era of Sierra adventures. While the first two games were quite “directionless” if you didn’t know what you were doing (you can completely fuck up QfG2 in particular if you’re not in the right place at the right time), QfG3 feels a lot more palatable from a modern perspective. We’ve got much stronger characterisation (though seemingly not quite as much sarcastic narration, which is sad) and a greater sense of direction and structure. But alongside that, we still have a pleasing feeling of RPG-style freedom that you don’t get in other, more traditional Sierra adventures that take a much more linear approach.

      Looking forward to seeing how it unfolds — and very much looking forward to some hot John Rhys-Davies action in QfG4.

  • rampantbicycle 1:21 pm on May 11, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro Well, there was SORT of a remake of Quest for Glory II, as Impy has already said. I repeat it because it is a work of fan love that should really be seen to be believed, whether or not it is your Thing.

    Great series, though! Quest for Glory 4 was my first RPG. No, really. Very first game I ever played which invoked most of the major genre tropes and conventions. I rapidly sidestepped into JRPGs and thence to Baldur’s Gate and Deus Ex in no particular order. I still love the QFG games for their special combination of silly humor and tropetacularity, which is not a word but should be. If you have not tried them and have ANY love for RPGs at all, go get ’em.

  • impynickers 3:26 am on May 11, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro it includes both EGA and VGA editions of the first game. QFG 2 didn’t get an official remake, but did get a fan remake (THAT IS AWESOME http://www.agdinteractive.com/games/qfg2/).

    @angryjedi Ive had my eye on Binary Domain. Looking forward to playing it.

    Feenwager Challenge is going to have to sit on the back burner eventually. Ive made good progress, but I am getting overwhelmed. Diablo 3, and my game access cue …. all needing to flood into my life. I want to play Fez. All kinds of stuff. Ill chip away at it… but some of those games are good but not easy to finish in a hurry.

  • beige 1:29 pm on May 4, 2012 Permalink  

    Welcome @pepperized! Always nice to have new members joining up. Stick close to @shingro if you want a compatriot in the Japanese game scene. Actually, many of us are fooling around with the Japan at the moment… I’m hip deep (well, severed hand deep in fact) into Xenoblade. 300+ quests done or something silly like that at the moment and will shortly be moving on to either Asura’s Wrath, Yakuza: Dead Souls or Resonance of Fate, all of which hail from those foreign shores.

    I forgot to download gladiators yesterday but I’ll certainly be doing that shortly. Sounds like the perfect commute bait.

    I saw no cry one way or the other about Skyrim: The MMO here in these parts. I know some of you are Oblivion fans, but honestly the announcement hit me with total indifference. I’m sure Tamriel is a fascinating world – some people really love spending hundreds of hours in there. Me? All I can see is millions more of industry dollars towards a play experience that doesn’t do a thing for me. First TOR and now this. Can’t anybody just divert a little of this money to Bioware’s writing dept so they can finish their endings instead? Or to NOA so they can stamp some discs with the words Pandora’s Tower and let fly. OK, enough of that.

    Company of Heroes 2 as well. Come on PC peoples, I know this tickles you. Man, CoH is certainly one of those shameworthy series that I began once and then just got immediately distracted (I think by Witcher 2) and never managed to get back in the saddle.

    @cgrajko The souls. How are they?

  • unmanneddrone 11:03 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @shingro It truly is a coming of age for the F2P market. When things like Hawken, Mechwarrior Online, Reign of Thunder, Mechwarrior Tactics etc. are released, I wonder what – at least in regards to the big action genres – publishers will do, because more and more people will be getting their fix elsewhere and for a fraction, if at all, of the cost.

    @bowlisimo I think what makes Tribes different from other team-based shooters is that bodycount is not really as important – unless that’s your role. I dunno, it’s the closest thing to a sport experience in the online shooter bracket that I know of. Running interference and intercepts, midfield plays, crazy midair passing, knowing skiing routes…that sort of thing. I quite like the Technician class – always gravitated towards support and defense classes – so just working in tandem with a heavy class to deflect or take out inbound flag-cappers (most coming in at 200kmph!) is great fun.

    Highly recommended and quite rewarding. DO IT!

  • bowlisimo 11:03 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro If selling endings becomes a thing, I’ll consider hanging out with @unmanneddrone in the strategy aisle exclusively. War, war never changes.

  • Pete Davison 10:36 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , JRPGs,   

    Squad Primer: The JRPG

    Listen now!

    Direct link

    (More …)

    • unmanneddrone 2:01 pm on March 17, 2012 Permalink

      A nice first crack at another arm of podcasting domination by the Squad. I’ll just throw down my meaningless dribble before the genre fans offer their dreadnought broadsides.

      I think perhaps an unsung current of inspiration for most JRPGs stems not from the Wizardry/D&D era P&P RPGs, but from the slew of Japanese P&P RPGs thereafter. Much like in the West, you simply wouldn’t see folks sitting in a park rolling the die, so who knows what the state of things are these days and what slice of mindshare video gaming has taken from these grand old games.

      In any case, all I ask for is more Front Mission-esque adult characters and less feathered hair. More Way of the Samurai and less of this.

      Like everyone who fell off the wagon, I’d love to climb back on. That said, if even games purported to be narrative and character powerhouses in the West aren’t doing it for me, I can’t say anything bar the most po-faced Ye Olde Japon tales have a chance in cutting the mustard.

    • RedSwirl 3:21 pm on March 18, 2012 Permalink

      @unmanneddrone Well the problem with aged characters is again the target audience.

    • unmanneddrone 10:52 pm on March 18, 2012 Permalink

      @redswir1 Which I totally get, and I think we all agreed in the aftermath of the Japanicide episode that that is often the reason why there’s rarely an effort or visible section of the subset that caters to folks wanting a more…hell…mature isn’t the word. Perhaps “less flamboyantly twee” experience?

      What gets me is that you have something – and I know it’s not part of the JRPG set – like Front Mission 5: Scars of War which has terrific story-telling and never once dissolves into lah-dee-dahisms (scientific terminology right there). Granted, it’s a fairly grounded series, but even things like the Suikoden series were just fine stories that didn’t feel the need to tap into a paroxysm of eye-rolling loli cheese or the cliched sullen androgyne.

      Of course, the roots of characterisation and conveyance are the driving force; lots of cultural portrayal conventions and the ‘act of acting’ leading to less than subtle narrative developments or accelerants, but hey. It’s just a personal want. My replies and thoughts on the Japanicide episode warrant no more reiteration here.

      I will say if the tech hurdle is such an issue, with development cycles not moving with the times (Hello there, Japanese civil and business sectors), roll on with the Vita. I wouldn’t mind a lot of experimentation with the interim PS2-PS3 level tech on the portable. Lord knows it can damn well do it.

    • RedSwirl 7:09 am on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      @unmanneddrone But where are Front Mission and Suikoden now? Definitely not as big as Final Fantasy or what have you. Even when Square lets Matsuno make a game with a protagonist over the age of 17 like Vagrant Story, it ends up nearly forgotten in a niche.

      In terms of the Japanese market, even big, successful franchises aren’t free of this problem. I heard that for some time, Metal Gear has been more popular and more profitable outside of Japan than in Japan. The same is true of similar anime franchises like Berserk and Ghost in the Shell. I’d be interested in seeing the territorial sales split for Resident Evil. The only exception to this that I can think of are the Yakuza games which are blockbusters over there but niche over here.

      As for the technical issues, I’ve heard at least one person in Japan call the Vita the last hope for the Japanese market, or more precisely, whether or not the Vita becomes a success in Western territories. There’s a very good chance that the Vita will be the only place you’ll see most HD-level asset development from Japan over the next few years. That’s just where their market is, and even then a lot of those developers might just turn to the DS where they can keep developing games with the same level of art assets they’ve been working with since 2001.

    • unmanneddrone 12:09 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      @redswir1 Good points all round, man. It’s true about those niches, and an even greater travesty that Front Mission Evolved was the result of a Front Mission farm-out, even in the wake of a stellar but ludicrously non-localised 5. But as it stands, everything outside of enthusiastic circles seems to peg the entire JRPG set as a growing (or would that be shrinking) niche, one receding from the limelight – for both reasons stated on the Squadcast and due to that typical Japanese target audience measured in slivers for the most part. Funny how focus testing is always mentioned as something of a deficit notion in the studio cycle in Japan, yet they cater to such specific audiences it’s almost moot to consider it anything BUT.

      I’d also just like to blame the rising tangibility of moe as a pop-cultural phenomenon for a few things here and there, but maybe – in regards to gaming especially – more a case of the technology allowing for more intricate rendering of characters and implementation of design…but that’s a personal preference. I guess it stems from having my cultural life changed by the mature designs and stories of 80s and 90s anime back in the day – the Oshiis, the Kawajiris, Otomos yadda yadda – that I just can’t ‘grok’ (thanks Beige) the post-90s stuff. Personal preference. We just need a nice, hefty Patlabor JRPG for this generation.

      “Special Vehicle Section 2 Mission 2A: Intercept SOV-9900S SeaView Labor / Pilot Alleged to be DUI –

      > Accept Assigment? [ YES ] [ NO ]
      > Ask Ota to go [ YES ] [ NO ]
      > Pick tomatoes with Yamazaki [ YES ] [ NO ]
      > Shoot the breeze with Goto on the roof [ YES ] [ NO ]

      I hope you’re right with the Vita. I’ve read we’re getting a new Lost Planet (I actually think, despite certain wrinkles, LP2 is one of the most unique and courageous games of this generation), but if it eventually spins off onto the Vita, I’ll be one happy camper. Kinda not the genre we’re discussing, but hey – bugs, mechs and utterly Japanese shooter design = one of my nirvanas.

      All in all, I keep getting the impression the Western punditry gives a hell of a lot more of a damn about games and the surrounding pop culture of Japan than the Japanese do themselves, holistically. The classical inflexibility and top-down approach is just a reflection of assumed safe bets, but that’s not to say the Japanese spirit of creative innovation is gone…but like most aspects of Japanese society, everything feels a little…dormant. Oh, to have those halcyon days kick off once more.

      We’ll see what @shingro has to say. I expect a veritable Blunderbuss response.

    • RedSwirl 4:20 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      @unmanneddrone The anime thing I think is just a sign of how little anime DID get localized back in the 80’s and 90’s. Even back then I think most anime in Japan was made to be cute over everything else. It’s just that most of what made its way to English-speaking countries went through some kind of filter. The hard, mature anime were what got noticed back then so that’s what made it’s way over here.

      After around the earl 2000’s though anime in America kind of exploded, and we saw a bit more of the true face of the market when the floodgates were opened. That and in recent years, even the Japanese have complained about how anime is increasingly targeting itself almost entirely to otaku fetishists. They actually tried to start a whole network of anime to get away from that. I forget what it’s called but it features anime mainly targeted towards older men and the female audience like Michiko to Hatchin, Mononoke, and other stuff. You just really gotta dig in to find that stuff.

      But yeah, I wish I could tell them over there “if you wanna appeal to the west, just write the kind of story that would appeal to YOU and your peers.” Whatever kind of mindset gave birth to Patlabor and Vinland Saga.

    • bowlisimo 8:11 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      @squadcasters Thank you. The grind. THE GRIND. This is one of my fundamental problems with (or at least my perception that stops me from playing) many RPGs from Japan. It took me months to get through Tartarus. Never again.

      Otherwise, Ni No Kuni seems like a lock, I have watched just enough Miyazaki to know I like Miyazaki. I was also thinking about trying Valkyria Chronicles. Maybe the strategy element will save me.

      But, I could get behind the D&D-like mostly narrative based game with few set piece battles, that @beige put forth.

      @anyone I get the feeling that Japanese games tend to focus more on giving their players a sense of closure at the end, is there any truth to this? (past the “a winner is you” days, anyway).

    • RedSwirl 11:37 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      See this is what I’m talking about right here: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=466550

      It’s this new 3DS game called Crimson Shroud from the director of Final Fantasy XII, and he seems to be going WAY oldschool with it. Mostly text-based narrative, menu-based battles decided by visualized dice rolls, and a primary focus on dungeon crawling. I can’t find it anymore, but an old interview noted Matsuno’s influences coming directly from Ultima instead of all the JRPGs descended from it and Dragon Quest. The man apparently still logs onto Ultima Online annually.

      @bowlisimo For me, the reason THE GRIND is so goddamned annoying is because of the transition between free exploration and turn-based battle. That constant back-and-forth is what get’s me bored of most JRPGs I play. The simple act of removing this and having everything take place in real time like Final Fantasy XII, or having everything take place in menus like a Strategy RPG, alleviates the entire problem of grinding for me. For me, grinding in Final Fantasy XII was actually FUN.

      On a side note, is that ever a problem in WRPGs (non-MMOs)? The only ones I’ve played have been current-gen, and I think all of those level-up enemies with you. I don’t think I’ve played one where keeping up with enemy levels is an actual priority.

    • unmanneddrone 12:12 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      @redswir1 Absolutely agree in the mainstreaming or broadening of the anime spectrum for localisation or at least access, which is kind of the opposite of what appears to be happening with the JRPG/SRPG etc. Simply put, I just feel a little beleaguered that the equivalent of the Saturday Morning Cartoon fills the spotlight when we did have, in the past at least, utterly insane stuff jumping out from the home islands like Genocyber, Dominion Tank Police, Cyber City Odeo 808, A.D. Police etc. etc.

      And I know it’s getting off the topico f JRPGs, but it’s great to see those crazy old cyberpunk/sci-fi anime and manga series channelled in things like Vanquish and Binary Domain. Warms a bio-mechanical heart.

      Oh dear. We’ve gone all a bit anime! And just to support what you said on the rise of the otaku-centric cartoons, I’ve seen that in the pachinko parlours, most of the older men who would have been the ripe 70s/80s/90s anime audiences prefer to park themselves themselves in front of the Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers/Fist of the North Star etc. themed machines…small slice of anecdotal evidence that an age has passed. That also might speak a little how little gaming in the home console sense matters to the older generation, whereas I’d say the West in part has continued to game on well into adulthood.

      @shingro Don’t hate me for these withered and outdated anime/JRPG views!

      @bowlisimo You’d like Valkyria Chronicles. Looks great, snappy tactical fun.

    • wrdsmth 2:19 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      Great discussion. JRPGs are something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

    • unmanneddrone 2:41 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      I just read @angryjedi‘s fine blog post on all things J and it did impel me to make the distinction of where grievances lay…as Japanese RPG and SRPG systems are top-tier, and certainly cement their position at the top of the pile in character-centric strategy experiences (Wild Arms XF and MGA2 are my favourites of the SRPG genre). It’s primarily thematic and character depiction that I can’t roll with these days.

      That said, I loved the little I played of Resonance of Fate! I can’t include it in my most recently-played JRPG due to only spending a couple of hours with it when it released, but damn if that isn’t a direction – both character-wise and theme – that I’d love more of the genre to roll with.

    • Shingro 3:04 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      Okay, this is really, really hard, I got 3 pages of notes for the blunderbusses, 2 and 1/2 pages of stream of conciousness stuff penned while listening to the podcast, and then I want to join this discussion…. sooooo I think what I’m going to do is hold the stream of consciousness, work on the blunderbusses (it looks like it’ll need a few passes for clarity c_c) and participate here =P Imma work backwards and see what comes up trying to make it a tad more bite sized.

      @unmanneddrone I will say I miss some of ye olde Bubblegum Crises sort of things, I think a lot more of what exactly happened to the anime niche is going to make it into the blunderbusses but I think what happened is that the niche followed the money, and the love that people feel for certain characters makes us an easily exploitable market for merchandise, if you sell a figure of a cute girl who is cute that’s easy, you barely have to tug the heart strings, if you want to sell a figure of Patlabor, or something with a grand plot, that’s much harder to merchandise later on and there isn’t as much obsessive love to tap into to get people to ignore prices. If there was a 120$ version of AT3 with a pair of these or all 3 heroine figurines I’d have bought it without a second thought and I’m such a cheapass 50% sales on steam often aren’t good enough for me.

      Song 1: Skies of Arcadia OP
      Song 2: Persona 4 – Specialist
      Song 3: Lunar: Silver Star Story OP (I like this one more, but great selection anywho, I think she remains the only person to ever really successfully dub A SONG and invoke love from casual and hardcore fans alike. The japanese lyrics are miles different but the rewrite was an excellent move, a brief flare of intelligent localization that sadly died out, look at the comments to see how it affected people (mostly the young)

    • Shingro 3:26 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      This song rather, I’M VERY GOOD AT REMEMBERING THINGS :\

      Additional short versions of thoughts/answers!
      @redswirl they’re all sorts of places, often on portables The World Ends With You is a fantastic JRPG that won Game of the Year in a smattering of outlets, the Persona series is so good it got a followup re-release and Persona 4 melted even Jeff Gerstman’s Japan-type cynicism, and that’s a guy who I’d never in a hundred years suggest a JRPG to. Main thing is they aren’t advertised so often never found.

      @bowlisimo Grind as a concept isn’t too surprising when you consider how much japan venerates that steady, eternal work ethic as a path to success. Besides, if you consider grind as an answer to ‘what do we do if someone isn’t very good at these games and can’t get past this fight?’ it’s not a bad solution. Since I’ve played JRPGs all my life I’ve had to grind in maybe 2-3 games. there’s often a type of language that lets you alter your power level significantly. For example. Say there’s a set of 3 persona 3 players on the same boss
      Player 1 solution: Attack with three characters, heal with 1
      Player 2 solution: uses Elemental attacks to strike weaknesses, uses knockdown stuff
      Player 3: Power Charge with main, Takukaja (attack up), Dekunda, heal

      Player 1 will have to grind more then player 2 and player 3 won’t have to grind at all. This sort of thing is also really in line with how much consecuative time you can spend with a game, I beat FFVIII with Squall at lvl 28 and Rinoa at lvl 14 (since she yoyos in and out of your party so much, still was a main person though due to Invincible Moon) Later when I came back to it I couldn’t remember how in the hell I beat a FF last boss (level scaling or no, she could still easily one shot everyone with anything) with levels like that. If players can grind though, then anyone can complete any game, which is something a Zelda game can’t really say.

      Anywho, I’m done skirmishing for the moment, I’ll say that I actually really enjoyed the podcast =) Good work by yon squadies, good to see it getting some good discussion too, I’ll make sure I get the blunderbusses up after Akido if possible. It’s gone into some odd areas c_c feels like the KS pitch a little bit

    • bowlisimo 4:17 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      @Shingro I don’t really buy your second point. I’m no developer, but isn’t a better solution just to pace the game and xp so that by the time you get to a boss you’re powerful enough to handle it? If you’re terrible at games, well then you have difficulty settings. For instance, I don’t remember grinding in Baldur’s gate, all of the xp was gained through playing the game naturally. You could probably make the argument that sections of that game were grindy, but it was always in service of the plot or towards completing a sidequest, thus it felt like progress (which is a big difference, mentally).

      Anyway, I just strongly disagree with the notion of getting to an end boss, not being strong enough, and having to go waste hours of time fighting things over and over again. The weird thing is, I didn’t mind it as much in Demon’s/Dark Souls. Maybe because I understood that getting your ass kicked and coming back stronger was the whole point? I dunno.

    • Shingro 5:24 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      @bowlisimo I can respect that, let me say that I’m not saying grinding is a good thing, I just think it’s an understandable thing culturally.

      I think the question becomes ‘what is powerful enough?’ Depending on the game, RPGs can have vastly different power levels where people are capable of fighting this or that boss. Further it is a rare RPG that has difficulty settings at all, much less dynamically shifting ones. You might have not needed to grind in baulder’s gate, but what if you were someone who did ‘main quest only’ stuff and you ignored all the items/monsters/etc from subplots you would have a very hard time of it . Some people would argue that by doing sidequests at all you were grinding secondary, optional content. If you’re the sort of person to clear every sidequest and zone possible then you were theoretically at maximum possible level for every new area. I know that’s what I did, and I don’t think there was really any way for me to be any higher level. Then again, I was a mage, which ment my game was ‘harder’ then a fighter’s game in different areas and easier in others because my combat was totally different. Requiring different levels of xp for a smooth or challenging road

      Similarly I find that by the time I’m done exploring all the weird features on the map and running sidequests I’m more then strong enough for the next item in most JRPGs

      Ideally I think it’s good to have a more streamlined experience, but what do you give up? Say you had to complete every sidequest in BG before you could move to the next area to ensure that you were at an optimal level for each fight. Say you had to do the quests in a certain sequence to ensure that the curve remained smooth. Besides, it makes the narrative smoother. Say the terrain that connected those quests in order was fairly linear, to be sure that they found everything and weren’t frustrated with pointless searching, or finding out of depth stuff and getting caught somewhere they didn’t belong.

      That game is only a crazy plot from being FFXIII. The more freedom you give the player to choose what content they do and what they don’t the more you risk them missing not only game experience, but real world experience in manipulating the game. The more flexibility you put in the combat system the more you risk people shooting ahead before they’re ready or having a real tough go of it through every small bit of combat. It’s gotta be a real hard thing for a developer to manage.

      There’s definitely room to innovate though, grinding wouldn’t be as painful if there were completely new areas to explore and new monsters to fight that were optional places you could go if you needed to boost your power somewhat. Often the complaint about grinding is that you have to rehash old content, both in areas and in monsters. This is intensified by the tradition of creating palette swap monsters further eroding the excitement of the player. There’s a few games that do excellent work in disguising or making the player excited about old content, Final Fantasy 3/6’s Veldt is a good example, I hung out there for AGES trying to get Gau extra skills and powers, and in the meantime I fought dozens more monsters without a thought. Which brings up another thing. If you make every combat a joy, you won’t mind if you have to fight a bit extra to finish something. The World Ends With you is a good example of combat that is very fluid and flexible and always introducing something new.

      Actually while on that topic battles in TWEWY were to a large extent optional, and your level gets high pretty fast, but you get better drop rates the lower you set your level, making you try to scrape by with the barest minimum level necessary to finish the fight. Further if stuck in a battle in addition to exit and retry you could drop the battle difficulty to easy, which weakened your loot but you were only ever as stuck in that game as your pride, but it was also always pushing you to challenge yourself to the maximum extent.

      I dunno, I don’t think making a game everyone can get through is as easy as it seems, BG certainly did it for the completion crowd, but that’s not everyone. grinding does it but the way it used to be done was indeed monotonous.. It seems to a great extent games are solving this problem by making things so easy no one could possible fail, and that causes problems for yet other demographics. Mana Khemia and Ar Tonelico solved it by becoming incredibly easy games that rewarded good play with more and better crafting items from monsters. Kamidori fixed it by making ‘free’ areas which are brand new maps that can be left at any time and have all new monsters and materials but no story significance.

      I dunno what the right answer is. What would you like to see?

    • unmanneddrone 5:31 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      Is it just a case of encounter design? It’s not solely a JRPG notion, but damn if that loading flourish leading to…my team being attacked by two dragon flies isn’t a fatigue-inducing experience. Give me a four-story boar. Or a Tonberry.

      I suppose we’re asking for a real paradigm shift in game design.

      EDIT: I did like the variety of beasts and whatnot that popped up in FFVII, as an aside. So many great area-specific enemies.

    • Pete Davison 10:51 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      I’ve never really had a problem with grinding, personally. It’s something you can “tune out” of while you’re doing it — a relaxing, relatively mindless activity that benefits your character in the long run. Sure, it’s repetitive, but if it bothers you, take the @feenwager approach and put the ball game on while you grind 🙂

      I know I’m an unusually patient person though. During my time as a teacher I was regularly complimented on it, and I attribute a lot of that patience to many grindy, repetitive video games I had played prior to that point. Especially Chocobo breeding in FFVII. Oh GOD the horror. Worth it, though. Knights of the Round was awesome.

      @redswir1 made a good point about FFXII — the grind in that didn’t feel like it was interrupting your play. Rather, the game often gave you a story mission on the complete opposite side of the world map to where you were, and you could either fast travel or walk there, kicking seven shades of snot out of every enemy on the way. The latter approach led to some very efficient levelling as you travel, and didn’t feel grindy at all. It helped that FFXII’s combat was pretty satisfying anyway.

      Regarding the point on grinding in WRPGs, no, it’s never really been an issue as such. Sure, you can find yourself in an area filled with enemies that will completely maim you if you’re not careful, but that’s just a sign you need to come back later rather than grind any. You typically get so little XP for combat in WRPGs compared to quests that grinding is barely possible anyway.

      The exception to this is the Elder Scrolls games, which are very grindy if you want a top-spec character. It’s grinding skills rather than combat, though — making a hundred daggers, jumping on the spot for three hours, repeatedly firing arrows at passing wildlife, obsessively buffing yourself while you’re waiting for a non-hostile quest NPC to walk over to you, eating mushrooms and hoping you don’t die. Sure, your quest-essential skills (mostly combat and magic) will level up naturally as you proceed through the game, but for other skills (particularly in earlier titles) you’d have to make a specific effort to spend some time training a skill. That or making enough money to pay a trainer.

    • pepperized 6:20 pm on May 3, 2012 Permalink

      I am guilty of hating grinding. I don’t know why, it may be because I’m simply impatient or because I need that “gamer’s rush” from games.

  • bowlisimo 4:37 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro More story? I thought those games had enough already, which is why I’m curious about what you mean by “BG2 basic”. What did modders add that makes vanilla feel like less of a game? I never really modded any of those games.

    I don’t really want a BG3, but I always thought 4E would suit a D&D game well because the ruleset was influenced by video games. Seemed like a no brainer.

    @redswir1 That seems like too much work. I’d have to imagine (or more accurately, hope) they’re just making the old style look better. I would hate to load that up and see 3D character portraits *shudder*. Those didn’t even look good in DA:O. See also screenshots of Jagged Alliance: Back in Action.

  • feenwager 11:03 am on March 11, 2012 Permalink

    Ok, first things first: we started the Squadcast with the idea that it was another way to generate more discussion. Mission accomplished.

    Second: thanks to Pete for explaining how we want to move forward with the show. He did a good job of summing it up. That boy should probably be like, a writer or something. The overall goal was to create more episodes, more often, and it was basically my idea so if you hate it you know who to yell at.

    Third: The Primers are not going to get as chin-strokey or fall as far into the rabbit hole as either of the other two Squadcast variants. This is by design, and as a response to the listeners that have asked for shows that don’t run upwards of three hours. Hopefully the Primers can be a way for new listeners to check us out as well.

    D: You guys don’t know how happy the recent swell of discourse in these here parts has made me. I’m even ok when people are mad at me. Means I’m doing my job.

    Finally: @shingro I think I may surprise you on this episode. Well, a little.

  • Pete Davison 9:58 am on March 11, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro Great points, and we’ll be interested in what you think of the ‘cast when it’s released. For the record, the reason it was a small cast was simply to keep the discussion simple, clean and snappy — as you may have noticed, since we started doing the “topic” shows we’ve been making an effort to try and keep a regular lineup of people on the show rather than the ever-rotating-and-expanding groups who participated on the mission podcasts. Your not being on the show was nothing to do with anything you did on the KS podcast, I might add — you did a fantastic job on there! Rather, the show was arranged as a relatively short-notice, small scale thing as an experiment in a new format. We hope you like it, and that it prompts some discussion here.

    While we’re on, I thought I’d share our/my thoughts for the SquadCast going forward.

    I’ve proposed and we’ve discussed having three different types of shows, and rotating among them according to demand, relevance and availability. These will be:

    • SquadCast Topics: The long, topic-based shows where we discuss a general issue relating to gaming and how games of the past and present have addressed this fact. These will likely stick with a small, set cast of me, Mark, Jeff and, if/when he gets a new mic, Chris.
    • SquadCast Primer:A shorter, genre-focused show such as the JRPG one we just recorded. We discuss the genre’s genesis, our earliest memories of it, the “golden age” of the genre, if there was one, where it is now and where it’s going. Will also stick with a small, set cast for brevity’s sake. Between the members of our regular team, we have a diverse array of interests ranging from indie-centric (me) to mainstream (Chris and Jeff) via somewhere in between (Mark).
    • Squad Missions: Yep, the Katawa Shoujo show reminded us how much fun this formula is, so it’d be nice to start doing them more often again. This will obviously take a bit more organisation than we have at the minute, so it may be a little while before this becomes a “regular”-ish thing, but plans are in motion to assist with that organisation. I propose that mission shows have more flexibility in their casts and the size of said cast, as not everyone in the Squad is going to want to participate in every mission.

    It’s good that you’re passionate about all this, @shingro — you’re a valuable, active and super-awesome member of the Squad and we’ll be very interested to hear what you think of our discussion.

    Re: the Silent Hill 2 thing — we all love Silent Hill 2, and you have to understand that the fact we seemingly tore it to shreds was a “cruel to be kind” sort of thing. The point we were making was that Silent Hill 2 transcends its own limitations to become an awesome game despite its irritating factors. A lot of games don’t manage this, putting people off with clunky mechanics or whatever, meaning that people never get to explore what might be an awesome story, characters, whatever. Silent Hill 2, however, managed to make people want to play it despite the fact that, say, the combat wasn’t very good, or some of the puzzles were a bit incongruous.

    As I wrote in my blog yesterday, though, it’s good to disagree and to speak up — that’s how dialogues and debates get started 🙂

  • unmanneddrone 6:06 am on March 11, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro To be balanced, I can understand your position. When it’s totally your ‘thing’, you want analysis to never curb the crucial elements, for the discussion to run deep into almost esoteric realms.

    However, at the end of the day, if the experience being talked about is one within a vacuum or one padded with a vast backdrop of dense enthusiast vernacular, I don’t think the ‘lesser’ one is particularly devalued. After all, it’s player experience and thoughts being talked about here, and as much as I like learning about the various backgrounds titles come from, I’m equally interested in hearing objective impressions.

    I’ve become more inclined to think that enthusiasts can be the worst people to talk about their particular genre sometimes. It’s all a matter of conveyance, but there’s a propensity to really bog down a discussion with endless (though not worthless) in-genre references. This, ironically, can submerge the ‘educational’ value for casual observers and out-genre punditry in favour of enthusiast circle-jerking.

    Now, I love a good circle-jerk, but for the benefit of folks who just want the entry level low-down and light but effective discourse, maybe it’s better to stay…hmmm…there’s a stupid Inception reference to be made, though I cannot recall anything solid about that overblown twaddle. We don’t always have to go deeper.

    That said, once the new Squadcast hits, I look forward to reading your stuff.

  • unmanneddrone 3:45 am on March 11, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro Wait and see what the ‘cast is like, then hit all and sundry with walls of text.

  • RocGaude 2:11 am on March 11, 2012 Permalink

    The new SquadCast is just @feenwager, @angryjedi, and @bluesforbuddha for this go. I had to stay behind due to microphone inadequacies that I’ll remedy for the next one. Don’t worry @shingro, they’ve all got quite the JRPG background. I’m sure it’ll be a great listen.

  • RedSwirl 4:31 pm on March 5, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro Y’know what? I’m starting to realize that I might be just fine sticking with 3rd Strike Online for a while. And when I say 3rd Strike Online, I really mean just getting my ass kicked by the CPU. I just don’t see a 2D experience that has topped it yet, even if you suck at the game.

    I can survive online in SSF4AE2K12, so I’ll break that out every now and again, and I’m trying to make Soul Calibur V a multiplayer fixture in my life. I was able to fairly quickly beat my entire PSN friends list in SC4, so we’ll see. That right there already strangles off any time I might have for other fighters, which is sad. I rented The King of Fighters XIII and thought it would be nice to finally learn that series… if I had time. The same might happen to Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown since that’s another franchise I’ve never really been able to step into. Persona 4 Arena also deserves a shot I guess.

    I can’t get into Marvel vs Capcom though. Can’t do it. The game is too fast and too cracked-out. I bought MvC3 and after a little while realized that I was so lost that sometimes I would win a battle and not know how. Maybe when UMvC3 is $20 I’ll trade in the original for it. Street Fighter X Tekken? Not even on my radar.

    …but I’ll still probably be mainly playing 3rd Strike in between all that.

  • 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

  • RocGaude 1:05 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: ,   

    The Feenwager Challenge

    (starting March 6th)

    (More …)

    • feenwager 1:20 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      The list:

      Xbox 360:

      Arkham City
      Dead Island
      Castlevania: lords of shadow
      Majin and the forsaken kingdom
      Deadly Premonition
      Sonic generations
      Crysis 2
      Shadows of the damned
      Gears 3: raam’s shadow
      Beyond good and evil hd
      Sam and max save the world
      The beaconing
      Splinter cell conviction
      Mafia 2
      The saboteur


      Jak 2
      Jak 3
      Shadow of the colossus
      Sly 3
      Ghost of sparta
      Pixel junk sidescroller
      Back to the future episodes 2-5
      Dead nation
      3d dot game heroes


      Alice: Madness Returns
      Amnesia: Dark Descent
      Starcraft 2
      To The Moon
      Binding Of Isaac
      Divinty 2: Dragon Knight Saga
      Duke Nukem Fovever
      Gemini Rue
      Neverwinter Nights 2: Platinum
      Tales of Monkey Island 2-5
      Witcher 2

    • CMWhittington 1:30 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      The List:

      *Baldur’s Gate
      *Baldur’s Gate 2
      Castlevania: Lord of Shadows
      *Company of Heroes
      *Dawn of War II
      Deus Ex: Human Revolution
      Hitman: Blood Money
      *Neverwinter Nights 2
      *Planescape: Torment
      Space Marine
      Splinter Cell: Conviction
      *S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
      *The Witcher
      *Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines

      *I currently have no way of playing these games until I get either Win 7 or a gaming PC. It might be awhile.

    • unmanneddrone 1:42 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink


      • Shogun 2: Total War (two runs to a definitive end game)
      • Jagged Alliance: Back in Action
      • Wargame: European Escalation (single player campaign)
      • Real Warfare 2 (one run to a definite end game)
      • Capsized
      • East India Company Complete
      • Darkspore


      • WipEout 2048
      • Unit 13 (All solo missions / High Value Target missions)
      • Motorstorm RC
    • A.J. 2:54 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      You bastards would start this the day that Mass Effect 3 comes out. Let’s see…

      Alan Wake
      Bullet Storm
      Child of Eden
      Crysis 2
      Dragon Age 2
      Fallout: New Vegas
      Gears of War 3
      Halo: Anniversary
      Lost Odyssey
      Red Dead Redemption

      L.A. Noire
      Mortal Kombat
      Shadow of the Collosus

      Super Mario Galaxy 2

      StarCraft 2
      To the Moon

      Phew, this may take a while.

    • CMWhittington 2:56 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      Don’t worry, this is some long tail shit.

    • unmanneddrone 3:42 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      Am I doing it wrong or is there no way to edit posts in comment threads?

    • CMWhittington 4:00 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      You should be able to.

    • unmanneddrone 4:01 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      Cool. No stranger to doing it utterly wrong. Cheers, Roc.

    • mjpilon 4:11 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      My list

      Saints Row the Third
      Assassin’s Creed Revelations
      Bioshock 2

      Heavy Rain
      Shadow of the Colossus
      Uncharted 3 (currently going)
      Pixeljunk Monsters
      Pixeljunk Eden

      Donkey Kong Country returns
      Super Mario Galaxy 2

      PC/ Mac:
      Amnesia – this will kept for October as per @Bowlisimo suggestion)
      Cave Story +
      Original Deus: Ex
      Rock of Ages
      And yet it moves
      Blocks that matter
      Civ V

      I do have a issue I guess with my GameAccess subscription in that when I complete the game I have (right now Bayonetta) they will send me another one from my list…. but my pledge is to focus on the games I have right now and work on those once I clear these ones. Good with everyone?

    • RedSwirl 4:38 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      Just wanna say, this is basically the reason for which the Squad was created… or at least why I joined it. Also, I can tell you right now that everything on my list ain’t gonna happen within the span of a year.

      My Current Gen List:

      Xbox 360:
      Need For Speed Hot Pursuit
      Dark Souls
      Shadow Complex
      Gears 3: RAAM’s Shadow
      Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts n’ Bolts
      Halo Anniversary

      3D Dot Game Heroes
      Demon’s Souls
      Top Spin 4
      Sly Collection
      Rayman Origins (nearly done)
      GTA IV

      PC (current gen):
      Fallout New Vegas
      Bioshock 2
      ArmA II
      Metro 2033
      STALKER Chermobyl
      STALKER Pripyat
      Gemini Rue
      Penumbra Black Plague
      Penumbra Requiem
      Civilization V
      Sonic Generations
      Super Meat Boy
      Bionic Commando Rearmed
      Command & Conquer 3
      Mount & Blade

    • feenwager 12:55 pm on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      Don’t worry, Red. I don’t think anyone has any illusions about clearing these lists within 2012.

    • impynickers 8:53 pm on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      My full pile of shame is pretty epic. The pile constitutes game I just never got around to beating, but I want to. I don’t intend on getting to most of it this year, but I would like to have it written down as a chronicle of shame. Just to remind me when I am bored what is waiting for me on my shelf, in a drawer, or digitally.

      will designate games I actually intend on playing for the duration of this challenge.

      *Freedom Force
      *Dead Space 2
      *Scratches:Director’s Cut
      Breath of Death VII
      Cave Story
      The Binding of Isaac
      Dino D-Day
      Duke Nukem Forever
      Metro 2033
      The Void

      *Gabriel Knight 3
      Beneath a Steel Sky
      Broken Sword

      *Mass Effect 3
      *Battlefield 3

      Stalker: Misery
      The Neverhood
      Heretic II
      Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller
      Under a Killing Moon
      *The Legend of Kyrandia 2: Hand of Fate

      Sneak King
      *Saints Row the Third
      *Rayman Origins
      *Dead Island

      Fatal Frame II
      Jade Empire
      Conker: Live and Reloaded

      *Pixeljunk Shooter 2
      *Resistance 3 co-op
      Invincible Tiger
      Everyday Shooter

      Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
      Rogue Galaxy
      Tenchu Wrath of Heaven
      Odin Sphere

      Sabrina the teenage witch: A twitch in time
      Vagrant Story
      Crusader: No Remorse
      Blood Omen: The Legacy of Kain

      (you heard me):
      *Last Story
      Xenoblade Chronicles

      F-Zero GX (Story Mode)

      Bill and Ted’s Excellent Videogame Adventure
      River City Ransom
      Dig Dug II

      That is a relief. Its all out in the open. I hope I am not forgetting anything. Time to get to work.

    • impynickers 8:58 pm on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      elements of this post have disappeared…. Interesting. You get the gist.

    • impynickers 9:02 pm on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      To Simplify:
      *Freedom Force
      *Dead Space 2
      *Scratches:Director’s Cut
      *Gabriel Knight 3
      *Mass Effect 3
      *Battlefield 3
      *The Legend of Kyrandia 2: Hand of Fate
      *Saints Row the Third
      *Rayman Origins
      *Dead Island
      *Pixeljunk Shooter 2
      *Resistance 3
      *The Last Story

    • impynickers 9:06 pm on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      And yes, one day I intend on beating both Sneak King and Sabrina the Teenage Witch: A Twitch in time … thank you very much.

    • feenwager 10:32 pm on March 3, 2012 Permalink

      Wow, man. You went deep. Godspeed.

    • unmanneddrone 2:39 am on March 4, 2012 Permalink

      What a cracking list! Some great titles there, Impy. Great to see Revenant in the mix.

    • Pete Davison 6:03 pm on March 4, 2012 Permalink

      ALL RIGHT FOOLS. Here we go. I am doing my own slight twist on the challenge which is to go without buying any new triple-A games for a whole year and see if it’s possible to exist on indie, retro and slightly lesser-known titles alone. I think it’ll be possible.

      Then at a games night last night someone pointed out that if Diablo III came out this year, we should play multiplayer. So I have amended my challenge to be “go without buying any new triple-A games (except Diablo III) for a whole year and see if it’s possible to exist on indie, retro and slightly lesser-known titles alone.”

      My pile includes a few games that I haven’t bought yet. While this may seem like a bastardisation of the very Pile of Shame concept, I have long been intending to play these games and just haven’t got around to it. In short, I would have bought them anyway, and adding them to my list means I might actually get to them. Non-owned games have been marked with a dollar sign.

      So here goes. I will probably have to make several edits to this list.

      Shadow of the Colossus
      Metal Gear Solid 3
      Odin Sphere
      Persona 3 FES
      Shadow Hearts
      Shadow Hearts: Covenant
      $ Yakuza 2
      Project Zero (aka Fatal Frame)
      $ SMT: Digital Devil Saga
      $ SMT: Digital Devil Saga 2

      3D Dot Game Heroes
      Demon’s Souls
      Dark Souls
      Yakuza 3
      $ Yakuza 4
      Midnight Club LA

      Corpse Party (currently playing)
      $ Persona
      $ Persona 2: Innocent Sin
      $ Persona 3 Portable (this may replace Persona 3 FES in the above list)
      $ Trails in the Sky

      Xbox 360
      Rayman Origins

      Assassin’s Creed II
      Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (OnLive)
      Breath of Death VII
      Cthulhu Saves the World
      Far Cry 2
      $ Fortune Summoners
      GTA: San Andreas
      GTA IV
      GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City
      Hacker Evolution
      Hacker Evolution: Untold
      HeXen II
      Hard Reset
      Jade Empire
      King’s Bounty
      King’s Bounty: Armored Princess
      King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame
      Magicka (Squad multiplayer sometime, hmm?)
      Mata Hari
      Neverwinter Nights 2
      Portal 2 Co-Op
      Puzzle Agent
      Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper
      Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis
      Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened
      Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy
      Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Persian Carpet
      Sherlock Holmes: The Secret of the Silver Earring
      Take On Helicopters
      Thief: Deadly Shadows
      Time Gentlemen, Please!
      Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
      X-COM Apocalypse (and possibly the previous two)
      Baldur’s Gate II (inc. Throne of Bhaal)
      Gabriel Knight 3
      Ghost Master
      Master of Magic
      Ultima Underworld
      Ultima Underworld II
      $ Ultima VII

      Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
      Zack & Wiki
      Xenoblade Chronicles New Game + run alongside anyone else playing it… maybe

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

      Honestly, I’m too scared to break out my handheld backlog. Even limiting it to the DS and PSP just looks scary. The bad part is that almost all of my unfinished handheld games are long-ass RPGs.

    • RedSwirl 1:18 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      The worst thing about having a backlog though is that it ensures you’ll always be moving from game-to-game. You never have the time to just stick with one or a handful of really great games like you used to. I hate that.

      There are a bunch of games I bought last year that I would still be playing the shit out of if I still had the time. I think it’s devaluing the games themselves.

    • RedSwirl 1:26 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      And shit I didn’t even mention my Wii backlog. Yeah I got a Wii backlog. It’s the reason why I still own the system.

      Rhythm Heaven Fever
      Sin and Punishment: Successor to the Stars
      Endless Ocean
      Endless Ocean 2
      Metroid Prime Trilogy

    • unmanneddrone 2:19 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      Don’t stress too much. And if you do, why not go swimming with the cetaceans in Endless Ocean!

    • sinfony 4:27 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      Here is my very sad list:

      (all on PC)
      Total War: Shogun 2 (1 complete, non-tutorial game)
      The Witcher 2
      Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl
      Shift 2: Unleashed (reasonable progression)
      Alpha Protocol
      Left 4 Dead 2 (one attempt at each campaign)

      Sadly, this list is probably too ambitious. But let us see!

    • unmanneddrone 4:32 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      We’ll have to be Shogun 2 buddies, Sin. Let me know a tentative window when you plan to kick it off and we’ll compare notes. I’ll probably be ready for a little Shogun in a month’s time if Jagged Alliance can be dusted in that time.

    • sinfony 4:56 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      I’m afraid my schedule will be too erratic to figure out when I’ll give it a crack. I plan to read over frogbeastegg’s extremely elaborate walkthrough before I give it a go as well.

    • Shingro 6:05 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      I’d love to get some good squaddie info about Shogun 2 from you guys, I got the game but I’m having trouble keeping myself motivated to really dive into it.

    • unmanneddrone 12:52 pm on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      @sinfony Whenever you’re up for it, let us know. I’ll busy myself with Real Warfare 2 until we hit Shogun.

      @shingro I totally (and somewhat shamefully!) just checked out your Steam list for comparisons…and you’ve got quite the swathe of hours on Civ V! I dunno, with the strategic map, it’s kind of the same thing…what’re your concerns at this point? (should this be a discussion outside the Challenge thread? I dunno. Make the call, sir!)

    • CMWhittington 4:18 pm on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      I’ve culled my list over the weekend and dropped Darksiders. I figure that if I’m going to commit to playing through my pile, the games need to serve my entertainment needs at an acceptable level. Darksiders is just pissing me off. Too much of what’s turned me off to Zelda is angering me.

    • Shingro 6:57 pm on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      I just feel like there’s more I should be doing, In civ I’m always trying to work additional tiles, managing building queues, get more technology and manage my social tree. Comparitively I feel like I somehow got through Shogun 2 without identifying the things that I’m supposed to be managing and working with per turn.

    • impynickers 7:08 pm on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      I am in the same boat, I just included the games I got onto my list. When I am done, obviously I want my moneys worth. Games I rent through the service aren’t piling up like my pile of shame, they will stay at a consistent number. So I don’t see a big issue.

    • impynickers 7:14 pm on March 5, 2012 Permalink

      Count me in for some Magicka or Portal 2 co-op. These are both things I have yet to finish.
      Also, Baldur’s Gate II has co-op i think. I don’t know how that would manage on modern computers, maybe through Hamachi. You may want to solo it first though. The prospect gives me a joyous shiver. I am sure there will be some time synchronization we could manage.

    • unmanneddrone 8:05 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      There’s a lot of stuff below the surface, unlike Civ where all options are laid out on the table, so to speak. Granted, the Total War titles aren’t as fully-featured as a Civ game, but it’s primarily a wargame franchise. That said, I love the Shogun 2 diplomatic model and the tactical combat is fine as well.

      If you’ve already completed a run, though, I don’t know what to add, but if you’re feeling like you’re missing something, I second Sinfony’s statement of checking out FrogBeastEgg’s guide, as it’ll give you a great overview of things like province management and land development…


      …once you’ve got an idea of what you felt was in deficit prior, have a crack at at a few different early game runs with different clans. And, of course, if you choose Shimazu, three cheers for you! I’m a few pixels west of Kagoshima on the Satsuma peninsula and will spur on the troops and the peasants for you.

    • scribl 8:21 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      @sinfony I just started on The Witcher 2 recently. It’s fantastic. It’s got everything I could ask for in a choice-centered WRPG.

      Would definitely be interested in playing along whenever you hit Alpha Protocol, STALKER, or Shogun 2. Also, I love me some L4D/2.

    • Pete Davison 11:54 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      Excellent, I would love to play some Magicka and Portal 2. Who’s around this weekend? I may make this a separate post to ensure people see it.

    • Shingro 6:03 pm on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      I’m game for this! I never did finish the game entire, missed the early boat on it =P got maybe halfway through the Portal 2 co-op but it’s a bit of a tarred experience ’cause my friend has already solved everything before

    • cgrajko 6:27 pm on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      Final Fantasy XIII
      LA Noire
      Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time
      Resonance of Fate

      Wipeout HD
      Costume Quest
      Little Big Planet

      Xbox 360
      Alan Wake
      Child of Eden
      Deadly Premonition
      Lost Odyssey
      Portal 2
      Child of Eden

      Perfect Dark (I have beaten it, but not on the hardest difficulty)
      Rez (cannot beat Area 5 for the life of me)
      Puzzle Quest 2
      Scott Pilgrim

      PC (There’s way too much here as it is, so I’m not listing all of the Indie Bundle stuff)
      Baldur’s Gate
      Baldur’s Gate II (I want to do both with the Tutu mod)
      The Blackwell Games
      Beneath a Steel Sky
      The Dig
      All 3 Deus Ex games.
      Fallout: New Vegas
      The Longest Journey
      The Penumbra series
      Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
      The Witcher

      Where the hell do I even start with this?

    • cgrajko 7:42 pm on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      Oh, yeah, I just remembered that I also have the Ico collection (both of which I beat on PS2, so they may not count.

      I also have STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, and Uncharted.

    • unmanneddrone 11:43 pm on March 6, 2012 Permalink

      What do you reckon you’ll tackle first, man?

    • cgrajko 12:37 am on March 7, 2012 Permalink

      I don’t even know. I was thinking that I may try to knock out some of the easier/shorter things first, but maybe I should play through an RPG concurrent with some of the shorter stuff on the list, so that I always have a longer game to fall back on if I’m in the mood for that and a shorter game to play in bursts if I want something bite sized.

      I guess I will finish up Nier and try to beat some of the PSN and XBLA stuff.

      How long are LA Noire and Alan Wake?

    • RedSwirl 2:15 am on March 7, 2012 Permalink

      I think we all need to start with the shorter stuff: downloadable games and stuff we’re almost done with.

    • unmanneddrone 1:00 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink

      Hmm, I think Pete and Mark would be able to answer those two enquiries.

      Can I request a nice big @cgrajko spiel on Nier once you’ve dusted it?

    • cgrajko 7:37 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink

      Oh, don’t worry, there will definitely be a nice, big spiel on Nier once I’ve finished it. Though, from what I understand, there are four endings. So, maybe there will be one spiel per ending or something.

    • unmanneddrone 3:17 pm on March 8, 2012 Permalink

      Looking forward to it. Only knowing it by reputation, both Nier and the Souls games seem to evoke some sort of Eastern Euro vibe.

      But yes, very keen to hear your thoughts on Kainé especially.

    • beige 4:25 pm on March 8, 2012 Permalink

      Re: Neir. Yeeeeeah…. I think I said everything I currently need to say on the subject here here and here. I’d repost in its entirity but this is the kind of thing that throws the board into discord. I’ll just add that if you are at all curious, give it a read. It’s shonuff a pretty thorough analysis of my thoughts on the game.

    • cgrajko 7:56 pm on March 8, 2012 Permalink

      Whoa, AJ, we have a lot of games in common. Just let me know when you want to start up Alan Wake, Child of Eden, Lost Odyssey, LA Noire, or one of the games from the Ico collection 🙂

    • cgrajko 12:36 am on March 9, 2012 Permalink

      Let me know when you start up Deus Ex, because I have never made it all the way through. I think I may need some external motivation or something.

    • RedSwirl 6:35 pm on March 10, 2012 Permalink

      After I finish ME3 I’m probably gonna catch up on my Film/TV Pile of Shame before I start on games.

    • feenwager 11:14 am on March 11, 2012 Permalink

      At my current pace, the Feenwager Challenge shall last approximately…forever.

    • unmanneddrone 3:35 pm on March 11, 2012 Permalink

      I smell a good ol’ TV show/film discussion on the Squawk!

    • unmanneddrone 3:35 pm on March 11, 2012 Permalink

      Bodes well for the pocket book! Enjoying it so far.

    • mjpilon 12:22 am on March 12, 2012 Permalink

      I’m actually making decent headway…. two down already. But now I enter the “open-world” games with AC Revelations and Saints Row, so my pace will slow down

    • cgrajko 8:07 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink

      My girlfriend bought the most recent Mortal Kombat the other day. I’m not sure that counts as a title I would put up on the list, but it certainly counts as a title that will steal my free time, because, I’ve got to say, it’s pretty damn fun.

    • feenwager 2:24 am on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      Alright, kids…Mass Effect be done. The list is up there. What next?

    • CMWhittington 2:38 am on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      @feenwager Conviction’s on my list, too. Want to tackle some co-op?

      Side note, I went and tried Amalur. I don’t own it but has been in my GameFly queue. I’ve been playing too many RPGs with great stories but unsatisfying gameplay so this game’s a welcome relief. Man, do I feel good about playing one where I don’t give 3 shits about the story and just enjoy fucking shit up. May have to take this one the distance.

    • feenwager 12:46 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      I actually decided to go with Singularity, mostly because it was already downstairs.

    • impynickers 1:12 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      @feenwager interesting choice. Its on my list too, I played about 3 hours of it. It takes a lot of interesting ideas from other games and mashes them together to some suprising success.

      @cgrajko I played Mortal Kombat a couple of months ago and was a fan. I am not a fighting game guru of any sort, but I felt like they finally brought MK back to its roots. Brutal and fun to play with people.
      Also, I am interested to hear your take on Deus Ex. Its a game I don’t get sick of talking about.

      I am done ME3. I wonder what to get into next. I was thinking of going old school. I dunno.
      Impending exams and papers are choking my free time, but slick time management might ensure I down another game in the next week.

    • unmanneddrone 12:08 pm on March 20, 2012 Permalink

      Oh damn. So, the new patch for Jagged Alliance has some sort of really heinous way of dealing with my GPU, so I can’t get more than fifteen or so minutes into a level without my laptop overheating and shutting down. Crazy. Thought it was a hardware problem, but can run everything else fine without a hitch or a hint of this overheating problem.

      So, back on the digital shelf this goes until that one is sorted. A shame, because it’s great fun.

      Next up, back into Wargame!

    • unmanneddrone 1:07 pm on March 21, 2012 Permalink

      Turns out the heinous patch was simply a heinously corrupted or corrupting something or another in Windows that seemed to push my GPU into some sort of overdrive. Either way, formatted and now have a rather clean system once again. But yes, Wargame for now…will get back to JA down the line.

    • RedSwirl 7:12 pm on March 24, 2012 Permalink

      Looks like the Mickey Mouse Illusion games just got bumped up on my backlog. Nintendo Power just revealed the fourth one: Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion for the 3DS coming out this fall.

    • impynickers 5:02 pm on March 29, 2012 Permalink

      Keeping on top of this challenge is tough. Knee deep in The Legend of Kyrandia 2, a game I previously had not touched since sometime in the mid 1990’s. I beat the 2 other games in the series, but some people have been telling me 2 is the actual better game. It is certainly a unique adventure game. Your character being somewhat of an alchemist ensures a few non-traditional puzzles, and the dialogue so far is still charming. I think I may be resorting to FAQ’s just to fast track things though… at the pace I am going I wont be making it through my list until I am a senile old man.

    • RedSwirl 4:28 pm on March 30, 2012 Permalink

      Symphony of the Night is down. Impressions over at my new blog: http://noplatform.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/late-to-the-party-castlevania-symphony-of-the-night/

    • RedSwirl 3:41 pm on April 2, 2012 Permalink

      My report on Sonic CD: http://noplatform.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/late-to-the-party-sonic-cd/
      In short, it’s the real sequel to Sonic 2.

      I think I’m moving on to BioShock 2 next, if for no other reason than “Minerva’s Den”. Somehow I’ve figured out that I can’t subsist entirely on “small” or “indie” games for too long. I can play them in-between the big shit, but they alone won’t quite satisfy my appetite.

    • Pete Davison 12:14 pm on April 3, 2012 Permalink

      My progress is going slowly, not helped by my looting of Game and Gamestation stores over here adding Eternal Sonata, Lost Odyssey, Resonance of Fate, FFVII Crisis Core, Harvest Moon Hero of Leaf Valley, Dissidia Final Fantasy and doubtless some other ones I’ve forgotten to the mix.

      In the meantime, I’m still finishing up Shadow Hearts: Covenant. The final dungeon has been “open” for a while now. I thought I’d just go and do a few quick sidequests. 15 hours later…

      Full thoughts when I’ve finished it.

    • impynickers 6:32 am on April 5, 2012 Permalink

      Finished Legend of Kyrandia 2. Set up a tumblr specifically for this kind of thing…. impressions at:
      Ill say that this game does something unique and horrifying, it takes the worst part of adventure games (the impenetrable puzzle logic) and uses it to basically troll you everytime you think you have figured the game out. This is the Dark Soul’s of adventure games, though I use that term not so much to suggest you should actually play this game. The results are rather entertaining to read about I am sure.

    • cgrajko 8:11 pm on April 6, 2012 Permalink

      Since Nier is going to be put to bed (and will have deleted my saves once it is), I’m going to need something else to play. Does anyone want to recommend a game on my list? I have the house to myself for a week and a half, which should be more than enough time to beat anything you all can dream up.

    • RedSwirl 2:21 pm on April 7, 2012 Permalink

      BioShock 2 is down for the count. Just need to roll on “Minerva’s Den” which I got for $5.

    • RedSwirl 4:04 pm on May 18, 2012 Permalink

      Demon’s Souls is down motherfucker. Final impressions.

    • cptcarnage 4:19 am on June 1, 2012 Permalink

      Figure’d I’d weigh in on this… although listing my complete pile would reach massive wall of text territory. Current tally on Raptr is 422 games… yeesh

      here’s the main ones

      Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time
      GoW Collection
      Shadow/Ico Collection
      Sly Collection
      L.A. Noire
      Uncharted 3
      Dark Souls (I highly doubt i’ll finish this…)

      Batman Arkham City
      Fable III
      Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
      Rayman Origens

      Assassins Creed Brotherhood
      Assassins Creed Revelations

      Mass Effect 3
      Diablo 3
      Sword and Sworcery

      Thats probably not even 1/8th of my titles. Still got to start somewhere.

  • ckim 3:42 am on March 2, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks for reminding me @shingro. The Void is also on my PC list… I swear there’s more on that list than even I realize.

  • feenwager 2:06 am on March 2, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro Here’s the gist:

    List all of the games that you currently have access to that you have a realistic intention to play. You don’t have to list every Gameboy game sitting in a drawer somewhere, or that copy of Pandemonium you impulsively spent $5 on the PSN.

    The goal is to play through all of these games, however long it takes, before adding any new inventory to the pile. You are allowed special dispensation to play big, tentpole games such as Mass Effect or Assassin’s Creed, but as a group we’ll keep each other honest before picking something up because we’ll get to it “eventually”.

    Bowley suggested an interactive element of the group choosing the next game in the list, and I’m happy to go along with it, but that part can be optional.

    It’s not a race, or anything…more like a support group. It’s also very close to the Squad’s original mission, only the bargain bins are coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!

  • scribl 9:37 pm on March 1, 2012 Permalink  

    @shingro oooo I’m already envisioning Desmond-as-Robin-Hood in the forests…

  • unmanneddrone 4:04 am on February 29, 2012 Permalink

    @shingro No Shingro CliffsNotes character creation version?

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