(Note, this is not my archer).
Have any stories, opinions, feedback on old video game music and sound? Last generation or before? Please share!
Whoa? Thanks for sharing, starting to think about things now.
I think I can do that. Already had a few songs in mind for a bit now, so I just need to write it up.
Rad, when do you need submissions by?
Do you want our stories here or through the contact form? Both? Either?
I have a thought.
Ok submitted my stuff. 4 songs in total. Hard to nail it down to a few.
No problem Gary, it was fun to do. Hard to break it down to a few and it was strange because I had to wrap my mind around "this isn't songs of the year." :D
So far I just submitted one... it's a little obscure, but so rad. I'll see if I can think up anymore before today's deadline!
I want to know what one, but I also want to hear the episode and be surprised... :D
It's from a Genesis game! Which just made me think of Sonic the Hedgehog. The music in that game wasn't that memorable, but all the sound effects were! Collecting coins, jumping, busting through things/enemies... for some reasons those sounds make me nostalgic :)
When will the episode drop?
Me and some of my goofball friends will be live streaming some Binding of Isaac tonight at 9PM pacific. Come join us!
I might have some time to check this out on my phone Gary. Ill be at the Global Game Jam, but may have a bit to watch your tears! Love your Isaac runs.
Have any of you ghosties played it? What did you think?
I have not played it, but plan on getting around to it. Bummed to hear its sequel is PS3 bound only.
I like the idea of a podcast to do a deep dive on a game. Will this be Dark Souls only or will it deep dive on another game at some point?
I tried to play it on the computer but the terrible controls made it almost impossible to play. I'm going to give it another try on the ps3 eventually.
Cool, that should be plenty o content then :D
That makes sense. Adding it to my podcast client thingy. Ah, doesn't show in iTunes yet, so ill wait a bit then.
This is one of my favorite games primarily because it doesn't hold your hand. A lot of games do the whole "GO HERE!" or "FOLLOW THIS GUY!" This game nearly does a full 180 and tells you just the controls, and very little about an area. What info you do get is left by other players. It's a bit refreshing in that regard.
Wow Gary that was fantastic, that really helps me understand the depth of the game and some basic strategy that I didn't quite get by "armchairing" Isaac.
Watching this game is hella awesome but I realize how far I have to go to actually beat it in a run as it gets REALLY hard later on. Awesome though, looks fun.
I just wanted to say again, more of these please :D
Awesome, the public demands more Issac. And by public I mean me.... But I mean you pumped over 300 hrs into this game and it shows.
Personally I am interested in a bad Isaac run and if you can complete it.
I think that's a good idea. Haven't seen the newes yet but it looked like it was another good run.
Here's to a bad one for the cameras!
Just made two Isaac runs. Nowhere as beefy as you were by floor 3. That and floor 3 stopped me each time. Used your strats to find the secret rooms and bombs blowing two spaces. Helps quite a bit, way more powerful that I was starting Isaac totally fresh.
That said, I unlocked Magdeline and she seems not as good as Isaac. Recommend?
I have noticed speed upgrades are pretty plentiful. I dig Issac because he is Isaac but I find I really do appreciate the speed boost to start. Ill incorporate her more into my play though.
Awesome, thanks Gary.
So I want to talk about my 3rd or 4th favorite game of the year, Dishonored. Dishonored creates an incredible world, a "whale punk" setting that I've never seen before. But I want to mention, specifically, food in dishonored. Just like in Bioshock, you can constantly chomp on bits of food to regain a little health. The food itself, however, reflects the world perfectly. You're not running into burgers and fries. In poor areas, you're running into Potted Whale Meat, Prachett Jellied Eels and Brined Hagfish. Give me a moment while I vomit. It's disgusting! But it really shows how the essential economy of this world is shaped by the sea.
In wealthier areas, you find tarts and fruit. Sausage from far away lands. Dishonored has some very heavy themes around class and the food plays into this wonderfully. You spend time in the slums and are disgusted to chomp down some jellied eels, you go to the wealthy district and are relieved to eat a Tyrian Pear.
It's just a tiny example of an essential principle of game design: Everything needs to be there for a reason. Setting needs to serve theme and character.
Those are some really great design choices for the game. I was thinking about world building today actually as I was watching a YouTube video showcasing how to play Dwarf Fortress. It was interesting because part of Dwarf Fortress is starting the game and watching time pass quickly. At some point you stop the world flying by and say "I want to start my game at this point in the worlds history." Trees grow and fall as do mountains and entire cultures. Its a really interesting process.
Its interesting because lately I have been playing Minecraft that has these elements too. Its a world and the story is how the world evolves and how you interact with it. From what I gather Dwarf Fortress logs the history of your world in terms of who is born and what happens to them. Its an interesting concept for a full procedural world.
Lately I have been playing a bit of Lord of the Rings Online. Its a free to play MMO and its pretty well done. Recently I went into the Barrow Downs and had a quest where I had to talk to Tom Bombadil. It was interesting because when I entered his house he was dancing around the room. Dancing isn't too popular unless its a Just Dance game, but from what I remember of the Hobbit books he was a dancin' guy. I went on a quest at his bequest and after killin a bunch of stuff, I came up to a Boss fight I couldn't win. He came in a zapped it and the quest ended by him telling me to avoid the dark corners of the earth and stay in the light.
Thing is I don't disagree with him, but I wonder how interesting Lord of the Rings Online would be if I avoiding fighting, a major staple of questing.
I enjoy world building a lot, but it seems like there are two ways to do it. One is to present a back story about the environment and what makes it up. This is often too overwrought and makes the whole mythology unbelievable. Games like Dragon Age pour it on very thick through codexes and, even though it helps to flesh out the world, it doesn't seem organic. Then I think of games like Fallout or STALKER where the environment is only presented but I am forced to fill in the gaps. Hints and small stories can be dropped to make it more realistic, but my own imagination often fills in blanks much more interestingly than writing could. I guess I just like being left out of the loop a little bit because I don't know what's going on in THIS world that much either. If I know all the information, it just doesn't seem right.
I think that's a good point Will. I am currently playing Skyrim a bit at at time. They have tons of books all over the game you can read. I think that is pretty cool for some, but I don't really attach to it.
Look forward to reading it.
Bloodlines, like all those other games, is about choice. Choice is what separates games from puzzles and pure narratives. Choice is the ESSENTIAL aspect of game. If you aren't making choices, you aren't playing a game. I value games that value this. Bloodlines is ALMOST great at it. For most of the game, you can sneak or negotiate or kill or use powers or what have you. What happens about 3/4 the way through, however, is the Troika effect; the devs ran out of time and/or money and things get rushed and combat heavy. So god help you if you didn't roll a combat viable character.
The game plays drastically differently based on your choice of race in the beginning of the game, which points to the 2nd bit of choice being the essential aspect of game: you need to make choices, they need to matter. If you're a Malkavian, you are batshit insane, can spread your madness, have entirely different dialog the entire game. If you're Nosferatu, you can't allow yourself to be seen by humans without dire consequences. Other races impact your skills, abilities and dialog.
Still though, the story is dark and engaging, the quests are varied, the world is rich and interesting. More and more, I'm finding that almost all of my favorite games have a lot in common with table top gaming. Emulating that experience makes for a very different kind of fun than a mario or a zelda. Play this game when it goes on sale for five bucks on Steam.
Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention The Oceanside Hotel. A haunted house mission where nothing can hurt you, you'd be hard pressed to find a more tense, lovingly crafted horror experience in games. I want an entire game of this, just haunted houses where nothing can hurt you but everything freaks you the fuck out. It's not the best horror experience in gaming (or even the best one we'd done on the podcast so far) but it's top shelf.
I havent played this game but is it similar to something like Fallout 3 or Skyrim? I guess those are the only games I can think of that sort of sound similar to this.
That said, it looks pretty awesome. I like engaging open ended games where the story matters. Seems to be the games I latch on to the strongest.
Awesome, I will thanks Gary.
The Timing System: What is the number one genre staple in JRPGs that is persistently tolerated and rarely improved? The grind. 80% of JRPGs consist of pressing the action button. This is true. Random battles rarely require any sort of deep strategical thinking and can be conquered with basic attacks. This is necessary; it'd be exhausting to think each and every encounter. It'd be like having to figure out the best way to tackle a goomba. So, this gets boring, almost every time. In SMRPG, they introduce this rudimentary timed button press system to keep you engaged throughout. This is a masterstroke innovation.
The Tone: Most JRPGs are bleak stuff (Earthbound aside). The tone here is goofy, light and fun, a real rarity at the time.
Then, we run into a bunch of stuff that's passable in the middle. The character advancement, as it were, the level designs, the music. It's all *fine* without being remarkable (at least to me). On to demerits:
The Characters: I might be in the minority here but I didn't like many of the new characters introduced. When you have a powerful license like Mario, why populate your game with uncharismatic new comers? A lot of the designs just seemed dumb and amateurish to me.
The Villains: This ties into the last point but this game has a serious case of an unforeseen bad guy coming up out of nowhere at the end. Now, Final Fantasy 4 does this as well but much more successfully. The ultimate antagonist of SMRPG is just an evil weapon maker with no back story. At least in FF4 he was an Azathothian cosmic horror.
In the end, worth playing but I didn't love it. Check out the episode for a more in depth discussion:
Aww. This was one of the first games I ever beat all the way. Geno is still one of my favorite characters of all time. I love the marionette. I still consider this to be one of the best games of all time. I love the culex battle as a throwback to early final fantasy games. It also was the precursor to the long running and much beloved paper mario games. The minecart mini game was also really fun. As was the music note tadpoles. Thanks for taking the time to write something up on such and old classic though. It's rarely mentioned nowadays.
Ya I don't fault you for disliking it or anything. You made valid points about it. Just giving my own opinions on a game from my childhood. I've gone back and finished it again about 3years ago replaying some games to see if it was all nostalgia.
paladins quest...OH! I remember why that sounds familiar. It's also called Lennus. I just recently finished Lennus 2 a month or so ago. It was a great game.
I missed Super Mario RPG too. My cousin played it and loved it, but I didn't have it. By the time it came around I was moving on to being in a band and I skipped this entirely.
I came back to try it later and the faux 3D sort of didn't resonate with me. It seems to garner high praise from people that love it though. The fighting didn't stick with me and the story wasn't memorable, for the small bit I did play.
I love the world of Call of Cthulhu as it relates to games. I have a post I want to write at some point about the table top game but what it comes down to is what I like to call a "disempowerment fantasy." We spend so much time as badass spacemarines and sparkflash embermages that it's refreshing to play a game where we're just a regular dude. This lends itself well to the horror genre but a lot of survival horror eschews this idea. Though you may start out relatively powerless in Resident Evil or Silent Hill, before long you're blasting and/or bashing in skulls and even in the early game, you are more than a match for a few zombies. There are exceptions, of course, like the Penumbra games, Amnesia, Haunting Ground or Clocktower.
This game straddles the line. For the first half, you are entirely defenseless and moreover, it plays like an adventure game. You're solving puzzles and soaking in atmosphere. The game is bifurcated by one of my all time favorite sequences in a video game (I'll talk about that a moment), and afterwards you have weapons. But your aim sucks and it's hard to hit enemies. If you run into a couple of guys, you're more or less fucked. I'm not going to say it's realistic but it's more so. You're not a badass. You're a bookish detective. It's very rarely a good idea to just charge into a situation with guns blazing. You use splits to heal broken legs and bandages to heal cuts. Super neat.
Further, the game does a great job at being unnerving without resorting to jump scares. The citizens of the town you're explore are subtly off and refer to terrible things in off handed ways. They're not openly malevolent, until they are and christ, it's amazing. This game is based on a couple of books by HP Lovecraft, the primary one being The Shadow Over Innsmouth. The climax of that book is an escape from an inn and this game replicates it perfectly. I'm going to say that it's the best translation of a specific scene from a book to a game EVER. If you've played it, you know what I mean. Thrilling, terrifying. I fucking love it. This game is must play up to that point.
Yes, it loses some shine, yes it has some rough edges. We talk about those a lot in the episode. But there are things this game does better than any other game I've played, specifically the idea of pursuit as a game mechanic.
I apologize for the touch of madness that caused this to be so disorganized. Underrated gem.
I request a lets play of this game!
That's cool, thanks for giving it a go. Is a 3d game harder to capture?
Fair enough. I want to get into doing that for my upcoming FF2 play through.
Final Fantasy 2/4. Played it as 2, need to get used to the proper convention.
FF6 is a close second to 4 for certain. I think the Moon and Dwarf underground in the cavern parts sent it over the edge. FF6 has more re playablility and its end game can take you pretty far.
Watching it now.