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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 74: Dragon's Dogma, Max Payne 3 and Portable Gaming

Dylan Collins's picture

On this episode we examine the state of Portable Games. Brad also brings Dragon's Dogma to the table, and Mike and Chi weigh in on Max Payne 3. This episode also features what is surely the greatest Thumbs up, thumbs down of all time! With Dylan Collins, Chi Kong Lui, Brad "Bromance" Gallaway, Mike Bracken and special guest Michael Cunningham.

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Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360   Wii   PS3   3DS   Android   Vita   Wii U   Nintendo DS   PSP   PC   iPhone   iPad  
Series: Max Payne   Dragon's Dogma  
Articles: Podcasts  

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I just started the podcast

I just started the podcast so I don't have a whole lot to say about the podcast as a whole but god damn Dylan that was a major improvement on the introduction I am all sorts of impressed by how much better that was. You go man.

state of handheld gaming

Good discussion, as usual. One reason I enjoy listening to this podcast is that the opinions tend to be diametrically opposed to most videogame-savvy people I know, yet they are just as passionately held. Kudos!

I agree with Brad that iOS isn't a true competitor to the existing handheld market. I don't think we will ever reach a point where iOS or some other mobile platform will completely take over the marketplace. I also agree with Brad that iOS does certain types of games really well, but others extremely poorly (i.e. anything with a virtual D-pad).

Games that emulate existing console genres on iOS generally do not interest me at all. Even games with reasonably good production values, like Aralon, Galaxy on Fire, Infinity Blade, and just about everything in Gameloft's catalog. Why play Dungeon Hunter when I can just play Diablo III on my MacBook Pro?

iOS does certain types of games extremely well. As Chi pointed out, shmups translate very well. Just take a look at the work Cave is doing with their existing catalog. I still prefer to play ESPGaluda on a console, but I can play it on an iPad without losing too much of the experience. But I still haven't found a truly captivating game on iOS, one that can capture my attention for more than, say, 16 hours (the classic 16 hour test!). iOS is great at capturing my attention while waiting in line and sitting at a bar, but I will always pick a dedicated handheld, a console, or the PC if I want to spend more than a few minutes gaming. And I think most hardcore gamers will agree with me there.

So will people still choose dedicated handhelds when both iOS and traditional console/PC gaming are available? In other words, is there a reason for people to choose 3DS/Vita when iOS provides quality momentary distractions, and console/PC provides a more filling experience? I know I will always play dedicated handhelds. I've always enjoyed the handheld form factor, for one. And I don't expect iOS gaming will ever reach a level of quality that will surpass AAA-quality handheld gaming. I don't have a Vita yet, but the 3DS library really is coming into its own. I personally have about half a dozen games I expect to spend, or have already spent, 20-40+ hours playing: Devil Survivor Overclocked, Shinobi 3DS, Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus Uprising, Super Mario 3D Land, and Starfox 64 3D. I don't expect to see any games of this quality on iOS.

I hope I continue to see high-quality, AAA titles for 3DS and Vita, and I disagree with Brad that there is no longer a market for them on handhelds. I want to see big-budget titles, not just iOS-caliber stuff on 3DS/Vita.

Finally, I actually like the 3D effect on the 3DS and think it's more than just a gimmick. It's really impressive when used well and, frankly, even when it isn't.

ios v. traditional handhelds

I think you guys are right when you say that platforms like the iphone and ipad are always going to have a different market than the psv or 3ds that being said however what I think companies like nintendo and sony are risking is that overtime their market share will slowly (or rapidly as we've seen with this handheld generation) erode leaving a smaller and smaller niche handheld market that doesn't have the buying power to create the more in depth titles you guys are talking about. I could very easily see in the coming years the more traditional handheld market being marginalized into irrelevance.
Also got name dropped in the podcast hells yeah.

sleeve wrote: Why play

sleeve wrote:

Why play Dungeon Hunter when I can just play Diablo III on my MacBook Pro?

Because you can't play Diablo 3 without a stable and fast internet connection. Which makes playing on the bus, a plane or train pretty much impossible. Given you come beyond Error 37.


Mike, I had exactly the same conversation with my friend the other day, clearly Butler is the man to play him.
But then I offered Vincent Cassell as an alternative....
Great podcast guys.

Great show, guys.

Great show, guys.

Great podcast, as always. I

Great podcast, as always.

I think tablets could conceivably become a pretty strong platform in select areas. There’s something about the way you can curl up with a tablet and a pair of headphones, combined with the visceral quality of touch controls, that’s quite intimate and could work really well for a deep, story-based RPG or strategy game.

Sword and Sworcery took some great steps in this direction. I’ll be interested to see how well the reboot of Baldur’s Gate turns out.

Vincent Cassell would be

Vincent Cassell would be pretty awesome too.

I'm not a big iPod gamer as

I'm not a big iPod gamer as most of those simple one-touch games just don't appeal to me. I like a game where I'm interested enough to play it consistently until I reach some point of completion, whereas Angry Birds is more of a "I'm stuck in this lineup, this will amuse me for 5 min" game. The only one that grabbed me like that so far is Tiny Wings, which obsessed me for a little while.

Also downloaded Galaxy on Fire 2, and I'm really enjoying it so far, hopefully the story goes somewhere. The virtual d-pad actually works really well.


Great podcast everyone. Love the insight and spirited discussion. And the laughs.

One aspect of iOS/tablet gaming I think is worth bringing that you didn't discuss in detail up is ergonomics. With my Xbox in storage I spent the last few months gaming exclusively on my iPad, and what I found was that anything more than 30 min or so of continuous gaming puts undue stress on wrists and fingers, at least with the way I hold it with one hand supporting the system as it rests in my lap on one edge and the other hand operating touch controls.

It becomes a problem in particular in games like Aquaria or Waking Mars where you need to constantly tap or tap-and-drag to traverse the world or do combat with your character. These two are amazing, expansive, immersive games that can hold my attention for hours at a time, but I have started experience intense pain in my lower arms and hands after longer sessions, much more so than after using a DS or PSP. Those dedicated handheld gaming systems are not as heavy as the iPad, for one.

As such, I for one are looking forward to the Wii U. If Nintendo are able to make the GamePad lighter than an iPad they might have a winner on their hands.

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