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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 86: Clearing games from our backlog, listener mail

Dylan Collins's picture

On this episode, we talk about what we are FINALLY going to be clearing from our backlogs this year. We also answer some listener questions that you have always wanted to know, but didn't know you wanted to know. Join us for this informative episode of the GameCritics Podcast! With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik and Dylan "I finally spelled everyone's name correctly" Collins.

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Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360   Vita   PS3   3DS   PSP   PC   iPhone   iPad  
Genre(s): Adventure/Explore   Horror  
Articles: Podcasts  

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This week's podcast

Lots of topics under discussion this week. A couple things I’d like to address.

Yakuza 5

First, there’s the Yakuza 5 article in Kotaku. FYI, the title of the article is “Five Reasons Yakuza 5 Is Not For Me,” by Richard Eisenbeis. Here’s the link to the article http://bit.ly/XcCqho.

I know Gamecritics loves Yakuza. But it’s also very much a niche series. People like me who have no personal experience with it want to know if Yakuza 5 will appeal to newcomers. Based on this article, I don’t think I would find it appealing. I’m sure this game’s writing is wonderful, and that the story is the second coming of Takeshi Kitano or whatever. But if I cared about any of that stuff I’d already be a fan of the series. And so what if he hasn’t played the other 4 games? Do the aging combat system, awkward checkpoint placement, and tedious dialogue cease to be problems for those who have played Yakuza 1 through 4? I don’t think Eisenbeis’ article was unfair to Yakuza; he just said it wasn’t for him. It’s hard to find fault with him for that.

Used Games and the Next Console Generation

We’re moving towards a download-only future. In a lot of ways, we’re already there. Physical media is going to become less and less common. The popularity of iOS and Steam is proof of where things are headed. The next console generation is going to be even more internet-focused than the current one. Cloud gaming is going to be a big part of it, too.

I don’t think any of the new consoles will “ban” used games, or refuse to read them. Not because it’s impossible to create such a console. I just think the public relations fallout would be catastrophic, and that it would outweigh any potential benefits.

But I do think the used game market will become increasingly irrelevant. Consumers are increasingly acclimated to the online marketplace. Netflix and Amazon are really popular for movies, and there’s little reason why a similar service for games wouldn’t become just as popular. Again, look at how popular PSN, XBLA, Steam, and iOS have become in their respective ways.

It’s hard to see where physical media fits in, long-term. I don’t think Microsoft and Sony will outlaw used games. But they can, and will, make them irrelevant.

I also don’t think that any of these consoles will impose an internet “always on” requirement. Not because it’s infeasible, but because the PR fallout would be massive. Look at what happened when Blizzard tried to make Diablo III require an internet connection. Blizzard is historically one of the most beloved game companies in the industry. But they took a massive PR hit with D3.

All of the big 3 game companies are in an extremely tenuous position. I don’t think any of them can afford to alienate the gaming public by requiring internet or prohibiting used games. Especially Sony.

Kid Icarus: Uprising

I could write a ton in response to all the various “thumbs up, thumbs down” and individual game mentions. But I’ll limit myself to Kid Icarus Uprising. It was one of my personal favorite games of 2012, and I was disappointed to hear Brad hated it so much. I had a lukewarm response to this game at first, but the winning character design and excellent writing won me over. And on top of it, the game is actually really good. You do have to get past the awkward control scheme. As bizarre as it is, it gets the job done. I never felt that the controls prevented me from doing something I needed to do.

I might write some more later, but that’ll do for now.

Great podcast

Great podcast guys, and as Sleeve mentions, a lot of ground was covered.

Used games/always online consoles - based on gut feeling, I don't think this will happen now, but it's probably being prepped for a few years down the road, maybe for next gen. The gaming landscape could be very different by then though.

Backlog - I hope to get to Stalker: Call of Pripyat and Crusader Kings II, though I don't know how I feel about the latter. There seems to be a dearth of decent console games on the horizon this year.

Dark Souls vs Demon's Souls - I just finished up the Demon's Platinum last night, having done Dark before, and....there really is not much between them. The foreboding atmosphere in Demon's, the tougher bosses in Dark. The superlative level design in Demon's, the amazing integrated open world in Dark. The intricate systems in both...and the flaws in both....it's tough to separate them. And that is a great thing.

All your backlog games are ridiculously long - the smart money says you only succeed in about a third of them. Great discussion though, love it.

Sigh.

I can't believe you guys fielded a "games and sex" question and didn't immediately call me.

Tim, we needed the show to

Tim, we needed the show to be less than four hours long, so that wasn't really an option.

I usually very much

I usually very much appreciate Brad's criticisms, but his outright dismissal of Kid Icarus merely because the game is diminished when playing without sound seems extremely unfair. The game is meant to be played with sound (as are nearly all games), so it would seem logical to atleast give the game a chance by playing it the way it was meant to be played. I understand that accessibility issues are important, but it is not cause to entirely dismiss a game outright. Its almost as silly as if I dismissed Wii Fit for not accodomating gamers in wheelchairs. There wasn't even any comment on the merit of the gameplay itself. Has every game that you loved also passed that threshold of accessibility for all disabled gamers?

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