This week, it's some good old fashioned game talk. Amnesia The Dark Descent! Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker! Alan Wake! Plus: Games are too buggy, Richard sings (twice), and stay tuned after the credits for some impromptu Halo: Reach chat. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "Let's Grow a Beard Together" Spaeth.
An E3 wrap-up so enormous, so all-encompassing, we drafted a fifth chair from across the pond to share the load. Sinan Kubba of the Big Red Potion podcast joins us as we tear Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft to shreds. The hate flows freely this week folks; if it gets too depressing jump to the 92-minute mark as we reveal our most anticipated games of the show. It's our longest, most vulgarity-packed podcast ever! Rejoice! Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, the aforementioned Sinan Kubba, and Tim "Billy Big Bang Blitz" Spaeth.
It's been suggested by critic emeritus Gene Park, staff critic Matthew Kaplan and others outside of the GC community, that adding more interactive choices/decisions to the popular PlayStation 3 title, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, would change the very thrill-ride nature and universal appeal of its gameplay. The argument is that the inclusion of such choice would result in something that was "not the point of the game".
Gene insists that: "...I've followed the game's development through media and it's been said time and time again (even in the game's in-game documentary) that the purpose of the game was never going to be about player choice, but providing the same experience for all players."
I disagree with this logic of thought for multiple reasons.
Many video games are escapist in one sense or another and have to deal with the maximum agency afforded to the player, and in most cases we're talking about agency in the idealized, physical sense. If the protagonist is not physically attractive or physically "able" (and this is to say nothing of the marginalizing of the physically handicapped or disabled in video games... perhaps a topic for future discussion), at the very least he/she is youthful... iconic of the kind of template for change and dynamic narrative-based character shifts we all look for in the classic bildungsroman that forms the basis for games ranging from Braid to Fable 2.
While Tim takes some time off to enjoy his new son, we present our very first bonus episode! In these deleted scenes from Episode 14, you'll hear a great segment on how casual games relate to Heather Chaplin’s GDC rant, and then we try to answer that classic gaming question “What is the Citizen Kane of Video Games?” Our answers will shock and amaze you. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Mike Bracken, David Stone, and the very sleepy Tim Spaeth.
In an effort to prepare for Metal Gear Solid 4, I've recently been playing some of the earlier Metal Gear Solid games. And while it's been really fun for the most part, it's also brought to mind some of my gaming pet peeves, not just related to MGS but to games in general.
What triggered this for me was being reminded that MGS doesn't allow the player to pause during cut scenes. I was at the end of MGS2 when I suddenly found the need to pause the game. I think I knew at that point that I couldn't actually pause, but I had no choice but to try. So I hit the start button and suddenly the game fast forwarded to another section, apparently bypassing a whole bunch of end-game exposition. As a result, I had to reset the game, load my most recent save, and fight a whole bunch of enemies and go through a long boss fight just to get back to the cut scene that I missed. It was absolutely maddening, and it baffles me that the developers wouldn't include such an obvious feature, or why any developer wouldn't include that feature, especially in a game that is so heavy in cut scenes.
So is it true that most gamers only want better graphics and more-of-the-same gameplay? Many industry heads think so, and evidently there's a pretty good number of gamers out there who are pretty eager to agree with them.
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