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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 93: E3 Extravaganza!

A belated but always beloved E3 shindig for the GameCritics.com podcast team takes in the meandering of Microsoft, the smackdowns of Sony, and the no-shows of Nintendo in a thorough examination of the platform holders' performance at this year's conference. Strap yourselves in for a marathon effort from Sinan Kubba, Chi Kong Lui, Richard Naik, Mike Bracken, and Brad "The Bone" Gallaway.

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Platform(s): Xbox 360   Wii   PS3   3DS   Vita   PS4   Xbox One   PC  
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Welcome to the Xbox hate-train

Wow! This podcast was a real MS hate train. It felt like reading r/gaming in reddit! Not that xbox did major error. What actually surprised me is that there was no mention that PS4 had fewer good game when compared the Xbox One.

...

First off, that argument about the games is totally subjective. Titanfall did nothing for me, and Ryse looks more like a series of QTEs than an actual game. They even appear to have fucked up Dead Rising at this point -- so I'm not sure where all these magically awesome games the Xbox One had were.

Even still, if we were to say that the Xbox One had better games -- again, a totally subjective evaluation -- who gives a shit if I have to put up with their DRM and all the other crap they were pushing? Nothing they showed was so Earth-shatteringly amazing that we'd compromise things we believe in (like the right to actually own our games, and the freedom to not have to be online if we don't want to be, and not wanting a Kinect cluttering up my entertainment center...) for games. Sometimes, principles matter. I know that's a foreign concept to most of you guys -- which is why bullshit like DRM and the like prosper despite being vehemently anti-consumer. Just because some of you guys would give away every consumer right in the universe to play another goddamn shooter with shinier graphics doesn't make the rest of us "haters". It really just makes some us principled.

Of course, some of us actually lauded MS for reversing course (who? This guy.), and have said we'd buy the console. I don't like the price point. I don't like the Kinect requirement, and I'm not buying one at launch, but I will buy one. MS dug their own hole with consumers -- and further muddied the issue with each subsequent interview. This is a billion dollar product they're launching. The onus is on them to convince people why this benefits them, not for consumers to simply accept what they're selling. To act like a few games that may or may not even be good somehow makes up for all that is the kind of shit that drives me nuts about gamers.

xbones planned, announced crimes.

Denial of consumer rights is a crime. It cannot be simpler to understand. Microfu#ks plan was to commit millions of crimes against xbone users. The astonishing but not surprising reaction from most gamers was, ' I don't know or care because digital is the future man '. It boggles the mind.

Microsoft has shown criminal planning and contempt for its xbone users and they would have gotten away with it too if Sony had only played tag team. Governments should have been all over this issue but we all should know who governments work for.

On the games side of things - spectacle's domination over gameplay looks to continue the trend to my disappointment. E3 did nothing to change that trend. That covers the PS4 and xbone, now onto nintendo. Oh look I took the same dump I took yesterday.

Move over Bracken. New angry guy in town.

Anonymous wrote: Wow! This

Anonymous wrote:

Wow! This podcast was a real MS hate train. It felt like reading r/gaming in reddit! Not that xbox did major error. What actually surprised me is that there was no mention that PS4 had fewer good game when compared the Xbox One.

On the contrary, I feel most of the guys were particularly soft on Microsoft. I'm surprised a few of the guys even said they'd still be getting an Xbox One, despite fully acknowledging that Microsoft can/does have a sinister DRM-laced agenda.

I'm fairly certain that more European-centric gaming podcasts would have been much, much tougher on Microsoft than GC. After all, Xbox love isn't exactly humongous in Europe and Asia (bar the UK, were it fares as well as it does in the US), so this whole DRM/180 debacle will have just completely certified PS4 dominance in those regions.

In any case, I think it is much easier to notice the disinterest for anything Nintendo-related than any massive Microsoft bashing. I know it's not really possible to take an interest in something you don't particularly care for without being blatantly obvious about it (like Mike pretending to have any interest in Zelda - I'd rather he just admits he doesn't give a crap). Even so, it is a bit embarrassing for a gaming 'site to not have any real opinion or analysis on a major gaming giant (which Nintendo still are). There's no real solution to it though, besides adding another member the podcast who has more of an interest in Nintendo games (though still objective in their views, of course).

Great podcast though. I thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciate the few hours you guys dedicated to record it.

Like Chi, I don't adopt consoles on launch as I find it to be a particularly silly thing to do. Killer apps on launch are almost non-existent these days. Was Halo: Combat Evolved the last one? And yes, they have a higher percentage chance to break than later models, and the initial asking price is always far in excess of what you really should be paying. Waiting 6-months, at the very least, is my preferred way. Though both of the new consoles have done absolutely nothing to garner my interest to that extent anyway (except, in the case of the Xbox One, making me want it even less). I'll stick with PC for the foreseeable future.

Also, I'm totally with Mike - I cannot stand mechs of any form. It is a massive turn-off for me as gamer. The only times I tolerate them is for peripheral purposes or minor gameplay sections.

Hey Crofto, >>In any case, I

Hey Crofto,

>>In any case, I think it is much easier to notice the disinterest for anything Nintendo-related than any massive Microsoft bashing. I know it's not really possible to take an interest in something you don't particularly care for without being blatantly obvious about it (like Mike pretending to have any interest in Zelda - I'd rather he just admits he doesn't give a crap). Even so, it is a bit embarrassing for a gaming 'site to not have any real opinion or analysis on a major gaming giant (which Nintendo still are). There's no real solution to it though, besides adding another member the podcast who has more of an interest in Nintendo games (though still objective in their views, of course).

I definitely hear what you’re saying, but on the other hand, I think we gave it the opinion and analysis it deserves – they’re turning out more of the same with little variations here and there, and apart from their various misadventures with interface “innovation”, they’re taking baby steps forward in terms of advancing the medium. It’s all well and good that they’re delivering what core fans want, but from a critical sense, I really don’t see a lot to sink my teeth into.

Like I said on the podcast, they’ve become sort of a good standby for kids and families but from a larger perspective, they’re totally stagnant. Another Zelda, another Mario, year after year… Where’s the investment in brand-new IP? Where’s the investment in brand-new game design? Some people may be satisfied with motion controls and a touchpad as their way of trying to shake things up, but it’s not enough for me.

If you really think we’re doing Nintendo a disservice by overlooking something that’s worth talking about in a critical sense, I would generally like to know what it is because I honestly don’t see much here. Not trying to be snarky, that’s a totally legitimate question. Your feedback is desired!

Crofto wrote: I know it's

Crofto wrote:

I know it's not really possible to take an interest in something you don't particularly care for without being blatantly obvious about it (like Mike pretending to have any interest in Zelda - I'd rather he just admits he doesn't give a crap).

I would, if that were the truth. I mean, when have I ever had a problem coming out and saying something is shit? :p

The reality of the matter is that I have a soft spot for the original Zelda and A Link to the Past -- and I liked Wind Waker until the stupid sailing took over and fucked it all up.

So, it's not that I don't give a shit about Zelda -- but I am tired of basically playing the same game over and over again, especially when they're not on the level of the aforementioned titles.

Same applies to Mario in a lot of ways. I may not like the direction of these franchises, but there was a time when they were important to me. The idealist in me always hopes they'll get back to being as great as they once were. Because of that, it's not really fair to say I don't give a shit -- I'm just hard on things I know can be better. Zelda can be better than Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword and the like.

I'm happy that I'm not the

I'm happy that I'm not the only one who thinks X on the WiiU looks lovely so far. Now just two or three more such interesting games and I might actually grab a cheap WiiU someplace.

Regarding Xoxox and PS4 I noticed something else, apparently MS doesn't care about anyone other than the US. While I get the feeling that the PS4 is a global console for a global audience, a lot of the extra functionality the Xboxonox comes with an asterisk which indicates it's only available in the US. The 360 was already struggling against the PS3 in Europe, I think the One will have a even harder time against the more reasonably priced PS4. Especially in countries like Germany, where people are much more willing to fight for their consumer rights than in most other countries and the DRM news were particularly ill received.

@Brad I totally appreciate

@Brad

I totally appreciate what you're saying. Even as a fan of Nintendo's traditional triple-A first-party output (from Super Mario Bros. to Mario Galaxy 2) I cannot challenge the valid argument that states that their library is predictable. Even so, it is still worth researching titles like, say, Donkey Kong Country Returns 2 if only to have some input other than 'eeeeeergh'. If you've watched gameplay previews or even played it, then - by all means - highlight it as the same old BS. What comes across particularly in the podcast is even a lack of input based on preview material. I understand seeing 'Mario' in a title typically ensures an opinion is formed without any attention being paid, but as gaming journalists it is perhaps more beneficial to have someone properly research and form a valid opinion on Nintendo's upcoming library.

Let me throw this out there, though. Titles like Titanfall, to me, seem about as predictable and dismissive as you guys would deem the next Zelda (or whatever). I mean, this is another take on the generic Halo/CoD-style FPS formula we've seen for the past 5+ years. Despite this you guys seem to have made the effort to at least preview the video material. Why does Nintendo not deserve the same courtesy?

I don't even think the 'but it's a new IP' argument can be used either. Titanfall is an FPS published by EA and developed by former employees of Infinity Ward. Surely this is about as predictable as another Mario Kart?

@Mike

I apologise for generalising that you hated Zelda - I was just making a point but didn't consider whether you had any affection for the series or not.

In any case, I can concur to a degree that Zelda's formula remains mostly similar from title to title. However, I think the 3D console Mario titles do alter significantly. The fundamentals between Mario 64 and Mario Galaxy are the same, but there is a world of difference in how each game actually is. Perhaps the type of games they have become does not appeal to you any longer? I find it incredibly difficult to criticise either of the Mario Galaxy titles, especially for being too similar to past iterations.

Regarding Wind Waker, the upcoming HD update improves the sailing sections significantly. I believe a speed boost is introduced which is great news. Wind Waker is actually my best game of all time (followed by Okami, a similar game), so to know that it'll be even better next time round is fantastic news for me.

@Li-Ion

Completely agree with you. This is exactly what I was saying before: Europe and Asia are regions which Microsoft doesn't appear to have strong footing on, and their Xbox One dealings seem unlikely to change this.

As someone who lives in the UK I find it incredibly ignorant when Microsoft only ever seem interested in talking about the US. Sony, meanwhile, tends to conduct itself aiming towards a worldwide audience.

Microsoft may, even after all their recent crap, still manage to dominate the US with the Xbox One, but I'm almost certain that the PS4 will be the console of choice everywhere else.

Hey Crofto,>>If you've

Hey Crofto,

>>If you've watched gameplay previews or even played it, then - by all means - highlight it as the same old BS. What comes across particularly in the podcast is even a lack of input based on preview material. I understand seeing 'Mario' in a title typically ensures an opinion is formed without any attention being paid, but as gaming journalists it is perhaps more beneficial to have someone properly research and form a valid opinion on Nintendo's upcoming library.

I hear ya, but the bottom line is that time is limited and we're all volunteers. When someone shows me something that piques my interest I'll spend some time on it, but nobody's cutting me a check, Nintendo has nothing to do with us (as a site) and there are just too many other games out there for me to check out the latest Mario rehash out of obligation.

Everything i've heard from fellow writers tells me Nintendo isn't worth exploring in depth right now, and i've got no shortage of stuff to cover. However, as soon as some buzz starts crackling or N steps up and intrigues me (X is a good example) then i'll be there.

>>Let me throw this out there, though. Titles like Titanfall, to me, seem about as predictable and dismissive as you guys would deem the next Zelda (or whatever). I mean, this is another take on the generic Halo/CoD-style FPS formula we've seen for the past 5+ years. Despite this you guys seem to have made the effort to at least preview the video material. Why does Nintendo not deserve the same courtesy?

>>I don't even think the 'but it's a new IP' argument can be used either. Titanfall is an FPS published by EA and developed by former employees of Infinity Ward. Surely this is about as predictable as another Mario Kart?

Hah, sorry to disappoint you, but it's a new IP. Also, it had HELLA buzz out of E3, so that alone made it worth checking out. Also, mechs.

[EDIT] And just to put this out there, we talked about just a handful of games on the pod... There must be dozens and dozens and dozens of games that were at E3 that none of us took the time to research, so Nintendo's in good company. ; D

^_^

I thought nintendo did great

I thought nintendo did great this E3 and will be the top software and hardware seller globally like they have the last decade straight

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