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Podcast 11-7: Halloweenies

The Tech-Gaming Podcast 11-7

This week the crew delves into Skylanders Giants, Funky Smugglers, Happy Wars, Tokyo Jungle, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and MechWarrior Online. In addition, to a post-mortem examination of Dishonored, where we offer a spoiler-free discussion of the game’s accomplishments and imperfections, we also examine why Tokyo Jungle is the prototypical game for primal desires. Beyond Halloween-themed gaming trivia, we also welcome Ryan, Nick and Alan from NIS America who are on hand to discuss Mugen Souls, Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection, and The Witch and The Hundred Knights.

Don’t forget to send your questions for our next mailbag, and subscribe to the Tech-Gaming Podcast on iTunes. Leaving a review would be an awesome thing to do and keep us from begging for feedback every show.

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About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

114 comments

  1. Say it with me, “This shizz is long overdue”.

    • Sounds like a good show. I’m think Blue murdered NOLA.

      Oh, and MWonline. I can’t wait for it.

    • Expect to look at pumpkins for the next month 😉

      I also might have to hop back on the MechWarrior Online train after jumping off after Pirate’s Moon.

      I played a bit of Phantom War’s (DS) blink and you miss it single player campaign but it was pretty forgettable.

  2. I think the 11-6 was part of the last hardware generation. 😉

    Thanks guys. Love the Halloween theme. Michael Myers themesong is still scary as F*CK. It makes me want to look over my shoulder.

  3. Thanks, guys!

    This is for Desert, Blue, and possibly Jeremy:

  4. Thumbs up for NISA interview.

    Thumbs down for no Pokeman Black/White 2 talk. Why are podcasts ignoring this? This could be great/funny/fun etc.

  5. Sorry, wasn’t trying to spam. I’m not connected with 11-bit in any way. The game just looks cool.

  6. Download speed chugging along and the site is super slow, FYI.

    Still, can’t wait to listen.

    • With every podcast, I make tweaks to make sure the site doesn’t take a dump with an episode release. Of course, every week I see the server CPU and bandwidth peak to breakdown levels. 🙁

      Fortunately, it’s usually in the first hour of release, with this week getting hit hard by a almost 70 MB download. Thanks for your patience; now, back to work.

  7. NIS America interview at 1:56 for the inpatient. Moe Zombies FTW!

    Superlong show guys. I like it.

    • We were recording until midnight my time. Loved it!

      • Thanks Blue and crew. I’ll be listening over the next few days.

        • Hope you like it! ^_^

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          • Someone just vomited ASCII all over and failed to clean it up?

            Serious thread foul.

  8. How can I get in the MechWarrior Online beta? I submitted my email to the site and haven’t heard from them yet.

  9. So what’s the real story with NOLA? I was waiting for the answer to the mystery.

  10. Listing right now.

    Happy Halloween, guys.

  11. Des, your Skylander talk really made me want to play the game. Is Activision paying or something 😉

    Also, why didn’t you give a proper review for Tokyo Jungle?

  12. It’s comforting to know that Jeremy is a closet(?) Miss Marple fan.

  13. I was confused about the paper dolls mention. Are you taking about paper craft?

    • Paper dolls are those character stills during the story sequences of most JRPGs. Sean regularly refers to the as “paper dolls”. LOL!

    • Indeed, you can find previous episodes in which Sean rails against them. With a vengeance.

      • Which is strange because Sean likes comics where two flat figures communicate through word and though bubbles…kind of like paper dolls.

        • oooooh, good point…I ll bring it up next podcast 🙂

        • Comics are different for a number of reasons. Mostly because they are meant to be printed on paper, which is static by nature, but also because they use static images to imply movement. “Paper Dolls” are a specific phenomenon where usually 2 characters are displayed almost motionless on a screen for extended periods of time while the player reads and/or listens to their extended dialog. Here’s a good example:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbV94PqLCfM

          Notice how 4 solid minutes are spent staring at 2 people spewing mind-numbingly candied dialog? Those are paper dolls.

          http://consequentialart.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/larsen3.jpg

          Now see how a comic uses static images to convey action as well as dialog? There’s a big difference there.

          We used to see a lot more static images conveying action in videogames during the 8 and 16 bit era, but they aren’t as necessary now, because in-engine storytelling can be more compelling. Paper Dolls are just lazy filler.

          • You are aware of AVG or ‘visual novels’, right?

            Games like Hyperdimension Neptunia are based on these mediums. And in the video you showed that aren’t really motionless. They are moving and showing different emotions. Seems as if you have an issue with the subject rather than the method.

            As far as your comparison, you’re showing a dialog sequence and an action sequence which isn’t really a fair comparison.

          • Any hopes for getting me to listen to you went out the window with “4 solid minutes are spent staring at 2 people spewing mind-numbingly candied dialog”.

            You jumped from medium to content.

          • I am aware of visual novels, and I’m aware that they are a medium that people enjoy. I’m not one of those people. When I have a controller in my hand, I’d rather not be staring at what amounts to a picture book.
            HOWEVER, personal feelings aside, I do think that a visual novel can get away with it, because the entire game revolves around the conceit that this is how the story will be told. When you mix that with an action or RPG game engine, I can’t help but think that the squatty characters of Final Fantasy 7 shifting thier weight while text boxes popped up conveyed more emotion than these HD portraits. I just think the practice is lazy and underwhelming, and its upsetting when it comes to a genre with a rich history of storytelling.
            I suppose the point about the comparison between an action scene and dialog scene is valid, and there are more specific points of that particular parts of that specific game that call better attention to some the tropes I have a problem with (like when 2 characters will “fight” but it is shown by having their portraits quickly shift at one another) but scrubbing through hours of content to find the right scenes was more effort than I could justify for the sake of a comment post. I basically looked for the first HDN video without commentary and a dialog sequence close to the start, and the first full-page Savage Dragon jpg on Google Image search that didn’t have a watermark.

            @jigglypuff: fair point. I have a hard time keeping a lid on my bias in this case.

        • Oh, and I guess minor spoilers for HyperDimension Neptunia Mk 2 and Savage Dragon #37.

          • They both suffer from amnesia.

          • Movies can have big transforming robots fights or two heads talking to each other. I wouldn’t necessarily saw Michael Bay’s movies are better than Kevin Smith’s because they take advantage of the medium and have more action and movement.

            I’m curious as to Sage and Jeremy’s opinions. Desert and Blue, we already know what side of the fence you guys are on.

          • But in movies, those talking heads would still move and show emotion. I don’t think Kevin Smith would direct a movie wear 2 cardboard cutouts stand next to one another and only change facial expressions once every few minutes. The actors have to carry the scene with subtle emotives and body language. That’s why I brought up Final Fantasy 7 – even though the character models were fairly limited, they used body language to convey a variety of different emotions, from ecstatic to embarrassed, angry to derpressed – even comatose. Mass Effect is another great example. What percentage of those games are spent with 2 people just talking? But they are doing MORE than just talking, they’re shrugging or contorting their face to show pause or making conversation-specific actions such as walking across a room to pick something up, etc. Paper dolls throw all of that out the window. They essentially set a scene like this:

            Character A is happy
            Character B is surprised
            Char A: “blah blah blah”
            Char B: “blah blah blah blah”
            Char A: “blah blah blah”
            Char B: “blah blah blah blah”
            Character B is now sad
            Char B: “Blah? blah.”
            Character A is now mad

            And I know it has roots in traditional Japanese plays that used masks to convey emotion rather than depending on the actors abilities, but we used those in Western dramas too during the Renaissance. The idea was that the folks in the cheap seats couldn’t make out the expressions of the actors from 100 ft away. That isn’t an issue when your sitting in front of a TV. We can digest that subtlety.

          • Ok, point taken.

            But Southpark is popular not from the look of the show, but from its dialog.

            As for Mass Effect, look at Shep’s face. You might not be able to tell his option if you weren’t looking at the dialog tree. It’s doesn’t change.

            Exhibit A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qBCZ1IUR48

            Turn the sound down and watch Chobot and Shep’s expressions never change. They are by your own definition 3D paper-dolls.

          • How SeanNOLA makes me feel:

          • You guys need to be the very first podcast with papercraft model that accompany every episodes. After hearing Jeremy gush about Derrick the Deathfin I think it’s a realistic possibility.

  14. Jesus Hates Casuals

    Jeremy, I know you’ve heard this before but let me remind you.

    “Oriental refers to rugs, people are Asian”. You might not want to lump us all together.

    • Hey Jey, although you might be a bearded white guy, you might want to know that not all your listeners are. 3rd Generation American-born Chinese here, or just “Oriental” to you racists.

  15. You guys are being way too hard on Dishonored.

    The story is fine. As for closure, I didn’t want an epic 45 minute boss battle. That would have killed the game. Sage, I restarted after I saw spotted and ever had the problems you talked about.

    Robert, First-person stealth is fine. In real life when you sneak up on somebody you don’t get to see from 10 feet behind your back.

    • I really need to play Dishonored.

    • Sorry Bennet I’m having trouble understanding your comment, can you say it again (the one to me). Also, we weren’t saying we wanted a big long boss battle, rather that the ending seems to pop up out of nowhere which seems a little anti-climactic. and the issue I had is that on low chaos mode, the ending is just too dang easy / there’s not enough stuff going on. I dont want to post spoilers, but if you play it both ways, you’ll know what I mean–there’s much more to do on high chaos.

      • Sorry, “was” not “saw”. Must of been thinking “Saw” since it was Halloween!

        • Ah, gotcha. Probably so. And it wasn’t just the being spotted, it was a really specific auto save, save over thing. That said, I’m EPIC at breaking games, (wish I could get hired for that) but that extends to messing up games in ways that not everyone else is gonna encounter. So maybe it was one of those.

          • You DON’T want a job in testing.

            Getting paid less than $10 an hour to play the same levels over and over then create reports is not as glamorous as people think. Then, there’s crunch mode.

          • True. Although, I think no job is as glamorous as it sounds 🙂

  16. Just listened to the big, whole, damn thing.

    Nice, but it kind of ended abruptly. Just like Dishonored 😉

    No sense of closure for me.

  17. Those bodies you filled with rotting meat, I’m assuming there were dummies.

  18. I love all those oriental role-playing games. They’re my favorite for sure.

  19. For reference sake:

  20. Great podcast this week. Really liked Lawman’s Mech talk. One question why are you using your names and not handles anymore?

    • I think we sort of alternate. Personally, even though it’s the internet, I like to know people by their real names. I use my handle in-game, but I post as myself everywhere else.

  21. My favorite part of the show was the Tokyo Jungle discussion. “Mate, Howl, Fade to Black!” had me laughing.

    I picked it up over the weekend, and I see DEagle’s POV (although it does feel pretty Japanese too me. Most of the games like Pokemon where animals are fighting other animals are in fact Japanese). Really anyone who gave the game less than a 4.0 should try to be a bit more objective. They should ask themselves, “Would an average gamer like this?”

    I think people go in full subjective which is fine, but not really useful to readers unless we know a reviewer’s personality really well. An expecting people to know your attitudes can be asking a bit much…

  22. Bought Derrick the Deathfin on your recommendation Jeremy.

    Except for the look of the game, it’s pretty average. Basically, the graphics are the only “lure”. Controls are a bit iffy and scrolling isn’t as smooth as it should be.

    • You know, I can appreciate and understand that, and I sort of mention in the show that it probably won’t blow you away on the mechanics alone. I really feel like it’s neat that this game got made, considering the nature of it. It’s essentially a beat-the-clock version of Ecco the Dolphin.

      Even if it didn’t light your world on fire, I’m glad you took the chance on it, canucklehead. I hope you didn’t regret it. 🙂

      Hehe “lure.”

  23. Here in Sweden, “oriental” refers to what Americans would call the Middle East, while Asian is Chinese, Japanese, Thai, etc.

  24. I want to know what kind of high art NOLA went to see. Obviously, It was more important than games, right?

  25. Where’s the Hotline Miami impressions, ya slackers?

  26. Does Deagle really suck as games or was Jeremy just giving him a bad time. Like Wombat/Cheapy level of suck? Were you can’t even get a single headshot?

  27. Ben from Barcelona

    I have to second (third?) that XCOM: Enemy Unknown GOTY call from Jeremy and Robert. Ive put more time into the game that any other this year and have loved every minute of it. So tense!

    • I think XCOM and Assassins Creed III are going to be touted as Game of the Year by most big pubs, but the game I had the most fun with this year was Double Dragon Neon. That’s not trolling, I legitimately love that game. (also, I haven’t played XCOM yet)

      • Oh shit, I forgot Walking Dead. That’s my GOTY. No contest. None whatsoever.

        • I think it’s great that we live in a time where such a variety of titles could be considered GOTY material.

          People have nostalgia for the olden days, but THIS is probably the best game generation of all.

          Controversy.

          • Sorry, but I’m not going to argue with you.

            W have great new games and HD collections for $15-$20 bucks. There is NOTHING to complain about.

  28. I am ashamed that 50% of my cohosts can’t identify Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins in 10 notes or less.

  29. Because you guys are the raddest otaku pervs I listen to: