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Podcast 12-9: Weird Little Round-Headed Kid Game

Weird Little Round-Headed Kid Game Art

This week the crew explores TrackMania 2: Stadium, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Guilty Gear XX Acent Core Plus R, and Don’t Starve, as well as braves through Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor and a Nintendo 64 hardware modification. In addition to our customary delivery of game analysis, trivia, and responses to reader mail, Indie Outlook returns, offering insights into two promising titles.

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.

Show Notes
Intro: Pokémon Theme (Acoustic) –  Sabrina Valenzuela
Interlude: Sonic the Hedgehog 3 ‘Ice Cap Zone Rescue’ – Beckett007
Outro: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior ‘Guile’s Theme (R.A.H. Mix)’ – Rayza

Download: 12-9 Weird Little Round-Headed Kid Game
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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.


  1. Yes. It’d about damn time for a new podcast. You guys need to kickstart a $100,000 toward a podcast like Penny Arcade.

    • Meth Addict Elmo

      Yeah, there’s nothing like seeing the guys who run one of the biggest gaming conventions around ask for money. I’d like a homeless guy in an Armani suit asking for spare change.

      • On the other hand, it’s a way for them to gauge interest and financially support the projects that their fans want. And if they have a fanbase of people who will pay for it, why not? Should they be expected to take a loss on it?

        • Do you actually think believe Penny Arcade need to get a Kickstarter going to get a podcast off the ground? 100s of site do it with equipment they scrap together. You don’t think they can get a sponsor and not have to Kickstart?

          I thought the goal of Kickstarter was giving NEW creative voices an opportunity, no just making the fat cats fatter.

          • No, I’m sure they could do it for free. Tons of podcasts are free. I can think of one GREAT one right off the top of my head!

            But I don’t take it on myself to tell them what they should do with the money I suppose they have. Kickstarter is a way for people to provide direct patronage to a project they want to support. If the public chooses to support it, fine. If they choose not to support it, fine.

            I also rolled my eyes at people who complained Richard Garriott shouldn’t use Kickstarter because he’s such a rich old dude. Like there’s some level of subsistence living that qualifies people to ask for public support? Come on.

          • Will I do think that the big stars, personalities and studios use Kickstarter, they’ll get all the attention.

            to use an analogy, it’s like the internet. Anyone can create a website, but the big corporate site like IGN have money to create noise so they can get attention (and make more money).

            There’s nothing to stop smaller sites (like yours), but how do new, fresh voices cut through the big old established ones?

          • Some (maybe even most) indie developers are motivated by artistic motivation. They know the odds of becoming rich are against them. Still, they code.

            But big companies- they’re driven by pure profit. They don’t care about art, just whether something sells for more than it costs to make.

            So Kickstarter was once an indie thing, but now the corporations smell money coming in, and sure enough this greed will eventually kill it. Meanwhile the indies have to come up with a new way of promoting their stuff. Which they will.

          • Here’s an article about another, similar situation (big, rich actors and producers who are already well-known and don’t “need” public funding). Zach Braff and Veronica Mars Kickstarters draw more people to the service and help to fund 2200 other projects to the tune of $400k.


            And I’m absolutely a fan of the arts and the creative spirit. That’s a core reason I love video games. But I don’t know that Kickstarter requires you to be a wild, creative spirit with an untamed heart. Why shouldn’t a kid in his garage, a smart business owner, or a large corporation all be equally eligible to appeal to the public and the free market for support?

            Similarly, I’m not a big believer in the dichotomy of the “white hat indie” and the “black hat corporation.”

          • @Jeremy: Far beyond any stereotype there are processes and data to be accounted for when it comes to building and running a crowdfunding. As someone who comes from a corporate world and is now working with indies, I can tell you first hand there are differences between intention and expectation. You can’t have both of indies and corporations compete for handout money and just call it fair – regardless of whatever anyone would intend to throw their money at – it is uneven in regards of how it’s played out. Intent will always be the same, not using your resources for whatever reason (can’t, won’t) but the expectations out of someone with tools to make it happen vs someone who doesn’t, just doesn’t even compare.

            Personally, it’s your money and you do whatever the hell you want to do with it. As far as business go, lack of certainty into what direction you want to aim for will bring your brand down (can’t be everything for everyone sort of thing). And as someone who has ran two successful crowdfundings before I can say seeing indies spending their little money away competing for attention with big names like that, surely gives you a lot to think about.

            So think what you will, I do believe spare money is limited for everyone and the fact that anyone would be emotionally attached to a pledge will make you less objective in how to distribute that extra money.

          • I guess this means Jeremy won’t be on Indie Outlook anytime soon. 😛

          • Well I like indie stuff plenty! But the nice thing about Kickstarter is that publicity (especially over the course of, say, a 30 day crowdfunding campaign) is not a zero-sum game. When someone gets publicity, it does not take away from the ability of everyone else to get airtime.

            Kickstarter is not a publicity machine. Hosting a crowdfunded venture does not mean you experience an automatic hype boost. If you have trouble getting the word out without Kickstarter (because the venture is niche, or just small, etc.), being on Kickstarter won’t change that. Big companies will get hype like they always do, whether they’re being crowdfunded or not.

            Kickstarter is not much different from promoting a “Donate” button on your own website. It’s an event, maybe with a little oversight and rules that give patrons some reassurance about their money. And honestly, the KS people have gone on record to state that using the service as some sort of pre-order vehicle (like many games do) is not really what they had in mind anyway.

          • Well, there is a certain amount of bandwidth for the gaming media. Look at all the people who Kickstarted on the same day as Double Fire or Ouya…most of the attention in gaming blogs is devoted to the big guns. So I wouldn’t say it’s a zero sum game.

          • I just thought I’d add my two cents.

            Yes, Kickstarter it a tool, it’s not about promotion. It’s up to the developers to do that.

            But I look at all the projects I’ve funded and I see they are almost all big names. The bigger names seemed to have caught my ear.

            But at the same time, I see similar projects at the bottom and there’s a lot of cool little things going on, but I don’t want to invest more in something that’s not going to pay off for months (or at all).

          • What Penny Arcade is doing is f&cking disgusting. They’ve turned Kickstarter into a popularity contest. Asking people to donate to an established brand is nonsense.

  2. A big welcome to Ryan! Man, you’re voice sounds familiar. Perhaps another gaming podcast personality.

  3. Yeah, new Indie Outlook! I’m looking forward to Robert and Say’s segment. Is this an official part of the show now?

  4. Downloading now and streaming while I listen.

    Ok, who has the crush on Sabrina Valenzuela? Blue, Robert, or Jeremy?

    • Let’s recap:

      1. She’s cute.

      2. She has pink hair.

      3. She’s covered the Pokemon theme and one of my favorite Hikaru Utada songs.

      Yep, I’d say she’s totally Tackle Kawaii Hug material.

      P.S. That’s my ladies-only, snuggletastic finishing move.

    • That’s a mistery for the ages (Hint: It’s Robert)

  5. I sure hope Dragon’s Crown bewbs/art is discussed and Kotaku is ripped apart.

    (If they’re not, that’s OK, but IF that happens, I may listen twice)

    • No mention of Dragon’s Crown. 🙁

    • We didn’t get a question about Current Events in Social Awareness, but I can give you my opinion.

      I’m a big proponent of responsible treatment of women in games. Sometimes that means we go through extra trouble to circumvent the Old Boys’ Club. That can make the boys mad, or like THEY’RE the victims. Tough shit, boys.


      I feel like it was extremely unprofessional for Schreier to bait Kamitani that way. I think it fabricated an artificial controversy around Kamitani’s response. I don’t think anyone should ever be attacked for their creative artwork, whether it’s tasteful, distasteful, or downright offensive.

      I think the COMPANY is fair game, and people can certainly retaliate through boycotts, petitions, or whatever else they want to do from a patronage or financial standpoint, but it is in extremely poor taste to make such a comment to someone about their own work.

      • I’m not one to stick up for Kotaku, like, ever, but….

        Schreier’s comment was just a single throwaway line, probably meant to be funny. When Kamitani responded, that’s when everyone (from GAF) noticed. Personally, I think Patricia Hernandez’s PC-rant on Blood Dragon is much more bothersome. She wrote an entire article about a throwaway comment that’s just click-bait.

        Also, if I think an individual does something really disgusting, then it’s unfair to blame the whole company. If Don Mattrick says people who don’t like the Kinect are into games about prepubescent girls, i won’t take it out on MS.

        • I suspect Kamitani thought his response was probably a cute little throwaway comment too, but that’s where the lion’s share of the controversy fell. I don’t think that excuses him though, and I don’t think it excuses Schreier.

          The gay joke in Blood Dragon, I dunno. Again, I’m willing to forgive a little overzealousness in the spirit of examining our casual bad habits.

          Whether or not you “blame” the company, they’re the ones to take the issue to. They commission the content, they craft the message, and it’s far better to vote with your wallet or complain to them (and they WANT the feedback) than to try to stifle or shame an artist for his or her work.

          • You’re right, but damn you Deagle, no RPG talk this week? You’re a disgrace to gaming media at large.

            (Sarcasm mode off)

          • I don’t know about DEagle, but I talked about Dragon Fantasy Book 1 for a while. “It pushes my Final Fantasy 1 button HARD” is what I said. 🙂

            Hopefully Chrono Trigger soon.

          • You’re off the hook, Jeremy! Its the other guy who is in trouble. 😉

  6. Hyrule Warrior

    If the show is half as good as the intro song, I’ll be pleased.

    No interview this week?

    • Princess Sakura

      I really liked it too. Totally sincere rendition.

      As for the podcast, so far I’m just up to Blue’s impressions. Great so far. I loved hearing Robert talk about Steel Battalion.

  7. TrackMania is a cool game and all but once you’ve played one, you’ve really played them all.

  8. Oh and +1 vote for Ryan. I like the guy. He seems intelligent, doesn’t drone on too long, and has a good voice. Hopefully, you’ll tell us more about him.

    I guess NOLA is gone for good then? 🙁

  9. After hearing about Ryan’s Blood Dragon I kind of want to get the game. I love 80’s movies. I really hope they’ll patch the Blood Dragons so they kick ass.

  10. Hide your Etna Body Pillows, Deagle. Room mapping explained:

  11. So answer your question Sage. I’m sure you and Deagle and a lovely pair, but I’d rather see developer interviews for you guys. I don’t really care to see gaming personalities walking about and showing the crowds.

    • Seconded. If you guys basically do unscripted (or scripted) trying to be funny stuff, I won’t be watching. If you do interviews and get the typically PR talk, I’ll probably tune out. Good, critical questions is what I want.

  12. I was hoping you guys would talk about the Fuse demo. Any thoughts from those that played it?

    • I’m hoping the next Xbox isn’t really always on. The 2GB download is killing me, I had to cycle my 360 multiple time just to push the data.

      • I should probably also mention that (in my 10 minutes) the game SEEMED to emulate the co-op multiplayer from Resistance 2, which was GREAT.

        And it feels like they’ve maybe crossed it over with, like, Left 4 Dead (character cross-talk) or Brink (level up per character class) or something. I could see it being fun.

    • I played the Fuse demo. It seemed all right. 3rd-person shooter with a very distinct Resistance-engine feel.

      About 10 minutes in I got disconnected from the EA server, and it sent me to the main menu.

      • I was going to say that was my experience as well. Except for the ten minute part. It was closer to 3. I guess the always online age in upon us, through software, not hardware.

  13. Meth Addict Elmo

    Where’s the links for Recruits and Chasm?

    And BTW, Robert, you listen to Sting? That’s not something I’d admit!

  14. Great show this week.

  15. No interview this week? Otherwise a good show. Like the new guy.

  16. Ryan is a perfect fit for the crew. Glad to hear Sage is back.

  17. No contests or interview this week? Other than that, pretty good show.

  18. I didn’t have time to listen to the whole thing, but from what I heard it was pretty good. Like Ryan, but didn’t like Sage’s lack on gaming!

    • Haha, I think we established that she’s holding it all in for an AWESOMAZING GAME IMPRESSIONS SPECTACULAR next time.

      No pressure.

  19. So how did Ryan earn a spot on the show? Was there hazing involved?

    Blue- full review for GG AC +R?

    • You betcha! I’m actually posting this while taking a short break from writing it. 😀

  20. Spit out my dinner at the fart noise someone made. Who was it?

    Also, whats wrong with Madden trivia?

    • For the record I want to state the fart was an act of desperation. My fight-or-flight response kicked in, so I retaliated in the only way I could.

      The funny thing about the Madden trivia is that I really liked those Madden questions. It just became a running gag. 😛

      • So are your farts an offensive attack or a side effect from the nervous flee?

        ” Jeremy Chooses Pass Gas. It’s Super Effective. “

  21. Good show this week. I liked the energy and variety of a 5 person podcast and loved to hear Robert rip Steel Battalion a new (even if the game is old) one.

    • Thanks, Pixel Pusher!

      I was thinking the same thing about the vibe of the show this week. That was the most I’d laughed in the last two weeks combined.

  22. I suggest talking about more games for shorter periods of time. Other that that it’s a good podcast.

  23. I’ll listen tomorrow. Seems like the crowds favor the new guys. (thumbs up)

  24. I glad Sage is back!

    Man, you guys really hate the Kinect don’t you?

    • I haven’t had a lot of experience with the Kinect myself, and to be honest I’d really like to try one some day. But heck, now that the PlayStation 4 is putting one in, I’m a HUGE HUGE FAN.

      No, actually, I’m kinda hoping the next Xbox is backwards-Kinect-compatible so I can try some of the Kinect functionality in the games I’ve got.

      I’m not hoping SUPER hard though.

      • That’s asking for the Infinity to be backward compatible and Kinect-backwards compatible? Keep dreaming.

        Speaking of hitched carts, are both you and Deagle hitched to the PS4 because of Japanese games?

        • I bet the Infinity will be almost 100% backwards compatible. And I bet that will include Kinect. I don’t see why it wouldn’t.

          I’m hitched to PS4 more because I believe they’ll offer basic online service free, and beyond that I’m a PS+ subscriber. I’m not sure the PS3 really had an overwhelming number of exclusive Japanese titles this gen.

          If MS continues their current model of Xbox Live (disabling features on full-priced software if I don’t subscribe), it will be a while before I get on board with them. If they offer basic online free? I’m listening.

  25. Klingonlovegrip

    Trivia and Indie Outlook were my favorite parts. Thinking about picking up Recruits.

    Link for the lazy:

  26. Tried Chasm out. Hard as well, died on the 3rd rat.

    Does it get any easier?

    • Glad to know you’ve tried it out! Demo is short, you only get to experience 2 levels of the mine and yes I do agree it’s not as easy as it looks. In my opinion it gets harder when you’ve got all worms, bats and rats at once (specially on the same screen with the rats that die on multiple hits).

      • Pretty cool, but yeah all hell breaks loose pretty quick. Playing with a keyboard is pretty hard, I can’t seem to get the swing timing down.

        • It kind of reminds me of the comment Robert made during the show, when he mentioned the choice of key settings being rather odd as well. ESC key is your frand, code it in :p

  27. Here’s a topic for the next show….

    Whats the appeal of retro games. Is it mainly nostalgia. Given how the medium evolves is there any reason to play older games?

    Sure I’m playing Devil’s advocate, but Id like to hear you guys debate it.

  28. So when will we hear your Xbox One presentation reactions?

    • There’s quite a few comments via Twitter out there from Robert, Blue and myself as it is.

  29. New show people…when’s it going to happen. Don’t make me listen to this one again. Its good and all but not that great.