Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by Urthman

  1. I was pleased / scared to learn that Jake has an evil twin nicknamed "video games" who is responsible for anything horrible we thought we heard Jake say on a podcast.
  2. It's going to be highly offensive to all those nice, sentient robots who are sick and tired of bigots like Jake stereotyping them as genocidal enemies of humanity. "I'm not robophobic, but wouldn't you feel a little bit scared if you were walking down the sidewalk in one of those Silicon Valley neighborhoods and suddenly notice a couple robots rolling along behind you."
  3. When Sean was marveling at how The Stick of Truth manages to seem like an actual South Park episode rather than just a reference to one, and how there's an enormous amount of writing and voice-acting content all done by just two people, I couldn't help but think of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, which also had an insane amount of original content that seemed like it must've been largely the work of the Chapman Bros. I was amazed at how well those games nailed the feeling of being inside a Strong Bad SBemail. The games are okay / good as Telltale Adventure Games (they did some clever things to mix up the gameplay like the strategy game at the end of Episode 2), but I think the comedy content is every bit as strong as the Homestar videos. Did Jake or Sean work at all on those games? I'd love to hear about what it was like to work with the Chapman Bros. I've wondered if those games weren't a significant part of why they stopped updating the Homestar Runner website for so long, maybe because they got burnt out producing so much content for the games, or maybe even they felt like the games were a huge finale for the Strong Bad / Home Star characters and so a natural place to take a break. And in case you missed it, homestarrunner.com posted an update on April 1st for the first time in years. It's pretty good.
  4. Unfortunately (fortunately?), those telepresence robots are doomed so long as they're more expensive than an intern carrying an iPad. And interns are free.
  5. Nonsense. Making a firewatch game without any fire would be like making a game set in an underwater city where the city doesn't flood at the end.
  6. I enjoyed Jake declaring that the Lego Movie of video games is not, in fact, the Lego Movie video game (about which I hope Telltale receives many great letters from children). Also this bit of wisdom from Jake about Mario 3: "It's the best when it's cool."
  7. Tone Control 9: JONATHAN BLOW :o

    That's one way of looking at it. Another way is to say that the problem is not reloads but frequent reloads. If you assume that it should be possible to fail and "die" and have to reload, you're going to want to tune the difficulty so that it doesn't happen too often. You don't want the player to spend more time watching a reloading screen than playing the game. You want the possibility of occasional failure, but if it happens too much, the player never gets a chance to be immersed the game. But now, maybe that makes the game too easy. So how can you have high difficulty but only occasional complete failure? In a combat-oriented game, you can do it with hit points. In a platformer, where the danger is plummeting to your death, that doesn't work. But the limited rewinding sand solves that problem. It's like hit points for platforming. Playing Sands of Time with infinite sand would be like playing a shooter with infinite health. (Or maybe health that infinitely regenerates, even if you've dropped to zero and gotten knocked down for a moment.) The pacing of the game is that you have to make it through a given series of challenges with the understanding that you can make a couple mistakes, but only a few. Too many mistakes and you have to try again. And it works great. It's beautiful and elegant. Prince of Persia (2008) tried a different strategy. In that game, if you fall, your companion catches you and brings you back to the most recent solid ground. So here the challenge is not to make it though a moderate series of jumps with a couple mistakes but rather to execute a short string of challenges with no mistakes. I think it also works pretty well, and is more elegant than just saving and reloading with every mistake, but it's not quite as good as Sands of Time (and by Sands of Time, I mean The Two Thrones, which refined and surpassed everything in Sands of Time except for the characters and story).
  8. Tone Control 9: JONATHAN BLOW :o

    I'd love to listen to this but I've been trying to do a complete spoiler-blackout for The Witness. I don't want to know anything at all even very general about the kinds of puzzles it has or what kind of stuff is on the island or the general idea of the game. Anyone be willing to tell me how much of this episode I could safely listen to?
  9. The Idle Thumbs 10th Anniversary Committee

    Thanks. As I thought, this whole Weird Thing is really just yet another instance of the Idle Thumbs bullshit coming horribly/amazingly true. Idle Thumbs is the Nostradamus of video games.
  10. I think that's silly. When someone's writing about a game, it's fair to mention anything they like or don't like. If a reviewer doesn't like the blocky graphics in Minecraft, it's fair to mention that even if the game isn't trying to look like Skyrim or whatever. If a reviewer doesn't like unskippable cutscenes, it's fair to complain about them even if the game designer thinks the cutscenes are essential to their creative vision. If a reviewer doesn't like the way gender is handled in Donkey Kong, it's fair to mention that even if the game isn't trying to take its characters seriously. The reader can decide whether they agree or care about blocky graphics or unskippable cutscenes or gender stereotypes, and if a reviewer consistently complains about stuff that doesn't matter to you, then read somebody else who better shares your values. But it's dumb to say a reviewer shouldn't mention things they didn't like about a game. Why read reviews at all if you don't want to hear what the reviewer actually thought?
  11. It's at least a little bit hypocritical to ask people to listen and care about what it is you don't want to listen to or care about. And particularly in this case, where there's just no way he's as tired of hearing people talking about feminism as I am tired of people complaining about feminism. (And neither one of us is as tired as the women who are tired of actually dealing with misogyny.)
  12. I just love the hypocrisy of this guy expecting people to care about (or even want to hear about) his desire not to care--his desire not even to hear--about what's important to other people. "I'm so sick of hearing (occasionally) about what other people are sick of dealing with all the time." Boo hoo.
  13. Dr. Mario is obviously the guy from the original Donkey Kong who was saving up money as a plumber to go to medical school. The current Mario is probably that guy's son or nephew.
  14. The Idle Thumbs 10th Anniversary Committee

    Can someone tell me which in episode the Thumbs started referring to Kotick and Allard as Rich Uncle and Cool Uncle?
  15. Which is fair, except that I think a lot of the people recommending Saints Row 3 & 4 to the Thumbs crew are not recommending it because of the wacky goofiness, but because it's just plain got better and smarter (and less sexist) writing than most "serious" games like GTA or Far Cry.
  16. I assume Jake's template for the individual podcast pages includes Far Cry 2 by default under "Games Discussed" and only gets deleted for the rare episodes it doesn't apply.
  17. Idle Thumbs Portaits

    The "Oops All Jake" picture is great.
  18. I wouldn't claim Rhythm of the Saints is a better album than Graceland, because that's a stupid conversation. But I sure enjoy Rhythm of the Saints a whole lot more. Also, I loved both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, but my opinion of Majora's Mask is deeply suspect because I played it with an emulator that allowed save-states (and made frequent use of FAQs), all of which probably cut in half the frustrations of repetition. But anyone who thinks the whole thing with the moon in Majora's Mask (including the hilariously menacing face, which I totally use in my Minecraft texture pack) isn't awesome is just straight-up wrong.
  19. The Idle Thumbs 10th Anniversary Committee

    You guys are the most amazing guys. These portraits make me irrationally happy. Especially the one of Jake. And the one of Steve. And the one of Nick. And the one of Sean. And the one of Chris. Every single one of these is way better than I would have imagined possible. Thank you all! (By "guys" I mean male dudes and female dudes alike.) Subbes, you are the best. Blambo, atte, BigJKO, and TychoCelchuuu, you are also the best. And so are all the people who gave money for this.
  20. I can't believe you guys doubted Jake about this. He's seldom wrong about this kind of thing (at least on the podcast). Eidos totally announced this game as Thi4f, and the internet mocked them for weeks.