Phaedrus' Street Crew
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About malphigian

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  1. Episode 266: Relaxing by the Hearthstone

    I was excited to see this episode, but upon listening I'm disappointed. I do love a good critique and hearthstone is ripe for them, but I didn't think most of the hits here made a lot of sense. David sounded like someone with a ton of magic experience and only a casual familiarity with Hearthstone. The dismissive and hyperbolic comparisons to Hearts and the reductionist understanding of hearthstone decks were a little galling. Hearthstone is not the most complicated card game I've ever played, but the idea that hearthstone deck play is a series of obvious optimal choices with no decision making is just ridiculous. This is aside from the things that were just plain wrong (e.g."everyone uses yetis" -- looking at competitive decks, you won't see yetis even in the majority of them. Or "every mage runs 2 pyroblasts" current top 2 competitive mage decks: aggro runs with no pyro at all, and freeze runs with 1 and it's hardly the linchpin of the deck). It was a frustrating discussion because I agree with the many of the underlying criticisms. The sacrifices made for easier multiplayer interaction like lack of enemy turn interaction, for example. But you guys also missed many of the real problems, take for instance the dominant competitive deck right now, the Miracle Rogue, which bears a distressing resemblance to playing against someone engaging in a game of solitaire. I think maybe only Troy knows what a miracle rogue is? And he barely talked. There was no discussion of the current meta, how it's developed. I feel like you guys must know someone who is a high level hearthstone player and/or has a familiarity with the game's pro scene. Having someone more knowledgable would have really helped the episode a lot -- clarifying David's problems with the game and getting into the kind of deeper strategic discussion I usually expect from TMA. Also, as an aside, Hearthstone was in fact made by a small team in blizzard (team 5), there's a interesting story to it strategically for a large company like Blizzard. There was a great talk at GDC this year by one of the members this year. They haven't published any figures, but Hearthstone has been trotted out by Activision in shareholders meetings as a big success. I think it's a safe bet that it is perceived as a hit by Blizzard, and is not being designed as some kind of tie in app to the slowly dying beast that is WoW.
  2. I totally agreed with you guys on Infinite, which is a rare thing for me, because I think I have pretty different taste from most of the Thumbs. I did laugh out loud when Chris was talking about removing a lot of the shooting from BI and Sean says quietly "... replace them with puzzles". Sean is bias! Did you see this amazing little plot summary (from Jon Blow's twitter) (SPOILER WARNING, obvs)?
  3. Haven't played it myself but I heard it works pretty well. This game is actually the topic of the GDC talk they mentioned, I think they may have just missed the description.
  4. Yes, they did keep backtracking and then saying this was just from first impressions, that's true. Fair enough, strike the comment about them dismissing the whole game. That wasn't my main point anyway. I think all the Thumbs guys have great insights into games, I'd just really rather them talk about games they've played. Because when they talk about a game they haven't played (as they did with FC3), it makes for frustrating listening as it's all weirdly superficial or just plain wrong in some cases.
  5. They are trying to kick off a story arc for Jayson as he transforms from dude-bro to mystic jungle killer, so it makes sense for what they are trying to do. This really felt like a silly criticism of a game that has plenty to critique. Far Cry 2's tutorial was pretty lousy too and the entire game was wildly narratively disconnected from its intro. I don't want to get all dramatic about it, but the FC3 discussion was emblematic of a problem I have with the current incarnation of the show. Why spent 20 minutes trying to come up with insightful criticisms of a game none of you have played? It wasn't just first impressions either, it really sounded like you guys were dismissing the whole game. Not the first time something like that has happened with a AAA title since the show relaunched. Don't get me wrong, I don't even like Far Cry 3 much. I could come up with a ton of problems with it, not the least of which being the exotification going on with the magic villagers, the full on White Man's Burden of the story line, and your character's douche-y tribal tattoo. But it's frustrating to hear 3 guys talking about the game like some kids in English class who forgot to read the book and because they're smart, they can toss around some clever bullshit about the cover and the first few pages. Why not just skip it? Talk about games at least 1 or 2 of you have played, no?
  6. XCOM Enemy Unknown

    If the demo isn't selling you, maybe let Jake Solomon sell it to you:
  7. Tom Hall and Brenda Brathwaite kicking old school rpg

    I'm not going to defend this thing, because it's pretty darned hard to defend. But I will say I got a few laughs out of this blog post: I say they take those pants and run with them, it's about time we had an RPG with an emotional damage type.
  8. Episode 186: Playing at the World

    This was a fascinating cast, and I was halfway through it before I ordered Jon's book. Great work guys.
  9. PBS continues their inexplicable series of autotune remixes:
  10. The near short-story length of Sense of an Ending (which was great, btw!) made me think of another book on my "to read" list: CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders. I've read other shorts by Saunders and they're really fantastic, and this is supposedly his best. Just a thought, looking forward to the first book cast.
  11. Fairly promising new blog I've been checking out the last couple days: The author posts over on Broken Forum, but I figured he deserved a little extra promotion for his efforts. The Outwitters interview in particular looks neat. Tilt To Live (NOT a strategy title!) was a clever casual game with great presentation, so I'm looking forward to seeing what those guys do with some hexes.
  12. Would like build permission, user malphigian. Thanks!
  13. Hard science fiction multiplayer space game which includes some kind of computer-in-your-computer-game that you get-to/have-to write code on? It's like he saw Eve Online and said "not hardcore enough!". Still, I freely admit to be excited by this.
  14. Your first gaming device...

    My first computer was the Apple II, already posted. I'll post an image of my first real game, which most certainly has NOT been posted: Cassette drives, even more hilariously archaic now than they were a few years ago.
  15. I dunno, if you're going to read young adult fiction (people know thats what the hunger games is right?), go for Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials. A lot more to discuss in there, and far less tedious. Personal opinion of course! Anyway, ABOUT the book podcast. I know you guys haven't worked out the whole money thing yet, but doesn't this just beg for an sponsor? I know they sponsor a ton of podcasts, and what better than a book cast? I only mention because I am pathetic and listen to audiobooks far more than reading. I'm in the midst of downloading the Barnes book now, looking forward to it.