Chris

Idle Weekend June 2, 2017: Pushing Our Buttons

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Idle Weekend June 2, 2017:

Idle Weekend June 2, 2017


Pushing Our Buttons
This weekend, we decided to talk about hard-stops in games. The things that make us look a game in the face, in disbelief or exasperation, and break up with them on the spot. We also dig in on music we love in games, sexism in sports and action movies, and two films we are feeling hot and cold on, often at the same time!

Discussed: Endless Space 2, The Witness, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 3, The Longest Journey, Yooka-Laylee, Prey, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Max Payne, Mission: Impossible 2, Godzilla (2014), Alien: Covenant, Prometheus

 

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The discussion early in the show about long sequences with no checkpoints and difficulty spikes at the end reminds of one thing that's pretty popular- endgame raiding in MMOs. Grinding on boss fights with multiple phases and difficulty spikes is almost the whole point of those encounters. So I suspect some single-player game designers are looking at that and thinking "this is really popular, I can put it in my game" but IMO it doesn't work well there. In the MMO you have a lot more variables to adjust to beat the encounter, while in an offline game all you can really do is memorize the steps and execute the pattern a little tighter next time, Edge of Tomorrow style.

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Man, this episode sure reminded me how angry Warrior Within makes me. There's definitely worse sequels to games (Duke Nukem Forever) but I can't think of any that I hate more than Warrior Within.

 

Rob also reminded me of the dead ends Sierra games often had. Even if it was only one or two, I basically have to play through the games with a walkthrough because knowing that they're in the game makes me question everything I do. There were only a handful of Sierra games that didn't have dead ends.

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About the long sequences without checkpoints, isn't that how the first 45 minutes of Nier: Automata are? I love how that game plays with conventions by putting a kind of 'endgame run' at the very beginning.

 

Also, Rob's discussion about the "Tears" song in Max Payne 3 was totally spot on. That moment is my all time favourite music moment in games. It's funny how Rob almost described it the same way that I did in my book (only I did it in Dutch :-D)

 

 

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I could not agree more with Danielle's opinion on Alien: Covenant (and everything else she said about the Alien films). I don't think it's a very good film, but it fails in ways that are much more interesting than many other films with a similar budget do. Unfortunately, it also fails in ways that are just incredibly stupid and, in many ways, suggest a basic lack of care or attention to the direction or to the script. That's by far my biggest problem with the film.

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Oh man, I was at the peak of my John Woo obsession when Mission Impossible 2 came out. From the film mag articles I'd read and the trailer it looked amazing. I was HYPED! Waited all summer for it to come to the cinema in my small town, and when it finally arrived? Ah... kinda underwhelming. I've since rewatched it a few times, and in it's favor I will say that the final half hour is the best string of action scenes Woo has made since leaving Hong Kong. It's just that it's like one and a half hours of dull bullshit leading up to it.

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My favourite part of Mission Impossible 2 was, in the middle of the cinema, my friend stood up and shouted 'This film is bullshit!' then walked out.

 

Still one of my most treasured cinematic moments.

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