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Idle Thumbs 314: Super Mario Mumblecore

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Idle Thumbs 314:

Idle Thumbs 314


Super Mario Mumblecore
Four hours since leaving home, who knows how many 'til you get there, and only the idle putts of the outboard motor have broken the silence. Silence so thick it's suffocating, to the point that you don't know what will happen if you actually do say something. You almost did early on, but you saw it in its eyes: the nervous anticipation, the anxiety, the fear sweating out of that cartoon cap when it saw you open your mouth, and spared you both the embarrassment. Maybe it's not both of you, maybe it's just you. Maybe the cap has no clue what to say to you because you never say anything to it. Maybe if you opened up a little, people would be interested, they'd reciprocate, they'd share too. Maybe you'd be able to start making friends again, have a goddamn life. You realize you've spent so long thinking about this that it wouldn't make sense to talk now, so you just stay quiet. The putting slows then stops, replaced by the hissing and servos of the ships landing gear, as the door whizzes open and meets the ground with a clank. You sigh and reach for the cap, avoiding its gaze as you put it on your head, then look out onto a new world. "Let's a-go."

Discussed: The number 314, Super Mario Odyssey, Nintendo Switch, the Wii U Curse, Doom (2016), Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Waluigi's Demon Keeper: A Doom Game, backseat game development, Super Mario Bros. 3 McDonald's Happy Meal Goomba, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Time, ugh those Super Mario Odyssey rabbits, Super Mario Mumblecore Roadtrip, Donkey Kong, Pauline's revenge, upcoming Mario film, Minions: A Feast for Bacchus - Total War, Crusader Kings II: Minions Nation DLC, Charles Martinet, the triple-A game design spectrum, fine-toothed special-case comb, Steam Link, Thimbleweed Park, Bomber Crew, Steam, Terroir, wacky upbeat klezmer, boosting the marketing phrase, the arc of microtransactions over time, J Allard, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, World of Warcraft, Xbox One X, game fatigue, Nick Breckon

Sponsored by: Squarespace (with offer code "thumbs" for 10% off), Omaha Steaks (enter offer code "idle" into the search bar for a special offer)

 

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Skyrim has never felt like a living world to me in comparison to something like assassins creed origins.  you have lots of options for how to play, but they all feel very similar and kinda clunky.  completing a quest almost always looks exactly the same no matter who's doing it or how they approach it, and when there is a difference it's usually because you chose a fork in the road that sends you to Dungeon A instead of Dungeon B.

 

I feel far more situated in a world as a defined character with several fleshed out and well-crafted playstyles, and several varieties of potential things to do.  It makes the hidden or unusual things off the beaten track feel more like discoveries and novelties, rather than just more content to consume.  When you're infiltrating yet another fortress, but something goes wrong or right in an unexpected way you've never seen before, that feels genuinely exciting.  It's the calculated use of mundanity and routine that gives the feeling of living another life, at least to me.

 

And I love the chaos that can be laid overtop of such a comparatively structured base.  It creates moments that are far more memorable to me precisely because they have something to contrast against.

 

If a game that has microtransactions allows me to play it and have fun without ever investing in them, I don't really care about them.  I recognize that's probably more a factor of me not really playing games until that type of thing became widespread, of course.

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That SMB3 happy meal toy talk took me way back. I can't recall the Goomba, but I did have the Mario which was a spring loaded suction cupper thing that would bounce into the air. I remember it because it must have been one of the only happy meal toys that I didn't just toss out with the trash or lose complete interest in immediately. The sproingy action and Mario novelty went a long way I suppose.

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On the cast someone made a joke about New Donk City being a Truman Show type thing but one of the other levels actually is pretty much that. In the forest level with the robots, if you look closely at the skybox it's pretty clearly made of tiles on the inside of a dome: 

Spoiler

vlcsnap_2017_06_13_16h56m21s214.0.png

I don't think any other levels are like that, and it's never mentioned anywhere in game.

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29 minutes ago, Cleinhun said:

On the cast someone made a joke about New Donk City being a Truman Show type thing but one of the other levels actually is pretty much that. In the forest level with the robots, if you look closely at the skybox it's pretty clearly made of tiles on the inside of a dome: 

  Hide contents

 

 

I don't think any other levels are like that, and it's never mentioned anywhere in game.

 

Oh weird, it looks like that's actually the level this episode's art is drawn from!

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It's interesting to have a relatively exact knowledge of how far through Wolf 2 Chris is, just by virtue of having a discussion of hitler's chaingun arm.

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I wonder if Charles Martinet is going to even be the Mario voice in the upcoming film. Like, I also echo the sentiment that he and Luigi shouldn't speak, and I really think that any amount of talking that is not the weird (offensive?) psuedo-italian gibberish from the Mario & Luigi games would come off as very very bad. 

 

Also, as a side note Charles Martinet like, just would hang out around the Nintendo booth every year at E3, which was always surreal. In 2009 I got to dance with him:

 

 

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Oh neat, I am super glad you talked about Terroir! I bought that game for my dad when it came out of early access because he likes games and wine. I'll have to bother him about playing it now that it's gotten Boosted so thoroughly.

 

BTW, Ludo is from Episode 80, Happy Dishonored Halloween, perhaps my personal favorite episode.

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When they were talking about how nobody would dare make a children's movie where the protagonist doesn't talk at all, I just kept thinking "WALL-E!!!" over and over. It's totally doable!

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On 12/4/2017 at 11:33 AM, Badfinger said:

BTW, Ludo is from Episode 80, Happy Dishonored Halloween, perhaps my personal favorite episode.

 

Oh man I knew it was from pretty close after the Kickstarter (which was ep 65). That’s one of the heaviest hitting episodes from that fresh-back-from-the-dead era imo.

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The brief nod to Barenaked Ladies at approximately 1:22:30 is the best thing that Idle Thumbs has done this year. Thank you, Chris (I assume)!

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Now that the door is open for long-distance casts, any thoughts of having some of the other hosts who've moved away back on sometime? Assuming the new setup works out.

You also mentioned before that you wanted to get away from the rotating host cast thing because you thought it drove people away from the cast. Does IT no longer being the primary cast change the calculus on that at all?

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3 hours ago, Problem Machine said:

Now that the door is open for long-distance casts, any thoughts of having some of the other hosts who've moved away back on sometime? Assuming the new setup works out.

You also mentioned before that you wanted to get away from the rotating host cast thing because you thought it drove people away from the cast. Does IT no longer being the primary cast change the calculus on that at all?

It’s possible, but the reason we tried so hard to get it working with Nick is for that continuity. We also gave him one of the actual mics from the studio to try and match audio as cleanly as possible. That said, it would be really fun to have old Thumbs hosts on the show from time to time so I could see us making the equipment/effort investment to hook it up if we had a good idea.

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Nick Breckon is honestly my favourite host on the podcast. When Nick tells an anecdote, it's just exceptional. So I'm really happy that you're working to keep him on the podcast.

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