Diecast #62: Among the Sleep, Wolfenstein, X-Men

 By Shamus Jun 8, 2014 145 comments

The number one requested feature for the show is an RSS feed for the podcast that handles the audio tagging properly. I’ve never figured out how to do this in WordPress without importing ridiculous podcasting contraptions or crawling down into the guts of WordPress to do it myself. But! Someone has set one up for us. I don’t use RSS and I can’t comment on how compatible / reliable / useful / accurate it is. It’s hosted off-site and I don’t know anything about it other than:

  1. It exists.

  2. Seems to work for everyone who has tried it so far.

Thanks for putting that together.


Direct download (MP3)
Direct download (ogg Vorbis)
Podcast RSS feed.

Hosts:
Josh, Sham, Puns, Cannibal Wrestling, and Regret.

Show notes:

01:00 Chris talks about a movie.

Apparently Do it Again, Stupid is now a movie?

4:00 Just kidding. That last section was just us arguing about groundhog(s) for no good reason. NOW we’re talking about Edge of Tomorrow.

Here’s a trailer, if you’re interested.

6:00 Chris played Among the Sleep.

Official site.

12:00 Rutskarn is playing The Walking Dead: Season 2.

This discussion is spoiler-free.

20:00 Mumbles is upset about what happened to the Shield.

Not these guys. These guys.

29:30 Mumbles and Chris talk Mario Kart.

37:00 Shamus has Played Wolfenstein: The New Order.

My column (should go up on Tuesday) is about the game. The question of “Is this Jewish conspiracy offensive or not?” is likely to be a touchy one. This is a sensitive subject handled in a very broad-strokes game, and it’s probably not particularly useful to get enraged at people who feel too much or too little outrage relative to yours. Robert Rath had a column last week where he came down strongly on the “This is not okay” side of the argument. I didn’t like the idea when I heard it, but when I saw it in the game I was basically willing to go along with it.

58:00 Josh had an X-Man movie marathon!

We talk about the early X-Men movies, the latest X-Men movie, and the X-Men comics. This conversation was really confusing and hard for me to follow, but I think there are Days of Future Past spoilers in there. Maybe.


A Hundred!20205We've got 145 comments. But one more probably won't hurt.


  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “01:00 Chris talks about a movie.

    Apparently Do it Again, Stupid is now a movie?”

    And its so funny.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      Wouldn’t “Groundhog Day” count as an earlier instance of a “DIAS” movie?
      … though probably not quite in such a video-gamey fashion.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Not really,because the goal wasnt as well defined.Here,we have a clear goal(kill the big mcguffin thing and win the war),and there are even levels(the beach,the road,the the louvre).

        • Zak McKracken says:

          Is it properly video-gamey, though, if it doesn’t have a sewer level? Or at least caves? Well I guess the Louvre might count as a basement level, at least.

          On my scale of “movies imitating video games”*, though, Dragon Ball using numbered stats for their protagonists still holds the record for “why on earth would you do that outside of a game?” It also marks the point where I decided that I don’t have to like everything that references video games.

          *I think it’s originally a cartoon, then an animated series, not a movie, but that’s sort of the same to me. Sort of.

        • Joe Informatico says:

          Well, and in Groundhog Day, the protagonist just went to bed on February 2nd and woke up on February 2nd until he did it right. In Edge of Tomorrow, he actually has to die to reset the day, i.e. respawn.

  2. Nick Pitino says:

    Damn.

    If you’re going to start talking about The Walking Dead then I’m actually going to have to go and finish playing it.

    I had been putting it off. <_<

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I wonder though whats the point of wolverine in the newest xmen movie.I mean I get why he was sent back,that is well explained,but after he delivers his message,he does absolutely nothing.He just stands there in every scene looking gruff.

    • 1. As far as I know, he’s the only character to have the same actor for every appearance of the character.
      2. Wolverine is always the one sent back in time, even in the comics. His healing factor lets the writers say he can live longer than everyone else (so his future self is still potent) and since it’s time travel, he can be turned into a metal skeleton for dramatic effect and then FUTURE CHANGE’d back to normal.

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        2.5. The major thing they mentioned in the early part of Future past is that once he jumps back, everything that will happen as a result of his changes goes into effect. Keeping him them was important for making sure the plot didn’t rebound like it kept trying.

        Which is relevant when he has to use Professor X’s encouragement to get Professor X back on track after Cerebro responds to Professor X’s panic attack. Essentially, he’s insurance that the plot can do what it needs to do.

        3. He also has more knowledge of characters in the universe at this point – for example, when he goes and gets what’s-his-face (Sadly, never caught his mutant nickname or regular name – the one new guy.) because he knows someone who can help them get into the area they need to go.

        • Kizer says:

          The character you are referring to is Quicksilver, however he never goes by that name in the movie. In the movie, he’s just Peter Maximov. I believe Disney owns the rights to the Quicksilver character as part of The Avengers franchise, but Fox owns the rights to Peter Maximov as Magneto’s son.

          • Joe Informatico says:

            Basically. A recent court decision ruled that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are both X-Men characters (being mutants) and Avengers characters (being, well, members of the Avengers), so both Disney and Fox can use them in films, as long as the former makes no mention of mutants, and the latter makes no mention of the Avengers.

      • Akri says:

        Your second point is incorrect. In the comics version of DOFP it was Kitty Pryde who went back in time (in the 80s cartoon version it was Bishop).

        But you are right about Wolverine being the same in all the movies, and that probably did play a big role in the decision. They needed someone who was not Xavier or Magneto (since sending either of them back would mess up a lot of the plot). Kitty and Bishop are both too young to go back, and sending anyone else would necessitate bringing on a new actor who can imitate the existing actor–which is doable, but it adds an extra layer of hassle. It’s easier to just throw Hugh Jackman at the problem.

        Plus, using him provides a handy way of showing how the continuity of the series has changed, since he doesn’t get picked up by Styker at the end.

        • I wasn’t referring to DoFP specifically. I have more than one comic where Wolverine goes back in time or is somehow involved with time travel.

          If he doesn’t go, I think he makes a guest appearance most often as a metal skeleton floating in a tank of bubbling fluid in someone’s post-apocalyptic lab built on the smoldering ruins of Xavier’s School or something.

    • Klay F. says:

      To be fair this was the most actual acting Hugh Jackman has had to do as Wolverine in the entire series, and he did really well. To your question though, its actually quite simple. Fox doesn’t know how to make X-men without Wolverine in the same way that Warner Bros don’t know how to make DC movies without Batman.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        True that.I imagine that if they didnt have at least one scene of wolverine,they would turn some other character into him,like they turned superman into batman in man of steel.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Despite this, First Class just has him turn up to use their one swear allowance for laughs.

      • Didn’t Jackman say this was going to be his final Wolverine movie?

        I mean, I’m sure he’s got enough money to retire the role (assuming something better doesn’t come along).

      • Eruanno says:

        I was concerned that Wolverine would just be there because he’s famous and his only contribution would be to punch things and stand slack-jawed in the background when the important things happen. Fortunately, he actually does things that matter and he’s actually involved in the plot. Hooray!

        • The Other Matt K says:

          It was actually the perfect dose of him, for me. Wolverine was almost my favorite X-Man from the comics, but the third movie ruined him for me by being the ‘All Wolverine Show’. So having him present, but taking a backseat to the other characters – while still having an important role to play as the emotional bridge between past and present – was exactly what I was looking for.

  4. Point of order: Indiana Jones didn’t “make” someone’s face melt off, nor did he push the big German dude into a propeller. The Nazis had only themselves to blame for what the ark did to them, and all Indy did was wait for the prop to come around and puree his foe.

    Indy did shoot the swordsman in the market square, so that one’s totally on him.

  5. Humanoid says:

    Sweet, a Monday Diecast. $1300 well spent.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      If the money has now enabled him to toy around with the Oculus Dev kit, it will have all been worth it.

      EDIT: I mean, it would have been worth it already for past stuff but hot Shamus on Oculus action double justifies it.

  6. On the topic of W:TNO Guy getting out of a coma and immediately running around. Maybe this has to do with working on Fall From The Sky where the main character has to recover from long periods of inactivity. You get sensitized to things that you’ve pondered extensively.

  7. syal says:

    “Some Nintendo fans tried to smoke me, but me and my homebrews went GTA on their asses and sent those rats packing. PS4LIFE!”

  8. Zak McKracken says:

    Thanks for putting the RSS link in the post. It does indeed work and make my live that much easier.
    I don’t use RSS much except for podcasts because I listen to them on my phone while driving, and it’s muuuuch easier to set the podcast player to update the feeds and queue all that’s new rather than remembering to go to all the sites I’m interested in, download the files, save them to a certain place, play each of them separately and then remember which ones I’ve heard already … so thanks, and RSS is a cool thing. Everyone should use it.

    Also, weird that Worpress would make it so hard to integrate it.

    • Xapi says:

      So, the RSS works, but, I don’t see this last episode listed in the feed. Is there some sort of problem with that?

      • ydant says:

        It’s currently running on my laptop on an hourly basis, which only works when the laptop’s turned on and I have a network connection.

        #62 is in the feed now.

        If anybody wants to run their own copy, the source code for the RSS feed generator is here:

        https://gist.github.com/mbafford/5333101

        • Zak McKracken says:

          I think the best long-term solution is for Shamus to get it (or something similar) to work on the webserver …
          Until then, thanks a lot for setting this up, and I can live with the delay.

        • ztdgz says:

          A while back I independently hacked an RSS feed together over on appengine.
          It’s PHP based (not my preferred language, but whatever).
          The problem is I never intended to release it and literally hacked it together in an hour or two. So don’t expect much from it ;-)

          Yours looks nice – a better example of dealing with XML to a certain degree. I just resorted to regex in the end.

          I will say that this feed contains all the bits and pieces, despite the hacks to get it to that point – it validates as a podcast feed correctly. Mostly hacks are because the PHP xml parser can’t understand namespaces. Ugh.
          It also only updates the feed once an hour, but I find that’s plenty.

          Here is where I have it running:
          http://white-faculty-589.appspot.com/

          Here’s that git repo (just created it):
          https://github.com/ztdgz/diecastfeed

    • Eric says:

      I second/third/whatever this, thank you. :)

  9. Zukhramm says:

    Mario Kart 64 is terrible. Rainbow Road has RAILS. WHAT IS THAT?!

    Double Dash!! is clearly the best one.

  10. Tizzy says:

    Oh Mumbles! If you hate Tom Cruise, this week’s Graham Norton show would have made your skin crawl. Imagine him in a talk show format where he has to stick around and out his act on for a whole hour… Eerie!

    Example here:
    http://www.bbcamerica.com/the-graham-norton-show/videos/seth-macfarlane-and-tom-cruise-do-their-best-impressions/

    • Oh man! I saw that and it was, man that was so sad, he and (forgot her name) tried to tell a funny story from their movie set and it was just sad, they tried (I think it was Tom Cruise) that hinted to her to tell the story). Did they think they had even a sliver of the same humor that MacFarlane have?
      That being said, MacFarlane did seem to get a tad move screen time/interview time.

      Also watch that Tom Cruise grin once his and Blunts “funny story” is over, he sure thought it was funny.

      A lot of ties MacFarlane looked like he was saying to himself in his mind (“Behave, be polite, don’t say something stupid, your promoting your work and not here to bitchslap Cruise.”)

      MacFarlane was also trying to shift some focus on his Ex which was nice, but it kind of backfired because either she wanted MacFarlane to explain his movie (A Million Ways To Die In The West) or she was not really prepared.

      It’s also a shame that Graham did not bring up the new science series Cosmos (which MacFarlanes directed).

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I can believe MacFarlane was biting back mean-spirited snarky remarks out of self interest. A humorist who was a decent human being would have helped out by asking questions that help Cruise spin the humor of the situation in an audience friendly way. He’s talented enough to do that if he could be bothered.

        • True, but I can think of one reason why he wouldn’t as well, though I can’t go further into it here. (I promised Shamus I’d never talk about stuff in that area again), though Movie Bob does point it out in his review of Cruses latest movie, so I’d understand if MacFarlane isn’t too fond of Cruise.

    • Side note about Cruise: Go google him smiling. Look at his teeth. Long ago, he had dental surgery to (I think) correct a gap in his smile.

      The result is he has a tooth right in the middle of his grin.

      I’m not saying this is a character flaw for Mr. Cruise, as he’s had a long and profitable career. It’s just one of those “once seen, can’t be un-seen” things.

  11. Tizzy says:

    This Among the Sleep discussion is fascinating. One of the things it makes me wonder is: “Is it possible to create a horror game where there is no fail states?”.

    Or, in other words: “Is it possible, as a player, to hold on to the scare if you know you can’t die?”

    Off the top of my head, I cannot think of interesting examples of games that attempted that, whether successful or not. But there must be examples out there, no?

    • ET says:

      Well, from previous podcasts*, we know that the game stops being scary the first time you die. So, really, I hope that it’s possible to keep a horror game scary where you can’t lose, because otherwise it means that we get to only have horror in games until the first “reload game?” screen.

      * Maybe Spoiler Warning? I can’t remember ^^;

      • syal says:

        But we also know a situation that should kill you but doesn’t also strips away the horror.

        …I wonder how it would work if, when something killed you and made you reload, it wasn’t there the second time. Cause, like, the problem isn’t that you’re dying, the problem is that you’re dying in the same place to the same thing and it’s now a puzzle that you have to solve.

        (I don’t think you can have horror without fail states. Horror comes from being on constant guard against things you don’t know how to guard against. If you don’t have to guard against anything you don’t get horror.)

        • Kana says:

          The challenge comes from making you afraid to die without just murdering you a bunch of times. I don’t necessarily agree that there need to be failstates to create horror. Novels and movies have existed for a long time that can instill fear, but you the viewer are never in any danger.

          Video games aren’t movies (or books, go away Alan Wake), but we still don’t have a whole lot of ways to confront baddies that don’t involve murder. I think Campster might have spoken about this before, but the video I most remember is from MrBtongue.

          It’s something Frictional brought up in the past, if you give the player a weapon, they will try and kill the monster. We’re just used to it. In video games monsters are things to club over the head for loot or plot coupons. I do think you can have a horror game with no or very few failure states, but I don’t think it’ll happen* until the industry stops using violence as the solution to everything. It bleeds over and carries expectations to other games.

          That or Josh will just jump on cthulhu’s head and ruin the immersion for anyone watching.

          *Caveat: I don’t play or pay attention to indie games (nothing against them, I just play a few games and all of those are triple-a), so if one pulled this off, awesome. I don’t think the industry at large is going to get it right until the violence slows down a little bit.

          • syal says:

            “Novels and movies have existed for a long time that can instill fear, but you the viewer are never in any danger.”

            Characters you care about are still in danger. I consider losing a character I care about to be a fail state. (Also books have the advantage of having no reader input at all. When the monster comes pounding through the barricaded door, the reader doesn’t have the option of bracing the door with their face. If a player does that in a game, they kind of need to die.)

            But if you limit fail states to mean main character death, then I agree there are ways to pull it off. It’s not at all easy, but it’s possible. (Maybe a werewolf story or something, where your character is the source of the problem and trying to control it.)

            • Kana says:

              I don’t necessarily agree with ‘characters you care about,’ but that is because my favorite stories are all Lovecraft. There are very few of the protagonists I feel any kind of attachment to, more so the weight of the unknown and disturbing breaks with reality that get under my skin.

              And it comes down to horror being this really nebulous, personal sensation that doesn’t really sync up with everyone. Chris thought Slenderman was scary, but I’m pretty sure Josh would have jumped on his head for a laugh.

              It feels like all the horror games I’ve heard of or seen recently eventually come down to ‘murder something nasty looking with a rifle.’ Which also puts you in the line of death a lot and pulls out of horror. You have the means to beat whatever to death, and if you lose then it’s just a game over screen. Maybe I just like the feeling of helplessness and insignificance way more than normal. I’m not sure.

              • syal says:

                Of the few Lovecraft stories I’ve read, I think The Color Out of Space was the only one that felt like a horror story. (For the same reason Slender works; Slenderman isn’t scary, but that crunching steps sound effect leading up to him is really creepy.)

                Agreed about the weapons thing, stuff is way less scary when you’re shooting it to death.

          • Joe Informatico says:

            For additional reference: Chris’ classic Errant Signal episode Violence in Video Games.

          • Tizzy says:

            To address the weapon thing: I did play Clock Tower 3 back on the PS2. You play as a teenaged girl fighting ghosty serial-killery entities (hazy on the details as you can tell). You can’t fight, you can inly run and hide. And if the enemy (there is only ne at a time, fortunately) is searching for you too close to your hidey hole, you may bolt out in sheer terror (usually bad news).

            VERY stressful. Very frustrating as well, did lead to a few DIAS moments, although I think I only gave up when faced with environmental hazards that were too tricky to handle. In the end, that was more frustrating than being defenseless against terrifying adversaries.

            Oh, and the checkpoint system, I guess. Game like this, you have to let me save anywhere. My nerves can’t handle it otherwise.

            • Kana says:

              That game seems… really strange. If wikipedia has it right, you go through the levels running from bad guys into a strange bossfight with them. Seemed kind of like… forced weakness? Like, you have to run from dude X until the end, but then you get to kill him.

              Ugh, I hate checkpoints. So much progress can go down the drain at one or two mistakes. Free saves or a really nice/generous auto-save feature.

        • ET says:

          Hmm, yeah. I think that some element of randomness would have to be there in a game, to make sure you’re not constantly fighting the same monster in the same room, or running away in the same hallway, or whatever. It would have to be reasonably subtle, though. Like, if the randomness was shown/obvious because of the GUI or whatever, then it’s too “gamey” and it wouldn’t be very scary. For example, Yahtzee’s unfinished Cthulu-style game is tense and nerve-wracking, but not really scary because it’s too obvious it’s a game. I just finished driving 10 hours to/from/to/from work, so I can’t articulate well, but…yeah. Doing horror games right is hard! ^^;

          • syal says:

            I was thinking flags that triggered upon death; the game remembers that it killed you and changes things slightly when it reloads.

            And then maybe if you die a second time, the next run contains the thing that killed you the first time, even if it’s wildly out of place. (Like, you die to a window cleaner in a skyscraper, and when you reload, the window cleaner’s gone but the shark that killed you in the underwater level is swimming through the air after you.)

        • I’m not sure it’s a “fail state” exactly, but it’s something Fallout got right most of the time: Aftermath.

          Imagine Among the Sleep where something happens to you during the game that’s “bad.” The monster roars in your face after spotting you, it tears your PJs, whatever. It’s what you want to avoid.

          The game ends with a family photo several years later. The “worse” you did, the more haunted and cadaverous the young child in the family photo looks.

          See? Horrific without dying. Dying is often far easier to grapple with than having an entirely happy ending taken away.

  12. Thomas says:

    X-Men 1′s biggest problem for me was that there was a very particular ‘superhero film plot’ and very particular style in the past and X-Men 1 is such a classic retread of it, that it ends up coming off completely trite and boring. The thing that really stood out to make it special and worthwhile was the Magneto-Xavier relationship which has been amazing in every film in the franchise. Spiderman 2 was the greatest film in the traditional superhero style, Batman Begins is second and Iron Man was the game which broke the trend and did something different.

    X-Men 2 was pretty fun, I actually liked X-Men 3 too, because I loved Kitty Pryde and the Xavier/Magneto and because I wasn’t worried about all the people being killed off.

    First Class is the most amazing, the Xavier/Magneto thing was great, but so was the films and how it looked and what happened. I loved Days of Future Past too, there was so much cool stuff going on in that film and I can imagine people who object to the slightly more serious edge in First Class will feel that DoFP is there favourite of the series.

    • Tizzy says:

      I think the pairing of actors and their younger selves was a pretty inspired idea. And I love how they set it up with the First class movie first. Vey shrewd.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The weirdest thing,for me,about most of the x-movies is their pg13 rating.X3,and days of future past have some really awful death scenes(being burned alive and electrocuted stand out the most),but because there is no blood,I guess they are ok.

  14. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Cyclops, Lois’ obnoxious boyfriend, Jack Lame from Ron Burgundy 2. James Marsden has quite a little career going playing guys you want to hate for pretty much no good reason (I know, there are good reasons to hate comic book Cyclops but not movie Cyclops).

    By the way, Shaw didn’t die in Days of Future Past because he died in First Class. Magneto slowly drove a coin through his head, remember?

    (“Versauce” lol.)

    • Daimbert says:

      Now, I knew him mostly from the older comics, but while Wolverine was my favourite character, Cyclops was up there as well. I griped to my co-workers after seeing the first X-Men movie that I hated Cyclops in the movie, and they replied that I obviously would because I liked Wolverine, and I commented that in the comics I liked them BOTH. The movies really did Cyclops badly, if I, who liked him despite the rivalry with Wolverine ended up hating him.

    • Mike S. says:

      While Superman Returns was flawed, one of the things that impressed me was that Marsden’s character was a genuinely good guy, that he’s permitted moments of real heroism, and that he actually gets to both live and to maintain his relationship with Lois, rather than dying nobly or living ignobly.

      Obviously they had no idea where to go from there. But it was an ambitious and gutsy take on that triangle.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        Its because if you’re not actually going to throw powerful supervillains at Superman, one of the very few ways to challenge him is the temptation to violate his own moral code. There’s no easy way out for him in this situation. If he wants Lois, he’s going to have to engage in some selfish behavior that might make him a bit uncomfortable while resisting the temptation to take advantage.

        Its probably kind of a scary situation for Lois to be in. Her faith in his goodness has been rattled a couple of times and now the world’s mightiest hero is her spurned lover. I gotta give her props for not being intimidated by him. We all saw how this can play out in “My Super Ex Girlfriend.” (Note though that the moment you flip the genders, and make it “My Super Ex Boyfriend” it stops being funny.)

  15. Jokerman says:

    The Shield are 3 hotties? Even Dean Ambrose?

  16. Tychoxi says:

    I’m a little annoyed in Walking Dead: Season 2 that what you did as Lee (as different from what other Lee’s did) hasn’t really affected Clementine. It’s a good game otherwise.

    • ET says:

      Hmm. I never noticed it, but that’s probably because the choices I made more or less lined up with the options Clem has available to her now, and how her character is now. I could totally see if I’d played Lee with 100% of the asshole options, that Clem should be acting differently in Season 2. Nothing drastic, but maybe just have some nice/jerk options locked off to me as the player.

      Right now, I think the most effect your previous season’s play has on Clem, is some flavour-text mentioning how Lee saved Clem. Like, she basically says whether you chose to do X, or do Y. I think also some of the characters from the in-between expansion side-quest mini-season either show up or don’t show up in S2, but they’re in the background, or only say one or two lines. I guess that’s an OK way to handle side-characters, but yeah…the minimal effect that Lee has is pretty annoying. ^^;

  17. Tony Kebell says:

    Ah, shit. I need to Watch PAYBACK AND RAW, I’m like two weeks behind and need to know what has happened to the S.H.I.E.L.D.

  18. I remembered another WW2/Fight Nazi’s game that is pretty good.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Saboteur

    Roughly explained it’s a mix of open world/territory elements from GTA San Andreas and Assasin’s Creed (there is sneaking/stealth/sabotage too). It’s a third person shooter. And it plays a little like Mafia or Mafia 2.
    The key gimmick is that the world is grey, and you can take territory away from the Nazis and bring color back to world.

    The Saboteur was the last game that Pandemic Studios did (and had the chance to finish).

    Here is a “gameplay” trailer (using actual in-game footage as the source for the trailer) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhTizv7XYeU

    Here is a review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_dwiW1drac
    Do note that in my opinion this review is fair with a score of 7.5, provide the score ranges from 0 to 10 with 5.0 being average for a game.

    If you’d like to play a assassins creed or GTA game without playing assassins creed nor GTA then this is a good game to do so. Oh and you get to kill nazi’s.
    If you find this in the bargain bin it’s probably worth it.

    It seems to be on Origin right now for 70% off https://www.origin.com/en-US/store/buy/saboteur at about 4 dollars I think (it keeps changing to local/regional currency so I can’t say for sure if that is correct), stupid Origin.

    • Jokerman says:

      I really liked The Saboteur, underrated little gem for sure. The driving kinda sucked but everything else was good, fun story and funny main character… I don’t really get why it scored so averagely next to over open world games like AC and watch dogs.

  19. Rutskarn, as killing and the view on it, in Europe and Japan (as far as I’ve noticed through their Anime) is that Death is more serious, American entertainment take death more lightly.
    On the other hand, people walking around half naked (or sometimes naked) in mature entertainment is not much of an issue here.
    So while the US freaks out about some nipples showing but is ok with blowing peoples heads off, in northern Europe violence is considered worse.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      My perspective from the other side of the Pond (Europe that is):
      In US movies, especially westerns, if a guy runs about and shoots people (especially indians) left and right, that’s just what they do in the West. Same goes for crime and stuff in more contemporary material. I grew up with grumpy detectives getting suspended for breaking the rules in every single episode, illegaly searching people and their homes, intimidating witnesses and suspects and eventually shooting the bad guy.
      This stuff is completely normal in US productions and most people don’t see anything wrong with it (I think).

      German crime series, though… sometimes there is a death. This will mean people being upset, angry, desperate etc.. The police officer investigating the case will be very serious about it and will usually solve the case by a mix of intelligent thinking, applied psychology and empathy, luck and possibly (but only in few cases) getting into a brawl (but the bad guy started it!), and overall behaving very responsibly.

      … I think these are actually two entirely separate genres, and someone has probably written very good essays on the differences, (and I wonder how that relates to actual police conduct and the public perception thereof) but I don’t think that people over here have a problem with violence in US movies, only if violence relates to the environment you actually live in, it just feels entirely different, and also the way the movie reacts to death plays a huge role. Just imagine Rambo II (hell… Beverly Hills Cop!) with every single death being followed up by a close look at the family drama behind it … not quite the same movie :)

      So … it’s probably European movies rather than audiences who take death more serious. Which likely has to do with the audience as well, but that’s not quite the same.

      • Zak McKracken says:

        Now that I think about it, it’s somehow similar with nudity, in that Holliwood treats both violence and nudity more superficially:

        Holliwood: Look, a guy with guns and asplosions! Look, a girl with totally nothing on! Whoooo!

        While in “European”* movies you’re more likely to have either merely a tool to illustrate the mood or the nature of the situation, while the focus of the viewer is (hopefully) on the point that the movie is trying to make. It becomes a storytelling tool, rather than the point of the movie.

        * Big quotes! There are plenty examples where things are the other way round, but on average that’s what I’ve come to expect. Also Holliwood != all US movies, although it’s the most visible ones.

        • I was under the impression that a lot of anime fans (both here and in Japan) were getting fed up with gratuitous fanservice, panty shots, etc. that were starting to become major themes in animation because they tended to sell more DVDs.

          This opinion came from some avowed anime fanatics, only two of which I can verify were Japanese, but I thought I’d ask anyway.

      • Joe Informatico says:

        I find that North American rating systems tend to focus on four areas that are easily quantifiable:

        1) Language
        2) Nudity/Sex
        3) Violence
        4) Drug Use

        (There’s often a proviso for “Frightening Scenes” but if said scenes aren’t violent, gory, or sexual in nature, they won’t bump a film up into Restricted territory.)

        For those four categories, it’s fairly easy to define what depictions are permitted at each level, and then just train your regulators to watch for them. E.g., no drug use at all for G-rated films, adults drinking alcohol in accordance with the law might be PG, explicit illegal drug use would be R.

        I’m no expert on European classification systems, but I have taken a look at some of them, and they seem more willing to bring in context and abstract concepts when determining ratings. Edgar Wright recently shared an email exchange he had with the British Board of Film Classification: the regulator told him a film could use the word “cunt” as a term of endearment among friends in the UK colloquial sense two or three times and still get a 15 Certificate, but using it even once as a gendered insult or as part of a violent intimidation would immediately bump it up to an 18 Certificate. Meanwhile, the Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media rates on the same four categories as North American systems, but also adds “Fear” and “Discrimination” (I can’t read Dutch, so I’m not very clear how they define and rate these terms).

        My theory is that the North American systems take this quantifiable approach to avoid the appearance of a political or ideological agenda. They simply list several activities that the majority of the populace agrees are probably not appropriate for children of certain ages, and marks submitted films and games accordingly. (You can argue that they do have an agenda, and the documentary This Film Has Not Yet Been Rated does so quite well for the MPAA, but they still want the appearance of objectivity.)

        I feel the American systems (MPAA and ESRB) do this for two reasons: because of how seriously freedom of speech is trumpeted in the United States and thus the desire to avoid any appearance of championing a specific political agenda, and because both are industry self-classification regimes that don’t want to turn away potential customers by appearing to endorse any one ideology. The Canadian provincial systems by contrast are government regulation regimes, but they follow similar models to the MPAA: I believe partly because of how integrated the Canadian cinema and home video industries are with their American counterparts (e.g. the US “domestic” box office includes Canada), and partly because our national mythmaking holds compromise, tolerance, and inclusion as the prevailing national values. (The exception is Quebec, which is far more European in sensibility and approach.)

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          But those arent easily quantifiable.The most recent x movie proves it.The way some of those guys die are very gruesome.Yet its considered to be cartoon violence because no blood and covered faces.But god forbid we see logan draw blood with his huge claws,which could still be cartoonishly done.

          Or how about movies like lolita,where there is no full nudity,not swears,violence or drugs.Yet its most definitely an adult movie.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            Frank sexual discussions, sexual themes and implied sex can also bump a rating. Although these don’t have as much impact on the system as they used to.

      • Mike S. says:

        I can’t think of a Western that treats Indians as disposable targets in the last generation, and I’m hard-pressed for the generation before that. That’s a trope that was beginning to die by the time the Lone Ranger was big, and was pretty much killed by the revisionist Westerns of the post-WWII era.

        (At which point they got a huge helping of Noble Savage and Wise Mystic stereotyping, but nothing’s perfect.)

  20. Shamus you hit the nail on the head, the main char not having his muscles atrophy is odd, that stuck out at me in the start as well, I quickly forgot about it though.

  21. Without spoiling too much, there is a journal being read by one of the supporting cast characters (BJs “recent” girlfriend), and it’s worth making sure you get to hear all of it, it’s pretty well written, dark, but well done.

  22. Zagzag says:

    The RSS feed is working for me! Thanks a lot for linking it, it makes getting hold of the Diecast that little bit easier.

  23. hborrgg says:

    On the subject of dias movies, source code, in addition to being stupid in a lot of ways I think captured the concept pretty well. Even to the point were after “winning” and figuring out who the terrorist was, the protagonist decides that he still isn’t satisfied and wants to go back and do a perfect run where he saves everyone and gets the girl, even though he is told that it was just a simulation and everyone is already dead.

    Then he gets the scientist lady to euthanize him at the end and it turns out that each simulation has actually been creating an entire new universe, so he continues living in the final universe as the guy whose body he stole.

    This twist ending actually causes the rest of the film to make MORE sense.

  24. Thearpox says:

    Can somebody link to the “drive off bridge” moment Chris is talking about at 56 minutes.

    • Chris says:

      This should give you all the context you need, I think (mild spoilers, obviously). The timestamp I linked to (around 1:22:54) shows BJ and his friend in a car in London escaping a Big Bad Boss Thing and getting a distress call from their friends in Berlin. We then smash cut to Berlin, and they try to save their friends via… well, watch their plan for yourself.

  25. Rodyle says:

    Mumbles may kill me in my sleep for this, but I am a casual WWE watcher (it’s on saturday nights here in the Netherlands), and I had to laugh my ass off every time I saw shield, with the stupid wet hair, the ridiculous pose and the black ‘supposed to be combaty, but seems more like Village People’ vest and pants.

  26. SyrusRayne says:

    Cannibal Wrestling’s super villain costume should definitely be a wrestling logo shirt. But it’s bloodstained. And instead of one of those tiny masks they wear in comics, Cannibal Wrestling actually just wears the skin of the wrestler she killed and ate most recently.

  27. Jamas Enright says:

    I think Josh’s picture in the Diecast picture should be replaced with trollface.jpg…

  28. BTW! At one point in Wolfenstein (2014) a NPC lampshades certain things and says to BJ (and hence the player), “there’s something wrong with you” (somewhat paraphrased) in reference to BJ just getting shot and beaten up and keeps coming back, the fact that BJ has metal shrapnel in his head brings more emphasis to this. (and you may hear a comment about the shrapnel at a security checkpoint you have to pass through at some point.)

  29. ChristopherT says:

    On the topic of similar things to Groundhog Day there was a TV Show I liked called Day Break where a police officer keeps repeating a day where his girlfriend gets kidnapped, murdered, and he’s cops’ prime suspect. One of the things I liked about it was the rules, where any injury he sustains carries through to the next day but everyone else is reset. Then they add an interesting development where by, in his 24 hour time span, can somehow gain someone’s complete trust during a reset they start trusting him more and are now a lot more willing to listen to him and help him.

    Also, I like Cyclops.

  30. Phantos says:

    As much as I love the casting of the X-Men movies(and some of the movies themselves), I still think we should have seen Wolverine in the costume by now.

  31. RCN says:

    Did anyone in the Spoiler Warning crew play Wolf Among Us? The OTHER great Telltale adventurer that’s in mid-season? I think I remember it being mentioned a couple dozen episodes ago, but it could’ve been a completely disparate Let’s Play I watched…

    Probably at least Mumbles must be playing it, since she’s the comic book geek in here (the GIRL is the comic book geek? What a marvelous world we live in) and she probably reads the FABLES graphic novels where Wolf Among Us takes place. Though this far I’m not sure if she’s a DC Vertigo reader.

    • Does Vertigo technically exist anymore? I’m still smarting over them rolling Hellblazer’s John Constantine into the main continuity. “Justice League Dark” is just such a bad idea…

      • RCN says:

        At least in my country Vertigo is still being published alongside Justice League Dark, not sure if it is just because Vertigo is still catching up to the rest.

        That said, JLD, ugh. I only care about Constantine and (part of) Swamp Thing. And Constantine going all around the world/multiverse after the 4 parts of the ultimate McGuffin is NOT how Constantine rolls. And Animal Man dealing with the same family issues for the nth time isn’t that riveting either. (Every time a super-hero family member goes “Stop saving the world! Then the world won’t need saving anymore!” I burn a good comic book… I mean, a good comic book spontaneously combust.) And could Swamp Thing go two issues without halting everything to mope around? AGH, THAT series is an endless parade of WRONG. The less I hear about vampires the better (wasn’t it enough for them to hog up half of the base VERTIGO publications?)

        Also, JLD magic is just all-over-the-place inconsistent. I swear, the first time Zatanna successfully casts a spell when it FREAKING MATTERS… they have all these wizards running around and they’re all USELESS… until the precise point they arbitrarily aren’t. Except for Zatanna. She’s only a set of T’nA to the team. “Your childish inverse magic doesn’t work on me” is probably the most common phrase of the publication. Ahead even of “Asshole” (directed at Constantine).

        • Oy, magic.

          It really takes a novel series like The Dresden Files to set up a workable magic system that doesn’t just come off like an ass-pull every issue/chapter/episode/whatever. It’s easier when it’s one magician (like Constantine) who used folklore, other people with other specialties, or let the reader know in advance (mostly) what he’d need to get whatever job he was doing done.

          Otherwise, it’s just “I can do whatever the plot demands and get defeated if that’s more dramatic for no apparent reason even though I cast a spell just an hour ago that would’ve solved this problem.”

  32. TMC_Sherpa says:

    Alright, I’ve been trying to find a stupid link since this episode dropped and I give up. Several years ago someone did a short about a cop in a video game trying to catch the player. Like they set up a road block and the players car comes screaming in, comes to a stop and when they open the door he’s gone. The only other bit I remember is he talks to a prisoner and slowly gets more cryptic information about what is going on. At the end some phone number or something reveals a code that the person they are looking for is named player one.

    I’m reasonably sure this is a thing that existed and that I’m not crazy (for that specific reason anyway) but I’ll be danged if I can find it.

  33. Rion says:

    I know this relatively late, and all discussion has probably died down, but I usually listen to the diecast in bulk, and something Chris said disturbed me so much that I had to comment.

    Chris, the fact that the Holocaust is so widely misunderstood that you (a person whose videos I consider intelligent and thoughtful) doesn’t accurately know what the nazis did scares me.

    There was no “just work camps” for “just political prisoners”. While most dictionaries will define the Holocaust as: “The attemp by Nazi Germany to exterminate the Jews”, and that is also the story most commonly told, the fact of the matter is, that the Nazis did not “just” attempt to exterminate the Jews. They did not “just” kill 6 million Jews.

    They killed 11 million “Untermenschen” and political prisoners. 6 million were Jews yes, but the remaining 5 million were Slavs, gypsies, Polish intellectuals, communists, mentally disabled people, homosexuals, Norwegian school teachers, Danish police men and French resistance fighters amongst all other minorites the Nazi government considered a threat to either their political safety or the “purity” of Europe.

    Everyone of these 11 million people were sent to either work camps or extermination camps, based not on which minority they belonged to, but how fit they were for work.

    Everyone of these 11 million people worked in the same work camps, died in the same gas chambers and were transported in the same trains.

    And the fact that this is not more commonly known, that the EXTENT of the crimes the Nazis committed is being forgotten, if it not already is, that’s horrifying. Because in order to learn from history, in order to not repeat history, it needs to be remembered.

    Not downplayed as “merely work camps” by people who while generally intelligent, simply doesn’t know better.

  34. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Re-listening to this podcast. Its funny that you guys were hesitant about Clementine being the Season 2 protagonist and pleasantly surprised by it.

    I say this because it sounded like an awesome idea to me and it only sounded that way because I’ve been listening to all of you (well, and Extra Credits goes into this too) and Clem as protagonist seems like the convergence of many things you’ve been saying you wanted.

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