on Sep 2, 2015
It’s always a bit of a gamble when we select what game we’re going to play next on this show. When we begin covering a game, we’re committing to spending several months with it. We don’t want to get three weeks into a series and find we hate doing it and the audience has mostly stopped watching. That’s bad for our morale, bad for the show, and bad for everyone else.
For a while we were shy of games we hated, because we didn’t want to be “too negative”. We had a few series end badly for us and descend into a dull slog of repeating the same four complaints again and again for five hours. (BioShock is the biggest example of this, and for years we’d say, “Ugh. That game would just turn into another BioShock season” when discussing potential games.)
But eventually we realized it’s not negativity that hurts the show, it’s the repetition. It doesn’t matter if we love a game or hate a game, as long as we have lots to say about it. Hitman Absolution is a great example. It was a stupid game that we all disliked on one level or another, but the brokenness was so widespread that we always had something fresh to discuss.
By that standard, KOTOR might just be too good. There are so many facets to this game that we’re interrupting each other trying to cover it all. Consider…
- We can obviously discuss the events and particulars of the game itself, like any other game. But if we run out of that…
- We can discuss KOTOR in the context of the history of BioWare, comparing it to the later games. If that runs out…
- We can talk about STAR WARS!, which is a massive complex fandom / franchise / cultural forceUnintentional pun. that spans four decades and countless media. If we somehow run out of Star Wars stuff to talk about…
- We can discuss this game as a slightly ungainly adaptation of tabletop rules and all the problems that arise when translating from tabletop to videogames. If that well runs dry…
- We can talk about the curiosities of this game that come with age. The technology has aged poorly in some places and beautifully in others. If that topic runs out…
- We can talk about KOTOR II, which is supposedly a continuation of this story, but done by Obsidian. There’s a pretty big divide between BioWare fans and Obsidian fans because of the stark tonal, thematic, stylistic, and QA differences between the two. Is it better to make a by-the-numbers-game and nail the execution, or fall on your face shooting for the moon? Do you like fun and positive, or grim and morally conflicted? You you prefer polished but rote mechanics, or ambitious buggy ones? If we somehow run out of that material for discussion we’ll long be overdue for getting back to #1 and talking about the game in front of us.
So we’re probably going to have interruptions and cross-talk for a few more weeks. This game is a gold mine of topics and we’re having trouble making it all flow smoothly.