Diecast #143: Oxenfree, Devil Daggers, SUPER HOT

By Shamus
on Feb 29, 2016
Filed under:
Diecast

106 comments

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Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster, Mumbles.
Episode edited by Josh.

As we recorded this, Mumbles was getting over being sick. And while I didn’t know it at the time, I was just a few hours from becoming annoyingly sick myself.

Show notes:

00:02:00: Oxenfree

Mild spoilers. Mumbles says somethign vague about the ending or whatever.


Link (YouTube)

Here is the post Mumbles did about the Oxenfree soundtrack.

00:11:30: Devil Daggers

I don’t think this trailer really sells the game all that well. It’s much more hectic than what you see here:


Link (YouTube)

Spoiler: Here is the video that ruined the game for me. It’s someone playing for 8 minutes. Once I saw that, I kind of felt like my own one-minute scores were too sad to continue working on.

00:19:30: Star Wars Novel: Lost Stars

Here is a link to the book on GoodReads.

00:24:45: X-Com 2

00:28:30: Josh got a mechanical keyboard.

We compared keyboards in the diecast. For the record, here is mine in rainbow mode:

I don`t actually use rainbow mode. Boringly, I mostly stick to pure white.

I don`t actually use rainbow mode. Boringly, I mostly stick to pure white.

You can also see the purple Halloween lights I have strung around under my desk, in case you thought I was kidding when I talked about that on Spoiler Warning.

I hate looking down at the keyboard and seeing crud, dust, and crumbs. My previous keyboard was black, and sometimes I’d have a massive OCD fit and tear the thing apart to clean all the gunk out. This keyboard doesn’t have a frame around it, which means it should be easier to clean. (If I blast it with compressed air, the debris will leave the device instead of going deeper in.

00:34:15: Shamus goes on a strange digression about raging out.

Sorry for interrupting Josh’s keyboard talk. I know this feels kind of out of place on the show. This is something I’ve wanted to write about for ages, but… didn’t. So then the subject came up and I couldn’t help talking about it.

If you suffer from fits of rage like I used to, I hope some of my rambling advice is helpful to you. Just remember: Your goal isn’t to stop being angry. That’s impossible and will actually only make things worse. Your goal should be getting the anger out in non-destructive ways. A good secondary goal is to experiment with your diet and medications and see if you can identify something that exacerbates the problem.

Thanks to the rest of the cast for humoring this digression.

00:40:30: SUPER HOT


Link (YouTube)

00:50:00: Good Trends

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Footnotes:



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From the Archives:

  1. Ilseroth says:

    Wait… so mumbles got you sick over the internet…. and now I am listening to it!? Oh god…

  2. Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

    Last question felt kind of random.

    Josh. What is your opinion on the Smoot Hawley Tariff?

    Shamus. What other sports/games would you apply the in field fly rule to?

    Mumbles. Whats the first thing you’d do the morning after World Peace begins forever?

    Chris. Which software driver is your favorite and why?

    Superbunnyhop. Which episodes of the Diecast have you secretly been in?

    PushingUpRoses. Do you have any computers younger than Rutskarn?

    Rachel. How are you doing?

    Daemian Lucifer. Which YouTube video is most relevant to this post?

  3. Nixitur says:

    It’s easy to get discouraged by high-level plays in, well, any game, really. Personally, I’m not too bothered by it and just concentrate on besting my friends.
    And even ignoring that, the game teases you by just showing you the person one rank higher and one lower than you, so I just think “Man, if I just survive a tiny fraction of a second longer, I’m gonna shoot forwards on the leaderboard.” I find that very satisfying.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      When it comes to twitch-based games like Quake or Mario, I don’t care about high-level play, but for anything more strategic (Starcraft, DOTA), it crushes me. I’ve played a total of two matches of human-vs-human Starcraft 2, I won both of them, but both times I had a ton of unused Vespene piling up in my base, which was a sign that there was something terribly inefficient about my build, and that evidence that I had played badly soured my victory.

      If you die in Super Meat Boy, you know exactly what you did wrong and can immediately try again, but games like Starcraft and DOTA are terrible at providing the specific feedback of “This, right here, is what you did wrong”, which makes a high skill ceiling incredibly daunting. It feels like the only way to get good at DOTA is to suck for two hundred hours straight until all that experience begins to coalesce into skill, and I hate sucking at games.

  4. Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

    About getting too tired to be mad:

    This also works for anxiety.

  5. Ninety-Three says:

    I did not like SUPERHOT. Other than echoing the podcast’s comments about story, I feel like the gameplay got old. Yeah the “time slows down when you’re not moving” thing was clever, but it felt like they didn’t have any idea what to do with the mechanic. There are only five enemies in the game: dude with sword that one-shots you, dude with fists that one-shot you, dude with pistol that shoots once, dude with shotgun that shoots a spread, dude with four-shot-burst rifle. There only seem to be two AI routines: melee and ranged, so every level comes down to using the exact same weapons to kill the exact same red dudes over and over as they spawn out of monster closets.

    Incidentally the monster closets lead to really unsatisfying gameplay: often you die because someone spawned and snuck up on you (time slows down when you’re not moving, but not so slow that you can just always spin 360 and know where everyone is at all times), and other times you end up spawn-camping the closet door.

    The weapon variety was even worse than it sounds, because I ended up pretty much only using the plain pistol: there’s enough pistol drops that it’s a viable strategy, and I greatly prefered it to the shotgun with only two bullets, or the assault rifle that locks you into experiencing a bunch of realtime because of its prolonged burst.

    It was interesting for the first hour, hour and a half, but after that I had mastered the basic systems and was ready for it to do something to challenge me, and it just didn’t. Instead it handed me the body-swapping power which I never used because the game was already easy and I needed it to get more difficult, not less.

    TL;DR: Cool mechanic, devs had no idea what to do with it. Least innovative shooter I’ve played in years.

    • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

      One thing that strikes me would suck about being this guy. You have to move to move time. Otherwise it moves really slow. Your body doesn’t move faster than normal for the flow of time suggesting that your metabolic processes are running on normal time. But your mind is working faster.

      So you have to sleep for ages. And your mind will keep waking up because it will sleep faster than your body.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        Trying to get that analytical on it just makes it fall apart, because it turns out it’s impossible to have your mind run at turbo while your body doesn’t (surprise). The brain uses up a significant percentage of your body’s energy, so you can’t just make it run twenty times faster. It’ll start using twenty times more energy, and if your heart is only pumping in realtime, you’ve vastly increased your energy consumption without increasing supply: you’d promptly pass out from lack of oxygen.

        • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

          Good point. Didn’t even think about that.

          Even if he overcame that issue, assuming he hadn’t had this ability all his life this would be extremely disorienting. Your brain signals your limbs to move then there’s a lag in your limbs moving but as they start moving suddenly you’re moving at normal speed.

          He’d be more entertaining to watch than QWOP for a while.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            Speaking of your brain sending signals, you’d also hyperventilate and have a heart attack. If your brain is running twenty times faster, subconscious processes like breathing would be trying to trigger twenty times more often. I’m not sure what exactly would happen when your brain started sending turbo mode signals to your lungs, but it wouldn’t end well.

            Would you be blinking twenty times more often? Heck, just blinking at all would be miserable because it’s no longer brief enough for your brain to ignore, you’re blind for several perceived seconds.

        • 4th Dimension says:

          How I understood the “lore” of the game, the central coneit is that mind is software and can be run on computer hardware. Therefore, when he is playing he is mostly not using his brain but is offloading more and more of processing power on the computers. In fact by the middle point most of his tough processes are running on hardware and he literally can not control his body any more, and has a sympathetic connection to it at best.

          • mhoff12358 says:

            I thought this was super fun about the game. Literally losing yourself in ways as you integrate more and more of your life into digital things is a subject that hits pretty close to home, so I immediately latched onto the plot. However, it definitely was too short to really do much with it, and didn’t fully use what time it did have. Shame.

  6. Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

    Mario stopped. His latest power up flew away unnoticed. It was him, the Goomba. Why was this Goomba so different from all the others? They gazed longingly into each others eyes knowing that it could never be.

    The Pirahna plant looked on from afar with smouldering jealousy. Why did they have what he never could? For his love was 20 feet away in another pipe.

  7. SyrusRayne says:

    The best, and only, Devil Daggers video you’ll ever need:

    https://youtu.be/ig0PiBScaqw

    I dunno if Matt Lees coined the phrase, but that video’s the first place I heard it referred to as “Quake for the Vine Generation.”

    • Echo Tango says:

      If you do the capslock trick, it might crash your game! Firaxis said they’re working on a patch, because they totes recognize all the loading time and game slowness problems as bugs. Can’t find the source today, but I read a thing from somebody at Firaxis, that said he was playing the game on his laptop as he was being interviewed, without any problems. So…definitely bugs. :)

      • ehlijen says:

        The big question is: why didn’t they recognise these bugs as bugs before shipping? They appear quite pervasive, so I’m having trouble believing none of their QA caught any of it.

        I have a theory, but it’s a shaky one:
        XCOM:EU was only patchable through steam and I expect the same to be the case for XCOM 2. That’d mean poor performance patched by a latish patch would leave pirated copies performing poorly (as they can’t get the patches) while honest players play smoothly.

        Of course I’m also having trouble believing that that’d be worth that sacrifice of reviews and early opinions.

        So…insufficient QA?

        • Humanoid says:

          More annoying that the unintentional delays are the intentional ones. XCOM 2 has so many slow, pointless, overly-detailed animations and graphical effect in things ranging from soldier animation to sub-menus loading that I felt like it was Mario Party – the game that defines gratuitous unskippable animations – all over again. And what’s worse, in a game with already poor performance on good PCs, these “features” just amplify the feeling of the game lagging out on you, where in reality it’s just playing an intentionally slow canned animation.

          Fortunately mods are cutting out most of this pointless detail, but even with them I end up strongly preferring the general look and feel of the older game. I guess it’s a cautionary tale of how you should keep your art directors in check. :P

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            And hearing the same briefings/updates every time just became tedious. When aliens are raiding a resistance base I really don’t need to be told that civilians are dying and how important it is that I save them Every! Single! Time!

          • ehlijen says:

            Yup, all that plus the change in tempo pushing for much shorter actual engagements leave me preferring EU/EW as well.

            Still, XCOM 2 is some fun, and it’s still worlds better than Falling Skies (a true example of how having no clue about what makes a game good should stop you from copying that game).

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          I heard that they say they didnt have those problems when they tested it.And if they actually said so,its one heck of a lie.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          Also, pirated games do get patches.

          • ehlijen says:

            I used to run the pirate crack on my legit copy of XCOM-EU because I fundamentally dislike steam. I was unable to patch it in any way to the point where it would be compatible with the long war mod until I finally relented and installed steam.

            • Sleeping Dragon says:

              To be more specific, pirated games often get patches, at the very least they tend to get essential ones or those required for expansions/DLC. Basically if it can be cracked it can be cracked with a patch, in a way that allows for patching or the patch itself can be cracked, which doesn’t mean that the crackers always bother.

        • Mormegil says:

          Yeah, insufficient QA.

          Pirated games get patched quite often. Certainly often enough to not bother with trying to trick people into getting a broken version of the game.

          I will sometimes play pirated versions of games I own because it’s easier than digging a disc out of a cupboard or dealing with DRM.

  8. Charnel Mouse says:

    Josh, TOME gives you the option of whether to have permadeath or not, although you will be on a finite lives system unless you’ve donated.

  9. Falterfire says:

    I don’t know that the Superhot story was that much worse than the story of Pony Island, but the difference was that during the gameplay parts of Pony Island I was working towards the next story bit, while during Superhot’s story bits I just wanted to get to the next gameplay bit.

    I didn’t love the Superhot story, but I think it wouldn’t be getting this much hate if it wasn’t attached to a game that was so much more engaging. (Also, if it weren’t for having a surplus of meta-game narratives released recently, like the aforementioned Pony Island)

    Re:Romance: At one point somebody says something about playing Matchmaker for a bunch of other characters, and all I can say is that the entire Fire Emblem franchise was basically saved from certain death almost entirely on the back of that very mechanic.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      To touch on one aspect of the story that hasn’t been mentioned yet, it involves this semi-fourth-wall-breaking plot of “You the player are being mind-controlled” and it ends by telling you “Tell your friends about SUPERHOT. Spread the word. Use the phrase ‘It’s the most innovative shooter I’ve played in years'”.

      Obviously, that’s a brilliant marketing tactic designed to manipulate people into giving the game specific praise, and I think that’s sketchy as hell. We have reviews from real outlets gleefully parroting the game’s marketing catchphrase (because haha, I the reviewer am in on the joke, aren’t I clever?), to an audience that sees it as a spontaneously expressed sincere opinion.

      • Christopher says:

        I was thinking it was something like that when people repeated that phrase during livestreams. It’s fun in a “make tons of people do a specific thing” kind of way, but I wouldn’t sa I laughed.

      • Tever says:

        I didn’t even pick up on that at all. I just thought it was a callback to the beginning, letting you know this friend who tells you about the game was already taken by the system, that at best, you’re talking to a recruiter the whole time, and at worst, he’s actively selling you out. And in that sense, I thought it was clever and disturbing.

    • Supah Ewok says:

      “Saved” in FE’s case is a matter of perspective, but this is hardly the place for me to go on a rant and forumers know my opinion already.

      • Humanoid says:

        Huh, totally off-topic all this time I thought you were “Supa Hewok”.

        • Supah Ewok says:

          You know, I always thought it was obvious, but a few months ago I started actually talking with a few folks online and realized that the distinction wasn’t obvious, particularly for non-native English speakers. The only reason it didn’t have a space anyway was that the first service I used this name for didn’t allow spaces, and either they didn’t allow underscores either or I just didn’t like how it looked. Can’t change it on the forums, but it’s easy enough here, so I figure I might as well.

          Of course, even if it isn’t obvious what my name was, it should still have been pretty obviously stupid, so that it’s highly unlikely that anybody else on the internet would go by it. Mission accomplished there.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      Emblem Rangers: Galeforce did not have romance, it had a eugenics system for breaking the game balance in half. Or for spreading dark mage DNA around so I could put all the cute boys in black fishnet. Which tended to achieve the same effect with a touch less Galeforce.

      • Humanoid says:

        I went into the game not even knowing about the system, or any of the game’s systems really, (I bought it on the recommendation that it was the JRPG to get for the 3DS) but I’m wondering now why a Fire Emblem CK2 mod isn’t a thing. Hell, CK2 already has the Anime Portraits mod.

  10. Echo Tango says:

    @Josh
    Putting XCOM 2 onto a solid-state drive won’t help anything; My computer runs everything off of SSD, and load times are still slow.

    • Humanoid says:

      Same, but it might make the Caps Lock trick more reliable perhaps? That said, I don’t know of any reports of the supposed crash risk actually resulting in crashes so it might be 100% reliable anyway.

  11. Mintskittle says:

    During the Oxenfree discussion, when Josh was talking about the game sending him messages from people on his friends list, it got me thinking that it’d be interesting for a game to mess about with mimicking parts of the steam overlay to mess with the players.

    Like say that as you’re playing, you get a notification that someone has started playing the game, but it’s not anyone on your friends list, and as you keep playing this stranger starts messaging you with strange statements or hints as to what might be coming up, but if you bring up the overlay, there is no message. Or, since we’re mimicking the overlay, the message is there, but when you try to send messages back, you get some kind of error about no such user or whatever.

    I think there’s some good potential for psychological horror in this.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      That would be a really clever angle to play with, but I wonder if Valve would allow it. It would probably involve swallowing the Shift-Tab input to pop up the real Steam overlay, which depending on how Steam works, could be anywhere from “impossible” to “possible but Valve will be very upset with you”. There could simply be a “We like our overlay, no messing with it” rule, written or otherwise.

      • Falterfire says:

        I can’t speak for how Valve would respond, but I know some games don’t play nice with the overlay for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s a manual global disabling by devs to prevent crashes or something about the game itself though. (Also can’t remember any specific example, I just know I’ve played games where the overlay didn’t work)

      • Tektotherriggen says:

        Not least because a game could, in principle, scam people out of Steam passwords if it mimicked the Steam interface well enough.

    • 4th Dimension says:

      Doesn’t Pony Island do that at some point. I think at some point it seems as if the Devil is messaging you on Steam. Of course it’s just the game putting up a Steam like notification in the corner but still…

    • ehlijen says:

      I’m not all that comfortable with any program faking messages on behalf of real people (or real seeeming people).
      We have enough online impersonation fraud and ads masquerading as messenger windows as it is without getting actually wanted programs involved.

      • Humanoid says:

        Yeah, that would be skirting close so close to actual malware that I’d even say fair enough if security programs classified it as such and blacklisted it.

        Indeed I don’t like games that go all meta with the UI in general. I remember fake-out save points in FF7, for instance. Undertale in general is an example of this, but the last thing I want is another debate about that game, so I’ll leave well alone.

  12. AR+ says:

    The side-strafe and backpedal while dodging projectiles and enemies genre has been carried for several years by the Serious Sam series.

  13. I think as we all age, some of those concerns about wanting older stories will just naturally fall out as the industry in general increases in average age.

    I’ve noticed this in the programming world. There used to be this meme that the fresh young grads came out of college with all the hotshot skills and that nobody old knew anything. But that basically ended with the web. Now I hardly ever hear this meme, and when I point out that it’s not particularly true anymore nobody objects. (See, I can write a list of technologies that I’ve mastered or are at least pretty good with as long as my arm. Your list is… AngularJS and “pretty good at Starcraft”. Get off my lawn.)

    I’ve noticed this in the YouTubers world too. As a mid-to-late 30s guy now, I don’t really have a lot of trouble picking up videos that are interesting to me, and made by my “peers”. There’s a lot of YouTubers/video streamers in their mid-30s now, some who have been doing this for over a decade (yes, even preceding youtube itself). Spoiler Warning (namedrop!) being one of these, but only one of these.

    There really seems to have been a transition that happened right in the 90s, but since then things seem to me to have been more sedate, for all the sound and fury. “Digital natives” really started being born in the 1970s or 1980s, not the 200xs.

    I don’t expect the stream of games (or any cultural artifacts) of interest to us to taper off for quite a while. The industries are growing with us, as much as cynicism may lead one to think otherwise sometimes.

  14. Flailmorpho says:

    I really got upset with superhot’s difficulty because I wanted to do the “be awesome” stuff but later on it turns into a god damned bullet hell that hits you with rapid amounts of “do it again stupid”

    • Ninety-Three says:

      Wow, I was on the complete opposite end, finding the game frustrating for being too predictable and unchallenging. At what point did you find it turning into a bullet hell?

  15. Merlin says:

    Hooboy, lot of side-eye at that anger management advice. Smashing keyboards is awful, and silly stuff like stopping and counting to 10 does help. Seeking cartharsis by way of venting is an understandable impulse, but it’s been pretty conclusive shown to be dead wrong. The major reason why a person can’t pause and control their reaction is because they have trained themselves that the appropriate response to anger is instinctively lashing out. I’m glad to hear you got over that impulse eventually, but actually addressing it directly goes a lot farther than anything you advocated here.

    You Are Not So Smart has a nice high-level rundown, or you can hit a primary source with the 1999 Bushman/Baumeister/Stack study here. The same folks did a handful of follow-up studies further nailing down the catharsis coffin, if you need easy googling. Their results were pretty damnig, because not only did they show venting to make you more prone to anger generally or towards the person/thing that upset you, but even towards innocent third parties.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      TLDR: It’s probably okay that catharsis sustains anger, because some anger is good.

      So, to take a cue from “Inside Out”, Anger’s positive attribute is that it provides both motivation and energy to confront perceived injustice. What you want, of course, is for this confrontation to be directed at the source of the injustice, but often those sources are out of reach. This asymmetry draws into question ones agency as a human being. Taken to an extreme, eliminating anger undermines many of the motivations to act.

      Performing “catharsis” doesn’t reduce anger, but it isn’t really supposed to. As you say, catharsis affirms emotion, and sometimes that’s what you want.

      Of course, ideally, one would either address the root of the injustice (write a “Dear sir, I am writing to inform you…” letter, or whatever) or improve the perception to better identify injustice (asking “why am I angry about this?”) but the trick with anger is that it is very difficult to harness, doing so takes time and skill, and young men (burdened with an excess of energy and a dearth of experience) would much rather ride the rage bare-back and rough-shod.

      So yeah, breaking keyboards isn’t productive by any means. And yes, it affirms and reinforces anger that is already clearly stoked high and hot. But if the alternative is training oneself to accept defeat and acquiesce to imperfection, then I’d say we’re all benefiting from Shamus’ trail of shattered plastic. Injustice still makes him mad, and at the end of the day, that’s what most of us are here for.

      • Merlin says:

        Meek submission before all comers is not the sole alternative to crazed thrashing. The point – my point, the studies’ points, the point of the “count to 10” truism, whatever – is not Anger = Bad, Never Be Angry. It’s to collect your thoughts and direct that anger in a focused, reasonable way at the appropriate target, because contrary to gut instinct, the alternative turns you into a gigantic ding dong, inch by inch. It’s about training yourself to recognize your own imperfections and overcome them rather than succumbing to every stray frustration with all the poise of a rabid animal.

        Meds, diets, physical & mental conditions, yeah, they all play a role, and folks will give you varying amounts of leash depending on circumstances. I certainly have a lot more patience with my bi-polar friends than with my friends who just happen to be acting like dicks at the moment. That’s just the way things go.

        But to be totally dismissive of the idea that a person, young man or otherwise, can heathily manage their anger? That’s bullshit, and defeatist, toxic bullshit at that.

        • Paul Spooner says:

          Now that we’ve both engaged in hyperbole and false dilemma, allow me to say that I appreciate your perspective here. I agree with your view that the long-term effects of exclusive catharsis are non-optimal.

          The main difference I see between us is that you seem to hold the view that mental health professionals and research scientists should define our understanding of “healthy” behavior. This view I do not share. Certainly their input can be valuable, but I’ve seen too many examples of the opposite in practice to allow them to unilaterally decree both the terms and methods.

          If Shamus can afford to buy keyboards, who am I to say it’s “unhealthy” of him to break them?

          • Shamus says:

            I can confirm that counting to ten is actually the best way to make things WAY worse. Believe me, I tried for years and the problem only grew worse, and trying to do so is what led to the most destructive incidents. The goal should be to dissipate the energy, not bottle it up.

            A punching bag would have helped. I had a couch in my office, but punching down to that height is awkward and you can hurt yourself. A run would be good, but running isn’t always an option. Sometimes the weather is bad, or you live in a dangerous place, or the ground is treacherous, or it’s the middle of the night, or you can’t leave your workspace to go run, or you’re not healthy enough (heart or lung problems) to safely endure a run, or whatever.

            Smashing a keyboard is preferable to letting the anger build up, but it’s not a GOOD solution. It’s a temporary fix for dealing with something that can (hopefully!) be solved through diet, medication, or lifestyle changes.

            • Matt Downie says:

              Your life is contrary to the scientific evidence.

              I have no idea what the correct way to deal with this conflict is. Maybe I’ll try punching my keybngbfvfgdy hm njfgbvfgbyb

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Your life is contrary to the scientific evidence.

                One of the key things about psychological research is that its not based on solid facts as something like mathematics or physics.If you find a property of an iron rod at room temperature,that property will be true for all iron rods at room temperature.But if you find a property of a 30 year old programmer,that property will still be untrue for a bunch of 30 year old programmers.

                Thats why no matter how well any mental issue is researched,simply going down a list and ticking the boxes is the worst way to find a proper solution,and actually speaking with a doctor is advised 100% of the time.Psychology and psychiatry are art as much as they are science,and blindly prescribing diets and meds to people is the worst.

          • Nixitur says:

            If you’re talking about any kind of health, there can never be a 100% rate of success and demanding that is rather fruitless. Just because you have personally experienced stuff that contradicts the modern scientific opinion doesn’t mean they’re wrong. That’s what we call anecdotal evidence and it differs from a proper study mostly in the number of people you observe.
            To bring this back to the point at hand, what those studies proclaim is an average. On average, some actions are more helpful and healthy in dealing with anger and some are less helpful. That doesn’t mean that this holds true for all people, but it’s certainly a good guideline for advice.

    • Sord says:

      If you can count to 10, if you can even think about the idea of counting to 10, then you are dealing with a different anger issue. It is not an easy thing to analyze, as the key thing during an episode is that my entire thought process becomes very limited.

      Imagine you are sitting in a chair and suddenly need something to drink. However, the only idea that comes to mind on how to get the drink is grabbing the chair and smashing it on the ground. You know that won’t actually get you a drink, but you do not and can not have any other ideas. You know you want the drink. You know you can have the drink. You know you can pick up the chair and smash it to the ground. What are you going to do? Sitting there is not one of your options. You have to do something!

      That is roughly what it is like. Although I’d probably have a few different useless ideas to sort between, such as throw the chair across the room, smash the chair in to the wall, or just rip the chair apart. I can’t tell you why these are the only options, they just are, and I do tend to pick the least destructive of the options.

      I have found that changing my diet effects the frequency of the anger events (cottage cheese at the right time helps a lot). And roughly two years ago I discovered that taking a daily magnesium supplement allows me to remain rational during an anger episode, so although I’ll still feel just as angry, my choices aren’t limited, so I could count to 10, or continue to sit in the chair, or even walk to the kitchen and get that drink I wanted.

    • Cybron says:

      Take the following the grain of salt – I am not a therapist or psychiatrist. However, I do know that certain physical side effects associated with anger can actually intensify, prolong, and possibly even induce anger when caused by external source such as medication. Given this, it’s possibly that anger fits arising from medication may not be subject to the same management techniques as regular anger.

      I used to have fairly severe anger problems, and I can testify that mental exercises intended to shift my perspective and otherwise help me “let go” were far more effective than indulgence for me. But that does not mean they will be for everyone, especially when caused by medication.

  16. TheMartini says:

    Does the avoidance of Oxenfree spoilers in the discussion mean ya’ll will be talking more about it after others have played it? It’s the most interesting in the horror-ish/adventure-ish/relationship-ish games, a weird mashup that hits all my buttons for whatever reason.

    • dziki says:

      “Does the avoidance of Oxenfree spoilers in the discussion mean ya’ll will be talking more about it after others have played it?”

      I hope so! Oxenfree in my humble opinion is one of the most interesting things to come out this year and I’m happy that people are starting to talk about it.

  17. 4th Dimension says:

    Huh, curiously lot of negative views on SUPERHOT. I actually like it a lot.

    There are some problems I have with it, that mostly boil down to me having issues with spawning enemies and the fact that in my opinion slight reddness of the wall next to the spawn is not in my opinion enough of a clue that somebody will spawn there.

    I was fine with the weapons. Pistol is an all around jack of all trades with it’s weakness laying in the fact that there is a “long” delay between shots until your hand compensates for the kick. Shotgun is a pure DPS spray weapon which is useful if you want to hose some enemies with fire and make sure they don’t dodge it. But has the weakness of only having two shots. For me the assault rifle was a fine weapon. It allowed for shotgun like spraying what with it’s 4 round bursts and time moved slowly enough that you could practically aim each of those shots at different targets. It’s problem was that enemies had it and it’s low ammo capacity, comparable to the pistol.

    But the rest of the gameplay I liked a lot. I liked it enough to continue playing in the challenge mode, although I do miss more structure that regular missions offered. Also there is nothing like turning around and watching a bullet fly slowly right past your nose or navigating your way through the enemy fire.

    I also even liked it’s weird story. Sure there are a quite a few things that don’t fit. But I liked the story of an organization is using a leaked game to lead in and test minds for their program which they want to use to stage seemingly weird and nonsensical assassinations of their enemies. They have some sort of a way to effect mind control taking over of targets. Then they give the control over to the operator who’s mind is running on a computer. Running on computer hardware boosts the processing power of their minds allowing the operator to have super perception. That is where core gameplay comes from, the superperception is allowing you to see in slow motion (if we discount the facts that in game bullets are a LOT slower than IRL and that what you would see are 24 still images per second).. I also liked it’s setpeces where they often put you in hopeless situation that only can be solved by super reaction. Like the one in the bar with the barman pulling a gun on you. Or the office one.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      I was fine with the weapons.

      I found myself only using the pistol, which made things very bland. The pistol did everything I wanted, which meant the other weapons had upsides I didn’t care about (shotgun spread is unnecessary if you’re good at pistol aim, similarly you don’t need rifle’s rate of fire if you never miss a pistol shot) and downsides that made me ask “Why aren’t I using the pistol?” (shotgun has only two bullets, rifle locks you into shooting bursts which is super awkward).

      The story just had way too many videogamey contrivances for me to even begin taking it seriously. If this is supposed to be any kind of reality:
      Why do bullets move at the speed of a 1950s automobile?
      Why is a bullet to the foot lethal?
      Why does every object disintegrate upon being damaged?
      Why do guns have infinite ammo until I pick them up?
      Why was the password “Authorized password”?
      “Try to disconnect” the game tells me. “Okay, Alt-F4” I respond. Oops, looks like the game wasn’t trying to break the fourth wall that way.
      Why is a corporation letting randos murder people using their supertech?
      How do the enemies recognize that I’ve performed a bodyswap?
      What’s up with these enemies spawning out of thin air?

      • Lanthanide says:

        ““Try to disconnect” the game tells me. “Okay, Alt-F4” I respond. Oops, looks like the game wasn’t trying to break the fourth wall that way.”

        Alt-F4 is a function of the operating system, so yeah…

      • 4th Dimension says:

        You can do that for basically any game and say/list a number of things that were contrived for the sole purposes of gameplay.

        But I do have some opinions about some of these:

        Why do guns have infinite ammo until I pick them up?

        Annoying sure, but having enemies have to reload would A make the game easier and B make them make more animations C reduce the number of shots flying around thus reducing the fun.

        Why was the password “Authorized password”?

        Considering that the devs are Polish I think, chart that up to English not being their primary language.

        Why is a corporation letting randos murder people using their supertech?

        The key here is that the corp is letting randos murder “legitimate” targets using their super tech. They basically control who you fight. And through that the randos are getting selected for the brain transfer program.

        How do the enemies recognize that I’ve performed a bodyswap?

        I agree that is one of the massive potholes, but I was willing to let it go since adding a period where the enemy did not know who I am would have diluted the game play. Also we don’t know how what we do looks IRL so maybe it’s obvious when somebody is being controlled?

        What’s up with these enemies spawning out of thin air?

        One of my biggest bugbears, but considering the level of tech on display, it could be argued that te supercomputers of 80s/90s are unable to render at that level of detail larger areas than are in game. So they are rendered only once they are in the rooms being rendered.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          Why is a corporation letting randos murder people using their supertech?

          The key here is that the corp is letting randos murder “legitimate” targets using their super tech. They basically control who you fight. And through that the randos are getting selected for the brain transfer program.

          To clarify, the emphasis of that question was on “randos”. Surely you could mount a less risky and more effective recruitment strategy than “Let literally anyone who downloads this exe use our supertech and resources to commit actual real-life murders”. That’s the kind of plan Cerberus would come up with.

          • 4th Dimension says:

            Only persons that actually know murders are being commited are the ones running the program and those deep enough in so they no longer have the luxury of backing out. To everyone else It’s just some weird game that is not even out yet and to which some damnable pirates gain access from time to time. The company when it discovers the intrusion tries to get them to stop. So it has built in cutoffs. And lets you test it without implicating yourself on a much larger target group.

  18. Aaron says:

    oxenfree name sounds like a game i played outside with my brothers

    take a baseball/softball throw it over the garage and shout “annie anie over” and it repeats until someone gets brave and shouts “olie olie oxenfree” when they throw. they would then have to run around the garage and tag the person before the caught the ball.

    fun times in a town that has a festival for potatoes

    on topic the game you guys talk about sounds really interesting and might pull me away from fallout 4

    • Mike S. says:

      Where/when I grew up, “ollie ollie oxenfree” was the call to let anyone still successfully hidden in a game of Hide and Go Seek know that the person doing the seeking had given up, and they were free to emerge.

  19. Paul Spooner says:

    I found the stuff about anger really interesting. Interesting enough that I edited it down to just that section. Here’s the link, if anyone wants to refer others to it without saying “scroll to minute 34”.
    http://www.peripheralarbor.com/AudioFiles/diecast143_Anger.mp3

    I’ve never actually broken stuff out of anger, but I’ve certainly noticed my blind bile toward others has mellowed with age. It’s difficult enough being a young man without steroids. I think your advice is valuable regarding other emotions than anger as well. Sometimes people need to share feelings out because they are important to them, but other times they need to get the feelings out because they are getting in the way. Taking other people’s emotions seriously, but not too seriously, is a large part of getting along.

    Anyway, I’m glad you finally got your thoughts out there. Maybe make a blog post about it? Could be helpful, especially for people searching online.

    EDIT: Note that a lot of my comments here are in direct contradiction to Merlin above, so look for his comment to another side of the discussion.

  20. utzel says:

    Recent trends I like:
    The pure choice of different games in different genres, each with a different take on it or maybe mixing it up with stuff from other genres. I feel like the number of potentially interesting games coming out is rising and a lot of “dead” genres are coming back one way or another.
    The PC is strong again and consoles are a lot more open, the indie scene has grown and the indies have grown, different forms of crowdfunding emerged, all that meaning we get more games in all sizes, small, big and most importantly medium. A lot of niches are viable again and the smaller successes push the big ones to maybe try something new.
    Of course that might be just me with my little world in the genres I like, but I think the range we get is a lot more diverse.

  21. Echo Tango says:

    So, am I weird in finding a sort of calm relaxation / meditation feeling when playing Devil Daggers? I think it’s a combination of the sounds being mostly quick treble things, and the very loose goal of “don’t lose”. Or maybe it’s because the monsters come at you constantly, so they don’t feel like looming threats, but instead feel like some kind of annoying mosquitoes. Like, I couldn’t finish Amnesia because of the tension, but this game just feels relaxing. Even at it’s most emotional, it’s just fun. :)

  22. Nidokoenig says:

    Roguelike rules are nice, but I sometimes like them more as an optional but well-tested alternative, especially in games that are on the faster end of real time. It’s nice to know a game has good enough combat and such to stand being replayed, doesn’t have DIAS gameplay, and is playable as a full game-sized meal rather than or even as well as a series of level snacks. I’ve been enjoying the Legend of Dark Witch games on 3DS, which are basically Megaman games where you absorb weapons from bosses, with a Gradius power up system(spend points to upgrade an ability in a level), and a shop to upgrade various stats permanently. There are achievements for not using any of these, so the skill ceiling and skill floor, in terms of what the game recognises and requires respectively, are worlds apart, encouraging you to replay it while turning the self-balanced difficulty up and up.

    With regards to online leaderboards, I think it’s nice for a game to have some kind of offline ranking. For example, the Platinum Games system of ranking damage taken, combo score and time against fixed values that are designed to be achievable by the average person trying really hard. No matter how badly somebody wrecks the system, getting a clean streak of platinum across a difficulty level or even the whole game is a noteworthy achievement for you to grab for yourself. Zombie Incident on the 3DS also has an interesting system where you can check leaderboards for your country or for the current week in addition to the usual global and friends so you can find a more achievable challenge to build up to the global rankings. Or wait for a quiet week and steal first like I never did.

  23. Canthros says:

    I used a Model M from mid-college (around 1998 or so) to sometime a couple years ago. Wouldn’t have switched over at all, but I bought a new computer that didn’t have a PS/2 port. I mean, I still have the Model M (actually, I have three of them!), but I don’t think I have a functioning machine I could plug it into without tracking down a converter. And the converters all seem kinda sketchy.

    I have a CODE keyboard, now. With brown switches. And fancy keycaps (there’s a completely different hole to fall down). It’s not a Model M, but it’s not too shabby: it does Dvorak keymapping in the keyboard (so good! but now, I have to remap every game ever, again). And it has media controls, which is nice.

    Almost 10 years ago, I bought a Das Keyboard II for use at my previous job, and I replaced that with a Pok3r last year. The Pok3r is a very compact board with multiple, programmable layers. Which would be really awesome, if I weren’t terribly lazy. But, it also does Dvorak mapping at the keyboard, and takes up less space in my not-as-big-as-I’d-got-used-to cubicle.

    • Humanoid says:

      On the downside, attempting to smash a Model M in a fit of rage would just result in multiple broken bones and a perfectly intact keyboard. Perhaps it would be wise to buy some cheap $5 keyboards to keep on a shelf just for that purpose. :P

      (Personally I only feel like smashing a keyboard only if it’s the keyboard itself that has offended me. Like when it decides to have yet another extra function key between Ctrl and Alt, that should be a war crime)

  24. Christopher says:

    Roguelike trends aren’t my favorite. They’re nice to watch people stream and talk over in a Morning Television kinda way, but I hate that style of progression, so it’s annoying that they have become popular.

    I like the action RPG trend, if you can call it that. It’s not a massive thing, but I have played more fun action RPGs in the past five years than the rest of my life put together.

    Also, kickstarter and indie game development have given me games I really like that would not have happened some years ago. It’s not like a adore a ton of either, but it’s enough that I love a handful to appreciate that development in… development.

  25. Funklewrinkler says:

    So no one remembers Rutskarn saying and being asked to repeat “compass”, eh?

  26. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So those comics about wrestling that Mumblo mentioned,did she mean the four warrior comics?

  27. Daemian Lucifer says:

    One thing that bugs me about xcom2 is:These are not aliens.They have lived on earth for 20+ years,theres nothing alien about them.Heck,they arent even extra terrestrials,seeing how most of them were bred on earth as well.And those arent ufos,since we have identified them,we know what they are.Its ridiculous.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      I assume you’re half-joking but if we want to take that angle while admittedly terms like alien or UFO wouldn’t be technically correct I’d argue they would be useful designations and good to use as part of an “us and them” division in Xcom’s rhetoric/mindset. Furthermore, terms do not always stay in use in the correct way, just like a contemporary person when hearing the word “UFO” would immediately think of an extraterrestrial spaceship rather than what the term actually means.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        I dont joke actually.I mean,if this was just a game where you hunt ufos and kill aliens who have enslaved humanity,I wouldnt mind.But the first name thats thrown out there is advent.This means that someone had a creativity to actually name the oppressive regime,but didnt go far enough.And thats what bugs me,the whole doing things only half way thing.

        And that ties to a bunch of other things as well,like the silly decision to have it be earth,when it didnt need to be(sending an invasion to their planet wouldve worked just as fine),the off hand comments about the tech being the daughter of your previous scientist,but doing nothing of import with that,people “being enslaved” but seeing practically none of it(the civilians just mill around and dont care about anyone most of the time),etc,etc.

        • ehlijen says:

          I especially like/laugh at the cutscene when you build your first radio relay.

          It comes across as though XCOM stole into a village at night, put the thing up without telling anyone and the confused townspeople now gather to be told they’ve been drafted into the resistance.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            Most of the cutscenes fail to evoke the emotions they’re intended to raise, it feels very much as if someone sort of gets the motions but not why and in what context they are important. As much as I am someone who loves games as storytelling devices I have to say I’m not really in favour of how Firaxis has decided to inject a more involved narrative into either of the Xcom games, this is both where they seem to be at their weakest and it sabotages the emergent narratives that players could create.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          Again, I have no problem with the terminology, it seems perfectly reasonable considering the way language works. Advent is the term introduced by said regime and while it made it into Xcom’s vocabulary it would be borderline unnatural for them to embrace it fully. If anything the fact that they haven’t developed a handful of semi-offensive terms for the invaders that the soldiers would let slip every now and then is a sign of unusual linguistic discipline. Furthermore I think Advent is not a term meant to cover the entirety of alien forces but primarily the human collaborator structures and the “pseudohuman” soldiers but I’d have to doublecheck the lore.

          That said I agree that they didn’t go far enough but I mean that mechanically. I wish the dark events had more impact on the flow of the game rather than introduce various small modifiers for example. My major regret is the game doesn’t have more focus on things like propaganda and battling for hearts and minds of the masses, which would provide another layer for the geoscape gameplay, this side of the story is resolved is very… Hollywood style (I mean that in a bad way).

  28. Daemian Lucifer says:

    @Romance

    HECK NO!Most games have romance already,and its (almost) never done right.Especially in bioware games.They need way more just friendships.Obsidian has the right idea.

  29. Aitch says:

    Oh man, Medrol. Wicked strong corticosteroid for when I’d have severe asthma attacks. Being 8 or 10 or 12 and being literally consumed by a rage to which there is no way to talk through, because it’s an entirely physical cause.

    I remember tearing my room apart, like a rock star trashing a hotel room, but without the fun of it. Quite bizarre to try and deal with at that age. Thankfully I haven’t ended up in the hospital for a severe asthma attack in quite some time, and so have dodged the bullet of that kind of post-attack prescription.

    Not to mention the weight gain, getting puffy and red and miserable. Avoid it if you can, and if you have a child that has to take anything like it, please be prepared for emotional instability, and understand what they’re going through.

  30. Cybron says:

    Completely unrelated to the podcast: Mumbles, do you play Street Fighter 5? I kept running into an R Mika with your name during online play last night, and I know if you were to play anyone in that game it’d be the character who can strike a promo mid match.

  31. Nixitur says:

    Man, Mumbles is really bad with spoilers. First Undertale, now Oxenfree. Well, at least this time, she realized it.

    Anyway, Josh, another roguelike that is pretty closely like Rogue where you have the ability to turn off permadeath is Dungeons of Dredmore. It’s a procedural dungeon crawl with only one dungeon and you go down and you’ll die, so it’s fairly roguelike. But there’s three different difficulty modes and separately, you can also choose whether you want permadeath or not. If you deactivate permadeath, you can save and reload normally with no repercussions. I think you only have one save, but I’m not sure.
    Unfortunately, it does not appear to have a “Lives” system as an in-between option. It’s either full permadeath or none at all.

  32. Karanith says:

    Is the mentioned Pillars of Eternity quest Sacrificial Bloodlines? Because if so, there are other options than killing the baby or passing those attribute checks.

    You can simply kill the bad guy or keep the baby (though I’m not sure if the second option counts as a finished/failed quest). BUT if you do that and take the baby (as an item in your inventory) to the final location the game will actually acknowledge that during the ending slide show. It’s a nice touch known from some older RPGs.

  33. Starker says:

    Rutskarn doesn’t have a catchphrase? What about this then: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qgMjNe32oc

  34. Phantos says:

    “A trend that ended, which is the trend of ‘realism being everything gray’. Like, even AAA games are making sure to put in lots of colour these days…”

    Someone forgot to tell this to the people who make Dark Souls. Games being gray and gray and brown and beige and gray is technically “retro” now, which I guess means it’s time for a comeback.

  35. Artur CalDazar says:

    I feel like Oxenfree had multiple endings, just not for the main character.
    Wait the advice is given by actual players? Oh man, because I followed that advice and it was really good advice (that I in turn gave out myself), but I had no idea what was going on. I love that it’s doing that!

    I dislike the X-COM, ‘you saw them they get a free turn’ stuff, its always a pain and never feels fair, especially if you just catch one guy at the end of your turn, effectively giving a squad of dudes 2 turns to screw with you. Plus turn limits and all kinds of other stuff I hate.
    Yet I love X-CCOM 2. Its fantastic, I even kinda like the turn limits. Which is weird, I went in disliking all I had heard.

  36. Kyte says:

    You know, Superhot is a bit like a reverse Necrodancer.
    Necrodancer takes turn-based gameplay and takes control of the flow of time away from you, making it real-time.
    Meanwhile Superhot take real-time gameplay and gives you control over the flow of time, like a turn-based game.

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