Diecast #192: MAILTIME!

By Shamus
on Mar 20, 2017
Filed under:
Diecast

99 comments

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Hosts: Crunch Buttsteak, Reb Brown, Buff Drinklots, Stump Chunkman and Lump Beefbroth.

If you’re curious about the names of the hosts, then you should probably watch this. Or better yet watch the Space Mutiny Episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which is on Netflix even as I type these words to you. Like, why are you even listening to this show? The mind reels.

A friendly reminder that if you’ve got a question for us, the Diecast email address is there in the header image. Also, I have to admit that maybe a couple of these questions might have been surreptitiously added by members of the cast.

Show notes:
0:04:52: ur a butt

Hey Shamus, I checked the internet and it told me you are a butt. What’s the deal?

Lots of love
Everyone

0:06:52: Mailbag: Overwatch

Dear Baychel,

Favorite Overwatch character?

Love,
SHAMSHI-ADAD I

0:10:28: Mailbag: Surprise Games

Hi y’all,

since EA’s check cleared there’s been massive amounts of publicity going
around for ME: Andromeda.

And, in return, it’s been on the receiving end of vicious mockery.

Have you guys ever been pleasantly surprised from a game that looked terrible
in pre-release ads and such?

Cheers,

-Tim

We also get sidetracked talking about Game of Thrones for some reason?

0:22:19: Mailbag: Stealth Games

Dear Diecast

Some protagonists in stealth games can be played as either rampant murderers or pacifists, like all of the Snakes in Metal Gear Solid, Corvo or Adam Jensen. When you think of them, do you imagine the “true” version is them being largely non-lethal(Only killing the obligatory targets like bosses) or them killing hundreds?

Love, Punished “Venom” Christopher

0:37:34: Mailbag: Fighting Games

Dear PC gamers

What’s your experience with street fighter or other fighting games been like?

Love, Christopher

0:46:27: Mailbag: Marvel Shows

Dear Nerds,

What (if anything) is wrong with the Netflix Marvel shows?

– Shamus

Here’s the FCH article Chris mentioned: Film Crit Hulk Smash: LUKE CAGE, Netflix And The Death Of Episodic TV.

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Footnotes:



2020202019Ninety nine comments. Just... need... one... more!

From the Archives:

  1. Syal says:

    Dear Nerds,
    What (if anything) is wrong with the Netflix Marvel shows?
    – Shamus

    Not enough Vincent D’Onofrio. Although that’s a common problem with non-Marvel shows as well.

    (I only made it to episode 2 of Jessica Jones. That kind of mind control really creeps me out.)

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      It only gets more creepy, David Tennant does an awesome job but it can be tough to watch.

      I would love to see a Kingpin series in the future, D’Onofrio was amazing.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Its also one of the rare instances where mind control is portrayed in a realistic,disturbing ways.Most of the shows just throw it in as a one of “so that happened for a bit” thing.But here,its the most traumatizing thing ever.Which is how it really should be.

        • Kylroy says:

          So much this. And it used mind control to segue into a metaphor about abusive relationships and gaslighting, making it the unusual combo of superpower show and character study. Trying to generate some (emphasis *some*) sympathy for the villain at the center of it was particularly dicey.

          • Rutskarn says:

            I think the main reason those “sympathetic” scenes exist–and it’s a good reason–is to strengthen its allegory for a abusive relationship. Kilgrave will always have excuses:

            It’s not my fault. I can’t control it. I had a bad childhood. You need to feel sorry for me. You’re a bad person for judging me.

            You’d be a bad person for leaving me.

            • Wide And Nerdy® says:

              Haven’t been watching the show but it sounds like he’s surprisingly good at normal manipulation for a man who can make you do whatever he tells you to do.

              • Taellosse says:

                It’s how abusive people justify their behavior to themselves – when you hear them saying it to their victim (or bystanders), they’re just saying out loud the narrative they’ve written in their own heads to excuse themselves from blame for what they typically know is wrong.

                It’s just that Killgrave never had to say any of it out loud until Jessica learned to resist him.

            • JakeyKakey says:

              I’d also argue those scenes exist not to make Killgrave sympathetic, but to help the audience understand why Killgrave was irreparably broken.

              There’s a case to be made as to whether those mind control powers could be used for good, but the show makes it very clear that giving them to a ten year old and letting him grow up being able to make people do anything he wants led to one catastrophically messed up adult.

      • Elemental Alchemist says:

        I would love to see a Kingpin series in the future, D’Onofrio was amazing.

        Not going to happen, but Fisk will be back as the central antagonist of Daredevil S3 presumably. It seems like they will be tackling the Hand/Black Sky/Elektra sub-plot of S2 as part of The Defenders.

      • Vermander says:

        At first I was a bit leery of the more sympathetic version of the Kingpin in the series, but I quickly came around. The Purple Man was obviously great too. I want to say the Netflix series do villains much better than the movies, but I was a bit disappointed by Luke Cage, which inexplicably decided to ditch the compelling, well-acted antagonist for a silly, generic one halfway through. Also “Shades” was super lame. None of his alleged plotting or manipulations really seemed to accomplish anything and he didn’t really come across as any more competent or dangerous than the villain’s other henchmen.

        Haven’t seen Iron Fist yet, so I have no idea if it has a good villain.

        • Kylroy says:

          Eh, I liked Shades. He was straightforward but effective. Very much agreeing with your other point, though.

        • Cinebeast says:

          I’m only four episodes into Iron Fist, but it has a decent villain so far. Not well-written, mind you — very little about the show is well-written — but David Wenham brings his A-game, and is uproariously, bizarrely funny.

          Pretty much all of the movie villains suck, though, so I guess the bar isn’t very high. Loki and maybe Ultron are the only decent Marvel movie villains, as far as I can tell.

          • Kylroy says:

            I thought Zemo was good, if only for the power level differential.

            • Vermander says:

              I actually liked Red Skull in the first Captain America movie. It was kind of fun to have a more cartoonish villain and I liked that Captain America wasn’t responsible for creating him.

              It seems like most of the Marvel villains all have some sort of personal grievance against the hero or heroes (Loki, Iron Monger, Whiplash, Aldrich Killian, Ultron, Zemo). I like it better when the villain acts first and the hero responds to the threat, rather than just cleaning up their own messes.

              • Taellosse says:

                To be fair, Tony didn’t really create Iron Monger to any meaningful degree. Obadiah Stane was a villain before Tony was a hero: Stane was the one that was selling Stark weapons illegally to terrorists, and Stane was the one that hired the terrorists to kidnap Tony, so he could take over the company. The only way in which Tony is responsible for Iron Monger is that he invented a lot of the weapons that Stane was selling, and he devised the prototype armor used to make the suit Stane used in the climax (and the arc reactor that powered it) – but those last were acts performed to save his own life, not carelessness.

        • Bloodsquirrel says:

          Shades had two purposes: The first was to be someone who could question Cottonmouth to help highlight his villainous breakdowns. He wasn’t really there to scheme all that much- he was going to let Cottonmouth run the show until things fell apart.

          The second was to lay the groundwork for Stryker. Not that it helped much when Stryker did show up, and dumped way too much backstory on us at once.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Hey Shamus,when will you admit that instead of games like good robot you are actually playing dark souls?

  3. Joe says:

    I haven’t noticed a lot of publicity for ME:A. I mean, no more than the normal amount for a big new AAA in a somewhat popular series. By the standards, it doesn’t feel above and beyond. But that’s just my impression. Different sites give different games different amounts of coverage.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      It really seems like ea does not care that much about the franchise.It was peddled to a relatively inexperienced team(and it shows),and the marketing was not that impressive.

      I wonder why that is though.Do they have something more important in the works?Are they testing the waters?Or is this just a token “eh,whatever keeps it afloat for future” thing?

      • Writiosity says:

        From what I’ve heard, the B Team made Andromeda because the so-called A Team (lol…) is working on some sekret project that has yet to be announced.

        • Daimbert says:

          “A few years ago, a crack game design team created a science fiction shooter RPG series that ended controversially. This team was promptly assigned a new and secret project by EA. Today, still working for EA they survive working on that project. If you need to make a game, if no one else can help, and if you can find them….maybe you can hire The A-Team.”

        • Taellosse says:

          Well, they haven’t exactly announced it, but they have teased it a couple times. It’s a new IP they’ve been apparently developing for about 5 years now. I seem to remember the initial teaser suggested a modern fantasy/sci-fi sort of setting, though it was pretty vague. And a recent note they posted on their blog implies that it’ll at least heavily feature a multiplayer component, if not be outright multiplayer focused.

      • Geebs says:

        The review embargo on Andromeda seems to be over and I don’t know what to think. There’s ME1 exploration, which is great. There’s terrible writing, which isn’t. There’s a bit of Dragon Age Inquisition, which I bounced off in the first couple of hours due to the ABYSMAL acting. My hype is somehow more deflated because of the apparent mediocrity.

        One funny thing is how many of the reviews reference this terribly important choice on Virmire. I don’t really know what they’re on about. Obviously, you’ve got to save Wrex.

        • Henson says:

          Obviously, you’ve got to save Wrex.

          I didn’t.

          What? The guy was jeopardizing the whole mission. It was clear I wasn’t going to be able to convince him, and time was running out. Disloyal troops are unreliable. Better to shoot him than take that risk.

      • Thomas says:

        I suspect Bioware proper are working on something big (which may or may not rhyme with Nar’wars). But this whole pattern seems to be something publishers are trying to get working, where you have your A team who create and establish new IPs and you keep them happy by letting them do that, and then you had off the franchise to a legacy team to keep running over.

        Microsoft did it with Halo and Gears of War (admittedly they didn’t have much choice). Warner Bros tried it (and will keep trying it?) with Arkham. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony did it to Uncharted.

        If publishers can make it work, which they haven’t yet really got down, I think it’s a great way of doing things. You get your cash cow which can hopefully keep fans happy, but the best studios get to be creative and push boundaries.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yup,game of thrones has some massive penetration.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    But teenage mutant ninja turtles DID start as a dark and gritty comic.

    Its funny that in iron fist the kung fu stuff involving the main character is the worst part of the show.The corporate stuff revolving around the villains is interesting.Its the mass effect 2 of netflix marvel shows.But if you dont want to watch the show,watch The Cinema Snob talking about it for some 15 minutes:

  6. Jokerman says:

    “Ever been pleasantly surprised from a game that looked terrible
    in pre-release ads and such?”

    Deus Ex HR is a big one to me… i was expecting this modernization, overly violent take on a classic… (the trailers were all “look at all these cool ways to rip people in two!”) what we got didn’t live up to the first game totally, but i felt like it had the same spirit, it was one of my favorite games of that year.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Games that get mocked or look terrible in pre-release do help lower your expectations. Then if you do end up playing it, you’ll be more willing to give it benefit of the doubt.

      Much like how I was expecting Iron Fist to be terrible, but it’s just like a sub-par Daredevil (or similar or better than most of Arrow).

    • Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

      Fallout New Vegas for me. I thought for sure I wouldn’t like the game with its nasty creatures and post apocalyptic setting. I didn’t think I could care about a setting blasted back to the stone age because it blew the redeemability of humanity.

      I can’t remember what changed my mind because I normally go with my first impression. Possibility the trailers.

    • Phantos says:

      I’d heard bad things about Dark Souls 2, the newest Thief and Resident Evil 5, and to be fair they all have their faults. But I also derived much more enjoyment out of them than I expected to. But I didn’t hear that they were TERRIBLE, so I don’t know if those count.

      I think the only thing I’d heard was irredeemable that I ended up adoring was Blitzball, but that’s a mini-game…

      You know it’s a good question when you have to spend considerable time mining your memories for examples. I’m sure they exist and I’m just forgetting them right now. I can think of so many games that looked great and ultimately disappointed me, but I’m having a hard time pinning down the ones that surprised me in a good way.

      And so much of it depends on what kind of public reactions you’re exposed to before you try it.

  7. Syal says:

    Dear Diecast
    Some protagonists in stealth games can be played as either rampant murderers or pacifists, like all of the Snakes in Metal Gear Solid, Corvo or Adam Jensen. When you think of them, do you imagine the “true” version is them being largely non-lethal(Only killing the obligatory targets like bosses) or them killing hundreds?
    Love, Punished “Venom” Christopher

    I view the canon version of them as uncompromisingly efficient. If it’s faster to sneak around a guy, they do that; if it’s faster to kill the guy, they do that. The mission is everything, the guards are irrelevent.

    • Tizzy says:

      Indeed, and the problem is that too many games play essentially the same both ways, so that the choice is essentially meaningless.

      If taking out someone has exactly the same effect lethally or not, then what kind of choice does the game dev really give me? I want to play mostly non lethal because it seems the right thing to do, but if there is no risk of me bitterly regretting not killing that one dude, it’s entirely cosmetic.

      The default controls in DE:MD make it harder to kill from stealth: you have to press and hold vs press the button. I guess it’s to save you from accidentally killing, but it goes the wrong way: being nonlethal should be harder.

      • Christopher says:

        I generally have the same opinion of Rutskarn, if not as extreme: If I have the option to be non-lethal, I want to do that because it’s the morally righteous thing to do. However, I’ve found that most of these games present scenarios where using lethal force is perfectly natural. In Metal Gear Solid 4, you’re infiltrating war zones, with two warring factions killing each other right in front of you, and one of the sides is backed by the international PMC company you’re facing. In Metal Gear Solid 3, you’re on an assassination mission in enemy territory(a CIA operative in Soviet Russia, essentially). In Metal Gear Solid V, you’re a PMC warlord fighting your own private war against both local militias and PMCs and one specific comparny of war profiteers that destroyed your whole operation in the past.

        There are reasons to be stealthy and non-lethal in all of these cases beyond the moral requirement. You don’t wanna be found out, for one thing. In MGSV you can recruit knocked-out soldiers as your own troops, so killing them is a hindrance for the progress of your base and company. Going full murder also sets you on high alert, meaning every enemy knows where you are and will come get you, in a series of games where the combat wasn’t all that great until MGS4 and V.

        But at the same time, these are all reasonable situations to find yourself in a position where you have to murder at least some of the enemy soldiers who are all out to kill you. In MGS3, I killed nobody until the very end in a particularly tough escort bit where my sleep darts didn’t do enough to help me through waves of stalking enemies. In MGS4, the whole war zone setting and action setpieces meant I didn’t feel too bad about using lethal force on the opponents whenever it was convenient. In MGSV, I was completely pragmatic. I knocked out a lot of guys to add them to my base, but if push came to shove, I’d kill them without very much guilt.

        For some people, the guilt of killing enemies in games is a completely foreign concept. I used to feel a lot of it, only playing games where you at worst kill monsters or humanoid bosses in JRPGs. But with Assassin’s Creed, that guilt sort of lessened once I killed my first human enemy and realized they aren’t actually any more than a Goomba. Same for Hitman. I remember thinking that was a series for lunatics, but through the simplifications of Hitman Go I managed to see it for just the fun game it is.

        For me, I basically view the canon of the Snakes(My primary stealth series being Metal Gear Solid) as everyone killing people when necessary and avoiding it otherwise, like my own playthroughs. I think Venom Snake kills a lot more than Solid Snake, though. In terms of personality, Venom Snake seems most like a villain. Young Big Boss in MGS3 is a sweet young guy who doesn’t seem like he particularly wants to kill anybody, least of all the person he’s ordered to assassinate. Solid Snake has to kill as a part of MGS1 having no nonlethal options, but I never got the impression he enjoys it at all. If that guy could kill nobody, he would.

    • Tizzy says:

      I view the canon version of them as uncompromisingly efficient. If it’s faster to sneak around a guy, they do that; if it’s faster to kill the guy, they do that. The mission is everything, the guards are irrelevent.

      Unfortunately, I can’t think of a game that mixes things up: where some situations are clearly best suited to nonlethal sneaking and others to bloodshed (stealthy or not).

      If it’s a game like Dishonored that incites you to specialize in one versus the other, would that be more or less aggravating?

      • Christopher says:

        Say, Metal Gear Solid 3 then. Large parts of the game have you sneaking around, and if anyone is killed people are very likely to hear it and raise the alert, which means you have to fight even more(Or escape). But there are also sections where you’re being chased by soldiers, and a big setpiece chase sequence in which an NPC drives you around a military base full of enemy soldiers, all firing at you. Sleeping darts aren’t really applicable to that kind of stunt. You can just not shoot at them and I think it works out just fine, but you can imagine the NPC having some choice words about that kind of behavior in a straight up firefight.

  8. Ninety-Three says:

    What (if anything) is wrong with the Netflix Marvel shows?

    They desperately need someone to edit down their runtime. The online model lets you make episodes as long as you want, but instead of making episodes that are exactly as long as they need to be, most Netflix series seem to hear that and say “Guys! We don’t have to cut anything!”, then fire their editors.

    • Joe Informatico says:

      I have to assume they’re thinking down the road about syndicating on non-Netflix platforms. Maybe a 13-episode order is the most marketable package to the largest spread of international distributors or something.

    • Bloodsquirrel says:

      Thing is, shows have done this before. We’ve had 26 episode seasons of shows that had no individual episodic story arcs, but didn’t drag nearly as much. It’s absolutely possible to do.

      I think, more than anything else, that the problem is that the Marvel Netflix series don’t set up their conflicts in a way that lets them have enough action. The villains’ plans are too straightforward, and the characters are too focused around introspection and self-doubt to have a plot that actually fills out the episodes.

  9. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

    Hosts: Crunch Buttsteak, Reb Brown, Buff Drinklots, Stump Chunkman and Lump Beefbroth.

    I wonder if Spoony did Rebruary again this year. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out. Spoony is at his best cheering for Blast Hardcheese. Shame the guy seems to have fallen off.

    Also, my canonical Adam Jensen drops refrigerators off apartment buildings.

    As for Witcher 3, what cemented Geralt for me was learning that Witchers have their emotions deadened as part of the witcher creation process but that this didn’t fully take with Geralt. That accounts for his possibility space.

    • Cinebeast says:

      Spoony’s still around… kind of. He does livestreams occasionally. He recently did a good one for Contradiction. It was almost like a pseudo-sequel to his old Ripper playthrough.

    • Thomas says:

      The Witcher books are things which sound terrible to me but are probably great. I haven’t read them.

      ‘Witcher’s are these poor put upon outcast badasses who can kill everything and have two swords, and when they have sex theres no risk of making women pregnant, but that’s totally tragic except when its not and they have to be aloof and do things for money and they need to like drink a whole pub to get drunk and they don’t have emotions so they’re super cool except the protagonist does, but only a little bit’

      The concept sounds one step away from telling you that Witchers are tragically mutated so their penises are twice as large. Yet Superbunnyhop loves the books are writing in The Witcher 3 is amazing

      • Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

        He even essentially gets to have a daughter-figure without really having the responsibilities of a proper father but also without any of the guilt or stigma of being a deadbeat dad.

        And his girlfriends are some of the hottest women on the planet (supernaturally so) and they let him visit the brothels while he’s on the road. In fact the only rule, at least in Witcher 3, seems to be that he can’t be with both Yenefer and Triss.

        That said, its not all roses. Geralt is pulled into things he’d really rather not be a part of (especially true in Witcher 2). He’s perpetually broke. He is sometimes regarded with fear and suspicion and he’s made a powerful enemy in the Wild Hunt, and he doesn’t have the power to take them down by himself.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          He’s perpetually broke.

          In the books maybe, but the games don’t have particularly well-designed economies, so like most RPG characters, your level of wealth lies somewhere between “filthy rich” and “Alexander wept, for there were no more items to purchase”.

          • Wide And Nerdy® says:

            How? I seem to recall having to cheat to buy much of anything. And when I did cheat, a mysterious tax man showed up to inquire about how I came into that kind of money. With each patch, they’ve added in game ways of countering the cheese that players come up with. Like the Bovine defense force (in addition to which, the tax man will charge a special fee for abusing that particular loophole).

            In any event, they tried to design the game’s reward system so that you’d feel the need to negotiate on each job (to stay in character). They were shooting for making the character perpetually broke.

            • Ninety-Three says:

              I still remember consciously declining to loot enemies in Witcher 1 because I already had enough money and too much gear. My memories of 2 are hazier, but in 3 I felt rich because the only thing I ever wanted to buy was food, and food was dirt cheap.

            • Taellosse says:

              I was poor in the starting area, but by the time I’d been in Velen for a little while, money was mostly not a problem anymore.

              As far as I can tell, the trick is just to loot absolutely everything in sight everywhere you go, so long as a guard isn’t actively looking at you when you do. Regular people never care if you steal their stuff – just guards. There’s not much point in hoarding crafting components beyond a dozen or so units of any given thing, so once you have enough, you can sell the extras – and sell valuable “junk” that won’t yield useful crafting components, too – notably animal pelts, which are both heavy and often pretty valuable in the early game. Also, of course, sell all the weapons and armor you’re not actively using. And once you find an herbalist, you can also sell excess alchemy components – again, you don’t need more than 10 or 15 of anything, and if you harvest everything in sight when you’re in the wilderness and on foot, you’ll have craploads of certain common herbs. Most of it all sells for very little individually, but you pick up so much over time that your income quickly outpaces your outlay. Also, if you’re looting everything everywhere, you stop needing to buy food – it’s the most common stuff you find in chests and barrels and things. Then, all you’re spending money on is crafting new gear, and repairing it as it gets damaged. You won’t even need to buy alcohol to replenish your alchemy stuff – you’ll have dozens of bottles of alcohest and such.

              I’m in Novigrad now, I just cracked level 17, and I’ve got about 13,000 crowns at the moment.

              Oh, and whenever you do go to Novigrad, there’s a banker on the main square that exchanges your non-crown currencies into cash, and a bookseller that will buy the metric buttload of books and scrolls you’ll have. Most of those sell for very little too, but if you wait to do it until you’ve completed the Velen quest line and most of the level-appropriate content there, you’ll have a LOT of them, and it adds up.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              How?

              Obsessive looting.By the time you finish just one of the bigger dungeons,youll have enough loot to become filthy rich.If you continue with this,youll soon have enough money to buy all of the things,and still twice as much left to spare.Heck,if you are crazy like me and you go on a huge skelly gay water treasure hunting,youll collect so much shit to sell that youll be richer than all of the kings in that world.

      • JakeyKakey says:

        Witchers do have emotions, their stoicness is like 25% mutations and 75% age/upbringing/lifestyle.

        And yeah you’re not wrong about the whole “look at all those amazing powers I’m cursed with”, but that’s no different than how it is in the games. It’s a deconstruction of the classic fantasy ‘noble monster slayer’ archetype. Geralt can swing the sword very good like, but it doesn’t really help him fix most issues at the end of the day.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Witchers do have emotions, their stoicness is like 25% mutations and 75% age/upbringing/lifestyle.

          Also,even other witchers think that geralt is a stick in the mud.

  10. Thomas says:

    I’ve always felt the Step Up films (and dance films in general) have a lot in common with martial arts films.

    At least that’s why I justify liking both!

  11. Thomas says:

    Dragon Age: Origins had marketing lots of people hated and then completely surprised them when it came out.

    • Christopher says:

      EA always makes these hilarious badass kind of trailers. Battlefield 1 has that just incredible trailer with the crazy action movie tone for what’s commonly regarded as such a dreary, miserable war. And Dragon Age Origins has that sexy, bloody Sacred Ashes trailer where prototype Morrigan and Leliana wreck fools on a mountaintop with crazy anime jumping and trick shooting. I love those trailers, but they’re nuts, and not very representative of the old-school, lowkey point & click fighting in Origins.

      • Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

        The thing that probably annoys me most about their trailers is that Bioware’s in game music usually makes for much better trailers. Its like they’re marketing for backwards hat mt dew halo-bros but if said bros like the games themselves, then why market that way?

        (Nothing against bros. Its just a different sensibility).

        Now, I’m watching this series put out by Raycevick and I’m thinking maybe they just don’t use the music because its not ready but couldn’t they just use some of the previous game’s music? Because Mass Effect and Dragon Age, by now, have a great collection of awesome music they could use for trailers from their own soundtracks.

      • Thomas says:

        What I find interesting, is obviously it went a little further than the marketing in influence, because you get the crazy blood splatters.

        …but that’s about it. In a pretty nit and gritty old school point & click combat RPG. I’d love to know the clash of visions, or the executive meetings that ended up with that compromise.

  12. Steve C says:

    Rutskarn talked at @24:24 about in Deus Ex using lethal force being occasionally necessary for law enforcement. (Don’t worry I’m not going into politics. Well I don’t think I am because no value judgements.) However I believe there is a cultural divide here.

    Deus Ex is made by Eidos Montréal (aka Canada). That matters because what constitutes an extreme situation for law enforcement is simply different in Canada compared to Detroit. For example, Canadian law enforcement did not use lethal force against the guy who went crazy on a bus, decapitated the passenger next to him, and then ate parts of him. For Canadian police to use lethal force there are strict criteria and that didn’t qualify. On top of that is a bit of local Canadian politics. There is a general view that Montréal police are too quick to use violence.

    I completely agree it’s not reasonable in Deus Ex for Detroit SWAT to give the player crap over lethal force to save lives. The developer is putting their own idea of what is reasonable through the lens of themselves and their own local politics rather than the location the story takes place. Eidos Montréal was trying to say something political and flubbed it. And isn’t that the defining characteristic of that game and that developer?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its doubly funny because the game later references robocop.Even though that was exaggerated satire,its easier to believe in that detroit than the one of human revolution.

  13. Christopher says:

    Saints Row 3 is a good one.

    I can’t think of much else. Most games look really good before they’re released, what with their cool trailers.

  14. Tizzy says:

    Chris: “The Marvel TV shows had memorable villains, like what’s-his-name…”
    I’m thoroughly convinced!

  15. Christopher says:

    Personally, I just want some more superheroes in my superhero shows. What chased me away from the new Flash series is that you get five minutes of superhero action and then the rest of that runtime is spent with the supporting cast, either drama with Flash’s love interest/adoptive family or his tech support solving all the supervillains for him. It didn’t help when they’d bring in characters I technically recognize, but the only similarity is their name. Get costumes! I want a Mirror Master that looks like this, not this. That absolutely goes for Daredevil and Iron Fist too. The whole chasing of realism is as bad as it’s ever been, even in the marvel movies themselves. They’re still very fun movies, but reading some Thor comics after watching the Thor movies makes the whole franchise seem like a super dull mundane version of it, where magical shadow bishonen elves that are weak to metal and hunt with flying hounds are adapted into shitty serious aliens with energy clouds.

    Basically I’m not watching the Netflix marvel shows, or superhero shows in general really, until they do less dudes in hoodies and more dudes in spandex, both literally and metaphorically. It’s just dangling something I like in front of me without actually giving me that thing.

    • Bropocalypse says:

      Superheroics is expensive. Remember Heroes? The final battle of season 3 took place entirely offscreen.
      The majority of the main characters had powers that were really cheap to do. Telepathy(depicted via ADR), healing(which manifested as ‘not actually hurt’), time travel(jump cut)… Even Sylar’s ‘telekinesis’ usually went the rout of him cutting a throat or something, and that was just an over-the-shoulder shot where the victim turned around quickly to reveal the fake blood on their neck.
      If a network can cash in on a superhero franchise without having to invest any money in special effects, they will absolutely do so.

      • Christopher says:

        This is my other problem with them. They should have the budget to actually use superpowers and have them not look shitty. I watched a whole season of Agent Carter and the closest I got to superheroics was a gas that made people angry and an evil psyciatrist who could hypnotize people into doing his bidding. At least The Flash had lots of people with crazy powers like superspeed or creating ice. It’s just that it was such a small part of the episodes that I’d rather watch an edit of the ten minutes that were actually worth watching.

        • Tizzy says:

          Even with a big budget, it’s very hard for things to look good in live-action. They either still look cheap despite not being cheap, or they look outright silly.

          Games have the same problem: going for photorealism severely limits what they can get away with showing, even with lots of time & money.

    • krellen says:

      I can’t be the only one that would like to see the Wrecking Crew show up in the MCU.

  16. Christopher says:

    Thanks for taking my questions! I liked the discussions around the stealth protagonists and Shamus’ love of martial arts. The “PC gamers” part is just as you figured: I imagined you didn’t have a ton of fighting game experience because the Diecast is a relatively PC-centric gang, but I was curious if there were some cool experiences there anyway. I’d be happy to hear more stories, as a Street Fighter fan. It’s not a genre that gets a lot of play in my podcasts normally. Last I remember was Chris bringing up the weirdness of people in Mortal Kombat X cutting the heads off of their own daughters during Fatalities now that they introduced a new generation of characters.

    Bayonetta gets ice skates as weapons at some point. They move you as fast as the fastest run speed in the game and have a lot of pirouettes to them, so I use them a lot. That’s my take on ice skating martial arts. I’d watch a lot more Yuri!!!!! On Ice if figure skating was a contact sport.

    Junji Ito’s name isn’t as instantly recognizable as “THIS HOLE WAS MADE FOR ME” or “DRRR DRRR DRRR”. His manga is always so freaky. There’s one about machines powered by the farts of carcasses that ends in complete insanity as the machines go from fish bodies to human bodies. It’s stuck with me even though the concept is so silly.

    • evilmrhenry says:

      As a PC gamer, my experience with fighting games can be summed up as One Must Fall: 2097.

      • Christopher says:

        Oh wow, I have never even heard of this.

        That music is wonderful.

        • evilmrhenry says:

          Couple notes:

          1) This game had a standard fighting game tournament mode, as well as a RPG-type mode, where you upgrade your robot between fights, and can basically play indefinitely.

          2) It was released as freeware a while back.

        • Ysen says:

          Oh man, that brings back some memories. I loved OMF when I was younger. The career mode where you upgrade your robot and pilot as you go along was great, if somewhat of a grind.

          It had its share of problems problems as well. The AI wasn’t the best and there were some balance issues. Fights at the start of career mode could also be a bit slow paced, since you didn’t have any speed upgrades.

          For the low low price of free, it’s well worth checking out if you’re interested in fighting games.

  17. mwchase says:

    Wait a sec… Netflix original series as 13+ hour movies that you can expect a lot of people to settle in and binge on…

    Jodorowsky truly was ahead of his time.

  18. Steve C says:

    Marvel movies and shows have a constant tone across the platform running that content for both story and business reasons. It is because they are all in the same universe and need to fit together.

    Marvel+Netflix is a shared universe. Marvel+movies+SHIELD is a shared universe. Insert the same characters played by the same actors from one into the other and it just won’t work. There will be clashes from the differences in tone and style.

    And yes Netflix loses something from having one tone with no alternatives for people who don’t like that tone. From Marvel’s perspective that’s Netflix’s problem. Marvel’s goal is grow the brand across all platforms. They are fine with playing favorites. Even if Marvel has explicitly told Netflix, “Thou shalt not have a fun superhero show,” Netflix still gains more than they lose. The crossover episodes really help for advertising and instilling interest in other shows.

    • Bloodsquirrel says:

      I don’t entirely buy that- having different tones and style play off of each other is half the fun of a crossover. Real life isn’t always grim and dark or light and fluffy. There’s room for both in the same story. Just look at the scene in Civil War where Tony and Peter Parker meet.

      I could easily see the MCU version of Coulson showing up in Daredevil, or Luke Cage helping out if the Avengers have to defend New York again.

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    By the way,instead of iron fist,everyone should check out legion.Its not a netflix original,so you cant quite binge it yet(its at sixth episode of the first season now),but its awesome and trippy.Its like mister robot with super powers,utterly and truly insane.Because the protagonist is insane,and most of the things we see are informed through his eyes.

  20. Bloodsquirrel says:

    It occurs to me that we need a word to describe the “realistic” or “grounded” tone that stuff like the Marvel Netflix or Nolan Batman movies go for. Neither word is terribly accurate. We all know what we’re trying to describe, but we don’t know what to call.

    Suggestions?

    Should we just use nolanesque?

    • Paul Spooner says:

      “Gritty” is the term that seems to fit.

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        I wouldn’t call Batman Begins “gritty”, though.

      • Thomas says:

        I always felt gritty was the wrong word for the Nolan films. To me ‘gritty’ means Batman vs Superman or anything written by Frank Millar. It’s talking about dark worlds full of horrible people, with antiheroes who get hurt and do ad things.

        To some extent, the Netflix shows are gritty, although I would say that Jessica Jones is too good/focused on real world stuff to be gritty. Jessica Jones isn’t particularly violent or bloody, it has very dark themes. Daredevil is gritty.

        But the Nolan films have never been like that. Batman is less violent and more idealistic than say, Arkham Batman. Most of the characters are good people. I mean the climax of the Dark Knight is about how a bunch of prisoners would refuse to blow up a boat of civilians even if it were to save their own lives. There’s no violence. Gotham looks a bit Frank Millerish in Batman Begins, but it’s a normal daylight city by The Dark Knight. People are rewarded for their idealism and ‘truth and justice’ totally exist, it’s just a climb to reach them.

        Nolan films are grounded but not gritty, Frank Millar stories/the Arkham games are gritty but not grounded.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Whats wrong with “grounded”?It does describe the tone rather well.

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        Because a lot of it really isn’t. It tries to make the fantastic seem grounded, but the stories are still about mind control powers and

        It’s a sort of faux-grounded, faux-realistic, never-overtly-silly-and-usually-serious-but-not-completely-serious, dark-on-the-surface-but-actually-kind-of-optimistic, introspective style.

    • Matt Downie says:

      “The more ‘realistic’ superheroes become, the less believable I find them.”

      • Mike Andersen says:

        Oh, entirely this. We’re supposed to believe in the choices superheroes make, not the things they can do, but it’s the super powers that are the most alluring to the most people. And you can make the smartest, handsomest billionaire who’s the greatest ninja ever fight all the crime ever forever and ever, but the second he does it without bright blue underwear it looks really unbelievable.

  21. Son of Valhalla says:

    I heard Manowar!

    I have no other words for today’s comment.

  22. Sunshine says:

    If you’re curious, you can see Rutskarn’s Junji Ito/Yuri On Ice comic as the pinned tweet in his twitter.

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