Diecast #59: Bombshell, Dark Souls, Marvel Comics

By Shamus Posted Monday May 19, 2014

Filed under: Diecast 103 comments

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Hosts: Chris, SuperBunnyHop, Josh, Shamus, and Rutskarn, with a secret surprise guest that you can probably guess.

Show notes:

1:30 Bombshell

Behold the Bombshell site, in all its kitschy glory. Maybe they’re serious. Maybe it’s ironic. It’s definitely unapologetic.

The whole thing eventually degrades into yet another ride on the “what do we REALLY think of Duke Nukem?” rollercoaster.

25:00 DARK SOULS 2

If you only listen to one 80’s sitcom-style song about Dark Souls 2, make sure it’s THIS one!

30:00 If one Marvel hero was set up on a blind date with one DC hero, what would be the most interesting pairing?

35:00 Talking about Dark Souls 2 again.

48:00 Shamus and Mumbles talk comic books.

1:03:00 Mumbles is playing Diablo III for Xbox.


From The Archives:

103 thoughts on “Diecast #59: Bombshell, Dark Souls, Marvel Comics

  1. Deadpool says:

    Random comic nerd moments:

    Nowadays the Specter is God’s Wrath manifest. However to keep him in check God bonds him to a human soul, usually a good man who is in need if some vengeance and redemption.

    Black Bolt is also a member of the Illuminatti. And one of the more badass ones. Check out Inhumans mini series someday… The second person story telling is kinda interesting.

    Watcher is a race. Uatu, the recently deceased one, is just in charge of Earth.

    I dunno about Original Sin. Feels like Civil War meets Identity Crisis…

    1. Mike S. says:

      One thing I found surprising when I read the very first Spectre story: his ghostly pallor? Was originally a costume.

      He was genuinely a ghost– just one who looked exactly like Jim Corrigan had before he died. So the ghost sewed himself a white bodysuit with green briefs, hood, and cape. Even though he demonstrated in-story more or less unlimited mystical abilities. (I guess there’s no substitute for old-fashioned craftsmanship. Craftghostship, whatever.)

    2. Mike S. says:

      Two more Spectre notes: by all accounts, the best post-Golden Age Spectre run was John Ostrander’s 60-odd issues in the 90s.

      (Though I have a personal love for the 80s story in which the Justice Society is put on trial by Congress because one of them allegedly committed treason. The Spectre– who was a JSA member for a while when he wasn’t bringing down the Wrath of God– appears, and offers to send Earth spinning into the Sun and take the JSAers to a world that will appreciate them. The Justice Society, unsurprisingly, demurs.)

      The best three minute intro to the Spectre is the beginning of the Batman: the Brave and the Bold episode “Gorillas in our Midst!” (Available on Netflix.) B:tBatB was 99% lighthearted family fun. (And is awesome.) But the end of that sequence is the purest, most unadulterated nightmare fuel ever included in a Y7 cartoon.

  2. They must be really hoping the Bombshell character is going to sell that game, since they couldn’t be arsed to make any actual environments for her to occupy in her debut trailer.

    Also, I’m not too sure a bolt-on bra is sexy to that many people.

    1. Alex says:

      “Also, I'm not too sure a bolt-on bra is sexy to that many people.”

      *raises hand*

      I love the look of Bombshell (the character). I have my doubts about Bombshell (the game).

      1. venatus says:

        before I had a chance to check out the trailer. I saw a picture of bombshell and actual though “hell yeah I could get behind a game like that” but my god that trailer. makes it seem like bombshell (game and character) has less to do with the punk aesthetic or attitude, and a hell of a lot with some one trying really really hard to be punk cause they thought it was the cool thing to do.

        1. ET says:

          Yeah, everything about that trailer just screams “focus tested 110%!”…in 2003…trends don’t change too much in a decade, do they? ^^;

    2. SKD says:

      They also didn’t devote much effort to her animation either. Fluidity of motion was severely lacking and I’m not just talking about her mechanical arm. For a medium which has devoted ever more and more resources to non-gameplay trailers over the last decade there is little excuse for making such a lackluster showing.

      Colour me unimpressed and mark me down as someone who won’t be buying the game. The trailer does not pique my interest whatsoever.

  3. Otters34 says:

    I simply MUST weigh in on that third item. As a comics fan, it’s a point of honour!

    To my mind, the most entertaining pairing would have to be the Spectre and the Living Tribunal. They’d sip coffee, look demurely at each other, wander around hand in hand, casting bizarre judgement on passersby and chatting about how much they love God and whether or not said God is space.

    EDIT: A more serious one would be Beast Boy and Magik. Old Magik, before she and the White Queen started sharing a wardrobe.

  4. BitFever says:

    Because there clearly isn’t enough conversation about dark souls I’ll chip in on this ;)

    When taken in context of a world where time and space are collapsing in on themselves it as an age ends and a new one is born it actually makes sense that there are impossible spaces in the game. I think that’s why you suddenly emerge from a castle on ground level to miles above the ground with dragons. I think that’s why there are castles on castles and buildings that are bigger on the inside than the outside. Even how you get to the world is through an impossible hole in the ocean. I COULD be wrong on that but my gut instinct is that it was intentional. If people fine that to be a good intention or not is up for debate but I liked it personally.

    While not brought up on this podcast there’s also been a lot of hate about the game no longer being fair with traps that you can’t see coming. I think that they did this not to make it harder for its namesake but to actually force players to use there sign letters and to trust each other. This works in tandem with that chest are now breakable. It means that if I want items I HAVE to trust that another player will warn me about a trap or mimic and I think that’s actually pretty cool. This is also reinforced by the fact that so many bosses have multiple enemies because you’re supposed to come in with a group of your own and that you need to help other players to turn human since you can no longer farm for humanity from rats. Everything in this game is forcing players to trust in each other and defend each other. It even gives players ability to fend from invading players from the blue sentinels now.

    1. Artur CalDazar says:

      Why do you think space is being warped?

      The flow of time is, but the landscape is never indicated to be doing such. I mean it is nonsense, but using tha to explain how we know space is warped is circular.

      1. Jacob Albano says:

        Yeah there’s no reason to believe space is being warped. It’s lazy level design, nothing more. Not everything can be explained away with in-game reasons.

    2. Jacob Albano says:

      Mimics have locks; regular chests don’t. Attacking a chest once won’t break it, but will aggro a mimic. Add to that the fact that invaders and summons can destroy chests and permanently deny you the loot inside, and the chest changes are all rubbish, no pun intended.

    3. Geebs says:

      Absolutely; time and space obviously don’t make any sense in Drangleic.

      I also liked the fact that it’s much easier to remain human in DS2 in combination with the boss design means that cooperation is easier. Having to wrangle humanity kind of puts me off going back to DS1

      On a more positive note, at least there are rumours that namco is looking into an alternative to GfWL for DS1.

    4. RandomInternetCommenter says:

      My first playthrough was in offline mode, I did not encounter any surprise trap. I did break chests two or three times before I noticed the “rubbish” was not the intended treasure but a result of my foolishness, and then I stopped. One single hit will wake up any mimic without blowing up a real chest.

      IMHO people would have a much better experience with the Dark Souls games if they tuned off the Internet. It’s trendy to talk about Dark Souls and it attracts eyeballs to claim Dark Souls is unfair, too hard, etc. so people do that, other people repost it, it snowballs and even if you’re on the fence you might get tricked into believing all of that because we’re social creatures by nature. Exit the Twitter, Facebook, Reddit bubble and you’re left with a genuinely fun, fair and balanced game.

      I didn’t respect my own rules and learned through the Internet humanity was limited. Didn’t want to be stuck Hollowed as an offline player so I busted out Cheat Engine to give me 80 effigies, about 4 or 5 hours in. Net result? I ended up my first playthrough with ~90 effigies and was above ~75 all the time… The game is really finely tuned. There’s just a lot of noise from outside sources to trick you into believing it isn’t.

  5. Hydralysk says:

    My big problem with Diablo 3 was the fact that they made your gear the only thing you had to separate your character from every other character of that class.

    The reason me and my friends kept coming back to Diablo 2 over the years was that we could try out different character builds. One run would be as a lightning sorceress, the next would be a bow focused amazon, then maybe a paladin that heavily invested in Blessed Hammer, the way you spent your skill points let you specialize your character around the skills you liked. Diablo 3 just hands you all the skills as you level up and ties their effectiveness to your weapon damage instead of the amount of skill points invested in them. As someone who never really played Diablo 2 for the loot, I guess I just feel annoyed that they made everything in Diablo 3 depend almost exclusively on the gear you have on. I liked building up my character to have a few skills that defined his play style and were extremely powerful, yet in Diablo 3 you get every skill and they all become more powerful the second you find a better item. I guess it lets you experiment more freely without having to roll a new character, but for me it just made every skill feel bland.

    1. Warlockofoz says:

      Personally I like the Diablo 3 skill system. I can still mostly use skills X, Y and Z on one playthrough, then A, B and C on another – I just don’t have to level a whole new character to do it. It also avoids the ‘I have 100 points in butterfly catching, so I can farm butterflies really well to get items for my other characters. I stay away from the rest of the game’ problem, the ‘get boosted past the truffle boss, since the truffle hunting skill isn’t much use elsewhere and you don’t want to waste points’ problem and let’s all characters mix up their playstyle, either from boss to boss or session to session.

      1. Hydralysk says:

        I can understand that, but I much prefered the impact a level up had in Diablo 2. You’d get one skill point and have to decide whether to use it to buff up a skill you have, or invest it in a new one, so each new skill felt like you earned it and was important. Atrribute points did the same thing, you needed to decide if you wanted the strength to wear that heavy armor, mana for spells or health for survivability. Level ups in Diablo 3 were essentially WoW levels, every stat increased very slightly, and you’re given a skill/rune or two automatically. It just didn’t feel all that satisfying, I’d try out the new skill for a couple minutes before going back to the old favourites that were already working perfectly well for me.

        For context though, my playthroughs of Diablo 2 were mostly a once a year affair, and me and my friends only played until we started to get bored, so we always started new characters anyways to try out a different build and class.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Thats true only for lower levels.The first playthrough of the game is like a huge tutorial,but once you enter later difficulties,you get plethora of customization of all your skills.Yes,you all get the same first few skills,but each one can be customized in different ways.Do you want your poison cloud to poison everything on the screen,or focus heavily on one guy?Do you want to fire bolts of poison,or spawn broodlings(I know they are called frogs or something,but they are broodlings)?

      And having your equipment affect your skills is a good thing.Why would my shaman cary around a big sword she never uses?Better to have a fetish that directly complements her offense,and not someone elses.

      1. Hydralysk says:

        It’s quite possible that it gets better later. I only played through the normal difficulty once around release and never continued since I’d already started to get bored around Act 3. I did try it again recently because of all the expansion hubbub, but I never made it out of Act 1 with that character.

        I still think I’d prefer the damage scaling from Diablo 2 though. I just like the idea of “I really like this Chain Lightning skill so I’m going to invest in it to make it super powerful” more than “I just found a sword that does more weapon damage which somehow makes my spells hit harder”. In Diablo 2 you could use a melee weapon as a caster (for life/mana steal for instance) but most caster weapons (or class based items) specifically gave you a +X boost to specific skills. You didn’t pick your weapon based on damage but instead on which skills they boosted.

        I think I just like creating specialized characters. When I’m in an RPG I like spending tons of time in character customization deciding which play style I want to go for, and then I’ll spend the rest of the game building my character around what I want him to be good at. It just kind of feels cheap to me when I can switch the entire focus of my character by spending 1 minute switching out my skill/rune selection. It’s kind of like if I played Skyrim for 20 hours as a stealth/bow character and could all of a sudden pick up a greatsword and be just as effective as someone who’d focused on that style since the beginning.

        I’m not saying that the Diablo 3 system is bad, it just doesn’t appeal to me the way Diablo 2’s did.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          “You didn't pick your weapon based on damage but instead on which skills they boosted.”

          Same is true for diablo 3.But,instead of the core skill,you focus on the modifying skills instead.You still get to specialize your character,only that specialization comes much,much later.

          Yes,diablo 3 suffers from final fantasy curse of “It gets better 40 hours in”,which can be considered a big flaw.And in fact,I do criticize games that do this.But I still enjoyed D3,because…Well,coop is fun.

          1. Hydralysk says:

            That’s nice to hear. At least it let’s you specialize, even if it’s only after you put more time into it than I ever will. The game isn’t bad (though that story…) and it never managed to make me angry, it just left me disappointed and bored.

            The fact that people have fun with it is great, but with my limited amount of time and massive backlog I doubt I’ll ever revisit it.

          2. The Rocketeer says:

            It always pains me to hear that referred to as a Final Fantasy peculiarity. That only came about as a weak defense of FFXIII; I can never remember hearing it about any other entry except occasionally FFVII. And it isn’t true for either game: the Midgar chapter is great, and FFXIII doesn’t become good after any length of time.

            If anything, it should be thought of as the Witcher defense.

  6. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I want Storm and Superman to date. And then have them hit it off and Superman tells Lois and Wonder Woman that he’s found the woman of his dreams and Storm tells Black Panther that they’re never gonna get back together and DC and Marvel ship the new couple hard. And DC can do a press release about how they’re doing an interracial couple because all they care about anymore is getting pats on the head from journalists. The louder the fan complaints get about the couple somehow being both boring and nonsensical, the more they ship the pairing of Storm and Superman. Like there will be little five page stories in the back of every comic by both companies about the latest stuff going on with Supes and Storm. Why? Because if I can’t be happy, then nobody gets to be happy. HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Also, I’d like Wonder Woman to show up for a blind date and it turns out to be Marvel’s Hercules. And Wonder Woman spends the next hour kicking his ass while he tries to explain that things weren’t nearly as bad between him and Marvel’s Hippolyta. (Yeah, I know JLA/Avengers did it, but I wanted more).

    Then I want Spiderman to join the 1987 JLI.

  7. The Rocketeer says:

    I think Bombshell looks like a raider from Fallout 3.

    1. Her forearm looks very much like it was modeled on the Mini-Nuke.

      1. The Rocketeer says:

        More than that, just the way her head and face is shaped, and I’m pretty certain that’s exactly what one of the hair options in FO3/NV looks like. The arm totally looks like the Fat Man/Mini Nuke now that you mention it, and the lighting in that main picture reminds me of Fallout for some reason.

        I could totally see Bombshell as a companion character of an expansion pack, expositing about whatever her deal is so my beloved Dr. Norman can make snarky comments about it. Come to think of it, most high-level New Vegas characters will be cyborgs as well, to some extent, so I’m sure there’d be some common ground for discussion there.

        1. There’s a mechanic: Harvesting weapons that are cybernetic implants. Now you’d not only need to have loads of cash, but you’d have to find unique NPCs (or raid the tombs of one, maybe?) and take the cyber-arm or bionic macguffin from their corpses to get whatever it is installed in your own meatsuit.

          Given the rumors that the next Fallout game will take place near MIT, I could see that being a “thing,” if someone got the bright idea to implement it.*

          * Note: This isn’t outside of Bethesda’s skillset. It’s loot, which they do okay with, and it has the potential to be gloriously broken and imbalanced as well as “ruining” what your character looks like. Ergo, it’s quite within the realm of possibility.

  8. Mogatrat says:

    Hydralysk up above me had a good point about Diablo 3 being more based on loot than skill points or builds, which certainly separates it from D2. My biggest problems with the game weren’t really based around that, because it’s still an enjoyable system(although I think D3 should’ve switched its gameplay style with Torchlight, since it’s way more fitting for that game’s tone) but with its complete tonal shift from the more Gothic games that make up its history and it’s terrible, TERRIBLE loot, skill and difficulty system at launch.

    And I’m not talking endgame content. My dad, my brother and I have been playing Diablo games together since the first one. When D3 came out, we were completely underwhelmed with our first playthrough. We all felt weak, yet blasted through the story with no difficulty on Normal. Once we got to Nightmare, things were completely unbalanced against us because we refused to use the Auction House in any way, and basic white mobs were thrashing us because the game didn’t give us ANYTHING to deal with the threats we were facing. On top of that, you didn’t get your full loadout of six skills until level FORTY, which we still hadn’t reached by the time we hit halfway through Act 2 and quit out of frustration. We weren’t being challenged, we were being swindled: forced to either go into the Auction House or basically quit playing, so we chose the latter.

    Since I started playing again on 2.04, they’ve vastly improved all of this. I can choose my difficulty setting at will, and loot is now ‘smart’, dropping mostly for your character and your character’s primary stats/skills alone. I knocked the difficulty up to Master on my first re-run and had a ball, then went back through for an ‘escalating Torment’ run and had a great time conquering each successive kick of the slider. I’m still making and playing new characters, because levels increase so much faster under the new difficulty system, and you’re always just barely keeping up with the loot. The skill system has been rearranged and re-balanced over and over again so that there are a lot of fun, viable builds that are available early on and give you a steady drip-feed of new content. It’s a good game now.

    That said, nothing can bring back the tone. TUN had a good video about this, but basically Diablo 3’s story, artwork and structure are all basically antithetical to the first two games’ minimalist, dark, and sinister approach to storytelling. The characters are cliched and extremely annoying, the plot and dialogue are obvious to the point of parody, and it just feels like a very watered-down, generic version of the older product. Torchlight 2 has a more concrete, well-handled tone and art design despite D3’s massively larger budget; the game knew what it was and went for it. D3 is just a massive disappointment in that area, and sadly that’s how it’s gonna stay.

    1. Bubble181 says:

      I couldn’t agree more. D3 has been vastly improved with the expansion and its many tricks, but it’ll enver have the appeal of I or II.

  9. Paul Spooner says:

    Finish the lyrics to that Dark Souls song, and we’ll talk about making a recording.

    1. Alexander The 1st says:

      “Everybody’s talking **** about Dark Souls 2,
      I don’t know what they’re on about,
      but I think it’s not true.
      Folks on Gaf and Kotaku,
      Mr. Mathew Matosis too,
      That’s all I’ve got tonight for you,
      I’ve gone the Way of the Blue.”

      Well, that’s one line added to the main song in the last part – I originally was thinking it should probably refer to playing Dark Souls 2, but then I realized it was possible to still be using quite a few more words with the “oo” sound (If that’s the correct syllable – I didn’t major in English or French for a reason <_< ) – might as well try to use them all.

      Anyone else want to add to it?

  10. Kana says:

    I have to admit, I am heavily biased against Dark Souls 2. It threw me off from the very beginning of the game. Dark Souls had this opening that set up the world and introduced a bunch of characters.

    Dark Souls 2 says “oh, did you want to be a woman? Nope, you’re a man now.” The entire opening is about some guy with a wife and kid. Then he becomes an undead and goes off to Drangleic. And then you play the game as that guy, with 0 options.

    Don’t get to make your character until after running around like that for a short bit. And that was heart breaking. I loved making my character, coming up with her backstory. There were a large number of characters I made for personal reasons, and the opening of Dark Souls 2 just drains all of that from me. “You will lose everything. You, you, you.”

    Did not put me into a good mind set going into the game.
    I just wanted to be me again. :(

    1. Raygereio says:

      You can still play as a woman and are free to imagine your own backstory.

      The opening cutscene is vague enough that you can inteprete it however you want. The woman with the child could be your wife and child. Could be your mother holding your character as a child. Could also be your lesbian lover and your adopted kid.
      Or it’s simply vague symbolism representing loss and does not establish anything about your character.

      As for the intro sequence where your character is a dude for a few seconds before you make your character. Well, you were not supposed to take of your clothes.
      If you want a story explanation: Before the old firekeepers help you remember who and what you are, you were really, really hollowed. And once you remove most of the fleshy bits of the human body, men and women pretty much look the same.

      1. Artur CalDazar says:

        You can simply look at the build of the character and know it’s not meant to be female. Sure you can pretend and go against what you know, but you shouldn’t need to.
        It’s strange for a game that wants you to essentially make up the story of the game yourself, create the very basics of what is going on up yourself, that things such as this are done, things that get in the way of something they actually should let us make up ourselves.

        For me it sends a message, you can play pretend, but the game won’t play along with you. The first game did play along, and it had a far more clear and concrete story.

        1. Raygereio says:

          Meh. I continue to disagree that being a dude for a few seconds before you make your character is in any way an issue. That’s just looking for stuff to complain. It’s nothing more then a convenient default as you walk to the firekeepers’ hut and like I said: You weren’t supposed to take of your clothes during those few seconds.

          That said:

          The first game had a far more clear and concrete story.

          Yeah, that I do agree with.
          DaS1’s plot was also quite vague on the whole. But stuff made sense if you paid attention and thought about things. The game also provided you with clear goals and objectives and you knew why you were trying to get to those objectives.
          In DaS2 I don’t feel like the game at any point really explained why I’m trying to become the next monarch. The game kinda makes a big deal about you going to Drangleic without knowing why and I had the impression they were building up to some sort of revelation, but that never happened.
          Either From didn’t really know where they were going with the story and/or they were being obtuse just for the sake of being obtuse and didn’t really realise how and why DaS1’s story worked.

          1. Artur CalDazar says:

            “You weren’t supposed to take of your clothes during those few seconds.”

            Utterly irrelevant. The body is clearly that of the standard male characters, the you shown in the cutscene is clearly a man. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to notice the problem if it still causes a problem. The game has a disconnect right at the very beginning and is indicative of an overall change in how the player is treated.

            You might not personally care, and thats fine but this is something that creates issues for other players.

            1. acronix says:

              Additionaly, I’d ask what was the point of it. The game wins nothing by giving the player a template blond male character for a minute at the beginning instead of jumping directly into the character creation screen. It’s just useless, pointless Elder Scrollitis.

              The least they could have done was -not allow you- to take the clothes off -at all-.

          2. Kana says:

            It absolutely is an issue for me because I never wanted to be a dude in the first place. Dark Souls was about letting the player explore the world and find their own place. Dark Souls 2 kicks all of that out in the first 4 minutes and establishes you as someone else. That’s a stab in the heart to me.

            That the game refused to acknowledge I as a female gamer would want to play the game. The player is a guy, you are a guy in the video, and going into the game that’s what it expects you to be.

            I almost cried when 2 managed to dismantle everything I loved at the original in just a few hours. There is a long, long list that starts with the game rejecting me as a player.

        2. Kana says:

          “For me it sends a message, you can play pretend, but the game won't play along with you.”

          This came back later. The blacksmith Lenigrast says, “A man ought to labor with his feet on the ground.” You know, he could have meant “man” as “human,” but after the intro it just felt like the game taking another slap at you for playing female. Like it gives you the option but tries really hard to ignore that it gave you the choice. Like I said, by that point I was already biased against it. Sad times.

          1. WILL says:

            You’re making a massive fuss about a dev being slightly lazy for the first 30 seconds of the game.

    2. Jacob Albano says:

      Things Betwixt almost killed the whole game for me, honestly. I always play a female character in Dark Souls for some reason, so that was my intention for DS2 as well. Forcing you to start off as a guy is just stupid…and yes, it is a male character. The pain sounds are male and you can take off your clothes and confirm the body type.

      Then I tried to fight those big ogre creatures. I figured they’re slow so I should be able to smack a bit and then dodge away when they attacked. Then I rolled away from a big slow grab, got teleported back to where I was standing an instant before, and had my head bitten off.

      The whole game just fails in every aspect where Dark Souls excels. Enemies don’t play by the same rules as the player. The levels don’t flow together cohesively. Instead of being a regal, lonely world that looks at you with indifference, everything is ugly and you’re the most important character.

      I ultimately finished it and went back to the first game.

      1. Raygereio says:

        Grab attacks have always had wonky hitbox detection. That’s been an issue in all Souls games.

        1. Jacob Albano says:

          Not when I’m five feet to his right and a full 90 degrees from the vector of his attack direction. I refuse to accept that as a valid explanation. I never had anything that bad happen in Dark Souls, and even if I had “because they’ve always been that way” is no excuse.

    3. Darren says:

      I’m glad you mentioned this, because this bugged me, too. I’m a man, but gay, so I’m sick to death of narratives presenting women to me as if I should automatically care. And when I got to character creation, I couldn’t change anything!

      It was baffling, because DS1 had a very robust character creation. It bugged me so much that after playing for a bit I rolled a new character and lo and behold I was suddenly able to do it.

      Maybe I messed up somehow and just didn’t figure out the right way to change my character’s appearance. But it seems really, really odd given that I didn’t have this problem in the first game or when I returned to the same screen later.

      1. Jacob Albano says:

        The weirdest part is that the woman and child don’t matter in the *slightest* at any point beyond the opening cutscene. They literally never come up again. You’re not fighting for them or anything like that; they exist purely as a loosely contrived character point that may not even matter to the player.

        So very clumsy.

        1. Kana says:

          It’s kind-of-not-really brought up by one or two NPCs. They say something along the lines of “don’t do anything stupid, surely there is someone waiting for you.” It’s not direct (thank god), but could still function as a reference.

          Still just feels like a cheap shot at creating concern/establishing you as a character before letting you actually create who you wanted to be in the first place.

          1. RandomInternetCommenter says:

            You guys are purposefully trying to be offended. That interpretation of the cutscene never occured to me before reading your posts. All it looked like was the firekeeper going from young to old, or random symbolism as pointed above. Likewise I didn’t identify with random warrior dude stumbling through the woods anymore than with random knight dude summoning phantoms buddies (OMG!!!!!!!!!! offensive to me as an offline player!!!!) in Demon’s Souls’ intro. Flow of time blah blah blah, as far as I’m concerned I was seeing the fate of another wanderer (and in my interpretation, that guy dies when he falls down).

            1. MichaelGC says:

              Well, none of them have mentioned being offended by the cutscene. They’ve each just reported their interpretation, and how that made them feel, just as you have.

            2. Shamus says:

              “You guys are purposefully trying to be offended.”

              Be reasonable. Why would anyone do that? Isn’t it more likely that there’s something in the game that was just really important to them and not to you? We all play for different reasons. Plus, this sort of argument is easily turned around. You don’t like Kana’s interpretation of the cutscene? You’re just looking for something unimportant to argue about.

              It’s fine if you liked the game and Kana didn’t. It’s not fine if you’re going to argue Kana should have… what? Liked the game anyway? Interpreted the scene differently?

            3. Kana says:

              Too bad he gets back up and goes on. And then you start the game as a guy. In his clothes. You are that guy. For about five minutes counting the video, then you aren’t that guy (if you want), but that feels like that’s always what the game assumes you are.

              Further, when did I ever say that I was offended? I’m disappointed (crushingly so, since I loved the original), not offended. I could list off things for hours the game went backwards on from the original, but it all starts with the fact the game threw me out in about four minutes.

              Edit: I also want to point out. I like Dark Souls 2. I think its a fun game. I just hate the face it’s called Dark Souls 2, because it has to stand next to the original. It had very large shoes to fill, and in my opinion, did not in many ways.

    4. I’ve not wanted to play either Dark Souls game, just because of time and what have you, not that I don’t think it’s fun… until I ran across this:

      Hiding in Plain Sight seems like a fun way to play around with the invasion mechanic. I wish more games allowed this kind of “stealth” in multiplayer.

      1. Kana says:

        This is kind of what I was getting at, but Dark Souls has the most amazing and hilarious forms of player expression. (Volume can be a little loud), Like using the actual NPCs to kill people. Can’t do that anymore (as far as I know, they removed Undead Rapport), but people will always come up with the most absurd ways to have fun.

  11. MichaelGC says:

    So disappointed with Marvel Unlimited. I somehow chose a password which only worked with half their systems. (Why not ‘none’ or ‘all’?!?) One which didn’t work was the ‘change password’ box.

    So I asked them five times to send me a new password. This should have been straightforward, as they don’t hash them – if you click ‘forgot password’ they’ll just send it & your username straight through in plain text. The fifth time I said (politely): “please change my password or cancel my sub.” At least I got a response that time: they decided it was easier just to cancel the sub!

    Just a baffling level of technical & support incompetence. Oh well, at least I got to re-read the Stark Wars before disillusionment set in.

  12. Weimer says:

    I think this Bombshell character is like Jack from Mass Effect -sort of thing. A woman who is not designed to look or act attractive in a traditional sense is dressed in skimpy clothes.

    An idea which might have some value if they did anything with it.

    1. I think that’s giving them too much credit. I can see a lot of 90’s tropes in there: The punk half-shaved head, the Terminator hand (and motorcycle with shotgun, come to that), the Cyberpunk hardware, etc. that were just mashed together and this was the result.

      At least Jack had a backstory that was interesting, and even that was a bit of a cliche, since (as Mumbles pointed out) every “damaged” girl in fiction grows up to go full-on punk with loads of tats and piercings.

      1. Thomas says:

        ^This. ‘Damaged girl’ in general is not a very nice trope (Metal Gear Solid :( ), but at least Jack had that story and that rational (plus the way sex affects her relationships). If this Bombshell game is really a Duke Nukem reskin, which I assume it is, then there’s no way they’re trying to talk about those kind of themes.

        I thing ‘badass cyborg’ is the big motivator

  13. Klay F. says:

    Can we get a Rutskarn/George duet on the next diecast? :)

    1. Backed up by Shamus’ fans!


    I’ve said this before, but the bugs in Dark Souls 1 caused by 60 FPS were fixed, except for the bug where you get permanently stuck at a bonfire after returning to human form. It’s actually a net positive (For a PvPer) since it reduces input delay on the menus so it’s possible to swap weapons faster.

    Anyway, my main problems with Dark Souls 2 are PvP related – Parrystep, Binoboost, Soul memory meaning SL 838 players can invade much lower level players, the ease of hacking the game… I could go on, but I don’t think anyone is interesting in me waffling vitriol about the changes in PvP from 1 to 2.

    The only complaint I have on the PvE side of things is the rings of soul/life protection, which made death absurdly cheap – No human effigy required and only 3000 soul cost. Combined with warp, you can just warp back and get your ring repaired instantly.

    Also, parrying is useless? Not really. Parrystep means you can get the parry frames but also get iframes from the roll or backstep, so you can use it without any risk at all, and the damage you take while doing the riposte is massively reduced, it may as well be zero. It’s not as useful as Dark Souls 1, to be sure, but still good.

    End massive waffle post thingy.

    1. acronix says:

      You can choose not to use those rings, though. There’s no reason to complain about them, specially since people who do use them constantly are not harming your fun in any way. Unless the idea of other people having fun in their own ways somehow hurts you, in which case I’m very sorry.

      My main PvE gripe is the constant tracking of enemies even during attacks. Close contenders are the game’s over-reliance on “Haha! Gotcha!” ambueshes, swarms of enemies, swarms of enemies with ranged support, wonky hitboxes for the ogres, bosses with one shot mechanics, armor becoming useless after NG, all jumps towards loot being coupled with instant-kill chasms.

      But the worst problem is the control scheme on PC: It’s like none of the developers could be arsed to ask a PC player how controls for this kind of game ussually work, or how they wanted them to work.

  15. Thomas says:

    I tried to check out Batwoman and I ended up hoping that DC do some sort of unlimited deal soon, because otherwise the non-ending nature of comics would drive me nuts. I want resolutions but you get a story arc and some important character is introduced and then their fate is left in the balance and won’t reappear for another 2 years if at all.

    I’ll give them kudos for doing comics with a main storyline and then a side storyline and making it so that the arc finishes whilst the other is halfway through. It’s smart business (I’d have innocently made them both finish at the same time) and it nearly suckered me into buying the whole series, but in the end I had to decide not to care for the sake of my wallet.

    And trying to follow an active series… I’m reading Ms. Marvel and it’s taken 3 months before it begins to get going*, compared to reading webcomics it’s unbearable. The quality levels for the best webcomics is totally comparable too, both in art and writing.

    I can understand why DC don’t want to do an unlimited thing. It’s potentially a big hit to their money, but if they don’t take the hit they’re going to lose to Marvel anyway because Marvel’s fanbase will be so much more engaged.

    *There is a thing in the 3rd issue though, where she smashes through the roof of her school and they find her sitting in the gym room with _structural support beams and chunks of brickwork_ around her… and give her a detention? It wasn’t eve being very wacky up to that point

    1. Mike S. says:

      I’m much more a DC fan than Marvel. (Especially re their historic back catalog– what I’ve seen of the New 52 leaves me cold.) Yet Marvel is getting my money via Unlimited, while DC just isn’t.

      It doesn’t help that they can’t even keep their hardcopy collections in print. My nephew is a giant Arrow fan. This year’s season-long big bad was, of course, Deathstroke. So I thought I’d get him the tpb of the Teen Titans’ “The Judas Contract” storyline, which a) introduced Slade, and b) is a generally acknowledged minor classic of the 80s. I knew it had been collected, since the paperback is on my shelf.

      …and I apparently can sell it for five times its face value if I want, because it’s out of print, and in demand for some reason. (Almost as if its villain were being featured on the biggest prime time superhero drama or something.) So why hasn’t it been reprinted?

      Even more, why isn’t DC hawking an Unlimited competitor to everyone who’s watching Arrow and might want to find out a bit more about Slade, or Green Arrow, or Black Canary, or Merlyn?

      1. Space Ghost says:

        Comics have been super slow to embrace online stuff for a pretty obvious reason – it will absolutely murder the local comicbook shop in the same way Amazon and Netflix killed the bookshop. So that’s one reason for the foot-dragging.

        Marvel and DC have been pretty horrible at growing the readership for decades upon decades, so it’s a bit of a minor miracle that Marvel have actually done this. Luckily it’s USA only, so they’re still throwing away tons of money that people would love to give them.

  16. KremlinLaptop says:

    In a way characters like Bombshell and Tankgirl (big fan of Tankgirl but it has to be said) are the gender-bend empowerment fantasies of the dudes who created them. I’m guilty of it too! My awesome Dwemer-steampunky Breton lady in Skyrim with her mohawk thing? My Fallout NV bad-ass drug addled pink haired lunatic? They’re empowerment fantasies. They’re just me going, “If I was a lady I’d be this kick-ass lady! Who doesn’t take no guff!”

    And the thing is I can’t imagine many women would find those characters appealing. The thing is that when the characters aren’t being written as dudes who happen to be ladies? They’re being written in a way that the entire character is evaluated based on their sexuality. Like Old School Lara Croft? Tits and ass! Except she’s very asexual isn’t she? Because you can’t put the hetero player in the shoes of a heterosexual woman. That’d get uncomfortable. And her being lesbian would be too risque … and I figure even for Lara they figured that’d be a bit of a cheap cop-out.

    Actually I hadn’t ever even thought of that … but Lara Croft is outright asexual (ignoring the reboot in which she sorta rebuffs the advanced of the nerd who dies, I forget his name. Does she rebuff them? Anyway) she never expresses any interest in anyone? Not male or female. Except! Except the ending of Tomb Raider 2 which gives us this gem:


    Aaahh yes, because she might be the busty heroine of the series but there /can/ be a fourth wall breaking wink-wink nudge-nudge shower scene with the player and Lara.

    Eh, this went off on a tangent but Bombshell and the discussion about punk-girl characters got me to thinking about how in games a lot of female characters are defined by where on the sliding scale of would-bone Y/N they fall.

    Edit: Also I really like George being on the podcast! More George!

    1. ET says:

      I think Bombshell could work as a powerful warrior/badass character, if they got rid of the blatant sexual objectification. Like, she’s got a few physical characteristics which look like they’re suited to kicking ass…and then the other half of her look basically screams “I’m a pin-up girl, for dudes to drool over!”. Compare her to the new Lara Croft from last year. New Lara looks badass, and still looks sexy, but isn’t sexualized. She’s got scars, smudges, and most importantly, clothing which looks appropriate to fighting dudes on an island. Bombshell’s got heels to trip her up, a missing right pant leg just waiting for lacerations, plus the whole bra/shirt thing (again, not protecting her body). Personally, I think she’d look more badass and sexy, if she had proper boots, pants, and a shirt with the right shoulder and sleeve ripped off.

  17. evileeyore says:

    Seriously Shamus? Robotron? Is Mumbles even old enough to know what that was?

    1. I think she was too tired to do anything but be polite and humor him. :)

      Though I think that game and Smash TV were the most successful ones to use that “one stick to move, the other to direct fire” mechanic, so there aren’t many references out there to pick from.

      1. ET says:

        The Binding of Isaac is recent, and used this control scheme…

        1. The whoosie of what-now? And speak up! Right into my ear-trumpet or it’s all just a bunch of buzzing to me! And get off of my lawn!

      2. Thomas says:

        That’s the definition of a twinstick shooter right?

        It did amuse me how Mumbles had to explain the character movement in Diablo 3 with a controller. Being mostly a console gamer, I’d never experienced Diabloesque control schemes before, the first time I played League of Legends I basically did a double take.

        I can’t just move my character? I have to point somewhere on the screen and then the computer tries to move them to that spot?

        I’ve still not built up the skills to really use that system. I don’t have a good grasp on quickly dodging, or zig-zagging or not-moving when I can’t do those actions directly, and a lot of those control schemes arrange it so a misclick when trying to use a spell ends up with your character trying to run at the enemy you were attacking.

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Diablo 3 is not a bad game,at least not on pc.I mean its blizzard,of course they are going to make a tight gameplay,because thats what blizzard does.The biggest problem is in its title.It shouldve been called “world of diablo”,or something like that,because it shares little with the previous two,and is completely multiplayer oriented.Sure,you can solo it,but it was designed to be played coop.Just how you can run around alone in wow,yet it was designed around interactions with a bunch of people.

  19. Wes1180 says:

    I’ve had marvel unlimited for a while now and I’m just wondering if Mumbles, Shamus or anyone else might have any suggestions for comic series to binge through?

    Here’s some of the series that I’ve been reading.

    Indestructible Hulk
    Invincible Iron Man
    Civil War
    Avengers vs X-Men

    1. Mumbles says:

      Avengers v X-Men is so good, dude. I also suggest Spider-Island and I think Battle of the Atom is on there now.

      1. Wes1180 says:

        Thanks, Battle of the Atom doesn’t seem to be on there, but that might just be me (the search on marvel unlimited is very bad) so I’ll keep an eye out for it.

    2. Torsten says:

      Does Marvel Unlimited have other series than Marvel’s own publications or superhero comics in there? English translations of European comic albums or similar.

      1. Wes1180 says:

        I think it’s all marvel’s own stuff.

  20. overpoweredginger says:

    *Campster talking about how there’s been a gaming drought*

    Transistor came out today, motherfucker!! Wooooooo!!
    [Clarification: I haven’t played it yet, but it’s downloading right now and I severely doubt Supergiant will screw the pooch at this point in time]

    Also on framerate shenanigans, Team Fortress 2 actually did this for a while. Demoknight charge turning was tied to frames per second for a while, although it was fixed in a recent patch. Star [it might be spelled STAR_, I dunno] made a video about this, as well as a followup when it was patched.

    1. Humanoid says:

      It’s just the tail of the great gaming drought of 2013 really. Was the worst year of gaming that I can remember. I mean, my pick of best non-indie release was a fairly pedestrian expansion pack (Enemy Within) for goodness’ sake.

  21. krellen says:

    I’m about to be that guy, but oh my grav I am so sick of hearing about Dark Souls. Can this please be the end of talking about Dark Souls for like a year? It’s not even half as interesting as Sim City.

    I decree the next month be nothing but Shamus and Mumbles talking comics. That’d be awesome.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I have to agree.Hearing about dark souls is boring.Intensely boring.

      Watching it,however,now thats fun.So how about you guys keep it out of the diecast,and instead lets have Josh do a few more videos of dying in it.

    2. KremlinLaptop says:

      So there’s this guy where I work. Nice guy. Getting to be a bit past forty … and absolutely obsessed with Dark Souls. Dark Souls 2 came out? For the past month we’ve talked about– Wait no no no–

      For the past month HE has talked about nothing else. I’ve just sat around humming and ahhing as though I have any idea. At this point I’m actively doing more work just so I can go, “Okay Bob, Dark Souls 2 talk later. We really gotta get cracking on this project.”

    3. Thomas says:

      It’s the game drought. Dark Souls 2 is literally the only decent AAA non-next-gen exclusive game to come out in like the last six months. We didn’t even have many big indie games in that time (Transistor shakes that up).

      You just have to look at the desperation all the review sites have been driven to, to see how empty this year has been. Yahtzee has had to dig up every trick in his book to find games worth reviewing. Mario Kart 8 is going to seem like a blessing by this point

      EDIT: Titanfall hasn’t seemed to rock the world like it was hyped up to. I wonder if Microsoft exclusivity has hurt it? It locked off a big chunk of people who might otherwise have got excited over it

      1. Zukhramm says:

        Lightning Returnnnsss shnghghhhHhhh!

        1. Sougo says:

          Hahahahahahhahaha…. Why are there tears rolling down my cheeks?

    4. The Rocketeer says:

      Dark Souls is cross fit for dorks. It’s allegedly difficult and rewarding, but in actuality is often problematic in execution and habitually exaggerated by its adherents.

      And you won’t have to wonder if someone is into it. Ooooh no, they’ll tell you.

    5. Humanoid says:

      While I do kind of zone out whenever Dark Souls is discussed, I have to admit I do the exact same when comic books or comic-book related properties such as movies are discussed as well. It probably says something when the part I listen most intently to is the discussion about the crappy reskinned game made by proven incompetents at the top of the episode.

      That said, I’d not ask the crew to stop talking about what they’re interested in. But I’d much rather it be in the context of the briefer “what are you playing/reading now?” warm-up segment back when that was a thing, rather than an agreed-upon main talking point.

  22. Muspel says:

    My take on Diablo 3 is that it wasn’t a bad game, but it was bad at all of the things that Blizzard seemed to want it to be.

    I think that what happened was that they looked at the people that were still playing Diablo 2 after X number of years and decided to make a game for those people– a game where they could endlessly run the same content over and over to grind for drops. And so they built it with a mandatory internet connection and an auction house and four difficulty settings that had to be finished in sequence and stuff that would facilitate all of the things that those hardcore Diablo 2 players did.

    The problem is that group of people were NOT the majority of Diablo 2 fans, so all of these features ended up being aimed at a small minority of the playerbase, and really turned off the majority.

    Most people never finished Hell difficulty in Diablo 2, for instance, because the game started to get stale the second time through, yet Diablo 3 added a FOURTH difficulty which ratcheted up the tedium. Most people never did farming runs in Diablo 2, and Diablo 3’s drops were so crappy that you had to do it to progress. Most people didn’t do much multiplayer in Diablo 2, and yet Diablo 3 required you to be online all the time, just in case.

    They apparently though that most players would be like those hardcore Diablo 2 fans, which was a terrible assumption to make, and the decisions that they made to reach that goal made the game a lot less good than it could have been.

    Diablo 3 is a good game, but it failed to be a great one, and people expected a great game after spending so long in development, not something that you’d play for a week and then finish.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Nope,diablo 3 was not aimed at anyone specifically.It was an experiment to see how to implement the real money auction house,because that is what blizzard does,they experiment.Sometimes it works,sometimes it fails.This one failed,so they are trying to fix it,which is much better than tossing blame around and calling everyone a hater that doesnt understand your vision.

      I dont think it can be fixed though.Yes,its a good coop game,but it is also a huge time sink.Practically the whole first playthrough of the game is a giant tutorial,until you finally get to customize your skills and pick the ones you want to focus on.So its not for everyone.

      1. Humanoid says:

        The ‘experiment’ angle is my perception too, the experiment being whether they could create an alternative WoW-esque licence to print money. When it turned out the fountain of riches was more of a trickle of loose change, it made sense to just cut it off entirely and just maximise the traditional sales revenue and save the F2P-esque model for a future title. At one point I imagine there’d have been some projections done on expected ongoing income looking like comparative chickenfeed compared to upfront sales.

        A disclaimer though, I’m someone who hasn’t played any of the series other than an hour or so of D2 at a friend’s place back in the day, so I’m only just vaguely aware of how D3’s launch system was originally perceived.

  23. Darren says:

    I had terrible internet at the time and so never got Diablo III on the PC. But I did get the PS3 version and really enjoyed it. They’ve lost the surprisingly well-told narrative–*sigh*–but given a choice of a quick-and-dirty Gauntlet-style game and a game where you level slowly and can very easily gimp yourself by misspending points, I’ll take Gauntlet every time.

    Is it amazing? No. But it’s a load of fun.

    Now, one thing that is amazing is that I now have good internet, so I decided to give the Diablo III trial version a shot to see how it compared. And the lag. My God, the lag. I played for about five minutes and then quit in disgust. It just plays better on console.

  24. Zukhramm says:

    The only thing I need to know about Bombshell is that the website calls the game isometric while the screenshot clearly show it’s not. That’s enough reason for me not to buy a game.

    1. ET says:

      The reason for me is the total lack of ambient occlusion. That’s the right term, right? Like the lighting model/hack, which produces the soft shadows from non-direct light? It just looks like Shelly and all the enemies are floating above the ground. The screenshots look like they blew all their money on pixels/polygons, and completely forgot to finish their 3D lighting model/implementation. Ugh.

    2. Humanoid says:

      I’m just disappointed they didn’t call it (perhaps at their lawyer’s behest) Duchess Nukem.

  25. StashAugustine says:

    Well since we’re talking Diablo 3 and Marvel comic books, can I plug Marvel Heroes for a minute? It had a hilariously bad launch but the devs have put in a lot of work into making it a great ARPG.

  26. Adam says:

    Sleepy Mumbles is right up there with drunk Mumbles for best version of Mumbles.

  27. Drakhoran says:

    About Marvel Unlimited; have they fixed their security yet? I tried it out some time back and was quite pleased with it until I used their password retrieval system and they sent me my password in plaintext.

    I might still be using the site if they allowed me to pay with Paypal or something, but I’m not giving my credit card info to a site so clueless about security that they store passwords in a retrievable form.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Nope, they’re still doing that! (I had a good old whinge about that & other aspects of the tech side of things a bit further up the page.) A real shame, but I would guess (and hope) that they’re working on it . . .

      I mean, just put Reed Richards on it. It’d take him about 5 minutes to fix, and that’s including the 3 minutes it took to tell him what the issue was.

  28. Muel Kiel says:

    The weirdest thing about Bombshell formerly Duke Nukem: Something Stupid Probably is it isn’t even being made by 3D Realms. It was being made by another company (Interceptor the guys who made the new Rise of the Triad) who like a couple of months ago bought 3D Realms. I’m almost positive they were working on Duke Nukem/Bombshell before this. Interceptor had also licensed RotT from 3D Realms so clearly had some relationship with them before.

    Another thing worth mentioning is Duke Nukem wasn’t always an FPS, Duke Nukem 3D was the third Duke Nukem game, although definitely most famous. Duke has also had several non fps spinoff games so the “not an fps thing” wasn’t entirely unheard of.

  29. Artur CalDazar says:

    George I hope you end up making a video about what you liked in Dark Souls 2 and why, because it sounds like most of what you enjoy is the technical improvements, it being a better port and having a better interface.
    But the problems people have with the game are more mechanical changes, such as enemies who don’t seem to follow the same rules as you do.

  30. abs1nth says:

    The scarcity of healing was a huge deal to me in Dark Souls 1. It really meant you had to master a level in order to be able to get through it whereas modern games all let you just cheese your way through it. In Dark Souls if you mess up too often you are screwed. It also created a real tension because you didn’t know if you were going to make it till the next bonfire. I was really disappointed when I got the Rite of Kindling which allows you to get up to 20(!!!!) Estus Flasks, I made it a point to never kindle above 10 Estus Flasks for the entire game because it would ruin that design.

    Also I never used Riposte it seemed like a lame system because it as George pointed out superseded every other move in the game. Sure it was difficult and required you to figure out the timing for different enemies but after that it was pretty much game over, you won. It sounds like in Dark Souls 2 riposting is much more situational which is the way it always should have been, meaning it’s very powerful 1 on 1 but otherwise more dangerous than useful.

  31. Xanyr says:

    I really want another “Terrible RPG Tales from Professor Rutskarn” The first one made me recall my first DM who was also terrible but not quite as bad as Ruts’

  32. Joey245 says:

    This is another one of my favorite DieCast episodes. Everyone was in top form here, and the discussion about Duke Nukem and Bombshell at the start was just perfect. And Mumbles’s appearance midway through the podcast was gold. Loved this episode, still listening to it to this day.

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