Diecast #73: New 3DS, Gotham, Mailbag

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Sep 3, 2014

Filed under: Diecast 174 comments

I made a theme for the show. It’s nice to have a piece of music I can edit for length as needed. On the other hand, I kind of think our theme should be more upbeat than this. I’m still messing with it. Also, the audio is atrocious this week. There were several annoying audio problems that popped up, and I wasn’t as diligent as I could have been at hiding / mitigating them.

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Hosts: Chris, Josh, Shamus, and Mumbles.

Show notes:

1:00 The New Nintendo 3Ds

Yes, Nintendo is coming out with a new product that is just called “New [Old Product Name]”, which is fine when you’re making cereal or laundry detergent, but bad when you’re talking about devices with distinct generations and compatibility issues.

18:00 Shamus is playing Sunless Sea.

Sunless Sea is by the people who brought us Echo Bazaar / Fallen London.

23:00 Mumbles is playing Wind Waker.

25:00 Mumbles is also playing TF2 beta maps.

28:30 Mumbles has watched the Gotham Extended trailer.

39:00 Chris is playing Five Nights at Freddy’s.

We went a little off-topic before going WAY off topic, before coming back around and losing our way completely. Here is the Loading Ready Run skit that I mentioned. (My favorite.)


Die Dearcast,

In the past, such as his review of Somebody’s Dreamers and in a Diecast from earlier, blessed if I can remember which, Mr. Young mentioned how pleasant and unexpectedly powerful quiet endings can be in stories.

In that vein, why do so few video games do THAT, and not grandiose Hollywood movie explosion bullshit? Is it because of genre restrictions, assumed audience expectations?

Yours with respect and hope for many years of Spoiler Warning and Diecasting to come,


Dear The Diecast,

Josh, (Mr. Viel?)
What is your background in the study of history? Is your interest personal or has it been at some point professional? Only asking because you seem to have a decent grasp of a fairly broad swath of world history, and I’m interested to know where this is coming from.

At the end Chris brings up the PC Gamer Top 100 PC games. Now, I usually know better than this. These lists exist to either generate controversy or stroke your ego via reinforcing existing beliefs. They’re shallow and meaningless and you should never get angry about them. And the last thing you should do is argue with it, because then you have to link it and reward shallow list-making behavior.

And let’s be clear: These guys knew exactly what they were doing when they made the list:

But I fell for it. I even got mad. I’m still a little mad. Well played, PC Gamer. You win this round, you shallow hacks.


From The Archives:

174 thoughts on “Diecast #73: New 3DS, Gotham, Mailbag

  1. Jokerman says:

    That form is hilarious.

  2. MadTinkerer says:

    Shamus, I have a PC Gamer issue, I think from 1999 or 2000, which was either the first time they did the list or just one of the first times they did the list. I can’t find it, but Deus Ex was 2 or 3 and Half Life was number 1.

    So at one point they were serious about it, and it was easier to make lists of current good games during what we like to call The Golden Age.

    1. Around the turn of the millennium, Deus Ex and Half Life were games that a majority of their demographic had played recently, or were at least aware of. Most of the top 10 in the current list are games that PCG’s current “core” readership—i.e., the younger readers advertisers care about—would be familiar with. (Deus Ex gets grandfathered in as a great game/sacred cow with a recent popular sequel.)

      As someone who’s been gaming since the 1980s, and who used Shamus’ post on the subject (and the comments that followed) as a literal checklist when I started building a digital GOG/Steam games catalog, I’m hardly opposed to older titles. But “the golden age of science fiction is twelve,” and all that.

    2. Wide And Nerdy says:

      If there was ever any doubt about this being bait, Skyrim is #2, Mass Effect 2 is #1, Oblivion and Mass Effect 3 are on the list but Morrowind and Mass Effect 1 are not at all. And its not because they’re too old because there are some old games on the list.

      Now I happen to like all of these games (except Oblivion) and I personally wouldn’t put Morrowind and Mass Effect 1 on my top 100 at all. Like I’d find a few dozen more games to play so that I could fill out my top 100 with something other than those two (just didn’t like the gameplay and lack of good navigation is an instant -10 on my 1 to 10 scale.) But they are clearly baiting a debate here. They have to know how large segments of the gaming community feel about those games (basically the exact opposite of me from what I can tell. I’m so lonely).

      And they didn’t just fill out the list with crappy games either. Most of the ones I recognized seemed like they belong but they deliberately made some controversial picks for the click bait.

    3. I think making Half Life 2 the #3 pick was a very clever bit of jocularity, indeed.

    4. KingJosh says:

      Just to point out: though PC Gamer calls their list the greatest “of all time,” they specify in the article that part of their criteria is that the games they choose are only ones that they would still play today. A game may have great historical significance, or have been groundbreaking when it was new, but it also has to have aged well.

      I tend to enjoy my PC Gamer subscription. But, if they stopped printing a new “Best Games of All Time” list every single year? Yeah, I’d like that even more!

      1. Ranneko says:

        I don’t know, I think a metaanalysis of how that list changes every year would be pretty interesting. Seeing it reshuffle and add more recent titles to the mix and how staff changes impact the list creation.

        1. Thomas says:

          Every 3-5 years would allow for the interesting shuffle without having to see so much repeat data though. They’ve got a ‘previously ranked’ so I guess that’s part of the fun they’re going for

  3. Dovius says:

    Really like the new theme. Good stuff you’re cooking up on the sonic front lately, Shamus.

    1. It’s the Deus ExCast!

    2. Otters34 says:

      Seconded. It’s nice also that it can be just changed and switched up with ease, unlike fussing with Mr. McLeod’s music.

      1. Cookyt says:

        I thought that Mr. McLeod was rather open about what could be done with his music. Is it that the licensing is not permissive enough to allow modification, or is it that the source is not available in an easily editable format?

        1. Otters34 says:

          More that since Mr. Young created the music himself, he can change how the tune goes and so on with a lot more flexibility, while Mr. McLeod’s songs are trickier to change around since they’re more removed from our host’s skillset. Making a good remix/edit of ‘Here it is’, the former show theme, is(at least to my amateur ears) a lot harder than altering the piece of electronica Mr. Young invented.

          That not the case?

          1. Cookyt says:

            I’m not exactly a professional, but I’d say the answer is “sort of.” In one sense, I’d imagine that it’d be harder to change the old theme from a stylistic perspective. Since Shamus didn’t write it, it might be tough to come up with changes that would make it sound better. From another sense, I’ve just looked through Mr. Macleod’s website, and I don’t see anywhere to download a version of his music split into component/instrument tracks. They’re all flat MP3 files. As such, it would be technically more challenging to change the music as there’s no easy way to isolate a part and tweak it without changing everything around it.

            From a legal perspective, I’ve looked at the license under which Mr. Macleod puts his music (Creative Commons By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), and it does state that you’re allowed to remix and modify the tracks as long as you mention that they’ve been modified. That means that, ignoring the technical challenges in doing so, a person would be within their rights to modify the music to suit their needs. It would probably make sense to do so if you wanted to remix, splice together sections, or add additional tracks/words over the music, but not if you wanted to its original composition.

    3. arron says:

      I think as intro music, it should have a more distinct melody and yes – upbeat would help it grab the attention more.

      It’s probably a good backing piece for a boss fight rather than a title piece. Don’t give up though – It’s a learning process to do good music as my musical friends have told me in the past..!

      1. Ivan says:

        Not to be all pile on Shamus’s new hobby but I agree. It doesn’t feel like intro music. It (the intro music) feels like it’s trying to be something stand alone rather than building up to something exciting. Although maybe I’m not a great judge of this as it might just be that Shamus has different tastes than mine, what he’s posted so far just kinda meanders without direction (which is also the reason why I’m not a big fan of Jazz). So there’s that.


        Some Shmuck on the Internet.

    4. lethal_guitar says:

      I also really like it. Very different from the former theme, but that chip tune-ish style is awesome.

  4. Alex says:

    The DS also had the DSi that wasn’t compatible with DS. I should say that the DSi could play DS games, but the DS can’t play DSi games. Very few games came as exclusive for the DSi. Same thing will probably happen here. Most games will still be built for the 3DS and not for the -New- 3DS purely for compatibility. At least for a while. Maybe during the end of the life cycle the -New- 3DS will get a greater amount of games, but for the most part both platforms will be hit.

    1. Klay F. says:

      Also, the Gameboy was followed by the Gameboy Color, which had shit tons of exclusive games. The point is, Ninty are no strangers to this practice. So…why are people only now getting pissed about this?

      1. Shamus says:

        I think it’s a matter of degrees. Gameboy, Gameboy Color. Okay. I think we can handle that.

        But DS, DS Lite, DS 3D, DS 2D, New 3Ds, etc… that’s a lot of models to keep straight and the odds of customer confusion go up with each one.

        Also, the word “New” is a very soft descriptor that gets assigned to lots of things that are new. “I got the new Xbox.” It’s easy to misunderstand “I want a New 3DS” as “I want a new 3DS”.

        Also also: I think Nintendo needs to be more careful with their naming because their machines are far more commonly bought by adults for children.

        As someone else said, I think just about any word besides “New” would help. “Super” would be fine, and would fit with their historical naming style.

        1. Alex says:

          Is -New- 3DS their actual name I have seen nothing about it officially. I know in Japan it is but I still haven’t seen any of the NA and EU packaging. Maybe it will be called 3DSi or 3DS+ in the states. I don’t disagree that calling it “new” would be dumb, but I don’t think that it has officially been called that yet. All, I think, we have seen is that in Japan “New 3DS” and “New 3DS LL” Have been released(LL is what they call the XL).

          Edit: Also I know the products are different but Apples went: iPhone, 3g,3gs, 4, 4s, 5, 5c/s. Because Screw your understanding of numbers.

        2. ET says:

          Wouldn’t the sensible thing to do, be to lock down the number of gizmos stuffed into their latest handheld, clearly name the things, and build in 90 percent* backwards compatibility? Like, they’ve all pretty much been upgrades on each other since the original DS, except for the 3DS->2DS thing, and the ones which are physically different sizes. If they were all backwards compatible, then every generation, people would have a much easier justification to buy the new (portable) console.

          Hell, if Nintendo’s been sitting on a pile of money for the better part of a decade, then couldn’t they have done the R&D in a way to specifically promote backwards compatibility? Not only for the customer, but the developer too. They’ve been trendsetters before; Why not set a new trend of pro-consumer stuff, and build huge brand loyalty? :S

          * I’m leaving some wiggle room, for removing features which were unpopular or underused. Like, let’s say only 2% of games used the Star-Flower thumb button since it was introduced in 2017. Then they leave it out in the model coming out in 2020, and maybe sell an add-on for die-hard fans.

          1. Alex says:

            All Nintendo handhelds have been backwards compatible for(at least) one generation. The have really only been adding stuff to the system and not taking away. Color could read original games. I believe Advance could read both original and color games. DS could read advance games. 3Ds does DS games. This new one will also probably read DS games. Honestly their handhelds are about as consumer friendly as consoles come. They just release a new/in-between generation models all the time. Things like slims and XLs are their bread and butter, because they allow for people to have an incentive to buy a new version even though they have this generation’s model.

            1. ET says:

              Ah, cool. From the crew’s rambling, it sounded like there wasn’t much compatibility in the post-DS years. Still a lot of different models, though. :P

              1. Kana says:

                The diecast seems to be a little biased against Nintendo, but they really need to get their crap together and start naming things differently. Years later and you still see people thinking the WiiU is just a pad and works with an old Wii.

                Could have been the Wii 2, or the Super Wii (oh god please no), Wii 64, whatever. Anything to make it sound like the newest console and not a peripheral.

            2. Retsam says:

              The annoyance isn’t that the new one won’t be able to play old games, it’s that the old ones won’t be able to play new games, since those games will be expecting systems to have two extra shoulder buttons and an extra analog stick.

            3. Warstrike says:

              The problem I have with it is the other way around. I have a lot of money dumped into the ds because the lifetime was long. I have cut my purchasing way down since the 3ds came out because I don’t want to buy 3ds for all the kids. We finally got up to 3(leaving one for the kids to share), because every new game needs the 3ds hardware, even though we play them almost universally with the 3d off. I’m probably done with Nintendo because I can do >90% with an iPad. It’s also worthwhile to note that the update to 3ds cut the number of releases I’m interested in by probably 2/3. We are just now getting an ok quantity of good games released for the system, and a new hardware generation will screw that up. I suspect I’m pretty much done with Nintendo after this. Not out of anger, but it will no longer be a worthwhile investment of my money.

        3. Klay F. says:

          Fair enough. And yeah, their recent naming convention have really sucked for the past decade.

        4. Mersadeon says:

          I think the important point is that if I need a flowchart to figure out what games I can play with what DS version, there is a problem.

        5. mixmastermind says:

          You forgot the DSi, by the way.

      2. Cybron says:

        Yeah to me it’s really just more of the same.

        I guess people can more visually appreciate the difference between the Gameboy and the Gameboy color though.

      3. Retsam says:

        I think for one, as is generally the case when someone asks “why are people only getting pissed now”, they probably were “pissed” then, too, you just weren’t in the right circles or don’t remember it,

        But secondly, it’s also a question of timing. At worst, if you count DSi as a “compatability breaking”, (though it really wasn’t, practically speaking, since there was a grand total of 4 DSi exclusive games released, and none that good), then there were 4 full years between the DS and the DSi, with one “non-breaking” version between the two, the DSLite. More realistically, it was 8 years between the DS and the next “breaking” release, the 3DS.

        With the 3DS, it’s been 3 years, and we’re already on the 3rd version, and now they’re announcing a New system that might be cause future games to be exclusive to the New system? Hope you enjoyed those 12 months of titles coming out, people who bought a 2DS.

        And it really doesn’t help that the timing makes this feel like “well, the WiiU is doing poorly, better try to force the DS market to buy a new system again”.

        1. Warstrike says:

          And this is why I usually lurk. Better said.

        2. Klay F. says:

          Its also likely that people are finally understanding things from their parent’s perspective. I vividly remember begging my parents endlessly for a Gameboy/Gameboy Pocket/Gameboy Color/Gameboy Advance for that year’s Christmas. They never mentioned it, but now that I’m older I can only imagine their conversations with each other consisted entirely of, “Did we just by this damned kid a Nintendo a year ago? This is ridiculous.”

        3. Alex says:

          I know it may sound a bit weird but Devs aren’t suicidal. Most of them probably won’t release exclusively for the n3DS. Shoulder buttons, cButton(nipple), and faster processor are nice, but not as nice as the other 40+ mil users that are already out there. It will probably be the same as with the DSi. There will be a few games that Nintendo pushes to be exclusive to the n3DS and the rest will work on both. When apple came out with the iPhone 5 people didn’t just drop support for the 4(remember that is 3 generations back). Some were still supporting the 3Gs. Most devs go as broad as possible with their coverage specifically because it makes more money. Your 3DS will probably still be good at the end of its lifespan, sans about a dozen games.
          I can understand being pissed. The thing you bought is “outdated” already. I’m sure that people were pissed about the DSi. In the end though it wasn’t that bad. This might encourage some of the people that haven’t bought a 3DS yet to jump on. At least that is what Nintendo is hoping for.
          I should note that i do not have a 3DS. My brother bought his at launch. He seems pretty stoked to buy the XL version of the new one. My feeling on this is a bit… “Meh. I’m glad I didn’t buy one yet. I kinda want one now though.” So I guess their strat is kinda working on some people.

          Edit: oops the reply was for the person one level up.

          1. Retsam says:

            Yes, there are multiple ways this could go down, but none of them are “good”. The two extremes are “all 3DS development stops” and “nobody develops any N3DS exclusives”, and obviously reality will be somewhere between the two.

            But no matter what, you’ve just split your market into two separate markets where what’s good for one half of the market is bad for the other, and vice versa, and development budgets aren’t going to significantly increase to spit out twice as many games because overall demand isn’t going to significantly increase.

            And unlike with iOS upgrades, (even going to the iPhone5), it’s going to be pretty difficult to create apps that both make use of the new features and can support the older models, too. It’s much easier to have your app support different resolutions than it is to design a game that can meaningfully use a second analog stick and two extra shoulder buttons, but that isn’t a terrible experience to play without them.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamoose,you terk Kevin MacLeod’s jeeerb!

    1. Corpital says:

      It’s fine, as long as he doesn’t twerk it.

      1. This would be an excellent Patreon milestone goal that could definitively resolve the whole “should I make more video content” question. (The key would be to set “never release the twerking video” on a higher tier than “record twerking video,” and let the market decide.)

  6. RCN says:

    Well, at least Supreme Commander keeps creeping in on PC Gamer’s lists, but I can’t understand how they always fail to include Heroes of Might and Magic II. EVERY PC gamer I know played that game in the late 90s. And lots of non-PC gamers too.

    It’d be nice if it also mentioned Forged Alliance Forever or Planetary Annihilation on the SupCom entry, instead it regards it as something that was completely forgotten…

    Oh… and such lists are bogus. Grump.

    1. Ofermod says:

      Please. Everyone knows Heroes III is the definitive HoMaM experience.

      Real talk, I’ve never played any others in the series. How are they? How are the newer ones? Worth picking up?

      1. RCN says:

        Heroes III may be the best, but I believe that Heroes II was the most influential.

        As for recent title, Heroes V is the closest to III in game play, but with a square grid and an initiative system that may allow some creatures to act several times in a turn (especially with morale). Also worth mentioning, in the latest expansion each creature has two upgrades to choose from, increasing strategic depth.

        Heroes VI distances itself quite a bit from the formula, with the ability to convert towns and choosing precisely what skills to develop when you level (or which spells to learn), but it is gorgeous, both in aesthetic and animation quality. Also, it has some very interesting campaigns, whereas in V most campaigns are decidedly generic. EDIT: oh, I must add, unfortunately, to play VI you have to endure the cancerous growth that is UPlay…

        Heroes VII is in development.

        As if they’re worth picking, you have to decide for yourself. The new ones ARE in a new setting, if that sort of thing bothers you. And I believe both had demos, I know I played them.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Heroes II has some of the best things in it(much more varied creatures and creature strenghts,cursed artifacts,branching campaigns,etc).

        Heroes IV was incredibly buggy at release.Now,its just unballanced,but it still has some very good mechanics(blocking the view for archers,mage creatures,larger battlefields,etc),and has the best two campaigns of them all.

        Heroes V is closer to III,but without the expansions is very weak,both mechanically,and in campaigns and scenario variety.

        Heroes VI is a huge mess.Even with everything,its way buggier than IV.And its also incredibly boring.

        1. RCN says:

          To be fair, most of the bugs from VI are dealt with by now. And I wouldn’t call it so much boring as predictable. Since you have complete freedom in how to develop your hero, you’ll end up finding that you always build the same class the same way. Heck, I can see very little reason to build a blood class any different than its tears counterpart. There are simply a few skills that are a must and a few spells that are essential, while other spells or skills are just borderline useless and you have absolutely no reason to pick them. Basically, you need to sacrifice very little to get some of the best skills. Also, the town conversion, while technically making the game more balanced, actually makes getting an unsurmountable advantage much easier and feasible, while the free town-portal spell makes it very frustrating to hunt down for enemy heroes skirmishing in your areas.

          That said, it has a lot more depth than most other titles, with the most creature skills and specials actually interacting with each other. Skills to increase the number of retaliations, for instance, completely turn around the tactical value of certain creatures, and it is very easy to acquire. Minor skills and debuffs are present in every single creature. The spell restriction allows for some powerful spells without completely unbalancing the game (with spells that can only be cast once per battle, or with with a cool down of several turns).

          Also, I found some of the campaigns to be very interesting and rewarding. Anastasya’s campaign is kind of a coming of age story about a dead girl realizing her blind idealism was the reason for her fate, and that death was kind of a blessing in the end compared to what the politics of the angels had in store for her. Irina’s story is one that builds the most badass female character of all gaming, easily surpassing the likes of Samus and Jade. And Kiryl’s story is full of turns and reveals, which while ending up justifying his mentor’s betrayal, nonetheless allows you sweet revenge. Anton’s a bit weak, but still easily one of the most interesting and ambiguous campaigns for the Haven faction (that always have some of the most generic since it was Castle). Unfortunately Sandor’s, while thematically very fun, undersells the the Stronghold so much that they’re reduced to little more than comic relief.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Its not boring just because every class has a predefined path,but because every class is built the same.Everyone has heals,so you will always go for that first,to achieve flawless victories practically from the beginning of the map,something you were usually not able to do in other heroes.

            And maybe it has more depth than some other titles,but it has way less depth than other heroes games(well,maybe not less than I).

            1. RCN says:

              The game is balanced around this healing, and not everyone has instant access to it. Inferno, in particular, com only count on Life Steal and Reinforcements to keep their numbers (there’s also portal, but that’s extremely unreliable). And outside Necropolis, it is not that easy to keep your units in the higher difficult levels. Ultimately, the healing is meant to diminish losses, not completely prevent them (though they did go overboard with the power of some healing effects).

              And I did find it to have depth over other heroes games. Do you even remember how in Heroes III you might as well quit the game if you reach month 3 against Castle? The Archangels were so utterly broken that there was very little you could do against them. Debuffs are meaningless, since castle will have easy access to the counter-acting buffs. Twenty of them could kill 1000 tier one creatures with each attack. It was also so fast it would always act first and take out the enemy ranged stacks (until the expansion brought the Phoenix, but if you tried to do the same with them then they were instantly vaporized… twice). And to counteract that, Castle… also had one of the strongest mid games, with one competent ranged creature and one very powerful ranged while coasting behind the mighty crusaders. Even their early game wasn’t weak, since Pikeman are very sturdy and griffin can get great value with retaliations. Inferno, meanwhile, was inferior to every other faction in every stage of the game, with weak starting creatures, weak mid-tier creatures and one of the weakest Tier 7. Not to mention the most worthless ranged creatures in the game.

              Heroes II also had this problem, but inverted. Barbarian and Knight fell-off very, very fast, since their tier 6 creatures were about â…“ as powerful as their counterparts. They were relatively cheap, but you had a very narrow window to use them and both Barbarian and Knight didn’t have exactly powerful starts (knight had Peasants bringing them hopelessly down in the early game, while Barbarian had to work a lot to be able to afford ogres and actually start getting good match ups).

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Indeed,earlier game were imbalanced.But thats the beauty of it.Every faction was unique in II.Knight had the weakest troops,yes,but they were all dirt cheap.Upgrades were erratic,but they were much more meaningful because of that.And if you had just fliers in your army,you could fly,which was also great.Sacrifice some power(unless you are dungeon)for greater mobility.

                V had great usage of terrain,positioning and initiative.Yes,it was imbalanced in that you could just purchase a fast unit,like shadow sisters,and decimate neutrals for a long time with no losses.But that imbalance made every faction unique.

                IV was the best in its usage of terrain and spells.Quicksand was finally a useful spell,as well as illusions.Meat shields finally had their place too,with sight blocking*.And the spells were done best of all the heroes games,since every faction had limited access to just one(and two halves)of the school.

                III was the most homogenized of this bunch,but it still had some quirks to it.

                But VI?Every faction plays the same.Get the heals monster,get the heals spell,and then go through neutrals with ease.Yes if you ramp the difficulty,youll have some problems in maybe the first two weeks,but after that its the same rut of resurrecting your entire army at the end of every battle,no matter who youve picked.Not to mention that you can convert every dwelling and town to your race,so the mixing and matching of what was around you disappears completely.You play your race,because why would you weaken yourself?And why bother capturing the dwellings and such,when you can just get to the fort/town and capture everything en masse.Its good on paper,but extremely bland in execution.

                But if we are to say which of the heroes games has the best gameplay,then it would be:The kings bounty remake.

                *I find it so funny how they are boasting that VII will be the first one to use sight blocking like this.

                1. RCN says:

                  Yeah, I also find it funny, especially since in VI they were precisely saying they were taking Heroes IV into consideration (though I guess that meant “we’ll have advanced classes and a tower for ranged creatures, but nothing else).

                  In my case, I just love every title for its quirks and identities. At the very least you can say that: each new Heroes game is not like a now CoD.

                  (Something that made me extremely mad and stop buying EGM PC Brazil was that it was always extremely clear that they weren’t even in passing PC Gamers, but huge console fans. They gave 10 left and right to console titles, but PC titles were always in the 6 range, with CONS always including things I LIKE about PC games. The edition that made me completely stop buying it was a review of Heroes V: Tribes of the East where they complained that each new Heroes game only had taller trees and prettier graphics, but nothing else new… either they had no idea what an Expansion was, or they had to revoke the 10 they gave Soul Calibur IV… also it was the very first Heroes title they even reviewed, while the boxes from Heroes V and Heroes V: Hammers of Fate were readily available in my country in every bookstore)

        2. krellen says:

          Heroes IV is the best because you can play it like Might and Magic, just fielding a team of Heroes – basically, PCs – to do pretty much everything.

          1. RCN says:

            I love me some Heroes IV, especially since its downfall is more due to 3DO dickishness than New World Computing failings… besides, I always give props to those who try and fails than those who keep to the mold and triumph in mediocrity.

            But that strategy doesn’t work too well. Heroes need lots of levels to start getting competent, and they won’t get lots of levels while sharing their XP with 3-4 other heroes (or, if you fill all slots with heroes, because you’re raving mad, they’ll just never reach level 2).

  7. RCN says:

    Oh, nice new theme, btw, the music lessons are paying off. Will you start using them on Spoiler Warning as well?

    It’ll be the day when Youtube flags your video for your using your own music. You know that day WILL come.

  8. Dt3r says:

    I love that the PCGamer page has Dark Souls, Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect 2. Some of Shamus’ favorites. :D

  9. Dragomok says:

    Fallout‘s on the list, and its picture reminded me of this completely obscure piece of trivia, which I shall perpetrate into the eternity:

    If you play the original Fallout without any sound drivers, the animated portraits of key NPCs won’t move their lips at all.

    1. Also, if your desktop resolution is low enough or you’ve got an explorer window open of your desktop with the icon resolution set to “medium” or “tiles,” the icons for Fallout 1 and 2 will turn into pictures of Tim Cain.

      It alarmed me a bit the first time I saw it, making me think something had corrupted a file somewhere.

  10. Dreadjaws says:

    Is the new 3DS actually called “New 3DS” or is that a provisory name gaming journalism has given to a console that still doesn’t have an official one?

    Remember how everyone kept calling the next Xbox the “Xbox 720”? I don’t remember any official source actually calling it that. It just seemed like a name the gaming press agreed on using.

    I mean, I haven’t watched the Nintendo announcement video, so I don’t know. It just seems like another instance of the same situation that happens all the time in gaming journalism.

    1. Well, technically it was announced as the Newニンテンドー3DS, but yes, that’s really what Nintendo is publicly calling it so far.

    2. HeroOfHyla says:

      It’s probably just Japan’s obsession with English words at work. They should pick a foreign word for “new” like “Nouveau 3DS” or something here.

      1. But in Japan, English IS foreign, isn’t it?

        1. HeroOfHyla says:

          That’s my point, Japan is using the English word “New” because it’s foreign, so the American release should use a word that’s foreign to English.

          1. Grudgeal says:

            “Shin-3DS” to make it symmetrical? Maybe with a proper “Shin-Free-Dee-Ess-O” pronunciation?

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Chris,you should make a side by side review of mountain and the rock simulator.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Im surprised that Shamoose didnt bring up the most important thing about the sunless sea,the thing that will make Mumbles instantly buy it.It has CANNIBALISM!

    1. I’m surprised because I just looked at the trailer for the game and “EAT YOUR CREW” is one of the features it highlights.

    2. Paul Spooner says:

      So, Sunless Sea looks really neat! But, being underground, I have to ask… what do they eat? I mean, eventually this whole “fallen London” place is going to run out of crew right?

      1. Mushrooms, seafood, any livestock brought from the surface and bred for consumption (assuming there IS a surface), insects, and possibly some plant life (again, from the surface) grown using artificial light.

        On that last one, it’d be expensive, but I could see tobacco and other recreational plants fetching a high price.

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          So, basically, they import all their food from the surface? Unless there are vast supplies of readily available fuels, I don’t see any other option.

          1. IFS says:

            From what I remember in Fallen London there are all manner of strange animals and plants that live in the Neath (the cavern that London is now in), and the Unterzee (that is the Sunless Sea) is teeming with various life. Mushrooms in particular seem to be a staple, even such things as mushroom wine exist. There is also a steady trade with the surface via dirigibles (as the Neath has plenty of unusual resources to export). Surface imports do tend to be pricier than some of the local products though.

            1. Paul Spooner says:

              What do the mushrooms eat? Are mushrooms in Fallen London a magical source of free energy? In real life, they eat plant matter, or animal dung (which ultimately comes from plant matter).

              1. On a hunch, I’d say it grows close to water sources, since the water contains loads of organisms and their waste products. There are tide pools, places where bats and other animals die or leave nutrients behind.

                Also, mushrooms could be grown the same way other food is cultivated: Grow them in soil or other organic matter that’s readily available from waste, garbage, etc.

                1. Paul Spooner says:

                  So far I’m hearing “Escape the tyranny of the laws of thermodynamics in this fanciful made up crazytown.” Which is fine, but it’s still magic.

                  1. IFS says:

                    Well yes, the game has a drug that lets you physically go into your dreams, its not exactly pretending to be realistic. That said it does provide a basic explanation of where the food comes from even if it doesn’t fit perfectly into how the real world works.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Any top X games list that doesnt have tetris on its #1 is bogus anyway.

    1. karln says:

      Gone Home imo

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Gone home has good story,yes,but tetris is the king of gameplay.

  14. Otters34 says:

    I’m glad you guys could find something interesting to do with my question, and sorry that it led to Mumbles and Josh grumbling about Burial at Sea. Once more. At least I understand this whole narrative climax explosion thing better, which is nice.

    At least Mumbles remembered what parts were spoilers!

    And yeah, Deus Ex‘s boss fights were pure genius, and everyone should at least try to play it.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I usually dont mind the huge boss in the end of the game.What I do mind ,is the pre end boss mook slog.Just wave after wave of the same mooks youve defeated thousand times before,presenting you with no threat,but are there just for padding.That was my biggest criticism of kotor,for example.

    1. ehlijen says:

      It’s bad when it turns into a slog, true. But if done right, I think it can be an asset.

      For one, it sets the narrative as the player being the active party. They’re the ones seeking out the boss in their lair, which should be protected by a standing force. If you don’t have layers of security around the boss, no matter how trivial, you run the risk of making the boss looking like they only exist for the sake of the player.
      That’s not always appropriate, of course, but in the case of KOTOR, some mook slog was demanded by the setting. There was too much, but cutting it would have felt odd.

      For two, it gives the player one last chance to unleash everything in their arsenal just for the pure fun of it. Some players enjoy that tremendously and it helps set the threat of the bad guy just that much higher. It makes you feel powerful right before you meet your nemesis, so when that nemesis turns out to be really tough, you have your recent powerful feeling in mind and see the big bad as impressive, rather yourself as disadvantaged.

      Again, too much is too much, I agree, but I do appreciate what a well done mook beatdown can add to a game.

      1. Kana says:

        I have to agree with this. In a related way, I used to think trash was neat but unneeded in WoW. Right up until they added a raid with no trash and almost all bosses one after another in a big circle.

        That was the most boring slog I’ve ever had to put up with. Having some mooks to kill also gives you a chance to explore the level a bit, see things you might not have seen yet.

        Having samey corridors with samey trash can be really boring, but done well it can lead up to a satisfying climax to the game.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          “Right up until they added a raid with no trash and almost all bosses one after another in a big circle.”

          But thats the same thing,a pre boss mook slog,only in this instance every mook is a mini boss in their own right.

          1. Kana says:

            I’d argue it’s not quite like that. Anub’arak was never appreciatively more difficult than any of the bosses before him (heck, he was actually pretty easy compared to one of the earlier bosses), there is just nothing to do.

            There’s nothing to gauge power or location with. No elites that require a bit of thought, or to train you on upcoming mechanics. No huge weak trash that you just get to explode. It was just boss, boss, boss, oh we’re done. See you next week.

            I’d compare it against Monster Hunter, where every fight is just boss after boss, mooks pretty much get one-hit after the first few hours. But to me it feels like a sense of progression and exploration when hunting them down through the levels, compared to always fighting this one dude in this one place.

            (I will concede that a lot of people find MH boring because it is just that, my personal outlook is a little bit different.)

            Done right mooks/trash/whatever can give a great build up to a climatic battle with the end boss. Done wrong… it’s really boring and a slog, but I like it a bit more than “SURPRISE BOSS” out of nowhere.

            We could do with more quieter endings though. A huge epic climax to the story is great and all, but I’m down for some quiet subdued closure as well.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              It doesnt matter if the end boss is harder or easier than the slog that comes before.What does matter is that you are fighting the same opponents that youve fought a bunch of times before,only this time they come in never ending waves.Its fine to stomp on a bunch of mooks once or twice in a row.But a few dozen times in a row?Too much.And thats how it usually plays out.

  16. Jakale says:

    Five Nights at Freddy’s is a game where the mechnics and gameplay work well for what it’s trying to do, but the setting and story surrounding the gameplay is so full of holes that it actually becomes distracting when you aren’t playing. It’s like when Shamus talks about movies breaking your immersion and you start seeing all the issues, only the issues are really apparent from the very start. It’s so nonsensical that everyone can see the problems and it’s kind of cathartic to point them out.

    It’s like bubble wrap. It does the job it’s meant to do for the game, delivering the gameplay to you in an acceptable form, but it’s so much more fun to grab it by itself and pop everything.

    1. Cybron says:

      I’m pretty sure the team behind the game had to know what they were doing when they told you how much you were getting paid. In my opinion they treat the story more like a comedy of the absurd than as anything meaningful. This is arguably a mistake that endangers immersion, but it never really bothered me. The context for you being in this place was never really important so much as the actual situation you find yourself in.

      1. Ivellius says:

        This is a bit of “Wild Mass Guessing,” but I pretend the game takes place in late ’80s / early ’90s, which makes the salary more sensible. It doesn’t really explain what is apparently a laptop, though.

      2. Ivan says:

        That’s true, but I gotta know… Why is it only 5 nights at Freddies? What happens on/after the 5th night? Do you finally realize how little you are being paid and leave to find a less homicidal work environment?

        1. Sagretti says:

          After Five Nights, you receive your piddly paycheck and are told to come back next week. If you do the extra hard 6th night, you get a ridiculously tiny amount of overtime pay. If you do the custom 7th night unlocked after the 6th, where you can adjust the AI of the robots, you’re fired for tampering with the animatronics. So I guess the “real” ending is getting fired?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            How is that the real ending?No one in the real world would work on sunday without their boss ordering them to do it.

    2. kdansky says:

      FNAF is just youtube fodder. It is meant to be played by streamers like PewDiePie who then shout like little girls in front of the camera, and get millions of views with it. The plan is to sell the hype-wave that comes from that and sell a decent number of copies to make a bit of money.

      It’s a cynical cash-grab.

  17. Agreed that “Gotham” is going to pretty much have a binary outcome: It’s going to be the next “Smallville” ratings-wise, or it’s going to tank. On the one hand, having the backstory to the criminals and showing a need for a Batman is a great idea. However, it causes a raft of problems that remind me of Kevin Smith’s routine about the Star Wars prequels:

    “Hey, do you like Darth Vader?”
    “Oh, yeah! Darth Vader is awesome!”
    “Okay, here’s a movie when he was a kid.”
    “Uh, wait, what?”

    This additionally has the concept that every villain is going to be a lot older than Batman (who starts out in Gotham at age 10). Assuming most of the baddies will be twenty-somethings, that’s still pretty significant, I think. When I think of “young hero vs. older villains,” I usually think Spider-Man, probably because Batman is a more serious (seasoned?) character that I rarely thought of him as being young, and I figured his foes were of an age. I dunno if that’ll ever be an issue, but I find it kind of humorous that one of his rogues gallery could yell at him as he’s defeated, “ONE DAY YOU’LL BE LIKE ME, BATMAN! ONE DAY YOU’LL NEED A HIP REPLACEMENT AND HORMONE THERAPY!”

    1. Attercap says:

      You mean Patton Oswalt’s routine, not Smith’s (or even The Smiths’).

      As much as I’m liking Arrow and am looking forward to The Flash, every thing I’ve seen from Gotham makes me very wary. I’ll give the pilot a shot, but I don’t have much hopes for it.

      1. I need a better filing system for my celebrity Star Wars complaints.

        I’ve seen the pilot to “The Flash,” and it’s got some pros and cons, which are wholly my opinion, so take it with however much salt one desires:

        1. The guy playing the Flash is yet another person who seems, to me, too young. He’s also got the Tobey Maguire semi-mumbling delivery going on half the time.
        2. The scientists at STAR Labs are similarly too young for my tastes. Yeah, the guy running the place is a Stephen Hawking-type, but he employs people who look like teenagers, so that’s not additionally creepy.
        3. The love triangle they set up between Flash, his not-sister (he’s adopted) and a young, handsome cop is also kind of creepy.
        4. The Flash has never had a great rogues gallery. He works best, I think, as a part of the Justice League. I’m not sure how much mileage a show can get out of Mirror Master, Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, and Captain Boomerang.

        1. They used the part of the Flash’s origin story where his mom is killed by Reverse-Flash, which potentially sets up the Flashpoint event (what started the New 52, which I’m not a fan of, but at least this shows they’re planning ahead).
        2. There will be other metahumans. The first Flash TV show and a whole raft of other superhero movies/TV shows suffer from having no other people with powers other than the protagonist (mostly due to FX budgets and not having the rights to other characters). It looks like this show will actually give viewers other DCU villains (and heroes?) for the Flash to interact with.

        Pros #2 is a really huge leap forward in my mind. It finally allows a live-action series to do what the animated cartoons have done for years, and it’s about time.

        1. Otters34 says:

          Not a huge Flash fan, but I think that bit about the ‘no good rogues’ thing is kind of telling. I can think of plenty of ways somebody who manipulates perception and light, creates environmental hazards and obstacles(assuming the Flash isn’t just impervious while running) and is a gigantic, enormously strong mind-controlling gorilla could challenge the guy, but none of those really make them GOOD villains and opponents.

          Just like how people keep making up stronger and stronger enemies for Superman to be bedeviled by, each time forgetting that their character is what’s important. And the workaday villainy of the Rogues, at its best, still won’t make for the greatest of thrills.

          1. To me, I think it’s harder to write for The Flash than for Superman because I think most people are fairly agreed on what his powers are. Not so much for Flash and other speedsters. They seem to be able to do some things in one story then forget how to do them in other stories. A few examples:

            1. Vibrating through matter.
            2. Speed reading and retention.
            3. How fast their reflexes are in relation to mental speed (this is a fancy way of saying that in one story, the Flash can dodge incoming bullets with ease, yet in another, someone manages to trip him with a banana peel or ball bearings).
            4. Do physics work for him or not? His uniform needs to be made of friction-resistant materials to survive abuse, but he can carry someone without them dying or even reach speeds so high he should destroy the planet. Many fans invoke the “speed force” to hand-wave most of this stuff, but why does it work for ludicrous things and not small (or plot-related) things? For dramatic effect he’s got a tailwind to show him running through the city (trash flying, clothes on passerby ruffling, etc.), but at those speeds, windows should be exploding from buildings as he passes.

            And that’s just for starters. I’m not saying a superhero’s powers should obey all laws of known science, obviously. I’m saying that even in the comics, there doesn’t seem to be even vaguely-defined upper or lower limits on The Flash’s powers that remain consistent (for comic book definitions of consistency).

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Superman has way more inconsistent powers.Wasnt there one story where he is as fast as flash?

              Anyway,a good superhero is not determined by his powers,so thats not the hard part of writing them.

              1. Superman has power inconsistencies, true, but they’re often not as abused/changed up as the Flash’s. Probably this is because Supes is a flying brick and tackles most action sequences as such. The Flash has his speed, so that’s where the focus is, and that has to be extra special vs. Superman’s speed. That is, when presented with a challenge, the Flash has to figure out how his speedster abilities will solve it, as opposed to Superman, who mostly uses his speed for dramatic effect (catching someone as they fall, making a cool entrance, etc.) before punching something or flying away with the dangerous object/villain/whatever.

                As for character being important, of course it is. However, the Flash has never really had much of one. For Superman, the fallback is “big boy scout,” which is at least something (which appears to have been forgotten in Man of Steel, but that’s another rant). The Flash is more of a “generic good guy” at best, “smart-mouth jerk good guy” at worst. People might have favorite runs of the comic, and I believe they’ve tried making him a family-oriented person, but most people don’t have a character in mind when his hero-name is mentioned.

                In the show pilot, he’s best described as “Peter Parker-esque nerd with a creepy crush on his step-sister.” Whee?

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  “However, the Flash has never really had much of one.”

                  That should make it easier then.You can invent any character you want and use him,without being burdened by all the previous works.This way you can easilly avoid the “let them die” moments.

                  “In the show pilot, he's best described as “Peter Parker-esque nerd with a creepy crush on his step-sister.” Whee?”

                  The way you describe it seems that theye squandered the golden opportunity.

                  1. They could, but I’m looking at the Flash’s history in comics, and many others have tried to pin a personality on him before. We’ll see, I guess.

                2. Thomas says:

                  The thing about the Flash is that they have this friendly lovable b-lister thing going on but then when they want him to have a Crowning Moment of Awesome it basically means they have to give him a new trick. And that trick is always so incredible that there’s no way they could actually use it regularly without entirely changing that friendly lovable b-lister thing.

                  I’m okay with him slipping over banna peels. That’s like how Superman grunts with pain everytime he gets hit in the Justice League but the phasing and making things explore with vibrations…

                  He feels like a character destined for Supporting Cast

                  (Although I think there’s one episode where he mentions that he could be doing his super incredible things but he likes what he does right now?)

        2. Mumbles says:

          aww i like flash’s rogue gallery. captain cold is real cool heh heh heh.

          1. They kind of work with the rest of the DCU around to make them not look all that silly, but I think they were at their best when they were all in a bar in the Justice League cartoon episode, “Flash and Substance,” complaining about the Flash, getting old, etc.

            1. Muspel says:

              I think that Flash’s villains work best as a group, because unlike most other DC villains, the Rogues are sort of a family. A very, very dysfunctional family that commits relatively petty crimes.

              This gives them a very unique dynamic compared to other supervillains. They’re never really out to take over the world or anything earth-shattering like that– they just want to make money, and they don’t care a whole lot about who they hurt in the process.

              At the same time, though, each of them has some humanizing elements. Captain Cold won’t allow any of them to hurt children (and depending on the writer, women as well), and he’s monumentally fucked up after his sister died. Pied Piper and Trickster are friends with the Flash, but frequently end up committing crimes anyways, and it’s very rare to have villains that are that friendly with the hero in DC comics. Mirror Master is a violent sociopath, but he donates a significant portion of his earnings to the orphanage where he grew up. Heat Wave kind of wants to be a good guy, but he can’t get a handle on his pyromania and ends up in prison over and over even when he tries to reform.

              And so on. More importantly, you get some great storylines when the Rogues start to go up against each other, or when they end up at odds with Flash’s other villains, such as in the “Rogue War” storyline, when Captain Cold’s Rogues went up against the Top’s Rogues, and then the Reverse-Flash got involved.

              I don’t know if this would work so well in a television series, because I think that you really need to have a lot of the villains in play at once for things to really work, and that’s a lot of characters to juggle. But I wouldn’t say that Flash’s villains are boring.

              Except for Grodd. He’s a bit too one-dimensional for my liking.

              1. Mumbles says:

                EXACTLY. ALL OF THIS IS SO NEAT.

                1. It does sound neat, but it also sounds like something really hard for a TV show to pull off. If they do, awesome. The fact they’re making metahumans “a thing” helps with this, since it means a guy with a freeze gun isn’t the ONLY criminal at large which would logically call for every cop (and possibly the federal gov’t, the army, Area 51, etc.) to go after him.

                  I really hope they succeed, and given DC’s odd history of making popular TV superhero shows and semi-to-unpopular superhero movies (as of late), it stands a good chance.

                  Though as I posted above, these villains sound like they’ve got more personality than the hero will. :)

              2. Kana says:

                I’ve never gotten to read the stuff for Flash, but this sounds way better than some of the more big time villains I’ve seen/heard of from DC. Why hasn’t this been made into a movie yet!?

                1. Muspel says:

                  I think that part of the problem is that good Flash stories (or at least the ones I’ve read) tend to be extremely reliant on the history of the various characters– that is, the idea that the Flash has been around for a while, he’s fought these guys many times, and all of the villains have known each other and been villains for many years.

                  In other words, it means that you have to skip the origin story, and when you jump into the middle of a story like that, it’s easy for people to feel lost or confused. Especially since the Flash and the Rogues occasionally end up working together.

                  And it’s arguably even more of an issue for characters like Flash and his villains who aren’t as well-known in the mainstream. Everybody knows Superman’s origin story, but people aren’t all that familiar with Flash’s. Batman has a lot of very, very recognizable enemies, but most people that don’t read comics have never even HEARD of Captain Cold, let alone know his personality.

                  Also, Flash’s costume and those of his enemies probably end up looking really ridiculous in live action, which means that you have to do a lot of redesigning, and that might alienate some of the fans.

                  None of these things make it impossible to do a Flash movie, but they do make it harder.

                  1. This. This is also why I wish they’d wait on a Wonder Woman movie… or just about anyone else in the DCU, actually.

                    The DC movies are only now trying out this “continuity” and “world building” thing because Marvel did such a bang-up job of it, and since it wasn’t planned out with anything more than the care given to the average pair of Star Trek episodes, they’re bringing in characters that the audience won’t be terribly familiar with as characters (though they’ll know the names) and they’ll likely end up with more Green Lantern movies before they’re done.

                    The CW offers them a chance to establish some heroes as TV characters, develop them to where they know what they’re doing, and then put them in movies. Somehow, I doubt that’ll happen, and the Justice League Flash will probably be different than the TV show Flash.

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I think Shamoose needs to shop for a new graphics card if he thinks the situation with nintendo handheld names is convoluted.

  19. Tever says:

    I like the new theme. I think the bass is a little too loud, though. Just a little bit. It’s pretty unobtrusive already.

  20. Cybron says:

    I loved the sailing in Windwaker. I love me some exploring, and sailing the ocean in Windwaker really worked for me in that regard. And occasionally it just served as a nice relaxing experience. My only real complaint was how irritating and unrewarding treasure charts were.

    On the subject of ‘final bosses’, you can have a quiet end that also tests your skills. I think Dark Souls is a good example of this. It builds you up til this final boss fight against a literal god. Then when you actual get there, instead of what you’re expecting it shows you a burned husk of a man. You have your boss fight, and it’s a challenge, sure. But everything about the fight underscores the quiet tragedy of what’s happening. Even the music is something more typical of a tragic cutscene than a boss fight. Afterwards the ending is so minimalist and understated that a lot of players didn’t actually understand what their final, post-fight choice implied. It’s all matter of atmosphere, in my opinion.

    1. IFS says:

      I also enjoyed Wind Waker’s sailing throughout the entire game, it provides some nice quiet time and serves to make the world feel decently large. Plus it makes it so when you finally unlock the fast travel song it feels like an awesome reward (which is also something Dark Souls does excellently).

      On the subject of Dark Souls I will definitely agree that the last boss is simultaneously a good skill test and a poignantly quiet ending. The music alone instantly sold me on the idea that Gwynn was nothing more in the end than an old man afraid of the dark.

      1. venatus says:

        I liked the sailing at first in the original wind waker game, but it wore out it’s welcome pretty quickly.

        but if your playing the HD remake your getting a very different experience, they gave you a new sail that increases the boats speed (at least doubles it but it might be more) and it changes the wind direction for you. they also reduced the amount of sailing you have to do for the tri-force collection bit at the end.

        1. David says:

          You do have to actively jump through hoops to get the new sail, though. It’s in the auction house, as I recall, which makes it fairly missable.

      2. IFS says:

        Dammit I meant to put that last bit about Gwynn in spoilers but it looks like they didn’t stick for some reason. Oh well.

    2. Volfram says:

      Chris: “Wind Waker came out while I was still in high-school.”
      me: “wait, WHAT!?”

      FYI, Wind Waker came out three months before I began my University freshman year.

      No, Campster. You’re not allowed to be younger than me!

      1. Humanoid says:

        I’m the same age as Chris as far as I know (when an earlier Diecast revealed him to be the only one who really grew up with TMNT), and Wind Waker came out in my first year of uni (well, the end of that year), so maybe it’s just a guess as to the release date.

        Incidentally, it means that I’ve owned the game for over a decade and have never played it.

        1. Volfram says:

          Oh, OK then.

          Crisis averted.

    3. Klay F. says:

      I LOVE the Dark Souls soundtrack, but every time I hear it, I am overcome with the feeling of, “There needs to be gameplay accompanying this.” I’ve talked before at length of how focusing on one aspect of Dark Souls cheapens the experience as a whole just because it is such a complete cohesive experience even when taking into account its flaws. The soundtrack is no exception. I absolutely can’t stand to listen to the soundtrack by itself just because it feels so incomplete without the rest of the game. This is something I’ve never been about to say about any other series of games. The absolute devotion on all levels of design to a singular creative vision for Dark Souls borders on psychotic. And I love it so much. :)

  21. Ofermod says:

    I really wish they had released a form letter to complain about their form letter.

  22. Phantos says:

    “The Famitsu”

    Famicom, ChuChu. Family Computer. Famitsu is a magazine.

    If you’re going to make fun of a company’s naming decision, the least you could do is get the names right.

    This whole podcast feels oddly ignorant, considering this was the topic you chose and had plenty of time to research. Kinda disappointed in you guys.

    1. Cybron says:

      I don’t think that’s terribly fair. It’s not like they knew exactly where they were going to go with the conversation.

    2. There are two fairly strident Nintendo fans on the cast that I’d say know more about Nintendo games/products than the average person. If that demographic is confused, then I’d say most listeners are also in the dark about the topic.

  23. Top nth lists like that are difficult for many reason.
    Mainly because something like Deus Ex does not age well, you can’t expect people to download a alternative rendered and replacement textures.

    Same with Skyrim, if Skyrim is ranked high is it because of Skyrim or because of Skyrim + shitton of mods?

    This will get even worse in the future, imagine only being able to play Deus Ex with a emulator some day?

    GOG (bless their awesome hearts) uses DOSbox to make some old games run.
    If the emulator is perfect then you should be able to play the game as it originally was. In it’s 320×240 resolution glory. How would such a game rank against say Deus Ex. Human Revolution?

    Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is I dare to say the best vampire game made so far, but without the right community patch (there are two out there, one that only fixes things, another that fixes/tweaks things and has a optional major system overhaul variant), how would a player know witch to fetch or where/how.
    The release on steam does not come with the community patch so you could end up with a game that can’t be completed if you are unlucky due to a blocking bug later in the game.

    Then you got KoTOR and KoTOR 2, many say KoTOR2 is better, and I’d have to agree if not for the fact that KoTOR 1 was actually “complete”.

    Pretty much all such lists are nostalgia lists.

    It does get more interesting if a list is cumulative or an average based on rankings of a group. But at one point you just end up replicating Metacritic in some way. Metacritic is probably as unbiased a Top 100 list as you can get. But keep in mind that those numbers are not imperical, they are collected over the years from reviewers.

    If a game is no longer playable then nobody can review it so the metacritic score will remain static.
    But a really old game that is still playable will still have a active score which might increase or decrease so age might cause the best game of the decade to get a horrible score a decade later.

    The PC Gamer list, if people are upset over that it makes me wonder why they are getting upset.
    Did readers send in their votes and PC Gamer fudged the numbers? Fraud?
    No. That list is the PC Gamer staffs list right? And I assume the explain why they think this or that game should have the ranking it got.

    Even if it was reader votes based that would still be an issue.
    Unless every single person who played the game (to the games completion) voted then the votes are incomplete.

    Other issues are demographics. It is not unheard of that a demographic shift can occur, suddenly all those teenage kids that loved the game is the minority on now lots of middle aged guys is the majority demographic for a old game.

    On Metacritic I guess you could weight the lists so that old games get penalized more (due to aging effect), or maybe weight the list based on how stale the score is, the older the score is the more penalized it gets.

    An imperical/unbiased/neutral list of sorts of anything based on the experience of a living being (or even an AI) is guaranteed to be biased in one way or another, if One manage to make an objective list despite that, then you have found the holy grail of statistics.

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      Just to pick up on one thing, while I agree that Bethesda shouldn’t necessarily get all the credit for Skyrim + shitton mods. They made the base game sure and they get credit for being so open in their support of mods but they should only get credit for the vanilla Skyrim.

      However, I think Skyrim + shitton mods is a thing unto itself that is worthy of respect and consideration. Its a thing that should be discussed. The graphics, the survivalist mods, Tommy the Tank Engine, dance choreography, Falskaar, etc. Its a thing and it happened and its pretty awesome. Its worthy of study. Likewise Skywind, Fan Restored Kotor 2, even joke mods like Kaizo Mario.

      And while the developers don’t deserve full credit for the final product they do get credit for making a base game that made its fans want to pick it up and turn it into the best game it could possibly be. For us to do that, there had to be a vision there than the developers just couldn’t quite execute on and the developers had to come pretty close to that vision.

      1. Thomas says:

        I think the mod tools should be counted in Skyrims favour because they put a lot of work into ensuring that it’s really easy for people to make mods for their game. That takes effort and development time, so completely discounting it is unfair. They could have made a slightly better ‘base’ game if they didn’t devote resources to mods, but they did it because it was worth it.

        On the other hand the sheer vast hordes of Skyrim mods are well beyond what you can credit Bethesda with. It should be a middle ground.
        Saying that, I’m of the slightly rarer opinion that top 100’s should be about the game people have available to them now instead of critiquing the developers on their jobs.

        If someone discovers an incredible use for an old bizarre game or completely overhauls it into something incredible then that thing deserves to get onto a ‘best of’ list.

        KOTOR is a great game, but KOTOR with Brotherhood of Shadow is a thing of beauty

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          I could go with that.

  24. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I wonder if this means Nintendo will be announcing a New Wii U thats just a Wii U with beefier hardware that can handle next gen games.

    1. ET says:

      Wii UU
      You know they’d name it something ridiculous like that! :)

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Wii ỤỤ.Because its more mature like that.

        1. Ivan says:

          I’m gonna put my money down for “Wii Us”. Any takers?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            They would be delivered only one per shop,so that people could buy the last of wii us.

            1. Wide And Nerdy says:

              I was kind of hoping this would be a discussion about the prospect of a beefed up Wii U but the silly name discussion I got instead is cool too.

              1. Thomas says:


                The idea of a Nintendo console that just plays the games being made is so foreign to me I have no idea how it would pan out. Would it flop because everyone who wants to play third-party titles is loyal to MS/Sony or would everyone see it as the wonder opportunity to finally play some Nintendo games?

                It’d probably do better than the Wii U but I don’t know if it would even beat the Xbox One. There’s all sorts of usability features and online functionality that MS/Sony have developed over time and Nintendo are way behind. I doubt they could catch up in one generation

  25. Grudgeal says:

    I’m going to go out and honestly state I went out and enthusiastically bought Five Nights at Fredddie’s at launch, only to get stalled at the second night. My nerves couldn’t take it. Which I guess means Chris can now feel smugly superior to *someone* for being braver…

  26. Retsam says:

    You know what I’d love to see Nintendo announce? A new GameBoy. I don’t know if anyone else remembers, but the DS was originally marketed as a “third pillar” to complement the GameBoy line, not replace it. Of course, that didn’t happen, but it’d be hilarious if they came out now and said “Oh, yeah, we were serious about that, we’ve just been developing the new gameboy for the last decade and a half”.

    (Though, I can just imagine the accusations of misogyny if that name were announced today…)

    1. syal says:

      I guess they’ll have to rename it the GameBitches, huh?

  27. Aaron says:

    On the history question to Josh, I did go to school for a general use history major…and you really have to work at getting work in the field, it helps to have various minors/specialties, you should go back and get your masters and on into infinity

    and since i paid my way through college as i went (many a light semester) i was too burned out on school to consider going back…so far and got other work

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      The history department at my university is now actively discouraging history ed majors -there are no jobs in that. Do something and history ed. So those professional specialties matter a lot. Similar with pure history. Close paraphrase: “if you want to teach history, you need to learn coach a sport, too.”

      As a lover of history myself, I guess I consider that an improvement over “if you want to coach football, learn to teach history.”

      There are some good options for history PhDs, though -in addition to teaching there’s also museums and archives.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      So tell me,while you were learning history,what was the name of the class that taught about space aliens?

      1. Supahewok says:

        The History Channel.

  28. TouToTheHouYo says:

    If I may offer a modest correction: Shigeru Miyamoto never said he doesn’t respect casual gamers. In the Edge interview everyone is quoting around the web he said he believes casual gamers have a “passive” attitude towards gaming and that he thinks that attitude is “kind of pathetic.”

    Reproduced verbatim from the CVG article about the interview in Edge magazine #271:

    “[These are] the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland,” he said.

    “Their attitude is, ‘okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.’ It’s kind of a passive attitude they’re taking, and to me it’s kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself [with more advanced games].”

    Keep in mind that “pathetic” may have been an unduly harsh interpretation of what he actually said. Japanese isn’t a very accommodating language for translation.

    With that in mind, Mt.Miyamoto has a point. Casual gamers are not traditionally as invested in the medium as the core audience. They are often more fickle and unpredictable, not typically concerned with brand or platform loyalty, and are quick to jump to the next distraction. This has been blatantly obvious with both the 3DS and Wii U, where both platform’s predecessors had massive casual followings, most of whom never decided to adopt the new systems. The casual market is unreliable and if Mr.Miyamoto is to be believed then Nintendo is finally realizing that. Whether or not such a realization is too late remains to be seen.

    1. Cybron says:

      It’s worth remembering that Nintendo’s original attitude towards casual gaming was embodied in their ‘deep ocean’ strategy. They wanted to draw new gamers (which would go on to be referred to as casual gamers) in to gaming with the Wii. Then the plan was to have them migrate to more hardcore products.

      Maybe that second part didn’t work out so well.

    2. Paul Spooner says:

      Another thing to keep in mind is that Japanese culture strongly encourages hard work and stigmatizes anyone who slacks off. I’ve been living in Japan for five months now, and I can say with certainty that the idea of someone’s ideal life being to watch movies and go to Disney Land every day is totally anti-Japanese. Usually they are too polite to say it, but “slackers are a pathetic waste of a human life” is a deeply rooted cultural concept. Probably to an unhealthy degree, but there you have it. I’m pretty sure this isn’t Shigeru Miyamoto being an asshole. It’s just him being Japanese.

      1. Wide And Nerdy says:

        I thought I heard that there was starting to be cultural backlash against that mentality in Japan.

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          As far as I can tell, Japan doesn’t do backlash. No one makes a fuss. Those that do (and I’ve never seen this happen) are ignored because that’s the polite thing to do when someone is making a fool of themselves by going against the flow. If you can’t handle the Japanese way, you leave Japan.

          I think it will change with time, but who knows. Here’s my extended ramble on the work ethic in Japan compared to the USA where I explore these ideas further.

  29. RTBones says:

    Does that “Top 100” list qualify as clickbait? ‘Cause, you know, I think it should if it doesnt. I know I *shouldn’t* have clicked it, and I know I *shouldn’t* have read through it, and I know it *shouldn’t* bother me, but geeze, wow, and, like, _stuff_. Dear me, Mass.Effect.Freaking.Two is the Top.Game? Are you _kidding_?

    To the list makers I shall *politely* say, respectfully, you are off your twig, mate.

    Just…wow. I think I need a coffee now.

    1. RCN says:

      At least one editor was uncomfortable with that decision. It’s… something?

    2. ET says:

      The really troll-y part of that list, is that about half of the games on it actually look like legit entries. :S

    3. Gruhunchously says:

      Is it really that controversial though? Regardless of whatever we here at Twenty Sided thought of it, Mass Effect 2 has received almost universal acclaim and is still beloved by many, many people. It’s won (EDIT: was nominated for) Game of the Decade awards, and it was featured in the Smithsonian Art of Video Games exhibition.

      Best I can tell, its still considered an ironclad classic, much like Half Life 2 and Deus Ex.

      1. RTBones says:

        Your point is well taken, but even if it should be included on a list like this, number one? Really? Just seems a bit *high* to me.

        1. Thomas says:

          (I was an ME2 hater)

          I’m not sure, especially when you consider the whole from a ‘would play today’ perspective. My less hardcore brother would never dream of playing Baldur’s Gate 2, the graphics would completely ruin it for him and I suspect he’d probably find Half Life 2 outdated now.

          Mass Effect 2 is considered by the majority of the plays-games-population as the current pinacle of Bioware games, mixing in fantastic characters whilst fixing the ‘weak’ combat of RPGs and all the fiddly AI awkwardness of ME1.

          And Bioware is considered one of the best studios in the world.

          I can’t think of many games that could top ME2 for this kind of list. It’s one of the few games that draws people from all sorts of opinions and traditions. It’s not like CoD4 or Dragon Age which have their niches, ME2 can attract fans of both.

          Bioshock is probably a little dated (whereas ME2 hasn’t aged yet), The Last of Us doesn’t have the general appeal because not enough people have played it. Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto V are really the only other games with such a broad appeal and so many people loving them. And GTAV isn’t out on PC yet right?

          1. Thomas says:

            My criticisms of the list would actually be that they put Minecraft and League of Legends waaay too low. I don’t blame them for being populist, I like in some ways that they’re looking at it from the perspective of people who play games rather than people who read and follow games.

            But they weren’t populist enough. They couldn’t break through their traditional notions of what a Game of the Decade should be. Minecraft and LoL are penetrating people and life on a level never seen before. LoL should be #2 and Minecraft should be #1

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Actually,with that you bring up an interesting point:In what universe is world of warcraft not #1 game of such a list?It has shifted the whole industry dramatically,its known by everyone in the world,it has fueled a bunch of specific economies,and its still played by brazillion people today,way more than have ever played me2.

              1. Paul Spooner says:

                I know right? It’s like it’s become so big that it’s now part of the landscape, simply terrain for others to construct their own empires upon.

          2. RTBones says:

            My problem is that I can see Portal, Half Life 2, and Skyrim all being above ME2. Yes, Bioware is considered good, but so are Valve and Bethesda. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I think ME2 got some things right, it just got so much else wrong.

            1. Thomas says:

              Half Life 2 is too old, Portal is too contained in scope (it just does one particular thing and over a very short period of time) and Skyrim is as much equal parts brilliance and awfulness as ME2. And Skyrim did end up #1. I can imagine those switching back and forth

              It sounds odd to my ears to hear ME2 being called #1 but I think it’s one of those things where two people are so busy arguing over who should lead that a third person just slips in and takes the reigns. Both camps have preferred games but ME2 hits a solid middleground (as does Skyrim).

              I don’t know if I’d put Portal at my honest to goodness #1. It’s a solid game but it’s super easy to see the corners. You can feel the formula to the scripting and the level design immediately and it really does feel like they took some puzzles and they took an ‘insert joke here’ voice track and mashed the two together. I think I’d place Gone Home over Portal because Gone Home feels more substantial. It was built through and through for one purpose, unlike Portal which had a puzzle framework and something else tacked on (even if the individual pieces were genius). #10-20 feels right for Portal to me

  30. topazwolf says:

    I saw Chris playing Five Nights at Freddy’s and had to restrain myself from waiting an optimal amount of time and sending a message to startle him. I don’t really know about the game. Played a bit of it, but I thought it was more amusing then scary. I don’t really think animatronic frames are very spooky.

  31. The Rocketeer says:

    Hey Shamus, I was [reason], and noticed that the very first Diecast is… gone. I don’t know, the embedded player isn’t there and neither the mp3 or ogg links to download it work.

    The next few seem to be there. Huh.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Looks like it’s just the link on the Diecast #1 page that is broken – it’s pointing at the ‘images’ folder. The actual file is still available e.g. here:


      I assume something similar will work for the ogg version…

      1. Shamus says:

        Fixed! Thanks.

        Just yesterday I was rummaging around in the images folder (5,000 images and counting!) and I saw the first Diecast in there. Thought it was a fluke and killed it. Apparently I really did upload the first episode and link to it in the images folder. What was I thinking?

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          Oh oh! I know! You were thinking “I don’t want to make a whole new directory for this thing! People probably won’t even like it. I’ll probably never do another one. May as well just toss it in here where I put everything else.”
          And yes, I know because I’ve done the exact same thing way too many times now.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I dont think theres a person who used a computer for some time that hasnt.I mean,I still succumb to that from time to time,even though Ive vowed a bunch of times never to repeat that mistake.

  32. Paul Spooner says:

    Mumbles, your solutions to “Five Nights at Freddy's” are not far fetched. I love them! So sensible!

    1. Mumbles says:


      1. Paul Spooner says:


  33. Blake says:

    Nice Aladdin reference Shamus.

  34. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I have a question about wind waker:Is links last name bean?

  35. ChristopherT says:

    Mumbles, Batman Eternal? Of course I’m reading Batman Eternal, I’ve read issues #3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 13, and 20

    1. Mumbles says:

      GOOD MAN. READ 21!

  36. Ithilanor says:

    Enjoyed hearing Mumbles on the show, as always.

    @Five Nights at Freddy’s: when Chris says “the guys from Chuck E cheese if they were scary looking”, you mean they’re not scary looking already? Big animatronics and people in animal suits have always creeped me out ever since I was a kid.

    @Josh’s anecdote about Assyrian letters: Absolutely fascinating. It’s always interesting to see people from so long ago behaving just like modern people.

  37. Joey245 says:

    What’s hilarious about your guys’s comments about Mass Effect 2 was that, not long ago, I WAS replaying it over and over and over and over and over and over and over…

    According to Steam, I’ve clocked about 600 hours into Mass Effect 2, as opposed to 200 in Mass Effect 1. It was a game that really connected with me at the time, and I would have defended it to the death in my younger years. Of course now, I can look back and see the problems with it, but it was (to me) what System Shock 2 was to Shamus, or Deus Ex/Team Fortress 2 was to Mumbles.

    The fact that it’s gotten the top spot on a best PC games list ever makes me wonder if PCGamer has gone back to the past, snagged my younger self, and brought him to the present and hired him on as a writer. Scary as that sounds, it still sounds better than “Games Journalism is just awful these days.” :)

    Oh, and I LOVED that Aladdin reference, Shamus. Really, I just love the chemistry you guys have on the DieCast. It’s why I keep coming back, to hear Shamus’s wisdom, Josh’s rants on history, Mumbles’s alternating rage and gushing (she’s like the Unikitty of the DieCast!), and Chris’s insights. Keep up the great work. *thumbs up!*

  38. Thomas says:

    I’ve never played TF2 for any real time, but I did play a lot of TFC.

    If 2fort seemed big, I wonder what you thought of the other TFC default maps?

  39. Zak McKracken says:

    Not to spoil the mood, but I’m not in favour of the new intro.
    The MacLeod stuff sounds slightly generic (probably on purpose) but is entirely acceptable even for my very picky taste, as are at least some of Shamus’s newer works. None of it is something I would listen to consciously, but works as background mood-setting stuff.

    I should probably add (and thusly disqualify myself) that in the nineties, I was telling everyone that this techno thing would hopefully blow over when people started realizing that there’s no talent behind it, just simple harmonies and a loud bass drum on every fourth…
    There have been some techno tunes that were pretty creative since, and it’s also found its way into other genres (which I’ve come to appreciate!) but the pure thing is still lacking appeal for me.

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