Diecast #186: Mailbag!

By Shamus Posted Monday Jan 30, 2017

Filed under: Diecast 125 comments

Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster, and Baychel.

This is it! We finally get around to answering all those questions you’ve been sending us.

Show notes:
0:02:21: Baychel

Who is this person named Baychel? What happened to Rachel? Why are you changing your name? Why don’t you like your original name? And while we’re at it, what goes into naming a human being anyway?

0:10:29: Errant Signal

Dear Errant Signal,

It’s been over a month since your last episode. You okay buddy?

Love, Shamus

Chris said the next episode would be up before this podcast, and he was true to his word:

Link (YouTube)

0:13:19: Favorite Mods

Dear Diecast

What’s your favorite mod?

Love, Christopher

0:14:00: Day Jobs

Dear Diecast,

What do you guys do for a living? I know most of you have blogs or youtube channels, but besides Shamus I don’t get the impression that it’s your livelihood.

Love, Christopher

0:15:30 Remembering The Escapist, and the evolution of gaming news.

0:29:33: The story of why Esther paid $420 to play Dishonored 2

Update: She’s enjoying it so far, but this is her first stealth game so progress is slow.

0:38:05: Why so Short?

How come everyone in first person games are so short? I started playing Soma the other day, and Simon is only approximately a head taller than his own toilet cistern. I remember being shorter than a lot of handrails in Bioshock, too. What’s going on?

Love, Christopher(6’1″)

0:45:55: History lesson

I forget what game this relates to.

0:48:29: Lovecraft

Dear Diecast

When Lovecraft’s monsters are involved, people are often sticklers about following the rules or philosophy of his stories. Why do people care about how uncaring eldritch monstrosities are? There isn’t a lot of complaining when greek monsters are used outside of tragedies or trolls aren’t defeated by porridge eating contests.

Lovecraft, Christopher

0:53:39: Favorite game in least favorite genre.

Greetings Crossers of the Rubicon!
What is your favourite game from your least favourite genre?
Keep on keep on-ing!

– Sova


From The Archives:

125 thoughts on “Diecast #186: Mailbag!

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This is it! We finally get around to answering all those questions Christopher has been sending us.


    1. Sunshine says:

      Better than I expected, which was “We nearly answered the first question, before veering off on a hour of tangents.”

    2. Christopher says:

      Look man, I sent in a lot more. One or two a week. Many small streams make one big river.

      Thanks for taking my questions! Even the mod one!

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Who is this person named Baychel? What happened to Rachel? Why are you changing your name? Why don't you like your original name? And while we're at it, what goes into naming a human being anyway?

    Before listening,I have to say that Ill be very disappoint if Butskarn doesnt mention Shakespeabe during this segment.

    1. Sunshine says:

      I assume that Baychel is a portmanteau name for Rachel and her beau editing the Diecast together.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Good idea.They should both change their names AND their surname,so that they can be bae bey and bay bey.

      2. ColeusRattus says:

        Might be wrong, but wouldn’t that be her “belle”?

        1. Henson says:

          Her Baechel?

        2. Sunshine says:

          I think they both work?

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Someone really needs to do a mod for dishonored 2 where the voices are switched.So when emily is on screen,corvos lines would play,and vice versa.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:


    What game is this?

    Its empire earth.The first campaign specifically:


  5. I had a similar problem with my name in high school, which actually ended up leading to my screenname of “Dosbilliam.” :P

    Too many Williams!

    1. Christopher says:

      Christopher was very popular during the nineties, so there would usually be a few others around. Even though I was named for my great-great-grandfather, apparently.

      Esther lucked out. My great-grandmother is also named Esther, so Baychel is spot on about the “Nobody under seventy” thing. But it didn’t have a huge renaissance like certain old names.

    2. Groboclown says:

      I have the name “Matt”. Funny story. One time I at a friend’s house, who happened to be having a little party. Someone yelled out “Hey, Matt!” And the response was, in order, “What?” “What?” “What?” “What?” “What?” “What?” “Huh?”

      Then in college, it was “Matt the Younger the Third.”

      1. Daimbert says:

        In my current group, there are three Allans (not all spelled that way). After a move, we all sat in the same area, close to the manager. He had a tendency of saying “Hey, Allan!” and we’d all look up.

        We aren’t that close to each other anymore [grin].

        1. There’s a situation like that where I work; one of the other third-shift people is named Will, and there’s a customer that comes in occasionally also named William.

          Thankfully no one’s called out names yet, since that would a rather odd occurrence. :P

          1. Daimbert says:

            In my old group, we had three testers. All were named “Chris”.

  6. Christopher says:

    I can think of a lot of games where you can play as a girl with superpowers, but “can” is the operative word. They’re all ensemble casts like Overwatch or every fighting game, or games with character creators like Saints Row 4. Or if you want action RPGs, then Dragon’s Dogma and Dark Souls. But well, none of them are really super heroes, are they. Even if Overwatch uses the theme of super heroes and the Saints have superpowers in 4(but they’re kind of villainy, although they fight worse villains). Still, maybe worth a shot? Life is Strange’s Max is a girl with superpowers, but point and click adventure probably isn’t exactly what she has in mind if she wants action.

    She’s gonna see Horizon: Zero Dawn and buy a PS4.

    1. Joe says:

      Skyrim might be good, though it might also be a bit old. I feel odd about suggesting this, but Fallout 4. And if she’s fine with even less plot, the Borderlands series.

      1. galacticplumber says:

        Hey I take offense to that. Every single borderlands is better written than fallout 4. The main plots are literally mostly coherent after all.

        1. Joe says:

          I’m not saying the Borderlands plots are bad, just that they’re thin, an excuse to roam around and shoot things. I like the games myself, I’m not knocking them. :)

    2. Mark says:

      Play Gravity Rush.

      (This is also the correct answer to every question, not just the one about “can I play a game about a girl with superpowers.”)

      1. Christopher says:

        That’s a good, timely call. The sequel is out. It’s a playstation exclusive, though.

      2. tmtvl says:

        Aaaaah- I’m falling! This is amazing! Now how do I stop!?

        1. Mark says:

          Why would you want to stop?? Just keep falling!

          For best results, bring a bunch of startled townspeople, some crates and benches, and a confused-looking pig with you when you fall.

      3. Geebs says:

        Along with Horizon: Zero Dawn and Infamous (and maybe Nier Automata) the PS4 is looking pretty good for heroines-with-superpowers at the moment.

  7. Joe says:

    Surprisingly, I don’t run in to Baychel’s problem much. Of course it’s happened a few times, but less than people might expect.

    My favourite game in a genre I don’t like? I only recently realised that I’m not into story-heavy games. I’ll read books if I want a story, games I play for action. And many genres I’ve never played, because they don’t look appealing in the first place. So my favourite story-heavy game is Shadowrun Dragonfall. I finished it twice, once as a mage and once as a decker. Good stuff.

    1. Joe Informatico says:

      Yeah, I don’t get that problem either. “Joe” must have been considered a really common name when I was born, because so few people of my generation seem to have it. But I couldn’t swing a stick without hitting a few dozen Davids, Brians, and Jennifers.

    2. Jokerman says:

      As a fellow Joe… yeah, it’s not so common here, i never shared a classroom with another Joe growing up, it never felt like it should be so uncommon as it seemed… i had a boring name, but at least i wasn’t one of the 4 “Dave’s” in every class.

  8. Forrest says:

    Maaaaan, Christopher gets 4 questions but my dumb fan-casting proposal doesn’t get mentioned? Also who’dathunkit that my dumb joke question would be the only one submitted. Huh.

  9. deiseach says:

    My maternal grandfather’s name was Jim. He had two sons, Billy and Jim. Billy had two sons, Jim and Billy. Jim had one son, Jim.

    Much and all as she adored her family, there was no way my mother was using William or James for her sons.

    Hey Séamus/Baychel, you need to put some quarters in the http://www.blueberrystarstudio.com/ meter.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      That must get confusing at family gatherings. Even if you specify “grandpa Jim”, it would depend on who’s speaking. Luckily for me, my brother and I were named after dead grandfather’s; Zero chance of this situation arising! :)

  10. shiroax says:

    Esther might want to check out Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Saints Row IV and one of the latter two Shadowruns.

    1. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

      Technically Lara Croft also.

      Really what she has are action heroine powers or video game protagonist powers. But she can survive a spear through the side of the abdomen and go on to fight hundreds of dudes. She also has to ability to sense useful stuff in her environment.

      Shantae has powers too but thats a platformer and her power is being able to transform into stuff.

      Really any game where you can choose your character and magic is an option. So Skyrim, the Dragon Age games, Pillars of Eternity (which has some cool action-ey powers but its top down isometric). With Pillars you can make an entire party of super action girls.

      Its a shame that the stuff that is closest to what she wants is MMO Free to play.

      And Esther, welcome to the PC Master Race. Don’t be disturbed if you suddenly sprout a long thick mane of golden Fabio hair and a large muscles (I don’t make the rules). Just be thankful you can’t grow a neckbeard.

      1. Doppleganger says:

        I would like to add another suggestion: Divinity 2 (can get it on gog). You kinda have an unusual super power: you can morph (not everywhere mind you) into a dragon. It’s a fun RPG, and contains a good dose of humor.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Josh,you should check if Kakudai is hiring.Their style matches yours perfectly.

  12. Nick says:

    Nice job linking to Josh’s website

  13. Ninety-Three says:

    You know Shamus, when it’s mailbag time, you can answer questions from more than one week ago.

    Is that why my questions never get answered, you have to send them in on the week of the mailbag episode or they get discarded?

    1. Shamus says:

      We obviously did that this week, since we got one question but answered five.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        Woops, that’s what I get for posting before listening to the whole Diecast. I saw that every question but one came from Christopher and assumed that meant Campster Christopher, same as you’d added a question from yourself.

        Diecast Christopher should change his name to something more unique. I propose “Ludonarrative Chrissonance”.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Check above to see the real Christophers comment on this.Also,to ask him his secret.

        2. LCF says:

          He already did, but it was too long. He’s Ludacris, now.

          1. Christopher says:

            Rutskarn was here after all!

            1. Ivellius says:

              Rutskarn clearly possessed Shamus for much of this week.

  14. As mentioned above, the ending question would be a great bit for fancasting, since I myself am not only a fan of JRPGs but also MMOs in general, which would have given Josh’s waffling and the entire JRPG thing a good Crossfire-style counterview, just with less yelling and insults. :P

    There’s also the whole “I was at The Escapist for about 5 minutes while they were trying to recover from losing Jim, Shamus, and Bob all about at the same time. :3

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    My favorite game from a genre I despise is plants vs zombies 2.Freemium mobile games are shit at best,and pvz 2 is a genuinely good game on its own.

    1. Christopher says:

      I don’t like shooters. The common first personpoint of view is inhibiting, the control method is better with a mouse and keyboard(which I never use and never use to play games, respectively) and I just don’t get the same sense of impact and cathartic fun from a well-placed gunshot as I get from melee combat in brawlers or fighting games. Besides, the modern speed of shooters is too slow to feel like I have any control of how to dodge opposing bullets, and cover shooting is just dull to me. I want to dodge, not guard while stationary, and I want to feel like I have awareness of my surroundings.

      But I do like some games in the genre. The new DOOM is really fun, and mixed in Metal Gear Rising Revengeance-style finishing moves that give you health with unusually fast movement and slow-moving enemy projectiles/melee enemies. Shooting and movement actually felt good for once.

      Half-Life 2 is like.. I don’t know, kind of a nerdy dad game? It really lacks any semblance of excitement or drama, and has zero music I remember, it’s just a calm stroll through setpiece after setpiece. But I always(except the cutscenes ) felt like I was exploring and in complete control although I was led by the arm. And the setting was very normal and down to earth with a few monsters added on top of it. I wouldn’t say I love it, but I was fascinated and engrossed the whole way through. I never felt liked being able to aim well was a requirement, you could just take your time and have a pleasant experience, and vehicle sections and believable environment puzzles broke up what shooting there was.

      Resident Evil 4 on the Wii was another very good one. Aiming with the wiimote is super easy, and the game featured very few enemies with guns, so I never felt like I couldn’t dodge most stuff. The enemies were all relatively slow and lumbering, and besides shooting weak spots you could knock them away or to the floor with different guns. So it was just you and a moving, evolving shooting gallery of varied enemies with special weak points to aim for. Even with the limited movement(Basically behind the back tank controls) it felt very pleasing to play. It’s got a light, campy tone to all the gory proceedings and very occasionally something actually scary might happen. That’s just the right amount for a coward like me.

    2. Henson says:


    3. tmtvl says:

      I hate racing games, but I can tolerate Test Drive 4 (PSX) because nostalgia + memories of shooting the shit with buddies while racing each other.

  16. Matthew Melange says:

    Does your daughter (Esther) realize she can use console commands in the Witcher 3 to play as Ciri?

    I’ve never done it, so I’m sure it’s just Ciri’s skin with Geralt’s voice but I’d like to think it would be semi helpful to her.

    1. Sunshine says:

      Shadow Of Mordor has a DLC skin for a female character, but I doubt it affects the voice acting. Is that in the right area?

      1. guy says:

        Yeah, none of the Shadow Of Mordor alternate skins impact the dialogue.

  17. Ninety-Three says:

    Apparently I missed the early days of Polygon, because my impression of them was never that they were elitist, but rather that they churned out the kind of content that makes Shamus say “Social media” like a dirty word. “Watch a Pokemon producer name as many Pokemon as he can in 20 seconds”, oh boy!

    Are there any sites that take the high-minded analysis angle, or have they all figured out that that doesn’t make money and moved on to either Giantbomb’s Youtube stuff or the standard formula of one part “social media” content to two parts reposting press releases?

    1. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

      I guess it used to sound more like this.


      Arthur Gies “reviews” Rockband 4, read aloud by Totalbiscuit.

      To be fair, he caught a little too much flack at the time but this was begging to be mocked.

    2. Christopher says:

      Josh mentioned Waypoint.com a lot, and that seems like a site worth checking out. Austin Walker and Patrick Klepek filled the same position as news guy on Giant Bomb in succession, and they favor written stuff. They are the ones behind getting guest contributors to write on Giant Bomb, and patrick used to have a Worth Reading column before that where he would link to games writing he liked.

      I don’t keep up with Waypoint a lot because it’s inherently a social justice kind of site. Patrick and Austin care a lot about the culture of gaming and the people behind the scenes of games, as well as the culture of gamers, diversity and representation. Unlike sites like this and GB that take a “We don’t discuss politics” stance, Waypoint is political. So while the content there is probably gonna be quite good, it’s not the kind of content I enjoy. I’m more into analysis of games’ plot(this site), gameplay(Joseph Anderson, ChipCheezum, EpicNameBro) or being funny about games(Giant Bomb, Zero Punctuation). I think it’s absolutely worth checking out if you want to see some good games writing. Austin and Patrick are great curators of other writers and pretty good themselves(Austin is a wonderful writer, Patrick is a great journalist in terms of getting scoops first, like the activision layoff of the CoD team or the Xbox One kerfuffle). With the backing of Vice I can’t imagine they’ve had to go purely the comedy route or writing top 10s. But I can’t exactly vouch for it since I don’t visit it a ton.

      1. JRT says:

        Just to clarify for the readers, it’s not waypoint.com, but waypoint.vice.com, it’s a vice.com subsite.

        1. Christopher says:

          Ah, yes, Waypoint.com is a whole different site. Sorry.

        2. SL128 says:

          Or waypoint.zone or new.donk.city

    3. Merlin says:

      Waypoint is my go-to for long form writing these days, and the AV Club’s game section is good (especially for some oddball features beyond the usual review grind). Beyond that, I’d suggest checking out aggregators like Critical Distance and RPS’s Sunday Papers, then keeping an eye out for specific writers you enjoy. Robert Rath is someone I’ve glommed onto pretty hard, though he just recently jumped over to Waypoint and made my life that much easier as a result.

      Oh, and Super Bunnyhop on Youtube, of course.

      1. Funnily enough, Robert Rath ALSO wrote for The Escapist a while ago. His departure was about as bad for the site as Shamus’s was, which really was pretty bad. :P

  18. Ivellius says:

    If you give a Chris a wiki…

  19. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Wow Baychel is just laying on the sick burns. But the old man bided his time and got a good one in.

    I like the name by the way. It’s hard to find a name that’s unique without being special snowflake and you manage that by picking a name that’s fun without being too silly.

  20. baseless_research says:

    TBH I do think Vampire Bloodlines is a good fit. Its combat system isn’t bad -it’s a bit of an older shooter but it’s built on (a janky unfinished version of) the half-life 2 engine and the facial animations are pretty good still.

    1. IFS says:

      Having played Bloodlines recently I will say that the combat is very mediocre at best. The game has enough good writing and story to make up for it but the only good thing about the combat is when you find a way to ignore most of it. For example it was fun using Dementate to make every human enemy drop dead as a Malkavian and vaporizing bosses with the flamethrower but it wasn’t because using those was fluid or engaging.

  21. O.G.N says:

    So if Esther wants to play a female super hero, has she tried Saints Row 4?

    1. I second this recommendation. Saints Row 4 looks awesome.

  22. John says:

    I have an extremely common first name and an only slightly less common last name, but it has never bothered me. I’ve been luckier than Baychel, I suppose, in that I have generally been the only John in the room. I did once go to a birthday party at which we Johns constituted a simple majority of the attendees but that was an odd and never-repeated fluke. And I confess that I do get teased occasionally when some other, more notable John with the same last name has the bad taste to, say, get arrested on federal corruption charges.

    Picking a child’s name is fraught with peril. Not only will your child be stuck with a name that they may not like for the next 18 or so years, but people will totally judge you on the basis of your child’s name. I know because I totally judge people on the basis of their children’s names. Back when I was teaching, I used a get a lot of Hunters, Tylers, Madisons, and occasionally Harrisons in class. Generally speaking, I do not approve of using what are obviously last names as first names, but what I found extremely odd is that almost all of the aforesaid Hunters, Tylers, and so forths were girls. Why it should be worse to name a girl Hunter or Madison than to give the same name to a boy I don’t know, but somehow it is. Or so it seems to me. Clearly, my tastes are not universal. I never had occasion to talk to any of these parents, but if I had I would certainly not have asked what they were thinking because the inevitable answer would have been something like “Hunter was my grandfather’s last name” or “I think Madison is a pretty name” along with an implied and probably deserved “you jerk“.

    1. lucky7 says:

      My first name is a last name: granted, you don’t often see a lot of people named Porter, so I guess it evens out.

    2. Syal says:

      Obviously the girls are supposed to be named ‘Gatherer’.

      1. John says:

        You have no idea how hard it was for me to resist making that joke myself.

    3. Daimbert says:

      “My father’s name was Hymie!”

    4. Ivellius says:

      Maybe this is after knowing / teaching enough of them, but Madison seems much more of a girl’s name to me. It shortens to “Maddie” well enough, which is definitely feminine.

      Also Alex sounds like a girl’s name to me now, as Alexander seems to have fallen out of favor.

      Personally, “Levi” has never been super-common, though there was another in my first-grade class and I knew yet another in fifth grade. My wife’s name is fairly common but oddly spelled, and I imagine our daughter Leanna will also not have too many worries on that front .

  23. Ninety-Three says:

    Wait, is Rachel changing her name to “Bay” and you’re just calling her Baychel because portmanteaus are fun, or is she changing it to Baychel?

  24. Whenever Josh complains that his name is last, I load up the Josh Diecast Intro and chuckle.

    On the topic of joke names, we knew a Lynn family that was quite musical. Named their daughter Amanda. I feel like that’s a nice split between a pun and a common name. Of course, some last names work better for this than others.

    Oh, and I grew up with a Deborah, and our next-door neighbor is Deborah too, so not sure how uncommon that one is.

    Huh, Pyrodactyl never made another game after hiring Shamus. Curse confirmed!

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      I know you’re kidding, but some months ago Pyrodactyl did tweet that they were working on something new. I think they mentioned that it was in the early stages so it’ll still take a while to come out.

    2. Syal says:

      There was a Pigg family that named their daughter Ima. That one’s less nice.

      Also Dick Manley’s worth a mention.

      1. LCF says:

        I am going to get banned if I mention Mr Litoris who murdered his parents?

        1. Syal says:

          First name Ill?

    3. tmtvl says:

      In case it’s too late for you to edit your post and fix the link:

  25. Dragmire says:

    The only thing I really enjoyed from Polygon is their, “How games are made” documentary by Russ Pitts.

  26. Smiley Face says:

    I’ve seen it asked before as to why people buy and play on consoles, and that whole mess with Dishonored 2 is why. You can’t do as much with it as you can with a computer, but you’re guaranteed not to run into these problems.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      There have been plenty of games that run crappy on one of the two consoles.So its not a guarantee.What is a guarantee is that when you do run into such a problem on consoles,you can do nothing about it.

  27. Josh @ 5:21 – “Do people even have a favorite politician?”

    I dunno, Teddy Roosevelt, you tell us. :)

  28. 1. My full name is Garrett Carroll, and I dislike my first name with a burning passion, I also like the double letters. There are like three GC’s on the Internet, so I have almost no competition.

    2. 1st person perspectives in video games always look short because the character is short. Oblivion actually managed to change the height of individual races, IE wood elves vs. Nord.

    In FPSes, there is an odd instant where the head is incredibly short. The real plot twist in Call of Duty is that you’re five years old and 4 foot 5 in.

    1. I don’t mind my name, although having so many Davids around (I personally know at least 5) can be confusing, and my surname is both uncommon and very similar-sounding to a much more common name, and so I am always having to spell it for people.

      The only game I remember with a really weird camera-height-feel is The Ball. I felt like the player character was only 4 feet tall, and it took a long time to get used to.

      1. Jokerman says:

        The gym i train at has 6… and one of them we make fun of semi-regularly, kinda funny seeing 5 other guys looking around at you with fire in your eyes.

      2. It’s too much fun to call people’s name when they have the same one, and then they both look, and then you look at them and laugh. I know, I’m cruel with names and everything.

        1. Just gonna put this comment here…

          Being tall (6 foot 3 in.) is my second favorite hobby. Except now people call me the “child” giant. I don’t understand it, but I can’t seem to dissuade people from using it. Now I just follow the perception blindly and quickly assume the role of a viking behind the computer screen at 2 AM in the morning (evening? morning? I can’t tell if I don’t sleep).

  29. Shamus @53:06 – “I’m looking for Cthulhu to join the Avengers…”

    Really? Not the Justice League as Aquaman’s sidekick?

  30. Jokerman says:

    My first stealth game wasn’t so slow… mostly because i didn’t play it like a stealth game… Hitman 2, first level… i just shot everyone, i did dress as a postman, but the guards didn’t like all the guns i was carrying, played a lot of the game like this actually.

    Weird that somehow it still became one of my favorite series… when i grew up a little and started playing it correctly.

  31. Kyte says:

    At school my sister had three Carolinas in her class (we talk spanish over here), so they became Caro Vi, Caro Bu and Caro San, using the first syllable of their last names as uniquifiers. Worked out pretty nicely, it’s pretty cute and more effective than numbers.

  32. GnollQueen says:

    You know Star Trek is strange thing when it comes down to tone? Because TOS, the movies and all the spin offs have a sort of different tone? I personally think that like mass effect the change was slow but obvious in retrospect. The original series was very much a thriller sometimes even horror show. I certainly know that the humor slowly grew over the series but like it still kept its suspense and horror aspects.

    Then when we transition into the movies there is a lot more action and comedy but still some thinky bits. The next generation (Please note i haven’t watched as much next gen as i most probably should) after it figured out what it was good at had a lot of soap opera drama and war aspects with its thinky stuff. And that changes the nature of the show.

    And in the end if you look at the two shows and the old movies side by side i can understand how the new movies came about. The real connections between them beside the setting (and even then the setting is actually pretty inconsistent) are: Crew drama, Space battle, fights happen sometimes, and episodes tend to be tangibly related to ideas (But then again so is The Matrix and 24) So i can tell why they made a generic action move out of star trek. I don’t like it but if the people in charge dried to distill it into an popular movie would latch on to these traits.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The original series was very much a thriller sometimes even horror show.

      It was primarily an action adventure show,with weird creatures and kirk punching things.And people often forget that,but the original had a lot of action.60 era television action,but action nonetheless.So them making action movies now is actually a return to that form.

      To me,the failings of modern trek arent that they are action movies.Rather that they dont have the hidden smarts like the original show.Yes kirk punched things a lot,but he was also a smart guy,a real military captain,whom people would follow because of his charisma and his genius.

    2. anaphysik says:

      Similar sort of point: I showed my brother the episode that hooked me in (Devil in the Dark), and about a third of the way through he said with genuine surprise “Wait, so the original Star Trek was like Call of Cthulhu?”

  33. DeadlyDark says:

    And now I starting to think that I’m in minority now. I always had no problem playing as a girl or guy. actually, I don’t really care as long as character is good. I have cousin brother who, for reasons I can’t really understand, he can’t play as girls (so he’s very bummed, that there is no Uncharteds on PC, only Tomb Raider). And now I’m listening about a girl who wants play as a girl, and… Now I can’t help but wonder how widespread that need? Does that mean I have no empathy for my characters so I just them es empty shell for myself? Or too much empathy, so I can understand their psyche despite how different it is? Too many questions now…

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its just a preference.I have no trouble playing guys,but given the choice Ill pick a female avatar 100% of the time.It doesnt mean you lack empathy,or are entrenched in your gender or anything like that.It just means that you have that preference in games.Just how some people prefer first person camera over third person,or how some people prefer real time strategies over turn based,or how some people prefer easy difficulty while others go for the hardest,…

    2. Jokerman says:

      Yeah, it doesn’t matter to me… at all. I think most have the ability to feel empathy for a character of the opposite sex.

      If i get a choice ill usually pick male though, and, if it’s good, usually pick female on a 2nd playthrough.

    3. Christopher says:

      You’re in the minority after two people have a different opinion? I’ll even that out, I play as either. It’s just a matter of taste. Given the chance to create a character, I’ll normally make a cute redheaded girl because I think it’s attractive and it’s not something I see a lot of in games with set protagonists.

      I sent in another question to the Diecast about how many games they played with character creators or ensemble casts compared to how many they play that have set characters. I’m pretty sure my ratio for the last few years have been 8 cute redheads, 7 ensemble casts, 3 Snakes of the Naked, Venom and Old variety, 1 Doom Marine, 1 Shovel Knight and 1 Shantae.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        But not plague knight?Awwww….

        1. Christopher says:

          But he’s got slightly annoying music! I see they’re basically gonna start using Shovel Knight as a platform for separate campaigns you can buy with other characters, so I guess I’ll pick up the new ones at some point.

          1. Christopher says:

            Ah, I also forgot stuff like 1 Simon Jarrett and 1 Maxine Caulfield. This is difficult to remember off the top of my head.

    4. Cinebeast says:

      I don’t have a problem playing as male or female or otherwise, but when I’m given the choice (say, with a character creator) I’ll pick a woman for my first playthrough.

      When I was younger, though, I only played as men, at least the first time through. Tastes and preferences usually change over time.

  34. For someone who discovered Twenty Sided only a few months ago, your name just sounds like it was set up for a site like this. Shamus Telemachus Young. Your middle name is from the Odyssey. That is even better than the scene where they battle the cyclops. Although, I digress that names don’t usually determine how something works, that depends on the work.

    Alas, I do wish bigger sites would publish more detailed analysis and material. Some sites do this, at least in other realms of the blogosphere (Wertzone) and Vox (not a blog). I prefer someone to write meticulously detailed think pieces than announce that Skyrim 2 is being released in 2050 I mean 2016…

    1. Ivellius says:

      I’ve been here for years and didn’t realize that was his middle name. Shows how much he downplays it, I guess.

      Telemachus is actually pretty cool, Shamus, though I can see why you wouldn’t make a big deal of it.

  35. Christopher says:

    The explanations for both why Lovecraft fans are more sticklers about the tropes and the height of first person protagonists makes sense, so I don’t have much else to add.

    I’ll say that height in first person games is something I always notice, although Soma’s toilet is the worst I’ve run into. It’s a pretty unreal perspective in several ways, not just the height either. I’m reasonably certain that in a lot of cases your character is just a camera sliding along the ground, maybe with a couple of arms or a gun held at eye level. It feels like I have blinders on my eyes because I can’t see as big of an area as in real life, and you can rarely see much of your own body, including stuff like your own nose. It’s part of why it doesn’t register to me as more immersive than third person.

  36. Daimbert says:

    X-men: Destiny is a decent choice for a superhero game where you can play as a female character.

    But in looking for a superhero game specifically, how many of them ARE there out there? I’d like to play as a superhero, too, and don’t know of many games worth playing with City of Heroes gone.

    1. Daimbert says:

      I mean, I know of Champions Online (with its ridiculous story and action gameplay that I don’t favour), and DCU Online (while the action gameplay was fun at first, ultimately the novelty wore thin), plus Freedom Force, and the X-Men Legends/Marvel Ultimate Alliance games, but I don’t know of that much else and would like a really fun one to play around with.

      I’ve always been annoyed that none of those companies took a look at games using the Infinity Engine or other similar game engines and said to those companies “Hey, if we give you our art assets and our storylines, can you make us a great game with the engine that already does things like that?”

      1. Christopher says:

        Infamous games is the only major one I can think of. And Prototype, which feels slightly more AA than AAA. I played through a bunch of Prototype 2, and it’s pretty much a sandbox best explored with the sound off and the story ignored. You’re not that much of a hero in it, but it’s fun.

  37. Dragmire says:

    I don’t care for my name either but for an odd reason. The name Corey doesn’t feel like my name… it’s a weird sensation. It’s not like I have a different name that I would prefer, it just feels like Corey doesn’t suit me.

  38. Canthros says:

    If Wikipedia is to be believed, the Cthulhu Mythos was actually embroidered by, among others, Robert E. Howard (including in some of the Conan stories). There’s some mildly interesting inside baseball with regards to the state and development of Cthulhu &c. and one August Derleth.

  39. Akash Singh says:

    It’s kind of icky that we haven’t heard anything from you guys about how commenters ran Mumbles off. I feel like you should have addressed that by now.

    1. Shamus says:

      Some people were awful to her. It hurt her feelings. She left. What else is there to say? The last thing I want to do is make more drama for her.

      1. Frontlinecaster says:

        It would be nice if anyone bothered to tell those commenters to knock that shit off, but that would come far too close to actually expressing an opinion and risking offending the fragile gamer boys who make up too much of this and many other gaming communities.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          If you insist:

          Knock that shit off.Your toxicity is not helping anyone.


        2. Shamus says:

          You make it sound like this place is some anarchic 4chan. I did in fact get involved on many occasions. I deleted comments, I ban people, and sometimes I argue.

          See, the thing is that moderation is a hard job. I’m not here 24/7. Sometimes comments stand for hours before I address them. Sometimes I delete them, but the damage is done. Sometimes I let a comment stand and then regret it later. Sometimes I could delete a comment but the conversation has already dragged in a dozen people and the only way to clean it up is to do a mass delete or close a whole thread. Sometimes when a bad comment comes from someone in good standing I assume they’re having an off day, so I give them a chance to come back and make it right. Sometimes they don’t.

          In short, sometimes stupid shit gets posted and there’s no way to 100% prevent that from happening. I work hard on this site, but I do have a life outside of hovering over the moderation queue and keeping score in the “who has been an asshole recently” list.

          I apologized to Mumbles that I couldn’t make this site a comfortable space for her. That’s all I can do.

          What really doesn’t help is comments like yours that take a flamethrower approach to the problem. You’ve smeared the entire community over the behavior of about three people. I’ve watched this little exchange play out about five times since Mumbles left: A passive-aggressive swipe at the community as a whole and my imperfect moderation in particular, followed by a bunch of people (who had previously done no wrong) defending themselves.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Theres nothing passive about it.Its just pure aggression for the sake of it.

            I remember similar crap being flung at you during your mass effect retrospective,and none of these people have jumped to your defense back then.Because none of them are jumping to defend Mumbles now,they just look for excuses to bash “those inferior people”.

            1. Frontlinecaster says:

              If the choice is between being someone who sees toxicity and abuse in a community and says something and being someone who doesn’t, I’ve got no problem being labeled aggressive for that. There are people still in this comment section who were piling on and calling mumbles a rapist, so don’t pretend that one or two bad seeds were banned and the problem is all gone.

              But I’ve unsubscribed from the podcast, I’ve unsubscribed from spoiler warning, and I’m deleting the blog from my bookmarks. This community can stay exactly how it is, and it will remain insular and hostile to certain types of people. That’s fine. When it turns on the new host I’m sure you’ll rush to defend the community from aggressive assholes like me.

  40. ARW says:

    I would second some other people saying that Gravity rush 1+2 would be a great pick for superhero games with female protags. I practically bought a ps4 just to be able to play the second one.

  41. Narida says:

    I had the same problem with Dishonored 2… after a month they patched the game so it runs without the SSE instruction set.

  42. Kelerak says:

    After playing a couple Persona games and a little bit of other Shin Megami Tensei games, I thought I liked JRPGs. I tried playing some other JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Pokemon, and nope. Don’t like ’em.

    So, yeah. My answer for “favorite game in a genre I don’t like” is Persona 4. The Press Turn/1 More system does wonders in making what would otherwise be very rote combat be tactical and engaging.

    1. Ringwraith says:

      Persona is so good at that. SMT games have a habit of making most encounters very volatile, you either often win quickly or lose quickly, which keeps the pace.
      Although the only sort of in-depth character writing I’ve seen compete in the JRPG space with Persona in a similar(ish) fashion is the Trails series, but even that’s a different thing unto itself. Its combat isn’t the quickest, but it also makes most of it optional (early games have running away always succeed, and experience, like Persona and SMT, is scaled, but to a greater degree, so you can catch up if you’re feeling ‘behind’).

  43. Galad says:

    Hey Josh, in case you do read that late comment, do you moderate game forums/chats for a living? It’s pretty cool you can do that for a living, and for so long, almost as cool as your history/mythology knowledge :)

    Favorite game in a least favorite genre: While Crypt of the Necrodancer is not truly a rhythm game, it shares a lot of DNA with that genre, that I absolutely cannot play, hence cannot enjoy. Yet CotN was a great experience over many, many hours for me.

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