Diecast #194: Mailbag, Destiny 2

By Shamus Posted Monday Apr 3, 2017

Filed under: Diecast 144 comments

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

Funny story about this episode: I noticed Baychel sounded off, but for some unfathomable reason I didn’t say anything until after we’d recorded the show. Once I did, she discovered her good mic had come unplugged and the system had defaulted to using her crappy webcam mic. Sad trombone.

Show notes:

0:01:08: Christopher and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Deal

Caveat emptor!

0:13:36: Mailbag: Story vs. Gameplay

Dear Diecast

If you were about to play a standard 15-20 hour triple A game, would you rather it had an amazing story… but dreadful gameplay, or amazing gameplay and a terrible story?


0:27:28: Mailbag: Spider-Man Homecoming

What’s up Dear Diecast

Are you looking forward to the new Spider-Man movie? Apart from some personal “It’s different and therefore it’s RUINED” complaints, I’m pretty hyped to see a Spider-Man movie in Marvel Studios’ hands.

Your friendly neighborhood Christopher

0:46:07: Destiny 2 coming to PC

So naturally we spend this whole segment complaining about the first game. Still, I really like this trailer:

Link (YouTube)

The Kotaku story Chris quoted is here: The Messy, True Story Behind The Making Of Destiny. And this is the quote:

“Let's say a designer wants to go in and move a resource node two inches,” said one person familiar with the engine. “They go into the editor. First they have to load their map overnight. It takes eight hours to input their map overnight. They get [into the office] in the morning. If their importer didn't fail, they open the map. It takes about 20 minutes to open. They go in and they move that node two feet. And then they'd do a 15-20 minute compile. Just to do a half-second change.”

Just shameful. It’s a miracle they shipped at all.


From The Archives:

144 thoughts on “Diecast #194: Mailbag, Destiny 2

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This is tangential,but it has a high chance of impacting the sales of your pseudoku,so Ill post it here:

    Shamus,recently TotalBiscuit and Jim Sterling went to steam to discuss with them what they are going to do to clean up their store from all the scammers.There are some good things to hear,but the thing that particularly caught my ear is that valve plans to incentivize people to search through games that came out but did not sell that well in order to mine out some hidden gems and give them more visibility.Of course,this is all just “valve planning”,and it can take a while for any of it to take place,but it still sounds rather nice.

    Check out their videos on this,especially TBs,because he gives more dry information than going for the laughs and vitriol.

    Also,valve does have actual customer support???

    1. Phantos says:

      I’m trying to think of two worse people in the video game fandom for Valve to take advice from.

      …Okay, they wouldn’t be as bad as Jontron and Pewdiepie. I’ll give them that much.

      1. Tizzy says:

        I really don’t believe that the point was for Valve to take advice: they have their plan already worked out for the most part. It sounds like what they were after is feedback from people who know Steam’s bad actors well, in which case asking those two is entirely appropriate.

      2. Shoeboxjeddy says:

        Do you have a reason those would be bad people to listen to? Or is this just “I don’t like these guys and therefore refuse to consider their value”?

      3. kunedog says:

        I'm trying to think of two worse people in the video game fandom for Valve to take advice from.

        The video game fandom have made TB and Sterling the #1 and #3 top single-person Steam curators, with almost a million followers between the two of them:

        “Top Curator” status may not be the perfect qualification, but sounds like a reasonable starting place to find people who have their finger on the pulse of what gamers consider to be quality titles. By what measure are you declaring these two unfit?

      4. FelBlood says:

        I don’t think it’s so much a matter of taking advice as using these guys to disseminate information.

        They are some of Steam’s most vocal critics who still have some reputation left among Valve fans, and it’s a smart move to use the lure of this exclusive to turn them into an asset.

  2. Ninety-Three says:

    I am confused, is The Daughter Formerly Known As Rachel going by “Bay” or “Baychel”? Shamus keeps saying Baychel, other people say Bay, and I can’t work out if Bay is a nickname of Baychel or if Baychel is a compound of the old and new names.

    1. Retsam says:

      Bay is her actual new name; Baychel is just what Shamus calls her.

    2. Shamus says:

      Baychel is new name. We call her Bay for the same reason we refer to Christopher as Chris.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Bad old man Shamus,bad!Dont go around trolling the youngsters.

        Link to the diecast when Bay talks about it herself.

        1. Falcon says:

          You must not be a parent then. As a parent I can assure you that trolling your children is a moral imperative ;)

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I was talking about him trolling Ninety-Three.Him trolling Bay is just par for the course since the first time he mentioned her.

          2. Sunshine says:

            You didn’t stay for the comment after last week’s outro, then.

    3. Ninety-Three says:

      “Shamus is trolling” would explain why I’ve been so confused.

  3. Darren says:

    I will never understand why Destiny used that insane map system. I don’t make video games, I’m not a programmer, but I’ve never heard of any mass-market software of any kind that takes twelve hours to load the editable file. Is there something I’m missing here? How was that even an option?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Software bloating.

      My guess is that its because the editor was designed to load all the textures every time it starts,and then has to close before the level can be played.And in order to tweak it,theyd have to stop working on other things,which isnt really possible when you are on a tight schedule.

    2. Xeorm says:

      It’s not mass-market software is the idea. Bungie built their own software, which they then used to build Destiny. Problems like that crop up whenever you rush building software, miscommunication between what the developer and the end-user want, and design constraints from previous decisions that compound badly.

      I’d imagine the original idea behind it came from thinking it didn’t need to be loaded often. If you don’t turn it off and don’t need to load it, then the loading time doesn’t matter, now does it?

      1. Darren says:

        I phrased this poorly. The final product, Destiny, was always intended to be played by a mass market audience as, essentially, an MMO. It seems rather obvious to me that being able to quickly modify an ever-changing and ever-expanding product that will be put to the test by potentially millions of users should be very high on the priority list (and it’s clear in retrospect why their failure on this front was so damaging).

    3. Sunshine says:

      They said it was in-house. Maybe it was pride. “It’s fine! It’s supposed to take that long! Shut up, it’s fine!”

  4. Natomic says:

    According to the stock trackers that i never got around to unsubscribing to, walmart and best buy would actually be your best bet for getting a switch. they seem to get some in stock online every couple of days.

    1. Falcon says:

      Can, somewhat, confirm. Have had to go to Best Buy a few times in the last week, at different stores. Switches were in stock. Not many, mind, but there was availability.

  5. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

    “Its almost as if a third party seller is a bad idea when they can’t guarantee (etc, etc)”

    But they do. You said yourself, all you had to do is check the trust rankings and feedback. The good ones are diligent about responding to complaints left on their pages too.

    There’s still some risk but the tradeoff is price and convenience.

  6. Kaidan says:

    Wait. The Switch is sold out in the US (I live in Europe)? As if in, you have to go to third party sellers to get one? Or did I miss something?

    Also, what would actually happen to that TV series with a good story and a decent following is that it would get cancelled after 14 episodes, but become a cult classic afterwards. You can’t take the sky from me!

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Nintendo is just being nintendo and constantly undersupplying the stores because…Um,thats what they always do.I honestly have no idea how that benefits them.

      1. Viktor says:

        Especially because there’s no reason they couldn’t have done better. Even if it’s a manufacturing bottleneck, delay the release 2 months, have a bigger library on launch(including Mario Kart), and have all the people who want one able to buy it while the hype is still real. I mean, not doing that is just dumb.

    2. Geebs says:

      The only other option for American TV series is to have three good seasons, then about 5 bad ones, then suddenly get cancelled and have to wrap up the entire plot in one episode, usually by jumping several years into the future.

      It’s better to burn out than to fade away….

  7. To follow up on Chris’ comments regarding Agents of SHIELD, he seemed to make it sound goofy that Ghost Rider had been brought into the show. AoS is often used to reinforce the existing cinematic universe, and they just had Doctor Strange come out in theaters. The Ghost Rider storyline was pretty much to introduce the concept of the Darkhold (the MU’s version of the Necronomicon) and expand on the magic side of Marvel Comics. They’ve handled the ‘Rider quite well, I think, and they managed to incorporate the current comic book version that looks very Day of the Dead into a live-action show without it looking so stiff and robotic as the Nic Cage version.

    In my opinion, it’s been a really good season. There’s another thread running through the season that has become the mid-season cliffhanger regarding a Westworld-style look at artificial intelligence and virtual reality (along with the espionage/metahuman action stuff).

    It’s a show that I think still deserves more airtime, but maybe I’m in the minority. I started off hating a lot of the characters who have come to have pretty intriguing arcs. Mumbles once said she hated Grant Ward and that he was dragging the show down, but he went from being the pretty boy to being a pretty amazingly disturbing villain. Again, it takes a while to get there, but I found it worth the ride.

    1. Matt Downie says:

      I think most people who stuck with AoS have been pleased with the current season.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yup.Agents of shield is also a show thats extremely good at subverting your expectations.The first season had the ward hydra twist(everyone knows about this now,so its not a spoiler).The second had:”Heres the obviously bad guy,constantly trying to undermine our heroes,being stubborn and evil all the time.And here is the obviously good guy,willing to bridge the gap with the bad guy.And now they are about to meet.So lets see how the bad guy screws up the meeting.Oh…He actually was the good guy all along…..And its the other one is the deliberately evil one…..Huh.”And how we have all the dicking around with the ai,never knowing what to expect from it.

        The show did start off bad,but all of the seasons were enjoyable on the whole.So Im glad I did not stop watching it.

    2. Hector says:

      Ghost RIder is, and was, awesome. I hope he makes a comeback on the show sometime.

      I disagree that the later, evil, Grant Ward was interesting, though. He was much more effective and interesting when he was walking the line between the heroes and the villains. It never made much sense to me that they used him as a straight villain, especially because he just wasn’t interesting that way. IMHO, he worked better as someone who was doing what *he* thought was right, even if that was horribly wrong. He didn’t work as the standard power-hungry maniac; just not the right character. To me, he was most interesting in season 2, when he was working behind the lines to subvert Hydra. It’s a darn shame they didn’t play this up in the first place and have him be a willing double-agent working for Coulson – turning the character in a 180* twist from his original role.

      (Note, I only mean he should have been that way within Season 2; not to change anything he did in S1 or why he did it.)

    3. 4th Dimension says:

      Yeah, AoS is amazingly good and it’s a shame it’s getting canceled. It was my favourite of the non Netflix “superhero” shows because it does a LOT of things smart. Hell it even gets my stamp of approval with not bombarding us with technobable despite having not one but TWO characters … no THREE characters that can do tech/tech/super science stuff. And when they actually do it, it actually makes sense MUCH more than some other shows FLASH.
      The entire show is I think betrayed by the first half of the first season that was generic, but after that I don’t remember anyone who stayed on complaining about it.

      It is a shame that I got a anime bug into me before the current season so I never got the time to watch it.

      1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

        AoS is a maybe on the next season. There’s no confirmation of it definitely being cancelled. Agent Carter had pretty bad ratings and they gave it two seasons and seriously considered a third, so AoS current low ratings aren’t necessarily a death sentence.

      2. The first season suffered from having to establish itself with a slew of stand-alone episodes, plus it had to be in a holding pattern until after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

        By the way, one additional thing that tells me the cast doesn’t watch the show: Jokes that they can’t afford Dave Chappelle while ignoring the fact that Patton Oswalt is a semi-regular cast member.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Ah,but in order to get Chappelle theyd need more money.All that crack that they have to sprinkle on him is expensive.

  8. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

    “Nobody is asking how to make superheroes cool for normal people.”

    I disagree. DC is still inexplicably asking that question with its live action movies.

    I guess nobody with a fully functioning brain is asking that question.

    As for Spiderman’s quipping. The explanation is that he lets out that side of himself when he’s fighting to keep his fear at bay. I think it also has something to do with the costume helping him feel less inhibited.

    On another level, its probably easier for him to be funny as Spiderman because his face is a goofy and mostly expressionless mask, which might help his delivery.

    And he’s reacting to goofy situations. He’s a man dressed in a bright red spider outfit fighting guys like Dr Octopus who both look goofy and take themselves too seriously. Prime quipping targets.

    He also has enough other appeals that his jokes don’t have to land, we still like him and are entertained by him. Its like being funny in a conversation with your friends vs doing stand up.

    Which takes me to why Wonder Woman hasn’t gotten her own movie when we’ve done Spiderman 3 times now.

    First, compare their sales and the number of titles they carry.

    Second, Peter Parker has everything going for him. He’s relatable (nerdy teen boy vs amazon princess goddess from a mythical island), he’s funny (Wonder Woman usually isn’t), and his powers are among the most visually interesting in a visual media. All that speed, agility, bouncing, swinging.

    Superman and Wonder Woman can do all that but ironically because they can fly, they’re less interesting to watch in action (unless they’re tearing a city apart, the one thing I can sympathize with Snyder on).

    1. GloatingSwine says:

      The success of Marvel’s movies and TV series, and even DC’s TV series like Gotham and Arrow, demonstrate that superheroes are perfectly cool enough for normal people.

      Comic books are not though. For reasons of price (individual monthlies are a silly price for the amount of product) and sales environment. Comic shops are not welcoming environments for people outside of the existing readership, and bookstores which might also sell comics don’t sell individual monthlies (because nobody would buy them for the silly price).

      The big two, at least, are too terrified to change their model (all digital, or anthology monthlies like 2000AD), so they just keep squeezing the dwindling readership they have with massive crossovers and variant covers to get just that little bit more glue out of the dead horse of the collectors market.

    2. Viktor says:

      (Not sure why we’re comparing Marvel and DC properties when they have very different approaches, but…)

      That doesn’t explain why Superman, Hulk, and Punisher keep getting failed terrible movies when clearly they don’t work while WW’s only mass media outing was the successful TV series.

      And if you want to talk sales numbers, Kamala Khan was wildly successful for a new character and has gotten 0 mentions outside the comics. There’s clearly a market there that is being ignored.

      1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        That doesn't explain why Superman, Hulk, and Punisher keep getting failed terrible movies when clearly they don't work while WW's only mass media outing was the successful TV series.

        Superman and Batman have outsold Wonder Woman consistently for decades if not always. Its rare for WW to have more than one title (if she’s ever had more than one) whereas Superman hasn’t had less than two titles since 1940. I believe its the same case with Batman. I guess they feel if they can’t sell Superman they can’t sell Wonder Woman.

        Hulk was launched twice on the theory that other comic book movies meant that it was time for Hulk.

        Punisher was probably done so many times because, like Blade, he looks kind of like an action movie hero and you can do him on a lower budget. Only one of the movies in question looked like it was even trying to be anything other than a B movie.

        And if you want to talk sales numbers, Kamala Khan was wildly successful for a new character and has gotten 0 mentions outside the comics. There's clearly a market there that is being ignored.


        Marvel has been overshipping to inflate its sales numbers. Who’s to know how much she actually sold. Also, she’s a three year old character. Its rare for a character to show up outside a comic that fast.

        1. Viktor says:

          Kamala Khan has sold better in digital than in physical copies, though, so her sales numbers would be less inflated than the other Marvel books.

          On Marvel:
          There have been 2 good Spider-Man films and 3 terrible ones. The last good one was released in 2004. But Marvel gets access to Spider-Man and their immediate response is “We need to bump back Captain Marvel and Black Panther to release a Spider-Man movie NOW. When their excuse for not releasing Black Widow(hero with a long history, a devoted movie fanbase, and an elevator pitch of “James Bond in a world where terrorists can shoot lasers from their eyes”) has been “We have a 20 year plan for what we’re doing and despite fan demand, we just can’t adjust our movie schedule”, those excuses start to seem really hollow.

          On DC:
          I mean, frankly I think they just can’t make good movies. But the only things post-Dark Knight that people have said anything good about are S1 Supergirl, S1-2 Arrow, and maybe Suicide Squad. They need to get off of the Superman/Batman train and focus on someone who isn’t Clark or Bruce.

          1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

            They need to get Superman right first. If they can’t get him right, the entire rest of the DC universe doesn’t matter. Superman has too big of an impact on everything else, he sets the tone. Over time it became read that the reason the DC universe isn’t like Marvel (where heroes are regarded with more suspicion) is because Superman set such a good example.

            But they screwed him up, so this universe is a botch. This isn’t a proper DC universe. This is some BS edgelord fanfiction. And I’m sorry, I’m not supporting a single damned thing DC puts out, from Supergirl to Green Arrow to even Batman until they stop being so fucking ashamed of Superman.

            Just make a Superman movie. Just make one. He’s a 80 year old character and this is the height of popularity of movies about colorful superheroes. There’s no excuse. Just make a fucking Superman movie.

            I’m sick of it and I’m sick of superhero movies because I keep hoping that it will lead to an actual Superman movie and we’re not getting one. We haven’t had one since Superman 3 back in the 80s (It wasn’t great but it was an actual Superman movie).

            And I really am done. I haven’t consumed a single shred of recent DC media.To hell with Gotham, Supergirl, Green Arrow, Smallville (no cape, no flying, all moping all the time), Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman. I wouldn’t have even gone to see Dawn of Justice but my dad really wanted to.

            1. I long ago said the only way they can salvage the Snyderverse is to make it the dark universe where the “Justice Lords” exist, keeping draconian order via their powers and abilities.

              I think the problem with the previously mentioned characters (Hulk, Wonder Woman, etc.) are that some heroes and teams only work with a larger world present. The Fantastic Four is a great example: By themselves, even if they had a decent story, they’d be pretty goofball. I mean, they’d be captured and studied, especially if (like in the films) they’re the ones largely creating the problems they have to solve.

              DC rushed things to get a Justice League movie. They should have either rebooted Batman to be their “Iron Man” who would establish the DCCU, or they should have gone all-in with the “Astro City” model where you just start out with a world chock full of superheroes and trust the audience to get the archetypes, telling individual stories later.

              It’s now to the point, I think, where a superhero movie needs to establish a reason why “our hero” is the only one in the film (i.e. the antagonist is specific to their powers, like in Dr. Strange, or they’re the first superhero in the public eye, like Iron Man or Batman) or they need to at least make mention that there’s more people with costumes running around out there.

              The other major factor is a lot of the above-mentioned films were very poorly written. Superman’s next reboot or reimagining should go watch the Timm/Dini animated series and see why that worked. I wish those behind BvS had watched the “World’s Finest” animated movie before they did what they did, but I’m not in charge, so…

              1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

                See they could do what they were trying to do: What if Superman lived in the real world?

                But see Superman 1 actually did that. The 1970’s wasn’t an “Aw shucks. Gee Whiz!” kind of a time, but Superman was that kind of a guy. He just stepped into that world and the movie said “Yep, its really him, he really can fly and he’s really a nice guy who’s here to help.” And Lois served the role of being that cynic who asks “is he the real deal?”

                Man of Steel actually ended up asking “What if a super-powered god being walked among us? How would he struggle with his destiny? Would the people embrace or fear him?” And they sort of left it there. Superman wasn’t Superman. He was just a guy with powers who could benchpress a truck but wobbled under the weight of all the heaviness and importance of his being.

                Its Pa Kent’s fault. People point to him saying “yes maybe let that guy die.” But the real problem was when he said “You are the answer to the question. Are we alone in the universe?” And he goes on about Clark’s special destiny.

                Pa Kent has always been a dispenser of sage wisdom but he was always concerned about helping Clark become a good man. He didn’t worry too much about his son as a weighty philosophical abstract and he sure as hell didn’t lay that on a 12 year old boy. He was smart enough not to dwell on the unknowns and just focused on giving Clark a good upbringing and decent moral values.

                And really, its not so hard to believe that Superman could be this good a guy. This is part of why they made him an alien. His values have always been anachronistic, they’ve always been a challenge to our cynicism. So they made him an alien to make that a little more believable.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  You just dont get the wisdom behind letting a busload of kids die.

            2. ehlijen says:

              I disagree. I think the current obsession with movie-verses is an albatross around the neck of anyone but Disney (who till now seem to be able combine crunch with quality in a strange way).

              If they can’t make a good superman movie to set up a DC-verse, then they should forget about the DC-verse and just make a single good movie about one main character.
              Get back to basics and build a solid writing team before going in full-hog.

              1. Viktor says:

                Disney found a formula that works and they don’t deviate from it. Brown-haired white dude with personal drama that’s exacerbated by his superpowers and a good sense of humor, toss him into one of the variants of the Hero’s Journey, add a bunch of really good special effects and action sequences, and make it all one universe so you make people want to see all of them. They change it up just enough that people don’t get bored, toss more politics into one, magic and fantastic worlds into another, extra humor into a third, but other than that they just remake Captain America and Iron Man reskinned a bunch and rake in the cash.

                1. FelBlood says:

                  If you’re going to be that reductionist, you might as well just say, “Churn out summer blockbusters, and make them all one universe so you make people want to see all of them.”

    3. krellen says:

      I think in Civil War they succeeded at making Spider-Man both funny and awkward. They even lampshade it at one point: “I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a fight before, but there’s usually not this much talking.”

      1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        Yeah. His Civil War appearance did a good job of making me look forward to his new movie.

    4. Sunshine says:

      “I think it also has something to do with the costume helping him feel less inhibited.”

      That was exactly what I thought.

    5. Christopher says:

      I think people are still asking the question “How do we make this cool for normal people”, even in the case of Marvel or the DC tv shows. I see it in the Marvel movies’ super desaturated colors and mundane-ified costumes, in people using superhero names less and regular names more, in The Flash tv series having a single origin for all the villains and a goofy guy on Flash’s support team to come up with their comic book villain names, in how Thor 2 turns magic elves into angry aliens or Iron Man 3 turns a wizard into an actor pulling a ruse as a pretend terrorist. It’s not as bad as before, but it’s still making comic book stuff waaaay less weird so it’ll be paletable to a wider audience and fit a certain level of “realism”.

      1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        We need another Batman Brave and Bold cartoon.

        1. Christopher says:


      2. You’re already prepped for realism when you cast live people to play the roles. Yellow spandex wouldn’t work, I’m afraid. Marvel strikes a decent balance, I think, giving us outfits that at least look plausible while still standing out quite a lot (Iron Man’s armor in particular).

        Snyder’s films, however, could have nicely-colored costumes for all I know. I recently saw an Imgur post of stills from Wonder Woman, and they all had Fallout 3 Syndrome going on, where every frame was run through a heavy-handed color filter.

        1. Nessus says:

          When it comes to “yellow spandex”, I think the “spandex” part is trickier than the “yellow” part. The MCU costumes are by and large as colorful as their comic counterparts, and we already have an almost direct version of the “yellow spandex” originator in X-Men First Class, and it actually looked pretty good.

          But you’ll notice that they play around with the materials a lot to make those colors work in live action. Actual spandex is relatively little in evidence, and when it is used, it involves lots of silk-screen texturing and cosmetic seaming to make it look good.

          Literal, actual, solid color spandex is what looks rubbish. Put someone in that stuff, and they just look like a cheap cosplayer, no matter how well sculpted the body or face of the wearer is.

          Plus there’s the whole thing of “what materials do you expect this character to use”. Most of these guys/gals are wearing costumes that you’d assume to be made of special high-tech materials (Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Batman, Fantastic 4, X-Men) ancient/traditional hand-made materials (Dr. Strange, Wonder Woman), or alien tech materials with maybe no or only approximate Earth analogs (Thor, Superman, everyone in Guardians of the Galaxy). Spiderman is one of only a few who you’d actually expect to be wearing literal spandex, since before this incarnation his costume was something he made himself pretty much like a cosplay outfit.

          There are so many diverse materials superhero costumes could be made of (plus infinite fictional materials which in movie you’d only need to simulate, not actually invent) when the only real requirement to be accurate to the comic art is “must be form fitting”, that to me fixating on spandex just seems really glaringly unimaginative.

          In the MCU, IMO Hawkeye and the Romanov twins are the only ones with “mundane-ified” costumes. In Hawkeye’s case, it seems like they want to deliberately make him the one “regular army” guy of the group. In the Romanov’s case, well, Quicksilver died before he even got the option, and Scarlet Witch is played as the “regular civilian” of the group in the same way Hawkey is the “regular soldier”. Black Widow’s costume looks relatively mundanely simple and non-colorful, but it’s a pretty straightforward translation of the comic costume, so it hasn’t been “ified”. Falcon is different than in the comics, but it’s IMO more of a lateral transition, as it plays up the fantasy comic-book technology (he’s no more mundane than Iron Man or Ant-Man).

          The rest are all pretty much direct translations/variations of their comic costumes, colors and all. The same is true of the DCCU costumes, once you dial back the aggressive color filters applied to films as a whole.

          1. Christopher says:

            Falcon, Hawkeye and the Romanovs are certainly the most egregious example, though not the only ones. And they’re all crazy. Scarlet Witch is a freaking magic witch, and they play her off as “regular civilian”? Hawkeye used to be in a bloody circus. He’s Robin. But here he’s just an old fart with a bow. Falcon has this crazy colorful outfit that’s completely replaced with just metal-looking tech. It is mundane. Rather than a comic book costume, it’s an exoskeleton kind of thing that Hollywood has used a thousand times before. It’s Hollywood Normal. It probably is actually from a comic, specifically the Ultimate universe. That universe spent a lot of time on making the comic book version of Hollywood movies, and I occasionally see designs from there pop up in actual movies and be very dull.

            And they aren’t the only examples. Dormammu is a cloud man. The entire Asgard cast has gone from weird skintight costumes and robes to armor. The examples I already used hold true, like how the dark elves aren’t actually anything like elves anymore, they’re just grim aliens with masks. Do anyone in guardians of the galaxy look like themselves save for Groot and Rocket? And like my image shows, you might get some strong reds here and there, but the colors are still desaturated and darkened as crazy. Colorpick the outfits in one of the images of that cool scene in Civil War where the heroes clash, and you won’t find much above like 100 besides shiny metal and maybe a white highlight. Captain America can be red, white and blue, but only if his red, white and blue are so dark they’re shades of gray. Scarlet Witch is pretty much Burgundy Witch. Or maybe Wine Witch? It’s an aversion to costumes, is basically what it is. Thor just wears what he wears at home. Hulk wears his own skin. Iron Man wears armor. Captain America spent ages establishing his outfit as a morale boost in a stage show. Spider-Man is one of few exceptions so far, and even he had to get the thing tailor made by Stark.

            I think the whole “not making it look stupid” thing is misguided. Comic books are essentially silly, especially superhero comic books. You can make something that actually looks like the character and still have that work with the filming and the writing. Especially for Marvel, who do have a pretty light tone. And even if someone’s walking around in cosplay-like spandex, that doesn’t mean they can’t look cool as they catch falling buildings or punch bad guys into the sky. It’s all in execution, and they have millions to work with. It actually seems somewhat in now to use an oversaturated look like in Mad Max Fury Road, and the Spider-Man Homecoming trailer looked like it was going for something in that vein. While I do think they’re fun movies, I hope the MCU gets more like that as it goes on.

            1. Christopher says:

              Crap, I messed up my links. There. Armor.

            2. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

              Hawkeye’s outfit is a pretty direct translation of the comic book, but its a translation of Ultimate universe* Hawkeye, not the classic universe.

              The Ultimate universe was going for a meta origin which ultimately had the vast majority of the characters in some way tied to super soldier experiments, starting with Captain America in fact in this universe, even the mutants came from botched secret experiments on the civilian population that ran wild. So Hawkeye and Black Widow were introduced as Black Ops agents who were moved onto the public facing Ultimates team.

              *This is also why Nick Fury is Samuel Jackson. Ultimate Universe Nick Fury was drawn to look like Samuel Jackson from Day One.

              1. Christopher says:


                I remember being a fan of Ultimate Spider-Man when it started out, but that whole line of comics has been a thorn in my side character design-wise. I assume they were to blame for Dr. Manhattan-Electro and mecha-Rhino in Amazing Spider-Man 2 as well. Those characters both showed up in Miles Morales’ run, which is the last Ultimate thing I read.

                1. ASM2 had more problems than character design. Frankly, a Dr. Manhattan Electro works a bit better than a guy in green tights with a zap-burst mask. However, the film was written horribly, and I’d be really surprised if comic book Electro was written like Red Dwarf’s Duane Dibly and came with a power meter on his head.

                  They’re also examples of what happens when one wants to try to bring characters invented in the 1960’s into the modern era. Yeah, Rhino is supposed to be this big lummox who can smash through anything, but that probably wouldn’t work in this day and age, even in comics. Unless there’s some place that people the size of a car go hang out, having someone who was Rhino 100% of the time would be a liability, not a super-villain.

                  1. Christopher says:

                    Well. You park car-sized people in a garage, obviously.

            3. To be fair, would you take Hawkeye at all seriously in his purple outfit, complete with owl-eye mask, cuffed boots and loincloth-tunic?

              Would Scarlet Witch work walking around all the time with a pointy brow-tiara?

              Most comic book characters are pretty much nude drawings with naughty bits removed and brightly-colored paint & accessories slapped on them. Translating that to film is difficult, just from a “weight” issue. Batman needs to look like his outfit is more than just a form-fitting leotard; it kind of has to suggest that it adds protection while allowing freedom of movement. Conversely, look at the Flash from TV and the ones from the JL movie: TV Flash’s costume works, since it’s supposed to be from an experimental insulated outfit for firefighters. It’s form-fitting without being completely silly-looking. Movie flash’s costume is basically armor. It looks bad, and doesn’t suggest “speedster” to me. It suggests someone played the “Injustice” video game too much.

              1. Christopher says:

                I’m not coming at this from the angle you are, of being able to take a character seriously based on looks or for the outfit to be practical. Being practical has zero to do with the appeal for me. I can take silly-looking characters seriously if they write serious stories around them, but I can also enjoy silly-looking characters just for looking silly. I’d love if Scarlet Witch looked like her comic book counterpart, or even if If Gamora just wore a cape. If Batman was wearing a leotard instead of the armor-like or polstered outfits, maybe he’d actually be able to throw a convincing punch without CGI.

                Obviously I’m in the minority here, they’re specifically making more “grounded” costumes to make it seem real and more appealing to a wider audience. But personally, yes, I would like that silliness very much. It’s an asset, not a hindrance. If you don’t think they would work in the real world, perfect, now you can make whatever universe you need to make them fit, like Spider-Man 1’s weird New York or Batman TAS’ retro town full of gangsters with pinstripe suits.

                Lol, Netherrealm’s designs are another bag of character design. They kinda go the grounded route too, but then they add all that dumb armor on top of it.

                1. Ah, but even in your example you mixed the genres of live-action and animation. Batman TAS works well because it’s an animated cartoon, much like how comic book looks work because they’re, well, comic books.

                  A direct comic-book-look-to-film translation would work as animation (as has been noted before, “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” being a high point), but trying to directly put a comic book look to film gets you things like Sin City or Dick Tracy. Maybe that works for some people, but I don’t think it would work for more than one movie.

                  Comics and animation often suggest more detail than is present. Spider-Man is supposed to be wearing a home made costume for most of his career, but we never see the stitching or other sewing mistakes one would think a teenager might make. Nope, he’s wearing a form-fitting perfectly-made outfit, just like everyone else.

                  This is getting to be like taking any story from one medium to another. It can be done well, it can be done poorly, but changes will have to be made, just like when novels are made into movies.

  9. WWWebb says:

    Gameplay vs Story…now that I think about it, 15-20 hours is probably the WORST possible length for that kind of tradeoff. If the gameplay is good, I’d want the game to keep going, but if it’s bad, I would have been looking for the exits since the 10 hour mark.

    Story is tricky too. It’s almost unheard of for a “amazing” game storyline to last more than 8-10 hours. To get to 15-20 hours, games have to add so much padding (gameplay, worldbuilding, and/or side quests) I start to lose track of what’s going on between the main story beats.

    To answer the question, I would rather play an amazing (not just good) story with horrible gameplay because amazing stories are SUPER rare in video games, while amazing gameplay (with or without terrible story) is fairly common.

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      Story for me too. I played all the way through Hellgate London purely because there was something about the story that I found interesting and wanted to see where it went.

    2. Christopher says:

      This dilemma is pretty much the norm, honestly. Games with a strong story focus usually have very shallow or bad gameplay. Games with a heavy gameplay focus either have very little story or a quite bad story.

      You’re essentially asking me if I want to play Until Dawn or Street Fighter V, and I’ve been playing Street Fighter V for probably over a thousand hours for a year now. A good story is over in a flash. A game that’s fun to just play is something I can play for years. If something is awful to play but has a fun story, then that’s perfect let’s play material.

      For the sake of argument, let’s say Mass Effect 1 has dreadful gameplay and a wonderful, excellent story while Dragon’s Dogma has awesome gameplay and an unbearable, offensive story, which isn’t that far from my experience with them. I’ve played Dragon’s Dogma all the way through like seven times. I had to force myself through Mass Effect because the act of playing was a slog, and I’m never gonna go back to that, even though I rate the story on its own as one of the best in the games I’ve played.

      I think it’s to everyone’s benefit if games that focus on one aspect and are bad at the other limit themselves to how much of the other they bring to the table. Visual novels and even Until Dawn are great at focusing mostly on story. Bayonetta only has story bits to bring context, investment and flavor to crazy stages. But then there’s stuff like Bioware games that have loads of dialogue and story, but only if you also play hours upon hours of cover shooting or MMO-style gathering quests. That’s bizarre. You have to stomach a lot of one to get to the other, and it’s rare that I find both so fun that it’s fine.

      If we’re saying the gameplay is intolerable or that the story is a complete and active nightmare that you can’t avoid, then I still go gameplay. The story plays itself, I can just kinda let it wash over me and take it, gritting my teeth. If the gameplay is hell I have to work harder, like Shamus says. I read that Battlespire let’s play. That’s not something I wanna experience for myself.

      1. tmtvl says:

        I loved ME1’s gameplay, it’s so much more strategic than ME2’s while still allowing people to grind through an encounter if everything goes tits-up anyway.

    3. John says:

      If I absolutely had to choose, I suppose that I’d pick gameplay over story. If the gameplay’s good, I’m the type who’ll play the game over and over and over again. If the story is even the least bit obtrusive, then no matter how good it might be I will eventually begin to resent it. I like story, don’t get me wrong. I especially like it when the story responds to my actions. But once I’ve seen everything that the story has to offer I’d like to be able to skip straight back to the game. I don’t want to see that cutscene again. I don’t want to click through that conversation for the umpteenth time. I just want to play the game some more. Some people want a “skip the combat button”. I want a “skip the story” button. I would never use it on my first playthrough. I probably wouldn’t use it on my second, or even my third. But I want one, and I want it badly.

      1. Syal says:

        Ordinarily I would say gameplay over story, but I also put an unhealthy amount of time into Wrestling Revolution, which has neither.

    4. Philadelphus says:

      Well, it’s not triple-A, and Steam says I only spent 5 hours on it, but I totally bought Thomas Was Alone %100 for the story after watching a few episodes of a Let’s Play. Not that the gameplay is bad, per se, it’s just…serviceable.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    And then when the switch finally arrives,it will be this:


    1. tmtvl says:

      Yep, Campster’s in a sticky situation.

    2. Wide And Nerdy® says:

      And then when the switch finally arrives,it will be this:



  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I get why someone would want to preorder a switch.Its a physical thing with limited supplies.Whats more,its a product made by a company known for deliberately not shipping enough units to the stores.But Josh,why the hell would you preorder a purely digital product?

    Whats worse is that you announce that you will willfully allow yourself to be scammed in the episode where Chris talks about how he was scammed.

    1. Josh says:

      I’ll admit that usually it’s a bad idea to pre-order games, and the advice “Never pre-order games” is pretty popular these days, but it doesn’t really hold true for me for two reasons:

      1. I’m part of a web show about video games where my literacy of the medium is at least somewhat important. As a result, my purchasing decisions are a bit warped; my standard for a game that is “so bad I won’t buy it” is probably a lot lower than it is for other people, and I’ll often consider purchasing a game not because I’m especially interested in it, but because for various reasons I consider it an important game to experience. I tend to buy more games from more diverse genres than I otherwise would, and write them off in my mind in terms of “business expenses” rather than as “personal fun money.”

      Which ties into my second point:

      2. Based on my experiences with Destiny 1, I am definitely going to play Destiny 2 at launch. I’m fairly confident the things that I liked about Destiny 1 will still be there in Destiny 2, so I think I’ll have fun with it, but even if I don’t, I want to experience that disappointment first-hand, with my own eyes, rather than just reading about someone else’s.

      So for me, if I’m definitely going to play it immediately at launch, pre-ordering carries no extra risk. Is it still a “scam” if I’m fully aware of the disadvantage it potentially puts me at and I’d have done it to myself anyway?

      1. Hector says:

        Josh, I was about to say something bitter and sarcastic, along the lines of “they’d have to pay ME to play Destiny 2.”

        Then I thought, that’s a great idea! Can we get game companies to pay us to try games we loathe from companies we angrily shake our fists at?

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Thats all irrelevant because the opposite of preordering is not never buying.You can always buy the game at release if you do not preorder.Even if you buy the game the second it becomes available,completely ignorant of what its like,thats still better than preordering it..Not just for you,but for everyone who ever buys video games.Because as long as enough people keep falling for it,the preorder scam will remain.

        1. Geebs says:

          Now that video games are all 50 GB in size, and given the incredibly slow downloads from the PlayStation Network, I’ve actually started pre-ordering just so I can play games within three days of the release date.

          The last time I did that was Horizon::::::Zero Dawn, so it wasn’t exactly a huge risk.

        2. Syal says:

          But as long as the preorder scam works, they won’t be incentivized to come up with new, more devious scams. It’s a win for the common man.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            You mean things like selling you a special version of the game that does not include the game itself?Augmenting the preorder?Rereleasing a remastered version of an older popular game only as more expensive version of the new game?It really would be dreadful if they ever did anything like that.

        3. Nick says:

          It is absolutely relevant because pop culture discussion of anything is always focussed on the recent – and so if Josh wants to talk about and understand the current gaming zeitgeist then he wants to be playing from day one.

          He could buy it day one instead of preordering but I am frankly unconvinced that sends any kind of message

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            It sends the message that people arent falling for the preorder scam any longer.

      3. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        Even though I’m not in the industry, this kind of thinking informed my purchase of Dragon Age Inquisition on preorder. I realized that I wanted to experience the product of this company that had stumbled with ME3 and DA2, I wanted to see what they were going to do about it and that good or bad, I was going to get my money’s worth out of being part of the discussion at launch.

        I don’t regret that decision but I’m also never doing that again. It would be an expensive, time-consuming, and tedious habit to get into.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You know,this whole thing about destiny engine has got me thinking:Why are so many aaa games still being made with engines built in house?Since games are so often compared to movies,thats akin to the studio building not just their own sets,but their own cameras,lights,microphones,etc.

    1. Sunshine says:

      That’s pretty much how studios worked back in the time of Cecil B. DeMille, wasn’t it? I’d guess that it’s similar to things Shamus has said about encapsulation and APIs, butI don’t know what I’m talking about. Does the studio want to buy black boxes from other and hope all this external code works together?

      1. Echo Tango says:

        Hope isn’t good enough. If a tool/library/framework/whatever doesn’t have good documentation and examples, or there aren’t a plethora of good 3rd-party examples and tutorials, then that tool isn’t going to be one you can make much use of. However there are lots of, for example, official 1st-party tutorials for Unity, and plenty of noteworthy games made with Unity, so you’d probably be better off using Unity* instead of hand-rolling yoru own game engine.

        * Or the Unreal engine, or the Doom engine, or Valve’s Source engine, or…

        1. tmtvl says:

          Oh man, Unity is so bad. Remember the Pillars of Eternity bug where cloaks are invisible? How about Gone Home’s broken input? Shadowrun Returns’ crashes? Wasteland 2’s crashes?

          …I could go on, but you get the point.

          1. Echo Tango says:

            The number of unfixed problems with a tool is another thing to consider when choosing the thing that is right for your project and team. :)

      2. Echo Tango says:

        Link to four official Unity engine pages…get detected as spambot. Crummy bot-detection voodoo… ^^;

  13. Joe Informatico says:

    It’s both weird and amazing this medium is old enough to have second-generation game writers.

    1. Sunshine says:

      It is, and it’s still a young enough form that you can still meet the creators of the medium, as if novel writers could look up Dante.*

      (*This comparison vaguely remembered from someone else’s writing.)

    2. Son of Valhalla says:

      I’ve been attempting to blog for a while now, and I can second the fact that there is a second generation of games writers. I started off with a Sci Fi-ish blog, realized that wasn’t quite what I was looking for, and am now writing about what I really like, music and fantasy and sci fi and yeah…

      Blogging/games writing is really about learning to be honest with yourself about the games you play and how you go about playing games. And remembering to take notes and screenshots.

      Only difficulty is creating a comment section that’s this serene and clean. Most comment sections are Youtube and 4chan bad… never use Google+. Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The thing about gameplay vs story is also in the availability of games and free time.Back when I was younger,I had access to very few games,but had plethora of free time.So I did not mind attempting a second run through original fallout*drink* even though I did not like its gameplay at first.Today,if I am not sucked in by the gameplay,I can just get a different game.And I dont have as much time as before to go through even a tenth of the games Id like to.

    As for the whole “we had stories for ages”,thats not quite right.You cant just slap a book onto the screen and have it presented as well.Telling a story in a video game is vastly different than telling it via paper.And when it comes to stories,what is being said is not as important as how its being said.

  15. Jokerman says:

    There is some push and pull for me on story vs gameplay…

    Basically the story has to be really really good for me to put up with gameplay i don’t like, and it has to grip me fast. Last of us hit that line, that story led me to push and even weirdly appreciate the struggle of the gameplay i hated.

    But a bad story, eh… ill put up with it, if it’s giving me 30 minute unskippable cutscenes, then obviously not, but a bad story… Hitman Absolution for example, that story was only annoying because it infected the design and gameplay, put that story in to the new Hitman? I don’t care, still a great game.

  16. John says:

    On the subject of friendless, teenage nerds, I was the second-nerdiest kid in a school with about 1200 students. I had plenty of friends. The nerdiest kid in school was one of them, so I can personally attest that he had plenty of friends too. Nor were there roving packs of rich, good-looking, and popular kids who tried to make our lives hell. My high school experience was not like what you see on TV, is what I’m saying. I suspect that almost no one’s is. I think most high school dramas are based on the successful high school dramas of the past rather than anyone’s actual life.

    1. Christopher says:

      I think nerdy people having friends or not in high school just depends on your environment. In my country’s equivalent of junior high I had zero people I’d call real friends, just classmates of varying degrees of pleasantness. I had one dude I sort of tolerated and he sort of tolerated me, and I had this one girl I sorta liked and she sorta liked me back sometimes. In high school, I met a group of other nerds and gained a ton of friends at once, and we’re still friends to this day.

      In Spider-Man’s specific case, Dan Slott did an update of his origin relatively recently that took that into account. Long story short, Spider-Man joined some kind of science or photography club in school, but messed up when he was fighting crime and ended up ruining his reputation with that group, which lead to him being ostracized by them. It’s fine as an excuse, but I don’t mind the thing the animated Spectacular Spider-Man series did of just using friends from later in his life(Gwen, Harry, MJ) as people in his class either.

      That same new origin comic(It doesn’t replace anything, it takes place in between two early stories) also tries to explain why he started doing all the joking stuff in-costume. He’s struggling against this villain, and none of his smarts or brawn really work. So he thinks back to a lesson from uncle Ben on being funny, having a good time with what you do. He uses that lesson on the villain, and manages to psyche him out to such a degree that it’s an easy win.

      I never really needed more of an explanation than the juxtaposition of his outer monologue(“Hey GOBBY, you suck”) and his inner monologue(“Oh shit oh shit I’m gonna die and all these people here are gonna die too if I don’t figure something out shitshitshit”). But I suppose it’s alright.

      1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

        In the original comics, Peter wasn’t THAT much of an outcast. The first page of his first appearance is people considering inviting him to a party. Eventually, someone talks shit about him, but he has people who are interested in his existence. The interesting thing is in his first appearances, he comes off as completely entitled and sort of creepy. The completely sympathetic Charlie Brown style nerd thing was a later retcon kind of.

    2. Steve C says:

      How old are you John? Or rather, what generation are you from?

      The Diecast touched on how the writers never really got Spider-man as a teen. I agree, but not because the writers didn’t get it. It was because what it meant to be a teen changed over each generation. Stan Lee’s idea of a teen would be very different than a twenty-something’s idea today. Stan’s idea of teens was rooted in 1930s as Stan was 17yrs old in 1939. As each author of Spider-man took over it is an adult writing about teens through the lens of their generation. How old that author is and what generation he’s pulling from shaped the character. It’s an impossible task to get details right because it’s a moving target. Spider-man will always be a mishmash of what it is to be a teen. The details change of what constitutes ‘right’.

      For example, at one point wearing glasses meant you were a nerd and therefore a social outcast. Glasses alone was enough. That was before my time. It was true for my parents. For my generation, glasses didn’t matter but being a nerd definitely did matter. It was simply not the same as it is today. You couldn’t like certain things. You couldn’t like superheroes, fantasy novels, science fiction, D&D or computers. Any and all of that was grounds for social ostracization. It has changed for the better over time.

      40yrs old is the line. If you are 41+ then you did not have anything like cellphones or the internet as a teen. If you are less than 39 then it was possible. Under 30 today and it was ubiquitous as a teen. At 40+ your friend pool was limited by who lived close by. If you had a falling out with the single circle of peers you had access to you could certainly find yourself friendless. Thankfully geography became less important to teens.

      I’m more than a little surprised that old man Shamus (who’s my age) didn’t take youngling Rutskarn on a little nostalgia trip of what it was like in the 1980s.

      1. John says:

        I’m 40, but I think that the size of the school I went to is more relevant than my age. As I said, I attended a high school with about 1200 students, approximately 400 of whom were my age. In a group that size, there’s bound to be at least a few people you can get along with.

    3. Cybron says:

      My high school life was fine, but my middle school life very much resembled one of these high school dramas – small circle of nerd friends, packs of bullies, etc.

  17. Sunshine says:

    As a counterpoint to your Blade discussion, a video that claims it was responsible for the boom in superhero movies, or a least blazed the trail that showed it could work. (Partly because the video’s maker is biased toward vampires, at least certainly while in character.)

    1. My only complaint about Blade was that the best action scene was in the first 10 minutes of the movie. :)

    2. Tizzy says:

      I see tge cast’s argument that Blade is not standard fare “costumed vigilante”. Definitely, the movies didn’t bring that. But they weren’t afraid of being goofy as shit and bringing in comic book-style weirdness ( they stopped short of the Lovecraftian blood monster intended for the first movie, but only because they couldn’t make it look right on budget, not because they were too self serious).

      So in that respect, there’s no doubt the series played a part in bringing the genre out.

      Also, let’s not forget that even if the movies are received very differently from, say, Spiderman, by audiences, the people making the funding decisions may very well think in terms of “comic book movies: hot or not?”

  18. Christopher says:

    My specific “It’s different and therefore it’s RUINED complaints” is this incredibly annoying list based on the trailers and his Civil War appearance. You touched on some of them.

    – Peter Parker is friends with the fat kid that’s Miles Morales’ friend. He’s supposed to be like 10 years your junior, Spidey. I’m pretty sure you died before he was introduced. Don’t steal Miles’ friends, you’ve got your own. Not a LOT, but you’ve got Gwen, you’ve got Harry, you’ve got MJ, you’ve got people like Liz. Depending on how SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN you wanna be you could have Eddie Brock or something like that.

    – The new Spider-Man costumes has a bunch of annoying “We had to do something to it” kind of details, like all the lines on the blue parts and the thick black armbands everywhere.

    – Aunt May doesn’t look a thing like the character. She’s like 30 years younger for one thing.

    – Peter and May live in some apartment rather than their house in Queens. That’s also a Miles Morales thing. Soon they’re gonna reveal that Peter actively murdered his uncle this time around at this rate.

    – Iron Man is basically sponsoring Peter with gear, which makes Spider-Man lose a bit of that down on his luck sewing his own-suit charm.

    – Vulture has a big fat jet engine for a flying apparatus now for some reason rather than whatever anti-gravity thing he used to keep in the back pocket of his spandex catsuit, and also HIS NOSE IS TOO SMALL FOR CHRIST’S SAKE it’s only supposed to resemble a BEAK

    – The Shocker showed up for a hot second in the trailer and is some black, young punk in a hoodie with a single weird glove rather than a white, middle aged dude in the world’s greatest costume. I can deal with changing his entire ethnicity if they just get him his costume during the movie and if he has the same personality. I want him to be all business all the time.

    – Flash Thompson is equally unrecognizable as himself. If they didn’t put his name on the actor, he’d just be some dude. I couldn’t say what ethnicity this guy is, but he’s a terrible likeness for Flash. He even looks like he’s nice.

    These complaints seem petty even to me, but that’s how it is. I’m a huge fan of Spider-Man, he’s the super hero I care about. I want a Spider-Man that’s not only faithful to the comics, but to whatever piece of Spider-Man media that I’ve used to make up my internal preferred canon. I want characters that actually are the characters I like rather than Random McActor just using their name. I don’t want them to establish shitty stuff now that’s gonna return for however many movies they use this continuity for in the MCU. This is the best chance I’m gonna get for a good long time of someone not only making a good Spider-Man, but a good serialized movie version of Spider-Man that won’t have to be rebooted every five years because they fucked it up.

    But I’m also all talk, man. When push comes to show I’m gonna watch it anyway, and if it’s a good movie I can’t whine too much. Thor 2 ruining every character they brought in from the comics didn’t stop that movie from being a great time. These complaints are all minor annoyances that hopefully won’t hinder the movie at all, and as I wrote, I’m pretty hyped about it. It’s especially encouraging that this actor seems able to portray both Spider-Man and Peter Parker convincingly. It was nice hearing you discuss not just the whole enterprise, but Spider-Man in specific for a few minutes.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      ““ Aunt May doesn't look a thing like the character. She's like 30 years younger for one thing.

      This,and other complaints about the look* of characters I dont get.Are you also complaining that nick fury is not white?Heck,they even changed the comics character to match Samuel LMF Jackson.Isnt that far worse than simply having movie aunt may being young?

      *The costume is a different thing however.Complaints about the costumes I understand.

      1. Christopher says:

        The distinction for me is that I don’t give a shit about about Nick Fury. I’m also not complaining that they turned Heimdall into a black dude, for instance. I have never read a story in which he featured prominently, so I don’t care, and they made him a really cool character. The gold armor is a great look. The reason I care about this with Spider-Man’s cast is that I already care about the characters.

        If you understand the complaints about the costumes, then you already understand my complaints about casting. It’s literally “this doesn’t look like them”, and of course it only applies to characters I already know. They might win me over, they might not. I thought Dr. Strange was terribly miscast, but by the end of that movie I bought him as Dr. Strange.

        1. Chris says:

          My wife loves The Pet Avengers

          They turned Redwing into a glorified camera drone

          1. Christopher says:

            Hahah, I’m so sorry! Falcon is one of those characters I don’t know that well from beforehand, but I knew that drone had to have been a real bird originally when I saw it in Civil War.

          2. Hal says:

            Had to look this up. No Spider-Ham? Figures.

      2. Ultimate Avengers made Fury look like SLJ before the films came out, FYI.

        When they started the whole MCU, they asked him to play the role, and he agreed. I have to say I liked him better (both in comics and on the screen) than the “traditional” Fury who supposedly served in WWII, didn’t he? Did he get some super soldier serum or some kind of immortality treatment, too?

        1. xedo says:

          The story I’ve heard is that SLJ’s likeness was used without his permission, and he contacted Marvel to say he would be cool with it in exchange for a role in future movies. It worked out pretty good for all concerned!

    2. The new Spider-Man costumes has a bunch of annoying “We had to do something to it” kind of details, like all the lines on the blue parts and the thick black armbands everywhere.

      I’m slapping my forehead here, since I completely forgot the #1 reason they change costumes when putting superheroes on the big screen: Trademarks.

      This may not be much of a thing going forward with the studios owning the comic book characters outright, but when superheroes were licensed (which Spider-Man still falls under, thank you Sony), each studio makes their own version of the character’s outfit so they can “own” that version. Realism and everything mentioned above is at play, sure, but when Fox is making an X-Men movie, they want to make outfits that Fox will own and can market (toys, games, etc) just like the movie they’re making.

      One example of this I can think of was when Todd McFarlane asked Mike Mignola to do a Spawn cover. Mignola said yes, and he did it and sent it over to Todd. Todd called him up, requesting changes. Mignola questioned why him doing a cover as a favor should warrant editorial changes, but Todd explained that Mignola had drawn the movie version of Spawn’s outfit, which he didn’t own the rights to.

      1. Christopher says:

        Uugh, that’s dumb, but that also explains so much. It makes sense. Now I understand why that Sony exclusive Spider-Man game(It’s due out this year or the next, I think?) modified his regular costume, too.

  19. Phantos says:

    I never bothered getting the DLC or anything like that for Destiny, just because of what a hollow husk of a game it was when it shipped. It played well, but it was merely a nice proof of concept that they sold like it was the Expensive Edition of other games, except those include extras and stuff.

    Like a beginning, middle and end.

    It was such an overpromised sad trombone that I’d swear it was made by Peter Molyneux.

    Then again, anyone who’s played a Halo game ought to know that promising an ocean and then just spitting on you is kind of Bungie’s MO. So I guess I only have myself to blame for buying it.

  20. Echo Tango says:

    @Campster / Chris

    If you pay for something with a major credit card, you should be able to get your payment cancelled by them. Visa, Mastercard, etc have dealt with scams for years. Similar to what Josh described for PayPal.

  21. Steve C says:

    Story vs. Gameplay. I wrote about this yesterday on the forums. My gut says if forced to pick between them I’d pick gameplay. Except I know from my own experience that my gut is wrong. I pick good story if it means bad gameplay.

    Except I know that isn’t technically correct either. It has to be perfect story if it has bad gameplay. ‘Good’ isn’t good enough. For example “Life is Strange”, “Until Dawn” and the various Telltale games have pretty bad gameplay. They make up for that with the story. For me those stories stumble in parts, and in others they fall flat on their face. They aren’t good enough. Those games focus entirely on choices + emotional impact of those choices. If the choices don’t work, or the emotional impact isn’t there then the game is a complete write-off. It’s much worse than playing a game with good gameplay and poor story.

    I play games with good gameplay and bad story all the time. It’s pretty standard fair. I’m ok with it. There really isn’t much with a truly great story to compare that against. I can think of only one game that had terrible gameplay and a terrific story all the way through: Katawa Shoujo. I would pick that over good gameplay any day.

    1. Cybron says:

      That’s not terrible gameplay, that’s no gameplay. You can get gameplay worse than that, IMO. You’re unlikely to find it outside of shovelware, but it’s not like we have a shortage of that. Or just imagine you’re playing Daikatana, but with a good story.

      Then again, maybe my standards are too high (too low?). If VNs and sorta-VNs like VA11 Hall-A count as terrible gameplay, then I think I’d probably choose that.

  22. Daemian Lucifer says:

    On the subject of peter parker growing up,he may have aged physically in the comics,but was he ever acting like anything other than a teenager?

    1. Viktor says:

      The real question, will the movies ever cast an actual teenager to play him?

      (26, 29, and 21 when their first movies premiere, iirc)

    2. SharpeRifle says:

      In the comics…Yes. He went to college dropped out of college published a photography book went back to college got married made a deal with the devil which got him unmarried then last I checked now runs a corporation . That may have changed though I currently only read the trades I don’t buy Marvel new right now latest I’m up to is the end of Civil War II: Civil Harder. Spider-Man however always acts like he’s teenager. Never a Quip left UnQuipped!

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        But all throughout those events,did he ever act like an actual adult?For example,did he ever take life insurance so that his wife and aunt wouldnt be left in debt due to his funeral in the likely event that he died?

        Heck,that deal with the devil,thats precisely how a teenager would act in that situation.An adult would:turn themselves in so that tony stark would help his aunt,or accept that death is part of life and not cling like a child to his aunt,or a number of other things.

        1. SharpeRifle says:

          Yes he did. the real problem is that trying to maintain his secret identity and exhibit the punctuality expected of most young adults (keep in mind he has never got past his early 30’s at most in age) tended to ruin most of these things for him. He’d go to college….but miss class constantly due to having to go fight the Troll in the Park. His only consistent source of income for years was his Spidey photos he sold to JJ. He wasn’t able to really smooth out until he married Mary-Jane and he had her salary coming as well as her help in covering for him. As to insurance…..you do realise that no insurance company is gonna cover you voluntarily fighting the Rhino right? He tried to handle these things but he was just a high school graduate who took photos. In the current “I own a corporation” idea it helps that people tend to think “Steve Jobs” types are eccentric so his disappearances are excused rather than questioned.

          As to “one more day” I only included it really because it happened. I’ll givr you that one.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Yes he did. the real problem is that trying to maintain his secret identity and exhibit the punctuality expected of most young adults

            Theres a really simple solution to this:Pick one and stick to it.If he wants to be spiderman,then make it his identity 100% of the time.Tell those closest to him about it,and to the rest say that he went away to australia or whatever.Then be spiderman every time he leaves the house.Take a job as spiderman,and fight crime in his spare time.Plenty of people would gladly pay hard cash to a superhero to do work for them.And not just publicity work,but stuff like construction,moving,delivery,etc.

            If he wants to be peter parker,then ditch the costume.He could still fight crime as peter if he really wanted to.Even officially,by joining the police.

            Of course,this is not just related to spidey.Its a large problem for most of the superheroes.Very few of them have legitimate reasons to have two identities.Maaaaybe the rich ones whose superpower is reliant on their wealth,because one could argue that they would quickly lose all their money if people knew what they are doing with it.But for the rest,its just a remnant of the times when comics were exclusively made for kids.

            1. SharpeRifle says:

              “OK sir and what name should be on the check?”
              “Spider-Man with a hyphen.”
              “No Spider-Man. Like the crawly creature and a man…with a hyphen.”
              “I…see. I presume you have some form of ID?”
              “What the outfit isn’t enough?”
              “Well you could be anyone under there? How about a birth certificate?”
              “Well I wasn’t born Spider-Man!”
              “So you changed your name?”
              “Well no.”
              “Then how am I supposed to legally pay you I have to withhold taxes yaknow. Are you trying to get me in trouble with the IRS?!?!”
              “Well I figured you could pay me under the table.”
              “In that outfit you figured no one would notice? Get out of my office.”

              Interestingly Marvel tax code does apparently allow payment to be made to charitable orginizations for use of a hero’s likeness…and they do own their likeness.

              Seriously though of course there are better ways to do it… but that artifact of the old days IS a fact of life for most of the characters. Actually thanks to all that Civil War crap they probably have better reasons for hiding their ID’s than they used to in-universe….I mean look how that blew up in Peter’s face as it is!

              1. He just sold his marriage to Mephisto. No problem.

            2. Shoeboxjeddy says:

              A secret identity is not just a remnant. By making their hero identity their normal identity, the government is FORCED to confront the vigilante issue. John Q. Spiderman who pays taxes and doesn’t wear a mask and you can google his address on the internet is a completely different bag of cats to “mysterious vigilante Spider-Man, who strikes from the shadows and is rarely seen in broad daylight for more than a few seconds at a time.”

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                And there you have a story much more plausible and satisfying than the old cliche of “how do I balance these two lives”.How does the world react to this permanent spiderman?Do they try to recruit him?Do they change the laws to accept vigilantes?Do they try to fight him?

                Of course,you can bungle this.But,you can do plenty of interesting stuff with it too.

                1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

                  The independent comic series “Irredeemable” actually did this story, what happens if the hero’s allies, rather than holding his secret identity in trust, just immediately tell everyone what it is? Turns out, the Superman analogue goes nuts from the lack of trust, renounces his mission, and starts killing people. Woops… maybe don’t tell that secret after all.

                  Or, put in another way, Civil War was completely about this conflict. As soon as Spider-Man revealed his identity as Peter Parker, he was fired from his job and an assassin shot his loved one to death. A whole ongoing comic of just that is not sustainable.

                  1. My problem with secret identities is that in this day and age they should be an open secret. Given all the methods of surveillance and the public nature of heroes, most if not all of them should be known to any government agency worth its salt. Amanda Waller knew every identity of the Justice League in the JLU cartoon, but that should be the norm. Given all the cell phone cameras, spy gear, drones, etc. figuring out a superhero’s identity should be something that websites would be devoted to.

                    At best, keeping a “secret identity” would be for plausible deniability in court (“can you without a shadow of a doubt tell it’s my client in that mask?”) or keeping people from mobbing you when you’re in your civvies and trying to get a #4 combo meal at Burger King.

                    I mean, when Spider-Man had organic web-shooters, finding out who he is should’ve been a piece of cake. Even if it dissolved like the artificial webbing, he’s leaving his DNA all over the city while he travels. An FBI intern could have gathered some and fed it into a DNA database.

                    1. Ninety-Three says:

                      While not wishing to disagree with your overall premise, I must point out that putting Spider-Man’s DNA in a database doesn’t accomplish anything because Peter Parker isn’t in the database to match against (unless it’s a thing in Marvel that the government keeps a DNA database of all law-abiding citizens).

            3. Ninety-Three says:

              Very few of them have legitimate reasons to have two identities.Maaaaybe the rich ones whose superpower is reliant on their wealth

              The problem with billionaire secret identities is that they’re the easiest ones to figure out.

              Batman has a badass custom plane whose production cost was probably 9 figures, nevermind its R&D budget, and he doesn’t even use it that much. Clearly the guy is a billionaire. From Batman’s crime-fighting activity and response times, he’s clearly based in Gotham. There just aren’t that many billionaires living in Gotham. Go down the list and cross off everyone with the wrong body type (Batman clearly isn’t the five foot tall Warren Buffet, nor the elderly frail Charles Koch), start cross-referencing public appearances, and it will take maybe a couple days for anyone with an internet connection to figure out that Bruce Wayne is Batman.

              1. Viktor says:

                A lot of this depends on the variant of Batman. Do people know about the plane and the batmobile? Are there pictures of a dude in armor jumping down from a building? Or is it an ongoing argument whether Gotham is protected by an actual demon or just a run-of-the-mill sewer mutant? Presumably Gordan and any JLers could figure it out, but I just assume they’re polite enough not to try. But the average citizen, or even supervillain, may not know anything more than “Big, black, can appear and vanish into thin air, can fly, wickedly strong”.

              2. Shoeboxjeddy says:

                “it will take maybe a couple days for anyone with an internet connection to figure out that Bruce Wayne is Batman.”
                That’s canonically how Tim Drake, the third Robin figured out who Batman was. He just did the math. Bruce fixed this during the Batman Inc arc by claiming that:
                a) There are several active Batmen around the world
                b) He pays for them
                c) He is not any one of them

                Even if you suspect he IS one of the Batmen… who cares, there’s a ton of them now. And you could try to kill him to cut off the Batman money flow, but it’s provided for after his death, and he has several Batman level superheroes ready and able to protect him.

    3. Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Yes, Peter has acted his age as a mentor several times. In the JMS era, Peter was a school teacher and a reasonably mature one. In Avengers vs X-Men, Peter was one of the ONLY characters who tried to create an end to the fighting through dialogue. He also was one of the few that focused on the actual problem of that storyline (the Phoenix could literally destroy the Earth) by training Hope to use his fighting style and moral framework to stay calm and in control when possessed by an unearthly creature. He also was willing to die to prevent more casualties (his big hero moment is saving POWs by entering a fight he has no chance of winning), while the other characters were busy trying to MAKE more casualties. In Spider-Men, he acted as a mentor for Miles Morales, trying to encourage him in his role as an upstart Spider-Man. And finally, in Spider-Verse, he served as team leader for various other Spider-Man universe characters, and kept things under control rather than joking and bumbling along like he normally might have.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        That does sound interesting.JMS can do a lot of good when he is given freedom.

        1. And not canceled early.

          I’m looking at you, executives who cut short “Babylon-5: Crusade” and “Jeremiah.”

  23. Son of Valhalla says:

    If you’re playing a game that’s Big Rigs bad, you may as well be playing hockey with basketballs. It doesn’t work, and while the hilarity of the situation might keep you occupied momentarily, at some point you’re going to get bored of the game.

    Games with great gameplay and a shoddy story allows me to play with more enthusiasm than a game with disastrous gameplay and a good story.

    So, gameplay>story.

    1. Christopher says:

      It’s hard to imagine a fantastic story in the context of Big Rigs. I think it would be fascinating if every so often, perhaps whenever you leave the boundaries of the game world, a better then The Last of Us cutscene pops up to tell a very touching story about a driver and his family.

      1. Son of Valhalla says:

        It should be used as a video simulator for drunk driving. It would be very interesting to list the issues of drunk driving such as “driving through buildings” or “falling off the edge of the road/map.”

  24. Nick says:

    The terrible gameplay experience with a great story game for me was Bioshock Infinite. I am not a big FPS player (I’ve played some Unreal Tournament games, I love stealth fps style games like the newer Deus Ex games but I gave up on HL2 because I wasn’t good enough to get through Ravenholme).

    I played through on Normal difficulty because it seemed fine at first, but throughout the later part of the game the only reason I was really progressing was the ability to infinitely respawn and whittle down the enemies. It doesn’t help that the difficulty settings for BI are just ‘how bullet spongey do you want the enemies to be’, with the slider for Normal apparently being ‘very’.

    Anyway, (mild gameplay spoilers) the end fight of the game takes away your ability to respawn on death, instead restarting the whole section. I tried. I tried over 20 times before getting hacked off enough to turn the difficulty down to Easy and finishing the game.

    But I really liked the visuals and story of that game. So apparently I would take that deal if I had to for a good story.

  25. Josh says:

    So the initial writer for Destiny produced a linear story which had the player visiting all of the major planets too early in the game. They were right to dump that – I would have too. Unfortunately, they didn’t have anyone *better* to pick up the pieces. Furthermore, whoever was in charge of development then pretty much disregarded the writers from that point onward.

    Bungie, as a company, simply didn’t have the chops to produce a good RPG with a well-built world. Not surprising, as this is a rare skill. They bit off more than they could chew.

    Here’s hoping that lightning will strike and grant them more luck for the sequel.

  26. lethal_guitar says:

    Hey Shamus, this interview/conversation with one of the developers for Destiny has quite a bit of background on why the engine got so terrible at loading levels etc.:


    There’s also a GDC talk by the same guy, on how they partly evolved their new engine from the Halo engine.

  27. lllVentuslll says:

    Hey Shamus, don’t know if you still see look at comments on slightly older posts but here’s a talk about why the engine for Destiny ended up the way it did: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KXVox0-7lU . There’s a lot of talk about the Halo games and the way they did things as it leads up to the Destiny talk, but if you watch at 1.5x speed, it should be slightly more palatable. (Also, share it with Josh and Chris, in case they’re interested! :) )

    1. lethal_guitar says:

      Heh, two people with the same idea it seems ;)

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