Look at the date! We are quickly running out of year. And now that I’m thinking about it, we’re also kinda running out of decade. But as luck would have it, we’ve got plenty of week left. So let’s squander some time talking about videogames.
Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
00:00 The Outer Worlds
I know we watched it last week, but it wouldn’t hurt to watch it again.
I know you JUST watched a trailer, but you should watch this one too.
13:30 The Other Kind of Life book launch!
25:06 Mailbag: HOTS shutting down
I just saw online that heroes of the storm is going to be losing some manpower and financing. (https://www.techspot.com/amp/news/77875-blizzard-shifts-top-developers-away-heroes-storm-halts.html), since you’re going to record a diecast tomorrow I wonder if you can pick this up in your podcast. I always liked of blizzard that they supported their games for way longer than most companies would. So seeing them give up on HOTS is kinda sad and makes me fear they really got tainted bad by their activision side. Now the official news is that its just lowering the amount of content being put out, but it feels like manager speak for “yeah we gave up on it”.
We cover the second half of this email in the next section…
30:37 Mailbag: Starcraft
Also since I’m writing anyway, this isn’t really directly for the diecast, but more of a personal question. I remember you mention playing SC2 again. Reading your older article on the story side of things (and how you thought it wasnt as bad as fans said it was) I was wondering how well you remembered the first game. To me SC1 and SC2 feel like mass effect 1 and ME2. The writer not understanding the tone of the original. Like kerrigan suddenly being a good guy trapped inside an evil shell. Even though in the brood war it basically was stated outright she was fully in control and was truly evil. I could write a whole page on the issues i have with the story and tone, but I won’t spill unnecessary ink.
with kind regards,
42:40 Mailbag: Netflix getting into gaming?
I recently discovered that Netflix has a stripped-down version of Minecraft: Story Mode available to play, at least on the computer version of the platform. Though they’ve removed all the QTE sequences and most of the inconsequential dialogue choices, they still let the player make all the major decisions in the story.
My question is how should we interpret this foray into gaming by Netflix? Is this a one time thing? Are they just planning on making their own story games? Something more? I’d love to know what you think. I’m personally hoping for a Spirit or She-Ra adventure game soon.
After recording this episode, I checked out Minecraft Story Mode on Netflix. It is indeed a “choose your own adventure” kind of deal. You play it as if it was a movie, but sometimes you’ll get prompts to make branching decisions. I’m reasonably sure this works like the old laserdisc “games” built around the same idea.
Also, I have to say the writing was incredibly bland. In the first 15 minutes it was a bulk exposition dump, followed by some stilted dialog between two people with no conflict or stakes. No jokes, no witty observations about Minecraft, no questions to make the audience curious. It wasn’t bad in the sense of being idiotic, it just didn’t offer your brain anything to engage with.
What I’m saying is, I can see why Telltale folded.
47:46 Epic Megagames: new storefront!
Spoiler: This is basically what I’m going to say in my Escapist column later this week.
Here is my hot take on a game I don’t care about in a genre I don’t understand.
Zenimax vs. Facebook
This series explores the troubled history of VR and the strange lawsuit between Zenimax publishing and Facebook.
Batman: Arkham Origins
A breakdown of how this game faltered when the franchise was given to a different studio.
What did web browsers look like 20 years ago, and what kind of crazy features did they have?
Two minutes of fun at the expense of a badly-run theme park.
The Biggest Game Ever
How did this niche racing game make a gameworld so massive, and why is that a big deal?