As always, the email address is in the header image. We tried to get all the questions this week, but the last one was a big too big to squeeze in at the end of the show.
Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
00:20 Ubisoft’s Just Dance Unlimited
For the record, Just Dance Unlimited is a service you sign up for in addition to buying the game. You don’t need the service to play the game, but if you get the service then you’ll have more dances to do. In addition to the problems I talked about on the show, Heather had additional annoyances she told me about the next morning:
- On the box, it promises that Just Dance Unlimited offers “over 400” songs. On the website, the sales pitch for JDU claims “over 200”. Then in the game proper, it says “over 300”. And at no time can you ever see a list telling you what you’ll get.
- Every time she selected a song, the game claimed it couldn’t connect to the Ubisoft servers. (Our internet was otherwise working perfectly, so it’s doubtful the problem was on our end.) She could play some songs, but others would give these odd network errors.
- After rebooting the Wii U, the game said she needed to create an Ubisoft account. That’s reasonable enough, but then why didn’t it ask for that up front? Why did it let her play parts of the game and give strange network errors if the real problem was it required an account? Did anyone test this?
- There’s a high score feature. On one of the songs the game said she got the highest score. You’d think it would say this for ALL songs, since she’d never played any of them before. But she got the highest score on just one. So is this some public / global high score table? If so, it’s kind of useless since there was no indication of how many other people were playing or had ever played any of these songs.
- The game records video of you dancing, with no way to turn it off. She eventually just covered up the Wii U camera.
- The game awards you in some bullshit points or whatever. You then use this junk currency to pay for spins on a slot machine, and that’s how you unlock new content. Imagine you’re out for a jog and you have to stop every three minutes and play with a slot machine on your phone. That should give you an idea of how awkward and unwelcome this feature is.
- The slot machine is very flashy. My wife has to look away from the screen because it gives her a headache.
- It’s obvious they didn’t really have a lot of content for the slot machine. Like, new icons for yourself, or new titles for your character.
- Aside from the slot machine, you also unlock other things through playing the game. She won things like THE HOME SCREEN and THE ABILITY TO MAKE PLAYLISTS. You know, basic features.
She loves Just Dance, but she described this experience as being “So very Ubisoft.”
09:40 Paul’s New Computer
Here are some pictures of the machine in progress.
27:44 Captain Marvel and Avengers Endgame
I know it’s a rule on the internet that every single time someone reviews a movie with a woman lead that it needs to be a referendum on gender politics, but can we not do that this time? Can we just like / not like movies without framing dissenters as members of some great horrible Other?
It would be great if we could do that. Thanks.
42:35 Mailbag: Bad games making WORSE games look better.
Hello Shamus and Paul,
I recently had a conversation with a friend about Fallout 76, specifically about how it makes Fallout 4 look a lot better by comparison. No (or really less) game breaking bugs, better experience due to an actual in-game narrative and overall just more enjoyable.
Thing is, I had almost the same conversation a few years ago. But back then it was about Fallout 4 vs Fallout 3. And how Fallout 4 makes Fallout 3 look a lot better by comparison. Things like an actual skill system, the dialog system and a plot that at least, had a clear villain (The enclave… and your dad).
I guess one thing that’s at work here is constrast effect (eg. Well… at least it’s not fallout 4…). That and nostalgia (eg. The newer game just might not evoke that same feeling as the previous game).
But I think it’s wierd that games like Fallout 3 or Mass Effect 3 (when compared with Andromeda) Suddenly get this status as ‘secretly great all along’ while nothing about the game has changed, only something came along that’s ‘worse’.
I guess my question is, what are your thoughts on this phenomenon? Did you ever look back on a game you played years ago and think ‘hmmm actually it’s not as bad’ when compared with newer games (in the franchise) and later realised you still kind of felt the same about it?
53:47 Mailbag: Will Wright
How are Will Wright’s games similar / different from each other?
I feel like we didn’t do this topic justice because I got sidetracked and dragged us WAY off-topic here. Sorry about that.
The Death of Half-Life
Valve still hasn't admitted it, but the Half-Life franchise is dead. So what made these games so popular anyway?
A Star is Born
Remember the superhero MMO from 2009? Neither does anyone else. It was dumb. So dumb I was compelled to write this.
What Does a Robot Want?
No, self-aware robots aren't going to turn on us, Skynet-style. Not unless we designed them to.
Project Button Masher
I teach myself music composition by imitating the style of various videogame soundtracks. How did it turn out? Listen for yourself.
The Gradient of Plot Holes
Most stories have plot holes. The failure isn't that they exist, it's when you notice them while immersed in the story.