SoldierHawke is back, and so we spend a lot of the show talking about Valve games. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions. Paul will be back next week for more of… whatever it is we do here.
Hosts: SoldierHawke, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
00:00 Black Mesa – Xen is out!
SoldierHawke and I were both wrong. The Black Mesa project began 11 years ago.
08:11 Half-Life Alyx
Like I said on the show, recent technological advances are making VR headsets better instead of cheaper. The evolution of the smartphone suggests that we should eventually reach a point where the hardware starts coming down in price. Then again, every technology is a little different because the price floor is shaped by both the number of consumers and the turnover rate.
I don’t know. I’m hoping we get cheaper VR in the next couple of years, but I don’t know if that’s a reasonable thing to expect or not.
12:43 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
You can see the first episode of SoldierHawke’s LP here.
25:48 Games Done Quick
I imagine the archived runs will be uploaded to the GDQ YouTube channel this week. I suggest the following:
Fallout AnthologyThe runner plays all mainline Fallout games is one go: Fallout 1, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, and Fallout 4., Doom 2016, and Control. The San Andreas run has some good moments in it, but due to the nature of the game they’re pretty spaced out and there’s a lot of time spent just playing the game. It lasts 4.5 hours and the runner has to spend a lot of time doing these headache-inducing camera jerks to keep the streets clear of traffic. Much like Rockstar games themselves, this run is an amazing showcase of skill and dedication, but it’s also low on thrills.
I missed a lot of the rest of the show, but those are the runs I liked.
34:25 Mailbag: Capra Demon
or, specifially, SoldierHawke: Can you give a pep talk for people stuck at Dark Souls?
For context, I can’t get past the Capra Demon.
39:58 Mailbag: Should games be fun?
One of the long-standing questions about our hobby that I occasionally wrestle with is: should games be fun?
Some people would go as far as to say that a game which makes no effort to be fun isn’t a game by definition. I would counter that by pointing to Survival Horror, one of our most venerable genres, which has built itself on a foundation not of fun, but fear. There are other titles such as the Dark Souls series, Team Ico’s output and certain entries from the Zelda franchise which I’ve found striking for their use of melancholy as the dominant colour in their emotional palette.
I’m not trying to score points against the ‘games should be fun’ camp – I love fun games as much as everyone else. But I was wondering if the pair of you had played any games that were memorable for evoking atypical emotional states, or if there were any as-yet unvisited emotions you’d like to see the medium explore.
44:42 Mailbag: What makes Half-Life 2 so special 16 years later?
Dear diecast, and soldierhawk (and shamus)
I played HL1 for the first time a few years ago when i went through a 90s shooter phase. This christmas i felt that as a true gamer(TM) I should also have played HL2. I wasnt too impressed by it. So what makes it so special 16 years later? The pacing i dont really like that much, the original always had action, this one has the boatride and antlion physics stuff which just feels like it slows you down. The weapon set is smaller and some of the fun weapons are removed or reduced to a buggy (like my favorite the tau gun). I guess the story, but I find a story thats all mystery no resolution suspect. Ive watched LOST and seeing them throw up mystery after mystery, without ever having plans for those mysteries to be resolved, just feels cheap. Like a magician that asks you to turn around so he can stuff the rabbit into his hat.
So i wonder if Shamus his memory loss pill would make him appreciate HL2 as much as he thinks it would.
with kind regards
52:24 SoldierHawk’s favorites of 2019
 The runner plays all mainline Fallout games is one go: Fallout 1, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, and Fallout 4.
Blistering Stupidity of Fallout 3
Yeah, this game is a classic. But the story is idiotic, incoherent, thematically confused, and patronizing.
Grand Theft Auto Retrospective
This series began as a cheap little 2D overhead game and grew into the most profitable entertainment product ever made. I have a love / hate relationship with the series.
PC Hardware is Toast
This is why shopping for graphics cards is so stupid and miserable.
Are Lootboxes Gambling?
Obviously they are. Right? Actually, is this another one of those sneaky hard-to-define things?
The Plot-Driven Door
You know how videogames sometimes do that thing where it's preposterously hard to go through a simple door? This one is really bad.