#1 Edited by Kraznor (1578 posts) -

I know people love the podcast, as I do in some respects, but I've been listening to these guys since the Gamespot Days and I have some critiques I wanted to voice regarding where the podcast is at right now. Maybe you'll agree, maybe you'll disagree quite strongly, but I'd like to think we can have a meaningful discussion about it. Anyway, here is a summary of my thoughts (originally typed on a phone, so may be kind of funky here and there).

Been listening to these guys podcast for about seven years now (many of them appeared on Gamespot Presents The Hotspot prior to the Bombcast in 2008), and while I still enjoy it I can't help feeling they've failed to evolve with the times and are somewhat slaves to tradition.

Specifically, the podcast continues to have rigid segments, often resulting in the following pattern.

1) Introductions and catching with recent happenings. Results in plenty of amusing anecdotes about the crew and their lives. Some of my favorite discussions happen here.

2) "What have you been playing?" Here is the segment I have the most issues with. This segment often goes extremely long, and I think its due to the manner of games discussion Giant Bomb favors, one that is over-descriptive and mechanics focused rather than a point by point breakdown of the highs and lows of the games being discussed. Especially considering they do Quicklooks of more or less everything, all that mechanical info has already been covered by them to the point where the dry audio descriptions found here are redundant and serve no purpose. In addition, they are constantly afraid of "spoilers", even if they feel a game has a poor narrative. Basically, their discussions are shallow and surface-detail oriented, to the point where about half of every podcast is a bit of a drag.

3) News. Due to the bloated second segment, the news portion always seems rushed, which is a shame as many Giant Bomb staffers are true veterans, with a wealth of experiences that makes their take on industry happenings pretty interesting. Some great observations can happen here but again, because of how rushed it feels, you feel a bit teased each time. Jeff's "Jar Time" premium segment has some of the types of insights I'd like to hear more of in the podcast, so I'd like to see them flesh this segment out more.

4) New Releases. Why does this segment exist? At this point exhaustive discussions have already been had on noteworthy recent games to the point of making this redundant. Not only that, it immediately dates the podcast, is never delivered with enthusiasm or commentary and seems truly obligatory in every sense. Axe it.

5) User Questions. Yet another potentially amazing segment that gets rushed through every week due to how bloated and overlong these get thanks to the problems I outlined in section 2. As a long-time fan, seems especially discourteous as it is highly dismissive of the passionate community that allows Giant Bomb to exist. Some really amusing discussions happen here on occasion, but the sense that everyone is halfway out the door by the time this finally comes up is always present and it makes for a somewhat depressing ending every time.

I hope this is viewed as constructive feedback. Again, been a big fan of these gents for nearly a decade, but can't help noticing they are gradually wandering away from the qualities that attracted me to them in the first place. And after encountering the near-perfect blend of humor and insight into game theory and the industry at large that is "Idle Thumbs", can't help but wish my other favorite podcasts would mature and grow along with the industry they are a part of.

TL;DR Less non-editorial style game chatter, more news discussion and user questions. Also, axe "New Releases" and don't hesitate to do "spoiler talk" more often.

#2 Posted by Strife777 (1489 posts) -

I can agree with new releases, it's kind of useless. They tend to be spoiler-free because when they don't, people go NUTS! Then, you need to remember that a lot people listen to the podcast but don't watch quick looks, so can't take people for granted. Overall, I understand your opinion, but I disagree with most of it.

#3 Posted by Hailinel (23659 posts) -

What the beck is with the flood of threads with people trying to play armchair editor?

#4 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

I wouldn't go nuts on forums, but I'd be very annoyed if the bombcast spoiled anything. They already said way more than I'd like to have known about Dishonoured or XCOM's final mission, for example. I'd like it if they did more of those spoiler-full discussions on games like they did back in the day for MW2, MGS4 and even Spore. That way they go more in depth on a game, but it's separated so that I can avoid it until I've finished the game.

#5 Posted by BrockSampson (296 posts) -

What you seem to be looking for is an amount of structure that the Bombcast was never meant to have. I always thought of the features you listed as much of a lose basis to start conversation.

#6 Posted by killacam (1284 posts) -

I came here assuming hatred for you (there have been a lot of GB-critiquing threads lately) but i actually think you're bang on. I mean, i enjoy listening to them talk about games, but not at the expense of things like emails. Back in the day when IGN was all I knew, email segments on podcasts were some of the best portions of the show. You'd think a more member-oriented site like GB would do such things to an even greater extent. Though every time Jeff takes ten minutes to tell a story, it's time that could not possibly be spent better.

#7 Posted by Nightriff (4857 posts) -

Agree but I still love it, the long ones like last week are super draining considering they spent 2 hours on 2 games, that wasn't needed.

#8 Posted by Daiphyer (1301 posts) -

If you're looking for structure and short break-downs of games you're listening to the wroooooong podcast, friend.

#9 Posted by Zacagawea (1577 posts) -

Yep, total agreement with your points here.

Online
#10 Posted by Barrock (3525 posts) -

No more X:COM talk.

#11 Posted by pbhawks45 (736 posts) -

I would love to hear more news talk, for sure. I do agree with the OP that it often gets rushed. But I still love the Bombcast. You can still love things and hope for improvements, you guys. Don't kill the guy.

#12 Posted by Rafaelfc (1311 posts) -

creepy

#13 Posted by FearMyFlop (100 posts) -

I agree with the OP as well on a lot of this. For me the bombcast is at it's best when Jeff is in high gear and being obnoxious.

#14 Posted by Barrock (3525 posts) -

Does anyone have a podcast recommendation where they talk in depth about specific games? Spoilers and such?

#15 Edited by SSully (4117 posts) -

I love the current structure. I opening chat is fantastic and usually contains some of the funniest bombcast moments. Their game talk fits me perfectly. I hate spoilers, but love hearing about new(and sometimes old) games. I do not have time to play every new release, and sometimes take a few weeks to see quick looks for games that I care about, so its great to hear about what they have been playing so I can get a gist of what I am missing without getting spoiled.

News is ok. Sometimes there is some stuff really worth talking about in the industry. The recent controversy with game journalism that the crew discussed was fantastic and worthwhile. Other stuff is pretty marginal. So I am pretty happy with this section because they are usually smart about what they cover.

I will agree with new releases being dumb, its the worst part of the bombcast.

Finally user questions is a toss up. Sometimes there are good questions, but most of them are pretty poor.

#16 Posted by 49th (2667 posts) -

Needs more emails!

#17 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

@Barrock: There's a great one on that for MGS4, and Modern Warfare 2.

#18 Posted by Barrock (3525 posts) -

@Tylea002 said:

@Barrock: There's a great one on that for MGS4, and Modern Warfare 2.

Oh I know they did them for those games here.

I was wondering if there was any other podcasts that do it more often?

#19 Posted by Brendan (7663 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

What the beck is with the flood of threads with people trying to play armchair editor?

I can understand why you would feel this way, but as long as the topics aren't unintelligent and/or simply trolling, then it's not bad. Actually, even if not all of it is great, having constant market research like this being presented to them all the time is a fantastic advantage for a website like this that most companies have to work hard for. Their product is a platform for customer feedback, and that's pretty great as long as everyone maintains an open mind.

Online
#20 Edited by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

@Barrock said:

@Tylea002 said:

@Barrock: There's a great one on that for MGS4, and Modern Warfare 2.

Oh I know they did them for those games here.

I was wondering if there was any other podcasts that do it more often?

Oh, other podcasts? No idea, there was a bunch on Mass Effect 3 around the time - searching for a specific game on iTunes will yield millions of these types of thing.

#21 Edited by Baillie (4025 posts) -

@Barrock:

  • 06-19-08 -- MGS4
  • 01-26-10 -- Mass Effect 2
  • 02-02-10 -- Mass Effect 2

One of the latter two have fantastic discussions about ME2.

EDIT: I guess ignore this post then.

#22 Posted by smitty86 (697 posts) -

Just saying, this week alone (3 days) , the forums have just been loaded with the following requests at one point or another:

  • more structure to the bomcast
  • less non-game related talk on the bomcast
  • shorter bomcast
  • shorter quick looks
  • less quick looks
  • quick looks with much more prep time
  • less spoilers (in regards to video)
  • more spoliers (in regards to the bomcast)
  • less Patrick
  • no Patrick
  • more premium content to make up for the apparent lack of current premium content
  • changes in the main crews personalities as they are too jaded in their opinions
  • better reviews
  • a return to the old days of giantbomb
  • more effort in everything
  • stop being lazy
  • get a better camera for non-game videos
  • less personality, more information
  • less information, more personality
#23 Edited by Kerned (1169 posts) -

@Barrock said:

Does anyone have a podcast recommendation where they talk in depth about specific games? Spoilers and such?

Try Cain and Rinse. That's all they do. Each episode is an in-depth discussion about a single game. They don't limit themselves to new games, which you may or may not consider a negative (I don't). Also, if the topic of conversation is a game you intend to play but haven't, listening may be a bad idea (spoilers, obviously).

Edit: Almost forgot to mention how sick to goddamn death I am of these "let me tell you how to run your website" threads.

#24 Posted by Kraznor (1578 posts) -

@Tylea002 said:

I wouldn't go nuts on forums, but I'd be very annoyed if the bombcast spoiled anything. They already said way more than I'd like to have known about Dishonoured or XCOM's final mission, for example. I'd like it if they did more of those spoiler-full discussions on games like they did back in the day for MW2, MGS4 and even Spore. That way they go more in depth on a game, but it's separated so that I can avoid it until I've finished the game.

I could definitely go for more spoiler-oriented special podcasts as a compromise. Just the way it is now, I have to wait until the GOTY podcasts to get in-depth breakdowns of how the Giant Bomb guys felt about the past year's narratives and even then they don't record everything (specifically remember Brad made an off-mic case for Silent Hill: Shattered Memories that ended up winning that game Wii Game of the Year. Would have loved to hear that discussion but nope, too spoilery).

#25 Posted by Laurentech (127 posts) -

Your points are actually pretty reasonable. The only thing I would really like is for them to stop shortchanging the e-mails section. As you said, they frequently just fly through it or don't do any at all, yet it's often one of the best parts of the show. If you're already going 2 1/2 to 3 hours, I don't think it will hurt anything to go an extra 20 or so minutes for e-mails. And definitely axe the new releases section.

BOMBCAST 4 LYFE <3

#26 Edited by Barrock (3525 posts) -

@Kerned said:

@Barrock said:

Does anyone have a podcast recommendation where they talk in depth about specific games? Spoilers and such?

Try Cain and Rinse. That's all they do. Each episode is an in-depth discussion about a single game. They don't limit themselves to new games, which you may or may not consider a negative (I don't). Also, if the topic of conversation is a game you intend to play but haven't, listening may be a bad idea (spoilers, obviously).

Edit: Almost forgot to mention how sick to goddamn death I am of these "let me tell you how to run your website" threads.

That sounds awesome! Thanks so much. :)

#27 Posted by Kraznor (1578 posts) -

@BrockSampson said:

What you seem to be looking for is an amount of structure that the Bombcast was never meant to have. I always thought of the features you listed as much of a lose basis to start conversation.

Oh, I guess the way I structured the review made it look like I wanted more structure but I was more commenting on the structure that was already in place. I actually really liked that brief period where Ryan was experimenting with the Emails segment (whenever a button was pushed, email would be read) as it gave the show more variety. I love podcasts with no structure whatsoever (Mega64 and Idle Thumbs spring to mind). The Bombcast seems to have slowly sunk into a structure that inhibits rather than fosters good conversations. Specifically in regards to how emails are handled.

#28 Posted by zombie2011 (4968 posts) -

I like the Bombcast how it is, however when they start talking about old ass consoles/arcade machines or PC's i skip that stuff.

#29 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

@Kraznor said:

@Tylea002 said:

I wouldn't go nuts on forums, but I'd be very annoyed if the bombcast spoiled anything. They already said way more than I'd like to have known about Dishonoured or XCOM's final mission, for example. I'd like it if they did more of those spoiler-full discussions on games like they did back in the day for MW2, MGS4 and even Spore. That way they go more in depth on a game, but it's separated so that I can avoid it until I've finished the game.

I could definitely go for more spoiler-oriented special podcasts as a compromise. Just the way it is now, I have to wait until the GOTY podcasts to get in-depth breakdowns of how the Giant Bomb guys felt about the past year's narratives and even then they don't record everything (specifically remember Brad made an off-mic case for Silent Hill: Shattered Memories that ended up winning that game Wii Game of the Year. Would have loved to hear that discussion but nope, too spoilery).

Exactly - they should totally record them, just separate them better. And that's a perfect example! I wanted to hear that too...

#30 Posted by LiquidS (971 posts) -

Not sure if possible but would be great if it was a little sexier.

#31 Posted by Giefcookie (579 posts) -

With no Nintendownloads, axing new releases section in favour of more emails/news is a great idea. Otherwise I think the bombcast is perfect as it is atm.

#32 Posted by kishinfoulux (2250 posts) -

Everything is perfect, but "New Releases" is pointless and needs to go. Especially since it wastes precious email time, which has been reduced to like five minutes.

#33 Posted by Abendlaender (2730 posts) -

God, no spoilers please. I don't always play games the second they come out, still I don't want to get spoiled. New releases can go, probably for longer News time but for the rest: Eh.

Let them do what they want to, works out for me.

#34 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

I agree with get if rid if new releases

#35 Posted by hwy_61 (920 posts) -

I had a nice steamy pile of shit to fling at you, but you're totally right, duder. I agree with the new releases, that shit could go. The watcha been playin is bloated, but only because the crew spin out into a crazy ass tangent, and thus, takes some time to circle back around to the topic at hand.

My favorite part of the bombcast is the at the top. I love hearing abut these guys' lives, especially Vinny and little Max, and the trials and tribulations of newfound parenthood.

#36 Posted by Aleryn (703 posts) -

I still enjoy it after years, but applaud the conciseness of your disgruntlement.

#37 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

Don't like it don't eat

#38 Posted by SargeGulp (237 posts) -

Aren't there some who only listen to the bombcast though? Which would make it less redundant in reference to QL's.

Concerning the amount of bitching.. jeeezus. Even I, a professional whiner am finding this a bit excessive. This is coming from someone who watched Stargate Sg-1 FOR 9 SEASONS GOD HELP ME.

#39 Posted by MURDERSMASH (249 posts) -

@Kraznor said:

I know people love the podcast, as I do in some respects, but I've been listening to these guys since the Gamespot Days and I have some critiques I wanted to voice regarding where the podcast is at right now. Maybe you'll agree, maybe you'll disagree quite strongly, but I'd like to think we can have a meaningful discussion about it. Anyway, here is a summary of my thoughts (originally typed on a phone, so may be kind of funky here and there).

...

3) News. Due to the bloated second segment, the news portion always seems rushed, which is a shame as many Giant Bomb staffers are true veterans, with a wealth of experiences that makes their take on industry happenings pretty interesting. Some great observations can happen here but again, because of how rushed it feels, you feel a bit teased each time. Jeff's "Jar Time" premium segment has some of the types of insights I'd like to hear more of in the podcast, so I'd like to see them flesh this segment out more.

...

I hope this is viewed as constructive feedback. Again, been a big fan of these gents for nearly a decade, but can't help noticing they are gradually wandering away from the qualities that attracted me to them in the first place. And after encountering the near-perfect blend of humor and insight into game theory and the industry at large that is "Idle Thumbs", can't help but wish my other favorite podcasts would mature and grow along with the industry they are a part of.

TL;DR Less non-editorial style game chatter, more news discussion and user questions. Also, axe "New Releases" and don't hesitate to do "spoiler talk" more often.

Glad to see a well-rounded, constructive thread about this that isn't just pure bitching and moaning. Thank you!

Concerning point 3, I totally agree. If they don't change it at all, I'd still be totally fine with the podcast, but I really would like to see more in-depth news discussion.

Either way, though, absolutely LOVE the Bombcast. It's a ton of fun to listen to.

#40 Posted by aquamarin (555 posts) -

They still haven't gotten used to the new studio.

#41 Posted by VoshiNova (1632 posts) -

@killacam said:

I came here assuming hatred for you (there have been a lot of GB-critiquing threads lately) but i actually think you're bang on. I mean, i enjoy listening to them talk about games, but not at the expense of things like emails. Back in the day when IGN was all I knew, email segments on podcasts were some of the best portions of the show. You'd think a more member-oriented site like GB would do such things to an even greater extent. Though every time Jeff takes ten minutes to tell a story, it's time that could not possibly be spent better.

Back in the day when IGN was all I knew

#42 Posted by Landon (4127 posts) -

Yeah, I wish they would cut out New Releases and just put that time into more Emails. Emails use to be my favorite part of the show, now they MAYBE read 3 at the most per week. I don't need to know what comes out this week when I can see that on the site, or when they talk about it on I Love Mondays.

#43 Posted by bartok (2406 posts) -

By not listening to these forums.

#44 Posted by envane (1159 posts) -

yes

#45 Posted by Teoball (561 posts) -

My favorite part of the bombcast is when they just talk about anything, doesn't have to be game related at all. The less structure the better.

Stupid questions from people is my least favorite part, so please no more Emails than there are now.

Online
#46 Posted by JStaunton (150 posts) -

I love the podcasts as they are!

#47 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

My problem with the bombcast including spoilers is that they play games PRERELEASE and THEN talk spoilers. In the case of dishonored or Xcom, they were talking in depth about the plots of games nobody could legally play at the time. it was just poor radio above and beyond the spoiler content because nobody had any context for it. I agree that the opening segments of the bombcast are worn out. It's interesting how the hotspot made its whole show about news and on the bombcast news is super dry.

#48 Posted by TheUnsavedHero (1255 posts) -

I always love the News and E-mails sections of the podcast and it always irks me when they have to be cut short because they spent too much time on the What'cha Been Playing? part. I would just ask them to reign it in a bit. I have no issue with the New Releases part as I usually never check release dates for games unless I'm diehard excited for a specific game. It's just a nice reminder for me. Plus, it usually is the shortest part of the show.

I also love it when they go off topic sometimes and tell personal stories like Jeffs' "Steve with a white car" story and Vinny's continuing experiences as a new father. Cutting down on the podcast would probably stop these gems from being told which would be a shame I feel. Note that I said 'sometimes' and not 'all the time'. Too much off topic talk does make it a slog to listen to when you want to hear more game talk.

Final point, I know some people gripe about how long and detailed the guys talk about the games they played when they have Quick Looks of said games. While it's true that they have QLs, some people don't watch or can't watch them. I feel the podcast format for the crew is just four or five guys having a friendly conversation about games and they forget that it's a show, but just a chat. I like that about this show. It feels natural.

All in all, they just need to not get wildly off point in the What'cha Been Playing segment, and everything else will fall in place while keeping that natural feel.

#49 Posted by Rsvaret (47 posts) -

I'm surprised by how much of this I agree with. I'm in full agreement about axing the New Releases segment as the website itself more than fulfills that need for me. I'd also really like more time to be devoted to emails. A ruinationcast like the one Idle Thumbs did would be amazing! I'm torn on the what have you been playing segment though. When I've already watched the Quick Look related to the game, it does seem superfluous to describe mechanical aspects and such. However, sometimes the podcast has encouraged me to check out games that I had earlier assumed I would have little interest in based on concept art and such. I could certainly see condensing the mechanics-related aspect of the what have you been playing segment and infusing it with more idle thumbs style ponderings though.

#50 Posted by LikeaSsur (1486 posts) -

I think the term "spoiler" is getting thrown around a lot here. I think the cast has done pretty well to avoid spoilers for the whole year, because even if they did mention something specific (like they did with Fez a lot), it's so out of context that we have no idea how it plays into the overall story of a game.

Then again, if you're being super specific about what a spoiler is, then yes, I suppose talking about the narrative or a specific point in any game would get your spoiler seal of avoidance. Luckily, the cast doesn't agree with you, because that would bar almost all of them talking about anything regarding newly released games.