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Posted by patrickklepek (4791 posts) -
It's supposed to storm tonight and it hasn't stormed since I moved back and it's all I can think about, so here is a picture of a thunderstorm. No, I'm not sorry. Cue up the horror flicks!

Your situation is what you make of it, and the last few weeks have been trying to figure out where I fit into Giant Bomb, given that I’m no longer out in San Francisco. I will not fade quietly into the night!

My first “solo” Quick Look went up on the site this morning, in which I check out the Factions downloadable content for the still-underrated Metro: Last Light. Pretty sure I’m the only who has or will play Last Light on Giant Bomb, so both for my edification and yours, I decided to pull the trigger on looking at the game’s first add-on. To be clear, don’t expect solo Quick Looks to become a daily occurrence from me. It’s a format I’m playing around with, and maybe it won’t work. Plus, I don’t want to take away from what’s become a very welcomed evolution of the format with multiple people joining videos back in the Bay Area. I think that’s awesome, and you’ll only see me filing a Quick Look for a game in very specific circumstances.

(Small aside: I’m surprised at how much people react to the simple branding of a video as a Quick Look. When I put up a video of me talking over Shelter, everyone loved it. When I put up a video about Metro: Last Light, there’s a bunch of anxiety about there only being one person. Reaction from different crowds attracted to different videos (indie weirdness vs. shooter) or psychological reaction to branding that come with some very specific expectations within? Most curious!)

It feels good to be finding a balance between writing and video, though.

Our pilot for a morning show was a great success, and I’m happy to be providing live material for people not willing to wait for California to wake up. It’s always been a sore point on Giant Bomb, and I’m hoping to help fill it. We’ll be hosting the show at least two days a week, and reserve the right do it more frequently, if it makes sense. We’re hosting the show via Google Hangout, simply because it produces better quality audio and video than Skype, and it lets us have a chat that goes along with the show. If you aren’t already aware, there's an audio version of the show in the podcast tab, and future installments should have much superior audio than what you’re currently listening to. The plan is to record audio separate from the Hangout, direct from our mics, and use those files to produce the podcast. It’s a simple as clicking another button, and it should be worth it.

In both cases, please feel free to send me your most honest feedback. I expect nothing less from the Giant Bomb audience, and I hope I’ve shown myself to be more than willing to listen.

Hey, You Should Play These

And You Should Read These, Too

Without much fanfare, games are starting to grow up, by virtue of developers getting older. Art is often a reflection of its creator(s), and we’re seeing that in video games, too. It’s not a coincidence that so many games these days harp on daddy issues, whether we’re talking about children dealing with troubled father figures or men coping with the responsibility of a child. As a male who will hopefully be a father, too, it’s hard for me to step outside of that bubble and imagine what it’s like from the opposing perspective. At Paste, Maddy Myers does exactly that, and raises some compelling points about what all of these father games are saying.

“Perhaps it is the realism of the situation presented in The Last of Us and in Bioshock Infinite that disturbs me the most. Real life includes plenty of bad parents. We are meant to empathize with this father’s feelings of regret and failure, because he tried. We are not meant to think too hard about the years that this daughter figure spent sequestered from other people, or the fact that this relationship is the only one she’s ever had (so, gas-lighting her into believing it is a normal, loving relationship is terrifyingly easy, because she has no point of comparison), nor the fact that she has never been allowed to make a decision for herself and might want to know what it’s like to do that.”

“Why gaming's latest take on war is so offensive to Russians” by Colin Campbell for Polygon

As games grapple with more complex storytelling, complications will arise. Good intentions aren’t enough, and there’s no way to guarantee a narrative will be viewed through a universal prism. With Company of Heroes 2, there’s been some substantial dispute about the game’s portrayal of Russia during World War II. At the heart of the matter appears to be a tension between the game’s need to come up with a number of gameplay scenarios that balance historical accuracy and fun, combined with a potential Western bias about the war itself. There are no easy answer, but Polygon’s Colin Campbell does an excellent job walking us through it.

"Relic argues that Company of Heroes 2 is historically balanced, and rejects the charge that the game wraps its narrative around isolated incidences. 'In a war the scale of the Eastern Front, we had to choose specific battles and incidences to deliver the breadth of the narrative,' said game director Quinn Duffy.

He said that the campaign was inspired by the writing of Vasily Grossman (pictured below), a combat journalist who spent three years on the front lines and had 'unparalleled access to the commanders of the various fronts.' His work, said Duffy, 'illustrates the unparalleled bravery amongst the front line troops, but also cruelty, petty disputes, competition and egos clashing at all levels of the military hierarchy.'"

If You Click It, It Will Play

Like it or Not, Crowdfunding Isn't Going Away

Some Thoughtful Commentary And Reactions to Phil Fish

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Staff
#1 Posted by AMyggen (3127 posts) -

Love the Jeff Green article.

What I'm saying is that I love Jeff Green!

#2 Posted by Bollard (5598 posts) -

@fattony12000 That's the first time I saw your "Follow your bliss" video. It was really good man.

#3 Edited by mrfluke (5191 posts) -

its more that when its stuff like spookin and bombastica, its expected that its a solo thing and the user is more into going along for the ride with the speaker (this applies more to spookin than bombastica). while bombastica, its a more balanced thing of the user is going along with it with the speaker while looking at the game they are showcasing as bombastica is the speaker showing off the game and talking about it more for archival purposes..

but when the video is branded a quick look. it does take for a surprise when you only hear one person talking,

Gb's first quick look was a solo one (Jeff QL on burnout paradise dlc).

but we've become so used to seeing the words quick look and then associate 2 voices speaking during a quick look.

it truly is a psychological thing.

truly bet that if you didn't call that video a quick look, there would be less anxiety.

#4 Posted by NorseDudeTR (425 posts) -

Jeff Green is great! That's all I'm saying!

#5 Posted by rasko_the_brave (86 posts) -

Jeff Green.

#6 Posted by cjack007 (7 posts) -

Jeff Green is great! That's all I'm saying!

That's all WE'RE saying!

#7 Posted by mrfluke (5191 posts) -

@cjack007 said:

@norsedudetr said:

Jeff Green is great! That's all I'm saying!

That's all WE'RE saying!

aaand that he should come work for giantbomb!

#8 Edited by shinboy630 (1143 posts) -

@patrickklepek Couldn't agree more about HowLongToBeat. It is an immeasurably valuable tool in trying to decide which game in my backlog to tackle next.

#9 Posted by Parsnip (1092 posts) -

Yes, it's the branding.

#10 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#11 Edited by eskimo (477 posts) -

Man, I wish this site didn't have so much hate for android :(

You could level that same fragmentation argument at the PC.

#12 Edited by csl316 (8755 posts) -

The radio show was wonderful, can't wait for more. I'd give constructive criticism but I honestly can't think of anything to criticize.

And the Twin Peaks music in the Follow Your Bliss video fit so damn well. Good, heartfelt message.

#13 Posted by VincentVendetta (251 posts) -

I feel like sexism has become the hot-button issue that any lousy game journalist can tackle to get more views and to feel like they're important or something. I think I now have a short temper for this kind of article, not because of this issue itself, but because it takes so much of the spotlight that people, journalists or random internet dudes, tend to ignore other problems or aspects of the medium. A lot of people don't think an in-depth analysis of a game is about its story, how it correlates with its gameplay, its place in a certain trend or anything; for them, an in-depth article is just asking "Is this sexist?"... and that's it. And it sure fucking works because every fucking day we get giant forum threads of reactions about said article. It's like we've embarqued on some kind of witch-hunt against sexism in games themselves, but one that doesn't seem to have a real far-end goal on itself.

I watched the last video in the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series, and I might have finally came to grips with not liking the series simply because it is so focused on this hot-button issue that it doesn't (or maybe refuses) to look at anything around it, mainly the story. I was very annoyed when it praised Braid, a game I love, just because she pretends the game asks the questions "what if the princess was running away from you?" ...Really Anita, that's it. I mean, I know you only focus on video game cliches like a cold scientist, but did you ever consider that it could actually mean, you know, something else? That there are other things around it? What about the well known fact that when you get near this said-princess, she litterally explodes like an atom bomb? What now? If all we have to do determine the artistic or cultural merit of a game is a Bechdel test, then we are idiots.

The big problem I have with this movement is that it doesn't seem to understand that in order to really start a wave of female protagonist in video game, or just straight-out female game directors, we actually need honest-to-god good, influential games, and not games that were solely made to fill a void and nothing else, ones that will ultimately be forgotten. Because a good story is a good story, . I remember reading a Cahier du Cinéma issue (french film magazine) about women filmmakers about a year ago (very interesting feature in fact). It noted that while there are still much, much more male directors than female directors in every national cinema, France has a bigger (while still minority) percentage compared to the rest and it attribuated it to influential directors like Agnès Varda, who directed Cléo de 5 à 7 in the middle of the French new wave. And it is a very good movie, very, very good. One that inspired other to follow in her footsteeps. What we need to change is not only criticism; we also need, above all, creation; original, personal visions.

#14 Edited by DEFE (257 posts) -

Very interesting piece on the Super Game Boy. I don't think I ever got a chance to use one of those. I didn't know it even did anything other than let you play Game Boy games on a bigger screen. Really good read.

#15 Posted by Milkman (16838 posts) -

The link to Ben Kuchera's article about Phil Fish is broken but I'm not sure anything of value is being lost there.

#16 Posted by Yummylee (21749 posts) -
#17 Posted by planetfunksquad (452 posts) -

I don't care about any of this, I'm just happy that Patrick knows who Hud Mo is.

#18 Posted by Detrian (1126 posts) -

Sorry russians, Relic can't quite make a game about rape or genocide so you'll have to bear with a few tropes in the meantime.

#19 Edited by BisonHero (6564 posts) -

I agree with the Maddy Myers article, in that the whole time I was playing Bioshock Infinite, I thought it was incredibly weird much they downplayed that Elizabeth had spent her entire life in captivity. She was sorta too well adjusted, given that she had effectively no friends, and Songbird is more like a big guard dog or something. Even if they didn't mistreat her and put her up in a fancy jail cell with a bunch of literature and whatever, it would still be incredibly damaging to only interact with a bunch of scientists/doctors who are studying her (and I think some voxaphone says they were to speak to her as little as possible).

#20 Posted by dsi1 (164 posts) -

Experiment 12 could only exist on Geocities.

#21 Posted by Brundage (379 posts) -

Loved the morning show! Really like the audio only too! Not a fan of the one man quick look though...

#22 Posted by DharmaBum (1049 posts) -
#23 Posted by MrMazz (986 posts) -

I to love Jeff Green aka the Internet Dad to all. Also I need to find this fabled gas station with 3 hotdogs for 99 cents and a piano cover of kiss from a rose.

As always patrick you always provide a nice variety of stuff

#24 Posted by Elwoodan (833 posts) -

I dunno, I have a serious issue with Kuchera writing 'Phil Fish is an asshole, but that's OK' one week, then defending him the next. As a professional writer, surely there are more-professional- and respectful ways to go about discussing a contentious personality, and why guys like Fish and Blow are so interesting. I'm not saying he has to love the guy, but out-and-out calling him an ass is a terrible way to go about that.

#25 Posted by Fattony12000 (7454 posts) -

@patrickklepek Thanks for including my video duder! Much love. Is this the first time a Giant Bomb user video has made it onto Worth Reading?

@fattony12000 That's the first time I saw your "Follow your bliss" video. It was really good man.

Thank you.

GLHB.

@fattony12000 the Twin Peaks music got me. Well done, duder.

I know, me too! It took me about 20 seconds to settle on that track, it just seemed right for Ryan.

Worth Reading?

The accompanying blog post to my video is here, and if you want to help out Ryan's dad with a thing, click on this.

#26 Edited by WeaponBoy (164 posts) -

As if I needed another reason to dislike him, that article about FFXIII-3 is an excellent reminder of how fucking awful Motomu Toriyama is. I want to like that game because it's trying something more than the generic FF turn-based/ATB fights, but it seems like Toriyama's creepy waifu obsession with Lightning just gets more and more fucked up as time goes on. Just...fuck.

#27 Posted by Jerowyn (7 posts) -
@eskimo said:

Man, I wish this site didn't have so much hate for android :(

You could level that same fragmentation argument at the PC.

The article doesn't even call it a bad thing (From TFA):

What is clear from this report is that Android fragmentation, of all varieties, is increasing. Too often this is treated as a problem with Android, rather than a strength, but we feel that this misses the bigger picture. While there are certainly problems associated with fragmentation (and as developers we know them all too well), it is wrong to suggest that it is only a downside. Apple are currently working on a lower-end device, increasing the fragmentation of their ecosystem in the process, suggesting that the Android ecosystem is not only doing something right, but doing something to be imitated.

#28 Posted by Ravelle (1292 posts) -

The guys on Polygon sure are web design wizards, hot damn that Year Walk article.

#29 Posted by precog13 (16 posts) -

I seriously miss hearing from Jeff Green on a regular basis.

#32 Posted by hookem1883 (28 posts) -

Regarding the presentation of history in Company of Heroes 2, the issue is way more complicated than presented in that Polygon article. The root issue at stake here isn't Western depictions of the war on the Eastern Front, but rather how the Second World War is taught in Russia. Most Russian textbooks conveniently forget that the Soviet Union began the war as an aggressor - singing a pact with Nazi Germany, invading Poland, attacking Finland, and fighting an undeclared war against Japan in northern China. Additionally, the worst abuses of Stalin's regime are typically glossed over. This fact is thanks primarily to Putin's regime, which tends to treat Stalin as a misunderstood hero rather than a monstrous paranoid dictator. This isn't to say that the presentation of WWII by Western game companies is accurate and without fault. For instance, how many American WWII games include the internment of Japanese Americans, or the firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo as central plot points? The issue, again, isn't merely misrepresentation of one country by another, but also the misrepresentation of one country by itself.

#33 Posted by Sunjammer (916 posts) -

@eskimo: Yep. This site is notoriously out of whack with Android reality. As an Android/iOS/Desktop developer, imho, fragmentation is something the dumbest of developers complains about. If you don't design for a moving target you're a shit developer.

Especially for game developers fragmentation on Android is a non-issue. It's OpenGL ES2, OpenAL and multitouch. Design for a dynamic canvas and pick the right targets. Don't be a jackass.

#34 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -

@patrickklepek Virtual Console ban? Why would you put that on yourself?

#35 Posted by BigJeffrey (5021 posts) -

That vid gets me more excited for some breaking bad

#36 Posted by hi_im_rob (204 posts) -

Call me an Android apologist but that chart is not really fair. The reason is that it splits a device by its radio transmitter. Samsung made several Galaxy S3's for different markets and networks. The Galaxy S3 that runs on AT&T is separated from the one that runs on Version which is separated from the ones meant for Europe etc even though they are virtually the same device. The latest numbers show 60% of Android phones are running OS 4.0 or higher. These phones should be capable of running 'higher end' mobile games.

Android's real problem is piracy. Sadly it's the reason why free-to-play is so popular. If they can do something about piracy I think we'll see more games come to Android.

#38 Edited by SatelliteOfLove (1369 posts) -

(Small aside: I’m surprised at how much people react to the simple branding of a video as a Quick Look. When I put up a video of me talking over Shelter, everyone loved it.

QLs started off solo. Ignore bad comments.

Killer is Dead has received some flack for its gigolo mode. An XSEED employee responds.

Anita Sarkeesian is right. Swapping genders is lazy, we need to be more creative. i.e you play as the end of level flag trying to find Mario

Sad that things can get so bad involving women in gaming that we to have to have puritanical, pet project-pushing fringers are needed to correct them, and even worse that they're allowed to run free with kooky BS like this. It as I have forseen...

#39 Posted by Treadstone (13 posts) -

Hey, Patrick. Thank you for making a ton of content for us even though you're no longer at the office. It's all great!

I don't have a problem with solo Quick Looks, but it seems quite a lot of people just expect Quick Looks to have 2 or more people in them, and react badly to the idea of anything different.

People will get used to it if you just press forward, I'm sure, but if you want to mollify them now then you could probably just label them as something else. Maybe a new series, or maybe you can repurpose 'Worth Playing' into your own series of solo quick looks that might pop up more than once a week.

The San Francisco crew might register higher on the hilarity scale when they all get together, but when it comes to Giant Bomb helping me to discover new games I didn't even know existed, that's been all you, man. Singlehandedly. Keep up the good work.

#40 Posted by XChairmanDrekX (284 posts) -

I am so tired of hearing about Phil Fish, I wish everyone would just shut the hell up about him, haters, and tireless defenders alike, he isn't worth all the damn attention.

#41 Posted by Smokey_Earhole (474 posts) -

Emanuel Wanson is awesome as fuck.

#42 Posted by Dixavd (1358 posts) -

I am so tired of hearing about Phil Fish, I wish everyone would just shut the hell up about him, haters, and tireless defenders alike, he isn't worth all the damn attention.

It did happen last weekend so you have to assume that the last week would involve people responding. This is the first worth reading since his outburst and so it must feature him since it was arguably the biggest story in video game journalism for the past week. I wouldn't expect it to be mentioned again next week (unless Phil Fish responds changing his mind or something - be he is very stubborn so I doubt a single week would change his mind).

#43 Edited by fisk0 (4164 posts) -

Interesting about the censorship in The Last of Us. Naughty Dog's reply was very unspecific about which countries' were affected. I certainly understand it had to happen to the version released in Germany and Australia, and I guess the UK, considering the treatment Fallout got over there. But here in Sweden we did away with movie censorship back in 1995, and I'd think that would be true for games as well, and some comments in the thread implied that the Finnish release was uncensored, I wonder if we got the same release as Finland or if we got the UK/EU(/EFIGS?) version. Haven't bought it yet, but trying to determine if I should get it in a local store or import it.

#44 Posted by csl316 (8755 posts) -

@patrickklepek Patrick, have you ever thought of covering fan made games? Or does that get into weird legal territory?

Right now I'm running through Super Mario Bros. Crossover 3.0, I think Mega Man Unlimited is a better game than MM10, and Streets of Rage Remake was incredible (though that one had a cease-and-desist problem). I dunno, it could be interesting.

#45 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

That whole Killer Is Dead's Gigolo-mode debacle has been debunked on neogaf. Almost everything the guy in that video video is upset about is incorrect or taken out of context. Gotta get those views, even if it's misinformation!

#46 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1632 posts) -
#47 Posted by KDR_11k (140 posts) -

The Super Game Boy was a pack-in with my SNES so I used it a lot and liked it, after all the GB didn't just have a monochrome screen, it also didn't have any lights to remain playable when the room lights aren't favorable.

It should be mentioned however that while OBJ mode is exclusive to the SGB for obvious reasons it's by far not the only system that used multiple palettes per screen. 8 bit systems could only define background colors per tile, i.e. per 8x8 square and you could spot that if you looked really closely. The C64 has the additional handicap that out of the three colors (plus transparency) a multicolor sprite could use only one was sprite-specific, the other two were shared between ALL sprites. Also multicolor sprites had a lower resolution because they needed two bits for each "pixel" and the C64 only had enough memory for one bit per pixel so the sprites would end up combining two pixels into one to get enough data for multiple colors.

Also DK '94 is bloody amazing and everybody should play it. It costs four bucks on the 3DS eShop and still holds up perfectly. The 3DS doesn't do SGB emulation but the game remains just as fun if not as pretty.

#48 Posted by Discoman (167 posts) -

@patrickklepek The Penny Arcade link is broken: I think it needs a period for the .com.

A nice weekly supplement as always.

#49 Posted by befo72 (46 posts) -

Oh man that Breaking Bad thing was so good!

#50 Posted by Giantstalker (1660 posts) -

Regarding the presentation of history in Company of Heroes 2, the issue is way more complicated than presented in that Polygon article. The root issue at stake here isn't Western depictions of the war on the Eastern Front, but rather how the Second World War is taught in Russia. Most Russian textbooks conveniently forget that the Soviet Union began the war as an aggressor - singing a pact with Nazi Germany, invading Poland, attacking Finland, and fighting an undeclared war against Japan in northern China. Additionally, the worst abuses of Stalin's regime are typically glossed over. This fact is thanks primarily to Putin's regime, which tends to treat Stalin as a misunderstood hero rather than a monstrous paranoid dictator. This isn't to say that the presentation of WWII by Western game companies is accurate and without fault. For instance, how many American WWII games include the internment of Japanese Americans, or the firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo as central plot points? The issue, again, isn't merely misrepresentation of one country by another, but also the misrepresentation of one country by itself.

Came in to post something very similar to this, pleasantly surprised I was already beaten by a member of the community. This is spot-on, and it's important to consider that history has been (and still is) interpreted very differently from the Russian perspective as a result of the 70 years since the war. They (or let's be realistic here, their grandparents) may have been fighting, but doesn't mean they're "right" in terms of the objective reality - or, put bluntly, what actually happened in the conflict.

I've studied the history and historiography of the second world war academically, and the game does exaggerate certain aspects of the war, but coming from the perspective of a game (to be played) I think it could've been a hell of a lot worse. The campaign is kind of corny but on the whole what it portrays is neither unfounded nor untrue. For me, the weirdest parts were the Russians' reliance on molotov cocktails (which aren't even a Russian invention) as an integral part of their strategy, and the use of Order 227 as a campaign mechanic after 1942 missions. But seriously, other than that, it's not so bad.