I Feel Like I'm Taking Crazy Pills: A Counter-Argument to the Sony Conference

So the Sony Press Conference happened. By and large, people seem to be pretty optimistic about the conference and think it went well. The Giant Bomb crew came away from it relatively impressed and said it was good.I respectfully must disagree. Just as their believing it was good is their opinion, I think it was almost a trainwreck - which is mine.

Before I really start going into where I think things went wrong, I should at least start off with some positive notes. Landing Jonathan Blow and his latest game for the PS4 is a pretty nice achievement, and it did look like a pleasing alternative. It's difficult to judge the game based on what little gameplay I saw, but it's a puzzle game from the guy who made Braid and I have faith in that.

The concept of downloading a game off of PSN and being able to play it before it's finished DLing sounds great on paper. The devil might be in the details on how it's done - whether it's streamed to the system or the game is built in such a way that core assets are DL'd first for quick play ala World of Warcraft. But it's still something the Wii U doesn't have and it's probably a first for a console.

But this is where I start to come off of the rails. From a hardware and a game perspective, I think the PS4 isn't necessarily doomed. But it's going to have a very rough landing and this presentation didn't help.

To start I have to go back to the idea of streaming the game. People on Giant Bomb obviously have access to the Internet, and probably have a good connection to enjoy the video content. But there is still a very large segment of (at least the American) population that doesn't hook up their consoles to the Internet. They're going to miss out on some of the key parts of the console because the infrastructure either isn't there in their part of the country, or because their ISP is putting profit over service. Other countries might have an issue with bandwidth caps depending on how much data is required to stream a game.

This is especially a problem given that the PS4 has no backwards compatibility. At all. Officially, Sony said they're reworked the entire architecture of the system to be more developer friendly and this is why it's no longer possible to run legacy games. Even if that's the case, they're not even going to try and half-ass it like Microsoft did for the 360. The move might've been telegraphed earlier in the PS3 lifespan with PS2 discs no longer being read in later versions of the console, but it's still a sorely missing feature after the PS3 launched with such a staggering back-catalog and after the Wii U still has BC for its own predecessor. At this point, at least saying 'we can try to work something out' would've been nice even if it would've taken a long time to do.

Then there's the games. I can understand that Sony wants to reserve some firepower for E3, but this is their console announcement conference. I applaud Sony's decision to put some actual games on the line here. They need something to catch people's attention, and usually a good way to do that is a new IP.

But a new Killzone? People still care about Killzone? I still remember the controversy over the PS3 and Killzone 2, and they bring it back for the PS4 announcement? The gameplay didn't look much different than what's come before, and even the GB crew admitted it was one of their least favorite demos. And this is what they led off with. It's not even a new IP, even if it looks like they might be taking the game in a new direction.

Drive Club just reminded me of Gran Turismo. Maybe it'll be a good racing game. But all I remember about Drive Club was 'this presenter is fetishistic about his cars' and 'this is Gran Turismo'. Maybe that gets some people going, but I'll admit it's not me.

Another Infamous game! I can at least appreciate that the Infamous games are good ones, even if they aren't my taste. New protagonist, at least they aren't advertising Cole after what happened in 2. But the whole storyline they hinted at. The setting. I kept getting flashes of Watch Dogs, and I don't think Infamous came off looking good from that comparison. And again, this is not a new IP.

Deep Down, Capcom's announced game. From what little I could see, it reminded me of Dark Souls in its gameplay. It also looks a lot like Dragon's Dogma, which I heard was an alright game. I'll wait to see more of this one before I judge it.

I'm convinced Square Enix trolled the entire gaming community today. They don't even show a *new* tech demo, and then they say 'we're working on a new Final Fantasy, see you at E3'? Honestly, this was a low-light of the conference for me. SE should have waited until E3, shown up, dropped the new Final Fantasy on us, go 'PS4, bitches', drop the mic, and get hype.

Speaking of things that had no real business being at the Sony conference, Watch Dogs! It's sad when Watch Dogs is the best game at the conference. This was the best game at E3, too. But this is already confirmed to be a multi-platform game. It's even confirmed for the Wii U! So what is it doing here?

If there was any company that came out of this looking worse than Square Enix, it's Blizzard. Blizzard was the one moment where I gasped and went 'oh shit, this is going to be the PS4's killer app'. All this build up, and they reveal a port of Diablo 3? Diablo 3?! You show up at Sony's big event to talk about a port of a PC game that was already kind of divisive? Even if it means we might see more ease at porting, you're still talking about Diablo 3.

Finally, Destiny. I kind of expected Sony to parade around Bungie as a middle finger to Microsoft, even if the game is in the same boat as Watch Dogs in terms of 'why are we here this game is multi-platform'. What I saw was pretty nice, and I do admit I'm a little interested to hear about what exclusive DLC the PS4 version might get. Especially on how long the exclusivity contract lasts.

So obviously, I wasn't very impressed. While the guys on the stage were certainly passionate, what they were talking about wasn't much to get passionate about. I think that if they wanted to put Nintendo away for the generation, they needed to start the hype now and let E3 serve as a part two to the hype train. As it is, I didn't see anything that screams 'buy a PS4 on day 1'. There weren't any killer app games, and the functionality of the PS4 - while intriguing - aren't likely to be things that move systems to people who don't pay attention to games like most of us do. There certainly wasn't any talk of a price, which might have been for the best.

Like I said before, I think the PS4 is in for a rough landing. By the time they release, Nintendo will have had time to try and re-invigorate themselves. They managed to give the 3DS a second wind, and they could do just the same before the PS4 arrives. And the PS4 still has to contend with Microsoft's code-name 'Durango', which will inevitably be announce in the near future.

EDIT: Wow, big response. I'm happy that the post has engendered some amount of discussion.

You guys have made a fairly decent counter-argument on one of my points, and I'll acknowledge it. Backwards compatibility isn't an absolute must. I was approaching it from the standpoint that all of the consoles from the previous generation allowed BC from the GCN/PS2/XBox generation in some capacity, and seeing that go away. It's something that was standard before that generation, and the changed architecture of the PS4 to allow greater ease of development probably meant that it was a pipe dream to expect even PS3 BC.

I just think it would have been a nice thing to have.


Why Arrival Could've Outdone Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 3 has come and gone, and while I enjoyed the game up to its conclusion (I finished it before the extended cut) many of the people in my social circle have soured on Bioware at large over how ME3 and retroactively, Mass Effect 2 continued the promise of the original. After lengthy discussions, we came to two conclusions.

First, that the Giant Bomb GOTY for 2010 – Mass Effect 2 – forced the Bioware writers into a corner. Second, that Bioware came achingly close to a plot that could’ve given the franchise more momentum into Mass Effect 3. I could speak volumes for the virtues and sins of ME3, but that’s another post and many have already covered that subject. For now, I plan on focusing on these two assertions.

Up until Mass Effect 2, Bioware made its reputation off of compelling storytelling and fairly memorable characters, and what largely changed from game to game was the balance struck between those two ideas. What the original Mass Effect had in a core storyline that was genuinely thrilling, it lacked in strong characters that made its previous games memorable. The characters of ME1 did not get much characterization, though some of that may be at fault for saving developments for later installments. Indeed, the one party member who was a dynamic character in the original game gets killed off in the ‘default’ character histories for Shepard.

Mass Effect 2 was a hard swerve into creating memorable characters. This isn’t inherently bad, since the focus on characterization gave the community some of the most compelling characters in years. Mordin Solus. The Illusive Man. Legion. The loyalty missions that colored in who your new party was were some of the best missions in the game. Most of the surviving Mass Effect cast finally started to jump off the page too – Garrus and Tali were different people than in the original. Liara showed up as not the same archeologist, and the Shadow Broker DLC sold her as a fleshed out character. And of course, the characterizations paid off during the final mission of the game. The entire game was billed as a lead-in to a suicide mission. Seeing that suicide mission have effects on your party and crew was an emotional wake-up call to how grave the stakes were for the conclusion of the trilogy.

This could have been a lot more...

At the same time, that suicide mission may have been what started to write Bioware into a corner on Mass Effect 3. Bioware was able to write out the surviving Mass Effect 1 cast effectively enough, but for Mass Effect 3 they were faced with writing for dead members of both games. The urge for players to see all of Mass Effect 3 may have led to the Mass Effect 2 cast being relegated to mostly side-missions and not rejoining the party, while only a few Mass Effect 1 characters that might’ve died based on decisions in Mass Effect 2 are allowed to return.

While asking for all of the characters to return would be unrealistic, asking for them to join on a temporary basis in the field would not have been. Bioware wrote in replacement characters for Legion, Tali, and Mordin for key story moments, and even replaced some of the cast for the side missions like Grunt. Why not have Garrus’s father join you in case Garrus snuffed it? There are many ‘why not’ questions related to the Mass Effect 2 cast that boggle the mind, especially since Garrus and Tali – and the Virmire survivor, depending on your play – are allowed back into the Mass Effect 3 cast.

All of this leads into the key problem with Mass Effect 2. None of it feels like it matters. Shepard is brought back from the dead to fight the Collectors, who... are kidnapping colonists on the fringes of the galaxy. It’s said during the Collector Ship mission that they could have enough pods to take Earth, but the game never makes that a driving issue. The disappearance of the colonists doesn’t feel important in the grand scheme of things, and neither do the Collectors themselves because of it. Harbinger never approached the same level of threat of Sovereign.

When Mass Effect 3 rolls, the Collectors are barely mentioned. No one in the galaxy proper knows what you did, and those that do barely talk about it. Not only because no one wanted to pay attention, but because the Collectors themselves never did anything to warrant it.

Assuming control... of the plot.

This is part of why it’s frustrating to see the existence of the Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2. It’s a clear indication of what could have been. The entire DLC revolves around blowing up a mass effect relay to prevent the Reapers from entering the galaxy and killing everyone early. That makes for a more compelling core narrative than the critical path of its own game.

Because of that, I’m left to wonder just how much better Mass Effect 2 could have been if something like Arrival had been more vital to the story. If the Collectors had been using their abductions as a ruse to get the Reapers into the galaxy early, and the only way to stop it is to blow up that relay and then to take out the Collector Base to stop them from trying again. There’s not even that much that would’ve had to be changed about the actual game. Most of the game could go as scheduled, with Arrival being the mission that Shepard goes on while the Normandy is attacked by the Collectors.

Arrival always felt like a mission that should have been in the core game, or a concept that was more important than its place as DLC warranted. Now I’m left wondering how much things could have really changed if the writing staff had gone in that direction.


Defending Your Game: Jade Empire

You've been there. Your friend picks up a game from your collection, and you swear upon your mother's life that it's not complete rubbish or that people need to know about it. Said friend rolls his eyes and returns to whatever games 'made it'. We've all been there, calling that game a guilty pleasure, callinh it 'the critics just don't understand it, man', calling it what you want, we all like a game that just never got noticed or people actively hate.  
This doesn't seem like one of those games at first. Jade Empire was released on the XBox and PC in 2005, receiving positive reviews and selling at a decent clip. On top of all that, it was developed by Bioware between its astounding successes of KOTOR and Mass Effect. But it's within that frame of reference that this game suddenly qualifies for a defense. Amongst the Bioware stable it's the black sheep that no one ever acknowledges. When compared to games like Baldur's Gate, KOTOR, and even more recent stuffs such as Mass Effect 2, the legacy of Jade Empire is decidedly more muted. Even amongst reviews at the time the reception was less positive than most other Bioware games. Despite this, I manage to hold it in as high a regard as Bioware's other works even if others disagree due to its attempts to differentiate itself from its predecessors.
Jade Empire was Bioware's attempt to do something completely different. After several games where the entire conceit of combat hinged on whose turn it was, Bioware decided to create a real-time martial arts system. Instead of a fantasy world that drew inspiration from Western lore and more recent fair such as D&D, the game turns to the other side of the world and generates a world inspired by ancient China. This definitely helps the game stand out from its peers who'd all gone the other direction.
People can quack all they want about Bioware games sharing similar plot points and story arcs, but Jade Empire sells them quite brilliantly. While the story isn't quite up to par with others in the Bioware stable it's still a Bioware game- meaning you're already at a good starting point. Each story beat feels like part of a puzzle; you can see there's one missing fact that you know if you could discover would turn everything on its head. 
The characters themselves are split between the memorable and the necessary, a split that afflicts most Bioware games. This time the balance is more on the memorable side, with only one or two characters falling into the 'your mileage may vary' territory.  Bioware's romances return in Jade Empire, but with intriguing twists. For those of you interested in batting for the other team, Jade Empire actually allows you to do so regardless of gender. It allows for players to try and influence those character's way of thinking in manners that really do help sell their interactions with the player.
That brings us to the combat, and this is where things get much dicier. While Bioware deserves a lot of credit for trying a new combat system, the end result isn't nearly as complex as any of its previous entries. Combat only relies on three different stats, each of which creates derivative stats. The combination of martial arts, weapons, magical styles, and transformations all combine to create some visually inspiring stuff for an XBox-era game, and it makes you feel like a complete badass from a kung-fu movie. The flip side is that it can be mind-numbingly easy once you know what you're doing, and you'll figure it out fairly quickly since there are few stats to tinker with and you'll be favoring only a few different styles. There are only a few fights that can actually present a challenge to the player, and those actually end up hinting at something that could've been iterated on.
The game is also very short, especially for a Bioware game. Most games from the company have several towns to visit. This game has three, and access to them is limited by how far into the story you've accessed. It makes the game feel much smaller than it should, which brushes up a lot against its epic storytelling towards the end of the game. For people who don't have a lot of time on their hands, that actually makes Jade Empire an easier recommendation in that they'll actually have the time to commit to it. 
With all of that said, I have to talk about the game's morality system. This time it's clad in the philosophies of 'Way of the Open Palm' and 'Way of the Closed Fist'. They're ostensibly not supposed to be simple 'good and evil' choices, and either one can be construed as a 'wrong choice'. With that said, the system is almost completely ruined by the game's execution. While the fluff definitely supports a complex morality system, in practice Open Palm choices are altrustic and 'good' and Closed First are selfish and 'bad'. On top of that, the system is binary like KOTOR; gaining Open Palm points diminishes your Closed Fist tendencies just as surely as Light Side points did to the Dark Side. This is really a game where two meters might've worked out better; one that measured which philosophy you followed and one that measured how you followed it.
The system just seems to lack any kind of accountability, especially at the end of the game where a late-game decision can outright swing your character to the other side of the Open/Closed spectrum. KOTOR I had a similar problem, but that decision had some accountability in locking you out of certain end-game gear if you took the swing and the morality system wasn't as complex. Here, the swing is just a slap in the face. 
With all of that said though, you're still left with a damn good game. The story is epic, the game is short enough so that you don't tire of the simple combat, the morality system at least tries to not be a simple choice between being a saint or a rapist, and the setting is unlike anything most mainstream gamers have experienced. 
It's on Steam for $15 and available as an XBox Original for 1200 points. It's a pretty damn good bargain at that rate, but Steam has a history of offering deals on the game if that's too much for you. Pick it up if you want an RPG that does something different.


Bombquest: South Boston

Hey guys- I'm AdventFalls, and this is the BombQuest.

Six months since the previous installment, but this next quest set is a doozy. Today we're taking on a set that includes the rarest quest in my entire collection. Welcome to South Boston.

Six quests, five of them rare, one of them amongst the hardest quests on any Whiskey Media site. First we need to quickly review Whiskey Media policy for how edits can be made. If you're under 1000 points, all of your edits go to moderation. Between 1000 and 5000 your edits to existing pages go through without issue, and can request for new pages to be made. Over 5000 and you can create a new page without hassle.

This means to get this quest set, you're going to need to acquire at least a thousand wiki points. A quick way to acquire them is to take on Wiki Tasks; they're found under 'Help'. These can give you anywhere from 75 to 300 points a pop depending on the moderator and how much work you did.

Let's get cracking and divide these up by type.

Wikid Addiction

  • Create a new article on the site

This one can be tricky. In all likelihood you are not going to find a new game to add to the site's database. You're better off adding a new location, object, or character to the game of your choice. The page doesn't have to be particularly fleshed out, the mere fact that you create one and it be approved is enough to satisfy the requirement.

Shotgun Approach/Mowing Them Down

  • Shotgun Approach: Edit 10 different wiki pages on the site.
  • Mowing Them Down: Edit 25 different wiki pages on the site.

In all likelihood, you'll be well on your way to these quests en route to getting your first thousand points. Grammatical corrections to pages count as edits.

Part of the Problem

  • Edit a page on the site and earn at least 1 point.

This one is easy to get, and you'll earn it while you're earning Shotgun Approach and Mowing Them Down. It can be anything from adding a sentence to fixing word tenses within an article. I haven't tested if adding new releases, images, or editing either will satisfy this quest. Feedback is appreciated.

Tactical Nuke/Major Fan

  • Tactical Nuke: Earn 500 points on a single submission.
  • Major Fan: Earn 1000 points on a single submission.

Yes, they stack. If you manage to earn over a thousand points on a page and you don't have Tactical Nuke, you'll earn both it and Major Fan. I tested this myself on the Harvest Moon 64 page.

These are not going to be easy, and the mod gods are not going to be forgiving if you copy/paste from Wikipedia. You are going to have to generate that much content on your own in a single edit. Here are a couple of tips to creating that edit.

  • Create a draft in a word processor outside of Giant Bomb. You probably will get distracted during this and might end up closing your browsing window. Having it in a word processor lets you come back to it.
  • Try finding a page that is relatively blank. The less information you find on that page, the more you can add and potentially eek you closer to the threshold.
  • Add gameplay information. How do you play the game? Don't copy the manual or talk about button presses, what kind of gameplay does the game have? What enemies are present? What weapons or tools do you have? Important NPCs? The plot of the game? Its critical reception? If it's an older game you're editing, did it leave any kind of lasting legacy? If it's a character, how does his/her gameplay set him/her apart? If it's a object, how is it important?
  • Add background. If it's a character, what's his or her deal and what point do they have in their games? If it's a weapon or tool, the game might have some fluff that you can summarize or quote (as long as you mention that you're quoting the game). If it's a game, how was it conceived, or developed?
  • Add links. Link the first mention of an object, character, or location that has a page on the site. These tend to give out more points. Don't spam them though, or you risk moderator wrath.
  • Add related games. What games or characters are similar to this one? What other games are in its franchise if it has one? What franchises are similar?
  • Add related pages. If it's a game, who's in the game? If the game's locations have pages, where does it take place? What kind of gameplay concepts does the game use? What objects? If it's a character or object, what games does the character appear in?
  • If in doubt, add more. I've come close several times on Screened to getting Major Fan with Jean-Luc Picard, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and the classic movie 'Network' only to discover I was just short. Add information everywhere you can as well formatted as you can. Hell, I ended up with 1500+ points on the Harvest Moon 64 page. If you need a page to use as a reference for how much work you can do, use that.

I can't walk you through these two quests because they're ones that you have to do yourselves, and it's all dependent on how much work you're willing to put into it.


And that was South Boston! Any requests for a set or specific quest, or should I just keep picking up old quests?


Defending Your Game: Alpha Protocol

There's always that one game in your collection. The one that makes you feel guilty for liking it, despite critics or your peers telling you it's just not very good. Call it a guilty pleasure, call it 'the critics just don't understand it, man', call it what you want, you like a game that just never got noticed or people actively hate. 
This is one of those games. Alpha Protocol, one of Giant Bomb's runners-up for the 'Most Disappointing Game of 2010' (a category that went hands down to Fable III). People didn't seem sure what to make of the game, and Sega didn't seem pleased enough with how the game ended up that i t's effectively put the kibosh on any followups. It's a damn shame because there are amazing ideas in here that could have been interated on. 
The one sentence summary of Alpha Protocol is 'Mass Effect with spies'- a compelling sentence. Obsidian Entertainment is no stranger to following in Bioware's footsteps, having created the flawed but conceptually brilliant Knights of the Old Republic 2 after the beloved Bioware RPG. What propelled KOTOR 2 to the point of nearly surpassing its predecessor was developing upon ideas the original had laid down and defying the expectations people had laid upon anything with the name 'Star Wars'.
Alpha Protocol does so in much the same way in that this is the first game where you can actually feel like a spy. There have been good James Bond games, and no shortage of espionage- themed outings, but those games never quite encapsulated the 'entire' spy experience of guns, stealth, and charm. Alpha Protocol allowed the player to do any of those three and to make them viable options for your character. That was what made for such a compelling case for this game. But I have to address the game's flaws a bit before I can explain why this is actually a decent game and you can pay money for it without regrets.
Part of the reason Alpha Protocol never quite caught fire was the fact that it's an Obsidian game. Obsidian has gained a reputation for, let's be honest, created a conceptually compelling game and then dropping the ball when it comes to technical quality. In this game, there are bugs. The game isn't really optimized and textures can take a bit to pop in. I've seen loot disappear between loads. The AI can be dumbfoundedly stupid at times if you focused on stealth. This is a textbook case of an Obsidian game needing more time in the proverbial oven to properly mature into a AAA product. 
The other big problem of the game is player expectation. When any kind of shooting is involved, players have been conditioned to assume that shooter-style mechanics come first and any role-playing trappings come second. Alpha Protocol flips the equation; it's an RPG with shooter trappings. If you want your gun to actually hit something, you need to invest in it. If you want to sneak around and you're not in the tutorial or Saudi Arabia, you have to pay for it. You're not automatically an expert at aiming a gun because that's how the game is designed; you have to play to your strengths and pay to get those strengths.
With that said, Alpha Protocol allows for a viable point disperal for any kind of run as long as you invest in one of the guns or martial arts- there are boss fights where you can't stealth your way to victory. Running and gunning is still an option with the right points and strategy, and stealth is a-ok (and possibly the path to easy mode depending on the AI). What helps sell the game is that the game world reacts to how you play. Something you say early in the game can come back late-game, the guys you saved could help you, your actions in a mission can come back to bite you in the ass down the line. It's a credit to the writing staff that they accounted for so many possibilities and made you feel like Michael Thorton's methods mattered.  The endgame can go a million different ways because of all of the shenanigans that you pulled, and that's awesome.
Speaking of credit to the writing staff, the story is arguably as compelling as some of Mass Effect's finest moments. There's a sense of tension that seemed absent from the majority of the original Mass Effect, and the characters manage to make themselves memorable in a way half of Mass Effect's party members either didn't quite succeed in doing or needed to return in Mass Effect 2 to make a better impression. 
This game is a clear-cut case of 'almost but not quite', but it comes close enough and does enough that other games don't that I can stand by this game and defend it. At full-price it's a dicey proposition, but it's now roughly $20 on Steam and it's old enough to be bought on the cheap if you buy your games used. Go for it.


Bombquest: Catch and Release

Hey guys- I'm AdventFalls, and this is the BombQuest.

Been a while since the last Quest, where we took a good, hard look at Globe-Trotter. Today, we're looking at one that's actually fairly easy, but no one actually does.

Catch and Release. Three quests, and they're quests that require you to do something a certain number of times. They all count towards each other, so thankfully it doesn't force the issue too often.

Namely, you have to add a new release to Giant Bomb. This isn't 'add a new game', this is add a new release.

  • Release Me!: Add one new release.
  • Release Your Inner Data Monkey: Add 25 new releases.
  • Full Release!: Add 50 new releases.
Fifty total new releases. Full Release is actually the rarest quest I have on Giant Bomb- it's rarer than even the Limited Edition Quests I have. And I'm here to walk you through this quest set.

  • How do I find a page that needs releases?

Well, you're not likely to find it looking at Gears of War 2 or any well-loved game of the past few years. Here are a few tips:
  • Look for games that were never released in the US (Example: Mother 3, Getter Love!!)
  • Look for games that predate the PS2/Gamecube/XBox era (Example: Glover)
  • Look for games that didn't sell very well (Example: Rocket: Robot on Wheels NO I WILL NEVER SHUT UP ABOUT THAT GAME)
  • Look for games that are really, really bad (Example: Elf Bowling 1&2)
  • How do I add a release?

Let's take a look at a game I filled up releases for: a shitty Carmageddon port for the N64. Right under the title of the game it states that the game consists of '2 releases'. Every different area of the world (US, UK, Japan, Australia) is a different release. If it's on the N64 and the PS1 only in the US, that's two releases right there! A 'best-seller' edition is a new release. A compilation where it's packed with several other games is a new release for all of the games.

However, Carmageddon 64 was only released twice! We can't possibly use this as an example!

Another really, really shitty game: Superman 64. Ah, but the Giant Bomb database says it was only released in the US! However, a quick look at Wikipedia/GameFAQs/the source of your choice tells you that it was also released in the UK! It's time to boot up the system by clicking the 'Add New Release' button in the upper right corner.

Clicking that button leads you to this window. Things look a bit intimidating, no? But really, there's only a few things you absolutely, positively NEED to get a successful release posted.

  • The name
  • The platform
  • The region
  • The release date
That's it! It doesn't even need to be an exact release date; there are games that only have 'Q1 1995', and Giant Bomb will allow it. However, the more specific you can make your release date, the better.

This is that same window with more information. We have the name, platform, region, and release date. But I've also got some other information in there. The product code refers to the numbers on the UPC tag in the US, or the ISBN-10 or EAN-13 tags elsewhere.

Company ID only refers to Nintendo or Sony products, and can be found on GameFAQs or elsewhere. It's not strictly required, but it's nice to put in.

Finally, the game rating. Notice that I didn't put in a game rating. The reason is simple: I'm not sure the game rating system Superman 64 used is in the database, so I leave it blank.

Propose the new release, and await moderation! New releases are moderated for people under a certain point threshold, but I've gotten enough to get past it.... meaning my submission goes up instantly. Presto, a new release! Only 49 more to go, and remember- that's not necessarily 49 games!


And that's Catch and Release! Did the pictures help? Should the next Quest return to page hunting, or go to wiki editing?

Bombquest: Globe-Trotter

Hey guys- I'm AdventFalls, and this is the BombQuest.

About a week ago, I started up the BombQuest as an experiment to see if people wanted older or rare quests to be focused on a bit more. While there hasn't been much feedback, I can tell that people at least looked at the post.

So we're gonna do this again, with a quest set that made everyone go fucking insane when it came out: Globe-Trotter.

Globe-Trotter is.... a fucking nightmare because of one specific quest in the set. They're all rare, but there's one particular quest in the set that made people go fucking insane in the membrane.

With that said, let's start! This is Globe-Trotter: 6 quests, 22 things to find, 1,100 XP.


Rumble in the Jungle

One fairly obvious thing to find, and two games.

The Obvious Thing

Game #1 (Two Hints)

Game #2 (Two Hints)

Ice Ice Baby

One fairly obvious thing, two games.

The Obvious Thing

Game #1 (One Hint)

Game #2 (Two Hints)

Don't Forget to Breathe

Oh. Oh this fucker is the one reason everyone hates this quest set. One obvious thing, and two games.

The Obvious Thing

Game #1 (One Hint)


It's a Dry Heat

Obvious thing and two games.

The Obvious Thing

Game #1 (Two Hints)

Game #2 (Three Hints)

The Final Frontier

One obvious thing, and six games. This is the biggest quest of the set.

The Obvious Thing

Game #1 (Three Hints)

Game #2 (One Hint)

Game #3 (One Hint)

Game #4 (One Hint)

Game #5 (Two Hints)

Game #6

Liquid Hot Something Something

One obvious thing, and two games.

The Obvious Thing

Game #1 (Two Hints)

Game #2 (Three Hints)


And that's Globe-Trotter. Did you think the hints were too hard? Too easy? Feedback (positive, negative, or otherwise) is always appreciated.

These Brothers Give Me 2000 Blues

I don't know what possessed me to do it. Perhaps it was the fact that I'd watched 'Blues Brothers' last night.  Maybe it was my attempt to get the 'Full Release' quest. But I ended up playing Blues Brothers 2000 for the N64. 
May God have mercy on my soul. Movie licensed games have a reputation for a reason. And I should've known better than to play a game from the same company that thought flying through rings was a good idea.
This game comes from a time where 3D platformers were still relatively new, appearing on the N64. But by the time this game was released (a full two years after the movie), Super Mario 64 had been out for four years. The Gamecube would be released the following year. People had figured out by this point what was working and what wasn't. 
So where to begin? How about the basic functionality of the game being questionable? Oh yes. Every time you try to jump, there's a chance the game won't register it- meaning you're probably about to fall into a bottomless pit and endure a cheap death. The camera- which had been problematic from game to game throughout that entire generation- made things worse, often getting caught on a wall and making me take blind leaps of faith while being attacked. 
But that's not the reason you really do anything involving the Blues Brothers, right? You want the music. Well, to its credit the game *does* go with bluesy kinds of background music. But none of it is unique to any stage, meaning you will have heard everything the game has to offer by the second stage.
Considering the poor quality of the gameplay, I should be thankful that the game only has four levels. But I'm not. Because those four levels were a bitch and a half to get through.
Don't play this game. There are *far* better platformers on the 64. The entire Rare library, Super Mario 64, and Rocket: Robot on Wheels immediately come to mind, though I'm sure there's others.


BombQuest: Hearing Voices

Hey guys, this is AdventFalls, and I wanted to try something a bit.... different.
Giant Bomb's been online for roughly three years, and one of its big features is its online database for all things video game related. As anyone who frequents this part of the forums knows, there's a quest system attached to the database- find certain pages based on hints, you complete quests and gain XP. Takus108 is developing a betting functionality where you can gamble your XP to bet on how highly a game might be rated ('I'm Calling It', look in General DIscussion for the relevant blog post), but other than that XP and levels mainly serve as a measure of prestige.
The quest system's been around long enough that new users might not get as much help as the 'old farts' who were around for some of these quests. This is also a bit more complicated by the fact that Community Quests often take up a large chunk of the community's focus, putting the spotlight on the new quests- I don't have a problem with this, I actually think it's a good community exercise. But it does leave older quests, well.... forgotten.
This is where I'd like to step in. This is BombQuest.
If people like this, BombQuest is going to consist of me going up to quest sets every once in a while and giving out hints, tips, and/or tricks to accomplishing the set. I'm not going to give out the answer wholesale,since that not only defeats the challenge, it's very much frowned upon. 
I'm going to lay down a few rules I go any further, since I will drive myself insane if I don't at the start.

  • BombQuest will not cover any quests currently undergoing a Community Spotlight. There are threads for Community Spotlights, and making a BombQuest dedicated to one of these sets would be redundant. Quest sets that were undergoing one at one point are fair game.
  • No limited edition quests. Not only is it literally impossible to get these quests right now, but the community will band together to solve these quests on their own. 
  • No moderator quests. You have to be a moderator in order to even START working towards these. You are probably not a moderator.
  • Quests involving editing the wiki are A-OK. This means I might (and likely will) end up covering quest sets like 'South Boston' and 'Catch and Release'.
  • BombQuest will not cover any quests that its writer hasn't already beaten or at least is close to beating. How am I supposed to help you guys if I need help myself?
  • Finally, unless specifically requested, BombQuest is going to focus on 'rare' (purple) quest sets. BombQuest does take requests!
With that in mind, let's get to the actual quest set for this inaugural (and hopefully not the last) edition of BombQuest!

Hearing Voices

This is one or the more 'common' rare sets, with four of its five quests tagged 'uncommon' (blue), and only one rare quest. That's mostly because Hearing Voices was around near the start of the quest system's launch, so the entire community was collaborating on everything at that point. The set itself focuses on voice actors and their most famous roles. 
Most of these quests actually aren't that hard to figure out on your own- as of this writing, the rare quest is 'Up and Atom'- which shocked me considering that it's not even the most difficult quest of the five! Still, that probably makes this set a good start for BombQuest, so here we go!

A Handful of Gravel

The answers for this quest are a video game character and his/her voice actor.  If you can figure one of them out, the other is extremely simple.
-Video Game Character (Two Hints)

-Voice Actor (Two Hints)


Charles in Charge

Just like the last quest, the answers are a video game character and his/her voice actor. 
-Video Game Character (Only Hint)
-Voice Actor (Only Hint)

Due North

Similar set-up to the previous quests, only with three characters and their voice actor. 
-Voice Actor (Only Hint)
-Character #1 (Three Hints)

-Character #2  (Two Hints)

-Character #3 (Two Hints)

Up and Atom

Find a video game, and then find the two high-profile people involved with that game. 
-Video Game (Three Hints)

-Voice Actor #1 (Three Hints)

-Voice Actor #2 (Two hints)


By Her Powers Combined

You only need to find one voice actor. But this one's not easy to find. 
-Voice Actor (Four Hints)

And that's it for the first BombQuest! Were the hints too easy? Is this even a good idea? Want to see another quest set go down? Leave some feedback (please)!