Vehicle saving and customization. GTA4 had the half-measure of saving vehicles in the apartments' parking spaces. But if an NPC decided to drive off in it at the end of a mission, it was gone. So whether I can save and tweak to my heart's content as in SR3, or I have to save up and buy them like Sleeping Dogs, I want to be able to find a car I like, paint it, and keep it forever.
Dynamic combat. Open world games have shown us recently that they don't have to sacrifice when it comes to combat. Players have every reason to demand finesse. Niko Bellic was stiff as a board.
Traversal. Not just running and jumping, but climbing, squatting, rolling, vaulting, and diving. Anything less will be a disappointment.
Co-Op. The technological limitations are surmountable by now, as SR3 has shown.
Repeatable side missions. Making your own fun - which usually boiled down to getting a 5 star wanted level and seeing how long you could survive - is well and good. It's part of the joy of an open world game. But some other reasons to keep coming back certainly wouldn't go amiss.
Not long after I began making my way through the Bombcast backlog, I stumbled upon the This Year Collection of the HotSpot. For those who don't know - probably very few - the HotSpot was once home to all our Bombcast heroes. Kudos to those who compiled that collection; I have found it to be essential listening, and paused my intake of vintage Bombcast while I caught up. As has been said, you have to start at the beginning.
Listening to those hours puts a lot into perspective. The rapport and, let's just say it, the love that permeates so many of the GiantBomb productions starts there. It gives profound context to GiantBomb as a site, and as a group of people. I am aware that these blog entries I have begun making can have a sappy tone, and honestly, that started out as a bit of a joke. But with a stone straight face, I can write that this decades-spanning story of careers built on friendships and a joy for the work is nothing short of inspirational to me.
I'll resume year one of the Giant Bombcast tonight. Almost like fine music, I'll be listening for movements and intonations I may not have heard before.
Heard Brad's first sit-in on the podcast. Very natural, like he's always belonged.
It's interesting to listen to the crew's insight. As they talk about the upcoming (at the time of the recording, of course) Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, the hopes and anticipation they describe could just as easily be about the presentlyupcoming Mortal Kombat. I'm looking forward to comparing their reactions to both games.
In the past, they are also about to receive GTA4. That is sure to have generated much commentary from them, which will be a pleasant restrospective as some of us begin to ruminate about the possibilities of GTA5.
Finally, the way they talked about the coalescence of Giant Bomb and it's sister sites - Comic Vine is the first mentioned, by the way - is delightful to hear. It somewhat makes up for not personally witnessing it all myself.
I have not always been a duder. It isn't something I like to talk about. I was unaware, stumbling blindly around the vast desert of the internet...
Luckily, I found the Whiskey oasis in time to cheer them on in their move to new holdings, and contribute to the cause at the launch of memberships. I look forward to adding to my member t-shirt collection. But, that leaves roughly two years of content unexplored, which I cannot abide.
First, it was the backlog of quick looks and video reviews. I had played most of those games already, some to completion. But it was still a treat to hear professional perspectives, and maybe even see the continuation or birth of certain in-jokes. Next, it was the twin Deadly Premonition Endurance Runs. They played the game so I didn't have to, and both pairs' commentaries added much to the experience. I cannot imagine the game without the accompanying voices. After a brief recovery, the epic Persona 4 Endurance Run called to me. It is a joy to watch, and seeing the origin of running gags that persisted into the Deadly Premonition run felt like being let in on an inside joke.
Seeking that reward has brought me to my next task: listening to every episode of the Bombcast.
I am up to April 2008 at the time of this writing; just the beginning. Listening in on the formative times, back when it was the Arrow Pointing Down podcast, is fascinating. It's rather inspirational, two unemployed men continuing to work at what they love. And the drink reviews? Delightful. I didn't even know they had done such a thing, but I miss it already. It was the sound of an even more cavalier time, before GiantBomb had gained much momentum. We have the mailbag videos at least, which now seem to me like a holdover from those days.
So far, it's only Ryan and Jeff, with the occasional guest spot by Alex Navarro, whose voice sounded so much deeper in his first words on what would become the BombCast that I didn't recognize him at first. It is surreal listening to them talk about how excited they are to play GTA4, and the rumored 360 Wiimote-style controller.
There are better men to catalogue the details. I am merely going to school on GiantBomb history, and maybe gaining some insight in the process.
When I listen long enough, I can imagine I'm a being from the future.