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Giant Bombcast 638: I Found Drugs in a Locker and I Did Them

This week we clear the air on Fog Gaming, check in on C&C Remastered, the new Trackmania, and Phantasy Star Online 2 PC, talk about the future of Destiny 2, keep up with a bunch of rumors for summer game announcements, and discover a very special theme song from gaming history.

The Giant Bombcast is the world's most beloved video game podcast, and now it's available in video form.

Jun. 9 2020

Cast: Jeff, Brad, Ben, Jason, Jan

Posted by: Brad

87 Comments

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bathala

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unknownmerc

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368????

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Jakelshark

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638*

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Casty

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GEEET

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ripelivejam

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depecheload

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That trackmania stuff sounds like hot garbage.

I want to buy the game, but rent a bullshit service so they can pump money into a esports con that won't make anyone any money anyways.

Gaming as a service is a blight on the industry that is destroying gaming.

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SubliminalKitteh

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Man... Xenoblade got done dirty. Xeno 1 is the Wii game, Xeno X is the Wii U game which has a lot of spiritual ties to Xenosaga nonsense, and Xeno 2 is the Switch game (the 4kids anime that introduces people to jrpgs with some good content, but overall does not hold up.)

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elath

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To be fair, the end credits to Wolfenstein 2 are a cover, not an original song by a "named" band...

Really, really bad though.

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Deadstar

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Jeff said that the C&C remaster doesn't run at a higher framerate. This is incorrect. It runs at 144 fps, maybe higher. I believe the original graphics still use the old framerate.

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dolphin_tequila

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Edited By dolphin_tequila

jesus christ dragon age ted talk incoming, forgive me cause this was written feverishly...

The series is doomed because the games are so rich with lore and characters but it seems nobody outside of the dedicated fanbase has any clue where the story is at now, which is a shame because as far as fantasy RPGs go, the ratio between quality and originality for Dragon Age is remarkably balanced.

Ben, play Origins. It's exactly the same style as KOTOR and Jade Empire and it's phenomenal, still holds up really well.

Dragon Age 2 suffers from Mass Effect 3 levels of online vitriol (not for the same reasons, mind you) but as a role-playing experience it's one of Bioware's strongest titles. It's negatives are exaggerated while the positives are rarely discussed. It suffered from a tragically small dev window of barely a year, thanks to EA pressuring tf out of them to put out a game for 2011. But in a situation similar to Obsidian with New Vegas and KOTOR 2, DA2's writing and oddly effective single city setting was regarded as a success by most fans.

Inquisition is Bioware's most ambitious game; it carries that weight and respects the legacy of Origins, the writers took incredible care in expanding on all the information you've received from prior games and created a more cohesive world from a narrative standpoint. As far as the maps go, they're more similar to Witcher 3 - almost nothing like Skyrim besides instances of annoying verticality (big hills, canyons, etc.)

Faults with gameplay can be found in all three games, each unique to each other. However it never reaches a point where you feel cheated. However Origins holds up best.

The character relationships are all important and each can take on different forms depending on your feelings, you may not agree or like some of them, but their motivations are either clear or mysterious enough that you want to learn more.

However like I said at the top, Dragon Age is a doomed series. It was at the top of the world at one point, there was a lot of excitement for that world and those characters. There were books, comics, animated movies and hours of wikis to deep dive. I think the industry turned it's back on the series after the second game suffered from EA's meddling and certain options regarding sexuality getting a lot of heat from pieces of shit online. The controversy around Mass Effect 3 didn't help things either, however imo the reaction to that was greatly overblown.

I don't see how Bioware could make a another game that commits to everything the series has built up to now, when there's so much confusion around what the games are and where the story is, it might be one of the greater tragedies of the industry and for the most part nobody will even notice.

EDIT: saints row 3 didn't have "romance" options, that was 4, and comparing them to bioware's romances imo is dismissive, with respect

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AuthenticM

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@rorie the video works now! If you recall, I tagged you a couple of times over the past few months because the video player didn,t work in Firefox. Well, I just tried it now and it works! I dunno if Firefox changed or if it's the website's code.

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Roy42

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Edited By Roy42

Wow, Giant Bomb actively not knowing anything about Xenoblade, once again, bordering on a transphobia joke. Couldn't have seen that one coming.

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sicamore

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Now that YouTube has better support for timestamps, they should really start taking advantage of it. Someone is already spending time managing the Bombcast/Beastcast Clips channels which are just kind of a more elaborate timestamp anyway. The GB twitter could just simply post a link to the YouTube timestamp to highlight a certain discussion and everything would be consolidated instead of spread across different channels.

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dolphin_tequila

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Edited By dolphin_tequila

@roy42: They have the games they like and that's great. But more and more it feels like they have little to say about newer or more "noteworthy" games. It's always something niche involving cards or racing, or online stuff like Destiny, Division or Warzone. From a pure content perspective those games offer nothing to a weekly personality-driven podcast.

I'm looking forward to Last of Us 2 coming out because at least then it will be a game everyone is playing together (please god) and can share opinions on.

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TheRealTurk

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TheRealTurk  Online

@dolphin_tequila: I just can't agree that Dragon Age 2 is a strong role-playing experience. If anything, I found it exactly the opposite. The game can't decide who it wants its villain to be, which severely hurts the overall narrative. Instead of having a singular focus, the game half-heartedly parades a bunch of villains-of-the-week at you, without giving any single one the screen time or character development to really elevate them to something you remember.

Plus, outside of Varric, the companion characters are extremely one note (Aveline = "Stern disapproval!" Anders = "Like, liberation, man!" Fenris = "Kill all mages!" Isabela = "I'm a randy pirate!" Merill = "Oh, butterflies!" Sebastian = "Do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior?"). They don't particularly evolve, or change, or have anything surprising about them that would want to make me learn more about them. To make matters worse, the game insists on parading a bunch of Origins' characters in front of you, apparently to remind how much more interesting they were.

However, the worst part is that the game so severely restrains what you can do with Hawke that I hesitate to call it a roll playing game at all. In Origins, it was entirely possible to play your Warden as a righteous warrior for good, a self-centered jerk, a racist elf who wanted to destroy all humans, or anything in between. In Dragon Age 2, you only get "personality-based" conversation options that don't actually affect Hawke's personality that much. The game is so insistent on telling its own narrative (whatever the heck that is) that it leaves no room to accommodate player choice, or in many cases, basic logic. You can't actually role-play Hawke, because the story can't accommodate anything outside an extremely narrow range of personality and action for the character.

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theonewhoplays

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Edited By theonewhoplays

In my opinion Xenoblade 1 is so much better than 2 it's not even funny, so I highly recommend giving it another go. Just remember you don't have a gun to your head, no need to do all quests. I did every quest and unique monsters in 240 hours... So I'll probably not buy the remastered edition even if XC1 is in my top 3 RPGs. It seems like a real treat for new players though.

-edited to expand my thoughts and make the comment less like a twitter post.

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Lobben85

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@roy42: @raszagal: @theonewhoplays:

Yeah guys, fuck them! They should be forced to play and like games that you like! The fact that it's a personality driven site with personal tastes doesn't matter. They have to like the stuff I like so I can feel good about myself.

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DominicCichocki

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Thanks for reading my email! It was much appreciated, as I had hoped.

Also: As someone who was blasting through Xenoblade Chronicles again on Swtich, I was disappointed to hear it get such dismissive remarks. I know everyone has different tastes and everything, but this is a classic made better by great QoL options and graphics that work with the art style instead of against it. It still holds up really well. I can talk about it like y'all discuss Mass Effect and Skyrim.

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dolphin_tequila

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Edited By dolphin_tequila

@therealturk: Dragon Age 2's mission statement is to expand on the world and politics of Thedas, each of the companions represent an important aspect of the story:

- Anders = Mages, Templars, Demons and Spirits

- Fenris = Tevinter and Qunari

- Merril = Dalish and Blood Magic

- Varric = Kirkwall and it's underworld

- Sebestian = The Chantry (and Free Marches, to a lesser extent)

- Aveline = Ferelden and Kirkwall

- Isabelle = Thedas as a whole and Hawke himself

- Bethany/Carver = Mages and Templars as they pertain to the Hawke family

They each represent a part of the world, and for a RPG (or any politically motivated story) that is essential. The game is trying to teach you the parts that make Dragon Age, and in turn you determine the value of each as a commoner and refugee within Thedas. But that's not all the companions are, there are plenty of instances of them being fleshed out, whether in personal quests, conversations or party banter. Each character has a clear motivation and inner/outer journey. With respect, to call them one note is dismissive.

The events across all 3 acts serve to reexamine what was barely established in Origins. In DA2 there's no definitive antagonist or antagonistic force like the faceless Darkspawn and Archdemon to distract from the conflicts that Hawke gets personally involved in. The Arishok attacking the city, Meredith and Orsino butting heads, these are glimpses of the mundane threats the world faces. If anything, it's Inquisition whose focus wavers, shifting to the ancient Tevinter Magisters that broke into the golden city and elven ancestry.

I find it strange one would so easily dismiss the approach to Hawke's character. You're given a name, a family and a history at the start of the game and everything that happens in the story serves these facts. The decision to be a defined human character wasn't an accident, it's silly to complain about not being able to choose your background when that would have betrayed the entire story.

You call the range of personality narrow, but it's literally more options for personality than what any RPG has offered before, it's legitimate agency over what kind of person Hawke is, which in a RPG is arguably more important than just choosing the black white or gray option. Your limited control over the conclusion of the story goes back to my point of what the game's goal is, to inform and reexamine the world and set the stage for the next mainline game (suggesting DA2 was originally meant as a sidestory before the studio were forced to stick a '2' at the end), especially given the Legacy DLC

You don't have to like it, but the game does generously expand on the world and offers a lot of perspective to things that were established in Origins.

Playing it after Origins is jarring, definitely, and it can be easy to write the whole thing off. But there's a reason it still resonates with core fans, it's honestly all still fresh in my head, doesn't feel like a 10 year old game at all.

---

Not trying to change your mind, and this is an absurd amount of text so I'm not expecting a response. These are pretty much all my feelings regarding DA2 so I don't have anything else to debate. peace and love

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dolphin_tequila

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Edited By dolphin_tequila

@dominiccichocki: Dude I'd fucking love to hear them talk about Mass Effect and Skyrim at length again lol, those days are long gone.

However I agree Xenoblade needs it's proper due on the site, the game is 10 years old and it's still discussed regularly online.

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Eribuster

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Edited By Eribuster

TRIBES

As one of the (surprisingly vocal in this comment thread) group that is incredibly passionate about the Xenoblade series (and is mulling over Xenoblade Chronicles being my most favorite game ever): please chill, fellows. Some games just bounce off of some people while strike deeply for others. For some, there can be no time for Reyn.

Lastly, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Xenoblade 2 is on the bottom rungs. Even I must admit that the series so far has been a progression of diminishing returns. I guess I've just made my peace with Xenoblade 2 being Monolith Soft's unbound indulgence in putting every battle-harem-isekai-light-novel trash they could think of in to a single game and enjoying it for that.

TRIBES

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escapevelocity

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Edited By escapevelocity

What really should happen is them hiring another person to the team that actually likes slower paced games and doesn't dismiss Japanese games as "anime," like Jan. Ben's got the latter part down, but he doesn't seem to like slower paced games, and Jan's busy with production stuff so it'd be too much to ask him to be the sole voice for that genre.

I think people are right in saying the team's preferences are heavily biased, and people are also right in saying it's a personality driven show so they shouldn't be forced to "like" certain games. They just need more varied people for varied personalities.

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DominicCichocki

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@dolphin_tequila: that's true. It's ten years old. But you can hear their love for those equally old RPGs even when they mention in passing. I don't expect long, drawn out rants about the game (which I could do, don't get me wrong), but it's a classic from the same era. It's a notable game in the history of the genre along with Mass Effect and Skyrim. As someone who reveres Monolith Soft as much as they revere Bioware, it's a weird experience.

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ninkendo

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Edited By ninkendo

Sad they dismissed Xenoblade so quickly. Loving the remaster and the original was easily my game of the decade and up there with FF6 and Chrono Trigger as one of the best JRPGs of all time. Would really have loved to have gotten Austin's thoughts last week.

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GrayFox666

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Edited By GrayFox666

I’m used to them not liking my types of games so I could care less them shitting on Xenoblade but it could be less dismissive. That might help some of the criticism but it’s their opinions so who really cares

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Humanity

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All I want to say is that I'm all about that Sludge Life.

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Avioto

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Some of the GB crew should really consider a device like the GPD Win to play PC games like Monster Train on the go. I've been doing it for years. And the GPD Win Max is coming out soon, which I am way more excited about than any new console! Not having to worry about backwards compatibility nonsense, a library that is much, much bigger than the Switch and the option to tweak the graphics to your liking is pretty great.

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Sintes

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Edited By Sintes

I'm starting to feel a little sick of remasters. There's a new remaster announcement every week now. I guess the game industry has figured out what the movie industry has now known for years - rehashing the same stuff every 5-10 years makes easy money...

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APDLS

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@benpack If the battle voices in Xenoblade are putting you off, you can turn them off in the settings and the cutscene voice acting will be unaffected. So maybe try that out. They do get a lot better as you get more abilities and combinations of characters and attacks though, and some of the post-battle conversations are fantastic.

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zinkn

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Sounds like Sony is scared that people are going to think that their games dont look good enough.

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Dragoon

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I will also say that Ben should play Dragon Age Origins it still holds up and I still think its the best one in the series. You can play the Dragon Age series while they all get in the pit and play phantasy star online 2

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matiaz_tapia

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GET

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99bajakid

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Tribes, tribes, tribes, triiiiebs!

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LonelySpacePanda

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Can someone please tell me who I have to fight around here to get my opinion validated on this here podcast!??

As a newcomer to Xenoblade and someone who hasn't enjoyed JRPGs in a VERY long time (not a Persona fan), I love this game. It's just good. Great characters, music, and the combat is so enjoyable. It blows my mind the game changes so much if you want to play as a different party members. That's very refreshing and needed in what is a long game. But not that long --- people overstate the game's length, much like Skyrim (which is very short if you do main path).

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faridmon

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Holy Shit the Xenoblade talk was cringe worthy. I rather them not play it all if the can’t get I fact right...

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fisk0

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fisk0  Moderator  Online

You joke about the game being set in Denmark, but what if it's set on Greenland? The US tried to buy it from Denmark last year - they could set it during an US invasion or some kind of CIA operation trying to fund a separatist movement or something.

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permanentsigh

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Edited By permanentsigh

Sony will post individual 4K videos of the games they are showing after the event. The majority of them, at least.

https://blog.playstation.com/2020/06/08/updated-time-this-thursday-see-the-future-of-gaming-on-ps5/#comment-1795122

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jasperkazai

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Edited By jasperkazai

Lol at Ben asking if Dragon Age 2 was the most loved one... he got that backwards. DA2 is the most hated. Drastic gameplay change, recycled level/map assets, cramped and limited areas... It's a stark contrast to the first game. I remember playing the demo for DA2 and being excited as hell. I personally was not a huge fan of DA Origin's combat, so a game that took DAO's RPG/dialogue/atmosphere stuff and added in combat I actually kind of liked sounded amazing. Man, what a disappointment that turned out to be.

What was with that thing where Ben tried to say something about Persona and Brad shut him down? That was really weird.

One time, I got Hershey-branded hazelnut spread (same stuff as Nutella) and Reeses-branded peanut butter. Had a legitimate Reeses' Cup sandwich. Was good as hell.

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dijidiji

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imhungry

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Edited By imhungry

Nobody on GB liking XC1 is the least surprising thing ever, more or less just let them like what they like. That being said, Jan apparently enjoying XC2 but then getting on the 'XC1 is bad' train is wild to me; the opening in the first one is so much stronger it's not even close.

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Brenderous

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Tribes.

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Curufinwe

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Delaware has allowed haircuts for a month now and is opening up other areas, but there’s no spike here and I’m sure the fact that face masks are required to be worn in every store is helping a lot.

DE has also opened its beaches, but requires face masks to be worn on the boardwalks.

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Curufinwe

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@roy42: If you thought Jeff’s confusion about Shulk was bordering on transphobia, don’t rewatch the P4 ER because Vinny’s remarks about Naoto did not age well.