Matt's sleepy and we're both underprepared for this week's news section, but we pull it together by the end for our continuing discussion of Dark Souls III and looks at both Splatoon 2 and Civilization IV.
The Stars talk about Dream Daddy, Spelunky, and Splatoon 2, but both hosts are most excited about their reunion with an old digital friend.
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I’m Level 18 or something in Overwatch. I’ve opened a bunch of loot cases. They’re fun; the Christmas poppers of the video game world. I wish the DualShock rumbled when the rewards popped out. In fact, that’s my one legitimate criticism of Overwatch. It’s stupid that the controller doesn’t rumble when the rewards pop out.
In the early ‘90s, id Software made a game called Wolfenstein 3D. That game cast players as BJ Blaskowitz, a Jewish killing machine stalking through Nazi territory toward a final showdown with Hitler. Because this is a video game, Hitler wears a robot suit and puts up a fight rather than offing himself in a bunker.
Things get a little political, but the Stars recover and start a new journey in Dark Souls III. Other topics include Spelunky and Project CARS.
I like the term walking simulators. I think it’s funny. You know what game simulates physical walking really well? Firewatch. Firewatch pulls the tricks from The Last Of Us that make Joel feel like a two-ton bag of rocks, especially when he falls. The walking simulation in Firewatch is strong. Which is good, because it’s one of the only physically frictive systems in the game.
Games were childish toys for decades, but now they're good and the Stars want to talk about it. Put on your Firewarden hat and join us for a lengthy (and spoiler-filled) discussion of Campo Santo's Firewatch.
Jesus wept, Final Fantasy XV is a weird mess. I have never encountered something so polished and incompetent. Final Fantasy XV is the anti-Marvel movie and the anti-David Lynch film. It is a beautiful Frankenstein bride. There is nothing lazy about Final Fantasy XV and yet it’s never really interesting except in its failures.
Hot takes abound as the Stars tackle Breath of the Wild's 'Master Mode', the SNES Classic, and Crypt of the Necrodancer.
Desert Golfing, a game you can purchase for your iOS or Android device, is perfectly designed for its environment. Right now, no other video game better harnesses the always-on-and-always-aimless nature of pocket computers. It’s a game full of goals, but those objectives originate from the player as much as the game’s creator. If there’s one phrase I associate with smartphones, it’s “killing time”. I don’t know if there were fewer moments of boredom in the past, or if we only started to notice the five minute gaps in our day after everybody stopped smoking cigarettes, but since smartphones came around we’ve all gotten very good at filling in the temporal cracks. I don’t remember killing time as a child. I remember doing a whole lot of nothing, but I never felt like I was actively trying to fritter any moment away. That’s probably because I rarely had anywhere to be, so there was never space between appointments. It’s a lie to say that I did nothing as a kid, what I actually did was construct meaningless games in my head. My door became a dartboard, my dresser became a warzone, my backyard became a golf course. These games lacked time limits, and because they existed in my mind, I could visit them whenever I wanted, for as long as was available. Desert Golfing is like one of the imaginary games I played as a kid, except it puts my backyard inside my pocket.