GameSpot GamePlay Episode 22: Doesn't Suck

Planetside 2 Creative Director Matt Higby joins Kevin and crew to discuss creativity, conspiracies, and whether developers ever make things they're ashamed of.

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 22: Doesn't Suck

Planetside 2 Creative Director and esteemed guest Matt Higby spends most of this episode lavishing praise on Euro Truck Simulator 2, and can you blame him?

Anyway, there's more to this week's podcast than that, including a heated discussion about Bioshock: Infinite's box art, the value of Skyrim's copious reading material, and whether The Phantom Pain is actually the next Kingdom Hearts game. This week's cast: Kevin VanOrd, Tom Mc Shea, Chris Watters, and Tyler Winegarner.

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GameSpot GamePlay Episode 21: I Like Getting Murdered

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 20: Remote-Controlled Rocket Launcher

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 19: Deja Vu

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 18: The Cinnabon Engine

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 17: Space Noise

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 16: Press X to Batman

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 15: A Series of Death Screams

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 14: Splinter Shell

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 13: Double Jesus

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 12: All Pandas go to Heaven

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 11: Enter The Pee Zone

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Discussion

2 comments
xXITrIcKyIXx
xXITrIcKyIXx

Wow haha totally never expected The Phantom Pain to be the next Kingdom Hearts game based on the description. Totally got me there.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Kevin's talk about when he cares about extra stories in games reminds me of Lost Odyssey. They have really long narratives about the main characters past. For those that haven't played it, the main character is immortal and it talks about what he did over the past thousand years or so from what I recall.

 

I remember there was a story about a shoe maker that the main character came to many times and the shoe maker would remember him and the shoes that he crafted and you learn about the old mans life up until he dies. The stories often didn't have lots of relevance with what you just did but they are very well written stories I enjoyed listening to.

xReikenx
xReikenx

Can you blame people for saying reviews and awards were bought when CoD BlOps2 gets most innovative MP game of the year, a game that hasn't done any innovating since it first came out, when Planetside 2 is sitting right there being amazing?

jessie82
jessie82

played it got fedup uninstalled it..

jhunter28
jhunter28

They're not lying, there is plenty of shooting in the game, and the guy on the cover is the main character.  Settle down Tom McShea, they're making a reversible cover for your needs.

Lord_Python1049
Lord_Python1049

Excellent podcast, one of the best ever imo. reminds me of the days of heavier discussion with Tom Magrino

push88
push88

I think "lying" is a strong word for the cover of BioShock Infinite.  How about the fact that it's just simply kind of boring?  Also, Ken Levine can't shut up about Elizabeth in every friggin' interview about the game so, the fact that she is NOT even on the cover is very puzzling.

push88
push88

Love the show.  BTW Kevin, it's FIRE Lurker.  LOL

Tixylixx
Tixylixx

Higby, Underslung MCG in Planetside 2 and I'm yours!

Biggs613
Biggs613

Eternal Darkness... Damn, it's been awhile since I even thought of that game.

 

darkspineslayer
darkspineslayer

Man Tom, I can usually respect your views, even if i don't agree with them, but damn you were all over Nintendo in this episode. I won't argue that Skyward Sword was pretty dumbed down, but to say Nintendo has always held your hand? really?

markosasav
markosasav

Look at meee Moonlight Butterfly.. Hahahh

AtheistPreacher
AtheistPreacher

You missed the lower Hitman reviews that appeared on metacritic for the PS3 and Xbox versions.  Yeah, the lowest for the PC was a 60, but for Xbox it was 35, and for PS3 it was 30.

 

Personally, I think Gamespot's 7.5 was about right.  For me, it's an 8 when I consider the game on its own terms, and more like a 7 when I compare it to the past games of the series and consider how much freedom has been lost.  7.5 splits the difference.

dabassplayer15
dabassplayer15

I really enjoy this podcast, but the notation that bribes for scores explicitly never happens in this industry is, I believe, a little short sighted. Please understand, I'm not saying anyone at GameSpot has their scores modified by peer reviewers, or that in the last few years publishers demanded praise for promised advertising revenue, but that's not to say that such demands by publishers have never been made in the past. Why it was this very site's management team that had one of your journalists fired in 2007. "Publisher push-back" scared the relatively new management into firing one of GameSpot's longest resident editors, as cited in an interview done on GameSpot earlier this year (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/116360-Jeff-Gerstmann-Explains-His-Departure-From-Gamespot).

 

I find it impossible to believe that publisher push-back has all but gone away in the last five years, and I find it slightly more improbable that all the editors of the numerous publications in circulation have the journalistic integrity to stand up to management fearful of lost revenue.

Verityrant
Verityrant

I agree with Tom McShae (and I rarely do) trying to convey the idea that disingenuous marketing is shite, and whoever he was arguing with was being super deliberately obtuse for some reason.  That said, in this particular instance with Bioshock Infinite, I don't think there is disingenuous box art, because the depiction of a dude with a gun is accurate if not comprehensive.  If I had to complain I wish that Elizabeth was on the cover so that it won't just be one more game with a white male protagonist etc etc. for folks to bitch about. 

 

Rodrigo_AA
Rodrigo_AA

I see people talking so much about Dark Souls and how awesome this game is but I really don't know if I will enjoy this game. What kind of gamer will have fun whit Dark Souls? How I know if I should by this?

 

And by the way nice participation of Matt Higby. Funny and honest. 

 

 

Daavpuke
Daavpuke

I'm so glad that Planetside 2 is being so well received. I'm not a fan of Untold Legends, but it's good to see the dude climbing up in the ranks. Planetside certainly isn't a game for everyone, but if they're working on making it more accessible, it could grow out to be quite spectacular indeed.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

That was very informative and hilarious which is hard to find on video game podcasts. Thank you Kevin Vanord.

jayd02
jayd02

I lol at "We will never talk about RE6 again."

jayd02
jayd02

Something that I love about MGS is that it takes itself serious but then it does things like add a crocodile hat to remind you that you are playing a video game. 

jayd02
jayd02

Hey Kevin I love Kingdom Hearts as well buddy.

jayd02
jayd02

Also check out my Phantom Pain connection blog.

jayd02
jayd02

It depends on what the history is about.  I could tell you almost everything there is to know about RE (other then six) because I was interested in what was going on.  The same goes for MGS.  I think Kevin it would depend on what the history is about, not just character history.

garosa00
garosa00

Dude needs to shut up about bioshock box art. If I buy a maxim magazine I don't get pissed off that there are articles in between the pictures of half naked women. Just because I bought it for the boobs doesn't mean you can't put something in between those boobs.

NTM23
NTM23

I thought it was "Huh-doh-ken" Since that's how it's always pronounced in Street Fighter from Ryu and Ken, not "Huh-do-ken".

NTM23
NTM23

I like when you guys bring on developers to talk about how they feel about reviews.

NTM23
NTM23

Yes, and I'm positive that there will be far more idiots that say GameSpot or any other publication got paid because they scored it a certain way. Well, I take that back, Kevin certainly got paid to give Far Cry 3 a 9.0. That game sucks. RESIDENT EVIL 6 AND HITMAN DESERVE TENS!... That was a joke.

zilcher
zilcher

Can I have a money hat too?

NTM23
NTM23

I agree with Chris and some of the others on Bioshock: Infinite.

AndCarlsen
AndCarlsen

You get the spin kick (don't remember the name) in Megaman 2 after defeating Topman, I think.  Great episode.

222007510
222007510

@Toysoldier34 Yes, you nailed it with Lost Odyssey.  The random narrative about the past was the most touching part.   Small stories, the majority not connected to the main story, but these lovely stories about the love and pain of an immortal existence.

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

 @xReikenx I don't understand. Who called this the most innovative MP game of the year? Certainly not us. 

Chris_Watters
Chris_Watters staff

 @xReikenx Where did Black Ops II get something called most innovative MP game of the year?

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

 @push88 No it's not :/

 

http://demonssouls.wikidot.com/walk2-2-boss

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-Qr_375ffQ (You can see the word "Flamelurker" right on the screen in the game.)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlHfQx2hQ_Q (This guy calls it the Firelurker, but again, the game calles it Flamelurker.)

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_8587715_beat-flamelurker-demons-souls.html 

 

Perhaps other versions had him differently named, but he's clearly known as the Flamelurker.

Lord_Python1049
Lord_Python1049

 @darkspineslayer I think he means Zelda only. I'm playing twilight princess atm and its kind of annoying how it tells you the answer to every puzzle almost immediately. I miss the water temple days in ocarina of time...

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

 @dabassplayer15 Oh, publishers have been known to push back, though that's not all that common, and I have never once encountered an instance of an out and out bribe. I've never been asked to consider a publisher's "feelings" or any potential ramifications when writing a review, and I have never been approached by a publisher with any kind of bribe. On the occasions we receive extraneous items with review code, we generally give those things away. 

 

If management were to ever suggest I should review games with such things in mind, I would quit; and if a publisher ever offered me a bribe, I'd be outing them as quickly as I could get to a keyboard. I am sure my peers at GS feel the same way, but it's hard to escape the specter of an event that happened five years ago. The Internet never forgets. As it is, I am the one that assigns reviews at GameSpot, and I can say with confidence that I have never asked the staff to do anything other than write exactly what they think--and no game publisher or developer has ever asked me to do otherwise. 

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

 @Rodrigo_AA Did you enjoy The Legend of Zelda? That's the closest comparison I can think of. It's not quite as obtuse and there are role-playing elements (gear, leveling up), but it's at least similar.

xReikenx
xReikenx

 @Kevin-V Was IGN or Destructoid at this years E3. I'm pretty fuzzy on the details since it was so long ago but Planetside 2 wasn't the one which made me face palm pretty hard.Not that it really matters since anyone who says that clearly hasn't seen Planetside 2 or doesn't appreciate the beauty of that game.

push88
push88

 @Kevin-V I'm trying to remember why I thought it was Firelurker.  I think I looked it up on wikipedia and they had it listed as Firelurker.  I think there may be a description in the game where it also has it written as Firelurker as well.  But you are clearly correct as the video proves.  

push88
push88

 @Kevin-V Yeah, actually you're right.  Sorry about that.  But actually I think they use both names in the game for some reason.  Must be a discrepancy with the translations or something.  Sorry bout' that.  Luv' you buddy.  Keep up the good work!

dabassplayer15
dabassplayer15

 @Kevin-V I absolutely believe that to be true, and I would never suggest that you or any member of GameSpot cave in to the rare publisher push-back, but yours is a robust organization with a very large parent company. I believe that most major sites maintain integrity when publisher push-back seldom occurs, however there are also many small review sites. Sites that need stable ad income every month to ensure that their host fees can be paid. These sites don't have such strong legs to stand on; publisher push-back in the form of threatening to pull future ad revenue could seriously threaten the longevity of these small sites. I find it very improbable that 100% of these companies never cave into the fear of losing vital revenue that keeps them afloat. The only reason I felt the urge to comment is because halfway through this podcast, there are several minutes of stating this type of thing just doesn't happen in the industry at all.

 

Lastly using the word "bribe", your right, that isn't proper, and it's not what I meant. I was just referring to threats of not paying for ad placement in the future.

Rodrigo_AA
Rodrigo_AA

@TomMcShea

I read the review of Dark Souls and the Prepare to Die Edition, they give a good idea of the game and they made me curious about it. But at same time I fear that it can be a repetitive game, because die a lot, fight the same enemy over and over again or explore the same area many times. 

And how frustrating that game can be? I saw that you can lost all your gear. 

The thing is, looks a great game but I don't know if is my kind of game.

xReikenx
xReikenx

 @charlesdao  @Kevin-V  They were talking about gaming websites in general when they got to the bit about "buying" reviews and awards.There was also that huge controversy with an old Gamespot reviewer that was fired for essentially calling Kane and Lynch garbage when the website was running all sorts of huge ads for that game. But given I tend to trust Angry Joe and his reviews, I'm gonna go ahead and say that review was pretty accurate.