GameSpot GamePlay Episode 23: Shame Stack

Tom Mc Shea, Carolyn Petit, Chris Watters, and Peter Brown join Kevin VanOrd to look fondly back on 2012.

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 23: Shame Stack

We visit Dunwall, summon our personas, head down the road to Gran Soren, slide down desert dunes, remind ourselves of the definition of insanity, protect Clementine, and so much more in this end-of-year opiniontacular!

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GameSpot GamePlay Episode 22: Doesn't Suck

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

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GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

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8 comments
misterBullseye
misterBullseye

Why oh why did you have to spoil certain parts of Mass Effect 3? Without any warning or anything. Carolyn even said at the beginning of the podcast !"No spoilers!". Well I guess it's not the end of the world. Just hope I will forget about the suicide part before I play the game. (Just bought it last week too). Love the podcast, but that was a real knee in the groin for me. Anyway, keep up the good work guys. I have been a listener for some 5 years now.

Oh and you migth wonder why I am so far behind the podcast schedule. Well, I haven't listened in some months, and I want to hear it all, so I take it a few episodes at a time until I catch up.

pal_080
pal_080

Persona 4 sounds so great!  It's too bad it's only on Vita, dang it!  I may get to play it a few years from now maybe...?

xXITrIcKyIXx
xXITrIcKyIXx

I have one that you guys may have forgotten. X-Com: Enemy Unknown.

push88
push88

I'm with Carolynn when it comes to Journey.  It's a pretty game.  I enjoyed my first and only play through, but I'm glad I didn't pay more than $7 for it after it went on sale on PSN.  I can't foresee myself ever playing that game again in the future and I'm confused by all the hype and game of the year awards it's received.  

Dixavd
Dixavd

Great episode - further evidence that I missed way too many good games this year. But I would mention one game that many forget - Final Fantasy XIII-2.

 

And to further make sure no one agrees with my opinion I want to also mention how I would have said that I preferred Skyward Sword to Dark Souls...

 

Still it's lovely to just hear people speak about the games they like without the normal tone of forever having to argue it fully and be judged by it. Really enjoyable episode.

jayd02
jayd02

I loved I Am Alive.  It wasn't a survival horror game but it did scare the crap out of me at times and I had to actually think and work to beat that game.  I believe that the poor graphical design was on purpose and it brought me more into this destroyed world.  The poor graphical design brought me down and made me feel the environment.  I think I'm gonna run through that game again now.

jayd02
jayd02

I love Dragon's Dogma but it just had too many short ends to me.  No crafting, annoying teammates, no co-op, no fast travel.  Lets say the game was 10 hour long, cut that by half because more then half of the time you were running back and forth to the only city in the game.  The game only had three positives for me and that was the environment of different dungeons and caves, of course the battling, and the different classes you could play as.  Don't get me wrong I love this game and I beat it three times but it got very boring and I forced myself through the third playthrough.  I just wish it was up to par with other current RPG games that released around it and before it.  

 

I love this game and I can't wait for the sequel.  I was only disappointed because some of the things that the game missed I felt were common practice for the genre.

Krycek9mm
Krycek9mm

No mention of Childs play this year?

Immortalsaiyan
Immortalsaiyan

I agree with Tom that Persona 4 is a 10/10 for me as well. I don't think it or Dark Souls on PC count as 2012 games. 

WeWerePirates
WeWerePirates

Tom Mc Shea was the only person on who had played Persona 4 Golden? It's the real GOTY.

resident_jisen
resident_jisen

dragons dogma is my favorite of the year.the game reminds me of dungeons and dragons

675T
675T

 @Kevin-V Sometimes the fact the critics don't criticize each other becomes frustrating! I finished listening this episode and wanting to know more about Chris' criticism of Tom's view on Spec ops: the line, or why Carolyn didn't like the journey! I want to know how you would defend the slow start in AC3 in front of Tom, but usually you just avoid dialectic altogether. Why is it so?  

senseless_dj
senseless_dj

BINARY DOMAIN,Darkness 2 are heavily overlooked imo.

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

Dyson Sphere is a giant sphere built around a sun that has a planet inside. Every bit of energy coming off the sun is harnessed by the sphere for use by the plant and the planet doesn't itself suffer from the lack of sun because it is within the sphere (harnessing the sun in it's own way).

 

The idea was that one day, humanity would require so much energy for its various devices that something of that magnitude would be required. Ironically, it was preceded by the Dyson Ring which is a similar idea except it is just a ring instead of a sphere. Funny, considering the game is named Halo.

push88
push88

I got the platinum trophy in Dark Souls today.  I was a happy guy.

push88
push88

I love listening to Tom talk about Dark Souls. Lol

push88
push88

Did you guys hear about the great Nintendo Wii U robbery?  Totally serious.  It's in the news.

Longini
Longini

Sine Mora came out for PS3 also and has a 3D mode that actually looks pretty sweet. I wasn't expecting it to have 3D since a lot of games lately that should have it, don't(ex. Dyad). Seems like Sony kind of let off of 3D.

AtheistPreacher
AtheistPreacher

@Kevin-V

Thanks for talking about Dragon's Dogma, Kevin.  To me, this is one of the more underappreciated games of the year.  There were a few small flaws, but they weren't nearly as big a deal as most people seem to think.  Kinda boggles my mind that more people weren't impressed... I'd take Dragon's Dogma over Skyrim any day.  There's nothing quite like the combat, and the monsters and the world are fantastic.  The story is a little weak in general, but it does feature one of the more mind-blowing endings of any game in recent memory.  I'm looking forward to the "hard mode" patch that's supposed to arrive next year so my lvl 115 hero can be challenged once again.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Whoop Whoop. The world will not end and I hope for more of this delicious show :)

psuedospike
psuedospike

It doesn't surprise me one bit that Tom McShea cheesed his way through Mass Effect 3.  LOL, pretty pathetic, dude.

 

The Walking Dead is easily the best game of 2012.  This is not opinion, this is fact.

 

Spelunky was great, but I enjoyed Sound Shapes about 1 million times more.  Soooo original and dare I say beautiful.  Now if only I could figure out 100% how to work the level maker...

 

Dragon's Dogma and Lollipop Chainsaw were the most overlooked games of the year; People that actually played them loved them.  Perfect examples of how gaming bias against studios or tropes causes many to miss really great games!

 

Tom and his dumb ideas about war games are so tiring...still his thoughts on Spec Ops are spot on.

 

Dishonored was great, but completely overrated.

 

Give it up Kevin, MMO games are so boring now and stale and not worth planning cause they are all inevitably stamped out from the same old tired template.

 

Have a great holiday everybody, great show!

Falzonn
Falzonn

I find myself in a strange place.  None of the games this year wowed me.  Games like X-com were good, but I've already mostly forgotten about it.  I couldn't help but feel disappointed with so many of the ones I played.  I mean, usually love shooters.  From my first forays with Wolf 3d or Rise of the Triads, onward to games like Goldeneye 007, Deus Ex, Halo, Rainbow Six 3, or Ghost Recon,  then to more recent games like Borderlands or Bioshock.  I've loved shooters since I first started playing video games, but I've suddenly found myself unable to enjoy them as much any more.  Have I simply burnt myself out on the genre?  Why is it that I was able to spend countless hours playing Rainbow Six Vegas 2 online, but be completely bored playing Far Cry 3?  Why did I find Borderlands 2 so dull, or Dishonored so disappointing?

 

 It seems lately that every time I try to play a SP shooter the mechanics bore me.  It's the biggest reason I didn't like Mass Effect as much as I wanted to.  It had linear levels with generic shooting,  and no amount of biotic attacks were able to overcome that for me. So then maybe it's the competitive multiplayer that kept me hooked on games like the Rainbow Six series all these years.  If so, why id I dislike the new Ghost Recon Online, or the Mechwarrior Online reboot?

 

My lack of enthusiasm  isn't just limited to shooters either.  Strategy games such as Civilization or Fallen Enchantress, and 4x games like SoaSE or Endless Space didn't capture me as much as they once did either. Even Skyrim, and the formula I've played since Morrowind, got boring after a while.

 

 

Maybe it's just a funk I'm in.  A specific type of shooter I'm craving, and the desire for that game is casting dark clouds over all the others I'm trying to play.  Lately  I just seem to crave slow paced, tactical rpgs like Dark Souls, or shooters like Deus Ex:  Story driven rpg shooters with emphasis on choice, in terms of branching dialogue with consequences, or the multiple ways in which you can tackle an objective.  Dishonored & Mass Effect had elements of both, but I was disappointed that they didn't combine them together.

 

Wow, a rather long lamenting rant perhaps the GamePlay comments section, so I guess the tldr is that my New Years gaming resolution should probably be to explore new genres I've so far avoided.  My old standby's aren't quite doing it for me any more.  Tonights goal, the open source, free to download windows version of Spelunky!

PSNless
PSNless

Definitely enjoyed it.  Things I learned:

1.  I need to go to internet.com.

2.  Spec Ops isn't just another shooter with Nathan Drake's voice.

3.  I need an Xbox for Spelunky.

4.  Tom is right.  Dark Souls and the Legend of Zelda.  Yes.  I thought he'd bring up Closure, though.  That game's awesome, also.

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

 @Immortalsaiyan GameSpot doesn't recognize either Dark Souls or Persona 4 Golden as 2012 releases, which is why they aren't in our Game of the Year awards. But who cares about that? Versions of both games came out this year, and I played both games this year, so I consider them (among the) best of the year. And all time.

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

 @675T  @Kevin-V 1) You can read Chris' point of view on Spec Ops: The Line in his review. 2) There is no defense for Assassin Creed 3's opening. 3) Carolyn looked at a picture of a polar bear cub and didn't "awwww"

psuedospike
psuedospike

 @push88 Congrats!  I was elated when I got all the Achievements myself!!

psuedospike
psuedospike

 @push88 I have now...I wonder when and where they will show up.  I hope they catch them when they try to register for Club Nintendo points.  lol

resident_jisen
resident_jisen

 @AtheistPreacheri prefer dragons dogma over skyrim to. i found skyrim to boring and it was like obilivion with better graphics.

 

senseless_dj
senseless_dj

 @psuedospike dude! calling others pathetic based on your subjective judgement is a sign of being pathetic.

Prats1993
Prats1993

@psuedospike 1) Dishonored was not overrated and completely GOTY worthy 2) GW2 has succesfully revitalised the mmo genre which is why it is another GOTY contender 3) Walking dead? lol, a point and click with little to no interactivity does not deserve a spot on the best of the year list and yess ive played them. Not sure if game or movie. 4) lollipop chainsaws a joke, both literally and figuratively. 5) Dragons Dogma was made by Capcom. That is all.

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

 @psuedospike Anyone that thinks MMOs are stamped from the same boring template hasn't been playing MMOs. There is a great deal of diversity in the genre; Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World are very different games that focus on very different things. I am surprised anyone is still saying such things at this stage. I aim and shoot guns in both Far Cry 3 and Black Ops 2, but no one would suggest that they are stamped from the same template. Similarly, I explore and enter dungeons in Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World, but the games don't play the same way or evoke the same emotions. 

 

I can dismiss any genre in the manner in which you dismiss MMOS. "All shooters are just aiming guns and shooting. Yawn." "All stealth games are just sneak and stab, sneak and stab. Boring!" Games are a lot more than their basic mechanics boiled down to their barest essentials. "Oh, Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World both have hotbars. They're like the same game!" In actuality, there are a lot more factors: world design, level design, storytelling, player progression, combat model, movement model, combat model, collision detection, micro- and macro-pacing, atmosphere, and a hundred more attributes. These games may share space in the same genre, but a great many games have deviated from this "template" you describe. Fallen Earth is not like EVE Online which is not like Guild Wars which is not like Anarchy Online. 

Chris_Watters
Chris_Watters staff

 @Falzonn I was just about to suggest you get yourself some Spelunky, but you've already reached that wise, wise conclusion :)

 

I feel ya on genre fatigue. There are times when I am just not into a particular type of game, and even if something comes out in that genre that is supposedly rad, I can't muster any enthusiasm for it. Times like those I prescribe myself new genres, or just a break from gaming (though those never last long). 

675T
675T

 @TomMcShea  1) You are exactly right! I just looked "dialectic" up in OED and it defines it as "the act of reading a review"! 

2) I usually do not speak with that much conviction, because I might be wrong! Besides, that is just a point of view. That's why I expect people at gamespot with different point of views to have serious conversation with each other. After listening to those conversation I can, hopefully, gain a deeper understanding of games! 

3) I can't really justify that!

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

 @TomMcShea  @675T We talk about games we don't agree on constantly on this show! This particular episode was about celebrating the games we loved, though, so I wanted to keep that kind of talk to a minimum. Listen to any other episode of GamePlay, and you hear plenty of banter and jabbing :) 

 

And Tom avoids criticizing games other people love? Pish posh! lol

psuedospike
psuedospike

 @senseless_dj How is it NOT pathetic for a game reviewer to not actually PLAY one of the biggest games of the year and instead just cheese his way through it by watching it like a movie?  Especially, since I played just about all the games they talk about on Hard difficulties and it's not even my job, in fact I have a full time job unrelated to games.  Just seems lazy to me and further proof that Tom isn't very good at games in general.  I'm not trying to be an ass about this, it's just that statement of his really irks me.

psuedospike
psuedospike

 @Prats1993  Your last 3 points completely prove my point, so thanks for your opinions.

psuedospike
psuedospike

 @Kevin-V Dude, I wasn't talking about EVERY MMO EVAR!  I was simply saying that while the much lauded Guild Wars 2 and Secret World do some things differently you are essentially playing the same format of game even if they play with the mechanics of the "fetch quests" and party dungeon crawling.  Don't put words in my mouth just because you happen to think these games are innovating when they sure don't seem so to me.  No offense, but while I'm happy for you being entertained by the above mentioned games, I am completely bored with the genre.  I obviously know that games in the same genre are going to have many similarities, I'm not blind, but it's the main gameplay of games that remains in my memory after playing them and having played many MMOs in the past they tend to bleed together in their narrative and playing experience and every game that came out this year seemed very regurgitated in that regard.  I could go into more detail about why every MMO I tried this year bored me to tears, but what's the point?  You don't need to get all defensive, MMORPGs are among my least favorite genres of games anyway and I feel I've been duped by friends into spending more time playing them than I wish I had...except for maybe Everquest when it first came out and EVE of course was different.  I played Anarchy Online back in the day, but I don't remember much of what I did in that game anymore.  That being said my favorite games in the genre are action based combat like Vindictus and PSO (which I will be playing PSO 2 next year - because the combat is more fun), so take that for what you will.

Lord_Python1049
Lord_Python1049

 @675T  @Kevin-V The last podcast had a very heated discussion about "Covergate" between Tom and co. where no one really pulled punches, instead of Kevin, who kind of had to because he's like a moderator.

675T
675T

 @Kevin-V  I've listened to all of them; there are just a few fleeting instances of heated debates. I thought the nearest you got to a serious discussion was when Jeff was on the podcast; not that you should necessarily bring him every week, but I think having someone who is a bit out of your circle would help with that!

But even then, there is no real discussion, just vague comments, like "I really loved the game", which are at best just way too general.

I don't know whether there is room for in-depth discussion in the current format of the podcast, but surely you can have standalone podcast to address some recurring themes; one episode to address Spec ops critically, just to show what's the problem with modern shooters and the fact that there is no scientific evidence relating FPS to aggressive behavior, and another episode for dissecting Journey, or any other deserving gaming-related topic.     

psuedospike
psuedospike

@TomMcShea Try 'I wanna be the guy'...makes Super Meat Boy look like a dandy walk in the park.

While I understand that all of our time is limited, I have a full time job as I own my own business and still find time to finish games because I love games and it is my hobby.  Playing games is your job.  If you can't be arsed to even play one of the best games of the year (not to mention one of the best game trilogies ever) what does that say about your supposed love of games.  Tedious is a subjective term.  I don't find ME gameplay tedious...maybe collecting the rocks n junk from various planet searches was tedious, but the gameplay was solid 3rd person shooting.  I'm just saying it doesn't look good for you if a kid comes up and asks you, "As a game reviewer, what did you think about Mass Effect 3?"; You should say it was good, but I didn't actually play most of it so I don't know.  THat is my only point.  You can't have a valid opinion on a game you cheesed your way through because you missed the bulk of the actual gameplay!  I don't think that is a hard point to understand.

At least we can agree that Dark Souls is the best game of the current generation!  Did you beat it yet?  My time may be limited, but I always found the free time to put 250+ hours into Dark Souls!

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

 @psuedospike  @senseless_dj I played Mass Effect 3 on Narrative Mode because it was boring, not because it was challenging. I would have skipped the combat entirely if the game had given me the option. My time is limited, and I would rather avoid tedious aspects of games if I can. If Mass Effect 3 didn't have a fantastic story, there's no way I would have played more than a couple hours of it.

 

And I do agree that I'm not particularly gifted at games. Ironically, many of my favorite games are relatively difficult. Though I seem to be one of the few people who don't think Dark Souls is particularly tough. Super Meat Boy was way more difficult to me.

Falzonn
Falzonn

 @psuedospike  @Kevin-V I can agree with you that I find most mmo's tedius after a while (to much filler for me personally), but I do think Kevin's point stands.  Mmo's may have the same general template, but there are variations to them in the same way shooters or rpgs have.  Genres may share the same 'stale' templates, but if you're say, a fan of shooters, then you'll likely enjoy them regardless of certain similarities to other games.

 

  I think the key here is that every person has their 'breaking point' where they get tired of something, and each for different reasons .  I get genre fatigue myself (see my comment below), and mmos are one of them.  Despite some mmos being free to play now, I still can't muster the enthusiasm to dl & play them.  After playing WoW for years, then Warhammer Online, Age of Conan, and a bit of TOR (albeit in beta), I've taken a break from the genre.  Despite that, I think there's still -some- growth to the genre, so I won't write them off just quite yet.