Craig and Seth drop late breaking news on tadpoles, Crate & Barrel, and the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer. Oh. And video games! Discussions include Final Fantasy X HD Remaster, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Yoshi’s Topsy Turvy, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Perfect Dark Zero and Fluidity: Spin Cycle.
About Author: Craig Lupienski
Posts by Craig Lupienski
Bordering on consistency, Craig, Chris and Seth return to discuss Sony’s Project Morpheus and VR in general, IGA leaving Konami, Continuum, Jem and the Holograms, greasy hair and a whole mess of other things. These fine gentlemen of gaming have been playing Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Yoshi’s New Island, Yoshi’s Story, Pokemon Battle Trozei, Luftrausers, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Street Fighter II.
So here’s what happened in the last three months:
So we talk about pogs and baby lions and Disneyworld (because what episode is complete without Chris’s exploits of Disney, Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel?). Pretty sure we talked about some games. Hmmm. Oh yeah. Ayup. We did. Titanfall, Kentucky Route Zero, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare and more!
My face scowls in the sun. Suddenly aware of his audience, my face opens his mouth wide and makes a series of quick, sloppy gestures before disappearing behind the horizon.
I did that on purpose, of course. The Vita’s front facing camera picked up my dumb head and stuck it into Tearaway’s sun and I couldn’t resist being a moron on screen. It makes me wonder why iota wants to deliver a message to me. I’m an idiot every time I show up in the game. But iota is earnest. Tearaway, as a whole, is earnest. Its papercraft world, blunt and saccharine storytelling, and borderline non-sequitor cast of characters could easily come across as hokey and forced, but surprisingly (and much to its credit), it usually does not.
That is not to say Tearaway doesn’t stumble. It does. As an omnipotent sun-dork, my job is to force myself into iota’s world and help him deliver his message to me. The Vita’s touch screen screen, the rear touch panel and even the gyros are put to work here, and it’s a double edged sword. On the one hand, poking, prodding, swishing and tilting are all novel inputs for a platformer, and Tearaway generally pulls its ideas off to good effect. It’s fun and engaging. But on the other hand, the Vita is a large, heavy system. Fumbling around with it to do what the game asks of me is, at times, downright annoying. At one point, I had to interact with the rear touch panel with two fingers while also guiding iota with the left analog stick. What the hell kind of hands does Media Molecule think I have?
With Media Molecule’s reputation, in all fairness, I expected a lesser game. The single player campaigns in the LittleBigPlanet games are dull and exhausting affairs, to put it kindly. Tearaway doesn’t break any molds; iota trucks through a linear adventure finding hidden presents, collecting junk and helping denizens with the most simple of tasks, but despite having done all this in any number of Nintendo 64 platformers, Tearaway does what it does well. Media Molecule wisely sprinkles new ideas for both platforming and combat at the right time to keep the simple systems from growing stale. A few segments drag on a bit too long, but it’s rarely boring.
Tearaway asked me about the size of my hands, the color of my skin and even which gender I prefer to be addressed as. It’s a game that tries very hard to be likable, to put you in a creative and prominent role in the story. Sometimes, especially the ending, it comes across as heavy handed, and the variety of inputs are occasionally cumbersome. But Tearaway dusts itself off and tries again, and I’m glad that it does.
On this episode, the last recorded in Craig’s current apartment, Craig, Chris and Seth talk about Mexico, unemployment, Miiverse, PS4 and Xbox One sales, VGX, and Wii U woes. The guys have been playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Super Mario 3D World, Batman Origins: Blackgate, Ys: Memories of Celceta, Peggle 2, Dead Rising 3 and Tearaway.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Craig and Chris offer a juicy, mouth-watering buffet of discussions, including the Xbox One, the bevy of recent Persona announcements, the Wii U’s first year anniversary and more. In the past week, the lads have been playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Super Mario 3D World, Killer Instinct, Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW and Need For Speed: Most Wanted.
Uploaded a week late, in this episde, Craig, Chris and Seth discuss the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the sale of one million units, as well as Bravely Default’s North American release. The guys have been playing a ton of games, including Resogun, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Flower, The Wolf Among Us, Proteus, Lost in Shadow and more.
My siblings and I had kind of bad upbringing. Not “oh no I’m grounded because I did something stupid and I can’t get my way” kind of bad. Tumultuous, hungry, turbulent, lonely, even violent bad. We poor, abused, confused.
In the mid to late 90s, we found solace and solidarity in otherwise mundane things. Fall afternoons shooting Nerf guns at each other. Hours wasted away watching Nickelodeon and The Simpsons. Three controllers plugged into a curvaceous, charcoal Nintendo 64. Small, unremarkable bubbles that kept us safe.
I’m not interested in discussing sales numbers or the rate at which new releases appeared on the Nintendo 64. I’m not even interested in discussing the quality of the games. All of that whiny shit is just fodder for boring people with no other way to measure the worth of the dollars or time spent on some appliance that now rests, slanted to one side, somewhere in their closet. The value of the Nintendo 64 is not measured in numbers or dick waving for me.
To understand the value of the Nintendo 64 is to understand what it is like to have nothing else when dinner is but toast and watered down Kool-Aid. The terrifying feeling of not knowing when your parents will be home. To know what it’s like to be scared, to not know where you might sleep tonight, to absolutely hate every other moment of your life. Four controller ports. That’s all it took to stave off depression, anxiety, frustration, anger. Nothing else at the time could have bound us together.
The Nintendo 64 was a port in a storm. Shelter in a disaster. It brought me and my brother and my sister together around a mediocre 20″ tube TV, its cord severed and taped together after our father cut it in some fit of rage. Cartridges shoved into a console. Loose, wobbly analog sticks. Shit talking, wailing, complaining, mostly just laughing. We had so very little else. It’s not a number, it’s not just an appliance, it’s not just video games. There is no argument; it might have been all we had.
This week, on the cusp of the launch of new consoles, Craig, Chris and Seth talk about… how disinterested they are, as well as the general fatigue or boredom of the industry at large. From listener feedback, the trio discuss an interpretation of Majora’s Mask, the definition of “next gen,” and the memories or nostalgia that can be tied to video games. They have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Fantasy Life and Rymdkapsel.
It’s been a while but we’re back in style! Craig is back from Japan and talks a little of his trip, Chris makes nonsensical jokes while inebriated and Seth talks about go karts or something I don’t know who cares. The guys discuss the IronFall 3DS tech demo, Swap Note and Pottery Barn. They’ve been playing Pokemon X/Y Version, Senran Kagura, Sonic Lost World on both the 3DS and Wii U, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Fatal Frame IV and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies.
IronFall demo on the 3DS
Asterix and Obelix XXL on the GBA
COP the Recruit on the DS