Games Only Podcast 29 - Journey, ME3 afterthoughts, Peer Review
  • [center][youtube]1JrJvs7Tejw[/youtube][/center]

    NOTICE: Mass Effect 3 spoiler-filled discussion takes place AFTER the main show, so you do not have to fast forward to avoid spoilers!

    --Sunflower plays the "experience" known as Journey, available now on PS3

    --HP plays through Portal 2's "Peer Review" DLC

    --Doc explains his anger and irritation with Street Fighter x Tekken

    --Sunny throws $5 at Warhammer 40k: Kill Team

    --Mass Effect 3 SPOILER FILLED DISCUSSION takes place AFTER the show. You will NOT hear this accidentally, no need to fast forward.

    http://traffic.libsyn.com/gamesonly/gop29.mp3
  • New GOP?

    image
  • ? Only gettin a blank space for your response...
  • Sunflower said:
    ? Only gettin a blank space for your response...


    Heh... I'll have an official response to the show in a day or two, but I've replaced the image in the [hide] box to what it should be.
  • Listening now. Can't wait to hear all about Sunny's thoughts on Journey.
  • Just going to comment on Journey, in response to Sunny. Honestly, if the game was $5 or $10 at most, I'd bet Sunny would be giving a completely different review. There is an end goal to Journey, items to collect, abilities to obtain, and enemies that you can come into conflict with. There is progression, which is what the experience is really all about. I simply think that the price was too steep for Sunny, and it has been for many other people. I beat the game in 2 hours, and I wish the game would have been longer to match the price, but I'm not mad about it. Should it have been cheaper? Yeah, based on how long the game is. Is it good and memorable? You bet your ass it is, and that's exactly why I'm not mad about paying the $15 I did.

    Anyway, great show overall. I'm not a huge Mass Effect fan, and I've not gotten 3 yet, but it's nice to hear you guys legitimately enjoy the game, and not fall into the hype. Even so, shame on Sunny and Doc! Buying weapons for ME3, shame.

    Keep up the good work.
  • Just listened and I have to say I'm not terribly surprised with Sunny's view on Journey. If you didn't really enjoy Flower or Flow, Journey wasn't going to be a game changer. To be honest, I don't know anyone but yourself who hasn't been drawn in by those titles, though. At the same time, I can understand your price point issue. My view toward the price differs though, as I looked at it as if I was buying a DVD. Those cost me roughly $15-$20 and are more times than not, less than 2 hours (which was how long it took me to beat Journey). To me, the price wasn't really an issue.

    As for the rest of the show, I really appreciate staying spoiler free on ME3. I've been busy as hell and haven't scratched the surface, but hearing you guys talk about it just makes me want to play more. Although, I'm still extremely skeptical about the multiplayer (I've yet to try it).

    Keep up the great work!
  • But I didn't feel ripped off by Flower or Flow. Granted, Flow was dogshit-cheap. But I'm also not invoking the dollar-per-hour scale at all. It could have been ten hours and I would have felt gypped.
  • Sunflower said:
    But I didn't feel ripped off by Flower or Flow. Granted, Flow was dogshit-cheap. But I'm also not invoking the dollar-per-hour scale at all. It could have been ten hours and I would have felt gypped.


    Hmm... Then I missed what it was that made you upset about the money :/
  • I did not enjoy Journey as much as other people it seems. I did like the music and art but for me the gameplay wasn't there (very little gameplay). I beat it, in about an hour and a half, and by the end I kinda felt I i had just walked thru a movie and not a game. Sure there was collecting stuff, but it wasn't challenging.

    In contrast, Limbo, I really enjoyed. Limbo was an art game but in Limbo I was solving puzzles and some of them were pretty tough, if I remember right (its been a while).

    Well those are my thoughts on Journey, I liked it but I think it should have been $10. ...
  • The thing is, I understand the whole entertainment ratio to price - quality of entertainment, etc. "Well if you bought tickets for a movie this would be worth..." whatever. There's something about Journey that is lacking. It's not the style of the game, it's not the "art house" feel people rely on...it's something else. I wish I could verbalize it better...but I am at work.
  • Just finished listening to the show, and Sunny I agree with you about Journey, not much gameplay and I also have no desire to go back to it. PSN needs to have demos for everything! I don't know why they don't, not the 1st time I've been burned on PSN.

    I am also looking forward to Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. :)
  • Sunflower said:
    There's something about Journey that is lacking.

    It needs more shotguns.
  • If the shotgun made the singing sound, that would be awesome.

    The only way Journey could be less of a Sunny game, would be if it were puzzle intensive. Either that or just feature the actual music of Journey. Yeah sand surfing to "Don't Stop! Beeleevin!"
  • It's too bad about Journey. I always was intrigued by the footage and information that was out there but got the sense the actual content could be lacking. I appreciate games like that, ones that push the boundary of what a video game is and offers up unique interaction choices. But in the end...it has to be entertaining in some way.

    As for Mass Effect...there's a whole other thread devoted to spoilers on the ending. So I won't get into it here. I'm glad you split the discussion up, because I think right now ALL of the talk about the game focuses on the ending. By putting the end game discussion off till the end of the podcast it left you with the rest of the game to talk about, and I was gratified to hear your opinions on content and relationships and decisions.
  • OboeCrazy said:
    It's too bad about Journey. I always was intrigued by the footage and information that was out there but got the sense the actual content could be lacking. I appreciate games like that, ones that push the boundary of what a video game is and offers up unique interaction choices. But in the end...it has to be entertaining in some way.

    As for Mass Effect...there's a whole other thread devoted to spoilers on the ending. So I won't get into it here. I'm glad you split the discussion up, because I think right now ALL of the talk about the game focuses on the ending. By putting the end game discussion off till the end of the podcast it left you with the rest of the game to talk about, and I was gratified to hear your opinions on content and relationships and decisions.


    Did you agree?

    One thing I want to stress - I feel that spoilers AFTER the show is always, ALWAYS better for podcasts as opposed to the ol' "IF YOU HAVENT PLAYED THIS YET FAST FORWARD A FEW MINS" as that never works right.

    So which ending did you do, Oboe? And how did you cope?
  • Sunny, you should know that I only get furious at games when I'm sucking at them. Portal 2 isn't really that kind of game, and it was great fun to get back with hp and do some more science. I was really surprised at how much story there was in a free DLC pack, and it was good to have a set of puzzles that were completely unrestricted about which gameplay mechanics they might require.

    From what I've seen of Journey and having played it for about 5 minutes at a gaming event, I can definitely see Sunny's point to a certain extent. $15 seems like too much to ask for that kind of experietial game, $10 would probably make a lot more sense. I don't really understand why he feels that the game is worth zero dollars; it provided an interesting experience that, as hp said, must be worth *something* to him. $5 maybe? From what I remember, Sunny says he wipes his arse with $5, and I'm sure there are plenty of things he's spent $5 on in the past that were less worthwhile than Journey. I won't be picking it up any time soon, but if I hear there's a sale on it's something I really want to play.

    Adding on to the discussion about WH40K: Kill Team, I actually played through the whole thing in couch-coop. It's fun enough but much too short, and player 2 doesn't even get achievements! It's very much a tie-in game for Space Marine and only intended to whet your appetite for the full game (and give you some extra unlock or something).
  • Sunflower said:
    Did you agree?

    One thing I want to stress - I feel that spoilers AFTER the show is always, ALWAYS better for podcasts as opposed to the ol' "IF YOU HAVENT PLAYED THIS YET FAST FORWARD A FEW MINS" as that never works right.

    So which ending did you do, Oboe? And how did you cope?


    Yeah having the spoilers at the end really makes a lot more sense.

    As for my spoiler filled ending...

    Spoiler:
    I chose the middle option, synthesis, the green ending if you're color coding things. My paragon Shepard has, from the beginning, done whatever needed to bring peace and understanding to everyone. To unite people, and right injustice. While I didn't think letting the Reaper live was the best idea, I wasn't willing to destroy the Geth, EDI, and all other synthetic organisms just to destroy the Reapers, especially when all of that can be rebuilt. And while the control option was presented as the blue, paragon path that felt wrong as well. The Green ending offered the chance for unity and peace.


    As for if I was HAPPY with the ending...

    Spoiler:
    Not really. I understood what was going on, and could accept that there was no real "happy" ending to the whole thing. No matter what I did, Shepard was going to die and the relays were going to be destroyed. This made me sad, but it was the sadness of watching a hero commit the ultimate sacrifice to do what needed to be done.

    What made me upset was the lack of difference and closure. That ending cutscene didn't really tell me anything about what happened...the thing I loved about the Mass Effect Series is that your actions have consequences that you see played out. This was the BIGGEST of actions and I really didn't see what the consequences were. I don't know what happened to most of my squad (only saw EDI, Joker and Garrus on the Eden planet), I don't know what the rest of this gigantic armada over Earth did or will do now that the relay is destroyed, I don't really know what happened to the Reapers themselves...I didn't need a happy ending but I did want some closer at the end. Even if it was just a few quick seconds here or there showing people dying or living or what. I do feel like the whole game has parts that are closer sequences (that section before the final battle where you talk to all your squadmates most noticeably) but considering one of the most important parts of the game is having your choices mean something I DID want more from the end.

    Do I want BioWare to make some kind of alternate alternate DLC ending? Hell no...especially if it means there's only one "right" answer for that end question.
  • Hm, i like Journey, after some stressful boss fights and shitty timed game parts, Journey is the perfect to unwind, Oh and Journey has a story it's simple alright but it's there.

    but i agree 15$ dollar is too steep
  • Tom Chick kinda mirrors my thoughts, I found today. Here's his brief review.

    Tom Chick said:
    I can groove on a good arthouse game. I don’t mind short, experimental, or inscrutable. I’m the kind of guy who thought Bastion was deep, The Path was meaningful, and Gravity Bone was transcendent. I might even play Dear Esther one day. But Journey, the latest release from the creators of Flower at thatgamecompany? I’d rather stay home.

    After the jump, indie cred revoked

    Journey is nothing like Flower, which was a unique spry tale of wind, color, and redemption. Journey is yet another game in which you control a little dude who sometimes jumps. Most of the time, you just push your stick up and watch him move languidly and sometimes ponderously past scenery. It’s certainly a pretty game, if somewhat monochromatic. It imagines an exotic (i.e. Middle Eastern) culture of sand and cloth, except that these people have sharp points where their feet should be and they’re polytheists who believe in reincarnation.

    The eponymous journey takes you over minor puzzles, underneath threats, though a limp-to-the-finish finale, and into a supposedly rapturous conclusion. Along the way, the story is illustrated with line drawings and presided over by a tall luminescent god creature who’s part of a committee of god creatures who show up at the end to, um…well, that’s for you to parse. The point seems to be some sort of circle of life affirmation about how the journey matters more than the destination, so you should probably play a second time.

    It’s often picturesque and occasionally rousing. Your pilgrim on this brief hajj wears a burka, with a scarf thrown on for good measure. The scarf is actually Journey’s only claim to an interface for how it measures how much jump juice you have. You also have preternaturally wise alien/cat eyes. Think Jawas, but lithe. It’s great character design in search of a game. A couple of times, Journey made me want to play SSX. But it mostly reminded me of some of the dull and barely interactive bits of Uncharted 3. I think the lesson here is that deserts are often poorly suited to games without dune buggies.

    There’s no challenge and no real gameplay, which isn’t necessarily a criticism. It’s sort of like Shadow of the Colossus without any colossi, or Ico without the little girl. It does have multiplayer, though. Other players run around in your game pulling your switches, mashing their circle buttons to activate the “hey, over here!” beacons, and basically going the same place you’re going without any meaningful way to interact with you unless you both know Morse code. How’s that for a metaphor for online gaming?

    2 stars
  • I don't think I've ever read anything of Tom that I viewed as remotely credible. Maybe that's just me.

    Oh well, still sad to see you didn't enjoy it Sunny, hope others do.
  • laphamking said:
    I don't think I've ever read anything of Tom that I viewed as remotely credible. Maybe that's just me.

    Oh well, still sad to see you didn't enjoy it Sunny, hope others do.


    I think Chick gets it right more often than wrong, and one thing I can count on is that he NEVER gets caught up in hyperbole or even just general hype for a title. It's refreshing.
  • Had a great time listening this, very fun. Had to skip all the Mass Effect 3 spoilers, haven't picked the game up yet :( And, at least now I know I won't be interested in what Journey has to offer.
  • Sunflower said:
    I think Chick gets it right more often than wrong, and one thing I can count on is that he NEVER gets caught up in hyperbole or even just general hype for a title. It's refreshing.


    I like the fact that he doesn't get caught up in the hype, I just don't like how some of his work has been presented. For instance, I thought his review of Uncharted 3 was a complete joke. It's not because he didn't like the game, that's fine. It's because he said he enjoyed the combat but completely failed to talk about the multi-player at all, which is entirely the combat.

    I've read other reviews of his that are just as lacking, and in my view, removes any credibility. I always get the feeling that when I read reviews from the mainstream reviewsites, I'm getting reviews from people who give out scores based on what they think a game is worth, not a review of the actual quality of the game (skyrim/mass effect). Then I read reviews like Tom and others like him and get a feeling that I'm simply reading reviews from people that are trying to be different, rather than being legitimate and trustworthy reviewers. Stuff like that is why I listen to your podcast and read reviews from people like arsenicknife (or however his name is spelled) on the forum, because even when I don't agree, I know you're all being honest.

    @Manio: Don't ignore Journey until you try it.
  • I have to agree with Sunny for the most part.

    Although I enjoyed Journey for what it was, I don't believe it holds up at all when put next to games like Limbo, and experiences like The Path.
    Journey wasn't a game, it was an interactive film, and simply put, that isn't good enough to call itself a game. Dear Esther was the same, a very pretty interactive monologue, Journey is just a gorgeous, interactive screensaver and that simply isn't good enough, especially priced how it was.

    For what its worth I did enjoy Journey. I thought it was an amazingly beautiful game to look at, and I liked the child-like innocence they were able to bring to the multiplayer element, but other then that the game had nothing in it to qualify it as a game. No real puzzles, challenges or mechanics. Also the addition of the "baddies" just took away from the whole experience for me, it should've only been a battle against the elements and the wear and tear of time itself.

    Most people can get most of what Journey is about and what its worth by watching a video of it. Yes a video probably wont convey the multiplayer very well, but theres nothing about the gameplay that people need to play.
  • I'd argue there's nothing about the experience that makes people need to play it.

    Ultimately shallow, and the more I think about it, the less I feel like I enjoyed it.

    Feels more like one of those games where the target audience is people who are reaching for these kinds of games and desperate to make an emotional connection. As the multiplayer dudes draw dicks in the sand.

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