Black Ops Episode 20 – Difficulty Is Kind of the Point [CLIP]

After over a year, we’re back with a new Black Ops podcast, now exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we join Joe Preti to continue our conversation from last month.

We talk about Mike’s acquisition of a hardcover omnibus collection of the 1983’s Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, a remarkable creation of a pre-internet age and a time capsule of a time gone by, and wax nostalgic for why obsolete continuity can be a treasure to revisit.

We dive into one of the more contentious discussions on the topic of video games: difficulty settings. Where some games like Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls strive for unforgiving challenge, other games are trying to make themselves more accessible and less frustrating through “Story mode” difficulty that doesn’t try to murder you.

And then there’s the Battletoads jet ski level…

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Fun Size Episode 30 – That’s My Kind of Garbage!

We’re back to dive into an overstuffed grab bag of off-topic nonsense with Roz Townsend, and we grapple with the important questions that keep us up at night.

Is Colonel Sanders the closest thing we have to an American Time Lord? What are our favorite fictional restaurants? Are self-published fan zines a lost art? Are skunks a form of Pokémon? Did Freddie Mercury go super saiyan in the ’80s? Are modern video game mechanics inaccessible to people who didn’t grow up with them?

Plus, Casey becomes annoyed at a group of small children not being as entranced by My Neighbor Totoro as he is, and we all betray our socialist leanings.

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Episode 27 – Open World Video Games

skyrim

“I was an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.”

Mike and Casey completely abandon their quests to consolidate their pixelated criminal empires and save the kingdom from dragons, so that they can play darts and brew potions with video game journalist and YouTuber Kinsey Burke, and returning panelist Patrick Johnson.

Our non-essential side quest? To dig into the massive phenomenon of Open World Video Games. From Fallout 3, to Skyrim, to Grand Theft Auto V,  there is an video games where the storyline is optional and immersive player-initiated exploration are their biggest sell points.

What is the appeal of a game that lets you make your own agenda in a fictional city, or epic fantasy realm or post-apocalyptic future? What are the limits of a game that aspires to let you be and do anything you want?

And why are these games so damned buggy?

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Music: 
“Welcome to Los Santos” from Grand Theft Auto V by Oh No

Previously titled: “The World Doesn’t Look Bright for Us Completionists”