Wednesday, July 13, 2011

EXP Podcast #134: Currently Playing

The summer gaming dry spell is upon us, yet Scott and I both have our gaming dockets full. After a long month of work for the both us, we have returned to our backlog with a ravenous appetite. This week on the Experience Points podcast, Scott and I discuss what we have been playing, from Zelda sequels to isometric shooters, and a few things in between. Let us know what you have been enjoying lately in the comments section below, and be sure to chime in with your thoughts on the games we've discussed in the show.

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Show notes:

- Run time: 32 min 18 sec
- "Cold As Ice," by Nels Anderson via Above49
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. Since Randy / demonicmurry pushed me half over the edge to play it, I caved in and got Witcher 2 in the Steam sales. Together with my new Xbox/PC pad, it's a MAJOR blast. Somersaulting around the drudge that Dragon Age 2 was.
    Current objective is to find out who hooked the local bridge troll on vodka so that he'll start neglecting his bridge-trolling/reparing duties.
    It's a nice game with ten tons of "stimmung" as we Germans call it. Lot of graphical fidelity, an interesting, not too wishy washy plot and a real lot to do. So far I'm really liking it. And being thankful to Randy for pestering me so much about it.

  2. I have to say I've played the crap out of Final Fantasy 13 over the last few days and man that game is alright!
    I haven't done my research but I think there's a whole bunch of people in the team that also worked on FFX which is still one of my favorite games ever.

    I mean it had to take a lot from reviewers for being to linear and whatnot and I definitely see some of that but luckily it doesn't bother me a bit so far.

    I don't know if you guys have played it but the interesting part so far for me is that even if they hold back on some of the gameplay mechanics for a long time they actually tie it to the overall narrative.
    For example, within the story of the game it makes complete sense that you can't start leveling up until you're about two or three hours into the game.
    I almost want to congratulate the guys for being that bold with tying narrative and mechanics together which by the way is something that a lot of games do not do very well these days.

  3. Re: Assassin's Creed, I played that through last summer, and I was pretty impressed with the anti-organized-religion message in the game. I often felt like Ubisoft was trying to communicate the message without coming right out and saying it for fear of offending people, but many of the people that you're sent to kill seemed to either be doing good in a way that wasn't supported by the current religious regime, or evil people who were propped up by the regime.

    If I can offer a small spoiler (as I'm not sure how far you are into it), there's a guy who is experimenting with mental health. He's noted as giving plant-derived drugs to his patients, and I seem to recall that there was religious controversy around that, but I noticed that once I had infiltrated his hospital that people were thankful for his help. Even so, you kill the guy.

    I don't want to spoil too much, but as the game goes on, it seemed pretty clear to me that it was organized religion that was causing most of the problems in the country.

    I'd be curious to hear if you get a similar read on the game. I've not heard a lot of discussion on those themes in Assassin's Creed, and that's left me curious if those themes are actually there, or if it was just the heat of the summer that was causing me to see.

  4. @SebWuepper

    I'm hearing a lot of people saying similar things about the Witcher 2. It kind of sounds like an Assassin's Creed 1 to Assassin's Creed 2 breakout moment. I love the concept of "stimmung" by the way. Leave it to the Germans to efficiently distill a myriad of concepts into a single word! ;-)


    I've only played a little bit of FF XIII, but I did admire the novel battle system. It seems like people had made up their minds about that game before it even came out: some people were already sick of FF games and had written them all off, others were just rabidly awaiting Square's latest game. Glad to hear the team tried some more experimental things.


    It's quite rare for a game to deal with religious themes, isn't it? My take was that the game was more a commentary on blind dogma in general. Whether it was the European crusaders, the Muslims, the members of the Brotherhood of Assassins, or the Templars, blind faith always led to corruption and exploitation. It seems that religions (or "creeds" as the case may be) are often only nominally organized.