Gameological In StereoPodcast

Episode 3: And So We Begin

Episode 3: And So We Begin

We discuss first acts, and Teti’s mom makes a special guest appearance.

By John Teti • May 11, 2012

On this week’s episode of Gameological In Stereo, I’m joined by Scott Jones and Ellie Gibson as we talk about game beginnings, British game shows, and other recent Gameological topics. Plus! In keeping with today’s Mother’s Day theme, my own mom, Bonney Teti, makes her debut on the show with a review of Mystic Ice Blast and a critique of the phallus-to-boob ratio on Game Of Thrones.

And if the podcast didn’t kill enough of your time this afternoon, here’s more procrastination fodder: a complete episode of Going For Gold, the awkwardly anglo-centric game show that Ellie mentions in her segment.

And an incredibly confusing snippet from 3-2-1, the other game show that Ellie mentions, which seems to be a Let’s Make A Deal-type setup. Except with more insane.

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1,637 Responses to “Episode 3: And So We Begin”

  1. Xtracurlyfries says:

    Ah, yes, ‘Going for Gold’. The show based on the notion that there’s no unfair advantage in being able to SPEAK THE LANGUAGE THE QUESTIONS ARE ASKED IN.

  2. HobbesMkii says:

    As much as I’ve begun to loathe’s articles (they’re funny, but people swear by them as though they were the final word on all things), they had a dissection of game show tactics, #5 of which is Deal or No Deal (which I also loathe).

    My mother watches a lot of WGBH Create cooking shows,  and in a couple of them, the cooks occasionally bring on their mothers (who, of course, taught them everything they know about cooking, but are aged and wise and criticize). This podcast reminded me a lot of that.

  3. caspiancomic says:

    That was a crackin’ podcast. Everybody on the show really nailed it. I don’t know why, but everything said with an English accent automatically sounds funnier and more insightful than the same thing said with an American accent, so Ellie gets an unfair advantage in that category. And Teti, your mom is wonderful.

    As for game beginnings, I could be a prat and mention Bioshock again. Yesterday I was wittering on about Suikoden II, which I think has the strongest opening in the series. The Golden Age Final Fantasy games have really strong openings as well. Final Fantasy VII’s entire Midgar sequence is basically its own smaller story within the story, with three distinct acts and everything. Final Fantasies VI and IX are similarly great, each with opening sequences that introduce your core characters with a rush of adventure, excitement, and mystery, forces you to overcome your first several obstacles and first boss battle, and then deposits you, exhausted, on the world map for a bit of a breather before your next dungeon. The good Final Fantasy games also make the wise decision of leaving wordy tutorializing until after the breathless opening sequence. In VII, you only gain access to the Beginner’s Hall after blowing up the first Mako Reactor, and in IX you aren’t introduced to Moggy and Mogster (the game’s tutorial-happy moogle siblings) until after you’ve escaped the Evil Forest.

    Are we all familiar with Egoraptor? He’s started an irregularly updated but extremely insightful series called Sequelitis, and in episode two (of only three so far, tragically, but there are more in the pipe) he discusses the differences between classic Mega Man and Mega Man X. He draws particular attention to X’s opening stage and how it teaches the player to play the game without insulting his or her intelligence. Check it out if you haven’t yet, it’s a really great watch, and funny too. I think it addresses Teti’s arguments about a game letting you actually play it right out of the gate instead of bending your ear with indulgent mythologies. NSFW for language in a big way, though.

  4. pheonix4 says:

    is it really the first 10 hours of skyward sword that stay as essentially a tutorial?  i just finished it about a month ago, and i remember an hour or 2 maybe of bumbling around, but the rest of the game is so stellar i would never have said the first 10 hours could be cut

  5. Jeff Bandy says:

    OK John, your mom is adorable. Bonney NAILED it! “This has the fox!”

  6. Girard says:

    Ellie sentiment re: Bioshock pretty much perfectly maps my own. That sort of creeping disappointment, after the engaging and immersive opening, as your realize you’re playing just another boring “shoot the monster in the face game.” I’d had enough of it after about two levels and several hours, look at an FAQ to see how much more I would have to slog through to see the end game, saw that I had something like 10 levels (and probably 10+ hours) to get through and promptly said “fuck that noise.” The writing and ideas might be “good for a video game” but they were hardly great, and certainly not worth putting up with lame fps mechanics.

    While it’s not at all interactive, the opening from Sam & Max Hit the Road is one that jumps out at me as an excellent one. It sets the tone of the game so well, and is just so much fun, then leads into that great noirish opening credits sequence, then into their office where you can get acquainted with the controls and examine/discover a bunch of weird, hilarious stuff, setting you up for the rest of the game to come.

    As Caspiancomic mentioned, there’s a great EgoRaptor video detailing how amazing MegaMan X’s opening level is at leading you into the game without having a patronizing tutorial. Having an intro stage was a big departure for the MegaMan games, which typically just dumped you into the stage select screen, but MMX’s intro engaging, exciting, and totally primed you for the game to come.

  7. MSUSteve says:

    I absolutely loved hearing from your mom in this episode, Mr. Teti.  I’m looking forward to future reviews from her.  Adorable and very funny.

  8. Isaac Marx says:

    Can you require Ellie Gibson to be on every episode from now on?  She’s awesome.