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The Eurogameological E3 Podcast: Day 3

The Eurogameological E3 Podcast: Day 3

Legendary programmer John Carmack is bringing virtual reality back. But who will bring back Turbo Hitler?

By John Teti • June 7, 2012

The Gameological Society is joining forces with Eurogamer this year for a daily podcast from the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which we have deemed the Eurogameological E3 Podcast. In case you missed them, here are links to Day 1 and Day 2. Today, Eurogamer reviews editor Oli Welsh and I are joined by Gameological contributor Gus Mastrapa.

Instead of being united in the glories or agonies of a single press conference, today was the day that your podcasters scattered across the E3 show floor to look at games. Oli visited with a legend of the games world, John Carmack, and saw that sometimes heroes live up to their billing. Gus glimpsed the mirage that is Star Wars 1313, and he also checked out the new SimCity, which sounds promising. Speaking of promise, we wonder what happened to last year’s deeply promising Official Game Of The E3 Podcast, which was called Brothers In Arms: Rise Of Turbo Hitler (or something along those lines) and featured the greatest shooting-Nazis-on-toilets sequence in gaming history. Finally, as the podcast draws to a close, we discuss the pragmatic reasons why this was one of the more unmemorable E3 shows in a while. It’s all about cycles, you see.

For comprehensive coverage of E3, be sure to check out Eurogamer. It’s written by thoughtful folks, and as I said a couple of days ago, it’s my favorite non-Gameological games site in the world. THE WORLD!

If you enjoy the Gameological podcast, you can subscribe via the podcast RSS feed or on iTunes.

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129 Responses to “The Eurogameological E3 Podcast: Day 3”

  1. Enkidum says:

    I would like to officially announce that I just finished God of War and it was really fucking difficult. Also, I should be asleep. But that was some awesomeness.

    • The_Misanthrope says:

       Yeah, Ares is a real dick.  He’s not just the God of War, but also the God of Fucking With Your Head.  The first game is the only one that really sold me on Kratos as a human.  Yes, he’s a hyperviolent, unreflective asshole through much of the game, but there’s the feeling that there’s some real pain at the center of it all.  The second game tries to extend his rage into some Daddy issues, so of course it felt a bit self-centered.

      • Enkidum says:

        I’m not actually necessarily very good at a lot of games, so it seriously took me almost 2 hours at medium difficulty to figure out how to beat Ares in the final battle where he strips Kratos of his magic and he only has that slow-ass sword. And that included looking up a walkthrough after about the first 30 minutes. It just took me a looooong time to figure out that his unblockable attacks happened every time he blocked my attach, so the solution was to attack very sparingly whenever Ares was roaring.

        I don’t think I’ve ever played through a major release twice, but I’m seriously considering doing this on God Mode to (a) occupy me until Christmas, and (b) let me see those videos. I guess there’s a good reason why various people said it was the best PS2 game, period. I mean, I don’t know enough to compare, but it’s definitely pretty bloody good. Everyone’s told me II is going to be a letdown, but since I got the GOW Collection I might as well do it.

        • ElDan says:

          It definitely is one of the best PS2 games. I enjoyed 2 a lot, though I never finished it.

          The graphics on 3 were great, but all the blood and gore got to be a drag, smashing someone’s face to a pulp in a QTE isn’t an acceptable replacement for fun gameplay.

        • The_Misanthrope says:

          GOW II is still a pretty fun game, so by all means, play it!  I just meant to say that it is less resonant as a story.  I’m sure those videos are probably available on Youtube, so if you want to play another game instead if you want to.

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          I think I already posted my God of War story here before, but here’s a brief summary:

          After reading walkthroughs, taking 15-20 tries to defeat the “protect your wife” level, and another 15-20 tries at Ares and failing, I took the disc out, broke it in half and threw it away, then watched the end of the game on YouTube.  One of the only games that made me that angry with it.

        • PugsMalone says:

          I had no problem with the clones battle, but had to turn the difficulty down to beat Ares.

          God of War II is a big step down from a storytelling perspective, it’s basically “Kratos kills everything.” SPOILER: Kratos goes back in time but doesn’t try to save his family.

          It also feels a bit rushed (there’s one puzzle with two doors and a switch that’s so unintuitive that it feels like it shouldn’t have made it through playtesting).

        • SamPlays says:

          @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus I have a similar story about Dead Space. I couldn’t muster up the skill or patience to make it through that damn asteroid-blasting segment so I gave up and watched the rest of the game via YouTube walkthrough videos. This is excessively lame, I know, but it was a situation where I was really into the game and wanted to see how things played out. 

          Other games that I didn’t/couldn’t finish:

          God of War 2 – I lost interest after making my way down a ramp hacking through horde after horde of monsters. I did not watch the rest on YouTube

          Killzone 2 – I couldn’t kill Radec. I thought the game was fair-but-tough up until this last fight. I watched the ending and realized it was relatively disappointing. As such, I felt justified in not having expended the time and energy.

          In all cases, I did not break my discs.

        • Xtracurlyfries says:

          I feel like that’s the second “Boreanz SMASH!” story that I’ve read around here lately. Does that happen to you a lot? Cuz it sure happened to me a lot before I started to just plain avoid games that might do that to me. I broke many a joystick in the old days.

        • Merve says:

          My general rule is that if it takes more than a dozen tries to do it, it’s not worth doing. (Psychonauts’ Meat Circus is an exception of course.) That’s why I’ve never completed Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.

        • A_N_K says:

          @SamPlays:disqus Oh man–that asteroid breaking sequence still makes me angry. I wasn’t a huge fan of the game but I stopped at that point. I’ve kept the disc around in case I ever wanted to go back and complete it, but I doubt that will ever happen.  I’m not particularly good at games, but I don’t mind difficulty, but it’s a design mistake to insert a sequence that is a totally different gameplay experience AND is much harder than the rest of the game.  Ugh.

        • Enkidum says:

          @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus I think what makes the final battle so ridiculous is that it occurs just after bloody Hades, which is eye-stabbingly hard for entirely different reasons. So you’re already kind of enraged. What makes it even worse is that there’s no particular indication that your actions change anything about Ares’ actions – he will literally never use his unblockable attack if he hasn’t blocked you first, so you can just follow him around with your guard up while he slashes at you, wait for him to finish, and then weak-weak-strong-strong-QTE him to death. On the other hand, if you do one too many attacks, he blocks you, and then about 50% of the time will follow it up with his frigging fireball-stabby-stab-stabby attack, which is unblockable and takes away about 20% of the health bar in one shot. Once you’ve figured this out, it’s just a matter of patience and a tiny bit of luck. But (and I think this is a serious flaw in the level) I have no idea how I could possibly have figured this out without walkthroughs – and even then I had to combine information from three different ones to figure out exactly what was up.

          Also I wanted to note that I’m kind of stubborn, so I would guess I made around 100 attempts to get all the chests in Hades – and ended up giving up. I got all of them numerous times, but couldn’t do that and make it back to a save point before falling off the veiny-knifey things. As it was, I ended up about 4000 orbs short of getting everything maxed out, which I’m sure would have given me a trophy or some nonsense.

          Ah well. I think I’ll take a pause before starting on another long game – maybe go back to working through the co-op Portal II and occasionally doing Unreal III multiplayer to get my violence on. (If anyone has that on PS3, feel free to send me a friend request – same name as here.)

        • Enkidum says:

          @Merve2:disqus As noted above, I’m significantly more… noble?… no, masochistic than you, and will often try some stupid thing dozens of times in order to get some meaningless trophy or what have you. Something something definition of insanity…

          Also @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus it occurred to me that the reason you might have had so much trouble with the protect-your-wife level is because you didn’t max out enough skills – combat with most monsters gets pretty easy if your chains are level 5, and if you’ve got Poseidon’s-circly-attack-lots-of-dudes thing maxxed out as well (or the Hades souls thing), you can inflict massive carnage on lots of guys at the same time. Every time I played through that section I beat it without any real difficulty, but both Ares battles got me pulling my hair out.

          OK, I think I’ll stop inflicting novels on people and get back to work…

        •   @Everyone:disqus  in this thread:

          It’s been a long time since I’ve played the original God of War, but I believe the trick to the Ares battle was the sword matched the moves of one of the sword weapons you acquired earlier in the game. The shitty part was that your original weapons are pretty awesome so you never really have an incentive to work/practice with the other sword in the game, so being FORCED to use a similar weapon in the final battle becomes a pain in the ass.

          The thing with the Ares fight/sword is that, unlike the other weapons, where you could mash buttons and pretty much execute any combo, the sword required specific timing of pressing buttons, so you could actually execute a full combo successfully without it being blocked by Ares. And even as a pretty avid gamer myself, the shit was hard, and I actually spent about… 30 or 40 attempts at Ares practicing getting the timing right, since I hardly used the similar weapon during the actual game.

        • Enkidum says:

          @facebook-501651:disqus ARGH! The sword is the only weapon I never really used – I maxed out everything else, and used them all fairly often, but I think I spent a total of 10 minutes using the sword. No wonder it was so frigging hard.

        • Electric Dragon says:

          Re Dead Space: I didn’t have any trouble with the asteroids (mouse aiming helps), but the bit that made me quit was the bit where (SPOILERS) you have to go back through the medical bay with the serum thing, and the unkillable necro is still there, along with other nasties, and this time it’s depressurised so you’ve got to do it before your air runs out. I’m very fumble fingered with games under that kind of time pressure, so kept running out of air, or getting killed. On one occasion, I managed to make it out with about five seconds to spare, only to be completely disoriented about what button I had to press and die.

  2. Girard says:

    There was a DC-characters-fight-each-other game for the SNES back in the 90s, and it did, in fact, feature Aquaman in the roster:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League_Task_Force_%28video_game%29

  3. Asinus says:

    That’s really disappointed about TESO. I have always wanted just a simple peer-to-peer Elder Scrolls game. I don’t know how it would work, but, as was said, I’ve just wanted to play Marrowind or Skyrim with a friend. That’s it.

  4. Asinus says:

    Has Carmack been programming primarily for consoles recently (e.g. Rage) and porting to PC? I’ve wondered if he’s being constrained by not trying to kick high-end hardware in the nuts.

    Cool about the VR headset. I used to follow the iD empoyee’s .plan files when they were working on Quake 3. They were loads of fun. Carmack has always seemed like a really, really cool guy (like when he gave away his F-40 for the first big quake competition).