We’re taking the rest of the week off

By John Teti • July 3, 2013

The Gameological Society will not be publishing on July 4 or 5, in observance of Independence Day. Here is a video of a monkey washing a cat.

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161 Responses to “We’re taking the rest of the week off”

  1. George_Liquor says:

    The Gameological Society now concludes its broadcast day.


  2. Citric says:

    I’d complain, but I’m spending today sitting around my house, and tomorrow my job involves going to a fair. (It ostensibly involves going to a fair today as well, but it’s plus 30, screw that, I’ll do it tomorrow.)

  3. neodocT says:

    But then who will amuse me with witty video game discussions the rest of the week? Oh well, I guess the monkey video will do.

  4. PaganPoet says:

    How will we all survive without Soupy’s recognition this Friday!? My hands…they’re dirty! The dirt…the dirt’s not coming off!!!

    • caspiancomic says:

       Come Saturday morning I’m going to be found having a fit of madness, grabbing strangers by the lapels and telling them what I’m playing this weekend. (Probably Virtue’s Last Reward. Oh God, the madness is starting in already!)

      • PaganPoet says:

        I was excited that you picked up a PSVita until I realized that came out for the 3DS as well.

      • neodocT says:

        What’s the point in even playing something this weekend, if I can’t tell people about it?

      • indy2003 says:

        About 10 hours into Virtue’s Last Reward at the moment and completely addicted. Prepare yourself to stay up later than you were planning to.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      Good thing I have a Gameological writer’s strike-preparedness kit!

      *plays cassette tape of John Teti asking “what are you playing this weekend?” on repeat*

      Ahhhhhh that’s better.

  5. Cloks says:

    So, what’s everybody playing this holiday weekend? I broke down and ordered a Piss3 (as Pete Strackmeier christened it) and will be playing Red Dead Redemption after wanting to play it for years. There’s a slim chance it might even live up to my expectations.

    Aside from that, I’ll be playing 400 Days of Summer, the new zom-rom-com for The Walking Dead.

    • caspiancomic says:

      Oh yeah, I forgot The Walking Dead: The 400 Blows comes out this weekend! I’m gonna be all over that!

    • Chalkdust says:

      Sufficiently amused by the genre-bending DLC that just came out for Borderlands 2 (in which Tiny Tina, the explosives expert with the acerbic urban vocab, officiates a Dungeons and Dragons-esque game in a fantasy realm, and keeps changing things around), I finally picked up Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, to get more paradigm-shifting FPS goodness going on.  I fear I’ll buckle and get Call of Juarez: Gunslinger before Monday, as well.

      It seems to be a good time for experimentation and silliness in FPSes, between the Borderlands 2 DLC, Blood Dragon, Gunslinger, and the upcoming Rise of the Triad reboot (fingers crossed!).

    • ProfFarnsworth says:

      I have to make a difficult decision between Chrono Trigger and Baldur’s Gate.  Hmmm…I will probably end up doing a little of both.  If time also permits, I will also throw in some Witcher 2 (since my laptop surprised me and can play it on minimal settings) and Hotline Miami.

      • George_Liquor says:

        Hey, me too. I found a copy of Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger for PS1 the other day. 

        • neodocT says:

          I should warn you that Chrono Trigger on the PS1 is very frustrating because of the ridiculously slow load times, after every battle.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      I’ve actually been playing Read Dead Redemption on PS3 this week. I am about to head into Mexico and I’m sort of hoping there isn’t much more padding left, because the chariot races and stuff aren’t that fun.

      • Enkidum says:

        Depends what you mean by padding – you’re not even halfway through the main story. But I’d argue it gets a lot more focussed, and the best parts are all yet to come. And yeah, those chariot races are annoying as fuck.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          Hmm, that sort of gives me hope. I just hate it in open world games when the missions aren’t directly moving the story forward and thy have all sorts of “fun activities” to do that just feel like busywork so they can say it’s 40 hours long or whatever.

          This is probably the thing that annoys me most about games lately. Learn to edit, game people!

      • Sarapen says:

        When you get into Mexico don’t press Start, otherwise you’ll completely miss something that apparently people besides me found delightful. When I found out about the thingy I reloaded but it would probably have been better to experience it organically.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          Whaaat. I’ve done like 2 missions now and am confused. Did I miss out already?

        • Sarapen says:

          @Fyodor It wasn’t a big thing, just that this one song starts playing when you first set foot in Mexico which is apparently rather affecting when you’re not expecting it and seeing the new lands for the first time.

          If you sit around you can listen to the whole thing.

        • indy2003 says:

          I was enraptured by that moment until I accidentally took a wrong turn and fell off the edge of a cliff. That’ll teach ya to let down yer guard, Marston.

        • Sam_Barsanti says:

          All of the musical bits are great. I…can’t say what the others are though, without some big time spoilers….

      • NakedSnake says:

        Unfortunately, Mexico is the draggiest part. Fortunately, it’s very much worth pushing through as things get a lot better immediately after.

        • Enkidum says:

          Huh, obviously we disagree on this. At least there weren’t any chariot races in Mexico.

        • Sam_Barsanti says:

          Mexico drags on for sooooo looooong but it makes everything that comes after it all the more rewarding. Favorite game of the last few years.

    • PaganPoet says:

      I’ve been playing Castlevania: Harmony of Despair recently, for some reason. I bought it when it first came out, but I’ve been neglecting it quite a bit.

      I want to know what these people I play with online are doing to make their characters so damn powerful. I thought my Yoko was a powerhouse; all of her spells are at level 5 and she does quite a bit of damage, but then I see these people online who make my damage output seem pathetic (and are fast as hell). Are these just items that you have to find and collect? As far as I can tell, there really is no way to “level up” your character, other than collecting spells/skills/weapons/equipment, right? (Other than the fact that you can level up Yoko’s spells, I mean)

      Also finally going for that last trophy in Limbo, the one that requires you to complete the whole game with 5 deaths or less. There are a few places that always seem to get me:

      1) The stupid “H” in the HOTEL sign; I can never seem to time it right the first time
      2) The part where you need to stack two boxes on top of each other to jump over a buzz saw
      3) The leap of faith to get off the electrified floor before the minecart hits the button
      4) The last two gravity puzzles before the end of the game; the timing there is crucial and is so hard to get right

      If I can get past 1 and 2 without dying, I think I can do it.

    • PugsMalone says:

      I’ve been playing Super Meat Boy a lot. I’ve spent way too much time trying to unlock the Kid from I Wanna Be The Guy- I can only get about halfway through the first screen. Here’s a video of the warp zone stages in question:

      • caspiancomic says:

         Oh man, The Kid’s warp zone is where I finally stopped playing Super Meat Boy. Those levels are abattoirs.

    • Merve says:

      I just completed 400 Days. My quick reaction is that I preferred it to the 5 episodes of Season 1, but my opinion is subject to change.

      That leaves me time to play some more XCOM this weekend. Corporal Tomato “Shamrock” Juice still has the honour of never having been injured in battle, but I’m only 5 or 6 missions in, so that might soon change.

      I may also finish Botanicula, a game whose frustrations are starting to outweigh its charms. I think I’m nearing the end, and the “puzzles” have gotten needlessly obtuse. Randomly clicking things in sequence until stuff happens does not a puzzle make.

      • Sarapen says:

        You know, I’m not sure if I’ve ever finished an XCOM game with an uninjured soldier. I think all of them have ended up in the hospital at one point.

    • Citric says:

      A desire to exclusively play consoles that don’t produce heat – it’s hotter than the devil’s testicles out here – has driven me to handhelds. So all Radiant Historia, all the time this weekend.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I am currently running through a full-DLC bout of Dragon Age 2 and have throw something close to 150 screenshots onto Steam, mostly Isabela related. I am already done with the DLC and actually rather enjoyed both Legacy and Mark of the Assassin, even though the latter was so similar to ME2’s Kasumi-DLC that it was a bit too uncanny. Still, having lots of fun and basically getting that out of the way before next week’s Civ5 addon.

    • Dave Dalrymple says:

      I’ve been playing Sword of Mana on Gameboy Advance. It’s a solid if unremarkable game.

      I’m also re-playing Ratchet and Clank. I hate magnet boots so much.

      • Chalkdust says:

         But how ’bout them soundtracks, huh?  I got fed up with the lack of separate releases, so I undertook a project over the course of a couple weeks to extract them myself.

        Codebreaker software (PS2-era Game Genie basically), audio capture device and editing software in hand, I painstakingly played through the four games that existed at the time and idled long enough on each stage to collect enough sound to loop each track twice then fade out (all professional-like).  Fortunately, each game allows you to adjust sound effects and voice volume channels individually.  Muted!

        This was mostly easy but required creativity on a few levels, especially the rare timed escape mission, where I had to stay on a ship as long as possible, or flight missions, where I had to fly around not hitting anything or leaving the boundaries.

        Other folks have since done more technically savvy game-rips of the soundtracks, so ultimately my efforts are overshadowed, but it was still a fun excuse to revisit one of my favorite franchises.

        • GhaleonQ says:

          Even though other rippers and the Mana box rendered all of that obsolete, I never stop admiring game music rippers.  The ones I’ve done have been so time-consuming that GamingForce Person Who Ripped EVERY Track From EVERY Goemon/Mystical Ninja Game deserves some kind of medal recognition.

        • Chalkdust says:

          @GhaleonQ:disqus I am fairly confident that I am the only person on the planet with the soundtrack to the “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” game (Gamefly + morbid curiosity = that decision).  It’s got much better music than a D-tier licensed tie-in platformer for a(n admittedly pretty good) kids’ movie should.  It had a sound test that unlocked upon completion, so it was basically effortless.

          I should upload that to the UuuuTubes one of these days.

      • Girard says:

        If you haven’t, I genuinely suggest giving the original pea-soup-flavored Final Fantasy Adventure a spin. It’s in many respects a more tightly designed, less bloated game. (And the economy of design actually helps the story sometimes, too – like when you spend the night in the mansion and it turns out to belong to a vampire, it’s a genuinely surprising twist in FFA, as the house is an innocuous blocky sprite house, whereas in SoM, it’s this baroque evil castle with a giant sinister gargoyle over the door, and the presence of a vampire is pretty much expected…)

        • Dave Dalrymple says:

          I’ve played the original Final Fantasy Adventure, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Sword of Mana has stripped out all of the Zelda elements and replaced them with elements from the Mana sequels. The results are mixed, but I’m definitely enjoying it.

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      I’ll be wrapping up my sojourn through Fallout 3, which I haven’t talked about in the usual WAYPTW because I have, like, work and stuff. It’s mighty fun, though the majority of my game sessions end when it freezes up for the third or fourth time (*shakes fist* Bethesdaaaaaaaa!). I’m planning on rummaging through the White House before taking on Tenpenny Tower and the Pitt DLC, then calling it a game. Although, apparently there is a section where you play a flashback as a slasher or some such thing? That sounds like a lark, but I have no idea where it might be found. Anyway, fun post-apocalyptic good times, though I wish Three Dog had a bigger music collection. Guess I’ll be making my way to New Vegas eventually.

      • Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

        Don’t miss the Point Lookout DLC. It’s the best.

        • His_Space_Holiness says:

          I didn’t miss it! It was indeed fun, though it took the freeziness to a whole new level.

      • djsubversive says:

        Not to spoil it too much, but the “slasher flashback” is part of the main quest, so it’s impossible to miss (unless you don’t do the main quest).

        Point Lookout and The Pitt are good times. The Pitt has Skyrim-levels of Assholes Everywhere, and you might enjoy that. :) Point Lookout has some neat quests and the area is fun to explore. Op Anchorage is less-than-good (a CoD shooter with Bethesda’s version of Gamebryo) but the loot is incredible in how unbalancing it is. Mothership Zeta is just not fun or good.

        Obligatory “if you’re on PC, here are some mods” addition. ignore if you’re on 360 or Piss-Three (STRAAACKMEIERRRRR!!! *shakes fist*).
        CASM – auto-save mod. This is the one mod that you should absolutely use, even if you hate the very idea of modding a game (but if that’s the case, why are you playing a Bethesda game? :D).
        Fallout Script Extender – required for a number of other mods.
        640-1240 CONELRAD – two and a half hours of “songs from the Golden Age of Homeland Security” – very fitting stuff for exploring the nuclear-ravaged ruins of D.C.
        Remove the unsoakable 35 damage that hillbillies in Point Lookout do to the player because it’s dumb.
        General Point Lookout Bug Fixes.
        No auto-aim.
        Manual Reload.
        and, of course, Fallout Wanderers Edition.

        I may have linked some of these before (FWE FWE FWE), and you should already have Fellout installed if you’re playing on PC, so I’m not even gonna waste time linking it. :)

        • Gryffle says:

          I actually preferred Mothership Zeta to the Pitt, but Point Lookout is far and away the best of the lot. It’s the only bit of Fallout 3 DLC I’d really recommend.

        • His_Space_Holiness says:

          Uh, I did in fact do the main quest and miss it. Is it part of the bit where you go into the simulated town? Because I got tired of being ordered around by the creepy German scientist/girl and just hacked his console to make the cyber-Chinese wipe everyone out.

          Man, video games are awesome.

        • djsubversive says:

          @His_Space_Holiness:disqus that was it. I usually do the same thing you do, just to get that whole section over with as quickly as possible.

        • His_Space_Holiness says:

          Aaand I just finished. The Pitt had me pretty entertained until the final quest came down to [SPOILERS] “Okay, you can either join a slavemaster dictatorship or STEAL A BABY.” No thank you. I hate when “player choice” boils down to picking which horrible thing you’d prefer. That’s no fun.

        • Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

           @His_Space_Holiness:disqus I refused to steal the baby, but then I chopped every single slaver into tiny bits.  Kind of short-sighted programming imho for the game to not recognize that as a legitimate ending.  The slaves still walked around calling me a traitor, even as their masters lay in pieces at their feet.  I’m sure there’s some Foucauldian allegory in that.

        • djsubversive says:

          At least with Ashur, the baby is being taken care of. Also, he admits that the situation is unfortunate and he plans on freeing the slaves when he can. The Raiders are all assholes, though.

          And then you find out that Wehrner wants to do medical experiments on a stolen baby in a fucking sewer. Hahaha, no.

      • Sarapen says:

        Yeah, that old-timey music is fun in the beginning but after a while I preferred the desolate silence of an irradiated wasteland to hearing the same 5 songs over and over.

        • His_Space_Holiness says:

          But I’m hopelessly addicted to Three Dog yelling about how awesome I am!

        • djsubversive says:

          @His_Space_Holiness:disqus do a few quests the “other” way, and thrill at Three-Dawg getting totally confused. “That wasteland asshole from Vault 101 is a real piece of work. Stay away from him if you see him approaching. He saved the town of Megaton! Way to go, 101! What an asshole.”

    • Bakken Hood says:

      As I close in on finishing my thesis (and defending it on the 11th or thereabouts), I’ll be continuing my max-difficulty run in Darksiders 2.  The stupid XBL sale put Crysis (didn’t even know they released the original for consoles…wonder how it survived the transition) and Borderlands 2 on my backburner, so I might get the chance to feel bad for starting one of those as well.

      • GaryX says:

        What’s your thesis?

        • Bakken Hood says:

          “Recruitment and survival of post-parasitic juvenile mussels in an East Texas river.”  Unionoid mussels, they’re a real conversation starter at parties, lemme tell you.

      • Girard says:

        Good luck with your thesis! Be sure to invoke @Fluka:disqus  and her thesis-focusing superpowers if you start to get distracted.

    • GaryX says:

      Red Dead Redemption is my favorite game of this generation, so enjoy that. It drags in the middle, but I love it regardless. Hell of an ending.

      I probably won’t play video games. I told myself I’m going to finish some stuff I’ve been writing and try to get it published dammit.

      • Super agreed, at least narrative-ly Redemption is my favorite STORY of the past five+ years worth of games.  Gameplay is a blast when no walking/jumping is required, similar to most Rockstar games.

      • Sarapen says:

        You know, I told myself I was going to try getting more of the trophies but after I did the ending somehow I couldn’t muster up the interest. I guess I wasn’t enthused about playing as you-know-who’s you-know-what.

    • neodocT says:

       I’ll see if I can finish Metal Gear Solid 3. I had some qualms with the gameplay changes since MGS2, but I was wrong. This game is fantastic, and I can’t wait to see what it’ll throw at me next.

      • GaryX says:

        If I wasn’t a totally crazy person who loved 4 the most, 3 would be my favorite. It’s so good. I never played it with the original camera, though, which I imagine would be terrible.

        I’ve been meaning to play through all those again. Started up 1 but haven’t gone back in a long while.

      • Chalkdust says:

         How far are you?  I wonder if you’ve reached one of my favorite purely-atmospheric moments in all of gaming (hint: you hold ‘forward’ for a long time).

        • GaryX says:

          Is it the wet one or the audio one?

          I love both.

        • neodocT says:

           I saved right in the middle of the fight with The Fear. I’m trying to tranq beat him, but died twice so far. It’s been slow going with the game, because it’s relatively time consuming and I haven’t had a whole lot of time these past few weeks (I’m moving to the US for grad school in August!, but there’s a ton of shit to do before that).

          I’m fairly certain I know which part you mean about pushing forward from years of overhearing my friends talk about the MGS series, but I haven’t got there yet.

        • Chalkdust says:

          @GaryX:disqus Audio!

          @neodocT:disqus Are you using the rotten food trick?  Wears him out right quick.

        • neodocT says:

           @Chalkdust_TMAI:disqus I didn’t know there was a rotten food trick! Just looked it up, and I think that’ll make it easier to beat him, thanks!

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      While I do have work Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the Mrs. Dr. and the Dr. Junior are going on a short vacation with the Doctors-in-law (I’m not sure that holds up but you get what I’m saying), so I’ll have the place to myself. Which means a buttload of Mass Effect very loudly, and also a Lord of the Rings EE Blu-Ray marathon from Saturday afternoon until early Sunday morning.

    • Enkidum says:

      Seriously, I keep sounding like a paid shill, but check out PS+. It’s crazy worth it – 50 bucks a year and, conservatively, about 10 times that much worth of “free” games, not to mention the deep discounts. I ran out of space on my PS3’s 250g HD today, after 3-4 months of membership.

      I’ll be playing XCOM (the new one) which I am loving so much. I’m also still grinding through Persona 3: FES, which I find significantly less fun at this point, although I do like the somewhat realistic loser pervdom of Junpei. But yeah, I think that’s the last time I play a JRPG on hard – all you’re doing is spending more time grinding.

      RDR is awesomesauce. Probably the most beautiful “realistic” art I’ve seen in a game – I spent many an hour just kind of riding around aimlessly. After you’ve finished, the Undead Nightmare DLC is worth it too, just to watch Rockstar gleefully shit all over the serious world they created with serious B-movie cheese. (The DLCs for Sleeping Dogs do the same, but are far far shorter.)

      • Chalkdust says:

        Here’s an illuminating list showing the full scope of what has been offered in the free-stuff rotation in the first year of the Instant Game Collection program.  It may not seem like much, moment by moment, but it really really adds up.

      • Sarapen says:

        FTL is responsible for me not getting enough sleep for the last two weeks. It took 29 tries but I finally blew up that damned boss ship. Now to try the Red Tail!

      • Destroy Him My Robots says:

        My JP PS+ trial will run out tomorrow and I fully intend to renew and sub to both the EU and JP store. I hope it lets me do that with just prepaid funds and no Japanese credit card or I’ll cry. The writing in Popolocrois is really simple and I understand about 80% and feel really good about myself. Don’t take that away from me, Sony!

        • Enkidum says:

          Having two seems a little excessive, but I guess they’re completely different slates of games. If you’re not staying in Japan long term wouldn’t it be simpler just to buy the discs?

        • Destroy Him My Robots says:

          @Enkidum:disqus Yeah, they’re different and their PS+ apparently focuses more on older games. They just threw 123 PSX titles on their Instant Game Collection and apparently regularly add PC Engine and Neo Geo games. 50 bucks a year for a rental service of that nature is fine by me. I can always just lie to myself and file it under “education”. And I’m not in Japan and don’t want to annoy people with requests to hunt down a copy of Little Princess 2: The Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom for me. Rest assured, it all makes sense in my head.

      • indy2003 says:

        I subscribed to PS+ about three months ago and I’ve been in heaven. I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth just with the free stuff I’ve actually played during that time (Vanquish, Sleeping Dogs, Wipeout 2048, Knytt Underground, Darksiders, Germinator, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward) and I have a large stack of additional things I’ve downloaded still waiting for me. Of course there’s bound to be some stuff that you’re not interested in (I’m terrible at fighting games, so I pretty much avoid them) and some stuff that you already own (hey there, Uncharted 3!), but it’s hard to imagine anyone not feeling like they’ve gotten much, much more than they paid for. It’s ridiculous.

      • Dave Dalrymple says:

        Even though I felt like a wuss, I ended up playing Persona 4 on Easy. It’s not completely devoid of strategy (and even the occasional cheap death) but it took away the worst of the grind.

      • mizerock says:

        I’ve missed a few weeks of PS+ free games (including that epic E3 week), and I am filled with regret. I need to make that part of my weekly routine, even if I’m not gaming, log on at least once and grab everything good, before it’s too late!

    • Fluka says:

      Travel + upcoming work deadines = phone stuff at best.

      Also, god help me, I am teaching my mother about WASD.

      • Sarapen says:

        You’re teaching your mother how to use her keyboard to play an FPS?

        • Fluka says:

          More like “how to move around in a videogame environment.”  (Long story.)  Starting with Thirty Flights of Loving.

          So…uh…technically?  I’ll have her shooting people’s heads off in Far Cry 3 in no time. 

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Fluka’s mom will soon corpse-hump every single last one of us.

        • Fluka says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus Damn straight she will.

      • Enkidum says:

        Heh, older people trying to use video game interfaces = perfect recipe for comedy, where “comedy” = “tearing your hair out because STOP LOOKING AT THE CEILING MOM”.

        My father actually got through a good third or more of Portal all by himself. He got stuck on the first level where timing a jump becomes important. 

        • Fluka says:

          Yeah, I’d thought of installing Portal, but given that merely *moving* is a new concept right now, it might be a stretch.  It’s interesting seeing how much of the standard grammar of games is taken for granted.

    • Girard says:

      I discovered that the previously-thought-untranslatable Marvelous: Another Treasure Island for Super Famicom (designed by Link to the Past’s designer, involving Lost Vikings-esque gameplay, covered VERY briefly in Nintendo Power’s “Epic Center” in the 90s…) was recently translated. I’m so ‘cited. I’ll be playing that whenever I have a free moment this weekend.

      • feisto says:

        It really is a fantastic game, probably my favorite unexpected discovery trawling through SNES roms during my college days. Just one warning: Winning the endgame is based entirely on your skill in a certain type of puzzle. You might breeze past it, but for me, it was a game killer. But seriously, with so much great game before that shows up, you’ll never able to hate it either way.

  6. Roswulf says:

    So Teti gives us an inventory on beating the feathers off of BALD EAGLES, and then flees for the hills?

    I’m not sayin’ he’s a monarcho-communo-fascist terrorist conspiring to weaken our American morale…

    Actually that’s exactly what I’m saying. Come on Soupy, overthrow your anti-patriotic master in the name of the American dream! And salmon! I promise you salmon!

    • Merve says:

      Teti is a secret Canadian. Why do you think so many of us Canucks post on his site?

    • John Teti says:

      You misunderstand—that Inventory was a criticism of the bald eagle for not being ferociously patriotic ENOUGH. Just more of the bellicose jingoism you’ve come to expect from this far-right neocon rag.

      • Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle says:

        “Secretly you all yearn for a cold-hearted Editor who’ll talk about his cats, brutalize Assassin’s Creed III, and rule you like a king! You need me, Gameological!”

      • Roswulf says:

         Hmm…in that case I’ll allow it, provided next fourth brings “17 Military Shooters Whose Half-Hearted Acknowledgement of the Supposed ‘Horrors of War’ Marks the Creators as Un-American Traitors.”

        Some of us know that America’s Army is pinko leftist propaganda, and it’s your responsibility to get the word out.

      • Effigy_Power says:

        Maybe if those damn birds would redye their feathers in red and white stripes and paint their head blue, but no… It’s like those thankless buzzards don’t even care that their patriotic image is the only thing standing between them and our fertilizer plants.

      • His_Space_Holiness says:

        Now I’m picturing the Gameological offices as the New Frontiersman from Watchmen, with Teti as the angry chain-smoking editor. Good times.

        • Electric Dragon says:

          That means Drew Toal is the kid with the smiley face shirt covered in ketchup. Does @Effigy_Power:disqus have a pattern shifting facemask?

      • Dave Dalrymple says:

        “For Our Consideration: What the Mario franchise tells us about the need for capital punishment.”

  7. zebbart says:

    @stakkalee:disqus if the absence of Keyboard Geniuses leaves you wanting for spreadsheets to play with I’ll be catching up on book work while my employees are off and would be happy to send you a stack of invoices to process.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Oh, I got some sales forms I need to double-check, so give my his email once you got it. I also have some health insurance claim forms somewhere.

    • Enkidum says:

      Good point. I’ve got gigs and gigs of data to process, so he can get on that too.

  8. CNightwing says:

    Aw man, that’s like, half an hour a day for two whole days I won’t procrastinate here. I don’t get a national holiday until August!

  9. Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle says:

    “John, The Onion called and said that if you don’t come in tomorrow, don’t bother coming in Friday.”

    “WOOHOO! Four day weekend!”

  10. Merve says:

    At the risk of being a pedant, I think that’s a chimpanzee.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      And therefore an ape. Shoddy research, Gameological. That might really cut into the Pulitzer chances this year.

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      Oh my God, I was wrong! It was Earth all along! You finally made a monkey, yes you finally made a monkey, yes you fiiiiinally made a mooooonkey oooouuuut oooooof meeeeeeee!

      Happy Fourth of July, everybody!

  11. missmoxie says:

    Ahhhh, vintage Letterman!!

  12. His_Space_Holiness says:

    That footage is the greatest achievement of Western civilization. Shut it down, everyone, we’ve done what we came for.

  13. GaryX says:

    Well, damn it, guys. Am I supposed to go outside or something?

    (If it’s as miserable as it’s been in NYC this past week, I’m gonna be upset.)

  14. DrFlimFlam says:

    I will be working through Saturday. This bodes well for my work.

  15. The_Misanthrope says:

    Well, that means it’ll be an AGONIZING six days before I can discuss the following news:

    I’m not really all that upset over this myself, but I am worried that this could poison the well for other Kickstarter projects.  This was the great big Kickstarter success story that brought the site notoriety; People likely see the (not-quite) failure of this project as a bad faith for the entire crowdfunding model.

    The way I see it, there are two ways to approach a crowdfunding project:  either as a cold-hearted investor or a generous patron of the arts.  Either you see this as a simple dollars-and-cents transaction or you see this as an opportunity to show some love to an artist/studio with the possibility of getting something back in return.  Myself, I go with the latter,because I sleep better at nights that way.

    You know what is starting to bother me about these crowdfunders?  Stretch goals.  With a big enough team, I suppose they are not that big a deal.  But when I see single-person projects launching past their goal, the creator all too often promises the moon just to keep the dough rolling in.  It just seems like it would be a better idea to close the project up early–is that possible or do they force you to keep it up to your end date?–than court disaster by raising the expectations of the final project to unreasonable levels.  Case-in-point:  Abby Howard, runner-up of the recent
    Strip Search series (a competition amongst web cartoonists, not that other thing you were thinking about that involved poles and  Prince’s “Pussy Control”) and genuine budding artistic talent, currently has a Kickstarter going to fund her ambitious online graphic novel:

     The goal was a modest $9,000; As I write this, it is sitting at $95,346.  That’s just insane  for a project of this scale.  She’s young and I’m just hoping she uses the money wisely.  Perhaps I’m worried for no good reason and I’m just playing the fussy mum.

    Other strange Kickstarter business: The creator of Spiderman 2‘s swinging mechanic is creating a game built entirely around that mechanic.  And adding jetpacks to the mix:


    • zerocrates says:

      Since Kickstarter takes a percentage, I doubt they’re all about  letting you close up a successful campaign early, though I agree that having a ceiling as well as a floor could be really helpful for some projects.

      As for Double Fine, a million and a half of those dollars came from what are basically pre-pre-orders through Kickstarter, people who pledged at the tiers that get copies of the game and the documentary for retailesque prices: $15 or $30. That they’ve gone over is pretty predictable, though. Their initial goal of $400,000, partially allotted to the documentary, really wouldn’t have gone far, and it’s a lot easier to self-fund overages for a $400,000 game than a multi-million-dollar one.

      It depends from project to project and team to team (and backer to backer) whether it’s better to just deliver exactly what you promised to more people, or to adjust your plans to take account of the fact that you’ve got lots more money than you thought you might. This is all without even considering the projects with poorly-priced rewards who burn through a big chunk of the funding printing and mailing low-quality swag to their unexpected backer legion.

      In this case, I’m still happier that Double Fine went the ambitious, longer route, but not everyone will agree, and I reserve the right to go get annoyed after the next delay.

    • Destroy Him My Robots says:

      It’s terrible news mostly because I can no longer be mad at publishers opting not to do business with Tim Schafer. But I wanna!

      • Girard says:

        Yes, in some respects this has given me a bit of a lesson on empathy for the bean-counters that always get a bad rap for harshing DF’s buzz.

        It also, however, unlike much of the rest of the Internet, makes me realize that, just as I would have wanted publishers in the past to trust DF and not hamper/rush/ruin their projects, it probably behooves me to be patient and trust their artistic direction rather than have a histrionic shit-fit in a comment board.

        Also: In the initial Kickstarter video Schaefer was up-front that it could all go tits-up, but that at least in that case it would be documented for posterity. So it’s not like this project was any more of an iron-clad promise than any other Kickstarter.

        • Dave Dalrymple says:

          Yeah. “Broken Age” is still very much a test case. I don’t think we should judge Tim too harshly for getting people’s hopes up.

        • Destroy Him My Robots says:

          I already hit a friend of mine with FAMOUS MIYAMOTO QUOTE for critical damage, so I’m doing my part.

    • Dave Dalrymple says:

      I was worried until I realized that they weren’t planning another Kickstarter to fund the second half.

      I see this as a good solution to bad situation. Yes, the bad situation was created by Tim. His design was more ambitious than the funding could accomodate. Releasing it in two parts rather than one will allow for a larger game to be released sooner.

      This situation might have a chilling effect on future crowdfunding projects. Some people are going to interpret this as Schaefer pissing away his backers’ money. But I think the real issue is that backers are going to need to start managing their expectations. $3 million sounds like a lot of money, but the average donor has no idea what kind of game that level of funding actually buys. Is it a 2 hour game? An 8 hour game? I certainly don’t know. And we won’t know until these multimillion games are actually released.

      • The_Misanthrope says:

        It seems like we should know. For blockbusters, we often know how much made for and how much it took in, but the games industry is remarkably tight-lipped about their figures. I presume the average AAA release these days probably cost several millions.

        • Dave Dalrymple says:

          The information is floating out there for publicly traded publishers. AAA games routinely have budgets over $10 million, not including marketing costs. Some have gone as high as $100 million.

        • Girard says:

          One thing I enjoy about the overall transparency about the whole DFA thing is the insight it gives into various funding realities.

  16. Andy Tuttle says:

    Wait, what? What!!

  17. OhHaiMark says:


  18. stakkalee says:

    I hope you guys enjoy your vacation John.  Since this seems to be the thread where we talk about our gaming plans I should say that this weekend I’ll be getting in some two-fisted gaming with my friend.  I built his new PC last weekend and the thing runs beautifully.  So when we game now there’s actually 3 different games being played – our LAN game of Civ, plus he’s mining asteroids in EVE Online and I’m playing something on the XBox.  It’s glorious.

    Incidentally, @Citric:disqus, I’ve pared down the specs I found for my friend, so if you want to keep your video card the rest of the build (including a 3.2GHz i5, 16GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive) comes to ~$700 (and you could drop that price a little more by dialing back the specs further.) If you’re interested I can post part numbers and you can look them up on NewEgg.

    • Citric says:

      Cool, but I think this summer’s big expense is going to be a trip to Halifax instead of a PC. I’m a bit too broke for much else.

      I sure wish I had money. Anyone want to give me some?

      • Dave Dalrymple says:

        Yay Halifax! Any reason you decided to come here this year? I don’t think we have any major events.

        • Citric says:

          Always wanted to go, have a friend out there so I don’t have to pay for a hotel room.

      • stakkalee says:

        If someone’s handing out money I’ll take some please.  But I hope you enjoy the trip – I can’t buy my new PC until I save enough to replace the roof.  Stupid home-ownership.

        • Citric says:

          I’ve got some eavestroughing that I’m putting off because it’s expensive and I suspect will get even more expensive when someone gets up there. Whee, houses. Double whee, houses combined with low paying jobs.

      • Sarapen says:

        Do the Alexander Keith brewery tour, it’s one of the few situations where public drunkenness is encouraged at two in the afternoon. It’s not a large city so you can mostly walk anywhere unless you want to go to Walmart or something.

      • Dave Dalrymple says:

        I’ll second the Keith’s tour as a good time, but there are tons of sources of free fun in Halifax as well. I’m sure your friend will guide you.

  19. fieldafar says:

    Enjoy yourselves, Gameological. I’ll just be here… in the Australian winter. Playing some video game, I guess.

    • Sarapen says:

      Please, like your winter even deserves the name. It’s not winter unless you wake up wishing for the apocalypse just so you won’t have to go out in the cold.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I bet you’ve never even seen a snow shovel.

  20. Dave Dalrymple says:

    I guess this is a big deal, since it’s trending so high on Twitter, but Final Fantasy VII is now available on Steam for PC. It has achievements, etc. It costs $12.

    Please let me know if there is any substantial benefit in playing this version if I already have the PS1 version on PSN.

    • neodocT says:

       From what I’ve read, the PC version has slightly better graphics, but it also comes saddled with Squeenix’ DRM, and you can only download the game in 3 different systems.

      Honestly? PSN looks more interesting for the nostalgia, but if you must play FFVII on the PC, a PSX emulator seems like a better deal.

    • Sleverin says:

       There is in fact one advantage: The mighty and awesome mod pack for SE’s re released game.  It actually mods it back to the original PC version for coding reasons, but the pack is amazing.  It’s a fantastic and ambitious project that I’m glad to see was done.  We’re talking total revamps, enhanced graphics, new models, the works.  Now, because of some of the choices, I had to remove songs and do some work to get it right (some of the OCRemixes don’t do it for me) but it’s great.  Also, keep the translator patch off, it only goes to Junon but my God is it just fans wanking to themselves about how they can re translate something.  That and the patch tries to saddle you with the name “Aerith”, the worst fanboy weeabooism to hit FF since this crazy Lightning crap.

      • ItsTheShadsy says:

        FF7 does need some translation fixing here and there, but it’s mostly fine. The Aerith thing is really quite annoying; it’s technically more “correct” to the original, but the change to Aeris is much better because Aerith sounds stupid and is very hard to say.

        • Citric says:

          From what I understand it isn’t technically more correct, but that’s just how it was romanized in the Japanese promotional materials. It’s not actually supposed to be pronounced with a lithp.

          I’d still like them to fix the rampant typos and some bad line breaks (“Attack when the tail is up!”)

        • Sleverin says:

           I’m going to agree with Citric on both points.  People tried to do this crazy thing where they claimed that the “th” sound isn’t a phonetic pronunciation of Japanese but if they could it would be in there.  That and here name is “supposed” to sound like “Earth” because she’s from the Planet or something.  It’s the silliest kind of weeabooism that I can’t stand.  This is also the only nerd argument I allow myself to get into because the logic behind Aerith is so mind bogglingly crazy that people literally try to live in an alternate reality where their fanboyism changed the world in their favor for once.

      • Dave Dalrymple says:

        The name-change to “Aerith” is official, and not mere fanwankery. That makes it no less annoying, of course.

        I love that the fan community is taking it upon themselves to enhance the graphics of these early 3D games. Personally, I love Final Fantasy VII warts and all, but I understand that there are those who can’t get past the character models.

        • Citric says:

          I think it’s official due to fan wankery, which makes me angry. Aeris looks and sounds better, all the people who wanted it to be Aerith are dumbbutts.

  21. Fluka says:

    Oh my god you guys.  I’m at my parent’s place right now, and we’re sorting through a bunch of boxes from the family storage locker.  It’s horrifying, and I’m pretty sure I just got hantavirus.  But I just found the box with all of my old computer game CD-ROMs.  Caesar 3, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Age of Empires, the Kings Quest Collection.  They’re all here.  Two conclusions:

    A) Middle school me had amaaaazing taste in games.  

    B) Each and every one of these games is currently on sale on GoG.  Bless you, GoG!  *Buys Pharaoh + Cleopatra for $5.*

    • ItsTheShadsy says:

      Lucky bastard. My parents threw out my older collection before I could rummage through it. I had a copy of SYNDICATE in there!

      • Fluka says:

        Hey, that’s on GoG for $6 too!  (Though it’s not the same as finding the original, daww.)

  22. ferrarimanf355 says:

    If you haven’t contributed to this Kickstarter, please do.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Even if I don’t want to? That seems like a crowd-funding concept that Microsoft could have come up with. I refuse!

      • ferrarimanf355 says:

        It’s falling way, way behind on its goals and it’s a passion project for the developers. 

  23. Dave Dalrymple says:

    Anybody need a Friday buzzkill?

    Satoru Iwata describes a recent focus test he did on the original Super Mario Bros.