Episode 375: Take That Shit Out and Put It In a Pie

This week, we talk Stadia and Google’s inevitable shuttering of projects, the Mass Effect remaster and what it means to play a choice heavy RPG again this far out from its original release, Cado and Austin talk about the Dark-Souls-Like-but-not-quite Nioh 2, Patrick is excited to talk about Bower’s Fury some other time, and Austin’s going ham on Steam demos.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://play.acast.com/s/vicegamingsnewpodcast/episode375-takethatshitoutandputitinapie
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I couldn’t help but chuckle when Austin asked the community about whether you would romance someone different on the remastered replay. I’ve played through ME1 about 8 times, ME2 about 5 times, and ME3 2 times, so I’ve basically romanced the entire galaxy at this point. But the underlying question about how I will approach this latest playthrough is interesting. Simply put, I don’t know yet! Probably not a renegade run, just because it closes off too many possibilities going into the sequels, but I think I’m just going to feel my way through the minor choices and pick what feels right. But one decision I know I’ll make; femshep, always femshep.

I also can’t wait for the “ME3 is good, actually” discourse once folks play the truly excellent DLCs.

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In some ways it’s sort of remarkable that there are any new players in the game development space in the first place. It’s a massive investment up front and no returns for years, which is not how Wall Street likes to conduct its business. I wonder if it would have made any difference if Google decided to ship Stadia when it actually had all of its advertised features in place.

I really enjoyed ME3 until the ending. While the structure is a bit of a mess there are a ton of interesting missions, fun character moments, and genuinely great combat.


I never really understood who Stadia was for. Is there a large group of people who have reliable high speed internet, don’t have any gaming hardware, and want to pay full price for new AAA games? And given Stadia’s comically small library the next logical step for anyone who did get into games using the service would be to buy a console or PC and stop using Stadia.

As someone who is constantly behind the times in terms of hardware I think streaming has a lot of potential. I mostly play strategy games and RPGs where latency isn’t a big deal. But Stadia never made a good case for itself. I was also excited to see what a game made natively for the platform looked like. Streaming offers some very interesting possibilities especially for multiplayer. Everything being server side could allow for truly persistent multiplayer spaces. With the shutdown of this studio and the future of streaming likely being hybrid models like XCloud we might never see that.

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I found a pretty good use case for Stadia with Destiny in the past year. As any Destiny player can tell you, the experience on a base PS4 or X1 is not ideal. There was a massive install file to make room for, regular updates that can pre-empt a planned evening of gaming, and just godawful load times. Stadia was a great way for me to just jump into the game at zero cost and just play, plus the 60 FPS bump more than made up for the input latency.

But then Bungie trimmed down the install size, folks are slowly but surely moving to next gen consoles that play the game beautifully, and at least Microsoft now has a way to stream the game should you want to go that route. So even when I found a use case for Stadia, the market just made it redundant yet again. I’m still bullish on the technology as a way to supplement local gaming (and work well for casual players), but Stadia as a platform surely isn’t it.

The Platonic Ideal of Stadia seems like it would have an audience: you can bring your hardcore gaming experience anywhere with good Internet. But

  1. the Internet infrastructure in the United States isn’t anywhere near what it would need to be to make that a reality
  2. Google never implemented their most interesting features (capturing a slice of a game for other people to try out is a feature that just launched with Hitman 3) or developed a good library before throwing Stadia out of the nest and expecting it to fly
  3. the Switch exists

Amazon Web Services exists because Amazon had so much excess capacity from building up for Black Friday that they needed something to do with it the rest of the year. This seems like Google trying to demonstrate the power of their cloud, but they forgot that they needed to actually build something other than a tech demo.

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Wait, we might go two weeks without a Waypoint-ass Waypoint Radio episode? :frowning:

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To me Stadia makes sense if your infrastructure is good which could prove doable in a closed system if they start to license it out to something like airplanes, cruise ships, large hotels, etc.

Like imagine if you could get on a flight and for a $10 upgrade for your flight you could play any singleplayer game with headphones on. Or you’re at a hotel and you are just done for the day but you have kids who have unlimited energy and you just want to chill in the very nice bathtub for an hour without interruption so you spend like $10 to give your kids unlimited access to games to play on the hotel TV.

Basically the tech is good the current usage and marketing of it is bad like most Google products.

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I’m bumping this episode post cause… aren’t we supposed to get a new episode today? I know they moved to Tuesday but this is way late.

We haven’t had a Waypoint-ass Waypoint episode in two weeks.

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