Episode 420 - Cosmic Trombone Energy

There’s some big news in this pod! We kick things off with two special announcements, then dive right into the game's we've been playing. Austin’s started the next Waypoint 101 game Super Metroid, Patrick and Cado joined him on stream so they discuss the early hours of the game. Then, Rob and Patrick discuss some of the less convincing moments in Twelve Minutes, an adventure game with some interesting time looping mechanics but questionable plot points. After the break, Austin is getting out of the country on Road 96, a game about teenagers hitchhiking out of a country during a politically turbulent moment. Austin and Cado are then learning the dark arts in Black Book, a deck builder that isn’t a roguelike for once, and has a great atmosphere and interesting mechanics around learning local folklore. Then we take another dip in the bucket for more Christmas lore, and a premonition from pods of Waypoints past. 


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://play.acast.com/s/vicegamingsnewpodcast/episode420-cosmictromboneenergy
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Whenever a podcast I enjoy has “special announcements” to make it gives me the fear, but the last time WayPoint did that, it was great news! I’m sure this will be no different-- record scratch

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It’s funny comparing my experience with Twelve Minutes compared with folks that finished the game. Right now I’m on a bit of a high with the game, puzzling out possibilities in my head when I’m not playing it. It’s such a satisfying puzzle box at the moment. I’m bracing for the plot to get bad, although where I’m at now (I discovered the wife killed her father, figured out how to knock the cop out, and know his daughter is fighting cancer) the story beats remain good.

In any case, I’m really digging it in a way that I didn’t with something like Outer Wilds. I think it all comes down to the possibility space and not feeling overwhelmed here. As opposed to having a solar system to explore, this is just a tiny one bedroom apartment. I can keep it all in my head, toying with cause and effect as I do other things. Even if this doesn’t stick the landing, I really do want more of these tightly constructed, small scale experiences.

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In regards to the announcement:

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I’m pretty floored by the big news, but EVANGELION REBUILD podcasts!!

Which they’ll hate, and they’ll make me sad that they hate it, but still, hyped for now.

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My spouse and I are going to play it together this weekend. I’m looking forward to working with her to puzzle things out, but I’m definitely feeling a bit anxious about it based on what folks have been saying about the plot.

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It can be harrowing for sure. My wife had to walk away from the game after seeing some of the violence, but she is more sensitive to that than most. Still, some stuff in the game can be really hard to watch, and you might have to watch them multiple times. It’s still worth playing, but I totally get if it’s too much for some folks.

I never could’ve predicted how incredible the timing would be on my puzzlemaster email but I’m glad it turned out so well

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I think there’s a sure chance they’ll leave positive on 2.22 the ending sequence in that was beautiful and unexpectedly positive despite the facts of the ending and a few reasons to believe 3.33 and 3.0+1.0 will be broadly positive.

I gotta start playing the trombone again. I need a nice bass trombone.

I finished Twelve Minutes a few hours ago and the game is really good overall. The presentation is superb. Sound, voice acting, pacing and animations are all excellent. Most of the puzzles are also well done and I was surprised by how many different item/action combinations with unique dialogue there were, even when they turned out to mostly be a dead end.

The game is exemplary. Exemplary of how not to do a plot twist, that is! That last twist was bad, like really bad. It ruined the entire story for me and for some, it might even ruin the entire game.
I don’t know how they thought this twist was a good idea, but I guess the protagonist had to be the brother because they were no other characters left!? Did he have a sudden case of spontaneous amnesia? What the hell? This reeks of a despair twist. When you have no idea of how to conclude the narrative or you run out of time, force some bs mind bender in there so that the audience goes “woooah”. A shame that it completely backfired in this case though.
For a while, I really thought they were going to just leave it at the wife actually killing her father on impulse after being abused and what this means for both of them, while simultaneously figuring out how to survive this situation (maybe without anyone dying even) and somehow getting to the bottom of the supernatural time loop. I think this could have been much more interesting. Or if not that, maybe actually doing the obvious thing and having the brother be another person. Anything, except for what we got, really.
No, they had to pull this s*it and in the process also make the gameplay resolution of the time loop/survival puzzle boring as hell.
Also, I’m not one to be disgusted by incest on principle, but if it’s done in the service of a bad last twist, just to add further tragedy, I can’t help it.
Sorry for the rant, but I had to let it out. I found myself to be deeply engaged for roughly 80% of the game, but then the last 20% pulled me straight out.

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I think a bad ending can often ruin something (which can be unfair to some pieces), but in the case of a mystery, where an essential part of it is usually satisfying revelations, it can be an absolute dealbreaker.

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The ending is the main part of the episode & the best ending make the episode great or audience always desire for best climax or ending.