Episode 541 - Let Link Build a Rail Gun

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://shows.acast.com/vicegamingsnewpodcast/episodes/episode-541-let-link-build-a-rail-gun

I really liked John Carpenter referring to the new Dead Space as “refurbished”. It makes me think of putting modern brakes and tires on a vintage bike or an old house that has radiant heat and modern appliances. Leaving all the good parts while making it easier to live with.

On the other hand as I write this I realize that “refurbish” is one of those words that sounds like nonsense if you say it more than three times in quick succession.


waypoint+ subscriber reporting in, pay that man for a cameo


I think the most appropriate label for these types of game remakes and remasters is George Lucas Remasters. The goal isn’t a faithful remaster, rather a remaster with new content and all the latest graphical bells and whistles.

… also the release of these remakes is often followed by the removal of the original game from online marketplaces.

Somebody put Ren’s Hogwarts response on a beat and release the mixtape. Shit was :fire:.


Ren’s soliloquy is giving me life after so much frustration this week. That and Hard Drive mag. The IGN review is all time bootlicking.


To follow-up on the Harry Potter talk, here’s Gita’s review of the game, which I thought was pretty solid. (It doesn’t sound great even beyond the myriad, myriad problems with the universe and its construction): Hogwarts Legacy review: Rowling’s specter hangs over a vapid open world - Polygon


It remains an absolute shame that Vice laid Gita off, they really are an essential voice.

One of the many things that baffles me about this stupid game’s popularity is that when I loved Harry Potter, combat was never part of the fantasy. I didn’t dream of duels or using a wand like a gun, even when I was in middle school the magic system was self-evidently nonsensical. The fantasy of those books was community and solidarity, there’s a reason why so many queer kids loved them. I wanted friends to go on adventures with and solve problems in clever ways. The Persona series is much closer to that fantasy than magical Farcry.


When I was a kid I made-up an OC of a robot kid that went to Hogwarts and passed all the tests with laser gun powers, so I dunno. Maybe I just never liked Harry Potter.


I remember being really into the section on polyjuice potions. Somehow it took me another 15 years to realize I was trans.


I watched the Digital Foundry “review” out of curiosity just to see what the game looked like and Persona was also the touchstone that I thought would have been a good base for a game in this universe. So much of the joy of those books growing up was found in the act of going to school and interacting with classmates and their hijinks that an open world game is not really designed to capture. But hey, I guess that style of game is popular so you gotta make it an open world game.

Frankly, it’s a little bizarre that this is a series that people wanted a game where you were the protagonist so badly. I think Gita gets into it in their review, but the world does not lend itself readily to this kind of expansion of the universe.


Even a Canis Canem Edit type in the Potterverse would’ve made more sense than a Ubisoft open world game. I am glad that all the transphobes who’ve had to get into Harry Potter as part of their culture war are left defending this rubbish though. It can’t be a good time.


Thinking about it recently I realized my attachment to the series (at least past being super young) was all the esoteric lore of strange objects. Like the idea of spaces that shift and change, strange totems with innate histories and hidden power, the Department of Mysteries stuff, etc. But the thing about lore is that the more it gets explained, the less interesting it becomes, and that’s all anyone has wanted to do with HP for 15 years.

For a lot of people, I don’t think the desire for a big Potter game is any more complicated than a desire for lots of time with the kind of lore that games are usually very good at. But uh, it doesn’t sound like this game even does that either. I did like the old PC games once upon a time, which weren’t about combat much at all and more about exploring a relatively small area with a very limited number of spells acting as metroidvania-style upgrades for boosted traversal and hazard-removal, but nope to that too.

Anyway, that brief amount of thinking made it immediately clear that everything I ever wanted from a HP game I’ve gotten from (lol) Dark Souls. Because of course.


Reading this thread is really reminding me that JKR never wrote the books everyone loved. Not in a Hatsune Miku made minecraft way, but in the sense that the books everyone remembers never existed.

The part I always think about is in book 2, where Harry chooses his electives. When i think back to when i had to choose electives, after 9 years of schooling, I think of how excited I was, and how hard it was to choose. Art, programming, cooking, woodwork, all the languages, even ‘technical drawing!’ How does Harry feel about having to choose what magic to learn, just a year and a half after learning magic was real?

He straight up doesn’t care. About one single elective. In the second book about magic school, there is literally no magic he cares to learn. While readers around the world are fantasising about being able to learn spells, or potions, about magical creatures, or, god forbid, the history of the magical world, the books themselves display an absolute incuriousity about any of the things readers are interested in.

This extends to other areas of the books too, of course. Fred and George are little monsters, almost killing other kids with their ‘pranks’ multiple times. Harry, Ron, and Hermoine have no personality, just doing whatever JKR needs for the plot (though the child actors actually delivered on the characters promised, hiding how inconsistent they are in the books). Yet still we talk about the friendships and personalities as if they were actually in the books.

With all this in mind, it shouldn’t be any surprise that HP games come out so bland. While we all can think of easy ways to make these games interesting, to support the fantasies we had, any team committed to the HP stories and brand will have to contend with how empty they are at their core. In a way, a generic Ubisoft open world game is the truest condensation of what JKR created.