It may be a broken record, but DaS might be a good pick when Sekiro is closer to release!
Fingers crossed that the Zacny house of knowledge includes art history and there’d be 15 minutes in the podcast talking about the influences of Gustav Klimt in Transistor.
Just saw Far Cry 2 is 10 years old and Austin is always wanting an excuse to play it again, I’d bet at least 5 dollars that it’s the next game.
I would love a Far Cry 2 WP101.
Rob, Austin and Danielle unpacking that game would be fantastic.
Also, I will never give up my KOTOR 2 dream.
I’m afraid to go back to that game after a recent episode of Abnormal Mapping had Heather Alexandre on to unpack KOTOR 2. Jackson and Em concluded that there’s a lot of edgy, nihilist bullshit in that game, which wasn’t my recollection. I’m kind of scared to go back to it, and by extension, hear the Waypoint come to a similar conclusion.
I played it last summer for the first time since it launched and didn’t really find it to be bullshit. The whole game is your character both building a morality (which is admittedly, very binary) and taking people who are extremely nihilistic and hopeless and teaching them that they have something to live for (especially on the canon Light Side Path), whereas all the actual nihilist bullshit is fed to you by Kreia, who ends up being the main antagonist of the game, and is extremely petty throughout the whole game, giving you shit for literally doing anything that takes a side on anything or helps anyone. Everyone in that game who holds a nihilistic ideology is either shown to have it be their downfall or is extremely self serving, manipulative, and not sympathetic. I mean, before the reveal of the true antagonist you’re fighting a dude literally named Nihilus, who’s whole deal is taking all the life force from planets for himself under the pretence of “saving” everyone. It read to me very much as a game about fighting nihilist thought in a world that is broken and bad and hey maybe the people we thought we could trust were misguided, but it’s still worth believing in something because if you don’t, everything falls into despair and destruction.
I could also be completely off base. Either way I really do love that game despite the fact it’s kind of a broken mess.
Hey folks, in today’s pod we ask folks to start suggesting games for the next 101! Some high level criteria to think about:
As always, shortish is better. Long is fine, but not if it requires a big third act twist or late game mechanics changes for us to really dig into it.
As before, would be good to do a controller focused game so that Danielle can play and chat along!
We’ve done a LOT of shooters, 3rd or 1st person: Metro, ZombiU, Wolfenstein, Fortnite, Binary Domain, RDR. Mad Max isn’t a shooter, but it def converges on some similar overlapping elements with some of those other games. Shadowrun is maybe the only thing that feels distinct, but thematically and narratively, not entirely. Not saying we WON’T do a shooter or an action game, but would love to hear some broader suggestions there.
Ideally keep in mind platform availability: Red Dead was worth doing so that we could revisit something so “essential” and reevaluate it, but if I had realized that the PS4 version was only the streaming thing, I would’ve thought harder about it. Ideally something available on at least 2/4 of the major platforms (PS4, XBO, PC, Switch)
Finally, def include things that broaden out the demographic of developers. We’ve had Japanese, American, French, Swedish, Ukranian, and UK devs so far, but the bulk of those were in the AAA->Big Indie space, with Shadowrun being the “smallest” game in our list. Happy to hear a much broader range of suggestions. I’d add that the key is that it should be something we can get a good 2 hour convo from. If you could imagine it being a 30 minute WPR convo, go ahead and send that into our email suggestion box for general coverage, but the 101s should be able to sustain a month+ of forum/chat conversation plus at least one really meaty 101 podcast.
So I have a few recommendations, I’m trying to avoid games that got a lot of coverage, but when it comes to the indie space, many games have a much smaller scope so getting two hours of discussion out of them might be difficult. Visual novels could always be an option if you want to dig into indie games less explored by games coverage at large, but still containing enough content for an interesting 2 hour discussion! So sorry these are all AAA/AA/Big Indie. Nonetheless:
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments
The best Sherlock game and one of my favorite adventure games. It’s a silly adventure game with an interesting mechanic for deducting clues and the mysteries at hand. I’d describe it as a less bloated, more detailed, much more charming LA Noire without the gun stuff. There are five cases in total, and that took me around 8 hours. I’d say the first three cases would provide a good understanding of the game (and the third case was my favorite).
Okay, so this isn’t a perfect game by any means, but I figured it could be worth exploring a game that isn’t as story heavy for a waypoint 101. Like other tactical management games, Massive Chalice is best at creating story from its strategic and tactical layers mixing together in interesting ways. Unlike XCOM, where your soldiers will always be alive as long as you don’t get them killed, the campaign of Massive Chalice spans 300 years and this is the very foundation for all the mechanics of the game. Soldiers age and eventually die out, characters can have children that take on various traits of both parents and this can have its own rewards and consequences that play out in fun ways! It’s not a perfect game, but I feel there’s enough depth for a good waypoint 101 (though 3 Moves Ahead did cover it already…)
These last two suggestions are much more self indulgent, so I get if they would simply be laughed at!
So yeah, this game is in many ways a failure, but it was trying fun things and I think partly that the actual action part of the game is incredible? It’s actually a lot of fun! The art direction is fantastic! The story… okay it isn’t good but there are points of interest! And while it isn’t on PS4, it is on PC and XBOX One, AND it’s on Gamepass!
Okay, here me out… this is an incredibly personal pick, I know. It might not provide enough content for a 101, I think there is much more to talk about than what someone might think at first glance. This game is a lesson in how different conflicting design goals can ruin a very promising game. The surface level game is a poorly executed open world attempt at SSX, but as you continue to dig, it becomes so clear that a ton of love was put into the game. The way this game careens back and forth between trying to be an extreme sports game and a zen game about exploration and adoration for winter sports and mountains in general is wonderfully odd.
I dunno how bad Danielle’s wrist sitch is, so visual novels might be a total no-go since they don’t have controller support but
Butterfly Soup would be great. I dunno that it’ll sustain an hour long conversation so maybe it could be part of like… a collection of Visual Novels? Maybe get some Heaven Will Be Mine in there?
While I’m recommending queer visual novels, Kindred Spirits on the Roof might also be good. It’s a lot longer so it might be better conversation fodder. But that might also make it less palatable for some people. Idk.
Heaven Will Be Mine and We Know The Devil would be a killer double feature of a 101.
Also, I know the season for it has passed but a Kitty Horrowshow retrospective-style 101 would be great. Choose a few and discuss them as a body of work. Might be a cool change of pace for the pod.
I know it’s recent, but I think Return of the Obra Dinn would be a perfect 101. As a second option, Unavowed would also be good.
Fez – It’s Fez. A capital ‘i’ Important Indie Game that’s on just about every platform and is a blast to play.
Beglitched – A truly Unique match-3 game that has more going on than it seems. No Controller support though.
Mark Of the Ninja – Stealth Platforming Classic.
Self Indulgent Option: All Walls Must Fall - I’m obsessed with this game, how it went from being disjointed in EA to probably my favorite gaming experience this year once it was polished up. What if Necrodancer met Into the Breach met Invis Inc met Superhot – UPDATE: I finished the game and the ending blew me away multiple times.
I’d love to hear the crew talk about Tearaway. The PS4 version is totally worth checking out, though the Vita version is the way to play if you can.
Given that it’s now available to play on something other than the Wii VC, I’d love to see a Waypoint 101 done on Rondo of Blood.
I’d second Mark of the Ninja it’s my fav stealth game of all time. It’s so well made. It’s one of the few games i enjoyed enough to actually consider doing and also completing the new game +
It’s on Xbox One , PS4 , Switch and PC for those curious.
I was considering mentioning All Walls Must Fall too! Really like the game, I just was concerned aboutthe scale of the game considering the need to fill a month of discussion and a fairly large podcast
Seeing people’s different time travel styles etc could fill up a month, I think? Maybe not. But Maybe, there’s so much going on in that game, and it’d be such an interesting one to deep dive on. (again totally self interested cuz im obsessed w this game rn)
Building off of what Larena and ClairvoyantVibes said, I would love to see a double feature of We Know the Devil and Heaven Will Be Mine. I know that Aevee has written for the site so there might be some conflict of interest there, but I would love to see how everyone would respond.
I’d like to recommend Transistor
It is approaching its 5yr anniversary in the spring, but also released on Switch this month (Nov 1 2018). There is likely a fairly large audience that would have missed the original Windows or Playstation release.
At release it was critically well received, particularly about the sound track - but would like to hear some in depth thought to how the strategy mechanics play today and story thoughts.
Also checks a few boxes - PS4/PC/Switch, Controller enabled, Action/Strategy, Supergiant is moderate indie at best,
Although, at roughly 6hr playthru might not sustain a proper 101. Double up with Bastion
I like fez a lot but I wonder if there’s enough there to talk about outside the “twist”