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2021 VIDEO GAME CATCH ALL THREAD


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Just now, Robert s said:

It's probably dangerous to try to read between lines if the lines come from professional podcasters on a podcast, but to me it seems as if Red Ventures wants to change a lot conceptionally or whatever and at least Brad Shoemaker and Vinny Caravella did not like that direction. Every time Jeff Gerstmann began talking about the future or new opportunities due to Red Ventures (without saying that name, of course), Brad and Vinny became completely stonefaced. Alex Navarro either was better in hiding his feelings, or him leaving was more the result of the other two leaving.

Of course it could also be as simple as a money dispute over salaries.

You might not be too far off as this was the statement that Gerstmann gave Gamestop

Quote

Update 05/04/2021 5:40 p.m. ET: In a statement to GameSpot, Jeff Gerstmann said, “I’ve spent a lot of the last year thinking about what’s next for Giant Bomb and most of those roads lead to a full-on rethink of what it means to be a Website About Video Games in 2021. While I certainly would have loved to solve these challenges with my longtime friends and coworkers by my side, it just wasn’t meant to be. I wish Vinny, Alex, and Brad the best. Meanwhile, we have a pretty exciting opportunity to broaden our horizons, rethink every facet of our operation, and get to a place where we’re truly able to build that bomb all over again... or die trying.”

GameSpot also published a statement from Giant Bomb collectively, which said,“There is a collective vision for what the future of Giant Bomb is and it involves both familiar and new faces. We’re already in talks with creators so that we can begin the next chapter. We’re fully aware that this marks a big change and we’re using this as an opportunity to rethink what this site is. It’s a chance to introduce new personalities from different backgrounds and explore categories and topics that we never have before.”

 

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1 minute ago, RIPPA said:

This response is still very common now

Man, I don't know. The explosion in True Crime podcasts and women and some men showing a huge interest in them have resulted in many spouses also getting into podcasts. I think a lot of people now know what podcasts are, but I also think there's a lot of people that think it's just radio and they'll just listen to the radio.

1 minute ago, Robert s said:

It's probably dangerous to try to read between lines if the lines come from professional podcasters on a podcast, but to me it seems as if Red Ventures wants to change a lot conceptionally or whatever and at least Brad Shoemaker and Vinny Caravella did not like that direction. Every time Jeff Gerstmann began talking about the future or new opportunities due to Red Ventures (without saying that name, of course), Brad and Vinny became completely stonefaced. Alex Navarro either was better in hiding his feelings, or him leaving was more the result of the other two leaving.

Of course it could also be as simple as a money dispute over salaries.

I have to admit, I only within the last half year began listening regularly to their podcasts. Before I only tuned in every now and then, usually to watch their coverage of E3 or similar. But the appeal of their content is something, you probably won't find in a lot of other places.

For what it's worth, Vinny went on Twitter yesterday to shoot down the hypothesis that this is because of Red Ventures. I'm honestly shocked Alex has lasted as long as he has and I think it's only because he was working with his friends. Alex has sounded tired of, well, everything but hanging out with his friends. Losing Dan and Abby, not to mention learning they would never have an east coast office again, likely lead to Vinny saying he was moving on, which probably drove Alex and Brad to do the same. For Jeff, this is the baby he raised with Ryan Davis and I don't think he's going to let Giant Bomb die. It's probably wrong of me to make assumptions like that, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of Jeff sticking with it is to honor Ryan.

Just to touch on some other things, Vinny is a video and audio producer with a heavy interest in video games. He can likely jump from Giant Bomb to anything else in the media world provided it doesn't take him away from his family too much. If the writing was on the wall that the east coast crew would stay virtual, that basically means Vinny doesn't have a job outside of talking about video games unless he moves back to San Fran, which he's not doing. And if I were to make another assumption, Alex and Brad were just looking for a domino to fall to make it easier to leave. Then there's the money issue. From what I understand, there is practically no upward mobility. None of these people were ever going to move up. Them leaving I suppose gives Jan or Rorie the opportunity to fill those spaces now. Maybe there was a sense that Vinny, Alex, and Brad were gatekeeping and holding others back and it wasn't fair to do that anymore if they had the ability or opportunity to find work elsewhere.

I will admit that the last couple years of Giant Bomb haven't been the best, but the Hotspot was fucking awesome and felt so much more like old school Bombcast. Plus, I thought the last GOTY series was their best in the last 2 to 3 years. GOTY started out fun and then turned into this fucking monster of a thing where you'd have nearly endless arguing over the most mundane shit to the point where Brad or Alex wanted to just walk out on the episode. I think there was an audience for that, but that audience that wanted to listen to that endless arguing was in the minority.

Anyway, it all just really, really sucks. Giant Bomb and Bombcast wasn't just a podcast about games, it was a family that so many people lived and grew with. It was my destination to listen to folks with kids and folks in their 40s talk about video games and other shit from their youth that they still held onto. As far as I know, they were one of the first large gaming outlets to give a platform to LGBTQ+ folks. They gave less coverage to larger games because those games were always bullshit and fell in love with the smaller games that many may not have heard of or known about. They amplified the smaller voices in the gaming community. The work Giant Bomb has done over the years is really immeasurable. I would have never known of stuff like Papers Please without Giant Bomb and when I look at others that checked out that game, it was because they heard about it so much on Giant Bomb when other sites would have been covering whatever AAA tentpole bullshit was being released.

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20 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

You might not be too far off as this was the statement that Gerstmann gave Gamestop

 

To be fair, Jeff for the last 2 or 3 years, so we're talking before the buyout, has been repeating that "rethinking what it means to be a website about video games in 2021" or "rethinking what it means to be a website about video games in 2020" or "rethinking what it means to be a website about video games in 2019." For a long time he, and the rest, didn't really know what that would be. They also have covered a large swath of topics including F1 racing, wrestling, comic books, etc. So none of this from Jeff is particularly "new" since he's said the same stuff for years, the difference is that either now he may have an idea for what that change will look like or Red Ventures is helping to force that change.

One other point to bring up, Jeff really, really, really wants to get back into the office. They've basically been stifled by the shutdown in CA for over a year now, but they also understand that's for the best. They're likely soon to be moving back into the office and now they have a fresh start of sorts.

I really don't know what a video game website should be though. Jeff and the others have always wanted Giant Bomb to not be the same as GameSpot or IGN, but ultimately the reality of running a website about video games involves covering games.

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Been playing The Longing and it's a really interesting concept. 

You play a shade who is instructed to wake a sleeping king in 400 days and everything you do from then on it to make time speed up to make the 400 days pass faster.  You're basically veeeeeery slowly exploring a cave system and everything it has inside of it.  Right now I am about 21 days in and each realtime second is up to 9 seconds in the game.  

I couldn't see actively just sitting here playing this, but it's great for passing the day at work and checking in with every once in awhile.

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More from Gerstmann on Vinny, Brad, and Alex leaving. I'll be honest, if my three best friends all left the company we started, I'd be an emotional wreck. That said, there is obviously a metric ton of grief and conflict within him, but I respect the hell out of him for letting his friends go and be their own people. It's also at least a little comforting to see or hear that the mad Dr. Tracksuit has a lot of ideas he's ready to run with. 

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Finished The Last of Us, which I suppose gets its title from Joel's willingness to kill everyone and everything!

Spoiler

But seriously, how stupid did the Fireflies need to be to tell him the truth about what they were doing at the end?  She had drowned as far as he knew.  Just lie!  Really, just lie and save yourself the bother.  "Oh, we couldn't revive her, but we got the parasite, it's all good, she made a heroic sacrifice," blah blah.  But, of course, there's no game with that option.  I've heard of Plot Armor, but this was more of a Plot 'Kick Me' Sign.  Good, but not great.  Imagine this had to blow some people's minds in 2013, though.

 

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I was way more bent at the ending that I probably should've been at the time, but there was also a lot of "ZOMG THIS IS AMAZING!!!" burnout coloring that.  The opening chapter of TLoU2 made me feel better about it, even if 2 was probably one of the most boring games I ever played.

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Eh, I played TLOU remaster a few months ago and still thought it was great.  

Regarding the ending:

Spoiler

What motivation would the Fireflies have to lie to Joel? IIRC, Marlene was the one who told Joel they were prepping Ellie for surgery.  Marlene didn't know him that well, and couldn't have known he had bonded with Ellie.  I mean, before the adventure started, Joel was mostly dead inside.  I don't think anyone would have predicted his reaction.  

Marlene had zero reason to manipulate Joe or lie to him.  She hired him to deliver Ellie to the Fireflies, and he held up his end of the bargain.  From what I remember, she didn't go out of her way to make it clear they meant to kill Ellie, but she didn't lie about it and said enough to Joel to connect the dots.  

I dunno.  Not everyone goes out of their way to lie to those around them.  Or assumes the person they are talking to is on the brink of a violent rampage.  Maybe they should (I'm mostly cynical about human nature), but I thought that part of the narrative rang true.

 

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What's the best way strategy for storage.  I'm already finding that I'm running out of space on my Xbox.  At the moment, I have the Seagare 1 TB storage expansion card installed + a 2 tb Seagate Game Drive (usb).  USB is already fairly full with backwards compatible X360 games + a fair number of X One games.  At the moment, my basic strategy is b/c Xbox and 360 game go on usb drive, enhanced Xbox One and Series X games go to SSD expansion card.

I'm going to buy another device before I get too far along and moving games to a new drive becomes a more mammoth task than it already is.  My options are a larger USB drive (prob. a larger Game Gear drive, since I prefer to use official/licensed products) or an external SSD drive.  Seagate Game Drives go up to 6 or 8 tb.  Seagate also makes an external SSD drive for the Series X, but the largest size is 2 TB and the cost is $380.  

Space is going to be a huge issue for me no matter what.  At the moment, I'm thinking a large USB drive makes the most sense.  For both Xbox and PS5, I've been using USB drives to store PS4 and Xbox One and older games, then moving them to the console's internal storage when I'm ready to play a particular game.  Not too fussed about time spent swapping games between USB drives and internal storage, but I do want to play even older games off the SSD so I get max benefits from loading times and such.

One thing I'm wondering about but can't find the answer: can you use more than one USB drive at a time?  Console has multiple USB ports but I don't have a spare USB drive to plug in (all of mine are in use and I'm not wanting to reformat any of them just to test a theory).

Thoughts or suggestions?  Thanks.

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Got my 213th Platinum trophy with Ghost Recon Future Soldier for PS3. Before you start this game, some pointers:

- The online is extremely broken. If you have to mess with your router settings just to connect to people, there's something wrong.

- There is no possible way to matchmake at all with this game. When I did the online trophies years ago (including the friends challenge), I had to join up with squad matchmaking, which worked less than 40% of the time. Then you have to pay attention to the friends' challenge and not get too many kills in a match.

- Guerrilla Mode is best done with four actual people total since the AI sucks.

- Co op trophy involves completing the entire game with another person. And you have to play with your router just to connect.

- Tactical challenges are infuriating. I managed to get the last three tonight, but had an expert player help me on most of the tactical challenges.

- Elite difficulty is pretty bad and best done with another person. The partner AI doesn't seem to know how to shoot people, even if you tell them to target them.

I still have the DLC campaign to go, but it may be awhile if ever before I complete it. It managed to take me 5 years to Platinum this and Ubisoft could shut down the servers for all I care tomorrow.

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Eoae said:

What's the best way strategy for storage.  I'm already finding that I'm running out of space on my Xbox.  At the moment, I have the Seagare 1 TB storage expansion card installed + a 2 tb Seagate Game Drive (usb).  USB is already fairly full with backwards compatible X360 games + a fair number of X One games.  At the moment, my basic strategy is b/c Xbox and 360 game go on usb drive, enhanced Xbox One and Series X games go to SSD expansion card.

I'm going to buy another device before I get too far along and moving games to a new drive becomes a more mammoth task than it already is.  My options are a larger USB drive (prob. a larger Game Gear drive, since I prefer to use official/licensed products) or an external SSD drive.  Seagate Game Drives go up to 6 or 8 tb.  Seagate also makes an external SSD drive for the Series X, but the largest size is 2 TB and the cost is $380.  

Space is going to be a huge issue for me no matter what.  At the moment, I'm thinking a large USB drive makes the most sense.  For both Xbox and PS5, I've been using USB drives to store PS4 and Xbox One and older games, then moving them to the console's internal storage when I'm ready to play a particular game.  Not too fussed about time spent swapping games between USB drives and internal storage, but I do want to play even older games off the SSD so I get max benefits from loading times and such.

One thing I'm wondering about but can't find the answer: can you use more than one USB drive at a time?  Console has multiple USB ports but I don't have a spare USB drive to plug in (all of mine are in use and I'm not wanting to reformat any of them just to test a theory).

Thoughts or suggestions?  Thanks.

Are you making the best use of your system tools?   You know that S/X can clean up leftover game add-ons, uninstall optional content, and compress XB1 games, right?

I'd take stock of my XB1 library and use those tools to housekeep as much as I could before investing in external storage.

I'd also uninstall everything that I did not feel was essential.   If you want to revisit some game at a future date, retrieve your save data from the cloud and reinstall the game from media or from MS Store.

I personally would be fussed about USB swapping as a cold storage solution where you maintain your game library offline in volumes stored on separate USBs might be more economical and efficient than your current hot storage set-up where you have everything hooked up to give yourself immediate access to your entire game library that is stored on multiple TB drives.

If the convenience of access is more important to you than storage efficiency, you have sorta answered your own question as to what to do and all that is left to do is to commit to the expense of purchasing another TB drive.. but at least you are throwing good money after good and the extra storage will help you maintain the hot storage solution you already employ and seem to be happy with maintaining.

Usually when someone asks for advice, they are actually looking for someone to validate the decision they have already made.  Do what you feel adds the most value and synchs best with your preferences.. That is usually the best way to go.  if you are pleased with the end result of your decision then the money spent to achieve it was a good investment.

Edited by J.T.
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1 hour ago, J.T. said:

Are you making the best use of your system tools?   You know that S/X can clean up leftover game add-ons, uninstall optional content, and compress XB1 games, right?

Lol, what do you think I am?  Some sort of luddite?  Actually, I read about those features before I got the console, but promptly forgot about them.  I did a little reading a few minutes ago and I'll check out those features over the weekend.  Thanks.

 

Quote

I'd also uninstall everything that I did not feel was essential.   If you want to revisit some game at a future date, retrieve your save data from the cloud and reinstall the game from media or from MS Store.

I feel like the sensible thing to do would be keep whatever I can on the space I have (internal storage + expansion card) and re-download games and saves from the cloud and MS store as necessary, but I kinda like having everything I bought at hand.  Same reason I don't sign up for Gamepass or PS+.   Feels too much like renting to me.  It's an illusion, of course.  Digital games won't last forever.  Sooner or later, something will happen to cut off access - maybe even something as simple as an XBL outage.  But it makes me feel better, lol.

 

Quote

Usually when someone asks for advice, they are actually looking for someone to validate the decision they have already made.  Do what you feel adds the most value and synchs best with your preferences.. That is usually the best way to go.  if you are pleased with the end result of your decision then the money spent to achieve it was a good investment.

Less validation and more a desire to see what I'm overlooking.  I'm well aware I am a bit of a luddite and don't always have a good grasp of some of these issues.  I know enough to know I don't know enough, if that makes any sense.  And I was right in this case.  I would probably have been reminded that I can compress files or remove unused components (multiplayer) from some games. but maybe not.  So I appreciate you pointing that out.

Thanks.  You made some good points I'll need to think about.

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Posted (edited)

I am never going to live down that luddite thing, am I?  I am old and dumb and cranky.

I am happy to see that a bit of system maintenance could possibly be the answer to your storage problem.  The simplest solutions are usually the best.

And yeah, something as simple as shitty hotel wifi and downstream internet outages would keep you from accessing digital game services while you are away or at home, so your hot storage system is the best solution for your gaming habits.   You had 99.99% of your question already answered. 

Since you have a good grasp of which games you actively play and which ones sit on a shelf until you have an aha moment and revisit them again, you still may want to investigate some sort of cold storage archive system and offload those games from your hot HDDs to archive USBs.

And about once every couple of months I'd run system tools to optimize storage space, even if I only recaptured a gig or two.

Edited by J.T.
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56 minutes ago, J.T. said:

I am never going to live down that luddite thing, am I?  I am old and dumb and cranky.

I was joking.  No worries.  I've been called far worse.

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Some of the most serious things a person can say comes in the form of a joke.

I should be able to offer advice without adding insult and I can never tell when my tone could be seen as condescending or mean.  I am sorry if I offended you with prior comments

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In my quest to fill time before Mass Effect comes out in a week but not start anything big - I decided to give Cities Skylines a whirl

God I fucking forgot how fucking needy people are.

I am sure you want clean drinking water. I need more than $200 to do so

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1 hour ago, RIPPA said:

In my quest to fill time before Mass Effect comes out in a week but not start anything big - I decided to give Cities Skylines a whirl

Have that one in my library.  Have a feeling I will commit hundreds of hours once I decide to play so I have held off - for now.  

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I'm clearing backlog for once!  With an actual log at times, in this case: finally decided to play Ico, which I had no actual exposure to whatsoever except for one of the Game Maker's Toolkit videos that describes it.  I'm not sure I'm as high on it as he was.  Granted, it's literally a (now) 20-year-old game that got reworked for PS3, so maybe it's just showing its age.  There's something nice about the minimalism of the game contrasting against the scope of the setting, but I could do without jerking this poor girl's arm halfway off her body for the last 5 hours.  The puzzle solving is OK but not at all great.  And it's short; I'm surprised this was supposed to be a full-blown PS2 release, but then again I never owned a PS2, so I have no good idea how long the games were for that console in the first place.  I do like the returns to settings and sense of progress, though; and fortunately, once you get the sword, the combat isn't the most tedious crap ever (just the platforming left to do that).

But it's hard to argue with what other designers have done thanks to this.  I hadn't thought about the GMTK video in a while, but as I was playing, I thought "Jesus, did From Software just copy chunks of this for the From Software Game?"  So I went back and rewatched the video (here), and, money shot: quote from the Dark Souls designer saying they did.  Figures.

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Did you get the Lightsabre? Combat is a breeze with that. Also you should probably play Shadow of the Colossus as well.

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I tried Shadow of the Colossus, gorgeous game and I dug the concept...

But man those controls are very not good.  It's too unresponsive and overly intricate for my tastes.  I might circle back to it when I tire of RE8 and ME.

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PS4 version featured an updated control scheme.  You could change back to the original layout via a menu option, irrc.

Really like both Shadow and Ico.  Shadow may be my favorite game ever.

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Posted (edited)

I have the PS3 Remastered collection of both games.  I suppose I'll get around to Shadow eventually.  It's the reason I bought the game at all, but I think right now it's just not going to grab me.

But for now, after rewatching the series again, I decided to jump back into Witcher 3.  I suppose "jump back in" is both a bit of a dig at myself and an overstatement, as I literally died during the tutorial because I wasn't expecting a 10-foot drop to fucking kill me, but it did, and I got so annoyed by it (after a friend told me, "You love the Arkham games, go play Witcher 3 next!" - yes, my friend is an idiot) that I just deleted the game.  I also had kind of wanted to play through both 1 & 2, particularly due to the Save Game carryover from 2, but having seen the Let's Plays of # 1, I'm glad I didn't bother, as I can't do keyboard & mouse controls.

But this time, I didn't fall off the ledge and finished the tutorial, and now I'm out in the world.  I just got the arsonist hung, and I guess I'll go fight some ghouls with the guy whose brother is missing later tonight. As much as I like the intricate dialogue and the amount of detail, I think I'm going to get bored sitting in some of these conversations long enough for them to play all the way out and learn what I need to know.  A part of me would rather just loaf around the area, pick a bunch of plants, and fuck up some drowners, so maybe I'll just murder things to death instead of doing quests right away.

Edited by Contentious C
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