Posts Tagged ‘ ps3

Episode 74 – Whatcha Playin’ 05.06.13

w56
On this episode Rich and Matt dive into their fondness for downloadable local multiplayer games with Behemoth’s follow up to Castle Crashers, Battleblock Theater, and the beautifully designed metriodvania tale of a luchador out for revenge, Guacamelee.

Steve changes the pace with what can be considered Twin Peaks – the game, Deadly Premonition. We dive into how unsettling, funny, strange, immersive, and brilliant the game can be. If it’s not the terrifying survival horror moments, it’s the fact that you need to take your clothes to the cleaners in game. Play this. We implore you.

Featuring music from Euan Lynn.

Episode 73 – Whatcha Playin’ 04.15.13

0415

It’s a Tomb Raider extravaganza!

Well, except for Rich, who brings a game called SpaceChem to our attention. A slick little puzzle game that seriously challenges our ability to think ahead and split the basic molecules that make up our living world… FOR SCIENCE!

Matt talks about the new Tomb Raider reboot and the serious issues of cognitive dissonance and severely immersion breaking habits of unrealistic scenario vs moments of protagonist doubt and introspection of violence. Aside from that he also argues that it’s a fun game. Just don’t try to take it too seriously.

Steve plays a Tomb Raider of a different stripe, Tomb Raider Anniversary, from the newly released Trilogy. There is plenty to compare between the remake of the original and the reboot that attempts to add drama to the origin story of the iconic Laura Croft.

Featuring tracks from the Noise Channel Radio Compilation.

Episode 65 – Whatcha Playin’ 02.04.13

whatcha0204
This week’s Whatcha Playin’ contains a special guest: AJBS’ very own social media manager, Jarrett Civelli. Jarrett makes it a point to talk about Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, the beautiful JRPG mashup between Dragon Quest’s Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, the animation studio of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki. What makes Ni No Kuni so great? According to Jarrett, the PS3-exclusive is the perfect blend of old-school genre feel modernized by sensible mechanics—not to mention the sweeping aesthetics, soundtrack and Ghibli-quality storyline. Well worth your time.

Steve takes on Platinum’s Anarchy Reigns, the budgetish pseudo-sequel to Madworld. There are similarities between the two, namely the comically brutal violence and chainsaw-for-an-arm protagonist Jack, but where Anarchy earns its stripes is through its bonkers multiplayer, which had Steve actually playing online (a rarity).

While it’s debatable whether or not Ron Gilbert’s new downloadable The Cave can be interpreted as an adaptation of Plato’s allegory, Rich’s reservations with it are pretty clear. For such a cool concept (seven inherently awful people are each granted whatever they most want in the world), Double Fine allowed some pretty puzzling math to slip through, though the game is at least worth a peek.

Finally Matt talks about Antichamber, a mind-bending puzzle game that can only be described as two staircases that, when taken, lead you back around to place where you started.

 
Featuring tracks by WMD.

Epiosde 63 – Whatcha Playin’ 01.21.13

whatcha0121 copy

This week’s Whatcha Playin’ features a newly rebooted IP, an intense iOS game and some retro multiplayer madness:

Rich dives into VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh‘s Super Hexagon with all its fast-paced intensity—Cavanagh has clearly not lost his touch for smart game design, nor his joy for ramped up difficulty.

Matt continues his call for gamers to dust off their old consoles for multiplayer fun with friends, highlighting the NES classics Dodgeball and Marble Madness. Many retro games have shown their age through incredibly frustrating or cheap difficulty (ahem, Ninja Gaiden), but these aforementioned two prove, as AJBS recently did with friends 2 Player Productions, that game nights can be a great way to rediscover that old school charm.

Finally, AJBS bids a sad farewell to Steve’s backwards-compatible 80gb PS3; four years and three average gaming lifetimes after the old friends met, it finally succumbed to the yellow light of hardware failure, replacing the green light that shepherded hundreds of hours of great (and some not-so-great) gaming memories. At least the denouement involved DmC, the smart and aesthetically dynamic reintroduction to Dante and his effortlessly cool demon-hunting lifestyle.

Featuring tracks by Chipzel from the Super Hexagon EP

Episode 60 – 2012: A Year in Review

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Sine Mora, Lollipop Chainsaw, Hotline Miami, Dishonored, Walking Dead, Fez, FTL
2012 is at an end, and with it, AJBS reflects back on the year in gaming: surprises, disappointments and (obviously) favorites of the year. How do yours measure up?

Featuring tracks from Ubiktune‘s Wintertunes Compilation

Biggest Surprises:
Sine Mora
Hotline Miami
FTL

Biggest Disappointments
Lollipop Chainsaw
Where’s The Last Guardian?
Dishonored

Game of the Year
Mark of the Ninja
The Walking Dead
Fez

Episode 57 – Whatcha Playin’ 12.03.12

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Assassin's Creed III, Ubisoft, Resident Evil 4, Capcom, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U

This week it’s all games—Steve plays the first part of Assassin’s Creed III‘s audacious six hour intro and talks about its place in the series timeline and mythology, morphing into a conversation about the keen eye for historical accuracy Ubisoft’s design team has, then further evolving into an appreciation of some of the smart and comparatively subversive work the triple-A publisher has been putting out over the past few years (including our love of Far Cry 2, Outland and other Assassin’s Creed games, among others).

Matt talks word games—more specifically three that have held his interest on iOS recently. These run the gamut from the fast-paced puzzle elements of Puzzlejuice to the calmer gameplay of Spelltower and the multi-player aspects of Letterpress.

Rich finally finishes Resident Evil 4, explaining why it’s been added to his must-play list—the design, visuals and, yes, even the story are all top notch for a game that came out in 2004. Wonky controls be damned!

Episuda 51 – Whatcha Playin’ 10.15.12

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Square, Final Fantasy, Ubisoft, Assassin's Creed, Nintendo, Mark of the Ninja, XBLA
On this week’s whatcha playin’, Rich outlines the Super Famicom classic Clock Tower before going in-depth with Klei’s Mark of the Ninja; Steve slights Resident Evil 6 (for reasons previously stated in episode 48) for the original Assassin’s Creed, comparing and contrasting its design flaws, setting and atmosphere; Matt caps the episode revisits an old favorite from his past in Final Fantasy IV Advance, discussing how his interpretations have changed over the years.

Finally, A Jumps B Shoots is now available through Stitcher’s mobile podcast app. Please check it out!

Featuring music by The Shortsleeves from the album In the Memory

Episode 45 – Whatcha Playin’ 08.27.12

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Animal Crossing, Nintendo, Sleeping Dogs, 2 Warriors, little scale, Square Enix, PS3, Xbox 360

This week on AJBS, Steve talks about ominous messages in Animal Crossing: City Folk and discusses how Sleeping Dogs is one of the year’s best (unexpected) surprises; meanwhile, Rich has family over and explores how to put together a good gaming session with those who don’t normally play video games.

Matt sits this one out for the sake of brevity.

Featuring music by Coova and Little-Scale from the album Two Warriors.

Episode 43 – Whatcha Playin’ 08.13.12

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Spelunky, XBLA, PS3, Xbox 360, 2K Games, Spec Ops: The Line, Heart of Darkness, iOS, 10000000
This week the discussion focuses around death—whether it’s a game that kills you mercilessly or an examination of uncertainty, AJBS explores one of gaming’s most enduring topics in this week’s Whatcha Playin’.

Rich examines his own mortality with XBLA’s Spelunky, comparing it to rougelikes of yesteryear; Steve tackles Spec Ops: the Line‘s take on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness while Matt plays the App store’s iOS RPG puzzler, 10000000.

Finally, many listeners have said they have been experiencing some problems with the donate button; the issue has been fixed and you can now donate here. Thanks to everyone who brought this to our attention.

Featuring music by I Fight Dragons

Episode 41 – Whatcha Playin’ 07.30.12

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Botanicula, Steam, Picross 3D, The Darkness II, 2K Games, Nintendo
Today’s Whatcha Playin’ is a study in predecessors: we talk about each of this episode’s games in context to its predecessors and look at how this informed our opinions on the titles in question. Rich talks about the magical plantlife of Botanicula and how it differs from the gunmetal grey land of Amanita’s previous game, Machinarium; Steve continues Jackie Estacado’s saga with The Darkness and moves on to the Darkness II (which is better?) and Matt gushes over some of his favorite puzzle games for the DS, Picross and Picross 3D. Does the third dimension add another level of engaging gameplay or horrible frustration? Spoiler alert: you won’t be able to put it down. Featuring music by I Fight Dragons

Episode 40 – Point-Counter-Point: Is Lollipop Chainsaw Any Good?

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Lollipop Chainsaw, Xbox 360, PS3, Warner Bros. Interactive, Grasshopper Manufacture, Suda 51

Frequently on AJBS, we have a unified opinion about most games. Half Life? Loved it. Dead Space? Yes please. Portal? Seconds.

Surprisingly, co-hosts Rich Lau and Steve Haske both exclaimed drastically differing views about Grasshopper Manufacture’s Lollipop Chainsaw. Hashing it out seemed like a good idea, so the boxing gloves were dusted off,  pads were strapped on and sparring commenced.

Is Lollipop Chainsaw a fun romp in a bizarre zombie apocalypse or a cloying, sloppily designed disappointment with Suda 51 seemingly trying to impersonate himself? Let us know what you think.

Featuring music by Producer Snafu

Episode 35 – 2012: A Year In Controversy (So Far)

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Scandals, Video games, Mass Effect 3, Bioware, EA, The Onion, AV Club
From slander against Japanese video game development to making game narrative a democratic process, 2012 has all ready been a newsworthy year, and we’re not quite halfway through. This week we’re joined by Rowan Kaiser of The Onion’s AV Club writ to track the year’s hot topics, scandals and conversations about the industry as observed by Twitter’s game journalist community. What will the second half of the year bring?

Featuring music by Abducted by Sharks from the album Hammerhead

Warlock: Master of the Arcane
Journey
Just Cause 2
Far Cry 2
Rampart
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings 

Episode 33 – How Games Saved my Life with Ashly Burch

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Ashly Burch, Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin', Web series How Games Saved My Life, Blog,

How Games Saved My Life is a blog dedicated to sharing people’s stories on how video games made a significant impact on their lives. Whether it was the ability to identify with an avatar, distraction from a bad situation, or helping you forget the moment you planned on killing yourself, the site features a wealth of personal stories about how gaming made a difference.

We talk with the site’s creator and curator, Ashly Burch about HGSML’s origins, where it’s going and the impact it has had.

Featuring music by Minusbaby from the album Bias

Persona 3 FES
Mass Effect 3
Demon’s Souls
MLB The Show 2012
This is the Only Level

Finally, thanks to Old Town Computers in Portland, OR for all their support.

Episode 32 – Smart Media

 

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, unwinnable, unwinnable.com, Stu Horvath, Fez, Splatters, Kill Screen, The Atlantic, Jonathan Blow
The internet has given us a forum to talk about video games with our peers on a scale that we never thought possible. While most game writing sticks to gameplay or the bottom line over in terms of recommending a game, game journalism is broadening its horizons, with some writers and outlets addressing the medium in previously unheard of ways. This week Unwinnable editor-in-chief Stu Horvath speaks with us about the rise of intelligent video game writing—and how its presence helps connect experiences with our personal lives and bridge the gap for people who don’t understand the medium.

Since we include Unwinnable among the smartest destinations for game writing, we also discuss the philosophy and origins of the site, as well as being internet friends with Phil Fish and Al Lowe and a spoiler-free talk concerning Mass Effect 3‘s ending. Prepare yourselves—adventure is upon us on this episode of the A Jumps B Shoots podcast.

Featuring music by 4mat from the album Decades

Fez
Journey
Persona 3 FES
The Splatters
Metro 2033
Diabolical Pitch

Our friends and supporters, Old Town Computers, have decided to use their space on our show to bring attention to Friends of BT, a small donation page for Brian Teirney. Read his story about his assault, shooting, and consider donating to support his family while he is in the hospital.

Episode 27 – Shut Up and Take My Money

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, GameCritics, Gamecritics.com, Brad Gallaway, Sylcmyk
The debate over buying new games versus used has an active conversation between consumers, publishers and developers for years. Yet the evidence that it’s a one-sided argument—and one that consumers don’t necessarily have a fair say in—only seems to be growing. We’re joined this week by Brad Gallaway, gamecritics.com senior editor and founder of Drinking Coffee Cola, to explore this multifaceted issue from the nature of retail systems and DLC to the concept of ownership.

Music from Sylcmyk

Aliens: Infestation
Trine
Aban Hawkins &  the 1000 Spikes
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Episode 26 – Did You Catch That?

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Michael Abbott, Brainy Gamer, brainygamer.com, Souleye
Some stories are puzzles that require time and patience. Bits of narrative may be hinted at, but not brought to the forefront. In these cases it’s our job to piece together the hidden meaning—one that requires a special type of aspirational understanding.

On this episode we invite Michael Abbott back from his podcast and blog duties at The Brainy Gamer to help us understand the purpose of aspirational reading in video games, and how it affects how we view the medium. What kind of experiences can we create through the ludo-narrative, as told by gameplay rather than what’s written? What ownership do we take of our gaming avatars, and what does that roleplaying mean? From Red Dead Redemption to Suda 51′s auteurship, the conversation results in several interesting points (and moves to some unexpected places).

A special thanks again goes out to Michael Abbott for all he does to continue a deeper conversation about video games and our perceptions of them.

Featuring music from the VVVVVV OST by Souleye


Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Kinect Disneyland Adventures
Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo
Cave Story 3D
Pushmo
Out of the Park Baseball
Stratomatic Online
Amy
Chrono Trigger

Soundtracks:
VVVVVV OST
Bastion OST
Osmos OST

Episode 24 – A Picture, A Sound, A Word

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Michael Abbott, Brainy Gamer, brainygamer.com, saskrotch
Video games seem to have an aesthetic all their own. The medium demands the creator give up direction of their works to an outside audience; so crafting the visuals, sound, dialog, and story around this constraint has built a unique approach to developing a style all their own. We Skype-in Michael Abbott, better known as The Brainy Gamer, to explore the distinct method and examples of successful constructions of video game aesthetics. We are also inviting Michael back for the next episode to get to the topic we were unable to get to – aspirational understanding of video games that demand more than your passive attention. Be sure to check out Michael’s blog and podcast at www.brainygamer.com

As always, thanks to The Punk Effect’s support.

Featuring music from Saskrotch

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream
Yakuza 4
Ash
Bit Trip

Episode 23 – Perils of Memory

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Pat the NES Punk, Pat Contri, The Punk Effect, Ralp

Have you ever returned to a game fondly remembered from childhood only to bluntly discover it’s not the masterpiece you recall? The dangers of rose-colored glasses, and how they inform our opinion and perception as gamers, are ever-present—particularly in a medium as hooked on nostalgia as video games can be. It’s the reasoning and reaction to our memories that center the discussion this week, on AJBS maiden voyage as a proud new contributor to thepunkeffect.com. And who better to christen the journey with than ThePunkEffect’s founder and veteran retro game reviewer, Pat “The NES Punk” Contri?
(Clearly, no one.)

This goes without saying, but our boundless thanks to Pat for letting us become part of the PunkEffect team.

Featuring music from Ralp

Enslaved : Odyssey to the West
Anticipation
Bastion
Aquaria

Episode 22 – PIG Squad’s Indie Game Adventure

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, PIGSquad, Portland Indie Game Squad, Chipocrite, Mechlo
In this episode we talk with Will Lewis and John Henrich, founders of the Portland Indie Game Squad, about the creation of their developer collective as well as the philosophy of what does—or does not—make a game “indie”. Whether an indie descriptor defines an actual genre, what constitutes an independent developer and the standard fifteen dollar price point are among discussion topics. (Skeletor also makes an appearance.) So, are AJBS snobs for only playing indie games? Well, maybe.

Featuring music from Chipocrite and Mechlo and the Bad Bits recorded at Micropalooza 2011

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Micropalooza album, available soon!

Game Dev Story
Binding of Isaac
Adult Swim Games
Gemini Rue

Episode 21 – Sega Scream

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Dangerous Kids, freezedream
Retro revivals are ground that must be carefully tread on. What approach can a company take when trying to make a beloved franchise relevant again while not upsetting its already-established fanbase? With the dual 2D-vs-3D gameplay styles of the 20th Anniversary tribute Sonic Generations, Sega finds themselves at an interesting crossroads—and it’s unclear what implications the latest series entry may have on the series. Jeff “Switch” Sorensen from the Dangerous Kids podcast joins us for a discussion of Sonic’s legacy, how the series is an allegory for Sega itself and how past failures have shaped the development of what we can only hope will be worthwhile future developments. Happy birthday, Sonic!

Also, a quick PSA for our Portland listeners: AJBS is co-sponsoring Micropalooza, a full day chip music festival in cooperation with Ground Kontrol and the Jupiter Hotel, on Sunday, November 20th. Details can be found on our Micropalooza blog here.

Featuring music from Freezedream

Episode 20 – Kicking Your Friends In the Face

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Best Bout Gaming, Wizwars
We here at the podcast carry on while Steve is enjoying his break in Australia. Things turn violent (not really) when we talk with Ethan Husted and Angel de la Paz of Portland’s game tourney organization Best Bout. We explore all that goes into competitive gaming, the benefits of couch gaming, how to effectively troll in Bomberman Ultra, and Angel mentions League of Legends like 50 times. Things get surprisingly friendly for a conversation about beating the hell out of people sitting next to you on the couch. Also, plenty of love for Atlus and all of the long, hard, brilliant gaming they bestow upon us. FIGHT!

Featuring music from Wizwars