It’s a quick and dirtless episode for Jumping the Shark #99. My work week from hell (all three days of it) precluded me from joining, but that can’t stop the rest of the crew from talking about moments in gaming they’re most thankful for from the past year. On the way, Bill delivers his penultimate chapter on the road to completing Dark Souls, Danielle dives into a board game so rare Bill has never heard of it, called Name of the Rose, and Brandon demonstrates why he’s the ultimate Batman. Join us for this last step before our big episode 100 extravaganza (in which we’ll largely do the same stuff we’ve been doing all along)!
The whole crew is back together for Jumping the Shark #98. This week Bill gives us his latest installment of Dark Souls torment, I take my first wintery steps into the world of Skyrim, Brandon goes on and on about Batman’s ball-stomping abilities (don’t ask), and Danielle makes her very own HTML 5 bowling game complete with unique ball physics and actual PBA players and season play. (I may be exaggerating.) Our topic this week is games we hated that everyone else loved (and vice-versa), as inspired by Brandon’s rather surprising dislike for Uncharted 3.
On a personal note, this could very well be my only post this week. Between a bunch of work in my inbox that I didn’t expect and holiday travel, there’s not much time for writing. So, if this is where we part for a few days I wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. Go Lions!
It’s just Brandon, Danielle, and me for Jumping the Shark 97, as The Hand was unavoidably detained by a sudden case of mono. (Not really.) This week I talk about my travails with Demon’s Souls, Danielle continues her sojourn into Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, and Brandon doesn’t really talk about much, unless, of course, you count a heaping mass of details about Saint’s Row 3. Yep, Binky is on the case and he’s loving it every minute of it, so don’t miss that!
For our topic this week we discuss gamer stereotypes, specifically how gamers stereotype each other, a subject that came up while I was watching Twitter reaction to Call of Duty release day. This is pretty much as close as this cast gets to talking Call of Duty.
So, here’s one tangent that occurred to me about this topic while I was editing that I wish we had thought to address directly: Dividing harmless stereotypes from destructive ones. You’ll find in the show that I think the whole Call of Duty DudeBro stereotype is largely both harmless and funny, mostly because it’s just so ridiculous. An audience the size of CoD’s can’t possibly be represented by a single group and even if it were, there’s too much humor in the DudeBro stereotype to not have some fun with it. At some point you have to be willing to laugh at yourself, for crying out loud.
This, however, lead into an unfortunate statement on my part in which I inferred that these things don’t matter because “it’s just games;” a premise that is ridiculous on its face and not really what I meant. After all, Danielle just held court last week with a fairly serious discussion of women in games and the stereotypes that come from that. This is a topic worthy of serious discussion as there is genuine harm that comes from some of the attitudes engendered towards women in this business, even if it is “just games.”
The question really becomes: In terms of gamer stereotyping, where is the line between what’s harmful and should be discussed and what should be dismissed as harmless and largely in good fun. When you figure out the answer to that question, be sure to let us know. I’m going to head over to NeoGaf now and make fun of nerds in thick, taped glasses who think Skyrim is good. (Actually, it probably is. I’ve hardly had any time with it as yet.)
In Jumping the Shark episode 96, Tom Chick joins Bill, Danielle, and Brandon to talk about bias in game reviews. Do you expect your reviewers to judge games without brining in any pre-formed opinions or ideas whatsoever? I really hope not, because that’s stupid, but if you do, you’ll find plenty here to yell at the gang over. I, sadly, missed this week’s show to have a couple drinks with an old college friend who was in town for the night. Don’t get me wrong, I love you people like family, but sometimes one has to have priorities. Anyway, prior to digging into the topic, Tom talks about his experiences with Battlefield 3, Bill continues his obsession with Dark Souls (to the tune of like 30 minutes of discussion), Brandon spends some quality time with Uncharted 3 and House of the Dead: Overkill – Extended Cut, and Danielle talks a bit about Kirby’s Return to Dreamland and drops some love on the HTML5 love-in that is the New Games Convention. Enjoy the show as the countdown to 100 episodes continues!
Note: We had some troubles with the iTunes link this morning, but it looks like it’s working now.
A bad hand may have sidelined The Straw here at No High Scores, but Bill can still strap on a headset, returning from the wonders of Kelly’s Island in time to join us for Jumping the Shark #95 and regale us with stories from the land of Dark Souls. After that, I discuss the frustration of Gaming Lull ’11, Danielle pushes the limit with Michael Phelps, and Brandon brings to a close his time with both Arkham City and Professor Layton and the Last Spector. Our topic du jour is about reviews and dissenting opinions. Why do people fly off the handle when their favorite game gets something less than a perfect score; as was the case with Eurogamer’s well-written and generally favorable review of Uncharted 3.
Bill was off damaging his spine at Kelly’s Island this week, but Jumping the Shark presses on with our 94th episode. This week Danielle talks about her voyage out west where she learned to ride horses and tame the wild frontier. Brandon sinks into the depths of Arkham City and emerges a kinder, gentler soul with feelings of goodwill toward all mankind (or not). And me? I reiterate my admiration for the basketball IQ of NBA 2k12 while showing utter disgust at its poor trade AI in the My Player and Association modes. After that we talk emergent gameplay with Danielle’s main squeeze, the illustrious Teresa Tuan.
Another week, another short-handed episode of Jumping the Shark, as Danielle heads back out on the road. We’re thinking of putting out a missing person’s photo, just to be on the safe side. But never fear, Bill, Brandon, and I keep the countdown to 100 episodes rolling with a show about game length. Can a game be too long, regardless of how good it is? Before that, however, Bill tells us just how punishingly hard Dark Souls is, Brandon throws Spider-Man: Edge of Time a left hook and talks about throwing robots around in Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, and I talk about my initial hours with NBA 2k12. Enjoy the show!
This week Jumping the Shark rested solely in the hands of Brandon and Danielle, and the usual high jinks ensue. (I could not focus on a podcast while the Tigers played game 5 against the Yanks and Bill was watching his daughter play volleyball. These things are important, people!) Brandon wraps up his time with Gears of War 3 and X-Men: Destiny, while Danielle is eager to tell you all about the Playstation Network game Rochard. After that, they hit up the IGeNerator, something I have never heard of, to… well, I’m still not quite sure what they were doing, but they had fun, and so will you. Enjoy!
This week it’s just the boys in attendance for Jumping the Shark #91, in which we talk about licensed games. When is a license used well? When does rigid adherence to a license hold a game back? When will Bill finally come out of the closet and admit how much he loves Warhammer? (No, really, he does. He’s just shy about admitting it. Long time listeners know this.) Along the way I explain why it’s okay with me if you screw up a big license, just so long as you don’t do it to Ultima. And Brandon? He just doesn’t want Silicon Knights doing any more X-Men games. Ever.
Before all that, though, we dig into a host of games we’ve been playing. I finally jump into the Dragon Age 2 DLC, Legacy, and for comparison, pull Origins out of the garage for a quick Sunday drive. Bill struggles to keep FIFA ’12 under control, explains why he’s stopped playing Witcher 2 to go back to Witcher 1, and also gives us a quick tease of the Game of Thrones RTS game. Brandon reveals his hatred for X-Men Destiny, his love of Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2, and then wraps up his time with Gears of War 3. Enjoy!
On a side note, soon after posting this I’m hitting the road for Detroit to watch Verlander outpitch Sebathia and the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS (knock on wood). I’m not rolling back into town until late Tuesday, so it’ll be another light posting week for me. I promise to get back to regular posting here soon. (Maybe.)
The countdown to our 100th episode officially begins here, with episode #90 of Jumping the Shark! What’s going to be special about the countdown to 100? Absolutely nothing. But I’ll bring it up incessantly anyway because it fills a paragraph.
This week Tom Chick joins us one more time as we manage to cover a rainbow of gaming flavors that includes discussion of Kirby Mass Attack, Gears of War 3, the Diablo 3 beta, Witcher 2, Renegade Ops, Bit.Trip.Complete and King of Dragon Pass. Yeah, that’s a lot of ground. After that we get into the art of reviewing the AAA blockbuster, inspired by a debate between Tom and Mr. Barnes (who was unable to join us), here at NHS, over whether or not we should expect the big-time franchises to shake up their formulas at all when releasing yet another sequel.
After the break, the embedded feed and some thoughts on sitting down in front of the mic and realizing you’re eating it…