Spawn On Me Episode 41: Holidays & Hashbombs

Evan Narcisse couldn’t make it but the Brookago doesn’t beat to just one drum!  Kah & Cee talk Playstation Experience, UNICEF’s entry into gaming & the fallout from the Game Awards! Plus you find out that Kah believes in Shaq & Cee believes himself to be adept in stupid human tricks! Plus we talk #IDARB!!! Also we tell you where & when you can meet us. Also, we have a contest?!

MUSIC BREAK

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SHAQ HAD A DOPE ALBUM!

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#IDARB HALL OF HEROES STARRING US!

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Don’t Forget to Follow Us

@stubbystan@kahjahkins@spawnonme@spawnpointblog @dantherobot

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Get It Right: Go Simple With The X-Men

Those of you old enough to remember filling arcade cabinets with machines probably have at least a handful of games that you couldn’t stop playing. For some, it was all about getting the high score on Ms. Pac-Man or Galaga while other flocked to the competitive nature of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. But for me? It was all about the beat-’em-ups, particularly those in the comic book realm. While Punisher remains a classic and close to my heart, I have especially fond memories of playing the X-Men arcade game for hours on end. It’s with that in mind that I have to ask: Why haven’t we seen another game like that starring Professor X and his crew of mutants?

In addition to recently thinking about the arcade game, I have not been able to get the awful taste of X-Men: Destiny out of my mouth since playing it three years ago. It was just an absolute mess of a video game that should have never left the developer’s studios, which is actually something that Kotaku covered in depth in this article. For those unfamiliar with it, though, X-Men: Destiny attempted to fall into the category of action-centric role-playing games, which would have been fine had it been executed properly. Instead, we were left with button-mashing madness that wasn’t even reminiscent of what can make button-mashing games fun. It really just tried to do too much.

Maybe, then, the best thing potential X-Men game developers can do is keep it simple. What’s funny is that there have been well-crafted X-Men games in the past few years, just not on a console! As seen here, slot developer Playtech was able to successfully integrate scenes and imagery from the first X-Men film to create a unique and fun take on an otherwise sterile gaming experience. It’s simple, sure, but that’s kind of the point of slot-styled game, right? Of course—but it’s that simplicity that needs to carry over to full-fledged console versions of titles based on the classic Marvel franchise.

Stop trying to give us over-the-top games where the graphics and appearance are top priority. The focus needs to be on what made those aforementioned classic games so memorable: the gameplay. Ditch the nonsense and go for something straightforward. Then, and only then, can developers even attempt to try a more complicated approach. After all, retro games have had a hell of a year, what with Shovel Knight recently winning Best Indie Game at the Game Awards, per this tweet from Nintendo.

Why can’t we just get something like this year’s X-Men mobile game, Uncanny X-Men: Days of Future Past, on a console? I can’t even imagine how quickly it would get eaten up by people with some money to spare on Nintendo’s eShop, the Playstation Network, or Xbox Live. It’s a shame that the best X-Men game around is only available on your smartphone but hey, at least we have that, right? Superman fans, on the other hand…

*This is a guest post written by Paul Donegan. Paul is an avid gamer and freelance blogger. In his spare time, he enjoys hanging out in his local comic book shop or rewatching episodes of The Wire.*

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Spawn On Me Episode 40: Robot Takeover

When Kahlief decides he’s too good to host the show this week we find that Daniel Moore is a more than capable replacement! Dan and Cicero talk about the latest injustices facing people of color in the real world first but then go into gaming injustice in the form of preferential treatment of certain gaming outlets by certain publishers. We give you our impressions of The Crew along with our impressions of The Game Awards. Plus, much more…

 

 

Don’t Forget to Follow Us

@stubbystan@kahjahkins@spawnonme@spawnpointblog @dantherobot

If you like what we are doing let us know by subscribing to us on SoundcloudiTunesPodomatic, and Stitcher!

Send all email/feedback: feedback@thespawnpointblog.com

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The 5 Ways The VGX’s Shot Themselves In The Foot….Again

The VGX awards were held last night in LA, and per host and creator Geoff Keighley’s Twitter feed we were supposed to be treated to a “very different” show than the ones we’d gotten in years past. Unfortunately, very different didn’t necessarily equal out to an enjoyable or interesting three-hour TwitchTV broadcast. Here are 5 reasons why we think they might need to go back to the drawing board.

1. HIRING PEOPLE WHO DON’T CARE ABOUT VIDEOGAMES.

I’m starting to really feel bad for Geoff Keighley at this point. I think he’s extremely smart and passionate about games, I mean who would go through the trouble year after year to attempt (and fail) at creating the “Gaming Emmys” for an audience that really doesn’t want it and “hosts” that sabotage you at every turn.

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Joel McHale from Community and The Soup, has the quick wit and snark that lots of gamers would be comfortable with but it seemed like last night all that was gone. A phoned-in co-hosting gig with a person who you could tell didn’t want to play along. His body language and off-topic, tourette-like interjections seem to undermine everything Keighley was trying to accomplish this year. You could even see that the very buttoned up Gametrailers host at times let his frustration creep in when he had wrangle the show back on course.

2. TRYING TO BE “HIP”

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Tyler The Creator and friends…….should never have been there. They should have been drug tested and kicked the hell out before stepping on set. Again: if you want people to take the VGX’s seriously you must have people on camera who want to take your event seriously. Sure, Tyler and crew might play games, but if every other word out of their mouths is an incoherent bleep-bloop about cheese, hookers or something that has nothing do with the segment you are supposed to be introducing, then they shouldn’t be involved.

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It feels like the producers either didn’t do their homework or they were all backstage crapping their pants every time they cut to Tyler the Creator and his crew of malcontents. It was cringe-worthy, sad, and bad television.

3. “DOING IT LIVE!”

If you are doing a three-hour show, you either need bigger games to show OR more gameplay of the games you are showing. Dying Light and Broken Age were cool to see running but besides that there were no other live demos shown. The audience wants to see the games and only the games. The surrounding fluff feels disingenuous and panders to people who don’t care about gaming at all.

The production was all over the place with hosts missing cues, lighting and cameras not being on or on their marks. The show came off in an unprofessional manner. You want it all to seem off the cuff, but shirtless is a different thing altogether. Also, does the show need to be this long? You could totally condense that show down to a 45 min livestream and hit all the marks while not boring folks to death. IF the VGX’s continue, hopefully Keighley and crew will take that time into consideration.

4. THIS AND THIS

 5. NOT COMING WITH THE GOODS

With the exception of No More Sky and Broken Age, there wasn’t much meat on the bone for folks to really be that excited about. Sure the new Titan types were interesting but that was akin to showing off different classes in any shooter. Telltale–who I love–had some announcements but they were small and not very detailed. Nintendo did what Nintendo did although the interaction between Geoff and Reggie is always funny. But at the end of the day it didn’t feel like there was much to call or text a friend about and that was disappointing–especially because that is what this show is supposed to be for.

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Another VGA/VGX has come and gone and all the hope that we might have had for a bigger, better awards show seems to have let me down again. If feels like another case of two steps forward, one fall into a pit of spikes (no pun intended) or at least another year of waiting to be sadly disappointed yet again.

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Bioshock Infinite Spoilercast

Bioshock Inifnite in my opinion is one of the best games I’ve ever played. It has sparked so much interesting conversation about a multitude of different subjects that we had to sit down and try to figure it all out. I was lucky enough to have Martin from the SuperJawnCast and Shareef from Shareefjackson.com with me the other night to try and tie up all the loose ends and it was a whole bunch of fun.

We break down likes and dislikes and towards the end get into all of the juicy spoiler-rific bits. There aren’t any spoilers for the first hour or so.

Check how it all went down here and let us know what you thought in the comments:

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#UN-OccupytheVGA’s

Last night some of the Character Select crew and I watched the Spike VGA’s and did what most gamers do when they watch the show. We yelped, balked and bemoaned the awfulness that is the VGA’s (Listen Here). It’s not like we didn’t know going in that it was going bad, in the best case scenario we hoped that after the semblance of promise last year’s show had would carry over and possibly they could improve. It looks like again we all got teabagged.

I will make this post short and sweet, what we want is to let the developers speak to their fans. I only half jokingly said during the opening monologue “Wouldn’t it be awesome if David Jaffe hosted the show?” After his awesome PAX Prime keynote this year, I think any gamer worth his/her salt would agree. Why would he or someone of his ilk be better you ask? Because Jaffe even when he is in the middle of a incoherent cuss laden tangent is ten times more entertaining than seeing Will.I.AM or a Jonas brother tell you what trailer is coming up next. We aren’t idiots, most of us at this part in our gaming lives are adults who understand what Spike is trying to do and see right thought it. Ask G4 TV where there gaming audience went after they went for the lowest common denominator, we know where they went; anywhere but back to their channel. We also know that the content that we’ve all come  to see (the trailers) in total would take about thirty minutes from start to finish, that leaves us with another half and hour of nothing but filler. Not even awesome filler, nonsense Augmented Reality scenes, unfunny gamer jokes and half-assed award presentations. I would have loved for the guys at WB to get their due for bringing Mortal Kombat back from the dead or Mark Hamill do his Joker on stage and not in CG form but instead of that we get Felicia Day playing real like Fruit Ninja and terrible I love Lucy sketches.

What we need to do at this point is not watch it,  we need to Un-Occupy the VGA’s.

It’s the only way folks like Geoff Keighley and the execs at Spike will understand that this is not what we want or need. If you want to “mainstream” gaming this isn’t the way you do it. You don’t put people who have no vested interest in showing gaming and gamers in a good light front and center at what some would say is big night for our form of entertainment.

I would really like to hear from you, tell us your thoughts on what you saw. Was there anything that you liked about the show? Absolutely hated? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.

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