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Episode 153 (9/28/09) - Pinball Wizards

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfLAv3JHRwY

On this week's podcast we discuss many things, like the highs and lows of multiplayer Halo, the PSP Go, Halo 3 ODST, Mario & Luigi Bower's Inside Story, Pinball Hall of Fame The Williams Collection, Cake Mania, Forza 3, Brutal Legend, Katamari Forever, Beatles Rock Band, Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2, Dead Space and so, so much more.

Thanks for listening! Don't forget to visit our new web site at www.playeronepodcast.com. You can leave us a voicemail by calling 713-893-8069 or you can send a comment via MP3 to our email address, playeronepodcast@gmail.com. Don't forget to join our forums if you haven't already!

Running time: 1:48:42

Direct download: 09_28_09-Episode153.mp3

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I bet I know the lows. :(

I'M SORRY GREG DON'T HATE ME.

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I think part of it is that objective games like flags and territories and races just don't do too well unless everyone knows the rules and maps. And we did a lot of objective games. Next time, Slayer, Team Slayer and Oddball. :)

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BTW of course, after complaining about the achievements in Pinball Hall of Fame Williams, I did manage to get one on Gorgar last night between recording the podcast and editing the show. But I still think the achievements are lame and the lack of friends list sorting in the leaderboard is just...a complete and utter disappointment.

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Furious forging is never a good idea, and I'm sorry for pushing quantity. Some potentially good maps were immediately ruined because we wanted to get them out the door in time for our get-together. That and going for a grab bag of Forge community maps without knowing how it will resonate with the group here. A fun Mongoose racing map would be useless as soon as a couple people decide that they'd rather sabotage the whole thing.

Its a conundrum because the same people always dominate slayer matches. Always. And as much as Greg would like to play the shooty-shooty, there always seems to be a majority of people that only like dying over and over for so long. The more gimmicky maps help mix things up and keep people doing something other than getting killed, but its a gamble when we don't get together very often and can't shape what's popular with the group. For example, I had no idea there was an interest in throwing some Oddball into the mix.

Broken things don't help much either.

Regardless, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed getting together with a nice big group of community members, many I had never met before. Sorry you didn't have any fun, Greg. If there's a next time, hopefully we can fix what went wrong.

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Furious forging is never a good idea, and I'm sorry for pushing quantity. Some potentially good maps were immediately ruined because we wanted to get them out the door in time for our get-together. That and going for a grab bag of Forge community maps without knowing how it will resonate with the group here. A fun Mongoose racing map would be useless as soon as a couple people decide that they'd rather sabotage the whole thing.

Its a conundrum because the same people always dominate slayer matches. Always. And as much as Greg would like to play the shooty-shooty, there always seems to be a majority of people that only like dying over and over for so long. The more gimmicky maps help mix things up and keep people doing something other than getting killed, but its a gamble when we don't get together very often and can't shape what's popular with the group. For example, I had no idea there was an interest in throwing some Oddball into the mix.

Broken things don't help much either.

Regardless, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed getting together with a nice big group of community members, many I had never met before. Sorry you didn't have any fun, Greg. If there's a next time, hopefully we can fix what went wrong.

please keep in mind that most of that bitching is me being a grouchy old man. It had nothing to do with you or the community, and everything to do with my apathy regarding multiplayer first-person shooters.

Who's up for some firefight this week? :)

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We've been kicking the shit out of Firefight all week. Make a time or shoot some IMs and we can get a squad together lickity-split. Be aware that the mode does not scale to how many players there are. Four people makes for a lot more breathing room when things start going crazy, which they will. And if you plan on playing without talking, don't expect to make it very far. Communication about enemies, weapon spawns, and pretty much everything else is really important.

Myself, probune, and a couple others took on the challenge of beating 4 sets on Heroic difficulty only to lose with just THREE enemies and terrible spawning separating us from what we sought.

Full details here, but here's a preview. And yes, that says 2 hours.

screenshot20090928at947.png

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And yes, that says 2 hours.

Ugh.

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I'll try the mode...but no effing way would I go for two hours.

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You guys have no idea. :(

But, yea, there's no set end like there is in Gears. It just keeps ramping up and up until you're out. Most of the time we set a goal, would meet it, and then would stop.

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Psssst--CJ... the previous Forza (and really every racing game since then, including PGR, NFS, and yup Gran Turismo 5 Prologue) had that racing line you love.

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Psssst--CJ... the previous Forza (and really every racing game since then, including PGR, NFS, and yup Gran Turismo 5 Prologue) had that racing line you love.

That's what makes him so adorable!

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Psssst--CJ... the previous Forza (and really every racing game since then, including PGR, NFS, and yup Gran Turismo 5 Prologue) had that racing line you love.

REALLY? Well then it either wasn't on by default or it's been so long that I forgot about it.

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CJ, did you also know that when you play on Easy that an Auto-Brake is used? All you have to do is press the gas and hold it down. You will brake for every corner no mater what. Maybe that is why you enjoyed it as well.

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Adorable!

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BTW of course, after complaining about the achievements in Pinball Hall of Fame Williams, I did manage to get one on Gorgar last night between recording the podcast and editing the show. But I still think the achievements are lame and the lack of friends list sorting in the leaderboard is just...a complete and utter disappointment.

I just think you're being overly critical of the game based on what are ultimately a couple of relatively minor shortcomings (although the leaderboard complaint is far more valid than the achievement one).

I mean, the Wii version of the game lacked both of those features, but that didn't stop it from being an excellent pinball sim. If the 360/PS3 version is the same as the Wii but in HD with extra tables, then that's good enough for me. It's like you're so disappointed by the lack of leaderboards and good achievements that you're missing the great game that you're playing. Heck, you already told someone on Twitter not to buy the game due to the lack of friend leaderboards.

What I'm saying is, don't turn into this kid:

Xbox360Kid.jpg

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But what's the point if you can't show off? :(

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8zlm55.jpg
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Is that the kid from Little People, Big world? The twin that is the Little Person?

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I just think you're being overly critical of the game based on what are ultimately a couple of relatively minor shortcomings (although the leaderboard complaint is far more valid than the achievement one).

I mean, the Wii version of the game lacked both of those features, but that didn't stop it from being an excellent pinball sim. If the 360/PS3 version is the same as the Wii but in HD with extra tables, then that's good enough for me. It's like you're so disappointed by the lack of leaderboards and good achievements that you're missing the great game that you're playing. Heck, you already told someone on Twitter not to buy the game due to the lack of friend leaderboards.

I think the lack of friends leaderboards is a pretty huge omission. If a game supports leaderboards in any capacity (as Pinball Hall of Fame does), it should support friends leaderboards. For me, that's a pretty important feature. And it's not like games having friends leaderboards is a particularly new innovation. Had I known that this game supported only overall but not friends leaderboards, I might not've bought the game to begin with. Or I would've waited until it was cheaper/on a deal. Maybe I should've waited to pick it up but hey...I like pinball, you'd gushed about the collection on PS2/Wii and I was genuinely excited about its arrival on the 360.

And again, I think the achievements in this game are just plain lazy. They're not very creative or even tell a person that does not have the game what you actually did to get them. This is kinda frustrating since the game HAS in-game goals that ARE fun to go for (as I did with Gorgar last night). But the 25 achievements in this game are split between 25 and 50 points with one 100-point achievement at the top for completing the Williams Challenge. And they're only given for accomplishing all the little mini-goals. Why not split some of them up and dole them out more evenly, or give you achievements for trying different things in the game. They already have those goals determined in the game anyway. When you can have 50 different achievements and 1000 points to spread them out with, I just think it's lazy to do what Farsight did. Just like it was lazy for the developers on Avatar on 360 to only have 5 achievements. Or Blue Dragon's achievements to be so effing hard that some people might not get any even though they played through and finished the game. And it was incredibly un-lazy and awesome to have the kind of achievements in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection that encouraged you to play and try each game going for a different ways to play each. IMO, those achievements are part of what made the Ultimate Genesis Collection a fun package (and what made that Activision collection back on PS2 really fun too).

Are these tables great? Yes. Is the gameplay great? Yeah. But retro collections have gone past that. Do I think the Namco Arcade collection on the 360 is lazy too? Yes. No achievements on that and a very bare-bones package period. I waited until there was a good Amazon deal to pick that up. I like those games but as a collection on a current-gen system of games that've been on collections in the previous generation it was very lazy. The same thing applies to Pinball Hall of Fame The Williams Collection. So as a collection package, I believe it fails. Just as in the Namco collection example, the games are great and that's not the issue. The collection is lazy.

:B

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So would you say that any retro collection on the Wii fails because it lacks leaderboards and achievements? Or do you just expect more from a 360/PS3 game?

Yes, the gimped leaderboards suck, and the achievements...well, the achievements are kinda immaterial when you get right down to it, but it's still a great collection of games. I loved playing the tables on the Wii, and I will love playing more tables in HD on my PS3. I don't need everyone else seeing what I'm playing in order to enjoy a game.

Again, I certainly understand your complaint about the leaderboards, but I think you're letting it cloud your judgment of the actual games. The achievement complaint? I dunno...I guess I just don't care about achievements that much. I'll never get many of the Rock Band achievements because they involve being good at the game on expert difficulty, but I don't care...it's a fun game. Earth Defense Force has terrible achievements (six total...five for beating the game on each of its difficulties and one for collecting all the weapons), but I don't care...it's a fun game.

I was with you on StarFox Adventures, but I can't agree with you on this one.

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Furious forging is never a good idea, and I'm sorry for pushing quantity. Some potentially good maps were immediately ruined because we wanted to get them out the door in time for our get-together. That and going for a grab bag of Forge community maps without knowing how it will resonate with the group here. A fun Mongoose racing map would be useless as soon as a couple people decide that they'd rather sabotage the whole thing.

Its a conundrum because the same people always dominate slayer matches. Always. And as much as Greg would like to play the shooty-shooty, there always seems to be a majority of people that only like dying over and over for so long. The more gimmicky maps help mix things up and keep people doing something other than getting killed, but its a gamble when we don't get together very often and can't shape what's popular with the group. For example, I had no idea there was an interest in throwing some Oddball into the mix.

Broken things don't help much either.

Regardless, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed getting together with a nice big group of community members, many I had never met before. Sorry you didn't have any fun, Greg. If there's a next time, hopefully we can fix what went wrong.

I'd like to second this. Haven't listened to the podcast yet to hear exactly what Greg mentioned, but I have to say that my favorite maps in Halo 3 are the mini-game/objective types and not Slayer/Team Slayer on stock Mythic Maps. I really dislike playing Slayer/Team Slayer unless it's matchmaking.

I kind of feel like Infection is a great alternative to that, as long as we don't do another shitty one where people have lives or something, like phone is on hold too. I want to make more of those.

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If anyone is interested in Katamari Forever, it's currently $40 on Amazon. If you use the coupon code AMZNKATA, you get an addition $5 off. Choose the free Super Saver shipping option, and you get the game shipped for $35.

It's definitely worth that price.

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So would you say that any retro collection on the Wii fails because it lacks leaderboards and achievements? Or do you just expect more from a 360/PS3 game?

No, leaderboards/friends leaderboards and achievements are not standard on the Wii (or even the PS3) as they are on 360. They're not expected features there. That, btw, is why I think I mentioned that I didn't buy Williams Collection on the Wii for exactly that reason. Because I figured eventually the game would be out on 360 and it'd support features on the 360 I consider standard. As I mentioned with Wii Sports Resort I thought it was unfortunate that they didn't have some kind of online ranking but I gave it a pass because it's not something I expect from games on that system. Since nearly every game on the 360 that has leaderboards allows you to sort by friends list I didn't even consider that this wouldn't be an option in this game.

Yes, the gimped leaderboards suck, and the achievements...well, the achievements are kinda immaterial when you get right down to it, but it's still a great collection of games. I loved playing the tables on the Wii, and I will love playing more tables in HD on my PS3. I don't need everyone else seeing what I'm playing in order to enjoy a game.

Again, I certainly understand your complaint about the leaderboards, but I think you're letting it cloud your judgment of the actual games. The achievement complaint? I dunno...I guess I just don't care about achievements that much.

Really? Didn't you use a guitar controller to get an achievement in the XBLA Golden Axe? :) And didn't you complain about developers who put in odd-numbered achievement-point achievements? It's not even clouding my judgement on the actual games, I said the games were great (and they are). But this is a collection out on the 360. If it doesn't take advantage of the features standard to the platform then I don't think it's a great collection.

I'll never get many of the Rock Band achievements because they involve being good at the game on expert difficulty, but I don't care...it's a fun game. Earth Defense Force has terrible achievements (six total...five for beating the game on each of its difficulties and one for collecting all the weapons), but I don't care...it's a fun game.

Well, what if a movie company decided it was OK to just use the same old transfer for a Blu-ray edition as they did for DVD. No real difference maybe a slight upscaling but basically the same. As someone who buys movies on Blu-ray I have a certain expectation. If the disc doesn't meet my expectations as a consumer even though I love the movie, is the release still disappointing/a failure/something I wouldn't recommend? The content itself can be great but they decided not to utilize the advantages of the format, so...you'd still think I should recommend that as a purchase even though I was disappointed by the Blu-ray release?

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Oh man CJ, I love that video.

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