The TBoD Podcast – Beyond Two Souls Spoilercast

Hello Entities,

Quantic Dream produced a hell of a game in Beyond Two Souls, in this episode we tell you why we liked it an especially spoilerific way.

If you haven’t played it and you are going to, don’t listen. If you never will then give it a listen, I can’t promise you will be any more enlightened by the end of it.

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TBoD Podcast – 36 – Xbox One Launch Fapptacular

Holla amigos.

The TBoD boys are once again babbling about the latest gaming news in a week that has seen the most press covered launch since Atlantis’ final trip to ISS other topics include; GTA online and it’s first batch of DLC content, exciting news about a PS4/vita bundle heading to the UK, trouble across the board in server-town with Dice’s ultimate FPS BF4, TLoU, Bioshock Inf and the other usual suspects line up for another award ceremony, the Dice summit set to put the gaming world to rights, Telltales new Game …. of Thrones?

As always if you think we rock or suck let us know in the comments, the facebook and the twitter.

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Stay tuned for more content this week as Quim and ‘menko are all set to join the next gen by Friday.

Xbox. Think of witty post title.

Hello! I’m Dave, I’m pretty new to TBoD. I took a leap out of the shadows (and work frankly) to go to the #XboxOneTour that was on last week in Dublin, Ireland. I managed to play the Xbox One and it’s biggest titles. This is how I got on.

The Venue

Xbox Ireland kindly had the event in a proper theatre, this one in fact – The Ambassador. With the upstairs filled with FIFA 14 and Killer Instinct and the downstairs with the rest. Silly me thought it was a free bar but hey, Heineken at least do have Xbox green bottles!

The Console:

Whisper quiet while being in a plastic case, the Xbox One really didn’t struggle with a stuffy room and no real ventilation to speak of. In terms of accessibility of ports, it doesn’t fare as well of any of the 360 designs with only one port accessible on the side of the console. You won’t want to be plugging your XB1 controller directly into this console. The bind button is an odd inclusion due to Kinect being able to pair controllers, maybe this is a sign of a kinect-free bundle in the future?

The console itself really does remind me of a VCR but only in size, it’s really meant to disappear into the background. In the future, with Kinect, voice control, wireless accessories and digital game downloads this may be the first console you really won’t have to touch. You probably won’t want to touch it either; it is a total fingerprint and dust magnet.

The Controller:

For a controller that’s had ‘reportedly’ $100 million spent on it, I struggle to see where. The battery pack never bothered me on a 360 controller, and truth be told I never went back to a 360 controller after the event so I can’t say how big a difference it makes but it is certainly a more comfortable controller, mostly down to the soft and grippy finish it now has.

While everything still feels ‘just right’, the only big improvement I noticed is the triggers. There is a recurring and noticeable theme emerging with the Xbox One and that is logical decisions that seem unimpressive on paper but are just huge game changing things when you experience them. These triggers (when used properly by games) can really immerse you, driving around a track and being able to tell when you’re losing grip, when you’re hitting grass just by the feeling in each trigger is truly amazing and trumps any other Xbox One or PS4 controller feature I’ve had a chance to use. However, this wasn’t noticeable in any other game I played, another sign of potential to come I think.

Quick pro-tip, no more wired only controllers! Just plug a micro USB lead from your Xbox One into your controller and you’re good to go!

The Kinect:

I’ve only had a brief hands on with the Xbox One’s Kinect and it wasn’t used in a navigational capacity so I can’t comment on that functionality just yet. However, I can say from playing Kinect Sports Adventures that they are accurate enough. I’m not totally sold on them though, as it struggled to cope with 4 people playing Just Dance 2014, mixing up our characters and generally not working well. I won’t pass judgment though because it was in extreme circumstances, I’m sure it performs better at home.

The last game I got to use Kinect with was Battlefield 4, and it was very gimmicky. Although the ‘peek’ motion did work, it takes too long to kick into when you’re playing a 60 frames per second FPS. It doesn’t feel natural so I doubt that will be used too much. It does show that Kinect is being taken more seriously by game developers. Looking back to the first gen Kinect, you can see it will be used more, and maybe will finally fulfill it’s potential first shown in the Project Natal videos.

The UI:

The ‘Xbox One Interface’ or whatever Microsoft are calling it today (one rep referred to it as ‘Xbox Metro’ which even I knew was incorrect) is actually fantastic. While I haven’t’ had much time to play with it (I was told to not do that by reps) it switches insanely fast. Not that much different from the Xbox 360 dash but far far more streamlined. Pins look like they will finally be useful, and there is less advertising. Coming from advertising person, I oddly find it refreshing, you’re paying £40 a year for a service, ads shouldn’t be plentiful like they were on the Xbox 360.

Standout Games:

I’m only really going to talk about the most important games of the show in-depth. Here is a quick rundown of the games that didn’t stand out for me. Just Dance 4 is fun but clunky with more than 2 players. Kinect Sports was dull by the end of three laps. Lococycle reminded me of a weird and badly made Spy Hunter. Peggle 2 was AMAZING (but still… Peggle). Zoo Tycoon was adorable but sadly sat mostly unplayed for the entire evening.  I didn’t play Fifa 14.

Battlefield 4

BF4 is possibly the only multi-platform game I’ve played that has had a very noticeable benefit from moving to next-gen. 60 FPS (frames per second that is, not 60 First Person Shooters because that would be ridiculous) really does make a difference.

However, my only gripe is that the map we had at the demo was far too small to work with BF4’s controls (which are typically much more long-range), a lot of people were messing around with their sensitivity settings. This isn’t something you’d want to be doing during a limited time demo. The sound in BF4 really stands out too, most notably when my friend who came with me to the Xbox One Tour event laughing as I recoiled from an explosion. That’s immersion folks!

Call of Duty Ghosts:

Call of Duty Ghosts with shinier graphics.

Dead Rising 3:

Probably the demo with the most issues, Dead Rising 3 struggled to impress though a flawed demo. The demo itself had no objective bar kill zombies, which I found led to 10 minutes of aimlessly getting killed. The game does have a great sense of panic with the standout moment being seeing about 300 zombies in front of me, darting onto a truck and then killing them all with a combo of an RC chopper with knives for blades.

Its fun, but I couldn’t justify buying it for full price based on that demo. I do have to note that my friend experienced a crash during the demo so it might have been running on old code.

Forza:

The standout game of the show, Forza joined BF4 in really being the only games that felt.. worthy almost, of a next-gen title. The graphics, frame rate and the aforementioned impulse triggers really do come together to make a special gaming experience. It reminds me of the first game I played on the PS1, Gran Turismo. Just less Jeremy Clarkson for Forza 6 and I’ll be happy!

Ryse:

Pretty much the most confusing game of the show, Ryse was equal parts beautiful and engaging and disappointing. After 5 minutes, the spectacle, graphics and controls all wore off leaving a pretty repetitive game underneath.

Killer Instinct:

Very very surprising, I went into it thinking KI would be a dull F2P (Free to Play) beat-em-up because F2P isn’t fondly referred to by a lot of people. After playing it, I’m a convert, even though it had shocking graphics (as in, if it were 360 I’d be asking questions) the gameplay is quick, responsive and everything you could ask for in a Friday night after the pub game.

To sum it up, this was my Xbox One pre-order before the #XboxOneTour

  • Xbox One Console
  • Play and Charge Kit
  • 12 Month Membership
  • COD Ghosts
  • Ryse
  • Dead Rising 3
  • FIFA 14 (free with console)

After the #XboxOneTour it is now:

  • Xbox One Console
  • Play and Charge Kit
  • 12 Month Membership
  • COD Ghosts
  • Just Dance 2014 (I know.. I know..)
  • Battlefield 4
  • Forza Motorsport 5 (free with console)

In conclusion:

The Xbox is full of logical decisions that really do make you wonder “Why haven’t they done this before?” such as impulse triggers, snapping (I got IE up and it was surprisingly good) and probably tons more I haven’t had a chance to play with. These include features such as voice, the One Guide and more.

Ultimately, the Xbox One is a university graduate. It has worked hard during the original Xbox days to build a solid foundation. It had a fair few problems during it’s teenage years (RROD for one) and is now just about finished college, ready to step into the big world of work.

The Xbox shows real flashes of brilliance, smart thinking and potential, except that potential is yet to be demonstrated fully. Hopefully over the next few years the Xbox finally combines set-top boxes, apps, games into one and really delivers on the promise of a ‘Home Computer’ envisioned a long time ago by Microsoft.  From what I’ve tried, the Xbox One really is just a better version of the 360 at the moment. For me, on day one? That’s good enough.

The TBoD Podcast – 35 – PS4 Launch Jizzsploshion

Another week, another TBoD podcast. Our new permanent line up stretch their vocal chords talking about;

The DRM debate that has escalated due to Sonys new ToS,

a touch of class from MS in the console war,

Crinbot and eremenkos excitement over a potential new Fallout game,

all the excitement and troubles of the PS4 launch,

and in our “we called the dog … ” section we highlight “Obduction” the new title from the creators of “Myst” and “Riven” which has smashed it’s kickstarter goal.

Have a little listen, let us know what you think by commenting below, tweeting us, hitting up our facebook page or leaving a review on iTunes.

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The TBoD Podcast – 34 – Pride & Extreme Prejudice.

Sup,

Its that time of week again where we regurgitate news stories and say what we really think, if indeed we think anything at all.

We cover the spectrum (not the ZX) in this episode, from the reception of CoD Ghosts to the BF4 bugs,  from WoW Weddings to Expansions, from Bioshock Infinite DLC to the fall of Blockbuster Video. We also look back at some console TV adverts from years past as well the new photos released teasing the new Mass Effect.

Stick with us because we also have a bit of a chat about a horror game that learns the best way to scare you and some Jane Austen video games! You won’t hear that on any other podcast, trust us.

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TBoD Picks: Top Bad Guys in Video Games

Happy Friday ladies and gentlemen. For this week’s post, we’ve been indulging our darker sides. Everyone loves a good bad guy and we’re no different. Rudimentary creates of blood and flesh; let me present some of our favourite video game bad guys!

Crinbot

Darth Malak – KotoR

Darth Malak

No bad-guy list would be complete without at least one Sith Lord, of which Darth Malak is arguably the epitome. His appearance is as dark as they come thanks to his imposing height, the tattoos adorning his shaven head, and his prosthetic jaw covering the horrific ruin of the original sustained whilst fighting Revan. These features enhance his dark persona and go some way to demonstrating the burning dark energy at his core. Once a Jedi Knight, his path to the dark side was started when disobeying a Jedi Council edict during the Mandalorian wars along with his friend and mentor Revan. After betraying Revan and taking the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith, Malak continued to wage war against the Republic and Jedi, destroying the Jedi Temple on Dantooine, and the planet of Taris.
His end, however, raised questions about his character. After in intense lightsabre duel with Revan the two spoke in one of the greatest death scenes of all time:

Malak: “Im… impossible. I… I cannot be beaten. I am the Dark Lord of the Sith.”
Revan: “This is the way of the Dark Side, Malak – all things end in death”.
Malak: “Still… still spouting the wisdom of the Jedi, I see. Maybe there is more truth in their code than I ever believed. I… I cannot help but wonder, Revan. What would have happened had our positions been reversed? What if fate had decreed I would be captured by the Jedi? Could I have returned to the Light, as you did? If you had not led me down the dark path in the first place, what destiny would I have found?”
Revan: “I am sorry I started you on this path. But you chose to continue down it.”
Malak: “I suppose… I suppose you speak the truth. I alone must accept responsibility for my fate. I wanted to be Master of the Sith and ruler of the galaxy. But that destiny was not mine, Revan. It might have been yours, perhaps… but never mine. And in the end, as the darkness takes me… I am nothing.”

Loghain Mac Tir – Dragon Age Origins

1714684-loghain

In my gaming life, no other video game character evokes as much hatred, scorn, and ill-will in me as Loghain. In the Human Noble Origin story, Arl Rendon Howe, acting under the direct orders of Loghain, lays siege to House Cousland and murders Teyrn and Teyrin Cousland, as well as their daughter-in-law and grandchild. Not long after, Loghain betrays King Cailan in the battle of Ostagar. Later in the game, after being bested by the Warden, Loghain attempts to join the band of misfits in their quest to unite Ferelden, I think you can probably guess what I did…

Eremenko

Dr Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog

Robotnik

The evil persona of Dr. Robotnik, which was borne from one of Ivor Kintobor’s many scientific experiments, was the very first console villain. An evil so odious that his very shape matches that of the rotten egg he has become. His badness knows no bounds and he will stop at nothing to destroy Sonic, steal the Chaos emeralds for himself and take control of the planet Mobius.

Sephiroph – Final Fantasy VII

Sephiroth

The best baddies often start life as heroes and Sephiroph is the ultimate example of that. The most well-known and admired of Shinra’s elite SOLDIER, Sephiroph was the idol of many young boys and the inspiration behind Cloud’s decision to join up with the private militia of Midgar’s most wealthy and influential corporations. Once he learns the manner of his conception and the experimental creation which made him the ultimate super soldier , Sephiroph loses his mind and will stop at nothing to return the planet to what he believes is its rightful state…. devoid of all human life.

Ganondorf – The Legend of Zelda

Ganondorf

Ganondorf is Link’s greatest enemy and he will be forced to defeat him time and time again throughout lifetimes and universes. Ganondorf has been a blight on the kingdom of Hyrule. His towering stature is enough to send lesser heroes fleeing to the hills but Link will never shirk his responsibility and will forever stand against Ganondorf’s constant attempts to steal the tri-force and the power it contains. Usually a pretty one-dimensional enemy, Ganondorf’s motives are often unclear but he’s the type of enemy where you don’t need to be told that only badness can befall if he is successful in his schemes.

Albert Wesker – Resident Evil

Wesker

Wesker ….. just the name is enough to anger fans of the Resi series. Former head of the S.T.A.R.S unit Wesker was once Jill and Chris’ superior. During the operation at the mansion in the Arklay mansion, Wesker reveals his true colours and it turns out he has been working for the Umbrella corporation the whole time. His scheming almost gets the entire bravo team killed and more importantly, he forced poor Barry Burton to help him hide his secret from his friends. A purely evil bastard Wesker will do anything in his pursuit of power. Luckily during Chris’ final battle with the Tyrant Wesker is killed ….. or is he?

Quim

Solomun Grundy – Batman: Arkham City

Solomon Grundy

The epitome of menace, Solomon Grundy’s outward appearance is as huge as it is grotesque. Grundy, originally known as Cyrus Gold, came into being after being tortured to death multiple times and brought back to life in a Lazarus Pit by Ra’s Al Ghul. Driven insane and having forgotten his past he finally escapes, only to be captured by a circus and given his name. This giant was a really tough nut to crack in Arkham City and his story is one of the darker tales in the Batman mythos, definitely a bad guy that has stuck in my mind in recent years.

David – The Last of Us

David

For me David is an extremely memorable “bad guy”for two reasons, his sinister nature as a character and the circumstances that this man was borne from. At first sight the acts that David and his group committed in The Last of Us were both shocking and barbaric. However when you consider the reasons behind his decision to lead his group down such a monstrous path, decisions driven by desperation, David becomes possibly the most complex villain to grace a video game. With that said it takes a certain mindset to commit these acts and David must have had that killer instinct buried deep inside, something you can immediately see in his eyes and the quiet menace in his voice (Nolan North does a great job). Gameplay wise, the battle between Ellie and David was one of the most intense experiences I had this year, all this makes David a must as one of my best bad guys.

Did we miss anyone out? Who are the characters you love to hate? Tweet us @TeabagOrDie, send us a message on Facebook here, or comment below.

The TBoD Podcast – 33 – 1080 Peed Off

Alright Baggers,

This week we are joined by Crinbot on a more permanent basis to talk all about the things that Games Media have been getting hot under the collar for.

We look discuss the announcement of Season 2 of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, a game eremenko and I are really looking forward to.

We lament the ever seemingly rushed launches of each next-gen console and the fact that Titanfall will not be coming to the PS4.

The news about the differences between the consoles achieving native 1080p has added yet more fuel to the fire in this already hot console war. We voice our opinions and read out a few from some of our followers on Twitter.

Occulus Rift is something we are really enamoured with and it was recently revealed it is coming to both PC/Mac as well as Android devices, something that got us throwing heart signs up all over the place.

Internet archive did a good thing, old games through you browser, amazing.

We salute a developer who is not willing to bow to pressure and change their game just because of a little controversy

And its official, Mario Save Lives!

Let us know your thoughts on any of this or the other points discussed on the cast,

Cheers.

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