Picture has nothing to do with this episode. Mostly, anyway.
Wait, come back!
We do mean good manga and not what you think we mean! And we also talk about a bunch of other Stuff too!
Carl and Dave talk about Cave, Nintendo’s screwups, and why Dave hates the current state of Star Citizen.
Carl and Vanessa talk about CLAMP and Tanpopo. That’s about it. No, seriously.
Also, don’t ask us where to find the fan translation of the manga because that’s actually illegal. Ask google instead.
Twain and Carl talk about buying stuff on iTunes in different countries, Japan’s hatred with Facebook, and some other stuff related to Google and how to beat Ringr’s current system.
Carl and Dave do follow up for the first time! We also mention how Nintendo is becoming a cool name again, how VR sucks, and forget what the zone order was for the first Sonic the Hedgehog game.
Carl and Dave talk about buying Japanese books and music, then about the current anime viewing landscape, and how CLAMP trolls. Also, we apologize in advance if you hear any static during playback. That is not your speakers/headphones going nuts, that’s our super-late realization our microphone is slowly kicking the bucket.
It’s already been well documented why the reception to Mighty Number 9 has been less than stellar. For those unfamiliar as to the reasons behind why this happened, here’s a good video summary of it:
So instead of repeating what everyone has done in pointing out how colossal a train wreck this game has turned into, let’s approach this fiasco from another angle.
Miyamoto. Cliffy B. Kojima. Do any of these names ring a bell to you? For those unfamiliar with them, these are the names of some of the more vocal game developers out there and considered to be some of the most influential thought leaders in this industry. Game journalists would sacrifice a lot in order to snag an interview with one of these developers, right down to being coerced into cheerleading their company’s products just to do so. This is the reason as to why sometimes you’ll hear these people being labeled as “Game Gods,” that these people are the sole driving force behind every major decision being made in the game’s development, that nobody else has the same level of creative genius that they do within their team, and that you should treat everything they say to the lowly journalist they bestow their wisdom upon as gospel, because they are truly Gods who know how to create the perfect video game every. Single. Time.
But Mighty Number 9 has proven that this label is false and shattered the illusion to the point that it’s futile to try and hide the real truth ever again. And while game designers and programmers who’re singled out by the press do play a big role in whatever games they’re working on, their impact when they leave the company they’ve helped make successful is sometimes not as devastating as you think it might be. So here’s a few examples of what I’m talking about:
You’ve probably heard of this guy if you were there at the beginning of Team Ninja’s inception. His team was responsible for keeping Tecmo relevant and in the black with their Dead or Alive series.1 Itagaki left Tecmo right before they merged with Koei, but Team Ninja’s doing fine without them; Dead or Alive 5 feels a lot less clunky than its predecessor, and Itagaki’s first game didn’t make that much of a splash despite getting preferential treatment from Nintendo so it could be a console exclusive for the Wii U.
This guy is kind of not fair to use since he’s had such a huge influence behind Blizzard Entertainment’s game development philosophy. Basically he’s the reason why the company has a culture of being open to feedback from fans and showcasing all of the balance changes they’ve implemented in the latest patch for their games. However, he was not the lead designer for Starcraft II, nor Hearthstone, or even Overwatch, 2 and well, look how the latter two ended up.
Jason West and Vince Zampella
These two were the former founders of Infinity Ward, that company responsible for all of those Call of Duty Games. In a way, their personality was similar to that of Keji Inafune, except instead of leaving their parent company to form another one, then get a kickstarter project rolling and end up with 4 million dollars in the bank to squander it all, their first order of business was to sue their parent company for not letting them do whatever they want, despite already being so well off in life that they have more money than they know what to do with.3 Also, do I really have to explain the current state of Infinity Ward ever since those two guys were kicked out of there over half a decade ago? I really don’t have to, right?
This “Game God” mentality needs to stop. Yes, these people are way better than we are in knowing what it takes to make a good video game, but just because they’re better doesn’t mean they’re infallible, and Mighty Number 9 is the perfect example of why putting blind faith in these so-called “Game Gods” is never a healthy idea.
Dave and Carl talk a little bit about mobile gaming. Well, more like, handheld gaming.
Nothing much else to say about this other than to check out our Facebook page since Dave should’ve posted the follow-up to some of the stuff we talked about on this episode. Hopefully he did do something about it.
There aren’t that may serious RTS developers left in the world. Only three remain standing- Relic, Blizzard, and Creative Assembly.1
Strangely enough, nobody cared when they had a sneak peak of Dawn of War 3 at E3 2016. I’m guessing the reason why is because it was a pre-alpha build that players couldn’t interact with, and I’m usually wary of any version of a game that doesn’t have a public playable build yet. However, I did find something amusing about one of the design decisions made about the game based on what Eurogamer covered:
Relic Entertainment’s strength over Blizzard is that their RTS games always looked a lot better.2 While they went for a more realistic art style with Dawn of War 2,3 they chose to use brighter colors and simpler unit model designs for this entry, which is not what you’d typically use to emphasize the grim darkness of the far future. The reason given was it’s easier to discern information with brighter colors and simpler designs, especially when there’s a lot of action happening on the screen at once and you need to make that split-second decision that will either make or break your army.
Of course since Blizzard hired all of the top-tier RTS talent over a decade ago, they already figured this out, which explains why they did it for Diablo III despite it being just as grimdark as the Warhammer 40K series.
Based on what I’ve heard about the game so far, they’re going back to their Dawn of War 1 roots, which got me interested in this. My only concern is if they’ll bring back all of the other factions from the first game, since what really disappointed me about Dawn of War 2 was that they never brought back every single playable army from the tabletop game.4