Well Played podcast: the Gerard-sounds-like-a-robot edition

It’s Sunday, traditionally the day of rest for many, but for me it’s the day that I take part in the recording of the Well Played podcast  with fellow gaming writers Julie Grey (@GamecultureNZ), Siobhan Keogh (@SiobhanKeoghNZ), Aylon Herbet (@Aylon133) and Chris Leggett (@Leggetron). This week, though, Siobhan was having a weekend-off. Cleaning her apartment apparently. Ah, huh, Siobhan, we believe that!

In today’s episode, which was the unlucky for some number 13, topics we discussed included Deus Ex Human Revolution (a game I’m enjoying more and more as I progress), Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Battlefield Bad Company 2 multiplayer, XBLA game Toy Soldiers: Cold War, the Rezurrection DLC for Call of Duty Black Ops and the Warhammer 40,000: Space Marines demo.

It feels like I talked a hell of a lot about Deus Ex Human Revolution but I really do like this game. Here’s the skinny on what it’s about (you probably know, but just humour me):  it’s 2027 Detroit, you play Adam Jensen, the chief security officer with Sarif Industries, a company that researches augments – cybernetic enhancement for humans. Long story short, Jensen comes close to death after the research facility his scientist girlfriend works at and is implanted with numerous augments to enhance his abilities as he hunts down those responsible for an attack.

As you progress you can spend experience-type points on increasing the abilities of your augments: be it cranium implants, torso, legs, eyes, arms, whatever. What is impressing the hell out of me is that you can play the game as a brutal killer, killing everyone that gets in your way (either using projectile weapons or some nifty blades embedded in Jensen’s arm implants), or stealthily, creeping around bad-guy infested complexes and buildings, hiding among the shadows and silently incapacitating enemies by knocking them out.

I also found that there are multiple routes to reach an objective and often the direct path isn’t the best – or safest – as the AI of military personal and soldiers is pretty damned good. How good? At one point I dropped a crate that I had picked up so I could crawl through a gap – and a guard around the corner heard it and came investigating. It didn’t end good for me, I can tell you.

One other thing: there’s a delightful reference to the movie Robocop in a conversation between two cops in a police station that I was skulking around – through air vents so they wouldn’t spot me. I’ve heard there are several movie references in the game.

Look, if you get the chance to play it, Deus Ex Human Revolution, do. I’d say it’s a strong contender for game of the year.

Chris and I had a good discussion about Toy Soldiers: Cold War which is a tower defence game at its core but with turrets that you can take over. Turrets range from artillery, machine guns, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns, and when you’ve killed a certain number of attacking enemy forces, you get the chance to control a Rambo-esque character that takes on the invading foes. You also get to control battery powered helicopters – useful against enemy helicopters – but they only last so long until you have to take them back to their base station for recharging.

It’s good fun.

Apparently from the half way point of the podcast,  I start sounding a little robotic – I’ve only listed for a few minutes and it sounds OK but my only excuse is that my voice synthesis augmentation (shades of Deus Ex Human Revolution there) was playing up and causing problems. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

UPDATE ON THAT: Apparently the robotic sound has been fixed by Julie in the editing process. Yay, Julie.

Let me know what you think.

Well Played podcast: the double digits edition

Yes, the Well Played podcasthas reached double digits and while I can’t claim to have been there from the beginning (I think I missed the first five episodes) I think it’s tracking extremely well. The crew – Julie Gray (@GamecultureNZ), Siobhan Keogh (@SiobhanKeoghNZ), Aylon Herbet (@Aylon133) and Chris Leggett (@Leggetron) and myself – are passionate about our gaming.

In this episode we chat about games we’re playing at the moment – Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, From Dust, The Witcher 2, Batman Arkham Asylum, Left 4 Dead 2; Why do Kiwis pay so much for their games compared to overseas, and discuss a question raised by Reagan Morris, in Wellington: Will the ever-growing consumer base for casual games have repercussions for the smaller growing core gamer user base? And if publishers are making more from casual games will they be de-incentivised to make games for the core gamers?

Oh, and there’s also a discussion about changes coming up in Diablo 3, specifically the new auction house model.

Phew, that’s enough for one week.



Well Played podcast episode nine: the about time edition

It’s been a long time between posts for Game Junkie 2.0 so apologies about that, but what we me heading to Dunedin last week then being in charge of production – and seemingly writing much of this week’s edition – of  The Press’ Box tabloid for the past four weeks it’s been a hectic few weeks.

I played few games over the past couple of weeks, apart from replaying EA’s Mirror’s Edge and some Bastion (XBLA) so for your listening pleasure here is the latest edition of Well Played podcast , the New Zealand-based gaming podcast featuring myself and fellow gaming journos  Julie  Gray (@GamecultureNZ), Siobhan  Keogh (@SiobhanKeoghNZ),  Aylon Herbet (@Aylon133) and Chris Leggett (@Leggetron).

In this week’s episode, which is episode nine,  Siobhan and Julie talk about their time with PlayStation 3-exclusive game Resistance 3, we argue which console has the best exclusives, we discuss whether Nintendo’s star is beginning to fade after poor 3DS sales and why do games based on movies generally suck.

I’ve listened to it and the only criticism that I can say is that it’s obvious that I’m talking over Skype while the others are in a room together so hopefully you don’t find it too bad.

Once again, if you’ve got any feedback leave a comment – good or bad.


Well Played podcast #8: the cold weather edition

As it has been in much of the South Island today, it was jolly miserable in Christchurch so perfect weather to catch up with fellow gaming writers Julie Gray (@GamecultureNZ), Siobhan Keogh (@SiobhanKeoghNZ) and Aylon Herbet ( @Aylon133) on the Well Played podcast, which you can find here . Our usual partner in crime Chris Leggett (@Leggetron) couldn’t make it this week.

I had very little to say today as I haven’t done much gaming this week  but we chatted about Path of Exile, a New Zealand-developed RPG from Auckland gaming studio Grinding Gear Games, Julie chats about taking part in the beta test of Call of Duty Elite, Siobhan talks about XBLA game Bastion and we talk about underrated indie games like those great ones you’ll find on XBLA and PSN.

Check it out if you want to listen to gaming podcast with a distinctive Kiwi flavour.



Well Played podcast: where I ramble a bit about games I’ve been playing

In an effort to spread the influence of me around the ethersphere (not sure if that’s a word), over the weekend I took part in the Well Played podcast, a gaming audio tour de force featuring four other New Zealand gaming journalists – NZ Gamer’s Aylon Herbet, Game Culture’s  Julie Gray, Siobhan Keogh and former Game Console editor Chris Leggett – where we discuss all things pertinent in the gaming universe, with an New Zealand accent.

Topics discussed this week included  Thatgamecompany’s new PlayStation 3 game Journey,  which is in public beta at the moment and really is delightful, I talk about my time with Shadows of The Damned, Alice: Madness Returns and Kinect-enabled Child of Eden, we ask whether a good game is good enough these days and there are some gaming gripes at the end. I didn’t really have a gripe: I just complained about my poor internet connection.

This was my third attempt to join with the podcast after technical difficulties thwarted the previous two tries but all went well this time – although I’m sure I ramble a lot. In fact, I’m sure I ramble a lot – and my nasally voice will soon get on your nerves as it does on mine. For some reason, recording equipment always manages to  pick up the part of my voice I hate the most.

Have a listen and let me know what you think.