Ep. 211 - George R. R. Binks the Time Sweeper


@“Geoff”#p48997 Should I read Neuromancer?

Yes. It rules.

I've had a skim through chapter 1, the mention of the yearly trip is one of the secondary characters, Julius Deane. He's REAL old and doesn't leave his house in Chiba much. Passage in the book "His primary hedge against aging was a yearly pilgrimage to Tokyo, where genetic surgeons re-set the code of his DNA, a procedure unavailable in Chiba."

@“Geoff”#p48997 Absolutely yes, but be prepared to take notes if you wanna get the most out of it. Only semi-kidding here.

I haven’t actually sat down and read _Snow Crash_ so I can’t properly disagree with Brandon’s take on its prose vs. _Neuromancer_, but I gotta say I love Gibson’s terse, poetic psychedelic-hardboiled voice in that book and think the impressionistic rather than photorealistic descriptions of technology and spaces are precisely what elevate it from clever-but-dated futuristic potboiler to something more ethereal, unsettling and ageless. Stephenson seems far less interior.


@“esper”#p48900 How do video games use spite as a motivator? (33:38)

Gacha games are not only engineered to hook whales but also to extract money from the subset of people who put inordinate amounts of time into min-maxing precisely when and where to spend money in order to get the maximum benefits for minimum spend, as if they're the ones doing the manipulating.

Re: Game of Thrones talk: I agree with Tim that the abstract plot beats of the final season - the stuff that clearly came from GRRM’s outline and not Benioff & Weiss’s interpretation - are good in theory, and a lot of the story points people complained about most bitterly, like ||Daenarys’s heel turn and Bran’s coronation|| are pretty obviously Martin’s ideas and fitting endings to their respective character arcs. The problem is the execution was so narratively sloppy that it all works on about the level of Attack of the Clones (which also has a pretty solid plot arc on paper!).

It’s kind of obvious what happened, too: Benioff & Weiss never actually thought they’d be stuck doing the final story arc themselves while GRRM bailed from the writer’s room, and their frustration shows through in how desperately they try to force different plotlines together with ever-decreasing regard for the series’ internal consistency, just to get everything tied up and over with. We end up with a plot being manhandled into endpoints preordained by the original writer, steered by completely different writers who are suddenly in uncharted terrain with no navigator. Thus you have absurd frictions like W&B’s evident disinterest in the supernatural elements of the story versus those elements’ importance in the story’s climax as envisioned by Martin - resulting in fragmented anticlimaxes for multiple crucial plotlines on the show as W&B try to split the difference. The last season and a half had the _ingredients_ to be good, but I would absolutely not call them “good” - and it’s entirely the showrunners’ fault, because they could have easily extended the show or passed the torch to someone who was willing to do so, and they didn’t.

Some of the specific complaints about the last season that went viral on social media may be misguided, but I don’t think the negativity was overblown at all. As someone who’d been following the show enthusiastically for several years, my expectations had already fallen low after the seventh season, and the second the episode “The Long Night” ended - before I went to check anyone else’s response on social media - I was already done. I went into the three remaining episodes with zero emotional investment left, only a morbid curiosity to see where the hell they were taking the thing and how much more of a mess it could become. I don’t doubt for one second that many, many other people had the same experience whether they vocalized it online or not. That ain’t success.

Anyway, I like to pronounce the author’s name “George ‘Arrrrrgh’ Martin”. Like a pirate. But also like the sound of someone dying.

Oh god I thought my days of tl;dr GoT rants were behind me, what have you done

You guys spent a whole lot of time discussing GoT references when I think the most relevant question is how many Berserk references will there be, specially after Miura‘s death. Souls and Hidetaka Miyazaki owe so much to him I’m gonna be pretty mad if there is not at least one dragonslayer buried in a rock covered in moss or something.

I might‘ve mentioned that if I had any idea what elden ring was lol. I’ve just never bothered to look at anything about it. I think I remembered during the podcast that it was a from soft thing.

@“gsk”#p49021 I have somehow intuited the tendency to hammer my brain against just about any challenge in a game to a likely self destructive degree. I spent, I think literally, 4 hours on a bonus stage in God Hand with zero special move charges to be found in the level. I came back to it at some point and got it on the first or second try. This is not an isolated incident.

I guess it's more stubbornness and sunk cost fallacy than spite, but maybe also self directed disdain.

It would take too much of my energy and be a waste of everyone‘s time to channel all my furious indignation into a defensive argument, but I must at least speak up to plead that anyone who is curious about Trico aka THE LAST GUARDIAN ignore the shameful, dismissive slanders leveled against it here. It’s on the Insert Credit Community Essential Games List, for crying out loud, right next to GAAGAAGOD HAND. Some of the most interesting level architecture in video games! Come on.

(ignore profile picture)

I liked The Last Guardian. I played it right after seeing Shin Godzilla, so once I got to the point where ||you can train Trico to shoot lasers out of his tail||, it had me

I don‘t want to disparage anyone’s trico-liking but it sure did not do anything for me, and though I defended Ueda as more than a one trick pony I sure have only liked Ico, and even at that I only liked it the first time I played it.

Being the person who bucks the trend within an environment where a trend cannot step foot in without becoming bucked up beyond all recognition actually makes you cooler than all of us with regards to The Last Guardian, @captain

The Last Guardian was sure as heck divisive in my household. I found it actively frustrating to play and any intended emotional response from the game was completely lost on me by the time I got to the end because I was simply glad for it to be over with. My housemate on the other hand played through it five times in two weeks.

If the controls hadn't been so utterly woeful, even worse than Shadow of the Colossus then it could have been a lot more fun!

My favorite forced horse death is any Super Mario World ROM hack where you keep having to jump off Yoshi to make it past the next obstacle, hurtling the dinosaur horse into lava

+1 for liking trico the man-eating dog-dinosaur


@“esper”#p48900 Warner Bros. SmashWarners

Yakko, Wakko, and Dot would actually be a pretty cool riff on Pokémon trainer.

I decided to go down the Wikipedia rabbit hole re WB properties, and there’s a gold mine here. To wit:

Free Willy
Blade Runner
The Mask
The NeverEnding Story
Ocean’s XX film series
Police Academy
Willy Wonka
Dumb and Dumber
Harold & Kumar
et al.

There’s a non-zero chance that some of these are already represented, but I will not verify this


@“exodus”#p49041 I might’ve mentioned that if I had any idea what elden ring was lol. I’ve just never bothered to look at anything about it. I think I remembered during the podcast that it was a from soft thing.

As a renowned Souls hater you are forgiven for your numerous sins, but at the very least I thought Tim and Jaffe loved those games! (Frank probably isn't into them either? I'm not sure).

Anyway, at least this is already confirmed so the game already has something going on there, but Guts' sword better be in that rock I say.


Speaking in all seriousness though, Souls games have always drawn a lot of inspiration from Miura to the point I feel his work is a definitive cornerstone of the whole thing, Souls wouldn't exist in its current form without Miura. Berserk homages are always at home in these games but given what happened to the author I personally would appreciate if they go the extra mile and include something a bit more explicit this time, like putting him on the special thanks section of the credits or something like that.

I did not enjoy TLG but I did like the ending… it seems very clear the storyline and high concept came first and most of the decade-long development was spent trying and ultimately failing to turn that into a workable game, which ended up being a super janky “Ico in reverse”. It’s a noble failure imo! I will definitely still be interested in whatever Ueda does next.

About the whole Trico situation, my experience of that game was so bizarre.

I played Shadow of the Colossus when I was fifteen and if I had to pick one game that expanded my horizons and made me look at videogames as something that could potentially produce meaningful art, it was that one. Now I don't see it as a flawless piece of art as I used to (I'm 31 years old now), but that game was so crucial and formative for me personally.

So, understandably, Trico was a huge deal for me as well and, oh my god, my experience was so completely miserable with that game the first time around. It frustrated me to tears, everything felt awkward and wrong, the camera was terrible, the framerate war jarring, the gameplay constantly made me feel not powerless (which I think was the intention) but disconnected to the whole thing, it constantly pushed me out and broke my suspension of disbelief. It was just terrible.

I had such a bad time with it it even felt wrong. The disappointment was so huge I played it for a second time immediately out of sheer disbelief, I just refused to accept the game was so bad. And only THEN, it clicked. And I know why it did, it clicked precisely because being on a second playthrough made me know exactly what to do and how to deal with each and every one of the game's problems, the ones intended by design and the ones that were not, so all the frustration and awkwardness was minimized, while all the good aspects, like the art direction, the scale, the soundtrack and the relationship with Trico had a chance to truly shine.

I know a lot of people would have just moved on and that's completely fair, but I really think sometimes sticking with a game truly pays off, and I'm happy I gave it a second chance.

And that's my whole take, The Last Guardian is a great videogame buried deep inside a... I won't say bad, I'll just say a very problematic one.

@“Moon”#p48975 Wow this is harsh bro

I get what you mean tho lol