Ep. 325 - Game of the Year 2023, with Kris Graft

I like to think of Bethesda stuff tapping into a similar part of the brain as Musou games. Like “hey, do you want to do a simple thing on large scale for 100s of hours?”. There's definitely some design Rubicon being crossed when you choose to have your game state play time in Days instead of Hours. It feels like a game made by people who only got one or two games a year growing up FOR their childhood selves to feast on.

I did quite enjoy randomly discovering game systems that aren't mentioned or tutorialized anywhere, it felt like playing a computer game as kid without reading the 200 page manual first. An example of this is the photo mode! I don't normally mess with photo modes in games but decided to on a lark because there a lot of neat skyboxes. It was a pretty standard photo mode from my limited experience but then later I was fast traveling and my photo was the loading screen! I then got super invested in taking photos and would get excited whenever one popped up. One of the photo frames you can choose from is a flight journal so I did a series where whenever their environmental story telling would present me with a dead body splayed out near some chairs or couches, I would sit down and take a flight journal selfie with the corpse.

If you did cut out any of the Starfield Discussion, please release it in a bonus credit. It will be safe in Patron's hands only.

Clicked on the spoiler for #1 and then listened to the entire 3+ hour podcast shaking my head the entire time so people would know that I don't agree with it

The opening scene of Aquaman 2 where Aquaman is talking to his infant son about all the wonderful things in the world he wants to share with him and then it cuts to the title over a shot of the polar ice caps melting set my hopes up REALLY HIGH that the rest of the movie was gonna be About Stuff and I was gonna be on the ground floor of a secretly great dumb movie that gets reappraised years later. OOPS!

@“GigaSlime”#p152717 Global warming? That’s just Black Manta

@“DaveedNoo”#p152710 does this runtime make it seem like I cut a lot of content to you?

@“Jaffe”#p152703 yes!

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@“connrrr”#p152596 Did any of the panel play Immortals of Aveum? I haven’t

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@“exodus”#p152642 @connrrr I don’t think so

### [_Yeah, we know._](https://www.gamesradar.com/ea-flop-immortals-of-aveum-reportedly-cost-around-dollar125-million-former-dev-says-a-aaa-single-player-shooter-in-todays-market-was-a-truly-awful-idea/)

I wonder how much of this Forspoken bad dialogue discourse is tied up with Marvel fatigue typical online attitudes towards Whedonisms.

That late game Forspoken combat looks alright though. I hope to carve sometime for that game, alongside those other odd Square games that came out around the same time like Diofield, Harvestella, Valkyrie Elysium

Great Game of the Year episode - in three parts for me! Final list had a few surprises not excepted to appear which was nice to see.

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Tim Rogers’ Fourth Nomination (02:26:19)

The answer contained I think the best joke which was vastly ignored during the show and needs to be mentioned:

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/FnSFgnv.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/FnSFgnv.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Which you can buy from amazon [here](https://www.amazon.com/Funny-Finnish-Finland-Feeling-FINNominal/dp/B07G7SCNN5?customId=B07537H64L&customizationToken=MC_Assembly_1%23B07537H64L&th=1) if you're that way inclined. Or Finnish.

Here‘s the games from the above list that I have played, ranked in the order I would put them in. Behind a spoiler block because nobody should care to see this, and also I don’t want to spoil it for anyone browsing the thread before completing the episode.

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#### First tier: I can safely say I had fun with these


  • 1. Cocoon
  • 2. Hi-Fi Rush
  • >!

    #### Second tier: Too overwhelmed to have a good time

    ##### (OR, I probably had fun but just was not in the right frame of mind to deal with my options opening up and being asked to deal with a garage menu so full of new things -- so I just quit and never went back)
  • 3. Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
  • >!

    #### Third tier: I think these are bad games


  • 4. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • 5. Starfield
  • >!

    #### Fourth tier: I have never felt so disjoint from the community, to the point of needing to ask myself if I even like games any more because of this junk


  • 21. Void Stranger

  • ___

    A fun episode, and a fun list.

    Yeo could use a self esteem boost what happened to Fading Afternoon?

    Great episode and a couple of surprise inclusions. I had a meeting-free afternoon yesterday that was perfect for listening. I‘ve played eight of these games and other than the placement of the final nomination I’d more or less agree with everything that was said.

    @"rejj"#p152739 Your assessment of your lowest ranked game pretty much matches my thoughts.

    >!Void Stranger is a game that I can imagine having fun with for about an hour before getting tired of it pretty quickly. I get the appeal of Sokoban games, for sure, though they are not for me - my most recent attempt to enjoy one was Baba is You because the premise was interesting and it got a lot of hype but I got tired of it pretty quickly. Doubt I'll ever play Void Stranger though - fool me once etc. Referring to the Steam description; neither "frustration" or "go ask a friend for help" are selling points to me. I'm 36, and I'd rather chill and make measurable progress in the games that I play than bang my head against a wall trying to figure out countless puzzles.!<

    @“rejj”#p152739 I felt similarly about Void Stranger. When Brandon said “the forum really loved that game” I was like huh… The thread he must be referring to was started by me complaining about it! And nearly half the discussion is questioning whether the payoff of its tricks are worth the steep investment. Not quite as unanimous as this podcast ep would leave you to believe, don‘t worry; you’re in good company

    @“esper”#p152727 I just burst out laughing maniacally at the end of that segment so that's why I had to ask!

    Great episode!!!

    @“Funbil”#p152756 I must've read selectively, whoops!

    Yesss Forspoken! I genuinely had the same reaction as Tim did when Brandon called it out. It makes me so happy to see others proselytize that game. It's legitimately interesting and deserved far better treatment then it got. Easily a top game of last year.

    It was the most fun I've had in an open world AAA action game since Ys 9 Monstrum Nox, and took me out of a funk I was in, being unable to really enjoy more critically acclaimed games like Death's Standing, ToTK, Elden Ring, FFXVI, Horizon Forbidden West, etc. They all bored me for one reason or another and the tactile feel is less enjoyable. In those open worlds the "video game" elements interrupted the flow state far too often in those games, and Forspoken is paced weirdly well once you get past the opening. Those games are like trying to drink a dairy queen blizzard with a straw, while Forspoken is like getting a milkshake at a diner that's been open 24/7 for the last 70 years. It goes down smooth (maybe a little watery but smooth)

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    @“MovingCastles”#p152737 I wonder how much of this Forspoken bad dialogue discourse is tied up with Marvel fatigue typical online attitudes towards Whedonisms.

    I have about 50,000 words I want to write up about what specifically went wrong with this game but don't have time to write it up yet.

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    @“Tradegood”#p152767 [Forsporken] was the most fun I’ve had in an open world AAA action game since Ys 9 Monstrum Nox

    I fucking love this forum, only here could you be exposed to an opinion and comparison of such power and beauty

    Great episode.

    I found Tim’s comment about Tears of the Kingdom having a perfect vertical slice interesting because I found the portion of game he sections out as slightly worse than Breath of the Wild’s Great Plateau. Especially the sequence by which you acquire the paraglider felt really strange, although making it technically optional is genuinely so cool. And I found the traversal to the Rito dungeon >!the Wind Temple Ascent!< one of the best sequences in a Zelda game. Overall despite looking like a game perfectly made for specifically my sensibilities I did not like Tchotchke.

    I have purchased and installed both Psuedoregalia and Void Stranger and am excited to play each sometime soon.

    Infamous insert credit forum polyp @Gaagaagiins caught in monumental gaffe upon remarking, with vanishingly little encouragement, that “Hell Yeah, [he] would kill baby David Cage”