In Jumping the Shark 59 we dig into the Dragon Age 2 demo (weee!), Bulletstorm, the Dead Money DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, Dawn of War II: Retribution, a Dreamcast Classics collection, and a few other things. (Believe it or not, there is still no resolution to the whole red ringed 360 issue. Good times!) We also tackled the topic (alliteration!) of difficulty in games. It’s a fairly wide-ranging discussion from what’s too easy to what’s too hard, to how games should navigate something so wholly subjective to the particular player. Mostly, I’m just mocked a lot…
Speaking of being mocked, this week I’m writing a bit about my favorite segment of the show: Outtakes. I should clarify that. When editing the show, outtakes are a big ole pain in the ass. It requires listening to lengthy portions of audio that aren’t a part of the main show, separating out the useful bits, and then replacing them, where needed, at the end of the edited podcast. This is not difficult, but it is time consuming. Once they’re in the show, however, I love ‘em. A week in which there is not a fertile ground for outtakes is a disappointing week for me. Don’t judge me. I grew up with Cannonball Run.
We try to be amusing and entertaining when we’re doing the podcast, but we all know this is not the Bob & Tom show. It’s not a comedy podcast and if we were comedians, we’d be that guy at open mic night staring down the audience’s dead silence as he silently curses himself for ever thinking getting up there in the first place was a neat idea. It’s a gaming podcast and that’s where we keep our focus – mostly. Honestly, I lose interest in gaming podcasts that spend too much time trying to be funny. I think most listeners want the discussion more than the laughs. Yes, you want your podcast to be fun, but there’s a line. A lively discussion in which the participants are clearly enjoying themselves is a good thing, but I think if we ever sound like we’re trying too hard just to be funny, at the expense of actually talking about games, then we’ve lost our way. Hopefully that rarely happens.
That said, we also have some of our best and chuckleworthy dialog in that time before and after we’re actually doing the show. Stuff that, without the outtakes, you’d never hear. This week, for example, I am absolutely skewered for admitting I prep for the show by going over what I want to say in the car, during my commute, on the day we record. As much as it made me a target for ridicule, goddam was it a riot and I’m glad to stick it in the outtakes for all to hear. My personal favorite set of outtakes came in episode 48, in which there is a bizarrely long discussion of otters. I could listen to Danielle’s complete and utter delight about finding Ollie the Otter all day long. “They made this movie just for the hell of it!” If you ever wonder why we often reference otters on the show the past couple months, this is why.
So what do the rest of you think? Do you like the outtakes? Do you skip them? Do you prefer for there to just be one or two or do you like those few weeks when there’s a good three minutes or so of extra material after the credits?