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Jumping the Shark Podcast #231

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week Holly is back and the gang is all geared up to talk about Steam’s abbreviated attempt to implement a compensation system for mod creators. Also, Holly’s E3 prep, Brandon goes for a jaunt down Sunset Overdrive, and Todd’s sitting around waiting for The Witcher 3.

Thanks for listening! (You can contact Brandon at Brandon@NoHighScores.com/@misterbinky, Todd at Todd@NoHighScores.com/@ubrakto and Holly at @winnersusedrugs.)

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #230

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For episode #230 it’s the Todd and Brandon show one more time as Todd continues to gush over Pillars of Eternity, Brandon explains why he stopped playing it to start playing Xenoblade Chronicles 3D and then they take a little detour into the town of Salem for Murdered: Soul Suspect. Wrapping up there’s a bit of an argument over going home with Chewie in the the new Star Wars trailer. Good times.

Thanks for listening! (You can contact Brandon at Brandon@NoHighScores.com/@misterbinky, Todd at Todd@NoHighScores.com/@ubrakto and Holly at @winnersusedrugs.)

(Posted this to NHS a bit late. The full gang will be in the house for episode #231, posting on Monday 5/4.)

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #229

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week brings a big, deep, crunchy look at the results of Obsidian Entertainment’s highly successful Kickstarter project, Pillars of Eternity. Does this kind of Infinity Engine-inspired RPG work in 2015? (Yeah, you already know the answer to that.) We also kick off with a look back at Wrath of Khan and a wrap-up that features Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, kicking zombies for levels in Dying Light, and much marveling at AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Thanks for listening! (You can contact Brandon at Brandon at NoHighScores.com/@misterbinky, Todd at Todd at NoHighScores.com/@ubrakto and Holly at @winnersusedrugs.)

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Jumping the Shark Podcast Roundup #226-#228

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Time for another podcast round-up!

Episode #228:
This week Todd galavants across the galaxy in a Mass Effect 1 replay. That is, when he’s not unclogging his city’s streets in Cities: Skylines. Holly and Brandon discuss the unrelenting violence of Hotline Miami 2.

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Episode #227:
While Holly recuperates from moving, Brandon and Todd keep the torch alive with much discussion of GDC happenings – new Valve hardware, VR headsets, Rock Band 4, and Tim Schafer’s sock. Brandon goes pup-hunting in The Order: 1886 and Todd breaks out his best endzone dances for Frozen Cortex.

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Episode #226:
This week Todd takes on the economic realities of managing a Martian colony in Offworld Trading Company, Brandon relives the same three days over and over to glorious effect in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and Holly jumps on zombie faces in Dying Light.

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Thanks for listening! (You can contact Brandon at Brandon at NoHighScores.com/@misterbinky, Todd at Todd at NoHighScores.com/@ubrakto and Holly at @winnersusedrugs.)

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #225

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The gang isn’t messing around this week. We’ve got Holly’s delightful adventures in The Room and her distaste for Betrayer. Bradon’s straight up Gat Out of Hell, the latest entry in Saints Row. Todd’s hiding in a ball in a dimly lit corner of the Darkest Dungeon. Plus, the glorious return of Birthday Uke and a bigtime spoiler section at the very end for Dragon Age: Inquistion.

Thanks for listening! (You can contact Brandon at Brandon@NoHighScores.com/@misterbinky, Todd at Todd@NoHighScores.com/@ubrakto and Holly at @winnersusedrugs.)

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Why Dragon Age: Inquisition Fails

Dragon Age Inquisition Dragon Fight

Dragon Age: Inquisition is not a game that feels like a failure. It’s got a world’s worth of stunning environments to explore. Its characters are universally layered with compelling and cliché-defying personal story arcs. The combat can get tedious, sure, but it’s a soundly designed system with some bonkers dragon fights. And certainly it has sold. Yet the game still fails and it does so for the very same reason Mass Effect 3 failed — it doesn’t stick the landing.

Lest I give the impression that I’m picking nits over nonsensical cut scenes and weird star children, my problem with Mass 3′s ending was largely quite different from everybody else’s. I’m not talking about denouement. I’m talking about climax and how it relates to the rest of the game. Star child was incomprehensible, sure, but he’s not what made Mass 3′s climax bad. Likewise, the lackluster final confrontation with Corypheus isn’t what tanks Inquisition either.

The key to a memorable and satisfying ending isn’t the implication of what happens after the camera fades to black or even whatever tedious boss battle kicks it into gear. It’s the question of whether or not it fulfills the promise set up by the rest of the game. Like Mass Effect 3, Inquisition is a game that beats you over the head, telling you over and over that it’s about team and coalition building. You face a threat that requires uniting disparate factions and disparate people to face a common foe. You dare not face it alone or you’ll be too weak. So you spend a good 100+ hours working your way through the world and sending lackeys on assignments in the name of building a better, stronger Inquisition.

Cool. Cool cool. Shouldn’t it follow, however, that when you reach the final stage of events that the strength of your Inquisition should, oh I don’t know, matter? At least a little?

Let’s dive deeper (minor spoilers ahead)…

Continue Reading…

Jumping the Shark Podcast #224

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week Holly brings us through her 100+ hour Far Cry 4 journey, Todd and Brandon continue to dissect Dragon Age: Inquisition, including why Todd thinks it ultimately failed. Brandon talks cheating in Gems of War of all places. Plus, football, football, football! And somebody, we don’t want to say who, has a girl scout cookie mishap.

Thanks for listening! (You can contact Brandon at Brandon@NoHighScores.com/@misterbinky, Todd at Todd@NoHighScores.com/@ubrakto and Holly at @winnersusedrugs.)

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Jumping the Shark Podcast Roundup: #220-223

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve been negligent in re-posting JtS episodes here. (You’re all subscribers anyway, right? Right?!?!) It’s been nutty. So, with all due apologies, here’s a giant wrap-up post for the last four episodes of the show, with the most recent, 223, embedded at the end.

Episode 220:
This week Brandon goes full on hate for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and starts on the high scenes of the Northern Atlantic in Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, Todd takes Dragon Age 2 for another spin and Holly looks into the Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

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Episode 221:
The gang took full advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to put in some serious lap time on some new and old games. Brandon rides the elephants in FarCry 4 and proclaims himself the Elephant King. Todd gets his Inquisition on in the the latest Dragon Age opus. And Holly hate plays a whole lot of Dead Rising 3 for PC. Along the way there’s also Turkey baking mastery, Shadow of Mordor wrap-up, and much indy dabbling.

Direct Download #221

Episode 222:
The last JTS of 2014 has Holly walking the Forest, Todd asking for Papers, Please and Brandon navigating the snowy peaks of Far Cry 4. How exciting!

Direct Download #222

Episode 223:
The first JTS of 2015 features a lot of looking back at 2014. Find out how Brandon, Todd, and Holly marked the passage of time with their most memorable gaming experiences of the year. Plus, much ballyhoo about Fry Scores, Holly’s much-awaited cookbook, which is a real live product now. The phrase “food porn” was invented for association with this stunning piece of work!

Direct Download #223

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #219

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This episode brings me, Brandon, and special guest Patrick Lindsey together to talk about every facet and angle of Civilization: Beyond Earth. When is a solid, competent game a disappointment? You’ll hear why here. This week we’ve also got Sherlock Holmes, Galaxy Trucker, Borderlands, PlaystationTV, first impressions of Dragon Age’s Keep and a bottle of ale that I won’t shut up about. It’s all here!

Enjoy!

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #218

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The latest in JtS trendiness is online for your listening enjoyment. In this episode, I talk a bunch of Alien: Isolation and why I can only play it in very short bursts, while Brandon and Holly get their Borderlands prequel mojo on. There were many, many words, names, places, and events with which I am unfamiliar, but I’m 73% sure they weren’t just making it up as they went. Well, more like 65%. I mean sure it sounded authentic, but you can never be completely certain when these two are involved. It could be code. And as a bonus for this episode, we get an epic Mr. Binky rant on how Destiny is the most flawed game he can’t stop playing.

Enjoy!

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