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Jumping the Shark Podcast #169

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jumping the Shark features a Cackowski-Schnell/Brakke Hour of Power as Bill missed this week to play host to a VIP of the international sort. (Curse you, Mace!) So, Brandon brings his Bioshock A-game and we talk more about its shootery bits and overall direction. It’s all set up for next week’s show when the three of us are sure to dig down spoilery-deep into the game’s conclusion. This week, however, we veer off to talk about Microsoft PR-catastrophes and racist ghosts. It’s fun for the whole family!

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Tuesday Mourning – The Downer Edition

calendar man 4-2 kinect star wars 2

Michigan lost. I’m in mourning. Except not really, because it was an amazing, wonderful season and that team did the school and its fans proud. Also, subs. Craziness. You know the drill. Mostly I’m just hungover. Off of three beers. I’m not sure how that happens. I’m a lightweight. Anyway. This week’s ramblings consist of a large bag of half empty as Disney realizes what we all already knew, EA demonstrates itself to be as tone deaf as ever, and an MS employee gets in trouble for being honest about the wrong things. But first, something wholly awesome.

X-COM versus XCOM. Adam Sessler of Rev3Games did a sit down with the co-creator of the original X-COM, Julian Gollop, and XCOM lead designer Jake Solomon. As a fan of both games, it’s just neat to see two of the principles behind them congratulate each other on being so awesome. And I’m not even being sarcastic. They are awesome for doing this:

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #168

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jumping the Shark meandered into the darkness last week, but we’re back today with the long awaited, ever-anticipated, supper jolly fun-time episode #168. Or something like that. Brandon was still lost in a broadbandless-vacuum of Internet poverty this week, but Bill and I were able to jump on Skype to talk up some Bioshock: Infinite. And we do. At great length. Whether you want us to or not.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday Meditation – We Had Subs Edition

We Had Subs It Was Crazy

So, yeah, there’s no JTS post this week because there’s no JTS this week. We’re sorry about that. But you tell Brandon he shouldn’t be exhausted from his move or Bill that he shouldn’t watch OSU’s elite eight game live or me that I shouldn’t enjoy a pre-spring break evening with my kids since they were about to spend the week out of state. The stars aligned against us this week, but we’ll be back and all will be well.  In the meantime, it’s Tuesday and things happened. Richard Garriott was kind of a dick. Bioshock Infinite was awesome, but not as awesome as everyone says. Also, Michigan did something even more awesomer… and there were subs… it was crazy. (God, but I love MGoBlog’s style.)

Richard Garriott and the Art of Winning Friends. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I wasn’t all aflutter about Garriott’s Ultima-rebooty thingy, Shroud of the Avatar. The game’s presentation itself wasn’t really enough to grab me, though I’ll always follow anything the guy does. Maybe it’ll work. But regardless of that, I have to say that Garriott going around acting like a dick isn’t helping matters when he says things like this:

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Pondering Tuesdays – Reality Check Edition

Tomb Raider - Lara on Radio

I’m just going to keep putting random “thinking about stuff” synonyms in the title field until I run out. Let’s get started…

Wanted: Strong Female Role Model. Ashelia (no full name given) played Tomb Raider and had a powerful reaction. Go read it and then come back.

I wish I could have my daughter read this. You hear about the need for female empowerment and role models all the time. It’s almost always well-intentioned, but there’s a point at which those become buzz words and not something genuinely meaningful. As a father, it makes it hard to know exactly where to steer her because you want so badly for your little princess, as she becomes a person who’s not so little anymore, to choose role models that represent the best in human nature and not Twilight’s pitiable Bella or some camera-starved reality TV whorelet.

Also, Justin Bieber. Le sigh.

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #167

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Brakke and Cackowski-Schnell Hour of Pour returns this week with Bill playing the role of dutiful husband. It’s a shame that The Abner misses our special Abnercon re-cap episode, but if you want to hear all about World Cup, Spartacus, Mare Nostrum, and Tomorrow, I’m here for you. If you don’t, well I don’t even care. Nyah!

Filling up our video game quota, Brandon speaks ill of God of War: Ascension, casting it aside to play more Fire Emblem and do some more fishing of the ridiculous kind. We also marvel for awhile at the reported $200M budget billed to the production and marketing of Bioshock: Infinite. I mean, seriously? That’s Avengers money there. And I don’t see Infinite, however good it may be, pulling it a billion dollars worldwide. Just say’n.

All this and more coming your way in episode #167!

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Tuesday Chatterbox – Abnercon Edition

Railroad Tycoon at Abnercon

Railroad Tycoon at Abnercon. I’m Yellow. No, I didn’t win. 

Abnercon Wrap-up

Abnercon was, as always, a fantastic time. Over the weekend we played 7 Wonders w/expansions (x2), World Cup, Spartacus, Mare Nostrum w/expansion (x2), Railroad Tycoon (US East map), Cosmic Encounter, and Tomorrow (in development). I pulled out victories in World Cup (with Ireland, no less!), Spartacus, and Cosmic Encounter (total fluke). I finished strictly middle of the pack in Railroad Tycoon and was fortunate to do that after I completely biffed my opening turn. I am ashamed. As to the other high and lowlights, let’s dig in…

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #166

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hey, look! It’s a new JTS for two consecutive weeks! With this kind of consistency, it’s almost like those old glorious times of, uh, early February! On tap for this week, Bill delivers a Conquistador Games and Abnercon update. (More on Abnercon from me in the next post.) I nitpick Tomb Raider some, wholly out of love I assure you, while Brandon plays the worthy defender. (And he’s right. It’s a great game.) Brandon breaks out his inner-psuedo sportsman and goes Ridiculous Fishing before hitting the links for a little Super Stickman Golf… 2! Finally, there’s more quality TV Time with Bill finally watching the Star Trek movie. All this and more in Jumping the Shark #166!

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Random Tuesday Thoughts – Post Cruise Edition

St. Thomas Harbor

Beautiful St. Thomas. Photo Credit: Me! 

So, first thing’s first. Cruises are aces. My Special Lady –she hates that descriptor, by the way, so no one tell her I wrote that– and I hit up Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas (6k passengers, 2k crew) for a trip through the East Caribbean and could not possibly have had a better time. And that despite a 10 hour layover in an overcrowded terminal in Ft. Lauderdale when coming home. (Seriously, fix your f***ing airport.)

If you’re the type that likes quick hitters and a more guided experience over going off on your own to explore every nook and cranny of a destination, then getting on a big floating hotel is where it’s at. It also helps if you can happily lose hours of your life just standing on a deck, drink in your hand and wind in your face, overlooking the water. Also, important safety tip, plan an alcohol budget and, if the price fits, pre-purchase a package. We were gifted a 5-bottle wine package that we used just for dinners and, even had we paid it ourselves, it would have been well worth the money. We did not, on the other hand, drink nearly enough for the premium alcoholic package to have been worth it.

So – gaming. Since there’s been so little (read: nothing) that I’ve been interested in taking deep dives into for quite some time, I’ve decided to just collect some random notes throughout the week that I can then group up, comment on, and post on what’s traditionally been our quietest posting day of the week. This edition is helped out by the fact that there’s actually been happenings this past week…

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #165

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Proving once again that everything in existence hinges entirely on my participation, my return to the show this week means that there was, in fact, a show this week. Yes, like being shocked that it was the butler what did it, I have been the secret linchpin to the JTS success story this entire time. You’re welcome.

Right. Podcast.

The gang is all here for episode #165 and we get down to business by properly taking EA to task for their utter contempt for gamers and their ruination of SimCity. We even give them an award. After that, Bill gives us an update into the world of Conquistador Games and the much anticipated (by me) happenings for Abnercon. Brandon and I go on an adventure with Lara Croft and conclude that with this new Tomb Raider, unlike EA, Square has delivered on exactly what they sold us. Brandon then raves and raves and raves about Fire Emblem: Awakening. Oh, and there’s some TV Time to go along with all that. Join us for the show that almost never skips a beat… except when it does.

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