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Jumping the Shark Podcast #142

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Image: Filomena Scalise /

For Jumping the Shark #142 Brandon and Bill play some games. No, I mean that literally. Bill loads up Dark Souls and laments the shoddy state of Games for Windows Live while trying to kill some horrific spider queen type beastie. Brandon plays some Darksiders II while talking about the difficulty of the end-game and reminding us all of the depths of his achievement-whoring ways. (There’s also some talk of Inquisitor lodged in there.) In between I talk about my time spent captaining FTL: Faster Than Light and why this $10 starship simulator, straight out of the early 90s, is one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had this year. (Game to be released 9/14.)

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(The embedded feed is after the break.)

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Calendar Man – Week of 9/10

Hey, it’s a week until Borderlands 2! Hooray! Things are coming out this week, but none of them are Borderlands 2, so they don’t interest me. If you like hockey, you may feel differently, as NHL 13 comes out. NBA Baller Beats also releases, but I’m not sure anyone would admit to wanting to play that game. If it had nothing but jump shots, we may have been able to convince Bill to play, but alas, nary a long bomb to be found. Bill Abner’s relatively Kinect-free existence continues to this day.


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Diaspora: Shattered Armistice Trailer

Up to this point I knew absolutely nothing about this game, but Battlestar Galactica fans, this freeware mod for Descent: Freespace 2 is for you. Hopefully the game itself is at least half as cool as this trailer for it. Seriously, it makes me want to go suit up. Right. Now.

If only I knew what became of my old CH Flightstick Pro and accompanying throttle. Not that myPC has an serial ports to connect them to. My goodness, it really has been a long time since the days of Wing Commander and X-Wing/Tie Fighter. And just why did I never get around to the Freespace games? Folly, I tell you. Pure folly.

Spotted at RPS.

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darksiders 2 review shot 1

Darksiders II in Review (Finally!)

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about Darksiders II, so even though this is my final review, I’m going to keep it fairly brief. Well, brief for me, which sometimes can be one sentence and a puppy picture. Sometimes it’s three thousand words of poorly developed “humor”.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I absolutely loved this game. I found it to be better than its predecessor in every way, save the ending, by blending multiple game styles into a satisfying whole that provided ample challenge for those interested in seeking it out but never so steep a learning curve that progression is impossible.


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DreadBall – The Futuristic Sports Game

One of my favorite games, if not my #1 favorite game, is Blood Bowl. I adore almost everything about it. Problem is, I never get to play it much these days. Funny thing is I really don’t know why — I play a lot of boardgames but BB has remained packed up for quite some time now. I blame Cyanide. (Hey why not?)

It’s likely because Blood Bowl:

A: Is at its best when playing long term in tourney or league play
B: Is a bit antiquated in its rules
C: Takes a while to play

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the old game, but there’s nothing wrong with a new spin and perhaps a little innovation.

Enter DreadBall from Mantic Games.

The Kickstarter has raised $160,000 to date which has unlocked a slew of “stretch goals” and after reading everything I can about the game it looks like it could be a nice successor to Blood Bowl. Blood Bowl is such an established franchise filled with reams and reams of house rules, living rules, fan made teams, etc. that Dreadball will be behind that curve at first. I think the game, even with all the goals, will carry four teams to start.

But it looks modern, and sounds like it plays fast and fun without much downtime. I’m pledging.

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Cracked LCD- Smash Up in Review

I have an inherent- and frankly personal- issue with Paul Peterson’s Smash Up, a new card game hot off the AEG presses. I despise the prevailing nerd humor idiom in which combining two “cool” things yields some supposedly funny juxtaposition. Smashing up Cthulhu with McDonald’s or Hello Kitty yields a bumper sticker with McCthulhu’s and Hello Cthulhu. They make T-shirts combining Doctor Who and Star Wars to make geeks giggle. Go to any given convention and you’ll see this kind of comedy, whether it’s something about ninja monkeys or- possibly the worst- Killer Bunnies in all of their dreadful, accursed variants.

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a tale of two dificulties inquisitor shot 2

A Tale of Two Difficulties

I’m currently in the middle of two different games, at two different difficulty levels, providing two different level of challenge and two different opportunities for progress. I’ve always been somewhat averse to high difficulty levels, but never really took the time to figure out why, other than chalking it up to a well developed sense of laziness.

The two games I’m talking about are Darksiders II (no surprise) and the just released English translation of Inquisitor, Czech developer Cinemax’s 2009 PC RPG about killer bats and torture (not necessarily in that order).


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Best of the Jumping the Shark Podcast Compilations

So, this happened.

I’ve long thought about trying to stitch together some favorite moments of JTS, but I’m lazy and worthless and I can’t remember what moments happened when. I have more excuses too, if you like. I’m like Jake Blues offering platitudes to Carrie Fisher’s character in Blues Brothers. But I digress.

Autistic Angel is a better person than me and that’s why there now exists not one, but two Best of of Jumping the Shark audio compilations that absolutely had me rolling yesterday. We really have had some great times recording the show and I’m reminded how much we miss Danielle’s contributions to it. Part two is above (just because the size fits our front page images better), while the first is after the break. Enjoy!


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Guild Wars 2 - Standing Around

Guild Wars 2 – The Game That Doesn’t Change Everything

 We founded ArenaNet to innovate, so Guild Wars 2 was our opportunity to question everything – to make a game that defies existing conventions. If you love MMOs, you’ll wanna check out Guild Wars 2. And if you hate MMOs, you’ll really wanna check out Guild Wars 2.

That line is from ArenaNet’s MMO Manifesto video, which I embedded in a blurb I wrote a few days before Guild Wars 2 launched. As a rank MMO amateur who likes his single-player fantasy RPGs, the video effectively sold me on trying the game. After all, I was in the mood for a high fantasy RPG and since I largely hate MMOs, I “really” need to check this game out, right?

Among a host of other promises, the game promised a better combat model, a more immersive world in which you feel a little less like one of a billion other hosers all doing the same thing, and perhaps most significantly, no grinding. After roughly a dozen hours with the game, it’s hard to say that it really cashes in on these promises. No, you’re not collecting a dozen wolf pets every fifteen minutes and the game does solve a lot of problems that MMOs have, but it is most decidedly not a game for people who hate MMOs. If that’s you, do what I failed to do and just save your money. Dark Souls PC is just $40 on Steam. Maybe try that.


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