Escapist Podcast: 034: Mass Effect 3 DLC & PS Vita

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034: Mass Effect 3 DLC & PS Vita

This week, we talk about the PS Vita and the planned Day 1 Mass Effect 3 DLC. We also discuss our ongoing Napoleon in Europe office game and get into some amateur anthropology.

Watch Video

Dude our money is on par with yours these days.

In fact it tends to be higher.

Not a bad podcast, but I think you guys really need Susan. Dont know why, they are always better with her.

Didnt help that the boardgame talk just made me jealous.

haha guys your rambling at the start made me laugh. I'm a paramedic and I actually had one of those people who didnt know she was pregnant. She was a fairly skinny girl and you certainly couldn't tell she was pregnant by looking at her. She dropped the baby within ten minutes of us getting her to hospital. Imagine getting that phone call as the boyfriend.

"Umm so guess what Matt."
"Oh God, you're not pregnant are you?"
"Umm no. Not anymore."

Thoughts from the first three quarters of an hour:

The weird thing is seeing how the real future doesn't match up with SF, not just in what we haven't done but in what we have. Cyberpunk often depicts the Internet or whatever it's called as the residence of businesses, governments, and hackers, not regular individuals. And often the only way to connect to it is to plug into a physical jack. Wireless? Cellular? What's that?

Near-future SF outpaced us in every way except for communications tech. There, reality's blown SF out of the water.


Ahem: http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert/?Amount=50&To=CAD&From=USD Currently: 50.00 USD = 49.9376 CAD. I do believe that's called "parity".


I'm a paranoid sort. I have two wallets, the one that has my important stuff in it and one that has a bunch of old gift cards and a few bucks in it (no more than $20). The low-value one sees use for most public things, the other one's harder to get to. Worked OK so far, though I WOULD consider a money belt if going anywhere in a foreign country tourists go, because that's where the predators swarm. And no, you don't keep EVERYTHING in the money belt. Just the critical stuff and large amounts of cash. That way you know you won't get ripped off for more than is in your pocket.


Aww, hope you feel better, Susan!


Say what you want about kids bludgeoning kids with lunchboxes, most of my schoolmates had plastic lunchboxes and I had a metal one. It saved my ass in at least one fight.

Where is the MP3? I don't have itunes, and I do not want my machine to be annexed by the Apple empire. I recall that you guys (and gal) were saying that there would be MP3 links, and there were, but now there's not???? WTF guys?

Edit: I saw the RSS light.

The Escapist Staff:
034: Mass Effect 3 DLC & PS Vita

This week, we talk about the PS Vita and the planned Day 1 Mass Effect 3 DLC. We also discuss our ongoing Napoleon in Europe office game and get into some amateur anthropology.

Watch Video

Off topic, but at 6:23 you guys said that Mayan people don't exist anymore, but to quote Rigoberta Menchú, "We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle or zoos. We are people and we want to be respected, not to be victims of intolerance and racism."

Just a heads up for you guys

praetor_alpha:
Where is the MP3? I don't have itunes, and I do not want my machine to be annexed by the Apple empire. I recall that you guys (and gal) were saying that there would be MP3 links, and there were, but now there's not???? WTF guys?

I can't speak for the editors, but if I might suggest: Hit up http://www.escapistmagazine.com/rss/ for the RSS feed link if you're using something that groks podcasts. If not, IE and Mozilla can at least convert the XML into a nice download page that has the link.

praetor_alpha:
Where is the MP3? I don't have itunes, and I do not want my machine to be annexed by the Apple empire. I recall that you guys (and gal) were saying that there would be MP3 links, and there were, but now there's not???? WTF guys?

Click the Podcast button on the lower left hand side of the player and it will take you to an RSS page that you can download the MP3 directly from. It doesn't play well with Google Chrome, but that page should look fine in any other browser.

Am I the only one that finds it odd when the ME3 DLC is in the description but it's barely talked about for 3 minutes?

Just to clarify, the last time I had a reaction to carpet glue, I nearly died. This time wasn't that bad, but it's enough to cause concern.

But that said, Greg doesn't have to feel bad about making a glue sniffing joke. Just about not making a good one. :) Gotta follow through, man! Commit!

Also, anyone remember the intro to Buck Rogers? See if you can find it on YouTube. Hilarious.

Ok.....Susan's absence was specially notorious. I liked the whole Pee Theory of Gender Role but I think you guys would have never gotten there with some female influence in the room.

You're not alone Greg (or Justin?, I got distracted for a moment there), I haven't played either Mass Effect game....and don't plan to, actually.

Slycne:
Click the Podcast button on the lower left hand side of the player and it will take you to an RSS page that you can download the MP3 directly from. It doesn't play well with Google Chrome, but that page should look fine in any other browser.

Ah, I see that. thanks!

As to kids and toys and gender identity and that, I've seen parents refusing to let their four-year-old sons take a teddy bear with them out in public. It was a truck or nothing. One of the times when I wanted to hit someone with a brick.

I really can't tell if he genuinely believed the pee theory...it was just bizarre...

...wall of text to follow:

A less crazy and more established theory is that of learning from example. Some kids play with dolls in imitation of women with babies or with guns in imitation of something on TV. A lot of exposure to influence may not be that obvious. Refusal of a certain toy, may just make the desire for that toy stronger. A kid may not have a toy gun, but they'll see other kids pretending to do a shoot-out or stuff in TV and films. Generally speaking, young kids enjoy strong stimuli, be it bright colours or loud noises, etc. Guns make a loud noise, that can be easily imitated (my sister used to run around pretending to shoot people and shouting "bill-bill!").

You could try to explain it as part of gender-specific human instinct. Males in the animal kingdom are prone to fight over mates, etc. Or you could try to say it was an extension of the hunter-gatherer past (although it wasn't exclusively male activity). Personally I'm not a fan of putting too much emphasis on genes and instinct. Ultimately to solve the nature/nurture argument would be the 'forbidden experiment' of raising a baby (For a true scientific experiment it would actually have to be multiple babies to form a trial size to eliminate random error) in complete isolation, so that it has no human interaction. But, who would ever want to do that.

There are about a billion other things I could argue, but this is already way too long. If the theory was less pee based and more penis based, then you would overlap more with psychological theories that have been about. If you still want to follow up the pee theory, you could do studies in Germany, where peeing sitting down is encouraged in order to prevent splash-back...([citation needed] it could be nonsense, but I'm not Googling it)

My reaction to the title of the video "Mass Effect 3 DLC & PS Vita"- Yay! More talk of Mass Effect 3... and then I read the description "1:01:50 - Mass Effect 3 DLC" God...damnit.

Wow, today's podcast was a laugh a minute, one of the best so far. Though I didn't like how the Mass Effect 3 DLC thing got heavily overshadowed. I was generally interested in hearing a little debate between everybody there, like has happened in past podcasts about such decisions publishers and developers have made.

I found the discussion about TV shows rather enlightening. I'm different in that if I like a show, I want it to be on as long as possible, even to the eventual seasons where there are only handful of good episodes.

I really don't like where the industry has gone, pertaining to season length. Remember back in the day when a season even for an hour long program was usually a standard of 24 episodes, and in some cases 25 or 26. With more than 5 seasons of that, where shows were looking for and celebrating when they reached syndication level, which if I remember correctly was at 100 episodes. Back then that could be reached at the forth or fifth season, these days reaching that 100 episodes would take 9 to 10 seasons.

I miss what for me was the television hay-day with Star Trek:TNG, DS9, and Voyager. Each lasting seven seasons and having reached over 170 episodes.

Come to think of it the last shows with substantial and what I would consider real seasons, were Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Well now that I think of it, there are other shows still running on Sci-Fi(No it isn't and never will be SyFy) that still have at least twenty episodes a season, and of course Stargate Universe had 20 a season(but it doesn't count because it was crap from the beginning, maybe 5% of that show was watchable).

What I'm getting at is that SG-1 went on for 10 seasons, 215 episodes I believe. And for me, that show only got a slightly iffy around seasons 9 and 10.

But now, the vast majority of new shows today, a season is considered to be 10 to 12 episodes. Of new shows that came out recently, one that I'm liking a lot is Terra Nova. I like the premise...and it really has shown the severe lack of dinosaurs in hour television programing.=p Okay, but it's first season was only 11 episodes.

I think what Steve said on how shows have become more "just" arching in there stories instead of having arch, but also varied stand alone episodes, is proving to be a problem with television today. I think it is why I'm more and more just going back to favorite old shows and re-watching them. Back in the day, I almost had a favorite show for every day of the week. These days, I'm lucky if I have at least one new show a year that I'm mildly interested in.

Going back to Star Trek, hilarious stand alone episodes like "Ferengi Love Songs" in season 5 of DS9, the great holodeck episodes like "A Fistful of Datas" in season 6 of TNG, and moving to Stargate SG-1, the groundhog's day style episode in season four "Window of Opportunity", if shows like Star Trek and Stargate first started airing on today's television set up, we wouldn't get awesome stand alone episodes like those.

These days there are no proper character stories, if there are character stories, it is usually devolves into a soap-opera like episodes, which was what killed Stargate Universe. They started a new series in a show franchise that was more about the sci-fi than the characters, and made it all 98% about the characters, changed the film style to boot(Grainy Battlestar Galactica style of filling does not suit Stargate). Don't buy Sci-Fi's lame excuse that the show failed because they aired it on a bad night. It failed because it was one big soap opera, and fans of the franchise were lucky if they got an episode that had 10% that dealt with stuff in a true Stargate classic sci-fi fashion.

Though that does hit the thought in the podcast on how a show that ruins long can have problems with writers running out of ideas. I think that can translate to series franchises as well, like the Stargate franchise. Though I think SGU's downfall was that it was most likely started by someone that didn't understand what made the previous series great. The show would have succeeded if they had stuck to it being about them stranded on that ship and what they encountered along the way, and down played the characters stories to about 10% of each episode.

Okay, that's enough, I've rambled on too long, and I was coming very close to falling of topic.

There is something I really want to get off my chest about these podcasts.
I can't stand Miracle of Sound. I try my hardest to avoid listening to their songs, I think I'm safe if I stay off their page and don't watch their videos but every once in a while one of their songs will pop up on the podcast and that little vein in my forehead starts throbbing.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love listening to the podcast. (Even the Magic the Gathering one) This was the best 90 minutes of my day. But hearing Miracle of Sound just kills me. Does the podcast even really need music?

I really love the Podcasts, keep them up.

Comment on the last part: I both like shows that are episodic with occasional and mild continuity (a la House) and shows that are heavily based upon continuity (a la The Wire) and ones that are more in the middle (a la Dr. Who). It depends on my mood, and I'm glad that there are options available for all tastes.

Also, the urine theory is bunk. Nice try though.

That sure was a lot of in-depth talk and analysis about the ME3 DLC.

Good pod-cast again, and interesting discussion. Though the difference between the sexes discussion would be interesting to read the peer review of that theory...

The discussion about episodic tv and HBO - any chance of the link to that article sounds like an interesting read.

On that discussion about coming into a new series with long term story arcs. I think gaming is a different beast to a TV series. In tv exposition is normally a bad thing, especially when recapping old points that current viewers already know and will find frustrating and new viewers may/will probably find boring.

With gaming it should be easier to insert quick catch-up moments for new players to find out what has gone before with out frustrating long term players. And most games that rely on long story arcs do offer this to some degree. Some do it better than others though has to be said. One game I played recently that did some of it really well was "The Witcher 2", but it did leave one thing sort of not that clearly explained and that's Geralt's relationship with Trish which seemed to be assumed as explained without much to explain what Geralts thoughts where and how important it is to the characters of both Geralt and Trish. (I only played it briefly though, so I accept I maybe missed some of the back story, dialogue).

In general though I think series story arcs can be good I loved Babylon 5, even with all it's creaky dialogue and flimsy sets because it was the first sci-fi series I'd watched that developed the story and wasn't afraid to move things forward and it could be quite rewarding to find out how a story arc panned out.

On the other hand I'm not a big fan of soap operas that really are the masters of long term story arcs, not because I place a certain subjective value on there creative worth, but because it can be so frustrating trying to pick up plots and understand why characters act the way they do. Also I find some characters have been running for so long that it seems writers are struggling to even do anything new with the character and they seem almost like spare parts after a while.

The point about "Extra's" and "the office" (the original BBC series) was that it was only ever going to go for a short run, Ricky Gervais didn't want to be tied down a long term project and I think that they are both stronger for it. Especially when comparing the difference between the UK office and US office. The US office just seemed to turn into "Friends" but with just Chandler esk jokes...

Another good question.

How about bringing back an old TV show?

I loved Arrested Development, but I am very wary with its resurrection and movie.

I used to like Futurama and Family Guy, but can't stand the newer stuff. I guess it's just unrealistic to have the same writers after several years off the air.

I actually just saw the episode of The Office where Michael left (we're a little behind in Europe), so apparently I have a boatload of sucky episodes to look forward to now?

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. Great podcast, especially the pee theory. :)

And I agree, I wish Susan was there for this theory's unleashing. Would have loved her commentary on that.

Speaking of which, I hope she's feeling better.

Do all americans assume that their money is worth 100 times as much as every other currency in the world? Maybe some of them know that the british pound and the Euro has always been significantly more than the dollar?

I hope this cast gets better as 15 minutes in I am pretty bored.

Nah its just an old joke to make fun of the Canadian dollar cause it used to be worth near half of the American dollar.

Well and its called a loonie.

Jokes on them though, our dollar tends to be worth more than their these days.

And I hear they are adopting coloured money, cause it just makes sense.

I too was a little disappointed by the lack of talk about Mass Effect 3, but I can see why there wasn't too much discussion about it. To paraphrase Justin: it's just a retread of old arguments. One of the early podcasts when Russ was still around really covers the DLC issue quite well, so there's no need to repeat that stuff.

I still think you people should do bonus podcasts about Mass Effect 3 the same way you've done ones for The Old Republic. I know for sure that Steve, Justin, and Susan are very familiar with the series, so it would be possible.

I definitely rather a TV/Game series die young then to see it lose what made it so good in the first place. As it stands I can not get myself to get as excited for a third-installment of a game series as I was for the 2nd. Example: I'm still going to get Mass Effect 3 but I don't have the same spark of excitment I had for Mass Effect 2 for 3.

Makes me wonder how I'll feel if 4A announces a new Metro game after Last Light. Will I be as excited for it as I am for Last Light?

Also awesome pee theory Steve!

DRESDEN FILES WAS MENTIONED!!!!!

Nothing else matters.

I love you for knowing of the Dresden Files.

Pee theory... I like it.

This has to be one of my favourite podcasts you guys have done. I got many a strange look from bursting out laughing on the train.

Susan, hope you're well soon and bringing us news of a crazy new DS game before long.

Susan Arendt:
Also, anyone remember the intro to Buck Rogers? See if you can find it on YouTube. Hilarious.

Thanks for bringing back those memories. I'll return the favor, Manimal and Automan.

To be honest, guys, not a great podcast.

You spent the first 30 minutes or so vaguely talking about your Napoleon game, which we have no real way of understanding given that we don't know the situation, the players, or the game state at all. Once in a while you remembered that people were listening and dribbled out a little bit of context, but it wasn't enough to make me feel included in the discussion in any way.

The other tangents (TV shows, the pee theory) were better, but not particularly enthralling. The only small mercy was Susan Arendt's absence. I'm sure she would've been utterly insufferable had she been present for that discussion.

Overall, I think you need to focus more in your podcasts and discuss more actual content. I may be part of the minority here, but one of the main reasons I listen to podcasts is to hear professionals in the video game industry discuss the big issues affecting the industry. Not to hear a bunch of guys who seem pretty cool shoot the shit. I've got my own friends for that.

I don't mind quite a bit of rambling and banter to make the atmosphere feel comfortable and funny, but I think you guys went a bit overboard this time.

See you next week!

As someone who STOPPED playing console games due to the prevalence of analog sticks, I really hope the PS Vita will be the revolution I've been looking for.

The touchscreen on the back could easily serve as a way to move crosshairs in shooters, instead of the stupid carnival claw motion of the analog stick which drove me to PC gaming.

Rassmusseum:
I still think you people should do bonus podcasts about Mass Effect 3 the same way you've done ones for The Old Republic. I know for sure that Steve, Justin, and Susan are very familiar with the series, so it would be possible.

We actually have a bonus episode about our time with the Mass Effect 3 demo, specifically the multiplayer, going up a little later today, and I could certainly see us doing more bonus episodes on Mass Effect 3 if we can figure out a good way to avoid spoilers with each other.

Wow, that's awesome news! I guess I hadn't realized that you guys will probably end up playing the game at different rates (whoever's doing the review has already started I'd guess), but I'm glad to hear that you're considering it!

Rassmusseum:
I still think you people should do bonus podcasts about Mass Effect 3 the same way you've done ones for The Old Republic.

I just want to say I misread that as "bogus" and thought that would be the best troll ever. 30 minutes of fake spoilers!

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