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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 33: Roger Ebert Again and Games with Great Storytelling

Why do so few video games have truly great stories? We have some suggestions for developers and share some of our favorites. Plus: Roger Ebert breaks our hearts, and Chi and Tim finally have a reason to talk about Wing Commander. Brad is thrilled! Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad "Likely Going To Hell" Gallaway, Richard Naik, and Tim Spaeth.

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GameCritics.com Podcast Bonus Episode: Heavy Rain Post-Mortem

Our three Heavy Rain critics join Tim for a post-mortem on the game. We don't talk much about the story. Instead we focus on the game's emotional resonance (or lack thereof), its "fail-less" structure, the effectiveness of its quicktime events, and its possible legacy in the annals of videogame history. Also, somehow, we mention Shenmue about 20 times. Featuring Richard "Really" Naik, Trent Fingland, Dan Weissenberger, Tim Spaeth, and a cat hair mustache.

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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 32: Lost Planet 2, Final Fantasy XIII and how to keep old franchises fresh

Did you miss us? We missed you. After a tearful reunion, Brad tells us about his trip to see Lost Planet 2, Mike offers his unique take on Final Fantasy XIII (finally!), and we examine the challenges faced by decades-old franchises. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Tim Spaeth, and Tingle.

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Topics discussed:

  • Lost Planet 2
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Shin Megami Tensei

    Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 31: Interview with Game Developers Nathan Fouts and Bryan Jury

We welcome back two of our favorite guests, Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games, and Bryan Jury of Epicenter Studios. They bring us up to speed on what's been happening since their last appearances and talk about their new games, Shoot 1UP and Rock of the Dead. These guys are funny, candid, and filled with pie. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Bob Costas" Spaeth.

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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 30: Mass Effect 2 and Sequels We Love/Hate

Brad's review was just the beginning; we debate the exhilarating highs and inexplicable lows of Mass Effect 2. Plus: Tim quits games, classic sequels we love, and statistics, statistics, statistics. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike "The Outlier" Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim Spaeth.

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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 29: Divinity II, Star Trek Online beta & Listener Mailbag

We're back! Our first show of 2010 offers looks at Divinity II: Ego Draconis and the Star Trek Online beta. Plus, we answer your letters about adventure games, lazy developers, insta-DLC, and games of the (last) decade. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Not Roy Scheider" Spaeth.

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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 28: Game of the Year and Best/Worst of 2009

Pour yourself a pitcher of egg nog, fire up a yule log, and join the GameCritics.com family as we reminice about the year that was. We'll reveal our game of the year, and discuss the best and worst 2009 had to offer. Featuring Chi, Brad, Mike, Dave, Dan, Richard, Tim, and a special appearance by one of our favorite listeners, Hargrada. Thanks to everyone for listening; we really do appreciate it. Have a happy and safe New Year's, and we'll see you back here in January.

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Award Categories:

  • Surprise (Good) of the Year Award
  • WTF of the Year Award
  • The "Brad Gallaway is Single-Handedly Keeping Indie Developers in Business" Award
  • Non-2009 Game of the Year
  • Most Disappointing Game of the Year
  • The Too Human Award for Inexplicable Excellence
  • Developer We'll Miss the Most
  • Best Argument for Abandoning Discs
  • Most Promising New Franchise
  • Nail in the Coffin Award
  • The Internet Has No Idea What They're Talking About Award
  • Best Argument for Games-as-Art
  • The Steaming Pile Award
  • 2009 Game of the Year

Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 27: What Compels You to Play?

What compels us to spend 25, 40, 50, even 70+ hours on a single game? We think we've figured it out. Join us for conversation about Dragon Age, Assassin's Creed 2, Way of the Samurai 3, Torchlight and Borderlands DLC. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Yes, I Like Borderlands Now" Spaeth.

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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 26: Game Studies, Ludology 101 with Matthew Wiese from Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab

Bonjour class! Welcome to Ludology 101. Matthew Wiese of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab talks about his work and his experience on the academic side of games. Is ludology as sleep-inducing as it sounds? No sir, and in fact criticism and academia may have more in common than you think. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth. Happy Thanksgiving to all our listeners!

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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 25: Myths of Game Criticism – Part 2

We continue debunking The Myths of Game Criticism in the second half of our two-part series. Do we live in constant fear of Twitter putting us out of business? Are games so spectacular now that the average score really is 8 out of 10? Do publishers send strike teams to our homes and force us to change scores? We set the record straight. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Five Point Scale" Spaeth.

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For your reference, the eight myths we discuss are:

  1. Critics should be required to finish games before writing a review.
  2. The goal of a "proper" game review should be to inform the reader as to whether they should or should not buy a game.
  3. Those who write about games are not journalists, rather, should be considered "enthusiast press" or simply "games writer."
  4. There is no difference between a "review" and a "critique".
  5. The explosion of blogs, podcasts, and Twitter has rendered formal game reviews obsolete.
  6. Individual game critics and review sites are under constant, unrelenting pressure from publishers to change scores.
  7. Game scores are often purposefully tweaked to either generate controversy or avoid it.
  8. A reader should not need to be familiar with the author of a review in order to derive value from it.
  9. NINE? There's a ninth myth?! Listen and find out!!

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