GameCritics' own Trent Fingland regales us with war stories from the E3 front. Along the way we reconcile our E3 predictions, debate the future of Japanese gaming, have a serious talk about religion, and get uncomfortably inquisitive about the whereabouts of Ken Levine. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim “Death to Handhelds” Spaeth.

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Tim Spaeth

Tim Spaeth

Cleveland native Tim Spaeth grew up in a happy household – a household with a father whose major client happened to be an Atari games distributor. This led directly to Tim's first nickname: "The kid who got Atari games before anyone else." Indeed, he knew Pac-Man and E.T. were colossal bombs weeks before the rest of the world, and the resulting celebrity brought him great pleasure.

Through the years every aspect of Tim's life has been touched by gaming. He mastered typing thanks to Space Quest, honed his poker skills on The Sierra Network, and learned to hate after a particularly traumatic game of Tecmo Super Bowl.

Today, Tim lives in Chicago with his three kids and strives to find that perfect balance between family, career, and Warcraft. He enjoys broadcasting, martial arts, rock and roll, growing and shaving his beard, singing show tunes to the homeless, and losing at Mario Kart to his lovely, talented, and amazing girlfriend.

In late 2008, Tim became the producer and host of the GameCritics.com Podcast, and he's thrilled to be bringing GameCritics' unique editorial voice to a brand new medium.
Tim Spaeth

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26 Comments on "GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 56: E3 2011"

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MadCap1987
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MadCap1987
5 years 1 month ago
potentialy the biggest fps of this years e3, bf3 and it wasnt even talked about on the show, im quite disapointed, not just cos im a fanboy but the mw3 vs bf3 is kinda a hot topic at the moment and is ripe with opinion bias and bitchyness (lets be honest) id be grateful to hear your opinions on the subject on the next podcast, personaly i think that bf3 will not sell as much as mw3 but i think they will offer a better service and deliver an all round better game with a better engine, gameplay and community… Read more »
Mike Bracken
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Mike Bracken
5 years 2 months ago
The problem with going all out is that it winds up being a four hour show — and I don’t think any of us are all that thrilled at the prospect of spending that kind of time talking, nor are most people wanting to listen to a podcast that goes on for eternity. The only real solution was to do two E3 shows, but by the time we’d record the second one, no one wants to talk about E3 anymore. I don’t know what the solution is, really — but I do know that it usually takes at least two… Read more »
Decabo
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Decabo
5 years 2 months ago
[quote=Chi Kong Lui][quote=Decabo]Thanks for the kind response, I was hoping no one took offense to me saying that, because that was not my intent at all. Truthfully, I have no clue why people would complain about the E3 2010 podcast. To me, that was the single most honest podcast I have ever listened to. All four of you were firing on all cylinders, and the genuine passion of it all was so great, I had to shared it with a bunch of my friends.[/quote] I went back and listened to that episode and you’re right in that there’s a very… Read more »
Crofto
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Crofto
5 years 2 months ago
Some interesting comments made about Microsoft with Kinect. I mean, the almost-universal response from “core” gamers has been negative, much in the way Richard and Mike expressed, so it was interesting to see both Trent and Tim have a different take on it. It was a sorta can’t win scenario for Microsoft — they either ditch Kinect and get heat for cashing in on crappy novelty hardware, or they put more support into it and thereby gain anger from their “core” fans (which is where we’re at now). If I were a “casual” gamer, or a parent who bought Kinect… Read more »
Chi Kong Lui
Guest
Chi Kong Lui
5 years 2 months ago
[quote=Decabo]Thanks for the kind response, I was hoping no one took offense to me saying that, because that was not my intent at all. Truthfully, I have no clue why people would complain about the E3 2010 podcast. To me, that was the single most honest podcast I have ever listened to. All four of you were firing on all cylinders, and the genuine passion of it all was so great, I had to shared it with a bunch of my friends.[/quote] I went back and listened to that episode and you’re right in that there’s a very appreciable difference… Read more »
randomrob
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randomrob
5 years 2 months ago

maybe they forgot it.

[RIMSHOT]

Richard Naik
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Richard Naik
5 years 2 months ago

Amnesia has got to be on that list. Gotta be.

Trent Fingland
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Trent Fingland
5 years 2 months ago
I totally forgot to mention one of the most significant events of this year’s E3. On the final day, when Brandon and I were in the Sony lounge checking out Journey, we had a chance to talk to one of the people involved with the project–who’s name I can’t remember because I am a horrible person. Anyway, he was talking about how thatgamecompany tries to create games where the primary goal is to place the player into a specific emotional state. So I asked “What’s a game you think has been successful at doing this that hasn’t been developed by… Read more »
Pedro
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Pedro
5 years 2 months ago
I don’t have any strong feelings about this particular podcast, but I’d just like to say that you shouldn’t feel the need to be any more ‘upbeat’ than you already are. I’ve listened to a fair few of the old podcasts since I discovered this site six months ago, and you guys are note-perfect! I really didn’t get the impression that you were a crowd of bitter, miserable bastards at all πŸ™‚ Instead, I hear a podcast which is honest and extremely humourous; that’s unique in my podcast-listening experience so far, so keep it up guys! It’s a fun show… Read more »
Mike Bracken
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Mike Bracken
5 years 2 months ago
Decabo, I appreciate all the feedback — and I agree with you. I haven’t listened to the show (I have a long standing tradition of never listening to the shows after we record them. I will occasionally go back if someone calls us on a specific comment or something to make sure we were quoted correctly, though), but I know it was less cynical/bitter than last year. For me, it wasn’t a case of Tim course-correcting so much as it was a personal decision to try and find games that I was actually excited about this year. I make no… Read more »
Decabo
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Decabo
5 years 2 months ago
[quote=Tim Spaeth]I appreciate the constructive criticism, Decabo! Comments like these are very helpful to me. Last year we had some complaints that the show was TOO unstructured, TOO vulgar, TOO negative and TOO long. If I remember correctly we didn’t even record that show in chronological order; we got on Skype and just starting talking. I ended up cobbling it together in post-production. So this year I tried to course correct, and I probably course corrected too far. Still, I think our trademark cynicism was well-represented (Kinect!) and I feel like we got in some good game talk at the… Read more »
Tim Spaeth
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Tim Spaeth
5 years 2 months ago
[quote=Decabo]If I could be so bold, I was somewhat disappointed by this podcast. There was so much that I wanted to hear you guys talk about, (Mr. Caffeine, Mass Effect 3) and I feel the loose, unstructured nature of last year’s podcast lended itself much better, rather than all the time spent on religion, past predictions, etc. I don’t know, it kind of felt like this podcast was attempting to be less cynical than the last one, and it just felt flat to me.[/quote]I appreciate the constructive criticism, Decabo! Comments like these are very helpful to me. Last year we… Read more »
Decabo
Guest
Decabo
5 years 2 months ago
[quote=Mike Bracken] Decabo — we were definitely trying to be less cynical this year, if only because we spew so much venom every other year. I think the real issue is that none of us wanted to record a gargantuan 4 hour show like we seem to do after every E3. Because of that, things got left out of the mix. In something like Mass Effect 3’s case, I’m sure we’ll be talking about it a lot in future shows. [/quote] I totally understand not wanting to spend four hours on one podcast, since you’re all busy dudes, I’m sure.… Read more »
Mike Bracken
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Mike Bracken
5 years 2 months ago
[quote=Chi Kong Lui]First I’m not sure why we ding Nintendo so heavily for at least trying to innovate and reward Sony and Microsoft for essentially sticking with the status quo on their console releases. [/quote] Because most of Nintendo’s “innovations” are just gussied up gimmicks that don’t really do much to improve upon gameplay? I should “reward” them for motion controls that are tacked on to games that didn’t need them in the first place? I should cheer because they added a second screen on a handheld so I now no longer have to pause to look at my inventory… Read more »
Decabo
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Decabo
5 years 2 months ago

If I could be so bold, I was somewhat disappointed by this podcast. There was so much that I wanted to hear you guys talk about, (Mr. Caffeine, Mass Effect 3) and I feel the loose, unstructured nature of last year’s podcast lended itself much better, rather than all the time spent on religion, past predictions, etc. I don’t know, it kind of felt like this podcast was attempting to be less cynical than the last one, and it just felt flat to me.

Zolbrod
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Zolbrod
5 years 2 months ago
First off, great show guys, as usual! 1. Oh man, you’re all going to be SO disappointed with El Shaddai. I already finished the JP version, and it’s…well…it’s really obvious that the people behind it are not used to making games. It looks gorgeous, sure, and that’s all that kept me dragging through it. I mean, it’s clear that they wanted to make something artsy, to the extent that it almost feels like a graduation project for art students, but the gameplay is stale and boring, not to mention that the controls are imprecise and platforming is an immense pain.… Read more »
Vince
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Vince
5 years 2 months ago
If you google Vita transfarring, all you get is Konami’s announcement regarding the Metal Gear series using the cloud saving from now on. You guys were confusing me with all your talk about it. It would seem likely you buy a copy for the PS3, and another copy for the Vita, and now you can share the same save file because its saved somewhere on the Internet. Did you hear Microsoft’s announcement just before the show of their intent to use cloud saving. It’s meant to allow you to save your profile on the net and retrieve it from any… Read more »
Anonymous
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Anonymous
5 years 2 months ago

While I do not have a stern dressing down for you guys, I did find a link to the Romulan Language Institute.

http://rihannsu.theari.com/

Trent Fingland
Guest
Trent Fingland
5 years 2 months ago
I think it’s interesting, and kind of surprising, that so many people seem to get the vibe that El Shaddai is promoting Christianity over other religions. As I mentioned in the podcast, it’s based on an apocryphal book of the bible–meaning that the official line of Christianity regarding the book of Enoch is that it isn’t true. Even if it were instead based on say, Deuteronomy, I still don’t see the game supporting Christianity as the one true religion any more than I see the upcoming Green Lantern game implying that the Green Lantern is a real guy who did… Read more »
Chi Kong Lui
Guest
Chi Kong Lui
5 years 2 months ago

[quote=Tim Spaeth]Isn’t Transfarring just an inelegant, branded term for cloud saving? [/quote] Or cloudless cloud saving.

Chi Kong Lui
Guest
Chi Kong Lui
5 years 2 months ago
[quote=Richard Naik]So there would be a copy of the came you’d have to buy for PS3 and a copy for Vita? Or does it only work Vita game->PS3 and not PS3 game->Vita? And correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Ruin demo show the guy hoking the Vita up to the PS3 directly and playing it that way? [/quote] I’m not sure why the PSV needed to be hooked up (perhaps to transfer over the save game), but that’s obviously not the pitch/concept. As a truly portable system, a version of the software will have to exist on the… Read more »
Tim Spaeth
Guest
Tim Spaeth
5 years 2 months ago

Isn’t Transfarring just an inelegant, branded term for cloud saving? Your save happens to be compatible with both versions of the game, and can bounce from one to the other, but you need to own physical copies of both versions to make it work. I thought that was pretty clear — BUT — No one really knows for sure. That’s the wonderful thing about this E3…it’s like the industry had some silent agreement that no one would explain how anything actually works. Yay for us.

Richard Naik
Guest
Richard Naik
5 years 2 months ago

So there would be a copy of the came you’d have to buy for PS3 and a copy for Vita? Or does it only work Vita game->PS3 and not PS3 game->Vita?

And correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Ruin demo show the guy hoking the Vita up to the PS3 directly and playing it that way?

Chi Kong Lui
Guest
Chi Kong Lui
5 years 2 months ago
Upon further reflection after listening to show, I’m going to further predict that “transfarring” between the PS3 consoles and the PS Vita will require you pay for two copies of the game. Do you honestly think that Sony is going to allow an entire Blu Ray game to be downloaded onto the PSV? Aside from the security risks of allowing Sony to “rip” their own games, it will also be incredibly inconvenient to transfer 8+ gigs of data over wi-fi and/or USB. Sony has also traditionally been very closed and controlling when it comes to their media. This also partly… Read more »
Tim Spaeth
Guest
Tim Spaeth
5 years 2 months ago

1) Apologies for the sound quality this week; something wonked out between Skype, Call Graph, and my hardware. I couldn’t pinpoint the exact cause, nor could I fix it entirely in post.

2) Apologies as well for cutting the religion conversation short (especially to Richard and Trent who had much more to offer). Like I said on the show there’s an entire podcast topic to be had there. Plus I needed to make room for Too Human and Borderlands jokes; you know me — I love to raise the level of discourse.

Decabo
Guest
Decabo
5 years 2 months ago
Religion in Japanese culture is much more woven in than it is in the west. Japan has one of the largest atheist/no religion populations in the world, and yet most of those people engage in common Buddhist customs all the time. It’s just something they do. Japan is a largely homogenous country, so that can fly pretty easily. In a country as diverse as the United States, however, having a game treat one religion as being correct (Like El Shaddai is doing with the Bible) comes off as being a veiled push for that religion. So personally, I’m pretty happy… Read more »
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