Brad's back with a vengeance, smacking down accusations that he's playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim incorrectly. Also: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Corpse Party, Fate/Extra, and, at last, our semi-epic fight over Batman: Arkham City. Plus: Details on how you can win BIG in our BIG holiday contest. With Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "BIG" Spaeth.

Download: Right click here and select "Save Target As…"
Subscribe: iTunes | Zune | RSS

Links:

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


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

Leave a Reply

27 Comments on "GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 65: Batman Arkham City, Zelda Skyward Sword, More Skyrim, Corpse Party, Fate/Extra"

Notify of
avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
crackajack
Guest
crackajack
4 years 7 months ago
[quote=Zolbrod] Here’s something I don’t get: what does it mean for a game to be “too gamey”? Arkham City gets accused of being “too much like a game” and I can’t fathom that for the life of me.[/quote] Since i haven’t played it, and also have watched almost no videos, this is as i got it: it breaks the immersion of being Batman. In Asylum the feeling of being powerful and having the control of this trained dude with gadgets was great and in between there were this green marks. In Arkham city it sounds like its a little too… Read more »
Zolbrod
Guest
Zolbrod
4 years 7 months ago
Here’s something I don’t get: what does it mean for a game to be “too gamey”? Arkham City gets accused of being “too much like a game” and I can’t fathom that for the life of me. Do people look at words on paper and go “this thing is way too book-y!”? “Look at those moving pictures! This thing is way too movie-y!” Arkham City is a game. As a game, it’s going to behave like a game and do game-y things. There is nothing wrong with this. On the contrary, it’s completely and utterly unavoidable because IT’S A GAME.… Read more »
crackajack
Guest
crackajack
4 years 7 months ago
It’s been some time since i played Morrowind but i can’t remember that its leveling system is any different than how Skyrims is described. I run, i get training in agility (or speed?). I level up speed. I get hit with heavy armor equipped, i level up heavy armor. I get hit with light armor. I level up that. I mix potions. I level up that skill. and so forth… I played with heavy swords, daedric items first because i like the brute accessories. After i hit the 100 respectively 105 limit i switched to light weapons and armory just… Read more »
aHei
Guest
aHei
4 years 7 months ago

[quote=aHei]Finish Arkham City.

[/quote]

Of course i meant ‘Finished’. And yes GC critics disagree all the time which is great. Awesomest show ever.

James Farley
Guest
James Farley
4 years 7 months ago

I just listened to my first gamecritics podcast and it was great! I like that you guys have the gall to disagree and stay friendly with each other, which is not something you always see in media. You guys have a new subscriber.

aHei
Guest
aHei
4 years 7 months ago

Finish Arkham City. I don’t think it is as bad as Brad described it but it definitely does not compare to Asylum which I completed twice in the higher difficulty.

I also thought the side quests were pretty unsatisfying upon completion, especially if you expect some story out of them. For example, all you get once you’ve beaten Szaz or Deadshot is a 5 sec video seeing them locked up. Very disappointing, especially if you’re coming from some Bioware RPG.

Anyway, still had a good time with it.

FZeroRacer
Guest
FZeroRacer
4 years 7 months ago
I think my biggest beef with Skyrim is that it’s hailed as this great ‘epic’ story…but the story itself just isn’t up to par. It’s like they tried writing ways in which the player could be this super amazing hero, but then the gameplay nor the actual story actually serves to meet this end. Especially in regards to dragons who turned out to be the weakest enemies in the game which is entirely silly. On the note of story though, I would love to see the critics here play To The Moon and read their interpretations of the story. I’ve… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
4 years 7 months ago

Brad you just didn’t play Skyrim right. Just joking even though I enjoyed the game a great deal it’s nice to hear dissenting opinions from both you and Mike since almost every other website has cookie cutter reviews that read like a Bethesda promotion.

Pedro
Guest
Pedro
4 years 7 months ago

Hey Guys,

Just a note to say well done on a fantastic show; it was great that Brad was back as there’s a whole different dynamic when both he and Mike are on which I love. This one reached even greater heights than the last couple. Definitely the funniest podcast out there. Keep it up!

Mike Bracken
Guest
Mike Bracken
4 years 7 months ago
[quote=Chi Kong Lui]That last line reminds me of my review of Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire where I tried to contemplate work vs play. There’s a very fine line between the two and your last comment at least acknowledges that and gives the game some credit rather than the game is “boring.” I don’t doubt that’s an honest reaction on your part, but it doesn’t shed any light as to why its able to engage so many others.[/quote] Well, I was walking a fine line. During that episode, I was in the middle of writing my review, which does articulate why I think… Read more »
Mike Bracken
Guest
Mike Bracken
4 years 7 months ago
Hi AJ, Thanks for the comments. [quote]I don’t know what’s happened to you guys, but it seems you’ve become very curmudgeonly of late. I would guess back as far as August or so?[/quote] I’m always curmudgeonly. I have been since around 2nd grade. 🙂 [quote]First, Skyrim. Look, I don’t begrudge someone not being into it. It’s not for everyone. It is most definitely for the hard core RPGer, probably people with a tabletop RPG background. I think one has to understand, however, that the game’s “Main Quest” isn’t that at all, really. It has one on the basis that people… Read more »
Mike Bracken
Guest
Mike Bracken
4 years 7 months ago
[quote]The second group finds the hack n slash as a means to an end. They do this just because they are expecting something in return. Something to make them feel better, such as a nice fairy tale or recognition from npcs in order to feel like they spent their time doing something meaningful. But the reality is, there is no meaning in playing a video game at all, no matter how immersive it is. Even if the programmers made the npcs to recognise you as the saviour of the universe, in the end, it is just a game. When what… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
4 years 7 months ago
Skyrim is a thought provoking game. It divides people(interested in rpgs) in 2 general categories: a) Those who are looking for a game to play and enjoy for its gameplay. b) Those who are looking for a story to immerse themselves and forget the real world. The first group loves this game, because it is a tremendous bang for the buck value, and the second group finds it boring because it lacks enough hooks to make the real world fade away. The first group cannot view Skyrim’s quests as busywork, because they do not play those quests because they are… Read more »
AJ Dembroski
Guest
AJ Dembroski
4 years 7 months ago
I don’t know what’s happened to you guys, but it seems you’ve become very curmudgeonly of late. I would guess back as far as August or so? This particular podcast wreaked of “If I don’t like it, it shouldn’t be in the game.” First, Skyrim. Look, I don’t begrudge someone not being into it. It’s not for everyone. It is most definitely for the hard core RPGer, probably people with a tabletop RPG background. I think one has to understand, however, that the game’s “Main Quest” isn’t that at all, really. It has one on the basis that people expect… Read more »
Chi Kong Lui
Guest
Chi Kong Lui
4 years 7 months ago
[quote=Mike Bracken]I’d also disagree about TES being the top of the class for RPG graphics. While the geography of Skyrim is impressive, the character models in aren’t anything to write home about. The hair styles are hideous and the third person character animations, while improved, are still pretty lousy looking. Run down a mountain in third person…it’s hilarious.[/quote] While the models in Skyrim are not great, its a bit better than previous games and I struggle to think of another RPG that has better graphics. As much as I loved Dragon Age: Origins, the graphics were so bad that it… Read more »
Mike Bracken
Guest
Mike Bracken
4 years 7 months ago
[quote=Chi Kong Lui]While I don’t play MMO’s, last time I checked, the Elder Scrolls games are at the top of the food chain when it comes to graphics in RPGs. If I had to choose between hyper-stylized anime-colorful armor vs understated real-world looking ones with gritty textures, I’ll take the latter. And I switch back and forth between first and third person all the time. I also get a good look at the armor when I’m forging or during death blow animations.[/quote] You really think the armor and weaponry is that head and shoulders above everything else on the market?… Read more »
Chi Kong Lui
Guest
Chi Kong Lui
4 years 7 months ago
[quote=Mike Bracken]Honestly, I’m surprised you think the weapons and armor are that fantastic. I’ve played a billion RPGs, online and off, and most of Skyrim’s weaponry and armor is pretty generic. I mean, Dragon Armor and all that isn’t any cooler than the old Dark Knight AF in Final Fantasy XI, and it all pales in comparison to some of the gear found in the Korean MMOs like Aion for me. That’s subjective, of course, but I didn’t find any of the weapons or armor particularly exciting — and it’s even funnier since many people play in first person and… Read more »
Mike Bracken
Guest
Mike Bracken
4 years 7 months ago
[quote=Chi Kong Lui]Regardless of it being an MMO or not, I find it hard to believe that any narrative and/or reward justifies the amount of time and effort you put into that fishing rod quest. My main point that I’m driving at (and I promise I won’t beat this to death) is that ultimately, a lot of gaming experiences (especially open-world ones) are determined by what we choose to put into it and Skyrim is no different in that regard. A pen & paper game of D&D is either a wildly imaginative fantasy adventure or its several dorks acting silly… Read more »
Chi Kong Lui
Guest
Chi Kong Lui
4 years 7 months ago
[quote=Mike Bracken]It is part of the game’s narrative. There’s a quest and story that go along with obtaining the rod. It’s an MMO, though, so it’s sort of an apples and oranges thing to my way of thinking. It wasn’t my own quest — it’s a quest that all the serious fishermen undertake. It’s a sidequest, but unlike so many of the side quests in Skyrim, there’s a worthwhile reward for completion.[/quote] Regardless of it being an MMO or not, I find it hard to believe that any narrative and/or reward justifies the amount of time and effort you put… Read more »
Mike Bracken
Guest
Mike Bracken
4 years 7 months ago
[quote=Chi Kong Lui]But acquiring that fishing rod was not a part of the narrative right? You decided to make that your own quest in the game. As a fellow loot-whorer, I’m surprised that you aren’t able to enjoy Skyrim as a straight dungeon crawler.[/quote] It is part of the game’s narrative. There’s a quest and story that go along with obtaining the rod. It’s an MMO, though, so it’s sort of an apples and oranges thing to my way of thinking. It wasn’t my own quest — it’s a quest that all the serious fishermen undertake. It’s a sidequest, but… Read more »
Chi Kong Lui
Guest
Chi Kong Lui
4 years 7 months ago
[quote=Mike Bracken]Not quite the same, Chi. In an MMO, you have to do something to make money, so fishing for the rod made making money easier, hence making the gameplay experience easier. Reading books in Skyrim has no effect on the gameplay (other than clicking on a skill book — which, thank god, you don’t actually have to read) and is completely extraneous (and boring). And yes, I would sign up for that. At least there was something worthwhile waiting at the end of my quest. :p Meanwhile, Skyrim sends me on a billion quests that don’t do anything with… Read more »
Mike Bracken
Guest
Mike Bracken
4 years 7 months ago
Not quite the same, Chi. In an MMO, you have to do something to make money, so fishing for the rod made making money easier, hence making the gameplay experience easier. Reading books in Skyrim has no effect on the gameplay (other than clicking on a skill book — which, thank god, you don’t actually have to read) and is completely extraneous (and boring). And yes, I would sign up for that. At least there was something worthwhile waiting at the end of my quest. :p Meanwhile, Skyrim sends me on a billion quests that don’t do anything with the… Read more »
Chi Kong Lui
Guest
Chi Kong Lui
4 years 7 months ago

[quote=Mike Bracken]Heheh — the only thing more boring than the endless series of meaningless quests would be actually reading those books. :p[/quote] What if you had to fish endlessly so you could earn enough loot to buy a magical fishing rod that would allow to fish even more and earn more loot? Is that something you would sign up for Mike? 😉

Mike Bracken
Guest
Mike Bracken
4 years 7 months ago
Heheh — the only thing more boring than the endless series of meaningless quests would be actually reading those books. :p I’m gonna make a “game” where you run around a huge expansive world where you can uncover hundreds of locations through exploration and when you uncover these places you can do exciting things like vacuum them or put the owner’s tons of meaningless possessions in order (and the immersion comes from using your imagination to decide whether you want to be a helpful little home invader who creates order or an evil prankster who hides the toilet paper). The… Read more »
Chris Johnson
Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Gotta, say I’m with Richard on Skyrim. And yes, I too read the books! Way to hold the line. PS – it’s still nice to have brad back in spite of it all 🙂

Mike S
Guest
Mike S
4 years 7 months ago
Seiko, the girl asking for the “butt cream” and drooling at her friend is just a wacky weirdo who hides her lesbian crush by being loud, brash and cheerful. Her weird behavior is noted by the other characters and we see better sides of her soon after. She’s pretty much the only oddball character in the game that we’re clearly expected to connect with, and the others are far more well rounded with issues that aren’t often telegraphed with a spotlight. Even the villains have some kind of reasoning and justification behind the things they do, which is far better… Read more »
Richard Naik
Guest
Richard Naik
4 years 7 months ago

Damn, I sound so muffled in this one. It must be something about being around Tim…

wpDiscuz