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Nerds Without Pants Episode 34: NWP: The Next Generation

Boldly going where pantsless nerds have gone before.

Let's get right to it, people. There's no time to talk about current media we've been consuming, because this episode of NWP is an epic look back at the seventh console generation and a bit of a look forward at the eighth generation. So sit back, strap in, and get comfy, folks!

We kick things off by looking way back into 2005 and explaining who we were and what we were doing. It's been almost a decade since this console cycle began, and we tell some interesting stories about ourselves and the launches of the big three machines.

Then we bring up how these launch things typically go, and what people should expect in case they've forgotten or just plain have never had to upgrade their consoles before. Angelo returns to the Sony fold after a twelve year absence and is itching to experience an entirely new backlog (which, if you follow Angelo on PixlBit you know is a very good thing).

We close things out by musing over what we believe to be some of the most important games of this generation, either on a personal level or to the industry as a whole. Let us know in the comments what games you would add to the discussion, and give Angelo suggestions for PS2 and PS3 games.

Oh, did you know The Transporter 2 came out in 2005? Statham Sighting (tm)!

FEATURED MUSIC:

The Black Eyed Peas- Don't Phunk With My Heart

The Gorrillaz- Feel Good, Inc.

Green Day- Boulevard of Broken Dreams


 

Comments

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

11/04/2013 at 02:53 PM

If anybody has any suggestions for which ps3 and ps2 games I should pick up, I made a list of the games I'm already planning to get in a blog here. If you have any other suggestions, let me know!

transmet2033

11/05/2013 at 07:47 AM

I had this very hopeful thought.  I was wondering if Retro Studios chose to do another Donkey Kong because they wanted to hone their 2D platforming skills.  Making themselves ready to work on a 2D Metroid.

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

11/06/2013 at 12:31 PM

If they give Samus a ground-pound move that will be my GOTY.

transmet2033

11/06/2013 at 03:56 PM

They clearly need to bring the moon walk ability back to the series.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

11/06/2013 at 07:42 PM

Angelo, just...no.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

11/06/2013 at 07:42 PM

That would be awesome. I'm still annoyed that there hasn't been a game to pick up where Metroid Fusion left off.

transmet2033

11/06/2013 at 08:39 PM

100% agree.  Fusion is one of my all-time favourite games and I would love to see post Fusion Samus.

Nick DiMola Director

11/06/2013 at 08:41 PM

For what it's worth, Metroid: Other M is kind of like a 3D Fusion (or at least that's how it's always felt to me). Not sure if you guys have checked that one out, but it's a fun romp.

Of course, it has the worst representation of Samus ever, but I guess you need to take the good with the bad?

transmet2033

11/06/2013 at 09:53 PM

I enjoyed Other M.  It was a fun romp, and did have  fair amount of similarities to Fusion.  I don't think that is Necessarily what we are looking for.  More of a classic Metroid game that takes place after Fusion.  Something like the Metroid Dread that was teased a while back.

Nick DiMola Director

11/07/2013 at 09:03 AM

I'd definitely be up for more 2D Metroid, especially if they could do something interesting with it. Not sure if I'd want Retro on it, unless they were working it alongside some other more grandiose project.

transmet2033

11/07/2013 at 09:26 AM

A 2D Metroid wouldn't be grandiose?

In the end, I will be happy with whatever Retro pumps out.  I am still confused as to why everybody got so pissed when they announced Tropical Freeze.  They may have brought Metroid back, but that does not make them a Metroid exclusive developer.

Nick DiMola Director

11/07/2013 at 10:50 AM

The 2D Metroid games are all pretty small in scope. I think I can beat Metroid Fusion in around 4 - 5 hours at this point. To me, that's something that would be a small project, whereas something like a Metroid Prime is a huge project. Not that I'm saying I want them to do another MP (I wouldn't mind of course).

To be perfectly honest, I'd like them to make a new IP. While it's not the worst thing in the world to get more Donkey Kong Country, it just feels like an unambitious project for a highly talented team.

transmet2033

11/07/2013 at 11:21 AM

While Fusion may have a small scope, it is perfectly tailored towards replayability.  There is a reason that I come back to it on a regular basis.  So regular a basis that I got my completion time down to 85 minutes the last time I finished it.

Nintendo could use a new IP, and I am sure that Retro would be able to deliver.  So let's hope that Retro is given something new to do next, even if it is contrary to their name.

Michael117

11/13/2013 at 02:45 PM

I got into the 7th generation during holiday 2006 when Gears just came out, and that was the first game I ever played on the system. I was in highschool at the time and was working graveyard shifts during the weekends as a dishwasher at IHOP. I saved every dollar I worked or in order to get the $400 Xbox 360 Pro package with the 20G HDD and then I bought Gears of War and an extra warranty of some kind.

It couldn't have been a more perfect new console experience, the system and games made the best impressions I could ask for. Gears was really stunning visually and fun mechanically. Things only got better when I got my hands on Oblivion. Since I bought my 360 during holiday 2006, the best year of gaming was just right around the corner. 2007 came along with Valve's Orange Box, Halo 3 (which still holds as my favorite of that franchise), Mass Effect, Bioshock, and Assassin's Creed making me more than happy I had the new console. It was the first console that I had paid for on my own so I was able to have that sense of pride and develop a new appreciation for it that I didn't have with previous gens.

When Guns of the Patriots came out for PS3 I wanted to get one real bad but I could never save up that much money. Whenever I had disposable income I always used it to invest more into the 360 library instead of setting it aside for the larger purchase. Now that the generation is passing I'm finally planning to save the money for a PS3 and get all the generation's worth of games I always wanted to play on the system. I learned a lot during this gen and patience is one of the most important things. When the 360 was coming out I was really impatient and couldn't afford to miss the next Halo. I was practically frothing when I had saved up my work money and went to Gamestop to grab that first 360. Now that I'm planning to get the PS4 I'm willing to be way more patient and wait a year or so like Angelo is doing. I eventually want an Xbox One as well so I can play the next two Halo games that are planned for it, but it just goes to show you that I changed a lot during the 7th gen. In 2006 when I bought the 360 the one game I was anticipating most was the eventuality of Halo 3 we all knew would be coming at some point, and now as the 8th gen starts I'm willing to not even pick up the Microsoft console for the first few years it's out. I'm a huge Halo fanboy from way back to the beginning in 2002, and now I'm willing to wait years to play the next one.

The games that benefited me the most intellectually and creatively, and were my favorites of the whole cycle, were Minecraft, Dark Souls, Portal, HL2: Episodes 1 & 2, Bioshock 1, and Mass Effect 1. This was the first generation of my life where I felt like game designers and the games themselves reached out to me and said, "You can come do this too, you should come learn to make games." The companies that accomplished that the most were Valve and Bungie by having insightful and deep developer commentaries in both The Orange Box and with the Halo 3 limited edition. I watched the long Bungie documentary over and over dozens of times, and played through Valve's games with dev commentary on studying their levels and vernacular. I realized this gen that designing games is a tangible process with skills you can develop and ideas you can study.

When I was a younger kid on the N64 I literally thought that video games were just magic, they ended up on shelves to buy, and it wasn't interesting to investigate beyond that. On a related note that's quite a big deal but pretty silly, as a child I didn't even know computers and games ran on programming, but I had heard that term before without knowledge of what it was. I finally had a mental breakthrough when I watched The Matrix of all things. Not only was I interested in that movie because of the cool visuals and story, but the big concepts of the movie opened my brain to thinking in a new way.

Miyamoto was my idol at the time. I thought to myself, "Is that what programming is, it's all the numbers and codes? I bet THAT'S what Miyamoto is doing, just on a much smaller scale and without the intentions to turn humans into batteries. He uses a computer, does code, and his dreams and imagination come to life. The walls and people in Ocarina are actually numbers like how Neo sees the Matrix around him."

Watching that movie made a huge difference in letting me realize that video games were something people made, you used programming, and made your thoughts into a tangible thing. Even all these years later it still stirs my heart to think of it that way, I still love The Matrix for stretching my brain and love Miyamoto's games for what they gave to me. Obviously there's a business side to games and Nintendo was making money, but for me as a child my parents bought my games so all I ever focused on was connecting to the creative side of the experiences. In my mind all Miyamoto ever asked from me was to give him some of my time, and in return he'd give me his imagination, which can still get me choked up. Those kinds of Bridge to Terebithia escapist and idealist thoughts have stayed with me ever since and helped make me as passionate about designing experiences as I am now. Even though they've been tempered a bit by reality and knowledge as I learn about the business side of the industry and the exposes when things go bad or are managed terribly.

This 7th generation expanded on all those old thoughts I had as a kid. More than any others, the games Minecraft, Dark Souls, Portal, Halo 3, and the Half Life 2 expansions changed how I think about games, showed me things I'd never seen, made me feel things I never had in games, and pulled me towards the industry.

This was the generation where game design became more accessible than ever before by leaps and bounds. There's actual schools now, professors, things to discuss and learn, free high quality tools. Game design is bigger than ever and pulling in more people than before, and with the lessons and mistakes of ole being passed onto new generations it reasons that design will get better, and creativity will be spurred on more and more. I feel like I'm on a different planet from all the people spelling doom for gaming and only finding time to complain and get tunnel vision. Design and games have never been more exciting and wide open than they are now.

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