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Nerds Without Pants Episode 67: The Best Laid Plans

Or: "A Tale of Two Patricks"

Welcome to Nerds Without Pants, new listeners and old! We’re missing Angelo this week, but we have a huge special guest named Patrick Klepek. You’ve heard of him, maybe? He’s here to talk about interesting game mechanics that we’d like to see exploited more often, and it’s sure to be an interesting episode. Enjoy!

TOPIC: THE BEST LAID PLANS

We talk about bringing urban traversal into horror games, the somewhat stressful but satisfying time rewinding mechanic of Majora’s Mask, making tough decisions in video games, the trend towards more challenging titles, value proposition, and more.

CONSUMPTION JUNCTION

It’s a light edition of Consumption Junction since we are a man down and it had only been a week between recording. Julian and Patrick talk about the first episode of Powers (spoiler alert: Julian is not pleased). Julian has turned the corner on Rogue Legacy, and he and Patrick compare strategies and war stories.

And that’s about it! It’s a shorter episode, but we hope you enjoy. Patrick Klepek is just the beginning, folks. Nerds Without Pants is on the rise, and it’s thanks to you. Keep it pantsless, internet!

FEATURED MUSIC

Paul Kandel-Topsy Turvy

Dark Souls- Gaping Dragon

Starbomb- The Hero of Rhyme

Jane Pinckard and Eric Haller- The 1up Show


 

Comments

Super Step Contributing Writer

03/22/2015 at 07:42 PM

Gotta say, as annoying as being pushed back to the beginning by death sounds (and was for me in Zelda II), I think that might be the cure to my "everything I do feels inconsequential" problem with modern games like Last of Us and Tomb Raider that let you take off from a convenient point. Of course, I'm also impatient. Man, these developers just can't win with me. lol

Julian Titus Senior Editor

03/23/2015 at 10:32 PM

I know how you feel. When I was trying to artuculate my dislike of Dragon Age Inquisition it boiled down to "this game lacks direction; stop holding my hand". We are impossible to please, aren't we?

I think it comes down to the need for choice. Let us choose how many layers of safety nets we want. There's no way I would have had fun with Rogue Legacy if there was literally no character progression, but at the same time if it was just a really hard game that you had to chip away at with the same character I don't think it would be as good as it is.

I said it on the show, but damn did playing Diablo 3 on hardcore make every decision feel important. When my demon hunter died at level 66 I also died a little on the inside.

Super Step Contributing Writer

03/23/2015 at 10:59 PM

That's actually the part of the show which inspired my post, so don't worry I heard it. 

And I can be pleased, but I need to find a better way to articulate what I want from a game. I guess it has been determined by how I "feel" about a game for so long that I still have trouble thinking of exactly what I'm wanting out of a game in practical, concrete terms. I studied film and literature long enough I have a good idea how to discuss those mediums, but I can still watch that Mega Man X breakdown of egoraptr's and be like "ooooooh yeeeeaaaahhh." 

And what I want with video games tends to vary more than what I want with movies and lit, so it's hard to pin down. I'm not as erratic with it as my extremely fickle and eclectic music choices, but it falls closer to that musical end of the spectrum with me where what I want at any given time is rapidly changing.

Michael117

03/27/2015 at 01:53 PM

This was really great, and the finished production wasn't nearly as bad as Julian said it would be, you must have cleaned it up really nicely. It was fantastic you guys were able to get Mr. Klepek on the show. I watched him and Alex Navarro do the morning podcast on Giant Bomb twice a week for about a year and I was always interested in his view. Most importantly as a huge fan of Souls games I think Patrick is a great ambassador for the games and he knows how to talk about the games in terms of their strengths and faults alike.

One mechanic I want to see in more games is not really a mechanic but ever since Halo 3 I've wanted to see more games do big outdoor levels with huge machines that you can board and fight inside like the mobile Scarabs that had their own AI. Every Halo game since 3 has lacked that sense of awe and action in the mission design.

Every time the scarabs showed up in Halo 3 it was like the Halo version of Shadow of the Collosus. It was some of the best fun I ever had playing co-op; driving around a huge encounter space with a lot of angles of attack, experimenting with tactics, and seeing all the crossfire and shenanigans that happen when you have dozens of combatants on the field and some giant AI robot in the middle of it all recking havok. A machine which you could board in multiple ways if you got creative with it. It was so good. Halo action has been scaled back ever since then and they've gotten away from the big action sandbox designs that made those levels in Halo 3 fantastic, in my opinion.

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