Thursday, July 23, 2009

BCP's "Game-Shame On You," ROUND some housekeeping.

Okay, a few things need to be touched on. First off, we apologize for our incredibly extended vacation from the show. It hasn't really be a vacation at all, but a number of snowballing dilemmas, both personally and professionally, that have kept us away from the Innerwebs for the last few weeks. On the other hand, maybe it gave you a chance to catch up on some of the older episodes you missed the first time around, and you didn't miss us at all. To those of you who fit this exclusive group, you are welcome.

Secondly, we know that a lot has been going on in the gaming world, and we have not been able to cover it as well as we would like. You will be happy to know that we will be doing more blogging and twittering in the meantime and coming months, in order to provide much more direct interaction between actual shows. This way you can stay up-to-date on a much more regular basis, and can provide us with much quicker feedback between episodes. So please, do us a favor and take advantage of it.

Finally, we have been teasing our brand-new bit, the BCP's "Game-Shame On You," where we pick a game that we embarrassingly missed the first time around, play it for three hours, then talk about our findings with one another as well as you, the fans. Well, after all the teasing and delaying, we have finally made it to Round One of our "Game-Shame On You!"

Indigo Prophecy

If you haven't heard much about this game, it is the first big release by Quantic Dream, the developer who has been talked about quite a bit regarding the upcoming Heavy Rain. It was originally known as Fahrenheit outside the US, but was changed when brought to North America. You can read about it at the wikipedia page,

Below you can read both Mike's and my own opinion upon playing the first three hours of this incredibly innovative and different take on the age-old adventure game. Scores will be presented at the bottom.

Craig: "Indigo Prophecy is one of those games that defies one's ability to rate it for a number of reasons, especially in retrospect. On one hand, when I look at this game and play it straight, just as the game it is, I'm kind of lost. Certain aspects of the gameplay are watered down to nothing more than "Slide the analog stick to the left to move the closet door to the left, thus opening it." Wait....really? Did I seriously just do that? As in, that was actually considered as gameplay when you designed it?? And then it happened again....and again....and again. There is a sequence in which you actually move the analog back and forth to simulate mopping a floor, followed by a left-hand move to simulate dropping a knife in a bathroom garbage, a knife with which you just murdered a man in cold-blood without any knowledge of why.

Yes, the second part of that sentence is why this game is pretty damn cool. The story is definitely ahead of its time, taking chances and pushing the envelope whenever possible (including some pretty racy sex scenes long before that whole impossibly pathetic "SeXXBox" shit). In addition, the game does for me what every good game should do: fake me out! Indigo is able to make me love it not because of what it does, but what I imagine I wish it was doing. It does the best job I have ever seen taking the relatively basic concept of moving sticks and pressing buttons (clearly not a novel act in games), and faking me into believing I am actually becoming part of the world within the game.

Am I actually any more involved than any other game? Of course not, not unless Heavy Rain comes with some gigantic crappy-looking "Last Starfighter" VR helmet or some shit. But somehow, it will confuse you into believing that you are living every game's dream: that you are 'really there' (whatever that means). It reminds me of all those crybabies who bitch and moan about how Quick-Time Events take you out of the game because you are just hitting buttons instead of controlling the action. I'm sorry, WHAT??? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING WHENEVER YOU PLAY A GAME??? How does that statement even make SENSE to you??

Long story short, this game fails miserably on one hand, and is a whole new world of innovation on the other. It's most impressive feat is getting me amped up for what Quantic will be able to pull off with Heavy Rain...especially if it comes with that awesome Last Starfighter VR helmet (yeah, I changed my mind....we can mock it now, but 7-year old Craig wanted the shit out of that thing)."

Mike: “As my 3rd hour with Indigo Prophecy comes to a close, I cannot help but think about Star Wars. No, not the compelling cock-competition between the USA and USSR in the 80’s, but the compelling cock competition between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance in the 80’s. When one watches the movies now (and I mean the ORIGINAL trilogy, not the newer crap) one cannot help but think that they only hold up because we fondly remember how cool they were 30 years ago – if you forced someone to watch them right now who had never seen them before, they would invariably say that they SUCKED, and an argument would ensue that would involve some combination of wookies, midgets and Carrie Fisher’s tits. So, I finish my 3rdhour of Indigo Prophecy, and I say to myself, ‘this game sucks’. But does it, really? No, it most certainly does not, but it just doesn’t hold up today. That is why this Shame on You segment is so unique… forces one to almost forget how far we have come and, instead, remember where we were. That being said, I STILL wasn’t enthralled by this Quantic Dream offering. The pacing was incredibly slow and the addition of other playable characters was interesting provided it was during the same scene i.e. the first chapter had me playing two different cops investigating the same crime scene – pointless, honestly, and it did nothing but slow the story to a crawl IMHO. The graphics were so-so, most likely average even for 2005, but the graphics really don’t need to be good – it is the story that drives this game along and it seems to be a great story at that. If anything, I am glad to have experienced this title if only to provide precedent for the upcoming Heavy Rain, which looks to improve the pacing and obviously usher this ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ into the next gen. To be fair, I am not one for slow-paced games, so my score is contingent on the fact that the whole experience may have improved with the addition of a chaingun, but I feel confident that I gave this title enough of a chance."

BarCODE Podcast GAME SHAME ON YOU scoring system – minimum a game can earn is 3pts, or a 15%, max is 20pts, or a 100%

a) Did you play it when it first came out? (No = 0pt; Yes = 3pts)

b) How long did you play it now? (Min 2hrs = 1pt; 3-5hrs = 2pts; 5-10hrs = 3pts; finished the game = 5pts)

c) Would you recommend this to others? (No = 0pt; Yes = 2pts)

d) Graphics ‘Then’ – (Scale of 1 to 10 based on release date comparators)

e) Graphics ‘Now’ – (Scale of 1 to 10 based on genre-specific comparators)

Craig Makk's Overall Score:

a) Yes

b) 4 hours

c) Yes

d) 7

e) 5

Total: 19 points, or 63% Overall.

Mike Lock's Overall Score

a) No

b) 3 Hours

c) Yes

d) 6 out of 10

e) 4 out of 10

Total: 14 points, or 47% Overall.

Current GameRankings score – 85.77%

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