One Life Left: Goodbye Gordon

By Kieron Gillen on June 23rd, 2009 at 12:08 pm.

Walker like Ste. Kieron likes Ste. Jim likes Ste. Is that the time?

One Life Left is back! Well, it was back last week, but we didn’t mention it, because we like to provoke a kind of brooding loathing between us and them, think of us the Sharks and Jets of videogame discourse. Is tragedy going to arise when Anne Scantlebury falls for Walker? Oh, it surely will. Anyway – we decide to mention it this week, because there’s a PC-related song 44 minutes into it, from the oft-amusing Doyouinverts?. It’s about Gordon Freeman of Half-life fame and you can listen to it here. If you skip forward 44 minutes, anyway. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, here’s the mail Ste sent us…

Hey RPS chaps,

Have you been listening to the ALL NEW series of Europe’s favourite gaming radio show, One Life Left? You totally should. Although it lacks new contributions from any one of you (we would love more contributions from any one of you) it is still full of RPS-like game-related nonsense, including (but not limited to) malevolent gaming poetry, game reviews by a seven-year-old girl, poorly-thought-through listener interaction and the best game music too.

The reason I’m writing, though, is to direct you towards something I thought your readers would be particularly interested in. “Goodbye Gordon” is a new song by One Life Left’s beloved house band, The DoYouInverts and concerns PC gaming’s favourite hero. It’s been described as a “Still Alive” for the crowbar generation. By me. Just then.

Obviously the chance to hear it live has come and gone, but thankfully it’s also on the podcast which your listeners can find on iTunes (please subscribe) by searching for ‘One Life Left’, or clicking here or download directly on the website at http://www.onelifeleft.com. It’s about 44 minutes in so you can skip all our nonsense, though if you do you’ll miss out on some more brilliant stuff, including a brutal poem about Guitar Hero and an exclusive preview of the new, as-yet-unannounced Lego game.

I hope you’re keeping well. I played Plants vs Zombies the other day! And enjoyed it! Before you know it I’ll be on the grain management flight sim historical shooters 24/7 like you lot.

Your friend,

Ste

He is never our friend.

__________________

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57 Comments »

  1. Stromko says:

    Grain management flight sim historical shooters? He’s called it so wrong. We’re all about mass transit and construction hard-sims here.

  2. Ado says:

    Europes best online videogame radio show??

    Have they never listened to the PCG Podcast, I doubt it can even come close. I bet they don’t even have a Pod Cat or a Master of Stealth.

  3. Radiant says:

    I do wish the trifoce boys went back to writing about videogames.
    Their website is incredibly dull.

  4. Hunty says:

    PCG podcast is decent, but OLL just has a bit more pizzazz, in my view. It’s also punctuated by nifty electronica, which helps.

  5. Kieron Gillen says:

    I’ll agree with Hunty. One Life Left is an actual radio show with a load of work and features. PCG’s podcast – and ours, for that matter – is a group of people sitting and talking. OLL is just a much bigger thing.

    KG

  6. Gap Gen says:

    I went off grain management after they nerfed the 5-year plan in Call of Duty 4 in favour of a regenerating heath system.

  7. One Ste Left says:

    Thanks, RPS! And commenters! And The Doyouinverts! Who are amazing!

    Ado: we’re not an online radio show! We’re an actual radio show, on 104.4 Resonance FM. In fact, we’re pretty much the only one in Europe (and one of two in the world, we think) which means the favourite tag (not ‘best’!) is fairly firmly tongue-in-cheek.

  8. AndrewC says:

    I would like to say bad things about the Doyouinverts but I fear they would cry into their tea.

  9. Ian says:

    I was fucking gutted when Empire: Call of Management-O-Grain Freight‘s EU release was delayed.

  10. Monchberter says:

    RPS vs OneLifeLeft.

    That Zero Punctuation arse Yahtzee adjudicating.

    FIIIIIIIGHHHHTTTT

    Make it happen

  11. somnolentsurfer says:

    @Monchberter
    I’d favour RPS as there are more of them, but I worry that Walker might be a drag on the team.

  12. Monchberter says:

    I’d fancy Jim by himself actually, he looks a bit tasty. Arms like sides of beef.

  13. the doyouinverts says:

    @AndrewC

    I have a cup of tea here, and a box of tissues. Fire away.

  14. Ado says:

    Ok, ok, that was my knee-jerk reaction. My loyalty surprises even me sometimes :o)

    @Hunty; @Kieron Gillen

    Fair comment, I just enjoy the general unplanned banter mixed with PC related goodness. Others I have listened to tend to stray out of comfort zone into console territory. Two joysticks can never replace a keyboard and mouse in my heart. I am of the hardcore when it come to my gaming. ;o)

    @One Ste Left
    I shall certainly be sampling the delights of OLL in the near future. Never one to limit myself to the comftable and known. I think it may compliment nicely with my current radio diet of Radio 4 or 5Live when my DAB permits. Are you on or planning DAB transmission too?

    Whether I end up liking it or not, I tip my hat to you sir on your team’s good works of bringing such a thing into being.

  15. Ado says:

    Erg, put my e-mail address in wrong there, @homtail.com…

    I think that might be a differant kind of website :os

  16. jay says:

    @Kieron
    “is a group of people sitting and talking.”

    You say this like it’s a bad thing.

    I’m a bit behind in going through the RPS podcasts but this quality is what I like about them.

  17. mister k says:

    I have to admit to not liking OLL that much, partially because I listen to podcasts for talkingness, and not wildly varying in quality music. That said, reviews with Natalia ARE awesome.

  18. Kieron Gillen says:

    Oh, there’s no problem with preferring what you like, but in terms of… well, it’s the RPS podcast is the equivalent of a decent RPS post, in amount of effort. One Life Left is something else, more akin to a week’s work. It does the chatty stuff, plus lots of other stuff as well.

    KG

  19. Nero says:

    This is about the only podcast I still listen to (also yours of course) because all the other became very samey. “This and that games comes out soon, it should be awesome..” etc. But OLL always make me laugh cause there’s not much like it out there.

  20. The Sombrero Kid says:

    OLL is a must listen if you like games, the end.

  21. AndrewC says:

    Well, OK. Now I always have problems with twee music, but we can put that down to subjective choice.

    So: It’s too long. There’s nothing added once we get the set up but repeated versions of the set up but with different HL references shoe-horned in. As such it feels like you wrote a list of HL references and just added verses until you got to the bottom of it – this makes it ‘clever-clever’ instead of intelligent and in this way it stops the ending being emotionally satisfying in a ‘real song’ way, because the middle is just endless repetition that bogs down the song and thus lessens the impact of the ending.

    If you took out the HL references and had it just be a ‘real’ indie song, it would be an interminable, navel-gazingly dull indie song with no sense of structural rhythm.

    So instead of being a ‘real song’, maybe it is purely a ‘joke song’ – not existing to give any emotional feedback but just be a framework for a bunch of gags. Ok – well the reference to the ‘source’ is painful and also out of character: all the other gags are ‘in continuity’ and from the point of view of (presumably) Alex, where as this one was ‘out of continuity’ and from the point of view of the ‘player’. And also is a terrible pun, rather than a straight reference.

    Plus it’s the same gag over and over. Diminishing returns!

    And anyway – the HL reference joke only works because you are incongruously inserting them into a ‘real’ song. The gag is based on it being a straight faced sad love song that, lol, is set in the HL universe. But, as I stated, the need to shoe horn in the jokes stops it being a good real song.

    Plus having an awkwardly scanning line in the first verse (the gravity gun line) doesn’t sell the song at all. It makes it feel like a tossed-off sketch, and accentuates any other small failings that happen further along in the song. Like Gordon not having an inventory.

    So! you have a song that falls uncomfortably between two stools, and ends up a very thin gruel of entertainment, from my point of view, as a result.

    My advice? Tighten it up! Get in, get out. A minute and a half – ‘straight’ intro, first verse to set up the emotional story, end the first verse with the reveal that it is in HL universe (rather than the first line). A couple verses of your comedy stylings then get to the Barney chorus as soon as possible. And maybe use the word fucking. The word ‘Fucking’ is funny in twee songs.

    Plus did I mention I don’t like twee songs?

  22. Morph says:

    Though the reason OLL is so good is that so little of it is actually about games.

  23. Scythe says:

    I’ve been listening to OLL for years now and I can safely say that it is both chocolaty delicious and rib-ticklingly funny at every juncture.

    They aren’t a podcast, per ste (sorry), they’re an actual bona fide radio show that just so happens to be recorded and distributed online. It’s a bit more focused.

    –Scythe–

  24. Dr Gonzo says:

    @ AndrewC – That would be lame, it would be the same as everyother badly written joke song. I believe that this song is meant to be like HalfManHalfBiscuit, if you don’t know them then check them out. Nothing lazier than a reveal joke.

  25. AndrewC says:

    Game references inserted into real-world situations are none too original either, Dr Gonzo.

  26. Gap Gen says:

    I think that is my biggest criticism with a lot of podcasts – they’re just conversations you can listen to. If they’re interesting people with interesting things to say, then fine – but they can be more, so it’s good to see someone attempting something like that. It kinda moves the internet towards something more professional than a wall of easily-formed opinions, which we need if print media is indeed to peg it.

  27. Nallen says:

    OLL reminds me of EVE TV. Big ideas, tons of effort, moments of greatness but…just…not really my cup of tea – despite my interest in the subject matter.

  28. Alex Jacobson says:

    The direct download link didn’t work for me. Eventually found this link instead for anyone else looking though: http://media.libsyn.com/media/onelifeleft/OLL_s05e02.mp3

  29. the doyouinverts says:

    @AndrewC

    “As such it feels like you wrote a list of HL references and just added verses until you got to the bottom of it – this makes it ‘clever-clever’ instead of intelligent and in this way it stops the ending being emotionally satisfying in a ‘real song’ way”

    the doyouinverts take your emotional satisfaction very seriously. In future we will endeavour to increase emotional satisfaction song content and make sure intelligent comment is woven into each and every line. We promise to reduce “clever-clever” references, and use the rich tapestry of shared videogaming experiences to form nuggets of 90 second audio gold, which will entertain, amuse and challenge the listening public that demand this quality from us.

    Alternatively, we’ll continue to knock out a song every 3 weeks and hope somebody likes it.

    I haven’t decided which yet. Thanks for your comments though.

  30. Heliocentric says:

    Oll is not shit. You can quote me on that. But they need to go listen to the gfw podcasts from the begining until the end. Learn from that and improve. Sure the gfw pod casts have some stuff you don’t care about sometimes, but they make it interesting. The had bottled lightning compared to almost everyone else.

    Not listened to this episode yet mind.

  31. Jeremy says:

    Its. Not. A Podcast.

  32. AndrewC says:

    Noooooo! You don’t have to care about what I say if you don’t want to, but please don’t take up the faux-apathetic stance of ‘well we just bang them out quickly, they’re just silly songs, whatever’.

    For one, you care about what you do, of course you do. You should care to an almost unreasonable degree about what you do, whatever it is you do.

    And secondly, while taking up a position of ‘we don’t really care’ may be intended as a self-deprecating comment on your work, it actually comes across as a comment upon not caring about your audience.

    And you should! Nooooooo!

  33. Radiant says:

    @Andrew C you got re-boo’ed; let it go :)

  34. Heliocentric says:

    Call it what you want, its not as good as gfw. Except the reviews by a little girl, they are genius.

  35. Serondal says:

    Europe . . .

  36. One Ste Left says:

    Let’s not fight! Everyone likes different things and good in this context is pretty subjective. I am sure GFW is better than us for lots of people! But we are not trying to do anything like that. We’re not really trying to be a gaming podcast at all.

    (We’ve thought about doing a spinoff show that’s more ’4 men in a room shouting about the issues of the day’ because we *probably* have more inside knowledge than most of the people doing the same. But I’d rather do a spin off pop music show, really. Or one about cakes. Or a radio play! That sounds way more fun.)

    I think the doyouinverts are totally better than good but it’s fine if others don’t. I would be freaked out if all of our listeners loved everything we do. That’s why we have a mix of things. Some people love Taliah, some people love Game 4 A Laugh, some people hate Ann and others want to marry The Rage. Our only brief for OLL is to have an AWESOME TIME and to do that we ask our friends to contribute things we think are funny. The only thing that connects them all is that we love them, and if you love even just one of them then I am certain we can be friends.

  37. Serondal says:

    Being from America anyone with even a slightly British accent is funny to me so I can’t help but laugh equally at any british podcast/radio show ect. Just the way you talk makes me giggle ^_^

  38. Heliocentric says:

    I’m not hating. I enjoy 1LL a great deal, its just losing gfw was like gran pappy taking my puppy out into the yard and putting it down with a 18th century french cannon. I’m still recovering.

  39. Serondal says:

    your grand pappy was a bastard Heliocentric

  40. Nick says:

    I rate this not-a-podcast 7/10.

  41. Oddtwang says:

    Taliah is usually the highlight for me – so hilariously precocious sometimes, then cute the next minute. Her reaction to the appointment of the new Doctor Who was one of the best things I’ve heard on the radio in a long time :)

    @Monchberter – I reckon Ann would be at a significant advantage there – the RPS guys are clearly too gentlemanly to hit a lady, whereas I reckon Ann would have few qualms about hitting guys in glasses :)

  42. pilouuuu says:

    I was worried when I read the title of this thread… I thought that Half-Life 2 Episode 3 was cancelled!

  43. Heliocentric says:

    Don’t speak ill of my gran pappy. He was a war hero, he single handedly liberated france in 1972, from the french.

  44. ascagnel says:

    This seems pretty good… will give a listen when I get out of work. If you want something more produced than the RPSEWS, check out the Control Point podcast (a TF2-specific show) that comes out weekly(ish). I think CP also does a live video stream as they record, but it has some nice production too.

  45. Serondal says:

    1972? did he use the same ancient french cannon that he used to destroy your puppy?

  46. Nighthood says:

    @ascagnel: Control Point is the worst podcast I’ve ever heard. There is no appeal. It’s not funny, the people are irritating, and it’s far too long. 2 and a half hours for a podcast? I have better things to do with my time.

    Also, I don’t like OLL. I do like PCGUK and RPS though.

  47. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    KG:
    You’re everywhere apparently…your name and photo just pop’ped up on me in LivingSocial “My Heroes” Facebook app.
    i lol’d

  48. The Apologist says:

    I love OLL.

    It makes me happy when I get a little blue dot next to it on my iTunes.

    They seem like jolly folk having a laugh, and not taking life too seriously. Thank goodness for them.

  49. Heliocentric says:

    Actually, thats how he got the cannon, it was next to the prime ministers house when he sacked it. Don’t misunderstand, gran pappy didn’t shoot at the puppy, he shot using the puppy as ammunition, french 19th century weaponry all worked that way.

  50. Serondal says:

    Oh well in that case I must apologize, I was totally mistaken. Your gran pappy was a patriot and a gentlemen of lordly caliber and obviously your puppy died during the call of service to its country, albeit unwillingly and unknowing as it is just a silly sodding dog.

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