RPS Talk-o-Tron Talkback-o-Tron #4

Time for another round-up of the more interesting recent threads on our surprisingly gentlemanly forum. Bloodshed is surely just around the corner, but for now it’s a hive of entertaining and illuminating game discussion. Yay, you.

  • Yahtzee’s made a TV show with a couple of chums. Somehow watching all 30 minutes of the awful thing is likely to be one of my biggest regrets of 2008 – even more so than not managing to kill more puppies than I did last year – but what do you lot think?
  • Apparently dissatisfied with our own best of 2008 year coverage, THE BIG STOOPID WHINERS, a set of good folk devise their own PC gaming advent calendar. It’s doing a grand job of covering the best indie games of the year, which admittedly have fallen a little between the cracks of our own coverage. One Mr M. Circus has christened it the Festivus Calendar-o-Truth, which is exactly the kind of thing we’d have called it. Inserting an -o- into any phrase makes it 38% funnier. FACT-O-TRUTH.


  1. Feet says:


    I lolled.

  2. Premium User Badge

    ChaosSmurf says:


  3. Switch625 says:

    Yay! We of the RockPaperShotgun last.fm group are eagerly awaiting our first set of weekly charts. It should be… interesting.

    I should post on the forums more. I may make this my New Year’s Resolution.

  4. Feet says:

    I think it was the capitalization as much as anything. That adds a further 16% to the funny rating.

  5. Premium User Badge

    ChaosSmurf says:

    There needs to be an official internet rating system for “teh funneh”. We can write amazingly long spiels about it and call them symposiums.

  6. Ian says:

    Pull your finger out Meat Circus.

    More Festivus Calender. Now.

  7. Gap Gen says:

    I’ve ranted about Game Damage enough already, but basically I don’t think that sort of games programme works. Yahtzee and friends don’t really have the charisma to pull it off, is a major factor, given how Screenwipe and Consolevania, as similar-ish shows, work quite well.

    I guess one major problem with the idea is that personally I have quite a short attention span – I don’t watch TV much as games keep me more engaged, so a show has to have something special going for it for me to sit down and watch it without opening a web browser next to it and idly surfing the web while watching.

  8. Gap Gen says:

    Also, “the tea had been poisoned” was a reference to the recent Empire: Total War article and by extension the Boston Tea Party, I’d guess.

  9. manintheshack says:


    Yahtzee needs to keep his face more hidden. As all those associated with games journalism should. Somehow it denies credibility.

    And something about the way that other guy’s head moves unsettles me.

  10. ZenArcade says:

    That yahtzee tv show is shit.

    (and gamedamage – aha! see what I did there?)

  11. Scotch Mist says:

    Game Damage is a truly awful thing. Which is a shame really.

    HOWEVER. You know what might be awesome? RPS video podcasts!


  12. Pags says:

    The Last.fm group just had another massive influx. And by massive I mean about 16 people joined. I’m so proud.

    And yeah, someone needs to give Meaty a swift boot so he’ll get on with more calendar-o-truth.

  13. Xercies says:

    Yahtzee just looks depressing, it seems his soul his gone and that all he has to look forward in life is to review games and feel that they are crappy and be bitter about them.

    Also Kieron have you seen this review, it seems to give your comic highly praise…

    Down the page a bit

  14. Nero says:

    I joined the last.fm group. Hoping to bring some metal in there. I saw Yahtzee’s show and while a pilot, it wasn’t the most interesting thing I’ve seen. I will see how it continues. Oh and as someone mentioned somewhere, Yahtzee and Dr Ashen doing something together would be awesome.

  15. Morph says:

    I think Meat was rather relying on other people to suggest games for the advent o-calender o-whatever. So don’t complain, go help.

  16. Ian says:

    There’d been a few suggestions since the last one so either Meat was short of time and it’s sort of just drifted out of forum view or he didn’t like what was put forward. :-P

  17. qrter says:

    That GameDamage thing is incredibly bad!

    Grown-up men calling eachother by their in-game nicks is both sad and ridiculous (why not start saying “lol” out loud, as if it’s an actual word).. Yahtzee is trying too hard to come over all King Cool of Sarcastic Mountain while surrounded by two sniveling ladies-in-waiting who nervously laugh at every awful joke Croshaw comes up with (which is doubly weird when you hear how scripted everything sounds).. staring at a camera while you’re actually talking to eachother makes the viewer feel like the TV is trying to suck out his soul.. the sketches are unfunny (too much “we’ve seen other people being funny, let’s try that!”).. weirdest thing is that the intro/leader thing makes it look like just about every other recent games programme I know, you know, the vapid, shouty kind.

  18. qrter says:

    I tried playing Storm of Zehir and didn’t get too far – the new party creation system is a big turn-off for me. You start the game with a character and then very quickly you’re supposed to assemble your own party – this comes down to creating 3 new characters and ‘adding’ them to your party. Basically this means you start the game with 4 PCs, which you could also see as one big All-Bases-Covered PC. This also means your party members have no background to speak off, there’s no story to be discovered there. And I never knew how much I liked that feature in previous NWN games – I really miss it in Zehir. Like I said, it makes it feel like you’re playing the game with 3 zombies in your party, or 4 player characters.

    I still prefer NWN over NWN 2, simply because the old game runs a thousand times better (and doesn’t need near to an hour (!) of patching before being ready) and smoother.

  19. Pod says:

    DoomRL for the win

  20. Iain says:

    I second DoomRL as being made of win. I’ve been playing it for a couple of years, and it’s easily my favourite Roguelike since ZAngband-TK.

  21. dhex says:

    last.fm is a little too web stalker 2.0 for my blood.

  22. Winfred van Heerebeek says:

    What is interesting to me, and only slightly mentioned in the symposium pieces, is the difference in readers who look at reviews. Games, obviously, have different target audiences. A game like “My horse and me” will attract a different kind of player than “Gears of war 2”, the target audience for the reviews of these games will reflect the target audience for the games themselves. I believe that, for example, the 13 year old girls playing “My horse and me” will not be as inclined towards a desire for a score to validate their love for, and purchase of, the game, whereas the raging gears of war fan who’s just spent 250 bucks on the limited edition of the game will.

    Now lets take a game like “the Graveyard”. The target audience for this game are the kind of people who like to think about a different approach to gaming, or in fact, who like to think in general. The subjectivity of the game and the thoughts of the player as he experiences it are the entire point of the game, so if a reviewer went and gave this game a score it would be saying more about himself than the game really. Not that it would even matter, as the target audience would most likely not be the kind of people who would skip to the score anyways, or even base a purchasing decision on the review in the first place. What seems strange to me then is why publications that report on and review as many different games as possible use a publication wide scoring system. Occasionally it will inevitably become a case of: “if you give it a score you’ve missed the point”. I don’t see how varying the structure and scoring mechanics of a review based on the type of game (and thus target audience) is really a problem, especially if you’re already varying the length of the article and advertising keywords on those same criteria.

    More concretely on the point of scoring itself: To my knowledge reviews still follow a pretty generic article structure. The conclusion, even when a score is present, sums up the thoughts of the reviewer. Surely those unwilling to invest the time to read a 5000 word article are at least capable of reading a 200 word conclusion. Frankly, if I’m new to a site and unfamiliar with their scoring system I’m often forced to read more than that just to understand the figure they’ve given a game.

    Essentially the only real benefit I can see to review scores comes in the form of metacritic. With the horrible manipulation of user scores as a result of trolling, console wars, DRM comments etc. I’ve come to trust the reviewer scores as a general indication of quality where my fellow users fail me. Not only that, the scores also offer me a portal to the views of the reviewers on both extremes of the spectrum without having to read all the reviews. With scores gone I’d have to read at the very least every review conclusion to find the most positive and negative views on the game.

  23. Winfred van Heerebeek says:

    Hooray for network timeouts. The above was naturally meant for the symposium post. However in my hasty reloading of pages it was tragically misplaced and doomed to never grace the eyes of the interested community. My apologies.

  24. Leeks! says:

    Game Damage wasn’t great, but it wasn’t incompetent either. I do hope it continues, but I’ll have to hear some pretty damned superlative internet buzz before I give it another go.

  25. yutt says:

    “Grown-up men calling eachother by their in-game nicks is both sad and ridiculous…”

    Yes, damn those adult video game players inventing the concepts of handles and nicknames. I’m going to get on the Internet straight away and tell others how pathetic they are, just like any manly mature adult would.

  26. Pags says:

    Yes, damn those adult video game players inventing the concepts of handles and nicknames. I’m going to get on the Internet straight away and tell others how pathetic they are, just like any manly mature adult would.

    Darn those people who comment on how pathetic it is when people confuse the internet with real-life. I’m going to try and point out the fallacy in their argument like any manly mature adult wait a minute this is all beginning to sound quite familiar.

  27. Psychopomp says:


  28. Gassalasca says:

    I’m a huge fan of Zero Punctuation and I’ve enjoyed listening to Yahzee, Matt and Yug on their podcast, but this is just… attrocious.
    I’ve just seen my hero becoe a villain. :|

  29. Thiefsie says:

    yikes that was lame. almost as lame as the game shows on tv in australia… a la vybershack

  30. Thiefsie says:

    cybershack rather

  31. Poita says:

    My iq is 140 so although i’m dumb in some areas of life, my general intelligence isn’t so bad. Then can someone please explain to me where i can click to actually download this podcast. I’ve searched this page but can’t find it.
    I am colour blind so sometimes i cant see the red text over black but even when i move my mouse pointer around to see if anything highlights i still can’t notice anything.
    Please make the link clickety click area more prominant.

  32. Heliocentric says:

    Starting a post with a statement of iq… This is not a podcast post. Thats why you can’t find the link, its about the forum.

  33. Senethro says:

    Can’t you get a browser that underlines links for you?

  34. Poita says:

    Can you do that with ie? It would be a help cause red appears like black to me on web pages.
    As i said. Though i have a decent IQ it doesnt reflect in everything. A combination of slight dyslexia and colour blindness means its sometimes hard to find stuff on web pages. I often miss really obvious things like the fact that it’s a talkbackotron of a talkotron rather than just the talkotron. I only noticed that when i went to the podcast link and found that they were up to talkotron 6 so i wondered why this one was called 4.

  35. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    To save future confusion; the Talk-o-tron is the forum, Talkback-o-tron is the forum round-up and the RPS Electronic Wireless Show is the podcast.

  36. Poita says:

    That should help. Thank’s Puffins.