The RPS Electronic Wireless Show 32

You may have seen better logos than this one, but you were drunk.

The planets aligned. The Mayan prophecies were proven true. All four Ultimate Controllers of Rock, Paper, Shotgun gathered together in one echoey lounge to create an electronic wireless show for the ages. Led by your tweeted contributions we discuss the highest matters of the day in a manner suited by fine gentlemen.

So of course our attention immediately turns to what’s out the window and what we had for lunch. And hammers. An attempt to discuss Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 marketing somehow focuses on the topic of blood-splattered breasts, and then somehow becomes Kieron’s terrifying analysis of the Polanksi affair.

Things then settle into discussions of videogames when we ponder the best and worst videogames we’ve played, which leads into a surprisingly interesting collection of words about the nature of bad games. (John would like to point out that the first game he reviewed was Sim City 2000, not 3000, as much as he’d like to be that young.)

Then there’s discussion of the RPS Subscriber Newsletter – an exciting fortnightly treat for our fine, fine subscribers (want to be one – click here). There’s analysis of all the latest games, like Cryo’s Hellboy and Max Payne 2. There’s attempts to find our most private financial information, which we deal with amazingly.

You’ve always wanted to know which member of RPS would be the best as a game character – find out! Then we get all nostalgic about Amiga Power for a bit, and Kieron’s earliest games writing therein. Some slight traction with PC gaming related topics is found when we discuss the nature of difficulty in games, each providing our own individual thoughts that we had by ourself. And here’s the link to Quintin’s piece on Fable 2 Kieron mentions.

A short celebration of Batman: Arkham Asylum leads to a terrible confession from John, and then we recover the madness by discussing the significance of Tim Schafer appearing on a late night talk show, which you can watch below. And if you want to know what was being done to the microphone in the last two minutes, you’ll have to wait until you’re grown up.

Get the mp3 directly from here, subscribe to it by RSS with this, or get it on iTunes from here.


  1. Alexander Norris says:

    My bit about blood-spattered tits made it in.

    I can now die content. Thank you, RPS Four.

    Edit: what happened to the minute-by-minute content indexy thing? I liked that. I can understand if it's too much of a pain to do, though.

  2. Kadayi says:

    Uncuttable skip scenes = awesome ;)

  3. SAeN says:

    What was the noise in the background at the end?

  4. mister k says:

    Heh,I wanted to comment on Quinn’s attitude on games after the podcast where Kieron and Quinns talked about it. I had completely the oppostive impression of Fable 2, and loved the gameplay for the most part. I play for different reasons, I suppose, and while I come to some games for a hefty challenge in most I don’t (incidentally the threat of a scar in fable is pretty poor, seeing as its incredibly easy to never, ever, ever die!).

    Sorry, but if you want to be challenged by a game then you always can. You can always impose artificial restraints on yourself if you want to. If I come to a game thats hard, there is often absolutely NO way for me to make it easier for myself… so yeah, I’m happy for there to be challenging games on the market, but at least easy games can be played the challenging way, while challenging games rarely can be played the easy way.

  5. EyeMessiah says:

    I haven’t listened to the recording yet, because I’m saving up podcasts to listen to on the plane when I go on holiday – I’m sure the sound quality is terrible e.t.c. e.t.c.

    What I was wondering was who wrote the PCG review of Hellboy? (Assuming its the same terrible, broken game I’m thinking of), because that was a funny review. If it was Kieron then I forgive you for Dx:IW.

  6. Schmung says:

    agh, my comment has booged off.

    Anyways, I am waiting ’till tomorrow to listen, but I just have to say that I nearly left a nasty comment on Quinns blog after the Fable II thing, but obviously not worth it because he hates the game in the first place and the golden trail is but a subset of that. Plus it’s mean. Anyway, the whole thing about difficulty is most interesting, I actually got really thinking about it after Dara O’Brian rabbiting on about GoW on Gameswipe and about how different people approach games.

    More when I have listened to the casting of the pod and read the comments of others. I expect my blood alcohol level will have reduced a tad by then as well.

  7. TooNu says:

    Oh I will listen to this tommorow, I must sleep now but saw this and just had to ask. Is this a John and Jim effort or is it a John n Kieron amalgamation? because its a crossover of worlds, the John n Jim podcasts are very funny and homey please don’t stop them :(

  8. Dante says:

    Someone appears to be playing with the mic.

    Own up lads.

  9. Ludo says:

    Great podcast guys. I know it’s probably difficult for the four of you to get together, being based in different bits of the country, but your podcasts are awesome when you’re all involved. Just so you know, it’s appreciated!

  10. japrufrock says:

    I miss Amiga Power.


  11. DMcCool says:

    Quinn’s article makes me very, very sad. Fable II is a lovely game that tries so much, and HATING it for being, well too easy just seems like entirely missing the point. Fable II probably failed more things than it succeeded but I’d still rate it as the most important, ambitious and inspirational (from a design standpoint) of any RPG since Morrowind.

    • Quinns says:

      Thinking I hate Fable 2 because it’s easy is missing /my/ point.

      I’m with you on Fable 2 being a game that tries incredibly hard, though what I’d add is that it’s a game that tries hard and then expects to be adored for it. The game is designed around the assumption that the player will care about both his PC and the NPCs, and does not take that first vital step of giving you something to care about.

      If you’re willing to give yourself over to the game, like I did with the original Fable, I’d agree it’s possible to be sucked into the world. But the moment you approach the game expecting, God forbid, for it to make you fall in love with it, the entire experience from the first minute of play to the last breaks utterly.

    • DMcCool says:

      This is where the big point I made on your blog comes in I guess; The game really isn’t for everyone. I’m a pretty obsessive gamer myself but the art-style, the voice acting and the general concept of what Fable II wanted to be charmed me instantly, maybe it was just the regional english accents but something just seemed to joyfully take me back to my childhood. I felt like I was playing Jackanory. I think it was the whole celebration of a very, very English and pre-tolkien view of the fairy tale and fantasy that drew me in.

  12. AndrewC says:

    So you are dangling the carrot of writing for the main site to get subscribers to write good letters? You want people who are paying *you* writing your content *for* you?

    This is genius. You are Gods.

  13. army of none says:

    Tim Schafer appeared bewildered and lost that entire time he was talking to Jimmy Fallon.

    • ohnoabear says:

      Have you seen other Tim Schafer interviews? The man appears bewildered and lost whenever he has a camera trained on him, not just when he’s on national TV.

  14. Muzman says:

    The gang’s all here and yay for that.
    But what’s up with Vietcong? I had a blast playing that. It’s one of the most memorably scary and intense games I can think of.
    Yeah it’s pretty patchy and not great looking but, damn.
    To a degree I consider dismissing it a luxury of overabundant gaming. Sounds tossy, but I’ll explain. People who don’t get a lot of games try to get the most out of them and many (probably most) games don’t really invite that sort of effort if you’ve got other options. I don’t know exactly why you guys (or just Jim, I dunno) didn’t like it. But I’d guess it was in some ways alienating and its rough patches really stuck out (too many tunnel bits perhaps) while skimming through and reviewing it. If you really get to grips with it though, it’s brilliant. Yeah if you’re doing a review and trying to rate its overall achievements it’s not as good as, say, Half Life 2 or COD. And if you’ve got lots of games to play (this is anyone, not merely reviewers) you might not want to waste any more time on it than necessary. But there’s more to it if you dig deeper.
    This tale of bashing away at the one game you’ve got right now until you like it might evoke the slave who eventually starts to enjoy the whipping. And to a degree this is true. Still, there’s good unique gaming out there that might not seem so at first blush and it’s going to waste. I probably wouldn’t have come to love Deus Ex: Invisible War if I didn’t feel economically compelled to persevere with it.

    I wonder if one day the cultish scene around games might become stronger, like the people who are obsessed with B-movies. They point out that they’re clearly rubbish but there’s things to love about them.
    The ending of Fist Alpha (the Vietcong add-on) was hilarious: you’ve just pulled off this daring mission from hell, probably crawling on your belly the entire time and stealing guns from the enemy, and there might have been a short cutscene, but then there’s this bit of text like Doom or Quake saying “-your character- went back to base triumphant, but was killed in a helicopter crash a week later” or something. It was great.

  15. pignoli says:

    Don’t hump the mic.

    Great stuff as always though, guys, nice to hear you all together.

  16. jamie says:

    i think either jim or alec should use a made up accent as they sound too similar

    • Rei Onryou says:

      How to tell who is who:

      Kieron – Sexual metaphors and “your mum” jokes.
      John – Overly-excited girly voice. Cries.
      Jim – Something about spaceships.
      Alec – Forced to slave in the kitchen making lunch all day.

      I must be twisted to have seen these patterns.

  17. Feanor says:

    The bit where Stupidface desperately tried to negate the great reviews and massive sales of FFVII was hilarious. Utter nonsense about only “Japanophile” RPG players giving it good reviews and an urban myth about it being the most returned game of all time, (what game stores accept returns of opened new games anyway?) is evidence of a very bitter mind. 12 years is a very long time to hold this kind of grudge.

    • vagabond says:

      EB Games in Australia has a policy of “you can return any console game you buy within 7 days no questions asked”, although they have only had this for a few years, so I doubt it was around when FF7 came out.

      Was something cut out when Keiron was going on about how no one would say it was bad until years after the fact?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Feanor: Back then you could return whatever you want, whenever you wanted.

      Probably was an urban myth, to be honest… but it’s worth remembering that before FF7 the jRPG had literally *no* financial traction in the UK, in terms of being a mass-market concern. It was an unusual, game being presented to the mass-market. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true at least of that year.


  18. Arsewisely says:

    I too came here to defend Vietcong – I really enjoyed it, and it did indeed have rough patches but the atmosphere was great. The ending was also quite daring if you think about it; you spend the entire game trying to take chunks out of the enemy and establish your outpost within the territory but all your effort throughout the game amounts to nothing as your base is over run and you all have to evacuate in a helicopter. It’s an interesting commentary for an fps to construct, arguably possessing an anti-war agenda despite itself.

    You kind of contradicted your own points (yes, you are all one collective hive mind) by slagging Vietcong while saying that some people are too harsh on games because they haven’t experienced many which are truly awful. Vietcong is hardly that bad – a solid 7/10.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Arsewisely: I suspect we’d generally give it 6/10 too – which probably proves our second point, really. It’s hardly SNIPER.