Coming Soon: Something Cool
March 31st, 2009

Posted by Jeremy

In a couple weeks, we try an experiment.

About two weeks from now, we’re going to shoot the pilot for a new show, which we will release sometime after that. Spinning off the discussions from the What We’re Playing Now section of the podcast, it’s going to be a gaming commentary sort of program featuring the crew of LRR, and possibly guests from elsewhere as well. Its focus will be on talking about games IN THEIR ENTIRITY, covering the important bits that are often skimmed over by the mainstream gaming press. We will embrace spoilers, ignore embargoes, and generally do whatever we can to help contextualize the games we play within a broader landscape. I don’t want to be CO-OP, and I don’t want to be Play Value, Game Damage or any other related product: I think we have a pretty unique vision in mind, and we’re all quite excited about it.

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t tell you all this–things are still very shaky insofar as details are concerned; however, I feel we need your help to make this show a success. I’d like to have some commentary from viewers built into the format of the show, so if any of you would care to “play along” with us and share your own insightful comments about our topics of choice, I’d really appreciate it. I can’t promise to use all (or any) of what we receive, but the type of material that shows up could–at this point–effect the final product we create.

Once the pilot is in the bag, we will attempt to market it to various web TV portals and other interested licesencors. Their reactions and our experiences with the show’s creation will determine whether or not it receives subsequent episodes.

Do I have your interest? I hope so. Here’s the topic for our pilot:

“The Resident Evil series is now 13 years old and has seen a dramatic shift in play style over its last several iterations. Comparing RE CODE: Veronica–the last entry to adopt the series classic play style–and RE 5–which embraces some entirely different modes of play–how has Resident Evil changed as an experience.”

We are waiting two weeks before recording to give us time to play (or re-play) CODE: Veronica, so if you are interested in joining the discussion, please play along yourself. I found my copy for $10 at a local mall store, and it’s been reprinted over the years as part of a couple different bundles. RE 5 could be more expensive, but a one week rental is more than enough time to play through the whole thing.

I’ve prepared some questions to consider as food for thought, though you don’t need to talk about either of these topics. They are the sorts of things I’ve been mulling over:

* MOOD – Some commenters have remarked that RE5 is not scary, and makes no pretense to be, unlike previous REs, which reveled in their atmosphere. How does the MOOD in C:V compare to that of 5, and how does this specifically affect the player’s experience?

* STORY – While RE 4 appears to distance itself from the story of the series up to that point, 5 returns to this plot-line with a vengence. C:V and 5 both focus greatly on the activities of anti-hero Albert Wesker, and their stories are linked across (arguably) games of widely different genres. Compare how the two stories are told, adn meditate on how this changes the ways in which the player interacts with the narrative.

As a point of note, this is not a review show, and we are not interested in what’s better than what, and what’s doomed to fail, etc. We’re interested in ideas here–not so much opinions.

I’ll try to have a better place to send this stuff for the future, but until then, hit me up at [email protected] with your feedback. I’ll also be watching the forums, so post your input there as well.

Excited? I hope so. I certianly am.

Peace!

–Jer


14 Comments »

  1. This is an idea I’ve been wanting for a while. Talking about games as if they’re legitimate art. Drawing comparisons, talking about stories, not just rating whether or not it’s good, but CONSIDERING ITS MERIT. This is a fantastic idea.

    Unfortunately for this specific topic, I don’t have anything readily available to play either of those games, so I can’t really help. But if there’s anything else in the future that I feel I could contribute, you better bet your ass I will.

    This is awesome news.

    Comment by Kdz — March 31, 2009 @ 12:39 am

  2. I love the idea as a concept, except I am constantly taken aback by the flagrant ignorance toward a huge market share in the console market today.

    Perfect example: Paul and Matt’s remarks toward Killzone 2′s lack of competition on PS3. (What?!) Meanwhile Matt says he loves CoD4. Somehow because he doesn’t play it on the platform, the game somehow isn’t available on it.

    I know it’s a stupid complaint from a Sony fanboy.. but it will come up, A LOT in an endeavour like this. So be prepared.

    Comment by Keith K — March 31, 2009 @ 5:46 am

  3. I’m an old(er) fart, and not a gamer at all, and this concept looks brilliant to me! Go fer!
    Good point about the hand-helds though. I hear that they are outstripping desktop play sales, esp big time in Japan, but in all markets.
    The latest LRR is fantastic, great idea, beautifully executed.
    Bravo! Blork!! Blinterblicshenschnowser!
    B

    Comment by Bruce Saunders — March 31, 2009 @ 9:26 am

  4. “Perfect example: Paul and Matt’s remarks toward Killzone 2’s lack of competition on PS3. (What?!) Meanwhile Matt says he loves CoD4. Somehow because he doesn’t play it on the platform, the game somehow isn’t available on it.”

    I’m not ignorant of the fact that CoD4 is available for and great on the PS3 – but as a multiconsole owner my definition of “competition” on the platform is a little different. When making cross-platform comparisons, all multiplatform titles are not considered becuse they are, in no way, a selling point for that system over any other.

    Cod4 exists on the PS3, but carries no weight in evaluating the system’s software lineup. It’s simple math, if both sides of the equasion contain the same variable, you factor it out. In terms of shooters that act as a draw to the PS3 there are Killzone 2 and the Resistance games. everything else worthwhile you can play on whatever.

    That said, CoD4 is a WAY beter game than Killzone 2.

    Comment by Matt — March 31, 2009 @ 11:03 am

  5. @Keith Be cool — I see this as predominantly a software show, not a hardware show. Because we want as many people contributing to the discussion as possible, we’re going to lean towards games that are available across multiple platforms for as little money as possible. Certainly, RE 5 isn’t a shining example of these criteria, but it’s a pilot project and I’m hoping it will get us some attention ;).

    @Bruce I think handhelds are a very important part of gaming today. I’d love to talk about how DS, PSP and iPhone games are changing the landscape, we’ll just have to see how our pilot does and go from there . . .

    Comment by Jeremy — April 1, 2009 @ 1:20 am

  6. Does this need to be double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font with 1″ margins using MLA formatting? Due next week or no grade? Just kidding.

    So… reasoned, critical analysis of thematic elements, gameplay/narrative styles, and cultural significance of popular video games in a television format? I personally love the concept! I’m worried that you’ll find a fairly small audience, even if it is clever and funny, but that’s still no reason not to reach for it. Good luck, and as soon as you do a game or genre I am familiar with, I’ll add my own two cents’ worth.

    Comment by Zak R. — April 1, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  7. Jesus guys, with Lrr, CommodoreHustle, Unskippable, and now this, aren’t you guys getting overworked? I suppose the hope is as always tricking someone into paying you for this, but still. I do think it’s an interesting idea, and I’ll probably watch it (Never promise anything. Ever.). Good luck with this, hopefully someone will be kind enough to invite you onto their zepplin filled with mooneis.

    Comment by gryffinp — April 1, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

  8. I wish you good luck with your endeavor. If you have the possibility of distributing in HD with something that resembles a proper set, that’s likely to give you a leg up on a large number of other gaming shows. In-game footage to support your points would also go a long way towards professionalism.

    I’ll agree with an above poster that the audience for intelligent commentary on video games is, unfortunately, limited, but there are niches all over the Internet so it’s still worth a try.

    I am modern console system challenged and cannot try RE 5, unfortunately. Played RE4 and loved it for the Wii. Out of curiosity, were there any major differences between the Dreamcast, Gamecube and PS2 versions of RE CODE: Veronica?

    Comment by ecocd — April 2, 2009 @ 10:21 am

  9. The Gamecube and PS2 versions were both “enhanced” with extra cutscenes and content.

    Comment by Matt — April 2, 2009 @ 11:25 am

  10. @ecocd For reference, while I originally played the game on Dreamcast, we are all playing it on PS2 at the moment. As Matt says, the main difference between the two versions is the nine minutes of extra cutscenes. We’re working under the assumption that the gameplay is essentially the same.

    Comment by Jer — April 3, 2009 @ 1:20 am

  11. I I am extremely excited about any sort of academic analysis of video games. I hope that such a discussion will not focus (intentionally or unintentionally) on technical issues of platform partisanship (as brought up by K.Keith above.) what really excites me about such a discussion is the possibilities it holds for video games as an artistic medium. I look forward to future discussions of games I’ve actually played ;) and hope this one works out well for you.

    Comment by Isiah Jenner — April 6, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

  12. This sounds like an amazing idea. I’m in a Video Game Theory class and I’m surprised there’s not more of literery-ish criticism of videogames.

    Comment by Brandon — May 5, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

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