Zombies. You know we love ’em. Joining us this week for an extensive discussion of zombies is noted Zombologist and freelance writer, owner of gaming site Quarter To Three, Dr. Tom Chick. We set out to compare and contrast Dead Rising and Resident Evil, but the conversation took too many interesting turns to hold dear to that requirement. We covered too many games, movies, and others for me to link to everything, but I would like to specifically mention that Tom has created a very interesting thread on the Quarter To Three forums. He’s doing a day by day play-through of the iPhone game Rebuild on its hardest difficulty, using the names of forum members, and he’s got quite a fun narrative going on there. He also has a review of the game, as well as an interview with its creator on the main Qt3 site. Good stuff.
It’s a battle of the deaths on this episode of LTTP, when we barely compare and contrast the atmospheric and deadly Limbo, with the equally punishing Prince of Persia. Joining us is co-host of the Chatterbox Video Game Radio show, and host of the short-lived (but much loved) Penny Arcade Expo Family Feud, Alon Waisman. Another intro screw up leads to a break down of Limbo, an odd juxtaposition of Prince of Persia, and, somehow, Street Fighter II on the NES. We mention the names Ara and Rich out of the blue, two of Alon’s co-hosts, so, if you’d like to learn more about them, be sure and listen to Chatterbox. All of it.
In this episode, we take a look at the retro-inspired Nintendo DS title Retro Game Challenge, which is based on the Japanese television show GameCenter CX. Joining us is the creator of Scroll magazine, Ray Barnholt, and the host of The F-List and Gizmonic Institute Radio podcasts, Dr. Seth Macy. Geez, that’s a lot of links. We cover all of the games included in Retro Game Challenge and talk about the classic NES, Famicom, and arcade games that inspired them (and us). Then, Ray schools us in the Japanese-only sequel and why everyone should import it without fear of getting lost in translation. Yosh!
After a short hiatus, the LTTP podcast returns. This week, Matt and Brian chat with 1UP blogger turned game dev tool developer Kevin Cogger about his love of the Rock Band franchise. After Brian screws up the intro and they end up embarrassing themselves with the reveal of their Rock Band band names, our hosts talk about how Parappa the Rapper created the rhythm game genre, all the while forgetting the names of numerous other games that they should have researched. An all around Rock and Roll show (with a Hip Hop backend).
The Editor-in-Chief of 1UP.com, Mr. Jeremy Parish, has recently received a lot of attention for the changing up his wardrobe. While some would label him as a hipster or Mad Men aficionado, the truth is, as they used to say, is that the clothes make the man. Once you’ve become the man, though, it’s a bit harder to justify hanging out in the lobby during the intermission of a Final Fantasy symphony, or banging your head to chiptunes in the pit at Blip festival. No, once you’ve started dressing smooth, you’ve got to act smooth too, and listen to smooth music. Just because you’re a smooth criminal, though, doesn’t mean you have to give up your gaming roots. Here’s a set of jazzy game tunes that you can shuffle in your iTunes without fear of tarnishing your pressed and cuffed image.
LA Noire Main Theme
While the game leaves much to be desired, I’m hard pressed to find anything to complain about regarding the L.A. Noire soundtrack. Appropriately jazzy and casual, it feels like it’s taken straight out of a classic noir film. It’s too bad the game is nothing like a noir.
Deja Vu Main Theme
One of the first noir-ish games in existence, Deja Vu, the story of amnesiac detective Ace Harding, creates a great atmosphere with its horn-laced soundtrack. Its static visuals and limited animation (if any), rely heavily on sound making the pictures look better, and it sure does. Lucky for us, it was ported to the NES, where we could experience the hard-boiled sounds of intrigue and mystery the way nature intended.
Mafia – Hoboken
Mafia 2 does some very interesting things, like the prison section, but ultimately pales in comparison to the original Mafia, which had a level of freedom missing from its sequel. Sometimes, I like to put on my pork pie hat and take a drive through Little Italy when this track hits the speakers.
Under a Killing Moon – Tex’s Office
Before L.A. Noire and its awkward gameplay and stunning motion capture, there was Tex Murphy. Before Tex Murphy, however, there was Blade Runner. Although the first few Tex Murphy games cribbed liberally from the Ridley Scott film, eventually, Access Software found their own voice and pushed the technological limit of the PC to make it a reality in Under a Killing Moon. It’s the roughest of the modern Tex games, but probably the most remembered. The Tex’s Office theme will remind you of the 90s via the 40s, which barely makes sense. Have another whiskey and don’t worry about it.
Maniac Mansion – Michael’s Theme
Recent Retronauts Lunch Break and podcast featured game Maniac Mansion is overflowing with fantastic music of all genres, all based around the personalities of the kids that you can control. This particular track is the theme of Michael the photographer, and brings the funk along with its smooth. I’m not sure if it’s racist on my part, or your part, but if I said that the character of Michael was an African American, would you be surprised?
Bayonetta – Gates of Hell
The Devil, as portrayed in most media, is often the type of seedy individual who hangs out all night in dive bars, enveloped in cigarette smoke, drinking whiskey by the gross. While God is omnipotent, jovial, saintly, and full of grace, that kind of attitude doesn’t often lead to very interesting music. Harps. There’s nothing swanky about harps. Thankfully, Bayonetta’s guardian of Hell keeps the tradition alive, serving up drinks and guns with suave sophistication.
Grim Fandango – Smooth Hector
I dare you to say something bad on the Internet about Grim Fandango. Such is the (deserved) love for this game, that about 80,000 people donated 3 million dollars to Tim Shafer on the 1% chance that he might make a sequel. It’s highly improbable that circumstance will occur, but, while we wait patiently for the Double Fine Adventure to reveal itself, we can calm our nerves with this selection from Grim’s incredible soundtrack. Also, whiskey.
Sam and Max Hit the Road – Outside Headquarters
Speaking of LucasArts, it should comes as no surprise that a third game has now ended up on this list. Sam and Max Hit the Road is mostly known for its writing, but did you know that the game contained music too?! It’s true! This mellow track that riffs on the main theme is for hanging out side Sam and Max’s headquarters, thoughtfully contemplating your next move. Usually, that involves turning a cat inside out. Just play it cool, though.
kings-field.com – A treasure trove of information and ancient internet design practices.
Diadem of Maunstraut – Download and play this King’s Field fan game. Authentic!
The premiere episode of the late to the party podcast is now available! This week Brian and Matt talk to Jonathan London of Geekscape.net about L.A. Noire and classic detective adventures like the Tex Murphy series (including Under a Killing Moon), Deja Vu, and the Blade Runner adventure game. Brian is eaten by a baby at one point, but returns unscathed.
Good Old Games – As mentioned on the show, you can find the Tex Murphy games on gog.com