Archive for August, 2009

[Episode 16] Play It Again, Samus

It has been said that to understand the present, one must look to the past. Game developers and publishers seem to have taken that to heart in a very serious way as of late, shifting attention away from the creation of new properties (though we’ve had some wonderful examples of those as well), and putting sizable workforces behind re-creations of old favorites. The last years have seen us graced with new iterations / re-imaginings of Bionic Commando, Mega Man, Klonoa, Sam & Max, Monkey Island, Battlefield 1942, and just this month, the granddaddy of all FPS’s, Wolfenstein. And when they aren’t pulling directly from the nostalgia pool with a title, developers are happy to take inspiration from designs of ages past, as with the exquisite re-tooling of the Metroid formula in Shadow Complex.

Far from rebelling against this attempt to re-sell us our childhoods, the Immortal Machines podcast crew welcomes it with open arms – if you can do an awesome thing right, please, feel free to do that awesome thing more. (You do have to do it right, though. Bionic Commando Re-Armed? Right. Bionic Commando dreadlocks? Maybe not so right.) This week, Eric [Ravenlock], Adam [Grifter], Clayton [Bacalou], Bryan [Smoof], and Jacob [MagGnome] dig back through their memory banks to come up with other gameplay styles we’d like to see given the Frankenstein treatment, because we think there just might be life in them yet. What’s old is new again! Or so we hope.

Our freeware/indie segment takes a brief trip into last weekend’s Steam sale of Droplitz before continuing the Metroid-remade vibe with the delightfully short (and delightfully hard) “In 60 Seconds“, and for the retro title we take a look back at Battlefield 1942 before the Frostbite engine and XBox Live got their paws on it. Also, as per usual, a look into what we’ve been playing and some surprisingly lengthy news discussions (damn you, WoW) scattered throughout the show.

As always, if you want to get in touch with us, podcast@immortalmachines.com is the address to send an email to.

Are you a multiplayer PC gamer who is into comp stomp, teams or just plain old vanilla death match? In episode 15 of the Immortal Machines podcast this topic is fragged and sniped at by the ‘Usual Suspects’, Clayton [Bacalou], Robert [Trebor], Eric [Ravenlock], Bryan [Smoof], Warren [Mayhem] and Jacob [MagGnome].

After expending all available ammo we switch gears and discuss PC gaming with a desktop versus a laptop and even throw in some netbook comments to make sure its feelings are not hurt. An emotional walk down memory lane is experienced when the Retro Game segment covers Grim Fandango which transitions to lighter fare with the Indie Game segment discussion of Audiosurf and Darwinia.

Finally in ‘DWGAS’ we leave our parting comments on IGN’s top 25 games of all time (sic), two new WoW races to be introduced (puke), along with other nauseating items like Games for Windows Live 3.0 (DOA).

[Episode 14] Don’t Tread On PC

Ladies and gentlemen, our pastime is one apparently always under fire of one sort or another. We suffer through draconian DRM schemes and the constant threat of hardware incompatibility only to see our exclusives bundled up and given to the X360 or the PS3. We wait months, maybe more, for a delayed port of the game that years ago would have come first on the PC, only to see that they haven’t even put mouse control in the menus and the multiplayer doesn’t work. We are treated as thieves by the companies we buy from, and as snobs by our console-playing brethren. The history of PC Gaming is long and storied, but at the end of the day, has it come to this?

Don’t worry, we’re not here to prophecy the death of the PC. There are plenty of overpaid analysts to do that for you. But man, sometimes it just feels like we get the short end of the stick. This week, Bryan [Smoof] leads Eric [Ravenlock], Robert [Trebor], Clayon [Bacalou] and Warren [Mayhem] in a brief lament over the state of the PC’s often seeming sidebar status in the Console War.

When we’re not whining about that, though, we also talk about some new free user-created content for Left 4 Dead (Dead City, Dam It!, and Death Aboard – and you can find a lot more where they came from), the very Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-esque “How to Raise a Dragon“, and a smattering of recent news, and also take a lovingly terrified look back at Aliens vs. Predator 2. Oh, and Eric pimps his new column with Bandango, just a little for good measure.

As always, if you want to get in touch with us, podcast@immortalmachines.com is the address to send an email to.