[Episode 19] Box of Chocolates

With all the positive PC game experiences, there are also sadly, some very bad ones as well. In fact those experiences are so horrible that it leaves an indelible mark on one’s game psyche. Some have had fortunately only one or two, but most out there have had three or more. In this, the 19th edition of the Immortal Machines podcast, Clayton [Voodoo], Eric [Ravenlock], Robert [Trebor], Jacob [MagGnome], and Mike[Bandango] lament over what three PC games gave us so much grief, pain, and a quick return to the store for something else to play.

Before this trip down this “via del la Rosa”, we talk about the games we have been playing since the last podcast which has a nicer ending. The Retro Gaming segment covers the classic action third person RPG from 1996, which is none other that Blizzard North’s Diablo. The Indie Game segment discusses Lucidity and The Three Musketeers, no not the candy bar. We finally wrap up with a coverage of PC Gaming News where items such as Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2’s lack of dedicated servers, Left 4 Dead 2 Achievement list is released to the public, the “to be released” PC game Torchlight by Runic, and more.

Hosted & Summarized by Robert [Trebor]
Participants are Eric [Ravenlock], Jacob [MagGnome] and Mike [Bandango]
Produced by Clayton [Voodoo]

[Episode 18] Fit To Print

Geez, you step away from podcasting for an extra half a week, and the world goes crazy in your absence. This is perhaps an overstatement, but there actually was quite a bit of news to break on the PC front while we tried to get our schedules together, so that takes up the bulk of this installment of the podcast.

Among the topics discussed are a potential sequel to Planetside, yet a few more PC delays (and let me change my stance here a bit from what I took in the show proper and say “bring ’em on, I’ve got plenty to play already”), the clever subversion of nVidia’s attempts to lock PhysX integration out for people who also have an ATI card installed, and a wealth of goodies about digital distribution, including some talk from Brad Wardell about Stardock’s DD numbers, and perhaps the most insane downloadable sale yet (now over, sorry) from Direct2Drive. Probably some other stuff I’m forgetting, too. Unfortunately the little dust-up between Randy Pitchford and indie devs over Steam’s treatment of “the little guy” happened just after we recorded, but let me suggest that given the evidence, we probably would have ended up siding with Steam on this one. If I’m wrong about that I’m sure my cohorts will reprimand me.

Quake II is our retro title this week, and the consensus seems to be that iD builds great engines so that other people can build great games. The freeware / indie segment touches on a few things, The Shivah, RunMan and ASCII Portal being the stars, but I was also asked where I get these wonderful toys, so at the risk of making myself obsolete let me humbly suggest that you add Bytejacker, RockPaperShotgun, TIGSource, and IndieGames to your browsing habits if this sort of thing interests you.

Oh, hey, we mention it in the episode, but if you happen to subscribe to our iTunes feed and you like the show, toss us a rating over there, hmm? It’d be appreciated. We may have some exciting news coming soon, too, so keep your eyes peeled.

Hosted & Summarized by Eric [Ravenlock]
Participants are Robert [Trebor], Bryan [Smoof] and Warren [Mayhem]
Produced by Clayton [Voodoo]

[Episode 17] Paxalicious

Seattle has never looked more attractive than when inside a convention hall, filled with video gamers of both the PC and Console camps. Our intrepid PAX travelers Clayton [Voodoo] and Eric [Ravenlock] share their tales of PC games, PC goodies, and PC gals, all up close and videoed with Robert [Trebor] and Jacob [MagGnome].

From the halls of PAX we swing into the what will be known as the best Batman PC game ever made, Batman: Arkham Asylum and give our early, and very favorable impressions of this superhero translation of the Caped Crusader in rather dire circumstances. Funny how he can never just have a “normal” day at the office? But then again can you see Batman sitting being a desk or in a cubical? No, I could not either.

From superhero to super spy the Retro Gaming segment discusses “No One Lives Forever” starting our favorite female sleuth Cate Archer. To live in the 60’s again, oh the joy! And what does UNITY and H.A.R.M stand for? Tune in and find out.

From the streets of London we move on to the land of Indie game with a discussion of Canabalt and Osmos with all the gaming goodness and playing pleasure. We finally wrap it up with our DWGAS segment covering topics such as free to play DDO, used game “conspiracy” not being isolated to just Gamestop, 2D Sonic, a new IP from Lucas Arts, and a pirated version of Batman give those naughty gamers the gas. So stop playing your marathon game of Solitaire and give us your ears.

[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.