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Chat Radio #14 - the E3 2006 Special

posted : 05/29/06

Welcome to Chat Radio! It's like Talk Radio except there's no radio or talking involved. It's all done in MSN Messenger, with a little help from Notepad. Basically, it's just me and my friend chatting about nothing in particular. There's a few different segments to each show, including Tech Tips, Music, Software, ASCII Art Lessons, Word of the Day, and more. We might think up some more, but the longer the session, the more editing I have to do. As you may know or find out soon, editing makes one very bitter.

I'll say it now, we stopped planning these things a long time ago, and these days they're just showing up out of the blue. This one for example, was conceived simply because there was so much going on at E3 2006 that we just couldn't keep our opinions to ourselves. And rather than subject our other friends to our boring rants and ideologies, we did a Chat Radio about it.

One thing I regret to say is that it's very Wii-heavy. There are mentions of the other concoles, but nothing overly notable. So if you've got something against the Wii, or just Nintendo in general, you probably aren't going to be a fan of this conversation.

Ryan - Hello again to Chat Radio land

Edwin - Howdy peeps!

Ryan - Today is kind of a special episode. We'll be (mostly, at least) blah blah blahing about E3 2006, which was a pretty damned important and awesome show

Edwin - Yes, and to help with the flow of things, we're forgoing all the normal crap structure we kept in the past

Ryan - Of course. Weather barely fits in with E3

Edwin - I have a few things to talk about, as does Ryan, so that's what we're sticking to.

Ryan - Indeedy. I do have a lot to talk about. Though I guess for the most part it'll just be a lunatic rave of sorts. It's what I do when it comes to new video games that I want

Edwin - Well, I'll start us off then. I'm planning to talk about the Wii controller VS Sony's PS3 controller and how neither of them are terribly state of the art. At least in concept.

Ryan - Always the downer...

Edwin - Hey, I think it's a good idea, but I don't want anyone to think the idea's never been done before, because it has

Ryan - Maybe bits of it, but nobody's put it all together at once like Nintendo has.

Edwin - Well, I can say without a doubt that the PS3 controller has been done WAY before. Like, 8 years before.

Ryan - Of course. It does nothing new or impressive, it's just stupid because they did it just to try to compete with the Wiimote

Edwin - Yes yes, Nintendo is God blah blah blah.

Ryan - Hey, it it were the other way, I'd still think it's dumb

Edwin - For about $20 US I can turn my N64 into a newfangled tilt sensing controller. The doodad to make this happen is called a Tilt Pack. It's made by some company called Pelican.

Ryan - Okay, okay, enough about the controllers. You just enjoy your little pedestal there. Let's talk about the meat of the show: the games

Edwin - I like this pedestal, and dammit if I'm not right. As far as games go, Duck Hunt 2 and Command And Conquer 3 are the ones on my want list

Ryan - I think we'll start on the C&C3 note, because that'll pretty much sum up all the PC games I care about

Edwin - Well, so far the graphics are all I'm going on. They've said they would bring back the sidebar, but 'Keep it fresh' or some garbage. I have my doubts that EA is going to do a good job, but I've got false hope keeping me going

Ryan - I think it'll turn out okay. Maybe not right back the way it was, but I play enough non-C&C RTS games that it probably wouldn't bug me anyway.

Edwin - I can't really get behind many other RTS games. I'll play 'em, but I don't enjoy them

Ryan - I love Age of Empires 3... Mostly for the theme though

Edwin - Yeah, theme is pretty important for me in those kinds of games. I'll be damned if I'm gonna play Warcraft 3

Ryan - As far as C&C3 goes however, I'm really just happy that they're going back to the Tiberium universe. That's always been my favourite C&C storyline

Edwin - It'd be awesome if James Earl Jones comes back. That guy's my hero.

Ryan - Indeed. Nothing like Darth Vader in your video games.

Edwin - I like him more for Wind In The Willows, but whatever floats your boat

Ryan - I don't even know what that is

Edwin - Well, I suppose that's a real problem then. It had Mr. Toad, and the badger guy, and Toad Hall...

Ryan - Not really, because it's very off-topic and we probably don't need to go there

Edwin - Fine fine. I've been up since 3:20am, so I may fall of track every now and again

Ryan - So then. That Duck Hunt 2 (or "Shooting Game Demo" as I believe it was called on the show floor) is pretty spiffy

Edwin - Agreed. The gun is probably my favourite part of the whole shabang

Ryan - It's a good thing to bring out stuff like that, but to reiterate a point made many times, they'd better not make very many of those "shells"

Edwin - You know they will. You were a big supporter in the beinging

Ryan - I was a supporter of the gun and the "normal controller" shell.

Edwin - Honestly, I've come to agree with the shell idea. As long as they don't make a million of them and pull a Nintendo by making a shitload of required peripherals.

Ryan - Exactly what I'm talking about. I mean, if they package them in with the games they're used for (Ex: Donkey Konga/DK Bongos, Guitar Hero/SG Controller) then it'll be okay, but if you have to buy 'em separately, then BAAAD. I mean, the Wiimote's port already gives it limitless potential, so we'll probably be seeing a lot of add-on junk

Edwin - I don't like the fact that you've got a whole bunch of plastic sitting around that gets used rarely at best. I'm a packrat by nature and I just don't have the room for all that crap.

Ryan - That too. I still have all my NES junk. The unit, the Zapper, ROB, etc...

Edwin - Good ol' ROB. We should fire him up.

Ryan - If you want to pay the battery expense, then fine. But I'll tell you now, it's totally not worth it

Edwin - Well, maybe some other day. And that concludes most of what I wanted to talk about.

Ryan - Well I still need to voice my concern about Duck Hunt, as it kinda leads into other stuff

Edwin - Oh, then go ahead

Ryan - Well, and this may just be me, but I really hope they keep Duck Hunt really close to the original. No extra crap. Just shooting ducks and those clay disc things.

Edwin - And being able to shoot the dog would make that game an instant sell

Ryan - Yep, and the not-straying-from-the-paved-road idea would attract old-schoolers who gave up on video games when you started needing six buttons rather than two

Edwin - Or in the case of the PSX DualShock games, 16

Ryan - That said, it's a possiblility, because it fits in with Nintendo's "make really simple games for non-gamers" strategy. I don't know if you saw any of the Wii Sports thing, but it's a game that comes with 4 overly simplified games including Tennis, baseball, golf and a flight game

Edwin - The problem here with the controller is it makes it impossible to port games over the the Revolution. Tom Clancy will have no part in it

Ryan - Well EA isn't porting Madden 07. They built a whole new game from the ground up for Wii. That's what Nintendo's been encouraging companies to do, and I think it's a good idea too

Edwin - Fat chance that's gonna happen more than three times

Ryan - Well, both Sony and Microsoft are saying that you should buy their console and a Wii, so if people actually do that, then porting to Wii would be useless anyway

Edwin - You'd think anyway. I just don't think it'll translate into a very strong idea. The novelty is great, and yes, they'll make completely new styles of gameplay that may be great, but they simultaneously spit in the face of all the games that need more than say, 5 buttons.

Ryan - Here's the thing though, they can still port all they want, because the Wii will make use of the GC controllers

Edwin - That's confirmed now?

Ryan - Super Smash Bros Brawl isn't going to use the Wiimote at all, just the GC controller

Edwin - Thank God

Ryan - Well that was a little obvious. There's no way you could play a 2D fighter with that thing

Edwin - I was somehow expecting them to try it.

Ryan - I guess you could turn in sideways like Excite Truck though...

Edwin - What is the news on backwards compatibility anyways?

Ryan - Full

Edwin - I know it's supposed to play GC, but what about the others?

Ryan - What do you mean? The Virtual Console?

Edwin - Yeah

Ryan - It's clearly going to be select titles (some licenses died years ago, some companies have switched allegiances, etc), but hopes are high, as Nintendo did a poll a while back and some really unexpected titles showed up

Edwin - It's far too much to hope for, but it'd be nice if they stuck with the emulator standards. I know some companies did that with their Commodore64 titles. They just put a bunch of diskette images on a CD with an emu

Ryan - Well what do you know about the Xbox Live Arcade?

Edwin - That you download games online, save 'em to the hard drive.

Ryan - Well, it's looking to be very similar to that

Edwin - That's gonna be kinda weak. Plus the 512MB of Flash are gonna fill up fast if it's not streaming. Also, I think they (Microsoft) bought all of SEGA's dreamcast games or something crazy

Ryan - Ooh. Neat. I've heard that they make games specifically for it.

Edwin - Yeah, kinda like that snake game in Timesplitters 2

Ryan - Back to Wii, Nintendo keeps saying to buy an external harddrive for it if you manage to run out (rather than extra flash memory, which will cost a lot more)

Edwin - If they'll have one for the Wiivolution, I'll buy a hard drive. So far though, flash is pretty cheap if you know where to look. My brother in law got a 512MB for $14US shipped

Ryan - Not bad at all

Edwin - Agreed. I bought 1GB for $40 or so. It'll keep going down too. I can't imagine game saves are going to be that large on the whole. Some games of course will be hogs, there's always a few titles that are

Ryan - EA sports

Edwin - I wonder if they'll actually make a hard drive for it though. The PS2 didn't *really* get one. But nowadays it may be unavoidable.

Ryan - Seeing that the biggest GC meory card is 8MB and it can hold far more game saves than the PS2 memory card of the same size, I feel confident in that the standard 512 should be enough for a good while

Edwin - The PS2 saves were stupid though. They were meant to eat up space. That's why most game save icons are 3D objects

Ryan - Yep. Think they'll continue the trend/make it worse? I do.

Edwin - The GC mem cards are expensive as hell too...

Ryan - So are PS2 memory cards

Edwin - I got 2 for $40 for PS2. I got one for $45 for GC

Ryan - Were they Sony brand?

Edwin - Yeah, the clear blue and clear red. And that was years ago

Ryan - I'm pretty sure mine ran me more than $20. I'd go find the bill but I'll just let you have this one

Edwin - So in any case, flash is cheap, good move by Nintendo for using standardized stuff. It means we can all back up our saves to the PC without a third party paripheral.

Ryan - Yep. So back to some game discussion for a minute, I'm very impressed with Super Mario Galaxy. Looks like it'll be quite an adventure.

Edwin - Never heard of it

Ryan - Obviously, the new Mario game for Wii. To put it very simply: it's Mario in space.

Edwin - Makes sense then

Ryan - Indeed. It certainly looks (graphics wise) a lot better than Sunshine. But then again, graphics clearly weren't the focus in that game. *shudder*

Edwin - The graphics in that game are awesome. The textures needed some work, but that's it

Ryan - Yes, but they stick out so much that even I'm repulsed by them

Edwin - Meh. So, what's so good about this Space Mario or whatever other than graphics?

Ryan - Well, you're really have to see the video, but I'll try to explain it. Okay, here goes: It looks like fun.

Edwin - I bet there all kinds of 'innovative new gameplay' crap.

Ryan - Not really. I mean, since it's in space you can stand on any surface and jump a little higher, but other than that it looks a lot like Mario 64. You can use the pointer to interact with stuff too, but that was used so little that it's barely worth mention

Edwin - I saw him attacking some squid tennis style. That's about all I can remember from the clip from the controller propaganda video

Ryan - I'd say it was more of a Link vs Ganondorf style duel. Though now that I think of it, tennis does fit the bill pretty well

Edwin - I've played that duel thing all of once. I've at least SEEN tennis... More than once... Go argument, go.

Ryan - I don't think there really was an argument here...

Edwin - More of a single point refuting another, not the sum of said arguments. Well, on to my point of interest; Metal Gear Solid 4: Snake Is Old

Ryan - Indeed he is. And I'm totally not sold on it. Mostly because of this Middle East business

Edwin - Oh fah. The middle east is all the rage now. Especially in the current music I keep hearing.

Ryan - Exactly why I don't like it...

Edwin - The one thing that confuses me is that Snake is old, but not much time passed. Meryl is there, no older (but slightly better done) than she was before. Same for the other characters that return from past Solid games. I assume it's this whole Snake is a clone and there's side effects business.

Ryan - Or there's been more cloning going on, or Snake isn't really Snake... surely something silly and over-complicated

Edwin - If MSG2 and 3 have any influence on this one, yeah. I assume Hideo is trying to destroy the series because he's tired of it. And the more crazy it is, the better.

Ryan - Which is kind of a shame, because it's good games.

Edwin - Gameplay is awesome. But the story is crap. The first Solid game was... solid. But in any case, this one seems kinda cool for Otacon's little robot thing. Everyone's gonna hate it, but I find it hilarious.

Ryan - For stealth reasons, it's super-impractical, but it is a neat little gadget

Edwin - I think stealth isn't gonna be a big part of this game. Somehow the X-Ray vision of the bipedal robots is gonna muck up that whole thing

Ryan - Oh totally. Damned robots

Edwin - Maybe they'll be more rare than I assume

Ryan - But I'm hoping that's just the intro to the game or something, and the bulk of it is in a secret underground facility of some sort, where it belongs

Edwin - I think you're forgetting MGS3... It's gonna be eating little Indian animals and cactuses or something. Or in the case of a Cactuar, both!

Ryan - I'm also hoping they cut out all that eating/healing bullhock

Edwin - It's all about eating the poison dart frogs. By the bowlful!

Ryan - That's just silly. There's no bowls in the forest

Edwin - So I don't know. I've got high hopes again. I don't think I'll play it though. It'll be just like MGS3. I've played it maybe once, no more than that.

Ryan - I don't think you'll play at all. The PS3 is going to be like $650 after all

Edwin - It'll come out for the 360. Not that I'll buy that either

Ryan - Is MGS3 in the Xbox?

Edwin - Yeah. [ED: After a little research, no it isn't] As was MGS2:Substance

Ryan - I knew that much. And of course the Xbox version wasn't a limited edition, so you can find that without breaking a sweat...

Edwin - So, what topics do you have left to talk about?

Ryan - I could blab on about all the other games I'd currently punt babies to play, but I think that's all that was important.

Edwin - So, I'm wondering if we'll do inane banter today

Ryan - But the whole thing was mostly that

Edwin - Indeed it was. I have nothing else to talk about really anyway.

Ryan - Nope. New Super Mario Bros should hit stores tomorrow, but I don't really need to say how aweseome it's going to be

Edwin - At least this was longer than Mike and Skipper's 'Talk Show'.

Ryan - Yeah, well when Mike's articles are more than four paragraphs it's.... not usual.

Edwin - Fair enough. And this format of article is easy for everyone involved. And we've been doing these things even before the word podcast existed, so that's always something to be proud of.

Ryan - I guess

Edwin - I need to use more capital 'And's... But how...

Ryan - Or less, because they're not supposed to exist

Edwin - I defy all laws of grammar! I'm a grammar criminal.

Ryan - Well not even I adhere to that one

Edwin - I think that's the end of our show.

Ryan - Seems like it's that time again

Edwin - And words to go out by: We're all scientists.

Ryan - Not me! I'm not smart enough!

Edwin - I wish these things had titles to 'em... Goodnight everybody!

Ryan - Fuego!

Told you there'd be a lot of Wii discussion. I don't really know how to go out on this one, nor do I feel like trying. I'll just apologise for trying to pass this off as a real article. Sorry.

E-Mail: Tuominenator[at]gmail[dot]com