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PODCAST

025: Journey

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We float on with some very long scarves in Journey.

Developer: Thatgamecompany | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment | Release Date: March 12, 2012

Jacob, special guest Travis Colenutt and a quarantined Mike hide from Guardians, shred their scarves, float high and talk about aquatic life. “I’m the bubble boy!”

A quick programming note: we had originally planned to release our Zombi/ZombiU episode this week but have moved that episode to March 7th. Apologies for the change. Our March 21st episode is FTL: Faster Than Light.

You can now join our Discord server! Go to LeftBehindGame.Club and scroll down to the Discord section of the homepage!

Players: Jacob McCourt (@JacobMcCourt) and Michael Ruffolo (@ruffolom)

Special Guest: Travis Colenutt (@TravisColenutt)

Website: LeftBehindGame.Club | Twitter: @LeftBehindClub

Show Notes (spoilers):

  • 1:20 Michael is very sick
  • 2:20 A little background about Thatgamecompany & Journey
  • 3:30 Our collective experience with the game
  • 5:44 Let’s describe Journey
  • 7:40 Wait… motion controls? Sixaxis refresher.
  • 9:00 The multiplayer component of the game
  • 13:15 We start back at the beginning
  • 14:45 The aesthetic of the game
  • 16:45 Jacob’s favourite part of the game
  • 18:20 *gasp* “There are enemies?”
  • 19:30 Travis takes us under the sea
  • 20:50 The game opens in the desert
  • 25:58 Austin Wintory’s music is excellent
  • 28:15 The cutscenes and a little bit more about the story
  • 31:10 Terminator: Journey
  • 32:01 Into the depths of darkness and The Guardians
  • 36:55 The snowy area
  • 38:05 Jacob compares this game to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
  • 39:05 Back to the snow and Travis meets another player
  • 42:50 The collapse
  • 44:45 What does the story mean?
  • 49:35 Mike cries and Life of Pi
  • 52:18 Wrap-up
  • 54:44 A fun fact about Jenova Chen

024: Interview with Victor Magnuson (Fatshark Games)

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After playing through Warhammer: The End Times – Vermintide, Moe and Jacob had a conversation over Discord with Victor Magnuson. Victor is a Game Designer and Producer at Fatshark Games in Stockholm, Sweden. The team at Fatshark is currently working on Warhammer: Vermintide 2, a sequel to the highly successful original game.

Moe and Jacob talk about Victor’s jump from finance to game design, the history of Fatshark Games, how they began work on the Warhammer IP, the community they have built around the franchise and the upcoming Warhammer: Vermintide 2.

An open beta for Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is launching soon and the release date for the game will be announced in the near future.

Player: Jacob McCourt (@JacobMcCourt) & Moe Murtadi (@mmurtadi)

Guest: Victor Magnuson (@Zarpan)

Website: LeftBehindGame.Club | Twitter: @LeftBehindClub

Show Notes:

  • 1:00 Victor and Moe talk about their shared transition away from the Finance Industry
  • 5:34 Victor’s journey at Fatshark Games (covering GRIN, Quality Assurance and Game Design)
  • 9:53 How did Fatshark get connected with Games Workshop?
  • 11:58 How do you interact with Games Workshop on the game?
  • 14:44 What’s the pitch and the pillars for Warhammer: Vermintide?
  • 18:00 Victor talks about why they supported Warhammer: Vermintide for so long with DLC (while comparing the game to Rainbow Six: Siege)
  • 20:45 How does Fatshark interact with their active community?
  • 23:23 We transition to Vermintide 2, Victor talks about the difference between V1 and V2
  • 25:50 Victor talks about the addition of the Chaos Faction to Vermintide 2
  • 27:57 The addition of Career Paths in Vermintide 2
  • 31:27 Victor talks about the difference between the loot systems in Vermintide 1 and Vermintide 2
  • 33:23 We talk about the game’s Spawn Director
  • 36:32 We ask Victor what he is most exciting to watch and play when development on Vermintide 2 wraps up
  • 37:39 Details about the game’s release date and beta

 

 

023: Hotline Miami

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We get ultra-violent in 1989 with Hotline Miami.

Developer: Dennation Games & Abstraction Games (PlayStation Ports) | Publisher: Devolver Digital | Release Date: October 23rd, 2012

Jacob, Mike and Moe ask questions about violence, throw knives and wear masks to hide their true feelings. “Moe Mask, Mo’ Bullets.” Our next episode features ZombiU and/or Zombi and launches on February 21st!

You can now e-mail us your questions! Send questions about past episodes or questions about us to questions@leftbehindgame.club!

Players: Jacob McCourt (@JacobMcCourt), Michael Ruffolo (@ruffolom) and Moe Murtadi (@mmurtadi)

Website: LeftBehindGame.Club | Twitter: @LeftBehindClub

Show Notes (spoilers):

  • 3:05 Our past experiences with Hotline Miami
  • 4:30 Using a mouse and keyboard vs. a controller (Jacob also brings up the Vita again)
  • 5:35 We take a crack at explaining the premise
  • 7:40 We bring up the Complex Hotline Miami documentary (hey, it’s good)
  • 8:00 We compare Hotline Miami to GTA/GTA 2
  • 10:05 The look of Hotline Miami (“it’s a vibe” *DJ Khaled voice*)
  • 11:15 The controls of Hotline Miami (including the lock-on feature)
  • 13:00 Hotline Miami’s Masks
  • 15:57 The knives of Hotline Miami and Mike tried a “no gun playthrough”
  • 18:00 The problem with multi-level complexes and Jacob’s true feelings come out
  • 20:00 A game that beats the poop out of you
  • 21:25 Are we sociopaths… bringing it back to Spec Ops: The Line
  • 24:25 Don’t play the game with the sound off
  • 27:30 Jacob brings up Cactus & “…this game is […] better than the sum of its parts.”
  • 29:00 Mike explains the story
  • 33:29 The shift from Jacket to Biker
  • 35:22 The end of the game
  • 38:20 Is the game about mental illness?
  • 40:30 How a developer’s break-up affected the game
  • 44:00 The four questions and tying this game to Bioshock and The Stanley Parable
  • 47:40 How our age affected our thoughts about the violence
  • 50:00 Jacob hates the doors
  • 51:13 How did we rank in the game & how we combo
  • 52:35 How would you recommend playing the game?

022: Warhammer: The End Times – Vermintide

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We conquer some virtual humanoid rats in Warhammer: The End Times – Vermintide.

Developer: Fatshark AB | Publisher: Fatshark AB | Release Date: October 23, 2015

Jacob, Mike, Moe and special guest Kevin Reaburn talk about Swedish video game developers, dopamine loops, crowd control and rolling dice. “Let me sell you some Vermintide, son.” Our February episodes are Hotline Miami (February 7th) and ZombiU/Zombi (February 21st)!

You can now e-mail us your questions! Send questions about past episodes or questions about us to questions@leftbehindgame.club!

Players: Jacob McCourt (@JacobMcCourt), Michael Ruffolo (@ruffolom) and Moe Murtadi (@mmurtadi)

Special Guest: Kevin Reaburn

Website: LeftBehindGame.Club | Twitter: @LeftBehindClub

Show Notes (spoilers):

  • 1:10 Introducing our guest, Kevin Reaburn
  • 2:20 What does Warhammer: The End Times – Vermintide mean?
  • 3:00 The story of Fatshark
  • 4:45 Licensing in video games 101
  • 5:30 Our experience with other Warhammer games (correction: the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War series is developed by Relic and published by Sega)
  • 6:50 How did we play the game?
  • 8:30 This game is Left 4 Dead, yo.
  • 10:10 The game’s story
  • 13:20 The inn and drinking the beer
  • 14:00 Our first big take-home in 3… 2… 1…
  • 14:35 Kevin, Jacob and Mike talk about their guide
  • 15:10 We give you an introduction to the characters/classes/weapons
  • 19:45 Mike’s devious Kevin secret is revealed
  • 20:28 “Zero Dark Mike” aka when Kevin and Jacob screwed up
  • 21:25 Jacob explains Ranald’s Bones
  • 23:25 Mike, Jacob and Kevin thank our Vermintide guide, who restored our faith in humanity
  • 25:00 A breakdown of the enemy types
  • 27:22 The AI’s helpful cues and quips (ft. some helpful radio salesmen)
  • 29:38 The voice acting
  • 30:48 Subtitles and the PC centric UI (ft. Dead Rising)
  • 32:15 An aside about PC matchmaking
  • 33:25 Autodesk Stingray, Unreal and Unity
  • 35:00 Jacob hated this game at first
  • 37:15 Kevin chimes in
  • 38:40 “The game is in the rotation”
  • 40:50 We continue to talk through the enemy types
  • 46:25 The game’s weapon system, the Forge and the Shrine of Solace
  • 50:05 The game’s DLC and level structure
  • 50:45 Warhammer: Vermintide 2
  • 51:35 Level design in the game
  • 57:00 Mike was dragging our party along… Jacob needed better weapons
  • 58:10 The game’s graphics
  • 58:45 Jacob brings it back to Dead Island
  • 59:15 The satisfaction (and the sound) of a “clean cut”
  • 1:00:50 End of level stats breakdowns
  • 1:01:45 “The butt pat” and hanging out with friends
  • 1:03:20 Jacob, Mike and Kevin’s epic save and Olesya’s Coach
  • 1:05:00 Closing thoughts
  • 1:05:30 Jacob brings it back to “The Rock” and Jumanji

021: Guacamelee!

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We deliver lucha-style piledrivers to skeletons in Guacamelee.

Developer: Drinkbox Studios | Publisher: Drinkbox Games | Release Date: April 9, 2013

Jacob, Mike and Moe talk about chickens and their “easter” eggs, mix-max’ing your character, the PlayStation Vita and Mexico by way of Japan. “This game is more present day WWE and less attitude era WWF.” Our next episode drops on January 24th, 2017 and we are playing Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide!

You can now e-mail us your questions! Send questions about past episodes or questions about us to questions@leftbehindgame.club!

Players: Jacob McCourt (@JacobMcCourt), Michael Ruffolo (@ruffolom) and Moe Murtadi (@mmurtadi)

Website: LeftBehindGame.Club | Twitter: @LeftBehindClub

Show Notes (spoilers):

  • 1:15 What is Guacamelee?
  • 2:22 What is your experience with Guacamelee?
  • 3:46 Super Turbo Championship Edition and what fight about pronunciation of “Melee”
  • 5:25 Standard vs. Gold Edition vs. Super Turbo Championship Edition
  • 5:47 We talk about The PlayStation Vita and
  • 6:40 “The Vita is still hype in Japan” & Jacob learns about Waifu and Weeaboo
  • 8:38 Guacamelee 2
  • 9:12 The “Drinkbox Aesthetic”
  • 10:36 Juan Aguacate and the start of the game
  • 12:35 Tostada and costume changes
  • 14:27 Homages to other games and easter eggs
  • 17:55 Your encounter with Alebrije, the adorable pet dragon
  • 19:35 Getting new moves through Choozo statues and level design
  • 21:30 Uay Chivo (Goat Man), Flame Face and great written dialogue
  • 23:40 The “combat flow”
  • 24:35 Bringing it back to professional wrestling
  • 26:45 How we upgraded our character
  • 27:15 Moe’s biggest gripe with Guacamelee
  • 29:00 The twist at the end
  • 29:55 Completing the game and our “rates of play”
  • 33:00 El Trio De La Muerte
  • 34:20 The El Diablo’s Domain DLC and The Devil
  • 36:58 More on combat chess and enemy variation
  • 40:20 Ontario Media Development Corporation and Telefilm Canada
  • 41:50 The rest of the bosses: Jaguar Javier and Calaca
  • 44:45 INTENSO!
  • 46:38 Our final thoughts
  • 50:20 Jacob asks an extremely important question

020: Virginia

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We “press to X to take a trip” in Virginia.

Developer: Variable State | Publisher: 505 Games | Release Date: September 22, 2016

Jacob, Mike and special guest Jarrett McCourt talk about the grandest little town in Virginia, skip the stairs with jump cuts and look into mirrors at ourselves very deeply. “You need to have some life experiences, Jacob.” Our first episode of 2018 launches on January 10th and we are playing Guacamelee!

You can now e-mail us your questions! Send questions about past episodes or questions about us to questions@leftbehindgame.club!

Players: Jacob McCourt (@JacobMcCourt) and Michael Ruffolo (@ruffolom)

Special Guest: Jarrett McCourt (Instagram @jarrettmccourt & @jmccourtphotography)

Website: LeftBehindGame.Club | Twitter: @LeftBehindClub

Show Notes (spoilers):

  • 1:29 Special Guest Jarrett McCourt introduces himself
  • 4:23 We introduce Virginia
  • 6:00 A little bit about Variable State
  • 6:35 Mike, Jacob and our music expert, Jarrett start on the soundtrack
  • 11:57 “I see this game as more of a piece of art”
  • 12:48 This game as a movie
  • 13:55 Past experience with the game
  • 15:30 The story begins
  • 16:43 “Did you find that the jump cuts were jarring?”
  • 17:56 The look of the game
  • 20:25 Cord McCarren and the X-Files
  • 22:38 Meeting Maria Halperin
  • 24:30 Spoilers start here
  • 24:46 Flipping on your partners
  • 26:10 Jacob comments about the back third of the game
  • 27:38 Jacob gets an education about stamps and “stamps”
  • 29:01 Getting to Kingdom, VA
  • 30:58 The cardinal and the game’s symbolism
  • 34:00 Bull vs. Bison vs. Buffalo
  • 36:50 Is this whole game a trip?
  • 38:23 Jarrett brings up Warhol and the tuba
  • 40:07 What is Virginia’s intention?
  • 43:21 The gas station scene
  • 46:16 The cult thing
  • 48:14 Sojourner’s Truth
  • 49:00 Jacob compares the music to the Super Mario 64 Water Theme (with proof)
  • 50:22 Waking up in Maria’s house
  • 52:03 The game unfurls
  • 53:39 Jacob’s best video game sequence of the 2010s…
  • 56:27 …then you take the drugs
  • 57:40 A hospital bedside, a shoe box and a key
  • 1:01:22 Aliens.
  • 1:02:10 The pastor
  • 1:05:08 Closing thoughts about the game

019: To The Moon

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We explore our darkest dreams in To The Moon.

Developer: Freebird Games | Publisher: Freebird Games, X.D. Network Inc. | Release Date: November 1, 2011

Jacob, Moe and Mike travel in time, play for River and sit together in a movie theatre. Oh yeah… and Jacob cries. “I am a soft boy and I cried my eyes out.” Our last episode of 2017 launches on December 27th and we are playing Virginia.

You can now e-mail us your questions! Send questions about past episodes or questions about us to questions@leftbehindgame.club!

Players: Jacob McCourt (@JacobMcCourt), Michael Ruffolo (@ruffolom) and Moe Murtadi (@mmurtadi)

Website: LeftBehindGame.Club | Twitter: @LeftBehindClub

Show Notes (spoilers):

  • 1:59 Moe tries to explain To The Moon
  • 3:50 “Moe’s gonna hate this”
  • 4:47 Mike tries to explain To The Moon
  • 5:52 How did we play the game?
  • 6:40 What was you first impression?
  • 9:32 The “Dragon Ball Z” moment
  • 11:30 The game’s written dialogue
  • 13:22 The “puzzle”
  • 14:45 Entering the first memory
  • 15:20 The first mention of the music
  • 17:00 Character movement (aka the controls)
  • 19:25 The next few memories (up to “take care of Anya”)
  • 23:05 Did Moe think that River was a serial killer?
  • 24:43 The “movie theatre scene”
  • 25:45 The “NASA pitch”
  • 27:42 Comparing To The Moon to Dragon Ball Z again
  • 29:25 The “lighthouse dance”
  • 31:07 The issue with Johnny’s memory
  • 33:58 A mother’s mistake
  • 36:00 We go to the carnival and compare whack-a-mole scores
  • 36:43 Star-gazing
  • 37:50 “Can you see the constellation?”
  • 39:24 Emotional. Devastation.
  • 42:42 How are we going alter his memory?
  • 44:18 Rosalene vs. Watts
  • 47:20 Moe gets to shoot things
  • 48:42 Comparing To The Moon to romantic comedies
  • 51:35 The final sequence
  • 53:23 Jacob loses it… and then comes back
  • 54:25 The after-credits scene
  • 55:55 To The Moon 2: Finding Paradise + closing thoughts

018: Spec Ops: The Line

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We travel head-first into a sandstorm in Spec Ops: The Line.

Developer: Yager Development | Publisher: 2K Games | Release Date: June 26, 2012

The OG crew (Jacob, Moe and Mike) rides in a helicopter, disobey direct orders and become the hero. “What is this “vault with B” malarkey?” Our next episode launches on December 13th and we are playing To The Moon!

You can now e-mail us your questions! Send questions about past episodes or questions about us to questions@leftbehindgame.club!

Players: Jacob McCourt (@JacobMcCourt), Michael Ruffolo (@ruffolom) and Moe Murtadi (@mmurtadi)

Website: LeftBehindGame.Club | Twitter: @LeftBehindClub

Show Notes (spoilers):

  • 1:12 What is Spec Ops: The Line?
  • 2:32 What is your past experience with Spec Ops: The Line?
  • 3:45 A warning about Spec Ops: The Line
  • 4:33 The game’s setup (Chapter 1-3)
  • 7:42 Jacob’s hypothesis about the game
  • 9:28 Moe jumps ahead to an important choice
  • 12:25 The game’s mechanics
  • 14:50 Favourite weapons
  • 18:10 We return to the first choice in the game (Rick Gould)
  • 19:45 Mike brings up Heart of Darkness & Apocalypse Now
  • 22:52 Mike brings it back to Spec Ops: The Line with “white phosphorus” (Chapter 8)
  • 27:27 We talk about how we played the game
  • 29:03 “There’s always a choice”
  • 30:15 Who is Konrad?
  • 31:30 Where’s the 9 volt battery?
  • 32:30 The game’s visuals
  • 35:18 Nolan North
  • 36:45 Jacob’s “tin hat” theory
  • 37:15 How would you market this game?
  • 41:05 The hanging men (Chapter 9)
  • 43:05 Is the game believable? Blame the sandstorms.
  • 44:25 The other hanging
  • 46:43 Tunnel vision
  • 48:17 The water truck choice
  • 49:42 The fourth wall
  • 50:40 Executions
  • 51:40 The game’s message
  • 53:25 The final sequence & hallucinations
  • 58:28 Konrad’s revelation and the final decision (“who is Konrad?”)
  • 1:02:50 The second set of endings
  • 1:04:36 Our final thoughts

017: Luigi’s Mansion

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The spoopy games continue with Luigi’s Mansion. Jacob, Moe, Mike and special guest Travis Colenutt look deeply into mirrors, use magical vacuum cleaners and walk backwards down creepy hallways. “Marrrrriiiiiiioooooooooooooooo!” Our next episode launches on November 29th and we are playing Spec Ops: The Line!

You can now e-mail us your questions! Send questions about past episodes or questions about us to questions@leftbehindgame.club!

Players: Jacob McCourt (@JacobMcCourt), Michael Ruffolo (@ruffolom) and Moe Murtadi (@mmurtadi)

Special Guest: Travis Colenutt (@TravisColenutt)

Website: LeftBehindGame.Club | Twitter: @LeftBehindClub

Show Notes (spoilers):

  • 2:00 What is Luigi’s Mansion and what is the premise?
  • 3:58 The three classes of ghosts in the game
  • 8:30 The Mario vs. Luigi debate continues
  • 9:20 Moe’s on Luigi’s ice cold veins
  • 11:35 The start of the game
  • 12:45 Mirrors can do WHAT?
  • 15:45 Jacob’s first complaint… NO WAIT… a baby (Chauncey)
  • 18:40 This is a creepy game, right?
  • 21:15 The game’s difficulty
  • 24:30 Favourite puzzles/bosses
  • 27:35 Travis gets ice ice baby (Sir Weston)
  • 28:20 Mario’s 5 items
  • 30:55 The point to the money; comparing mansion
  • 33:10 Jacob’s fave – “that old man” (Uncle Grimmly)
  • 34:30 Walking outside
  • 36:55 Our boo numbers
  • 40:05: A reminder about 2001
  • 41:05 Jacob compares this game to Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • 42:55 The last boss battle (King Boo)
  • 44:30 Jacob compares this game to Resident Evil
  • 45:10 The fat ghost (Mr. Luggs)
  • 46:15 That old lady (Nana)
  • 47:45 Jacob compares this game to Home Alone 2
  • 48:05 The music
  • 49:45 The sequel
  • 50:35 Our final thoughts

016: Costume Quest

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Happy Halloween! We grab the coolest cardboard costumes we can find and jump skate first into Costume Quest. Jacob, Mike and special guest Andrew Perciballi pitch imaginary games to Tim Schafer, knocking on doors, dad taxes and General Mechanics. “I digress is the theme for today.” Our next episode launches on November 15th and we are playing Luigi’s Mansion!

A special thank you this episode to Lemuel Alquino; our raw audio was an inaudible mess and he was able to save the audio. You can check out his work at lalquino.com and on Twitter @LAlquinoProd.

You can now e-mail us your questions! Send questions about past episodes or questions about us to questions@leftbehindgame.club!

Players: Jacob McCourt (@JacobMcCourt) & Michael Ruffolo (@ruffolom)

Special Guest: Andrew Perciballi (@AndyofWindsor & Project Gateway Canada)

Additional Production: Lemuel Alquino (@LAlquinoProd)

Website: LeftBehindGame.Club | Twitter: @LeftBehindClub

Show Notes (spoilers):

  • 2:10 What is Costume Quest?
  • 3:50 Jacob and Andrew pitch Costume Quest to Mr. Schafer
  • 4:50 How do you play?
  • 7:20 How did we play the game?
  • 9:35 Knocking on doors?
  • 10:25 Sound direction
  • 12:40 Hypothesized time and place
  • 17:00 We start to dive deep into “general mechanics”
  • 19:00 The general progression
  • 22:00 Comparing the writing to Spielberg cartoon?
  • 25:50 Party make-ups
  • 29:50 Also, candy corn is garbage
  • 34:40 The fries costume
  • 38:00 “Let’s go to the mall”
  • 40:40 Video game malls, Bam Margera and jack**s
  • 43:15 Candy receptacles
  • 47:00 The maze
  • 50:10 The final bosses
  • 51:50 Andrew reveals his secret
  • 54:25 Andrew’s “teenagers” theory; it’s a Game Theory
  • 56:10 Dad Tax
  • 59:00 Jacob and Mike pile on Andrew’s 6 out of 10
  • 1:01:20 Our next game!