This week's guest is CollegeHumor's intern Kevin Corrigan. Kevin has contributed headlines to the Onion and his favorite food is ice cream.
TALKING POINT: The Power Pad. Was it ahead of it's time?
Jeff: Throughout most of modern history, the assumption was that nobody wanted games with specialized peripherals. These days, games like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero are proving that assumption wrong.
Jeff: It just opens up new gameplay possibilites. It's interesting to see that, even back then, Nintendo was experimenting in different ways for players to interact with games. There were many failures along the way (Power Glove, Virtual Boy, the Edible Joystick) but it seems like all that experience paid off when they designed the Wii.
Kevin: The Wii has done an excellent job of selling us games I could be playing in my kitchen or garage. Wii Warioware? I turn off my alarm clock every day when I wake up. Why is that a game?
Jeff: When the Power Pad came out, technology had yet to catch up to it. World
Class Track Meet is fun to this day, but you can only get so good at it before it gets boring. DDR and Guitar Hero justify their cost with replay value.
Kevin: Plus, gamers are getting older. Maybe as we grow up we become less interested in saving princesses from turtle-dragons, and more interested in performing surgery and dancing at the club.
Jeff: It's only a matter of years before they're selling us genetically engineered Pikachus. Do you think a track & field game could be succesful today? It would be just like the old one, but updated with technology that knows when you've jumped off the pad
Kevin: I do. Today, it's acceptable for a bunch of guys to hang out in a dorm and run on a video game-pad all night. Ten years ago it would have been super-nerdy.
Jeff: Maybe it's more understandable than acceptible, but your point stands. Ten years from now, you'll be considered a loser if you're having sex.
Kevin: Penis-in-vagina intercourse is going to be considered lame compared to Wii Sex (the only sex that's 100% safe).
TALKING POINT: What's going to come out first, Valve's Team Fortress 2 or Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy? Which are you more interested in?
Jeff: Since neither project involves Slash, I'm going to have to give the nod to Team Fortress 2. Those screenshots have more style than most entire games.
Jeff: It looks like Team Fortress 2 is for-real coming out before the end of 2007. Will it be worth the wait?
Kevin: I really don't want to say yes, but if it's anywhere near as good as Half Life 2 it will be worth the wait.
Jeff: More than any other company, Valve understands the advantages of video games as a medium. Half Life 2 was so thoughtfully crafted. It's like Catcher in the Rye, but with gravity guns.
Kevin: Let's talk about the visual style of TF2 for a minute. It looks like a cartoon. I'm not sure the l33t community are going to be very tolerant of the Counter Strike meets Tom and Jerry graphics.
Jeff: Yeah, I like to see my crowbar vs. flamethrower battles portrayed as realistically as possible. The style is a matter of taste, but I love it. It's the Incredibles game that never got made.
Kevin: But it's still a world where everything is Wolfenstein 3-D with new levels. Chinese Democracy could push the boundaries of rock in directions never before thought possible circa 1994.
Jeff: The bottom line is they are packaging this with Half Life 2 episode 2, a sequel to one of the greatest games ever. In case you are crazy and that's still not enough they're also throwing in Portal, which looks like MC Escher designed a video game. If it were either of those two, it would be a must-buy. All three together in one package better than having friends. Sorry Axl.
Kevin: Super Puzzle Fighter 2. No question about it.
Jeff: The only reason I'm going to disagree is that we need to hit a minimum number of words. Lumines was the first time since Puzzle Fighter I felt like I saw a new take on the genre. And of course, there's always Tetris.
Jeff: Lumines is a very, very deep game. If you don't believe me try surving for thirty seconds against anyone on Xbox Live. The people who are good at it are playing a completely different game. Lumines also gets points because it's from Tetsuya MIzuguchi, who also designed stoner-favorite Rez.
Kevin: I'm not going to disagree, but it doesn't hold a candle to Columns cooperative puzzle mode on the hardest difficulty. After several years of playing, I've only beaten it once.
Jeff: That's why I prefer Puzzle Fighter's dual to the death.
Kevin: The real question is, when is Puzzle Fighter coming to Wii?
Jeff: The real-er question is when will the online enabled version finally come out on XBox Live Arcade? And also, do you want to play Puzzle Figthter after this?
Kevin: Absolutely. Who licensed their characters to better puzzle games, Nintendo or Sega? Are you a Dr. Mario man? Or would you rather be playing with Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine?
Jeff: I'm proud to have an honest answer to that question. I prefer Dr. Robotnick, even though it's just a rebranded Baku Baku. Sega's puzzle games, like Columns and Baku Baku, are vastly superior to Nintendo's efforts, like Kirby's Avalanche, Wario's Woods, or Princess Zelda's Hat Sorting By Color.
Kevin: Maybe I'm not remembering this right, but I seem to recall Baku Baku being about animals and fruit. It also came out on Saturn, which would make it post-Bean Machine.
Jeff: Oh I'm sorry, I meant Puyo Puyo. I don't know how I made that mistake
Kevin: Like Dr. Robotnick's mean beans, there are simply too many puzzle games to keep up with.