My guest this week is Jon Gabrus, author of The Morning After Heroes and one half of sketch comedy group Tybrus.
TALKING POINT: What games deserve a sequel?
Jon: River City Ransom. It's a classic "two brothers take on a bully" game in a Grease-era high school. They recently ported it to Gameboy Advance, but no true sequel has ever been made.
Jeff: The game's The-Warriors-meets- Happy-Days setting was unique, I'd still love to see it realized on a modern console. On the other hand, River City Ransom's bad guys already say "BARF!" when you hit them. How can you improve on that?
Jon: It could be updated with crips and bloods.
Jeff: They should make an RBI Baseball 2008 that's just RBI Baseball with updated rosters, and maybe play-by-play.
Jon: Or Base Wars! That was was a game that was almost there. Now it would be refined, and so bad ass. I loved the hover-bots. The more realistic the game play is, the worse I am at it.
Jeff: I know what you mean. I'm excellent at robo-combat, so I'm terrible at Base Wars.
Jon: I remember seeing a video of you dissecting that tankbot's face.
Jeff: He was blocking home plate.
TALKING POINT: With Halo 3 out, the blockbuster Christmas season is officially upon us. What are you looking forward to?
Jeff: That depends. Is Rock Band a game or a lifestyle change?
Jon: I would like to play Rock Band, but I have no talent. For me, it's probably Call of Duty 4.
Jeff: I don't like games that take place in a historical era. It's too close to learning.
Jon: Call of Duty 4 actually takes place in a fictional 21st century war with Russian communists, or something.
Jeff: Between Call of Duty 4, Halo 3, Half Life 2, BioShock, Metroid, Haze, and Crysis there are just too many first-person shooters coming out. It's like they're asking for another school shooting!
Jon: If I play too many of those games I do weird things, like strafe when I walk to avoid cameras. Or fire wildly at explosive barrels.
Jeff: If you can play games without guns, of course there's Mario Galaxy. If you weren't excited before, a new movie shows off the return of the airships and, perhaps more importantly, the airships theme.
Jon: Airships. I love 'em in Final Fantasy 3 and I will love them in Mario. I might get a Wii just for Mario Galaxy, and the other 11 games I have said that about.
TALKING POINT: How do you deal with annoying 13-year-olds on Xbox Live?
Jeff: It's important to remember that all 13-year-olds are annoying, and we were all 13-year-olds once. That said, I think we should somehow embarrass them at their middle schools.
Jon: You could also try non-sequiturs. If a kid annoys me, I respond to things he didn't say. "Sometimes a bridge is just a bridge, and to cross it your gonna need to prepare. My uncle has scoliosis." Then just stick with it 'till you out-annoy him.
Jeff: I wish Xbox Live existed when I was 13. I would have been soooo funny. I knew all these great jokes about dead babies
Jon: When I was 13, I was quoting The Simpsons religiously. To be fair, I still am, and I'm quoting the same episodes.
Jon: What I always do with the annoying kids is agree. When they say, "You're gay." I say, "I know, I love my boyfriend. We are adopting."
Jeff: Like in Lisa the Vegetarian, when Sherri and Terri are all "She admitted it! She's gonna marry a carrot!"