Game Junk Podcast Episode #37: Guacamelee! 2 + Spider-Man


0:00 – Intro
5:40 – Headlines: Telltale Games Lays Off Majority of Staff
13:20 – Hot Button: Game Dev Unions
34:50 – Review: Guacamelee! 2
1:00:30 – Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man
1:30:10 – Other Stuff We Played: Detroit: Become Human, Octopath Traveler, Donut County, Overcooked 2, Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, Dandara, We Happy Few, Valkyria Chronicles 4, Madden 19, NHL 19 Demo, Mario Tennis Aces, Minit, WarioWare Gold, Phantasy Star IV
2:01:40 – Junk Mail: Game Streaming Future, Battle Royale Fad, Best Reasons to Buy a Switch, Atari VCS, Hideo Kojima = David Lynch?, Best Video Game Scores, Things That Impress Us or Annoy Us in Games, Gaming PCs, The Impact of God of War, Hyrule Warriors, Dumbest Things We’ve Done to Get a Game, DRM and Crossplay, Choosing the Right Difficulty Level, Dynamic Horse Bollocks, Playing Multiple Games at Once, Wii-U Games Ported to Switch, Board Game Recommendations, Microtransactions + Red Dead 2, Best Stories in Games
3:07:15 – Outro

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  • Fo

    Yay! Thanks gents.

  • pcch7

    This podcast is made for the switch

  • pcch7

    I feel like TLOU is overrated, the story is good but the gameplay is brutal at times. God of War was a much more impressive experience to me

  • Newtman98

    I’ve put more hours into Dead Cells than I have any other game for a while. Only being able to spend your cells after you’ve beaten a level is stressful, but it also makes it more exciting. Losing blueprints will make you want to throw your controller through the screen though.

  • Oso Jugo

    Why not just call Metroid inspired games Labyrinth Platformers or the like? Doesn’t roll off the tongue well enough?

  • Blake in Boston

    Why does Frank keep calling them “indies?” They’re Nindies, bud. Niiiindiies.

  • devolutionary

    Huck, you seem to be a bigger David Cage fan than most. I respect the guy’s vision, but as a game designer, he’s extremely flawed. Did you ever play Omikron: The Nomad Soul (modelled on David Bowie)? In theory, I like it the most, but like others, the mechanics and controls were clunky at best. He also struggles to maintain an engaging story from start to finish. Have not played Detroit yet though.

  • yonato

    You could also call them Metroid-likes

    Or metroid-esque

  • Oso Jugo

    Makes sense. I love the word Labyrinth though so I have to back it. How about Laby-formers, or even Labo-formers and nintendo could sell a buildable cardboard 3D version of the next metroid map that interfaces with the videogame experience? Forget VR, Nintendo’s playing with Labo-rinth Reality Power!!!

  • Sean

    I was kinda saving this for if we actually got into the debate on the show but I think Metroidvania works because the adoption of Metroid-esque gameplay by the Castlevania franchise is a transition point where this style of game became an actual subgenre. After that, those gameplay ideas no longer belonged solely to Metroid and Castlevania actually added to it and pushed it forward.

  • yonato

    Yeah, I think the issue is essentially that Metroid originated that style of gameplay and then Castlevania later copied it for SotN. However its fair to say that before SotN it wasn’t really its own subgenre.

  • Oso Jugo

    Metroidvania’s fine with me. Metroid is a portmanteau of the words metro and android, so at least you have a suggestion of labyrinthine metro networks to work off of. I have no essential problem with it. I was just trying to help sooth poor Frank’s jangled nerves. He really doesn’t like it. Also, he’s a big fan of Labyrinth. Maze platformer could potentially work too but I feel the word maze isn’t as descriptive as labyrinth, but labyrinth–as previously stated–doesn’t roll off the tongue.

  • Pretty much with you guys on Spider-Man. It’s pretty and swinging around is freeing and satisfying. But it’s WAAAY too easy. Even upping the difficulty on is still pretty much just going through the hoops to completion.

    I also set the setting to skip the interactive cut-scenes… or more accurately, the AI just does them for you. There’s a setting to automatically do all the puzzles as well, but I didn’t use that.

    And I’m 100% with you on the stealth missions. They are sooooo tedious and boring. Every time one would start up, I caught myself audibly groaing and rolling my eyes. They’re slow and uninteresting. Or any of the bits where Peter has to wander around the FEAST building and chat with people. Terrible. The dumb storyline with MJ and Aunt Mae are bad enough. It took me about halfway through the game to realize that you can skip the cinematics (you have to it the options button and actually choose “Skip Cinematic”).

    It’s fun for a while and I actually really like the combat and the swinging, but I find myself rushing through a lot of it just to platinum the thing – I understand that Spider-Man has the highest user completion for Platinum than any other game?

  • Lior

    I could not believe the video game score discussion was so brief!

    These are some of my favorites, on the level of John Williams/Star Wars. Meaning, the music in these games is part of their DNA and without them they would be a completely different experience:

    – Everything Jesper Kid did for the Hitman series, especially Hitman 2 and Hitman: Blood Money.
    – The electronic soundscape of Mirror’s Edge. The perfect marriage of sound and visual.
    – The zany music of Rayman Origins, where every level gets it’s own distinct theme. Stunning.

    I’ll stop here.

    I have Phantasy Stay IV on my phone, but never got very far. I think I just don’t like playing this kind of game on the phone. The first game was one of my first exposures to the RPG genre and possibly the only Sega game I rented twice in a row from the local store (that was 1989). Hearing Andrew’s endorsement I’m inclined to pick part IV on Steam for peanuts, I also see they have parts 2&3. Hmm…

  • Sean

    Yeah I have to admit I didn’t really prep for this one ahead of time and the energy levels were running low by the time we got around to it. Giving it a bit more thought, here are some of my favourite scores (most of which are non-traditional orchestral stuff): Metroid, Metroid Prime, Fez, Max Payne 3, Portal 2, Hotline Miami, Trials of the Blood Dragon, VVVVVV, Ducktales

  • HuckCity

    I also have never been able to get into RPG’s on my phone. I’m almost done the game and still loving it.

  • HuckCity

    Sorry for the late response…email notifications are not working for me for some reason.

    I’ve actually never heard of Omikron, just took a look at it’s steam page and don’t think I could bring myself to try it now. Clunky PS1 era games are not my bag.

    I definitely agree that David Cage games can be clunky. I think I really like them because of how they tell their stories and how they play with camera angles and other presentation aspects that other games don’t have the budgets to try.