GameCritics.com Podcast
games. culture. criticism
Pour yourself a pitcher of egg nog, fire up a yule log, and join the GameCritics.com family as we reminice about the year that was. We'll reveal our game of the year, and discuss the best and worst 2009 had to offer. Featuring Chi, Brad, Mike, Dave, Dan, Richard, Tim, and a special appearance by one of our favorite listeners, Hargrada. Thanks to everyone for listening; we really do appreciate it. Have a happy and safe New Year's, and we'll see you back here in January.

Categories discussed:

Surprise (Good) of the Year Award
WTF of the Year Award
The "Brad Gallaway is Single-Handedly Keeping Indie Developers in Business" Award
Non-2009 Game of the Year
Most Disappointing Game of the Year
The Too Human Award for Inexplicable Excellence
Developer We'll Miss the Most
Best Argument for Abandoning Discs
Most Promising New Franchise
Nail in the Coffin Award
The Internet Has No Idea What They're Talking About Award
Best Argument for Games-as-Art
The Steaming Pile Award
2009 Game of the Year
Direct download: GameCritics_Podcast_Episode_28.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:04am EST

What compels us to spend 25, 40, 50, even 70+ hours on a single game? We think we've figured it out. Join us for conversation about Dragon Age, Assassin's Creed 2, Way of the Samurai 3, Torchlight, and Borderlands DLC. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Yes, I Like Borderlands Now" Spaeth.
Direct download: GameCritics_Podcast_Episode_27.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:42pm EST

Bonjour class! Welcome to Ludology 101. Matthew Wiese of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab talks about his work and his experience on the academic side of games. Is ludology as sleep-inducing as it sounds? No sir, and in fact criticism and academia may have more in common than you think. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth. Happy Thanksgiving to all our listeners!
Direct download: GameCritics_Podcast_Episode_26.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:56pm EST

We continue debunking The Myths of Game Criticism in the second half of our two-part series. Do we live in constant fear of Twitter putting us out of business? Are games so spectacular now that the average score really is 8 out of 10? Do publishers send strike teams to our homes and force us to change scores? We set the record straight. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Five Point Scale" Spaeth.

For reference, the eight myths we discuss in this series are:

1. Critics should be required to finish games before writing a review.
2. The goal of a "proper" game review should be to inform the reader as to whether they should or should not buy a game.
3. Those who write about games are not journalists, rather, should be considered "enthusiast press" or simply "games writer."
4. There is no difference between a "review" and a "critique".
5. The explosion of blogs, podcasts, and Twitter has rendered formal game reviews obsolete.
6. Individual game critics and review sites are under constant, unrelenting pressure from publishers to change scores.
7. Game scores are often purposefully tweaked to either generate controversy or avoid it.
8. A reader should not need to be familiar with the author of a review in order to derive value from it.
9. NINE? There's a ninth myth?! Listen and find out!!
Direct download: GameCritics_Podcast_Episode_25.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:36am EST

The Myths of Game Criticism! This week we challenge commonly held assumptions about criticism, writers, review scores, finishing games and much more. So much more, in fact, we had to split the episode in half. Plus, if you're a Borderlands fan, get ready to hate us. Our quick hit is less than flattering. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.

For your reference, the eight myths we discuss are:

1) Critics should be required to finish games before writing a review.

2) The goal of a "proper" game review should be to inform the reader as to whether they should or should not buy a game.

3) Those who write about games are not journalists, rather, should be considered "enthusiast press" or simply "games writer."

4) There is no difference between a "review" and a "critique".

5) The explosion of blogs, podcasts, and Twitter has rendered formal game reviews obsolete.

6) Individual game critics and review sites are under constant, unrelenting pressure from publishers to change scores.

7) Game scores are often purposefully tweaked to either generate controversy or avoid it.

8) A reader should not need to be familiar with the author of a review in order to derive value from it.
Direct download: GameCritics_Podcast_Episode_24.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:44am EST

With Demon's Souls nearing release, it's all things Atlus! We welcome Atlus USA's Manager of PR Aram Jabbari to the show. Localization strategies, digital distribution, aggregate sites, and much more are covered, and we take our best shot at getting you some Persona scoop! The back half of the show brings some of the most in-depth Demon's Souls discussion around. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Tim Spaeth" Spaeth.
Direct download: GameCritics_Podcast_Episode_23.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:29pm EST

Do games need to be easier to attract a wider audience? Or are games too easy as it is? Where did all the hard games go? What role does culture play? Will “Autoplay” features reduce frustration or just make gamers lazier than ever? With your help, we attack these questions from all directions. Also: quick hits on Scribblenauts and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, and Tim “If You Lose at Candy Land You’re Banished to the Woods” Spaeth.
Direct download: GameCritics_Podcast_Episode_22.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:57pm EST

Jenova Chen of thatgamecompany (Flow, Flower) is our guest this week, and his journey from Shanghai child to superstar developer was a perfect storm of determination, skill, and a whole lot of luck. You'll hear that story and many more in our jam-packed interview. And yes, he explains his Final Fantastic first name. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.
Direct download: GameCritics_Podcast_Episode_21.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:04pm EST

Sunshine is for losers! We spent our summer vacation indoors, enjoying the offerings of the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade. Well…”enjoying” might be too strong a word. We rundown all five games: Splosion Man, Turtles in Time, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Trials HD, and Shadow Complex. Plus, Mike and Tim red ring within 12 hours of each other! Believe it! Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.
Direct download: GameCritics_Podcast_Episode_20.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:22am EST

This week, a candid conversation with Bryan Jury of Epicenter Studios, the team behind the new Wii release Real Heroes: Firefighter. How did a tiny development team with an even tinier budget create one of the summer’s most original games? Why was the Wii their platform of choice? And does Bryan REALLY admit the graphics aren’t very good? I told you – he’s VERY candid. Our thanks to Bryan Jury for a fantastic interview. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, and Tim Spaeth.
Direct download: GameCritics_Podcast_Episode_19.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:29pm EST