The The Sims 4 contest is still going on this week, with the winner to be announced in Episode 471. The crew gets back to discussing news, but as is usual, it's a light week in July. This week's news items include:

  • Starcraft Remastered is coming in August in 4K
  • Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot boxes spark pay-to-win fears
  • Only main player will progress in Far Cry 5 story
  • Destiny 2's getting rid of random perk rolls for loot and the response is divided
  • Nintendo Switch Virtual Console will be the only way you can play certain Super Mario games

Again, The Sims 4 Contest is only eligible for US entrants.

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It's Contest Time, as Gaming Podcast is giving away a swag bag that includes The Sims 4 and some videogame merch from E3. Most of the 87 minute podcast deals with more E3 talk, and 5 minutes spend on news items. This week's news includes:

  • Everything known about the Ataribox so far
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered standalone release confirmed
  • Gigantic launching in July, escapes Windows 10

Let us know what you thought of E3 this week in the comments.

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VR has become a major buzzword around the videogame industry these days. For the past few E3 conferences, there have been whole sections of the floor devoted to people strapping on headsets and playing first person titles where you rock climb or pilot a spaceship. Other times you're running in a foot race like the intriguing title Sprint Vector that I demoed at the show.

Then there's Bloody Zombies, developed by Paw Print Games and published by nDreams, which hints at an alternative future for VR gaming.

On first blush, it's a basic four player scrolling beat-em-'up in the 16-bit mold of the arcade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and River City Rampage -- up to four players walk right, beating up enemies as they do with fists, kicks and various pick-up weapons. At the end of every level awaits a boss with loads of hit points and special moves.

From a gameplay perspective, the game offers some variety and gameplay innovation of the beat 'em up experience. There's a mild competitive element to the game in that the game tracks hit combos, treasure capture, and so on and ranks the player who did the best during a level. Players can "juggle" enemies by kicking them in the air, and punching them to keep them aloft, with the possibility of knocking them into a level hazard for bonus points. Every level also features hard-to-find secrets that earn bonus points, but also take them out of the main fight so they're sacrificing treasure for combo hits.

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However, the game becomes a whole new experience when a player has a VR headset strapped on. Suddenly, looking in each direction reveals not only the entire level, but also things that aren't visible when playing without it. (Amusingly, players wearing the VR headset have their characters onscreen wearing one, too.) For example, the museum level features a gigantic brachiosaurus skeleton. Without the VR headset on, only part of the skeleton can be seen; with one on, the player can see the head and neck arching over the ceiling of the exhibit.

The VR set also has a more practical purpose. Since the player can see in three dimensions while wearing the headset, they can now see if their avatar is on the same plane as an enemy, always a tricky bugaboo of side-scrollers in the past. They can also see upcoming level hazards, as well as secrets.

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The other impressive aspect to the VR is that unlike most games using the headset, there's no motion sickness. The game presents itself is presented as a model set with characters moving through it, as if playing with action figures. Developer Steven Craft confirmed that people who had complained they were extremely sensitive to motion sickness in VR games had no issues with Bloody Zombies because there was no first person queasiness to be had.

Bloody Zombies will be released on Steam, with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions following. It will support all VR headsets, including PS VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.

 

Look, we're back, and as promised, the new podcast is now up and recorded on the final day of E3 in Devolver Digital's off-site space. Jonah and T.J. hang out near the Fable Fortune booth as they discuss the games they scoped out on the show floor. If T.J. seems a lot more chill than usual, keep in mind he's enjoyed a few beers by then.

Next week will see Scott joining in with his impressions of the conference from afar.

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On Hiatus

No really, we're on hiatus -- the next podcast will be recorded at E3, and published on June 18. See you in two weeks!

The landmark 300th episode was recorded two weeks ago, but the audio was absolutely terrible, with over a half-an-hour having to be excised. It's a pity, because it featured both Videogame Roundtable originals Paul Nowak and Jordan Lund guest-hosting for a massive (for this podcast) five-man crew.

To make up for it, Jonah and T.J. recorded a half-hour discussion of upcoming games that they might check out at E3.

There won't be a podcast for another 3 weeks, until E3 is over, so for now. Enjoy the podcast, and sorry for the middle hour -- the audio cleans up in the last part.

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This episode continues to have some audio issues thanks to Jonah leaving his expensive headset back in Los Angeles, forcing him to use his iPad once again as a mic. However, this week's episode is chock full of game goodness. This week's episode includes the following news items:

  • Dragon Quest XI battle system further detailed
  • Overwatch has earned Activision Blizzard over $1 billion in less than a year
  • Steam changes cross-country gifting and gift trading
  • DOTA 2 is getting a co-op campaign with a story

Let us know what you think.

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This week's episode is raw and unedited, since Jonah's laptop got fried. However, despite the audio issues and being posted via cell phone, the gang got off a pretty good show.

This week's news includes:

  • Overwatch pro ends career with stream of racial slurs
  • Don't expect Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy 7 remake until at least 2018
  • DOTA 2 will soon require competitors to cough up their phone number
  • Report: PlayStation VR bundle will come with required camera and one Move controller

The Question of the Week: "What kind of VR game would you want to play?"

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Since the podcast recording last Wednesday had audio issues and the news was, frankly, boring, the crew decided to record a new 297th episode on Easter Sunday, after some more interesting stuff was announced near the end of the week. That, and Scott expresses his enthusiasm for Thimbleweed Park, the spiritual successor to Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle, using a SCUMM-like interface. This week's news items include:

  • Diving into Project Scorpio’s backwards compatibility, 4K, VR, and 1080p support
  • Nintendo discontinues the NES Classic Edition
  • It looks like Star Wars: Battlefront II will ditch the Season Pass

All that and some Listener Feedback.

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This week's episode has nothing to do with April Fool's Day, since that was a week ago. There's nothing surprising about the crew this time around, though Jonah does finally give his final (?) thoughts on Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Zelda keeps getting heavy praise. The Persona 5 news item alone spurred a ton of debate. This week's episode includes the following news:

  • Twitch and YouTube streamers slam Persona 5's video policy
  • Total War: Warhammer 2 announced with a new trailer
  • Valve only wants to sell you good games
  • Nintendo might have accidentally revealed that Pokemon is coming to the Switch

Let us know what you think of the heated discussions in the episode.

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