The Geekbox: Episode 41

In what’s sure to be our whitest, nerdiest, and most boring episode to date, I am joined by Andrew Fitch and Ryan Higgins for a way-too-long-for-its-own-good three-man geek-out. You can thank Caltrain and Thanksgiving for the short staff this week. Speaking of which, happy Thanksgiving, and have a safe and turkey-filled weekend (unless you live outside of the U.S., in which case…have a great normal nothing-to-see-here weekend)! Also: If you want to hear more podcastin’ from Karen Chu and I, head on over to Bitmob and check out this week’s episode of the Mobcast, where we join fellow Ziff Davis/1UP castaways Demian Linn and Jeff Green to chat about Warcraft’s 15th anniversary.

Discuss this episode on our forums!

The Geekbox — Episode 41 (2009-11-25)
Wherein we discuss the week’s three-man band, rogue turkeys, Grand Theft Staleness, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (and some annoying design decisions), marrying videogame characters, Star Trek Online, the nature of the game review process, Star Trek on DVD, Turtles Forever, and the Battlestar Galactica board game. Starring Ryan Scott, Andrew Fitch, and Ryan Higgins.
Running Time: 1h 22m 9s
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16 Responses to “ “The Geekbox: Episode 41”

  1. Lepton says:

    This is a real preview. Seeing this only increases your level of fail, Ryan Scott, in your pathetic, lazy, opinionated GameSpy preview. For shame.

  2. Paul says:

    I can see where you guys are coming from about Grand Theft Auto producing more of the same. They started something good when they began making free roaming sandbox games in urban environments, but it’s been imitated by other games now and they may need to do something different with it. I wouldn’t say Rockstar getting uncreative though. I’m really looking forward to Red Dead Redemption, which just got a solid release date for next year(Apr. 30). Open world sandbox gaming in the old west where you can hunt animals too appeals to me.

  3. opticaudio says:

    I watched the Turtles Forever special that Saturday morning and I really enjoyed it. I still get up on Saturdays and watch cartoons even though it’s not as good as it use to be ( it maybe due to the fact that I haven’t had cable in about 3 years so I may be missing out on something). But I found myself really into this movie. Glad to here someone talking about it.

    While I’m talking about it, has the fact that cartoons are on 24/7 ruined the Saturday morning experience? I feel it has, mainly because there are no cartoons dedicated to Saturday. Even if the new episodes are on Saturday mornings, you see the same cartoons during the week. Then again, I’m not a kid anymore so I bet the young ones love it.

  4. Mayhan says:

    I thought this was a good show and yes I listened all the way through. And why does everyone have to get all upset if the intial gut reaction to a game was that it needed some work?

  5. Jayson says:

    I just noticed that some people are calling it a review when it’s a PREview.

  6. sdf says:

    > […] | web | mp3 | iTunes | Zune | rss […]

    Finally, someone who’s making sense.

  7. […] | web | mp3 | iTunes | Zune | rss […]

  8. David Keen says:

    After reading the remarks of all parties I see a trend. The trend is “everyone is entitled to an opinion” With that being said here is mine.

    To compair games with one another games is not fair.

    WoW is a great game IMO but is too much gear based than a solow enjoy the game. I mean you have to have the best gear to see end game content or have a high end guild carry you to see it.

    Guildwars. Also a great game and a good value for a free to play MMO. But unlike WoW you do not have to be in a “guild” to see end game content.

    EvE. Worst space game i have ever played. The controls are choppy and even though the player base is growing I can not see my self paying monthy for a once free to play game.

    STO. Not even out yet. The beta players are sworn to silence. Currently the game still have alot of unanswered questions. Yet Gamer site tend to bash it with little to no info on game play.

    To talk bad about STO based on prior Star Trek games is not the way to go here. To compair it to Star Wars online is not the right thing to do. I am sure Cryptic already know how and why that game failed.

    Like Ophra, WoW will always be on top. But the one thing WoW has not done in a long time is keep its new and older player base happy. New of the new ex-pack for wow basicly takes away thearycrafting, a huge part of the game. They (blizzard) also has a bad habit of pushing back realse dates. Yet people swear Blizard does no worng.

    The question asked already is “can cryptic beat WoW in the player base” the answer given already is No. But look at the failed MMO’s still around, Pirates of the Burning Sea, EvE, SWG, Guildwars, and countless free to play and pay to play games. I say fail because I am willing to bet that the combined player base of these games list still can not compair to WoW’s player base. Yet they are still around.

    Next time Ryan please do yourself and others the favor and think before typing. I always liked your reviews but you realyly put your foot in your mouth this time.

  9. Lepton says:

    @Ryan Higgins

    That’s funny. Thanks for that. I certainly don’t question Ryan Scott’s professional ethics, just his intent in the preview and its completeness. And the answer is fifty bars of gold-pressed latinum.

    @Byron Chen
    Yes, you are totally right. I did forget Star Wars Galaxies and Guild Wars.

    However, first, I think you will perhaps permit that I am not a Games Journalism professional. I am not being paid for my knowledge, experience, and time. Ryan Scott is, therefore my expectation that the preview reflect a professional intent and quality. I don’t see a lot of that here.

    Second, while SWG does indeed have space and ground areas, I would count STO as one of the few MMOs that ever has ever had that distinction. In that context, that is why I qualified it as “relatively innovative”.

    With regard to Guild Wars, I was relatively aware of that mechanic, that is why I qualified that the bridge officer mechanic in STO is very innovative for a STAR TREK GAME, not an MMO. I purposely did that.

    Here is what no one seems to get or doesn’t think is important enough to acknowledge. To most of us who have played Star Trek games in the past, this is not an MMO that just happens to be Star Trek. It is a STAR TREK MMO!! We have always wanted a game with a persistent world ever since Starfleet Command: Orion Pirates lost most of its popularity. Starfleet Command 2 was the first Star Trek game that I am aware of that created a persistent online campaign for its players back in 2000.

    So as I have said, part of my objection to the preview is that it is framed through the lens of every other MMO rather than from the history of Star Trek and of Star Trek games. The opinions expressed about the game are all wrapped up in Ryan’s view about MMOs in general. To my mind, a fresher and more informed perspective would have been from one that I have suggested.

    I take your point that the preview is written for MMO players in as much that it is a preview at all and not an editorial piece on MMOs with STO as the whipping boy. That said, the fact that there is almost no acknowledgement of the history of Star Trek games in the preview, yet the entire history of MMOs is thrust upon this title in one preview based a very thin slice of the game, makes it a pretty unbalanced, uninformed, and unfair piece.

    Sorry, I like Ryan as a podcaster and writer in general and I am glad that he has found his voice outside of the over-riding influence of people like Shawn Elliot, but in this particular case, I found the work disappointing to say the least.

  10. Ryan Higgins says:

    Sounds like someone is a shill for Cryptic. Tell me, Lipton, how much gold-pressed latinum is your allegiance worth? They promise you the best ship in the fleet to go around, defending STO at every opportunity?

  11. sdf says:

    Someone without life-devotion to the Trek franchise and experience in several MMOs throughout its modern history is uniquely qualified to give their impressions on a Trek MMO. Unlike Chen, I will call you out for being a filthy shill for this game at best, and at worst a volunteer one.

  12. Byron Chen says:

    Lepton, you’re guilty of the same things you criticize Ryan for. Star Wars Galaxy had combat both in space and ground. Guild Wars had NPCs that you could manage and level. According to your standards, that makes you lazy.

    My favorite part was when you included “massive persistent world with the promise of episodic content and regular updates” in your list of innovations. First of all, that totally sounds like press release language (not saying that it is but I think you’re trying too hard to sell this game). Second, massive persistent worlds, episodic content and regular updates aren’t new; they’re called MMOs. All supported MMOs promise updates and new content.

    Lastly you criticize Ryan for not having in-depth knowledge with all past Star Trek games well I’m sorry but Game Spy isn’t writing articles for Star Trek fanboys but for all gamers. It may very well turn out that only star trek fanboys play this game but Ryan is writing for MMO players that may want to check the game out as well as gamers in general.

  13. Lepton says:

    Thanks for reading some of my remarks on the Star Trek Online forums in response to Ryan Scott’s preview on GameSpy; however, I wish you had read my comment that the preview was “extremely lazy and uninformed” within the context of the entire post.

    Ryan’s review is lazy and uninformed as he points to PotBS as some progenitor of weapon arcs and defensive facings. These concepts have been in nearly every Star Trek game since the original Star Trek board game, Starfleet Battles, back in 1979. So, uninformed.

    Lazy in that he couldn’t be bothered to confirm those facts before writing the preview.

    Uninformed in that clearly he must have never played any of Star Trek game or have any familiarity with the canon to frame the discussion of those mechanics with reference to another MMO rather than the entirety of the Trek canon.

    Lazy, in that he merely repeats the same tropes that you might find in any of criticism of an MMO. Paraphrasing: “It’s not innovative because it is similar to WoW”. “Short beta means a game is being rushed out for financial reasons.”

    Frankly, I think Ryan picked an exceedingly poor venue to criticize MMOs in general. This is a preview. How about you preview the game and keep your opinions about MMOs to an editorial piece.

    Star Trek Online is going to be relatively innovative where MMOs are concerned. Two distinct combat mechanics (space and ground), exploration as distinct and rewarding gameplay option. And as a Star Trek game, it will be very innovative in incorporating bridge officers that can be managed and “leveled”, offering an ability to do away missions at all, ship interiors, and a massive persistent world with the promise of episodic content and regular updates.

    So the fact that Ryan Scott’s lens to view this game is merely from the view of yet another MMO rather than from the history of Star Trek and Star Trek gaming is my largest problem with his preview. The other major problem is the mixing of the editorial content on MMOs in general in the context of the Star Trek Online preview that is exceedingly short and lacking on content in general about the game.

  14. Eduardo says:

    That Mobcast was awesome, good show, Ryan!

  15. Joe Young says:

    Little write up i did on BSG the Board game rules. Turn to this if you confused or ask any questions.

  16. Tyler Gill says:

    Eve is one of the few successful mmos around thats not WoW. What I find even more amazing is that 6 years later its still growing in subscriptions.

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