Variety is the spice of life and the same can be said of playing video games. It’s good to sample what’s out there but, sometimes, it’s also fine to accept that you like what you like and not try and force yourself into playing experiences that you don’t jive with, even if they’re the flavour of the moment and what everyone is talking about.
On this week’s episode of the GameSpot After Dark podcast Kurt Indovina joins Jake, Kallie, and Tamoor to talk about his new show, True Fiction, and also the video games he gravitates towards. Kurt discusses point-and-click adventure games, his love of them, and the journey to accepting that he’ll usually opt for a story-focused experience above all else. Who needs all these new video games when Deadly Premonition just got re-released, right?
Beyond that, episode seven of the GameSpot After Dark podcast includes a discussion on Death Stranding and Kojima’s suggestion of a sequel, the Final Fantasy VII gameplay demo shown at TGS, a brand new Pokemon, and more.
Below you’ll find all the necessary links to find the GameSpot After Dark podcast on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Google Play. We’ve also included an RSS link so you can put that into your podcast application of choice.
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Back To The (Gaming) Future
Kurt: I have a thing for Adventure games, specifically point-and-click adventure games.
Jake: We’ve talked about some of these.
Kurt: Yes. I grew up with it embedded in my family, so thankfully I was privileged enough to have a family that was also into gaming.
Tamoor: Favorite point-click adventure game of all time right now go!
Kurt: Well it’s Grim Fandango. But I wouldn’t actually consider Grim Fandango a point-click adventure game
Jake: Have you talked to Ben about this?
Kurt: Oh yeah, actually my first day here in the office, before I was kinda introduced to everybody, I saw the box to Grim Fandango on Ben’s desk, and I was like, “Whose desk is that?” And Lucy was like, “That’s Ben’s” and I just marched right up to him without being introduced to him, and I was like, “Hey, I’m Kurt, you’re Ben, Grim Fandango’s my favorite game of all time.” I see the box on there, and there was like this explosive moment.
Tamoor: And they kissed.
Kurt: And we kissed. And now we have uh, we’re expecting!
Tamoor: Oh, congratulations!
Kurt: I am pregnant. But I mean, Grim Fandango isn’t technically a point-and-click. It’s good old tank controls … my favorite kind of controls. Other than that, there are a lot of great point-and-click games that have come out in recent years that I love, specifically a point-click one being the Dream Machine, I love that game. Went a little under the radar, but it’s a great game, people should know about it. Anyways, adventure games, I have learned to accept that I really love story driven games-
Kallie: What do you mean “learn to accept?”
Kurt: Because there’s this tug-and-war, of what I seek in a game, and what I like in a game, and the difference in… there’s this thing where sometimes I will come to accept in certain games, there’s certain people who don’t like games unless they don’t have action. And action can be defined in many ways, I don’t mean just like violence and shooting. But then there’s this other category of games where it’s more story-driven, or there’s just so many… It’s infinite. And I’ve come to accept over the most recent years of me going out of my comfort zone and playing a series of games, that I otherwise wouldn’t normally gravitate to… For example like Gears of War, even though I did find an appreciation for that game, that wasn’t naturally a game I would like go and seek out and hunt day one. But after like going on this self discovery, journey… type of games. I’ve just learned and accepted that I love narrative, driven, story-driven games. That doesn’t mean just because there’s a story that means I’m gonna like it, of course, but when looking at my favorite games of all time, it’s like Grim Fandango, Deadly Premonition, um… uh… Nine Nine Nine.
Well Nine Nine Nine is up there, I mean Bloodborne is one of my favorite games of all time, and Resident Evil 4 and Half-life 2, and you know- You can talk about Resident Evil 4’s plot in a myriad of ways, but the game still has very good storytelling drive to it.
Jake: It was one of the first, well not one of the first, but it was just that next-level, realistic, cinematic look to it.
Kurt: Oh yes, and I think that’s what it was.
Jake: Especially, cause I remember getting that on GameCube when it first came out and just being blown away by how that game looked and played. And even though the story is kinda nonsense, the presentation there was just so far ahead of its time.
Kallie: There’s a lot of games where the story is nonsense but is still just ace, you know?
Kurt: Yeah, that’s what I meant by “learning.” Yeah, like the things that I truly value and love in games especially as through the past year of exposing myself to as many different games, to try and get out of my comfort zone, and be like “no, this is what I love.” Deadly Premonition is back out and like, this is what I love.
Tamoor: And there is an element of like, feeling that you need to play a certain type of game to be heard, because some conversations are the loudest conversations, and if you wanna be part of, you know, the industry and be part of their conversation, you kind of do… I can understand how people might be pressured to seek out specific types of games. There’s not a massive- like if you go on Twitter right now, chances are it’s more likely they’ll be discussing the latest action game than the indie point-and-click adventure game. And if you want to be part of a conversation, then you’re kind of pushed in that direction. So reaching the stage where you’re comfortable in being like “hey, I just wanna play this kinda game, I know that I like this kind of game. I appreciate the other one, but I’m naturally gonna gravitate towards this. Like accepting that- I think everyone has that to some degree.
Kallie: Yeah, I get what you’re saying now. Like I have that with sim games, or like management sims and stuff like that where you’re like, “I could talk about this all day, but nobody wants to hear me do that.” You know?
Kurt: Ehh, you’d be surprised, I meant there’s a huge audience for that. Like playing control recently was a good, stark reminder for me to be like, “This is the type of game I love.” It has the most brilliant balance of action to story, but really at the root of it, when I walk away from that game, as good and satisfying as action is, I walk away thinking about the narrative, or the lack of, in a way. Like its characters, and the way it builds upon itself through personalities. Replaying Deadly Premonition has reminded me of that. There’s just certain parts in that game where I’m just like, “This is what I love. I love these parts, like these calmer parts maybe.” But there’s always a balance that you need.
Kallie: Yeah, it’s nice to be reminded of that, especially in our jobs, where we do have to play a lot of different things. It’s important for our jobs to get out of our comfort zones sometimes and play games we maybe wouldn’t gravitate towards, but sometimes it’s nice to be like “yeah, this is that shit I do like.”
Tamoor: I walked away from control thinking “DAMN! Professor Darling got abs!”