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Staring at Screens episode 32: E3 2013

Staring at Screens episode 32 is out! And we're in it! Yes! As you could imagine, the feeling was not unlike being dragged onstage at a rock concert to sing with your favorite band -- or being asked to guest on your favorite radio show that you've been listening to for months and months!

Wait. That's exactly what it is. My analogy skills need some tweaking.

We are indeed guests on the E3 2013 episode of the Staring at Screens podcast, and we discussed a ton of content.

In the topical segment we discuss the Microsoft and Sony announcements at E3 2013 vis-a-vis the controversies surrounding Microsoft's Xbox One messaging and the absolute smackdown that was delivered by Sony's PS4 announcment. We also talk about some of the upcoming games flogged at E3, namely the deliciously cross-platform Watchdogs, the mystifyingly-numbered Mirror's Edge 2, the pulchritudinous Bayonetta 2 and the wordily-named Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

We're very grateful to our friends at Staring at Screens for having us on the show. Cheers, guys!

Hey, are you still here? Go on, then. Git!

Staring at Screens episode 31: Underrated Games

Staring at Screens episode 31 is out! And it is brought to you by the word "bra". No, really. Go look. I won't spoil anything.

Underrated games are the topic du jour for the SAS crew in this episode -- something James also touched upon with his experience with Little Inferno.

The topic for the week is games we underestimated and were pleasantly surprised by. Find out which SAS team member has Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to the endless runner genre, which team member is still on dial-up internet, and who has been on the internet since at least 2004. If you have anything to add to our most awkward episode ever — perhaps a game or two that you found unexpectedly enjoyable — we invite you to join the conversation by writing to us at hello@staringatscreens.org or tweeting us @StaringScreens.

Still here, eh? Go on, then.

Staring at Screens episode 30: Xbox One-ting

Staring at Screens episode 30 is out!

In this episode, the SAS crew talk about the recent Xbox One announcement and everything that comes with it, for good or for ill. It is also the 30th episode of Staring at Screens. In it, they cover the successor to the Xbox 360. If you divide 360 by 30 and then divide the result by the number of regular hosts on SAS, you get:

360 / 30 = 12 12 / 4 = 3

Half-Life 3 confirmed with the help of Staring at Screens.

But wait, there's more!

We played host to Ade Putra from Robots Gone Bad this week! He brought with him an element of sheer hardcore that none of team can hope to match. I mean who plays Metro: Last Light on Hard difficulty?? In other news, Joel puts in way more (commuting) time on Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Vick tries her hand at Puzzle Trooper, Dave builds his dream gun in Guncrafter and also gives Sid Meier's Ace Patrol the respect it truly deserves, and we find out how bad Lisa is at dancing.

Are you still reading this?! Go and listen to Staring at Screens now!

Staring at Screens episode 29: The Female Protagonist Conundrum

Staring at Screens episode 29 is out!

And you know what immediately got my attention? That glorious Persona 4 artwork emblazoned on the episode page. Yes indeed. PERSONA TALK is always GOOD TALK in my opinion.

It gets better, though.

For our topic this week we discuss the industry's aversion to Female Protagonists and bemoan the mystifying lack of games starring playable female leads. Memorable female leads are uncommon at best, and when female protagonists do get their own game they are starved of marketing dollars or discouraged from having any agency. We also touch on the role of the protagonist's gender on game narrative and the apparent differences between Western and Japanese market perception of female protagonists.

(For the record, even my favorite playable female character is more of a sidekick. And she wasn't even playable in the first game!)

There's a lot of good discussion here about this topic, so don't miss this episode!

Staring at Screens episode 27.5: Interview with Faye Kingslee (Citra from Far Cry 3)

Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?

Insanity is to not listen to the latest Staring at Screens which features an interview with Faye Kingslee, who plays Citra in Far Cry 3!

We've got a real treat for you today, Dear Listener — our first ever special guest! Earlier this week we had the privilege of chatting with Faye Kingslee — you may know her as Citra from Far Cry 3 — and we had an absolute blast! In this interview with Dave and Joel she gives us a sneak peek into her preparation for playing the role of Citra, her acting process and how the game was made in Ubisoft Montreal, or as we put it, "where the magic happened". There's even a point in the interview where all three of us fanboy/fangirl out over Michael "Vaas" Mando.

We trust that this more than makes up for the brevity of Episode 27. Check it out!

Listen to Staring at Screens episode 27.5 now. Now!

(Afterwards, would you kindly leave your thoughts and comments in the episode thread in our forums?)

Staring at Screens episode 27: Insider Jokes

Staring at Screens episode 27 is out!

Seems like everybody's been busy -- not always fun during the height of summer:

The team's been busy of late, so this week we eschew our usual format and just have a nice catch up session to talk about the games we've been playing. First up, Joel's perception of reality is severely distorted by AntiChamber; then we revive the spectre that is Assassins Creed 3 as Vick finally gets to play it; mobile offerings also get some airtime as we try out Sonic Dash, Mighty Dungeons, and Fish Out of Water; and last but not least, Dave tells us about Hope: The Other Side of Adventure and much moaning and groaning ensues.

Dave, I'm on your side bro. ;__; Brb, playing Cart Life. While listening to the latest Staring at Screens.

Staring at Screens episode 26: Everyone's a (Meta)Critic

Staring at Screens episode 26 is out!

This week, the SAS crew takes a step back from the games themselves to take in a wider view of the industry and the business of assigning value to games using arbitrary numbers.

The topic of the week was inspired by this article by Kotaku's Jason Schreier that suggests that review score aggregate site Metacritic hurts developers and by extension video games in general. We think it's a thought-provoking and informative read that is well worth your time. So this week we were inspired to do a (rather meta) critique of Metacritic and its effect on our purchasing decisions. In our discussion we do allude to ideas discussed in the Kotaku article, so you may want to hit pause at the halfway mark and go read that first.

I do recommend a quick read of the linked article as well. I like to believe that scores don't matter because it's hard to judge games -- wildly diverse as they are -- along a simple, linear scale that purports to hold everything to a single unexplained standard. I am also a huge hypocrite because my heart did skip a beat when Polygon awarded Bioshock Infinite that 10/10. And of course, I had that sinister decagonal donut in my brain as I gleefully forked over my money for a copy.

Do listen to this episode. Afterwards, please drop by the episode thread in our forums and share your thoughts!

Staring at Screens episode 25: RIP LucasArts

Staring at Screens episode 25 is out!

As you may already have heard, Disney shuttered LucasArts last week, and in memoriam we do a LucasArts retrospective and talk about the memorable (and ignominious) experiences we've had with LucasArts games through the ages. Along the way we mention point and click adventure games from the SCUMM era like Maniac Mansion, its arguably more famous successor Day of The Tentacle, the awesome Sam and Max Hit The Road, and GrimE era games like the seminal Grim Fandango. Oh yeah, we also mention a slew of generically-named Star Wars® games of varying quality. Whee.

MENTLEGEN. A moment of silence for I have no words. ;__;

There. Also, if you've already plowed through Bioshock Infinite, stick around after the credits for SAS's first-ever spoiler section! I stayed far, far away, of course. And don't anyone dare leave any spoilers in the comments below!

After listening to this week's episode, please drop by the episode thread in our forums and share your thoughts!

Staring at Screens episode 24: The Plot Thickens

Staring at Screens episode 24 is out!

This week, in addition to their usual rundown of the new games they've been playing, the SAS crew tackle the topic of storytelling in games, and as a member of the classic adventure gaming old guard, I am chomping at the bit to get started with this episode! Fair warning, though. Spoilage may happen:

SPOILER ALERT: Along the way we also reference (and possibly spoil) plot elements of several games including the Saints Row series, GTA IV, Red Dead Redemption, Heavy Rain, the Mass Effect series, Fallout 3, Mafia II, Assassins Creed 2, L.A. Noire, and Halo 4.

Remember: forewarned is fore-tified against the sudden ruination of clever plot twists! My high school classmate spoiled Sixth Sense for me and I've been messed up ever since.

After listening to this week's episode, please drop by the episode thread in our forums and share your thoughts!

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