ShackCast Episode 10: Team Fortress 2, Pre-TGS, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, The Force Unleashed

by Chris Remo, Sep 19, 2007 4:14am PDT
Related Topics – Valve, Podcast, PhysX, Shackcast

After last week's slightly abbreviated show, Episode 10 runs a little longer than usual, clocking in at a little under an hour and a half. Chris Remo, Chris Faylor, and Carlos Bergfeld are joined by Nick Breckon, checking in from Japan as he prepares to take on the Tokyo Game Show. Topics include the wackiness of Japan, Tokyo Game Show, Team Fortress 2 and The Orange Box, Super Smash Bros. Brawl going online, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on Wii, Warmonger and AGEIA PhysX cards, Peggle, and superhero video games ranging from average to bad. Reader mail sparked discussion on the role of originality in video games, as well as crucial entries in the gaming pantheon. Keep sending in your comments and questions to Play or download the podcast now, browse the episodes through iTunes, RSS, or Digg, or check out the full breakdown. 00:00: It's a song! 00:44: Nick is in Japan, "absorbing the culture." He talks about it! 02:22: Faylor describes something truly horrible. 03:22: Mr. Breckon goes to the arcades. 08:44: A bit of TGS talk. 10:18: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) will be online! Praise be! (Story) 15:04: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed coming to Wii. Will it avoid sucking? 21:42: Warmonger, O:DD is out next month. We discuss the required PhysX. 27:30: What happened to the Hellgate: London beta? 30:40: Apparently launching games online is hard! 32:17: Team Fortress 2 beta came out, and we played it! Woo! 37:49: Is Valve using the beta as a marketing tool to push PC? (Yes) 41:16: Nick played BioShock on Xbox 360, not PC--and regrets it! 44:24: The Orange Box is a great deal! Seriously! Plus it's good for modders! 48:53: Faylor on Peggle: "Makes you feel like the ultimate badass." ...What? 51:32: For some reason, Carlos played a bunch of Spider-Man games. 54:50: Faylor returns to Resistance: Fall of Man and still has fun. 58:43: Listener mail! We read your mail, then respond to it! 59:25: Someone makes a bizarre hypothesis regarding Remo's extremities. 60:33: We discuss the role of and need for originality and innovation. 70:22: We touch on a few historically significant games. 83:54: Las Vaygas? Las Veegas? Las Vehgas? Who cares? 84:43: Closing music and not-quite-outtakes.


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  • I didn't even notice how impressive the soundtrack for Monkey Island 2 was until I re-played it this weekend. Not only does it have great fades in between the different areas, but sometimes the themes get more layers added to them when you get closer to the central point of interest.

    Kinda reminds me of some of the first generation Unreal engine games, when they made music using Mod technology. Every level had a normal theme and an action theme that was basically like the normal theme but with lots of extra layers added to it to make it sound more frantic, and it blended together seamlessly. It was really impressive.

    I'm pretty sick of John Williams knock-off shit too, and I wish more developers would experiment with music.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 2 replies.

    • I totally agree...the iMUSE sound engine was nothing short of awesome. I tracked down an old MT-32 module a few years ago and love firing up MI2 (and just about all other LucasArts classics) to enjoy the still impressive music and scoring. I imagine the approach they used then would be time consuming and tedious with modern game music-making capabilities, but would still love to see this artform return to style. I am a full proponent of music and sound being at least 50% of the experience.

      The Thief games (at least the first two) also delved into the realm of stylistic, dynamic layering of tone and loop samples for the ambience and "soundtrack" to the games. Tension and atmospheric vibe would ebb and flow as the player moved about various sub-sections of the in-game levels. On top of it all, the sound was creepy, melodic and atonal in a very cool lo-fi, arty way that never beat the player over the head with a "Pay attention to me and my epicness!" cudgel. I could go on and on about the audio for good.

      The first two Gothic games also dabbled in the realm of dynamic music (via Mircrosoft's DirectMusic software) that at least blended tracks together when the player triggered a new cue from entering a new area, engaging in combat, or from a time of day shift. The music for these games is also quite good.