Our latest and possibly final entry in “Not-E3 2020” came this week with Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase, where they unveiled Halo: Infinite and detailed many other games coming to the Series X and Game Pass. It was certainly a compelling pitch for the latter, but did it do anything to pitch us on the fancy new console itself? We go in depth recapping the entire show, before settling in for a longer review discussion of Ghost of Tsushima, the excellent PS4 swan song that we can’t stop playing. Neither of us have finished it yet, so no major spoilers here, but we go deeper with the gameplay systems, characters, and presentation that make this such a unique and memorable open-world game. Time Chart:Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:01:42Stuff: 0:01:42 – 0:32:17News and Xbox Games Showcase: 0:32:17 - 1:56:37Ghost of Tsushima: 1:56:37 – 3:06:43Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!Subscribe for free to 'The Weekly Stuff' in iTunes!Follow Jonathan Lack on Twitter!Follow Sean Chapman on Twitter!
After giving some quick first impressions of Sucker Punch’s outstanding Ghost of Tsushima for PS4, this episode is fully dedicated to one long-awaited topic: Final Fantasy VII. This year’s PS4 remake, yes, but also the PS1 original, and the PSP spin-off Crisis Core, and the depressingly abysmal movie Advent Children. We talk about it all, having both finally journeyed through the complete Final Fantasy VII experience for the first time this year, diving deep into why the original remains such a unique and powerful pillar of narrative gaming despite plenty of dated elements, and why the Remake just didn’t do it for us despite its good character work and production values. If you’ve been waiting to hear us talk about Final Fantasy VII in any or all of its forms, this is the episode for you. Time Chart:Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:02:29 Ghost of Tsushima Impressions: 0:02:29 – 0:22:18 Final Fantasy VII: 0:22:18 – 3:25:24Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!Subscribe for free to 'The Weekly Stuff' in iTunes!Follow Jonathan Lack on Twitter!Follow Sean Chapman on Twitter!
Not-E3 2020 continued this weekend with Ubisoft Forward, where the company showed off Watch Dogs Legion, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and announced (well, sort of, after many leaks) Far Cry 6. And it came under a cloud of terrible press for the French-Canadian gaming behemoth, as months’ worth of sexual harassment and toxic work environment allegations have resulted in one of the most dramatic corporate shake-ups in the history of video games. We talk about all of that and more before our latest Weekly Suit Gundam topic, reviewing Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. Released in six installments in 1989, War in the Pocket marked the first time creator Yoshiyuki Tomino wasn’t involved in a Gundam production, and is widely regarded as one of the franchise’s finest hours, expanding and deepening the series’ themes and perspective by focusing in on the small-scale story of a boy growing up amidst the backdrop of the One-Year War. It is one of the greatest and most powerful anti-war stories ever told, on similar footing as Isao Takahata’s 1988 Grave of the Fireflies, and began a rich tradition of Gundam taking some of its best artistic leaps on home video.Time Chart:Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:02:30 Stuff: 0:02:30 – 0:30:36Ubisoft News: 0:30:36 – 1:33:27Gundam 0080 – War in the Pocket: 1:33:27 – 3:26:20 Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!Subscribe for free to 'The Weekly Stuff' in iTunes!Follow Jonathan Lack on Twitter!Follow Sean Chapman on Twitter!The Weekly Stuff with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman is a weekly audio podcast, and if you subscribe in iTunes, episodes will be delivered automatically and for free as soon as they are released. If you visit www.jonathanlack.com, we also have streaming and downloadable versions of new and archival episodes for your listening pleasure.
This week’s episode is a real humdinger of tonal and topical shifts. We start with some Final Fantasy VII chat – Sean having just played Crisis Core, the PSP spin-off, and Jonathan having just finished this year’s Remake – Jonathan reviews Minecraft Dungeons, and we discuss how weirdly prescient Steven Spielberg’s Jaws feels in a moment of profound government incompetence. For the news, we discuss reports that video games might be moving to a $70 price point for the new generation, and the weird state of video game pricing over the last generation. And then we jump into some really heavy topics, first discussing J.K. Rowling’s abhorrent, hateful screeds against transgender people, and then talking about the sexual assault allegations that have rocked the fighting game community. Finally, we look at how American TV has been responding to the Black Lives Matter movement, both in finally realizing white people probably shouldn’t voice black characters in animation, and in how they’re treating recent material, from shows like 30 Rock or Mad Men, that used blackface. This is a complex issue that demands a fuller understanding of historical context, and we try to give some of that while also discussing the many ways these producers and companies could go further to educating and making amends instead of just scrubbing the internet of problematic material. Time Chart:Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:05:00Final Fantasy VII Stuff: 0:05:00 – 0:49:22Other Stuff: 0:49:22 – 1:04:12News: 1:04:12 – 2:07:45TV, Voice Actors, and Blackface: 2:07:45 – 3:07:24Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!Subscribe for free to 'The Weekly Stuff' in iTunes!Follow Jonathan Lack on Twitter!Follow Sean Chapman on Twitter!