GamerGate
Oct27

GamerGate

[SOEE #49] This is the full, combined trilogy of podcasts about GamerGate; How it developed, what its effects have been and how we can move forwards. For the first show I had eight contributors, two of whom would like to remain anonymous, the other six were; M.P.J. Dillon, Holly Dotson, Gavin Greene, A. Reece England, Livio De La Cruz and Kevin Murphy. Nine more contributions make up the second part. Some were in response to Volume 1, some elaborated on ideas laid down in that one, others were simply inspired to speak on hearing about this series. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/ai5sx8/38GamerGate.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Legends of Zelda
Jan08

Legends of Zelda

  [SOEE #39] Episode 164: Originally published July 16th 2010. Maybe the best of the Digital Cowboys episodes. This is all about Zelda through the years, covering every game and it comprises extracts from many, many interviews with podcasters and the DC community. What comes across is a very special game series. There is a justified reason why Nintendo releases these games in gold boxes and treats the moment as a major event. It’s difficult in fact to imagine many others being recounted with such fondness and with such importance. The frustration is also there; the bad design decisions and the repetitive formula, amid hopes for the future, all underscored by 25 years of incredible music. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed towards this show, without your submitted rich experiences, it wouldn’t have been a fraction as good. Guests: Dan Ilson – Everything is Better with Beer & Gonzo Planet Adam Capone – Joypod Leon Cox – Cane and Rinse & GamerDork Dits Symeou – The Gamerscene & Gonzo Planet Alex Shaw – Digital Cowboys, Digital Gonzo & Gonzo Planet Luke Carson – Digital Cowboys community Mik Phillips – The Fanboys Lunchcast & Gonzo Planet Ryan Astley – Gonzo Planet Michelle Smith – Pink & Deadly Paul Shotton – Digital Cowboys Tony Atkins – Cane and Rinse & Digital Cowboys James Batchelor – GameBurst, The WiiDS podcast & Gonzo Planet Leah Haydu – GamerDork, Some Other Castle & Gonzo Planet David Turner – Joypod Roy Fortitude – Digital Cowboys community cast Chris O’Regan – Superhappyfuntimeshow Josh Garrity – Cane & Rinse, Digital Cowboys Community cast & Gonzo Planet Edie Sellers – Gamehounds Daniel Floyd – Extra Credits http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/6hnuky/Digital_Cowboys_-_Episode_164.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Mass Effect 3
Sep19

Mass Effect 3

This has been the most requested Gonzo show in history. For a project of this magnitude we needed a Dynamic Analysis, and one that stretched out to cover the real world aspects of the controversy surrounding Mass Effect 3. So what I have assembled for you guys is a document of opinion. I have accrued the strong viewpoints of many many people, some of them Gonzo regulars, some of them newcomers, some of them are representations of the strongest views on this game, BioWare and indeed its fans and detractors that have been circulating on the internet for the last year and a half. What I’ve found is evidence of something more approaching a civil war. It is my intention to accurately represent the views of both sides with as little bias as possible. The ideal would be to hear everyone out, but that may be a big ask for some. This gets pretty heated as you might imagine. As a result, and considering many of you will hold views of your own I have time-stamped each section so that you can jump to the next if what you hear is too objectionable. Introduction  Angry Joe: Indoctrination Theory (08.50) Jeremy Jahns: Mass Effect 3 Ending and Why We Hate It (31.20) Holly Dotson – My Experience With Mass Effect 3 (39.50) Bob Chipman: Game Overthinker #69: Game AfterMass (51.02) FilmCritHulk: A Few Words on the Ending of Mass Effect 3 [Read by Alex Shaw] (1.05.18) Sharon Shaw: The Third Choice (1.25.45) J.C. Hutchins: Blood on My Hands: My Failure and Redemption in Mass Effect(1.35.15) Leelee Scaldaferri – The Center of the Universe (1.57.35) Now that much of the debate has been heard regarding the end of the game, this episode focuses on the rest of it. There are definitely still issues with combat and structure that affect the gameplay experience regardless of how you felt about its close, but there is also a deep and rich adventure to be had finding everyone and everything in the last hours before the galaxy takes on the Reapers. There were so many people who wanted to talk about this game that I couldn’t not confine them to a single, epic round-table, so instead we have three. Appropriately you’ll meet many old faces and some new. Everyone has something to say. At the close we spend a good 48 minutes talking about the Citadel DLC with full plot spoilers for that as well as Leviathan and Omega. Everyone present agreed that Citadel was downright essential if you love the characters of Mass Effect so if nothing else, play that before you listen to the last third of this show. Alex Shaw:...

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BioShock Infinite
May06

BioShock Infinite

The discussion alone on this one lasted more than three and a half hours so I figured as with the Lord of the Rings shows, dividing this into two parts would make it as accessible as possible. Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse make their first appearance on the BioShock shows here. In actual fact we actually recorded a session a week ago, but the file corrupted and not being slaves to calamity we geared up for another go. A late addition to the cast is long-time gaming journalist Matt Lees of Videogamer.com. He was brought in to mitigate the gushing praise that dominated the first, doomed recording. The end result is a more balanced show. The show starts with audio adaptations of YouTube videos on BioShock Infinite from myself and Matt. If you’ve already seen them you can jump to the relevant time-stamp. 04.00: BioShock Infinite Explained [Gonzo Planet Style] 21.00: Everything BioShock Infinite Gets Wrong 37.00: Main Show For Part 2 If I was going to suggest people who had problems with the game listen to the first part, I’d say by the same token that those who loved it will get more out of this second installment. Of course if you’re up to having your feelings on this delicate matter royally challenged you should listen to both. Once again I’m joined by Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse and Matt Lees of Videogamer. This show starts with a trio of audio articles on BioShock Infinite. My deeper thoughts are scattered about the podcast in a hopefully cogent fashion. Among other things we talk music, sensory memory, free will, constants and variables, plot holes, religion, and the ramifications of this title on the greater games industry. 02.04.00 Meeting Elizabeth [By Daniel Floyd] 02.15.00 Infinite Criticisms [By David Merrett] 02.21.00 Is a Better Home Awaiting? [By James Batchelor] 02.33.00 Main Show   http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/hdqt5p/130BioShockInfinite.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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BioShock: Minerva’s Den
Apr25

BioShock: Minerva’s Den

The third of four podcasts covering this wonderful, absorbing series. This time we focus on the DLC for BioShock 2, a five hour standalone narrative centering around Rapture’s early computer system. The fictional technology of BioShock is woven in with real world events and people, chiefly Alan Turing and in this show we get to discuss how this is presented and what makes this a powerful, effective, personal little narrative. I would imagine everybody has played this by now, but if not it’s well worth the 800 point asking price. This show is full to the brim with spoilers over the first three games so make sure you know everything you need to going in. My guests are once again Sharon Shaw of Do try This at Home, Mark Ord of Gaming ORDtopsy and we’re joined by Chris Eason of GameBurst. You will also hear a snippet of Gary Blower from the GameBurst replay covering this game and more from Tony Atkins of Cane and Rinse on the multiplayer mode and Protector Trials. We do of course steer clear of Columbia for one more week, but next time we’re all about BioShock Infinite, and I will as always endeavour to put out the most entertaining, deep and complex podcast covering this game. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/au4yxc/129BioShock-MinervasDen.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams
Apr18

BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams

This is the second of four podcasts covering this prestigious series. For time and pacing reasons I have separated out the BioShock 2 coverage. In the next show we talk Minerva’s Den as well as the Protector Trials and Multiplayer mode, known to fans as Fall of Rapture. In this show we discuss the main story, to which I have re-applied the working title of Sea of Dreams. Just so we all know which one we’re talking about and because frankly just shoving a ‘2’ on the end does a disservice to the game, which in several very important ways is actually better than the original. Cease your protestations and allow us to convince you over the course of this rather emotional tale, which balances the political rhetoric of the first game with a personal, poignant story of love and loss, sacrifice and inspiration. Or on the other hand, depending on how you play it, something else entirely. This also gives us a chance to talk about it’s the combat throughout the game series, something honed to perfection here. We do talk about the action in Infinite but steer clear of anything remotely resembling a spoiler to that game. Storytelling through gameplay, collectivism, parental responsibility and pressure to exceed your predecessors are all discussed. My guests are Sharon Shaw of Do Try This At Home, Mark Ord of Gonzo Planet and for the first time as a reviewing guest on Digital Gonzo, former Digital Cowboy and current co-host of Cane and Rinse, Mr Tony Atkins. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/6hd5qw/128BioShock2-SeaofDreams.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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BioShock
Apr13

BioShock

  Strangely enough this was not a podcast series I had planned for. Right in the middle of the third act of the Mass Effect shows BioShock Infinite gets released and grabs me by the soul. I went back and started playing the 2007 original, then BioShock 2 and Minerva’s Den. Mark Ord has done a fantastic video investigation on the first game for Gonzo Planet and an edited audio version of that piece forms the first act of this show.  If you’ve not seen it, I recommend that you do. Alternatively if you have seen it and would like a refresher or would rather listen to it in audio form then enjoy the experience of his lovely, calm, Scottish voice talking us through the game. If you’ve seen it already or want to skip forward the main discussion starts at the 56 minute mark.  I brought back Mark because he knows his Rapture. In fact we recorded and lost an entire two hour session last Monday. That almost never happens and can really take the wind out of your sails so the second attempt had to be even better than the first. I recruited James Batchelor and Gary Blower of GameBurst and we managed a fascinating 98 minute round-table discussion on the deeper aspects. I pulled out all the stops with the edit to ensure you got the absolute best I could deliver. I have not left this kitchen table since 8am and it is now 8pm.  But the end result might just be the best episode of Digital Gonzo I’ve ever put out. Enjoy, and I will be back shortly with three more podcasts on the incredible world of BioShock. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/uwbs3j/127BioShock.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Mass Effect 2
Mar28

Mass Effect 2

This is the second part of our epic trilogy of review podcasts focusing on the Mass Effect game series from Bioware. Game two was a significant polishing up of the original’s formula with tighter combat, more fluid and dynamic presentation and a greater focus on characterization. As a result and for many other reasons detailed within, this is widely regarded as the most beloved of the trilogy. So in this week’s episode my crew and I go deep into the shadowy world of the resurrected and reinstated Commander Shepard, now assembling a small army, all of whom must be ready to die to protect our galaxy. If you haven’t played it, once again we keep the major spoilers regarding the finale and the essential Shadow Broker DLC for a section at the end. Returning to the Normandy are Matt Ramsey of the Do Try This at Home podcast, Neil Taylor and James Perkins of GameBurst and Jerome McIntosh of the Gonzo Planet community. We’ll be back in a month to talk about Mass Effect 3. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/x3g95u/125_Mass_Effect_2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Tomb Raider
Mar21

Tomb Raider

This episode focuses on the 2013 reboot of the long-established Lara Croft franchise. My guests and I go into great detail as to the strengths of this game, it’s alarmingly serious tone, it’s abandonment of the franchise staples of the Mary-Sueperwoman and enforced fiendish puzzling, the new narrative thrust, the frantic combat, the potential for exploration and most of all the completely transformed central character herself. We also outline clearly why it’s neither an Uncharted clone nor torture porn, how it’s already raising the bar on third-person action and how tricky it’s going to be to write a sequel that does this initial outing justice. With me on this nightmarish trip to the island are Sharon Shaw, Matt Ramsey, David Merrett, Paul Gibson and Jerome McIntosh. All key figures in the Gonzo Planet community. Next week: Mass Effect 2 http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/2nsuct/124TombRaider.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Mass Effect
Feb14

Mass Effect

This is the first part of our epic trilogy of review podcasts focusing on the Mass Effect game series from Bioware. Originally released in 2007 on Xbox 360 and following on the heels of Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, this was the Canadian developer’s original take on a serious Sci-Fi space opera. The first game is not without its flaws and the frustrating combat, slow beginning, vehicle sections, simplistic hacking, texture pop, and crazy glitches are all hauled over the coals, however, this is balanced with effusive praise for the characterization, in-depth discussions about the textured and detailed worlds they have built, first rate voice acting, storyline and narrative sweep. If you’ve played it and enjoyed it overall you will be well at home. If you haven’t played it we keep the major spoilers for a section at the end so you can listen in and find out what all the fuss is about. My crew are Matt Ramsey of GamerDork, Neil Taylor of GameBurst, James Perkins of GameBurst and Geek Wad, Justin Smith of Last Save Loaded and Jerome McIntosh of the Gonzo planet community. We’ll be back in a month to talk about Mass Effect 2 and then four weeks after that for Mass Effect 3. Click here for Digital Gonzo #64 Wherein myself and my guests talk about the massive hoo ha over the ending of the third game. Obviously MAJOR spoilers. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/5ahv2y/119_Mass_Effect.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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