About the Author
Mass Effect
Final Fantasy X
Batman:Arkham City
Borderlands Series
Weekly Column
Champions Online
World of Warcraft
DM of the Rings
Good Robot
Project Frontier

Diecast #187: Husk, Borderlands, Sims 4

By Shamus
on Monday Feb 6, 2017
Filed under:


Direct download (MP3)
Direct download (ogg Vorbis)
Podcast RSS feed.

Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster, and Baychel.

Show notes:
0:01:25: Husk

Link (YouTube)

I think I need to stop getting excited when people say a game is “like Silent Hill”, because that phrase apparently means something different to me than to everyone else. When I hear it I think, “Horror that focuses on unease and foreboding of mystery rather than jumpscares and the stress of combat.” When other people say a game is like Silent Hill I think they mean, “Has fog.”

I think that “Shivercliff” might be the most on-the-nose spooky town name since Darkness Falls.

0:18:55: Borderlands vs. Borderlands 2

I’m willing to bet Josh isn’t the only one who preferred the original, but I’m interested to see what people have to say about it.

I said in the show that the Pre-Sequel kinda ruined the game for me. I loved playing as Athena to the point where she’s the only character I ever want to play, but I hate the environments and enemies in that game. So then I want to go back to Borderlands 2, but then realized I wouldn’t be able to play as Athena.

I dunno if they’re making another one of these things, but if they are it must be a long ways off. They haven’t even begun hinting that they might talk about it. I suspect they’re spending all their time on Battleborn.

0:33:30: Adventure Games

Note that when I talk about the Monkey Island intro, I’m not talking about the modern remakes and remixes. I’m talking about this:

Link (YouTube)

It sounds lo-fi now, but that blew me away in 1991.

0:50:45: Sims 4

Here’s the LGR review of Vampires that I mentioned on the show:

Link (YouTube)

Comments (68)

  1. Erik says:

    I’m pretty sure they’ve started working on borderlands 3. I remember there being a recruitment drive for programmers a while back (early last year) with the tag line: this is gonna be the big one

  2. Tizzy says:

    7th Guest has an interesting development history, which may help explain the descrepancy between its clear ambitions and the somewhat middling result.

    It was one of the first games to leverage that new fangled CD-rom technology. In order to beat everyone else to the punch, they had to more or less start developing before they had a clear idea of what they were doing. I know that they ran into problems with getting the computers of the time to render the movies, and they had to build their own compression algorithms to do that. Also explains why the story and whatever gameplay there is are completely independent. Maybe more than any other game of that type, it was a proof of concept, it was here to show off the tech. There was not enough maturity to really exploit the tech to make it do something interesting with the game, so I don’t feel like being too harsh on the game for that.

    It’s still a shit interface, though. Animations when solving are agonizingly slow, made worse by picking puzzles that take dozens of move even if you know what you’re doing, and the taunts get infuriating. (Bear with me, Dtauf, I swear I’m not stumped, it’s just taking that long.)

    Still love the music though. Instant nostalgia for me.

    By the time the sequel rolled around (11th hour, btw, not 13th), I’d already lost interest. Better things were being done out of the tech.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Why is it such a big deal which of the borderlands sucked more?Both are inferior to battleborn anyway.

  4. Ninety-Three says:

    Is Borderlands 2’s shooting actually good? I played Borderlands for *checks Steam* 88 minutes (solo), said to myself “Wow, this shooting sucks“, and uninstalled. I never even looked at the later games because I assumed they’d be the same.

    I suspect they're spending all their time on Battleborn.

    Surely not. That game has been such a commercial failure that I can’t imagine them continuing to invest time into it.

    • Fizban says:

      It does have character skill based accuracy, so 1st level characters firing anything other than a pistol at close range are pretty inaccurate. It takes a few levels of skill ranks/guns that aren’t starter garbage to start aiming, but on the flipside that means that late game you can fire two giant machineguns simultaneously with the precision of a laser (if gunzerker anyway).

      And of course you can always take the mechromancer build where you shoot your gun and anything vaguely in that direction disintegrates under the homing ricchochets of doom, but that was a dlc class.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Things are still big slabs of hitpoints at the end of the day, but there’s reactions for particularly big shots, and sometimes more things to shoot.
        Like more varied foes with different weakpoints or stuff.

        Could always try the (worst part of the game) opening for about an hour before Steam refunding if you’re not sold.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      It always bothered me that I couldn’t put my finger on why I didn’t enjoy Borderlands’ shooting, and upon reflection I think I’ve finally got it. It’s not about kinaesthetics (not entirely at least), because I loved the kind-of-janky shooting in Bioshock and played way too much of the embodiment-of-mediocrity shooting in Fallout 4.

      The reason I dislike Borderlands’ shooting is that too much Diablo DNA has been spliced into a game that tries to play like an FPS. I like the resource management aspects of an FPS, and while Borderlands technically has both health and ammo, it trivializes them the way Diablo games trivialize health and mana. Ammo is something you remember to periodically refill, rather than try to conserve. With no resources to manage, there’s no sense of persistence and I have a very poor sense of whether or not I performed well.

    • GloatingSwine says:

      It’s a bit better but “good” is a bit of a strong term.

      I agree with Josh that Blands 1 is more fun than Blands 2. Not just for the better feeling from loot, but also because the bullet sponging isn’t quite as obnoxious (especially with the power of elemental weapons which were worse in Blands 2 because they tried to “balance” them, eg. all the Maliwan pistols all needing to reload every three shots).

      But also because Blands 1 had way more sidequests, and it all felt like you were driving around the world doing odd jobs for random psychos whereas Blands 2 tried to get serious with the story and really was not as funny or clever as it thought it was. The only bit of the main game of Blands 2 was the family feud quest chain.

  5. Joe says:

    Ever since I got Borderlands 2, I haven’t been able to go back. I just don’t enjoy the original any more. It was good for its time, but IMO BL2 just did everything better. I also like TPS. Yes, is isn’t perfect. Yes, it reuses a lot from BL2. It’s kind of somewhere between a glorified expansion pack and a full new game. But I enjoy those mechanics, plus the new ones.

    Double-jumping feels completely natural, the lack of it always throws me off when I go back to BL2. Also, being able to freeze your enemies. Ice has always been my favourite damage type. A frozen enemy won’t deal damage or run away. Lasers are a bit hit and miss, some of them veer all over the place, but others are dead on. And call me parochial, but I enjoyed the Aussie humour too.

    Did Josh say that there’s no ammo regen in BL2? Because if so, he missed the gunzerker hoarder class mod, the middle skill tree, and the absorb shields. There’s plenty of ammo to be had if you go down that way.

    • Ringwraith says:

      The weirdness with TPS is that they really properly got some really good skill trees down, and also skipped that awful part where you don’t have any skills until level 5, and just give it to you almost to begin with.
      The rest wasn’t always up to par, though.

      The New Game+ having Tiny Tina and Brick chime in on the narration was a great move though. Means a second go-around actually has more jokes.

    • JimO says:

      (All my Borderlands experience is strictly single player: BL1 566hrs, BL2 614, TPS 81)

      This is very close to what happen to me as well. After buying TPS in a Holiday Sale I played though it and decided I really wanted to replay BL1 again. But I wasn’t able to get more than a half-hour into it before I decided to go play BL2 instead.

      The interface of BL1 seems clunky compared to BL2/TPS, BadAss levels are more fun to earn than the weapon-class experience of BL1 and movement in BL1 felt slow and less responsive. Level design and color palette in BL2 is much more interesting and varied (though I think the music of BL1, especially in the early game has a wild-west vibe that is great).

      I think BL1 is a better game in a lot of respects: as mentioned in the episode good weapons last longer, and non-legendary weapons are actually be useful. If you find the game is getting too hard you can grind and get ahead of the enemies a bit which I think is a nice touch, though honestly I feel by just doing side missions in BL1 this happens. In contrast I’ve found myself grinding to get to my next level in BL2 since I felt I needed the next skill point to keep going.

  6. Ninety-Three says:

    My favorite game theme was Sacred. The feeling it evokes has nothing to do with the game (which is a very standard Diablo clone), but damn does it evoke a feeling. Back in the day I remember booting up Sacred and leaving it on the menu screen just so I could have that music as background while reading a book.

  7. acronix says:

    It’s been forever since I played any, but I think I prefered the combat encounters in Borderlands 1. The fights in Borderlands 2 always seemed to be much harder (and there were enemies I remember felt like bullpoo to me). Yet I prefered Borderlands 2 enviorments, character clases and lenght better.
    On the other, OTHER hand… I liked that The Pre-Sequel actually had your characters banter and talk with the NPCs during missions and story sections. Plus the combat felt, to me, more refined and fair than in 2. However, I never actually finished that one.

    So I guess if I HAD to choose which one is the best I’d go for the second instalment.

  8. Lee says:

    I can’t really offer a cogent comparison of Borderlands vs Borderlands 2. And I haven’t played the Pre-Sequel at all.

    The problem is that I played through the original game almost entirely single player. After completing the game, I played a small handful of runs against the big monster intended for post game raid content… I can’t remember its name. My main playstyle was sniper, which is actually my goto style for most games that allow it.

    I played a lot more BL2 multi-player. My sons and one girlfriend (my son’s, not mine) liked to play the game, and I got to join in. I played a good bit of the game in multiplayer, with a Gunzerker, which was fun in multi, but less fun in single player.

  9. John says:

    I have mixed feelings about adventure games. I’m not exactly a genre aficionado, but over the years I have played Space Quest, Loom, Monkey Island, and Full Throttle (in approximately but not necessarily that order) and generally enjoyed them. But my experience has been that in order to make progress I generally have to (a) go everywhere, (b) take everything that isn’t nailed down, (c) attempt to combine every item in my inventory with every other item in my inventory whether it seems sensible or not, and (d) attempt to use every item in my inventory on or with every object in the environment whether it seems sensible or not. It’s like brute-force password-cracking. It gets the job done, but it doesn’t make me feel particularly clever. Now the results of all this tomfoolery–especially in Monkey Island and Full Throttle–are usually entertaining enough that I don’t mind too much.

    Space Quest is a little different in that Space Quest is deadly. Going everywhere will kill you. Taking everything will kill you. But if you don’t go everywhere and take everything, you can’t beat the game. Space Quest requires you to do stupid and illogical things and then kills you for it. And when you die it taunts you–I am being quite literal here–for doing such stupid and illogical things. If it weren’t a humor game with a generous save-game system it would be utterly intolerable. I’ve been watching Paul play through the entire series at Loading Ready Run and it’s been both fascinating and horrifying.

    Loom, by contrast, is very different. There’s no inventory at all. You solve puzzles by playing short, simple songs. You learn the songs by studying the environment. It’s not the best adventure game I’ve ever played–that would be either Monkey Island or Full Throttle–but it’s definitely the most interesting and did more to make me feel clever than any other. In addition to its other virtues it has a wonderful fairy-tale atmosphere. I haven’t played it in decades and I wish I remembered it better. I don’t think I’m doing it justice here.

    • Geebs says:

      The first Monkey Island had surprisingly logical puzzles, if you were paying attention, as well as being the funniest of the LucasArts games. It’s a real shame that they hit the series self-destruct button in the second one.

      As for the other LucasArts titles, Loom was OK but a bit twee. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was great, and Fate of Atlantis was ok-ish. I was never really able to get on with Sam and Max (funny in a trying-too-hard sort of way but the puzzles are kind of inane), but the worst for me has to be Day of the Tentacle. I bought the remaster on a whim and my goodness the jokes haven’t aged well. George Washington won’t cut down a tree unless he thinks it’s a cherry tree? Slay me.

    • krellen says:

      Loom was remarkable because it was impossible to die. There was no Game Over, no condition you were unable to recover from. No matter what your mistake, you could undo it and return to the state you were before it, so you didn’t need to save-scum through the game.

      It may have ruined other adventure games for me because of this.

  10. Ranneko says:

    I had the Dos version of Monkey Island on CD, and the music was all CD audio, separate from the data tracks. I remember playing them on a CD player, though obviously you had to skip track 1.

  11. Christopher says:

    I’ll pour one out for the other folks who also were pissed off at the writing in Borderlands 2.

  12. Sunshine says:

    For some reason, I still assume that Baychel’s increased presence is part of a King Lear-esque story arc, where Shamus will pass off more and more of the work for the Diecast and the site over to her until she shuts him out.

  13. Izicata says:

    The entire reason you play Borderlands, 1 or 2, is that it’s a skinner box, just like a lotto machine. Every time you open a chest, that’s like pulling the lever on a lotto machine. You might get nothing, you might get a jackpot or a legendary that’ll last you 20 levels. What BL2 did was get rid of the jackpot; legendaries will last you about 3 or 4 levels, not 20. Blues will last you 2 levels, not 10. There’s no jackpot. It’s a casino with no hope that you’ll hit three sevens.

    Also they completely neutered elemental weapons, most of the skills are garbage except for a few really overpowered ones, they didn’t understand BL1’s tone and butchered it, they made Mordecai a drunk instead of a bloodthirsty psychopath, etc etc. I was one of those people who really liked BL1 and spent way too much time playing it, and then I got my hands on BL2 and it was like seeing your crazy uncle in a nursing home with dementia. He was weird and a bit of an asshole before, but now he’s just not really fully there.

    • Fizban says:

      The entire reason you play Borderlands, 1 or 2, is that it's a skinner box, just like a lotto machine.

      This is what everyone says, and you know what? I’m gonna take issue with it. Lotto machines are dumb and I hate them, and I don’t like being shackled to randomized loot either.

      Borderlands 2, and TPS even moreso, are about your character builds. Playing around with the standard and cross-combination builds for each character is fun. Some builds are good enough you don’t need to rely on the loot lotto, and other times you can just rebuild your skills to match whatever gun you have that’s good enough to do the job.

      You can save the good guns you find on your first trip through the game at various levels, skipping the loot lottery entirely (at the cost of inventory headache). Bringing back the OP doomcannon that melted through levels X-Y can be like picking up a second character class, except this time it matches your specialization instead of just carrying you through on its own and you get to see what it can really do.

    • Ringwraith says:

      I really didn’t find that as much?
      At least until you get until the second playthrough, as by around ~30+ is where the scaling on numbers starts really getting the exponential effect kick in.
      I think one of the problems is that you can always get really good stuff that will last a few levels at least by spending the golden keys, which are things you can only get by redeeming codes you can find online (there’s repositories of them now).

    • Sunshine says:

      Lotto machine – Shamus wrote about that before. It should be in the archives as “The Loot Lottery”.

  14. Spirit Bear says:

    So I got Husk as part of the Humble Monthly Bundle. Thanks for saving me the time it took to install it.

  15. Echo Tango says:

    You guys mention that harmless monsters in horror games hurts the game, but in the past you’ve also said[1] that nothing ruins the tension in a game faster than dying and then reloading the game. How then do you make a monster in a scary game scary? Is horror just a difficult genre to choose to make a game in?

    [1] I think the most recent example of this was during the SOMA Spoiler Warning season.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      Like Telltale games, it’s a magic trick. You spend a lot of time in Outlast or Amnesia fearing that you could die at any moment when really the game is pretty forgiving and anyone who doesn’t panic can WASD their way through most sections safely.

      Unlike a Telltale game, the potential for death is real, but the trick of a good horror game is to exaggerate the risk.

      Fear of the unknown is a fantastic tool for facilitating this trick: the player will always imagine a monster that’s more threatening than you can design. The only monster in STALKER that stayed scary once I understood how it worked was the bloodsucker, and Amnesia had a brilliant thing going with its “Don’t look directly at the monster” mechanic.

    • Geebs says:

      Have the monster make a really horrible noise, and don’t ever show it clearly. I couldn’t believe how badly Alien Isolation screwed this one up; they show you the whole Alien the very first time it appears, and it then proceeds to wander off and kill a few dudes in plain view by swiping unconvincingly at them. I gave up at that point.

      Gameplay-wise, what you really want is something that can’t instakill the player, but wears them down. Make it feel like they have a chance to escape, and take it away piece by piece.

      That said, the scariest thing ever was that creature in the underground in STALKER that grabs the camera and then takes off a chunk of health. I ran straight away from that one.

      • Dotec says:

        That would be the player’s first Bloodsucker encounter. I tried returning to SoC fresh after maybe getting halfway through it years before. I think my tolerance for horror in my video games has significantly diminished over time, because I always ‘nope’ out right before that encounter. And I wasn’t fond of coming across more later in the game.

        An honorable mention needs to go to the Controller enemy as well. Their long-range disorienting attack – along with that horrid ear ringing – nearly gave me a heart attack when I first fought one in Agroprom.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Harmful is not the same as immediately deadly though.Taking damage from a monster is much scarier than an insta kill.Even if you can fight them off,or kill them,they can still be scary.For example,look at the poison headcrabs in half life 2.They cannot kill you,and are usually put in places where nothing will immediately kill you after they poison you,but that sudden plummet of your health to 1 is dreadful even when you know all the quirks of the game.Also,their design and sound are spot on for such a scary monster.

  16. Mark says:

    Shamus, there’s a typo in the show notes. You accidentally said that Athena is the best Borderlands character, when everyone knows that Nisha is really the best.

  17. Dragmire says:

    Borderlands 1 fan here.

    Borderlands 1 had a better, more visceral feel to the weapons especially the submachine guns and shotguns. (I admit, not so much for assault rifles and snipers)

    Masher revolvers are some of my favorite weapons.

    Enemy deaths felt better considering you could blow off limbs(robot enemies in 2 aren’t as fun). Killing a skag in its’ mouth beheads it, that feels awesome! Also, seeing an enemy fall limply from an explosion isn’t as satisfying as seeing them gibbed.

    I can actually complete the hardest difficulty solo on Borderlands 1… not so much with 2.

    Cars are a lot of fun, especially ramming/gibbing enemies.

    I like the increase of movement speed from Lillith’s special.

    For dlc, I’d say Tiny Tina’s DnD dlc is tied with the Claptrap dlc from the first game.

    I enjoy both games, but there seems to be far fewer people that enjoy the first game which is sad.

    Also, I found legendaries far easier to get in the first game(not counting pearlescents). The 2nd one allowed farming bosses for specific ones but overall the ease finding one randomly was far too rare.

    • Dragmire says:

      Oh, and I liked how using a weapon type passively made you better at that weapon type. Nice bit of character progression that wasn’t attached to skill points and equipment.

  18. I like that these podcasts are about gaming from both a mechanical, literary, and personal perspective, it adds a thoroughness that IGN can’t and never will accomplish.

    You know, it feels odd for me to realize that my parents never were into video games as much as my brother and I were. We played Oblivion, Warcraft 3, WoW, Halo, Call of Duty, Skyrim, The Witcher, and various other ones, but we never got to share that love with our mom and dad, because they never were interested. In fact, gaming was seen as something of a limitation. But! These communities (like this site here) make it a lot easier to talk about games without really wavering between whether or not it’s a waste of time. I realized it was just a hobby I had, not some addiction that needed to end. Now I have fun writing about it too :).

  19. Grimwear says:

    I enjoyed Borderlands 1 a lot, especially Roland and his ammo regeneration ability. That made my switch to BD2 harder because I chose soldier and turns out they don’t get to regen ammo anymore. As for the game itself overall I did end up enjoying Borderlands 2 more but that’s probably because I was able to play 2 with my friends. That being the case, I played BD2 until I beat it twice and reached the point where enemies scale to your level and immediately hit a wall. I took to the internet to find out why it suddenly got so much harder and it turns out to play you essentially need to tailor your build from whatever you found fun to slag all the time for the double damage. That outright killed my enthusiasm and I never went back.

    Also Tiny Tina’s dlc is one of the best I’ve ever played.

  20. Tales from the Borderlands made me realise how much I love the Borderlands world… and how little I care for the gun play. Whilst I look forward to Borderlands 3, I desperately hope I get more Tales!

  21. Exasperation says:

    So, Borderlands 1v 2 (I haven’t played the pre-sequel*):

    There are some things I like more about each than the other. Uniques in 1 did feel more special than uniques in 2 (with a handful of exceptions, like the Pimpernel). The menu system in 2 is hands-down worse than in 1. I liked the per-gun-type skill leveling in 1. The challenges in 2 can be fun and interesting (although the rewards are kind of “eh”). Enemy variety is much better in 2.

    I’m not really sure where I stand about the plot comparison.

    As far as the feel of the actual shooting goes, I have a hard time comparing that. I first tried BL1 on a friend’s console, and compared to that experience BL1 and BL2 on a PC feel much more similar mechanically. The differences between the two just pale in comparison to the relief of using keyboard and mouse instead of a controller.

    Interestingly, I feel about Maya the way Shamus feels about Athena – I built her as a very Phaselock-centric character, and at level 58 in UVHM I can still sometimes wipe out groups of normal enemies with a single action skill use (although enemy bullet-sponginess is becoming more and more apparent; I’m past the peak of action skill effectiveness now and having to rely more on guns again as I level).

    * amusingly, this spell checker doesn’t recognize “pre-sequel”, but it will suggest “pee-sequel” as an alternative.

  22. Josh says:

    I’ve played about 700 hours of Borderlands 2 solo, but hardly played any of the first one.

    The guns becoming useless after a few levels… I can see how that would be annoying. I never questioned it while playing BL2, but I was a bit sad after my first legendary had to be stashed in the bank after a short while.

    Ammo being more expensive: I almost never buy ammo. Crates and boxes are full of the stuff. The ammo vending machines seem almost superfluous to me.

    Enemies scaling up: High hit points and health regen might be simplistic ways of making the enemies tougher, but I’ve never heard any proposed alternatives. The game doesn’t even start to get hard until level 30 (TVHM), so what’s the problem?

  23. MichaelGC says:

    Very moving listening to the adventure game section! I don’t know if it’s really possible to deal well with losing a parent far too early, but I do know that it’s certainly possible to deal with it vastly worse, as evidenced by, well, me. I mentally hid for the first year, which meant that by the time the second year hit I’d stored up inside me this giant ball of grief which fell on me like a Dark Souls boss and which took almost a whole other year to learn how to beat; I nearly gave up.

    I don’t see any signs of anything similar happening with Rutskarn, and for that I am glad. I’m more Shamus’ vintage, so when I was little there was nothing so fancy as Secrets of the Pharaohs: Quest of the Crystals. This was more my & Dad’s speed:


    and I do just have to point out that Player 1 in this video absolutely suuuuuucks.

    • John says:

      Hey, that almost looks like an Apple II game. Except the Apple II couldn’t really do green, purple , and yellow all at the same time. In fact, yellow was literally impossible–at least if you were programming in BASIC. (There was no numeric code that would cause the computer to make a yellow pixel.) You could do green, purple, orange, and blue but God save you from the terrifying artifacts caused by putting green or purple next to orange or blue. For the most part, games were mostly either green-purple or orange-blue. Ultima I was green-purple. Prince of Persia was (mostly) orange-blue. I think there may have eventually been a trick or a work-around, because I could swear that there were yellow pixels in at least a couple of games that I owned . . .

      Anyway, the point of all this is that you British (?) persons with your three-colors-at-once computers are fancy indeed and I am retroactively jealous.

  24. Jokerman says:

    My experience… and like for Borderlands was very short lived, it kinda went

    Borderlands 1 – Na, don’t like this
    Borderlands 2 – I love this shit!
    Borderlands 3 – Bored now…

    But unlike what Rutskarn said, the story of Borderlands 2 helped a lot… gameplay was more fun, but it also had a hook for me, i wanted to shoot Handsome Jack in the butt, i had to… i would’ve stopped after say… 10-15 hours without the story i think.

    If they do another, it’s gonna have to change things… a lot, to get me interested again.

  25. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This damn player you are using to play the episode on the site is seriously tripping my ocd.Ive checked multiple times,and it constantly shows the wrong time.It starts ok,but by the end it somehow accumulates extra seconds.The downloaded file doesnt do that however*.Here,check out the difference between online and offline timers at the point when Baychel says “No” in the end:


    *Its the same no matter the browser I use,no matter the player I use,no matter if its the mp3 or the ogg file.

  26. MagicMan says:

    I liked Borderlands 2 more than 1. 1 was seriously lacking in enemy variey (*Buzz Lightyear gesturing into the distance* “Skags. Skags everywhere”). 2 brought the variety up in that department, as well as every other, to a satisfying degree. Plus, the move to not have each character be good with specific weapon types was on the money- instead, characters can fill general roles, and it’s more the weapon’s characteristics rather than the type that makes them fit those roles. Plus, the Psycho is super fun.

  27. Nessus says:

    The stuff about having to buy ammo in BL2 seemed really weird to me. BL2 basically does the same thing Doom got praised for this year, where it uses ammo frequency to encourage you to rotate through diferent gun types. When your SMG runs out, you just switch to a shotgun, (or assault rifle, or whatever). Having just three different gun types in your loadout and rotating through them as needed (either ’cause of ammo or situational tactics) should keep you completely stocked throughout the game.

    Having to buy ammo is really rare at worst. Having to buy ammo all the time implies you’re only using one particular gun type for everything, all the time. You’d have to be using a loadout consisting of nothing but 4 different sniper rifles (or whatever other gun type) to ever run into this problem.

    If that’s how he prefers to play, then sure, that’s as cool as anything else, but the weird part was how he was talking about it like this was a normal thing that any/every player would have to experience. He’s playing in an unorthodox way which goes so directly against what the game encourages that I don’t think it would even occur to most players… but he’s talking like it’s never occurred to him that there was any other way.

    Can’t really argue the rest of it though. I enjoyed parts of the BL games, but the loot grind always lead to levels (and the games as a whole) feeling stale and exhausting long before I got through them. You can really tell that everything about the game is designed in service of that mechanic, and that causes the gameplay to get REALLY tiresome if your main goal is to progress rather than to get moar gunz.

    Also I REALLY HATE save systems that barr me from replaying favorite missions/levels without replaying the entire game. My favorite bit in BL2 was the big battle along the top of the dam, because of the cool John Carpenter tribute soundtrack that responded to the tempo of the action. You could go back to the dam later, but after that first mission it became a normal low-enemy environment, so the the action (and thus the music) was never able to shift up into those cool gears again.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      You assume that your experience is universal and that there is no other way to run out of ammo ever.For example,having the enemies health scale so much that you need to unload a whole magazine in order to down one of them.

      Also,if you have a sniper and a backup weapon,running out of sniper ammo in the first fight and having to rely on your backup for the next 6 sucks.

      As for the comparison to dewm,the difference is that replenishing ammo in there is rather easy,and you carry a larger number of weapons with you.

      • Nessus says:

        In my observation the gun RNG scales alongside the enemy health, (you get a LOT of low-level trash guns throughout, but the high-end scales). Barring boss fights, if the enemies you’re encountering are eating your ammo to that degree, then to me that suggests you’re maybe engaged in some sequence breaking (or are missing a large percentage of your shots).

        This stays pretty consistent until you hit the threshold where it suddenly starts being imperative to slag everything. I never went beyond that myself, as I never liked or respected the slag mechanic.

        You can carry a crap load of guns in your inventory, with 3-6 (depending on how far into the game) in your immediate loadout, and IIRC 6 weapon types that use different ammo. There’s no reason to have only single main and a single backup unless you’re deliberately choosing to limit yourself. The game is constantly throwing guns at you, so even with the RNG it’s simple to always have a variety of types in your loadout which, while they might favor different playstyles, are all more or less equally viable.

        Did I get into situations where I had a “favorite” gun, and was disappointed when I had to switch to something a little less fun or less powerful? Sure, all the time. Did I get into situations where this made things significantly harder to survive? No, and I can’t imagine how one would without self-imposed limitations.

        • Exasperation says:

          First, it’s 2 to 4 weapon slots, not 3 to 6. You only start with 12 general inventory slots, too, so until you can get some backpack upgrades, you can’t carry much of a weapon variety without really limiting your ability to loot stuff (and therefore your income).

          Ammo consumption also depends heavily on which guns you happen to find. If the only decent guns you get happen to be ones that use 2 to 4 ammo per shot you can chew through your reserves really quickly, especially in the early game before you have all your ammo upgrades.

          Additionally, while you can generally switch between SMG/Shotgun/Assault Rifle for short/medium range combat, there aren’t a lot of guns which shine in long range combat except for sniper rifles (and situationally rockets – once you’re high enough level to even get them). So if you find yourself having to engage at long range you’re probably going to run low on sniper ammo, and it’s unlikely any of your other guns will work well as a substitute.

          Finally, there are a few missions that seem intended to cause ammo problems. “Hunting the Firehawk” in Normal, for example, which throws you up against a lot of fire-resistant enemies at a level where all the elemental weapons you’re likely to have are fire, and a lot of the best weapons you’re likely to have found are elemental. And then there’s the “Medical Mystery” quest: “Here, have an ineffective weapon which uses two ammo per shot, and kill a lot of things with that weapon specifically!”

  28. Merlo says:

    Borderlands 2 was a big disappointment for me. BL1 is a game with (too) simple game mechanics. There’s not much going in terms of gameplay so the only joy I’ve got was from new skills/weapons/locations/enemies. That being said, I’ve found its graphics, sound, design and overall atmosphere simply incredible and was instantly teleported to childhood. BL2 had some great locations, but everything else felt like a weak clone, not like a sequel and the atmosphere was lost. It took a game with flaws and qualities, improved on the flaws and lost the qualities. Didn’t find it bad, just not good enough for a sequel. TPS I barely got to the end. It feels like someone got the assignment to make a borderlands game without ever understanding what made it great… Everything’s wrong but the ingredients. Now I’m off to finish my 5th of 6th BL1 playthrough. Might go to BL2 after, we’ll see… definitely no TPS.

  29. deiseach says:

    I would sit through the titles for Monkey Island 2. Every time. See also: TIE Fighter.

  30. Fred Fredd says:

    The Secret of Monkey Island with various sound cards:


  31. Sunshine says:

    “I know nothing outside my own brain.”

    Very philosophical for a videogame podcast. “The thing I know is that I know nothing.”

  32. Hal says:

    A few random thoughts from the show:

    1) The Quest for Glory series was my jam back in the day. Loved those games with a deep passion. But I also have fond memories of some of the more obscure titles like EcoQuest. (It was the 90s. Eh.)

    2) My dad never played video games, but for some reason he picked up an odd fascination with Red Alert 2. There were games he would play with me, but this one he would play by himself, for its own sake. This gives me a certain fondness for it, as it was one of the few games we legitimately bonded over.

    3) Can you even find The Sims (1) anymore? I don’t think you can even find that game, not the least of which because EA’s naming convention for the series throws everything into chaos.

    4) I only ever played The Sims (1), but here’s a funny story about that. I made a household with two dudes. Roommates! They’ll get jobs and find hot wives, it’ll be fun. But I wanted to see everything the game had to offer, so I thought, “Let’s throw a kid in there.”

    Sometime into the game, my kid befriends a neighbor kid, and the neighbor kid has a cute mother. Great, one of my dudes has a potential wife. So he woos her, marries her, and she moves in.

    Well, all of a sudden, my other dude gets really mopey and upset all the time. It hit me suddenly. “I made a gay married couple raising a kid. Then one of them went straight, got married, and had her move in.” Like, never even crossed my mind that the affection mechanics were not distinguishing friendship and romance for my original characters, and I certainly didn’t think anything about having two guys raise a little girl. It was a learning moment.

  33. Kita-Ysabell says:

    I’m very late to the party, so I checked to see if anyone mentioned it and so far as I can see, they haven’t.

    You can run a bookshop in Sims 4 with the Get to Work expansion. That would just be the standard store where all the things for sale are books. You can even cheat a bit and live above the bookshop, though you will have to reserve a lot as the owner’s “home” lot, and just never go there. You can even sell books written via the writing skill.

    However, you cannot sell them from a bookshelf. You need to either arrange them on a surface, such as a shelf, or a table, and where you can restock them once they’re sold, or you can sell them from a fridge. The fridge does not offer the restock option.

    Sims can be a bit… odd that way.

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *


Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>