Game Under Podcast Episode 113

In Episode 113 of the Game Under Podcast, Tom Towers and Phil Fogg return to discuss rugby league, The Residents and a little bit of gaming. Specifically, the state of games magazines and the gaming industry itself: has this last gen been a creative failure? Did Phil end up being able to play a CoD, after all? And what were Tom’s final thoughts on Sky: Children of the Light, That Game Company’s adaptation of The Book of Leviticus.

Listen here.



The Residents and Tierra Whack

Tom Towers wrote some more things about music and poetry. You might be thinking he did not, but what are lyrics if not poetry? Don’t believe me? Take it up with the Nobel Committee!

Whack World has 5 million views on YouTube. The biggest Residents videos can barely manage a million. Yet The Residents, to celebrate their 40th anniversary, were able to sell (or at least offer for sale) 10 fridges filled with first editions of their CDs, records, DVDs and games (as in, computer games), for $100,000 each. So what is internet fame really worth? What is fame really worth, considering that people still pretend not to know who The Residents are/were to this day!

You can enjoy a version of the album cover below where the genitalia has not been airbrushed out here. Incidentally, that’s also where you can read what was referred to above.

The Beatles could not have been The Residents; but it’s conceivable that The Residents could have been The Beatles.

The Beatles could not have been The Residents; but it’s conceivable that The Residents could have been The Beatles.

Call of Duty Black Ops III

I won’t be playing Call of Duty: Black Ops III, but not because I don’t want to. In fact I so wanted to play the game that over the last two and a half months I’ve been downloading and installing it on my Xbox One — so far spending about 60 gigabytes of my internet usage quota. Despite buying the game in physical form, and expecting it to be able to be play once I got it home, (and downloaded what has become an expected 10-20 gigabyte day one patch or similar update), I thought I would be ready to go. Instead it has been a constant dribble of updates and installing without end.

If it was not my internet allocation, and the fact that I really want to play the game, it would be funny, indeed in Brian Provinciano’s latest game, Shakedown Hawaii, a game that broadly satirizes almost all aspects of modern life, there is a mission where a character buys a much anticipated game, eagerly sits down to play it and has to wait for it to update. An update that is so long that the real game interrupts the installation and has you go back to other missions and check back days later (where the game is still installing and updating). In the video below the second part of the commentary touches on predatory in-game purchases (a joke that I wish the developer took all the way by including them in the game itself).

On top of the ridiculous install time and size of the Call of Duty: Black Ops III update, even worse for the small minority of Call of Duty players that only play the campaign, is that the campaign is the very last component of the game to download. The final straw came this morning when the download of the campaign was paused so that the game could download a 23 megabyte update for the online multiplayer! I’m not prone to anger, but seeing that, and that I still had 40 gigabytes yet to download of the campaign, prompted me to eject the game disc and throw it across the room. It got off lightly given that I once shot a copy of Too Human with a shotgun, then lit it on fire and finally drove over it with a tractor.

I’d love to write a review of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, but this is as far as I got in the game.

I’d love to write a review of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, but this is as far as I got in the game.

Activision’s ambivalence for their campaign mode in Call of Duty was made fully evident in the next annual installment after Call of Duty: Black Ops III where the multiplayer mode was dropped altogether (apparently due to a multi-path campaign becoming too much for the development team to handle in the allocated time).

Campaign mode has now returned to the series, but after this experience with Call of Duty: Black Ops III I’m reluctant to risk the purchase, which is a shame, given the enjoyment the series has provided over the years.

Phill Fogg

Deadly Premonition II: A Blessing

There is a God, and He has seen fit to bestow upon us puny mortals this divine blessing, transcending worldly barriers like language.

Judging by Twitter, it looks like Swery is writing and directing it; he retired a couple of years ago, but apparently that was just a ruse!

While you wait for its 2020 release to roll around, you can reacquaint yourselves with Francis York Morgan, as the original has just been surreptitiously released on the Switch eShop! Physical copies for Americans coming in November.

Or better yet, you could also listen to our show discussing Francis York Morgan’s original adventures here!

In the Year 2018, Tom Towers Stops Reading

Will Tom continue in 2019?

Yes, at least one more book, as he promised to see if Stephen Hicks would redeem himself after his book about Nietzsche and the Nazi[‘]s [iconography] in which he proved to be even more aesthetically ignorant than in his blog about modernist art. This trend would suggest he doesn’t redeem himself, but stay tuned to find out for sure!

In the meantime, feel free to answer Tom’s questions (he doesn’t pose them rhetorically): do Americans hate continental philosophy out of jealousy? Is Karen Pryor as great a romantic as Beatrix Potter is a renaissance man? Can enthusiastic narration save an otherwise pointless or even a brain-damaging book? Is aesthetic evolution arbitrary? Is the Soviet adaptation of Winnie the Pooh true to the melancholic spirit of the original?

To better understand these questions, please read the final installment of Tom Towers’ reading adventures in 2018, which you can find here, before answering. But please do answer.

One of Baetrix Potter’s beautiful botanical illustrations.

One of Baetrix Potter’s beautiful botanical illustrations.

Full list of the literature covered in this last installment:

Nietszche and the Nazis by Stephen Hicks
Like a Thief in Broad Daylight by Slavoj Zizek
Survival of the Beautiful by David Rothenberg
Reaching the Animal Mind and Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor
The Art of Beatrix Potter by Emily Zach
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Two Bad Mice, The Tale of Tom Kitten, The Story of Miss Moppet, The Tailor of Gloucester, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter
The Moomin comic books and Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove and Lars Jansson
Whinnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth (uh, sort of)
Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes and Other Poems as well as The Eve of St. Agnes by John Keats (I mean, maybe?)

Of course the melancholia of the Soviet Adaptation has less to do with the inevitable loss of childhood (from a father’s perspective) than with the inevitable existential crisis to which this loss leads (from a peasant’s perspective).

Of course the melancholia of the Soviet Adaptation has less to do with the inevitable loss of childhood (from a father’s perspective) than with the inevitable existential crisis to which this loss leads (from a peasant’s perspective).

Bonus question: does refusing people visas on the basis of what propaganda (from anti-vaxx to anti-blacks to anti-APAC) they spread constitute a breach of free speech? If so I should probably have written something about that, too, but personally I couldn’t think of anything more Australian than this. The only way it could be handled more patriotically would be to send them to an off-shore detention centre!

Blasphemous Demo Now Available

Team 17’s upcoming grimdark 2D Souls-like Blasphemous now has a limited time demo which will be live until the 1st of September.

The demo pits players against the dark and disconsolate beginning areas of the game and finishes off with a fight with the first boss.

Blasphemous is set to release on the 10th of September.

You can download the demo on the Steam page here.

- Aaron Mullan

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Game Under Podcast Episode 112

Tom Towers and Phil Fogg discuss video games and related topics on Australia's longest running video game podcast.

Tom plays That Game Company's newest release, Sky, while Phil talks about playing the rare japan-only N64 game Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Conversation also dips into Walt Williams book about his time at 2K working on Bioshock, Mafia II and Spec Ops: The Line. 


Please look forward to listening.

The celebration in honour of this episode was so wild it tore through time and space itself!

Sylvia Plath and Sadistik

Tom Towers wrote a few things about Sylvia Plath and Sadistik, or at least about Ariel and Haunted Gardens. You could read what he wrote, or instead read Ariel and listen to Haunted Gardens. Or both. Or even read what he wrote without listening to Haunted Gardens and reading Ariel. This would be the worst of the three options. Conversely, you could also not read what he wrote, nor Ariel nor even listen to Haunted Gardens. This might actually be even worse.

To avoid choosing what would, on reflection, be the worst possible option of all, read what he wrote here before it’s too late!

A not entirely unrelated  crow,  displaying its classical  cock and balls and sculpted calves and thighs .

A not entirely unrelated crow, displaying its classical cock and balls and sculpted calves and thighs.

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 - Winds of Magic Pre-Order Now Available

Warhammer: Vermintide 2’s first expansion Winds of Magic is now available to pre-order which will also grant you instant access to the beta. The expansion will fully release in a few days on August 13th.

Winds of Magic introduces a new foe, the Beastmen, a new difficulty, higher level cap, new progression system, new weapons, new level, and, most importantly, the new game mode: Winds of Magic.

If you don’t know what Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is, well, just think Left 4 Dead 2 with a melee focus, more gibs, RPG elements all wrapped up in a Warhammer package. It’s also currently 75% off on Steam here and I highly recommend buying it if anything I said piqued your interest.

You can pre-order the Winds of Magic here.

- Aaron Mullan

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Tom Towers Tries Reading, Yet Again

Books covered in this installment are:

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
The Trial and Metamorphoses by Franz Kafka,

Which might not sound like much, but Tom manages to wring out of them all the blood that history has to offer. Luckily he self-censored much of this, so he could rant about censorship instead; brazenly suggesting that the FDA and school boards in America were/are motivated by the same prudery that inspired the Goskomizdat.

But to be fair to him, he’s got the foreword by a genuine Soviet citizen for a genuine Soviet book to back him up on this!

This installment of Tom Towers Reads will probably go down in history as the 21st Century’s Gulag Archipelago. Read it here.

Filonov was too proletarian for the proles, too individualistic for the committees, too emaciated to survive the siege.

Filonov was too proletarian for the proles, too individualistic for the committees, too emaciated to survive the siege.

Speaking of censorship, Tom failed to mention Neo-Brownie Blair Cottrell’s failure to win his hate speech appeal in 21st Century Free Speech because he forgot. He’s mentioning it now at least.

I assume people who worship Hitler (not like David Bowie for his performative genius, but for his politics) yet get offended by being called Neo-Nazis must be Neo-Brownies?

I think there’s a poem about what happened to the Sturmabteilung when the Nazis came to power…

First they came for the brown shirts,
And I said nothing, for I was not a brown shirt,
Etc. etc.

Let’s just pretend this is Justice, not Hope. Or is she blindfolded because out of frame there is a firing squad?

Let’s just pretend this is Justice, not Hope. Or is she blindfolded because out of frame there is a firing squad?