matt chat

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Matt Chat 110: Betrayal at Krondor

Here's a venerable classic from the archives: Betrayal at Krondor! I was inspired to review this game after stumbling across Feist's novelization at the used books section of a local thrift shop. I played this one back in the day, but only because I received it free with the purchase of the sequel, Betrayal in Antara. I think both games are worth playing today, but decided to go with the earlier one since I'm also a fan of Feist. Enjoy! If you do decide to buy the game from GOG, please use my link so I'll get a kickback (no extra cost to you!). It's only $6 for both games with full manuals and no DRM, so there's really no excuse not to pick them up.

Download the MP4.

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Matt Chat 107: The Sensible Side of Jon Hare

I'm back this week with the third segment of my interview with Jon Hare. In this section, we finally get into the meat of Sensible's catalog, with Jon describing the creation process behind Parallax, Wizball, Sensible Soccer, Wizkid, and SEUCK. Jon's never played Smurf Hunt! Some great stuff here for any fan of the good ol' days when the Amiga reigned supreme.

Download the MP4.

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Jon Hare on Generation F

"At one time we experimented with putting beer in our drinks machine at work...That was a mistake."

Everyone's favorite cynic is back with another round of foreboding about the present and future state of the videogames industry. In this episode, Jon and I continue our discussion of the ups and downs of the casual and mobile market, Speedball 2, then dip into the early days of Sensible Software and what set them apart from the competition.

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Jon Hare and the Stupidization of the Videogames Industry

“Tiny Wings is an insult to professional game designers.”

This week, I chat with Jon Hare, founder of Sensible Software and a guy who doesn't mind telling it like it is. The gist is that back in the day, computer games were made for intelligent people and designers could take bigger risks--after all, an intelligent gamer isn't turned off by a true challenge or learning something new. According to Jon, that changed dramatically after the introduction of the Sega Megadrive/Genesis and the Sony PlayStation. Once the ordinary children could play videogames, the industry got really nervous about anything remotely intellectual and the result is the endless sequels and dumbed down games we're saturated with today. Warning: Jon pulls no punches here. If you're a diehard console or FPS gamer, expect to be offended by this video.

Download the mp4.

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Matt reviews The Witcher

By popular request, I've decided to review a modern action-RPG called The Witcher. Originating in Poland, The Witcher offers a rich story, great characters, huge leveling system, and intense action-based combat. Check out the review below. Warning: I do make some criticisms of the game here, which seems to be offending the fanboys--so steer clear if you're unwilling to hear about the game's flaws.

Download the mp4.

Buy the Witcher: Enhanced Edition from GOG for only $10.

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Jeff Williams on the Anti-Adventure Prejudice in the Games Industry

I'm back this week for the second and final segment of my chat with the excellent Jeff Williams. If you don't think Jeff is awesome, it's because you haven't watched these videos. The guy knows exactly what's wrong with the industry and isn't afraid to speak his mind! You also have to admire anyone with the audacity to self-fund such a huge project and the persistence to see it through. And by the way, if you haven't already purchased Darkstar: The Interactive Movie, quit being a lamer and grab it now, if for no other reason than to support this heroic effort to fight the power. We need more guys like Jeff for the betterment of our favorite hobby.

Download the mp4 and save it for posterity!

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Matt Finally Covers Baldur's Gate

I know, I know...Finally! Here it is, Episode 101 on Baldur's Gate. I'm surprised that there are still CRPG fans who haven't played this one. You really should. It takes awhile for things to really pick up, but once they do, you're in it for the long haul, all the way through Tales of the Sword Coast, Baldur's Gate II, and the expansions for that. Weeks if not months of top-notch CRPG gameplay. I won't say it's perfect, but it's the closest I think we've come to the capturing that magic that made AD&D so compelling to so many people.

As always, you can download the mp4 here.

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Matt Chat Hits 5,000 Subscribers

Well, I'm happy to say that I've finally managed to reach the 5K mark for subscribers on YouTube--and it's nice that it happened just after my 100th official episode. Good timing! So, I thought it was a good time to reflect and reminisce a bit about the show.

It seems impossible that I uploaded this first video back in February 20, 2009. Over two years have passed, and I honestly am proud of how far I've come. That said, I do like the commentary on the game, which was easy for me since I'm intimately familiar it. Watching this now, I can see that I was pretty nervous in front of the camera and probably a bit too emphatic about the books. Back then, I was using Microsoft's free Windows Movie Maker and a webcam. Later on, I'd start using better cameras and software, but it took me a long time to get the lighting right. I also didn't put much effort into the background at first, though perhaps the couch and speakers give it a bit more of that "YouTube" look.

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Matt Chat 100: Scott Miller will Live Forever

It's episode 100! Yup, I've finally strolled into 3-digit land. To celebrate, I'm re-releasing Matt Chat #6, the Dungeon Master episode that was deleted from YouTube. It's only available here and on iTunes, so grab it while you can. And, by the way, if you haven't bought our books by now, how lame is that???

Anyway, back to this episode. Scott talks about Max Payne, Prey (which looks awesome, by the way!!), the future of games publishing, and immortality. In a nutshell, he thinks services like OnLive are the future, and retail will wither away and die in a few generations. Companies like EA will exist only to help market and fund big projects. Finally, there will be a universal platform. I've got some comments on this below.

Download the mp4 of Matt Chat 100.
Download the mp4 of Matt Chat 6 (Dungeon Master) here.

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MC 99: Scott Miller on id and Duke Nukem

This week's Matt Chat is really something special--Scott Miller tells the exciting, spy-novel like strategy he had to use to recruit star talent John Romero, who was laboring under a contract with the militant Softdisk group. He then goes on to recount his falling out with Carmack over Rise of the Triad. But I know what you've really been waiting for--the story of The Duke! With no small emotion, Scott talks about how the character came about, why people loved Duke Nukem 3D so much (including the strippers), and how he feels about the publisher's decision to rip the game out of his hands and give it to Gearbox. Even though the game was finished (just lacking console ports), Gearbox will probably end up with the credit despite all the years of TLC put into it by Scott Miller and 3D Realms. You really don't want to miss this one.

You can download the mp4 here.

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