Games, Talk, and Whatever Else

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#110 – Penny on the Tracks

Join our heroes as they cope with the late arrival of one of the podcast’s favorites.  Also, learn about med school, guessing games, and a little speculation on the next XBOX.

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#107 – What’s Yours Is Mine

This week Charlie gets the best TV and turns into a robot, David releases the future 2013 GOTY, Matthew has fun with Monaco, and Will gets framed.

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#103 – PAX East

Did you know that this is the 3rd post PAX podcast we have done?  So if you hate PAX, you have 100 other podcasts to choose from.  Also, more SimCity, a little To the Moon, and no banter.

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#101 – Complaint Cast

We start our  second century of episodes with complaints from everyone but the optimist among us. Then there’s a big chunk where we talk about SimCity, but not before Will confesses to animal murder. Other games: Ni No Kuni, Hotline Miami, and Dominion.

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The Ball Pit Elevator Podcast: Episode 99

This week we introduce the 5 minute break dance (not as exciting as you think), talk a lot about the PS4 “meeting” (about as exciting as you think), and gear up for our 100th episode (more exciting than you can think)!

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The Ball Pit Elevator Podcast: Episode 95

It is the podcast you have all been waiting for.  GOTY 2012 (kinda 2013)!  Listen to all of our picks for best games of the year, best games from yesteryear, as well as numerous other winners.

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The Ball Pit Elevator Podcast: Episode 91

Charlie talks about his Xenoblades.  Will talks about his Assassin Creeds.  And David does not have much to talk about but miraculously has a lot to talk about.  We also have a lengthy discussion on tablets and Windows, and the podcast gets a sponsor!

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The Ball Pit Elevator Podcast: Episode 87

Walking Dead trifecta, XCOM, white haired ladies and more.  Is there anything else that you need to hear before listening to this podcast?  Hint:  The answer is no.

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The Ball Pit Elevator Podcast: Episode 81

This week David, Will, and Matthew podcast about many wonderful things.  David comes back to Animal Crossing.  Matthew raves about Fallout: New Vegas.  And Will (and Matthew) cannot stop talking about Crusader Kings 2.  Seriously, we could not stop.  Also, ghosts, peanuts, and a sneak peak to “the angry cast”.

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The Ball Pit Elevator Podcast: Episode 77

Matthew is out again dealing with some internet issues, so the three of us manage without him.  Will talks about Crusader Kings 2 and his Cabin in the Woods experience.  David talks about Walking Dead among other topics.  And Charlie talks about AC2 and hotdogs.  And of course….we all really like Downtown Abbey.

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The Ball Pit Elevator Podcast: Episode 73

This week we get the whole crew together for a wonderful discussion on video games, entertainment, and nonsense….mainly nonsense.  We cover the whole gambit, from Assassins Creed and Arkham City DLC, to Binding of Isaac and Diablo 3 (yeah we still talk about that).  We also dive into controversy with Prometheus.  Do we love it?  Do we hate it?  Find out!

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The Ball Pit Elevator Podcast: Episode 55

Although this episode is a little long, we do talk about Olive Garden. Charlie talks about Mario Land 3D and Metal Gear Solid, David talks about Dota 2 and Whale Trail, and Matthew talks about Zelda and Orcs Must Die. There’s also Zork, Amalur, and Arkham Horror discussions. But mainly Olive Garden. So much salad.

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GOTY 2011 Recap

Be warned: here there be podcast spoilers.  Check after the break for a recap on what our awards for Game of the Year 2011!

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The Ball Pit Elevator Podcast: Episode 48

Almost a week late, here’s Episode 48. I can’t remember what we talked about. Probably Dungeon Defenders, Zelda, and Fallout.

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The Ball Pit Elevator Podcast: Episode 41

We start October with a spooky, scary episode.  We talk about monsters in basements, bodies that never decompose, and creepy movies.  Also, what’s so dirty about Call of Duty, and how much does the Portal 2 DLC cost? (Hint: it’s free)  Nice! High five!

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Introducing the BPE Live Stream! Baldur’s Gate 2: Co-op

Big news!

We’ve started an official live stream here at Ball Pit Elevator!  It is available at justin.tv/ballpitelevator. (UPDATE: You can also check out our live stream here on the site)  Matthew and David are going to be playing Co-op Baldur’s Gate 2, a massive undertaking for anyone – and streaming it live!  Be sure to see if you can catch it to interact with us live as we stream.

The first episode has already been done, but if you missed it you can check us out over at blip.tv.  Here it is embedded in its glory (you can check out the bigger version and watch for updates to the archives over at ballpitelevator.blip.tv):


BattleBlock Theater: A PAX East Preview

Castle Crashers – if you haven’t played it, it’s time.  Just stop reading this article and go buy it and play it on either PSN or XBLA.  Behemoth crafted a wonderful side scrolling beat-em-up with a lot of character and flair that even had our non-gamer friends excited to give it a shot.

That’s why we were so excited to check out this tasty new gem that Behemoth was showing off at PAX East this year.  The booth was pretty hard to miss – they made sure to hang a colorful banner that could be seen from just about anywhere on the convention floor.  It’s not that I can blame them; if I had a banner like that I’m pretty sure I would hang it up and show it off every chance I got.Once we walked into the throngs of people hovering around the Behemoth, we were treated to a nifty store and the glowing pull of some arcade machines.  Castle Crashers was available as an arcade machine with full four player support and some nifty graphics on the side.  But, that wasn’t the reason we were there.  We dropped by to check out the game that Behemoth is pushing our way (probably) soon.  It’s a 2D platformer with a very familiar graphical style a la Castle Crashers and a whole lot of quirk.  The demo they were displaying at PAX East showed off one of the co-op modes which was limited to two players for the demo – but other modes will be available in the final version.

The objective of our demo was pretty simple: get to the exit with any buddies while collecting items like gems and balls of yarn and supposedly not trying to die.  In this case, Charlie and I hopped on to an open machine, quickly created our characters from a small sample of head shapes and faces, picked a weapon or tool, and dug in for the long haul.  Charlie opted for the giant fan while I went straight for the grenades, smirking to myself.The gameplay is relatively simple.  There are a few different buttons to choose from which serve pretty basic functions.  There’s Jump, use your tool, and a couple of other buttons which do a few different things like punch, throw, grab, etc.  The controls are tight and responsive with a satisfying jump and fluid character motions.  Objectives are simple as well: you start at one spot at a level and must proceed to an exit while grabbing collectibles along the way.  A few spots require some cooperation such as throwing your partner across a chasm or standing on a switch to build a bridge for your partner to cross.

But, it wasn’t all kicks and giggles.  There are a lot of ways to die in BattleBlock Theater.  Enemies with bouncing deadly balls, spikes that pop in and pop out all over, drowning in water, deadly lava, ravenous beasts… and of course your partner.

Now don’t get me wrong, the objective is not to kill your partner.  But regardless, I found myself looking for ways to mess over my buddy whenever I got the chance.  I shoved him off cliffs into water, threw grenades back his way, punched, kicked, and laughed the whole time.  Unfortunately for Charlie, the fan he picked was not a great defense when your “friend” is out to kill you.

Regardless, the short demo was great fun for us both as we scrambled to collect the gems scattered around the level.  We figured out how to throw each other, how to combat enemies, and how some of the obstacles and other blocks worked.  There were Portal-esque teleporters, boosters, strap on wings, jetpacks, and tons more.  I didn’t see any penalty for death, except for perhaps a reflection on the “rating” you are given at the end of a level which definitely included how many of the collectibles you managed to snag.

We were a little saddened to hear that it would be coming as an XBLA exclusive first but there’s always the chance of the good ol’ PSN follow up later like Behemoth did with Castle Crashers.

Here’s a trailer in case you want to check out some gameplay:

 

 


A Quick PAX East Rundown: Giant Jenga, Spy Party, BattleBlock, and more!

PAX East has been finished and we have survived (somehow).  From riding the T every day to eating the crappy overpriced convention food, we braved every challenge, and stood in as many lines as we could stand.  We’ll dig in to what made this PAX great in our podcast but here’s the quick rundown:

  • 3DS
  • BattleBlock Theatre
  • Spy Party
  • Portal 2
  • L.A. Noir
  • Video Game Orchestra
  • A Giant Pikachu
  • Classic Arcade Games (Dragon’s Lair, Donkey Kong!)
  • Irrational Games
  • Pokemon Being Played in every line ever
  • Really dumb “digital gaming glasses”
  • Some Hilariously Awkward Q&As
  • Board Games Galore
  • Bastion
  • And tons more

Some quick thoughts before the podcast:

L.A. Noir – The demo being shown was surprisingly far along and playable.  The gameplay being shown is a leap of faith for Rockstar but it could pay off big time.

Spy Party – How cool is it that a game made by a single developer was being shown off in playable form at PAX?  Chris Hecker was fixing bugs while one-manning the booth, showing off his game.  That guy needs to get some serious props.

Portal 2 – Come on, no chance for the public to play?  It’s not THAT far off.

Omegathon – I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to watch people play Jenga.  The crowd gasped and cheered as the participants pulled off daring maneuvers with the biggest stack of wooden bricks I’ve ever seen.  Would watch again. A++

Star Wars: The Old Republic – We talked to some people who waited 6+ hours to play this game.  The fans have got the dedication, but is it enough?

Steel Diver – I can’t believe this is a full game.  Interesting tech demo though.

BattleBlock Theater – Can’t wait to see if Behemoth can pull this one off.  There’s some potential here.


Now Available on iTunes!

Our podcast is now available on iTunes!  Go give us one of those fancy nice ratings.

 


Recovering (Updated)

We are in the process of site restoration.  We lost some data!  We’ll try to get things back up and running quickly.  We apologize if any links do not work in the meantime.

EDIT: Site has been fully restored.


I’m David and I have a problem

Am I a Steam Addict?  Look at my Steam List:

Steam List 1

I’m not sure I can live like this.  I open my Steam Steam List 2Library and I am confronted by the ghosts of gaming past.  There are an incredible number of games on this list that I haven’t finished or played more than a few minutes of.

It’s those blasted Steam sales.  Games come out for ridiculously cheap prices and I bite my tongue trying to avoid the trap.  But eventually, try as I might, I succumb.

So as a step toward healing, I’m going to list the games which I have been neglecting.  Maybe this will be a step toward a new and healthy Steam life.

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Haven’t played the single player yet, but spent time in multi)
  • Ben There, Dan That!
  • Borderlands
  • Crysis
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Crysis Wars
  • Darwinia
  • DEFCON
  • Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition
  • Half-Life: Blue Shift
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force
  • Indigo Prophecy
  • Jade Empire: Special Edition
  • Just Cause
  • The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
  • Multiwinia
  • On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness
  • Plain Sight (I don’t even remember what this is – maybe it came with something else)
  • Red Orchestra
  • Resident Evil 5
  • The Civilization 4 Expansions
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR)
  • Tales of Monkey Island (Will I go back and play this? Who knows!)
  • Time Gentlemen, Please!
  • Torchlight
  • Trine
  • Tropico 3
  • Unreal Gold
  • Unreal II: The Awakening
  • Unreal Tournament 3: Black Edition
  • Uplink

Whew, it feels good to get that off my chest.

Which of these games do you think deserve a second look?  Anything I’m missing by neglecting these poor, lonely Steam-sale games?


The cogs are in motion…

We’re up and running with a new blog format! Lots of work to do here so stay tuned!