Big Red Barrelcast 130: Barreltron

Your eyes and ears are not deceiving you, this is an all new episode of the Big Red Barrelcast… WE’RE BACK!

It’s a full house with PMPB & Kev being joined by the returning Dave, fresh from his wedding.

Join the trio as they talk:

  • Dave’s wedding
  • Summer gaming
  • Pacman gets friend zoned by Sony
  • SuperHot VR
  • Marvel Powers United VR
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • Destiny 2 Beta
  • The Atari Box
  • Kev and Dave geek out about Wolfenstein
  • The Nintendo Switch app
  • Shout outs

We’d love to give you all some sort of incredible hug immediately followed by a polite conversation about how cool you are, but frankly, we can’t afford the travel expenses. So, while we save our pennies, cents, and whatever the heck Canadians use, we’ll offer you some download links to help bide the time. Subscribe here. Here’s the RSS feed.  Leave an iTunes review here. Download the mp3 here.

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  1. There were multiple misnomers in your statements regarding PSVR. I am getting use to this as the vast majority of VR naysayers are those that either don’t own a headset or have never even played one. I don’t know anyone that owns a PSVR headset that is either disappointed with it or complaining about a lack of games. I still haven’t bought all the games I want on PSVR and I’ve been lucky enough to get a load of review codes too. Recently upgraded my harddrive and after downloading all of my games I noted I now have more games in my VR folder than in either my indie or AAA folders (32 games in total.)

    There were numerous “AAA PSVR full games” available in the launch lineup – my favourites of which were RIGS, Eve Valkyrie and Battlezone. While I know PMPB wouldn’t play it either, I still haven’t even played what many people regard as the best “big” game on PSVR, Resident Evil VII. Especially inaccurate to say there is no games on PSVR as there are 5 good games out this week alone! There are a number of games I am really looking forward to and there is a whole host of other awesome “big” games on Oculus that I hope come over soon, Robo Recall has been highly spoken of for a while but more lately Lone Echo is getting a lot of buzz.

    • Strange that you focused on PSVR as we were talking about VR in general for most of the show.

      I think you just have a very, very liberal view of what a AAA full price $60 title means. We talked a lot about what we think AAA means and what the larger community thinks it means. But the easiest way to break it down is to say budget. There are no big budget VR exclusive games. None. Not one. There are lots that have big budgets when compared to other VR games but they seem tiny compared to traditional AAA game budgets.

      Kev and I have both played a bunch of VR games at this point. Any time the next big VR messiah comes out I just walk next door and play it.

      I’ve played RIGS, Eve Valkyrie and Battlezone. Specifically Eve and Battlezone. None of them had even 1/10th the budget of a traditional AAA game, or the massive teams, time or polish of a AAA game. They were all firmly in the middle-tier quasi indie space 99% of all VR games are.

      Why would anyone play a VR exclusive like Eve Valkyrie when they could just play the VR mode for larger, better flight sims like Elite or House of the Dying Sun? Games that are already great and hardly need VR to sell them (it’s just a bonus).

      The latest crop of big PSVR games were hardly mind blowing. Superhot was already good and while it suits VR better than any other port to VR so far, it’s still just a 2 year old existing game ported over into VR. It’s also very, very short. Farpoint talked big for months and I really had my hopes up about it but it is just a disappointment. You basically need to own the aim controller. It’s super basic and shallow even if it did push VR development forward. It’s still stuck in the middle-tier space that all “good” VR games are stuck. Polybius and Statik are not awful but they are still stuck in that same space too. Robo Recall is just as shallow as everything that came before it. It’s just another pretty score attack game.

      Star Trek Bridge Crew and the Rick & Morty game were two of my fav VR games but that was more because they were fun to screw around with more than because they were actually quality titles.

      VR is a niche within a niche within a niche. It’s a platform with no system sellers. The best VR content is almost always just a VR mode for a game that was already great without it. VR games that are truly exclusive to VR are just not breaking through. A month after RIGS, Eve and Battlezone came out they were forgotten. Because gamers have higher quality games in the same genres for the same cost to play elsewhere. Nobody is playing VR shooters or RPG’s for weeks or months. They are playing them for several hours or a couple days at best. Which would be ok for some games but not if all of them have such short lifespans. Hardly worth the huge setup cost of getting into VR.

      We are at least 5 years away before any VR game comes close to having a mainstream AAA budget, size, scope, team size or development time. The only way that will happen sooner is if Disney hits pay dirt with their new Marvel game and decides to double down on Marvel/Star Wars games. By the time VR goes mainstream we will probably be on third or even fourth gen VR hardware. VR is basically at the pong stage of gaming industry.

  2. Can we all stop calling Superhot VR a port, please? While Superhot itself has been recently ported to PlayStation 4, Superhot VR is a separate game.

    Good to hear Dave back btw.

  3. “we shouldn’t be wanting 40+ hour “big budget” experiences on VR anyway and should be looking to replicate shorter arcade style experiences, as this is a better fit for the tech anyway.”

    I think this is the crux of our different points of view. A product does not get to dictate what we want from it. VR is a gaming platform and consumers expect the same things they would from every other gaming platform…just in VR. They’ll accept SOME caveats, like we do with every competing system, but asking them not to want longer big budget experiences is never going to happen. You can’t ask the market to walk backwards in what they expect from gaming. Unless VR changes its whole marketing talk to “best place to play short arcade experiences” that won’t stop people from demanding more from it. Asking people to spend $600+ or more (depending where you live) for a collection of short arcade experiences is a lot to ask. Not when super high quality arcade style experiences abound on much, much cheaper platforms. The novelty of visuals VR provides is not yet enough to offset the cost.

    I will concede big budget is a better term than AAA. But I would argue that the term indie has shifted far more than the term AAA. I like the term middle-tier, which is where I would place most VR games. They are not tiny indies but they are not big budget or AAA either, The thing is big budget or AAA is what sells systems (your Zeldas, your Halos, your Uncharteds) and pulls in mainstream money (which VR needs if it ever wants to break through).

    “In general games built from the ground up for VR work better and have been more enjoyable experiences all round.”

    I have found the opposite to be true. Games like Elite (on PC), House of the Dying Sun, Project Cars and other games have far and away made exclusive VR games look silly to me. They have the advantage of being great games on their own that don’t need to rely on VR alone to be their selling point. They also have the advantage of providing way, way more hours of entertainment. You can dump 100’s or even 1000’s of hours into Elite or Project Cars. I’ll buy a great game but I’m not rushing out to buy a VR headset to make a great game better. It’s just a nice addition if you have one.

    I def misspoke about Superhot VR. You are right it is not a port. More like a heavy conversion or a new stand alone expansion. Which is ok because since we spoke I went and played it. I’m not sure how much leg room the extra modes buy it as a couple are very similar but it does extend its length noticeably.

    I’m playing Farpoint with the aim controller on Sat but I expect all that will change is ease of play. It’s still a shooting gallery game with a story subplot that sets it apart. Playing it before made me immediately hope for a larger, more fleshed out sequel. It felt more like proof of concept than full game to me.

    I think more games like Star Trek Bridge Crew could make me jump ship. It was just too buggy and poorly thought out on its first pass. But the foundations for interactive teamwork that does not rely on on-rails shooting or picking things up all the time really made me smile.

  4. MunyucManzy

    Hello there everyone. Good talk.
    I was going to chime in on the VR topic but after that lengthy back and forth; it is all covered i think.

    Question: Do you ever take questions from consumers and discuss them during the show? To broaden the interaction at all? Just curious. I suppose time will tell. I think that would be an interesting addition

    Keep it up

  5. MunyucManzy

    Edit: I said “do you ever” and I meant to ask “would you ever”.
    Being a listener I already know that you don’t.

    • We have had listener questions on the show once or twice but it has never been a scheduled portion of the show no.

      Would we make it one? Sure. I’ll put out the call for listener questions on our next episode (132) and maybe we’ll end the show each week answering a couple.

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