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Episode 151

The Indoor Kids

Educating Cameron with Jordan Morris

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The Indoor Kids #151: Educating Cameron with Jordan Morris

AND WE’RE BACK! After a month-long hiatus, Kumail and Emily are back with new episodes, and we decided that we should return with an education. We decided to pick a person who has been raised in a dark dungeon to introduce them to videogames since their inception until today. What are the highlights? What are the advances? Joining us on this adventure is Jordan Morris, one of our favorites.

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22 comments

  • You guys had some good lists; I’m surprised there was no mention of NFL Blitz (N64/PS1/Arcade).  I suppose there’s some overlap with NBA Jam in terms of philosophy, but I think it’s a better intro to football games than NFL2K was. Granted, they’re pretty different in terms of what they’re trying to accomplish.  NFL Blitz had great controls, passable graphics, and distilled football down to a fast-paced, over-the-top orgy of amazing plays and arcade violence.  It is also the only football game I’ve played that made things simple enough that someone who doesn’t know the rules of (or care about) football can play and still be totally entertained and feel like they have a shot at winning.

  • Is it more important for Cameron to play the original version of games that have remakes, because some games had good remakes… for example SNES Super Mario All Stars has really nice versions of SMB and SMB3. Metroid Prime 1 and 2, Wii Versions?

  • Its not just wikipedia. If you go and watch the original cut of the famous British WW2 movie the dambusters on youtube, where the famous dambusters song comes from, ‘nigger’ the dog is in there and there are some hilariously awkward scenes of the squadron playing with him. Its hilarious. look it up :D

  • Y’all should do some old school PC gaming (everyone has mentioned the important ones).Xbox – Crimson Skies (first really great online console game)

  • This might be a bit different, but along the same lines. Something I wrote recently about influential gaming moments. A lot of must-plays in there.
    noisynerd.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/real-xp-influential-gamer-moments/

  • great show! Happy to have you back post-hiatus. I am a little bummed you skipped handhelds, Gamecube and Wii for Cameron, but there is only so much time. I have a few suggestions for those omitted systems: 
    for GC – Resident Evil 4, Metroid Prime, Wind Waker, Animal Crossing, and Super Smash Brothers Melee 
    for Wii – Wii Sports, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Galaxy – and i would argue Skyward Sword as well as the realization of the promise of the Wii’s motion controls
    for handhelds – Tetris, Pokemon (gameboy) & Brain Age (DS)  

  • Games that I would have added to the list (in no specific order) Most of them are PC games, I never had a console:

    -Monkey Island
    -Grim Fandango
    -Pokemon Red or Blue
    -Command and conquer (the first one, or maybe the third one)
    -Heroes of Might and Magic 3
    -Civilization V (maybe IV if you’re up for it)-Starcraft
    -Doom (and maybe a bit of wolfenstein 3d)-Dead Space 1-Fallout (1 or 2)-Peggle
    -Plants vs Zombies
    -Mortal Kombat (the new one)
    -Half Life 2
    -Counter Strike -Puzzle quest -Faster Than Light -Theme Hospital -Leisure Suit Larry VII -Papers please -Spec Ops the line -Worms 2 Xcom – Enemy Unknown -Patapon -League of Legends-Prince of Persia Sands of Time-Another World

  • Awesome list overall. But I feel the need to throw my own list out, Take into consideration that I really started with the Genesis, so there is where I will begin my listing.Genesis:Sonic and KnucklesStreets of Rage 2Maximum CarnageStreet Fighter 2Mortal Kombat 2
    SNES:
    Super Mario LandCrono TriggerSuper Mario RPGGolden AxeNBA Jam
    Game Boy:Pokemon RedTetrisSuper Mario LandDr. Mario
    PlayStation:Crash BadnicootPaRapa The RappaFinal Fantasy VIIITekkenResident EvilSilent Hill
    Dreamcast:ShenmueSonic Adventure Soul CaliburCrazy Taxi
    N64:GoldeneyeSuper Smash BrosWWF No MercyMario Kart 64Pokemon Stadium 2Perfect DarkBanjo KazzoieTony Hawk Pro Skater 3
    PS2:Final Fantasy XGod of War Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityKingdom HeartsMetal Gear Solid 3: Snake EaterESPN NFK 2K5Silent Hill 3
    Xbox:Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicHalo: Combat EvolvedFable 2Burnout
    Gamecube:
    Super Smash Bros MeleeResident Evil 4Luigi’s MansionMetriod Prime
    Gameboy Advance:Pokemon EmeraldMetroid FusionSuper Street Fighter 3: Turbo Revival
    360: CrackdownGears of War 2Batman: Arkham CityMinecraftBraid
    PS3:Uncharted 2: Among ThievesThe Last of UsThe Walking Dead: Season 1Heavy RainRed Dead RedemptionSkyrimNBA 2K11

  • Great suggestions! If I may, I have a few additions to offer to “Cameron”.
    NES: Rad Racer – Good intro to driving (not quite racing yet) games. Had the “turbo” ability once you got up to top gear, you could change the radio station, and who could forget that sweet anaglyph 3D option. Classic!
    Genesis: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – hands down the best Sonic game on Genesis, IMHO. Better levels (Casino zone, anyone?), better music, and the dash ability mixed with super speed made for an interesting sub-game: trying to go faster than the screen can keep up.
    SNES: UN Squadron – I didn’t hear many side-scrolling shooters on your lists, so I figured I would pick this one. Choice of three separate pilots with different stats, purchasable upgrades and weapons, and different level styles that require some strategy make this game tons of fun.
    TG16: Splatterhouse – I’m including this one mostly because of the gore-factor involved. This came out pre-ESRB, so I don’t think there was even a warning on the game box. Hooray, mom will never know that I probably shouldn’t be playing this!
    Dreamcast: Jet Set Radio – Super Japanese Rollerblade Fun Time! Just a really fun game to play. Like to design your own tags and vandalize property? Enjoy rollerblading through sewers and crowded street malls? Get wood from sticking it to the insidious “man”? This is the game for you. Great OST, good control, fun characters, and this new poly VG art style called “Cel-Shading” make this game a winner. The sequel on XBox was great, too.
    N64: Superman 64 – Am I a horrible person for recommending this? Maybe. Allow me to explain. I think that playing this game makes all other games better, if only by comparison. It’s the unattractive girl that the other girls invite along to the party to make them look prettier. If you’re going to learn about video games, that should include the failures. Hey, at least it’s not ET.
    PS: Gran Turismo 2 – GT took racing games to a new level, and then GT2 ironed out the kinks. This game has insane amounts of licensed cars, upgrades, and tracks. I remember playing one 100-lap race for hours, only to end up finishing in 2nd place. So frustrating, yet so fun.
    XBox: Panzer Dragoon Orta – I’d say Morrowind, but you already have Skyrim, which is definitely the superior game. Orta is a fun twist on this classic genre. Part shooter, part flight sim, part fantasy, all bad-ass.
    GC: Legend of Zelda: Windwaker – I believe this was the first LoZ game that had a new protagonist that wasn’t Link (or ChodeLoader, or whatever I would always name him). The cel-shading art style was brought to the series (in super saturated color, too). And instead of Hyrule, you have a huge ocean to explore. A lot of purists don’t like this game, but I believe it to be a good change to the series.
    DS: Disgaea – What a fun, addictive, and over-the-top tactical RPG! I actually played this on PS2 first, but I think that it is better suited to being playing while riding the bus or waiting at the DMV.
    PS2: Okami – This is a tough one, simply because this is the console I’ve probably spent the most time with. I’m going with Okami, mostly because of the art style (again with the cel-shading), the storyline and how it integrates Japanese mythology, the lovable characters, and the brush stroke system (which I’m sure was interesting on the wii version).
    PS3: Journey – I had a hard time with this, just because there are a lot of great and innovative PS3 games. Journey’s beauty puts it on this list. Also, you mentioned all of the others I would have said.
    iOS: The Room – Unlike the movie of the same name, this puzzle game is actually enjoyable. The environments and puzzles are captivating, and you don’t have to put up with Tommy Wiseau overacting.
    PC: Simcity 2000 – Ever wanted to spend 80 hours building a city, just to see it gently slide into economic depression and ultimately be destroyed by a giant monster or nuclear meltdown? Play SimCity 2000.
    Bonus – Indie Games: Limbo – This game’s dreary, monochromatic landscape, maddening puzzles, and nearly infinite and horrific ways to die make it a must play.

  • Awesome list of the greatest hits and influences throughout video game history.
    But as I think about it, I’m not sure I’d use the same approach with Cameron.  If I were teaching a friend about video games, I don’t think I’d start from the beginning to give him that historical progress perspective.  I think it would be too discouraging and they might be turned off.  Those older games were fun for us as kids at that time, but rarely do they hold up.  Too hard.  Unimpressive graphics compared to things seen today in movies and on the internet.
    I’d introduce them to the staples of the current generation and see what genres he likes.  And if, for examples, he’s into fighting games and not racing games, you can eventually take him back to SF2, Tekken, etc. and not waste his time with Wipeout.

  • Seriously though, Emily, play Metal Gear Solid 3. MGS1 is an action movie. MGS2 is a “postmodern masterpiece.” And MGS3 is a tearjerker and an homage to James Bond films that flip all the gender stuff and the hero’s journey on its head. It’s most people’s favorite of the series. It has what many people call the strongest female character in any video game and that ending has gotten so many grown men to break down in tears. And not to mention that theme song is so damn cheesy and catchy, hardly anyone can stop themselves from singing along.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aHQnDTd1y4
    You can skip all the other Metal Gears.

    But speaking of strong female characters, have you guys still not played The Last of Us: Left Behind?Get on it!

  • I grew up in a PC household, and while I got to play a lot of the games that were already mentioned at friends’ houses, these are some of the ones that were really important to me:

    Star Trek 25th Anniversary,
    which was presented as a new season’s worth of episodes, with traditional point-and-click adventure away-missions, combined with some systems-management-focused space combat. The CD-ROM version came with full voice acting from the original cast!

    Descent,
    the game that I managed to get a joystick for. Sweet 3D graphics, including fully-polygonal enemies in 1994! It build on the Doom concept of color-coded keys and locks, but added six degrees of movement and a heart-palpitating twist: to beat the level, you needed to fight your way to the reactor and make it go critical, then race back through the mineshafts to find the exit before everything blew up.

    Half-Life
    really mastered the art of pacing and narrative via uninterupted gameplay. Also THE MODS. So many mods, so many hours of free entertainment.

    System Shock 2,
    which is still probably my favourite audio-log-ish story. SHODAN also the creepiest villain ever to me.

    KOTOR2,
    despite its rushed development, for the sheer audacity of deconstructing the Star Wars universe in an official Star Wars game (and mostly making it work) while improving on virtually every aspect of the combat system.

    Alpha Protocol
    for giving us the Walking Dead dialog system, but being able to be (way) more reactive because it was a self-contained one-shot title.

    Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines,
    for being an RPG that didn’t take the easy road of leveling you up through combat, and being the most atmospheric setting I’ve ever played. Amazing use of facial animation for a game using a bugged beta version of HL2’s Source Engine.

  • If I was doing ye olde video game retrospect, I’d throw in some Kings Quest and Monkey Island to show off some classic adventure gaming; Flow, Flower and Journey for some artsy indie influence; and Little Big Planet for the DIY movement. Good times, Cameron, good times.

  • Some ones I would include (I’ll stop before current generation as this would list would drone on and on) NES: Skate or DieSega: Shining Force II, Earthworm Jim, Legend of Oasis, Phantasy Star IV.Super Nintendo: Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, Sunset Riders.Playstation 1: Suikoden, Final Fantasy Tactics, Gran Turismo, and as a dark horse, Twisted Metal, Loaded or Nightmare Creatures. They will feel soooo 90’s, but they were fun.Sega Saturn (surprise!): Dragonforce, Guardian HeroesN64: WCW vs. NWO or Wrestlemania 2000.GBA: Advance Wars, Golden Sun.Dreamcast: Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Rival Schools or Project Justice, Skies of ArcadiaPS2: Vice City or San Andreas, The Warriors, Okami.Xbox: Jade Empire, Star Wars BattlefrontGamecube: Pikmin, Animal Crossing, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (is this what they meant by Eternal Dark?)PC: Civilization, Starcraft. Hope this didn’t bore everybody with another mandatory listener countdown contribution, but I don’t think I’ll be the only one doing this.

  • Outstanding list. Cameron has been given the tools to succeed, but I’m going the full HIGH FIDELITY and will Barry the shit out of this with obscure and overlooked stuff. 
     NES  “Street Fighter 2010″ 
     This bizarre mix of platforming and arena fighting is part Robocop, part Doctor Who, and part Ray Ban. One stage is in the streets. Most of the game your metal-suited transdimensional gladiator invades distant planets yank aliens’ heads through their buttholes with chrome fists and now I get why he needs the shades. 
     GENESIS  “Gunstar Heroes” 
     Buried in a September 1993 release, it still goes overlooked today despite a re-release as a DL or legacy title on PS2, PS3, Virtual Console, and Xbox 360. With alternate character attack styles, a mix-and-match weapon system, and a saturday morning cartoon rogue’s gallery of memorable villains all named after primary and secondary colors, it kicks Contra in the Contra without ruining its shine, and delivers a classic story of betrayal and revenge entirely without dialog. 
    SNES  “CYBERNATOR” 
     A censored and gently bastardized part of the Assault Suits series in Japan, CYBERNATOR is a wildly ambitious side-scrolling shooter-platformer. The eponymous walking tank controls like one (at the expense of the game’s success in the West) and takes getting used to, but it was packed with ideas way ahead of the curve – challenging zero-g combat, permanent gun upgrades, and a branching narrative centered on global terrorism and the war for rapidly dwindling fuel supplies. But, y’know, for kids. 

    DREAMCAST  “Bangai-O” 
     Another Treasure joint. To explain it would ruin the joy and surprise of figuring out the meta-game. Let’s leave it at this: don’t be shy with the super bomb, and you’ll be screaming “WATERMELONS!!!” at the TV before you know it. 
     PLAYSTATION  “G-Police” 
     The sound and future-filthy atmosphere make G-Police a technical marvel of the system’s twilight. The controls are vexing, but until the game gets scalding hard there’s plenty worth seeing. If there is such a thing as a series overdue for revival, G-Police remains one of them. 
     N64 
     “Space Station Silicon Valley” 
     An early inspiration behind HBO’s new hit comedy SILICON VALLEY. Fans of the show should definitely pick it up on Ebay as soon as possible. So many inside jokes make sense if you’ve played it. 
     PS2  “Project Snowblind” 
     Originally conceived as a multiplayer sequel to DEUS EX, the tanking of INVISIBLE WAR forced a hasty rebrand. The move didn’t help much and that’s a shame – it’s the true, fast-paced counterpart to the original DEUS EX and an under appreciated stop on the road to cybernetic power trips like CRYSIS. 
     XBOX  “Urban Chaos”  A first-person epic about the most weirdly violent first responder not employed by Raccoon City. When you aren’t hosing fires and rescuing people, you’re savagely murdering a tenacious and well populated gang of thugs in hockey masks. The twist is a riot shield you carry that takes scratches and char in real time. Never has playing an oppressive tool of the man been this exhilarating (no joke, the combat is unexpectedly spicy). 
     X360  “Renegade Ops”  The JUST CAUSE guys made their own GI JOE-inspired next-gen sequel to homicidal rescue jeep war drama JACKAL and almost no one noticed. Better than it has any right to be.

  • This was awesome.  I have a few that I think are hugely important:
    Pokemon Red/BlueChrono TriggerSuper Smash Bros.Sonic and KnucklesPilot WingsRouge Squadron (for the 64)MystMarvel vs. CapcomRed FactionSplinter Cell Chaos TheoryBorderlands 2PikminNeed For Speed Underground 2Fallout 3 (neck and neck with Skyrim for me)Halo 3/CoD MW2 (quintessential 360/PS3 gen console multiplayer shooters)Half Life

  • Would you be interested in an app called Pied Piper that automatically syncs The Indoor Kids Podcast to your phone and signs your shampoo bottles? Interested? Very Interested? Or Very interested?
    #TrappedinaShippingContainer.

    Also, golden axe is a great pick for ushering in someone to games.