Category Archives: Podcast

Gamers of the Lost Sparks 100th Podcast EX Plus Ultra Evolved Edition

Welcome one and all; old listeners and new! Thank you all so much for joining us, make yourselves at home, get yourselves comfy, sort out your audio listening preferences and please jump in and join us on our 100th episode.

It’s been a thrilling journey since going live on May 15th 2015 and as much as the last 100 episodes are an amazing chronicle of our gaming habits, hypes, thrills and the odd let down over the last 2 years or more, we sincerely hope that you, our listeners have enjoyed Antony, Darren and occasionally James’ unique brand of gaming views, news and critique. The idea behind what we do has always been to stand by a positive outlook in an industry that can sometimes take those negative downturns and on the whole the guys hope you will agree and have enjoyed our little corner of the gaming world.

With no massive fanfare but more of a humble and enthusiastic nod to the time spent on their endeavor, Antony and Darren verbally fist bump their 100 podcast journey so far and dive straight on in to more of what’s been going on in the world of pixels.

Dazza has taken a trip back in time to 2002 and re-aquired Kingdom Hearts on the PS4 with the 1.5 / 2.5 Remix Edition after getting his desire ignited by the Kingdom Hearts 3 Toy Story trailer and is very pleasantly surprised at the value of the package and the fact the the game is enhanced on PS4 Pro to a 4K 60fps feast.

Enjoy a wealth of Kingdom Hearts facts and trivia from Daz as he gushes about this really great, or indeed definitive version of the Square-Enix classic. This game really is your single ticket to get you up to speed and ready for Kingdom Hearts 3.

Meanwhile, Darren talks about his visit to PlayExpo Blackpool 2017 while Antony tries to keep calm as he prays for adult only Pixar showings in cinemas.

in ‘What We’ve Been Playing’ this week Antony jumps into Splatoon 2 on the Nintendo Switch, and even though the game is great colourful splatting fun the online setup and user interfaces are just so, well ‘Nintendo!’.  Listen into this week’s podcast for a full hands on of Splatoon 2, the ‘Salmon Run’ mode and the new Nintendo Online iOS app and hear why Antony, along with his gaming buddies have switched to Discord.

It’s that time once again for the new Games with Gold announcements for Xbox Live Gold players, for August you will be able to download the colourful and zany, Slime Ranchers, available from the 1st – 31st August.  From the 16th August to the 15th September you will be able to download the awesome and incredibly addictive Trails Fusion.

For Xbox 360, playable on Xbox One via Backwards Compatibility you have, starting 1st August Bayonetta through to the 15th August.  Then on 16th August 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download Red Faction: Armageddon for free through August 31st.

If you want more information on some of the items in this weeks Podcast here are some handy links:

If you would like to give us a rating or a review on iTunes then we have this handy link for you, click here to jump to iTunes and rate, review or subscribe to the Lost Spark Podcast!

Ready Player One Trailer

Digital Foundry’s Kingdom Hearts 1.5 / 2.5 Remix Analysis

Kingdom hearts trailer

‘Bad Ape’ YouTube Clip

Wolf Among Us Season 2 Announcement Video

PlayStation 4 Beta Programme

We Got 99 Podcast’s And We Still Ain’t Done

In the penultimate episode until our crowning centenary, episode 99 of the Gamers of the Lost Spark podcast kicks off with the latest ripples from the world of gaming assisted by recurring special guest, James (@BIGsheep) Thomas.

Antony presents us with a section that is so in beta phase that we have called it ‘Beta Corner’. The guys discuss the exciting beta versions of Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 2 that are not too far away from our eager reaching gaming hands.

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Crash Bandicoot Shows Again That Nostalgia Equals Cash

This week, Antony and Darren make the best they can out of the snippets of news flying around in a quiet week for the industry. There’s never a dull moment though as the most eye opening stories of the week get the Sparks’ unique analysis.

Among the topics this time on the pod, is the phenomenal success of new release – Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, as it shot in straight into the number one spot in the UK gaming charts.

We have had a bit of a nostalgia renaissance recently with the likes of WipeOut and Tekken getting recent releases and doing well, thank goodness Yooka Laylee didn’t spoil the vibe.

It seems that gaming nostalgia is a powerful force for all of us and who can blame us for having such affections for the games of yore that we loved when we were younger. Maybe it was a game we got with a system at a young age, maybe it was a title we had looked forward to for a long time and loved, or maybe a title can just take you back and remind you of a time of your life that is preserved around the memory of enjoying your gaming and life back in the glory days. Continue reading

SNES Mini – A Piece Of Gaming History But Is It Worth The Hassle?

This week in the vacuum that the behemoth that is E3 has left, Antony and Darren talk about the official announcement of the SNES Mini from Nintendo. A console that has been snapped up and out of stock from retailers even before the pre-orders became available – yes, that’s how massively popular this retro piece of nostalgia is.

Learning lessons from the last iteration – the NES Mini, Nintendo have promised more supply this time, in order to meet the intense demand that this desirable console will garner. It looks as though, however that consumers have also learned lessons from the last versions’ popularity too with the SNES Mini being almost instantly completely wiped out of stock over the face of the earth.

It’s the same old story. Great coup for Nintendo and for the lucky few who manage to secure their pre-orders in those first precious seconds of the console going live on the web. After which, it’s the struggle for the majority of eager fans that would be owners of this dinky gem – the website crashes, the furious refreshing, the scouring stock at every store you can think of and then, finally, the reality kicks in as you finally give up and grudgingly admit that the only way to obtain your cherished Nintendo throwback is to succumb to the nefarious re-sellers that have somehow snapped most of them up and advertised them on Amazon or eBay explicitly to take advantage of the likes of you (and us).

‘What can be done though?’ cries the throng of frustrated customers as they struggle to attain this lovely little system and only silence and a temptation to pay two or more times the price through one of the re-sellers remains.

So, what can be done? And can this familiar situation ever be dealt with?

UK gaming chain GAME have tried to make a stand by increasing the deposit required on the SNES Mini to £50 instead of the usual £10 they require in order to presumably discourage this behavior. It’s a stance that can be appreciated but in the long run may do more harm than good as your profiteer type will no doubt think nothing of putting down the full £50 deposit to secure an item that they are sure to sell at a profit later – not phased at all. However there may well be plenty of gamers who haven’t got that kind of money to put down as a deposit and so they may miss their chance of securing one due to that policy, which is really sad.

The only way that this frustrating trend can be effectively dealt with is by Nintendo providing such healthy supply that eager consumers can pick one up without jumping through hoops for hours on end. Or, consumers rally, stay strong and make a decision. A decision that enough is enough and they won’t allow themselves to be exploited anymore and refuse to pay double or more RRP for these tempting toys.

If the profiteers efforts could be rendered useless and null with supply and/or consumer resistance leaving them stuck with their bulk buys that no one took off their hands then perhaps the practice could be quashed and the honest gamers would join hands and cheer as one in light of a new dawn of fairness.

Or is it unfair of us to resent people trying to earn a few pounds out of an almost sure thing? It’s not illegal after all, just really annoying for those that missed out.

All this is not even mentioning the dreaded fear that the fantastic games housed up inside the SNES Mini could mean a lack of them appearing on the virtual console when it becomes available for the Switch. Let’s hope that isn’t a thing that’s going to happen. We want our classic Nintendo games liberated and portable in these days of the Switch. Let them roam with us and keep us company during train journeys and plane trips.

So are you interested in the SNES Mini and if so, are you going to buy one (should that be try to buy one)? Or are you going to leave the queue and make a stand?

Listen in to Episode 97 of the Gamers of the Lost Spark Podcast to hear views on this and much more. Continue reading

Should 4K Consoles Be Offering Increased Storage?

It’s Episode 96 of the Gamers of the Lost Spark Podcast and with E3 out of the way (just), Antony and Darren get together once again to discuss all the happenings after the dust has settled. Braving the blistering heat of their respective studio’s as the UK swelters beneath an intense heatwave, nothing as paltry as ridiculously high temperatures will stop the guys from having their say.

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The Return Of The Lost Spark E3 Podcast Extravaganza

Strap yourself in because it’s back! It’s the return of the Lost Sparks E3 extravaganza, Join Darren and Antony as they breakdown, analyse and get down-right excited about the E3 2017 Press Conferences:

EA (00:10:44)
Microsoft (00:50:13)
Bethesda (02:53:29)
UbiSoft (03:07:29)
Sony (03:45:02)
Nintendo (04:55:12)

If you want more information on some of the items in this weeks Podcast here are some handy links:

If you would like to give us a rating or a review on iTunes then we have this handy link for you, click here to jump to iTunes review for the Lost Spark Podcast!

Lost Spark E3 2017 Predictions

This week, as E3 grips the Sparks, James and Antony run-through the E3 press schedule timings and spend a moment to wildly speculate and try to predict what will be announced during the highlight of the gaming calendar, E3!

Will we see Nintendo adding ‘Deluxe’ to all of the old Wii U titles and release them on the Switch? Will Spider-Man open the Sony conference? Will we see The Avengers on stage at Microsoft’s conference? Join James and Antony for episode 94 of the Lost Spark Podcast for this and all the gaming news from the last 7 days.

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Is Xbox Game Pass The Right Price For You?

After a fairly short trial period, Microsoft have announced that the ‘Xbox Game Pass’ is now live for all Xbox Live Gold members, starting with a free 14 day trial, Xbox Gold members can now access over 100 Xbox 360, ID @ Xbox and Xbox One titles for the requested coin of £7.99/$9.99 per month.

Some of the big hitting titles available in the first wave are; Halo 5, Mad Max, Gears of War Ultimate Edition and Spark favourite Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise. Continue reading

No Halo at E3 – Disappointing or Refreshing?

It’s episode 92 of the podcast and in addition, this edition marks the 2nd anniversary of the dawn of the Gamers of the Lost Spark. Join the guys as they celebrate this milestone with their unique look at the gaming news of the last 7 days.

In a week where Halo developers 343 Industries announced that there will be no Halo 6 at E3 or Gamescom, Antony and Darren discuss whether this is a bad thing or a good move for the Xbox team’s E3 presentation.

This can be argued both ways it seems with a reasonable case put forward that Halo is Xbox and Xbox is Halo, that the rolling out of a new and exciting Halo-centric announcement at the Xbox E3 conference is a tradition, a right of passage, the big thing that all the Xbox fans are excitedly waiting for during the other treats that are announced for the future of the platform and that a no show form the Halo franchise would leave a disappointing edge to the proceedings in June for Phil Spencer and the team. Continue reading

Halo 5’s Free DLC More Profitable Than It’s Paid DLC

Welcome to episode 91 of the Gamers of the Lost Spark podcast. Another delve into the underbelly of the gaming underworld’s news metaverse examining the stories, rumours and games of the last 7 days.

This week an interesting argument put forward by Michael Pachter (Pachter Factor) makes the point that there is a shift in the DLC model and that instead of DLC being slices of paid for additional goodness for the games we love, that in fact free DLC, apart from being most welcome by the gaming community – who doesn’t love free stuff? – can actually prove to be more profitable than paid DLC.

How can that work? is the resounding retort. Well, Mr Pachter goes on to explain this using 343 Industries Halo 5 as an example of where this model has been a success.

Halo 5 took a different approach to the more standard paid DLC model that we are used to these days. What the guys over at 343 Industries did was to make the first 6 months of DLC for the game free. That’s right, free and many people will know this having played one of the bigger hits over on Xbox One. So that’s fantastic, 6 months free DLC for the Halo 5 community, great move guys, much appreciated. Hold on though, is this just an incredible gesture of goodwill from developer / publisher to the gaming masses? I mean, what’s in it for them? Apart from the love and gratitude of the gamers of course – a commodity more precious than any currency. Oh hold on, yes, of course, back to the real world.

So the game is out there and the first 6 months DLC content is free to all players, yet Halo 5 made more money than any previous Halo game and this was due to the in game microtransactions. What happened in this case was, due to the DLC being free for all, Halo 5 kept more players playing the game than it had ever done before and in doing so, kept a bigger pool of customers enjoying the game who were then potential purchasers of in game microtransactions. The results from 343’s experience with this model indicate that more profit can be made by keeping more players involved in the game and so increasing the pool of potential (and real) microtransaction purchases than charging for separate iterations of DLC content.

Mr Pachter cites an approximate model of DLC purchase trends explaining that with each paid DLC drop there is also a drop in player take up, with the first DLC being the most popular at say 80% take up, the second being picked up with maybe 50% of those guys and the third DLC drop having the lowest purchase rate. It was this trend that paved the way for the ‘Season Pass’ that we have today, as the publishers looked for ways to stop that drop in take up of DLC over time by offering the lot at a discounted price.

This model only works for games that include DLC and have potential for communities to grow and thrive on their platforms. The type of games that are sure to be the focus of Microsoft’s recently announced ‘Games as a Service’ strategy, the most obvious being competitive FPS games like the Halo’s and the Titanfall’s, it would be more difficult to apply to other genres so we will probably not be getting single player campaign DLC for free anytime soon.

All said and done though, it’s an interesting idea that has already been used and turned a greater profit than the more traditional approach. Keeping all those players in there obviously reaps rewards while at the same time keeping those servers nice and busy with more players, in turn making the experience for the gamer more enjoyable for a longer period, potentially creating more fans who will be pre-ordering the next game.

Sound good? Or would you prefer the more traditional model? As always let us know what you think.

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