January 27, 2019
Environment Artist Konrad Honey joins us for a discussion about the newly released soup-to-nuts remake of Resident Evil 2! Rob discusses his expectations knowing that Hideki Kamiya directed the original. Konrad shares both his love of the original game and the remake, while voicing some small frustrations about the moment-to-moment gameplay. Both Rob and Konrad were very impressed with Capcom's latest title: the technology, the visuals, and the classic Resident Evil level design.
Other topics discussed:
Why developers used a fix camera perspective in the 1990s.
Action versus survival horror gameplay.
The puzzle design of RE2.
January 14, 2019
This is a rebroadcast of 2018's memorial podcast for Eric "ECM" Mylonas. In addition to last year's content, Rob has recorded some new remarks. We invite new listeners to learn about our friend, who was a gamer, game journalist, and amazing person.
Original 2018 Notes:
This podcast is a tribute to a dear friend, Eric "ECM" Mylonas. We discuss his career in video game journalism and his personal relationship with Rob and a number of friends from all over the globe. This takes the form of a roundtable discussion, which includes regular podcast guests (and ECM friends!) Patrick and ArcadeHeroes.com's Adam Pratt. The roundtable also includes ECM friends Ruben Pintos of Tomatazos.com, professional musician Jason Gahler, and Eric's favorite Canadian "Snow Elf," Chris Millar (of Millartime.com). In the course of this, many games are discussed, from Monster Hunter to MUSHA to Final Fantasy. Games were a huge part of Eric's life, and his skill as a gamer was legendary. For all of us, however, it was Eric's generosity, loyalty, sense of humor, and spirit that most moved us.
Many of Eric's favorite musical compositions are featured throughout. Get ready to bang your head to 80's rock and classic game soundtracks!
Thank you for listening to this special podcast.
Errata: I refer to "Hardcore Gamefan" at numerous points, but the correct name of the magazine if "Gamefan." Hardcore Gamefan was a name used later, after Eric's tenure.
January 8, 2019
Gamers in 2005 thought they were getting the Japanese Grand Theft Auto when Yakuza debuted in 2005. Over the years, however, the Yakuza series has established its own unique identity apart GTA and other open world games. In short: Yakuza games are almost their own genre.
Rob begins this podcast with a short exposition on the history of the real life Yakuza. Next, he is joined by Kip and Patrick for a discussion about the finer points of these games: the design, its characters, and its dedication to presenting a realistic (save for for the fighting!) portrayal of modern-day Japan.
Errata: Rob refers to the "Majima Forever" mode in Yakuza Kiwami. This mode is actually called Majima Everywhere.
Yakuza as the ultimate "Games as Tourism" game. See also: Our two-part series on games as tourism. Part 1. Part 2.
Is it an RPG?
The pre-Yakuza 6 sidequest style and why this is ideal game-making.
Realistic environments that aren't virtual playgrounds for the player.
How the fighting compares to the brawlers of old and arena fighters today.
Kansai people and how Majima is much like them (albeit more violent).
The "Curse of the Colonel" (a great story about Kansai people!).
Note: The graphics used to promote this episode use the "Edo" font by Vic Fieger.
Background info: Real Yakuza play the Yakuza games.
January 3, 2019
In this whitebox conversation, Patrick and Rob talk about the recent SNK 40th Anniversary Collection on the Nintendo Switch.
1. SNK memories.
2. SNK's strong use of themes to differentiate their content.
3. Wow such bizarre sequels!
4. How this collection is a lot cooler than typical "retro" collections.
November 20, 2018
Join Rob and Arcadeheroes.com's Adam (with a surprise appearance by regular host Patrick- was on vacation, but jumped on the discord sever mid-stream!) as they discuss collecting older games and game consoles.
November 11, 2018
Patrick makes another appearance at the Grid Snaps Studio in San Jose, and brings his PSP with him! We check out some awesome and interesting games for the system, including:
Cho Aniki Zero - Yeah, it's weird. But it's a fun 2D shooter also!
Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire - You have never seen a shooter this awesome.
Gitaroo Man Lives - Rhythm bliss!
We hope this episode finds you cruisin' ebay for PSP systems and games! Enjoy!
October 28, 2018
Rustling cattle. Dueling. Playing cards. And unforgettable characters! Everyone is playing the latest game in the Red Dead series, so Rob and Kip bring on environment artist Konrad Honey to talk about these amazing games from Rockstar San Diego.
The history of the series, going all the way back to Capcom's Gun.Smoke.
The characters of the series: how they seem multi-dimensional while using recognizeable tropes.
Innovations in open world game design: using the wilderness instead of a city.
The soundtrack and how it is used in a powerful way.
Verisimilitude and how it keeps you from just using fast travel. You want to explore the world!
Kip lets the podcast audience know how "dastardly" he is.
Bonus material! Rob talks about how to make games the Rockstar way, in this column.
October 15, 2018
ACTION! BOMBAST! MULTI-HIT COMBOS! FURY!!!!!!!!!!
Hugging a tree.
Yep, both these things happen in Sony Santa Monica's smash-hit God of War series. Rob is playing the 2018 game, while Patrick counts the original trilogy amongst his all-time favorite games. They talk about the differences between old and new and what works well for both.
The high-action introductions of the original game, versus the intimate, peaceful introduction of the 2018 game.
How the camera creates the chaotic frency in the original trilogy, versus how the "documentary" style camera creates a personal feeling more appropriate to the older Kratos in the 2018 title.
Mico-hubs: how the new game encourages exploration within the context of a linear game.
Living versus dead game worlds: Rob opines about how many games take place in post-apocalyptic worlds.
October 7, 2018
You're already listening. At least, we hope so! We welcome "Japanese Games Correspondent" Patrick as a regular co-host by having a brief conversation about the newest Fist of the North Star game: Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, by Sega's Yakuza studio!
We discuss our history with the series (the 11th highest grossing media franchise of all time!) and our thoughts about the game so far.
September 25, 2018
For the first "whitebox commentary" (short discussions with minimal editing), Rob discusses the game and level design of Far Cry 5.
- Character Persistance being a common trait in AAA games
- Chaos versus planning in open world encounters
- World simulation in games