Welcome to the debut episode of Critical Hits, a spinoff series of Games Witticism where we take an in-depth look at specific games or mechanics and concepts within games. For our first episode, I'm joined by guest co-host Mike to talk about what is arguably one of the weirdest and most fascinating games in Square-Enix's extensive JRPG library: Final Fantasy X-2. We discuss the circumstances that led to its creation, how both FFX games laid the groundwork for Square's current design philosophy, the conflicting narrative elements within X-2 itself, and much more.
Now that we're out of the Game of the Year mines, we can finally talk about video games again. So what better way to start the year than with punishment and sadness. I talk about Bloodborne in relation to the rest of the Souls franchise, Melissa goes over what's changed--and what's still the same--about XCOM 2, and Luke desperately tries to give a balanced critique of That Dragon, Cancer without looking like a heartless monster.
Oh thank God, we're finally done with Game of the Year discussion. At the end of February. Look, it's fine. Everything's fine. I'll just...make some changes to how this works next year, so that we don't spend over two months working on it. Anyway, Luke, Melissa and I finished off the remaining categories, which include: I Need to Sit Down and Contemplate the Universe, Best Dumb Game, Most Relaxing and/or Delightful, Fuck This Game, Most Interesting Concept, Best Story, Best Moment, and Best Game We Didn't Play (Much). Also, we run down our personal game of the year lists, because there's no way in hell we'd ever agree on that particular award.
It's just me, Luke, Melissa and Shane for this second episode of our game of the year discussions. We manage to get through quite a few more categories this time around, deciding on winners for Best Soundtrack, Best Comedy, Best Visuals, Biggest Surprise, and I Wish This Was Better. As in the last episode, spoilers abound (especially for Life is Strange, Fallout 4, and Metal Gear Solid V), so proceed at your own risk.
Welcome to the first episode of our Game of the Year discussions. Just like last year, we have a bunch of categories, so this is gonna take a few episodes to get through. For this part, we have Melissa, Luke, myself, and two guest-hosts--Shane and Zack--as our debate panel. We only manage to get through three categories, since Best New Female Character, Best New Male Character, and Best Ship end up being really, really hard to decide.
On this last Games Witticism of the year 2016, Melissa and I go in-depth on the fascinating changes Pillars of Eternity has made to the classic Infinity Engine RPG formula, Melissa recounts her adventure playing KOTOR 1 for the first time (as well as some lamenting about SWTOR), Luke explains what the deal with Crashmo and Pokemon Picross is, I briefly recommend Ori and the Blind Forest, and we all try to comprehend the true nature of Kirby: Terrifying Dismantler of the Patriarchy. And as has become tradition now, our spoiler-filled discussion at the end of the episode involves Fallout 4.
On this long-delayed episode of Games Witticism, Tyberius joins Melissa, Luke and I to talk about a new indie game called Cibele that reminds us all of our early AIM/MSN-era internet misadventures. I do SiberDude a solid and talk about how fun headshotting Nazis is in Sniper Elite 3, Fallout 4's gameplay gets discussed (don't worry, no story spoilers on this episode), and Luke makes me incredibly jealous by describing is wonderfully adorable experiences with Yoshi's Wooly World. Also, we get nostalgic for Achewood for some reason? I dunno, man.
Oh yeah, and Undertale is a thing that came out, I guess. Like we did for MGSV in our previous episode, we save our spoiler-filled discussion for the very end so y'all who haven't played it yet don't have to worry about missing anything if you turn it off.
Thanks to the recent release of MGSV: The Phantom Pain, we here at Games Witticism finally have an excuse to talk at length about Metal Gear. Before we dive into that, though, we discuss Mario Maker, the Total War franchise, and all the weird and morally questionable stuff you can get up to in Crusader Kings 2. You know, like killing your older son 'cuz he's just too dumb.
WARNING: we spoil absolutely everything about MGSV. So if that's a problem, stop the podcast as soon as we start talking about it. We don't talk about any other games after it, so you won't miss anything.
I'm not sure I've managed to have three Final Fantasy-related episode titles in a row on a podcast where I'm pretty much the only one who really likes Final Fantasy. I guess it just makes for good tangent material.
In any case, though I briefly talk about FF: Type-0, we spend most of our time attempting to discuss Metal Gear Solid V without getting too far into spoiler territory, learning about Shadowrun: Hong Kong, and explaining why Heroes of the Storm changes the MOBA gameplay just enough to finally make MOBAs fun for me again.
HOLY COW ANOTHER PODCAST EPISODE WITHIN A WEEK! IT'S A MIRACLE! And only happened because I forgot the previous episode even existed. Whatever, still counts. Anyway, we don't really talk about many topics this time. But oh boy, do we talk a lot about the few that we get to. Melissa and I give Luke plenty of time to take a nap as we talk about our experiences with Final Fantasy 14, and then we segue into feminism (as is our wont). After delving into some serious topics, I lighten the mood by recommending everyone check out Card Hunter, and Luke tries to sell Melissa on Bowser's Inside Story. Finally, we wrap up the podcast with a spoiler-filled discussion of Her Story.
Turn out I had an audio file sitting in my Recordings folder that I totally forgot about. So, uh, here it is! Like a month late. But hey, it's not like we ever talk about things in a timely fashion anyway. On this episode, we gush about Tales from the Borderlands, learn the difference between Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun Chronicles, discuss the weird mixed bag that is Batman: Arkham Knight, attempt to explain what the hell FRACT OSC is, and blow Melissa's mind with the ending of FF13: Lightning Returns.
Melissa and I kick off this episode by talking about Invisible Inc., because if we didn't do it immediately it'd get blown away by a typhoon of E3 opinions. Curious about one of Melissa's favorite erotic fiction authors? Wondering what--as the resident Final Fantasy nerd--I'm hoping to get out of the FFVII remake? Want to hear Luke's glee as his belief in Last Guardian is finally vindicated? You'll get all this and more as we wade through the highs and lows of the announcements.
Yes, you read that right. Our good friend Melissa joins us for this episode--and hopefully many more--to talk about Dangan Ronpa and the state of LGBTQ characters in video games and other media. The verdict: getting better, but still not too great. Then in our "review" segment, we give our opinions on XCOM, Massive Chalice, Invisible Inc., more Witcher 3, the experimentation allowed by the indie game scene, Battlefield Hardline, and Splatoon.
After a long delay that is largely due to us not playing very many games, Luke and Dustin return with special guests Jackson, John and Shane to talk (a whole lot) about Dangan Ronpa. There are hella spoilers for it (at least up to the penultimate chapter), so beware if you haven't played/finished it yet and care about the various twists and turns. Other topics of discussion include: Splatoon, Bloodborne, Tales of Xillia 2, Witcher 3, Destiny and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
On this episode of Games Witticism, we respond to our first listener question (hooray!) by talking about shooting people in the testicles. And speaking of gratuitous violence, we also get hype about Dragonball Xenoverse and get...uh...un-hype about Hotline Miami 2. Warning: we spoil everything about Hotline Miami 2. In our defense, you really shouldn't care. We're doing you a favor.
Ending music is "In the Face of Evil" from Hotline Miami 2.
After a short hiatus partly caused by laziness and partly by Luke and I not really playing many games, we've finally made another episode. But since talking exclusively about new games would be far too difficult, we mostly go back to our old watering hole of Metal Gear and anime bullshit (but I repeat myself).
It's just me and Luke on this episode of Games Witticism, because we went to PAX South! And we're recording in the hotel room! So there's much better audio quality and no crosstalk! The content is still total bullshit, but at least it's bullshit that sounds nice now. We talk about: a menagerie of tabletop games, Magic: the Gathering, PAX panels, cosplay, Puyo Puyo Tetris, alcohol, and how combining the latter two makes for a hell of a night.
The music clip at the beginning is "Face to Face" by Daft Punk, because Luke can't resist a good audio gag.
Once again, John, Huntera and I interrupt Luke's Metal Gear streaming to get some podcasting done. We discuss MGS: Peace Walker, MGR: Revengeance, The Banner Saga, Nuclear Throne, Bayonetta, and a sundry other items that we stumble upon with our tangents.
Ending music for this episode is "Heaven's Divide" from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
We talked for a long time, so we felt it was wise to split the whole thing into two parts. This is that second part. And, uh, that's it. What more do you want me to type here? Just listen to the thing already.
Winners in this episode are (from 1st place to 3rd place):
- Most Relaxing = Fantasy Life, Pushmo World, and A Sailor's Dream
- "I Should Not Have Played This" = Sonic Boom, Watch_Dogs, and Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns
- Best Indie Title = Shovel Knight, Divinity: Original Sin, and Jazzpunk
- Best Story = Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Wolf Among Us, and Banner Saga
- Best Moment = Using the Kinect to mime a tequila shot (D4), The song at the end of In Your Heart Shall Burn (Dragon Age: Inquisition), and the first jump scare (P.T.)
With 2014 now over, it was clear what we needed to do: make a list-type-thing. Rather than try to decide on a comprehensive "best games" list, however, we limited our arguments to very specific categories. This turns out to be a good thing, because by the time we get to Best Soundtrack it's clear that--at some point--we are going to declare war on each other.
Winners for this part (in order of 1st place to 3rd place):
- Best New Female Character = Cassandra (Dragon Age Inquisition), Red (Transistor), and Wii Fit Trainer (Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/WiiU
- Best New Male Character = Rook (Banner Saga), Dorian (Dragon Age Inquisition), and B.J. Blazkowicz (Wolfenstein: New Order)
- Best Soundtrack = Transistor, Super Smash Bros. for WiiU, and A Sailor's Dream
- Best Comedy = Drakengard 3, Goat Simulator, and Sunset Overdrive
- Biggest Surprise = P.T., Shadow of Mordor, and Goat Simulator
- Ubisoft of the Year = MGSV: Ground Zeroes, Assassin's Creed Unity, and Bravely Default
- Funded by the Feminist Illuminati = Never Alone, Drakengard 3, and Transistor
- Best Dumb Game = Bayonetta 2, Murdered: Soul Suspect, and Goat Simulator