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ARCHIVE 3 (09/09/2015 - 03/30/2016)
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03/30/2016 - "Episode 90: That's an Understatement" [Play Episode 90]
This week, we find out that Addie tried out a few M-rated games without anybody knowing. These include Call of Duty and/or Halo and/or Just Cause. It seems like she survived, though, and she finds it more amusing than I do. In my pre-recorded segments, I have a wrap-up for Salt and Sanctuary (PS4), followed by more brief thoughts on Tom Clancy's The Division (PS4). I also give a partial review of Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PS4), after making a good amount of progress in the game since starting it last week.

Early in the episode, we talk about an idea we've been brewing. With our 100th episode coming up in early June, we might do some kind of video game give-away. Maybe multiple games to multiple listeners. We aren't certain it'll happen at all, but we do give two separate code words in this episode, which would be collected and entered into the contest just before episode 100, just in case. Addie really wants to have the contest to reward loyal listeners, but I worry about the many problems such a contest might present. Maybe by next week, we'll make a decision.

In news, we talk about the free Xbox Games With Gold for April, plus many of the new game releases for this week. In listener email, we talk about our favorite games featuring VR as a story element, Day of the Tentacle and other adventure games, and the recent Fallout 4 Automatron DLC.

Mentioned in this episode:

Are "Let's Plays" responsible for low sales of That Dragon, Cancer?
April 2016 Xbox Games With Gold list at Major Nelson's Blog
Somebody created a 3D NES Emulator
It's almost here; Nintendo's Miitomo

Episode 90 is also available as an MP3 here.
03/23/2016 - "Episode 89: He Fights With Pork" [Play Episode 89]
Addie just got back from a week-long vacation, and boy are her arms tired. Wait, how does that go? She just flew in? Anyway, this Super Sleepycast starts out with our usual segments: news, new releases, and email. PSVR and the rumored Playstation 4.5 are topics of discussion, although it's mainly just me responding to long-time friend of the show Pawel while Addie tries not to doze off.

In my pre-recorded segment, I talk briefly about what I'm playing (PS1 game Suikoden II and Tom Clancy's The Division on PS4), and give opening thoughts on Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PS4). Then I have lengthy opening thoughts and a partial review of Salt and Sanctuary (PS4), which I've been obsessed with for the past several days.

Addie was too tired to participate in this week's top ten list (VR as portrayed in books, movies, and TV), but she insisted on playing a game of Video Game "What Am I?" She was pretty much too tired for that also, but we gave it a shot. We have no new Question of the Week, but write in anyway. Suggest a topic, share your thoughts on a prior topic, or just say hello.

Mentioned in this episode:

Zero Time Dilemma now has a trailer on YouTube
Here's an article about new PS4 game 101 Ways to Die

Episode 89 is also available as an MP3 here.
03/16/2016 - "Episode 88: Making News Fun" [Play Episode 88]
In an early topic of discussion this week, we talk about the just-announced price and release window for PlayStation VR (PSVR). We also go over this week's new game releases, followed by listener email. This includes thoughts on upcoming Fallout 4 DLC and Day of the Tentacle Remastered, and a bit more about Ether One and Gauntlet: Slayer Edition. Our question of the week for listeners is about your thoughts on remasters and re-releases of older games. Are you interested in playing games from fifteen or more years ago, if they're remastered and re-released? This has become pretty popular lately, with many more old games scheduled to make a comeback in the weeks and months ahead. Is this a good thing? Are there too many of them? Is it just a cash grab? Let us know by email (podcast@vggpodcast.com), and we'll read your comments on the show.

Mini-Gamers returns this week, with episode 9. Seven-year-old Heath chats with me about many of the games he played since last time. After that, Addie shows off iOS app IGun Pro HD with its realistic sound and light action. In my pre-recorded review segment, I cover Far Cry Primal (PS4) from start to finish.

Neither of us prepared a quiz this week. There was some confusion on that point, but a round of video game "Where Am I?" fills the void.

Mentioned in this episode:

An article about the PSVR price and release date at IGN

Episode 88 is also available as an MP3 here.
03/09/2016 - "Episode 87: Something Goes Horribly Wrong" [Play Episode 87]
We're back to our usual format with the usual segments this week. After news and new releases (where Addie once again misinforms listeners by making up her own game plots based on the game titles), we read listener email. We weren't creative enough to have a new top 10 list or a new Question of the Week, but you can always write in to answer any prior week's question.

I talk briefly about Gauntlet: Slayer Edition (PS4), which I played some with Heath (Addie's younger brother). Addie talks a little about Twisty Hollow (iOS), which she's enjoying on iPhone. In my pre-recorded segment, I still don't have much to say about Far Cry Primal (PS4), because I haven't played much more since last week. However, I talk at length about Saturday Morning RPG (Vita, PS4, PSTV), which I played and finished.

To wrap up, Addie presents me with a new quiz of her own design. This time, she picks one game (Broken Age) and asks me a series of trivia questions about the game and its development.

Mentioned in this episode:

Watch the official trailer for the Ghostbusters reboot on YouTube
The third Zero Escape game has an entry on Wikipedia
Addie is enjoying an iOS game called Twisty Hollow

Episode 87 is also available as an MP3 here.
03/02/2016 - "Episode 86: KAPOW!" [Play Episode 86]
Knowing that I would be out of town for work this week, I came up with a plan to avoid skipping an episode. We recorded part of it a week ago. This includes a news segment where we talk about the free PlayStation Plus games for March 2016, and new game releases for this week. Partway through that, Addie decided to make it fun for herself by telling me what she thought each new release was about, based on each game's title.

Since this was done right after last week's episode, there was no new listener email. We did play video game "What Am I?" after that, plus our first-ever video game "Where Am I?" As for the question of the week, since we had only just released the prior episode when we recorded this, we stuck with the same one. Tell us about your most interesting video game-themed dreams!

In the middle, I added two additional solo segments, which were recorded later. First, I give my brief opening thoughts about Far Cry Primal (PS4), and then a wrap-up on Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward (Vita). In the second segment, I talk about ten games that everybody but me seems to love. These are games that were very well-received, but just didn't resonate the same way for me.

In place of the self-made MIDI instrumentals that usually end each episode, this week's closing song is a catchy tune from one of the room escape sections in Virtue's Last Reward.

Mentioned in this episode:

Search aggregrated game review scores at GameRankings.com
March 2016 free PlayStation Plus games are announced

Episode 86 is also available as an MP3 here.
02/24/2016 - "Episode 85: Think Inside the Box" [Play Episode 85]
In news this week, we go over the free Xbox Games with Gold for next month, which were just announced. We also list and briefly describe quite a few new game releases for this week. In listener email, we read several answers to prior questions. In one, we're asked out thoughts on the pricing of digital versus physical games, and whether or not it really makes sense to pay full price for a game you may not even play for weeks or months, until after it's on sale or permanently discounted. Our question of the week for listeners is also inspired by this week's email. Tell us about your most interesting video game related dream. Have you ever stayed up way too late playing, and it invaded your dreams? Write in and let us know!

Addie and I talk about the strange competitive multiplayer game Starwhal (PS4), and stunt bike game Happy Wheels (iOS). In my pre-recorded segment, I have wrap-ups for Unravel (PS4), Three Fourths Home (PS4), and The Witness (PS4) -- yes, another wrap-up for it. I also give opening thoughts on Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward (Vita/PSTV).

This week's quiz is another video game "What Am I?" Listen as I descend into madness, attempting to guess the game item Addie has in mind. Not really, but it was certainly exhausting.

We may not have an episode next week, since I will be out of town during the normal recording time. However, we have a plan to record some of it early (the intro, new releases for next week, and probably a quiz), with me filling in a few other things via pre-recorded segments (including the Playstation Plus games for March, which should be announced by then). I may also add an additional solo segment or two -- some kind of feature or "top 10" list -- to make up the gap. It might result in a patchwork episode, but we'll see.

Mentioned in this episode:

An article about photogrammetry used in Ethan Carter
March 2016 Xbox Games with Gold are announced

Episode 85 is also available as an MP3 here.
02/17/2016 - "Episode 84: Top 10 Time Travel Games" [Play Episode 84]
It's video game overload this week, with my pre-recorded reviews of Firewatch (PS4), Gemini: Heroes Reborn (PS4), and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PS4). I also have a wrap-up on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and its Claptastic Voyage expansion (PS4) and intro thoughts on two games I only played briefly -- Blue Estate: The Game (PS4) and Three Fourths Home (PS4). Oh, and also a wrap-up on Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (DS).

But that's not all. Addie and I talk at length about Unravel (PS4), a cute but deceptively challenging new puzzle platformer we've both been playing. Later, Addie helps me list off my top ten favorite games featuring time travel as a story element and/or gameplay mechanic. We also play one round of video game "What Am I?" with Addie asking me the questions.

This week's new Question of the Week for listeners, suggested by Addie herself, is this. What are the coolest, best, most interesting easter eggs you've found in a game? It seems like we've talked about easter eggs before, but I don't remember it ever being a QotW, so that's what we want to know. Write in with your answers, and we'll read them on the show. Also, write in if you have a question to suggest, or just to say hi. This week was devoid of listener feedback entirely.

Mentioned in this episode:

Emily Short's review of Firewatch is here
A big list of time travel games on Wikipedia
All about the story (spoilers!) in DS game 999

Episode 84 is also available as an MP3 here.
02/10/2016 - "Episode 83: Stabby Stabby Slicey" [Play Episode 83]
This week, we wrap up the discussion on The Witness (PS4). Addie played quite a bit of the game too, but she may move on to other new releases (like Unravel) before getting back to it. She also finished Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery (Vita), which is a game she enjoyed enough to set her eyes on obtaining its many trophies. We'll see how that goes.

In my pre-recorded segment, after brief updates on 999 (DS) and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS4), I talk about Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (PS4) in what's intended as a spoiler-free review. It's not exactly a game, but it's not exactly not a game. Whatever it is, I liked it quite bit. Before all this, though, we start with news (mostly this week's new game releases) and listener feedback (in which we discuss podcast subscriber statistics and our thoughts on how long we might keep doing the show).

Our question of the week, suggested via Twitter by TyeDyeSheepFilms, is this: How much over $60 (or the standard price for a video game in your country) would you pay for a game you really really wanted? Then, to end the episode this week, we trade off quizzing each other in a couple rounds of video game "what am I?" — a new twist on a recent favorite.

Episode 83 is also available as an MP3 here.
02/03/2016 - "Episode 82: Does This People Have Sidekick?" [Play Episode 82]
After a rant about my disappointing experience trying to order extra copies of Saturday Morning RPG, we bring you the news. Or, at least, we bring you info about the free games in this month's PlayStation Plus and XBox Games With Gold line-ups, followed by new games that release this week. Two answers to last week's QotW about exercising as a gamer make up our listener feedback segment.

In my pre-recorded segment, I have an update on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS4) after finishing the main game and starting the Claptastic Voyage DLC. Then it's a spoiler-free review (or, at least, most of a review, since I haven't quite finished the game) of new Thekla Inc. game The Witness (PS4). Addie didn't have anything to talk about for our "What We're Playing" segment this week.

Without a quiz prepared, we play video game character "Who Am I?" not once but twice. I'm starting to think Addie is trolling me, although it's probably not intentional. She really enjoys it when I'm confused. It's almost like a comedy routine, set to the tune of her out-of-control laughter.

Mentioned in this episode:

February 2016 Playstation Plus games at the PlayStation Blog
February 2016 Games With Gold at Major Nelson's Blog
Warm-up exercises demonstrated on YouTube
Then stay in shape with a 7-Minute Work-Out

Episode 82 is also available as an MP3 here.
01/27/2016 - "Episode 81: Nonsense Words" [Play Episode 81]
News and email start this week's episode, as usual. This includes one answer to last week's QotW, which was about costumes and outfits in video games. This week's question involves fitness and exercise, as a gamer. What do you do to stay active and healthy, so that gaming doesn't completely take over?

My pre-recorded segment includes updates for Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors aka 999 (DS) and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS4). I feel like I'm close to finishing the latter, so next week's show may include a final wrap-up. After this, we talk about the competitive multiplayer "turf war" in Splatoon (WiiU), with Addie listing her five tips for the game. We wrap up with some chat about Dance Central Spotlight, centered around how likely it is that the same dozen or so songs over and over will eventually drive me batty.

Mentioned in this episode:

A bit about Gemini: Heroes Reborn on the PlayStation Blog
Saturday Morning RPG gets a very limited physical release

Episode 81 is also available as an MP3 here.
01/20/2016 - "Episode 80: Crazy Hip-Hop Dance Steps" [Play Episode 80]
In news and email this week, we talk about new game releases, Amazon's new 20% discount on all video game pre-orders for Prime members, the design philosophy behind arcade classics, gaming interests after your family grows, and even more anticipated games of 2016. After that, we talk a little about infinite runners (aka endless runners), since Addie has been playing Geometry Dash and Geometry Dash Meltdown on iPhone. My contributions are Gravity Guy (it's too hard) and an iOS runner based on Mirror's Edge (it's cool).

Then we talk about Dance Central Spotlight (Xbox One), which I recently started "playing" just to start getting in shape as a stepping stone to maybe an eventual, more organized exercise and weight loss plan. I may talk about the gameplay on a future episode, but this week it was just about exercising in general, and not being a lazy gamer.

In my pre-recorded segment, which is really just a part of our What We're Playing segment, but which I'm thinking of giving a name at some point (like maybe "Mike's Gaming Audio Blog," but I digress), I have brief updates for games I've recently played, including final thoughts on Tales From the Borderlands (PS4). Then, I have initial thoughts to talk about for two more -- 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (Nintendo DS) and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS4).

This week's Question of the Week for listeners is about clothes. What video game character or group of characters in a game had the best, or most unique, or perhaps most useful outfits? Addie gives a great answer with Costume Quest, but write in and let us know what you would pick.

Mentioned in this episode:

Video game release dates at VgReleaseList.com

Episode 80 is also available as an MP3 here.
01/13/2016 - "Episode 79: Ten Reasons to Own PSTV" [Play Episode 79]
After our usual off-topic bit, where Addie tries to convince me to get a Loot Crate subscription just for her, we talk about news and rumors regarding a few spring 2016 video game release dates. Oculus Rift has also been dated and priced, so we discuss that briefly too. Without any listener email this week, we then move quickly into our What We're Playing segment.

In my pre-recorded segment, I have a wrap-up on Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One) and opening spoiler-free thoughts on Tales from the Borderlands (PS4). Then it's back to Addie for her first-ever Retro Games With Addie segment. She starts with classic arcade game Centipede, which she played briefly on the Atari Anthology (PS2).

The rest of the episode is Vita and PSTV focused, with our top ten list of reasons to own a Playstation TV, followed by a quiz for Addie that's all about Vita game subtitles. With no email this week and no answers to last week's QotW, we ask again: do you have any 2016 gaming resolutions? Write in to let us know. Oh, and as usual, there's a short bit after this week's ending music, snipped from the main show, in which Addie confuses me once again.

Mentioned in this episode:

A full list of PSTV-compatible Vita games at Reviews2Go
Filter by PSTV-compatible Vita games at the Sony Store
Everything about arcade game Centipede at Wikipedia
Addie really wants her own Loot Crate

Episode 79 is also available as an MP3 here.
01/06/2016 - "Episode 78: The Pizza Man's Companion" [Play Episode 78]
We kick off our first episode of the year with an appropriate and timely new question of the week. What are your gaming resolutions for 2016? We discuss ours. Write in and let us know yours!

After news of Assassin's Creed and Watch_Dogs rumors, plus the free PlayStation plus games lineup for January, we read listener email. This includes more 2016 predictions in response to last week's QOTW, plus Pawel's top ten games of 2015. A little later, wedged between my two pre-recorded segments, I talk a little more about the scarcity of December's Nintendo-published action game Devil's Third, and the odd lack of PlayStation TV support for the second half of Broken Sword 5 on Vita.

In those pre-recorded segments, I start with a wrap-up for Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU). After those closing thoughts, I review Pneuma: Breath of Life (Xbox One). It's a short but cool first-person puzzle game similar in style to Portal and The Talos Principle. I also talk a little about my slow progress in Suikoden II (PS1 on PSTV), and my opening thoughts on Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One). What an awesome game.

My plan to quiz Addie about Vita game subtitles is cut short when she surprises me with a quiz of her own. Listen for that near the end of the episode and try to guess along.

Mentioned in this episode:

I keep forgetting to mention these 2016 predictions from NerdMuch
January 2016 free PlayStation Plus games at the PlayStation Blog
Assassin's Creed and Watch_Dogs rumors at IGN

Episode 78 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/30/2015 - "Episode 77: 2015 Top Games and 2016 Predictions" [Play Episode 77]
With our year-end wrap-up, we bring you our biggest episode ever. This certainly isn't normal. Next week should see the return of our usual "about one hour" episodes, not this "more than two hours" beast of a show that took forever to edit and post. This was mostly due to combining our 2015 wrap-up with our 2016 predictions and game hype, plus the inevitable extra-long discussions that result from having my friend Bill sit in as a third chair host.

Starting with our usual off-topic segment, Addie talks about her gaming-related Christmas gifts. Then Bill and I briefly discuss a book we both read recently -- Ernest Cline's follow-up to Ready Player One, called Armada. Before we get to our usual segments, we revisit our 2015 predictions to gauge how well each of us were able to see into the future of 2015. On the whole, fairly well as it turns out.

After news and listener email (which includes the first round of gaming predictions for 2016), we talk about what we're playing. I skipped myself this time, since it has mostly been Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU), which I hope to wrap up and talk about next week. For Addie, it's Lego Dimensions (PS4), which was a Christmas present for all three of them; speaking of which, Heath and Hadleigh include their Mini-Gamers Episode 8 this week, with what they're playing plus their own 2015 top ten lists.

Game discussion with Bill starts next, but spills over into several later segments. This includes more back-and-forth regarding Fallout 4 (PS4), a recap of my earlier disappointment over initially getting the bad ending in The Witcher III (PS4), Bill's thoughts on what makes good and bad achievements and trophies, and more. We also talk about our most anticipated games expected to release in 2016, plus our favorites from this year.

We wrap up the show with our 2016 gaming predictions. We'll look back at them a year from now, to see how well we did. If you want to add your own predictions to ours and those from this week's listener email, just write in! We'll read your predictions and emails next week.

Mentioned in this episode:

An article about the announced Coleco console at The Verge
Trailers for many 2016 games can be found at NerdMuch

Episode 77 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/23/2015 - "Episode 76: Luke Warm / Deer Antlers" [Play Episode 76]
Our spoiler-free thoughts on Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens start this episode's intro off-topic bit, followed by Rubik's Cube talk and Addie's speculation about the presents waiting for her to open on Christmas. We also talk more about our plans for next week's year-end episode, where we'll list our favorite games of 2015, tally the results of our 2015 predictions, and look ahead to 2016 with new predictions. Our Question of the Week is all about your gaming predictions for 2016. Write in and let us know, so we can include them in next week's show.

Addie talks a little about the three games she's been playing over the past week, in our What We're Playing segment. Those are Mario Kart (Wii), Castle Crashers (Xbox One), and Minecraft (the iOS version, oddly enough). In my pre-recorded segment, I wrap up my thoughts on Paranormal Pursuit (PS3) and KillZone: Mercenary (Vita on PSTV). I also talk a little more about Suikoden II (PS1 on PSTV), and basic impressions of a few other games I tried over the past week, including Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (PS1), Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (PS3), and JamesTown+ (PS4).

I also have an update and a variety of tips to offer regarding Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU) to conclude the pre-recorded segment. After that, I quiz Addie about video games that were December releases, since a quiz specifically about Christmas-themed games just never came together.

Several after-show bits are also included, which wraps up with a message from us all. I think Hadleigh is a little bit confused about how holidays work, but it's the thought that counts!

Mentioned in this episode:

All about the Justin Bailey code in Metroid
A list of Alawar games found at IGN

Episode 76 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/16/2015 - "Episode 75: The Bee Gees Air Rally" [Play Episode 75]
With 2015 coming to a close soon, we have a special end-of-year episode planned, probably in two weeks. The plan is to have our occassional third chair host Bill join us to talk about our favorite games of 2015, our prediction results for this year, what we're looking forward to in 2016, and our predictions for next year. In anticipation for next week's episode, where our Question of the Week is going to invite listeners to submit your own 2016 gaming predictions (anything from wild speculation to the safe bets), go ahead and start sending those in. We'll collect them now, to read on that episode in two weeks.

Anyway, the off-topic lead-up to news, email, and game discussion in this episode is a little longer than usual. Somehow, we get sidetracked talking about video game collecting and my collection in particular. Then in listener email, we read answers to recent Questions of the Week. In fact, this week's new question comes from the same email. What are the most memorable character names you've encountered in a video game? We share ours (although Addie has no opinion on the matter), but write in to let us know yours!

But that's not all. The same listener provided us with an element-themed quiz for this week, where we guess the real game title from the fake in ten sets featuring earth, air, fire, and water. We make our choices and compare the results toward the end of the episode.

In the middle, for What We're Playing, Addie talks some about math puzzle game Power Lines (PC). In my pre-recorded segment, I talk more about KillZone: Mercenary (Vita/PSTV), Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU), and the Alawar-developed point-and-click adventure game Paranormal Pursuit: The Gifted One (PS3).

Episode 75 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/09/2015 - "Episode 74: Annagragenie is a Real Character" [Play Episode 74]
In news this week, we talk about the 2015 Game Awards nominees and winners, and several game announcements that happened as part of the PlayStation Experience (PSX). In listener email, we read another answer to our recent Question of the Week, the merits of Fallout 4 versus The Witcher 3, PSX thoughts and questions, and a new Question of the Week. This week, we want to know if you've ever played a game that seemed like a perfect experience. What does that mean to you? No bugs? Challenging but fair? Continuous progression? If you have an example, write in and let us know!

Addie has two games to talk about this week. One is Akinator the Genie (iOS), which pits you against an AI in a game of twenty questions. The other, Sneak King (Xbox and Xbox 360), challenges you to present food stealthily to unsuspecting victims... er... recipients. This was one of three advertising games commissioned by Burger King™ around a decade ago, and it's surprisingly... well... interesting, if nothing else.

My pre-recorded segments start with a wrap-up on Fallout 4 (PS4) in which I give final thoughts and tips for earning some of the game's many trophies. I also have opening thoughts on the new RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU), and on another game that's been out for a couple years, KillZone: Mercenary (Vita/PSTV).

The episode wraps up with a new quiz. It's round-two for gaming lingo, with Addie trying to define and explain ten more video game terms. In total, it's a longer-than usual episode, and we hope you enjoy it!

Mentioned in this episode:

See my Fallout 4 Science Bobblehead glitch video on YouTube

2015 Game Award Winners listed at Polygon
2015 Game Award Nominees listed at Polygon
Some of this week's quiz uses terms found here
All the PlayStation Experience (PSX) news at IGN
More about the Psychonauts 2 announcement at IGN

Episode 74 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/02/2015 - "Episode 73: There Is No Perfect Question" [Play Episode 73]
Addie's back and ready to quiz me in two rounds of video game character "Who Am I" this week. First, though, we have news (this month's free PlayStation and Xbox games, if you subscribe to their premium memberships), listener email and comments, and our usual What We're Playing segment.

For Addie, that's more Plants vs. Zombies (Nook version) and Minecraft (PS4 version), plus a newfound interest in Mario Kart. She has a few tips for the Wii version. In my pre-recorded segment, I talk a little about Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3/Vita) before starting in with an update on Fallout 4 (PS4), which may now (tentatively) be my favorite game ever, replacing prior favorite Fallout 3. I also revisit Fallout sequel predictions covered in an episode earlier this year, to find out how much of the game lines up with what I and other listeners hoped and expected.

Mentioned in this episode:

Collector's Editions for PS3/PS4/Vita games at NIS America
December 2015 free Xbox Games With Gold at Major Nelson's Blog
December 2015 free PlayStation Plus games at the PlayStation Blog

Episode 73 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/25/2015 - "Episode 72: Really Weird, Dumb Poetry" [Play Episode 72]
It was bound to happen sooner or later, but Addie was too sick to record this episode. She's here for a brief, raspy-voiced hello at the start, after which it becomes a solo effort. A big portion of this episode is listener email. This includes more answers to our recent Questions of the Week, Bill's updated thoughts about the DualShock 4 controller (as a new PS4 owner), more feedback about Fallout 4, another set of possible questions for a future quiz, a new Star Wars Battlefront podcast hosted by friends of the show at TyeDyeSheepFilms, a question about The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, an observation about the skill system in The Witcher 3, and a brand new Question of the Week.

In my pre-recorded segments, I give a review of Dead Nation (Vita version -- also available on PS3 and PS4), and later, my ongoing thoughts about Fallout 4 (PS4), which includes a quick primer on just what the Fallout series is all about.

If you have an answer for this week's Question of the Week, write in and let us know. If you had to choose just one game on one console, what would the game/console be, and why? Since Addie was absent, she'll be able to answer next week as well, when we hopefully return to our usual dual-host format.

Mentioned in this episode:

A page about the game Dead Nation at Wikipedia
An article about the PS4 getting PS2 emulation, at IGN
This year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals collected at IGN
Listeners at TyeDyeSheepFilms have started a Battlefront podcast

Episode 72 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/18/2015 - "Episode 71: We Value Your Opinion" [Play Episode 71]
A tired daughter (it's after bedtime). A busy dad (too much work). An excited friend (owner of a brand new PS4). That's the line-up for this week's episode of Video Game Generations, when Bill joins us to talk about his initial impressions of the Playstation 4 (as a long-time Xbox 360 user).

Early in the show, I talk about some recent additions to my video game collection, and a little about the high prices of rare NES cartridges. Bill and I talk about The Walking Dead and his recent interest in graphic novels and comics like the Fables series. In news, we talk about the new Xbox One dashboard and backwards compatibility, plus a reminder that Black Friday deals are just around the corner.

In our What We're Playing segment, Addie talks about Minecraft (PS4). We also share more opinions about The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (3DS), which we tried again recently. After my pre-recorded segment (a wrap-up on Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair for Vita), Bill talks briefly about several games he finished since his last appearance on the podcast, including Thief (Xbox 360), Homefront (Xbox 360), Spec Ops: The Line (Xbox 360), Lara Croft Go (Mobile), and The Wolf Among Us (Xbox 360). Following that, we have a lengthy discussion about Fallout 4 (PS4). We talk about what we like and what we don't, what's changed since Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and various concerns about the game sent in by friend and long-time listener Pawel. We're still both relatively early in the game, so I'll probably have more to say in pre-recorded segments on future episodes.

Bill makes an exit before the episode is over, so Addie is left alone to guess the answer in this week's game of "Who Am I?" We have no new listener Question of the Week, but feel free to answer any of the prior weeks' questions, or just write in with anything you think would be interesting for us to read and discuss on the show.

Episode 71 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/11/2015 - "Episode 70: I'm a Public Menace" [Play Episode 70]
To make up for last week's absent pre-recorded segment, I go completely overboard this time with what might be the longest monologue in recorded history. It's mostly a wrap-up and review of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (PS4), although it starts with a quick update on Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (Vita). Addie is excited to talk about Gravity Rush (Vita), which she's been playing over the past week. This is sandwiched between news and email at the start (where our friend Jon of the One Track Gamers podcast writes in to answer last week's question for listeners) and a quiz at the end (where, being unprepared again, we play another game of "Who Am I?").

In news, we talk about Xbox One backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games, which goes live for everybody later this week. Also, last week's Question of the Week carries over once more. Write in and let us know if you've ever been so wrapped up in a game that it almost felt like you were still playing, even when you weren't!

Mentioned in this episode:

A list of Xbox 360 backwards compatible games on Xbox One at IGN

Episode 70 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/04/2015 - "Episode 69: A Vampire and a Naked Guy" [Play Episode 69]
For the first time in a long time, I have no pre-recorded segment this week. This is where I traditionally talk about the games I'm playing, usually in excessive detail (although I try to stay spoiler-free). My gaming time was more limited this week, but Addie comes to the rescue to talk about several games she's been playing. These include Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery (Vita), Doki Doki Universe (Vita), Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (PS3), and Machinarium (Vita). We also have a new episode of Mini-Gamers featuring twins Heath and Hadleigh, with some back-and-forth about Rabbids Rumble (3DS), Ben 10 Galactic Racing (DS), Ultratron (PS4), Kingdom Hearts 3D (3DS), Kingdom Hearts 352/8 Days (DS), and more.

Before that, it's listener email. Addie and I take turns reading this week's feedback regarding prior weeks' questions (most anticipated games, the voice actors' union, and more). This also includes a few game recommendations, and the inspiration for this week's QOTW. Have you ever been so wrapped up in a game that it somehow spilled over into real life? One listener gives us a great example, and then we discuss our own. Write in and let us know if you've ever -- even for just a moment -- let some aspect of a game you've been playing slip through into real life.

Without a quiz prepared this week, we take the lazy road and play a game of "Who Am I?" It's a little like Twenty Questions with yes/no answers, but without the limit. Addie tries to guess what video game character I am, near the end of this episode.

Mentioned in this episode:

Check out the official site for Her Story
You can find Save the Date at the IFDB

November 2015 Games With Gold detailed at the Xbox Wire
November 2015 Playstation Plus games listed at the PlayStation Blog

Episode 69 is also available as an MP3 here.
10/28/2015 - "Episode 68: Put a Head On Display" [Play Episode 68]
Halloween is almost here, and to celebrate, how about playing a browser-based text adventure game I wrote a couple of years ago? It's called Hallowmoor, and can be found at the link below.

Listener email makes up a big part of this week's episode. This includes another recommendation for a great turn-based strategy game, answers to prior questions of the week, a recommendation for the Nintendo Quest documentary, questions about the best tools and tutorials for game development, and our most anticipated upcoming games. We also have a new quiz this week, in which Addie tries to define various game-related terms.

In my pre-recorded segments, I have a brief update on Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (Vita), wrap-ups for Life is Strange: Episode 5 (PS4) and The Talos Principle (PS4), and my opening thoughts on Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (PS4). Addie hopes to play more this week, but didn't have anything to discuss this time around.

Mentioned in this episode:

Play my Halloween-themed adventure game Hallowmoor

Trailer for Quantic Dream's Detroit: Become Human on YouTube
Make your own Nintendo 3DS games using Smile BASIC
Check our our listener TyeDyeSheepFilms on YouTube
Find out more about the documentary Nintendo Quest
Find pros and cons of game development tools here

Game jargon for this week's quiz came from here
   and here and here and here

Episode 68 is also available as an MP3 here.
10/21/2015 - "Episode 67: The Three-Save Pact" [Play Episode 67]
Several listeners wrote in this week to answer our last two Questions of the Week. They also suggest new segments we might try on future episodes, so we're giving it all some thought. One includes an idea for a future quiz, which we might have done this week except that Addie came prepared with a "back-of-the-box challenge" for me. We do that late in the episode.

News gets sidetracked when I start explaining the potential voice actors' strike to Addie. This also makes the foundation for our new Question of the Week. Basically, what's your take on the requests (demands?) from their union (SAG-AFTRA) as part of their contract negotiations with publishers/developers? Does all of it seem fair, or are they valuing their own contributions above the hard work that so many others provide in game development?

Heath's Mini-Gamers segment returns after a long break with Episode 6. This includes his rapid-fire thoughts on Yoshi's Woolly World (WiiU), Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash (3DS), and more. Addie also has her own opening thoughts about Yoshi's Woolly World, and about The Talos Principle (PS4). After this, in my pre-recorded segment, I go into more details (as spoiler-free as I can make it) about the general gameplay and puzzle structure in The Talos Principle.

Closing out the episode is one of the many calming, interesting songs from The Talos Principle soundtrack. So kick back for this longer-than-normal episode of Video Game Generations.

Mentioned in this episode:

We recently chatted with the hosts of XP Earned

Valkyria Chronicles on Wikipedia
NES games emulated online at 8BBIT
Soundtrack to The Talos Principle on YouTube
Track 04, playing at the end of this episode on YouTube

Episode 67 is also available as an MP3 here.
10/14/2015 - "Episode 66: Addie Knows Everything" [Play Episode 66]
This week sees the one-time return of a previously-abandoned segment, after we fail to have a quiz prepared. Before that, it's news, listener feedback, and a new Question of the Week. If you had to live in the game world of the last game you played, would you survive? Would it be a nightmare? Just how doomed would you be?

Addie had no games to talk about this week, but in my pre-recorded segments I have a wrap-up for Resident Evil Revelations 2 (PS4), an update on Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (Vita), and a review of Lords of the Fallen (PS4), which I played through to completion over my extended holiday weekend. This week's ending music is from the theme to Lords of the Fallen, which you can also find on YouTube at the link below.

Mentioned in this episode:

The "MacGuffin" explained at Wikipedia
Lords of the Fallen main theme on YouTube
The annual Interactive Fiction Competition

Episode 66 is also available as an MP3 here.
10/07/2015 - "Episode 65: Drumming With Forks" [Play Episode 65]
It's time again for another episode of Video Game Generations. This week, after a little news (which includes the October free games lineup for PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games With Gold) and listener email, we turn our attention to what we're playing. For Addie, it's mostly Rock Band 2 (Xbox 360), but she also tried a new board game-like mode in the updated version of Castle Crashers (Xbox One). My pre-recorded segments include opening thoughts on Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (Vita), a wrap-up on Resident Evil Remake HD (PS4), and quite a bit of detail on the gameplay in Resident Evil Revelations 2 (PS4), which I'm very much enjoying.

This week's quiz challenges Addie (and listeners) to guess the console family that's home to each of twenty games of a series; Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation? As for a Question of the Week for listeners, we're sticking with what we asked last week. Is there a well-known landmark kind of game that you've just never played? Write in and let us know what major or historically important game you've never actually played, and whether or not you think you ever will.

Mentioned in this episode:

Addie's lullaby music came from Overclocked Remix
The October 2015 free games lineup for PlayStation Plus
The October 2015 free games lineup for Xbox Games With Gold

Episode 65 is also available as an MP3 here.
09/30/2015 - "Episode 64: Nooks, Books, Plants, Zombies" [Play Episode 64]
Not featured in this week's episode are the October 2015 free Games with Gold and Playstation Plus offerings. I forgot to look them up, but we'll do that next time. The PS Plus games weren't announced until after we recorded, I think, so I at least deserve a pass for those. What is featured includes a little news, lots of listener email answering prior weeks' questions, and a new quiz. This time, Addie must guess "Game or Game Studio" with a bonus point possible for each of the twenty questions.

In game chat, we talk a little more about Super Mario Maker (WiiU), and Addie has been playing a lot of Plants vs. Zombies on her Nook. In my two separate pre-recorded segments, I have a wrap-up for Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (Vita), a review of inFamous: First Light (PS4), and lengthy opening thoughts on Resident Evil HD (PS4). This game also inspires our Question of the Week. Is there a well-known landmark kind of game that you've just never played? Resident Evil was a big one missing from my gaming history, but there are others. Write in and let us know yours!

This week's ending music comes from the Plants vs. Zombies music video, which sort of gets stuck in your head. If you've never heard this song before, then now's your chance. But don't say I didn't warn you.

Mentioned in this episode:

How multiplayer share-play works in Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes
Get the Plants vs. Zombies song stuck in your head on YouTube

Episode 64 is also available as an MP3 here.
09/23/2015 - "Episode 63: Fall 2015 Games Preview" [Play Episode 63]
Our feature this week is all about the games releasing in the final few months of 2015. Afterwards, we talk a little about which ones we're most excited for. Write in and let us know what game you're most looking forward to in the remainder of 2015, and why.

Before all of that, one listener wants to know our opinions on limited edition consoles. That's also our second Question of the Week for listeners. Write in and let us know how you feel about limited edition consoles. Do you own one? Do you collect them? If you don't have an opinion on any of these things, just write in with feedback about anything else we've discussed, or start a new topic.

No quiz this week, but we have plenty of game talk. Addie is still preparing for a Minecraft battle against a friend, plus she gives her initial impressions of Max and the Curse of Brotherhood (Xbox One). It was released several months ago, and younger brother Heath has played it quite a bit, but it was a first for Addie. In my pre-recorded segment, I have a spoiler-free wrap-up for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) and I go into detail about the gameplay mechanics of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (Vita), which I've been hooked on for the past two weeks.

We didn't get to have a Super Mario Maker marathon like we planned, but Heath did complete a simple level he calls "Mine in the dark." It's no award-winner, and is really simplistic overall, but he's proud of it nonetheless. In the game, its ID is A679-0000-0058-552B.

Mentioned in this episode:

An article about the ending of Metal Gear Solid V at Kotaku
An article about many of the cool details in MGS V at IGN

IGN's list of Fall 2015 game releases
IGN's list of all upcoming game releases
A list of all 2015 game releases at Game Informer

Episode 63 is also available as an MP3 here.
09/16/2015 - "Episode 62: A Skinny Mushroom" [Play Episode 62]
This week's episode is a little on the shorter side at just over fifty minutes. We didn't have a news segment this week, and our only real tangent topic was about how to properly pronounce .GIF. We did get one response to last week's listener question -- tell us about your most recent gaming marathon -- so we're opting to leave that out there for one more week in case other listeners would like to write in about it.

Late in the episode, Addie and I take the Ultimate PlayStation Quiz. I think we would have done much better given a little more time to read, think, and discuss the possible answers. Before that, in our What We're Playing segment, we have initial thoughts on the new WiiU exclusive Super Mario Maker. My impressions are from watching Addie's younger brother Heath try it out briefly. Oh, and speaking of Heath, he may be back next week with a new episode of Mini-Gamers, but that's also absent this week.

Addie also has a story to tell about her own weekend gaming marathon, where she and a friend are building rival houses in Minecraft (Xbox 360) with a plan to declare war on each other in survival mode soon. For me, it was more Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4), DanganRonpa (Vita), and a review of an interactive fiction game (or "text adventure") called PataNoir (available free on PC, and very cheap on iOS or Android).

Mentioned in this episode:

Check out the official website for text game PataNoir
There's also a music video for PataNoir on YouTube
The right way to say ".GIF" according to its creator
The Ultimate Playstation Quiz - easy version
The Ultimate Playstation Quiz - hard version

Episode 62 is also available as an MP3 here.
09/09/2015 - "Episode 61: Elmer Fudd, Game Developer" [Play Episode 61]
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) dominates this week's pre-recorded review segment. I still have many hours yet to play, but my opening thoughts are highly favorable. Before this, I give a brief wrap-up on Adventures of Pip (PS4) after earning all its trophies, and my brief opening thoughts on DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (PlayStation Vita). Addie talks a bit about A World of Keflings (Xbox 360), and together we wrap up discussion on Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PS4), after finishing it this past weekend.

Before all that, we have listener email and some news, which includes an ongoing sale of games on the PlayStation Network and a few recent game announcements. Later, Addie tries to guess "cartoon character or video game developer" in this week's quiz. We're also looking for answers to this week's listener question. Is there a game you had fun binge-playing? For instance, some weekend gaming marathon or day-and-night play of some game over a holiday break or while sick at home? Email us and tell us about it!

Also, if you haven't already rated and reviewed us on iTunes or Stitcher, we'd really, really appreciate it. It would help our visibility tremendously -- or so I've heard -- if we could get more ratings. I've seen other podcasts go from obscure to insanely popular over a matter of days or weeks, and even though we're not the greatest show out there in podcast land, I don't think we're the worst. :)

Mentioned in this episode:

More Nintendo NX rumors at SegmentNext.com
Metal Gear Solid's "Big Boss" storyline recapped in five minutes at IGN

Episode 61 is also available as an MP3 here.
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