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ARCHIVE 5 (11/02/2016 - 05/10/2017)
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05/10/2017 - Episode 148: All Good Things [Play Episode 148]
It's the end of an era, but maybe the start of something new. This version of the Video Game Generations Podcast will come to an end in two weeks, with episode 150. Addie is old enough now that her priorities have changed, and Heath isn't quite old enough to take it seriously, contribute in a meaningful way, or even just sit still for an hour. The future is uncertain, but I hope to keep the podcast alive in some form. I may do occassional episodes that are entirely made up of my pre-recorded reviews for multiple games, or maybe we'll do a bonus special episode once in a while. The goal, though, is to put the current format on pause for some period of time, until Heath is old enough to make it work. Of course, that assumes he'll still want to, when that time comes.

He's here this week, and probably next, but Addie should be back for episode 150. If you have email or voice mail (using our SpeakPipe link or by sending your own .MP3 file) for our "final" episode, be sure to get it to us by May 22nd, prior to our recording on May 23rd.

It's a shorter episode this week, because I'm still not finished with Persona 5 (PS4). I talk a little about it this week, but I'm saving most of my thoughts for the review. News consists of this week's new game releases. Then I read an email regarding the differences in walking simulators, Dreamfall Chapters impressions, and the PSVR-compatible game GNOG.

My plan for this week's feature segment is a little rushed, but it involves Game Informer's top 100 RPGs of all time in their latest issue. I mention just the ones I played until reaching the top 10. I had intended to say more about each game, but by that point in the show, Heath was too restless for that.

The password for this week's addition to the Steam codes page is given out very late in the episode. Five games have been added this week, and as always, the first first listener to redeem them gets them. Up for grabs are Sudeki, Jurassic Park: The Game, Candle, Guardians of Victoria and ZombieCarz. Quite the eclectic mix.

Mentioned in this episode:

Pawel's GNOG trophy guide is on PSNProfiles

Episode 148 is also available as an MP3 here.
05/04/2017 - Episode 147: Just Roll With It [Play Episode 147]
May the Fourth be with you! It sure wasn't with us, in our first attempt to record on the usual night. I thought it would be a good idea to try dual co-hosts with Addie being unavailable, so Tuesday night, both Heath and Hadleigh sat with me in what I can only describe as a fiasco to end all fiascos. Stay tuned after the ending music for a few select bits from that first attempt. The rest of those painful twelve minutes will most likely remain unreleased, since there was a good amount of yelling, complaining, and silliness in general.

In our second attempt, Heath and I stick to the plan. Without a well-intentioned sibling for him to argue with and complain about, it went better. I talk a little about last week's emails to follow up on a couple things, and then we do the Steam code give-away for Child Phobia: Nightcoming Fears and Her Story.

After news, new releases, and the free Xbox and Playstation game line-ups for May, we talk about what we're playing. I skipped Persona 5 this week, even though I put a lot more time into it. We start with my pre-recorded review segment where I talk about Late Shift (PS4) and What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4) -- spoiler-free reviews for both of them. Then, we talk about Heath's first experience with Virtual Reality (VR) last weekend, and a few games he's playing. These include Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch), C.A.T.S. - Crash Arena Turbo Stars (iOS), King of Thieves (iOS), and more. It's mainly just a brief mention of each.

This week's feature is something a little different. Because I've been in an "interview" mindset lately, I decided to interview Heath for the open (and entirely made-up) "gamer" position. Questions include trivia/facts, personal preferences, and more. Some of his answers surprised even me.

Mentioned in this episode:

There's a Spring Clearance Sale at Square Enix

Episode 147 is also available as an MP3 here.
04/26/2017 - Episode 146: Winky Faces [Play Episode 146]
Something weird happened with the audio for this week's podcast. I use a Polycom speaker phone currently (maybe now's a good time to get a real mic), and something was wrong with it this time. Maybe the handset wasn't on right, or there was an issue due to prior use that caused some distortion and feedback or something. The problem wasn't evident until listening back and editing, so the entire episode is like that. Luckily, the noise removal feature in Audacity helped quite a bit, making the audio a little more robotic and hollow but taking care of most of the distortion and background static. You may still notice it, especially if listening with headphones, but all things considered, it could have been a lot worse.

Plenty of new game releases make up this week's news segment. After that, we read several really great emails from listeners. Topics include Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight, a Double Fine display at the game exhibition in Hamburg, the Nintendo SNES-Mini rumor, the portability of digital downloads on the Nintendo Switch, and what happens when the online servers for games are shut down. That last topic was supposed to be more about the lack of fanfare when the Disney Infinity servers were taken down, but I somehow manage to turn it into a rant about online services in general, and my fears about digital-only content and game patches when current-gen and last-gen servers are eventually shuttered.

It seems I'm nowhere close to finishing Persona 5 yet (PS4), or Syberia 2 (PS3) for that matter, so I talk a little about both games, but without a pre-recorded review segment this week. In particular, I talk about the small-scale criticism about P5's English translation, and my thoughts on the puzzle design in S2.

Addie talks a little about Little Alchemy (iOS) and Clash Royale (iOS), with me asking questions to better understand what she's playing. Then in our final segment, I count down my personal Top 10 List of the games released this year (so far) that have already hit my ever-growing backlog. The point here is to maybe provide some insight on a few games I'll be playing and talking about in the weeks to come.

Steam codes given away this week are Dexodonex, Operation KREEP, and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2. If you're the first listener to enter this week's password (given out during the show) into the box near the bottom of our website's main page, you can redeem these codes on Steam. It never hurts to check, even if you're a few days late. Sometimes, the codes go unclaimed longer than you might expect.

Episode 146 is also available as an MP3 here.
04/19/2017 - Episode 145: Stop Copying Me [Play Episode 145]
Heath fills in for Addie once again in this week's episode. The neighbor's lawn mower fills in as an annoying bit of bad luck. We don't have a sound-proof recording studio or anything, unfortunately, so I apologize in advance for the droning buzz that can be heard through most of the show. At least my pre-recorded segment, with a spoiler-free review of Mass Effect: Andromeda (PS4), isn't affected by that.

In this episode, I rant about YouTube's cryptic "inappropriate content" complaint about one of our recent episodes, which resulted in its removal from YouTube. Even after disputing it, an uninformative and unhelpful cookie-cutter response was the only result. Since our content doesn't actually voilate their content policy, and no specifics were given, it's impossible to continue uploading to YouTube because I have no idea what the issue was. As a result, we're no longer on YouTube. My first thought was the ending music in that episode (from Blaster Master Zero), but I generally only include stuff that others have set a precedent by uploading already. Even so, a "copyright strike" is an entirely different thing on YouTube, so the specifics of what went wrong may forever remain a mystery.

After news and new releases, I include my previously-mentioned pre-recorded review. We had no email this week, which may have been for the best, since Heath was very anxious to move ahead into game discussion. Much of his gaming time has been spent on the Nintendo Switch, so he talks a little about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) and Snake Pass (Switch). Most of the discussion is about Lego City Undercover (Switch), which prompts us to talk about collectibles and completion percentages in games.

This week's Steam code give-aways include Puzzle Agent, Puzzle Agent 2, and The Silent Age. The ending music is the Mass Effect: Andromeda title theme.

Episode 145 is also available as an MP3 here.
04/12/2017 - Episode 144: Regular Old Ganon [Play Episode 144]
Game code give-aways have been streamlined (even though you wouldn't know it from my lengthy explanation in this episode). Instead of solving clues and filling in the blanks, just listen for the password each week, and enter it in the box near the bottom of our main page (www.vggpodcast.com). This week, we're giving away one copy of Christopher Brookmyre's Bedlam and a copy of Lichdom: Battlemage, both on Steam. Plus, last week's codes are still available, as far as we know.

Addie doesn't have much to say about the Xbox Scorpio announcement, but I share my thoughts during our news segment. After that, she helps me with this week's list of new game releases. In email, I talk more about the Mass Effect: Andromeda faces/animation controversy (a topic that comes up again later in my pre-recorded segment), math, and Pawel's thoughts on Psychonauts and Blackwood Crossing.

Also in my pre-recorded segment, I give first impressions of Thief Town (PS4) and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (PS4), plus a brief update on my progress in Syberia II (PS3) and Mass Effect: Andromeda (PS4). Being busy as usual, Addie played very little and doesn't really have anything to add. In fact, this episode may be a bit more monolouge-y than usual.

Mentioned in this episode:

Thief Town on PSN
Psychonauts on Wikipedia
Late Shift (game trailer) on YouTube
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime on PSN
Blackwood Crossing (game trailer) on YouTube

Episode 144 is also available as an MP3 here.
04/05/2017 - Episode 143: What's Old Is New Again [Play Episode 143]
This week's free Steam codes are for Just a Cleric, Just Bones, and Monster RPG 2. As always, if you're the first listener to fill in the blanks using show-related clues, you can redeem one or two or even all three of these on Steam. Sometimes the codes don't get redeemed for days or weeks, so it's always worth checking them out, just in case.

This week's news is a recap of April's free PlayStation Plus games, and the games releasing this week for various platforms. In email, listeners share opinions about several games, including Limbo, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, Guacamelee, TellTale's Batman, Night in the Woods, and L.A. Noir.

Blaster Master Zero (Switch) gets a review in my pre-recorded segment. After that, Addie talks a little about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) and I Love Hue (iOS), which is her Mobile Game of the Week.

Without adequate time to prepare, we have no top ten list or quiz this week. But we do have some Blaster Master Zero music. The show ends with the title theme and a sampling of early level music in all its retro-inspired glory.

Episode 143 is also available as an MP3 here.
03/29/2017 - Episode 142: It's Another Episode [Play Episode 142]
Even though it's still March, I think Addie considers this our April 1st episode. Rather than spoil anything, I'll just leave it at that.

After news and new releases, an email from Pawel gives us a chance to talk briefly about Addie's role as co-host. Nothing is decided, and she's here for now, but the time may come when it's just me and Heath, as Addie's priorities change with school, friends, and various other activities and interests. The same email also gives me a chance to disagree with him about Horizon: Zero Dawn.

I have a brief update on Blaster Master Zero (Switch) and opening thoughts on Mass Effect: Andromeda (PS4). In my pre-recorded segment, I review Nier: Automata (PS4). After that, Addie has a short game review of her own. Then, in a new quiz, I challenge her to name the exclusive gaming platform (Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo) associated with each of sixteen iconic game characters. Bonus points are awarded if she can name a game featuring that character. Listeners can play along too.

Steam game codes given away this week are Time Mysteries: Inheritance Remastered and Broken Sword 1: Director's Cut. As always, the first person to fill in the blanks using simple show-related clues (the answers to which can be found at our website) gets one or both of these free games.

The ending music this week is the amusement park theme from Nier: Automata.

Episode 142 is also available as an MP3 here.
03/22/2017 - Episode 141: Just Don't [Play Episode 141]
Addie's back, but it's our shortest episode ever due to limited prep time and Addie getting a bit sick. I have no pre-recorded review segment this week, but I talk a little more about Blaster Master Zero (Switch) and my opening thoughts on NieR: Automata (PS4). Addie's gaming time was spent mainly on the 3DS with Stretchmo and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, but she also played a bit of Castle Crashers (Xbox 360) with Heath and Hadleigh.

In email, we talk about the ways we relate the similarities in games, losing cohesive storytelling in open world games, and the possibility of Horizon or Zelda copycats after the recent success of those games. That's after news and new releases.

Two Steam game codes are given away early in the show. These are Poker Night at the Inventory and Poker Night 2. If you're the first listener to solve the simple clues to fill in the blanks, you can redeem these PC games on Steam. Last week's Steam codes may still be available too, since I haven't received word yet that they're redeemed (as of this posting).

Episode 141 is also available as an MP3 here.
03/16/2017 - Episode 140: Superboss [Play Episode 140]
Heath returns again to guest-host in Addie's place, due to yet another scheduling conflict. We're trying to get things back on track, though. Next week, the plan is to return to our normal Tuesday night recording, with Addie back on the show. Somehow, the show runs longer with Heath. Keeping him focused on the subject at hand has been a challange.

This week, we talk about the upcoming PLAY Collective games on PS4, this week's new releases, more on the Nintendo Switch and upgrading your memory card, listener feedback about Horizon: Zero Dawn, and thoughts on recent events involving the co-host of a much more popular podcast.

In my pre-recorded segment, I give opening impressions of Blaster Master Zero (Switch) and a review of Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) -- without spoilers, of course. Heath talks briefly about everything he's playing, including Super Bomberman R (Switch), Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 (PS4), Tearaway Unfolded (PS4), Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch), and Snipper Clips (Switch).

In this week's top ten list, I count down my favorite 80's movies, but with one constraint. I choose movies that also happened to have an associated video game. This excludes many of my 80's favorites, but those are mentioned in a lengthy honorable mentions section.

Two Steam game codes are given away early in the show. These are Rest in Peace and the classic puzzle-platformer Limbo. If you're the first listener to solve the simple clues to fill in the blanks, you can redeem these PC games on Steam. And finally, the ending music this week is from Horizon's title theme. Enjoy!

Episode 140 is also available as an MP3 here.
03/09/2017 - Episode 139: No One Can Hear You Nod [Play Episode 139]
In a surprise twist, Addie had a second scheduling conflict on our alternate recording night, so younger brother Heath fills in as a guest host. It looks like next week will also be one day late, before we're back to our normal schedule of releasing on Wednesday, but at least Addie should be back to her regular hosting duties then.

With Heath here, though, we talk about the Nintendo Switch late in the show. We share our thoughts and early impressions of the new handheld/home hybrid console. Heath talks a little about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and I try to steer him clear of anything that might be a spoiler. Before that, my pre-recorded segment is a few opening thoughts on Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4). I'm saving a more in-depth review of the game until I finish it, hopefully by next week.

For this week's new game releases, Heath tries to guess what each game is about. There's some confusion, though, because at one point he thinks he's supposed to predict what it is without even hearing the title. After that, email dominates the show in what's probably this week's longest segment. Of all the weeks to get a whopping five emails from listeners -- some with questions specifically to Addie -- it's the one week she isn't here. Topics are interesting and varied, including recent movie recommendations, how we recommend games based on similarities to other games, a different take on Horizon: Zero Dawn, a recommendation for Super Mario 3D Land (3DS), what age is right for kids to start learning games with more advanced mechanics, the paradox that is game developer Spiders, and a mini-review of the recently-released game Night in the Woods.

This week's Steam game give-away, early in the show, is for TellTale's The Wolf Among Us. Solve the clue to be the first listener to redeem and win the code.

Episode 139 is also available as an MP3 here.
03/02/2017 - Episode 138: A Good Problem to Have [Play Episode 138]
With the Nintendo Switch releasing tomorrow, we combine a history lesson with this week's top ten list to bring you the ten best launch games on Nintendo consoles. They're ranked based on the one best game per console launch, so a weak launch might still rank highly if it included one stellar title. That's up late in the show.

Before that, email includes feedback about last week's list of hypothetical game character cross-overs, Gravity Rush 2, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, and a preemtive Nintendo friend request for when Mario Kart releases on the Switch.

News includes this week's new game releases (half of those being Switch launch titles) and the free games line-up for Xbox Gold and PlayStation Plus. In gaming updates, Addie has very little to say about what she played (Splatoon on Wii U and The Last Tinker on PS4). My pre-recorded segment includes a wrap-up for Nioh (PS4) after I managed to finish it late last week, and a spoiler-free review of the Portal-inspired first person puzzle game The Turing Test (PS4).

Steam game codes given away this week are The Last Tinker: City of Colors and S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl. Listen for that early in the episode and solve the clues to be the first person to claim the codes on Steam. The ending music this week is from a hidden radio in The Turing Test.

Mentioned in this episode:

The history of console launch games at Wikipedia

Episode 138 is also available as an MP3 here.
02/23/2017 - Episode 137: Fighting Band Nerds [Play Episode 137]
Topics from email this week include Sort the Court from Ludum Dare 34, Picross 3D, Broken Age, Nintendo's current place in the console wars, and the recent absence of video games featuring Disney princesses. We have no news this week (although the Xbox Games With Gold for March were announced and I forgot to include them), but plenty of new releases to talk about.

Addie's gaming time has still been very limited. She started over in The Sims Freeplay (iOS), and that's about it. My pre-recorded segment is more ongoing coverage of my time in Nioh (PS4), which is starting to throw some really tough late-game bosses at me.

Inspired by last week's question about video game crossovers, this week's top ten list imagines games where an important character gets replaced by a different character from some other game, leaving that character to invade a different game, and so forth. What crossovers would you find most interesting?

Steam game codes given away this week are BoneBone: Rise of the Deathlord and Insurgency. Listen for that early in the episode and solve the clues to be the first person to claim the codes on Steam.

Mentioned in this episode:

Nikhil recommends Ludum Dare 34 game Sort the Court

Episode 137 is also available as an MP3 here.
02/16/2017 - Episode 136: The Extra Pricey Edition [Play Episode 136]
We haven't been without a top ten list or a game/quiz in several weeks, but the streak is broken. Hopefully we've made up for it in the other segments, including email topics that cover last week's QotW about mid-generation console updates, the next game from Spiders, PS4 remote play using Playstation TV, and video game characters stumbling into a different game's world. Before all that, we have the usual news and new game release segments. And before that, even, listen for more codes given away for a Nioh PS4 dynamic theme and some Walking Dead games on Steam.

My pre-recorded segment this week is all about Nioh (PS4). I haven't finished it, and I'm likely not even half-way through, but I cover quite a bit more than last week. We also talk more about Borderlands 2 (PS4) from The Handsome Collection, after Addie decided to try it out in split-screen co-op with her brother and me. Addie's Mobile Game of the Week is Color Switch (iOS). She also talks about another tough-to-describe mobile puzzle game called Paper.io (iOS). After looking at it post-show, it seemed kind of like a blockier multiplayer version of Qix, at least in its basic concept.

This week's ending music is from the Nioh title screen. Next week, more Nioh talk (if there's anything left to say), and it'll be our third of five weeks recording on Wednesday evening for a Thursday release. We're almost half-way back to our usual schedule of a day earlier.

Episode 136 is also available as an MP3 here.
02/09/2017 - Episode 135: It's a Flurblur [Play Episode 135]
This episode starts a five-week span where we'll be releasing on Thursday instead of the usual Wednesday. After Addie's volleyball season is over, we should be back to the normal schedule.

After all the usual segments (including my thoughts on mid-generation console updates in response to an email, which is also our Question of the Week), I talk about what I've been playing. This includes a pre-recorded spoiler-free review of Resident Evil VII (PS4). Addie hasn't had time to play anything again this week.

I count down some of the best crowdfunding/Kickstarter success stories in this week's top ten list. After that, we have codes for two more games on Steam, courtesy of Bill, which happens very near the end since the games up for grabs kind of relate to the top ten list. To wrap up, this week's ending music is the safe room song from Resident Evil 7.

Mentioned in this episode:

See the free PSPlus games for February 2017 at that PlayStation Blog

Episode 135 is also available as an MP3 here.
02/01/2017 - Episode 134: That's What Hippies Do [Play Episode 134]
We have a plan for working around Addie's volleyball schedule. Starting next week with episode 135, we'll record one day late (Wednesday) and release on Thursday. After five weeks of this, we should be back to our usual Wednesday releases in mid-March with episode 140. So just a heads up on that.

After three more Steam code give-aways, news and new releases, we have several emails from listeners to share. This includes many suggestions for family-friendly tech/geek/game podcasts, thoughts on the Nintendo Switch as it relates to the more mainstream consoles from Sony and Microsoft, a suggestion for a new top ten list for a future episode, another reaction to a prior top ten list, and thoughts on TellTale's Batman and the cult of Pokemon (disclaimer: not a real cult).

In game chat, I talk a little about the split-screen co-op I played with Addie's brother Heath this weekend (Perfect Dark Zero backwards compatible on Xbox One, and Borderlands 2 from The Handsome Collection on PS4). Addie played nothing, or so she says, so all that's left is my pre-recorded wrap-up on Gravity Rush 2 (PS4). It's a great game with a time-consuming platinum trophy I haven't quite earned yet.

This week's "top" list is a follow-up to another recent top ten. This time, it's my top 13 video game tropes that would be horrible in real life. This was a lot of fun to discuss. Addie believes she may be living out one of these tropes for real. The show wraps up with the title theme from Gravity Rush 2. And don't forget: next week begins a five-episode run of posting one day late.

Mentioned in this episode:

Fallout New Vegas 2? I highly doubt it, but FragHero says Yes

Episode 134 is also available as an MP3 here.
01/25/2017 - Episode 133: Narnia on a Budget [Play Episode 133]
Two more games on Steam are given away, scavenger hunt style, in this week's episode. From the looks of things, we have Steam codes to last a long time. Then after the news, Addie helps out with this week's new game releases in a segment you might consider Alternate Facts. In email, we learn that last week's top ten list about video game abilities I wish I had in real life was a hit, and we talk a little about what influences us to buy any new game console. That's our question of the week for listeners. Write in and let us know what you look for when deciding if a brand new console is right for you. For instance, are you getting a Switch?

Addie talks about Call of Duty 2 split-screen again (Xbox 360) and AdVenture Capitalist (iOS). My pre-recorded segment is a partial review of Gravity Rush 2 (PS4), or, if you prefer, my lengthy opening thoughts on what I've played so far.

This week's top ten list is inspired by Pawel's list from last week's email. This time, I count down my favorite 1000 gamerscore or platinum trophy in games, with the longest list of honorable mentions ever -- thankfully relegated to the post-show outtake section.

Mentioned in this episode:

The Super Best Friends Video Game Sleepover Podcast and Twitter
Enthusiacs has several great Podcasts and they're on Twitter
Level up in real life with this info from LifeHacker

Episode 133 is also available as an MP3 here.
01/18/2017 - Episode 132: False Alarms [Play Episode 132]
A big topic this week is the Nintendo Switch. Addie missed the details we've been getting lately about this upcoming hybrid handheld/home console, so it's mainly me filling her in on the launch line-up, future releases to be excited about, and more. We also go over this week's new releases.

Email returns in a big way, with comments and questions from new and long-time listeners alike. To answer one, we need your help. Can you suggest and recommend any other family-friendly podcasts that would be suitable for listening when kids are around, such as for a long commute? It doesn't have to be just video games. Anything tech or geeky works too. Movies? Comics? New gadgets? Let us know, and we'll share the suggestions on our next episode.

In other email, it's a duo of top ten lists. Bill writes in with the top ten games he missed in 2016 but hopes to play this year. Pawel includes his top ten favorite platinum trophies earned, in an email that also includes The Last Guardian, made-up languages in games, and the odd things we notice regarding voice acting in games.

Addie talks about what she's been playing, which is The Witness (PS4), Call of Duty 2 split-screen (Xbox 360), and A World of Keflings (Xbox 360). My pre-recorded segment includes a Gravity Rush Remastered wrap-up (PS4), a brief update about Phoenix Wright (3DS), and my review of a cult classic last-gen action RPG called Nier (Xbox 360). This week's ending music is from Kaine's theme in Nier. Such a great soundtrack.

Late in the show, we have a new top ten list of our own. This time, we talk about the seemingly mundane or standard abilities that video game characters have that would be awesome if they were real. There's even an honorable mention!

Mentioned in this episode:

The thread about family-friendly podcasts on Reddit
An extensive document exploring the story of Nier
The Nier soundtrack can be found on YouTube

Episode 132 is also available as an MP3 here.
01/11/2017 - Episode 131: The 'Get Off My Lawn' Award [Play Episode 131]
Free game codes return this week, with Broken Age on GOG and Eidolon on Steam. They're one-use codes, so the first listener to redeem them gets them. Let us know via email or Twitter if you redeem one or both. There are plenty more to come over the next few weeks, mostly for games on Steam. If you have an OUYA, though, let me know, because I also have a Broken Age code on OUYA you can have.

There wasn't any email this week, but we have news, new releases, and a long-dormant Time Travel segment where I correct and revisit a few things from last week's huge year-end wrap-up episode. This leads into my top ten list for the week, in which I talk briefly about the games from 2016 I didn't play, but hope to in 2017.

Addie's Mobile Game of the Week is Bowmasters (iOS). In two separate pre-recorded segments, I review The Fall (PS4) and Gravity Rush Remastered (PS4). The ending music this week is from Gravity Rush. It's the old town theme, from the game's first area, and it somehow reminds me of music from Ni No Kuni!

Our feature this week is a new quiz for Addie. Rather than just list off the twelve categories and ten winners of the 2016 Steam Awards, I make a game of it for Addie. I tell her the game and the award it won (one real, one fake), and she tries to guess which is which. It's informative and fun!

Mentioned in this episode:

More about The Fall and its upcoming sequel at Over The Moon
The old town theme from Gravity Rush on YouTube
Nintendo Switch reveal event details at IGN

Episode 131 is also available as an MP3 here.
01/04/2017 - Episode 130: Our 2016 Gaming Wrap-up [Play Episode 130]
Wow. What a year! Don't believe the naysayers when they complain that 2016 was a poor year for video games. It was superb. Fantastic. Incredible. So many wonderful games came out in 2016, and in this episode, we remember many of the very best. And the less-than-best. And a ton more.

First, though, it's our usual segments, including the free PlayStation plus offerings for January, and listener email. Email includes another audio recording from Christian, thoughts on how the podcast has changed since our early episodes, the games our listeners are playing, whether TV and movies should factor into understanding a game's story, whether trophies and achievements should factor into game reviews, and listerners' top games played in 2016. There's a lot to discuss here.

In game updates, Addie talks about Rolling Sky (iOS), I have a pre-recorded wrap-up for VVVVVV (3DS/Vita), reviews of Battlefield 1 (PS4) and Titanfall 2 (PS4), and Bill recaps everything he played in 2016. I should have mentioned earlier that part-time third chair guest host Bill joins us again for this oversized year-end wrap-up; and oversized it is. We should be back to a normal hour-long show next week (give or take), but this week you're getting a show that's two or three times longer than usual. We know that's a big commitment, but we think it's definitely worth your time. So many games. So much chat!

Our features this week include lists of our favorite games of 2016, which includes games released in 2016 as well as games from a prior year we played in 2016. Mine is actually two separate lists, with part of it in a pre-recorded segment due to a large number of honorable mentions. We also talk about our 2016 disappointments, our most anticipated games of 2017, a tally of our successes and failures from our 2016 predictions, and a new batch of gaming predictions for 2017.

We have tangents, disagreements, and yeah, plenty of game chat. Plus, Heath talks about his favorite games of 2016 in Mini-Gamers episode 16.

Mentioned in this episode:

January PlayStation Plus games revealed at the PlayStation Blog
See how honest Pawel was by watching this animated GIF

Episode 130 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/28/2016 - Episode 129: A Great Year For Games [Play Episode 129]
In our last episode of 2016, most of our usual segments are absent; no news, just one new release, and no new email this week. I do have impressions of the Assassin's Creed movie, so there's that.

Addie talks about Ms. Splosion Man (Xbox 360) and Escape From Adventure Island (Wii). My pre-recorded segment includes a short review of VVVVVV (3DS - also free on Vita with PlayStation Plus this month), although I haven't finished it yet. After that, I have a much longer review of Final Fantasy XV (PS4), without any story spoilers. It's yet another reason why 2016 has been a great year for games.

Following that is a new top ten list, combined with a quiz for Addie. I list ten common elements from the Final Fantasy series, and Addie tries to guess what each one actually means. We wrap up with some reflection and fond memories of the year in gaming, but a more complete year-end wrap-up and 2017 look-ahead will be next week, when Bill joins us for episode 130.

The ending music this week is straight outta Final Fantasy XV's in-game car radio. So with this final episode of the year done and out, there isn't much time left to send us your own thoughts on the year in gaming. Let us know what you enjoyed, what disappointed you, what surprised you, and your favorite games of the year!

Mentioned in this episode:

The Afrojack arrangement in Final Fantasy XV on YouTube

Episode 129 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/21/2016 - Episode 128: Say Some Music [Play Episode 128]
With 2016 nearly over, we have just one more episode next week, before the start of 2017. There's still plenty of time to email us your top 3 or 5 or even a whole top 10 favorite games of 2016 list, and we'll read those on episode 130 at the beginning of January. Be sure to include a line or two about each game, so we know why they're your favorites.

After this week's usual news, new releases and email segments, Heath and Hadleigh are back with a pre-recorded Mini-Gamers episode 15. It's much longer than usual. It ends with a surprisingly difficult round of 20 Questions, despite the game I thought of being pretty much their favorite game ever. After that, Addie and I talk more about JumpStart's Escape From Adventure Island (Wii), which has been nostalgic for Addie as a game she first started way back when she was new to video games. Her Mobile Game of the Week is Adventure Capitalist (iOS). We also talk a little about Super Mario Run (iOS), although neither of us play much of it.

My pre-recorded segment is a quick update on the latest Phoenix Wright (3DS), some opening thoughts about Final Fantasy XV (PS4), and a review -- sort of, since I didn't finish it but have moved on -- for Suda 51's new free-to-play game Let it Die (PS4).

I also came prepared with a top 10 list this week. This time, it's my favorite robots in video games. Are there any obvious choices I missed? Write in and let us know. Then, after wrapping up, we end the show with some Christmas-inspired music from the 1998 PC game Jazz Jackrabbit 2: Holiday Hare. Oh, and there's a final message from the kids of Video Game Generations, in their own unique way.

Mentioned in this episode:

Level 1 music in Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare on YouTube

Episode 128 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/14/2016 - Episode 127: The Anti-Tagonist [Play Episode 127]
Finally, after a decade of waiting made longer by a business trip the week of its release, I played The Last Guardian (PS4). Late in the episode are my thoughts on this much-hyped, long-awaited follow-up to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Was it worth the wait? I answer this and more in my spoiler-free review.

This week's assortment of listener email makes up for last week's absence of any. This includes an audio message from Christian, where he talks briefly about two games he's currently playing (Broken Age and Grim Dawn). Before that, Addie once again makes up stories about this week's new releases. We have no gaming news this week, but two download codes are given out, fill-in-the-blank style, where you can get either Wasteland 2 Director's Cut on Stream, or a couple extras for The Last Guardian on PS4, even if you don't have the game. That code is for the mini-soundtrack sampler, and a desktop theme. If you redeem either of these, be sure to let us know!

My pre-recorded segment includes an update on Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice (3DS), in addition to The Last Guardian review. In honor of the game, a short orchestral song from the game's 2016 trailer is our ending music this week. At the very end, though, is a marathon of outtakes snipped from the show -- mostly Addie taking the show in unnecessary directions. It's getting more and more difficult to keep her on-topic.

Mentioned in this episode:

Pawel's trophy guide for The Little Acre at PlaystationTrophies.org
Music from The Last Guardian 2016 trailer on YouTube
The entire OST for The Last Guardian on YouTube
Here are the Lunatix Online screenshots

Episode 127 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/07/2016 - Episode 126: I'll Ask the Questions Around Here [Play Episode 126]
More news than usual this week is a result of the recently-held PSX (PlayStation Experience). It's no surprise that we couldn't attend, but we're rounding up some of the best announcements. This also includes my pre-recorded impressions of the 2016 Game Awards in a recap/wrap-up segment. This week's new releases and the December free games for PlayStation Plus round out the news.

We had no email this week, but there's plenty to talk about, gaming-wise. Addie played a few missions in the campaign for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered (PS4). It seems that she's enjoying this more grown-up game, although I spend a while afterwards openly wondering whether or not she needs to wait a couple more years. In my pre-recorded segment, I have opening impressions on Suda 51's latest, a free-to-play action RPG called Let it Die (PS4). The segment also includes two reviews of shorter games I played this week, Virginia (PS4) and The Unfinished Swan (PS4/Vita).

Bookending the episode, I give out an Ultraviolet digital download code for Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive (a movie) early on, and we end things with one round of video game character Twenty Questions.

Mentioned in this episode:

Redeem Ultraviolet movie codes at Sony Pictures or maybe at myuv.com
PlayStation Plus free games for December 2016 at the PlayStation Blog
The 2016 Game Awards nominees and winners at Polygon

Episode 126 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/30/2016 - Episode 125: Stereotypical Older Ladies [Play Episode 125]
Getting a later start than usual for recording, we decided to skip 20 Questions. I didn't have a Top 10 list prepared either. We're here with all the other usual stuff, though, including email, where Addie and I get an excuse to reminisce about Castle Crashers (Xbox 360).

Heath's segment, Mini-Gamers, returns for its fourteenth episode. I also have a pre-recorded review of Watch_Dogs 2 (PS4) late in the episode.

Mentioned in this episode:

Xbox Games with Gold for December 2016 at Major Nelson's Blog
The 1.1 Update for No Man's Sky seems pretty impressive
Bill's review of The Witcher (PC) is on Darkadia

Episode 125 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/23/2016 - Episode 124: Platinum Only [Play Episode 124]
IFComp 2016 has ended, so this week includes a countdown of the official top ten winners, plus listener Nikhil's IFComp wrap-up in email. We cover this week's news and new releases too, as usual. In game chat, Addie has plenty to talk about. Her Mobile Game of the Week is The Sims Freeplay (iOS), which she also talked about last week. Plus Poptropica. Plus Virginia (PS4), which she played start to finish. Plus Psychonauts (PS2 on PS4), which she only just started.

We recorded early due to a scheduling conflict, so I didn't know at the time that my post-recorded review of Dishonored 2 (PS4) was going to be a twenty minute epic. Sorry about that. Or you're welcome, depending on how you feel about long reviews.

Toward the end, Addie plays video game "Who Am I?" (twenty questions). After we wrap up, I thought it fitting to include a sad little song from the Dust District in Dishonored 2. Enjoy!

Mentioned in this episode:

My text adventure Tales of the Traveling Swordsman can now be played online
My text adventure Trading Punches can now be played online
My text adventure Distress can now be played online

Sage of TyeDyeSheepFilms is working on a Battlefront narrative video series
The Dust District song from Dishonored 2 is also on YouTube

Episode 124 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/16/2016 - Episode 123: The Language of Pizza [Play Episode 123]
We have a lot going on in this episode. I found a safe solution for fixing loose discs in unopened PS4 cases, which I explain in detail. Then it's the usual segments of news, new releases and email. Email topics include the one-year anniversary of the Star Wars Battlefront podcast (friends and long-time listeners of Video Game Generations), the physical vs. digital future debate, Steins Gate, the recently-crowdfunded Wasteland 3, feedback about my Mafia III review, PSVR, and more.

We also have a PSN code for the Playstation 4 version of Dishonored: Definitive Edition to give away. No fill-in-the-blanks show trivia this week, but we do make a game of it. We split the code into six parts, which you'll have to put together by listening to most of the episode. At least they're in order. If you piece it together and redeem it, please let us know!

Addie talks about The Sims Freeplay (iOS) and Stretchmo (3DS). After that, my pre-recorded segment has very brief opening thoughts about Dishonored 2 (PS4), plus a recap of the seventeen IFComp 2016 entries I played (out of the fifty-eight total entries). I even make a list of it, with my score for each one.

The show wraps up with one round of video game "Who Am I?" played in 20-questions form. Can Addie guess the mystery character I'm thinking of? Listen to find out.

Episode 123 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/09/2016 - Episode 122: See You On the Morrow [Play Episode 122]
Show notes this week are a bit short. I lack the motivation to be creative today, as Election 2016 has come to a close. But while you're being depressed / surprised / confused / sad / angry / happy / scared / embarrassed / outraged / ambivalent / worried / unaffected about the results -- depending on who you are -- escape for an hour and listen to Addie and me talk about the world of video games.

So just a brief rundown:

   Intro and off-topic
   News & new releases
   Listener feedback (email)
   Addie talks Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
   I review Mafia III (PS4)
   Top ten video game sidekicks
   Republique Steam code give-away
   Wrap-up, ending music, old outtake

Episode 122 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/02/2016 - Episode 121: Dear Mr. Valve [Play Episode 121]
On the technical side, things are back to normal this week. On the scheduling side, though, we had to record most of the podcast on Sunday, since Addie wouldn't be available at the regular time Tuesday night. Then we added email afterwards, and my game review segment. It all worked out in the end.

This week features a new top ten list, where we envision non-episodic games that might actually work if released over time in multiple episodes. That's also our question of the week. Did we miss an obvious choice? Let us know what game or series you think would work well episodically. Afterwards, with a litle more time to spare, we played video game Who-Am-I (aka 20 Questions), with Addie guessing.

In addition to talking about the PlayStation Plus line-up for this month and the new games releasing this week, our lone email has inspired me to move The Saboteur higher on my backlog. It ends with his rapid-fire impressions of five more IFComp 2016 entries. In my review segment, I talk about two more IFComp entries, Quest for the Traitor Saint and Pogoman GO! That starts around the 21:53 mark. I'm still playing Mafia III (PS4) and the latest Phoenix Wright (3DS), but I don't have anything new to add since last week. Still, I wanted to include a little more music from Phoenix Wright at the end. The theme for The Steel Samurai is just as catchy as ever.

Mentioned in this episode:

IFComp 2016 entry Pogoman GO! can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry Quest for the Traitor Saint can be played online

Episode 121 is also available as an MP3 here.
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