The Battle Is The Game

The Battle Is The Game

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew finds the retro-JRPG stylings of Square Enix’s Octopath Traveler engaging and fun while D. Bethel gets challenged making the new pages from his webcomic, Long John, into short videos for Instagram, forcing him to look at his own work in new ways.

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A Light Monopoly

A Light Monopoly

SHELTER AT HOME: With both hosts hometowns under a “shelter at home” quarantine, they discuss how they’ve had to adjust their behavior to continue their normal nerdy procedures. To that end, Andrew discusses playing tabletop RPGs online using the Roll20 website and the teleconferencing program, Zoom. D. Bethel, on the other hand, talks about comic book distribution and how the major (only?) comics distributor, Diamond Comics, decreed that it will cease ordering (and shipping) new comics immediately; Dan talks about how this affects him and, more importantly, how it affects local comic shops.

Here is a look at the virtual tabletop Andrew created for his game of Spectaculars:

Also, here is the video made by Sacramento comic shop proprietor, Ben Schwartz––owner of Empire’s Comics Vault––laying out the dilemma of comic shop owners in the time of the quarantine (especially before Diamond stopped shipping):

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RELEVANT EPISODES

  • Shortcast 72 – Little Paper People (02 Nov. 2018): Where Andrew talked about buying, printing, and assembling papercraft figures for tabletop role-play.
  • Makes a Taste (13 March 2020): Where Andrew discussed his first play-through of Spectaculars.

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Playing the Menu

Playing the Menu

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, our hosts push through the shelter at home monotony by playing video games albeit old video games. First, Andrew steps back into 2015’s The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt now that he has more context after watching the hit Netflix show, while D. Bethel is intrigued at how hard the narrative payoff will fail in the otherwise really fun Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

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Makes A Taste

Makes A Taste

CORONA, I HARDLY KNEW YA: The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the nerd world with––since the last episode––the postponement of Emerald City Comic Con, the cancellation of this year’s E3 and other cultural events like SXSW. Andrew & D. Bethel cover the COVID-19-related news since the last episode.

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew falls in love with Scratchpad Publishing’s new RPG, Spectaculars, while D. Bethel is intrigued by the demo for Final Fantasy VII Remake on Playstation 4.

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RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Episode 100, Part 2 – Action Noir Theater (29 July 2016): Where the podcast debuted part one of its audio drama, Nick Springer and the Fremont Horror.
  • Episode 146 – Bad Games Make Precedent (08 Sept. 2017): Where D. Bethel and Andrew talk about the impact of Final Fantasy VII, for better or for worse.
  • The Future is Only Forward (22 March 2019): Where Andrew talks about Rodney Thompson’s previous game, Dusk City Outlaws.
  • Textured in Fear (24 May 2019): Where SquareEnix released its first trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake and D. Bethel and Andrew discuss the remake’s relevance to the modern market.
  • Tile Pile (22 Nov. 2019): Where Andrew talks about playing Betrayal Legacy.

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Elbow Five

Elbow Five

DON’T DIE: With the rising threat of the coronavirus and its impact on nerd conventions––especially Emerald City Comic Con and the Game Developer’s Conference––Andrew and D. Bethel investigate all the ways this pandemic can impact not only fans of nerdy things but makers of nerdy things.

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Sad News Theme

Sad News Theme

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew dives into the CBS All Access archives to get caught up on the surprisingly good––and suprisingly different––remake of the ’80s action show, MacGyver, while D. Bethel dives into the surprisingly compelling Zelda clone/shopkeep simulator by Digital Sun, Moonlighter.

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The Transformers Paradox

The Transformers Paradox

GOTTA GO FAST: Sonic the Hedgehog destroys box office expectations Valentine’s Day weekend. Andrew and Dan discuss the surprise success of this cinematic adaptation of the beloved video game franchise.

BIRDS OF PREY: OR, THE REINSTATEMENT OF INSTITUTIONALIZED SEXISM AGAINST WOMAN-LED SUPERHERO FILMS: Birds of Prey released last week and its box office performance left some upset. D. Bethel and Andrew talk about the relativity of box office success, how Marvel fandom may be tainting the pond, and how marketing is a strange magic.

DOOMED ANIMAL CROSSING: In a bit of light news, with Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal releasing on the same day, Twitter and Reddit have become very interesting places, and in mostly good ways.

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RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Episode 101 – The Black Arts of Algorithms” (05 August 2015): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss a similar discourse around the reboot of Ghostbusters and how it was deemed a failure despite earning perfectly fine box office numbers.
  • Episode 155 – Captain Host” (20 July 2018): Where Dan and Andrew ask the question, “Were there too many superhero/nerd movies packed into a single summer?”, among which Solo: A Star Wars Story was released.

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#SaveGrifter

#SaveGrifter

CRISIS ON INFINITE TAYLORS: With another, even bigger crossover of the DC/CW shows, we had to have friend-of-the-show and Senior Optimist Reporter, Taylor Katcher, come onto the show to talk with Andrew and D. Bethel about the glorious mess that was “Crisis on Infinite Earths” that saw Arrow, The Flash, Batwoman, Supergirl, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow fight to save the multiverse.

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • Katcher, Taylor and Taylor Cassell. “2019: Nerd Endings.” A Website [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes. 13 January 2020.
    • Where the Taylors wrote about watching all of the nerd stuff during 2019.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Guestcast 03 – Muted Police Action” (07 December 2018): Where D. Bethel took the week off so Andrew and Taylor could talk about another DCCW crossover event, “Elseworlds.”

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The Badger Abides

The Badger Abides

THE PROBLEM WITH LOVECRAFT: A lot of controversy was had (mostly on Twitter) over the last few weeks with the release of Evil Hat Productions’ Fate of Cthulhu, a new table-top RPG integrating the systems of Evil Hat’s Fate Core and the Lovecraft mythos. Evil Hat proudly declared that it was bucking tropes of other Lovecraft-inspired games––mainly how it addresses Lovecraft’s prejudices head-on and it doesn’t include sanity meters for its players––and that, for some reason, made a lot of people upset. Andrew talks about the subsequent furor while D. Bethel shows up as our resident Lovecraft scholar.

*Show image is a screenshot of Dean Stockwell as Wilbur Whateley from the 1970 film, The Dunwich Horror.

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  • Evil Hat tweets about how Fate of Cthulhu bends the traditional Lovecraftian gaming experience:
  • Evil Hat Production’s content warning included with Fate of Cthulhu (click to enlarge):
  • The adorable video of a coyote and a badger off to go hunting together:

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Starfleet First

Starfleet First

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew talks about becoming enraptured by the first episode of the new CBS All Access series, Star Trek: Picard while D. Bethel enjoys the poignant but strange end to a creative team’s long run on Batman with the DC Comics’ Black Label series, Batman: Last Knight on Earth by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.

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