E3 2019: This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has been a strange one with big players absent and new hardware on the horizon, but it’s still bringing announcements and trailers to make our jaded hosts excited.
Games discussed: Cyberpunk 2077, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Fallout 76, Pokémon Sword/Shield, among others.
APOLITICAL APOCALYPSE: A recent article at VG247.com interviewed (as part of the piece) games designer and writer, Chris Avellone––writer/designer of games such as Fallout 2, Fallout: New Vegas, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II–––who argued not only that his writing was without any political inspiration nor had any political agenda (small “p”), but that he “[didn’t] condone developers who [wanted] to do political games or make a statement” (McKeand). In fairness, the quote has since been edited by VG247.com, replacing “condone” with “condemn”, softening Avellone’s criticism a little bit, stating that Avellone wrote “doesn’t condone” accidentally and his actual sentiment is more clearly presented with the correction. Still, this makes us think––are games (or any text in popular culture) apolitical, or can they be? Andrew and D. Bethel investigate how this is a problem.
This is our Fifth Anniversary episode! Thanks to everyone for listening over the years! We really appreciate all the support.
FINAL FARCRY: Spurred on by his playthrough of Farcry Primal––a survival first-person shooter with “RPG Elements”––Andrew and D. Bethel examine what this phrase means and what it says about the ever-evolving definition of Role-Playing Games.
POLYGONS IN AN AQUARIUM: After years of doubt, SquareEnix released a trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake that included some actual gameplay footage, which got Andrew and D. Bethel thinking about why a remake for Final Fantasy VII is necessary and why––it seems––the best way to keep PS1/Sega Saturn games viable in a modern market is to do full remakes rather than just porting them to modern machines.
Speaking of which, here’s the trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake:
AustinSV’s overview of the many ports of Final Fantasy VII:
WEEK IN GEEK: With all that’s been going on in the nerd world, our hosts take some time out for themselves this week. For Andrew, he attended the theatrical premiere of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary, What We Left Behind. D. Bethel stayed home to explore the digital recreation of classical Egypt while playing Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Origins.
Wise Captain-Father (19 April 2019): When D. and Andrew talk about the Notre Dame cathedral fire and how Ubisoft’s research into the monument for Assassin’s Creed: Unity may help ease its rebuilding efforts.
Here’s the nightmare chocobo camel Dan witnessed. You have been warned:
ENDGAME POSTGAME: SPOILER WARNING Andrew and D. Bethel have both seen Avengers: Endgame and, conveniently, the Russo brothers lifted the spoiler ban on Monday; so, our hosts dive right into soup of scenes, moments, narrative threads, and surprises that make up this landmark movie.
THE NAME OF THE GAME: The first trailer for the upcoming live-action cinematic adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog has––as can be expected––drawn a lot of conversation and criticism…including on your favorite nerdy-geeky podcast. Andrew and D. Bethel have a lot to say about the trailer and, in a larger scope, movie adaptations of video games and what works and what doesn’t. But first, the trailer:
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Ben Schwartz’s––Sonic’s voice actor––bizarre interview with Larry King:
AVENGERS CODA: With the release Avengers: Endgame this week (this is SPOILER FREE since neither have seen the film yet), Andrew and D. Bethel decide to examine a few aspects of the MCU and, especially, what and how Avengers: Infinity War set up this big finale. They discuss an analysis of Thanos as a sympathetic villain, what they’re looking forward to after this movie’s release, and briefly discuss Andrew’s attempted rewatch of 11 years of MCU entries.
NOTRE-DAME THE TORPEDOES: We open this week talking about the tragic fire at the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, focusing on how its rebuilding efforts may be aided by the diligent work of Ubisoft (and the work they put into making Assassin’s Creed: Unity.
For context of the jokes Andrew and D. Bethel make at the end of this segment:
THIS SHOULDN’T WORK: Andrew and D. Bethel talk about a tv show they’ve been mildly reticent to discuss because they can’t believe it’s actually good: Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville––an unabashed Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation pastiche that is actually becoming some of the best Star Trek available.
HELL, BOY YOU BETTER STOP: D. Bethel gives a quick look at the newest Hellboy cinematic entry; spoiler: it needs some work.RELEVANT EPISODES:
CONSOLE WARS II: THE NEW CHALLENGERS: Things got shaken up in the world of video games––maybe––as Google announced its streaming-forward gaming platform––maybe––called Stadia while Apple announced its gaming-focused subscription platform––maybe––called Apple Arcade. Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the merits of these announcements and how they either apply, predict, or completely misread the gaming landscape.