WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew continues to get excited by recent Star Trek offerings, specifically the conclusion of season 2 of Star Trek: The Lower Decks and the premiere of the Paramount+/Nickelodeon joint, Star Trek: Prodigy. D. Bethel finally offers his thoughts on Metroid: Dread (aka Metroid 5) after completing it, uh, three times.
“I Am the State” (26 February 2021): Where D. Bethel rants about Nintendo not respecting Metroid on its 35th anniversary.
“Butt Magic” (16 October 2021): Where Andrew discusses the first season of the animated comedy, Star Trek: The Lower Decks.
In the world of 2021, not much has changed. Hope and optimism dares to tread across the jamb as COVID vaccines get into the arms of people across the world and, for independent comickers, conventions start to return…kind of.
After attending only a few shows in 2021––their first in nearly two years––D. Bethel (of the webcomic, Long John) and Kyrun Silva (of Taurus Comics and the 4 Tales Podcast) reconvene to share their experiences, fears, and surprises with the fact that comic shows and conventions have become very different beasts from what they were before, and how difficult it may be to adapt.
Con Artists #01 – StocktonCon, pt. 1 : The drive home from the first day of the show. Kyrun and D. discuss making sales, confidence, and the comics they grew up reading and enjoying.
Con Artists #02 – StocktonCon, pt. 2 : The drive to StocktonCon to start Day 2 of the show. They discuss the importance of continuity, the level of fan engagement and ownership over continuity, and Dan’s strange reading habits growing up.
NEWS CRUISE: Andrew and D. Bethel cover a lot of different news stories this week, including the acceptance of NFTs in video games by Steam and the Epic Games Store; the workers of tabletop game developer, Paizo, form a union; developers who worked on Metroid Dread not seeing their names in the credits; Ruby Rose speaking up about their treatment on the set of Batwoman‘s first season; and some announcements made by DC during the DC Fandome event.
UPDATE: Venerated Metroid fansite, Shinesparkers, reached out to Metroid Dread developers, MercurySteam, for clarification on what qualified for crediting in the game, specifically with regard to what constitutes the “25% game dev time” and “significant creative contributions,” stating:
“A significant contribution might mean A LOT of things: from designing a playable character, writing dialogues, lore.. anything substantially important to the game. On the 25% this is something based on our experience. Of course it can be seen differently elsewhere.”
FURTHER UPDATE: Union issues with Paizo and its workers came to an agreement on Thursday, October 21, with Paizo officially recognizing the workers’ union.
BETTER DREAD THAN DEAD: D. Bethel shares some initial thoughts on the newest 2D Metroid game, Metroid 5 aka Metroid Dread.
EMULATE YOU WANT IT, THAT’S THE WAY YOU NEED IT:Kotaku got in a bit of heat when they reported a story about how people were able to get Metroid Dread up and running on emulators in a smooth 60 frames per second at 4K resolution. The problem is that, in the original story, readers felt that Kotaku was, in fact, recommending people pirate Dread instead of buying it because of the emulator’s stronger performance. This lead to another round of discussion about emulation, piracy, and game preservation. Andrew and D. Bethel do their best to weigh in on these issues.
PACHINKO IS CRYPTO: Our hosts walk a snake-like path this week as they discuss everything from recent trends in the sketch cryptocurrency/NFT market to the news that Konami may be getting out of pachinko and back into making video games again. It’s quite a conversation, in other words.
“Heart Law, Article 9” (03 July 2014): Where our hosts discuss why Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is an important game (by their metric, at least).
RTD2: With the next series of Doctor Who wrapping up the tenures of both the star, Jodie Whittaker, and its showrunner, Chris Chibnall, it was announced that the 2023 series will herald the return of the showrunner who brought the show back from the wilderness in 2005, Russell T Davies. Our hosts discuss the possibilities––and drawbacks––of this announcement.
GIANTS FALL: Kind of a combination of a News Blast and a Nerd Law, but the lawsuit between Apple and Epic has been decided and…it’s complicated. We have Andrew walk us through the ins and outs of this strange event.
MINI-WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew and D. Bethel need a week to recoup after weeks of birthdays, Doctor Who, and a celebration of Star Trek, so they’re going to briefly cover the things that have been keeping their attention recently. To no one’s surprise, they’ve been playing video games. Andrew has been playing the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster collection that includes Final Fantasy 1-4 (at this point), while D. Bethel has not been helping his mental health––though he has been having a lot of fun––playing The Last of Us, Part 2.
HAPPY STAR TREK DAY: This week, 8 September to be specific, the world celebrated Star Trek Day. With one of our hosts being an avowed and public Star Trek fan, our hosts discuss the ways they decided to celebrate: Andrew watched all the exciting announcements and trailers from the Paramount+ Star Trek Day Celebration event while D. Bethel coincidentally started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation not more than a week ago and is enjoying every minute of it so far.
BLOOD AND THUNDER DAYS: To celebrate D. Bethel’s birthday this week, our hosts take a look at another story from the classic run of Doctor Who. In fact, it’s another story from the same season as “Survival.” In fact, it’s the first story from the season that “Survival” brought to a close. Andrew and D. Bethel dive into the pool of Arthurian legend, militarism, and timey-wimey shenagigans found in “Battlefield.”
“Spaceship Mall” (20 August 2021): Where we celebrate Andrew’s birthday by watching and discussing the last story from Doctor Who‘s final season (of its classic run), “Survival.”
Catch D. Bethel on Brunch with Ben & Friends on Sunday, September 5, at 10:30am PST by tuning into the YouTube channel for Ben’s comic shop, Empire’s Comics Vault.