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All Threes

All Threes

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew dives into the quote-unquote reboot of CSI in Paramount+’s CSI: Vegas and is perplexed. D. Bethel reads another book about video games! This time it’s Super Mario Bros. 3 by Alyse Knorr as published by Boss Fight Books.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Editing is Magic” (13 July 2018): Where our hosts discuss the Boss Fight Book, Final Fantasy V by Chris Kohler.
  • Little Paper People” (02 November 2018): Where D. Bethel discusses the Boss Fight Book, Shovel Knight by David L. Craddock.
  • Prime Time Crime” (05 March 2021): Where Andrew talked about another new procedural show, the CBS reboot of The Equalizer.
  • In the Reward Zone” (06 August 2021): Where D. Bethel discusses the Boss Fight Book, Final Fantasy VI by Sebastian Deken.
  • Doctor Ennui” (27 August 2021): Where D. Bethel discusses another new procedural show, Big Sky.
  • Unbridled Hedonism” (03 December 2021): Where our hosts discuss whether Disney+’s Hawkeye should be giving more credit to Hawkeye comic creators Matt Fraction and David Aja.

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Scary Gongs

Scary Gongs

KOTICK TOCK TIME’S UP: This week, after a scathing report, employees of Activision/Blizzard walked out calling for the expulsion of the company’s CEO, Bobby Kotick. Our hosts examine the situation and how it symptomizes larger aspects of video game culture.

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RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Less-Impressive-Than-Expected No. 7” (01 July 2017): Where our hosts discuss the “interesting” game from a creator of Mega Man, Mighty No. 9.
  • Sword Club” (30 July 2021): Where Andrew and D. Bethel talked about Activision Blizzard being investigated by the state of California.

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Ghost Games

Ghost Games

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.

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RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • The Eye of Agamemnon” (18 November 2016): Where D. Bethel and Andrew discuss the storied history of old episodes of Doctor Who erased from existence by the BBC.
  • River City Rampage” (17 August 2018): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the value and importance (and danger) of video game emulation.
  • I Am the State” (26 February 2021): Where D. Bethel and Andrew discuss whether the Metroid series is being neglected by Nintendo.

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Halloween Still

Halloween Still

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.

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  • Teasing the Difference” (05 June 2015): Where D. Bethel discusses playing The Last of Us, the game that came with his purchase of this Playstation 4.

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A Braver New World

A Braver New World

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.

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  • “Nerd Law” by D. Bethel
Sword Club

Sword Club

A BAD BLIZZARD: Our hosts take a quick look at the controversy (and lawsuits!) that came out of an investigation led by the state of California into the toxic and dangerous company culture of Activision Blizzard.

I HAVE THE POWER: Having watched the first five episodes released for Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Andrew and D. Bethel look at this playful and creative reimagining of the classic ’80s toy commercial, er I mean, cartoon series.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • All-New, All-Same” (29 June 2018): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the angry internet’s attempt to “destroy” Lucasfilm following the release of The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
  • Empty Justice” (01 March 2019): Where our hosts talk about internet trolls trying to review bomb Captain Marvel ahead of its release.

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Tiny Text

Tiny Text

A NEW CHALLENGER: Recently, Valve Corporation––owners of the PC gaming storefront and launcher, Steam––announced a new piece of hardware that excited a lot of gamers: the handheld Steam machine called the Steam Deck. D. Bethel and Andrew walk through the announcement and ponder what it could change in the industry, and how it could leave some gamers lacking.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Where the Hands Touch” (13 January 2017): Where Andrew discusses a previous piece of Valve-made hardware, the ill-fated Steam controller.

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Books For Days

Books For Days

CAP PUNCHED FIRST: Another day, another attack on fictional characters as a cable news segment pilloried Marvel Comics for making Captain America “woke” in a recent issue, seemingly forgetting that Cap has been punching literal Nazis in his comics since his first issue. Andrew and D. Bethel explore this while also examining the variety of ways texts (movies, comics, books, music, tv shows, etc.) can be read.

PRINT ON DEMAND: After buying some RPG books through DriveThruRPG, Andrew becomes fascinated by the idea––and future applicability––of print on demand services, where a book isn’t printed until a customer orders it. D. Bethel brings his creator experience with POD services to the conversation as well.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Slapcast” (02 July 2021): Where Andrew gave us the run down of the strange TSR Twitter fight.

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • The video Dan referred to with Stan Lee talking about the creation of the X-Men, though it’s one of many similar and slightly different creation stories he has told over the years:

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Liminal Space

Liminal Space

A BAD MIX: This week, the Twitter account, @TerriblyBland, posted a thread calling out nerd industries’ tendency to do networking at bars, especially during and after conventions. As ever with nerd discourse, the claim was met with a lot of support…as well as some very staunch opposition. Andrew and D. Bethel look at the original claim and examine the overall conversation.

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RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Some Solid Copy” (14 August 2015): Where Andrew first discussed his experience playing Watch the Skies, a megagame.
  • Action Noir Theater” (29 July 2016): Episode 100, Part 2 where our hosts reveal the first part of an intended series of the audio drama, Nick Springer. With a bonus, heavily-produced opening where a song by D. Bethel brings Andrew back from being trapped in the rift between space and time!

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Bear is Watching

Bear is Watching

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew dabbles in a few different ponds, first by playing a bit of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, then talks about his experience going through Subnautica: Below Zero, and testing his mettle with Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch. D. Bethel is very conflicted––but having a lot of fun––as he plays through Dragon’s Crown Pro.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Shortcast 44 – The Game of Life” (23 Feb. 2018): Where Andrew talks about Full Metal Furies, another side-scrolling beat-em-up with RPG elements.
  • Shortcast 62 – Not the Episode Title” (06 July 2018): Where Andrew discusses his previous experience with gamified fitness playing Zombies, Run!
  • It’s Always a Game” (08 Feb. 2019): Where Andrew first discusses his experience playing the original Subnautica.
  • We Still Don’t Know $#!&” (31 May 2019): Where D. Bethel and Andrew discuss the incorporation of “RPG elements” in non-RPG genres of games.
  • Full Release” (29 Jan. 2021): Where Andrew discusses his first impressions of the early access version of Subnautica: Below Zero.

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