A MISERABLE PILE OF SECRETS: Our hosts spend a bit of time reminiscing on the 25th anniversary of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night––the video game that put the “-vania” in “Metroidvania.”
WEEK IN GEEK: After a week off, our hosts have been busy being nerdy! Andrew finally caught up with all the Spider-Man movies while D. Bethel dipped another toe into deck-building video games with the very popular Slay the Spire, developed by MegaCrit.
“Nerd Business” (31 July 2014): Where Andrew and D. Bethel first discuss Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as a game that matters.
“Trusty Rusty” (10 August 2018): Where Andrew talks about the video deck-building game adapted from a physical one, One Deck Dungeon.
“We Still Don’t Know $#!&” (31 May 2019): On the show’s fifth anniversary, our hosts discuss the prevalence of “RPG elements” throughout, basically, all video games at this point.
“Good Gamefeel” (28 June 2019): Where our hosts discuss the first non-Castlevania Metroidvania game developed by the adopted father of the series––Koji “Iga” Igarashi––Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
“Reliable Virtual Helmets” (27 September 2019): Where D. Bethel plays his first real roguelike deck-building game, Meteorfall: Journey.
“Smell the Duke” (04 February 2022): Where D. Bethel plays a bit of the clever deck-building game, Griftlands.
“Bigger Than the Batman” (11 March 2022): Where D. Bethel talks about the indie game currently on his docket, A Plague Tale: Innocence.
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.
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).
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.
TSR-U-KIDDING-ME: Tabletop Twitter got weird these last few weeks as debates exploded around the tweets made by Ernest G. Gygax, Jr.––son of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator, Gary Gygax––where he doubles down on strong, anti-SJW views in support of his new RPG, Giantlands.
SLAPP FEST: Andrew also checks in with the current legal fight started by Chris Avellone––formerly of Black Isle and Obisidian Entertainment––as he tries to sue people who said mean things about him on the internet.
Also, Dan has gotten even more obsessed with the Metroid series since last week.
CONFIRMATION BIAS:Abandoned is an upcoming Playstation 5-exclusive game made by the small Netherlands-based team, Blue Box Game Studios. After the game’s director made an enigmatic tweet, the internet exploded with conspiracy theories, asserting that the game and its trailers were nothing more than clues that this was not a stand-alone survival horror game but was actually a Silent Hill sequel. More than that, people have asserted that it’s a Silent Hill sequel directed by Hideo Kojima, despite the fact that the studio has gone to great lengths to assure fans that it is not. Andrew and Dan discuss the conspiracy and how it got wrapped up in the darker parts of nerd culture, internet culture, and the complicated edges of fandom.
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew dives into the strange patchwork origin of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers while D. Bethel is pleasantly surprised by the Netflix series, Sweet Tooth, an adaptation of Dan’s favorite recent comic series by Jeff Lemire.