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Arias In Embers

Arias In Embers

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, our hosts talk about new things involving their favorite things. For example, Andrew discusses his time playing the Modiphius tabletop RPG, Star Trek Adventures and how it adapts all aspects of the long-lasting franchise, and D. Bethel makes his defense for 20th Century Fox’s Dark Phoenix.

RELEVANT LINKS:

RELATED EPISODES:

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

We Still Don’t Know $#!&

We Still Don’t Know $#!&

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.

RELEVANT LINKS:

RELEVANT EPISODES:

INFO:

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 161 – Mustache Nonsense

Episode 161 – Mustache Nonsense

Image source: BBC

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew gets impressed with The Bard’s Tale Trilogy remastered collection on Steam while D. Bethel watches Venom and, even though he enjoyed it, wonders why it’s hitting such a strong chord with viewers.

DOCTOR BOO!: With Spookytober drawing to a close, Andrew and D. couldn’t not talk about Doctor Who, so they dove into the archive to talk about what they argue may be one of the series’ scariest episodes yet, series 4’s “Midnight.”

LINKS:

  • Haddonfield Has a Posse.” Episode 7 of Halloween Unmasked, where John Carpenter talks about the two types of fear.

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Shortcast 58 – Quite Easily Done

Shortcast 58 – Quite Easily Done

AN OPEN WORLD: With Bethesda’s surprise announcement of the still ephemeral Fallout 76, video game-focused documentarians, NoClip, announced that they will be doing a series covering the development of this new game. They started, however, with a comprehensive look at the history of Bethesda studios. After watching the documentary (embedded below), both D. and Andrew realized how far the studio has come, how big it has gotten, and how much of an impact this quirky company has made on gaming as a whole.

RELATED EPISODES:

  • Shortcast 49 – The Sweet Beats: Where Andrew and D. Bethel talk about Fallout 4, also the RELATED EPISODES of this episode contain a comprehensive list of the other times Fallout 4 was discussed on the show.

RELEVANT LINKS:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Shortcast 50 – The 2Day Show

Shortcast 50 – The 2Day Show

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew dives into “the German Stranger Things” as he watches the first three episodes of the Netflix series, Dark, while D. Bethel gets lost in an RPG-tinged clicker game called Almost a Hero by Bee Square Games.

RELEVANT LINKS:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Shortcast 41 – An Accident of Fiction

Shortcast 41 – An Accident of Fiction

WEEK IN GEEK: D. Bethel squabbles over the storylines left underdeveloped in Netflix’s western limited series, Godless, while Andrew dabbles in the interesting RPG system found in Evil Hat Productions’ Fate Core.

RELATED EPISODES:

RELEVANT LINKS:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Shortcast 34 – Satisfaction Now

Shortcast 34 – Satisfaction Now

WEEK IN GEEK: D. Bethel looks at DC Comics’ retrospective of Jim Lee’s Wildstorm Studios, Wildstorm: A Celebration of 25 Years, and is completely underwhelmed by their effort while Andrew ponders the considerate world-building of Bethesda games as he dives back into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition.

And, for those that are dying to know the reference, here is the cover to Elder Scrolls: Arena (all apologies):

RELATED EPISODES:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“WildC.A.T.s Theme Song” by Sheree Jaecocke and Gerry Mosby

Episode 144 – Commodore Chew-Town

Episode 144 – Commodore Chew-Town

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew dives into Paizo’s newest RPG, Starfinder (starts at 2:34), while D. Bethel checks out the premier episode of Disney XD’s reboot of DuckTales (19:46).

REAL MONSTERS: (30:45) Dan and Andrew just hang back and have a conversation rather than a guided discourse about Nazis in popular culture. They go all over the place, but hover around the topic of how (and why) they’re used in fiction.

RELATED LINKS:

WORKS REFERENCED:

LINKS:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“Bad Man” by The Coral
-“Fanfare” by Nobuo Uematsu (from Final Fantasy VI)

Week in Geek: Mass Effect: Andromeda

Week in Geek: Mass Effect: Andromeda

D. Bethel dives into his history with the Mass Effect series and why he found a lot to enjoy in Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Imposter Syndrome is a natural psychological consequence caused by breaking free from personal norms. Trying something new can be scary. For those already beset with anxiety issues, the Imposter Syndrome converts us to flagellants, knowing simultaneously that these thoughts are bogus while also knowing they motivate us to push through the arbitrary and unconscious barriers we set for ourselves.

In graduate school, I had a bad case of Imposter Syndrome––one of many manifestations of my anxiety. The anxiety caused me to eat and drink a lot; it tickled my health in various ways; I lost a lot of sleep. I often woke up at one or two or three in the morning, spinning my impending failure through all possible scenarios or, if it was a good day, trying to harvest and codify all the ideas bouncing off each other like balls in a bingo spinner.

Eventually, I trained myself to just get out of bed. Go do something. Distract yourself. In the case of distraction, I learned that video games did that best.

Most of these nights happened after Nicole and I moved into our second Sacramento townhouse, away from the social thrum of midtown, which left us with mostly quiet nights; so, what sleep I could get would be uninterrupted and pleasant. On the anxiety nights, however, I crept downstairs, headphones already on and listening to podcasts––some video game commentary, some comedy interviews, some political debate, some history––and I’d fire up my Xbox 360 for hours of distraction, getting a good chunk of game in before the world even woke up. When I look back at these nights, the games that I see most in my memories are the Mass Effect series, specifically the two sequels.

Scanning planets captured perfectly the strange, silent calm of what we understand of outer space. Unlike humans…there’s nothing fragile about the cosmos. It simply is, existing slowly toward some end that is neither frightening nor threatening.

Since I was playing with the sound off (so as to consume quality audio entertainment), I rarely worked through story missions during these insomnious sessions. Instead, I searched for the mundane in the games’ side missions: fetch quests, collection runs, delivery missions. The most calming task I could do, and what I did most often, was planet scanning.

I can feel myself calming down already. (Mass Effect: Andromeda screenshot courtesy of USgamer.)

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Episode 116 – Craftcraft

Episode 116 – Craftcraft

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WEEK IN GEEK: In honor of the 53rd anniversary of the show, Andrew watched the 1970s Doctor Who serial, “Day of the Daleks,” and follows that up with the new timey-wimey show, Timeless. Dan gets nostalgic to re-read X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills by Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson and finds, to his estimation, that it holds up rather well.

WAR KIND OF CHANGES: Andrew picks up Fallout 4 on PS4 and talks about what he’s seeing with Dan, who still hasn’t beaten it.

THE CRAFT OF CRAFTING: Building off of Fallout 4‘s systems, Dan and Andrew talk about the rise of crafting mechanics in video games, from Minecraft to Diablo II to Skyrim.

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For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“It’s All Over But the Crying” by The Ink Spots
-“Building the Deathcoaster” by Joseph LoDuca (from Army of Darkness)