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ARCHIVE 5 (11/02/2016 - 01/18/2017)
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01/18/2017 - Episode 132: False Alarms [Play Episode 132]
A big topic this week is the Nintendo Switch. Addie missed the details we've been getting lately about this upcoming hybrid handheld/home console, so it's mainly me filling her in on the launch line-up, future releases to be excited about, and more. We also go over this week's new releases.

Email returns in a big way, with comments and questions from new and long-time listeners alike. To answer one, we need your help. Can you suggest and recommend any other family-friendly podcasts that would be suitable for listening when kids are around, such as for a long commute? It doesn't have to be just video games. Anything tech or geeky works too. Movies? Comics? New gadgets? Let us know, and we'll share the suggestions on our next episode.

In other email, it's a duo of top ten lists. Bill writes in with the top ten games he missed in 2016 but hopes to play this year. Pawel includes his top ten favorite platinum trophies earned, in an email that also includes The Last Guardian, made-up languages in games, and the odd things we notice regarding voice acting in games.

Addie talks about what she's been playing, which is The Witness (PS4), Call of Duty 2 split-screen (Xbox 360), and A World of Keflings (Xbox 360). My pre-recorded segment includes a Gravity Rush Remastered wrap-up (PS4), a brief update about Phoenix Wright (3DS), and my review of a cult classic last-gen action RPG called Nier (Xbox 360). This week's ending music is from Kaine's theme in Nier. Such a great soundtrack.

Late in the show, we have a new top ten list of our own. This time, we talk about the seemingly mundane or standard abilities that video game characters have that would be awesome if they were real. There's even an honorable mention!

Mentioned in this episode:

The thread about family-friendly podcasts on Reddit
An extensive document exploring the story of Nier
The Nier soundtrack can be found on YouTube

Episode 132 is also available as an MP3 here.
01/11/2017 - Episode 131: The 'Get Off My Lawn' Award [Play Episode 131]
Free game codes return this week, with Broken Age on GOG and Eidolon on Steam. They're one-use codes, so the first listener to redeem them gets them. Let us know via email or Twitter if you redeem one or both. There are plenty more to come over the next few weeks, mostly for games on Steam. If you have an OUYA, though, let me know, because I also have a Broken Age code on OUYA you can have.

There wasn't any email this week, but we have news, new releases, and a long-dormant Time Travel segment where I correct and revisit a few things from last week's huge year-end wrap-up episode. This leads into my top ten list for the week, in which I talk briefly about the games from 2016 I didn't play, but hope to in 2017.

Addie's Mobile Game of the Week is Bowmasters (iOS). In two separate pre-recorded segments, I review The Fall (PS4) and Gravity Rush Remastered (PS4). The ending music this week is from Gravity Rush. It's the old town theme, from the game's first area, and it somehow reminds me of music from Ni No Kuni!

Our feature this week is a new quiz for Addie. Rather than just list off the twelve categories and ten winners of the 2016 Steam Awards, I make a game of it for Addie. I tell her the game and the award it won (one real, one fake), and she tries to guess which is which. It's informative and fun!

Mentioned in this episode:

More about The Fall and its upcoming sequel at Over The Moon
The old town theme from Gravity Rush on YouTube
Nintendo Switch reveal event details at IGN

Episode 131 is also available as an MP3 here.
01/04/2017 - Episode 130: Our 2016 Gaming Wrap-up [Play Episode 130]
Wow. What a year! Don't believe the naysayers when they complain that 2016 was a poor year for video games. It was superb. Fantastic. Incredible. So many wonderful games came out in 2016, and in this episode, we remember many of the very best. And the less-than-best. And a ton more.

First, though, it's our usual segments, including the free PlayStation plus offerings for January, and listener email. Email includes another audio recording from Christian, thoughts on how the podcast has changed since our early episodes, the games our listeners are playing, whether TV and movies should factor into understanding a game's story, whether trophies and achievements should factor into game reviews, and listerners' top games played in 2016. There's a lot to discuss here.

In game updates, Addie talks about Rolling Sky (iOS), I have a pre-recorded wrap-up for VVVVVV (3DS/Vita), reviews of Battlefield 1 (PS4) and Titanfall 2 (PS4), and Bill recaps everything he played in 2016. I should have mentioned earlier that part-time third chair guest host Bill joins us again for this oversized year-end wrap-up; and oversized it is. We should be back to a normal hour-long show next week (give or take), but this week you're getting a show that's two or three times longer than usual. We know that's a big commitment, but we think it's definitely worth your time. So many games. So much chat!

Our features this week include lists of our favorite games of 2016, which includes games released in 2016 as well as games from a prior year we played in 2016. Mine is actually two separate lists, with part of it in a pre-recorded segment due to a large number of honorable mentions. We also talk about our 2016 disappointments, our most anticipated games of 2017, a tally of our successes and failures from our 2016 predictions, and a new batch of gaming predictions for 2017.

We have tangents, disagreements, and yeah, plenty of game chat. Plus, Heath talks about his favorite games of 2016 in Mini-Gamers episode 16.

Mentioned in this episode:

January PlayStation Plus games revealed at the PlayStation Blog
See how honest Pawel was by watching this animated GIF

Episode 130 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/28/2016 - Episode 129: A Great Year For Games [Play Episode 129]
In our last episode of 2016, most of our usual segments are absent; no news, just one new release, and no new email this week. I do have impressions of the Assassin's Creed movie, so there's that.

Addie talks about Ms. Splosion Man (Xbox 360) and Escape From Adventure Island (Wii). My pre-recorded segment includes a short review of VVVVVV (3DS - also free on Vita with PlayStation Plus this month), although I haven't finished it yet. After that, I have a much longer review of Final Fantasy XV (PS4), without any story spoilers. It's yet another reason why 2016 has been a great year for games.

Following that is a new top ten list, combined with a quiz for Addie. I list ten common elements from the Final Fantasy series, and Addie tries to guess what each one actually means. We wrap up with some reflection and fond memories of the year in gaming, but a more complete year-end wrap-up and 2017 look-ahead will be next week, when Bill joins us for episode 130.

The ending music this week is straight outta Final Fantasy XV's in-game car radio. So with this final episode of the year done and out, there isn't much time left to send us your own thoughts on the year in gaming. Let us know what you enjoyed, what disappointed you, what surprised you, and your favorite games of the year!

Mentioned in this episode:

The Afrojack arrangement in Final Fantasy XV on YouTube

Episode 129 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/21/2016 - Episode 128: Say Some Music [Play Episode 128]
With 2016 nearly over, we have just one more episode next week, before the start of 2017. There's still plenty of time to email us your top 3 or 5 or even a whole top 10 favorite games of 2016 list, and we'll read those on episode 130 at the beginning of January. Be sure to include a line or two about each game, so we know why they're your favorites.

After this week's usual news, new releases and email segments, Heath and Hadleigh are back with a pre-recorded Mini-Gamers episode 15. It's much longer than usual. It ends with a surprisingly difficult round of 20 Questions, despite the game I thought of being pretty much their favorite game ever. After that, Addie and I talk more about JumpStart's Escape From Adventure Island (Wii), which has been nostalgic for Addie as a game she first started way back when she was new to video games. Her Mobile Game of the Week is Adventure Capitalist (iOS). We also talk a little about Super Mario Run (iOS), although neither of us play much of it.

My pre-recorded segment is a quick update on the latest Phoenix Wright (3DS), some opening thoughts about Final Fantasy XV (PS4), and a review -- sort of, since I didn't finish it but have moved on -- for Suda 51's new free-to-play game Let it Die (PS4).

I also came prepared with a top 10 list this week. This time, it's my favorite robots in video games. Are there any obvious choices I missed? Write in and let us know. Then, after wrapping up, we end the show with some Christmas-inspired music from the 1998 PC game Jazz Jackrabbit 2: Holiday Hare. Oh, and there's a final message from the kids of Video Game Generations, in their own unique way.

Mentioned in this episode:

Level 1 music in Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare on YouTube

Episode 128 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/14/2016 - Episode 127: The Anti-Tagonist [Play Episode 127]
Finally, after a decade of waiting made longer by a business trip the week of its release, I played The Last Guardian (PS4). Late in the episode are my thoughts on this much-hyped, long-awaited follow-up to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Was it worth the wait? I answer this and more in my spoiler-free review.

This week's assortment of listener email makes up for last week's absence of any. This includes an audio message from Christian, where he talks briefly about two games he's currently playing (Broken Age and Grim Dawn). Before that, Addie once again makes up stories about this week's new releases. We have no gaming news this week, but two download codes are given out, fill-in-the-blank style, where you can get either Wasteland 2 Director's Cut on Stream, or a couple extras for The Last Guardian on PS4, even if you don't have the game. That code is for the mini-soundtrack sampler, and a desktop theme. If you redeem either of these, be sure to let us know!

My pre-recorded segment includes an update on Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice (3DS), in addition to The Last Guardian review. In honor of the game, a short orchestral song from the game's 2016 trailer is our ending music this week. At the very end, though, is a marathon of outtakes snipped from the show -- mostly Addie taking the show in unnecessary directions. It's getting more and more difficult to keep her on-topic.

Mentioned in this episode:

Pawel's trophy guide for The Little Acre at PlaystationTrophies.org
Music from The Last Guardian 2016 trailer on YouTube
The entire OST for The Last Guardian on YouTube
Here are the Lunatix Online screenshots

Episode 127 is also available as an MP3 here.
12/07/2016 - Episode 126: I'll Ask the Questions Around Here [Play Episode 126]
More news than usual this week is a result of the recently-held PSX (PlayStation Experience). It's no surprise that we couldn't attend, but we're rounding up some of the best announcements. This also includes my pre-recorded impressions of the 2016 Game Awards in a recap/wrap-up segment. This week's new releases and the December free games for PlayStation Plus round out the news.

We had no email this week, but there's plenty to talk about, gaming-wise. Addie played a few missions in the campaign for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered (PS4). It seems that she's enjoying this more grown-up game, although I spend a while afterwards openly wondering whether or not she needs to wait a couple more years. In my pre-recorded segment, I have opening impressions on Suda 51's latest, a free-to-play action RPG called Let it Die (PS4). The segment also includes two reviews of shorter games I played this week, Virginia (PS4) and The Unfinished Swan (PS4/Vita).

Bookending the episode, I give out an Ultraviolet digital download code for Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive (a movie) early on, and we end things with one round of video game character Twenty Questions.

Mentioned in this episode:

Redeem Ultraviolet movie codes at Sony Pictures or maybe at myuv.com
PlayStation Plus free games for December 2016 at the PlayStation Blog
The 2016 Game Awards nominees and winners at Polygon

Episode 126 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/30/2016 - Episode 125: Stereotypical Older Ladies [Play Episode 125]
Getting a later start than usual for recording, we decided to skip 20 Questions. I didn't have a Top 10 list prepared either. We're here with all the other usual stuff, though, including email, where Addie and I get an excuse to reminisce about Castle Crashers (Xbox 360).

Heath's segment, Mini-Gamers, returns for its fourteenth episode. I also have a pre-recorded review of Watch_Dogs 2 (PS4) late in the episode.

Mentioned in this episode:

Xbox Games with Gold for December 2016 at Major Nelson's Blog
The 1.1 Update for No Man's Sky seems pretty impressive
Bill's review of The Witcher (PC) is on Darkadia

Episode 125 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/23/2016 - Episode 124: Platinum Only [Play Episode 124]
IFComp 2016 has ended, so this week includes a countdown of the official top ten winners, plus listener Nikhil's IFComp wrap-up in email. We cover this week's news and new releases too, as usual. In game chat, Addie has plenty to talk about. Her Mobile Game of the Week is The Sims Freeplay (iOS), which she also talked about last week. Plus Poptropica. Plus Virginia (PS4), which she played start to finish. Plus Psychonauts (PS2 on PS4), which she only just started.

We recorded early due to a scheduling conflict, so I didn't know at the time that my post-recorded review of Dishonored 2 (PS4) was going to be a twenty minute epic. Sorry about that. Or you're welcome, depending on how you feel about long reviews.

Toward the end, Addie plays video game "Who Am I?" (twenty questions). After we wrap up, I thought it fitting to include a sad little song from the Dust District in Dishonored 2. Enjoy!

Mentioned in this episode:

My text adventure Tales of the Traveling Swordsman can now be played online
My text adventure Trading Punches can now be played online
My text adventure Distress can now be played online

Sage of TyeDyeSheepFilms is working on a Battlefront narrative video series
The Dust District song from Dishonored 2 is also on YouTube

Episode 124 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/16/2016 - Episode 123: The Language of Pizza [Play Episode 123]
We have a lot going on in this episode. I found a safe solution for fixing loose discs in unopened PS4 cases, which I explain in detail. Then it's the usual segments of news, new releases and email. Email topics include the one-year anniversary of the Star Wars Battlefront podcast (friends and long-time listeners of Video Game Generations), the physical vs. digital future debate, Steins Gate, the recently-crowdfunded Wasteland 3, feedback about my Mafia III review, PSVR, and more.

We also have a PSN code for the Playstation 4 version of Dishonored: Definitive Edition to give away. No fill-in-the-blanks show trivia this week, but we do make a game of it. We split the code into six parts, which you'll have to put together by listening to most of the episode. At least they're in order. If you piece it together and redeem it, please let us know!

Addie talks about The Sims Freeplay (iOS) and Stretchmo (3DS). After that, my pre-recorded segment has very brief opening thoughts about Dishonored 2 (PS4), plus a recap of the seventeen IFComp 2016 entries I played (out of the fifty-eight total entries). I even make a list of it, with my score for each one.

The show wraps up with one round of video game "Who Am I?" played in 20-questions form. Can Addie guess the mystery character I'm thinking of? Listen to find out.

Episode 123 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/09/2016 - Episode 122: See You On the Morrow [Play Episode 122]
Show notes this week are a bit short. I lack the motivation to be creative today, as Election 2016 has come to a close. But while you're being depressed / surprised / confused / sad / angry / happy / scared / embarrassed / outraged / ambivalent / worried / unaffected about the results -- depending on who you are -- escape for an hour and listen to Addie and me talk about the world of video games.

So just a brief rundown:

   Intro and off-topic
   News & new releases
   Listener feedback (email)
   Addie talks Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
   I review Mafia III (PS4)
   Top ten video game sidekicks
   Republique Steam code give-away
   Wrap-up, ending music, old outtake

Episode 122 is also available as an MP3 here.
11/02/2016 - Episode 121: Dear Mr. Valve [Play Episode 121]
On the technical side, things are back to normal this week. On the scheduling side, though, we had to record most of the podcast on Sunday, since Addie wouldn't be available at the regular time Tuesday night. Then we added email afterwards, and my game review segment. It all worked out in the end.

This week features a new top ten list, where we envision non-episodic games that might actually work if released over time in multiple episodes. That's also our question of the week. Did we miss an obvious choice? Let us know what game or series you think would work well episodically. Afterwards, with a litle more time to spare, we played video game Who-Am-I (aka 20 Questions), with Addie guessing.

In addition to talking about the PlayStation Plus line-up for this month and the new games releasing this week, our lone email has inspired me to move The Saboteur higher on my backlog. It ends with his rapid-fire impressions of five more IFComp 2016 entries. In my review segment, I talk about two more IFComp entries, Quest for the Traitor Saint and Pogoman GO! That starts around the 21:53 mark. I'm still playing Mafia III (PS4) and the latest Phoenix Wright (3DS), but I don't have anything new to add since last week. Still, I wanted to include a little more music from Phoenix Wright at the end. The theme for The Steel Samurai is just as catchy as ever.

Mentioned in this episode:

IFComp 2016 entry Pogoman GO! can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry Quest for the Traitor Saint can be played online

Episode 121 is also available as an MP3 here.
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