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Episode 169: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Part 2)

Our discussion of Batman: Arkham Asylum continues (and concludes). Next week, we'll hear your responses to the games we covered during Bat Month!

Duration: 01:41:58

Episode 168: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Part 1)

Bat month continues with the reinvigoration of the franchise. This episode covers generalities and the first major area. Batman had languished in mediocrity for almost two decades before Rocksteady brought it back from the brink. Arkham Asylum is remarkable not just for how influential it is, but for how well it works as a Batman simulator. Rocksteady would go on to perfect the formula with Arkham City, but their work began here... with a story about the Joker, his strong clowns, and the...

Duration: 01:39:37

Episode 167: Batman: The Video Game

The title seems redundant, but it's better than saying "Batman, the NES game. The one made by SunSoft. For the first movie, kinda." This might be the hardest game we've done for the show, but we might also have lost track. This is a compact little platformer that is certainly of its era, but it's also a rare great licensed game. Borrowing elements from several other platformers, Ninja Gaiden most noticeably, SunSoft created a challenging and technical Batman game when mediocrity would have...

Duration: 01:42:05

Episode august-2017: Listener Responses: August 2017 (Final Fantasy IV)

This is the first of our monthly listener response episodes under the new model, gathering your thoughts on the Final Fantasy IV saga. Up next in September, we have Bat Month. Which means the Batman NES game, and Batman: Arkahm Asylum. October brings us Resident Evil month, featuring Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, and Resident Evil 7.

Duration: 01:33:28

Episode 166: Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (Part 2)

To the center of the moon, to the center of the series, and into the slog. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years takes a strange turn in its back half... a turn that isn't discussed very often because nobody really talks about The After Years. So, join us for the last few chapters of this wildly misguided game.

Duration: 02:17:25

Episode 165: Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (Part 1)

An unloved sequel to a beloved game makes for some rough play, as the FF4 formula wears out its welcome. While Takashi Tokita was working to update Final Fantasy IV for the Nintendo DS, he felt a longing to return to the Blue Planet and revisit the story of Cecil and the gang. What resulted was a strange plan: to release a sequel to an almost 20 year old game in episodic installments on Japanese mobile phones. By the time it arrived in America, nobody quite knew what to make of it, and...

Duration: 02:10:14

Episode 164: Final Fantasy IV (Part 2)

Picking up at Troia and the Tower of Zot, Gary and Kole conclude their discussion of the main game of Final Fantasy IV. The next episode will cover the first several chapters of The After Years.

Duration: 03:05:02

Episode 163: Final Fantasy IV (Part 1)

It's a classic RPG that established many of the norms for a huge series. Does it hold up to modern scrutiny? This episode covers the generalities, and the events of the game up through Cecil's trial at Mt. Ordeals. Final Fantasy IV was released in America for the SNES in 1991 as "Final Fantasy II", just a short year after the first Final Fantasy reached our shores. Timed to coincide with the release of a new system, it takes advantage of some of the new technologies that were freshly...

Duration: 02:34:47

Episode 162e: Extrasode: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty in this final extrasode.

Duration: 00:47:58

Episode 162: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Part 2)

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross talk about the final portion of Metal Gear Solid 2. Or do they?

Duration: 03:32:52

Episode 161: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Part 1)

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross do a postmodern postmortem on the first portion of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Metal Gear Solid 2 is a game that's been talked to death, but we try our best to bring our own perspective and approach to it. It's a sequel that Kojima never wanted to make. It's full of curveballs and "fuck you"s aimed at series fans. It has lots of ideas that are shockingly prescient. But, most of all, it's got some play issues that haven't aged super well. This episode...

Duration: 02:53:43

Episode 160: Nox

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross chase their orbs into the world of Nox. It was marketed as EA's answer to Diablo, but it's categorically different. It introduces itself as a goofy and irreverent take on fantasy fiction, but then it plays it straight. After all of the feints, what you end up with is a profoundly strange action RPG. Big thanks to Garrett for executive producing this episode!

Duration: 02:32:40

Episode 159: SSX Tricky

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross flip out about SSX Tricky. This episode is our recital: to talk about to talk about how important SSX Tricky is in the pantheon of extreme sports games. For their second outing, EA Sports BIG totally nailed the combination of racing systems and trick systems, creating a game that is satisfyingly fast and technical. But lest you think this will be a 100% glowing episode, we have some very harsh words for the terrible cast of characters.

Duration: 01:53:54

Episode 158: Yakuza

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross kick and punch their way through Yakuza. Here it is, the winner of our Open World Game Poll. Except, it's a very different kind of open world game. Yakuza picks up where Shenmue left off, but does everything a lot better... especially the story, which follows ex-enforcer Kazuma Kiryu as he tries to get to the bottom of what insidious actors are using the Yakuza for malicious gains.

Duration: 03:02:08

Episode 157: Pilotwings

Live from the Midwest Gaming Classic, Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross talk about Nintendo's little-loved Pilotwings series. Afterwards, we talk about our experience at the convention.

Duration: 01:21:26

Episode 137: Team Fortress 2

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross gang up to talk about Team Fortress 2. For our fifth anniversary show, we wanted to do something special. We wanted to play a classic game with our community, and it turns out choosing Team Fortress 2 was a great move. Team Fortress goes way back, but Valve has taken the formula and engineered and iterated it to the point where it's a joy to play. Huge thanks to everyone who played with us! LINKS OF NOTE: Battlefield Commander Mode...

Duration: 02:43:39

Extrasode: Phantasy Star IV

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium. LINKS OF NOTE: Phantasy Star Retronauts ( The Mimic (

Duration: 00:34:15

Episode 136: Phantasy Star IV (Part 2)

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross launch through the latter portion of Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium. It's now time to leave Motavia and head to Dezolis, because the Algo solar system is in peril. Can we fix the systems, retrieve the data, and conquer the Darkness? LINKS OF NOTE: This Guy Fucks ( Amazing Rick and Morty court thing ( There is very little on these enigmatic monsters...

Duration: 01:26:36

Episode 135: Phantasy Star IV (Part 1)

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross soar through Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium. We're guilty of focusing on Final Fantasy games when we talk about JRPGs because that's mostly what we grew up with. However, concurrently, there was a whole big, important series living and thriving on Sega systems, doing amazing forward looking things before it died an unceremonious death. Phantasy Star IV is considered to be the best, most friendly iteration of the main series, and you should join us...

Duration: 01:47:30

Extrasode: Elite Beat Agents / Rhythm Heaven

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Elite Beat Agents and Rhythm Heaven.

Duration: 00:15:49

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