Episode 18 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Link slides the last metallic block into its proper niche and the puzzle’s giant mechanisms reassemble in satisfying staccato. He runs up to the monk’s platform and waits to receive another orb. The shrine’s papery deity stirs and begins slowly to intone:

“Your resourcefulness in overcoming this trial speaks to the promise of a hero… but, Link, it’s kind of cheesy that you used bombs and kinesis to solve yet another puzzle and you’re making us all look bad. The other monks have been talking. You’re a good kid, Link – just, no haxx plz?”

Special Guest: Michelle Ehrhardt (@ChelleEhrhardt) Freelance writer for KillScreen, Bullet Points Monthly, Paste and more.

Special Note: Bird chirps audible during the recording were totally a purposeful decision to help establish mood.

Further Reading:

Zelda Speedruns

Nick Robinson’s Shocking Shrine Hack

Japan’s Alpen Route

The person who found all 900 Koroks

Rumors of a female protagonist have been greatly exaggerated

Jess Joho’s take on Linkle

Episode 17 – Yakuza 0

Kiryu drops the splintered chair he’s been holding in his white-knuckled grip. Around him dozens of badly-beaten yakuza groan in pain. Turning, he sees a group of adorable small children approaching. “Kiryu-San” they cry in unison, “Why did you beat up our papa(s)? Our families will surely starve tonight!” Kiryu’s expression softens. He proceeds to spend the next two in-game weeks winning them toys in the claw game.”

Further Reading:

Shenmue Series

John Wick 2

Pathalogic

Godzilla

Zatoichi

God of War

Martin Scorsese’s films

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Episode 16 – Hitman

Agent 47 and Lincoln Clay are walking around downtown while passing a joint back and forth. Their inebriation has led them to become somewhat lost. Up ahead a police officer twirls a baton on the street corner. Agent 47 turns to Clay and says “I’m gonna ask him for directions.” Clay, aghast, whispers “No! 47, No!” But 47 is resolute and walks up behind the cop, garroting him swiftly, and slipping into his uniform. He pulls the slide back on his handgun, turns to Lincoln and says: “I didn’t know I couldn’t do that.” (all thanks due to the great Dave Chappelle for this reference)

Further Reading:

The Americans TV Series

Tony Hawk

Crackdown

Grand Theft Auto Series

Dishonored 2

Media Mavens Podcast

Mafia 3

The Autobiography of Malcom X

Ralph Ellison – Invisible Man

Herman Melville – Moby Dick

Assassin’s Creed Liberation

Evan Narcisse – “The Natural”

Watch Dogs 2

Letitia the trash lady

I Am Not Your Negro

Michael Che BLM standup

Episode 15 – Mafia 3

Lincoln leaves his chrome-wrapped car idling – “Black Ghost Blues” crooning out its speakers – and kicks down the doors of the mafia-controlled warehouse. He mows through nameless goons until finally he reaches the head goon. Laying his gun down the goon says “don’t you think you’re being a little divisive right now? Doesn’t our nation need time to heal? Have you ever looked at the statistics on black on black crime?”

Special Guest: Shawn Alexander Allen @aNuChallenger co-creator of Treachery in Beatdown City

Further Reading:

Bloomberg offered security detail jobs as private security guards

Bill DeBlasio wants Federal Government to pay for Trump’s NYC security expenses

https://inversephase.bandcamp.com/

Map of Escape from New York:

HBO’s Boardwalk Empire

Malcolm X and The Nation of Islam

Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man

The Read Podcast

Washington Post – Mafia 3 took risk by having black protagonist

Frank Lucas

Stephanie St. Clair

Austin Walker & Cameron Kunzelman on Watch Dogs 2

aNuChallenger Podcast

Episode 14 – Game of the Hour of the Year

Join us as we discuss the most interesting and memorable games of 2016.

It was a pretty shitty year, but we’ve found a shred of solace in the digital media with which we tend to pass our free time. Whether it’s through telling good stories or fostering supportive communities, games remain important even as larger issues threaten to overwhelm us.

We cap off the podcast with our hopes and dreams for gaming in 2017, bringing up VR, games criticism, Nintendo’s prospects and diversity in the games space.

Games discussed:

Dishonored 2, Hitman, Overcooked, Uncharted 4, Titanfall 2, Doom, Dark Souls 3, The Witness, Shin Megami Tensei, Inside

My Waypoint article discussing Doom & Inside

Episode 13 – No Man’s Sky

nms

You blast out of hyperspace just in time to begin your descent through the looming planet’s atmosphere. In the periphery your hull glows red, then begins to cool. The landing jets of your ship flare up as you dust down on the lush and colorful surface. You pop open the cockpit hatch and set out to explore a new and exciting world, when behind you, you hear a floppy wet squeak. You whip around, and upon seeing the poor misbegotten creature, fall to you knees in despair. “No, not squishy butt planet again!”

Other games discussed: Persona 4 Golden, Severed, Her Story, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Playcrafting

Eko – Interactive Stories

Shuhei Yasuda interview about No Man’s Sky’s broken promises

Episode 12 – Inside

You raise your head from fitful sleep – you’ve been dozing at your desk again. On the computer is a half completed Reddit post: “TIL the kid from Inside is actually a simulation run by an employee of the Abstergo Corporation from Assassin’s Creed.”

Other games discussed: Overwatch, Volume, Hyper Light Drifter, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, Doom

Capy Games

What Mirror’s Edge Should Have Learned from Burnout

Reddit Cancer Theory

Thus Spake Zarathustra

Inside is a Brutal Critique of Capitalism

The Little Prince Movie

Episode 11 – Uncharted 4

Uncharted4

Nathan slides recklessly down the muddy embankment firing RPGs at hordes of nameless Euro-military types. “Hey I just met you,” he bellows at Elena over the explosive rattle of gun fire. “This is crazy!” Elena responds as she backflips onto a jet ski while filming the whole scene through her camcorder. “Well, here’s my number.” Nate tosses a live grenade with his digits sprayed on at a group of baddies running off with the treasure. “Call it a perfect 10 maybe”: Every game publication on Earth.

Guest this week: Joe Russ – Creator of the upcoming adventure game Jenny LeClue

Other games discussed: Inside

Further Reading:

Stephen King and George RR Martin

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Multiplayer

The Babadook

Drag Me To Hell

Nate Dies at The End Theory

Walt Dies at The End of Breaking Bad Theory

Minority Part End is a Dream Theory

Episode 10 – Undertale

You find yourself down to your very last sliver of health. The enemy looms before you, readying itself to deliver the final blow. As you grimace and prepare to meet your doom, the monster drops its weapon and whips out a mirror instead. “Look within to find the most *dangerous* monster in this world,” it croons. You frantically navigate over to and initiate the menu option: “Self-awareness” – It is super effective.

Also discussed: Kill Screen Festival 2016

Further Reading:

Kill Screen Festival 2016

Rami Ismail, XOXO Festival

Farsh

The Desert Half – Rebecca Worby

Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy

Annhilation – Jeff VanderMeer

Jenny LeClue

Sleep No More

Kitty Horrorshow

Bartle’s Taxonomy of Players

How many days in the movie Groundhog’s Day?

Michael Lutz on Undertale

Jolly Determination

Episode 9 – The Witness

witness

Serenely, you meander through the bright, effervescent world of The Witness. The sky is a brilliant shade of blue dotted with the occasional brush stroked cloud. The problems and struggles of the real world fade away as you solve cereal box puzzles in quick succession until… “wtf? Why isn’t this one working? What did I do wrong? Do I need to rethink this whole segment? I tried it 50 different times and it still doesn’t work! ARRGHHH…”

Other games discussed: The Division, Puzzles and Monsters, Firewatch, The Talos Principle

Further Reading:

Michelle Ehrhardt’s KillScreen article about The Division and 9/11

Beyoncé’s “Formation”

Run the Jewels “Close Your Eyes And Count To Fuck”

Darius Kazemi’s piece on The Witness

ZAM’s “Top 10 Saddest Statues in The Witness”