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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 21: Sick, Sad World

Ignore Julian's coughing: he's just dying a little bit.

Hello, and *cough cough* welcome to *hack* another episode of *wheeze* Nerds Without Pants! Our last episode was so freaking epic that Julian fell ill. Well, not really, but he's rather under the weather this week, so hopefully you enjoy this shorter show as Patrick takes up the slack.

It's pretty much all Consumption Junction this time, folks. Patrick's been playing The Walking Dead, catching up on TV shows, and reading copious amounts of comics. Julian conquered a game from his past that has haunted him for years, shares his fear of bug eyed people, and has a vastly different definition for large breasts than Patrick. Things wrap up with some talk of game collecting before Patrick chimes in with a PSA on insomnia, something that Julian and many of the PixlBit community suffer from.

And that's it! What, you want more? You got almost three hours of us last time! WHAT MUST WE DO TO APPEASE YOU??!!


Bad Religion- Infected

Paula Cole- Hush, Hush, Hush




04/19/2013 at 02:05 PM

I love how this episode opens up with one of my very favorite Bad Religion songs, YES! I may come back later today with a real comment after I've listened to the whole cast but I had to get that out of the way first.

 Okay I'm back. Patrick wasn't lying in his teaser on twitter, there really was talk of bosoms! Jules undersold this episode a tiny bit because it ended up being quite entertaining, but the humbleness is still appreciated as always.

Lately I've switched from FPS mode over to RPG and strategy/simulation mode. Recently I realized that those two generalized "modes" are representative of my gaming tastes and my buying habits. I flow back and forth to each one with each new batch of games I buy throughout a year. I buy very few games throughout a year so I always make mental lists and study games online to see which ones I'm most interested in and take priority.

A few months ago during the holiday season I was in RPG mode and I bought Skyrim and that satiated me for quite a while, but eventually I needed a break from the genre and went into FPS mode for a while by getting Far Cry 3 and Bioshock Infinite. I played the heck out of both those games and really enjoyed them both, but by the end of playing them both back to back my brain was tired of FPSs so now I'm back in RPG/strategy sim mode.

Right now I'm on the cusp of finishing Dark Souls finally. I've aquired all the items I need to access the end boss and at the moment I'm just upgrading my healing flasks power, kindling bonfires all over the world, and farming for combat and buff items that will be useful once I start the game over on New Game+. Once I beat the game I'm going to write out the final entry for the Dark Souls Diary blog series that I started way back last summer when I first bought the game. I'm so in love with the game that I'm excited to start the game anew. I'm probably going to start two new games even, one in New Game+ with my existing character and all the increased difficulty, and then an entirely new character class to build from scratch. When I'm not playing Dark Souls I get in matches of Civilization Revolution pretty often, mostly on weekends.

Since I'm in RPG mode one of the games I'm looking to buy next is Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen which comes out this month and is a re-release of the first game but it has a big expansion added to it, some fixes to the interface and lag people experienced, new enemies, items, upgrade and crafting options, initial character building options, and fixes so that your companions don't talk constantly and yell over each other endlessly. I've been wanting to play Dragon's Dogma since it came out but it was always lower on my list behind games that I've now already played like Skyrim and Bioshock. Now that this improved and expanded re-release is coming out of Dragon's Dogma at the reduced $40 price tag it's the perfect time for me to get the game. I'm kind of glad I waited.

Besides that I'm also going to be buying Mass Effect 3 because I want to get around to playing it this year finally after all the waiting I've done. The game is dirt cheap and once I buy it I'm going to try to get all the DLC I can for it and I'm really excited. I've already heard spoilers about the last 15 minutes of the game through the Giant Bombcast and Rebel FM and I'm not bothered by any of the spoilers I heard. The really cool thing is that I know absolutely nothing about what happens in the game itself, the missions, and characters so it will all be fresh. Brad Shoemaker played the game after all the hype and venom had died down and he played it with the DLC too, and he praised the game and really had a good time. I'm a fan of the series and I think my experience will end up being similar to Shoemaker's by the end.

Other than ME3 and Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen my other priority is to get Tropico 4 Gold Edition because I want a good city building experience on console and I've heard lots of good things about the series. I think Rob was a big fan of Tropico and talked about it from time to time if I remember correctly. If I can get my hands on those various RPGs and strategy/sim games I think those will certainly hold me over nicely during the summer drought and all the way until the fall season when Splinter Cell comes out and whatever else is coming. This year the game I cared about most was Bioshock and now that I've played it I realized that there's a whole crazy second half coming in 2013 that I know nothing about lol.

There's consoles coming and I don't know if I want to be an early adopter or not, quite a big part of me would like to go over to PS4 this time but it depends on what Microsoft does at E3, there's new games for both current and next gen systems coming, Last of Us is out soon, Splinter Cell, and what of Watchdogs, Remember Me, Rainbow 6, Beyond Two Souls? Mentally I totally blocked all that stuff out till now. I have no clue what the fall rush and holiday gaming season is going to be like for me, it'll be tough to make a priority list and only get 3 games or so which is typical for me during any given release quarter/season. Hopefully a lot of that stuff will start getting cleared up at E3 and I'll be able to plan better.

I liked the insomnia discussion and hearing every around the site share common experiences. I've had sleeping problems ever since high school. All throughout those high school years I was randomly taking anything and every thing from Benadryl to Tylenol PM to Vicks cough syrups and they all made me miserable. I was hungover during morning gym classes and I was always depressed and out of rhythm. Once I got to college I went to my doctor and he banned me from taking any of that stuff and got me to try a variety of non-narcotic things and it's working great now. An hour before bed I take some melatonin which my body doesn't seem to produce enough of and not at the right times either, also some valarian root which is a crushed up root in a pill and is excellent at calming and slowly me down. In conjunction those two medicines at the right doses make me feel sleepy naturally, I dream well, and I never wake up hungover.

The only bad thing is that I have to use them regularly because no matter what I do my sleep cycle or circadian rhythm doesn't seem to regulate itself without those over the counter medicines to balance things out. So I take those two medicines, and I try to stay on a normal schedule throughout the week taking them at the same time. My doctor also showed me breathing exercises to practice throughout the day and told me about turning electronics off. As long as I keep up that schedule and structure I don't have any problems with sleep, that regimen has been going well for a couple years now.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

04/19/2013 at 08:59 PM

Out of curiosity, how many hours have you put into Dark Souls? I still have a sealed copy that I sometimes want to rip into and play, but I haven't had a lot of time lately. I may have totally overextended myself, actually.


04/20/2013 at 09:58 PM

I've already put 110 hours into this playthrough, but some big chunks of that time were because of idling since the game doesn't pause and stop the clock. A lot of time has been spent farming for souls and items too. Nick said he finished the game in 60 hours if I remember correct, and I think he kinda powered through it and did a lot of things at low level. I'm going to go ask him I've been meaning to ask him some general stuff about his experience as well like what kind of character he built and what playstyles he used.

Dark Souls is probably easily a 60-80 hour game depending on farming and idling time. I got up over 100 just because of a ton of farming and idling. Once I learned how to use the farming system and discovered which areas of the game I enjoyed doing it at the most, I kind of got addicted to it. Souls can pile up pretty fast and it's addicting seeing your character get stronger and being able to save up souls to upgrade equipment and buy items. A lot of DS players I see don't usually do all of that, lots of people dive into dungeons and beat bosses at much lower levels than I did and with much worse equipment than I've made for myself.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

04/21/2013 at 12:03 AM

I like that the game is skill based. Honestly, my time with Demon's Souls (maybe 15 hours?) wasn't as punishing as I thought it would be. It's just methodical and I like that. Daunted at playing a 50+ hour game at the moment though.


04/21/2013 at 12:50 AM

I like that about it too. I remember on a cast one time you said that the Demons Souls was a game that required patience. Dark Souls is the same way, in order to survive and succeed the two most important things a player has to be able to use is patience and a certain level of precision. Maybe skill is a better word, or execution, but in general a certain level of precision in how you go about combat and exploration. When you're walking around in areas that have walkways you can easily fall off you have to be careful about every button press and how you're controlling the joystick, and in combat you have to learn the right steps to solve the combat puzzle and move onto the next enemy. You learn it all by experimenting and when you die it just makes you stronger as a player.

A lot of the talk people do about the game focused on "difficulty" and people ended up getting the impression that it was almost impossible to beat the game, they'd deprive you of resources, and trap or surprise kill you at every turn. One of the reasons I started my Dark Souls Diary was to try to get across to readers that the stigmas around the game aren't necessarily true and the actual experience of the game is way different, and I wanted to explain to people how the systems are designed, how the combat works, and why the game is so much fun and not just some shoddily designed or poorly balanced game that punishes you for the sake of it and allows players to wear a false cloak of elitism. The dialogues that people often have about the game lead people's minds in the wrong direction and don't really understand the game or get to the meat of why the game is appealing to fans like myself or what kind of affect the systems design and combat design have on your experience.

I like the kind of games that require some patience, observation, learning, skill in combat, and a methodical mindset. I don't get to play games like that often, games aren't made like that often. Most of the games I'm accustomed to are more like a mental or cognitive ejaculation, like Modern Warfare. I like those games but in order to get through a level of CoD all I need is enough sugar in my bloodstream to fuel my brain while it basically splooges and requires quick reflexes and spacial awareness. So once I understood what Dark Souls was all about and how it worked as I played along I felt very at home and engaged in it. I kind of snuggled into Dark Souls and I'm allowed to slow down, take my time, and use my brain is ways that most games don't let me.

As for the time commitment of the game I can understand you being daunted by it, you may want to hold off on it until you have some more time and can really settle into it. It's a really good game but it requires you to be a bit of a hermit and ignore the outside world for a little while. For example if you're deep in an area and progressing from combat to combat and suddenly you need to go eat, answer the door, or leave to do something there's no pause button you either need just die and respawn at your last bonfire, ignore your life and fight on, or press Quit Game and it saves but you may or may not load at the same spot. There's not a lot of natural stopping points, the bonfires are the only places, so you need to fight to get to one, rest at it and then press Quit Game and next time you load you'll be there. It's a really nicely designed, slick, rewarding, and incredibly memorable adventure but it requires time and lacks what some people might consider modern conveniences of save anywhere features and the ability to pause and stop the game.


04/19/2013 at 07:39 PM

This is my first time listening, and I really enjoyed it.

I wouldn't get rid of Power Blade 2. Maybe in a couple of years. If you get desperate for money you can sell it for a vast sum. I've been meaning to buy the first Power Blade for awhile now. I love Gremlins 2. The movie anyway. I never played the NES game. Was the NES version any good?

Julian Titus Senior Editor

04/19/2013 at 08:58 PM

Yeah, I'm torn between my wanting to be a game collector and my being in debt, lol. We'll see what happens. I know I wouldn't get rid of it until I've played it through though.

Gremlins 2 is great! I highly recommend seeking it out. I think it's pretty cheap, and it's a fun and challenging platformer that captures a lot of the movie's creepier moments.


04/19/2013 at 07:49 PM

Gremlins 2 on the nes was hard! Still, I thought the "new gremlins" from the movie sequel incorperated themselves nicely into the game. It was the first time you could have a spider gremlin, bat gremlin, or an electro gremlin.

Can't say much about bosoms at the moment but I'm glad they were promised!


Julian Titus Senior Editor

04/19/2013 at 09:00 PM

Right? I feel like I got a life achievement for that one. If I hadn't been sick I probably would have done a happy little jig once the credits started to roll.

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