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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 38: Jaded

Step 1: Talk about video games. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Profit!

Hey there, folks. Julian here. So, I've been going through a lot of personal stuff for the past, oh, year or so, and it's starting to come to a head. What that means for you is we don't have a topic this week because I was too frazzled to come up with one. However, my  pain may become your pleasure, because somehow we managed to have a two hour show with a ton of different little discussions that turned out pretty well.

There's absolutely no structure to this edition of Nerds Without Pants. Heck, we're even wearing pants this time. We talk about our dream home arcades, answer some burning questions, play around with the Zelda formula, and wonder if Lunar's story can hold up to modern RPGs. I'm conflicted about A Link Between Worlds, Patrick's been watching a lot of TV, and Angelo has an axe to grind against Aerosmith (and the fact that I'm classic rock illiterate).

That's only the tip of the iceberg. Maybe I should go through personal turmoil more often. What say you?


New Radicals: I Don't Wanna Die Anymore

Nightwish: I Want My Tears Back

Jeff Danna and Mychel Danna: Two Trees

Jason Segel: See a Psychiatrist

Aerosmith: Jaded



Nick DiMola Director

01/24/2014 at 04:51 PM

Julian, I feel exactly the same as you lately. That jaded feeling is something I can't seem to shake. Not sure why, but I'm just not excited for much any more. Dark Souls II is about the only thing legitimately on my radar and everything else falls somewhere in that same mindset you expressed. Playing it because I should.

I think there's a lot building towards that for me, but it's a funk I'd like to break out of at some point soon. I'm starting to feel like Stan...

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/26/2014 at 06:59 PM

It's funny you mention that, because I've totally been feeling like Stan lately, especially when I'm at work and am subjected to the top 40 pop "music" that's all the rage these days. Autotuning and dubstep are some of the worst things to happen to music since ever.

Like I said in the cast, I keep waffling between extremes. Like, I get super excited for games, and I think about them all day at work. But when I have time to play, I just don't. And maybe part of it is that, as I look at games with a more critical eye, I see more flaws and don't overlook them like I used to. There are some great games on the way that I'm looking forward to, but part of me wonders if I'll just end up backlogging them. I'm looking at you, Metal Gear Ground Zeroes...


01/24/2014 at 05:07 PM

I like the Robocop trilogy a lot, each of the 3 are great in their own ways. The 1st two are rated R and they're really intense and dark, but one thing I actually forgot over the years is that Robocop 3 was rated PG-13, and I like that movie a lot. It's less dark than the previous two but the third film is by far the weirdest and perhaps coolest. Robocop has a jetpack, there's a samurai ninja robot he fights, it's fucking bonkers but it all holds up well and delivers a fairly satisfying dramatic action story about the Detroit cops going to war against the OCP and their mercenary band of gang members and para-military. When I heard the remake is PG-13 I hated it at first because the first two movies were super dark and built on Robo taking down violent criminals and druglords in pretty graphic ways, but once I realized Robocop 3 wasn't rated R and how much I liked it, I came around. I'll be interested to see what they end up doing with the remake and if they touch on the same themes. The original trilogy did a pretty good job of exploring all kinds of "is he human or machine" themes, corporations taking control over goverment functions in a city, and other things.

I can relate to Julian saying his tastes might be changing a little bit. I don't know if my tastes are changing permanantly, or to what extent they might be changing, but I've been feeling a little different the last couple months. I haven't been able to get super into the shooters and rpgs that I've tried lately, and they're all lauded and were highly recommended to me. I've been going back to Spelunky every night and it's been pretty much satisfying all my gaming needs single-handedly for a couple months straight now. I started The Witcher 2 for 360 and for now I'm on the fence about if this is even a good game. I've heard plenty about how those games feel different and it can be tough to get accustomed to the flow and difficulty of them, so I'm still in a probationary phase (lol) where I'm thinking maybe I'm not playing it right, or maybe it eventually gets good.

I played the tutorial and everything in it made enough sense that I thought it wouldn't be hard to get into. There's two-handed melee combat, a set variety of magic spells to upgrade, traps you can set, bombs to throw, and knives to throw. It doesn't seem like there's any shields, all your blocking is done with the sword, and there's an ability to parry and riposte. Since Dark Souls is my favorite RPG and I like that combat a lot and think it's designed well, those terms bring a certain expectation to my mind, and Witcher 2 has been off the mark altogether. It took me till level 6 or so to simply unlock the ability to parry, it takes longer yet to unlock the ability to riposte, I still have to get that mechanic. I don't understand why those things aren't available from the get go, they seem like they're necessary in order to do combat. Without parry/riposte the combat is a cluster of clumsy diving, swinging, and often getting surrounded and killed, or chased down and killed. There's no flow to it and it's just a mess.

The entire prologue of Witcher 2 (which is a big meaty chunk of game, at least a few hours deep) is real crap to play and makes a nasty impression. The combat just makes me want to play Dark Souls where at least things make sense and work well. There's even a forced stealth section where you have to get out of a jail and all it makes me want to do is play Splinter Cell. Witcher 2 has just about every system and mechanic I tend to love in RPGs between parry/riposte, stealth, trap-setting, buffs for you weapons, robust crafting, and many other things but none of it has come together yet. It's mostly come across as, "I think it's great they're trying to do all this, but this execution isn't very good. Why do people think this game is so great?" I still have some hope, I'll wait to see if the game finally gets good, but as of now I still have yet to do a single satisfying thing mechanically. Story looks really good though, I'm into the cutscenes at least.

I'm going to go play more Spelunky.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/26/2014 at 07:00 PM

Yeah, I try to give games the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes it's hard to ask someone to stick with something for 10 or more hours to get to the good parts. Of course, I tell people to do just that with the first Mass Effect all the time...


01/27/2014 at 03:16 PM

I did like how this episode did go all over the place.  I also liked how you went into the topic of arcades, especially since I had just finished up Retronauts episode on the golden age of arcades...  or something.

When I think about this years releases there are plenty that I am excited for, but the one or two that I am EXCITED for come out closer to the end of the year.  Up until that point I think that this year will just drag on for as far as videogames.  Playing big releases for the sake of playing them.  Hopefully I will revisit a lot of older games, or play them for the first time....

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/27/2014 at 10:28 PM

Out of curiosity, what are those end of the year games you're waiting for? For me it feels like everything I'm excited about is front-loaded: Lightning Returns, inFAMOUS, Thief, MGS Ground Zeroes, Bravely Default, and FF X HD collection are the big ones for me.


01/28/2014 at 09:15 AM

The two games that I am genuinely excited about this year are Destiny and The Witcher 3.  I have been a fan of Bungie since Marathon, so that is why I want that game, and The Witcher 2 was one of my favourite games of the past generation.

This year does feel front loaded, but I think that is because I have no idea what is really coming past March.   While I do want to play inFAMOUS and MGS.  I have tempered my excitement because I never got past the first island in inFAMOUS and I have not gotten into a MGS game since 2004.  

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/28/2014 at 09:27 AM

I'm also looking forward to Witcher 3 and Dragon Age. I really feel like they aren't going to make it out this year, but I'm ready to be wrong, because I want them both. I know I'll play Destiny, but I'm so not a multiplayer guy, and it seems like that's the main focus of the game.


01/27/2014 at 04:32 PM

I know the jaded feeling. After my 360 being my primary way of gaming for the last 4-5 years only goin to pc for a few games (hearthstone recently and Diablo 3, which i got on console and was way better, GW2 and Path of Exile) i have been overwhelmed with too many fps's. I played many games (from ff13, to the silent hills, assassins creeds, cods, bf's, re's) but was always missing soemthing.Ive seen it all before. I just got a 3ds a couple weeks ago and i am getting what i have been missing from gameing, rpgs! Those were my orginal roots in gaming next to survial horrors (ty capcom). My first buy was Rune Factory 4 and although combat isn't old schooly, the leveling and crafting is filling the void that was missing. im loving it. Im actually happy i got the 3ds late in the game because now i also have a giant back log of games to select from too whcih is awesome. My next purchases will be youre GOTY Julian, as well as Bravely Default when it comes out.

Also, what was the 60 hour game you mentioned, Were you refering to AC4?

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/27/2014 at 10:26 PM

The problem for me is that I've been a champion against jaded gamers for years. My old 1up blog was pretty much dedicated to it. I think my current feelings stem more from personal issues than an actual disappointment in video games, although last year I was surprised at how much I disliked some games I was really looking forward to, like GTA V.

After spending the past couple weekends cuddling up with my 3DS and Zelda, I can see what you mean. I'm really looking forward to Bravely Default, and I hope it does well enough to get Square Enix to try some more new-old RPGs.

Yeah, I was talking about AC IV. Now that Zelda is done, I'm going to try and critical path that game before Lightning Returns comes out. It's just so easy to get distracted by stuff and things in that one!


01/28/2014 at 01:50 PM

Its funny you mentioned GTA5. Everyone i know is crazy about it. I even have a buddy that works at rockstar and was talking it up for months prior to release. Yet i still didnt feel the hype everyone else did. Even a friend play it at his place and it looked boring. I just dont get it haha.

AC4 should be much less than 60 hours unless your goin for that platinum thanks to the tedious multiplayer.

Also wanted to say you guys and giant bomb cast are probably the 2 best podcasts out there. thanks for entertaining and informing!

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/28/2014 at 09:38 PM

I base the 60 hours on the fact that I'm at 27 hours and am only on chapter 7 of 13 and sitting at 50% completion. I keep waffling between getting everything for the trophies and just wrapping up the story.

I was totally excited for GTA V, and I think that's a prime example of my tastes changing. I had way more fun with Saints Row IV, which was in my top 5 for the year. GTA didn't even break into my top 10, and I look forward to trading it in towards Lightning Returns.

The Giant Bombcast is my absolute favorite podcast. I don't think we deserve to even be mentioned in the same sentence, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the compliment. We continue to make the show a little bit better every time.

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