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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 51: Community Chest

Our community chest is firm, yet supple.

I'm up against a deadline folks, so I will have to keep this description of Nerds Without Pants brief. See what I did there? Ahem.

It's a show brought to you! The listeners and bloggers at PixlBit keep the Pantsless Ones hopping with a plethora of varied topics. From Power Rangers to a trio of horrorific talking points to the state of Sonic the Hedgehog, this episode has plenty to please you. Regular listeners: let us know how this episode sounds, as it's our first time using our webcams while we record, which I feel made for a much more natural conversational flow. Also: actual outtakes! Thanks for all your submissions, and keep 'em coming!


Theme to the '80s X-Men cartoon pilot

Killer Instinct- The Way U Move

Silent Hill 4- Fortunate Sleep

Contra- Jungle

Punch Out!!- Little Mac's Confession




08/08/2014 at 02:52 PM

"X-men,X-men,savin the day!" Oh you guys. lol. As for the "new Marvel Universe" I don't understand the need to gender-bend or replace every male character. I'm okay with Morales but a "new" Spider-woman?? Uh,there already is a Spider-woman. And a female Thor?? Why not just give Lady Sif her own epic story arch? I just feel as if before long they're gonna drop all of this and revert it back to the "old style" after the gimmicks and glamour stops making them cash. Being progressive just for the sake of being progressive (And to make profit off a new demographic) is not always good storytelling. That's all I'm saying.

As for Phil Phish? I don't like the sot much either but I sort of sympathize the guy. It sucks being a single guy who makes a game with no PR reps to buffer the social onslaught between yourself and the internet. (I've been there myself,not a fun time.) Like it or not, developers are flawed humans as opposed to being impeccable and perfect gods. Don't get me wrong, Phil is still kind of an asshole but not everyone is gifted with the ability to be a social debutante.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

08/13/2014 at 10:40 PM

Characters change in comics all of the time, and I expect this to be much like the Superior Spider-Man: just an arc that lasts about 6-12 months. Trust me, Thor will be back to normal in time for Avengers 2 to hit the theaters.

Personally, I'm more interested in A: Actual, lasting change to characters (see: Psylocke becoming asian or Hal Jordan being dead for over a decade) or B: Actual new characters in comics that aren't a derivative of another character. Comic artists are so concerned with the fact that they don't own the characters created under Marvel or DC that all we get these days are things like Red Hulk or Kid Guardian.


08/08/2014 at 06:01 PM

I probably told you guys my Matrix story a long time ago but since you all brought up thoughts on that movie I guess it'd be funny to bring up my anecdote. I was 11 or 12 when The Matrix came out. I was already in love with video games by that time and had the NES, SNES, and maybe the N64 by that year. I idolized Miyamoto and knew that somehow he used computers to make these magic cartridges I saw on shelves at the rental store, but I didn't have a clue what programming meant and what code looked like.

When I watched The Matrix I had an epiphany of sorts, certainly an imagination expanding experience at the very least, where I extrapolated that Miyamoto must be doing something similar to what building The Matrix was in that story. All the buildings, characters, and monsters in all the games I loved were just numbers and letters, like what Neo sees when he's jacked into the Matrix at the end of that film. It wasn't some magic stork that dropped off Miyamoto's games onto store shelves after he had done some unknown sorcery, it was just him and his team sitting at computers doing something entirely tangible, explainable, and doing something that could be learned.

The Matrix was a great sci-fi adventure, but in the larger picture it stretched my brain in ways that helped me understand video games and computer science better. I came to the conclusion (not worded as well at the time) that Miyamoto was taking his imagination, dreams, and emotions and using a technical skill to manifest them into something tangible that he could share with the world. Once I eventually came to that realization it blew my mind wide open, and watching The Matrix was the catalyst that got that ball rolling.

Onto the Resident Evil news, I don't think I ever told Julian (I might've mentioned it only once on Twitter long ago) but I bought the RE remake for GC and finally got around to playing it in 2012, and loved it. I not only loved it but I finally understood why it's so great. That year was the first time I played Dark Souls, and I bring it up because falling in love with Dark Souls inspired me to try RE1 again and stick to it. The two games have a lot of similarities once you understand how each one works. Both have combat that is pretty simple and straightforward, but can be incredibly difficult if you panic, aren't methodical, and if you don't concede that sometimes the best option is to run. Both games have an open world concept where the sections of the game all feel connected. There's no ice world, level 4, or what have you. Also, the way you save progress and enter a playsession feel very similar. The bonfires in Dark Souls where you establish checkpoints are spread throughout the open world similar to how typewriters are spread through the open concept of Spencer Mansion.

During any given playsession, whether you're fighting a boss, gathering a resource, or just exploring, all your actions are just things being done around a particular checkpoint you chose to activate, and as you find new areas you can activate a checkpoint closer to where you are and that becomes your new hub for the time being. It isn't a save anywhere system, or an autosave system, it's a system of set points and anything you're doing in the game involves you spreading out from that point to accomplish things. Once you play enough of both games you'll see how similar the feel is, how easy it can be to die, how you can lose an hour of progress relatively easily, and how every small adventure spreading out from your checkpoint is a dangerous but exciting risk that needs to be taken. Dark Souls got me to understand Resident Evil, and I love both.

I'm super excited for the HD remaster of the GC remake. I like the tank controls, from a technical perspective they make sense in the context they're in, like Julian was explaining. The controls are logical since you have fixed camera points. If you have fixed cameras but also camera-relative controls, you literally have to take time (might just be half a second, might be a few seconds) to rethink your movement relative to the camera as it changes every single time, which is a hassle and can lead to way more frustration. With the tank controls in RE1 you know what to expect no matter what angle the camera suddenly changes to, it's a smart system.

If Capcom allows me to play the remaster just how I love it, with the GC remake controls, same camera angles, and the same great sound design and save-room theme, but all in beautiful HD, I'll be very happy.

I wanted to contribute to the comfort gaming topic and say that most of the comfort games I go back to play are all Gamecube games for some reason. Maybe it's because I don't have my PS2 anymore, but I do have my GC. Whatever the reasons, every couple years I go back to play Resident Evil 4 and LOTR: The Third Age on GC.

As for newer games, the biggest comfort food game I have is Spelunky. That game is as close to perfect as a game can be. I find that I enjoy it even more than I enjoyed platformers and puzzle games as a kid on NES and SNES. Spelunky is an outstanding evolution of things I loved from game design in the past, mixed with brilliant game design of the present. It's more of a survival puzzle game than it is a platformer, and the focus isn't on combat whatsoever, so it definitely has far more to it that you'd think just by seeing the 2d platformer aesthetic. Also, endlessly replayable, that helps.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

08/13/2014 at 10:43 PM

Now that you mention it, I remember you commenting that you had tried the remake and were digging it, but I don't think I heard if you finished it. Your Dark Souls comparison is spot on, and I'm really hoping that game designers (especially people at Capcom and Konami) take note of how successful the Souls games are and remember that survival horror was doing that stuff 15 years ago. Sure, modernize the controls (but not the loose, crappy style of RE 6), but the limited resources, small inventory, and tense pacing still works today.

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/08/2014 at 11:12 PM

When I saw Indie Game: The Movie, I just saw Phil Fish as a depressed mad genius, and I actually kinda liked him. I know he got really defensive about something or other later on, but I don't know why I should hate him. Care to fill me in, Julian? Having said that, I've given up on Fez for the time being, cause figuring out where to go on the map has gotten way too frustrating. As for the art vs. the person who created it, I just can't quit listening to Pantera and Down despite some arguably racist things Phil Anselmo has said. I wish everyone who made good art could just be perfect, dammit. 

I still need to see Guardians of the Galaxy as well. All my bastard "friends" already saw it without me. Need to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as well. Kind of curious about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I know better and need to save money.

As for the dolphin-led team of eco-friendly friends, I'd be there opening day. I wonder if anyone has plans for an Ecco the Dolphin movie.And while we're on the topic of gaming/comic book movies, I can't wait for the Sly Cooper flick and am jealous of Angelo's HD collection. 

I'm digging the theme park talk. Going to the Warner Bros. lot makes me really want to go on rides in addition to seeing all the cool stuff we got to see. 

Angelo's right about the Battle mode in Mario Kart 8. Courses are way too big. 

If we're talking about horror movies, have you seen any of the good newer ones? The Conjuring for example? Well, supposedly good; critically acclaimed. I thought it was decent. Not anywhere near as scary as hyped, but I'm not a huge horror guy, so there ya go. Ever seen Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer? Not really a horror film, but hard to watch. Caught it on Netflix. 

... I guess I should see The Matrix eventually. Only ever seen Reloaded the whole way through. 

Stopped at 52:51. Be back tomorrow. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

08/13/2014 at 10:48 PM

I'm not saying anyone should hate him. I'm saying I really don't like him and don't want to support him with my money. I think he's incredibly disrespectful to the industry he so badly wanted to be a part of. I think he is a whiny primadonna that took his ball and went home when people started to respond to his purposely trolling comments. I think he's also indicative of that "indie game mentality" that I rail against on NWP. That sense that video games are terrible if they come from a big company and only indie games are where it's copying the game mechanics and art style of 25 years ago.

I'm partial to supernatural horror, so I'm a big fan of (most of) the Paranormal Activity movies, and Sinister is the most recent one to really get under my skin. Written by a friend of our very own John Gholson, to boot! should probably get on those Matrix movies. What are you doing watching the second in a trilogy, anyway? :P

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/14/2014 at 01:54 AM

I saw Sinister with my then-girlfriend when it came out and she kept pointing out that the guy only affected children, so we were good. lol 

I didn't know much about Fish's troll comments. Makes sense.

And the second one was what they had to rent at the video store at the time. lol

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/10/2014 at 12:56 AM

Having been young enough for Power Rangers mania and also having recently seen the original movie and playing the SNES games ... you thought the games were bad and the movie was good?! I ... what?! I can't fault you for not being the right age at the time, but I think if you go back and watch that movie, you'll realize how bad it is. Which to Angelo's point is part of its charm, but still. And I thought the games were pretty good and still find them enjoyable, though the SNES side-scroller for the Movie was too hard for me, while the game based on the show was a bit too easy. 

Anyway, I fell of the Rangers bandwagon around the time the movie came out as well, though I caught episodes of the newer series like Alien and Zeo here and there. After Turbo, I pretty much stopped being aware of the series aside from the Ninja Turtles/Power Rangers crossover in Space. I grew up on TMNT, Transformers, and PR all around the same time thanks to the magic of video stores and an older brother who had watched the former series on Saturday mornings, where I caught PR on both VHS and after-school TV. 

If any series is to get a dark makeover though, I'd prefer VR Troopers, which I remember already being somewhat darker in tone than the super-cheesy Power Rangers.

Having not grown up with Sonic (we had SNES) and only having played the original Sonic trilogy recently ... I love Sonic 2  especially, but really enjoy the other two as well. I have a bit of nostalgia for Sonic Adventure and I own Sonic Adventure 2:Battle though I only like the Sonic/Shadow sections in those. I think both of them are fun, but hate the secondary character levels. Again, I've played these recently, so to Angelo's point: the Sonic/Shadow segments are still fun to me in reality, not just in my head. However, I fully admit that my love for the cartoon show is probably entirely nostalgia-based. Also the ravioli. Just cause I never got to play the games outside of kiosks doesn't mean I didn't like Sonic or wasn't jealous of Genesis owners ...

Oh man, I remember loving Tenchu, though I don't recall tank controls. May have to go back and play that one if I can. I guess I won't get to experience this for a bit as Resident Evil 4 HD Remake will be my starting point for the series. Thank you, Steam. The only tank controls I ever remember having to deal with were the RC Car level in SNES Toy Story. I have not-so-fond memories of that level. 

I forgot I commented about atheists and unbelievers in gaming. Doing a research paper intended to be a start to your thesis will make you forget things, even if it's commenting about your thesis topic. lol Well, I did a lot of research on the topic and stereotypes in media in general and found some interesting studies related to gaming, so if you do that podcast, I'll offer to be a guest on it. 

That's interesting about the about-face Nintendo did with CD technology. I knew about their deal with Sony, but not the sudden shift in their advertising/propaganda. All I know is when the Playstation came out, my older brother switched sides and went with Sony while I stuck with Nintendo and got an N64 for Christmas. 

My comfort game is Street Fighter II: Turbo. But I actually really like going back to obscure, even bad old games like Rise of the Robots, etc. for comfort. Those games really bring me back to the good ol' days, cause those days were the only ones in which they were relevant. 

Congrats on episode 51!

Julian Titus Senior Editor

08/13/2014 at 10:50 PM

I watched the Power Rangers movie about 4 years ago and still had fun with it. I hate, hate, hate the villain and the CG for the zords is TERRIBLE now, but I'm a sucker for the costumes, martial arts action, and Amy Jo Johnson in those shorts.

I'm about 45 minutes into your appearance on Past and Pending, and I think you hold yourself well! I'm going to try and remember to plug it on the next episode, and I may just take you up on the guesting offer.

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/14/2014 at 02:09 AM

 Thanks and definitely keep me in mind if you decide to do it, I'd love to be a guest!

As for Power Rangers, I have fun with it too, but I actually thought the first SNES title was legitimately good, where the movie is good in a MSTK3000 kind of way.. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/10/2014 at 12:57 AM

I must say, I think Michael117 and I have succeeded in creating the Great Wall of Pixlbit Text. 

Our Take

Chris Yarger Community Manager

08/11/2014 at 08:53 AM

You have.
My respect completely belongs to you two, lol


08/13/2014 at 02:39 PM

I'm on board now and listening. The sound is much improved. Thanks for that. Are you taking requests for topics still? I don't have one off the top of my head yet, but I'll think about it.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

08/13/2014 at 10:53 PM

I'm always taking show ideas. You can PM me on the site with bigger ideas, or general questions for the cast. We answer them on air when we get them, but that's a rarity. As far as smaller topics for community show part 3, feel free to send those as well, and I'll be doing another blog post when we're set to record another one. We have shows booked up for the next 4 or so, so it'll be a couple months until we get to do another one. Thanks for the feedback!


08/17/2014 at 11:56 AM

First of all, the Harry Potter books are much better than the movies. That isn't to say that some of the movies aren't good (though some of the movies are, well, not good) but the books are just so good. So, Angelo, they're definitely worth reading.

I'm not sure why you disliked the SNES Power Rangers game so much, Julian. We had it back in the day (I think my brother still has it, actually) and loved it. Seems like a very solid beat-'em-up to me. And man, it has great music! The lack of co-op is a disappointment burt hardly a deal-breaker.

I bought Sonic Adventure 2 when came out on the GameCube and really enjoyed it at the time. Well, as a whole. I'd be very hesitant to go back and replay it. The Knuckles and Tails levels...ugh. But I often went back through the years and replayed those Sonic levels that let you blaze through things super fast. Those were so much fun!

I played Sonic Colors and that one is very good. Definitely worth anyone's time. I'm looking forward to playing Lost World on the Wii U whenever I get around to it.

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