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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 71: B Sides

This podcast is so bad, it's good!

Welcome to a fun-filled episode of Nerds Without Pants! We are joined once again by Friend Of The Show John Gholson to talk all about B movies and B games. What exactly do those entail? I'm glad you asked. Fortunately, we have John's incredible knowledge of film to lead the way. We skip the Consumption Junction portion of the show and instead split it into a section on movies and a section on video games. Enjoy!

In the movie portion of the show, John gives us a working definition of B movie. It's more complex than you might think! We talk about some of our earliest experiences with B movies, why we actively seek them out, and the sweet, sweet pain of Santa Claus Meets The Ice Cream Bunny. Yup.

Julian takes the reins of the video game section, where he lays out what he means by B games. It turns out that it is an even tougher thing to pin down than B movies. Basically, we know them when we see them. We talk about guilty pleasures, good games that time forgot, and finish things off with the most embarrassing game in our personal collections.




05/17/2015 at 10:38 PM

Back when I use to do blogs regularly I had a series I did called Guilty Pleasures and most of those games I highlighted could probably be considered B games. My favorite B game ever is still The Hobbit game developed by Inevitable Entertainment and published by Sierra in 2003. In my feature on it I explained the good and bad in depth but to make a long story short the music is great, the progression of the story, levels, and even the names of chapters sticks quite closely to the novel, and the charm factor is through the roof for me.

It's a mix of platforming and 3D action-adventure in which all the elements are executed in a pretty rudimentary way but are solid and somehow cohesive in the context of the story and overall feel of the game. And there's a significant amount of stealth gameplay in the game to serve the aspect of the story where Bilbo gets the one Ring and turns invisible when putting it on. Since stealth games are probably my favorite genre in game history I'm the type of person that can find a lot of joy even in the types of elementary stealth that happen in games like The Hobbit or Beyond Good & Evil.

This was the right game at the right time for me and at that point in my life I was the perfect person to become of a fan of its particular charm. I still play through this on Gamecube once every two years or so.

Fun fact about The Hobbit, the Game Audio Network Guild rewarded it with Best Original Game Soundtrack at GDC 2004. Listen to the two songs at the beginning and tell me they don't belong to a pretty charming game. One of the best parts of the game is that it's all original artwork and music, no tie-ins to the movies.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/21/2015 at 06:25 PM

I feel like The Hobbit came out in a time of really solid B-tier games. I associate it with some games I really enjoyed like I Ninja, Sphinx, Metal Arms: Glitch in the System, and of course Beyond Good & Evil.


05/19/2015 at 03:06 PM

Let's see.  All of this talk of movies has me thinking back to college, when I would pick up all the weirdest movies...  Mostly foreign horror films, and mostly films released by blue-underground.  The House by the Cemetary, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, Suspiria, and Tenebre.

I can't say much in the way of games.  I know that there were quite a few PS2 games that I loved, but didn't seem to get much love by the masses.  That could have been because I didn't spend much time online in those days, and didn't see it.  Cold Winter and Second Sight come to mind.

Also, loved the...  "Google ___, and thank me later"  made me laugh.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/21/2015 at 06:27 PM

I hope people Googled a lot of the games and movies we mentioned. I ended up looking up some video of Britney's Dance Beat to make sure I'm not crazy. I'm not. That game is cool. Also, Patrick Googled Julie K Smith during the show and was not disappointed.


05/22/2015 at 04:48 PM

Nooooo. I've been on a critically acclaimed kick in games lately and you just reminded me how most of my favorite games are B's like Total Overdose and Open Season and Hogs of War and on an on. Now I got more games to buy. Arghhh! I watched my friend play the 360 Matt Hazard game. I still say "down to my last squirt" every time I'm out of ammo in any game I play thanks to Matt Hazard. I'll have to go on a budget game buying spree soon and pick that up and Onechenbara too. Gotta have them guilty pleasures as well. B movies rock too. Crank's the bomb! Ever see the docu American Grindhouse? That lists a ton of movies I want to see. I wrote them down somewhere.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/23/2015 at 12:10 AM

You get a lot of points for bringing up Hogs of War. And I think I still have my copy of Onechanbara around here somewhere. I think I traded in Bulletwitch though.


05/23/2015 at 04:38 PM

I wanted to try Bulletwitch. Also, my friend played a bunch of Bloodrayne and seemed to like it. I gotta try that one too after your great description of the gameplay that takes place after that first dreadful hour or so.


05/25/2015 at 11:40 AM

First of all, let me say that I have been listening to the show each time and enjoying it, but I listen during my work commute and never remember to comment by the time I get home. But not this time! (Let me make this quick.) I think the reason there are so many B movies based on Stephen King stories is because of the $1 Babies, which is really cool of him to do (he doesn't need money after all).

I've always thought of B games not so much as bad or really flawed games, but as games by mid-tier developers. Second Sight, developed by Free Radical, was a great game, in my opinion, but no one played it. I'd say it's a B game but because of it's obscurity, not it's quality.


05/25/2015 at 11:41 AM

One of my favourite games ever, and the first game to come to my mind.


05/25/2015 at 10:56 PM

As much as I enjoyed the TimeSplitters games, Second Sight was their best game. It was criminally overlooked.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/26/2015 at 11:14 PM

Daftman, that means a lot! I know we have a lot of listeners that don't comment or write in, but it's always nice to hear from people that enjoy the show. I hope we continue to entertain, as we have some fun stuff coming up.

Free Radical is a great "B studio". I always cite Haze as a game that had a ton of potential but went in the wrong direction.

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