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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 105: The Best of the Worst Year

2016: bad for mankind, great for video games.

The Nerds Without Pants return from their (overlong) holiday break to talk about a lot of damn games! No Stage Select or Chrono Crossing this time, because we’re about Consumption Junction and our favorite games of 2016. Let’s get to it!

Angelo has rediscovered shoot ‘em ups, and Patrick is over the moon for Abzu. Julian mourns his latest Diablo III failure. The Nintendo Switch comes up, and the Pantsless Ones discuss the presentation, the console, and the games that have been shown so far. Also, anime!

We wrap with our top three games of 2016. See if you can guess our games and rankings based on listening to us last year. There may be some surprises (but probably not)

Next time, we return to our normal format. For Stage Select, Angelo wants to know your top 3 video game intros. Take that how you will: it can be a cutscene, a level, a cool bit that happens before the game proper starts.

For Chrono Crossing, we’re going back to 2001, so let us know your favorite game of that year that isn’t a re-release or a port.


MS MR- Criminals

Super Mario Odyssey- Trailer theme

Dragon Ball- Makafushigi Adventure!

Splender- Yeah Whatever



Super Step Contributing Writer

02/01/2017 at 08:33 PM

I've been kind of in and out of this podcast while I write and edit tests, but Abdu stuck out to me. Patrick, would you recommend it for its current price? I bought Journey  on sale for $5, and loved the music/it was a cool, relaxing experience, but I finished it incredibly quickly and don't see a whole lot of reason to come back to it. 

It Follows was hilariously stupid to me. What happens in an orgy? Loved the soundtrack though. 

The Go Fish thing though ... it WAS set in the 70s or 80s, can't remember. I DO know teens who play UNO. I don't see that part as so far-fetched. 

Love the end song. Nostalgic.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/01/2017 at 10:31 PM

It's definitely set in modern day, what with the girl reading on an e-reader. Which makes the black and white CRTs all the more bizarre. Apparently the director wanted to make the time period vague, but in doing so I spent more time scratching my head at the behavior of the teenagers than the monster. But that's probably just me. 

Glad you liked the end song! I was struggling to find music for this one, but I recently ripped my ENTIRE CD collection to my computer and Splender popped up on my iPhone. I hadn't listened to that album in years, and I still love that band. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/02/2017 at 09:23 AM

Ok, fine. It was an alternative universe 80s where that one girl had an eReader. Tongue Out 

I don't know if I've heard any other Splender songs. Hmmm ...


02/02/2017 at 03:25 AM

Stage Select: 3 best intros

3. Half Life 2 - getting off the train and wandering around City 17, seeing the police oppress the citizens, and getting chased by the Combine until Alyx Vance saves you.

2. Fallout 3 - seeing your character go from infancy to a pre-teen birthday, to high school exams, culminating with you exiting the Vault and seeing the Wasteland for the first time.

1. Bioshock - seeing Rapture for the first time from the bathysphere is easily the best. Also, do you remember the beautifully orchestrated opening cutscene of Fable 2 that ends with your peasant character getting pooped on by a bird? Awesome.

Chrono Crossing 2001

Halo 1. I loved the campaign, and my friends and I played a bunch of the split-screen multiplayer together. Halo came in hot with a weird space opera, a distinct art style, great music, and you played it with TWO thumbsticks! My friends and I had literally never played anything like it before.

Catherine Hauser Staff Alumnus

02/02/2017 at 01:02 PM

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze was released in 2014 for the Wii U, which I thought was a fun game that used the functionality of the controllers like Donkey Kong Country Returns did on the Wii. I would really love to see a Donkey Kong 64 style game for the Switch.


02/04/2017 at 07:30 PM

Stage Select

1) Onimusha 3 – This one is obvious. I think. The opening cutscene for Onimusha 3 shows of some great fight choreography and a final showdown at the end that is pure awesome. Hit up YouTube and watch immediately if you haven’t seen it yet.

2) Final Fantasy VIII – The music and scenes for the opening starts off slow and as the music picks up so does the action, it is fun to watch, I would watch over and over again when the game released. Really gets you hyped to play the game. Another YouTube hit you should watch.

3) Finally the Metal Gear Solid series is my favorite in gaming and all the opening scenes are pretty good. It came down MGS2 and MGS4 and I am going with MGS4. The opening monologue of Snake will always be one of my favorite moments in gaming.


Chrono Crossing

 2001 was an awesome year, so many of my favorite games of all time came out. My honorable mention is Halo, so mannnnnyyyy LAN parties. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty definitely is my pick though, as I mentioned before the series is my favorite in gaming and this is tied for my favorite in the series. My brother and I each bought our own copies we wanted this game so badly. I probably put 30 hours into the demo that came with Zone of the Enders. I will admit the bait and switch with Raiden was disappointing at first, but I didn’t care as you (spoiler) meet Snake later in the game.


02/04/2017 at 07:35 PM

Me and my friends STILL reminisce the Halo LAN parties to this day. Such good times. One memory that will always stick with me is that my friends and I played a lot, so we were pretty good. We met this other group of guys from next city over that said they were the best, so we played them LAN in a church, lol. We beat them 50 to 1....we still talk about it Smile  


02/04/2017 at 07:53 PM

Sorry guys have to do this quick;

Stage Select – Devil May Cry (PS2), Final Fantasy X (PS2), Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360).

Chrono Crossing – Halo: Combat Evolved – The multiplayer is the obvious reason, my first LAN experience the also the game to get me into FPS games.

Exrian Contributing Writer

02/05/2017 at 08:03 AM

CWelcome back standard NWPcast. First off, I was saddened to hear about your depression Julian. I guess holidays can bring that out sometimes when we miss those we love. Glad to hear you're doing better. Nothing like gaming to drive out the sadness. 

Got to be honest and say that the move from Sunday is a bummer. You guys had a prime slot there since nothing else comes out Sundays and I'm finished with my weekly podcast backlog by Saturday night. That was actually one of my favorite things about NWP since it always started my week. But you guys will have top spot on Wednesday.

Julian, it seems like you enjoy the Bombcast GOTY deliberations as much as I do. It's like a 2nd Super Bowl for me, lol. I get all hyped up around October for them. Though I was disappointed the top 10 didn't have a true deep cut. Dan (Stardew Valley), Austin (Thumper), and Vinny? (Can't remember who wanted Hyper Light Drifter) all getting their personal game of choice in the top 10 was a bummer. I really wanted to see what happened when someone had to give. Having Austin go to bat for something is always entertaining. That year he fought for Brothers in the top 10 was hilarious as Guirstman kept trying to make a deal to drop it.

Stage Select:

3. God of War 3: The whole opening up til defeating Neptune was amazing. It was like a game ending (which I guess it technically was).

2. The Last of Us: I really like LoU but am not as high on it as most. That said, the opening really grabbed me. Maybe because we was shortly after the birth of my daughter but it hit me at an emotional Level probably no other game has. 

1. Chrono Cross: It's mostly nostalgia but the cinematic before starting the game blew me away. The music and scenes all mashed together is ultimately what let me to buy it.


Chrono Crossing 2001: Devil May Cry

Definitely my choice here. I had never played a game like it. The combat and Dante were so awesome. Bosses were memorable. Another contender for a great opening also. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/08/2017 at 12:51 AM

Haha! It's funny that you said that about the GOTY Deliberations. I don't watch sports, but to make people understand how important those podcasts are to me I always say that the Deliberations are my Super Bowl. I've actually listened to the ones from 2008 and 2009 multiple times, because they're some of my favorites. 

I'm hoping that we'll be able to go back to our old recording day and reclaim that Sunday spot. I could technically still release on Sunday, but that would mean I'd have to bust ass to do all the editing in one day, and I think the show quality would suffer. I start to miss things if I'm at it too long.

Exrian Contributing Writer

02/08/2017 at 03:50 PM

Got to go check those out. I came late to the party on podcasts. I started bombcast about 3 to 4 years ago. I was shocked when 3 hours of new podcast were added each day. I was wondering if it was even worth the time. So glad I did. I've gone back as far as 2011 but keep getting distracted by other podcasts. My weekly podcast hours are around 13. The Giantbomb GOTY stuff has surpassed Super Bowl to me, lol. 

Wednesday is still a great day. Doesn't fall on Bomb or Beastcast so perfect timing. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/09/2017 at 08:42 PM

I've had to scale way back on podcasts, and it makes me sad. I probably used to listen to about 30 hours a week. Now it's closer to 10. I keep up to date on the Bomb/Beastcasts, Comics Conspiracy, TnB, and Rebel FM. Then I subscribe to Mysterious Universe, 8-4 Play, Square Roots, and Astonishing Legends, but I have skipped a bunch of recent ones because I got so far behind. 

Exrian Contributing Writer

02/15/2017 at 07:40 AM

Yeah I understand that. Starting a new job at my company and don't think I'll have the same free listening time. I'll find out though. If anything I'll have to shut off my second TV and listen to podcasts instead of reruns to my favorite sitcoms. 

Catherine Hauser Staff Alumnus

02/07/2017 at 06:51 PM

Stage Select: 

1. Final Fantasy VI was my immediate thought, so it wins first place. Chills every time.

2. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. The music was what made this intro and is some of the best in the series.

3. Kingdom Hearts 2. I remember the first time I played this game, I got a full hour in and suddenly the title screen popped up as I was switching from Roxas to Sora. I realized at that point that I hadn't even started playing the actual game, and that really stuck with me.

Crono Crossing 2001:

Final Fantasy X. I was working at Toys R Us when this came out, and those of us who worked in the video game department counted the days down until we could grab our copies. We could not wait to see what the PS2 could bring to Final Fantasy, and I, at least, was not dissapointed.

Final Fantasy Chronicals has to get an honorable mention. My beloved FFIV was brought to the PSX with CGI. There were issues, but I was still glad for the attention it was given.


02/10/2017 at 12:30 AM

First I want to mention my top games of 2016 even though, like Angelo, I really didn't play that many game that actually came out in 2016. Top spot definitely goes to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. I loved everything about that game. The other two spots are trickier because, like I said, I didn’t play a ton of games that actually came out in 2016 and two of my most anticipated ones, Zero Time Dilemma and Dishonored 2, I haven’t had a chance to play yet. Those two would probably take the other spots but going with what I did play that came out last year, let’s put Song of the Deep at no. 2 and Star Fox Zero at no. 3.

Stage Select

3. Final Fantasy VI. That opening walk to Narsh in the Magitek was so cool back in the day. So moody.

2. Custom Robo. The opening movie is so cool, especially when he takes out the last robot. Great stuff.

1. Metroid Prime. The frigate is such a great opening level. It's creepy and mysterious, has a big boss, and an escapse sequence!

Chrono Crossing

There are definitely some strong contenders in 2001 but I’m going to go with something of a dark horse pick. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon for GBA. I didn't play Symphony of the Night till years later, so Circle of the Moon was my first experience with this style of Castlevania...and I loved it! I bought a GBA the day it launched and this game blew my mind. I couldn't believe this game was portable. It looked and sounded so good and was so fun to play. In hindsight it has problems—poor castle design, dependence on random card drops, so dark it was hard to see—but none of those were apparent to me at the time. It made me a lifelong Castlevania fan, and for that it will always hold a special place in my heart.

One last thing. When you mentioned in the opener of that other episode, Julian, that you were really depressed, I was worried it had something to do with your lovely girlfriend Jenny. What else could send you into such a depression, I thought. So I refrained from making a comment but now I know it’s ok (and I’m glad for you that it is). You mentioned that you’ve hardly spent any time with your Wii U and I definitely want to give a very strong recommendation for Super Mario 3D World. To me, that game alone justifies the purchase of a Wii U. SO MUCH FUN. But I think it shines brightest when played co-op. My wife and I played  that together and loved it. Normally when we finish the story or campaign in a game, we move onto the next thing but we played all the postgame content in 3D World. It’s fantastic and I think you and your girlfriend would really enjoy it. Tangentially related, Captain Toad is a delightful little single-player game that I’d also wholly recommend.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/10/2017 at 01:17 AM

I really want to play through Super Mario 3D World, and you're right, I think Jenny and I would have a lot of fun playing it together. I can only humiliate her so many times on Mario Kart, after all! 

Thank you for your comment, it was very sweet. I'm going to tell Jenny to read it. I wish I could say what happened. That was a doozy of a depression, and even now I'm still having problems getting my eating and sleeping back on track. Baby steps, and all...

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

02/15/2017 at 12:45 PM

A little late to the party here, but listen to that Custom Robo video. They absolutely stole the door opening and closing sounds from Doom and used them all over the place, lol.

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