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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 108: California Dreamin'

We suffer for you!

Welcome to a new episode of the Dumpster Fire, er, I mean, Nerds Without Pants! Yes, we had some serious issues getting this episode to you, but it should be somewhat entertaining. We’ve got the best of the games that never were, epic road trips, questionable MMO addictions, and an eclectic mix of games for Chrono Crossing. Let’s jump in!

00:00-03:31: Introduction

03:47-1:00:39: STAGE SELECT- Top 3 Cancelled Games

1:01:27-1:29:06: CONSUMPTION JUNCTION- Julian’s trip to the Bay Area, Patrick’s pining for Breath of the Wild, Angelo’s descent into Tera

1:29:29-1:55:08: CHRONO CROSSING- 1999

1:55:24-2:01:33: Outro and outtakes


We are Chrono Crossing back to 1998, widely considered the greatest year for video games to date. As such, the entire episode is dedicated to this monumental year. Instead of selecting only one game, we want your top five games of 1998.

Be sure to submit your picks by March 23 at 9pm Central time. Julian promises not to leave out comments by accident this time! As always, your input makes NWP great!


The Mamas and the Papas- California Dreamin’

Vanessa Carlton- San Francisco

Dionne Warwick- Do You Know the Way to San Jose

The Red Hot Chili Peppers- Californication





03/16/2017 at 12:07 AM

Chrono Crossing 1998

5. Tomb Raider 3 - The stories didn't make sense and it was difficult to navigate levels, but Lara Croft was an awesome female Indiana Jones with a British accent so I played the first four games religiously. Between '96 and '99 they released one Tomb Raider game per year and Tomb Raider 3 was in the heyday of my fandom before The Last Revelation burnt me out on the franchise the next year.

4. Body Harvest - I had never seen gameplay like Body Harvest before. It was open world and you could run around killing aliens or grab a variety of vehicles to drive, even fly a plane. It was a little confusing and I never made it to the end of the game, but I kept renting Body Harvest for weeks in a row because I wanted to see more of the world.

3. Tom Clancy's Rainbow 64 - This was the first game I ever had a co-op experience in, and was the first game I played that was tactical. Everything died in one to two bullets, and each mission would only take a few minutes if things went well, but you would spend most of your time planning the mission, deciding loadouts, and failing often. It was a totally new experience in gaming for me and I loved it.

2. Turok 2 Seeds of Evil - As a kid I loved dinosaurs, native american history, and science fiction. Turok 2 was a game about a native american warrior killing weaponized dinosaurs and their alien overlords, so the premise alone made it a winner. The weapons were awesome too. You had a bow, machine guns, a nuke gun that blinded you and filled the screen with white hot death, and the cerebral bore that latched onto the enemy's head and drilled their brains out until they died. A wildly disgusting game for its time, and I loved it.

1. Ocarina of Time - Up until this point I saw games as a toy to cure boredom. Ocarina made me see video games as an artistic outlet. Hyrule was filled with music, mythology, colorful characters who were suffering, and the story of the unremarkable child expected to fight for them all. Despite the fact that every boss he comes across is far larger and stronger than he could ever be, Link never quits fighting. In human cultures for thousands of years the themes of courage and tenacity have been important for any kid to be exposed to, but in Zelda you became an active participant thanks to video games. When Ganon fell in battle and the people of the world comforted each other during the credits I was so happy for them I became teary-eyed. My enjoyment of video games goes back further than Zelda, but my love of games started with Ocarina of Time. Historically this is the most important game I ever played in my life.

Super Step Contributing Writer

03/16/2017 at 12:19 AM

Well I'll definitely remember the deadline for next podcast, considering March 23 is my birthday. 

Should I stick with only games I actually played IN 1998 (eliminating OoT for me) or just my favorites from 1998 I've ever played? By the way I had Pokemon Blue and it will not appear on my list either way. Cool

Julian Titus Senior Editor

03/16/2017 at 03:49 AM

As with all editions of Chrono Crossing, it is any of the games you have played from that year, even if you did so years later.

Super Step Contributing Writer

03/16/2017 at 04:00 AM

Ooooohhh ... well then Spider-Man for PSX was DEFINITELY my favorite game of 2000 over Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, but oh well. lol 

I was a bit disappointed no one mentioned DK64 for '99 besides myself. Everyone could use more DK Rap in their life. Tongue Out

Casey Curran Staff Writer

03/16/2017 at 07:40 AM

5. Pokémon Red/Blue- Going back to this game is really rough. A lot of its mechanics are broken and the interface is kind of a mess. But Pokémon has such a great formula that it's still very addicting today.

4. Metal Slug 2- Metal Slug was always my go to arcade game as a kid. It was addicting with a great sense of humor. Plus someone mounted lasers onto a camel. Awesome. 

3. Metal Gear Solid- Didn't play it until almost a decade later but it stood the test of time. Not that great of stealth, but had excellent pacing and a crazy but fun story.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time- Very few games from this era hold up so well. I played it almost ten years later after Wind Waker and Twilight Princess and was surprised at how it felt just as fun and epic as those games. That being said, people who had an N64 as a kid need to get over that there were better Zeldas before and better Zeldas after. Yes that means you Patrick.

1. Crash Bandicoot Warped- I played this more than every other PS1 game combined during the 5th gen. I obsessed over this game and its the only game where I can go for 100% completion and enjoy every second of it. Most PS1 games have aged horribly in my opinion but Crash is still just as much fun to play today.

Exrian Contributing Writer

03/17/2017 at 11:31 AM

Great one guys. Julian it was great to catch you on Comics Conspiracy and Geekbox. Thanks for the shout out. Hopefully you get some carry overs from there. Though I got to be honest and say you seemed much more reserved on there. I'm sure it's hard to guest on a podcast with an established crew. I hope there's a next time in line. 

I'm playing through Horizon now and it's amazing. The combat is excellent and it's challenging. At least so far. I didn't think I'd die much but I'm definitely getting it handed to me. I can't recall your thoughts in the new Tomb Raiders but I see some similarities there in a good way. 

Anyway, on to my picks. I'll start off and say that I missed a lot of PSX stuff and never got into PC so it'll probably look strange. Well stranger than normal when it comes to my picks.

5. WCW vs NWO: Revenge
This was the wrestling game I wanted for years. The fact that it was WCW at a time where I was all WWF (screw you pandas) didn't matter. The gameplay was excellent and kept my friends and I busy for a long time.

4. Pokemon Trading Card Game
I was obsessed with Pokemon this year and picked up this gameboy game. I was addicted for months and would still be today if a new one released. It taught me how to play the physical game which I already had a nice collection of. I wish we would have gotten a US release of the part 2. Maybe one day...

3. Parasite Eve
I picked this up on a whim and really liked it. It took me awhile to finish between other games but when I finally buckled down and finished it years later, I wish i had done so sooner. The story behind Mitochondria was really intriguing and had me doing research. I enjoyed it so much that I even named my daughter after the main character, Aya.

2. Pokemon Red
Pokemon became such a huge addiction for me. Looking back I guess it may have been my first RPG but I never associated it as one. I just wanted to catch'em all. I dropped the series years later but jumped in fully a few years ago and am glad I did.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
My first Zelda game and number 2 on my all time list. No other Zelda has come close to topping it to me. It could be nostalgia but I feel it easily holds on it's own by today's standards. Outside of Chrono Cross, it's the game I've completed most. Especially with the 3DS release. It seems like every new Zelda comes with the, "Possibly better than Ocarina of Time" quote but I think if you grew up with this one that will be nearly impossible.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

03/17/2017 at 04:50 PM

I was a little nervous being on The Geekbox, as I very much respect Ryan Scott. Also, since they were only talking about the Switch which I haven't had experience with it was difficult to chime in. I was much more at ease on the Comic Conspiracy since I've been on so many times, and I think I got some good stuff into that one. I'd totally hang out with Brock if I lived there.

Exrian Contributing Writer

03/18/2017 at 03:10 AM

I figured the heavy Switch talk was the biggest culprit. It's too bad cause I know you would fit right in on a standard show. I hope it isn't the last time you guest star on there. Especially since they always seem short a guest with Adam or, typically, Alice missing. 

Catherine Hauser Staff Alumnus

03/22/2017 at 11:27 AM

1998 holds really special memories for me. Most of my video gaming at this time was done along with my little brother, who is 8 years my junior. I was in high school and he was in grade school, so having something like games to bond over really kept our relationship solid. I picked these games because they were our favorites, despite any critical opinions:

5. Mario Party - The first game in a series that we really loved. We had never played anything like MP before, and being able to play together was a great selling point to our mother. The series had its ups and downs, but we still play to this day.

4. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon: We would pretty much play anything that came out for N64, so this game was no exception. The script was funny, the music was enjoyable, the characters were quirky and the plot revolved around saving Japan from being westernized. And of course, you had to fight in a giant robots, which was my Power Rangers-obsessed brother's favorite part.

3. Brave Fencer Musashi: In truth, we bought this game originally because it came with the FFVIII demo disk. Turned out to be worth it, because this game was fun. I especially enjoyed how everything was named after food in some way. The voice acting was terrible, but the game play was challenging.

2. Banjo-Kazooie: This would have been my number one if there wasn't an obvious number one. I've played this game over and over, along with it's sequels. Our favorite part beyond the actual game play was the character "voices", which consisted of random sounds mashed together in a way that really hit every one of my mother's nerves.

1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: No explanation needed!

Super Step Contributing Writer

03/23/2017 at 06:33 PM

I was planning on doing another voice entry, but since it's almost due and my voice is shot:

I know w can pick games we didn't actually play/weren't our favorites in this year, but everyone else has MGS and OoT covered, so I'll just say mine for when I was in fact 8 years old:

5. Pokemon Blue: I was into the craze for a bit, playing the trading cards, the game and watching the TV show (still remember the VHS promoting the show I got in the mail before it ever aired), but I can't say it was high on my list as a generally non-fan of JRPGS

All I can say is everyone else I knew had Red cause he looked cooler, while I went Blue thinking "what's wrong with you jackasses? Water beats fire!" This was before I even knew how the elements etc. worked in the game. 

I actually stopped watching the show when Togepi appeared and was the weird kid Digimon fan ...

4. Tekken 3: Mostly played this on the neighbors' PSX. I liked the beat-em-up mode included in this one, where I played as Eddie usually. I think I was Yoshimitsu for most actual fights.

3. Fighters Destiny: I was 8, I love fighting games, and there was a solid 3D fighter with a cow that could stand on its hind legs.

2. F-Zero X: Still has a great sense of speed, looks good for N64, and has what is in my opinion the best soundtrack in the series. The metal gods did smile upon this soundtrack. Rented this a ton and need to buy a copy. 

1. Bust-A-Groove: Yes, really. I played this for countless hours on the neighbors' PSX and a big contributing factor to this being my favorite was how many times I completely kicked their ass. Plus, while some stages could be mediocre, I loved some of the catchier songs like Kitty N's "Bust A Groove," the special moves and the vibrant stages. 

Plus, since I started buying CDs this year (my first two being Three Car Garage by Hanson and Version 2.0 by Garbage; God bless CD Warehouse) it's only fitting I choose a rythm action game as #1.

Why OoT and MGS are missing and runner ups:

At this point I was really just watching my older brother play MGS because I was too young, and I've only ever played through the PSX and GCN versions once each. OoT would be higher (but not #1) today, but at the time I couldn't stand the fantasy aesthetic and was really self-conscious about things that looked a little TOO nerdy (in retrospect, I should have just embraced who I was, but oh well).

Runners up:

Coolboarders 3

Tenchu: Stealth Assassins

Battle Tanx 

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