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Nerds Without Pants Episode 111: My Face is Tired

Pathfinder, this area can be mined for resources.

Hey friends! Nerds Without Pants is back with another fun episode. This week, Casey joins us to talk about game developers, disappointing games, 1996, and Crash Bandicoot. A lot of Crash Bandicoot.

00:00-6:44 Intro

7:03-1:33:41 STAGE SELECT: Top Three Game Developers

1:34:26-2:09:02 CONSUMPTION JUNCTION: Kingsport Festival, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Persona 5

2:09:26-2:32:32 CHRONO CROSSING: 1996

2:32:46-2:35:48 Outro


Stage Select: You are in charge of a game studio and are making one last game. Who is the team you put together for this project? You can name up to five game dev personalities.

Chrono Crossing: What is your favorite game of 1995?





Mitch Murder- Face Puncher

Kavinsky- 1986

Nightforce- Power Glove

Vince DiCola- Escape

Bag Raiders- Shooting Stars



Super Step Contributing Writer

04/26/2017 at 05:00 PM

Technically, Metroid Prime was developed by Retro Studios, so Austin, TX gets to take the credit for that one. TEXAS. YEEEAAAHHH. 

Also, the rest of you can f* off; Mario Sunshine is great and so is the execution. It is better than Super Mario 64. I'm not letting this go. I've played them both recently. It IS a great game, and everyone else is blinded by N64 nostalgia. 

I didn't know anything about the Square Enix merger until now, but I definitely noticed FF games having such awesome graphics. I would rent games like that just because the presentation drew me in. So in their defense, from a marketing perspective, that shit works ... no way I'd have rented it knowing what the gameplay was like if the music and visuals weren't as good. And yeah, the Kingdom Hearts titles are ... interesting.

KOTOR might make me like RPGs too? Who knew? Perhaps Scooby Doo? Did any of you? Vaginal excrement. 

Goosebumps choose your own adventure books just pissed me off ...

On the one hand, I understand wanting to talk to party members (legit appeals to me), and I'll even say I think my new Tomb Raider games experiences are different/better because I read the extra stuff. On the other hand, being stopped to go through menus or talk to a bunch of townfolk sometimes irritates the living crap out of me in RPGs, or when I only figure out later I've missed part of the experience or made my character traits go too far in one direction. Stop asking me to predict the future and look at so much text and math! I get enough academia at work!

Awwww man, I still need to try Kirby Canvas Curse.  I have Super Mario 64 DS as well (no, my previous comments are not based on that control stick-less version), but I too ended up playing more things that took advantage of the DS. Using one screen as a map is still my favorite feature. I hate having to pause ... Metroidvanias. Tongue Out

Time stamping myself at 1:01:36. My office hours just ended. Thanks for making them go by faster and I'll be back. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

04/26/2017 at 08:23 PM

Yeah, you and I are just never going to come to an agreement there. I loved Super Mario 64. It felt perfect. I liked Super Mario Sunshine, but it's the only mainline Mario game I put down without finishing and have no desire to go back to. Mario didn't feel right, I hated the FLUUD mechanic (which also removes the concept of power ups from the game and makes it less interesting to me), and thought the implementation of Yoshi was one of the most tedious things I had seen at that point. I remember being unimpressed with the levels, too. And I gave it plenty of chances. I played a good chunk of the Japanese import and half of the U.S. release before putting it down for good. Maybe part of the problem was that my tastes began to change between 1996 and 2002. There may also be something to the "feel" of Mario post-64, because I also don't like the way he moves in Galaxy, but I did love that game overall. I'd never say that Sunshine is a bad game. It's a Nintendo mainline Mario game after all, and they are 100% for quality there. It's just my least favorite Mario game. 

Maybe you'd like some of the BioWare games? It sounds like you don't like turn based combat, which they don't really have. Not in the Final Fantasy sense, anyway. The characters are the highlight of the games, and you can just talk to the story NPCs if that's not up your alley. All of the BioWare games have bad inventory screens though, so if navigating menus is what's keeping you away then maybe just keep moving. I maintain that Mass Effect is one of the best universes in video games, and it remains my favorite piece of sci-fi. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

04/27/2017 at 11:56 AM

I'm being tongue-in-cheek when I argue Sunshine is objectively better (in bold underlined letters) than 64. I definitely think 64 has a lot going for it, but I had kind of the reaction to it you did to Sunshine. It's definitely good, but it's my least favorite of the mainline Mario games I've played. It just doesn't interest me as much as the other ones, and I had played other 3D platformers that took from it by the time I played it. It's a bit like people seeing the new Ghost in the Shell movie but haven't seen the anime feeling like they're seeing nothing new because The Matrix and Blade Runner exist. I personally loved the movie, but I have less experience than the general public with live-action sci-fi. I enjoyed the original anime as well.

As for BioWare games, I can get past menus if there are other things going for it (I hate pausing my game to look at maps in Metroid or add items in Castlevania, but I like the gameplay enough to overlook it). I'll just have to try one and see.

Nick DiMola Director

04/26/2017 at 09:41 PM

I'm with you, Joe. I much prefer Sunshine to 64. It's not a popular opinion, but it's the 3D Mario game with the best level of challenge, and the greatest degree of control. You can do amazing things with FLUDD once you understand the mechanics and the levels where it's taken away are some of my favorite 3D platforming challenges ever.

Super Mario 64 is a fine game and I love it too, but Sunshine totally eclipsed it for me and I'd choose to play Sunshine over it any day.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

04/27/2017 at 02:21 AM

The levels where you don't have the FLUUD are some of the worst controlling platforming levels I can remember playing, and were the final nail in the coffin for me. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

04/27/2017 at 11:59 AM

FLUDD was my favorite thing about the game; I loved being able to float after a jump and some of the mechanics it added like the water rocket. I disagree with the claim it was porrly executed.

I'm glad someone agrees. lol

Nick DiMola Director

04/27/2017 at 10:47 PM

I agree, Joe. I don't think it was poorly executed. I just think it didn't land as well as SM64, which is generally a much easier and more digestible game. I think Sunshine's controls and experience are the peak of 3D Mario. Galaxy 2 is a close second, but nothing quite matches up to SMS for me.

Super Step Contributing Writer

04/27/2017 at 03:46 PM

Also, Nick, is there a fix for the spacing between paragraphs when you edit a comment? I'm a little self-conscious about how much space my comments take up as it is ... lol

Nick DiMola Director

04/27/2017 at 10:45 PM

It's a weird visual bug that you see when it updates, but if you refresh the page, you'll see it's not all double spaced like it seems right after you do the edit. It's weird, I know.

I would say there's a fix, but I'm slowly rewriting the site, so it won't likely be fixed until it's just totally replaced.

Super Step Contributing Writer

04/28/2017 at 11:31 PM

Ok. I knew you were reworking the site. J

Super Step Contributing Writer

04/27/2017 at 03:41 PM

We agree on Capcom, Julian. At least there's that. 

I dig The Last Guardian, but it has its issues with controls. It's still a damn cool experience and I'm happy with it as a Christmas gift.

I need to get farther into Bloodborne to really judge FromSoftware, but honestly right now they're one of my least favorite developers; not because of them, but because of their fans. Angelo referenced why a bit with the Dark Souls comparisons to games whose mechanics predate that series, but I just despise the focus on difficulty as its own end people seem to have come to embrace. I'm not going to say that's fair until I get farther into Bloodborne and really learn how to play it, but I definitely have a negative bias toward that company because of their annoying "look at my ePeen" fanbase.

What you guys say about Bethesda is partly why I avoid RPGs in general, honestly. I really just feel like they are too damn long. (Irony of me saying that in this comment is noted).

Gex reference ... nice! 

I honestly like Nintendo #1, then the other 2 are the first that popped in my head. And that's based on all-time. I honestly might appreciate Capcom more now ... Also, are you reading my non-TLDR arguments? Thanks, man! Only wish you'd have mentioned me meeting Insomniac, cause it's my one claim to video game fame lol. 

I can agree that the main Zelda mechanics are similar, but you can't say Majora's Mask added nothing new. I loved the masks and hated the time thing.

Oh, man ... I cannot wait for all the hate Julian's going to get for saying Bungie isn't great with character designs, but I agree so much.  

I love the 3 hours of NWP, but it is a lot to take in. haha Thank God you use time stamps. 

Stage Select:

Hideo Kojima because he'll add visual storytelling, which I appreciate in games; Tim Schafer because he'll come up with a really cool, strange concept for the story and gameplay; Shigeru Miyamoto because he'll ensure the quality and make sure gameplay is FUN (he's here to balance out Schafer); and um ... ummmm .... Ron Gilbert can help make the dialogue be engaging and funny ... and ... hmm ... Gunpei Yokoi can handle the non-linear progression you do in the game. 

It's a, um ... action-adventure game of some kind. So this is either going to blow everyone away or make everyone realize, once again, why you don't really want what you think you want when it comes to putting that many talents and egos in one room; or the game never comes out at all because of that second part.

Chrono Cross:

Well certainly not Chrono Trigger, that's for damn sure. Tongue Out I'm kidding, that's one older JRPG I actually have some interest in playing. 

Mega Man 7 was my introduction to the mainline Mega Man series outside of X, and I loved the presentation as well as the characters Bass and Treble. I still love the giant, colorful sprites in that game and it's probably the first thing that pops in my head for what I wish I was looking at when I see greyed-out warzone shooters today. Thank goodness Horizon: Zero Dawn brought some color back into mainstream gaming (not saying other series haven't, but I really notice it with Horizon). 

I enjoyed the cutscenes in that one as well, though it is annoying you can't skip the opening one if I recall correctly. It's a really good example of Capcom's skill with presentation, though I know some will argue it's not their favorite. Does anyone remember Mega Man Soccer, by the way? I remember that being fun. 

Exrian Contributing Writer

04/28/2017 at 09:29 PM

I agree that From fans are some of the worst. I've argued that an easy mode would be a great addition to the series so anyone could enjoy them. They don't want to hear it. Git Gud cazul is the normal response followed by excessive cursing. I'll NEVER understand how more options in difficulty could ever be a bad thing. I personally wouldn't use an easy mode because the difficulty is part of the charm of that series to me. But if my friend who doesn't have 70 hours to bang his head against the wall on a game just wanted to experience it at a casual pace then it's fine. Every game should have a "Do it for me," option. It doesn't hurt anybody for someone else to experience a game in a manner of their choosing. 


Also I'm a fan of Sunshine. It isn't my favorite game by any means but I definitely look back on it fondly. I don't get all the hate behind it. It seemed to do something cool. Though I'm also a fan of Star Fox Adventures. So what do I know...

Super Step Contributing Writer

04/29/2017 at 11:02 AM

I don't even necessarily disagree with them saying there shouldn't be an easy mode. If the fanbase likes the games hard and believes that's the way they should be played, that's fine. 

It's the suggestion every OTHER game should be made the same way and the suggestion you're not a "real gamer" if you can't handle the difficulty (not that "real gamer" is something I care about at 27, but still) that rub me the wrong way. 

They're clearly great games to the people who play them and more power to them, but stop saying everything needs to be like those games. It really, really doesn't. 

I dug Star Fox Adventures too. I still want a proper, GOOD sequel to 64 (in fairness I haven't played Zero, but I've heard bad things), but the graphics were amazing for the time and despite some boring fetch quests here and there it was a decent Zelda clone. Plus, the air combat in the game was pretty good from my memory. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/03/2017 at 06:32 PM

Curious, what is hard about the Souls games? I really want to know. I've played about 15 hours of Demon's Souls, about 25 of Bloodborne, and a few of Dark Souls 3, and I didn't find them hard. I found them to be challenging, but to me all I had to do was not try to run through areas and pay attention like I would in a survival horror game and I didn't have much trouble. Any time I die in those games it's because I wasn't paying attention, not because the enemies are too hard or too powerful.  I do think the item descriptions and stats could be explained better. 

When I say that Zelda needs to go in the Souls route for combat, I don't mean that the enemies need to be dishing out tons of damage. Actually, that's the ONLY thing Breath of the Wild takes from Souls, and it makes the game artificially difficult, because the combat controls aren't there. Enemies in Souls deal a lot of damage, but you have mobilty and defensive measures, plus you can knock enemies out of their attack patterns if you time your hits properly.

I'm not trying to put anyone down. I'm just wondering if people are confusing challenge with poor difficulty programming. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/03/2017 at 10:21 PM

In Bloodborne, I pay attention to my surroundings and try to travel certain paths where I know enemies come in a certain pattern, but I still wind up being ambushed and dying and can't get past the first part. It may be my impatience (I can't stand waiting in stealth games anymore since i only have so much time to play), but I feel like the enemies are indeed more powerful and numerous than in other games I've played. I mean I can easily stroll through everything except Wiley castle in Mega Man 2, even on hard ( can't say the same for 3, which I've always had more trouble with than 1 or 2), but ... Maybe it's my 3D spatial awareness that's the problem. I tend to get blindsided pretty easily in FPS.

Regardless, I'm not saying games shouldn't be hard or that it's not my fault when i die; but the community around those games often says they are indeed too hard for casuals and act like that's a dirty word. Obviously there are people on this site who don't act like that and love these games, but I find the community particularly toxic elsewhere.

And none of what I said was aimed at you. I haven't played Breath of the Wild, but I agree the combat looks less than great from what I've seen of it. If you think certain elements of games should be more like Dark Souls, maybe they do. I can't comment on that. What I can and am commenting on is the notion from certain FromSoftware fans I've seen that every game needs to mimic Dark Souls somehow. Sure, I have only played ... What I could get through of Bloodborne and Dark Souls III, but I've played enough to say with confidence I don't want every game to be like those.

Exrian Contributing Writer

04/28/2017 at 09:07 PM

I'm with you Julian on Zelda. I'm playing it now. Very good but I feel it was severely over hyped. The world traversal is amazing but outside of that I don't think this game would get all the perfect scores had it not been called Zelda. I'd say solid 9 so far but not the game of the century people seem to claim it. I've had much more fun with Horizon: Zero Dawn. Excellent game throughout.

Anyway tough stage select. I'm really bad about knowing who's who in game development so I tried to find people responsible for the stuff I like best in some of my favorite games. Couldn't find the Chrono Cross battle system guy unfortunately, lol. Here goes nothing.


Stage Select: I would want to create an RPG or Action RPG to light up the industry.

Yasunori Mitsuda: The man who is responsible for the Chrono Series Music. I havent been captivated by game music since. This is a must for my game.

Daisuke Ishiwatari: The man responsible for the art of Guilty Gear/BlazBlue. I personally love the character designs he comes up with.  My perfect game will look as amazing as the latest Guilty Gear and run just as smoothly. Seeing the 2D to 3D transitions during battles is a sight to behold. A whole game running like that would be a dream.

Famito Ueda: The man behind the Team Ico trilogy. I'm sure he can bring something great to story and design. If he could recreate some of those amazing bosses, even better.

Yoshinori Kitase: Director for Final Fantasy VI, VII, X, XIII and Chrono Trigger. He's helped create some of the greatest games of all time.

Katsura Hashino: Admittedly I haven't experienced his Persona series yet but everything I hear about 5 seems to point to a huge advancement for the JRPG genre. His recent track record is enough for me to hire him.

Chrono Crossing: Chrono Trigger
It's a shame we haven't seen more to this series. I played this game late on the PS1 with the Final Fantasy Chronicles release. The load times between battles was killer but the game easily held up. A must play for RPG fans.


Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/03/2017 at 06:32 PM

I have a lot to say about Zelda, both positive and negative. We're definitely doing a spoilercast of the game once Angelo finishes it. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

04/30/2017 at 10:34 AM

I got Gamefly just to rent Andromeda, but apparently it's never available. I want to know what I believe! So many different opinions! At least I know I think Stardew Valley is ok but not my cup and I'm loving Uncharted 4.

My bad on the rating; I guess my mind just thought "Playstation, nrighbors' place, series with immature humor, violence, and apocalyptic storyline = must be M-rated" and I didn't think to check while I was getting stuff ready for a class or grading ... Really hope I wasn't working on the media writing/journalism class when this happened, but in my defense, looking that rating up isn't really priority 1 when listening to you guys in my office.

Nice edit at the end there, Julian. Lol Luckily, I've met the May 4 deadline for text. May make an audio version just cause.

I tried sharing you guys with my video game loving friend, but he is an actual newspaper reporter/designer/web guy (they all do the work of 3 people or more), so he's just too busy.

I'll put a status up on Facebook and see where it goes. I gave you a review over on iTunes,

Casey Curran Staff Writer

05/02/2017 at 12:48 PM

Stage Select:

Suda 51- If they're going out with a bang, it needs to be nuts. Suda is really freaking nuts. Wildly inconsistent, but I hope the others can keep him at bay.

Kojima- Pairing him and Suda together might be overkill for having crazy developers together. Or it might be genius. But either way it won't be boring.

Hideki Kamiya- The figure behind Platinum Games knows how to make fast paced, fun action. He would ensure the game is as polished as possible. Also he's really good at being an asshole when it's necessary. It may be necessary for him to be an asshole to some of these other guys. I don't know. I've never met them. But it's possible.

Scott Cawthon- Say what you will about Five Nights at Freddies, but if this dude can make the lore of murderous animatronics in a Chuck E Cheese rip off that interesting, he needs to get in on this.

Yuji Naka- The rest can do a good job with individual components, but Naka's games have a strong fluidity to them. I think he'd do a great job of having everything really come together and make the game work.

I fully expect this to be an absolute disaster, but if it works, there could be something amazing here. 

Chrono Crossing:

My CC for 1995 is Chrono Trigger. I'm not a Squaresoft fan at all, but I can't deny this is basically the perfect RPG. There's not a single dull moment in the entire playthrough and it has the best New Game Plus ever.

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