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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 151: Final Fantasy Builders

We design a Final Fantasy game. How hard could it be?

Welcome to a creative edition of Nerds Without Pants! Patrick is out battling Thanos this week, but Julian and new third chair Justin get together and think up a concept for Final Fantasy XVI, along with our lovely listeners. The result is…a pretty cool game, actually! Also, Mortal Kombat 11 gets a Brutality, and Bloodborne takes on The Witcher 3 in Video Game Cage Match. Enjoy!

00:00-06:21 Intro

06:45-1:23:11 STAGE SELECT: Making Final Fantasy XVI

1:24:13-2:13:36 CONSUMPTION JUNCTION: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Mortal Kombat 11, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Collection, Katana Zero

2:14:11-2:31:53 VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Bloodborne vs The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


STAGE SELECT: What game would you erase from history, and why? Think of what effect this will have on the entire video game industry!

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Final Fight 1 vs Streets of Rage 1

GREAT GAME GIVEAWAY: Like and retweet the episode post on twitter and submit the Secret Code Phrase from this episode for a chance to win a copy of Mortal Kombat 11 or Rage 2!




Sarah McLachlin- Building a Mystery

Starship- We Built This City

Starbomb- Hardest Fucking Game in the World

Smooth McGroove- The Man With the Machine Gun



Exrian Contributing Writer

05/08/2019 at 04:46 PM

Been waiting for this one. The cage match alone is an epic one. Cant wait to hear it. I'll be back with commentary. 

I'll have you know the Bouncer was my favorite PS2 game for days. It was more of a joke pick since I know the hate surrounding that game but I did enjoy it when I had it. 

Yes Aya Brea had to survive. I loved her so much that I actually named my daughter Aya lol. Everyone loves the name and says its different but little do they know it's from a game. Though these days many think she's named Arya from Game of Thrones. I've never seen that show so I take offense. 


STAGE SELECT: I'd love to say that I'd remove Steam from existence so Valve would actually, you know, have to work. An alternate reality exists out there where Steam bombed and Valve went on to create dozens of top tier amazing games. 

Anyways, I'd say Inside. I hate the praise that game gets. Sure its selfish but I don't give a damn. Was it horrible? Not at all but it isnt the freaking amazing 10/10 Masterpiece that people praise it to be. It was a solid game that was done better, by the same Studio mind you, years prior with Limbo.


CAGE MATCH: Of course Streets of Rage wins this. Music was way better. Combat was more fun. Finally it had Blaze! Tiny skirt lovers rejoice!

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/08/2019 at 08:13 PM

She’s not a bad character for people to think she’s named after, but I approve of the sly gaming reference.

At least it’s not like an old FF XI Linkshell member I knew who named her son Sephiroth. Oh yes. That’s real.

Exrian Contributing Writer

05/08/2019 at 09:25 PM

Yeah I hear Arya is probably the best character in GoT so I dont really mind. I just dont want people thinking I named her that because of the show because that will be a crazy popular name most likely. Sephiroth is definitely more blatant and less appealing to me. 

Alright Julian, you wanted matches. I'll give you matches!

-Halo 2 vs Half Life 2: Two highly anticipated sequels that revolutionized the FPS landscape at the time. Also both finished with a fizzle.

-Super Mario Bros. Vs Tetris: Two of the most influential games ever. Even better both of these series continue to be thriving.

-Chrono Cross vs Final Fantasy 8 or 9 (your pick): Two of the last RPGs to finish up the original Playstation. I may have more interest in this than most but I do believe this is a legitimate battle.

-God of War vs Devil May Cry: The two action games that revolutionized the genre with two protagonists that were highly revered.

-Demons Souls vs Dark Souls: The two games that skyrocketed From into triple A developer. Always a debate between which is better. 

-Horizon: Zero Dawn vs Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Two of the biggest adventure games of this gen. While this fight may seem one sided, I think it's so much closer than you think.

-Super Contra vs Gunstar Heroes: The two best side scrolling shooters of their gen. Both similar but also very different  

-Super Metroid vs Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: The two games that coined the term Metroidvania. These two juggernauts have been destined to fight. 

-Dead Space 1 or 2 vs Resident Evil 4: The two horror games that are probably most revered in their gen. 

-Silent Hill 2 vs Resident Evil 2: While they may be of 2 different gens, these 2 games are special amongst horror fans.



Super Step Contributing Writer

05/08/2019 at 09:56 PM

You should listen to this man and choose all of these and none of mine. Or I guess go to this list when you feel like having serious matchups and mine when you just want whacky bullshit. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/09/2019 at 03:31 PM

These are solid, logical matches that we will definitely book, but I hope we get some more esoteric stuff, too. I look forward to making a call on two games I’ve never played.

Exrian Contributing Writer

05/09/2019 at 10:13 PM

I agree. I have a hard time going too esoteric. Everything I do needs to have some kind of link. I cant just come up with Yakuza vs Skyrim. That takes some one much more creative than I. I will throw some more out there to mix it up. 


The Sims vs Animal Crossing 

Plants vs Zombies vs Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game

American McGees Alice vs Clive Barkers Jericho

Mirrors Edge vs Dying Light

Minecraft vs Grand Theft Auto 5 or Red Dead Redemption 2



05/08/2019 at 09:47 PM

Yea, so your daughter has a beautiful name. I'm sorry people mistake it for game of thrones stuff. Not gonna lie, if I had a daughter I would make a push for that name myself.

Also I personally choose 8 over 9 in that Chrono Cross cage match. That actually sounds pretty great... Actually all of those matches sound pretty great.

Exrian Contributing Writer

05/09/2019 at 11:12 PM

Thank you. I also thought 8 initially but thought maybe it should go against the last PSX final fantasy. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/08/2019 at 09:53 PM

Yeah, Endgame is great and probably my favorite of the MCU movies, but I have to recognize it relies on more than 20 movies to work the way it does. 

I don't care what anyone says, "We Built This City" is a classic and I'll hear no different.

So what are the major differences between Final Fantasy I and II?

You know who would probably like more zippers and pockets, Julian? Women. My firing was sexist. I'm gonna drag this out on Twitter for a LONG time. 

I've actually played The Bouncer and at the time I loved it. Those early PS2 graphics did it for me. 

BECKY LYNCH GOT ROBBED, I'm told by Twitter WWE fans ... or was ... weeks ago. 

Whatever, I'm still not playing my copy of Bloodborne. 

I was right! Becky Lynch WAS robbed! Of being a voice in MK11. I am certain Lynch was offered the role and Vince gave it to Rhonda. 

You know what I thought felt snappy? Dead or Alive 6. Super smooth combat. Soul Calibur VI better be good, Mr. Hamm! 

You should shit on all the games you give away for free. 

I'm wondering if Judgement's replacement face thing for that actor will be as good. Seems like a big undertaking so close to release ... 

All this talk about Bloodborne's difficulty, but none of you know how long it took me to get past that Griffin. Guess I will play Bloodborne after all. But no, because I like my stories. Point: Yakuza Kiwami. 

Stage Select: I'd erase Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from existence, cause I hated being invited to friends' places to play a game I admitted I wasn't used to, only to have them immediately jump online and ignore me the rest of the night.

You'd think this would be an issue with the friends, but for some reason the same ones were fine letting me play Halo 2 on couch multiplayer, which often turned out to be pretty fun despite my newbiness. No one seemed to EVER want to play CoD from the couch and my God, watching a first-person shooter with no music or any real atmosphere beyond the default "barren warzone" setting being played by someone else is so mind-numbingly boring. 

Plus, I get that the video game market gets oversaturated with the same genre fairly often (kinda like 90s beat-em-ups ... *ahem*), but I really feel like CoD ushered in a wave of boring looking, samey online shooters that I just did. not. give. a. shit. about. And I'm a little mad something original and fun like Titanfall 2 was likely way oversold and overshadowed by whatever damn CoD title came out that year. 

I'd keep Medal of Honor though; I did like that D-Day level. 

Video Game Cage Match: Having never played either, I'm going to have to judge this based entirely on presentation and whatever innate biases I might have. Final Fight cause I like the larger sprites and we had an SNES growing up.

I will admit Streets of Rage seems to have better music and I get why multiplayer is a huge deal, but if I'm being honest I'd play single-player mostly anyway. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/13/2019 at 07:56 PM

Final Fantasy II ditched the job classes, and instead you have 3 blank slate characters, with a rotating 4th member. Experience points are gone, and you level up based on what happens in battle. Swing a sword and your strength and sword skill goes up. Take damage and your hit points go up. Use magic and your magic skill and magic points go up. This sounds cool, but it devolves quickly into characters becoming very samey. Also, the difficulty is all over the place. Take one step too far to the left or right and you'll encounter enemies far above your current level, with no indication as to why.

It's...not a great Final Fantasy game.


05/08/2019 at 10:59 PM

Stage Select:

I'm going to take a slightly different tactic here. If I were to change video game history, I would have had Sega sabotage Madden 92 for the Genesis at CES. That kind of public humiliation would likely have knocked EA out of the console market for years, if not forever, and probably led to their losing their partnership with the NFL. EA gets away with a lot of its horrible business practices in large part because they have a guaranteed stream of Madden dollars and FIFA euros every year. It would have profoundly changed the face of gaming. EA would have been curtailed somewhat in buying and gutting studios, as well as a lot of its other predatory practices. Madden 92 itself existed because of said predatory practices, where EA basically strong-armed Sega by threatening to release Madden as an unlicensed game. The industry would hopefully have been less homogenized than it is now because EA would be much weaker than it is. Sega could have handled American football while Konami could have handled soccer. Ultimately, it's hard to say, kind of like what happened when Jake prevented JFK's assassination in 11/22/63.  Maybe the video game industry would have tanked. Maybe the PS1 would have fared worse. Who knows?

According to Bing Gordon, who was the chief creative officer of EA at the time, Sega really did have the ability to destroy Madden 92 at CES through some sort of kill switch.  EA's executives were apparently waiting with bated breath at CES for Sega to drop the hammer on them, but they never did. 

Video Game Cage Match:

I'm going with Streets of Rage on this one. Final Fight always seemed to be very clunky to me, and I wasn't a fan of the character designs on it. I liked SoR's fighting and design much better, and I liked Axel, Skate, and particularly Blaze better than I did Guy, Cody, or Haggar. There was also the fact that I didn't get into Final Fight in the arcades because I gravitated more towards Konami beat 'em ups like TMNT and The Simpsons.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/09/2019 at 02:25 PM

Keep in mind that this is Streets of Rage 1 we’re talking about, so that’s Adam, Axel, and Blaze.

Nick DiMola Director

05/10/2019 at 12:10 AM

I hope it didn't come across too much like I was saying to "git gud" in Sekiro. I mean, ultimately, yes, it's what you need to do. But the game is basically a journey of gitting gud. I sucked hard through the vast majority of it until it finally all clicked into place.

I get very stuck on the Shinobi Hunter for sure. If it's of any help, you can unlock the gate that leads back to the idol for more of a straight shot. You can also just run past everything on the way there and hide in the high grass to both lose the enemies you aggroed and sneak up on that bastard for a deathblow. That fight has you stacking Mikiri counters and deflects to really build up his posture. His health bar is basically meaningless.

The tracking on the Chained Ogre is pretty excessive. You definitely fight him more like a Souls boss, so I managed to get him on my second try. Unfortunately the tracking (for the purposes of the deflect system) is turned way up in Sekiro compared to Souls, so that makes the Ogre even more difficult, but is appropriate for most everything else in the game. I think I mentioned on Twitter that he was placed a bit too early. They could've pushed him into the castle or even beyond. The flame vent definitely makes easier work of the fight, so make sure you grabbed that.

Anyway, I totally understand how you bounced off of it and how the grind of it can become very un-fun if you're not getting the vibe of the boss battles. Me on the other hand am madly in love with the game and I can't seem to get enough of it. I'm working through NG+ right now and I'm definitely headed for the Platinum Trophy (never gotten one before).


05/10/2019 at 11:38 AM

*almost all health bars are meaningless

because posture damage is what really matters.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/13/2019 at 08:00 PM

I unlocked that gate, it's still more backtracking then I'd like. Also, in seeing how people are beating enemies I'm finding that the game really doesn't reward stealth, which sucks, because the way enemies are laid out you would think that you should stealth as much as possible until things go sideways, then mop up the enemies that are left. But that's just not how the game seems to work. 

I haven't played it since re-installing it, but I will stress yet again that I feel that I have picked up the finer points of the game very quickly, but the game itself constantly moves the goal post on how to play it effectively.

Nick DiMola Director

05/13/2019 at 10:39 PM

Stealth can be important at times, but by no means is it a stealth game. As someone who also loves a good stealth game, I felt like Sekiro underdelivered in this department. It has the dressings of a stealth game, but never really commits to that. It uses stealth as part of your combat arsenal to make quicker work of some of the enemies, but that's the extent of it. Unfortunately, I suspect your Tenchu comment is spot on, it's unlikely that they'd make a new one granted the success of Sekiro any time soon.

In any event, and I really don't mean any disrespect with this, but I don't think you've picked up the finer points of the combat just yet. I think you've probably got the broad strokes, but I think that the finer points take most of the game to really get down. As a matter of fact, you haven't even seen all the bits of the combat yet and they're all very instrumental to mastery of the game's systems. The basic enemies have huge parry windows and they're generally one-trick ponies, whereas the mini-bosses and main bosses really bring the broader arsenal and force you to chain together everything you know.

Hesitation comes up a lot when talking to NPCs because I think it's trying to subtly tell you that you don't really get time to think, you have to be in the head of the enemy and know what they're going to do by reading their tells. Along with the nuance to the combat, the game slowly teaches you how to read enemy tells more effectively. That said, I honestly don't think the goalposts really get shifted, you're just seeing bits of the broader experience as you progress and at the moment, because you haven't seen much, they seem unrelated even though they're not.

The lessons aren't easy and they take a long time to really sink in. I struggled through most of the game and it took beating the final boss before I really felt like I "got it". Starting a new quest demonstrated to me how effective the game was at teaching me how to play it better. I was able to blast through all of the parts that once hung me up, defeating each mini-boss and boss with almost no effort using the same tools I had at my disposal in my original playthrough. I don't say this to brag, just to give some indication of how the game slowly forces you to master it in order to complete it. You have everything you need at the outset to be successful, except the experience.

All that said, I just want to take a moment to reflect on the hilarity of this situation where I'm standing up for a FromSoftware game with you on the attacking side. I remember all those years ago when the roles were reversed and you were trying to convince me that Demon's Souls was actually fair and I was vehemently disagreeing Laughing


05/10/2019 at 12:02 PM

So, I am enjoying Sekiro, but also hating it at the same time.  Since the majority of my time at the moment is sucked up by work and a toddler, my play sessions are further apart than I would like.  This leads me to having to relearn some things, but at the same time I usually come back refreshed and defeat a boss or two.

Cage Match:  I don't really care about either game, so Final Fight.

Stage Select:  I would erase Symphony of the Night.  Sadly, goodbye all the other Igavania's, but more importantly goodbye "Metroidvania"  I flippin hate that word.
Also, would help fix a lot of indie games abuse of the descriptor.
(I love SotN, and don't really want it to go away.)

Exrian Contributing Writer

05/11/2019 at 12:53 PM

Totally agree on the Metroidvania name. I hate it. Also hate the word Nindies. It's like they are trying to credit themselves for other small developers work. 


05/15/2019 at 04:22 AM

STAGE SELECT: Erase Ocarina of Time. You know why.

Just joking. How about Mirror's Edge Catalyst? They took the first one and added a skill tree in a skill-based game where one of the appealing parts was that you got better solely by playing better, a story that made the first one retroactively seem good, pseduo-open roaming that destroyed the crisp level design and platforming (and I think there was a grappling hook and a bunch of other tech garbage. Like, what?), and EVEN MORE FORCED GUNFIGHTS WHERE THE NUMBER ONE CRITICISM FOR THE PREQUEL WAS THAT THERE WERE ANY GUNFIGHTS AT ALL. Totally kills the flow. At least if there wasn't a sequel you could keep the hope alive. By the way, where's Skate 4 EA?

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: 3:5, Final Fight wins. No muss, no fuss. Maybe the people just like the name better? I try telling them Streets of Rage is actually called Doki Doki Panic in Japan and you should see the looks they give me.

Game-wise? Final Fight 1, while raw, is the endearing, nostalgic one in the Final Fight series. Everyone knows Haggar and Cody, and some people even know Guy. The one in Street Fighter that doesn't fight in handcuffs. I think he's a ninja? I don't know. Yeah, him. Streets of Rage 1? Well, Streets of Rage 1 might be some people's favorite (seriously, they exist), but does it have an acrobatic 'blader of death? A boxing kangaroo? Ash? Er, maybe the less said about Ash the better. But it certainly doesn't have "Go Straight". Or "Dreamer". Does it have "Expander"? No, and I bet you're already hearing those musical sirens in your head. Oonse-oonse-oonse-oonse!

Fight-wise? Gotta give it to Haggar. Excuse me, His Honorable the Mayor Michael Duncan "Macho" Haggar of got dang Metro City, which is like if old Detroit had a baby with old Hell's Kitchen, times two. And in the ring, let me emphasize this, THE RING, you're going against a double Slam Masters contender? Well, you just enjoy that Spinning Clothesline. A Spinning Clothesline so good they made him the mayor, or something.


05/15/2019 at 11:57 AM


I would erase Half Life 2. I’ll get kick back for this but to me this game is a “you had to be there” moment in gaming history and people never stop talking about it and also asking when Episode 3 or Half Life 3 is coming. I have tried to play this game a few times but in my opinion, not that engaging or interesting. Same with original Half Life, it’s one of those series that everyone loves and I never got into.  I am curious what this would do to the current gaming landscape. Would Steam exists I wonder....



Streets of Rage 1 is probably my favorite beat’em up of all time. So it wins for me. I prefer it to the sequels and still play it every once in a while even to this day.


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