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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 170: Decades in the Sun

Take off your pants, relax.

Welcome to an awesome new episode of Nerds Without Pants! It’s our first Stage Select of 2020, and we have an awesome announcement at the top of the show. It’s a long one, but that’s only because you lovely listeners had such fun comments for this episode. Let’s get to it!

00:00-04:53 Intro

05:05-2:29:22 STAGE SELECT: Top 3 Games of the Decade

2:29:29-3:20:15 CONSUMPTION JUNCTION: Yakuza Remastered Collection, Saints Row IV, an embarrassing amount of The Witcher 3, hella anime



STAGE SELECT: What are your top 3 in-game corporations?



Our theme song, “Relax”, and interstitial tracks “To the Maxx” and “Moody Grooves” written, composed, and performed by Megan McDuffee.




02/26/2020 at 11:05 AM

How come it says Theme Song in the show notes?  Since when have you had a theme song?

Stage Select:  Obviously Ultor, just because I like the name.
TranStar from Prey(2017).
Union Aerospace Corporation.


02/26/2020 at 03:25 PM

In response to some of the things you said about FE: Three Houses, Koei Tecmo was actually asked to help with Three Houses because Nintendo was pleased with their work on FE Warriors and felt they needed help in bringing Fire Emblem to Switch after years of it being a handheld only series - the last console FEs were Path of Radiance on Gamecube and Radiant Dawn, which was a first-year Wii title and didn't look any different than PoR graphically.  They also hired a lot of professional artists for character design, and I felt that the characters translated well on the Switch.  K-T not only helped a lot with the game engine, they were responsible for a lot of the scenario itself.

I also did want to address my opinions on the early 2010s that were mentioned in the podcast. For me, they were indeed a dry time and things only seemed to be progressing in ways that I didn't like. 7th gen was actually a huge disappointment to me after the PS2 and Gamecube era, which had accustomed me to much-loved games like Dragon Quest VIII, Final Fantasy XII, Okami, Tales of Symphonia, and the two Gamecube Zeldas. Bioware's game design has always bounced off of me pretty hard, and the Bioshock games always had an interesting premise but a disappointing execution. I had high hopes for Infinite, which didn't deliver on so much of what was promised during development (for instance, Levine really hyped up the Boys of Silence as unique and dangerous enemies that would stalk you. They ended up being nothing more than security cameras in one small area. I somehow expected Columbia to be more open world, and it ended up almost as linear as FFXIII). I did, however, love Fallout 3 and especially New Vegas, so NV was one of those "few and far between" games, Even there, Bethesda managed to screw it up by denying Obsidian a much-needed cash bonus because NV fell one point short of an 85 metacritic score and ensuring that future Fallout games would not feature Obsidian's rich role-playing mechanics. Instead we got Fallout 4, which played more like Borderlands than NV or even FO3 although the settlement mechanic was interesting in a SimCityish way, and the less said about Fallout 76 the better. The PS3/360/Wii generation was my least favorite generation of consoles since the NES, and I was thinking about giving up on video games by the end of it. A lot of it did have to do with the lack of good Japanese games, but I do play a fair number of Western games if they hit the right notes for me - see Fallout: NV, Witcher 3, Mortal Kombat, Doom. Of those four, two of them were products of the Switch/PS4/X1 generation, while MK is still going strong since its reboot in 2011. The games that did come out were mostly not doing it for me, and what Japan was giving us was mostly low-budget games like Time and Eternity, Record of Agarest War, and Catherine, which, while interesting, isn't exactly Persona or SMT.  Ni no Kuni (a masterpiece I loved enough to re-buy it for Switch),  A Link Between Worlds, Dragon's Crown, and Fire Emblem: Awakening saved video games for me, but all four of those games came out in 2013, right before the PS4 and X1 were launched. Like you said, it's a matter of taste.

Anyway, sorry about the huge dissertation I just submitted here.

Top Three Video Game Corps 

3. Interstel Coporation (Starflight) - The premise was that Interstel provided you with a spaceship, but it was somehow not a government-backed enterprise despite the fact that you'd think the government of Arth would make space exploration a number one priority, especially when the game's main conflict was revealed shortly after starting it. Interstel claimed it was too poor to provide anything beyond a bare-bones ship, so you were expected to earn the money to both upgrade your ship beyond a basic model and train your entire crew through mining, trading, and recommending colony worlds. Still, they were probably one of the least evil video game corporations.

2. Vault-Tec - Vault-Tec is probably the most damning indictment of the military-industrial complex I've ever seen in a video game. Vault 112 and Vault 87 were some of the most messed up places I'd ever seen in video games. The Fallout Bible and the Penny Arcade comic One Man and a Crate of Puppets had a lot of other messed-up Vault experiments. I'm pretty sure I would have signed up for Vault 69. No special reason, Vault 69 just sounds like a cool place where nothing messed up could possibly ever happen, and a decent place to while away 20 years while waiting for the earth to become habitable again. See, I'm not even quoting Family Guy this time.

1. Shinra Electric Power Company - When I think of evil mega-corps, Shinra comes to mind immediately. They were really more evil than Sephiroth himself was - they created him, and they did all kinds of horrible things in the name of pleasing their shareholders like ugly medical experiments and manufacturing WMDs. And although Shinra's certain inspiration was TEPCO, the ubiquitous Japanese utility company, at the time FF7 came out there was also increasing concerns in the United States and growing legal action against two American mega-corporations, Microsoft and Walmart, over unfair business practices and in Walmart's case, careless expansions that left rural regions in the US economically devastated when the stores were shut down after underperforming. FF7 was the perfect game for its time period theme-wise.

I wish Megan McDuffee would write a theme song for me, LOL.


02/28/2020 at 11:32 AM

I have simillar thoughts. The X360 generation was mostly a miss to me. There was New Vegas, Demon's souls, Dragon's Crown, Saints Row 2,  Company of Heroes,Bad Company 2, STALKER, and Mount and Blade Warband.  My PS3 was pretty much just a Souls and DC machine. Between all consoles and PC, over an entire generation, that's not a lot.   But it was generation where Japan waned, and the dumbing down of game styles/series/genres associated with PC gaming waxed. The standout stuff from the west mostly came from obscure developers and had quite a few technical problems.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

03/04/2020 at 08:54 PM

Yeah, definitely a big difference of opinion here, which is totally fine. Last gen saw a rise in a type of melding of gameplay and storytelling from Western developers that I just totally clicked with, and even though Japan had a rough time getting up to speed there were plenty of gems that came out during that time period. Of course, I am quite enjoying the Japanese resurgence from the start of the 8th gen, and hope it continues into the 9th.

Exrian Contributing Writer

02/27/2020 at 10:57 AM

It's awesome that Megan made a theme song for NWP, excellent job. I really enjoyed the anime talk especially because I'm on season 3 of MHA right now. It's been really good. Definitely keep us updated on anime when you do give them a shot. I'll have to check out the Max Defense anime, I saw that too and was wondering what the hell it was. 

I cant believe Justin finishes games at that pace. Its insane! He replayed the whole Witcher and did the DLC! I cant even imagine doing that alone in less than 3 months. He can definitely finish a souls game in no time. 

Cool Stage Select idea, I had a bit of a difficult time thinking of more than my favorite but I think I got some good ones. 


Stage Select:

3. Warioware Inc.: How could you not love the company behind all those crazy minigames. Then Wario as a boss probably means that you could be completely incompetent and still have a job. It's almost like my job now! He seems like he runs a crazy but altogether fun company.

2. The Carrington Institute: This is company responsible for the laptop gun in Perfect Dark. That alone deserves a great spot on here. Its basically the videogame version of James Bonds MI6. So tons of crazy fun gadgets and a license to kill. Seems like a solid place to work.

1. Aperture Science: Ok so while this is definitely my favorite company in videogames, its probably the absolute last place I'd want to work. Let's just say that Cave Johnson isnt shy about doing human trials on whoever he finds himself around.

Casey Curran Staff Writer

02/27/2020 at 09:26 PM

3. Czerka Corporation (Kotor)- Unlike Umbrella or Cerberus, Czerka knows how to be deplorable without everyone knowing it, which is key to any evil corporation. Enslaving Wookies, hiring mercenaries to hunt Sand People, hijacking restoring life to a planet to make a quick buck off its resources, theres no low this company won't stop to. You can even make a Czerka droid go insane when he realizes how many murders he aided the company with and starts killing everyone he sees.

2. Gadgetron Corporation (Ratchet and Clank)- Thanks to them, you can summon a homicidal robot companion, throw a grenade that turns into a disco ball forcing your enemies, then finish them off with a gatling gun surrounded by rocket launchers. Nuff said.

1. Tom Nook's Store (Animal Crossing)- He builds you a house, you can pay it off whenever you want, then builds you a bigger house you can pay off whenever you want. And all you need to do to pay it off is pick fruit and catch fish. I wish there was a company like this in real life.

Super Step Contributing Writer

03/03/2020 at 10:41 PM

I want to rank from 1 to 3 just to see what Justin does about it, but I won't. 

Dig the new song. It sounds ... sexy. 

I understand where you're coming from on LiS: Before the Storm, Julian ... I mean I don't because I CAN'T but I do.

I'd be interested in your take on the remastered Yakuza series. I'm on 5 now and it is quite a step up from 3 and 4 in my opinion, gameplay-wise. I was actually burning through the taxi missions while listening ... and avoiding grading. That was a rough night/morning ... 

I have Sims 4 and I feel like the turotial is going on a bit long ... or maybe I don't understand the appeal of Sims games, which I've never played. 

Need to get back to Witcher III. All this talk of violence against women has me thinking Yakuza is downright progressive by comparison ... should also download Skyrim at some point, since it notoriously beat not-Kiwami in that cage match. 

Anyway, corporations:

3. Pizza Hutt (Crazy Taxi); had their pan pizza recently and I do really like that crust. Pizza was mediocre as all hell though. 

2. M Store Kamurocho (Yakuza series): It's just familiar and convenient and they allow me to cook the heads of my enemies in their microwave, which is great customer service. 

1. Umbrella Corporation (Resident Evil): Been enjoying my RE 2 remake rental and this is the only in-game corporation I really knew of long, long before actually playing a game. This one wins on pure name recognition. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

03/04/2020 at 08:56 PM

I haven't had time to go back to Yakuza 3 since recording, so my review is going to be late. :/

The plan is to get to at least chapter 5 in all 3 games before doing my write up, to get a good sense of the mechanics and story on each one. 

Really glad you dig the theme song! I couldn't be happier with it.

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