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Nerds Without Pants Episode 192: Looking Back at the 8th Generation

We recorded a two hour podcast! And they said it couldn't be done.

Welcome, welcome, welcome, to the last Nerds Without Pants of 2020! It's been a brutal year, and the Pantsless Ones will be taking some time off to recharge, relax, and of course play a ton of games. Don't worry though; we have some surprises for you during our break, as well as our big music special!

In this episode we look back at the console generation that was, in a way that only NWP can: a top 5 list! Nobody does those! Ahem. Anyway, while we've talked a lot about these games in the past it's still cool and interesting to see what games made the cut, what games only got an honorable mention, and the many games that were left out of the discussion completely. What were your favorite games of last gen? Did we surprise you with any of our picks? NWP wants to know! 

See you in 2021...assuming we make it that far.

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




12/31/2020 at 01:31 AM

I started out with a launch year PS4 with the promise that the 8th gen would mark a change from things I didn't like about the PS3/Wii/360 generation. Ultimately, my favorite system of the generation would become the Switch.

My top games of the generation: 

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was fun just exploring the world, battling monsters, and discovering stuff. Honestly, it has a great shot at being my favorite game of all time. It recaptured the feeling I felt the first time I played the original game on NES, and I never felt railroaded to complete the main quest, which was the point. 

2. Dragon Quest XI S: This game is peak Japanese RPG (hopefully so far). It's high adventure and the Toriyama art style is beautifully rendered to boot.  

3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Switch): In addition to a likeable cast of characters, in particular Edelgard, who makes a great villain depending on your perspective, there's so much content stuffed into this SRPG that it isn't even funny, and the battles are satisfying AF.

4. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I agree with what was said about the side quests in this game, and I like Geralt as a character. Does a great job at portraying a crapsack medieval fantasy world, though combat is a bit sketchy.

5. Valkyria Chronicles 4: It isn't quite as graphically or gameplay-wise groundbreaking as the original, especially compared to Fire Emblem as far as gameplay. But it's a welcome return to form for one of my favorite series and is a great conclusion to Europan War II.

Honorable mentions: 

Super Mario Odyssey: Just barely missed the Top 5. I liked the aesthetics of the new worlds, and the ability to control enemies is a nice touch. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons: This game, with its social aspects of visiting your friends' islands, came out at just the right time during the pandemic, and I dig sim games.

Persona 5: a very stylish RPG that handles certain sensitive themes pretty well, for the most part. It's probably the Japanese equivalent of The Witcher 3, and I'm looking forward to Shin Megami Tensei V and the eventual Persona 6.

The Outer Worlds: Fallout 4 was a disappointment (though the settlements were fun to test out) and the less said about Fallout 76, the better. Outer Worlds picks up on the legacy of my favorite Fallout game, New Vegas, with the humor, aesthetic, and RPG mechanics of New Vegas. Sucks that Obsidian got bought by Microsoft though.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: A great remake of one of the classic Zelda games. Very colorful, lots of quality-of-life improvements that made the gameplay a lot more fun. I hope Nintendo eventually gives the same treatment to the Oracle games and perhaps to Minish Cap as well. Maybe even A Link to the Past, though I'd like a more detailed art style. That said, the Mother-esque style chosen for Link's Awakening was perfect.

Final Fantasy XV: Still not a perfect game, and its labored development shows, but it's a huge improvement over FFXIII. 

Super Mario Maker: I've always enjoyed game creation kits. Who didn't dream of building their own Mario levels. 

Cuphead: I liked the 1940s Warner Bros animation style of Cuphead. Tough boss batlles. 

River City Girls: Probably my favorite beat-em-up since Dragon's Crown on PS3. I've said of this game that it's the closest I'll ever come to having a Project A-Ko video game.

Astral Chain: I was glad to see that, after a few years of being relegated to making licensed games for Activision, that Platinum Games made such a great comeback with NieR: Automata. This game was more reminiscent of the same early zaniness at Platinum that gave rise to games like Bayonetta (where's Bayonetta 3?)

Super Smash Bros Ultimate: It's like a love letter to the entire Japanese game industry, but has expanded to include Western games such as Minecraft or Banjo-Kazooie as well. This is the game I've spent the most time online with, by far, this generation. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

01/07/2021 at 08:04 PM

Julian from like 31 minutes to 32 minutes: "This might be the shortest episode of the year."

Dead on! Are *you* Q?! 


I'd actually be curious to know if there was a shorter episode from this year. lol 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/11/2021 at 06:27 PM

If you don't count specials this is the shortest episode of 2020. I checked just for you.

Super Step Contributing Writer

01/11/2021 at 06:28 PM


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