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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 202: Chicken Diarrhea

Or: The Three Amicos.

After over a month of not recording, the Nerds Without Pants are back with a new episode! Unfortunately, this episode was cursed, and there are a lot of technical issues that we tried our best to fix in post. Also, this one goes off the rails and stays that way the entire time thanks to Friend Of The Show and Podcast Saboteur Mike Fallek. Strap in, because...dang.

There's a lot of stuff in here, and at this point it's all a blur. We kick things off talking about This is Video Games. Once we've scared off 80% of the audience with hardcore porn talk we get into E3 discussion, the longest talk of the Intellivision Amico that has ever been done, and also some games. How does that fill over four hours? Even I don't know. It's a secret to everybody.

No one is going to listen to all of this.

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




06/30/2021 at 09:14 PM

Stage Select: Top Three Family Members

1. The first one is obvious: Mario and Luigi, the original video game family. I've been following the brothers since the original Mario Bros. arcade game in 1983. I'd take them as my brothers.

2. The Worzen family from Legacy of the Wizard. Each member of the family - Mom, Dad, the brother, the sister, the grandparents, even the family pet - has their own abilities and role in the adventure. 

3. Sojiro Sakura, the guardian of the protagonist in Persona 5. He starts out as a "tough love" parent to the protagonist as he believes the protagonist to be a criminal, then becomes more open as their relationship progresses and the protagonist shows an interest in his hobby of coffee-making. 

Cage Match:

Quest "Glass Joe" 64 is remarkably resilient. But much like Glass Joe, it will inevitably end up face-down on the mat. Castlevania 64 was not the greatest game, but it was far from a terrible game, either. It suffered from a protracted development cycle; their original plan was four playable characters, including a chainsaw-wielding protagonist, day/night cycles, and the player being able to being turned into vampires. I think by 1999, they felt they had to get the game out the door. A lot of the ideas they had for the first release were realized later that year in Legacy of Darkness. Castlevania was flawed but ambitious, while Quest is still the bare minimum of a video game RPG that Nintendo was pushing in an effort to downplay the fact that they screwed up when they lost Final Fantasy VII. However, since Quest 64 seems destined to be a frequent flyer in the ring in an effort to prove itself, I would like to suggest a match where it will stand more of a chance: Quest 64 vs. Plumbers Don't Wear Ties (3DO). 


06/30/2021 at 10:40 PM

Show notes:

I actually buy most third party games on Switch when available. The Switch is my favorite system, in part for the "intimacy," as Mike put it, and in part because while I did buy it for Nintendo franchises, third party stuff is a nice bonus, especially when I think how starved for games the N64 was. My thinking is that it's legit cool that stuff like Doom, Witcher 3 and Outer Worlds works on it, and is portable when I want to take it on planes. As far as the downgrades that were necessary, we're hardly talking about a functional or visual difference between, say, the PlayStation and the Game Boy, which was still sold throughout the 5th gen. There are legit third-party gems like Dragon Quest XI S and the upcoming SMT V. Right now, the PS5 doesn't really have anything that justifies a $500 purchase, so I'm content to wait for Final Fantasy XVI to drop. As for Xbox, I'll just say that I'm not very fond of Microsoft itself, and leave it at that. So yeah, I'm all for "bring it to Switch." I'll probably pick up the upcoming Switch port of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, just for kicks. I'm also having to travel out of state a lot due to my father's illness, so I appreciate being able to play full-fat console RPGs and action games in portable form. 

The Amico, though... I'm not really sure what Tallarico is thinking there. I just don't see it succeeding against Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft on one end and the mobile market and Apple TV 4K on the other end, especially at a price point higher than a Switch Lite. Some versions of the Amico retail for $300, which is the price of the full-sized Switch or a Series S. There was some drama over the Amico last night, which I assume was after you got this podcast in the can, where Ars Technica got ahold of the Amico's specs and leaked them, comparing the chips to those of low-end smartphones. Needless to say, Tallarico was wasn't happy and threatened to lawyer up against AT for copyright infringement. That, plus the lack of any concrete information on Amico just three months before it's supposed to launch, doesn't seem to bode well for the Amico, and I'm not at all sure than Earthworm Jim will be enough. Tallarico seems to want to bring back couch multiplayer, but Mario Kart 8 and Smash Ultimate fit that bill pretty nicely. Astrosmash looks kind of neat. I used to play the 2600 version when the 2600 was the big thing. Maybe they could bring it to Switch at some point? Tongue Out That said, they're a lot more reasonable than Atari. The VCS costs as much as the PS5 Digital Edition. I have been playing since the Atari days, and I don't have that much nostalgia.

I believe that the handheld cartridge system you talked about is called the Evercade. 

Exrian Contributing Writer

07/07/2021 at 10:54 AM

Glad to have you guys back. Great episode despite Julian's concerns.


Stage Select:

3. Devil May Cry: Sure there's plenty of disfunction in this one but there's also something else deeper. Some form of underlying respect between Dante and Vergil. They put aside their issues when things get bad and they always work out their issues with a sparring session that they both can't get enough of. Then you add Nero and some surrounding friends and it's a pretty cool family.

2. Final Fantasy X: Overall the group seems close enough to be considered family but I'm mostly looking at Auron and Tidus here. He starts like a good uncle but also seems more like a father figure for a young man who needs guidance. He's also a complete badass so that is a bonus.

1. Mass Effect: To be honest this list could change if I could recall many families in games but I know Mass Effect would make this list. You become so attached to your crew that it's hard to part with them by the time the game ends. I still wonder what became of them after the ending and hope to see some great things when the new one releases.


Cage Match: I could do research but I'm not. I assume Castlevania has a Belmont as it's main character. Belmonts kill dead things all the time. As we all know Quest 64 literally died in its 1st Match and some necromancy brought it back to basically die again in a 2nd Match. I see no reason why Belmont doesn't kill this thing off for good or at the least seal it away for 1000 years or whatever like every incarnation of Dracula that gets stopped by a Belmont.

Casey Curran Staff Writer

07/09/2021 at 02:41 PM

Stage Select: 

3. Mario Brothers- Specifically from the Mario and Luigi RPGs. It's the best portrayal of brothers I've seen: Yes they hit each other with hammers, light each other on fire, and shock each other while Luigi is constantly disrespected for not being his older brother but they always have each other's back and their trust never waivers for one single second.

2. Shepard and Grunt- Shepard was there for Grunt's birth, taught him how to control his emotions during puberty, and paid bail to Citadel police and after hearing his story on why he got arrested only said "I love you Grunt." That's a dedicated parent! Hell Grunt was more excited to see Shepard than anyone else from 2 including the characters about to be killed by Cerberus or Reapers.

And its also really nice to see a healthy parent/child relationship in Mass Effect. Take a shot for every time yo play a mission centered on daddy issues in Mass Effect 2 and you won't make it through the night.

1. Rio and Miles Morales- Yes she's not an original game character but every version of Miles' parents are different so I'm counting her. And this is a single mother who just lost her husband, is running for public office, and yet still is always there for her son and his dweeby friend. If that isn't mother of the year, I don't know what is.


Cage Match: 

Castlevania 64 has skeletons on motorcycles and a Frankenstein monster with a chainsaw for an arm. Castlevania 64 wins.


07/10/2021 at 03:37 AM

Read first: I've been doing the Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta again this year, if anyone is interested and beats it successfully sends me a DM with your proof I'll donate a couple bucks why not.  Besides the main website I recommend the Enkibot-Prime tool because it's hard to miss anything important in the game while using it.

Oh, this episode... was a lot (Infogrames, whose could-have-been original name, Dick System, would've been more appropriate, and absolute taint Doug Tennapel--what a combo.  I also think controllers should react to more than just the thumbs, sorry Julian, and maybe related I think Nioh is great even if I'm sorta trash at it) but if you didn't love Mike breaking down during the Owen Wilson impression you must have no joy in your life.

I figure somebody will mention Ness's Father (who is somewhat based on Itoi's own estrangement in real life from his daughter, which I think makes it hit harder) so I wanted to bring up a mostly unknown example, the Worzen family from the old MSX/NES Metroidvania-like game Legacy of the Wizard.  Similar to my answer of "best dog" question awhile back, part of what is cool about this family is that they all have different controls and abilities.  There's the powerhouse father Xemn whose main section of the map deals with moving around blocks, which gives that section a more action/puzzley feel.  The mother Maia has floating and magical powers which gives her main section a slight shmup feel.  The brother Royas is an all-arounder and is required you use the other characters to build him up to defeat the last boss, but is also highly defensive and good for exploring the first part of the sublevels.  There's Lyll, the daughter and my favorite character, a bit of a glass cannon whose leaping and magic abilities lets you break the game and uncover all the secrets hidden within.  And finally there's Pochi, best dog (question mark?) who is in reality a monster that lets you ignore other monsters and is used for scouting out paths in the labyrinthine dungeon.  Oh, and there's also grandma and grandpa who act as the password saving system, and a painting of an ancestor that lets you access a... sound test?  Which is cool because the music is really good.  Sure the narrative of the game is simple but for pure gameplay purposes in my opinion it's hard to beat the Worzen family!

I'm one of those weirdos that can find good things in Castlevania 64, so that.  I also like it better than its remake despite not having a laser whip.  It's pretty enacting and tried to be pretty innovative (I mean, there's a time system as an off-the-cuff example).  Just never, EVER say the words "Magical Nitro" to anyone that's gotten through it.  That part requires you to painstaking walk a ridiculous distance in an area with falling platform and Resident Evil 1-esque hard switching camera angles while moving where any joustle or enemy can easily cause you to have to start the whole thing over again.  But at least it's not Quest 64, an N64 RPG we're talking because a marketing campaign kinda worked almost a quarter of a century ago I guess?  Aidyn Chronicles was another N64-only RPG that has a 53% on Metacritic, is that next?

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