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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 213: Secret Jedi

I hurt.

This episode is late and I’m in so much pain writing this that I can’t think straight. You know the drill: we talked about stuff. For a long time. About video games.

00:00 – 14:17 Doves

14:25 – 01:40:52 STAGE SELECT: What video game worlds would you like to live in?

01:41:01 – 03:00:45 CONSUMPTION JUNCTION: Unpacking, Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, Gears of War 4, Rise of the Tomb Raider

03:01:22 – 03:20:21 VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Final Fantasy XV vs Dragon Quest XI

03:20:30 – 03:26:43 Outro


STAGE SELECT: What are the games that relax you the most?

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Super Metroid vs Castlevania: Symphony of the Night


Twitter: @NWPcast


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





11/29/2021 at 02:09 PM

Stage Select:

Simulation games are my go-to for "relaxing" games. In those games, you spend a lot of time watching the results of your actions play out.

City simulation games have long been a big go-to for me for relaxing games. I would have just said "SimCity" until EA completely shat the bed with SimCity 5. Thankfully, Cities Skylines has largely filled that void. It's just relaxing watching the buildings rise into the sky and the traffic flowing. 

My other go-to for relaxing games are the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons games. There's something oddly compelling about all the planting, harvesting, and dating simulation aspects of these games. My favorites out of this series have been A Wonderful Life on Gamecube, and I recently played Pioneers of Olive Town on Switch.

Cage Match:

Super Metroid is peak 2-D platforming. Everything about it, the gameplay, controls, atmosphere, the power-ups, is just about perfect. I'm hard-pressed to think of a game that met my expectations as thoroughly as Super Metroid did.


12/03/2021 at 08:40 AM

I thought I originally heard this question as, "What's a thing in video games that relaxes you," so I'll answer that first: snow and water.  I could spend hours messing around with snow and water physics.  I even follow a couple shader programmers on Twitter that often do water programming tricks for indie games and the like.  Especially snow, water is great and all but sometimes how poorly it is done just irritates me to no end.  But snow?  Even a simple repeating pattern is all it takes to make me think of cocoa and candy canes.  Oh, and I have fond memories of loading up the old ZNES emulator and switching the snow option on in the GUI and just letting it go in the background.  I still do it occasionally.  And oddly I'm not the only, there's been at least 2 modern ports of it!  Somebody even recently took the whole GUI and adapted it to a different, actually updated emulator.  Not just for the snow of course, but I bet it helped.

Now, "What video games relax me"?  I'm a big fan of Picross and other logic games, just great games that get you into a good focused zen state.  Everyone has heard of Picross, but my favorite two are little indie games that I'll recommend: Hexcells and Tametsi.  Just chill little games where you're trying to color in cells using logic.  Sure they're occasionally brutally difficult, but they are pretty and the stakes are nonexistent, so who really cares?  Oh, one other game: Lonely Mountains: Downhill.  It's one of those simple low skill floor, high skill ceiling types of games but really it's just about coasting down a low poly, kinda paperish mountain on bikes while birds chirp and the breeze blows.  Unless you're doing the Daily Challenge (and, often, even then) it's all just a fun ride.

You know, I don't like the matchup between Alucard and Samus themselves, I just don't think there's much there.  So I ask the simple question, what does Super Metroid and Castlevania have in common?  Is the answer, "Metroidvania"?  Wrong, I hate you and I pity you.  The answer is "bats", of course.  They both have a great bat game going on.  Everyone hates Skrees, the bat-like alien that kamikazes itself and showers you in shrapnel.  And Castlevania is... well, it's all bats.  But here's the problem: Samus hates bats, but Alucard is bats.  I admit, not the choice of my gut, but Symphony of the Night is the choice of the reasoned scientific method.  Bats.

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