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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 262: Christmas Time For Space Whales

We sangs it!

Welcome to a Nerds Without Pants episode that’s actually a reasonable length for once! We know our listeners are a bunch of size queens, but you’ll just have to make do as we talk about the games we’re looking forward to the most between now and the end of the year. And some other stuff.

00:00 – 11:54 Shout out to some returning podcast friends

12:24 – 1:03:46 STAGE SELECT: Our top 3 most anticipated games for the rest of 2023

1:05:04 – 1:58:00 CONSUMPTION JUNCTION: Oxenfree II, closing thoughts on Final Fantasy XVI, Punch Club 2, Divinity: Original Sin 2, Arcade Paradise

1:58:36 – 2:11:41 VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Grandia vs Star Ocean Second Story

2:11:50 – 2:21:11 Outro

NEXT WEEK: HEADLINES! (Send us some emails!)


STAGE SELECT: Tell us what makes a side quest worth completing in your opinion

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Castlevania vs Mickey Mania



Theme From Jurassic Park- John Williams

In the Mood- Glenn Miller and the Glenn Miller Band

Mama Said- The Shirelles

Fly Me to the Moon- Tony Bennett

 Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again- Emmy Rossum

Twitter: @NWPcast


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





Cary Woodham

08/05/2023 at 09:20 AM

For me, a sidequest needs to be one of three things to be worth completing.  It needs to be fun.  It needs to give you a good item to help you in the game.  Or if you like the story, it needs to flash it out.

I would've used Chocobo Hot and Cold from FF9 as an example, but in the past I remember you all saying you didn't like that one.  But I liked it.  It was like a treasure hunt that used the whole world map. 

I had to beat a lot of sidequests in Tears of the Kingdom to get good enough items to beat certain bosses.  I would just pick and choose which ones sounded fun and didn't take a long time to beat.  I finally finished that game at the end of July.  Took me three months and my Switch says I spent 100 hours on it.  I think I enjoyed about 50 percent of that.  Sorry Tears of the Kingdom, you're not getting my GOTY award.

There was one sidequest in Tears of the Kingdom where you had to find Nazca-style lines in the ground to flesh out the story, and that one was fun, though.  There are a lot of sidequests in FF6 and Chrono Trigger that help flesh out the story, and I did all of those.

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/09/2023 at 11:58 PM

STAGE SELECT: Being in a Rya Ga Gotoku studios game; still incredibly hit or miss but damn, they know how to make them when they do it right. I'll say compelling storylines and world-building are most important and I'd include teaching me a mechanic or showing me a place on a map I wouldn't have thought about as part of world-building. Ultimately though, the MAIN thing that will make me actually want to complete a substory is that it tells a compelling ... substory. 

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Castlevania but I wonder how I'd feel if I'd played Mickey Mania more recently. I remember the towards-the-screen segment blowing my young mind when I rented it for SNES and in general the art design and graphics in that game were simply amazing and I think still hold up. 

But I haven't PLAYED Mickey Mania recently and Castlevania NES is still fun to play and began a series I've had tons of enjoyment with. While I think the farthest I've ever made it in the original Castlevania game is probably stage 3 or 4, I've enjoyed replaying those levels via emulation (we never really rented this one for NES, so I remember Double Dribble and Anticipation being more played in the house) for several years now and have played tons of Castlevania games since. Gotta go with the classic.

(For anyone confused how someone born in 1990 had access to NES/SNES, I have an older brother who's six years older). 


Julian, I can drive to wherever as long as you tell me. I'm down for pinball. Before August 21 would be ideal, as that is when UT classes start but I'm sure I'll get some weekends where I'm not TOO bogged down with Ph.D. and TA work to go somewhere.


08/10/2023 at 12:02 AM

Stage Select:

A side questhas to be fun and not full of BS. The rewards you get for completing it, depending on how enjoyable the side quest is, can go either way. Giving a good reward to a fun side quest makes it even better. Locking a good reward behind a BS minigame increases the BS factor exponentially.

For that reason, I stuck out chocobo racing in FF7 long enough to use a gold chocobo to get Knights of the Round, Mime, Quadra Magic, and even that one crappy materia that's basically Square giving you the middle finger for raising the second best chocobo.. Ths racing and chocobo hunting wasn't hugely full of BS, especially using the racing cheat and a lot of save-scumming.

The Anju/Kafei sidequest from Majora's Mask is a great sidequest that tells a pretty complete story. The only downfall to it is that a lot of it is time-sensitive, so if you screw up something, you have to start over. But if you play it on Nintendo Switch Online, you can use save states.

The Chocobo Hot/Cold sidequest, on the other hand, is complete BS, especially for how tedious it is and given much stuff is locked behind it.After not finding anything in that miserable little pond after an hour of trying, I gave up. In terms of BS. Chocobo Hot/Cold smells like the Amarillo stockyards along I-40 on a hot day, and ranks right up there with The Spirits Within as one of Square's worst ideas. If anyone needs me, I'll be in the Angry Dome.

Cage Match: 

Going with Castlevania as a fan of the series. But I will say that, for a licensed character who has primarily existed as little more than a mascot for decades, Mickey had some pretty decent games.


08/11/2023 at 03:29 AM

STAGE SELECT: In a generalized quest model, Q is the quest, C is the catalyst to initiate the quest, G represents the stages of growth or genesis of the hero, and Y represents the conquering of the hero's inevitable destiny.  The dual approach to defining a quest includes six antithetical stages between the models, indicated by matched superscript numbers. For example, Individualism in the singular quest (see Table 3) has an opposite stage of Collaboration in the synergy quest in (see Table 4), and Solitary Victory in the singular quest is opposed by Group Victory in the synergy quest. This offers significantly different play experiences: solitary versus collaboration, receiving versus giving aid, large or small spatial displacement, and singular versus group victory. The differences between the singular and synergy quests can be expressed similarly.  Therefore, Quest sub 1 = d (spatial movement) >((Stimulus of goal/objecting,Crossed Threshold,≤),(Individual Forms of Assistance,(Trials,≤,Rewards)),((Enemy/Entity to overcome,Boon),Barriers,≤,Transfiguration (of hero and/or ordinary world)).  Or to put it another way, Q sub i=d>((S(g),H,≤),(A sub r,(T,≤,R)),((E,B),I,≤,F)).  Source: Harris and Caldwell (2023).  Oh, side quests are just quests you do on the side.

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Castlevania wins.  However, in 100 years or whatever Castlevania will be public domain while Mickey Mouse still won't be for some reason.  Maybe Disney will argue that the founding fathers meant "keep [and] bear arms" to include other anthropomorphic animals or some shit.  So who really wins?

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