Season 1 (2011)

Episode 1: Generational Reset

In this inaugural episode, we talk about the resurgence of 2-D gaming and whether we think it's good for the industry. In the second half, we make our predictions for the 2011 Nintendo Power awards.

Panel: Brian Williams, Ron Goldie, Erica Watson, Peter Bailie

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Episode 2: Series Evolution

What makes each successive game in a series still fun to play after years, even decades after its starting game? Do things like new stories, new consoles, and new graphics help or hinder a series? Can a series get too experimental and die before their time? Panel: Brian, Ron, Erica, Peter

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Episode 3: Legislative Gaming

We discuss the push to legislate video games, why that is, and also talk at length the California video game law which was being argued in the Supreme Court of the United States. What effect could potential rulings by the Court have on the video game industry? Panel: Brian, Ron, Erica, Peter

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Episode 4: Underrated Gems

We are talking about underrated video games--games that enjoyed widespread critical acclaim, yet failed to garner the financial success that usually accompanies said acclaim. Why do games like these get swept under the rug? Panel: Brian, Ron, Erica, Peter, Ben Mayer

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Episode 5: PAX East 2011 (2-Part Episode)

We head to the Boston Convention and Expo Center in Boston, MA, for PAX East 2011. It's our first trip there, and we give a full recap of our experiences. This episode is split into two separate parts.

Panel: Brian, Ben, Wyatt Krause, Ian Brent, Jen VanRiper

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Part 1
Part 1
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Part 2
Part 2
Episode 6: Nintendo Power Awards

We made our predictions in Episode 1, now hear if our predictions were accurate. Which Nintendo games shone brightest in 2010? Which games took home honors in the ballot's 22 categories? Which game won overall Game of the Year? Panel: Brian, Ron, Erica, Peter

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Episode 7: To The Movies

We discuss the tumultuous relationship between video games and movies; generally, movies based on video games don't translate well from game console to the big screen, and we give our thoughts as to why this is, with some exceptions. Panel: Brian, Nick Whitford, Danielle Ellison, Daniel Mason

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Episode 8: The Blue Hedgehog

Sonic turns 20! We talk about the rise, fall, and possible resurgence. Sega's mascot has been through hell and back again, so what's in store for him?  Panel: Brian, Nick, Danielle

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Episode 9: Into The Legend (2-Part Episode)

We take a look at Dragon Warrior and The Legend of Zelda, both turning 25 this year. We recount the games, our experiences, and talk about what gives them lasting appeal. We talk about Dragon Warrior in the first part, Zelda in the second. Panel: Brian, Ron, Nick, Ryan French, Chris Gannon

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Part 1
Part 1
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Part 2
Part 2
Episode 10: Bananas & Pirates (2-Part Episode)

In this episode, our panel discusses what has made Metroid and Donkey Kong great these past 25 and 30 years, respectively, after they entered into gaming history. We discuss Metroid in Part 1, Doneky Kong in Part 2. Panel: Brian, Ron, Nick, Ryan, Chris

Part 1
Part 1
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Part 2
Part 2
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Episode 11: Under the Umbrella (2-Part Episode)

In our final episode this year celebrating classic video game franchises, we now turn to the baby of this year's group. Resident Evil turns 15, but it's done quite a lot since its first game in 1996. It invented the survival horror genre, and keeps re-inventing it. Panel: Brian, Chris, Wyatt, Ronald Whited

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Part 1
Part 1
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Part 2
Part 2
Episode 12: E3 2011

The annual E3 has come and gone, but with the announcement of two consoles, this year's E3 was of particular interest. Join us as we break down this year's E3, and give our thoughts on some of the expo's biggest offerings, like the Nintendo WiiU. Panel: Brian, Ron, Nick, Chris, Joshua Marketis

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Episode 13: Sony's Failboat

Now that the PlayStation Network is back and fully operational, I and the panel reminisce on the 6-week frustration that was the PSN Outage of 2011. We discuss the causes, Sony's horrible PR, and what they've done to appease their fans, all laced with sarcastic wit. Panel: Brian, Ron, Ryan, Danielle, Joshua

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Episode 14: Pay to Play

We discuss a new trend in the console world--the idea of buying additional content to augment and enhance our gameplay instead of unlocking content through play. Is this a good thing for the industry, or is it simply a means to drive up the cost of gameplay? Panel: Brian, Ryan, Ben, Joshua, Ronald

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Episode 15: Supreme Court Gaming

We follow up on Episode 3, the case brought before the Supreme Court: to determine the constitutionality of California's 2005 law that would make it a crime to sell violent video games to minors. We discuss what the ruling will have on the video game industry. Panel: Brian, Ron, Peter, Nick, Joshua

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Episode 16: What's Old Is New Again

We take a look at the growing trend in gaming: the increase of game remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, and re-paintings. Has the industry run out of ideas? Or is it a way to bring new gamers into the fold? Everything old is new again right here on this episode. Panel: Brian, Ron, Nick, Ronald, Catherine Oliver

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Episode 17: Now in Eye-Popping 3D

We go to the next level in this episode. The panel and I discuss what may very well be the next step in the evolution of video games--that of 3D gaming. As it makes its first steps into the medium, we ask: is it just a fad, or will it be here to stay?  Panel: Brian, Ron, Nick, Peter, Ronald

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Episode 18: 20 Years of SNES

Super Nintendo was released in the US in 1991. Twenty years later, we're still playing its games, thanks to the Wii's Virtual Console. For many of us twenty- and thirty-somethings, this was THE system to have growing up. Listen in as we remember our experiences with the SNES. Panel: Brian, Ron, Peter, Ronald

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Episode 19: Bleeps and Bloops

Music can add so much to the experience of a game. From its beginnings as filler, music now serves a huge function, with studios using full orchestras to accompany their games. We discuss game music, and talk about our favorite game tunes and composers. Panel: Brian, Peter, Shanna Wynn-Shirreffs

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Episode 20: Holiday Gifts

The holidays are fast approaching, and with it, some of the hottest anticipated video game releases. I and the panel discuss some of the biggest releases due out this holiday season, what we think will be the must-have titles, and the games we personally want to nab. Panel: Brian, Ron, Ryan

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Episode 21: Sacrifices Must Be Made

It's a topic brought up with every single generation of new consoles--are sacrificing good story and good gameplay for the sake of selling a game that focuses entirely on graphics. With this current generation of systems, do you agree or not? We debate this issue from various angles. Panel: Brian, Ron, Nick, Ronald

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Episode 22: A Biased Press

We talk about video game reviews. How much of a review is honest opinion, how much is advertising? Do professional publications stand to profit from giving a game a positive review, even if it might be inflated? What about non-professional reviewing? Panel: Brian, Ron, Nick, Patrick Chen

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Episode 23: Free Play

It's a free-for-all! In this episode, it's completely open discussion--we talk about anything video-game related. We range across topics from DRM on Batman: Arkham City, professional gaming, the changing face of single-player gaming, next-gen console rumors and several others. Panel: Brian, Ron, Joshua

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Episode 24: Level Cleared

In our season finale, we discuss our own personal best and worst video games of 2011! Also included is some discussion about next year's releases, and a few things to look forward to in the second season of Downloadable Content! Panel: Brian, Ron, Joshua, Ben

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Full Ep
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Part 2