Podcast: 0.21 JJ Slider's Pizza Emporium

Zero Stars | 11.27.2017


It's a week full of filmic disappointment! A wild non sequitur appears and Bob hasn't played any games. Thankfully, Matt's played enough Horizon: Zero Dawn and Battlefield 1 for the both of them. 

Podcast: 0.20 Our National Nightmare

Zero Stars | 11.12.2017

ear mic

We embark on new adventures in hi-fi, discuss how EA ruins everything, and dive into conversations about Super Mario Odyssey and Horizon: Zero Dawn

Podcast: 0.19 Matt Watches Someone Beat Dark Souls 3

Zero Stars | 10.29.2017


We announce our new biweekly release schedule and then segue into an incredibly lengthy newshour. Stick it out for in-depth discussions about Super Mario Odyssey and The Evil Within 2.

Podcast: 0.18 Let's Take A Break

Zero Stars | 10.22.2017


We're mythbusting and fact-checking up a storm on this episode, mainly because Bob hasn't played anything. Thankfully, Matt's played enough Stardew Valley for both of us.

Podcast 0.17: Not a Knife in Sight

Zero Stars | 10.15.2017


It's Friday the 13th and we're ready to talk about a bunch of games. Tune in for the exciting conclusion(?) to Matt's Dark Souls saga, a bunch of praise for The Witness, quick takes on Octopath Traveller and Deus Ex, and a lengthy chat about Epic Games's sort-of-terrible and sort-of-amazing game Fortnite.

Butterfly Soup is not for me, and I love it so, so much

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Matt Rickart | 10.13.2017


Before getting into Butterfly Soup - one of my favorite gaming and narrative experiences this year - I want to loosely define a few phrases:

Slice-of-life Slice-of-life, as an idiom, is sort of quaintly useless. Life is broad, and the slices can be generous. Ironically, in gaming, we use the term “vertical slice” to delineate the most exciting parts of a video game.

YA Yesterday on the Chicago L I saw a 50-something-year-old woman with a giant Hunger Games mocking jay tattoo on her neck. She probably wasn’t Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins. I know that for industry/genre enthusiasts YA is a useful term, but it’s also a dumb one.

Visual novel Visual novels are popular in Japan, but not living in Japan I haven’t spent much time with them. I did play the grossly overwritten 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. It didn’t exactly leave me wanting more.

In visual novels, the player/reader reads text (mostly dialogue), looks at character portraits and makes occasional choices. Some visual novels include slightly more gamified systems, like inventories or stats, but generally they’re even less dynamic than choose-your-own-adventure books.

Okay, now Butterfly Soup:

Podcast: Controversial Moves

Zero Stars | 10.09.2017


We pull out all of our trick shots for a rapid fire episode that addresses a whole bunch of games. Bob's beaten Dark Souls, Matt's played Picross, Cuphead is great, and Deus Ex is dumb. Matt even found time to play Thimbleweed Park.

Podcast: The Legend of Zelda: The Usual Danger of Sharks

Zero Stars | 10.01.2017

Smoke under the water.

We finally get around to some reader mail, and take a deep dive into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Join us for a very special (and potentially spoiler-ish) episode.  

God Hand is a Problem

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Bob Dorff | 09.28.2017

god hand

The first time you play God Hand, you will either hate it or think it's 'okay'. The second time you play it, you will probably have a similar opinion. Somewhere between the second or third time you experience the game, however, a switch will flip in your brain and you'll need to cope with a disturbing reality: As an opportunity to press buttons and see things occur on a screen, this game is perfect. On every other level, it's an indecent example of everything shameful about video games.

Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a Step Sideways

Matt Rickart | 09.26.2017


There is a time and a place for Uncharted video games; it’s somewhere between 2001 and 2010. Americans needed escapism, heroic gunfights, and they could be forgiven for seeing exotic locales as playgrounds. Naughty Dog’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2007) was an exercise in Indiana Jones fan fiction and photo-realism. The follow-up, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009) is generally regarded as the pinnacle of the series. A rare sophomore effort that outstrips the first project without over-reaching. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (2011) was a lot like Among Thieves but somehow dumb, boring, and poorly titled.

Then, from the same studio, came The Last of Us (2013), an astounding video game. Serious, clever, grounded, powerful - a game that probably made Naughty Dog finally feel weird about being called Naughty Dog. The Last of Us was Uncharted with a tight camera, an appropriate feeling of wonder brought on by the contrast of desperation, and guns that felt like guns.