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Jumping the Shark Podcast: 2014 Collection (#198-#222)

Herein you will find links to every Jumping the Shark video gaming podcast posted in 2014.

This year, JtS featured the vocal stylings of Todd Brakke (@ToddsFoolery), Brandon Cackowski-Schnell (@MisterBinky), William Abner (@TheAbner), Mitch Dyer (@MitchyD), Troy Goodfellow (@TroyGoodfellow), Holly Green (@winnersusedrugs), and Patrick Lindsey (@HanFreakinSolo). Show production, editing, and summaries alternate between Todd and Brandon. All shows cross-posted at

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Episode 198
Released: 1/5/2014
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Synopsis: Brandon and Todd are here (even if Brandon’s voice isn’t) to talk about their most anticipated games of 2014 as well as Todd’s problems with the Xbox One and NBA2K14 and Brandon’s problems with The Walking Dead Season 2. Yay! Hope and complaints!

Episode 199
Released: 1/19/2014
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Synopsis: It’s episode #199 and Brandon and Todd are here to do two things and two things only: One, have an impromptu discussion about Skyrim and why Brandon should not, under any circumstances, venture back into that world. And, two, break down the first episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 2. The spoiler lamp is most definitely lit in this one. It’s a giant fiery ball, that reaches to every crack and crevice in the game and exposes its deepest darkest secrets, including which of us has more sympathy for cute four-legged critters.

Episode 200
Released: 1/27/2014
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Synopsis: Hey, we did a show! The 200th show to be exact. Bill was on! We talked a little about Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, some Gone Home, some state of gaming and of course TV Talk. Bill also talked about what he’s been doing now that he’s not playing games. He’s a busy dude.

Episode 201
Released: 2/9/2014
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Synopsis: Kicking off the road to 300 has to start somewhere, and in this case it starts with our 201st episode of Jumping the Shark. How about that?

This week Brandon dons his white cloak and hood for some sea-shanty-sing’n goodness in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. We’ve also started playing football the solitaire way with Bill Harris’ Gridiron Solitaire. You know a football game is doing its job when perfectly legit results end in Todd screaming at the monitor,  just like when he watches the Lions.

Finally, the meat of our show is an in-depth and spoiler-ridden dissection of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. There are not enough words in the English language to tell the full story of what makes this such an amazing game, but we do our best.

Episode 202
Released: 2/23/2014
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Synopsis: Brandon and Todd hopped online last week, talked about industry events, and now it’s live on Teh Internets as JtS #202. We had some technical problems this week and Todd wasn’t coming up clear on Brandon’s line, so it starts out rough. It gets better by the half-way point, though. Sorry!

Right, anyway, this week we talk all about digital distribution in a time where ISPs are feeling more and more freedom to throttle, engage in data caps, etc. This leads to a thorough look at the Irrational Studios closure/status quo change and how, er… irrational some of the response has been to it. Enjoy!

Episode 203
Released: 3/9/2014
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Synopsis: This week on JtS, Brandon and Todd swap crime stories. Brandon takes to the world of Thief and comes away unimpressed with its nefarious arts. Meanwhile, upon logging into my Blizzard account, I find out why crime doesn’t pay, even though I haven’t touched it in a year or so. Along the way we spend time discussing Bravely Default and other 3DS JRPGs, reminiscing about Harold Ramis, and learning about why WiFi and Bluetooth hate each other. (Spoiler warning, Blizzard did grant me my Diablo 3 access back the day after we recorded.)

Episode 204
Released: 3/23/2014
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Synopsis: In episode 204 of Jumping the Shark, trust issues abound as Brandon and I sink into the hope-free and forlorn streets of the latest from Telltale Games, The Wolf Among Us. The spoiler lamp is firmly lit as we talk about episode 2 and The Walking Dead’s second season’s second chapter.

Why is The Wolf so angry? Is Clementine one of the best characters currently going? Which of these two fine games is doing the best job laying out it’s story? Why are there so many twos in this post? All this, along with the resolution to my Diablo 3 fiasco, is in store for you this week! (Again, the spoiler lamp is lit!)

Episode 205
Released: 4/6/2014
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Synopsis: Brandon and Todd are back for Jumping the Shark #205. And there was much rejoicing. This week Todd goes soul-reaping with the new Diablo 3 expansion. Brandon has a Second Son and he’s already Infamous, which I believe makes him so famous that he’s, like, more than famous. He’s in famous. Pretty awesome. (And points for you if you know the reference.) There’s also much talk of FTL: Advanced Edition, even more Bravely Default, and we part with a secret that will shake the very foundations of your reality. The Abner? Yeah, we made him up this whole time.

Minds, blown.

Episode 206
Released: 4/20/2014
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Synopsis: Alright, listen up. We have a new episode of JtS. It’s #206. That means… well it means Brandon and Todd talk about stuff. You know the drill. This week Brandon admires Hitman GO to an extent with which Todd is not entirely comfortable . He also completes his Bravey Default adventures and begins a foray into Hearthstone (iOS). Todd is also not quite done with his adventures in FTL: Advanced Edition land. This week he gets into more of what works best and the stuff that feels a little off-balance. (Spoiler: There’s not much.) Finally, we wrap with a big-time, spoiler lamp is majorly lit, discussion of Captain America: The Winter Solder and its affects on the rapidly improving Agents of SHIELD.

It’s all here. Come get some.

Episode 207
Released: 5/4/2014
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Synopsis: Episode #207 of Jumping the Shark is a throwback to old times as IGN’s Mitch Dyer re-joins Brandon and Todd for some long overdue catching up. Just to complete the picture we even wrote a new script for our Bill Abner character, which delivers the goods in the form of many, many musings about Dark Souls II. And there’s plenty more.

Hear all about Mitch’s DOTA obsession, Brandon plays himself some Child of Light, and we talk a bunch about the highs and lows of dealing cards in Hearthstone. There’s more Hitman Go and FTL musings, and some old-fashioned TV talk to wrap it all up. Lastly, we’re going to bump our next recording due to my upcoming nuptials. So, look for JtS #208 on June 2nd. Sorry all, but Mexico beckons!

Episode 208
Released: 6/1/2014
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Synopsis: With wedding shenanigans (and you’ll hear all about those) behind us, we’ll be back on our every other week format. This show features Brandon’s descent in the privacy-free world of Watch Dogs. The man’s inner-voyeur has been set loose and we should all be very, very afraid. There’s also a long look at Transistor and how the beauty of its world enthralls Brandon, but he sees enough short-comings to believe it not quite as awesome as Supergiant’s opening masterstroke, Bastion.

Episode 209
Released: 6/15/2014
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Synopsis: This week Brandon and Todd welcome back Troy Goodfellow to the show, for a long overdue update on yon Mr. Goodfellow’s happenings and his landing with Paradox. It was also E3 week and that meant we spent our time talking all things E3. Dragon Age 3. Witcher 3. Ubsioft shenanigans. Nintendo’s gambit to keep the Wii U relevant as well as thoughts on the Sony and Microsoft pressers. It’s all here. It’s all good.

Episode 210
Released: 6/29/2014
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Synopsis: On episode 210, Brandon and Todd get our Telltale mojo on and discuss episodes #3 and #4 of Wolf Among Us as well as episode #3 of The Walking Dead. Todd also, over a year later, finally completes Tomb Raider so we go deep into what makes that game tick and Brandon ties a nice little bow around his time with Watch Dogs.

Episode 211
Released: 7/13/2014
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Synopsis: This week the brilliant managing editor of, Holly Green, joins Brandon and I for a spirited look back at Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, how the series was originally influenced by the original Wasteland, and what we should expect from the August release of Wasteland 2. (Todd’s got a couple hours in the beta.) Along the way there’s Borderlands 2 shenanigans and a very, very important Civilization Revolution 2 PSA. (Short version: Do not buy it. Do. Not.)

Episode 212
Released: 7/27/2014
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Synopsis: Episode #212 of Jumping the Shark features a surprise return of one William Abner, here to regale us with stories of young basketball legends in the making, Dark Souls 2 PC forays, and a little Walking Dead of the TellTale variety. But first, Todd is up with a heaping load of Divinity: Original Sin impressions. The game is one of the great unexpected treasures of 2014 and well worth your gaming dollar. Finally, Brandon is all up in the Destiny beta’s business and he can’t get enough.

Episode 213
Released: 8/10/2014
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Synopsis: This week on Jumping the Shark, Brandon and Todd are joined by Todd’s good friend and fellow geek culture savant, Jay Payne, as we take a deep, spoilery dive into Telltale and Marvel land. First up I dish some quick Out of the Park Baseball 15 impressions and Brandon and I do a quick hit on the miss-step that is The Walking Dead’s 4th episode, then it’s on to The Wolf Among Us for a considered look at its first full season and how well it matches up with the spirit of the comics (about which Jay drops the knowledge bombs). We wrap up with a long, drooly praise fest for everything that makes Guardians of the Galaxy such an amazing, joy-filled triumph of superhero movies.

Episode 214
Released: 8/24/2014
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Synopsis: For this episode,’s Managing Editor, Holly Green, makes a welcome return to the show to talk all about Civ V, her upcoming digital cookbook and why it’s always better to sleep in one’s own bed when attending conventions. From there, Brandon and Todd dig into Rogue Legacy and discover why it’s the perfect game to sit down with when you have 30 minutes to kill and then marvel as two hours pass by and you’ve left your kids waiting for you at the bus stop. (Disclaimer: This did not actually happen.) Also Brandon falls in love with Diablo III all over again because… well, we haven’t the foggiest really. But he did.

Episode 215
Released: 9/7/2014
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Synopsis: Holly Green is back and she’s here to spin yarns of all things PAX. It’s a smorgasbord of quick hits on the latest iterations of Saints Row, Magicka, Costume Quest, and Dance Central. Find out what she thinks of the new Wander MMO and Not a Hero and why she owns so many versions of Deadly Premonition. And if that’s not enough, listen just to hear Todd brag about how awesome Venice is as a money-making enterprise in Civilization 5 only to find out I wildly overestimated my success. Good times. To wrap up, Brandon has Shadowrun: Dragonfall DLC and Star Realms truth bombs to drop.

Episode 216
Released: 9/21/2014
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Synopsis: Bill joins us to talk about The Walking Dead Season 2… right up until the time when his Internet connection decided to give up the ghost. Oh well, I guess a little Abner is better than none at all. Get it? Little Abner? (That’s Brandon’s joke, by the way. Don’t blame Todd.)

Episode 217
Released: 10/5/2014
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Synopsis: This episode brings back Holly Green to talk a giant heaping plateful of Wasteland 2. Is this the game we were hoping for? How hard is it to get into? Where are the rough edges and trouble spots? It’s all here. After that, there’s The Long Dark, The Shadow of Mordor, and Skyrim: Dragonborn.

Episode 218
Released: 10/19/2014
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Synopsis: In this episode, Todd talk a bunch of Alien: Isolation and why he can only play it in very short bursts, while Brandon and Holly get their Borderlands prequel mojo on. There were many, many words, names, places, and events with which Todd got lost, but he’s 73% sure they weren’t just making it up as they went. Well, more like 65%. Sure it sounded authentic, but you can never be completely certain when these two are involved. It could be code.

And as a bonus for this episode, we get an epic Mr. Binky rant on how Destiny is the most flawed game he can’t stop playing.

Episode 219
Released: 11/2/2014
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Synopsis: This episode brings me, Brandon, and special guest Patrick Lindsey together to talk about every facet and angle of Civilization: Beyond Earth. When is a solid, competent game a disappointment? You’ll hear why here. This week we’ve also got Sherlock Holmes, Galaxy Trucker, Borderlands, PlaystationTV, first impressions of Dragon Age’s Keep and a bottle of ale that Todd won’t shut up about. It’s all here!

Episode 220
Released: 11/16/2014
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Synopsis: This week Brandon goes full on hate for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and starts on the high seas of the Northern Atlantic in Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, Todd takes Dragon Age 2 for another spin, and Holly looks into the Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

Episode 221
Released: 12/7/2014
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Synopsis: The gang took full advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to put in some serious lap time on some new and old games. Brandon rides the elephants in FarCry 4 and proclaims himself the Elephant King. Todd gets his Inquisition on in the the latest Dragon Age opus. And Holly hate-plays a whole lot of Dead Rising 3 for PC. Along the way there’s also Turkey baking mastery, Shadow of Mordor wrap-up, and much indy dabbling.

Episode 222
Released: 12/22/2014
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Synopsis: The last JtS of 2014 has Holly walking the Forest, Todd asking for Papers, Please and Brandon navigating the snowy peaks of Far Cry 4. How exciting!

Todd Brakke

Todd was born in Ann Arbor with a Michigan helmet in one hand and a mouse in the other. (Never you mind the logistics of this.) He grew, vertically anyway, and proceeded to spend over 16 years as a development editor for Pearson Education, publishing books, videos, and digital learning products under the Que and Sams Publishing imprints. Because that wasn't enough of a challenge, Todd has also been a 20-year part-time snob about video games, writing reviews, features, and more for multiple outlets. Follow him on Twitter @ubrakto or check it out his website at

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