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Jumping the Shark Podcast #211

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week the brilliant managing editor of Gameranx.com, 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.)

Enjoy!

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #210

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I should have posted this before July 4th week, but it was July 4th week and I was busy drinking and replacing door locks (not an interesting story) and napping. So, a bit late, but in episode 210, Brandon and I get our Telltale mojo on and discuss episodes #3 and #4 of Wolf Among Us as well as episode #3 of The Walking Dead. I also, over a year later, finally complete 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.

Enjoy! (And look for episode #211 to post, on time, next Monday.)

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #209

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week Brandon and I 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.

Enjoy!

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Maturity, Inclusion, and the Game Industry in 2014

Microsoft E3 Presser

So, E3 is happening. Over Monday and Tuesday there were pressers and demos and a Brinks truck loaded with video. There’s always one or two things to stand out to me from these events, but the topic that’ll stay with me for awhile is maturity and the strange dichotomy in which this industry (fans included) needs more of it yet sometimes fails to recognize it when it appears. There are two catalysts for this post. One is the all too predictable trolling of Danielle Riendeau’s 100% on-point and valid piece on the lack of female presenters during the major press conferences. (Hat tip to the excellent work Danielle is doing at Polygon. We miss her a ton!) The other is a post from “Ashelia” on her Hellmode blog, defending the teaser trailer for the next Tomb Raider game against attacks that it’s made a victim of Lara Croft. (Apologies that I don’t have a real name to attribute to Ashelia.)

Originally, this post was mostly about Tomb Raider and a bit about Brothers and not laying charges of sexism where they don’t exist because it does disservice to those examples of brilliant work this industry is capable of producing. I can’t, in good conscience write on this topic without first calling attention to this sort of abhorrent behavior and state outright that when someone like Danielle speaks out on this topic and meets an ill-considered, reactionary response like this that it is all of our responsibility to condemn it in no uncertain terms. I don’t want these troglodytes, these soulless imbeciles, carrying the torch for who we are as gamers. I know we’re better than this. You know we’re better than this.  But unless we slam the door on this sub-human behavior we’ll remain defined by it. And in case you think I’m overstating, enjoy this piece of human filth:

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #208

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did you think we’d gone? Admit it, you thought we had completely checked out. But Brandon and me? We recorded our 208th show last week. It’s been up since Sunday night. I’m just the wanker who didn’t make time to tell you about it. But I digress. 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.

After the break, a quick sidenote…

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #207

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Episode #207 of Jumping the Shark is a throwback to old times as IGN’s Mitch Dyer re-joins Brandon and me 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 our next recording due to my upcoming nuptials. So, look for JtS #208 on June 2nd. Sorry all, but Mexico beckons!

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #206

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Alright, listen up. We have a new episode of JtS. It’s #206. That means… well it means Brandon and I talk about stuff. You know the drill. This week Brandon admires Hitman GO to an extent with which I’m not entirely comfortable . He also completes his Bravey Default adventures and begins a foray into Hearthstone (iOS). (One that I, with much regret, have since joined.) I’m also not quite done with my adventures in FTL: Advanced Edition land. This week I get into more of what I think 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.

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #205

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Brandon and I are back for Jumping the Shark #205. And there was much rejoicing. This week I go 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.

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FTL Tips and Strategies

Note: I originally published this article in September of 2012. I haven’t updated it for the Advanced Edition, but with Advanced Edition and the iOS port out today, I thought it worth a bump back up to the front page. Most of the advice herein remains accurate. I’ve only just begun to mess with the AE on iOS, but hopefully (maybe, maybe, maybe) I’ll have some new thoughts to post on it next week. Possibly. I think.  

I am, very likely, the last person on Earth who should be writing tips guides for gamers. Nonetheless, I’ve put in enough time and spectacularly destroyed enough starships (along with going 2 for 2 in victories on Easy) that I feel I can offer you, dear reader, the chance to learn from my mistakes. Without further adu, I present to you 15 tips for surviving to the final boss in FTL:

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Diablo 3 is Still The Same Old Waste of Time

Diablo 3 Reaper

In the past month the world of Diablo 3 has seen some tectonic shifts. The Auction House closed. Along with it, Blizzard implemented a massive patch, Loot 2.0, which has had enormous consequences for the (virtual) world economy. Oh yeah, and last week they released the new Reaper of Souls expansion that included a new class, a new act, and a new mode of play. If you’re a lapsed Diablo 3 player, like me, you might be inclined to jump back into the game and see what all the hub-bub is about. You’d be a fool to do so. You see, you’ve already got a fool right here at NHS willing to do that. The things I do so that you don’t have to.

After the break, no need to thank me…

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