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Jumping the Shark Podcast #135

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It’s another two-man show for Jumping the Shark as Bill hides out in his undisclosed location for another week. The Straw will be back eventually, we swear! Brandon’s back, though, so you are spared the tragedy that is me hosting a podcast. What you won’t avoid is me talking Abnercon festivities and why Irish Breakfast tea is a real game changer; also Innovation, Chaos in the Old World, 7 Wonders (and why Mrs. The Straw cheats), and the nifty economic game that masquerades as a wargame, Imperial. You’ll also hear about Brandon’s crazy vacation shenanigans (yay, hyperbole!), more steamy Summoner Wars action, and how Stephen King changed the course of two young and impressionable lives. True story.

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READ ALSO:  Jumping the Shark Podcast #186

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

10 thoughts to “Jumping the Shark Podcast #135”

  1. Bill is too busy with Dirk right now. Last I heard they were in a warehouse somewhere in Jersey, building forts out of game boxes, having nerf wars. Just taunting us with the stack of games they have, and we don’t.

    Bill’s just being plain greedy now, hoarding all the game goodness to himself. First Abnercon, then working at CQ, now he won’t even come tell us about it all. I say next time Bill is on don’t talk about any board games at all, that’ll teach him.

  2. Todd: If you’re still looking for a story driven game, give Xenoblade: Chronicles a try. It’s on the Wii so the graphics are last-gen quality (though there are no motion controls), but otherwise it’s a very well crafted JRPG.

    1. I’ll definitely keep that one in mind, as I’ve read a lot of good stuff about that game, but in all honesty, it’s hard for me to get up for playing anything on the Wii anymore. For whatever reason, I really just don’t enjoy fiddling with the Wiimote.

      1. You can play the whole game with the classic controller. You don’t even have to touch the Wiimote once you get past the Wii menu.

        1. You better use the classic controler too.

          I tried to get into that game, but it was still a JRPG in that you have to fight mobs over and over, using basically the same template, a process which got the better of me after 10 hours. I understand I didn’t see the big “twist”, but I doubt the combat mechanics evolve to the point they grasp my interest. Or maybe they do?

          And Brandon, I am so very sorry to have dragged you down into this agonizing Nightfall game. It was a first try at multiplayer in that game, and it is really not meant to be played asynchronously indeed.

          1. The battle system gets significantly better as more characters get added to your party and you take advantage of the option to control any of them. While the AI is pretty decent at controlling the other members of your party, it’s really exciting to try out all the different characters/party options and see what kinds of builds you can get going, which can vary both by who’s in your party and by who you’re controlling.

            So, for me, the battle mechanics improved a lot, but I also liked them a fair bit at the start, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

      2. I’d caution you to rent before you buy if you decide to try it. I don’t think you’ll like it as it’s very much a mishmash of a JRPG and MMO. That alone makes me think you won’t care for it.

  3. I have to say that Ascension is the one iOS game that has had the longest legs for me. I’ve started playing it in December, and still play it almost every day. I love Storm of Souls, the new mechanics really refreshed the game for me. At any given time I have between three and ten games going.

    Summoner Wars is interesting, but I’m still battling a bit with the luck factor. It can be frustrating to get your units into position, then miss three out of three attacks, only to have your opponent counter and wipe out half your troops.

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