Two Years of NOCLIP - It's Kinda Like That


It's that time of year again. Time to say thanks to all of you, sincerely, for listening to this show. We've been going for two years now, and we're still loving making every single episode. We're still trying to improve, and we're still trying not to commit to tape the kind of thing you're about to listen to nigh on a half hour of right now. Thanks for letting us indulge this week, and we've got a couple of great October episodes planned coming up: Splatoon 2 for our fiftieth episode and our Halloween special on Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Stay tuned, keep an eye on our feed, and thank you again for listening to NOCLIP.

Episode 49 - Mom Cave - Ori and the Blind Forest


He is the reason we're alive, he's the reason we podcast,

Welcome back to another episode of NOCLIP this week. We're going to be talking about Ori and the Blind Forest, Moon Studio's Metroidvania that takes the platforming that's expected of the genre and ramps it up to be the main focus. The platforming challenge combines with stellar presentation to create a game that is lauded by many, so we take a closer look at the way the pieces fit together. We discuss movement through a Metroidvania's levels, visual design and visibility, and nature's most perfect of cold-hearted assassins: frogs.

Thanks for listening this week, and join us next episode for a very special fiftieth episode where we revisit the series that started it all and talk about Splatoon 2. Also keep an eye on the feed for a bonus episode celebrating two entire years of our dumb show!

Episode 48 - Strange and Ancient Cereal - Super Mario RPG


At this rate, it'll take ya 100 more podcasts to catch me!

Welcome back to NOCLIP! This week we're going to be talking about Super Mario RPG, Square's take on the Mario franchise and the first RPG to carry Mario's name. Square handling a Nintendo RPG seems like a natural fit, and their touch is noticeable here. However, Nintendo's influence can be seen as well, and a lot of the "Mario" elements are the things that make the game feel unique. We're going to talk about the evolution of the RPG, tedium in combat and Wario's secret identity!

Thanks for listening to NOCLIP again this week, and join us next time when we talk about Ori and the Blind Forest!

Episode 47 - Never Stop Twisting - Superhot


Podcasts are software, bodies are disposable.

Welcome back to NOCLIP, where this week we're going to be breaking down Superhot. The central gimmick to Superhot is controlling time. Time only progresses when you move, turning the skill set required for a first person shooter completely on its head. This makes for a more contemplative, though still tense, experience. The mechanical themes of this short game are incredibly strong, but unfortunately, looking further into the narrative can distract you from what it is that it does incredibly well: glorious dodging and shooting. We'll talk about how level repetition can lead to badass perfection, a detrimentally heavy handed plot, and sick, awesome jumping.

Thanks for checking us out again this week, and join us next time as we talk about Super Mario RPG!

Episode 46 - Sword Arm Online - Severed


Sasha, come outside. It's time you learned how to podcast.

This week on NOCLIP, we're going to be talking about Drinkbox Studio's Severed. Severed makes use of the touch screens prevalent in modern devices by creating a frenetic sword fighting dungeon crawler while striking a very somber tone. The pieces fit so well together, and we enjoyed our time with this game so much that it's one of the few games we've covered that we absolutely recommend getting and playing if you've never heard of it, or just not given it a shot yet. We're going to talk about touch screen gaming, symbolism and abstract plot, and just the grossest papayas.

Thanks for checking out the episode, and subscribe to our feed to hear our next episode on Superhot!

Episode 45 - Huckster Fish - Metroid Prime

Once our podcast here is complete, we will peer inward and discover the truth.

Thanks for joining us this week as we talk about Metroid Prime. A severe turn from the appearance of previous Metroid games, Prime retains a lot of the DNA that makes up the series it belongs to, despite the shift in perspective. Because of these similarities, design appears to have been focused around making a traditional Metroid game play well in first person and were generally successful enough that the game has maintained a following over the fifteen years since its release. We discuss controls, loneliness in aesthetic and admiring those beautiful, stupid ass Puffers.

Thanks for checking us out again this week, and come back next time for our conversation on Severed!

Episode 44 - Phone Hom - Hotline Miami

Who's leaving podcasts on your answering machine?

Welcome back to the show this week. We're going to be talking about Dennaton's Hotline Miami, an ultra violent top down beat 'em up that became a bit of an indie darling at the time of its release in 2012. While we end up thinking the game misses its narrative mark, the games punishing but intensely satisfying mechanics combine well with the cocaine-fueled pseudo '80s aesthetic making the game difficult to put down. We're going to be talking about violence and the game's commentary thereon, gameplay loops and variety, and feverishly bumpin'.

Thanks for checking us out again this week, and we'll be back next time to talk about Metroid Prime!

Episode 43 - Atlus Shrugged - Trauma Center: Second Opinion

How can I work under a doctor that doesn't even try to podcast?

Welcome back to NOCLIP! This week we're going to be dissecting Atlus's Trauma Center: Second Opinion, a Wii game that used the Wii Remote to simulate surgery of all things. An expanded version of Under the Knife on the DS, Trauma Center changes up its control scheme for the console and creates an entertaining and incredibly challenging game that manages to feel unique and interesting over a decade after its release. We're going to be talking about difficulty, level design and variety, and a mysterious zombie man.

Thanks for checking us out this week and join us next time when we tear into Hotline Miami!

Bonus Episode - Rollin' Coal - GOCLIP

NOCLIP. Innovation comes standard.

Apologies for missing a week, our Trauma Center episode will be going up this Saturday. In the meantime, what you're going to be listening to today is more of a general discussion podcast. We had the (retrospectively not super bright) idea of duct taping our microphone to the dashboard of my car while we took a trip and recorded our conversation. Because of this, the audio quality isn't up to our usual standard, but I think the discussion topics we cover warrant putting this out anyway. We're talking about the Wii U, Splatoon, Dark Souls, Fire Emblem, the Switch and we teach you about the West Virginia tradition of Rolling Coal.

Hopefully this is a fun one for you guys and we'll be back on our regular schedule next week.

Episode 42 - Better Than Punching the Pope - Metal Gear Solid

Do you think a podcast can bloom, even on a battlefield?

Welcome back to NOCLIP this week, where we're going to be discussing Konami's classic stealth action game, Metal Gear Solid. Before Konami went complete off the rails and their business philosophy drifted toward "we hate Kojima," they released one of the most prolific stealth games of all time which spawned an extremely popular series, lauded by players and critics alike. We crack open the first of the series to examine how it holds up today and what design decisions make it an all-time classic that has influenced games in and out of the genre to this day. We talk about stealth gameplay, attention to detail, and the meatiest, manliest ways to end your game.

Thanks for checking us out this week and prep yourself for surgery, because next time we're talking about Trauma Center: Second Opinion!

Episode 41 - Cool Guy Cat Coffee Cafe Connoisseur - The World Ends With You

Like a bolt from the blue, it's time for the podcast review,

Welcome back to NOCLIP, today we're going to be talking about Square's unique DS Action RPG that is absolutely JAM PACKED with mechanics. Like an environmentally conscious hunter, Square uses every part of the console from the touch screen to the microphone to the internal clock to govern the myriad systems that sacrifice user accessibility for a complicated and ultimately satisfying combat system that has you constantly doing something, or even forgetting to do things. We're going to talk about action management, incredible aesthetic themes and being a God. Damned. Slammurai.

Thanks for listening this week and be sure to check us out next time when we talk about Metal Gear Solid!

Episode 40 - Cheetah? Too Regular! - Bayonetta

I don't think I've got time to entertain your blather. I'd much rather hear it straight from your podcast.

Thanks for joining us again this week while we talk about Bayonetta.  Platinum's flagship franchise started with this send-up of classic Devil May Cry games featuring satisfying action combat and a tone that's straight out of grindhouse cinema.  We talk about combo systems, Bayonetta's character design and the cultural ramifications thereof, and the best Subway sandwich advertisement of all time.

Thanks for checking us out this week and be sure to come back next time when we talk about The World Ends With You!

Episode 39 - Regular People Eating Lunch - Inside

NOCLIP is recorded inside of a dead studio audience,

This week on NOCLIP we're going to be talking about Playdead's Inside. Inside is the second puzzle platformer from the developer of Limbo and the evolution in design is immediately apparent. The game evokes a dark tone in a way that is incredibly effective given its presentation. We discuss striking visual design, puzzle difficulty and pacing and how deep underwater you can be before you can no longer make friends.

Thanks for checking us out this week and join us again next time when we talk about Bayonetta!

Episode 38 - Ancient Sheikah Power Windows - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Part 2)

The Blood Cast rises once again...

Welcome back to NOCLIP as we finish out our discussion on Breath of the Wild and are joined again by Dan and Janelle.  With the formalities out of the way, we get into the depths of the design of the dungeons and the ways in which you interact with the physical world. We're going to be talking about physics simulations and weapon degradation in games, the lifespan of narrative tropes in the medium, and the... it's a... well it's a door that's like... it's sphincter doors. We talk about sphincter doors.

Thanks for checking out this second part of the Legend of Zelda, we'll be back in two weeks to talk about Inside, Playdead's follow up to Limbo!

Episode 38 - Hundred Year Fluid Nap - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Part 1)

The podcast that must shine upon Hyrule once again,

Welcome back to NOCLIP, where this week we are beginning our discussion on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and we're joined by our friends Janelle and Dan. This game's release is an event for a number of reasons, as it launched a new Nintendo console and represents a departure from what most would consider the way a traditional Zelda game works. The fact that it has been embraced by fans of the series in light of this is testament to how well Nintendo pulled the open world game off. We talk about Shrines, Zelda's role in her games over the years, and everything you need to know about horses.

Thanks for listening and join us in two weeks as we close out our discussion on Zelda!

Episode 37 - Bench Press the World - Overwatch

The world needs podcasts,

This episode of NOCLIP is going to look at Blizzard's populous dominating FPS, Overwatch. The key to the overwhelming reaction to this game seems to be the game's near universally appealing design that was assembled and iterated on from a number of sources. We're going to dive into that design and see why this game keeps us playing it for a number of hours that is frankly embarrassing. We talk about incredible character design, the reasons behind frequently balancing and patching a live game and how much extra health you get just for being ridiculously swole.

We hope you enjoy the episode this week, and be sure to check in next time when we talk about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Episode 36 - Number One Womb - Earthbound

You cannot grasp the true form of Giygas's podcast,

This week, we're going to be talking about one of the most interesting RPGs to come out of the SNES era, Earthbound. Known as Mother 2 in Japan, Earthbound is the first entry in the Mother series to be released in the States and despite underselling on its initial release has developed a cult following and it's tone and visuals have inspired both game players and developers for years. We haven't seen too many games that are this unusual and aggressively weird out of a major developer since. We talk about contrasting tones, mechanical and narrative pacing, and neurosurgery.

Thanks once again for checking this episode out, we'll be back in two weeks to discuss Overwatch!

Episode 35 - The Eldritch Truth About Yellow - The Last of Us

Once we're done with this whole thing, I'm gonna teach you how to podcast. Yeah, I reckon you'd really like that.

Welcome to NOCLIP this week, and this time we're talking about The Last of Us. One of the most popular games to release on the PS3, Naughty Dog's take on the zombie apocalypse got a lot of people talking about the narrative elements of games, including a lot of people who seldom considered games to be a great storytelling medium beforehand. We break down that story, as well as the game it's attached to, in what ends up being a surprisingly divisive discussion on what elements live up to the hype, surpass it and sometimes even fall short. We talk about the evolving perspective on the narrative throughout a playthrough, crafting and dissonance, and what kind of belt buckle or trailer hitch decoration Joel is most representative of.

Thanks again for listening, and join us next time when we talk about Earthbound. There's been enough time since we covered Undertale, right?

Episode 34 - Horse, Adjective; Murderer, Profession - Bloodborne

We are born by the cast, made men by the cast, pod by the cast,

Welcome back to NOCLIP everyone! Having established ourselves as a podcast that likes to talk about Dark Souls, we sit down to talk about FROM's Souls-alike game Bloodborne. Despite the fact that the games do have a lot in common and share the majority of their major design points, we find a lot to talk about to differentiate the two series and talk about the points that make Bloodborne a unique experience in its own right. We discuss Lovecraft's influence, weapon and stat progression and what effect it has on a playthrough, and a whole lot of disgusting grossness.

Thanks for listening this week and join us again next time for our discussion on The Last of Us!

Episode 33 - Acceptable to Above Acceptable - Metroid Fusion

When Adam decided who would podcast, he chose incorrectly,

Welcome to NOCLIP and this week we're talking about Metroid Fusion, the first GBA game in the series and one that attempted to add an explicit narrative with dialogue and also dial back the difficulty present in previous Metroid games. The result is a game that feels very unlike its predecessors, but still manages to nail a tone and be enjoyable to play. We talk about claustrophobic level design, conveyance of tone, and a non-threatening bouncy stalk man.

Thanks for listening to the podcast this week and join us again in two weeks when we talk about Bloodborne!