Episode 54 - Maybe It Wasn't A Metaphor - The Cat Lady

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Are you part of that podcast subculture?

Have you died and gone to podcast heaven? No, it's much worse than that, because we're going to be talking about The Cat Lady. The Cat Lady is a Horror Adventure game that examines themes of real life and depression through a surrealist lens that never ceases to be interesting and emotional. The design of this game uses and eschews convention in equal measure and the end result is an Adventure game that feels unique, while still reminding you of why this genre can work in the first place. We're going to discuss how audio/visual decisions add to an unsettling atmosphere, the importance of puzzles in Adventure games with such a strong narrative focus, and the unsurprisingly disappointing combat system.

Thanks for listening to the podcast this week, join us again next time when we talk about Animal Crossing: New Leaf!

Episode 53 - Moon Inflation - Super Mario Odyssey

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Mama always said, "go podcast outside,"

One trip around the kingdoms later, and we're back with another NOCLIP Podcast. This time we're going to be talking about Super Mario Odyssey, the latest 3D platformer in the most iconic video game series of all time. Odyssey shows a desire to return to the design principles that made Mario 64 one of the most talked about and influential games of its generation, and while there was some progress to that end, Odyssey feels like a different beast entirely, bursting with things to do and a simple but diverse moveset with which to do them. We're going to talk about fluidity in platforming, captivating visuals and music, and we get political, cracking open the conspiracy to reveal whether Pauline is a good mayor or a cool mayor... or neither!

Thank you for listening to us this time, and join us again in December to talk about The Cat Lady!

Episode 52 - Elitist Identified - Epistory

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A chitinous, chattering podcast began to appear,

Thanks for checking us out again this week! This time around, we're finally tackling a typing game, and we picked a hell of a one to start on. Epistory is a typing game at its heart that layers on a gorgeous paper craft art style as well as a plot that strikes at an emotional core. These elements help the game stand out and would be unique even if the game's quality didn't live up to expectations. Spoilers: it does. We're going to discuss keyboard mechanics, world and dungeon design, and feeling immense guilt over not experiencing the intended emotions in a social setting (we're doing okay, really).

Thank you for listening, and be back in two weeks when we talk about Super Mario Odyssey!

Episode 51 - Comaghost - Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

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The Podcast must be protected, the Black Water must not overflow.

Welcome to the podcast this week, and as Halloween is right around the corner we're going to be talking about a ghostly Wii U title, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water. The fifth game in a long running Japanese horror franchise, the Wii U release seemed to be in danger of not being localized for other regions. Fortunately, there was enough demand to bring the game stateside, even if only in a digital version. Fatal Frame V maintains the thematic and mechanical elements the series is known for, with a new control scheme focused around the central gimmick of using the Wii U gamepad as a diegetic camera, which is the central focus of combat and puzzle solving. We're going to be discussing sloppy controls in horror games, mechanical mastery and point systems, and QWOP (but for your core).

Thank you for listening, I hope we didn't give you too many nightmares. Next time, join us as we talk about Epistory - Typing Chronicles! 

Episode 50 - Unentertaining Garbage - Splatoon 2

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'Til next time... Don't get bypassed, stay with the NOCLIP Podcast!

Welcome to the fiftieth episode of NOCLIP. For the occasion, we're taking a deep dive back to our very first episode and talking about the sequel to that game, Splatoon 2. Nintendo has taken their squid-based competitive shooter property and updated it for a new audience on the much more popular Switch console. Despite many people claiming that the sequel isn't much more than an update, we take stock of the differences and the strengths and weaknesses they bring with them. We're going to be talking about how the game feels to play compared to the original, the glory of Salmon Run's design, and the trials and tribulations of being a try-hard idiot.

Thank you for listening to the episode this week. While we were very excited to hit this fifty episode milestone, we haven't forgotten the season; so join us again next week as we talk about Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water for the Wii U!

Two Years of NOCLIP - It's Kinda Like That

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!