Episode 63 - In Shape Anime Grandpa - Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors


What do you mean "what the hell is the NOCLIP Podcast"? You mean...you don't know?!

Welcome to the podcast, and the first episode of Mystery May, where today we're going to be talking about 999, an escape room/graphic novel adventure game that goes heavy on its convoluted plot in its attempts to engage the player. While we think the puzzles are well designed, there is a helping of disagreement over whether the game accomplishes what it sets out to do with its plot and characters. We're going to talk about adventure game puzzle design, mature content being handled in a less than mature manner, and whether this game would be peeeeerfect for the Switch.

Next time we're talking about Danganronpa V3, so be sure to check back then!

Episode 62 - ...of the Connecticut Daoras - Monster Hunter: World


I found a nice podcast, Meowster!

Welcome back to NOCLIP, where this time we're looking at Capcom's item crafting, Felyne training, stat pondering, social dancing, and yes, monster fighting action RPG: Monster Hunter: World. Monster Hunter is a long standing, but largely niche, series and this entry is the first in seven years to be released outside of the handheld market. This seems like a decision that largely paid off, as Capcom is in the monster hunting business, and brother, business is a-boomin'. We look at the best selling game in Capcom's history and let its hooks sink deep to find out what is so compelling about the boss fight-centric game. We talk about the meaningful difference weapon choice makes, the ecology of Monster Hunter's world and what motivates a mountain to do what it does.

Thanks for checking out this episode, and prepare your magnifying glasses and pick up a debilitating smoking habit as we kick off Mystery May next time with 999!

Episode 61 - Loretouched - Hollow Knight


Wealth, glory, enlightenment... that podcast seems to promise all things!

Welcome back to the podcast (and apologies for how long of a break we've had)! Today, we're going to be talking about Hollow Knight, an action-heavy Metroidvania that's an overwhelmingly impressive feat coming from a small indie team. Every corner of the world Hollow Knight contains is teeming with life, or at least undeath, and this sense of discovery drives engagement all the way through the game. We'll discuss all the ideas this game brings to the table, and how even our complaints seem small in comparison to the scale of this game's accomplishments. We talk about the experience focused design of the game's world and combat encounters, using vague hints at backstory to further a mood, and tapping into your latent instincts to be a high school bully.

Thanks for checking us out again this week, and be sure to check in next time when we talk about Monster Hunter World!

Bonus Episode - Milky Moderate - Super Mario Cereal


NOCLIP Podcast, find it in your grocer's freezer!

From deep in the bowls of the Internet, we're going to be talking about Super Mario Cereal today. When this promotional cereal released, it was met with continental amusement, seemingly because of the inherent ridiculousness of it. But, rather than be spoon-fed opinions on it, we decided to pour up and try it for ourselves. Join us to find out if our favorite Nintendo hero has made the switch from plumbin' to bakin' or if his breakfast effort is another milquetoast effort on the shelves of your grocery store.

Thanks for joining us for this admittedly kind of silly tangent this week, and we'll be back again next time to talk about Hollow Knight!

Episode 60 - Noogies and Even Greater Noogies - The Last Guardian


I awoke to find myself listening to a strange podcast...

Welcome back to NOCLIP, where this week we're going to be talking about The Last Guardian.  The third game in what could be considered a spiritual trilogy of games including Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian similarly features a bleak atmosphere and an unassuming protagonist.  The hook this time around comes in the form of a massive beast and the connection that you create with it over the course of the game.  While the game is touching and technologically very impressive, the devil, as it usually is, is in the details of the execution.  We're talking about puzzle design, questionable mechanical and UI decisions, and what type of thing it is more okay to be angry at: at person or a horse?

Thanks for checking us out again this week, and be sure you come back next episode when we talk about Hollow Knight!

Episode 59 - Things That Rhyme With Tootin' - West of Loathing


You're about to listen to a podcast with the color and viscosity of maple syrup, except instead of maple it's flavored with the inside of the mouths of people who chew cigars instead of smoking them and have never brushed their teeth.

Welcome back! Today we're taking a look at West of Loathing, an RPG set in the wild west from the makers of Kingdom of Loathing. Despite being an RPG, the real draw of this game is in its writing, and funnier writing is not often seen in this industry. As quaint as it can come off with its rudimentary art style and turn-based combat, the world present here is deep and interesting, leveraging both its excellent dialog and knack for creating interesting and worthwhile quests to keep players invested. We're going to talk about sprawling quest structure, enjoying the journey in spite of the destination (really a life lesson, if you think about it) and the intricacies of discrimination in Goblin culture.

Thank you (yes you!) for listening this week, and check back with us in two weeks when we talk about The Last Guardian.

Episode 58 - We're Here For the Lies - Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice


You will podcast with me in Ragnarok!

Welcome back to the podcast where we're going to be talking about Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. Ninja Theory made this game with what was a shoestring budget for its goals and ambitions, and what results is hopefully a proof-of-concept game to show that this type of development can still be viable despite the risks. Choosing to focus the game around the concept of mental illness and Norse mythology gives the game a well of rich narrative and thematic content to draw from, but beyond that is where the game starts to fall down. We're going to talk about strong art direction, repetitive combat and the lemon-lime soda most likely to exist in the afterlife.

Thanks for listening this week, and be sure to check back next time when we talk about West of Loathing!

Episode 57 - Ass Machine - NieR: Automata


Analysis: A large amount of entertaining audio data incoming. Recommendation: Listen to the NOCLIP Podcast.

Thanks for joining us again this week while we talk about NieR: Automata! This game is a sequel to a Square Enix Action RPG from last generation that Platinum Games has put their own spin on, eschewing some of the more traditional RPG elements for the hack and slash gameplay that Platinum is known for. While the combat itself is kept fresh by repeatedly changing from character to character with new control schemes and abilities or from genre to genre, sometimes becoming a Shoot 'em Up for some segments, it's the narrative and thematic content of the game that really keeps players pushing forward. With a focus on story not really present in other Platinum games, it makes this one a compelling experience and really feels like the best of both worlds for the game's developer and publisher. We're going to talk about combat flow, world and quest design and oh yes, there will be butts.

Thanks for checking us out this week, and be sure to check back next time when we talk about Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice!

Episode 56 - In The Jell-O, But On The Vine - Mirror's Edge


I hear a podcast, and you can't outrun those.

Thank you for joining us for another episode of NOCLIP today (and apologies for the delays!). We're back to talk about Mirror's Edge, a first person platformer that came to define the genre for the majority of average game players for years. Mirror's Edge emphasizes your character's movement as you free run through buildings and on rooftops, but rarely gives you a chance to catch your breath. We discuss whether this breakneck pace is a benefit or detriment and how the other mechanical elements mesh together to create a parkour game all others will be compared to. We talk about movement mechanics, maladroit combat, and what level of social responsibility you have for constructing coherent metaphors.

Thanks for tuning in again, and be sure to check us out in two weeks when we discuss Nier: Automata!

Bonus Episode - Grass Cutting Simulator - 2017 Year in Review


Happy New Year, everyone!

With another year over and a busy holiday season winding down, we have basically entirely forgotten to play any video games or record a podcast. So while we make up for that oversight, we discuss what surprises 2017 brought to the industry and some of our own observations about the things we care about. We talk about Twitch, the Switch and EA's bid to get rich.

Thanks for being patient with us this week, and check us out next week for our episode on Mirror's Edge!