Episode 31 - He Might Be a Car - Rascal

Five Out of Five Podcasters Agree, Rascal is Terrible,

Thanks for joining us, and our guests Dan and Steven, again this week while we talk about an objectively awful game, Rascal on the Playstation. Developed by Traveler's Tales, Rascal is a mostly unheard-of action platformer that focuses on a young boy traveling through time to shoot enemies with bubbles and rescue his father. As exciting as this might sound, Rascal is truly a masterclass in poor design decisions and a lack of understanding of the concept of fun. We talk about curved walkways as prescribed challenge, unexpected death and frustration, and how, while bad, the game might be made well enough to enjoy as an example of poor design.

Thanks for listening (and thanks to Dan and Steven for coming on to fill out this conversation), and be sure to check us out next time as we take a look at the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series.


Episode 30 - Armageddon Tired of These Remakes - Pokémon (Part 2)


Your Pokémon Was Holding This Podcast, We Have No Idea How it Got There,

Today, we're concluding our discussion on the Pokémon franchise. It's been a constant part of the gaming landscape for twenty years, and those twenty years have been pretty stable for the Pokémon Company. Now with the seventh generation released and a new console on the horizon, the franchise has to look to the future and start designing hundreds of new monsters to keep itself relevant. Or does it? We look into the design of the games and what we believe the franchise is doing to ease expectations and prepare its audience for change as well as take a more in depth look at Generation 7 now that we've finished the games. We talk about Pokémon visual design, the future of the franchise, and the unending cycle of remaking games until the only logical alternative is to create Jurassic Park.

Thank you for listening this week and come back next time as we're joined by Dan (from the Trine episode) to talk about a childhood favorite and all around terrible game, Rascal, on the Playstation.

Episode 30 - FaLaLafel, The Singing Falafel - Pokémon (Part 1)

NOCLIP Unleashes Its Full-Force Z-Cast!

On today's episode, we're going to begin our massive undertaking that is talking about the Pokémon series as a whole. With the franchise celebrating it's 20th anniversary, the popularity of what was the biggest fad among kids in the nineties has spiked back up to numbers rivaling those it had in the beginning. The games have largely stuck to their roots, offering minor changes from generation to generation of main series games while nurturing a ballooning collection of TV series, movies, toys, and spin-off games, and this has developed a fan base ranging from the enthusiasts who have played each game from the beginning to new converts. In this episode, we discuss what it is about the series that created the sensation that it was, how the design has, however slowly, gotten better over time and things that #Only90sKids will remember like Zoids and Monster Rancher.

Thanks for listening again this week and check us out next time for Part 2!

Episode 29 - Respectful. Wait, No, Badass - Assassin's Creed 2

You Broke Her Heart! Now I'll Cast Your Pod!

Welcome back to the show, today we're going to be talking about Ubisoft's follow up to 2007's Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed 2. Released two years after the first, AC2 is widely considered to have successfully iterated on the concepts the first game pioneered and has become warmly remembered by fans of the series. This, however, does not keep the game safe from retrospective criticism, and we take a look at what about this game worked at the time and still works now and a few areas that time has not been particularly kind to. We talk about parsing the game's combat system, climbing all over a meticulously rendered city, cruising with whores and dropping cheddar.

Thanks for listening this week and tune in next time when we take our first ever look at an entire series, talking about the Pokémon franchise.

Episode 28 - Flashbang a Unicorn - Pokémon Snap

How's the Podcast? 590pts? Hmm, It's Not Very Good...,

Today on NOCLIP we're going to be talking about Pokémon Snap, the oddball N64 game where you ride around and take photos of Pokémon. The game has quite the following and is remembered fondly by most people who played it, ourselves included, despite having very little actually going on. However, the nostalgia surrounding Snap and the design sensibilities it represents are exactly what make it such an interesting game to discuss. We talk about what could be done to bring the game into the modern age, why making a game that scores players on an artistic pursuit is inherently difficult to do, and the ethical lengths Todd Snap is willing to go to capture a mythical Pokémon on film.

Thanks for joining us again this week, and check us out next time when we talk about Assassin's Creed 2!

Episode 27 - Ho Ho, That Wacky Zombie - Resident Evil 4


You Want to Come Back to My Place for Some... Podcasting?,

Welcome to our second and last October horror episode on Resident Evil 4. Released on the GameCube way back in 2005, RE4 is often held up as the best game in the series, and we dive into why that is. The action elements of this game mark a significant departure from the series' Survival Horror roots, and the result is a very different kind of game, groundbreaking at its time, that still wants the player to feel unsettled. We're going to talk about strategic combat, B-Horror trappings, and sexual tension on a long jet ski ride to America.

Thanks so much for listening (and we apologize for the delay in releasing this one), and be sure to come back next time for an episode on Pokémon Snap!

Episode 26 - Blair Witchin' It - Resident Evil 7: Beginning Hour and P.T.

NOTE: For an unknown reason, a popping noise was picked up on our recording for the first half of this podcast. This begins around 14 minutes, and ends during the second half. If this proves incredibly annoying to you, skip to 57:10 for our discussion on P.T. and the end of that sound. Apologies for the terribleness.

The only me is me. Are you sure the only pod is cast?,

Welcome to our first episode for the month of October. Being the spookiest month of the year, (got my eyes on you, June) we have chosen to take a look at the recent demo for Resident Evil 7 and pretty much the scariest thing on the planet, P.T. These games have a lot in common, but looking at them in direct comparison gives a lot of insight on the design of horror games and how good P.T. is at what it sets out to do. We're going to be talking about agency (or the lack thereof), use of limited space in design, and the proper identification of bird flesh and meat bags. 

Thanks so much for listening and come back in two weeks as we talk about Resident Evil 4!

One Year of NOCLIP - Central Cooling Core

Thank you for listening to NOCLIP!

A year ago we released the first episode of this podcast, and while it hasn't resulted in a whole lot, we have definitely gained some momentum. We love doing this and we appreciate everyone who listens. So, in honor of this slightly less-than-momentous occasion, we present you with half an hour of some of our dumbest jokes and silliest tangents that didn't make it into actual episodes. Learn to make iced coffee, take a few lances to the chest, and answer the age-old question "Do you want some Doritos?" 

Thanks for a fun first year and be ready to crap yourself in fright next week, guaranteed, when we talk about Resident Evil 7: Beginning Hour and P.T.!

Episode 25 - Pleasantly Disappointed - Fire Emblem

Together We Cast!,

Today, we're going to be talking about the first entry in a long running series to come to the U.S. only in its seventh installment, Fire Emblem. This game has become Intelligent Systems' flagship series, and it focuses on turn based, tabletop RPG-like combat and heavy character development. We're going to discuss strategy, characters and dialogue, and the seeming inefficacy of poison in the middle ages.

Thanks for joining us for NOCLIP (and for JJ's month of picks!) this week. Two weeks from now we're starting October (and what is more or less Chad's month of picks) with Horror Demos. Specifically, we're going to be looking at Resident Evil 7: Beginning Hour and P.T., Silent Hills' teaser. Spooooky!

Episode 24 - No Hat, Not Young, Third Guy - Catherine

Fucking Pods, I'm Gonna Cast the Shit Out of You,

On today's episode we're going to be talking about Atlus's block pushing, trust shattering, heavy drinking puzzle game Catherine. The off-the-wall aesthetic, odd subject matter and brutal difficulty make this game a hell of a thing to behold and it rests comfortably in the "only thing like it" category. We discuss puzzle mechanics, visual craziness and Chad being an absolute baby.

As always, thank you for listening, and be sure to check back in next time when we look at the Game Boy Advance game Fire Emblem, the first in the series to be released outside of Japan.

Episode 23 - Poofy, Fluffy, Easily Thrown - Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Loud and... Very Loud,

Today we're going to be joined by our friend Faun and talking about one in the PlayStation 2's stable of mascot platformers, Sucker Punch's Sly Cooper. The first game in what would become a well received series, we debate what relevance Sly has in the current day and try to determine what made it popular in the first place. We discuss platforming, minigames, and how one contextual button press can turn us all into the super spy of our dreams.

Thanks as always for listening, and check us out again in two weeks when we begin JJ-September with Atlus's Catherine!

Episode 22 - There's Game in Them There Hills - Hyper Light Drifter

In the Technological Dystopian Future, Only Podcasts Remain,

This week we talk about Heart Machine's fast-paced action game Hyper Light Drifter. This game is tough and beautifully animated, and we draw comparisons to a number of classic games that got everything mostly right, but some of the finer details leave us wishing the game could have been slightly more than maybe it was capable of. We talk about dodging, bosses, beauty in pixel art, and prospecting for game consoles in the mountains of Appalachia.

Thanks for joining us this week, be sure to check back two weeks from now when we are joined by our friend Faun to discuss the PS2 platform classic Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus.

Episode 21 - Serious Sam or Serious Issues - The Talos Principle

It is a Podcast, My Child,

Thanks for joining us this week as we talk about The Talos Principle. This Croteam designed game puts us in the first person perspective of an AI solving puzzles in a simulation. While that probably seems pretty well within the realm of games, what Talos Principle prides itself on is its incorporation of philosophy into its themes and story. The game wants to make you think, but how well does it accomplish this? We talk about narrative pacing, puzzle design, and potentially motion sickness-inducing speed.

Thanks for listening and be sure to join us in two weeks when we talk about Hyperlight Drifter!

Episode 20 - Wizard in a Hawaiian Shirt - Super Mario Sunshine

I judge this podcast guilty as charged,

Welcome back to the podcast, everyone! We're celebrating twenty episodes by talking about our first Mario game ever, and what better entry to talk about during the hot summer months than Mario Sunshine, the plumber's vacation away from abstract platforms to contrived, realistic platforms. We're going to be talking about design consistency, voice acting, and Strollin' Stus, even though we didn't know their name until now.

Thanks for joining these Podcastin' Stus today and come back in two weeks when we talk about The Talos Principle!

Episode 19 - Aggressive Latin Ambience - Doom

The road to hell is paved with the NOCLIP Podcast,

Thank you for joining us today as we run, gun, punch, rip, tear, smash and chainsaw our way through Hell in the Bathesda published remake of Doom. For being the game that ushered in the relevance of the First Person Shooter genre, the 2016 take had some large shoes to fill. Wisely, they decided to refine what the genre had become since Doom's release rather than try and mimic what the first game did, and what we end up with is an extremely fast paced arena shooter that looks and feels like what we all thought Doom was in the '90s. We talk about violence, viscera, and vivisecting vehement villains. (I promise the alliteration isn't going to become "a thing.")

Thank you for listening and come back in two weeks for our twentieth episode on Super Mario Sunshine!

Episode 18 - Feel the Tickler - Chrono Trigger

Don't waste your time. Alfador only likes podcasts,

Today we shake off the shackles of time's slow march and talk about Chrono Trigger, an SNES RPG that used active combat and time travel to mark its place in history as one of the most beloved games of its time. The legacy of this game is well established, but we dive in to figure out what makes it tick and why it is held in such high esteem. We discuss RPG combat, characters and their inherent tropes, and one very, very buff arm.

Thanks for listening to us, and be sure to join us in two weeks when we talk about 2016's Doom!

Episode 17 - The Great Elijah Wood Debate - Broken Age

Welcome to Mog Chothra's chosen podcast,

On this episode we're going to be discussing Broken Age, a point and click adventure game that was funded by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign. This game's notoriety comes from a combination of its Kickstarter and the fact that it was an adventure game with very traditional adventure game mechanics released so long after their heyday by one of the genre's most prolific creators. We're going to be talking about adventure game mechanics, this game's storytelling, and how much of the budget was probably spent just on Elijah Wood.

Thanks as always for listening, and come back in two weeks as we discuss Chrono Trigger!

Episode 16 - Things Like Shannon - Journey

A bad joke, I know, but we're talking about Journey today! This very simplistic game banks on its beautiful visuals and emotional presentation to keep players interested. And based on how well it did on the marketplace, I'd say it succeeded. We're going to be discussing meaningful multiplayer, minimalist mechanics, and matronly meanderings.

Thanks as always for listening, and check back with us next time when we talk about Broken Age!