Watch Out for Fireballs!


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Subscribers: 647
Reviews: 7
Episodes: 620

 Mar 27, 2021

 Dec 29, 2020

 Dec 14, 2019

 Dec 3, 2019

 Sep 23, 2019


Watch Out for Fireballs! is a game club podcast, focused on retro and non-current games. Every week, we play a game in its entirety, then discuss its merits and flaws at length. Most episodes begin with a short sketch, and we're pretty liberal about keeping tangents in. But it ultimately comes down to: Why do we like (or dislike?) this game.

Episode Date
WOFF Dispatch: Sequels
May 25, 2023
WOFF 397 Preview: Bowser's Fury
Nobody saw Bowser's Fury coming. What could have been just a little extra something to sweeten the pot on another port from the Wii U ended up being a fully-featured and inventive 3D Mario game. It's snack-sized and packed with new ideas, chief among them being the Fury Bowser kaiju fights. But also classic course-based Mario challenges set in an open world. We dig it, and we think you'll dig it too. This is a preview of a premium episode! To hear the full version, become a member over at our Patreon. (
May 18, 2023
396: The Bard's Tale
There once was a Bard from Nantucket Who Whom... Look, I didn't write the limmerick. Get off my ass.
May 10, 2023
395: Norco
Wow, maybe Capitalism is bad, actually? In this gorgeously present point-and-click adventure game, you must solve the mystery of who murdered hope.
May 04, 2023
WOFF Dispatch: Oops! All Questions 3
When? Why? How? What? All this and more on this week's Questions Only WOFF.
Apr 27, 2023
WOFF 394 Preview: The Quarry
In this spiritual successor to Until Dawn, we see if old.... DOGS can learn new tricks. Get it? Dogs? Because it's about werewolves.
Apr 20, 2023
393: The Sexy Brutale
It's a sexy time travel mystery. Oh, no, apparently it's just a time travel mystery.
Apr 13, 2023
392: Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Night
It's a soulslike. It's moe. It's a moe soulslike.
Apr 06, 2023
WOFF Dispatch: Good Levels
What makes a Good Level? You know, with capital letters?
Mar 29, 2023
WOFF 391 Preview: Crysis
It turns out we can only play on Medium graphics settings. Is there any meat on these memetic bones? Find out on this week's WOFF where the boys contemplate the nature of a crysis. Get the unlocked version of this episode and many more by subscribing to our Patreon. (
Mar 23, 2023
390: Mark of the Ninja
You might be surprised, but this game is mostly about sneaking around and killing people.
Mar 16, 2023
389: The Coin Game
Fulfilling every child's dream of having an empty island filled with ticket arcade machines and robots you can shoot fireworks at.
Mar 09, 2023
388: Cuphead
Well, Cuphead and his pal Mug Man, they like to roll the dice. By chance, they came 'pon the Devil's game, and gosh, they paid the price. This immacutely aesthetic as fuck run-n-gun shooter iinspired by 30s pre-Disney animation is a sight to behold. But is it a good game? Mostly yes!
Mar 02, 2023
WOFF Dispatch: Gaming Epiphanies
I just know I'm going to need those full heal elixirs for the end boss. Right?
Feb 23, 2023
WOFF 387 Preview: Subnautica
It's time to sort of rocks and make friends with some big fish. I wonder what Bladderfish taste like. This is a preview of February's premium episode. Hear the whole thing by backing us at the $5+ tier at, and also get access to every premium WOFF! we've done!
Feb 16, 2023
386: Citizen Sleeper
A different interpretation of translating a tabletop-lite system into a video game context. Story-heavy, mechanics driven by a sense of struggle, but not overwhelming despair. Build a new life yourself and those you meet and remember who your allies are.
Feb 09, 2023
385: Lucah: Born of a Dream
There's an angel named Lucah, and a tortured dream world. This is an emotional and heartfelt project that relies on you wanting to finish the game multiple times to see the full story. The structure's a bit poison, but come and check out the neat things it does do. It's an interesting one!
Feb 02, 2023
WOFF Dispatch: Indie v. AAA
What Remains of Edith Finch? made people things, and the boys take their action figures and make them fight to decide if they like Indie Games or AAA Games better.
Jan 26, 2023
WOFF 384 Preview: Hades
Hades is one of our most-requested games of all time. It struck a chord with tons of people when it released, drawing in gamers who had never given action roguelikes a chance before. With its snappy combat and charismatic takes on the Greek gods, it's hard to blame people for loving it. But how does it stand up to other roguelites, a diverse field with tons of heavy hitters? This week's highlighted project is "Clarion", an upcoming novel by author Nina Dunnic. Check out her work at (! This is a preview of January's premium episode. Hear the whole thing by backing us at the $5+ tier at, and also get access to every premium WOFF! we've done!
Jan 19, 2023
383: Heretic
Thank you Abe! It's time to circle strafe the Monstrous Manual with Heretic! This Doom Clone has a lot of subtle improvements that make it more than just Doom with Wands. Listen in to find out more!
Jan 12, 2023
382: What remains of Edith Finch
We spend a lot of time talking about the need for the video game equivalent of short story collections, and What remains of Edith Finch is about as close to that as we've gotten so far. Edith is returning to her long-abandoned home to learn about her family's curse... which has resulted in the tragic, unfortunate, and sometimes hilarious deaths of everyone related to her. Each of the stories is its own interactive vignette, casting us into a magically realistic tale to see what exactly happened, and what may be in store for Edith herself.
Jan 05, 2023
WOFF Dispatch: Duckstream 2022
We answer your questions! We discuss Duckstream! We read your responses! What more could you want?
Dec 29, 2022
381: Shadowrun: Hong Kong (Part 2)
Hong Kong is revealing some deeper truths to our group of Shadowrunners, as we search for the truth about what happened to Raymond Black and try to learn what's amiss with the Walled City. We pick up in the middle section of the game, as we're taking on jobs to keep the lights on and give Auntie Cheng time to work. Shadowrun: Hong Kong continues to be a delightful short story collection of fun, tactical missions that uses its setting to great effect.
Dec 22, 2022
380: Shadowrun: Hong Kong (Part 1)
"Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good" month continues with the slightly worse but worthy follow up to the masterpiece Shadowrun Dragonfall. We've arrived in Hong Kong at the request of our adopted father but not all is what it seems. Please join us at
Dec 16, 2022
379: Torment: Tides of Numenera (Part 2)
This week continues the Last Castoff's journey, as they continue seeking out answers for what the Changing God was up to with his resonance chamber... The one we crashed into like a big ol' meteor. We head through the Valley of Dead Heroes and the Sanctuary at Miel Avest before ending up at The Bloom, a city within a dimension-spanning organism. We talk about the rest of the game, highlighting as many side quests as we found, and end up discussing how this game measures up to its predecessor. Is it fair to hold anything to the standard set by Planescape: Torment? Does treating that game as unassailable mean that CRPG storytelling peaked in 1999? Listen to find out! This week's highlighted project is Coming Out With Lauren and Nicole (, a podcast that hosts various LGBT+ folks to hear their coming out stories, using them as a launch pad for discussions on various related issues. Check them out!
Dec 08, 2022
378: Torment: Tides of Numenera Part One
What is the value of one game? There are big shoes to fill and then there are comically huge shoes that can be made into houses for little old ladies. That was the job of Tides of Numenera, an excellent short story compilation that fails to capture the emotional resonance of it's predecessor. Here us talk about the generalities and Sagus Cliffs in this episode before hitting the end game next week! This episode is brought to you by Duckstream!
Dec 01, 2022
WOFF! Dispatch: Oops! All Questions 2
We had intended to make this month's topic VR, but instead we said almost everything we wanted to say during the Half-Life: Alyx episode. So, instead, we take even more of your questions before reading your thoughts about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, SUPERHOT, and Half-Life: Alyx. This episode's highlighted project is Waystar Corncob (, a podcast that's about both I Think You Should Leave and Succession. And Gary was on a recent episode!
Nov 24, 2022
Half Life Alyx (Preview)
The Watch Out For Fireballs has been silent on the topic of The Half Life for a while now but it's time to wake up and smell the ashes! (I know this is mixing vortigaunt and g-man speak, and I don't care!) Half Life Alyx is our first major foray into VR and not likely to be our last. Alyx is a great game for this because it's dedicated to being a full franchise entry, a return to form, with few compromises. Though it's a little long and your experience will likely vary (that's the nature of VR), this game is a breath of fresh air. Thank you Elliot! If you want to hear the full episode, join us at
Nov 17, 2022
This week we sit down to talk about the most innovative shooter we've played in years. Our unnamed protagonist receives a weird program called superhot.exe, and when he launches it he connects to a very strange first person shooter where time only moves when the player moves. As we (and he) play this game, the hooks set in, and a larger conspiracy reveals itself. SUPERHOT is a small game with a big impact, a massive indie success that takes the FPS genre and upends it by breaking it down into component parts and changing the way they move. It's absolutely worth your time. We also talk a bit about the related works SUPERHOT VR and SUPERHOT: Mind Control Delete.
Nov 10, 2022
375: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
When they say nobody asked for this, that's Gary Butterfield erasure. I asked for this. I exist! I mean, sure, Adam Jensen is a pretty tough pill to swallow. He shaves his beard in an extremely obnoxious way. Further, this is clearly the middle chapter of a prequel trilogy, which might be the most direct recipe for an unimportant narrative. However....however.... All of the above, plus a regrettable marketing campaign, basically eclipsed the entire conversation about this immersive sim that plays incredibly well. This number is worth your time for level design alone. Hear us talk about why.
Nov 03, 2022
Dispatch: Steam Deck
We've each had a Steam Deck for about a month, and we feel comfortable reporting... It's pretty great! This week's Topic has us discussing the Steam Deck in general, and how one should get into PC gaming in 2022. We also read your responses to October's games, which are Devotion, Strangeland, and the Evil Within 2. November's Games: - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - SUPERHOT - Half-Life: Alyx December's Games: - Torment: Tides of Numenera (two parts) - Shadowrun: Hong Kong (two parts) - Arcade Special 3 (for premium members)
Oct 27, 2022
WOFF 374 Preview: The Evil Within 2
Warning: Fluid chat! It's sort of like limbo, in that you're seeing how low you can go but instead seeing how divorced a grizzled dadtagonist can get. This is a good ass game despite a nonsense story. The biggest issue is it throws away it's biggest strength half way through, pulling you out of the genuinely innovative semi open world stealth and into a series of MindRealms(tm). Still, the play is the thing, and the play is good. Note: This is a preview! Hear the whole version, and hundreds of other exclusive shows, at
Oct 20, 2022
373: Strangeland
An unnamed man wakes up outside of a macabre circus, and he must set about learning why he is there. This classic-style point and click adventure game tells a pretty standard psychological horror story with a lot of allusions and metaphor, which isn't going to be everyone's favorite thing. However, there is tons of great horror imagery and a few very rewarding puzzles to try to tackle. Our highlighted project this week is Sinclair Lore (, a YouTube channel run by our friends Sin and Sophie, where they talk about Bloodborne, Souls, and Elden Ring lore. Check them out!
Oct 13, 2022
372: Devotion
(Cryptkeeper Voice) Spooky month begins with the ultimate heebie jeebie, a real Boo-riffic blunder! So buckle up boils and ghouls and non die-scary siblings alike. *Play Devotion before listening to this macabre tale of goof'em ups. Seriously, it's one of the best games we've done for the show and it's only 3 hours long. It's Silent Hill 2 tier. * Until next grime, fiends! BWahahahahahaha
Oct 06, 2022
WOFF Dispatch: Kids' Media
We've narrowed down some of our distaste for certain popular games, especially from the past: they were made for kids. And kids' media can be sublime! But what makes a piece of kids' media, game or not, good or bad? What turns us off? How do they approach issues of ethics or morality? How much do they condescend? We also answer your questions and read your responses to September's games: BugSnax, Metal Gear Solid V, and Carrion. October's games are: - Devotion - Strangeland - The Evil Within 2 November's games are: - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Superhot - Half-Life: Alyx This week's highlighted creator is an upcoming experimental RPG called Purgatory Dungeoneer (, which you can wishlist on Steam today. If you are a marginalized creator (non-cis, non-straight, non-white) you can submit your project for highlighting by emailing
Sep 29, 2022
WOFF 371 Preview: Carrion
How far can an excellent premise carry a game? Looks like it's more than 2 hours but less than 5. Carrion has an unbeatable premise, a hall of fame premise, and aesthetics to back it up. Why on earth is it not more fun to play? Listen and find out! This is the preview version of this episode. If you want to hear the full episode, and many, many more, join us at
Sep 22, 2022
370: Metal Gear Solid V (Part 2)
Venom Snake still has some fights to fight, as we pick up Skull Face's trail in Afghanistan to experience the majority of what the Phantom Pain has to offer. As a genuine heads up, this episode might not be for you if you adore this game or Hideo Kojima's whole vibe. We clown on things while gushing about the play, which some people take us as completely hating the whole experience. If you will take that personally then please consider yourself forewarned. Thanks again to our executive producer Jade!
Sep 15, 2022
369: Metal Gear Solid V (Part 1)
Thank you Jade! What do you do when there's a Kojima about? What do you do when a game has some of the best stealth action in video games, one of the most satisfying loops in video games, but punctuates it with some of the worst boss fights and clumsy exposition and plotting? It's a complicated game that gives us complicated feelings! Listen in if you want to hear us wrestle with Kojima's legacy, both as critics and as one current and one former fan. And if you want to support marginalized creators, check out Nine Noir Lives! A new point and click adventure game!
Sep 07, 2022
368: Bugsnax
Bugsnax is a cute indie that caught a lot of attention with its catchy theme song, but did you know there's a whole game behind that song? We play this cute combination of Pokemon Snap and Ape Escape, navigating Snaktooth Island and catching bugs who happen to be snacks. The goal? To help the townspeople and learn the truth of what's really happening on this island, with these snacks who happen to be bugs. A big thanks to Cody for executive producing this episode! This week's highlight is Rod Symba, a musical artist who is looking to start scoring indie games. Check them out over at Instagram! (
Sep 01, 2022
WOFF Dispatch: Where Games Take Place
We answer your questions, read your responses to August's games, and spend some time talking about the sorts of places that show up in games, and what we'd like to see more of, before announcing our slate for the best month of the year, October.
Aug 24, 2022
WOFF 367 Preview: Wario Land 4
Wario is one of Nintendo's secret best weapons. As "the opposite of Mario" he is an aesthetic triumph, indulging in every vice and drawing us in with his shamelessness. And for a while, he was the star of his own series of puzzle platformers on Nintendo portable systems. Wario Land 4 is an odd duck in that sub-series, with a more action-oriented presentation that doesn't leave the puzzles behind. And best of all? It hardly repeats itself, giving the player a buffet of unique visual and gameplay concepts. It's hard to recommend against this one. This is a premium episode, which means the full version is available for our Patrons over at our Patreon page. ( This week's highlight project is HuggableHipster, a video creator and game studio head who does video game let's plays and deep dives on YouTube. Here's her site (, and here's the channel. ( Enjoy!
Aug 18, 2022
366: Final Fantasy XII (Part 2)
Basch, Balthier, Ashe, Fran, and two associates continue their quest for magic rocks! Will the princess use the rocks or smash the rocks? Find out as we continue our exploration of this world spanning adventure. Though the dungeons take a wet fart at the end, the dialogue and presentation continue to be first in class.
Aug 11, 2022
365: Final Fantasy XII (Part 1)
The land of Ivalice is a land in constant turmoil, and with Final Fantasy XII we find ourselves caught in the midst of a larger struggle that is obliterating the borderlands between two massive empires. This is how the stage is set for the twelfth entry in the Final Fantasy series, the first mainline entry of the series to get really weird with it. This episode concerns itself primarily with the game's many new mechanics, and a general discussion of how they hang together. We then talk about the intro to the game, covering everything up through the mines on Bhujerba. Big thanks to Nat for executive producing this episode. Additionally, we would like to thank the creator we highlight this episode, Victoria, and her podcast We Happen to Be Trans (, a pop culture podcast that, incidentally, is hosted by three trans women. Victoria is also part of a streaming collective called Transvengers ( which hosts Q&As for people curious about various aspects of LGBTQ+ life.
Aug 04, 2022
WOFF Dispatch: Save Games
Saving. When can you do it? When should you be able to do it? How does it change the rhythm of games? Also, man, what a fucking ripoff memory cards were. We also answer your questions, announce September's games, and A BRAND NEW SHOW ON THE NETWORK.
Jul 28, 2022
WOFF 364 Preview: Control
Jesse Faden has walked a rough road, one that leads up to the door of a secret government agency headquartered in a building that not everyone can see. It's the Federal Bureau of Control, they may have her brother held captive, and they are definitely overrun by a malignant interdimensional force. This feels like a culmination of a lot of what Remedy has been working toward, and they achieved it by working against their strengths. Instead of a cinematic, on-rails narrative, Control lives in the details of its world and the SCP-like phenomena that fill it. And the combat isn't half bad... but it does wear out its welcome pretty fast. Big thanks to Noel for executive producing this episode! Also, check out this week's highlighted creation, An Ode to the End ( a podcast series of short transmissions from a number of possible apocalypses. This is a preview of the full episode. You can hear the whole thing by becoming a Patron! (
Jul 21, 2022
363: Castlevania 2
It's impossible to talk about some games objectively. Castlevania 2 has a lot of problems but unbeatable atmosphere for the NES, and the best soundtrack in the series (fight me), makes that go down oh so smooth. Let's get to collectin' ribs! We'd also like to direct your attention to the Totally Trans Podcast Network ( which is an ongoing podcast about the search for the trans media canon.
Jul 14, 2022
362: Children of Morta
In the end, it was a story about family. In the beginning, too. It was really all a story about family. Children of Morta was made as an attempt to marry a roguelike game structure to a fixed, detailed story... and it works. The Bergsons are a tight-knit family who live in the shadow of Mount Morta, and they are charged with being Guardians of all the land. When Corruption starts appearing, everyone in the clan pitches in, with most venturing down into the tunnels and town to stop the crisis. The individual characters all have their own gimmicks, and while some work better for us than others, we appreciate their presence. But for as much as we like the broad strokes of the concept, the crowd control action RPG gameplay lands a little flat for us. But it might work for you! Big thanks to this episodes executive producer Julia for getting us to play this neat little game. This episode is also our first whack at promoting smaller projects from diverse listeners. So check out Teo and the Cosmic Neighborhood (, a Brazillian brother and sister pop band with influences from bossa nova and video game music. Check out their sweet animated music videos on their YouTube page (
Jul 07, 2022
WOFF Dispatch: Editing
Do games stand up to editing the same way other works do? How is editing used in games? Could they stand more editing? The obvious Duckfeed answer is "yeah." Hear us explain why! And answer your questions, read your responses to June's games, and generally goof it up.
Jun 30, 2022
WOFF 361 Preview: Vampyr
We knew right after its release that Vampyr would be a WOFF! game. An RPG that cites Bloodlines as an inspiration, made by a smaller studio, with a great premise and very high highs that are unfortunately compromised by some very low lows. This bore out on our playthrough for the show. Jonathan Reid, the only vampire doctor in fiction, sets out to try and stop a horrifying epidemic in 1918 London, and learns that the disease is intricately related to the vampiric underground in the city. We don't end up loving the game, but we admire it. Thanks so much to Jack for executive producing this episode! This is a sample of the full episode. To hear the entire thing, become a Patron! (
Jun 23, 2022
360: Another World / Out of This World
If you have even a mild interest in old games, your critical acumen will always be caught up in the tension between historical import and modern playability. Few games stress that dissonance more than Another World, which combines an unbeatable atmosphere and tremendous influence with some very outmoded game design. Is it worth taking the plunge? Listen in, buddy!
Jun 16, 2022
359: Terranigma
The world is waiting to be reborn, and it's waiting for you. Terranigma is probably Quintet's grandest statement on its pet themes... an action RPG that purports to be about the duality of creation and destruction. Over the course of a playthrough you raise the continents, restore the wildlife, bring humanity to its highest peak, and break the cycle of fate to stop its ultimate destruction. Is the game perfect? Not hardly. But it's got a unique tone and it improves on its predecessors' combat enough to make it one of the best SNES games out there. Big thanks to Hello for executive producing this episode, and happy birthday to Séan!
Jun 09, 2022
358: The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Sometimes you just want to pick up an entire tanker truck and surf on it into a bunch of SWAT team guys, then rip a car in half and pound a tank with it, you know? This early high point in the sketchy history of Super Hero games isn't without its flaws (most of its flaws start with "M" and rhyme with missile) but it's got a lot to love about it too. Join us as we return to the era where holding R1 to run made sense.
Jun 02, 2022
Dispatch: Replaying Games
This week we talk about the many reasons to replay a game, including some psychological ones, and why you should give yourself permission to take a warm bath in the familiar. We also read your responses to May's games: The Beginner's Guide, Teardown, and Max Payne 3.
May 26, 2022
357 Preview: Max Payne 3
Poor Max. Poor sad, hyper competent timelord Max. Our man is in Brazil this time, playing the patsy and killing more people than most video game protagonists do in a lifetime. When Rockstar took over the franchise, fans feared that they would ruin this classic series. They were half right, turns out, as bolting a cover system onto the breach and clear pace of Max Payne has damaged the pacing. So did adding a truly criminal number of cutscenes. There are moments of thrilling action and fun, and a genuinely interesting tale to be found here, but as fans of the first game, we're disappointed. Listen in to hear why! This is the preview version of this episode. If you'd like to hear the whole thing, join us at
May 19, 2022
356: Teardown
Teardown is an extremely good game. Don't expect a meaningful story or even a huge amount of variety, but DO expect a lot of freedom and a lot of destruction. You're a criminal who takes on jobs to steal, destroy, and commit fraud across several sandbox-style maps made of physics-modeled voxels. The majority of missions are tense heists where you spend the first part meticulously planning your routes, and the second part just barely managing to escape in time. Like the best games, it's about the simultaneous importance and folly of planning, and you've gotta do yourself a favor and play it.
May 12, 2022
355: The Beginner's Guide
In 2022, you can play a video game about almost anything. So why is it most games are about how friends are good and honor is nice? Can robots feel? Been there, done that. The Beginner's Guide is a follow up to the wildly successful (and hilarious) The Stanley Parable dares to ask deeper and more personal questions about art and criticism. It's thematically rich and textually complex. Viva!
May 05, 2022
Dispatch: Your Chuck E. Cheese Memories
In lieu of a topic, we read as many of your Chuck E. Cheese memories as we can. We also do the Q&A, and read your responses to April's games. As a reminder, the Early Release feed will be going away at the beginning of May. Keep your eye on the Patreon page for information about where to get your audio when that happens.
Apr 28, 2022
WOFF 354 Preview: Deathloop
Kill everyone on Reddit Island Fyrefest! Using superpowers and time travel. What a pitch! It's no secret we're big fans of Arkane, which makes Deathloop exceedingly interesting in both it's triumphs and failures. The apotheosis of density in level design saddled with awkward invasion mechanics from Dark Souls. A timeloop element that works wonderfully in terms of narrative but hampers the pace of play. Deathloop is a game with incredibly high highs but also low lows. Take and listen and see. This is the preview version of this episode. If you'd like to hear the entire thing, join us on Patreon!
Apr 21, 2022
353: Chuck E. Cheese's / Showbiz Pizza
Gather 'round the stage birthday boys and girls! It's time for a special episode about what for some will be a fond childhood memory, and for others will be a resounding horror: Chuck E. Cheese and Showbiz Pizza. A product of the arcade boom in the late 70s, these combination pizza parlor / arcade / entertainment centers were a place where childhood could be embraced. We look at the history of the dueling companies, clown on the characters, and share our own memories of the place.
Apr 14, 2022
352: The Shrouded Isle
Thank you Randall! Check out! (pw: crashcoral). Oh, a cult simulator/management game with heavy lovecraftian elements, striking minimalist art, and a roguelike structure. Did someone leave this under a box with a stick tied to a string, trying to trap both Gary and Kole? Not so fast. The Shrouded Isle has some potential and some genuinely good aesthetics, but the game is so barebones and numbers based as to pose an existential question: how much flavor, depth, and context do games actually need to be successful?
Apr 07, 2022
Dispatch: Prescriptive vs. Permissive Games
This week we talk about a new spectrum on which we can analyze games: is it prescriptive, or is it permissive? Does it force you to conform to its demands, or does it say "yes" to the way you try to meet its challenges? This has been bubbling up for a while, and it was satisfying to talk about it. We also answer your questions and read your responses to March's games.
Mar 31, 2022
WOFF 351 Preview: Until Dawn
TEENS! TEENS! TEENS! No, it's not some sort of horrible chant, it's what we're killin. Hop in. Until Dawn showed how you can take steady principles of narrative adventure games such as The Walking Dead, or, shudder, Indigo Prophecy, and evolve them into something new and fun on its own. Very fun performances, a twisty plot, and appropriate interactivity make this one of, if not the, best "interactive movie" in games. Give it a listen! Thank you to Dr. When!
Mar 24, 2022
350: King's Bounty
Quest Questingson conquers all of the continents of Continentia in this foundational strategy game. The king's sceptre has gone missing, and as a result both he and the kingdom itself are falling into ruin. It's up to you to track down all of the villains who conspired to steal the sceptre, recover the artifact itself, and save the day. This is a very basic strategy game, which is reflective of the time that it came out, but there are charms to its gameplay loop, and you can't help but smile at all of the Monster Dance Parties you destroy.
Mar 17, 2022
349: Ultimate NES Remix
Nintendo is a company that is sometimes too in love with it's own history. But sometimes, that love bears beautiful results. This creative lil nugget functions as a reader's digest version of some of the best games on the NES, as well as a fun meta toy, where elements are mixed and matched. Underrated gem!
Mar 10, 2022
Episode 348: Inscryption
You wake up in a cabin and you're playing a dangerous game. Sacrifices must be made. And the only way forward is to play your cards right. That's about all we can say about Inscryption, an ambitious and wide-ranging card game by Daniel Mullins, the creator of Pony Island. If we gave too much detail right now we would spoil it, which we don't want to do, since it's a great introduction to deck building games, even if there are some... inconsistencies.
Mar 03, 2022
Dispatch: GOTY Discourse
We answer your questions, discuss GOTY discourse, read your responses to February's games and announce April's docket.
Feb 24, 2022
347 Preview: State of Decay
The world's gone to shit, and the only way to stay alive is to work together. You start State of Decay playing a man named Marcus, but very quickly you gain access to a whole settlement full of simulated survivors, and are given the goal of building and stocking a home by breaking, entering, and scavenging... all while fighting off hordes of the undead. The management sim elements are a little too light, and the story is rushed and unfinished, but this is still the consummate B-game and we recommend you give it a shot. This is a preview of the full episode. To hear the rest, just back us at our Patreon ( You get access to all of the other premium episodes, plus a whole bunch of other shows too!
Feb 17, 2022
346: Warhammer: Dark Omen
Thanks Abe! Is it metal? It's metal. It's undeniably badass in a way that is extremely appealing to our skeleton loving souls. The game itself is a pretty frustrating and dated RTS but our eyes are open to the coolness of the Warhammer world.
Feb 10, 2022
345: Professor Layton and the Curious Village
This game reminds me of a puzzle. About 120 of them, to be exact. You could be forgiven for thinking that Professor Layton existed before his debut game on the Nintendo DS. The whole series has such a strong aesthetic and vibe that it feels like a European cartoon that you just never heard about. But no, this was created whole cloth as a way to adapt a series of Japanese brain teaser books into video game form. While the story beats are ludicrous, and not all of the puzzles work, it's hard to be entirely mad at this quaint and amusing DS game. Thanks to William for executive producing this episode!
Feb 03, 2022
Dispatch: Long Games
Are games too long? 500 hours? What does that mean, Dying Light 2? Also, we answer your questions and read your responses to January's games before announcing February's CROP.
Jan 27, 2022
344 Preview: The Sinking City
Charles Reed enters a waking nightmare to try and end his sleeping nightmares. That's the opening of The Sinking City, an open world detective game by Frogwares, the Sherlock Holmes people. However, this has a distinctly horrific flavor, pulling in gods and elements of the Cthulhu Mythos. But while the story and mystery are good, does the repetitive and simplistic play support it? A huge thanks to Johnathan for sponsoring this episode!
Jan 20, 2022
343: Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
Thank you Ryan! Appealing to young horny gamers everywhere by putting a demon in your head that offers to suck you off if you do her evil bidding: Not that far off from the actual plot of DMoMM. Isn't that wild? This jank fest from one of our all time favorite developers is certainly a weird one, but there's charm in them thar hills. And good kicks.
Jan 13, 2022
342: Super Mario Bros. 3
We start the new year with an old classic, covering Super Mario Bros. 3. This was Nintendo's biggest effort on the NES, and it deserves its reputation. This episode concerns itself with comparing and contrasting Mario 3 with the rest of the series, talking about the things it introduces, and hitting the design principles of each of the game's eight worlds.
Jan 06, 2022
Dispatch: Duckstream
Questions get answers, responses get read, games get announced, and Duckstream gets discussed.
Dec 30, 2021
341 Preview: Fallout 4: Far Harbor
This week's premium episode takes us to the biggest DLC pack for Fallout 4, Far Harbor. A missing person's case brings us to an island torn in three pieces, split among factions who can barely tolerate each other, with a buried secret that might bring the whole place tumbling down. This DLC is the best story content in Fallout 4 by far, and it's go a great horror atmosphere that we couldn't wait to talk about.
Dec 23, 2021
340: Fallout 4: Part 3
It's all over but the crying. And the DLC. And the DLC next week. We continue our way through the side quests of the wastes before visiting the first couple of story dlcs for this massive game.
Dec 16, 2021
339: Fallout 4 (Part 2)
This week, we finish talking about the main quest of Fallout 4 and talk about the various faction side quests. Next week we'll get in-depth on the rest of the side quests and start talking a bit about the DLC.
Dec 09, 2021
338: Fallout 4: Part 1
Why does the sun go on shining? Why does the sea rush to shore? Don't they know it's the end of the world because you don't love me anymore? We begin our discussion of Fallout 4 with beefy generalities and discussion of the first act of the game. Fallout 4 is a big beautiful mess that's simultaneously a bad Fallout game and the best Bethesda game. On the balance, we're more into how its crafting, exploration, and settlement management systems tie together than we're turned off by a truly dogshit character build and dialogue system. Join us, as we make our case.
Dec 02, 2021
Dispatch: Maps
This month's Dispatch episode features a discussion of mapping systems in games, as part of a broader discussion about friction that used to be charming but is now kind of tedious. We also read your responses about Left 4 Dead 2, Stardew Valley, and Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty.
Nov 25, 2021
337 Preview: Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty Preview
You givin' me orders? Wings of Liberty and Starcraft 2 in general is the last gasp of a certain kind of RTS and a certain kind of Blizzard game. The last expression of their dumb as nails plotting and finely tuned gameplay outside of mmos and cardgames. This game may be stacked to the gills with story cliches, but it dispenses gamertreats with a consistency almost unmatched, which makes it worth your time, if not your money. What with the monsterism at blizzard. Hear the full episode at
Nov 18, 2021
336: Stardew Valley
This week go back to basics by starting up a brutal one-man factory farm in Stardew Valley. This indie successor to Harvest Moon is a phenomenon, with tons of people succumbing to the wide variety of tasks and its charming aesthetic. In fact, the combination of all of the elements is so much greater than the sum of its parts that it manages to make us enjoy certain gameplay elements we wouldn't like in other games. Listen in to hear about life on the farm, or in the mines, or on the docks, or... Thanks, Zack!
Nov 11, 2021
335: Left 4 Dead 2
Everyone has Green Flu Fever, or Green Fever Flu. Something like that. And it's a hard time in the big easy for 4 charismatic goofballs, shootin' and slashin' their way through a horde of zombies and equally charismatic "Special Infected." This incredibly generous game encapsulates the first entry in the series, and proves an excellent example of Valve at their finest, both in terms of design and after launch support. It's the rare competitive game that can get two beta boix like us to sit up and take notice, and it remains extremely playable more than a decade after release.
Nov 04, 2021
Dispatch: Let Them Die
This week we answer your questions, read your responses to October's games, and talk about when it's time to let game series die.
Oct 28, 2021
334 Preview: Resident Evil Village
Thank you Adam Bucceri! Check out their game, Enter the Survival Horror, at Ethan Winters vs Magneto and a hot topic creepy doll? And it's good? What the heck? This direct follow up to RE7 is a love letter to the series, featuring an impressive array of bosses and locations that evoke the series high points. While Ethan Winters remains as compelling as some kind of unintelligent wad of white bread, the cast of colorful weirdos around him defines the game. Check it out! To hear the full episode, go to
Oct 21, 2021
333: Silent Hill
A god incubated by pain and hate creates a paradise of blood and rust around it, and that's what Harry Mason must run through to save his daughter. This classic survival horror game didn't just start a series, it influenced the aesthetics of most horror games that came after it. Though the series wouldn't find its legs until Silent Hill 2, this entry is still worth your time, and it's a great deal of fun to talk about. A special thanks to our executive producer for this episode, Cassie.
Oct 14, 2021
332: ECHO
Thank you Jeremy! This is a weird one! En, a member of a hyper capable cult of child somethings tries to revive her dead friend(?) who is also a cube(!) The story, lore, and world-building in this game are really quite great but the play never comes together. Listen in to hear why!
Oct 07, 2021
Dispatch: Decade
This month's Dispatch episode has us talking about our thoughts on doing ten years of Watch Out for Fireballs! We also answer your questions, and read your responses to Katana Zero, Sonic 2, Singularity, and Darkest Dungeon.
Sep 30, 2021
331 Preview: Darkest Dungeon
Ruin has come to this podcast network, thanks to Jack! This is the preview episode about Darkest Dungeon and it's one of the meatiest previews we've ever done. If you want to hear the whole thing, head to
Sep 23, 2021
330: Singularity
It's time crimes right on down the line as we tackle the forgotten 2010 shooter, Singularity. Created by Raven Software right before they were exiled to the Call of Duty mines, it's a fast-paced shooter with ambitious but under-explored time manipulation mechanics. You play as an American special forces soldier investigating a disturbance at an old Soviet military facility called Katorga-12, and by the end of things you could end up with godlike powers.
Sep 16, 2021
329: Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Listen, there's a lot to talk about here. You could talk about how we've been doing this show for a decade, or about how Sonic exemplifies the tension between freeform arcade gameplay and the slower, more exploratory form of platformers that would ultimately win out in the end, but the real story here is that I need you to imagine a screenshot of a notes app post where I apologize for mixing up the seed drill and the cotton gin in this episode. Big thanks to Gwen Static for this awesome remix of the theme song!
Sep 09, 2021
328: Katana Zero
It's rain-soaked, neon-soaked, and blood-soaked. It's Katana Zero, an action game that takes multiple pages from the Hotline Miami book. You play an unnamed contract killer with the unlikely ability to manipulate time, and you're in the middle of a conspiracy that has a lot to do with your sordid past. The play is great, but does the additional emphasis on story work out?
Sep 02, 2021
Dispatch: Crafting
In this episode we answer your questions, talk about crafting in games, read your responses to August's games, and announce October's games.
Aug 26, 2021
327 Preview: Chrono Trigger
This week, we set our wayback machines to 1995 to discuss one of the most beloved games of all time. Chrono Trigger was part of a late salvo of 16-bit RPGs that defined a generation of storytelling for people who grew up with it. We have problems with the shallowness of its systems, but its charisma can't be denied.
Aug 19, 2021
326: Paradise Killer
Thank you Nicholas! Welcome to the Courtesy Dome where two polite midwesterners sensibly argue whether this game is good or bad. Is it a cool mystery story with a neat aesthetic? Or is it an effectively linear, barely interactive time tax? ONLY YOU CAN DECIDE. Paradise Killer is an odd duck. Part visual novel, part mystery adventure game, part 3d collectathon platformer? With light dating sim elements. We spoil the whole mystery here, so listener beware!
Aug 12, 2021
325: Sam & Max Save the World
It's the heartwarming tale of two psychopaths who save the world from people more dangerous than even them. Sam is a laid back dog, Max is an impulsive rabbit-thing, and they are classic adventure game protagonists. This episodic adventure game came early in Telltale's life as a studio, when they were attempting to reimagine how to make classic adventure games well after the bottom fell out of the industry. While this season shows some growing pains, it's hard to deny the inherent charm of these characters and this world.
Aug 05, 2021
Dispatch: Oops! All Questions (Part 1)
Our mental health meters were running low and we didn't have a topic in us, so we just did a bunch of questions. We also read your responses to July's games before announcing Septembers crop.
Jul 29, 2021
324 Preview: Prey (2017)
Which you can you trust? Prey is a rare creature: an immersive sim that's more like System Shock 2 than Bioshock. You are Morgan Yu, an amnesiac on a space station overrun with shapeshifting monsters, and you have to use everything at your disposal to fight overwhelming odds to stop the threat from reaching Earth. It's a strange game with an ambitious story and unique retro-future aesthetic, and we think you should play it.
Jul 22, 2021
323: Heat Signature
Thank you I See Spiders! We all know defenestrating is one of the coolest things you can do in video games. But what if you could do that... in space? With a near best in class group of gadgets and weapons, In an immersive proc gen ludic playpen with real time pause? You'd get Heat Signature, quietly one of the coolest games we've done for the show. Check it out!
Jul 15, 2021
322: The Stanley Parable
The Stanley Parable is a short game with a lot to say about games. You play as Stanley, an office worker with a pointless job who finds himself being ordered around by an omniscient narrator. By deciding whether or not to obey him, you stumble into stories that critique and explore the nature of choice in games, and choice in real life. Because this is primarily a comedy game, we recommend playing the Stanley Parable before listening to this episode, because we will ruin the jokes for you.
Jul 08, 2021
321: Horizon Zero Dawn
It's rare to be surprised by a sci fi twist, and this AAA action adventure genuinely surprises. Throw in some engaging combat and not even an electronic T-Rex sized barrel of bloat can hold it back. Thanks Doug!
Jul 01, 2021
Dispatch: Progression
This month's special topic is a discussion about RPG progression. What kinds of character upgrades are satisfying, which ones aren't, and why has there been a broader trend of games getting more bloated with bad RPG systems? We also answer your questions, and read your responses to June's games: Hotline Miami, The Witness, and Super Mario 3D World.
Jun 24, 2021
320 Preview: Super Mario 3D World
CAT MARIO. Thanks Joelle!
Jun 17, 2021
319: The Witness
This week we play the opinionated magnum opus of an opinionated creator. The Witness, created by Jonathan Blow, attempts to use puzzles and geometry to change the way you see the world, and create an engine for repeating the "a-ha!" moment over and over again. It ties one hand behind its back by communicating its mechanics in an entirely nonverbal fashion. Does it succeed at its lofty goals? Listen in to find out. Thanks, Simon!
Jun 10, 2021
318: Hotline Miami
Do you like hurting people? Who is leaving messages on your answering machine? Where are you right now? Why are we having this conversation?
Jun 03, 2021
Dispatch: Strategy Guides
This month we have a little love fest for strategy guides, talking about the roles they've filled for us over the years, and what scratches that itch for us nowadays. We also answer your questions and read your responses to Hitman 3, RollerCoaster Tycoon, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
May 27, 2021
317 Preview: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Preview)
Thank you Ethan! We were all teens once. Some of us listen to a lot of mall metal, and some of us end up child soldiers. MGR Revengance is a goofy bit of juvenilia but despite vestigial stealth elements muddying the waters a bit, it's really fun to play. You mean to tell me this Jack is back? Hear the whole thing on
May 20, 2021
316: RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic
It's a management sim with a touch of whimsy and customers who are dumb as rocks. This week we talk about the classic theme park development game RollerCoaster Tycoon, breaking down its systems and talking about how we learned to meet the goals it set for us. And we talk a little about real amusement parks along the way.
May 13, 2021
315: Hitman 3
Do you belieeeeeeve in life after Providence? One of our favorite characters in games gets a proper send off in a game trilogy that would function as a proper send off for the entire stealth genre. Another collection of fun sandboxes to murder in, another collection of funny situations and the like, and a final chance to embody Mr Bathroom, Hitman 3 is great. Thank you to Adam Bucceri! Be sure to check out their game here:
May 06, 2021
Dispatch: Food in Games
This month, we settle in for a light topic... how food is depicted in games. We talk about how it can convey the story of a location, or augment a game's mechanics. We also answer your questions and read your responses to April's games.
Apr 29, 2021
314 Preview: Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus
You know, there's nothing wrong with an above average fastfood sandwich. Sometimes, your body just craves a pretty good game that does everything decently, while not doing anything exceptionally well, and is over in 5 or 6 hours. That game is Ratchet and Clank, which is a total snack game with some unintentionally hilarious pathos and very satisfying weapon upgrades. Thank you Sean! This episode is a PREVIEW! To hear the whole thing, please join us at
Apr 22, 2021
313: Riven
The odds are always stacked against a sophomore effort. The original Myst was a gigantic success and had a huge cultural impact, finding fans in unlikely places due to its advanced graphics and leisurely pace. Cyan knocked it out of the park when it came to Riven, though, improving on every aspect of the original Myst, while expanding it and making one of the most challenging puzzle adventure games of all time.
Apr 15, 2021
312: Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Part 2)
What a big game! This is part two of our coverage of an expansive and masterful CRPG, Divinity: Original Sin 2. We pick up with Act 2, as we land on the Reaper's Coast and set about learning the ways of the Godwoken. We continue through to the end of the game, covering a frankly unreasonable amount of content in our quest to learn the secrets of the Veil.
Apr 08, 2021
311: Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Part 1)
No one listens to more podcasts than the man with many cheeses. In this crunchy, and charismatic CRPG, you play as the godwoken, someone with the potential to ascend to the divine. Somewhat standard fantasy tropes are enhanced by charming characters, beautiful music, and best in genre tactical gameplay. Listen here as we cover the beefy generalities and Act 1. Thank you to Jonathan!
Apr 01, 2021
Dispatch: Tutorials
Kole and Gary answer your questions, discuss what makes a good tutorial, read your responses to March's games, and announce May!
Mar 25, 2021
310 Preview: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Talion caught a bad break. Not only did Sauron kill his family in front of him, but he was killed too! And then an elf spirit had the nerve to possess him and send him on a rampage of vengeance across Mordor! What a revolting predicament. This open world game's big hook is the Nemesis system, which supercharges the sandbox with an evolving army of captains and rivals for you to hunt and manipulate. The story is pretty bland, but you can't deny that this is one of the most inventive open world games to come out in a long time. Thank you, I See Spiders!
Mar 18, 2021
309: The Magic Circle
Thank you Joe! You're trapped in an incomplete game, and given the power to rewrite your reality. It sounds amazing, and there are plenty of grace notes, but this game is a bit too messy for its own good, making broad points with broad characters in a way that left us both feeling a bit cold. A standout performance from James Urbaniak can't quite save this ambitious but flawed indie.
Mar 11, 2021
308: Trauma Center: Second Opinion
The Trauma Center series is one of the more interesting things to come out of Nintendo's love affair with strange control schemes in the DS and Wii era. These "surgery simulators" end up playing more like a cross between a light gun shooter and Rock Band, as you cut into your patients and use a number of surgical tools to solve their problems and keep them alive. Less successful is the wrapping story, about impossibly young doctors and medical terrorists who inject people with lung bugs. Thanks, Tara, for executive producing this episode!
Mar 04, 2021
Dispatch: Retro Peril
This month's Dispatch topic is what we're calling "Retro Peril", or the idea that playing a newer entry in a genre would stop you from enjoying classic entries if you went back to revisit them. Would it be impossible to find joy in Torment if you got used to the quality of life improvements in Disco Elysium? We also answer your questions, and read your responses to February's games.
Feb 25, 2021
307 Preview: Outer Wilds
The bad news is you only have 22 minutes. The good news is, you have as many 22 minutes as you need. Outer Wilds is a plucky, optimistic game about horrifying circumstances. You stand alone in the footsteps of an ancient civilization, working hard to figure out why your solar system keeps exploding. To do this, you have to fly from planet to planet and navigate hostile conditions, learning as much as you can on each loop. The mechanics may or may not work for you, but the tone and the ending are best in class. Thank you Fenreliania for producing this episode!
Feb 18, 2021
306: The Last of Us
When it comes to cordyceps, we want some more-dyceps! Kole and Gary tackle what might be the most acclaimed video game in history. Despite having some issues with story and gameplay integration, this cinematic genre piece is fun and affecting.
Feb 11, 2021
305: Monster Train
This week continues out accidental theme of covering Roguelites on the show, as we chug-a-lug through Monster Train. It's a deck builder with strong elements of strategy games, as you summon monsters and cast spells to protect a train that's carrying Hell's last hope. That's right, angels are the bad guys. This game is really fun, and another departure from the kinds of things we normally cover on WOFF!
Feb 04, 2021
Dispatch: Podcast Personas
In this episode, we answer your questions, we talk about our podcast personas and where our lines are, and we read your responses to January's games before announcing what we have coming in March.
Jan 28, 2021
304 Preview: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Tommy Vercetti was sent down south to make some money for the mob, and he chose to build an empire instead. The year is 1986 and nothing is off limits whatsoever. No game that came out after Grand Theft Auto III or Vice City would be the same, but sometimes it's hard to go back to the early days of a movement. We talk about what it felt like to play Vice City back in the day, and re-examine its story missions under a more critical light... but at least we can all agree about the soundtrack.
Jan 21, 2021
303: Enter the Gungeon
Thank you Lucian! Lock and load! We've only dabbled in Rogue-lights for the show but that changes NOW with this tough as nails twin stick shooter with charm, humor, and grace notes to spare.
Jan 15, 2021
302: Return of the Obra Dinn
Nothing good happens on boats. At least, that's the conclusion we came to after thoroughly exploring the Obra Dinn and the fates of its unfortunate occupants. This mystery game, developed by Lucas Pope as a followup to Papers, Please, is unlike most other games out there. And while we have a few quibbles here and there, this game is up there on the list of the best things we've covered on this show.
Jan 07, 2021
Dispatch: Fail States
What better way to end 2020 than to talk about fail states? We also answer your questions and read your responses to December's games, as well as announce what we're doing in February.
Dec 31, 2020
301 Preview: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
We return to the Forgotten Realms, and the kingdom of tappa tappa tappa to talk about this console hack-n-slash game. You play as an upstart adventurer who is mugged in Baldur's Gate, which draws you into an evil conspiracy involving extraplanar forces. But of course, you're just here to make numbers go up. This is a preview of a premium episode. To hear the whole thing, back us on Patreon! (
Dec 24, 2020
300: Dragon Age 2 (Part 3)
Thanks Mitch and thank you everyone for sticking with us this long! We drag the end of Dragon Age 2 before visiting the mostly good but sometimes just alright DLCs. Act 3 of Dragon Age 2: a triumph of milky useless centrism.
Dec 17, 2020
299: Dragon Age 2 (Part 2)
This week, we continue our coverage of Dragon Age 2 by moving on to Chapter 2. Hawke and company have hit it big after three years of living in Kirkwall, but the city's problems are only getting worse. We spend this chapter navigating a difficult political and ethical conflict with the Qunari, whose presence is causing even more unrest than Kirkwall is used to.
Dec 10, 2020
298: Dragon Age 2 (Part 1)
Our love for the outliers in big games series continues with this look at Dragon Age 2. Changing the scope from Dragon Age 1 was a gamble that paid off, among some others that did not. Kole and Gary discuss generalities and Act 1 of this underrated game. Thanks to Mitch!
Dec 03, 2020
Dispatch: Spoilers
On this month's Dispatch episode, we talk about Spoilers. Why don't they bother us? What benefit scan strategically spoiling things for yourself bring? What's a sensible spoiler policy for podcasts like ours? We also answer your questions, read your responses to No One Lives Forever, Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons, and Marathon 2: Durandal.
Nov 27, 2020
297 Preview: Marathon 2: Durandal
What was Bungie up to before they bounced back with Halo? Marathon, another sci-fi shooter that was a foundational game for Macintosh gamers. Its graphics were well ahead of the times, and the story is intricate even by today's standards... but we find it a little tough to swallow, given how the antiquated level and encounter design makes the game a bit of a struggle to play. This episode is a preview of a premium release. You can hear the whole thing by backing us at Patreon. (
Nov 19, 2020
296: Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons
Thanks David! This goofy episode on this ambitious, but somewhat tedious, SNES era simulation game was a balm to record on election day, and we hope it's a balm for you to hear. Follow Joao as he travels from Ibiza to Allentown in search of Atlantis.
Nov 12, 2020
295: No One Lives Forever
Cate Archer is the grooviest spy that ever was, and she's on a mission to save the world from H.A.R.M. and their burping biological billionaire bombs. This cinematic first person shooter was ahead of its time, with snappy writing, intricate levels, and satisfying shooting. The only thing getting in the way is bad, punishing stealth. But for a game released in 2000, this is really impressive and worth checking out.
Nov 05, 2020
Dispatch: Mobile Gaming
In this episode, we answer your questions, discuss what makes a good mobile game, read your responses to October's games and announce what we're covering in December. Please note, there are a couple of audio issues, which are disclaimed at the beginning of the episode.
Oct 29, 2020
294 Preview: Doom 3
Doom 3 was a controversial game, but its only real sin is not being Doom 2 or Doom 2016. Released in 2004 and coinciding with an identity crisis at id Software, this is a retelling of the original Doom story, but with very different gameplay. It more closely resembles the spectacle corridor shooters that were popular at the time, inspired by the success of Half-Life. It's dark and spooky. The pace is more deliberate. These are all problems if what you want is the kind of twitch action you'd find in earlier shooters... but we think Doom 3, warts and all, is worthy of attention. This is a preview of our premium episode for this month. To hear the full episode, back us on Patreon! (
Oct 22, 2020
293: Resident Evil 5
Thank you Ryan! Beef Golem and Sheva go on a racially insensitive adventure in the 2nd worst mainline Resident Evil game that is, none-the-less, still sort of worth playing? Hear us shed some daylight on this black sheep of the series.
Oct 15, 2020
292: Soma
October's horror game parade continues with Soma, a game that questions what makes us us. Simon is an unlucky guy. He gets a brain scan to help him with a terminal condition, and wakes up in a facility at the bottom of the ocean, eighty years in the future, after the world has ended. To make matters worse, a rogue AI is warping bodies and minds and seeking to re-assimilate anyone who's trying to escape. It's a survival tragedy game that asks loftier questions than most games ask and it's a suitable followup for Frictional.
Oct 08, 2020
291: Dino Crisis 2
This goofy action game is a dumb blast and this episode is a breezy start to the best month of the year. Join us as we discuss dino-teens from the year 3000.
Oct 01, 2020
Dispatch: Cutting Bait
This week's WOFF! Dispatch is about the special topic of deciding when to stop playing a game. What's the difference between "finishing" a game and "being done" with a game? What makes you walk away for good? Additionally, we answer your questions, read your responses to September's games, and announce what we're covering in November.
Sep 24, 2020
290 Preview: God of War (2018)
Kranky Kratos takes his vengeance quest to a brand new pantheon: the pantheon of fatherhood. Kole and Gary take an axe to the skull of this 2018 prestige game, and by take an axe to the skull, I mean we give a careful, considered look to this very good but still flawed cinematic game. This is just the preview! Join us at for the full episode, and dozens more.
Sep 17, 2020
289: Lords of Magic
Assembled well-wishers, welcome to the land of crunch. Lords of Magic is a 1997 strategy game that is unlike anything we've covered for the show. It takes a high fantasy medieval theme and stacks a bunch of different strategy and RPG game types on top of each other, creating a complex and interlocking set of systems and levels of zoom. You play as one of the faiths of Urak, amassing an army of allies and conquests to defeat Balkoth, the Lord of Death... but not before reading the manual!
Sep 11, 2020
288: Plants vs. Zombies
The idea of casual games is basically fake, and it's harmful because it leads to inclusive games being dismissed. Kole and Gary look at one of the titans of the "casual" gaming world and find that it packs tons of charm and more depth than it gets credit for.
Sep 03, 2020
Dispatch: Breaks
This week we answer your questions and prompts, and talk about times in our lives when we "fell out of love with games". Times when we stopped playing as many games, why that happened, and what brought us back in. We also read your thoughts on Devil May Cry and Disco Elysium.
Aug 27, 2020
Announcing... ORB, a Venture Bros. Podcast
We're pleased to announce our first new podcast in quite some time! Coming this fall, Gary and Kole will premiere ORB: A Venture Bros. Podcast. We've taken our approach to video games, movies, music, comics, and books... and now we're dedicating a show to one of our favorite television shows. The Venture Bros. is a long-running show on Adult Swim about a miserable superscientist, his miserable arch nemeses, and his oblivious sons. It's a love letter to all kinds of pulp entertainment from the mid-20th century, including classic animation, exploitation films, and progressive rock. We're announcing this early because we want help. We'd like to commission the cover art and theme music. So please contact Gary at with your portfolio. BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists are strongly encouraged to apply. Listen to the audio announcement for more details. The show will be launching in about a month, it will come out weekly, and it will replace Monster in My Podcast, which we are putting on mothballs for the time being. We're extremely excited about this, and we hope you are too. If you'd like to watch along, The Venture Bros. is available for purchase in most of the expected places, and is currently streaming on Hulu.
Aug 25, 2020
287 Preview: Devil May Cry
Big thanks to Moonborne! Though it has some early installment clunk, it's not that often that we get to play what is arguably (please don't argue with us) the first of a genre. Does it hold up? Does the devil cry? Does Dante get to 2nd base with someone who looks like his mom? Find out! Note, this is our preview episode for the month. To hear the whole thing, and a bunch of other stuff, join us at
Aug 20, 2020
286: Disco Elysium (Part 2)
This is the second and final part of our Disco Elysium coverage, picking up roughly with day two of the investigation and going full-tilt into learning not just the cause of the murder, but also what's really happening in this world politically, spiritually, and emotionally. I don't want to spend a lot of time heaping sugar on the game in this post, because we do a lot of that in the episode, but it can't be overstated how special this game is.
Aug 13, 2020
285: Disco Elysium (Part 1)
Big ups to Jack for sponsoring this episode! A monumental WRPG that rocketed its way up our personal charts to the WOFF Pantheon, Disco Elysium is inspired by all the best video games and still ends up being unique. Hear us discuss generalities and day one here.
Aug 06, 2020
Dispatch: Escapism
This week, we talk about escapism, and how turning to games to distract from the real world is sometimes healthy and necessary. We also answer your questions and prompts, and read your responses to July's games: Hitman 2, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, and Mario Golf: Advance Tour.
Jul 30, 2020
284 Preview: Golf Games
This weirdo episode talks about a smattering of old and new golf games. The full episode then goes onto discuss Mario Golf Advance Tour. Join us on patreon to hear the whole shebang!
Jul 23, 2020
283: Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (Part 2)
This is the second part, and conclusion, of our Tactics Ogre coverage, where we talk about the Law and Chaos routes of Chapters 2, 3, and 4. Denam is in a precarious place, forced to make morally compromising choices in the heart of a civil war with very high personal stakes. As those closest to him abandon him and the major power players hunt him down, he must find a way to unite the continent and address the bigger threat posed by the Dark Knights of Lodis.
Jul 16, 2020
282: Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (Part 1)
This wildly ambitious port of a wildly ambitious SNES game features a lot of our favorite concepts and creators. Can it stand up to the gigantic shadow cast by Final Fantasy Tactics?
Jul 09, 2020
281: Hitman 2 (2018)
This episode takes us back into the tangled, bloody, and hilarious world of Agent 47. While HItman 2 could be called a mission pack or an expansion pack, we don't think there's anything wrong with that. The fundamental play has not changed, outside of a handful of features and adjustments. What has changed is the size, density, and quality of the levels. Hitman 2 is a veteran studio at the height of their powers, and we're so happy to share this little love-fest with you.
Jul 02, 2020
Dispatch: Solved Meta
Kole and Gary answer your prompts and questions, read your responses to June's games, and discuss the menace of solved meta and how it keeps us away from multiplayer gaming.
Jun 25, 2020
280 Preview: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Before they became all the rage in the indie space, you headed to the DS if you wanted to play a Metroidvania game. Konami eventually lost interest in making them, but before they did, they gave us one of our favorite entries in the series: Order of Ecclesia. It bucks the trends of previous games inspired by Symphony of the Night and focuses on tough but fair combat and a very expressive Glyph spell system. Is it for everyone? Probably not. But we hope this episode makes a case for why it might be for you. Hear the whole thing by backing us on Patreon! (
Jun 18, 2020
279: Crash Bandicoot 2
Thank you SindrElf! Gary and Kole take a stilted perspective walk down memory lane, towards the camera for some reason.
Jun 11, 2020
278: Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
The Longest Journey was one of the earliest games we covered for this show, way back in the winter of 2011. We'd intended to hit up its sequel, Dreamfall, because we heard good things. Now, finally, we've gotten around to playing it and... we're not impressed. The game's very strong opening gives way to a muddled story, and the shift away from a more standard point and click adventure game toward a 3D action adventure scheme does not serve it well. So, this one turns into kind of a dunkfest.
Jun 05, 2020
Dispatch: Taking Control
Kole and Gary answer your questions, discuss when it's appropriate to take control away from the player, and read your responses to May's games. Also, we announce June's lineup at the end!
May 28, 2020
277 Preview: Resident Evil 3 (2020)
This month's premium episode is Capcom's action-heavy followup to the Resident Evil 2 Remake, their update to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. It tells a similar story to the original, but streamlines everything to heighten the intensity of the fights. This process absolutely strips away a lot of what was special about the original, which it was rightly criticized for, but it's impossible to say it's not fun. This is a preview of May's premium episode, and it contains the first hour or so where we cover the game's generalities. To hear the whole thing, back us on Patreon! (
May 21, 2020
276: Celeste
Special thanks to Neasa! Kole and Gary surmount one of the most critically acclaimed indies in recent memory. This masocore platformer has tons of heart, some hidden, and extremely precise gamefeel that make it two great tastes. Do they taste great together? Find out.
May 14, 2020
275: Hypnospace Outlaw
We're over the moon about this strange detective game set in an alternate history version of the late 90s internet. You're an Enforcer for a corrupt company, browsing the poorly made homepages of netizens looking for violations of the law, and trying to avert a cyberdisaster. This is a very clever investigation game with an amazing look and sound, and it shows a lot of affection for a time period that's nostalgic for a lot of us.
May 07, 2020
Dispatch: Lore
We read your prompts, and your responses to April's games, and discuss what we think separates good lore from bad lore.
Apr 30, 2020
274 Preview: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
The New Colossus is a very strange game. By our usual metrics, this sequel isn't as good as its predecessor. The levels are bad, and the difficulty tuning is way out of whack. Instead, what makes us love this game is its audacity, and how well it tells its story... sometimes even through play! Billy begins the game near death, having lost his leader and his ability to walk. But he still mounts up and puts together a resistance movement to take back America and begin the revolution against the Nazis, once and for all. This is a preview of April's premium episode. To hear the full episode, back us on Patreon! (
Apr 16, 2020
273: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Like sands through the hourglass, everything ages. But because time is an ocean in a storm, not a river, some things age better than others, even within the same game. Kole and Gary talk about this well regarded classic and figure out which parts are delicious and which are past their sell-by date.
Apr 16, 2020
272: Legend of Grimrock II
We welcome Legend of Grimrock II to the pantheon of masterpieces we've covered for the show. It's a throwback to retro dungeon crawlers with tense combat and ingenious puzzles. It's light on story, but heavy on atmosphere, and consistently good throughout. People who like when we gush about good games will like this episode a lot.
Apr 09, 2020
271: Luigi's Mansion
Thanks Jack! Gary and Kole turn out the lights and get cute-spooky with the forgotten Mario Brother. This charming, bite sized adventure oozes with polish and though it was unfairly maligned in its day, it was way ahead of its time. Take a listen!
Apr 02, 2020
Dispatch: Remakes
For this month's Watch Out for Fireballs! Dispatch, our discussion topic is remakes. What makes good remakes good, and bad remakes bad? Additionally, we answer your questions, read your responses to March's games, and announce the games for May.
Mar 26, 2020
State of Live Shows
Hey everyone, we've got some announcements. You can listen to the audio for full details, but it boils down to: the Midwest Gaming Classic in Milwaukee has been canceled, the Portland Retro Games Expo has been canceled, and we cannot in good conscience plan and execute a Duckfest with the global pandemic being what it is. We will not be doing any live events this year, and this really, really bums us out. To ameliorate this, we will be holding a virtual Duckfest sometime in June, and also putting out a Switcheroo Bundle a few months after that. We apologize for any disappointment this might bring, and we hope you are staying save and sane under these trying circumstances.
Mar 24, 2020
270 Preview: The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time
There are really two Ocarina of Times. The one that came out in 1998 that's undeniably groundbreaking and an aesthetic triumph, and the one that you can play in 2020 that has a lot of ups and downs. We give this sacred cow an honest evaluation in this episode. Note, this is the preview version of this episode. To hear the whole thing, join us on Patreon!
Mar 19, 2020
Adaptation Decay 24: Carmen Sandiego (Quarantine Pack)
Note: You're stuck indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic, so we're unlocking some of our favorite premium content from 2019 so you have more stuff to entertain yourself with. Take care and be safe. Double Trouble has stolen another fuckin' quarry. In this episode, we look at the very good game show and the very bland cartoon based on the hottie amazon known as Carmen Sandiego.
Mar 17, 2020
Unfilmable 4: From Beyond (Quarantine Pack)
Note: You're stuck indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic, so we're unlocking some of our favorite premium content from 2019 so you have more stuff to entertain yourself with. Take care and be safe. Let's get ready to horny! Stuart Gordon looked at a seven page Lovecraft story about seeing extradimensional beings, and said "I can make a movie out of that." The result is From Beyond, where overactive pineal glands enable shapeshifting and confer BDSM fascinations. It needs to be seen to be believed.
Mar 17, 2020
WOFF! 227: Bioshock Infinite (Quarantine Pack)
Note: You're stuck indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic, so we're unlocking some of our favorite premium content from 2019 so you have more stuff to entertain yourself with. Take care and be safe. Let the circle be broken, because we don't like Bioshock Infinite. The full episode is four hours of us trying our best to point out the many ways it falls short as a game, and as a conveyor of ideas.
Mar 17, 2020
Exquisite Suffering 74: Dilbert's Desktop Games (Quarantine Pack)
Note: You're stuck indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic, so we're unlocking some of our favorite premium content from 2019 so you have more stuff to entertain yourself with. Take care and be safe. I'll come clean with you. If you know who Scott Adams is, and you know our general outlook on things, you can probably guess where this episode goes. And if you're not down for that, the first portion of the episode is for you. We talk about the Dilberito.
Mar 17, 2020
269: Axiom Verge
Metroidvanias are pretty common, but games that aim to ape the original Metroid are few and far between. Axiom Verge is a 2015 indie game with a distinct glitchy NES aesthetic and some pretty great powerups. It also has some problems with its combat and main character. You can't take away the beauty of those sprite designs or that music, however.
Mar 12, 2020
268: Valdis Story
Kole and Gary go deep into the Abyss on Valdis Story, a kickstarter character action/metroidvania hybrid. It's got ups, it's got downs, and we discuss em all. Thank you to Terra Parker for sponsoring this episode!
Mar 05, 2020
Dispatch: Hours to Dollars
This week's episode is a Dispatch, where we answer your questions and talk about your requested topic... namely, is it harmful to consider a game's value solely as a function of its length versus its cost? Additionally, we read your responses to February's games, and announce April's titles!
Feb 27, 2020
267 Preview: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
This month's premium Watch Out for Fireballs! is about XCOM: Enemy Unknown (and the Enemy Within expansion). This game is a masterpiece, and we take our time dining on the systems and the way they interlock. The aliens have made contact, and they do not come in peace. So it's time to mount the defensive and take the fight to their doorstep. The structure of this episode is a little strange, we admit, but we hope you're here to hear us geek out over tactics and such. This is the first portion of a premium episode. [You can hear the rest by backing us on Patreon.](
Feb 20, 2020
266: Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider
Death of the Outsider is an expansion for Dishonored 2, and the end of the Dishonored story as we know it so far. We control Billie Lurk as she picks up where Daud left off, seeking artifacts and clues to learn where the Outsider is most vulnerable so she can strike him down. The change in focus from assassination to heists, and to a different character with a more restrictive power set, makes this a very unusual entry in the Dishonored franchise, but it's still delightful to dip back into this world.
Feb 13, 2020
265: Atari Safari
Thanks to friend of the show Doug, Kole and Gary finally tackle Atari. It's history, notable games, its downfall. Join us for this enlightening journey with Kole and Gary, your nutting associates.
Feb 06, 2020
Dispatch: Ethics in Game Consumption
With all of the information we have about games and their developers, "should I play this game" is a question that isn't easily answered by knowing if it's good or not. We talk about common bad practices of developers and publishers (crunch, exploitative monetization, etc.) and our strategies for coming to grips with what it means to support or not support a game. We also answer your questions and prompts, and read your responses to January's games!
Jan 30, 2020
264 Preview: Shadowrun: Dragonfall
This is the preview version of our full episode on the nigh masterpiece Shadowrun: Dragonfall! To hear the full version, become a patron at
Jan 23, 2020
263: The Cat Lady
This game gets pretty rough, so we should start with some content warnings for suicide, mental illness, depression, and murder. The Cat Lady is an independent horror adventure game that stars Susan Ashworth, a woman suffering from trauma and depression, who is pressed into the service of an eldritch being, and tasked with eliminating "Parasites"... indiscriminate killers who surround her. Susan's only hope in this dismal affair is an unexpected new friend with problems of her own. The Cat Lady isn't perfect, but it's extremely strongly stated in a way that is rare for games of any scope.
Jan 16, 2020
262: DUSK
Folks, this is, as one might say, a good ass game. Kole and Gary discuss this FPS throwback that incorporates modern design sensibilities and a host of diverse influences. GET DUSK.
Jan 09, 2020
261: Hidden Gems and Maligned Classics
Gary and Kole give six old games a second thought, making a case for why they are either hidden gems or unfairly maligned classics. The six games are Alter Ego, Dynamite Headdy, Fallout Tactics, Ghoul School, Legend of the Mystical Ninja, and Ranger X. This is a live episode from the 2019 Portland Retro Gaming Expo. Thanks so much to everyone who came out, and everyone who backed our Patreon ( and made this possible.
Jan 02, 2020
Dispatch: Endings
Kole and Gary answer your questions, discuss the importance of endings, and read your responses to December's games
Dec 26, 2019
260 Preview: Jade Empire
Our final premium episode for 2019 takes us to a fantasy far East, where Bioware tries out some new stuff that ultimately doesn't work out great. While we find the world interesting and the characters and quests charming, Jade Empire falls down on its two biggest selling points: real time action combat, and a different take on morality systems. Listen in to hear us articulate our specific problems with this transitional game for an important studio. To listen to the full episode, back our Patreon and visit this post. (
Dec 19, 2019
259: Tyranny (Part 2)
Kole and Gary shrug off the yoke of Kyros and have a grand ol time (as long as we're not in the Oldwalls). Hear our discussion of an B+ tier Obsidian game that still manages to be an A- WRPG overall.
Dec 12, 2019
258: Tyranny (Part 1)
This episode is the beginning of our two-part coverage of Tyranny, a CRPG developed by Obsidian in the mold of classic Infinity Engine games. You play as an agent of an evil overlord, sent to the last unconquered region in order to aid the wildly disagreeable armies there to prosecute the conquest. Part 1 covers the ample generalities of the game, and goes through Chapter 1. It should be noted that we are covering the Anarchy path for the show.
Dec 05, 2019
Dispatch: Fun?
Kole and Gary answer your questions, discuss the value of games that intentionally engender feelings other than "fun" and read your responses to November's games. We also announce our lineup for January 2020!
Nov 28, 2019
257 Preview: Deus Ex: Human Revolution
We're big fans of Deus Ex, so there's joy in covering more of the series on the show. Human Revolution came out to a split reaction, which is to be expected. How can you please Deus Ex fans? We're a small sample size, but in our opinion, this is how you please Deus Ex fans. The story is smaller in scale and the jank has been polished away, but this is a fun immersive sim with an engrossing story and a beautiful aesthetic. So we're on board. This episode is about the Director's Cut version of the game, so we talk about the improved boss fights and the Missing Link DLC. This is a preview of a full premium episode that is available to our patrons. Find the full audio here. (
Nov 21, 2019
256: The Simpsons: Hit and Run
Is it a GTA clone? Is it a racing game? Is it any good? It is very hard to say! Kole and Gary bandy about Springfield and try to figure out this frustrating but fun title.
Nov 14, 2019
255: The Last Express
The Last Express is more important than it is fun. Jordan Mechner broke the bank creating this rotoscoped Swiss watch of a game about the last run of the Orient Express before World War I broke out. It features a huge cast of well-realized characters, and a plot with plenty of international intrigue. It also features one hell of a crazy ending.
Nov 07, 2019
Dispatch: Horror
This month's Dispatch theme is, appropriately, horror. Or: What makes a scary game scary? We pick apart out favorite horror games and compare them to this month's crop of horror-themed titles. We also answer your questions and prompts, and read your responses to October's games. Next month, we're talking about The Last Express, The Simpsons: Hit and Run, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. In December, we're hitting up Tyranny and Jade Empire.
Oct 31, 2019
254 Preview: Alan Wake
Alan Wake is a writer, and he reminds you of that a lot. This is Remedy's third person shooter followup to the first two Max Payne games. It dabbles in horror without being terribly scary, and gets extremely metatextual at a time when that wasn't a huge thing in games. It worked at the time, and would probably work on a first playthrough, but we struggle to see through the game's unfortunate design flaws. This is a preview of a premium episode. Click here to see the full episode on Patreon! ( Thanks to Vulpes for producing this episode!
Oct 24, 2019
253: Resident Evil 7 DLC
It's time for another pull on the tonal slot machine as WOFF's weirdest and least scary October continues. Gary and Kole dissect the entire gamut of RE7's downloadable content and extra modes.
Oct 17, 2019
252: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Silent Hill is one of our favorite horror series, and it's always pleasant to return to it. This episode has us looking at Shattered Memories, the Wii game developed by Climax and Sam Barlow (of "Her Story" fame). It upends a good number of traditions of the series, and ends up being a very different game than you might expect. The star is the psychological profiling system, but the game earns big consternation for separating puzzles and monsters.
Oct 10, 2019
251: Call of Cthulhu (2019)
Spooky scary month begins! Gary and Kole are joined by patron and Slack super star Jack Corrigan to talk about 2018's messy but somewhat interesting Call of Cthulhu.
Oct 03, 2019
Dispatch 9: Art and Artist
This month's Dispatch has a lot going on. We answer a ton of your questions, including a long run of lightning round prompts. Then we talk about the difficulty inherent in separating art from artist, in light of the recent spate of games industry MeToo incidents. Then, we read your responses to our September games.
Sep 26, 2019
250 Preview: Half-Life 2
Kole and Gary finally tackle the FPS that set the standard, not only for the genre, but for cinematic and narrative games to this day. To hear the whole thing, join us at
Sep 19, 2019
249: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is the first entry in this long-running series that we've covered. It's a tactical RPG set in a medieval world, and this particular game has a lot of oddball features that would eventually become mainstays in the series. However, does it all stand up?
Sep 13, 2019
248: Gunstar Heroes
Special thanks to Geri Khan for producing this one! Kole and Gary take a rare trip to the Genesis to discuss one of the best games the run'n'gun genre has to offer. Loads of charm and creativity make this one of the best games on the system. Listen in!
Sep 05, 2019
Dispatch: Glitches
It's time for this month's Dispatch episode, where we answer your questions and prompts, talk about our special topic (Glitches in games), and hear your responses to Way of the Samurai, Final Fantasy V, and Wolfenstein: The New Order.
Aug 29, 2019
247 Preview: Wolfenstein: The New Order
Hey! It's our preview episode on 2014's Wolfenstein Reboot/Sequel/Whatever, The New Order. This is just the preview episode. To hear the entire thing, join us at
Aug 22, 2019
246: Final Fantasy V (Part 2)
Bartz, Lenna, and Faris have decided to tag along with Galuf to defeat Exdeath once and for all, a decision that takes them to a whole new world. There, they meet Exdeath's coterie of dipshits in his meat castle. We pick up with World 2 to talk about the remainder of Final Fantasy V, which swings from high systemic highs to low grindy lows.
Aug 15, 2019
245: Final Fantasy V (Part 1)
Kole and Gary tackle the Final Fantasy with some of the most complex mechanics and most anonymous characters and places in the series. This episode covers generalities and world one.
Aug 08, 2019
244: Way of the Samurai
Peter Bemis joins us to talk about Way of the Samurai, a strange and forward-looking game from the early days of the PS2 era. As a wayward ronin in the Meiji Era, you stumble across a town that's in the middle of a power struggle. Two families are working against each other, unmindful of the bigger threat headed their way. This action/fighting game features multiple paths and endings, and it's meant to be played over and over again. Hear us work out the story and the structure, and talk about how it all comes together.
Aug 01, 2019
Dispatch: Compulsive Gaming
This is an extra spicy episode of the WOFF Dispatch, as we cover tons of our questions and prompts before settling in to talk about gaming addiction and the tricks developers and publishers use to foster it. Then we read your responses to A Hat in Time, Psychonauts, and Mirror's Edge.
Jul 25, 2019
243 Preview: Mirror's Edge
Gary and Kole discuss the generalities of Mirror's Edge in this premium episode preview. Join us on Patreon for the whole shebang!
Jul 18, 2019
242: Psychonauts
No game makes you WANT to like it as much as Psychonauts. Raz is a great character, the counselors at his psychic summer camp are top notch, and the aesthetic is excellent. The problems begin with the play, since the game only shows a passing interest in being an enjoyable 3D platformer. So Doublefine's premiere effort is endlessly charming, but also a pretty big disappointment. Listen in to hear us be even more conflicted.
Jul 11, 2019
241: A Hat in Time
We begin our 3D Platformer Month with a modern loveletter to 90s platformers like Banjo Kazooie and Super Mario 64. Hat Kid runs afoul of the Mafia, and she must collect her hourglasses (which are spaceship fuel) from a planet full of colorful jerks. The game runs high on charm, but it also runs right into our fundamental problems with this genre. So we try to put on our "3D Platformer Appreciator" hats and see what's good here and what falls short.
Jul 04, 2019
Dispatch: Cinematic Games
This is a big dispatch episode, where we spend a good deal of time on your questions before talking about why games shouldn't try to be movies. We then turn our attention to your responses to June's games.
Jun 27, 2019
240: The Golden Age of Tetris
We round out puzzle month with the ultimate "puzzle" game, so elemental that you can't imagine it not existing. Alexy Pajitnov and a crew of colleagues in the USSR birthed the game, and it followed a long and complicated trail to becoming a worldwide phenomenon. This episode relates that story, talks about how Tetris has changed over the years, and looks at some recent excellent Tetris games.
Jun 20, 2019
239: The 7th Guest / The 11th Hour
The early 90s were a very strange time for PC games, almost solely because of the introduction of the CD-ROM drive. This new techology revealed two paths for the industry, both of which would be pretty short-lived: The Myst path of baroque, isolated puzzle voids, and the 7th Guest path of FMV movies with puzzles slightly attached. The stories of Henry Stauf's infernal mansion are almost too out there to be believed, and we definitely don't recommend that you play these games to completion, but we invite you to hear all about both the 7th Guest and its sequel, the 11th Hour, here on the show.
Jun 13, 2019
Save the Date: Duckfest 2019
Get ready for a day of Duckfeed. On August 31, 2019, we will gather at the Clinton Street Theater in Portland Oregon for live performances of many Duckfeed shows, and a few local podcast friends. Listen to the announcement for more. More details are forthcoming, including ticket details.
Jun 12, 2019
238: Into the Breach
We begin Puzzle Month with one of the best indie releases of 2018. While it's nominally a turn based strategy game, Into the Breach provides near-perfect information, making it more of a series of chess puzzles than a traditional X-Com-alike. And the story of the game's development confirms that this was the designer's intention.
Jun 06, 2019
Dispatch: Romance
We read your responses to May's games, and we talk about how AAA games get romance wrong.
May 30, 2019
237 Preview: Hitman 2016 (Preview)
Hitman 2016 is a tremendous game. It's shockingly generous in scope, rewarding curiosity and ingenuity. Agent 47 heads to exotic locales to kill exotically, and we're here for it. This episode is a preview of the full premium episode. To hear the entire thing, join us on Patreon! (
May 23, 2019
236: Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham City is an object lesson in how sequels can go very right. It's additive in every way that matterns leaving the core play of Arkham Asylum intact while adding an open world and lots and lots of villains. The Jokester is back and sicker than ever, and Hugo Strange has made deft use of eminent domain to create a prison city. What could go wrong? Huge thanks to Doug Lief, who guests on this episode, for his support, and for picking this great game!
May 16, 2019
235: Finding Fun in Mario Paint and Friends (Live)
We traveled to the Midwest Gaming Classic once again, this time to talk about what we're broadly calling "creative games". The headliner is Mario Paint, but the idea of games that let you either make games, or make art, goes way back. So we talk about the history, talk about how this articulates, and try to answer the question: Why is using games to make art so fun?
May 09, 2019
234: Life is Strange
Life is Strange is a Telltale-style cinematic adventure game about a young woman named Max Caulfield who has a very strange week. On the same day, she discovers that she has the ability to rewind time, and she uses this ability to avert the death of Chloe, an estranged friend. Her powers get her wrapped up in a murder mystery that points to corruption in the heart of the small town of Arcadia Bay.
May 02, 2019
Dispatch: What Ages a Game?
Some games are trapped in time, and this Dispatch episode has us wondering what makes some games age worse than others. How can something made 25 years ago feel more fresh and something made 5 years ago?
Apr 25, 2019
233 Preview: Resident Evil 2 (2019)
Resident Evil 2 is a classic game, so it's understandable that we were slightly nervous when Capcom said they were remaking it. Our worries were unfounded, because Capcom is back, baby, and this remake isn't just a good game in its own right, it does justice to the original. It makes sensible updates and incorporates memorable elements from every era of the series. This is how you do it. To hear the full episode, just back our Patreon! (
Apr 19, 2019
232: Halo 3: ODST
It's kind of ridiculous that we haven't done a Halo game yet. First because they were very big, and second because they're aging very poorly. However, there's plenty to like about Halo 3: ODST, the weird side story in the Halo franchise. The Rookie is separated from his squad, and he must roam the ruins of New Mombasa to find evidence of their battles and piece together what happened. We hope you like your jazz smoky, because it's all we got in stock.
Apr 11, 2019
231: Spec Ops: The Line
Captian Martin Walker is not up to the task. Dubai is in ruins, and things just get worse from there. This is a military shooter about military shooters, and it's lauded for its story while its play is dismissed. But we're here to tell you: the play is fine!
Apr 05, 2019
Dispatch: Gamers
We hear your thoughts on our Desperation Month games, and talk about what the deal is with gamers.
Mar 28, 2019
230 Preview: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
Desperation Month concludes with S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a Ukranian-developed open world first person shooter. The Zone is a harsh place with infinite possibilities, but you have to fight to find them. Especially in the back third of the game, where it's all fight. Until then, though, there's lots of very good survival play going on. This is a preview of that full episode, which you can get by backing us on Patreon. (
Mar 24, 2019
229: Frostpunk
We continue Desperation Month with Frostpunk, a city building sim where things start bad and only get worse. It's the late 19th century and the world is quickly freezing. Humanity's last chance is to huddle around generators in the north, making moral compromises to survive the cold and the scarcity it brings. Frostpunk is an amazing strategy sim game with A+ theming, and it's sure to make you feel like garbage.
Mar 14, 2019
228: Papers, Please
We begin Desperation Month with a very unusual sim game. You are a checkpoint worker in a fictional communist country, forced to decide the fates of immigrants as the rules change every day. It's a bleak and stressful game that forces you to contort yourself into monstrous shapes, tugging at you with incentives and survival. It's unique and powerful, even if it isn't strictly fun.
Mar 08, 2019
The Road to Unfilmable: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Our preview series continues with another game whose Lovecraft associations are looser, but undeniable. Eternal Darkness is an inventive, but flawed, game. But you can't argue that it doesn't make an impression. We will have more details about Unfilmable soon!
Mar 01, 2019
Dispatch: Violence
Gary and Kole take your questions, and chat about Video Game Violence before reading your thoughts on SMB2, Pyre, and Bioshock Infinite.
Feb 28, 2019
The Road to Unfilmable: Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
You all have been very generous, and we recently passed a Patreon milestone goal for a new show. That show is called "Unfilmable", and in it Gary and Kole will examine adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft's work and ideas. We've recorded several episodes about Lovecraft-related or -inspired works, so we're re-presenting them to give you an idea of what the show will be like. This first episode hearkens back to the earliest days of our show, when we covered the Xbox game "Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth." Every now and then between now and the launch, we'll drop another of these preview episodes.
Feb 27, 2019
227 Preview: Bioshock Infinite
We don't like Bioshock Infinite. The full episode is four hours of us trying our best to point out the many ways it falls short as a game, and as a conveyor of ideas. This is a preview of that full episode, which you can get by backing us on Patreon. (
Feb 22, 2019
226: Pyre
SuperGiant is a studio we really love. We've covered both Bastion and Transistor on this show, so when William Rouse executive-produced an episode about Pyre it was a wonderful chance to complete the SuperGiant collection. And while there is plenty to love about Pyre's world, visual design, and music, we felt that the fantasy basketball came up a little short. Listen in to learn the specifics on why we felt the way we did, and give the game a shot to see if it lands the same for you.
Feb 14, 2019
Adaptation Decay Preview: Pac-Man Fever
This is our final "preview" episode of Adaptation Decay, our premium show about the ways that games are adapted to other media. We love this episode about the Buckner and Garcia album "Pac Man Fever" and we think you will, too. It demonstrates that Adaptation Decay isn't just a show about bad movies, but casts a wider net.
Feb 12, 2019
225: Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 2 is unfairly ignored, either because of its provenance or because it's not a trailblazer like its predecessor, or as finely tuned as its successor. But it deserves credit for being ambitious, weird, and serving as the springboard for a lot of the great things we love about Mario games. So come along and listen to our case for why this might be the best of the NES Mario games.
Feb 07, 2019
Dispatch: Difficulty
Gary and Kole answer your questions, talk about difficulty in games, and then read your responses to River City Ransom, Owlboy and FFX.
Jan 31, 2019
224: Final Fantasy X (Part 2)
Matthew sticks around to talk about the remainder of Final Fantasy X, which includes some fantastic boss fights, neat imagery, and questionable story beats. We also touch briefly on the absurd optional content this game has to offer to the most patient among us.
Jan 24, 2019
223: Final Fantasy X (Part 1)
This is the first of two episodes about Final Fantasy X, a watershed game for Square that acts as a bridge between old and new for the series. Tidus is swept away into a strange world by an eldritch monstrosity. He finds new friends and ends up on a pilgrimage to rid the world of that same monstrosity. This episode covers the generalities and the first third of the game, up through Operation Mi'hen. Special thanks to our guest and backer Matthew Campbell for picking this game and offering his insight!
Jan 17, 2019
Adaptation Decay Preview: Super Mario Bros. (Film)
Adaptation Decay is a show that we love doing, but not a lot of people have dug into it. So we want to give you a slice for free. And it's a primo slice, a real New York Slice. That's right, we're talking the Super Mario Bros. movie. Reviled at the time, but actually fun and weird, it's a great intro to this show. If you like this, you can go grab more by becoming a member at
Jan 11, 2019
Episode 222: Owlboy
Owlboy is a visually beautiful indie platformer with a killer soundtrack. It's a labor of love, and you can see that in every masterfully drawn piece of spritework. It's unfortunate that the aesthetics are attached to flat gameplay and story. It's a shame that it never fully explores its own mechanics, because the inventive boss fights show some high highs. Listen in to learn more, and hear some of that sweet music. Big thanks to Mike Suskie for backing us and requesting this episode!
Jan 11, 2019
Episode 221: River City Ransom
Gary and Kole dig into this NES classic, and our first time covering a Kunio-Kun game. Alex's girlfriend has been kidnapped by Slick, so we have to punch, kick, and pipe our way across River City and its gangs. This is a fun game that's stymied a bit by antiquated progression mechanics, but it feels too damn good in your hands to hold that against it too much.
Jan 04, 2019
Duckfeed Patreon 2019: Big New Things
Hello, listeners and patrons alike. We come to you with some exciting news: We are changing the Patreon around! ( It feels like we just did this, but the last major change was back toward the beginning of 2017. We’re trying to constantly observe what’s happening with the network and learn what to do better. That means making changes like this from time to time. We’re also aiming to never shake things up in a way that is too disruptive to you, the listener. We want to give more (or at least focus up and give better). So we put a lot of thought and consideration into making sure these changes either solve problems or help us achieve goals. Here’s the summary of what we’re planning, and you can find the details below. In order to grow the network, give patrons more, and cover rising costs, we plan to: Bring back Bonfireside Chat as a Patreon show. Give Patrons a whole episode of Watch Out for Fireballs! Move from theme months to covering big-name games more frequently. Change WOFF! Listener Response episodes to WOFF! Dispatch, make it more interactive, and have broader topic discussions. Make Adaptation Decay a monthly show. We are getting rid of the content store, and making premium episodes available on Patreon in perpetuity. We are phasing out the promise of physical goods, and sending out an “I’m Sorry!” package to people who never got theirs. In general, we are simplifying the Patreon drastically, while offering more at each tier. So without further preamble, let’s get into more detail. We want to grow. We want to grow in both listenership, patronage, and income. We are proud of the work that we do, and never want to stagnate in any of the aforementioned areas. Growth requires change. We want to give patrons more. The best way to keep listeners and members around is to always try to give more (or give better). This is also the best way to bring new people in. We are grateful to our patrons, past and present, and we want to make sure we’re giving them stuff they want. We want to meet rising costs. There are costs associated with doing this at the professional level. Traveling to live shows is expensive. Hosting, web services, applications, and equipment are expensive. Being self-employed is expensive (both Gary and I do this full time and need to cover things like health insurance). And since we’re covering more new games, we’re spending more on games! This is not a hobby for us, we’re committed to doing this full time as our main means of support, and this means keeping up with costs. People want Bonfireside Chat. And we want to give it to them. We also want to play to our strengths as a network whose bread and butter is games club content. We put Bonfireside Chat to bed when it felt like it was the right thing to do. We stuck with our guns for a long time. But with Sekiro on the horizon, and some damn-fine Soulslikes already here, it feels right to take the show out of cold storage. So we are bringing back Bonfireside Chat as a Patreon show, with a slightly different format. Listen to Bonfireside Chat 2.0 Episode 0 on the feed to learn more. Our first game is the Soulslike shooter Immortal Unchained! We want to value WOFF! appropriately. Watch Out for Fireballs! is the network’s flagship show. It also takes a lot of time to produce. We play through the entire game (whether it’s 1 hour or 100), research the games, write outlines that total in the thousands of words, record for hours, and edit. In looking at how to make this tenable in the long run, we have decided to make one episode of WOFF! per month premium. This does two things: It makes the Patreon more valuable for our members, and it incentivizes more membership. But don’t panic! When an episode goes premium, we will include a good portion of it on the public feed (up through the Generalities). So you still get something each week, it’s just that the play-by-play goes to members. NOTE 1: This won’t go into effect for January. We already announced those games, and we don’t want to revoke access to something anyone was excited for. NOTE 2: We will still have multi-part episodes, but we will never put a whole episode (Part 2, 3, or 4) behind a paywall. Only single episodes will get this treatment. WOFF! Theme Months are going away. This was a very fun idea. But it was also hell to plan for, in addition to other WOFF-based pattern incentives. So we feel like it has run its course. We want to exercise more control over the games we pick for WOFF! so we can pace out the year and cover exciting stuff. Anyone who has paid for a WOFF Theme Month will still get their topics covered, but after that hopper is exhausted the theme months will go away. We want the WOFF! Listener Response episodes to be more interesting. Right now, not a lot of folks listen to the letters episodes on WOFF. Additionally, not a lot of people listen to the behind-the-scenes episodes of DuckTRAX, and we don’t get very many prompts/responses. SO! We’re getting rid of DuckTRAX and changing the listener response episodes to WOFF! Dispatch. So the last episode of WOFF! for each month will contain responses about the games from that month, prompts and questions from the Patrons, and a segment that is a longer-form discussion about a particular topic. These will be fun experiments, and we hope you’re down for them. We want to do more Adaptation Decay Adaptation Decay is our premium show about how video games are adapted into other media, and it’s a fun show to do. Right now we have it on a very strange “8 times a year” rhythm. With DuckTRAX going away, we are taking Adaptation Decay monthly! The content store is complicated, and having content time-gated on Patreon is confusing and dissatisfying. So we’re not going to fuck with that anymore. If you back at $10 per month, you’ll get access to the firehose of content. Every premium WOFF, Bonfireside Chat Exquisite Suffering, Adaptation Decay, DuckTRAX, Try This… and whatever other one-off Duckfeed Presents stuff we make for you. We appreciate people who support us, and we want you to get your money’s worth, both in terms of the backlog and future value. We really biffed the physical goods. Under the old scheme, we offered physical goods packs and a DuckZine. We failed to deliver those, because we overestimated our ability to meet that logistical challenge. So the new scheme has no physical rewards. To say sorry for our past neglect of this promise, we will be sending out one large package to everyone who was qualified for those rewards (you should have already received an email about this). We are sorry that we disappointed you on this front, and there’s really no excuse. We hope the I’m Sorry package helps. We’re honoring our previous commitments. People who paid for theme months will get those theme months covered. If you have a WOFF! game demand or Abject Suffering demand in the hopper, that’s still there. The current Patreon scheme is complicated and we want to simplify it. We have a lot of reward tiers and stretch goals. Some of the reward tiers require backing for several months, which is confusing. In general, we let the Patreon grow tangled and weird, and we want to prune it down so it’s easier for you to pick the right tier. So, we’ve got less of everything, but what remains should be even more valuable. We are reducing the number of new shows on the horizon, because we are already stretched pretty thin. But there’s still stuff to aim for, and we hope this makes the Patreon much more valuable and friendly.
Jan 01, 2019
Episode 220: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (Part 4)
This episode concludes our coverage of the main game of Baldur's Gate II. Our party emerges from the Underdark and gathers some help for its final assault, which takes them far afield of the prime material plane. Then we conclude with your listener responses about this beloved CRPG.
Dec 28, 2018
Episode 219: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (Part 3)
This third episode of our Baldur's Gate II coverage takes us away from the free-wheeling open-ended climes of Chapter 2 and puts us on the story's rails, as we get on Irenicus' trail and follow him to a Wizard Asylum and finally into the iconic Underdark. There's some fantastic content to be covered here, and they even made the Sahuagin interesting!
Dec 14, 2018
Episode 218: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (Part 2)
Do you know how many candy bars I'd have to sell to raise 20,000 GP!?!? We left Part 1 of our Baldur's Gate II coverage with an outrageous mandate... to raise a ton of money to get information about where our soul (and sister) were taken. But Athkatla is a dirty and greedy city, so there's plenty of work to do. This episode covers most of Chapter 2, except for the content at Trademeet. We kind of ran out of steam. Next episode should take us through the Underdark.
Dec 13, 2018
Episode 217: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (Part 1)
Lots of folks have waited very patiently for us to get around to covering Baldur's Gate II. It's a very well-regarded classic game, and it fits in well with our love for all things Dungeons and Dragons. So this month, we are doing a four part series. This first episode is all about systems an generalities, which are meaty enough (it's 2nd Edition, after all). Here's our plan for the rest of the coverage: * Part 2: Chapter 2 (Side Quests around Amn) * Part 3: Chapter 3, 4, and 5 * Part 4: Chapter 6 and 7, and listener responses
Dec 07, 2018
Listener Responses: November 2018
We hear what you think of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, and The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine.
Nov 29, 2018
Episode 216: The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine (Side Quests)
Our Witcher 3 saga draws to a close as we talk about Geralt's extracurricular activities in Toussaint.
Nov 23, 2018
Episode 215: The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine (Main Quest)
The world of the Witcher 3 is almost completely dark and grim, where moral ambiguity reigns supreme. So it's strange for Geralt's tale to end in Toussaint, which is picturesque and relatively calm... except for the murders. It's also a land of chivalric values that seem nice at first but are actually pretty backwards. This massive expansion sees Geralt working with an old friend to hunt down the Beast of Beauclaire, a vampire who is murdering nobles. However, things get wildly out of hand as palace intrigue takes hold. Blood and Wine is not uniformly good, nor is it as singularly brilliant as Hearts of Stone. But it's a good farewell. This episode covers the main quest, while next week's episode will feature all of the side content.
Nov 15, 2018
Episode 214: Playing Games Wrong
We originally intended for our live episode at Portland Retro Gaming Expo 2018 to be about Super Smash Bros. Melee. However, we figured something out... we don't like playing Smash Bros. competitively. This led us down a rabbit hole that ultimately made us change our plans... What does it mean to play games wrong. Is it even possible? Is that a real or fake idea? So we turned the episode into an editorial, talking about different ways to play games wrong, and giving a few examples of our favorite games to break.
Nov 09, 2018
This very special WOFF is brought to you by the Atomic! Kickstarter backers.
Nov 05, 2018
Episode 213: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Watch out! Behind you! You'll hear that a lot in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, a game from Ninja Theory that goes all in on the gimmick of using 3D sound to approximate audio hallucinations. We talk through this remarkable "AAA indie game", which has a young woman venturing into the Norse underworld to rescue the soul of the one she loves. Unfortunately, not everthing is fantastic here, since there's a bunch of nonsense filler in the game.
Nov 01, 2018
Listener Responses: October 2018 (Indie Horror Month)
Let's hear your responses to Night in the Woods, and the other indie horror games we did in October!
Oct 25, 2018
Episode 212: Night in the Woods
Mumblecore playdates with a tinge of existential, cosmic dread. That's a succinct summation of Night in the Woods, the capstone for our indie horror month. This is a beautiful, charming game that goes to great lengths to endear you to its cast. It sensitively and deftly portrays issues of mental illness, poverty, and faith. We just wish it didn't have structural problems, because they result in the game hiding its light under a bushel. Let me hang with Germ Warfare, please!
Oct 18, 2018
Episode 211: Micro-Horror Special
As we continue Indie Horror Month, we're excited to do something a little different. There are so many great little experimental horror games that wouldn't bear a full episode, but are worth talking about. So we gathered up a bunch of micro-horror games and created a special episode about them. They are: IMSCARED Haunted Cities, vol. 1 and vol. 2 Lost Constellation My Father's Long Long Legs And that's all. Don't stick around to the end of the episode because there's nothing more. Nosiree.
Oct 11, 2018
Episode 210: Penumbra: Overture
You can run and you can hide... and not much else. That's something Frictional learned in making Penumbra: Overture, a strange predecessor to their more widely acclaimed Amnesia: The Dark Descent. You play as Phillip, a professor who follows in the footsteps of his presumed-dead father and ends up in a heap of trouble in an Arctic mine. Come hear what makes this strange indie horror game so foundational to modern horror games.
Oct 04, 2018
Listener Responses: September 2018 (Auteur Adventure Games)
Let's hear your responses to Quest for Glory II, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, and not Gabriel Knight 3!
Sep 28, 2018
Episode 209: Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned
We love the Gabriel Knight series, but Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned is the kind of game only a parent could love. It follows Knight's adventures in France as he tries to solve a kidnapping case that involves the Holy Grail and a set of vampires called "The Night Visitors". What makes Gabriel Knight 3 such a dicey proposition to play is its questionable presentation. Sierra forced Jane Jensen and her team to make the game fully 3D, which they were neither equipped to accomplish, nor comfortable doing. So it's a technical nightmare that plays very awkwardly, and it gets in its own way. The highs remain quite high, since this series uniquely captures the feeling of being a detective investigating a case. It's just... very difficult to recommend.
Sep 20, 2018
Episode 208: Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
Callahan's Place is a very special bar, where flawed people from across space and time gather to share their pain and be healed. This makes for a very strange basis for a video game, but Legend managed to pull it off. Though the puzzles aren't always great, Callahan's skates by with a lot by being laugh-out-loud hilarious and unusually humane. Seriously, this is wayyy up there.
Sep 13, 2018
Episode 207: Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire
This month's theme is "Auteur Adventure Games", and we decided to open it with a beloved game by Corey and Lori Ann Cole. Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire continues our hero's journey as he heads to the Arabian-inspired realm of Shapeir. The Coles had a specific vision for how to combine adventure games and role playing, and also had a very specific kind of light and humorous voice. Large parts of this game are a mess, but it's a very interesting specimen to look at closely.
Sep 06, 2018
Listener Responses: August 2018 (NieR and God of War)
Four episodes, two hacky slashy games, lots of thoughts. It's time to hear your responses to God of War and NieR! Also, we announce the upcoming games. September sees Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, and Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned. October is Indie horror month... There's a patron poll for the first episode, the second episode will be a special about Micro Horror games, and the final episode is about Night in the Woods.
Aug 30, 2018
Episode 206: God of War (2005)
It's inarguable that God of War is an important game, but is it still fun to play? No, not really, but it has its moments. It came late in the PS2 lifecycle and took inspiration from character action games like Devil May Cry, but it added a sense of brutality that launched a fleet of clones. The problem is, the God of War you remember didn't start wtih the first game. No, it became the setpiece-heavy boss-a-thon with God of War II. The original features far more hallways, and almost no bosses, but lays down a solid technical framework for what would come.
Aug 23, 2018
Episode 205: NieR (Part 3)
This episode concludes our coverage of NieR, as we talk about the endgame of Route A, and cover everything from Routes B, C, and D. NieR has thoroughly worn out its welcome at this point, even if there is some good stuff to be found in the tricks it plays. So come listen, and hear the specifics of our criticisms.
Aug 16, 2018
Episode 204: NieR (Part 2)
The story of NieR continues as we build out our party and explore more modes of play. The doldrums of the previous episode give way to some minor delight. The Forest of Myth shows us a text adventure with a cool conceptual hook, while the Haunted Manor is a Resident Evil pastiche. Then we have to do it all again. This episode covers NieR up through the Forest of Myth, after the time jump.
Aug 10, 2018
Episode 203: NieR (Part 1)
Take a look, it's in a book. NieR released with a resounding thud in 2010, neither selling well nor pleasing critics. But since then, it's become a cult classic for people who like experimental narrative and varied play. Nier is a father who is desperately searching for a cure for his daughter's terminal illness. Yonah has the Black Scrawl, and a prophecy about a pair of magical books might be her salvation. The problem is, the game isn't very fun to play, and while there is some really neat narrative stuff going on (with some very likeable and memorable characters), the juice might not be worth the squeeze. This first episode covers the generalities of the game, and we go up through Nier's adventure in Facade.
Aug 02, 2018
Listener Responses: July 2018 (The Sims 3, Donkey Kong '94, Pathologic)
What do you think of The Sims 3, Donkey Kong '94, and Pathologic? Tune in to find out! Includes bonus responses for Earth Defense Force 4.1.
Jul 26, 2018
Episode 202: Pathologic
It's the best, most fascinating game you should never play. Pathologic is the definition of a cult classic game. Its adherents will swear by it, while everyone else bounces off. There's a good reason for that: it's one of the best-written games we've covered for the show, and every mechanic is designed to be as unfriendly as possible. For this episode, we follow the Bachelor's route. Daniil Dankovsky is a thanatologist, one who studies death. He's called to a mysterious village on the Russian steppe, which is soon struck by a violent plague that seems to be evil incarnate. Come listen, even if you don't intend to play the game. We'd like to extend a huge thanks to Matt Carney for executive producing this episode through our Patreon.
Jul 19, 2018
Episode 201: Donkey Kong '94
This is a special live episode about the best Donkey Kong game, Donkey Kong for the Game Boy. The game begins as a faithful recreation of the Donkey Kong arcade levels, but after that, the roof flies off and the walls fall away... revealing a puzzle platformer with over 100 levels. This game also expands Mario's move set in an important way. Really? Just go play it. Huge thanks to everyone who came out to see us at the Midwest Gaming Classic 2018!
Jul 12, 2018
Episode 200: The Sims 3
Do you think life is a game? The Sims, writ large, is a massive series that nobody really talks about as a game. It feels like it exists over in a separate category with MMOs and other perpetual games. But its huge success has hidden the fact that it's incredibly important, and also very very fun. We specifically picked the Sims 3 because of its quality of life improvements, but this episode touches on all of the main Sims games at least a little bit. This episode is very different from our usual releases. It's almost all generalities and mechanics, but there's lots of anecdotes and weird stories at the end. Thanks for helping us get to episode 200!
Jul 05, 2018
Listener Responses: June 2018 (Better Together)
Let's hear what you think of A Way Out, Magicka, and Earth Defense Force 4.1. There aren't very many responses this time, so we hit some belated responses and Just Funnin' as well.
Jun 28, 2018
Episode 199: Earth Defense Force 4.1
This game really bugs us. Listen in to find out why... or read this short summary. Earth Defense Force as a series gets a lot of credit for its quirkiness and cheesiness. That praise is earned, but it doesn't paper over repetitive and mediocre gameplay. The Ravagers are back again, and they've brought Giant Insects, spiders, lizards, and all kinds of nasties with them. It's up to the united Earth Defense Force to fight them off, once and for all. Over and over again. With very little difference between the missions. Forever.
Jun 22, 2018
Episode 198: Magicka
This week, Gary and Kole conjure up some mixed praise for Magicka, a student project turned indie darling. But here's the hangup: while the core idea of this game is unlike anything we've seen before, its execution falls flat at almost every turn. The writing and humor don't add much to the proceedings, and the game is still a technical mess seven years after its release. So, yeah, the mixture leans pretty heavily toward the negative. Someone make a better game out of this core idea!
Jun 14, 2018
Episode 197: A Way Out
Ain't no co-op like A Way Out co-op because A Way Out co-op is mandatory. Back in 2013, Hazelight Studios developed a charming and affecting experimental adventure game called Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Five years later, it wanted to continue exploring its pet theme of togetherness, so it created A Way Out. Following the lead of games like Heavy Rain and Until Dawn, it's a cinematic adventure game with one major gimmick: you must play it with someone else. The story is told in split-screen, and makes heavy use of prison and crime movie cliches to show how two convicts, Leo and Vincent, escape from prison and get revenge on a mutual enemy. It's an extremely funny game, but there's one problem... it's not supposed to be funny.
Jun 07, 2018
Listener Responses: May 2018
Let's hear what you think about Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Doom 2016, Bayonetta, and Arcades!
May 31, 2018
Episode 196: Arcades Revisited
We talked about arcades almost six years ago, and a lot has happened since then. So it's time to go back. For this episode, we each played three games and prepared to talk about them. Spanning several eras and genres, we wanted to learn why arcade games are different and talk about how their design differs from home games. Here are the titles we discuss: TRON. Dig Dug. Captain America and the Avengers. Spider-Man: The Video Game. Area 51. Aliens: Extermination.
May 24, 2018
Episode 195: Bayonetta
Fly me to the moon and let me play Bayonetta, a crazy over-the-top character action game that is unabashedly all about style. This is a Patreon backer requested episode, and we were super happy to visit Platinum's breakout hit. Bayonetta is a very important character to the recent history of video games, inspiring both affection and controversy. Listen in to hear us talk about her first adventure, and hit on the points where it stumbles (I'm looking at you, motorcycle and missile levels).
May 17, 2018
Episode 194: Doom (2016)
The winner of our remakes/reboots poll is all about ripping/tearing. The 2016 version of Doom, neé DOOM 4, is all about pace and rhythm. It's also all about gleefully tapping into the spirit of mayhem found in the early entries of this series, and updating it for modern play sensibilities. The result is one of the best-designed games we've played for the show.
May 11, 2018
Episode 193: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
The story is in the telling, and who cares if you stretch or fib a little bit? That's the conceit at the center of Call of Juarez: Gunslinger that raises it above its predecessors. It also raises it above its own gameplay, which is firmly in the "arcadey shooter" category. It's stylish as all hell, and it bends to fit the narration in exciting and entertaining ways. A few times during the episode, we decry that Gunslinger was pulled from digital stores. In the time between when we recorded the episode and its release, it was recently re-listed after Techland bought the publishing rights. So go grab it and see what's up!
May 03, 2018
Listener Responses: April 2018 (Bioshock 2, Minerva's Den, Ultima Underworld)
Let's see what you think of Bioshock 2, Minerva's Den, and Ultima Underworld!
Apr 26, 2018
Episode 192: Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
We can think of 0451 reasons to love this grandaddy of the modern immersive sim. We go all the way back to 1992, before Looking Glass was called Looking Glass, and see where one of our favorite genres of games began. Ultima Underworld is a shockingly friendly game for its vintage, and it's absolutely worth playing to get more perspective on games as a whole. A huge thanks to special guest Justin Gutt for backing us on Patreon and getting us to take a leap of faith to play this game.
Apr 19, 2018
Episode 191: Minerva's Den
It's another in our series about great expansions, and a precursor to even more games that we really love. Bioshock 2: Minerva's Den looks and plays quite a bit like the main game, but the details are there. You can see in the way the world is laid out and the story unfolds that this is made by the people who would go on to make Gone Home and Tacoma. We recommend that you go play it.
Apr 12, 2018
Episode 190: Bioshock 2
Daddy's home, and he's pissed. People don't regard Bioshock 2 as well as they do the original, and that's a shame. What this sequel lacks in novelty, it gains by being the most mechanically satisfying entry in this popular series. And while people don't go nuts over its story, it does some very satisfying things with the trappings of Rapture. Listen to this lengthy episode for some effusive apologia about an unfairly forgotten game.
Apr 05, 2018
Listener Responses: March 2018
Let's hear what you think about Ikaruga, Jamestown, The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone, and The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild! What a month.
Mar 29, 2018
Episode 189: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Part 2)
Our discussion of Breath of the Wild continues as we talk about the main quest of the game, and its side quests. Special thanks again to John Hurst for being a guest on this episode, and for his continued support.
Mar 22, 2018
Episode 188: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Part 1)
It reinvented the series, breathing fresh new life into a stale formula. Listen in as we talk about the mechanics and generalities of the game, because there are plenty of them. Special thanks to special guest John Hurst for his support on Patreon, and for finally getting us to play this game.
Mar 15, 2018
Episode 187: The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone
Let's make a deal. Just meet me at the crossroads. Following through on our promise to cover all of the Witcher 3 content, this episode brings the best game expansion we've ever played. A routine Witcher contract drags Geralt into the middle of a conflict between two terrible people. On one side, you've got Olgierd von Everec, a noble-turned brigand who can never die. On the other, Gaunter O'Dimm, a vastly powerful being who grants wishes at a price. Seriously, go and play this. The writing is astonishing, and it explores some ethical space that's just not seen in games.
Mar 08, 2018
Episode 186: Ikaruga / Jamestown
We said we wouldn't do any more split episodes under the new format for the show that began last year, but we didn't anticipate Ikaruga. Shoot 'em up games are an arcade mainstay that have developed an intense and passionate cult, and Ikaruga is one of the most revered entries in the genre. But it's also incredibly hostile and doesn't teach you how to play it. Faced with the possibility of coming into the episode bewildered about the shmup genre, we added Jamestown onto the docket... it's a more modern take on the bullet hell portion of the genre, and it has a much more gentle learning curve. The good part is that playing both deepened our appreciation and understanding for both games, so it's all good in the end. Huge thanks to everyone who voted in our poll!
Mar 01, 2018
Listener Responses: February 2018 (Mech Month)
Mech month was a lot of fun, and you turned out in force to share your thoughts about these games. Next month we're covering Ikaruga, Jamestown, The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone, and the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Feb 23, 2018
Episode 185: Titanfall 2
Will you learn to love a weapon? No, no you won't. However, you will love the way Titanfall 2 feels to play. The way it handles shooting and movement is something to behold. Though the story leaves a lot to be desired, the game's standout levels and breezy pace made this a perfect conclusion to Mech Month.
Feb 15, 2018
Episode 184: Armored Core: For Answer
Before Souls, FromSoft made Armored Core. And this is our first real exposure to it... and it turns out it's very good. Despite outward appearances, there's a good deal of variety in the Armored Core series, with For Answer being the fastest and most action-oriented among them. But it retains that important element of mecha customization that lets you tailor your character to the situation and your play preferences. Listen in, and see if this forgotten game is for you.
Feb 08, 2018
Episode 183: Jumping Flash!
Let's take it way back to the earliest days of 3D platforming. It's everyone's favorite failed mascot: Robbit! (Pronunciation yet to be determined). The story of Jumping Flash! is kind of sad, because it nailed so much about how to make a platformer feel good... then just kind of went away. It's an evolutionary dead end that lives as a footnote about the PlayStation, and little more. But you shouldn't ignore it.
Feb 01, 2018
Listener Responses: January 2018 (WarioWare, Child of Light, Dungeon Keeper)
We read your responses about our three games from January, and discuss the new FromSoft announcements and how they effect our plans.
Jan 25, 2018
Episode 182: Dungeon Keeper
It's good to be bad. I'm pretty sure that's the tagline from something, but I don't want to look it up. This week we take a look at Bullfrog's evil overlord simulator Dungeon Keeper. It occupies a nebulous place somewhere between an RTS and a simulation, and kind of suffers for that. But its theming is pitch perfect, and it gets tons of points for creativity. Listen in to find out more.
Jan 19, 2018
Episode 181: Child of Light
A muddled game that gets the blame, which truly is a crying shame. This week we talk about Child of Light, a recent smaller title from Ubisoft that takes RPG mechanics, slaps a very pretty coat of paint over them, and saddles them with a rhyming gimmick that sinks the story. Listen in to hear us mull over exactly how this is a confused product that can get some things right but still fall pretty far short. Special thanks to ZChocobo for executive producing this episode!
Jan 11, 2018
Episode 180: WarioWare
Nintendo went a little crazy, and we all benefitted. This live episode from the Portland Retro Gaming Expo 2017 is all about the stinky vice goblin Wario, his friends, and the bonkers games they made. We cover the entire series, hitting all of the ways it evolved to match Nintendo's wacky platforms. Then we talk about the experience of this year's convention, and share some stories from the floor. We'd like to extend a huge thanks to the people who came out to see us, Brayton and Nick for helping us at the booth, and the Retornauts for sharing our booth with us.
Jan 05, 2018
December 2017 Listener Responses
More people wrote in to talk about the Witcher 3 than any other game on WOFF! And in this episode, we get to the business of hearing the praise and damnation.
Dec 28, 2017
Episode 179: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Secondary Quests
The majority of this game is secondary quests... so it makes sense that our episode about those quests would be one of our longest yet. In this episode, we cover Contracts, Scavenger Hunts, Races, Brawling, Gwent, and all kinds of Secondary Quests. Huge thanks to Will Hughes for coming on to talk about Gwent!
Dec 21, 2017
Episode 178: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Main Quest (Part 2)
From Skellige to realms even further beyond, we recover Ciri and put an end to the Wild Hunt once and for all. The next episode will cover the many side quests in the game. You should listen in!
Dec 14, 2017
Episode 177: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Main Quest (Part 1)
Let us walk the path. This episode about the excellent Witcher 3 covers the first half of the main quest, up until the departure to Skellige.
Dec 07, 2017
Episode 176: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Basics
Welcome to the big show. And we mean big. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the largest, densest game we've covered on Watch Out for Fireballs!. In fact, there's so much going on here that we're dividing the coverage up into four episodes, with this first installment being two hours dedicated solely to the mechanics and generalities of the game. Don't worry if you've never played a Witcher game before, or read a Witcher book. The Witcher 3 is excellent and self-contained enough to warrant your serious attention. Here's the rough schedule of how we're going to break the episodes down. This might be subject to change. Basics Prologue, Velen, Novigrad Skellige, Endgame, Contracts Secondary Quests Listener Responses
Nov 30, 2017
Listener Responses: November 2017
November turned out to be a bit of a club banger, with three big, good, and otherwise important games. Let's find out what the listeners thought of Transistor, Thimbleweed Park, and ActRaiser.
Nov 23, 2017
Episode 175: ActRaiser
A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Kole and Gary talk about Actraiser, an early SNES game that mashes up two disparate gameplay modes. On one hand, you have some Castlevania-like platforming. On the other, you've got a simulation god game where you fight demons and watch your kingdom grow. How do they work together? How does everything fit? Does it hold up?
Nov 16, 2017
Episode 174: Thimbleweed Park
We're unabashed in our love of Maniac Mansion and other early LucasArts adventure games. So it shouldn't be a surprise that we jumped all over the Thimbleweed Park Kickstarter when it was announced. And we were right to do so, because Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnick, and company have made something truly great in Thimbleweed Park. It feels right at home with those older games, but has a level of complexity and care that makes it feel very modern too. It's a delight to talk about something so special.
Nov 10, 2017
Episode 173: Transistor
Gary and Kole load up Transistor and break their way through it, having a very good time in the process. Transistor is still new enough to be a little controversial. People came to it from Bastion, the previous Supergiant game, and didn't know what to make of its semi-turn-based combat and technical aesthetic. If you can reconfigure your expectations, you'll find a game that allows for an absurd degree of player expression through combat verbs. Also, it's an incredibly touching love story. Gonna be honest, this is the most we've gushed about a game in a long time. Huge thanks to Jon C. Bird for executive producing this episode!
Nov 02, 2017
Listener Responses: October 2017 (Resident Evil Month)
We found a filthy notebook full of people's thoughts on the Resident Evil games we covered. Let us peer within.
Oct 26, 2017
Episode 172: Resident Evil 7: biohazard
Resident Evil month rounds out with a very new, very good game. Something has twisted the Bakers. Ethan Winters just wants to rescue his missing wife, but he's welcomed into the family instead. Resident Evil 7 is a radical departure for the series, moving gameplay to the first person perspective. However, in a lot of ways it's a return to form. Claustrophobic and dreadful, RE7 is the reboot this series desperately needed.
Oct 19, 2017
Episode 171: Resident Evil: Code: Veronica
Undead outbreaks are a family affair in this canonical follow-up to the story of Resident Evil 2. Claire Redfield has declared war on the Umbrella Corporation, but she has also gotten in over her head. Trapped in the twisted world of Alfred Ashford, the scion of one of the founding families of Umbrella, she has to work with her brother to escape and set things right. Problem is, this is a very sloppy Resident Evil game. Listen in to find out how.
Oct 12, 2017
Episode 170: Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Resident Evil month begins with a bang, just like Nemesis does. Capcom was in a weird spot. They were developing several Resident Evil games at the same time, trying to make hay of a popular series while also preparing for the next generation of consoles. From that shuffle came what might be the most mechanically sound classic Resident Evil game. Nemesis is rich with ideas and also kind to the player, introducing a dodge mechanic and ammo crafting to make the game empowering while keeping it challenging. Guys, Nemesis is great.
Oct 05, 2017
Listener Responses: September 2017 (Bat Month)
Tune your bat radios to our bat frequency to hear your bat thoughts.
Sep 28, 2017
Episode 169: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Part 2)
Our discussion of Batman: Arkham Asylum continues (and concludes). Next week, we'll hear your responses to the games we covered during Bat Month!
Sep 21, 2017
Episode 168: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Part 1)
Bat month continues with the reinvigoration of the franchise. This episode covers generalities and the first major area. Batman had languished in mediocrity for almost two decades before Rocksteady brought it back from the brink. Arkham Asylum is remarkable not just for how influential it is, but for how well it works as a Batman simulator. Rocksteady would go on to perfect the formula with Arkham City, but their work began here... with a story about the Joker, his strong clowns, and the inmates running the asylum.
Sep 14, 2017
Episode 167: Batman: The Video Game
The title seems redundant, but it's better than saying "Batman, the NES game. The one made by SunSoft. For the first movie, kinda." This might be the hardest game we've done for the show, but we might also have lost track. This is a compact little platformer that is certainly of its era, but it's also a rare great licensed game. Borrowing elements from several other platformers, Ninja Gaiden most noticeably, SunSoft created a challenging and technical Batman game when mediocrity would have sold.
Sep 07, 2017
Listener Responses: August 2017 (Final Fantasy IV)
This is the first of our monthly listener response episodes under the new model, gathering your thoughts on the Final Fantasy IV saga. Up next in September, we have Bat Month. Which means the Batman NES game, and Batman: Arkahm Asylum. October brings us Resident Evil month, featuring Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, and Resident Evil 7.
Aug 31, 2017
Episode 166: Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (Part 2)
To the center of the moon, to the center of the series, and into the slog. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years takes a strange turn in its back half... a turn that isn't discussed very often because nobody really talks about The After Years. So, join us for the last few chapters of this wildly misguided game.
Aug 24, 2017
Episode 165: Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (Part 1)
An unloved sequel to a beloved game makes for some rough play, as the FF4 formula wears out its welcome. While Takashi Tokita was working to update Final Fantasy IV for the Nintendo DS, he felt a longing to return to the Blue Planet and revisit the story of Cecil and the gang. What resulted was a strange plan: to release a sequel to an almost 20 year old game in episodic installments on Japanese mobile phones. By the time it arrived in America, nobody quite knew what to make of it, and neither do we.
Aug 17, 2017
Episode 164: Final Fantasy IV (Part 2)
Picking up at Troia and the Tower of Zot, Gary and Kole conclude their discussion of the main game of Final Fantasy IV. The next episode will cover the first several chapters of The After Years.
Aug 10, 2017
Episode 163: Final Fantasy IV (Part 1)
It's a classic RPG that established many of the norms for a huge series. Does it hold up to modern scrutiny? This episode covers the generalities, and the events of the game up through Cecil's trial at Mt. Ordeals. Final Fantasy IV was released in America for the SNES in 1991 as "Final Fantasy II", just a short year after the first Final Fantasy reached our shores. Timed to coincide with the release of a new system, it takes advantage of some of the new technologies that were freshly available at the time. The added scope was used to create a sweeping, narrative focused game that put broadly sketched characters and melodrama to the forefront. This decision came at the expense of some of the systems complexity of previous entries, marking Square's new priorities for RPGs as vehicles for story. This first episode covers the portion of the game where Cecil, our main character, is working as a Dark Knight in the employ of Baron. Unsettled by his king's increasing militancy, Cecil abandons his kingdom after deciding he won't be a tool for further atrocities.
Aug 03, 2017
Extrasode: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty in this final extrasode.
Jul 27, 2017
Episode 162: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Part 2)
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross talk about the final portion of Metal Gear Solid 2. Or do they?
Jul 20, 2017
Episode 161: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Part 1)
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross do a postmodern postmortem on the first portion of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Metal Gear Solid 2 is a game that's been talked to death, but we try our best to bring our own perspective and approach to it. It's a sequel that Kojima never wanted to make. It's full of curveballs and "fuck you"s aimed at series fans. It has lots of ideas that are shockingly prescient. But, most of all, it's got some play issues that haven't aged super well. This episode covers up through the encounter with Fat Man on the Big Shell. Special thanks to Zachary Deane, this episode's executive producer.
Jul 13, 2017
Extrasode: Nox
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Nox.
Jul 06, 2017
Episode 160: Nox
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross chase their orbs into the world of Nox. It was marketed as EA's answer to Diablo, but it's categorically different. It introduces itself as a goofy and irreverent take on fantasy fiction, but then it plays it straight. After all of the feints, what you end up with is a profoundly strange action RPG. Big thanks to Garrett for executive producing this episode!
Jun 28, 2017
Extrasode: SSX Tricky
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to SSX Tricky.
Jun 22, 2017
Episode 159: SSX Tricky
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross flip out about SSX Tricky. This episode is our recital: to talk about to talk about how important SSX Tricky is in the pantheon of extreme sports games. For their second outing, EA Sports BIG totally nailed the combination of racing systems and trick systems, creating a game that is satisfyingly fast and technical. But lest you think this will be a 100% glowing episode, we have some very harsh words for the terrible cast of characters.
Jun 15, 2017
Extrasode: Yakuza
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Yakuza.
Jun 08, 2017
Episode 158: Yakuza
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross kick and punch their way through Yakuza. Here it is, the winner of our Open World Game Poll. Except, it's a very different kind of open world game. Yakuza picks up where Shenmue left off, but does everything a lot better... especially the story, which follows ex-enforcer Kazuma Kiryu as he tries to get to the bottom of what insidious actors are using the Yakuza for malicious gains.
Jun 01, 2017
Episode 157: Pilotwings (Live)
Live from the Midwest Gaming Classic, Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross talk about Nintendo's little-loved Pilotwings series. Afterwards, we talk about our experience at the convention.
May 25, 2017
Extrasode: Crimson Shroud
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Crimson Shroud.
May 18, 2017
Episode 156: Crimson Shroud
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross chance upon Crimson Shroud. Yasumi Matsuno is responsible for some amazing games, Final Fantasy Tactics chief among them. One of his lesser-known projects is Crimson Shroud, a JRPG released for the 3DS as a part of a collection of smaller games. While it's soaked in Matsuno's style, Crimson Shroud is truly special because it emulates the trappings of tabletop games, right down to simulating dice rolls. But does it stick the landing?
May 11, 2017
Watch Out for Fireballs! 2.0 Infinity Mk. 7
Hi there, we have some news for you about the future of Watch Out for Fireballs! and Bonfireside Chat. We think it’s pretty exciting. The short version of it is that Bonfireside Chat is ending in August, and will be replaced with more frequent episodes of Watch Out for Fireballs!. The long version can be found below. We’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about, and we want to hear what you think. So we’ve set up a survey to gather your input. And we’re giving away three (3) $20 Steam gift cards to some randomly drawn people from the respondents. Please read everything here before you complete the survey, if you could. Here’s a link to the survey: Table of Contents Bonfireside Chat is Ending How is Bonfireside Chat going to end? What’s Replacing Bonfireside Chat? Watch Out for Fireballs! is Going Weekly WOFF! Will Change Schedules in August What’s Happening to the Crystal Chronicles? What’s Happening to Other Shows on the Network? How is the Patreon Changing? Early Release is getting better. We’re changing the Slack access tier. What are some open questions? We’re holding a survey. Timeline of Changes Not all of this is happening immediately. Here’s a brief timeline so you can know what takes effect when. January: WOFF! expands beyond retro games. May: Brayton replaces Gary on Check It Out, Comrade! Late June: Changes to the Duckfeed Patreon will take effect. July 1: Early Release shifts to 1 week early instead of 1 day early. July 9: Bonfireside Chat Victory Lap season begins. August 1: Watch Out for Fireballs! schedule change takes effect. August 20: Final Bonfireside Chat airs. Bonfireside Chat is Ending It’s strange to begin an announcement about Watch Out for Fireballs! with news for a different show, but the fate of Bonfireside Chat affects everything on the network. We’ve thought about it long and hard, and we’ve decided to end Bonfireside Chat in August of 2017. Bonfireside Chat and the Dark Souls series have both been very good to us. We’ve met a ton of great people doing the show, built an audience, and made some great episodes. But the Dark Souls 3 season kind of broke us. It was the first time we had to spend so much time playing, examining, and talking about a game that we’re not crazy for. We knew the end of Bonfireside Chat would happen some day. As early as a year ago, FromSoft told us that the series was concluding. We entertained the notion of continuing the show by talking about SoulsLikes, but those are of wildly varying quality. And all of our thoughts come back to this: Dark Souls was a game that was so good that we couldn’t *not** do a show about it.* Most of the sequels were as well. But it makes no sense to bind ourself to things that merely imitate something that we love. What if From releases a new SoulsBorne game? E3 is in a few weeks, and it’s totally possible that From will announce something related to Souls. This won’t change our decision. Instead, that game will be covered on Watch Out for Fireballs! The same applies to any really good SoulsLikes. How is Bonfireside Chat going to end? We have a plan for ending Bonfireside Chat, and we’ve alluded to it before. This summer, we’re walking back through the whole series in the opposite order that we’ve covered it. Each game will get an episode + appendix pair, and we’re going to talk about each entry in the broader context of the series now that we know how it ends. So that means the order is as follows: * Bloodborne (July 2) * Dark Souls 2 (July 16) * Demon’s Souls (July 30) * Dark Souls (August 13) These episodes will have guests, and they’re already chosen from our Bonfireside Chat After Dark tier backers. They are John Hurst, Mitch Benes, Randy Walker, and Kilo Pascal. Prior to that, we’re going to cover the remaining soulslikes we’ve committed to covering. Namely, Let It Die, Nioh, and Hollow Knight. You’ll notice that this brings the entire podcast around full circle. We like how appropriate that feels. What Happened to Bonfireside Chat After Dark? We miscalculated when we added Bonfireside Chat After Dark to the Patreon. We had no idea what would happen with the series or the show when we thought that up. We’ll own that mistake, and we also want to make it right… and here’s how. Those backers who would have been guests on Bonfireside Chat After Dark will instead guest on those final revisit episodes. It feels right to get people from the community involved in the victory lap, especially if they are people who have supported us as much as those individuals have. We’ve spoken with them, and they’re cool with it. If you paid for a prompt or question on Bonfireside Chat After Dark, we will use your responses during those recap appendices. Please look for a message in your email inbox toward the beginning of June. What’s Replacing Bonfireside Chat? We’ve gotten a lot of suggestions about what to cover after Bonfireside Chat ends. People were pulling hard for games like the Witcher and Nier. We seriously kicked around the idea of starting up a show that chronologically examined the Resident Evil games. The Crystal Chronicles was on our Patreon milestone goals for a very long time (more on that later). Starting up a new show about a new series of games makes less sense than making big changes to Watch Out for Fireballs!, which has always been our flagship show. What happens if we broaden that umbrella, and make changes to the schedule to allow us to cover more games in greater depth? What’s it look like if the Witcher 3 becomes a game we could cover on WOFF!? You end up with something we’ve codenamed WOFF! 2.0. But we likely won’t use that name in the future. Watch Out for Fireballs! is Going Weekly WOFF becoming more frequent is a huge deal for us. And here’s what it looks like. The first 3 weeks of each month (or the first 4, if it’s a 5 week month) will feature full episodes about short or medium length games, or episodes about portions of larger games (like we’ve done with large games in the past). The last episode of each month will be a collective listener response episode about all of the games we covered that month. This kind of grouping will also let us do themed batches of episodes each month. Hypothetically, this is what “Weird NES Sequels” month would look like. Week 1: Super Mario Bros. 2 Week 2: Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest Week 3: Zelda II: The Adventures of Link Week 4: Feedback episode about all three of the previous games. Other ideas for themed groups of episodes would be a long look at the Wolfenstein series, going from Wolfenstein 3D to the 2008 reboot to Wolfenstein: The New Order. We could also do a Resident Evil cleanup month, with Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Code: Veronica, and Resident Evil 6. We aren’t promising that either of those will happen right away, but they’re examples. If this sounds familiar, it’s similar to how we’ve treated JRPGs and CRPGs in the past. The Neverwinter Nights II series of episodes was a test model for this, and we think those episodes turned out very well. Looking at the math, our old “tick tock” model of release would usually result in 26 episodes per year. Our multi-part episodes have made us come out with slightly more than that (for example, we released 30 episodes in 2016). Under the new model, you would get 40 mainline episodes per year. Here are a few things that will happen as a result of this: * We will cover more “small” games. The Pac Man 2 episode in the Duck Bundle was a test for how this would work. * Split episodes will go away (namely, single episodes that feature two games, like the Starflight/Toe Jam & Earl episode, or the Brawler special). * We’ll be a little more liberal about splitting meaty games into multiple parts (example: Metal Gear Solid 2 is on our docket, and we’re splitting that 12 hour game in 2 because we will have a lot to say). * We’ll have to be more comfortable with some episodes being “only” 60-90 minutes, as we cover some shorter stuff. Two things that won’t go away are poll episodes and executive produced episodes. Those will be folded into the model, and remain unchanged. That means one of those will happen each quarter (or four times per year). Another consequence is that listener response episodes will be much meatier since they’ll cover 3 or 4 games, and there will be a more consistent deadline… namely, responses about all of the games should come in by the 15th of each month. WOFF! Will Change Schedules in August The changes to the WOFF! schedule will begin August 3, with Final Fantasy IV month. That’s right, we’ll be covering all of Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. For reference, here’s the schedule up through that point: Crimson Shroud (May 11) Pilotwings ( (May 25) Yakuza (June 1) SSX Tricky ( (June 15) NOX(June 29) Metal Gear Solid 2, Part 1 ( (July 13) Metal Gear Solid 2, Part 2 (July 20) Final Fantasy IV, Part 1 ( (August 3) Final Fantasy IV, Part 2 (August 10) The After Years, Part 1 ( (August 17) The After Years, Part 2 (August 24) Final Fantasy IV Responses (August 31) What’s Happening to the Crystal Chronicles? You may wonder what us covering FF4 on WOFF! means for the Final Fantasy show we had planned. It means that show won’t happen. We pegged that show at a very high milestone amount because it would take a tremendous amount of work. But as Bonfireside Chat wound down, we realized we probably wouldn’t hit that total any time soon. And redesigning WOFF! presented an opportunity to cover the Final Fantasy games that were meaningful to us without taking on an unreasonable workload that would harm the rest of the shows. In general, we want to be very circumspect about adding new shows, so we’re going to make some changes to the Patreon campaign to reflect that. Expect more details later. Of note: Heartbeat City will not go away. Gary will record and release a pilot for that soon. What’s Happening to Other Shows on the Network? This change shouldn’t have a huge impact on other shows, but there are some things we’d like to announce/clarify so people know what’s up. Gary is taking a leave of absence from Check It Out, Comrade!, the network’s indie game show. Brayton Cameron from Teenage Dirtbags will be replacing him. Gary made this decision to free up more time for working on his book, and playing things for the new iteration of WOFF! We’re really excited to have Brayton take over his seat. Brayton is hilarious, and has different taste in games than Gary does, so you will see them cover different stuff. Gary will still come back for specific games (think Thimbleweed Park or Torment: Tides of Numenera). File Under Water has an end date. Right now, it’s slated to end in late October. A show about R.E.M. was always going to be limited, because they only put out a limited number of albums. We currently have no plans to cover another band. Radio Free Mid-World is a limited show as well. Once we run out of Dark Tower books, related works by King, and related media (the movies, TV show, whatever else comes) we will end that show. Don’t worry, this won’t happen until 2019 at the earliest. How is the Patreon Changing? We’re making some adjustments to the way our Patreon works, in order to reflect these changes to our show lineup. Chiefly (and logically), we’re getting rid of the $75 BSC Afterdark tier, and removing the “get a prompt on BSC Afterdark” from the $10 tier. We are also removing The Crystal Chronicles as a milestone goal. Both of these will be replaced by something else in due time… Look a little further down to see what we’re thinking of (and to see how you can help). We’re also making two other big changes. Early Release is getting better. Effective around the end of June and the beginning of July, episodes on the Early Release feed will come out a week early, instead of a day early. We are also raising the price of this perk to $5 per month. This is more valuable, we think, and it brings us closer in line with other Patreon campaigns that offer a similar perk. We’re going to make a great deal of these changes in the middle of June, and the “1 Week Early” change will happen for any episode that would have normally come out in July. The only show this doesn’t apply to right now is The Level, which will come out 1-2 days early because of how that show is produced. We’re changing the Slack access tier. Effective sometime in June, Slack invites will only go to backers at $5 and up. If you already have access to the Slack team, or access the Slack team before the change is made, then you will be grandfathered in. We will not revoke Slack access from people. We’re doing this for a couple of reasons. The community is getting very big, and it’s requiring more work and more touch than it did in the past. This will help control that. Additionally, it will reduce the number of drive-bys that happen, as $5 is a bigger investment. Something to note is that the $1 tier will not go away. Those small donation amounts are huge for us. You will still get access to incidental content, and access to Watch Out for Fireballs! polls. What are some open questions? Everything laid out before this paragraph is a decision we’ve already made. We feel like they are good decisions, and we wouldn’t shake things up so much if we didn’t feel so secure in how things are going. But each big decision is accompanied by multiple smaller decisions. And that’s why we’re running this survey… to gather useful information from you, and to hear your thoughts and ideas about how the network can get better at giving you things you want. Here are some questions that have gone unanswered, and we want your help. What’s a good replacement for the $75 tier? That’s a lot of money to give, and we want to make it awesome. Would you want to guest on an episode? Dictate a piece of media for a Try This type show? Dictate the subject of some video content like Let’s Plays? What kind of new milestones goals would you like to see? Should we do another live show each year? Should we hold a virtual DuckCon? Include more guest episodes on WOFF!? Do one-off milestones interest you? Not every milestone needs to be an ongoing commitment. Maybe we could do some actual-play tabletop one-offs. Maybe we could set a goal for Gary and Kole to stream some co-op games. And there are other questions we haven’t even thought to ask. We want to know what would make you a patron if you aren’t one already. We want to know what stuff we do that you care about, and we also want to know what you don’t care about. We’d also like to hear how you feel about the changes to our biggest shows. We’ve already made our decision about ending Bonfireside Chat, but it’s worth understanding how this will impact your listenership and patronage. Something we don’t want to hear is “Stick to Games” or “Stop mentioning politics.” We also don’t want to hear “Be more positive.” Save yourself the time and hassle if that’s what you were going to say. We’re holding a survey. After this novella of a post, we want to know what you think. Use the button below to fill out the survey. It will be a huge help to us. Completing the survey and selecting “Yes, I would like to enter the contest” will enter you for a chance to win a $20 Steam gift card (we are giving out three of them). We are especially interested in your responses if you’re not already a Patron of on Patreon. A link to the survey: Thank you so much for reading this, if you’ve gotten this far. Your support has meant the world to us, and we are incredibly excited about what these changes mean for the network. Thanks for being along for the ride.
May 04, 2017
Extrasode: Super Princess Peach
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Super Princess Peach, along with a smattering of listener questions and prompts.
Apr 27, 2017
Episode 155: Super Princess Peach
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross feel their way through Super Princess Peach. After two decades of being rescued, everyone's favorite princess finally gets a star turn as the hero. Super Princess Peach is an incredibly easy game with some (ahem) problematic elements. But the saccharine trappings hide a mechanically complex game that tries and fails to be a followup to Yoshi's Island.
Apr 20, 2017
Extrasode: Dead Space
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Dead Space.
Apr 13, 2017
Episode 154: Dead Space
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross stomp through Dead Space. Resident Evil 4 changed games forever. Especially horror games. Pretty soon it wasn't acceptable for a scary game to sacrifice mechanical sophistication for atmosphere. While the world waited for Resident Evil 5, which would carry the idea further, EA came through with Dead Space. The world and story are science fiction cliches, but the aiming based gameplay loop is incredibly satisfying. But does it hold together enough to make re-entry? Listen to find out.
Apr 06, 2017
Extrasode: Tomb Raider
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Tomb Raider.
Mar 30, 2017
Episode 153: Tomb Raider
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross rise to talk about Tomb Raider (1996). For as important as Tomb Raider and Lara Croft are to the history of games, it's surprising it's taken us this long to cover her debut. So we extend our thanks to Allison Baker for getting us off of our asses to talk about this bizarre early evolution in 3D platforming and cinematic play. It's a game that's very much of its era. It's way too long, it becomes downright hateful in its last act, and not everything is there, but over all the game lives up to its reputation.
Mar 22, 2017
Extrasode: Nintendo Power
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your fond memories of Nintendo Power and other video game magazines.
Mar 16, 2017
Episode 152: Nintendo Power
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross thumb through the history of Nintendo Power, and visit some other game magazines along the way. Every year we choose a special topic for a special episode, and we've wanted to cover this year's topic for a while: Nintendo Power. While this magazine was specific to America, most major regions had their own version of an official Nintendo sponsored publication. This episode takes a look at the history of the magazine, talks about the usual contents, and reflects on video game magazines as a whole. Thanks to everyone who voted in the poll that determined the topic of this episode. We really appreciate it!
Mar 09, 2017
Extrasode: Shadow of Destiny
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Shadow of Destiny / Shadow of Memories.
Mar 02, 2017
Episode 151: Shadow of Destiny
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross will always have been talking about Shadow of Destiny (or also Shadow of Memories). If you're sensitive to us being negative about games, this might be one to skip. Eike Kusch is fated to die, but a strange interloper has given him the power to manipulate time itself so he can find out who killed him (and why). From that great premise springs a truly awkward adventure game, filled with early PS2 charm, but completely baffling. On the plus side, it serves as a very good example of how not to do time travel puzzles.
Feb 23, 2017
Extrasode: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
Feb 09, 2017
Episode 150: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross delve through Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for our 150th episode spectacular! We're creatures of habit and pattern, not creatures of the night. Whenever we hit one of these big anniversary episodes, we want to blow the doors off and really play something noteworthy. Symphony of the Night is one of the most beloved games of all time. It took elements of Super Metroid, added RPG elements, and created a genre that still dominates certain parts of the industry. But looking back, we try to decide if it all hangs together as well as we remember. Thanks so much for listening and joining us for 150 episodes (and more).
Feb 09, 2017
Extrasode: Dishonored 2
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Dishonored 2.
Jan 23, 2017
Episode 149: Dishonored 2
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross take a vacation to the present to talk about Dishonored 2. The original Dishonored is an amazing game with a pedigree that made it perfect fodder for the show. Following in the footsteps of Deus Ex and Thief, this series was always going to be something we'd swoon over. That said, would Arkane be able to top themselves the second time around? Listen to find out... but the short answer is this: Extra refinements to the play somewhat paper over some story, world, and thematic shortfalls that still end up being bummers in their own right.
Jan 23, 2017
Appendix: Mega Man 2 and 3
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3.
Jan 19, 2017
Episode 148: Mega Man 2 and 3
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross flash through Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 2. We're home again. Watch Out for Fireballs! began with an episode about Mega Man X, and now it's time to talk about Capcom's platforming superstar at the height of his powers. After a shaky debut in Mega Man 1, Mega Man 2 came out of the gate as one of the best games of all time, with memorable stages, music, and bosses. Mega Man 3 iterated on that formula and maybe reached a little too far, but it's still some top tier NES stuff.
Jan 12, 2017
Extrasode: Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Neverwinter Nights 2 and Mask of the Betrayer. LINKS OF NOTE: Waypoint article on D and D in prisons ( Constantine XI (
Jan 05, 2017
Episode 147: Mask of the Betrayer (Part 2)
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross absorb the second portion of Mask of the Betrayer. The story continues AND the plot thickens, as we learn more about the nature of our curse and take the battle to the gods themselves. Seriously, just play this game. LINKS OF NOTE: Monster in my Podcast on Dao ( House of a Thousand Corpses ( Sebastian's Friends ( This jerk ( I am a Cuck ( Evil LP. Mandatory reading (
Dec 29, 2016
Episode 146: Mask of the Betrayer (Part 1)
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross devour the first half of Mask of the Betrayer, the first expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights 2. Guess what... it's the Fireworks Factory! We laid out our case about Neverwinter Nights 2, painting it as a mechanically troubled game that occasionally rose above standard Forgotten Realms fare for some inspired story beats. However, the Mask of the Betrayer expansion pack is all killer, no filler. This episode covers up until midway through Chapter 2. LINKS OF NOTE: Torment Episodes ( Baba Yaga ( Wayne the Skeleton King ( Lobos Jr ( Okami (
Dec 22, 2016
Episode 145: Neverwinter Nights 2 (Part 2)
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross crumble over the back half of Neverwinter Nights 2. This episode picks up where the last left off, covering all of Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. This period of the game includes some of the best stuff... the Trial, the Crossroad Keep mechanic, and Ammon Jerro's lair. Be sure to join us next week when we begin our discussion of the Mask of the Betrayer expansion.
Dec 15, 2016
Episode 144: Neverwinter Nights 2 (Part 1)
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross roll on through the first portion of Neverwinter Nights 2. Let's face it, this is an awkward, awkward game. They heydey of Dungeons and Dragons CRPGs didn't involve 3D graphics or voice acting, and Neverwinter Nights 2 leans on those when it ought not to. But that doesn't mean there's nothing to recommend it. Beyond the infuriating camera, you will find a really fun adaptation of the D&D 3.5 ruleset, and some very inventive story beats. This episode covers the entirety of Chapter 1. The next episode will cover Chapters 2 and 3.
Dec 08, 2016
Extrasode: Pokémon Yellow
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross recount their stories of the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and read some of your thoughts about Pokémon Yellow.
Dec 01, 2016
Episode 143: Pokemon Yellow
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross capture the hearts of PRGE by talking about Pokémon Yellow. This is our Portland Retro Gaming Expo live show for 2016, where we talk about Pokémon Yellow, and Gen1 Pokémon in general. The game is an archaic drag mechanically, but it has the fundamental core that Nintendo would polish to a shine over the years. And boy-oh-boy, that personality! Thanks so much to everyone who came out and joined us at PRGE this year. We look forward to seeing you again.
Nov 24, 2016
Extrasode: Bastion
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Bastion.
Nov 17, 2016
Episode 142: Bastion
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross talk over Bastion's narration. It's a newer game, but ancient when it comes to the fast-moving indie scene. The Kid is on a mission to reassemble the old world after a Calamity, but at what price? Bastion takes the action RPG formula and leans heavy on player choice and mechanical intricacy. Mixed with its poignant story and pitch perfect presentation, Bastion truly earns its spot on this show.
Nov 10, 2016
Extrasode: Resident Evil 4
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Resident Evil 4.
Nov 03, 2016
Episode 141: Resident Evil 4
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross burst with joy over Resident Evil 4. We held off on playing this game for too long. There's so much going on here. So much great design, so many memorable moments, that our discussion of Resident Evil 4 is our longest single episode to date. Leon Kennedy is back, this time on a mission to rescue the President's daughter Ashley from a mysterious cult in rural Spain. His mission marks a turning point for the Resident Evil series, for Survival Horror, and for all action games that followed it.
Oct 27, 2016
Extrasode: Punch-Out!!
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross talk about the experience of talking about Punch-Out!! at the Austin Classic Game Fest 2016.
Oct 20, 2016 State of the Union
This is a special announcement about a few important policy things, and a few big changes to our Patreon campaign. It's all good stuff. Please direct your attention to the public post on Patreon for the full text of the announcement (, and pose all of your questions as comments on that post. Thanks!
Oct 14, 2016
Episode 140: Punch Out!!
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross talk about Punch-Out!!... again. You'll hear the sordid story about what happened in the episode, but suffice to say that we ended up having to re-record our live episode about Punch-Out!! We love this game so much that we didn't want our only episode about it to be compromised by a live band playing loudly in the background. So, listen as we extoll the virtues of this sports game that's not really a sports game. If you want to hear the full live recording, it's available for all of our patrons on Patreon (see the links below).
Oct 13, 2016
139e: Super Mario Galaxy
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Super Mario Galaxy.
Oct 06, 2016
Episode 139: 139: Super Mario Galaxy
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross cram-jam Super Mario Galaxy. 3D Mario is a tricky thing. Though Mario 64 forged a path, it arrived at a different feeling and flow than we were used to in our 2D Mario games. Over a couple of iterations, it feels like Nintendo finally arrived at the apotheosis of SM64-style play... and then they promptly abandoned it. So, let's take a close look at this weirdo entry in gaming's most established series.
Sep 29, 2016
Extrasode: Starflight / Toe Jam & Earl
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Starflight and Toe Jam & Earl. LINKS OF NOTE: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday ( This is indistinguishable from actual dialogue in Juno (
Sep 22, 2016
Episode 138: Starflight / Toe Jam & Earl
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross blast off and crash down with Starflight and Toe Jam & Earl. This is the "Genesis Games that Want to be PC Games" special, as we look at two bizarre console titles from the early 90s. Starflight is the prototypical galaxy exploration simulator, with a wide world and tons of character. Meanwhile, Toe Jam & Earl is an early take on a rogue-lite whose style doesn't quite make up for its mechanical shortcomings. LINKS OF NOTE: Starflight Manual ( Earth Virginnys ( TMNT Tiger Game ( Jeeps ( Kole definitely wrote this ( AS on I wanna be the guy ( TJ+E Manual ( Guy's Grocery Games ( Metta ( Orgone ( Kickstarter (
Sep 15, 2016
Extrasode: Team Fortress 2
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Team Fortress 2. LINKS OF NOTE: Alis Landale ( Errant Signal on Overwatch/TF2 ( Don't Give up Skeleton (
Sep 08, 2016
Episode 137: Team Fortress 2
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross gang up to talk about Team Fortress 2. For our fifth anniversary show, we wanted to do something special. We wanted to play a classic game with our community, and it turns out choosing Team Fortress 2 was a great move. Team Fortress goes way back, but Valve has taken the formula and engineered and iterated it to the point where it's a joy to play. Huge thanks to everyone who played with us! LINKS OF NOTE: Battlefield Commander Mode ( Norman Rockwell ( Who's that Pokemon!? ( 4d3d3d3 ( Dam Scene from Vacation ( Expiration Date ( TF2 PSAs ( Muramasa (
Sep 01, 2016
Extrasode: Phantasy Star IV
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium. LINKS OF NOTE: Phantasy Star Retronauts ( The Mimic (
Aug 25, 2016
Episode 136: Phantasy Star IV (Part 2)
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross launch through the latter portion of Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium. It's now time to leave Motavia and head to Dezolis, because the Algo solar system is in peril. Can we fix the systems, retrieve the data, and conquer the Darkness? LINKS OF NOTE: This Guy Fucks ( Amazing Rick and Morty court thing ( There is very little on these enigmatic monsters (
Aug 18, 2016
Episode 135: Phantasy Star IV (Part 1)
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross soar through Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium. We're guilty of focusing on Final Fantasy games when we talk about JRPGs because that's mostly what we grew up with. However, concurrently, there was a whole big, important series living and thriving on Sega systems, doing amazing forward looking things before it died an unceremonious death. Phantasy Star IV is considered to be the best, most friendly iteration of the main series, and you should join us to hear about how prescient it was in terms of design. LINKS OF NOTE: Vancian Magic (…ancian-magic/) Sparkly the Crow ( Man-Thing ( Wild Arms Credits (
Aug 11, 2016
Extrasode: Elite Beat Agents / Rhythm Heaven
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Elite Beat Agents and Rhythm Heaven.
Aug 04, 2016
Episode 134: Elite Beat Agents / Rhythm Heaven
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross groove to Elite Beat Agents and Rhythm Heaven. This summer, we decided to let our listeners decide which rhythm games we should play. The resounding winners were to non-peripheral Nintendo DS rhythm games that couldn't be any more different. Elite Beat Agents is soaking in charm, but we find a lot of problems with it mechanically and musically. Meanwhile, Rhythm Heaven is drenched in charm, and manages to be in the upper echelon of games we've played for the show. LINKS OF NOTE: Teenage Dirtbags Lit ( Mega64 EBA ( Nick Fury Enemies ( Joey Chestnut ( Diarrhea Planet ( EBA all 4 difficulties at once (…L0008802F0A1600FD) Don Hertzfeldt (
Jul 28, 2016
Extrasode: Deus Ex: Invisible War
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Deus Ex: Invisible War. LINKS OF NOTE: Asshole Physics ( Sunglasses at Night ( Moraff's World ( Servile Wars (
Jul 22, 2016
Episode 133: Deus Ex: Invisible War
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross link up to talk about Deus Ex: Invisible War. How do you follow up a masterpiece? Almost never with another masterpiece. Invisible War has some real problems, but taken on its own it's a perfectly competent shooter with some really great ideas and a fantastic reveal. Don't expect a game that redefines any genres, and you'll be fine. LINKS OF NOTE: DX Bartender ( Post Mortem ( Grey Goo ( Bender Grey Goo ( Stroke 9 ( Kidneythieves ( Duck Squeeze (
Jul 14, 2016
Extrasode: Day of the Tentacle
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross read your responses to Day of the Tentacle.
Jul 07, 2016
Episode 132: Day of the Tentacle
Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross experiment with Day of the Tentacle. It's a time-hopping, interactive Looney Toon that's also LucasArts at the height of their powers... We revisit the world of Maniac Mansion to solve adventure game puzzles with the added twist of causality logic, visiting Colonial America and the distant, tentacle-run future. LINKS OF NOTE: Bernoulli Principle ( Bob's Oral History of DOTT (…-the-oral-history) Time Gentlemen Please/Ben There, Dan That ( Retro Game Audio Podcast about Maniac Mansion, With Gary (Retrogameaudio – Maniac-mansion)
Jun 30, 2016
Extrasode: Fallout: New Vegas (and Mods)