Who Had a Better 2017, Sony or Nintendo? – Episode 020

Sony & Nintendo recently released their 2017 fiscal year earnings reports – spoiler: they both did pretty damned well!  We dive into the results and ask what’s next?

Show Notes

  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
      • Okami HD
  • Pickups:
    • Scott buys ~900 OG Xbox games and a bunch of sealed Lynx games
    • Caleb buys Nintendo Labo and gives his thoughts
  • What’s News:
    • Fortnite Scholarships: coming to a university near you
    • Atari VCS (formerly Atari Box) pre-orders announced… why you shouldn’t care
    • Capcom & iam8bit partner for Mega Man NES/SNES repros
    • Game collector finds drugs inside NES carts
    • Loot Boxes deemed illegal gambling in Belgium
    • Valve acquires Firewatch developer Camp Santo
    • The Loss Levels – a game about shock, grief, and powerlessness
  • Main Event:
    • Nintendo and Sony’s Playstation division both post fiscal year profits of $1.6 billion.  We break down the numbers and explore what’s on the horizon for the two gaming behemoths.

Snowed-In at Midwest Gaming Classic 2018 – Episode 019

Last weekend, Milwaukee Wisconsin played host to the annual Midwest Gaming Classic… and the worst April Blizzard in history.  We discuss the convention, it’s panels, personalities, vendors, and more.

Show Notes

  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
      • Okami HD
      • Subsurface Circular
  • Collecting Tools of the Trade
    • VGCollectaholic gives his tips and tools for Marker removal
  • What’s News:
    • Larian Studio’s CRPG Divinity II: Original Sin heads to consoles
    • Sony Playstation 5 rumors run rampant, what do we think?
    • The closing of Toys R Us prompts a return of KayBee Toys?
    • Dishonored “King of Kong” Billy Mitchell promises proof that he didn’t cheat
  • Main Event:
    • VGCollectaholic went back to his home state of Wisconsin for the Midwest Gaming Classic – his first ever video game con.  We discuss the trip, the panels, the personalities, the vendor floor, the snow, and more.
      • David Crane (Pitfall)
      • Garry Kitchen (Keystone Kapers)
      • Brian Collin (Rampage)
      • Jeffrey Lee (Q*Bert)
      • John St. John (Duke Nukem)
      • Ben Heck
      • Ken Horowitz (Sega-16.com)
      • … and more!

Exploring the World Video Game Hall of Fame – Episode 018

With the World Video Game Hall of Fame set to induct its 2018 class, we take a look at the mark each of  the current Hall of Fame members made on the industry.  Then, we examine the 2018 nominees and reveal our Hall of Fame Ballots.

Show Notes

  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
      • What Remains of Edith Finch
      • The Stanley Parable
      • Okami HD
  • Main Event:
    • The Strong National Museum of Play’s World Video Game Hall of Fame gets set to induct its 2018 class.  We explore the HOF’s current 16-game set of inductees and then turn our attention to the 2018 nominations… and ask who should get the call to the Hall?

A Conversation With Giant Sparrow’s Ian Dallas – Episode 017

We sit down for a conversation with Giant Sparrow’s Ian Dallas – creative director of the 2017 hit What Remains of Edith Finch and 2014’s The Unfinished Swan. This episode of Masters of Unlocking follows a bit of a different structure than our normal episodes – we kick things off with our interview with Ian and, afterwards, Caleb & Scott dive into an in-depth discussion of our thoughts about the interview and the game itself.

WARNING – the interview and following discussion contain SPOILERS about the game. Read More

Are Video Games Better Without Stories? – Episode 016

Author & professor Ian Bogost theorized that video games, as a medium, are poor conduits for storytelling and that games are better without stories. Do Caleb & Scott agree?

Show Notes

  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
  • What’s News:
    • ESRB unveils its new “In-Game Purchases” label – is it a half-measure?
    • Playstation Plus dropping PS3 and Vita from monthly free video game giveaway
    • Judge bans teenager from playing “violent video games”

What Do Gamers Think About Gaming in 2018? – Episode 015

Caleb & Scott dive into a new report by social site Qutee about what video gamers think about gaming in 2018.  They examine the results of the report and ask whether it actually tells us anything scientific about gamers or the game industry.

Show Notes

  • Gaming Archaeology:
    • Caleb and VGCollectaholic recap their recent game pickups
  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
  • What’s News:
    • Google rumored to be creating a new game console?
    • Hawaii introduces new Loot Crate legistlation
    • Did Nintendo download a ROM and sell it to us?  If so, is it legal?
    • Assassin’s Creed: Origins’ new “Discovery Tour” mode goes live
    • Using IFTTT to find free video game deals online
    • Valve pulls a developer from Steam for reviewing its own games
  • Main Event:
    • Social site Qutee releases a “study” on what video gamers think about gaming in 2018… we discuss the findings and our thoughts.

Which Game Publisher SHOULD Microsoft Acquire? – Episode 014

The rumor mill is running wild about Microsoft buying EA, Valve, or PUBG.  We look at why those don’t make sense and propose three new contenders for who we think House Xbox SHOULD acquire.

Show Notes

  • Gaming Archaeology:
    • Caleb and VGCollectaholic recap their recent game pickups
  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
  • What’s News:
    • Toys R Us closing 20% of its stores – we reminisce about TRU and Kay*Bee Toys
    • I spent 453 hours in Fallout 4 and all I got was this stinking inner peace
    • A truly unique piece of Zelda: Breath of the Wild art
    • Mario Kart coming to a smartphone near you
    • Red Dead Redemption 2 delayed
    • Nintendo Switch’s online service finally gets a date
    • Father of Playstation stepping down as Sony’s CEO
  • Main Event:
    • Rumors abound about a potential looming video game publisher acquisition by Microsoft.  We look at the rumored names – EA, Valve, and PUBG Corp – and then ask who SHOULD Microsoft acquire?  Turns out… it’s not one of those three.

Overwatch League & Twitch; YouTube Demonetization – Episode 013

No shortage of news this week as we discuss the Overwatch League debut, CES video game announcements, Nintendo unveiling cardboard Legos, and a business look at the YouTube demonetization drama.

Show Notes

  • Gaming Archaeology:
    • Caleb and VGCollectaholic recap their recent game pickups
  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
  • What’s News:
    • Twitch paid Blizzard $90M for the rights to the Overwatch League; is that an insane price?
    • You probably love video games… but can you LOOOOVE video games?
    • Switch console sales in Japan have gone to Ludicrous Speed
    • Nintendo Labo… perhaps you’ve heard of it?
    • Controllers Galore!  We discuss some awesome game controller announcements from CES
  • Main Event:
    • We discuss YouTube’s recent controversial decision to demonetize small channels – do the perspectives of a content creator and a video industry insider clash?

Video Gaming’s Rich Legacy at CES – Episode 012

This week the global electronics industry descends on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES).  These days, the show is dominated by televisions, the Internet of Things, and 5G smart toasters, but it wasn’t always so… in this episode of Masters of Unlocking, we take a look back at the rich history of video gaming at CES.

Show Notes

  • Gaming Archaeology:
    • Caleb and VGCollectaholic recap their recent game pickups
    • VGCollectaholic adds a new complete game set to his collection
  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
  • 2018 Gaming Goals
    • We discuss our gaming-related goals for 2018
  • What’s News:
    • Flog Gets Sacked
    • How Wolfenstein II’s Hero Draws on his Jewish Heritage for Strength
    • Platinum Games get Delisted from Online Marketplaces
    • Microsoft Officially Kills Kinect Adapter
    • World Health Organization (WHO) to Recognize “Gaming Disorder” as a Mental Health Condition in 2018
    • Mad Catz – Back from the Dead
  • Main Event:
    • We look back on the history of the Consumer Electronics Show and the many gaming introductions it brought us

Happy 30th Birthday Final Fantasy – Episode 011

It’s that time of year – Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, and Final Fantasy’s birthday.  Want to feel old?  The Final Fantasy franchise turns 30 years old this month. We discuss some of our memories from the landmark franchise.

Show Notes

  • Gaming Archaeology:
    • Caleb and VGCollectaholic recap their recent game pickups, including Soedesco indy games and Playstation VR rarities.
  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
      • Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for Nintendo Switch
      • Geometry Wars Evolved
      • Playstation VR fun with friends
  • Main Event:
    • The Final Fantasy franchise turns 30 years old this month.  We discuss what the franchise meant to our own personal histories with gaming.