Could Toys R Us Return From the Grave? – Episode 024

By now everyone knows that Toys R Us is officially dead… but could it be rising from the dead with zombie-like ferocity?  We discuss the juicy rumors of TRU’s potential return, the WHO’s creation of Gaming Disorder, a new Nielsen report on the gaming industry, and more!

Show Notes

  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
      • Pillars of Eternity
      • Horizon Zero Dawn
      • A Way Out
  • Pickups:
    • We discuss our recent gaming-related pickups and scores
  • What’s News:
    • Just as Toys ‘R Us was closing the last of its stores this week, news broke that a comeback could be in the works!
    • World Health Organization (WHO) officially classifies video game addiction as a disease – “Gaming Disorder”
    • Sony unveils Playstation 4’s first wave of Greatest Hits releases – now called “Playstation Hits”
    • Showtime officially greenlights Halo series
    • Nintendo’s new CEO officially steps into office and has some interesting remarks that hint at the future of Nintendo
    • The company behind Pokemon Go (Nantic) opens its AR platform to other developers
    • We FINALLY get an update from Tetsuya Nomura on the Final Fantasy VII remake
  • Main Event:
    • Nielsen released their annual Games 360 Report exploring trends and behavior in video gaming.  We recap and discuss the report.  Download the full report and read along with us here!

Drinking & Knowing Things: E3 2018 Thoughts – Episode 023

E3 2018 is officially in the books!  We give a run down of the presentations from Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Bethesda, CD Projekt Red, and Ubisoft and discuss our thoughts.

E3 Show Notes

  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
      • Pillars of Eternity
      • Bioshock
      • Axiom Verge
  • Recent Pickups
  • Epic E3 Main Event:
    • E3 2018 is officially in the books!  We give a run down of the presentations from Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Bethesda, CD Projekt Red, and Ubisoft and discuss our thoughts.  Since this marathon episode runs nearly 3 hours, we provide timestamps below:
      • Bethesda (timestamp: 0:21:20)
        • Fallout 76, Rage 2, Doom Eternal, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, Skyrim: Very Special Edition, Starfield, Elder Scrolls VI (Hammerfall??)
      • Ubisoft (0:57:35)
        • Beyond Good & Evil 2, The Division 2, Skull & Bones, Transference, Starlink: Battle for Atlus, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
      • Nintendo (1:16:46)
        • Pokemon, Super Mario Party, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, My Friend Pedro
      • Sony (1:24:29)
        • Ghost of Tsushima, Last of Us 2, Death Stranding, Spider-Man, Deracine, Control, Resident Evil 2, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
      • CD Projekt Red (2:07:06)
        • Cyberpunk 2077
      • Microsoft (2:10:41)
        • New Studio Acquisitions
        • Halo Infinite, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 4, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course, Battletoads, Gears of War 5
    • Plus, we discuss some of our various “old man sports injuries”

E3 2018 is Here… What’s on YOUR Wishlist? – Episode 022

We get ready for next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) by taking a look at what has been announced/leaked thus far and what things we’d love to see. We also talk Best Buy, eSports, Let’s Plays, Fallout mods, and more!

Show Notes

  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
      • Bioshock
      • Axiom Verge
  • Pickups:
    • Scott closes in on completing the OG Xbox set (42 to go)
  • What’s News:
    • Best Buy ends Gamers Club Unlocked program
    • New study says 1-in-10 people globally will be fans of eSports or Let’s Plays by 2022
    • Overwatch League plans to add 6 new teams with an international focus for Season Two
    • The gigantic “Fallout: New California” mod nearing completion – will Bethesda allow it?
  • Main Event:
    • E3 is next week, we discuss developer thoughts on leaks, explore pre-show announcements (like Fallout 76), and what items are on our wishlist for this year’s show.

Can the All-Digital Future of Gaming Have a Used Market? – Episode 021

If gaming has an all-digital future, then digital re-selling will have to be a thing.  Robot Cache, a new startup from the founder of Interplay and InXile launches with an eye on tackling re-selling of digital content.

Show Notes

  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
      • God of War
      • Night in the Woods
      • A Way Out
  • Pickups:
    • Caleb contemplates God of War
  • Collector Tips: Tracking & Managing Your Collection
    • Scott discusses the video game collecting database app and software suite Collectorz
  • What’s News:
    • Sony sets an end date to physical Vita cart production in the West
    • Nintendo Switch Online runs $20 annually, includes cloud saves, online gaming
    • Nintendo releasing a $20 play & charge stand for the Switch
    • Nintendo is being sued by Gamevice over the Switch’s design
    • Electronic Arts has record year & CFO calls SAAS model (aka digital sales & DLC) “the bedrock of our business”
    • Microsoft to launch a disability-friendly Xbox controller
  • Main Event:
    • If gaming has an all-digital future, then digital re-selling will have to be a thing.  Robot Cache, a new startup from the founder of Interplay and InXile launches with an eye on tackling re-selling of digital content.

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.