Masters of Unlocking Episode 31

The Pinkertons vs. The First Amendment – Episode 031

The wild west’s Pinkertons are still alive and are setting their sights on Take-Two, Rockstar, and Red Dead Redemption 2.  But could the suit have implications for the entire concept of “Fair Use” and have wide-spread impact on YouTube and game streaming?

Epic Set List

  • Discussion of what video games we’ve been playing recently & give our spoiler-free thoughts:
    • God of War
    • Donut County
    • Ripto’s Rage
    • L.A. Noire
    • Florence
    • Among the Sleep

Video Game Pickups

  • Limited Run Games
  • Super Rare Games
  • Intellivision
  • Fang Controller Tower

What’s News

  • Business & Law: Bungie leaves another partner at the alter.  Parting ways with Activision Blizzard prompts a shareholder lawsuit.
  • Trademark vs. First Amendment: The real-life Pinkertons sue over Red Dead Redemption 2, but could the suit have implications for YouTubers & streamers?
  • Psychology: The ESA is in talks with WHO about “Gaming Disorder.”
  • Copyright: Another fan-developed remake of Konami’s infamous P.T.
  • Hacks: Nintendo’s online subscription to add SNES games?
  • Sales: Could the Playstation 4 break the Wii’s console sales record?

Main Event

  • We look ahead to 2019 and discuss our most anticipated games, The games we are most intrigued by, and then reveal our 2019 gaming goals.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly From 2018 – Episode 030

We take a look back at the year that was 2018 in Video Games – critical hits, critical fumbles, guilty pleasures, and more.

Epic Set List

  • Discussion of what video games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
    • God of War
    • Red Dead Redemption 2
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
    • Spyro
    • Jack Box Party Pack

Holiday Recap

  • What did we do over our 2018 holiday break?

Video Game Pickups

  • A holiday season full of gaming & game ephemera pickups
  • VGCollectaholic completes a major North American set

What’s News

  • Law: Police respond to a noise complaint & end up playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Sony: Our players demand single-player experiences
  • Psychology: Do video game players respond to crisis differently?
  • Collecting: NES Classic & SNES Classic production ends
  • Industry: The growth of The Game Awards

Main Event

  • Recaping the best and worst games from 2018
  • 2018 games we wish we had played
  • Things that intrigued us in 2018

Fallout 76, Red Dead Redemption 2, & Are Loot Boxes Gambling? – Episode 029

After a lengthy hiatus following the close of Season One, Masters of Unlocking returns!  In this episode, we explore potential legal problems for Fallout 76, initial thoughts on Red Dead Redemption 2, ask the question “Are Loot Boxes gambling?” and more…

Show Notes

  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
      • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
      • Fallout 76
      • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Black Friday & Cyber Monday Pickups:
    • We discuss our recent gaming-related pickups and scores from the 2018 Thanksgiving shopping holiday
  • What’s News:
    • Fallout 76’s bug-riddled release prompts one class action specialist law firm to investigate “deceptive trade practices”
    • Valve discontinues Steam Link hardware
    • Game guide publisher Prima Games will shut down in Spring 2019
    • Sony will skip E3 2019 – are they prepping for a 2019 Playstation 5 announcement?
    • Resident Evil movie reboot plans to return the cinematic adaptation to it’s horror roots
    • Eiji Aonuma teases a Zelda: Skyward Sword release on Nintendo Switch
    • Microsoft rumored to be releasing an Xbox One S console without a disc drive
  • Main Event:
    • We dive into an impromptu discussion of whether Loot Boxes are gambling, prompted by the United States’ Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announcing that they will investigate the practice of Loot Boxes

A Video Game History of Chicago, Recorded LIVE! – Episode 026

LIVE from Chicago, it’s Masters of Unlocking’s first anniversary episode!  This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at the first-annual Cartridge Club Con (C3) in Chicago, Illinois.  We delve into Chicago’s rich history in gaming, including developers based here, games set here, and historic gaming events that occurred here.

Show Notes

  • Epic Set List:
    • Discussion of what games we’ve been playing recently & our spoiler-free thoughts
      • Octopath Traveler (Nintendo Switch)
      • Steamworld Dig 2 (Nintendo Switch)
      • Sunset Riders (SNES)
      • Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES)
      • Looney Tunes Basketball (SNES)
  • Pickups:
    • We discuss our recent gaming-related pickups and scores – what did we pickup on our trip to C3?
  • Main Event:
    • Caleb & Scott celebrate their trip to the first annual Cartridge Club Con by diving into video gaming’s history in Chicago.
      • Games Set in Chicago
        • Sports, mobsters, airports, light gun shooters, train simulators, arcade games, action games, and more…
      • CES in Chicago (1972 – 1994)
      • Game Developers in Chicago
        • Midway arcade games and the legacy the developer left on the Chicago dev scene

Microtransactions, Sex Disorder, & Gaming Corpses – Episode 025

We dive into a slew of gaming stories – Microtransactions, Google’s rumored console, gaming corpses, Nathan Fillion, ESPN & Overwatch , controller mods, Neo-Nazi scum, sex disorder, Fallout: New California, and more!  Plus we preview the Cartridge Club’s upcoming Chicago meetup!

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 Profound Waste of Time (magazine)
  • Pickups:
    • We discuss our recent gaming-related pickups and scores
  • What’s News:
    • Why should we care about a Google video game console?
    • Family of slain teen has viewing with him propped up playing video games, surrounded by his favorite things
    • Even more indie games are coming to Nintendo Switch
    • Nathan Fillion finally plays Nathan Drake… is it any good?
    • ESPN/Disney ink exclusive broadcast deal with Blizzard for Overwatch League
    • Neo-Nazis using online games as recruiting playgrounds… in case the internet didn’t already suck enough
    • First video games, now Sex… is there anything fun the WHO thinks is good for you?
      • We learn which member of the iconic 1990’s trio TLC “Hey Past Caleb…” had the hots for
    • Score 1 for Anti Microtransactions – Middle-earth: Shadow of War is now microtransaction-free!
    • 8bitdo releases kits to mod your classic OEM Nintendo, SNES, and Genesis controllers with wireless bluetooth
    • Fallout: New California fan mod receives thumbs up from Bethesda
    • Guerrilla Games is growing
  • Main Event:
    • Caleb & Scott are headed to Chicago for a Cartridge Club meetup (July 27 – 29)!  If you’re in the Chicago area, we’d love to say hi!  Drop us a line.

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.

And the BEST Games of 2017 Are… – Episode 009

We compare the Power Pak and Everdrive N8 Nintendo flash carts, discuss a slew of microtransaction-related news, and then dive into our thoughts on the 2017 Game Awards!

Show Notes

  • FREE GAME Contest Announcement
    • Win a free game, details here:

Xbox’s 16th Birthday & Black Friday Prepping – Episode 008

We wish the Microsoft Xbox a happy 16th birthday and prepare you for Black Friday 2018 with a discussion of video game deals and strategic tips for scoring your epic Black Friday loot.

Show Notes

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Nintendo Switch’s First Holiday Season – Episode 007

Caleb J. Ross & VGCollectaholic explore what’s in store for the Nintendo Switch in its inaugural holiday season as more physical games begin to arrive.

Show Notes


Replacement Longbox Cases & The Ship of Theseus – Episode 005

The SNES Classic launched this weekend – maybe you’ve heard about that.  Bethesda unveils their new Creation Club.  And out hosts ponder what the prospect of Limited Run Games’ producing replacement longbox cases for Sega Saturn, Sega CD, and Sony Playstation games means – is a replacement case different than a replacement cart label?

Show Notes

  • Gaming Archaeology – Caleb and Scott recap their recent game pickups, Scott dives into collecting for Sega Master System and picks up some hilarious Japanese games… Caleb wonders if this is one of them:
  • Epic Set List – Discussion of what we’ve been playing recently, including Everything, Last Guardian, Destiny 2, and Ys VIII
  • What’s News:
    • Nintendo hides the original NES Golf inside the Switch – Flog
    • Fallout 4’s Creator Club goes live – is this good or bad for modders?
    • Limited Run Games exploring replacement Sega CD/Sega Saturn/Playstation 1 longbox jewel cases – Caleb & Scott dive into the “Ship of Theseus” problem and ask: what does this mean for collectors?
    • Sony, Microsoft, & Nintendo mandate all physical games must have ESRB ratings
    • Nintendo implores people to not buy SNES Classics from scalpers
    • Atari Box details emerge and it looks like a project without a purpose