Matt’s been a bit of a rascal this week. He’s been staying up late, and consuming spiritual opium. Tisk tisk, Matt. Tisk tisk.
While our podcast kicks off on a bit of an aside on Video Games in China, the meaty center of this week’s audiophile unfriendly episode of The Vagabond Gamecast zones in on the Sega Genesis classic: Castlevania: Bloodlines (aka バンパイアキラー for those of you who may be dripping with curiosity over what they called this title in Japan).
Having both just completed our very first playthroughs of the game this week, we do a bit of a bookclub-like discussion and compare notes on what we loved (Michiru Yamane) and didn’t love with this game. Things we wish had been different (insert the VRC6 sound chip here), mostly revolved around the differences between the Japanese and North American versions of the game. Steve found it to be largely a grind due to the finite number of continues in North America, while Matt found it to be underwhelming due to the lowered difficulty of the levels (since when are the Japanese releases easier?).
Take a gander yourself at some of those version differences, while you spend some time with us and Castlevania Bloodlines.
OK, hear me out here… I get that the ongoing title of this series has been “Sorted By Console”… but let’s face it… computers are pretty great too. In last week’s episode we waxed poetic about what it was like in the latter part of the millennium once we had access to the internet… but you know… even before the internet, computers were pretty great. And so in today’s episode, we’re going to visit the joys of that period in computational recreation – the period where we grew accustomed to DOS and mice that would inevitably clog up with hair. Some of our all-time favourites can be found deeper inside this written entry. Read More >
Cranky and speeding towards the big 4-0 as we step along through the 2020s, I think most people our age that were hardcore geeks in their teens really miss those early days of the internet in some way or another. If they don’t, they missed out! Something about them were just different. Like, different in a way that’s undeniably inferior, but with a simple charm. Communities were more scattered and smaller, the world was a more anonymous place, and the marvel of this insane new technology entered our lives at the perfect budding curious age.
The early internet was a great outlet for our creative nerdy energies and in some ways shaped who we are today. Listen in to hear some nerdy stories from times long past (…last century dude!)
You might end up thanking your maker that you now live in an era where you can play AR games on a smartphone with your friends in different countries in real time instead of begging your parents not to make phone calls during your IRC gaming meetups.
Man, those Nintendo 64 controllers were just the worst. Is there actually a following for those? Are there people out there that don’t think so? What percentage of them would you say haven’t actually broken and are still even usable, dear listeners? And what was with the wonky Dreamcast controller and its oddball shape and cord that connected from the bottom?
We could also spend an eternity talking about all the quirky oddball third party controllers out there.
So what are the best controllers? Is there an ultimate controller that will suit everyone for all needs? (Spoiler: not a chance)
One interesting thing about being an avid game fan over a multi-decade period is that you definitely get to experience a lot of controllers, even a lot of different designs for mainstream controllers. This week, the two vagabonds discuss the evolution of video game controllers and what we think are the best designs across the last four decades of gaming history. Have at you.
Hello, our beloved listeners! It’s great getting the old podcasts up onto YouTube! One thing that we’ve always noticed, is that humans talk too slow. Whenever we listen to content, we tend to listen at 1.5x speed, so it’s nice from our perspective being able to easily do that. (You’ve always been able to on our website, but it’s not really a feature in iTunes.)
We’ve even been experimenting with speeding our content up by about 8% this season to help keep the pace a little better without speeding it up to the point where it would be difficult for someone who isn’t English as a first language.
Hopefully you’re appreciating it!
In this episode, we spend a little bit of time discussing our preferences for finishing games and not unlocking additional content. How do you feel when you play through games? Do you enjoy playing a 40 hour game, beating it, and then having more that unlocks? Or are you in the camp where you enjoy seeing the credits and then moving on? Or… hey, do you even play to the credits? Some people don’t!
We wrap up discussing gaming at around the 13:00 mark, and get into talking about chapters 4 and 5 of Jason Schreier‘s “Press Reset“.
Back in May 2021, one Jason Schreier released unto the world his words in the form of a book called “Press Reset” which sought to tell the behind-the-scenes story of several games from the 2010’s. Matt and Steve, having both read Jason’s prior book “Blood, Sweat, and Pixels“, were keen to dig into this new book. As luck would have it, it came up on both of their radars at the same time… so come join them in this week’s Vagabond Gamecast as the two discuss their thoughts after having read the first three chapters.
Some side topics you may want to dive into as we discuss may include:
- * 00:30 Rebecca Black’s Friday
- * 10:00 Life of Pi’s VFX Protests
- * 10:30 La La Land
- * 14:22 Activision Blizzard walkout
- * 20:15 Sprixelsoft Studio Limited
- * 20:30 Full Indie Meetup in Vancouver
- * 26:00 Masters of Doom
- * 28:00 The End of Disney Infinity
- * 29:20 Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney
- * 30:50 Scrooge’s Money Bin
- * 32:35 Pixar’s IPO
- * 38:40 Klei Entertainment
- * 49:20 Cyberpunk 2077 crunched for months
- * 49:38 The infamous “EA Spouse”
- * 51:00 Ratchet and Clank devs praised the lack of crunch
- * 52:45 Downtown Special Kunio-kun’s Historical Drama
Matt and Steve have come to the disappointing realization that they are mere game enthusiasts in a world where collectors now have millions of dollars at their disposal.
In this episode, we take a brief moment to bask in the glory of the musical choice for this year’s Olympic games. Never thought we’d live to see the day where Yasunori Mitsuda’s genius was appreciated by all the sports watchers around the world, but I’m not going to complain now that we’re finally in a good timeline! If Steve’s predictions are correct, Frog’s Theme will do more for Olympians than Tinder did.
But the majority of the episode focuses in on the recent auction of Mario 64 and other collection related nonsense. Steve used to collect 1994 Fleer Ultra Spider-Man cards, and has even caught all the Pokémon… while Matt used to collect Panini Hockey stickers and letters from his cereal box.
As a point of interest: The Vagabond Gamecast is now on YouTube!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll ever be Mario 64 level collectors.
PS: The header image is finally a reuse! It originally appeared as our header for episode 0.09! Enjoy a second glance at some of Matt’s games.
Hey everyone, are you all down on your “Canada knowledge”? Try to follow along because this time around, our friendly duo reaches back into the past to discuss our humble small-town Canadian origins and how we’ve moved on from them.
We take a bit of a less-game focused approach this time to re-visit what it is like being oft-travelling (and oft-not) nerdy gaming dads in this crazy world. Both hailing from the relatively sparsely populated east coast of Canada, we touch on the adjustments and attitude changes we’ve experienced living in a variety of different places, and focus particularly on the things we’ve left behind by giving Nova Scotia a long farewell.
You can expect some discussion and lamentation about the realities of adulting and trying to make a living with our chosen professions. Does Matt know anything about zoning or city planning? (spoiler: no..? maybe? He’s played this though). Is Steve going to buy a house and chill hard? (Stranger things have happened! We’ve both played Final Fantasy 8 more than once).
It’s probably safe to say we’re not alone in our ways, so tune in and bemoan modern realties with us!
What’re these nerdy dudes up to this week?
Well, we’re stepping away from talking gameplay and software stuff this week to focus on gaming hardware this time around. Do you upgrade your systems to the “Pro” version? Is it worth it? Do you hold out, knowing that a pro version is inevitable? Is it good for consumers or just a nuisance for those of us that end up owning inferior versions of hardware, effectively being penalized for being early adopters?
The recent announcement of an OLED Switch (that is otherwise unchanged from the existing model) got us thinking console hardware upgrades. Thus, this week we decided to go over our long experience as gamers and evaluate how we’ve done as far as buying “the right version” of different consoles over our time.
Expect lots of digressions in the latter half this time as we spend some focus time on things we’ve come to really dislike about modern consoles in general, some of the things we _do_ like about modern consoles, and some other topics like what it’s like to develop for modern consoles.