Hey Friends! We are back again because Bel's life has calmed down a little bit, or at least enough to be able to reasonably make our normal recording slot. Tonight we have a whole stack of things to talk about and not enough show to fit it into. So first up we talk about R-Type Final 2 which has been bouncing for a few shows and how it is very true to the PS2 original game. From there Grace talks about her recent experience finishing Subnautica and starting the Below Zero sequel. From there we talk a bit about E3 2021 so far and most specifically further information coming out about Elden Ring. This is another Dark Souls game that is not called Dark Souls. Bel also talks a bit about how weird it is that UbiSoft is working on an Avatar game... aka the big blue people and not the great sorta-anime series. Ash talks about his experience with Chicory and we talk a bit about what it is like to survive Snowpiercer the City Sim in Frostpunk.

Topics Discussed

  • R-Type Final 2
  • Subnautica and Below Zero
  • E3 2021
    • Wholesome Games Direct
    • UbiSoft Forward
    • Devolver Digital Forwarder
    • Gearbox Showcase
    • Elden Ring
    • Avatar Open World Game
  • Chicory A Colorful Tale
  • Frostpunk
Direct download: aggrochat_episode347.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:28am EDT

Tonight we have a second show in a row, which given the state of Bel right now is pretty miraculous.  We are down a Kodra for assorted reasons but we have one of our shows where we have only the thinnest of topics and make a show out of them.  Bel talks about experiencing how polarizing Army of the Dead is apparently as we discuss the expectations of genre films.  From there we talk about Diablo games on the phone and more Mass Effect discussion.  We clear the deck of the topics we have had for a while as we go through the limits of accessibility, scaling content and how rough catch up in games can be at time.

Topics Discussed

  • Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead
  • Phone Diablo Games
    • Raziel
    • Anima
    • Foam Diablo?
  • Mass Effect 2
    • Hover Tank Bad
  • The Limits of Accessibility
  • Scaling Group Content
  • Catch Up Mechanics
Direct download: aggrochat_episode346.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 11:48am EDT

Tonight we prove that we totally do exist and you get to listen to a very tired Bel.  Bel gives a slight explanation of why we did not record the last two weeks and why nothing is certain in the coming weeks either.  We talk a bit about how we are in this weird new era of “Must See TV” which is a phrase that only us “olds” will know but Disney is absolutely creating destination television again.  From there we talk about the Mass Effect Legendary re-release and how Bel is coming to love Jennifer Hale’s Shepard.  We talk a bit about the news coming out for FFXIV Endwalker and how Dark Knights are no longer the TRUE edgelords.  Finally we talk a bit about PSO2 New Genesis Beta.

Topics Discussed

  • New Era of Must See TV
  • Mass Effect Legendary Edition
  • Demon’s Soul Remake
  • FFXIV Stuffs
    • Bring on the Edgiest Lords
  • PSO2 New Genesis Beta
Direct download: aggrochat_episode345.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:13am EDT

Hey Folks!  Tonight we are back with what ended up being a pretty topic heavy show.  Pretty sure Grace is recovering this week after the stress of last week and having to be first in the host announcement order.  Genshin Impact has added player housing and Ammo talks about the “Serenitea Pot” which is confusing as hell to listen to if you have no clue what is being said.  From there Kodra and Thalen talk about their experiences with little ones and Pokemon Snap.  Bel talks about Returnal a game that is a mishmash of Hades, Nier, Metroidvania and a little bit of Dark Souls thrown in for good measure.  From there we talk about Star Trek Discovery and a broader discussion about various Trek shows.  Finally Kodra shares some of his experiences pugging content in Elder Scrolls Online.

Topics Discussed:

  • Ash is a Furry
  • Housing in Genshin Impact
  • Pokemon Snap
  • Returnal on PS5
  • Star Trek Discovery
  • Pugging in Elder Scrolls Online
Direct download: aggrochat_episode344.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 11:09am EDT

Hey friends, we are down a few of our normal crew but pushing forward with the regularly scheduled nonsense.  We briefly revisit Outriders and talk about the expeditions and how generally bummed we are that the theme is so bleak because the gameplay is really good.  Outriders lead Tam to start playing Mass Effect Andromeda and maybe just maybe he will be able to talk about the story at some point since Bel has been waiting for this moment for years.  Bungie disappoints Destiny players by rolling out a shallow money grab instead of a transmog system and Bel talks about this.  Thalen talks about how Humble Bundle is also maybe awful now and IGN decided it wasn’t about charity anymore.  Kodra talks about the wild Strixhaven limited environment and how it has been reintroducing elements that have been missing from magic for a decade.  Finally we talk about virtual tabletops and more specifically Talespire but the larger question of what a virtual tabletop environment needs to have.

Topics Discussed:

  • Outriders Revisited
  • Tam and Kodra finally play Mass Effect Andromeda
  • Bungie ruins Transmog
  • Humble Bundle maybe awful now
  • Strixhaven’s Wild Limited Environment
  • Talespire Virtual Tabletop
    • Making a better Virtual Tabletop
    • Rogue-likes for Tabletop Adventures
Direct download: aggrochat_episode343.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:42am EDT

Tonight we have a show that is pretty much dominated by a discussion about Outriders.  Tam and Bel both attempt to avoid any outright spoilers but I feel like I still need to issue a warning.  This game has some deeply disturbing themes and we talk about these.  While we attempt to do so as gingerly as possible, I feel like I still need to provide a content warning to our listeners.  From there we talk about Stellaris and the third release of the game and how apparently it changes everything.  We also talk about Paradox and the history of long tailed support for games.

Topics Discussed

  • Outriders
    • Bleak Story
    • Endgame
    • Innovative Design
  • Stellaris
    • Third Edition
    • Reinventing the Game
    • Paradox Long Support
Direct download: aggrochat_episode342.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:53am EDT

Tonight we start off with a brief reprise of last week's Diablo 3 Season 23 topic.  Because of the changes to followers this is pretty much the easiest season yet to complete in full.  We talk briefly about the Diablo 2 technical alpha going on and how it is mostly just D2 but prettier.  Grace talks about her experiences with Cozy Grove which is effectively Animal Crossing but Ghost Bears.  Tam and Thalen talk about their experiences with Super Adventure Box in Guild Was 2.  Bel talks a bit about Games Preservation and more specifically the release of a demo copy of the long rumored Castlevania Resurrection.  Finally we go down a topic path that has been sitting on our list for awhile and talk about directed gameplay versus guided gameplay.

Topics Discussed

  • Easiest Diablo 3 Season Ever
    • Overpowered Followers
    • Diablo 2 Technical Alpha
  • Cozy Grove
    • Animal Crossing but Ghost Bears
  • Super Adventure Box
    • A Platformer Kodra Doesn’t Love
  • Games Preservation
    • Castlevania Resurrection
    • Nintendo PlayStation
    • Missing Content from different industries
  • Freeform versus Guided Gameplay
    • Bel Wants out of the Car
    • Directed Gameplay in Sandboxes
Direct download: aggrochat_episode341.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:50am EDT

Tonight once again a discussion happened off air and we sorta reprise this a bit at the beginning of the show as we talk streaming services.  From there we talk about Dorf Romantik and how it doesn’t include any Dwarves at all but is still awesome.  From there we talk about Deep Rock Galactic which we are pretty sure is a Dwarf game.  Kodra and Bel talk about Magic the Gathering Arena on the Phone with the recent launch of the iOS version. Tam talks about his experiences with the Outriders launch.  Bel and Grace talk about the launch of Diablo 3 Season 23 and the joy of emanate with follower equipment.  Finally we wrap with some discussion about Warhammer Fantasy and the High Elves army.

Topics Discussed:

  • Streaming Services
  • Dorf Romantik
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Magic the Gathering Arena
    • Iphone Launch
    • Android Experience
  • Outriders
    • Rough Launch
    • Good Game
  • Diablo 3 Season 23
    • Fully Equippable Followers
  • Warhammer Fantasy
    • High Elves
Direct download: aggrochat_episode340.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:04am EDT

Hey Folks!  We missed last week because Bel was knocked a little bit down after his second Covid-19 Vaccination, but all is well and we are back this week.  We end up running quite a little bit over on this show.  We start talking about the unrealistic expectations of gamers and the nonsensical $10,000 MMO Kickstarter.  We talk about what the Disney Plus Marvel One Shot series are doing and how we have never quite seen this sort of thing before.  We talk relatively spoiler free about Falcon and Winter Soldier, and then say goodbye to Duck Tales.  From there we talk about Elder Scrolls Online and the semi-spontaneous return to the game and all of the content we have been playing.

Topics Discussed:

  • The $10,000 MMO
    • DreamWorld
    • Discussion about unrealistic expectations in gaming
  • Disney Plus Marvel Shows
    • Television version of a “Event Book”
    • Falcon and the Winter Soldier
    • Expectations for Star Wars Oneshots
  • Goodbye Duck Tales
  • Elder Scrolls
    • Returning to the Game
    • Jesters Festival
    • Extreme Amount of Content
    • Oddities of Guild Traders
    • Dark Anchor Leveling Nonsense
Direct download: aggrochat_episode339.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:04am EDT

Tonight we recorded a relatively short show since we knew Sunday we would be losing an hour of time as we “spring forward”.  Tonight we have a handful of topics that have been floating around our list for a while.  Firstly we talk about folks being shocked that Roblox is apparently valued at 38 billion dollars during the initial public offering.  We talk about the concept of invisible games, or the games that media and gamers just aren’t talking about but are massive.  From there we talk about the importance of judgement free difficulty settings.  Tam talks a bit about exploring No Man’s Sky in Virtual Reality and how the game has changed over time.  Finally as we wrap up we talk about just how phenomenal WandaVision was and how all of you should go out and watch it.

 

Topics Discussed:

  • Games that Games Media Don’t Talk About
    • Why Roblox is worth 38 billion dollars
    • Dungeon Fighter Online
    • Mobile Games
  • Games Need Difficulty Settings
    • Challenges playing with Kids
    • Judgement Free Difficulty Settings
    • Accessibility Needs
  • No Man’s Sky in VR
    • Valheim in Space?
  • Watch WandaVision
    • No spoilers just talking about it being good
Direct download: aggrochat_episode338.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21am EDT

Tonight we have a bit of an odd show at the end of a painfully long week.  We talk about Outriders some more and how odd it is that they are patching the demo and being completely transparent about it.  Since more folks have played it there are some fresh impressions to go along with that. This breaks out into a broader discussion of live service games and the looter shooter genre.  From here we sorta make a trip down into comfort gaming and revisiting old familiar stories as a way of regulating mood.  Tam and Kodra talk about how they are wired a little differently and their version of this is playing some sort of game where they can enter a flow state and find peace and calm in the challenge.

Topics Discussed

  • Outriders Patching the Demo
    • More thoughts about the game
    • Concerns about the setting
  • Broad Discussion about Live Service Games
    • What makes success
    • Are regular story drops achievable?
  • Comfort Gaming
    • Revisiting a story in a time of need
    • Tam and Kodra wired differently
      • Flow state games
    • Using media to regulate moods
Direct download: aggrochat_episode337.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 11:01am EDT

Tonight we start off with one of those discussions that almost happened before we started recording.  Tam has reached the point where he was ready to tangle with the fourth boss in Valheim, which disturbingly spawns right above where most of us have made our home.  Tam tells the tale of this battle and the heavy losses that were incurred.  From there we talk about Haven which is a co-op JRP style game featuring the relationships and interactions of an established couple.  Finally we wrap things up with some discussion of the Outriders demo and how Bel is excited about it and Ash is tentatively excited as well due to is similarities to Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer.

Topics Discussed

  • More Fun in Valheim
    • Tam vs Moder vs Kodra vs Sol
  • Haven
    • Charming game with realistic coupling
  • Outriders Demo
    • Cover Mechanics are a Lie
    • Fun Aggressive Gameplay
    • Unintentionally Racist Character Creator
    • Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Comparisons 
Direct download: aggrochat_episode336.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:46am EDT

Tonight we start off some discussion about the unseasonable weather that has caused a few of us to experience negative 15 fahrenheit days.  From there we discuss BlizzConline and how we went into it with extremely lowered expectations.  We discuss the things that were announced namely Diablo 4 new class and Burning Crusade Classic.  From there we venture forth into a discussion about Valheim a game that Bel has played for awhile but failed to recruit other players into until Tam and Kodra did this thing.  The entire AggroChat crew seems to have reached a critical mass and is exploring this norse land of mystery.  Finally we briefly talk about WandaVision and how weird the show must be if you don’t at least have a summary understanding of the characters.

Topics Discussed

  • Thawing Out from Hell Freezing Over
  • BlizzConline
    • Anduin is the Arthas?
    • Diablo 4 Rogue
    • Diablo 2 Remastered
    • Burning Crusade Classic
    • Lost Vikings Returns
    • Diablo Immortal
      • Mobile Game Woes
  • Valheim
    • Survival Done Better
    • Low Fidelity but Gorgeous
    • Building a City
    • Adventures and Shenanigans
    • Bel Ruins Everything
  • WandaVision
    • Zero Spoilers - What is this like if you don’t already know the characters?
Direct download: aggrochat_episode335.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:47am EDT

We assure you that we are in fact not a cat…  but maybe some of us are cats.  Tonight we start the show off with a discussion that probably should have happened last week but completely missed the list.  Final Fantasy XIV announced its next expansion and in Endwalker we are going to the Moon.  We talk about this.  This sorta leads its way into a discussion about Guild Wars 2 and drop in drop out grouping.  We also talk a bit about how Google seems to slowly be killing Stadia but shuttering the studio that was supposed to be making first party games.  Last we talk about Eli and hitting his first 12 sads out of 10 RPG ending….  which is fitting given Kodra’s propensity for finding those games.

Topics Discussed

  • FFXIV Endwalker
    • Sage healers
    • Possibly a Scythe melee class
    • Issues attaching to game
  • Guild Wars 2
    • Drop in Drop Out Group Play
  • The Death of Stadia
    • Google kills first party studio
    • Leaning into selling service to Game Studios
  • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
    • Eli’s first 12 sads out of 10 ending
    • Harrowing tale of Cookie and Bookworm
Direct download: aggrochat_episode334.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 11:36am EDT

Tonight we are down an Ashgar but start off the show with some discussion about Bel’s adventures in Hardcore Minecraft.  Grace also had never played Minecraft prior to this week and she shares her initial thoughts and just how much cultural knowledge about the game had seeped in from other sources.  A topic that didn’t happen last week but we talk about how Gabe Newell and Elon Musk want to put computers in our brains.  Tam shares his experiences with that Death based Puzzle game Hitman 3.  Kodra talks about his son and Let’s Go Pikachu and this leads to some discussion about Pokemon Snap.  Finally we have a lightning round of quick topics including that the Dark Angels are good, a preface for next week's discussion about Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker, Diablo 4 not releasing in 2021 and Doctor Snuggles a Nickelodeon show we deleted from our memory banks.

Topics Discussed

  • Hardcore Minecraft
    • Life After Death
    • Grace plays Minecraft for First Time
    • Horrific Machines
  • Gabe Newell and Elon Musk want Computers in our Heads
    • Addiction to the cutting edge
    • The cost of technology adoption
  • Hitman 3
    • A puzzle but someone dies
  • Let’s Go Pikachu
    • Pokemon Snap
  • Quick Topics
    • Dark Angels Surprisingly Good
    • Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker
    • No Diablo 4 in 2021
    • Doctor Snuggles
Direct download: aggrochat_episode333.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:34am EDT

This evening's show is a bit of an odd one, but we are living in very interesting times within other interesting times.  We start off with some discussion about choosing a game controller with a good D-Pad and how most just use 4 independent microswitches these days.  This leads into a discussion about Celeste and Kodra attempting B-Sides.  From there we talk about Crying Suns which effectively feels like a more mature version of FTL.  Then we deep dive into why Games are extremely important and what happens when “Players” start applying the same system breaking logic to the real world.  What we witnessed with the GameStop stock is precisely what gamers do best, evaluating a system, findings its weaknesses, and then exploiting the hell out of them for fun and profit.  This leads to one of the stranger conversations we have had but one that is nonetheless interesting.

Topics Discussed

  • Controllers with good D-Pads
    • Missing Retail for Testing Controllers
  • Celeste 3rd Anniversary
    • B-Sides
    • Classic 2
  • Crying Suns
    • FTL 2.0ish
  • Why Games are Important
    • GameStop Stock
    • Applying Game Breaking Principles to Real Life
    • Trolling the Stock Market
  • Changing Demands and Goals
    • The Fall of industries like Diamonds
    • The Rise of Electric Cars
Direct download: aggrochat_episode332.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 11:02am EDT

Tonight we talk about a few things that have been on the list for awhile along with some new fresh topics.  First off Kodra talks to us about Nerts and the world of competitive solitaire.  From there Bel talks about how Dragon Age Inquisition has won him over and how he thinks that it might be the best Dragon Age game so far.  Ash talks about Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and how it also might be the best Warriors game to date.  Thalen shares with us Nick Knacks on the PopArena YouTube Channel and its exploration of classic Nickelodeon television.  We also debate what we consider our Golden Age of Nick.  We dust off a topic that has been on the list for awhile where we talk about whether or not it is the time for World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV to go Free to Play.  This leads into a general discussion of MMO mechanics over the years and lends its way to some talk about Guild Wars 2.

Topics Discussed

  • Nerts - Competitive Solitaire
  • Dragon Age Inquisition
    • Maybe the best Dragon Age
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
    • Maybe the best Warriors Game
  • Nickelodeon Nostalgia
    • Nick Knacks on PopArena Channel
    • What was the Golden Age
  • Should WoW and FFXIV Go Free to Play
    • Benefits of Free to Play
    • MMO Game Design Discussion
  • Guild Wars 2 Discussion
Direct download: aggrochat_episode331.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:56am EDT

Tonight we have a bunch of toppings that have been hanging around on the list for awhile.  We talk a bit about the announcement that Riot is making an MMORPG and our general thoughts about that.  Bel talks about the need for Attract Screens in game and this leads into a discussion about Tutorialization in games.  From there we venture forth into how exactly you teach a non-gamer how to play games and if games are too complicated right now.  Bel talks a bit about how much he misses F-Zero and why Mario Kart actually won the battle of the racing game that Nintendo cares about.  From there we talk about the vast array of experiments Nintendo is doing right now surrounding Mario.  Bel talks about revisiting Jedi Fallen Order and we wrap things up with a discussion about struggling to find a good tabletop cyberpunk game.

Topics Discussed

  • Riot is Making an MMO
  • Game Attract Screens
  • Teaching Game Mechanics
  • Gaming for Non Gamers
  • Pining for F-Zero
  • Why Mario Kart Won
  • Mario Experimentation
    • Mario Legos
    • Mario Kart Live
    • Super Nintendo World
  • Revisiting Jedi Fallen Order
    • Mouse and Keyboard
  • Finding a Cyberpunk Tabletop Game
    • Genesys
    • Shadowrun
    • Cyberpunk
    • Storyteller games
Direct download: aggrochat_episode330.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:54am EDT

Tonight we continue our tradition of recording the Games of the Year show.  Each year we pick three games that were the most significant for us during the previous calendar year.  Additionally we throw in some honorable mentions, and then a list gets compiled of those choices and roughly sorted into games with the least overlap to the games with the most picks. This year we surprisingly have a game that every single member of the podcast chose as either a pick or an honorable mention.  We talk about nineteen games in total.

Topics Discussed

  • Games of the Year Picks
    • 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
    • Cryptic Sudoku
    • Cyberpunk 2077
    • Death Stranding
    • Half Life: Alyx
    • Ooblets
    • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX
    • Ring Fit Adventures
    • Animal Crossing: New Horizon
    • Crusader Kings 3
    • Final Fantasy VII Remake
    • Ghost of Tsushima
    • Phantasy Star Online 2
    • Yakuza: Like a Dragon
    • Genshin Impact
    • Hades
  • Honorable Mentions
    • Horizon Zero Dawn
    • Disco Elysium
    • Guild Wars 2
Direct download: aggrochat_episode329.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 11:19am EDT

Tonight we start the show with discussion about Mechwarrior 5 and the multiplayer sessions that have been happening among AggroChat folks.  We also talk a bit about the extremely confusing world of intellectual property when it comes to this game.  From there we revisit the topic of why forcing a stealth mission is a bad idea when you are not expecting it.  Grace talks about a short game she discovered called Space Court where you preside over a Court in Space.  Tam talks about getting the Valve Index and finally maybe finding the killer app in the form of Half-Life Alyx.  From there we dive into a discussion about the games that we have missed during 2020 and didn’t have time to play, which segues into a discussion about Bel giving Dragon Age Inquisition another shot and how maybe Kodra would like the games that are not the first one.

Topics Discussed:

  • Mechwarrior 5: Multiplayer
  • Why Forced Stealth Missions are Bad
    • Revisiting the Topic
  • Space Court
  • VR and the Valve Index
  • Half-Life: Alyx
  • Games we Missed Playing this Year
  • Trying Dragon Age Inquisition Again
Direct download: aggrochat_episode328.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:18am EDT

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