In the sea of excellent video games that 2017 has brought us, Nier: Automata still managed to stand out. Designer Yoko Taro’s latest slice of emotional weirdness struck several us at Waypoint, and by the time the credits were rolling for the fifth time, the only thing on our mind was finding a place to spoil the shit out of the game. Thankfully, our former colleague at Giant Bomb, Alex Navarro, was also looking for a place to spoil the shit out of Nier: Automata. It should go without saying that if you haven’t played the game yet, don’t listen to this podcast.
It's a packed episode of Waypoint Radio this week, as Austin, Patrick, Rob, and Danielle embrace the warming weather to spend the hour talking about storytelling in games. Both Austin and Patrick wrote stories this week in response to an essay by academic Ian Bogost in The Atlantic titled "Video Games Are Better Without Stories," and used our time with the latest walking simulator, What Remains of Edith Finch, to speak more broadly.
Since the world of video games is (finally!) slowing down a little, Austin, Danika, and Rob talk about what they've been playing with their newly discovered free time... and, of course, they dip into the question bucket for a couple of doozies. There is Minecraft talk (including inspirational Minecraft rap), a discussion of Unexplored, and a look at various Waypointers' life paths, with a side helping of life advice. Remember, you too can submit questions to the crew by sending an email with the subject QUESTION to firstname.lastname@example.org!
No one’s looking forward to the weekend more than the staff of Waypoint, who’ve slogged through colds and the flu all week long. But before a few days off arrive, it’s time for another episode of Waypoint Radio, wherein Rob, Danielle, and Patrick discuss Patrick's article about Telltale’s ongoing technical problems, the tiny details in video games that make us happy, and Danielle’s love for Capcom’s Disney Afternoon Collection, a wonderful tribute to the company’s NES games.
For the vast majority of people who cannot stand that it's Monday, we have something for you: a new episode of Waypoint Radio. Austin, Danielle, Rob, and Patrick huddled around some microphones to discuss the tension between explicit and systematic storytelling in games (as evidenced by games like Stellaris and Breath of the Wild), Patrick's inability to cope with Persona 5's social stresses, and more. During our tour of The Question Bucket, we grapple with the prospect of friends in your regular gaming group acting bad—the sexist, racist kind of bad.
Rob Zacny is no longer with is—don't worry, he only flew back home to California—but we couldn't resist bringing in another guest. Polygon's Phil Kollar is visiting New York, and despite worries that he'd get thrown in Internet jail for getting too close to us, he joined Austin, Danielle, and Patrick to discuss the state of Hearthstone, what the heck is going on with that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds game, and find out what's inside The Question Bucket. (And because we couldn't resist, there's some light discussion of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer.)
It's a big week for Waypoint Radio: Rob Zacny's in town! It's an extra special (and extra big) podcast today, as Rob huddled in the New York studio with Danielle and Austin, while Patrick joined from a not-quite-safe-from-nuclear-fallout home in Illinois. (It'll make sense, promise.) We touch on Austin finishing up Nier: Automata, reveal we'll be doing a spoilercast soon with a special guest, and discuss group impressions of an early version of the sci-fi Souls-like, The Surge. Our dip into The Question Bucket brings ruminations on the virtues of the mundane.
There aren’t as many “big” games coming out this month, but there’s still plenty to talk about, especially since April brings the release of Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee, their long-anticipated riff on Banjo-Kazooie. Patrick has been playing the game, as has Danielle, and the results are...not great. We use Yooka-Laylee as a reason to dive deeper into the merits of modernizing nostalgia, while Austin tries to provide some clarification on his bird opinions. Of course, we also dive into The Question Bucket, wherein we try to figure out who is The Velvet Underground of games.
Austin Walker decided to return to Stellaris this weekend, hoping to lead his bird society to the heights of galactic civilization, but when a space anomaly shows up, things go bad, leading to Danielle Riendeau and Patrick Klepek to nod, sigh, and wonder how things might have been different. Elsewhere, I talk about my fear of sea spiders in the underwater horror game Narcosis, and we return to The Question Bucket to ruminate on why some games have a backlash after they're released.