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.
The people of Waypoint have Strong Feelings about Destiny, so we convened Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker, Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau, Senior Editor Rob Zacny, and Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek to work through them. If you're a fan of hearing people talk about lore, do we have the podcast for you! We spend most of the time talking about Destiny 2, but worry not, The Question Bucket will return next week.
You’ve already finished The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, right? And completed the main quest for Mass Effect: Andromeda? You know that Persona 5 is next week, right?
With Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker coughing up a lung, Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek, and Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau picked up the slack on the podcast today. After spending 40 hours finishing up Nier, Patrick is unwilling to let the podcast move on before he makes the case for why it’s one of the best games this year, Danielle updates us on her Zelda adventures, we touch on the recent YouTube controversy involving JonTron, and see how far we can dip in The Question Bucket.
After a series of technical hiccups, we finally managed to record a podcast today—albeit one that's shorter than usual—for our celebratory 50th episode.
Prompted by a letter from a listener who couldn't get into The Witcher 3...wait, there are people who can't get into The Witcher 3? Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker, Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek, and Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau, all avid fans of The Witcher 3, instead came up with games we couldn't get into, despite the rest of the world telling insisting they were terrific.
After a weekend where people proved, once again, that they can't be trusted with the Internet, a podcast was the only way for us to make sense of what happened.
Though Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker ran down his initial thoughts on Mass Effect: Andromeda on Friday, he was restricted from talking beyond the first few hours. That's no longer true! While giving us an update on his note-quite-enthusiast adventures in space, Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau and Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek spent a long time geeking out over Nier: Automata, a truly weird and special game. And, of course, no podcast would be complete without a tour of The Question Bucket.
There are few franchises that made as much impact last generation as Mass Effect, which may help explain why there's so much anxiety over Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Both Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker and Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau have been playing (or watching someone play) Andromeda, while Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek has been watching, with some horror, as the Internet tear the game to shreds. Beyond impressions of Andromeda, we discussed our long history with the series, why there's so much pressure on the new game, and reach deep into The Question Bucket.
There’s never been a more perfect time to have too many games, given that part of the country may very well be buried under several feet of snow tomorrow.
It’s our fullest cast yet, with Social Editor Danika Harrod, Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker, Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau together to talk about their time at PAX East, while Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek and Senior Editor Rob Zacny hop on to chat Breath of the Wild, Nier Automata, tabletop war games, and pluck from The Question Bucket.
As thousands descend on Boston for PAX East, including a number of folks from Waypoint, don’t think that means we’d leave you hanging without a new podcast.
Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau, Editor-in-Chief Austin Wallker, and Waypoint’s latest band member, Senior Editor Rob Zacny, managed to huddle around the mics. On today’s episode, they enrolled in Rob Zacny 101 to learn more about him, discussed what other games might learn from Breath of the Wild, and got a little dirty with The Question Bucket.
Last week was particularly exciting in video game land, with the Game Developer's Conference and the launch of Nintendo's brand new Switch console. Social Editor Danika Harrod joins Editor in Chief Austin Walker, Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek, and myself for a discussion of Tacoma and other indie delights Danika saw on the show floor. There were snakes!
The discussion turns towards Breath of the Wild, which every non-Danika person on staff is currently playing, loving, and sweating over control-mapping. Then we take a quick dip in the question bucket and get ready for another big week at Waypoint.
As thousands of Nintendo fans nervously smash F5 on their Amazon order windows, hoping their machines show up, Waypoint Radio squeezed in a podcast.
At this point, both Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker and Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau have managed to put some time into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, while Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek is left to wonder when there will be a knock at the door. (There was, thankfully.) Besides Zelda, we share general Switch impressions, and use The Question Bucket to talk about fandom and Internet discourse.
We're just days away from Nintendo launching their new console, but the rest of video games haven't gotten out of the way; instead, we're still drowning.
Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker is back, as is Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau and Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek. We kick things off with Get Out, the breakout horror debut from Jordan Peele—yes, of Key and Peele. There aren't any spoilers; it's a discussion about tone. Elsewhere, we all spent a few hours with Night in the Woods, a trip to America's rust belt by way of cat people. With the time left, we tapped The Question Bucket.
A week from now, Nintendo will not only launch a new console, but a brand-new Zelda game, one that’s promised big changes for a franchise that’s been looking for new directions.
Though Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker is technically still on vacation, he’s returned to taunt Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek with a copy of Breath of the Wild, and impressions of his hours with the game—at least, as much as Nintendo’s strict embargo will let him. We also dive deeper into our impressions of Horizon: Zero Dawn, another ambitious open world game that’s finally arriving next week.
Even though we're taking the day off, that can't stop the podcast, especially since we're finally allowed to talk about our time with Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker is still on vacation, but Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek is holding down the fort with Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau and Group Publisher Joel Fowler. (Group Publisher means he helps manage the site and deal with boring stuff like money.) Besides discussing Horizon: Zero Dawn, we celebrate Joel finally beating Dark Souls 3, and dip into The Question Bucket.
Since many of the games we're playing right now can't be talked about until embargoes lift, we had to look for different topics of conversation.
With Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker on vacation (if you're reading this, Austin, that's not what people do on vacation), Social Editor Danika "Definitely Knows How to Write a Poem" Harrod joined Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek and Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau to discuss recent events with YouTube personality PewDiePie, why I'm interviewing folks who made sexual mods for Stardew Valley, and the games we've been playing. Like I said, we're all over the place on this episode. Hold tight.
Not every video game comes together the way you'd want, and the best of intentions can end up being exactly that: intentions. That feeling drove a lot of conversation today on the podcast.
Over the weekend, Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker and Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek spent time with We Are Chicago, a narrative-driven game hoping to illustrate the racial and socioeconomic struggles of African-Americans living in the South Side of Chicago, an area tragically known for its violence and crime. It, uh, doesn't really work, to say the least. Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau joined us for that, alongside new thoughts on what defines a Souls-like, and more from The Question Bucket.
If you get Senior Reporter Patrick Kelpek and Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker in a room, Souls talk is gonna happen. We might end up fighting over the merits of Dark Souls 2 longer than one should, but that's the way it is.
All this Souls talk was spurred by Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau discussing her time with Nioh, which prompted a much longer breakdown and analysis of the core DNA behind a Souls game, and whether we can come up with a collective definition for the genre. We also dip into The Question Bucket, and Austin reveals the three-part young adult novel series that he's been working on.
The Super Bowl was this weekend, and while a just universe would have allowed a team other than the New England Patriots to win for once, 2017 has shown that world is not ours. Congrats, Patriots fans. You won another one.
Back in the world of podcasts, Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau was battling sickness this morning, so Social Editor Danika Harrod joined Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek and Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker to give an update on the search for Donnel in Fire Emblem: Heroes, react to the beta for Ghost Recon Wildlands, discuss how Nioh seems to be separating itself from Dark Souls, and dip into The Question Bucket.
We made it through January, y’all. That might seem like much, but we’ve gotta start somewhere. Fortunately, your reward is an avalanche of new games to play.
Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker returns to the podcast, after playing several hours of Horizon: Zero Dawn earlier this week. We talked about entering the land of robot dinosaurs with Senior Reporter Patrick Klepek and Managing Editor Danielle Riendeau, before breaking down initial impressions of the Dark Souls-inspired Nioh, breaking down our (read: Austin's) Fire Emblem: Heroes gambling habits. And no episode of Waypoint Radio would be complete without a thorough trip to The Question Bucket.