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Axe of the Blood God: An RPG Podcast

Kat Bailey and Nadia Oxford explore PC RPGs, JRPGs, MMORPGs, and all the best in the wonderful world of role-playing video games
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Axe of the Blood God: An RPG Podcast
2021
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Jun 14, 2021

Kat is away this week, which means it's another golden opportunity for co-host Nadia Oxford to conduct studies on the cleansing properties of fire. Actually, everything goes very well thanks to a very cool guest appearance by music composer/remixer, Alex Moukala! Alex and Nadia talk about the history of Final Fantasy music and its composers, including series veteran Nobuo Uematsu and Final Fantasy XIV's own bard, Masayoshi Soken.

Also in this episode: Nadia is joined by friend and Blood God FF XIV raid organizer, Victor Hunter, to talk about Shin Megami Tensei III, Square Enix's mysterious E3 plans, and...FFXIV.

Finally, please pardon Nadia's rather dismal mic quality this week. Her Yeti's USB cord elected to slowly murder itself ahead of E3 2021's festivities. There but for the grace of God go any of us.

Jun 7, 2021

This week on the Axe of the Blood God RPG podcast: Education! Sort of. Esteemed games journalist, writer, and reporter Jason Schreier joins Kat and Nadia to talk about his book, Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry. The conversation veers towards the myriad problems with the games industry, particularly the creative process therein...but rest assured the discourse touches on good, hopeful things going on, too. Once the serious stuff is out of the way, the gang veers towards heavy conversation on--what else?--JRPGs, including the Saga series, Final Fantasy XIV, and Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest.

Speaking of rocking the dragon, Kat and Nadia go over the Dragon Quest XII and Dragon Quest III 2D-HD trailers in excitable detail. Also in this episode: E3 is on the horizon, and Microsoft is getting ready to show off what Bethany Esda has been up to. (e.g. Starfield. Surely.)

May 31, 2021

The Console RPG Quest is nearing its end, and this week Kat and Nadia look back at a real winner: The Wii U! And in this instance, "winner" actually means "loser," and "loser" actually means "Oh God, why?"

Despite its Gamepad-sized problems, the Wii U still had an RPG legacy worth talking about! After all, the world is still waiting on at least one refugee to make the jump to the Switch. (Cough, Xenoblade Chronicles X, cough.)

Also in this episode: Kat wrote a very, very big feature about Blizzard, Starfield is Xbox-only much to the chagrin of PS5 fanboys, and shucks, maybe Ni No Kuni 2 ain't so bad after all. President Roland still sucks nuclear fallout, though.

May 24, 2021

This week, Kat and Nadia go massive on Mass Effect! USgamer alumni and absolute Mass Effect sage Eric Van Allen joins the podcast to have a long, involved talk about Mass Effect Legendary Edition. He also lends a sympathetic ear to Nadia's lament over how Wrex is not a romance option.

Once their Krogan thirst is slaked, the crew then moves on to talking about Nier Replicant and Pokemon Snap. You will be shocked, shocked to learn Nadia uploaded a PG-13 picture and promptly received a rebuke email from Nintendo.

Also in this episode: Neo The World Ends With You is making post-hardcore cool again, Skyrim discourse veers into cannibalism and Cinnabon, and congratulations Australia, Hideo Kojima's content is no longer illegal in your fair country!

May 17, 2021

This week on Axe of the Blood God, Nadia and Kat talk all about ROMs. (To clarify, they have a discussion about modified game files. Rom the Space Knight does not enter into the picture.) Hacked ROMs have played, and continue to play, a major role in RPG accessibility and expression. Hacked ROMs are what gave us valuable fan translations of RPGs that were otherwise untouchable in the West, including Final Fantasy V, Bahamut Lagoon, and Mother 3. Hacked ROMs let us re-balance our favorite RPGs and fix nasty bugs. Hacked ROMs are also the basis of sprawling fan-made RPGs, much to game publishers' chagrin. It's a meaty topic that travels from the '90s all the way up to present day. A special thanks to $50 Patron Drew Waranis for both this great idea and their generous support!

Also in this episode: Nadia has officially PS5, Yakuza is turn-based forever, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake is taking us to Fort Condor so we can play war games with Big Bird.

May 10, 2021
Another Patron-requested topic approaches! This week, Kat and Nadia take on a very special request to talk about the semi-lost "in between" era of CD JRPGs. If you're an old person, you'll know all about said era: It was an awkward but interesting time when some 16-bit consoles received CD player add-ons. A host of one-of-a-kind RPGs followed from series like Lunar, Ys, and more. It was a time when 16-color anime cutscenes were king, and localization company Working Designs made sure not to skimp on the Bill Clinton jokes. Get your slap bracelets ready. Special thanks to $50 Patron Visa-Valtteri Pimiä for both their generous support and the great idea!
 
Also in this episode: Monster Hunter Rise gets a Rathalos-sized update, Pokemon Snap seems lovely, Returnal is perfectly spooky, and Shin Megami Tensei 3's Matador seems really wild about Hanukkah.
May 3, 2021

Today on a very special episode of Axe of the Blood God, we host our very first Patreon-sponsored guest! Giuseppe Spinella joins Kat and Nadia for a very thoughtful conversation about the women of the Final Fantasy series. They delve into how said women have contributed to the series' narrative with their strengths, their flaws, and in Garnet's case, their very, very yellow attire. Please enjoy this spirited exchange, and thanks as always to our Patrons for your invaluable support!

Also in this episode: Nier Replicant's positive reception demonstrates how much the games industry has opened up in the past decade, and Nadia touches all of Loki's stuff and makes him mad in Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster.

Apr 26, 2021

Vita means Life — if your definition of “Life” is “Deader than vulture-stripped roadkill.” Yes, Axe of the Blood God pays its dues to the PlayStation Vita this week in the latest RPG Console Quest. Kat and Nadia mourn the powerful handheld’s all-too-early death and its subsequent abandonment by Sony. How did everything go so very wrong? More importantly, which RPGs were left orphaned on the system? Why do retro JRPG fans love the Vita so very, very much?

Also in this episode: Kat and Nadia launch an entirely new segment, Nadia falls on her face while trying to understand SaGa Frontier Remastered, and Square Enix probably isn’t for sale, so put away your piggybank.

Apr 19, 2021

A new week, a new milestone! This time Kat and Nadia get to answer a question sent in by a generous Patron: How do we get into new RPGs without becoming so intimidated that we run in the opposite direction and back into the arms of the comforting RPGs we already know and love? It’s a great query that yields some deep discussion about overcoming personal discomforts to enrich our experience with the genre. Oh, and there are also tips galore about how to get into new RPGs. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, you had to send your parents’ phone bill through the roof to get this kind of primo game-playing advice.

Also in this episode: Early Fantasian impressions, E3 will be E-Free (and online), Square Enix gets a bit of Outriders-brand salve to soothe its Avengers boo-boos, and we crown our RPG March Madness champion at last!

Apr 12, 2021

Are there monsters under your bed? There are a whole bunch under ours, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Monster Hunter Rise is on the Nintendo Switch, and it’s a monster-whacking gem. Kat and Nadia review the game in-depth with the help of GamesBeat’s review editor, Mike Minotti, and Steven Strom of Fanbyte.

Also in this episode: CD Projekt Red is hard at work trying to salvage Cyberpunk 2077, Final Fantasy alumni revealed a new game called Astria Ascending, and the Bravely Default soundtracks are now on Spotify, so dunk your head in that musical goodness and drink deep.

Finally, a wee bit of news that flew by us as soon as we finished recording: Hironobu Sakaguchi’s new RPG, Fantasian, is out on Apple Arcade! We’ll have more about that next week, so please look forward to it.

Apr 6, 2021

It's time for another Pantheon of the Blood God, and this month we're joined by former CGW Editor in Chief Jeff Green to explore System Shock 2! Join us for a special preview as we explore its history and talk about why this classic horror RPG is so significant. To hear the rest of the show as well as the rest of our exclusive content, head over to our Patreon and sign up at the $10 of the show!

Apr 5, 2021

By the Dragonlord's pantaloons! Axe of the Blood God has hit episode 300, and we couldn't be prouder to bring it to you! Kat and Nadia hosted a live show, but if you missed out, here's the neat 'n clean audio for you. You can also watch a re-run at Kat's Twitch channel.

This week, Nadia and Kat have a long leisurely talk with the Blood God audience about RPG "firsts." Which game gets the credit as the progenitor of the genre we love so much? Did Dragon Quest III introduce classes, or did Final Fantasy III beat the dragon to the punch? And did you know modern RPGs owe a heck of a lot to Hydlide, that primitive "bump-and-stab" action RPG that has the worst overworld music in gaming history? Life is full of surprises, and we love reminding you all of that fact.

Also in this episode: Monster Hunter Rise is monstrously good, SMT 3 featuring Dante from Devil May Cry is coming to Switch in May, and Square Enix cancels a Final Fantasy XI remake that we had no idea was in the works.

Thanks for your support! Here's to 300 more episodes.

Mar 29, 2021

Wowzers! Kat and Nadia are one episode away from the big 3-0-0! Despite being on the cusp of a momentous occasion, they decide to chill out this week and talk about action RPGs. What makes a good action RPG? How has the genre evolved from its earliest and most popular titles? Why are some RPG fans (Kat) a little salty about action RPGs’ very existence? The answers to these mysteries and more lie within.

Also in this episode: There’s a whole lot of news about the state of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Nier: Automata is finally getting fixed on the PC, and the March Madness match-ups are getting real spicy in a real hurry.

Mar 22, 2021

Remember when corporations really tried to make 3D media a permanent thing? Axe of the Blood God remembers. In fact, this week our RPG Console Quest takes us back to the Nintendo 3DS, a handheld that projected images in 3D without the need for goofy glasses. The glasses-free 3D gimmick wore out its welcome pretty quickly. In fact, the Nintendo 3DS had an infamously rocky start that led to a massive price cut. Things were looking pretty hairy for a little while, but in the end, the Nintendo 3DS was a strong, quiet triumph that gave us a lot of great RPGs.

Also in this episode: Bethesda has officially merged with Microsoft (resistance is futile), Fantasian might be composer Nobuo Uematsu’s swan song, and Kat has Final Fantasy 14 mount envy.

Mar 15, 2021

Two highly-anticipated games, Bravely Default 2 and Persona 5 Strikers, had the gall to come out simultaneously. Kat and Nadia are determined to give both titles equal attention, but that’s a lot of work for just two gals, awesome as they might be. That’s why freelance writer and very special guest Samantha Nelson joins us to gab about braving, defaulting, and why Yusuke is still Persona 5’s best boy.

Also in this episode: Kat gets caught up on all the major Pokemon news, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is in a lot of bloody trouble, and March Madness: RPG Edition (the only edition worth following) kicks off.

Mar 8, 2021

With Kat out romping with faeries or whatever people do on vacation, Nadia is left to host an entire episode all by her lonesome. Or is she? This week, Nadia calls on a very old friend, Andrew Vestal, the former proprietor of the very first Final Fantasy site she visited when she connected to the internet in 1995. Nadia and Andrew ramble down memory lane and recall how RPG fandom was so very different in the ‘90s, when sites were hosted on bare motherboards cooled by oscillating fans. And yet, so much was familiar: Arguments over game localization, rampant rumor mongering, and blind character worship. There is truly nothing new under the sun.

Also in this episode: RIP Anthem, Bravely Default 2 is out and about, and holy moly, there is a lot going on with Pokemon in the near future. We’re very excited.

Mar 3, 2021

It's once again time for Axe of the Blood God to evaluate a classic RPG for induction into the Pantheon of the Blood God, and this entry is one of the most controversial (and underrated!) games of them all. This month our $10+ Patreon subscribers get to hear us talk about Final Fantasy VIII! In this free preview, Kat, Nadia, and special guest Alex Donaldson talk about the "cloud" hanging over the series in the form of Final Fantasy VII, the subtle storytelling around Laguna, and much more. The full is available now and can be accessed via our Patreon!

Mar 1, 2021

It’s a tough, tough world out there right now, and we hope you’re keeping well, Blood God listeners. This week, we take things Ys-y (HAH!) as Game Informer’s Kimberly Wallace joins Nadia in a lengthy discussion about Ys 9: Monstrum Nox. Does it live up to the lofty standards set by 2016’s Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana? Sit and listen before you inevitably drift down the road to your next adventure.

Also in this episode: Nadia and Kat deconstruct the recent Nintendo Direct and get excited over Project Triangle Strategy, an awesome-looking strategy RPG with a dumb working title. Finally, Kat begins her journey into Final Fantasy XIV as an Elezen and offers her first impressions of Square Enix’s hit MMORPG.

Feb 22, 2021

Axe of the Blood God’s noble Console RPG Quest continues, and this week we dissect the RPG legacy of a very interesting system: The PlayStation 3. Sony’s first HD console was hobbled right from the start thanks to derisive memes, awkward accessories, programming troubles, and good old fashioned arrogance. To make things worse, the popularity of game consoles was on a major downswing in Japan, and JRPGs were regarded as tragically uncool in the west. How did everything turn out for Sony in the end? We break it all down.

Also in this episode: We talk about the trailer for the next Final Fantasy 14 expansion, Endwalker, Persona 5 Strikers is about to take your heart, and CD Projekt Red is dealing with a massive cyberattack at the worst possible time. Well, there’s never a good time to deal with a cyberattack, but in this particular instance... yeah. It’s bad.

Enjoy the pod? Check out our Patreon! New episodes are available a week early and ad free to subscribers at the $5 level and up.

 

Feb 19, 2021

Nadia and Kat host a live discussion with the Axe of the Blood God community! They share plans for an exciting community event for March, where Television of the Blood God stands following the conclusion of The Witcher, and plans for the next Pantheon pick. Plus, we take questions from the community!

Feb 15, 2021

What an eventful week. Nadia's wayward Xbox Series X showed up on her doorstep (well, it showed up in the Walmart pick-up area), and we have a very special guest: Austin Walker of Waypoint and Friends at the Table! He talks to us about his one true love, Mass Effect, and gives us his thoughts on the upcoming remaster (23:20). He also talks about the different feelings JRPGs evoke versus Western RPGs (32:40), and goes over the joys and disappointments of Final Fantasy XV (35:00).

There is also a Final Fantasy XIV discussion featuring a rant by Nadia (37:10), a debate about RPG systems versus story (42:00), a talk about the importance of good character development (45:30), another debate over whether or not Nioh 2 is an RPG (49:00), a chat about how gaming discourse has changed over the past five years alone (51:40), and an observation about how modern politics can alter game stories (1:00).

Finally, our meeting with Austin wraps up with discourse on tabletop RPGs (1:04), and an all-important discussion about robots and Super Robot Wars. (1:10). Whew! It's a meaty episode, all right. Meatier than Castlevania's walls.

Enjoy the pod? Check out our Patreon! New episodes are available a week early and ad free to subscribers at the $5 level and up.

Feb 8, 2021

It’s time to dish out some hugs and kisses to indie RPGs. This week, Kat and Nadia talk about the independently-developed RPGs they’re most excited for in 2021, including She Dreams Elsewhere, Cris Tales, Darkest Dungeons 2, and—dare we hope—Eastward.

Also on the docket: Nadia has Ys IX impressions, Mass Effect’s alien sex is beautiful, and we have no idea what’s going on with the GameStop stock fiasco. That doesn’t stop us from trying to sound smart about it, however.

Enjoy the pod? Check out our Patreon! New episodes are available a week early and ad free to subscribers at the $5 level and up.

Feb 1, 2021

The only thing you should fear more than the Blood God’s axe is the Blood God’s anime obsession. This week, Kat and Nadia talk to Bob Mackey and Henry Gilbert talk about how anime and RPGs uplift one another. They also look back at RPGs based on licensed anime properties, and recall the Mighty Struggle™ that shaped and molded anime fans who traded VHS tapes before digital distribution saved us all.

Also in this episode: There’s a new Fallout New Vegas game (well, sort of), Twitter is playing Pokemon, and we’re not allowed to stop talking about Cyberpunk 2077 because at some point we must’ve died and gone to hell for our sins.

Enjoy the show? Support us on Patreon! https://patreon.com/bloodgodpod

Jan 25, 2021

Get out of your chair and start waggling because it’s time for the Axe of the Blood God Wii Console Quest! This week, Nadia and Kat discuss the strange, often troubled RPG history of Nintendo’s revolutionary console. Relive Operation Rainfall and recall how the fan-based movement pressured Nintendo into finally giving North America the still-beloved Xenoblade Chronicles. Plus, EA no longer has a Star War (and we still don’t have KOTOR 3), Square Enix might be up to some Final Fantasy 7 Remake extended universe shenanigans, and Cyberpunk discourse is still throwing off heat as we get properly settled into 2021.

Jan 23, 2021

In our first ever Community Update, Kat and Nadia get together for a live conversation with Axe of the Blood God's community! They talk about which RPGs they've been playing of late, share an update on what's been happening with the show and Discord, and take questions from the audience on the best Chrono Trigger party, Persona 5 Strikers, and much more!

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