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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
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Now displaying: 2021
Oct 18, 2021

Axe of the Blood God gets sPooOoOoky this week as Kat, Nadia, and Eric talk about "creepypasta" RPGs. Creepypasta is a weird term, but you're probably familiar with what it entails: Stories about haunted games that some poor hapless schmuck picked up at a flea market or whatever. Pokemon Lost Silver, BEN DROWNED, that one NES Godzilla cartridge that was filled with weird sprites and music...the list goes on. The trio also discusses RPG story moments that freaked them out. This episode is rated VS for Very Scary.

Other topics this week: Thoughts on the shakeup at Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, Sora alighting in Smash like some kind of anime Jesus wearing oversized kicks, and the passing of Dragon Quest composer Koichi Sugiyama.

Oct 11, 2021

Who amongst us is truly righteous? It's probably not a great idea to look at Axe of the Blood God for paragons of virtue. That's why Nadia, Kat, and Eric invited Jason Wilson back this week to review Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. What's good? What's bad? Should you play? What are some good starting tips? Will you make friends with a horse that runs across roofs? You can if you believe you can.

Also in this episode: Nadia keeps stanning Actraiser Renaissance, Amazon's New World MMORPG is a hit, and Jack from Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin said a bad word. We're telling mom.

Oct 4, 2021

The '80s are alive and well in our souls -- and on Axe of the Blood God, too. This week, Nadia and Kat are joined by their good pal Jason Wilson as they continue the PC RPG Quest. It all started in the '70s, but PC RPGs got a major boost thanks to the rapid growth of the home computer market. It's a very important chapter of RPG history. After all, without Ultima, Wizardry, or SSI's Gold Box games, there'd be no Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. What a sick, sad world that would be.

Also in this episode: A new Nintendo Direct brings a deluge of RPG news, and Super Mario now shares his soul with Chris Pratt. Mama Mia!

Sep 30, 2021

It's a new month, which means the Sharlayan Dropouts have huddled themselves in the smoke hole again. (They just keyed Fourchenault's Chocobo chariot; best they lay low for a while.) Nadia, Victor, and Mike talk about the very lengthy Final Fantasy XIV Live Letter, and what it all means for the upcoming Endwalker expansion. That gaping hole in the moon...it's not going to get any bigger, right? Right.

Also in this episode: Dragoons are pole dancing again, the Twins are overdue for their Elezen growth spurt, and Nadia learns you can't just breed brother and sister Chocobos in twisted eugenics experiments like you can in FFVII. 

 

Spoiler Level: Yellow. The front end of the episode is largely spoiler-free, but we loosen up in the back half. Here are some handy-dandy time stamps:

Up to 16:36 - News about the FFXV event, and discussion what we've been doing in-game. Some talk about raids, etc, but no major discussion about story events connected to them.

Up to to 43:40 - Talk about the Live Letter and changes to FFXIV's classes. Some very minor spoilers that involve how each class has evolved since ARR.

From 43:40 onward - Free discussion about Endwalker and the story beats leading up to it. 

Sep 27, 2021

This week on Axe of the Blood God, Nadia and Kat get a little spoony and talk about one of the oldest and most controversial RPG classes: The Bard. Generous $50 Patron Drew Waranis requested we talk about these golden-throated music makers, and the Blood God is here to please. This episode dissects the history of the Bard, talks about the most famous bards in RPGs, and asks that one vital question: Do we need bards. Are they, like, cool, man?

Also in this episode: Holy crap, Eastbound! Holy crap, Deltarune chapter 2! Holy crap, Tales of Arise already sold a million copies! What an exciting week.

Sep 25, 2021

In this special episode of Axe of the Blood God, we continue our celebration of Namco Bandai Tales series by ranking all of its biggest games -- from the lowly Tales of the Tempest to the much-loved Tales of Symphonia!  

In Part 2, we jump into the classics -- the entries that pushed the series forward and retain a special place in our hearts. Joining us once again are two huge Tails fans: Game Informer's Kim Wallace and friend of the pod Victor Hunter! It's Axe of the Blood God's biggest Tales celebration to date, so join us as we conclude the definitive ranking!  

And as always, thank you to our Patrons at the $5 level and above, who get to access this entry a week early and ad free!

Sep 20, 2021

Tales of Arise has finally arrived, and it's bigger than ten Super Bowls. This week, Kat and Nadia are joined by USgamer alumni (and Normandy FM podcast host) Eric Van Allen as they dive deep into the latest entry in this beloved but oft-troubled RPG series. Is this the Tale that will save the world, and convert all the non-believers? Maybe. Just maybe. Anyway, it has a cute owl, so it's automatically GOTY.

Also in this episode: Stardew Valley is finally finished (maybe), a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake is in the works, and Yoko Taro is making a card-based game that will probably kill us all in our sleep, then instruct us to reflect on our words and deeds.

Sep 15, 2021

In this special episode of Axe of the Blood God, we continue our celebration of Namco Bandai Tales series by ranking all of its biggest games -- from the lowly Tales of the Tempest to the much-loved Tales of Symphonia!

In Part 1, we examine some of the hard luck entries in the series; the Tales games that didn't have much of a budget, featured strange systems, or are just plain forgettable (meaningful glance at Tales of Hearts). Joining us are two huge Tails fans: Game Informer's Kim Wallace and friend of the pod Victor Hunter! They walk us through some of the more esoteric bits of Tales history, explaining why Tales of the Tempest maybe shouldn't be dismissed so quickly, swapping stories about exploring the Tales store, and making errant comparisons to James Bond films.

It's Axe of the Blood God's biggest Tales celebration to date, so join us as we embark on the definitive ranking! And as always, thank you to our Patrons at the $5 level and above, who can now access Part 2 right away on their feed!

Sep 13, 2021

Summer's going fast, nights are growing colder. It's nearly fall --and with fall comes the holiday games rush. This week, Kat and Nadia discuss some of the RPGs we can expect to see stuffed in the depths of Santa's sack. We have Tales of Arise and Eastward for a start, and as the season goes on, we can expect Super Robot Wars 30, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, Shin Megami Tensei V, and a heck of a lot more.

It's going to be a bountiful season full of fun, surprises, and demons that can't wait to flay you with chains. Also in this episode: MMO maker Netease might be in talks to poach Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi, and Bravely Default II is bravely making its way to PC.

Sep 6, 2021

This week on Axe of the Blood God, Kat is absent and it takes Nadia a grand total of ten minutes to wreck the joint. With no Kat to enforce the rules, Nadia is free to jabber about Final Fantasy IV, which she does for two hours alongside Ash Paulsen from Good Vibes Gaming. "What's left to say about Final Fantasy IV?" you might ask.

First of all: Shame on you. Second, Final Fantasy IV's 30th anniversary is behind us and the Pixel Remaster is just ahead of us. There's never a bad time to talk about one of the most important RPGs ever made. But to make things extra interesting, Ash and I rank Final Fantasy IV's cast. Who's most deserving of your love? And who deserves to be chucked out of the Enterprise at 3000 feet? Tune in to find out.

Also in this episode: Moon is coming to Steam, Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster I through III received patches (no font fixes, lol), and Monsters Rule! Monster Rancher!!

Aug 30, 2021

We've been there, and now we're back again: The Summer of the Rings draws to its close with a mini Pantheon of the Blood God episode. Kat and Nadia go in-depth with EA's The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age for the PS2. Does it deserve to go into the Pantheon? Heck no -- we'll just spoil that for you up front -- but it's still worth talking about. From its bizarre final boss to an underspoken origin story that indirectly involves Hironobu Sakaguchi, the very existence of the Third Age was something of a marvel.

Also in this episode: Nadia plays with witches who play with guns, Kat makes out with boyfriends who are also swords, and Pokemon fans are big mad for a change.

Aug 23, 2021

It's finally time to start the PC RPG Quest, because without knowledge of our past, there can be no future. This week, Kat and Nadia look back at the primal roots of RPGs, especially games written and played on the giant university mainframes of the '70s. They're joined by author David L. Craddock, who knows a thing or two about ancient computer RPGs. Which RPG first used graphics? Which RPG had the first instance of a boss fight? We guarantee you'll come away from this episode feeling educated and entertained.

Also in this episode: Nadia and Kat compare Tales of Arise impressions, and an Indie Direct brought us a lot of great RPG news. Buckle up Homestuck, because Nintendo's not done: A big Pokemon Direct is coming very soon, too!

Aug 18, 2021

Sprouts! Sprouts everywhere! There's been a massive influx of new players to Final Fantasy XIV, thanks in part to an exodus from World of Warcraft. FFXIV is generally known for its friendly community--not that you won't find players who call you the worst dragoon in the world [COUGH]--and there is some rumbling about how the mass migration might affect FFXIV's chemistry. Is there any real cause for worry, though? Nadia, Mike, and Victor talk about the changes they've observed personally, and Mike has some insight about what's involved in switching from WoW's mechanics to FFXIV's.

Also in this episode: Victor RP's at a goth party, and Nadia is lost in FFXIV's endless crafting hole. Help.

SPOILER WARNING LEVEL: YELLOW. In the second half of the podcast, the crew goes over some minor, generalized story reveals for the opening moments of Shadowbringers. There's also a reference to an early subquest involving a rookie party of adventures...but if you don't know anything about Edda Pureheart, it's high time you learned.

Aug 16, 2021

There be dragons on today's very special episode of Axe of the Blood God. Kat and Nadia talk about the best dragons in RPGs -- and by "best," they kind of mean "worst" because everyone knows dragons are at their best when they're burninating the countryside. Okay, cuddly and friendly dragons are valid, too. Maybe all dragons are valid at the end of the day. In any case, Nadia is incapable of shutting up for most of this episode, so enjoy.

Also up for discussion: Activision Blizzard is working to improve (albeit with a minimum of effort), Mass Effect Legendary Edition sold like gangbusters to Bioware's relief, and Nadia got a sick-ass tattoo that's currently peeling and kind of gross to look at.

Aug 9, 2021

The world is coming to an end again, and you are coming to an end with it. We all are. This week on Axe of the Blood God, Kat and Nadia talk about Neo The World EndS With You alongside Imran Khan of Fanbyte and Rebekah Valentine of IGN. Expect compliments, criticisms, and lots of jabbing at game director Tetsuya Nomura. It's all in good fun Nomura, we love you.

If you've not yet played Neo The World Ends With You, fear not--our discussion is spoiler-free!

Also in this episode: Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster is great, it's pretty easy to beat up 7-year-olds in Pokemon Unite, and somehow the higher-ups at Activision Blizzard keep finding new ways to crawl deeper into their cesspit.

Aug 2, 2021

Summer's at its hottest and we're right in between big RPG releases. That can only mean one thing for the Axe of the Blood God: It's Letter Tiiiime, it's Letter Tiiiiime! This week, Nadia and Kat chip through a very backed-up mailbag (sorry!) and answer some vital questions like:

  • "What's your favorite game that's not an RPG?"
  • "What's your favorite RPG mini-game?"
  • "What's the worst RPG you've ever had to plug through?"

And most importantly:

  • "What's your favorite dinosaur?"

The answers to these questions and lots more are in our magic mailbag episode! You don't want to miss it.

Also in this episode: Final Fantasy XIV is being crushed by love, Kat's into Pokemon Unite (FREE HER), and lots of dark, dank, cursed industry discourse thanks to Activision Blizzard.

Jul 26, 2021

What do RPGs owe to J.R.R. Tolkien's works? Everything... or something dang near close to it. This week, author David Craddock joins Kat and Nadia to talk about The Lord of the Rings' influence on RPGs old and new, eastern and western. Pull up a stool, fill your tankard with the Green Dragon's finest dark ale, and for God's sake, don't fiddle with the fireworks Gandalf so temptingly left unguarded in his wagon.

Also in this episode: The Steam Deck will mean great things for RPGs (aaaaand they're gone), Kat has a new Super Robot Wars lesson, and Tidus' head just friggin' explodes. RIP in pieces, Blitzball boy. This is what it sounds like when doves cry.

Jul 21, 2021

Welcome to our latest project at Axe of the Blood God: Sharlayan Dropouts! In this new monthly podcast, Nadia Oxford and a rotating selection of guests will talk about all things Final Fantasy XIV — a perfect companion for the upcoming Endwalker expansion!

In our first episode, the land of Eorzea fell into fiery ruin when the enraged Primal Bahamut "hatched" from the moon of Dalamud and tore the realm asunder. Then it got better. There's still much work to be done, but Nadia, Mike Williams, and Victor Hunter are content to let Sharlayan's eggheads do the heavy lifting. They're fine with slumming around campus, smoking, and scratching uselessly for the deeper meaning of existence—like all accomplished dropouts.

The newly-formed light party talks about the reasons they got into Final Fantasy XIV, and reminisce over the first races they chose. They also discuss their first Job choices, and wonder why the game doesn't have more hybrid races running around. Well, Nadia wonders, mostly. She wants her Viera/Miqo'te cub, and she wants it right now.

[EPISODE 1 SPOILER ALERT LEVEL: GREEN. Low risk of spoilers. This episode talks about the game and its story in a generalized way. There is some discussion about NPCs that show up in Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers, but there isn't much in-depth discussion about their roles. That said, the nature of spoilers is very subjective, so always listen at your own risk.]

Jul 19, 2021

My pet monster! Pet monster, I love you! This week's episode is all about Monster Hunter Stories 2, and how we love Nargacuga so very, very much. Kat and Nadia are joined by a special guest: IGN's Casey DeFreitas. Together, they gear up and evaluate everything that's good about this unusual RPG from Capcom (a Rathalos gets hugged) and everything that's not-so-good (frame rates that chug like slow freight trains).

Also in this episode: Blizzard's latest World of Warcraft storyline deflates like a balloon, farting sound and all. The second season of Netflix's The Witcher is looking good, Baldur's Gate 3 lets you futz with Lady Luck, and the Nintendo Switch Pro is real! Ha ha, sike. You so thought.

Jul 12, 2021

2021 is half over. Scream and protest all you want; nothing will change. Instead of mulling over the inexorable march of time, why not think about RPGs instead? This week, Nadia and Kat do a mid-year checkup on the genre and talk about their favorites so far. Ys 9! Bravely Default 2! Monster Hunter Rise! And the rest!

Also in this episode: Nadia previews Monster Hunter Stories 2, Kat turns around on Neo The World Ends With You, Elder Scrolls 6 is a long, long way off, and Bidoof, Bidoof, Bidoof.

Jul 5, 2021

Well, the RPG Console Quest is behind us. That can only mean one thing: It's time to make a list. This week, Kat and Nadia rank the consoles according to their contributions to the RPG genre. Which system(s) made it into the "S" tier? Which are condemned to the "LOL" tier? How many consoles did Nadia forget to add to the list until the very last second? (Hint: So many.)

Also in this episode: Final Fantasy 9 is getting an animated series, D&D Dark Alliance is uhhhh, and Square Enix hit the Neo The World Ends With You demo button a smidge too early. What does a "World Ends With You" demo button look like, anyway…? We imagine it's a big, shiny, candy-red button.

Jun 28, 2021

It is the very end, my friends — the very end of Axe of the Blood God's RPG Console Quest! This week, Kat and Nadia talk about the healthy RPG library that's up for grabs on the Nintendo Switch. From unique exclusives like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Monster Hunter Rise, and Bravely Default 2 to amazing ports like Dragon Quest XI S and the revised Final Fantasy line, the Switch is home to some of the best variety the genre has to offer.

Even better, the Switch isn't done by a long shot. It's still going, and whispers of the Switch Pro means Nintendo will surely be around to serve up RPG greatness for a while to come.

Also in this episode: E3 is finished (maybe in more ways than one; it depends on your outlook), Kat went hands-on with Tales of Arise, and Breath of the Wild 2's weapon degradation discourse will kill us all.

Jun 21, 2021

Oh no, it's E3 again. Kat and Nadia talk about the press conferences they've already seen (Square Enix, Microsoft) and speculate on the ones that haven't yet happened (Nintendo). Come for the discussion about Eiyuden Chronicles, Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster, and Eldin Ring. Stay for the Chaos, Chaos, Chaos.

Also in this episode: Griftlands, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, and did we mention some dude really has a hate-boner for another dude named Chaos?

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.)

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