We've had an amazing 2021, and we're hoping 2022 will be even better! Nadia, Eric, and Kat get together to share their hopes and dreams for the new year along with the following:
- Info on a brand new tier!
- Free and premium feeds being synced!
- Upcoming specials!
- And much more!
This week on Axe of the Blood God, Kat, Nadia, and Eric say farewell to 2021 by looking back on the year's greatest RPG triumphs (and a few, er, not-triumphs). 2021 was a bit slim on major triple-A RPG releases, but there's been a great showing from smaller games, including SMT V, Tales of Arise, Monster Hunter Stories 2, Loop Hero, Ys 9, and so very much more.
Oh, and there was also a new expansion for a certain online RPG that shall remain nameless. We can no longer say its name; it's become far too powerful. Please forget about the critically acclaimed MMORPG with the free trial that lets you play through all of A Realm Reborn and the award-winning expansion Heavensward.
Also in this episode:
Kat is now besties with Henry Cavill. We will all miss her as she departs on her glorious new life as a Hollywood groupie. Wait, didn't Elton John write a song about this…?
To celebrate the end of 2021, we're making a Pantheon of the Blood God available to all of our listeners as a special thank you for all of your support!
In this edition of Pantheon of the Blood God, Kat and Nadia are joined by special guest Alex Donaldson to dive deep into Final Fantasy VIII! Once considered the series' black sheep, Final Fantasy VIII is now held in higher regard, but is it worthy of the Pantheon? Kat and Nadia have very different opinions on that front.
Regardless, there's much to unpack about Square Enix's flawed masterpiece, and that's exactly what Kat, Nadia, and Alex do as they discuss its rapid development, its curious Junction System, its marvelous soundtrack, and wonderful elements like Triple Triad. Truly, it's far from perfect, but it's one of the most memorable RPGs ever made.
Pantheon of the Blood God is a special monthly series of podcasts in which we take a deep dive into an RPG selected by the AOTBG community. Want to hear more? Check us out on Patreon: https://patreon.com/bloodgodpod
"Live thy life to the fullest, but knowest thou always that the end walks ever closer." Is that an OK Urianger impersonation? Bah, whatever. Point is, Nadia, Mike, and Victor review Final Fantasy 14's Endwalker expansion in this episode. It's epic, it's guaranteed to move you to tears...and like everything else in this flawed universe, it can use some improvements. Tune your linkshell in!
Spoiler Level: Red. Major spoilers for most of Endwalker's story. I suppose that goes without saying. However, there's very little discussion about the end area and end boss, since Victor's on the last leg of his journey.
Kat's away this week on Axe of the Blood God, so Nadia takes the reigns, and chaos reins. Wait. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.
Eric is on-hand to help co-host, of course, and a very special guest enters the fray: Blood God Discord mod Valexia! The trio have a hearty discussion about LGBTQ+ representation in games, old and new, eastern and western. There's a long way to go, but there's been a lot of progress that's worth celebrating, too.
Also in this episode:
Turn on Nickelodeon and feed your Tamagotchi, because it's time for the '90s PC RPG Quest here at Axe of the Blood God. John Walker of Buried Treasure joins Kat, Nadia, and Eric as they talk about this very tumultuous time in PC RPG history. The genre underwent enormous growth, but not before it suffered near-irrelevance amid the rise of DOOM and other first-person shooters.
There's a lot to cover, so feel free to fiddle with your Slap Bracelet while the crew talks. Just don't cut open the bracelet's fabric, take out the sharp piece of metal inside, and start hitting people with it. That's how Slap Bracelets get banned from schools. Not speaking from experience or anything, mind you.
Enjoy the PC RPG Quest? Make sure to check out our episodes covering the 1970s and 1980s!
Also in this episode:
Last week was the Giving of Thanks, and Eric returned to his ancestral home to prepare the necessary sacrifices. That means Kat and Nadia are alone for this episode, just like the good ol' days of... er, maybe a month ago? Point is, this is a very chill episode.
Some of the big topics:
- Is a Chrono Cross remake under development?
- Who is an unsung RPG composer?
- How excited are we for a Mass Effect TV show?
Also in this episode: Neo The World Ends With You didn't do so hot because Square Enix kind of forgot to market it, and plans for the future of Blood God! A new tier approaches! Command?
When we last met our Warriors of Light, they were confident they'd be Thal's balls-deep in Endwalker by this point. Fate had other plans in mind, as Endwalker won't be accessible until December 3. Hey, Final Fantasy XIV is a Square Enix RPG. It's never a surprise when the heroes' plans go awry in an RPG.
Besides, the delay freed up some time to let us talk about a topic that kept eluding us: Endwalker story predictions! Hope you're sitting down, because Victor brought notes. What kind of dropout brings notes?!
Spoiler Level: Red. Major spoilers for Shadowbringers and Endwalker. We bust out all biggest story twists and smallest plot tweaks for pretty much the entire episode.
What, you wanna listen to Axe of the Blood God's very special Shin Megami Tensei 5 episode, guest starring Game Informer's Kim Wallace? Hmmm... gimme one life stone. I'll also take 300 macca and a shitload of your health!
Just kidding -- your friendship is more than enough to get access to our SMT V review. How does it play? What are its strengths? Its weakness? Is it a good entry point for SMT V virgins? Kat, Nadia, Eric, and Kim will fill you in on all the haunting deets.
Also in this episode: We're trying out a brand-new format that (hopefully) makes the show easier to listen to and enjoy! Come for Kat's Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl critique, stay for Nadia's disjointed rant about Simon Belmont from Captain N. Something about a bomber jacket?
In Part 3 of our complete Cowboy Bebop series ranking, we tackle the Top 10 alongside What a Cartoon's Henry Gilbert! In so doing we tackle some of the following topics:
- What's the deal with Julia?
- Who had the best arc?
- Why does Toys in the Attic rule so much?
- What happens when Final Fantasy and John Woo have a delightful anime baby? (It's Ballad of Fallen Angels).
This episode is available immediately to our Patrons, and will be available through the free feed next week!
This week on Axe of the Blood God, Kat, Nadia, and Eric discuss how Atlus would really love it if the west got the hang of making demonic pacts. We know Shin Megami Tensei V is out, and we know it's a great game -- but why hasn't the series made much headway into the western market compared to [looks around nervously, bend over and whispers] Persona? Can anything be done to make SMT more appealing to this market?
Also in this episode: Early hands-on impressions of Elden Ring are great, FFXIV: Endwalker is delayed, and Todd Howard laughs himself to sleep on a pile of money flanked by two beautiful ladies because people can't stop buying Skyrim.
In Part 2 of our complete Cowboy Bebop series ranking, we tackle episodes 16 through 10! In so doing, we hit some of the following topics:
- Our personal favorite episodes
- How Cowboy Bebop pays tributes to movies from the 60s and 70s
- The wildness of Mushroom Samba
- Why Gateway Shuffle is one of our sneaky favorites
This episode is available immediately to our Patrons, and will be available through the free feed next week. Stay tuned for Part 3 as we jump into the Top 10 next week!
Well I'll tell you what, that daggum Kat recently got herself in a whole heap of Twitter trouble when she sassed Legend of Dragoon. On this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God, Kat apologizes for her sharp words -- but she also struggles to understand why half the internet is still nostalgic for this underachieving Sony RPG. To that end, Kat, Eric, and Nadia invited YouTuber (and Legend of Dragoon fan) SuperDerekRPG to the show. They have a grand ol' time talking about this (misunderstood?) game, and about retro RPGs in general.
Also in this episode: Shin Megami Tensei V is very good, and open wide because here comes a deluge of Elden Ring information.
Cowboy Bebop is one of the greatest anime ever made, and with a live-action series headed to Netflix, now is the perfect time to revisit this animated classic! We're joined by What a Cartoon and Talking Simpsons Host Henry Gilbert to rank episodes 24 - 17, where we hit some of the following topics:
- How did we get into Cowboy Bebop?
- Is Sympathy for the Devil underrated?
- How great is VT's cat?
- And how do we feel about Gren in the year 2021?
This episode is Part 1 of our big ranking of Cowboy Bebop, and it's available to both our Patrons and free listeners right now! Part 2 will be available next week , but paid subscribers can access it immediately!
This week on Axe of the Blood God, Kat, Nadia, and Eric board the Magic School Bus and travel back to the very beginnings of JRPG development. PC98 Audi from Digital Foundry makes a guest appearance to delve deep into the machine that arguably started it all: The humble PC-88. Audi also has tons of history to share about the MSX, and other high-tech '80s stuff that was vital to the early evolution of JRPGs. Frankly, he's the proverbial Miss Frizzle on this trip. Without him, Kat, Nadia, and Eric would probably fall out of the bus and get eaten by a microprocessor.
Also in this episode: Kat's in Super Robot War heaven, we have a trailer for Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher 2, and Square Enix is gonna make you wet with a new Star Ocean game.
["Hey Hey 16k" is by MJ Hibbett and the Validators. Enjoy your earworm]
This week on Axe of the Blood God, Nadia, Kat, and Eric battle ogres with the help of a very special guest, Waah! Yes, our generous $100 Patron finally gets to shine on-stage, and he's picked a very cool topic: Square Enix's half-forgotten Ogre Battle series. This still-beloved string of strategy games was the precursor to Final Fantasy Tactics, and it's a darn shame it doesn't garner the acknowledgement it deserves. We'll fix that, though. Oh, we will definitely fix that.
Also in this episode: Stardew Valley's creator is taking us to the Land of Chocolate, CD Projekt Red has some more delays for us, and the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy has reared its ugly, exhausting head once again.
Smoke 'em if you got 'em because it's time for a brand-new episode of Sharlayan Dropouts--Axe of the Blood God's cool and fashionable Final Fantasy XIV podcast. This week, Nadia and Mike talk about what it was like to go hands-on with a preview build of the upcoming Endwalker expansion. (Victor, meanwhile, drools in equal parts anticipation and jealousy.) Look forward to a thorough breakdown of some of the new maps, including the Old Sharlayan hub town. Rest assured the rumours about Nadia dealing fogweed in the fifth floor washroom are greatly exaggerated. [Cough.]
Also in this episode: Hironobu Sakaguchi, the father of Final Fantasy, is in deep with Final Fantasy XIV. Very deep. We got 'im, fellahs. Plus, the Moogle Treasure Festival is on again, so prepare for Praetorium memes.
Spoiler Warning Level: Yellow. The content is pretty evenly parsed out in this episode. The first half up to 27:48 is news and discussion about what we've been doing in-game. There are very mild spoilers about A Realm Reborn's final dungeon, and we talk a bit about the games' trailers. From 27:48 on, the episode is almost exclusively spoilers about Endwalker's mechanics, the preview dungeon we played, etc.
There be dragons and dragon slayers in this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God. Faithful Patron Brian Cowan (thank you!) requested that Nadia, Kat, and Eric wade neck-deep into the fascinating historical muck that is Falcom's Dragon Slayer series. They talk about its origins, the people behind its development, and the reasons why this long-running series is one of the most important contributors to the RPG genre.
Also in this episode: Nadia shares some FFXIV: Endwalker impressions, Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 was saved from the brink of oblivion, and there are no cross-saves in the PC port of Monster Hunter Rise because Capcom loves suffering.
Oh, and Kat and Eric talk about Evangelion Thrice Upon a Time while Nadia plays Pokemon Go. The discussion, which is spoilerish, runs from 49:35 to 58:23.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.