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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: Page 1
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.)

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.

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