Kat and the entire USG gang get together to recap all of the best games of 2018! From Red Dead Redemption 2 to Return of the Obra Dinn, we argue over what worked, what didn't work, and whether they match up to the best of 2018. Plus, we talk about the year's biggest trends, and look ahead to 2019!
Many RPGs were released in 2018. Some of them were good, others were very bad. Kat and Nadia go through the calendar and talk about the high points and low points of an interesting year in RPGs, covering Monster Hunter: World, Octopath Traveler, Fallout 76, and more. Plus: Kat and Nadia recap the announcement of Persona's Joker for Smash Bros., and Kat gets very excited about The Outer Worlds.
Persona 4 was a transformative RPG in many respects. Persona 5 might be even better. But which one should be represented in our Top 25 RPG Countdown? Kat and Nadia are still torn, so they've decided to hash it out in podcast form, comparing and contrasting their impacts, their immense positives, controversies, and more. Whichever one you support, it's a tribute to two outstanding RPGs. (Note: Major Persona 4 spoilers and some medium Persona 5 spoilers within this discussion).
Mass Effect and KOTOR are more popular, but Baldur's Gate 2 is BioWare's magnum opus. Guest Troy Goodfellow joins Kat to break down the story, the world, and all the other reasons that this magnificent RPG deserves to be in the Top 10 RPGs of all time. Now available on Spotify!
It's an RPG double-whammy as Nadia and Kat talk about why Pokemon Let's Go works so well, and reviews editor Mike Williams discusses why Fallout 76... uh... doesn't. It's a mixture of cute cuddly monsters and the post-apocalyptic in an episode that should have something for everyone. Special bonus: We discuss the newly-announced Final Fantasy XIV expansion and the introduction of the Blue Mage!
On the 15th anniversary of Fire Emblem's release in America, Kat and Nadia remember the first entry to make it overseas. They talk Marth and Roy's first appearance in Smash Bros. Melee, the reasons for Blazing Sword being chosen over Binding Blade, and of course, perma-death. Plus: An investigation into why Smash Bros. fans love Super Mario RPG's Geno, Hajime Tabata's shocking resignation, and more!
Kat and Nadia talk about some of the announcements from Blizzcon, including a Diablo mobile game, as well as the surprise appearance of Deltarune, the new game by Toby Fox. Then the pair share their impressions of Diablo 3 and talk about why it's such a great fit for Nintendo Switch. Afterward, special guest Matthew Allen comes on the show to add Elder Scrolls: Morrowind to our Top 25 RPGs list! Listen as we discuss why its story was ahead of its time, what made its world so unique, and why it was the end of an era for Bethesda.
Yee-haw! Red Dead Redemption 2 is here, and Kat and Nadia are here to rank their five favorite RPG cowboys (there are more than you think!) Plus, Kat and Nadia share their impressions of Fallout 76, and Kat talks about her continued neverending quest to finish Persona 5!
Kat is playing Persona 5... again! She and Nadia discuss her very slow progress through an admittedly great RPG while also taking some time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mother 3's fansub. Then special guest John Learned joins Kat and Mike Williams to add Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic to our Top 25 RPG list! We talk about why it signaled a sea change in console RPGs, how it popularized BioWare, and why it's still one of the best Star Wars sandboxes around.
Caty McCarthy returns to talk about The World Ends With You's move to Nintendo Switch, where the group talk about how the controls translate, co-op, playing on the big screen, and the new endgame content. Then Mike Williams joins in to talk about Assassin's Creed Odyssey's bonafides as an RPG, its romantic options, and the troublesome problem of microtransactions.
It's a week in which Axe of the Blood God pushes the big red button as Nadia returns from her trip to West Virginia to share her experience with Fallout 76. Kat and Nadia talk about what it's like to play solo, the nuclear quest, and whether it fits with the character of the series. Then Kat and Nadia add a new entry to their Top 25 RPG list: Fallout New Vegas! Listen as they talk about Fallout New Vegas' classic quests, its rich history, and the unique choices that help separate it from the rest of the 3D Fallout games.
Chris Avellone, writer of Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Fallout 2, and Divinity Original Sin 2, joins Kat to talk his newest game, making evil decisions in RPGs, and the state of RPG writing today. But not before Nadia and Kat review Valkyria Chronicles 4, where they discuss the updates to the tactics, the story, and how it plays on Switch!
With the PlayStation Classic being officially announced, Nadia and Kat discuss the its rich RPG legacy and talk about which games will be announced for it yet (c'mon Valkyrie Profile). Then they continue the Top 25 RPG Countdown with the greatest Pokemon generation of them all: Gold and Silver! Kat and Nadia talk about the magic of Johto, the fun of returning to Kanto, and why it holds up better than any generation to date.
A lot of Final Fantasy games just got announced for Switch. Final Fantasy VIII is not one of them. Nadia and Kat discuss its relative merits and discuss why it's getting ignored, plus delve a bit into some of the other announcements (like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles!) Then legendary RPG developer Brian Fargo returns to talk Wasteland 2, Bard's Tale 4, the changing landscape of indie development, and his shifting attitude on Nintendo Switch.
Kat and Nadia are here to offer their spoiler-less review of Dragon Quest XI! Is it really just "more Dragon Quest VIII?" How does the cast stack up? And what about that music? The pair have plenty of thoughts on the latest entry in the series. Plus: Bob Mackey returns to add Earthbound to our Top 25 RPG list!
We take our Top 25 RPG countdown LIVE to PAX West, where we talk Renegade vs. Paragon, Male Shepard vs. Female Shepard, Kaidan vs. Ashley, and laugh along to the infamous alien sex scene. Special guests: Waypoint's Austin Walker, Vidjagame Apocalypse's Matthew Allen, and USG reviews editor Mike Williams!
Mike Williams returns to talk about his massive history of World of WarCraft on USgamer, as well as to share his thoughts on the latest expansion. Then Nadia and Kat go over number 17 on their ongoing countdown of the Top 25 RPGs: Deus Ex! Find out why this groundbreaking PC RPG deserves to be counted among the greatest ever.
Nadia and Kat take a break from the Top 25 RPG countdown to talk about what they miss from classic RPGs. Remember overworlds? Large party sizes? Fricking cloth maps? The pair reminisce about those old school features and more in this nostalgia laden episode of Axe of the Blood God.
Kat is once again joined by Retronauts host Jeremy Parish to explore the history of RPGs. This time they dive into PLATO, Wizardry, and Bard's Tale as they explore about the rise of the "second wave" of RPGs in the 1980s. Then David Craddock returns to talk about #18 on our Top 25 RPG Countdown: Diablo 2!
1UP alum Shane Bettenhausen joins Kat to talk about the best Genesis RPG ever: Phantasy Star IV! Plus, Nadia and Kat talk about space RPGs, what sets them apart from their counterparts in other subgenres, and wonder why theren't more of them.
Kat is joined by Hirun Cryer to review Banner Saga 3. Does it effectively close the epic tactical RPG series? How does the gameplay hold up? And is being depressing necessarily a bad thing? Then Divinity: Original Sin 2 writer Kevin VanOrd and Gamesbeat's Jason Wilson join us to discuss number 20 in our Top 25 RPG Countdown: Divinity: Original Sin! Find out why this 2014 sleeper hit deserves to be considered a modern classic.
Kat is joined by Mike Williams and Vidjagame Apocalypse co-host Matthew Allen to discuss number 21 on our Top 25 RPG Countdown: World of WarCraft! They talk about its RPG roots, why it changed MMORPGs forever, and why it continues to command a loyal audience to this day. Then Kat and Nadia respond to some of the more heated feedback from last episode's Octopath Traveler review.
GameXplain co-host Derrick Bitner joins Kat and Nadia to review Octopath Traveler. Do the sprites match the quality of the environments? Which character did each host pick first? And can Nadia and Derrick convince Kat to upgrade from Prologue? Then, Kat is joined by guest Ryan Allen to add Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines to the Top 25 RPG countdown. They talk about how it's risen above its troubled development history, its amazing roleplaying possibilities, and why it's still supported by a cadre of dedicated fans to this day.
Nadia shares her initial impressions of Octopath Traveler, including the battle system, the graphics, and more. Then David Craddock returns to talk about Nethack, its remarkable support through the years, and tales of YASDs.
Our old friend Jeremy Parish returns to discuss the first entry in his new series about the history of RPGs, which covers Ultima, Teletype RPGs, and Richard Garriott's early programming experiments. Then we dive into number 24 on our Top 25 RPGs of All Time countdown: Tactics Ogre! We talk about its rich storyline, excellent tactics, and what sets it apart from its successor Final Fantasy Tactics (which is also great). Find out why Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is yet another underrated RPG gem!