We started Nintendo’s latest masterpiece on the Wii U instead of the Switch, and then rebuilt our finicky VR setups for Epic’s free Oculus Touch shooter. Plus, what game did Chris give up for Lent?
What was your favorite video game of 2016? We asked 23 of the smartest people we know–game designers, podcasters, YouTubers, journalists, a screenwriter, a playwright–and got 19 answers.
Counting Chris and JJ, that’s 25 people and 20 games in our second annual GOTY Podcast Spectacular. Plus, intense disagreement about the merits of “The Last Guardian.”
STARRING, in order of appearance:
Jason Concepcion & Ben Lindbergh, hosts of Achievement Oriented;
Chris Remo, Idle Thumbs host and Campo Santo developer;
Austin Walker, Waypoint editor-in-chief;
Carolyn Petit, Feminist Frequency writer;
Nina Freeman, “Cibele” designer and Fullbright level designer;
Theresa Duringer, founder of Temple Gates Games;
Adrian Chen, staff writer for The New Yorker;
Jon Lovett, a Keepin’ It 1600 host, screenwriter, and former speechwriter for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton;
Stephen Totilo, editor-in-chief of Kotaku;
Susan O’Connor, writer for games like “BioShock,” “Gears of War,” “Far Cry 2,” and “Tomb Raider”;
Virginia Heffernan, author of “Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art”;
Clive Thompson, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a columnist for Wired, and the author of “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better”;
Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency;
Lucy Prebble, playwright of “The Effect”;
Meg Jayanth, writer of “80 Days”;
Helen Lewis, deputy editor of the New Statesman;
John Davison, Glixel general manager;
Gabriel Winslow-Yost, assistant editor of The New York Review of Books;
Jason Killingsworth, writer for Riot Games and co-author of “You Died: The ‘Dark Souls’ Companion”;
Brett Douville, lead programmer for “Skyrim” and “Fallout 4” and Dev Game Club host;
Simon Parkin, contributing writer for NewYorker.com and author of “Death By Video Game”;
Laura Hudson, writer for FiveThirtyEight, Wired and Slate
Is the first “Assassin’s Creed” movie better than the first “Assassin’s Creed” video game? Plus, what JJ is playing in VR with Oculus Touch.
What happens when a podcast rant about Nintendo turns into a New York Times op-ed. Plus, comparing PlayStation Move and Oculus Touch while playing “I Expect You to Die,” Schell Games’ VR spy puzzler.
The “rhythm violence” of “Thumper” is one of the best experiences for PlayStation VR. Does it hold up on a two-dimensional screen? Then, why HBO’s new series “Westworld” is the most video-gamey TV show ever made. And did Chris quit “Clash Royale”?
Act 2 of “Kentucky Route Zero,” plus an intriguing Oculus shooter and a little “Auralux: Constellations”
We pre-ordered Rifts in February. They’re both finally here. We talk about “Lucky’s Tale” and compare the hardware to the HTC Vive. Then, Chris talks to Gabriel Winslow-Yost, an editor at the New York Review of Books, about why he plays video games, even when he’s a little ashamed of it.
A tightrope walk between the Twin Towers, why noses are the fix for simulator sickness, rhythm violence on the dark side of the moon, and the enduring influence of “Tron.” Chris reports from the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, where the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR were all showing off games this week.
Chris talks about putting his hands on — or his head inside — HoloLens, Oculus Touch, “What Remains of Edith Finch?” and “No Man’s Sky.” And not playing “Fallout 4.” JJ confesses to a compulsion to donate money to “Star Citizen.” Plus: The ambient sounds of Rhode Island frogs.