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We're firmly in the teeth of the 2020 release season, and the RPGs are arriving fast. Kat and Nadia circle back on some of the RPGs they missed, including Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, WoW: Shadowlands, Godfall, and more. Plus: Cyberpunk's performance on current-gen consoles, The Game Awards RPG nominations, and more thoughts on Yakuza: Like a Dragon.…
 
Kat and Nadia bid farewell to Mike Williams the only way they know how—with a lengthy conversation about Final Fantasy 14. They also welcome back old friend Ash Paulsen, who joins the group to talk about Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory and more. Finally, Kat and Nadia have an announcement about the future of Axe of the Blood God.…
 
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are out this week, and we've got the whole gang to break it all down over the course of a two hour mega-pod extravaganza! Kat, Mike, Nadia, and Eric are here to compare the PS5 and Xbox Series X, look at the launch lineup, and break down all the pros and cons for early adopters. Also in this episode, we review Ya…
 
In a continuation of their look back on the most recent console generation, Kat and Nadia examine the outsized impact of the PlayStation 4 on RPGs. From the return of Japan to the "mainstreaming" of RPGs, to VR and "service games," the pair talk about all the way that RPGs have changed over the past seven years. Also in this episode: Cyberpunk 2077…
 
With the next generation of consoles mere weeks away, we're jumping ahead in the Console RPG Quest to the Xbox One! While at first glance the Xbox One's RPG legacy is quite weak, there's more to it than meets the eye. Kat and Nadia talk about the importance of backward compatibility, the possibilities afforded by streaming, and lessons learned as t…
 
Kat and Nadia take a break from the grind of the RPG release schedule to talk about how some of today's most popular genres can be combined with the wonders of role-playing, including battle royale, Among Us, and more. Plus, we talk about Phil Spencer's recent comments concerning Bethesda, Yakuza 7, and more!…
 
Larian founder Swen Vincke returns to the podcast to discuss the initial feedback on Baldur's Gate 3's early access release, turn-based vs. real-time with pause, dice rolls, and more! (Starts around 26:20) Plus, Kat and Nadia share their impressions on Genshin Impact, the Monster Hunter movie trailer, and more!…
 
The Console RPG Quest officially arrives in the HD era with the Xbox 360 RPG Quest! Nadia and Kat talk about the impact of online, the waning fortunes of the Japanese industry, the super success of Oblivion, and much more! Plus, USgamer Reviews Editor Mike Williams is here to talk about Genshin Impact, the new free-to-play open-world RPG that's alr…
 
Kat and Nadia are joined by USgamer News Editor Eric Van Allen to sing the praises of Hades, the amazing roguelite by Supergiant Games that is now out of Early Access. The trio discuss its relationship to Diablo; how Supergiant is beating Blizzard at its own game, and why RPG fans should play this excellent dungeon crawler. Plus, all of this week's…
 
In a move with enormous implications for the games industry as a whole, but especially for RPGs, Microsoft has acquired Bethesda, the publisher responsible for Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, and Starfield. What will this mean for role-playing games? How will this impact the next-gen race? And how will Sony react? Kat and Nadia are joined by special gu…
 
Kat and Nadia react to a huge week for RPG announcements, breaking down Avalanche's Harry Potter game, Monster Hunter Rise, and the PS5 price announcement. Then it's time to talk Final Fantasy XVI, as Kat and Nadia analyze its announcement trailer, its connections to Final Fantasy 14, and its place in the long history of Final Fantasy announcements…
 
The fall release season is officially upon us, and that means it's time to preview all of the big RPGs that will carry us to the end of the year. Kat and Nadia sit down to preview Cyberpunk 2077, Trails of Cold Steel 4, Yakuza 7, World of WarCraft Shadowlands, and all the rest of this fall's most interesting role-playing games. Plus: Reactions to t…
 
The latest edition of the Console RPG Quest explores the legacy of Sony's initial foray into the handheld space: the PlayStation Portable! Kat and Nadia recall Sony's attempt to create "the Walkman for the 21st century," the rise of Monster Hunter and its impact on RPGs, the strange saga of Persona 2, and much more as they continue their quest to c…
 
In 1997, a small group of former devs from Konami and Square got together to make Moon: RPG Remix Adventure, an affectionate parody and tribute to the role-playing genre. More than 20 years later, it's finally out for Nintendo Switch, and Kat and Nadia dig into the legacy of this curious creation by Love-de-lic. Plus: Wasteland 3 impressions, Final…
 
Kat Bailey is on vacation, so hapless co-host Nadia Oxford takes over the Axe of the Blood God with help from USgamer news editor, Eric Van Allen. The duo put out out the small fires that invariably crop up when Kat's out of town while they discuss Baldur's Gate 3, new RPGs coming to Nintendo Switch, and the troubles bogging down Bloodlines 2. Then…
 
It was the year 2000, and Square was pushing three big RPGs on the Sony PlayStation. The games themselves—Chrono Cross, Threads of Fate, and Legend of Mana—met with a mixed reception, but the Summer of Adventure 2000 said more about where Square stood in that particular moment in history. Kat and Nadia remember this unique period in gaming history,…
 
The latest entry in the Console RPG Quest series takes on the Nintendo DS, the legendary "third pillar" that did its part to carry Nintend for more than a decade. From Etrian Odyssey to Dragon Quest IX, Kat and Nadia discuss its remarkable RPG library, and why it was so important to Japanese gaming in the late 2000s.…
 
For the final episode of Season 1 of Branching Narratives, Jeff welcomes Brenda Romero, a pioneering developer in the games industry with a long resume that includes Jagged Alliance, a BAFTA award, and the upcoming Empire of Sin. Jeff talks to Brenda about all these accomplishments, how she got her start in the games industry in the 1980s, and much…
 
With the next generation of consoles nearly upon us, Kat is joined by Reviews Editor Mike Williams and Senior Editor Caty McCarthy to discuss the future of the genre. What surprises do the PS5 and Xbox Series X hold for RPGs? Will it all be Destiny-likes and Witcher 3 clones? Or will we be treated to new settings, A.I. innovations, and other fascin…
 
USgamer's Kat Bailey turns the tables and interviews Jeff Green this week, so it's his turn to share how he got his first job in the games industry in 1996, days spent rolling into the office at 10:30am to play '90s PC games, GFW Radio memories, and what it means to get older in the games industry. This week the spotlight is on the Black Dragon, so…
 
It's a super busy week for RPG news as Kat and Nadia talk about all the Shin Megami Tensei announcements while breaking down the big Fable and Avowed reveals from the Xbox showcase. This is all on top of word that the Suikoden creators are getting together to create a spiritual successor, which Kat and Nadia react to in real time. Listen as we disc…
 
This week's guest is Cloud Chamber Studio Head Kelley Gilmore, who spent nearly 20 years at Firaxis before moving on to run the studio tasked with rebooting BioShock. She talks about the enormous responsibility of rebooting a beloved franchise; how the studio is handling challenges like motion capture amid COVID-19; the importance of hiring for div…
 
GameXplain's Andre Segers joins the podcast to review Paper Mario: The Origami King with Kat and Nadia. Why is the latest game in the venerable series proving so contentious among Nintendo fans? Is there a way to revive the series's fortunes? And what would a Super Mario Persona 5 game look like? We answer all of these questions, plus delve further…
 
Gary Whitta—screenwriter (Star Wars: Rogue One, The Book of Eli), comic book writer, and novelist—talks about what it's like to go from being a video game magazine editor to being the guy who wrote a Star Wars movie. He also discusses the trials and tribulations of being a Hollywood writer, the joy and craziness of hosting the wildly popular Animal…
 
Close to a decade after its original crowdfunding campaign, CrossCode is finally on console! Kat and Nadia are joined by Hirun Cryer, who explains why this beautiful indie RPG is worth your attention. Plus, Kat explains why she's still digging Pokemon Sword, and Nadia reveals her thoughts on Paper Mario: The Origami King.…
 
Jeff is joined by Kahlief Adams, host of the Spawn on Me podcast, to discuss the long fight to get more Black voices in the games industry; what it's like to be on the other side of a negative game review; Kahlief discovering games with the help of his grandmother, and his fight to get notice for podcasts about people of color in games. Hosted by U…
 
The original Xbox didn't have that many role-playing game, but it was nevertheless a watershed moment for both console history and the RPG genre. Kat and Nadia look back on Microsoft's entry into the console market and talk about Knights of the Old Republic's breakout success, Fable's broken promises, and much more, Plus: Reacting to the newly-anno…
 
It's Diablo 2's 20th anniversary, and Kat and Nadia are here to talk about its remarkable descendants, including Titan Quest, Torchlight, and other classics (plus some newer games)! Plus, Cyberpunk 2077 impressions, why Pokemon Diamond & Pearl doesn't need a remake, and more!
 
In this week's episode of Branching Narratives, we're joined by Bethesda's Pete Hines, who talks about his early days at Bethesda "bullshitting ad copy" with Todd Howard [10:00]; how Morrowind helped keep the company in business [20:00]; the Fallout license acquisition [29:00], and the lessons of Fallout 76 [42:00]. Hosted by USgamer: http://usgame…
 
The latest entry in the Console RPG Quest tackles both the WonderSwan and the Neo Geo Pocket, two cult favorite handhelds nevertheless trapped in the shadow of the Game Boy. Are their RPG legacies worth remembering? Kat and Nadia discuss! Plus, the duo get into all of the RPG news from the week, including the Pokemon Sword and Shield DLC, the Cyber…
 
In the second episode the newly-renamed Branching Narratives, Jeff welcomes Samantha Kalman, the indie developer, musician, and technologist behind the unique rhythm game Sentris. She talks about why she never thought she'd make it as a game developer; meeting her heroes; her journey as a transgender woman, and the influences of Loom and Rock Band.…
 
It's E3! ... Sort of. Kat and Nadia react to the PS5 reveal and lament the general lack of RPGs; talk about Persona 4 Golden being liberated from the Vita, and speculate on Square Enix's newly-revealed Project Athia. Plus chatter about the Demon's Souls Remake, the Track of the Week, and more!
 
For our first episode, we're joined by Austin Walker, host of the popular podcasts Friends at the Table and Waypoint Radio and formerly of Giant Bomb. He's here to talk about his journey from academia to the games industry, the rise of D&D, editorial battles with sales and PR, and much more in this extended conversation with host Jeff Green. Hosted…
 
We're launching a brand new podcast at USgamer! In this special preview of Branching Narratives, Jeff and Kat sit down to talk about Jeff's journey through the industry; why they're launching a conversational podcast, and how it's all going to work. Stay tuned for the first full episode on June 10!
 
In the course of USG raising more than $7000 for Black Lives Matters during a live stream, Axe of the Blood God recently held a live discussion about social commentary in RPGs. That segment is included in this episode, in which we are joined by Eric Van Allen and VG247's Alex Donaldson, who talk about the failings of Vampire: The Masquerade and Deu…
 
We're launching a brand new podcast at USgamer! In this special preview of Branching Narratives, Jeff and Kat sit down to talk about Jeff's journey through the industry; why they're launching a conversational podcast, and how it's all going to work. Stay tuned for the first full episode on June 10!
 
Kat, Nadia, and USG Senior Editor Caty McCarthy render their final verdict on Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, where they talk about the new content, the biggest changes, and whether the fan-favorite RPG holds up. Plus: Track of the Week, a potential World Ends With You sequel, Kat's favorite podcasts, and more!…
 
The Console RPG Quest continues with an exploration of one of Nintendo's less popular handhelds. Regarded as a bit of a tweener in its day, trapped as it was between the Nintendo DS and Game Boy, it has grown in esteem as fans have come to better appreciate its beautiful graphics and large library. But what about its RPG legacy? Tune in and listen …
 
There's lots to talk about in the news, so Nadia and Kat take some time to talk through the recent PS5 tech demo, the Ghost of Tsushima gameplay reveal, and the surprising controversy around Paper Mario. Then Kat shares her thoughts on Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, and listeners get to weigh in on the failed RPGs they want to make a com…
 
Some RPGs become successful franchises, and others simply vanish into history, regardless of merits. This episode covers the latter, with Nadia and Kat discussing lost gems including Alpha Protocol, Resonance of Fate, The Last Story, Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning, and more. Do these games deserve another chance? Maybe, maybe not, but they at least d…
 
Maligned in its day, the Nintendo GameCube is now fondly remembered by Nintendo fans. But what about its RPGs? Kat and Nadia continue the Console RPG Quest by exploring the legacy of Baten Kaitos, Tales of Symphonia, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and the rest of the RPGs that defined the GameCube.…
 
It's a great big multiplayer RPG episode as USG's Play Together Week gets underway! Kat and Nadia are joined by Mike Williams to reminisce about Final Fantasy 11, discuss the World of WarCraft: Shadowlands Alpha, and revisit Fallout 76 through its new Wastelanders update. Is it finally worth returning to Fallout 76? The Blood God crew weighs in! Pl…
 
Special guests Steve Bowling of GameXplain and Alex Donaldson of VG247 join Kat to discuss Final Fantasy 7 Remake's unique ending, and what might come next [10:35 to 57:00 if you want to avoid spoilers]. Then Nadia returns to ponder whether Xenogears and Suikoden 2 should get remakes, talk about quests that can be completed without violence, and co…
 
Senior Guides Writer Jake Green joins Kat for a non-spoiler review discussion of Final Fantasy 7 Remake! They talk about what it gets right (the characters and soundtrack), where it suffers (the padding), and whether it lives up to all the hopes, dreams, and speculation of the past 15 years. Don't worry, this episode has NO SPOILERS. Read our revie…
 
MinnMax's Ben Hanson joins Kat and Nadia as a special guest to remember the awkwardness that was Square's direct to video era. From Advent Children to Crisis Core, the trio recount the good and bad of the compilation, and wonder whether it deserves any sort of mention in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Plus: Nadia's Bravely Default 2 impressions!…
 
With Persona 5 Royal just a week away, Nadia, Eric, Hirun, and Caty get together for a spoiler-filled and in-depth conversation about the original game. They discuss Persona 5's history; social links; amazing soundtrack, and whether or not the ending ultimately works. Also, Nadia and Hirun chime in with a bit of (not as spoiler-filled) chatter abou…
 
Which RPGs have the best intros? Kat and Nadia talk through the introductory sequences in some of the best RPGs ever made, and why they work and don't work. Why does Final Fantasy 7's opening hit so hard? What about Mass Effect 2? The pair explain what a really good intro can do for a story, and all the ways that a bad one can sap an otherwise good…
 
It's a Mailbag of the Blood God this week as Kat and Nadia tackle all of your biggest questions! This week's questions include: - Why do RPG protagonists always seem to use swords? - What are the Blood God's commandments for succeeding in RPGs? - Why are airships so awesome? - Do we feel guilty over dropping an especially long RPG? - What are some …
 
The Console RPG Quest continues with our exploration of the PlayStation 2, just in time for its 20th anniversary! We talk about its incredibly deep library of RPGs; the rise of companies like NIS and Level-5, and classics like Final Fantasy 10 and Persona 3. Plus, Kat recently got a chance to check out Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Baldur's Gate 3, an…
 
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