In which audio recorded almost a year ago finally sees the light of day. That’s right, we’re back whether you like it or not. In this episode: the pros and cons of camping, plus the long and storied career of The Undertaker. Oh, and a bit of games talk.
In which Paul gets to grips with a deeply flawed game from two decades ago which Tom remembered being much better than it was. Meanwhile, Tom gets to sample one of the most lauded games in recent memory. It almost doesn’t seem fair.
Be sure to stick around to the end for perhaps the most eloquent ever description of the flaws in a boss battle.
In which Paul is 100% sure he’s played the first game on Tom’s list, until Tom starts talking about it. There’s also Wii Ware weirdness, trilogy-ending twists, Ridge Racer reprises and H2O-based happenings.
Oh, and we open on the Playdate, which was fresh news when we recorded this 12 years ago.
In which indie developer Graham Goring discusses making the leap from writing for huge licensed games in the LEGO universe for TT Fusion to the relative uncertainty that comes with working on his own dream project: Phantom Island.
Please note, because Tom is lazy and good-for-nothing, this is an interview from late 2018 that has only just been edited. And this was the second attempt at recording it, too. Sorry Graham.
SPOILER ALERT: This episode mentions a major plot point from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so if you’re somehow a huge Star Wars fan who hasn’t yet seen Episode VII then a) that’s crazy; take a long, hard look at yourself, and b) you should probably skip ahead a few minutes when we get to talking about LEGO Star Wars.
Keep up with news of Phantom Island by following Graham on Twitter: @GrahamGoring
And if you’d like to listen to a podcast with an even more sporadic release schedule than this one, check out Graham’s show: Pig Ignorant Gamers
In which two very similar games are discussed and dissected.
After hearing an extensive list of things Tom doesn’t like about DOOM, learn why Paul feels that, for all its exciting gunplay, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as punching a demon in the face.
Next up, after a very brief and exceedingly polite disagreement over whether the Yoku’s Island Express soundtrack is catchy or not catchy (#TeamCatchy), your hosts bemoan having to play yet another platformer / pinball hybrid with a dung beetle protagonist.
In which your hosts continue last week’s conversation about the games they’ve played through in recent weeks.
You’ll hear how Harmonix fared with their foray into tabletop gaming, why taking ‘What Should I Play Next?’ advice from a stranger on the internet isn’t always advisable, how two old remakes of two even older games manage to retain the magic decades after the fact, why a free game continues to be PSVR’s true killer app, and why 140 is something of an overlooked gem (again).
Pneuma: Breath of Life
Resident Evil (2002 REmake)
Metroid: Samus Returns
The Playroom VR
In which your hosts belatedly kick off 2019 in the only way they know how: discussing old games everybody else played many moons ago.
You’ll be served a Double Fine double header before it’s all aboard for a trip more grim than a book of fairy tales. And before you reach your final destination, find out why there ain’t no onion time like the present to check out some mobile game that’s a bit like bingo meets whack-a-mole.
Day of the Tentacle
The Final Station
Million Onion Hotel
In which the co-founder of indie developer The Voxel Agents talks to Tom about what went into the making of their unique puzzle adventure The Gardens Between.
From revealing that the initial idea for what became The Gardens Between stemmed from a Tom Cruise film to tales of discovering the wonders of Twitch streaming with his parents, Simon offers plenty of interesting insights into the process of making a critically acclaimed game.
Follow Simon on Twitter: @simonjoslin
Follow The Voxel Agents on Twitter: @TheVoxelAgents
In which your hosts continue to talk over the games they played during the show’s downtime. A highly regarded JRPG gets compared to Neighbours, there’s plenty of back-and-forth about the merits (or otherwise) of visual novels, and we hear why interviewing a wrestler backstage makes for a memorable gaming moment. Whoa, you go big guy!
In which your hosts rise, Phoenix-like, to resume the very important business of talking about videogames. It’s been a while, so Tom and Paul talk over some of the more notable games they’ve played through since the last pod was launched. It was a long old chat, so the second half will be released next week.
In which your hosts discuss a couple of games from yesteryear that brought both post-Christmas joy and frustration — featuring only one mention of sailors and, thanks to rare restraint, absolutely no talk of getting sweaty.
In which scores are literally settled in the opening moments before discussion turns to games with colons and disappointment rears its ugly head. Could colons and disappointment be linked somehow? Also: enjoy listening to one of us sniff and splutter a lot. You’re welcome.
In which two very different games are united by equally memorable soundtracks as Variable State’s debut Virginia and Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV come under the spotlight. Witness true podcast drama as gaming credentials are questioned and one team member is called out publicly for failing to adopt the appropriate control scheme for full nostalgia overload.
Playing Catch-up was brought to you today by the letter ‘V’.
In which Tom and Paul, giddy with excitement from the PSVR launch, recount tales of shifting violently from VR indifference to steadfast support following game-changing debut experiences.
Having both picked up the PlayStation VR headset on launch, they compare notes on the hardware itself and how it compares to PC-based virtual reality headsets before mulling over a couple of leading lights from the launch line-up: Thumper and Tumble VR.
Oh, and why smashing into things with your head is probably the future of gaming.
In which the co-director of lauded first-person thriller Virginia joins Tom for a chat about forming his studio Variable State, signing with publisher 505 Games and developing a debut game that has raised eyebrows across the board.
Read more about Virginia (and sample the excellent soundtrack) at Virginia.game
The game and accompanying soundtrack are available to download on Steam and PS4. The game is also available on Xbox One.
In which your hosts discuss Resident Evil 7’s ‘teaser demo’ (by way of Project Zero, P.T. and Silent Hill 3) and the prospect of experiencing Capcom’s new direction for the series in the brave new world of VR. Or, you know, trying it for 30 seconds before flinging the sweat-soaked headset to the other side of the room.
In which your hosts start putting out some bite-size morsels in-between the main episodes to try and maintain some semblance of consistency.
Having spoken about his experience playing through Broken Age in last week’s episode, a presumably sleep deprived Paul reports back having consumed 20 episodes of the accompanying documentary series in a week. Meanwhile, Tom takes on giant ants and spiders in EDF 4.1, a game which confidently straddles the thin line between breathtaking and preposterous.
In which the ever-revolving door of Playing Catch-up co-hosts thrusts Paul Thomas into the spotlight as he sets his sights high and pursues the impossible dream of a six-episode streak.
Join your hosts on a rollercoaster journey as they run the gamut of emotions, experiencing fear and sadness over the insignificance of human existence only to forget all that and embrace the unbridled joy of chasing after a diamond-encrusted skull.
In which listeners skip straight to 15:08 to hear an in-depth interview with Her Story creator Sam Barlow covering important subjects such as the right time to introduce a child to Street Fighter II.
SPOILER ALERT: The final half-hour section of this podcast contains spoilers for Her Story but there are plenty of warnings in the pre-amble. Everything beforehand, including the entirety of the interview, is spoiler-free.
Huge thanks to Sam for taking the time to talk to us.
Read more about Her Story here and then buy it, you lunatic.
In which yet another new co-host joins the fray as two Toms nonchalantly pump out a new episode as if there’s still an audience out there after a five-month hiatus. It’s something of a Telltale Games special as The Walking Dead: Season One and Back to the Future: The Game get the old once-over.
In which Chris lands the decisive blow in the age-old debate of ‘Is games art?’, drawing devastating parallels between the Call of Duty series and the oeuvre of JMW Turner. Plus free codes for everyone (six people)!
In which a new co-host arrives hell-bent on making the most of the spotlight and causing controversy by telling you why Ico was rubbish (even though it wasn’t). Oh, and the games we were actually supposed to talk about.
In which our heroes muse on how they gave games longer to impress them back when they were time-rich and cash-poor as if that’s an original observation and risk the wrath of niche game enthusiasts and PlayStation Vita fans in general.
In which Britain’s manliest men reveal which games they were too scared to finish, decide that Dear Esther is definitely either a game or not a game and admire the relish with which Dark Souls mocks all who enter. Bonus: a laugh to haunt your dreams.
In which Tom displays a stunning misunderstanding of Ecco the Dolphin’s respiratory system and Tim explains why Crackdown would have been better if its opening two hours had been dull. Plus a bit of chat about Bastion and Cave Story+.