Heroes of Hyrule Video Restored – Did You Know Gaming?

LOST Zelda Game for Nintendo DS: Heroes of Hyrule – Ft. @Zeltik by Did You Know Gaming? on YouTube

A few months ago, Did you Know Gaming? uploaded a slew of sweet Zelda videos showcasing lost projects pitched by Retro Studios. I meant to share them both here, but it slipped through my mind. DYKG was clearly in touch with former (and possibly current) developers at Retro with their access to materials and on-the-record interviews. It’s journalism in the truest sense.

Their video on the Zelda tactics game Heroes of Hyrule was removed earlier this month courteous of YouTube’s automatic copyright takedown system. If this was published on any other outlet, the story never would have been taken down. While Nintendo may not like the reveal of shut down pitch content, this story has historical importance and was fairly investigated.

I’m happy to see the removal was reversed.

Chapter Select: Season 4, Episode 10 – F9

Photo and design by Max Roberts

The thrilling finale of CS: The Fast Saga has arrived. Max Roberts and Logan Moore are at the end of their podcasting road trip through the Fast & Furious films. Does a never-before-mentioned brother help or hinder this blockbuster series?

Download (37MB)

RSS FeedOvercastApple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube

F9: The Fast Saga

Rotten Tomatoes – 59% critic and 82% viewers

This episode was originally recorded on December 3, 2022.


Max’s Twitter @MaxRoberts143

Logan’s Twitter @MooreMan12

Researcher, Editor, and Producer – Max Roberts

Hosted by Logan Moore & Max Roberts

Photo and Art designed by Max Roberts.

Naughty Dog’s Next Game has a Writer’s Room

Can “The Last of Us” Break the Curse of Bad Video-Game Adaptations? by Alex Barasch for The New Yorker

[Neil Druckmann’s] next project, he revealed, was a game that was “structured more like a TV show” than anything else Naughty Dog had made—for which he’d taken a highly unusual step. He wasn’t writing the script alone, or with a single partner. He was assembling a writers’ room.

I was reading Alex’s story, snipping out quotes I wanted to share here, when his closing paragraph just casually name drops Naughty Dog and Neil Druckmann’s next game that’s (probably) not the The Last of Us multiplayer game. When you take this quote and pair it with the rumors a couple weeks ago that The Last of Us Part III is Neil’s next game and is in production, the ideas begin-a spinning.

“Structured more like a TV show” is a bucket of a phrase that carries possibilities and implications. Would it be more segmented than the hard split Part II adopts? What’s the player perspective? How could this approach be applied to the “on the stick” storytelling? Is it all just a fancy way of saying we hired a lot of writers for this game?

As intriguing as Neil’s statement is, there’s no real direction to be gleaned from it without confirmation of the project. The big difference between last gen and this gen I suspect will be Naughty Dog’s zipped muzzle when it comes to what they are working on. The time between announcement and release for The Last of Us Part II was just under 1,300 days. In contrast, The Last of Us Part I was 86 days.1 I think both Naughty Dog and Sony prefer the shorter turnaround in the public eye.

The HBO show is just two weeks away. I wonder what other TLOU-related things will emerge throughout 2023.

Update: Neil apparently tweeted about it too. Here’s what he said:

I’m sure no one will misconstrue what this means! 😂

(Spoiler: it’s about making our games in an even more collaborative manner! Stoked to show you our projects as soon as we can!)

This shows that Naughty Dog is staying tight-ish lipped with their games. Collaboration helped make Part II the masterpiece it became. More collaboration can elevate whatever game the studio is making. I look forward to learning what this all means.

1. I get that Part I is a remake, so that alone lends itself to shorter turnaround out in public. And that it started out as a project outside of Naughty Dog. The real barometer will be the gap between announcement and release for the multiplayer game. It was either announced on Sept. 26, 2019 – when Naughty Dog confirmed that Part II would have no Factions mode – or on June 9, 2022 alongside Part I. The clock is ticking.

Chapter Select: Season 2, Episode 9 – God of War: Ragnarök

Photo by Paxson Woelber, designed by Max Roberts

Ragnarök has arrived. After replaying every God of War game, Max and Logan finally sat down to talk about the conclusion to the Norse pantheon. Can Kratos challenge fate once again or is Ragnarök truly the end for the Spartan?

Download (61MB)

RSS FeedOvercastApple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube

God of War: Ragnarök

Metacritic – 94/100

This episode was originally recorded on December 15, 2022.

Max’s Twitter

Logan’s Twitter

Researcher, Editor, and Producer – Max Roberts

Hosted by Logan Moore & Max Roberts

Season Art Statue Photo by Simone Pellegrini on Unsplash and designed by Max Roberts

Episode Cover Art Boat by Paxson Woelber on Unsplash, designed by Max Roberts

Castlevania Series Retrospective – I Finished A Video Game

Castlevania Series Retrospective – A Complete History and Review by Matt for I Finished A Video Game on Youtube via Aram Jabbari on Twitter

I don’t think I’ve ever recommended a 7+ hour video on YouTube, but holy water Ritcher, I can’t stop watching.

Wonderful narration, through research, rich context, and clean editing. I would love to know how Matt went about tackling such an ambitious video.

Update (01/06/2023): I found out how Matt made the retrospective.

Resident Evil Village VR launches February 22 for free – PlayStation.Blog

Resident Evil Village VR Mode launches February 22 for PS VR2 as free DLC by Kanda Tsuyoshi for the PlayStation Blog

Today, I’m happy to reveal that this additional mode will release on February 22, 2023 as a free DLC for Resident Evil Village. You can download and play it immediately when you get your PlayStation VR2.

Always suspected this was going to launch with PS VR2 and be free, considering Resident Evil 7‘s launch on PS4 and PS VR, but nice to see it in writing. I will say this, it sure doesn’t feel like PS VR2 launches in just 69 days.

The prototypes in Ed Semrad’s basement – Video Game History Foundation

The prototypes in Ed Semrad’s basement by Frank Cifaldi for Video Game History Foundation

Ed’s obsessive personality made EGM a valuable resource. If a game existed and could be seen by his eyes, he had to have screenshots in the magazine. Ed was careful to catalog every game he saw at every trade show he attended. If it was playable, he snapped photographs while another editor played, with the “cone of silence” he invented and was well known for.

If there was a video loop showing footage of a game he couldn’t get his hands on, Ed patiently stood with his camera at the ready to make sure he captured it. If photography wasn’t allowed, Ed would find a hiding spot to sneak shots with a zoom lens. His office walls were adorned with photographs he’d taken of the “no photography allowed” signs he’d encountered on the job. At least once, when no one was looking, Ed re-routed a demo station’s video cables into a camcorder and back out to the TV, quietly recording an entire game demo that turned into a multi-page spread that the magazine was not supposed to have.

I remember sitting in my dark bedroom with my Dad’s digital camera recording my first game review.1 Ed was on another level with his capture. A great find for preservation and future education.

1. I went with [*Mario Kart Wii*](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-nPWg091EY). This was back when you had to split up videos longer than 10~ minutes into chunks.

Xbox’s Game Awards No-Show Is a Slap in the Face to Players – IGN

Xbox’s Game Awards No-Show Is a Slap in the Face to Players by Ryan McCaffery for IGN

It’s a bad sign when there were more Muppets at The Game Awards than Xbox world premieres. As someone who’s been playing and covering Xbox for 20 years, I’m not sure I’ve ever been more baffled by the console-maker’s decision-making. I tweeted my frustration as soon as the industry’s glitziest event of the year came to its awkward end, and if the hundreds of responses to that tweet told me anything, it’s that this was no hot take. How could it be? Microsoft literally showed nothing for the year to come, despite promising us a huge 2023 at last summer’s Xbox Showcase.

In June last year I foolishly declared the years-long exclusives drought over ahead of Microsoft’s fantastic Fall 2021. In hindsight, that period has been an exception rather than the new rule. Xbox fans suffered through an exceptionally dry year (shout-out to Obsidian’s fantastic, if niche, Pentiment, though!) and also had to watch PlayStation exclusives delight PS5 owners at The Game Awards all night long, from Forspoken to Final Fantasy XVI to Death Stranding 2.

Microsoft may have the defacto subscription service, but without their own new exclusives to beef up said catalog, what to fans have to look forward to? I haven’t touched my Xbox since we played Banjo-Kazooie for Chapter Select earlier this year. I wish that wasn’t the case.

The Last of Us Part III Rumored to be in Production

Well, I’m not watching anything, so… Dr. Uckmann’s next game is THE LAST OF US PART III which is currently in production at Naughty Dog.

@ViewerAnon on Twitter

This rumor hit the web last night and was quickly shared with me.

This isn’t terribly surprising news, if it is true. Naughty Dog has made distinct trilogies since Crash Bandicoot on PlayStation; often paired with some fourth adjacent game. Through the PS2 generation, those fourth titles were racing games—Crash Team Racing and Jak X: Combat Racing. This trilogy approach changed with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and a spin-off with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy on PlayStation 4.

The Last of Us seemed to always have an air of finality with each of its two core entries though. While producing a third game is par for the course for Naughty Dog, the studio could break that cycle with Joel and Ellie without the story being unresolved.

With the TV show just a month away and the long-awaited multiplayer game still in production, it makes sense to make a Part III. The team is in the cordyceps zone, so to speak. And since the multiplayer game will have a live service element to it, I would suspect that game will have a healthy life up through the release of the threequel.

Color me excited if this pans out (which I suspect it will). The Last of Us iron is only getting hotter. While there is fatigue from Naughty Dog sticking with the same IP for three generations, if they have a story they find compelling and the drive to bring to life, I have faith in the team to create another engaging story that is told on the stick.

Chapter Select: Season 4, Episode 9 – Hobbs & Shaw

Photo and design by Max Roberts

Max & Logan Present: A podcast about Hobbs & Shaw. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham step out of the shadows and into the headlining spotlight. Do spin-offs belong in the Fast Franchise or have the executives spun out for the last time?

Download (33MB)

RSS FeedOvercastApple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Rotten Tomatoes – 68% critic and 88% viewers

This episode was originally recorded on October 30, 2022.


Max’s Twitter @MaxRoberts143

Logan’s Twitter @MooreMan12

Researcher, Editor, and Producer – Max Roberts

Hosted by Logan Moore & Max Roberts

Photo and Art designed by Max Roberts.

My Favorite Games I Played in 2022

I played a total of 28 games during 2022 and rolled credits on 22 of them.1 It’s 11 fewer games than in 2021, but a much higher completion percentage. The reality of it was that Chapter Select kept me honest about beating games. I didn’t venture far from our games for the show.

And honestly…I like that. I never wondered what to play next. I always knew what I’d be working towards. I was mentally relieved from having to make a choice based on mood or genre. I just focused on sinking my teeth into the self-assigned selection. It’s like Steve Jobs wearing the same outfit every day. I avoided decision fatigue with my catalog of games.

There were some games I bought that I haven’t played yet, despite wanting to. The Last of Us Part I, the Cuphead DLC, Shredder’s Revenge, and Stray are some of the few. I haven’t bought Tunic or Inscryption yet. I know I’ll get to these all some day. I find the winter to generally be a time to play whatever I’d like.

I won’t share the entire 2022 list—that’d spoil Chapter Select Season 6—but I thought I’d share my favorites throughout the year. Here we go:

Metroid Dread

I wrapped 2021 by starting Dread and finished it just a few days into the new year. A stellar game from top to bottom. Mercury Steam put forward such slick design. Samus has never been so fluid and dynamic.

The Great Ace Attorney Adventure

This was a Christmas gift. I love the Ace Attorney series and was nervous about this new historical spin-off. I liked the idea of convincing a jury, but the cast (especially Herlock Sholmes) made me skeptical. I never should have doubted the fine folks at Capcom. I fell in love with the new crew (especially Herlock Sholmes) and the mysteries at hand. I am looking forward to tackling the packed-in sequel someday, perhaps during 2023.

Resident Evil 3

This was before we decided that Chapter Select Season 5 would be all about Resident Evil. I needed a game to fill in a gap before the launch of..I honestly forget what I was waiting for, because Resident Evil 3 is perfection. Not to spoil our upcoming episode on the game, but I absolutely love Jill’s escape from Raccoon City. I even uploaded my Inferno S Rank run while earning the Platinum. Man, I can’t wait to play again.

Grant Turismo 7

I never thought I’d be into a SIM racer. I have always been an arcady racing gamer. But the State of Play sold me. GT7 has such character. You feel the love poured into every polygon. You can’t help but smile while playing.

Resident Evil 4 VR

Again, I don’t want to spoil our upcoming episode of Chapter Select. I did play this version after we decided to tackle the horror series. I selfishly wanted the VR version to be my first exposure to the iconic title. I added the challenge of streaming the game in its entirety. It was a fun and creative layer, while exploring the beloved game.

God of War: Ragnarök

Ragnarök is a game of two halves that were mashed together to try and make one game. It’s ambitious and bold. The dissonance between gameplay and story in the main game proves too great for Sony Santa Monica’s ambitions though. The final product is crammed into a state of disjointedness.

But dang, that combat is 🔥.

1. I might squeeze one more in before the year’s end

E8: Memory – A Life Well Wasted

E8: Memory by Robert Ashley for A Life Well Wasted

Robert Ashley finds out what it takes to speedrun games in a blindfold, visits a museum in Moscow dedicated to Soviet-era arcade machines, and talks to a group of friends about a childhood summer spent dreaming up a game of their own.

This immediately jumped to the top of my podcast queue. I haven’t listened to A Life Well Wasted since I worked at K-Mart. Thrilled to have a new episode in my feed. Robert knows how to make a captivating show. The magic of podcasting strikes again.