Chapter Select Season 1 is Paper Mario

I am happy to announce that Season 1 of my new podcast, Chapter Select, is all about Paper Mario! Logan Moore and I will be tackling the paper-inspired RPG series with special guests along the way. Yes, I convinced Logan to hook up a Wii U to his 4K TV in the year of PS5 and XSX. Missed the announcement of Chapter Select earlier this week? Here is the pitch:

Max Roberts and Logan Moore pick a video game series and bounce back and forth between its entries, exploring their evolution, design, and legacy. Each season explores a different series with guests joining our hosts along the way to explore video games outside of individual titles.

Season 0 is live right now and focuses on The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II! But with only two games in the series, the show format couldn’t really shine. To now use Paper Mario as the example, here is the release order and structure of Season 1:

You may notice that there are dates tied to the first three episodes but not beyond that. The first three episodes are already recorded, edited, and ready! We are still playing the back half of the series, currently playing Color Splash. We have a schedule in mind and guests lined up for the rest of the season, but we don’t want to commit to dates yet.

Playing through Paper Mario, Origami King, and Thousand-Year Door in that order has really convinced me that this structure brings something new to discussions surrounding these games and video game podcasts as a whole. Sure, I have bias, but I genuinely think you will enjoy the discussions we have as we play through all sorts of video game series in this manner.

I am stoked to finally roll out the show. If you liked Season 0 or like the sound of Season 1, please subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts. And just you wait until you see the episodic art I whipped up for Paper Mario! See you all on Wednesday!

Update (July 14, 2021) – Updated with links to published episodes.

Announcing Chapter Select: A New Seasonal Podcast with Logan Moore

And you thought I’d only do one new podcast this year.

Chapter Select is a season-based podcast. Myself and Logan Moore pick a series each season and play all its entries alongside guests. The twist is we play the first game and then the most recent game, bouncing back and forth until we meet in the middle; allowing us to explore a franchise’s design, legacy, and evolution.

Season 1 is launching next week on June 2, 2021. There is also a test run we did in 2020, focusing on The Last of Us. If you wanted my thoughts on The Last of Us Part II hot off beating it, they have been recorded and on my hard drive for nearly a year.

You can listen to the first two episodes now:

S0E1: The Last of Us

S0E2: The Last of Us Part II

Chapter Select is an idea I have had for nearly three years. It’s been in development for roughly one of those years.

Back in college, I discovered a fun show called James Bonding, where hosts and guests watched the Bond films in this same manner Dr. No then Skyfall then From Russia with Love and so on. Unfortunately, that show in its entirety is behind a paywall now, but this format always stuck with me. I like it quite a bit and wanted to expand its potential.

At the end of college, I left the podcasting scene. While there is more to the story, one element that wore me down was a rigid weekly schedule. Having a seasonal show allows us a few luxuries:

  1. No inherent crunch
  2. Structure how we like, bank episodes
  3. Gives listeners (you) a higher quality product

It also lets Logan and myself really pick and choose which game series to tackle each season. We already have a slew of ideas and have Season 2’s focus locked in.

Here at launch, we have already released what we affectionately are calling “Season 0,” with its two episodes about The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II. Then, throughout the month of June, we will be releasing (at least) the first three episodes of Season 1. We are still in the process of playing and recording the back half of Season 1.

Now if you’ll indulge me, I wanted to share some of the little touches we are using in the production of the show. Up first are what I consider standards for podcasts I produce at the moment – chapters. Seems like all major podcast players outside of Spotify fully support chapter markers and chapter art, so I’m happy to have them there.

Speaking of art, there is both seasonal and episodic show art. When you look up the show, it will have art tailored for the specific series we are covering at the time. Each episode will have art for the game we are talking about. This seems to be supported in most major podcast players at this point. I have had a blast making this custom art, especially for Season 1. I cannot wait to share it with you all.

This has been a project on my mind for a long time and I am immensely excited to finally release it. I truly think this a great show. I haven’t been this excited to engage in conversation about games in years.

It sort of reminds me of Logan and I’s early efforts to lean into the “Millennial” part of Millennial Gaming Speak. We’d play old games we had never played before and try to do it in a weekly fashion. It was far too taxing, even on a college schedule, but it lead to us playing some of gaming’s all-time greats and exploring them through our lens. The one game I actually beat at the time was Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I see immense potential in us evolving that core idea into this Chapter Select format. I hope you all enjoy.

Chapter Select: Season 0, Episode 2 – The Last of Us Part II

In this inaugural test season of Chapter Select, Max and Logan dig into Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic series The Last of Us. Hot off the heels of its release in 2020, we sink our teeth into Naughty Dog’s divisive sequel. Did PlayStation’s top team capture earn the “Part II” in the title? How does The Last of Us Part II affect the legacy of the first game?

Game Info

The Last of Us Part II

Developer – Naughty Dog
Platform – PS4
Release Date – June 19, 2020
Director – Neil Druckmann
Narrative Lead – Halley Gross
Game Directors – Kurt Margenau and Anthony Newman
Composers –Gustavo Santaolalla and Mac Quayle

Metacritic – 93/100


Episode Cover Art by Sebastian Gromann

This episode was originally recorded on June 23, 2020.

Max’s Twitter

Logan’s Twitter

Chapter Select: Season 0, Episode 1 – The Last of Us

In this inaugural test season of Chapter Select, Max and Logan dig into Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic series The Last of Us. Weeks before the release of the sequel, Logan and Max replayed the PS3’s swan song to explore how it aged and explore its impact on the video game industry in the past seven years.

Game Info

The Last of Us

Metacritic – 95/100


Episode Cover Art by Nick Gindraux

This episode was originally recorded on June 11, 2020.

Max’s Twitter

Logan’s Twitter