We’ve made it to double figures! Yes, Episode 10 of The Gayming Podcast has dropped and coming at this strange and concerning time, we’re asking everyone to come and chill with us for an hour.
Content warning: please note that as we live through this exceptionally testing and challenging time with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we make a lot of jokes around this which some might find triggering. We do this as a coping mechanism and to encourage laughter, we by no means are encouraging reckless and dismissive behaviour of this crisis.
On this episode, I am joined by Matt Kamen to talk about games we’re playing and news we’re reading. But, given the ongoing crisis, you’ll hear that this episode was a little more ad-libbed and relaxed… and a lot more sweary!
What’s in your slot?
In this opening section of our podcast, we talked about what we’ve been playing recently.
I talk about picking up Animal Crossing New Leaf in preparation for the arrival of New Horizons. I find it very cathartic and peaceful, but perhaps a bit too peaceful, particularly when it comes to the slow moving, real time setting! Oh and Tom Nook is a racoon racketeering animal, literally!
Matt has been playing Doom Eternal and loves how the developers have created an amazingly beautiful vision of the end of the world! With a huge amount of bang, smash and gnashing of teeth, this game is the ultimate hack and slash with no stealth allowed! That’s my kind of game!
I have also been replaying Mario Oddessey and had forgotten about how pretty and fun it was. This led us on to a discussion about the new LEGO Super Mario set, which is a brand new bit of tech developed jointly by LEGO and Nintendo which is part game and part toy. This then led us off into a cool toy crossover discussion around the LEGO – of course, because it’s me! And we ended up at the LEGO Dimensions Doctor Who expansion, which was awesome and I really wish was able to be released as a standalone game.
Matt dragged the conversation back to the epic and beautiful Ori and the Will of the Wisp. It’s a beautifully animated metroidvania with awesome music. But, beware it’s very difficult and challenging, which is a stress some people might not need right now!
Further into the episode, we talked about what we’ve been reading on Gayming Magazine recently.
I started off by mentioning the upcoming digital drag show hosted by the awesome Biqtch Puddin’ which is on tonight (Friday 20 March) at 7pm PST, 10pm EST and 3am GMT. She’s joined by over 20 kings and queens from around the world including Alaska and Rock M Sakura from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Vander Van Odd and Pinche from Dragula.
Matt goes on to talk about Kenneth’s recent review of the Persona 5 Royal localisation effort to patch over the uncomfortably homophobic segment in the game. However, is it really a good enough fix? And it’s only been changed for Western audiences, so there still exists a vicious homophobic scene. For a game about sticking up for the underdogs, it fails to meet this theme for the LGBTQ community.
I then mention Matt’s Animal Crossing New Horizons review and asked him to expand on some of his highlights. His main takeaway is that it’s nothing new, but that’s a good thing. More of the same of the relaxing peaceful nature and the importance of being kind. A message that we could all take to heart in these crazy times. We then touched on the importance of crafting in the new game and how this might stress me out as I hate crafting! Luckily, it’s still an easily achievable crafting experience as there is never a lack of material.
We then talked about a shared experience we had when we went to try out the new Doctor Who themed escape room A Dalek Awakens. The brand new licensed experience with real actor voices which was my first ever go at an escape room, and it was only Matt’s second. We enjoyed it, but felt that the puzzles could be better executed and administered. We couldn’t spoil the puzzles but you’ll see what I mean.
In this week’s hot topic, we talked more about how we can all go about surviving and embracing our period of isolation due to the COVID-19 crisis. Picking up on Ed’s recently published survival guide which lists off games to play during different scenarios. We discussed some of our recommendations for games to play.
Playing games together with others, great for when people are stuck together in the same house. Think party games and definitely think Nintendo! My suggestion is Mario Kart and Mario Party, great for gameplay but maybe not for ongoing civil relations for people as you’ll inevitably argue about being thrown off the course or getting arbitrary stars for no reason! Matts suggestion was Overcooked 2, perfect for teamwork and fun together in a manic kitchen setting!
Gaming online with friends is necessary when you’re stuck at home but need to keep being sociable. Please go visit the Gayming Discord where you will find people starting to organise hangouts and tournaments. I recommended Overwatch as a good example of this, it’s great to just drop in and out of, and there’s a new hero coming! Matt recommended Ark: Survival Evolved which is an action-adventure survival video game and features dinosaurs on an island, which sounded all types of fun! There are also bigger MMOs including Monster Hunter World, Star Trek Online and Elder Scrolls Online.
If you’re in total isolation then there are some awesome games which you get lost in for hours to help get you through. In addition to the ongoing topic of Animal Crossing, my suggestion are the Sims games, which you can lose hours in, and Red Dead Redemption 2… go explore the Wild West with the stunning visuals and depth of play in this stunning game. For a time when we might not be able to go outside, go explore nature virtually! Matt suggested it’s time to work on your JRPG backlog, these are games which are traditionally really long and are fun to lose hours in. Also, you know times are bad when even I recommend playing Fire Emblem games!
Health and mental health are super important right now. Go play some exercise games such as Ring Fit Adventure, Wii Fit or Just Dance to keep active. Also, if you can do so safely, get outside and get some fresh air while practising social distancing. Regarding mental health, please avoid the majority of “news” on social media, there is way too much bogus rumour on social media. Use official channels such as nhs.uk/coronavirus and cdc.gov/coronavirus for all your advice needs.
Games for mental health can be great, play games that are low stress and peaceful such as Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing and, of course, LEGO games, that are low stress, low demand and relaxing. Matt gave another shoutout to JRPG which offer long form story telling which you can relax into.
This episode of The Gayming Podcast is sponsored by Skillsearch. One of the video game industry’s most trusted recruiters, their mission is to end every recruitment experience with exceptionally happy people! Visit jobs.skillsearch.com/GaymingPodcast to start your search today!