Chattycast 131: Is Nintendo Learning?

April 14, 2017

Yesterday's Nintendo Direct presentation outlined the company's plans for the spring and summer, in its usual rapid-fire style. It was pretty packed, largely with smaller 3DS games as the handheld wanes, but most of the time was given to the Switch line-up. Now, a few months removed from the Switch launch and with a decent idea of the year ahead, we can start to examine how it's going. 

Is Nintendo learning from both the advantages and mistakes of its predecessors? Is it held to a different standard than other console launches? What should we expect its next moves to be based on the early sales success? 

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Chattycast 130: It’s Another Mixed Bag

April 6, 2017

After taking a week off due to travel and unexpected illness, the Chattycast is back and catching up on all we missed. So this week, rather than pick a single topic, we're going to talk about a cornucopia of recent news and games we're playing, among other miscellany.

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Chattycast 129: When Franchises Fizzle

March 23, 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda drops this week, and it's fair to say the reviews haven't been as glowing as its predecessors. Whether by age or quality or just design paradigms moving on, this won't be the first time a series slips and loses some of its critical and fan reputation.

This week, the Chattycast talks about what becomes of big franchises when they start to lose their way. Some go quietly into that good night, others find a way to stay relevant, and some meander along for a while longer. What series have made a successful bounce-back after starting to falter? What lessons can the team at BioWare learn from the successes and failures of others?

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Chattycast 128: Say It Ain’t Snow

March 16, 2017

The weather outside is unusually frightful for mid-March. A big snowstorm hit the northeast this week, creating hazardous conditions and trapping many a Shacker inside. What to do when stuck in your house? Why, play video games, naturally.

This week the Chattycast bids farewell to winter by talking about the games best suited for a cold day inside. We wrap ourselves in blankets, make some soup and hot cocoa, and talk about which games we'd play while trapped inside with our storm provisions. What are your favorite snowed-in games, either from this latest weather system or fond memories from past blizzards?

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Chattycast 127: Switch Taste Test

March 9, 2017

Console launches only come around so often, and so we at Shacknews are all still familiarizing ourselves with the Nintendo Switch. Since it's very much on our minds this week, we're devoting a whole show to it! We'll be talking about the Switch, Zelda, and some of the other games getting a little less attention like Snipperclips.

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Chattycast 126: Oops All Newsybits

February 17, 2017

This week, as we prepare for some big releases in March, we're taking a break from heady discussions to focus an entire show on recent news happenings. We'll come prepared with a stack of news items, and give them all the newsybits treatment.

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Chattycast 125: Love Shack

February 9, 2017

The Feast of St. Valentine is almost upon us once again, and malls are trying their best to convince us we're failures if we don't find someone to smooch. Before the holiday, we're taking a moment to talk about a relationship that's been with us through thick and thin, good times and bad, usually before we met our significant others or were even interested in romance. Video games!

This week, the Chattycast gives out special virtual Valentines to the games industry. We'll be celebrating the games, the developers, and the trends we love. Because sometimes you just need to let someone know they're special to you.

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Chattycast 124: Super Breakout

February 2, 2017

This week Fire Emblem Heroes releases on iOS, the latest salvo in Nintendo's mobile strategy and one of its leading franchises. But it wasn't always this way. The series languished for years in the United States, enjoying some niche, moderate success among tactical RPG fans, but mostly known for its inclusions in Smash Bros. It took the breakout success of Fire Emblem Awakenings to make US consumers sit up and really take notice, and Nintendo has been capitalizing on it since.

This week, the Chattycast plays prognosticator and talks all about other games on the verge of stardom. What niche franchises are one solid game away from becoming massive successes?

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Chattycast 123: What Are Ya Sellin’?

January 26, 2017

Resident Evil 7 is out this week, bringing the horror back home. As this one is being hailed as a "return to form," we thought we'd take a step back and ask: what is Resident Evil, anyway? The series has been through so many permutations and spin-offs and modernizations that it's a question worth asking.

What makes a Resident Evil game? What qualities must it have, and which ones has it picked up along the way that aren't necessarily a part of its purity?

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Chattycast 122: Switchlash

January 19, 2017

Nintendo's Switch had its big announcement bonanza last week, and there was much rejoicing. But there was also much naysaying and grousing, regarding factors such as price, launch line-up, cost of extra doodads, and a Japanese press conference filled to bursting with dad jokes. Or really, one dad joke repeated several times.

This week on the Chattycast, the crew talks about the Switch announcement, and the less-than-stellar reactions. We'll try to puzzle out what's most responsible for the backlash, or if it's some combination of factors. And those of us who were there with hands on will answer the all-important question: is the system getting a fair shake?

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