10 Great Non-Gaming Podcasts You Should Listen To While Playing

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10 Great Non-Gaming Podcasts You Should Listen To While Playing

Last year, I wrote about my love of podcast games, or grind-oriented games that pair exceptionally well with podcasts. I gave a few recommendations, too. I haven’t stopped listening while I play, thanks to games like Path of Exile, Pinball FX 3, and Overwatch. If you’re not sure where to start – or are just looking for some solid recommendations of shows that you may not have heard yet – you’ve come to the right place.

Let me preface these recommendations with a quick note. First, I already spend an awful lot of my day playing and thinking about video games. For that reason, I don’t listen to video game-related podcasts. Sorry. Additionally, I don’t expect that all of these will be a 100-percent hit for everyone out there. I will say that I have listened to dozens of hours of each one of these – binging through most of them in their entirety, when reasonably possible – and that I wouldn’t bring them up at all if I didn’t like ‘em. And I hope you find a few that you like, too!

An Artistic Ode To Super Mario Odyssey

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An Artistic Ode To Super Mario Odyssey

One of the things I love most about video games is their ability to transport players to new and magical worlds, and no other game in 2017 delivered on that promise quite like Super Mario Odyssey. Sure, I enjoyed exploring Aloy's robot dinosaur-laden landscape and spent more time than I care to admit fighting off aliens in Destiny 2, but no game offered more unbridled joy and creativity than our heroic plumber's latest adventure.

But I didn't just play through Odyssey with a big dopey smile on my face the entire time – I also took screenshots. And because I can be a highfalutin artsy type from time to time, I decided to run them through an app filter like those cool (and maybe ironic?) millennials do. So without further, here is my artistic ode to Super Mario Odyssey.

Note: Some of the images may contain spoilers for Super Mario Odyssey. Also, click on any image to view/download a larger version. 

Final Fantasy XV: One Year Later

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Final Fantasy XV: One Year Later

It seemed like Final Fantasy XV had the odds stacked against it. Coming off the divisive Final Fantasy XIII and its spin-offs, a grueling development cycle spanning over a decade, and a change in directors midway through, the game had a lot to prove. Many questioned if the series could stay relevant in modern times where open-world RPGs like The Elder Scrolls and The Witcher dominate the sales charts. Final Fantasy XV marked a big change for the franchise with a more open structure and action battle system. Much was riding on its success and, thankfully, it did what it needed to: earning accolades and reaching global sales of 6 million faster than any Final Fantasy entry to date. But perhaps its greatest achievement is its post-launch content, with a steady stream of free updates, paid DLC, and a multiplayer expansion. This model is different than anything Square Enix has done before with a single-player Final Fantasy game. We visited Square Enix's studios in Japan to chat with the team, look back on how the game has changed through its first year, and see what's in store for the future.

[Editor's Note: This feature originally appeared in issue #297]

A New Approach

Get Your G1 Transformers Fix With The New Web Cartoon, Toys, And Comics

about X hours ago from
Get Your G1 Transformers Fix With The New Web Cartoon, Toys, And Comics

As a kid, few concepts got me as excited as the Transformers, from the amazing roster of toys to the dozens of episodes that comprised the original cartoon. In the years and decades since, the franchise has seen innumerable new toylines, not to mention the questionable quality of the live-action films that bear the franchise name. For me, and many fans like me, the series will always call back to the blocky and familiar faces of characters from the original first generation of Transformers, and I'm always on the lookout for ways to enjoy that original group of characters. 

The Definitive (But Evolving) List Of Current-Gen Remasters

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The Definitive (But Evolving) List Of Current-Gen Remasters

Update (12/23/17): We've added some new entries and updated the list to reflect the new remaster-related releases and announcements in the last few months.

Original Story:The PS4 and Xbox One are capable of delivering new and surprising experiences, but some of the best games available for the consoles are the ones you’ve played already. New features, better performance, and improved visuals provide more than enough of a reason to revisit older games, and we’ve assembled a list of the big titles that have won a second life on new hardware. 

Note that this isn’t a comprehensive list of every remaster or remake available, but we try to hit as many as possible. It covers released and upcoming games that have been touched up for current generation of platforms, and we will update the list as games are released and new announcements are made. Until then, read on and relive the past.

Opinion – The Infinite Possibilities Of Destiny 2’s Infinite Forest

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Opinion – The Infinite Possibilities Of Destiny 2’s Infinite Forest

In my recent review for Curse of Osiris, I praised Bungie’s compelling vision for the Vex Infinite Forest on Mercury. Billed as a massive engine for simulating alternate timelines and realities, the concept further drives home the mystique around the Vex enemies and their inscrutable ways. But that same review noted my disappointment with implementation; the expansion fails to fully capture the potential of the concept. The Infinite Forest is a brilliant way that Bungie could expand the Destiny 2 universe, and I hope the developer returns to the concept to further build it out, even as the studio turns its eye toward subsequent expansions. 

For fellow children of the 1980s, I likely don’t need to explain the conceit of the holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The holographic playspace on-board the Enterprise was the backdrop for some of the stranger and more memorable concepts over the life of the show, and its use carried over into subsequent Star Trek shows and movies. For the writers of the show, the holodeck undoubtedly served a valuable purpose, freeing them from the constraints of a futuristic spaceship, and letting them flirt with other settings, from noir detective tales to Old West shootouts, and free from the limitations imposed by decades of established Star Trek fiction and characters. 

Romancing Saga Mastermind Discusses Recent Remaster And Desire To Continue Series

about X hours ago from
Romancing Saga Mastermind Discusses Recent Remaster And Desire To Continue Series

Last week, Romancing Saga 2 quietly finally launched in North America for consoles. The game originally came out in 1993 on Super Famicom but didn't make it our shores until recently. The new remaster finally brings the game to PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Vita, and PC with its share of enhancements, from updated graphics and audio to a new dungeon and character classes. We spoke to series' mastermind Akitoshi Kawazu, who is also known for his work on Final Fantasy I and II alongside The Final Fantasy Legend games, to learn more about what the remaster offers and why now is the time to give the Saga series a shot. 

Discuss what your role has been in this remake and what makes you excited about it.

For starters, I’m the person who initially proposed a remake for Romancing SaGa 2, so in that sense, my biggest role was to push forward a project that had difficulties getting realized. As such, what makes me most excited is the fact that we’ve finally reached a moment where the game is being realized on current generation platforms, including the overseas market.

Replay – The 2017 Holiday Special

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Replay – The 2017 Holiday Special

A year isn't complete without a super obnoxious episode of Replay that celebrates the holidays. For this year's installment, I forgot to bring in my copy of Christmas Nights into Dreams, and we couldn't find any other holiday-based games we haven't played yet, so we decided to search Steam for titles containing the words "Christmas," "Santa," "Reindeer" and "Snow." We found a bunch of wonderful junk to check out. No, these aren't old games that fit Replay's criteria, but we also don't care that much about said criteria. This show has been running for like eight years or something, so cut us some slack. We just want to have fun playing games that have Santa in them. Do you really have a problem with that?

If you do have a problem with it, please leave your complaints in the comments section below. We'll get them to the right people. If you just want to celebrate with us, click play on the video below and let's get this dumb party started!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Your Winter 2017 Guide To Pokémon Go Legendary Raids, Eggs, Gen 3, And More

about X hours ago from
Your Winter 2017 Guide To Pokémon Go Legendary Raids, Eggs, Gen 3, And More

Pokémon Go captured the world when it launched in summer 2016. Beyond the excitement of traveling to new locations to catch monsters and meet like-minded trainers, one of the things that made Niantic's collaboration with The Pokémon Company so interesting was the mystery that surrounded nearly every element about the game.

The mystery was thrilling at first, but after a while, being in the dark wore on users of the app, and they decided to do something about it. Players scoured their local areas, data-mined the app, and started crowd-sourced sites on where to find the best monsters and how to be the most efficient trainers they could be.

Each time a new major update hits, the sense of mystery in Pokémon Go is reinvigorated. However, thanks to the methods discovered and created by players in the original release, light is shed on each successive update quicker than ever before.

Funny To A Point – The First Annual Not 50 Awards

about X hours ago from
Funny To A Point – The First Annual Not 50 Awards

2018 is just around the corner, which means we here at G.I. have one last editorial task to complete: arguing endlessly about best and worst games of the year, and then compiling the eventual surviving titles into our annual Top 50 list. However, just like with E3, there's one glaring flaw in our award-picking process: Everyone's stupid opinions always get in the way of us picking the correct winners!

Seeing as how finalizing our year-end awards is the only thing standing between us and holiday break, I have devised a brilliant, two-birds-with-one-stone solution: I'll simply disavow the Top 50 altogether and launch my own competing awards list, and I'll post it right now so that I can go home and start binge-gaming and eating Christmas lasagna* immediately.

With that I present to you the first annual Not 50 Awards, which admittedly would've been a better alternative title for the E3 Hot 50 awards, but I already called those the Dubys. Regardless, like the Dubys, the Not 50 Awards blows all the other year-end lists out of the water because not only are all the winners hand-picked by me, but all the categories are as well. The title is also 100-percent accurate, because there aren't 50 of them. Anywho, let's begin!