School of Movies
Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2

March 20, 2020

[School of Everything Else 2020]

This show was recorded back in 2019 not too long after the remake of the 1998 game was released (in fact it was before the free DLC emerged) so there will be speculation regarding when Capcom would naturally proceed to a remake of Nemesis (which at the time of release is due out in a matter of days).

This was one of my favourite games of the 1990s, and the remake is one of my favourites of the 2010s, as well as being one of the most impressive and accomplished reworkings of a game that by modern standards is fairly simple and even clunky.

This show is being released at the time of a pandemic, the biggest in my lifetime, and people are scared. So there's a certain strange appeal about the notion of confronting our fears and seeing them symbolically rendered into disgusting undead beasties we can shoot, stab and evade. That makes this game either wildly inappropriate for our times or the most appropriate. 

Guests:

James Perkins @Mijmeister 

Derrick Ritchie @thenewdelboy 

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger

February 14, 2020

[School of Everything Else 2020]

A game I have a 25-year history with, just starting and stopping over and over like Groundhog Day (as I will detail in the opening of the show) and have now finally concluded my staggered, protracted journey with.

In the UK during the 90s things were not as richly abundant in terms of readily available JRPGs (again, I'll detail this), so Chrono Trigger was yearned for, but never released in 1995 over here. In fact the first official physical copies on sale on British store shelves were the DS version, 14 years later in 2009.

But it's one of the most beloved of its type, and on this show (which I had to recruit a couple of experts for, to fill in all those details and secrets) hopefully should go some way to determining why it became such an abiding favourite. 

And before you ask me to delve into a dozen more fifty-hour JRPGs, take into account that this commission was a VERY special case!

Guests

Kevin Veighey

Alexander Peregrine 

And many thanks to the commissioners: Kevin Veighey, Alexander Peregrine, Nicholas Kosky, Matthew A Seibert and Brian Legg.

Spider-Man (PS4)

Spider-Man (PS4)

November 30, 2018

[School of Everything Else 2018]

This turned out to be one of my favourite games of all time, and as you'll hear it pushed so many of my positive buttons that exceptionally good games released immediately after I finished just don't measure up, for a variety of reasons.

This was a commissioned show by Chris Finik. I wasn't going to do an episode about it because I was very aware it might become work and suck all the joy out of the experience, but I was able to hit the right balance and crucially I decided while I was halfway through rather than being set the daunting task of completing and assessing forty hours of gameplay without having played a moment.

There are strong arguments afoot that this is one of the finest depictions of the wall-crawler in any media. We talk about why, and save the spoilers for the last act (around two hours in and you'll get a fair warning so nothing will be made worse for you if you haven't played, only better). 

Guest:

Jesse Ferguson of Recorded Tomorrow

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

March 30, 2018

[School of Everything Else 2018]

We're back on video games with a very intriguing commission. This one takes the form of a third-person action adventure with some protracted puzzling elements, but underneath the format there is a dark and upsetting, remarkably sensitive story about the nightmarish challenges that sometimes have to be faced when a person is suffering from psychosis. 

Made by Ninja Theory, the dev team behind Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, DMC and Disney Infinity 3.0 this game does things with its soundscape that very few others do. If you've not played it this show might still be a good place to start because you might either find it frustrating or alarming to play or else miss quite a bit as you barge through the many horned enemies. 

WARNING: This one gets heavy and maybe even frightening. 

Guest:

Doctor Lorin Grieve from Year of Steam

Overwatch

Overwatch

February 23, 2018

[School of Everything Else 2018]

One of the greatest character lineups in a multiplayer video game ever assembled, Overwatch presents us with a rich and colourful feast of carefully, lovingly prepared treats. 

We spent two and a half hours talking over the 26 current heroes, their backgrounds and design. That's our focus for the show, not playing the game itself or the mechanics.

This is a brand that's going to run and run and we suspect we'll be back here again at some point talking about a TV show or a movie or a different kind of game set in this world. We can't wait to see what Blizzard do.

Next Week: Black Panther

Guests

Jason "Chewie" Slate of The Mana Pool 

 Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg 

Game Developer Glen Watts