Author Archive

Episode 65 – Whatcha Playin’ 02.04.13

This week’s Whatcha Playin’ contains a special guest: AJBS’ very own social media manager, Jarrett Civelli. Jarrett makes it a point to talk about Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, the beautiful JRPG mashup between Dragon Quest’s Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, the animation studio of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki. What makes Ni No Kuni so great? According to Jarrett, the PS3-exclusive is the perfect blend of old-school genre feel modernized by sensible mechanics—not to mention the sweeping aesthetics, soundtrack and Ghibli-quality storyline. Well worth your time.

Steve takes on Platinum’s Anarchy Reigns, the budgetish pseudo-sequel to Madworld. There are similarities between the two, namely the comically brutal violence and chainsaw-for-an-arm protagonist Jack, but where Anarchy earns its stripes is through its bonkers multiplayer, which had Steve actually playing online (a rarity).

While it’s debatable whether or not Ron Gilbert’s new downloadable The Cave can be interpreted as an adaptation of Plato’s allegory, Rich’s reservations with it are pretty clear. For such a cool concept (seven inherently awful people are each granted whatever they most want in the world), Double Fine allowed some pretty puzzling math to slip through, though the game is at least worth a peek.

Finally Matt talks about Antichamber, a mind-bending puzzle game that can only be described as two staircases that, when taken, lead you back around to place where you started.

Featuring tracks by WMD.

Happy Holiday Tidings!

Hey all, we just wanted to take a minute to say thanks for listening. We hope you have a merry christmas and enjoy the holiday season!


Episode 23 – Perils of Memory

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Pat the NES Punk, Pat Contri, The Punk Effect, Ralp

Have you ever returned to a game fondly remembered from childhood only to bluntly discover it’s not the masterpiece you recall? The dangers of rose-colored glasses, and how they inform our opinion and perception as gamers, are ever-present—particularly in a medium as hooked on nostalgia as video games can be. It’s the reasoning and reaction to our memories that center the discussion this week, on AJBS maiden voyage as a proud new contributor to And who better to christen the journey with than ThePunkEffect’s founder and veteran retro game reviewer, Pat “The NES Punk” Contri?
(Clearly, no one.)

This goes without saying, but our boundless thanks to Pat for letting us become part of the PunkEffect team.

Featuring music from Ralp

Enslaved : Odyssey to the West

Episode 18 – Portland Retro Gaming Expo ’11

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Portland Retro Gaming Expo, Robot Science
We shopped, we played, we talked—another year and another successful Portland Retro Gaming Expo has passed. For our coverage from PRGE 2011, we talk with expo head Chuck Van Pelt about the challenges of organizing a retro gaming convention; game collecting legend John Hancock gives us some insight into effectively collecting video games from all eras, and Pink Gorilla‘s Gabe Hayward talks game retail and his experiences managing a game store in Seattle. Pat “the NES Punk” Contri also joins us to muse about the good and the bad that came out of the NES era (as well as his web series). Finally, we wrap up our expo coverage with Art Santana, friend of the podcast and manager of Portland’s premier arcade, Ground Kontrol . Go ahead, ask us what we bought.

Featuring music from Robot Science

Shout Outs:

The Wooden Arcade
8bit Craft
I Play Winner

Episode 12 – Critically Speaking

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Metacritic, Marc Doyle, Nordloef
The topic for AJBS’ eighth episode was simple: discuss game ranking systems, how they relate to the industry, and of course, how Metacritic is tied into both. At the time, AJBS collectively argued against the ratings aggregate site (as did our guest, fellow freelance writer Jeff Matulef), citing various reasons it wasn’t good for the video game industry. For Episode 12, we wanted to present a different side of the story (and gain a new perspective) by speaking with Marc Doyle, games editor and co-founder of Metacritic (Jeff also returns for this episode). There’s also some talk of L.A. Noire.

Missed our conversation from Episode 8? No problem! You can brush up by clicking the link for “A Solid 8 out of 10″ below.

Featuring music by Nordloef

Hello, New York! #blipfest2011

Greetings, listeners!

We are currently in New York City covering Blipfest 2011 as well as a few other surprises. Our WonderNW episode from last weekend will be up shortly, and check back soon for lots of NY coverage upon our return next week. Until then, keep playing games!


This Weekend in PDX: Wonder Northwest

Just a quick reminder for anyone local to PDX—AJBS will be recording a live show at WonderNW on Sunday, May 15 at the Crowne Plaza (1441 NE 2nd Avenue) in Portland, OR. We encourage everyone to come say hi and jump on the podcast to tell us what you’ve been playing!

Also, A Jumps B Shoots will be debuting our merch at the show, so if you want to be the envy of all your friends, this is the only place to get it. See you there!