Former EGM editor, excellent friend, and fellow pro-wrestling smark Ray Carsillo was my guest for this episode of RPadTV 3000. This time around, Ray joined me for a WrestleQuest review. This game is the latest from the fine folks at Mega Cat Studios. Some of you might have played Mega Cat’s Coffee Crisis, which is a retro beat-’em-up that’s reminiscent of Double Dragon. The studio’s latest game is an old-school turn-based RPG infused with pro-wrestling awesomeness.
On paper, Ray and I should have loved this game. We both love classic RPGs and we both love pro-wrestling. However, as you know, videogames are not played on paper. They’re played on your television. In the WrestleQuest review above, Ray and I talk about how numerous pacing issues and even more bugs combined to turn a game that we should have loved into one that we merely liked.
Before we started the WrestleQuest review, Ray and I caught up on other news in the world of pro-wrestling. All Elite Wrestling’s historic PPV event, AEW All In from Wembley Stadium, was a great success. Unfortunately, it has been overshadowed by a backstage altercation between CM Punk and the man formerly known as Jungle Boy, Jack Perry.
Last week was a sad one for wrestling fans, as the legendary Terry Funk and the well-on-his-way-to-becoming-legendary Bray Wyatt passed away. Both came from hugely influential pro-wrestling families. While Funk lived a full and amazing life, Wyatt (real named Windham Rotunda) was only 36. Both men provided pro-wrestling fans with unforgettable moments.
When you have a chance, please check out the WrestleQuest review that Ray and I recorded. In addition to discussing what we liked and didn’t like about the game, we also spoke about the graphics, sound, and surprisingly wonderful writing. If you’ve played WrestleQuest then please leave your thoughts on the game in the comments. Do you agree or disagree with Ray and me? Share your thoughts below (please)!
Dean Takahashi is the best videogame journalist ever. In terms of quality, quantity, and reach, nobody can touch him. He has been covering the games beat for decades, writing for prestigious outlets like The Wall Street Journal, San Jose Mercury News, Red Herring, and VentureBeat.
Within the business, he’s considered the gold standard. At this point in his career, other journalists should serenade him with “Simply the Best” or “Nobody Does It Better” whenever he walks into a room.
Dean Takahashi is someone that I’ve admired since the day I met him. I half-jokingly call him “my childhood hero,” but I truly hold him in the highest esteem. Like I said in the intro, he’s the best.
Hellbent Games Founder and CEO Chris Mair is one of my favorite people to hang out with on the road. We have so many common interests and our conversations can go in all sorts of directions. Obviously we’re both videogame nerds, but we also share a love for pro-wrestling, hair metal, and guitar. The last bit made him the perfect person to kick off my four-part “Guitar Heroes” series.
In the conversation about, Chris Mair and I talk about all things guitar. It was especially cool to hear about how studying jazz guitar has helped his career as a game designer and the head of a game studio. Other guitar topics covered include:
Award winning author John Foster (Leech, Rooster) dropped by to chat about Saturday Night Live with me. Before we got into the meat of the conversation, John spoke a bit about his latest book and what’s coming next. Also among the appetizers is a little rant on how much I hate when people say, “SNL isn’t funny anymore.” It’s such a lazy and thoughtless thing to say. It’s something I’ve been hearing from stupid people since high school and I hate it. So. Much.
With four cast members leaving (Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney), I fully expect some morons to say, “Saturday Night Live isn’t funny anymore,” throughout next season. The thing is, SNL is always funny. Sure, it has peaks and valleys like anything else, but writing, producing, and performing a live sketch comedy show is extraordinarily difficult. And for the most part, everyone involved with the show pulls it off.
Beyond that, SNL is always the funniest when you’ve invested the most time into it. For most people that’s usually in their teens or 20s. There are elements of emotional investment and nostalgia when people remember when SNL was best to them. Saying, “SNL isn’t funny anymore,” is inaccurate at best and flat-out dumb at worst. It may not be as funny to you as it was in the past, but humor evolves and mainstream tastes change.
At the end of the day, SNL is always funny.
Anyway, getting back to my wonderful conversation with John Foster, we spoke about:
John Keefer served as GameSpy.com’s managing editor while I worked there. He was an excellent boss that became an excellent friend. Last year, he had a major health scare, but has recovered nicely (except for the COVID-19 hiccup just before we streamed this chat). I haven’t spoken with John in a few years and it was fantastic catching up with him using the power of Grayskull the Internet.
Some of the things that John Keefer and I discussed in the video above include:
Longtime videogame PR professional and former GameTrailers TV host Marcus Beer is one of the most passionate football fans that I know. This made him the perfect person to talk about Championship Sunday 2022. The 2021/2022 Premier League season was absolutely thrilling, with so many spots left until few weeks of the season and the winner of the season coming down to the last day!
Some of the Championship Sunday 2022 tidbits Marcus Beer and I spoke about include:
For nerds of a certain age, Big Trouble in Little China is one of the most important movies of all time. This John Carpenter cult classic did not do well in theaters but became hugely influential after heavy cable rotation and changing sensibilities. Jose “Fubar” Sanchez dropped by to talk about why this movie is beloved by geeks all over the world.
Some of the aspects of Big Trouble in Little China that Jose and I discuss include:
My excellent colleague and friend Paul Semel dropped by to share his thoughts on Moon Knight on Disney Plus and Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Although we both enjoy many of the same nerd things, our tastes also vary. With that in mind, I didn’t expect him to enjoy Moon Knight as much as I did. Although he said it was his least-favorite Marvel series on Disney Plus, he enjoyed it more than I expected him to.
Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was received similarly. Paul Semel also enjoyed, but not as much as I did. He tends to be more cynical about entertainment in general and doesn’t enjoy secondary comics characters as much as I do. For example, I thoroughly enjoyed the Starbrand and Nightmask comics, while Paul could not care less about characters at that…level, for lack of a better word.
It was excellent catching up with my friend, pro-wrestler, and greatest man that ever lived, Austin Aries. He’s one of those guys that makes you go, “Damn. We’ve known each other way longer than I thought!” One of my goals with RPadTV 3000 is to introduce you guys and gals to some cool people and I absolutely did that with this conversation. I love that the podcast had very little to do with pro-wrestling and gave you some insight into the man behind the gimmick.
Some of the topics Austin Aries and I chatted about in RPadTV 3000 episode 10 included:
After a hilarious debut in The Suicide Squad (the good James Gunn one, not the pile of garbage starring Will Smith), John Cena returns as Peacemaker on HBO Max. While the character was great as a supporting player in a movie, could he work as a lead in a prestige series? The answer was a resounding yes! To review and discuss Peacemaker season 1, I asked Tal Blevins (former IGN editor) and Paul Semel (former Maxim, Bikini) to join me for a very special episode of RPadTV 3000.
Tal Blevins, Paul Semel, and I talk about our favorite characters, scenes, music, and aspects of Peacemaker season 1. While we all loved the series and were floored by John Cena’s performance, we had different takes on it. For example, Paul and Tal believe that this was a star-making performance for Jennifer Holland. While I enjoyed what she did in the series, I wasn’t as impressed by her as my two esteemed (and smarter) colleagues were.