Axe of the Blood God: Kat and Nadia List What They're Thankful For in RPGs

PODCAST | Thank you, O Lord, for very big swords. Also: Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon will eat your skin, and the Valkyria Chronicles series lives!

Article by Nadia Oxford, .

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey and Nadia Oxford. You can find the previous episodes here.

In this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God (download link here), we talk about all the ways RPGs make us thankful.

I, for one, am thankful for stereotypical anime / JRPG protagonist hair. I know a few hair stylists who work on kids, and the rise of Japanese pop culture has driven them insane ("Just make me like Cloud or Goku!").

We also talk about Neverwinter Nights 2: Enhanced Edition, the surprise announcement for Valkyria Chronicles 2, and—get this—how a big fight in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon gave Kat a serious challenge.

Have yourself a wonderful holiday weekend, Blood God disciples.

Want to share your thoughts on RPGs? Email us at We may read your letter on the show! Keep those Perfect RPG Teams coming, folks!

Where to find us (Subscribe, rate, and review!)

Show Description

Kat and Nadia celebrate Thanksgiving by talking about what they're grateful for in the RPG space this year (50:50), but not before discussing Sega's surprise Valkyria Chronicles 4 announcement (10:50), Neverwinter Nights 2: Enhanced Edition, Square Enix's Switch commitment, and more Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. It's a holiday RPG-stravaganza!

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Chappelle, who has also contributed the themes to Active Time Babble and Roleplayers' Realm. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at Check it out!

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 12

  • Avatar for riderkicker #1 riderkicker 10 months ago
    I am thankful for you two joining together from coast to coast to create another year of the best RPG podcast around.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #2 donkeyintheforest 10 months ago
    I am thankful for this podcast too :D
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for VotesForCows #3 VotesForCows 10 months ago
    Like my peers in the comments above, thanks for the podcast! Simultaneously the best and worst thing about the internet has always been how people are able to find others that share their niche interests, and in this case its the best!
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Jeremys-Iron #4 Jeremys-Iron 10 months ago
    Thankful to both of you for your hard work putting together one of my favorite podcasts and wishing you the best.

    Your mentioning of both Advance Wars and upcoming 2018 titles got me thinking of Into the Breach. Have you guys been following this one at all? It's Subset Games' follow-up to FTL, a kind of grid-based tactical RPG with mechs, and looks fantastic. Should come out early next year.

    Edited November 2017 by Jeremys-Iron
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for XyzzySqrl #5 XyzzySqrl 10 months ago
    Just Neverwinter Nights, not 2. Maybe 2 will come later.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for riderkicker #6 riderkicker 10 months ago
    Kat's play through of the new Pokemon game sounds very brutal, especially when she couldn't win against Necosmos(?) with her high toned eggs of a bunch party. It sounds like an amped up reason why I didn't bother with beating the Elite Four, pretty tough even though I've leveled up plenty.

    Just finished the South Park game and am actually satisfied with the length of the game, took me two months and 24 hrs total. Game gets really f-ed up toward the end with plenty of M. Night Shamylan sort of twists. A shame there wasn't more side quests, but much of this game is well controlled with very little room for "error" considering EVERY line of dialogue is voiced. Will have to finish the Yakuza games I own.

    Switch gaming is going well, got 1/8 of the moons in Odyssey, but could hunger for an affordable RPG.

    I am playing Super Robot Wars V at the same time but slowly. Might Gaine is hilarious and I can't believe so many 1990s anime got undeserved 50 episode seasons! Can't wait to see how they explain Nu Gundam.

    Very thankful for the video games I have and the backlog and this podcast that inspires me to pick which ones to play! This Black Friday, I bought only two video games, and it's all I want unless some Xseed or Atlus or Are System Works show up heavily discounted. I have got to start Cold Steel d'oh!
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #7 donkeyintheforest 10 months ago
    @XyzzySqrl im lowkey more excited for this game than probably any other haha i thought it was farther off still! yay!
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for januaryembers19 #8 januaryembers19 10 months ago
    I am thankful for Valkyria Chronicles 4 being announced! I've been a fan of the series since day 1, managed to enjoy VC2 and found an English patch to allow me to play VC3, and I'm just thrilled that the series is alive and (hopefully) well.

    I have a feeling that I'm going to be totally on my own with this opinion, but I'm so tired of Pokemon. It seems to be just a constant thing now and I'm so over it. I know that it makes Nintendo buckets of money, but can't it just go away for a year or two?

    On the subject of loot boxes/microtrasactions in RPGs, I don't particularly mind paid DLC for costumes or skins like in FFXV. Loot boxes are annoying, even when they're just cosmetic like in Overwatch. Why can't I just get stuff for the characters I play most instead of another random voice or something for a character I never use? When it really becomes insidious though is when you pair paid DLC with randomized chance. Yes, it's always best when things can just be earned in-game with reasonable time investment, but the random nature of loot boxes is just never appealing.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Neifirst #9 Neifirst 10 months ago
    I am thankful for the staff of USGamer and their commitment to highlighting games that tend to go unnoticed on most major sites. Axe of the Blood God and the flagship podcasts are both fantastic and I look forward to more wonderful coverage in the new year.

    PS I'd be even MORE thankful if the next game to get a weekly report is Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It'd be a fun switch to have Nadia be the experienced player and Kat the newbie.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #10 Jonnyboy407 10 months ago
    I'm thankful for the glut of RPGs coming in 2018(ish)

    Radiant Historia, SMT Strange Journey, Lost Sphear, Alliance Alive, Fire Emblem Switch, Valkyria Chronicles 4, SMT 5, Octopath Traveller, pokemon switch, and here's hoping many more!

    Let the good times roll
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for The-Challenger #11 The-Challenger 10 months ago
    How bizarre. I asked myself the exact same question as Kat did two or three days ago, just what is there to look forward to in the turn based rpg space? My only answer was DQ11 and anything beyond that is kind of hazy.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for victorehunter #12 victorehunter 10 months ago
    Kat, I can't disagree with you hard enough when it comes to "third versions" of Pokemon games. This hill is one I think I'm prepared to die on.

    As a design-, preservation-, and series-enthusiast I'm delighted that full retail releases of updated Pokemon games are still a thing. It's an incredible feat that mainline Pokemon games have avoided becoming service-based to this point. As soon as that spheal is broken and each new Pokemon game becomes a platform for additional transactions there will be something lost that I don't think we'll ever get back.

    The demarkation of 'generations' of Pokemon is part of what makes the games so appealing. Each iteration of game design is preserved on a cart that people can always come back to. We can trace design choices back to certain upgrades, and we can relive those designed spaces freely. I'm more than willing to say that the vanilla games in any Pokemon generation are not made superfluous by their upgraded versions.

    I read something of yours not too long ago that suggested that the newest Pokemon is always the one a new player should start with. I don't 100% disagree with that but I think it shows a different set of priorities. A few years ago my girlfriend at the time wanted to play a Pokemon game but was intimidated by the systems upon systems of the then-most-recent-releases, X and Y. So we booted up Sapphire and she ate it up. We moved on to Black and White and she adored it now that she had a better understanding of the game. We could have moved on to X/Y or ORAS, but she was enjoying Unova so much that she started working on Black and White 2. Meanwhile I replayed Black and gained such a new appreciation for that generation that I picked up Black 2 after skipping it the first time around. Revisiting older games in the series, even vicariously through someone else, helps with understanding the design values of a certain time period. And with an iterative series like Pokemon, having a clear delineation of when and how those choices were made is important. Like a time capsule of design preserved in Old Amber, waiting for us to revive it in the laboratory of our handhelds.

    It's easy to be cynical about seeing re-used assets or having to work your way back up from level 5 in a setting that you've already been. But I think of these iterations like remixes of a place I've been before. And unless the original version of that place is still available to experience then we start to lose context for what makes this remix special.

    It's something I've been wanting to talk about for a while and I'm really glad I got to hear your thoughts about it. It gave me a good place to start to understand my argument against Pokemon-as-a-service-platform. I'd really like to hear your or Nadia's or anyone else's thoughts on the matter. I could also go on about how the perfect balance is to release a companion client that is designed purely for competitive battling and the metagame alongside the main retail releases, but that's a whole other pipedream to discuss.

    Love the show as always and Happy American Thanksgiving!
    Sign in to Reply