USgamer's RPG Podcast Hits Everything From Odin Sphere Leifthrasir to Suikoden's Revival Campaign

AXE OF THE BLOOD GOD: We discuss Bravely Second, Odin Sphere, Suikoden, and a whole lot more in the latest episode of our RPG podcast.

Article by Kat Bailey, .

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

In this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God (download link here), Nadia and I hit a variety of topics as we survey the RPG landscape.

We kick things off by revisiting Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 and Bravely Second, which I've been steadily working through over the past month or so. We also discuss Odin Sphere Leifthrasir - the Vanillaware remake that launches next week. Our review is going to be a little later than the rest; but Nadia and I do have it, and we'll go into even more depth in next week's show. Oh, and we also ponder how tall the Pokemon Groudon actually is.

In the back half of the show, we dive a little deeper into a couple topics close to our hearts. First, we discuss the campaign to revive Suikoden; what made Suikoden II so special, and whether it might be better served in the hands of an indie developer than those of Konami. Then we take a closer look at an article that Nadia wrote for her site Tiny Girl Tiny Games about Valkyrie Chronicles' portrayal of the Darcsens - that universes stand-in for Europe's Jewish population circa World War II.

Next week: More Odin Sphere Leifthrasir plus some E3 predictions!

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Show Description

It's a packed episode this week as Kat and Nadia revisit Bravely Second and Dragon Quest Monster Joker 2, offer initial thoughts on Odin Sphere Leifthrasir (27:00), discuss the campaign to revive Suikoden (33:40), and examine how Valkyria Chronicles and Persona delve into Jewish persecution and gender roles respectively (48:26).

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!

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Comments 17

  • Avatar for capedconstable #1 capedconstable 2 years ago
    Love this podcast! I want to play Bravely Second and just got paid so might go pick it up. Will listen to this later tonight.
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  • Avatar for capedconstable #2 capedconstable 2 years ago
    It is also cool of you guys looking at the social issues in video games. In my last podcast I attempted to redeem Jar-Jar from his horrible state of being a vision of racist colonialism into a Gungan who resides within a culture that is not to be derided but embraced and he as an individual has and identity other than "the other".Edited 3 times. Last edited June 2016 by capedconstable
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  • Avatar for detten17 #3 detten17 2 years ago
    as someone that comes from a very "macho" culture, I understood Kanji's plight in P4. Hispanic culture is very machismo, not so much in the US but when I go back to the old country I got to to play my role, although it is changing there too.

    I don't exactly remember the detectives dungeon in P4 but I never got the vibe that she was confused about her gender, or that she was presented as transgendered. It was just heavily ham fisted that she viewed her sex as a "weaker" gender not appropriate of her family and their career.Edited June 2016 by detten17
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  • Avatar for WiegrafFolles #4 WiegrafFolles 2 years ago
    Those looking for a Suikoden alternative might want to check out Celestian Tales:
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  • Avatar for darlenetaylor56 #5 darlenetaylor56 2 years ago
    Deleted October 4000 by Unknown
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  • Avatar for jayzii #6 jayzii 2 years ago
    Great podcast, you two.

    I enjoyed the end discussion with Nadia's thoughts on Valkyria Chronicles and Kat's on Persona 4. It was nice to hear and read Nadia's personal connection with, and interpretation of, the material.

    I am completely with Kat's interpretations of Kanji and Naoto's character arcs and, as a very liberal person, was frankly a bit annoyed and disappointed for the backlash P4 got for "not being progressive enough". On a personal level, the story is about High Schoolers grappling with their sense of identity and trying to figure themselves out. Who has themselves all sorted out at the age of 16 or 17? If you did, you should probably reevaluate some things. Neither of the characters really fit into neatly defined categories by the end, and I thought that was fine. Some critics also seemed to take the Japanese cultural background completely out of the equation while making the critiques. I'm not sure being definitively gay or transgendered would have made a stronger point than "accept yourself for what you are", which is what the game went with. *finishes ranting and wipes sweat from brow*

    Anyway, thanks for the podcast, Kat and Nadia. I look forward to it every week. You just need to lure Jeremy back on with promises of classic Roguelikes or Chrono Cross in the future. He's been suspiciously absent from the usgamer podcasts recently. Life's tough for the boss, I guess.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #7 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    Kanji was almost assuredly homosexual to me. Naoto was a freaking dodecahedron of lenses from which people may see themselves or others.


    One of the (MANY MANY) things that throws people off about P4 is that things was left in various stages of vagueness ot be more universal, and Hashino's interviews to that end was to have characters be focused on various facets being tested with no one being THE story to tell that overshadows the others.

    P5 is going to be really bad for misplaced RAGE. Brace yourself. Edited June 2016 by SatelliteOfLove
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #8 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    I really, really appreciated that last segment. It was refreshing and informative in many ways. Thanks a lot for the show.
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  • Avatar for Jaciejae #9 Jaciejae 2 years ago
    I am a gay bear, I live kanji kun. I was not offended at all, I know what it's like, even if he was straight after it all, its not so black and white,it just hit home regardless
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  • Avatar for christopherhughes97 #10 christopherhughes97 2 years ago
    That last bit of discussion was really engaging, thanks! I do think that the text indicates that Kanji identifies as gay when he says "The other me is the real me," but it's definitely ambiguous enough to merit discussion and the important thing is to empathize with his struggle for identity. I'm really glad you guys didn't come down on the side of thinking it's not progressive enough. That's become a popular meme and I just couldn't disagree more. It's a compelling story with detailed and sympathetic characters, when it gets dismissed out of hand we just raise a lot of issues about who "owns" queer identity and who is excluded from it.Edited June 2016 by christopherhughes97
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #11 nadiaoxford 2 years ago
    @ThirdDrawing You're judging Kat (and PC gamers in general) according to a thread on the "PC Master Race" subreddit? Really? This is a thing you're choosing to do? Because I really don't recommend doing it. Edited June 2016 by nadiaoxford
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #12 Kat.Bailey 2 years ago
    @ThirdDrawing I think it's less that I'm a PC fan and more that you seem to have an unreasoning hate for it. Games can be on both platforms! It's ok! In fact, I also like the flip side when consoles/handhelds get PC-exclusives like Divinity and Stardew Valley. I want the widest possible audience for my favorite games.

    If Suikoden 2 releases on Steam, will it magically vanish from PSN? Nope. But it will mean more people can play it, which means more visibility for what has always been a very niche series. More visibility is a good thing for a series like this. And you're ignoring the fact that Steam in particular is a massive platform with huge reach in the gaming community. The more JRPGs on it the better, because that's how you get new fans.

    Personally, I have no time for console or platform war BS, so take those comments someplace else, hmm kay?
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #13 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    I really hope you guys like Odin Sphere. It's one of my favorite games ever just for the story alone. I'll probably start crying if y'all tear it down next week.
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  • Avatar for GaijinD #14 GaijinD 2 years ago
    @ThirdDrawing This is actually a bad example. Falcom is traditionally a PC developer. They've done a few console games, but most of their catalog was released for home computers first and ported to consoles later, if at all, and often by third parties rather than Falcom itself. I don't think XSEED is in a position to commission a PS4 or Vita version of Trails if there isn't one already, nor should they if Steam is where the series is selling.
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #15 Kat.Bailey 2 years ago
    @ThirdDrawing Being a Steam exclusive beats languishing on a dead platform like the PSP
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  • Avatar for kidgorilla #16 kidgorilla 2 years ago
    @Kuni-Nino I hope this remake is good, too. It was one of those games on PS2 where I did absolutely everything that I possibly could with it. I certainly don't have the time or patience for anything like that now, but I still have fond memories of it, warts and all

    Also, Steam is fine. Consoles are fine. Everything is fine.
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  • Avatar for Jaciejae #17 Jaciejae 2 years ago
    Kat, just want to let you know that the new 3ds langrisser game isn't that bad. It's archaic and weird but totally playable, I think they found a ps1prototype, its no fire emblem killer but it's cool and people are being way too harsh.Edited June 2016 by Jaciejae
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #18 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago

    If you're talking the Pyramid Evo games, you're in for a loooooooooong "why that aint true" speech I ain't up for atm further than a Cliffnotes "too many liscences held by too many people wanting to get paid".

    Hell, even FALCOM can't sell those on their own damn site.
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