USgamer's RPG Podcast Examines Skyrim Remastered, Exist Archive, and RPG Accessibility

AXE OF THE BLOOD GOD: Does Skyrim hold up? Do RPGs need to be more accessible? Nadia and Kat have thoughts!

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), we take a look at Skyrim Remastered, discuss Exist Archive, and wonder about RPG accessibility.

Skyrim is one of the most popular but controversial RPGs I've ever played. Seemingly everyone has an opinion on it, and they can run hot or cold depending on who you talk to. Nadia and I have opinions as well, and we discuss them in this episode. We also touch on the quality of the Special Edition, and what it means for console gamers and PC gamers alike.

Also in this episode: I politely ask people to stop calling Exist Archive the spiritual successor to Valkyrie Profile! It's fine on its own merits, but it's a long way from being a real successor to Valkyrie Profile. Also, we digress heavily into a discussion about RPG accessibility. Is it possible to hit a balance? We have thoughts!

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Show Description

Nadia and Kat have a lot to rant about as they take on Skyrim Special Edition, Exist Archive, and what accessibility means for the RPG genre. Does Skyrim hold up? Does Exist Archive deserve to called a spiritual successor to Valkyrie Profile? All of this and more!

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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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #1 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    "Is it possible to hit a balance?"

    It sure as hell ain't on one end of the casual-hardcore spectrum or the other (which that other article's comment section revealed people still haven't gotten despite very recent evidence).
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #2 Jonnyboy407 2 years ago
    Fun listen as always!

    I'll say this about Pokemon - I love how they've made EVs and IVs more accessible. But I hope there's a way I can turn off that new feature that shows you what moves will be super effective. Seems a step to far to make things easy for newcomers.
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #3 Kat.Bailey 2 years ago
    @Jonnyboy407 Really? I don't think it really adds any depth to remove the prompt. It's just rote memorization.
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #4 Jonnyboy407 2 years ago
    @Kat.Bailey I suppose. But if you roll into battle and the game tells you what moves will be best to use, it seems there wouldn't be much motivation to learn the alignments.

    Not by any means a game breaker. And I'm sure I'll get over my apprehensions once I realize how much fun I'm having playing a new Pokemon :D
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #5 riderkicker 2 years ago
    As I get older, I get Nadia's need for an easier to get into RPG, as busy lives can mean less times for gaming. If you are able to play for the Higgins recommended time of one hour, it's best to find an RPG you can pick up and play just like that. I'm currently playing through the first Mario and Luigi RPG during my morning commute and I can put it down minutes before the train reaches the station.
    If I were to play games like Skyrim, Fallout 4 or any of the Dragon Ages, I have to put in the commitment to for that world, even if the UI and inventory systems are not as streamlined as the 1hr games. As I heard on another gaming podcast, Skyrim is work or vacation.

    I should pick up FF13 Lightning's Return later, especially if I want to play a modern era Valkyrie Profile. Thanks for the recommendation USGamer!

    Are we able to see IVs in the next game? I could never understand them starting from BW as I only understood EVs in Heart Gold, especially when IVs were an unknown number, and you can count EVs as it is assumed you start from zero. I know there's a checker in XY, tho it got annoying bringing my new hatches only to have to discard them into the wonder trade. I should just guve up on this IV stuff as I'll never reach a fraction of Kat's level.Edited November 2016 by riderkicker
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #6 riderkicker 2 years ago
    @Jonnyboy407 Eh you can always ignore the prompts. It's not like the UI is saying in big red letters not to use a certain moves.
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  • Avatar for NateDizzy #7 NateDizzy 2 years ago
    All this talk of Valkyrie Profile makes me want Indivisible even more. I really hope that hits the right buttons when it's eventually released.
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #8 Jonnyboy407 2 years ago
    @riderkicker ha! Indeed. I'll throw my real fit on the day when the game picks your attacks for you.
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  • Avatar for Feanor #9 Feanor 2 years ago
    The PS4 version of Skyrim is actually the only one without conpresssd audio.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #10 riderkicker 2 years ago
    @Feanor Why is it that games these days insist on uncompressed audio? I have a feeling that most of what people download is usually sound as previous generations have demonstrated graphics don't take as much space. We have codecs for video, but surely some developer could use one for sound. Think of how much space one can save, especially if most consumers won't upgrade past the 500GB default.
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  • Avatar for Jeremiah-Jones #11 Jeremiah-Jones 2 years ago
    It was really good to hear the discussion about “easiness” in RPGS. I used to have that elitism attitude towards strategy guides, faqs, etc., but as I get older and more in tune with the fact that I will die someday, admitting that I occasionally need a hint, or appreciate an easy mode sometimes, is not a bad thing.

    I learned this recently when being in a situation where I only had one game to play, and nothing else to entertain myself with. The game was Phantasy Star Collection for the GBA, and I bought it when it came out. Due to my elitism, I had along with the gaming culture I was around, I missed out on 1 good game, and 2 great games for about 13 years.

    Easy modes can also give you enough incentive to actually LEARN the game, by taking the pressure off of players to master the game so they can fully enjoy the story.

    Look at Mega Man Zero Collection for the DS for example: (There’s grinding in it, so there…) By themselves, those games are hard in the principle that the developers punish you for playing them like the Mega Man X games, but on easy mode, you get all of the benefits of a fully “cyber elfed” Zero, and none of the penalties.

    In playing those, (the easy mode), you get a full glimpse of that story, with less headaches. You also get to see how the possible complaining of the fans (I was playing other games then so it is an assumption,) about how it wasn’t Mega Man X eventually made the developers make MMZero 4 the most MMX of the series, and kind of messed it up in the process. (Villain wise anyway).

    With the easy mode out of the way, delving into actually playing the games (MMZero for me, since my DS died after that one), in the way the developers intended took off so much stress and frustration that it likely would have broken me if I hadn’t gone through the easy mode first. (Easy Mode ended up being a great training tool too. You even get specific unlockable bonuses for beating it.)

    The only mode I believe that should be in every mode is a 1st person camera mode, or one like the snapshot mode in Dissidia 012. Dark Cloud 2, and Dissidia made photography a game within a game for me.

    I want to photograph the absolute hell out of FFXII HD’s Ivalice… *dreams*

    Lastly, your discussion about Valkyrie Profile made me feel the same way about Final Fantasy Tactics, and Vagrant Story. Though I played VS for the first time in 2011, it took me back to that simpler time I didn’t realize I had missed, and became my favorite game of that year.

    A man can dream *spoilers in the video, obviously*Edited November 2016 by Jeremiah-Jones
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