The Untenable Podcast, MiniSode 1: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Reaction

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In this MiniSode, Mike and Jay discuss the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. They also manage continue to offend just about everyone with unintentional racism and sexism with too many C U Next Tuesdays dropped throughout the episode. Along the way they discuss the new Jurassic World trailer as well for good measure. Mike and Jay also have their first guest via phone call, Steve of the GamersVantage Podcast, as he helps answer a bit of bounty hunter information.

https://soundcloud.com/untenpod/the-untenable-podcast-minisode-1-star-wars-the-force-awakens-trailer-reaction

The Thing About SoundCloud…

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So the thing is that early in the podcast, probably within the first week, before the Libsyn account was set up, we set up a SoundCloud account, and were only able to upload the first two episodes. That was because with the free version, we were only able to upload three hours worth of content. And those two first episodes were a glimpse into the future of the podcast and were each roughly one and half hours a piece. So that account went dormant when we began exclusively using the Libsyn account through the blog for iTunes.

That all changed yesterday when I set up a premium account on SoundCloud, so we can pretty much upload as much content to that account, whereas on Libsyn I’m limited on how much content I can upload on a monthly basis. So, as a result of the amount of freedom we have with the SoundCloud account, we will update the back issues on the account, and this will also serve as a repository for extra content. Such extra content was previously known as “Bonus” episodes, but from now on will be referred to as Mini Episodes, or more specifically, “MiniSodes.”

The first Untenable Podcast MiniSode will go up on the SoundCloud account a little bit later, and we hope to add content at various times, but will update and publish the link here on the blog. I still need to tweak some settings on the SoundCloud account because every time I update a new track, that update is sent to my personal Twitter account, and not the podcast’s account. I’ll work to update, but for the most part we will updating new content through here, as well as updating the regularly scheduled weekly episodes.

Thanks again for staying with us and downloading our content. And even if you already have the pod downloaded on your device, if you could visit the SoundCloud page and simply “Like” the content, that would be much appreciated as well.

– Mike and Jay

Happy Thanksgiving From The Untenable Podcast

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This is the time for giving thanks, and I would say that this year I have more than usual to be thankful for. Every year is the standard thankful nod to health, employment, family, yadda, yadda, yadda, etcetera, etcetera. But this year is different for me, at least, because this is the year that I went out and did something that I’d only been talking about for a while – I started a podcast with one of my oldest and best friends.

As previously mentioned in the podcast, Mike and I had talked for years about starting a podcast since we’ve been avid listeners of various podcasts. For me, I’ve listened to the likes of WTF, Smodcast, Tell ‘Em Steve Dave, The Joe Rogan Experience, Mohr Stories, No Agenda, How Did This Get Made, and Your Mom’s House Podcast. Mike also listened WTF and How Did This Get Made, but also podcast standards like The Smartest Man in the World, The Dana Gould Hour, Giantbomb, and Cheap Ass Gamer. Our lives have been informed by some great voices in podcasting, storytelling, and comedy, so it was our goal to be at least a fraction as entertaining as our influences.

For Mike and I, starting this blog and podcast has meant that we worked to prioritize our time and dedicate otherwise precious gaming, watching, or listening time to managing and producing content for all of you. And I think that I can speak for both Mike and I when I say that these past three months have been a blast. We’ve been able to synthesize our normal conversations about various media and put it out here for you all to listen in on and be a part of. This has also encouraged Mike to produce written content, which is something that he doesn’t quite always enjoy, but because it’s about something that he enjoys greatly, gaming, it doesn’t seem to have been so difficult for him to work with. For me, I love writing, but I also find it challenging at time to devote the time due to writing well, but I still look forward to producing content for the blog.

As far as learning how to record, produce, and distribute the actual audio content, that has been one of the most rewarding parts of this for me. While I’ve always been a techie of sorts, I’m somewhat technologically inept at the execution of tech. It takes me a while to learn, and if it weren’t for the “how to” videos on YouTube, I don’t think that I would have been able to get the podcast started.

But then I saw the first few downloads show up in the Libsyn report. Gotta say, it was pretty amazing to know that someone in another state, or even another country, took the time to download and possibly listen to our little podcast. I know that right now our numbers are really low, but I am sincere when I say that both Mike and I are extremely grateful for each and every listener and download we receive. We would love to see those numbers reach into the thousands per episode someday, but that’s on us to make happen. Just knowing that we have a number of people who either follow the blog and download when the links go live, or some who have subsrcibed to us in iTunes, that means the world to us.

So it is in the spirit of Thanksgiving that Mike and I extend a sincere wish for a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday to all of you out there, and yet again thank you for giving us an extra reason to be thankful this year.

The Untenable Podcast, Episode 16: A Very Special Episode of The Untenable Podcast

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I walk the Spec Ops line

In this week’s episode, Mike and Jay continue talking games, talk some Star Wars title news, and then investigate the clusterfuck of meta, brain-melting television tropes. And then shit gets real. This is the soon-to-be controversial, loyalty-dividing episode. This is where Mike and Jay could lose some of their loyal audience – or not.

A scoop of kids to add the spice

Real Talk

Mike’s CoD Piece: A New Rant From Mike

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Yeezus once rapped “no one man should have all that power” and if that song hadn’t been overused in dozens of commercials, I’m sure it would have fit perfectly in an ad campaign for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.  In this latest entry in the Call of Duty (CoD) franchise, the first from Sledgehammer Games, we go up against – spoilers – Kevin Spacey and his own private army.

Just a little history about me and Call of Duty before we go any further.  I’ve been a fan of the series for a while now, going back to when the developers were making the Medal of Honor games.  Call of Duty 2 is what sold me on an Xbox 360; well, it and the promise of Halo 3.  The series saw a lot of playtime on my various 360 machines, mostly single player, except for when Modern Warfare came out.  On that title I spent a good chunk of time in the multiplayer playing with a group of dads.  Those were some great times, playing with other gamer dads I’d met online, working as a team, and busting each others’ balls over everyday life.  Great times.

So, back to the future and Advanced Warfare.  Everything I’ll speak to in this piece is about the single player campaign on Xbox One.  I’ve not played multiplayer since all of those dads I talked about are now on PS4 and Destiny.  I could join them, as I have both consoles, but home life always finds a way of keeping me from playing too much single player, let alone multiplayer.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare takes place about 40 years from now, and starts with the Marines being sent into Seoul to combat an incursion by North Korea.  In this intro level we meet the hero Mitchell, voiced by the great Troy Baker, and his best friend Will Irons.  However, things go badly on the mission, Will doesn’t make it, and Mitchell loses an arm.  At this point I was thinking to myself that Will dying was going to come back later in some hairbrained plot twist that turns him into some sort of Frankenstein’s monster or Robocop.  Rest easy, it never happens.  That was just a byproduct of me seeing way too many sci-fi movies as a kid.

When we next see Mitchell, he’s at Will’s funeral and we get to the “press ‘X’ to pay respects” scene.  I had heard about this scene and saw it in one of Conan’s Clueless Gamer bits worrying that it would be tacky.  I was worried about this because I’ve gone through that ceremony in my life and know how it can stick with someone, but ultimately, I felt that it was handled tastefully.  It’s at this point that we meet Will’s dad, Jonathan Irons, played by Kevin Spacey.  He knows of Mitchell from his son and offers him a second chance as his company, Atlas, has prosthetic technology decades ahead of the military.

From this point on we are in the game proper and travel the world in various scenarios and encounter plot twists that I’ll refrain from spoiling.  Needless to say, you know where it’s going if you read the intro or have half a brain.  What I will go into is some of the new gameplay mechanics.

Being that warfare has uh, advanced, we now have exo suits.  Much like what Matt Damon wears in Elysium, we have augmented strength and other abilities that are specific to certain classes of suit.  On this point I was a little disappointed that we aren’t given a choice on which suit we want.  Each mission has a specific suit, so on one mission you may have the deployable riot shield, while on others you may have the jump jet.  Later on you get a grapple ability that I really enjoyed.  For one, the grapple allowed for silenced kills ala Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, where you’d grapple an enemy and pull them towards you so that you could finish them with your knife.  Secondly, it allowed you to traverse the area fairly quickly by grappling to fixed points and pulling yourself up to ledges.  However, another gripe for me was the melee animation for the main character.  The other characters in the game had melee animations that showcased their amplified strength.  They’d pick up an enemy and slam them down or grapple them into a clothesline, or something akin to those.  When it comes to your melee, you just sort of push people down.  Lame, I know.  During missions you could earn upgrade points to better your exo suits.  Upgrades offered options like lowering damage taken by explosions, faster reload times, more sprint time, less of a flinch by the character when shot, more grenade slots, and the like.

Also new are some various grenade types.  By holding LB you could cycle through your non-lethal types.  My favorites of those being “threat” which painted enemies for a short time so that you could see them behind cover and “EMP,” which took out drones and momentarily stopped enemies in heavily armored power suits.  If RB is held you can choose from your lethal grenades with “smart” being my favorite of those.  Once thrown, it would hover, pick a target and then rocket over to that target.  The lethal types though often left me feeling that they weren’t very effective.  Either I have bad aim or their area of effect wasn’t very large.  In any case, I mainly used the non-lethal options.

These new gameplay additions have me hoping for more entries in the Advanced Warfare line.  There’s a lot of promise here.  They’ve shaken up the formula and made the series feel new again.  I just hope they give us a chance to choose our suit and further personalize it in future iterations.  Also, I really want them to come up with some real kickass melee animations that have you feel like a badass as you kick or punch someone through a wall or something similarly overpowered.

The Untenable Podcast, Episode 15: Of Analog Dreams and Digital Days

Photon Sets and Captain Power Toys Taught Me How to Love

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In this week’s new episode, Mike and Jay return to their early gaming roots, reminisce about the various systems they played, and in some cases, the systems that played them. This is also the first of two split episodes, the next full episode going up next week.

Remove the dust from your cartridges

SPOILERS AHEAD!!

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by Mike and Jay

Okay, this is just a friendly note that in the upcoming few episodes, Mike and I will have tendency to go into some spoilery territory, specifically in the episodes we recorded last night. With the material that we recorded last night, we have another two-part episode where we delve extensively into Chris Nolan’s Interstellar.

And while I’m discussing the next few episodes, I’ll also explain the situation with the next set of episodes. From here until the end of the year, possibly until after the new year, Mike and I are banking episodes, recording upwards of three hours at a time, and then dividing them up.

Sometimes we’ll divide the lengthy episodes into either two or three distinct episodes, however the math best works out. We tease at the end of the episodes that they’re “two parters” making it seem as if the next episode will be “Episode ‘X,’ part 2” but in reality we will proceed to the next consecutive number in order for each episode.

We’re mainly doing this because this time of year is rather hectic for both of us due to the holidays, specifically Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’ve also got work related duties and family obligations to tend to at times.

So, the next episode to go up, Episode 15, either later today or tomorrow, was originally a two hour episode that we decided to chop up into two episodes. Episode 16, the next portion of that two hour long episode, will go up next week, around Thanksgiving week. From there, the first part of last night’s recorded episode will go up around the beginning of December, and then the next segment divided out of last night’s episode will be up the second-ish week of December. The pattern will continue through the end of the year.

It was brought to our attention that banking episodes will possibly create “stale” content, which is a fair assessment of the nature of the topics we usually discuss. However, Mike and I have realized through the course of recording the last sets of episodes that we want this podcast to be more organic and fluid when discussing topics, if it all possible. As such, we’ll more than likely continue to record at great length and divide up the episodes. We are not focused solely what is current, but worthy of discussion in our estimation.

Throughout all of this, what is most important to us is to provide content on a consistent basis, specifically for those out there who listen regularly. We both know that you realize that life happens, and sometimes recording isn’t possible, but Mike and I will do our best to make sure that new content is available every week.

Thanks again to all of you who continually listen to our pod, and we thank any new or future listeners.