On March 26, 2016, the bros of gametimebro.com got together for our annual Smash Bash Tournament. This double-elimination tournament was seeded using total kills accumulated from a series of twenty 4-player prelim matches in which every player played every other player exactly once.
The initial seeding:
The tournament tree was populated based on those seeds, and a total of 40 one-on-one matches were played to determine this year’s Smash Bash Champion. For the first time ever, many of these matches have been recorded and uploaded to YouTube in their entirety. Check them out below.
Premise: BoJack Horseman is an anthropomorphic horse who starred in a hit family sitcom back in the ’80s and ’90s called Horsin’ Around. Twenty years later, he’s got all the fame and fortune he could want, but also a sometimes-crippling case of depression. Season 3 loosely revolves around BoJack’s goal of winning an Oscar for his recent role as Secretariat – if he can just win that Oscar, he’ll never be forgotten, the thinking goes, and that’ll be enough to snap him out of this deepening existential crisis. (But will it really?)
It’s our mid-year best of TV podcast and we’re only a month late! Our subjects for this week: best new show, best show we caught up on, most improved show, and show we are most looking forward for the rest of 2016.
Premise: It’s November, 1983, in a quiet little Indiana town. Something nasty has escaped from a nearby research facility working on top secret projects for the federal government. Meanwhile, a local boy goes missing just as a peculiar traumatized girl with no discernible origin appears. The boy’s frantic single mother works with the local police chief to find her son and his twelve-year-old friends mount a similar effort of their own – bicycles, walkie-talkies, and all. Oh, and there’s a love triangle brewing between a good girl, a jock, and an outcast. Hey, I said it was 1983!
Somewhere near the middle of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud endures a one-on-one date at the Golden Saucer with one of his comrades. Who he selects as his lucky partner for the evening depends on several seemingly meaningless decisions the player has made up to this point in the game. There’s an algorithm working behind the scenes throughout the first disc, tallying up unseen “relationship points” for each of Cloud’s four possible partners based on the actions he’s taken and the words he has said. A certain drink order at the bar after the story’s very first mission, for instance, may end up being the difference between an enjoyable outing with Tifa and an exasperating one with Yuffie. An offhand comment about snoring might ultimately lead to a bro-down with Barret at the expense of a night to remember with Aeris. In all, some forty or fifty apparently meaningless individual choices will ultimately contribute to Cloud’s decision.
Take that concept, apply it to high school kids, stick them on a haunted island, and you’ve got the basis for Oxenfree.
Welcome back to Rank & File, where we rank things and then file them away. Today, we’re ranking Nintendo 64 games.
You know how it works. I asked a bunch of the bros to rank Nintendo 64 games and then I combined all of our ballots to come up with a final ranked list. Every title included by more than one bro qualified for our final list with the most popular and most beloved titles appearing toward the top of the list.
Sources vary, but there were about 300 games released for the console in North America. Our final rankings include 69 of those titles (ha!) and our individual ballots collectively span 111. More than a third of the console’s library can thus be found below. Wow!
Without further ado, here is the singular consensus take from a record-setting 15 Rank & File contributors, followed shortly thereafter as always by the many various individual takes. Continue reading →
We just launched Subject to Change, our new podcast that will be releasing every Friday! Each guest brings a different subject to table in this verbal potluck. Our subjects for this week: launching this new podcast, the Red Sox, male grooming, and Daredevil.
We’ll have a more detailed post in the coming weeks on all the results of Smash Bash 3, but for now, enjoy the tournament final complete with commentary from J and BTOWN (Don’t worry, we’ll post a version of this without the commentary as well).
After a shamefully long hiatus, it’s time for another edition of Rank & File. Today we’re ranking Mario Kart.
Two years ago, the eighth game in the Mario Kart franchise (aptly called Mario Kart 8) was released in North America. To mark this minor anniversary, we asked several of the bros to rank the titles in the franchise from best to least-best. Twelve ballots later, our compiled set of rankings was finished and finalized. And you won’t BELIEVE the results – number nine will shock you!
When Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was first teased at the PS4 launch event in November of 2013, it was met with some trepidation from fans. After all, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception seemed to be a fitting end to the then trilogy as Nate, Sully, and Elena quite literally rode (a plane) off into the sunset. Fan concern grew as Uncharted 4 lost some of its most key personnel during development, including Justin Richmond, game director, and Amy Hennig, creative director and head writer. On top of that, when Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, the leads of The Last of Us, came in as the new co-directors, they threw out eight months of story on which Hennig and her team had been working. In the hands of a less capable developer, this game would have crumbled under the weight of this type of upheaval, but with Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog proves once again why many consider it to be the preeminent developer in the entire industry. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a massive achievement. With its gripping story, unrivaled character development, satisfying gameplay, and the very best graphics that have ever been produced on console, itnot only justifies its existence as a sequel, but it unseats Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as the best Uncharted game there is. In fact, when the dust settles, this could very well be this generation’s best game, period.
Watch as I play chapters twelve through fifteen of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. My thoughts from day four: Naughty Dog managed to create both the best written and best looking game this generation. To me, this is the new measuring stick against which all Triple A games should be compared. Check back tomorrow 5/14/16 as I will be streaming the remainder of the game, and come back next week for my final review.
Watch as I play chapters seven through eleven of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. My thoughts from day three: I’m glad I didn’t seek out the second half of the E3 Demo so the best action sequence of the series wasn’t spoiled for me. The real standout sequence actually came right afterwards, however, with Drake and Elena’s emotional exchange in the hotel room. Check back tomorrow 5/13/16 as I will be streaming the next few chapters, and come back next week for my final review.
Watch as I play chapters four through six of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. My thoughts from day two: It’s a little slower to get into the action than I’m used to, but that’s a small price to pay for the tremendous character development we’re getting. The Last of Us influences are clear, and Uncharted 4 is better for it. Check back tomorrow 5/12/16 as I will be streaming the next few chapters, and come back next week for my final review.
Watch as I play the first three chapters of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. My initial thoughts: It’s the most visually impressive game I’ve ever played, and it’s fun as hell. Check back tomorrow 5/11/16 as I will be streaming the next few chapters, and come back next week for my final review.
Steve, Keith, and Sweeney recently spent an evening with Webber playing through The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition together. What follows is a group chat they had a few days later. It’s the first ever gametimebro Triple Take!
It’s March and that means it’s time for another Smash Bash. In celebration of March Madness, the gametimebros hold an annual Super Smash Bros Round Robin Tournament in order to award the most super of all the bros a fitting trophy. Last year Stevie took home the prize, but stay tuned to gametimebro.com to find out who takes it home this year. Check out last year’s highlights below and check out all the results here.
Welcome back to Rank & File, the latest and greatest GameTimeBro feature – it’s not your father’s listicle!
Two months ago, seven bros lent their opinions on how the television landscape stacked up in 2015. Today, those same seven bros are pleased to provide takes of a similar nature. With the 88th Academy Awards right around the corner, the time is right for us to reflect on the movies we saw in 2015 – or perhaps more accurately, on the movies released in 2015 that we mostly saw in 2016. Normally I let Keith come up with all of our brand-centric forced puns, but this one’s just staring me right in the face, so without further ado, ladies and gentlemen – welcome to the Broscars!
After the first two episodes made a strong start to Telltale’s Game of Thrones series, episode three saw the story slow to a crawl, as most characters encountered little action and excitement. Episode four, Sons of Winter, fares a bit better for three of the playable characters, with one notable exception in King’s Landing. Still though, with two episodes to go, it appears Telltale is capable of righting the ship and delivering a strong finale, thanks to the legwork performed here in episode 4.