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On this episode of Random Encounter, we're talkin' Tales! RPGFan's recent feature "So You Want to Get Into the Tales Series..." took a deep dive into dozens of Tales games to help you find your best entry point. This week, we have the author of that feature, Wes Iliff, and Tales superfan, Steph Sybydlo, to talk about their experiences with the game…
 
The Church of Retro opens its confessional booth again, and three RPGFan panelists discuss the games and series for which they are the most embarrassed not to have played. So which RPGFan staffperson has never played a Suikoden title? Which Mega Man fan has never played Battle Network? Listen and find out! Retro Encounter encourages confession, but…
 
How many Shakespeare references can Yoshi-P's team pack into a Final Fantasy XIV expansion? How many of said references will we reference today? And what angel wakes Mike Salbato? The answer to some of these questions lie within our new dedicated Final Fantasy XIV episode of Rhythm Encounter. Because the show was on hiatus during the releases of St…
 
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment is about a teenager assuming a world of responsibility, adults confronting their worst selves, and stopping a demon from the Cthulhu Mythos from swapping the magnetic poles of Planet Earth. Four Retro Encounter panelists reject their own adult responsibilities to talk about this cult hit RPG from 2000, from the highs o…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, it's the latest Yakuza Encounter! Jono is super excited to dive into the newest spinoff Yakuza game, Lost Judgment, with Caitlin, and learn more about otome games (including Olympia Soirée) with Niki! Plus, the panel takes a look at some of the most exciting RPG Nintendo Direct news from last week, as well as co…
 
Retro Encounter brings the band back together in a brand new timeline, reuniting most of the team that podcasted on Persona 2: Innocent Sin in September 2020 to discuss its sequel, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment one year later. Converging timelines, video game grownups struggling to find their place, and comedians named after eggplants all enter the…
 
In this special surprise episode of Rhythm Encounter, we are joined by musician and actor Joe Zieja! RPG fans may know Joe from a multitude of roles, especially for his work in Fire Emblem: Three Houses as Claude, leader of the Golden Deer house. Recently, we posted an article about Joe's musical Kickstarter project, in which he plans to reimagine …
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, Abe takes two trips to Eastern Europe for the reviews of Black Book and Chernobylite, Pete takes a trip back in time to experience the glories (???) of the 3DO, and Jono ends his trip and is finally back home in Toronto! Plus, let's take a look at some of the big announcements from the recent PlayStation present…
 
Our fourth RPGFan Quiz Show in three years comes with changes to the quiz show landscape. Jeopardy!'s longtime host Alex Trebek has passed, and RPGFan's audio quiz show inspiration, Ask Me Another, announced that its final episodes will air later this year. But Retro Encounter is still here, and another quiz show arrives to challenge four contestan…
 
It's hard to deny the power of NieR's music. Keiichi Okabe (and his company MONACA) created something remarkable in 2010 with the music of NieR Gestalt & Replicant. In 2017, lightning struck again with the soundtrack for NieR: Automata, a masterwork of instrumentation and emotion. There's a reason you can search for "NieR" on VGMdb and get over fif…
 
Football season has seized North America, and four Persona-loving RPGFan staff decided to reject the sports-industrial complex to draft their own teams of teenagers battling their inner demons by confronting actual demons. Which protagonist is drafted first overall? Which participant picks not one, but TWO motorcycle-riding student council presiden…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, Jono tells us that he and the gang are taking a trip down to the lake to gossip about their new boyfriends/weapons. And by that, we assume he means that they're talking about the new mail-delivery simulator, Lake, and the dating sim/dungeon crawler, Boyfriend Dungeon! Plus, Caitlin is here to talk about a game t…
 
Two recent entries in Capcom's Ace Attorney saga of part-visual novel, part-adventure game, and all-courtroom drama video games were in localization purgatory for a few years before finally releasing worldwide as The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles in July 2021. Three of RPGFan's preeminent anime lawyer enthusiasts discuss the story, characters, them…
 
Hold it! For Ace Attorney fans, it was a long wait since the last mainline game in the series was released in 2016. But now, with the recent release of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles in July 2021, Ace Attorney looks to be getting the attention in the West that it deserves! Though the series is known for its chaotic courtroom battles, bizarre wit…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, our panel discusses if The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword can be redeemed on the Switch, if NieR Re[in]carnation can convince Alana to like gacha games, and how the new audio-based RPG, The Vale: Shadow of the Crown, completely blew our minds! Plus, we have some big news about the future of Random Encounter... (…
 
Three Retro Encounter panelists played Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne in August 2021, and each came out with different opinions and Reasons for those feelings. So which Reason is The Matrix and which Reason is The LEGO Movie? Listen and find out. You'll have plenty of time, climbing those massive tower dungeons Is Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne…
 
300 episodes! Retro Encounter always celebrates 50-episode milestones with new podcast gimmicks and a public vote on a future Retro Encounter game, and in 2021 we deliver with a Retro Encounter elimination tournament! We took sixteen suggested games for a future Retro Encounter episode, then voted them down to a final four. Now it's time to rely on…
 
Once one of the most popular genres of video games, adventure games have become much more niche in recent years. But thankfully, it’s a niche with some absolutely fantastic music! From the mid-80s to the early 2000s, adventure games were at the forefront of narratives in interactive entertainment. In a time before RPGs embraced cinematic CGI cutsce…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we discuss the release of the Pixel Remaster NES-era Final Fantasy games! Brian is delving into the origins of the series with the first Final Fantasy, Audra is braving the controversial SaGa-esque Final Fantasy II, and Zach is blowing through airships like a madman in the final NES entry, Final Fantasy III. How…
 
Podcasting is a harsh, unforgiving world that struggles between freedom of expression and survival of the fittest, but it's nothing compared to post-apocalyptic Tokyo. Three Retro Encounter Demi-Fiends survive The Conception with two friends, two strangers, and their favorite teacher (with an oddly close relationship to her students); but how do th…
 
The samurai and demon boys are back in town, as are our panelists as we finish our discussion of Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi for Ladies Otome Month here on Retro Encounter. This time, discussion centers around two more specific routes: one where Shinsengumi antagonist and demon Kazama helps you out (wow, so historically accurate), and the …
 
Bravely Default and Bravely Second are two 3DS throwback RPGs from Square Enix, with a new 2021 entry for the Switch in Bravely Default II. To celebrate the Bravely series and its excellent soundtracks, Rhythm Encounter assembled a panel of three Revo-and-Ryo superfans to discuss this preeminent pair of RPG musical scores, from sea shanties in the …
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we're discussing some of July's hottest releases! Zach is looking into the past and future in Cris Tales, Cory is hunting some Monsties in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, Greg is channeling his inner cat-farmer in Kitaria Fables, and Jono is screaming Objection at any random person who walks by in The G…
 
It's Ladies Otome Month on Retro, so our panel is kicking back and getting lost in historical Japan with a bunch of deadly samurai. Some of us are otome experts, some of us only know the genre from second-hand accounts, but we've all made our choices and been throughout at least one route. Many of us had a surprising amount to say about this inters…
 
A 2021 Retro Encounter sequel podcast drops its sequel episode, establishing a new Essential Ten for a new decade. Five panelists argue a list of twenty RPGs and visual novels down to an esteemed list of ten newly enshrined Retro Encounter Hall of Fame RPGs. By the end, the five RPGFan staff show a mix of accomplishment, fatigue, and sulky dissatis…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we bring in a pinch hitter! While your usual hosts take a break, we have some interviews from LudoNarraCon 2021 that went down back in April. Eva Padilla was in attendance and snagged some interviews. So, enjoy the chats with Eve Golden-Woods and Fernando Melo! Featuring: Eva Padilla, with Special Guests: Eve Go…
 
RPGs can offer a surprising variety of stories, which are definitely reflected in their opening and ending sequences and, of course, the memorable music to go along with them! What makes a good overture and why is it good to have high standards about them? How do you reflect the end of a complex and sweeping tale like Xenosaga musically? Our panel …
 
Retro Encounter's most notorious two-part episode, a 2016 structured argument that resulted in a top ten RPGs deemed "essential" by Retro Encounter, is getting a sequel five years later. It's a new decade, and five Retro Encounter regulars will spend two podcasts and over four hours arguing a list of 35 RPGs to 10, and this is the first. Friendship…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we pore over the gorgeous book recently released from Bitmap Books, A Guide to Japanese Role-Playing Games with Hilary and Steph. Greg has returned to Legend of Mana much to his delight and shares his thoughts on the updates Square Enix brings to the remaster. An awesome listener question and plenty of asides po…
 
Retro Encounter did two episodes on NieR: Gestalt in 2016, but the recent Replicant remaster gives us new occasion to discuss the Square-Enix cult classic. We have Teen Nier, Automata context, and deeply personal narratives all up for discussion in a mostly-happy podcast about a sad, angry RPG. How far would you go for a podcast you love? Featuring…
 
The stunning conclusion to Knights in the Nightmare is here, and holy plot Batman, that was a doozy! And with a remaster just announced for Japan this week, we cannot wait for more folks to dig in to this fascinating experience! (no relation to NiGHTS into Dreams for Sega Saturn) Featuring: Eva Padilla, Pete Leavitt; Edited by Micah Coates Get in T…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we sum all the various game shows that took place over the course of, well, "E3 Season." So many reveals, more details, and plenty of surprises! Ups, downs, and everything else in the show, so tune in! Featuring: Greg Delmage, Jono Logan, Steph Sybydlo, Quinton O'Connor, Mike Salbato; Edited by Jono Logan Get in…
 
What is dead may never die! On this Game Journal, two panelists dive into Sting's weirdo-bullet heck SRPG Knights in the Nightmare! Can this duo find the strength to make it out of this deep slumber in one piece? Find out on this week's episode of Retro Encounter! Dust off your late-2000s handheld, folks! Featuring: Eva Padilla, Pete Leavitt; Edite…
 
Retro Encounter's miniseries on Final Fantasy XIV concludes this week with an episode all about Shadowbringers, Final Fantasy XIV"s most recent and most fantastical expansion. Three panelists discuss the changes Shadowbringers made to the FFXIV job system, how Shadowbringers subverts a few central tenets of Final Fantasy, and the unmatched passion …
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, Greg and Jono pull together an emergency panel cause it's E3! We have no idea how the show's going to shape up this year, but we're gonna' speculate over what we will see, could see, and want to see (and secretly know we won't see...) Tune in and listen to our shenanigans! Featuring: Greg Delmage, Jono Logan, St…
 
Monster Hunter: World has peaked and Monster Hunter Rise has risen, and with several RPGFan staff hunting Rathalos recently it was high time we recorded a Monster Hunter podcast for the first time in more than three years. Three panelists talk about the peaks and valleys of the fifth generation of Monster Hunter, which is stronger than ever sixteen…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we gathered the crew to talk about takin' sweet pics of our favourite Pokemon! That's right, New Pokemon Snap is all kinds of delightful and RPG-adjacent, which means Niki got to review it and talk about. Also, because Pokemon, we welcome a semi-regular special guest to share her enthusiasm for the game! And jus…
 
Psaro, the very motivated main antagonist of Dragon Quest IV, is the best video game villain of the NES era and is definitely worth a podcast. But what's the most awful thing Psaro attempts in DQ4? Is he the true villain of the game? These and more addressed in today's Retro Encounter! For the first time in many months, this... is RPG Villains. Fea…
 
Five Retro Encounter panelists rolled credits on Dragon Quest IV, and the feeling on the 1990 classic are unanimous: Dragon Quest IV is ahead of its time. From the villain's motivations to the quest design to Akira Toriyama's badass women, Dragon Quest IV is a treat. Listen to us gush about it. Does Alena love Kiryl, or just hate doors? Featuring: …
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, folks have been playing games! Shocking, right? But for reals, one of the big games this week is Monster Hunter Rise, and Sollosi has been happily hunting along. We were going to get into Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, but someone surprised us all and showed up because we mentioned Lost Judgment and its announcem…
 
Five chosen panelists meet a chosen hero (or heroine) and his (or her) seven companions in today's podcast on 1990's Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen, making today's Retro Encounter one of the most retro we've ever done. Scottish accents, kickass princesses, and talented business wives all enter the discussion. Which chapter was our favorite…
 
Four Dragon Quest aficionados who haven't attended live sporting events in over a year celebrate their love of the seminal Japanese RPG by pretending it's fake sports! Retro Encounter is doing another fantasy draft, and this time it's to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the slimy and sagacious series. Which Hero is the number one overall pick? Who…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we get to talk about some remasters and a re-release! Originally out in 2018, Hero U has made its way to the Switch, and Hilary got her glorious quest on! While we all know Jono's thoughts on SaGa, Brian has been playing SaGa Frontier Remastered and is a bit more positive about it. Lastly, Alana has gotten to re…
 
Four panelists recruited twenty-seven times as many heroes in playing Suikoden III over April 2021, and have plenty to say about it! Suikoden III's complex politics, different motivations between its multiple protagonists, and surprise turns from series mainstay characters are all up for discussion. Is your father figure an immortal barbarian? Or l…
 
Suikoden III evokes the halcyon days of the PlayStation 2, when RPGs were many, UI conveniences were few, and Konami actually made video games. Suikoden III's politically-charged story and army of named characters are consistent with its predecessors, but it's split narrative and pants-optional waterfowl are all its own. Get to know Fubar (Fine, Un…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, the panel comes together to talk about Square Enix's latest offering, Outriders, that Abe's reviewing for the site. Meanwhile, Caitlin has enthusiastically jumped into the unique, artful world of Fantasian on Apple Arcade. Some random side-banter and a fun discovery for Caitlin gives us a swell little episode fo…
 
What RPG uses dice-roll physics, requires rare drops from Skeleton Mages, and is exclusive to the 3DS Shop? Crimson Shroud and absolutely nothing else! Yasumi Matsuno (Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy XII) teamed up with Level-5 (Dark Cloud, Dragon Quest VIII) to produce one of the most unique RPGs for the 3DS way back in 2012, and we're absolutely here…
 
Final Fantasy XIV's 2017 expansion had players visit the highlands of Gyr Abania and the steppes of Othard, but not as a tourist. Stormblood is a game about casting the light of liberation unto an oppressed people, and helping them tear down an imperialist regime. Stormblood is quite personal and political for an MMORPG expansion, but we're here fo…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we’ve got a panel talkin’ about nothing new but some things new to us. Most of us are still journeying through Bravely Default II! Nicholas got through Yakuza 5 and has his sights set on Yakuza 6, planning to make good on his 100% achievement quest. Brian’s gotten himself back into Fire Emblem: Three Houses, but…
 
One of the most common reader or listener comments that RPGFan social media receives is "not an RPG," and we take some umbrage at that. RPGFan prides itself on covering a diverse array of games, which includes some games that might be considered hybrid RPGs or RPG-adjacent. Today, Retro Encounter responds to that query directly, assembling a set of…
 
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