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On this episode of Random Encounter, it's time to look at some of the best games of the previous year! RPGFan has released our annual Games of the Year feature, and this week, we're taking a deep dive. Join Jono, Alana, Brian, and Wes as they dig into the various categories, pick out their personal favorites, and (inevitably) end up adding multiple…
 
RPGFans? Not today, we're not! Here at RPGFan, we write and talk about RPGs almost nonstop, but that's not all of who we are as fans of video games. Today, five RPGFan staff discuss ten of their favorite video games or series that aren't quite RPG enough for RPGFan, in a self-indulgent sequel to a 2019 episode. To his shame, the host accidentally s…
 
Whether or not you play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you may know that Nintendo's latest entry in its fighter series features more than a few characters from RPGs: 31 of its 82 characters are from our beloved genre, and that number grows if you want to bend the rules and include Mario characters because of games like Super Mario RPG and Mario & Luig…
 
What will be the Final Fantastic game among our Personal picks? It's a new year, and Retro Encounter rings in 2022 with a bang, counting down a ranked list of fourteen PlayStation 2 RPGs, compiled from the panelists' own preferences, to eventually crown an official Retro Encounter Best PlayStation 2 RPG from the set. So what's the overall winner? H…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we're doing a little bit of cleanup! Some super interesting games were released at the very end of 2021, and we have some folks who played them! Audra is here to talk about her experience playing both Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space and its Chrono Cross-related DLC, Complex Dream. Dom is excited to c…
 
Once upon a time, an RPGFan editor remarked that Chrono Cross (where’s that remaster?) smelled like a piña colada. This little side comment sparked an idea with our own Michael Sollosi about what other RPG and drink pairings might sound and taste like. Over a year later, four panelists have chosen some RPG music and drink pairings that are sure to …
 
Happy Last Year! (Good riddance) A year has come and gone, and Retro Encounter has always been more about the past than the future. Four RPGFan staff discuss twelve of their favorite games of 2021, from remade trilogies to time loops to demon summoning to canine companionship. Listen to the end for a preview of the first few months of 2022 in Retro…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we're taking a look in our crystal ball to preview the games of 2022! Every December, RPGFan publishes an extensive feature focusing on the games we're most excited for in the upcoming year. And this week, we get to talk about it! Does the panel think that Final Fantasy XVI will be released in 2022 or be delayed…
 
Three worlds, four (maybe five) characters, and a whole whack of potential jobs: That’s Final Fantasy V in a nutshell! In today’s Retro, our four panelists will finish their exploration of the story of FFV, talk about some of our favorite jobs, and take a look at other versions of the game that have come out over the years. And now that the Pixel R…
 
Long ago, the two podcasts of RPGFan lived in harmony. But then, everything changed when the Rhythm Nation attacked. Actually, that's not true. Rhythm Encounter was actually around before Retro Encounter, but Janet Jackson didn't record a song called Retro Nation, did she? (Did she?) Today we are getting elemental. Any RPG fan knows how important t…
 
For those who loved RPGs during the SNES era, there was a game that forever seemed out of reach: Final Fantasy V. This unlocalized title was so legendary that it inspired the very first fan translation of a video game. Though Squaresoft eventually localized FFV for PSX in 1999, many still think of it as the black sheep of the Final Fantasy family. …
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, it's awards night! The Game Awards 2021 were last Thursday, and so was our recording date! The resulting episode? Pure chaos! Jono, Brian, and Niki try to talk about Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl and Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition, but Mr. Geoff Keighley keeps throwing brand-new…
 
Husbands should be like Kleenex: Soft, strong, and disposable. Romance, drama, comedy, regret, and... rice? Impostor Factory is a visual novel of sorts that looks like a 16-bit RPG, the third game in Kan Gao's Sigmund Corp trilogy after To the Moon and Finding Paradise, and oh boy does it leave an impression. Our two Retro Encounter panelists love …
 
Marty, we've got to go back! Back to the... past. That didn't work. But on this episode of Rhythm Encounter, we're doing a console-specific episode, for the first time since Episode 1 (which debuted way back in February 2013). The Nintendo Entertainment System wasn't the first game platform, but its impact on the gaming landscape can't be understat…
 
Remember us. Remember that we once podcasted. Emet-Selch, the principal antagonist of Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, is a unique blend of a foppish eccentric, a world-erasing psychopath, and a grieving survivor. He's a complicated, entertaining foil to the Warrior of Light, and Retro Encounter is going to examine him under the RPG Villains micr…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, Greg is back! Greg and Jono reunite for Thanksgiving (despite both of them being Canadian) to talk about the fun of Final Fantasy-themed battle royales (Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier), the joys of retro-style adventure game throwbacks (Obduction), the excitement of unsubstantiated rumors (Chrono Cross rem…
 
Hiya, Hugo! Hiya, stupid! Whatcha wanna go get demon energy for? Our two panelists navigate through Ys Origin's three protagonists in our second episode on the 2006 prequel! Up for discussion is the Ys Origin endgame story, midgame boss battles, and family dynamic of the cursed Fact bloodline. Featuring: Michael Sollosi, Audra Bowling; Edited by Mi…
 
Once upon a time, the idea of going to a theater or other venue to see video game music performed live was unheard of. But as gaming grew in popularity, live performances have become more frequent, and fans have had the opportunities to hear the likes of The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy performed in various forms over the years. Add in music c…
 
Retro Encounter travels between 1989 and 2006 in playing Ys Origin, the prequel to the original Ancient Ys Vanished, Nihon Falcom's influential action RPG. In today's Retro Encounter the panelists discuss co-protagonists Yunica Tovah and Hugo Fact, the layout of the mysterious tower they're climbing, and how Ys Origin references Ys titles past and …
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, our panel descends deep into Dracula's Castle to deliver their thoughts about the recent Castlevania Advance Collection. Between 2001 and 2003, Konami released three Castlevania titles for the Game Boy Advance (Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, and Aria of Sorrow). These games revived the Symphony of th…
 
It wouldn't be Star Trek without an inevitable sequel! The crew of the USS Retro Encounter is back after last week's Star Trek-focused episode. This time, we're taking a look at the follow-up to 25th Anniversary, the 1993 point-and-click adventure game, Star Trek: Judgment Rites. With the cast of the original series again returning to voice their c…
 
Title screens are among the first things we see when we turn on our favourite RPGs, and they're incredibly unique to the medium of video games. So it seems criminal that we haven't had an episode devoted exclusively to them! From setting the tone to weaving a story, a title screen (and its accompanying music) can say a thousand things about the vid…
 
It's time to explore strange old worlds with the crew of the USS Retro Encounter! In this episode, our landing party of Trekkies beam into the 1992 point-and-click adventure game, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary. Featuring the vocal talents of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and the rest of the Enterprise crew, will this adventure game live up to the q…
 
On this episode of Random Encounter, we're dipping our toes into some games highly inspired by the 80s and 90s! Abe is here to talk about the surprisingly excellent Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, waxing rhapsodic about its superb story and incredible 80s soundtrack! Then, Niki dives into the earliest era of the SNES with the surprise remake of t…
 
Retro Encounter finished their star-studded journey across the cosmos this month, but does Cosmic Star Heroine live up to to Zeboyd's influences and fan expectations? The panel loves the visual design and battle designs of the game, but has issues in other places. But which boss was designed by the podcast host? Listen and learn! Brought to you by …
 
When it comes to instrumentation, it doesn’t get more fundamental than the piano. Not only is it often the first instrument that musicians learn, but its 88-note range and ability to play both melody and accompaniment give it unmatched versatility. Piano albums of RPG soundtracks have been popular for decades, and in today’s episode, our panel is g…
 
Retro Encounter is blasting off again with two episodes on Cosmic Star Heroine, a 2010s crowdfunding success heavily inspired by specific 16-bit RPGs. The panel loves the visual style and battle system of Cosmic Star Heroine, but isn't 100% sold on the story, characters, or soundtrack. How exactly do they feel about this science fiction Japanese-st…
 
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…
 
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