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The Cartridge Family
75 minutes | Apr 10, 2020
The Cartridge Family 099 - All Aboard the Final Fantasy VII Remake Train to Midgar
No offense to the new and shiny Resident Evil 3 Remake, but no remaster was more highly anticipated than Final Fantasy 7. The teasers. The delays. The first world agony. Fans endured, and Square Enix finally delivered this gorgeous video game that Joe intends to lose his entire weekend to, certain review scores (from websites we won’t name) be damned. Standing in his way? Only his loving wife and child. Moving over to John, he’s still into Animal Crossing but his nighttime play sessions don’t allow him to enjoy the full experience. Everything of importance is closed, he’s catching the same fish, and many of his neighbors are asleep. Hopefully he gets a bit of time this weekend to play during a normal hour. As for Buffa, it’s Resident Evil 3 Remake all the time! With the gym closed, he’s enjoying RE3 in bite-sized chunks every day from 8:15AM to 9:00AM, but with roughly 5 hours of playtime to see this zombie masher to its bloody end, he’s not ready to say goodbye so soon. The plan? Go through Raccoon City all over again, but with end game unlocks. The Family concludes this episode with their thoughts on Sony’s controversial PlayStation 5 DualSense controller, and John delivers the beatdown. Up next, the celebrational 100th Cartridge Family episode!
81 minutes | Apr 6, 2020
The Cartridge Family 098 - Animal Crossing Eggs, Resident Evil 3, John’s Butcher
The global pandemic continues and John chose to take drastic measures to ensure his family’s survival. He buys fruit and veggies from a local farm, he orders meat from a butcher (at least he’s not hunting…yet), and he even cut his own hair! Joe, meanwhile, finally left his house after two months of isolation. What’s the one thing keeping these two sane? Animal Crossing: New Horizons! They’re passing the time collecting bugs, Easter eggs, and other things. John and his kids have their own copies (John also came up with a clever way for his kids to do chores… with Animal Crossing as the reward), while Joe and his wife are testing the limits of their marriage by occupying the same island! Nintendo… their future is in your hands. Fortunately for Joe, Square Enix’s long awaited Final Fantasy 7 remake is nearly upon us, so he’ll have something to keep busy with in case his significant other refuses to relinquish the Switch. Meanwhile, Buffa is brains deep into the Resident Evil 3: Nemesis remake. He chooses to live through both the virtual and actual pandemics simultaneously. Find out what he thinks of Capcom’s newest survival horror adventure, then stay for his tales of what it’s like outside amongst toilet-paper hoarding masses. We close with Joe insisting that Rogue Legacy 2 deserves everyone’s attention, and a germ-riddled beatdown that will give you the shivers.
63 minutes | Mar 20, 2020
The Cartridge Family 097: Sony Fumbles its PS5 Event, GameStop Descends into Madness
Oh, Sony! You’re on top of the world with the PlayStation 4. You’ve had years to position the PlayStation 5 as the next evolutionary step in your path to continued dominance. There’s literally no way you could mess this up. Yikes! Find out how everything went wrong during the week’s surprise PS5 tech rundown. We hope you speak Cerny! Then we have GameStop. For one brief moment, we applauded the company for releasing DOOM Eternal a day early to promote social distancing within its stores. But then corporate wasted its good press by refusing to close those stores as the pressure for the United States to shut down amid the COVID-19 crisis intensifies. Why? Well, because GameStop considers itself essential retail, putting its video game business in the same group that most people would drop supermarkets and pharmacies into. People need their physical copies of games just as much as they need Albuterol inhalers, right? Sorry, no. In other news, John has more Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing systems than you do, Joe heaps praise on Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Buffa is ready for the Resident Evil 3 demo. All that and more as we charge ahead to episode 100!
68 minutes | Mar 13, 2020
The Cartridge Family 096 – Coronavirus Fears, Animal Crossing, Doom Eternal Cheers
Episode 096 is by far the strangest episode of The Cartridge Family, but we are living in strange times. The world is gripped with Coronavirus fever. Toilet paper is missing. Large cases of water are difficult to find. Hand sanitizer? That was the first to go. With this in mind, there’s a lot of Coronavirus talk. Joe quarantines himself on a regular basis so he’s doing just fine. John, meanwhile, is apparently sitting on a big stash of toilet paper and rice. Then we have Buffa, who still goes to the gym despite the mass hysteria. Nothing will stop him from achieving those gains! Fortunately, amidst what is now a global pandemic, there’s a bright side. For starters, this will probably encourage more people to wash their hands, which can only be a good thing. Beyond that, video games provide a means to escape reality in troubling times. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is out March 20, alongside DOOM Eternal. After that, we have the Resident Evil 3 Remake, where gamers can experience a virtual pandemic while living in a real one. Whoah! Yes, the NBA suspended its season, other sports leagues followed suit, and E3 2020 is toast, but maybe we should relax, sit down on a comfy couch, and fire up our console or PC game of choice. We’ll get through this together!
78 minutes | Mar 6, 2020
The Cartridge Family 095 – FF7 Remake Demo, Half-Life Alyx, and RE3 Gameplay
We’re little more than two months into 2020 and this year’s been quiet for video games, at least until a few days ago. Despite the anemic start, things are heating up in such a big way that Buffa is actually considering a VR-capable PC. Oh boy! In no particular order, Valve served up a generous helping of gameplay for Half-Life: Alyx, and Capcom unveiled several minutes of in-game action for its upcoming Resident Evil 3 remake. We also have Square Enix, which released a demo for its highly anticipated re-imaging of the smash hit PSOne RPG, Final Fantasy 7. Did Joe, our resident RPG aficionado, beat the demo several times over? His response might surprise you. Going back to Half-Life: Alyx, Buffa sort of has the PC itch despite ditching PCs more than ten years ago for Mac. Now, with Asgard’s Wrath and Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners already released, with Alyx on the way… is now the time for Buffa to become a member of the PC master race? He already has the Oculus Quest. Now all he needs is an Oculus Link cable and about $1500. What can go wrong? Meanwhile, John successfully introduced video games to his daughters. It seems like everyone in the Benyamine family owns a Switch and copies of Stardew Valley. This is by John’s design, as he primes his kids to become professional gamers. We’re pretty sure he’s going to make competitive Animal Crossing a thing several years from now. Much like in Stardew Valley… he is… planting the seeds. We round out the show with a rumored Star Wars game, Corona talk, and even a little politics following a dramatic Super Tuesday showdown. Only five more episodes until 100!
68 minutes | Feb 28, 2020
The Cartridge Family 094 - Cathartic Games, Shovel Knight Fever, Coronavirus's Impact
Buffa's out of town today so it's Joe's turn to type up some nonsense for you to read instead of simply listening to our delightful, weekly gaming podcast. I'm kidding. Buffa's a talented writer and I'm nothing. No one. An ant. A shadow of an ant. Dust. Check out our latest episode. John and I breakdown the latest from Yacht Club Games, Xbox Series X's info dump, and how the Caronavirus is impacting the games industry. Thanks for listening as always and enjoy!
77 minutes | Feb 21, 2020
The Cartridge Family 093 – Ninja Goes Full Mamba, StarCraft: Ghost Lives
Is it OK to be cool with losing? Does every loss while playing a competitive video game, some pickup basketball at the local gym, or a pie-eating contest need to fill you with unholy rage? According to video game influencer and streaming superstar, Ninja, abso-damn-lutely! Ninja recently took to Twitter to call out people who are OK with losing at video games. The remark peeled back the virtual curtain on his competitive nature, and it sparked a debate amongst the gaming community over good sportsmanship and how people respond to winning and losing at video games. Is it really, just a game? John, Joe, and Buffa have strong opinions! Then, StarCraft: Ghost returns from the dead! The much hyped but ill-fated shooter from Blizzard resurfaced online a few days ago. First as found footage, and then someone uploaded what exists of the actual game for people to play. The three dads were right in the thick of all the StarCraft: Ghost hoopla back in the Xbox, PS2, and GameCube days. Find out what they think about this surprise reveal. In other news, Nintendo unveils a new Switch Lite color, there’s an Animal Crossing Direct, and Joe has some more thoughts on Kentucky Route Zero. It’s another gem of an episode on the road to 100!
76 minutes | Feb 14, 2020
The Cartridge Family 092 – Switch in Airports, Yakuza Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
It’s Valentine’s Day 2020, and the dads spend part of this episode expressing their love for video games! John downloaded the new Dead Cells Bad Seed DLC, while Buffa is all about The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Joe, on the other hand, needed some Rocket League to clear his brain of Kentucky Route Zero, which might be good? He’s not sure yet. Nintendo Switch lounges in airports? Nintendo has plans to bring its Switch to a handful of U.S. airports for people to play while waiting for their flights to take off, but there’s a catch that sort of defeats the purpose. Then Sega releases yet another Yakuza game. We spent the 2000s hearing about this popular Yakuza series that was only available abroad, and now Sega has a new Yakuza every other month. It’s crazy, but of course, really cool if you’re into organized crime. Some sad news… Game Awards creator and host Geoff Keighley says that he won’t attend E3 this year for… reasons. The family speculates why everyone's favorite gaming host won’t make an appearance at the famous video game convention. Spoiler, it rhymes with the word “honey”. Buffa is back from a short trip to LA, where he played Outriders, the new cover-based shooter from Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly. The game is scheduled the launch holiday 2020 just in time for the next generation consoles, so what’s it all about? Buffa has all the info. Last but not least, we cap off the episode with John beating down Joe, and a back of the box for one of Switch Online’s newest games, which unfortunately is not Donkey Kong Country. Enjoy the long weekend!
92 minutes | Feb 7, 2020
The Cartridge Family 091 – Animal Crossing Switch FOMO, eBay Chatter, Plutonium
After weeks of John and Buffa telling Joe that his video game time would plummet with a baby to take care of (and Joe to his credit pushing back on this), it finally happened. His little cherub consumed his life and he barely enjoyed two hours of video games this week. Life comes at you fast, Joe! John and Buffa returned to their respective homes after a bit of traveling. While suffering through hours spent on different planes, John passed the time with a little gem called Wilmot’s Warehouse, while Buffa cracked open The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening after giving old school game, Magician Lord, the boot. The three dads cover a variety of topics in episode 091, including their thoughts on that downright charming Animal Crossing themed Nintendo Switch, which is being affected by the unfortunate Coronavirus outbreak; same with the Switch version of Outer Worlds. Then, the guys talk about whether owning video game collectors editions make sense the older they get. John is the proud owner of a Red Dead Redemption 2 Collector’s Edition, but will he ever get around to putting the puzzle together? Maybe he can tackle the puzzle while wearing the included red bandana and RDR2-branded pins. From there, we top off the podcast with a back of the box reading for the ages that doesn’t exactly paint the year 2020 in the best light. But considering the recent goings on with Coronavirus and the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, 2020 hasn’t exactly gotten off to a peaches and cream start, so someone mishandling plutonium hidden beneath the Statue of Liberty’s dress seems plausible. We’re doomed.
87 minutes | Jan 31, 2020
The Cartridge Family 090 - Boogie Down With These Console Startup Jingles
We’re one month into 2020 and everyone’s starving for a shred of info on the next generation consoles. Well, how about the boot-up sequence and jingle for the PlayStation 5? Yup! It appears someone shot a quick video of Sony’s new PlayStation firing up, and it’s… not bad? It also might not be real. Who knows what to believe with today’s Internet? Let’s say it’s real. Where does the PS5 jingle rank amongst 20 plus years of console boot sequences? Is it better than Dreamcast? Perhaps, but we’ll say this much… it’s a heck of a lot cooler than the Atari Jaguar’s. Meanwhile, the family is busy playing games! John and his kids are addicted to Stardew Valley, while Joe cannot wait to dive into Kentucky Route Zero for the Switch. Buffa, on the other hand, is still trapped in the 90s with a bunch of old retro games. Perhaps he’ll gravitate to playing something released in the 2000s next week! The Family visited a New Jersey diner before this recording, so let us know if full bellies and a change of schedule made a difference with episode 90!
78 minutes | Jan 24, 2020
The Cartridge Family 089 – Godfall Footage Leaks, Dying Light 2 Gets the Boot
John is off in California role-playing Once Upon a Time in Hollywood this week, so Joe and Buffa muscled through the rare two-person show. Thankfully, our lovely personalities made up for John’s absence, and we expect him to return with a vengeance next week! What’s new? How about the WWE Royal Rumble happening this weekend? Buffa’s pumped for that. Joe, on the other hand, is all about a new Switch release, Stories Untold, which rose to critical acclaim on PC a few years ago before finally gracing Nintendo’s system. Considering Joe’s not a huge fan of scary-ish games, we’re surprised he had the guts to see this one through. Bravo! Meanwhile, Buffa has an eye on another Switch release called 198X: The Game, which dropped this past Thursday. Imagine a retro-inspired game comprised of different micro games celebrating some of the best genres the 80s had to offer. Seems totally rad. Will any triple A games come out in the next few months? Out of nowhere, Dying Light 2 succumbed to that nasty delay bug going around and is releasing… sometime in the future. It’s a shame because we loved the original Dying Light, but maybe it’ll launch right around the same time that the PS5 hits store shelves. Speaking of the PS5, footage leaked of the upcoming exclusive hack-and-slash game, Godfall. It looks solid for a launch title, but will it be enough to get people to spend in excess of $500 this holiday season? Not sure, but hey, any shred of info on the next gen consoles is welcome. Finally, we close the show talking about every gamer’s virtual mountain to climb, the old backlog. Now that we have some breathing room between releases, what games will Joe and Buffa play while waiting for the likes of DOOM Eternal and Resident Evil 3? Stay for the video game talk, and learn of Joe’s special weekend event that neither John or Buffa were invited to.
96 minutes | Jan 17, 2020
The Cartridge Family 088 – Cyberpunk Gets Delayed and We Save GameStop
So far, the 2020 release schedule is like driving down the highway when your favorite NFL team is playing. Expect delays! Every game is getting pushed. Square Enix delayed its Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Marvel’s Avengers, while CD Projekt Red shocked the Internet with a fall delay for its highly anticipated Keanu Reeves simulator, Cyberpunk 2077! That said, it’s not all doom in gloom. Resident Evil 3 is still on track for spring (we received a sweet-looking trailer starring the Nemesis), and we think the Cyberpunk rescheduling is actually smart. In fact, our reasoning has nothing to do with developer crunch or even giving them more time to polish the game. Meanwhile, GameStop is doomed. No, for real this time. The company’s 2019 holiday sales nosedived compared to 2018, the per share price looks scary, and the CEO blamed the upcoming next generation consoles. Things look bleak! Listen, everyone piles on GameStop because it’s so damn easy, but we opted for a different approach. Instead of (only) criticizing its antiquated business model and borderline customer harassment, each of us laid out a plan to save GameStop and prevent the company from closing its doors for good… and we did it in like, a half an hour. Whatever the CEO makes per year, we deserve all of it. Find out what we think about these delays, uncover the mystery behind our GameStop five-point plan, and stay until the end for one of the funniest beatdowns in ages. Then, order yourself a loaded (and we mean… loaded) baked potato. Yum!
57 minutes | Jan 10, 2020
The Cartridge Family 087 – John Tackles CES, Sony Unveils the PS5 Logo
It’s official! Sony unveiled the logo for the PlayStation 5! And the crowd went… ugh! To be fair, we don’t remember Sony hyping up its CES event as THE destination for all things PS5, so this is probably another case of the collective Internet getting excited for nothing. Putting the cart before the horse. Walking before crawling. Chicken before the egg! We can do this all day! The fact that all we received was the PS5 logo, though, begs the following question: when will this next generation of consoles kick into gear? We want to see games, release dates, and price points! Hey Sony, tell us we can dust off that old PSOne copy of Einhander and relive the 32-bit glory days! John thinks there’s a chance that Sony won’t even release the PS5 in time for holiday 2020, while Joe feels that for the moment, everything is going according to plan if you follow the PS4 timeline. Does that mean there’s a press event on the immediate horizon? Well, if Microsoft and Sony intend to bring new consoles to the market by November of this year, the time is now! As for Buffa, it seems his New Year’s resolution to beat more video games is off to a great start. In fact, he already finished three games this month! Granted, each one takes roughly an hour to complete and he stripped all of the challenge from them by taking advantage of unlimited continues, but a beaten game is a beaten game no matter how the credits roll. This episode is a bit all over the place, but when you have three dads juggling careers and kids, we like think that the unpredictability is what makes us… human.
95 minutes | Jan 3, 2020
The Cartridge Family 086 – Welcoming 2020, Dissecting the Modern Warfare Campaign
Piss off, 2019! The 2010 decade is officially in the can, and The Family can’t wait for 2020 to heat up! That means we have a variety of gaming resolutions (and even some unrelated ones) for the New Year! We also talk about what we’re most looking forward to, from exciting hardware releases to the promise of new games. Cyberpunk, that means you! Aside from all the toasting and confetti, it turns out that Buffa and John have very different opinions of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare single-player campaign, and this resulted in one of the most interesting discussions that we’ve had on the show, which means the previous 85 episodes were heartless and filled with fluff. Buffa, the uncultured hoodlum that he is, plowed through the campaign without much care in the world. John, however, viewed the plot through a more critical lens. The most shocking revelation is that, after becoming addicted to multiplayer, witnessing the single-player seems to have ruined the entire game for John. We strongly encourage you to find out why. Perhaps after listening, you’ll see some things about the game differently. What about Joe? Well, in addition to being caught in the crossfire, it turns out that he is the lucky recipient of a game dump that allowed him to grow his collection. His friend, instead of selling unwanted games for profit like a greedy capitalist, preferred to just give them all away. Pretty sure you get automatic sainthood for that. Come for the Call of Duty chat, and then stay for all those 2020 resolutions. Happy New Year, you adorable listener, you.
94 minutes | Dec 20, 2019
The Cartridge Family 085 - Our Gaming Decade in Review
It's a miracle we got this epsidoe out... but we did it. And we did it because we love bloviating about games despite our limited time to play them. I guess that's what makes the games on today's show so important, though - we made time for them. Isn't that the highest praise of all? Our most limited resource, time, was dispensed like currency on the likes of Mario, John Marston, Jack Shepherd and so many more these past ten years. We spend this episode both reminicsing and listing our favorite games of the decade all before sending you off into the new year with our merriest of holiday wishes. So, with that we leave you with the remainder of 2019. We hope you remember the past decade as fondly as we do (as far as video games go). Catch you on the other side.
72 minutes | Dec 13, 2019
The Cartridge Family 084 – 2019 Game Awards, Buffa Seinfeld, a Beatdown that Changes... the Climate
OK, so Geoff Keighley’s Game Awards came and event, the winners were crowned, and some new games were revealed, but is this show merely a commercial vehicle used to generate hype, or does it actually celebrate the year in games? Or, can it be both? There’s nothing wrong with doing both, right? Right? From Software’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the 2019 game of the year. Seems fine. Sekiro scored high with critics and fans when it debuted earlier this year. What’s not to like? Well, The Family think this might have been a safe pick to shield The Game Awards from becoming the Death Stranding awards. Seriously, who was talking about Sekiro after April 2019? Not us, that’s for sure. Joe couldn’t stomach the game after four hours, and it didn’t land on John’s radar, either. No offense to diehard Sekiro fans. Don’t @ us, please. After you enjoy the greatest Game Awards breakdown in the literal universe, Buffa will slay you with the best jokes that gaming has to offer. He should just go open for Dave Chappelle today. You won’t laugh, nor will you cry. It is truly a special moment in podcast history. Last but not least, it’s a beatdown for the ages. You’ll never see this coming. And when you have the beatdown stuck in your head for weeks, well, you have us to thank. We think it will “warm” your heart. If you prefer shooting from the hip and stuffing schedules into the paper shredder, this episode of The Cartridge Family will be your favorite. No apologies that it took 84 recordings to get there. We’re just happy you’ve been along for the ride.
90 minutes | Nov 8, 2019
The Cartridge Family 083 – Death Stranding Day, John Goes to GameStop, Joe Reflects on Outer Worlds
It’s Friday! It’s Friday! The family gets down with Friday, and oh, what a Friday it is! Hideo Kojima’s long-awaited cinematic experience, Death Stranding, is available nationwide. Similar to The Outer Worlds, there is much division over Kojima’s latest. Joe, who is somehow completing 40 hour RPGs despite having as newborn, can’t wait to build bridges in Death Stranding, while John doesn’t think he’ll give it a shot... at least any time soon, and not for $59.99; oddly enough, the $199.99 Collector’s Edition tempts him. Buffa, meanwhile, does not have much of an opinion. In fact, he’s barely on today’s podcast at all because his daughter (off from school... thanks teachers) is out of sight and predictably pouring pink paint all over the playroom carpet; warm soapy water, don’t fail us now! Things get tense when John recaps his recent mall trip (yes, he drove to a real mall) to pick up the new Xbox One Elite Series 2 controller, only to be met by GameStop retail types who looked upon him with disdain. They also presented, how shall we say this... “alternative facts” about GameStop’s online inventory system. If you cringe before stepping foot into one of these stores, well, there’s no better way to embrace the weekend than listening to John’s impassioned tale.
69 minutes | Nov 1, 2019
The Cartridge Family 082 - Buffa and John Call Joe “Daddy”, Mixed Opinions on The Outer Worlds
It finally happened! Joe’s a freakin’ dad! In this week’s episode, John and Buffa welcome Joe to the parents club. Yup… just a bunch of dads talking about video games now. Speaking of which, some ish went down in the show’s absence. The Outer Worlds is available for all major platforms (cough, not for Switch yet, cough) and Joe and John are about as divided as cats and dogs. Joe thinks this is Obsidian at its most Obsidian, and plans to continue playing this engaging sci-fi romp, while John feels that the game’s familiarity to New Vegas and Fallout works against it. Buffa, meanwhile, is working up a sweat with Nintendo’s exercise game for the Switch, Ring Fit Adventure. There’s a chance that his pecs might explode from repeated squeezes with the game’s peripheral, the Ring Con; his new motto, Never Stop Squeezing, might be his undoing. He also put the finishing touches on an article that posted to the family-friendly website, SuperParent. It’s a touching tale about the import GameCube that Buffa splurged on way back in 2001, and how Luigi’s Mansion became the most important video game in his family’s life in 2019. Don’t miss it. Last but certainly not least, the fam talks about the recent Aladdin and Lion King retro compilation, Dead Stranding coming to the PC, and the Switch’s lifetime sales running neck and neck (and quite possibly overtaking) sales of the Xbox One. It’s nuts out there! Enjoy.
87 minutes | Oct 4, 2019
The Cartridge Family 081 - Buffa, Where Art Thou, Buffa? The Ultimate Paradox starring John & Joe
Hey, here's something to consider: Buffa isn't the father-father he cracked himself up to be. I mean, would you leave your father-brothers or whatever at home all alone while you frolic at some sort of undisclosed but prominent comic-book related conference in New York? No, you wouldn't. Your Mother-sisters or whatever raised you better than that. At any rate, John and myself were able to muster the strength necessary to conjure one more episode of this All-Time-Great™ Podcast for you before my life fundamentally changes forever in the next few days (I hope and pray). So, do me a favor and listen intently at the yearning in my voice; the yearning for something real - family, world peace, a real answer to climate change... Where am I? See? This is why I need Buffa; someone who isn't a freak needs to write these episode blurbs. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show!
49 minutes | Sep 27, 2019
The Cartridge Family 080 - Playstation State of Blasé, Inside Mehxbox, Long Live Nintendo Direct
On today's episode, John and I (you read correctly. Buffa's away, today) dive into the dumpster fires that are PlayStation State of Play and Inside Xbox. These two broadcasts did little to ignite our fandom especially when compared to Nintendo's version of these direct-to-consumer video info-dumps. Enjoy as John and I muck around in this topic for a bit before really giving the ol' sucker punch to Buffa who, just like last time, isn't here to defend himself against the onslaught. As always, thanks for listening and enjoy the show!
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