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Video Games

Co-op Mood

Updated about 1 month ago

Leisure
Games
Video Games
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Co-op Mood is a podcast about video games and why we play them. Every other week, co-hosts Sally Tamarkin (@sallyt) and Shane Vaiskauskas (@mundangerous) talk about video games, exploring topics and themes as well as the stories they tell, the worlds they create, the characters who live in those worlds and the gameplay mechanics and story structures that make it all possible.

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Co-op Mood is a podcast about video games and why we play them. Every other week, co-hosts Sally Tamarkin (@sallyt) and Shane Vaiskauskas (@mundangerous) talk about video games, exploring topics and themes as well as the stories they tell, the worlds they create, the characters who live in those worlds and the gameplay mechanics and story structures that make it all possible.

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Co-op Mood

Co-op Mood

Latest release on Jan 20, 2021

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

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This means that the episode rankings aren't working properly. Please revisit us at a later time to get the best episodes of this podcast!

Rank #1: Co-op Mood 20: A Modern Ancient Epic

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On this episode Shane and Sally talk about the announcement that Ubisoft is working on an open world Star Wars game and what the marriage of Ubi and a beloved franchise could look like. Then they dive into part one of their discussion on the action-adventure platformer, Raji: An Ancient Epic, the debut game from Nodding Heads Games, based in Pune, India, from the beauty of the hand-painted textures to the joy of hacking and slashing your way through beautiful environments with the blessings of the gods. They also talk about what they’re playing right now, which includes The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Things we talked about: What we want from Ubisoft Massive’s open world Star Wars game

-What Shane’s excited about: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra

-What Sally’s excited about: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Jan 20 2021

48mins

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Rank #2: Co-op Mood 19: Welcome to the Murder Sandbox (Hitman 2)

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On this episode Shane and Sally talk about their New Year’s gaming resolutions, and how they plan (hope?) to play games in 2021. Then they jump into part two of their discussion of io Interactive’s Hitman 2. They discuss being on rails in an open world, lateral thinking (murder) puzzles, and the agony and the ecstasy of mission stories. Of course, they also talk about what they’re playing right now, which includes League, Spider-Man Miles Morales, Breath of the Wild, and Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops (the TTRPG).

-What Shane’s excited about: Peaky Blinders (Netflix) 

-What Sally’s excited about: Vikings (Prime Video)

Jan 05 2021

58mins

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Rank #3: Co-op Mood: Codename 18

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On this episode Shane and Sally kick things off by talking about the clusterfuck that is CD Projekt’s release of Cyberpunk 2077. Then they dive into part one of their two-part conversation about io Interactive’s Hitman 2. They discuss the gameplay loop, level design, and the pleasure of snappy gunplay and Jason Bourne-ing your way through the world. They also talked about games they’re playing right now, including League, Breath of the Wild, and Immortals Fenyx Rising.

Things we talked about:

-Cyberpunk Game Maker Faces Hostile Staff After Failed Launch

-How the Simulation of a Hitman Level Works

-What Shane’s excited about: The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix) 

-What Sally’s excited about: Humans (Prime Video)

Dec 22 2020

48mins

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Rank #4: Co-op Mood 17: God Mode

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On this episode Shane and Sally discussed a recent WaPo story about how video game developers are creatively approaching difficulty settings in their games and the exciting things that are possible when devs think intentionally about playability and accessibility. Then they dove deep into their final impressions of the horny roguelike dungeon-crawler Hades, including what they liked and didn’t like, and when roguelikes should just be JPRGs or visual novels. They also talked about the games they’re playing right now, including League, Twin Mirror, and Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter.

Things we talked about: 

-The uneasiness of ‘easy modes’ prompts creative approaches from game developers

-“Stop the Madness” episode of the podcast Spawn On Me with Kahlief Adams

-Hitman 2, the game we’re playing next

-What Shane’s excited about: Happiest Season (Hulu)

-What Sally’s excited about: The Expanse novels

Dec 08 2020

53mins

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Rank #5: Co-op Mood 16: Hades, Thee Bisexual Thirst Trap

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On this episode Shane and Sally talk “Project 007,” the upcoming James Bond video game by IO Interactive, the studio behind the Hitman games. Then they talk about about the gameplay and aesthetic of the horny roguelike dungeon-crawler, Hades. They also talk about games they’re playing right now, including League (season 11 patch), Breath of the Wild, and Watch Dogs: Legion. 

Things we talked about: 

-Hitman developer IO Interactive is making a James Bond game

-Hades: The Team from Supergiant Games & Hades Discuss the Game, Reactions & More 

-What Shane’s excited about: Tehran (the Israeli espionage thriller on Apple+)

-What Sally’s excited about: The Crown (Netflix)

Nov 24 2020

50mins

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Rank #6: Co-op Mood 15: There’s No Crying in Blaseball

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On this episode Shane and Sally make an official correction about the upcoming Uncharted movie. Then they talk once again about the design/appearance of the PS5. Then Shane is joined by Jon (@gurglespasm), co-host of One Shot network’s System Mastery podcast, to talk about the weird and wonderful world of Blaseball, including its best lore, and advice for Blaseball n00bs to get involved in the upcoming new season. They also talk about the games they’re playing right now, including Hades, League of Legends Clash, and If Found....

Things we talked about:

Why Do People Care So Much About How a PlayStation 5 Looks in Their Home?

-What Shane’s excited about: Overwatch Git Gud Tournament

-What Sally’s excited about: Uncover: Escaping NXIVM from CBC Podcasts, The Vow (HBO), Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult (STARZ)

Nov 10 2020

1hr 14mins

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Rank #7: Co-op Mood Unlucky 13: Rise From Your Grave

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On this episode, Shane and Sally discuss exactly why Tom Holland is the wrong hunk to play daddy next door Nathan Drake in the upcoming Uncharted movie, and who they’d cast instead. Then they talk about participating in One Shot Network’s Among Us stream and the zaniness that ensued. Finally, in tribute to Halloween week they, as two people of scaredy-cat experience, talk about the times video games have scared them silly. 

Things we talked about:

-Video Game Daddy Nathan Drake Will Be Played By Local Abercrombie Model

-The Creepypasta Community That Influenced Control

-Streaming Among Us with One Shot Network (VOD here)  

-What Shane’s excited about: The Boys (Amazon Prime)

-What Sally’s excited about: Non-mainstream superhero media (Masks, Capers, The Boys, Brat Pack comics)

Oct 27 2020

48mins

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Rank #8: Co-op Mood 14: That's How It Could've Happened...But How About This?

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On this episode, Shane and Sally talk about the PS5’s absolutely massive dimensions and whether it’ll fit in a typical entertainment center (jury’s still out). Then they talk all about multiple endings in video games, what functions they serve, when they work, and when they kinda ruin your fun. And they talk about the games they’re playing right now, Star Wars: Squadrons and Prey.

-What Shane’s excited about: Schitt’s Creek (on Netflix)

-What Sally’s excited about: The Expanse (on Amazon Prime Video)

Things we talked about:

Sony’s official PS5 specs confirm the console is an absolute unit

Oct 14 2020

57mins

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Rank #9: Co-op Mood 12: The Most Influential Consoles of All Time You Won’t Believe What Happens Next

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With all the talk and excitement about next gen consoles, Shane and Sally decided to take a stroll down memory lane and talk all about their own experiences with consoles over the years, from ColecoVision and Atari 7800 to Sega Game Gear and N64, all the way up to current gen consoles. They also talk about the recent announcement that the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival will include a category for video games. Of course they also talk about the games they’re playing: League of Legends and Batman: Arkham Knight. 

-What Shane’s excited about: SEC football is back!

-What Sally’s excited about: The Netflix series The OA

Things we talked about:

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival will include a video game festival, too

Sep 29 2020

55mins

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Rank #10: Co-op Mood 11: David Cage Remastered

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Sally and Shane played the game that put David Cage’s name on the video game map: 2005’s Fahrenheit (or, as it was known in North America, Indigo Prophecy) and they’re here to talk all about it. They describe the game’s story and gameplay before diving into a discussion about the legacy of this very uneven game when it comes to today’s point and click and adventure games. They also talk about games they’re playing right now, including League of Legends and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime.

-What Shane’s excited about: Defector, the new spots blog/media company founded by former Deadspin employees

-What Sally’s excited about: The TV show Stumptown (ABC), available on Hulu

Things we talked about: 

Postmortem: 

Indigo Prophecy

 by David Cage

Sep 15 2020

1hr 7mins

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