Useless Drivel – Hopspocalypse and Polar Bears

Polar Bear SantaSo, even though Christmas is right around the corner, we couldn’t help but bring you an early Christmas gift.  But is it really a gift if it’s something we give to everyone on a weekly basis for free?  Of course it is!  Matt and Robert are joined by Tim for the third time (who may have unknowingly tread into co-host territory) to talk about all manner of alcoholic beverages, the mythical magic of Santa, Batman, and more!  Sit back and relax, kick your feet up and prepare to get uncomfortable, because it’s a brand new episode of Useless Drivel – A Podcast Without a Point!

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Useless Drivel – For Nature!

Arbor Day PornWatch out, internet, the boys are back in town!  It’s a new month, so that means new podcasts for all of our glory and all of your misery.  They’ve stuck it to “The Man” and found some time to talk meaningless nonsense into the mics for to provide you a questionable choice for weekly entertainment.  You asked for it, so you’re going to get it!  From charitable porn and undead appendages to comic books and comic movies, tune in and zone out as you suffer through a brand new episode of Useless Drivel – A Podcast Without a Point.

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Episode 100 – EPISODE FREAKIN’ 100!

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HOLY CRAP!  We did it!  We made it to 100 episodes without missing a beat!  That rates up there with great historical geek events like the birth of Gary Gygax, the 1st issue of Batman, and the sale of the first Nintendo combined!  Okay, not really, but all things considered, it’s a pretty damn big accomplishment for us here at To-Ag Studios.  Join us this week as we keep on keeping on talking about the geeky stuff we’ve been up to as well as reflecting on what 100 episodes has meant to us.  So, make some new friends, watch out for raging teenage hormones, and definitely be careful who you trust (around the gaming table) as you prepare for a milestone episode of Monkey in the Cage!

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Episode 76 – Heroes: Part Deux

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So, way, way, WAY back in Episode 8, we here at To-Ag Studios talked Heroes and Villains.  Seeing as the Monkeys still had their podcasting training wheels on, we approached two very broad and interesting topics with the reckless abandon of Hulk and Wolverine on a bender.  So now, 68 weeks later, we have reconvened our Monkey council in order to once again discuss the hero figure and why we love them.  Draw down your cowls, make some therapy appointments, and get your butt out of retirement as were headed for round 2 to discuss Heroes (NOT the show) on a brand new episode of Monkey in the Cage!

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Skyrim First Impressions – If you aren’t playing, your priorities need to change

So now that Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is available on stores shelves, both physically and digitally, everyone really needs to be shuffling things around in their lives in order to make time for this massive open-world RPG.  Got a job?  Quit it.  Have a significant other?  Tell them to get used to being single.  Have kids?  Make sure you have family members available to take over care giving, because this game is going to consume your every waking hour and you are going to LOVE IT!!

Okay, I jest.  You really should not be neglecting your real-world responsibilities in order to play this game, but once you pick Skyrim up, part of you will want to.  Bethesda‘s newest addition to the Elder Scroll series is nothing short of breathtaking.  Having only had it through a weekend, I’ve already sunk close to 20 hours into the game and have barely scratched the surface.  Set two hundred years after the events of Oblivion, players will find themselves starting their epic quest in true Bethesda fashion… in absolute anonymity swept up into a huge world of events through the most coincidental of circumstances.

Like it’s predecessor and similar to Fallout 3 and  Fallout: New Vegas, the actual manner in which the game gets the ball-rolling is rather cliche (we’re all familiar with the whole “hero of prophesy” mechanic), but given the multitude of directions a player can and will take this game, the whole “vague-ing it up” approach is forgivable.  If you’ve ever run a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, you can relate.  Aside from this, everything in my experience thus far, from the new character progression mechanics to the graphics, has been top notch.  I breezed through the character creation aspect, as I already had my Nord Warrior concept decided when the game was first announced.  I went with a look that was as close to a bad-ass fantasy world version of myself crossed with a dwarf (because apparently they’re all dead in Elder Scrolls…  ::silent tear::) as I could get and then readily tore into the adventure.

Complete with milky eye blinded in combat!!

It didn’t take me very long to start leveling up (and get killed by wandering giants) and it was then that perhaps the strongest aspect of the game revealed itself.  Unlike Oblivion, where shortly after deciding your character’s appearance you selected a class and were pretty much stuck with what you selected, Skyrim‘s character class system has a far more organic feel to it.  While each of the starting races have a slight bend toward particular builds, the game adapts itself to the player’s individual style, allowing their skills to advance based on what is used more often while additionally creating opportunities to branch out a little more beyond a structure class skill set.  In previous Bethesda games, I have had a tendency to place sneaky thieves, but now I have a burly warrior with a growing passion for destruction magic and alchemy.  Go figure!

All in all, this game is definitely going to give you your $60 worth (if you’re willing to pay for it….I’m looking at you Robert!)  The gameplay is challenging, exciting, and satisfying and this one will definitely be spinning in my Playstation for a long, long……… long time.  My wife is so happy!

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