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The Burn

The Burn

By Icel Media
A podcast about gaming, done blazing fast, with Aviv Manoach and Omer Kaplan. Each episode we discuss one prominent game and talk about current gaming news.
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Pokémon Sword and Shield (Ep 03)

The Burn

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (Ep 41)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan go back to their childhood with the new Ninja Turtles game! And on the news, we talk mods, remakes and why can't we have nice things. Original recording date - June 20, 2022. Game of the Show: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge Published by Tribute Games, MSRP $25, Buy the game. The name ‘tribute’ is so fitting to this company - they created a masterpiece of a game that honours the SNES version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and puts a modernized twist on top of it. It’s a 4-10 hour experience depending on the difficulty setting but so worth it. Maybe I’m a bit nostalgic since I played the SENS version so much First of all, you can play as April which is amazing The fighting mechanism has a lot of combos and moves you can make (as opposed to the limited amount of the SNES). You can hold, dodge, create air moves, and super moves, there is full support with your multi-directional controller. There is player interaction, you can high-5 a person to transfer some health which feels super fun. Multiplayer is awesome, you can jump into people’s games and they can (if you want) jump into yours 11/10 I paid $80 for it - no regrets! On the News: Ron Gilbert doesn’t want to talk about Return To Monkey Island anymore A Fan is Making a Warcraft III Remake in the StarCraft II Engine Battle royale Spellbreak shutting down after Blizzard buys studio Persona 5 Royal is Coming to Nintendo Switch -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
34:58
July 13, 2022
Old World (Ep 40)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan rule ancient civilisations in Old World, a mix of Civilization and Crusader Kings. On the news, we had plenty of announcements on June's "game fest", and Aviv released a new game! Original recording date - June 20, 2022. Game of the Show: Old World Published by Mohawk Games, MSRP $40, Buy the game (Humble partner link). The most common description of Old World is something along the lines of “Civilization and Crusader Kings had a baby”. And this is pretty much what this game is all about - you choose an old-world kingdom (in the Mediterranean setting) and do your Civilization stuff, while in parallel you have to secure and train your heirs, influence your council and foreign rulers and deal with events. It’s more structured than CK though, as you collect “victory points” that get you to the end of the (timed) campaign through conquest or the “ambitions” (quests) system. Another innovation of Old World is the “order system” for movement where a unit can act multiple times per turn (to an extent) and “orders” is your action currency which you can increase by population, influence etc. Recommendation? Hard for me to fully recommend yet - it kind of feels right in the middle for both Civ and CK so it doesn’t fully scratch an itch. Maybe I should get back to it after I’m free from CK for a bit. On the News: Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s hot new professors pose the ultimate decision Hell yeah, Persona 5 Royal and Persona 3 Portable are coming to Steam (October 21, 2022) Every trailer & replay from Summer Game Fest 2022 week Activision Blizzard board says there's “no evidence” they tolerated any "reported" harassment Trippin’ Troll Trucker Tales -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
35:56
June 25, 2022
V Rising (Ep 39)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan look at the new hit crafting survival game V Rising, where you play as a vampire and most rebuild your castle and enslave humanity. And Untitled Goose Game, a former hit of chaotic shenanigans. Original recording date - May 30, 2022. Recall: Omer’s Crusader Kings III campaign Buy the game (Humble partner link) I promised an update on my CK3 “conquer my way to Jerusalem” effort: I was doing well and I was hoping the Mongol invasion would throw the region for a loop and allow me to gain some ground, but the kingdom of Jerusalem survived it, won the conflict and is now huge and strong. I ended up being a small kingdom squished between two big Christian kingdoms, one holy war later I got assimilated. The end. Game of the Show: V Rising Published by Stunlock Studios, MSRP $20, Buy the game. The new hit survival crafting game that took over Twitch. We play as a vampire, awaken from their sleep after hundreds of years and we need to rebuild our castle and hunt down those possessing the “v blood”, which are bosses spread across the open-world map. As is par for this genre, you can play with friends on servers of up to 40 players by either PvE or PvP rules. it gives a bit of an MMO feel to the game, especially when hunting later bosses in the game. That’s the impression I for watching the game on Twitch. As for myself, I played the game solo. I like the game and it got very good impressions across the board. However, it has a slow start. The early game has many tasks that take a while to complete and long travel times across the map. In the mid and late-game stages, there are ways to mitigate this, with mounts, shapeshifting the more. Experience players will also build their castles in more accessible areas than just the starting zone. The game is early access, but it’s already full of content and in my opinion, very much worth the price. Minigame: Untitled Goose Game What is there to say about the puzzle game that is Untitled Goose Game? You’re a goose, you seem to not like people very much and you’re on a mission which I can’t spoil (there’s a story there). As a goose (which has the personality of geese I have around where I live so I can confirm) you can do all the things the average goose does: Honk, flap your wings, lower your head, walk run and swim - unlike geese flying isn’t an option. You go through different areas of your town and to get to the next one, you have to complete your goose to-do list - then you would most likely annoy enough people to trigger some reaction that takes you to the next zone: You visit the garden, commercial area, local pub and more. There are two difficulty tiers to the game -  the official todo list which is a nice 4-8 hours experience and the secret todo list which has tons of cool events that are more challenging and you don’t know what they are as you’re playing the game. I had fun: Honked at people, stole a bunch of stuff, and played as a goose. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
32:55
June 08, 2022
Last Epoch (Ep 38)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan go back in time to the Last Epoch, a new take on the ARPG genre. Omer has also been playing a lot of Crusader Kings 3, trying to conquer the Holyland! On the news, we discuss PlayStation Plus changes and Tomb Raider's new potential. Original recording date - May 20, 2022. Recall: Crusader Kings III Omer has been playing it non-stop since the last episode, some tips on what helped in settling into the game. Minigame: Unpacking Game of the Show: Last Epoch Published by Eleventh Hour Games, MSRP $35, Buy the game. Getting a “Diablo-like” experience is no easy feat! I was looking for an Action RPG I can play solo and Last Epoch is probably the closest thing. The story isn’t very compelling (yet?) but the classes are unique, and the skills are flashy but way less than Path of Exile or Lost Ark (in a good way!) Got your passive skills, your skill passive trees (eh…) This is also a single-player game with apparently unfinished multiplayer so you’re playing solo, but with multiplayer chat available which I think is great. On the news: The Last of Us Remake Targeting Holiday Release Window Per Insider New PS Plus brings trophy support to classic games Embracer sees "great potential" in its Tomb Raider acquisition, including remakes | Eurogamer.net Sony reveals game lineup and launch dates for PlayStation Plus relaunch -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
32:13
May 29, 2022
Crusader Kings III (Ep 37)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan take up the mantle of medieval kings in Crusader Kings 3, the newest and most approachable grand-strategy game from Paradox Interactive. We also go back to the excellent rogue-lite deck-builder, Monster Train. Original recording date - April 29, 2022. Recall: Monster Train After we discussed the game in Episode 18 when Omer played it, Aviv recently got hooked on the game. The short rounds and diverse strategies make this game something special. You have five different types of decks (and the DLC adds a six) and each run uses two of those decks. Even when playing with the same combinations you have different strategies that are based on the Champion you pick, the upgrade path and the different game mechanics that synergise well with those deck types. Bottom line: highly recommended. Game of the Show: Crusader Kings III Published by Paradox Interactive, MSRP $50, Buy the game (Humble partner link) Aviv has been a long time player of Paradox strategy games, with Stellaris, Crusader Kings 2, Heart of Iron 4 and Imperator Rome. Crusader Kings 3 has proven to be the most approachable Paradox game to date. The interface is cleaner, tooltips help explain how to do everything a lot better. If in CK2 I was often stuck on how to get more money or how to advance in technology, those mechanics are better presented and just as deep. At launch, CKIII have 50x the content that CKII had, such as diverse religions and cultures. When CK2 launched, you could only play as Christian kings; Muslim, Norse and other cultures were only available through expansions. In CK3, they are all present from the beginning. They also make other systems more generic so that they could be used by any ruler type and not just the crusaders. Bottom line: if you always wanted to try those big grand strategy games, this is an excellent one to start with, and it’s included in Game Pass. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
35:49
May 03, 2022
Chivalry 2 (Ep 36)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan look at the medieval warfare world of Chivalry 2, with all its grit and gore. On the news, we discuss the future of cloud gaming and the announcement of Soul Hackers 2. Original recording date - February 21, 2022. Game of the Show: Chivalry 2 Published by Torn Banner, MSRP $40, Buy the game (Humble partner link) With all the (high) fantasy games I play it’s hard to remember what mediaeval combat was really like - chaotic, messy, lots of people swinging sharp (or blunt) objects in all directions and the occasional battle horn sounds. This is exactly what Chivalry 2 tried to replicate - I played the first one quite a lot but the second one takes everything to a new level: The team objective maps are colourful and very well built, great soundtrack (seriously, this is what you hear at the final 2 minutes when a fight is close, it’s so hype) and is accessible both for new and skilful players. The chaotic nature of Chivalry 2 makes it so even if you are really good mechanically, you will eventually die and if you're bad mechanically (like me) you can play strategically and push the team and a whole for a win. The team is constantly pushing new updates, one came out last week, so much fun! On the News Soul Hackers 2 — Announce Trailer | PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Steam Google Stadia has reportedly been demoted, but it might show up in your Peloton - The Verge Inside Google's Plan to Salvage Its Stadia Gaming Service Microsoft is keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation - The Verge -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
35:09
February 24, 2022
Watch Dogs: Legion (Ep 35)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan help break London free in Watch Dogs: Legion, and discuss the turmoil in the gaming industry with the news about Microsoft big purchase. Original recording date - January 28, 2022. Game of the Show: Watch Dogs: Legion Published by Ubisoft Toronto, MSRP $60, Buy the game (Humble partner link) The game that got me into the Watch Dogs series! Really disliked the original, played the sequel for 5 hours before giving up but this one really hit home, I tried to think about why that is - London, probably my #2 favourite city in the world after NYC, can’t say the same about SF. Very accessible, support the ‘wet’ approach to missions and didn’t feel it forced me into being stealthy (which I enjoy in moderate amount but rather go in guns blazing). Play as anyone is really well executed and fun, I got to form an emotional connection with a bunch of strangers and I’m sure people’s experiences will be different. As with the previous games in the series, they are trying to take current bleeding-edge tech and make a “what if” those were an integral part of everyday life. But in Legion, they also tried to tie into it some of the political climates of 2018-2019 with privatised police forces, European detention camps in England and mandatory instalment of tracking chips. All of this could have worked if not for COVID. Two years into the pandemic we see exactly how likely draconic regulations are to work – not very. The England of today could not enforce those regulations on its citizens, even if they wanted to – and it’s debatable if they even agreed on any of it. On the News Microsoft makes a big bet that it can fix Activision Blizzard's troubled culture - CNN Activision Blizzard Declines to Voluntarily Recognize Union Blizzard announces 'brand-new survival game' set in new universe - Polygon -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
29:54
February 14, 2022
2021 Recap (Ep 34)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan take a look back at the games we played and enjoyed during 2021: were our expectations met? What are we expecting from the year to come? And general gaming trends we enjoy. Original recording date - January 14, 2022. Recall: Episode 14 – 2020 Year in Review 2021 Expectations Omer: I just want Baldur’s gate III to come out of early access and diablo 4 to be out on Stadia (wouldn’t bet on the latter but one can hope). UBI+?, Lost Ark Aviv: Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, Hitman 3, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake Favourite Games of the Past Year Omer (that are not League of Legends) Inscryption – PC Chivalry II – PC Probably the most mindless fun game I played. Great soundtrack Solasta: Crown of the Magistar - PC Pokemon Unite - Switch Most surprising game of the year, just…special and weird Pokémon Unite | Episode 27 | The Burn Podcast Honourable mention: Loop hero Loop Hero (Ep 20) - The Burn Podcast Aviv Hitman 3 – PC Hitman 3 | Episode 16 | The Burn Podcast Persona 5 Strikers – Playstation 5 Persona 5 Strikers | Episode 19 | The Burn Podcast Expansion/Remake: Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut – PlayStation 5 Ghost of Tsushima | Episode 30 | The Burn Podcast Early access game: Dyson Sphere Program – PC Honourable mention: No Man’s Sky – Playstation 5 No Man's Sky (Ep 25) - The Burn Podcast 2022 Expectations Omer: Just want Baldur’s gate III to come out of early access and diablo 4 to be out on Stadia (wouldn’t bet on the latter but one can hope). UBI+?, Lost Ark Aviv: Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection – just give me an excuse to play those games again. Elden Ring – I’m not going to play it myself, but I have watched all Form games and this won’t be any different. Babylon's Fall –I’ve been waiting for it for a long time, release already! Tiny Tina's Wonderlands – yes, please. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
33:20
January 19, 2022
Far Cry 6 (Ep 33)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan are leading the revolution in Far Cry 6, the newest chaos simulator by Ubisoft; then, Riot Games latest craze led by Arcane, the acclaimed TV series as well as a slew of new products. Original recording date - November 19, 2021. Game of the Show: Far Cry 6 Published by Ubisoft Toronto, MSRP $60, Buy the game I absolutely love the Far Cry series. I played every title to completion but I’m kind of conflicted about this game and it may be the first Far Cry title I’m going to take my time finishing. From a gameplay standpoint, this game has all the tropes of a Far Cry title (open world, fetch-kill quests galore) and on top of that, the developers threw a bunch of mini-games and mechanisms that are flavour-of-the-year: you can fight a mini-fighting game, send troops to timed missions and wait for them to come back to get rewards, there is plenty to do.  But at the end of the day, if you’re looking for a Far Cry experience, 6 doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of innovation to the core gameplay loop - it’s the same quests in a different setting (map is open from the get-go so you can start anywhere) so you need to be prepared for a lot of repetition on your way to liberate “not-Cuba”. Some pros - the setting, music and doubling down on you being a chaos-agent is fun, NPCs are colourful and you get to ride a horse! On the News Riot Games says eSports isn’t profitable, but that’s OK Arcane is the best possible introduction to the world of League of Legends League Of Legends spin-offs Ruined King and Hextech Mayhem are out now Double Up is the newly added mode in Teamfight Tactics -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
35:10
December 12, 2021
Iratus: Lord of the Dead (Ep 32)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan explore the world of necromantic adventures in Iratus: Lord of the Dead. In the news: Animal Crossing new expansion and a new game from the creator of Stardew Valley. Original recording date - October 22, 2021. Game of the Show: Iratus: Lord of the Dead Published by Unfrozen, MSRP $30, Buy on Humble (partner link) Do you like Darkest Dungeon? Do you think it’s too hard and unforgiving? Do you like playing the bad person? If the answer to all of the above is yes have I got a game for you! Iratus is heavily inspired by Darkest Dungeon, somewhat in the design and mechanics - you go through different levels on a map, encountering different enemies which you can defeat by harming physically or making them go insane. The cool thing about Iratus is that when you defeat enemies you take their body parts (brain, armor, bones) and use them to craft your own units. When you win you can enhance the skills of your different units, give them equipment and do a lot of cool stuff. Oh, and you also play the bad person so you’re battling the forces of light which are kind of cool. On the News 'Dead Cells' creator will release firefighting game 'Nuclear Blaze' on October 18th Stardew Valley creator reveals Haunted Chocolatier • Eurogamer.net Animal Crossing First Paid DLC Makes You Decorate For Villagers -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
32:43
November 15, 2021
Solasta: Crown of the Magister (Ep 31)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talks about our game of the year contender: Solasta: Crown of the Magister, an old-school, turn-based RPG. We also touch on the major Twitch leak and its implications. Original recording date - October 8, 2021. Game of the Show: Solasta: Crown of the Magister Published by Tactical Adventures, MSRP $40, Buy on Humble (partner link) What a fantastic game! If you know me, I’m always on the hunt for the ‘authentic’ D&D experience inside a video game, and this one is providing it in one of the most convincing ways I’ve seen. The movement and the turn-based combat system is pretty similar to Divinity: Original Sin, but everything around it is so unique - there is a big emphasis on lighting (fighting in darkness, dim light, dark vision etc.) and an abundance of spells, I thought I’d never see in a game that creates value and provide a fabulous fantasy (create food!). This game allows me to roleplay the way I like without being too... strict about being a super hard cRPG. The AI is pretty good (enemies with high int. Target the spellcasters). The most remarkable thing, though, is seeing and hearing the dice rolls. cRPGs numbed us to the mechanics, but the skill checks and attack rolls bring the authentic feeling back. Cons? Voice acting is somewhat basic (but in a good way still), the beards are strange (which is whatever), and there’s no bard class (!!!!). Game of the year for me unless Far Cry 6 is a miracle. On the News Twitch resets stream keys following major hack, just to be cautious -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
34:25
October 20, 2021
Ghost of Tsushima (Ep 30)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan invade Japan in Ghost of Tsushima, an extraordinary work of media and Japanese culture. On the news some leaks from GeForce and upcoming PlayStation games. Original recording date - September 17, 2021. Game of the Show: Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut Published by Sucker Punch Productions, MSRP $70, Buy on PlayStation Store Ghost of Tsushima is an amazing free-roaming adventure game, set in feudal Japan during the first invasion of the Mongolian empire from Korea. We play as the last Samurai survive a catastrophic battle, fighting to reclaim the island of Tsushima and free its people from the Mongols. The game is an extraordinary work of media, drawing from influences like traditional Japanese culture and films by Akira Kurosawa - the game even includes a "Kurosawa Mode", making the graphics black and white as well as adding film artefacts. The game's world is very tight. The main missions and side content flow together and are firmly rooted in the Japanese culture and environment. You truly feel like a samurai, from your fighting styles, skills and behaviour. Ghost of Tsushima kept me engaged from start to finish. It took me around 50 hours to complete on easy difficulty, including most side content. The game's structure and size are just right - I much prefer this length to Assassin's Creed 100+ hours experience. The Director's Cut includes an expansion, Tales of Iki Island. On the one hand, since the base game was so great I wanted to play more of it. However, after the very emotional ending of the base game, moving over to a smaller scale story felt overdrawn and not as impactful. As I expected, when Sucker Punch needed to introduce new side content for the expansion, the connection to the game's setting and the world started to unravel. As an example, the new Animal Sanctuaries include a mini-game that requires you to use the PS controller's motion sensor, an activity and interface design that are completely disengaged from the rest of the game. On the News GForce Now leak? , summary.  (I don’t care if it’s real I just want a new Titan Quest and a sequel to Titanfall 2) PlayStation Showcase 2021: the 8 biggest announcements God of War Ragnarok will conclude the Norse saga because games take too long to make -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
38:53
October 07, 2021
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance (Ep 29)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan discuss the newest game to be adorned with the Dungeons & Dragons title: Dark Alliance, a reboot of the original franchise from the beginning of the 2000s'. On the news: Crysis has remastered again; Playerunknown with a new game and No Man's Sky fresh update. Original recording date - September 3, 2021. Game of the Show: Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance Published by Tuque Games, MSRP $40, Buy on Steam I really really REALLY wanted to like this game: On the surface, it has all the components of something I would enjoy: Warhammer Vermintide II vibe, some Destiny II co-op game that you can also solo, distinct classes (no magic wielders T_T) nice campaign with enemies that are all voice acted (the ‘acts’ feel very nice), diverse enemies - but some reason I couldn’t stick to it for more than 5-6 hours and I wonder why. The gameplay of Dark Alliance is fairly unique: The developers wanted to create a ‘skill based’ third-person game so instead of a hack-and-slash (which is what I’d like to do) you get a combo system, few types of dashes and a complex parry-block system with each enemy has their own mechanics. The control scheme isn’t super intuitive (must play with a controller, mouse and keyboard scheme was hard for me to play with). The real issue I had with this game is that it’s wasn’t fun solo, at all (as opposed to Vermintide II that give you bots or destiny which is 100% solo-able in story mode). The classes complement each other so if you’re not matchmaking it feels lacking and to me felt kind of lonely and unfun. I took FOREVER to find a group and by the time I found one they were high level and sprinted through the map. I may get back to the game someday but I really wanted to like it, and it feels bad that I didn’t. Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus | Dungeons & Dragons On the News Crysis Remastered Trilogy launches this October Playerunknown's next game Prologue is open-world survival No Man's Sky is a sci-fi city management sim now, why not? -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
31:18
September 22, 2021
The Ascent (Ep 28)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan go up the levels of a cyberpunk future in The Ascent, a new action RPG with hacking and guns. On the news: A new game from Firaxis in the Marvel universe and some interesting Magic the Gathering crossovers. Original recording date - August 20, 2021. Game of the Show: The Ascent Published by Neon Giant, MSRP $30, Buy on Humble (Partner Link) The Ascent is an action RPG in a cyberpunk, transhuman sci-fi setting that puts us in the shoes of an indent, owing our lives to corporations and sent on errands that include mostly killing a log of people, creatures and robots. The good: the world is wonderfully crafted. Lots of little details, levels filled with people, amazing soundtrack and music. The space station we play at feels truly alive. The game does a good job mixing classic cyberpunk tropes with contemporary adaptations, such as switching the primary influence from Japan to China. We actually have a cyber-deck that is used to hack into systems! The combat system works well. Moving around the levels shooting enemies is fun. There are some environmental destruction elements and you have to use the level design to win some of the battles. The game also employes a high/low firing stance that is needed to defeat some enemies. Not as good: the main issue with the Ascent is variation. After a couple of hours, it starts repeating itself. There is not enough variety of weapons and special abilities – it takes around 5 hours to get some interesting stuff and even then the difference between them is not great. It lacks what makes ARPG great – a complex system of character customisation, with many abilities you can pick between. The Ascent just doesn’t feel like our choice matters. Play it through Game Pass; don’t buy at full price. On the News Midnight Suns is a new Marvel tactics RPG from XCOM studio Firaxis Magic: the Gathering crossing over with Fortnite, Street Fighter, Lord of the Rings, and more -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
31:22
September 06, 2021
Pokémon Unite (Ep 27)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan compete in Pokémon Unite, a new multiplayer online battle arena - with Pokemon! How did they not done it sooner? We are also taking a look at No Man's Sky, on the PlayStation 5. Original recording date - August 6, 2021. Recall: No Man’s Sky (PlayStation 5) Game of the Show: Pokémon Unite Published by TiMi Studio Group & The Pokémon Company, free to play, get it on the Switch store I didn’t think there is much innovation to be had in the MOBA space, especially the lane-based sub-genre (Eternal Return is a nice twist on non-lanes), but I’m happy to report I was wrong! Other than the overabundance of progression mechanics and currency systems (I’d be much instead of paying $20 and get one progression system with some cosmetics, but I get why it’s free to play), the game is incredible: Performance-wise it was coded Switch-first, unlike Arena of Valor that has issues, so it’s super smooth, aim-assist makes it so even on low-levels the game isn’t too demanding but you can pull off some high-level mechanics if you wanted to. The only weird thing gameplay-wise is that you can’t see the score during the game, which makes me a bit paranoid. Besides that, because it’s F2P and at the end of the day, it’s about Pokemon (especially when different Pokemon experiences on Switch are $60), I expect good longevity for this game. Fun times! 'Pokemon Unite' is a great gateway for new MOBA players, but the microtransactions are Trubbish -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
31:23
August 16, 2021
Gunfire Reborn (Ep 26)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan take a look at Gunfire Reborn, an interesting co-op rogue-lite game that brings together elements from games like Borderlands and MMO boss battles. In the news: Genshin Impact, Doom Eternal and Rainbow Six Siege. Original recording date - July 2nd, 2021. Masters projects Mega Space Escape - Arduino escape room spaceship simulator gameplay Meating Demand - Gameplay video Game of the Show: Gunfire Reborn Published by Duoyi (Hong Kong)  Interactive Entertainment, MSRP $20, Buy on Humble (Partner Link) Gunfire Reborn - Guns Blazing Loot and Shoot Roguelite What a lighthearted, cool game! I started playing it after looking for a looter-shooter following a very nice Borderlands 3 experience. Gunfire is a rouge-lite shooter (with up to 4 players co-op but I played it solo for the most part) where you select a character with special abilities and go through a variety of (somewhat?) generated levels and boss fight. Weapons and power upgrades are random which adds a lot of replayability value. The game is still in early access even though it feels baked, for the most part, It’s a perfect game for 30-45 minutes of shooting time without taking itself too seriously or committing. News: Genshin Impact update 2.0 reveal coming July 9 according to leaks id Software shelves Doom Eternal’s Invasion mode, making Horde mode instead Rainbow six siege coming to Stadia - multiplayer, shooter thingie -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
36:35
July 28, 2021
No Man's Sky (Ep 25)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan get back to England in Assassin’s Creed and dive into space exploration with No Man's Sky new Expandition mode. Original recording date - June 18th, 2021. Recall: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DualSense drift Game of the Show: No Man’s Sky Published by Hello Games, MSRP $60, Buy on Humble (Partner Link) This game just keeps getting better and better! Got it at launch, refunded it and got back to it about a month ago and all I want to do is fly in space and discover different planets. With every update there’s more cool stuff to do (flying on pets! Having pets!) and I absolutely love it. The only thing that gets me are the (somewhat) random encounters in space with pirates that wont let me get out of the game and save. And those pesky laser dogs that roam hostile planets. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
34:47
July 11, 2021
Vanquish (Ep 24)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan get excited about Vanquish, an over-the-top action shooter from Platinum Games; and on the news, some rumours about the new Switch console, Griftland official launch and Valorant for mobile. Original recording date - June 2nd, 2021. Game of the Show: Vanquish Published by PlatinumGames, MSRP $20, Buy on Humble (Partner Link) Basically, here’s how Platinum Games, a Japanese video game developer experiences the cold war narrative as told by Hollywood in a futuristic setting while packing it in a cover shooter\action game. And if that sounds like the potential to something super corny - it definitely is. It’s a nice day in San Francisco when all of a sudden, a huge laser shoots down from the sky and turns everyone to dust. Russia is threatening to laser NYC and US significant cities, and what does the US do? Send in the marines! You are playing as Sam (from uncle sam, that is), wearing the latest DARPA Exo suit and join the marines as a specialist to win the war. The gameplay’s a really high pace. When I compare it to Bulletstorm, it’s more hack and slash, Devil May Cry style and less ‘Doon Eternal’ (if that even make sense). Bullet time effects are fantastic. The guns and enemies are nice. It’s a good game that totally went under my radar. Not me: Vanquish - How it should be played News: Nintendo Switch Pro reveal is supposedly coming this week Klei's sci-fi deckbuilder Griftlands has left early access Riot announces Valorant Mobile -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
34:06
July 10, 2021
Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Ep 23)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the newest game in the over-the-top crime drama; some mobile games, Vanquished and Ubisoft future strategic plans. Original recording date - May 18th, 2021. Some mobile games... Idle Museum Tycoon: Empire of Art & History AFK Arena Homescapes Game of the Show: Yakuza: Like a Dragon Published by Sega, MSRP $60, Buy on Humble (Partner Link) Like a Dragon is the 8th instalment in the Yakuza series, a kind of reboot with a new protagonist, a new city, and a new combat system - switching from real-time brawler to a JRPG-style turn-based system. It's a slow-burning game that feels like a TV show or soap opera with a bit of player interaction thrown in, it is very well written and keep pulling the player in despite its slow pacing. It is also a very well made parody of RPGs while being an excellent example of the genre, continuing similar creations that use these tropes such as One Punch Man, Riverdale and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Vanquished The Myth of the Gun - Why America Loves FPS Games So Much - Extra Credits News: Super Mario does golf - couldn’t get my hands on the $59.99 tennis game, so now they are adding golf, and you know it’s going to be good. Ubisoft wants to put more emphasis on free-to-play premium games - I wonder how that is going to look like. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
32:40
May 31, 2021
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition (Ep 22)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan discuss Bulletstorm, one of the best games of the "nonsense shooters" era when big men fired big guns in the super-future. And some industry news from the Epic vs Apple lawsuit aims a spotlight on exciting tidbits from the gaming ecosystem. Original recording date - May 4th, 2021. Game of the Show: Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition Published by Ubisoft Quebec, MSRP $60, Buy on Epic OK so imagine Duke Nukem and serious Sam walking into a bar, have a wonderful night together and 9 months later comes out the most beautiful, rough, cheesy and entertaining baby ever - and their name is Bulletstorm. This game has a cheesy story (you are a mercenary, hunting down your former boss because he sent you to do bad stuff to good people), cheesy companions, lots of f-bombs and it’s super junk food, but it’s also amazing junk food (the one without the guilt). The coolest system in the game is the battle combo system which gives you combo points based on how you fight (very creative, GET OVER HERE included) and you can use the points to hook up to machines and buy ammo, upgrades and unlock guns. Enemies are very anatomy accurate so there’s a lot of creativity to be had. (talk about amazing unexpected stuff like the sniper rifle, every rifle has normal and ‘upgraded’ mode). (talk about multiplayer) (bonus - talk about tour mode) News: RollerCoaster Tycoon | Noclip Greatest Hits Epic expects Epic Games Store to be profitable by 2024 Discord comes to PlayStation early next year -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
34:40
May 13, 2021
Immortals Fenyx Rising (Ep 21)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan take the new Greek hero Fenyx on a trip in an open-world puzzle game, discuss news around CD Project and ex-Blizzard employees. Original recording date - April 23rd, 2021. Game of the Show: Immortals Fenyx Rising Published by Ubisoft Quebec, MSRP $60, Buy on Epic Immortals Fenyx Rising is an awesome, colourful and funny open-world adventure game with a heavy emphasis on puzzles. Ubisoft Quebec took elements of games like Breath of the Wild, Genshin Impact and Assassin's Creed and blended them together to create, finally, a new IP that is light-hearted and doesn't take itself too seriously, all the while delivering great gameplay and entertaining story. While there is nothing really new in Fenyx, everything is polished to near perfection. This game will be a hit or miss depending on your gaming inclination - if you are here for the combat, you probably won't get a lot out of it. While fun and involves a lot of cool powers that make you feel like a genuine mythical hero, there is not a lot of verity in it. The meat of the game is in its puzzles, and there are many of them. around 40 hours worth of game time. So if you're not into that, you probably won't like Fenyx as a whole. Recall: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla News: Huge CyberPunk 1.2 patch (!) - should you play it now if you want it bug free-ish? Probably not. Not sure how I feel about a new Witcher mobile game Frost Giant Studios - ex-Blizzard & Westwood people creating the next RTS? Yes, please! -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
37:35
April 28, 2021
Loop Hero (Ep 20)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan discuss Loop Hero, a new card-based rogue-lite game; and a throwback to Terraria, which is already 10 years old! Original recording date - March 24th, 2021. Game of the Show: Loop Hero Published by Four Quarters, MSRP $15, Buy on Humble (Partner Link) Loop hero is one of those games that looks really crappy when you look at the surface but have such an amazing gameplay loop (pun kind of intended) that keep you engaged. It’s kind of a combination of a rogue-lite, deck builder and an auto-battler (I know, the first time I was like “what am I even playing”) but it all makes sense, trust me. On a side note, I like how Devolver publishes really outlandish but really good games, they almost reached the ‘buy new games as they come out’ status, which right now is only reserved to Image and Form (Steam World people). Throwback: Terraria - also on Stadia 🎉 -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
32:23
March 31, 2021
Persona 5 Strikers (Ep 19)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Persona 5 Strikers, a new spin-off game that is actually a full story sequel. Dive into the newly announced retro-inspired TMNT game, and Roblox IPO. Original recording date - March 15th, 2021. Game of the Show: Persona 5 Strikers Published by Omega Force and P-Studio, MSRP $60, Buy on Humble (Partner Link) Strikers is a spin-off for Person 5, a direct story sequel with completely different gameplay, developed by the studio behind the Dynasty Warriors series that also created Hyrule Warriors, the same spin-off for The Legends of Zelda. The main gameplay, instead of being a serious JRPG, is a massive combat brawler where you need to utilise the different character fighting styles and Persona to defeat all enemies. Unlike the original Persona 5 where the character fighting style was not emphasized, the developers took care to give each of the 9 characters it’s own playstyle. Players playing on normal or hard difficulties will probably spend many hours learning those move sets, while I’m playing on easy and mainly using Joker and his many different persona to hit enemy weaknesses. The main draw for Persona 5 fans are the characters and a new story following the basic premise of the original. Besides that, Strikers does not offer time management or much of a relationship-building mechanics. You travel with your friends from city to city, fight hordes of enemies in the metaverse, and have some anime cutscenes to tie everything together. I’m about 30 hours into the game and I should be getting to the final act, placing the game’s length for easy difficulty at around 35-40 hours. It’s not an amazing value for $60, so if you’re not a Persona fan you will probably want to wait for a discount. But actually, you don’t want to play Strikers if you haven’t finished Persona 5 already. News: A new TMNT game is in the works! (link) I want this in my life right now Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge Announced for PC and Consoles Roblox’s amazing 45b IPO (wow, should I play it?) Putting Roblox’s incredible $45 billion IPO in context Core Games -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
33:60
March 18, 2021
Monster Train (Ep 18)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Monster Train, a new rogue-lite, deck-building RPG set on a... train. We also discuss the fate of Anthem as well as this year's E3 conference. Original recording date - February 27th, 2021. Game of the Show: Monster Train Published by Shiny Shoe, MSRP $25, Buy on Humble (Partner Link) So this game popped up on many “Best games of 2020” lists for a lot of people I value their opinion and just by looking at gameplay for Monster train I was certain I’m not going to like it - the graphics are straights up Adobe Flash game, the soundtrack and effects are kinda basic so the whole outer package didn’t look appealing. HOWEVER, I ended up getting it just because I proved myself wrong before (Invisible Inc. never forget) and I’m happy to say I was dead wrong this time as well - Monster Train is great!* (in every way outside of the outer package things). The gameplay loop is what makes monster train a great game that I keep coming back to and replaced Slay the Spire in the “need a quick deck builder roguelike fix”. The “clans'' and “heroes” system makes each round feel fresh and even though the enemies are kind of lackluster I’m really excited for the future of the game. News: Anthem development is officially cancelled EA cancels Anthem’s big revamp but will keep the game running – RIP Anthem - I really wanted to purchase you :( E3 2021 may be digital as ESA says it’s ‘transforming’ the gaming showcase -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
30:21
March 04, 2021
Red Dead Redemption 2 (Ep 17)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan going back to Google Stadia in light of latest news; and diving into the photorealistic old west in Red Dead Redemption 2. Original recording date - February 10th, 2021. News: Stadia Drama! and why Omer thinks it’s not a big deal Google closes Stadia’s dedicated game studios after less than 2 years 'Terraria' Creator Cancels Stadia Version After Google Account Lockout Game of the Show: Red Dead Redemption 2 I started playing RDR2 right off the heels of AC: Odyssey (finished the main storyline in 65 hours, saw I needed another 35 hours to complete the cult story and I nope-d out, I did saw all the ending on YouTube, glad I didn’t play all the way through). I’m blown away by how RDR2 is able to take the romantic elements of the wild west (small towns, people trying to get by, rough outlaws) and let you live through it in a super immersive environment - this, and the fact that it’s super slow and methodical (hungry? Go hunt deer, skin the deer, cook the deer, eat the deer) gets a lot of emotions out of me. The only thing that I don’t like (so far) which I guess contributes to the immersion (?) is a terrible save system: I’m riding the horse, robbers jump me, I quicksave so I can replay the encounter - I die (I can’t aim for the life of me), reload and the reload just cancelled the encounter :( -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
33:40
February 18, 2021
Hitman 3 (Ep 16)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan discuss Hitman 3, the final season in the World of Assassination trilogy, as well as some news surrounding the game. Original recording date - January 27th, 2021. Game of the Show: Hitman 3 The Hitman reboot from 2016 was the first time I played a Hitman game. I knew about the series growing up but never got into it. The first “season” in the World of Assassination trilogy was exactly what I liked: stealth game with multiple approaches, a sandbox environment, but encapsulated in contained missions that could be completed in 30 minutes or delved into for hours. When Hitman 2 came out, IO Interactive made the amazing decision to bring over the episodes of the first season to the improved engine and to give it to players of the first game for free. I was able to play those levels again and rekindle my interest in the series. The did the same thing with Hitman 3. However, because of the move from Steam to Epic, getting the content on PC is a bit tricky right now. None the less, if you haven’t played any of the games in the trilogy, you can buy Hitman 3 today and play through the entire World of Assassination series in a single location – it will just be a bit expensive. Since getting Hitman 3, I’ve played around 20 hours from the last 2 missions of the first season, through the entire second season include the DLC content and the first 3 missions of the last season. I only played each mission once to get through the story, but all missions have a lot of content you can only see in multiple playthroughs – the game is designed around that. Hitman 1 had very memorable levels that I played through a lot. Hitman 2’s levels were not as good – most of them felt a lot smaller; until the DLC – specifically the New York bank mission, that was amazing. Hitman 3 start very strong: the first mission is set in the Scepter tower in Dubai and is an exceptional setpiece, even due and the mission itself is mostly tutorial. It is followed by what is maybe the best mission in the series so far: Dartmoor mansion, in which you impersonate a private investigator and search for clues to solve a murder. The next mission set in a Berlin illegal dance-club is very unique. News Hitman followup news: Hitman 3 Is The Latest Game To Acknowledge Covid-19 Hitman 3 Speedrunners Have Finished The First Level In 8 Seconds -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
33:45
February 03, 2021
Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Ep 15)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Assassin's Creed Valhalla, the new open-world action-adventure set in early medieval England, as well as new products featured at CES 2021. Original recording date - January 13th, 2021. Game of the Show: Assassin's Creed Valhalla Valhalla is the newest instalment of the AC series and a continuation of the Layla saga that started in Origins. Like it’s two predecessors, its an open-world adventure game, this time taking part mostly in 7th century England during the height of the Nordic wars of conquest. When I found out the game took place in England and not in Scandinavia (besides a small part in Norway), I was disappointed. But the English environments are exceptional, so I stopped caring about that. They also did a lousy job with the Norway map that really made you not want to explore it. I like a lot of the decisions they took for this game: Getting back to the original Desmond storyline; bring back the Animus anomalies; reduce dialogue options to only 1-2 per conversation and reduce the amount of equipment and resources you have to collect. One of the great things they did with the game is to divide its challenge setting across three topics: Combat, Exploration and Stealth. I picked combat on easy, exploration and stealth on medium, since those are the things I enjoy most in the game. The skills and abilities system is an improvement over the previous games, but it takes a few hours of playtime to see that. At first glance, it looks like they remove some of the cool things in past games. But then you find out they were not removed, they were moved from the skill tree (that is entirely passive) to the ability screen and sometimes require specific quests to get them. One thing I don’t like is that all abilities are tied to adrenaline. When I started playing the game, there were a variety of bugs and issues. Some may have been fixed over the last month or so. Those include input delay when pressing controller keys, animation delays which cause them to activate in mid-air, desync voice-over and periodical game crashes (that I manage to prevent by closing down the game every ~2 hours). News CES 2021 is live these days, going full virtual, and just like every year, there are tons of weird conceptual stuff coming out - the highlight for me so far is this nursing home gamer chair by Razor (link) so if you ever wondered what the future of streaming looks like, it’s living in your chair pretty much. What I really wanted to talk about is that we’re getting a new Mario game! (link) it’ll be an expansion to the Mario 3d port to the switch, the story as always is ludicrous (“Bowser just got bigger and out of control!”) but on the other end we have cat Mario so...sure. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
34:05
January 20, 2021
2020 Year in Review (Ep 14)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan look back at 2020 in gaming - which was kind of good! What games we were expecting, which were our favourites and what games we look forward to in the year to come. Original recording date - December 30th, 2020. Recall: Episode 4 – 2019 Year in Review 2020 Expectations Omer: At the beginning of 2020 I told myself I have enough games to play and I’d only buy new games once I’m done with what I have in my library. I was doing really well and then came March and I was like ‘well, maybe I should be more adaptive’. I also never expected to buy into cloud gaming, but here we are. Aviv: Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Watch Dogs Legion, Cyberpunk 2077 Favourite Games of the Past Year Omer: (in no particular order): Animal Crossing: New Horizon, Hades, Star Renegades. The favourite game this year that didn’t come out this year - AC: Odyssey (some recency bias there but I’m in love). Aviv: Hades, Assassin's Creed Valhalla,  Persona 5 Royal 2021 Expectations Omer: I just want Baldur’s gate III to come out of early access and diablo 4 to be out on Stadia (wouldn’t bet on the latter but one can hope). UBI+?, Lost Ark Aviv: Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, Hitman 3, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
36:49
January 06, 2021
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (Ep 13)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan discuss Monster Boy, a fun and casual Metroidvania that can be enjoyed on multiple platforms; And Google's stadia streaming service that allows Omer to play Cyberpunk 2077 without a monster rig. Original recording date - December 16th, 2020. Recall: Genshin Impact When Omer talked about the game on the previous episode I have not yet tried it myself. Since then I played around 25 hours – started on the PS4, quickly found out the control scheme is not manageable and switch to the PC. Unreal Tournament weapons for Warframe PLAY WARFRAME NOW ON THE EPIC GAMES STORE: Add exclusive Unreal Tournament Weapon Skins to your Arsenal! Game of the Show: Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom Published by Game Atelier; MSRP $30, Buy on Steam What a cute and awesome little game (like, literally little, it’s about 20 hours to complete)! It’s basically a Castlevania platformer type of game with a twist. An evil magician turned everyone in the kingdom into animals and you go on a quest to find the orbs of power and restore order. Each orb you find gives you the ability to transform into a ‘monster’ (a frog, snake, lion etc) and each one of those have special abilities that you need in order to solve different puzzles in the game (sometimes you have to transform into different monsters very fast to solve some stuff which threw me off). Another way to overcome obstacles is to buy equipment in stores: You can get boots, swords and armour and some of them have abilities that will help you progress (for example, an ice sword can freeze water so you can go under it - it’s complicated). The game itself is super forgiving from a difficulty standpoint, you always have a good amount of life to progress through a level and even in boss fights (which are simple-ish) if you fail a few times a little friend shows up and drops hearts so you have a good chance of finishing the boss. Super cute soundtrack (example), cute graphics, fairly short. 100% worth the $20 on sale. One of the best platformers on the Switch in my book. News: Playing Cyberpunk 2077 on Google Stadia Can I talk about Stadia? It’s basically magic. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
33:12
December 23, 2020
Genshin Impact (Ep 12)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Genshin Impact, a new free-to-play open-world RPG with beautiful and colourful graphics and an interesting progression system; and nVidia's Omviverse, a new way for creative professionals to collaborate on 3D projects. Original recording date - October 14th, 2020. Game of the Show: Genshin Impact Published by miHoYo; Free-to-Play; Download for your prefered platform. The latest and truly greatest Gacha game (my last one was Maple Story): You play as “the traveller”, make a party of four characters out of ~30 currently available and do a bunch of open-world questing to increase your “adventure rank” and get through the story.  Oh, and your companion is a super cute fairy.  Honestly, this game is everything I wanted Breath of the Wild to be. The open world is amazing, combat is satisfying (using the elements combo system), lots of weapons, skills, “ultimate skills”, characters feel diverse in their kit (definitely not diverse ethnically - it’s all waifu material).  It’s pure fun if you can resist the Gatcha (wish) mechanic. I’m playing for free and got about 35 “wishes” which got me 3-4 extra characters on top of what you get with the story, one I actually wanted. So it’s cool for what it is.  Cons: Leveling up (characters + weapons) costs resources, if you’re missing an element type in your party it can be tough to go through missions, I’m missing water type character and hopefully, I’ll get one for free because I don’t want to pay. There is a battle pass system which I didn’t try. News: nVidia Omniverse Nvidia launches early access for Omniverse computer graphics and simulation platform NVIDIA Unveils Omniverse — Open, Interactive 3D Design Collaboration Platform for Multi-Tool Workflows -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
34:31
October 21, 2020
Hades (Ep 11)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Hades, a rogue-like Greek tragedy with amazing visuals and sound. We also go down the nostalgia hole with Baldur's Gate II's 20-year anniversary. Original recording date - September 30th, 2020. Game of the Show: Hades Published by Supergiant Games; MSRP $25, Buy on the Nintendo Switch store. I didn’t think I’m going to make a big statement on this show but if nothing else catches me by surprise, Hades is my game of the year for 2020 (sorry animal crossing, that was close). This game has everything going for it - from a great narrative through an amazing soundtrack (honestly all Supergiantganes’ soundtracks are very good) to slick and super fun gameplay. From a gameplay perspective, it’s really hard to pinpoint what makes Hades stand above the rest (Childrens of Morta and Dead Cells are great games in a similar vein). I think it’s the combination of room-like mechanics where I can choose rewards based on progress and the Diablo-like feeling.  News: Baldur’s Gate II – 20 year anniversary 'Baldur's Gate 2' Didn't Just Change RPGs, It Changed Games Themselves -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
33:06
October 07, 2020
Jenny LeClue: Detectivú (Ep 10)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Jenny Leclue, a very well made indie adventure game... that turns out to be the first episode of a series; and Riot latest League of Legends promotion that set into the world of virtual influencers. Original recording date - September 9th, 2020. Recall: SteamWorld Quest Episode 5 Game of the Show: Jenny LeClue: Detectivú Published by Joe Mografi, MSRP $25, Buy on the Nintendo Switch store. Jenny LeClue is a charming, extremely well made indie puzzle, an adventure detective game that places the player in the shoes of the titular Jenny, a young girl, and a Sherlock-like detective... that is actually a character in a young-adult novel series. During the game, we experience both the author's narrative writing the book and Jenny herself, with many 4th wall breaking comments from the character. The art is charming, the music and voice acting are amazing, the puzzles are challenging enough without being overbearing. The is one major problem: the game isn't finished. After about 10 hours of game-time (which is formidable), you get a to-be-continued screen. Nothing in the story is solved, and you're left to wait for the next installment. After reading online, I found out that this was communicated to the game's Kickstart backers. Still, not a word about it was mentioned in the game's store page. News This virtual influencer might be the next League of Legends champion - interesting marketing tactic we should talk about. (61K Youtube subs, 244k Twitter followers) Doom (1993) can now run on a pregnancy test - I mean... -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
31:50
September 16, 2020
Remnant: From the Ashes (Ep 9)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Remnant, a souls-like game WITH GUNS! And the latest in the big tech war, this time with Epic going up against Apple over their revenue share policies. Original recording date - August 28th, 2020. Game of the Show: Remnant: From the Ashes Published by Gunfire Games, MSRP $40, Buy on the Epic Game store. I’m very bad at Dark souls and souls like games, I have to invest a lot of time and mental effort to memorize enemies’ (even grunts!) patterns. I also don’t like to get punished all the time. HOWEVER - this game isn’t as punishing! It’s almost souls-rogue-like in a sense that there is no punishment for dying (other than going back to the checkpoint) and you get to keep all your resources and progress. So eventually you’ll be able to upgrade yourself enough to progress. There are checkpoints every 5-10 minutes so you're never really over-invested in a run. The design and world are awesome and dark. Bosses freak me out. No pause button! The internet told me to “just git gud” but I tricked them! I have ~4-5 hours on it,  it’s a nice game but I’m probably not going to play it through. I need something more casual, Hitman just went free on the Epic game store (segway to next section) so I’ll check it out. News: Epic Game vs. Apple We discussed Epic's decision to offer Fortnite in-game purchases outside of the Apple In-App Payment system and the consequences that followed. Apple doubles down on controversial decision to reject email app Hey Epic offers new direct payment in Fortnite on iOS and Android to get around app store fees Apple just kicked Fortnite off the App Store A temporary restraining order will protect Unreal Engine on Apple platforms Everything you need to know from the tech antitrust hearing -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
32:28
September 03, 2020
Persona 5 Royal (Ep 8)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about the amazing JRPG/life simulator Persona 5, a must have game for PS4 players; and Venn.tv, a new traditional TV channel centred around gaming. Original recording date - August 12th, 2020. Game of the Show: Persona 5 Royal Published by Atlus, MSRP $60, Buy on PlayStation Store. It took me two months to finish the game - but boy, what a game! Goes directly into my "most favorite games of all time list." I've become a Persona fanboy. The Persona series has a unique mix of life simulator and JRPG combat mechanics that have been deconstructed to fit into the sim part of the game. For example, features like switching between party members during combat or inactive party members gaining experience are locked behind social connection you need to level up. This soundtrack is one of the best there is, including fully vocal tracks that interweave with the combat and other activities. Royal added even more amazing music that does not fall from the quality of the original. In general, the expanded Royal edition did only good to the game - more QoL features, better pacing, better explanations of some of the mechanics, and full systems that got overhauled and are now actually useful. Not everything about the game is perfect, of course. Despite the mature topics and depth of the story, the game still has a big sexism problem that probably stems from it's cultural roots. The game has several women characters. All of them, beside the new addition in Royal, are magic users with some healing. Unlike the men in the group which are physical damage dealers. And this is just one example. News: Venn.tv Venn.TV (link) a new, venture-backed tv network that focuses on video games launched last week. I gave it a good couple of days of watching and was expecting a cringe-fest - it’s pretty casual and fun! Shows are kind of entertaining (while doing something else) and range from casual gaming to fitness to esports to...late night things?. Cast includes some veteran figures like Dash and...wait for it….Sasha Grey. Everyone is very laid back and production is super polished. Sooooo how do you feel about “traditional” produced TV model alongside all the community-generated content? Especially in the gaming world. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
30:29
August 19, 2020
Kingdom Come: Deliverance (Ep 07)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about the weird survival elements in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, new specs for Microsoft Series X, and Steam search updates. Original recording date - February 26th, 2020. Game of the Show: Kingdom Come: Deliverance Published by Warhorse Studios, MSRP $30, Buy on Humble (Iceborne Master Edition, Partner Link) So over the past few weeks, I made a project out of it and powered through all the Witcher III’s expansion packs and finished the whole thing. Took about 35 hours combined with plenty of side quests in between. What does that have to do with KC:D? I was left with a craving for fantasy and this game was always on my to-play list so I fired it up. Let me tell you one thing about KC:D - it is nothing like a witcher and barely qualifies as fantasy. It’s basically a medieval life simulator with great story writing in between. I’m not going to give away any of the story because this game has the best prologue\tutorial I’ve seen in recent times but you’re basically a blacksmith’s son living in a small village in what seems to be the 15th century where the Czech Republic is today, kind of like between Rome and the Austrian-Esque kingdoms. The only common thing between KC:D and The Witcher is that setting wise, everybody’s suffering all the time and medieval life generally sucks: Combat in KC:D is not forgiving at all (also not satisfying), you have to manage your hunger and sleep, you can overeat and generally you’re poor and beating up and pushed around by everyone. You even have to manage your dirt level so if you’re dirty or bleeding people (like nobility) would treat you differently. Your speech skills are very important in this game and so is every little detail. The game has no mercy for you to a point where you have to use a type of alcoholic beverage as your “save game potion” if you run out you have to buy more in an inn - but you’re also poor so no save games for you. I was literally homeless at some point and spent the day gambling in an inn, playing a medieval game of dice (was fun) to earn my inn money so I can sleep. Anyways, the story is interesting enough for me to get going (which I won’t spoil for you) but I feel abused by this game but compelled to continue. News: New Generation Consoles and Steam Updates Microsoft confirms Xbox Series X will pack 12 teraflop GPU, shares more tech specs Steam Labs Experiment 4 adds a price slider, tag exclusion, infinite scrolling, and more. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
33:05
February 26, 2020
Monster Hunter: World (Ep 06)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Monster Hunter: World, the latest in the series of action games that broke into current-gen consoles and PC; and new information about Anthem's future development from BioWare. Original recording date - February 12th, 2020. Monster Hunter: World Published by CAPCOM, MSRP $60, Buy on Humble (Iceborne Master Edition, Partner Link) One of the most unique game series that we know, Monster Hunter used to be tied to Nintendo consoles, with games like Tri appearing on the Wii - with World, the series gained greater renoune, launching on both PS4, Xbox One as well as PC. MH: World has a semi-MMO format, similar to Destiny, Warframe and the like, with a multiplayer session of many players and 4-player parties for questing. The whole Monster Hunter format feels like going against MMO bosses, albeit with much more complex mechanics. The great strength of the game is the weapon system, that allows each player to use a specific play-style that is best for them. The game can be played as a normal sword-and-board, high-speed spectacle fighter, long-ranged third-person shooter, and many more. It has something for everyone and is a pleasure to play. Quick Shoutout - Dead Cells DLC! News:  Anthem is Getting Resurrected Here are the details. We were very excited for Anthem when it first came out but like others, felt that it was a flying simulator when you have very limited fuel. Combat was meh, progression was pale in comparison to other co-op shooters like Warframe, and performance sucked. We want to give EA and BioWare some credit for taking in all the sunken cost and trying to make Anthem a thing. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
31:24
February 12, 2020
SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech (Ep 05)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Hand of Gilgamech, a story-focused card game in the word of the SteamWorld series; we also go over some more end of the year articles for 2019 trends in gaming. Original recording date - January 15th, 2020. SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech Published by Image & Form, MSRP $25, Buy on Nintendo Game Store/PC One of Omer's top games for 2019! Omer's first encounter with Image & Form games started with SteamWorld Dig 2 which was great, SW Heist which was even better and he basically can’t get enough of that nonsensical universe: It doesn’t take itself too seriously and characters are super cute. While most of the SteamWorld universe games so far took place in a Steampunk-esque world, SteamWorld Quest takes the same concepts and wraps it in as a children’s knight's tale using the same robots but in a medieval setting. Gameplay-wise it’s a deck builder and Slay the Spire, progression based rogue-lite(?) mixed together. You get your cards you can either craft at a vendor or earn from encounters to build your deck. You control 3 robots per battle, each one has its own deck that shuffles into a big one. You start each turn drawing from the main deck to basically you don’t know which robot is getting which card. Every turn you play 3 cards, you can the synergy for a single robot (and you get a bonus move for that) or you can have synergy across characters (also getting a bonus for that). Progression is story-based and is SUPER FUN. A Bit More 2019 in Review XBox Windows app is stupid. 2019 Gaming on Twitter The number of Steam releases remained relatively flat from 2018 to 2019 State of the Stream Q4/19 -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
33:46
January 22, 2020
2019 Year in Review (Ep 04)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan review the past year in gaming: the games we loved and spent our time on, and the games we are looking forward to for next year. Original recording date - January 3rd, 2020. Our Favourite Games of the Past Year Omer, Apex Legends (Published by Respawn Entertainment, Free to Play) Got me interested in battle royale games and the only one I’d play. Now I know I’m just bad at it, but we had a good relationship for a hot second.  Aviv, Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Published by Intelligent Systems, MSRP $60)  When you say a game is a system seller, this was the game for me. I knew I wanted a Switch to play Pokemon in the future, but really Fire Emblem was what really tip me off. Not only that, it's one of the only games to date that I watched a full playthrough on YouTube/Twitch, then decided to play myself. Omer, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamesh (Published by Image & Form, MSRP $25, Get the Game) This was the year of the single-player, story-based card game, with Slay the Spire coming out of early access and many competitors popping up. SteamWorld Quest offers a true single-player campaign more akin to Thronebreaker, within the amazing setting of SteamWorld. Aviv, Children of Morta (Published by Dead Mage, MSRP $22, Humble Partner) This was the surprise of the year for me. From time to time I get to try new indie games from Evolve PR and usually they are not exceptional. This was not the case with Children of Morta. From the very beginning of the game, it is something special. A cross between rogue-light progress of Dead Cells and ARPGs character development of Diablo. Simply amazing. Omer, Golf Story (Published by Sidebar Games, MSRP $14, Get the Game) Favourite game in the past year that didn’t come out this year but is my game of the year for the year. Aviv, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order ((Published by Respawn Entertainment, MSRP $60) The second game by Respawn on this list, both single-player and multiplayer. Fallen Order restored my interest in the Star Wars setting that basically died with the movies. Our Expectations for 2020 Omer: I’m going to buy one game, and one game only it will be Baldur’s Gate III and please let it be out in 2020.  League of Legends: Wild Rift is already in beta, if it’ll make it to the Switch I’ll play that like there’s no tomorrow. Maybe Diablo IV will surprise toward the holidays? Probably not. Aviv: Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be another franchise I finally get to play thanks to the Switch. I'm waiting to see how Cyberpunk 2077 pans out. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
33:26
January 08, 2020
Pokémon Sword and Shield (Ep 03)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about the latest game in the Pokémon series, Sword and Shield, the 2020 Game Awards and Nintendo's Indie Games Showcase. Original recording date - December 13th, 2019. Pokémon Sword and Shield Published by Game Freak, MSRP $60, Buy on Nintendo Game Store. Aviv has been playing the Pokémon series from the very beginning, from Red/Blue on a PC emulator, to Platinum and UltraMoon on the 3DS. There is no question this generation of Pokémon is a leap forward, especially since it's the first time we get to watch the series on a big screen with the Switch. They've also made great strides in making the championship process move immersive: the series always had a slight issue with standing in the shadow of its anime adaptation, making us imagine the Pokémon world a lot larger and grander than it is, and with this game, we're finally getting close to how it was realised in the show. Mechanically, the game is basically the same with some great quality of life improvements, such as having fast-travel almost from the beginning and getting to see what wild pokémon are running around - that makes a huge difference, especially in caves which were a nightmare in previous games. The other awesome new feature is the Dynamax battles, in which your pokémon become huge, Godzilla-like monsters with moves that act like nukes. The feeling of blasting your opponent in a Dynamax battle is just amazing. Omer is not a huge fan of Pokemon. When everyone was playing the card game he was playing MTG. The Game Awards & Nintendo Indie Showcase The Game Awards- WHY WOULD ANYONE CARE ABOUT GAME AWARDS CEREMONY IN 2019? Well, maybe for discounts on the nominees the day after but seriously. I’m actually going to watch some of it tonight so we’ll see if it’s worth it. The Game Awards 2019: All the Winners Nintendo’s Indie World Showcase -  So Nintendo had their thing dedicated for Indie titles and we got some cool announcements: Dauntless on the switch, super excited about that. A sequel for Golf Story (!!!) called Sports Story - Woohoo! I haven’t played the Talos Principle but people like this game so maybe I’ll give it a spin. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at theburn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch.
30:50
December 18, 2019
Elder Scrolls Online (Ep 02)
In this episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about ZeniMax Online Studios' MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online, and the Google's new game streaming service, Stadia. Original recording date - November 27th, 2019. Game of the Show: The Elder Scrolls Online Published by ZeniMax Online Studios, MSRP $20, Buy on Humble (Partner Link) The ultimate Elder Scrolls experience (Omer played Skyrim, can’t go through the opening sequence again). The emphasis is on storytelling and questing, everything is VO’d (100GB download) and not level grinding (almost doesn’t matter since the world scale with you). Huge world, you can teleport and do quests everywhere - there are markers for side quests, local story arcs and main story arc.  Skill system reminds me a lot of Guild Wars: You have racial skills, class skills and weapon skills based on what you equip (so you can build anything you want to RP pretty much).  In-game real-money purchases are cosmetics for the most part + small DLCs which is super awesome. ESO Plus (subscription) unlocks everything while you pay. News: Google Stadia Google has come out with its highly anticipated cloud-streaming gaming service. It has limited availability worldwide, requires monthly subscription as well as paying for each game separately. There were several issues raising with Stadia’s release: hardware problems, game optimisation issues, allegations that despite Google promising 4K streaming they cannot guarantee those levels of performance. As with every new gaming platform or console, the performance issues will be resolved eventually. Developers don’t have enough experience with the platform yet, which is why they’re using upscale resolution instead of native 4K. But those sort of issues were also present with every new console generations – devs need time to learn the system well enough to optimise for it properly. As for the higher macro question of the Stadia’s place in the gaming space, we believe that even if it turned out as a failed product, Google will use the technology behind it to continue to advance and innovate, the same way they did with “failed” product such as Glass, Wave and Google Plus. -- Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, comment and leave your reviews on your preferred listening app, at TheBurn.live. Our theme was created by @AnneDorko with vocals by @FishyTwitch
31:13
December 04, 2019
The Outer Worlds (Ep 01)
In the first episode of THE BURN, hosts Aviv Icel Manoach and Omer Timetwister Kaplan talk about Obsidian Entertainment's new hit RPG The Outer Worlds, and the 2019 annual League of Legends championship Worlds event. Original recording date - November 15th, 2019. Game of the Show: The Outer Worlds Published by Obsidian Entertainment, MSRP $60, Buy on Humble (Partner Link) The cool thing about the Outer Worlds is that nothing on its surface blows you away but as a whole, it’s a very solid experience: Setting is good, dialogue and humour is good, weapons are cool so all in all it scratches the itch for a heavy narrative, humorous game.  Omer is trying something different with this one - usually when he plays an RPG he builds a character that is similar to him (kind of like a bard, good with dialogue, some magic, not very tanky) but here he is building this low intelligence, super buffed, 2 handed melee, high intimidate dude and it’s super fun playing this way.  News: League of Legends Worlds 2019 Has been an amazing experience watching: Hours were spot on (early morning when the kids aren’t in full tired\hungry mode yet).  The opening ceremony was the best I’ve ever seen - it got emotional. Is that what traditional sports fans feel on the Superbowl?  I felt old for not knowing anyone on the True Damage roster - the song was good though.  The main storyline: G2 esports, a very good and hyped western team played FunPlus Phoenix (what’s with the name), a team who dominated the Chinese league. Building up to the final all the western teams underestimated the Chinese team and the other way around - China had a clean 3-0 over EU.
30:47
November 20, 2019