Toss A Coin To Your Witcher

21 January 2020
Presented by Chris Berrow, Leigh Milner.

GERALT-WITCHER

A drawing of Geralt from the Witcher

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Crafted lovingly by Leigh Milner and Chris Berrow, this month Naked gaming hears from the voice of The Witcher games, Doug Cockle! What does he make of Henry Cavill's voice in the new Netflix series? Alex Rhodes takes a break from holiday to play a skiing simulator on a ski lift, we review Australian Open International Tennis 2, and Retro Revival reviews To The Moon, which is bizarre...

In this episode

2020

04:09 - Games to buy in 2020

Leigh Milner looks at the top 3 games you need to buy this year.

Games to buy in 2020
Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Leigh Milner - I’ll start with a game that was the definitive role-playing game when it was first released in 1997, Final Fantasy 7… and coming later this year is and the highly anticipated Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

Promising improved graphics with those classic in-game battles, it’s definitely one for the fans.

Remember the story? The world has fallen under the control of the Shinra Electric Power Company, a shadowy corporation controlling the planet’s very life force. You play as Cloud… and then it gets a bit complicated.

TRAIL

The Final Fantasy 7 Remake has been delayed... at the moment it’s coming to PS4 on April 10th, and you can preorder it now for a whopping £60.

STING

Remember this trailer from last year?

TRAILER OF CYBERPUNK

The internet went crazy when it was revealed that Keanu Reeves of The Matrix was going to be starring in a game…

That game is called Cyberpunk 2077, developed by the same team that made the Witcher 3.

It’s an open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis… yes that’s a word… that’s obsessed with power, glamour and body modification. You play as a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality.

TRAIL

Cyberpunk 2077 is out on April 16th on Playstation, Xbox, Windows and Google Stadia for £50. Or you can get the collector's edition for £250 if you have money to burn. Hopefully it contains the key to immortality for that price.

STING

And one more for you, we reviewed the trailer for this game in our October episode…

The Last of Us Part 2 continues the story of Ellie, now she has to fight against a cannibal cult… and it seems that Joel, who you played as in the last game, will be making a return…

Think zombies… oh sorry, clickers… they’ll be back as well.

TRAILER

The Last of Us Part 2 has been delayed to May 29th… retailing at £50 on PS4.

Hopefully it will be worth the wait.
 

Royal Mail box

07:52 - Gaming stamps!

Are the latest gaming stamps from Royal Mail worth getting?

Gaming stamps!
Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Chris Berrow - When was the last time you sent a letter?

Leigh Milner - Well, do Christmas cards count?

Chris - Yeah, they actually do count. Royal Mail or releasing some special limited edition stamps. You can order the video games presentation pack, which includes eight special stamps for £14.25 and they come out today.

What the funniest thing is, is that they sent us some stamps in the post as a preview special. Do you know what happened? They couldn't get it through the letter box! We've got to go to the Post Office to get them! 

Thankfully, we do know what they look like. So you can get a limited edition, there's only 2,500 of those, but there's normal stamps that you can get. You can get ones that have Worms on second class; Lemmings, first-class; Sensible Soccer, first-class. You're not seeming like you're being lit up by the games!

Leigh - Where's Crash and Tomb Raider?

Chris - You can get a framed stamp set for 25 pounds. But, the problem is that you can't use them because they're in a frame. So I don't know what good they are, but anyway. If you want to check out the pictures now, they're on royalmail.com/videogames. I can't imagine how many gamers are writing letters to their Nan with a special gaming stamp.

Leigh - Maybe they post a letter to their mum downstairs with their food requests for dinner...

A sign displaying Pokemon characters.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansions
Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Leigh Milner - I am a big Pokemon fan… so, as you can imagine I was excited to hear this news…

The new Pokemon Sword and Shield expansions have been announced… and they’ll release in two parts: The Isle of Armour will come out in June, and The Crown Tundra in autumn.

There will be 200 more Pokémon… and a few classic ones will return.

Chris - Some people are complaining that you have to pay for the original pokemon and that the company witheld them from the original release… we’ll talk about this more I’m sure in the coming months. 

Leigh - If you haven’t played this latest version, there’s a new type of temporary evolution… kind of... where your Pokemon become massive - it’s called going Gigantamax! But there was some controversy… a Pokemon called Inteleon,which is the third and final form of Sobble, this generation’s water-based starter Pokémon... has a massive gun when it goes Gigantamax.

Chris - It looks like a sniper in a nest. Do you think that’s OK for children? Isn’t Pokemon supposed to have cute and cuddle pokemon? Or have the original fans grown up?

Leigh -  I thought I'd see something with like army colors on it and a bit more human, but it's not too bad. It looks like an alien with a big didgeridoo. 

Chris - Nobody has said that on the internet... that it looks like an alien playing the didgeridoo. Uh, some people say it looks like the kind of Pokemon that could commit war crimes.

Leigh - The expansions are priced at £27, which gets you both parts... and they work for either Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield.
 

A drawing of Geralt from the Witcher

13:05 - The voice of The Witcher: Doug Cockle

What does the actor who played Geralt in The Witcher video game think of the new TV series?

The voice of The Witcher: Doug Cockle
Doug Cockle, Voiceover Artist

Chris Berrow - Now Netflix has released the Witcher, a new series running for eight episodes. Hugely popular and in fact because of the TV show as well as a reduction in the price for the actual game itself and the release of the game on Nintendo Switch... more people are playing the Witcher 3 now than when it was first launched. That's crazy, isn't it? That game that came out four or five years ago is more popular today.

Leigh - Do you think every company hopes that a film will come out shortly after?

Chris - I really do. This is the dream situation and this is the same company that's making Cyberpunk 2077. I actually sent them a message this month saying, you want to have a chat about the Witcher, and they said, we're so, so flat out making Cyberpunk... we just haven't got time. 92,000 people played the game on Steam when it first came out in 2015... the other day when the Witcher TV series was released, 94,000 players we playing at the same time! That's huge, isn't it? If you haven't seen the Witcher, or you haven't been aware of the game, this is a trailer for the game.

TRAILER

Chris - The company is also using hashtag "Switcher". That's really good, isn't it? And I've been speaking to the voice of the lead character who's called Geralt. He is the Witcher from the series. It's the fantastic Doug Cockle. So first of all, what did he make of the TV series and this new success for the game?

Doug - That's great. It's wonderful. I did think the Netflix TV series was really well done in my opinion. I absolutely loved it. And uh, the fact that it's leading people back to Witcher 3, the game, is just fantastic, because it's a great game. So, uh, you know, if people are discovering it via the Netflix series, that can only be a good thing.

Chris - What did you make of the series itself? Because, I mean, I absolutely loved it, and I agree with you, it was very well done and it took me a couple of episodes to realise that it wasn't necessarily all in chronological order. Did you find that as well?

Doug - Yeah, it took me a while to get into that. That was the one criticism I had of it; actually, I thought everything was done so well. It might've helped the audience a little bit more at the beginning to understand the time jumps. Once I clocked it, I got it. Cause I, I've read the books so, you know, I understood where we were jumping to and from and apparently... apparently if you look closely, there are clues, uh, at the end or the beginning of each time jump telling us where we're going and where we've arrived. Um, but I haven't gone back to look for those yet. I've only seen each episode once so far.

Chris - I mean I went back and played the Witcher again because of all this hype, you know, I completed it and played it all and I thought, hh, this series is great. I really want to play it. So I got it on the Switch, which I'd never had before. Uh, and that's opened up to a whole new audience as well because technologically now on a consol you can carry around...

Doug - It's kind of crazy. It's insane. I think it's great. As soon as I heard that it was out on Switch, I was just like, YES! 'Cause um, it does, it opens up a whole different audience because there are people who are just Nintendo, you know, that's all they want to know. That's all they know. Um, so all those people who may not have been able to play the Witcher, uh, or who never thought about it, now they can.

Chris - It's interesting because my favorite, um, voice actors, and I've listened to interviews with you before, my favorite voice actors that have very different voices from their speaking voice. In fact, on our last episode we spoke to the voice of Ash Ketchum, which is Veronica Taylor and she was a pregnant lady playing a 10 year old boy. Um, so it was very kind of different skill for her. Where did the voice develop for you? Because they must've had some ideas about what they liked. There was an audition process or did you just say, this is how I feel Geralt is.

Doug - Well, it kind of evolved a little bit over time. I think if you, if you go back too early, which are one stuff, and then listened to Blood and Wine Geralt... they're probably a little bit different. Yeah, I would, I would imagine they are partly because I quit smoking between Witcher 1 and Witcher 2. The whole quality of my voice shifted a tiny bit. So I had to audition for Witcher 1 And uh, when I went to the audition and understand, I'm really shortening, you know? But basically we got, you know, I was in the room for 15 or 20 minutes and Boris from CD Projekt was there and he was auditioning.

You know, the, you know, go ahead punk. Make my day kind of thing. And that's kind of where the inspiration that that pushed us in the direction that ended up being Geralt's voice.

Chris - As you get lower, there's hints of, there's definitely hints of Geralt that starts to come in. I notice...

Doug - Yeah, this is the thing is that in whichever one, when we were, when we were recording that it was a really difficult voice for me to achieve it.

My, my voice just didn't go down there. Um, but now, now it's just part of my voice, so it's not something I have to work terribly hard to achieve. Um, but, uh, and that's, that's I, I joke that I've damaged my voice so much that now my voice is like that, but it's actually more like with an athlete, you know, 'cause the voice is a muscle. So just like with an athlete, you know, they're trained to break muscle down to build it up again, stronger and more flexible. Um, so it's the same thing with the voice basically over over the years that I trained my voice to go to Geralt's voice without having to push.

Chris - I wanted to ask you about one of the most vocally difficult things to get, because I don't know how you do this and there's that, particularly with Geralt and, and I want to ask you about, you know, your, your feelings on Henry Cavill's attempt at the voice as well, but there's a lot of just him going like, hmmm, that's like one of the classic things he does as a character, just he goes, Hmm.  But you've got to get that in his voice. How on earth can you hum and kind of just grunt, but in another voice. Like, I don't get that at all.

Doug - Well, it's just, it's just like doing it, you know, yourself, you know, you identify the qualities that your character has and then they just have to behave with those qualities, um, uh, in the situation that they're, that they're in.

Chris - And can I ask you about your feelings on a Henry Cavill's voice in the Witcher? Cause it should, I mean, it's so inspired by your performance. I, I personally feel, I mean, they, they obviously sort of thought, what do people know from the video game world as the Witcher? It's very similar to the one that you do, but obviously, you know, people do their own take and stuff, but, but how'd you feel about that?

Doug - Oh, it's great. I love it. And Henry actually, well, Henry told me himself, um, standing in front of me that he used my, uh, my performance as, um, inspiration for his own choices as far as the voice was concerned. Um, and he's gone on record as well. He's, I think it was, uh, uh, Forbes interview or something like that, uh, where he does say, you know, you know, Doug Cockle did the voice in the game and he did a fantastic job. And so I, I kinda, I kind of, um, you know, I, I use that as a starting place to find my own voice. I just think he does a marvelous job. He looks great. He sounds great. He moves great. I mean his fight scenes are fantastic. I know that that's, you know, the choreography is, is done by other people, but he performs them really, really well. Um, yeah, it's, it's just a nice feeling.

Chris - Yeah, I know. I'd love to hear you interviewing him and him interviewing you in character.

Doug - Yeah. I'd love to sit down over coffee or something and have this actually videoed and both of us just have a conversation in our Geralt voices.

Chris - I'll suggest it to somebody and that would be amazing!

Naked Gaming, with Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner

22:42 - What's the attraction of gaming bars?

Chris and Leigh head to a gaming bar to see what all the fuss is about.

What's the attraction of gaming bars?
Akedo Gaming Bar

Chris Berrow - now there seems to be a rise in gaming bars and gaming coffee houses too. We didn't want to miss out on all the hype around new gaming venues. So we went to Akedo gaming bar in Lincoln... to have a go at some of the games there.

Toby - My name is Toby. I'm from Lincoln. I own the gaming bar Aikido.

Chris - So just tell us a bit about this bar and how long have you been going for?

Toby - Uh, I've been open for nearly three years. Opened in Halloween. I got the idea for the bar from living in Korea for four years and there are lots of places where you could go and play PC games. I came back home after four years and I thought, you know what, I need to do something and obviously I liked video games and then sort of thought that maybe... do my own twist on it and make it with the craft beers and the consoles rather than PCs and make it like a social place where people can come and hang out and play games and drink beer and it gives people something to do.

Leigh Milner - How popular are you? Because we've been in here about what, 10, 15 minutes and you've had customers in and out of the door. This is clearly a demand for it.

Toby - Yeah, like I mean it could always be better but Lincoln is quite niche. But yeah, all Il know it's good and it's popular and people love it. Yeah.

Leigh - Right... let's find a versus game... this looks a little bit like those arcade machines where you can select a game, apparently you've got GameBoy Colour, you've got Sega Megadrive, Nintendo, PSP. You've got everything on here. Okay. So you can... apparently this 10,000 games on here. So let's pick one. Sonic on Sega Megadrive, one of my favorite games. Sonic the Hedgehog 2. So I used to play this all the time when I was a kid. I think this was probably the first game. So I went and... I must've been about what, seven... some of these games, man, I can't believe they even made them Snoopy and the red Baron.

Chris - VR time, the first time ever... that is a massive headset!

Leigh - So right now Chris has got the headset on, I can see what he's doing on the screen behind him and he's got, yeah and he's got like two little controls in his hands, which we should like neon colors and he's trying to slice some objects which are flying at him. Lightsabres. It's so bizarre because I can actually see what he can see through his headset. What's it like Chris?

Chris - It's amazing. It's like, it's like Dance Matt Revolution or whatever it's called, but with lightsabres and it's sort of like flying at you. So you feel like if you don't get it right, you're gonna get smashed in the face by a brick.

Leigh - Wait, what? What do I do? What do I press? Bring it. How much do these sets normally cost?

Chris - They are quite expensive. I think you're looking at like 200 quid or so. So just walking back to the car now, after my first ever game bar experience. How was it?

Leigh - I think it's great because there are going to be people out there that can't afford the console to begin with who can come here. We saw down there are younger with probably her brothers - mum and dad probably said here's a fiver, go and spend the day... that they know they're in a safe environment, playing games all day. Alternatively, I think it's just to kind of get people out who play a lot of games. The kind of stereotypes of them stuck in their bedrooms to actually go out and socialize as well as playing games, which I think is just a great thing.

Chris - What was your favorite moment of going to the gaming bar experience then? Was it playing some of those old games?

Leigh - It's gotta be watching you waving your arms about not knowing what the hell you're doing and having a 14 year old girl tell you what to do. I really enjoyed that.

Chris - All right, let's go...

A playstation controller

28:41 - Review: AO International Tennis 2

Who will win the Australian Open? Leigh and Chris use AO International Tennis 2 to find out.

Review: AO International Tennis 2
Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Chris - Let's see who the best tennis player is. I actually used to be quite good at tennis. I had a friend called Corin and I must've played him about 30 times in our childhood and he never beat me.

Leigh - We'll get ready to be destroyed.

Chris - Bring it.

Leigh - I've already picked my player, mate. I'm already Rafa.

Chris - There's only certain license players in this game, right? I want to be Rafa.

Leigh - Fine I'll be Kevin Anderson. 

Chris - Choose the coin toss. I'm choosing tails. That's quite cool that you get to do that.

Quite difficult, isn't it? It's a good rally.

Leigh - It's like when we play... really slow, yes.

Chris - I think I'm gonna play this game a bit more... um, role playing now. 

[audible grunting]

Chris - They don't seem to run very fast for supreme athletes. How are you feeling now? You know, you can challenge the call. I'm challenging your call mate. And it's absolutely well in.

Leigh - It's like being at Wimbledon.

Chris - The game is predicting that I'm going to win, but only 72% of the time. Oh gosh. Oh yes! Redemption for Rugby 20. So what did you think of that?

Leigh - I mean it's all right.

Chris - What my biggest problem is that there's only one licensed player that I would want to play as... it hasn't really got a great selection. 

Leigh - Let me give it a 5 out of 10 because it's like, it's okay if you want to play a bit of tennis, it's all right. But I think there are probably better tennis games out there.

Chris - So AO International Tennis 2 is available now on PlayStation four Xbox one Nintendo Switch, which actually I would recommend it on if I were you. You can also get it on PC. Quite expensive. 50 pounds. 

A group of retro game characters including Space Invaders

34:48 - Retro Revival: To The Moon

To The Moon is back after 9 years, was it worth the wait? (No)

Retro Revival: To The Moon
Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Chris - It's a revival of a classic game from 2011, although I'd never played it. And let me just give you a flavour of what the game is. It's a bit like Pokemon in terms of the GameBoy Pokemon that we used to play - So you move up down left and right. It's a bit like Zelda, which is the same thing on the GameBoy, so just give us the synopsis for the game because I'm really intrigued... 'cause I know you haven't played it and I have literally just played it now 'cause it came out a few days ago. I played it for the first time on Switch. Tell me the synopsis here.

Leigh - Okay. So it says "it's a meditative experience that explores human mortality". So apparently the story follows, two charming doctors. All right. Then as they attempt to rebuild the memories of a dying man in order to fulfill his final wishes, it sounds quite horrific, doesn't it? Is it like the bucket list?

Chris - It's not laugh a minute as a game. These doctors... how it goes is that the very beginning of the game, the doctors crash a car because they're trying to avoid a squirrel in the road. So they hit a tree. Well it turned out that they also did hit the squirrel as well. The old man is lying in bed and you go up to his house and they go, "oh we've been expecting you doctor A and doctor B". And then they go, "right, we're here to, to grant a final wish". 'Cause that's what we do. The people around this guy, they go, right. Well his final wish is that he wants to go To The Moon, which is why the game is called To The Moon.

Leigh - Why didn't he just wish that he was never ill?

Chris - I know. So they go, yes we can make that happen. And that's when I stopped playing the game.

Leigh - Oh wow.

Chris - The problem is in this day and age, you should be able to move diagonally. Even in chess, the bishops can move diagonally, but in this game you can't move diagonally. It's too, it's too retro. If you can update and upgrade a game, make it better then you should. Like Pokemon is a perfect example - Let's Go Pikachu.

Leigh - We'll never find out that if the man ever got to the moon.

Chris - It's getting a zero out of 10 'cause it's the same shape as the moon. I would recommend instead to get a game called Octopath Traveler, which sounds super weird but it's basically the same kind of thing. But you can move diagonally and there's four stories and it's really, really good. I've been playing that loads this month. To The Moon... you can get it on PC, Android and iOS for around 10 quid. So it's not expensive. Maybe you could tell us what happens in the end. Tweet gaming@nakedscientists.com

F1 Simulator

38:01 - Simulator of the Month: Ski Champion

Alex Rhodes reviews Ski Champion while dangling from a ski lift, like a champion.

Simulator of the Month: Ski Champion
Alex Rhodes, Skiing Enthusiast

New Feature: Simulator of the month! 

Alex Rhodes - Hello Chris and Leigh. Um, today I'm on holiday. I know you guys expect nothing but constant work ethic, so I've decided to review a ski game! It says "a genuine ski simulation". So, I decided to test that in the French Alps, about 1800 metres above sea level. We're just about to get on the ski lift now actually, but I think it's not a very long one. So I think I can probably play a couple of games. I've sat down, right... let me just boot up my phone. Bring down the bar first. Okay. Ski Champion pits all the best skiers against each other, blah, blah, blah. Let's go.

I don't know any of the buttons, but the end is looming, so let's just try and learn it. We're starting at Sotchi, home of the winter Olympics. Three, two, one go. Now the graphics aren't great. I don't know what I'm doing. Oh yeah. It's motion controlled, so I just go through the things like that. Okay. I'm going through the, uh, the little ski gates at the moment, like you see on the slalom. In the Olympic event, I've smashed into one... my phone says it's got low battery because it's very, very cold, so we'll see how long this lasts.

This is quite authentic to my skiing experience this year. There's coins as well. Again, I don't think that's the same in the Olympics as far as I can tell. There aren't any hovering gold coins in Japan this year. Okay. Right. That's how we... go through there. I'm doing quite well. I've got quite the speed on... how far are we from the end of the ski lift? We've got a bit more. Yeah. Okay. Right. Let's go down though. No, no, no. Turn left and left. Right. Okay. Down there. The sounds you can hear in the background aren't the game. I can't switch the sound on because my battery is so low. They're actually, uh, the skiers underneath us... I have completed level one. There you go. Got through 40 seconds. 54 coins. 

It's not very clear what you have to do at the start, but I expected you would be able to pay a bit more attention to the game, then you'd pick it up a bit quicker than I do.

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