[MUSIC PLAYING] LARRY HRYB: Hi, it's Larry Hryb, Xbox's Major Nelson. Welcome to the Official Xbox Podcast. We are audio-only this week. Jeff, hello there.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Hi. How's it going?
LARRY HRYB: It's Thanks--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We're doing this again.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah. We did audio a couple of weeks ago, and I'll explain why in just a minute. And then, joining us, also, is Kelly Lombardi. Hi, Kelly.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Hi. So excited to be here.
LARRY HRYB: We had you on video a couple of weeks ago. And now, you're so good on video. With Jeff and I, we decided just to do audio. No, it's actually a technical issue I ran into with my recording PC. But Jeff and I and Kelly were like, well, let's just do audio. Get the show done so we can talk to people and have some fun. So welcome, this week.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: There's too much good stuff. We couldn't take the week off.
LARRY HRYB: I do have a backup PC that we're going to bring back so you can see our lovely faces next week. But it's-- yes, Jeff?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I can just hear everyone shaking their head, like, no, we'd prefer just not seeing you.
LARRY HRYB: So just to be clear, there's a lot of people on YouTube. We have a lot of folks watching on YouTube. But a vast majority of folks listen on podcasts. Kelly, do you listen or watch the podcast? I assume you listen, right?
KELLY LOMBARDI: I typically listen. When I do watch--
LARRY HRYB: Just audio only.
KELLY LOMBARDI: --it's usually clips on TikTok rather than on YouTube or things like that. So I'll watch highlight reels. But I've always said I have a face for radio, so I think that doing the audio-only podcast is great this week.
LARRY HRYB: You know what's interesting, Jeff? We have not talked about this, but it turns out Kelly and I-- when we were working on the FanFest thing a couple of weeks ago, we found out we're both native New Englanders.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh. How-- I don't know what to say. (IN BRITISH ACCENT) Storm's a-coming. What's a cliche thing to say to New Englanders?
LARRY HRYB: Well, what's interesting is because I'm from Connecticut. Kelly, you're from Rhode Island.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Rhode Island, mm-hmm.
LARRY HRYB: And the difference of a Rhode Island accent to a Boston accent is-- you don't think it's different. It's wildly different. You dropped your accent, by the way.
KELLY LOMBARDI: I did, yeah. With lots of effort and time. When I go back home to visit, it comes back so quickly. I'll talk to someone on the phone, and I'm dropping-- there's not an R in sight. I'm just like, (IN BROOKLYN ACCENT) how's is it going over there? (NORMALLY) And--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Where do you leave your --
KELLY LOMBARDI: they're like, who are you?
LARRY HRYB: So anyway, there's also something interesting. My sister's in Rhode Island. When you were growing up-- and, Jeff, I don't know if you know this, but in Rhode Island, a big thing is coffee milk.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Mm-hmm.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: [STAMMERS] I'm sorry, what?
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, exactly. Kelly, would you explain it?
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah. So coffee milk-- I actually have a huge jug of Autocrat coffee syrup in my fridge right now.
It's basically like how you would make chocolate milk, strawberry milk. It's basically just milk with syrup mixed in. And Rhode Island also, fun fact-- I don't know if it's still true. But as of a few years ago, it has more coffee shops per square mile than anywhere in the world.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, but they're all Dunkin' Donuts.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Well, a lot of them are Dunkin' Donuts. They will literally have two Dunkin' Donuts on opposite sides of the street right across from one another so that you don't have to cross traffic to get to your Dunkin' in the morning. And basically, it's just a syrup that you pour into your milk, stir it up. And it tastes like--
LARRY HRYB: Coffee milk.
KELLY LOMBARDI: --I think-- yeah. The most similar comparison is if you've ever had coffee ice cream or coffee milkshake.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, OK. I need to--
KELLY LOMBARDI: It's like that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --try this. I feel like I've been deprived, having just chocolate milk, growing up.
LARRY HRYB: Well, it is a very bizarre thing that I learned from-- again, my sister lives in Rhode Island. Not only that, but in, Kelly-- and I don't know if this is still true, but they used to serve it in schools.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah. Oh yeah.
LARRY HRYB: Instead of having chocolate milk, you'd have coffee milk in school, right?
KELLY LOMBARDI: Your options were the coffee milk that was a light brown. The chocolate milk was dark brown. And then, they had strawberry, which was pink. And then, you had just regular milk. The little milk cartons had different colors for flavorings. And, yeah, we totally had coffee milk. Another weird food thing that people always bring up is the party pizza.
So, in Rhode Island, bakeries are a big thing. A lot of Italian, Portuguese communities, and they have these just extraordinary bakeries. It's so delicious. And party pizza is basically like a thick pizza crust that's soft. And then, it has a really delicious sauce on top. And then, just a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. So there's no0 melted cheese on it, and it's served cold.
And it's in these big, rectangular sheets, and you cut it up. And it's the snack that you bring to parties or will just have at the house to eat a little--
LARRY HRYB: Little gnosh.
KELLY LOMBARDI: --square of party pizza, yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I'll take the coffee milk. You can leave the--
LARRY HRYB: The party pizza.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --party pizza in Providence.
KELLY LOMBARDI: I will have to post pictures of both coffee milk and party pizza on Twitter this week so everybody can--
LARRY HRYB: Please.
KELLY LOMBARDI: --check that out.
LARRY HRYB: And I can retweet that. But anyway, welcome. Welcome. Sorry for a little detour there, but I wanted-- I don't know if you know this; I'm sure you do, Kelly-- but Jeff is a huge coffee snob. And so, when I remembered that you were from Rhode Island, I had to bring it up. Because I knew. I figured, Jeff, you had never heard of it because I grew up in Connecticut and I never heard of it. And I was right next door.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah. I was going to say. If you could bring some back next time you visit your family-- but I guess they don't even have that in Massachusetts.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah. It's hyper-local. Anyway, we're here to talk about video games. And that's what this show is all about. It's not the official coffee podcast. Jeff, you should start one of those.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, that's my other show.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah. Any podcast I'm on is an official coffee pizza podcast, so it just comes with the territory.
LARRY HRYB: Well, it's great--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Coffee milk's--
LARRY HRYB: --to have you on here. But let's--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --on Amazon. I'm buying Autocrat. You said that's the brand?
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, that's the stuff. Yeah.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah. Autocrat's the--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Gosh, you got to go--
KELLY LOMBARDI: --good stuff.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --all the way in. 32 ounces. You got to--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah. It's all or nothing. It's all or nothing, Jeff.
LARRY HRYB: Anyway. Hey, Kelly, let's talk about what you're playing this week. And, what, you got some news? Because you work in games marketing. We've had you on before, but you work on the Xbox games marketing team. So tell us about some of the projects you're working on and what you're playing.
KELLY LOMBARDI: So it's award season, which is super exciting. And I'm fortunate enough to work on a game called As Dusk Falls by Interior Night. And it was nominated in a few categories for the Game Awards.
LARRY HRYB: Yay.
KELLY LOMBARDI: So very exciting. Yeah! Games for Impact and, also, accessibility. There are so many features of that game that allow such a wide range of people to play. It doesn't focus on just your core gamers. You've never played a game before and you just are interested in a great narrative story-- so just really proud to have worked on it, and I can't wait to see if it wins. I have high hopes. And either way, I'm proud of the team and the work they've put in. And so much greatness with accessibility and allowing people to enjoy games.
LARRY HRYB: And check that game out. It's on Xbox Game Pass. It's a great game to play. The content is a little mature. It's a little older, some of the topics they talk through, but it's a real nice-- a lot of people can play it. You can use your mobile phone and besides--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And that's the best way to play the game, is to play with other folks. Kelly, at launch, we got to actually be in a theater where the funny crew played, with the entire audience playing along, which was super fun. But it's such a great game to play with people that might not be into games normally. They don't even have to-- they might be intimidated by a controller. They can just use an app on their phone and they can just sit next to you and help you make decisions. And you learn a lot about them.
So it's actually at the top of our list of Game Awards nominees that are available with Game Pass. There's actually 17--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Oh my gosh.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --of those games. So, basically, many of the best games of the year are yours for the playing if you're a Game Pass subscriber. Games that have been nominated for some of the best games of the year, like Immortality, Metal-- Hellsinger, No Man's Sky, NORCO, Plague Tale-- Requiem, Scorn-- lots of different categories, but there's 17 titles.
And another one I know is one that you're playing. Vampire Survivor is nominated for Best Debut Indie. I know you love this game, don't you?
KELLY LOMBARDI: Oh my gosh.
LARRY HRYB: I love it, too.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Can't stop, won't stop. I love it so much. To be honest, I reached out on Twitter and I was like, need a new game suggestion. Throw them at me. And the amount of people that were like, you need to play Vampire Survivors and were so adamant about it-- and I looked at it and I was like, I don't really think this is my type of game. I'm not really great at-- I thought it was going to be a pixelated platformer, like Castlevania or something like that.
LARRY HRYB: Are you hating on Castlevania?
KELLY LOMBARDI: No, I'm saying I'm bad at it. There's nothing wrong with the game. It has to do with my reflexes. But yeah, when I sat down and started to play it, I just fell in love. It's confusing at first because, basically, you load in and you are dropped into a level or a map. You choose your character. Each character starts with an ability. And when you first start out, all you have is the very base level of that ability-- so whether it's whip or something that shoots out at your enemies or axes.
And you basically just use the left thumbstick to navigate around the map. And you gather XP gems that enemies drop as you kill them and you level up your abilities. And then, they can evolve if you match them up with the other accessories that you're able to equip. And the waves of enemies just get harder and harder, and it's just so fun. I feel like I'm accomplishing so much when I see these huge waves of enemies being defeated.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah. I mean, it's interesting because I had the same thing. Because who told me about it was Phil Spencer. He and I were at a party one night, and he was playing this game. And I was like, OK, let me go check it out. And I had the same reaction you did. I'm like, [GROANS] I don't know. But because it's simple, yet complicated-- which is a hallmark of a great game in that you really only need one stick. As you said, you don't even fire your weapons or any of your skills. They just happen on a timed, continual basis after the cooldown.
So that's the meta that you have to figure out, is how to keep moving and keep tings going. Right, Jeff?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: All right. So I know we've talked about this game in the past. I've been strongly corrected on the socials because I had never tried garlic. Because I was like, what is garlic going to do? And as it turns out--
LARRY HRYB: In this game, yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I wouldn't say it's OP, but it is definitely
LARRY HRYB: But it makes sense--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --a main ingredient.
LARRY HRYB: --if you know anything about vampire lore. It makes sense.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, yeah. It's a major ingredient in both party pizza and in a winning combination or loadout for this game. So, Kelly, I'm just curious. What have been your favorite weapon or accessory selections in an ideal loadout for Vampire Survivors?
KELLY LOMBARDI: I was one of the people-- when I saw, on Twitter, that you didn't use garlic, my jaw dropped. I was like, what--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I didn't know.
KELLY LOMBARDI: --is he doing with his life?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I didn't know.
KELLY LOMBARDI: And so, yeah, garlic, for me, is a big one because I love to just run into things and, then, let my abilities protect me from getting overwhelmed. So I really love whip and garlic. So I have the protection aura around me. and then, I have whip, that is on top because it goes above your character. And then, I really love-- I don't know if this is a spoiler, but there's little exploding bombs that go off, and I forget what it's called.
But once it's evolved, it just makes these huge explosions around you. I really love the books that circulate--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: [INAUDIBLE] is another.
KELLY LOMBARDI: --around your character, as well. And so, I've been playing around a little bit. And I think the only ability that I am not a huge fan of is the cats. The gato--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Sorry. I'm sorry, what?
LARRY HRYB: You don't like-- are you not--
KELLY LOMBARDI: No.
LARRY HRYB: Breaking-- Kelly's--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Not hating on cats.
LARRY HRYB: --not a cat person.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I didn't know there were cats. I didn't get far enough into the game to unlock any--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Oh my god. OK. Well, minor spoiler alert-- there is a character who has cats as her ability, and the cats run out and attack enemies. But they come back to you. And if you're in their way, they cause damage. And for me, I can only focus on so many things at once. And so, I lose track of where my cats are. And then, they end up hurting me. So yeah, it's tough times with the cats.
LARRY HRYB: All right.
KELLY LOMBARDI: But otherwise, I think almost any combination of abilities, you can make work. And actually, Jeff, I took your advice on the birds because I think your response was, I've been having luck with birds.
[LARRY AND KELLY CHUCKLE]
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Cats? You don't want to have the cats and the birds together. It just doesn't work out.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah. No, it's just chaos, yeah.
LARRY HRYB: But Vampire Survivor-- it's available now on Game Pass. So check it out and hit up Kelly and Jeff on--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: One let's think about this game is-- because it's playable on Xbox console, but also, on PC. I have yet to find a PC this thing will not run on. I want to go dig up an 8088 with 64k of RAM or something like that because the oldest, weakest PC I have-- which is my work laptop-- it runs a dream. So I've been just playing it wherever and whenever. It's great that you don't need a 4090 and 32 gigs of RAM to enjoy that game.
LARRY HRYB: Check it out on Game Pass. Also, Kelly, you talked about some of the projects you're working on after the Game Awards. The Game Awards-- just a reminder, December 8th. So depending upon when you're listening to this, they're coming up very soon. And they'll be streaming everywhere. Geoff Keighley always puts on quite the show. So, Jeff, you'll be going down there, right?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We usually do, to meet up with folks. And so, very likely this time, as well.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah. I think I may drop down, too. But we'll see about that. But anyway, looking forward to that. Other than that, Kelly, what else are you playing? You're playing Vampire Survivor. Are you playing--
KELLY LOMBARDI: I actually just got back into my love of House Flipper-- also on Game Pass. But I did purchase the Luxury DLC that released recently.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: [GASPS]
KELLY LOMBARDI: So I've been renovating yachts and fancy lofts in the city. And I just love--
LARRY HRYB: And French chateaus?
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah.
[KELLY AND LARRY LAUGH]
It's got a bunch of new missions. It's got so many new items that you can use to renovate, decorate, all of that. And I'm just a huge fan, so I've been diving back into that and having a ton of fun with it.
LARRY HRYB: Fun.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's Yacht Flipper. So how do you make a yacht-- one would already--
LARRY HRYB: How do you make it luxurious?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --imagine it's just good. How do you make it better?
KELLY LOMBARDI: So, usually, when you load into the levels, there's a lot of cleaning to do. Usually, a party just happened, and there's just stuff everywhere.
LARRY HRYB: Is this just the inside, or do you have to go outside and take the barnacles off, too?
KELLY LOMBARDI: Oh, no barnacles. The deck, on the outside, you have to take care of. But, yeah, you're off barnacle duty. So, usually, you just clean up. And then, you get to decorate a little bit. So I would say lots of comfy seating, places to sun. Potentially, maybe put a hot tub in there--
LARRY HRYB: I'm sorry.
KELLY LOMBARDI: --in case you don't want--
LARRY HRYB: Jeff, are you--
KELLY LOMBARDI: --to jump into the water.
LARRY HRYB: --taking these tips? Are you investing in a watercraft? Is that what you're up to?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: No. I just want a friend with a boat. I feel like the best boat is someone else's boat, but you can have access to it.
LARRY HRYB: Hear, hear. Hear, hear.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I'm not very seaworthy. I'm not too much of a swimmer.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Shout-out to my boat friends. I have friends with a boat, and--
LARRY HRYB: Same thing.
KELLY LOMBARDI: --I always call it our boat. So shout-out.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Well, now you have some tips to help them spruce it up.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah.
LARRY HRYB: Out on the sundeck. Well, that's all right. So House Flipper is now Boat Flipper. Or it's now got an aquatic DLC for making it even more luxurious. So, Jeff, what's keeping you busy this week?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Well, I wrapped up God of War-- Ragnarok, which took up, really, the last two weeks of my gaming time. I know a lot of people aren't really talking about this game. It turns out, it's pretty good.
LARRY HRYB: It's an indie darling, is it?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah.
KELLY LOMBARDI: I haven't heard of this, Jeff. Tell us about it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, it could be a dark horse for some of these Game Awards. Now it's awesome. I've always been a big fan of that series. So congrats to the good folks at Sony Santa Monica who--
LARRY HRYB: You have friends there.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah. Yeah I got-- I do have some friends there. Some great voice acting performances. And so it's a good sign when you're going through the IMDb after you beat a game and you're like, who was that? That was really good.
LARRY HRYB: And there is-- voice acting is a tremendous, tremendous talent. I'm sure you've seen all the noise on the internet this week about the Sonic trailer.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: No.
LARRY HRYB: Oh no. Have you seen this, Kelly?
KELLY LOMBARDI: I've seen bits of it.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah. Or actually-- I'm sorry, no. It's-- no, I'm sorry. It's the Mario trailer. The Mario trailer.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh. Yes.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, with the Chris Pratt stuff, right?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes.
LARRY HRYB: But that's--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah. Well another game that I've been-- that I got into now, or got back into. And I'm way in deep-- and also looking at the voice acting, because it's phenomenal-- is Persona 5. So Persona 5 Royal on Game Pass. I enjoyed and played through P3P back on the PSP and--
LARRY HRYB: That's a lot of P's.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --4G back on the VITA. I'm not stuttering, let me roll with it. So now P4R-- or P5R on my Xbox Series X. So I don't think I'll be able to-- it's a lengthy game. I don't know that I'll be able to beat it before Christmas, but I'm hoping to be able to stream it and continue to enjoy it. I would love to-- This will probably be the only game I'd get to finish by the end of the year because there's so much to it. But it's really, really good.
LARRY HRYB: All right. Anything else, because I want to roll into one of the games that I'm enjoying.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Roll away.
LARRY HRYB: Call of Duty DMZ, which is they're free to play-- it's part of the War Zone 2.0. And this DMZ mode, have you played-- Kelly, have you heard of this DMZ mode, or played it at all?
KELLY LOMBARDI: I've heard of it. I haven't played it. I'm still into APEX.
LARRY HRYB: Right
KELLY LOMBARDI: Haven't made the jump over--
LARRY HRYB: Do you play with Ethan?
KELLY LOMBARDI: --I've heard a lot of friends that love it.
LARRY HRYB: Do you play with Ethan and Malik?
KELLY LOMBARDI: I've played with Malik, and we've actually got a few dubs together. We have that synergy. But yeah, we'll have to jump in and invite Ethan as well.
LARRY HRYB: But DMZ is interesting because, again, as I said, it's part of Call of Duty's free to play skew, so you can go download that. But what it is-- it's essentially the open world. And the open world-- you're dropped in up to squads of 3. Up to three. I've played with two people and I haven't gone solo. And you drop in and you have a Series of tasks that you can choose from to do. And I think everybody has similar tasks and once you cross the walls, you get more.
But you're running against PVE, and then there's also some other players on the map doing their own tasks. And then you have to complete the tasks-- you'll see the timer in the upper left hand corner-- by the time the fog or the haze comes in. Every game has something different. And then you have to get evac'd out. And if you make it out, you get to keep some of the things, like some of the weapons, or keys, or in-game items. And there's-- the map is filled with a ton of things to do. Whether you're going to go get a phone, or a key, or take on a stronghold which has a boss in it. So it's really a lot of fun. Jeff, we should play it. Kelly, we'd love to have you join.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, I was listening to What's Good Games yesterday, and they were talking about it, how it's a little less sweaty than the battle royale in War Zone.
LARRY HRYB: Very much so.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And so it might be because of the PVE-VP elements that it's slightly more chill, I think. So definitely want to try it out. So I downloaded last night. So we definitely should run. I also noted that there's-- you can play as Lionel Messi.
LARRY HRYB: Yes.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And Neymar--
LARRY HRYB: Yes, you can download that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --in the game.
LARRY HRYB: Because why not.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --pick those, because why not. So I may have to pick those up just to-- we've all got the fever.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: The football fever.
LARRY HRYB: It's-- anyway, it's definitely worth checking out and playing that. Of course, I have Vampire Survivors back on my screen there. Halo, got back in the Halo because they have, of course, they have their new-- I was checking out some of the forge maps. There's this fascinating forge map that I found. Jeff or Kelly, have you checked out any of the forge maps?
KELLY LOMBARDI: Now I got to jump back in. I just came back from holiday, so I'm behind on my gaming.
LARRY HRYB: Got it.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah.
LARRY HRYB: There's--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: You see them on social. A lot of really--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --cool stuff being highlighted.
LARRY HRYB: Jeff, you may appreciate this one is a former-- proud former resident of Florida. Somebody rebuilt a Waffle House.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Ah.
LARRY HRYB: And gosh darn it, it's pixel perfect. It's--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah. Much like your Dunkin's in Rhode Island--
LARRY HRYB: In New England.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yep. There are a couple of places where on either side of the exit on I-75, there's a-- you have your eastbound Waffle House, or your westbound Waffle House.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Incredible.
LARRY HRYB: But anyways. But it looks like the-- it's not really a game mode. It just felt like they were building it-- maybe they're going to build it into a larger map. But it was just under construction at that point. I enrolled in there with a friend of ours who lives in Florida, and he's like, yep. This is it. But there's also--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Is the map called smothered and covered? That's the real question.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Is that how you like your hash browns? Smothered and covered?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's like their--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Their home fries?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah. It's like going all in. I don't really like onions that much. So it's not for me, but I like that it exists.
LARRY HRYB: Anyway.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's like going out of style, or something.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah. You can appreciate the culture.
LARRY HRYB: What is the equivalent of that in Dunkin' Donuts? Is it just a regular coffee?
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah. So when I first-- people in Rhode Island-- and I'm from there. So I can say this-- we don't get out much. Like we think that going to Massachusetts, it's a day trip. Like it's a journey. And so I, when I first--
LARRY HRYB: By the way, just to give you guys an idea, it's about 10 miles.
KELLY LOMBARDI: It's-- oh, this whole state is a half hour long.
LARRY HRYB: Right.
KELLY LOMBARDI: So I remember on a flight, I ordered a coffee. And I was like, oh can I have a coffee regular? And she was like, OK. Do you want cream or sugar? And I was like, yeah regular. Because when you go to Dunkin', you just say, oh a medium hot regular. Yeah. Or regular. Medium hot regular. And that means like three cream, three sugar, in a medium coffee. And I didn't know how many cream or sugars that I liked because I was like, I just order it regular, and they give it to me. And that's how I like it.
LARRY HRYB: Regular is the unit of measurement in your world.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah. I was like-- she's like, oh, how many cream and sugar? I was like, oh, a regular amount? I don't know. And so yeah, I would say like ordering your coffee like regular. Or-- Coolattas are definitely-- like the coffee Coolatta, like a coffee--
LARRY HRYB: I haven't heard that name in years.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah-- is a signature as well.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: There's a similar thing with sweet tea. Like up here, it would be referred to as sweet tea, that's if you could even find it. That's just tea.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --in most places in the South. And so my wife ordering a regular tea and just like taking one sip, and just like, what is happening here?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's the overload of sugar.
LARRY HRYB: Anyway, we-- anyway, so check out Halo. A lot of forge stuff, and you can kind of go through there. And just to let you know, I went into the forge on the console, searched through in the community and searched by keyword waffle, and that came up. It was the only hit. So that's how I found it. Anyway Jeff, you got some news bits coming on here in this-- we got--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Quite a bit. Quite a bit here. So we're into December now, which, what? And of course, every time we're getting into a new month, we're going to be talking about new games for you to play in Game Pass. And if you check out Xbox Wire, you'll see, well, quite a few. So available now-- Eastward, The Walking Dead: Final Season, and Totally Reliable Delivery Service, which is now out on PC. We've had a good time, it's a good family game. Very physics based. So if you've enjoyed Gang Beasts, or Human Fall Flat, or even Moving Out, I think, Totally Reliable Delivery Service might be a fun, lot of laughs game for you. Coming next week, ton of stuff.
LARRY HRYB: Tell us.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: LEGO Star Wars-- The Skywalker Saga. And we've had a lot of fun with that one.
LARRY HRYB: We sure have.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Hello Neighbor 2. Which has been available day one--
LARRY HRYB: Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. I can't-- it makes me too nervous. It's-- I get anxiety playing that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's so cartoony though.
LARRY HRYB: I know.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: But yes.
LARRY HRYB: Dun, dun, dun, dun, dun.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes. So obviously, the original Hello Neighbor-- which is so huge-- and so Hello Neighbor 2 undoubtedly will be pretty big as well. Chained Echo's. Metal-- Hellsinger is now out on Xbox One. It was previously released on Cloud PC and next-gen. Xbox Series X and S. If you have an Xbox One and you've wanted to try it out, it's a rhythm based FPS with some metal music from some of the luminaries of the heavy metal genre, like Serj Tankian. High on Life is coming out, if we go into the next week into December 13th.
LARRY HRYB: We're going to get Justin.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So we're very excited about that.
LARRY HRYB: Justin's a friend of the show, we're going to get him on.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That would be--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Amazing.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --awesome. Very much looking forward to that. And then Potion Craft and Rainbow Billy as well. So quite a lot. And in case you missed it, because I can't remember. I mean I wasn't around last week. So we didn't do a show, but Battlefield 2042 is available now via EA Play. So if you've got PC Game Pass, or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member, or you're an Ultimate member, then yes, you can play Battlefield 2042 as well. And just in time for season three.
Also, this is a game that a lot of people have been talking about. I've been hearing it's just now coming out. So I haven't had a chance to try it yet. But Need for Speed Unbound. I was listening to Kinda Funny Games daily this week. And they were talking about it, and how this game really surprised them, and they were super into it. So I'm definitely planning on trying that. It is-- if you've got EA Play through the aforementioned methods, you can have up to 10 full hours. There's those early access trials. So I'm definitely planning on taking advantage of that.
LARRY HRYB: Good.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Also, new month, new games with gold. This month, Colt Canyon, available now. And Bladed Fury, which will be available middle of the month, December 16th. This is actually a really pretty big release week as well. So--
LARRY HRYB: Go through it. Hit it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Couple of games we've been talking about. Well another one that has hit Game Pass for PC-- Warhammer 40k-- Darktide. This is a game that is from the makers of the Vermintide series. So usually a really fun co-op experience, available on PC. The Callisto Protocol.
LARRY HRYB: Oh, can't wait for that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That's made by folks that worked on Dead Space. And so this seems really intense.
LARRY HRYB: If you get a chance, go over to Wired magazine, they're online. They do this-- they did a Q&A with Glen Schofield.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, nice.
LARRY HRYB: Where he runs like-- it's like gaming support. And he answers questions. It's fantastic. It's--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, interesting.
LARRY HRYB: It's a great watch.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: All right. I'll have to check that out. But yeah, Callisto Protocol looking really cool. That's out December 2nd. So by the time you hear this. And also out today-- this one really caught my eye-- Marvel's Midnight Suns. Reviews have come back really, really strong on that one. It's made by the folks that make XCOM. And--
LARRY HRYB: Right.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: But it is not just XCOM skinned as Marvel. There's a lot more to it. I've been hearing there's elements of relationship building like Persona. So-- and look, anything Firaxis does, like, I'm in. And it just seems a really interesting combination of genres. And so I don't know where I'm going to carve out time for this one, but--
LARRY HRYB: I'm confident you will.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I-- thank you. I appreciate that. This weekend, if you're looking for something to play and you don't want to spend any money, well we got your back. If you're an Xbox Live Gold member, as mentioned both as part of EA Play. But even beside that, Battlefield 2042 is going to be available this week--
LARRY HRYB: Free to play. This weekend.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Free to play for gold members.
LARRY HRYB: For gold members.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Batora-- Lost Haven, and Rainbow Six Siege are all part of that. Last thing I just want to mention-- Oh, go on.
LARRY HRYB: No. This is just--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Oh, I was just-- my-- I'm like, mentally making a list of my backlog just growing by the second. So.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: They only grow. Sea of Thieves has now entered season eight. So it is free for all players with Xbox--
LARRY HRYB: Shout out to Kelly and I, who are pirate legends.
KELLY LOMBARDI: [LAUGHS] Indeed.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And this is when you get into PvP combat. So you'll be clashing with other crews and rising up the ranks of your chosen faction. And there's also another 100 levels of seasonal progression to build renown and earn cool stuff.
LARRY HRYB: Kelly, we were talking about earlier in the show about your house flipper, and how you're doing yachts now. Which brings me to question, what did you name your ship that you can now have in Sea of Thieves?
KELLY LOMBARDI: OK. Well, so one I named Karma after the Taylor Swift song.
LARRY HRYB: OK.
KELLY LOMBARDI: And then my other one, I named The Sunken Worm. Because worm is a nickname for my dog because he likes to borrow under blankets and he's long because he's a dachshund mix. So--
LARRY HRYB: Right.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah. I haven't named my galleon yet, but those are my brig and sloop names.
LARRY HRYB: If I may put in a suggestion? I think, I don't know, like coffee milk? Or--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah.
LARRY HRYB: Regula.
KELLY LOMBARDI: I'll name it party pizza.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That's a good one.
KELLY LOMBARDI: But with the Rhode Island accent, it's piz-zer. So--
LARRY HRYB: Piz-zer.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Party piz-zer. Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So you mentioned Tay Swift, who I know is at or near the top of many people's Spotify Unwrapped.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Guilty.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: But Larry, here's a special Spotify Unwraped that you ended up getting regarding this here podcast, did you not?
LARRY HRYB: I sure did, yes. So as Jeff said, everyone's seeing their Spotify Unwrapped if you're a subscriber. But we use Anchor as the back end for distribution of this show on many platforms-- Apple, Google, et cetera, et cetera. And so I got an Unwrapped version for me as the quote unquote, "owner of the podcast", which has interesting data. This is-- so this podcast is in the top 10% of the most shared podcasts globally around the world. So-- and it was interesting that 13% of the people who share this do it through text. Like hey, I'm going to text off the--here listen.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Like hey, have you listen to this crap?
LARRY HRYB: Yeah. Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. It's-- but we've got also another 12% through WhatsApp, and 54%-- anyway. So it's just interesting that out of all the podcasts in the world that are on Spotify or through some of these other areas, we are on the top 10% that are shared. So apparently we create--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Honor roll.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah, if you're in the top listeners of the podcast and Major Nelson is one of your most listened to, make sure you share it and tag them on Twitter.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, we've also got-- I also noticed that the top reasons we listen to-- not really a surprise, Jeff. We've got the US, followed by, I think, UK. And then Canada, and then France, and then Germany, and then Australia, and the New Zealand, and then Brazil, and then Mexico. That's kind of the top 10-ish-- I think I did eight there, but yeah. So it's-- we got a pretty good global listener-- 63 countries--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Wow.
LARRY HRYB: --listen to the show. That was-- or watch the show. So.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: What's the farthest flung-- was there like any Antarctic listeners--
LARRY HRYB: I do know that many years ago--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --or something?
LARRY HRYB: Many years ago, when Jeff and I, and Ian, and-- or Laura and Steptoe-- were on, we had a listener in McMurdo base. So-- which is the base in Antarctica. I don't know if that person is still stationed there or if they have moved on. I hope they have. But it's-- but yeah, it's-- we get a lot of people-- One of the surprising ones is-- because I can check some of it-- was we had listeners in the Vatican. Which was all we--
KELLY LOMBARDI: Ooh.
LARRY HRYB: Apparently we've got some gamers that work in the Vatican, or live in the--
KELLY LOMBARDI: I don't know --
LARRY HRYB: --maybe even live in the Vatican. Maybe the Pope. So.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Hey, Pope.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Shout out to the Pope.
LARRY HRYB: Anyway, those are some of the stats I have. Anyway-- all right, gang. Well I don't know how we ended up here, but here we are. We've got-- we're going to come back next week. We're going to be video next week. We're going to straighten out some of these issues here. But we're going to-- I appreciate you guys rolling with me this week and kind of doing the audio thing. Jeff, thank you.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Happy to be here, Larry. Even happier to not have to do my makeup.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah. And Kelly, thank you for joining us as well. Will you come join us next week. Kelly? I owe that to you. I owe that to you.
KELLY LOMBARDI: Yeah, absolutely. I'll have a glass of coffee milk ready to drink.
LARRY HRYB: The homework is, Jeff, you need to get those 64 ounces of coffee syrup in, so you can make some up. And we'll do a little-
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I'm just going to drink it straight.
LARRY HRYB: We'll do a little--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I'm sure that will work out well.
LARRY HRYB: We'll do a little taste test next week. So all right, gang. Thank you for downloading us. Check us out on YouTube. Check it out on Spotify, Apple, Google, or wherever your finer podcasts are found. And we'll talk to you next week. Buh bye, everybody.
KELLY AND JEFF: Bye.