The Experience Points Podcast (podcasts)
A weekly video game podcast from the co-writers of ExperiencePoints.net

There's never been a better time for people that love cards but lack table space.  With the release of Artifact, Valve is wading into the collectible card game market and retrofitting some of the traditional economic models onto their own marketplace.  This week we do a survey of the landscape and weigh the pros and cons of converting our retirement funds into rare foil cards. 

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_506_-_Playing_Our_Cards.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16pm PST

Fallout 76 released a couple weeks ago and fans are, well, not happy with it. News came out today that Bethesda can't even bag the game right. Today on the EXP Podcast, we discuss some of the failures of the latest Fallout and how the game could be victim to its own franchise history. 

Show Notes:

 

- Runtime: 33m 19s

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_505_-_All_Out_on_Fallout.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:31pm PST

It's Thanksgiving time here in the states, so we're doing a bit of a theme episode this week. Food, football, and feuding with the family: Thanksgiving carries with it many unique traditions. But what is the gaming equivalent to arguing about the gold standard with that one weird uncle you see once a year? This week, we kick off the holiday season with some of our favorite (and least favorite) seasonal rituals.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_504_-_Thanksgiving_Analogies.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:12am PST

Between the recent news from Blizzcon and the final Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Direct, it seems like everyone is itching for a fight.  Blizzard has been doing some damage control after dunking on its own fans while Nintendo is pre-apologizing for the existence of DLC.  And of course, Professor Layton is still nowhere to be seen.  This week, we recap a few of the big news announcements and welcome our new mobile-only, pro-wrestling Pokemon overlords.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_502_-_Smashing_Blizzard.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:09pm PST

We pack our saddlebags and head out West this week to finally talk about Red Dead Redemption 2. This is a long game, so while the full debrief has to wait, today we'll share our first impressions, give some tips on hogtying insolent strangers, and accidentally kick a dog.

Since you're undoubtedly playing the game yourself, let us know your early thoughts by shooting us an email!

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 41m

- Music from the Red Dead Redemption 2 Official Soundtrack

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_501_-_Red_Dead_Redemption_2_First_Impressions.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:57pm PST

We've been at this old podcasting game for nigh on a decade now.  We've seen a lot of comings and goings over the years, so this week we do a little retrospective on some of the standout trends that have changed the medium over the past ten years.  Somewhere, our Farmville plots are overgrown and our Xbox 360 HD DVD drives are gathering dust, but our progress bars and eSports careers are growing by the day.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_500_-_Ten_Years_of_Trends.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we swing back into some games we've been playing. From the tall buildings of New York to the deep breaches of space-time, we take you on a journey of some recent hits and hidden gems. On our list today: Spider-Man, The Messenger, Into the Breach and the oddly named The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories.

 

Show Notes:

 

- Runtime: 38m 57s

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_498_-_Spiders_Messengers_and_Breaches.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:08pm PST

Brace your routers: another generation of streaming game services is careening across the web and towards your wallet. This week, we talk about Project xCloud, along with efforts from Google, Ubisoft, and others to make a push for delivering games on demand. Will this be the beginning of the end for the single-game purchase or are our intertubes too clogged up to meet our demands? Listen in for a chance to hear what two people who are in no way networking experts think.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_498_-_Serious_Streaming.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Just look at the Sony Classic, a miniaturized version of the iconic PlayStation that's so small it has to be legally marked as a choking hazard. Which is perfect, because if there's one thing Sony wants us to shove down our throats, it's their back-catalogue of amazing games. This week on the EXP Podcast, we discuss the games we think deserve a place on this system.

Oh, and we also come up with a concept for the mini that would have been WAY better than this thing.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_497_-_The_Sony_Classic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44pm PST

Late last week, Telltale announced it was closing down the studio.  It's never easy seeing so many people lose their jobs and some of the revelations about the questionable work environment make it even worse.  The fact remains that Telltale had a huge influence on the adventure game genre as well as the larger game industry, so we're taking this week to look back on the company's run and recognize the company's impact.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_496_-_Telltale_Troubles.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:31pm PST

I used to be worried about gene splicing, but then Motion Twin synthesized a hybrid of Dark Souls, Spelunky, Castlevania, along with a generous helping of their own secret sauce. Now I'm fully onboard with our wonderful future of procedural, rogue-like, side-scrolling combat exploration games. This week, we talk about Dead Cells!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_492_-_Dead_Cells_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Admit it. You hate Luigi.

Even if you don't, we can all agree the younger Mario brother is the "green sheep" in the family. Inspired by Polygon's recent history of Luigi's unfortunate status in gaming, we discuss our feelings towards loser characters - from Luigi to Link.

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 31m

- "When Did Luigi Become Nintendo's Punching Bag," via Polygon

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_491_-_Everyone_Hates_Luigi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:26pm PST

We've always suspected that Nintendo has sold millions of hardware and software units, but what if I told you they made mii-lions?  Well now you can check for yourself!  Nintendo has taken their investor relations site to the next level and opened the books on all (well, almost all; RIP Virtual Boy) their console platforms.  This week we dive in and compare the golden geese with the goose eggs!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_489_-_Nintendo_Numbers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:41pm PST

When automated robots and talking Amazon devices take over the world and subject us to all kinds of dehumanizing experiments in the name of creating a half-man half-robot demigod, will we think back to video games as the harbinger of the end days?

This week on the EXP Podcast, we discuss all of the little things (and sometimes big things) we let our games handle - for better or worse.

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 37m 21s

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_488_-_Automation_Station.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:16pm PST

Have you noticed things getting dark around here?  Why are people swearing all the time?  When did you start wearing eyeliner?  Looks like we've just entered the gritty dimension.  This week after a particularly grim and brooding Comic Con, we talk about the various times when game franchises have taken a turn for the dramatic.  Remember when the Prince of Persia got really into nu metal?  You know you do.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast__487_-_Grit_cycle.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

The word is out: people are surprisingly obsessed with virtual trucking. How do we know this? Thanks to an inadvertent leak, Valve exposed data that gave us an unprecedented look at the player counts of games distributed via Steam. The hole has since been patched, but the data we have is fascinating and can be analyzed for a long time to come. This week we take a look at some of the surprises and get quantitative when it comes to figuring out what the damn kids are playing these days.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_485_-_Steam_Census.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:48pm PST

This week, we talk about the evolution and possible dissolution of a once massive empire: GameStop.  With news that they are pivoting to selling comics as well as quietly shopping around for a potential buyout, we review our past and current relationship with this divisive institution.  And of course, we give some sage advice about the difference between fighting a swarm of bees and fighting a single enormous gorilla.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_483_-_GameStop.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:09pm PST

Mo-cap make-out sessions from The Last of Us II, a glimpse at Halo Infinite, minor nuclear radiation from Fallout 76, and a whole lot of Smash. This week on the EXP Podcast, Scott and I go over all the biggest announcements, trailers, and teases from E3 2018. Give it a listen and sign our petition for adding Farkus as a canonical character to the Gears of War franchise.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_482_-_E3_2018_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:27pm PST

E3 is in full swing and we are up to our eyeballs in press conferences and teaser trailers. We'll be back next week with a full E3 debrief. This week: we make a future Pokepredictions about our favorite pocket sized monsters. What with the steady stream of Pokemon-related news, we talk about the evolution of the franchise and what we're looking for in the upcoming games.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_481_-_Pokefuture.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Sometimes you just dig your heels. You draw a line in the sand. You find a hill and dammit, you're going to die on it! This week, we talk about the games we wrote off but then subsequently rediscovered. It might have been pride, stubbornness, or an honest mistake, but something caused us to reconsider our once iron-clad opinions.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_480_-_Revisiting_write_offs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

With the closure of Boss Key games, it looks like the once famous/infamous  "bad-boy" of video games Cliff Bleszinski is taking some time off the stage. This week on the EXP Podcast, we ponder the strange phenomenon of video game developer celebrity and the shifting cultural figureheads of our gaming landscape. I also make an egregious misrepresentation of The Roots - sorry about that.

 

Show Notes:

- "Bleszinski’s fall and the perilous fame game" by Colin Campbell via Polygon

- Runtime: 36 mins 10 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_478_-_The_Famous_and_Forgotten.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Well they finally did it: Nintendo has blocked the doorway to online play with a guy in a Waluigi hat stationed in front to collect your hard earned money. Buying your way in isn't outrageously expensive (especially compared to club Sony and the Microsoft discotheque), but will it be worth it? This week, we dive in to the announcement and dissect what we'll see once we get past the velvet rope.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_476_-_Switch_Online.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

After years of asking "Are we there yet?" everyone's favorite dad has pulled the metaphorical car over and dumped us into the mythical Norse wilderness. That's right, this week we talk about our first impressions of God of War. Grab your axe, grow out your beard, and brush up on your fatherly wisdom!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_474_-_GoW_first_impressions.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Overwatch's latest event is out, so it's time to see what those crafty omnics are up to. It seems like they've been taking some tips from zombies. Additionally, perennial husbando candidate Jeff Kaplan shared some thoughts about Overwatch's story and extended cast. What is the best way to have a canonical story in a multiplayer game? Is Mercy correct when she tells us that heroes can never die? What would happen if Hanzo just disappeared? All this and more in this week's show!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_472_-_Overwatch_Retribution.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40pm PST

This week we're on the run from the law and the only thing that can save us is meticulously choreographed quicktime events. It's our in-depth debrief on A Way Out. We cover everything from virtual Connect Four to Mexican geography, so grab this crude file and start chiseling through this cell wall.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_470_-_A_Way_Out_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:06pm PST

Looking for the hottest scoops on the 100% confirmed characters in the upcoming Smash Bros. for Switch? Well then you've come to the right place. After watching the latest Nintendo Direct, we can conclusively say that we'll be enjoying a Solaire vs. Professor Layton death match come fall. Join us as we recap the big announcements and provide some insightful analysis on the rest of the Nintendo news.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_468_-_Smashing_direct.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:04pm PST

You can save it and you can waste it. You can spend it and you can save it. You can kill it and you can cherish it. Once it's gone though, there's no getting it back. That's right, this episode is about the time! Stinging after a particularly brutal time-related defeat in Monster Hunter World, Scott takes stock of his life choices while Jorge yearns for the cheesy early days of Destiny.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_466_-_Fighting_Father_Time.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Valentine's day is here, so stop stuffing your face with chocolates and throw away those flowers: it's time to play some video games with your main squeeze.  But what type of co-op game will help you make a love connection and what type will leave you brokenhearted?  This week, we do our best to ensure Cupid's arrow flies true.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_464_-_Cupid_coop.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

2018 is still getting ramped up when it comes to video games, but that just gives us a chance to play some games we missed from previous years. Of course, there's also the huge, feathery lizard in the room: Monster Hunter World! We've both spent some initial time with it and have some thoughts on everything from its menus to its culinary cats.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_462_-_New_Year_New_Monster.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

2017 was such a buck wild year for games, there's no way we could cover all of our top picks in a single podcast. Luckily, we had the chance to dig into all the delicious leftovers and highlight more of the year's outstanding games!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_458_-_2017_Leftovers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:47pm PST

It's that time of year: the time where we gather together to celebrate the wonderful absurdity that is the video game industry.  2017 has been an outstanding year for games, but which game will win the coveted title of The Gamey-est  Game of the year?  Bust out the liquor and eggnog and listen in to find out.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_456_-_2017_Gameys.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58pm PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we review the much-lauded Nier: Automata, a game that hides far more in its rusty, goofy-looking robots than you might expect. Love it or hate it, this is a one-of-a-kind game, so this is a debrief I've been eager to release. Give it a listen! When you're done, definitely look up the soundtrack - it's pretty great.

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 64 mins 38 sec

- Music from the Nier Automata OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_455_-_Nier_Automata_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:26pm PST

Download this podcast and open the file. Surprise! You have a 1 in 4000 chance of winning a special version in which our voices are played at 3x speed. Most of you will get an episode in which we take a look at the recent loot box discussions and monetization plans in high profile games. Sorry to disappoint those looking for a Chipmunks version of the podcast.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_454_-_Loot_Box_Lunacy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Ah, Paris: city of Zombies, ninjas, and procedurally generated adventures. This week, we talk about Sony's showing at Paris Games Week. There was a surprising amount of brand new stuff, so we dig through the announcements and maybe even commit a bit of light blasphemy by comparing Spelunky to the bible.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_451_-_Paris_Games_Week.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:17pm PST

Scott and I have weaved our way through a barrage of bullets, over fields of violent vegetables, and through terrifying trainyards to bring you this week's EXP Podcast. At least, Cuphead is here and we've drunk down all (or most) of what the game has to offer. What makes this game so special? How difficult is Cuphead really? And did the conversation around its challenging nature tarnish our anticipation for this cartoon-era-inspired gem? All this and more on this week's episode!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_450_-_Cuphead_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:55pm PST

Hope in our magic wagon and mind the drive imps: it's time for a full debrief on Pyre! We touched on it a few episodes back, but now that we've both finished, it's time to talk about the weird intersection of arcade sports, turn based strategy, and dating simulators that is Pyre.

Direct download: Ep_449_-_Pyre_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:10pm PST

Forget about the carnage taking place within the slowly shrinking blue circle; this week we're talking about a vicious battle taking place outside of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds. Ok, maybe it's actually more of a slap fight, but even so it's still entertaining. Epic has decided to release its own Battle Royale mode in their game Fortnite, but Blue Hole (publishers of PUBG) don't like the fact that their engine vendor seems to be directly lifting their playbook. I think the only way to resolve this is to drop them both onto and island and let them battle for supremacy.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_447_-_Epic_PUBG_Drama.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:35pm PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we wrestle with the dark underbelly of online gaming - its own players. With toxicity causing trouble in Overwatch, Steam's failure to address racist community groups, Campo Santo striking back against PewDiePie, the topic is on our mind. Even Bungie is reeling from a piece of armor that looks uncomfortably similar to a white supremacist logo. How should developers and publishers police their own communities? Should they? 

This is a touchy subject this week folks, so we're sending our positive thoughts your way. Keep up the good fight!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_447_-_Players_Behaving_Badly.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:23pm PST

Jorge and I have been hard at work. Jorge has been fulfilling his destiny to become the best-dressed guardian in the universe while I've been practicing my 360 tomahawk jams. This week we do a check in on two of our most anticipated games of 2017: Destiny 2 and Pyre.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_445_-_Destiny_2_and_Pyre.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

This week we take a journey to the north and debrief on Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. This game was flying beneath our radar, but we couldn't be happier that we made the time to play it. Do yourself a favor: grab some headphones, carve out a few hours, and thank your lucky stars that you don't live under the constant threat of being stalked by Fenrir.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_443_-_Hellblade_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:03pm PST

Sometimes, you play a game once and then bounce off, never to return.  Other times you see the potential, but are put off by a weird mechanic.  And sometimes you're just too damn lazy to leave the house and interact with other human beings.  This week, we discuss some games we're considering returning to.  Some of them we've finished, others we originally gave up on.  We also invent a new Pokemon Go mechanic that would be as dangerous as it would be entertaining.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_441_-_Returning.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Strap on your bowcaster and fire up your T-16s folks: it's time to get immersed in the world of Star Wars.  Disney is looking to bring a "100 percent immersive" Star Wars experience to us Earthlings, so Jorge and I decided it would be a good idea to brainstorm what the future has in store for us.  Video games have dealt with the challenging concept of immersion for a long time, so we discuss some of the potential benefits and challenges of trying to stage an entire Star Wars live-action experience.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_437_-_SW_immersion.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

The last few months have been a whirlwind of good times with my Tokyo buds. I've laughed, I've cried, I've told my cat to shut up. Now, at long last, I've finally finished Persona 5. While it'll be awhile before Scott graduates Shujin Academy, it's time we dive into the hotly anticipated entry in the long-running Persona franchise. How do the characters stand out compared to Persona 4? Is this game more approachable? Which confident should you romance?

All this and more in another EXP Podcast!

 

Show Notes:

- Music from the Persona 5 Official Soundtrack
- Runtime: 43 mins 23 sec

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_436_-_Persona_5_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:53pm PST

Ah how time flies when you're desperately battling against its passage!  We're halfway through 2017, so we decided to take stock of some topics that have been bubbling under the surface or were overlooked.  VR, Player Unknown's Battlegrounds, eSports labor strikes and more await you.  Quick: listen while you still have your whole life ahead of you.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_435_-_mid_year_check_in.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:49pm PST

In Nintendo's infinite wisdom, the NES Classic has been discontinued. But never fear lovers of nostalgia! The hardware distribution experts at Nintendo have announced the SNES Classic, another retro-gaming option that you can pre-order now regret not pre-ordering within the first 30 minutes of its sale.

Join us as we discuss the great games on the mini-console, and the great games mysteriously absent. Want to participate? Send us an email with your own favorite SNES games!

Show Notes:

 

- Music by Brad Sucks

- Runtime: 44 mins 35 sec

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_434_-_A_Classic_Conversation.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

We finally did it!  Ganon is banished, Hyrule is peaceful(ish), and we can go back to pursuing our true passion: equine science.  Or maybe we'll finally open up our hearty durian farm.  Then again, our shield surfing skills could use some work if we hope to make the olympics this year.  In any case, we've finally finished Breath of the Wild and it's time to talk about the big picture.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_432_-_BotW_debrief_5.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:25pm PST

Our march through Hyrule continues.  In this penultimate debrief, we find some mysterious glowing animals, play a round of golf, and visit the Rito and and Gorons.  Jorge laments the cruel blood moon and Scott pours one out for Andre, the giant horse.  Next up: Calamity Ganon and beyond!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_431_-_BotW_debrief_4.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:08pm PST

This week we take a break to read the video game news and learn of many mysterious disappearances.  Alan Wake has vanished, Red Dead Redemption 2 is no where to be found, and Destiny 2 is no where to be found on Steam, and Peter Parker is apparently hiding under the pseudonym "Nathan Drake."  Time to get to the bottom of all this.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_429_-_News_roundup.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16pm PST

The further adventure of Scott and Jorge in Hyrule continues! This week on the podcast, we take on cursed dragons, question the logic of putting children into seats of power, and discuss the social habits of the bad-ass Gerudo warriors. 


You know, the most tragic thing about What Remains of Edith Finch is that all the tragedy could have been avoided with a competent architect and a proper building inspection.  Structural issues aside, there are still plenty of things to talk about in Giant Sparrow's latest narrative-driven game.  Strap in: it's one where we discuss the very nature of the medium itself.  Plus there's some Wendigo talk in there too.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_427_-_Edith_Finch.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

You won't find more stalwart defenders of video games as an artistic medium than Jorge and me, but even we have our moments of feeling self conscious.  How does one describe the plot of Metal Gear Solid or talk about the hour the spent trying to shape a virtual brow line without feeling just a tad embarrassed?  This week we revisit the concept of game shame, recount sick burns from loved ones, and try to rationally justify our relationship with Tom Nook.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_425_-_Embarassing_Games.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:59pm PST

eek, bringing you a riveting discussion of big ol' horses, the Hylian Real Estate market, and Zoran biology. We've also got some serious questions about Link's moral fiber and tardy appearance in Hyrule.

 

Runtime: 51 mins 

Music: "On Horse (Day)" and "Champion Mipha's Theme" from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Official Soundtrack


Microsoft revealed some more information on their Xbox One refresh, project Scorpio.  This kind of mid-cycle upgrade is still a new thing in the console space, so we use the new information as a starting point to check in on the PlayStation 4 Pro, the state of 4K and HDR, and the current console exclusives.  Additionally, we almost talk ourselves into buying a Game Boy camera and printer.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_423_-_Scorpio.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Nothing like waking up from a century-long nap to get you in the mood for wandering the wilderness.  What's that?  You're hungry?  Well don't you worry; we've got enough strange mushrooms and fiery peppers to keep you fueled up and ready to survive even the fiercest blizzard.  Here, take this sword.  Don't get too attached to it though; it'll break if you sneeze too hard.

Yes, it's time for part 1 of what will likely be a periodic, multi-episode debrief on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_421_-_BotW_pt_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:49pm PST

Sharpen up your kusarigama and pack plenty of salt: we're talking about Nioh.  This week we get into our podcast stance and apply all our ki in an attempt to understand the game's numerous complex mechanics.  But mostly we just talk about evil yokai and pancakes.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_419_-_Nioh_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:08pm PST

You know that old abandoned house in your neighborhood?  Well it's probably just a sad, empty echo of happier times that no one is particularly interested in revisiting.  Then again, it might be an elaborate shell; an ornate elevator to a secret underground bunker where (at this very moment) Valve is hard at work designing the new...thing...that will consume all our lives.  Erik Wolpaw's departure and the end of Steam Greenlight are simply signs that even more resources are needed for the wonderful, terrifying creation that has yet to be released.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_417_-_The_Valve_Veil.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:18pm PST

What are you running from, Mario?  A horde of rabid koopas?  The long arm of the law?  The unyielding, existential terror of modern existence?  Whatever it is, he sure likes running.  This week, we do a very rare mobile game debrief and talk about Super Mario Run.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_415_-_Mario_Run_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:37pm PST

We're almost a month in to 2017.  We'll ask the question we always ask at this time: How are your New Year's resolutions doing?  Hopefully most of them revolved around "playing video games" because there are quite a few exciting things in store for this year.  In this week's show, we take a look at what the rest of the year has in store for us.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_413_-_Year_ahead_2017.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am PST

The Nintendo Switch got its full reveal last week in what I think we can all agree was a very strange press conference. This week on the EXP Podcast, Scott and I discuss the many revelations, from the hardware tucked away inside those tiny controllers to the bizarre real-world version of Mario.

Direct download: EXP__Podcast_412_-_Nintendo_Switch_Conference_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:56pm PST

Did you see that?  Probably nothing.  It's late and you haven't slept for a while.  That shadow wasn't really moving, inching towards you slowly, but with intent.  Oh what's this?  Someone has rummaged around in your pantry and eaten all your jellied eels.  Who would do such a thing.  You consider this puzzle for a few peaceful moments and then look up to find your view filled by a rapidly approaching barrel of flammable whale oil.  As your apartment burns around you, you hear a whisper "This week, it's a Dishonored 2 debrief."  Two figures with cruel, cold blades jump out the window and you realize that your wallet is gone.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_411_-_Dishonored_2_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:50pm PST

As the year draws to a close, it's time to hunker down and talk about our favorite games from 2016.  Robots, demons, and even a little timeline trouble dominated the last 12 months.  It was a great year for games, but we forced ourselves to each pick our three favorites.  Break out the champagne and settle in for a year-end debrief!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_409_-_2016_GoTY.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am PST

When last we spoke, we left you with a cliffhanger that totally wasn't caused of a weird technical issue.  But don't worry, the moment you're all waiting for is here: the award for the gamey-est game of 2016.  Please hold your applause until the end.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_408-2_-_The_Gameys_Part_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:19pm PST

Hey everybody, it's E3N: your fun-loving Robro, inter-planetary guide, and remorseless killing machine!  We've finally finished Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and it's time to debrief.  Strap in for some angry Martians, incompetent captains, and shaky cameras.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_407_-_Infinite_Warfare_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm PST

Forget Siri, Google Now, and Alexa: BT is the only AI assistant you'll ever need.  He'll help you with turn by turn directions while crushing your enemies.  This week we're doing a Titanfall 2 debrief.  Between the new single-player campaign, swords-wielding titans, Harambe-themed multiplayer networks, there is plenty to discuss.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_405_-_Titanfall_2_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we forlorn souls visit the cold and lonely painted world of Ariandel, AKA Dark Souls 3 DLC. What do we find there in the rotten world? Why, quite possibly the best boss in all of the Soulsborne franchise. Join us, won't you?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_404_-_Dark_Souls_3_Ashes_of_Ariandel_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:53pm PST

As consummate professionals, Jorge and I are always on the lookout for others striving to be the best in their fields.  That's why we are fascinated by the upcoming esports estorm that is professional Overwatch.  Blizzard seems intent on fostering regional rivalries and after watching the World Cup exhibition and learning about the forthcoming location-based Overwatch teams, we are hooked.  I want to believe that if Winston from Overwatch had a choice, he'd play for the Bay Area Brawlers.  We're very progressive when it comes to animal rights.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_403_-_Professional_Overwatchers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:11pm PST

Hey, I don't want to alarm anyone, but this esports thing is getting wild.  So wild in fact, that Jorge ventured into the belly of the beast to bring us a report.  This week, we talk about the League of Legends 2016 World Championship.  Enjoy stories about the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and the sweet smell of stadium chicken tenders.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_401_-_Report_from_Worlds_2016.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:15pm PST

The world of sports and the world of gaming have never been so intertwined. We've got real life announcers adding color commentary to Madden patches and professional soccer players raising a fit over in-game FIFA stats. What's going on here? And more importantly, when are Americans finally going to care about soccer!? This week on the show, we kick around the influence games and sports have on each other.

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 33 mins 33 sec

- "How Video Games Are Changing the Way Soccer Is Played," by Rory Smith, via the New York Times

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_400_-_Games_on_the_Field.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:54pm PST

Consider this an old west time capsule, amigos.  It was buried under the digital soil during a simpler time; a time before we knew about Red Dead Redemption 2.  Essentially, Jorge and I got super excited and we recorded this the day after Rockstar began tweeting cryptic pictures of Red Dead Redemption 2.  Since we still don't know too much about it, feel free to partake in our child-like hope and whimsical speculation.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_399_-_Red_Dead_Rumors.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Fall is well underway and that means gearing up for new games.  This week, we take a look at two of our most anticipated titles that couldn't be more different from one another: Super Mario Run and Titanfall 2.  Join us as we wistfully imagine a world where we tweet Mario levels while using Titans as farming equipment.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_397_-_Super_Titanfall_Run.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Almost all modern games share something in common, regardless of genre and style: patches!  Whether it's a single-player sci-fi epic like No Man's Sky or an annual sports franchise like Madden, the game released on launch day is often significantly different than the one we play a week, month, or even year later.  In this episode we talk about the good, bad, and wacky sides of version updates.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_395_-_Patch_Patrol.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Before we head into the busy fall season, we're wrapping up summer with a relaxing news update.  Well, it was relaxing until we stumbled upon Miyamoto-san's secret time travel abilities.  How else can you explain Nintendo's plans to put out a Mario Maker game that doesn't allow you to upload courses to the Internet?  Clearly 1987 Miyamoto-san has usurped his modern self and taken over Nintendo.  Also: Picross 3D is back, baby!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_394_-_PAX_Poochy_and_Picross_News.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Behold!  We have consulted the most ancient of tomes and conjured an auditory apparition for your amusements.  Some may seek to explain this feat by turning to the actions of humankind and their feeble attempt to use technology to harness the great cosmic forces.  We know better though.  We know podcasts are governed by an older logic, one governed by laws untouched and untouchable by simple mortals.  Laws that some, in an attempt to make sense of an impenetrable code, attempt to distill into a single word more easily held by our fragile cultural psyche: magic.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_392_-_That_Old_Video_Game_Magic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:36pm PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, Scott and I take to the skys and poke strange alien creatures with sticks. We're back to No Man's Sky. Does the game live up to the hype? Is it possible to understand the breeding habits of the pyramid-headed freaks that litter my starting world? Why do Sci-Fi games have universally bad UI? All these questions and more in our latest debrief.

 

 

Show notes:

  • Music from No Man's Sky OST
  • Runtime: 38 mins 
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_391_-_No_Mans_Sky_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:04pm PST

If you're tired and need a break from space mining, here's a little piece of history for you. That's right: it's the last podcast recorded before No Man's Sky ushered in the new era of prosperity/despair in which we now find ourselves living (I'm writing this pre-release). Since we PC players are still waiting on the go-ahead from mission control, we decided to have a pre-release conversation around expectations, hype, and the best way to leverage brand synergy when naming planets. See you on the forest moon of Chevy's!

 

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_390_-_Hyperspace.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:26pm PST

What if you knew the exact number of minutes you spent in BioShock's hacking minigame? How about precise amount of damage done by Ryu's fireball? Do you ever dare look at your Spelunky death count? This week we're talking about "the quantified self" as it relates to video games. Don't worry, we haven't sipping the Soylent, we're just wondering what the numbers mean and whether we should be paying attention.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_388_-_The_Quantification_Game.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:06pm PST

A game has done the unthinkable. It's made thousands of people go outside. Pokémon Go has become a cultural phenomenon overnight. Your parents, your neighbors, even your coworkers can be found wandering the streets in search of some rare Snorlax. What has the world come to? What can explain all this madness!? This week on the EXP Podcast, Scott and I venture into the tall grass to find out.

 
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_387_-_Pokmon_Go_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:12pm PST

This week we reach the triumphant conclusion of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.  We go into all the grave-robbing, clock-smashing, jeep-winching antics.  And before you ask, yes we did make a cheap pun about Drake's butt being a "theif's end."  I mean, how could we resist?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_386_-_Uncharted_4_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:07am PST

Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against Bossland, a German-based software company that sells access to cheat programs for Overwatch players. The company actually offers this service for other multiplayer games as well, but does cheating in Overwatch mean something different? Why do people cheat at all? And most importantly, how are Lebron James and Big Boss involved? All this and more on today's EXP Podcast!

 

 

 
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_385_-_Cheats_and_Scoundrels.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:56pm PST

Well, Quake, you've had a good run but it's really time to calm down and grow up.  You're not a teen anymore, so you'll have trade your nail gun for a briefcase and rocket jump your way into some adult responsibility.  All of this is a roundabout way of saying that Quake came out 20 years ago.  To mark this occasion, we give ourselves over to a Wikipedia black hole and talk about the other video game highlights of 1996.  For the full experience, you should probably be listening to Jamiroquai on loop during this whole podcast.

 

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_384_-_1996.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:54pm PST

Kratos is a daddy, Norman Reedus got naked for Hideo Kojima, and Link can climb now. It's time for our annual E3 debrief! It was a big show this year, with some amazing highlights, from Snoop Dog getting high at an EA event to me wishing I was high to play a virtual reality dinosaur game. 

There was a ton of news, and we want to know what you think about it! Are you intrigued by the Xbox One S? Are you happy to see The Last Guardian actually get a release date? Let us know in the comments or, hey, shoot us an email. We're listening.

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 1 hour 4 mins

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_383_-_E3_2016_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:46pm PST

Dammit Leeroy, you were supposed to make a good Warcraft movie.  We hate to break it to you, but it seems like Warcraft is joining the pantheon of cringe-worthy movies based on video games.  Hey, it's not all bad though!  It gives us a chance to dig into what makes a good video game inspired movie and take a short walk down memory lane to reminisce on the many gems of the silver screen.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_382_-_Warcraft_movie.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:19pm PST

When's the last time you gave a hearty thumbs up to an opponent who successfully trounced your entire team?  If the answer is probably somewhere between "never" and "one time by accident," Blizzard is trying to change that.  We're continuing our Overwatch discussion by talking about the things that help keep peace between teammates and opponents.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_380_-_Playing_Nice_in_Overwatch.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am PST

Horse warfare or robot warfare?  You must choose a side.  Unless you're like us and are holding out for robot horse warfare.  The recent Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare trailers whipped the Internet in a frenzy, so we're here to help.  And by help I mean reveal our new pitch for a basketball dating sim starring Prince. 

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_378_-_Trailer_Warfare.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:49pm PST

Never count out Blizzard. Right when we think they can't take up more of our time, they come out with Overwatch. But will Overwatch replace other competitive games? Should we thinking about Overwatch as a lifestyle? All this and more!

 

Show Notes:

 

- Runtime: 35 mins 52 secs

- Music by Brad Sucks

- "Should 'Overwatch'Just Cut Bastion from the Game Entirely?" by Paul Tassia via Forbes 

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_377_-_Overwatch_Beta_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:47pm PST

After dozens of hours, a whole bunch of graph paper, and more than a little frustrated cursing, we've come to the end of The Witness.  Then again, maybe you never really finish The Witness.  I know I'm still seeing line puzzles hidden within every day objects.  In any case, it's time to debrief and discuss what we learned about technological hubris, metaphysics, and maddening line puzzles.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_376_-_The_Witness_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PST

Ah college: a place where young minds realize their potential and where young wallets are mercilessly emptied by a combination of questionable self restraint and an unfeeling academic bureaucracy.  While you're out of luck if you spend your book money on booze, you might be able to pay your tuition with the very skills you have cultivated during all those hours in which you played games instead of studying.  Inspired by Blizzard's recent Heroes of the Dorm college tournament, we dive into the collegiate side of eSports.  Money, fame, endorsements; everything is fair game as we lament college careers we never had.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_374_-_College_Try.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:38pm PST

I just recently fulfilled a longtime dream of mine to visit Japan, the home place of Mario, Link, and whatever those creepy anime masks things are. It's a place I've visited in anime and games since I was a child, so there's something surreal about visiting a new but familiar landscape. This week on the show, we discuss our gaming ties to Japan and why cultural experiences through gaming are important.

 

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 39 mins 06 secs

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_373_-_The_Land_of_Video_Games.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:19pm PST

Remember that one game you loved oh so very much?  Well have you played it lately?  Maybe it's still a classic, but maybe the mists of your memory have obscured a harsher reality?  This week, we talk about the games we remember liking, even though they might not be as flawless in the present day's harsh light.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_372_-_Second_Guessing.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:36pm PST

Ryan Green, one of the creators behind the heartbreaking and stunning That Dragon, Cancer recently published a blog post that discussed the use Let's Plays from the perspective of a game developer struggling to recoup development expenses. It's a complex morass of fair-use, exploitation, and the struggle to make ends meet as an indie game designer. Nevertheless, it's time we wade in...

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 39 mins 24 secs
- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_371_-_The_Streaming_Dilemma.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:59pm PST

It's true: Jorge and I have been sleeper agents of a para-military organization all this time.  We've been activated and have taken our posts in The Division.  However, our role is limited exclusively to playing video games and making videos and podcasts about them.  Hey, someone has to keep everyone occupied while roving bands of pyromaniacs fight with spec ops teams right?  This week we head into the dark zone and talk about the The Division.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_370_-_The_Division.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:14pm PST

Grab your shovel and put on your work boots, it's time to dig into farm games. This week on the podcast, we ponder the allure of Stardew Valley, the smoking habits of rural towns, and how to make mundane games a little more adult.

 

Show notes:

Length: 32 mins 37 secs

Music: Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_369_-_The_Farming_Life.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:08pm PST

A dark shadow passes over you.  Not a cloud, but a vulture.  A tumbleweed rolls by and you watch it spin into the distance.  You keep waiting for it to go out of site, but the barren desolation means you can watch it for miles.  What happened here?  This place was the site of true opulence, but now you'd have a hard time convincing someone that it ever existed.  For a moment you think you can hear the echoes of a sick dubstep drop, but you know it's just your ears playing tricks on you.

 

Ok maybe it's not that extreme, but there have been some notable companies pulling out of this year's E3.  This week it's time to talk about the implications and the future the video game trade show.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_368_-_E3_Exodus.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:15pm PST

We've all earned our fair share of bumps, scrapes, and bruises in real life. Some of us have persistent aches and pains, some of us have suffered all sorts of injuries, big and small. It's a common occurrence, but how well do games actually model injury? This week on the EXP Podcast, we discuss how it feels to be "unwell" and whether or not games are any good at modeling the strange experience of being in an unhealthy body.

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 32 mins 44 secs
- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_367_-_In-Game_Injuries.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:06pm PST

The forest can be a beautiful place.  Centuries-old trees shade your path as you walk through a sprawling valley.  The river has carved this place out the eons and its serene, yet unyielding presence reminds you that it was here before any human set foot in here and it will remain here long after the last human is gone.  The forest can also be a scary place.  One missed step and you're just another piece of debris floating through that river.  Also: does that shadow look particularly bear-like to you?  And of course there are the ever-present personal demons and sense of existential angst that accompany your every step.

You guessed it: this week we're talking about Firewatch!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_366_-_Firewatch_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:22pm PST

Quantum Break is coming to PC, which for some reason infuriates some Xbox One owners who feel mislead. Why so sensitive about the console vs PC market? Is something amiss on the world of console gaming? This week on the podcast, we discuss computer gaming, my recent PC build, and more. Join us, won't you?

 

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 32 mins 27 secs

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_365_-_PC_Problems.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:11pm PST

Activision is facing a lawsuit, probably not uncommon considering their size, this time from the family of Angolan resistance leader Jonas Savimbi. There are a lot of reasons his children might be angry, some of which make for an excellent conversation starter about historical figures in war games and the changing landscape of warfare in games. Oh, and generic moms. 

 

 

Show Notes:

 

- Runtime: 34 mins 26 secs

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_364_-_Changing_Warfare.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:40pm PST

Did you hear that?  It was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.  Actually, it’s the opposite of that: those voices turned into a roiling stew of outrage and disappointment.  Yes, we’re talking about the Oculus Rift’s price announcement.  Don’t worry, we get over that pretty fast and then get down to the real issues: which platforms we’re investing in, where we’ll put our tubs of VR immersion jelly, and which celebrities would participate in our new show: CribsVR.  Welcome to the #oculusgrift.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_363_-_VRJelly.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:04pm PST

Happy New Year everyone! We're ringing in 2016 with a look at the games to come. This week on the podcast, we discuss what we are most excited to play, what we think might not even come out this year, and the rich lore of Captain Planet.

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 41 mins 19 secs

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_363_-_The_Year_Ahead_2016.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:10pm PST

Our Game of the Year plates were just too full to accommodate everything last week, so this week we talk about some more of our favorite games from 2015.  It's like a delicious, unending plate of leftovers, so pile it high and indulge yourself.  Don't worry, the squid is totally fine to eat; it's only been in the fridge for a few months...

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_361_-_2015_GotY_leftovers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:43am PST