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

We're back in Japan this week with nothing but a horse and a samurai sword to our names. It's time for the much-anticipated Ghosts of Tsushima. This is a dense game that opens up quickly and offers a lot to discuss, so we are sharing our first thoughts on the game before we get too heavy into spoiler territory.

 

Show Notes:
- Runtime: 39 min 22 sec
- Music from the Ghosts of Tsushima OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_584_-_Ghost_of_Tsushima_First_Impressions.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:48pm PDT

Duck and cover everybody: it's time to talk about video game reviews. Reactionary hot takes have been around forever, but the concept of "review bombing" is a special, terrible twist on the all-too-common public vitriol towards a video game that dares do anything other than pander directly to the most vocal fanatics. Metacritic (no stranger to controversy itself) recently introduced a short post-release moratorium on user reviews in an effort to blunt review bombing. But will it work and what's truly at play here. This week we put on our flak jackets and try to find out.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_582_-_Review_Bombs_Away.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

They did it. They did the impossible. The remade Final Fantasy VII. This week on the EXP Podcast, Scott and I follow up on our six-part FF7 review with a thorough review of the Final Fantasy VII Remake - which includes some HUGE surprises. If you were doubtful about this game like we were, definitely give this episode a listen!

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 1 hr 03 min 53 sec
- Music from Final Fantasy VII Remake original soundtrack
- Listen to our original Final Fantasy VII Debrief here.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_581_-_Final_Fantasy_VII_Remake_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:44pm PDT

Grab a brick and sharpen your shivs: This week, we do an in-depth debrief on The Last of us Part II.  It's strikes both of us as a bit odd that a game could simultaneously be so popular and so divisive, but at least it makes for some lively conversation.  As is always the case, we start off with general thoughts and purely mechanical analysis, but be warned that the back half of this show is all about the story in all it's violent detail.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go barricade my door and practice my guitar in preparation for society's collapse.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_580_-_Last_of_Us_2_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:01pm PDT

What makes "Making" good? This week on the EXP Podcast, inspired by a Kotaku article by Ian Walker, we discuss the act of creation, what makes destruction is so easy and satisfying, and how we might elevate otherwise tedious in-game acts. We also chat a little about The Last of Us 2, a game all about destroying - both yourself and others.

 Show Notes:

- "Games Should Make Creating Just As Satisfying As Destroying," by Ian Walker via Kotaku

- Runtime: 39min 07sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_579_-_Destination_Creation.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:44pm PDT

It's a news-y sort of week around here, so let's dive right in. Don't look for this podcast on Mixer: we've already made the jump to hyperspace and are on our way to reclaim our Guinness World Record for podcasting and share one last chili dog with our favorite influencer.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_578_-_Mixer_and_Sonic.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

We have seen the future and it looks like a binder full of Magic cards. This week on the EXP Podcast, we discuss the newly unveiled PlayStation 5 and some of the games coming to the console when it launches... when? For how much?

Leaning one way or the other on next-gen? Let us know your console of choice and why by shooting us an email!

 Show Notes:

- Runtime: 42 min 45 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_577_-_PS5_Reveal_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:45pm PDT

90s kids: get out your bifocals and strap on your sock garters: Sega has not one, but four new consoles for you! Yes, this week we squint and discuss the Sega Game Gear Micro, muse about the alternate history where this made sense, and wrap up by thinking through other alternate video game realities.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_576_-_GG_Micro.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:23pm PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, we share a meandering conversation somewhat about games and somewhat about the ongoing racial injustices that are on everyone's mind. We encourage you to skip this episode if it's not what you need right now. We also encourage you to stay educated, stay safe, and stay active via donations, direct action, or however you can.

Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_575_-_A_Conversation_Only_Somewhat_About_Games.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:44pm PDT

Sometimes, you just have to do your job. Hopefully that job isn't storming the beaches at Normandy, but if it is, hopefully you can take solace in the fact that you're doing your commander proud. This week, we use the WWII sim Post Scriptum as a starting point to talk about hierarchy in video games. When do you follow orders and how is a chain of command set up in a medium that is usually obsessed with individual agency? How will I get those sweet cheevos of my CO has be peeling potatoes?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_574_-_Following_Orders.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35pm PDT

Tony Hawk is back and gnarly as ever folks. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 & 2 is getting a gorgeous remaster and rerelease. This week on the EXP Podcast, Scott and I grind our way back to a simpler time and revisit this sports classic. Join us for laughs, a rundown of some other not-so-serious sports games, and at least one reference to the hit 1989 Christian Slater film Gleaming the Cube.

 Show Notes:

- Runtime: 35 min 49 sec
- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_573_-_Back_on_the_Board_with_Tony_Hawk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:40pm PDT

Knock knock: there's a delivery for you...a smart delivery! Now that we've seen the recent announcement of the first batch of Xbox Series X games, it's time to take stock and partake in some recreational speculation. Vikings, fancy cars, and grotesque body horror: There are more games than you can swing an enchanted barbed wire bat at.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_572_-_Series_of_Series_X.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:05pm PDT

Once again we've sprung another leak, this time from Naughty Dog and Nintendo. Should we be surprised? The games industry is one of the leakiest ships at sea, right? This week on the EXP Podcast, we discuss these new leaks, some memorable old ones, and what information we would actually want to see in the future.

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 36 min 58 sec

- "The Last of Us Part 2 leaked by hackers, reports say," by Michael McWhertor, via Polygon

- "Massive Nintendo Leak Reportedly Includes Wii Source Code, Developer Materials, And N64 Test ROMs,"by Ethan Gach, via Kotaku

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_571_-_Leak_Week.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:13pm PDT

Are we alone in the universe? Who knows, but one thing is for sure: virtual space is teeming with extraterrestrial life forms. This week, inspired by recent video of declassified UFO footage, we turn our eyes to the sky and look for aliens and how they're represented in the games we play.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_570_-_Aliens.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:15pm PDT

All aboard the train to Midgar folks, Final Fantasy VII Remake has arrived! This week on the EXP Podcast, we discuss our first impressions on the game, the changes it's made to the originals, and the ways it remains the same. We also have an exciting new update out for Mario Maker and Scott is getting his Joy-Con suped-up!

 Show Notes:

- Runtime: 36 min 01 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_569_-_Midgar_Maker.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:41pm PDT

Oh hey, it's your favorite neighbors!  You know: the two weirdos who stay inside and play video games all day and then talk about said video games.  After a small preview last week, we're returning to Animal Crossing: New Horizons for a formal debrief.  There's a surprising amount of analysis and design for a game about a quaint animal town, so we hope you give it a listen.  But if you get sick of us, just know that the ability to craft a good fence means you can craft a good neighbor.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_568_-_Animal_Crossing_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:15pm PDT

Put those down those turnips and revolt against the tyranny of Tom Nook's exessive dialogue bubbles! Or maybe we need to relax and let the Turnips be? This week on the EXP Podcast, Animal Crossing has us asking big questions about patience, frustration, and why we can't just eat spaghetti with our hands.

 Show Notes:

- Runtime: 40 min 11 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_567_-_Playing_with_Patience.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:32pm PDT

We made it through March! Hope everyone is still hanging in there. We are still waiting out the global pandemic in our neck of the woods, so we're taking the opportunity to talk about how the social distancing rules are impacting some big games. We've also had some time the play Animal Crossing and Doom Eternal during our stint in the great indoors. Take a well deserved break and think about better things. Like punching demons in the face!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_566_-_Hunkering_down.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, we load up the truck and take a little ride on the Kentucky Route Zero. This is a game nearly a decade in the making. It's a surreal, folkloric exploration of a great many ideas and it transcends space and time. All that is to say, this little review of ours isn't easy - and hell, sometimes, neither is playing the game. We hope you at least enjoy the ride.

 Show Notes
- Runtime: 46 min 08 sec
- Music from the Kentucky Route Zero OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_565_-_Kentucky_Route_Zero_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:18pm PDT

The world seems pretty wild right now, right? The COVID-19 situation has escalated quite a bit in the recent weeks and we hope everyone is doing as well as can be expected. We decided there's no way to do a normal show under the circumstances, so consider this podcast a virtual check in from us to you. We're physically incapable of avoiding all video game talk, so you'll still get plenty of that; there's just some more real life stuff mixed in. Pull up a virtual chair and hang out. Stay safe out there!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_564_-_Bridging_the_Social_Distance.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:01pm PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast we get a fresh start! Inspired by an article from Polygon by Nicole Carpenter, we are talking about the age-old practice of save-scumming  - the practice of loading up an old save file to redo your actions and get the optimal (or at least different) outcome. Nicole uses it to save a horse - but we can think of many more malicious - and positive - ways to use such godly powers!

Show Notes
- Runtime: 33 min 24 sec
- "I'm Reckoning With My Save Scumming Ways by Nicole Carpenter via Polygon
- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_563_-_Save_Scumbags.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:09pm PDT

I often worry about the next generation and the world they're inheriting, but then I realize that they don't need my concern: they have Pokémon to protect them! This week, we talk about a few recent news stories: Riot is getting into the tactical shooter business, Twitch is weird, and the children are Pokémon savants. We live in strange times.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_562_-_Pokemon_Kids.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16pm PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, we discover that the vast majority of Mass Effect players never went full renegade asshole-captain. If no one really enjoys playing bad cop, are morality systems a waste of time? Or have we lost something by making all our choices morality-meter free? Perhaps most importantly, what would a great morality system look like and why should it be a mod for Eurotruck Simulator?

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 34 min 57 sec

- "Almost Nobody Played A Bad Guy In Mass Effect" by Luke Plunkett, viaKotaku

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_561_-_Panopticar.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:47pm PDT

In these hectic times, sometimes you just need to play a game where you just chill and do nothing. But is tending to virtual crops or role playing as a pixelated barista as relaxing as it sounds? This week, we talk about games that try to lower the stakes, ask less, and draw us in with tranquility instead of action.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_560_-_A_Game_About_Nothing.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:06pm PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast we cover some recent news! Spider-Man swings into Sony's corporate office (and swings out to with a boatload of cash), Bioware is rebuilding the very core of Anthem, and we say goodbye to our old frenemy Flash (gone, but not forgotten or every really uninstalled).

 

Show notes:
 - Runtime: 36 min 14 sec
- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_559_-_Webs_and_Reworks.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:19pm PDT

How do show appreciation for your favorite games from years past? Well, if you're Jorge and me, you dedicate dozens of hours talking about them on the Internet (shout out to my boy, Crono). But what if you want to make a grander gesture? Whether it is hoarding cartridges, dumping ROMs, or nailing stuff to the wall, there's a variety of ways to preserve the games you love. This week, we use Andrew Liszewski's article to talk about how we honor great games, ideally without running afoul of copyright law or losing our security deposits.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_558_-_Frame_that_Game.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

 

We have ventured through many worlds and overcome numerous obstacles, but out of all of them a few are unforgettable. This week on the EXP Podcast, we revisit some of the most memorable levels in video games and try to figure what makes them so enduring.

 

Show Notes:
 - Runtime: 32 min 10 sec
 - Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_557_-_Level_With_Us.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:09pm PDT

The world may feel cold and desolate. The days are filled with alternating episodes of terror and inconvenience: you escape the grasp of creatures straddling the line between the living and the dead only to notice your boots have holes in them. But don't worry: you're not alone. You see a flickering strand gently wafting through the chiral dust. It's a podcast from a more innocent time: the Death Standing Debrief. Finally!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_556_-_Death_Stranding_Debrief.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

We are full steam ahead into 2020 and the slate of games coming out this year is thrilling. This week on the EXP Podcast we discuss our most anticipated games of 2020, make some predictions of the year ahead, and try to guess our GOTY 2020. Spoiler alert: It's Spelunky 2.

 - Runtime: 40 min 5 sec

 - Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_555_-_The_Year_Ahead_2020.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58pm PDT

Think you escaped 2019? Think again! Our game of the year podcast was so jam packed that we had to save some our favorite games for later. Grab your most comfy pair of sweatpants and forget about counting calories: it's time for leftovers.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_554_-_2019_leftovers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:25pm PDT

Happy New Year listeners! We are celebrating 2020 by rounding up our top games of 2019.  It was a weird year for games. My list was tough to put together and had numerous iterations with very different games at the top.

Take a listen and let us know your favorite games of 2019!

 

 - Runtime: 54 min 13 sec

 - Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_553_-_2019_Games_of_the_Year.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:20pm PDT