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

This week on the EXP Podcast, we discuss three new games we've been playing: Little Nightmares 2, Bowser's Fury, and Valheim. From the dark terrifying woods, to Nintendo's new open world, and into the festive halls of Valhalla, we finally have some new and exciting games to review!

 

Show Notes:
- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_611_-_Nightmares_New_Worlds_and_Vikings.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:47pm PST

Please excuse all the cigar chomping noises on this week's show: we've become Hollywood producers and were told that cigars were a requirement. Video game movies and casting choices collide this week, as we cover quirky robots, furry animals, and fantasy directors' cuts. Just be glad that we didn't release the Snyder cut of this episode; it's 7 hours long.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_610_-_casting_call.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

 

Like digital Robin-hoods, internet sleuths and criminals have patched together two pieces of video game history. The first is the unforgettable GoldenEye 007 which is alive again with some buttery-smooth frame rates. The second is the audio tracks for Super Mario World. This week on the podcast, we chat about salvaging history by means of unethical behavior.

Oh, and E3 is back too. Sort of...

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 32 min 35 sec
- Music by Brad Sucks
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_609_-_Digital_Restorations.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:22pm PST

Jorge and I have apparently planned out our retirement: we're going to find a museum, set up shop with a little "artifacts you can touch" cart, and lure people in to talk about video games. We still have a ways to go before living that docent life, but we can at least imagine it. Thanks to Nicole Carpenter's recent article about the links between video games and museums, we had the chance to go through some of our favorite virtual exhibits.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_608_-_Video_Game_Museums.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:03pm PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we go big - and I mean really big! Today we cover the latest trailer for Godzilla vs Kong, a new film in the "Monsterverse" film franchise and why we're so fascinated by massive beasts and the disasters they bring. We also identify some games that achieve an enormous sense of scale, or at least more enormous than most games.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_607_-_Into_the_Monsterverse.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:35pm PST

Won't somebody please think of the children? This week, we heed Helen Lovejoy's plea and step into the fraught environment of parenting choices and children's screen time. Inspired by the continuing pandemic as well as a New York Times article on the subject, we dissect the increased screen time kids (along with everyone else) is getting. I suppose this is a good time to pat ourselves on the pack for making an audio show; no screens necessary!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_606_-_Screentime.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:41pm PST

Allegedly it's 2021 but, looking around, I still have my doubts. This week on the EXP Podcast, we try hope the year ahead is brighter than the last and look forward to our most anticipated games of 2021, some of which might actually come out! From AAA to indies, there are a lot of games to be excited for.

Show Notes:
- Runtime: 37 min 32 sec
- Music from Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_605_-_The_Year_Ahead_2021.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:33pm PST

2020 is almost behind us, but before we go, it's time to take another look back at some of the games that didn't make it to the very top of our lists. Unlike almost everything else that happened this year, video games were pretty good, which means that we have some very tasty leftovers to sample. Throw on those sweatpants, plant yourself on the couch, and let's run the clock down on this year and look forward to the next.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_604_-_2020_leftovers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

It's time to run through our picks for the best games of 2020! This no-good, terrible, very bad year is coming to an end, but there are some things to celebrate before its over. Today, we discuss each of our top picks. 

We would love to hear from you as well! Send us an email with your favorite game of the year. And be sure to come back next week for our yearly leftover discussion!

Show Notes:
- Runtime: 47 min 49 sec
- Music from Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_603_-_2020_Games_of_the_Year.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:05pm PST

Neither plague, nor fascism, nor new console scalpers could stop it: The Gameys have arrived. This week it's time for our annual game awards. Our yearly counter-programming/trolling of Geoff Keighley let's us blow off some steam while also recognizing the games and categories that truly matter. We got gear grinders, waifus/husbandus, baffling Nintendo moves and more. And of course we bestow the title of gamey-est game of the year to one special title. Thank you for attending and please do not take the gift baskets home; they are for decorative purposes only.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_602_-_Gameys_2020.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:53pm PST

This week we played a game where you and a faithful animal side-kick traverse beautiful wind-swept valleys, navigate ancient ruins, and fight magnificent cursed beasts to free the spirits inside. But enough about Shadow of the Collosus! This week on the podcast we review The Pathless, the latest game from Giant Squid. This is a gorgeous game with an interesting lineage and well worth your attention.

Show Notes:
- Runtime: 39 min 53 sec
- Music from The Pathless OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_601_-_The_Pathless_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:51pm PST

This week we open we bridge a temporal rift and debrief on Demon's Souls. With Jorge's knowledge of the 2020 incarnation and Scott's knowledge of the 2009 incarnation, we manage to assemble just enough knowledge to understand that some of Demon's Souls' mysteries will be forever shrouded in arcane lore and obscure flavor text. But seriously, if anyone tells you they understand World Tendency they're lying to you.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_600_-_Demons_Souls_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Bugsnax is probably the weirdest game of 2020. Part children's game, part adult body-horror, this game takes the saying "you are what you eat" to frightening conclusion. Join as we eat our way through Bugsnax.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_599_-_Bugsnax_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:47am PST

This week, we (well, Jorge at least) put our money where are mouth is and talk about hands-on PS5 first impressions. Yes, it's big. Yes, it looks like a modernist art nightmare. But it's also the only place to play the Demon's Souls remake, so how could anyone resist?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_598_-_PS5_first_impressions.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:15pm PST

The PS5 is officially release! Well, sort of. Most people couldn't pre-order one and stocks are still ludicrously low. Reviews are out, but are they selling systems or are we all just waiting? Oh, and if we keep giving rich Twitch streamers money, how are we going to afford a PS5 anyway!?

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 31 min 40 sec- Music by Brad Sucks
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_597_-_The_Console_Wait.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:27pm PST

Hey, it's a hectic week for those of us living in the US (and many would argue the world at large) so we're going to try to keep it light by talking about something so innocuous that only true monsters would object: petting virtual dogs. Sometimes you need to just focus on mechanics whose entire point is just to provide some small amount of joy. We expand into a few other completely optional world-building mechanics and enjoy a short vacation into a world of totally pleasant digital interactions.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_596_-_Chekhovs_Dog.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:20pm PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we introduce Scott's eldest to the legendary gaming progenitor Super Mario himself. And of course we celebrate Halloween with a spoopy discussion of Phasmophobia, an early-access co-op horror game.

 

Show Notes:

Runtime: 35 mins 33 secs
Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_595_-_Ghosts__Goombas.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30pm PST

Like Zagreus himself, we have risen and are ready to throw ourselves against Hades once again. This time, it's a full debrief with plenty of discussion about the late-game mechanics and the story. I'd say spoilers, but you should know by now that there is no escape. Crack open a pomegranate and take in all of the Underworld's delights.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_594_-_Hades_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:50pm PST

Sonic in Fall Guys. Steve in Smash Bros. What's next, the car-insurance gecko in Spiderman? This week on the EXP Podcast, we tackle brand synergy and where it does (and doesn't) make sense to invade one world with the characters of another.

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 34 min 21 sec
- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_593_-_A_Crossover_Episode.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:51am PST

Ever get the feeling that you're endlessly pushing a boulder up a hill? Or perhaps a self-important, washed up king won't stop blathering in your direction? Or maybe a bone hydra keeps mauling you? Well you're either in the year 2020 or in Hades (maybe both). This week we dive into Supergiant's latest game to compare our load outs and our interactions with all those weirdo relatives from Olympus!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_592_-_Hades.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Get your bombs, ropes, and jetpacks ready folks; it's time for Spelunky 2! This week on the EXP Podcast, we debrief one of this year's most anticipated games, get into the philosophy of getting good, and hate on the mole rats with a fiery passion. This game, like its predecessor, is nearly endless, so I fully expect to come back to this game as the months (and years) continue.

Enjoying the game? Hating it? Sent us your own thoughts via email!

Show Notes:
- Runtime: 38 min 37 sec
- Music from Spelunky 2

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_591_-_Spelunky_2_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:36pm PST

Look, let's be real: Jorge and I recorded this before Spelunky 2 came out because we knew we'd be doing nothing but playing Spelunky 2 by this point in the week. Furthermore, I'm highly confident that you, dear listener, are playing Spelunky 2 as well. In fact, at this point I just assume that everyone is playing it, so the best I can hope is that this show serves as a nice Spelunky 2 soundtrack. List closely though: if you need a Spelunky 2 break, we give some positive recommendations on Spiritfarer and The Last Campfire. Both games are quite charming and might be a good break from the adorable chaos in which we are all relishing.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_590_-_Spirit_Campfire.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we discuss the surprisingly affordable Xbox Series S ($299), just hours before Microsoft announced the price of the One X ($499). Both consoles are cheaper than expected! But if you want to be artificially gouged, there's also a Mario bundle coming out.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_589_-_Series_SM.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Hard to believe that September is here. It's been a weird summer, probably because we haven't been able to go anywhere. On the bright side, we've had plenty of time to dive into some pleasantly-surprising video games. This week, we talk Fall Guys, If Found, and Paper Mario. We also wonder if we should pursue a new angle in which all reviews are haiku. The feasibility of that is to be determined.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_588_-_Fall_Guys.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

This week on the podcast, we finish what we started and give our full review of Ghost of Tsushima from Sucker Punch. There is a lot to discuss in this pollen-packed open-world game, some of it new and exciting and some of it aggressively familiar. But it this particular stack of bamboo worth slicing into? Give this episode a listen and find out!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_587_-_Ghost_of_Tsushima_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:59pm PST

You know what's hard?  Writing something about George Orwell.  There's so much pressure to do justice to the talent you're describing.  He'd probably advise getting straight to the point, so here it is: this week, we review Orwell's famous style rules put forth in his essay, "Politics and the English Language," and try to apply them to video games.  I'm pretty happy with the results, so feel free to scroll down if you want a recap of where we landed.

 

Orwell's rules for writing:

 

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

 

Orwell's rules for games (as written by Jorge and Scott):

  1. Do not use a secondary system, mechanic, or sequence simply because players will recognize it.
  2. Never make a long game when a short game will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut an interaction, cut it.
  4. Never take control from the player when you can give control to the player.
  5. When faced with a narrative, design, or linguistic decision, prioritize accessibility.
  6. Break any of these rules in the pursuit of elegance.
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_586_-_Orwell.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we discuss the sometimes bizarre, sometimes optimistic, and very frequently disheartening realities of COVID-19 and how the pandemic impacts sports - both electronic and traditional.

What do you think the future of e/t Sports looks like? Let us know by sending us an email!


 Show Notes:

- Runtime: 42 min 23 sec
- "A Day Inside MLB's COVID Protocols," via ESPN
- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_585_-_Sports_in_a_Pandemic_World.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:26pm PST

A bright flash explodes in your eyes and the purified metal sings its deadly song as it tastes freedom. Something moves past you with uncanny speed and the wind seems to be chasing it, hoping to keep up. You look down and realize it's too late: this podcast has cut its way into your phone as if it were some sort of legendary blade forged from a comet. This week: we come dangerously close to becoming "sword people."

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_584_-_Swords.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

 

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

This is it: the moment we've been anticipating and/or dreading all year. It's the 2019 Gamey awards! At the end of the year, everyone (including us) starts to get really serious about bestowing accolades, so we think it's fitting to hand out some of the most ridiculous awards we can think up. Join us in recognizing the essence of what makes video games so great and so silly: the inherent gameyness of it all.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_552_-_2019_Gameys.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:45pm PST

Small birds, big geese, boyfriends swords, and more this week as we discuss some end-of-the-year news out of Sony's State of Play 2019 and Nintendo's recent indie games showcase. While some of these games are exciting, 2020 remains a big question mark. What does the future hold!?

Well, for one, it holds the annual Gamey Awards! Join us next week when we discuss the gameyist games. If you have a game nominee, send us an email and let us know!

 

 - Runtime: 38 min 18 sec

 - Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_551_-_State_of_Play_2019.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:16pm PST

As we continue our headlong sprint towards the decade's end, we pause to recognize some of the memorable characters of the past 10 years. Using Polygon's list as a starting point, we discuss some standout examples and take stock of where games are in terms of character development. After all, this might be the last decade where we can safely treat these things as fictional characters rather than sneaky AIs waiting for us to drop our guard long enough for them to launch their conquest of humanity. You hear that, Shovel Knight? I'm on to you.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_550_-_decade_of_characters.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:12pm PST

It's American Thanksgiving this week, and I know one thing that I'm thankful for: a new version of Sonic that doesn't look like the monkey-kid from Jumanji. This week on the EXP Podcast, we emerge from the uncanny valley unscathed and carrying a VR headset and some pokeballs!

 - Runtime: 36 min 00 sec

 - Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_549_-_Sonic_VR_and_Tall_Grass.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:23pm PST

All the sudden it's November and we find ourselves in the thick of release season. This week we took a break from delivering packages long enough to do an in-progress check-ins on Luigi's Mansion 3, The Outer Worlds, and Death Stranding. Now that I think of it, Gooigi seems like the sort of thing that would be right at home in a Kojima game.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_548_-_Strands_Gooigi_and_Outer_Worlds.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:22pm PST

The decade is almost over and we've come a long way since Y2K crashed our computers and sent modern civilization spiralling towards a Mad Max Oblivion. This week on the EXP Pocast, we discuss the games that got us through the last 20 years and why picking our favorite or the most important games of the 21st century is so damn hard.

 - Runtime: 36 min 16 sec

- "The 50 Best Games of the 21st Century," by Keith Stuart and Keza MacDonald, via The Guardian

- Music from the The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening soundtrack

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_547_-_21st_Century_Greats.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:13pm PST

Rise and shine, adventurers! Your dream has come true: a debrief on this year's Link's Awakening remake. We ask the hard-hitting questions: Who is this game for? Has Breath of the Wild ruined everything? Why would a banana man want dog food? Don't worry about it too much; just enjoy the adorable tilt-shift goodness.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_546_-_Links_Awakening_debrief.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:43pm PST

We are back after a brief work/life-induced hiatus! And we brought an obnoxious feathered friend with us and... uh... also a girl on a motorcycle.

This week on the EXP Podcast, we review Untitled Goose Game and Sayonara Wild Hearts in a double debrief! While very different, both games are well worth your attention. Especially if you're into either A) pop albums or B) being just a total asshole to strangers.

Show Notes:

 - Runtime: 38 min 57 sec

- Music from the Sayonara Wild Hearts OST and Untitled Goose Game Trailer

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_545_-_Sayonara_Untitled_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:21pm PST

If there is one thing I've learned from years working at a white-collar job, it's to never underestimate the destructive power of a thrown office chair. This week on the EXP Podcast, we toss around all kinds of office equipment using the telekinetic power in Control, the latest game from Remedy Entertainment. 

For good and bad, this is an interesting game full of excellent ideas (some of which are readily available online via the SCP Foundation). Give the episode a listen and send us email with your thoughts on the game!

Show Notes:

 - Runtime: 46 min 45 sec

- Music from the Control OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_544_-_Control_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:50pm PST

Our 6-part Final Fantasy VII debrief comes to a close this week as the dust settles on Sephiroth's reign of terror! We share some potentially controversial opinions on the conclusion to one of the most beloved RPGs of all time, craft some fan fiction of our own, and ponder what the remake holds for players still smitten with FF7 nostalgia.

Show Notes:

 

- Intro and fight scene music from the Final Fantasy VII OST

- Outro from "Black Materia" by Mega Ran

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_543_-_Final_Fantasy_VII_Debrief_Part_6.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:05pm PST

Dear listeners, Jorge has reached a critical point in his continuing mission, his trek through the stars if you will: the holodeck. This seminal piece of science fiction tech was inspired by and in turn has inspired the types of video games we play and how we even conceive of a virtual world. This week we dig into the concept of the holodeck, something that is simultaneously a blueprint and an source of aspiration for many of the games we play. Also: Jorge correctly and impressively predicts the holodeck-related plots of many Star Trek episodes that he has yet to watch.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_542_-_Hangin_on_the_Holodeck.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:18pm PST

We are back in the cockpit of the Highwind this week in our continuation of our Final Fantasy VII debrief. Our adventure has taken us up to the stars and down to the deep recess of the ocean. Also, we killed a big ol' kaiju.

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 46 min 38 sec

- Music from the Final Fantasy VII OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_541_-_Final_Fantasy_VII_Debrief_Part_5.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:04pm PST

Another month, another Nintendo Direct full of the hottest, most delectable morsels a person could ask for.  Or at least that's the case for fans of Terry Bogard (you weirdos).  This week we offer our takes on all of the recent announcements as well as try our hand at some international cultural analysis by way of region-specific Smash character requests.  Apparently there's a huge diversity of opinion out there, except when it comes to Kingdom Hearts.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_540_-_Terry_Bogus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am PST

The fall season of games fast approaches and we've got some fresh (albeit mediocre) beats to discuss. This week on the Podcast, we chat about RemnantControlPathologic 2Cadence of Hyrule and few other things to come. Got a game you're loving right now? Send us an email and tell us about it!

 

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_539_-_Beats_and_Bugs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:57pm PST

We're back in the saddle...the chocobo saddle! This week it's part 4 of our Final Fantasy VII debrief. Things are really heating up at this point what: startling revelations about Cloud's past, honest-to-goodness kaiju, and hidden menu options all make huge impacts. And speaking of huge, check out this materia! I mean I've seen big materia before, but this is just huge.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_538_-_FF7_part_4.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:25pm PST

Google held another big announcement recently revealing some pricing around their games streaming platform and an assortment of games that will appear on the platform when it soft-launches this year and becomes fully available sometime in 2020. Google has lofty ambitions, but does the messaging live up to the dream? 

This week on the EXP Podcast, we help sell Stadia to all the boys and girls of the world!

 

Shownotes:

- Runtime: 39 min 00 sec

- "Google still has no idea how to pitch Stadia" by Ben Kuchera, via Polygon

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_537_-_Selling_Stadia.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:31pm PST

Bust out your grill and put some sandals over those socks, Guardian: it's time to build the dad loadout. This week, we discuss the phenomenon of the "dad build." It's a concept that has arisen from players pursuing in-game equipment that is useful but also attainable in the hopes that they can stay competitive without having to neglect their real-world responsibilities.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_536_-_Dadstiny.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52pm PST

Like his feudal warrior class namesake, Ninja - one of the biggest gaming streamers on the internet - has disappeared and reappeared on a different platform. It seems like a minor thing for a gaming culture celebrity to move from one service to another, but it could be a sign that Microsoft is setting the stage for retaking their place at the forefront of the gaming culture landscape.

Or maybe Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is so damn he rich he can just do whatever he wants!

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 34 min 06 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_535_-_Mixer_Ninjutsu.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:32pm PST

Look out Jigglypuff mains: your precious ledges are being taken away from you! This week, we talk about an upcoming Smash Bros. tournament with a new rule meant to tamp down defensive play. It's a small change, but it brings up big questions about esports, tournament rules, and overall game balance.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_534_-_Air_Bud_Dilemma.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:36pm PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we duck, dive, and dodge our way through the endless levels available in Super Mario Maker 2. We are both big fans of the first game on this show and we're thrilled not just to talk about the new features and experiences available in the latest game - but to invite you to try our levels as well!

Find Scott's levels Mario Maker code SWD-HY5-1HG and my levels at JH4-TKG-DRG. If you've got some levels to try, send us an email!

- Runtime: 42 min 34 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_533__Super_Mario_Maker_2_Debrief.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:09pm PST

The sun is shining, the fireworks are popping, and I'm desperately trying to avoid the genetically engineered ultra-mosquitos released by one of the many tech CEOs/super-villains that live on the west coast. That's right, it's summer and with it comes a specific set of games that just feel right during those long warm days. Seasonal gaming is a topic we've covered before, but this time to dissect a recent Esquire list and revisit some of our historical summertime picks.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_532_-_Summer_Gaming_2019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55pm PST

From the red stone bluffs of Cosmo Canyon to the strange "underwater" ruins of the Forgotten City, we continue our journey through Final Fantasy VII in Part 3 of our ongoing debrief. This week we experience one of, if not the, most important deaths in video game history. But is it how we remembered?

 

- Runtime: 52 min 15 sec

- Music from Final Fantasy VII OST

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_531_-_Final_Fantasy_VII_Debrief_Part_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm PST

It wasn't so long ago that we were seriously questioning the future of the single player game. "All those multiplayer live games are taking our precious single player games!" we wailed. Fast forward a couple years and single player, predominantly story-based games are thriving on both the indie and big publisher sides of spectrum. But, as Daniel Friedman points out, games like Anthem, Destiny, and Apex Legends are struggling to keep the pace and find the space needed to compete against the Fortnite juggernaut. Take a break from grinding through your battle pass and take a listen!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_530_-_Live_Game_Long_View.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am PST

The yearly gaming extravaganza of E3 has come and gone! But was it really that extravagant? With EA, Activision, Sony, and Microsoft all absent from the show floor, we had a lot more space to sit on couches and think about the handful of 2019 games that we're excited to see. Join and let us know what games you were excited by (or disappointed by) from E3 this year!

 

- Runtime: 53 min 51 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_529_-_E3_2019_Debrief.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55pm PST

This week we make use of the calm before the E3 storm to check in on some of the games we've been playing.  Space-faring AI, paper craft dinosaurs, samurais, t-blocks, and a whole shit ton of rats all make an appearance.  It's been a pleasantly surprising year so far and we're not even halfway done.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_528_-_Swarm_of_Games.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am PST

The hottest next-gen console is here. It's small, yellow, and has a crank. 

 

This week on the EXP Podcast, we discuss the strange little gaming console called the Playdate, a tinny little console that will launch with 12 games by some indie gaming luminaries. It's a boutique item for a niche audience, but is it right for us? And would we really want to shell out $150 just to get one?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_527_-_Playdate_Debate.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33pm PST

Your favorite game is more than likely watching and reporting on everything you do, but is that a problem?  I guess it depends on how much of a pro you are when it comes to pulling off 360 no-scopes and how strongly you feel about being identified as someone who likes to "do the Dew."  This week we explore the murky world of data mining and in-game telemetry.  It's a largely invisible part of our games that has quietly become ubiquitous, so Jorge and I try to confuse our algorithm overlords by shining a light on them.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_526_-_Data.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:05pm PST

It's time to win big $$$ at the Goldan Saucer this week folks! This week on the EXP Podcast, we continue our ongoing debrief of Final Fantasy VI, catching up with heroes as they flee Midgar in pursuit of Sephiroth. If you're playing along, this episode ends once we wrap up all the events at the coolest casino in video games.

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 51 min 58 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_525_-_Final_Fantasy_VII_Debrief_Part_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm PST

This week we dig into two recent news stories: The Valve Index VR system and the Sonic movie. While I'm a bit skeptical of each one in isolation, I just realized that combining the two would be a transcendent experience. Or one that might make you violently ill. I guess those things aren't mutually exclusive...

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_524_-_Sonic_Index.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:51pm PST

The father of handheld gaming was once a boy... a Game Boy. This week on the EXP Podcast, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Nintendo's Game Boy, discuss some of our most memorable experience with the hardware, and appreciate the console that ushered in a new era of portable gaming.

Show Notes

- Runtime: 39 min

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_523_-_Game_Boy_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:22am PST

Much like the World Cup, the Olympics, the movies themselves, Star Wars makes a strong showing on our podcast every few years. We're due to return to that far, far away galaxy and what better time to return? Details on Jedi: Fallen Order are coming in hot and the trailer for Episode 9 has all of us searching our feelings for answers. Listen in for some extremely nerdy references to lore and half-baked fan theories.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_522_-_Fallen_Order.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:02pm PST

Grab your materia and ready your chocobo listeners, we're headed to Gaia! This week on the EXP Podcast, we kick off the first in an ongoing debrief of Final Fantasy VII. If you are playing along with us (and you really should!), this episode reviews the beginning of the game through escaping Midgar. It's a renowned introduction to a game world - and for good reason.

Give it a listen and send us your thoughts via email. We'd love to know about your memories and experiences with Final Fantasy VII!

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 47 min 35 sec

- Music from the Final Fantasy VII OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_521_-_Final_Fantasy_VII_Debrief__Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29pm PST

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the katana are thirsty for blood, and we're playing some video games! This week we do a quick check in on some of the games we've been playing over the past few weeks. It's been a busy first quarter of the year apparently, as we're covering everything from FAR: Lone Sails, The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince, Baba is You, The Division 2, and (of course) Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_520_-_Springtime_for_Sekiro.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:52pm PST

OnLive is dead. Long live Google Streaming! We are back after a short hiatus to bring you thoughts on Google's announcement of Stadia, a games streaming service that looks is aiming to transform the way we buy, play, and sell video games. There's a lot to be excited about! But, we also have some big concerns - many of which are related to Comcast.

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 45 min 36 sec

- Music from Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_519_-_Stadia_Ready.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56pm PST

Despite all my rage, I am still just an massive silverback gorilla in a cage. What's this? A single weakened bar? Well this should get interesting.

This week, we debrief on Ape Out. Do yourself a favor: support your fellow primates and play this game.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_518_-_Ape_Out_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:26pm PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we say goodbye to Reggie, who will now spend all of his retirement getting good at Smash Bros. Ultimate, hitting the competitive circuit, and making children cry when they dunked on by Isabelle.

Also, the Detective Pikachu movie is coming out and it raises more questions than answers.

- Runtime: 37 min 21 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_517_-_Detective_Reggie.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40pm PST

Behold the modern battlefield: a dusty techno-future teeming with mercenaries and killer robots.  And then, from the heavens falls a mighty obelisk.  As it slots perfectly into place, the plateau you've been standing on evaporates.  The remnants rain down mercilessly on your opponents and you think to yourself: "Maybe I should go make some Mario levels instead."

 

This week we do a check in Apex Legends, Tetris 99, and some highlights from the latest Nintendo Direct.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_516_-_Direct_Battle_Royal.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Time is a flat circle and in this timeline, we're playing Resident Evil 2... again. As of today, we'll also be playing Final Fantasy 9 again, which is great because it gives us a JRPG to play while we wait for Final Fantasy 7 - the game that came out before FF9 but whose remake will come out first and may or may not be a significant departure from what the game actually was ORIGINALLY!

Phew... But will Final Fantasy be around in 100 years? You tell us!

 

Show notes:

- Runtime: 34 min 14 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_515_-_Re-Re-Remix.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:57pm PST

Sometimes, you just accidentally stumble backwards into a podcast theme.  What do Anthem, Travis Touchdown, and apologetic Nintendo execs all have in common?  They're cool dudes in cool suits of course!  Listen in for some impressions on Anthem, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, and some Metroid Prime 4 news.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_514_-_Cool_dude_check_in.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:26pm PST

This week on the EXP Podcast, we debrief the artfully crafted Gris, one of our top contenders for prettiest game of 2018. The first game from Nomada Studios, Gris brings a ton of inspiration from Journey, drawing not just themes, but almost entire sequences - so you can imagine why Scott and I would be so interested in this game. Check out the podcast then try out the game and let us know what you think!

- Runtime: 36 min 52 sec

- Music from the Gris soundtrack

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_513_-_Gris_Debrief.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:57pm PST

We've finally reached the end of the long, dusty trail partners.  But what did we find at the end of our journey?  A dead end?  Redemption?  A nice pre-fabricated house?  This week, we do a full debrief on Red Dead Redemption 2.  We cover everything from the UI to spoiler-filled character arcs, so saddle up!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_512_-_RDR_2_debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PST