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

This week on the EXP Podcast, we check in on Kojima's podcast - apparently there's a robot? We also dive into some news and games from Nintendo and Sony. Where will it take us? Let's fall out of the sky with Link and aim for somewhere good.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_678_-_New_Games__Kojima_Check-in.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:03pm PDT

We journey the land of dream and wander backwards through games to find the source text upon which they're based. Some have changed wildly, many for the better!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_676_-_From_the_Source.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:33am PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, we say goodbye to a rarely used features on the PS5: Accolades. Is praise for your opponents dead?

 

Show Notes:

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_674_-_Goodbye_Accolades.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:46pm PDT

Corporate machinations make for some strange arguments. This week in bizzaro mergers and acquisitions land, Microsoft is trying to downplay any potential regulatory roadblocks to the Activision deal by threading a hilarious needle: Call of Duty (while clearly valuable enough to be worth billions of dollars) isn't important enough to put them into anti-monopoly danger. Sony is of course twisting the knife and claiming Call of Duty is an "essential" franchise within the gaming sector and beyond. Regardless of who wins, we decided to take it as an opportunity to talk about the long-running franchise, its current influence, as well as what other franchises seem essential in today's landscape.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_673_-_essential_cod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:28pm PDT

Get our your cat ears and ready your fursona, it's time to talk about Stray, a game all about being a cat, hanging out with robots, and knocking things off shelves.

Show Notes:

* Music from the Stray OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_672_-_Stray_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:52am PDT

Well it figures: we voice our doubts about God of War Ragnarok's release date and Sony turns around and dunks a 2022 date right in our faces. We were both totally surprised by the news, which got us thinking about other big and unexpected video game releases from past years. This week, we talk about some of the events that have slipped by our prognostication prowess and why they were such memorable surprises.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_671_-_Surprise.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:21pm PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, it's co-op puzzlers, action puzzlers, and a curiously-named RPG from the early 90s. We are chatting about some games we've been playing!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_670_-_Neon_White_Live_Alive_and_We_Were_Here_Forever.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:13pm PDT

For all its troubles, E3 has still managed to leave a vacuum in its absence. But just like nature, the game industry abhors a vacuum and plenty of summer previews have rushed in to take place. This week we talk about Summer Game Fest, the Xbox showcase, and various other announcements. We also get very philosophical about space, much to nobody's surprise.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_669_-_summer_games_fest_2022.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:22am PDT

Sonic fans are back at it again, this time demanding Sonic go...slow? Also on this week's podcast, we chat about Resident Evil coming to Netflix with a new live-action TV series and some of the cool looking games from Sony's most recent State of Play!

Show Notes:

* Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_668_-_Another_Sonic_Facelift.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:44pm PDT

By the time you're done reading this sentence, someone has purchased Mario Kart 8. This week, we take a look at the NPD group's list of 2022's best selling games to date. Figuring out true sales numbers is an imperfect science these days, but if this is even somewhat accurate, it means that a whole lot of you out there are could be best described as "Tarnished."

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_667_Top_Sellers_So_far.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:09pm PDT

It's episode 666 (mark of the beast!), which means it's time to throw the horns and get down with the devil. This week on the podcast, we chat about devilish and demonic video games.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_666_-_Straight_to_Hell.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:31pm PDT

It's time again for us, our children, and our children's children to throw ourselves into the castle that is Rogue Legacy 2. It's been ages since the last game game out - and over 420 episodes, so there are some major changes. But does it reignite our passion and meet the standards of today's Rogue-lites?

All this and more in this week's debrief!

Show Notes:
- Music from the Rogue Legacy 2 OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_664_-_Rogue_Legacy_2_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:25pm PDT

After watching the recent Batman movie, we came to a couple conclusions: 1) Batman's gamer tag is probably "V3ngence_420" and 2) there are some very interesting parallels between this latest cinematic take on the caped crusader and recent video game portrayals. This week we dive into the movie as well as various Batman games and how they've built on such an iconic character.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_663_-_The_Batman.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT

An update to the last podcast, Sony has updated their subscription policies and offerings and it's honestly getting better. Also, Netflix had a very bad week. Will they really invest heavily in gaming in the near future? Subscribe to find out!

Show Notes:

- Music by Brad Sucks
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_662_-_The_Forever_Streaming_Wars.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:21pm PDT

This week we're dipping into some recent and headlines around game difficulty as well as the difficulty of putting on a physical event in the year 2022. Games like Eldin Ring and Tunic are still very much top of mind and their popularity has brought people to revisit how best to navigate the balance between challenge and letting players experience all a game has to offer. Back on the release and conference front, we talk about some MIA Nintendo games as well as the increasingly unpredictable future of everyone's favorite reason to escape from LA: E3.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_661_-_Difficulty_and_Delays_in_the_news.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:39pm PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, we fight hordes of monsters in the bullet-hill homage to Castlevania - Vampire Survivors. We also revisit and share some closing thoughts on Tunic and Elden Ring. Now, on to the Pacifist Pete run!

Show Notes:
- Music by Brad Sucks and Vampire Survivors

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_660_-_Vampires_Maps_and_Miquella.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:49pm PDT

The video game subscription scene got a bit more crowded this week after Sony revealed their new PlayStation Plus tiers. It's clear they're leaning into the retro angle as well as streaming games, but how does it compare to what Microsoft and Nintendo are doing? This week we do some analysis as well as grapple with the tangled web of monthly recurring bills that has come to comprise the bulk of our entertainment budgets.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_659_Playstation_plus_premium.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:06am PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, we get into Tunic - an adorable little homage to Zelda that actually seems pretty difficult. We also get back on the Elden Ring horse (Torrent, I guess), and explore what makes this game, or all Souls games, special.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_658_-__Oops_All_Castles.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:52pm PDT

It's back to the beginning to discuss some of the best intros. Inspired by this Top 13 list, we talk about our own favorite introductions and why if you're new to the Souls franchise and playing Elden Ring you should really jump into holes.

 

Show notes:
* Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_656_-_The_Best_Intros.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:07pm PDT

Gather round, fellow Tarnished, and let us trade tales of accidentally falling off cliffs, getting one-shotted by weird tree monsters, and compulsively picking berries. Elden Ring is here and it's time to do an initial debrief on our early hours with the game. It appears to be a massive undertaking, so we will likely do subsequent check ins as we progress. For now though, let's enjoy a moment of peace in our very own site of lost grace.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_655_-_Elden_Ring_debrief_part_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:52pm PDT

The Elden Ring is almost here, which means we are just biding our time with some video games and honing reflects and patience. This week on the Podcast, we speculate about what's coming in Elden Ring and follow-up with some thoughts on Sifu, the new Kung-Fu inspired brawler, and Subnautica, an older but fascinating deep-sea survival game.

Show Notes:

- Music by Brad Sucks
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_654_-_Sifu_Subnautica_andThe_Elden_Wait.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:33pm PDT

What if they made a Pokemon game where Pokemon actually roamed the countryside? What if you could actually interact or be attacked by wild Pokemon? What if catching 'em all involved stealthy, precision pokeball tosses? Sometimes we think about the alternate history or hypothetical tangents our favorite franchises and genres could take. This week, we use Pokemon Legends: Arceus as a starting point to discuss what happens when an established idea or approach takes an unusual turn. Is it everything we hoped for or should we be careful about we wish for? All I know is that, no matter what the future holds, I have an army Bidoofs at my disposal.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_653_-_Pokemon_what_if.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:54pm PDT

Just when you thought tipping your barista 20% was spending big, Microsoft shocked the industry spending well over 60 billion (yes, BILLION) on an acquisition of Activision-Blizzard. Now Sony's getting in with a Bungie acquisition. This week on the podcast, we talk about the big industry buyouts!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_652_-_Big_Industry_Buyouts.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:47pm PDT

Time to jack in! Now that all the game of the year and new year's talk is out of the way, it's time to get back to what really matters: The Matrix. Between Resurrections' divisive reception and the recent Unreal 5 demo, Neo and friends have been top of mind. This week, we debrief about how video games and the Matrix intersect and evolve together. Whether we still know kung fu is up for debate.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_651_-_The_Matrix_Resurrections.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:50pm PDT

We are back from our short year-end hiatus ready to blast forward into 2022. Which means it's time to talk about some of our most anticipated games of this year, many of which may not come out, well, ever! From little indie darlings to major blockbusters, this is shaping up to be another great year to play all kinds of diverse and interesting games.

Show Notes:

* Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_650_-_The_Year_Ahead_2022.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:11pm PDT

It's 2022, but we haven't quite finished the last crumbs of 2021 yet. This week, we partake in the annual tradition of delicious leftovers: games that we didn't quite get to on our games of the year show. I wonder what a Lombax's favorite dessert is and whether it's easy to microwave?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_649_-_2021_Leftovers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:11pm PDT

The year is finally over, which means it's time to count down our top games of 2021! It has been a wild year, with a ton of diverse and interesting games that caught our attention. Have a favorite game you want to shout out? Send us an email with your favorites!

Show Notes:

- Music by Brad Sucks
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_648_-_2021_Games_of_the_Year.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:22am PDT

The end of the year GOTYs are almost here! Wwhich means we are frantically playing as many games as we can before 2021 is over. This week, we review a few different indies, from a far-flung sci-fi future to a fantasy animated adventure.

Don't forget to tune-in over  the holidays for our yearly Gamey Awards, our top games of the year, and the year ahead!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_646_-_Solar_Ash_Kena_and_Unsighted_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:22am PDT

From the beautiful vistas of Piltover to the decrepit alleys of Zaun, there is a lot to explore in the latest video game adaptation to grace our television and the front page of Netflix. This week on the EXP Podcast, we join our good friends Jinx, Vi, Jayce, and a few other characters from League of Legends as we review Arcane, a new animated series of Riot Games.

Is this the new pillar of video game adaptations?

Show Notes:

* Music from the Arcane OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_644_-_Arcane_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:14pm PDT

If there are two things Jorge and I are comforted by, it's dinosaurs and pixel art. This week, we get to partake in both as we share some initial impressions on Jurassic World Evolution 2 and Eastward. The seem different on the surface, but I'd argue that if both of them put us in the same happy frame of mind, then there must be some shared DNA. Dino DNA as Mr. DNA might say.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_643_Eastward_Jurassic_World_Evo_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:58pm PDT

Samus Aran is back... but in a dreadful state! This week on the EXP Podcast, we hop into Metroid Dread and empty our salvo of missiles into the latest blend of side-scrolling horror-stealth.... uh.... Metroidvania-style thing.

Show Notes:

- Music from the Metroid Dread OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_642_-_Metroid_Dread_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:30pm PDT

Bloodborne as an alternate reality PlayStation 1 release? Nintendo does its classics dirty? Uncharted and the snake that ate its own tail? Alright I guess that's why Sony didn't ask for my advice in naming the movie. This week we catch up on some fall headlines as we start to gear up for the end of the year.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_641_-_demake.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:35pm PDT

We're back into the never-ending cycle of violence with Deathloop! This week on the show, we dive into a spoiler-filled discussion of Deathloop from start to finish, then back to start, then finish again... you get the idea.

Show Notes:
- Music from the Deathloop OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_640_-_Deathloop_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:04pm PDT

We're almost always a two-person show around these parts, but when it comes to games, it seems like four is the magic number. Inspired by a recent Polygon article about why so many multiplayer games anchor around a four-player concept, this week is all about quad squads. Is it technology or society that has us hooked on four as a sweet spot? Look into the four chambers of your heart and decide.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_639_-_4_on_the_floor.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

The Forever-War against online toxicity continues and the latest victim may be All Chat. Riot Games recently announced they will be testing out a  new policy in which players can no longer text chat with the opposing team, calling it a "vehicle for toxicity." This week on the podcast, we jump right into that vehicle and drive around for a while to see how it feels with and without a direct line to the enemy team.

Show notes:
- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_638_-_Mute_All.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:54pm PDT

Check your watches: it's time to talk about time! This week we spend more than 12 minutes on Twelve Minutes (you're welcome) and do a brief check in on Deathloop. I think we manage to stop ourselves before we get too repetitive, but we'll let you be the judge of that. Judge of that. Judge of that...

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_637_12_min_and_deathloop.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:47pm PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, we cover some recent news stories that include intentionally playing a game slowly, historical simulations of slavery, the end of an arcade icon, and Star Wars!

Show Notes:

- Run time: 37 min 28 sec
- Music by Brad Sucks
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_636_-_Games_Done_Slow_and_More.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:22pm PDT

What's almost as good as playing games? Thinking about playing games! This week we do a recap of Sony's recent showcase and think about what it will be like to play some of the upcoming titles. Based off how this year and how development timelines are going, we're assuming we'll be playing them while wearing jet packs powered by cold fusion.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_635_-_PS_showcase_2021.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, we go back into the dungeon full of birds, bosses, and sexy swords. We are finishing off the discussion started in Episode 631 with a full debrief and spoiler discussion of Death's Door and Boyfriend Dungeon. Come on in for some smooches!

Show Notes:
* Music from Death's Door OST and Boyfriend Dungeon OST

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_634_-_Deaths_Door_and_Boyfriend_Dungeon_Debriefs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:35pm PDT

This week we fall back into our ruts. Or maybe it's not that dire and we're actually slipping on a comfortable pair of shoes? Whichever way you see it, the point is that we're creatures of habit and those habits tend to manifest in the way we play games. Be it our buying patterns or just how we manage in-game inventory, it's easy to slip into the same old patterns. Some are funny, some are annoying, and most are expensive in some way or another, so listen in and let us be examples of what not to do!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_633_-_Back_on_our_bullshit.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:54pm PDT

Everything is in Fortnite, even Martin Luther King Jr., and Fortnite is in everything, even Magic the Gathering. Today on the podcast, we explore what Fortnite has become, a larger-than-life conglomeration of fandoms, part music-venue, part game-engine, part ever-shifting IP. Is Fortnite becoming the most powerful and versatile gaming platform around today?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_632_-_Fortnite_Mania.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:15pm PDT

Sharpen your swords and your beaks: it's time to fight, but also to love. This week we talk about Boyfriend Dungeon and Death's Door. Both games caught our attention as well as imaginations. When it comes to weapon romance, what's your type? How does a crow wield daggers? Will we ever perfect our rolling abilities? All this and more will be revealed; just step through this not at all foreboding door.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_631_-_death_door_boyfriend_dungeon.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:32pm PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, we catch up on some recent hardware news about Valve's new handheld device: the Steam Deck. We share some reasons we might actually love this thing and some reasons why you might not. And well can we actually try it ourselves? Who knows!?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_630_-_All_Aboard_the_Steam_Deck.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:09pm PDT

The Olympics are bigger, more complicated, and more rules-heavy then ever. Is it almost time for esports to take the stage? OK, how about competitive tag at least?

Show Notes:

* Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_628_-_Gaming_for_Olympic_Gold.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:05pm PDT

Nintendo is back at it again with a confounding, exciting(?), and curious update to their Nintendo Switch hardware lineup. Stand aside Switch Lite! Out of the way Nintendo Pro! Let's give an exciting applause for the Nintendo Switch OLED Model. That's right it's... *checks notes* slightly bigger!

Join us this week to have some jolly fun and discussing what we do find exciting about incremental upgrades.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_626_-_Nintendo_Kickstand_Hype.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30pm PDT

Ghost of Tsushima, Sony goes on a buying spree, Magic loses its...magic? The long, protracted summer of game announcements continues! Who would have guessed that a severely altered and smaller E3 would actually succeed in scattering a bunch of game news spores across the entire month of June? Far be it from us to look a gift horse in the mouth. This week, we talk about everything from director's cuts to Internet conspiracy theories as we continue wade through the flood of announcements and rumors.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_625_-_directors_cut.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:02pm PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast we jump into some early mini-debriefs on some new games, including Insomniac's gorgeous Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart, Resident Evil Village, and a couple more older and upcoming treats.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_624_-_Ratchet_Village_Mini-Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:46pm PDT

The multi-day fever dream that somewhat resembled E3 is over. This week we survey some of the notable announcements. These takes are so hot that you'd need the world's most powerful mini fridge to cool them down. Lucky for you: your friends at Microsoft have just the solution.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_623_-_e3_2021.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:06pm PDT

This week we hop onto the Pokémon Snap train... that slow, trudging train though a bizarro zoo, and report back with our findings. We also gush about some upcoming chill games that caught our interest ahead of the big E3 weekend!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_622_-_Pokmon_Snap_and_Chill.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:13pm PDT

This week we take a breath between Returnal runs and before what is most definitely going to be a very weird E3 to talk about some news stories. Lots of loose talk swirling around about everything from new Final Fantasy games to new Valve hardware, so join us in the rumor mill. Just know that if anyone releases a semi-portable console with the form factor of a standard computer keyboard, they stole the idea from us.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_621_-_May_news_roundup.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:47pm PDT

Everywhere you look, Rogue-likes abound! What a time to be alive, then die, then be alive again. This week on the EXP Podcast, we review Returnal, discuss our favorite weapons, and tackle a challenging question: is Returnal too difficult?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_620_-_Returnal_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:39pm PDT

Heads up: you might think we've been podcasting drunk for the past couple weeks, but you're wrong. We're just tired. Doing the late night shifts can make it tough to stay awake, but that's where we seize the opportunity to catch up on some games. But not all games perform equally well under the hazy darkness of the wee hours. This week, we dig into the games that keep us up and are as satisfying as that late night sleeve of Ritz crackers that I totally didn't eat while standing over the kitchen sink.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_619_-_Staying_awake.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:15pm PDT

We're back! And just in time to defend Earthrealm from Outworld. This week, we go to the movies (by way of our couches) and debrief on the newest Mortal Kombat movie. Blood, guts, and fan service abound!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_618_-_MK_2021.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

This week on the EXP Podcast, we venture into the spooky Alps of Mundaun, get dizzy looping through Loop Hero, and mend a relationship in It Takes Two!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_617_-_Mundaun_Loop_Hero_and_It_Takes_Two.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:26pm PDT

It's time to travel back to the far flung past to analyze a pseudo-future that never came to pass. But don't worry, you have expert guides at your disposal: Jorge and I came of age in this world of virtual insanity. Ah, yes: Y2K (and the adjacent years). Inspired by a recent article from Fanbyte, we don our cyber goggles and strap on our fish-eye lenses to examine the Y2K aesthetic, its legacy, and its rediscovery.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_616_-_Y2K_Aesthetic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:45pm PDT

Out of the way Michael Jordan, we've got a new set of Hall of Famers! Today on the EXP Podcast, we celebrate the latest finalists vying for a spot in the Strong Museum's Video Game Hall of Fame. We also question the purpose for a Hall of Fame, veto some games off the list, and submit our own entries in the category.

Show Notes:

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_615_-_The_Hall_of_Fame.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:28pm PDT

Hey, far be it from me to criticize someone for quitting. Walking away from something is a great feeling. But when that "something" is Journey, I just have scratch my head. This week, we talk about why people seemed to play through Ghosts of Tsushima all the way to the end while leaving other open world games unfinished. This quickly leads us down a rabbit hole of trophy stats and psychoanalysis to figure out why, after purposely getting a game, so many folks walk away.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_614_-_Endgame_exit.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

There is one fruit that reigns above all others. A fruit whose protective peel hides untold possibilities for play. Is there any other fruit that can play a pivotal role in the future of gaming? No, say I, and Sony agrees. This week on the EXP Podcast, we talk about patents, peripherals, and bananas.

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 38 min 38 sec
- Music by Brad Sucks
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_613_-_Banana_Controllers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:28pm PDT

You hear that? It's the sound of a jet pack gone quiet. Last week BioWare announced it's intention to shut down Anthem's relaunch, leaving us to wonder "What if?" This week, we go down the "what if?" road not just for Anthem, but for other games that seemed to have potential. We can't help but think that somewhere there's an alternate universe where we're all playing 1 vs. 100 and reading all of the GOTY awards for Cyberpunk. Maybe Anthem was the key to it all?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_612_-_Anthem_Almost.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:39pm PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

 

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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

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

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

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