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

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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