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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

 Show Notes:

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

- Runtime: 39min 07sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 34 min 57 sec

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

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 - Runtime: 40 min 5 sec

 - Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

 

 - Runtime: 54 min 13 sec

 - Music by Brad Sucks

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

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 51 min 58 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

Show Notes

- Runtime: 39 min

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Runtime: 37 min 21 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Show notes:

- Runtime: 34 min 14 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

2018 is over but before it's out of site we're going to take a quick look in the rear view mirror.  As always, there were some great games that didn't make it into our GOTY-cast.  This week, we give them their due and ponder another important question: should we call this show "The Leftoveys" or have I truly snapped?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_510_-_2018_Leftoveys.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

It's late December and you know what that means: it's Gamey season!  There are many contenders, but only a select few will contend for the illustrious title of being the Gamey-est game of 2018.  But don't worry, there are plenty of other categories to go around.  Husbandos, gear grinders, roommates and more are all up for grabs!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_508_-_2018_Gameys.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

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

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

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

Show Notes:

 

- Runtime: 33m 19s

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 41m

- Music from the Red Dead Redemption 2 Official Soundtrack

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

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

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

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

 

Show Notes:

 

- Runtime: 38m 57s

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Admit it. You hate Luigi.

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

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 31m

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

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 37m 21s

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Show Notes:

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

- Runtime: 36 mins 10 sec

- Music by Brad Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 64 mins 38 sec

- Music from the Nier Automata OST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All this and more in another EXP Podcast!

 

Show Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Show Notes:

 

- Music by Brad Sucks

- Runtime: 44 mins 35 sec

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

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

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