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Checkpoint: Let’s Talk Podcasts 2011 Edition


Someone released an epic 4+ hour “clipshow” for 1UP Yours earlier this week. Since I missed out on the earlier years of 1UP Yours, this is a real treat.

Luke Smith exploded into many awesome rants, Garnett Lee was the butt of many age related jokes, Shane Bettenhausen was classic Mr. Sony and John Davison was incredibly wise. It was a great podcast which has yet to be topped for both entertainment and quality discussion.

But now we’re in 2011 and the gaming podcast scene has shifted dramatically. 1UP is no longer the go to source for podcasts for me. Now I have a new blend of weekly talk shows to keep me entertained and informed while at work:

Giant Bombcast – Tuesdays

Ryan Davis, Jeff Gerstmann, Brad Shoemaker and Vinny Caravella entertain more than they inform, but they execute the former incredibly well. I think these guys have a great chemistry together which enables them to pull off gag conversations and radio sketches superbly. I don’t always agree with their opinions on games, but they often back their opinions well which is all I ask for.

Nintendownload Express – Mondays

The Giant Bombcast used to go through the weekly Wii and DSi digital releases, but Ryan cut it since many of these releases weren’t worth the time. Jeff did not agree and thus began the NDX podcast! It’s a mock podcast where Jeff feigns (?) enthusiasm for Nintendo’s digital content. These podcasts are usually 40 minutes max and tend to entertain more than inform. If you’re looking for some wacky Gerstmann, you’ll find it here.

8-4 Play Podcast – Thursdays? Bi-Weekly?

This Japan centric podcast gives insight to both the strange world that is Japan and the business of localizing Japanese games. Mark Macdonald helms this podcast along with fellow employees John Ricciardi, and Hiroko Minamoto. Former NeoGAF moderator Sprsk is also there, but I don’t recall his full name at the moment. It’s a relatively young podcast, but it’s off to a great start and covers a segment of the gaming market that is often overlooked by mainstream Western gaming press nowadays.

This Is Only a TestThursdays

GiantBomb’s tech relative, Tested.com, puts out this weekly podcast discussing  the latest news rumors surrounding all sorts of computer tech and gadgets. I just started listening to this several weeks ago and it serves as a decent round up of all things tech. I wish they were a bit more accurate when it comes to specific details though. However, they make up for those oversights with the “Fake Outakes” segment where they casually discuss all sorts of science topics.

So those are the three podcasts in my weekly lineup. I think they’re all worth your time if you need something to help you get through the work week.

There is one notable omission and that’s Weekend Confirmed which I’ve dropped because it neither entertained nor informed. There was also a bit too much cynicism and negativity for my liking.

I finished Monkey Island 2 Special Edition yesterday. That sequel annoyed me to the point that I’ll probably ignore the subsequent installments and jump to the Telltale release of Tales of Monkey Island.

Dead Space 2 is nearing completion. Gameplay wise it’s solid with no glaring omissions, but I agree with others who’ve described this game as a “safe sequel”.

I’m still playing Marvel vs Capcom 3, but I don’t know what to make of it yet. There’s a lot of neat additions, but it also extends what I didn’t find appealing with Marvel vs Capcom 2.

As for new beginnings? I’ve started Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. It’s good. Very good. I was worried after playing “The Diabolical Box”, but so far this third installment is knocking it out of the park.

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