This is an updated version of the earlier ‘Best Video Game Podcast’ post I made on April 18, 2008. I have listened to, and abandoned, many video game-related podcasts. Those listed below have survived the culling and, with one exception, are recommended without hesitation. At the bottom I list the deadpool – formerly good podcasts that are now deceased or reincarnated.
Listen Up is the successor to the 1Up Yours Podcast. Oddly, the name was changed after 1UP.com was purchased by UGO Networks in January 2009, but the format and content is largely the same. It ‘airs’ Friday evenings. The show is still hosted by Garnett Lee, but most of the former cast (who make occasional guest appearances) have moved on to other things: Luke Smith – now with the Bungie podcast; Bryan Intihar -now with Insomniac Games; Dan ‘Shoe’ Hsu – now on permanent vacation; John Davison now at what they play; and Shane Bettenhausen, now Director of Business Development at Ignition Entertainment. Despite the constant cast changes, Garnet continues to provide an interesting set of revolving guests that consistently provide an entertaining and informative podcast week-in and week-out. My original 1Up Yours criticism still remains – the show is often too long and the interesting content (ie: the news) is usually held back to the the end. Not quite as good as it was when the old cast was there, but still the best video game podcast out there.
The CO-OP podcast (pictured above), continues on where the cancelled The 1Up Show left off. It shares the same cast and terrific production crew. It’s still my favorite video podcast. It provides a comprehensive set of visual video game previews and reviews. It also features interviews with industry luminaries and provides trade show coverage. If you want to watch a video game before purchase, this is the best place to do it. This video podcast comes in small and large sizes (3x the size) suitable for viewing on the iPhone/iTouch and AppleTV respectively.
When Luke Smith abandoned the 1Up Yours podcast to become Bungie’s pool boy, a Bungie podcast became inevitable. This ‘insider’ podcast was launched just prior to Halo 3’s launch in September 2007. While the podcast’s frequency is irregular (sometimes months go by between episodes), it is almost always interesting. The podcast features ‘behind the scenes’ discussions with everyone at Bungie from level designers, graphic artists to Marty O’Donnell (music). Even for non-Halo fans, this is a very interesting podcast given its unique ‘insider’ perspective.
Yes, I know its de-rigueur to criticize Major Nelson (Larry Hryb) as a Microsoft shill. Despite his being a Microsoft insider (and being a bit pompous), I find his podcast to be consistently professional, informative and interesting. It has improved since Xbox Live Ops Manager ‘e’ (Eric Neustadter) joined as co-host last fall. It’s a consistent, high-quality source of Microsoft/Xbox 360 and Xbox Live information from a semi-official source.
The X-Play TV show is/was difficult to watch. The TV show repeats a dozen or more times per week. Prior to the podcast, I had set my TiVo to record it. But I spent most of my time pruning the repeats and fast forwarding through it to find reviews of games I was interested in. The X-Play Daily Video Podcast is a welcome substitute to the TV show. As with the TV show, it is hosted by Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb. The podcast is a sliced and diced version of the TV show. Each episode consists of individual video game reviews or guest interviews featured on the TV show – but cut out and distributed piecemeal as individual podcasts. This is quite useful. Since each podcast is labeled with the name of the video game being reviewed or the personality being interviewed, I can delete the podcasts I’m not interested in and watch only those that do. I still prefer The 1Up Show video podcast, but X-Play’s 1-game-1-show format is quite good for honing in on games of particular interest.
‘Honorable’ …. Umm … Mention:
The Joystiq podcast is not very good. I am including it here because I consider the underlying Joystiq blog to be the most useful general video game blog on the Internet. If I’m pressed for time and can only review one video-game related blog, it will be the Joystiq blog. The podcast is less professional than those listed above. The podcast is particularly annoying because the hosts, Chris Grant, Ludwig Kietzmann and Justin McElroy are seemingly genetically unable to string two or three sentences together without the incessant use of ‘umm’ and "ahhh’. While these guys are generally knowledgeable and good natured hosts the umm’s and ahh’s drive me to distraction. Guys, take a public speaking course — please! I listen to this podcast only if I have nothing else to listen to and want back-ground chatter to fill the empty space.
The following video game podcasts are no longer with us.
The 1Up Yours Podcast:
This is was my favorite video game podcast. It ‘aired’ Friday evenings. Despite its continuous personality turnover (Luke Smith; Bryan Intihar; Dan ‘Shoe’ Hsu), Host Garnett Lee, with Shane Bettenhausen, John Davison and a revolving set of guests consistently provided an entertaining and informative podcast week-in and week-out. I’m sad to see it, and its former cast no longer around.
The. Game Theory Podcast :
The Game Theory podcast (previously the Next-Gen.biz podcast) was a terrific weekly video game podcast – my second favorite. While 1Up Yours was strong in games coverage, the Game Theory podcast’s strength lied in its broader industry coverage. Gary Whitta & Colin Campbell are veteran video game industry reporters who put on an engaging and enlightening podcast. And, there was something about their British accents that seemed to elevate it.
Unfortunately the show died on a whimper when they abruptly announced on their blog, in September 30, 2008, that the show was being cancelled because they didn’t have time for it any more.
With the demise of the Game Theory podcast, I’m looking for recommendations for an alternative video game industry podcast, as opposed to video game review-type coverage. Any suggestions?
The EGM Live Podcast:
The Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine put together this weekly podcast. It typically "aired" on Tuesdays. As yet another Ziff Davis podcast, it shared an overlapping set of guests with the 1Up Yours and The 1Up Show. It’s host Jen Tsao did a reasonably good job of keeping the show interesting. Frequent contributors include Michael Donahoe, Greg Ford, Garnett Lee and Shane Bettenhausen.
This podcast was cancelled and replaced with the 1UP FM Podcast. The cast changed with the name. After a few episodes I abandoned the 1UP FM Podcast. It was too infantile for my tastes. Along with several other Ziff Davis podcasts, it too was cancelled when purchased by Ugo Networks in January 2009. The hosts were laid off and started their own podcast, Rebel FM. Given that I didn’t enjoy the prior podcast I haven’t tried the new one.
Please let me know what your favorite video game podcasts are.
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