It's Time to Step Away

Over the last two years Jessi and I have accomplished more with this show than we ever imagined. We met some truly spectacular people, interviewed developers and were heard by tens of thousands of people. The kindness we received from those people has been shocking. There is a community that exists, largely on Twitter, that made all this so much more worthwhile.

I strongly believe that nothing should go on forever. Eventually anything will lose whatever made it special and it is far better for something to end while it is still good rather than to carry on in perpetuity and become a caricature of itself.

With all that said, I do not want XP Earned to "jump the shark." I want our 100 episodes to be exactly what they are - our best work. I am so proud of what we have made here and it is because of that fact that it must come to a close.

With all likelihood this is not "goodbye." Think of this as "see you later." XP Earned was Shane and Jessi's videogame show, but rest assured that we have more nonsense to spout when the time is right and when inspiration hits.

to the following:
Anthony Rossi
RockBottomReviews
Everyone involved with The Nerd Delegation
Thatguy_tool
Bob knarwhal
JT
PlaystationBrah
The Hidden Z
SBFVGS podcast
One track gamers
MegaDads
Something Something Cast
VGGenerations
Almost Better than Silence
Richard Rouse III
Dave crooks

And everyone else we missed, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for listening . We'll see you around ;)

Our Super-Ambitious Community-Powered Idea

You'll be here, Virtually!

You'll be here, Virtually!

What's a podcast without its listeners? Just some people talking to themselves. That's a sad thing.

The community that has sprung up around the show has been the single biggest factor to its continuation. Without you guys being vocal and interacting with us we would not have kept this thing alive. We feel like we have a special relationship with all of you and we want to try and give back in a small way. 

We have been asked many times when we're going to have another guest on the show and if it would be possible for that guest to be listener. So, we have thought long and hard about how to best so this and we think we have the answer.

We want to do an episode that is all community interviews and here is how it will work.

Come up with a topic you want to talk about with us, then using the submission box here on the site send that to us along with an email address where we can reach you. The topic can be almost anything that falls under the "nerd culture" umbrella. If you're accepted we will reach out to you to find a time to do a 10-15 minute Skype call with you. We'll compile all the little interviews into one awesome episode to be released at a later time. 

We look forward to hearing from you guys! Spread the word! 

My PlayStation Vita is Collecting Dust

When Sony announced their forthcoming sequel to the PSP, then called only NGP (Next Gen Portable), I was excited to say the least. PS Vita looked like the monster handheld that I had always dreamed of. Two real sticks, near-PS3 level visuals and a touch screen? What could possibly go wrong?

 

I am aware that between announcement and launch things got a little less exciting. Memory sticks costs entirely too much because Sony loves proprietary everything nearly as much as Apple and the 3DS got a massive price cut to counter. A lot of people’s excitement was cut proportionately to that 3DS cut, but not mine. I bought my Vita on launch day and never looked back.

 

That first year was magical. Uncharted, Gravity Rush, Sound Shapes, Unit 13, etc.. Over that first year I completed over 15 games on my beloved Vita and couldn’t be happier with the purchase. As it turns out, that was pretty much the peak of my love for my Vita and it would never reach such lofty heights again.

 

Over the next couple of years Vita would undergo a transformation. It became both the indie-fueled portable and the accessory to your PS4. Triple-A releases would die out like the dinosaurs and the ground would be littered with the small mammalian things that now inhabit the landscape. I realize that analogy got weird, but I’m committed to it now.

 

Don’t get me wrong here - I love a lot of indie games. Some of my favorite games have been indies. Guacamelee, 1001 Spikes and Rogue Legacy come to mind. There’s just something about the selection we’ve been getting and I wonder if it’s just me who just stopped caring. We get 2 or more free indie games every month and I can’t be bothered to play any of them. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure why that is. None of them grab me the way that those early games did.

 

For some reason I cannot quite explain there really hasn't been a Vita game that grabbed me by the throat and said "you're playing me" in a really long time. Is it the deluge of so-so indie games keeping me from spotting the diamond in the rough? Maybe.

 

More is not always better, I guess. It’s the same issue I had towards the end of PS3’s life cycle. I have close to 30 games on my account that I received for free that I know I will literally never play. There were just too many. I realize how that sounds. First world probs and all that internet meme garbage, but it’s true. There has to be pacing.

 

Games take time to complete! Especially when you work 40+ hours a week and you just don’t have time to marathon a game a month, let alone two. The way my brain works is that if I’m short on time I just won’t even bother starting it. I’ll go back to playing The Last of Us multiplayer because that takes literally no investment. Maybe I’m just getting old, but my Vita is too.


I’m sure Murasaki Baby is great and Futuridium EP Deluxe looks like something I should have eaten up, but I haven’t even had time to start that Exploding Zoo game or Hohokum yet and now Geometry Wars and Entwined just dropped!

Shane's thoughts on Microsoft and Sony at E3 2015

Before I get going I want to say "wow." This years showing from both companies was outstanding from start to finish. This was one of the most all-around enjoyable E3's for me and we aren't even done yet! 

Disclaimer: It's very hard for me to say who "won." This post mostly serves to give my thoughts on what hit and what missed for us, your gracious podcast hosts. Oh, and I'm not really going to mention non-exclusives because that's redundant.

Microsoft

Microsoft came out swinging this year with Halo 5: Guardians.  Co-op looked great and the audience seemed into it. You'll read this a lot as we progress through this, but I'm not a huge fan of the franchise. I realize that it's a big deal, and it sure looks slick, but I don't really care. 

After that we get a game from the Metroid Prime guys and Keji Inafune. What's not to love about Recore

I think the biggest piece of news for MS this year was next. Backwards compatibility. This is simply huge. The engineering that requires is stunning. 

Next up we got to see a weird controller that looked cool and is too expensive for me to buy, we learned that Fallout 4 mods will be hitting Xbox One (PS4 expected sometime to follow) and Foza looked as pretty as ever.

After a whole bunch of non-exclusives and indies that meh'd me, we looked at Tacoma and Ashen. Both looked very interesting and unique.  However, the indie that got my attention was Cup Head. Good lord, what a charming and beautiful looking take on 1930's animation. 

After the indies, they announce game previews ala steam early access and Rare Collection, which I want badly. Then they show Rare's new game, the pirate-themed Sea of Thieves which looked quite interesting.

The Minecraft Hololens demo was pretty mindblowing, if you ignore that it's probably crazy expensive and not all that useful looking past the "wow" factor. I was just as in awe as anyone though. That was one of the cooler moments for me.

Next up was Gears of War 4, another game in a franchise I'm frankly tired of seeing. Call me crazy, but I just can't be bothered at this point. The game was so dark I could hardly see anything anyways! 

All in all, Microsoft hit very hard and was extremely impressive.

Sony

Sony was up next and wasted little time shocking the world by showing actual footage of The Last Guardian, to many gasps. It actually looks really cool too! Crazy talk, I know, but I totally want that bird dog.

Guerrilla Games was next up with the simply stunning Horizon. Videogames. If you don't want to kill robot dinosaurs with a bow and arrow then I really have nothing to say to you at this point. This might have been my game of the show.

Street Fighter 5 got some love, which I couldn't give two shits about and then No Man's Sky blew my damn mind with its scale. This game is damn-near infinite. If the assets/mechanics don't repeat often it might be one of the most amazing games I have ever seen.

Media Molecule was out next to scare me with their uber creepy Dreams that apparently lets you make old men followed by Firewatch which looks awesome and very much up my alley. I'm definitely excited to play that one.

When Sony unveiled Final Fantasy 7 Remake the world gasped and I was unfazed.  I'm super happy for you guys though. Really. I am.

After a bunch of slick indies that I will consume and love with my heart they talked about Shenmue 3 which got funded $2 million in 12 hours.

Morpheus and Vue allowing people to buy individual channels were both neat. Price will be important though. Come on guys. Tell us already.

After than Sony steals Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 which was another one of those "I know this is a big deal, but I don't care" moments for me. Looks like Call of Duty. Yep.

They closed the show strongly with Uncharted 4: A Thief's End which proceeded to look simply amazing. That game is so gorgeous that you know exactly what they're showing immediately because nothing else looks that good. Oh, and we get to drive too!

Closing

All in all it was a solid show from both. Personally, I enjoyed the Sony show more, but I'm not really into Halo or Gears so that's not a surprise. What did you think of the sow?