Thumbstick Athletes

It's time for the annual, end of the year celebration of games...where we nominate some games, and tear down others.  We have some outlandish categories, like "Best Ambassador Game" and "Best Rainy Day Game."  We also fuel the fires of the console wars with "Most Valuable Console."  Then we have some more run-of-the-mill awards like "Best Indie Game" and GOTY. 

Direct download: thumbies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:20am EDT

The 20-teens are almost and it's time to decide on the Thumbstick Athletes Podcast's game of the decade.  We've been doing this since summer of 2011, so we've also been a Pod for most of the games we're talking about here.  First we go through and name our individual GotD, and use that as a starter for the ultimate TSA Podcast GotD.

Direct download: 436.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT

Up this week, a game from EA that's not a sports game or shooter....and it happens to be a Star Wars game.  Typically this spells disaster, but Fallen Order appears to be a bit of a victory for EA.  (Thank you Respawn!)  Eric and Corey play the first Star Wars game from EA that doesn't stink and relate their experiences with it.


Later in the episode we cover The Game Awards nominees, Halo Reach on PC, more Pokemon Sword and Shield, and LOTS of other things!

Direct download: 435.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

The first mainline Pokemon entry has finally reached the Nintendo Switch, so find out our thoughts on some of the additions (and subtractions) to the series.  Will is the resident Pokemon expert and played a TON over the past two weeks, so he has some good perspective on the new games.


Later on in the episode Dan talks a little about his vacation and GOG Galaxy 2.0 beta.

Direct download: 434_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:02am EDT

The Luigi's Mansion series is back, after what seems like a really long time, with Luigi's Mansion 3.  Our reluctant hero Luigi is tasked with saving his friends from the clutches of the The Last Resort hotel.  Dan is the only one that has played it to this point, so you hear his thoughts on the matter!

As for the rest of the episode, we talk about some of the XO19 announcements, The Outer Worlds, and Hearthstone Battlegrounds.

Direct download: 433.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11am EDT

For clarification purposes, this episode is about The Outer Worlds, developed by Obsidian and is a Fallout, Borderlands, and Mass Effect-esque RPG.  It's defined by it's interesting characters and entertaining dialogue and quest options, which mostly outshine some of the game's negatives.  Yes, Outer Worlds...not Outer Wilds.


Later in the episode we discuss our Extra Life stream, (you can still donate by the way) the Pokemon leaks and Luigi's Mansion 3

Direct download: 432_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:42am EDT

In addition to talking about the full release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare we also talk about the mobile version of the game, Call of Duty Mobile, which is quite good.  For Modern Warfare, you pretty much know what you're getting...a polished shooter with a huge playerbase and excellent competitive online.  Plus it seems the campaign is quite good also!

We also briefly touch on The Outer Worlds, the Borderlands/Fallout New Vegas-esque game from Obsidian that also rather excellent!

Direct download: 431.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23am EDT

Yikes...Bethesda has really stepped in it again with the announcement of Fallout 1st, a subscription to a game you already have to buy that's kind of expensive and doesn't seem to get you that much.  At least that's our take, but we use it as an opportunity to talk about some of the other great videogame subscription services like GamePass, Uplay+ and PS Now.


In other news, The Last of Us 2 was delayed, Shroud leaves Twitch for Mixer, Will played a lot of Persona 5 and Dan played a lot of Fortnite!

Direct download: 430.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

This episode is somewhat out of character for us, as we're all getting old and not keeping up with what the kids are playing nowadays...but something about the way Fortnite was taken down for a few days sucked us right in. 

Direct download: 429_ep.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15am EDT

We have our annual fall games preview for this week's episode...a few weeks later than usual.  At least with recording it this late, we have fewer games to cover, and there seems to be fewer releases in general this fall.  We have some heavy hitters like Call of Duty and Pokemon Sword and Shield, but other than that it more minor stuff and ports or remasters.  Our wallets will thank us!


Other than that, we talked about our return to Extra Life this year, Persona 5, Link's Awakening, Untitled Goose Game and more!

Direct download: 428.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51pm EDT

Thanks to Idaho Jake for this suggestion a few weeks ago, where we (and members of the chat) answer 50 gaming related questions.  Some examples are:

If you had to marry the last videogame character, who would it be?


Has a game's storyline ever made you cry?


What's your favorite game series of all time?


There's 47 other good questions there and we got tons of good answers from the chat!  Thanks to everyone who pitched in!


Since that was most of the episode, we only had a little to talk about for the other segments...Will talked a bit about Persona 5 and Astral Chain and Dan talked a little Mario Kart Tour and a tiny bit of Link's Awakening.



Direct download: 427.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10am EDT

This week's episode brings us back to the old days, as the remake of Link's Awakening brings up some surprisingly powerful memories.  Nintendo did such a great job of balancing the classic feel of the game while modernizing it, a tricky task for such a beloved game!


Later in the episode Corey talks about seeing Doug Stanhope perform stand up comedy, and Dan played Untitled Goose Game and Mario Kart Tour for his week.

Direct download: 426.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:16pm EDT

Borderlands 3 is finally out after what seems like forever...and also all the Thumbstick Athletes are all on the same episode after what seems like forever.  Corey and Eric played some Borderlands 3, and even together!  The good news is that it's more Borderlands, so you can kind of guess what that means, but they also threw in a few neat new modes for players to try.  Now it just needs to make it's way to Steam so Dan can be happy again.


Later on in the episode, Eric talks about his experiences with Gears 5 Horde mode and the Athletes decide that Link's Awakening will be next week's topic!

Direct download: 425.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:37pm EDT

Dan and Corey invite Shane and Brian onto the show this week to talk some Gears 5.  We say early impressions because we all mostly dabbled in the various modes Gears 5 has, since there's quite a few and it really is a complete package.  And to think we all played it mostly for free on Gamepass.


During "What We Played" Shane and Brian talk about Remnant: From the Ashes and Greedfall, while Dan talks a little more about Astral Chain.

Direct download: 424.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

Dan, Corey and Eric (Rephyr) played a fair amount of WoW Classic last week and discuss what the draw is for a game as antiquated as Vanilla WoW is at this point.  What's the draw?  Why is it so popular?


During "What We Played" Dan played a couple of new games in Astral Chain and Pokemon Masters.

Direct download: 423.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55pm EDT

Since this is a spoiler filled episode, where we discuss some of the significant happenings in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, we moved the main segment to the end of the feel free to listen up until I give the warning towards the end! 


Other than Black Eagles spoilers, we discuss some Gamescom news, Gears POP! and and at the VERY end of the episode, our plans for WoW Classic!

Direct download: 422.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

With a last minute change of plans, we decide to cover the games we're most likely getting this fall, Like Pokemon Sword and Shield, the new Call of Duty and The Outer Wilds.  We also took the opportunity to make a rough schedule on when we'll be doing an episode on the games we're getting, all the way through the end of November.


During "What We Played" we of course talked more Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Dan played Pokemon Uranium.

Direct download: 421.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm EDT

It's episode yeah, we cover the use of drugs in games.  From the burning of the marijuana fields in Far Cry 3 to downing some skooma in Skyrim, we talk about the surpisingly few games that have actual drug use in them.


Later on we of course cover Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Corey relates his experiences with Cultist Simulator and SteamWorld Dig 2.

Direct download: 420.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10pm EDT

The newest Fire Emblem, Three Houses is FINALLY out and it does not disappoint!  It's seriously oozing with content, and all really excellent content, making for a much deeper and more connected experience than we've had in awhile. 


Outside of that we talked a little more Super Mario Maker 2 and Dr. Mario World during what we played!

Direct download: 419.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT

With Fire Emblem: Three Houses just a night away, we decided it was a good time to revisit our favorite titles from this underutilized genre.  Yes....we do have Final Fantasy Tactics on the list.  Shut up about it, there are other games on the list too!

Direct download: 418.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42pm EDT

Since last week's episode was a semi-annual recap of the year's most important games, we didn't get a chance to cover some of the important news in gaming like we usually do.  We made up for it this week with an entire main segment devoted to the most breaking gaming the Switch Lite, Fire Emblem and Pokemon Sword and Shield news, and Ubisoft's new UPlay+ service.


During "What We Played" there is some more Super Mario Maker 2 talk, as well as first impressions of Dr. Mario World.

Direct download: 417.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:48pm EDT

Time for the annual Mid year recap...a refresher for some of the games we've covered earlier in the year.  This year we have excerpts from our episodes on Wargroove, Kingdom Hearts 3, Devil May Cry 5, Sekiro, and Fell Seal.

No nibblebits, feedback or "What We Played" for this week...but we'll get caught up on all that when we return to live episodes next week!

Direct download: 416.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20pm EDT

Super Mario Maker 2 is here, complete with new tools to create, new ways to play, and yes...a story mode.  Corey and Dan describe their first week with the game, trying most of SMM2 has to offer aside from the versus modes.  Later on in the pod, we discuss Harry Potter: Wizard's Unite and Summer Games Done Quick's outstanding new fundraising milestone.

Dan and Corey's Mario Maker 2 Levels:


Corey: Global Warming ID: 469-DPK-P2G

Dan: Participation Trophy 2 ID: 7BV-8FV-LDF

        Touchdown Boy 2 ID: M65-V8K-JKF

Direct download: 415.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42pm EDT

For this week we do something we don't often do, cover a mobile game for the main segment.  This time it's the Pokemon Go-esque Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.  Dan, Eric and Corey get their Quidditch brooms ready and....yeah, none of us know Harry Potter that well.  But the game is fun!


Immediately after the main segment Corey and Eric cover their games they've been playing, which include Cadence of Hyrule, Halo and Metro Exodus.

Direct download: 414.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31am EDT

If you ever wanted to be an intrepid space explorer from a backwoods alien civilization, Outer Wilds has you covered.  From the wooden launchpad to fellow astronauts strumming tunes on a banjo by a campfire on a distant oozes atmosphere.  It also finds a way to kill or maim you in a horrible fashion.  It's a must play!


Later in the episode, Dan and Val discuss the EA and Epic's defense of loot boxes and microtransactions, and they both played Cadence of Hyrule and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite!

Direct download: 413.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55pm EDT

While this year's E3 wasn't particular mind blowing, there were still some amazing moments to be had.  Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077 during Microsoft's press conference, the excitement of Ikumi Nakamura while she was announcing Ghostwire Tokyo, and of course the sequel to Breath of the Wild being announced.  Each show had at least something to be interested in!

Direct download: 412.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark does something that no game has done in quite awhile....scratch that hard-to-reach Final Fantasy Tactics itch.  Several have tried and failed, or just never came out.  (Unsung Story)  Fell Seal even improves upon the old formula with some modern quality-of-life improvements and runs really well even on old systems.  Can't wait for the Switch version!


We also cover today's Pokemon Direct, which revealed some more info on the Galar region, some new Pokemon, and the Dynamax system.  Some E3 news was touched on, and Dan gives brief first impressions of Outer Wilds.  

Direct download: 411.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29pm EDT

With no Sony or EA press conferences this year at E3, Microsoft really has the opportunity to go big.  Will we see Fable 4 announced, or the new console they've been working on?  Will Nintendo give us something other than Mario Maker 2 and Pokemon Sword and Shield?

During Nibblebits, Death Stranding gets a new trailer and release date, the WHO officially labels "Gaming Disorder" as a recognized illness, and what the heck is Pokemon Go Plus +?

We also give brief first impressions of Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark...which we will cover more in-depth next week.

Direct download: 410.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42pm EDT

The cultural juggernaut Game of Thrones wrapped up last Sunday night, so we figured it was a good time to cover the episode as a main segment instead of having it after the episode.  Turns out that was a good plan since the main segment alone ended up being over 90 minutes!  We could have easily gone on longer, but will probably figure out some way to incorporate Game of Thrones in the future.


Those who don't want spoilers can skip ahead to 1:33:00 for the beginning of our Nibblebits segment.


Will joins later on to discuss his illness and all the Horizon: Zero Dawn he's been playing.

Direct download: 409.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:18am EDT

Dan and Corey talk about RPG/CCG hybrid SteamWorld Quest, the next game in the SteamWorld universe from Image & Form Games.  It's an interesting blend of genres and gets quite a few things right. 

Later in the episode we cover Nintendo's most recent Nintendo Direct that focused on the upcoming Mario Maker 2.  In "What We Played" Corey gives some brief thoughts on Fell Seal, a Final Fantasy Tactics like strategy game that we're going to cover more in depth during an episode.

After the episode Dan, Val and Corey discuss the most recent episode of Game of Thrones...Season 8, Episode 5: The Bells.

Direct download: 408.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04am EDT

We've mentioned characters before that we'd like to see in Smash Ultimate, but decided to have an official episode to compile and immortalize characters we'd like to see make the DLC cut.  Obviously Cuphead and the character from Hollow Knight make the list since they're on the artwork for the episode, but there are others..some we've talked about before and others that go way off the board.


During "What We Played" Dan gives his first impresssions of Steamworld Quest, and Will played more Hollow Knight.


After the outro Dan, Val and Corey cover this week's Game of Thrones episode, The Last of the Starks!



Direct download: 407.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06pm EDT

It should go without saying, but this hangover episode contains spoilers for Season 8 Episode 3 of Game of Thrones....called The Long Night. 

Since Corey was asleep for our first episode of the GoT recap for this week, we recorded a second where he could get his thoughts in.  First Hangover in a long time!

Direct download: ep_406_Hangover.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:31pm EDT

Dan's household got the new Nintendo Labo VR for his oldest child's birthday, so naturally he used to it play Breath of the Wild first.  Guess what?  It's not as bad as games media is making out to be!  Though mostly used for BotW, we did use some of the other stuff that came with it, which is quite good.  During nibblebits we discuss Epic's acquisition of Psyonix and Rocket League and the Razer Toaster.


As usual during Game of Thrones season, we recap and give our reactions to the most recent episode after the outro....Season 8, Episode 3: The Long Night.

Direct download: 406.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:21am EDT

We once again decided to go a different direction to our "listicles" that used to do a lot like our Favorite Game Characters series, we started a Favorite Boss Battles series.  There's some obvious choices in there, like Kefka from Final Fantasy 6, but also some that may surprise.  During "What We Played" Will gives his final thoughts on Mass Effect Andromeda.

Direct download: 405.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16am EDT

Though this generation of consoles doesn't necessarily have the heavy hitters like last gen, there's still plenty of quality new IP's that came out this gen.  Some even already have sequels of their own, like Destiny, Titanfall, and The Division.  We also decided not to cover indie titles...which if you've listened for awhile, you know there are plenty.


After the outro this week, our Game of Thrones recap resume now that Season 8 has FINALLY started airing.  This week we cover Episode 1: Winterfell starting at 1:42:28 of the episode if you want to skip ahead!

Direct download: Episode_404.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

The final season of Game of Thrones is upon us, so Dan uses the opportunity to discuss some of the games (and mods for other games) that involve our favorite fantasy universe.  From Telltale's Game of Thrones to the excellent Crusader Kings 2 mod, we cover everything worth talking about.  Also in this episode we discuss trouble at BioWare, Assassins Creed Origins, and some more Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Direct download: 403.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09pm EDT

Since Val played Super Mario Sunshine last Sunday for this week's Rookie Camp video, we decided it was a good time to retroactively review it.  How well does it hold up?  How did it review when it actually came out 16 years ago?  How does one access Super Mario Sunshine today?  All answered this week, along with some discussion of Borderlands 3, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and Assassin's Creed Origins.

Direct download: 402.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm EDT

This week we cover the latest From Software game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which shares some DNA from the Soulsbourne games but is quite a bit different.  Even Will, who is not a fan of From Software's games, likes this entry, which adds more stealth and action elements. 

Also discussed this episode was the Wall Street Journal's report on the two new Nintendo Switch models, the ending of Far Cry 5, and also some of our early plans to do more Thumbstick Athletes content.

Direct download: 401.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55pm EDT

Dan and Corey continue with Part 2 of our 400th episode extravaganza....covering the rest of the segments we didn't have the time, energy, or coherence to finish.  We finally got to cover Google's Stadia announcement and the Nindies Spring 2019 Showcase....Corey played a butt load of games, and we talked ever so briefly about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Direct download: 400_part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm EDT

It's time to revisit our top 10 favorite games lists in this throwback style Thumbsitck Athletes Podcast episode.  While revisiting our lists, we do some drinking, go off on tangents, argue, and cry...just like the old days!  Because this episode lasted so long, we plan on having a Part 2 to Episode 400 where we get to the rest of the segments.  Sorry to those who sent in feedback, we'll get to it ASAP!

Direct download: 400.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34am EDT

Eric and Will take the lead for the main segment this week, talking about over-the-top action game Devil May Cry 5.  It got fabulous reviews from games media, find out if the members of the TSA podcast liked it as much!  Also the Master Chief Collection is coming to PC and adding Halo Reach....sweet!  And during "What We Played" Dan finally started Starlink: Battle for Atlas.

Direct download: 399.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

Looking back on the library of the Gamecube, there were some absolute gems available for the system.  Not to say anything of Super Smash Bros. Melee which is still played competitively....and the controller still being perfect for Smash to this day.  During "What We Played" Will played a some more Far Cry, including but not limited to New Dawn and Dan tried a little Crackdown 3.

Direct download: 398.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15pm EDT

Dan, Eric and Will give their first impressions for Anthem,the newest looter shooter from Legendary developer BioWare.  It's definitely a gamble for them, to inject classic BioWare storytelling into a genre that's generally suffered from poor stories.  During Nibblebits, the Pokemon Sword and Shield reveal is discussed.  Eric talks about Apex Legends during "What We Played" and Will played some FarCry New Dawn.

Direct download: 397.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm EDT

Dan and Corey cover the Disney/Square Enix RPG that has been many years in the making.  Did all that time in development serve the game well?  During "What We Played" Corey played Civ 6's newest expansion Gathering Storm and Dan spent quite a bit of time playing Valkyria Chronicles 4.

Direct download: 396.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:13pm EDT

Dan, Will and Corey discuss the newest Chucklefish release Wargroove....the spiritual successor to Advance Wars now on PC and Switch.  Also covered this week was Nintendo's Jam packed Direct from February 13, 2019...complete with some details on Mario Maker 2, Fire Emblem: Three Houses and the remaster for Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.

Direct download: 395.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45pm EDT

Again in lieu of an Anthem beta episode, we decide to do something different at the last moment.  This time we reach way back, revisiting some of the Thumbies awards from the previous years.  Thanks again to Corey for creating the Thumbies master list!  During "What We Played" Dan and Will give some early Wargroove impressions.

Direct download: 394.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31pm EDT

It was a snowy mess last week here in Upstate NY, this week it's miserably frigid and we figured it was a good time to cover our favorite snow/winter experiences in games.  Made better by the fact that they can be experienced from the warmth and comfort of our couches.  Lots to cover this week in Nibblebits, with Metriod Prime 4 being scrapped and restarted and Metro Exodus exiting Steam.  What We Played has some more AC Odyssey talk, first impressions of Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Anthem Beta.

Direct download: 393.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41pm EDT

Dan and Will welcome Val on this week to discuss the latest Wii U game ported to the Nintendo Switch in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.  Another solid Nintendo game that should be experienced by the much larger group of Switch owners and not just the few, but proud Wii U owners. 

Direct download: 392_audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:43pm EDT

Dan and Will cover all the games (AAA mostly) coming out this year with real actual release dates.  Sure, plenty more will be coming out and some that we cover here may even see last minute delays.  But before we get into our main topic, Val comes on to get us caught up on her experiences with Rookie Camp games from November and December.  Also EA is still very poorly handling the Star Wars franchise and we gush some more about Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Direct download: 391_episode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:23pm EDT

This week we kick off our 2019 gaming coverage with a predictions episode....what new hardware will we see?  Unannounced games?  Then Dan talks about all he's played since we've had a regular episode, which includes Pokemon Let's GO Pikachu, Spyro Reignited Trilogy and Red Dead Redemption 2.  There's also some fairly big news stories that we cover, like Bungie and Activision splitting up and The Division 2 skipping a Steam release for the Epic Games Store.

Direct download: 390.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

Dan, Eric, Corey and Will change the format a bit for this year's Thumbies and discuss live which games they want for the winner of each category. 

Direct download: 389.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57pm EDT