1Upsmanship

1Upsmanship

Michael likes story-driven games with lots of contemplative moral quandaries and inventory management. Adam likes action-driven FPS games with gorgeous graphics and no down-time. Together, their friendship is constantly on the verge of ruin! But you can watch it all crumble before your very ears on 1Upsmanship, the pod where two lifelong gamers run one game an episode through the crucible to determine if it belongs on the Celestial Hard Drive. GAME ON.

Episodes

June 19, 2023 63 mins

Vwoom and jedi-leap your way through Respawn’s latest with Adam, Mike, and special guest Cody Johnston! Will this jedi survive to the end of the episode, or even score a spot on the Celestial Hard Drive? To find out, young padawan, you must use this zipline to go over there. This is very important. The fate of the galaxy itself may depend upon you being cool at zipline, can you do that? Use the force if you need to, just get it don...

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Possibly Rockstar’s most divisive open world experiment, 2011’s hard-boiled noir film homage gets the once-over by your favorite creative investigation duo. But beneath the glossy paint and ground-breaking motion capture is this game actually fun? How does the storytelling hold up in the twelve years since this game’s release? Does the game handle its problematic topics like race and gender inequality well? Would we want a sequel i...

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We’re back, fresh from the barren, content-less Dark World, and we’re starting this season with a bang! This week we warp into the 2D Zelda that perfected the formula, and we’re joined by our favorite Zelda Enthusiast, Danielle Radford! Some would say this is one of the greatest games ever made. Some would say this game is still being imitated to this very day. Some might even say this game remains a blast to play. But none of thos...

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Host of Some More News Cody Johnston sits in with Adam and Mike as they tackle a game with ambitions as vast as a galaxy and a launch scandal to match. Has Hello Games done enough to improve NMS over the years? Will it launch onto the Celestial Hard Drive or run out of hazard protection and get eaten by a Gek? They do that, you know. Strap in and let’s go exploring.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Join the chorus, new one. Voices clash and clamor in the never-ending quest to recover our lost souls from the dark places they may wander. In this episode, your stalwart hosts Adam and Michael pore over a game that demands to be taken seriously, both by virtue of the topics at hand and the loving care the developers obviously put into the exercise. But does laudable handling of human suffering equate to a good game? Should it? Doe...

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Ship Heads, prepare yourself for maximum fun, because our illustrious host has teamed up with two stellar guests, Starline Hodge and Hana Michels to talk about a game that’s truly one of a kind! Though tough to explain, the sheer joy of rolling up all of known civilization into a junk star is an unparalleled experience that deserves unpacking (and then re-packing obvs). The squad tackles deeper issues like whether this game actuall...

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Stranded in a cold, dark, and surprisingly poop-covered future, our 1upsmanship crew battles its way through Callisto Protocol. Joined by longtime colleague and friend Tom Reimann (Gamefully Unemployed) our heroes debate whether this game got unfairly maligned and whether there’s ever truly enough spike-covered walls. They answer key questions like do we really need this particular white male protagonist? How does Callisto Protocol...

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April 3, 2023 48 mins

Your original 1Ups Boyz are back in the USSR! Michael officially returns from some time away, although we air episodes out of order so that’s not actually useful information. What is useful is their breakdown of the first big title from Mundfish, a little bit of Bioshock and a little bit of Fallout all wrapped up in a Soviet Russian package. Blast ‘bots, uncover mysteries similar to mysteries you may have uncovered before in the ga...

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Slap on your controversy armor Ship Heads, because this episode’s got some scorching hot takes that are gonna do some real AoE damage to looter fans. Joined by longtime pal, collaborator and Dia-bro Abe Epperson (Small Beans), our journey takes some twists and turns as we talk about the growth of the looter genre, Diablo 2’s historical significance, the role of internet communities in game development and whether the destination IS...

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Michael and Adam are joined by Ubisoft host and producer Youssef Maguid to discuss a huge turning point in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and, dare we say, history? A lively conversation ensues about what makes this entry essential, the meticulous crafting of Ptolemaic Egypt, and whether the changes were good or bad for the series. Mount your camel and zip directly to your destination…Fun! Seriously, those camels have an incredibl...

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Adam is joined by longtime guest, first time host, Vanessa Guerrero (Twitter: @nessguerrero) to talk about Stray, the 2022 beloved indie cat caper. The conversation gets predictably ‘zurked’ as our feline fans veer off into indie game development cycles, monstrous allergies, and whether they need a face to be loved! But did that cute ginger tabby claw its way into the Celestial Hard Drive? Do our hosts finally grant robots the same...

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March 6, 2023 58 mins

Bounding across the barren video game landscape in search of digital treasure and probably our parents, it’s 1upsmanship! This time our boys take on the recently released and largely panned Playstation exclusive Forspoken in a desperate attempt to add their laundry list of gripes to the pile. But things take a turn toward the celestial as Michael and Adam discuss the value of the Hero’s Journey as a story structure in 2023, the val...

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Bar your doors and hit the floor Shipheads, cause this game’s about to rip off your jaw - in a good way! Joined by fellow maniac David Bell (Gamefully Unemployed), our heroes navigate the pros, cons and sometimes thongs of your favorite camp slasher turned asymmetrical multiplayer murder simulator! It’s a love letter to cinephiles and just a damned good time, in the sense that it’s utterly terrifying and Adam and Dave enjoy donning...

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February 20, 2023 84 mins

Mike and Adam take a break from their relentless celestial campaign to discuss their favorite video game companions. But this ain’t no escort mission! Both gamers hold their own as they describe and defend their top ten. Will Mike ever reference a game Adam has played? Will somebody on this podcast finally acknowledge Final Fantasy? Will Adam somehow bring up Destiny again? I mean, yeah probably. 

See omnystudio.com/listener for pri...

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February 13, 2023 64 mins

Start your engines shipheads, because 1Upsmanship is taking on its first ever racing game and they picked a classic! Co-piloted by special guest co-host DJ Danl, our boys boost past futuristic space gambling plots, Mode 7 graphical innovations, the history of racing games as a genre, and Adam’s dad hogging the controller. But will F-zero pass the great checkered flag in time to win its place on the Celestial Hard Drive? Tune in and...

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February 6, 2023 55 mins

Your stalwart hosts test the very fabric of their friendship – even moreso than usual! It’s not just an argument about a video game, it’s an argument about arguments. Revel in two lifetimes of regrets as the fellas recount their own sordid histories with social games, plus the phenomenal job InnerSloth did harnessing that sick tension and using it to help us all survive the pandemic and come out the other side just a little more su...

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Shipheads, meet Anthony and Aaron, VR devs with a new game to show off and fascinating insights into the unique space in which they work. Arcaxer is VR’s first turn-based RPG. We dive into how they came up with such a wild idea, went about accomplishing it, and the trials and travails of trying to market the thing now that it exists. Visor up and let’s see what the next evolution of gaming looks like (spoilers: it involves running ...

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January 23, 2023 60 mins

Joined by the internet’s own Seanbaby (@Seanbabydotcom) of 1900-Hot-Dogg and Cracked notoriety, the celestial debate continues with a deep dive on everybody’s favorite super fighting robot, Mega Man who slapped on some new gear and a fresh coat of paint in his first big outing on the SNES. Things get heated when our heroes clash over the game’s difficulty, how much this franchise steals from others, and whether getting the Hadoken ...

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January 17, 2023 56 mins

Our heroes zip rooftop to rooftop over the grim streets of Dunwall, discussing all the important questions raised by one of the most creative franchises in recent video game history. How much does this game really owe to Bioshock?  Is stealth the only viable approach? Wait, Susan Sarandon is in this? Should every game consider making you lord of rats? Hop aboard, Ship Heads, this one’s a whale of a time!

See omnystudio.com/listener ...

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It’s that time of the year again! Michael and Adam decided to kick 2023 off with a bang and discuss the State of the Drive. In this special once-a-year extravaganza they each revisit five hard drive decisions they’d like reconsidered. Things get surprisingly heated as the two friends argue about whether they need to discuss Psychonauts ever again, whether the Hard Drive needs a morality clause, and whether being first or the most f...

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