Podcast Review: Isometric on 5by5November 5, 2014
How often have you dreamed about finding a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 whilst going through a $1 long box? Have you ever hoped that you’d discover an unopened copy of Final Fantasy VII while you’re sifting through some old PlayStation games at a yard sale? If you answered yes to both or either of those questions, then you’ve more than likely chatted with friends about the “dream scenario” in which you somehow unearthd a pop culture gem when you least expected it. That’s exactly how I felt after I stumbled upon the Isometric Podcast and gave it a listen.
I came across a tweet by Brianna Wu – one of the hosts of Isometric – while searching for what people were saying about Destiny, specially on PS4. I took her opinion more seriously than others because her profile said she was the Head of Development at Giant Spacekat, and because she had quite a number of followers, and more importantly, didn’t follow all those same people back.
Her profile also said that she was the host of the Isometric Podcast on 5by5. Despite having quite a few gaming/pop culture podcasts in my rotation, I decided to give it a listen. I am so glad that I did, so glad! Every show opens with their signature tagline: a gaming podcast from a different perspective. But, before I talk about the show as a whole, here’s a brief overview of the four hosts:
Steve Lubitz – A video game enthusiast. Steve is the glue that holds the show together. He’s often the one presenting each item on the agenda and elicits each host’s unique perspective by asking the right questions. While the other three hosts have careers involved with gaming/electronics in some capacity, Steve is often on top of the trends that gamers are talking about. I would never have found the Luigi death stare from Mario Kart 8 without him.
Brianna Wu – The Head of Development at Giant Spacekat. Brianna provides insight into how developers approach and view games. She’s the host that’s most likely to get everyone laughing, and while she takes her career very seriously, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. The show wouldn’t start right if she didn’t ask Steve, “What’s crackalackin’?”
Maddy Myers – The assistant editor at Paste Magazine. I believe that presenting a narrative that both engages the audience and gets them to hang onto your every word is an art form, and Maddy Myers is Rembrandt. I find her treatment of serious subjects to be honest, well-founded, and thought provoking. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t like to have fun. She attempted the Pokerap on the first show I downloaded.
Georgia Dow – The senior editor at iMore.com and host of the Vector Podcast. The key with Georgia is that she has well-timed comments that are always insightful, but generally concise. Despite not talking unnecessarily at length about anything, her presence alone is vital. After all, #DOWABUNGA wouldn’t exist without her and the world would be a sad place. Also, Georgia has the best and most indelible laugh I’ve ever heard, period.
A lot of hosts on some podcasts have a predilection to constantly agree with each other, or conversely, go out of their way to disagree about everything. Isometric strikes a nice balance where the conversation flows naturally, regardless of whether they’re in agreement or not. Seldom does anyone talk over each other.
In terms of the sound quality, everyone’s microphone volume holds consistently throughout. There isn’t a heavy use of any sound effects, but given the nature of the show, they wouldn’t enhance anything anyway.
All good podcasts need to follow a consistent distribution schedule so that listeners aren’t left wondering. They record at the end of each week and publish on iTunes at the beginning of the following week.
Isometric is certainly a gaming podcast from a different perspective, but I hope my quick blurb on each host indicates that it’s more than that; Isometric is memorable. I enjoy their discussion about popular gaming topics, but I delight in all the things I take away. I got sidetracked on this review while watching the Luigi death stare video, and I also couldn’t resist watching the Pokerap a few times. I briefly searched for where I could get chocolate-covered Bugles, and I typed “crackalackin” in Google to see if there was a correct spelling. If you’re interested in listening to people talk about popular topics in gaming with a lot of levity, this is the podcast for you.