The Optional Podcast

81 EpisodesProduced by The Optional PodcastWebsite

A fresh new take on video game criticism by people of color with a New York twist. Hosted by Kotaku's Paul Tamayo alongside the one and only Cam Brewster, The Optional covers the latest in gaming with a mix of hip-hop, comedy, and real conversations surrounding the culture. This isn't your typical g… read more

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176 - Solo Dolo

August 19th, 2019


 This week we’re talking No Man’s Sky Beyond, Apex Legends Solos Mode, the week’s news and tons more. TUNE IN! 

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175 - Paul Forgot Which Title He Said He'd Use

August 12th, 2019


This week we're joined by our good friend Bo! Tune in to hear us talk video game vision quests, new Black Ops 4 modes, Ooblets backlash, Walmart, favorite speed runs and why Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts are trash (to Bo). …

174 - Two-Hour Tech Demo

August 5th, 2019


This week we’re talking Gundam Battle Gunpla Warfare, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Fire Emblem, Black Desert Online, ESA screwups, EVO, corny Twitch …

173 - Indigenous Jiggyness with Jason Vega

July 29th, 2019


This week we’re joined by the one and only Jason Vega to talk about all things gaming and his upcoming Latinx Games Festival in LA this September. …

172 - Drift Kings

July 22nd, 2019


 This week we’re talking more Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Apex Legends, Splatoon 2’s last Splatfest, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the week’s news, listener questions and our recommendations for …

171 - Lite Work

July 15th, 2019


 This week we’re talking Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Teppen, Dr. Mario, Super Mario Maker 2, Switch Lite, The Farewell, Midsommar and tons more. Tune in! 

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170 - Politically-Charged

July 8th, 2019


This week we’re talking Spider-Man: Far From Home, Outer Worlds’ politics, Super Mario Maker 2, Apex Legends Season 2, listener questions and our …

169 - Super Mario Makings

July 1st, 2019


 This week we’re talking more Outer Wilds, Super Mario Maker 2, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the week’s news, listener questions, and TONS more. Tune in. 

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168 - Take it Eaze

June 24th, 2019


This week we're talking gamer chairs, health checks, Cadence of Hyrule, My Friend Pedro, Outer Wilds, Blops 4, Hollow Knight, Void Bastards, the …

167 - E3 2019 Wrap-Up

June 17th, 2019


Paul and Cam process all the news coming out E3.


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166 - E3 2019 Pre-Show: The Unconventional Convention

June 10th, 2019


It's E3 week! We're talking leaks, predictions, Google Stadia, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, Apex Legends Season 2, listener questions, and our recommendations for the week. Stay tuned after the show for our spoiler …

165 - Lo-fi af

June 4th, 2019


This week, Paul and Cam are recording on the floor of Paul's new apartment so excuse the mess. We've got a jam-packed show talking about Void …

164 - Load Times No More

May 27th, 2019


 This week we’re talking revisiting games like Tetris Effect, Apex Legends, and Splatoon 2 but also checking out new things like the Nioh 2 beta. We’re also talking the week’s news, listener questions, and our …

163 - Everybody Beat the Wiz

May 20th, 2019


 This week we’re talking Division 2 drama, A Plague Tale, Cytus Alpha, Rock of Ages II, Koral, No Man’s Sky, our dark one console future predictions, …

162 - Jive Talkin' 101

May 13th, 2019


This week we’re back to talk more Division 2, Dragon’s Dogma, Picross Mon, and a return to Fortnite. We also talk about Riot walkouts, Final Fantasy VII teaser, Barret’s voice acting, problematic YouTubers, listener …

161 - Fox AF

May 6th, 2019


We’re BACK… AGAIN. This week we’re talking Days Gone, Mordhau, Friends of Ringo Ishikawa, Flappy Fighter, Mortal Kombat 11, Dragon’s Dogma, Sonic trailer backlash, that expensive Valve VR headset, Nether Realm crunch, …

160 - Pre-Post Malone

April 22nd, 2019


 This week we talk about Joker in Smash Ultimate, Falcon Age, Supraland, Forager, Division 2, Sekiro, Turok on Switch and the PlayStation Classic Mini? We also talk about the Gameboy turning 30, the Xbox One SADE, …

159 - Eezy Szn

April 8th, 2019


 This week we’re talking Sekiro difficulty, Islanders, Division 2, Elder Scrolls Blades, Mario in VR, wtf happened to Anthem, live action Cowboy …

158 - Domi-knows

April 1st, 2019


 This week we’re talking more Division 2, Battlefield V’s Firestorm, Sekiro, the week’s news, listener questions and more. Tune in! 

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157 - Who is You?

March 25th, 2019


 This week we’re talking more Division 2, Apex Legends new Legend, Sekiro, Devil May Cry 5, Baba Is You, Google Stadia, listener questions and tons more. Don’t miss this one! 

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156 - Everybody, Chill

March 18th, 2019


This week we're talking The Division 2, Golf Peaks, Divinity Original Sin 2, the week's news, listener questions and our picks for recommendations …

155 - Chihuahuachu

March 11th, 2019


 This week, we’re talking more Apex Legends, Dawn of Man, Left Alive and other Mario games making their way back into rotation. Plus the week’s news and our recommendations for the week. Tune in!

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154 - Better To Have Played And Lost

March 4th, 2019


This week we talk more ApeLegs, Ape Out, Division 2 Open Beta, Overwatch, new Pokemon announcements, listener questions and our recommendations for the week! Tune in and join the conversation on our Discord.

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153 - Sanchez, We Reggie?

February 25th, 2019


 THIS WEEK, the guys talk Dead or Alive 6, Apex Legends, Final Fantasy IX, Reggie retiring, Fake Fortnite Festivals, listener questions and our recommendations for the week. Tune in! 

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152 - 100 Miles & Gunning

February 18th, 2019


CAM’S BACK and this week’s show is JAM PACKED. This week we’re talking more Apex Legends, Far Cry New Dawn, Division 2 Beta, Tetris 99, Anthem, Crackdown 3, Final Fantasy IX, plus the week’s news, listener questions and …

151 - Apex-n-Effect with Kahlief Adams

February 11th, 2019


This week Paul is flying solo without Cam BUT helping him pilot the ship is none other than Spawn On Me & This Is Dope’s Kahlief Adams to talk …

150 - Live, Die, Repeat

February 4th, 2019


 This week we talk a little more Resident Evil 2, a little more Anthem demo, and Paul’s new obsession Wargroove. We also talk a rumored Titanfall …

149 - 2nd Run

January 28th, 2019


 This week, Paul and Cam talk Resident Evil 2, the Anthem Demo, Metroid Prime 4’s delay and tons more. Tune in!

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148 - Straight to Dorff

January 21st, 2019


 This we talk more Onimusha, Ace Combat 7, Blackout and more. We also discuss the week’s onslaught of news, listener questions and our recommendations for the week. Tune in! 

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147 - One Shot

January 14th, 2019


This week Cam and Paul talk new games like Cities Skylines for Switch, Steep, Katamari and the 30-minute demo for Resident Evil 2. Plus this week's …

146 - Unofficial Tissue

January 7th, 2019


Hear us revisit some old favorites, talk the week's news and answer your questions! Also our recommendations for the week!

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145 - New Years 2019 Bonus Show

December 31st, 2018


With 2019 right on the Horizon (Zero Dawn), we decided to do one last Playlist and Feelin' It but more importantly, you sent us your top 3 games of 2018 and we're playing your dope voice messages on the show! Tune in to …

144 - 3rd Annual Optional Awards

December 17th, 2018


It's finally here! Join us as we celebrate our third year in the podcast game and look back at the year in games by giving our highly coveted quarter waters to the best (and worst) games of the year.


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143 - From Smashy to Classy

December 10th, 2018


It's finally here. Paul and Cam talk about Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Party, Drawful, Avengers Endgame, 2 Milly's Lawsuit, the Game Awards, listener …

142 - Sleep Mode

December 3rd, 2018


This week we talk more RDR2, Black Ops 4, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Paul talks mobile gaming on his new Pixel. As always, the week's news, …

141 - Leftovers

November 26th, 2018


This week, we’re talking more of the usual suspects like RDR2 (Paul finally finished), Black Ops 4, Moonlighter, and Tetris Effect. We’re also …

140 - Flick of the Wrist

November 19th, 2018


This week we’re talking more usual suspects with a mix of new games like Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu, more Battlefield V, PUBG to PS4, Sony skipping E3, Game Award Nominations, Stan Lee, listener questions and more!

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139 - Full Effect

November 12th, 2018


This week we talk more Black Ops 4, Red Dead 2, Moonlighter on Switch, and of course more Tetris Effect. We also talk this week’s news and answer our very first voice message! Tune in and don’t forget to join the …

138 - Party City Slickers

November 5th, 2018


This week we’ve got an extended show full of more Red Dead Redemption 2 chat, Diablo 3 on Switch, Tetris Effect, PS One Classic games, Superman …

137 - Wicky Wicky Wild Wild West

October 29th, 2018


Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally here and we’ve got TAKES. From the immaculate details to the hard-to-ignore crunch that went into making it all, we …

136 - Yerrrrrrba Mate

October 22nd, 2018


This week the guys are talking about their first victory in Blackout, more Destiny, Card Thief for iOS, and Soulcalibur VI. We talk about the week’s …

135 - Duty Heads

October 15th, 2018


This week, the guys are talking… Call of Duty? And it’s… good? That and tons more. Join the conversation!

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134 - On the Spot Dice Spin

October 8th, 2018


We're talking more Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Dragonball FighterZ on Switch, Super Mario Party, new Switch models in 2019, streaming games in Chrome and TONS more.

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Iron Blooded Orphans Ep. 5 & 6

October 3rd, 2018


We review episodes 5 & 6 of Iron Blooded Orphans. Tune in!

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Episode 133 - Deadass Redemption

October 1st, 2018


WE BACK. And this week, Paul shares his impressions on the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Cam jumps into Super Mario Odyssey, we talk PlayStation …

Iron Blooded Orphans Ep. 3 & 4

September 19th, 2018


This week, we're talking about episodes 3 and 4 of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. Catch up, tune in, and join the conversation!

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Episode 132 - Online/Offline

September 17th, 2018


This week we talk Dragon Quest XI, Black Ops 4 Beta, Old School Musical on Switch and a little more Destiny 2 Forsaken! We also chat a couple of news …

Iron Blooded Orphans Ep. 1 & 2 Recap

September 12th, 2018


Welcome to the very first episode of The Optional Review, our new weekly recap episode where you join us in watching a piece of entertainment that you've recommended to us! This season we're covering the anime Mobile …

Episode 131 - Do A Flip

September 10th, 2018


It’s finally here! This week hear Paul’s thoughts on Spider-Man for PS4, Cam tells us what he thinks of Destiny 2 Forsaken and of course the week’s …

Episode 130 - Yuzo, Is It You?

September 3rd, 2018


We’re back this week and we’re talking Into the Breach on Switch, Donut County, Shenmue and Super Bomberman R! In the news it’s the tragic events in Jacksonville, Insomniac denying game downgrades, BFV delayed and new …

Episode 129 - Statham Tatum

August 20th, 2018


This week we’re talking Death’s Gambit, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate and returning to old favorites like FF XV. We also talk about the week’s …

Episode 128 - Atomic Purple

August 13th, 2018


We’re back this week to talk We Happy Few, Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker, Flipping Death and a bit of Third Strike. We also talk the week’s news and tons more!

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Episode 127 - Mandem Skies

July 30th, 2018


This week we talk all about No Man’s Sky’s massive new NEXT update, the week’s news, listener questions and our recommendations for the week. So tune in, start mining that copper, and join the conversation!

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Episode 126 - Silence Dogood

July 23rd, 2018


This week the guys are joined by very special guest Heather Alexandra to talk No Man’s Sky, Thumper, Spider-Man, Concrete Genie, Tetris Effect, Octopath Traveler, the week’s news, listener questions and our …

Episode 125 - Always Bet On Black

July 16th, 2018


This week the guys talk Fortnite Season 5, more No Man’s Sky, 2018 GDoC Expo, checks for BlocBoy JB, D&D, and how to deal with “analysis paralysis.” Tune in to join the conversation.

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Episode 124 - Free to Play

July 9th, 2018


This week we talk more No Man’s Sky, Banner Saga 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and Forza Horizon 3. In the news, it’s Shenmue hype, Warframe on Switch, Fortnite oddities and tons more. Tune in and join the conversation!

Episode 123 - Now You’re Playing With Powder

July 2nd, 2018


During the nasty heatwave, we talk the new Battlefield V closed alpha, Lumines Remastered, Mario + Rabbids Donkey Kong DLC and TONS more. Tune in and …

Episode 122 - Double Crossplay

June 25th, 2018


This week, the guys recover from E3, talk some new games (and old) and ask Sony to let us go free.

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Episode 121 - E3 2018 Hangover

June 15th, 2018


Well, it came and went just like that. And we spent close to 2 hours jamming as much loopy late night content into a single episode and we go to some weird places. Catch our thoughts on all of the latest news and …

Episode 120.5 - E3 2018 HYPE

June 6th, 2018


Just when you thought you couldn't get more excited. We hit you with our very first bonus episode! We chat all things E3 2018 and hit you with some …

Episode 120 - Lifehacks and Lawsuits

June 4th, 2018


This week, the guys are joined by returning guest Cody Davis to chat Mario Tennis Aces, PixelJunk Monsters 2, Just Shapes & Beats, and more. In …

Episode 119 - Meta Challenge

May 28th, 2018


This week the guys talk the usual suspects along with some new games like H1Z1, Moonlighter, Wizard of Legend, and Framed. In the news it’s Battlefield V hype, E3 hype, and one of our Switch predictions is coming true… …

Episode 118 - Get Rich Quick

May 21st, 2018


This week the guys talk more Fortnite, Overwatch, Destiny 2, and Overcooked! Tons of pre-E3 Black Ops IIII hype, amazing Xbox One controllers, New No …

Episode 117 - Late Vegetation

May 17th, 2018


This week the guys are just a tad bit late but here nevertheless. Hear us talk more Fortnite, Destiny 2, Overwatch, Yakuza 6, I Am Setsuna, and TONS more. Tune in and join the conversation!

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Episode 116 - Back in Business

May 7th, 2018


WE’RE BACK. Paul returns from his trip abroad to Japan and South Korea and the guys are joined by friend of the show and rapper extraordinaire, Doc, …

Episode 115 - Seoul For Real

April 16th, 2018


Before Paul leaves town for Tokyo and Seoul, the guys chat about Radical Heights, God of War, Fortnite, Donkey Kong high scores, actual SEGA …

Episode 114 - Streamer Variety

April 9th, 2018


This week we talk more Far Cry 5, Fortnite, Bayonetta 2 and The Division. In the news it’s all about Spider-Man’s release date and Far Cry 5 impressive sales numbers. Rounding out the show is another round of questions …

Episode 113 - Resurrections

April 2nd, 2018


This week, we talk more Far Cry 5, Battle Royale and Monster Hunter World! In the news we have even more No Mans Sky, SEGA up to something, mysterious comets in Fortnite, and what a shocker: racist emote jokes on …

Episode 112 - Where the Players Dwell

March 26th, 2018


This week, Cam and Paul sport some extra puffy bubble jackets and goggles to bring you the latest in gaming goodness. This week we talk Cam’s trip to …

Episode 111 - Yippe Ki-Yay

March 12th, 2018


This week we talk Vermintide 2, Darwin Project, Splatfest, Chuchel and Bloodbourne as well as some of our regular games. We also chat weird violent …

Episode 110 - No Hoodies

March 5th, 2018


This week we baked a metaphorical cake for the Switch’s birthday. Alongside a lot of people we actually know who actually have birthdays. Then we …

Episode 109 - Real Ones

February 26th, 2018


This week, we’ve got TONS to talk about. Hear us chat Florence, Assassin’s Creed Origins Discovery Tour, Metal Gear Survive, Moss for PSVR, Bayonetta and Final Station on Switch, and the new DLC for Battlefield 1. …

Episode 108 - Wakanda Foreverz

February 19th, 2018


With Black Panther finally out, we have a regular bitesized show followed by a special in-depth spoiler chat on the movie. Find out what we thought …

Episode 107 - Drop a Pin

February 12th, 2018


This week we talk some of the usual suspects with some new titles (for us) like Rime, Dragon Quest Builders, Octogeddon and A Case of Distrust. In the news it’s shitty online “celebrities”, new trailers, shitty …

Episode 106 - Third Time’s a Charm

February 5th, 2018


This week we’re talking more Monster Hunter World, Celeste, Blossom Tales and Paul got some hands-on time with Nintendo Labo!! In the news it’s more …

Episode 105 - Don’t Google It

January 29th, 2018


This week is chock-full of gaming goodness. We talk Shadow of the Colossus, Sea of Thieves closed beta, and of course Monster Hunter World!!! We also …

Episode 104 - Full Meme Ahead

January 22nd, 2018


This week the guys catch up on some Overwatch League while checking out some new games like Blossom Tales, Axiom Verge, Night in the Woods and the betas for Metal Gear Survive and Darwin Project. In the news it’s all …

Episode 103 - Best of the Best of the Best

January 15th, 2018


This week the guys already start off checking those New Year resolution boxes by finishing up some games like Yakuza Kiwami and Steamworld Dig 2 as …

Episode 102 - Higher Resolutions

January 8th, 2018


We’re back bringing in the new year with that gaming goodnessss. Hear us chat what’s on our playlist from the past two weeks, our gaming resolutions …

Episode 101 - The Last Jedi Spoilercast

December 25th, 2017


Boom, just when you thought we were done, we bring you a special holiday bonus episode. As we celebrate the holidays and usher in the new year, we …

Episode 100 - The 2nd Annual Optional Awards

December 18th, 2017


With the end of 2017 rapidly approaching, we take some time to look back at the incredible year of gaming that we’ve all experienced. Oh and we turn 100! We break down the awards into 8 major categories and widdle the …

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