Huge Spawn Wave fan, but this is super hard to really get into
I feel bad saying this because I’ve really tried hard to enjoy the SpawnCast, but I genuinely just can’t. Been a massive fan of Spawn Wave on YouTube since right before he hit 50,000 subscribers, and has been one of the few channels that I’ve watched every single new upload from ever since. His videos are always super entertaining, never a bad time. Sadly, as I’ve come to realize over time, great video creators aren’t always great podcast creators. The SpawnCast is only good when multiple “guests” call off and there are only 3-4 people on the show at once, which even then it’s not that great. This is also a rarity; I placed the word “guests” in quotes because they’re not really guests at this point; they show up in every episode, and a huge deal is made whenever they can’t show up (despite it usually being significantly better for the quality of the show). As you can probably guess based off of the point I just made, the SpawnCast is way too chaotic and cluttered. John (aka Spawn Wave/Spawn, sorry if I spelled your name wrong) makes it a goal to have him alongside 6-7 other video game journalists/content creators each and every episode, all with him via Google Hangouts On-Air. The number of other speakers alongside him plus the latency that Hangouts video calls have is about the worst combo you could ever have if your goal is quality discussion of gaming news. There is a lot of interruption/talking over others, both intentionally and unintentionally, which really DOES destroy the quality of the show and reduces it down to how an outsider who doesn’t play video games sees gaming/geek culture discussion: a bunch of manchildren screaming at each other over video games. And you honestly don’t know how much it hurts to say that, considering I watch so many of John’s videos and can very clearly tell that the man is extremely mature and downright admirable in his ways. Always very reserved but doesn’t at all shy away from cracking jokes and sparking comedy into his tone, very cool headed, not at all controversial, while still making it very clear that he’s got priorities because he still makes tweets and occasional mentions in his videos about his wife and son, showing that he’s even a great parent to boot. I just really wish all of this would show in his podcast; sadly, it doesn’t. This level of chaos affects other things in his podcast when it comes to quality control as well. Considering this is a gaming news podcast, it’s quite obvious that getting through ALL of the news in your typical goal of 2 hours can be quite challenging when you have 7-8 people in total on your panel. You have to stop a lot to discuss things in deeper detail and pause to give every person a chance to say something. This slows things down heavily, and can even drag things on quite a lot. You also have the problem of all 7-8 individuals being completely different, unique people with their own opinions, meaning many will drag a topic that nobody else cares about through the mud for 15 minutes. Truth be told, that can be extremely exhausting to listen to. On top of the chaos affecting quality control, you also have how John deals with donations. It’s pathetic, really. In other podcasts, I’ve seen people who just say comments in passing in the public, free YouTube live chatbox get more attention from the podcast hosts than some paying donators paying their own hard-earned money (sometimes as much as $10) to send a priority message (super chat) in the SpawnCast. John goes over donation messages two or three times per podcast, glazing over each and every one of them like they’re something he’s reading off of a script or something. Most of the time, they get no responses and he simply goes over them only because he feels kinda obligated to. There are no other ways to ask any questions or voice any statements to him or any of the other guests in the podcast either; your YouTube live chat messages get ignored 100% of the time, and to ask a question through Discord, you have to pay $4.99 a month to be a member through YouTube. And even then, you’re not guaranteed an answer to your question. I hope this criticism gets to John and the rest of the SpawnCast and possibly even Spawn Wave crew. I love his channel, most of the other channels (DreamCastGuy, RGT85, Player Essence, DirectFeedGaming, etc) are great too, all great personalities, but truth be told I would rather see them do their own thing because I feel like they’re all being quite limited/held back by being on the SpawnCast as well. This seems to be a thing affecting everyone involved, not just John himself (but him especially). Until anything changes, I would absolutely recommend you go for another gaming news podcast. There are plenty of other great ones, my favorites being Wulff Den Live and Directly to You; both only ever have two speaking members each episode (minus the few rare times they have guests) and both cover the news efficiently in a way that’s extremely entertaining. Hope my review helps, thanks for reading.
Reviewed on Apple Podcasts