Vidjagame Apocalypse- Sunshine Superman

This week’s episode is all about SUPERHEROES. Our Top 5 is all about superheroes. Our new releases section is all about superheroes (well, mostly). Our news is all about superheroes (okay definitely not all but we still talk about them).

We tried to get Henry to join us but he was all sick and junk so you’ll just have to deal with the rest of us yokels talking about our favorite superhero games. We promise it’s not all about Green Arrow, although some of us wish it were. *siiiiiiigh* One million hearts go to anyone who draws us a picture of Gopher Trace.

All credit for this week’s title goes to Diana, who reminded us that Sunshine Superman by Donovan is a great song.

Question of the Week

Who or what do you think is hurting the games industry most? EA isn’t the only thing people are hating on.

HEY! You can totally still win this wicked awesome Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate 3DS case!

Tweet a link to this episode with #VidjagameApocalypse or #VGApocalypse somewhere in the tweet. Maybe say something nice about it so all your friends will think we’re cool. We will announce our winner on episode 12 so people have ample time to hear this and get their tweets out. *US ONLY*

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56 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse- Sunshine Superman

  1. I’m going to have to wait to listen to this, but I’ve been missing Anne on Cape Crisis, and I hope that this’ll be comparable.

  2. If anything is hurting the games industry right now it is the race for better graphics instead of new ideas in gameplay and increasing overall aesthetics. The problem is focusing on Graphics makes games super expensive. When games can be good with proper use of gameplay and making a game look good with clever art style instead of super detailed polygons. We are at a point where games look great. We need to stop chasing the photorealistic goal and switch to what make games fun to play and not just fun to look at. It’ll save publishers money and make better games.

    1. There is no race for graphics, the consoles maxed out years ago. Now those graphics are industry standard. What is really hurting the industry and causing those games with shitty gameplay is the audience. Most game devs want to make money, so they look at what sells, call of duty and other shitty shooters. So in trying to capture a big cash return they make their games mimic things that are already doing well instead of making something unique and most of the time that is what sells so they keep doing it. People that are smart enough know to support games that deserve to be supported but are the minority these days.

  3. I think there are a lot of things snowballing together that hurt the industry. I feel there is a certain reluctance to explore ideas that may aren’t guaranteed to attract a large audience(this is one of the reasons I loved Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon when first hearing about it, it just came out of left field and doesn’t seem like something a company would spend serious time on). The large publishers have stockholders to please and they are less willing to take risks. And more recently there’s micro-transactions in paid games. I find it to be off-putting, unless maybe added at a later date when people begin to lose interest in their game. I don’t expect a bunch of free shit, but many large developers don’t even throw their fans a bone anymore. I think that Bungie(and 343 to a certain extent) is a great example of producer-consumer relationship. They released map packs but still supported fan-made forge maps, basically adding free maps. And then there’s franchise fatigue which, I hope, is starting to spread among the gaming community.

    1. Anne called me a baby, I don’t know if I should be flattered, offended, or try to act mature by cursing a lot and prove I’m manly.

  4. @ Michael Grimm: as a scummy white Australian, Abo is by far the least used name for Aborigines. Boong, Nonga or Mong are the key choice of words for racist bogans

  5. In my opinion, this generation has excelled at coming up with new ways to fuck over the consumer for every penny they have:
    -On-disc DLC
    -Day one DLC
    -Cheats sold as DLC
    -Season passes
    -Online passes, set to expire so even if you buy new you’re likely to pay for it
    -Microtransactions
    -Pre-order bonuses
    And a fairly new bullshit strategy
    -“Limited editions” sold for $10-20 more, which basically contain a bunch of measly in-game items. Popularised by none other than EA

  6. And I know companies exist to make money, but there are ways to go about it without pissing people off. EA could learn a thing or two from companies like Valve or Bethesda. All they have to do for people to like them is to give developers ample time and freedom to make a game, and then support those games with worthwhile DLC(hats and horse armour notwithstanding), that actually adds to the game rather than just unlocking parts of the complete package

  7. A lack of newness. Almost every game released in the past couple years has felt like a retread in style, gameplay, and/or story. The Walking Dead was a genuinely wonderful game but it was also GoTY for myself and many others because there was simply so few games worth note in 2012. So far in 2013 the big few are all sequels/reboots.

  8. QOTW: Just in general I find myself critising commercials like it were a job when I spend the time to watch television and a lot of times Games ads aren’t that great. If people don’t know what any game is beyond COD’s “shoot that, watch this” gameplay how would they know to what to play (Buy). My best most recent example for this point is the Tomb Raider commercial, it shows Lara jumping between the wreck of her boat and then the GameSstop guy comes in to talk about buying Tomb Raider action figures. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE GAME?

    TLDR: Commercials.

  9. I’m not Hollander Cooper! I’m David B Cooper, loyal Laser Timer and TDar vet.

    So in answer to the question of the week, I am saying YOU GUYS are hurting the games industry by misrepresenting your loyal listeners. :'(

    (Love y’all really.)

    1. I believe it’s the recent nature of most $60 games. The Dead Spaces and the Ass Creeds release day 1 with the MSRP in tact. To only then, weeks later, be gutted out to a price of $40. What does that teach the consumer?

      Another fact, you lovely people already mention, is the ludicrous expectations set by the publishers. Putting sizable amounts of investment into a game and expecting bookoo bucks in return, you’re looking like this…
      http://s-ak.buzzfed.com/static/imagebuzz/web05/2011/7/28/15/anigif_b-15801-1311880994-2.gif/

      As you dwell in your fantasy world here…
      http://s-ak.buzzfed.com/static/imagebuzz/web05/2011/7/28/15/anigif_ghfdsh-27799-1311879712-25.gif/

  10. What’s hurting the industry? Butt stuff. People need to take their time and use lots of lube. You can’t just start ramming things in there. Unlike the vagina, butts cannot handle a lot of punishment.

  11. Very nice episode. I just realized I didn’t give a suggestion to the skull mascot but now I think I might have striked gold. One of my favorite skull characters is Mr. Grimm from Twisted Metal. You’ve got special guest Michael Grimm. Mike has sexy Dr. Claw voice. Put those all together, you get Sexy Dr. Grimm. Eh? Eh?…Ah, to hell with it.

  12. I love how they mention they need to start doing shorter podcasts, but the first segment is over an hour long.

  13. Make better games for kids and people of all ages not just the same games with iron sights aimed at the same late teen to thirty something generation. The only reason the game industry has that fan base in the first is because they grew up on timeless games aimed at them when they were younger and kept them interested in stick around. Get new people into gaming instead of keep trying to sell to the same jaded fan base.

  14. This is a great podcast, but there are two things that I’d like to address here:

    One is repeatedly bringing up the death of consoles. I’m not saying that it can’t happen, but I think these claims are being made far too early. We’re currently in what is by far the best selling console generation ever, and has been for a while. Then, once the generation goes on too long, we’re suddenly hearing about how it’s dying. Considering how recently there was a widespread agreement that PC gaming was dying, (which was wrong) maybe we should chill with the doomsday talk until the next generation has actually started. Developers have been unanimously praising the PS4 hardware, so they obviously don’t see the console future being as bleak as you do.

    The other is the frequent “I’ll make a massive generalization about gamers, then imitate them in a stupid voice” act. It’s a crutch you guys use for making your argument while glazing over detractors that have valid points. Many microtransactions and DLC, such as the Asura’s Wrath one where they essentially broke off the last fourth of the game to charge extra for it, are simply greedy and disingenuous, since I had bought Asura’s Wrath, not 3/4ths of Asura’s Wrath. Tyler stated that these companies need to make money, (no shit) but I think gamers have a right to point out when they’re being taken advantage of by publishers, and shouldn’t simply be dismissed as people who hate everything not catered directly to them. In general, I agree that many gamers act entitled and whine over things that they can simply ignore, but some business practices are simply dickish.

    Have a good one.

    1. “The other is the frequent “I’ll make a massive generalization about gamers, then imitate them in a stupid voice” act.”

      I wasn’t going to bother making a stink about that, but yeah I noticed that as well in the past few casts. Kinda makes me not want to bother with the community portion of it when the hosts belittle people that play games. I get where they are coming from…..but I am guessing most of us listening (and buying and playing games) are in our mid twenties to early thirties if not older. Most of us can afford the asking price for games and its DLC. So that entitlement stereotype really doesn’t apply much.
      Its really not about the money. I have not problem paying for extra stuff for a game I enjoyed. It’s about feeling like you are being fleeced right out of the gate. It’s really shitty buying a new game, playing it for a little while, and realizing that its been pruned and trimmed of content. Only to be sold a day later as dlc.
      That is not to say all games do this. Fallout 3, Oblivion, and Battlefield 3 come to mind as great examples of post release support for a game. They delivered a base product that felt complete and then added onto it with some great content.

    2. Yeah this, normally i try and keep away from this whole entitled gamer and white straight male privilege talk, mainly because it is just a vocal minority on both sides yelling stupid assumptions at each other. But for the last few episodes of VGA it seems like a focal point which is starting to wear a bit thin, there is enough of this going on all over the internet recently. Please, i beg of you, no more.

  15. I agree with Micheal that budgets are killing creativity because of the risks and how companys don’t want to lose money on a game that won’t be profitable. Companys are taking fewer risks and leaves some games stale in many people’s mouths because of how most games are made to be the same because they can relief on what things will sell.

  16. With regard to the consumerist poll. Yeah there are worse companies and all that but it’s an internet poll. Had a really bad company won, they would not have given a shit. They wouldn’t have even acknowledged it. Whereas EA wins, they get all pissy and their stock drops maybe it’ll change some of their business practices.

  17. I personally think that sacrificing good gameplay in order to “appeal” to a wider audience is a lot more detrimental to video gaming as a whole than DLC and DRM. The best example of this is Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Generic story and lacluster music aside, the developers decided to ditch the “fly an airplane” model of gameplay and added in flashy maneuvers and an automatic dogfighting system. Oh and did I mention the regenerating health that allowed you to crash in to the ground without dying?

    Keep in mind, I do understand why a company would try to appeal to the masses by simplifying the gameplay. After all, people need to make their money back. I just hate it when the changes ruin a perfectly fine game.

  18. DLC that should be in the main game is something that has bugged me lately. Asura’s Wrath required you to pay another $8 to see the “true ending”. I know the game is heavily influenced by anime and they are guilty of the same exploitative way of getting more money out of people but they shouldn’t be copying the worst tropes of the genre. When I pay money for a game then that game should have at least a beginning, middle and end.

    Mass Effect 3 was another example of DLC that should have been in the game because having it makes the core story better. I had friends who played it way after it came out and had a blast with it because they had a lot more explanation for the ending because of the DLC. To be fair the last bit of DLC for ME3 was great but I think that is because they weren’t linking to the main story and had a bit of fun with it.

    So I’m not completely against DLC. I think DLC can actually add something different to a game, just look at RDR: Undead Nightmare and Minerva’s Den for great examples of this. I just don’t like the idea of not getting the full story because I didn’t pay for the DLC

  19. All the Super Hero games you mentioned were from this generation which was a bit of a let down. I can’t believe you overlooked The Punisher game by THQ is sooo good and the X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse game for the SNES a fun beat-em-up with bad platforming . The SNES Spiderman and X Men game was fun ( Rose coloured glasses tho )

    No Anne you are not a bad sister, my 11 year old has beat all of the Bioshock games however I did make him play them on PS3 so that might make me a bad father ….

  20. TL;DR: Gamers are some of the most conservative-minded, change-hating people out there. I think that, more than anything, is holding games back. People want the same thing over and over and the success and popularity of HD remakes and re-releases proves that.

    Everyone pretty much hit the nail on the head. High budgets, teams constantly being let go, etc, but I think Grimm had the best point. Doesn’t matter how you lean politically or ideologically, gamers tend to be just as conservative and fearful of change as any Tea Party, Revelations-quoting asshole out there. I love games and I love gaming culture, but we (as a whole) are stuck in the past a lot of the time.

    Whenever a new game in a series is announced, it gets shit on if it’s too different from past games. However, if it’s too samey, we hate on it too (see sports games or Dynasty Warriors games), because it didn’t do anything different. There’s a magic formula that works on gamers, who almost need to be treated like children in order to be tricked into giving their money to a publisher. When the publisher tries to get their return back via DLC, marketing, etc., us babies cry and whine and moan.

    I would love nothing more than for gamers and games to be taken seriously in the world, but shit like EA being voted the worst company recently just shows how far behind we really are. It’s sickening to see, and I can’t help but just shake my head at that sort of thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love an HD remake or revival of an old franchise, I just wish we could see more new, great things alongside them.

  21. Hurting the industry? Obviously, it’s ballooning budgets. I think games are trying to be like film: Make an expensive product and charge to see it. HOWEVER, the difference is that AAA games are not as ubiquitous as movies. While Call of Duty might MAKE more money than Avatar, it’s not selling as many units/tickets. For games to truly grow, the cost has to come DOWN while getting more butts in the seats (or in front of the screen, as it were).

    $100,000,000 budgets are NOT sustainable on hardcore titles if you’re only going to sell $60 games. Even if you have something like Assassins Creed 3 with tens of millions in the budget, you also have to factor in marketing/advertising. Therefore, however counter-intuitive, the systems and games have to be CHEAPER and easier to access to make more money at a lower profit margin.

    Or else everything becomes a Zynga, micro-transaction nightmare.

  22. What’s hurting the industry is just the massive budgets. I also think it’s because gamers have a different idea of what they think is worth their 60 bucks. I keep seeing more and more worthwhile games getting pushed to the “will wait till price drop” category. This seems to stem more from them not thinking it’s worth full price, than not having the money to buy it.

  23. I’m a listener living in Brooklyn. So yes you do have listeners in New York.
    And our craft beers are AWESOME. SO THERE!

    1. HERE, HERE, ya heaaaar?

      decent craft beer + retro arcade cabinet games + pool table/movie projector screen = Brooklyn wateringholes. yeah, Barcade apparently isn’t unique to Brooklyn, anymore, and yeah, maybe the place has turned unbearable in the years i’ve not been, but this is New York. i mean, it’s the most loved city; you see everyone carrying ‘I <3 NY' plastic bags and coathangers (dry-cleaning pickup)–even outside New York.

      also, pizza and really good musicians/parties 24 hrs a day, seven days a week.

  24. the fact that AAA games sell at the same 60 dollars that a crappy movie game does means that games like tomb raider and dmc “fail” even after selling millions of copies. We need to start pricing games based on their quality and how much is in them. I wouldn’t mind paying 70-80 dollars for big games if small games were 30-40 dollars. (xbla games are priced like this, but I mean even games that are just small but still retail-sold.)

  25. sorry, but i’ve got to be honest; it’s painful for me to listen to Vidjagame Apocalypse: hosts and guests are interrupting each other, the bits and jokes are really too thin, and even then they’re spread out over frequent, excruciatingly drawn out sighs. the Bro-episode…that, i winced through–early days and all that. however, it took Tyler getting completely buried in/under this episode for me to speak out.

    this podcast needs another charismatic regular host to facilitate the back-and-forth: the current set-up of Mikel and Anne is incomplete. Chris is the glue that holds things together, and without him, there are gaping holes between the sentences, the awkward laughter. he simply cannot be everywhere, forever, i know that. but do the hosts? to pull out a tv scene, this is what it feels like:

    “oh, it’s my really obese mum. she’s…sorry, i’ve got to take this…”
    Ketchup leaves the table with phone pressed against one ear. Bun and Sausage look after him, longingly.
    minutes pass.
    “er…so. i like…stuff. do you like…stuff?” Sausage asks Bun. ‘do we even have anything in common, aside from Ketchup?’ he asks himself.
    Bun glances at Sausage, who is facing her, then quickly looks away when their eyes meet.
    “stuff? yeah…i like…stuff. lots of stuff,” Bun says. she strangles out a small chuckle.
    Sausage laughs, hyper-aware of every word dropping like stones between them.
    both breathe out loud, long sighs, polite, downcast eyes, wondering how long they have to do this.

    the chemistry here is an uneasy one, and it is crying out for more personalities. or more prep and post-production. successful podcasts feature personalities that generate seemingly effortless banter. that often comes from years of dick jokes, teabagging bonhomie, and trying to out-drink, out-embarass one another.

    also, maybe initiate listener sponsorship of episodes, so there is more focus, incentive, and…stuff? i want Vidjagame Apocalypse to make monies, make people happy, and bring peace on earth!

    sincerely,
    TDar fan

  26. I’d say piracy and the fight against it i’m pretty sure EA, Ubisoft and Blizzard spent immense amounts of cash and time on always online DRM which could have easily been spent on improving Sim City, AC 2 and Diablo 3 respectively all 3 which were big desired titles which, if they weren’t desired sequels im pretty sure no one would have bought them because of DRM. In case of Diablo and Sim City many problems could have been fixed with the extra time and money and as seen with AC 2 they ended up caving removing the DRM and even gave out a free game as a my bad for shotty servers. In case of pirates no one can feed themselves and their families on happinees alone, I know this is old but Crysis had a ratio of 12 pirate copies for every 1 copy sold. I know it doesn’t mean they would have had 12 times more sales if they weren’t pirated but even at 10% of the pirates buying a legit copy of the game that would have doubled sales which would have given employees much more security in an unsecure market.

  27. Thanks for reading my answer on the last show! You definitely made my day; I dropped my cigarette and burned my dumbass self when i heard my response but it was worth the scar. As for the Q&A I think what’s hurting the industry is both the incredibly high cost it takes to make huge games and the fact that there are so many coming out at the same time. There’s just too much to choose from and a company needs to sell a shit ton of games to get any percentage of their money back. I love all the quality AAA titles that are coming out but I just can’t throw down 200 dollars every month to get them. So i wait until it sells on the cheap or get it used which goes to either a private seller or game store. I know it sucks but I’m just a man! A weak, weak man that would rather buy el shaddai for 10 bucks than 60! So the company who put all that work into a game gets diddly-dick and then has to shut down.

  28. I think piracy hurts the game industry a lot. Tons of time and money goes into games, and when the games are pirated for free, the companies involved with the game gets nothing in return. I think its similar to whats happening in the music industry. Why put in a lot of time, effort and money when you get nothing in return?

    I might have to pirate a copy of Bust A Groove if it isnt released on XBL or PSN soon though. Somebody should get on that.

  29. I think people are letting Spider-Man 3 or other gripes with the movies ruin their image of Toby as the character.

    I though he was a perfect Peter Parker and I really can’t see anyone play that character better. Now as Spider-Man I think he could have been better but I think that’s more the fault of the script or direction. Those movies had a lot of heart and I still love going back to them.

    Not really into Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane. She really didn’t fit the confidence of the character.

    I think with the “EA worst company thing” it seems more like EA will actually see and think about how they look than Blackwater or some of the really terrible companies out there.

    Great episode BTW.

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