Vidjagame Apocalypse 27 – Minions, d00d!

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With the release of Pikmin 3 this week, it’s high time we paid tribute to the great unsung heroes of gaming: disposable minions. Specifically your disposable minions. We also have a lively discussion about Dragon’s Crown’s extreme stylization, chat a bit about Phil Fish and online abuse, and explore your ideas for kaiju games.

Question of the Week

Has there ever been a game that people tried to shame you into playing so much, you never wanted to actually play it?

CONTEST!

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Want to win a Dungeon Defenders Steam code (courtesy of listener Cory Ward) and/or a Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Xbox 360 code? Listen to this week’s community segment and follow the instructions before Aug. 14, 2013, and you could win!

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54 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 27 – Minions, d00d!

  1. The Last of Us. All of my friends were hyped, even the ones who don’t have Playstation 3s. I couldn’t help from being overly critical and douchey about it while playing it and couldn’t allow myself to enjoy it at all. I haven’t played it very much yet, but I’m planning on rectifying that soon and getting lost in what I know will be a fantastic game.

    And I’d like to say I’ve been disgusted with all the Phil Fish comments I’ve seen as of late calling him a little bitch or a fag and I’ve become extremely annoyed with the community in itself because of them and the COD comments alike. I felt disappointed with myself being a gaming fan with all of this happening but your conversation definitely helped me get a better perspective on everything. Thank you for the great, light-hearted discussion, it’s why I go to you guys over all others.

    1. I played Last of Us on my own volition, even showed up to the midnight launch, and I don’t feel as “connected” as some people seem to be to the Last of Us it is certainly a quality experience but I just don’t feel that extra shot of espresso other people seem to.

  2. QOTW: No because I’m always the asshole that is shaming everyone else into experiencing the good stuff because I am with it on the culture and all my opinions are right thanks to the information provided by the LaserTime Network.

  3. Ico keeps being pushed on me yet in my personal experience only for reasons that come off as pretentious and from their own nostalgia, praising it non-stop yet without giving any reasons say a critic or retrospective might give, just repeating (in a foppish voice) “because it’s art”. Also, while it had the same developer, its links to Shadow of the Colossus appear to be in certain stylistic choices and small plot elements, ignoring the different gameplay and pace the other has, which for many are stronger reasons to play a game. Asking whether Ico has even aged well or not doesn’t seem to be a valid question to them.

    I have the HD collection but I don’t think I can enjoy Ico now due to unreasonable expectations long after its original release and the mentality of some of its fans.

    1. Yeah, ICO definitely didn’t age well in my opinion. And not just because of the graphics, the gameplay itself feels clunky and stiff. And maybe at the time the interactions with yorda felt meaningful, but now they feel shallow and irritating, specially with how games have handled companions in a much better way lately.

      So yeah, played ICO a year ago and kinda hated it….

      1. Shadow of the Colossus is a very strong contender for being my favourite game of all time… but I’ve never finished Ico. I’ve got the HD Collection, and I used to own the a PS2 copy of Ico a while ago, but I’ve never had the motivation to get all the way through it. No idea why.

  4. Braid, when it came out everyone kept telling me it’s a moving amazing gameplay experience and how it was art and not a game. It appeared so pretentious to me that i still refuse to play it.

  5. QOTW: Final Fantasy 7. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had in middle and high school where I’d mention I play games, the other person would say, “Oh man so how much did you love FF7?” to which I’d reply I never played it. They’d then explode and say, “THEN HOW THE HELL CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF A GAMER!?”

    Add all the general hype and fellatio that game receives (whether or not its warranted is irrelevant), and to this day I still haven’t played it. I know of the story, how revolutionary it was, all that jazz. Just not interested, none of the characters or story appeal to me. If they ever release an HD version on PSN, maaaaaybe then I’ll play, but probably not.

  6. QotW: WoW. I spent 7 solid years (’03-10) playing RuneScape and there were several friends I lost to WoW. I had a bias against the game for that but eventually I gave in and tried it but after getting a couple minutes in and getting a cliche “kill creature and bring me X bones” quest I quit and never returned.

  7. QOTW: For the longest time, back when I owned a 360, my best friend (who was a huge ps3 fanboy) kept pushing and pushing me to play Uncharted 2 with him back in high-school. It started to get so annoying that I would start badmouthing the game, even though I knew it probably wasn’t that bad. Cut to now when I actually do have a ps3, and it’s one of my favorite games ever.

    1. Also today’s Vidjagamepocalypse taught me that Pluto is Mickey’s mentally-handicapped gimp (the more you know!)

  8. I just listened to the segment about the Call of Duty patch release outbursts. As a long time gamer, I feel that this is so disgraceful. Maybe not as much now, but gaming was something that filed one into the “nerd” stereotype. Often, us “nerds” were bullied in high school where we would be verbally attacked for liking such nerdy things or were considered a loser by the “cool guys/jock” type. For someone who would be hailed a nerd if stereotyped to verbally attack and threaten another, they’re doing the exact same thing. It deeply saddens me that instead of trying to better ourselves and rise above the negativity that we stoop so low and do the same things that put us in such a weak, defenseless position.
    Thanks guys, keep up the great work.

  9. QotW:
    I can super sympathise with Ann because my friends keep going on about Final Fantasy like its the tits but actual answer would be DOTA 2. I don’t like strategy games to begin with (fucking sue me) but for about 7 months my friends have been pushing me to play DOTA 2, so I finally gave in… and fucking hated it. I had no idea what to do and the shitty tutorials or my friends didnt really help. Unfortunately it’s the only game they play (they have over 1000 hours in it) so I kept trying to get into it but it’s super dull. Of the 6 hours of attempting to like it, only 1 game was actually fun.

  10. Quote: Lollipop Chainsaw, My friends keep telling me that the music is so good in game. But looking at it, I can’t get my head around the story. Fighting zombies in a world with magic :-/

  11. QOTW: Uncharted series, I have tried so many times and just can’t get into those games. In Uncharted 2 I did like the Crash Bandicoot call backs with the running down an alley being chased by something part.

    Every now and then I try to play uncharted and quickly become bored and wanting to play something else. Always felt like its good at many aspects of video games but a master of none.

  12. Interesting discourse on Dragon’s Crown. I think the best portion of it was when one of you guys pointed out that the objectification swung both ways; women are sexualized but the men are super-macho. This means that men are expected to live up to the machismo those characters extol. It’s not JUST women being objectified, people. Thank you for pointing that out.

    That said, I fall into the “Oh, get over it” crowd. Mountains out of molehills. I’m really getting tired of feminism starting to get into the game design debate. If we have to design characters to be sensitive to all cultures, we end up with this milquetoast middle-of-the-road focus-grouped-to-death character design that nobody hates or loves. Boring.

    Ever see the movie Pleasantville? Let’s just only allow games that present women in a “pleasant” and respectful manner. And then burn all the rest in a pile in front of city hall.

    My other point is that all this objectification works itself out in other ways: I think somebody on your podcast said it best when they said that they didn’t want to be seen playing this game in public.I certainly wouldn’t want my girlfriend to see this game and would never play it in front of her. If you make a game that’s socially distasteful enough, no one will want to play it except social outcasts or sad neckbeards—and those people need games too. Won’t someone think of the neckbeards?

    1. “milquetoast middle-of-the-road focus-grouped-to-death character design that nobody hates or loves”

      I’d argue that’s what we have at the moment IE a sea of bald muscley white male protagonists.

      1. There’s a lot of diversity in our protagonists, you’re either just not looking or only playing God of War:

        • Lee, from THE WALKING DEAD, season 1. Black male, not bald. Paired with Clementine, a small girl of indeterminate race (maybe black). This game also sports a rather diverse range of supporting characters.

        • Joel, from The Last of Us. Admittedly White Male but not bald, and paired with Ellie, a teenage white girl. The game also contains a character that is the most honest portrayal of a homosexual I’ve yet seen in a game.

        • Remember Me stars a female lead.

        • Metal Gear Solid 2 has a female protagonist known as Raiden.

        • The PS1 series called FEAR EFFECT starred a female lead, with a sequel that paired the female with another female lead.

        • In Resident Evil 5, a white male is paired is a black female, both fully playable throughout the entire campaign. (Although this is not a terribly good example of being culturally sensitive)

        • The PS3 launched with a game called Heavenly Sword, which starred a female lead.

        • While you play as a teenage boy in Persona 4, there are very important characters in the game that blur the line with questions of gender identity and sexual preference.

        • While as of late the Final Fantasy series hasn’t been very good, it has always managed to keep a stable of diverse characters that span different genders and races (in some cases, species).

        • In Beyond Good and Evil, you play as a strong female lead with a pig for a sidekick.

        There’s lots of diversity in games. At least way more than in film.

        1. The fact that you had to reach as far back as PS1 shows how little diversity there really is. Especially since the only thing people have taken out of Fear Effect is that lesbiens are hot.

          1. No, it’s just that my memory is longer than yours.

            Honestly, I just pulled that list off the top of my head. As in, as I wrote the post I had thought of them up at random. So random that even Fear Effect came up. A game series that no one has thought about since 1999.

            I mean, if you *really* want me to go back, I could go as far back as Super Mario Bros. 2 (aka Super Mario USA) for the original NES. That game featured the first ever transgender character in a game (IIRC). It was Birdo, the pink dinosaur thing that shot eggs at you. The inscription in the manual reads that Birdo is a boy that thinks he’s a girl. Not sure if Nintendo has retconned that.

            But anyways, you keep it cool.

        2. I’m not saying there’s NO diversity, but there’s definitely not much.

          Ignoring the fact that at least 2 and a half of your examples are white male leads (I don’t know enough about Persona or FF to comment) and that at least 5 of them are more than 5 years old (hardly a good look at the current landscape in games), I will try and match your 10 examples with the white bulky baldy male stereotype main characters from big games this generation:

          Gears of War
          God of War
          Infamous
          Dead Space
          Grand Theft Auto IV
          Hitman: Absolution
          Spec Ops: The Line
          Max Payne 3
          Assassin’s Creed
          Call of Duty (I’ll admit, this one is an assumption.)

          NOW, if we really have achieved diversity in games, we’d be able to think of 10 black gay female lead characters of the same status, n’est pas?

          I think even thinking of 10 female or black or Hispanic or Asian or gay main characters at this level would be difficult.

          I like to focus on positives though, and say what is going well, so I will say Lee Everett is a step in the right direction, and I think the most recent Tomb Raider has a good depiction of a strong female lead (ironic considering how Lara Croft has been used primarily as a male fantasy in past generations).

  13. QOTW: Kingdom Hearts. I like Disney and I’m cool with Final Fantasy, but two friends have been bugging me to try it for a while and its gotten to the point where whenever it is brought up I feel less and less like playing it. Not even really sure why, guess its just the little bit of hipster in me.

  14. QOTW: An old roommate of has shamed me multiple time to play multiple games such as Final Fantasy XIII and Skyrim. Multiple times he has bought guides and DLC for me so that I will play the games that he has recommended, essentially forcing me to play these games, if only for a few hours.

  15. For me, it would have to be the Legend of Zelda games, but more specifically Ocarina of Time. Never played it back in the day, and didn’t really think it was that big of a deal until I got into college 3 years ago. I was actually cursed out by one of my friends for not playing that game, and he said that all my credibility as a gamer was lost in that moment. Still haven’t played the game, probably never will.

  16. I really appreciated how you kept the top 5 to 30 minutes, the hour long top 5s felt really dragged out and restrictive.

  17. QOTW: Borderlands. At first I was willing to try it on a friend’s recommendation, but after a few times trying to get into it, I gave up. I know that it’s a great game, but I just can’t get into it. Every time I sit down, fully willing to play it, I quit thirty minutes in because I just get bored. That, along with my friends’ constantly telling about how great it is and how much I would love it, made me completely give up the game and never go back.

    Side note: I’ve been a longtime fan of all the podcasts, but for some reason just now joined the community, and I’d like to say thanks so much for making such great content.

    1. It is now but it was pretty great back in the day. My personal fav was FFIII, the one with all the branching storylines, mechs and epic boss fight in the end.

  18. I don’t have many friends that play games but the mass enjoyment I hear about half life kind of puts me there. It’s more of ” I’m so sick of hearing about it there’s no WAY I’d be able to play it.”

  19. QOTW: Fallout (especially 3 & New Vegas).

    My main game playing friends love Fallout so much. While I was living with one of them I saw him play through a good portion of it, and another friend of ours had her save file at our flat as well.

    As a result they’ve had references in conversation to events and locations in Fallout 3 that I have never fully been a part of. A friend lent me her copy recently, but at this stage I can’t imagine it living up to the hype they have built.

    Plus, it sounds very big, and there’s no way I have time for that shit.

  20. Conveniently enough, my answer to the QOTW lines up nicely with one of this episode’s topics. One game I refuse to play is Fez, because Phil Fish himself tried so hard to shame me into playing it. Or maybe it was that he shamed himself while trying to make me play it. Or maybe it’s because Phil Fish sucks and is a disgrace to Canadians. I haven’t listened to this episode yet, but I sincerely hope you guys didn’t defend him too much. The guy is a douche; don’t dish shit out if you can’t take it. I took the passive-aggressive route and just decided not to give him money rather than attacking him via twitter or whatever, but I can understand people doing that when his idea of PR is telling people with valid criticisms to “suck his dick and choke on it”.

    Also, I hope your discussion about Dragon’s Crown isn’t as negative as the gaming press is being towards that game. So far the artstyle is one of my favorite things about it because it’s gorgeous and ridiculously bombastic and it doesn’t apologize for any of it. I will say that the dwarf is way too sexualized and that his design makes me feel insecure because my thighs will never be that muscular.

  21. I absolutely love how Brett appeared out of nowhere like he teleported into the room solely to give Mikel shit.

  22. QOTW: Friends have tried on a number of occasions to get me to play Final Fantasy, Dark Souls, any Football Manager game and The Sims amongst others, and ive never gotten more than a polite distance into them. The one game I was desperate to love and just could not get into at all was Little Big Planet. My best friend from university worked as one of the level designers for the LBP1 DLC and for LBP2, and was obviously very keen to show me not only his own levels, but how every intricate little thing worked in tiny detail. He would then hand me the controller, looking up at me with those big expectant eyes and expect me to dive headlong into making my own levels. I humoured him and began creating the most basic of platformers, knowing full well my limited levels of patience and creativity would run dry in a very short space of time. Sure enough, in 5 minutes he grabbed the controller and showed me all the ways i could make the level more interesting. He then leant me his spare PS3 so i could work on my level at home and give him updates. I couldnt face telling him i just wasnt interested in making a level, so i returned the PS3 a week later after wiping the memory “accidentally”

  23. I really expected to HATE Lorne Balfe’s Assassin’s Cred music, but he did the cut-scenes for Revelations and the whole AC3 soundtrack, and it was awesome! They have a new guy for AC4, I think it’s “Mike” or “Matt” something

  24. My shame game is actually like Anne’s response, it’s a whole genre of games. Now there are some sports games I’m a fan of, but by far the two biggest sports games are Madden and Fifa, both of which are games people have tried to shame me into playing.

    For some of my friends, the sport-game-du-jour is a way of life for them. Wake up, smoke some…things, and play said game until it’s time to eat or go out and be social. I don’t mind hanging out, watching people play each other in those games, but when all of a sudden someone quits the game and my friend is forced to play single player or go online, they will inevitably ask if I want to play. Usually I refuse, but whenever I’m chided into playing it always ends up in a horribly one-sided tilt where they just run up the score all while I’m praying they’ll just let me quit at halftime. I really have no desire to play these games in order to improve my skill level, yet at times it just seems like a given that occasionally I’m just gonna have to suck it and let my friend score an ungodly amount of points against my hapless team.

    Unless we’re talking about NBA 2k, NHL or MLB 2k. Now those games are actually a lot of fun.

  25. League of Legends. Also I don’t want to be associated with Sonic fans. It’s not exactly the same, because I’m not playing to avoid shame.

  26. QOTW: Super Smash Bros. I am a big fighting game fan! I love Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Ultimate Marvael vs Capcom, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and WWE games.

    However, all of my friends are always roping me into playing the latest Smash Bros game…and I don’t get what the appeal is to the game. Smash Bros is always on the top ten list for whatever Nintendo system you are talking about, and it has a huge rabid fan base. I am a huge Nintendo fan and love all of the characters and games from the company. But, the mechanics and gameplay are something that I just cannot grasp. Maybe I am just an idiot…but I still don’t know how the Hell this game works. The only pleasure I have ever gotten from it, was playing as either Solid Snake or Link, making my opponent Pikachu…and beating the living shit out of that little yellow bastard.

    Sorry if I have no soul, but I always feel pressure to play Smash Bros…and hate every fucking minute of it.

  27. On the topic of people making comments that threaten the lives of developers and their families is something I would love to start a topic on because I found everything you guys said during the discussion very fascinating. First off…to all of my fellow gamers who think it is funny, cool, or even acceptable to make comments that threaten the lives of other human beings and their families…I would love to make a comment on how I feel you should be subject to corporal punishment in public…but then I would be sinking way way down to your level.

    That being said, I would love to ask…what the fuck goes through your twisted and demented minds when you make threats that you will murder and/or rape the family of anyone else??? I don’t care if they are a developer, a designer, or just one of us common folk who don’t work in the Video Game industry??? I am a husband to a 7 month pregnant woman, a 10 year old boy, and an 8 year old girl…and if someone ever made those vile comments about raping my family and murdering them one by one while I watch…then you are truly a sick fuck!!!

    In the light of such tragic events as the Columbine shootings, the 9/11 attacks, the Sandy Hook Shootings, and the Boston Marathon Bombing…I cannot fathom how people feel it funny, amusing, or even socially acceptable to make such sadistic and psychotic comments.

    The only thing I can imagine, is that people love to hide behind the anonymity that the internet grants you. Because I can promise, that if anyone threatened to kill/rape my pregnant wife, 10 year old son, or my 8 year old daughter right to my face…I would break your fucking nose!

    There have been so many times that someone in the media or someone involved in pop culture has made a decision or expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with. As much as I detested the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie, and hated what they did to Deadpool and Gambit….I have never thought about killing, raping, or torturing those responsible and their family members. I have ranted about how lazy I feel they were while making the movie, and that their style of writing is terrible…but I never called them names and threatened their lives. I have even disagreed with the opinions of those on Laser Time, Vidjagame Apocalypse, and Cape Crisis…but instead of taking to the forum and calling them retards or telling them I am going to kill them, I may comment on if I feel they scored a game to high or to low…but I never tell them how retarded they are and how they should die.

    Before you speak like that again…imagine someone coming into your work or home…commenting on how poorly you made their burger, how much of a shitty job you did while preparing their taxes, or how the TV they purchased from your store was a total piece of shit…now imagine they followed that critisizm with comments that they are going to rape and murder all of your family members, make you watch, rape your wife in front of you, make you wear her skin as they slowly kill you with a knife while raping you. You would be devastated and pretty fucking scared.

    I guess what I am trying to say is…be a good person, rise above the act of yelling at someone, think about how it would make them feel (and how it would make you feel is those comments were directed at you. and how it will make you look.

    And if this plea Hasn’t made any difference on the total asshole did did this all of the time…

    Tjanks0cik

  28. i guess mass effect
    yeah. all they hype and praise around the first game lead me to buy it and i didn’t get it. a crappy 3rd person shooter with next to no meaningful rpg customization and tinkering? To me it was just ok. Got the second game just cuz I played the first and i thought it was better except it was just more of a straight up 3rd person shooter and basically no rpg elements to be found. Was not interested in the third game what so ever but i guess i should play it so see how it ends?

    Have not started it to this day and its sitting in my steam library and my friend who’s a huge bioware fan keeps badgering me to play it so he can talk to me about the ending

  29. Smash Bros. is always a game that my friends, and society seems to hold in very high regard. I love a good fighting game (huge fan of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Injustice, and Marvel vs Capcom 3), and I also love Nintendo and all of their franchises, so you’d think that the combination would be a match made in heaven. But, the game mechanics and overall gameplay is something that I have yet to master or get the hang of at all. Now, I fully acknowledge that this might just be a problem with me and not the opinions of everyone else. I still don’t know how the hell to play this game…so badly that my 10 year old son kicks my ass at this everytime.

  30. Star Wars :the old republic. I was at the time just starting to get into mmo’s (all free) while the game came out. I had been playing Star Trek Online and for the life of me can barely do combat with a board so I must rely on my inherent skills with a controller mouse combo
    I was berated by friends to play then decided to compare them… wait no controller, I have to buy the game and subscribe, and the space combat… uh, I’ll stick to STO thanks.

  31. Anne, I know what you mean and I don’t like any of the Final Fantasy games except FF III (SNES). Branching storylines with soooo many lovable characters and epic, epic boss fight, was the hay day of FF in my opinion.

    For me I’d say I was forced to pick up Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 to play with my friends even though I hate what CoD has become. Yeah it was fun co-op for a few weeks or a month but It wasn’t worth the money since I don’t play it anymore. I like Halo or Battlefield myself.

    Great episode guys, oh man I laughed so hard the first time I heard MINIONS! from The Monarch. God I love that show and you guys got even more points – where the points don’t matter right – for the funny sfx reference. I’d put Mario March of the Minis as an honorable mention, sort of minions but there are a hell of a lot of them.

  32. I’m usually the one shaming my friends to play games. My friend Grant still hasn’t played a Zelda game and I keep telling him to play Wind Waker, I even lent him my copy which he still has not put into his Wii. Same with the Yakuza games, he didn’t even get to the point in Yakuza 3 where you are in Tokyo. Only game I can think of being shamed into playing was FFX because my mate Dave kept telling me I needed to play it but I think I only ever got 10 hours into it before giving up on it. The combat and story just didn’t grab me, might give it another shot when the HD version finally comes out. I do like FF games with FFIV, FFVII and FFIX being my favorites so don’t know what it was about FFX that I found so off putting

  33. QOTW: I have never been able to get into Red Dead Redemption, despite constantly hearing how great it is and loving GTA 4 I just haven’t been able to get past the opening hour or three so far. Also Final Fantasy 13 which I have not even tried starting, guess I just have a problem with getting to many games that require a ton of time and never really getting around to them.

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