Vidjagame Apocalypse 126 – Last-Gen Games That Stood On Their Own

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As much as the games industry catches flak for being a giant disgusting sequel factory, it has its fair share of great games that – whether by design or by circumstance – never got sequels, and maybe never will. Michael Grimm joins us this week to shuffle through five of our favorites*, after which we talk Tales From the Borderlands, new retro game consoles, Grin’s death by Kickstarter, and the first games that ever bored you.

*Informed by a strong belief that The Last of Us is about to get a sequel and a total ignorance at time of recording of Triad Wars, which is an MMO non-sequel anyway.

Question of the Week

What’s your favorite game (of all time) that never became a series?

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25 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 126 – Last-Gen Games That Stood On Their Own

  1. I nearly choked to death on my always fresh subway sandwich listening to this episode!

  2. Ahh, Bullet Storm. Great game.

    This made me want to go back and listen to “Fire in your Hole” by Miracle of Sound.

    Good cast, guys!

  3. For QotW I wanna say ‘Split/Second’, Black Rock Studios last game before being shut down by Disney in 2011. It’s one of my favourite racers which I still play to this day. Its unique selling point was that instead of gaining boost for pulling off drifts (like in every other arcade racer at the time) you’d instead build up a “powerplay” meter. This meter let you set off various traps around the racetrack in order to crash your fellow racers, with level 3 powerplays causing massive destruction such as pulling airliners out of the sky or exploding nuclear power stations. This meant you could potentially alter the layout of course creating a level of strategy not often seen in racing games. It was like the also forgotten ‘Motorstorm Apocalypse’ but with more thought put into the environment collapsing set-pieces. I would LOVE to see a sequel to this game or any other kind of action/arcade racer for that matter. Unfortunately the focus these days seems to have returned to realism with the only exception being ‘Forza Horizon’, but even that’s an incredibly tame racer compared with the likes of Split/Second.

  4. This is pretty telling about the industry, but I actually had to think for a few minutes to any one-offs I’ve played in the last couple of years

  5. Just finished the episode. I know I saw that old GR video on Reddit’s front page and copied it to the comments section here. I didn’t mean to stir up bad memories, I just thought it was cool that it made it to the front page.

  6. Chris, Dave and Grimm in a room together is like a comedy-pun apocalypse!
    why would you invite this into our hearts MIkel?!
    I love Grimm’s explanation of why Deadly Premonition exists.

    i like the 8 bit version of the lasertime theme.

    I’m on reddit, but I mostly only stay in the Kamen Rider & Super Sentai section and those are really fun and positive communities. I love them.
    so weird that Chris went and read comments on a GR youtube video.
    let them get the venom. you guys build something different something better.
    foster a more positive community as long as possible.

    i have NEVER in my life, heard Legendary Wings talked about SO MUCH.
    this game was the bane of me and my sister. my dad got it for us not having any idea of what was good or bad or FUN. and there we sat two confused, little kids, struggling to make it past that first stage, forever haunted by the music.

  7. My favorite game that never became a series is definitely Crystalis, which is my favorite NES game of all time. I was totally hyped up for it due to extensive Nintendo Power coverage and it met all expectations. It also ended up making me a bit of a snob, causing me to not want to play any Zelda game because I felt Crystalis was so much better, from the graphics to the weird post-apocalyptic story to the gameplay. It did many things gameplay-wise that Zelda hadn’t done until later iterations like jumping. It also allowed you to charge up swords three levels for cool spell effects, talk to animals, and ride a dolphin.

    Sadly, there always seemed to be rumors of a sequel, but SNK never delivered. I still think it’s their best game to date.

    On the Zelda front, I finally ended up playing The Minish Cap as my first Zelda game a few years after it came out. It was excellent, and I wish to one day play Wind Waker, Ocarina, Majora’s Mask, and Link to the Past when I find the time.

    – Chris McDougall

  8. Goddamn, this was funny as hell. And don’t worry, Mikel, this horrid games drought will end soon, and you’ll actually have new games to talk about.

    And I have to say this: Dave is usually my hero for always quoting the Simpsons with perfect accuracy (which is usually my role around my friends), but I get to correct him about one! Silly Sailor imprisoned Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy in his “floating aqua world”. Love ya, Dave.

  9. I gotta go with Eternal Darkness. A buddy of mine randomly picked it up for me for my birthday. I was just discovering H.P. Lovecraft at the time, and really liked the different time lines. I’ve heard rumors of a spiritual successor or HD rerelease, but never part 2…

  10. QOTW:

    You guys have good taste, Vanquish, Deadly Premonition and Sleeping Dogs would be my top picks as well. I really loved Binary Domain, a sci-fi third-person shooter made by the guys who make the Yakuza games, set in a futuristic Tokyo. I loved pretty much everything about it. Sadly, Sega didn’t really advertize it at all and it only sold like 20,000 copies in the US, so we never got a sequel. You can get it extremely cheap on Xbox 360, PS3, and Steam, check it out if you like slick Japanese Vanquish-style shooters.

  11. growing up as a Nintendo kid the first Sony game and the first JRPG I ever played was Legend of Dragoon . I would have love to see that become a franchise. if not that then uniracers or mischief makers.

  12. QOTW:

    Spartan: Total Warrior

    Spartan is a very little-known PS2 action-brawler created by none other than the Brits at The Creative Assembly. You know, the guys who are single-handedly saving Sega with endless RTS games? And Alien Isolation, weirdly enough.

    Anyway, Spartan: Total Warrior is basically a Greek-themed Dynasty Warriors, but with some actual BALLS on it. For one, the enemies actually fight back. You need to vary your attack patterns, dividing time between straightforward strikes and the dash-forward, horizontal strike to clear space on the battlefield.

    Story progression through the weird Greek / Roman mythology mash-up (yes, Greeks and Romans fight each other, the historical inaccuracy would give Mikel a murder-boner) brings remarkable weapon variety. You’ll need to swap them on the fly, ranging between sword & shield, twin swords, and The Best Spear In Videogames. Each weapon also has individual super-moves bound to the straight and dash-forward attacks that you can either focus on a single big-bad, or on a group of fodder. Coupled with magic, shield-bash attacks, and kick moves, the combat system really is the deepest western-developed brawler ever.

    The sad part is that Creative Assembly later developed an atrocious spiritual sequel in Viking: Battle for Asgard on PS3, so we’ll never likely see a real-live successor, especially give the dev’s penchant for RTS and the praise for their Alien game.

  13. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this but Psychonauts is in my top 10 favorite games of all time and it saddens me that it never became a series or even got one sequel. The game play is some of the best platforming in any game and the humor still makes me laugh to this day. My brother and I spent long hours playing that game when it came out 10 years ago and still quote lines of dialogue to each other.

    Great episode guys that beginning section had me in stitches and reminded me a lot of the old TalkRadar days. Don’t get beat up about the YouTube comments, you guys make some of the best content on the internet. You’re right about reddit though. Its become so toxic that I’ve pretty much unsubbed from the majority of the default subreddits and only follow r/cars and a few specific motorsports and gaming subreddits.

  14. This was a really solid top 5 and a really solid episode. I’m glad you guys laid the love on Sleeping Dogs. It’s definitely one of my favorite games ever already. I love the setting, I love the combat, and it’s probably the best driving in an open world game.

  15. As far as games that need a sequel. I would have to say anything from Capcom that did not get a sequel, (yes no matter how bad they were). In general, their first games were horrible or mediocre, but their sequels are amazing. Example of games that had phenomenal sequels: Street Fighter 1, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter 3, Mega Man 1. If they would have stopped at number one every time like they do now, we would have never received those wonderful franchises. They really shouldn’t give up on a series after one game.

  16. Considering that everyone gives it a bad rep, at least 4chan is a place where anonymity ensures that each opinion is equally shat upon, unlike the selective nature of any other forumplace.

  17. QOTW:

    My favorite one-off game is 3D Dot Game Heroes.

    A great homage to 2D Zelda games in a 3D world based on voxels. The game is fun, challenging, witty, and has cool customization options including a character editor.

    Honorable mention to Half Minute Hero on PSP.

  18. QotW:

    I wanna see a sequel to Aquaria, by Bit-Blot. It was a low-tech but gorgeous Metroid-Vania that took place entirely underwater. It featured sprite-based levels consisting of hand-made artwork and wonderful music. It was like playing a cross between Super Metroid and Ecco the Dolphin. It is one of my favorite games of all time and I’ve played its 10-20 hour story at least 4 times since it was published in 2007, but its super secret ending was cruel sequel bait for a followup that never came.

    Although, it turns out I may be getting my wish. Although the two-man studio that developed it has since moved on to other projects, they did publish a dev kit with the game and a dedicated fan has recently rolled out the first chapter of a homebrew sequel. It is unofficial, but the developer has had some kind words for it on twitter and it’s surprisingly well-made.

  19. QotW – So many to choose from.
    Cannon Spike on the Sega Dreamcast (definitely needs a HD release).
    Tech Romancer also on the Dreamcast (positively needs a HD release).
    Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure on Nintendo DS (needs a 3DS sequel).
    God Hand on PS2 (already on PSN but needs to be appreciated more).
    Blazing Star on the Neo Geo (absolutely needs a non-IOS console HD release).
    Star Wars: Republic Commando (needs a sequel and a HD release).

    But ultimately if it came down to only a solitary choice it would have to be The Red Star on the PS2 a brilliant combinaton of Beat’em Up and Bullet Hell Shmup comprised to make the perfect blend of arcade and home console challenge. With it’s enigmatic graphic novel story as well as tight responsive controls and a Co-Op mode this game was made to be a perfect little downladable gem. The only thing The Red Star needs is “Arcade Stick” controller support, Online Co-Op and a HD clean up. And much like Ikaruga, The Red Star needs no sequel because it is just that “damn good!”

  20. The World Ends with You! This game took advantage of every single feature of the original DS, from the microphone, internal clock, extreme dual screen…duality, and its rudimentary Streetpass mode! This game would be perfect for an update on the 3DS, or maybe even the WiiU. The characters made a token appearance in one of the more recent Kingdom Hearts games, but it’s the gameplay and ideas that make TWEWY great, not the emo main character.

  21. QOTW:
    For my pick I would have to say Gotcha Force. It’s a 3rd person arena based fighting game near and dear to my heart as I used to play it all the time at my friends house and loved it. The charmingly terrible voice acting the amount of different little robots you could play as and of course the fact that the gameplay was excellent helped as well. I sadly never owned a copy. I looked into buying one recently but the cheapest I found it for was around $150. I then decided just to emulate it and fell in love with it all over again. Arena based tiny robot fighting games are few and far between and few seem to stand up to this one either way so my dick would be tickled right pink if word came out that a sequel was in the works.

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