Vidjagame Apocalypse 136 – Powerless and Afraid

VGA136

Happy Halloween, everybody! For our final horror-themed episode of October, we’re going for the jugular with a genre feared even by some horror fans: scary games in which your only defense is to run, hide and hope the monsters don’t find you. Then it’s on to a lighter discussion of Halo 5: Guardians and WWE 2K16, an enthused look at Sony’s Paris press conference, and your favorite encounters with Cronenbergs.

Question of the Week

What’s the most unpleasant/depressing experience you’ve had at an amusement park (or other place that’s supposed to be fun)?

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27 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 136 – Powerless and Afraid

  1. I’m with you Mike and Henry, rides I’m a bit wired with, I was dragged onto a big dipper type roller coaster, I bowed to peer pressure, so the coaster gets the high point and i’m not gonna lie, I had my eyes shut and I was worried. I had a thought run through my head pretty much what Chris said, suck it up bitch. I opened my eyes to see a pigeon inches from my face and the wing tip brushed my cheek as it just got out of the way, I haven’t been on a roller coaster since

  2. Five Nights at Freddy’s is a bad game. I don’t get why people cut it so much slack when it comes to gameplay and its nonsensical scenario. I understand that I am a person who doesn’t get into most horror things, I find it boring and real life is so much scarier anyways. I just want to complain again about this Flappy Bird of horror games, cheap gif jump scares. You are limited in that game because it is a poorly designed game that has an impossible premise.

    Rant over, sorry I know I am just being a rage commentator about something i don’t understand but man this game bothers me.

  3. QOTW When I was a small child my family took me and my sister to Chuck-E-Cheese and for a while it was all fun and games. That is until some poor employee walked the floor in the early 2000’s era Chuck costume. I was so freaked out by the well worn costume I screamed and rushed behind my grandmother’s legs. The last think I remember is knocking my grandmother over and then nothing. I can only assume I was knocked into a comma that I am still in to this very day! Muwhaha.

  4. Haven’t listened yet, but I’m assuming Alien Isolation will be mentioned to some capacity during the Top 5 segment. I recently went back to that game over the last couple of weeks (after stopping halfway through last year due to frustration) and powered my way through it. While I did enjoy it more than I didn’t, I will say that it overstayed it’s welcome to me. After even a few hours of the Alien sequences I was really bored of just being killed by the Alien when I had no way of avoiding it, and then once I got the flamethrower those sequences just became a minor annoyance to get through, unless other humans (or androids) were around too. It would have been nice to finally achieve someway of actually killing a Xenomorph, or at least not having to deal with a RIDICULOUS amount of unpredictability every time one showed up.

  5. I assume if you ever do “5 most Mikel Reparaz video games” that #4 will be Clock Tower and #1 will be Jaws. Not sure about the other 3.

  6. I really wish you guys would talk about PC games a bit more. Or at all really. It’s where the most interesting new IP is coming out.

  7. It really sounds like you guys are down on everything that aren’t the core console franchises these days (or usual 90’s console suspects). You hate Esports, racing games, PC Games and mobile games. This comes from a place of love guys. Please expand your horizons a bit…there are some amazing games out there!

    1. You may be conflating disinterest with hatred, and for what it’s worth, I don’t think PC games deserve to be lumped in there at all. It’s an especially confusing assertion to see after this episode’s Top 5, which began with a PC/mobile exclusive and ended with a PC exclusive.

      If we tend to ignore PC games, it’s because of a lack of knowledge, not hatred. We’re at the point now where the games industry has stratified into three separate, machine-specific ecosystems – Nintendo, PS4/Xbox One, and PC- and the last one is the most diverse and (for us, at least) the hardest to follow. The hardware is expensive and requires a little research to truly understand, and Steam has introduced a number of new genres in the past few years that we haven’t thoroughly familiarized ourselves with yet, like open-ended survival and MOBAs. I think the show is more entertaining when we know what we’re talking about and are having fun talking about it, so I tend to focus on things that A) I know the other hosts understand, or B) things I think I can carry through discussion.

      That said, if there’s anything you’d like to recommend we explore, we’re all ears.

      1. Fair point. Hatred wasn’t the correct term to use on my part. I think the bit about Gran Turismo being boring rankled since I really like and respect that franchise for what it accomplishes on a technical level. Similarly with stuff about micro transactions and mobile games. As a Free To Play developer, I get a lot of vitriol because I’m the reason the video game industry is dying and turning into an evil place or some shit like that. So it feels bad to hear taste makers and influencers like yourselves sometimes negatively emphasizing ‘micro transactions’ and games that use them. Again, more of a personal bias that revealed itself in my earlier comment.

        With regards to the PC games, its a bit odd to notice so many PC titles never appear on top 5 lists. But if you’re as unfamiliar with them as I am with console games I can understand that. That said, It would be good to hear you guys’ thoughts as you explore new genres or games outside of your comfort zones. For example, Mikel, I think you’d LOVE Sunless Sea. It was made to be discussed during October. Especially if you’re a fan of Lovecraft. And it will run on a potato. Henry would be over the moon if he played the Freedom Force games. They are beautiful tributes to Golden and Silver Age comics and made by Ken Levine and team. But do they make good content? You have me there. I don’t know. I suppose years of not getting the paeans to Mega Man, Zelda, Mario and other console games just caught up to me.

        1. Thanks for the measured response. I can understand why some of this stuff would rankle you, but please bear in mind that these have always been drunken, off-the-cuff discussions and meant to be taken with a grain of salt. In my defense, my complaint wasn’t that Gran Turismo itself is necessarily boring (although I’ve always personally found it more exacting than exciting), but that the presentations for the series have been almost uniformly boring for as long as I’ve been paying attention. Gran Turismo reveals have always been about emphasizing the level of graphical detail and realism in the cars and tracks, and they’re almost always accompanied by a long, fairly dry speech by one of the developers. There’s little sense of speed or excitement or “event,” and consequently little that I can connect to.

          As for PC stuff, I’m pretty sure I own Sunless Sea (Steam sales ftw/ftl), but it’s one of dozens of games I haven’t gotten around to starting, and the apparent bleakness and randomness of it makes it a hard sell for me. (Contrary to what some of the other posters here may think, I actually think story is super-important.) Buuuut that’s also what kept me from trying Amnesia (which is pretty far outside my comfort zone), and after starting it in earnest, I adore it. So I’ll make sure Sunless Sea is next on my list. (And yeah, Henry probably would like Freedom Force. That shit owns.)

  8. Jesus F-ing Christ.

    When they got to ClockTower on the Top 5, my heart stopped.

    I work as a security guard at a small medical building. While I was walking around I was listening to the podcast. I was in an area that is always dark, is creepy, and I have to check it every night. As soon as I was opening a door to check inside, the music started up, the pounding beat and the scissor sound effects happened. My chest and my heart hurt with pain because I’m sure it stopped for a second. It just really hit me as it was so dark inside, creepy area, and the noises happened; they all happened at once.

    It really got me.

    Great podcast!

  9. It’s funny to come from the Kinda Funny, where they value story and gaming overall, of all genres, to this channel which hates everything made after 1989 and thinks story in games don’t matter, that you guys hate on everything that isn’t old NES/SNES games.

    I don’t know- there’s a reason they get 20 a month from me and you guys get zero, and there’s a reason they’re ranked higher than you and get more a month than you. And there’s a reason your site was so close to death, and I hate to break it to you but there’s an entire 80% of the country that doesn’t live in California, and they’re your demographic, not San Francisco

    Open your mind and stop being such fucking close-minded grumps who hate everything. Because it’s a shocking moment when fucking Smallberry comments on your shit, and he’s the most delightful Gabriel Knight fan around.

      1. ” this channel which hates everything made after 1989 and thinks story in games don’t matter, that you guys hate on everything that isn’t old NES/SNES games.”

        I don’t know which show you’ve been listening to, but it clearly isn’t this one.

  10. Man forget clocktower Shattered Memories has been at least seven top 5s now, if I have to hear that guy ask about his daughter again.

  11. I just watched Mr Boogedy on TCM the other day. I remembered it from Wonderful World of Disney when I was young, and it wasn’t bad.

  12. Let me say first off that the rest of this post is not me being angry but more lamenting.
    I am a big Halo fan, part of the very small fan contingent that doesn’t really ever play MP and buys the games just for the story. So when you guys consistently crap on the franchise, it gets frustrating. I’m not angry at you guys at all, but its such a good, tightly plotted series (up until Guardians) and no one but Hank gives it the slightest chance. The storyline is one of the best well made sci-fi universes of the last couple decades. Why do you seem to be so down on it?
    People say “Halo’s story doesn’t matter”, but we’re up to ten games, almost 20 books, a lot of animated shorts, several long running comics, 3 ARGs and two live action films/series. Bungie and 343i couldn’t have kept the transmedia side of it going for this long if the storylines weren’t compelling to people.
    This isn’t me saying, “Why dont you like the thing that I like?” but if one of your fave podcasts constantly shit all over Zelda or another property you were real attached to, it would irritate you.
    It’s your show and you can say what you like about whatever you like. I love the Laser Time network either way.

    1. I can’t speak for anyone else, but the reason I’m down on the Halo story is precisely BECAUSE of the abundance of “transmedia” works that they’ve put out. Let me preface this by saying that I don’t have a problem with expanded universe content, but the core of the story should always stay in the games themselves, with everything else ‘building out’ from it. Unfortunately the whole thing has become such a mess that if you’re someone whose only interaction with the Halo series is playing each game on release then you’ll come into Halo 5 with no idea who Locke, his team and the other Spartans that follow Master Chief around are, nor why they are important without watching or reading one of the myriad books or tv series.

      It seems like Microsoft and 343 are content to satisfy the more hardcore contingent of the series’ fanbase at the expense of making everyone else feel like they’re getting half a story. Personally, I’ve no interest in reading, watching or ARG-ing my way through the story and have already given up on trying to follow along with it

    2. I feel like the fanboy whining in my original post overshadowed my point. Hellblade, which the guys all called “generic the game” is an exploration of depression, loss, and metal illness through the altered perceptions of what seems to be a well written female character. It’s being developed as an “independent AAA game”, where Ninja Theory are bankrolling it outside of normal production channels. If you look at their video diaries there’s a lot of really clever innovation going on with the way they are building this game. Their way of production might be a credible future for other games and bring back the single A and double A types of games back into the gaming world
      Do I expect the Laser Time crew to know all that? No. But they saw the trailer, so some of that flavor and setting must have come through. But its like they con care.
      I know you all love your 80s nostalgia and we do too, it’s why we listen. But you gotta broaden your horizons! They play lots of great indie games on their streams so its weird to see them being so closed off to new things on the show.

      1. Where is this “’80s nostalgia/closed-minded” thing coming from? I’m honestly curious. The only time this week I remember even mentioning a game made before 2010 was in the Clock Tower segment, so it’s interesting to see more than one person choose such similar wording.

        1. Sometimes you guys are all about giving things a chance and sometimes it’s like if it ain’t Zelda or Mario, you all could care less. I don’t know, maybe its a feeling that only I’m getting. And I don’t really think you’re closed minded . I don’t want to come off like i’m angry or dissatisfied with the show and seeing your responses about this to smallberry above in the comments helps me be less salty about it.

        2. The more I think about it, it might be the fact that so many of the anecdotes and banter involves those games or others of that era (moving into the 2000s). Not this show exclusively but as an observation over time. It makes sense since those are the games you guys have all played, grew up on and just know well. For those of us that missed that train, we might not be able to relate and have different games that fill those places in our brain. We want to see them represented, joked about and feel validated as well. I don’t want to speak for the others since this might just be me. It comes from a place of emotion rather than logic.

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