Vidjagame Apocalypse 204 – Long-Term Sleepers

Following the surprise of 2010’s Nier getting a sequel with this week’s release of NieR: Automata, Heidi Kemps rejoins us to talk about five games that were largely ignored at release, only to find an audience years later and come surging back to popularity. Then it’s on to extended Zelda: Breath of the Wild/Switch discussion, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Disc Jam, Oculus Rift’s price drop, and your favorite launch games of all time.

Question of the Week
What’s a game that came out a long time ago that you only just recently discovered, OR an obscure game you played a long time ago that you wish would be rediscovered by others?

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If ya haven’t checked out the Laser Time YouTube channel, here’s something swell you might’ve missed!

UPCOMING VIDEO GAME PRE-ORDER BONUSES

Kingdom Hearts III
Red Dead Redemption 2
Persona 5
Mass Effect Andromeda Deluxe Edition
Halo Wars 2
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Death Stranding
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Spider-Man

30 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 204 – Long-Term Sleepers

  1. This is how I feel about the Yakuza series. It doesn’t get enough love from the more popular media joints, getting stiffed for GTA or Call of Duty or some other shooter. Yakuza 0 may be the best game of the series, but my favorite is still 2, for a PS2 game introduced a lot of game play elements that future games took out.

  2. Because it was the 2nd game I’ve ever played I’ll always have a soft spot for Lawnmower Man on SNES and it’s a game I’ve never heard brought up likely due to it being based off a movie no one ever saw that game is S-Rank it’s a Contra Rip-Off that turns into a autoscrolling FPS and was really fun granted I was 4 and never beat it and unlike Maximum Carnage which I beat through Emulators and cheats years later this game mattered so little no one has bothered soft to rip the rom…see what I did there with that Brothersoft joke…😐

  3. I opted for the Wii U version of Zelda BotW. I have done some actions on accident (like throwing or whistling), but I do like the controls. But then, I have always found the Wii U gamepad very comfortable to use (except for playing NES Remix and finding the A and B buttons too far apart to comfortably do a running jump combo w/Super Mario Bros).

  4. QOTW:

    The game that immediately comes to mind when I think of a sleeper hit that I discovered years later is the “Snatcher” remake for the Sega CD. I unearthed this gem when I was going through my stepbrother’s old collection in 2002. The game’s unique blend of visual novel and adventure game hooked me from the jump, along with its intriguing plot and killer soundtrack. Also, this is a Kojima game before he went full K. Somebody please re-release it!

  5. God damn this fucking episode title!
    The title is a spoiler to the two big open world games that came out last week!
    (Or at least I’m guessing that’s a spoiler for Horizon Zero Dawn, I’ve been mostly playing Breath of the Wild in which a long term sleeper is a plot point. I’m not far enough in Horizon Zero Dawn to say for sure, but since seeing the ep title I can’t imagine the plot unfolds any other way.)

    “Long-Term Sleepers” … of all ways to phrase that concept, this is the worst for this particular week. Sleeper Hits, or Long-Time Cult Favs, or Cult Hits, or Cult Favorites, or Cult Sleeper Favorites… pretty much anything else that doesn’t sit on the important plot points of games that came out just last week.
    I mean, I feel like Heidi is always talking about how this or that fighting game has a “Cult Following”… Cult Followings sound like a better title.

    Imagine the week Red Dead Redemption comes out you have a episode title “Games Where the Main Character Dies” or something along those lines.

    1. Uh, OK. Honestly, current releases couldn’t have been further from my mind when I wrote that, and given that nearly all VGA episodes are named after their Top 5s, I think that conclusion is a stretch. FWIW, I have no idea if that’s an HZD spoiler (and please don’t tell me if it is, because I’m not even past the Proving yet). And the Zelda thing is evident in, like, the first 30 seconds of gameplay, which have been widely available on YouTube since last summer. Is it really fair to call that a “spoiler?”

  6. I’ve heard a few people say Zelda looks bad on the TV and I’m very curious about what TVs they are using. I’m assuming 4K sets, because Zelda looks fantastic on my 52″ 1080p TV, easily better than the handheld (not that handheld looks bad).

    1. To elaborate: Zelda being 900p means it’s an awkward 2.4x scaling on a 4K set, where on a 1080p set it’d be a far less noticeable 1.2x.

      1. I’m playing the WiiU version on a 60″ 4k Tv and it does look bad…

        … but it’s fucking ZELDA, MAN!!!

        Also, the game is still phenomenal. It is straight up my favorite game this year and the best game I’ve played since Bloodborne.

    2. On my 50″ 1080p screen, Zelda looks beautiful. The extra slowdown (compared to the handheld version) is a disappointment, though. Hopefully they can patch in a way to play the game at 720p if it helps the framerate.

      And yes, I know that you can force 720p on the Switch, but it downscales the higher resolution, so it doesn’t improve the framerate.

  7. QotW: Elevator action returns. This is a beautiful 90’s arcade game. It quickly lays down the ground rules of the game (navigate floors of a building) then blows them up. Elevator action is chess to metal slugs checkers. Where you don’t run and gun, but plan a path through hostile terrain and waves of enemies. Check out retronauts micro 49 to hear Jeremy Parish gush over the game better than I.

  8. A game that I played a long time ago that deserves recognition is Sin & Punishment: Star Successor for the Wii. While the game is excellent, it had the misfortune of being released after the Wii and Japanese games became unpopular with gamers so it never got the audience it deserves. It did get re-released on Wii U Virtual Console. Unfortunately that re-release was on Wii U, so the game was still unable to find an audience.

  9. QotW: As a sega kid I grew up with Boogerman: A Puck and Flick Adventure and I’ve never met anyone who gives a shit about it. I was born at the end of the gross toys era but listening to the gross toys laser time episode I could relate because of this game, which revolves around murdering enemies in a sewer with farts and belches. Everything was bright, garish, gross, and wonderful. I wish there was enough of a fan base to bring it back but judging from the failed Kickstarter a few years ago we’re probably never getting a Boogerman 2. So, alternatively, I’d like to propose a film adaptation starring Danny Devito. I implore everyone to either play the game or mail Danny Devito a copy to get the ball rolling.

  10. Jesus Christ, listening to Dave bitch about not getting his Switch until day TWO and being absolutely livid about it was completely insufferable. And it seems like he was mostly mad because it ruined some childish streak he had going in his head.

    Somebody delivered a brand new console right to your house and you didn’t have to spend hours waiting outside some store and all it meant was you had to wait till the next day. Get the fuck over it.

  11. I just got Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship edition in my Humble Freedom Bundle, I too can now say the hype was wporth it. Great platforming, fun combat and very funny jokes.

    1. I thought Guacamelee was fun for about an hour or so and then I lost interest completely. Then again, I love the “big name” Metroidvanias – Super Metroid, Prime, Zero Mission, Aria and Dawn of Sorrow, Symphony – but I tend to dislike most indie Metroidvanias. Even the ones that become surprisingly popular, like Guac and Axiom Verge.

      1. I liked Guacamelee until it became important to be able to tell which color the bad guys were, then my colorblindness kept me from being able to tell which attack I had to use. So many colors to choose from, and games frequently choose combinations that make it impossible for colorblind people.

  12. A game I played years ago that I have been eagerly awaiting a comeback is Eternal Champions. I fondly remember the hype behind this game, it had a 1800 number you could call and hear the back stories of the fighters. The concept behind the game is each fighter was from a different time and were fighting for a chance to return to life seemed really cool at the time and a fun way to justify a cave man fighting a cyborg kick boxer.

  13. My answer for the QotW would have to be Square Enix’s Brave Fencer Musashi. I rented it once on a whim as a kid and fell in love, buying it soon after. It’s fun as he’ll, has loads of personality and humor, colorful, punny characters, an interesting combat system and early implementations of action/RPG hybrid gameplay and a day-night cycle. Plus the music is terrific. I didn’t even care about the FFVIII demo on the second disc!

    1. Also thanks to whoever adds background music to the casts (Chris, I assume?). I think I’ve heard some of the music from Musashi underneath the discussion from time to time, but I may be remembering it wrong or fooling myself. I can’t focus on the talking if I give too much attention to something else.

      I’m thinking particularly of “Far Into the Sky” (if the YouTube title is the proper one
      https://youtu.be/BDD5RhpYHBc

  14. Sleeper hits? I can think of two that I regularly break out at certain Chicago FGC house parties, even though they aren’t considered traditional fighting games, “Def Jam: Fight For New York” and “Urban Reign” for PS2. For the former, it’s basically, “Black People: The Game” for us, and where the hell else are you gonna get a Subway Platform Tag Match between Danny Trejo, Henry Rollins, Flava Flav and Busta Rhymes? Fighting Fat Joe in the single player campaign was a nightmare for many, including my own mother (who bought the game for herself on the original XBOX)! As for the latter, it’s just frenetic fun when all four of us have a free for all with well timed counters and wild tag-team throws. We always see something we’ve never seen before every time we play. If anyone reading this hasn’t ever played these two games, fix that! (and don’t play Def Jam: Icon. We don’t talk about that atrocity.)

  15. QOTW

    I can’t think of “sleeper” hits, but the one game that comes to mind is a 1996 point/click adventure game called Normality. It was an early 3D game that had a distinct art style (almost reminds me of the ‘Money For Nothing’ music video) and a lot of weird jokes in it. The American version of this game had Corey Feldman voicing the main character and he is hamming it up. The dialogue even comes off like a Bill & Ted or Wayne’s World.

    It is on Steam and GoG, but the problem is that it’s the UK version that has a bland guy voicing all this dialogue.

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