Vidjagame Apocalypse 250 – Groundhog Day Games

Happy Groundhog Day, everybody! This week, Nathan Ortega and Aziz Twaijri join us to talk about heroes stuck in recurring time loops, struggling to change events yet seemingly helpless to escape their fates. We also shift our format around slightly to talk about new releases at the top of the show, then go on for too long about rumors of Microsoft buyouts before looking at your favorite fighting-game moves ever.

Question of the Week
What’s a game you wish you could erase your memory of and re-experience for the first time?


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Theme song by Matthew Joseph Payne. Break song is Traveller in Time by Uriah Heep. Haunting and beautiful New Releases Theme by David B. Cooper.

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

And while we’re showing videos, check out these video answers to our previous Question of the Week!





Kingdom Hearts III
Red Dead Redemption 2
Death Stranding
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Crackdown 3
God of War
Metro: Exodus

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31 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 250 – Groundhog Day Games

  1. I wish I could erase everything I know about Final Fantasy 15 and play it over again. My enjoyment of the game was hampered due to me knowing WAY too much about what Final Fantasy 13 Versus was supposed to be (a modern political drama taking place almost entirely in Insomnia) and the rushed development cycle caused large sections of story and gameplay to be removed. Additionally, now that they have released a plethora of DLC filling in the story gaps I wonder if I would enjoy the game more if i picked it up fresh today.

  2. QotW: Earthbound, easily. I vividly remember randomly renting it from Blockbuster, knowing nothing about it, other than those Nintendo Power ads saying the game stinks – I think my love for Sci-Fi attracted me to the box art. In any case, after playing it that weekend, I was instantly hooked. I tried re-renting/begging my parents to take me to blockbuster every weekend to no avail. That summer I saved and saved until I struck a deal with my parents on September 15, 1995 where my parents and I halved on the game, which was on sale for 75/95 at Service Merchandise. Memories…man I’m old.

  3. This is a tough one to finalize so I’ll share my top 3.

    Mass Effect 1, Skyrim, and Kotor.

    All three truly incredible games I was hooked on for hours and hours with many playthroughs (except Skyrim where I simply did everything with one character). Mass Effect 1 was my favorite experience in the series because I was thrust into this universe and desperate to learn more.

  4. I would have to say the MacVenture games (Shadowgate, Deja Vu, Uninvited). Text and Graphic adventure games were a big part in my life growing up, and the nes ports of those games i’m especially fond of. Funny though, I had started playing those when I was around the age of 5 or 6, and use to be scared to death of them. Good god, the first time meeting the “Mysterious Lady” in Uninvited use to give me nightmares. But overtime I finally got over it and was able to complete all 3, and loved them all. Just finding all of the ways the game would kill you was always the most amusing to me, especially moments when the game would warn you about doing something, you do it anyway, and then the game mocks you for it.

    Those games meant so much to me that when I use to do Artist Alleys in conventions and first got into Pyrography (wood burning), the first thing I did was a series of the most memorable screenshots from those games.

  5. QOTW: I’d probably go with Mass Effect 2. The franchise has been reduced to a punching bag these days, which is a shame considering how awesome it used to be just a short period of time ago. While the first game was fine, it was kind of a slog. The sequel injected a much needed “fun” element to the game and I found it captivating in a way the first one was not. It was one of those games I just could not put down, but because of its story, which is heavily reliant on the first game and concluded in the sequel, and long running time I’ve just never been able to bring myself to play it again. And I know that if I did, it just wouldn’t be the same anyway.

  6. QOTW: What’s a game you wish you could erase your memory of and re-experience for the first time?

    I would love to able to go back an re-experience BioShock. I remember playing through BioShock for the first time and all the twists and turns in that game really drove home what video games can do a medium. Taking down my first big daddy was a point of pure excitement. I am not going to spoil anything but if you know the story beats then you know what I am talking about. I would to be able to go back and replay BioShock without knowing anything.

  7. QOTW: Probably Wind Waker. The sheer sense of open-ended adventure and not knowing what I would stumble across while sailing was always exciting. The treasure maps also really sold the pirate theme of the game to me. Granted, I had more free time at 19 than I do now at 30 so I might not get as much out of the openness of the game. Guess I’ll just wait until I have kids and farm any tedious parts out to them.

  8. QotW: It’s extremely recent, but Super Mario Odyssey. After playing for 60ish hours and getting all of the moons, I want to do more, because the game is just an absolute delight at every single turn. Going back and experiencing it from the beginning without any knowledge of where it’s going and what I’m about to see would just be the best thing. It was easily my favorite game of last year and probably of the last 10 years.

  9. QOTW: Mother 3. I love that game so much, but it makes my heart hurt too much anytime I try to replay it. I get through the first few chapters before I have to stop knowing how the story proceeds from there.

  10. QotW: With Shadow of the Colossus remastered for PS4, of course I wish I could erase that game from my brain in order to experience it again. It’s a puzzle game so the real fun is in figuring out the puzzle’s solution.
    But besides the obvious, I wouldn’t mind having all the Telltale games erased from my head. I still buy them but I NEVER finish them now. I know my choices don’t matter and you get funneled along a tube until the last chapter, essentially. I would like that illusion one more time.

  11. QoTW: Chrono Trigger. I never owned a Super NES and didn’t get to play this game until the early 2000s on the PS1 re-release with the terrible load times. Despite that pain I really enjoyed going through the whole game, and then grinding to get the characters to a high enough level so I could do all the New Game+ alternate endings. As everyone knows, it’s a wonderful fusion of 8/16-bit Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest RPGs with a time travel motif that gives you extra playability to unlock all those endings based on how and in what time era you beat the final boss. All the twists in the story make great use of time travel tropes, especially how you learn about the origin of one of the story’s main villains. I later also bought (and still have) the excellent DS version, but I would love to be able to experience Chrono Trigger again for the very first time.

  12. At this point I’m just going to assume you guys have never played Oxenfree. I won’t spoil how it handles time loops but I’ll say that unlike most of the examples in media it’s not a causal loop. The player isn’t expected to repeat the exact same content and go through the arc of discovering that there are time loops even in the New Game+. Not only is that something I’ve never seen done in games before it’s something that isn’t possible in any other medium. Rewatch Groundhog Day all you want Bill Murray’s going to act the same way every time. The writing’s good. The real-time dialogue system does for speech what Half-Life did for action which is to say it never takes the player’s volition away to shove you into some awkward cutscene or menu. There’s no shot-reverse-shot Western RPG conversations full of pregnant pauses where characters stand around motionlessly staring at each other like they’ve suddenly become paralyzed from the neck down. You can interrupt and talk over other characters and it feels and sounds natural. I could go on and on about how many clever things such a cool short little indie game packs in but I guess I’ll just say it got ported to Switch since that’s all it takes to sell people on a game these days.

  13. QoTW: It is incredibly difficult to relive the initial experience of a game, so much of those memories are tied to not only nostalgia for the game itself, but your life at the time. Going back and experiencing something like Mario 3 or Resident Evil for the first time would not be the same without the family or friends I was playing with.

    That being said, in terms of solo experiences I would choose Breath of the Wild. That initial experience on the great plateau is one of the highlights in my nearly 30 games of gaming. It felt like being tossed into an interactive Ghibli movie. The rest of the game was brilliant, but that initial hour was hard to top.

  14. QOTW:
    Riven: The Sequel to Myst. No game has ever as fully immersed me and made me feel like a genius as much as that game, and it’s one of my favorites of all time. The original Myst was a pretty clever puzzle adventure game and a pioneer in its own right, but Riven weaves a much more vast and intricate world and asks the player to practically assume the role of an anthropologist in order to deduce the rules of its puzzles. Once you’ve figured the game out once, though, you can’t really ever have that sense of discovery again. Even it’s spiritual successor, 2016’s Obduction, feels like a retread of everything Riven did so much more deftly twenty years ago.

  15. QotW: I would love to experience Resident Evil 1 for the first time again. The first cinematics showing you as a member of the S.T.A.R.S. team hoping to find your missing comrades. Being pushed into a foreboding mansion as I seek shelter from a pack of ravenous dogs. Slowly exploring the estate, finding bits and pieces of info that evolve into the unnerving realization that this was all planned. The first in the series took you from a decrepit old building to underground state of the art laboratories. Every sequel that followed, no matter how good, would never take you on the ups and downs of discovery as the first, because after the first you always know how depraved Umbrella could be.

  16. It would easily be No More Heroes. I discovered the distinct brand of stylized madness unique to Suda 51 and grasshopper through killer 7 on the gamecube. I was begging for more after my second playthrough when I eventually saw the first trailer for No More Heroes (just called “Heroes” at the time).

    I was so psyched for it that I reserved and paid in full for a copy of the game even though I didn’t own a Wii. I started saving up for it and about $80 and a few paychecks in life (bills) kicked me square in the nuts so hard that I fainted, went into shock, and duked in my pants. It would be at least 2 years before I finally got to play it on the Wii, before which I watched a cutscene collection and likely a long play of the game.

    I’d thoroughly enjoy a purer experience with the game like I had with killer 7, no more heroes 2, flower, sun, rain , etc.

  17. Wow, this question of the week is really tough. If I deliberately pick a video game I really love (Pokemon Gold), it would wipe the slate clean of every video game I played that came after it and I would have to rebuild my experiences. I do feel Aziz’s choice of Persona 3 as it was the game that rebirthed my interest in JRPGs as I refused to play single player games for several years from high school to college, as I felt that it wasn’t fun without my friends. So my punk ass 19 year old self decided to try the demonic Persona series, and I was enthralled by the journey of MC and his demon hunting allies at SEES, as they climbed up the Long Ladder, even as death was inevitable for player character. This time management game made the f- sure you LIVED in that school year. If I were to replay this game again, I’d probably be like Eleanor from the Good Place, going through the same doldrums as before but each reset time would be different because the previous forgotten time must have left a faint fleeting imprint within the chemicals in my brain…

    So anyway… If I chose to reset an experience I would pick Dragon Quest V on the DS. I consider it to be the best of the series, balancing the series A to Z goal oriented gameplay with a very touching story that dragged me back to being a romantic. You play a prince of a long lost kingdom, watch your father die, survive slavery, and claw your way back to becoming a mighty warrior, and then give it all up to make sure your children become the legendary hero. Every time I think about the game, it reminds me of the sacrifices my parents made to get to this country, and how much they lost by leaving their own homes. It also makes me think about my own future and if I could ever do the same for my own offspring (if I ever have them). I would reset this experience in order to make me feel thankful for what I have.

  18. i really like the new format! it makes the show feel more current in some small way. It was the best part of an otherwise stressful episode.
    I wish i could forget my original romp in Breath of the wild, so that i could unpeel the banana that is that game for the first time again. I choose BOTW over witcher 3 or skyrim because i feel less gated by artifcial story muckamuck
    I want to experience a different way of playing from the start, like instead of pulling the peel down from the stem of a banana, i would pinch the bottom like an ape. there are so many ways to experience this strange banana we call life, and Banana of the wild along with the Witcher 3 and Morrowind are my favorite banana-opening simulators that deeply captivated and made a monkey out of me!

  19. Think of any game. Was it on Vita? If so, then yeah, that one. I’d forget all about and start over every game I’ve ever played on Vita. But not for the reason you’re thinking.
    See, I have a problem. Or rather 2 of them. One is 8 and the other is 7, however at the time they were 6 and 5 years old, and they both loved playing games on my Vita. Every game I have ever played (Guacamelee, Gravity Rush, Mega Man X, Escape Plan, Goddamned TERRARIA, etc) on that little console, my kids would want to play as well while I was at work, and without fail they would restart the game and/or save over my file when I was 75%-90% through the game. So if I wanted to see the end, or any further of the game in general, I’d have to start the game over and get back to where I was, with no guarantee that it wouldn’t happen again. And there was just no way in hell I was doing that. My game time is severely limited as is, I don’t have time to beat many games ONCE, let alone going through them TWICE.
    So if I could forget all about pretty much every game on Vita that I’ve ever played and experience it fresh, that would be cool. Maybe I’d find out what happened to the perpetually falling girl and the dead luchadore. Also the hell space marine from Doom on PS4 (got me TWICE there, once when I got to mission 8 and another time when I got to mission 13 or so) and Mario Odyssey, but at least I only had somewhere around 230 moons when my son decided to start over again.

  20. QOTW: TIE Fighter on PC. No other game has made me feel as immersed in the Star Wars universe. While managing power for your lasers, shields, and engines may not sound exciting, it worked so well as a balance against the tense action of dogfighting rebel X-Wings and protecting Imperial Star Destroyers. Plus you got to be the bad guy, and even become the Emperor’s Hand, a super secret high rank in the Empire. It made being the bad guy fun for the first time, and let me know how it feels to be an ace space fighter pilot.

  21. Despite having two weeks to get an answer in, I failed to post something about my favorite fighting game move, the SHUNGOKUSATSU aka RAGING DEMON aka INSTANT HELL MURDER. In short, I like Akuma’s signature super move because it has some interesting history, particularly in just how many other characters have been able to do it at some point. These include Evil Ryu, Sakura, Rogue in X-Men vs. Street Fighter, (Omega) Rugal Bernstein in Capcom vs. SNK 2, Yuri Sakazaki in KoF 2001, and Dan in Super Gem Fighter Mini-Mix., who sends out the ghost of his dead father to do the move on the opponent. Dan also got his own parody version in the Marvel vs. games, the Otoko Michi, which is done using the inverse button combination. Skullomania and Morrigan also have moves using the Raging Demon button combination.

    I’d like a do-over on The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. It was the first Zelda game I properly played through from start to finish and full of wonderful surprises and humor that forever left an impression on me, to the point that the last time I replayed it I noticed that I was rushing through and not pausing to take in everything. The seventh dungeon, the tower where you carry around a steel ball to knock down pillars, blew my mind and seemed inordinately complex that first time. I want that feeling back.

  22. QotW: I have to go with Danganronpa 1-3 for this. Though the beautifully wicked sense of humour would still hold up on replays, there would be something lost going in with the knowledge of every victim and killer. The unpredictability is a key part of the series’ appeal, with so many madcap twists you’d never forget no matter how much time has passed. It err is also why it’s the least google-able game series out there if you’re a spoilerphobe; for the love of god don’t look up any character names D:

  23. QotW: I don’t know how many VGA questions I’ve answered with Castlevania : SotN, but I’m doing it again. Not just the upside-down castle but all the little nooks and crannies, items, character animation, special moves, glitches, hidden songs/artwork, etc.. The game doesn’t stop delivering 20+ years later.

  24. Is there a list of the top five available? I can’t remember most of the games and want to check them out.

  25. Holy shit, this one has me torn between so many answers. I’m just gonna pick one of my many options and not cry over it. I would want to relive my first experience of Journey. The first time I played it, I went through it all in one sitting and the uninterrupted experience for me really intensified the impact of the most affecting moments, like sand sliding past beautiful scenery or struggling to climb a mountain in the bitter cold. Combined with the amusing challenge of communicating with strangers using only pings made for a truly powerful couple of hours

  26. QOTW: I wish I could erase my knowledge of how to beat the Monkey Island games. When I first played them, I was too young and/or too impatient to try to solve them myself so I plowed through them with a walkthrough guide. I was able to love the delicious humour, but I destroyed the sense of discovery. After playing Thimbleweed Park last year and only resorting to the in game help line a handful of times, it’s made me wish I could go back and play Monkey Island pure.

    On that same note, I’m GLAD that every Sierra adventure game I played through were with walkthroughs. FUCK those games! I’m glad I didn’t waste hours of my childhood on end trying to solve puzzles late in the games not realising I had to have picked up a random object way back at the beginning and that the game was now unsolvable. Come to think of it, it’s bullshit like the Sierra adventure game puzzle design that are why I stuck to walkthroughs in the first place.

  27. Considering how graphics and game play ages I’ll avoid some of my old favorites like Gears of War. Honestly I wish I could experience Far Cry 3 again. The way that game makes you feel like a hunter taking down bases and enemies was second to none. If somehow you could mash Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed together you would get the ultimate assassin game.

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