The Telltale Heart – VidjaGame Apocalypse 284

VGA 284 Telltale's The Walking Dead Final Season

Telltale Games may be gone, but it lives on through its legacy of redefining how games told stories, and through our memories of those stories themselves. This week, special guest and former Telltale employee Scott Butterworth joins us to celebrate the studio. And what better way to do so than by counting down our top 5 favorite moments from Telltale’s library? From Batman to The Wolf Among Us, and everything in between, we recall the moments that showed why nobody could — er — tell… a… tale… quite like Telltale. We’ll just go ahead and say it now: MAJOR SPOILER ALERT on many of the best moments from these games, so consider yourself warned!

Then it’s on to perhaps our biggest New Releases segment of the year, as we give our impressions of all of the amazing games we’ve been playing lately, including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Mega Man 11, Forza Horizon 4, Fist of the North Star, Life Is Strange 2, and more!

Question of the Week:
What is your favorite narrative video game (Telltale style, visual novel, or even FMV all apply)?

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7 thoughts on “The Telltale Heart – VidjaGame Apocalypse 284

  1. QOTW: My favorite Telltale style game is Life is Strange. As a queer person it’s hard to express how important that game is to me. While I appreciate games like Mass Effect for providing diverse romance options, they’ve never felt like fully developed relationships. Max and Chloe’s relationship does. Then the game literally gives you the power to bend reality and avoid the “bury your gays” trope. No other gaming moment can compare to that.
    Game-play wise it also felt like a big step forward for the genre. Talking to a character, learning more about them, then rewinding time to use that information never got old. It turned those interactions into mini-puzzles and encouraged the player to learn more about the games characters. In turn, learning more about those characters made for a better narrative experience.
    Despite a few glaring issues it’s one of my favorite games ever.

  2. QotW: The Ace Attorney games, hands down. I’m a fan of mysteries, and Ace Attorney has always created intriguing (if sometimes absurd) murder mysteries to solve. The main narrative of Phoenix and his journey as an attorney has been great to witness. You see his growth from a rookie to an…Ace Attorney through the span of the series. Eagerly waiting the newest entry!

  3. Ohhh… This is a difficult one as big fan of those types of games, but I would have to go with the Stanley Parable. I am a sucker for meta-narratives and tSP went the whole hog with that. I know that it can be frustrating for some people how little interactivity there is, and how bland everything looks, but I would say that the game plays with everything successfully.

    There are a lot of clever moments in it, and though it doesn’t have much clear conflict and the only real “character” is the narrator, he still has one sexy voice, and you can’t help getting attached to him and his snide comments as you play through the game again and again. The variety and number of endings are great and there are a lot of hidden endings and secrets in there.

    As someone interested in stories and philosophy, there are also a lot of deep thoughts and speculations on the nature of stories, what purpose they have and why we seek to play games. Both the original HL2 mod and the redux are great, though the redux looks nicer and is a bit deeper with more variety.

  4. BIBLE BLACK!!

    Just kidding. Sadly I haven’t played a lot of these games. Still, I really enjoyed the first Telltale walking dead game. While I enjoyed the shift towards Clementine as the primary character Lee Everett’s journey spoke to me deeply and helped me to confront some personal flaws I wasn’t completely aware of before playing the game.

  5. QOTW: In terms of actual Telltale Games, Tales from the Borderlands is definitely my favourite. It has a sequence where Nolan North’s character disguises himself as Patrick Warburton’s character, and it feels like an excuse to let Nolan North do the world’s most ridiculous, over the top Patrick Warburton impression. That’s worth the price of admission alone.

    But in terms of non-telltale story driven games, my favourite is It Came From the Desert for Amiga. It has an incredibly creepy atmosphere and amazing sound design for a 1989 game. Just check out the intro:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTL-D3AX6H4

  6. For me it would be where it all began, Sam and Max Hit the Road. This game was the first real point and click adventure game I finished and it was hilarious from start to finish, from the silly dialogue between Sam and Max to the ridiculous plot that takes them across the country to track down a missing bigfoot and giraffe girl only to stumble upon a bigfoot convention. I played this game so many times in my teens and recently saw it was available for purchase, I immediately bought it and played through the entire game laughing the entire time.

    Runner up would be Zack McKraken and the Alien Mind Benders. I could never figure out what to do on my commodore 64 but I had a blast figuring out what to do to trigger some silly cuts scenes of Aliens in hat and nose glasses trying to pretend to be humans running a phone company.

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