It’s the midpoint of the year, which means it’s time to pick our favorite games of the past six months. Which ones made the cut? Listen as we validate (or invalidate) your opinions, completely forget Troy Baker’s name, and then spend most of the second segment talking about favorites that didn’t make it in, because it’s a slow week. Then we talk about games you wish hadn’t been canceled. Fun!
In celebration of a certain shark’s 40th anniversary, the Steven Spielberg classic Jaws was re-released to theaters this week — and because we seize literally any excuse to bring up Jaws games, we’ve created a whole Top 5 around them, which should be enough to keep Mikel from mentioning Jaws Unleashed for at least a while. Then it’s on to talk about Batman: Arkham Knight, Yoshi’s Woolly World’s early release abroad, some lingering E3 impressions, and your favorite moments from E3 2015.
With Jurassic World hitting theaters and (LEGO-themed) games, this week seems like a perfect time for an appreciation of our favorite apex predator, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and its five best appearances as a menacing boss monster. Then there’s some excitable, digression-heavy talk about Fallout 4, Steam refunds, Uwe Boll cursing Kickstarter, and the video-game deaths you felt bad about causing.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: In an effort to appeal to the broadest audience possible, we have tailored this thinkpiece to be as spoiler-free as possible, so as to not upset anyone who has not yet seen Season 5, Episode 9 of Game of Thrones. Or any of this season’s episodes. Or the entire series. We hope our readers will appreciate these changes, made in the name of keeping our content accessible to everyone, no matter their level of access to premium channels or televisions.]
Dear Game of Thrones fans,
I know you’re upset. This hasn’t been an easy season to endure for even the most stalwart viewers. The HBO series has drifted further from the source material than ever before, which on the one hand has spared us the boot-dragging dead ends of [REDACTED] getting burnt to a crisp while [REDACTED] Daenerys’ [REDACTED], or [REDACTED] showing up out of nowhere with the [REDACTED] Company and drifting down a river for about a hundred chapters before revealing a new [REDACTED] to the [REDACTED] bloodine. On the other hand, it’s given us needless horrors like [REDACTED]’s [REDACTED] assault of [REDACTED] and, most recently, [REDACTED] being [REDACTED] at the [REDACTED] by [REDACTED].
Hatred’s release grabbed headlines and then sort of fizzled out this week, but not before we put together a Top 5 about games that let you live out your worst bully fantasies by indiscriminately murdering innocent civilians. With that out of the way, it’s on to the last conversation we’ll ever have about Hatred, as well as some talk about Massive Chalice, (pre-announcement) Fallout 4, and your favorite advergames and/or game ads.
The ever-so-controversial Hatred is out this week, and early reviews give the impression that it’s neither as horrible nor as interesting as everyone decided it was after watching a single trailer. But it’s also this week’s highest-profile game release, which means it’s a perfect jumping-off point for Vidjagame Apocalypse. As an experiment, I thought it might be fun to talk about this week’s Top 5 before it becomes a podcast Top 5. You know, like how we used to do in The Old Days.
To be honest, I’m a little surprised by the furor Hatred managed to cause, since it doesn’t seem like anything new for this industry. Rage-filled protagonists aren’t new. Violence for the sake of violence isn’t new. And games that let you indiscriminately murder innocent nobodies have been around for as long as game characters were detailed enough to be considered “innocent nobodies.”
When advertisers and games come together, the results are usually annoying in-game billboards, awkward insertions of commercial taglines into dialogue, or a set-up for stale jokes about Doritos and Mountain Dew. But once every 100 years (give or take), unholy pacts between ads and games create something wonderful, memorable, sometimes even playable. We count down five of our favorites in this week’s show, after which we talk about Witcher 3 (again), Ultra Street Fighter IV, Splatoon, the impending early release of Hatred, and your favorite mobile games.
Sonic the Hedgehog? Tired and boring. Alex Kidd? Don’t insult us. Sega’s greatest spokesman was born in advertising, starred in one game, and never made it stateside before literally exploding on television. And since last week marked the two-decade anniversary of the Sega Saturn’s surprise (and, as we’d later come to realize, horribly timed) launch in the U.S., we’d be remiss if we didn’t spend some time recognizing the insane hard-sell mascot that hawked Sega’s lovably clunky 32-bit machine in Japan: Segata Sanshiro. Continue reading »
Conventional wisdom holds that handheld versions of multiplatform games are, at best, stripped-down shadows of their console brethren, and best forgotten. Sometimes, conventional wisdom is for idiots. USGamer’s Bob Mackey joins us this week for a Top 5 about handheld companion games that outshone their higher-profile console versions, after which we jump into a rambling conversation about Witcher 3 and Destiny: House of Wolves (and The Simpsons, and some other stuff) before looking at characters you used to think were cool.
Two weeks ago, Vidjagame Apocalypse asked its listeners to post and explain the most embarrassing (or best, because not everyone’s willing to bare their souls online) fan art they’d ever created. Because our fans are awesome, the results were predictably amazing — so much so that we’re reposting them here for those of you who never venture into our forums. Some are cringe-worthy, some are brilliant, and some are a bit of both — dare you look for yourself?Continue reading »
Sega’s Saturn might have been an underpowered, overpriced mess of a system when it prematurely launched 20 years ago this week — but dammit, it still holds a special place in our hearts, partly because it boasted some truly amazing games. In this episode, we count down our five favorites, after which we dive into an anemic slate of new releases (including Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains), get excited over Fallout/Bloodstained/Assassin’s Creed Syndicate news, and the alt-history games that captured your imaginations.
For many Americans, Cinco de Mayo is a grand opportunity to crowd into Mexican restaurants, get drunk, and wear ridiculous hats while not knowing the first thing about what the holiday’s actually about. Now that it’s come and gone, however, Gamespot’s Chris Watters joins us to talk about a different kind of cultural appropriation: Japanese games that include sombrero-wearing characters, often for no clear thematic reason. After that, there’s some argument about alternate histories in general, and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood in particular, followed by Tony Hawk news and a look at some of the fan art that you consider to be your most embarrassing/favorite work.
Our longtime friend Dan Amrich (of Palette-Swap Ninja and Critical Path) joins us this week, and we repay him by making him suffer through counting down five of the loudest, chattiest, most obnoxious cartoon characters ever to headline a platformer. Then there’s some excitement over the return of Broken Age; a lot of chat about recent Konami, Valve, and Hatred news; and a fond look at your favorite Star Wars games.
It’s the week of 4/20, which means you probably spent most of Monday massaging your temples in anguish as the Internet brayed endless weed jokes and used the word “ganja” unironically. Well, tough, because it’s not over yet — we’re late to the party, Henry Gilbert is back on the show, and we’re getting our smoke on. Or, well, the protagonists in this week’s Top 5 are, as we count down a selection of games in which you can watch your avatar get high. Then there’s some chat about Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China (during which we somehow fail to make any “chronic” puns) and Killing Floor 2, as well as a whole lot of talk about the weekend’s two big Star Wars trailers: The Force Awakens, and EA’s Battlefront.