Happy Dead Mall-idays – Vidjagame Apocalypse 399

We really wanted to go with a holiday theme for our last real show of 2020, but in the end, what’s more appropriate to Holiday 2020 than grabbing Greg Moore for a look at how videogames have portrayed the collapse of brick-and-mortar retail? Then it’s on to Super Meat Boy Forever, Nintendo’s Year in Review, and your thoughts on playing games right at launch vs. waiting for bugs to get fixed.

Question of the Week: What’s your personal Game of the Year for 2020?


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Theme song by Matthew Joseph Payne. Break song is Dreams, Dreams: A-Cappella Ver. ~ Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams by Tomoko Sasaki, Marlon D.Sanders, Gabriel Morris, and Issa Clemon.


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9 thoughts on “Happy Dead Mall-idays – Vidjagame Apocalypse 399

  1. Interesting, here in Aus malls (or shopping centres as we’s calls em) are still thriving. I’m disappointed I didn’t make time to find a mall in the US when I visited, all the rural towns I visited sure did seem to have plenty of standalone strip complexes instead, though we have plenty of those here in Aus too.

    Can I counter your question with another question? Do people who only play a handful of new games in a year get to have a valid goty opinion? I know it’s all subjective and just for a fun discussion anyway, but I always feel like an outsider when the subject comes up, given that I mainly play PC titles and don’t buy many brand new titles each year. With that said, the answer is Animal Crossing, given how shite reality was in 2020.

  2. I used to go malls for 5 reasons:
    KB Toys
    Software stores
    Food court pizza

    Pretty sure none of those things exist anymore…

    Oh, and my Switch Review says I played 602 hours this year. :p

  3. QotW : Hades.
    I’m sure you’ll talk about it a ton, so how about my runner up?
    Astro’s Playroom. This one took me by surprise. First, I didn’t expect to get a ps5 (my friend got the last drop before Christmas, I got mine on the 23rd). Secondly, it’s a pack in demo. I expected nothing from it… But it’s this wonderful love letter to Sony’s gaming history and an amazing showcase for the new controller’s feedback that is way more “next Gen” than the graphics. As a hockey player, when I felt Astro cutting through the ice as he skated…It blew my mind. It makes me so excited to see what people can do with this controller.

  4. If I were to cheat a little on the QOTW, my answer would be River City Girls (hey, it’s new to ME!)

    But failing that, I’ll have to say Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It is by no means the best AC game, and by no means the best game this year, but it arrived at just the right time to give me (and many others) the comfort blanket I needed. It landed right at the start of the pandemic, and just at a time when I was in need of sense of routine and reassurance.
    Being able to concentrate on improving my island, paying off Tom Nook, and even visiting friends in a typically janky and awkward Nintendo way was the perfect distraction to the shitshow of 2020. I dropped the game like a stone at the end of July with no real intention of revisiting, but I will always remember the game as the rock that helped me through a terrifyingly uncertain time.

    Special mentions also go to Carrion, A Short Hike, and Superliminal, and Horace.

  5. QotW: My game of the year is the little heralded (and now always on sale for just $20 now) Star Wars Squadrons. If you grew up playing X-wing vs TIE fighter on PC or the Rogue Squadrons on the Nintendos I cannot recommend this game more. It really nails the feeling of flying a star fighter perfectly. And unlike other flight simulator games you don’t have to worry about pesky things like gravity and up vs down. I regularly find myself spiraling down at an insane angle making an attack run on a Star Destroyers shield generators as green turbolasers flash past. And now they threw in the B-wing and now canonical again TIE Defender from the Legends-verse for free! I hope that they continue to support this game and I hope everyone hops on and enjoys it.

  6. My GOTY is Hades and it’s not even close. Everything about it–the writing, music, art, visual design, voice acting, action, and most importantly the story–are top-notch. As someone who already loves a variety of roguelikes, from Binding of Isaac to Slay the Spire to Dead Cells, Hades somehow carved a place in my heart all its own thanks to its unique identity and ability make each run feel so much different from the last.

    PS my first escape was on attempt 50, so remember to never give up!

  7. QOTW: My game of the year has to be Ghost of Tsushima. While TLOU II is a very close contender, the story of Tsushima really did it for me. Aside from the obvious reasons (gameplay, tight story, great graphics), GoT was my GOTY for a more personal reason. My step-dad passed away this past summer after discovering far too late that he had lung cancer. I played through Ghost of Tsushima around the same time of his diagnosis and sudden passing, and the story of Jin having to come to terms with losing his uncle (either choice effectively kills him), who acted as a surrogate father to Jin, really slapped hard for me. The Last of Us II which I just recently started playing also hit hard in a similar department.

    I think the reason both games resonated with me so much this year was that I felt like both stories did an incredible job of addressing loss and grief. As odd as it sounds, it feels like this is a rare thing for a game story to nail, and for two GOTY contenders to do it in the same year (and this fucking year of all years no less) is even rarer. Anyways, thanks for a great year of shows and greatly looking forward to next year! 311 sucks balls!

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