vidjagameapocalypse

Our ongoing series on the greatest games of the 2010s continues! After covering five of Mikel’s picks last week, this week’s show focuses on five of Matt’s nominees, with Jorge Albor of Experience Points along for the ride. Then it’s on to Sony skipping E3, the Epic Games Store’s success, and the games you’re most looking forward to this year.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_350_0117.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43am EST

This isn't just our first show of the new year - it's our first show of a new decade! With that in mind, let's jump on the 2010s nostalgiawagon and count down our top 25 games of the previous decade, five games at a time. With TL Foster along to pass judgment, join us as we embark on a multi-episode series of Top 5s personally selected by each host (starting with Mikel's picks this week), eventually leading up to our definitive 10 games of the 2010s. And while we build toward that, let's take a look at some of your favorite games of 2019!

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_349_0110.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40am EST

It's time for our seventh annual end-of-year show, in which we invite a rotating panel of guests to help us count down our top 10 games of the year! This year's show clocks in at just under 4 hours(!), and features appearances from Chris "Cbake" Baker, Carolyn Petit, Greg Moore, Steve Guntli, TL Foster, Leif Johnson, Kayla Zumbaum, and Jorge Albor! Join us, why don't you?

Here's a quick cheat sheet with timestamps, if you want to jump around and hear which games made the list:

0:04:10: #10 (w/ Leif Johnson, Jorge Albor)
0:18:51: #9 (Kayla Zumbaum, TL Foster
0:39:32: #8 (Leif Johnson, Jorge Albor)
1:05:21: #7 (Steve Guntli)
1:21:48: #6 (Greg Moore, TL Foster)
1:36:24: #5 (Chris Baker, Carolyn Petit)
1:56:40: #4 (Steve Guntli, John Brandon)
2:14:54: #3 (Just Chris, Matt, and Mikel)
2:34:18: #2 (Carolyn Petit)
2:56:32: #1 (Greg Moore, Steve Guntli, TL Foster)

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_348_1227.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31pm EST

Who says 2D's dead? The year-end cavalcade continues as we take a look at five of our favorite retro-styled games to arrive this year, with help from Steve Guntli and Woody Ciskowski of Ultra 64! Then it's on to Wattam, news from the Game Awards, a new Xbox, and your favorite new characters of 2019.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_347_1220.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14am EST

2019 has been a great year for new and original games, and it's introduced a ton of new characters to the gaming canon. This week, Leif Johnson of MacWorld.com joins us to talk about five (OK, six [OK, seven]) new characters whose antics this year left us wanting to see more. Then it's on to MechWarrior 5, SuperMash, Nintendo Direct and Sony State of Play (we'll talk about the Game Awards next week), and the games that convinced you to get a PlayStation.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_346_1213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11am EST

PlayStation turned 25 this week! To celebrate, we invited PNB Podcast's TL Foster and Kayla Zumbaum to join us for a dive into the past and a look at five much-loved PSOne exclusives that never made the jump to later generations. Then we'll take a quick look at Phoenix Point, get wistful about the return of Toys 'R' Us, and hear about the games you crowdfunded and loved.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_345_1206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:40am EST

Shenmue 3 is just the latest example of crowdfunding as a way to bring back series and genres long thought dead – or to create new ones. This week, Steve Guntli and Woody Ciskowski of Ultra 64 join us to look at five of the best games ever to be funded by crowds, after which we dip into Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts, take a closer look at Stadia and streaming in general, and find out which villains you’d like to play as, even if they still lose.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What’s a crowdfunded project you backed and absolutely loved?

ALSO: Want to update your feed while we try to get our site working? Plug http://vidjagameapocalypse.libsyn.com or http://vidjagameapocalypse.libsyn.com/rss into your podcast app of choice!

Theme song by Matthew Joseph Payne. Break song is Kickstart My Heart by Mötley Crüe.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_344_1128.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm EST

Prequels can be tricky. Fans already know what happens next, so if you wanted to tell the story of doomed heroes on an ill-fated mission, they might be able to guess how it ends before they even start playing. TL Foster of PNB Podcast joins us for a look at five games whose heroes you knew were fated to fail, after which we'll talk about Jedi: Fallen Order, Pokémon Sword and Shield, The Game Awards Nominees, Stadia's launch, and your least-favorite recent game design trends.

Question of the Week: If you could play through the villain's story in any game, knowing it would still end in defeat, who would you choose?

ALSO: Want to update your feed while we try to get our site working? Plug http://vidjagameapocalypse.libsyn.com or http://vidjagameapocalypse.libsyn.com/rss into your podcast app of choice!

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_343_1122.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:16am EST

This week, Jorge Albor of Experience Points Podcast returns as we take a look at five examples of a strange modern gaming trend: semi-interactive sequences that make you stagger, stumble, or crawl helplessly while dramatic things happen around you. We then take a deep dive into Death Stranding, breathe a sigh of relief at the Sonic movie redesign, and dig into your favorite oddball games.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What's a modern gaming trend that bugs you?

ALSO: Want to update your feed while we try to get our site working? Plug http://vidjagameapocalypse.libsyn.com or http://vidjagameapocalypse.libsyn.com/rss into your podcast app of choice!

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_342_1115.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16am EST

Does Death Stranding really represent the arrival of a whole new game genre? To find out, we invited USGamer's Kat Bailey to tell us about the "strand" genre and to look back at five other games that defied any conventional genre definitions, becoming very much their own thing in the process. Then it's on to Death Stranding, Luigi's Mansion 3, BlizzCon news, and your favorite mundane stuff to do in games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_341_1108.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52am EST

This week straddles the line between October and November, between Halloween and harvest season - and so does our show, with a look at five games that combine elements of farming and horror. Then it's onward to Outer Worlds and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, PlayStation Vue winding down, and your favorite villains.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_340_1101.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21am EST

Our final show before Halloween sends off October by tackling no less an evil than Satan himself, as we look at five of our favorite games that let you go toe-to-toe with the Devil. Things then get relaxing as we visit Eastshade, get excited about SUDA and SWERY joining forces, and shiver at the scariest games you've ever played.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_339_1025.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:31am EST

Zombie hordes are a dime a dozen; chances to actually join them, less so. This week, GameXplain/IGN alum Micah Seff rejoins us to talk about games where a hero's demise turns them into flesh-hungry cannibals (at which point other heroes usually have to put them down). Then it's on to Disco Elysium, Ninja Saviors, Fortnite (briefly) disappearing into a black hole, and your scariest carnival stories.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_338_1018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41am EST

Once-beloved children's entertainers are blazing nightmare fuel in videogames, where white makeup and red noses are all but synonymous with sadism and murder. While this week's Laser Time explores evil clowns in wider pop-culture, we're drilling down to find five of the most terrifying clowns ever to menace gamers. Then it's on to Indivisible, PlayStation 5 news, and your creepiest arcade experiences.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_337_1011.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:09am EST

It’s our first show of October, and tradition dictates spooky content. So join us in welcoming Podouken cohost Adam, who’ll help us navigate through some of the most memorably fun horror-themed games ever to hit arcades. Then it’s on to Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Shawn Layden leaving Sony, and the classic game series you’d like to see get FMV offshoots.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_336_1004.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:54am EST

Whether you think of them as "full-motion video," "FMV," or "a regrettable trend in game design," cheesy interactive movies once seemed poised to take over the game industry - and with the help of MacWorld's Leif Johnson, we brave stilted dialogue (and our own audio issues) to revisit five fondly remembered FMV games from the distant '90s. Then we bite into Apple Arcade's games, get charmed by Link's Awakening, and look at the dead consoles you want to return as "classic" versions.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_335_0927.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:10am EST

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening makes its adorable comeback this week, so with the help of not one, but two towering guests - Chris Baker and Brett Elston - we dig into five of the best Zelda games that unfolded somewhere other than Hyrule. Then it's on to Borderlands 3, Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son, Dread Nautical, and the videogame music you made up your own lyrics for.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_334_0920.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:32am EST

The Dreamcast, Sega's beloved but doomed final console, just turned 20 this week! To celebrate, Heidi Kemps of gaming.moe joins us for a look at five games that made the best use of the VMU, Dreamcast's memory card/second screen/handheld device. Then it's on to River City Girls, Gears 5, Apple Arcade news, and the long-lost platform exclusives that you think deserve a second chance.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_333_0913.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

Everyone loves hippies! Right? Or at least enough to put a few of them in videogames. This week, PNB Podcast's TL Foster returns for a look at some of the ways games have depicted counterculture dropouts, after which we'll dig into Astral Chain, Blair Witch, Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, and a slew of other new releases, along with a ton of Nintendo Direct news and the games you'd like to see in hand-animated 2D.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_332_0906.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:57am EST

Being a Disney animator used to mean you were among the world's best creators of hand-drawn, 2D animation - an art form that's fallen out of favor in Hollywood. Luckily, there have been a few times that Disney alums have lent their considerable skills to making 2D games, and we'll dive into five of the best. After that, we snap back to modernity with Control, Knights and Bikes, the apparent resurrection of Telltale, and your favorite bad and weird translations from videogames past.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_331_0830.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:40am EST

Localization can be a touchy subject these days, but there was a time when it often meant turning a game into something completely different for foreign audiences. This week, we grab Greg Moore to talk about five classic games that changed completely during the move from Japan to the West, after which we'll talk about Remnant: From The Ashes, Rad, Death Stranding's Gamescom showing, and your favorite movies that influenced the game industry.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_330_0823.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30am EST

This week, we grab Diana Goodman for a high-speed detour to explore five '70s and '80s movies that had a profound influence on the early years of gaming, helping shape the then-new medium's aesthetics and defining its direction for decades to come. Then we dig into No Man's Sky Beyond, rumors of SNES games on Switch, and the games you had to cheat to beat.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_329_0816.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:48am EST

Cheat codes may largely be a thing of the past, but this week, we'll look at five cheat codes that became important and iconic enough to earn a place in gaming history - and even to influence its course. Things then take two distinct political turns: first, we dig into piloting a presidential mech in Metal Wolf Chaos XD. Then, we talk about a different President trying to turn games into a political punching bag, after which we wrap things up by talking about your favorite developer workarounds to behind-the-scenes issues in videogames.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_328_0808.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:17am EST

We’re at the tail end of another Shark Week, so let’s capitalize on it by grabbing animal expert Cody Laveau, and taking a look at five games that use sharks to keep you from testing their waters. Then we’ll bite into Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and what the kids would be like if you shipped any two game characters.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_327_0802.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25am EST

When Mikel's away, the kids will play. Speaking of kids... This week, Matty and Chris are joined by TL Foster to talk all about games that let you play as the kids of some of your favorite videogame heroes. Then we talk Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, the new Nintendo Switch, the Gears 5 beta, and more!

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_326_0726.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:27am EST

Some game series run out of ideas and/or steam by their third installment; others hit their stride and shine like never before. With help from GameXplain/IGN alum Micah Seff, we'll explore that latter group, after which we'll dig into Dragon Quest Builders 2, Blazing Chrome, and your strongest arcade memories.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_325_0719.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:35am EST

Hey kids, remember the '80s? These games sure as hell do, and they want you to know it. With help from MacWorld's Leif Johnson, we dedicate this week to a look at five modern games that recaptured the neon spirit of the Reagan Years, after which we jump into Stranger Things 3: The Game, Switch Lite news, and your favorite videogame revolutionaries.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_324_0712.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:44am EST

As we head into another 4th of July weekend, we're joined by veteran writer/editor/videogame person Carolyn Petit (formerly of GameSpot and Feminist Frequency) for a look at five of the greatest games that let you lead your own revolution. Then it's on to Mario Maker 2, My Friend Pedro, and your personal games of the year so far.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_323_0705.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:54am EST

The year's half-over, and that means that - with help from USGamer Editor in Chief Kat Bailey - it's time to look back at the past six months and lift up five games as our must-play picks for the first half of the year. Then we tackle Judgment, The Sinking City, Elden Ring news, and the E3 games that got you most excited.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_322_0628.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:07am EST

We're back with a full episode full of reactions to E3 news - but first, strap in for a Father's Day-inspired rundown of some of gaming's greatest DILFs, with special guest Alaina Yee. Then it's on to Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Cadence of Hyrule, Collection of Mana, and the western devs you want to see tackle Japanese franchises.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_321_0621.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:29am EST

E3 made a big splash this week, but we were too busy actually being there to record a show about it. We'll be back with E3 impressions next week; in the meantime, please accept this short, Top 5-only show we recorded earlier, in which Mikel, Chris, and Matt look at five games that far exceeded our expectations this year (or just suddenly appeared with zero build-up to knock our socks off).

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_320_0614.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:56am EST

When a Japanese developer wants to dig up a long-abandoned franchise and market it to westerners, one common tactic is to outsource it to a western developer. Sometimes, especially in the 2000s, this came with a mandate to make the series relevant to gamers looking for some hard-boiled nihilism, and the results stand as monuments to a strange era of gaming defined mostly by Grand Theft Auto making piles of cash. With help from PNB Podcast's TL Foster, let's look at five of the grittiest reboots of (already gritty) Japanese classics, after which we'll blast off to Outer Wilds and Void Bastards, catch some Pokémon news, and look at the features you wish more games would copy.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_319_0607.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:15am EST

Games crib from each other all the time, but sometimes, a new gameplay idea can be a huge hit with fans and still be widely ignored by the industry. With help from John Brandon of Square Roots Podcast, we'll dig into five of our favorite series with unique features that have yet to be (widely) swiped by other games, and then we'll immerse ourselves in Blood & Truth, get cranky about Playdate, and look at the universes you wish were secretly connected.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_318_0531.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EST

Games tend to live in their own conveniently isolated universes, where the rules are different and only one hero's journey can unfold at a time - but sometimes hidden webs of connective tissue link seemingly separate franchises. With help from Heidi Kemps of gaming.moe, we disentangle five of those webs this week, before getting absorbed by A Plague Tale, George R.R. Martin's foray into game development, and your predictions (some wrong, some right) for the Game of Thrones finale.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_317_0524.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56am EST

When wrestlers become actors, the results tend to be either wonderful or laughable - and wrestlers who act in video games are no exception. This week, Larry Niece of Pody Slam! joins us for a look at five standout performances by wrestlers in non-wrestling games, after which we jump headfirst into Rage 2, the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection on Xbox One, the Final Fantasy VII remake, and the water levels that got you good and stressed.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_316_0517.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:57am EST

Underwater levels have a long history of being terrible, but underwater games? Those are something special. This week, we welcome special guest Cicero Holmes of Spawn On Me and Discovery Debrief as we dive into five of our favorite undersea adventures, after which we chat about Shakedown Hawaii, (more) Days Gone, Microsoft's trash-talk guidelines, and the games you love in spite of other people reviling them.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_315_0510.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:55am EST

Last weekend, nerd culture was rocked by two huge battles on the big screen and the small one (we're talking about Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones, naturally), so with help from PNB Podcast's TL Foster, let's dive into five times video games made you feel like you were in the middle of a massive, chaotic conflict. Then we shift gears to talk about Days Gone, join the endless chorus giggling at the Sonic movie, and look at the comics and comic storylines you'd like to make into games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_314_0503.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:56am EST

Avengers Endgame is in theaters this week! What does that have to do with videogames? Plenty, because even if there's no official tie-in game, Marvel's Thanos/Infinity Stone arcs have been fueling games since the '90s. With help from two very special Chrises - Comics on Consoles' Chris Clow, and game-industry legend/Operencia writer Chris Baker - we dig into five games that trace their origins back to The Infinity Gauntlet, after which we wade through gore in Mortal Kombat 11 and Katana Zero, wax nostalgic over the discovery of a secret City of Heroes server, and dig into the classic Capcom games you'd buy a logo-shaped retro console for.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_313_0426.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59am EST

We don't usually let real-world tragedy make it into VGA, but the destruction at Notre Dame hit hard for us - and with medieval scholar (and Macworld editor) Leif Johnson joining us this week, we took the opportunity to honor Paris' most iconic cathedral with five games that let you explore meticulous digital versions of it. Then it's on to World War Z, details on the next PlayStation, Capcom's logo-shaped Home Arcade retro console, and the final sendoffs you'd give beloved characters.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_312_0419.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:15am EST

Game of Thrones is back this weekend, and if you don't watch it, too bad! This week starts off with the Top 5 Game of Thrones games, with help from Thirty Twenty Ten's Diana Goodman, so expect a healthy amount of show- and book-related banter thrown in. After that, we switch gears and talk about Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain, Mario and Link dabbling in VR, and the best April Fool's jokes you've pulled and/or fallen for.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_311_0412.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Another April Fool's Day is behind us, and this year brought a few fun, playable surprises our way, either showing up in familiar games or rolling out as entirely new ones. With PC Gamer's Tyler Wilde in attendance, let's take a look at some of 2019's best playable April Fool's "jokes," after which we'll dig into the Borderlands 3 reveal, the Genesis Mini, and the game characters you'd like to play as in their twilight years.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_310_0405.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:15pm EST

With Mortal Kombat 11 revealing the return of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as (old) Shang Tsung, Jorge Albor of Experience Points rejoins us this week to talk about videogame heroes who've aged dramatically over the years, going from young rookies to old pros in the span of a series. Then it's on to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, rumors of new Switches, and your thoughts on Stadia.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_309_0329.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:57am EST

With GDC in full swing this week, the core VGA cast assembles for a look at games that let you make their worlds visibly worse, twisting the landscape through your own misdeeds, apathy, or sheer force of personality. We then spend a lot of time talking about Google's Stadia announcement, Cadence of Hyrule, the Oculus Rift S, and your favorite videogame re-creations of real-world landmarks.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_308_0322.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:16am EST

With The Division 2 taking players to Washington, D.C., this week, we roped in Gamesradar+'s own Lucas Sullivan for a look at five other games that challenge you to literally fight for control of the White House. Then we switch gears to talk about Devil May Cry 5, The Division 2, Baba is You, another publisher dropping out of E3, and the franchises you think are in dire need of a reboot.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_307_0315.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:13am EST

Reboots happen pretty frequently in entertainment; what's much rarer is the "reboot" that later gets pushed aside so the original story can continue. This week, we'll look at five of the best, with help from erstwhile VGA co-founder and studio namesake Tyler Wilde, of PC Gamer. Then we'll talk about Ape Out, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove, Sonic's movie redesign, and your dream videogame mashups.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_306_0308.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:09am EST

Competing game publishers don't often let their characters out to play with each other, but when they do, the results are usually fun. This week, we celebrate five surprising crossover cameos in third-party games, with help from friend of the show Tyler Nagata, after which we'll dig into Reggie Fils-Amie leaving Nintendo, rumors of Xbox Game Pass coming to Switch, and the worst endings you've ever seen.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_305_0301.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:07am EST

When a game's "bad" ending becomes the canonical one, interesting possibilities arise as its world and heroes continue to unravel. MacWorld's Leif Johnson joins us this week to look at five sequels shaped by downer endings, after which we'll plunge straight into Tetris 99, Metro Exodus, Crackdown 3, Far Cry New Dawn, Anthem, and your all-time favorite videogame romances.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_304_0222.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:25am EST

Another Valentine's Day has come and gone, so let's bury it in style with a look at five of the best romances from BioWare games, as chosen by guest star Kayla Zumbaum of PNB Podcast. Things then take an apocalyptic turn as we dig into Far Cry New Dawn, this week's meaty Nintendo Direct, and your favorite videogame simians.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_303_0215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:48am EST

Hope everyone had a happy Lunar New Year! To celebrate, we roped in friend of the show Heidi Kemps to help us dig into five games based on one of our favorite works of Chinese fiction, Journey to the West (aka Monkey, aka Saiyuki). Then we chat about Wargroove, Apex Legends, Etrian Odyssey Nexus, a VR sequel to Groundhog Day, and your nominees for the best years in gaming.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_302_0208.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18am EST

This week, we'll look at five games that gave us a single-serving protagonist, who stuck around just long enough to show us the ropes before stepping aside to make way for the real hero. Then, friend of the show TL Foster joins for an extended chat about Kingdom Hearts III, the Resident Evil 2 remake, Metroid Prime 4 switching developers, and your favorite Resident Evil/Kingdom Hearts (chains of) memories.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_301_0201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:57am EST

Wow! We somehow made it to 300 episodes! In keeping with tradition, we do away with our usual format this week and grab friends of the show Brett Elston and Dan Amrich for a heated roundtable discussion to pick the best years in gaming history. Will your favorites come out on top? Will anyone be happy with the results? Is this just five old guys getting nostalgic about games? The answers may or may not surprise you!

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_300_0126.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11am EST

When long-running franchises mix it up by swapping in a different protagonist every game, it can be a rare thrill to watch your hero cross paths with their fondly remembered predecessors, for better or worse. We take a look at five of our favorite such moments this week, along with the Resident Evil 2 demo, the Pinkertons suing Rockstar, the dead franchises you want to see rise from the grave, and more!

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_299_0118.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:57am EST

With Onimusha and No More Heroes poised for a long-overdue imminent return next week, we spend this week’s show looking back on once-massive game franchises that have been silent for years, with help from returning guest Micah Seff. Then it’s on to New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, the latest shot fired in the Epic/Steam war, your most anticipated games of 2019, and more!

Direct download: VidjaGameApocalypse_298_0111.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40am EST

The first week of January is always a slow one, making it an ideal time to reflect on some of the games we're most excited to play in the next 12 months, with help from MacWorld's Leif Johnson. For good measure, we throw in some chat about Atlas, Monster Hunter World's crossover with Assassin's Creed Origins, and your personal games of the year.

Direct download: VidjaGameApocalypse_297_0104.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:20am EST

Welcome to our sixth annual end-of-year roundup, when we gather together a bunch of games-industry guests and count down our favorite games of the year. This year's show is one of our biggest yet, weighting in at a hefty 3.5 hours and featuring appearances from Brett Elston, US Gamer's Kat Bailey and Mike Williams, MacWorld's Leif Johnson, Experience Points' Jorge Albor, Ubisoft News' Youssef Maguid, Anthony Acosta, and Thirty Twenty Ten's Diana Goodman.

Direct download: VGA_296.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01am EST

Next week, we'll count down our picks for the top games of 2018 - but our rules exclude remakes and remasters, and it's been an amazing year for those. So with help from USGamer's Nadia Oxford, we're dedicating this week to five of 2018's most impressive remakes, all of which brought long-dead classics roaring back with current-gen polish. We then talk Below, year-in-review games-industry stats, and the expectations-vs.-reality of your holiday toy memories.

Direct download: VidjaGameApocalypse_295_1221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

With the holidays looming large and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tying up everyone's Switches, GameXplain/IGN alum Micah Seff helps us celebrate by talking about five iconic killer toys that come to life and try to murder people. (It makes sense in context, we swear.) We then switch gears to talk Smash, Ashen, Earth Defense Force 5, Hades, The Game Awards, your favorite obscure game-music tracks, and a whole lot of other stuff in a nearly three-hour megashow!

Direct download: VidjaGameApocalypse_294_1214.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01am EST

Headphones are recommended for this week's show, in which VGMpire's own Brett Elston rejoins us to help pay tribute to mind-blowing music from unspectacular games. After that, we move on to Just Cause 4, Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, Epic's new game store, the swag you scored during Black Friday, and much more.

Direct download: VidjaGameApocalypse_293_1207.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46am EST

The holiday season is officially upon us, which means that for one reason or another, a lot of you are statistically likely to get loaded over the next few weeks. If you'd rather watch a game character get sloshed on adult beverages, there are plenty of games that'll let you get your hero drunk - and with help from MacWorld's Leif Johnson, we'll look at five of the most interesting. Then it's on to talking about Darksiders III, Sony opting for PAL versions on the PlayStation Classic, Console Wars getting adapted as a series, and the times games caused friction with family or friends.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_292_1130.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:10am EST

Happy Black Friday! We understand a lot of you might be spending time with family over the long weekend - and sometimes, that time can start to feel like a pressure cooker. Why not blow off some steam by listening to us talk about five of the most absurdly dysfunctional families in gaming, with special guest Alaina Yee of PCWorld? Stick around after, because we'll jump into a lengthy chat about Black Friday deals, Fallout 76's launch, Devil May Cry Netflix news, and your favorite Stan Lee characters.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:56am EST

This week saw the passing of a true legend: the comics-creating, cameo-crushing alliteration aficionado known as Stan Lee. Marvel superfan Chris Baker rejoins us to celebrate Stan's legacy with a look at his greatest videogame cameos, after which we'll get into Hitman 2, the Detective Pikachu trailer, The Game Awards nominees, and the game characters you'd elect to office.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:41am EST

Have election-week nerves left you wishing you could simply rule with the absolute power of a despotic tyrant? Well, tough, but we've got Tim Turi on and we're talking about our five favorite playable kings, so that's something. We also get in some chatter about Deltarune, BlizzCon, and the games that took a while to really win you over.

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:42am EST

If you've played it, you know Red Dead Redemption 2 gets off to a dramatically slow start - but in that, it's hardly alone. This week, Scott Butterworth rejoins us to look at five other games that made players wait to get to the good stuff, but ended up great anyway. And once that's done, we'll dive into our initial Red Dead impressions, the PlayStation Classic lineup, and your ideal weapons for facing down undead hordes in the Old West.

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:01am EST

Red Dead Redemption 2 is out today, and if you're looking at this instead of playing it, it's probably safe to consider yourself our #1 fan. You're also about to hear us talk about five classic, horror-tinged games set in the wild west, with help from MacWorld editor/genuine Texan Leif Johnson. After our dual homage to Halloween and Red Dead, we'll touch on Return of the Obra Dinn, Soulcalibur VI, Fallout 76 bug warnings, and the console startup sounds of your dreams.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_287_1026.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:51am EST

Pair an unstoppable hunter with one of the most threatening power tools ever devised, and you've got a recipe for sheer terror. This week, Jorge Albor of EXP Podcast joins us to talk about hulking, chainsaw-wielding badasses who chased us through classic horror games, after which we talk Starlink: Battle for Atlas, more WWE 2K19, Red Dead Redemption 2's crunch hours, and your most beloved monster protagonists.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_286_1019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46am EST

As any toddler can tell you, nothing is more terrifying than a skeleton - except, of course, if they're on your side. And with MediEvil turning 20(!) this week, Josh Shoup (of wrestling-history podcast Pody Slam, among others) joins to help dedicate our first Halloween-themed episode of 2018 to skeletons who saved the day. We then touch on WWE 2K19, Call of Duty Black Ops 4, and Zelda's "easy mode" before taking a look at your favorite narrative-focused games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:13am EST

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. And 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!

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:04pm EST

Not everyone can swing a lightsaber and use the Force, and this week, the legendary Chris Baker joins us to talk about five Star Wars games whose heroes got by with little more than blasters and sheer grit. Then it's on to chat about Valkyria Chronicles 4, Telltale's surprise shutdown, and your favorite celebrity performances in games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:02am EST

This month saw the passing of Burt Reynolds, a man who was no stranger to popping up in video games - and in his honor, we decided to spend this week's Top 5 looking at other celebrities who briefly played digital versions of themselves. Then we move on to talk about Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Nintendo's online service, and your favorite re-creations of real-world cities.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_282_0920.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22am EST

Spider-Man's still on our minds this week, and its beautiful re-creation of Manhattan made us nostalgic about other open-world games that re-created New York City's central island. Comics expert Chris Clow, of Comics on Consoles, joins as we talk about five of our favorites, and then we'll talk even more about Spider-Man, Dragon Quest XI, and your ideal superhero personas.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:28am EST

Spider-Man is out on PS4 at last, so this week we're joined by USgamer's Mike Williams, here to talk about his 4.5/5 review. We keep the theme going with a Top 5 about superhero games that weren't based on comics, talk about The Messenger and Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, and finish with the games that helped you get through your school years.

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:40am EST

To mark the end of August and any lingering summer vacations, this week's show takes a look at five games set largely in schools (just in case you thought games were any escape). What's more, we're expanding our scope this week to talk about new releases and news, including Donut County and Gamescom impressions, and then we'll <i>finally</i> look at your ideal in-game tropical getaways and favorite starter weapons.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:24am EST

Tons of games load you down with an arsenal's worth of guns and gadgets, but sometimes, it's the one essential tool or weapon you get right from the start that turns out to be the most fun and effective thing in the game. This week, John Brandon of Square Roots Podcast drops by to chat about five of our favorite starter items, each of which would have been enough to carry us through their games if it came down to it.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_278_0824.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:08am EST

Summer isn’t over quite yet, so the VGA boys are packing up their board shorts and Hawaiian shirts and taking a vacation to some of our favorite digital destinations -- of the tropical variety, that is. This week, Mikel, Matt, and Chris are joined by returning guest Tim Turi to talk about our favorite vidjagames that take place on and around tropical islands.

Direct download: VidjaGameApocalypse_277_0817.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47pm EST

Meeting a shark in a game isn't all that uncommon - but when they're full-on bosses, you're probably in for something terrifying. This week, animal expert and LaserTime community superstar Cody "CajunCrippler" Laveau joins us to talk about five of the biggest, baddest shark bosses ever to swim the digital oceans, after which we'll take a look at your favorite in-game currencies and cheat codes.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_276_0810.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:58am EST

When some new innovation helps turn a game into a big hit, it tends to spread across the industry like wildfire. Sometimes, these trends stick around to form part of the familiar patchwork of modern vidjagames. We're not talking about THOSE trends, however; this week, Trav "TurboBison" Foster joins Matt and Mikel for a chat about design ideas that were once widely mimicked, but now functionally dead.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_275_0803.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:38am EST

This week's show is short by our standards, but don't worry - every entry in our Top 5 is a treasure. Specifically, each one is a boss themed around treasure, and Trav "TurboBison" Foster joins Mikel, Matt, and Chris to talk about these bizarre demons that flaunt their wealth like we're not about to just take it from them. And don't worry - we'll talk about the side characters you'd want to star in their own games before the hour's up.

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:36am EST

In the past weeks, we've seen a few once-minor characters getting their own star turns, from Captain Toad to Far Cry 5's Nick Rye. Of course, side characters getting their own games is nothing new, and with help from Heidi Kemps, we'll look at five shining examples of sidekicks, villains, and supporting castmembers who got their own games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_273_0720.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43am EST

This week, Dan Amrich returns to the show to talk us through something dear to his arcade historian's heart: a deep dive into pinball games based on popular video games (some of which actually play something like their digital counterparts), after which we'll take a look at your favorite Mario games ever.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_272_0713.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:18am EST

The recent release of Runner3 reminded us of a strange truth: Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario, has had a long and successful career outside of voicing Nintendo's favorite plumber. And with help from Alaina Yee, we'll touch on some of his more memorable, non-Nintendo roles, and then take a look at your favorite games of the year (so far)!

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:23am EST

It's the end of June, which means it's time to sit down and take a hard look at the games that came out over the past six months, and pick our five favorites from the madding crowd. Jorge Albor of rival podcast Experience Points joins us to chat about the games that stole our hearts, plus we'll look at your favorite announcements from E3! (Oh, and uhhh Mikel's back, I guess?)

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:09am EST

Since nobody else is doing them, and we know how starved you all must be for E3 2018 content, it’s a good thing we’re here with our annual Best of E3 show. We’re doing things a little differently this year. Matty Allen, Chris Antista, TL “TurboBison” Foster, and first-time guest Marcus “Annoyed Gamer” Beer have chosen their top 5 games of the show, but we’ve also gathered votes from YOU the fans at the Official Laser Time Facebook Community. We threw all of the results together, mixed them up a bit, sprinkled in some hot takes, and are here to present the official list of the Vidjagame Apocalypse Top 5 Games of E3 2018. Enjoy!

Direct download: VidjaGameApocalypse_269_0622.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18am EST

By the time you listen this episode, E3 2018 will have come and gone, and we’ll all know a heck of a lot more about this year’s upcoming game releases. That includes one of the biggest games of the year: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! One of this week’s most exciting reveals about the game was that it will feature every fighter ever included in Nintendo’s brawler series, which fits perfectly with the theme of this week’s show. Trav “TurboBison” Foster joins Matty Allen and Chris Antista to discuss five of the most obscure playable characters to ever appear in a Smash Bros. game.

Direct download: VidjaGameApocalypse_268_0615.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

E3 2018 is upon us, and even though the show technically doesn’t start until next week, the hype train has already left the station with a payload full of leaks and new game announcements. But not every game announced at E3 sees the light of day. On this week’s show, Matty Allen, Chris Antista, and special guest Dylan Tierney discuss five of the biggest games announced at E3 that were eventually cancelled.

Direct download: VidjaGameApocalypse_267_0608.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm EST

What do the new God of War and the YouTube Red series Cobra Kai have in common, other than the fact that they both feature leads with anger management issues? They’re both new entries in franchises we thought we’d moved on from, yet turned out way better than we could’ve hoped -- or even asked for, for that matter. The comeback success of these two dormant franchises got us thinking about some other gaming franchises that came back seemingly from out of nowhere to re-establish themselves as heavy hitters. On this week’s show, Alaina Yee joins Matty Allen and Chris to look at the top 5 comebacks in vidjagames.

Direct download: VGA_Ep266_0601.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm EST

Things get technical in this week’s episode of Vidjagame Apocalypse as Chris and Matty Allen are joined by USGamer.net Editor in Chief Kat Bailey to discuss the top 5 androids in videogames. Inspired by the release of David Cage and Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human, we explore the Uncanny Valley, ponder what it means to be human, and try to figure out why dudes in games seem so thirsty for any robot that displays even a hint of anything feminine.

 

Question of the Week:

What is your favorite pop culture android?

Direct download: VidjaGameApocalypse_265_0525.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:58pm EST

Surprise! We just couldn’t stay away, and while Mikel continues to enjoy his (well-deserved) sabbatical, Chris, Matty Allen, and special guest Trav “TurboBison” Foster are here with a bonus edition of Vidjagame Apocalypse. Prior to his break, Mikel suggested a topic tied to the Nintendo Labo that we couldn’t resist covering: the Weirdest Nintendo Peripherals of All Time! So stop fiddling around with that Labo piano and strap on your incredibly uncomfortable wearable gaming devices, grab your trusty light gun, and join us as we look back at the top 5 times Nintendo let its freak flag fly!

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_263_0511.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44pm EST

This is it, folks - VGA is going on hiatus, and we've cooked up a hell of an episode to tide you over until we come back. In addition to Chris and Mikel, we've assembled Brett Elston, Dan Amrich, Anne Lewis, and Tyler Wilde to tackle a forbidden subject from our distant pasts, one we swore we'd never do: a list of the greatest barrels ever. What dark forces will be unleashed by assembling such a strong panel for such an inane discussion? Find out, and then stick around as we look at your favorite VGA episodes and maybe pack in a surprise or two.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_262_0427.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56am EST

God of War is out this week, taking jaded Greek hipster Kratos on a spree of cultural appropriation through Scandinavia (or something like that). To celebrate the series' by-all-accounts amazing rebirth, Matthew Allen and Alaina Yee help us dedicate this week's show to five other games that draw heavy inspiration from Norse mythology, complete with one-eyed gods, Valkyries, and battles at the end of everything.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_261_0420.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59pm EST

Who doesn't like to hear a villain sing about themselves and their evil plans? It's a time-honored tradition, dating back to some really old thing or other, but it's a more recent phenomenon in video games. So this week, special guests Alaina Yee and Matthew Allen join to help us count down five - count 'em, five! - of our favorite singing bad guys.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_259_0406.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22am EST

Ready Player One is in theaters this week, and whatever you think of it, the core idea of being rewarded with actual riches for doing something in a game is a powerful one. So powerful, in fact, that it's been done several times in real life. So with help from Matthew Allen and Nathan Ortega, let's spend this short-form episode diving into five games that were sold on the promise of fantastic rewards for in-game skills.

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Category:general -- posted at: 11:49pm EST

Big news this week - VGA is going on hiatus at the end of April. But we've got plenty of shows still to go, starting with this week's, in which Heidi Kemps and Matthew Allen help us look at five Japanese games that never made it out of Japan, despite their series being popular over here. Then it's on to Sea of Thieves, Attack on Titan 2, Assassin's Creed Rogue Remastered, PUBG mobile, and the games that caused controversy in your own lives.

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Category:general -- posted at: 7:36am EST

Last week saw a return to the bad old days of video games as a whipping boy in the national debate over violent crime, and that brought some weird old memories rushing back - so many, in fact, that we decided to drag special guests Nick Suttner and Matthew Allen into an unexpectedly heavy discussion of five of the most controversial, moral panic-inducing games of the past 30 years. We also take the time to chat about Burnout Paradise Remastered, last week's Nintendo Direct, and the games you discovered thanks to monthly freebies from PlayStation Plus and others.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:18am EST

Plenty of games let you play as multiple heroes, but how many have you switching back and forth between heroes that seriously have it in for each other, pushing you to work against yourself as your perspective shifts? A whole bunch, as it turns out, so this week we'll look at five of our favorites, with help from Matthew Allen. Then it's on to idle chatter about Far Cry Arcade, the return of Fear Effect and Drake of the 99 Dragons, and your favorite chill-out games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:15am EST

This week's big release is Moss, a VR game about a tiny mouse on a quest - so with help from Macworld editor Leif Johnson, let's take a look at five classic games in which you're a tiny creature trying to survive in a regular-sized world. Then we chat about hidden messages in Metal Gear Survive, get a little crestfallen for Chrono Trigger, and look at your favorite videogame dogs.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_254_0302.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:18am EST

The Lunar New Year has declared this the Year of the Dog, so let's celebrate with a Top 5 about our favorite dog protagonists (dogtagonists?) with Matthew Allen! We then slip through a wormhole and wind up in a Metal Gear Survive discussion, consider the looming possibility of a Sonic the Hedgehog film, and talk about the songs and other media that will always be tied to certain games in your memory.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_253_0223.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:22am EST

VGA's five-year anniversary was last week, so Henry Gilbert joins us for a belated Top 5 about some of the greatest fifth entries in game franchises ever. We also chat about Dynasty Warriors 9 and Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Kingdom Hearts 3, and your same-sex waifus and husbandos.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_252_0216.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46am EST

VGA passes its five-year anniversary with a cough-filled, Shadow of the Colossus-themed episode, in which Matthew Allen joins us to talk about five games that took clear inspiration from Sony's classic (and now re-released) giant-killer. We then move on to talking about Toad's disgusting head, PUBG's anti-cheating measures, and the games you wish you could erase from your memory and re-experience.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_251_0209.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25am EST

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 in a bid 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.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_250_0202.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56am EST

Of course we're gonna yell about Labo, but we've also played Dragonball Fighters Z, SOS, the new OK KO game, and special guest Bob Mackey has played over sixty hours of Monster Hunter Worlds!

Direct download: VGA_Ep249_1026.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:15am EST