Vidjagame Apocalypse

Before Mikel, Chris, Tyler, and Dave all left for the holiday break, they attempted to record one last show: a festive holiday special about their Top 5 Santas. It didn't go as planned. This was the audio file we found after they'd disappeared, and it lays to rest any questions raised by the strangeness of recent VGA host breaks. Listen at your own risk.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_Special_1224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

This week's show marks our last "real" VGA for 2014, so following last year's established tradition, we're going out with a countdown of our 10 favorite games of the year. Which ones will make the cut? After we find out, it's on to some new-releases talk about Elite: Dangerous, an unexpectedly heated debate sparked by Hatred news, and some of the old movies you'd like to see made into games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_94_1218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15am EDT

The longer a tie-in game takes to come out after the movie it's based on, the better it tends to be. By that logic, the five games in this week's Top 5 — which all adapted movies that came out at least two decades before — must be AMAZING. Then it's on to some chatter about Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Suikoden II, the PlayStation Experience, and the games that made you cry.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_93_1211.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:58am EDT

Who says games can't make you cry? As the Bay Area shifts from a yearlong drought to winter monsoon season, it seems like a perfect time to make things awkwardly personal with a Top 5 about the games that made the hosts choke up and shed a tear or two. Just a little. In a totally manly way. After that, we take a look at the last big game releases of 2014, the Assassin's Creed Victory leak, and the stories you wish you could change.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_92_1206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:51am EDT

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in America, meaning everyone's blowing off work so they can gorge themselves while cooped up in pressure-cookers of familial loathing and resentment. We're no exception, so in honor of the noble sacrifice of the walking-bird (or "turkey" to non-Simpsons fans), we've invited Retronauts host Bob Mackey to share in a short, Top 5-centric show about our new favorite genre: the "walking simulator."


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Category:general -- posted at: 10:31pm EDT

Everyone loves "what-if" scenarios, and games are a great way to explore them, particularly when it comes to alternate views of world history? What if, for example, two warring, medieval secret societies had survived to spread their influence across the world? What if World War II had been fought by anime teenagers? These and other questions are answered by the games in this week's Top 5, followed by some talk about Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and WWE 2k15, and a look at the franchises you got sick of first.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_90_1120.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59am EDT

The holiday game-release season is in full swing this week, with headliners that include two Assassin's Creed games - one of which inspired a Top 5 about our favorite interquels. After that, it's on to a discussion of AC Unity and Rogue (as well as Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Valkyria Chronicles), before moving on to Overwatch, Just Cause 3, and the best lies you've ever been told about games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_89_1113.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42am EDT

Another year brings another Call of Duty, along with another round of jaded gamers rolling their eyes at the silly rah-rah army hero baby game. As anyone who's played through its slickly realized campaigns can attest, however, there's more to CoD's stories than big guns and simplistic pro-war attitudes. There've even been a few times when the series was downright subversive, and these are the fodder for this week's Top 5.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_88_1106.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:49am EDT

It's Halloween! Well, Halloweek, at least. After a few weeks of spooky Top 5 topics, we dug deep into gaming's roots for five seriously old-school horror games. Atari 2600 old-school. Terrifying. With that out of the way, it's on to business as usual with Sunset Overdrive, Lords of the Fallen, the return of X-Wing and TIE Fighter, and your favorite in-game haunted houses.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_87_1030.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09am EDT

It's still October, which means another quasi-spooky episode (spoopisode?), this time about our favorite creepy, horror-infested houses.  Then the conversation moves on to this week's monstrous crop of new releases (including Fantasia: Music Evolved, Bayonetta 2, and Screencheat) and a look at the game characters you've dressed up as for Halloween.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_86_1023.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:02am EDT

Continuing with this month's horror theme, our Top 5 this week focuses on the oft-maligned practice of shoehorning zombies into games that didn't have them initially — often with spectacular results. Then there's some fevered discussion of The Evil Within and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, a brief dusting of New York Comic-Con news, and a look at how well you'd do  realistically speaking  in a zombie apocalypse.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_85_1016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36am EDT

Alien: Isolation's deviously clever xenomorph has been getting a lot of (mixed) praise lately, but it's hardly the first randomized creeper to have chased us through a game. This week, we celebrate five of our favorite relentless, indestructible pursuers, then switch gears to talk about Isolation and Shadow of Mordor before moving on to the fictional universes you'd love to see through the eyes of a new or minor character.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_84_1009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:52am EDT

With Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor out this week and Alien: Isolation about to follow, Mikel resumes hosting duties to talk about five other movie-related games starring relative nobodies. Then there's some talk about Super Smash Bros., Tyler's identity gets "borrowed," and a look into what you really want from next-gen. 

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_83_1001.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:32am EDT

Thanks to Saints Row IV's just-revealed Gat Out of Hell DLC, we've got Lucifer's infernal realm on the brain. so we've devoted this week's Top 5 to some of the stranger ways everyone's favorite Lake of Fire has been realized in games. Then there's some talk about Sims 4, PAX announcements, recent... unpleasantness on the Internet, and your scariest experiences with horror games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_79_0904.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:02am EDT

The Every Simpsons Ever Marathon has an iron grip on our souls this week, so no, we actually couldn't think of a better topic for this week's Top 5 than our favorite Simpsons games. Once that's out of our system, we move on to Metro Redux, an almost completely uninformed discussion of Madden 15, a lot of ranting about PSN hackers, and the games that - for you - will end the relative drought of new releases we've been seeing this summer.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_78_0827.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:26am EDT

We're about a week late to the party here, but that bad boy of '90s gaming, the Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive to our international listeners), just celebrated 25 years since its U.S. launch. Somehow, we managed to stop pitying ourselves about advancing age long enough to put together a tribute to our five favorite franchises from Sega's glory days. Then it's on to talking about Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition and WWE SuperCard, more griping about current-gen consoles, and your favorite memories of Robin Williams.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:51am EDT

I'm sure I don't need to tell you why this is a sad week. In light of recent events, we hastily, clumsily cobbled together a tribute to Robin Williams for this week's show by centering our Top 5 on games based on his movies. (Some of them are kind of terrible, though, so this may be stretching the definition of "tribute.") Then we resume normal programming with some talk about Hohokum, the return of Sierra, and the crappy licensed games you loved as a kid.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_76_0814.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:22am EDT

Twenty years ago, it was a given that if a movie released between the months of May and September, it'd have a flashy-looking tie-in game on every major console — and actual humans would be excited for it. 1994 was jam-packed with wholly unnecessary movie-games, so let's count down the five best as dictated by their movies' box-office grosses. Then there's some talk about Sacred 3, a lot more talk about how nobody wants to pay for news anymore and things were better when Glenn Miller was running the country,  and your most embarrassing fart-related stories.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_75_0808.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am EDT

No discussion of whether video games are art would be complete without totally ignoring all the ones that feature fart buttons. Good thing we're not discussing art this week. After a spirited discussion of five games that let you pass gas at will, we move on to The Last of Us Remastered, talk about recent Xbox One developments, and discuss your saddest experiences with games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_74_0730.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18am EDT

With Comic-Con in full swing this week, this episode revolves around our favorite games based on comic books... that DON'T FEATURE SUPERHEROES (at least not in a traditional sense). Then, following an unhealthy number of digressions, we lay into Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, the Destiny beta, and your favorite digital monkeys.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_73_0723.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:28am EDT

"Pro Wrestling" doesn't always mean "beefy dudes in Speedos." Sometimes it means insultingly gratuitous panty shots, four-armed monsters, and Bart Simpson suplexing Moe Szyslak. This week, we take a look at five of the strangest wrestling games of recent years, after which our brief discussion of this week's paltry new releases gets completely derailed with talk about movies with apes and Transformers in them. Then we talk about the worst jobs you've ever had. It's fun!

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_72_0716.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:11am EDT

No matter how monotonous, thankless, or gross a job is, you can bet it'd make a pretty badass video game with just a few conceptual tweaks. Our show this week starts off with five of them, followed by some vague ramblings about sexist Hearthstone tournaments and Nintendo shareholder meetings, as well as a look at your favorite games of the year so far.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_71_0709.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:02am EDT

We're just past the halfway point of 2014, which means it's time to look back at the past six months of games and collectively pick out our favorites. Also, Tyler and Mikel argue about Sniper Elite III, Henry talks about wrestling, and we call out your favorite videogame butts of all time.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_70_0702.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:40am EDT

We've been teasing this one a long time, and now Anne Lewis at last has the floor to recognize her five favorite in-game butts. This is real, people. We're doing this. Hang on to your butts, etc. Oh, and then stick around as we talk about some recent games, try to identify more Steam games based on their reviews, and talk about which character's you'd love to see gender-swapped.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_69_0625.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:45am EDT

Another E3 has come and gone. Was it good for you? If not, too bad, because you're not getting another one until next year. 2014's show was a lot more grim and dark than it's been in a while, at least if you only look at the trailers — so we dedicated this week's show to the five saddest ones we could remember.  Then there's some more general E3 discussion, some talk about the blow-up around Assassin's Creed Unity's approach to gender, and a look at which E3 reveals got you the most excited.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:29am EDT

After last week's child-endangering double-whammy of Watch Dogs and Among the Sleep, we thought, "Hey, that looks fun," and decided to focus this week's Top 5 on games that put kids into life-threatening situations, often for no other reason than to provoke an easy emotional response from the audience. Then it's on to the disappointing Murdered: Soul Suspect,  a smattering of pre-E3 news, and your favorite non-Mario kart racers.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_67_0604.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:26am EDT

Watch Dogs is here! Watch Dogs is here! But first, let's observe Laser Time's weeklong Block Karty with a quick rundown of five questionable, mascot-themed kart-racing also-rans, none of which starred mustachioed plumbers. Then there's some talk about new releases (some of which aren't Watch Dogs), a special appearance by the Norwegian King of Names, and a look at what you're eager to see from E3 in a couple weeks.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_66_0527.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:19am EDT

Far Cry 4's finally been announced, and even though it's just concept art of a dude in a Scooby-Doo purple suit at this point, we're still excited. So excited, in fact, that we hung this week's Top 5 on the announcement, making it all about our favorite videogame mountains in honor of the Himalayan setting. There's also plenty of talk about Wolfenstein: The New Order, Transistor, and Tropico 5, along with a look at multiplayer games you'd be sad to lose.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_65_0520.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18am EDT

When you hit episode 64 of any podcast, there are really only two directions you can go in, topic-wise: something to do with the Nintendo 64, or the iconic Beatles song "When I'm Sixty-Four." If you're the kind of person who skips headlines and just reads article text, guess which one we went with? Aside from what were, in retrospect, some really overcompensatory attempts to transition from kiddie to gritty, there's some chat about this week's sparse crop of new releases and your ideas for Kevin Spacey movies-turned-games. Oh, and Brett Elston's on this one.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_64_0513.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59am EDT

Last week saw the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a movie reputedly so terrible that it's actually scoring well below some versions of its terrible tie-in game on Metacritic. Or wait — it turns out that's actually par for the course with a lot of superhero movies and their associated games, seemingly regardless of their respective quality. We take a look at the biggest disparities in this week's Top 5, then follow it up with some entertaining sound clips starring Kevin Spacey, and your favorite games-within-games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_63_0506.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:20am EDT

What do games really think of their audiences? If their portrayals of gamers are any indication, the sentiment is somewhere between contempt, pity, and outright affection. This week's show takes a look at five standout examples before moving on to a scattershot discussion of new releases, not enough talk about the E.T. landfill excavation, and your favorite gaming trios.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_62_0429.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:42am EDT

This week, the subdued trio of Mikel, Anne, and Dave lead an exploration into the deeper mysteries of games that use nonsensical babbling instead of voice-acting, after which we stumble through a meager field of new releases, a few news tidbits, and a look at the real-world facts you've learned from your years of playing games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_61_0424.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:20am EDT

Too many HD "remakes" these days are content to slap on some sharp new textures and call it a day. Most don't want to risk the ire of gamers by actually overhauling gameplay or design that worked 20 years ago, but a notable few have braved those waters and actually come out better for it. We celebrate them in this week's Top 5, then move on to talk about Trials Fusion, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and what your favorite Internet pranks were from this year's April Fool's Day.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_60_0415.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:48am EDT

By listener request (and in lieu of any better ideas), this week's Top 5 is dedicated gaming's greatest graffiti artists (or possibly just graffiti-themed games; we seem a little fuzzy on the concept). There's also lots of talk about Amazon officially getting into the console business, along with some idle conjecture about Titanfall on 360 and your ideas for mundane-activity simulators.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_59_0408.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:58am EDT

Last week's trailer for the Michael Bay Ninja Turtles movie was an inspiration — specifically, an inspiration for a Top 5 about the worst TMNT games of all time. With that out of the way, we talk about Goat Simulator, California State Senator Leland Yee allegedly becoming a real-life GTA character, and your ideas for games that would be better with virtual reality.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_58_0401.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:20am EDT

After decades spent on the technological trash heap, virtual reality's had a huge resurgence in the past week. Sony unveiled Morpheus, Oculus Rift rolled out its Crystal Cove prototype, and Microsoft revealed it was working on its own headset — and that was all before Facebook bought Oculus (which happened after we recorded this week's episode). It was a no-brainer, then, to start off VGA 57 with a rundown of our top 5 favorite/catastrophically failed headsets, after which we talk about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Infamous: Second Mark Ecko's Getting Up, and what you'd do if you were given free rein to mess up a game's established canon.

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:12am EDT

Inspired by the console-specific weirdness in this week's release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Episode 56 rolls up with a Top 5 about DLC expansions that threw canon to the wind. Then we continue with some talk about the mildly disappointing Ground Zeroes (which looks like a goddamn 11 out of 10 next to the crass letdown of Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z), and take a look at some of your favorite mechs.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_56_0318.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:07am EDT

Now that Titanfall is presumably eating up everyone's time on PC and Xbox One, we kick off our fifty-fifth show with what may be our shortest Top 5 yet, about the weirdest mechs we could think of. There's also some talk about Dark Souls II and (naturally) Titanfall, some getting grossed out at Chris' obscene texting (and also at the Shaq-Fu sequel), and then a look at what you'd do if you could turn any TV show into a game.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_55_0311.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:06am EDT

In case the title didn't give it away, this week we honor the arrival of South Park: The Stick of Truth with a Top 5 about other games based on basic-cable TV shows, and somehow manage to mess even that up by including a network show! Can you imagine? Also, Anne busts out another "guess the game by its Steam reviews" game, and we give a listen to some of your favorite victory sounds.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_54_0304.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:40am EDT

The last week of February boasts some notably dark-looking new releases, so we thought we'd add a little color with our five favorite games about bringing dead worlds back to life. Then we unwisely gush about Thief and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 just days before finding out everyone else hated them, chat about some troubling developments in last week's news cycle, and talk about your biggest crushes on game characters.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_53_0225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:47am EDT

VGA takes another quick trip back to the criminality well this week, with a look at five  "heroes" who did hard time and became our favorite video-game convicts. Then we dive right into Earth Defense Force 2025 and Strider, talk about our experiences in the Elder Scrolls Online and Titanfall betas, and run through some of your suggestions for game-inspired Olympic events.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_52_0218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:39am EDT

As athletes compete and hotel rooms disintegrate at the Sochi Olympics, we follow a listener suggestion and take a look back at some of our favorite games about The Games — with the caveat that few of them were ever any good, and we've barely played any of them, if at all. (It's probably funnier that way.) Then there's some brief talk about Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, a quick overview of the D.I.C.E. awards, and a long, self-indulgent look at your favorite moments from our first 50 episodes.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_51_0211.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:26am EDT

Between last week's Sly Cooper movie reveal and the incoming release of Thief, February is shaping up to be a very burgle-y month. So let's kick it off with a celebration of our favorite master thieves, then get giddy about Jazzpunk, Octodad, and Dustforce before talking about your favorite sports games of all time. Oh! And it's also our 50th anniversary, so expect a few tiny surprises, including a news "theme" for which your ears will never forgive us.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_50_0204.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:19am EDT

With Oscar season finally upon us, there's no better time to (once again) use Hollywood's long history with gaming as a creative crutch. This time, we take a look at games positioned as legitimate sequels to movies (whether by design, or simply by dint of being the closest thing we're likely to get) before talking about Broken Age, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, and Candy Banner: The Crush Saga. We also try to guess games by their user reviews, and then take a look at what you'd do if you could turn this year's Oscar-nominated films into games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_49_0128.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:12am EDT

Apropos of nothing, we start off this week's show with a Top 5 about heroes who have, at best, a tenuous grip on their heads. Then there's some talk about Broken Age, Banner Saga, and a smattering of last week's news, followed by some startling revelations about your favorite ability-granting costumes.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_48_0121.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02am EDT

The VGA crew limps through another slow January release week the only way we know how: with lots of tangential nonsense. There's also a Top 5 about costume changes as a major gameplay mechanic, some chat about CES 2014 and PlayStation Now, a bold plan to Kickstart and revive the Official Dreamcast Magazine, and a quick look at your most-anticipated games of 2014.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_47_0114.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59am EDT

Aaaand we're back! VGA returns from its two-week hiatus with an obligatory Top 5 about our most hotly anticipated games. Then we get cheery on bumwine and talk about the booze- and game-related shenanigans we got up to while we't making podcasts, after which we run through your personal picks for Game of the Year 2013.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_46_0107.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59am EDT