Vidjagame Apocalypse

Michael Grimm returns to the show this week to help us talk about five games that flashed back to their heroes' childhoods, letting us experience their most important formative memories firsthand. Then it's on to thoughts on Inside, Furi, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII; Red Dead Redemption and The Warriors arriving on modern consoles; and your personal picks for Game of the Year (so far).

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:26am EDT

We're at the midpoint of 2016, so it's time to look back at the last six months and assemble a non-definitive, highly subjective list of our favorite games of the year so far. If you haven't rage-quit by the end of it, be sure to stick around to hear us talk about Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Nintendo's NX mutterings, and your dream mashups of two completely different series.

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

A show number with "69" in it only comes around every 100 episodes, so we take full advantage this week, as Michael Grimm joins us for a somewhat NSFW show about games that used the (sometimes-dubious) talents of former and current adult-film actresses to great effect. Once the moaning is out of the way, it's time to dig in to Mighty No. 9, Umbrella Corps, No Man's Sky's legal troubles and your favorite E3 items that weren't showcased at a press conference.

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Category:general -- posted at: 7:54am EDT

E3 is coming fast, so let’s distract ourselves just a little before the show starts with a Top 5 about (surprisingly competent) games based on “unscripted” television shows about “real” “people” who are “not entertainment lizards in hu-man guise.” The second segment gets a bit parkour-flavored, what with the one-two punch of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and Watch Dogs 2’s reveal, and then it’s on to your most frustrating memories of losing a game to a glitch or hardware failure.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:47am EDT

In belated tribute to the PS2 "classic" Jaws Unleashed's 10th anniversary last week, this episode focuses not on the triumph of being a shark, but the terror of being its victim, with a Top 5 about the most stressful games to swim in. Then it's on to a heated discussion of One Piece: Burning Blood, Primal, Mighty No. 9's latest trailer and the most memorable dreams you've had about games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:06am EDT

We begin this week's show by exploring the theater of the mind, with five games that take place entirely in their characters' heads and/or dreams. We then weigh in on the the Overwatch mania currently driving the internet bonkers, along with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, Hideo Kojima's studio plans, and the games you play with your kids (or will play with your hypothetical kids).

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:33am EDT

Shadow of the Beast arrival this week is a reminder that sometimes, it's possible to tell a clear, engaging story without any actual dialogue. And that pushed us to spend this week's Top 5 discussion looking at other games that tell rich stories with little more than pantomime and grunting. We then move on to Doom, Homefront: The Revolution and Valkyria Chronicles Remastered before turning our attention to worrying game-movie plans, Shenmue remasters and your ideal toys-to-life games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:23am EDT

This week's release of Uncharted 4 is by all accounts a fitting send-off (for now) for one of the PS3 era's most beloved series, and so we get all topical with a frank discussion of five iconic roles inhabited by voice-acting supertalent Nolan North. The discussion then gradually meanders to our time with Uncharted 4 so far before we turn our attention to Disney Infinity shutting down, Assassin's Creed getting a movie trailer and your favorite moments in Star Wars games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:50am EDT

Mikel returns as host this week, and we celebrate by cursing America's pastime with a list of five baseball-themed games in which you never actually play baseball. We then jump back to the present with a look at Battleborn, before shifting to reactions to Call of Duty news, the Ratchet & Clank movie getting panned by critics, and the non-Zelda Nintendo franchises you'd most like to see revived by the NX launch.

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Special guest star Heidi Kemps of <a href="http://www.gaming.moe" target="_blank">Gaming.moe</a> rejoins the show this week, just in time for a discussion about our favorite improbably non-Japanese ninjas. Then it's on to talking about Star Fox Zero and the rumored PlayStation 4.5, after which we tackle your favorite Superman and/or Batman games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:59am EDT

Ratchet & Clank's arrival this week sparks a Top 5 discussion about that great and rare Ouroboros of modern media: Video games that got turned into movies and TV shows, and then back into games based on those movies and TV shows. We then dive into a fevered discussion of Dark Souls III, touch on Titanfall 2's multiplatform reveal and take and earnest look at your favorite sports games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:27am EDT

Now that Final Fantasy XV finally has a release date 10 years after it was first announced, Gamespot editor Scott Butterworth joins the hosts this week for a look at five other games that had long and troubled development cycles, but emerged beautifully. Then we dig into Quantum Break and Mega Man Legends 2, marvel at Danny DeVito’s ignorance of Pokemon, and look at your favorite April Fool’s pranks of all time.

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Making a game is often a huge undertaking. Making a successful game all by yourself is a staggering feat, and it's one that the five creators behind the games in this week's Top 5 managed to pull off spectacularly. The it's on to a look at the Oculus Rift and its key launch titles, Let's Play controversies, butt controversies and a look at your favorite Game Boy Advance memories.

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It’s a jock-out lockout this week, as Retronauts host Bob Mackey joins us to take a look at the gawkiest, dorkiest, most pedantic nerd archetypes the games industry has thrown at us over the years. Then its on to a rip-roaring discussion of Day of the Tentacle Remastered, the week’s flurry of Nintendo rumors and/or hoaxes, and a look at the VR headsets you think have the most potential.

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

This week, we delve into those strange and short-lived days when it was considered bold and avant-garde to market cheesy games around the promise of nudity and stick them on consoles. We then return to modernity with a look at Salt and Sanctuary, EA Sports UFC 2 and Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, then delve into some of the new announcements from the week of GDC before looking at the oldest save files you someday plan to return to.

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:26am EDT

We get an early jump on St. Patrick's Day this week, with a hiss-heavy segment celebrating five videogame snakes that Ireland's patron saint would doubtlessly have run out of the country on a rail. We then snap right back to the present with a look at The Division, Rise of the Kasai on PS4 and Hitman; wallow in the sad sagas of Lionhead and the Coleco Chameleon; and dig into the best games you never played the DLC for.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:40am EDT

The regular cast settles in this week for a look at five bosses that showed up to challenge fist-themed heroes while packing decidedly non-punchy firearms, often with predictable results. With that out of the way, we shift our focus to Superhot and this week's torrent of re-releases, the announcement of Pokemon Sun and Moon, and the survival skills you'd want if you were literally bombed back to the Stone Age.

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This week, former Game Informer editor Tim Turi joins us to talk about our favorite prehistoric adventures where sweaty men in loincloths fight dinosaurs. (Appropriately, none of them were made after 1997.) Then we shift slightly to talk about Far Cry Primal, Mega Man Legacy Collection, Vive pricing news and your favorite fighting-game characters.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:23am EDT

Ryan J. Hodge, author of Laser Time's own Play/Write series, joins us for the first time this week to chat about frumpy Soviets, suspiciously unnamed guerrillas and other commies who've taken starring roles in games over the years. Then it's on to talk about Street Fighter V and Fire Emblem Fates, free Sega games on Steam and your earliest crushes on game characters.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:10am EDT

Our sesquicentennial episode takes a fond look back at some of the absolute worst voice acting ever to appear in video games, as Heidi Kemps joins us to talk about her upcoming MAGFest panel. Then it's on to a packed week of new releases that includes Firewatch, Unravel and a new Naruto; a goodbye to GameTrailers; and the games you'd play if you were trapped in a reality-resetting Groundhog Day situation.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:22am EDT

Video games have been around since at least the '70s, but introspective games - ones with a statement to make about how we approach and play games, and what we expect from them - are still relatively rare. With The Witness out this week, however, we decided to take a look at how Jonathan Blow's earlier effort helped push metacommentary in games - and then we use it as a jumping-off point to talk about a few others. With that out of the way, we can talk about The Witness, Final Fantasy Explorers, Mighty No. 9 getting delayed again and the third-party Nintendo exclusives that you'd like to see get a second life.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:37am EDT

For decades, character designers have kept a hidden ace up their sleeve, one so powerful that they probably feel like hacks for using it, and so rarely do: if you put a cute face on a vaguely rounded shape, the resulting character will be irresistible and people will line up to buy its merchandise. Today's Top 5 looks at some especially effective blob protagonists (blobtagonists?) whose quivering, jelly-like forms have kept us entertained over the years. It's then on to talk about this week's charming re-releases, including a Boy and His Blob and Dark Cloud 2, before we take a hard look at the songs you were introduced to by games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:33am EDT

Following this week's first round of sad news, Dan Amrich joins us this week to help pay tribute to David Bowie the only way we know how: by basing a Top 5 around his more notable ventures into gaming. The sadness bleeds into our second segment with a look at That Dragon, Cancer, but lets up with Pocket Mortys, Amazon's 20% new-game discounts and a look at the games you're looking forward to the most.

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Category:general -- posted at: 7:04am EDT

Welcome back for another year of VGA! As has become tradition 'round these parts, we begin the year by looking ahead to five games we're really excited about. (There isn't a whole lot that's been revealed about some of these, though, so it's a short segment. Then it's on to a quick look at Amplitude, some quick laughs about the Star Wars "RPG" Kicstarter and other news that's erupted while we've been away, and a rundown of your favorite games of last year.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:54am EDT

It's time for our last show of the year, and we've put together a big one. A rotating cast of regular VGA hosts is joined by friends of the show (including Bob Mackey, Heidi Kemps and Chris Watters) to discuss our favorite games of 2015. There's even a mysteeeeerious "holiday special" sandwiched in between! All that awesomeness left no room for current-events talk, so we'll resume our regular format when we return in 2016. In the meantime, merry Christmas and happy holidays!

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Sick of hearing about Star Wars yet? Too bad, because (after a surprise announcement from Anne Lewis) we're making a shameless grab for its coattails with our (admittedly shaky) rundown of our favorite Star Wars games. With that safely out of the way, it's on to a brief look at SteamWorld Heist and the Jack the Ripper DLC for Assassin's Creed Syndicate, some talk about developments in the worlds of Hideo Kojima and Super Smash Bros., and the offbeat franchises you'd love to bring back.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:59am EDT

Mikel's back, and he's bringing special guest hosts Bob Mackey and Heidi Kemps with him! This week, we get into five games that let you not just turn evil, but actually unseat the villain and conquer in their place. (Evil path/bad ending spoilers abound, so listen for the time cues if you want to skip ahead.) With that out of the way, we move on to Yakuza 5, Earth Defense Force 4.1 and news from The Game Awards and PlayStation Experience, before taking a look at the games you most closely associate with a holiday break.

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With the Xbox 360 turning 10 next week, we're joined by GameSpot host/writer/producer Chris Watters (here to tell us about his brand new book, The Gamer's Bucket List) and Brett Elston (in his first VGA appearance as a full-time LaserTime editor) as we discuss the five greatest true exclusives the Xbox 360 had under its belt. We then switch gears to talk about Star Wars Battlefront and last week's Nintendo Direct, before looking at the hard choices you had to make between two out-at-the-same-time games.

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This week, we go unabashedly old-school in honor of LaserTime's newest full-time member, Brett Elston - who couldn't make it, leaving us to stumble through a frank discussion of grappling hooks and swing physics. Then we dig into Fallout 4, Rise of the Tomb Raider and a few other big releases, talk about some Overwatch and (pre-Direct) Nintendo news, and take a look at your favorite places to call home in games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:35am EDT

Whether you think of it as your house, headquarters, or simply a comforting save room, having a customizable home base has become a big part of a lot of our favorite games in recent years. As our string of horror-related shows comes to an end, we spend this week reminiscing about five of our favorite homes, after which we dive into new releases like Need for Speed and Cibele, scratch our heads over the King/Activision news, and talk about your worst experiences at places that were <em>supposed</em> to be fun.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:43am EDT

Happy Halloween, everybody! For our final horror-themed episode of October, we're going for the jugular with a genre feared even by some horror fans: scary games in which your only defense is to run, hide and hope the monsters don't find you. Then it's on to a lighter discussion of Halo 5: Guardians and WWE 2K16, an enthused look at Sony's Paris press conference, and your favorite encounters with Cronenbergs.

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Rick and Morty is a fantastic show, if for no other reason than that it gave us a new use for the word "Cronenberg," referring to incomprehensible masses of writhing flesh and body horror that look like they just flopped out of a David Cronenberg movie. As we continue our scary-for-October theme, taking a look at gaming's most prominent Cronenbergs seems like a logical next step. And after we wipe off their residue, we dive into Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Tales from the Borderlands, baffling Hideo Kojima news and the points at which horror games stopped being scary for you.

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Category:general -- posted at: 7:57am EDT

Our month of Halloween shows continues with five games about eldritch horrors from beyond the stars, as inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Then it's on to talk about the decidedly less scary Minecraft: Story Mode and Dragon Quest Heroes, Star Wars season passes, and the times you injured yourselves playing games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:38am EDT

We're big fans of Halloween around these parts, so this week's show kicks off a full month of horror-themed shows, starting safe and slow with five survival-horror games (seemingly) intended for children. Then it's time to talk about Transformers: Devastation, Super Meat Boy and Uncharted before providing half-informed analysis of the Star Citizen debacle and talking about your ideal video-game dance partners.

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:59am EDT

Bay Area games journo and kusoge* expert Heidi Kemps is our guide this week as we explore a slate of wonderfully bizarre and baffling music and rhythm games, a couple of which never made it to the States. Then we tear into Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 and Persona 4: Dancing All Night, discuss news about Kickstarter campaigns and Pokemon butts, and look at your favorite Konami games of all time.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:51am EDT

This week's strange will-they-won't-they narrative about Konami possibly exiting the console-game business perked our ears, and while it looks fairly certain that the publisher doesn't plan to exit the industry anytime soon, a fond look back at our five favorite Konami series still seems timely. With that out of the way, we stumble through Soma and other new releases, talk offhandedly about a possible voice-actor strike, and take a look at your favorite celebrity performances in games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:19am EDT

Lego Dimensions' voice-acting cast turned out to be an extremely hefty deal this week, with the likes of Michael J. Fox, Alison Brie and Peter Capaldi confirmed as voicing plastic versions of their iconic characters. This naturally turned our minds to other games that boasted big-name casts, and we put together a quick list of five favorites. Then it's on to hearing Chris gush about Forza 6 and Destiny: The Taken King before getting into Tokyo Game Show Sony news and your favorite Mario moments.

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Join us for a celebratory crossover episode with our old friend Brett Elston, who joins us fresh off the 100th episode of VGMpire for a Top 5 about games that pushed the hardware of dying systems to remind us that our old consoles still had legs. Then it's on to talk about Mario Maker, some confused outrage over Nintendo's apparent nervousness about 3D, and your most-cherished PlayStation games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:17am EDT

This week, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain took everyone's attention by storm. It is, by all accounts, a fantastic finale for the series - or at least the part of the series written by creator Hideo Kojima - and with the two-decade anniversary of the PlayStation's U.S. release coming up on September 9, we decided to celebrate early as a way to revisit the console that first revived Snake's career. Kicking off with our five favorite PlayStation games, we then swing into MGS V, Mad Max, faceplate-friendly 3DSes and your favorite boss fights of all time.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:57am EDT

A new Metal Gear is just a few days away, and the critics can't shut up about how great it is - but somehow, we manage to restrain ourselves long enough to get out a Top 5 about games with storytelling that outshone their so-so gameplay. THEN we lose our shit over Metal Gear coverage, but not before talking excitedly about Until Dawn, Mega Man Legacy Collection, the Madden "trailer" and your favorite games that never got a sequel.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:22am EDT

As much as the games industry catches flak for being a giant disgusting sequel factory, it has its fair share of great games that - whether by design or by circumstance - never got sequels, and maybe never will. Michael Grimm joins us this week to shuffle through five of our favorites*, after which we talk Tales From the Borderlands, new retro game consoles, Grin's death by Kickstarter, and the first games that ever bored you.

 

*[Informed by a strong belief that The Last of Us is about to get a sequel and a total ignorance at time of recording of Triad Wars, which is an MMO non-sequel anyway.]

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They may not be canon and they may not always be happy, but few hidden extras are quite as satisfying to find as secret endings - and this week, we count down five of our favorites. Then it's on to our reactions to Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, some feigned shock at Halo 5's Teen rating, and our first-ever sing-along community segment, with lyrics YOU assigned to game music.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:58am EDT

It's been a great week for fans of retro games - and for GameStop employees, who now have an answer to the eternal question, "Do you have Battletoads?" The release of Rare Replay spurred our spoiled-child brains to talk about five games that didn't make it into the collection, which we then discuss at length during the New Releases segment. Then it's on to a smattering of Gamescom news and a look at the times you MacGyvered something in real life.

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Seventeen years after its last installment, King's Quest is back among the living with this week's release of a new episodic adventure series. Happy as we are to see King Graham back in the thick of it, his return made us wistful for other adventure franchises that haven't had a new installment since the '90s - and that, with the recent revival of adventure gaming, are ripe for another chance. Then it's on to some talk about (of course!) the new King's Quest, Arnold Schwarzenegger joining WWE 2K16, and the animals you'd most like to ride as mounts.

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Cars are great and all, but if you really want to get around in style, nothing beats nature's motorcycle: the noble horse. Especially when you can call them to your side at any time, like the summonable horses in this week's Top 5. Then we talk about Journey, Tembo and other new releases; some EVO news; and the deceased fighting games you'd love to see make a comeback.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:10am EDT

The Evo Championship Series begins today, giving fighting-game fans around the world a chance to feel really inadequate by watching pro competitors at work. Since none of us are going, the best you'll get is this week's Top 5 - suggested by special guest star Heidi Kemps (of <a href="http://gaming.moe/" target="_blank">Gaming.moe</a>) - in which we count down our favorite fighting franchises that never made it past their first sequels. We then get maudlin over the sad passing of Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, but not before delving into Deception IV and this week's other new releases. This one's pretty up-and-down, and that's even before we get to the answers to last week's unfortunate QOTW.

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The Predator's arrival this week in Mortal Kombat X isn't exactly unprecedented, considering that the skull-collecting alien hunter has been the ultimate crossover star since the '90s. But he's not the first Hollywood character to make an appearance in an unrelated game, either, so we thought it'd be fun to look at five other instances when film icons suddenly showed up in games that had nothing to do with their movies. Then there's some brief talk about SKullgirls: 2nd Encore and Rocket League, a quick run through some pre-Comic-Con news, and a look at your favorite games of 2015 so far.

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:31am EDT

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 the cut, because it's a slow week. Then we talk about games you wish hadn't been canceled. Fun!

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:35am EDT

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:35am EDT

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.

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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.

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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.

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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, Hatred, Black Ops III, and Just Cause 3 news; and a fond look at your favorite Star Wars games.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:28am EDT

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 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.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_109_0423.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:28am EDT

Do you often find yourself rooting for the bad guys, sometimes even when they're not snappier dressers than the heroes? You're not alone, and a lot of games cater to your dark impulses with the option to play as their Big Bads and put the sappy good guys in their place. Along with special guest Heidi Kemps of gaming.moe, we explore five of our favorite villain experiences this week, followed by a spirited discussion of Mortal Kombat X, Westerado: Double Barreled, Grand Theft Auto V on PC, and your last memories of being in an arcade.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_108_0416.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am EDT

With David Lynch dropping out (at least temporarily) of the Twin Peaks resurrection over the weekend, the time was ripe for an idea that's been sitting on our back burner for a while: games that borrowed heavily from the landmark '90s show, forging their own uniquely weird identities in the process. Some of them may even surprise you. There's also some light talk about Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, excitement over Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and ranting over Amiibos, and a look at your favorite April Fool's gags of 2015.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_107_0409.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40am EDT

San Francisco seems to get destroyed a lot more often than most other cities in fiction, and that includes games - so this week, we take a look at five games that wreaked the most destruction on VGA's hometown. Then there's some extended Bloodborne chat with Michael Grimm, a bit of excitement over Axiom Verge, and a look at the games you said made purchasing a new console or video card worthwhile.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_106_0402.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10am EDT

Fresh off our playthrough of the dazzling Final Fantasy XV demo, we begin this week's show by looking at the proud tradition of packing high-profile demos to help sell (and, more often than not, almost completely eclipse) medium-profile games. Then it's on to some rapturous Bloodborne chatter, our thoughts on Hideo Kojima leaving Konami, and your best drunk-gaming experiences.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_105_0326.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23am EDT

Given that St. Patrick's Day was this week, we opted for the convenient holiday theme and made this episode about the most Irish thing games have to offer: Irish accents, affected by (mostly) non-Irish actors. Then it's on to some brief talk about Battlefield Hardline, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, and Jason Voorhees joining Mortal Kombat X, after which we take a look at your ideas for the perfect VR experience.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_104_0319.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56am EDT

GameSpot's Chris Watters joins us this week to help us talk about our five favorite Metroidvanias (or Castletroids, if you're the type to worry about infringing on trademarks), but that's the tip of the iceberg. Part 2 launches into a look at Ori and the Blind Forest and Hotline Miami 2, followed by cool things witnessed at GDC and PAX East, and your embarrassing convention stories (bolstered with a few more of our own, as well as a strangely impassioned argument over the correct orientation of ass gaskets).

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_103_0312.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44am EDT

This week, Ray Barnholt of Scroll, No More Whoppers and Retronauts joins us for frank talk about five faintly embarrassing vanity games that recast popular musicians as action heroes (or action-hero enablers). Then we move on to talk about tepid new releases, gross baby-delivery games, and games you loved because they were short.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_102_0305.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:47am EDT

Returning to business as usual after last week's three-hour explodaganza, we're kicking this week's show off with a look at five movie-to-game adaptations that, for whatever reason, only ever appeared on PSP. Then it's on to some talk about Dragonball Xenoverse and Way of the Samurai 4, news of Kanye dabbling in game design, and answers to the questions you wanted to ask us.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_101_0226.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:04am EDT

EPISODE 100 IS HERE AT LAST! To congratulate ourselves for actually sticking with a project for this long, we start with a Top 5 in which Chris tries to justify buying a New Nintendo 3DS immediately after dismissing it,  switch to a brief rundown of this week's new releases, and then begin a nearly THREE-HOUR TOP 100 wherein we try to figure out the context behind all our Secret Sounds. This is our least game-focused show ever, but it's also our filthiest, with lots of sometimes-funny behind-the-scenes bits that you've only heard if you listened to all our shows to the end.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_100_0219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT

With the exception of maybe Rambo, it's difficult to think of any characters who've been ripped off as frequently as Indiana Jones. (Granted, you could argue Dr. Jones is himself a ripoff, but that's beside the point.) With rumors of a film reboot on the rise, we devote this week to the ersatz Indys who've been whipping their way through games since the '80s. Then it's on to chat about Evolve, the pros and (mostly) cons of a Netflix Zelda series, and the comedy sketches you'd like to turn into games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_99_0212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:46am EDT

Not a lot of comedy sketches get their own video games, and after hearing about the mostly terrible entries in this week's Top 5, you'll understand why. With that safely out of the way, it's on to some chatter about #IDARB and Game of Thrones, SOE transitioning to Daybreak, and the mythologies you'd like to adapt into games.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_98_0205.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am EDT

In honor of Grim Fandango's long-overdue return, we decided to base this week's Top 5 around games influenced (however loosely) by Mexican folklore and its vision of the underworld — and we approach the topic with all the sensitivity and respect you'd expect from four suburban white guys. Moving on from there, we talk about Dying Light, hear some shocking voice samples from a forgotten Bomberman, and take a look at what your ideal current-gen remakes would be.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_97_0129.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13am EDT

Now that we're in a (still just) brand-new year, we've got 11 whole months of cool new games to look forward to, many of which will probably get bumped to next year. Best not to think negatively, though, so this week we take a look at the five games we're most excited for this year. After that, there's some talk about Saints Row IV: Re-Elected, Gat Out of Hell and the Resident Evil RE-master, some wild speculation about a new Indigo Prophecy, and a look at the 2015 games you're most looking forward to.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_96_0122.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:03am EDT

We're back with our first show of 2015! Aaaand it's about 2014, as Bob Mackey and Michael Grimm join the show to help us talk about our favorite villains of last year. After that, there's some (very brief) new-release talk, a meandering discussion about newly resurrected DOS games, and a look at your favorite games of last year!

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_95_0115.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45am EDT

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."

 

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_91_1126.mp3
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.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_77_0820.mp3
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.

Direct download: VidjagameApocalypse_68_0618.mp3
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