Attention astronaut: There’s been a terrible accident and now you have just 60 minutes of oxygen remaining. Better spend them listening to this episode about a talking sword and big worms.
#5: Soulcalibur V
It’s been an auspicious year for fighting games–can you imagine the reaction just a few years ago if someone predicted that in one year, we’d see new iterations of nearly every major fighting franchise? That’s exactly what happened in 2012, and I’ve got to give credit to the latest in my favorite fighting series: Soulcalibur. Despite some skepticism over new gameplay mechanics and a dramatically different character roster, SCV emerged as one of the series’ strongest entries and even appeared to gain back some respect from the arcade circuit. Best of all: No Star Wars characters in sight.
The folks at Xbox Live usually horde some of their best downloadable titles for their Summer of Arcade campaign. The headliner of 2012’s line-up for me was easily Deadlight, a 2D puzzle-platformer from Spanish developer Tequilaworks. Combining a visual style heavily influenced by LIMBO and gameplay elements reminiscent of Shadow Complex, you play as a survivor of the zombie apocalypse trying to navigate your way through the decimated remains of Seattle. Filled with challenging environmental puzzles and intense “run or die” moments, Deadlight brought a fresh perspective to the zombie survival genre.
What can be said about Journey that hasn’t been said already? It’s a game but it’s not. It features multiplayer but you can’t play it with your friends. It’s surprisingly moving, occasionally frightening, and very, very strange. Most importantly, Journey is an experiment in gaming that succeeds primarily because of the fearlessness of developer thatgamecompany.
8. Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
The jury’s still out on Sony’s Playstation Vita but most owners agree that its gaming line-up was a bit slight in early 2012. Mutant Blobs Attack was an early Vita release but it remains one of the most fun and original experiences on the system. You play as a one-eyed blob who rolls along absorbing pieces of the environment and growing in size until, eventually, terrorizing the populace and attracting the attention of the military. It’s one of the most laugh-out-loud funny games of the year, filled with 1950’s B-movie tropes and a roster of evolving powers that allow your blob to dominate Earth.
Our love for thatgamecompany’s Journey can not be contained…nor could our discussion of the game be confined to just one episode. On this week’s show, we engage in some nothing-held-back talk about our experiences with the game and what, if anything, it all means.**
Every gamer has a story about the one that got away. Red Dead, GTA, Fable, Dead Space…
On this week’s show, we’re talking about the games that we’ve played but somehow never finished. Sometimes life gets in the way, sometimes we have to force ourselves to finish a game that just isn’t fun…and sometimes Randy just can’t get past a certain boss battle and won’t stop talking about it.
In the Hangover: Matt buys a Vita, D.J. prepares himself for Mass Effect 3 by getting his Shepard in order, and Randy gets closer to God with El Shaddai: The Ascension of the Metatron. D.J. also got his hands on the yet-to-be-released fighting game Skullgirls, and Randy and Matt keep their Journey talk 100% spoiler-free.
In Last Call: Quantic Dream follows up on Heavy Rain with something very moving, Stromkern emerges from hiding with some killer new music, and EA’s Origin service seems to be getting its act together.
Lastly, we pay tribute to some of our favorite fake radio ads from the Grand Theft Auto series in this week’s Video Game Community Theatre segments.
The Video Game Hangover podcast: it moistens your mouth and it’s mildly offensive to French people.
Mais non! Pas du tous!
Someone decided it would be a good idea to add zombies to Sega’s Yakuza series of action-adventure games.