Any excuse to play Alpha Protocol again is a good one.
I wish the staff would go around the table once at least and pick. Patrick got his pick, but I would be curious what the other staffers would pick.
I would like to see the show stick to more quote unquote interesting games, games that are not perfect, not instant classics, but games that reach farther than their budget/technology/own abilities could pull off. Games that, regardless of the end result, tried something new, bold, or unique, whether in gameplay or in story, that allows for a lot of deep talks about game design.
Also games that don’t take toooo long to beat. Like as much as I would love to send them on a trip against something like Persona 4 or Eve: Online, it would just have too much down time to make for an interesting game for this format.
Psychonauts, Spec Ops: The Line, That Dragon, Cancer, VA-11 HALL-A, Dreamfall, Steins;Gate, Snatcher, Silent Hill 2, Zeno Clash, The Fall, Metroid Prime, and Alpha Protocol are all excellent examples that I would love to see them tackle.
Some more to add to the discussion:
- Brütal Legend - A very underrated title that I think a lot of people would come out enjoying more with fresh eyes rather than dashed expectations. Also honestly the most heart you’ll find from a game of its size and scope.
- Remember Me - There’s a lot to unpack about the game that was hampered by some wonky animation, some failed gameplay design choices, and, again, reaching for a vision far beyond the developers means.
- Life is Strange - I feel we need some distance from this one. Maybe during a lull in coverage for the second game a few months out or even months after the second game is said and done. But I still think it fits perfectly.
- Firewatch - Surprised no one has mentioned this yet. Pretty much a game made for this. Don’t think any of Waypoint’s staff hasn’t played it tho and that’s a perspective necessary for this experiment to work.
- Read Only Memories: 2064 - Snatcher was mentioned and I can’t not mention this when it comes up.
- Even The Ocean - Danielle raved about this game last year and no one else found time to play it. Would be a great game to make some time for.
- Tower of Heaven - This would be a one-off, but one of the best flash games ever made need more people dissecting it on an academic level.
- Bastion - Are we far enough out from this game’s launch to look back on its successes and its failures with fresh eyes? I doubt it, but it’s one that would fit the format so well. Keep that one in the back of your mind.
- 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors - Again, might be too soon with ZTD being less than a year ago, but damn that would be good to have some fresh new perspectives and some people going in with the full series under their belt.
- Call of Juarez: Gunslinger - Love what this game does with unreliable narrators. Forgotten little gem with a lot of cool mechanics and clever storytelling devices.
- Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale - Odd game to put on this list, but there are very few games like it that have been translated to English. Would be a fun, lighthearted month with people waxing and waning about childhoods and summer vacations. And Kaijus.
Dark Souls: This one probably seems unnecessary but I think the community really loves Austin and Patrick’s discussions on it. Also, there are plenty of people who have never experienced it and those who have could use the excuse to try and run through in a new way.
Roguelike Month: Recently, Austin spoke of his history of roguelikes and how he could teach a course on it. This is the perfect place to do it. Roguelikes generally allow for quicker runthroughs than a bigger game. Every week for a month a different roguelike is introduces while the Podcast showcases what made them special or important.
Honestly, there is a part of my that just wants to see stuff from my various gaming backlogs to give me the push to get through them. I would love to see some games that are outside the box, like some older MMO that suddenly gets surged by new Waypoint users for a month.
A Remember Me cast could be really rich—Austin’s voiced a lot of his comments on it in a Streamfriends let’s play, but there’s enough weird, interesting stuff going on in that game that I’d be interested in hearing what the rest of the crew has to say about it. Plus, I’d be curious to hear how it gets talked about now, informed by the successes (and missteps) of Life is Strange.
I feel like there was a solid month back in the day where Attack of the Friday Monsters was the game every games podcast wanted to discuss, but couldn’t quite find the time. Austin’s piece on it is, predictably, really good.
I’ll add my vote to Alpha Protocol, an extremely ambitious game I ended up loving often in spite of the gameplay doing its best to frustrate me.
Remember Me is a great suggestion too, which to me is the most recent example of the platonic ideal of a 7/10 video game.
Metro 2033 is also a favorite of mine. It’s less experimental than STALKER, but it’s also significantly more accessible (and fun, in my opinion). Also contains maybe the scariest level I’ve experienced in a video game until Alien Isolation came along.
Just so I’m not spending this whole post repeating what other people have suggested, though, here’s one that I’m honestly kinda surprised no one’s mentioned yet:
Alan Wake was, I felt, a consistently overlooked gem of a game. It ain’t perfect, but it’s got a lot of heart and some really cool moments and ideas.
Jagged Alliance 2 - No other game deserves a good upgrade like JA2. It’s open ended world and cast of characters still try to accomplish things most games since haven’t. It would be interesting to hear their thoughts on it and if we can see a proper remake again (there have been a lot of remakes and such but none of them came close to JA2)
Veil of Darkness - Kind of typical adventure game from the late 90s/early 2000s (i think?) but has an interesting dialogue system and mythology. Its mostly a game that I loved as a child but have heard nothing about since, which I always found strange
A Mind Forever Voyaging - OK so it is an old ass text only game, but it is also the first open world game, it has a huge map and only a few puzzles, it makes light commentary on a political system/event that isn’t entirely unlike the West’s at the moment, and is about computers which simulate the future in order to evaluate certain political legislative plans.
Yume Nikki is one of those games I feel could be unpacked and unpacked for months; it’s one of the most seminal (if not underrated) “art games” out there
I did a whole bunch of stuff on Yume Nikki for my GCSE Art. Final piece was an Uboa Typography where it was made from words pulled form the wiki in basically every font Photoshop could offer. Got top marks, and also apparently was nabbed by the examiners because all I got back was a photocopy of the original that someone had drawn on. still don’t know why. Maybe they thought it was cursed or something.
Yo bumping this cause I liked Austin’s suggestion to do a Wolfenstein New Order 101. Looking for a reason to finally play this!
Second the New Order suggestion. Never finished it when I played it last, despite loving it. Would be a good push to get me to power through this time.
Thirding The New Order; the gunplay is some of the best I’ve seen in modern shooters, and the narrative (while not free of problems) was surprisingly grounded and well-written, considering the setting and the source material.
Fourthing The New Order; I need to play it again with the other big choisy-woisy. But at the same time I believe you can’t have a video game book club without someone suggesting Star Wars: Republic Commando.
Fifthed on Wolfenstein. Never played it at release but the E3 trailer for II definitely made me interested enough to pick up a copy of TNO, which I’ve just done. Would be really interested to hear the crew go into it in detail.
I want Remember Me or Alpha Protocol, only because I’ve already played New Order… Sorry friends
Also, is it too late to get Binary Domain from the Steam sale and play through it?
I’m putting my hat in for Wolfenstin with the others, but what is going on with the resent Remember Me love. I know it didn’t do well but I’ve heard good things, and now a bunch of people have talked about it again. Thought it was gonna be the next 101 game, it probably should be a game for it soon.
Think I have it on the PS3… Wasn’t it a free game one month? Think that’s how I got it. I need to go back and play it.
I think someone wrote an article about it on Waypoint recently, and it’s made by the Life Is Strange people which sparked a lot of people’s interest (including my own)
If I just missed this suggestion, apologies, but I can’t believe that nobody has mentioned Kentucky Route Zero. ACT V may not be out yet but there is tons to dig into with the first four acts and all of the interstitial content. The impressionistic story, ambiguity, and sprawling cast of subtly interconnected characters begs for discussion. Additionally I think it offers an interesting model for player choice in games in that it doesn’t even bother pretending that is giving you freedom to change the game world and instead focuses on providing you with lots of opportunities to shade it’s story that almost fell more meaningful than most big binary decisions do.
I would absolutely be up for a KR0 episode, but I think I’d like for it to be more of a post-mortem thing a month or so after Act V comes out? Would feel weird for it to be the next 101 ep seeing as it’s technically unfinished.
As it’s probably in my Top 3 games of all-time though, I wholeheartedly agree I’d like to hear the team discuss it at length.
That’s fair, though I do feel like the game in its unfinished state is worthy of a deep dive. I’ve actually been replaying every currently released piece of KR0 content whenever a new act comes out. Similar to the new season of Twin Peaks I’ve found part of the excitement about experiencing it is having to constantly reevaluate what it is and can be with every chapter. Somehow having that deep dive discussion AFTER we have seen the full thing seems anticlimactic.