I just remember this game: Zeno clash!
Besides the games already mentioned (definitely wouldn’t mind an excuse to replay KotOR 2),
Beyond Good & Evil is the one that comes to mind. It’s topical, it’s one of those possibly-flawed-yet-beloved cult darlings that this series is so well suited for, and IIRC it has yet to be completed by everyone on the podcast.
I’ve been told that I should play Spec Ops: The Line several times and would enjoy having Waypoint 101 as an excuse to play it.
Cave Story would be an excellent title to examine imo. It’s one of the, if not the most influential freeware games of all time, and a cornerstone of the early independent games movement. There’s so much going on mechanically/thematically in that game that deserves to be unpacked and appreciated.
@Highwire seconded. I just picked it up for my Switch. Especially enjoying the dope sound track.
I think a good game to explore, both in terms of the way it’s aged in relation to third person shooters and as a narrative in it’s own right would be Max Payne with possible companion piece of either Max Payne 2 or for better contrast 3.
Alternatively, mechanically I think it’s aged horribly but one of the first Tomb Raider’s would be rich. I have a particular fondness for 3.
Edit: Actually reading some other suggestions Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is the perfect choice. Go with that one.
I don’t know if it’s aged super well but I thought Cryostasis was fantastic at the time. Similar to Metro or STALKER in tone but it had some great little game play twists along the way and the story was good with a few different endings. The shooting is bad but it’s kind of intentional since the weapons are meant to be rusty and old.
Condemned 1 or 2 are both great with bat shit crazy stories (especially 2). It still is one of the most brutal game’s I’ve ever played. The punch’s hit like freight trains
The Darkness has some great atmosphere, is fun to play and the story/characters are pretty well done.
I realize that Undertale fandom is intimidating but it really is a touching story with unique game play. With it’s fourth wall breaking it constantly speaks directly to the player I think that’s why the community around it got so intense.
Like others have said here, It would be nice if Waypoint 101 was more about weird unique games that people maybe never got around to playing. These 4 do things slightly differently from the norm and I don’t think anyone has suggested them yet here.
By the way all the suggestions so far have been awesome (except for harvester because that’s a trash fire) and I hope you guys eventually do all of them.
As the person who brought up Harvester, I just want the record to show that I don’t disagree with you on that point. The game is a lot of things, but “good” is definitely not one of them.
Could be interesting to have everyone do a certain number of playthroughs of Long Live the Queen and see what different experiences people manage to have with it.
Zeno Clash is extremely good, and I think real games criticism at major outlets wasn’t widespread enough for it to be really appreciated.
I Am Alive is sort of a Proto-The Last of Us, and has a good few neat mechanics worth a look-in. I’m still rooting for Wolfenstein for the next game but I think it’s a good game to have on the radar.
Also Judge Dredd: Dredd Vs Death, the Judge Dredd game that remembered to be a comedy. You can arrest all of the NPCs and it comes up with a reason for doing so retroactively, like arresting smokers for “pollution”. It’s also got a pretty faithful version of That Gun That He Has if you’re a nerd. God knows if there’s two podcasts worth of stuff going on in it to talk about, but again, on the radar.
I suggest they play 2064: Read Only Memories, as the game’s story tends to have very similar parallels to the discussion points in the last Waypoint 101 podcast featuring Binary Domain. It’s a relatively short adventure game with a penchant for conflating trans-humanism for a talk on race, which I feel would be a very interesting talking point on how another game tried to create a talking point on how people react to different forms of humanity they have to deal with.
Another game I would recommend is Killer7, since I’m still enamored about this game despite its confusing mechanics and story. Think StarFox, but you can retrace your steps while fending off against invisible explosive zombies. This is also the game that put Suda 51 on the map for most people with its bizarre aesthetic and (for its time) dark and surreal story.
I am Alive is a terrific pick
Prince of Persia reboot is also game worth revisiting
Something just popped back into my head, short, rich in critical discourse but also flawed and enjoyable? It’s got to be the DLC (but also available as a separate product) Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry. I suspect not as many people played it as the main series so it’d be also good in the “not everyone who wants to play this game, already has” sort of conundrum that plague some of these popular well regarded choices.
I will throw in my hat for Rakuen which came out earlier this year, and got immediately overlooked. It is a lovely little non-combat RPG made by the composer of To The Moon. It’s about a young boy who is hospitalized and who travels to a fantasy world with his mother to solve the problems of his fellow patients.
I am always down to play Psychonauts again, but perhaps Costume Quest woulds be another option as it is a less talked about Double Fine game (and I would like an excuse to give it a try).
Also, the fantastic work of Kitty Horrorshow could make for a great collection to discuss as whole, since most of her games are fantastic and free on itch.io and Anatomy is only $3.
From other suggestions, I would like to second the calls for Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Read Only Memories: 2064, and Even The Ocean
If were suggesting Assassin’s Creed games I actually think Liberation would be a good option. It was originally a Vita game so it’s got a lot of stuff going on that’s kinda weird.
one game i would love to see on waypoint 101 (though is a bit too long for this feature at the moment) is Fallout New Vegas.
Fallout New Vegas is one of those games i come back to at least once every year. There’s just something about the world, politics, gameplay, and roleplaying aspects that draw me in more than any other game. At the time when this game came out many critics/reviewers/journalist more or less blew this game off as just more fallout 3. at the time fallout 3 had really taken the world by storm but the game was deeply flawed in many ways, this was back when open world jank was welcome and looked over (2008, far cry 2 came out this year as well for perspective). FNV is much more than just more fallout 3 and i want people to recognize and appreciate the differences because new vegas built upon the fallout 3 framework in such an amazing way. Back when fallout 4 came out, i know a few players remarked at how the intro and character creation had ruined any semblance of roleplay as you are forced to play a cis hetero relationship who more or less remains a good person despite all attempts to push their character to something other than a neutral/good alignment.
When you start a brand new save of new vegas you’re greeted with a handgun to the forehead. Your character, the Courier, shot and left for dead only to be saved by a roaming robot out of your shallow grave. After you awaken with a small town doctor at your bedside you “remember” your own life through the character creation segment, including a full psychiatric evaluation then released back into the wastes. really your only limit with roleplaying in new vegas is how your recreate your past which plays a part much later on in the story.
I want to leave off on the roleplaying elements of this game as i could fill a book about my gripes with Fallout 3 and 4 in comparison to Fallout New Vegas with story and gameplay as a focus. I doubt that this title will really be applicable to WP101 due to its length (+dlc, which is really really good. Perhaps the best content in the game). If only my passion could be recognized by some, that would make me happy. You speak sometimes of the adoring minority for a game (i.e. the people who wish for a sequel to vampire the masquerade), well i am a part of that small segment for this game and i wish greatly to express that.
Just popping in to say keep those suggestions coming! We’re still trying to put together a poll for the next set of these, and ideally will be picking a game that is accessible on a contemporary platform and which won’t take more than 10-15 hours of time. That said, I’m totally interested in people passionately saying why we should check out something longer, especially during this brief summer lull!
I think the game I’d like to suggest first is FEZ. There are a series of revelations I feel each player goes through when playing that game (that might even be in different orders depending on what you focus on). I feel now is a great time to get into it because it’s easy to avoid all the answers, so you can figure things out together in relative peace. Meanwhile, the resources are available to persuade players to experience aspects that maybe they wouldn’t otherwise (or simply didn’t) stick with the game while the community sought out its secrets.
I don’t know if this is the sort of game this feature is for (there are other avenues for community-driving games to be talked about) but I feel like a lot of people know about Fez without absorbing what made it special (which I feel happened with Braid, Spelunky and Journey). Also, a lot more people have bought the game since than were there at release to join in the community fervour, and it would be nice to give that feeling another hurrah.
How about Metro 2033 (Redux) and then Metro: Last Light (Redux) to follow? Never played the two games but just recently bought them together while they were on sale so I would love to be in on the discussion as I go through these games myself.