S5: Most Overrated VIP of 2009

In this, the last Big Red Potion of 2009, Sinan Kubba and Joe DeLia have called upon 11 terrific podcasts and sites to contribute to the biggest Very Important Podcast of the year. The topic: the most overrated games of 2009. Featuring: Gamers with Jobs, Digital Cowboys, The Gamer Scene, Pink & Deadly, Sonic’s Ring, Cheat Code Central, Ninja Fat Pigeons, GamerNode, TheGameReviews, Dangerous Kids, and the SuperHappyFunTimeShow.

20 Responses to “S5: Most Overrated VIP of 2009”
  1. Good call by Cory with Flower tricking people into thinking it’s better than it is with its over-poetic sh*t, but I need the Braid-basher’s address — physical address, that is….

    Excellent response from Oxy, too.

    Indeed, Modern Warfare 2 is a crappy platform game.

    To John and James: Come on guys… Demon’s Souls isn’t THAT difficult. It’s not as tough as, say, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, for instance, or Ikaruga, or the second level of Battletoads. Seriously though, I’ve struggled more with Modern Warfare 2 than Demon’s Souls. DS just asks you to play a bit more slowly.

    PvZ is a THOUSAND times better than Peggle. Good choice, Sinan! Peggle is worse than clipping my toenails and trying to drop them in a shot glass from the roof of my house.

    Totally agree with Joe about the title screen in Scribblenauts. I said exactly that in my review at GN.

    And lastly, I think the aggregate rating for AC2 has room to be bumped UP a little, even. It’s absolutely excellent.

    PS – My apologies for the zombie-like enthusiasm this time around. I was trying to prevent my strep throat from exploding all over the PC.

  2. Mike says:

    This is driving me nuts, but can anyone tell me what the music behind the beginning of the “gamers with jobs” segment is?

    That light, arpeggio acoustic guitar bop?
    Thanks to whomever knows, I feel I’ve heard it before, and I can’t bring it to mine.

    Great episode, thanks!

  3. Sinan Kubba says:

    Hey Mike. Jim Noir’s “My Patch” , which I immediately bought and downloaded after hearing it used in the LittleBigPlanet adverts. Hope that helps & glad you enjoyed the show.

  4. Joe DeLia says:

    Wow…my cold is extremely noticeable in the host segments. As is our 7am recording time.

    • Sinan Kubba says:

      It wasn’t to me, although you do sound a bit throaty. But you should be commended for recording with a cold, a much lesser companion than your usual podcasting bedfellow, the burrito.

  5. Strident says:

    I’m about half way through so far (more listening to be done tomorrow!). Good stuff so far…


    I agree Infamous was a total disappointment… it was nothing more than a bog-standard superhero game, not really any better than recent Spider-Man outings. It didn’t move the genre forward or even manage to tackle any of the constant issues that plague open world games. The moral choice system was a total joke, the game was too long (or rather, it was stretched too thinly) and the story just didn’t make any sense.

    I can’t agree with Flower as a nomination of course but Brutal Legend was another major let down; a horrible mish-mash of gaming genres, each not done particularly brilliantly. It ended up feeling like a giant con trick, scamming you into playing it with its humour even though the game wasn’t that much fun to play. Maybe I was just in the wrong mood when I played it… I’ll take another look at it next year.


    Kudos for using the word kerfuffle. :) I was actually surprised at how little people ended up talking about Modern Warfare 2 on podcasts, compared to what I expected. It seems that there really wasn’t much to discuss aside from the “No Russian” level. Talk about great sections in the original game’s single-player went on for months and even the MW2 multiplayer has hardly been mentioned aside from people moaning about cheating.

    I was fine with MW2′s hype. It’s not something for me but, unlike some gamers out there, I don’t believe every game has to be for me. I was, however, pretty annoyed at how it pushed my more anticipated games completely off the release schedule and into next year.


    Brutal Legend – I agree (see above) especially about Tim Shaffer’s notes. Forza, Killzone 2, Aion… No interest in them so not played them.

    Wii Motion + – Yeah, I’ve got to agree with that. There’s no doubt that it fixes a lot of the issues that existed with the initial implementation of the Wii motion sensing. It really does transform some of the activities in Wii Sports Resort. I wasn’t that impressed by how it worked in Grandslam Tennis simply because, although it undoubtably gave me more control, it honestly didn’t make the game any more enjoyable. Unless you’re a good tennis player or golfer the additional control isn’t really that helful. (I do want to hear what Sinan thinks of Wii Motion Plus… especially on the tennis games… so stick those on your list of things to play, Sinan!)


    Batman Arkham Asylum – Yes! Totally agree! It was a solid, but not stunning, game that sufferred from a huge amount of Batman-fanboy hype. I can understand how Batman fans, starved of a decent game for twenty-years, devoured it ravengingly but, as someone who isn’t that fussed about the caped crusader, I just couldn’t overlook the awful boss fights, the “greatest detective” crap or Harley’s whining voice! Still, it was memorable, did some interesting things and I look forward to see what they do with the sequel.

  6. Yeah, inFAMOUS dfinitely got a more praise than it deserved. Another cool world, but really ended up being a generic shooter with electricity instead of hard ammo. I liked some of the karmic choices, but the system was broken in that you basically had to choose if you were good or bad and then play accordingly, going all the way in either direction in order to reap the full benefits of the game’s skill system.

    I think everyone is over-enamored by superheroes, to be honest.

    And lest we forget – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0fGwxEMjh0

  7. Sinan Kubba says:

    I think inFamous had a lot of failings – would go with it being overrated, but I still really enjoyed it for its Crackdown-esque aspirations, and I’d consider it one of the better games of this year, if not one of the very best.

  8. Strident says:

    More thoughts (after listening to a bit more)…

    Resident Evil 4 – My main problem with this one was that, partly because of all the racial controversy, I was under the impression that the Resident Evil series were quite realistic, scary games. You can understand, with those preconceptions, how confused and disappointed I was after battling a large troll and a man who turned into a giant sea monster. I wasn’t expecting over the top silliness with Live and Let Die-era racial undertones so I just didn’t enjoy it. It’s one of those times when I got totally the wrong impression of a game from all the hype and thus ended up really not liking it.

    Scibblenauts – Poor Scribblenauts, it doesn’t half get some stick. I blame all the people who played it at E3 and continued to rave about it as though they thought the controls would somehow be magically changed by the time it was released. I didn’t find it that hard to control (most of the time) I just thought the actual puzzles themselves were badly designed. As an interactive visual dictionary it’s fun but good puzzle games use restrictions and rules cleverly to make each level different, interesting and challenging.

    The Beatles Rock Band – I thought it was great at the time, a really interesting rose-tinted imagining of the history of the band’s career. Since completing it, and revisiting it a few times, I’ve just become so annoyed at how many great songs they missed out seemingly just to make the DLC packs more attractive. I’m all for showcasing the complete range of The Beatles catalogue and helping people discover some lesser-known gems but there are some tunes in there that just aren’t that fun to play and some essential Beatles tracks that are completely missing.

  9. SilentHitoshura says:

    I totally disagree with Demon’s Souls.

    Not just because it is my GotY but the reason ‘it’s not for the mass audience’ is irrelevant. It isn’t for the masses, not all games are for the masses. It isn’t like everything else, it isn’t a mashup of styles or another ‘FPS with a twist’. Also the advertising for it was minimal. For a game such as Demon’s Souls, an exclusive game to sell SO well in this economy with next-to-no advertising and based solely on word of mouth is a triumph for originality.

    The quality and originality more than justify any superlatives thrown its way.

    Batman over hyped? Am I the only one that noticed that Batman was awesome? Very much so. I think it’s quality to hype ratio was spot on.

    Resident Evil 5…. who wants me to talk about this chestnut again? Nobody? fine I won’t, but god damn how wrong can you be?

  10. Strident says:

    Did you finish inFamous, Sinan? I was feeling really positive about the game early on but by the time I was on that third island I was really hating it. Maybe it’s my own fault, doing all the side missions and going for full completion… maybe that’s what put me off, but that’s what I felt the game was encouraging me to do.

  11. Sinan Kubba says:

    I did indeed, Strident. I did skip most of the side missions, however, and I clearly have something for that kind of game given how able I was to fogive Crackdown’s flaws (despite what I said on the Replay show). I can see where you’re coming from, but I will say that I think the game spaced out the powers well, and each one felt genuinuely more useful than the last (take note Assassin’s Creed 2)

  12. Strident says:

    (I’m an idiot I put Resident Evil 4 instead of 5! :) Shows how much I know about the series)

    The problem I’ve had with a lot of these games is that the hype completely obscures the useful facts and information that would let me know if I’d enjoy the game. It also generates such a firm preconception in my head of what a game is like that if it doesn’t match up in reality I end up hating it.

    If I hadn’t heard anything about Batman, inFamous or RE5 then I’m sure I’d have liked them more.

  13. Joe DeLia says:

    inFamous was fun to me, but I skipped most of the side missions. I can see how it got repetitive (and downright awful) to those who played them all. It might end up in the back half of my top 10 (or 15)

  14. Well done on the edit BRP guys!

    Firstly I can’t believe I’m on a podcast with the GamersWithJobs guys! Listened to them for years n a big fan. Feel like we have finally arrived! ;)

    We had trouble picking a game that was overrated. We considered Brutal Legend, KZ2 and RE5 but felt those games were overhyped but NOT overrated, most reviews acknowledged those games had a lot of problems. Dave refused to entertain MW2 as our choice!

    The main problem I had with Batman that I forgot to raise in our section was the detective mode. They went to so much trouble to create these lush beautiful environments that were always washed out in monotone blue because you didn’t want to miss anything. For the sequel I would like the mode to be context sensitive, with the game telling you there’s something hidden nearby when you need to use it.

    Totally disagree about Beatles RB. I am a big fan of music games, and BRB is the best so far by some margin. I’m not a huge beatles fan, but anyone with a passing interest in them will realise how well it conjures up their world and artistic vision. It helped the beatles have a band arc the story could follow from start to finish, and they played some of the most iconic gigs in history. The love, care and attention to detail the game has been made with shine through every second you play it.

  15. Sinan asked me about the joke at the top of our VIP clip about Halo ODST when I said Halo and Zeus and Doxy both said Rock Band. Basically, Halo ODST was our second choice, because we felt like the Halo brand made it over-hyped, and then those of us who bought it paid $60 for a game we could beat in an afternoon that came with a second disc full of multi-player stuff we already had … because we all bought Halo 3 in the first place!

    However, we decided to go with Beatles: Rock Band because it was more hyped than any game we’ve seen in history. Danny Harrison, Yoko Ono … even Paul and Ringo were pimping this game on american television every time we turned around. It didn’t matter if it was mid-day or late-night, if it was a talk show, somebody was pimping Beatles: Rock Band. Zeus and Doxy are both Enforcers (read: volunteer staff) at PAX in Seattle every year, and they mentioned their first experience with the game even before it launched. My first experience was after launch at our weekly Rock Band party. The host pulled out the disc, and there were more than enough Beatles fans in the room to enjoy the game for all of an hour or so, before we put the Rock Band 2 disc back in and played that the rest of the night.

    The other reason I think we decided to go with Beatles: Rock Band — and I mean no offense to the other guests on the VIP special — is that when a lot of reviewers or commentators do the “year in review” kinds of things in the gaming world, they all too often end up going with games that have come out toward the end of the year. It seemed like CoD:MW2 was the big favorite for “most overrated,” but that game’s been out what … a month? What about the other 11 months of 2009? I noticed a couple of the other VIP’s mentioned games like Killzone 2, Flower, and Brutal Legend, but when the son of a dead Beatles member is pimping a game on the Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live, the game gets all 9′s and 10′s, and upon launch we’re out $100+ and bored with it after an hour? I think we have a winner, even if it WAS four whole months back.

    Doxy and I met playing music when we were kids. We grew up playing together through school, and while he pursued a short-lived career in a rock band after high school, I studied music theory and production my first year in college, and now I make my living as a DJ. In short, we’re both very comfortable — even confident — in our musical education. I don’t mean to come off defensive, but we definitely “get it” when it comes to Beatles: Rock Band.

    That said, it wasn’t a bad game, and we went out of our way to make that point. It was just over priced, over sold, and under-delivered in a way that many people may have forgotten, but — as the life-long music nerds we are — we couldn’t forgive.

    However, Mentazm, I think you’re spot on with Batman. I don’t recall what any of the enemies in that game looked like, ’cause they were all nothing but glowing skeletons to me. :)

  16. Mentazm says:

    I see where your coming from regarding the pimping, it was the big wow moment of E3 imo. For Ringo’s hilarious speech if nothing else!

  17. Yeah, but he’s British … everything they say in that accent his hilarious, right Joe?

  18. Strident says:

    I guess when you think of most overrated games it’s very tempting to choose a title from the end of the year simply because they’ve usually had a whole year of hype behind them.

    I guess you guys really had a lot of The Beatles: Rock Band coverage on mainstream TV over there? As far as I know we didn’t really suffer from that much here in the UK. Mind you, your $100+ is also pretty much a bargain for the game/accessories for us!

  19. Joe DeLia says:

    Absolutely! British accent = comedy gold.

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