Over the past few episodes, the Retronauts podcast has been looking at the reverse side of nostalgia. First, we looked at game series that jumped the proverbial shark, and last week we confessed our own personal failings by exploring the classics we personally just can't get into despite intellectually recognizing their quality.
Today, we complete the trifecta by examining in considerable depth the final part of this equation: Game series that never really went astray, but which have fallen out of favor regardless. Maybe they failed to evolve meaningfully beyond the title that catapulted them into fame; maybe the world simply passed them by. Maybe their creators simply moved on. Whatever the case, the franchises we discuss this week didn't necessarily jump the shark, they just sort of faded away. Pac-Man is our poster boy this week — the first world-famous video game character, and the first to fall from grace — but he's certainly not alone.
For this episode, Bob and I are joined by our former 1UP.com collaborator Jose Otero, now an editor at IGN. It seemed somehow fitting to have a conversation about irrelevance within the framework of a 1UP reunion, no?
Incidentally, this was one of the very first episodes we recorded for the new season — way back in September! It ended up being put on the back burner for a while for various reasons — we wanted to get the Christmas episodes out, put some space between the two handheld-focused episodes I led (the DS episode and my next full episode), and tie this in with Bob's most recent topics.
So if the conversation here seems a little low-key compared to other Season IV episodes, it's because we were still knocking off the rust. It also includes a lot of seemingly dated references, though I did cut out the part where we discussed what scores we were going to give Destiny. Yeah. Anyway, it's all good. What could be more appropriate than a Retronauts episode that's already retro at the time of publication?
This episode's musical selections:
- This week's music comes from the NES version of Contra, because it used to be a giant and now no one even remembers it. So sad.
Remember that Retronauts is available for free on the iTunes Store, because only jerks charge money for stuff on iTunes. But! You can help us pay for the cost of producing the show via Patreon, if you're so inclined. Thanks for your support, even if it's by just listening and not sending us hate mail.