Written by Eric Layman
Category: News and Other Musings
Published: 04 May 2012
Flap Jaw Space: The DigitalChumps Podcast finally hit Episode 50 last week (well, it was really our 57th recording, but 50 official episodes). Up until Episode 48, the bulk of Flap Jaw Space followed a fairly standard podcast model of three hosts (and an occasional bonus character) discussing all of the games we had played since the previous podcast. Flap Jaw Space also used to feature special segments like "Steve Plays a Game He Should Have Already Played," "Retroactive ShitStorm," "How Much Do You Realize," and "Burn this Mother Fu**er Down," but eventually all of that eroded into a catch-all of profanity, countless stories that were tangentially (if that) related to gaming, and a verbal deluge of ideas and/or critical theories that almost made sense. We still plan on doing all of that, but to add some focus and relevance to the 2012 gaming landscape Chris Stone developed a better organized and perpetually interesting vector for discourse dubbed the Flap Jaw Space Power Rankings (formerly The G.O.T.Y. Ladder).
Basically, every episode is now the Game of the Year episode. Some might say that Game of the Year podcasts are only special because they happen once a year, and that doing that every two weeks would ruin its charm. To them I say look at other inconceivable triumphs of the human spirit, like Chrono Trigger, when Captain Crunch went Oops! All Berries*, or the formation of the 1992 Olympic Basketball Dream Team.** What I'm trying to say is relax, we have a plan in place.
Every 2012 game that we have played is eligible for the flux of ten games known as Flap Jaw Space Power Rankings. For its first iteration the sheer lack of potential candidates resulted in certifiable crap like Amy as well anything Steve Schardein liked defaulting into the ranking order. Over time, as the quality of titles has increased, so has the potential for chaos and melee in the verbal sparring space. With new and (sometimes!) better games coming out every week, the idea is for the Flap Jaw Space Power Rankings to foster arguments concerning which games definitely belong and which games certainly or kind of maybe don't in an effort to derive the ten best games of the year. It's all completely subjective and mostly just for fun, but it's also a neat way to internalize the impact left by some of our favorite games, and whether or not it stands up against titles released months down the road.
In any case from Episode 50 on the Flap Jaw Space Power Rankings will have a companion story posted for every episode at DigitalChumps. Basically its intent is to function as a recap of two hours worth of discussion in case you zoned out while we were trying to explain the difference between Tommy Tallarico and Timecube.com
So, without further delay:
THE FLAP JAW SPACE POWER RANKINGS
Going in to Episode 50:
1 - Journey, as played on PlayStation Network by Chris and Eric
2 - Twisted Metal, as played on PlayStation 3 by Eric
3 - Mass Effect 3, as played on Xbox 360 by Eric
4 - Syndicate, as played on Xbox360 by Chris and Eric
5 - Gothom City Impostors, as played on PlayStation Network by Eric
6 - NFL Blitz, as played on Xbox Live Arcade by Chris
7 - Ghost Trick, as played on an iPhone 4S by Chris and generally accepted by Eric
8 - Super Stardust Delta, as played on PlayStation Vita by Eric
9 - Ziggurat as played on an iPhone 4S by Chris and Eric
10 - Quell, as played on an HTC EVO by Steve
Up for Nomination: World Gone Sour, Fez, FIFA Soccer (Vita), Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, Trials Evolution, Tribes Ascend, Xenoblade Chronicles, Escape Plan, The Pinball Arcade
Going out of Episode 50:
1 - Journey, as played on PlayStation Network by Chris, Eric and (somewhat begrudgingly) Steve
2 - Fez, as played on Xbox Live Arcade by Chris and Eric
3 - Xenoblade Chronicles, as played on Wii by Eric
4 – Mass Effect 3, as played on Xbox 360 by Chris and Eric
5 – Twisted Metal, as played on PlayStation 3 by Eric
6 - Syndicate, as played on Xbox 360 by Chris and Eric
7 – Trials Evolution, as played on Xbox Live Arcade by Chris
8 – Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, as played on PlayStation Vita by Chris and Steve
9 - NFL Blitz, as played on Xbox Live Arcade by Chris
10 – Ghost Trick, as played on an iPhone 4s by Chris and generally accepted by Eric
Recap: The greatest disruption took place when Chris, in an unprecedented power move, wiped Gothom City Impostors off the list and replaced it with Trials Evolution. Typically new entries are ranked where appropriate and the last in line falls off the list, though no rule indicates this as the only course of action. We had been looking to remove Gothom City Impostors for a while and Eric, who seemed puzzled that it was there, chose not to stand and fight for its existence in the Power Rankings.
Ziggurat was also instantly deleted from the list when it was revealed, via listener email from Graeme, that it was created by Action Button Dot Net’s Tim Rogers. Eric finds Roger’s writing style to be infuriating and thus wiped Ziggurat out of principle.
With both Chris and Steve getting a Vita since Episode 49, it was a bit surprising to see Super Stardust Delta fall off, though it was essentially replaced with Mutant Blobs Attack, another and apparently better Vita game.
Xenoblade Chronicles’ inclusion of the list was a topic of hot debate. It's sole nominee, Eric, had it as his Game of the Year in 2011 (via an imported copy), but wound up reviewing it and squeezing out an additional 70 hours in 2012, which Chris decided qualified it for inclusion in our 2012 list. Also, it's awesome.
Fez coming in and placing as high as it did should surprise no one, though in the time since this podcast Eric and Chris have cooled on it a bit, while Steve just started playing.
Quell? Does anyone miss Quell?
* The core reasoning here is obvious, but also note that Oops! All Berries stealthy solved the fundamental and quite universal issue with Captain Crunch; it didn't rip your mouth to shreds
** This was a positive experience for everyone on the planet except Isiah Thomas and (possibly) Christian Laettner.