The Wait For It Podcast

The Game Room Where It Happens - The Darkness

July 26, 2023
The Wait For It Podcast
The Game Room Where It Happens - The Darkness
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Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to our series, The Game Room Where It Happens! Since we've been gaming practically our entire lives, we occasionally discuss different gaming franchises on the podcast. This month, we talk about our love for a very under-appreciated franchise, The Darkness.

Want to hear more about how we got into gaming? Listen to the interview we did with Your Friendly Neighborhood Gamers

🔻You can find all important links for the podcast over at https://linktr.ee/waitforitpodcast (which includes our brand new Patreon site!)🔺

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to your go-to source for entertainment. Wait for it Gaming.

Speaker 2:

Wait for it. Anime Plus Ultra.

Speaker 1:

Mr Eric Almighty and Phil the Filipino. Yeah, they've got you covered, and all you gotta do is Wait for it.

Speaker 2:

Hey everyone, welcome back to the Wait for it podcast.

Speaker 2:

I am your co-host, phil Smith, aka Phil the Filipino, and joining me, as always, is your other co-host, mr Eric Almighty, and Eric, we are here for the July edition of the Game Room.

Speaker 2:

Where it happens, and, man, we are going way, way back, not only like back in the you know, the annals of, you know, gaming, but our friendship, really Like I remember this being part of our very early friendship and we did a Thursday thought, maybe like a month ago, where you, you know, the question was what is a game that should get the Resident Evil 4 remake treatment, you know, rebuilt from the ground up? I said prototype, which is another game we'll probably cover down the road, and you said the darkness. And I thought, man, what a game that really like, really left you know, my, um, my train of thought for a very, very long time. So excited to talk to you about this, but also excited to see how many of our listeners played this game, because it was a bit of a cult classic and you know it wasn't a game that was, you know, I think that didn't have like a whole lot of success, but certainly holds a very special place in our hearts.

Speaker 1:

And it should be noted. Like a lot of the games that we played, this is going to be like one of those classic kind of reminisce episodes, so we're going to speak freely about it. But this is the type of game that if you haven't played, you can listen in and decide is this something I want to spend some time in? I think it would be worth a trip down memory lane, especially if you didn't get to take that trip back in the day. So I think this would be a fun episode, nothing too crazy or too long. And you mentioned the Thursday. Thought you also brought up prototype. I wouldn't be surprised if that is a future episode on the series.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we're going to get into all that here. You know, even though we are going to speak about spoilers, you know this isn't. We're not going to say you're going to sit here and say this is the most narratively fulfilling game that we've ever played in our entire lives. It's pretty straightforward, but, again, a lot of fun nonetheless. So, Eric, before we jump into this, for any new listeners, let them know what the game room where it happens is all about. And yeah, let's just dive right in.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so the game room where it happened is a reoccurring series on the podcast, where we Hold a fun conversation about some of our favorite gaming franchises and consoles. In many previous episodes, we may sometimes bring on a guest with similar interest to our own. Today, just me and Phil casually holding a discussion for your entertainment, and the game is the darkness. So, phil, you were the one who played this initially. What was your experience with the darkness? And then we'll talk about how I got into it, because it was a fun way. Then I got into it just literally, because you couldn't beat a level, which is great.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, when I was watching Like gameplay videos back while preparing for this episode, I saw that fucking train and I was like, oh my god, there it is, you son of a bitch, but yeah, the darkness.

Speaker 2:

I mean to give you guys a little bit of a Synopsis of the game. You play as the protagonist, jackie, as Takato, who is a hitman for the American, for the Italian American mafia, and the game is basically, you know it's on, it takes place on his 21st birthday and for some reason his uncle decides that he doesn't want him around anymore and wants to kill him. And then Jackie just discovers that he has these darkness powers, which are essentially, you know, these Strange monster like tentacles that just spring out of him that he never really seems to address in the game. We'll talk about that as well. But I'm not sure if I was working a game stop at this time. Eric, it came out in June of 2007 and I don't remember if I had started working there or not.

Speaker 2:

This was definitely in a time where we had a lot of expendable income, were working jobs that were, you know, obviously not paying very well. But if you remember, like there was a time where I was a game stop a lot, you know, I bought like random games like the Pirates of the Caribbean game, stuntman man. We got to do stuntman one day. That's just, oh boy, this is a fun episode. Okay, you know all those games are. I was just like buying them up and being like, hey, let's give this a shot.

Speaker 2:

And the darkness was one of those games. Like, I don't really remember a lot of heavy marketing. I'm probably saw it in like game and former back then right, that's probably where we initially saw it and it just looked like something that was really really cool. And it's a little bit of a surprise for me because not necessarily the darkness is scary, but it does have horror elements.

Speaker 2:

So I am kind of curious as to like what in my mindset back then led me to be like, hey, I want to try this game because it certainly doesn't seem like surface level something that I would pick up and play. But man, am I glad I did. It is a whole lot of fun. Now I have I haven't played it since then and I have heard you know some of the controls are a little bit clunky and especially some of the shooting and everything like that. But I definitely am finding myself in a place now where I want to pick up my Xbox and go back and play this, and you know you can play it relatively cheap on your Xbox series S or X. So, yeah, I couldn't pinpoint the exact moment where I was like I'm going to get the darkness, but I am glad that we eventually did try it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, fun fact, I just did a quick Google search, so if it's wrong, blame Google. Several games fell that came out in 2007. How did this game end up in our hands? Bioshock, call of Duty for modern warfare, mass Effect the first one, sassons Creed the first one you mentioned, the Pirates of the Caribbean game, the Witcher, halo three got a war two. These are all games of the original rock band, all games that I know we either played or would have been interested in. Uncharted Drake's Fortune how did we play the darkness in 2007? I really want to know, because I remember us like playing it close to release date, like you were excited. So I can't really remember why you played it either, I just remember watching you playing it and then when I had to finally take over for a level and I beat it on the first try, mind you it's an accomplishment of my life there Really sad, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I then played it on my own, so that that was my journey into it, but it's crazy to think of that year. What a strong year.

Speaker 2:

I can answer that question pretty easily. Actually, I didn't play the first BioShock when it first came out. Halo three came out in the fall. I had not yet played Mass Effect. I didn't play Mass Effect until Mass Effect two on the PS three. I didn't have a PS two, so we didn't play God of War. Massassons Creed also came out in the fall, I remember, because it came out right before my daughter was born. We didn't play Modern Warfare until Modern Warfare two. We didn't have, like rock band instruments until Band Hero.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if you remember that we didn't have all of that. So, honestly, this really took up everything. We've never played the. I've never played the Witcher and neither of you, so this, really, we had a lot of free time until Halo three came out. So I think that's probably what it was like. We were probably playing what like Madden and 2K. Canaan Lynch came out that year. I remember we played that me and Brock also played through that as well. So, yeah, honestly, even though it sounds surprising, I can tell you right now that's why is because we weren't playing a lot of those big games and we didn't have playstations yet. So, yeah, that's. That is interesting. That is a crazy year, but, yeah, I am very glad that this one somehow found its way into our hands.

Speaker 2:

You know, if we want to transition here, eric, to some of the things we do remember, I mean listen, like I mentioned, as far as narrative beats, you know there's not a whole lot here.

Speaker 2:

One thing that is really great is the, the voice acting of the, not only the main character for Jackie S Takato, but also the, the darkness, the voice of the darkness. I believe Mike Patton, who voices the like the creatures that are coming out of your shoulders, I guess, is a yeah, he is. He is a lead vocalist for a metal band, which makes a whole lot of sense as to why he was able to very easily portray those characters, those two, those demon arms or whatever they are. And you know, I'm going to tell you also, you know, kirk Asavito as far as voicing Jackie S Takato, again, a really, really great, like just brooding voice. The score for this is also very, very good. I'm a little all over the place here, but you know a lot of things aside from just the. I think atmosphere really is what holds up here for the darkness, not necessarily actual gameplay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, because I mean, again, this story was fine. This isn't a story that you're going to come. We mentioned a game like Bioshock. It's not going to give you that type of level of storytelling, but, no-transcript, the gameplay was a ton of fun. I mean that's ultimately.

Speaker 1:

What stood out to me was the atmosphere, phil, to your point, it was like very dark and brooding and edgy and I don't know. That was just appealing. It was just appealing. Then you add the darkness character and the abilities. It wasn't just the tentacles, you also had like those things that were called darklings that you could just kind of summon and these little creatures would go attack people, like it was a lot of stuff. Then you also have the element of not having the ability to go into the light, so you had to also strategize at points in the game, which I thought was really cool. Those elements were great, the gunplay easy to pick up. There were some cool like car chase scenes. I remember that vividly. That was definitely something that stood out. So, again, a lot of things to add to the atmosphere there.

Speaker 2:

It's also his relationship with Jenny, even the and like what happens to her, was really really heartbreaking, and which is strange because you don't really spend like a whole lot of time with her. But you could, because, for those of you that have never played this game, you could watch the entirety of to kill a mockingbird with her on her couch in her apartment If you wanted to. And, eric, I don't know if you know this, that was an achievement If you watch the entire movie with her. I never got that achievement because I've never seen to kill a mockingbird, but if you sat down and watch the entirety of that film with her in game, then you got an achievement for it. I'm going to actually look up to kill a mockingbird runtime. Let's see how long this movie is. It's two and a half hours. So if you sat there with Jenny and watch that movie, you got yourself an achievement.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, and correct me if I'm wrong, eric, because I got really frustrated watching some people play this game within like the last couple of years on YouTube Could you not use the, the darkness powers, like the, the two essentially the two demons, to attack people, like not the ability where you could like slither on the ground. I thought I could have sworn that when you were like up close and personal with somebody, you could hit a button and they would attack the person. And I didn't see anybody doing that. Am I misremembering that?

Speaker 1:

No, I'm pretty sure that you can. I remember impaling someone for sure. I don't know if that was an animation from the game though, yeah maybe you got a later.

Speaker 2:

I feel like that would have been a big bummer. I feel like that would have been a big bummer, so I can't imagine that you couldn't use them.

Speaker 1:

I think they were limited and that's why they kind of changed when you had to get on the ground and kind of sneak along the floors, but that's that's the best that I can recall it. I definitely saw them killing people in the gameplay when I kind of refreshed myself on it, so maybe it was later in the game.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, and because you know, I assume that the appeal of the game is not going to be the gunplay which, again, I heard is has not held up very, very well, but, yeah, a lot of cool elements, like you said, trying to have any take out the light. When you eventually got the, you know, the tentacle whip, you could take out lights that way. That was really, really cool. And also, and then later on, you get the black hole ability, which just completely changes the game. Some people were complaining that it makes it too easy. I don't care, man.

Speaker 2:

Sometimes you really just want to play a game where you just go on a power trip. That's why I still really like prototype to this day and would like to see them revisit it. But sometimes you just want to feel overpowered and go into any fight knowing that you are going to win, and that's what happens, you know, as you get stronger and stronger throughout this game. You know, like I said, it's a game that I I don't know that too many people outside of you and I have ever spoken about, but I feel like people have played it. They just don't really talk about it because, again, it doesn't leave an effect on you in terms of how the game ends.

Speaker 2:

I really couldn't tell you what the ending of the game was. I know that one thing that was a little bit of a bummer is like a lot of the cool things that happen with the darkness powers are in cut scenes and I wish that was a little bit different. But again, that could have been a limitation of the time. But that was certainly one thing I remember being like man. I wish I could have done that myself. No, I could definitely see that, and I mean a lot of people love this game.

Speaker 1:

Phil. Like, just looking at it, I think the Metacritic score was basically across the board, like in the 80s in both the PlayStation and the Xbox. So I really think that this game Is kind of like under the radar. I don't think enough people bring it up or appreciate it. I feel like we're gonna hopefully tap into the the darkness market of of niche gaming. What does that? So? For the most part, I think most of our audience doesn't know about this. So the you know you might be surprised to then hear it has a sequel of Phil. You and me did not play that sequel, but you mentioned you might actually jump back into this. How likely is that to happen?

Speaker 2:

Well, it's only like it's not very expensive on the Xbox or the Microsoft store. So I was watching through a video again earlier today and a lot of people were really upset about this. When it came out first off, it changed developers. It went from star breeze studios to digital extremes. It was still published by 2K, but they replaced the voice actor, a bride and bloom stepped in, replacing Kirk Acevedo, which again was a huge fan favorite as far as playing and voicing Jackie. But I looked into it and it looks pretty solid.

Speaker 2:

The reviewer had some really good things to say about it. They completely changed the art style to more of a cell shade art style, which I know a lot of people were kind of Mixed on at the time. But it still looks like at its core, like the darkness when you look up the game play. So I know I was standoffish at the time. I'm sure a lot of that was because of the art style change, but you know it's a game that you thought would never necessarily get a sequel, so the fact that it did is pretty incredible. I mean we also do need to mention we probably should have mentioned this up top it is based off of a comic book of the same name. So you know it does also have a lot of fans in that comic book realm.

Speaker 2:

But again, you could probably get both these games for less than 10 $15. You know why not give it, why not give it a shot? I have heard that the Xbox version is much better than the PlayStation version as far as how it runs. So if you do think about playing through it, you know, keep that in mind. But yeah, but Mike Patton still returned to play the darkness, so at least one half of the duo was back. And also he does acknowledge the darkness powers in the second game. For when I've heard, as I mentioned in the first one, he doesn't ever seem to react to the fact that all of a sudden there are demons coming out of his shoulders, he's not very reactive to that, but he actually does interact with them in the second game.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that would be pretty cool. I'm seeing it came out in 2012, again a little bit lower, but the highest being an 80 Metacritic for the Xbox. So it looks good. I will say, when I think of dual wheeled like pistols, I do think of this game. It may be a different game, more likely a more popular game for other people, but this is the game I really think of. Max Payne probably Probably never got into Max Payne like that. So this is the game I think of and apparently in the sequel you can dual wheeled like submachine guns, shotguns, like various various guns. So it sounds like a good time. I think I also did read that there was some type of co-op ability. So I feel like we need to look into this because if there's a co-op campaign, I think we could probably do it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I hate to burst your bubble here. It's a four player co-op mode. Nobody plays as Jackie, it's four different people that have like darkness powers. But I heard it's not and it's not very fun, and I think it was online only, and I don't know that this has online support anymore.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's a bummer. Yeah sorry, all right, goodnight everybody.

Speaker 2:

Are you going to play the darkness too? Would you play through the darkness one again? I guess I'll put it that way because you can get through this game again for those of you that are interested. You can get through it in like less than 10 hours. You can get through it in a couple days if you really wanted to. And I heard the darkness two is even shorter.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean just for time wise. It'd be ideal if I really wanted to jump into it. Realistically, nothing against the game. I have a hard time jumping back into older single player games unless I'm really dedicated and even then like single player games that I love. The only single player game that I've played more than once Like all the way through is Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite. That's why I'm very passionate about those Games and that franchise, particularly because I've never made that dive back into a franchise after I've beaten the game. It almost feels final for me in every other instance. So for that reason, probably won't. But I would recommend, if you haven't played it, definitely jumping back into it. I think would be a good call.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, a whole lot of reasons to jump into the game if you never have before again, if you're looking for something cheap and you're looking for, you know so really really quick experience. It really is very, very unique. It is a product of its time again, like you said, eric, it is. Sometimes it's a little bit difficult to go back to these games, especially when it comes to control schemes. I'm sure I have heard it's a little bit clunky, but I am finding myself just wanting to, of course, you know, use my Xbox more. I definitely want to do that, but Go back and and reminisce and for a game that again, who you don't really have to think about too much, and it is a pretty basic storyline.

Speaker 2:

Jackie is a very complicated character that I think again, eric, like you said, just kind of gets lost when you look at the game, the protagonist that came out in 2007. It's pretty clear to see why that happened. But it is a series that I think a lot of people hold in in very, very high regard and it will. A lot of people will probably See this episode of here, this episode back oh, I totally forgot about the darkness and you know, like I said, very, very much worth your time and you know it doesn't won't cost you a whole lot of money too, if you do want to check it out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and again, this is one of many games that we've recently thought of. We've been thinking about games that we really want to get Into and talk about, even if it's games that people may not know very well. So, like the darkness took quite a while, even though it's a really special game to us. In particular Took us a while to get to. Games like prototype, probably on the horizon, and there'll be a couple other ones like this. I think we won't be afraid to dive into it, even if there's not gonna be much of an audience for them. So stick around with us. Hopefully you guys enjoy it and we introduce you into some new games, or we reminisce about some games Nobody talks about and no, they'll be the big ones as well throughout the year. But film if you want to let everyone know where they can find us. Again, there's a pretty short episode. We'll go ahead and kind of wrap this up and prepare for the next month, which is gonna be a busy one.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, if you are a brand new listener and you're looking for more video game content, or if you're looking for anime content, movie and TV Recommendations, anything like that, make sure you head to the link tree link in the show notes. You'll find our library of all the rest of our episodes, as well as our social media pages. And if you want to support the show a little bit more, head on over to Apple podcast or Spotify, wherever you are listening, and leave us those five star reviews. It's one of the best ways you can support the show. However, if you do find yourself wanting to support the show a little bit extra, eric can let you know how to do that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and if you, are able to getting bonus episodes and early access to the podcast is just some of the benefits that you'll get on patreon, where patrons like briar are supporting us to keep the show going, and you can also do a direct support to us through the buzz sprout page. But with all that being said, you can, of course, leave a like, a comment, a share. We truly appreciate it on all of the platforms we're on. My name is mr Eric almighty. That is my co-host. Fill the Filipino and please don't forget, we release new episodes every Monday and Wednesday on the podcast, with bonus content on platforms like tiktok. All you got to do is wait for it.

Speaker 2:

So I heard you're looking for a go-to source for entertainment wait for it. Gaming, wait for it.

Speaker 1:

Anime Plus ultra mr Eric almighty and fill the Filipino. Yeah, they've got you covered and all you got to do is Wait for it.

Speaker 2:

This is the wait for it podcast.

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