It’s been about a month since the beginning of the current MvG hiatus, but despite the absence of the MAN, there is still celebrating to be done. The day of this posting, on June 15th, is the one year anniversary of the first official MANvsGAME broadcast on JTV. It is still a bit hard to believe it has been a full year now being around as part of the MvG experience.
The last five weeks aside, it has been a great year for MvG. From the early days casting New Super Mario Bros Wii and Left 4 Dead 2 to viewers in the single digits, to having over 8,000 viewers in attendance for the 16 Hour/16 Bit Man-a-thon in April, and everything else in between, these last 12 months (and 206 casts!) have had a lot of great moments. On this anniversary day, I thought I would help the MANkind take a look back at the year that was — where MvG has been and how it got to the place it is now a year later. Consider it a supplement to the 200th cast retrospective Man put on last month. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
Happy anniversary MvG!
MANvsGAME Season 1: June 15th thru September 10th, 2010
Games Completed This Season: New Super Mario Bros Wii, God of War, Metroid Other M, & Bayonetta
Other Notable Games: 3D Dot Game Heroes, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Mario Kart Wii
A Late First Cast - As Man mentioned recently in the 200th cast retrospective, the first MvG cast began on a bit of a tech mishap. Well, not so much mishap as complete failure by Man not turning on the cast button, right? Funny enough, the first official MvG cast is still available on JTV courtesy of Man himself. Anyone that considers themselves a regular viewer of the cast should take a couple of minutes and watch a few moments from that inaugural program.
The Multiplayer Days - Ever wonder what the soul brothers Man & Zeke first played together on cast? Well, it was a mix of two games actually — on some nights it would be some zombie killin’ on Left 4 Dead 2, and others it would be the sights and sounds of Super Smash Brothers Melee & Brawl in a segment later to be called Brawlnesday for Wednesday Brawl action with the MvG viewers. Here would be a few examples of matches from a Brawlnesday in August:
Mario Kart Wii & A Bet – There are not a ton of great multiplayer MvG moments, but this one might take the cake. Mario Kart Wii brought out a lot of solid classic clips, including Tawny’s first cast appearance and the breakthrough of Martin the cat. One night in particular comes to mind when I think Mario Kart Wii — the night of the infamous pushup bet. Here is the premise of said bet: If Tawny was to ever beat Man in a race, Man would have to do 10 pushups live on the cast. It didn’t seem possible, right? Well, it happened not only once, but THRICE — and we got to experience the MvG fitness show (and Man Crotch) in front of our own eyes.
3D Dot Game Heroes: The Top Game You Never Saw – One of the earliest games played on the MvG cast, and one of the most forgotten, was a little diddy from From Software. No, it was not Demon’s Souls (although it gets a TON of play later), but rather the homage to the retro with 3D Dot Game Heroes. The game, which was casted in tandem with NSMB Wii, didn’t get a lot of love from the viewers at the time. But hey, any game that we get to see the same segment three times straight is a winner in my book. Thanks Man for all that lack of game saving! Without that, I would have never learned my lesson to never give you tips straight from a GameFAQs walkthrough!
Triple Digit Viewer Heat – The story of Bayonetta on MvG is a good one. First, let us take note that Bayonetta was donated to Man not by a viewer, but rather by a game company. Sega was nice enough to send Man a copy of the game through their Follow Friday run of contests, and it was casted right after it arrived at the MANcave.
Towards the end of Bayonetta’s cast run, Man announced that he would be taking a two week hiatus due to a work trip. This would mean that the end of the game would need to come faster than originally planned, leading to a 7 hour mini marathon on the Friday before Man was off on break. This marathon like event brought in more viewers than any other MvG cast to that point, as the numbers climbed ever so close to the elusive 100 viewer mark. It was then decided by Zeke that he would do the famous truffle shuffle live on the cast if 100 viewers were ever in the room at the same time. A couple hours later, we got this dance that no MvG viewer shall soon forget:
Man managed to complete Bayonetta about 7 hours into his Friday cast, making it the longest cast he had done to that point. It was a perfect sendoff for his break, and a good place to mark down the end of MvG’s creation phase. After all, it couldn’t get better than 100 viewers, 1,000 followers, and a truffle shuffle — could it?
MANvsGAME Season 2: September 27th, 2010 thru January 21st, 2011
Games Completed This Season: Scott Pilgrim vs The World (Between Seasons 1 & 2), God of War 2, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Splatterhouse, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Cave Story, Super Meat Boy, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Demon’s Souls, Shadow of the Colossus, Limbo, X-Men Arcade, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Ico
Other Notable Games: Halo: Reach, Vanquish, Sonic 4: Episode 1, Army of Two
The Birth of the 1st MvG Meme – The MvG Cast returned from its two week break officially on Monday, September 27th with the first day of God of War II. One particular moment from this game’s playthrough will forever live on in MvG lore as the first ever channel meme — an inside joke between MvG viewers. A little backstory on “The Zeus Laugh”: Zeke was the one who had originally given Man the copy of God of War Collection, and thus was jokingly blamed for giving Man a bad copy of the game. Now anytime someone in the chat mentions Zeus, a recreation of the Zeus Laugh typically takes place — an example of one of the many jokes created inside MvG over the past year.
Are You Shitting Me?: Classic Ending Moments – “One man’s ignoble quest to beat every game worth a damn… and even some that aren’t“ — the tagline of MANvsGAME, which could not have been more true in the case of a couple of games played on the cast. The first of many was back at the end of August when Metroid: Other M became the first game on MvG to be played on its release date, and a game that is still brought up on casts as one of the worst games played on the stream. But that was only the beginning, as season 2 had two other games that could carry similar monikers: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow & Limbo.
Both games had endings that gave Man fits, as highlights have etched into memory. The ending to Castlevania: LoS led to the infamous phrase, “Are you shitting me?”, while the ending to Limbo capped off one the best montages possibly ever created in human time.
Man Hearts Super Meat Boy & Demon’s Souls – Time to talk about the opposite side of the spectrum, the games that Man has absolutely loved in the past year. Two games quickly come to mind here: Indie game Super Meat Boy & From Software powerhouse Demon’s Souls. Out of all the games played on the cast, these two have been played the most often and are part of a few games that have been played after their original completion.
Super Meat Boy was the game that probably changed MvG forever, as viewer counts really started climbing beginning with this series of casts in November. Man could typically be seen wearing the Super Meat Boy shirt from Team Meat while playing the game, and most casts during the SMB playthrough began with some tunes from the game’s soundtrack. The best night of the playthrough had to be when Man went through The Kid levels, when Man held up a sticker in celebration — “See that? That’s a Meat Boy!” Yes Man, that WAS a Meat Boy, and over 500 viewers chatted in jubilation at seeing that sticker.
Man’s game of the year from 2010 tends to change each time you ask him. However, judging from the amount of time he played Demon’s Souls on cast, I’m pretty sure that was his favorite game of these past 12 months. During his playthrough of the game, the MvG community got to meet a fellow viewer by the name of Elite_Muffin. His numerous appearances over the course of the couple of weeks that the game was played through led to some classic MvG moments — certainly ones that are worth seeing again. The community salutes you even to this day, sir Muffin.
A Season in Celebrations – It’s an ongoing theme on JTV that you have to do something “special” when you reach certain cast milestones. When it comes to MvG celebrations, nothing sacred is ever spared. It started pretty calm and sane — just a simple site message of thanks when Man hit 100 followers. However, it started to get a little weirder from there…
At 100 viewers, we got the famous truffle shuffle from Zeke. Then, when MvG hit the 1,000 follower mark, Man showed us those abs of his when he took his shirt off during the final night of his Majora’s Mask playthrough. Another level was reached when Man dawned the pink Pac-Man shirt during his Donkey Kong Country Returns playthrough for reaching 2,000 followers. Miss either of those crazy moments? I got them for you right here for prosperity:
A fun fact about that pink shirt: That celebration led to another celebration done by the community, as the week following that clip was known as “pink week”. As the week itself was the week before Christmas, multiple giveaways were done in the spirit of the season in the only real viewer driven event thus far. Let’s do that again sometime, shall we?
The last celebration of the season was easily the most important for the cast — it was the first ever 24 hour MAN-A-THON in celebration of hitting 3,000 followers over the New Year’s weekend. Done on January 14th & 15th, the marathon included current titles such as Kirby’s Epic Yarn, X-Men Arcade, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Sonic 4. Also, it had a classic opening tune that we can’t forget about either…
The 2nd season would end shortly after that marathon, as Man would go on another hiatus on January 21st (about 2 weeks) while he worked on the new MvG site that was donated by fellow MvG viewer Phrakture (still not completed by the way — maybe in year 2, right Man?). There were a few casts in between this hiatus, but the last games to get completed prior to the break was the combo of Ico & Shadow of the Colossus — easily two of the more well respected games that have been played on the cast to this point.
MANvsGAME Season 3: February 7th thru May 17th, 2011
Games Completed This Season: Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Ninja Gaiden (Xbox), Ninja Gaiden I & II (NES), Batman: Arkham Asylum, Darksiders, Super Contra, TMNT I & II (NES), Bioshock 1 & 2, Super Castlevania IV, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Batman (NES), Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES), Resident Evil 5, Portal 2
Other Notable Games: Dragon Age: Origins, NBA Jam, Streets of Rage, Sonic 2
The MAN: Live in Concert – Man returned from his site building hiatus on February 7th with the first night of Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. The playthrough itself was one of the longer playthroughs the cast has seen thus far (9 nights), but the reward we got at the end was well worth the wait.
It just so happened that the last night of the Wind Waker casts, February 16th, was on the 21st birthday of MvG God Mod, Mournless. To celebrate this event, Man gave everyone in the chat a surprise by bringing out his guitar and playing some tunes on the cast for the first time. The result: A half hour concert that still remains as one of the best moments in MvG history. Enjoy.
Pony & The Douche: Sponsored by Fuck You Beer – There is no question that bringing in Zeke along with Man adds an extra spice to the MvG broadcasts through his light personality and great sense of humor. This could not be more apparent than in the birth of the MvG drink of choice, Fuck You beer.
The idea and term of Fuck You beer came to be during one of the Wind Waker broadcasts, and it stuck around from then on as another inside cast joke. It has been taken to new levels by Zeke through his use of special beer labels that show the “Fuck You” brand during his Flick You casts.
Now that it had a sponsor, the new MvG morning show “Pony & the Douche” could finally take off and become what it always should have been. Well, it could have taken off anyway given the chance — just look at these great audition tapes already available on the highlight reel!
Flaunting the Tra-La-La…For Charity – MvG got into the charity business back in late February when it joined forces with other JTV personalities in the original “Gaming 4 A Cure” Marathon. The first night didn’t bring anything unusual to the table, but a well-timed casting slot after the famous GQ Gamecube Bra led to one of the oddest song and dance routines I have ever personally seen. All other crazy JTV moments have this clip as the benchmark — if you choose to view it again, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
16 Hours, 16 Bits, 16+ Drinks – There were two more marathons during the third season of MvG: One 24 hour cast to celebrate 5,000 followers and a special 16 hour cast to celebrate the beginning of retro games on the MvG circuit.
What made the 16 hour / 16 bit Marathon so special was essentially the last 6 hours of the event, when the drinks started flowing and the crew loosened up to some of their funniest moments yet on MvG. That marathon was also the first time that all three MvG personalities (Man, Zeke, & Tawny) were on the broadcast at the same time. The highlights don’t really do that night justice, but here is a little taste of the MvG drink night.
Man Meets Meaty Royalty – The most recent run of MANvsGAME ended on May 11th with the Co-Op playthrough of Portal 2. However, the last cast with MvG relation actually took place a couple days later on May 13th. It was the night of the Retro Rockstars’ hosted Super Meat Boy race, and Man was invited on to be one of the color commentators on the stream. While the feeling was originally one of disappointment that Man wasn’t actually IN the race, it quickly became one of the best things that ever happened to him.
Later on in the race, members of Team Meat (creators of Super Meat Boy) hopped onto the cast to discuss the game and other topics with the commentary crew — giving Man and rest of the Skype team that night a great opportunity to speak with true game developers. The entirety of the two hour cast is still available, and is a great watch just to see everyone on the call go crazy upon the entrance of Team Meat.
Man announced on May 17th that he was going on another hiatus (this one of the indefinite variety) while he focused on real life matters. That is where we are now — about 5 weeks into this current break. I’m sure great moments are still to come with MANvsGAME returns though, so stay tuned!
If I didn’t get your favorite moments in this year in review, than let your voice be heard in the comments or over twitter! There were so many other great moments that I know I left out of this recap because it was already running long, which is a testament to how great MvG truly is!
I’m looking forward to the next year and the eventual comeback (and season 4 on the archivist calendar!) ^_^
-Duff, MvG Mod / Archivist (@DuffmanA)