Daydreamcast Ep. 25: Spore (2008)

On this very late ’00s edition of the Daydreamcast, our friend Murph returns to talk to us about the world of video games. We get a status update on his Assassin’s Creed playthrough which, thankfully, is in its twilight years. We revisit the contentious and topical subject of roguelikes/-lites with more Hades talk, and even get some Yu-Gi-Oh discussion in. If that’s not enough 2000s energy for you, Brogan adds two period-relevant platformers from opposite ends of the qualitative spectrum to the mix with Little Big Planet and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. You can tell it’s a strange episode when Pavlos is the one to report on the new hotness with New Pokémon Snap, a worthy sequel to the original that gets a lot of things right and a couple wrong as the photography conceit is unthawed again, at last, for another spin-off that is much better than whatever is going on in the ailing main series. Our game of the week highlights genre hybrid and species simulator Spore and its troubled history and subsequently skewed trajectory as moderately disappointing but still interesting footnote in video game history. Thankfully, Murph was a Sporehead from day zero so besides our usual rundown of the game’s somewhat simplistic but conceptually ambitious mechanics, including its five gameplay stages and the creating tools, we kick back and listen to our buddy tell stories from the days of Spore yore, the pre-release excitement, notes from the cutting room floor, as well as the community hijinx on the Sporum. It all culminates in the ballad of the Hugmonster, a tale of trust, betrayal, and pedophiliac forum mascots like no other. We also reminisce about old internet forums because it really just was that kind of episode.

Time Stamps:
Whatcha Playing
00:00 Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (2020)
09:30 Hades (2020) and genre brethren
17:46 Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution! (2019)
32:11 New Pokémon Snap (2021)
44:17 Little Big Planet (2008)
47:38 Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (2008)
Featured Game
51:29 Spore

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