I have to be honest; watching YouTube videos from Mega64 (Shawn Chatfield, Rocco Botte and Derrick Acosta) makes me feel like shit. Nearly half of their videos are dedicated to making fun of the sensationalized crowd mentality that so often runs rampant in video game and geek culture — the same kind of blind acceptance that sent me sprinting to buy “Uncharted 3” after it received a perfect score from IGN. The same kind of herd logic that sells $500M copies worth of “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.”
Take for instance the Gizmodo article titled “Sitting Is the Smoking of Our Generation” that sent everyone I know (mainly myself) plummeting into a spiral of sorrow over the many years spent sitting and the early death we called upon ourselves with our sloth-like behavior.
At the height of this mania, Mega64 released a video titled “Sit Quitters” — a spot on parody of the standing craze consuming all of geekdom currently. It’s this type of self-aware willingness to poke fun at themselves and the culture they adore that has made them such a prevailing force on YouTube.
As early adopters of digital video, Mega64 have built a dedicated fanbase who, for the most part, share the same cynical outlook on “trending topics” and the commercialized video game industry.
I sat down with the good dudes of Mega64 to talk septic tank diving, gamer girls and the worst game they’ve ever played. So sit down, or don’t (you’ve killed yourself enough already) and soak in the warming glow of Mega64.
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You guys have been making video game-themed YouTube parodies, videos, skits for 6 years on YouTube now.
Shawn Chatfield: 6 years on YouTube, but we were around before YouTube. This is our 10th year doing this actually.
What were you doing before YouTube?
SC: Just putting videos on our site you could download.
Derrick Acosta: Angelfire.com.
Rocco Botte: Like 30 megabyte WMV files, so kind of like a better version of YouTube. I miss that really! Flash is too easy.
DA: I like paying for bandwidth. It sucks that we can’t do that so much anymore.
RB: I miss talking with our host and IT guy just face to face [laughs].
SC: We used to put links on our website. You could download the videos and watch them on your own computer.
DA: On your own time.
Now when YouTube came out, did it blow your guys’ minds that there was this thing that was so much easier to upload your videos and post?
RB: Well, I didn’t know anything about it really. Yeah, it was kind of cool. You can just stream it off this thing, but I didn’t know if it would be any kind of permanent whatever, and it was just to me a makeshift solution. Like it was some time in 2006 and we had just done a “Resident Evil 4” skit, and we were like, “We need an easy way to show this to a bunch of people,” ‘cause we were going to premier it on a cable show. So we were like, “We will just put it on this YouTube site, and we’ll give them the link.” Okay. And I made like my own screen name with my own name in it. It was like RoccoB64, and then we put it on that account and I think it’s got 6 or 7 million hits, and it was like, “Oh well, I guess this is our YouTube account.” Hence our YouTube name is not like Mega64 Channel, it’s like RoccoB64.
DA: It’s just this guy’s ego.
RB: That’s just me. I’m obsessed with it. It’s his show. Main guy in effect.
Of course this is going to be going on the internet, and there is going to be some asshole who’s like, “Those guys aren’t real nerds.” So just to get it out of the way, you guys just tell me your favorite video games of 2012; that will be our test.
DA: It’s a tie for me. Two of them: “Madden 13” and “Call of Duty Black Ops.”
RB: See, he knows what he’s talking about. Don’t get it twisted. Don’t get chopped and screwed remix, don’t slow this down. My favorite game, I got to tell you as well, legit, this year my favorite games were — I don’t know if it counts as a 2012 game; it came out everywhere else in 2011 but here — “Xenoblade Chronicles,” baby. Believe that, and actually a portable game, “Resident Evil: Revelations” was like very well done I thought. It was like cinematic, and it was cool.
SC: And well obviously it was super easy, but have you guys played “Angry Birds Star Wars” ‘cause that is legit, and it’s only 99 cents, so if you don’t have it on your phone, what are you doing?
DA: I already gave the joke answer. You can’t give one.
RB: Two cancel each other out.
DA: I played a lot of “Ex-Com” this year, and I started playing PC for the first time … ever. So I played a lot of “Hotline Miami.” I like stupid, simple computer games, like anything I can beat in 20 minutes and then keep playing day after day after day.
RB: Now you have to give a real answer.
SC: Honestly, it just came out but the new “Super Mario Brothers U” I am super, super into. Like I really am enjoying that. And I know it’s a brand new game. It’s very recent, but screw all the other games this year; they sucked.
DA: I felt like this wasn’t a good year for games. It was just kind of blase. I feel like we’re at the end of era as far as generation of consoles. I feel like everybody is waiting for the next big thing, but no company is really delivering. Maybe in 3 years or so when the new consoles are out and they’ve been established and people who have gotten used to the equipment will see some new cool stuff. But everything that’s coming now feels like we’ve kind of done it all before.
RB: And the Wii U came out and I’ve had some fun with the system, but even that the launch games were okay. It’s a little whatever. I’ll be excited to see what comes of it.
When it comes to the console wars — PlayStation, XBox — when the new systems come out who do you think is going to take it?
DA: You know what? We were just talking about this, and I feel like for me Nintendo will always be like the place to play the games that remind me of my childhood. I love Nintendo for that reason, and I’m very nostalgic about Nintendo, and that’s like my company if I had to choose one, just because it was what I had as a kid, and it was awesome. But honestly I’m getting disgusted with Microsoft. I am so over like having to pay for Live and all that stuff. I don’t care. For me the PlayStation is just a perfect package of everything that you would want in a console.
RB: When I turn on my Xbox, I can’t handle more ads. Like the Xbox experience is kind of muddled to me. Yeah, I end up using the PS3. So if there is another console I’m more excited another PlayStation, even though I like the PS3, I don’t play it and say I wish I had the 4th one so I don’t know.
DA: I feel like PlayStation does everything the Xbox does and does it for free but the Xbox still wins for whatever reason.
I feel the same way. I play multiplayer online on PlayStation, and XBox is always better.
RB: The online you still can’t deny that. The online structure is still so much better than Xbox.
DA: One of my favorite games of last year and this year, I played it forever, is “Skyrim,” and I got that on PlayStation 3 because I thought the graphics would be better. There is a single player game there is no multiplayer. The only determining factor for me between which console I’m going to get it on is the graphics. So I got it on the PS3, and now it’s like they released “Dawnguard” on the Xbox, they released the new “Dragonborn DLC,” all this stuff is coming out on Xbox and I feel totally screwed. I’ll never buy a PlayStation 3 game again unless it’s exclusive.
RB: Well yeah, I was going to say. I should preface: I am big on single player. I think that’s kind of a deciding thing for me too. The Xbox might be worth it because the online is still so much better and more established, but I’m very into the single player stuff with the exclusives that Sony has coming out, “Uncharted” and “The Last of Us” and things like that. That’s my speed.
So reverse side of the coin from the best game you played in 2012, the worst game you guys ever played of all time? I played “Superman 64.” It was fucking horrendous. That’s mine.
DA: My brother bought that game and what a waste.
It was a huge waste. I convinced my parents to buy it for me, and it was the worst decision of my life. My parents never trusted me again after that.
RB: Okay, I’m going to go obscure here. Regular Nintendo original NES “The Adventures of Dino Riki.” Dino Riki was this kid; he could take special powered dinosaur pellets and become a macho guy. Good luck finding those pellets; you do that maybe two times and you’re dead. It is just a sea of dinosaurs shitting on you, and you can’t progress. And when you’re a kid, and back then it was like 30, 50 bucks a game. That was not easy. Especially I don’t even know if you could rent games at that point. Those dinosaurs man. Dino Riki, you suck and you know it. If there is a “Dino Riki 2” I’ll see to that it doesn’t get finished.
DA: I don’t have any games that stand out as like things that I hated when I played them, but I remember I went back maybe a few years ago and popped in a 64, and the only game — I think this was at Rocco’s house — the only game he had sitting around was “Glover 64.” [laughs] I didn’t realize at the time how bad it was, but you play it now as an adult, that thing is terrible. Fucking the Hamburger Helper hand running around and one single color block room.
SC: For me, what was … it was the Simpsons in “Crazy Taxi”?
RB: “Simpsons: Road Rage.”
DA: That was a great game!
SC: You’re right; that game was great. The load time in between levels I think was literally 10 minutes to the point where like I can’t play this game anymore. I can’t do this because I don’t have the time to put into it.
RB: Yeah, that was pretty bad. But if you think about it, like I like to think of it in terms of expectations of what you should get versus what you got. And really I think the worst game in recent memory is honestly probably “Resident Evil 6.”
SC: Like what happened! What happened!
RB: My jaw was on the ground. I’m just playing this thing where I’m fighting these zombies made of pudding that are like flying out at me, and I’m like spazzing out and I’m like, “Wow man.” You had the world in your hands. What happened here?