Ep. 148 - GaaS Redirects Here

It is only through playing Sonic R-Kam Knight that you realize: everyone is a person. Opening and closing theme created by Kurt Feldman.

**Questions this week:**

  • 1. BGDCOAT (02:22)
  • 2. Lies, Damn Lies, and Not Actually Playing Video Games (10:25)
  • 3. Favorite Trains (16:00)
  • 4. Copy These Game Designs (21:35)
  • 5. Cloneverwatch Character (26:19)
  • 6. Best Overshadowed Game Question by Patreon Supporter Dracula Is Behind You! (34:17)
  • 7. Dream Features for the Switch Update 2021 (40:16)
  • 8. What we wish "games as service" meant (45:58)
  • 9. The appropriate time for realism (52:00)
  • 10. "The Day The Clown Cried" of Video Games (56:15)
  • LIGHTNING ROUND: DND Alignment Chart for Video Games (1:03:45)

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    great episode, maybe one of my favorites since the revival.

    curious if jaffe remembered that he’s already asked the day the clown cried question in an earlier episode. the original consensus was project milo which I think was a pretty good answer.

    Haven‘t listened yet, so apologies if this gets covered in the episode, but there’s a good chunk of The Day the Clown Cried out there now. Someone edited together the publicly available clips with re-enactments and text summaries of missing scenes - it pops up on YouTube from time to time.

    The video game equivalent angle is more complicated as there's nothing actually *wrong* with the script (also widely available), and the sections of the film I've seen don't seem particularly 'awful'. It's a bleak movie about a horrific series of events happening in an abhorrent place in a terrible period of recent history. I think it succeeds in everything it sets out to do. Maybe it went too far for the early 1970s, or the very involvement of Jerry Lewis is just inappropriate for the subject matter for some people (I'm not American, so while I'm aware of who he is, he isn't a particularly important cultural figure), but I really think that if it had been made a few years later it would have been considered a masterpiece, or at the very least a powerful movie with flaws.

    @devilsblush#5476 do you remeber the episode?

    @devilsblush#5476 Damn, that IS a good answer. Good job, team.

    @Moon#5480 ep 33 - the long con

    Not really a fun answer, but my submission for the most The Day the Clown Cried video game would have to be Imagination is the Only Escape. That was Luc Bernard‘s cancelled educational game about a young Jewish boy during the Holocaust, which seems to fits the bill of a Jerry Lewis-esque ambitious career pivot.

    The game got decent press with both Bernard and journalists defending it against backlash for its content - though it’s hard to actually find much evidence of that backlash. Frankly in retrospect it feels more like people identified “game about Holocaust” as an opportunity for the breathless “video games can be serious” apologia which was so much in vogue at the time. There was a lot written about whether A Video Game can Be About the Holocaust and little interest in whether this game in particular would do a good job of it, and though it‘s impossible to know it doesn’t really look like it would have. It would probably be more embarrassing if it was released now than if it was released on the DS because people would be prepared to critique it rather than blindly defend it for its ambitions. (Which I guess is the opposite of what Billy‘s saying about The Clown Cried releasing too early, so maybe this isn’t a perfect analogue…)

    Star Fox 2 was cancelled before release because it offended the N64. A work-in-progress version later surfaced, turned out to be quite good, and an official release finally happened decades later.


    i‘m just going to put it out there that American McGee’s Bad Day LA is the Day The Clown Cried of videogames

    Six Days in Fallujah is the only cancelled-due-to-obscene-tactlessness game that springs to mind right now, but I honestly don't think it would have made a blip had Konami put it out.

    If you want released games then YIIK YIIK YIIK the answer's YIIK

    @billy#5477 I feel like part of the mystique of The Day the Clown Cried is that it’s the “noodle incident” of Hollywood. We only hear about it from Hank Azaria’s appalled anecdotes from 30 years ago and our imaginations run wild. It’s not just that it’s bad, it’s that it’s deeply wrong in a way that leaves observers profoundly unsettled beyond just being a piece of crap film.

    What could possibly live up to that? Certainly not the bits and pieces of a mediocre but slightly _off_ film that have actually leaked out over the years. I’ve actually read some defenses of the film (or at least of Jerry Lewis) alleging that much of the revulsion directed at the film’s early screenings stemmed from the perception of Lewis as an “unserious” artist combined with the fact that the Holocaust had rarely been depicted onscreen up to that time; yet by now the topic has been so thoroughly vulgarized by popular media that _Clown_ no longer even registers as shocking. Could it really be any more mawkish and exploitative than bestselling crap like _The Boy in the Striped Pajamas_?

    Anyway though, _Sonic 06_ honestly feels pretty close to the video game equivalent of the legend. It’s somehow managed to maintain that aura of mythic badness despite actually existing in full view of the public.

    Also… I liked both Final Fantasy Tactics and Eternal Darkness, so this is at least the second time I’ve been called a poser by Tim.

    Though to be fair, idk that _ED_ is actually a _good video game_ (I got stuck at some point and never beat it) but I certainly dig the aesthetics. That’s pretty much what Silicon Knights was about, I guess. Sucks that their art director got jailed for child pornography, which might be part of the reason Nintendo pretends their games didn’t exist!

    @gsk#5540 From the content I‘ve seen about SDIF, it always came off as (at least intending to be) much more respectful than people thought it was going to be. I’ve always been sad it never saw the light of day. It seemed like an attempt at documentary more than anything else, when you hear what the people who worked on it had to say.


    Maybe it would have come across as disrespectful regardless, but I'm not convinced it would have been any less tactful than MW. At the very least, I hope the interviews get archived at some point.


    Maybe the Day the Clown Cried of videogames is one where a grandstanding artists tries to tackle a subject that they are in no way equipped to treat with reverence. Or al least no one can imagine them doing so. On that line of logic it would Detroit: Become Human. Although I guess that was released.

    But we could also look at it from the angle of a game where there is some element about the main character that makes it impossible for the audience to take the proceedings seriously enough so that it feels like a slap in the face. Is there like a Sonic game or something where he deals with real world tragedy? Some sort of Shadow the Hedgehog 2 where he tackles police brutality. Or Spec Ops the Line featuring Duke Nukem. Something like that.

    Fun episode!

    _Favorite Trains_
    Gunstar Heroes: The Underground Mine
    This constantly moving, high speed level was the best with its magnetized rail cart Red/Blue rode in, but best of all, you're spending the entire time chasing after a train while going after Green, and eventually you're going straight down a vertical path with the train still on it! With all of it leading up to Smash Daisaku throwing a bunch of minions at you!

    Mega Man X4: Slash Beast
    Great song, fun parts where there baddies detach rail carts to try to lose you. Slash Beast running at high speeds and jumping onto the train to fight you was a fun boss opener, too.

    Sparkster: Level 1 Act 3 (or 2 depending on the difficulty)
    I dunno if this really counts, since it's actually a truck, but it might as well be a train for how long it is. This one's fun for just the visuals, but also seeing enemies in the background catching up to the vehicle and hopping on to attack you. The conclusion with the partially activated robot in transit attacking you was a pretty neat idea too, and freaked me out when I first saw it as a kid.

    _Dream Features for the Switch Update 2021_
    Bring menu music and themes back. At first I attempted to rationalize the lack of music for it being a portable system, but the 3DS literally is just that and has great music out the wazoo with its themes. Lemme get a Hanafuda theme, or Switch equivalents of the really good Sega console themes.

    _About Sonic_
    I was just playing Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz on PC and unlocked Sonic via someone else's save, since that's the only way I could do it without screaming bloody murder, but playing that with Sonic gave me a glimpse of something special when it worked. The world tilting and momentum build up felt great. It definitely would need some general adjustments to movement (especially turning) for precision platforming, but over all it felt like a weird bizarro Sonic spin-off. A good one! Ignoring the dozen or so levels that were made more difficult for the HD release. The jump in Banana Blitz somehow feels safer than pretty much any 3D Sonic to date, too, not counting Generations. On a side note, Monkey Ball with classic Sonic just looks like early 3D renders of Saturn era Sonic related things.

    In regards to what Tim Rogers mentioned, playing through Sonic R again definitely felt great when actually playing it like a kart racer as intended instead of a platformer-that-just-so-happens-to-be-a-racer. Having an acceleration button and drift triggers would probably make for a pretty good modern Sonic control. They _almost_ got there with Lost World, but somehow they made it feel more stiff and unreliable all around. Sonic Generations has a drift button where he goes into a spin dash while boosting to gain more boost, and it feels great, and somehow they decided to drop that for any future thing because they love to reinvent the wheel rather than building up on what was good about anything.

    I also would highly recommend getting a flash cart to breathe new life into your DS (and while you're at it, hack your 3DS). I've had a wonderful time with mine.

    I agree with all this stuff! That Gunstar train is great especially when it goes on fire and all the green dudes are freaking out, and what's his name m bison lookalike starts throwing them at you.

    I can't believe we forgot about menu music for the switch, that's an excellent point. everyone's still pining for that wii eshop music or weather channel music or whatever else. It'd sure make people happy.

    Sonic R DOES feel better when you think about it like a kart racer, especially with the knowledge you'll bounce off corners, etc. Once you figure out how the game wants you to play it and then only bend those rules within certain constraints, it's pretty fun to do.

    I feel like what all the Clown comments are actually getting at is that you can't really find a videogame equivalent because they get released anyway.