Ep. 158 - Writing Python Scripts While Skateboarding

Ep. 158 - Writing Python Scripts While Skateboarding

Console talk, Tricky Dick, and the activities of teens. Opening and closing theme created by Kurt Feldman.

**Questions this week:**

  • 1. Who should get a Playstation 5? (04:18)
  • 2. Who should get a Xbox Series X? (09:47)
  • 3. In what ways can gamehuggers be more ethically minded consumers? (13:39)
  • 4. What video game was most improved by a remaster? (20:06)
  • 5. The Adaptation Game: 1972 Watergate Scandal (27:06)
  • 6. What are the best blunt combat weapons in video games? (32:14)
  • 7. What T-rated games are actually most suitable for teens? (39:21)
  • 8. What video games got popular years after initial release? (45:29)
  • 9. If you lined up every video game ever from best to worst, what would be the exact middle game? (52:00)
  • 10. What is the Pee Wee’s Big Adventure of video games? (57:54)
  • LIGHTNING ROUND: Patreon Supporter Shun asks: in an alternate universe where video games never exist, what would the following video game industry figures be doing for work? (01:04:03)

    **A SMALL SELECTION OF THINGS REFERENCED:**

  • - [Grimoire Weiss](https://nier.fandom.com/wiki/Grimoire_Weiss)
  • - [Alice & Ape III](https://punchout.fandom.com/wiki/Alice_%26_Ape_III)
  • - [Abobo](https://doubledragon.fandom.com/wiki/Abobo)
  • - [Friend of the show Patrick Miller](https://twitter.com/pattheflip)
  • - [Haggar Piledriving a Shark icon](https://twitter.com/patthef_ebooks)
  • - [Sony TalkMan](http://enjoyrelaxstudio.co.uk/Sony-TalkMan)
  • - [Analogue](https://www.analogue.co/)
  • - [Where's My Water](https://lol.disney.com/games/wheres-my-water-app)
  • - [Pro Gymnast](https://store.steampowered.com/app/1214520/Pro_Gymnast/)
  • - [JFK Reloaded](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JFK_Reloaded) (uh, content warning)
  • - [Warhammer: Vermintide II](https://www.vermintide.com/)
  • - [Undercover Cops](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undercover_Cops)
  • - [Rabio Lepus](https://sonicwings.fandom.com/wiki/Rabio_Lepus)
  • - [Condemned: Criminal Origins](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condemned:_Criminal_Origins)
  • - [Bionicle](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bionicle)
  • - [That guy from Toonami](https://toonami.fandom.com/wiki/TOM)
  • - [Namco's Breakdown](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakdown_(video_game))
  • - [13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13_Sentinels:_Aegis_Rim)
  • - [Sky](https://thatgamecompany.com/sky/)
  • - [SkiFree](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SkiFree)
  • - [James Pond 2: Codname: RoboCod](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Pond_2)
  • - [Monster Party](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster_Party)
  • - [Dragon Power](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dragon_Ball_video_games#1980s)
  • - [Clash at Demonhead](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_at_Demonhead)
  • - [Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golgo_13:_Top_Secret_Episode)
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Brandon:** [Desolate Roads](https://store.steampowered.com/app/1328620/Desolate_Roads/) by Gábor Dandár
    **Frankie No-Games**: No Recommendations
    **Tim**: [~~No Escape (1994)~~](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110678/)

    Support on [Patreon](https://www.patreon.com/insertcredit)

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    {“sticky”:true}

    oh hey, from the twitter: apparently there’s already a Watergate game! https://twitter.com/thishalfworld/status/1326252491223277569?s=21

    shoot!!

    I bought a Series X! I‘m one of those people who didn’t own an Xbox One, so it seemed like the one to buy on the basis of Game Pass and back catalogue alone. I didn‘t think I’d bother (at least not at launch) but something changed my mind between pre-order time and now so I got one this morning.

    BUUUT it's officially a Christmas present from my 2 year-old so it needs to live in the box until December 25th. This is probably a good thing as it gives me time to kill off some of my PS4 backlog, meaning I won't be tempted to re-buy games I already own for the shiny new thing.

    I‘m getting a PS5. I didn’t future-proof my PC very well when I built it a few years ago so it's a way cheaper option than putting together a new rig I can stick a 3080 in. Wanna play Resident Evil 8, Cyberpunk, and Final Fantasy XVI with the most graphics. At least five graphics.

    I only really use my Xbox One X as a 4K blu-ray player and I can live without my PS4 games for a couple months, so I'm just gonna trade both consoles in to Gamestop today or tomorrow and sit on the credit until whenever I can get a PS5 in-store without busting my ass. Until then I got plenty of JRPGs on my Switch to work through.

    im getting a ps5 for the same reason I got a ps4: a hypothetical sequel to Gran Turismo. I am going to wait until it comes out for ps5 before even considering it though.

    jailed frenchman dies in prison

    I used the Talkman bird as an avatar for the better part of a decade!

    Add me to the PS5 count. I like a lot of the stuff Microsoft is doing but at the end of the day if you have decent interest in Japanese games, a PlayStation along with the Switch is the best bet to cover your bases.

    speaking for myself this is shaping up to be the first console gen I take a pass on, or at least, wait quite a while before jumping in. PC for current games + as emulator box has just kind of conformed to everything I'm looking for. The occasional bloodborne-level exclusive notwithstanding.

    And not that it was ever really in the cards but the only thing that could interest me in a ps5 would have been backwards compatibility to ps1. Anyway I'm having a great time playing ps2 games on this pc with the texture res dialed up to hubble telescope levels

    And no judgment and it's probably just a product of aging, but finding nintendo 1st party more things I appreciate from afar rather than really enjoy playing. I mean, I didn't like SM odyssey too much either or botw for that matter. Starting to feel that these are for "kids" not meant as a negative critique, just that I'm not there with them anymore

    I kind of question what Tim said at the end of the lightening round about how if video games had never existed he’d probably still have gone to Japan just because of the music. I don’t really know that much about Tim’s personal history, but I feel like video games are one of the big reasons why Japanese music was at all accessible to a non-Japanese speaking American in the late 90’s. I mean, I didn’t start illegally downloading music until the mid-to-late 00’s, so I’m not exactly sure what the whole Napster experience was like, but I suspect that a lot of the non-Japanese people who did the early groundwork of ripping all those never-released-in-America CDs and shared the MP3s did so because they’d already been propagandized into caring about Japan by video games and other Japanese media from the 80’s and 90’s. In my own experience, even now, old music from pretty much every non-Western country that isn’t Japan (or maybe Korea) is still really hard to explore. Like, I can’t imagine getting into Chinese music in a major way without being able to at least sort of read Chinese characters. So I feel like if video games never existed it might be a lot harder to deep dive into Japanese things.

    Though I don’t know! Maybe my impressions of what things were like are too influenced by the mid-2000’s internet. By then it definitely felt like pretty much anyone on the internet interested in Japan originally got there either from video games or anime (even if they later moved on to other things). Maybe in the 90’s video games hadn’t had enough time to have significantly influenced actual adults? Maybe other things, like Japanese literature or the bubble economy, were bigger motivators to start caring about Japan back then?

    I’m curious to hear from people a little older than me what the internet/Napster was like in terms of the discoverability of Japanese stuff.

    I take your point about videogames as ingress in jp music. This wasn't my experience, but I would imagine that a ton of vg soundtrack looped back to YMO, and that some of the big early-mid 2000s soundtrack games like jet set and katamari drew people in.

    As a young music obsessive rather than very interested in games at that time, the points of entry in jp music I recall were

    A) metal/heavy psych like Boris, High Rise, les raillez desnudes, acid mothers
    B) the real mutant stuff like merzbow, gerogeri, keiji haino etc

    This was available in record stores, no resorting to file sharing needed. Obviously this was in the context of hyper-snob record store filtering, at least where I was. So I mean it was somewhat available

    There were also a few notable collaborations that got some traction: john zorn with a number of japanese (+thai, vietnamese, and other regional musicians), cibo matto did that album with jon spencer, and I think the big one (relatively speaking) was faye wong + cocteau twins (not japanese I know, I'm not racist)

    point being that if you were already part of the serious music culture, there were analogue connections. THAT SAID, I think you may be right that internet sharing/uploading really expanded access to jp music. Access was heavily gated by the whims of the weirdo boutique and bootleg labels that would press music from categories A and B and trickle them out to record stores, in which older and smellier dudes would almost always buy them first

    So speaking for myself I've found exponentially more interesting jp music just bouncing around youtube than I had in record stores and on blogs

    >

    @yeso#9133 some of the big early-mid 2000s soundtrack games like jet set and katamari drew people in

    Yeah, this is definitely a big phenomenon I noticed!

    In my case, I got into Japanese music from noise rock bands like Boredoms, which doesn't really have anything to do with video games, but I do remember the Japaneseness of that music being a big reason for why I wanted to explore it more. Video games are definitely what planted in me the initial seeds of those positive feelings towards Japan. I know it wasn't clearly stated at all in my original post, but this was more what I was curious about with Tim's comments. Like, if video games never existed, maybe that Japanese music wouldn't have seemed quite so interesting right from the start? I might just be projecting my own experiences on others though.

    @Syzygy#9132 Thanks for the context. The military connection is a good point that I didn't think about. Among my relatives who live in the middle of nowhere in Western Pennsylvania, even the tiniest mention of something vaguely Japanese sounding leads instantly to talking about my older cousin who was stationed in Okinawa.

    A general appreciation/curiosity towards Japan is different from a deep investiture in Japanese culture though, right? It sure seems like at some point a significant amount of people got a lot more invested in Japan. In comparison, someone like my dad, who seems pretty typical for a guy who grew up in the 70s, likes Hondas, knows who Ryuichi Sakamoto is, has read at least one Haruki Murakami novel, and has been to Tokyo before, but I don't think it's ever occurred to him to really try exploring Japanese culture any more than just casually. At least, he's never specifically gone looking for Japanese stuff. And there's obviously been a lot of fascination in the west towards Japan from both the angle of exotica and futurism/cyberpunkness. But in, say, 1985-1990, was it a thing yet for teenagers to be teaching themselves Japanese in their free time? By the time I was in high school it sure felt like everyone I knew had at the very least tried to learn a little Japanese at some point.

    And now 13 year olds take random 80s Japanese pop songs, up the bass like crazy, and post them as a playlist on their Soundcloud with titles like "Midnight Summer Fantasies". So something sure has happened! It's so weird to me how popular all that city pop stuff is now.

    Yeah I mean tim grew up in various places around the country and got exposed to stuff that way, but for someone like me who grew up in the bay area, California, I got an X Japan single when I was 11 years old at a thrift store because it had a neat cover. I had a Loudness record I got for 25 cents along with some judas priest and black sabbath stuff. Everybody knew about Kurosawa movies, and on top of that in the 80s and 90s tons of movies pitted japanese companies as the enemy, or at least a looming threat because they were “taking over” etc. Freaking Die Hard and Nakatomi Plaza! And you couldn't turn on your TV without some ninja movie in the 80s/early 90s. There was a lot of awareness of japan ever since WWII, and by the 80s Japan had fully entered popular culture awareness.

    All it takes is a small entry point and some interest and there you are. I've got a pretty decent library of Chinese (mostly cantonese) music and I can't read Chinese at all. Entry point was originally HK movies you could see on late night TV, followed by grabbing random stuff in Chinatown or the library, and from there I gathered enough knowledge to form an opinion.

    So I fully buy that he could've gone out to Japan because of the music!

    @exodus#9140 Yeah these are all good points!

    It's actually really interesting to read you write all this, because it is so different from my own childhood. The internet is pretty much the one and only reason I was able to discover anything beyond lowest denominator pop culture and whatever was explicitly taught in school. Which is kind of weird, because I grew up in the DC metro area, with all sorts of free museums and a big international population. I don't know if it's just that my parents failed to expose me to things? There were multiple times that I discovered something on my own, fell in love with it, then ten years later discovered that that same thing I liked was something my dad also adored, but for some reason never mentioned. And they certainly didn't take me to thrift stores! I don't think I had ever stepped into a thrift store until I was already in high school. I only learned about Kurosawa from closely reading the Wikipedia page for Star Wars and clicking on all the cross-references. For a very long time I thought I was a cool and knowledgable cinema expert for having illegally watched Ikiru and Rashomon on my tiny computer screen.

    So it's possible that I might just be a weirdo and don't have a good basis for guessing what other people's formative experiences were like.

    Maybe I should make some kind of "What was your childhood like and how did you first get into the things you like" thread. I'm curious to hear what other people's experiences were.

    @exodus#9140 By the way, I'm curious about how you got into HK movies? Were they just on TV, and then you decided to seek them out more?

    In my case, no one around me ever mentioned anything foreign in a positive way growing up. I was vaguely aware of Dragon Ball, and ended up reading through one of the paperback volumes of it in a book store, which mentioned in some tiny blurb that the story was based on Journey to the West. It was later on looking up Journey to the West that I discovered Chinese Odyssey (the movie my profile pic is from), which led to Stephen Chow and HK movies in general. But it all felt like such an unnatural and impersonal way to learn about things. Like, I had never talked with another human being about HK cinema until I started learning Chinese and making Chinese friends, and then they obviously all knew all about it.

    @saddleblasters#9145 My HK movie path:


  • - my dad thought bruce lee was cool and talked A LOT about the like 1 month class he took learning tibetan to try to translate scrolls
  • - I was always interested in "different" stuff because I was a "smart kid" and wanted to keep that up, so I'd just seek out new interesting things. I didn't have access to TV until I was 8 or 9 and then I would just channel surf to find interesting stuff, and HK movies would sometimes come on the local "asian" channel (it'd switch from cantonese programming to vietnamese programming to japanese to mandarin depending on the block).
  • - I went to ranch market 99 in my youth and next door there was a chinese video store that was dumping some tapes so I bought some random stuff
  • - VCDs

  • I also think it's different because the internet didn't really "take off" til I was in highschool. I didn't go to thrift stores because it was cool and hip, I went because my dad had no steady work and my mom's job was maybe $20k/year at the time. The thrift store is just where all your stuff comes from at that point.

    As a side note, I didn't have a firm idea that anybody else could like the same things as me because I was usually on an island of knowledge. nobody knew HK films beyond bruce lee, nobody was deep into games, nobody was listening to death metal, etc. that's what the internet changed for me!

    I don‘t have anything all that interesting to say about it, but it is kind of funny to me that James Pond 2: Codename Robocod was chosen as the exact middle game, considering it is one of the earliest games I remember playing along with Commander Keen, the first Duke Nukem (the 2d platformer) and some game about delivering papers that you throw from a bike (probably paperboy?). In my kindergarten, the institution leader was somewhat into computers and made the PC (running DOS) available for very limited amounts of time to kids who were interested in playing games (a lot of us). To this day I have never actually finished that game, but it is lodged somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind. As none of us could read properly, much less understand English we used to call the game Billybillymand, coming from bille (meaning beetle) and mand (man), because that’s what the character looked like to us. I guess he is actually supposed to be a cod, but I will always associate him with a beetle.

    good discussion here!

    growing up in the late 90s - early 00s in Spain, it's odd what outside influences had a cultural impact and which didn't even get here. children's TV was almost entirely dubbed foreign programs, most of which were Japanese anime (Dragon Ball, Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha, Detective Conan), so that was a huge part of our formative experience, but it was completely unrelatable to the older generations. even today, though there's more awareness and some admiration of certain aspects of Japanese culture, it's still generally considered too strange to engage with or have a larger place in society. my discovery of Japanese music and cinema -beyond anime- has been entirely though the (english-speaking) internet.

    re: Sky, thagamecompany's new game, mentioned in the show
    i played about an hour of it on my iphone 6s (probably my longest continuous play session on it) and... well, it's A Lot More Journey, for better and worse. it runs amazing on this old phone and it has some awe-inspiring moments, but they are more densely packaged, and there many more items, expressions, and interaction with other players. some of it feels like an expansion, like "what Journey was meant to be", and some of it feels like Fortnite. you have timed "events", micro and macro transactions, items, skins, you have player-ghosts jumping around all over the place, and you transition super quickly between different areas and moods, while the soundtrack goes full Ghibli this time. it's trying to be more accessible but i wonder if remembering a bunch of invisible tap and hold commands is harder than learning to use joysticks. overall, it feels a bit diminished to me, but it might just be because i was playing on a tiny screen.

    seems like thatgamecompany fell victim to sony's kicking indies to the curb once the COD/FIFA/AAA pipeline started reliably barfing product onto the ps4 as alluded to I believe in an earlier episode