Ep. 174 - Sega Macarena, with Liz "Lids" Ryerson

They definitely said the sales of HD Remix (and Hyper Fighting before that) helped make a case for SF4, and the same was allegedly true of MvC2 XBLA/PSN and MvC3.

Symphony of the Night was another game-changer for XBLA—in the very beginning, MS put a 50MB cap on XBLA games (due in part to still wanting to push memory cards, iirc) and SOTN was the first game they allowed to exceed that size. Just a few years later, IGA's last gasp, Harmony of Despair, came out as part of one of the big XBLA promotions and people were not at all receptive to it, in part because it got announced alongside Lords of Shadow.

HD Remix was supposed to come out much, much earlier than it did, so I suppose they were gauging general interest rather than strictly gauging sales, but I'm just echoing what Capcom were saying at the time, hell if I know how true those statements were.

One of the reasons given for HD Remix skipping Japan was that they knew people would expect an arcade version that they weren't planning on delivering, so they just skipped that release entirely, with was 100% a figleaf for "this game kinda sucks and is mired in branch politics, so let's not bother".

Yeah this episode was fantastic, all doubts surrounding the podcast these last couple of days should have dissipated with this one.

Pixel art as an artistic choice vs. a constraint is such an interesting topic for me. You see, while I have felt affinity for videogames my whole life, for a big chunk of my childhood I only had vicarious access to them (playing in friends or relatives houses at very specific occasions etc.) I wanted to play them and I was eager to have the chance to do so, but it never occurred to me to ask my parents for my own console, it was something that just wasn't even in the realm of possibility for me at the time.

Then my parents gifted me a PlayStation OUT OF THEIR OWN VOLITION because they knew how much I loved the stuff (this is a very unique circumstance I think). So my proper "first" contact with videogames was already 3D and I found I liked 3D videogames just fine! Then my PSX broke and another unique circumstance came forward, by that time the Dreamcast was already out and I wanted it, but my parents offered me a deal: to send the PSX to repair and buy me another console in a second hand store to play on the meantime. I accepted that deal and ended up having a Super Nintendo for the first time AFTER been playing on the PSX for almost its complete cycle. There I devoured Yoshi's Island, Killer Instinct, Donkey Kong, A Link to the Past, and I don't know, it felt completely natural. Those were amazing games and I had as much fun playing them as I did with the ones I had on my PlayStation.Then my neighbor gave me a CD with ZSNES full of roms and I kept playing that.

I realize now writing this that these experiences may have "normalized" caring for videogames without concern for its release date and playing retro without giving it too much thought. 2D has always been cool for me, I played Metal Slug and Garou on those early emulation days (circa 2001 or 2002 probably) and I don't know, I have always found those games extremely cool and good looking, while a lot of the early 3D I found ugly, even at the time!

Here's how I understand it:

  • - Capcom USA “bought” the street fighter rights, and started planning HD remix, and announced it in april 2007. SF IV (arcade) was already in development but not announced until later in 2007.
  • - as far as I understand, there were no plans for a home version of SFIV (I don't have a source for this, only vague memories).
  • - HD remix hype got the discussion of a home port moving.
  • - the profit from HD remix's sales are what paid for the development of SFIV home version, and also what got it approved to happen in the first place. My source for this is american devs on HD remix so take it with a grain of salt!
  • Either way, HD remix did sell gangbusters vs the budget, and had all kinds of news stories about breaking records for a downloadable title. Remember also that SFIV didn't gain any momentum until the home port, obviously because of the state of arcades, but it's wild to imagine what would've happened if it never came to console/PC.

    Mindblowing to me that the most popular and well remembered 3D fighting game of that era wasn't even planned.

    A lot of the very early claims about there being no plans for a home versions were meant to assuage arcade operators, I think.

    “Daft Punk is Marshmallow for 40 year olds” turned me into a skeleton. To that point I‘m one of the weird people that liked “Human After All” and regularly watches their concert from 1996 where they’re in a tent in the middle of Wisconsin. So my answer is “Alive 1997”

    to #3 I say that the original System Shock looks very clausterphobic to the point where I don't wanna even play it! I can't see outside and the inside is a bunch of severe angles! It's a horror FPS.

    to #4 I think I like going down more, because it feels like I'm going deeper into something and I can feel the imaginary pressure of all the level geometry above me. More importantly I like retreating back to the outside world after going in. I am building a game roughly around this idea. Halo's "Silent Cartographer" mission is a good example of this idea.

    #10 is being 5 hours into playing a Moba and the entire team yelling at you in your first match because you got the wrong set of boots for a character you're just figuring out....

    Going to try getting some of that kraut, since i'm in the PNW and I'm the only person I know who likes it.

    turned the sink on for a second and couldn't hear the name of the game brandon mentioned with “some of he best use of choruses in video games” and “good percussion”

    hmm, is that nier?

    it's nier baby

    Also re: claustrophobia, I don't know first-hand whether VR would be good at creating that feeling (though I imagine it would) but I can say it's good at the exact opposite effect--really making you feel small and vulnerable in an unbelievably wide open space. Outer Wilds is good at that too. Makes me sweat.

    The most claustrophobic I've felt in a game (off the top of my head, maybe this is a different anxious feeling) is in Resident Evil 7 you have to go under the floor of a house through neck-high water, and so your field of visibility is the foot of space between these gross rotting floorboards and the stagnant water which _definitely_ doesn't have anything creepy in it, we promise. Come to think of it, that game's got VR...

    Small FYI: 1-bit is the correct term for graphics that use 2 colours. Maybe you're mixing up people talking about colour depth and computer hardware or something?

    great episode, still listening.

    Liz mentioned the OST of Seiken Densetsu 3 aka Secret of Mana 2

    the show notes mistakenly have link for secret of mana 1 OST.
    both are great soundtracks tbh.
    SD3 was released so late in the SNES life cycle that it has some impressive technical features.

    Jaffe talking at the end of the episode about how Insert Credit loves imperfect games got me thinking about the imperfect games I've been enjoying lately.

    One imperfect game I've really been enjoying lately is Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin. It's half sidescrolling action, half hyper-detailed rice farming simulator. It's rough around the edges, but I think it plays with "perseverance" as a game mechanic in an interesting way. When you (painstakingly) till your rice field in the spring, your character keeps saying things like "surely we're done by now", or "this must be good enough", and you the player have to ignore it and keep going. This totally scrambled my RPG-based instincts, where you just ask the NPCs for a hint and then do whatever they say, and where your own character saying "we must be done now" usually means that you screwed up and have been stuck in the level for way too long, or something.

    not that i condone ff14 and mmos in general but some of the best claustrophobia was the original Demon Wall fight in FFXIV: ARR

    essentially the Demon Wall boss fight is a DPS check on a platform, where if you fall off any of the edges you die. Slowly the Wall encroaches on your party and if your DPS is too low, it pushes the whole party off the edge and everyone instantly dies. eventually SE nerfed the difficulty bc so many people were dying. also the power creeping gear got better and better which then trivialized the fight further.


    @maxhully#19262 We have a whole thread dedicated to this very topic, in case you didn't know! https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/421-worst-games-that-you-like-or-even-love

    @Syzygy#19217 oops looking at the timeline, yeah, there‘s only 2-3 months in there. So… I have likely been misled somehow! I’ll take it up with the people that told me this and report back.

    @maxhully#19262 yeah that kind of stuff really messes with me! I played Sakuna for a couple hours and the real kicker for me was the only way to really heal up is to have a meal with everybody that is just chock full of performative eating sounds, which is like a stab to my brain. It's amazing there's no option to turn that off, so I just have to mute the game during those sequences. That's basically why I stopped playing.

    @UnparalleledDev#19259 - oops, I'll fix that!

    @exodus#19289 Ah, yikes, of course! That must have been a nightmare.

    just wanted to pop in and say that Ridiculous Fishing is the best game about going down and then back up

    That's true.

    The Up vs. Down design issue in action games is most easily summarized by whether you are moving with, or against a restoring force.

    Moving against it (up) will generally feel more challenging because there is the possibility that you will fall back to where you once were. The player has the possibility to repeat content like _Getting Over It_, or possibly fail quickly like in the first level of _Kid Icarus_.

    Moving in the same direction as a restoring force will generally feel faster because the restoring force is aligned with your movement goals. _Downwell_ falls into this camp. Can't repeat content in _Downwell_!

    In non-action games, the _Etrian Odyssey_ series has you climbing the world tree as your goal in the first two. In _Etrian Odyssey 3_, it's mixed up and you plunge deeper and deeper down into the world. I've spent a fair amount of time playing _EO3_, and _EO5_ (another "up" game). Progressing in _EO3_ felt more mysterious, but _EO5_ felt more rewarding. I can't quantify it - it's just a feeling.

    Here is another game about going up:
    It's also a "new" Gameboy game. I can't confirm or deny it's good though - haven't actually played it.

    @compositehiggs#19162 If you haven‘t seen Downwell’s ending, it really delightfully subverts the “dark” premise. Certainly gave me a good laugh, at least.

    @antillese#19362 Similar to Etrian is in Persona 3 you climb the tower of Tartarus and in Persona 5 you descend into Mementos. I think I prefered 3 as the tower always felt like there would be a top and thus had an end goal, descending through mementos felt like it could go down forever.