Ep. 176 - Gin & Sonic, with Ash Parrish

### Ep. 176 - Gin & Sonic, with Ash Parrish

[Ash Parrish](https://twitter.com/adashtra) rejoins the panel to cover Final Fantasy XIV’s superiority, the Screaming Idea, and G4M3R5. Original music by Kurt Feldman.

**Questions this week**:

  • 1. Previously on Insert Credit 86: What games not originally designed for arcades would best make the transition to arcades? (01:58)
  • 2. What specifically makes Final Fantasy XIV the best MMO game? (05:17)
  • 3. Which games have benefitted the most from changing course during development? (10:37)
  • 4. What game features the greatest distance of quality between how good the music is and how bad the game itself is? (15:42)
  • 5. The pandemic is over, and each of you is opening up a barcade. What do you name it? (20:44)
  • 6. Patreon Supporter THX Deep Note’s #1 Fan asks: If you could design a startup jingle for a video game console, what would it sound like? (28:28)
  • 7. What are some things that video game fans THINK they want, but won’t actually enjoy? (33:36)
  • 8. What is the longest you’ve ever struggled with a particular challenge in a video game? (38:44)
  • 9. Topher “Docfuture” Florence gives this challenge: Design a singular controller to be put into a time capsule that will be the only controller to play all console games. It can have any button or stick configuration, but is arbitrarily limited to only 3 "gimmicks.” (44:07)
  • 10. Who is the Meghan Markle of video games? (49:31)
  • **LIGHTNING ROUND**: Guess That Fanfic (54:29)

    **A SMALL SELECTION OF THINGS REFERENCED:**

  • - Michigan J. Frog
  • - [Push Up](https://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Push-Up)
  • - [Push Pop](https://www.drumstick.com/nestle/nestle-push-up-pops)
  • - [Push-Up Bra](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bra_designs#Push-up)
  • - [Ribbit King](https://www.mobygames.com/game/ribbit-king)
  • - [Hades](https://www.mobygames.com/game/hades)
  • - [Blitzball](https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Blitzball_(minigame))
  • - [Flappy Bird](https://www.mobygames.com/game/flappy-bird)
  • - [Scribblenauts](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nintendo-ds/scribblenauts)
  • - [Firewatch](https://www.mobygames.com/game/firewatch)
  • - [Ring Fit Adventure](https://www.mobygames.com/game/switch/ring-fit-adventure)
  • - [Super Mario Run](https://www.mobygames.com/game/super-mario-run)
  • - [Stupid bad Rayman ad](http://www.rayman-fanpage.de/rayman3_neu/grafik_desktop/R3-US.jpg)
  • - [Final Fantasy XIV](https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/final-fantasy-xiv-online)
  • - [Clash Royale](https://www.mobygames.com/game/clash-royale)
  • - [Deadly Premonition](https://www.mobygames.com/game/deadly-premonition)
  • - [Naoki "Yoshi-P" Yoshida](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naoki_Yoshida)
  • - [Yoshi's Island](https://www.mobygames.com/game/super-mario-world-2-yoshis-island)
  • - [Plok](https://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/plok)
  • - [PachiPara series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/pachinko-paradise-pachipara-series)
  • - [Disaster Report](https://www.mobygames.com/game/disaster-report)
  • - [Okami](https://www.mobygames.com/game/kami)
  • - [Sunsoft Games](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sunsoft_video_games)
  • - [Hover Strike](https://www.mobygames.com/game/jaguar/hover-strike)
  • - [Picross](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/picross-series/)
  • - [Final Fantasy XIII](https://www.mobygames.com/game/final-fantasy-xiii)
  • - [Dirge of Cerberus](https://www.mobygames.com/game/ps2/dirge-of-cerberus-final-fantasy-vii)
  • - [Original Pokemon cave theme](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMab0r8yEAs)
  • - [Crank Yankers theme](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQAofXFXfSs)
  • - [Dreamcast startup jingle](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9mOjHzTFiQ)
  • - [Gamecube startup jingle](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksZh-FHuKpk)
  • - [Playstation startup jingle](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaONOQswRSQ)
  • - [Xbox startup jingle](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1ebJZUOtL8)
  • - [Xbox 360 startup jingle](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92coix3E_vY)
  • - [That tall vampire lady in the new Resident Evil](https://residentevil.fandom.com/wiki/Alcina_Dimitrescu)
  • - [Extra-Dimensional Biological Entity](https://watchmen.fandom.com/wiki/Extra-Dimensional_Biological_Entity)
  • - [Nier Automata "Idiot Savant" sidequest](https://nierautomata.wiki.fextralife.com/Idiot+Savant)
  • - [Exile: Wicked Phenomenon](https://www.mobygames.com/game/turbografx-cd/exile-wicked-phenomenon)
  • - [Ouendan](https://www.mobygames.com/game/elite-beat-agents)
  • - [Fullmetal Alchemist theme](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9A8xcbIeTs)
  • - [Celeste](https://www.mobygames.com/game/celeste)
  • - [Area 51](https://www.mobygames.com/game/area-51)
  • - [Seaman](https://www.mobygames.com/game/seaman)
  • - [Meghan Markle](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meghan,_Duchess_of_Sussex)
  • - [Glu Mobile](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glu_Mobile)
  • - [Clementine](https://walkingdead.fandom.com/wiki/Clementine_(Video_Game))
  • - [She's Gone Gone Gone Rewrite](https://archiveofourown.org/works/29969610)
  • - [From Which All That Was](https://archiveofourown.org/works/23148013)
  • - [Pizza Date](https://archiveofourown.org/works/8118127)
  • - [Among the stars we fell in love](https://archiveofourown.org/works/28133241)
  • - [Acts of God](https://archiveofourown.org/works/5203232)
  • - [The Confession of a Lifetime](https://archiveofourown.org/works/29434641)
  • - [Game Boy box art Frank drops in the chat after the show](https://i.imgur.com/tqKXEup.png)
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Brandon:** [Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvmDgXfYPbA) (2021), Frankie Rose's [Cage Tropical](https://frankierose.bandcamp.com/album/cage-tropical), [Crazy Samurai 400 vs 1](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12015352/)
    **Ash**: [Kotaku Splitscreen](https://kotaku.com/c/podcast/splitscreen)
    **Jaffe**: [The Tobolowsky Files](https://tobolowskyfiles.com/)
    **Frank**: [The Video Game History Hour](https://anchor.fm/gamehistorypodcast)

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    {“sticky”:true}

    You all are trying to design the perfect controller as if it doesn't already exist

    Also, does _Drop Dead Fred_ still hold up? I'm afraid to verify for myself.

    @Syzygy#21944 Ah yeah, Tera!!

    I do know FFXIV of today is a totally different game and think of it as a different beast. If that didn't come across in the episode, oops! It's probably because unfortunately MY problems with FFXIV are unsolvable forever but that's unrelated to the game's design and more related to something I'm not allowed to talk about (or maybe I said it on the show at some point honk)

    >

    What is the longest you’ve ever struggled with a particular challenge in a video game?

    It took _18 years_ for me to beat the fucking Casino stage of FZero GX until finally I just sat down for 3 hours to beat it a few months back. I got a gamecube because of Fzero GX and the customizable vehicles sounded cool. I think it was the first game I got for the system. I got to chapter 3 and just couldn't do it! I'd dust off FZero to try again over the years, but still couldn't do it. 18 Fuckin years. Amusement Vision? More like PAIN vision.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1achsCN_tg

    YOOOOOOO I feel foolish re: blitzball because in my head I was like isn‘t that from another one?? but then I figured I’ve never finished FFVII so maybe it was in there too. OOPS. My memory is bad.

    And makes sense re: the 14 clarification

    @marlfuchs2 you mean "more like abusement vision"

    love tim and all, but i really do enjoy every episode having a guest now.

    Great to hear Ash back.

    It's funny to me to hear that the original Nier was generally disliked when it came out. I played right through Nier: Automata last year (not 100% but I did get the real ending for those out there who know what that means - most people here I think?) and was totally blown away, couldn't stop thinking about it, cajoled several friends into playing it just so I'd have people to talk about it with. And so when a free PS3 landed in my lap a couple months back I took the opportunity to try the original game. Played long enough to get the first ending but without delving into side quests too much, and now I'm holding off for the remake to do a much more complete playthrough. Quite excited about that! But anyway, I dunno, it just seems like an objectively good game to me? Sure the action isn't as tight as Automata but it seemed perfectly reasonable to me. And maybe it's just bias I'm bringing over from my experience of N:A but the vibe of the original just immediately grabbed hold of me.

    Speaking of Nier: Replicant (the new one) - this seems like it might be an interesting edge case for the perennial what-is-a-remake-vs-a-remaster debate. Anyone who's played the original and seen gameplay footage of the new version can tell it straddles that line in what I think is a cool and interesting way. The combat has been tweaked, and I've read there will be some minor additional content, but the game looks for the most part like a remaster, with higher resolution and framerate and upgraded textures - visually, at least, they haven't quite gone back to the drawing board. This is in contrast to what I understand of, for example, the Resident Evil remakes. But I digress.

    @Syzygy#21954 I do! Maybe one day I'll emulate it and try it out

    @exodus#21953 dont feel bad, there were three other people present who should have been able to correct you lol

    My answer for #8 from recent memory would have to be the White Palace from Hollow Knight. Everyone talks up how tough the bosses are in that game (and gosh they sure are) but I don't hear much discussion about how the game suddenly and inexplicably becomes a Super Meat Boy clone and does so for an agonizingly long stretch. I persevered and made it through eventually, but I was significantly worse for the wear.

    @GigaSlime#21960 (technically I should‘ve been one of the correcting people, it wasn’t my idea originally)

    @goonbag yeah, the sentiment about Nier was:

  • - nice music
  • - ugly
  • - clunky
  • - the fishing sucks (this idea originated from somebody fishing in the wrong spot but got perpetuated)

  • A lot of folks might have liked it in silence but the reviews tended toward the negative.

    during the entire editing process all I could think was “the forum's really gonna ream them about this blitzball thing”

    the other thing I found out from looking up the watchmen wiki for the show notes is how much dumb post-Watchmen stuff they’ve been doing! i hope they all feel the swamp curse alan moore puts on them for making it.

    Thanks @exodus for pointing out that Ryuichi Sakamoto composed the Dreamcast startup! I was not aware of this–or, at least, if I had heard this in the past it was before I knew who Sakamoto was. This is right up there with Brian Eno composing the Windows 95 startup sound.

    Also glad you gave a shoutout to that old Konami jingle, I just dropped the SNES version in the [best soundfeel](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/560-best-soundfeel-in-games/50) thread a few days ago!

    Oh yeah, that whole bit with the sounds coming in under everyone talking about them was great - shoutout to esper!

    Yeah that was really cool. Was great how the full startup sounds were squeezed in without having to pause to maintain the frantic 6 minute pace.

    Ryuichi Sakamoto also did the music for Lack of Love on DC, which is a very Insert Credit adjacent game and recently got an English translation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvHpnVIjLfE

    That DC startup was so high tech sounding at the time, especially when combined with the jet turbine exhaust noise of the fan inside.

    @goonbag#21957 Yeah the attitude around the original Nier at the the time made it seem like kind of a joke iirc. Like after that review where someone quit playing it because of the fishing. It was never a bad game but it was a frustrating game for some people.

    ugh I feel like I’ve been repeating this in various places but I keep feeling the need to get these gross thoughts out of my head. [I wrote some stuff in the remake thread about Nier Replicant](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/494-videogame-remakes-and-the-attitudes-surrounding-them/23) comparing the old game to what they’ve shown of the new game. I’m a little torn on it. I think the way SE is erasing the visual identity, however low budget and sometimes ugly it may have been, to just make it look like Automata sucks. I kind of actually hate it a whole bunch. Homogenizing Nier to be one thing is bad!!! And the way they’re marketing it as The Prequel To Nier Automata also sucks!!!! Like yes, I get it. Automata sold almost 6 million copies. Of course this is what they’d do. But I hate it. I liked Automata a great deal when it came out but that’s not what I want the entire future of the series to be. And now with that mobile game and the endless mobile collabs they’ve done...it’s both heartening to see those creators get some recognition at long last but really discouraging to think that this is just a super franchise now. If they shove some stupid Yorha logo into Replicant somewhere I’m gonna scream.

    All that said I think it looks really fun too! Like you said the combat looks like an interesting update of what was there. The enemies look great. The bullets look the best they’ve ever looked. I will probably play it in 4K 60fps which will be sick. But to a certain extent I begrudge Nier Automata for all of this. Which isn’t a great attitude of course but my brain keeps pulsing with these thoughts.

    The dead battery vmu screech is a part of the dreamcast startup canon in my mind

    Barcade names:

  • - Pokémon Schnapps
  • - Endless Rummer
  • - Metal Beer Solid
  • - Metal Beer Solid 2: Rums of Liberty
  • - Metal Beer Solid 3: Sake Eater
  • - Beer Automata
  • - The Lashed of Us
  • - God of Bar
  • - Super Smashed Bros
  • - Gin Kazama
  • - Scotch Dogs
  • - Ouzo Koshiro
  • - Beeronetta
  • - Curacao Garden
  • - Grain Boy Advance
  • - Metal Chug
  • - Beer Pong
  • _edit: more_

  • - Drinks: The Time Sweeper
  • - Pokémon Brew
  • - Castlevania: Circle of the Moonshine
  • - Castlevania: Portrait of Brewin'
  • - Metal Gear Riesling
  • - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Champagne
  • - Cyberdrunk 2077
  • _edit: more_

  • - LaGer Frontier
  • - The Booze
  • - Asuka 120% ABV Burning Fest
  • - Bock's Revenge
  • - Rescue Shots
  • - Sonic Tipple Trouble
  • _edit: more_

  • - Winehänder
  • - Tequila 7
  • - Still Battalion
  • - Wii Port Resort
  • - Rule of Rosé
  • - Ginning Eleven
  • _edit: another few then I'm done I promise_

  • - Ales of Phantasia
  • - Cocktails Sky Patrol
  • - Dr Robotnik's Irish Cream Machine
  • - Stoutrun 2006: Toast 2 Toast
  • - Designated Driver
  • - Rum Slammer Lammy
  • _edit: 👀_

  • - Bourbon Champion
  • - Jak & Coke
  • - Bar-Type
  • - Brave Fencer Asahi
  • - Gin & Punishment
  • Many thanks to @Jaffe for another 'pun list' question that prevents my brain from doing else today.