Ep. 181 - All Six Of Them, with Ash Parrish

### Ep. 181 - All Six of Them, with Ash Parrish

Game journalist and friend of the show [Ash Parrish](https://twitter.com/adashtra) returns to cover Amiga AI, alien boyfriends, and pynball. Original music by Kurt Feldman.

**Questions this week:**

  • 1. From Heather Alexandra: What game has the tastiest potions? (03:53)
  • 2. What’s something you never want to see in a video game again? (08:27)
  • 3. What are the best achievements in video game AI development? (12:56)
  • 4. Which officially released video games are most transparently fanfiction of other games? (17:37)
  • 5. Design the perfect romancable alien RPG NPC, but make them distinctly nonhuman. (22:27)
  • 6. Dirtbag MoxBagel asks: How would you re-design pinball to be more of a 30 minute game instead of a 3 minute game? (28:40)
  • 7. Have you ever wished a game challenged you a little more? (34:53)
  • 8. What are the best liminal spaces in a video game? (39:41)
  • 9. Has your opinion of a game ever changed after speaking with the developer? (43:53)
  • 10. What is the Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” of video games? (49:52)
  • **LIGHTNING ROUND**: Alphanumerous Characters (55:26)

    **A SMALL SELECTION OF THINGS REFERENCED:**

  • - [Seventh Son of a Seventh Son by Iron Maiden](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PptHWHfnCnY)
  • - [The Seventh Sign](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096073/) (1988)
  • - [Synesthesia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia)
  • - [A Healer Only Lives Twice](https://store.steampowered.com/app/453300/A_Healer_Only_Lives_Twice/)
  • - [Phantasy Star](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sega-master-system/phantasy-star)
  • - [Bayonetta](https://www.mobygames.com/game/bayonetta)
  • - [Castlevania Holy Water](https://castlevania.neoseeker.com/wiki/Holy_Water)
  • - [C.C. Lemon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.C._Lemon)
  • - [Final Fantasy Potion energy drink](https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Potion_(energy_drink))
  • - [Bawls](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bawls)
  • - [Mamotte Knight](https://www.mobygames.com/game/xbox360/protect-me-knight)
  • - [Ico](https://www.mobygames.com/game/ico)
  • - [The Last Guardian](https://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation-4/last-guardian_)
  • - [Enemy: Tempest of Violence](https://www.mobygames.com/game/amiga/enemy-tempest-of-violence)
  • - [Final Fight](https://www.mobygames.com/game/final-fight)
  • - [River City Ransom](https://www.mobygames.com/game/river-city-ransom)
  • - [X-COM](https://www.mobygames.com/game/x-com-ufo-defense)
  • - [Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee](https://www.mobygames.com/game/oddworld-abes-oddysee)
  • - [Lemmings](https://www.mobygames.com/game/lemmings)
  • - [Yooka Laylee](https://www.mobygames.com/game/yooka-laylee)
  • - [Fantasian](https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fantasian/id1517339045)
  • - [Doujin games](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doujin_soft)
  • - [Melty Blood](https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/melty-blood)
  • - [Touhou fangames](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/th-touhou-fangames)
  • - [I Wanna Be The Guy](https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/i-wanna-be-the-guy-the-movie-the-game)
  • - [Freedom Planet](https://www.mobygames.com/game/freedom-planet)
  • - [Project X Zone](https://www.mobygames.com/game/3ds/project-x-zone)
  • - [Tatsunoko vs. Capcom](https://www.mobygames.com/game/tatsunoko-vs-capcom-cross-generation-of-heroes)
  • - [Inuyasha](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inuyasha)
  • - [Queer Eye for the Straight Guy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer_Eye_(2003_TV_series))
  • - [Elcor](https://masseffect.fandom.com/wiki/Elcor)
  • - [Volus](https://masseffect.fandom.com/wiki/Volus)
  • - [Blue humans](https://masseffect.fandom.com/wiki/Asari)
  • - [Babylon 5](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon_5)
  • - [Trypophobia (warning: potentially upsetting)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trypophobia)
  • - [Tryptophan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan)
  • - [Misophonia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misophonia)
  • - [3D Pinball](https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/microsoft-windows-2000-included-games)
  • - [Pinball Quest](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nes/pinball-quest)
  • - [Devil's Crush](https://www.mobygames.com/game/devils-crush)
  • - [Demon's Tilt](https://www.mobygames.com/game/demons-tilt)
  • - [Alien Crush](https://www.mobygames.com/game/alien-crush)
  • - [Fantastic Pinball](https://www.mobygames.com/game/kyuutenkai-fantastic-pinball)
  • - [Pokemon Pinball](https://www.mobygames.com/game/gameboy-color/pokmon-pinball)
  • - [Sonic Spinball](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sonic-the-hedgehog-spinball)
  • - [Metroid Prime Pinball](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nintendo-ds/metroid-prime-pinball)
  • - [Flipnic: Ultimate Pinball](https://www.mobygames.com/game/ps2/flipnic-ultimate-pinball)
  • - [Yoku's Island Express](https://www.mobygames.com/game/yokus-island-express)
  • - [It Takes Two](https://www.mobygames.com/game/it-takes-two_)
  • - [The Witness](https://www.mobygames.com/game/witness_)
  • - [Nier: Automata](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nier-automata)
  • - [Deadly Premonition](https://www.mobygames.com/game/deadly-premonition)
  • - [Mega Man 2 ending cavern](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ri3Q9eUbLk)
  • - [Sonic CD soundtrack](https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqzVNX9DhzKG1qNh2qAI_yELSI4cO_bp2)
  • - ["Games for which there are two soundtracks, and both are good" on the Insert Credit Forums](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/583-games-for-which-there-are-two-soundtracks-and-both-are-good)
  • - [Black Athena: How Hades Gets Its Gods Right](https://kotaku.com/black-athena-how-hades-gets-its-gods-right-1845146132) by Ash Parrish
  • - [Slap Happy Rhythm Busters](https://www.mobygames.com/game/slap-happy-rhythm-busters)
  • - [Miles Davis "Kind of Blue"](https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_nNowSDRXeotBWkCyljP2pnYkLOvj9CMnA)
  • - [Super Mario Galaxy](https://www.mobygames.com/game/super-mario-galaxy)
  • - [Spec-Ops: The Line](https://www.mobygames.com/game/spec-ops-the-line)
  • - [Wii Sports](https://www.mobygames.com/game/wii/wii-sports)
  • - [Take Five](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Take_Five)
  • - [Street Fighter IV](https://www.mobygames.com/game/street-fighter-iv)
  • - [Mortal Kombat III](https://www.mobygames.com/game/mortal-kombat-3)
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Ash**: [Kotaku Splitscreen](https://kotaku.com/c/podcast/splitscreen), [twitter.com/adashtra](http://twitter.com/adashtra)
    **Brandon:** [Fourth Dimension](https://www.discogs.com/Dimension-Fourth-Dimension/release/9156166), [Melinda's Hot Sauce](https://melindas.com/hot-sauce/)
    **Frank**: [Shaquanda's Hot Pepper Sauce](https://www.shaquandawillfeedyou.com/)
    **Jaffe**: [The Unknown (1927)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unknown_(1927_film))

    **This Week's [Insert Credit Art Jam](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/664-insert-credit-art-jam/) Topic**: Cheating

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    {“sticky”:true}

    Haven't listened to this episode yet, but man, the majority of these prompts are absolute fire.

    forbidden potion


    shoutout to brandon for his correct assessment of yoku‘s island express as “legitimately very good”. i highly recommend the switch version because there’s nothing like a good handheld flipper-trigger time (it regularly goes on sale for real cheap too!!)

    On the topic of liminal spaces I was thinking of the hallways they had to implement in Tony Hawks American Wasteland in order to make it one big “seamless” world you had to ride through a loading zone between areas that basically amounted to a a hallway with plenty of rails to grind and evoked the downhill parks from earlier games.

    Kentucky Route Zero is also stuffed full of liminal spaces with incredible ambient music and I would argue the titular route is itself a liminal space.

    The feeling of impending doom when Ash tries to reference Super Mario Galaxy in a positive light on the podcast lol

    >

    Have you ever wished a game challenged you a little more?

    I like how even though we all probably have examples of games like these, everyone said the opposite immediately. I agree! Sometimes it's just so pointless.
    I was playing this RPG maker game called Gingiva and it was a pain having to get through slow battles constantly just to see the new areas which is mostly what the game is about. You can even refill your HP/MP for free outside of combat so I was just spamming the strongest attacks every time. Eventually it got too hard and I decided to stop.

    Difficulty settings are good! I hope Celeste eventually teaches people that even hard games should use them and it doesn't sacrifice whatever perceived integrity they have.

    >

    What are the best liminal spaces in a video game?

    [This game has some!](https://yatoimtop.itch.io/liminal-ranger)

    @kylebrizzown#27050 I‘m curious about these Hawk hallways, I’ll have to check this out

    Best liminal space:

    https://youtu.be/vgaYe4ZYYyY

    As an embarrassingly long-time Pokemon fan who has fallen out of it since the last 3DS entry, I think those games actually got significantly easier with each entry after the GBA era. Aside from QOL improvements that have inevitably come from more powerful hardware, there‘s simple stuff that Gamefreak has all but killed that lead to a lot of strategic gameplay back in the day.

    A prime example, the EXP share, which is an item that halved the XP that your party leader got and shared the other half equally amongst the rest of the party, now gives your party leader full EXP and the rest all get 50%. A lot of EV training (the big meta competitive part) is simplified to the point where the breeding meta is obsolete (mostly).

    I never got really competitive, I just kinda chilled with those games, but by the 3DS entries, you were stopped every 10 minutes by a companion to get healed or told exactly what to do, you can instantly swap Pokemon out of your box, and it’s generally an entirely different feeling game.

    This is a lot of talk about a series that I assume a lot of people in this forum don't care about, but as someone who stuck it out for way too long, it blows my mind to see them go from Heart Gold and Soul Silver to Sword and Shield in the span of 10 years. It's a clear regression in every sense of the word.

    @exodus#27065

    https://youtu.be/idazxOMW9ys?t=1220

    https://youtu.be/idazxOMW9ys?t=2162

    Just snagged the first two from a Let's Play

    Weird musical habit: sometimes when I'm brushing my teeth I change the shape of my mouth to modulate the brushing sounds into a song.

    Creature in the Well is a pretty neat pinball style quest experience.

    https://youtu.be/7frppvEWcQw

    @kylebrizzown#27072 that‘s fun, those hallways aren’t so bad! you can see where the load chunks happen, too. I kind of appreciate stuff like that, it feels like a conversation with the developer in a way.

    @Metroplex I guess you're right that it got easier - it certainly didn't get harder. I feel like some of that QOL stuff is legitimately good, like being able to ride a bike more places, but some of it (like EXP share) can go either way. On the one hand, I don't want to grind. On the other hand, there's not much else to do in the game but grind, and if that's diminished in importance you kind of wind up with this squishy feeling.

    The only pokemon I've ever been able to finish was sun/moon, because it had the least annoying stuff in it (and had mimikyu and a fun ghost zone). I tried pokemon let's go with my partner and we just kinda fell off at some point. I really feel like there's a good monster collecting game to be made, one which challenges your brain and skills equally while still having befriending monsters as the core mechanic. Sort of as stardew valley is to harvest moon. I don't think game freak is gonna be the team to make it though.

    @milo creature in the well looks interesting - what's the significance of hitting the ball a whole bunch of times? is that to increase power? that's the main thing that stuck out to me about this trailer, it looks like they have you mash to increase power, which bugs me!

    The pinball question reminded me of Tumbleseed. It’s inspired by Ice Cold Beer which is kind of like pinball.

    Been playing smt: nocturne on the ps2. There‘s this completely out of place liminal space to head to the lower levels of the labyrinths in which you jump down a tube and freefall while collecting coins and items like it’s an arcade game. It's pretty cool.

    @exodus#27078

    It's been a while since I played it but I think, yeah, it gives it more electric charge to be able to smack more stuff in the dungeon in one go. Gives it a prenty frenetic feeling where you can either hit weak shots around or if you get a moment you catch all your balls, charge em up and let em fly.

    The “fan games” question and Freedom PLanet, like man, so many Sonic fan games became full products and it‘s kinda great? I played two of the Spark the Electric Jester games and #1 is just a 2D Sonic and #2 is the only game I’ve ever seen bother to emulate the feel of Adventure era - and still be fun.

    I have freedom planet, I just haven't loaded it up. I want these sonic fan game makers to get on SGDK now and make things actually for genesis!!