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

right, I know about the romhacks and stuff - I‘m talking stuff more like freedom planet, where it’s a totally original game in the same vibe. But maybe there's some stuff like that in here if you sift through? I mostly see hacks/mods of existing games, not original properties coming from the same ethos.

@goonbag#27015 I was unreasonably relieved when Brandon brought up Yoku during that question as it really is the answer. When I heard about the game I thought “Oh, this could be like a Sonic Spinball that's more open and actually runs well,” and, having not played Sonic Spinball since I was a child, it really is that for me. It's great!

Also, that question reminded me that I once saved up what was (for young me) a LOT of money to buy Dinosaurs for Hire and my brother convinced me to buy Sonic Spinball instead. I eventually also bought Dinosaurs for Hire. I get real mad when I think about how many great games there were on the Genesis and how many duds I bought. Others include Comix Zone and Vectorman. Maybe they aren't that bad but I sure didn't enjoy them. I could have been playing Landstalker or Shining Force!

@Metroplex#27070 I am also a long time fan and I still enjoyed Sword and Shield (particularly the expansions) but they do feel like ultimately hollow (or Squishy is a good word for it as @exodus said). I think it's partially that it's a kids game but also I think it may be that Game Freak has leaned into the competitive side to the point that it can feel like a PvP game with a little frictionless story mode tacked on the front.

I agree with Brandon that a good game could happen, but Game Freak seems to have a monopoly on creating really cute and great little monsters. The kind I feel compelled to catch. I think the Dragon Quest Monsters series is good? I'm not sure though and I haven't played one since the first GBC game (which, I must have put hundreds of hours into the breeding system a child). Those have the benefit of the iconic Dragon Quest monsters as your targets, instead of just being Pokemon knock offs. I have also been playing World of Final Fantasy a little but that hasn't had much challenge and isn't really grabbing me otherwise.

One of my favourite genres of games is the old Stand Around In A Lonely Environment and Be Stumped (haha), such as The Talos Principle or Myst/Riven etc. so I ate up The Witness with a big spoon :slight_smile:

I've heard a few times on the podcast of a distaste for Jonathan Blow but I can't recall it being elaborated on, perhaps I've missed it somewhere. Was wondering where this stems from? I've read a few interviews and seen a few videos and mostly they are corresponding to the philosophical and design aspects of his game and none really rubbed me the wrong way.

This is so trivial but @Jaffe, please, if you have a moment, or anyone else who feels this way, explain to me this idea about Galaxy 2 being better than Galaxy 1. I used to like Galaxy 1 (and Mario, generally) a lot, but then mostly grew out of/away from it, and I can see the baby‘s toy of a Mario game argument. But Galaxy 2 is so much more for babies! That game doesn’t let you do anything without having an NPC explain it to you. I don‘t get it, I’m sorry. I think I also heard Tim once say Galaxy 2 is good and 1 sucks. I really don‘t have much of a stake in this, I’m just confused. Are the physics in 2 not the same as in 1?

Very good questions/prompts in this episode. I wish the crew had gotten to struggle through those last letters of the alphabet!

@trashnecklace#27158 he‘s the ultimate devil’s advocate. If someone is admonished for saying something misogynist he cries censorship and says “where will it end?”

He's just one of those folks who thinks they are left wing but are actually libertarian in the "nobody is allowed to be mean to me" sense. At any criticism he will cry PC/cancel culture and just can't be budged on it. I've tried talking to him in person lots of times about it and he just won't have it. So basically that's where we are. He makes decent games, but you don't want to get into a conversation with him about anything that matters.

@Syzygy#27228 That is honestly a bit of an insane bundle. I might actually play Yooka-Laylee and see why everyone was so disappointed!

@Syzygy#27208 Hmm, I remain unconvinced! Each of them says “rom hack” in the first sentence, and they all (except visual maze) use sonic graphics. I don‘t think it’s splitting hairs to say I would like to see folks do completely original game dev using what they've learned here.

I‘m so glad that Ash is on this show regularly. If you’re reading this, I think you're doing a fantastic job, Ash!

Jaffe - I usually don't yell at podcasts or podcast hosts at all, but I was driving home in my car last night and literally yelled **WHAT??! NO!! You're only saying that because of the soundtrack!** at you when you suggested _Marvel vs. Capcom 2_ as the "Kind of Blue" of Fighting Games. Thank you for backing that out and good job for eliciting a strong reaction on my part.

Ash's incredulous reaction to _Street Fighter IV_ being suggested I also think is spot on. It may actually be the "Take Five" of fighting games because you can watch it be played or play it and "get it" quickly. I posit that "Take Five" is a much better piece of music than _SF IV_ is a fighting game though.

I'm surprised the Arc games didn't come up because the _Guilty Gear_ series is extremely jazz-like. Their games have many more "notes" than the _Street Fighter 4/5_ line. There are so many different ways to utilize the myriad universal mechanics each character has and offensive and defensive ways to spend Burst gauge as examples.

Jazz being considered the final form of music by jazz fans is just as accurate a stereotype as Fight Games being considered the final form of games is. They are both 100% factual.

That nail-biter of a bonus round made the episode for me! Dang, and you all were so close…at least I get to look forward to all of your homework assignments.

I spent a little while ruminating on liminal spaces...going more by feeling here, but these are what came to mind:

  • - PT feels like a game entirely composed of a liminal space. That nigh inescapable hallway is a figurative (and perhaps literal) purgatory.
  • - Control essentially has liminal spaces as a game mechanic, so it might be a bit on the nose. The motel that exists out of space and time functions as an unlikely conduit between physical and narrative sections. Honestly, though, I wish they did way more with this space and concept, as this touched on the exact brand of _weird_ I was looking for. Oh, and Control has plenty of those mundane abandoned office hallways you find when you Google "liminal space."
  • - Many environments of Dark Souls II are more liminal by feel than by explicit design to me. The whole game feels like dreamlike non sequitur locales barely stitched together in a coherent way. In fact, for many of them, it is hard to clearly define what is a transitional zone and what is a destination unto itself.
  • - Bloodborne is just chock-full of places that menacingly whisper "liminal" to me. To wit:
  • - The lecture hall filled with blob-like melting poindexters, which connects disparate parts of the world (worlds? nightmares?) in baffling ways
  • - Moonside Lake, the site of the battle with Rom, feels so aesthetically liminal. Further, this point in the game serves as a huge transition in terms of the world state upon leaving.
  • - The Hunter's Dream establishes itself as a transitional haven with an unclear relationship with the rest of the game world ||and From did an amazing job playing with the sense of grounding and security that it provides. Specifically: finding it ablaze at one point, discovering it's eerie "real" doppelganger in the Abandoned Old Workshop, and eventually realizing it is the site of the final confrontation(s).||
  • Hey, @exodus, looks like @yeso has a whole gaggle of romanceable alien NPCs waiting for you by his workplace…take your pick!

    @antillese#27278 A lot of folks have suggested games or series to me that are “closer to jazz” which is fine, but we were critically trying to find the intro to jazz of fighting games (after deciding “fighting games is the jazz of video games”, where you see it and are like “oh I see what's going on with this genre.”

    I don't think you can as easily look at a guilty gear game and think "ah, I understand what the genre of fighting games is about, now."

    @kory PT is a good one! I feel like this topic is worth revisiting when I'm in a better podcast mood ha ha. also lol at romanceable alien npcs

    I'm going to double down on SF IV - you don't need to understand every nuance of it right away, you just need to understand What Is Happening. To me the pacing of it is what was most important (meaning you can visually follow the action without getting confused), followed by the ubiquity of fluency in the game across the player space (everyone who plays fighting games basically understands how to play street fighter IV). you don't understand cancels and option selects at first, but you more or less understand what's happening, and upon further investigation can get into the deeper stuff. I didn't want to go with SFII Super Turbo because I think it's too simple, and doesn't invite that deeper layer of investigation into systems.

    I could see a good argument for third strike, if it were more popular (that was another factor, SFIV pretty inarguably revived fighting games in the West).

    @kory#27283 I'm afraid I must insist no one get horny re the covid vaccine balloon display outside my place of employment thanks

    Dimension's name (and a chunk of their album names) sure does make it hard to search for them, but you bet I started listening to them right after I heard the recommendation. Great stuff.

    Also I liked that in Mario & Luigi, and I guess now Paper Mario, potions could be made from different blends of coffee beans.

    I imagined all milk from Majora's Mask's milk bar just being Nesquick Strawberry Milk flavored.

    Everything else potion-wise in a game I imagine just tasting like kombucha now, with the enzymes and fermentation giving them all a natural fizz. Great when chilled.

    all potions are ramune in my mind. I don't know when that stated happening, but there it is.

    @exodus#27299 I for one appreciate official confirmation of the name of your dog, thank you. That is an extremely adorable name…


    @yeso#27291 kory I’m afraid I must insist no one get horny re the covid vaccine balloon display outside my place of employment thanks

    You ever heard of the Streisand Effect

    What is the Miles Davis’s Kind Of Blue of videogames? is the most demented question ever asked on this show lol

    this is a compliment btw. Mortal Kombat 3 at the buzzer lmao

    Then immediate transition into insane lightning round rules: “I will not allow creature names unless there is only one of that creature”

    Sorry for the real time posting put this is really getting me rn lol