Ep. 230 - This Podcast Is My Penance

### Ep. 230 - This Podcast Is My Penance

The panel reassembles once more to Game Now!, share the best soundtrack for walking your dog, and groan over a couple real Jaffeisms. Hosted by Alex Jaffe, with Frank Cifaldi, Tim Rogers and Brandon Sheffield. Edited by Esper Quinn, original music by Kurt Feldman.

https://youtu.be/SlSsnhYOrrs

**Questions this week:**

  • 1. Previously on Insert Credit 138: What is the best way to announce a video game release delay? (02:11)
  • 2. Will the new PS Plus program be worthy of investment? (07:16)
  • 3. What are the best player health management systems in video games? (13:28)
  • 4. How important is background art to a video game? (19:43)
  • 5. Custom Soundtrack: Half-Life 2 (26:53)
  • 6. Anonymous asks: when was the last time Konami did anything interesting? (33:51)
  • 7. What are the biggest missed opportunities for lawsuits in video game history? (39:59)
  • 8. What’s something modern video game designers have forgotten how to do? (45:41)
  • 9. Brandon Sheffield asks: What are some good action games that aren’t too hard? (51:31)
  • **LIGHTNING ROUND**: A Synthesthetic Experiment (01:01:58)

    **A SMALL SELECTION OF THINGS REFERENCED:**

  • - [Sea Horse Hide'n Seek](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sea-horse-hiden-seek)
  • - [Coney Island](https://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/coney-island_)
  • - [The Great Gonzo in Word Rider](https://www.mobygames.com/game/great-gonzo-in-word-rider)
  • - [Yakuza / Ryū ga Gotoku series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/yakuza-ry-ga-gotoku-series)
  • - [The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s sequel is delayed to spring 2023](https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/29/23001375/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-2-sequel-delay-release-date)
  • - [Skullgirls](https://www.mobygames.com/game/skullgirls)
  • - [Phantom Gear](https://store.steampowered.com/app/1802240/Phantom_Gear/)
  • - [Sony revamps PlayStation Plus with new Extra and Premium tiers, merges with PlayStation Now](https://www.polygon.com/22880509/playstation-plus-extra-premium-pricing-ps-now-spartacus)
  • - [Metal Gear series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/metal-gear-series)
  • - [Halo: The Master Chief Collection](https://www.mobygames.com/game/halo-the-master-chief-collection_)
  • - [Forza Motorsport 7](https://www.mobygames.com/game/forza-motorsport-7)
  • - [Gran Turismo 7](https://www.mobygames.com/game/gran-turismo-7)
  • - [Biohazard / Resident Evil series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/biohazard-resident-evil-series)
  • - [Elden Ring](https://www.mobygames.com/game/elden-ring)
  • - [Hollow Knight](https://www.mobygames.com/game/hollow-knight)
  • - [Gears of War series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/gears-of-war-series)
  • - [Deus Ex](https://www.mobygames.com/game/deus-ex)
  • - [System Shock](https://www.mobygames.com/game/system-shock)
  • - [Sonic the Hedgehog series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/sonic-the-hedgehog-universe)
  • - [Kaze Kiri](https://www.mobygames.com/game/turbografx-cd/kaze-kiri)
  • - [Tower Toppler](https://www.mobygames.com/game/tower-toppler)
  • - [Battletoads series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/battletoads-series)
  • - [Skyblazer](https://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/skyblazer)
  • - [Ys series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/ys-series)
  • - [Mickey Mania](https://www.mobygames.com/game/mickey-mania)
  • - [The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time](https://www.mobygames.com/game/legend-of-zelda-ocarina-of-time)
  • - [The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past](https://www.mobygames.com/game/legend-of-zelda-a-link-to-the-past)
  • - [Uncharted series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/uncharted-series)
  • - [Tomb Raider (2013 Reboot) series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/tomb-raider-2013-reboot-series)
  • - [The Offspring](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Offspring)
  • - [Crazy Taxi](https://www.mobygames.com/game/crazy-taxi)
  • - [Half-Life 2](https://www.mobygames.com/game/half-life-2)
  • - [Dragula](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOctyXxCm-4)
  • - [Trent Reznor](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trent_Reznor)
  • - [Quake](https://www.mobygames.com/game/quake)
  • - [Ministry](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_(band))
  • - [Superman: The Movie soundtrack](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQwo-HMHj1E&list=PLFlLzKECbcIN3iXgAkydEDf6dg67KNcUN)
  • - [Skinny Puppy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinny_Puppy)
  • - [The Monster Mash](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c2RTvP0bEQ)
  • - [Contra: Rogue Corps](https://www.mobygames.com/game/contra-rogue-corps)
  • - [P.T.](https://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation-4/pt)
  • - [Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls](https://www.mobygames.com/game/castlevania-grimoire-of-souls)
  • - [Fantasian](https://www.mobygames.com/game/fantasian_)
  • - [Watchmen](https://www.mobygames.com/game/j2me/watchmen)
  • - [BioShock](https://www.mobygames.com/game/j2me/bioshock__)
  • - [Zeebo](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeebo)
  • - [Myst](https://www.mobygames.com/game/myst)
  • - [Pyst](https://www.mobygames.com/game/pyst)
  • - ["Weird Al" Yankovic](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22Weird_Al%22_Yankovic)
  • - [Threes!](https://www.mobygames.com/game/threes)
  • - [Wordle](https://www.mobygames.com/game/browser/wordle_)
  • - [Dragon Age: Origins](https://www.mobygames.com/game/dragon-age-origins)
  • - [Beethoven's 2nd](https://www.mobygames.com/game/beethovens-2nd)
  • - [Eternal Sonata](https://www.mobygames.com/game/eternal-sonata)
  • - [F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch](https://www.mobygames.com/game/fist-forged-in-shadow-torch)
  • - [Gunstar Heroes](https://www.mobygames.com/game/gunstar-heroes)
  • - [Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy](https://www.mobygames.com/game/marvel-guardians-of-the-galaxy)
  • - [Kirby games](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/kirby-games)
  • - [Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nintendo-ds/dragon-quest-heroes-rocket-slime)
  • - [Assassin's Creed series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/assassins-creed-series)
  • - [God of War](https://www.mobygames.com/game/god-of-war_)
  • - [Guardian Heroes](https://www.mobygames.com/game/guardian-heroes)
  • - [Panzer Dragoon](https://www.mobygames.com/game/panzer-dragoon)
  • - [God Hand](https://www.mobygames.com/game/god-hand)
  • - [Wurm: Journey to the Center of the Earth](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nes/wurm-journey-to-the-center-of-the-earth)
  • - [The Legendary Axe](https://www.mobygames.com/game/turbo-grafx/legendary-axe)
  • - [Ghost of Tsushima](https://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation-4/ghost-of-tsushima)
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Frank**: [Wurm: Journey to the Center of the Earth](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nes/wurm-journey-to-the-center-of-the-earth) if you’re Brandon Sheffield, go pirate old games instead of buying them you fools
    **Brandon:** [2002 (2001)](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0294251/) if you like stuff that’s stupid

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    {“sticky”:true}

    Best video game magazine title?

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/lVtZnfm.jpeg]

    Also, the game Frank was trying to remember the name of in the lightning round was[ Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bio_Miracle_Bokutte_Upa) (aka Mario Baby)
    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/aW79SwU.png]
    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/hJPx0DS.png]

    Tim‘s delayed entrance was pretty funny, he just started talking and at first no one really acknowledged he’d been missing.

    As for health management systems, I really like Project Zomboid‘s. You get injured in specific places and you have to use whatever items you find to treat it. A zombie scratched your arm? Maybe you just looted a dentist’s and you‘ve got sanitised bandages, but maybe you’re running low on items and you end up having to wrap your arm in rags made of your ripped up trousers. It's got a few more systems like this, and combined with character building and multiplayer, I really like playing as the “medic” character and patching up my friends.

    This immediately what came to mind when Frank said Game Now.

    https://youtu.be/c9EBhaULToU

    Re: background art. Exactly as @Jaffe said, Ocarina of Time feels like a defining moment for me in terms of "see it, go there" background art. I remember a lot of magazines highlighting that you could go pretty much anywhere that you could see. This was to a point where there's a part of Kakariko Village that you can see behind a fence but not access that was allegedly going to be accessible via the 64DD expansion, and for a period of time prior to the release of Majora's Mask was a point of discussion prevalent among the fanbase and media alike.

    On the subject of breezy action games. I know that under Insert Credit canon that it's not a fantastic game but Mischief Makers was the game that sprung to mind. I love that nearly all of the levels have something different about them, the writing is super goofy, and it's short levels are great for dipping in and out of.

    >

    @“esper”#p64766 go pirate old games instead of buying them you fools

    i was baffled by the cries of "buy SMT4 while you can!" when it was recently on sale. the 3ds is so easy to hack, they're shutting down the eshop soon anyway, why would you throw away £8 or however much like that?

    I have no problem rebuying old games if I feel like the licensors or other parties involved with the reissue are treating their games in a respectful manner, and I broadly support the market for legacy reissues** because I know from experience that a lot of people whose interests would be much better served by non-commercial emulation will never actually take that route for their own hyper-specific reasons, and that players of all stripes deserve curated introductions to games that they might otherwise not receive.

    The rush to buy things off the PS stores before the shutdown strikes me as a little silly—the storefront barely functions and Sony clearly doesn't have the slightest respect for their content or their customers, so why jump through so many hoops to give them money for something that can be more straightforwardly and conveniently addressed via alternative methods?

    (The Atlus 3DS stuff's also silly because those games have all gone on sale at the exact same prices every other month for years and years.)

    **in spirit, not by actually buying 99% of 'em

    what is the ps3 thing tim is talking about putting a down payment on?

    >

    @“esper”#p64766 What are the best player health management systems in video games? (13:28)

    I am tuning one of these right now and it's extremely hard, especially when it isn't just you but also NPCs who you have to heal up. You basically have to take into account when players get damaged and how often they have opportunities to heal up, and balance the things that take away health with things that add health. In my game you heal by using a common pool of energy, which you also used for ranged attacks, but you also heal the rest of the party members. I'm tuning things to be more generous because if it's too stingy players won't ever use it. One other thing I might add: the last 10% of health NPCs get like 50% extra defense stats to avoid suddenly dying before the player can notice.

    Auto-healing in games sometimes sucks because it's just a "hey buddy you're going too fast" buff for the player, but honestly is a little easier to tune for difficulty because you don't have to place health pickups everywhere. I did like how Quake kinda forced you to memorize where health pickups were, and since you didn't have inventory you'd sometimes leave a health pack and only come back if you needed the whole thing and not just to top up.

    Oh dang, I have another health system post. The one in Ghost of Tsushima is really complicated, because you can heal whenever you want as long as you have these “resolve” points, which you only really use for healing (or sometimes a special move). But to earn resolve points, you have to attack and kill enemies, so you‘ll be in situations where you’re very low on health and kill someone, but still not have enough resolve from the kill to heal up, so you have to kill a whole nother dude which is just frustrating. Then you use a heal and you get 1/3rd of the health back.

    What's also confusing is you can get charms which modify how you get resolve and health. There's one where you get resolve from getting hit by someone else, except more often than not this is from a death blow from an enemy, so you're low on health, can't heal, but after you die you finally got enough resolve to heal, which is now useless. There's also a charm which adds regenerative health, but only if you're out of combat, and when you get low the game tells you to "leave combat to heal" so you run off and maybe play a song on your flute on a nearby hillside while the enemies patiently wait for you to heal up and re-enter combat. It broke up combat in a weird way.

    My one hint for that game is focus on upgrading the sword damage because once you can 1 or 2 shot enemies the game becomes 50% less aggravating.

    @“LeFish”#p64792 Hmmm I'll have to go see if this game is less obtuse now than all the times I tried to play it previously. I could never get anywhere in that game.

    @"rootfifthoctave"#p64793 well, the idea is that you should pay for the games that are available for sale. The "pirate old games" comment is really just for games that you can't buy. Plus, a bunch of people buying smt iv might encourage atlus to remaster it for modern platforms.

    i guess i am, by my own standards, a bafflement since i had already bought some of those games on sale a while back and not even played them!

    @“rootfifthoctave”#p64827 Welcome to Steam Backlog culture.

    >

    @“esper”#p64766 What are the best player health management systems in video games? (13:28)

    I immediately thought of Streets of Rage, and probably other beat 'em ups I'm not familiar with. Strong moves that hit all around you cost health. In SoR4 it doesn't take the health right away, only after you get hit once. I found it a fun mechanic that works on multiple levels. For the inexperienced player the strong moves serve to "get out of a tight spot," while for the player more experienced in the levels and where health drops are, it works to play faster, extend combos, and look badass.

    The whole discussion about the health systems in Resident Evil, BotW, and Elden Ring reminded me of how stupid healing is in Monster Hunter. It's the basic idea present in those games but made into some kind of massive Rube Goldberg machine. I love it. It's similar to From games, in which you have to time a heal perfectly or get wrecked. It's dumb because to keep well stocked with healing items you have to engage in multiple complex and interconnected systems in the hub world AND play well in quests (ie not use all your items in a majority of quests) in order to have enough zenny in the bank for weapon upgrades. It's like a clicker game but instead of clicks it's going on monster killing quests.

    >

    @“exodus”#p64823 The “pirate old games” comment is really just for games that you can’t buy. Plus, a bunch of people buying smt iv might encourage atlus to remaster it for modern platforms.

    this is, of course, totally right and my initial comment does make me seem like more of a dick than i intended! i'm really sorry about that.

    i guess my feelings about the 3ds eshop in particular are that, as soon as Big N says they're taking it down, that's a declaration that they no longer care about facilitating people's access to those games. BUT you're right in that someone might still be paying attention to those sales figures.

    @“rootfifthoctave”#p64861 yeah, nintendo loves to yank away access! but they‘re of course not the only ones who have something to gain by selling games on the store - atlus, who actually makes the thing, should get paid for it! It’s not their choice to close the store, and this discount is so enough people can get it legally before that happens. so yeah… worth considering from all the angles.

    @“exodus”#p64823 There are certainly a small handful of levels that are pretty bad - though from memory they're “maze” levels. The sports event level is fun once but wears off after that.

    The rest of the game? Lovely fun. With all the different ideas and gimmicks each level has, and the lengthy each one takes, I see it as a series of action-platforming vignettes. It's comfortably one of my favourite N64 games.

    @“LeFish”#p64868 I‘ll try it again… I don’t think I have ever made it past the second level because I didn't even know what I was supposed to be doing.

    Great stuff today all! Got an answer for one of the questions also.

    I only just finished Ys VIII this past weekend, so it's right at the front of my brain, but I really liked the health management. You have the consumables and save points to heal if you've got them, but you will also recover HP slowly (at first) if you're standing completely still in the overworld. So you can fight more recklessly if you're comfortable adding a little meditation session between fights. Sometimes I was in the mood to never get hit, sometimes I just wanted to mash buttons mindlessly and the system was flexible enough that it always felt fair to me.

    I was listening to this episode in the car and I heard sirens from I‘m guessing Tim’s audio right as I sped up to beat a yellow light. Thought they were after me