Ep. 297 - The Thinking Man’s Gex

### Ep. 297 - The Thinking Man’s Gex

The same panel this show started with is whole once more, covering hype cycles, the *real* game console generations, and the Season 2 finale of Violence Island. Hosted by Alex Jaffe, with Frank Cifaldi, Tim Rogers, and Brandon Sheffield. Edited by Esper Quinn, original music by Kurt Feldman.

**Questions this week:**

  • 1. merritt k asks: What are some games on 80s and 90s Japanese home computers you want translations of or official releases in the west? (05:32)
  • 2. What causes hype? Or, how do games become “overrated?” (11:23)
  • 3. Let’s talk about “game killers” (17:25)
  • 4. Who makes the best monsters? (23:53)
  • 5. What are the actual video game console generations? (30:32)
    Insert Credit Quick Break - [The Free Cheese](https://thefreecheese.com/) (41:22)
  • 6. From Winckle: What’s the best two button sequence in video games? (42:44)
  • 7. What do you think was the most difficult game to QA test? (49:06)
  • **LIGHTNING ROUND:** Violence Island - Season 2 Finale (54:51)

    Recommendations and Outro (01:12:58)


  • - [87% Missing: the Disappearance of Classic Video Games](https://gamehistory.org/87percent/)
  • - [3DO Interactive Multiplayer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer)
  • - [Video Game History Foundation](https://gamehistory.org/)
  • - [Limited Run Games](https://limitedrungames.com/)
  • - [Rusty](https://www.mobygames.com/game/45261/rusty/)
  • - [Castlevania series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/402/castlevania-akumajo-dracula-series/)
  • - [El Viento](https://www.mobygames.com/game/7125/el-viento/)
  • - [My eyes!](https://www.mobygames.com/game/58543/my-eyes/)
  • - [Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom](https://www.mobygames.com/game/13640/princess-tomato-in-the-salad-kingdom/)
  • - [Mamono Hunter Yōko: Makai kara no Tenkōsei](https://www.mobygames.com/game/55254/mamono-hunter-yoko-makai-kara-no-tenkosei/)
  • - [Glove on Fight](https://www.mobygames.com/game/124108/glove-on-fight/)
  • - [The Queen of Heart '99](https://www.mobygames.com/game/65309/the-queen-of-heart-99/)
  • - [Ys series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/1497/ys-series/)
  • - [Valis](https://www.mobygames.com/game/44234/valis/)
  • - [Legend of Zelda series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/596/legend-of-zelda-series/)
  • - [Xanadu games](https://www.mobygames.com/group/3609/xanadu-games/)
  • - [Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken](https://www.mobygames.com/game/39799/portopia-renzoku-satsujin-jiken/)
  • - [Policenauts](https://www.mobygames.com/game/10538/policenauts/)
  • - [Snatcher](https://www.mobygames.com/game/7524/snatcher/)
  • - [SD Snatcher](https://www.mobygames.com/game/18597/sd-snatcher/)
  • - [Geoff Keighley](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Keighley)
  • - [Bubsy series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/794/bubsy-series/)
  • - [Battle Arena Toshinden](https://www.mobygames.com/game/6238/battle-arena-toshinden/)
  • - [Virtua Fighter series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/351/virtua-fighter-series/)
  • - [Halo series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/2782/halo-series/)
  • - [Super Mario series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/10044/super-mario-series/)
  • - [Sonic the Hedgehog universe](https://www.mobygames.com/group/584/sonic-the-hedgehog-universe/)
  • - [Doom](https://www.mobygames.com/game/1068/doom/)
  • - [Killzone](https://www.mobygames.com/game/15915/killzone/)
  • - [Fortnite: Battle Royale](https://www.mobygames.com/game/104208/fortnite-battle-royale/)
  • - [Grand Theft Auto series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/167/grand-theft-auto-series/)
  • - [Jak & Daxter series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/1672/jak-daxter-series/)
  • - [Ghostface Killah](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostface_Killah)
  • - [Landstalker](https://www.mobygames.com/game/6955/landstalker/)
  • - [Silent Hill](https://www.mobygames.com/game/3564/silent-hill/)
  • - [Dragon Quest series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/436/dragon-warrior-dragon-quest-series/)
  • - [Akira Toriyama](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Toriyama)
  • - [Orc](https://dragon-quest.org/wiki/Orc)
  • - [Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime](https://www.mobygames.com/game/21297/dragon-quest-heroes-rocket-slime/)
  • - [Final Fantasy series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/4847/final-fantasy-series/)
  • - [Dragon Ball GT](https://dragonball.fandom.com/wiki/Dragon_Ball_GT)
  • - [Gran Turismo series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/428/gran-turismo-series/)
  • - [Sand Land](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_Land)
  • - [Hammer Bro](https://www.mariowiki.com/Hammer_Bro)
  • - [Bowsette](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowsette)
  • - [Metal slime](https://dragonquest.fandom.com/wiki/Metal_slime)
  • - [Goldman](https://dragon-quest.org/wiki/Goldman_(Recruit))
  • - [Home video game console generations](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_video_game_console_generations)
  • - [Devil World](https://www.mobygames.com/game/39578/devil-world/)
  • - [Kung Fu](https://www.mobygames.com/game/16317/kung-fu/)
  • - [Sports Talk Baseball](https://www.mobygames.com/game/6594/sports-talk-baseball/)
  • - [Mega Man games](https://www.mobygames.com/group/586/mega-man-rockman-games/)
  • - [Another World](https://www.mobygames.com/game/564/out-of-this-world/)
  • - [Mortal Kombat games](https://www.mobygames.com/group/87/mortal-kombat-games/)
  • - [The Ninja Warriors](https://www.mobygames.com/game/7637/the-ninja-warriors/)
  • - [Assassin's Creed series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/8195/assassins-creed-series/)
  • - [Elder Scrolls series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/125/elder-scrolls-series/)
  • - [Cyberpunk 2077](https://www.mobygames.com/game/128136/cyberpunk-2077/)
  • - [Why Tears of the Kingdom’s bridge physics have game developers wowed](https://www.polygon.com/legend-zelda-tears-kingdom/23737921/tears-of-the-kingdom-bridge-physics-game-devs-explain)
  • - [Just Cause 2](https://www.mobygames.com/game/45758/just-cause-2/)
  • - [Heavy Rain](https://www.mobygames.com/game/45449/heavy-rain/)
  • - [Gex](https://gex.fandom.com/wiki/Gex_(character))
  • - [Captain Marvel](https://marvelvscapcom.fandom.com/wiki/Captain_Marvel)
  • - [Augustus Cole](https://gearsofwar.fandom.com/wiki/Augustus_Cole)
  • - [Gene](https://godhandcapcom.fandom.com/wiki/Gene)
  • - [Kazuma Kiryu](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuma_Kiryu)
  • - [Lucky & Wild](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_%26_Wild)
  • - [Satan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satan)
  • - [Quiet](https://metalgear.fandom.com/wiki/Quiet)
  • - [Bayonetta](https://bayonetta.fandom.com/wiki/Bayonetta_(character))
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Frank**: clock out early
    **Brandon:** hey thanks for listening and enjoying the show, we really appreciate it! And also, consider using your house like a Blockbuster if you keep collecting things.

    This week’s Insert Credit Show is brought to you by [The Free Cheese](https://thefreecheese.com/), and [patrons like you](https://www.patreon.com/insertcredit). Thank you.

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    Not at all an original opinion, but Run and Jump is definitely not the best two button sequence, since in most games that have it you are holding down the Run button at all times, so for all intents and purposes it's just a single button press.

    I feel like a good podcast question (if it hasn't been asked already) is how to design a platformer with a run button that you have to use skillfully. Maybe this ends up just being a dash? But dash and jump is already more interesting than run and jump, I think.

    Regarding Policenauts on PC-98: the game was reprogrammed almost entirely when ported to console, so none of the existing console tools would be useful for making a translation patch. Additionally, voiced dialogues are not subtitled in the PC-98 version so you'd need to do some engineering work or provide a guide for following along manually.

    I've done some work on reverse engineering the PC-98 version, mostly for my own entertainment and as a way to recover from burnout and depression after having spent time in an abusive games industry job a few years back. I wouldn't advise getting your hopes up on a full translation patch coming from this work, but who knows.

    Great episode! Would love to hear one day the Insert Credit Console Generation list and their respective machines - and how it differs to what other lists are out there.

    “Ghost Face Killer” is this week's “bringing Gexy back”. Underappreciated banger.

    I enjoy the different models being used for determining console generations. I‘d love to hear an older game designer like Will Wright, Richard Garriot, or Miyamoto give their take on it as well to see what felt like major changes for them on the ’making' side of things.

    I wonder if Frank's day to day work at the VGHF is what has him focusing more on how games are acquired (single game systems, cartridges, discs, digital) than on other aspects of how they're played or made.

    A model I considered while listening to the episode was how save games are treated. With generations being something like:

    1) no saves
    2) battery backup on cartridges
    3) removable memory cards
    4) built-in console wide storage
    5) cloud storage

    I like it because it both changes how the games are designed and how players are able to interact with them while also somewhat mirroring Frank's division.

    I enjoyed "Tires of the Kicking" way more than I should have and I hope it was the runner up for episode title.

    @“saddleblasters”#p125601 a d-pad direction is a button!

    Just want to say Tim is slightly overstating things by suggesting Yuji Horii designed the Slime, there was definitely some back-and-forth there


    Why do we even have “generations”? Is it because processors have them? I feel like other arts talk about “movements”, not “generations”.

    @“GigaSlime”#p125652 whoa yeah that is a real big difference there, ha ha.

    @“Mnemogenic”#p125654 I blame the tone of 90s advertising coexisting with Star Trek TNG influencing the minds of gamers before the “art-ness” of games was being argued for on a greater scale.

    My fav two button “sequence” is typical igavanias‘s short jump tap, then attack. Feels the best way to fight around, esp. when you jump attack > attack > backdash cancel. Short jump > shoot > land shoot is acceptable too (games with very low min jump height that kind of require you to hold jump while attacking, like Hollow Knight, or have too many landing/recovery frames don’t quite get this joyful mechanic).

    @“Mnemogenic”#p125654 And my biggest pet peeve about generations: what about PCs and portable consoles!?

    Those generations are strictly the remnants of old 90s marketing, make no sense today when a Series X runs the same OS and games as an Xbox One. To conclude, the Game Boy was released in the third, and had massive relevance during the fourth and fifth *generations* of consoles. Which generation is it supposed to be in huh ?

    I totally forgot about all the “the taste of a new generation”, “the Pepsi generation” stuff. Hell, “generation X”. There was a lot of generationing going on back then.

    Best part of the episode was when everybody was grunting and screaming for a few seconds.


    @“esper”#p125585 Let’s talk about “game killers” (17:25)

    UK publications did it a lot more than US ones. They also used "Mario Beater".
    I did a bit of a thread on them (not comprehensive)


    Frank being bewildered and very quietly saying “heavy rain?” was very funny

    @“Mnemogenic”#p125684 metal gear?


    @“Mnemogenic”#p125672 There was a lot of generationing going on back then.

    That's what I was alluding to by mentioning Star Trek TNG. It's interesting how much ad agencies and corporate executives can inadvertently affect the way we think about things.

    I absolutely welcome an "art movement" approach to classifying game history but it seems like that history may be too short at the moment to justify it. How long were some of the shorter movements in art or film?