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Booky's Comments - Page 1

Episode 161: Holy...stuff!


Posted on 10/01/2019 at 02:20 AM | Filed Under Feature

Oh, don't know if anyone got the same Zelda gif that I did, but it reminded me that the original Link's Awakening Japanese commercial (like you might have heard they brought back with the A Link Between Worlds Japanese commercial.  Even the US one was in a 90s/00s throwback style) continued the tradition.  Here's the original.  And, no, the Switch version isn't similar, although one of them does have a sung version of Ballad of the Wind Fish with new lyrics.

About Borderlands, loved the "Dollar Store Invader Zim" drop, it's just so true. And when you mentioned all those problems you had (driving, inventory, weird bullet sponginess and uneven difficulty especially for single player) it was like yet another Borderlands Bingo. It's a shame when a game in a series doesn't improve anything but still is wildly successful (especially from a company as scummy as Gearbox).

STAGE SELECT: There's a billion anime video game edgelords out there so I thought I'd go a different way with it (although somebody should submit Travis Touchdown). So I thought I'd bring up one of my favorite games again, Deus Ex. Now, I like JC Denton as a character, but when he wants to be a shit (especially when the player wants to be a shit), he can edgelord with the best of them imo. I'll give a few examples (mostly thanks to the JC Denton One-Liners video). JC Denton is a nano-augmented anti-terrorism agent in a world where mechanical-augmented agents are not unheard of. When Agent Navarre gives you a complement (and a backhanded one to your brother, Paul) about your battle-readiness, JC responds, "You mechs might have copper-wiring to re-route your fear of pain, but I've got nerves of steel." Later if you kill her a certain way, you may get a line where JC says, "Agent Navarre was out line. I had no choice." Your communications/handler/tech pal says, "They'll have you killed. They won't even blink an eye." JC goes, "Neither did I." There's the classic where if you get the hotel owner killed in a skirmish, even if you did it yourself, right there JC will go, "What a shame..." to his grieving daughter (in all fairness, he does follow it up with an awkward, "He was a good man... What a rotten way to die."). If you kill your boss, you tell your new one (who's more or less the ultimate antagonist's crony), "Well, since that makes you my new boss, take a long look at [my old boss's] dead body. Consider that my resignation, I don't have time to write a letter."
Here's a couple favorites of mine. Not once, but two different times, does JC Denton say he's "not into books" to stop a conversation, once because of a philosophical soliloquy that JC could've easily been guilty of himself. And if you meet the ultimate antagonist's crony at the end again the crony says, "You take another step forward, and here I am again, like your own reflection repeated in a hall of mirrors," JC responds with, "That makes me one ugly son-of-a-bitch."

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: I don't care if you have to stop recording or go out of your way listener to open up a new tab or press your mobile phone buttons boo hoo, watch this video, ""I Am Impact" Mystical Ninja: starring Goemon. Impact! Music sequence": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WCnDhyHzZ8 . And that Impact Super Punch, (B, B, B, A), bunches of punches, can follow up with a satisfying drop-kick if you slam A repeatedly at the end. Also, you can scream lasers. I like Brave Fencer Musashi, it's arguably(?) the better, more even game as a whole, but Goemon has a tendency to just constantly deal out very weird, very awesome things. That may not matter anywhere else but it should matter in the cage.

Episode 160: Notice Me, Senpai!


Posted on 09/18/2019 at 05:49 AM | Filed Under Feature

I've been going a bit long on these recently, but I'm glad to see that at least lately I haven't had to!

STAGE SELECT: I thought I'd take this the other way and talk about achievements. Really, let me stress, I'm not very good at video games (for instance, despite playing my fair share of FPSes if you put me in a multiplayer competitive game or something I'll routinely be at the bottom of the list, over and over again), but I've done the difficult achievement now and then. I chalk it up to stubbornness. And while these aren't my favorite, I thought I'd share a couple that I think might go appreciated.  An appreciation to stubbornness.

The first one I wanted to share is recent. I know you guys played some Bloodstained, and I did too. I did a brand new (not New Game Plus) Nightmare Mode (aka Hard LVL 1 Max) run where I beat all the bosses without taking a hit, gaining a secret useless Medal item for each one. I even developed some strategies where I'm curious if people use similar ones. I don't know because I never looked up guides, I just developed them on my own. I'm particularly proud of my Alfred one because, wow, those time bubbles suck.  In all fairness, I've played *a lot* of Castlevania.

The second one, I definitely used a guide. Do you remember about a year or so before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out, when the producer Eiji Aonuma said that a player could go directly to the final boss of the game from its opening moments if they wanted? I kind of became obsessed with that, and kind of promised myself I'd do it. Then I heard there was going to be a harder Master Mode, and figured, hey, why not? So after I had put who knows how many hours into completing Breath of the Wild, I went back, looked up speedrunning guides, and spent a little less than a week practicing for it (mainly because when you don't beat the bosses during the story there's a brutal boss gauntlet at the end that goes right into the Ganon fight). You think Thunderblight is bad in normal Zelda, hoo boy, try that with no stats and scrounged parts. You literally have just barely more than enough weapons picked up running there to do it. Most bosses require AI manipulation and almost 100% of parries have to be perfect parries. Bosses regain health in Master Mode to more than a fair bit if you don't kill them fast enough, and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. You don't even have warm clothes so actually one of the hardest parts is at the beginning of the game on the Plateau where you have to manipulate and tumble down the mountain just right so you don't freeze to death fast enough. It's stupid. And I didn't even do it without saves, the world record is under 50 min and I think mine clocked in at over 4 hours. But, yeah, if you wanted to you could go directly to the final boss of the game from its opening moments, even in Master Mode. If you wanted to.

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: When asked, "Do you prefer Ehrgeiz or Power Stone?" on the street, 2 out of every 4 people said Ehrgeiz, 1 out of every 4 said Power Stone, and the final 1 out of every 4 said, "Ehrgeiz? Power Stone? Oh my god, are you having a stroke right now? Don't swallow your tongue!" Having played neither, I'll give the slight edge to Power Stone, and that's just on recommendation. I've always been interested in Ehrgeiz's Quest (or dungeon crawler) mode, but the main game itself always reminded me of Tobal only you're supposed to care about it because there's Final Fantasy VII I guess. Power Stone always seemed a tiny bit more colorful and fun, a bit of a wacky party game. No hard lines drawn here!

Episode 159: Nemesis


Posted on 09/04/2019 at 05:18 AM | Filed Under Feature

I know, I know, another last-minute entry, but this time I have an excuse. I'm lazy. No, wait! I meant I had family visiting. And I'm lazy.  Also, I did think of a cage match but I just checked and it'd been done before.  Maybe next time!

STAGE SELECT: Tetris. Tetris.

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: "Oh, hey, a Booky post! Maybe Booky will post some funny odds or a wisecrack or something!" No. NO. Quest 64 needs to die. You see, I played Quest 64 as a kid via rental. I have a strong recollection of the general ugliness and the constrained, unwieldy battle system. And beyond that my strongest memory is of choosing the wrong magic and getting stuck at a boss because they were the same element as the one I mained and I didn't choose the absurdly OP Healing magic. And while it wasn't exactly a softlock because there is a way to get magic levels besides finding limited, hidden element collectibles, it would've required hours of grinding in a very linear, punishing game. Also, right now, tell me another Imagineer-developed RPG. Heck, tell me another Imagineer-developed game that wasn't like a weird conversion/port or something. One of those games you return early and try to beg the rental place to let you have the rest of the week on a new game, it's so bad. Quest. 64. Needs. To. Die.

Episode 158: Conspiracy Nerds


Posted on 08/21/2019 at 05:18 AM | Filed Under Feature

Really liked the crescent fresh addendums this time. Also, is it too late to change my vote to French Halo? 

Maybe I can answer some of those legendary questions? Alucard's real name is Adrian Fahrenheit Tepes (even in Castlevania III) and in the Japanese manual it mentions he changes his name from that to Alucard. The common lore is he reversed/mirrored Dracula's title to show his opposition to his father after he left him (although afaik there's no official source of that, the wiki that popularized this's source doesn't actually say such a thing. But it's thematic enough). For the other mystery, I wonder if the Final Fantasy VII 1/35 scale model was a reference to Final Fantasy VI.  That game has an unobtainable 1/1200 scale airship that you can bet on in the Jidoor Auction House. 

Stage Select: Since I'm focused on Castlevania now (and I've been thinking of it anyway between Bloodstained and the upcoming Halloween season), I'll share my two big nemeses from the original series. 

I'm fairly okay at Castlevania, but I've never done a no-death run and it's for one simple reason: Stage 10. Right after the Mummies you literally drop into a weird underground cave area where you have to jump between floating platforms above what's soon to be your watery grave. While doing so a constant stream of Fishmen jump up from the depth, and even though those are easy to deal with (they're set under candles I believe, at least in the first loop) you also have to deal with bats at the same time which aren't quite on a straightforward pattern (unless you literally do speedrunning pattern manipulation tricks). Doesn't matter how much I prepare for it, something always go wrong on that level. Even if I get through it perfectly I'll lose my subweapon to a semi-random drop and eat it on Frank. Medusa Heads have nothing on this (really, look how they spawn, you'll literally never get hit if you're scrolling and if you're stopped there's easy to see safe zones). 

Remember those areas in Zelda 2 with the falling blocks you have to deal with? Well, Castlevania III Stage 7B makes that look like total child's play. You have to literally scroll up this long vertical shaft by jumping from block to block as the fall from the sky and create steps. It's agonizingly slow and death means you have to do it all over again from the beginning. I like to do Trevor-only runs which means I can't just skip this part by turning into a bat (and depending on your partner you might not be able to even on a normal run). On top of that, afterwards is a pretty difficult section and an deceptively hard boss (made harder in the US version). It's so long that if you dally just a little bit on the stage you'll often run the timer out even if you complete the block-falling section well. I hardly ever die there anymore but it's still such a pain! 

Video Game Cage Match:
" Clay Fighter! Clay, Clay Fighter! "
" Come on, fight them if you dare (Hoo!)! "
" Clay Fighter! Clay, Clay Fighter! "
"Hit ‘em, smack ‘em, they don’t care! "

Episode 157: Tech Jacket


Posted on 08/07/2019 at 04:50 AM | Filed Under Feature

Oh, my Deus Ex comment was a riff on something but it's not important. The real important thing is, wait, have neither of you played the original Deus Ex?

STAGE SELECT: I pretty much already answered this one last week but I'll try to think of a couple. Oh, I remember the "find the Triforce in Ocarina of Time" rumor. Years later I thought it was funny that in fact there *was* a connection between getting the Triforce and Ocarina of Time, in the 1996 Spaceworld beta trailer: https://youtu.be/cpTLXvHT8rE?t=649 .

And speaking of Zelda, in A Link to the Past if you fall when battling Ganon at the end of the game you plummet to the edges of a room underneath which has a pit that's barred off. For me growing up there was *that kid* that swore up and down you could fall into it and it'd lead to some secret or another. *That kid* also claimed his father was the "famous" local weatherman (he wasn't) which I guess was an odd flex?

Oh, and I have one to share in A Link to the Past that happened to me and totally sounds like a lie. See, our family found the Chris Houlihan room *years* before it was popularized. Well, not the room exactly, but due to a physical problem that impacted our SNES (it probably got knocked and tilted but at the time it was attributed to a recent lightning storm) one time we talked to the guard near Link's house in the south at the start and he started going through almost every bit of text in the game. Among the weird ones was, "My name is Chris Houlihan. This is my top secret room. Keep it between us, OK?" One of us even called Nintendo Power and was told they had better chances of winning the lottery than that ever happening lol. If I remember correctly they seemed to know about it but were confused on how we triggered it. For years I'd try to recreate it and wonder about what weird secret LTTP had, but it never happened again of course. Much later I found out about the Chris Houlihan fail-safe room and finally at least that part made sense!

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Not a runaway at all, by my calculation based on nationwide in-home taste tests people prefer the crisp, clean taste of Half Life 2 over Halo 2 but just 20% more of the time. I was more of a Half Life fan myself so throw me in there why not, although I always kind of preferred Half Life 1 which codified so much of the "modern" narrative shooter. Halo 2 might've had a lot to do with XBOX Gold but I still can't believe people got hooked into paying for, not even servers, but just online access. If I had a time machine, I would throw peak Halo 2 nerds into a pit with peak Half Life 2 nerds. Winner? The spectators, of course.

Episode 156: Driving With the Top Down


Posted on 07/24/2019 at 03:42 AM | Filed Under Feature

Speaking of Bloodstained: It. Is. So. Good! Hits all the right buttons. I wouldn't say it's the best post-SoTN Castlevania but it is really good. I will be a bit critical and say there is a lot of janky stuff to it but besides performance and some map and some graphical stuff it mainly only matters for harder difficulties or challenge runs. There really are some bad AI and attack animations that make me wonder what they were thinking at times. Not every late/post-game boss needs to be able to indistinguishably teleport objects into you, ArtPlay! But if you're just running through Normal mode or whatever it's great fun!

STAGE SELECT: I'm just going to pick three random pieces of tech because I think that'll be more interesting.

1) There's an optional scene you can get in Chrono Trigger where Lucca goes to break you out of prison if you don't escape yourself. She break through off-screen as you're in the guillotine, goes, "Get outta of my way!! Take 5, you mugs!", blasts the three guards, then goes, "So, what do you think of my Zonker-38? Pretty cool, huh? Let's blow this joint!" Young me was a tad obsessed with the idea you would unlock the Zonker-38 as real equipment, but alas, there's no such thing. And even then I was hopeful that maybe it was hidden or removed from the game. I'd look through cheat codes and rumor mills, it was a bit of my personal "Play as Luigi in Super Mario 64!" moment. I think the script help sell this idea, although in Japanese it's apparently just called the "Disposable Burst Blast Pistol" which... no, never mind, that's still pretty awesome.

2) I barely played Turok 2 as a kid, but there's an infamous weapon in it called the Cerebral Bore which, I think you know where I'm going with this, is just as brutal as it sounds. It's a weapon (apparently based on The Tall Man's weapon in 1979's film Phantasm) that... well, I think I'll just quote the Gamespot review from the time: "Perhaps the most awe-inspiring of the new tools is the cerebral bore. With this devious armament, you aim the targeting cursor onto the enemy, and the CB locks on to its brain waves and fires a drill that latches onto the victim's head and bores deep into its skull, causing waves and waves of gray matter to gush out of its head. This is possibly the grossest weapon ever conceived." Oh, they forgot to mention it then explodes, you know, just in case I guess? It's the very definition of overkill. And I'm not even into gore or violence, really!, but it's such an interesting relic of its time.  It's the Mortal Kombat to Street Fighter of FPS weapons.

3) The plot of Deus Ex involves you as JC Denton, a nano-augmented UNATCO anti-terrorist agent, uncovering a conspiracy that will forver change the course of human history. In doing so you'll undoubtlessly collect an abundant amount of glowing Augmentation Upgrade Canisters which, besides being a useful upgrade to your nano-augment abilities, also look like they're made from melted blue popscicles or something: https://deusex.fandom.com/wiki/Augmentation_upgrade_canister?file=Upgradecanister.png . Just look at it! I mean, there's got to be a blurb in the UNATCO new agent training manual about not drinking the upgrade canisters, right? Right?

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Shadow of the Colossus. It's just this simple: I gotta bet on the horsies!

Episode 155: And now, magic rats.


Posted on 07/10/2019 at 03:48 AM | Filed Under Feature

DOOM (2016) is a great one!  I followed a stream that had it as break music and they'd constantly get new viewers asking which musician it was from (not even realizing it was video game music).

Episode 155: And now, magic rats.


Posted on 07/10/2019 at 03:45 AM | Filed Under Feature

Hey guys, I've got something to admit today. I know there's been a lot of secretive whispers and discussion both on and off the podcast, just a lot of mud flinging, and while I really didn't want to ever have to break kayfabe I have to set the record straight after the last episode. It's 100% absolutely true that I'm one of The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa. I know this comes as a shock but I'm hoping we can move past it and heal.

STAGE SELECT: Is there more of a correct answer than the Out Run soundtrack? I don't actually listen to it often irl but my favorite is probably "Passing Breeze". If I ever get a convertible, there you go. There's also a wealth of non-video gamey songs out there some of which are just genre tracks or that could pass as them (Let It Die famously had 100+ original pieces of mostly punk-like songs recorded for it from contemporary Japanese artists). My favorite that kind of muddles that distinction is from Mirror's Edge (that I mentioned a month or so ago) which is composed by Solar Fields who's an acclaimed psybient/downtempo electronic musician ("Shard" is my favorite). His stuff is both weirdly calming and high energy at the same time. If you count remixes? When I'm feeling wacky I'll put on Xoc's What's Pink and Sucks? And if you're into it the Metroid Metal collection is also a good one.

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH: Based on the strictest scientific standards of both astronomical AND astrological data the odds of Gradius pulling a 1CC over Space Invaders is 8:1. The Vic Viper might be able to dodge space volcanoes but a slowdown in its systems means it'll never even see the pixel accurate blow from the Laser Cannon (300 points). Personally, I love an underdog so throw me in with The Viper! I eventually played the real things but I also have fond memory of Konami shoving Gradius as mini-games in both Blades of Steel and Mystical Ninja. That said, Space Invaders also had some oddly decent remakes and reimagings over the years so I'll be happy either way!

Episode 154: Imagine Dinosaurs


Posted on 06/25/2019 at 02:01 AM | Filed Under Feature

Wow, The Scorpion King GBA, never thought I'd hear that one!  I played it when it came out.  It's probably so decent because it's by WayForward Technologies.  You know, the Shantae people.

I decided to do that Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta event I mentioned a few weeks ago.  It's fun!  Final Fantasy V is a good game.  It's neat finding weird synergies between classes or to have to overcome a glaring weakness in your team match-up.  And you know I love a good gamble.

Episode 153: Squinting Through Rose-Colored Glasses


Posted on 06/12/2019 at 02:45 AM | Filed Under Feature

Wow, that was a good episode! Didn't expect the Stage Select to go that deep at all for that type of question. Funny enough, since I last mentioned how easy it is in the modern era to find weird retro communities I ran across a yearly event where everyone can play a Final Fantasy V challenge run. Seems pretty neat! http://fourjobfiesta.com/

STAGE SELECT: If you could have one media property (for example, a book, a movie, etc.) or concept (for example, a monster, a vocation, a hobby, etc.) that hasn't been made into a game before or has been done exceptionally (and I mean exceptionally) poorly before be made into a video game, what would it be, what type of genre would it be, and who would you choose to develop it?

VIDEO GAME CAGE MATCH:

Whew, don't know if E3 threw anybody else out of the loop, but it's a busy time for a bookie like me. I collected quite a few golden Jiggies myself, if you know what I mean. But anyway, it's odd-making time!

Ooh, gotta say, whoever set this match-up made a critical mistake. I'd say setting up Perfect Dark would make more even odds because even though it's probably a much more satisfying game than Goldeneye *mechanically* it doesn't have nearly the nostalgia fervor for it. I can spout nonsense here, saying "Oddjob is cheating" and "Proximity Mines only" or "Laser Watch" and wouldn't you know it but you've got a bunch of Nerds percolating like double-strength mug mud. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1, as compared to its later revisions, doesn't have manuals (a huge improvement which opened up lines and combos) and doesn't really even have useful lips or grinds... and instead in return it has those weird one-way Jam levels they all but got rid of. Also, School is no School II, it just isn't. I'll still bat for my Birdhouse buddy here and say Tony Hawk, but odds fixing or odds-fixing there's no fixing this match-up.

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