MAP Episode 4: A Boob and His Blob

Download Link: Produced 2009.03.08

A former guest becomes staff and is threatened with the sack right from the gate as the panel discusses Blobs, Rappers, Zombies, and Puzzling Adventures, all whilst avoiding spoilers!


  1. To weigh in on the brief Chrono Cross vs. Xenogear debate. I think both were pretty good late 90s PSX RPGs by Square. Both had some serious problems though. My seventh grade English teacher used to say to “show rather than tell the reader” what happened. Xenogears and to a lesser extent Chrono Cross suffer from Square having an NPC say “And here’s what happened…” which doesn’t work very well in a videogame.

    Chrono Cross only got into this in the last ~5 or so hours on a first playthrough through the game. Xenogears got into it for the entire second disc which is between 20-40 hours.

    Both games had kind of similar combat systems. I don’t remember Xenogears that well having only beaten it once around when it came out.

    Chrono Cross I played through last week though and I have a few gripes about its combat. It has Weak, Strong, and Fierce attacks and each has a percentage chance of hitting. When that percentage isn’t 99% the actual percentage chance of landing a hit is 20-30% lower than what the game lists it as. The odds of missing an 85% hit three times in a row are very low. Yet it happens frequently in CC. Other than that it was fairly well balanced. You couldn’t just spam your most powerful attacks or magic and automatically win.

    Xenogears had the idiotic “Fuel” system when you were using the mechs. Which made it into a battle of attrition to make it to the boss with enough fuel left to be able to kill it.

    Both games’ stories were a bit of a mess. Chrono Cross took place in an alternate timeline with two parallel dimensions where most of the events seen in Chrono Trigger never took place. FATE and the Planet were further pulling the strings and manipulating the timeline which the game never showed directly (no flashbacks or cutscenes), NPCs only told you about it and you could miss talking to them.

    Xenogears had a mess of several living reincarnations of the same individual as well as all sorts of weird Freudian subconscious mind story elements. There was also an evil church that turned people into monsters and an opening cinema that made no sense the first 60 hours of the game. And what the hell was with Elly’s swinging necklace anyway?

    Overall both are still fun, if flawed, games. Due to the lack of platforming Chrono Cross wins as the better of the two.

  2. You guys should talk about Ultraman for the SNES more often. It revolutionized gaming and yet nobody will ever discuss it’s unrestrainable greatness.

  3. Only 10 minutes in, and I’m laughing my ass off.
    I actually have played Halo Wars, surprisingly, and I’ll be writing about it on Friday.

  4. I’m firmly on Lusipurr’s side on the whole “is (insert game here) worth buying (insert console here)” question. We’re dealing with systems that cost multiple hundreds of dollars, so the purchase of one should not be done on such a silly impulse. The purchase of a console, especially early on, should be based on whether you expect a series of games that you like to come out for the system. In the case of the PS3 and the 360, I’ve been very pleased. In the case of the Wii, I’ve been disappointed. There is no game that can justify the obscene amount of money that would be required to make that one purchase, especially a game that sounds more and more like a glorified screen saver the more I hear of it.

    Oh, and if you DO intend to make the next show a Wii-centric podcast, be sure to mention the points made in the episode 3 comments thread, because I’m not typing that shit over again.

  5. Ha ha, even before this podcast I was thinking “y’know, Flower is worth buying a PS3 for”.
    That sort of experience is priceless
    But obviously that’s not entirely true because there are a lot of reasons to buy a PS3, but Flower has truly pushed me over the edge.

  6. There are NO REASONS to buy a PS3 ever since FFXIII was announced for Xbox 360 the PS3 has been removed from my radar at all. No matter what game is magical and a mind blowing experience I shall not pick up one of those vile contraptions until they go down to at least $300 and that is if there is nothing better to do with my money…and for once I do agree with Mister Chief gaming systems nowadays should not be bought out of a silly impulse.

  7. Valkyria Chronicles
    God of War III
    Disgaea 3
    Final Fantasy Versus XIII

    These strike me as being more than ‘NO reasons’.

  8. Lusipurr has left out

    -Great Blu Ray player
    -Calling All Cars
    -Killzone 2
    -Built-in wireless internet
    -Bluetooth support
    -Rachet and Clank.

    Really need me to go on? If I had the money, I would have had a PS3 the moment I got my new TV. It is high on my list of next major purchases. Perhaps first on the list.

  9. Admittedly, for a long time I was of the same opinion as Reetin. Then Lusipurr bought a PS3 and I was put in my place. Overall, I’ve had much more fun with the PS3 than I ever did when he had the 360. Games such as LittleBigPlanet and Disagaea 3 were more than enough to win me over. Not to mention that Eternal Sonata was also made available for the system.

    I think it’s great that many of the games can now be found on both the 360 and the PS3. However, I think it is unfair to say there are “no reasons” to buy a PS3, just as it would be unfair of me to say there are “no reasons” to buy a 360 (I’m not a fan of the system, it crashed one too many times after many an hour of gameplay for me).

    Ah well. I’m going to go crawl back under my rock until this terrible migrain goes away. Great show, guys! I really liked this one. :)

  10. A price drop and PS2 backwards compatibility back in and I’d get a PS3. I’ve read the article on Hardcore Gaming 101 about the Nippon Ichi games and they sound cool, but they also sound too damn long and grindy for me to want to pick one up.

    While I am pissed if I buy an RPG and beat it in 15 hours I also don’t need to get my money’s worth through 80+ hours in a single play through.

  11. I feel your pain about the backwards compatibility, evilpaul. It’s a frustrating exclusion.

  12. In all honesty, if you still have your PS2, keep that and buy one of the non-backwards compatible PS3s.

    Upscaling is nice, but frankly, the advantages don’t necessary outweigh the disadvantages; some games are buggy, and others practically don’t work at all (Chrono Cross (PS1) springs to mind, as it freezes whenever any elements are used in battle).

    Your PS2 is sufficient for all of your backwards compatibility. Pick up one of the cheaper PS3s and use it as a Blu-Ray and PS3-game player. You’ll save money and be just as happy.

    –I should point out that I have an original 60Gb PS3 with full backwards compatibility and all the bells and whistles, and the bugs I have encountered are not unique to me, but exist for all backwards compatible PS3s. This is one of the reasons BC was dropped–it’s easier to produce cheaper systems without it, and they never got it quite ‘right’.

  13. Yes, it’s definitely not a reason for me to NOT buy one, but I would have liked the inclusion.
    HOWEVER, those tales of buggy success ease my mind a bit.
    Another reason to buy a PS3:
    Whatever Team ICO comes out with next.

  14. MORE reasons to buy a PS3:

    Ninja Gaiden Sigma
    Metal Gear Solid 4
    Heavenly Sword

    And some PS2 games DO look very good with the PS3’s upscaling. FFXII, Devil May Cry 3, and God of War all come to mind. I think it’s a great feature, personally.

    I slightly prefer the Xbox 360 due to a few exclusives, but I love my PS3. And honestly, in a few more years, I wonder if I’ll still place it 2nd.

  15. I shall not pick up one of those vile contraptions (360) again until they get rid of that whole system dieing on you thing… I’m enjoying my 60 gig way to much. 3 years without a single problem, with some of the best games this gen.

  16. I call shananagins, PS3 upscaling does nothing. That said, I still much prefer my PS3 to my 360. The PS3 does provide ample quality and durability for the steep price it exacts.

    Weighing into the whole Xenogears vs Chrono Cross debate is not an easy proposition owing to the inconsistent quality of Xenogears. Chrono Cross is pretty good all the way through, the first disk of Xenogears on the other hand was far better than Chono Cross but the second was far worse. So does half an excellent game outweigh an entire decent one? I don’t know if I can answer that.

    @Lusi- I couln’t agree with you more, the very notion that 50 cent is in a game offends me.

    @Lee- Avril Lavine is utterly unforgivable.

    @Oliver- Looks like Lusi did re-record the intro (I guess he does care after all).

  17. Xenosaga II was aweful in every respect including story. In a sadistic turn from Namco, they decided to make this the only game in the Xenosaga series that they would release in PAL territories, presumably for shits and giggles.

  18. @oyashiro They have indeed fixed the whole “xbox 360 dying problem.” Being as Microsoft has started putting out new xbox 360s with a new chip in it that used to cause the Rrod. Let me explain: The old xbox360 had a chip that was originally developed by Microsoft so that they could save money, that chip started failing and would cause the Rrod. They have recently outsourced the chip to another company that has more experience making these type of chips and so hopefully the whole Rrod issue will become a faint memory.

    Now that I would like to suggest that even though all the games mentioned are interesting they still hold no weight for me to actually go out and buy one of those PS3s everyone is talking about. See while most of the games are alright, none of them are amazing looking to me Metal Gear Solid is an amazing game from what I am told however I feel they will release a xbox version in the future just like they did with MGS2 back in the day. Flower looks innovative but I would again have to agree with Lusi to say that it is not worth actually picking up a PS3 because of the fact it is only 6 hours long, and no matter how innovative or mind blowing a game is, if it is only 6 hours long I do not want to waste my time and money on it.

  19. @Reetin It would not be wasting your time. It would be a glorious 2-6 hours you would spend time and time again. Instead of watching a movie, play Flower! Don’t know what to do with your girlfriend? Play Flower! But like I stated before, it’s the fact that buying a PS3 would offer so many OTHER things that make it SEEM like Flower is the reason to buy one when really it is just the thing that tips me to the other side.

    @Lee Yes, she is a disgrace to our nation. We have such better artists like Barenaked Ladies, Matthew Good, and Our Lady Peace (Pre-Gravity)

    @The whole cast of the cast: great one, guys. Loved the outtakes.

  20. I love Our Lady Peace one of my favourite bands. I was lucky to seem them live, when they came to England.

    Favourite album for me Is Happiness Is Not A Fish You Can Catch.

  21. There are very good reasons for owning all three consoles currently on the market, and both handhelds as well. I should like to ask those who refuse to purchase one if they are doing so not because ‘there are no good games on the system’, but rather because they have become polarised against the console and refuse to accept that there are real, concrete reasons to buy it.

    @Reetin: The statement that there are ‘no amazing-looking games’ on the PS3 is shocking. Whatever standard you are using to define ‘amazing-looking’, it certainly cannot be used to simultaneously *justify* the purchase of a 360.

    Furthermore the ‘360 dying problem’ is not fixed yet–rather, Microsoft has gotten better with their replacement and the overall quality has gone up–but fixed it is not. Three of my friends have had their new, replacement 360s break within the past six months, and several websites have also recently had new ‘Phoenix’ models go under, most notably Penny Arcade.

    @Oyashiro: That said, the 360 hardware *is* more stable now and even if it fails, replacements are generally swift and relatively painless. There are some excellent games on the system, not least of which is Lost Odyssey, which I will endlessly remind people of as it is perhaps the best traditional JRPG since Final Fantasy VII.

    @Ethos: Thank you for the compliment. I spent many hours (from when we stopped recording until 05:45 the following morning) editing this podcast with special attention to the outtakes. Glad someone noticed!

  22. @Lee Oh good! That is probably my favourite album too, but I have favourite songs scattered across all their pre-Gravity albums.

    @Lusipurr Yes, I absolutely noticed, but I suppose having experience with editing makes it a bit easier to appreciate such things. Either way, it was hilarious.

    @ the 360. Mine nor Pogo’s have died yet. Fingers crossed.

  23. I also have a 60GB PS3 (which I shoved a 300-gig hard drive into, but that’s another post), and I also keep my PS2 and PS1 around for those games. Hell, on the PS3, half of level 3 in Medal of Honor for PS1 doesn’t even render, making the game unplayable.

    This was, however, a lesson I learned all the way back when the PS2 came out. I’d sold off my PS1 to get that last bit of money to pay out my PS2 reservation. A whole two months went by with nothing by my N64 and Dreamcast to keep me company. Then I got the call from Babbage’s (the was when they were still their own company) that my PS2 was ready for pickup. I got it, along with Eternal Ring and a DVD (Burn Up W!), and headed home. Anyway, some time later, I picked up Grandia for PS1, at a nice $19.99 price. The first disc was playable enough, even though there was a sound distortion during the after-battle music. Then I got to the second disc, and the game started freezing like crazy. Obviously, this was the PS2 not being nice to Grandia. So, I picked up a slim PS1, finished the game, and was back to being happy.

    The moral of this story is that, while BC is a nice thing to have, it shouldn’t be relied upon. I’m no more likely to give up my PS2 than I am to give up my original Xbox (the 360’s backward compatibility is also bunk), because it’s the best way to play the games as they were meant to be played, at least until emulation for these systems is perfected the way we see with TurboGrafx, Genesis, SNES and PS1 now.

  24. @Reetin: The RROD is not a thing of the past and probably wont be until MS stop production of the 360. I heard reports that the new model still gets RROD, one from a friend I know personally.

    @Lusipurr: I have no faults with the game on the 360, just the hardware itself. If its failure rate was at least a few digits around the PS3’s failure rate. I would buy one. Lost Odyssey was indeed fantastic!

    @Ethos: Hopefully you got one of the good ones that won’t give you any problems.

    @Siliconnoob: Upscaling makes only a small handful of PS2 games look slightly better, but not by much.

    @Master Chief: Grandia FTW!

    @Lee: Sup?

    @Thea: Hope ya feel better.

    @Evilpaul:Nippon Ichi are hit and miss with me. They may have interesting storys but most are not executed well.


  25. @Reetin- They have indeed fixed the whole 360 dying problem. What you do is wrap it up in a towel and leave it running until it melts itself back together. The RRoD issue is not caused by faulty chips, but rather due to the fact they can’t use lead soldering on it because its classified as a toy in the US. Subsequently as the machiene heats up an cools down the soldering (aluminium I think) holding the chip in place grows increasingly brittle until it snaps off. But please don’t let that stop you from buying American.

    Oh an I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that one average the PS3 has nicer looking exclusives than the 360. Uncharted and Killzone come to mind.

  26. FYI anecdotal accounts have begun to surface indicating that M$’s 360 repair policy has changed, as they no longer provide you a coffin (read: box) gratis for shipping off your dead system. Instead Xbox owners must provide their own box and hope that no further damage is incurred on transit which could be construed by M$ as grounds for refusal to fulfil their obligations under warranty.

    This is truly perplexing seeing as M$ has already written off a couple of billion dollars in order to create the extended warranty repair fund, and so this service shouldn’t really be impacted upon by the recession seeing as it’s not exposed to their operating capital. Speculation leads me to two possible causes:

    a)They have already burnt through most of the repair fund, and so are penny pinching in an effort to prolong the available funds.


    b)They intend to pilfer from this fund in order to avoid having to go through the capital raising process, and thus their repair department is having to make do with less.

  27. noob – It’s not the first time that rumor has surfaced. I heard that one not long after launch.

    And of course the damn thing uses lead solder, that’s mandatory for any circuit board not to have its chips pop off.

    God, people will believe anything.

  28. Lol I was only joking about the towel trick, as the fix is only supposed to work for about 10 mins before breaking again. I’m serious about the lead-free soldering though, it seems the EU have a raft of legislations against using lead also, along with China.

  29. Ok now apparently Capcom are charging 5$ to unlock the RE5 vs mode.

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