MAP Episode 61: Vanity Fair

Clearly, being the President has its advantages.
President Obama on His Vanity Mount

Download Link: Produced 2010.04.18

Want to acquire more vanity items in World of Warcraft and PlayStation Home? Neither do the panelists, who cover that and so much more. Pokemon Generation V, Nintendo being sued, and the U.S. Government’s next big game round out their topics!


  1. It’s funny about FF13, everyone seems to have a different opinion of the final boss. I beat all three parts with no real trouble, but the second part was the toughest for me, but that was easiest for Lusi. My co-worker has been stuck on the final form of the final boss, etc.

    Am I the only person who doesn’t leave his system on when I’m not playing it? I always make sure to shut it off when I’m not playing, but people always talk about how they leave it running.

  2. I don’t leave my system on when I’m mot playing, but when I am playing an RPG and I get a phone call or an IM (or if I make lunch) I often just open the game to the menu screen rather than pause it. This habit comes from years ago when RPGs simply could not be paused–menu was the closest thing.

  3. Ah gotcha, I just know a lot of people who leave their systems on for days at a time while playing FF13, and I thought that’s what you meant by it, too.

  4. I reckon the 2nd phase of the FFXIII boss is the hardest. It was the only one that actually beat me. It does that move where it goes into a short cutscene and hits you hard for a high% of your HP(Merciless Judgment or something.) If you don’t heal up immediately afterwards, it can follow that up with another move to finish you off.

    I don’t know what it is about XIII, I don’t think its a particularly good game, but I’ve put in a stupid amount of time (90hrs+) and kind of want to finish off the rest of the hunts. I’ve just got a few of the A rank ones left.
    I definitely think if it wasn’t a Final Fantasy game, it would have done significantly worse in reviews and not sold anywhere near as many copies.

    Me, I try not to leave the console on as I play through as I want my final time to represent my actual time playing through. Although I do fall asleep with the console on sometimes. Last time I played through FFVIII I fell asleep a few times and ended up with a time that maxed out the timer (ie. over 100hrs) =p

  5. So many errors in my last post, apologies ><
    Oh, and $25 for a Warcraft mount..jesus, what is wrong with people?
    You could probably get one entire game for $25, right?
    I bet World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is in fact a code word for when Blizzard are going to unleash their private army they have been funding all these years and take over the world.

  6. @Berserk: You have it backwards. The Merciless Judgement section of the final boss fight in XIII is the first part.

    The second part just sits there and occasionally wipes all status effects with Temporal Hollow.

  7. Ah, I see what you mean. It would indeed be more accurate to call it the first stage of the final boss battle, essentially the 2nd last battle in the game.

    The 3rd and final part is a joke. Way too easy. And as you said in the podcast, it seems to be a trend in FF games. The only game that has me stuck on the final bosses is FFX. Damn you Braska’s Final Aeon… ¬_¬

  8. @Berserk: Yep, we refer to it that way because of the final three fights in FFXIII, the first is one being, and the last two are a different being. Hence, the first of the three is not the ‘final boss’ but rather the penultimate boss (and the antepenultimate battle).

  9. while ya’ll were talking about WoW I think Ginia was trying to sound annoyed but instead made a sound like she fell off her Wii board… WE NEED MOAR OF THIS!

  10. – Tilapia is my favorite fish. Can’t stand Salmon, personally, Lusi’s right, it’s waaaaaayyy too strong.

    – Fishing is so boring. It ranks up there with golf on my list of least favorite psudo-sports.

    – Bobby NoDick’s couch:

    – The WoW mount story is the best example of “a fool and his money are soon parted” I’ve heard of in quite some time.

    – LFoPD is available for preorder at my house. Send me a $50 check and I’ll make sure you get a copy at some point in the indefinite future :D. We should enter talks with Capcom about getting Lusipurr into Lost Planet 2!

    – All hail the Great Potato

    – I feel the same way about 3D as I do about vanity WoW mounts. I have no desire for one, but if somebody else does, go ahead, it’s not my money they’re spending.

    – I’m looking forward to Racistcast 2.0 upon the release of Pokemon Black and White

  11. Also, I’m pretty adamant about making sure my game playtime clock is accurate. I hated the fact that, for Persona Portable on the PSP, the gameclock ticked up even when the game was in suspend. I went out of my way to do the software suspend so that my gameclock would be at least somewhat accurate (although it still wasn’t :f).

  12. @Darth: That couch is lol-tastic.

    Also, golf is fun if one goes with friends on a bright, sunny day–and if one doesn’t take it too seriously–and, in my opinion, if it is infrequent. It makes for a nice break from the usual routine, and gets one outside. I try to go about twice a year, and I make a jolly holiday of it. It’s fun!

  13. haha, under those conditions, I think even I’d be hard pressed not to enjoy golf :D

  14. @Lusi- Sounds like SOMEONE should have listened to me, it was apparent at a very early stage that FFXIII wouldn’t be worth finishing, it was only sheer bloodyminded belligerence which lead me to sink 20 hours into the thing, hours I shall never get back.

    To paraphrase a number of other people, I’ll only get a 3DTV when it comes standard and I happen to be buying a TV.

  15. I’m totally up for a summer of FFX, but I feel that we would have better luck convincing Oliver to host it at Riddlethos, as I just do not see Lusipurr willing to aquiesce …

  16. @ SN: Let’s do it! To Riddlethos! Summer of X lives! Don’t believe Lusipurr’s lies!

  17. @Juan22: As I indicated in the podcast, both Ginia and I have finished FFXIII. We both hated the ending, as did Ethan Pipher, and just about everyone else I’ve spoken to. I’ve never seen something so stupid and ridiculous produced as a serious endeavour by a major game production company, and that’s saying something.

  18. We’re not going to playthrough X here because it is a piece of shit. I’d rather do a playthrough of XIII again. At least it has the virtue of looking modern.

  19. The Great Potato spits on your soul. FFX is much better than XIII in every way. No, I don’t need to play XIII to know that.

  20. The Great Potato is fried, salted, and in my tum. FFX is almost as bad as FFXIII. It’s better because you can control all of your party members. It’s worse because its technical execution pales compared next to XIII’s.

    Also, it has some of the worst VA I’ve ever suffered through. Once was enough.

  21. I’m not denying that the voice acting could have been better. But in my opinion the game didn’t suffer for it. Technical execution doesn’t mean anything to me if I had fun. If it bothers you that much, stick on subtitles and mute your tv. FFX forever!

  22. @Kenjuju-even if you mute your TV, you still have to deal with the whiny, bitchy annoying characters in FFX.

    Tidus is probably the worst character in the Final Fantasy series.

    I do still need to finish FFX off. Unless something ridiculously amazing happens in the space of the very final battle and the ending cutscenes, I doubt my opinion of it will change very much. I’m stuck on Braska’s Final Aeon and really don’t have the motivation to do sidequests to improve my chances.

  23. I’ll be the first to admit the voice acting in X was atrocious and that Tidus was a little whiny (in fact, those are the most common points I make when arguing with my girlfriend which is better, FFX or FFVII), but none of that prevented me from enjoying the game. It’s still my second favorite FF game behind VII and I’d be hard pressed to list many other games that I enjoyed more. And yeah, no way XIII is better in any category besides graphics (technical) and possibly battle system, depending on what mood I’m in. But to each their own, if you didn’t like it, you didn’t like it. Not like there’s a shortage of FF games to debate about :D.

    Also @Berserk: My preferred strategy for Braska’s Final Aeon involved a dedicated healer, a zombie-touch weapon, and liberal application of haste and quick hit. If you didn’t like the story up until that point, though, I doubt you’re going to enjoy the ending.

  24. I never said the VA was the only problem. It is a terrible game, and the VA only makes the awfulness that much harder to bear.

    Also, the story is nonsensical garbage, and the ending is worse. (But, it still doesn’t compare to the lunatic writing of FFXIII’s ending.)

  25. @lusi – technical execution? what did they do wrong? battle system? music? graphics? they were all good. And what part of the story is nonsensical?

  26. I don’t mind FFX’s story too much, some aspects of it showed quite a departure from the norm of Final Fantasy games, with ideas and themes I thought they hadn’t used much before.
    Its just mainly the characters (mostly Tidus) that dissapoint me in the game.

    The battle system is pretty good in FFX. I didn’t play it back when it came out, but I can see that it probably revolutionised things to some extent at the time. I’d say its better than FFXIII’s.

    @Darth-yeah I’ve tried out a few of those things. I can’t seem to get Auron’s zombie touch weapon to actually inflict the status. It must be a really low chance or something. I can get to the 2nd stage of that battle, but then things start to go wrong. I’ll probably give it another couple tries sometime soon with someone on permanent healing duty. Maybe going all out on it just to get past the healing it does very round is causing me problems. Thanks for the ideas.

  27. Just dropping in..
    I finished FF13. I never read a word about how the game would be, prior to it’s release. It wasn’t shocking how linear it was… I think pushing the CG/emotion card was a wise precedent…..but I WANT something better.

    Currently replaying the Metal Gear series starting from MGS. I’m already on MGS2…Gameplay still rocks…(when you have control of your AV.). Story is pretty awesome, but a bit trasparent.

    Polish plane crash was an assasination… Video game market needs a new war to make a game out of.

  28. @Bbreaka666: Please don’t take my comments out of context. I said FFX’s technical execution pales next to that of FFXIII. Do you deny it? Is FFX somehow more technically excellent than FFXIII?

    The battle system is very shallow, though I appreciate the innovation of allowing me to switch characters on the fly. I loathe, loathe, loathe the Sphere Grid. It gives the illusion of diversity, but in actuality it is very narrow. Characters are forced along specific developmental paths for the most part. (This is also one of my complaints about XIII’s Crystarium. The illusion of vastness when, in reality, doing anything but the main three classes per characters is not practicable as part of the first playthrough.)

    The music is awful. FFX is easily one of my least favourite soundtracks in the series. It has about five tracks that I like. Most of it I actively dislike. In fact, I prefer the soundtrack to FFX-2–or even FFII or FFIII for that matter.

    The graphics are fine. People praised them at the time, but I said (also at the time) that they were nothing special compared to various games that were out then. I still think that–but even more so considering the eventual release of X-2, XII, and divers other spectacular PS2 games like GoW I and II, both of which demonstrated a high level of PS2 technical execution.

    The nonsense with Tidus’ father being Sin, the ridiculous crap with Braska at the end, Auron’s presence in the past, and his being an unsent, Tidus being a ‘dream of the fayth’, and a million other unanswered ridiculousnesses which the story never addresses. A comprehensive list isn’t about to sway you, enamoured as you are, but I’m not willing to gloss over things that don’t make sense for the sake of a story which never impressed me to begin with.

    Suspension of disbelief my ass. JRPG writers should learn to make sense. This is nothing new, of course, but FFX is especially bad about it in its desperate attempt to be philosophically poignant. Too bad it fails.

  29. @Lusi – my bad, I didn’t realize you were comparing it directly to FF XIII. And actually I would very much like a comprehensive list. As you saw in the XIII thread I’m very interested in the thoughts and opinions of people who disagree with me as long as it’s backed up, which i know you can do and well. it’s kind of a hobby of mine.

    Since lulu was able to think fireballs into existence it wasn’t too far of a stretch for me to think the fayth could do sorta the same thing but with dragons. and blonde dudes with high pitched voices. Auron wasn’t from the past he was from the present, he went to dream Zanarkand, and he came back. and as far as Auron and Seymour refusing to… well, die it’s implied that that’s because of shear force of will. a bit of a bullshity excuse, I’ll grant, but it wasn’t so bad that it knocked me out of the story. for me it doesn’t matter so much why something happens so much as it’s cosistant and the metaphysics in that game are at least that. until X-2, anyway…

    also, I wouldn’t say I’m “enamored” I think it’s good. I’m enamored with tactics.

  30. I’m enamoured with FFX. I’ll admit it right here. the three different graphic modes are a bit jarring, but the cutscene characters look good. The graphics are nto, on the most part, poorly done, and Spira is frickin beautiful. The music was a bit repetitive, yes. But the story was in no way nonsensical – it’s an imaginary world, and a good one at that, and if pyreflies do everything, they do everything. This isn’t FFVIII, it makes some sense at least. Oh, and btw, Custom Sphere Grid gets rid of the narrowness. Send Lulu down Auron’s path and those Moogle Dolls become GOD.

    SN hasn’t reappeared, so it looks like it’s just me fighting for a Riddlethos Summer of X.

  31. FFX has the best battle system of any FF game. FFX has the best ending of any FF game. At the time of release the only other ps2 game to rival FFX’s graphics was MGS2. FFX has some minor plot vaguaries, but nothing approaching XIII’s ineptitude. In terms of the over-all story FFX’s whould sit around the mid-point of the series, but the narrative draw really is in the smaller scale character drama which I found to be intensely satisfying.FFX has reletively few forced party change-ups by FF standards, which kept my frustration to a minimum, and the Sphere grid was glorious. My only real complaint about the game was the ever changing level of detail of the character models, which seemed really inconsistent.

  32. Very well, we will see about giving ye the ‘Summer of X’ that ye so desire–but you will rue it, ere I’m done. Beware of what ye wish for, lest ye end by getting it!

  33. I’m looking forward to this!
    And I should have specified that I agree with Lusipurr about the battle system.

  34. Yes! Excellent! Summer of X LIVES!

    But I kinda feel like I’m the only one who wants it…oh, and SiliconNoob.

  35. @lusi – wow, you sound really evil. I’m imagining you petting a cat while you watch Peter Molyneux slowly descend into a pool of great white sharks.

  36. Or like Giovanni from the Pokemon anime, with his sinister looking Persian.

  37. Riddles and Ethos could be Brock and Misty. I’ll leave them to fight amongst themselves for which is which :F. Not sure who would be Ash, though.

  38. it would need to be someone who constantly switches old pussy for new, and Bup is already james. hmmm…

  39. …well, Eric J is left over, but would he ‘battle every day/ searching far and wide’ with Riddles and Ethos?