MAP Episode 82: Wrath of the Great Potato

Turns out he was a Frog. Is anyone surprised? Nope!
Antoine-Augustine Parmentier, First High Prophet of the Great Potato

Download Link: Produced 2010.09.12

Having successfully carried out potato-based hits on all of the other podcast panelists, Ginia stands alone. With syrup and sausages in hand, and bacon at the ready, she charts a course through the week’s news, which Lusipurr begrudgingly endures.


  1. I liked the Madden rant. I dunno who is buying those games. Know many gamers, none of them own it. Dunno who these alleyway Madden rats are, or where they roost.

  2. -Xenogears: Download the ISO for ZERO dollars and play it on your PSP!

    -I’m still conflicted about Xenogears, it was so good and then it became so bad.

    -Nobody ever buys Madden, and yet it still gets bought …

    -Johnny Blow? Is that Ethan’s working name?

    -No GAGA … I am disappoint.


    Seriously, I will just cut it from now on. I’m not even going to waste my breath talking over it. It’s easier to let you waste the panelists’ time, and then chop it in editing.

    Even disc 2 of Xenogears is better than most of the crap that comes out these days.

    NO ONE has bought a Madden Game in years. I’m convinced all the sales are to John Madden himself, artificially driving up demand for his series.

  4. For the period of time I worked at GameStop, I remember the Madden tournament and midnight release. The people there were either people I’d never seen before and never saw again, or they were the depressed middle-aged fathers that typically only made purchases to make their brat shut up but decided to get a game for himself. Presumably the reason know one knows these people is the former simply crawl in a hole somewhere and die forgotten, and the latter get so disgusted with life they strangle their child and off themselves.

  5. It’s morbid, but true. The fact they even sell tons over here, where no one even knows what Madden is definitely proves your point. It’s there and has sports on the cover. It’s enough.
    I say we play FF Tactics. Partly because I looked at evil paul’s emulation blog and my brain shut down with so many plug-ins and extensions, and partly because I won FF T for the PSP and haven’t played it yet.

  6. @Jenjuju/Kenifer: If this is the case, we should be happy that Madden is removing a bunch of sad sacks from the world!

    That’s one vote for FFT. (It’s also worth adding that an iPhone/iPad version is meant to be released this coming Wednesday, in addition to the PSP, PS1, and PSN releases that are already available.)

  7. A playthrough of FFT seems like the best choice, given how available it is (+1 fer FFT). I have original copies of both, so I’m with ye either way.

  8. Fuck Final Fantasy Tactics in the goat ass! Xenogears all the way(Mainly because I need a reason to actually finish that game…)!

  9. The only “problem” with an FFT playthrough is the various versions floating aorund, though I suppose this could be turned into a positive. People playing the original game will have a different experience than those playing the remake. This could either make the conversation confusing, orrrrr make it interesting. :P

    I own both games, and am fine with either. I would even lean towards an FFT playthrough, as I haven’t actually finished that one. The plot is kinda hard to follow at times and I spent so much time doing side content that I totally lost interest in the main game. :P

  10. I have absolutely no desire to play FFT, so perhaps that would be better. I don’t really have the time to start another game at the moment.

  11. @Ginia: Whilst the versions have a different translation and cutscenes in a different graphical style, the content of the games is essentially the same. The PSP/iDevice list also contains a few extra missions and an extra job (Dark Knight), but these are very minor additions which do not bear upon the actual overall experience.

    @SiliconNooB: Are you saying you want to play FFT for the playthrough, or not?

  12. I vote Xenogears! I have only played through it once and I suspect it aged better than FF:T. Plus I played FF:T twice back in the day and once since.

    I wouldn’t recommend playing Xenogears on an actual console as an emulator on PC is probably best. In which case you should just use a copy of your legitimately owned discs for the ps1 you also legitimately own.

    [Edited by Lusipurr.]

  13. @EP: If by best you mean more difficult to set up, confusing, buggy, unstable, and technically illegal, then yes, running it on a PC emulator is best.

    If you just want it to work, go with a legit copy on your PS1, PS2, or PS3, where it will work, and look, exactly as it was intended to when it was made.

    Alternately, rip it from your legitimately owned discs to your PSP and play it there like all other PS1 games, where it will work just like the PSN version.

    Incidentally, having played both very recently, FFT has aged much better than XG has in all but the original PS1 cinematic sequences. Both have poor translations, but XG’s sprites have not aged at all well in comparison to FFT’s. If you are talking the re-release of FFT, it is far and away better than XG in every regard, and the cinematics, voice acting, and translation are absolutely brilliant.

    I am happy to play through either, but I don’t want FFT misrepresented as being somehow worse than XG for a playthrough. If anything, the reverse is true.

  14. -3D games are definitely better emulated. Xenogears looks quite nice in HD.

    -Xenogears’ translation was quite poor in spots, but FFT’s was absolutely bloody impenetrable.

    -You’d better sign me up to team Xeno.

  15. Wha’chu talkin’ ’bout Lusipurr?! Xenogear’s sprites are amazing looking, even today!

  16. True, they’re very pixelated, but they still look far more artistically appealing than FFT’s bog standard character sprites.

  17. – I love Ginia!

    – Rather than throwing rocks into the air and having convicts stand under them, why not use naturally-occurring cliffs? That way, you can say you’re environmentally friendly, since you’re not wasting good rocks!

    – Oh god, Lusipurr lied to us! WHY?!?! I was planning on picking up Xenogears on PSN :f

    – I can’t move and listen to podcasts at the same time. Multitasking isn’t my strong suit.

    – The translation and new cutscenes in War of the Lions make the slowdown in battle totally worth the pain. I bet what happened (to cause the slowdown) is that SE tried to do it’s own PS1 emulation for War of the Lions, and it just wasn’t as efficient as the PSP’s build in PS1 emulator (possibly the PS1 doesn’t expose the hardware in the correct way to handle it. Does anybody know of the PSP’s PS1 emulation is in hardware or software?). The iPad’s something like 10 years newer hardware, though, so I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it runs even SE’s crappy PS1 emulator without any issues

    – I was a mage in FFXIV and I couldn’t figure out how to do a standard attack! Hooray for complete and total obfuscation! Also, oh my god, I really hope the FFXIV beta’s just lacking a lot of optimization that the final product will have, because I was running everything on the absolute lowest settings and was getting probably 10-15 frames per second max. It was terrible. My computer’s a little old, but it’s hardly a piece of crap, but I don’t think I’d be able to play that game for more than 1/2 an hour without getting a splitting headache as things are in the beta.

    – Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness sounds like a porn title.

  18. The XG sprites look simply awful these days. They were not even particularly good for their time!

    If you want the trouble and attendant miseries that go with psx emulation, go to it yourselves, but I refuse to even begin to expect that of our readers, esp. concerning its illegality (patently obvious in these circs. as the reason this method is being suggested is because the people in question lack authentic copies of the game.)

    I’m not going to forge ahead with an XG playthrough if that is the option you are seriously proposing, especially if only a handful will be able/willing to participate anyway. FFT is something everyone can play or get ahold of legitimately and cheaply, without having to resort to complex and illegal methods.

    And I should like to remind our readers and our staff that blatantly and seriously encouraging illegal activity is one of the few things prohibited on this site.

  19. @Darth: The PSP battle slowdowns were caused because the psp version is not being emulated at all. The game was reprogrammed from the ground up, but the psp has higher resolution than the ps1. The graphics were upscaled and the field of view increased, but there were not sufficient resources for all of this to be done appropriately. Still, ose slowdowns are minor. The iPad version should have no problems at all.

    But to answer your question, the psp uses software emulatioon, just like the ps3. Both run the ps1 version of FFT perfectly.

  20. It is just as easy to use a legitimate copy of the game for emulation as it is to use an ISO, you just need the correct plug-in to read the disc. I only suggested otherwise for Kenjujujujjujuujujujujuu, because the game was never released in PAL territories.

  21. @SN: I am certain you meant she should obtain a legitimate copy of XG to use as the basis of that, but that would require a significant expenditure of funds on her part, and a general goal of our retro playthroughs is to avoid precisely that expectation.

  22. Given that XG was never released in PAL territories (really, Square!?), I think the position of the site has to be something other than XG until it hits PSN.

    Anyone know what the average turnaround is on SE games from the JP version of PSN to the EU and NA stores?

  23. Anywhere between eight months to never.

    I think they’ve had Xenogears for about a year now, it’s all very haphazard.

  24. Chrono Trigger was a much bigger game and never released in PAL territories until the DS re-re-release, so it shouldn’t be shocking. (Not that the FF Chronicles version was playable.)

    I guess wait for a PSN release. I didn’t realize it was so expensive to get a copy off Amazon. Most other PSX games are like $20 on there. XG apparently never went neon green though.

    FF:T wasn’t bad, but there’s a lot of problems with it from a gameplay standpoint and I think a lot of strategy RPGs since have vastly improved the formula. It’s like playing the NES release of FF1. It’s still playable, if archaic, and not a bad game, but it’s noticeably old. I’ll see if I can find them, and put a big SPOILERS thing if I link, but the PSX release is littered with typos. That, and the final in-game scene still makes no sense to me. Please cover that in the last podcast on the playthrough.

  25. @ep: The original PSX translation of FFT is bad, but very little in the main storyline is unintelligable. Once you get off that hastily-paved path, things go sideways. The Daravonese tutorials are particularly hilarious, as are the ‘help texts’ for game commands.

    “Navigation Message” yields “displays the explanation of operating procedures to be displayed”. What it actually does is force you to confirm when you move your character.

    XG did go greatest hits, strangely enough. However, it is much covetted and has never been released since the PS1. Even more limiting is the fact that it was not relased in PAL territories. The upshot of this is that, today, it is very expensive.

    I feel certain it will get a PSN release in the next year, and possibly before the end of this year. Until then, though, it isn’t feasible as a playthrough choice. The initial release was just too limited, and the ability of people to acquire it and play it legally is, at this point, subject only to a significant cash investment.

  26. So it’s safe to assume at this point, XG is being replaced by Final Fantasy Tactics, then?

  27. @Deimosion: Yes, unless one of two things happen.

    1) Xenogears is released on PSN in NA/EU/AUS.
    2) Xenogears is announced for release on PSN in NA/EU/AUS, and the release date is scheduled before All Saints Day, 2010.

    I would be willing to put off the playthrough for up to a month to accomodate XG, but any longer than that and it makes sense instead to have two separate playthroughs, rather than one long-delayed playthrough.

    Sadly, we announced the XG playthrough under the assumption that it was already out on PSN in NA/EU/AUS. Unfortunately, we were wrong and it’s only available in Japan. Here’s hoping something is done about that *quickly*. Otherwise, our XG playthrough will take place as soon as it hits PSN and we’ll play FFT after the PKMN contest ends.

  28. I was going to suggest a Legend of Mana playthrough, but I checked Amazon and that’s stupidly expensive as well. Really with the exception of the FF games I haven’t replayed many PSX titles since getting them new years back.

  29. @EP: We’re going to go with FFT because it is not terribly difficult, has a great story, a fairly easy-to-learn system, and is readily available, cheap.

    Also, the PSP/iDevice translation is fantastic, as are the voice acting and cutscenes. Because it comes out on iDevices tomorrow, you might even say that the timing is felicitous.

  30. I’ll admit it. I bought Madden NFL 11 for PS3, and I know at least 3 or 4 other people who bought it. I haven’t bought a Madden in 4 years; so it was time for me to reload. My friends come over to play it, and a good time is had by all. I honestly have no idea why people buy it every year because that’s stupid, but they do add new modes and improve some of the gameplay features so buying an improved version every few years is worth it to me.

    I may be able to play FFT with you all, but it depends on what kind of beating I am taking from school at the time.

  31. FFT it is then? Great! Looks like I’ll be grinding in the Mandalia Plains to get a ninja WAY too early once again!

  32. Corner a random encounter Chocobo and spam that male character ability over and over like a proper exploitative guy! Cheer or Joy or something I think? Just need a healer or two as you get a buttload of JP.

  33. I’m now super pumped for this playthrough. FFT has been sitting there DYING to be played, and what better excuse than a site playthrough?
    (By the way, does anyone know if you can switch the language to French on the PAL version? That way I’m learning whilst playing! Yay for multi-tasking! It’s a skill, DG.)
    Of course, were it to come out on PSN, and the site played through that, I’m sure I could legitimately purchase a foreign copy of the game and a legitimate American PSX along with some legitimate adaptor cables. That’s obviously the best way for us foreigners to enjoy games that Sony can’t be bothered to release for us.

  34. @Kenju: No idea how to switch to French on the PAL version: possibly change your PSP setting to French? No idea! But, if you can, don’t. The English translation is truly phenomenal, and you won’t want to miss it. It’s incredible.

  35. @Lusi: I could always play two save files simultaneously? Besides, are you sure it’s phenomenal, or is it just MILES better than “This is the way!”

  36. @Kenju: No, it really is amazing. It’s probably one of the best-translated games I’ve ever played–up there with Final Fantasy XII.

    If you’re going to learn French through playing games, you should save it for something where the English translation isn’t something rare and beautiful. Few games have this level of English on display–it would be a shame to waste it, however industrious your intent.

  37. So is anyone going to do the FFXI thing because if a sizable (between 4-10) does want to get together on one server and meet up to do Missions, Grinding or whatever i would reactivate my FFXI account in a flash!!

  38. @Blitz: I’m definitely up for it. All we need are a few more people and we’ll set up an evening every week for people to play together.

    No rules on what we have to do, except that we have to do it together. :)

    Anyone else?

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