TSM Episode 345: Cancelled on XBone

'Xbone off.'
Could this be Microsoft’s last console?

Download: Produced 2015.10.11

Lusipurr and SiliconNooB discuss the upcoming Cricket All-Stars series in America, the decline of Microsoft’s console fortunes, the deprecation of many Disney titles, the delay of Shovel Knight, Konami’s vast greed, and the first part of Chrono Cross.


  1. @RabidKitten: Thanks for spotting that mistake: it’s now fixed!

    Quick plug to subscribe to our podcast via iTunes or whatever RSS-driven podcast feed thingy you like!

  2. Agree completely in regards to the characters in Chrono Cross. I recall it bothering me at the time too. Like a parade of caricatures whose only function is the fill out a massive roster.

    The Xbox generalization is spot on. Every Xbox gamer I know only talks about CoD and sports games. It actually makes me wonder if we’ll see a future where Xbox exists only to appease and deliver these kind of ‘games’ in a streamlined, digital fashion, while more traditional games continue to see support on Playstations and Nintendos.

    I’m having a really hard time figuring out what, if any future the sort of games I enjoy now will have in the future. IOS and touchscreen nonsense seem to hold the lion’s share and I can’t see these AAA companies or even middle grade companies (what’s left of them) continuing to pour millions into productions when they can churn out micro-transaction nonsense and grow richer overnight.

    I’m seriously perplexed that you liked Seraph of the End so much, Lusi. I mean, I loved it, but I didn’t talk about it much since I didn’t really imagine anyone but me found it to be more than an average shonen show. Now I have no idea what measure to use when suggesting anime to you.

    As for streaming? Well, I’m at work when you’re streaming so I either can’t watch, or it’s on and I’m not there to actually see it. And to commenting: I do my best to put in a word where I can, but as you know I have my own site and spend a good deal of time engaging with my own readers. Only so much time to go around I fear.

    You mentioned last week that you used more illustrations to break up the text. And that’s a good idea. I like the sites, but it is -is- very much essay-centered, and most gamer readers don’t gravitate towards that. 1up.com tried a similar approach and it didn’t work out for them (for which I’m glad because they were all a bunch of pretentious SJW twats), but the point remains. Walls of text intimidate potential readers.

    And lastly, the ‘hot flaccid lettuce’ line made me literally spit coffee all over a picture I was working on. Damn you.

  3. @Wolfe: You comment every week; sometimes several times a week! We’d love to see comments from the people that seldom or never(!) comment.

    If you’re reading this and you’ve NEVER commented, take the first-commenter challenge and say so today!

    If XBox devs do go the all-digital yearly-franchise route, I wonder if Microsoft will bother continuing in hardware development at that point. Will it make financial sense? Maybe they are trying to combine sports and sports on tv into some sort of omnibus combination thing, where people who buy one get the other? Hm.

    I like anime largely based on topicality and aesthetic production values (in that order). Seraph of the End has just the sorts of characters and plot that I love, and its production values are mostly high (taking into account the perilous state of the Japanese anime industry–the large number of 2D stills doing service for moving content did not go unnoticed). A good dub significantly helps, because my eyes are not great and are getting worse, so squinting at subtitles is not a good time. SoE has a decent dub. It was actually very ordinary to start with, but it became much better as the show progressed along and the voice actors learned their roles. I’m still looking forward to the official blu-ray release dub, as they will likely re-record it and make the whole more consistent and professional.

    We’re very editorial here (as SN’s news post title this week indicates!). Most sites do this with click-bait style bullshit: “Ten reasons why X is the greatest PS1 game” or “the seven best Korean MMOs!” and so on. Those are editorials as well, but they require no thought or effort on the part of the author or the reader. As Doctor Johnson wrote, what is written without effort is read without pleasure.

    So we aim for the older style of editorial content: where the editorialist writes a short essay making their claim, point, or observation as an argument, aiming for the persuasion of the reader to their view. This is what an editorial used to be (before people started either pretending that their editorials were news, or turned their editorials into clickbait lists). We think that editorials of our sort will attract thinking readers who have trouble finding such content elsewhere, even if it means we lose readers who only follow clickbait, and even if it means that we have to have much higher standards for our staff writers (who have to be able to write properly, after all).

    That might sound a little bit pompous or self-aggrandising, but I think it is a fact, not a matter of mere opinion, that clickbait requires little intellect to create, and is mainly directed at those who haven’t the wit or desire to read anything that requires intelligence.

    We aren’t chasing those people as readers–there are plenty of sites for them, anyway. We want thinking people, and so that is where our content is focused. As much as I enjoy sledging them, my staff members are all intelligent and critical people, able to advocate their positions with reason. If it were otherwise, I would quickly become bored with teasing them and would simply fire them.

  4. Don’t misread me, I’m not advocating for click bait, lists, or even a compromise in style. Just echoing your sentiments that pictures dotting a layout creates a less imposing site when clicking an article.

  5. Of course; I’m just explaining our justification for our structure.

    The Chrono Cross thread is still roughly the same amount of pictures per quantity of text as we had been doing with our playthroughs; when it came time to reformat, I just chopped a chunk of text and one of the pictures. It used to be 3 in-line-pictures (instead of 2), and a couple paragraphs more text than we have now. So, I dropped one of the in-line pictures and cut a chunk of text that used to go alongside it.

    My thinking is that (especially for a playthrough) we want people to get into the game directly and to get the point of the post very quickly. Background on sales data, reception, plot, etc, are all therefore secondary to the purpose of the post. So, we’ve condensed that a bit.

    I think I like the way the new one looks and we are at least getting people to comment, so maybe it is working!

  6. It’s certainly more approachable visually. Plus it’s a great first image greeting you when you open the article.

  7. Info Blast Turns Two!

    This week’s panel
    Silicon Noob
    Also featuring:

    October 14th marks the two year anniversary of Info Blast!
    I hope to continue to Blast for many years to come.
    The first ever Info Blast

    Chrono Cross Playthrough

    Make a Mario Maker level
    Post level code to the Currently non-existent) contest page comments. The level that receives the highest rating from the LusiCom staff will win for its creator a $60 game of their choice.

    PS4 $50 Price drop
    Neat, that should make the system more available. I still have barely used my PS3, so I can’t really take part in this though.

    Shovel Knight physical release delayed, price increased
    Shovel Knight looks fun, but best played with a gamepad.

    Disney Pulls Titles from iOS

    Yoshida VR
    The “That was cool, I’d buy that” effect is pretty prevelant at conventions. I’ve played lots of games at PAX that I thought were cool, but never ended up pursuing. Post demo polls are awful for estimating purposes.

    Voice Actors Authorize strike
    I actually saw the SAG-AFTRA building while I was in LA last week. It’s a couple blocks away from the La Brea Tar Pits.

    Konami Phantom Pain FoB insurance
    That’s pretty terrible, but it IS Konami…

    Bup Talk
    It sounds like Bup is the Spelling Bee.
    Favorite thing about Star Wars: Battlefront

    Where does he get these things?

    Imitanis Literature Corner
    The Once and Future King by T.H. White

    -Chapter 6-
    Nice to see that my input caused change.
    I really should go back and listen to chapter 5, your summary of it sounds amazing.
    Rovers sounds like a great game. It could be easily played with stones, and would result in fewer deceased rabbits.

    -Chapter 7-
    I like how Merlin sounds like a typical crochety old man, but his statement belies something more interesting. Scholarship will actually increase as time goes on as he experiences time in reverse.
    Merlin really is hilarious. I love how he casts spells for really trivial purposes, like toying with people that he doesn’t care for.

    Imitanis Gaming Entertainment? Moment
    These last two weeks I only played Paperback.

    Paperback is a Deckbuilding Game about spelling words. You start with a deck of 10 cards: R,S,T,L,N and 5 wilds. On your turn you will draw 5 cards and use them in any order to spell a word. Every card has a point value and your score for the round is the total of all of your card points in your word. You can then spend those points to buy more cards. Purchased cards go to your discard pile with your spent cards and any remaining in hand. When you The stock of purchasable cards contains single letters, two letters, vowels and Fame cards. Vowels must be removed from your deck after you use them, two letters typically score higher, but are harder to fit into words, single letters act the same as your starting cards but may have a special ability which allows you to draw an additional card on your next hand or increase your score for the round under certain conditions (first letter in word, etc). Fame cards are your victory points so, you’ll need to purchase them to win, but act as zero score wilds when in play, so they will slow you down if you draw too many at once. After a certain number of the available cards are purchased then the game ends and the player with the most victory points wins.

    If you enjoy word games then is game is right up your alley. I liked it a lot, but it can be slow if you play with players that want to always use all of their cards and have trouble finding a word. If you’ve never played a deckbuilding game, then this is not the best place to start though. Try Dominion first. Mild recommendation.

    DiceAdmiral Travel Moment
    I traveled through several states and spent roughly 45 hours on the road. Much Drive, Very Tired.

    Final Notes
    Is SN the only one who can make the recordings anymore? You guys make a great panel with just yourselves, but I do miss hearing some of the other staff occasionally.

    They’re like if Hot Pockets didn’t have the decency to hide inside a spongy bread-shell.

    RE: Apples:
    I prefer a nice cold Gala. What kind of apples does everyone else like?

    I’ve never played a Disgaea game. I have access to PC, DS/3DS, wii/wii U and PS3. Which should I play if I wanted to pick one up for one of those systems? I think I might actually own Disgaea DS, but I’m not sure.

    Final Quotes
    None this week.

    Cumulative total record holder: Imitanis
    Single Donation record holder: Imitanis

    Donators eligible for end of year drawing: I still really have no idea

  8. @Dr. Ida Malice:
    I actually saw the SAG-AFTRA building while I was in LA last week. It’s a couple blocks away from the La Brea Tar Pits.
    Ahhh, interesting how dinousaurs end up in the same places.

    Where does he get these things?
    It’s a gift.

    I really should go back and listen to chapter 5, your summary of it sounds amazing.
    It is excellent and worth hearing again and again.

    Merlin really is hilarious. I love how he casts spells for really trivial purposes, like toying with people that he doesn’t care for.
    This is one of my favourite things about White’s book (that, and the fact that that narrator, and most of the people in the text (dialect aside) speak in absolutely perfect formal English). In the actual Arthurian legendaria, Merlin is not some unambiguously friendly, purely good, super powerful father figure. In fact, he is weird, occasionally unfair, spiteful, and all-too-clearly possessed of human weaknesses which get him and others into difficulty. His willingness to help Uther sleep with Ygraine is only the tip of the iceberg. The Prose Merlin is full of even more wacky stuff, to say nothing of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s kooky prophecies of Merlin.

    Anyway, the point I am getting at is that many modern representations of Merlin have been sanitised to make him like a kindly, good, wise, approachable old man (largely based, strangely enough, on a very superficial reading of T H White!). So, it’s nice that people notice what T. H. White is actually doing. Like all of Arthuriana, Merlin is adjusted for an adolescent worldview in this book, but his Merlin is still a rulebreaker and a very imperfect being even within those reduced constraints.

    Is SN the only one who can make the recordings anymore? You guys make a great panel with just yourselves, but I do miss hearing some of the other staff occasionally.
    Imitanis is on a leave of absence, Bup never shows up, Brock is on honeymoon, and Adeki is only available for Sunday afternoon streaming. Time to remind everyone that WE NEED MORE STAFF MEMBERS.

    What kind of apples does everyone else like?
    Apples should be cold, firm, crisp, and tart. Macintosh, Ida Red, Jonathan, Granny Smith.

    Disgaea is a good place to start (there is a PS2 classics version that can be played on PS3).

  9. I think I might have the DS version of Disgaea. Is that an acceptable version?

  10. The thing that I find strange about the…unique character designs in Chrono Cross is that it is at odds with the world already established in Chrono Trigger. There’s Medina Village, and everywhere else people have the same look, or nothing that really suggests that punk rock clothing or Mexican wrestling garb isn’t going to get as much as a second glance from most people. I mean, it’s not a huge deal or anything, but it stuck out to me when I first played it and it doesn’t make any more sense now.

    The PS4 price drop has me considering a purchase relatively soon. Disgaea 5, DQ Heroes, Bloodborne, Axiom Verge…lots of games that I want to play.

    Thanks for the podcast. I have told friends about the site, maybe they lurk, or just never came to check it out. I’ll try to comment more often, it really is the least I can do to show my appreciation.

    One final note – thanks for the anime news and reviews. I actually haven’t watched any anime in some time, but when that time eventually comes, I’ll have plenty to check into from the articles and comments!

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