TSM Episode 600: Tooting Our Own Horn

It is hard to imagine the amount of effort and loving oversight that would be needed for Yuji Horii to go beyond what he has accomplished with DQXI.
Can Dragon Quest XI be surpassed?

Download Link: Released 2020.08.24

To celebrate a new podcast milestone, Akademician announces a contest for the best new US iTunes review, and joins Reetin, Imitanis, and SiliconNooB to review the latest encouraging news about Skyward Sword in advance of the upcoming Earthbound playthrough.


  1. Congratulations!

    Sorry I missed it. Still listening now. When listing the games I have completed until the credits in the last 12 months, I forgot entirely that I had recently played Skyward Sword front to back, so of course it’s (likely) coming this year with improved graphics. Just like Earthbound will arrive right after the site’s playthrough!

    I’m also curious about how they will handle the control transition with SS. I agree that it seems highly unlikely that Nintendo would release even an old Zelda game that couldn’t be played on the Switch Lite, but I also can’t see them putting the resources into essentially redeveloping the game to make it work with traditional Zelda controls because the combat is based on entirely different mechanical principles than Ocarina through Twilight. SN’s theory of mapping it to the right stick is something I never thought about and maybe the most workable solution, but considering how so much of the combat is based around signalling a certain move and then subverting that signal, it’s hard to imagine that using the right stick wouldn’t be more frustrating than the original motion controls. In that vein, I had the smoothest time with the controls in this playthrough. They really are quite well thought out and satisfying and reward study and skill, but the fact remains that they are indeed motion controls and that ship has sailed and people will be even less receptive to the idea of being forced to play that way than Caspius’ summation of his experience with the game. Especially with the fact that many fans will likely be coming in having Breath of the Wild being their first Zelda experience.

    Also, I just got to SN’s exclamation of “IT’S A PIECE OF HARDWARE!” for my first lol of my listen.

  2. Sorry to double comment, but I just finished up and my final additions are that Spiritfarer is actually a surprise delight. My partner and I have been playing almost nonstop for two days. What a beautiful, well-conceived, and well-paced game. I would also like to echo praise for DQXI. Not quite to Caspius’ degree, but thereabouts. So very rare to have a traditional RPG of that length that is able to maintain excellent gameplay pacing. That is always what impresses me most about that series which is full of impressive feats at every turn.

  3. Any game that describes itself as ‘cozy’ instantly gets a hard pass from me. That’s the cottagecore (for lack of a more apt descriptor) version of always wearing a turtleneck and tinted glasses and beginning every conversation with, “Speaking as a beat poet…”

    We keep SN around for his exclamations. At some point, I’ll have enough of them recorded to set up a sound board and carry on a podcast without him. Crikey!

  4. Looking forward to your upcoming column, SiliconKnits, in which you wear sweaters from OxFam and tell people about the vintage teapot you just got at a rummage sale.

  5. I own SS but it’s unopened. Let me explain, I haven’t been a huge fan of the Zeldas post Ocorina of time. Each one has a glaring flaw. Majoras mask had the time limit, Wind Waker’s ocean was too big and boring. Twilight Princess didn’t catch me 20 mins in, which is unusual for me on a Zelda game. I skipped Skyward Sword because of the waggle stick. I played up to the Stables in Breath of the Wild. I guess it might be all the gimmicky features post OOT.

  6. Well regardless of the copy writer’s diction, Spiritfarer is a mechanically sound and content rich game. Recommended!

    @TJ – I don’t know if I’d call the Majora and Skyward elements you mention “flaws” but they certainly are noticeable elements that understandably turn some people away. Twilight Princess is such a mess. I think it has so many wonderful elements, but there’s so much poorly-designed garbage to sift through to experience those elements that I always regret it when I attempt to replay it. It’s like FFVIII that way.

  7. I mean, I couldn’t play the Wii versions of Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword without the sword clang every 5 seconds. It’s ok to play it by yourself, but to play it late at night or with someone else in the room would annoy them to no end. I believe there was no way to turn it off. Trust me I tried. I had the same problem with Xenoblade Chronicles X. The music was way too loud, it drowned out the dialogue a good bit. The NLA music was annoying after hearing it a 100 times, again no way to shut it off. I think what I’m trying to say is small devolopment decisions like loud music or gimmicky controls can marr a game that’s pretty much a 10/10 game. I’ll get to those post OOT Zeldas eventually

  8. You can, in fact, adjust volume control (including mute) on the Wiimotes. It’s not a game setting, but rather a setting accessed on the Wii for the remote itself.

  9. I guess next time I hook the Wiiu up I’ll try that. I mothballed the Wiiu after the XBC playthrough. I was playing MM and Wind Waker in the breaks from XBC. So it all goes together now

  10. @Caspius – Discovering that that was the case was such a joy!

    @TJack – I adore WW on the Wii U (and that fast sail? yes please!), but playing either Ocarina or MM on the Wii U I find to be an incredible struggle. The analog sticks just aren’t a match. Those are two games that I reserve for original hardware or the 3DS versions.

  11. So, how many cases of Pibs did it take for Resting to float by the office for podcasting?

  12. Reetin takes his PIBS by train car these days: three high-pressure storage cars was the deal (I talked him down from seven).

    ALSO: It took 600 episodes, but I finally fixed an issue with how the podcast feed displayed summaries when episodes were viewed on iTunes, Spotify, etc. Share and enjoy!

  13. So is the consensus that the XBC Definitive edition is the way to go? I can’t imagine hooking my WiiU back up to play the original.

  14. Also, Contrats on 600! I’d bring back the Info Blast for the occasion, but I kinda feel like my necromantic powers can’t resurrect something that’s been dead so long.

  15. @DiceAdmiral: I would WELCOME an InfoBlast!

    XBC Definitive is DEFINITELY the way to go (check out our recent playthrough thread for comments on it). It has so many QoL improvements over the original that it is hard to imagine replaying the original after this. The quest indicators alone are worth the price of admission.

    Welcome back!

  16. It’s the Info Blast soft reboot that no one wanted!
    And of course, it will also be different in ways that no one wanted. (I won’t be looking up links for the news stories despite that being the original purpose of the Info Blast)

    I wonder when the opening music changed for this. I was expecting something different.

    Caspius (speaking of things that have changed… whats the story here?)

    No live music today
    There has been live music in the past? I have to guess maybe some piano?

    Xenoblade Chronicles Play-through
    I only ever got a few hours into the original Wii version of this. I think I wandered into an area filled with level 100 dinosaurs and died and got frustrated. How long did it take everyone to finish this? I have to plan out my gaming time these days. Is XBC2 worth playing afterwards? I think I actually have a copy of that sitting around somewhere

    Earthbound Play-through Starts August 29th
    I have never played this. I do not intend to join this, but it sounds like a good choice. How do you determine which games will be play throughs? You jump around a lot.

    Skyward Sword coming to Switch
    Neat. The more things that get re-released on switch the more likely I am to play them. I never finished this one, but after seeing some retrospectives about the cool dungeon design I’d kind of like to revisit it.
    -OH RIGHT, This had required wiimotion plus function… How the F will that work?

    Mother themed things?
    Wow, this stuff is very expensive. I don’t get it.

    Mother 3 fan translation update?
    Released? I guess… I think maybe I hit this on one in one of the last Info Blasts, did it take a very long time?

    Fortnite update battles apple
    Playing games on mac doesn’t need to be harder. I’m a mac guy these days and there are very few things I can play, even on Steam.

    TL;DR if you, dear reader, like I, did not know what antitrust laws are:
    “Antitrust laws also referred to as competition laws, are statutes developed by the U.S. government to protect consumers from predatory business practices.”

    –Side note–
    Didn’t the panelists used to each present a news story?
    I preferred that.
    -Side side note: I guess that happened like once this episode? still not getting the benefit of the full panel IMO.

    Occulus to require Facebook Login
    Back in the day, FB integration would have been cool, today people are leaving FB in droves, so I can see why they’re forcing it.
    I have used an Occulus to play Beat Saber, and that was a lot of fun, but I don’t really see VR as the future of mainstream gaming. It just can’t really replicate most experiences. There are a few things that it does that are pretty great though. It’s kind of like those plastic guitar hero guitars: they are amazing for the 2 or 3 things that they’re designed for, and awful for everything else.

    505 games ultimate edition something about excluding people
    No idea what this is.

    Tales of Arise release date
    I’ve liked a few of the Tales games in the past.
    Oh OLI-There’s-No-exploration-in-Metroid-VER! I forgot about that dude.

    Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles multiplayer region locked
    I really enjoyed the original gamecube version of this. It’s ONLY good multiplayer though, so easy pass now.

    Nintendo Indie World Showcase
    Something about Hades? I honestly zoned out a bit during this part…

    Perfect World Torchlight 3
    I think I heard a lot of things about Torchlight 1 back when I listened to the RPGCast back in like 2007… Unfortunately I have no taste for grindy dungeon crawlers unless they’re rogue-like. For some reason rogue-like games have really been compelling lately.

    Other games?
    You’re reading something from Nintendo I think. I lost track and honestly can’t keep rewinding.

    The Plop
    I think this segment used to exist under a different name? Was it just new releases?

    Lame Gaming Moment
    They have to be lame now? hmm.
    Pandemic has prevented me from my usual weekly board gaming, but I do DM for 3 separate D&D groups online and sometimes play Slay the Spire or Into the Breach on my Switch. That’s about all I have time for and I don’t think it’s lame but whatever.

    This show used to end with a chapter from a book. I guess you stopped that too? That’s a shame.

    Anyways, congrats on 600!

  17. @DiceAdm.

    • Caspius is easier to spell and more people (literally tens of thousands more) know me online by that name, so it overtook the other.

    • For this episode we used the original MAP Episode 1 theme music (Manhattan Beach by Sousa). However… (see next point)

    • We normally have all live music throughout the podcast and for the intro/outro music. Thanks to our generous supporters who provided an upgraded amp, second microphone, etc!

    • XBC2 is streets ahead of XBC1. They are not short games, but they are thoroughly excellent. To complete (read: do everything) in XBC 1 took me about 100 hours.

    • Lots of factors go into picking a playthrough game: generally it has to be good, available or current, usually an RPG or RPG elements, etc. And we like variety.

    • The Mother 3 Fan Translation was released back when I worked at RPGamer. This is an homage to my weekly ‘Mother 3 Fan Translation Update’ when I was on their podcast. Long term fans remember!

    • Staff members are supposed to report on news stories they select but because of how the stories get selected it’s not always equally weighted. This annoys me too, so I think I’ll do something about it next episode.

    • 505 Games story is a follow-up to the last two weeks of news about them.

    • If only I could forget about Oliver.

    • FFCC’s region-locking ended up being far WORSE than we dreamt it could be. I gave a preview of the details in a Top of the Plops comment.

    • The Plop was new releases but due to a change in how Sony (no longer) provides that data in The Drop, it’s become a Nintendo-centric segment we call The Plop.

    • The LAME gaming moment trolololololol. (It’s named after Lane).

    • Literature is better covered in a special podcast focused entirely on that: check out CRITICAL READINGS, in the links menu. It’s on Episode 50!

  18. Neat. Thanks for filling in some of that. I forgot that the gaming moments were named after sponsors.

  19. I see from the readings site that you finished your PhD. Congratulations!
    Is there a way to find a list of the books that you’ve done on that show or have you only covered the one as yet?

  20. I did! It’s been a while–I have an actual faculty position now and everything.

    Critical Readings is a little different from the episodic audiobook-style format. Think of it instead as free university-level classes on texts hosted a panel of professors. There are readings, but it’s not always the full text, and the focus is more on discussion of the text than simply reading the content.

    CR has covered loads of stuff, but the front page only shows the most recent episode by default. You have several options there:

    A. There is an ‘older posts’ button at the bottom of that most recent post which links to the past archive.

    B. The sidebar on the site contains the five or so most recent episodes.

    C. There is a link on that site’s sidebar to the podcast feed which contains everything–you can add that feed URL to your podcast app of choice; or,

    D. Search for Critical Readings on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. The feed is indexed with both.

    Share and enjoy!

  21. The Info Blast brings me back to like, 8 years ago? When Bup’s Steam Greenlight reviews took up a similar lane to what The Plop does now.

  22. This way, none of us have to actually PLAY any of the avalanche of garbage!

    Tomorrow, Earthbound . . . !

  23. I think I started info blast in 2013. I think I stopped doing it regularly in 2016. So 8ish years yeah.

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