MAP Episode 74: Cruel Summer

Just so you know, she's not pissing on that train. That would be offensive. She's only showing them her underage pussy, so don't get all upset about it.
Japan. What more need be said?

Download Link: Produced 2010.07.18

Caspius is depressed, and who can blame him? Forced to babysit Nate Liles once a week for several hours, he contemplates other paths his life might have taken: astronaut, president, Pope. Oh well, he’ll just have to settle for internet celebrity instead.


  1. Caspius forgot to mention this, but make sure the volume on your speakers/headphones/whatever are up as much as possible for the first few minutes. The audio was low for some reason.

  2. At times like this Lusi, do you miss being on RPGcast where lady Googa and Baby Bup isn’t?

  3. -Final Fantasy should be just allowed to curl up and die quietly, rather that parading around its corpse well after it’s begun to turn …

    -A tiny blurb of writing surrounded by boobs and porn? Sankaku Complex is just a macrocosm of!

    -I will start rowing immediately using Kinect Rowboat, I hope it can see my tree-trunk legs …

  4. ~ Is there anything about Kinect that doesn’t suck?

    ~ Nintendo reversed-engineered alien tech for the 3DS. You may not believe me now, but you will when you wake up in the middle of the night with a stylus up your bum!

  5. Maybe gamers just like looking at pictures about sex, even if they can’t have it.

    Squeenix needs to tap into whatever font of inspiration Sakaguchi found for FF6. If Sakaguchi is really retiring after Last Story, he won’t be using it anymore.

    Detachable Kotick?

    I love NISA, and I really hope they can recover. I’m not so sure about Cladun, but, if I can’t get review copies, I’m probably buying the other three games they talked about at the press event day one. Disgaea Infinite was really cute, too.

    Nude in front of a Kinect camera? That’ll make the video chat even better!

  6. I don’t need to listen to this podcast to know that it sucks!


    Worst. Podcast. Ever.

  7. But Ginia, Nate’s Lady Gaga news came back. What more could you want?

  8. @SN, Ah I hadn’t heard that. Well then, the answer is simple. Give Squeenix’s money and manpower back to Gooch and let him run with it.

  9. A Bup cameo on RPGCast would be great. Personally, I’d just love to hear everyone’s increasingly distraught reactions to his…what’s the word, Bupiness?

    Also, I don’t care what Lusi says, DQIX is (at least so far) a great game.

  10. – I love how Valve’s having contests to get fans to do their work for them :D

    – 1v100 was a pretty good game, especially for something that was free with Live. I’m kind of curious as to why they didn’t leave the automated games up and running and just take out the human-manned ones. Presumably the server costs to keep the game around for a little longer are pretty minimal compared to the rest of XBL.

    – Alan Wake still sold better than the Microsoft Kin!

    – “Jumping around my living room in the nude in front of a television camera” sounds like a typical Saturday morning for me. Why do I need Kinect?

    – Nate Liles flies fine, it’s getting him to land that’s the trick.

    – Best podcast ending ever!

  11. @Deimosion: Well if you like the DQ series then I don’t see how you could help but think DQIX was a great game (they’re all the same game after all). Not all of us like excessive grinding and archaic, unintuitive interfaces however …

    -Bup for President!

  12. So far, DQIX has been really forgiving in its interface. It’s a LOT better that some of the early ones. And I really like what I’ve seen of the job system so far.

  13. @Deimosion: You should mention that to Ethan Pipher, I think you would find yourself an argument.

    @Oyashiro: Overpriced junk!

  14. -you know, when DQ was still gonna be an action RPG I was thinkin about gettin it. then a few thousand people in japan stood up as one and said “Innovation!? In Dragon Quest!? Satan, get thee behind me!” hopefully they’ll do spin off where they can make an action DQ.

  15. Really, the market is quite glutted with Action RPGs at the moment. They have become something of a fad, and I’m perfectly happy that some RPGs are being released that are *not* Action RPGs.

    Squeenix has consistently shown that they don’t know how to turn their long-term JRPG series into ActionRPGs, and that seems perfectly fine for me.

    It’s worth noting that I’m not bitching and moaning about how all the action RPGs should have been JRPGs. I’m astounded that there are fans of the former who feel that the latter should not exist, as if ActionRPG fans are the only gamers in the world.

    What next? Will the sports players rise up and start complaining every time any game is released without a John Madden commentary track? It’s a bit narrow to expect that every game released conform to one’s own particular interests, and to act as if the entire industry should be focused to serve one particular segment of the gaming population.

  16. Strategic ActionRPG is an oxymoron, that’s why some semblance of menu based combat will always have a place in the RPG genre. ActionRPGs are fine occasionally, but they’re not particularly filling.

  17. it’s because turn-based JRPGs can get insipid after a while. a common alleged reason many people cite for why they like turn-based combat is real time is that it’s more strategic but from what I’ve played this isn’t usually true.

    FFT was strategic. you could flank, seperate your forces, and draw enemies onto terrain that gave you the advantage. but in most turn-based sytems you can’t move. even if you do cute things like have characters run around the field when they attack it doesn’t change the fact that the “stategy” involved usually only entails elemental affinities (a puzzle you solve once), status ailments (a problem with maybe two or three solutions, all of which work), and manipulating dice rolls (luck, the bane of tacticians).

    if I’m fighting, say, a Bomb and I have a Fire, Blizzard, and Lightning spell even if I’m new to FF and a fucking moron that mistake will only be made once. on the other hand, in kingdom hearts when I fight an Invisible it’s attack pattern could be different and I have to prepare for that or get a sword up the zipper. my point being that solving the same puzzle gets old quick but reflexes have a longer expiration date.

    not to say all TB-RPGs and A-RPGs are exactly like this, many A-RPGs suck herpes infected monkey testicles (too human, fable) and there are TB-RPGs that are twelve kinds of awesome. but this seems to be the trend. I can sorta understand where they’re comin from but to say that TB-RPGs shouldn’t exist is asinine. personally I’m slowly getting tired of takin turns but FFT is still my all time favorite game.

  18. You just described a strategic turn-based system and then asked where all the strategic turn-based systems are …? FF as you might expect is the lowest rung on the scaffold as everyone’s baby’s first JRPG, but the majority of turn-based JRPGs that I encounter these days are positively brimming with strategy. Have you played Lost Odyssey or any SMT game? You could only miss the strategy it you played naught but Final Fantasy games. By contrast the only ARPG that I have come across which requires strategy is Deamon’s Souls …

    *I should also point out that I’m not adverse to hybrid battle-systems like Vagrant Story or Xenogears which have a fast pace, but require strategic input.

  19. I’ve played persona 3, I didn’t find the fighting to be particulary deep. strategy to me involves a plan. hitting enemies with every spell you know until somethin sticks ain’t really a plan to me, more one step above tryin to put a square block into round hole.

  20. Sounds like you were trying to play the game unstrategically, as one might play an ARPG …

  21. LOL, I was taking the piss, but I think you are looking at the battle-system in the wrong way. The enemies all have their own strengths, weaknesses as well as the occasional unique quirk, packs of enemies then appear in many different configurations. You as the player are supposed to discover which attack is most effective against which enemy type, while also making decisions about which order to tackle them in in order to complete the fight in as few rounds as possible, while sustaining as little damage as possible and avoiding status ailments. Ending a fight as efficiently as possible is what is satisfying, it makes one feel good to have a sense that they have mastered the set of rules upon which the game is based, that is strategic, that is satisfying. From here the icing on the cake is if the game has some tough bosses which require you to quickly put together a strategy in order to survive.

    Perhaps it takes a gamer of a certain disposition to enjoy this, but when you are able to discover what makes a group of enemies tick, and then efficiently impose order upon chaos, there’s something very neat, ordered and satisfying about that …

  22. @SN: If you keep up with this sort of blather, you’re going to actually make me want to play an SMT: Persona game.


  23. Ah, well you can take what I said above and apply it to a great many other games (Pokemon?). It’s just the reason why menu based combat is the ultimate form of input for the RPG genre. Companies will keep on dipping their tows in the ARPG pool in order to attract the broader church of action gamers, but for the purest RPG experience it must be menu based, plain and simple.

  24. hmm, I see. I completely understand what you mean when you say that there’s satsfaction in knowing you’ve mastered the rules, that’s what I love about Tri-Ace games, but in persona 3 the rules are too simplistic. or maybe that’s just me.

    once I’ve beaten the 4 Magic Hands group or the 2 Magic Tables 2 Magic Hands group then that’s it, I know it. there’s no point in me fighting them again except for the experiance. not all persona enemies are like this but generally speaking once you know the enemies weakness then they’re no longer a threat unless they ambush you and then it’s a slight upgrade to minor annoyance. this situation is a bit worse in persona 3 & 4 since they have the unfortunate trait of being repetitive but I see this shit a lot in TB-RPGs in general.

    while we’re on the subject of enemy configurations I just randomly remembered one from FFVII. does anyone else remember when you go to cosmo canyan and the fuckin Ghost Rider tries to kick your ass alongside an Emperor Penguin? what the fuck was that shit?

  25. @Lusi – don’t, they are way too fuckin long. I love those games but I could never suggest it to someone who needs to be productive. you’ll probably have a Disgaea game to suck your life away pretty soon anyway.

  26. Fighting the same enemies certainly doesn’t stay fresh for long. There’s the learning of weaknesses of the enemies, then there’s working out the battle plan for all the different configurations of enemy mobs within the area, and by the point you have familiarised yourself with them then you will have hopefully moved on (or at least be close to moving on).

    If you want to do some grinding on the other hand, the prepare to be bored!

    In many ways menu based combat offers both the best and the worst of the genre. When it’s challenging it’s absolutely unsurpassed, yet if you’re forced to fight an endless barrage of low level fodder then the tedium can be crippling …

  27. @Lusi- P3 and P4 are highly recommended (especially P4). Great characters, decent story and a very good combat system. It’s a big time investment, but it is one of those games where it is very much worth it (IMO).

    *Though if you have little interest in Japanese culture then you fight find it slightly less interesting.

  28. @SN: I have little interest in Japanese culture. They are a silly people.

    The proper set-up for a menu-based combat system is:

    – Random battles are not too frequent.
    – Enemy variety is diverse and meaningful.
    – If every battle is fought and one never runs away, then the party will always be at the correct level for the main storyline, with significantly more difficult bosses requiring more strategy.
    – Optional bosses and sidequests should require some additional levelling.

  29. Despite that the Persona games still have a lot to offer in terms of gameplay, you may just find the setting a little tedious.


    1) It has visible enemy encounters.

    2) When your party level is significantly higher than that of the enemies they will always try to run away from you, meaning you don’t generally end up in fights with weak foes unless you want to.

  30. @SN: I prefer invisible enemy encounters.

    If encounters are visible, the Earthbound system is preferred for when your party is much higher in level. Rather than fighting the battle, you instantly win and gain the rewards without even entering the battle screen.

  31. @Lusi – I did not know that happened. that’s fuckin genius. it certainly would help allieviate the stress of it constantly being open season on your ass but I prefer seeing the enemy before I fight. matter of fact, I liked FFXII best where you just saw the damn monster and then made a concious desicion to beat it’s ass or not. I do rather like the pokemon system though. I don’t know why more games don’t do that.

  32. @Oyashiro – wow, they did that shit with a camera? color me impressed.