TSM Episode 266: Death of the Salesmen

...must be destroyed by avaricious, soul-less, corporate moneymen
All good things…

Download: Produced 2014.04.06

After SquareEnix decides once again to make JRPGs, Caspius and SiliconNooB discuss the death of franchises and conclude that, living in the best of all possible worlds, the expiration of Castlevania and Mega Man were necessary for Flappy Bird to succeed.


  1. After our last discussion regarding FFXIV, I found it on sale at a random online outlet and picked it up. I recall talking to my MMO player friend and described it to him as, “Final Fantasy XII, if it were all about the hunts”, to which he agreed. Found it smile-worthy to hear you say almost the exact same thing in this show.

  2. I am in shock since the streak is no more :( . I have the TSM podcast to listen at least.

  3. INFO BLAST (Not Related to ShockBlast)

    Silicon Noob

    England loses to Netherlands. Sri Lanka expected to do well by LusExperts.

    FFX Playthrough!
    I enjoy how Caspius has used the one feature that he thought might be interesting from this upgrade and it has made the game worse.

    Final Monaco Update

    Castlevania Rant
    I haven’t played a Castlevania game since Order of Ecclesia, the newest several have just not appealed to me.

  4. INFO BLAST CONTINUED! (*I accidentally hit the post button…Feel free to edit together)

    Squeenix returns to making JRPGS

    Amazon attaches Metacritic scores to item pages
    Kotaku article about above
    At the time of blast this feature appears to have been removed from Amazon pages. I could not locate an article regarding the reason for this, but I did see some speculation that it may be related to the Fire-TV games and how poorly said games would score on Metacritic.

    Ubisoft should try UbiHarder

    Candide by Voltaire

    DiceAdmiral’s Gaming moment
    This week I played two board games I’d never played before.
    The first was Notre Dame. This is a game in which you must spend your influence in your district to attempt to gain more prestige than your Parisian rivals. This is mostly gained through contributing influence and money to the construction of Notre Dame. All of this must be done whilst balancing the health of your citizens, lest they be overcome with the plague and you lose influence and prestige.

    I also played Coup.
    Coup is a game of hidden identities and bluffing. Each player is dealt 2 random roles of the possible 5 roles. There are three copies of each role and they interact in fun ways. On your turn you can take one action, which can be one of several default actions OR you can claim that you have a specific role and take the action associated with that character. These actions are categorically better than the default actions, but other players can challenge that you don’t have that role. The loser of said challenge loses one of their two roles, and the loss of both knocks you out of the game. So, you can bluff having any role you want, but if you’re called on it too often then you’ll lose. It only takes 10 or so minutes per game and is a lot of fun.

    I dunno if you just don’t have bloopers to add to the end when there aren’t any, but I do enjoy them when they’re there.

  5. Cricket update: Sri Lanka won the world cup, in fulfilment of my belief that this was their year.

  6. YES! I was mentioned in the podcast without even trying, 99 more times and I surely will become inmortal :D . Only Caspius.com can do that u.u

  7. My gaming moment: just about to begin playing the witch and the hundred knight when sudenly, my ps3 decided to die on me.

  8. @Lusi: I didn’t know anyone was paying attention.
    I typically play Civ V on Monday nights and last week the Info Blast was on Tuesday, so there have been no updates since last time. I fully expect the game to end tonight. I may start a new match of the same thing or we may move to something else. Likely candidates include Worms, Left 4 Dead 2 and Orcs Must Die 2. We may also take a break from games as the weather here has become very nice recently. I may end up posting about Frisbee Golf or other nerd “sports”, we’ll see.
    I have all of the following games on Steam:
    Though my Monday night Steam compatriot has a slightly different selection:

    AND we don’t necessarily have all of our games installed. You can see why it becomes annoying to coordinate.

    Anyways, I can update tomorrow or hold off on the Civ Finale until next week if anyone has any preferences.

  9. @Ferchu: That’s horrible! I hope it gets fixed/replaced soon.

    @DA: I simply assumed that, like most Civ V players, you spent every waking moment playing it!

  10. @Wolfe: If you are interested in playing with me/us, join Sargatanas, add Caspius Luna to your friends list, and let me know when you’re in the game.

  11. Caspius – I have to replace the 10 pin ribbon cable of the power button (it manages the eject button also), the problem is that it will take 30 days to get shipped to Argentina . I could have the cable in 5 days if the custom taxes weren’t such a huge monumental pain in the butt, all thanks to the actual president of my country. Did you see the review rating on rpgamer? It got a 1.5 O.O

  12. RPGamer has some of the worst reviews of any site I know of. Faulty logic, terrible writing, soft-headed notions.

    The people who work there are very nice I’m sure, but the content leaves more than a little to be desired.

    Metacritic scores ARE on Amazon pages. They are just small and near the top, not the large square central on the page that I had expected.

    Btw, what syntax should I be using to embed links? That would drastically improve the Info Blast, but the last time I tried to use the HTML from the bottom of the comment box it failed miserably.

  14. @DA: For links, standard HTML works fine. The title field is just mouseover text, so you can omit it.

    Keep in mind that you’ll continue to have the info blast require admin approval as long as it contains two links or more (its just a spam protection thing here).

  15. @Lusi: I’m still getting the hang of how this MMO thing works. Not being able to play it for long periods of time makes progress slow, and I don’t think I’m going to be very useful in group activity.

    Nonetheless, my character name is Eve Forsaidh, and I’m apparently on the Marlboro server. I have no idea how friends lists work, so if you send a request my way forgive me if I’m late to friending you back (or whatever they call that sort of thing in MMOs).

    It is a very, very beautiful game. And far bigger than anything I’ve ever played.

  16. @Lusi, that’s fine. Whoever is approving it currently is pretty quick. I have no complaints about that.

  17. lol Marlboro. That’s the cigarette. It’s Malboro. Anyway, if you want to do anything WITH Lusi in FF14 you’d need to be on the same server as him (Sargatanas).

    Also, if you liked FF12 you’ll find a lot to like here (as you mentioned above), and this game is pretty serviceable as a single player experience. You’ll have a tough time getting some of the endgame content done alone (as in, you can’t) but if you just want to get to level 50 and enjoy the story quests and some side quests, solo is very doable.

  18. Mel’s information is more than a little out-of-date, it seems.

    You can easily get endgame content done. It took me an afternoon at L.50 to get my relic weapon, and I had a Zenith (Relic +1) by that evening.

    It took me two days of play (keep in mind this is not all-day play; I work a lot) to get myself geared to iLvl 84, at which point I was *well* above the expectations needed for the highest level content, Coil of Bahamut. In fact, I did so well on my first run there that the group with whom I went (I was filling in for one of their missing members) asked me to join them permanently, so I now have a weekly static group for Coil of Bahamut.

    All of the content is now available in Duty Finder, whether it is main quest, side quest, guildhests, dungeons, or raids, and the party finder fills out for things like FATE and Atma groups. This is why I said on the podcast that FFXIV is finally better than WoW. I can do everything I want, and I can do so in a beautiful, immersive game, where the mechanics are fun and the people are far more pleasant on the whole.

  19. @Mel: lol, you’re right. I used to work as a clerk so it’s just association I guess.

    I’ve just gotten out of Ul’dah (which reminded me a lot of my days in Tucson back in the early 00s), and right now I’m reeling from how lovely Gridania and Limsa are. Limsa especially strikes me as a strange mixture of the Greek island Santorini, and Disneyworld. Splendidly beautiful. And so many little details that bring everything to life.

    So far I’ve been able to do everything alone, which I am best suited for. Even if there comes some wall I can’t pass, I will still have considered this a worthy purchase.

  20. @Wolfe: You will need to be in parties for quick levelling beyond L.45 (in FATE parties, primarily), and for most 40+ levelling after you have done the majority of the quests, as you cannot *entirely* rely upon levequests unless you seldom play. In addition, you will need parties to advance portions of the main story, as they require dungeon runs which cannot be soloed. However, the Dungeon Finder will assign you to parties and off you go from there. It takes most of the pain out of getting parties–you get put together, you run the content (dungeon, raid, guildest, etc) and then you disperse.

    I am not sure what you mean by not being able to play for ‘long periods of time’, but the longest you can expect to spend in a dungeon is probably around an hour. Usually, it will take much less than that. CT runs (raid content) typically take me around 30-45 minutes, whereas I am done with some dungeons in 15-30minutes at most. Guildhests take less than 5 minutes, usually.

    If, after you have played a bit, you decide to stick around, and if you have not found a community on Malboro where you want to play, consider creating a character on Sargatanas and I’ll get you into my Free Company. There, you’ll find people with whom you can level, quest, and get advice. My associates there are a fountain of information, and are very friendly and helpful besides.

  21. @Lusi: While I loath the concept of working with others, Dark Souls has tempered my ability to handle it in short term bursts, so I will manage I suppose.

    My definition of long periods is anything longer than an hour, save for Fridays when I can manage several hours of play.

    I appreciate the offer. For now I’m going to get my feel for how to do this sort of game and determine whether or not I’m willing to long-term it. I did play a bit with my real life friend who’s very experienced in MMOs and had a great deal of trouble keeping pace with him.

  22. I remember playing order of Eclessia, I didn’t enjoy as much as circle of the moon or portrait of ruin. I began playing castlevania games since circle of the moon.

  23. I picked up Symphony of the Night very cheaply alongside Suikoden, both on the recommendation of EGM back in… 98 or so (if I recall properly). I was blown away. I wasn’t even a big ‘vania fan, but SotN did so many things so well that it became a nightly routine. I was pretty upset to learn there were two areas I couldn’t access, as they were only in the Japanese Saturn version.

    While I did enjoy the GBA games, they never seemed to capture the grandeur that seemed to make SotN so special. Maybe it’s the nostalgia goggles effect. But from Circle of the Moon on, I just didn’t enjoy myself as much. when I got ahold of Dark Souls, and really got to playing it, I found many, -many- of the things that I loved about SotN were there. Level structure (Dark Souls is very much a ‘Metroidvania in terms of world and connection to areas, as well as the tone), moonlight gardens, enemy designs, sense of place and atmosphere.

    Lusi’s right though. The old game creators are gone, and the landscape left in their wake is a strange one, dominated currently by PC-developers who only came to care about console markets when they saw the promise of riches. I feel like the past few years have thinned those riches, and may see a cleansing of many of the ‘me too’ studios.

  24. Some of the GBA and DS CV games are much better than others. Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance are not nearly as good as Aria of Sorrow. Dawn of Souls is easiy better than either Order of Ecclesia or Portrait of Ruin (though I think both of those are better than the two, earlier GBA titles).

    Since the end of the DS era, there hasn’t been a proper ‘Castlevania’ game. Mirror of Fate is terrible, and both of the Lords of Shadows games lack both the approach and ‘feel’ of Castlevania as a series. They are not ‘bad’ games–but they are not Castlevania games, either.

    The indie devs, and the old-school creators who have broken away to start anew, are where the future of ‘real’ gaming is right now. I hope they succeed, even if I loathe the kickstarters that they all inevitably create.

  25. A little late here, I am behind on my podcasts and reading. Your discussion of the cutscene situation in X-2 reminds me of when I played through Xenosaga, except that they actually did let you skip cutscenes (though I tried not to as I was trying to follow the story). That game had cutscenes that pushed a full hour if memory serves, and there would be times where you’d have a cutscene, then you would walk for maybe a minute or two and then trigger another cutscene.

  26. @KDK: As I was thinking of replaying Xenosaga 1-3 this Summer, I appreciate the reminder.


  27. Yeah Xenosaga was pretty crazy with its cutscenes, but at least they could be skipped. I think that not allowing cutscenes to be skipped is one of the cardinal sins of game design. It is basically the developer saying “Our story is so amazing and our cutscenes are so awesome that people will always want to sit through them so there really is no need to program the option to skip them.”

  28. @Lusi The shame was I actually really liked the game when I was actually playing.

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