TSM Episode 294: The Power of Positive Thinking

Every cloud has a silver lining! What tree are you going to place your ladder of life against? You're in the zone: be the joy you want to feel! Slogans, slogans, slogans!
Whenever you feel down, just remember that we live in the best of all possible worlds!

Download: Produced 2014.10.19

Caspius, SiliconNooB, and Mel find themselves utterly downhearted after sifting through yet another week of depressing news. But then, they find a ray of hope in an unlikely place, and things begin to look up, eventually culminating in a very merry Bup.


  1. Did 2K Australia develop Borderlands The Pre-Sequel? That would make sense I guess.

    Best of luck with your exam this week Caspius.

    Gents – thank you so much, I’m luckless no more !! Tears of joy :*D
    Really enjoyed The Phantom Tollbooth read though (the Imitanis Literature Corner never disappoints) great segment, a wonderful raffle. I shall treasure my prize, thank you *tips hat.

  2. @SKS: Congratulations. Look for an e-mail from me sometime this evening or tomorrow, depending on when I finish with my other work.

    @Ethos: I am genuinely grateful that someone is appreciating them. They involve quite a lot of hard work, although I fear this does not always show. Still, I like to think that I am getting better with the technical aspects, if nothing else.

  3. Maybe my favourite Buptalk. What a smooth transition into a dictionary definition. He’s improving.

    And I know it’s sarcastic, but it really does feel like a breath of fresh air to hear this podcast with such a positive tone.

  4. Additional notes:

    Agreed re: Borderlands. It’s like Etrian Odyssey. Both great series, both need to take a break (although Etrian Odyssey appears to be doing just that).

    I was impressed by Tomb Raider. Not the story, of course, but I hope Uncharted took notes. It does a great job using that style of gameplay but making it not so horrifyingly linear.

    And of course I agree about Final Fantasy IX. Most of my favourite games from my youth fall further from my favour the more I revisit them, but Final Fantasy IX is perhaps the only one in which my respect increases when I revisit it. As JRPGs continue to come out after it, they tend to only show why FFIX is great, not diminish the reasons. The sign of an excellent game. If only battles could start (and run) quicker. I don’t mind a slower pace, but I can’t find a lot of justification for why the system is quite that slow, although I personally don’t mind at all.

    Congrats SKS but MAN I wanted that book!

  5. @Ethos: You should have bought MANY more raffle tickets! But now you have a shot at Candide and A Confederacy of Dunces!

    Totally agree about FFIX, although in my current playthrough I’m not experiencing any frustration with battle speed: I have it set to maximum, and then to “wait”, which (if one intelligently makes use of the way wait works) puts a stop to the bottleneck of waiting computer and party member actions that have to be displayed before the latest action entered takes place. That’s really what slows down the battle system.

  6. @Lusi – I have always played on “wait”. I wonder if that’s why the battle system speed never bothered me the way it did others. It’s also great on a handheld, not only visually, but so that I can eat and play at the same time.

  7. The main reason why Hyperdimension Neptunia got a 6/10 on IGN was because the reviewer was a woman that hated the fact the game was filled with big titties and panty shots.

  8. @Ethos: It seems like playing on Wait is the way to solve FFIX frustrations. Now we know what to tell people.

  9. I’ve been traveling again this week, so the Info Blast is running behind. Sorry! I’ll probably have it up tomorrow if I can’t find time tonight.

  10. @DiceAdmiral: I think that your info blast should come with a ‘travel moment’ instead of a gaming moment!

  11. Info Blast Year 2!

    This week’s panel
    Silicon Noob
    Also featuring:

    Podcast Feature
    Ebola, I guess
    I didn’t know that the World Health Organizion held concerts.

    Fall Playthrough
    Vagrant Story
    Begins next week!

    Rebel Galaxy
    How incredibly mundane sounding.

    HyperDevotion Noire

    Symphony of the Night coming to PC

    Gargoyle Games coming to eShop
    The Demon Darkness is an awful title. It’s like the ShadowDark from D&D 4E.

    Wii U EULA Update bricks console if users don’t agree.
    This seems extreme. Maybe just disable all internet features? What could they be trying to stop by killing all features?

    Army of Gaben
    “I don’t have the money to hire anyone else” -Caspius, famous payer of $0 salaries.

    Ubisoft is dumb, again (‘screed)

    Ubisoft blames microsoft for bad pc port

    Bup Reads Wikipedia for 60s
    World Religion

    Imitanis Literature Corner
    The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
    Highlights this week
    -The demon of hindsight.
    -DS9 Buzzer interruption
    -Charge, C-haych-A-R-G-E
    This was such a great and clever book. I fully support further readings in this style!

    I’m disappointed that I didn’t win. Of the books available, this was obviously the best. Hopefully I can still win something else.

    “I think that your info blast should come with a ‘travel moment’ instead of a gaming moment!” – Lusi
    ¿Porque no los dos?
    Imitanis Gaming Moment
    This week I played 2 more board games (actually 4, but I’ll discuss 2): Lord of the Rings the card game and Enigma. I’m no longer going to make estimate about D&D dates as too many things are getting in the way of that.

    LotR The Card Game is an LCG (Living Card Game). This means that there is a core pack of cards that contains everything you need to play the game, but on a regular basis (usually monthly) new packs of 30ish new cards come out to add to the game. The exact contents of all packs are known, there are no booster packs. The current reigning champion of these type of games is Android: Netrunner, a game about high tech theft and counter-theft in a cyberpunk setting. I’m a big fan of this format for LCGs as it encourages thoughtful deck design as opposed to big spending to make powerful combos whilst still changing up the dynamic regularly enough so that the game doesn’t get stale if you’re involved at all in the meta-game.

    Where LotR differentiates itself from most other LCGs is that it is a cooperative game. This is a neat diversion of the formula, but I think it may neuter some of the fun in creating exciting decks since you can’t crush a human opponent and you can lose without it being under your control if your teammates are bad or the deck that determines your challenges is poorly shuffled (as happened to us). If you’re into LotR or would rather work with than against other players then maybe this is your thing, but my recommendations for LCGs would be the previously mentioned Netrunner or Summoner Wars which is a turn based strategy take on the formula and also very fun.

    Enigma is a timed puzzle game. The game contains 4 different types of puzzles: Tangrams, Block building, pipe maze, and matching weights. On your turn you will choose one of these types of puzzles and attempt to complete it. Each player must choose a different puzzle, so with 4 players it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to choose your favorite every time (more on that later). The first player to complete their puzzle flips a 1 minute timer and all other players must complete their puzzle in that time limit or not at all. Those players who completed their puzzle will use the back of the tile to add to a construction of pipes and nodes to score points based on what they connect to (this is very similar to roads in Carasonne if you’ve played that). Now here’s why you might not pick your favorite even if you choose first: you can see the pipes and nodes on the back of the puzzle before you pick, so you might see one that will give you lots of points in a style of puzzle that you’re not quite as good at and choose that one instead. This game is great. Seriously, tons of fun. In my group we had lots of fun trying to get through some of the more challenging puzzles in time and then passing the unfinished ones around to see if other players could do them. Not for those who need lots of time to think through problems, but if you like puzzles (like I do) then is is a fantastic choice. It also plays in about 30 minutes, which is cool because you can finish quickly if you need to or play again if you want more.

    Imitanis? Travel Moment
    I left the state again this week, though only for a day. A family member needed to travel to a medical specialist with the chance of being sedated and unable to drive back. We also saw a show while out of town, which was good. I’m glad that there are multiple theatre venues within a few hours drive of here. It really expands your options when shows that you want to see aren’t coming through.

    Final Note
    I appreciate how you’ve done an entire podcast in a different tone just to spite me. It really gives me that warm fuzzy feeling to know how much you care.

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

    Donators eligible for drawing:
    Greg H.
    John V.
    Matthew D.
    John M.
    Brett W.
    Aram Z.
    Peter V.
    Billy B.
    Les E.
    Martin B.
    Jeremy V.
    Simon H.

  12. “I didn’t know that the World Health Organizion held concerts.”
    Um, you’re confusing the WHO with The Who, a most excellent band. Pay attention!

    “This seems extreme. Maybe just disable all internet features? What could they be trying to stop by killing all features?”
    We shouldn’t mistake incompetence for extremity. I doubt there was any malice here. They just didn’t think (as usual), and probably lack the capacity even to realise that there is another way to do things. Nintendo is a company of incompetents, run by a nincompoop.

    “this was obviously the best”
    Confederacy of Dunces!? Interview with the Vampire!? Candide!? They’re ALL excellent.

    “We also saw a show while out of town”
    You neglect to say which!

    “I appreciate how you’ve done an entire podcast in a different tone just to spite me. It really gives me that warm fuzzy feeling to know how much you care.”
    LEST WE FORGET, this is how the Literature Corner began. This is how we do things here! If nothing else, it’s entertaining.

  13. “You neglect to say which!”
    It was Beauty and the Beast.

    “LEST WE FORGET, this is how the Literature Corner began. This is how we do things here! If nothing else, it’s entertaining.”
    I do remember that. Who was it that complained? Zoltan?

  14. I enjoy that you didn’t feel the need to call me out. You just did it and knew that I would know what was happening. That’s some much appreciated subtlety.

  15. “I do remember that. Who was it that complained? Zoltan?”

    It may have been him but, honestly, it has been so long that I have forgotten. I could go back and find it in the podcast feeds, I expect, but I am in an immense hurry with work at the moment and can’t do more than offer a brief comment here and there. Sorry!

  16. Cricket News more or less started as way to out-obnoxious Bup’s Lady Gaga News. Now they’re both pretty much over with. It IS a gaming website, so maybe that’s for the best? lol

  17. With the more recent podcasts having non-temporal content, it’ll be easier to listen to the back catalog, but the older stuff can be pretty hard to get through so I’m not privy to all of this stuff. It’s interesting to hear the origin of things that I’ve expected since I began listening.

  18. It was Zoltan. I think he didn’t appreciate a poetry reading fully enough, so an entire chapter of Confederacy was read in retaliation. It just snowballed from there. By the way, I’m very grateful for you introducing me to that book – it’s one of my favorites now. Candide was such a blast too.

  19. In the future where Caspius.com takes over the world, we’ll transition into a spite based economy.

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