You want to hear about games? That's great, because Kriswright, ludist210 and Guillaume won't stop rambling about Kirby Mass Attack, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, and Jerry Rice & Nitus' Dog Football! Special appearance by Stephmonster, the first (gasp) female to grace the Negative World podcast with her presence!
Then, the crew attacks various topics (and each other!): Kris (and his wife!) collect games, ludist210 has the future of music games on his mind, and Guillaume wonders if Sega even ever knew what good game design is. Sorry for the rambling!
As usual, the theme music comes from Negative World's owner and dictator, Zero. The funky beats throughout the podcast are from the "classic" game Toejam & Earl.
Everything sounded fine to me. I enjoyed this podcast as much as all the others.
Im with Gui, never been a Sega fan. I try to be open minded as well. I download Sonic on the VC and the game just didnt appeal to me. I guess I like the slower pace of Mario games and looking for secrets, ect vs the fast style of Sonic whizzing thru the levels.
I know I am in the minority on this one, I actually like Altered Beast. Sorry.
The Genesis Collection is basically the only thing I play on my PSP nowadays, but yeah, there aren't many games on there that I feel really hold up. Also, for a collection disc, the loading takes far too long. Not really SEGA's fault there though.
It's an iPhone app called "NES Collector" and it's produced by PureGaming.org, whoever they are. It costs a couple of dollars and, I admit, it's not supremely featured or anything. But I found the interface quicker and easier to use than any of the alternatives I know about. YMMV. If someone knows a better app or site or whatever, I'm all ears.
Basically it has a touchscreen list of every single NES game and gives you the option to keep separate lists of what you already own and your most wanted games. It also has a pricing guide on it, though I'm not really sure how accurate that is. A lot of times the pricing seems reasonable, but other times it seems a little on the steep side (though game pricing varies significantly in the wild, anyway). It'll also tell you how much your collection is "worth", though considering the prices seem a little inflated, it might overvalue everything. It also gives links to current eBay listings for each game, lists what your most rare game is, etc. A few other minor features.
Probably the best thing is that it's easy to access in the moment. So if you're at a flea market you can whip the phone out and double check any information you need without a lot of hassle or waiting on a slow internet signal or what have you. If I come across a deal on a minor game, sometimes it's good to check that list just to make sure I don't already own it. Like, a few weeks ago I bought Spy Hunter NES a second time because I found it for 3 bucks and I couldn't remember if I already owned it or not. That's worth the cost of the app, right there.
If you do like the interface on that app, they have a number of other ones, too (one for the SNES, N64, Cube, PS2... and there's one apparently coming for Ye Holy Genesis, as well).
I have fond memories of Altered Beast, but I don't think it's truly a great game. It's still fun whenever I get the hankering to play it, but even back then, we felt it was too short and too shallow. But, as I think I said on the podcast, the whole point of that game was to melt our eyeballs with those 16 bit graphics. Which it did.
I'm particularly interested to know if anybody agrees with Gui and Ludist that Kid Chameleon was a noteworthy SEGA game. I remember that it existed, but I don't remember anyone talking about it. Maybe I just missed the memo, though. Apart from the hilarious opening sequence, it pretty much defines forgettable.
I've platinum'ed Sonic's Mega Duper Genesis Collection feat. Sonic. I think I've got a much lower opinion of Sega than when I started playing. Again, games like Phantasy Star stand the test of time, but the Trophies force you to play a lot of games best left forgotten. I'm pretty convinced after this adventure that SEGA DOESN'T KNOW WHAT GOOD GAME DESIGN IS.
I mean, take Alex Kid for instance. It's a platformer, you jump and break blocks. All you have to do in order to not fail is copy Nintendo. But Sega screws that up with a floaty jump and giving an attack that has no range at all. In order to defeat enemies, you have to punch them. Your timing must be so precise, you pretty much have to stop moving and wait for the enemy to come to your fist. How is that good design?
Or Kid Chameleon. Here just like Mario you break bricks with your head. How do you screw that up? Well if you're Sega, you make it so that you have to be running to jump to a decent height, and then you make the bricks super tiny, half the width of the character, so players will pretty much have to miss once or twice each time. How is that good design?
And then there's the bullshit I already mentioned in Comix Zone: force players to take damage to progress, don't give out sufficient health-restoring items, and put insta-death pits and give the player a single life. BULLSHIT.
And Vectorman 2... I loved the first game, but the sequel feels like no one playtested it, from the incredibly dark first few levels, to having to climb up trees in stage 3 while tiny enemies ram you and often make you fall all the way down, to putting moving platforms over lava pits and having the camera follow the character when he jumps instead of showing the important part: the fucking platforms.
One of the achievements, looking at all of the box art, kind of brought back memories, though. I never had a Genesis or a Game Gear, but I do remember poring over Christmas catalogues and looking at the box art for Sonic 1 and finding it sooo appealing. Sonic back then was such a cool-looking character, he truly had something going for him, or at least he did to a 10 year old's eyes. It just reminded me of how much I don't care for the current design, which evokes no nostalgia at all, only gives me flashes of the disturbing Sonic fanart that I've stumbled upon (accidentally).
This sort of gets to the heart of the problem I had trying to argue pro-SEGA, though - you feel a lot more strongly and have a lot of concrete complaints about SEGA. I mean, you've got a whole essay here. I didn't really know ahead of time what those complaints were going to be or how to go about answering them. I know your complaints are your own and you weren't obligating me to mount a solid counter-argument, but since I was the only pro-SEGA guy on the podcast, I felt I was in the position where I had to come up with a defense. But, even though I still have a great affection for the company and the gaming memories they gave me, I don't actually think about old SEGA games that much. To their discredit, I admit.
So, for me, it's sort of like you're saying: "Hey, you know that girl who was your girlfriend when you were 13? Yeah, well, she was ugly and stupid and you shouldn't have dated her." How do I mount a counterargument to that? "Uh... well, I guess I liked her at the time. I'm friends with her on Facebook and she seems alright to me. Why are you asking me to defend this, now?"
Also: I think it might be fun to compare Kid Chameleon to Wario Land sometime. See what we come up with.
I was just thinking about the "collect hat powerups to unlock new abilities" mechanism in both games. I haven't played Wario Land in a while, but it just occurred to me that there might be some similarities there. Maybe it's all cosmetic, though, or I'm remembering Wario Land wrong.