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The Thirsty Mage Podcast - A Look Back and Then Ahead

by David Lloyd - December 22, 2018, 5:51 am PST
Total comments: 7

David, Jordan and James review RPGs on Switch plus look ahead at what to expect for 2019.

It's the end of the year and feels like a great time to reflect on what we've seen in the past 20 months on Switch. After that we discuss what we can expect to see on Switch going into 2019.

This week's panel consists of David Lloyd, Jordan Rudek and James Jones.

The best way you can help is to give us a quick review on your device, whether that's hitting the 5 star button or typing out what you liked about the show.

Our Twitter handle is @TheThirstyMage and we would love to hear from you. Let us know if you liked the show, or if you had some game requests, or even if you have some advice of how we could improve. You can also reach me at David@TheThirstyMage.com

Theme song by the great Perry Burkum.


WanderleiDecember 26, 2018

What is reason for them skipping over FF8?

Quote from: Wanderlei

What is reason for them skipping over FF8?

It could be that FF8 ports have sold less than ports of FF7 and FF9.

ClexYoshiDecember 27, 2018

If I had to have a gander at it, it'd probably be because Final Fantasy 8 was developed during a hectic time at Squaresoft where a lot of the game was done quick and dirty. FF8's initial English translation was initially done not with a script of all in-game text, but by Square literally mailing a Japanese master to the translators and having them play through the game.

likewise, the Eidos and Square-USA folks that were in charge of FF7's PC port claim that they weren't given source code of the final build, but rather an incomplete and bug-riddled version to work with for the PC port.

there may not actually exist a complete version of FF8's source code any more. Of course, re-releasing the PC version on steam is an easy process, but they likely didn't have a clean version for mobile porting and thus console porting.

in addition, FF8's Steam PC rerelease just... sold bad. The truth of the matter is that the 8th Final Fantasy's reputation has caught up with it over the years. a game that left me confused and uwilling to finish it in the 90's is now a game I deride and mock when watching friends play it for the first time like one might mock some of M. Night Shyamalan's worst work. Granted, this isn't everyone's opinion, but it is the opinion of quite a few popular and formative members in internet communities. Heck, even this PC re-release has some serious problem with controller support, uses general MIDI for the music, and tends to bomb regularly on modern hardware.

Some other folks on the internet also have a suspicion that "Eyes on Me", FF8's vocal track that topped Japanese charts at the time may be caught up in some licensing limbo, but that's probably more solvable than the problem of the source code and high res assets for FMVs and Pre-rendered backgrounds being lost to time because as soon as the game got out to stores they flashed the golden master of the source code from orbit!

Basically if they could easily port FFVIII to everything, they would. Even if it sold poorly, if it were easy to do it would probably sell enough to make it worthwhile. Presumably some issue (or issues) are preventing an easy port, and the issues Clex points out are some of the most commonly mentioned candidates. It's possible any one of them, a combination, or even issues we don't know about are all at the root of the problem.

If they thought FFVIII would sell well, they might devote the efforts to do it correctly. That includes essentially a remaster from whatever version they have - fixing that versions specific issues and otherwise addressing technical issues that exist in all versions of the game. Such a remaster would also likely be accompanied by recreation of significant number of assets and a complete re-translation (and likely new translations to other languages). Given the likelihood that the game would not perform well, this kind of investment would be a vanity project and given SE's ability to blast through money on NEW games, this would not be approved by investors.

pokepal148December 27, 2018

I got it as a PSOne Classic on PS3 and it sounds like i picked up the only good version available digitally.

Couple of things that came up during the show:
- The Wii's attach rate was actually over 9 according to Nintendo (920m software, 101m hardware) though it's probably the most top-heavy Nintendo system ever in terms of game sales (mostly due to Wii Sports being a pack-in for so long).

- FE Fates in Japan was June 2015: the NA release was February 2016 and Europe was May 2016. I suspect James is right in that Three Houses would be a worldwide release or at least close to it (Shadows of Valentia and Warriors had a few weeks between Japan and ROW release)

- What became Three Houses was actually announced the week after the Switch reveal; it came with SoV, Warriors, and Heroes.

- I suspect that they'd like to get Fire Emblem on the Pokémon plan of new version then remake at some point, and I think we see another Echoes (probably based on FE4) announced in 2019 or early 2020. They could even do the XC2-style expansion pass with the final part being a remake of Thracia 776.

ClexYoshiDecember 28, 2018

Man, that'd be so great, but they've  done such a good job of dancing around the Jugdral games. Had there not been a clear groundswell of fan support for Fire Emblem Heroes, I feel like the only artist renderings from those games that wouldn't be from the mid 90's would be the Seliph and Lief units in Awakening. Even in that case, the only Fire Emblem duology that's less represented on Fire Emblem Heroes is the Tellius stuff.


So... I actually started listening to this episode.

I think it's kinda funny that the opposite thing happened with me than most people where I loved the dickens out of Octopath Traveler and wanted to love Xenoblade 2 but just... fell out of it after the combination of bad tutorialization and frustrating systems compounding one-another really turned me off hardcore. I almost feel like I should try Torna because it might not mystify me as badly as the main game did, but I'm hesitant to do so because Xenoblade 2 just... doesn't feel good to me. I think my comment to people at the time was that I was having more fun playing Tiger! Tiger! than I was  doing anything else in Xenoblade 2. I then promptly started playing Final Fantasy 14 and was amazed at how much better and more fulfilling of an experience that game's Main Story Quest and side content is than Xenoblade Chronciles 2's from strictly a single-player with minimal interaction with the community sort of angle.

I also artisically am not upset about the nature of over-sexualized designs, but rather how little of a splash said oversexualized designs seem to have had as an asset to Xenoblade Chronicles 2. as someone who works adjacent to quite a few different communities, it should be noted that in a wash of fanart that centered on the likes of Breath of the Wild's female champions, ARMS' Twintelle, the duo that make up Off-the-hook, and yes, even that Bowsette nonsense, I saw almost NOTHING of Xenoblade 2 outside of maybe the occasional fanart of Pyrrah in a game loaded to the breaking point with Waifus and the Noppon equivalent of Dr. Slump.


Undertale is about as much of an RPG as Detroit: Become Human is. or Gargoyle's quest. it's a bullet hell shooter trainer that tries really hard to wave it's stick of morality at you and... there's part of me that still really doesn't like that, but as someone who finally forced myself to play through it at least once, I can now say that I have night terrors now and don't sleep. Thanks for the Nihilism, Toby!

oh, music is bangin' though. Best character in that game is Burgerpants.

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