Monday, September 27, 2010

WAHP Stage 009 – plus Grasshopper and other podcasts

Stage 009 of Warning a Huge Podcast came out recently, which I’ve finished and have thoughts on, plus I provide links to all of Grasshopper’s podcasts, plus some coverage of the “8-4 Play Japan Game Panic” podcast, which I was recently made aware of. I've not had too much time to listen to stuff, since I've been modding Mega Drive systems and selling off my entire retro collection, but I always gotta make time for some WAHPing.

I’ve only just finished Stage 009 and despite covering TGS, which means anyone who has been following the internet probably knows most of what was at the show, this is probably the strongest episode so far. Lots of really good commentary and insight, from people who know the business (the three have worked as varying kinds of writers and localisers within the videogame and anime worlds). They also mention Gal Gun, which I’ve not seen much coverage of elsewhere.
What I like about WAHP is it gets right to heart of Japan’s problem of appealing to the west, and their declining market, and while a lot of websites and print magazines elsewhere kind of agree that something’s wrong, none of them have really explored the situation and given what I would regard as satisfactory conclusions, whereas WAHP will take the various comments from industry people, and go to town on why things are falling apart – if indeed they even are. This episode introduced Bucchake Watch (pronounced like "chuck hey"), where industry insiders say outlandish things, and it’s incredible listening.

If you’re one of the few (and wrong) people who thinks the podcast is too long or slow, this episode won’t change your mind. But those of you who, much like myself, enjoy the drawn out discourse, this should prove supremely satisfying.

Oh, and WAHP mentioned us HG101, mentioning them, which I’m now mentioning for good measure.

My only complaints are 1) they’ll occasionally discuss something visual, such as a company logo, without explaining what they’re seeing, only stating what they think. 2) There’s a lot of love on the show for Monster World IV, which is fair enough I guess, but I wonder if anyone’s completed it. I have a very intense dislike for the game, which I played a fan translation of many years ago, purely due to a severe game killing glitch I discovered.
There’s an ice dungeon broken into three parts, and half way through part 2 I was low on supplies and close to game over, so fought hell-for-leather trying to get back to the entrance to leave and return to town. Which I did, restocked and then saved. Only to find that the second entrance to the ice dungeon was blocked off, since by exiting it I think the game thought I’d completed it. Except I hadn’t, and so the flag to open entrance 3 hadn’t gone up. In the end I couldn’t return to the second part, and wasn’t allowed in the 3rd, and so was stuck forever with a broken save file. Bloody frustrating. If anyone knows a way around this I still have my old save file somewhere. And this was several hours into the game – so I can’t even hear its name now without feelings of frustration returning. (A quick check on RHDN mentions something of a glitch in Dejap’s original translation patch – I’m unsure if this Ice Pyramid glitch was introduced by them, or not).

Regardless, WAHP is essential listening as always, further details below.

//Stage 009
//Main Topic: Tokyo Game Show 2010

//Now Playing: Final Fantasy XIV, GaiaSeed, Chieri`s Heart ★ Pounding Hot Springs Steam Leisurely Trip

//Subtopics: CESA Awards, Inafune and Hino brewing something, Kojima hints FIVE, Japan rages as Jupiter pushes out four iM@S idols, FFXIV warning message is incredible, Twitter Watch (Kojima, Kamiya, Ono, Nomura), we launch our new section Bucchake Talk with Inafune, Mikami, ItoKen, and Itagaki, Sales Updata, Coming Next, Comment of You, we talk about the podcast, and we offer up three ways in which you can help us for free. //So You Don`t Miss It:

//Main Topic Game Mentions

//Shadows of the Damned, Asura`s Wrath, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Ryu ga Gotoku OF THE END, Valkyria Chronicles 3, Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy -012-, Disgaea 4, Phantasy Star Online 2, Galgun, Project Draco, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, Rise of the Nightmares, Haunt, Codename D, Radiant Silvergun, FirePro XBLA, Project Dark, Tengai Makyo, Langrisser Schwarz

//Coming Next Japan Game Mentions

//Tinkle ☆ Crusaders GoGo!, Eiyuu Densetsu Zero no Kiseki, Okamiden ~Chiisaki Taiyou~, Ken to Mahou to Gakuen Mono. 3, Gekijoban Macross F ~Itsuwari no Utahime~ Hybrid Pack, Keito no Kirby

//Other Game Mentions

//Monster World IV, Phantasy Star Universe, Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, Parappa the Rapper, Umjammer Lammy, Bangai-O: Missile Fury, Tengai Makyo: ZIRIA, Tengai Makyo II: MANJI-MARU, Tengai Makyo III: NAMIDA, Langrisser (III, IV, V), Demon`s Souls, 999, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Besides WAHP, I’ve also been hearing good things about Grasshopper’s podcast, and those by 8-4 Play.

Every other week, tune into 8-4 Play for talk about video games, Japan, and Japanese video games, straight from the 8-4 offices in beautiful downtown Tokyo. Hosted by 1UP Japan's own Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, and Hiroko Minamoto.

There’s only two so far of 8-4, and I’ve not had any time to listen to them, but thought it was worth mentioning these. They sound awesome.

As for the Grasshopper’s Flower, Sun and Rain podcasts, I was disappointed to find there isn’t a dedicated page listing them all. At least I couldn't find one on the website. Thanks to Glider on NTSC-uk though, I now have a list of direct links to them. Again, I’ve downloaded them, but not had a chance to listen at all. Still, I hope this makes it easy to find them. Copy and paste into your browser, except the first URL which is crazy long (and I'm not even sure where it's being hosted...).


  1. 8-4 Play is bad (though the second episode wasn't as bad as the first).
    WAHP is great.

  2. I have caught up to WAHP and I agree that this most recent episode was great. Where else would you find out that you can get an imported Japanese game on Xbox Indies for $1 (besides NeoGAF)?

    As for the 8-4 podcast, the folks there are still finding their voice. Most of them are veteran podcasters, but their material has largely focused on TGS so far. Given time, they will definitely come into their own. It's a different take on Japanese gaming compared to WAHP, but it is no less valuable. They also have the pull to get people like Garnett Lee, Shane Bettenhausen, and Ryan Peyton to sit down and chat casually with them. Give them time and they will prosper.

    P.S.- What prompted the retro game firesale?

  3. I intend to move to a smaller place sometime in the new year, which won't be able to comfortably hold everything I have, and when I asked my parents if they could house all my stuff, the emphatic answer was they'd only managed to oust my collection a few years ago and weren't going to act as storage for it in the future.

    Nothing I sold can't be bought back later if I wish. Besides which, my Xbox covers all my gaming needs up to the PS1 era, so along with my Saturn, N64, 3DO, CD-i, DC, PS2 and PS3, I'm all set. As it is I have too much, but it's now less.

  4. Actually, now that I think about it, it's not quite my entire collection, just the PS1 and prior stuff. Still, it's good to get rid of all those Sega CD cases and SNES carts - they just eat up space.

  5. I completely understand the sentiment. I sold off my Game Gear, SNES, and Dreamcast a few years ago. Your collection is probably bigger than mine, but I definitely felt unburdened by getting rid of them.

    Somehow though, I have been unable to part with my NES. Despite owning it since 1988, I feel like I haven't experienced the full potential of the system yet.