Diecast #173: Nintendo Switch, Mailbag

By Shamus
on Oct 24, 2016
Filed under:
Diecast

87 comments

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Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Mumbles. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes:
1:36 Nintendo Switch


Link (YouTube)

We also get into the history of Nintendo consoles.

32:44 Mailbag: Favorite Soundtracks

What are your guys’s favorite video game soundtracks? What do you look for in a game sound track? Do you prefer ambient music or really present music that demands some of your attention?

-Flailmorpho

45:20 Mailbag: THE DEVIL in videogames.

Dear Devilcast,

In popular entertainment culture, which is your favorite appearance and presentation of the archetypal Devil, and why is it in Reigns, the awesome Tinder-like RPG king simulation?

Much Love,
Galad_t \m/

Here is the game I mentioned: Lucius.

Here is Professor Rutskarn’s Introduction to Elder Scrolls Cosmology 101: Aedra and Daedra

54:25 Mailbag: Favorite Superhero movie.

Dear Diecast

What’s your favorite superhero movie? Live-action, cartoon, old, recent, anything goes.

Love, Christopher

1:00:50 Check out Mumbles on YouTube!


Link (YouTube)

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202020207There are now 87 comments. Almost a hundred!

From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “I am sorry children,I have brought you shame with this lame console.I will now commit sudoku.”

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I had a friend when I was a kid

    And then you grew up into the lonely troll we all know and lovehate.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamus,have you never seen the omen?The movie that lucius is based on.It was not subtle.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    By the way,since youve mentioned diablo,you guys should definitely check the book of demons.Its a love letter to the original diablo that remakes it into this weird maze.Its a weird game,but a good one.

    • Echo Tango says:

      That actually looks really cool. I like that it’s got a very distinctive art style (paper cut-outs, unless the video’s too blurry). Torchlight (II for sure, maybe also I?) had a sort of water-color / soft toon-shading thing going on. Definitely room for more Diablo-derivatives, if we get distinctive stuff like this. :)

  5. Jean says:

    I’ve always been a big fan of the Shin Megami Tensei series where you can recruit YHVH or Lucifer.

    Or a giant penis monster. <3 Mara.

  6. Christopher says:

    Persona 4 has really got you covered for all your devil needs. Would you like a fallen angel kind of devil? No problem, you can summon Helel right over here. Want a more typical demonic devil? Look no further than Lucifer. What, you want a pitchfork, and red skin? I’ve got Belial right here. You want Beelzebub? Got ‘im . The Whore of Babylon and the beast from the Book of Revelations? Got ’em both. And if you could still go for some more lord of the darkness I’ve got a Satan right here, and he’s got four arms and six boobs so you know he means business. Too bad he’s weak to wind.

    I guess it’s to be expected from a spinoff-series when the main series is called Digital Devil Saga. I’ve only played the Persona games, but I’m vaguely aware that those games involve allying yourself with either God’s faction, the Devil’s faction or neither, so I suppose you interact with those guys more as characters. In Persona 4, they’re your pokemon.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Well, when the main series is called Shin Megami Tensei (True Goddess Reincarnation in case you were wondering) and contains a large library of mythological figures, which it mostly reuses between its games, it’s going to have many in them (and it calls them all demons, for the most part, unless there’s another catch-all term in use).
      Though most SMT games do deal with the forces of Law (led by YHMV and his angelic host) and Chaos (led by Lucifer) caught in an endless struggle you can tip either way, or beat up both.
      Oh, and neither are exactly ‘good’ sides.
      Also the world’s usually destroyed either about five minutes in or before you started in the mainline games.

      They can frequently make the recent Persona games look like a peppy rainbow.
      Although Persona 4 was the cheeriest and most upbeat game about a serial killer I can think of, the main colour being bright yellow contributes, so maybe not the best example.

      • Christopher says:

        The mainline Shin Megami Tensei games always seem fierce. The tone difference between the apocalyptic SMT games and Persona 4 is the main reason I never sought them out. Same for the first three persona games, honestly. I realize P4 is the odd man out, though. Personally I’m hoping P5 turns out the same way, it’s more to my tastes.

        Tangientally related, the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure anime adaptation finally reached Part 4 this year. I don’t know if you’ve watched that, but I’m personally stoked that the influences have come full circle. Persona 4 is very Jojo Part 4-like, and I don’t know if that was intentional or not, but small-town murder mystery with a serial killer and STANDS isn’t exactly a normal genre. It’s fun to see them go very Persona 4-like with the music and graphics in the openings. It’s given me an urge to watch or play something P4-related again, that’s for sure.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Fun trivia, the fighting game, Persona 4 Arena, treats its personas very much like the JoJo fighting game used stands.
          Persona 5 is going to be darker than 4, no doubt, but that was probably inevitable when the colour palette is mostly deep red with black & white. Oh, and the team are gun-toting masked thieves aiming to root out corrupt elements of humanity.
          We’ve got your campy and dark edges in one package!

          • Christopher says:

            I am slave, want emancipation, as I always say. What gives me hope that it’ll be just as lighthearted is that they’ve got Personas named for Lupin III characters. Or I mean, maybe the public domain original characters, but still. I’ve got master thief Lupin here, Goemon is here, there’s that girl with the hot catsuit that screams Fujiko Mine. All I need is for a lovable detective to be constantly chasing them and I’m sold. And maybe one guy with a revolver who can aim really well.

  7. Galad says:

    I’m delighted and impressed that you answered my question the first Diecast you could’ve possibly answered it in. I was expecting to wait a months-long queue for that. Thank you, guys :)

    Also, re: soundtracks. Two games I’ve played a lot (300+ hours each) where I’ve noted the excellent soundtracks are Payday 2 and Nuclear Throne. In Payday 2 the soundtrack is this well-made disco-techno sort of thing, that elevates the otherwise uninspired shooting, objectives-based, wait-for-whatever gameplay to a level of ‘pretty good’. Best of all, you can hear snippets of the tracks while setting up a heist and decide on what you want to listen to. Also, if you do play it, check out the Alesso heist, with its own masterful track

    Nuclear Throne is an example of the other side of that question. I remember the first time I launched the game back in January 2016, as soon as I heard the first tones of the music at the main menu, I was already predisposed to like the game. While the different zones you go through have pretty good music, the OST of the last zone, the palace, as well as the last boss are something else entirely, and are part of the reason why I’ve played it so much

    • Ninety-Three says:

      Hearing your praise for Nuclear Throne makes me sad, because I’ve played 150 hours of the game and I don’t remember a thing about the music. Then I remembered that I turned off the game’s music so I could hear enemy audio cues better.

      • Galad says:

        A regular run on normal through to the last boss in NT is 20 minutes tops, assuming you make it the first time, and not counting the possiblity of looping. Go whack some mutated monsters :D

        Also, I forgot to mention that in PD2 the tracks change whether you are on a stealth, or a loud heist – most heists are loud only, or intended to be loud only, but a couple are stealth-only, and about a dozen can be stealthed, as well as run through loud.

    • Ringwraith says:

      One of my favourite touches with Payday 2’s music is that for assaults, (think Left 4 Dead horde, but with guns), it completely replaced the old “assault in 30 seconds” warnings your coordinator would give in the first game with just the music ramping up then kicking off when it hit.

      You can listen to the lot with its phasing between states on their bandcamp page. They’ve added a lot post-release (everything after Let’s Go Shopping!, which itself is some wonderfully generic shopping mall music), including the Hotline Miami-inspired ones Evil Eye and Hot Pursuit.

      I do still like Sirens in the Distance with its drama piano though.

  8. Christopher says:

    Any time someone talks shit about the gamecube it’s like my childhood is at stake. They played Super Smash Bros Melee at EVO this very year, Wind Waker is a popular candidate for best game in the Zelda franchise, and Paper Mario 2 is Mumbles favorite game, so as far as I’m concerned the Gamecube was amazing. It had a whopping three different traditional JRPGs! We were a Nintendo household, and me and my brothers and sister did pretty much what Mumbles’ family did, with SNES, N64 and Gamecube in addition to GBC, GBA and DS. Was a real bummer when my oldest younger brother decided he needed Grand Theft Auto in his life.

    I don’t really think Nintendo is gonna do anything different this time around besides finally putting those gimmicks to rest. Forget thet weird modular handheld and buy a pro controller, and suddenly I’ve got a real Nintendo machine again. The Wii was such a freakin’ letdown that it propelled me out of only buying Nintendo consoles to pick up a PS2, a 360, and earlier this year a PS4. There are awesome games on those systems, way more than on a single Nintendo platform, but there are still extremely well polished modern classics coming out on Nintendo’s consoles that you can’t get anything like from any of the competitors. That’s been the Nintendo way since the N64, terrible third party support but just outstanding first party games that define and redefine their genres. They really don’t need anybody else, even if I would like them to be better at it. I remember when the Wii U launched and EA put out a port of Mass Effect 3 and then sent back their dev kits.

    I feel a real need to buy a Nintendo for the first time since 2006. I’ve had too much of the mainstream cross-console AAA/tiny American indie business this last decade. I could do with some Nintendo again, even if the Nintendo Switch won’t magically get my siblings to come visit more often.

    Edit: Aw jeez, it makes me happy when you like the way I sign the emails. I try to think of one or two things a week it would be fun to hear you guys’ opinion on, because I remember the podcast where you wanted to do some mail and hardly had any(On account of people not sending you any because you don’t read them). It’s been nice having a regular mailbag lately!

    • Merlin says:

      It also had Metroid Primes 1 and 2 plus Resident Evil 4 as spectacular new games in fading franchises. (RE4 of course came to the PS2 ~10 months later, with bonus content coming at the cost of a graphical downgrade, similar to Viewtiful Joe if that’s your bag.) Fire Emblem 9 was a solid entry in a reliable series that helped further establish the franchise in the west. Pikmin 1 and 2 were brand new and pretty neat. Eternal Darkness is still a classic. And they’re not about to be system sellers or anything, but Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2 are both pretty neat, and Zelda: Four Swords Adventures is hilariously fun (and kind of a dry-run for the Wii U) if you can wrangle all of the goofy accessories involved to play it.

      I will not have any of this “Gamecube was bad” nonsense.

      • Shamus says:

        All those poor, deluded idiots out there were really enjoying their consoles and didn’t know it!

        I’m glad you had fun with it, but it ran out of titles that were interesting to anyone in my family. I went out and bought a PS2, and continued to play on that thing for years while the GC gathered dust.

        Animal Crossing was wonderful. Super Monkey Ball made the family laugh. Mario Sunshine was a hit with my kids. People keep insisting Resident Evil 4 was good and I’m willing to pretend that’s the case for the sake of argument.

        There were good games, but not nearly enough to keep the machine in use.

        • Merlin says:

          I guess I should probably also point out that I’m perpetually a generation or two behind, which is always going to be different from relying on a console for the drip feed of new games. Like… I never owned a Gamecube. I played thousands of hours of Smash on a friend’s in college, but everything else was done on Wii ages later. Playing it at the time is very different from looking at it after the fact.

          I’d go so far as to say that the vaunted PS2 library doesn’t actually have a tremendous amount worth revisiting at this point. Silent Hills 1 & 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, Katamari Damacy, Final Fantasy X… that’s about it? Maybe more if you’re into (and able to get your hands on) niche-y Atlus or Nippon Ichi games. A lot of the PS2’s value was tied up in the DVD player, Newest Madden, Newest GTA, Newest God of War, etc. Those things don’t exactly retain value the way most of Nintendo’s stuff does, even if you are a fan of them.

          • Christopher says:

            Trying that used PS2 I talked about was a bit of an eye-opener, personally. I bought games like Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Persona 4, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, We <3 Katamari, Beyond Good & Evil, Okami, Odin Sphere, Psychonauts, Way of the Samurai, God of War, Devil May Cry 1 and 3, God Hand, Killer 7, Metal Gear 2 and 3 and Ratchet & Clank 3. Some of these I hated playing and some of them were fun, and for the first time, I found myself feeling both about the same game at times. None of these games have the gameplay-first, user friendly, well polished sheen of a good Nintendo game. But most of them had worth in their own right, and they were widely different not just from one another, but from anything on Nintendo's system.

            Even Okami and Beyond Good and Evil , which are poor men's Zeldas, make up for their respective briefness and longwindedness and lack of dungeons or puzzles somewhat with interesting settings and characters. And that's just the nerdy shit I was interested in, separate from San Andreas, Call of Duty or whatever was the big thing every year. It's no wonder the PS2 did better than the Gamecube, because unless your favorite thing is Nintendo's thing, you were better served by the Sony buffet.

            It's been a good long time since I played a PS2 game on a PS2 now, though. HD ports and digital rereleases of the good ones don't make it worthwhile owning one. I'll also say that it's hard going back from the HD consoles. Xbox 360 and PS3 delivered on pretty much what the PS2 generally did, just with more open worlds and more shooting.

          • Retsam says:

            PS2 library also had a ton of more niche games, that, while they weren’t as popular as mega-hits like Zelda, Mario, or even Playstations bigger hits, were still great games, particularly for fans of that niche.

            And, I find they hold up just as well as the Nintendo games do: I’ve currently got a stack of PS2 games sitting next to my TV because I get the urge to play them from time to time. (FFXII, FFX, NBA Street Vol 2, Rogue Galaxy, Shadow of the Colossus, DBZ Budokai 3, Jade Cocoon 2, Starwars Battlefront II, Jedi Starfighter, Yu-Gi-Oh Duelist of the Roses, KH II, Armored Core III)

            Sure, like any decade old games, a lot of these probably would be harder to play without the nostalgia glasses, but then that’s true of pretty much all games.

        • Peter H Coffin says:

          Yup. Animal Crossing was WHY we had a Game Cube. There were other games bought, but never played, basically. And we kept Animal Crossing on real-time operation for like 18 months before we allowed ourselves to mess with the clock to do things like catch KK’s set the following morning because we weren’t home Saturday evening.

    • It’s also hard for me to hear that the Gamecube was bad, for two reasons. First, it was the first console that I owned. Second, even though I only got about a half-dozen games for it, they were all fun. I spent many an hour playing Zelda Windwaker or Twilight Princess, and Smash Brothers Melee. I do agree that a limited game catalog did hurt the GC, but I was also gaming on PC so I didn’t care as much.

      I feel like the GC was a fine console on its own merits, but unfortunately doesn’t compare well to the XBOX and PS2, both in power and in catalog.

      On the plus side, I liked the controller better than any other that Nintendo has made (before or since), and I’ve almost certainly spent more time playing the GC than I did on the Wii.

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        The Gamecube had a small number of really amazing games on it. Metroid Prime, SSBM, Super Mario Sunshine, and even Twilight Princess was pretty good. But it was also the first generation I also bought a non-Nintendo console, because there were things happening on the Xbox that Nintendo didn’t have an answer to, and there just weren’t enough games coming out on the Gamecube to keep it in use.

        Still, I had good times with it. It’s too bad Nintendo’s software quality went downhill after that. Nothing on the Wii was really as good as the Gamecube’s best, and I refused to go another round of “but a console just to play a couple of Mario games and maybe a Zelda if it comes out and then let it collect dust for years”.

        • Christopher says:

          It sure was a disappointment. It got the worse versions of games like Smash Bros. and Zelda, and the new stuff was a lot of waggle that was boring within a couple of hours. There are some great games on there still. That first 4-player New Super Mario Bros. I thought was killer at the time, and it was refined with Rayman Origins and Kirby’s Return to Dreamland. Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 are both amazing, the best Mario platformers I’ve played. The Punch-Out!! game for Wii is outstanding. I played Resident Evil 4 on the Wii for the first time, and with motion controls I felt totally in control of the proceedings, like I was playing an incredibly deep lightgun game. But those are the exceptions rather than the rule. There are probably more games on the Wii U I want to play.

  9. Rory Portoeus says:

    All those great soundtracks mentioned and yet I’m still surprised Shamus didn’t bring up Mass Effect 1. I think it hits the perfect blend of just in the background when you’re exploring the galaxy and still manages to ratchet up for moments of combat. In particular, the galaxy map music (Uncharted Worlds) and Vigil have done tremendously well to stick with me over the years. It’s an instant flashback whenever I hear them.

    And the credits track by Faunts is pretty good as well.

    • Alex says:

      Mass Effect 1 was great–personally, I think the music of all Mass Effect soundtracks were great, even if the rest of the games were lacking. Uncharted Worlds was perfect to listen to, and that helped a lot with one of my favorite parts of the game, which was just going around the galaxy map reading all of the descriptions of planets.

      Beyond that, I really loved The Last of Us’ soundtrack, it felt really grungy and mangled together at times and that fit the aesthetics of the world as well. The Witcher 3’s soundtrack also had that quality to me. I don’t know what the term for it is (or if it even has a term) but it felt like I could hear the impact of the instruments more fully than in other soundtracks–actually hear the scrape of bows and the beat of drums. I also liked how it didn’t really use brass instruments except for the Wild Hunt themselves–it helped lend them an otherworldly feel and creating an interesting musical dichotomy. And then there was the accordion solo in Blood and Wine, and that was perfect.

      All in all, I guess what really worked here is that the music helped fit the aesthetics–the grunge with Last of Us and Witcher, and the calmer, more thoughtful ‘Uncharted Worlds’ in Mass Effect.

  10. Xedo says:

    To answer a question at the tail end of the Switch discussion: the wii u has a resistive touchscreen, not capacitive.

    Now, the trailer didn’t show off any motion controls or touch screen usage at all… but Dena is on the list of 3rd party supporters. Dena is the company that makes licensed iOS/Android games, including Nintendo’s (they are doing the programming on Mario Run for example). Also, Just Dance 2017 was confirmed for Switch. Now, neither of those reveals is proof of touch screen or motion controls, but I think it’s a safe inference. Just dance without motion controls and smartphone ports without touchscreen? From a hardware manufacturer implementing both for over a decade? My money’s on those features being left for later hype announcements.

    In which case they are being really smart about hiding those controls at first in order to quell accusations of controller gimmicks. Putting them in AND making them optional is probably the most appealing thing they can do for core gamer audiences.

  11. Ninety-Three says:

    So the Switch trailer is pushing it as “It’s a console, that you cane take mobile!” but as Rutskarn said, what it really is is a tablet that can output to televisions, and that sounds way less exciting. Never in years of owning a 3DS have I thought “This is good, but what I really wish is that I could put it on a TV”.

    Once you get over the novelty of a built-in HDMI adapter, there’s no substance left in the trailer, nothing to get excited over unless you somehow care about Skyrim but haven’t yet played your fill of it. Given how many people seem to be excited about the Switch, there must be a few fans in this comments section, so can one of you weigh in? What exactly is the appeal here?

    • Echo Tango says:

      The thing I’m most excited about for the Switch, is that it’s got experimental controllers. Apparently the latest Xbox controller is so similar to the previous, that they’re fine-tuning the clickiness of the buttons. Now, I like buttons that feel good – the Steam Controller’s click-triggers* and flappers feel like crap – but the Batarang-style controller seems to be a mature technology at this point. No innovation, and tiny refinements to function. The Switch controller on the other hand, is able to function as a Batarang, two NES-style controllers, or as buttons on the Switch itself. It looks kind of goofy, and I think it should have been released as a controller for the Wii-U instead of being tied to a risky new console, but at least it shows that Nintendo is still experimenting with new things. :)

      * I refuse to use the term “bumpers”. It just feels wrong to me. “Trigger buttons” and “analog triggers” both feel cumbersome, and even my “click-triggers” I wrote up there looks weird to me, but I still hate “bumpers” more. :P

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        As far as I’m concerned, controller design should be an exercise in making as many degrees of input available to the player as possible without making them cumbersome. The current Xbox-PlayStation style of controller is just hard to beat on that front- it’s not changing much because nobody can figure out how to add more buttons or control sticks to it and still have a person’s fingers be able to reach them.

        The Switch controller has the same number of buttons and joysticks, but just has them poorly laid out. I’m looking at it, and I’m wondering how your’e supposed to be able to reach the buttons and the joysticks at the same time. They’re just not aligned right for the thumb to move between them without changing the grip on the controller. Trying to reach the bottom buttons on the left while using the bumper up top looks downright painful. I’m sure as hell not using that thing like an NES controller- those things are too small for my hands nowadays as it is, the Switch would give me cramps in two seconds.

        This looks less like intentional innovation in controller layout and more like a sub-optimal form factor that was necessitated because someone decided on the gimmick of a mobile device that played transformer, and a more traditional, more ergonomic controller didn’t fit.

      • GloatingSwine says:

        The reason the batarang controller is so firmly established is because the human hand has not changed shape in the last 20 years, and it was designed to be ergonomic to hold and use the buttons on.

        The Wii U gamepad is less ergonomically designed and less comfortable to use over long periods (aside from its weight), and this will continue with every variation of the Switch’s little controllers because the buttons aren’t laid out conveniently or comfortably for anyone with adult human hands.

    • Xedo says:

      I’m not particularly excited about a new console coming out in 2017 that probably can’t match the graphical power of my ps4.

      I’m super excited about a new handheld coming out that gives somewhere between wiiu and xbone level graphics. More so if it has the third party support of the 3ds (capcom, level-5, square, aksys). And if it can get xbone-level ports, maybe start getting portable versions of witcher 3, GTA5, and other multiplatform games from ActiBlizz, Ubisoft, EA, etc.

      Being able to stream to tv is just an incidental bonus for me. (In fact, family dynamics make it easier to play games on a private screen while the TV is in use for others). I guess the real hook is the flexibility it offers – play on the tv, on the handheld, during the commute, on the commode; whichever one way is most convenient for you.

      Honestly I feel like they’re positioning it as a wiiu successor instead of a 3ds successor because of either price or the wiiu being the hardware they need to replace. Nintendo owns the handheld market where the only competition is the frankly toxic mobile gaming business. Meanwhile Sony has the console market locked down this generation. Why not lean in on the market they’re better in?

      (Oh, and something not mentioned in that commercial I’m looking forward to. Nintendo usually makes 1 iteration of each major franchise per platform. So both the 3ds and the wii u had their own yoshi game, 2d mario game, 3d mario game, mario kart, mario party, etc. With only 1 hardware ecosystem to support, that’s going to change somehow. What will they do with all that 3ds development that gets freed up – more dlc/expansions? More new IP? More sequels? There’s a potential for the 1st party library to be a lot larger or fresher than on prior systems, and with only 1 console to support it should never have prolonged periods of dead time like the 3ds and the Wii U have alternated with. But this is blatant speculation.)

    • Merlin says:

      1.) Nintendo’s first party games are almost always high quality, and a new system means a new wave of all of them. Except Metroid for some reason. I’m guessing they’re letting Konami make a pachinko game out of that one.

      2.) New gonzo controller stuff! There have been some misses in the past – the Wii most notably, the N64 wasn’t taken advantage of as well as it could’ve been, the Starfox debacle – but their controller fiddling has consistently brought new ideas into the industry, and I’m all about that.

      3.) Everyone I’ve ever known to have a Wii U has praised the sling-to-tablet capabilities, and this improves that setup by untethering you from the console itself.

      4.) Continued dedication to meatspace multiplayer. (Don’t get me wrong, a less terrible online setup would be great also.) Literally building in two controllers to the console sends a valuable message, even if it will inevitably be ignored in favor of open world Ubisoft-em-ups :-(

      5.) A lot of my gaming get-togethers these days are more for boardgaming or tabletop RPGing than video gaming. The idea that we could bring a legitimate console to one of these – whether at someone’s house, a brewery, or whatever – for a few rounds of Mario Kart without any gnashing of teeth is great. (Actual tablets do have some decent local multiplayer games, but tragically they tend to be a lot of the board games we already play, a few years later.)

      Edit: Although to rain on my own parade a bit, the AAA industry has sort of conspired against console/controller innovation at this point. We don’t really see a ton of exclusives from third party devs due to economic concerns, and taking advantage of stuff like Switch-specific controls prevents selling the same game on XBone or PS4. That’s how we ended up with the worst of the Wii’s waggles – functionality was designed for buttons, and motion controls got treated like a terrible, terrible button.

  12. warlockofoz says:

    Interested in the switch. Key question for me is ‘can it replace my tablet?’, ie be pretty good at surfing, watching films or reading books in addition to it’s gaming ability. If it can (perhaps by having Android on a cartridge, perhaps native apps) it’s an obvious upgrade from my current shield tablet, even if the screen is a bit smaller. Without that it is a lot less attractive.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      Huh, that’s a really interesting idea. I mean, it’s Nintendo, so I’d be genuinely shocked if they did it, but having the Switch be able to run (or outright run on) Android would be fantastic. It would add so much to the machine in terms of content and features, and do so virtually for free (both to the consumer and the developers).

  13. Duoae says:

    I’d really like a Switch as my second console. I’d be happy with the Nintendo games and a Netflix app – that way I wouldn’t have to sacrifice PS4 time to watch shows with my SO because the PS3 keeps signing out of PSN and thus Netflix stops.

    I’ve had quite a few consoles over the years (shared with my siblings when I was younger). We started on the NES, GameGear, SNES, Megadrive, Gameboy (we were late on that one) and then we just stopped for a good few years. We never had many games (I think a maximum of 4 on the NES and maybe 6 on both the SNES and Megadrive).

    Then, some years later in the summer before University, I picked up a Playstation on the cheap and bought 10 games. Really loved it. Left it at home when I went to uni as I didn’t have a TV and my siblings continued to expand on the library. I upgraded to a PS2, bought a Gamecube, then Xbox 360, original DS and PS3 and finally a PS4, PS Vita and DSi.

    I’ve not missed out on much since hitting adulthood (which is great) and at the same time I’ve been a PC gamer. Speaking of which, I think Diablo is still one of the coolest games in the genre (better than D2 and D3; both of which lost their thematic sensibilities and didn’t really follow on from each other or the first one in tone) and would love for someone to do a spiritual sequel with the same production quality and semi-randomised quest structure. I think D2 had the best mechanics aside from the skill-learning in D1 and D3 was just super boring in a mechanical sense for me. Diablo 1 also had a great soundtrack!

    As for my favourite Batman? I have several favourite Batman movies but for different reasons.

    – Keaton/Burton Batman 1 was a great movie for the time it was produced in. It’s aged horribly but at the time there was just nothing near it in terms of production quality, stardom etc. It really paved the way for modern superhero movies in many ways. It also had the best Batmobile of all the movies.

    – Bale/Nolan Batman Begins was the perfect origin story for Batman but I totally get what the guys on the podcast were saying about how the villains were treated in that series. In fact, I never understood the love for Ledger’s Joker. I didn’t really like that film and I felt that (unfortunately) his death contributed to its nonsensical wrap-up and progression.

    – Batman Forever is my favourite ‘almost’ animated series live-action Batman film and I felt that the sets and villains were the best of any of the films (though I did like DeVito’s Penguin and Thurman’s Poison Ivy [though I was 16 for that release which might explain that!] but I really felt that both Kilmer’s and Clooney’s Batman(s?) were really poorly written and acted. I thought Chris O’Donnell was a good fit for a Robin, though.

    • John says:

      The best Batman film is Mask of the Phantasm from 1993, which was supposed to be direct to video but somehow got a limited theatrical release. It is perhaps the purest expression of Batman in his Batman: The Animated Series incarnation and it is glorious.

    • Aitch says:

      Might try checking out Grim Dawn if you’re looking for a Diablo style ARPG. Only seen a bit of it streamed, but it looked solid compared to earlier clones.

    • Hermocrates says:

      I’d really like a Switch as my second console.

      That’s how I’ve felt about Nintendo consoles for a while now, actually. Ever since the Wii, they just haven’t had enough solidly good games to be my primary console, but they do have enough unique exclusives that I would be interested in having one anyway.

      Whereas with modern-day Xbox and PlayStation, the only people I know who would typically get both systems are hardcore gamers who exclusively play on console; with a PC, having two mainline consoles just feels extremely redundant to me, because either there’s enough overlap in game types available, or the “exclusives” of the one I don’t have are still available on PC anyway.

      • Duoae says:

        Originally, I was going to get a Wii as my second console but was waiting for the price to drop to something reasonable. That didn’t happen and then the Wii U came out and also played Wii games so I figured I’d wait for that to come down in price too.

        That never happened either…

        Strangely, I own two Wii titles (Metroid Prime 3 and Skyward Sword) and to this day I’ve only played one of those…

      • Daimbert says:

        I feel pretty much the same way. I bought a Wii because it was relatively cheap and I wanted to get Wii Fit Plus. I then kept looking for games to buy for it but there were few that seemed in any way interesting to me, so I ended up only ever using it for Wii Fit Plus. On the other hand, I have a PS2, PS3, and PS4, and have no interest in the XBox variants because there isn’t all that much interesting on the XBox that I can’t also get on the Playstation.

  14. John says:

    I evaluate all video game soundtracks on the basis of “can I jog to this?” Here, in no particular order, are the soundtracks I use to help me keep up the pace and ignore the fact that my lungs are burning and I still have half-a-mile to go.

    Descent, which is Shamus’s fault.
    Command & Conquer
    Tyrian 2000
    Street Fighter Alpha 2
    Shadowrun Returns
    Crypt of the Necrodancer

    Most of the game soundtracks I own I have because they were included with the purchase of the game. (GOG is usually pretty good about this, especially for older games.) I picked up Command & Conquer as part of a free trial for some music download service. But what I’ve found is that in some cases you can find the soundtrack in the game data. The soundtrack for Street Fighter Alpha 2 was a just bunch of .wav files that I converted to MP3. The soundtrack for Crypt of the Necrodancer is a bunch of .ogg files.

    For the record, I jog the fastest to Crypt of the Necrodancer, whose soundtrack I adore. I’m not wild about the music from Level 2, mind you, but the rest is so good that I don’t care. It’s still my favorite.

    • Sunshine says:

      I haven’t tried, but I reckon the music in Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved would good for running.

    • Daimbert says:

      I use them as background noise while reading or working. It’s gotten to the point where a game having a soundtrack including is a major selling point for me. “Hmmm, I’m not so sure about this game … hey, it comes with a soundtrack! Sold!” [grin].

  15. @Mumbles
    Trick & Treat video was well produced, two thumbs up. It sounded “comfortable” as if you’ve found a style that fits and feel normal with that video.

    (I did a quick listen to the previous video and it sounded like you channeled a little Campster there at moments).

    I hope future videos are similar in quality (that the right word, is it it Tone?) to Trick & Treat, I liked it. Well produced.

  16. Echo Tango says:

    Shamus, you laugh, but 3ds Max might not be such a bad idea for the Switch. Think about it – you’ve got the potential for dual motion-control input devices. Depending on how the interface is set up, creating 3D models with motion-controls might not be too bad. They could be used like 3D mice – motion inputs which can me mapped to different things depending on the application, plus buttons for things like “clicking”, “dragging” etc.

    • Philadelphus says:

      As someone who dabbles in 3D modeling with Blender occasionally, and also bought the Razer Hydra a few years ago, I’m skeptical that motion controls would be useful for 3D modeling. At least, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work for professional-level stuff—it might work as part of a game where you don’t need to be too precise.

      The thing is, mice have a much-overlooked advantage over hand-held controllers: the ability to come to a complete stop when you stop moving them. That might not sound like much, but after having used hand-held motion controllers, it’s actually a massive difference when you’re trying to finely manipulate something.

      It’s an appealing idea, definitely, I’d love to be Tony Stark manipulating 3D holograms with a wave of my hand, but from my experience…well, I remain skeptical at this point. Maybe down the line a bit.

      • Echo Tango says:

        You could still come to a complete stop with motion controls too, but you’d need to use up a button for it. i.e. Treat it like click-and-drag that we’ve been using on mice for over a decade. The motion does something while you hold down the button, and nothing when you stop. :)

  17. Anyone else read this?
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-08-17-inside-the-witcher-3-launch

    “”And I want you to be game director of The Witcher 3. You will get total freedom to do the game you want to play. And I hope it will be a good game.” That’s how Tomaszkiewicz remembers it”

    Sounds like the dream project for a game director, no “notes” from upper management.

    Also regarding WItcher 2
    “Iwiński fought against the loathsome SecuROM anti-piracy DRM, but it was still there at launch, and still had to be patched out after launch – as did the game’s launcher, which was built by an external company. “We got like 10,000 emails to our customer support from people who couldn’t get the game to work. And that was,” he says – and he doesn’t normally swear, “a f***ing disaster.” Making different bits of downloadable content for different shops was a mistake too. “We shouldn’t have agreed to that,””

    So if CD Projekt RED is able to go “Hmm, that sucked, maybe we shouldn’t do that again!” why can’t all the other game companies do the same (instead of repeating the same mistakes over and over again)?

    Also http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-05-19-cd-projekt-red-tackles-the-witcher-3-graphics-downgrade-issue-head-on
    “The billowing smoke and roaring fire from the trailer? “It’s a global system and it will kill PC because transparencies – without DirectX 12 it does’t work good in every game.” So he killed it for the greater good, and he focused on making sure the 5000 doors in Novigrad worked instead.”

    Wait, 5000 doors? Holy shit…

    • Ringwraith says:

      As they’re relatively small and self-run, created in a completely different part of the world from where you consider most big businesses are from.

      Oh, and they’ve always run on a tenant of treating their customers with respect.

      Though when they took the DRM out of 2, they got in a scuffle with their physical publisher over this, and I think they have to pay out for it. Though it helps they still have their own digital platform to fall back on.

  18. Cybron says:

    The GameCube fell short in some ways, but it also has some AMAZING games. Super Smash Bros Melee is amazing and has a huge following that stands til this day (see every EVO since 2013). F-Zero GX is not only the best F-Zero, but one of the best racing games of all time. Mario Sunshine, despite the generally awkward reception of the time and some structural flaws, has some of the best platforming in the series. Windwaker is my personal favorite Zelda, though opinions on Zelda always vary sharply (there are people who argue that Zelda II is a series high point now). But it’s fairly notable that there’s no third party IP in that list.

    I’m also of the opinion that the GC controller is the best controllers of all time. That’s a pretty unpopular opinion, though.

    Meanwhile I can’t think of a single Wii game I’m attached to. The closest it comes is a mod to Brawl. The Wii soured me on Nintendo’s consoles so much I never even considered a Wii U. I guess my point is not so much that the GameCube is good but that the Wii makes me sad.

    • Echo Tango says:

      The GameCube also had Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Granted, it was just adding to something that was first implemented on the N64, but it’s still a good game. :)

  19. 4th Dimension says:

    I feel you there Shamus with that instant anger/vexation if you are focusing on talking to one person and another person outside the call interrupts you. If I’m talking on the phone and somebody is in the room with me and suddenly tries to give me advice or something this sudden need to split my attention between two conversations, no matter how good and helpfull causes almost INSTANT frustration and anger. My mind simply can not do tracking of talking to two different persons that I can not see.

    It also kind off manifests when I’m driving and I need to take a phone call (yeah I know bad). I have politely hung up to persons and told them to call me back in couple of minutes if I was about to hit an intersection because I know I will need 100% of my attention on the road and trying to split it between the conversation and driving would not have worked and would only vex me.

    • Echo Tango says:

      I don’t get angry, but I can’t focus on more than one person at a time. My co-workers who can multi-task conversations get confused when they try to interrupt me when I’m reading, or listening to something. As soon as I ask them to repeat what they were just saying, I can see in their eyes that they assumed that I was comprehending everything that wasn’t my primary focus.

  20. Benjamin Hilton says:

    My first console was the N64 Bundled with Rogue Squadron. Oh man those were the days.

  21. Merlin says:

    Underrepresented favorite superhero movie: The Shadow. Featuring 1994 Alec Baldwin, Tim Curry, beautiful Roaring 20’s art deco sets, and a totally bananas plot featuring the psychic descendant of Genghis Khan and a sentient flying knife.

  22. Ninety-Three says:

    I’m of two minds on the “Nintendo is innovating with a weird new controller” thing. On the one hand you could argue that controller design is stagnant and the game industry in general could do with more innovation. On the other hand you could argue that controller design is perfected and Nintendo’s last three grand experiments were motion controls, 3D, and the Wii U.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to inject some innovation into the market, but let’s not overlook the very real risk of Nintendo’s gimmickry producing another Wii U. That sort of thing has a huge opportunity cost, and the medium of videogames will be forever poorer for the fact that this console generation didn’t get a good entry from Nintendo.

    I guess writing it out helped me make up my mind. Across three different hardware innovations, Nintendo has produced gimmicks that ultimately facilitated about two and a half good ideas. Their designers are so preoccupied with whether or not they can, they don’t stop to think if they should.

    • Echo Tango says:

      The experimental controls don’t have to be risky, though. I mean, the Steam Controller was experimental, and definitely needs another iteration. However, it wasn’t tied down to a specific console. If either of the Switch or its controller fails, both fail. I think having the Switch actually just be a replacement for the touchpad, and the controllers on the WiiU, could have worked just fine.

  23. Merlin says:

    I’m gonna add one more unpopular opinion before returning to my troll hole, but top tier devils in gaming: The Outsider from Dishonored.

    He gets a ton of flak for not being an elaborate schemer, Lovecraftian, or really anything other than a regular-looking white guy. And I get that. When games use the devil or a non-union Mexican equivalent, they tend to use him as the main villain whom you beat to death to win the game. Josh alluded to this with the JRPG comment, Diablo does the same shtick, and so on.

    I love The Outsider just for being a breath of fresh air on that front. He’s not manipulating circumstances so that he can take over. He’s not directly responsible for Dunwall’s decline. He’s just a supernatural being who is fundamentally bored and wants to see some emergent chaos. Could he burn the city to the ground with a wave of his hand? Maybe, but that’s no more interesting than blowing up civilians in GTA for a couple minutes; the amusement fades pretty quickly. His entire goal basically amounts to “I want to play Dwarf Fortress.” There’s no winning and losing in that, just an interestingly bizarre/bizarrely interesting series of events.

    That’s got a classical feel to it that you just don’t get out of the devil as antagonist. It’s reminiscent of the devil in the book of Genesis or Job, or even Zeus in Greek myth. There’s no real endgame, just a short-sighted “I wonder if I can convince God to light this guy on fire for no reason” or “Maybe I should turn into a swan and bone somebody.” I don’t doubt that the concept could be executed better, but it’s not one I see often enough. So until then, props to you, Dishonored.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      I hated the Outsider, but it wasn’t really the Outsider’s fault, so I understand why you liked him. In the context of Dishonored as a whole, he was a symptom of the not-very-involved plot. He felt like the writer taking the laziest-possible answer to the question “How do we justify our protagonist having superpowers?” and any interesting potential the idea had was squandered because they did literally nothing with the Outsider, either as a character to explore or as an important force in the narrative.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        I think it actually would be better if they left Outsider as just an excuse for the source of the powers. Have him show up early on, make some cryptic comments, give you powers for reasons of his own and, if they weren’t planning to do anything with him, don’t show him again. And I mean keep literally everything else that is related to the Outsider in the game, like the other people affected by him, mentions in folklore, comments by The Heart… just don’t show him again in person. As it is they tease him out just enough that the player expects there’s going to be some reveal or at least agenda behind his presence and then they deliver nothing.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Which wouldve been great if he wasnt so boring.A much better portrayal of a “supernatural being just playing a game with humans lives” is death from the final destination series or Ryuuku from death note.

  24. @Shamus
    Nice Reset Button video, very simple and well explained.

  25. Garrett says:

    I’m actually satisfied with Nintendo’s direction in regards to the Switch. The only issue I’m seeing is if the console doesn’t have any real AAA titles or backers and it eventually devolves into this shitty, mobile games only console.

  26. DGM says:

    Off-topic, and sad news, but since I remember him posting on this blog I thought people would want to know that Steven DenBeste has died: http://brickmuppet.mee.nu/steven_denbeste_1952-2016

    H/T Instapundit and Sarah Hoyt: https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/247200/

  27. Hal says:

    I’m surprised how nobody on the show started out with a good ol’ NES. That’s where I started; even though there are some generation-spanning classics there, there were many other great games to play on that console.

    Then came my Gameboy, and an SNES. After that, I skipped the N64 and went to PC gaming, right around the time of what Shamus calls the “Golden Age” of PC games. I finally returned to consoles for a PS2, a Wii, and a 360. I’m not sure I’ve used any of them to the potential people talk about them.

    • NESers represent! Granted, I only had like 4 games (Dr Mario, Tetris, a Ninja Turtles one that was either insanely hard or I was really bad at it, and Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt), but I spent many happy hours in front of that console.
      Spent many more happy hours in front of the computer, mind you.
      Got a PS/2 as much for the DVD player as the console (I do have a few games and I’ve played quite a bit on it but the controller’s never been comfortable for me for long play) and a Wii because of the shiny hype (and I did have quite a bit of fun bowling and doing yoga with Wii Fit). I’m vaguely considering getting a PS/3 if I can get my hands on one cheaply for the Blu-ray player (as the only one I own is in this laptop and some bluerays won’t play in it due to their security(grumble, just wanted to watch Deadpool, grumble)).
      My main console issue is that a pokemon/gameboy addiction in college, plus a couple falls and a genetic problem with too-flexible joints means that pressing buttons/rotating things with my thumbs can get painful, quick. I’ve had one computer controller that got around that but it’s been discontinued for many years (I used it to play Half Life 1). So console gaming is pretty much out except for short bursts, which is fine. I have plenty of games in my gog and steam queues, after all.

  28. Hermocrates says:

    I guess it shows my inclinations when the first thing I thought of when you mentioned Autodesk was “Why would I ever want to do CAD on a console?!” I always forget that they make 3ds Max, too.

  29. Baron Tanks says:

    I’m coming at a different angle to the Nintendo Switch, one I figured would be quite common but I’m not seeing quoted much. I’ve always had an interest in Nintendo home consoles and played my fair share at friends/dormitories yet never owned one. I’ve been casually playing all Nintendo’s portable outings since the Gameboy colour, althougth the frequency with which I play varies wildly (my 3DS has seen very little use in the past two years, due to time constraints and the lack of bargain hunting on it*). My main gaming needs have been taken care of by pc, the xbox 360 between 2009-2013 and in recent years I made the switch back to pc, which will remain my main platform.

    I’ve always been eyeing those Nintendo games though as something I’d wish to play (for many reasons, but aesthetics alone would be enough. I’m so sick of grimdour and it looks like even AAA gaming is slowly (partly) catching on, after a decade). It was just never enough to buy a whole console. The Switch though? I’ll wait for the release and a slew of software, but the way I see it, it’ll be an expensive upgrade to my 3DS that I’ll be able to play on my tv. I see Nintendo catching flack for trying to force the platforms together, but for someone that is not going to use it as their main gaming platform it makes sense. I’d rather have their portable platform and if they have a separate console, I’ll run into the same problem as with the Wii U, where there is not enough to justify buying a whole console just to play some games at home. I can see myself owning a pc and a Switch. But if they had a separate new portable platform? I’d go pc+’4DS’ and skip the home console. Now I get both, at a premium, in one product.

    There are some pitfalls with this strategy though and the proof will be in the pudding. The details will determine whether or not this is worth buying. First it starts with the price, that’s pretty self explanatory and without details it’s hard to speculate right now. What’s more concerning at the moment and where I already see some red flags is in the portable aspects of the device. Mainly the size and battery life. The form factor of the 3DS XL, which I happen to own, is really the maximum size for me personally where I can just bring it with me anywhere. This device will definitely be bigger, making it less appealing. The battery life is another main concern and I’m actually pretty pessimistic about this. We’ll have to see, but I feel it may pack too much power to feel like a truly portable platform. I don’t really care what they’re promising in the advertising, I’m interested in the performance in people’s hands and real world cases. Wait and see.

    Now finally, the real wildcard for me will be the software. I’m not talking about their atrocious outdated philosophies about OSing and interfacing, but games. The first party support for the Wii U in software has been appalling, flailing console or not. I’ve seen legions of comments after the Switch reveal where people are saying, as it is the de facto successor to both Wii U and 3DS that we will get twice the (first party) games on the new platform. To me that seems like a sweeping generalisation, completely disregarding the differences in development complexities between portable and console titles. I am curious to see what kind of games will be coming to this console. I am hoping that smaller scale, more ‘Gameboy-esque’ games will still be developed as well by Nintendo for the new platform. My fear is that these will fall by the wayside due to the home console part of the equation and it would be a shame to lose this. The Switch won’t be taking 3DS and DS cartridges apparently, so the first sign is there. Now I know some of you are going to want to say that this was explicitly not supposed to be a 3DS successor and Nintendo sure want you to keep buying those, but it’s obvious how they’re positioning it. Combine that with their track record of dropping old platforms like a brick (this week I saw someone remind me of the beautiful quote that the DS was going to be a ‘third pillar’ next to the Gameboy and home console lines) and it’s up to Nintendo to prove me wrong. For now I’m going with Wii U + 3DS > Switch

    So having written all that up, I have to admit there are a billion ways in which Nintendo can really disappoint with this device. However, there is a lot of potential here and the initial reveal has enthused me in ways the Wii and Wii U never did. A week ago I couldn’t care less about Nintendo’s next home console offering, figuring it would just not be for me. For now they are at least firmly on the radar. Lets hope they don’t screw this up completely.

    *This is perhaps a topic for another time. But it never ceases to annoy me that first party titles on Nintendo platforms never drop in price no matter how long it has been. I get at least some of the reasons why they do it and apparently it works out for them, at least enough not to change the strategy in 30 years, but damn, it still pisses me off.

  30. The Mich says:

    A great recent example of a faustian devil is Gaunter O’Dimm in The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone. A creepy, malevolent entity that looks just like any other commoner. Throughout the whole story he keeps showing up as a background character ( a lot of times), and chances are that you’d never notice him since he blends in so well).

    Eurogamer published a cool in-depth article about his creation just two days ago. Watch out since it’s full of spoilers, of course.

  31. Ivan says:

    Regarding Diablo 2, I personally always wished that you never fought Diablo at the end. Those first few cutscenes were heavy on the metaphysical, or the corruption side of the devil’s powers, even with Tyrael and Tal Rasha. Those fights that are depicted gave me the impression the bulk of the conflict wasn’t the physicality of what was shown, that there was a lot of holiness vs delilishness (or some-such) going on in the background. So, the fact that the end of the game involves you fighting a purely physical dude, is kinda a letdown.

    I don’t really have a way you could fight him in the game, and have it not just be a purely physical confrontation, which is why I reckon a better way to follow up those earlier cutscenes, is to not fight Diablo at all. Anyway, like Shamus I didn’t really expect such a thing, cos that’s not the type of game it was, but that was the type of stuff the first few cutscenes implied, so indeed it is a bit of a letdown.

    Note: by physical, I refer to direct conflict, whether with weapons or magic or whatever.

  32. Phantos says:

    Whenever people say the Gamecube was bad, I am overcome by an urge to start kicking faces. That is the console that got the rawest deal.

    People complain(fairly) that current Nintendo doesn’t take risks, and even their flagship games are really generic and uncreative. The Gamecube was as far away from that as possible. It represented the last time that company actually took risks and showed any imagination or foresight. Every big franchise they own had a Gamecube game that did at least SOMETHING unique with the concept, to the point where people were actually upset.

    We threw away a great console with a really strong software library because “ZELDA LOOKS KIDDY NOW, 0/10!!!11!#$@”.

  33. Mike S. says:

    Just wanted to register a thumbs up for NiceMumbles. In general, I think the added positivity makes for a better podcast balance. (And I’ve been liking the Dragon Age series thus far.)

    I’m also now wondering if I should give Batman Forever another chance. I really hated it when I saw it in the theater, but that was a long time ago and I wasn’t really looking for a camp Batman then. (And I was disappointed in not getting Tommy Lee Jones doing a serious version of Two-Face, since I think he really could have pulled it off.) That said, I’ve never much liked Jim Carrey, so I don’t know how far I’m likely to reevaluate it.

  34. Thomas says:

    The Jimquisition explaining how clear the marketing for the Switch is (and the visual design of the console itself), is one of his best videos in a while.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaUjoH9ZTVo

    It makes me believe in the Switch a lot more than I did previously – even the fact that they obscure the screen when it’s plugged into the TV is pretty brilliant.

    But I’m still bouncing back on forth – the other hand is that my diehard Nintendo friend (who spent a lot of school explaining how the Gamecube was the best thing ever and not only liked the Wii but _actually played games on it_) was really really put out when I suggested it’s possible that it’s going to struggle to run some PS4 and Xbox One games. To an extent that surprised me

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