We Want Your Comments for our Listener Mail Episode!

normal_quillEver since the revival of Retronauts, people have been requesting — nay, demanding — we bring back our listener mail segment. And while we’ve yet to christen an official P.O. Box for its government-sanctioned purpose, there are other, easier ways to have us answer your smoldering questions: Like this very blog post! I’m planning a special viewer mail episode for our next recording, so if you desire to have a question answered by three guys who promise not to make fun of your name, regardless of consonant abundance, please leave them in the comments section below. But be sure to drop us a line before Friday, because that’s when I plan on gathering your missives for discussion in The Retronauts Vault. Thanks in advance, and, please, let’s try to keep things PG-13. Or at least a soft R.


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43 Responses to We Want Your Comments for our Listener Mail Episode!

  1. Not to be a fountain of negativity, but what would ye say are the lowest points in the industry’s history?

  2. Matt R

    What retro games are in your “to-play” lists?

  3. A few questions if I may ask more than one:

    1- Game Center CX episode… is it happening or not?
    2- What are the chances of an episode about the history of Retronauts itself? Like how it began, going from Parish to Bob to the trio as hosts, and censored/controversial/regrettable/favorite moments/episodes.
    3- How do you all feel about the fact that we’re at a point when we can consider the PlayStation 2 and Game Cube as being retro?

    Thanks a lot to Jeremy, Bob and Ray for an awesome series of podcasts. Here’s hoping for more one-hundred episodes from you guys.

    • Also, something that I forgot to ask before, sorry:
      5- Are you guy the “owners” of the Retronauts name now, or should be afraid of one day, ZiffDavis himself knocking on your door and stopping you from using the name?

  4. I grew up playing a lot of N64, PS1 and PS2 but, I want to visit some of the older systems like the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Which adventure games and RPGs would you recommend to someone who doesn’t have much experience with those systems. I’m a fan of Final Fantasy should I play the Super Nintendo versions or just stick to the PS1 versions?

    Keep up the great work. (please make some video content)

  5. Hey guys, keep up the great work. I’m a relatively new fan and have only been listening for a few months, but I’ve already gone through all your new content and am going through the 1UP backlog right now! I enjoyed your episode on console accessories and wanted to ask, what are you guys’ personal favorite controller? I’ve always found the HORI Mini Pad for the N64 to be a lot more comfortable to use than the traditional controller, but my all-time favorite is probably the SNES controller. I still think back to its layout as a perfect way to handle several buttons in an ergonomic fashion, you can even see the evolution of its layout in more modern controllers, like the DS4 and 360/Xbone pad.

    Thanks for all of the hours of enjoyable content! You guys make the commute to and from work every day much more pleasant!

  6. Sean-Paul

    at what point (if any) in your personal history with games did you ever quit games completely? This seems to happen to most ‘gamers’.

  7. Michael Plasket

    I also have multiple questions. Feel free to acknowledge as much or as little as you want, even if that number is zero.

    A: Is there any one genre of games that any of you just simply don’t understand? Not necessarily dislike, but you just don’t get why such games are popular.

    B: In what ways do you feel retro gaming is preferable (if not superior) to modern gaming?

    C: What is that one really obscure gem that you always mention and/or promote in any given game conversation?

    Keep up the podcasts! I’ll be sure to contribute if another Kickstarter’s on the horizon.

  8. Christopher Martarano

    Most of us began gaming long before the world wide web was a thing, so the games we all gravitated towards, discussed or thought were the definitive titles were highly reliant on what was big among your friends and classmates (or what Nintendo Power was pushing that month).

    That said, once you hit the web and started to see the internet’s consensus; were there any games or series you recall being surprised by how popular they were or alternatively unpopular?

    For me, Faxanadu, while it certainly has a bit of a cult status, was up there with Zelda for me and my childhood friends, but I rarely saw word of it until years after getting online.

    Also, Rare’s Captain Sky Hawk was huge with my brother and I. I recall spending hour upon hour with that game, but I’m not sure I can even think of the last time I’ve seen that one come up in discussion .

  9. Hey there folks, love the podcast. So, are we ever going to see a situation with Virtual Console or PSN where we get access to EVERY (or damn near close to) game from the favorite systems of our youth? Every NES title? Every PS1 title? Is such a thing possible or is one title (if that) per week all we can hope for?

  10. Matthew Seavey

    Thanks for the podcast. Please keep it up. Two questions for your review:

    -Your thoughts on what I label as “game leasing” going on today and how this will impact retro gaming in the future? I use the term “game leasing” to refer to the DRM on consoles where downloadable games and DLC are tied to a gamertag and the console you purchase the content on. If/when Xbox Live/PSN stops supporting the 360/PS3 (as was the case with the original Xbox) and your 360/PS3 hard drive fails, all the items you “purchased” are simply gone and unavailable again. Even if you move it to another console, without Xbox Live online you’d be unable to play more than demo mode on games. I don’t view this as a purchase, but as a lease and it aggravates me. I still have games on carts and CDs and unless I sell them or they randomly fail, I can still play them. How can we retro-game if in 10-15 years we can’t even get the games, let alone play them?

    -Thoughts on cost of digital vs on-disc games? Why on earth would I pay the same price for a game I can’t hold with no instruction book (another pet peeve – I enjoy browsing manuals) with fewer middle-men making money when I can go buy a copy at the store for the same price (or less on sale)? Yes I realize there’s online infrastructure costs but digital downloads should be cheaper, especially if they’re not true purchases at the end of the day (see above). I’ve got nothing to hand down to my kids and nothing to play when the systems become “retro” and somehow I didn’t save any money doing it.

  11. Jonathan Dermid

    Hey guys, I’m a huge fan and a huge fan of retro gaming in general, so I’ve always wondered this: do you think that modern consoles/games will ever be held in the same regard as retro consoles/games? That is to say, do you think the Playstation 2 or even 3 will be looked back at like we do the SNES, and if not, why?

    Thanks for all the great stuff guys, it makes my daily drives so much more bearable.

  12. Who is the best 3rd party publisher in history? Whose work over all generations has aged the best? Square? Capcom? EA? Konami? My personal vote is for Capcom, who put out amazing stuff from the NES years through at least the PS2, but I’m curious about your thoughts on the subject. Sub-question: what is your favorite 3rd party publisher’s most overlooked hidden gem?

  13. I’m really interested by games that weren’t originally big commercial or critical successes, but have since been “rediscovered” and canonized. The Monster World series is a good example, and Gimmick! on the NES/Famicom. It reminds me of music albums that were slept on when they came out but have later been recognized as classics, like the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds.

    What great retro games do you think are ripe for a rediscovery and critical reevaluation? What retro game or series aren’t we talking about that we should be?

    For me, it’s StarTropics, a great NES adventure game with some mechanics that have never quite been replicated, a distinct sense of “place,” and a lot of diversity in items and enemies. Challenging without ever being impossible.

  14. pasha

    Any chance we can get a little more about plans for season 2?

  15. Nick Kilcoyne

    Are you guys going to do real letters mail again? With envelope are and all?

  16. Dalton Williams

    Recently, when I was browsing in a local thrift store, I managed to dig up a working Sega Genesis, along with about twenty-five games. Being a lifelong Nintendo person, I’m frankly unsure of what the “good” games are for the system, and I was hoping I could get a few suggestions.

    Also, more focused on Retronauts itself, what are some topics you’ve always wanted to cover, but haven’t had the opportunity to?

    By the way, thanks for taking the time to answer questions, and for the show in general! It’s genuinely both educational, and entertaining, and the nature of the show means that even the back episodes can be just as relevant as the current ones.

  17. Rob

    Hellooooo! So you guys don’t seem to talk too often about the Nintendo 64, and when you do it usually is some form of smack talk about it, like the relatively crappy 3D visuals. Despite this, it seemed to be a pretty successful console and had a decent number of excellent games. So why the dislike? I’m sure a lot of listeners have fond memories of N64 games, and it would be cool to hear some discussion on those games, particularly the lesser known gems.

    Or could wait for that for a 20th anniversary episode! Coming up in just over 2 years… annnd that’s old. Good God.

  18. Ian D.

    Fan of the show with a few questions

    1. Does anyone have a favorite pinball machine (I’d guess The Simpsons for Bob)?

    2. What about a Duke Nukem episode? Granted, there aren’t a lot of great games out there, and Wired covered that quite a bit), but it would make for an interesting discussion about how characterization has changed.

    3. I got Ray’s essay about dating sims on my Kindle. The appeal of those still totally mystifies me because it seems like most games have terrible dialogue. Have dating sims successfully made dialogue engaging, or have I misunderstood the appeal entirely?

  19. Eleuterio

    Well since I’m not the only person who’s wondering about it..I too would like to hear more about Retronauts itself…Mr. Parish loathed the show during it’s first run. In episode 99 he said if he were to ever do it again he would prefer recording it in front of a live audience. Then some jokes were made about their enormous journalist salaries, something about paying off student loans and how feasible that idea would be. I was surprised when I heard about the kickstarter, in a “good” way. Maybe some insight into Mr. Parish’s thought process leading towards the kickstarter would be nice.

  20. econmara

    What podcasts do you listen to?

  21. Ken Hoyt

    I don’t think “Which is bigger franchise, Mario or Zelda” would be a question, since it’s obviously Mario. And I don’t want to get into a discussion about which series it better, since that’s subjective. But was wondering what you guys feel about Mario and Zelda, particularly when juxtaposed. I feel like Mario has stayed pretty strong throughout it’s run, but why do I always want the next Zelda game more?

  22. Robert O.

    hey guys the shows going great. i just have one question/comment any chance of a episode about the Saga series? I grew playing them on Game Boy as the first real RPG series I ever got into and since the only time anyone ever mentions them is mostly to bad mouth them for being hard or to diffirent when its those differences that make them great.

  23. Gabriel Falcon

    Hi retronauts … not a comment but more of a demand.. can u do more episodes of movie month…loved the Wizard episode .. and bring samuel claiborne and kat bailey on the scene.. keep up the great work #retronauts

  24. JohnLearned

    Hey guys. I have a few kind of boilerplate questions about old shooters and fighting games, but after giving it some thought, I’m a lot more interested in your thoughts on services like PlayStation Now and other cloud programs. I’m sure you’re interested in it, but are you more in favor of the buffet-like PSNow vs. something like console emulation (which Sony is supposedly dabbling in)? Personally, I have no idea how it can work for games that rely on network play like Third Strike Online, but if I’m being honest with myself, an all-streaming future seems imminent to me, especially for keeping older games relevant. Agree/ disagree?

  25. I third an answer for the history of Retronauts itself. Maybe that could almost make for an entire episode…

    But I also think you should take a look at the earlier text based games such as Zork, Witness, Hitchiker’s Guide, etc.

    I don’t think you did an entire episode on those types of games yet, but if you did–dang.

    PS. Even though I curse a lot, I’m glad you guys tend to keep it fairly clean on this podcast. I dunno–it just feels refreshing.

  26. nobody78

    1) What do you all think of Xenoblade? Does it stand up well a couple of years out? Was it a disappointment? How does it compare to (say) the Bethesda RPG’s? I can’t really make that a “retro” question but I’m curious.

    2) I’d like to hear some thoughts on the history of the “boss.” When do boss fights improve a game? When do they not? What are some of the really creative bosses you’ve encountered, maybe off the beaten trail?

  27. Eric

    1.) I really liked the boy and his blob episode from way back. Are there any other semi obscure retro games you would like to see get that treatment?

    2.) How do you all feel about the current preservation of games. Aka can we get a good old retronauts rant, and thoughts on things like NES Remix? I would love to hear what you would like to see happen with the Remix idea moving forward.

    Love the show, thanks guys!

  28. Teh Lurv

    What games do you like on systems you don’t? Although I don’t care for certain consoles like the Jaguar or N64, there are a few games on these systems I greatly enjoy despite my distaste for the console overall.

  29. Cory

    Hello Retronauts! Thanks for opening your hearts and minds to our questions.

    As we all know, a number of companies are producing and selling hardware system emulators like FC Twin, Retro Duo, and the not-yet-released Retron5 on which to play our old console cartridges. We can also buy flash carts to load up with ROMs and play all the games we’ve never paid for on our old systems, if still operational.

    Have any of you ever tried these new technologies? What do you think about them? If the sales of these old consoles and accessories grow, could you envision Nintendo producing and releasing some limited edition re-releases of old systems or cartridges? Imagine a special Super Mario Bros. 30th anniversary NES Action Set re-release! We’d buy it, we all know we would.

    Thanks for all your great work through the years.

  30. Jacob Hepworth-Wain

    Hi! I finished Earthbound yesterday for the first time and I feel like it’s filled with elements (and intertextual references) that would have given rise to psychoanalytic study were it in a different media. Here are some examples I picked up on:
    a) Buzz Buzz’ appearance at start of the game from the future and the influence of childhood perhaps alluding to La Jetee
    b) The breaking of the fourth wall with the Fuzzy Pickles and the photo album at the end encouraging the player to interact with the photographs which reminded me of Camera Lucida
    c) Also the sanctuary locations and the flashes of memory from Ness’ own infancy and his young mother reminded me of the punctum in Camera Lucida
    d) The focus on memory and the way the real and the fantastical are blended and made to look the same feels similar to ‘one hundred years of Solitude’ and Magical Realism in general
    e) The exploration of Ness’ own Psyche and physical manifestations of his emotions
    f) The destruction of Poo’s body through Mu training and later the entire parties through time travel
    g) The giger inspired devil machine and Giygas being a physical manifestation of Itoi’s childhood trauma
    I know there’s already Beatles/Bowie/Dali/Chuck Berry references but I couldn’t find any precedent for these observations on the internet!
    Also Musically There are things i’m not sure anyone’s picked up on:
    >The My Bloody Valentine influence on the soundtrack (I noted m b v sounded even more similar than loveless when it came out last year)
    >The nuances in the sound stone melodies; I’m pretty sure the sanctuary in Dalaam’s melody is played in an eastern, pentatonic scale and is still cohesive with the overall melody
    >I was listening to Shabazz Palaces and i’m 100% sure Earthbound is sampled on “The King’s New Clothes Were Made By His Own Hands”. Ishmael Butler from that collective was the frontman of Digable Planets, and listening back they have loads of references to being Earthbound insects.
    This post has been far too long and self indulgent but hopefully you can vindicate some of my mad ramblings. Also as a first year fine art student without much free time or money (or a recent console) can you recommend any games that are as optimistic, warm and as deep as earthbound? I really love this podcast, thankyou guys for all the episodes n_n

  31. Hello Retronauts.

    I know game preservation is a frequent topic on the show, and like you guys, I lament how developers don’t give it the importance it deserves. So I wanted to ask you guys some questions related to it.

    1. Do you think any developer, regardless of their size, will ever give a game the equivalent of the “Criterion” treatment to anything from their back catalog?
    2. Do you think we’ll ever reach a point where a third party company will be able to pick up the slack and license games from developers/publishers, the way the Criterion Collection licenses films?
    3. The complete wish fulfilment question: if money and licensing was not an issue and you could make your own “Retronaunts Presents” collection, what would be the first title you’d start with?

    Anyway, I’ve stuck with guys since the beginning, except for the one time I got angry at Jeremy for ending it in a fit of entitled Internet rage, and I look forward to seeing more episodes from you guys in the future!

  32. gropestha

    Any chance of joining a larger company that gave you creative freedom to continue this adventure into the past?

  33. Travis Hinton

    One of the things I like about video games and feel that only video game can do well is replay value. What are some games that you can play again and again to have a new experience each time and discover something new. For me it is the Way of the Samurai series, any Civilization game, Sid Meier’s Pirates, Long Live the Queen, and any Mystery Dungeon or Mystery Dungeon like game.

  34. Keeper XIII

    Hey Retronauts. You were one of the first things that got me into podcasts! Thank you for that.

    What are some of your favorite underrated licensed games?

  35. LentFilms

    I remember Bob mentioned in the Fan Translation episode that he was watching “Attack on Titian” and it got me curious if anyone else on the podcast watches anime. So I guess my question is: what is the most recent anime you have watched. Thanks and keep up the great radio.

  36. Mega_Matt

    Hey guys! I was wondering how you felt about video upscalers for processing classic video game consoles to HD. I recently purchased an XRGB Mini Framemeister and I think it’s amazing. Seriously, it’s like magic. Playing Yoshi’s Island in HD with scan lines really is a sight to behold. Every pixel perfectly square, clear, and sharp. Also it’s lightning fast so it eliminates input lag on an HDTV. I assume you could get similar results using a good emulator, but I just don’t enjoy that experience unless it’s something done right on a service like virtual console. Even then, for me nothing beats playing on original hardware with an original controller to go along with it.

    So what are your thoughts (if any) on upscalers? Have any of you used or own one?

    Also, keep up the good work guys. I’m really enjoying Volume III.

  37. I remember at some point early on after the kickstarter Jeremy mentioned something about having retronauts registered as some sort of nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of art. Has any progress been made toward that? If it went through, what would be your goals for this new organization?

    Just as a side note, I started listening to retronauts because of Bob’s recommendation on his livejournal back in the day, so when he joined the fold it was a really nice moment of everything coming together. You’ve all been doing really impressive enlightening work and you’ve made me cry on two different episodes, which speaks to the passion you have for your subjects. Thanks for all the hard work you’ve done over the years, you’ve created something unique that I hope you’re all very proud of.

  38. Jason

    Hey guys, wanted to see what your take is on Bandai (now Namco Bandai Holdings) as a Japanese toy company producing video games. What’s the history with this company? Were they considered to be the LJN equivalent of Japan? In listening to your show, I am particularly fascinated by the history of toy manufacturers as they each delve in to the video game market at some point or another, usually with somewhat lackluster results.

    Bandai holds a personal interest for me as I was a big fan of Robotech and Macross in my adolescence. The only way to play any video games based on the series I loved, at that time, was to import them and so I tried out a few titles on PlayStation. While the games were pretty awful, they did represent an intersecting point between anime and video games that I thought was neat and they were all published by Bandai.

    Not to mention I find the WonderSwan a puzzling portable gaming device and would love to see if you have any perspective or history to share about this.

    Thanks for your hard work in making this such a great listen week after week. I love this third reincarnation and hope it can continue for a long time to come! Strong Work!

  39. TrentEaston

    I remember back in the 1up days Bob and Jeremy participated in a Games Dammit podcast based on the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise and Bob mentioned playing the various Evangelion video games tied to it.

    What anime games or any heavily anime inspired games have you played over your gaming career, and of those which was the best and which was the weirdest?

  40. I know you guys are console-centric, but wanted to call out Sierra Online had a pretty good quarterly magazine and who can forget Infocom’s The New Zork Times/The Status Line?