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Fact Checking RetroforceGO! Part 2
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 31, 2008   |   Episode 20 (Show Archive)  


Maybe it's just me, but I feel like I can take this masked man in a fight (assuming he keeps that giant helmet on)!
Earlier this year I had a lot of fun chiding Destructoid's old school podcast, RetroforceGO!, over inaccurate information. While this show may have originated as a place to debunk rumors from Electronic Gaming Monthly, it has quickly turned into a place where I can correct everybody else. Unfortunately the hosts of RetroforceGO! weren't very appreciative when it came to us correcting them, they wrote me a letter suggesting that I should fact check them on their own talkback or simply send them an email.

Where's the fun in that? No way am I going to fact check for an audience of one! So here we are, the final day of the year, and it's time to give RetroforceGO! a little more attention. The truth is, this Destructoid podcast is often correct in their statements. I could spend more than a hundred pages simply pointing out all of the things they got right. But that's no fun. You expect inaccurate information and real fact checking. Thankfully the hosts of RetroforceGO! make enough glaring mistakes to fill up a whole page. And I have a hunch that as record more shows I'll have plenty more opportunities for future fact checking articles.

In this episode we demonstrate the RetroforceGO! doesn't know how much Neo Geo games cost, is a little fuzzy on the ending of Earthworm Jim, thinks Shenmue is on the Saturn and much, much more. And best of all, we've added the audio clips just so you can hear them get the facts wrong. Sound like fun? Well, it is. So sit back and get your ears ready, because we're about to fact check RetroforceGO! ... again!

Quote 1: Neo Geo Game Were Cheap?

Bigger! Badder! Better! And WAY More Expensive!
"The funny thing is that the [Neo Geo cartridge] games were only $50. The games were cheaper than a lot of Super Nintendo games were."
Reality: I've heard a lot of outlandish things in my life, but this takes the cake. You would have a better chance of convincing me that up is down, red is green and George W. Bush is the greatest President of all time. The very notion that the Neo Geo cartridges cost less than Super NES games, as RetroforceGO! would have you believe, is about as faulty as the plastic surgeon that worked on Kanye West's mother. If you actually believe that the Neo Geo games were only $50, then you have no right hosting your own retro video game podcast.

So what's the real story? The truth is, most Neo Geo games were between $100 and $200. That isn't a new thing, either. Those were the prices from the launch, which may explain why the system never sold at the same level as the Super NES and Sega Genesis. As the years went on the Neo Geo carts only became more expensive, some going as high as $300 and

The cartridges were huge, full of memory and expensive as hell!
$400. This doesn't even begin to include the rare pressings towards the end of the system's lifecycle. These days you can pick up Neo Geo cartridges for $50 and up, but that certainly wasn't the case back in the 1990s.

To give the RetroforceGO! hosts the benefit of the doubt for a moment, perhaps they got the Neo Geo AES/MVS confused with the Neo Geo CD. The problem with giving them that out is that the conversation that proceeded and continued this quote says nothing about the CD-based variation. They don't talk about the smaller controls, long load times or anything else CD-related. Instead they jabber on about the joystick controls, the arcade-perfect games and the high price of the system. It's pretty clear from listening to the whole podcast that they were not talking about the cheaper CD-ROMs, which can only mean that RetroforceGO! doesn't know what they are talking about when it comes to buying Neo Geo games.

Quote 2: Gradius II In the U.S.?

Technically Gradius II had come to the U.S. ... just not on a retro console!
"Well [Gradius II] might have been released here, but maybe not on, I'm guess, I mean, the Super NES it wasn't released here. It might have been released on the TurboGrafx-16, but I never played it and never knew it was released here."
Reality: No, you had it right the first time. See, the problem with this kind of show is that there are too many cooks in the kitchen. The moment Chad says the right thing he is second guessed by his own co-hosts. At that point he stutters and stammers, not sure where to take it. Is he right? Is he wrong? At that moment those questions aren't important, because you can almost hear his mind telling him to do more research next time.

Look, there's really no excuse here. Chad knows what the Virtual Console games are well before he records the podcast. He has plenty of time to look up the information on Wiki, play the game for a couple of minutes and then report back to us. We're not asking for perfection here, but all it takes is three minutes of research to find out that Gradius II was never released in the U.S. Not on the Super NES and certainly not on the TurboGrafx-16. Actually, that's not true. Gradius II was part of the Gradius Collection Konami released on the Sony PSP. But outside of that, the game was never released on any of the retro consoles. The tragedy here is that he had it right, but was too unsure of his own information to get the facts right. That, my friend, is what research is for.

Quote 3: Shenmue On the Sega Saturn?

Shenmue is a phenomenal game ... but it was never released on the Sega Saturn!
"Well there's one good question here, it's not necessarily about NiGHTS [into Dreams], but it's a good question because it will let me give a shout out to a game that I've wanted to talk about for awhile. J.T. Homeslice asks, 'In lieu of asking about another question about NiGHTS, what other Saturn games were as good as this one?' And I would just like to say, Shenmue."
Reality: Wait ... what? Either the hosts of RetroforceGO! are making a joke or they have completely forgotten which system Shenmue was on. Perhaps they just got confused, since Shenmue originally started its life on the Sega Saturn. However, there would be no reason to even mention this since Shenmue never actually came out on the Saturn. That would be like saying that Too Human was your favorite PlayStation 1 game or that you couldn't get enough of Resident Evil Zero on the Nintendo 64.

The truth is, I don't think Chad was joking around or trying to reference the video of Shenmue on the Saturn. Instead I think he got mixed up, mistaking one failed Sega console for another. But even that seems odd. This is the game he's been waiting to talk about, so it seems shocking that he would get the facts so wrong. I can understand wanting to talk about Shenmue, it's truly a fantastic game, but I don't think it's the right answer when somebody asks you what other Saturn games you recommend. I suggest that next time somebody asks you a question like that you answer with a game that actually exists. If all we're going to get out of you is made up games and gobbly goop, then maybe you should cease answer questions altogether.

Quote 4: Does Zelda Need Her Own Game?

There's no need to dream about a game starring Zelda when you have the CD-i. On second thought, keep dreaming about a Zelda game!
"Do you guys feel like there should be a game with Zelda in it? Do you think that would be dumb, do you think that would ... ? See, I agree with you, but then the couple glimpses in the Zelda games where she's actually done something, like action-wise or a little bit playable, like at the end of Wind Waker how she helps you defeat Ganon and at the end of Twilight Princess she has that amazing sequence on the back of the horse. It's kind of like, it kind of gives you a hint at what it could be like, but I think you're right, having an entire game with her might be kind of dumb."
Reality: Now hang on one moment, Princess Zelda had her own game and it WAS dumb. In fact, Princess Zelda starred in two different games. Apparently both Zelda's Adventure and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon slipped the minds of the RetroforceGO! team. Now granted, neither of these games were developed by Nintendo, but that wasn't the question Chad asked. He wanted to know

I've thrown up better looking versions of Princess Zelda. Yeeek!!
if there should be a game with only Zelda in it, and judging by these two CD-i games, the answer is a resounding no. I'm sure if Nintendo put their mind to it they could come up with something better than Zelda's Adventure, but I agree with the podcast when they hope Nintendo never attempts it.

Nintendo or no Nintendo, I feel it's criminal to ask a question and completely ignore the two games Zelda actually starred in. Zelda: The Want of Gamelon is a traditional side scroller with tons of weirdly drawn animated cinemas. In sharp contrast, Zelda's Adventure was an overhead game that featured a full-motion video Zelda. That's right, not only did you get a game starring Zelda, but you got a real person to star in the role. How could this not be a huge discussion point on a podcast about heroines? You don't have to ask a hypothetical question when you have real facts ready to answer your questions.

Quote 5: Flubbing the Earthworm Jim Story!

It's a shame that Atari cancelled that Earthworm Jim PSP game, that was shaping up nicely!
"I don't know if you guys remember this, but at the very beginning of the game you like jump on a teeter totter and like shoot a cow into the air. And it makes no sense, but at the very end of the game it like lands on the final boss and kills her. It's the coolest thing ever."
Reality: Apparently Chad doesn't remember the beginning or ending of Earthworm Jim. In this quote he claims that you jump on a teeter totter to shoot a cow into the air. While he's right about the cow, he's a bit off about everything else. You don't really jump on the teeter totter (in this case a tree branch), but rather shoot (or whip) a refrigerator down so that it will send the cow flying into the air. The truth is that there isn't a huge difference in what he said

Here you are before you launch the cow!
and what the reality is, so I'm willing to give this one to him, even though he got a couple of the facts a little mixed up. At the end of the day it's really not that big of a deal.

One thing I'm not willing to give him is his inaccurate retelling of the game's ending. He claims that after completely forgetting about the launched cow it comes back to save the day by squashing the evil final boss (Queen Slug-For-A-Butt). But that's not true. Earthworm Jim, in all his powerful glory, is able to take down the Queen all by himself. He's done it. He's saved the world and rescued Princess What's-Her-Name. And boy what a prize, that

And this (spoiler alert) is what happens because of your cow launching!
Princess is smoking hot and ready for some earthworm loving ... and then she gets squished by the falling cow. See, that's the rub of Earthworm Jim. Just when you think you're going to get a happy ending you're vexed by a falling cow.

So why am I not willing to accept Chad's fuzzy memory of Earthworm Jim's ending? Simple, because it's one of those iconic endings that sticks in your mind no matter how old you get. Also, would you expect Roger Ebert to start filling our heads with inaccurate spoilers? How happy would you be if he started filling you head with garbage, like how Rosebud is actually a train set or Darth Vader is actually Luc's uncle? You would expect more from Roger Ebert, because he supposedly knows what he's talking about. I expect something similar from RetroforceGO! I'm not looking for perfection, but the Earthworm Jim ending is on YouTube and Chad could have refreshed his mind in mere minutes. I'm fine with people spoiling game endings ... but make sure you have your facts right when you decide to spoil Earthworm Jim!


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