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We've got reactions to Zelda's huge world, a follow-up on Wii U's health, and lots of new games!
We are four this week, and Jon starts the show with a bang for a long discussion of the newest Legend of Zelda for Wii U footage. New Business begins in earnest with Jonny's first impressions of Xeodrifter for 3DS, plus a catch-up with Puppeteer, Sony's mouthy 2.5D platformer. Guillaume tries a demo for Shapes of Gray, coming later to Wii U, and he also gains a belated appreciation for Mario Kart 8. Before the break, James takes just a few minutes to report on the game he just couldn't resist, Phoenix Wright Trilogy.
We have a true feature segment for you this week, as a piece of pre-emptive Listener Mail and the timely release of NPD sales data for November provide the perfect opportunity to revisit one of our most famous episodes on its first anniversary. We're brutally honest about the situation, as always, but things really do look better these days. There will be more variety next time, so please write an email about any old thing!
Back to our usual format, we blast through games and emails in this post-Thanksgiving episode.
The streak is broken! Jon couldn't make it this week, so you get a three-man show that still manages to go a little long. New Business starts with a bold Japanese flavor, as Guillaume explains the hybrid appeal of Persona Q. Jonny keeps it going with a revisit to Bravely Default, and James takes our theme to Wii U for some thoughts on the Bayonetta remake (he's playing them in order).
On the second trip through the panel for game impressions, Gui disses Paper Monsters Recut (another iOS port to Wii U). A new sequel to Geometry Wars sends Jonny into nostalgia for Galaxies on the Wii. For the conclusion of this jam-packed segment, James finds that online play (and Skype) might have saved his opinion of Fantasy Life.
Listener Mail asks us to advise on finding a GameCube adapter for Wii U, the rise and fall of various genres, and why so many bloggers want Nintendo to fail. Thanks to everyone who ignites our in-depth discussions with their thoughtful emails -- hey, you should join that fine guild! Also, as mentioned on the show, it's a good idea to bookmark and/or subscribe to the NWR TV channel on YouTube for all our video reviews and other cool holiday content.
The RFN guys play and discuss Smash Bros for Wii U in this unique episode, recorded during a four-way online match!
This one requires some explanation. We recorded this episode simultaneously with the first-ever online match among all four RFN guys in the new Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. In addition to our usual audio discussion and recording, we also recorded video of the match, which was later synchronized with our vocal track to create a full-length video edition of the podcast! Of course, subscribers and everyone else can still get the normal audio version, but there's also a cool video to provide full context for our discussion of the game, as we were talking about it while playing and often directly referenced the action as it happened. If the embedded video below doesn't work, you can watch it on (and subscribe to!) our recently launched NWR TV channel on YouTube.
Direct YouTube Link (if embedded player does not work in your browser)
It's rare that we do a whole episode on just one game, but maybe you'll agree that a huge release like Smash Bros. is worth it. Regardless, we'll be back soon with the usual format, lots of different games, and more of your Listener Mail! Keep that train a-rollin' by sending in your feedback, suggested topics, and questions on anything in video games to our ever-accepting email bucket.
We had to record just hours before Smash Bros. launched on Wii U, but there are still games to discuss and emails to be answered.
We're back with more games this week, and it's also time to catch up on Listener Mail! LET US BE THE TRUE SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR SUPER SMASH BROTHERS FOR WII U EXPERIENCE.
James is first on New Business with a few thoughts on I've Got to Run: Complete Edition, just released on 3DS by a friend of the show. He's also befuddled by the Virtual Console edition of Pokemon: The Trading Card Game, a digital version of the notoriously popular card game that was originally made for Game Boy Color. Jonny finally scratches Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 from his backlog, though not with out some grenade troubles. He also celebrates the release of a new Dragon Age by trying the first game... only five years late! The elder Jon is no less far afield with his thoughts on the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Yes, we actually let me talk about an MMO. You can't let that energy build up too much, or he might explode. Guillaume rescues this barely relevant segment with his impressions of Tengami, a pretty but very short game from the Wii U eShop, and that also leads us to ponder how Kirby and the Rainbow Cure might deal with the GamePad touch screen. He also tells us about Squids Odyssey, a lovely hybrid of Fire Emblem and billiards(?) that actually supports cross-buy if you live in Europe.
Listener Mail returns after a featured spot on the telethon, and we have a lot to discuss this time around. First is a look at Super Mario Bros. 2's legacy and whether we'll ever see a true sequel to this outlier of gaming's royal franchise. We also consider Konami's recent approach to Castlevania and whether that series has a future, officially or not. Next is a lengthy discussion of how interactivity, as the key artistic quality of video games, is expressed in criticism and pop culture. Just to bring us back to (alternate) reality, the episode concludes with a lightning round of questions about the Majora's Mask remake coming next year to 3DS.
We'll have some kind of Smash Bros. coverage for you next weekend, so let us know what you think of Sakurai's latest (or any other topic) by sending an email for the podcast!
It's November, y'all -- so here's an entire show of new game impressions!
It's been a very busy week on the RFN subscription feeds, with all three parts of the telethon recording as well as a remix of the epic 400th episode all added for our listeners. It has also been a good time for us to play games, especially with the lack of any formal New Business during last weekend's telethon, so now you get a double-dose of impressions for all the cool new games we're playing.
We start with a big overview of the Mario Kart 8 downloadable content, which brought Guillaume and Jonny both back into the online arena. Then, James catches up with Hyrule Warriors, and it's no big surprise that he loves the janky chaos and knowingly goofy action of this franchise mash-up. Jon tries The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, a new expansion of the disturbing action-roguelike that proudly wears its (original) Legend of Zelda influences and may finally be heading to 3DS after years of censorship drama. The podcast's first segment concludes with Jonny's early thoughts on Stealth Inc. 2, an extremely polished independent eShop game that is, at least for now, exclusive to Wii U.
But wait, there's more! New Business distends past the break to give us time for even more big games. Gui revisits Fantasy Life and reignites his debate with James over the best way to enjoy that addictive Level 5 joint. Then, we return at long last to Halo land with expert guidance from Lindy (even though he's not really a fan...) through the humongous new Master Chief Collection. Jonny shows some interest there, before swinging the pendulum hard back to Kirby Triple Deluxe, which turns out to be exactly what he wanted from this long-running Nintendo series.
We ran out of time for Listener Mail this week, but we'd love to hear your thoughts and questions on the recent announcements and latest game releases. Send 'em in and we'll run through a bunch of emails next time!
It's another big show as Karl joins to preview the telethon and discuss unreleased games, new games, old games, and sleeping.
It's our last episode before the 5th Annual NWR Charity Telethon, so of course we brought in organizer (and former RFN host) Karl Castaneda to preview the big event. But first, he leads New Business with quick impressions of Woah, Dave!, the new game from the Bit.Trip guys under their new studio name, Choice Provisions. Karl also reports on the highly praised Shadow of Mordor from other consoles. James follows with extended impressions of Level 5's Fantasy Life, and it turns out that he and Gui are having quite different experiences with this massive game. Lindy came in a bit late, but we figured he's already suffered enough punishment by playing Lair, the ill-fated PS3 launch title from Factor 5. Guillaume takes his full turn next, trying the original Bayonetta (remastered for Wii U) and a neat little 3DS eShop title called Super Little Acorns Turbo. Jonny completes the cycle and ends his hunger strike (ha!) thanks to the long-awaited, never-certain release of both Gargoyle's Quest 2 and Demon's Crest on Virtual Console.
The second half of our show begins with Guillaume's now-annual report from Nintendo's holiday preview event in Canada. He got to play Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and even both versions of Sonic Boom. Following that is a brief discussion about Nintendo's first revelation of their "Quality of Life" business -- it's a sleep monitor! Does this make any kind of sense for the company, and more importantly for us, will it relate to video games at all? There are few answers but plenty of speculation, for now. Finally, Karl brings us home with a point-by-point preview of next weekend's big telethon. It's our biggest event of the year, with all hands on deck from Nintendo World Report, and you should be part of the action! Just bookmark the official telethon page, donate early if you can, and be there on Saturday, November 8, 2014. You can talk with us live, win great prizes, chat with fellow Nintendo fans, and support a truly wonderful charity organization. Oh, by the way, our very first live segment on that day will be a Listener Mail round-up, so send in your questions now and let us know Saturday if you're available to do it live on the show!
Sorry, the Box Hunter is out this week. Instead, a friendly tiger joins our circus!
Anyone hoping for a tribute to the worst episode ever is going to be disappointed this week, but listeners hoping for a ton of exciting Nintendo discussion are in for a Halloween treat! Our special guest is Josh Hillyer, who you might know from Back in My Play and a recent guest spot on Player One Podcast. His specialized knowledge includes the "Bodda Getta" cheer.
New Business kicks off (HEY!) with the brand new 3DS game, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. Jonny has been very critical of previous games in this series, but WayForward's latest adventure is a major improvement and certainly one of the year's best 3DS games. Josh goes next with his thoughts on another contender for the playoffs, Smash Bros. for 3DS. It's an interesting week to reflect on this game in light of Nintendo finally revealing the Wii U version, but more on that later. Guillaume takes one for the team by digging up Wii Music -- did we judge it too harshly in 2008? ...maybe not. JON LINDEMANN UNWRAPS, INSTALLS, AND PLAYS SKYRIM. This potentially relates to the next Zelda game, but it's also an important milestone in his personal journey. Finally, we punt back to Josh for his recommendation of Kirby Triple Deluxe, the overlooked platformer from earlier this year.
After making a few adjustments, we're back in action to run down the highlights from Nintendo's latest (last?) Smash Bros. Direct. In a video rolling off more than 50 new facts about the game, quite a few were big surprises. Our main purpose here is to set hype levels for the upcoming Wii U version, and it's clear that Nintendo has shifted the momentum. The podcast finishes strong with a fun, philosophical debate on the concept of "artistic intent" in video games, inspired by Patrick Klepek's recent article about The Evil Within's unusual aspect ratio. Though we may disagree in the end, we'd all give two bits, four bits, six bits, even a whole dollar to hear more critical discussion about games as art, especially with all the recent, unsportsmanlike conduct surrounding video games.
We ran out the clock before getting to Listener Mail, but there's always next time. Show your podcast spirit by sending in a great question or topic! Also, you can join the booster club for sick kids by donating early to Child's Play as we mentally prepare for the 5th Annual NWR Charity Telethon on Saturday, November 8! Finally, you should go for the extra points by reading Josh Hillyer's short novel Train of Thought on Amazon and flying down the field to his games writing company, Bonus Star Consulting.
Craig Harris joins us for impressions of Bayonetta 2, memories of unreleased games, and much more!
It's always too bad when one of the RFN crew has to miss a show (in this case, Guillaume), but having access to fantastic guests like Craig Harris makes it better. Many of you will know Craig from his long tenure at IGN, where he covered Nintendo and especially handhelds like Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. He has since moved on to companies like Sega and Electronic Arts, and we managed to catch him in the gap before his next big career move.
This week's New Business features an interesting batch of games, as James leads us through the convincing Bayonetta 2 demo and also tries Level 5's Layton Bros. (no relation?) for iOS and Android devices. Craig follows with his thoughts on Smash Bros. 3DS and a hot new game that's close to his heart -- Alien Isolation! Jonny continues the seasonal theme with Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (now visible on Wii U's Virtual Console) and creepy pixel-based game Lone Survivor, now available on Wii U's eShop.
We had to skip Lindy in the first segment due to computer problems, but he pops in after the break to help us with Listener Mail. The first question about unreleased games (inspired by the recently exposed Rogue Squadron Trilogy) is perfect for a guy with Craig's experience -- he's played tons of them! We also revisit the fun topic of radically different sequels, as well as the best time to buy a console. Please keep sending your great questions and comments through our convenient email form.
In case you missed the recent announcement, RFN Powered Off is now available! This PDF magazine is all new content written by Nick Bray, Karl Castaneda, and the entire current podcast crew. Plus, it's all wrapped into a goofy 90s-style design with a matching cover design by our own Andrew Brown. This special project closes out our celebration of Episode 400 and is entirely free to download and enjoy, so please do check it out!