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We're joined by Developer/Podcaster Lewis Pugh and discuss Smash Bros. and Tomodachi Life on this loaded episode!
Since Guillaume is out at PAX East this weekend (unfortunately, without us), we've got a special guest: Lewis Pugh, the man behind Twisted Fusion on Kickstarter and also the host of Infendo Radio. He's come on a fun week, since we have two different Nintendo Directs about two very different games to be discussed. Jon sets us up right away for fresh thoughts on Tomodachi Life, and perhaps surprisingly, we're all intrigued by the latest in Nintendo's "WTF Japan" sub-brand. James follows that with Rusty's Real Deal Baseball, but his impressions soon ignite an unplanned, feature-level discussion about Nintendo's experimental approach to downloadable content. That doesn't leave much time left in New Business, but Jonny and Lewis do squeeze in some thoughts on Mario & Luigi: Superstart Saga and Advance Wars, respectively.
After the break, Lewis gives us a compelling pitch for his Wii U exclusive(!) game, Twisted Fusion. It's currently raising money on Kickstarter, so check out that page if the game sounds interesting. Next up is Listener Mail, and the opening salvo gives us an opening for reactions to all the new Smash Bros. announcements earlier in the week. We also lean on Lewis to explain Nintendo's HTML5 support and consider a listener's question about the upcoming indie avalanche on Wii U (and how anyone will know it's happening).
Let us know what you thought of the dual Directs, or any other topic, by supporting our Listener Mail segments with your own input! Also, listen to Lewis Pugh on the Infendo Radio podcast, and get ready for the next RetroActive by posting your Friend Code and finding opponents in the official Goldeneye 007 forum thread.
A new platform on Virtual Console gives us the perfect excuse for a Game Boy Advance retrospective feature. Also: a Mario Kart Wii fanboy reacts to the latest MK8 info!
Jonny's back in the hosting chair and ready for action this week! He launches into Yumi's Odd Odyssey and also returns to Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate now that an expanded version is out for Wii U and other consoles. Guillaume continues to slog through Ace Attorney Investigations and also tries the ever-charming, ever-controversial Earthbound for the very first time! Jon is still waiting for his 3DS to come back, so he uses New Business to talk about the latest Mario Kart 8 details. Finally, James gets into Saints Row 4 and explains why it doesn't connect for him as much as the previous game.
After the break, we use the addition of Game Boy Advance titles to the Virtual Console (only on Wii U, at least for now) as a good excuse to look back at this odd era in Nintendo's handheld lineage. The panel's opinion of GBA as a platform is somewhat mixed, but we all agree that it has some wonderful games and a very colorful, if abbreviated, history. If you got into Nintendo during the Wii/DS boom or just somehow missed GBA in the early 2000s, you might be surprised to hear about the creativity and experimentation that did occur on a system that was and still is often associated with SNES ports. Try the links on our sidebar to the right for more info on some of our favorite titles mentioned in this episode!
Send in your own thoughts on GBA or any other topic for next week's Listener Mail segment! We're also pumped for some online thrills in Goldeneye 007 for Wii -- meet other players and arrange matches in the official RetroActive forum thread! The wrap-up discussion on our podcast will probably be coming up in the next couple of weeks.
Our games range from old to recent and brand new, including a stunningly difficult new platformer. We also look at the state of RPGs on Wii U and respond to Smash Bros tournament backlash.
The core group is back together again this week, and we came prepared for a fun show filled with games and hot topics to discuss! Gui is up first to tell us about his early exit from Bravely Default (after dozens of hours), plus a Virtual Console jaunt with Adventure Island II. James checks out the new 3DS eShop release, Yumi's Odd Odyssey, and he kinda hates it. But not everyone feels that way -- Danny gave it a very positive review here at NWR, and Guillaume seems to be enjoying it too. Jon gives us some news before Jonny wraps up New Business by revisiting Wii Fit U, the stealth release that just got a useful patch and continues to prove itself as a useful fitness product.
For the feature segment, we have a trio of special topics this week. First up is a discussion of RPGs and why they still aren't showing up on Wii U. Next, we parse out the mountain of feedback on our Smash Bros. comments from last week's episode. You'll never convert James, but Jonny at least tries to establish a diplomatic tone for this passionate sub-community. Finally, we celebrate Koji Igarashi's freedom and imagine what awesome project he might work on as a newly independent developer in Japan.
We'll get back into Listener Mail next week -- there are several great ones already lined up, but we'll always take more of your hilarious and provocative emails! And don't forget to vote in the RetroActive poll; there are only a few days left from when this episode is being posted, so do it now while it's on your mind. One more thing... he forgot to plug it last week, so in case you missed Greg's latest appearance on Radio Trivia, un-miss that right now!
Greg steps in to sort out Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and your Listener Mail.
Guillaume needed a break this week, and to our surprise, his predecessor was available and eager to sub in for this week! Greg is well prepared for New Business, as he had a chance to play Yoshi's New Island just before recording started. Jon isn't so lucky, as his 3DS died mysteriously, and we soon learn of a troubling pattern. Jonny finishes Strider and checks out Broken Age, but his Nintendo content is an update on DKC: Tropical Freeze, which also gives us a chance to hear Greg's thoughts on the game. James cleans up with much more confident thoughts on the new Professor Layton.
It's a good week for Listener Mail, and we blast through five letters with help from our special guest. Find out why Contra and other games aren't released for Virtual Console in some regions! Consider the impact of Namco helping to develop the new Smash Bros titles. Discover why people may not give Nintendo enough credit for developing original games on eShop. Learn the truth about Dragon Quest X's future on Wii and Wii U! And finally, suffer a long string of puns in one listener's tribute to Steel Diver: Sub Wars.
Got a question or idea for our panel? Send it in, partner! Also, it's time to place your vote in our latest RetroActive poll! Help choose which Nintendo WiFi Connection game will get one last chance to make our online multiplayer dreams come true. Whatever wins, we hope you'll be playing with us! And be sure to catch Greg's other big podcast appearance this week over on Radio Trivia!
We talk to Jools about Moon Chronicles: Season One, downloadable content, the upcoming Razor Global Domination, Renegade Kid's relationship with Nintendo and more!
Today we get to sit down with none other than the co-founder of Renegade Kid, Jools Watsham! There’s lot of things to talk about, primarily concerning the upcoming Nintendo 3DS release Moon Chronicles: Episode One, slated for release in March. We talk about the episodic structure of the game, distribution of the downloadable content, how many seasons we could see of Moon Chronicles, some talk about their upcoming Razor Global Domination game heading to the Wii U in 2015 as well as their relationship with Nintendo.
Nintendo World Report (NWR): The first season of Moon Chronicles is a remake of the original Moon game released for the Nintendo DS back in 2009. Why did you decide to revisit this game again and remake it for the Nintendo 3DS?
Jools Watsham (JW): We revisited the game for a few reasons. The original game had a relatively small launch on the DS; there are many people, today, who have never heard of the game before. So, with this in mind we thought it best to release the story from the beginning , with the intent to continue it.
NWR: Was there any consideration to develop the remake for the Wii U?
JW: Our thoughts have always been primarily on the 3DS version, but we have discussed a Wii U version. That is something that would only happen if the 3DS version is a runaway hit so we could afford to invest in a complete visual upgrade to take advantage of the increased graphical power offered by the Wii U.
NWR: Does the 3DS infrastructure, or perhaps something within Moon Chronicles itself, help inform people who own the game that a new episode is available? In other words, how do you retain long-term awareness of people who might buy the first episode but who don't regularly keep up with eShop releases?
JW: We are considering the addition of SpotPass for a future update of the game. Other than that, we are primarily relying on exposure through the press and on the eShop itself to inform people of new episodes. This will be a learning process for us, and Nintendo.
NWR: Downloadable content is still a relatively new concept for Nintendo 3DS owners. What made your decision to go down the episodic/season route as opposed to a traditional release?
JW: The episodic approach is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, but the delivery method wasn't fully there. The Nintendo eShop provides a great system to support this idea. The reason we want to present Moon Chronicles in this way, is because this method is something we would enjoy experiencing ourselves with other story-related games - such as Zelda. It is similar to the TV show approach. Instead of having to wait for a sequel to Wind Waker, for example, being able to get a hold of smaller chunks of gameplay that continue the story is something that I think would be very appealing.
NWR: Do you see future games from Renegade Kid being released as episodic content?
JW: Yes, I think some of our future games could work well with the episodic approach. In many ways, Moon Chronicles is a good test for this method, and its performance will affect our future plans for adopting it again.
NWR Have you looked into selling the entire season as a package, with later episodes automatically downloaded? Is that even possible on 3DS?
JW: We felt that asking for payment upfront for episodes that are not yet available was too much of a change for the eShop. This pricing model is accepted on Steam, and other outlets, but it feels too soon for it on the eShop. It is a consideration for season two, though, if season one goes well.
NWR: Do you expect that Season 2 will look or play significantly differently than the original Moon content that you're porting over for Season 1?
JW: Our plan for season two is not to reinvent the wheel. We want to continue the story and present new and interesting gameplay challenges. We will naturally investigate ways of improving the look and performance of the game, but our main focus will be on new content that entertains the player.
NWR: Was there anything, due to technological limits, that you couldn't implement on Moon, but now you can with the move to the Nintendo 3DS?
JW: The main area of improvement that the 3DS offers over the DS is graphical power - in terms of in-game content. This is something that we will continue to explore over the coming seasons.
NWR: How long do you see development of future Moon Chronicles seasons lasting? Do you think this could be something that would last throughout the life cycle of the Nintendo 3DS?
JW: It is difficult to say at this stage, but we plan to release the first few episodes of season two in 2015, and perhaps cross over to 2016 with the remaining episodes. It is my hope that we can manage to squeeze in a season three or maybe even season four before the life cycle of the 3DS is over. But, this all hinges on the game's success with season one.
NWR: First person shooters are fairly uncommon on both the Nintendo DS and 3DS. Why do you think that is?
JW: First-person shooters are very difficult to create on handhelds, and require a dedicated engine to perform even at acceptable standards (30fps), let alone silky smooth 60fps. In order to get the most out of the 3DS, you're really investing a lot of effort into one platform. Many developers want to create / use an engine that can support more than one platform - understandably. Plus, home consoles and the PC offer more power and a more appealing possibilities to many developers.
NWR With the recent news that DS games are coming to Wii U's Virtual Console, is that platform something you think would work for a game like Moon?
JW: I can't imagine the controls adapting very well to the Wii U due to the game's use of the Touch Screen. I don't think it will be unplayable, but it might not be ideal either.
NWR: What can you tell us about the recently announced Razor Global Domination? How far along are you in development?
JW: We're in the early stages of development.
NWR: Razor is renown for their line of scooters. What has it been like working with them thus far?
JW: They have been a great team to work with. We have flown out to meet them, and we chat via phone and email often. They are very involved with the game, which we think is awesome!
NWR: Renegade Kid continues to support the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS with new titles. What do you find most satisfying about working with Nintendo on new releases? Have you seen an evolution in your relationship with Nintendo in recent years?
JW: The Nintendo community of players is very unique. There is a great sense of passion and excitement in the Nintendo community that I have not seen elsewhere. There will always be a few that have nothing nice to say about anything, but they are very much overshadowed by the genuinely awesome folk who simply love games for what they are and do not measure a games' value by realism, violence, or other superficially macho standards. Don't get me wrong, I like realistic violence in games, and I expect much of the Nintendo community does too, but the exciting fact is that cute games like Mutant Mudds and Bomb Monkey can receive equal respect.
Let's take a field trip from Murder School to spend time with our buddy Donald, the newest Donkey Kong game, and so much more!
With Jon absent another week (as planned), we pick up from Garnett's explosive guest appearance last week with another friend of the show, Donald Theriault of the quasi-spinoff/community podcast, Nintendo Free Radio. Donald also graciously maintains the wonderful RFN official thread (OT) over at NeoGAF, where many of our listeners keep up with the show. He's come on a good week too, as we have much to discuss -- starting with a brand new Wii U game!
Guillaume officially kicks off the Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze discussion, and while none of us are absolutely in love with the game, we speak highly of various aspects while also giving consideration to our problems with the game. We're probably not done with this one, so let us know what you think of it! James, the only one who hasn't jumped into DK (yet?), instead dives deeper into Weapon Shop de Omasse, with mixed results. Donald takes his turn with Bravely Default and also shakes the panel members to their very cores with a fever dream description of Danganronpa for the Vita. Jonny closes out this segment with further --and even more positive-- thoughts on Strider, which turns out to be a truly great, modern Metroid-style game for other platforms.
New Business was already pretty wacky, but things go way more off course in Listener Mail -- and there's fun in them thar hills! The first question makes Jonny regret ever suggesting that Nintendo should buy Xbox. Next, we hear from a listener who took part in an experimental "sales rep" program that could increase Nintendo's presence in retail stores. Then we lose all grasp of reality with a quick recap of Twitch Plays Pokemon before getting dirty deals on eShop cards (sorry, Canada!) and allowing a simple question about sequels to drive a massive, Square-shaped wedge into the heart of our team spirit! You can keep this madness rolling week after week by sending in your own email that we'll twist around into something completely unrelated but maybe hilarious!