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We catch up with a few games that didn't make our Top Five lists, and then a special guest lends a credibility boost to our stupid yearly predictions!
There are two particular episodes we do every January. One is the Top Five Games show, which you heard last week. The other one, which we on the show don't enjoy nearly as much as our audience, is the annual predictions feature. This time, we enlisted an old friend to make this chore a lot less cringe-worthy... But more on that later.
Up front in New Business, we take a critical view of several new games that are promising, but with obvious flaws. Leading that pack, perhaps inevitably, is the brand new demo for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on 3DS (with enhancements for New 3DS). Both veteran Jon and dabbler James had a taste of Capcom's upcoming game, including an online session together. What we learn is that yep, this sure is going to be Monster Hunter, and nope, the demo probably won't help anyone unlock the secret to enjoying this divisive series. Gui is far more positive on Chariot, the indie platformer just released on Wii U eShop, but the controls may be frustrating for the kind of intricate cooperation this game requires. Jonny finished up Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and definitely comes out positive on this weird little package from Nintendo, even though it ends in a whimper. James rounds out the opening segment with his first dedicated report on Persona Q, and his take on it will probably surprise you as much as it did us.
Then, it's finally time for our dumbass predictions for the rest of 2015. Thank goodness we have such a great special guest to class up the proceedings. We tried to keep it secret, but if you haven't heard by now... (spoiler alert) Chris Kohler accepted the challenge of predicting one of the most unpredictable forces in video games. He's a true Nintendo expert in the world of professional games media, and you better bet that he came prepared. The rest of us delivered the usual mix of trend-spotting, wishful thinking, and completely goofball ideas that our listeners know and love to mock all year long.
We'll try to get back to normal next time, so feed that email inbox and/or fling something pithy at our new Twitter account: @RFNpodcast! You should also read Chris Kohler's provocative work over at Wired Game|Life and listen to his fun and informative podcasts, Game|Life and Good Job Brain!
Even this extra-large episode can barely contain all the Nintendo Direct news and our Top Five Games of 2014!
We have a special format for you this week, as there is neither New Business nor Listener Mail. That's thanks to a surprise Nintendo Direct earlier in the week, which gave us far more discussion topics than we could possibly fit into this first segment. We crammed in as much as we could and hit most of the major points, including New 3DS XL for North America, "The Latest in the Fire Emblem Series" for 3DS, an avalanche of amiibo announcements, lots of walking in Xenoblade Chronicles X, the long-awaited arrival of Wii games on the Wii U eShop, and further confirmation that Splatoon could be Nintendo's first fully-featured modern shooter. There's a lot of disagreement and controversy throughout, so buckle up for this one!
The latter half of the show is just as lengthy but far less adversarial, since we each get our own personal list for the Top Five Games of 2014. The diversity in our picks is maybe surprising, considering it was one of the leanest release calendars in Nintendo's history. Many rich discussions emerged from our passionate and sometimes shocking choices, and this feature is a great showcase for the four distinct personalities on this podcast. It's impossible for you to agree with all of us, so just let that go and enjoy the conversation!
We're currently planning to do our annual (and ill-fated) predictions feature next week. Maybe you could fan the flames with a prediction of your own -- go crazy on that email form! We are also still working on the next RetroActive roll-out and hope to announce something concrete next week. You can help a lot by posting ideas in the forum thread (where they'll be considered for many subsequent editions) or using the more ephemeral Twitter method, thanks to our brand new account: @RFNpodcast (finally!).
We played games over the holiday break and would like to tell you about all of them!
We're back with the whole crew to deliver a double-dose of holiday New Business. Mister Lindemann is back from the frozen north with all kinds of retro fun, starting with the supremely underplayed Bionic Commando: Elite Forces from ye olde Game Boy Color. Guillaume, still in the frozen north, delivers much-requested coverage of that Sportsball eShop game that sounds like a pretty nice indie multiplayer thing. Next up is James, who confounds everyone with his instant conversion to the cult of Atelier Escha & Logy -- no kidding, that is the name of a video game being sold in America. He'll tell you all about it. Jonny follows that with a game that's equally insane but much more relevant to our listeners, as he goes back to Bayonetta five years after the first attempt.
We had enough interesting games for a whole other round of New Business, so Jon picks up after the break with a little story about uncovering his childhood games and a debate over what to do with them. He also posits a fun but controversial question for the ages: is Final Fantasy VI better than its adored contemporary, Chrono Trigger? Then, Gui deftly connects his impressions of Shantae & the Pirate's Curse and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker by asking if they might both be a little too polished and familiar. Jonny concludes this big episode with updated thoughts on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, thanks to a fun visit from friend-of-the-show Michael "TYP" Cole.
During the recording of this very show, that same TYP finally joined Twitter, and in the days since, this momentous occasion ignited a chain of events such that we now have an official Radio Free Nintendo account on Twitter! Follow that to be alerted when new episodes are posted, get previews of upcoming content, and submit pithy questions and comments to our entire crew. Also, we are revving up for the next RetroActive feature, but we need your help identifying candidate games/themes! Post your ideas in the sticky forum thread, or just email us directly about this or anything else in the world of Nintendo. Finally, you can learn more about Jonny's recent book release (not at all related to video games) over here at Amazon. It's short and cheap/free!
Welcome the new year with a special episode that's all emails, all the time.
We recorded this show right in the middle of everyone's big holiday break, and only half the regulars were able to make it. Not to worry though, because Alex Culafi from NWR Connectivity and our new Nintendo News Report video show popped in to help James and Jonny work through some of our Listener Mail backlog. It's a short episode, all emails, but we still had a good time!
This week's selection of listener-submitted topics begins with a quick take on winter gaming, then proceeds with a pair of Mario Maker discussions, first on the balance of Nintendo-created levels and then how this bold new direction for the franchise could affect plans for future 2D Super Mario games. Next, we get insider coverage of how Canada's eShop has saved the Wii U for some Nintendo fans in Brazil. Last up is one of the best Amiibo ideas we've seen yet, from a listener who wishes the figurines could lead to more fan-focused sports games.
We'll always make time for the best emails, so please continue sending yours and special end-of-year thanks to everyone who did so over the past year! Gui and Jon will return next week for post-holiday New Business, and we're getting ready for our Best of 2014 show around mid-January. Here's to another big year for RFN!
The Famicast crew's present to our loyal listeners, please to enjoy!
As mentioned on the latest episode of the Famicast, we have gone back through the past four live telethon recordings and edited the 8-4 Play X Famicast segments into regular episode length shows. All episodes are already available on the iTunes feed, although you may have to scroll down quite far to find them all. To make things a bit easier we have also included the episodes here as a direct download, so please enjoy them as you see fit!
Topics: Dragon Quest VII, Band Bros P, Wii U Report card, and 'Gaming Jesus' name origins!
Famicrew: Danny and JC (Also featuring Ty and Jonny Metts)
8-4 Play: Mark MacDonald
Direct download (AAC)
Direct download (MP3)
Have a great holiday and a happy new year from the whole Famicrew here in Japan!
We finally get Bayonetta 2 and Captain Toad into New Business, just in time for the year's end. Plus: your Listener Mail!
This will be our last full-length episode of 2014, and we tried to fill it to capacity with game impressions and email-driven topics. New Business features long-awaited, much-requested appearances by both Bayonetta 2 and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Other games we've been playing include the Phoenix Wright Trilogy, Miiverse, Donkey Kong: King of Swing (via Clu Clu Land), classic PC shmup Tyrian 2000, and a follow-up on Xeodrifter.
We've been getting tons of awesome emails lately, and this episode can't possibly cover all of them. We do squeeze in correspondence about the Amiibo distribution fiasco, the animated Mario movie, possible exclusives to push the New 3DS launch, and a very special Smash Bros. online match. Things could change, but we hope to record an emails-only special edition of the show to be released around New Year's Eve, so you don't have to wait too long before the next RFN fix. If for some reason that doesn't happen, we hope you'll have a great holiday break and thank all of you for supporting us through another excellent year for the podcast. Special thanks to those of you who donated to our Episode 400 project and/or the Child's Play telethon -- we truly appreciate your help in enabling these crazy events.
And hey, a lot could happen over the next couple of weeks. Take a few minutes to send an email about late-breaking topics, or just tell us about the games you received for a holiday. Above all, take care and have fun!
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.