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We talk Chibi-Robo's origins, hash out the Chibi-Robo timeline, and brainstorm future Amiibo in this E3 2015 interview.

At E3 2015, we had the good fortune to sit down with Nintendo Producers Risa Tabata and Kensuke Tanabe to talk about Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash. Tabata has been at Nintendo since 2001, working as a producer on games including Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze, Captain Rainbow, and Game & Wario. Tanabe has been at Nintendo since the 1980s with his first project being Super Mario Bros. 2 USA. Since the early 2000s, Tanabe has been a producer on a variety of Nintendo games, primarily with Retro Studios and Next Level Games, as the head of SPD No. 3 group.

Nintendo World Report )NWR): Chibi-Robo has been in several different kinds of games over the years, and I think he's not known as an action star. What gave you the idea to put him in a 2D action game for the first time?

Risa Tabata (RT): When we started first thinking about this game, we were in discussion with the development company Skip, and they had this suggestion to have Chibi-Robo to, getting his cord and moving it over his head. And that was sort of our hint to focus on the action types of things - by using this motion we could come up with various ideas.

So for the previous Chibi-Robo games, we had more of the adventure aspect. And for those who are really big fans of Chibi-Robo, it was great. People loved it, but we couldn't quite say that it was widely known by a lot of people. So we wanted to branch out and explore more things.

Kensuke Tanabe (KT):: Especially in the US market, it would be a great place to expand that fanbase.

NWR: He's such a great character, I'm thinking back to the first Chibi-Robo game on GameCube, the theme of the game I think was cleaning and also taking care of the environment and making people happy, and helping a family solve their problems and come closer together.

RT: You know the game really well.

NWR: How are these ideas being used in the new game, and how is [Chibi-Robo’s] character being made real in this new kind of game?

RT: Not so much about carrying over the elements that we had before, we tried to look for a different perspective to start working on this game.

So as you pointed out, Chibi-Robo has this mission to be a helpful little robot and help people out. Before, while he was focused on the family, helping around the house and things. This time, it's on the larger scale. Basically he'll be helping people all over the world.

KT: Keep in mind he's a tiny robot that's like 10cm high. To give you a little more detail, there'll be some aliens that will come to the Earth and try to steal our resources.

First off, Chibi-Robo... everything starts in space. Chibi-Robo by accident finds these aliens heading on their way to Earth, and he thinks I've got to try to stop them. That's how things start, and that's how the story involves Chibi-Robo going around to different places on the Earth, just travelling all around. If you have a chance to have hands-on experience on the show floor, you'll be able to see that part I'm talking about.

RT: He's still sort of a cleaner, he helps around by picking up garbage around the courses too.

NWR: In the demo, there was a lot of product placement like Utz potato chips, and I think I might've seen Mentos as well. Are there different brands in Japan, and also what is the point of having this product placement or brand placement inside the game?

RT: As you pointed out, there are these great varieties of snacks in this game. You will also see Japanese snacks in the US version as well, so it's sort of a good mix.

Chibi-Robo is so tiny, we were trying to think of ways to express that, to give you a point of reference to show you how small he is in real life. Since this time, there's no people around, it's something we can give you to compare.

The first thing we thought of was placing things that you see in our real world so you're used to seeing those things, and by using that as a starting point of reference.

The second thing was we wanted to add more to the list of things you can collect in the stages, and so for that we felt it was a good idea to have these real life objects that are actually in the game for you to check out.

So because the game itself takes place around the world in various place, we thought coming up with different monuments that you see around the world, such as the Statue of Liberty or the pyramids, but that would be way too big to use as a reference for a tiny little robot. So that didn't work too well.

And that's when I thought ‘What's something that's around us all the time, and makes people happy to see’ or to find in game? I personally also love snacks too, so I thought this is a great idea to implement in the game so that people will be really familiar with, and it's also something accessible for you if you would like to see it in real life.

NWR: Now I really regret, we were kind of joking this morning about going to buy a bag of Utz chips to bring and I regret not doing it.

KT: So one challenge was to get many companies to agree to our idea to present these snacks in game. So for the US version, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe were the two groups in charge of handling that stuff here, but in Japan she was the sole contributor to this, going around the entire country and over...

RT: 30...

KT: ...speaking with 30 different companies or more than that. I'm not sure if you're aware, but around this time in Japan it's super hot and humid, and so she wearing her business attire, walking around the whole country, travelling to present this idea to all these people. I myself was sitting in the office, just chilling, thinking ‘She's going through such a hard labor.’ *laughs*

NWR: Please tell us everything about Toby the plane. *laughs* I love him already. I want my soft plush toy Toby (or Amiibo) I can give to my niece and nephew. They're very small.

KT: In Chibi-Robo, there are many different of these characters that'll show up. Here, you only saw Toby.

RT: With these characters, that are toys that are around us, they are being set in a way that when people aren't around these NPC characters move around. Toby's actually a toy that appears in this game as well. Maybe you want a plush, or maybe a tin can?

NWR: No, a soft toy.

RT: As an Amiibo?

NWR: Maybe. He's so cute, and I like how his mouth moves when he talks, and he dances... he's great.

RT: Skip, the development company is the one who comes up with a lot of good ideas for this, the setting behind the characteristic as a very energetic little boy. There are other characters that will appear, and we'd love to discuss them with you, but that's something you should experience through hands-on with the game.

NWR: Are they all cute?

KT: Not just simply cute, but rather unique as well.

Translator: To clarify, did you mean a toy? Not just in game?

NWR: I'm fantasizing, but yes, he looks like a toy because he's so small, he's bigger than Chibi-Robo but he's a very tiny plane, when I saw him he looks very soft in the game, and I love how his mouth moves and how he dances and he just has a great face and I thought ‘I wish I had a real one I could play with.’

KT: You know, when Chibi-Robo becomes very very popular here and there are many more fans like you, which is great, that's our best shot at getting more products out there. Thank you for your comment.

RT: I mentioned Skip as the development company, but there's also another one that's called Vanpool, and these two companies are working together to develop this game. Vanpool was known for creating the past two games based on Tingle...

NWR: And Dillon's Rolling Western. Have they helped out with the Paper Mario series?

KT: So for the Sticker Star game, it was developed by Intelligent Systems. From Vanpool, he knew the president [Taro Kudou], he asked for his help to get some support with that game.

We've done some business with Mr Kudou prior to that on the game for SNES, Mario RPG, so because of that we have that relationship built up already. We knew it was kind of a difficult thing to get someone from a different company to help you out on that project, but he was kind enough to help us out. Back to the main topic...

NWR: Talking about the developers, I noticed out on the show floor there was the little copyright for Skip and there was a copyright for Bandai Namco. What's their involvement with the game?

KT: Before the game for the GameCube came out, we were working with Skip and Bandai. That's what their name was, but the project was put on hold. Around that time, I don't quite remember what the situation was, but Mr Miyamoto had a chance to take a look at the character Chibi-Robo, and he really liked it and said ‘Why don't we make a game based on this character?’ And that's how that project started.

RT: Not for the game itself, but when the character Chibi-Robo was created, that's when Bandai was also involved.

NWR: Was that early Gamecube era?

KT: We don't recall if it was early GameCube, not exactly sure on the timeline but it was at the end of it.

NWR: Outside of the actual game development timeline, is there any kind of cohesive story from game to game with the Chibi-Robo games? If there is, where does Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash fall on that timeline? I think in the demo Toby mentions he knows Chibi-Robo from TV. It made me wonder, I felt there was maybe a part of the Chibi-Robo story I don't know because I didn't play the DS games, one of them didn't come to America and one was very hard to find here. Is Chibi-Robo famous in this game? Why do other people know who he is?

KT: There's not anything clear in terms of timeline. As you've probably heard, there's the Orange Corp, the company who creates these robots, and they distribute the robots to people. In that sense, timewise, it's in the near future.

If you see the art style for the GameCube, it's sort of the 1960s. So the second one mentioned Chibi-Robo Park Patrol,the Japanese is Okaidi: Chibi-Robo. Park Patrol was around the same time as the one for GameCube, the first one.

In the GameCube version, you see that there's girl Jenny who is 8 years old, later she'll appear as a single mother. So that's about 20 years or so down the road when she comes up again.

RT: This title we have an idea that it's a little after that, if you consider that there are snacks you see now in our time, that gives you an idea that it might be close to the present.

The reason why Toby is mentioning that he already knows Chibi-Robo is that it's widely known that Orange Corp is the one who creates the robot and distributes it to the world.

NWR: So they're advertising him.

RT: So that's why he acknowledges the existence of Chibi-Robo.

I know Nintendo has another character who's also very small and who encounters real life products and much larger creations, and I was wondering if Chibi-Robo might ever encounter Capt Olimar and the Pikmin since they're rougly the same size?

KT: To be honest, there's nothing set in stone for that. That's an interesting idea, and something I could speak to Mr Miyamoto about a collaboration.

NWR: Are there any ideas from games that you've produced, such as Metroid Prime or Donkey Kong Country or other projects you've worked on with Skip, that have made their way into Zip Lash?

KT: Taking the example of platform games in general that we've worked on, such as the Donkey Kong, there's a lot in terms of gameplay experience we've used as reference to bring it up, to look into the terrain and judge what can be easy or difficult to get through in one stage, to get a good balance and give the players a good feeling as they get through everything. In that aspect, there's some things we took into account to work on this game.

There's something we wanted to work on to differentiate Chibi-Robo from the other platform games.

RT: Other games, like Mario games, typical side scrolling games, there's the jumping aspect. We didn't want to have that as the main thing, so we focused on how to make good use of Chibi-Robo's plug and cord to get the actions involved around that.

Not only that, we also included the feature to have the cord be extendable, and have it bounce around the walls to get to higher places.

NWR: I like it a lot.

RT: Thank you.

So ever since we worked on titles like Donkey Kong, the typical side scrolling games, we wanted to play around with the camera a little bit more, to see if there was any surprise we could present to the player as they went through the stage.

In Donkey Kong Returns, you have the characters moving back in forth in two different platforms, in Tropical Freese, you have this camera following around Donkey Kong in interesting ways.

I'm not sure if you saw the Treehouse Live segment where we presented Chibi-Robo, but there's a portion where the camera would turn 90 degrees to show a completely different angle on where Chibi-Robo was going to go. It's one of the things we included in the game to sort of get that little surprise that you get as you get through the stage, looking at the stage from a different perspective.

(Nintendo’s PR rep let us known our time was up at this point)

NWR: Thank you. We're very happy to have Chibi-Robo back in America. I know you also worked on Capt Rainbow, right?

RT: Yes! You know Capt Rainbow!

NWR: I'd love to see it and Giftpia in English, I tried to play Captain Rainbow in Japanese...

Podcast Discussion / Episode 180: #9 Metroid
« on: June 28, 2015, 12:32:26 PM »

A little more E3 discussion and some Metroid imagineering.

Welcome to Episode 180 of Nintendo World Report's Connectivity podcast. This week we are featuring two segments for you all to enjoy.

E3 Aftermath
Nick, Zach and Donald band together to discuss more of their thoughts on E3 after the dust has settled a bit. The trio also delve into a tiny bit of NX speculation.

This brand new segment features Nick and Jonathan Metts talking about Metroid. Imagineering is all about discussing and thinking of possible ideas for established game series, such as Metroid. This segment type will hopefully grow over time, who knows, maybe we will also delve into original game ideas eventually. For now, we hope you enjoy this first outing.

TalkBack / Vanpool Teaming Up With Skip for Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash
« on: June 26, 2015, 04:56:00 AM »

Also, find out how the Dillon's Rolling Western devs wound up helping out with Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

Vanpool, best known for developing the Tingle DS games and Dillon's Rolling Western, is working with Skip on Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash according to the game's producer Kensuke Tanabe.

It's the first time Vanpool is working on the series, which has in the past been made solely by Skip. Vanpool has been developing 3DS games for more than three years, working on a pair of Dillon's Rolling Western games as well as assisting Intelligent Systems with Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

Tanabe elaborated on how Vanpool wound up working with Intelligent Systems on Sticker Star. As Sticker Star was in development, Tanabe knew that help was needed to meet the 2012 release date. So he reached out to an old friend Taro Kudou, who co-founded Vanpool, for assistance.

Kudou also worked at Square and Love-de-Lic with Skip's founders, so that explains why Vanpool wound up working with the company on Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash.

TalkBack / Re: E3 2015 Podcast Archive
« on: June 25, 2015, 01:12:18 AM »
Please try again now! The links should be fixed.

TalkBack / Guitar Hero Live (Wii U) Hands-on Preview
« on: June 24, 2015, 02:43:00 AM »

A long-time Guitar Hero fan checks out Activision’s bold reboot.

Although a re-emergence of Guitar Hero was inevitable, none of us could have predicted the form of its return: a stripped-down, single-instrument, full motion video (FMV) game. That’s not to mention the free-to-play streaming service, GH TV, which I found hard to understand even as the developers walked me through its menus and demonstrated various features.

But. But. As soon as I picked up the new, 3x2-buttoned controller, I knew that it would be fun to re-learn this kind of game with a new kind of dexterity test that feels just as fun and arguably more realistic as the original, five-button style. Now your hand will be more stationary, but your fingers get more of a workout, while your eyes and brain get to process a whole new language of “gems” and “highways”. The latter bit was actually my hurdle, but I got the hang of it all within just a few songs. Based on other songs playable in the demo, there should be plenty of depth in the new finger patterns, and I tend to enjoy that process of learning from scratch.

There’s no getting around it: the first-person, FMV scenes built around the main “GH Live” campaign mode are seriously goofy. I worried that they might be distracting, but once I moved from the audience to the guitar controller, the swirling faces faded into the background. The same goes for the broadcast channel of interactive songs, called “GH TV”. This other main mode effectively replaces downloadable content, since new songs are constantly streamed into the game on a predetermined schedule. This unusual approach may reduce player choice in which songs are available, though you have a limited number of “On Demand” plays. However, there’s a big upside: all the new songs are totally free. The idea is that you might play new songs every time you turn on the game, and all without paying any kind of subscription or per-song fee (as in Rock Band).

For the first time since Harmonix was behind the frets, Guitar Hero is a significantly different product than its rivals, and that alone makes it worth an extra look. What I played at E3 has me surprisingly excited for this new, slightly weird take on a franchise that was stale even before going on hiatus. Guitar Hero Live looks fresh, feels new, and sounds like it’s going to be a standalone product that should be a completely equal experience on Wii U.


And also how one brave Nintendo producer traveled around Japan to meet with snack food companies.

The world of Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash is populated by all sorts of snacks, ranging from pocky to Utz potato chips. Just how exactly did branded snack foods wind up in Chibi-Robo's world?

"We were trying to think of ways to express [how tiny Chibi-Robo is] to give you a point of reference to show you how small he is in real life," Nintendo Producer Risa Tabata told us at E3 2015. "Since this time, there are no people around, [the snacks] something we can give you to compare."

In addition to having a reference point, Tabata and the team at Skip also wanted to give Chibi-Robo some more items to collect that felt more substantial.

"Because the game itself takes place around the world in various places, we thought coming up with different monuments that you see around the world, such as the Statue of Liberty or the Pyramids, but that would be way too big to use as a reference for a tiny little robot," Tabata said. "And that's when I thought 'What's something that's around us all the time, and makes people happy to see or to find in game?' I personally also love snacks too, so I thought this is a great idea to implement in the game."

However, for Tabata, it wasn't as easy as snapping her fingers to get branded snacks in Zip Lash. In America and Europe, the Nintendo branches there reached out to various companies. In Japan, Tabata visited 30 different snack food companies herself.

"Around this time in Japan, it is super hot and humid," Tabata's boss and fellow Nintendo Producer Kensuke Tanabe recounted. "So she was wearing her business attire, walking around the whole country, travelling to present this idea to all these people. I myself was sitting in the office, just chilling, thinking 'She's going through such a hard labor.' *laughs*"

We'll have more from our E3 2015 interview with Risa Tabata and Kensuke Tanabe from Nintendo about Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash all this week. Stay tuned for more!

TalkBack / Re: E3 2015 Podcast Archive
« on: June 23, 2015, 09:07:49 PM »
Moving it could break the Talkback script that auto-generates all those forum threads. It's a fickle beast.

TalkBack / Never Say Never to Chibi-Robo Meeting Pikmin
« on: June 23, 2015, 02:39:00 AM »

Nintendo's Kensuke Tanabe ponders the idea of Olimar and Chibi-Robo meeting up.

In Pikmin and Chibi-Robo, Nintendo has two franchises where dimunitive heroes get by in a large world peppered with real-life objects. Maybe the two universes could collide someday?

"That's an interesting idea, and something I could speak to Mr Miyamoto about a collaboration," Nintendo Producer Kensuke Tanabe told us when we asked if Olimar and the Pikmin could ever run into Chibi-Robo.

There is nothing set in stone for a Pikmin x Chibi-Robo game, but hey, if Shin Megami Tensei can fuse with Fire Emblem and Pokémon can mingle with Nobunaga's Ambition, anything can happen.

We'll have more from our E3 2015 interview with Risa Tabata and Kensuke Tanabe from Nintendo about Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash all this week. Stay tuned for more!

TalkBack / Why Chibi-Robo Became a Side-Scroller in Zip Lash
« on: June 22, 2015, 03:41:00 AM »

Nintendo and Skip decided it was time for a more action-packed mini robot.

The platforming debut of Chibi-Robo all came from developer Skip's idea of having the miniature robot spin his cord around his head and be active.

"That was sort of our hint to focus on the action types of things," Nintendo Producer Risa Tabata said in an interview at E3 2015.

Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash, coming this fall to 3DS, is new territory for the series, as it is the first time the title character will be in a 2D side-scrolling platformer.

"For the previous Chibi-Robo games, we had more of the adventure aspect," Tabata told us. "And for those who are really big fans of Chibi-Robo, it was great. People loved it, but we couldn't quite say that it was widely known by a lot of people. So we wanted to branch out and explore more things."

Nintendo Producer Kensuke Tanabe also added that a platformer "would be a great place to expand that fanbase" in America.

We'll have more from our E3 2015 interview with Risa Tabata and Kensuke Tanabe from Nintendo about Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash all this week. Stay tuned for more!

Hey forumers, sorry for the lack of posts for all the new episodes we are posting during E3. Things are pretty crazy, as you can imagine. We aren't creating individual articles for each episode this week (it slows down publication too much), but non-subscribers can find all the direct download links in this convenient page, which is updated for every episode released. We are posting 2-3 shows per day, so there's a lot of content for your ears! Please enjoy during E3 or later, at your convenience.

Subscribers should get all new episodes immediately, as always.

Also, I'd encourage you to tweet with #askNWR if you have any questions for our staff. We are taking this initiative seriously and will try to find whatever information you are seeking. Nintendo is of course cagey about many details of their upcoming games, but sometimes all it takes is playing the demo again or asking a representative about a certain feature that may not be addressed in press materials or a Treehouse Live presentation.

TalkBack / Metroid Prime: Blast Ball Multiplayer Impressions
« on: June 17, 2015, 05:33:00 AM »

An outspoken Metroid fan sizes up the franchise's latest take on competitive multiplayer.

This competitive, sci-fi sport appears to be a bonus mode, compared to the more expansive, cooperative campaign of Metroid Prime: Federation Forces. As the only portion of Next Level's 2016 online shooter available for us to play at this year's E3, Blast Ball is an enjoyable twist on the online shooter formula. The huge ball, shrinking goals, and easy lock-on feature ensure that the game never devolves into shooting each other. In fact, a better strategy might be to drive the ball into your opponents, as it's very harmful to the touch. There's an inherent balance in proximity to the action, since it's much easier to shoot from up close, and yet you are taking on more risk of being rolled over.

Playing Blast Ball for myself, I found it to be exactly as expected from watching a few matches at the Nintendo World Championship. It's novel, fast-paced, and immediately involving. I was glad to see that dual-stick controls are supported for the New 3DS (and probably for Circle Pad Pro). However, the action here bears no resemblance at all to the Metroid franchise, and the demo presented so far is probably too simplistic to engage fans of that series for very long. The arena is just a caged oval, and your character doesn't do much but move and shoot at the ball. Jumping did not have an obvious tactical utility in this demo. My team was able to score easily, so the best-of-three match was over within a couple of minutes.

Nintendo's recent embrace of modern online features is the biggest difference between Blast Ball and something like the goofy soccer mode in Excitebike 64. I like what I played, but this mode definitely feels like something extra in a spin-off game already focused on multiplayer in online missions that surely have far more depth. Federation Force may not be the Metroid game we wanted to see after five years in the dark, but it looks ambitious in its own way. Blast Ball, in contrast, feels like a diversion, and so far, it shows less depth than previous multiplayer Metroid experiments in Prime 2 and Hunters. I'll be curious to see whether Blast Ball is expanded with more arenas, abilities, and rule tweaks in the final game. Regardless, I can't see many people embracing Federation Force just for this mode, and Nintendo hasn't yet given us a chance to try the cooperative missions.

TalkBack / Star Fox Zero Gameplay Footage
« on: June 16, 2015, 10:20:00 AM »

NWR shows what it takes to brave Corneria's canyons and prevail in a final all-range mode battle against the "Weaponized Flying Fortress" Androssa! UPDATE: Added footage of a space battle!

We've got footage straight from the E3 show floor of Star Fox Zero taking place on Corneria! Check out the tight canyons, the charged shots, a giant enemy spaceship, General Pepper, and the entire Star Fox Squadron back in action!

Hot from the show floor we also have footage of an open space battle!

Podcast Discussion / Episode 433: Now E3 is Real
« on: June 14, 2015, 12:53:45 PM »

I am become Hype.

It's our last episode before E3, and we had to cram in a few more game impressions and some Listener Mail, lest it all get buried by the massive din of this week's activities. There's even a special guest who joins at the mid-point!

New Business has a few chestnuts, starting with James's long-awaited thoughts on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Then, Jon checks in with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and maybe convinces one of us to join the cult... Jonny checks out Adventure of Pip, the brand new indie hotness on Wii U. Finally, you'll hear updates and strategy for Splatoon from both Guillaume and Jonny.

Just after the break, NWR Director Neal Ronaghan joins us (for the first time in years!) for a tour of our E3 coverage plans at Nintendo World Report. We're all set to blast you in the face with videos, podcasts, and written reports on all the cool stuff happening in Los Angeles this week. Just stay subscribed to RFN, NWR TV on YouTube, and this here website so you won't miss anything!

We also convinced Neal to stick around for Listener Mail, in which we catch up with the Humble Bundle news, a surprising Link's Awakening-Twilight Princess connection, franchise-mixing DLC ideas, and our favorite third-party Wii games.

If there's anything you want to ask the NWR staff during E3, please tweet with #AskNWR or use this special E3 email link for a chance to have your question answered in our daily videos. Otherwise, we're always happy to take your non/post-E3 questions and ideas at the usual RFN email. Thanks for listening, and please do check in often for our extensive coverage of the biggest event in video games!

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 432: Tears of Joy/Rage
« on: June 10, 2015, 12:57:09 PM »
Bushin_cat is bushed!

Podcast Discussion / Episode 432: Tears of Joy/Rage
« on: June 08, 2015, 11:15:00 AM »

It's the least predictable time of the year, so there's no better time for our annual E3 Predictions!

Bad news first: Gui had to drop out last-minute from this episode, so we're down to three with a lot of ground to cover. But not to worry! You should be hearing plenty from Gui on next week's Listener Mail extravaganza on the cusp of E3, as well as in some of the NWR Home Team's podcast coverage during the whole week of E3.

For now, you'll have to settle for just Jon, James, and Jonny, the latter of whom starts New Business with very early impressions of Splatoon, focused entirely on the lesser-known Battle Dojo mode for local competition. Jon blows our minds with his selection -- I don't even want to ruin the surprise, but it's related to his greatest backlog shame. It leads to a pact that could possibly end with us playing Witcher 3 this year... Then, it's time for the impressions you've all been waiting for, as James finally plays Code Name STEAM! Will it meet the standards of our strategy game expert? Before the end of New Business, we also take a quick tour through the latest announcements in Nintendo's pre-E3 "Micro Direct" video.

We waited as long as possible, but E3 Predictions can no longer be contained. This popular feature begins with a quick review of last year's predictions, all of which were completely accurate (naturally). Thanks to Stephen for helping out with that! And then, it's finally time for our brand new, completely stupid and wrong predictions for E3 2015.

The big show itself is only about a week away, and you can expect the best Nintendo coverage right here at NWR! To keep up with it all, be sure to subscribe to our NWR TV channel on YouTube, keep checking the website's front page everyday, and keep looking for new podcasts to show up on the RFN feeds!

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 431: NOT TAKE MIRROR!
« on: June 01, 2015, 11:02:14 PM »
That was a miscommunication in show prep, actually. I thought James had more to say about CNS, but when I cued to him, it turned out that he didn't really feel ready to discuss it. Plus, a very casual mention of Sonic Boom turned into an actual riff session that I thought worked really well as a live show accident. I wouldn't have wanted to rush James into addressing a game like S.T.E.A.M. in just two minutes. We'll give it proper time as soon as he is ready!

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 431: NOT TAKE MIRROR!
« on: June 01, 2015, 02:41:23 PM »
Yes, but a glitch in the initial update last night may be tripping up your feed reader. Force a refresh if you can; I'll try updating the LastBuilt tag later tonight, as well. Some podcast programs/apps are more tolerant to these things than others, which is why you see varying success.

Podcast Discussion / Episode 431: NOT TAKE MIRROR!
« on: May 31, 2015, 05:09:19 PM »

The live event is over, but the recording is now one of our biggest episodes ever!

We decided to do this entire episode as a live event -- special thanks to everyone who could join for that, by the way! It has all the segments and features you'd expect, but all performed live. You'll also hear our special 8-bit theme song by Perry Burkum, now in higher quality! We hope to keep using this version hereafter for all RetroActive features.

New Business includes fresh impressions (our first in two weeks) of Stretchmo, Sonic Boom, Grand Theft Auto 5, and oh yes, Splatoon! After an awkward Now Playing promo (sadly, in prose), we return for the main event. This RetroActive turns out to be one of our best ever, with tremendous participation in the forum thread and a few questions from the live event audience as well. All four of the RFN guys played a whole lot of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (all for at least the second time through), and it proves to be a very rich topic indeed. It's probably impossible to discuss every single aspect of this long and complex game, but we covered a lot of bases in a roundtable that itself lasted over two hours!

We're planning for annual E3 predictions next week, and there may be time for Listener Mail too, so ask us about Chibi-Robo or tell us your story from the Nintendo World Championship qualifiers -- your path to become part of the podcast is right here. Also, don't forget to keep up with those darned Famicast guys over in their own podcast page, where you can find every episode from Japan and subscribe to get new ones every two weeks!

In case you haven't seen it yet, the live event page is here:

And I just added details of how you could join Lindy for a freestyle rap battle version of Now Playing...


Join us for another live RetroActive feature, full of listener interaction!
UPDATED with new info about how you can be part of the illest Now Playing ever heard!

Bookmark this page and join us right here on Saturday, May 30th at 9am Pacific / 12pm (Noon) Eastern / 4pm GMT. We're planning to do the entire episode LIVE, including New Business, Now Playing, and the main feature, RetroActive for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GameCube/Wii).You can call in to share your own Zelda stories and discuss Twilight Princess with the RFN crew! (Skype call information coming soon.)

ATTENTION ALL WANNABE RAPPERS! If you think you can hang with MC Silky in a high-stakes, LIVE freestyle version of Now Playing during this special episode, send a one-minute demo MP3 (link, not attachment) to RFN's inbox by Friday night. We'll select one skilled audience member to join the Skype call and face off against the man himself, as you both drop a smooth flow on the latest Nintendo World Report headlines. This could be your ticket to immortality, embarrassment, or both!

To enhance the live show experience, we highly recommend joining the chat room below. We'll be watching and interacting with the chat audience throughout the live show. Having trouble? You can also connect with a dedicated IRC client. Server: Channel: #nwr

To change your chat nickname, type /nick newnickname, where "newnickname" is the new name you want.

Hey RAers! I wanted you to be the first to know that we are going to be doing this edition of RetroActive as a special LIVE event on Saturday, May 30th (time will be announced in the next couple of days as we finalize the details). I just recorded a 100% rambling mini-episode to announce it to all our subscribers this weekend. Unfortunately, that's also to explain why we don't have a real show for you this weekend, but hopefully this live show makes up for that! There is so much great discussion here already, and we hope some of you will call in next Saturday to chat with us about Twilight Princess!

Do these early single-player levels feel like they're training you for the later, more awesome single-player levels, or do they feel more like a rigorous training course for the online multiplayer?

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 430: Dad Humor Overload
« on: May 19, 2015, 08:28:41 AM »
Pro controller is more comfortable, simply put. I like the GamePad for some kinds of games, but I don't care for it much when playing fast action games. And yes, that's a minor challenge when Splatoon leverages an interactive map and the (brilliant) jump-spawn feature. But every Wii U comes with a plastic stand to set your GamePad on a table next to or in front of you, which seems like it could work well for this game. Nintendo could also include an overlay of the map and the option to select a jump destination with the sticks/D-pad while the overlay is shown. Maybe it wouldn't be as quick as the GamePad screen, but it's normal for high-skill players to find that one control method is more competitive than others.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 430: Dad Humor Overload
« on: May 18, 2015, 09:12:59 PM »
I sincerely wanted to watch the Direct Before that show but didn't have a good chance to do so. I've been extremely busy for the last few weeks and just now got to see the Direct. No major surprises for me -- the campaign is more distinct than I realized, with a lot of special assets and good usage of the platforming mechanics. I'm still curious to hear about how the game strings together those levels and missions. As I knew would be the case, my other questions about the online infrastructure, Pro controller support, and meta-game were not answered by the Direct. It'll just be a matter of time. I have no interest in feeding Nintendo's pre-order/launch buzz machine. It's not so reliable for a game like this.

Podcast Discussion / Episode 430: Dad Humor Overload
« on: May 17, 2015, 10:50:05 AM »

Crouching Squid, Rolling Thunder

We recorded this episode much earlier in the week than normal, and we had to keep it fairly short as a result. However, doing it this way allowed James to participate after all (he hadn't left for his trip quite yet), and the lack of preparation time allowed us to focus entirely on the Splatoon Global Testfire, as well as extended thoughts on the game in general. We also squeezed in a Thunder Round of emails before the end. In keeping with this short and straightforward episode, here are the raw show notes that we used for the recording.

Intro - Early show, so limited New Biz and a quick Thunder Round coming up. But first...




Brad writes:
It looks more and more like a Punch Out title is headed to either the WiiU or 3DS. Perhaps a deep look at the rest of the Smash Character roster gives us other clues? Maybe something with ROB?

Second, a friend lent me his VITA and I'm pretty amazed at that kit. Why is it the strongest system technically is often the loser in the race? Is it just a matter of cost? If a 3DS had a screen on par with the VITA, I'd lose my friggin' mind.
Bally from London writes:
If we don't see Metroid, F-zero or even Advance Wars at this year's E3 does it mean that these series are all but dead?
Bryant writes:
Short and sweet: Why in the year 2015 do I have to set my Wii-U and 3DS clock like a VCR? Why can't it automatically be set through the Internet like the other guys? Seriously?
Pandaradox writes:
Scenario: You get to reboot Pokémon! Two questions: 1) Where in the pokédex do you trim it back to? 2) What new mechanics do you keep?
Crys writes:
I have a question in regards to ethics in video gaming. When I updated my 3DS XL to the not-so-stupidly named "New" 3DS XL, I chose to not trade in my old system for a credit toward the new system. Instead I decided to utilize my old system as a sort of "StreetPass Bot" if you will. Where I have the Mii in a line green shirt with a birthday of February 29. People have told me that utilizing the 3DS in this way is cheating. What do you guys think about this?

Outro - rfn@nwr

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