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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...
All - SPLATOON TESTFIRE
BREAK - NOW PLIZZAYING
LISTENER MAIL THUNDER ROUND - rfn@nwr
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?
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?
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?
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
A first-time guest brings New (Leaf) Business, while we check out PuzzDra, HarmoKnight, Kerbals, and a lot of retro games. Plus: the debut of Silky MC, James's cure for your backlog, Gui's hope for Splatoon, and Kojima's future with Nintendo.
Guillaume revs up this episode with a fresh look at ExciteTruck and the cult hit Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes that started on DS before getting a sluggish console port. Next is our special guest, Karen, who finally makes an appearance on RFN after years of being mentioned in Gui's multiplayer impressions. They've both been playing free digital copies of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Karen explains how it's the perfect follow-up to their Tomodachi Life antics. James celebrates the official launch of Kerbal Space Program by getting extremely addicted to this PC simulation, but he breaks free long enough to revisit the original Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. Jon tried the new demo for Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition on 3DS, and it leaves him with more questions than answers. Jonny closes out this first segment with a take on Nintendo's own "endless" runner, HarmoKnight, plus quick thoughts on dredging Typing of the Dead: Overkill from his Steam library.
That's not the last mention of Steam either, because Listener Mail gets straight into our shameful backlogs and how each one of us tries to hold back the surging tide of games. You'll also hear an extended preview of our hopes and fears for Splatoon, especially after its own Direct and surprise beta test. Last but not least, we give serious thought to the potential for Hideo Kojima to come work with Nintendo in his post-Metal Gear career phase. Ridiculous? Maybe not.
We love hearing from all listeners, so please send your own email to the show! Also, the tentative date for RFN RetroActive is set for the week of May 25th. If you've already started playing Twilight Princess, keep going -- this is the home stretch, and there's so much to consider in this huge and complex game. If you have any particular thoughts or just need a helping hand, this is your new favorite bookmark.
RFN gets really real on the decline of Konami, Goldeneye 007 on Wii, and Geometry Wars. Plus: return of the Thunder Round!
This week's New Business starts off more like business news, as Jon leads us through reactions to Konami's continued retreat from their roots as a video game legend. Gui provides a tonal upturn with his impressions of Amiibo Tap, Heart Beaten, and the obscure Gargoyle's Quest 2. He also looks back at the solo campaign of Eurocom's Goldeneye 007 for Wii, focusing on the other half of a game that we used in RetroActive as a send-off to Nintendo WiFi Connection. James tells us how Wild Arms kept the age of Super Nintendo RPGs going right into the PlayStation era. Jonny bats clean-up with effusive praise for the Mario Kart 8 downloadable content, Geometry Wars 3, and the almost-complete NWR Smash Bros. Tournament.
After the break, we launch into another Thunder Round edition of Listener Mail. This set isn't quite as brisk as the last, but we still covered a lot of ground in about half the usual time. As always, we love hearing from everyone and highly encourage you to send questions and comments to the show. And don't forget about the next RetroActive! You can still join the vibrant discussions in our special forum thread for Twilight Princess.
Curtis joins the ruckus to talk about all the hottest topics of 2015: Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, and Twilight Princess.
We are very pleased this week to have returning guest Curtis Bonds, one of the bright youngsters behind NWR TV. He's here on a special assignment, but that comes later. First, Curtis has some very early impressions of the new Mario Kart 8 tracks, and we all chip in thoughts on the Mode 7 recreations, F-Zero mysteries, and more. Curtis also plays Donkey Kong Country 3 for the first time -- will he join the fan club? Jon Lindemann continues the retro love with a sneak preview of our upcoming RetroActive feature discussion, as he serves up impressions and stages a brief discussion of Twilight Princess. Meanwhile, James temporarily returns our focus to brand new games with his nuanced thoughts on Affordable Space Adventures, which Guillaume has also played. Jonny has a follow-up report on Box Boy!, while Gui anchors this long segment with the new StreetPass mini-games. We close this edition of New Business with a much-hyped debate over the merits of Donkey Kong 64. Curtis admits that it's one of his personal favorite games, but can he carry its torch through a modern examination? The rest of the gang, including first-timer Guillaume, also take a deeper look at this game that is now digitally available for the first time.
Listener Mail is up next, and it's back to the normal tempo... for now. Our first email is an eloquent defense of cross-platform emulation, most notably the recent addition of GBA and DS support for Wii U's Virtual Console. The next email turns playful with a survey of our guiltiest gaming pleasures, and the final bit of business concerns Nintendo's support of independent games on the eShop. Please keep sending your emails, big or small, to support the show and introduce new topics for us to explore.
James is delighted by nearly everything on this episode, which features another infamous FPS and the return of the Listener Mail Lighting Round... or maybe it's better named the (Lords of) Thunder Round!
There's something special about this episode, and it's not just that we may have set a new record for the number of emails included. No, it's that James is particularly giddy and demented, a condition incited by the recent Smash Bros. update's portal to all the custom level treasures/garbage he could ever want. Next up is Code Name STEAM, now running much more smoothly and subject to a deeper critical analysis by Jonny. At issue: what happens when a game gives you lots of interesting choices for tactical readiness, but no information upon which to base those decisions? The next Club Nintendo reward to be featured on the show comes from Lindy, who catches up with ocho authentico New Super Mario Bros. 2. That gets us talking about reviews, which leads perfectly into one of Jon's most famous reviews, for a game that Guillaume is playing for some damn reason -- The Conduit! He also tries Skip Ltd.'s experiment in charming realism, Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder. And, just because, Gui also dredges up the epitome of late 90s 3D platformers... yes, we're talking about Donkey Kong 64, now available (if you dare) on the Wii U Virtual Console.
Your email game has been strong lately, and there are way too many interesting questions to give them all the usual, in-depth treatment. So, we decided it was time to bring back an old experiment that, frankly, hasn't worked very well until now. It's the Listener Mail Lightning Thunder Round, and for once, we kept on pace to blast through a huge pack of questions. Hopefully, you'll agree that we still did some justice to these topics, despite the unprecedented pace. We may do this kind of thing more often, since it worked out quite well this time, but more substantial discussions will of course still happen as needed. Whether big or small, your email can become part of the show with just a few keystrokes!
Be sure to check out Jonny's recent guest appearance on the wonderful Radio Trivia: Podcast Edition, where he tries to stump our friend TYP. And by the way, now would be a good time to start playing Twilight Princess, as we'll be covering this lengthy game on the show in roughly one month. If you get stuck or have a keen observation, that RetroActive forum thread is up and running for just such purposes. And hey, did you know the RFN crew is actively competing in the NWR Smash Bros. Tournament? We made it to the playoffs... so be sure to follow a new round each week, right here on Nintendo World Report and the NWR TV YouTube channel!
Gui plays a first-person shooter, on GameCube! Plus, your emails include the final Club Nintendo Elite rewards, Smash balloting, obscure rock band adventures, and Splatoon's voiceless online modes.
It's time for another cartoo-oo-oon! Jon is back with both a vengeance and his thoughts on Axiom Verge -- good to hear from another satisfied Metroid fan. Guillaume makes good on a dare by playing a first-person shooter, on GameCube no less! But it's Geist, and as you may recall from our (pre-Gui) two ancient RetroActive discussions, that game is a fascinating mess. Jonny checks in on Elliot Quest, finishes Majora's Mask 3D (Oni-less), and returns to Box Boy for a more substantial look. All in all, this is a weird bunch of games for New Business, and James completes the set with Inazuma Eleven for DS... I mean, 3DS.
We're still lagging on the deluge of emails coming in since Nintendo decided to make the spring season interesting. Thanks for your patience -- more to come! But we did manage to address the last-ever Club Nintendo gold and platinum rewards, our picks for the Smash Bros. fighter ballot, a flight of fancy into gamifying some favorite rock bands, and that old chestnut of Nintendo skipping voice chat in a major online game (Splatoon, this time around). Please do keep sending those emails, which we love and cherish!
It's still a ways out, but with a game as big as Twilight Princess, this isn't too early to start playing along for RetroActive. As your thoughts and questions form, why not deposit them in our convenient forum thread for future podcast discussion? Yes, just like that.
Oooh, one last thing! Did you know that RFN has a team in the ongoing Smash Bros. online tournament, where we face off weekly against our Nintendo World Report friends? It's very dramatic and hella entertaining, especially with audio commentary from Scott and Neal to help explain every match. Check out the first few rounds, and keep up with the latest results on our NWR TV channel!
Ahh, there's too much to talk about! How did we cram it all in? With some help from Donald and our listeners' emails, as it turns out.
So much happened in the last week that we knew it would be difficult to cover everything. On top of that, Jon was out on business travel, so we were playing with a man down. Donald to the rescue! Yes, returning guest and brand new NWR staff member Donald Theriault steps up to assist with this challenging and fun episode.
We kick it off with a sampling of Nintendo Direct news -- certainly not enough time to cover it all, but we offer some analysis on Nintendo's continuing DLC plans, the colorful revelation of Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, the surprise localization of Fatal Frame 5, expansion of Wii U's Virtual Console platform, and the ambitious new Fire Emblem game for 3DS. If we didn't get around to discussing something that interests you from that humongous Direct, just send an email requesting more on the next episode.
Even with all that news (and more to come in the last segment), we had to share some game impressions lest they be lost in the chaos of Nintendo's surprisingly active spring quarter. Donald shares a few thoughts on SMT: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker, weeks before the game's release for 3DS, and we also hear that Guillaume has turned around on the previous game in that series after not quite connecting with it by last week's episode. Another one Gui has come to appreciate is Cloudberry Kingdom, the procedurally-generated 2D platformer that works shockingly well as a multiplayer party game for Wii U (and other platforms). James horrifies everyone by actually playing and explaining Conception II, the tacky but maybe half-decent Atlus RPG (because we must eventually talk about every single one). Jonny tries to put out that fire and restore honor to the show with Valiant Hearts, a game about one of the least honorable conflicts in human history. Can a video game truly convey the horrors of World War I? Should it? And why the hell isn't this game on Wii U, when its companion (Child of Light) already is? No answers here, but there is plenty of praise for Ubisoft's melancholic (and informative!) adventure game.
Oh, were you worried we might skip over amiibo? Maybe we ought to, but nah, Listener Mail gives us the perfect opportunity to look at Nintendo's newest retail obsession and what, if anything, could pull us into that vortex. Zelda gets a spotlight too, of course, as we largely skip past the delay (for now) and focus on Eiji Aonuma's looming influence through a decade-and-a-half of running this beloved franchise. Finally, a fortuitously timed email gives Donald a chance to explain and promote his own podcast, Nintendo Free Radio. Check it out!
If you haven't yet heard the announcement, here it is: our next RetroActive game is... The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess! It's been over two years since we tackled this series for RetroActive, and y'all must want more, because the cross-generational Twilight Princess won (barely) over both Mario and Metroid in our biggest poll ever. Thanks so much to all who voted! It's going to be several weeks before we can play through this big game and discuss it on the show, but it's not too early to join the discussion in the official RetroActive forum thread. Remember, we'll quote some of the best comments on a future podcast.
Really, if Nintendo cared about people being able to get Amiibos they would have opened up a dedicated section of their online store and kept them all in stock there to order.