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Podcast Discussion / Episode 237: Sandbox Delight
« on: November 09, 2017, 06:57:42 AM »

Guess what we are talking about this week?

This week Nicholas is joined once again by Zach and Curt as well as Jonny Metts, the guys talk about their thoughts and experiences with Mario Odyssey.

Spoiler warning for this episode, however, if you have finished the story we don't really touch on much beyond that.

This weeks musical selection is from Mario Odyssey and is the theme to the Lake Kingdom.

Nintendo World Report is now on Patreon, and high rollers can name their topic for Connectivity, so head over to our Patreon page if you want to support us.

Connectivity has joined Twitter, so be sure to follow @ConnectivityNWR to be up to date on any announcements. We are wanting more listener participation, so feel free to ask questions, they may show up in the show!

Send us your listener mail by clicking here.


The doctor is here, and I'm preparing my thesis.

It's finally here, playable for you, it's the newest 3D Mario game...crew. Mario Odyssey is out! Also out this week, Greg and Jon. We decided to save our mostly spoiler-free discussion of Mario Odyssey for the second segment, so the show kicks off with NWR News Editor Donald Theriault and his impressions of Fire Emblem Warriors. He too has now had to do the rushed review, and it turns out he still enjoyed hacking down thousands of nameless soldiers. Guillaume has impressions of the New 3DS version of Fire Emblem Warriors (it runs well) and much more, fresh from the Nintendo of Canada holiday event. He also got his hands on: Doom, Skyrim, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, and Snipperclips Plus. James had nothing but Mario to talk about, so he reads an email about unpopular opinions.

In the second segment, former host and notorious Regulator Jonny Metts joins the trio to talk Super Mario Odyssey. As Jon so neatly summarized last week, it is an "absolute delight". They talk about the game's structure, its humor, and its overall feel. We'll have a more detailed conversation in the near future, but for now we try to avoid talking about specific details of the game.

Thanks to Donald and Jonny for joining us on short notice.

Lastly, we have some news! It's time for RFN's next RetroActive: The WiiWare Farewell Tour. On the verge of the service's demise, we've taken your suggestions for unforgettable WiiWare and built a poll. Voting closes at the end of our next recording session (11/9), so vote NOW.

Our candidates are:

  • Contra ReBirth
  • Blaster Master: Overdrive
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord
  • Fluidity/Hydroventure
  • Jett Rocket
  • La-Mulana

We'll be doing our RetroActive as part of the NWR 8th Annual Telethon in Support of Child's Play Charity, on Saturday, Dec. 2. Full details will be available on NWR soon.

TalkBack / First Impressions of Fire Emblem Warriors from E3 2017
« on: June 26, 2017, 11:59:57 AM »

It’s exactly what you think it is.

To be honest, I’m not the best person to tell you about this game. I’ve played a few Fire Emblem games but always bounce off or slog through them in search of deeper engagement, and my time with Hyrule Warriors was much the same. Still, I was among the fortunate few to play Tecmo Koei’s latest collaboration with Nintendo at E3 2017, and these are my honest thoughts. Also, check out our direct feed video below (that's me playing).

Fire Emblem Warriors may yet sneak in some clever tweaks that will change how you, I, and everyone feels about the musou genre of battlefield-massacre simulators, but the demo was entirely predictable. The playable character rotates (at will) among a handful of well-known Fire Emblem protagonists that all look great in action but are quite similar to each other in action. All the standard mechanics from other _____ Warriors games are mapped to Fire Emblem trappings, including a metered Awakening state that boosts attacks and ends in a cinematic super-move. Whether plowing through mobs of laughable peons or wailing on durable boss characters, the combat is simplistic and mildly satisfying.

Although also announced as the next New 3DS exclusive retail game, the focus is on the Switch version. Warriors makes good use of the hybrid system’s horsepower. Even in an unfinished state, the E3 demo ran smoothly and showcased the clean, regal design aesthetic that has been a staple of the brand since at least GameCube’s Path of Radiance. A thick slathering of Fire Emblem style is perhaps the game’s strongest connection to that franchise. Just don’t expect any of the high-stakes tactical gameplay, as everything I played was indistinct from Hyrule Warriors on Wii U. Nintendo has promised some version of the weapons triangle, but it was absent from the E3 demo, which points to it being an optional or advanced consideration. The fact that the demoed units all were sword users didn't help sell Warriors's variety.

Also not shown: multiplayer. It’s probably going to be in the final package, though. Musou games typically support at least two players, and Switch offers many options to make that happen. The twin JoyCons are perfect tools for tandem button-mashing, but splitting the screen may not be as elegant for a game so dependent on busy crowds and mini-map antics.

Fire Emblem Warriors is an obvious crossover that should appeal to fans of Nintendo’s last team-up with Tecmo Koei, and it’s coming just in time to extend the surprising boom of Fire Emblem’s popularity in the Western world. It’s also a kind of meat-and-potatoes action showcase that Switch needs right now, and everything I saw in the first playable demo indicates it will serve that role with honor.


It's a new way to splat, and it won't be easy.

The first Splatoon game barely experimented with local multiplayer, but the Switch's portability makes it a natural platform for this feature to grow in the sequel. Even better, you won't be stuck in one-on-one matches this time. Splatoon 2's Salmon Run is a special cooperative mode (2-4 players teaming up against computer enemies) that can be played locally as well as online. At E3 2017, I got the rare opportunity to play this fun new mode with four Switches connected locally -- and yes, this also requires four copies of the game. Our team included a pair of Nintendo employees who had been playing the demo for quite some time, but individual skill is less important than a good strategy and clear communication.

We began at 5% difficulty, easy as it gets, but completing three rounds of Salmon Run (about five minutes total) is a real challenge on any setting, and nearly impossible at the far end of that scale. The goal is to deliver a quota of golden eggs to a net, while invading salmon constantly lay down their own ink trails and try to attack your team members. The regular enemies aren't much of a threat, but they can limit your useful territory and get in the way of the main objectives. Boss enemies show up every so often, armed with much stronger weapons, armor, and tactics. Killing the tough ones is the only way to spawn eggs and score points, but these encounters really do require teamwork. While you collect one egg at a time for safekeeping in the net, lesser salmon will attempt to grab them and escape the level. Thankfully, you can submerge and swim back with an egg -- if the ink coverage allows.

Enemies can approach your island base from any side, and it's important to have spotters and a mutual understanding of the team's priorities. Splatoon 2 provides very simple beacon-type calls that show your current location to teammates, but it's easy to summon them away from a higher-priority situation elsewhere. Clear communication is more important here than in most Splatoon modes, so I was glad to be standing next to the other players. With Nintendo's still-nascent online service, who knows whether voice chat will be convenient enough for broad adoption. I just wouldn't want to play Salmon Run without the ability to ask questions or point out a specific location.

The varied enemy design really caught my attention. Even in Splatoon's campaign, the octopus enemies were mostly just turrets. These new salmon enemies are more aggressive and unpredictable, and the boss types are even better. One wore heavy armor and could only be splatted through a small hole in the back. Another laid down sniper fire from atop his tower of pots and pans (from which he can strike at half the map). My favorite looked like a Chinese parade dragon, but mostly metallic and showering ink along a wavering path. Each one has a key vulnerability that promotes teamwork, if only a simple flanking tactic.

The new salmon enemies are more proof of Splatoon's slick character designs and even slicker game mechanics. Who knows how wacky and devious they become at 200% difficulty? My team of experts couldn't quite clear 45%.

TalkBack / Now We’re Playing With Power
« on: May 14, 2017, 11:49:00 AM »

Switch is a remarkable leap forward in the company’s portable gaming technology.

It’s been nearly thirty years since Nintendo brought portable gaming to the masses with Game Boy. For many adults, it was their first direct exposure to video games. Never before had video games been so public, yet so private, yet so easy to share. The battery-munching gadget reached older audiences, traveling mothers, high-tech dads. It could be handed to an underprivileged or isolated schoolmate while riding the bus. People who thought they didn’t have time for video games learned to fill in life’s dullest moments with Tetris blocks.

I played my share of the original Game Boy with the AustinMates, but I don’t remember ever wanting my own. The main appeal of those early portable games were that they reminded me of bigger games on consoles and in the arcade. It was fun to struggle with Metroid II for a while on a field trip, but I was just as happy reading or watching the scenery whiz by. As much as I loved Nintendo even back then, their vision of portable gaming seemed overly practical, the technical trade-offs too grievous. None of my favorite developers were putting their best new projects on Game Boy.

We’ve come a long way to the launch of Nintendo’s Switch hybrid, and our global, ubiquitous obsession with mobile electronics doesn’t even seem weird anymore. Playing video games whenever and wherever you want is now part of the human experience, and it’s hard to see that bit reversing. It’s in this environment that Nintendo has finally bridged the great divide between console and portable gaming.

So far, the company has positioned Switch as a home system that can be taken on the go – the portability being a sort of bonus feature, albeit a head-turning one. The console-on-the-go marketing could be driven by relatively short battery life in this first iteration of the hardware. The gracefully retiring 3DS platform is surely a factor as well. Looking ahead two or three years, a revised Switch could become Nintendo’s only portable game system, though one curiously splitting the development teams with iOS and Android projects. When viewed on the timeline of Super Game Boy, GameCube’s Game Boy Player, and Wii U, it’s easy to see Switch as just the latest phase in a long-term strategy to expand what we think is possible for portable gaming.

Although it’s more delicate than any previous Nintendo hardware, Switch is so light and capable that I’ve been finding excuses to carry it to increasingly strange places.  Though hard to appreciate until you see it in person, Switch has Nintendo’s largest, sharpest, brightest screen ever. It finally brings a modern capacitive touch display to the studios that pioneered and popularized touch-screen gaming. Compared to the New 3DS line, which launched just two years earlier, the Switch is a massive advancement in graphical power. The analog joysticks are easily the best ever built into a portable game system.

The Joy-Con makes Switch far more than just a powered-up mobile device (or mid-power tablet). It is a spontaneous video game party (rooftop is optional). Nintendo has seen their game systems connect schoolkids, dorm suites, and families – but now, you can easily share Mario Kart with a co-worker or even a stranger at the airport bar. For lounging at home or immersing yourself on a long flight, having a wireless controller (even my trusty Pro) is a great option for portable gaming – and it’s more comfortable for those of us with wide shoulders, repetitive stress injuries, etc. This attention to ergonomics is a perfectly Nintendo touch, the kind of perspective-shifting feature that I didn’t know I wanted so much.

There will always be Switch games that feel awkward as portable experiences (I suspect the upcoming port of Skyrim may be one), but at least we’ll have the option. Some games that were only portable on a laptop can now run on the more elegant Nintendo handheld. From independent Steam studios to Microsoft’s culture-defining Minecraft, we are seeing game creators experiment with what’s possible on a portable game system.

What I’d like to see next is Nintendo’s vision for bringing their portable hits to Switch. After launching with Zelda and rolling out Mario Kart the next month, the company has already proven that Switch can deliver their huge 3D worlds and slick online competition. More marquee titles are coming soon: Mario, Splatoon, Xenoblade, Metroid…?

Meanwhile, Nintendo fans who’ve become co-dependent on solid portable lineups through lean console years are wondering what’s next for our favorite 2D action series and all-ages RPGs. This year’s 3DS lineup is surprisingly robust and supported by an appealing new model, but almost no first-party projects are currently announced for the veteran handheld. There is a pregnant pause in original development, as rapid-fire franchises like Pokémon, Etrian Odyssey, Animal Crossing, Kirby’s Noun, Yokai Watch, Monster Hunter, Fire Emblem, and Branding Warriors have lately gone dark, dabbled in the phone market, or depended upon rehash versions.

It’s inevitable that most of these portable-centric series will migrate to Switch, long as the sales momentum holds up through a competitive holiday season. I’ve heard the notion that Nintendo should be wary of touch-only games on Switch, but why? No accessories are required – you don’t even have to press a button to undock the Switch and play it anywhere (even your couch, in front of the TV). There really are no boundaries for this weird little system, and unlike every Nintendo portable before it, there’s not a more powerful console stealing away the biggest development resources.

When Nintendo talks about unifying their game creation tools and merging console teams with handheld teams, it may seem like a dive for corporate efficiency – probably is, too. But the exciting part for Switch owners is that soon, every new Nintendo game will be portable… if you want it to be. Great option for fans, sure, but portability means outright access to Nintendo’s full lineup for people who can’t or won’t play games on a TV. This isn’t quite the same blue ocean that Wii navigated, but it may be just as deep.

To be clear, I think a future version of Switch will ultimately realize the does-anything-goes-anywhere dream. This one has a few limitations that are to be expected with a new product line – and Nintendo never misses a chance to tweak their portable systems. Regardless, the Switch is already a magical sort of gadget, the kind you want to put into a friend’s hands while you rave and share delightful anecdotes. In a near-future where nearly all games are portable, and display to the nearest big screen is as common as today’s Bluetooth audio, we might look back on the Switch as the turning point, or at least a prophet of a new portable technology revolution. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Nice! I call this my "convenience discount"

Podcast Discussion / Episode 520: MY NACHOS ARE ON FIRE!
« on: April 30, 2017, 06:49:43 AM »

I'm trying out titles for my inevitable memoirs.

This week saw 353 young men selected in the NFL Draft as the newest contestants in America's greatest bloodsport. Greg Leahy, America's greatest podcaster, did his American duty and watched this - America's greatest made-for-TV casting call. In his place we adopted a modern retro-modern cast with the first post-Switch appearance of Dr. Jonathan Metts.

This deeply un-American foursome instead focus on video games...America's seventh-best bloodsport. Jonny gives his first, non-vicarious, thoughts on Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Bills Trade Down. Given all the catching up he has to do, he has a lot to say. Don't expect any major departures from him on the game's quality. His New Business is interrupted by Nintendo's sudden announcement of the new 2DS XL, a system that's name is now 95% based around it being a version. Returning to New Business, he also shares some praise for Blaster Master Zero, a pseudo-remake of Blaster Master (which just happened to be the RetroActive game RFN covered on his very last regular episode). Jon played the Witcher 2. No, not 3. 2. He actually enjoyed its relative compactness, when compared to its newer sequel. Gui and James are still down the Persona hole, and Gui celebrates this by looking at Towerfall: Ascension. See what I did there? He enjoyed its multiplayer-focused arena gameplay, and encourages people to watch out for it when it finds its way onto Switch later this year. James has another Switch indie game this week, with impressions of Kamiko, a Zelda-inspired action game that finds its beat quick, and gets out just as fast.

After an unpatriotic break, it's Listener Mail, our ninety-third greatest bloodsport. Covered this week: the parallels between NWR and the now defunct (and cartoonishly evil) Brash Games, the discontinuation of the NES Classic Mini, and the only ACTUAL bloodsport mentioned in this episode: standing in line for amiibo. You can fight to the death for Advent Children Cloud by sending us an email.

Podcast Discussion / Episode 508: Co-Op Yourself
« on: February 05, 2017, 05:09:22 AM »

The future of Switch-related insults is bright.

This week, Jon stepped out and we're joined by Jonny. The good doctor had a chance to play Switch at PAX South, and he kicks off New Business. He offers impressions on the hardware and many of Switch's upcoming titles, such as Arms and The Legend of Zelda: Jokers Are Wild. Guillaume is now the second RFN member to struggle with the 3DS D-Pad playing a VC title, and he shares his thoughts on Super Metroid. He also has a few words regarding a game with no D-Pad, Super Mario Run. James is back in Japan, not literally, but rather by fully submersing himself in the world of Yakuza 0. It's a strange world of criminal intrigue and chickens dressed as businessmen. Greg has been on a self-described "Shmupapalooza," with special attention paid to the 3DS remake of Steel Empire.

After the break, Jonny steps out and we answer a couple of Listener Mail questions. This week we discuss the role of HD Rumble in rhythm games, and what series we'd like to see on Switch. You can rumble our Joy-Cons by sending us an email.

As a reminder, we're rapidly approaching our RetroActive on Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom! If you want your thoughts read on the show, go ahead and get started playing. You can post them in the official thread.

Podcast Discussion / Episode 505: Switchmas Presents
« on: January 13, 2017, 12:08:04 AM »

The day of the big Switch reveal is finally at hand, and we went live at its conclusion to discuss everything.

Nintendo's late-night Switch conference could not deter the intrepid RFN crew. In a move best attributed to false confidence, they resolved to do a live show immediately following Nintendo's presentation, late into the night and while the dust was still setting. Joined by former host Dr. Jonathan Metts, and a few call-in guests, they broke down the announced price, the games, and Nintendo's kooky presentation style.

Sure, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild still looks good, but Super Mario Odyssey has creepy human-proportioned people. Yeah, Mario has some amazing art, but Xenoblade 2 is going full anime in 2017. Then again, so is a voice acted Breath of the Wild. Want to hear about Joy-Cons, we have impressions from Switch developer and friend of the show Syrenne McNulty. Arms has online play, so we can all live out James' fantasy of punching Jon Lindemann in the head, over the Internet.

Sound frenetic? It was. If you're looking for hot takes, these were fresh out of the oven. Thanks to everyone who joined us!

TalkBack / Vintage Review: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
« on: November 17, 2016, 03:06:36 AM »

Journey back to Planet GameCube and revisit Metroid Prime 2

Journey back with us to a time before YouTube and before video reviews were really a thing, as we dig classic reviews out of our archives and polish them up for a new generation of gamers. These aren't modern reviews of retro games. These are true, period perspectives. You'll find no nostalgia goggles here.

The original review from 2004 can be found here, and our new video can be viewed below.

Podcast Discussion / Re: NWR Chat Episode 1, Season 1: A New Hope
« on: November 13, 2016, 11:06:05 PM »
Yeah, that's a great one! Super Mario Kart was crazy at the time, but I think the later ones did multiplayer better. There are some cool 2P run-and-guns on SNES, like Contra III... Joe & Mac...

Podcast Discussion / NWR Chat Episode 1, Season 1: A New Hope
« on: November 13, 2016, 09:41:00 AM »

James does it right and leaves the country before the heir to his throne screws everything up.

James has left for Japan, leaving a potentially deadly power vacuum at the top of the RFN food chain in his absence, along with an opportunity for an off-brand podcast. Jon emerges from the wilderness to claim the hosting throne, the prodigal son returning after having last hosted on the immensely successful RFN Episode 105. The beginning of his reign is marked by his reading of a prepared statement, meant to foster unity in these troubled times. Speaking of troubled times, Dr. Jonny Metts takes a seat in the vacant guest chair to salve our wounds, with Greg and Gui along for the bumpy ride as always. This week's New Business covers the end of Wii U production, Gui comparing platformers with Sonic CD and Freedom Planet, Greg dealing with a buggy F-Zero X on Virtual Console, and Jonny diving deeper into Dragon Quest VII with a little Rhythm Thief thrown in for good measure.

After the break it's Listener Mail. Our resident pre-order expert Jonny Metts advises us on whether or not we should pre-order Switch, and we also analyze potential Switch launch SKUs, prices, and games. We then discuss the small marketing window leading up to Switch launch, and whether or not there will be a successor to the Nintendo 3DS. You can get inside our small marketing window by sending your inquiries to our inbox.

Don't forget that we're still looking for RFN Episode RetroActives for use during the voyage of self-discovery that will be Episode 500. Find one of your favorite RFN episodes (we recommend anything without "103" in the title) and send us your thoughts, RetroActive style. And by "RetroActive style" we mean "dumpster fire". Get writing!

TalkBack / Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Update Out Now
« on: November 02, 2016, 07:34:24 AM »
So it's mostly for amiibo collectors? I didn't love New Leaf when it came out, and this doesn't sound like the update that will make me try it again. Nice gesture for the many fans out there, though.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 497: 8 Minifigure Heads in a Duffel Bag
« on: October 30, 2016, 10:27:41 PM »
I haven't even listened yet but had to give special due and my continued apologies to Gui for having to deal with my mangled audio file in the first segment. Editing this show is a tough job even when everything goes right. I used to be more vigilant about my recording gear, but retirement has dulled my wariness of the technology and how easily we can misuse it.

Podcast Discussion / Episode 497: 8 Minifigure Heads in a Duffel Bag
« on: October 30, 2016, 10:23:30 AM »

LEGO Radio Free Nintendo the Video Game, coming 2019 to Switch.

Jonny decided to join us to discuss LEGO City Undercover this week. While a guest is always nice, sometimes it comes with unforeseen costs...namely some lost audio in the first segment. Please Understand.

Jon kicks off New Business with some more thoughts on Nintendo Switch, and the announced January Switch event. Greg considers a return to Pokemon, with a look at the Sun and Moon demo. He also acquired an original copy of Thunder Force III, just in time for Sega to announce its addition to Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 3. Guillaume is looking to engage in more random acts of violence, so he tries out RetroActive alumnus River City Ransom. Jonny goes on an adventure with Dragon Quest VII; we don't spend a lot of time on it - it's Dragon Quest. James closes out New Business with thoughts on bloody adventure game Corpse Party; he is struggling, to say the least.

After the break, it's time for our RetroActive for LEGO City Undercover! We talk about the humor, the gameplay, the style, and...
...the load times. Thanks to everyone who played along with us!

We'll be back to a traditional episode next week, so you can load our inbox with your questions!

Podcast Discussion / Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« on: October 11, 2016, 10:09:06 AM »
I'm generally trying to avoid buying games right now, but I will make an exception for RetroActive and download this one at the Nintendo Selects price. It will be the first Lego game I've ever bought and maybe the first I've played more than a demo or for an hour with friends.

Dragon Quest 7 is chock full of TARDIS houses, by the way.

I read that interview before we recorded, and it doesn't say the game has been canceled for Wii U -- just that it's unlikely at this point.


All games should be pinball games.

The NFL season is in full-swing, so Greg had to take a sabbatical in order to observe the proceedings. The outcome was predictable. In his stead we are joined by Dr. Jonathan Metts, giving this episode a very 2014 sort of feel.

The good doctor starts New Business with impressions of Picross 3D Round 2, the block-eliminating, life-consuming puzzler. Jonny is in deep, and he's going to need to chisel his way out. He then shares thoughts on RIVE, the final game from Toki Tori developer Two Tribes. He's having a lot of fun with the PS4 version, and with a Wii U version on the way it's worth keeping an eye on. He concludes his New Business with a look at Nesbox, an NES emulator officially available on the Windows 10 store and Xbox One. Meanwhile, Jon assesses the validity of Metroid experiences with his thoughts on Metroid Prime Pinball for Nintendo DS. Is this the best Metroid game in decades? Yes. As we established in last week's Listener Mail, Guillaume is getting old so he now hates games; as a consequence he also hates Mega Man Legends on the PlayStation. Okay, "hate" is a strong word, but he has thoughts on the downside of towns in 3D games. James concludes New Business with a statement on Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice, before turning his full attention to his recent upgrade to a New 3DS (regular).

After the break, it's Listener Mail. This week's topics include: release date delays, homebrew and piracy on 3DS, and storytelling in gaming. You can have us brew you a story via our inbox.

We have a winner in our RetroActive Open World poll: LEGO City: Undercover! We'll open up the comment thread soon. We don't have a date for this one, but it will be at least a few weeks. We'll be taking next week off, so we should have a date to announce when we return, but don't wait for us to get started.

TalkBack / Re: The Great September 3DS Flood
« on: September 07, 2016, 04:13:11 PM »
Not so bad for me. I'm getting DQ7 of course, and I'm waiting to see on Gunvolt 2 and River City.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 491: Apocalypse Direct
« on: September 06, 2016, 07:50:31 PM »
It's probably best to avoid the Batman games on Wii U, since Lindy is in the credits for at least one of them. (He worked at WB Games at the time and of course never discussed their products on RFN.)

Podcast Discussion / RFN Special: Calling Dr. Metts
« on: August 14, 2016, 07:00:03 AM »

While the cat's away, the doctor will…talk on a podcast, obviously.

With the dog days of summer drawing to a close, it was time for the RFN team to take some time off this week, but Greg decided to use this occasion as an excuse to get back in touch with an old friend: Dr. Jonathan Metts. It's now been a year since Jonny stepped down from his duties as RFN host, and so the conversation begins with a look at how his much-anticipated NWR book project has been progressing, and also how his gaming habits have changed over the past twelve RFN-free months.

Next, Greg solicits Jonny's thoughts and opinions on a multitude of gaming topics, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Star Fox Zero, Dragon Quest VII, ReCore, and of course No Man's Sky, the spacefaring PS4 exclusive that Jonny's had his upturned eyes on for some considerable time now. Also in the "Entirely Predictable" column: Metroid looms large in the conversation, with the impending launch of Federation Force, the passing of the 30th anniversary of the franchise's debut, and the emergence of AM2R—a fan-created, Zero Mission-style remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus that's made quite an impression in a short period of time. Finally, Greg can't let Dr. Metts go without picking his brains on all those NX rumours that have been dominating the Nintendo news scene of late, and their implications for the future of the company he's spent half his life covering online.

Normal service resumes next week; if you have a question that isn't for Dr. Metts, please send it to us in an email.

TalkBack / Vintage Review: Metroid Prime
« on: July 23, 2016, 07:50:37 AM »

Journey back with us and experience Metroid Prime for the first time.

Journey back with us to a time before YouTube and before video reviews were really a thing, as we dig classic reviews out of our archives and polish them up for a new generation of gamers. These aren't modern reviews of retro games. These are true, period perspectives. You'll find no nostalgia goggles here.

The original review from 2002 can be found here, and our new video can be viewed below.

Podcast Discussion / Special: NWR Book Interview with Max Lake
« on: June 11, 2016, 04:14:11 PM »

Things get real on the latest interview in this special podcast mini-series.

Welcome to a series of special podcasts, hosted by your friends at Radio Free Nintendo. Former podcast host and website director Jonathan Metts is sharing his extensive interviews with current and former staff members from Nintendo World Report [the very site you are now reading, which is also still widely known as Planet GameCube (which is one of the long-term prices we've had to pay for the privilege of changing our name at the peak of our popularity).] These interviews are part of his research for an upcoming book about the long-running website, focusing on its vast array of dedicated, all-volunteer creators. This paragraph is painfully thorough because I want to reuse it for each subsequent release from this series, which is planned to continue throughout 2016!

This interview features Max Lake, the last Editor-in-Chief of our website. Max left his fingerprints all over early-era Nintendo fansites before landing at ours. You'll hear many detailed stories, including how he leaked the Super Smash Bros. Melee secret characters, writing rumors for Louie the Cat, and that time we got bad service at Denny's. There's a thorough account of another writer's infamous, embarrassing "Miyamoto-Sama" incident... redemption included. We also dug into the troubled saga of Max's E3 2001 video to understand what went wrong, and how the aftermath led to the end of Max's tenure at PGC and the beginning of longstanding personal problems. He doesn't withhold regrets or complaints, but we both explored this painful part of his life in the hope of finding silver linings and even reconciliation.

By the way, the entire E3 2001 video is now viewable as a playlist on our NWR TV channel on YouTube.

If you haven't already, subscribe to Radio Free Nintendo with the links above to automatically receive all upcoming interviews in this series.

Podcast Discussion / Episode 474: The Day the Music Was Abandoned
« on: May 01, 2016, 02:41:10 PM »

Nintendo's uninspiring financial briefing didn't deter half of team RFN from their responsibilities.

Nintendo had their annual investors' briefing this week, and with it came a run of news that dramatically reset expectations for the next year. No NX at E3. Nothing but Zelda at E3. No Zelda (or NX) until March 2017. Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing going mobile. Corporate oversight is tweaked. It would be easy to compare this to the infamous past episode The Day the Music Died, and we did. However, not all of our dedicated hosts were nearly so dedicated as to do their duty in the face of such harrowing news. Greg skipped off to watch the NFL Draft (an annual holiday in England). Meanwhile, Jon rededicated himself to the pursuit of fraternity. James and Gui were forced to let former host Jonny Metts back in the house, putting aside long-simmering feelings of betrayal in order to best deliver you the insight you expect from this show. The entire first segment tries to make sense of all the news, candy-coating everything with some positive conversation on Nintendo's latest Humble Bundle.

The news really turned the show on its head this week, because after the break is New Business. Jonny finally gets to talk Xenoblade Chronicles X with James and Gui. Sadly, it sounds like he intends to give up the game before saving humanity; it's an incredibly selfish attitude to take. He then offers some suggestions for what his former colleagues should be playing. Guillaume flies solo with his thoughts on Star Fox Zero. He's had more time to find his inner fox than Greg had last week, so his positive impressions are based on a larger cross-section of the game. James is still on Bravely Second, but even 30+ hours in he's still not sure why anyone would want to make a direct sequel to a JRPG. He also misses Ringabell. Who wouldn't?

It's time for our Castlevania RetroActive. The voting has closed, and the RFN listeners have sided with team Little Girl: our next game is Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. You can get it on the Wii Virtual Console. We will be doing our RetroActive segment sometime before E3. The comment thread is now open.

Have a question, suggestion, feedback, end music suggestion, or press release about nonsense we'd never care about? You can send it directly to our inbox. We've already received quite a bit of email about the news of the last week, but we're always looking for different perspectives, so get on sending it our way!

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