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Episode 93: Luigi Twins

by Jonathan Metts - April 3, 2008, 8:55 am PDT
Total comments: 24

TYP sits in for more Brawl love, VC madness, and several other games of note.

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Do a tissue on her face.


Jon Lindemann had to cancel at the last minute, but luckily, TYP was visiting Jonny in Colorado and sat in for this show. The two of them dominate New Business, having played Brawl for eleven hours over the weekend. They also run through a laundry list of Virtual Console games, including a rebuke of Sonic 3. TYP even sneaks in some comments on the Devil May Cry 4 demo and the PS3's firmware mania. James and Greg are no slouches in this segment, detailing the merits of Bully: Scholarship Edition and Wii Fit, respectively.

We round out the show with a healthy selection of Listener Mail. Your letters include a request to create the next Pokemon game, a plea for better use of the DS microphone, forwards-compatibility of the Virtual Console service, and a possible source of lag in Smash Bros. Please send more great questions!

Be sure to listen after the show for a special musical performance by TYP and Jonny.

Credits:

This podcast was edited by James Jones.

Music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is used with permission from Jason Ricci & New Blood. You can purchase their new album, Rocket Number 9, directly from the record label, or download it from iTunes, or call your local record store and ask for it!

Talkback

ShyGuyApril 03, 2008

Is this early? it seems early.

No, it's on time.  What is dinning?

DAaaMan64April 03, 2008

Ahhh, I like Sonic Adventure 1 & 2. :(

This is actually me NOT taking forever.  I know, go figure.

See if you can find the exact point where Jonny and TYP can no longer hear Greg and myself.

(oddly, we can still hear each other)

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusApril 03, 2008

Sonic Adventure 1 is alright, Sonic Adventure 2 ... not so much.

The original Sonic Adventure was great, minus Big the Cat. The great thing about that game is that if you don't like how a character plays you don't have to play as them at all. That feature not being in Sonic Adventure 2 ruined it, because Tails and Robotnik (I'm never going to call him Eggman, no way) were boring and Knuckles and Rouge nearly made me sue Sega because the Dreamcast controller lacked a strap that would prevent me from throwing it through the TV.

Yeah we realized later that my foot had pulled out the headphones from my computer, so TYP and I were just talking to each other and couldn't hear James and Greg at all.  I would have noticed it much sooner if TYP and I hadn't been sitting next to each other and comfortable having a two-way conversation for several minutes.

Stupid dumb childhood nostalgia is the only reason why I end up trying every new Sonic game. The only one that was really atrocious was the new Sonic the Hedgehog for 360 and PS3 where Sonic falls in love with a human and they introduce a psychic hedgehog.
I rented Secret Rings for Wii and it wasn't horrible and it actually seems like thats the direction that Sonic Unleashed is taking.
Sonic Adventure is the best 3D one (not saying much at all) and Sonic Adventure 2 has good moments with Sonic and Shadow but the rest of the game is terrible thanks to asinine searches courtesy of Rouge and Knuckles.

ShyGuyApril 04, 2008

Prediction: Wii 2 will feature the nunchuk and the wiimote melded into one controller. Then doubled for most games. Or maybe that's what PS4 or Xbox will use.

bhurakApril 04, 2008

Genius!  It makes perfect sense to put the Analog stick back on the main controller...

CalibanApril 04, 2008

I think that the Wii 2 will not have an IBM processor. I think that since the Wii uses a GPU from ATI, Nintendo might consider using a multi-core from AMD which own ATI and therefore cut a deal from such venture.

GoldenPhoenixApril 04, 2008

Another great podcast but two comments really bothered me:

1. Nintendogs bashing by Johnny. It almost came off as elitist (Probably wasn't meant to but still) "Well I don't like virtual pet simulators so it isn't a good game". Nintendogs was a highly praised game and is perhaps the best pet simulator around. Just because you may not like the genre does not mean it needs to be demeaned.

2. Jab at PC games being about graphics. Once again a ridiculous statement, PC has perhaps some of the most diverse lineup of games out of all the systems. There are some genres that PCs run circles around the consoles on. These include sim games, RTS, MMORPG, FPS (Which the PC still has an edge on when it comes to innovation), and point n click adventures to name a few. To state that PC gaming is nothing but gaming for graphic whores is ridiculous and a bit shallow. PC and Consoles both have games that one may do better than the other, to state that the PC is nothing but graphics is sad and very biased. In fact I could go as far to say that the PC is more versatile than consoles in that many games that come out for 360 and PS3 end up on the PC, with flexible control styles.

Shift KeyApril 05, 2008

Quote from: Caliban

I think that the Wii 2 will not have an IBM processor. I think that since the Wii uses a GPU from ATI, Nintendo might consider using a multi-core from AMD which own ATI and therefore cut a deal from such venture.

The Wii uses a tweaked PowerPC processor, made by IBM.
The PS3 uses the Cell processor, which IBM were involved in designing and manufacturing.
The 360 uses a customised tri-core processor, but its based on the PowerPC architecture. IBM assisted with the design process.

Notice a pattern?

I don't think this will change next generation unless some other company can offer the capacity and customization that IBM does.

EDIT: Turns out IBM outsourced the fabrication of the Xenon chips to a company called Chartered. Apparently they're huge in Singapore.

CalibanApril 05, 2008

You don't think that the possible success of the Wii (if in 5 years of its life it is dominant) will make AMD consider an extra effort to make business with Nintendo, or that at least Nintendo would consider using the AMD and ATI technology because it is being tuned to synchronize the cpu and gpu for further efficiency?

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Another great podcast but two comments really bothered me...

1. It's true that I don't like virtual pet games.  Nintendogs is probably the most creative and innovative game I've ever seen in that genre.  However, I still think it's boring and shallow, and it's probably the least fun I've had with any Nintendo game in the past five years.  Once you get over how cute the puppies are, there's nothing left.  Saying it's the best virtual pet sim is like saying it's the prettiest turd in the pile.  Obviously a lot of people disagree with me because the game has sold ten million copies.  As always, I can only speak for myself.

2. I think you misinterpreted something or else I misspoke.  There is certainly a wide variety of games and gamers on PC.  I myself am a PC gamer (recently returned to the platform).  But there's no doubt that the PC gaming industry is driven by the graphics snobs who shell out $500 for new cards and who buy games like Crysis primarily based on the graphics.  These people seed-fund the industry and allow companies to reach more casual users down the line.  I think it's an unhealthy model, and if you talk to some PC gaming journalists (like the ones on GFW Radio), they'll say the same.  That's all I will say for now, because I haven't listened to the episode yet and am not even sure where this comment about PC gamers was made.

Nintendogs is genius because it's one of the FEW videogames that is NOT about competition, but wholly centered around relationships instead. This is key, and an overlooked fact by those (like me) who don't enjoy the game on the level of others. I remember reading about a speech someone gave about how Nintendogs is one of the closest things that videogames have that have ever come to actually injecting romance into gameplay. (instead of merely cutscenes) I believe that the same speech also cited that almost 90% of the stories that teenage girls exchanged were, in essence, romances (or more generally relationship-centered), explaining the game's appeal to that demographic. That alone is reason to respect this title that's just one of the many ways that Nintendo is pushing the boundaries of gaming beyond the boundaries that we've set up for ourselves.

Also, observe this lost garden posting on the innovative and successful design of Nintendogs: http://lostgarden.com/2005/06/nintendogs-case-of-non-game-that.html Nintendogs was not a fluke, it was a specifically crafted, intentional success that served needs in the market unrealized until then. Heck, Miyamoto worked on the darn thing!

Heck, I'll admit I stopped playing nintendogs after 5 days. But just because I stopped playing GTA 3 after the same amount of time doesn't mean it's boring and shallow. I respect and applaud both games for what they are. And if I can go my whole life and just once make a game on the same level of Nintendogs, I think I'd be a happy man.

GoldenPhoenixApril 05, 2008

I think your response is fair, though I think Xbox 360 and PS3 can be graphics focused as well. It is only when the consoles become so outdated that graphics become less of an issue, until that point though both user bases can lean towards being graphic whores and companies suck off that. For example "Army of Two" was hyped for its fancy named team AI, which turned out to be crap but it got people excited. What i love about PC is that you have that option to improve your visuals but for the most part you do not need to because of the flexible graphic settings. Personally I loved Crysis, not because of the visuals (Which were gorgeous though) but because it expanded on Far Cry's open world environment which I feel has not been utilized nearly enough. It is an an amazing game in its own right, whether it be the strategy that has to be utilized in regards to energy balance in your suit, to the flexible mission structure that never has just one way to complete something. The visuals may be helpful for the setting, but it would be nothing without the gameplay to back it. It is an experience that you cannot find on console, and is why I think it deserves respect for something more than the physics or visuals.

What I enjoy about the PC is that it has such a diverse audience, you would never accuse its most successful franchise, The Sims, as being about visuals. Or even state that about most of the RTS games out there (or MMORPGs). So yeah it has its group of techno philes but just like the consoles they are only part of the market. Heck if companies allowed upgradeable graphics on consoles, you would see a similar trend to PC, it is just that people have no choice. 

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterApril 05, 2008

On a gameplay level, Nintendogs is limited. The voice recognition system, a vital part of the game, sometimes worked, other times didn't. Also, there should have been more activities for you and your dogs to do. There should have been an expanded dog show section where your dedication to your puppy would be rewarded. The interaction between puppies and other owners should have been better. What is there is good but very basic. The experience needed to be more rewarding than just meeting in a park and watch the puppies play.

On an emotional level, though, Nintendogs is a roaring success. All of us pet owners know that sometimes pets go from being another thing to feed to being vital in our human development. In other words, we create a special bond with them. Even when they can't talk we understand their feelings and the love grows stronger. Nintendogs did this really well. Its the closest thing ever to owning an actual puppy.

Finally, and what I think people are seriously overlooking here, is that the game played a major role in the development of the DS, and helped it evolve from a gimmicky handheld to a serious competitor. Before Nintendogs was released most of the games were GBA ports with tacked-on touch controls, used the buttons and D-pad or were mini game collections. While the voice recognition was far from perfect the touch screens were remarkable. It added a lot to the gameplay and to the emotional value of the puppies as you could touch them, and they would interact with you (by giving you their paw or biting you when you were a jerk).

Without the success of Nintendogs perhaps there wouldn't be games like Ninja Gaiden DS, Starfox Command and Phantom Hourglass in which touch screen controls are taken to a whole new level. And there wouldn't be games like Brain Age and Professor Layton, games that transcend age, stereotypes, cliches and social mores.

Speaking of which, I am getting very tired of hearing angry editors and fans rag on the Wii and DS for attracting a new set of gamers (OMG old people play Wii LAWL!). For years videogames have always been seen as child's play, stuff that doesn't add to the welfare of society, or are accused of being murder simulators. The Wii and DS are slowly but surely breaking that wall away and allowing games to be social activities we can all enjoy instead of a stereotyped niche. Which would you rather hear...

"The Wii is helping people overcome injuries through unique therapies"
"The DS and Brain Age is helping people become well aware of their intelligence"
'The Wii is helping senior citizens have fun in their golden years"

or...

"Videogames are for losers"
"Murderer was inspired by popular videogames"
"Videogames are murder simulators?"

I may have gone on a tangent here, but Nintendogs is a fine example of games that think outside the box.

So to end this, Nintendogs may or may not be everyone's favorite game but to deny its impact and success not just on the DS but on the entire gaming industry is being foolish and ignorant, fueling the stereotypes that are already plaguing our favorite hobby.

Shift KeyApril 05, 2008

Quote from: Caliban

at least Nintendo would consider using the AMD and ATI technology because it is being tuned to synchronize the cpu and gpu for further efficiency?

I'm not up with what AMD is doing since they bought ATI, could you enlighten me on this?

I guess what it comes down to is tradeoffs on the various technologies that each company can offer. Perhaps the general-purpose processor market (although they seem to be getting pummeled by Intel in recent years) and the ATI GPU contracts (360 and Wii) is enough for AMD.

Quote from: Caliban

I think that the Wii 2 will not have an IBM processor. I think that since the Wii uses a GPU from ATI, Nintendo might consider using a multi-core from AMD which own ATI and therefore cut a deal from such venture.

Nintendo will want the Wii 2 to be backwards-compatible with the Wii and they won't want to go through the hassle MS has gone through making the 360 as compatible as it is with the original Xbox. It will be another IBM chip.

CalibanApril 05, 2008

Quote from: Shift

Quote from: Caliban

at least Nintendo would consider using the AMD and ATI technology because it is being tuned to synchronize the cpu and gpu for further efficiency?

I'm not up with what AMD is doing since they bought ATI, could you enlighten me on this?

I guess what it comes down to is tradeoffs on the various technologies that each company can offer. Perhaps the general-purpose processor market (although they seem to be getting pummeled by Intel in recent years) and the ATI GPU contracts (360 and Wii) is enough for AMD.

At the moment I can't find the source on what I read, but there was talk about the near future AMD cpus and ATI gpus being designed to specifically work in tandem. Well I think that's kind of obvious to happen since AMD does own ATI so why not explore such option.

If Intel sustains its current success well within the next 4 or so years, I think that AMD might be forced to reconsider its market focus and one of its solution might be to supply the console market.

Quote from: insanolord

Quote from: Caliban

I think that the Wii 2 will not have an IBM processor. I think that since the Wii uses a GPU from ATI, Nintendo might consider using a multi-core from AMD which own ATI and therefore cut a deal from such venture.

Nintendo will want the Wii 2 to be backwards-compatible with the Wii and they won't want to go through the hassle MS has gone through making the 360 as compatible as it is with the original Xbox. It will be another IBM chip.

The biggest hassle that Microsoft had with backward compatibility was in regards to the change in gpu. That's why I'm thinking that it probably won't be much of a problem for Nintendo to switch cpus.

ShyGuyApril 05, 2008

Rumors and speculations are that AMD plans to integrate ATI's high end graphics into its system board chipsets and change the architecture to offload the heavy 3D number crunching over to the multi core cpus.

DAaaMan64April 05, 2008

Quote from: ShyGuy

Rumors and speculations are that AMD plans to integrate ATI's high end graphics into its system board chipsets and change the architecture to offload the heavy 3D number crunching over to the multi core cpus.

That sucks haha.

Shift KeyApril 05, 2008

Quote from: ShyGuy

Rumors and speculations are that AMD plans to integrate ATI's high end graphics into its system board chipsets and change the architecture to offload the heavy 3D number crunching over to the multi core cpus.

I'm going to take a "wait and see" approach because it could turn out to be a great idea or a mediocre one, especially when you look at system architectures and the like.

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