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Episode 120: Hype Man

by Jonathan Metts - October 28, 2008, 11:55 pm PDT
Total comments: 47

Karl joins us to talk about how hype affects games and gamers.

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Sorry, Denis.






Greg returns to us in this episode, and Karl tags along for a full-on, five-man show. We keep New Business unusually brisk, with a heavy focus on WiiWare games. Also, Jonny finally got to play Too Human, and you know he has some thoughts on that.

In the second segment, we take care of DLC Mondays and also revisit some of the lost Listener Mail. Please keep those emails coming, as we are going to take a serious crack at reading three to five letters every single week.

In the final segment, Greg leads us on a rambling conversation about gaming hype -- how it is created, and how it can be positive and negative for the games themselves. Somehow, this leads into various comparisons between games and movies. We even dig up the auteur theory... where's Evan when you need him? (Actually, we plan to have him on the show soon.)

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

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorOctober 28, 2008

Oh snap, didn't know this was going up so soon. Episode 2 of TAWK-112 is going up tomorrow, for those of you interested! Thanks to the dudes for letting me pimp the show.

Oh yeah, so I totally behaved in this episode. Couldn't pull another 103 without Stan, anyway. He's one of the only people who can get that rise out of me. Also, I really wish we had Burchfield on there for the auteur argument, but oh well. I'm sure he'll bring it up at some point or another.

I don't hate Jonny as much as his warning made me expect to hate him, though comparing Miyamoto to Tom Clancy is giving Miyamoto far too little credit, especially now that Ubisoft can attach his name to something he had literally nothing to do with. Other than that it was a great feature and a great episodde.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorOctober 29, 2008

Man...Karl sounds SO MUCH LIKE Kevin Rose when he's on podcasts....

It's uncanny.

SchadenfreudeOctober 29, 2008

This was a pleasant surprise. Can't wait to listen!

James has done an excellent job of catching up.  We are now back on the schedule that we had a few months ago.

D_AverageOctober 29, 2008

I second the theory about 1up's Wii Music review.

By the way, great feature topic!

Quote from: insanolord

I don't hate Jonny as much as his warning made me expect to hate him

I'm sure Jonny finds this statement comforting.

Quote from: Silks

Quote from: insanolord

I don't hate Jonny as much as his warning made me expect to hate him

I'm sure Jonny finds this statement comforting.

I've assumed since all my WiiWare-related complaints that he no longer reads what I post so he probably has no idea that I ever had a problem with his statements.

I read all comments, insano.  And I have no dislike for you.

ShyGuyOctober 29, 2008

Wednesday? How did this happen? Big ups to J.J.!

Wait, what is TAWK-112?

D_AverageOctober 29, 2008

Quote from: ShyGuy

Wednesday? How did this happen? Big ups to J.J.!

Wait, what is TAWK-112?

http://www.switchpod.com/f91505.html?puser=none

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I read all comments, insano.  And I have no dislike for you.

I really should stop joking, it's lost to the text format of the internet.

ShyGuyOctober 29, 2008

I think a better comparison than Tom Clancy would be Walt Disney. During his later years he no longer drew the animation cels, but he sure as heck was the foundation of the empire and his personality and vision was so strong it permeated throughout almost every product the Disney corportation produced while he was still alive. The same could be said of Miyamoto.

D_AverageOctober 30, 2008

Quote from: ShyGuy

I think a better comparison than Tom Clancy would be Walt Disney.

Will Miyamoto be frozen as well to ensure the integrity of the Mario Bros series in 3020?

vuduOctober 30, 2008

RE:  the discussion about changing in DQ IX and Pokemon

I don't know if you realize this, but what you guys said mirrored exactly what I said in the talkback thread for RFN 114.

DAaaMan64October 30, 2008

Jonny, what did you mean by not being sure if you'd still give TP a 10 today? You said your a "different person now", in what way?

Sorry if this is to personal. It just threw up a flag in my head for some reason.

SchadenfreudeOctober 30, 2008

Especially after how positive he was a few months ago when TP was brought up.

Just because Jonny wouldn't give it a 10 now doesn't mean he suddenly doesn't like the game. 10 is a very strong score. I think most reviewers would agree that a 9 vs a 10 amounts to very little when we're talking about whether a game is highly recommended.

NinGurl69 *hugglesOctober 30, 2008

It's an 8.0 at best.  Strictly hardcore speaking.

WTF does "strictly hardcore speaking" mean?

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

WTF does "strictly hardcore speaking" mean?

How can you have been at this site for so long and not be familiar with Pro(Ningurl)'s fabulous sense of humor?

GoldenPhoenixOctober 30, 2008

Quote from: NinGurl69

It's an 8.0 at best.  Strictly hardcore speaking.

So better than Killer 7? BURN

ShyGuyOctober 30, 2008

Speaking of 8.0 score, TAWK almost reaches that, but I give it a 7.9. Sorry, no talkback for their podcast.

7 Points are due to Karl. .9 points to his stoner gang.

DAaaMan64October 31, 2008

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

Just because Jonny wouldn't give it a 10 now doesn't mean he suddenly doesn't like the game. 10 is a very strong score. I think most reviewers would agree that a 9 vs a 10 amounts to very little when we're talking about whether a game is highly recommended.

TYP don't take it wrong, I'm not a fan of TP. I'm asking what changed. That's all.

shammackOctober 31, 2008

Quote from: ShyGuy

Speaking of 8.0 score, TAWK almost reaches that, but I give it a 7.9. Sorry, no talkback for their podcast.

7 Points are due to Karl. .9 points to his stoner gang.

I pretty much agree with that point breakdown, although I did like the nerdy guy who doesn't care about music and was all into the LHC (at least I think that was the same guy).  But I have to deduct points for the guy who hates science and sounds like Spinner from Degrassi: The Next Generation.

I think I'd go with more like a 7.5 overall.  It has potential, but there were some flaws that I'd like to see addressed in the sequel.  Most of that can probably be chalked up to the other guys' limited podcasting experience.

D_AverageOctober 31, 2008

Quote from: ShyGuy

Speaking of 8.0 score, TAWK almost reaches that, but I give it a 7.9. Sorry, no talkback for their podcast.

I gave them the same score as well, here's my breakdown:

I expected so much more than this ho-hum effort. I had hoped for deeper conversations, more than one selectable format, different visuals during the show, maybe even live chat support, more intriguing art designs, more characters, much more high-quality intro music -- the list goes on. I mean, it's still an enjoyable podcast, but not on the level it could have been.

I only hope that Karl pours more production into the sequel and remembers that just because RFN was once designed for the younger crowd, doesn't mean it can't become an everyone show with some complexity to it.

6.0  Presentation
Very little production value. This is very much RFN Episode 1 recreated. It gets the job done, but doesn't dazzle.
7.0  Graphics
Runs at 1 frame per second -- its sweetest asset. Otherwise, just a really colorful, unique and bright title -- very much what you'd expect for the first show.
6.0  Sound
Decidedly average MIDI tunes that fit the intro, but do little to intrigue. Sound effects are ok.
7.0  Lasting Appeal
Just under an hour but DSi support and the promised sequels make this a worthy one.
7.9
Good  OVERALL
(out of 10 / not an average)

I love the fact that you used the NWR review format against Karl.  It's so ironic, and so....right.

Quote from: DAaaMan64

Jonny, what did you mean by not being sure if you'd still give TP a 10 today? You said your a "different person now", in what way?

I'm two years older and have played a lot more games, that's all.  It's a different time.  I've played Phantom Hourglass and a lot more Wii games since then.  It's very tricky to review launch games because you are playing on a new system but still thinking in the conventions of the previous one.  You don't want to excessively praise the game just for some new gimmick features that couldn't have been done before, but you also don't want to be excessively harsh on the assumption that later games on the system will surpass this one.  That's why I try to focus on the game itself, avoiding too much comparison with other games and especially avoiding speculation on games that haven't even been released or announced yet.

All I meant by that comment is that everything we do, including reviewing games, is done within the context of the present situation.  And that situation is different now than it was in Nov. 2006.

GoldenPhoenixOctober 31, 2008

I've played Phantom Hourglass too and it made me appreciate TP more ;).

D_AverageOctober 31, 2008

I've played 86% of all racing games on the Wii and they always make me appreciate Excite Truck and its SD card soundtrack even more.  8)

DAaaMan64October 31, 2008

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Quote from: DAaaMan64

Jonny, what did you mean by not being sure if you'd still give TP a 10 today? You said your a "different person now", in what way?

I'm two years older and have played a lot more games, that's all.  It's a different time.  I've played Phantom Hourglass and a lot more Wii games since then.  It's very tricky to review launch games because you are playing on a new system but still thinking in the conventions of the previous one.  You don't want to excessively praise the game just for some new gimmick features that couldn't have been done before, but you also don't want to be excessively harsh on the assumption that later games on the system will surpass this one.  That's why I try to focus on the game itself, avoiding too much comparison with other games and especially avoiding speculation on games that haven't even been released or announced yet.

All I meant by that comment is that everything we do, including reviewing games, is done within the context of the present situation.  And that situation is different now than it was in Nov. 2006.

Thanks. Hope no one took that question wrong.

Quote from: D_Average

I've played 86% of all racing games on the Wii and they always make me appreciate Excite Truck and its SD card soundtrack even more.   8)

Amen to that!  I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed Excite Truck 2.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorOctober 31, 2008

A 7.9? You guys are being seriously generous. Many thanks.

As for the low-grade sound, we did it as a spur of the moment thing, so I was using my MacBook's internal mic. Our current set-up has multiple studio condensers, so it'll sound way better.

DAaaMan64November 01, 2008

Does NWR make an appearance at GDC?

GoldenPhoenixNovember 01, 2008

Good episode. Here are my thoughts:

1. Denis Dyack is a my hero for what he did to NeoGaf, I want more, not less of that stuff. The elitist gaming media needs a kick in the butt as far as I'm concerned, and NeoGaf is a good place to start
2. I agree that hype can inflate (or deflate scores if it is negative hype). Just look at Wii music it is ranked LOWER than Wii Play on gamerankings.

Finally I want to comment on Wii Music, I thought positions, like mine, were unfairly handled, especially by Lindy. For one Wii Play is NOT comparable to Wii Music either in scope or in what Miyamoto put behind it, the game was a quick n easy mini game collection to sell controllers. Now I have no idea how much Miyamoto had to say about the development of Wii Music but he seemed genuinely excited for it, and I've always learned to give games that he puts himself behind the benefit of the doubt. So while I never said it would be great, I was willing to wait until the final product came out before I condemned it (Still need to play it!). Miyamoto deserves at least that much.

Also since Jonny seldom posts here I don't think he is right about his argument about people having this vicious debate with him (OK I am partly joking!). I think many people were tired of this condescension people held towards Wii Music even before anyone played and afterward some of us felt it was a self fulfilling prophecy (Though I will say I respected your opinion on it Jonny).

SchadenfreudeNovember 02, 2008

I've found that typically the games I'm least excited for end up being my favorite. Last year my game of the year was The Orange Box, which I only picked up because I thought it was a really good deal. Since I had never played any of the games in the package, I was blown away. This Fall my most hyped for game was Little Big Planet, which I got a few days before Fallout 3 came out. I played it a bit until I got stuck, then tried out Fallout 3. So far I'm LOVING Fallout 3, which I wasn't nearly as excited for. I've put a lot more time into it (partly because of being stuck and server issues with LBP). Braid and Bully were also big surprises for me this year.

I know what you guys were saying about getting sucked into the hype so much you end up telling yourself you like a game as you play it; I did that with Kingdom Hearts 2, Grand Theft Auto 4 and countless others. Some games though, like Beyond Good & Evil, I've appreciated more later then while I was playing it.

Regarding Too Human, when Dennis Dyack made the thread on GAF asking people to post "For or Against", I was one of the first handful of people to post, which I said "For" because I hadn't played it yet and wanted to give it a chance. After the demo I was left unimpressed and decided to not pick it up.

I hope you guys read my email next episode. :)

Why on earth any developer would ever interact with the NeoGAF crowd is beyond me.  That forum is like all of the negativity on the internet crammed into one little corner.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 02, 2008

Quote from: Lindy

Why on earth any developer would ever interact with the NeoGAF crowd is beyond me.  That forum is like all of the negativity on the internet crammed into one little corner.

Lol.

SchadenfreudeNovember 02, 2008

Quote from: Lindy

Why on earth any developer would ever interact with the NeoGAF crowd is beyond me.  That forum is like all of the negativity on the internet crammed into one little corner.

Way to generalize. They love Mother 3.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 02, 2008

Quote from: Schadenfreude

Quote from: Lindy

Why on earth any developer would ever interact with the NeoGAF crowd is beyond me.  That forum is like all of the negativity on the internet crammed into one little corner.

Way to generalize. They love Mother 3.

I think Gamefaqs loves Mother 3 too.

SchadenfreudeNovember 02, 2008

And just think, Nintendo used resources to localize Pokemon Mystery Dungeon instead of Mother 3.

I can hear James's teeth grinding now.

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Quote from: D_Average

I've played 86% of all racing games on the Wii and they always make me appreciate Excite Truck and its SD card soundtrack even more.   8)

Amen to that!  I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed Excite Truck 2.

QFT

broodwarsNovember 04, 2008

Yay, I finally got a new router installed that actually lets me access the site from home.   ;D  I'll actually be able to visit the site normally now.

Good to see at least one of my questions get answered, even if the answer wasn't exactly what one could hope for (I didn't know OB64 had emulation issues that would make it problematic to put on the VC).

As for Dennis Dyack, the thing that bugs me about the guy is that he's fond of going out into the community and railing off against some facet of the gaming world...but only when it negatively affects him.  Funny how there was apparently never a problem with the videogame preview system or internet message boards till they started coming down hard on Too Human.  But when they did, suddenly in comes Dennis Dyack, Gaming Crusader to whine and complain that these things are crippling the industry.  It just comes off to me as opportunistic, and I highly doubt he would have gone off on all these rants if those things had actually been favorable towards his game.  I'm curious if we're going to hear Dyack go on one of his mega-rants now that the game's been almost universally panned by reviewers.  Will the Reviews process now be the thing crippling the game industry, because it lets gamers form judgement about a game before they go out and buy it?

MaleficentOgreNovember 10, 2008

Most game reviewers cater to a very specific market which I don't fall into anymore. Reviews are great for those people, the 'hardcore' group and message board types, but for casual observers of games who normally get their games two and three years after they release Reviews don't do much. Very few games keep their quality over time.
I also think paid reviewers are different from 'normal' gamers just in the number of games they play. To them some game may come off as old hat and boring because another game had done it before then, but if this is someone's first dynasty warriors game they don't care.
Nothing against reviewers, it's not their fault they play fifty some brand new games a year, it just makes those reviews hard to read for someone trying to judge whether this game is worth the $20 I'm about to spend on it.
I've also seen a lot of cases where a game got previewed one way, and there's an appearance that the site reviewing it feels the need to be consistent with what their previews said either positive or negative. As for them being trustworthy they probably are, you just have to be who the review is written for.
Game reviewers also get caught up in the overall package of the game sometimes. The GTA series has always had significant gameplay problems but the concept alone made it a 10. The mischief is fun, but when you're doing an actual mission and you can't aim to save your life and the combat is about as bad as it gets i don't see where it gets mythical status. I think maybe 4 cleared up some of those problems, but by no means all of them. Fallout 3 is the same case. I haven't played it, but listening to people we're hearing a lot of problems with bugs that hurt the game.

I disagree with the Jen Tsao thing. Reading her reviews and pieces in EGM for years and on 1up recently she's a different person. She is very different from anyone else I've ever read in the industry. I honestly believe she found the fun in Wii Music, I've only played it for ten or so minutes, but I played it with my four year old goddaughter who isn't alowed to play games much yet and had a small blast. I don't know if it's a $50 blast, but for that time she was having the time of her life and I couldn't help but have fun with it because of her.

Artistically games and movies are exactly the same in that one person often gets the majority of the credit while the team goes unknown. The programmers and bug fixers might as well be best boys and gaffers. Suda 51 gets the credit for making this game. He may have spearheaded it, but how much programming did he do for it? Did he do all the art? maybe he did I honestly don't know, but he is going to get the credit regardless.

Hype is one of the reasons why I don't buy brand new games anymore. Otherwise I'd never enjoy games like otogi, call of juarez, and alien syndrome.

More importantly than hype is the celebrity. People look at some games based on who makes it and make judgements before they play it. They may not have an agenda but you see that EA makes a game and you expect a certain game. You see that this is a need for speed game and you roll your eyes before you even play it. You just assume things about a game before it comes out. Non sports fans look at sports games all the time and hate because they come out every year and don't change much.
Look at Treyarch, those guys put out a lot of great games. Call of Duty 3 is damn good. You listen to podcasts where WoW is brought up and people are skeptics from the outset. But it's treyarch and people just assume it's bad. Horrible games don't sell well. I'm not going to trust any review on call of duty world at war because the overall majority of reviewers are jaded against Treyarch.

Sorry for the comma splicing and horrid sentence structure.

Miyamoto is more George Lucas than Tom Clancy.

Artistic merit isn't always good either. I don't get where people hate on refined games. Dead space may be super generic but the game is damn good. Give me a game that is polished and works gameplay wise to it's very core over an artsy project that falls short where it counts.

If Miyamoto is like George Lucas, I guess we can look forward to him directing a new trilogy of Mario games that will disappoint nearly everyone.  I like the Star Wars prequels, especially Revenge of the Sith.

MaleficentOgreNovember 11, 2008

I'm a prequel defender. Revenge of the sith is crazy good. Has some flaws but what movie doesn't? If you dont have someone older in your life telling you how bad they suck you can enjoy them. If they are your first star wars movies then you're good.

D_AverageNovember 11, 2008

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

If Miyamoto is like George Lucas, I guess we can look forward to him directing a new trilogy of Mario games that will disappoint nearly everyone.  I like the Star Wars prequels, especially Revenge of the Sith.

QFT

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