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Episode 122: Quandary of Solace

by Greg Leahy - November 15, 2008, 12:21 am PST
Total comments: 25

Filling in and falling short.

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Fate did not want this episode to live.






With scheduling difficulties forcing both host Jonathan Metts and Jon "Warhammer of Judgment" Lindemann to sit on the sidelines, it was up to Greg and James to keep the good ship RFN afloat on its 122nd voyage with the help of Mr. and Mrs. Jack, aka Nick and Francesca DiMola.

Our esteemed guests save New Business from being entirely dominated by games that have either been previously discussed or placed under embargo by giving us their takes on Unsolved Crimes and Wii Music, then DLC Mondays veers into a bout of collective headshaking at the existence of Castlevania Judgment (naturally).

A worryingly short listener mail segment on busted game mechanics gives way to an unexpectedly brief rundown of the news in part two, as there was only time enough to ponder the ramifications of the DSi's Japanese launch before the perils of British internet access brought the show's recording to a sudden halt. Nevertheless, there's plenty to enjoy in this uncommonly (and unintentionally) trim episode, and look forward to next time when…

JONATHAN METTS WILL RETURN


in


"RFN 123: The Man with the Golden Throat"



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

Good show, but no offense to the DiMolas and as much as I hate to say anything nice about Jon Lindemann, it's not the same without Jonny and Jon.

DAaaMan64November 15, 2008

Thanks guys! I'll listen soon!

Quote from: insanolord

Good show, but no offense to the DiMolas and as much as I hate to say anything nice about Jon Lindemann, it's not the same without Jonny and Jon.

Thanks?

DAaaMan64November 16, 2008

Hey good episode, nice to hear different voices.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusNovember 16, 2008

Nice podcast I'm surprised no one mentioned invisible walls, game breaking bugs,graphical glitches as bad game designs.

broodwarsNovember 16, 2008

Apart from invisible walls, those are more the result of bad programming and testing than bad design.  They were talking about bad design elements that are actually part of the game's design (escort missions, randomly generated stages, etc.).

I'm kind of surprised with all the Persona 3 mentions that no one mentioned that Persona 3 is probably the exception to the rule on the randomly-generated dungeon hatred.  Despite the floors being randomly generated, none of them are very big, they all follow the same rules, and there's a set boss encounter with a warp point back down to the ground floor for healing every set number of floors (which the game will, usually, tell you).  Not to mention a substantially better battle system than any of the mystery dungeon games.  Plus, there's a whole other half to the game with the social links that make it so you continually feel like you are getting stronger, even if you aren't dungeon crawling (and the game highly recommends that you don't continually dungeon crawl).

Come to think of it, I think I'm going to put a question about something like that in the mailbag for the next show...

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusNovember 16, 2008

Persona 3 is awesome to the max. broodwars is dead-on with his evaluation of why it works, particularly the random dungeon stuff. My wife and I would've loved to get into it, but we figured most would prefer to hear about a few Nintendo games. Maybe me and her will do a little audio blog on it...

TheFleeceNovember 16, 2008

I sent a letter this week! You ddn't get it, what gives?

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusNovember 16, 2008

That's true brood but invisible walls pissed me off a lot this weekend when I started playing Resistance 2 and it's maddening to see that there is hidden walls even in the multiplayer, I don't mind level boundaries but I do mind it when the hidden walls are on a hill in the middle of the stage or the top of a building.

Here's another one I sort of dislike - rebounding health meters because there's literally no strategy to it other than just wait in cover and then you will be good to go. I sort of liked Resistance 1 even though it had a rebounding health meter, your health was divided into 4 segments and it only healed up to the segment that your health is currently on and you had to find a health pack to get back to the next segment.

From time to time I'm tempted to say 2 weapon limit in a FPS but in reality there's a small strategy to it and it removes the possibility of cheap players hoarding all the good weapons. 

The 2-weapon limit in R2 drives me crazy because you never seem to have enough ammo.  I played through on Normal and there were many times that I literally ran out of all ammo in both of my guns.

My design pet peeve is when levels have all sorts of nooks and crannies for you to explore, but nothing is EVER hidden in them.  It's like, why bother?  Both Gears 2 and Resistance 2 do this.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusNovember 16, 2008

Quote from: Lindy

The 2-weapon limit in R2 drives me crazy because you never seem to have enough ammo.  I played through on Normal and there were many times that I literally ran out of all ammo in both of my guns.

My design pet peeve is when levels have all sorts of nooks and crannies for you to explore, but nothing is EVER hidden in them.  It's like, why bother?  Both Gears 2 and Resistance 2 do this.

Yeah I can understand that Lindy, I hit that wall a few times in Resistance 2 but the weapon distribution isn't too bad but from one point I felt like it was a little too similar to Halo or Call of Duty 4 except the weapons in R2 is much much better and awesome. I guess they do that for the completionists that are looking for all the intel reports or dog tags.

DAaaMan64November 16, 2008

Twilight Princess?

I enjoyed this episode, but I'm sad to think that having ladies on the show seems to bring misfortune.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 17, 2008

I do not think collecting, in itself, is bad but it depends on the design of the level. Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie handled collecting well because the levels weren't overly huge so it was actually fun to search them for stuff since they were designed to have a lot of stuff in a small area. The problem is that as levels got larger and things became more tedious (like DK64) collecting become more a hindrance because of the larger land mass to explore, that sometimes doesn't have near the substance as smaller worlds found in previous platformers.

AVNovember 17, 2008

I sent you guys an email right now. You guys will be surprised by my high production values.

overall good episode, the ending was sad. I wanted it to continue.

GP, I agree that collecting can sometimes be good.  For me, the main factor is whether the stuff you collect feels useful.  There's quite a lot of collecting in a typical Metroid or Zelda game, but everything you collect has a purpose and affects gameplay.  You can't say that for the bananas in Donkey Kong 64, to choose an extreme example.  You're just collecting arbitrary tokens to meet a quota, and even worse, these items aren't even hidden, which could make them a good motivator for exploration.  Many of them are sitting out in plan view, and all you have to do is go grab them.  That is not fun.

broodwarsNovember 17, 2008

I actually felt the collecting was pretty obnoxious in Banjo-Kazooie because every time you died in the level you had to start the collection process all over again.  That meant repeating levels over and over again just to collect the damn notes, which was so incredibly tedious I never really enjoyed B-K that much.  I actually didn't really mind collecting the bananas in DK64 that much, but that was mostly because I enjoyed exploring the levels with the different characters and seeing how I could use their individual skills.  Doesn't mean it was great design, but it didn't bother me that much and I felt the creative boss battles made up for it.

Now, where collecting got really tedious and pointless was with Star Fox Adventures (where most of the stuff you collected wasn't even needed), which Penny Arcade spoofed with a really funny comic at the time.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 17, 2008

Quote from: broodwars

I actually felt the collecting was pretty obnoxious in Banjo-Kazooie because every time you died in the level you had to start the collection process all over again.  That meant repeating levels over and over again just to collect the damn notes, which was so incredibly tedious I never really enjoyed B-K that much.  I actually didn't really mind collecting the bananas in DK64 that much, but that was mostly because I enjoyed exploring the levels with the different characters and seeing how I could use their individual skills.  Doesn't mean it was great design, but it didn't bother me that much and I felt the creative boss battles made up for it.

Now, where collecting got really tedious and pointless was with Star Fox Adventures (where most of the stuff you collected wasn't even needed), which Penny Arcade spoofed with a really funny comic at the time.

Just a side note in the Banjo Kazooie port on Xbox 360 you get to keep whatever you collected even if you die.

vuduNovember 18, 2008

Very nice episode.  In the future, Francesca needs to be more assertive.  She would do things like criticize the Temple of the Ocean King from Phantom Hourglass and then end her argument with "at least it's like that for me" as if she were trying to ensure she didn't hurt our feelings by disagreeing with us.  Don't worry about us!  We're used to Crimm spouting hatred from every orifice of his body!  We can take it!

Quote from: Lindy

My design pet peeve is when levels have all sorts of nooks and crannies for you to explore, but nothing is EVER hidden in them.  It's like, why bother?  Both Gears 2 and Resistance 2 do this.

Ooh .. that's a good one.  I just finished Secret of Mana and I had forgotten how many utterly empty rooms there are in the dungeons of the game.  I'll be walking down a hall and it's obvious which door I need to go through to move to the next area but there will be a smaller door on either side of the main one.  Almost every time without fail the side rooms would either be completely empty (how lazy is this?) or just house a couple of bad guys but have nothing of merit.

The villages are almost as bad.  Most houses are either completely empty or they house a few generic NPCs that don't have anything worthwhile to say.

I know, what's the point?  It does nothing more than waste the player's time.  People that play these types of games are going to want to explore because that's part of the fun.  Especially in games that have specific stuff to search for; like the Intel in Resistance 2 or the letters and COG tags in Gears 2.

Rare are the kings of pointless collecting.  I wonder if Kameo had collect-a-thons.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 18, 2008

Quote from: Lindy

I know, what's the point?  It does nothing more than waste the player's time.  People that play these types of games are going to want to explore because that's part of the fun.  Especially in games that have specific stuff to search for; like the Intel in Resistance 2 or the letters and COG tags in Gears 2.

Rare are the kings of pointless collecting.  I wonder if Kameo had collect-a-thons.

Kameo toned down the collecting quite a bit from what I remember. It was pretty straight forward (I really should play it again I enjoyed it)

UltimatePartyBearNovember 19, 2008

Quote from: Lindy

I know, what's the point?  It does nothing more than waste the player's time.

I guess they're trying to add some realism, but that only really works in a fully fleshed out RPG.

SchadenfreudeNovember 24, 2008

I'm not sending anymore questions in after James laughed at me last time.  >:( And I was joking!

GoldenPhoenixNovember 24, 2008

So are we still two weeks behind? I lose track!

broodwarsNovember 24, 2008

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

So are we still two weeks behind? I lose track!

Considering no podcast went up over the weekend I'd say we're actually starting to approach being 3 weeks behind.  :rolleyes:

I know editing takes a considerable amount of time and energy to do, but c'mon...split editing duties between Carl and James until the podcast catches up to present time.

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