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Episode 143: Standard Deviation

by Greg Leahy - April 26, 2009, 12:40 pm PDT
Total comments: 67

In the absence of Jonny, Nick DiMola joins the RFN crew to talk Excitebots, Punch-Out!!, Billy Mitchell, and to speculate like there's no tomorrow.

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Jonny couldn't join us for this episode, so Greg sits in as host and Nick DiMola joins the rest of the RFN crew to share his early thoughts on Excitebots: Trick Racing ahead of his review. Also in New Business: James ventures deeper into red-and-black virtual reality with Wario Land, Greg discovers how many more VC Arcade games the Japanese market already has than everywhere else, and Jon re-enters the workforce with his backlog of unfinished game reviews still intact.

Listener mail gives everyone a chance to express their disbelief at both the omission of SD card music support for Excitebots and the very existence of Billy Mitchell before heading into the news. Following some musing on sales numbers, the Wii MotionPlus/Sports Resort launch schedule and new Punch-Out!! details, we close things out by indulging in what we do best (or at least most): baseless speculation about future Nintendo titles!

Don't forget, the fifth RetroActive feature title is the (in)famously uncompromising Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, but don't be afraid to join in with the discussion on our forums because your comments could appear among our war stories in Episode 144.

Credits:

This podcast was edited by Greg Leahy.

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

AVApril 26, 2009

listening right now. The virtual boy discussion reminds me of

Angry Video Game Nerd Virtual Boy

;D :D :P :P

Space harrier video

and

Starblade video

PlugabugzApril 26, 2009

RFN/RT are the only two things keeping me same amongst all my exams. MORE PLEASE.

It's always exciting to download an RFN that I haven't heard yet.

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

It's always exciting to download an RFN that I haven't heard yet.

PREPARE TO BE LETDOWN

So did you not get my listener mail or was it just too awful to read?

PlugabugzApril 27, 2009

Quote from: Crimm

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

It's always exciting to download an RFN that I haven't heard yet.

PREPARE TO BE LETDOWN

*patiently waits for Kid Icarus Party*

TJ SpykeApril 27, 2009

I would like to point out that Mitchell is not the bad guy that "The King of Kongs" makes him out to be. He is a lot nicer and the documentary was edited and filmed in a way to deliberately make him look like the bad guy. I think EGM or GI actually had an article and interview with him where they detailed all the inaccuracies in it designed to make him look bitter and a bad guy. The guy is the best in the world at Donkey Kong, the best are always gonna get hated on.

yoshi1001April 27, 2009

Gotta sell those DVDs somehow, TJ.

One other possibility for the "mystery game"-I don't know if they could improve the controls enough from the WiiMote scheme, but a DS Smash Bros. game would certainly shake things up for the holiday season. Hey, I can dream, can't I?

By the way, it took 17 years for Nintendo to fix the Power Glove with the WiiMote, so we should have a working Virtual Boy successor in 2012.

TJ SpykeApril 27, 2009

I am not saying I don't understand why they did it, not sure I would do the same thing though (I hate it when a documentary maker takes a bias approach towards their subject).

Regarding the game Nintendo wants GameStop to hold space for. I pretty much agree that the only thing I can really see it being (if Nintendo really did tell them it's a core game) is the new Mario or Zelda Wii games. These two teams have been working for quite some time.

A documentary is a work of art like any other film, and it's impossible for it to be unbiased.  With that said, the film probably is unfair to Billy, but it's also quite clear (and has not really been disputed) that he was inappropriately close to the Twin Galaxies people and was working with them to preserve his image more than the integrity of the process.  I understand they have significantly improved their standards and procedures since the film was made.

ShyGuyApril 28, 2009

Thanks for stating the Madworld is very niche. Brawlers/Beat 'em Ups are niche.

GoldenPhoenixApril 28, 2009

Should be interesting to see what Conduit does, that is not a niche genre, though if the game isn't well received that could really hurt it. Now if it is near the level of admiration that Madworld has been getting I think it will be the perfect litmus test.

Oh by the way, my uncle lives quite close to Billy's restaurant in Hollywood, Florida.  He said they have awesome wings, and he has met Billy there.  (I think most customers meet Billy.)

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusApril 28, 2009

Quote from: insanolord

So did you not get my listener mail or was it just too awful to read?

Could you tell us what your email was about? I'm not sure whether we would have received it or not just from looking through old messages.

I sent it a couple weeks ago so it might have gotten lost. It was about whether the storage solution had made any of you go back and pick up any VC or WiiWare games you may have passed on to avoid cleaning the fridge.

GoldenPhoenixApril 28, 2009

I think Nintendo will have two core titles for this Christmas. The next Zelda game and Pikmin 3, my guess is that Pikmin 3 would be released in Septemberish and Zelda in November. There will also probably be a more casual game in the Wii series as well. IMO, it is too early for another Wii Fit, the game is still selling really well, there is no need to release a sequel.

Yeah, if New Super Mario Bros. hasn't gotten a sequel because it continues to sell I don't see why they'd make a new Wii Fit when the original has been in the NPD top 10 every month since its launch.

GoldenPhoenixApril 28, 2009

Quote from: insanolord

Yeah, if New Super Mario Bros. hasn't gotten a sequel because it continues to sell I don't see why they'd make a new Wii Fit when the original has been in the NPD top 10 every month since its launch.

Also Nintendo has set kind of a precedent of releasing two or three titles in the Wii series. Right now we only know of one, Wii Sports Resort. Last year it was Wii Fit, Wii Play, and Wii Music. They space them out to be about 4 months apart.

Mop it upApril 28, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Last year it was Wii Fit, Wii Play, and Wii Music.

I'm not sure if you're talking about a different region, but in North America Wii Play was released in February of 2007, over a year before Wii Fit.

TJ SpykeApril 28, 2009

I wonder if North America will ever get Wii Chess? Europe got it as a retail game, then it came out in Japan as a WiiWare game. I hope Nintendo releases it here either as a retail game or WiiWare game (the reviews made it seem like a pretty decent game).

GoldenPhoenixApril 28, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Last year it was Wii Fit, Wii Play, and Wii Music.

I'm not sure if you're talking about a different region, but in North America Wii Play was released in February of 2007, over a year before Wii Fit.

Oops my bad! Lol guess I'm still in shock over Wii Play still being in the top 10. ;)

Also if that comment about saving shelf space is true, who says it is necessarily a 1st party game? It could be a massive 3rd party franchise that will be announced for the holidays at E3. Nintendo gets a lot of flak for holding this stuff close to their chest but it seems to be a growing trned for companies to keep games close to their chest until 4-6 months before release. We hardly know of anything truly exciting coming out this winter for any console.

Mop it upApril 28, 2009

Quote from: TJ

I wonder if North America will ever get Wii Chess? Europe got it as a retail game, then it came out in Japan as a WiiWare game. I hope Nintendo releases it here either as a retail game or WiiWare game (the reviews made it seem like a pretty decent game).

I actually do think this will hit North America eventually, perhaps late this year. My guess would be that it will be WiiWare since it likely won't be all that popular, but I guess you never know.

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Oops my bad! Lol guess I'm still in shock over Wii Play still being in the top 10. ;)

That is pretty crazy, though we all know it sells because of the Wiimote. I'm sure some people who bought it didn't want the game, but had no choice because there were times when stores had no Wiimotes in stock but plenty of Wii Play.

Even if Billy is made out to be more of a bad guy than he is, he's still a cartoon character.

GoldenPhoenixApril 28, 2009

Quote from: Crimm

Even if Billy is made out to be more of a bad guy than he is, he's still a cartoon character.

Coming from James "Wormhead" Jones that is a devastating statement. ;) j/k

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusApril 29, 2009

Quote from: insanolord

I sent it a couple weeks ago so it might have gotten lost. It was about whether the storage solution had made any of you go back and pick up any VC or WiiWare games you may have passed on to avoid cleaning the fridge.

Thanks, I think we did get that and it just got lost in the shuffle a bit, it's a good question so I expect we shall use it soon.

Regarding the speculation on Nintendo's holiday game, the actual quote from the Gamestop executive was:

"We think there will be a Nintendo key property coming out by the end of the year," said DeMatteo in an interview with CNBC, "They haven't given us any insight, but they have told us to reserve space."

This suggested to me a pre-existing first party franchise that's more of a commercial power house than say Pikmin or certainly Star Fox, F-Zero and the like, but of course it's open to a so many interpretations, hence the frivolous nature of how we discussed it on the show.

It does seem early for a Wii Fit follow-up given its continuing success, but there are reasons to suspect that's more likely than a New Super Mario Bros. sequel. Firstly, we've seen Nintendo release more titles in their successful non-traditional brands before - More Brain Training, Nintendogs Best Friends - pretty quickly (Nintendogs Wii is something we didn't talk about, but that is a possibility as well I guess). Also, I think with some sort of add-on disc for Wii Fit, the development costs would be pretty slim considering most of the development on the original game would have been designing and learning to use the Balance Board. Now they can get straight into designing more exercises, workouts, mini-games etc. with a minimum of fuss, and have something like 15million consumers worldwide to sell that to.

With something like a New Super Mario Bros., the level of creative resources involved (even if the graphics engine remained identical) in designing a Mario game that's up to par makes it much more of a significant undertaking, and so they may be more content to watch the original continue to fly off the shelves.

TJ SpykeApril 29, 2009

The Nintendogs games didn't add anything news. All 5 versions (i'm including "Nintendogs: Best Friends" version that was only available as part of a DS/Nintendogs bundle) are the exact same game except different starting dogs. It's not like Pokemon or the Mega Man handheld games where each version has exclusive content.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusApril 29, 2009

I'm fully aware of what the different versions of Nintendogs offer and made no claim that they added anything new--the point stands that it's a case where Nintendo put a new SKU on the shelves when the existing ones were doing just fine as it was.

Obviously in the case of some sort of expansion disc for Wii Fit for instance, you're talking about much more significant development resources being required than a simple re-labelling job. Nevertheless, I would still venture it would be much less of an undertaking than making a whole new 2D Mario game, and so is a more likely prospect than a New SMB sequel in the face of enduringly robust sales of the original game--to answer Insanolord's earlier point.

Also, a Wii Fit expansion pack would be a complimentary purchase for Wii Fit owners in a way that a straight sequel or alternate version of a game simply cannot manage, and so there would not be any particular basis for concern that it would cannibalise sales of the original--everyone will still need a Balance Board after all.

Both Brain Training games and all or most of the Nintendogs titles came out before the DS became huge (I think even before the release of the Lite) and before Nintendo knew they had the ability to chart for years as opposed to months. Since the DS's ascension and the immediate success of the Wii we haven't seen Nintendo make new games in those franchises. We haven't seen another Wii Play, for instance, and I don't believe we'd be seeing Wii Sports 2 if Nintendo didn't want everybody to have a Motion+.

Yes, Wii Fit 2 is considerably easier to make than New Super Mario Bros. 2, but the original is a year old instead of 3 like NSMB, and is consistently in the top 5 of the NPD instead of the top 20; there's a lot more potential sales of the original at risk than in NSMB's case.

GoldenPhoenixApril 30, 2009

I think there should be a podcast where James can't say anything negative. If he did, he'd be forced to play the last Mystery Dungeon game from beginning to end three times.

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

I think there should be a podcast where James can't say anything negative. If he did, he'd be forced to play the last Mystery Dungeon game from beginning to end three times.

If I did that it would be boring.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusMay 01, 2009

I think the last two listener mails I sent in went unread, so I assumed you guys weren't lacking them anymore and stopped sending them in unless they were particularly inspired.  One of them was about Wii's unique properties, combined with the way the games industry is losing money, has changed the console lifecycle as we know it.

Don't remember what the other one was.

Oh, and the "Billy Mitchell is a character from the Office" quote made me laugh, so I tweeted it.  That's right, Tweet.

TJ SpykeMay 01, 2009

The difference is that Billy Mitchell is entertaining, The Office (both the US and UK versions) are not funny and are crap. That's why it didn't surprise me that Ricky Gervais (creator of the UK version) also wrote and guest starred in the WORST episode of The Simpsons ever ("Homer Simpson, This is Your Wife")

D_AverageMay 01, 2009

Quote from: TJ

The difference is that Billy Mitchell is entertaining, The Office (both the US and UK versions) are not funny and are crap. That's why it didn't surprise me that Ricky Gervais (creator of the UK version) also wrote and guest starred in the WORST episode of The Simpsons ever ("Homer Simpson, This is Your Wife")

To be fair, The UK Office is the shiznit

Quote from: D_Average

Quote from: TJ

The difference is that Billy Mitchell is entertaining, The Office (both the US and UK versions) are not funny and are crap. That's why it didn't surprise me that Ricky Gervais (creator of the UK version) also wrote and guest starred in the WORST episode of The Simpsons ever ("Homer Simpson, This is Your Wife")

To be fair, The UK Office is the shiznit

Also, the US Office is pretty good and that isn't the worst episode of The Simpsons.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusMay 01, 2009

Quote from: TJ

The Office (both the US and UK versions) are not funny and are crap.

Also, you are wrong.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusMay 01, 2009

Quote from: DrewMG

Quote from: TJ

The Office (both the US and UK versions) are not funny and are crap.

Also, you are wrong.

vuduMay 07, 2009

My guess for the big holiday game that Nintendo "warned" GameStop about is whatever Retro Studios is working on (hopefully an original IP).  It'll be well over 2 years since Metroid Prime 3 came out and a quality FPS for Wii made by Nintendo will definitely be something that your average GameStop customer will be excited about.

Also, (and this is none of my damn business, but I'm surprised it hasn't been asked yet) what happened to Jonny that prevented him from being on the show?  Greg made it seem like something serious had happened.  I hope everything's okay with his nephew.

(Maybe I'm the only one who didn't have the good sense to mind my own business.)

NovaQMay 07, 2009

Quote from: vudu

Also, (and this is none of my damn business, but I'm surprised it hasn't been asked yet) what happened to Jonny that prevented him from being on the show?  Greg made it seem like something serious had happened.  I hope everything's okay with his nephew.

(Maybe I'm the only one who didn't have the good sense to mind my own business.)

No, I was wondering about that, too. It may be none of our business, and I'm fine with a response from Jonny or Greg stating just that. But Jonny, know that we wish whatever is going on smooths itself out soon! (And that's not because I think Greg is a bad host, which he isn't.)

I had to fly home twice, for a funeral and then a wedding.

SundoulosMay 08, 2009

My condolences, Jonny.  For what it's worth, I've said a prayer for your family.

Quote from: vudu

My guess for the big holiday game that Nintendo "warned" GameStop about is whatever Retro Studios is working on (hopefully an original IP).  It'll be well over 2 years since Metroid Prime 3 came out and a quality FPS for Wii made by Nintendo will definitely be something that your average GameStop customer will be excited about.

At this point I hope what Retro's doing isn't a FPS. We've already got The Conduit and Red Steel 2 coming this year, as well as maybe Modern Warfare 2 and anything else that may come out of E3 (I'm still holding out for TimeSplitters 4). While I'm sure Retro would do an excellent job, the FPS genre is covered this year on the Wii.

GoldenPhoenixMay 08, 2009

Quote from: insanolord

Quote from: vudu

My guess for the big holiday game that Nintendo "warned" GameStop about is whatever Retro Studios is working on (hopefully an original IP).  It'll be well over 2 years since Metroid Prime 3 came out and a quality FPS for Wii made by Nintendo will definitely be something that your average GameStop customer will be excited about.

At this point I hope what Retro's doing isn't a FPS. We've already got The Conduit and Red Steel 2 coming this year, as well as maybe Modern Warfare 2 and anything else that may come out of E3 (I'm still holding out for TimeSplitters 4). While I'm sure Retro would do an excellent job, the FPS genre is covered this year on the Wii.

Yeah Retro needs to finish their Car Combat game.

StratosMay 08, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: insanolord

Quote from: vudu

My guess for the big holiday game that Nintendo "warned" GameStop about is whatever Retro Studios is working on (hopefully an original IP).  It'll be well over 2 years since Metroid Prime 3 came out and a quality FPS for Wii made by Nintendo will definitely be something that your average GameStop customer will be excited about.

At this point I hope what Retro's doing isn't a FPS. We've already got The Conduit and Red Steel 2 coming this year, as well as maybe Modern Warfare 2 and anything else that may come out of E3 (I'm still holding out for TimeSplitters 4). While I'm sure Retro would do an excellent job, the FPS genre is covered this year on the Wii.

Yeah Retro needs to finish their Car Combat game.

And Raven Blade. That was the most interesting of their other work to me.

Sorry to hear about the death, Jonny. It's a tough thing to go through and I hope it didn't cast an overbearing shadow on the wedding.

The Office just isn't that funny.  Every episode is Steve Carrell's character being an oblivious douche and the other characters looking at the camera in disbelief.  Repeat that about a dozen times and there's your episode.

I want Retro to do something brand-new.  Maybe an action game that's like Bionic Commando.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusMay 08, 2009

Quote from: Lindy

The Office just isn't that funny.

How can I follow a leader who doesn't appreciate The Office? I might have to quit the site  :'(

GoldenPhoenixMay 08, 2009

Quote from: Mr.

Quote from: Lindy

The Office just isn't that funny.

How can I follow a leader who doesn't appreciate The Office? I might have to quit the site  :'(

I agree with Lindy the Office is dum so I can take your position. I am actually enjoying Better off Ted though which will probably be cancelled after 6 episodes or so. :(

Quote from: Mr.

How can I follow a leader who doesn't appreciate The Office? I might have to quit the site  :'(

hahaha.  I want to like it, it's just that every time I watch it I wind up disappointed.  Like it should be funnier than it is.

ShyGuyMay 09, 2009

The Office is amazing. Remember when Pam and Jim got together? Remember when Dwight pepper sprayed Andy? Remember when Meredith caught her hair on fire?

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusMay 09, 2009

Quote from: Lindy

Quote from: Mr.

How can I follow a leader who doesn't appreciate The Office? I might have to quit the site  :'(

hahaha.  I want to like it, it's just that every time I watch it I wind up disappointed.  Like it should be funnier than it is.

It's one of those shows you really need to see from the first episode onward. Lots of repeating inside jokes, and lots of character/story development that you'll miss if you haven't seen them all.

I didn't like the show at first and then one day decided to borrow a friend's DVDs and start watching them from the beginning. Total 180 on how I felt about the show. It has become Chessa and I's Thursday night ritual.

Quote from: ShyGuy

The Office is amazing. Remember when Pam and Jim got together?

Yes.

Quote from: ShyGuy

Remember when Dwight pepper sprayed Andy?

Wait a second, didn't he pepper spray Roy?

Quote from: ShyGuy

Remember when Meredith caught her hair on fire?

lol, yes. How about casual Friday?

ShyGuyMay 09, 2009

He pepper sprayed them both.

GoldenPhoenixMay 09, 2009

DERAILING A RFN THREAD IS A BANNABLE OFFENSE!  >:(

StratosMay 10, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

DERAILING A RFN THREAD IS A BANNABLE OFFENSE!  >:(

Except your not a mod anymore so you can't say that. You could be banned now, too. HA! ;)

I say let it go. It's an older thread and I think most people have gotten their use out of it. I like to think of it like when the big kids leave the play ground so the little ones get to run out and do whatever they want there before dinner.

I endorse this derailing.  ;-)

I formed my opinion of The Office after watching all of Season 1 on DVD.  Nothing I've seen since has changed my mind.  By the end of Season 1 I was pretty bored.  Not saying it didn't have some LOL moments, but man do they ride Carrell's character into the ground.

StratosMay 11, 2009

Quote from: Lindy

I endorse this derailing.  ;-)

And this is why I like you as the director of the site :)

I find the office is more enjoyable in a group setting because you tend to loosen up when a lot of other people are laughing too. It has high moments and low moments for me, no in between room.

GoldenPhoenixMay 11, 2009

Quote:

I endorse this derailing.  ;-)

Rule breaking has been OKed by Lindy Luthor.

StratosMay 11, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote:

I endorse this derailing.  ;-)

Rule breaking has been OKed by Lindy Luthor.

And the student hall monitor has been reprimanded for being too harsh and needlessly tattling  :P ;)

Well, I don't see anyone trying to rerail the thread, so what the heck.

GoldenPhoenixMay 12, 2009

Quote from: Lindy

Well, I don't see anyone trying to rerail the thread, so what the heck.

Greg is the greatest temporary host in the UNIVERSE.

RERAILED

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusMay 12, 2009

I endorse this rerailing

StratosMay 12, 2009

A power play! Will Greg undercut the orders of the director and seize power for himself?
Tune in next 'cast to find out! Same bat time, same bat place, same bat channel!

I always knew Greg was part of the British resistance.  My men are looking for you, filthy partisan!

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusMay 13, 2009

The Office really hit it's stride in the second season, but if you didn't like it after 6 episodes, that's not a lot of reason to keep watching.

StratosMay 13, 2009

Quote from: Lindy

I always knew Greg was part of the British resistance.  My men are looking for you, filthy partisan!

To arms! Rally under Lindy's banner! Route the enemy! Peace through Power!

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusJune 09, 2009

I thought I'd bump this given the conversation we had at the end of this podcast. As it turns out (obviously), both NSMB and Galaxy 2 were announced, so I guess our predictions were pretty spot on.

StratosJune 09, 2009

Good job with the predicting there.

This thread is worth bumping for the simple fact that I called Greg a filthy partisan.

StratosJune 16, 2009

Quote from: Lindy

This thread is worth bumping for the simple fact that I called Greg a filthy partisan.

I got the torches and pitchforks.
Someone find us some tar and feathers, quicklike so we can tar and feather him too.

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