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RFN E3 2009 Special: Episode 1

by Jonathan Metts - June 3, 2009, 11:13 am PDT
Total comments: 39

Five exhausted NWR writers discuss the Nintendo press conference and the playable first-party games, from Mario to Sin & Punishment 2!

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It's all about Nintendo on this episode, as we try to cover the big press conference as well as quick thoughts on the playable first-party Wii and DS games from our first day on the E3 show floor.

Note: If you aren't already subscribed to one of the feeds or through iTunes, this would be a good week to start. Episodes may show up for subscribers significantly earlier than we can post articles for them.

Credits:

This podcast was edited by Karl Castaneda.

Music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is used with permission from Jason Ricci & New Blood. You can purchase their newest album, Done with the Devil, directly from the record label, Amazon.com, or iTunes, or call your local record store and ask for it!

Talkback

ShyGuyJune 03, 2009

Did this cut out part way through for anyone else?

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorJune 04, 2009

Works fine for me, ShyGuy. Did you try re-downloading the file?

SundoulosJune 04, 2009

It worked fine for me as well.  Thanks for getting these out to us, Karl.  And thanks to the NWR crew for working hard to get all these impressions out.  I've been feverishly checking the site throughout the last few days.

The reaction of the panel to the press conference seemed a little more downbeat, or at least more subdued, than I initially expected, particularly in regards to the Mario game announcements.  After having a little time to absorb the news from the conference, though, I can admit that I share a lingering feeling of disappointment over things that weren't really mentioned, either.  I'm mostly surprised that almost nothing was shown about a new Pikmin game; and I was hoping against hope that I'd hear something about a new Starfox.

I'm not really shocked that we didn't have much Zelda info.  Even if we had, we won't see that game for a while.  I'd rather not have another Twlight Princess hype train, really.

I can understand people's reservations about Galaxy 2, but I for one am looking forward to it.  It's definitely my favorite of the 3D Mario installments, and I think there's a lot more they can do with it.  The potential return of the Koopalings is enough to make me excited about NSMB2 Wii (I agree, they totally need to change that name).  I'm kind of iffy on the mutliplayer emphasis, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the impressions that I've read.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusJune 04, 2009

At least for me, part of the downheartedness had to do with the fact that I was completely exhausted. We recorded after a very long day, so all of us were pretty damn tired.

Just speaking for myself, I'm ecstatic about what was announced and I'm greatly looking forward to everything. Between the presentation, and what appeared on the show floor, there is a lot of great stuff coming from Nintendo.

SundoulosJune 04, 2009

Heh.  I gathered that might be part of it, given that you guys were recording @ 12:30 (I'm assuming it was PST).

I've enjoyed all the coverage, though.  You guys are doing a great job!

ShyGuyJune 04, 2009

Worked the second time, Jonny seems to share my sentiments about Metroid other M and Galaxy expansion pack.

SundoulosJune 04, 2009

You know, I think I'd like to see an Eternal Darkness sequel made that uses the Wii Vitality Sensor as an input for your insanity meter.  Heh.

Quote from: Sundoulos

You know, I think I'd like to see an Eternal Darkness sequel made that uses the Wii Vitality Sensor as an input for your insanity meter.  Heh.

I've never played Eternal Darkness but that was the first thing that came to me when I was trying to think of game applications for it.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJune 04, 2009

Karl, a question about this podcast (and some of your episodes of Tawk-112) - When I'm playing them on my iPhone, it treats the enhanced AAC as a movie almost more than an audio file.  And that's fine, except for what that means is that when I'm listening to the podcast, if I try to do anything else on my phone, it stops playing.  It basically renders my phone useless until I'm finished with the podcast.

Just wondered if this was something you were aware of, or if it's intentional.  It's kind of annoying.

BTW this is Andy from Iowa here, not some random naysayer!  I'm a regular listener/naysayer. 

Quote from: DrewMG

Karl, a question about this podcast (and some of your episodes of Tawk-112) - When I'm playing them on my iPhone, it treats the enhanced AAC as a movie almost more than an audio file.  And that's fine, except for what that means is that when I'm listening to the podcast, if I try to do anything else on my phone, it stops playing.  It basically renders my phone useless until I'm finished with the podcast.

Just wondered if this was something you were aware of, or if it's intentional.  It's kind of annoying.

BTW this is Andy from Iowa here, not some random naysayer!  I'm a regular listener/naysayer. 

Are you getting it through the iTunes feed or downloading it individually? I'm getting it through iTunes and haven't noticed this.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJune 04, 2009

I'm downloading it directly over WiFi from my iPhone, using the iPhone music store.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorJune 04, 2009

No, I wasn't aware of it, Andy. That's pretty odd. I'll look into it, though. Thanks for the heads up.

Oh, and the new daily ep should be out later tonight. I'm working on it as we speak.

kraken613June 04, 2009

I have the same problem.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJune 05, 2009

I do almost all of my podcast downloading via WiFi directly from the phone, because the phone can occasionally take 3 months to sync to my PC.

It's worth noting, though, that if I do get the episodes on my PC first, and then sync them to my phone, this doesn't happen.  At least, that seems to be the case, based on noticing it a few times in the past. 

kraken613June 05, 2009

I think its doing it because its treating the podcast as a video. When selecting it there is the little video icon.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJune 05, 2009

Agreed, but I'm not sure why it does that.  It doesn't do it with other RFN episodes (ones that Karl hasn't made, but are still enhanced AAC with chapter breaks and art) so I'm not sure what the difference is.

*laughs bitterly at the talk about Nintendo's development process with regards to not being able to incorporate Wii Speak into New Super Mario Bros. Wii*

Nintendo tends to develop games in an organic experimental process. You can see this in a variety of statements from iwata and Miyamoto relating to games as far back as OoT. If Wii Speak was not integrated in the game, it doesn't mean that Nintendo didn't care or that they didn't account for it. It means that their uses for it simply didn't pass muster.

Nintendo is NOT your typical developer. Very few of their games are designed to "PUSH" tech or accessories (unlike Eye of Judgement...), instead the hardware has to ultimately SERVE the software, and if it doesn't it's better for it to be not utilized.

*also shocked at the comment about iwata's "bland numbers"*

T_T

Iwata's insights into this industry are invaluable! They are the closest thing we have to an explicit commentary on the industry by Nintendo. This is HARD data, and the studies show Nintendo's CLEAR intent, and any Nintendo fan who doesn't take the time to absort the meaning of Iwatas charts is handicapping themself when trying to understand, anticipate, and appreciate the company that saved videogames back in '84.

*at 2.5D talk*

What does 2.5D mean to you?

To me, 2.5D means AWESOME.

*at talk about replacing multi-colored toads*

... DAISY! DAISY! PUT DAISY IN!!!

Wii Speak assists in the process of playing together and interaction. That's the very essence of Wii. Aren't businesses supposed to 'serve' the customer?

Quote from: Zap

Wii Speak assists in the process of playing together and interaction. That's the very essence of Wii. Aren't businesses supposed to 'serve' the customer?

It may look like that from a distance, but implementation is important as well. Wii Speak CAN help with playing together and interaction, but with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, WAS it? With Nintendo games it's a case by case basis. In this case, it appears that Wii Speak may not have added enough to justify putting it in.

Besides, we all know how Nintendo loves on-site multiplayer. New Super Mario Bros. Wii may be another result of this, especially with an eye towards expanding the number of players inside a household, and getting gamers and non-gamers in the same house to play together and share experiences.

In FACT, with that in mind, pursuing on-site multiplayer is attempting to accomplish the goal of "playing together and interaction" and aiming this at the most ambitious goal as possible: not connecting two people who already play games, but bridging the gap between heavy players of games and lighter users.

Don't be ridiculous, communication is by definition interaction.

You don't think online games could be designed to let someone pick which level of skill to join with? You want them to Nintendumb down yet another online experience for nonsensical reasons.

Adding Wii Speak doesn't prevent people from playing together in the same room.

Quote from: Zap

Don't be ridiculous, communication is by definition interaction.

You don't think online games could be designed to let someone pick which level of skill to join with? You want them to Nintendumb down yet another online experience for nonsensical reasons.

Adding Wii Speak doesn't prevent people from playing together in the same room.

But perhaps it doesn't add enough to warrant them investing the time and energy that could otherwise go to something else?

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJune 06, 2009

Kairon, if you're suggesting that Nintendo didn't implement Wii Speak in part because they'd rather gamers play with their sister/mom/wife who lives with them but doesn't currently play games, as opposed to their old college buddy/favorite cousin/internet friends who DO play games as a part of their plan to get non-gamers to play video games;

Well then that just speaks to why I am less happy with Nintendo than I used to be.  They are putting their non-gamer expansion strategy ahead of my happiness as a gamer.  Every single person I envision myself playing through NSMBW with lives at minimum 2 hours away from me.  I suggested to my wife that she give it a try and she shrugged it off and said "No thanks, I suck at Mario games."

Yeah, that's exactly what Nintendo is working to solve Drew. At GDC 2007, Miyamoto's talk had a LOT to do with getting his wife to play videogames.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJune 06, 2009

I understand that, but I'm not of the opinion that everyone in the world will WANT to play a game like New Super Mario Bros Wii.  In the meantime, while Nintendo tries to change everyone's mind, I'm stuck having a game with intentionally gimped featuresets.  As a lifelong gamer, this is exactly the kind of thing that has been shortening my loyalty, and I'm fairly certain I'm not alone.

Now, to be fair, I'm very excited about this new game (along with the new Metroid and Galaxy games) but I'm far more interested in gaming solo than gaming with someone whose throat I've had to shove the game down just to give it a shot. 

Well, actually, the truth is that I never really got into Four Swords. And it's easy to draw the similarity between NSMBWii and Four Swords (though the history of what Nintendo's doing here also touches Mario Galaxy, Windwaker, SuperScope, and Super Mario Bros. 3). I'm not arguing whether we'll like the game or not, because by my track record, it may turn out more likely not.

The truth is that I'm trying to explore why Nintendo may have removed online or decided never to add online to the title. Let's not forget that we're dealing with a company that has talked about trying to remove "impurities," or aku, from games, and in this case it may simply be that with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, online gameplay may have been an impurity in the experience, instead of an improvement.

There's this common train of thought that more means better, that we can add features, build a longer list, tack-on more functionality and ideas, and in the end this'll make things better. Nintendo rarely subscribes to that. Instead, it may be Nintendo's restraint in their quest to produce their titles, polished gems with few or no impurities, that make them the company they are, or always have been.

Now, that doesn't do anything to sate my appetite for the next Perfect-Dark co-op mode. Co-op is something that the other guys are doing more and more in bigger and bigger ways. But at least I believe that Nintendo is doing what they believe in, and with all their heart. Any loyalty I have for the company is grounded in that trust, not in whether I liked the last Zelda game or not. (for the record: I LOVED Phantom hourglass, but was disappointed with Twilight Princess)

I will almost certainly buy New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but I'll probably play it alone 80-90% of the time. I just don't know that many people locally who would want to play it with me for any length of time. Most of my friends who'd want to play a Mario game with me live far away.

Including online support (and subsequently, Wii Speak support) need not replace local multiplayer, and any claim of an either/or scenario is just silly. Miyamoto's claim of processing limitations is feasible, but having played the game myself and seen it with my own eyes, I find it hard to believe this particular title is really pushing the system's capabilities.

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I find it hard to believe this particular title is really pushing the system's capabilities.

I don't think it wasn't/isn't included because of this. I think it wasn't included because either they tried and thought it wasn't fun, or they wanted to use the resources elsewhere or even on a different game, or maybe even because they believed online play didn't fit the game's ideology.

DAaaMan64June 07, 2009

Quote from: Kairon

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I find it hard to believe this particular title is really pushing the system's capabilities.

I don't think it wasn't/isn't included because of this. I think it wasn't included because either they tried and thought it wasn't fun, or they wanted to use the resources elsewhere or even on a different game, or maybe even because they believed online play didn't fit the game's ideology.

I'm betting they've realized no one plays their games online, so they don't make them online. Fortunately, they've probably also realized the online structure is the problem.

vuduJune 07, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I will almost certainly buy New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but I'll probably play it alone 80-90% of the time. I just don't know that many people locally who would want to play it with me for any length of time. Most of my friends who'd want to play a Mario game with me live far away.

THIS.  A hundred times over, this.

It just makes me sad that I'll most likely never get to play this game the way it was meant to be played (i.e. with 3 other people).

And while online play wouldn't be a perfect substitute for getting four friends together in the same room, it's a heck of a lot closer to the ideal than just one other person of considerable less skill.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJune 07, 2009

Quote from: vudu

And while online play wouldn't be a perfect substitute for getting four friends together in the same room, it's a heck of a lot closer to the ideal than just one other person of considerable less skill.

THIS.  A hundred times over, this.

Quote from: Kairon

I don't think it wasn't/isn't included because of this.

Miyamoto said that was the reason. Am I calling him a liar? Yeah, pretty much, although I still love the man.

ShyGuyJune 07, 2009

I'm guessing Miyamoto's team codes an even less efficent TCP/IP stack than Windows 95. So he probably wasn't lying so much as the team isn't very good with net code.

Mop it upJune 08, 2009

I’m surprised that Wii Sports Resort has bowling as well. But I guess it will be a good chance to compare how much better Wii Motion Plus works compared to the regular Wiimote. Perhaps it is now much easier to apply spin, or maybe there are some fancy throws you can do. Bowling was the favourite of Wii Sports amongst friends and family of mine so I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

I know you guys were tired but c’mon, show some excitement for Super Mario Galaxy 2! How will it not be awesome?
I liked the spring suit, it just needs better controls. I did not care for the bee suit… but that may just be because I’m allergic to bees and seeing one makes me nervous…

Quote from: Mop_it_up

I know you guys were tired but c’mon, show some excitement for Super Mario Galaxy 2! How will it not be awesome?

If we had Lauren on, it'd be a different story. She's crazy excited for Yoshi in SMG2.

Also, I played WSR Bowling and it felt slightly different. It's one of the (few) impressions I still have to write.

I'll be excited for Yoshi in Galaxy 2 when it becomes clear that he's not going to be as useless and annoying as he was in Sunshine.

Yoshi in NSMBWii is definitely great fun. (You can swallow other players!)

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusJune 09, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I'll be excited for Yoshi in Galaxy 2 when it becomes clear that he's not going to be as useless and annoying as he was in Sunshine.

Yoshi in NSMBWii is definitely great fun. (You can swallow other players!)

Can you also trap them in an egg?

Mop it upJune 09, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I'll be excited for Yoshi in Galaxy 2 when it becomes clear that he's not going to be as useless and annoying as he was in Sunshine.

They didn't show Yoshi vomiting fruit juice in the trailer so at least be thankful for that.

This game is going to be as meticulously crafted as Super Mario Galaxy. Have some faith that it will all come together beautifully in the end. And who cares if it follows the same path of 120 stars? Who cares if it's a fight against Bowser once again? They could throw in some other premise but it isn't going to change the gameplay so it doesn't really matter.

Quote from: Flames_of_chaos

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I'll be excited for Yoshi in Galaxy 2 when it becomes clear that he's not going to be as useless and annoying as he was in Sunshine.

Yoshi in NSMBWii is definitely great fun. (You can swallow other players!)

Can you also trap them in an egg?

No, but you can be a jerk and spit them into holes...*cough*

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