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Episode 153: Wolf Mother

by Jonathan Metts - July 12, 2009, 11:00 am PDT
Total comments: 19

Tons of games in this episode, including more Conduit, Final Fantasy, and a RetroActive look at TG-16's Ninja Spirit!

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This beefy show starts with a ton of New Business. Gradius Rebirth, Tiger Woods 10, Super Punch-Out, The Conduit, HAWX, Let's Tap, bit.Trip Core, Final Fantasy 4: The After Years DLC, Resident Evil 5... we play games like it's a job. All for you, folks. On top of all that, we also downloaded Ninja Spirit for RetroActive #7, and the reactions are mixed. Still, we extract a surprising volume of discussion out of this very simple action game for TurboGrafx-16. There's still time to play along and contribute, so check out the game for yourself and leave a comment or two in the Ninja Spirit forum thread!

To close the show, we catch up with your emails on Square and Final Fantasy on Nintendo systems, the fervor over launch month sales numbers, Metroid: Other M plot forecasts, and Wii Motion Plus calibration. Whew!

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 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

jrlibrarianJeffrey Trewin, Associate EditorJuly 12, 2009

Listening to it now.

Can't wait to hear what you guys think about Other M.

Patchkid15Patrick Barnett, Associate EditorJuly 12, 2009

About half way through now

Jon i have the same problems when playing online and it is quite the nuisance. Especially when i had friends over and was showing them the online.

broodwarsJuly 12, 2009

Sounds like you guys have had just as nasty a track record with multiplayer in The Conduit as I have had with the single-player, where I've run into a couple crashes and a handful of annoying graphical glitches: zoom scopes being stuck on-screen when they weren't called upon; one level having one of those little TV "reporter" clips (at its in-game size and resolution) as my pre-mission loading screen instead of the briefing; and a sequence where I was killed and wasn't given the "press A to continue" prompt.  Really, I appreciate the effort, High Voltage, but maybe it would have been better to hold the game till the game was finished?  It's still an ok game, though I have utter indifference for the single-player so far (I'm near the end on the "streets" level).

jrlibrarianJeffrey Trewin, Associate EditorJuly 12, 2009

Jonny, if you really liked Ender's Game, read Ender in Exile next. It's the book between EG and Speaker for the Dead.

broodwarsJuly 12, 2009

Resident Evil 5 was notable for me because I played it shortly after playing Prince of Persia next-gen, so the contrast between the friendly AI in those games pretty much caused me to create a new category system for such AI:

"Elika" characters - these AI teammates do what they're told; go where they're instructed; and only act when you tell them to act or if you actually need help.  Best of all, you never have to babysit them and when they do involve themselves in your experience they're genuinely helpful.

"Sheva" characters - these AI teammates do whatever the hell they feel like when you're running around with them.  They'll run right into a pack of enemies; intentionally suck away your ammo and health items (even going so far as to go for them before you can); refuse to run from said pack of enemies when they get surrounded; and when they go down YOU go down.  Rarely helpful, you spend most of the game babysitting them and having to jump through a great number of hoops just to make sure they don't ruin your experience.

Mere words can't express my outright hatred for the Sheva AI in RE5, as she's obnoxious; useless (save for like 2 levels where her pinpoint computer aiming is handy); and adds absolutely nothing to the game.  As for the game itself, "meh".  There are some incredible boss fights (taking out a giant leech-like monster with the GDI Ion Cannon for the win!) and cinematic moments, but especially after playing Dead Space the game feels very clunky and honestly not very much fun to play (IMO, of course).  They took away a lot of the stuff that made RE4 fun, such as the merchant (really, they could think of no reason for an illicit arms dealer to be in Africa?); being able to hunt down treasures and combine them with other treasures for greater reward (yeah, the treasures are still there, but they exist for no other reason than to be immediately sold); inventory management via the upgradeable (and, for a Resident Evil game, realistic) attache case system; etc.  The plot is nebulous and not particularly interesting to follow till very late in the game, and the end boss despite being "epic" drags on for way too long and ends in what even for a Resident Evil game should be a ludicrous boss environment.

I liked RE5, but upon completing it once I felt satisfied.  I didn't get that feeling of immediacy I had with RE4 where I had to replay it again right now.  It also isn't scary in the least, despite bringing back some of the better beasts in the RE franchise (though surprisingly not the regenerators from RE4).  And the reviews weren't lying on this point: I completed the game using only the computer AI Sheva, and it was painful.  Do whatever it takes to play this game with an actual human being.
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ADDENDUM: RE - S-E support on Wii - Yeah, I would consider SE putting the next "real" Final Fantasy on Wii as a sign of real support for the system, but we have to accept the facts on this: Square is never, ever going to put another mainline Final Fantasy game on a Nintendo system, because Nintendo doesn't produce consoles with the technical firepower Square wants...not anymore, anyway.  No, that's pie-in-the-sky, and will only happen if there's a major and unlikely shift in the industry and we lose one or both of the other major console manufacturers.

What would satisfy me is if S-E brought back true sequels to some of their lesser franchises or ones that would suit the console to Nintendo, not wacky FF spin-offs that have little to do with how FF games usually play.  What about Kingdom Hearts 3?  It has never made sense to me that S-E never brought the Kingdom Hearts games to the GameCube, as it could have certainly handled them.  I also think that Kingdom Hearts 2 still looks pretty good for its age, so I don't think that the Kingdom Hearts games would benefit as much from the "HD Experience" as something like FF.  It's perfectly do-able.  S-E has so many properties under its command that I find it impossible to believe that none of them save some Final Fantasy spin-offs could make its way to Wii. 

StratosJuly 13, 2009

Poor James, erasing his data that many times. So, where's your FC, James? And just about a week until it comes out in Europe. Then we can have a Conduit podcast smackdown with all four of you guys online.

GoldenPhoenixJuly 13, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

Poor James, erasing his data that many times. So, where's your FC, James? And just about a week until it comes out in Europe. Then we can have a Conduit podcast smackdown with all four of you guys online.

Conduit is only for smart people, which is why I haven't erased my data once!

StratosJuly 13, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: Stratos

Poor James, erasing his data that many times. So, where's your FC, James? And just about a week until it comes out in Europe. Then we can have a Conduit podcast smackdown with all four of you guys online.

Conduit is only for smart people, which is why I haven't erased my data once!

Yes you did. You didn't like being Mr. Ford so you erased it, silly ;)

I fell asleep last night listening to the 'cast and don't know where I nodded off.

Patchkid15Patrick Barnett, Associate EditorJuly 13, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

I fell asleep last night listening to the 'cast and don't know where I nodded off.

I hate when I end up doing that. I usually end up listening to the whole thing again. Its always just as enjoyable the second time though.

StratosJuly 13, 2009

Quote from: Patchkid15

Quote from: Stratos

I fell asleep last night listening to the 'cast and don't know where I nodded off.

I hate when I end up doing that. I usually end up listening to the whole thing again. Its always just as enjoyable the second time though.

Oh, yes. Especially 103. I permanently keep that one on my iPod and listen to it when I need a laugh or run out of other 'casts to listen to when I'm doing graveyard shifts.

Patchkid15Patrick Barnett, Associate EditorJuly 13, 2009

I have gone through 103 numerous times. I keep itself and a few other great ones on my Ipod

jrlibrarianJeffrey Trewin, Associate EditorJuly 13, 2009

Same. I think that I've listened to 103 10 times. I once listened to it 3 times in a row in one day...  ;D

broodwarsJuly 13, 2009

We need to have a 103 reunion on either episode 203 or 206.  That was classic.  ;)

AVJuly 13, 2009

great show guys.

Outside of my own question the other questions were great too. Especially sales.
I'm not as scared about Wii Motion Plus being not as good as promised anymore. I heard some ugly reports.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/16/nintendo-motionplus-hands-on-blah/

Ninja Spirit seems like a crappy game .

I really understood the deleting the file discussion in Conduit. I did that  >:(

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusJuly 13, 2009

Quote from: Mr.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/16/nintendo-motionplus-hands-on-blah/

That article is ridiculous. Motion+ makes a huge difference when you play Resort. Shooting hoops and playing Ping Pong felt authentic. Sword fighting looked cool, but I didn't have time to play it at E3.

Basically in that article they assert that the original concept of the Wii Remote should've done this already, which I agree, but that's not really a valid point since it doesn't. Also they somehow imply that Nintendo should fix this problem without an add-on, when that's literally impossible because the current Wii Remote has no ability to do Yaw. That's kind of important if you want accurate coordinates in three-dimensional space.

EDIT: Also it looks like it's from about a year ago, so yeah, disregard it. It isn't really relevant any more and is without a doubt not representative of the final product.

GoldenPhoenixJuly 15, 2009

Great show like usual though I was a bit confounded by the Ninja Spirit/Gunstar Hero comparison. I see no similarities between the games in both design and artistic style. Gunstar may be a brawler but it has a ton of diversity and well thought out level designs, with some pretty ingenious things like the board game. Not only that but it has complex and engaging bosses that you you really must learn. Ninja Spirit shares more in common with games like Shinobi, Legend of Kagi, and other games like that where it is pretty much run forward, kill enemies then run into a boss that is usually pretty one dimensional.

It is funny Greg mentioned the giant ninja with the sword, that fight was ridiculously bad. The only way you would die is if you got bored of the tedious "jumping and slashing" technique and your reaction time slowed to slug like speeds. I really can't think of many bosses nearly as dull as that one.

Isn't saying "It's like Gunstar Heroes except without good bosses or weapon mixing or co-op" kind of like saying "It's like Mario except without running or jumping or mushrooms"?

D_AverageJuly 17, 2009

Its hilarious you guys talked about Enders Game.  My brother in law was just bugging me to read it the other day.  Says its the best book ever.  Maybe I'll finally read it after I finish Still Life With The Woodpecker.

PlugabugzJuly 17, 2009

I had to listen to this ep (and RFN) on my PC, my $60 headphones have been sent off for repair, and i'm just not enjoying the experience as much without them.

I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, though.

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