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Episode 155: Power Forward

by Greg Leahy - July 26, 2009, 2:32 pm PDT
Total comments: 29

Jonny's back and he's fit to 'splode with New Business, Greg dives into Wii Sports Resort, and the crew examines the state of current generation gaming while answering more of your Listener Mail.

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Normal service resumes for this week's RFN as Jonny returns with a bucketful of Southern Fried New Business, including his thoughts on 'Splosion Man, the similarly explosive but curiously impenetrable Bangai-O Spirits, and there's some Metts-level scrutiny for Metroid's new custodians through a look at Ninja Gaiden Black. Meanwhile, Jon becomes lost in time with Chrono Trigger and California Games, Greg gets to grips with both the future and the past playing Wii Sports Resort and Retro Game Challenge, and James' trip to the hallowed antiquity of Heracles Chariot Racing ends in predictable anger.

After the crew finishes catching up, it's onto more of your Listener Mail, wherein a discussion on the state of current generation gaming roams all the way from drab colour palettes to the ailing Japanese console market, and also extends to our anticipation levels for Super Mario Galaxy 2. After more answers to your questions on FFIV: The After Years and the unfortunately named Chew Man Fu, the show concludes with a surreal aural journey into the world of RFN's most cherished/ridiculed franchise…

Don't forget, the voting for RetroActive #8: SNES Edition is now underway!

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

broodwarsJuly 26, 2009

Regarding James playing Heracles for his New Business: "He chose...poorly..."
Regarding Lindy playing Chrono Trigger for his New Business: "You have chosen...wisely..."

Seriously, though...2 hours 55 minutes of mucking around in the Millenial Fair and what little of the "Present" you can access at this point?  I guess we know who to have review the next minigame collection that comes down the reviewing pipe.

btw, back in the day I used to rent Chrono Trigger alongside Earthbound, as those two (along with Mario RPG) are what got me into the RPG genre.  Bit of a funny story there, actually, as to how I acquired Chrono Trigger: a friend and I at the time rented it from a rental store on a big "5 games for 5 nights for $5" deal (or something along those lines), but while we had the game checked out the rental store went out-of-business...so we got to keep Chrono Trigger.  ;)  That friend (he's not currently one because he turned out to be a royal jerk in the end) had no concept of what he had with Chrono Trigger, so I traded him like 5 games that were useless to me for it.  Best gaming move I ever made, though that copy of CT eventually made its way to my (still) best friend when I upgraded (?) to my N64 years later.

Geez, tough crowd.  I apologize that I'm not doing a speed run through it.

I typically take my time with RPGs...Twilight Princess took me in the neighborhood of 75 hours, I think.  Most beat it in 60 or so.  I tend to double-back and find everything.

Mop it upJuly 26, 2009

Quote from: broodwars

Seriously, though...2 hours 55 minutes of mucking around in the Millenial Fair and what little of the "Present" you can access at this point?  I guess we know who to have review the next minigame collection that comes down the reviewing pipe.

Some people like to take their time with games you know. Playing an RPG is like dining at a fine restaurant: you're there to enjoy the experience, not see how fast you can finish.

jrlibrarianJeffrey Trewin, Associate EditorJuly 26, 2009

Listening to it now. Thanks for the great show once again.

broodwarsJuly 26, 2009

Quote from: Lindy

Geez, tough crowd.  I apologize that I'm not doing a speed run through it.

Nah, it's nothing that serious, as I probably spent about 45 minutes -> 1 hour in that area my first time through the game on the SNES before I went back in time for the first time.  I just can't fathom anyone managing to hang around that particular area of the game for nearly 3 hours without dying of boredom, especially when you have a big sign saying "Big Epic Adventure this way!" planted right there in the back.  More power to you, I suppose.  I enjoy just exploring and soaking in the atmosphere in RPGs myself, but even I need a change in scenery once in a while.

kraken613July 26, 2009

Chrono Trigger! Excellent choice! I agree with Johnny your going to have the best 300 hours playing it! haha It was my first RPG and my first game I completed. It holds a special place in my heart.

Excellent show once again, I always look forward to Sunday!

Go Lindy for not voting until Cho Aniki is up there! I want to play it but feel weird getting it for no reason!
Cho Aniki for RetroActive strike: Week One

broodwarsJuly 26, 2009

Quote from: kraken613

Chrono Trigger! Excellent choice! I agree with Johnny your going to have the best 300 hours playing it! haha It was my first RPG and my first game I completed. It holds a special place in my heart.

Excellent show once again, I always look forward to Sunday!

Go Lindy for not voting until Cho Aniki is up there! I want to play it but feel weird getting it for no reason!
Cho Aniki for RetroActive strike: Week One

Don't you mean it's "RetroStrike: Week One"?  ;)

btw, you forgot Valkyria Chronicles as an example of a "lush and colorful" next-gen game.  For shame.  *wags finger mockingly*  Honestly, the next-gen systems get a bad rap when it comes to graphics.  Not all the next-gen games look like they were crafted from mud and few Wii games are candy-colored magical wonderlands of innovative imagination.  If you're into the whimsical, the Wii is definitely the place to be, but if you own an Xbox 360 and can't find a game on it worth playing for you you probably haven't looked hard enough.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorJuly 26, 2009

Jonny only mentioned it briefly, but all of you out there who have 360s seriously need to pick up Splosion Man. It's a brilliant little platformer that deserves your attention.

KDR_11kJuly 27, 2009

I didn't find Bangai-O THAT confusing, no idea if I read the manual but I knew that break destroys more shots than other shots. The controls really are cumbersome, I wonder if touchscreen aiming would've helped it considering how much effort went into the aiming controls.

Splosion Man is by the people who made The Maw, I'm already looking into it. There's a game called Explodemon coming for WiiWare which has the same concept, a character who explodes himself except it's got stuff like text that looks like a really badly translated Japanese game and parodies retro games.

AVJuly 27, 2009

Speaking of California Games and Wii sports.

I made this video comparing them : Goes well with the podcast

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcvYr_Y4GyY

Great show as always.

Let me guess is this the video you guys were commenting on at the end of the podcast:

Cho Aniki for Sega Saturn
:o :o :o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF-gqOeio2I

jrlibrarianJeffrey Trewin, Associate EditorJuly 27, 2009

Quote from: KarlCastaneda

Jonny only mentioned it briefly, but all of you out there who have 360s seriously need to pick up Splosion Man. It's a brilliant little platformer that deserves your attention.

I tried to download the demo yesterday, but my internet for my Xbox is awful. I'll probably get it by the end of the week once I fix it.

I'm sure that most of the people critIcising my "slow" playtime have played the game several times over, and therefore feel no need to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.  I can guarantee that I'd speed through the opening sequence of Super Metroid much quicker than a completely new player, for example.  With CT I tend to poke around to see what will happen when I do certain things, like earning silver at the fair and playing the guessing game at the tent.

Don't feel bad, Lindy. When I played CT for the first time years ago, I totally didn't know what I was doing and even went to the wrong town first.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJuly 28, 2009

The PS2 didn't have any 3D platformers?  They had Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank - and all three of those had multiple sequels.  I mean, yeah, none of them are Mario Galaxy, but they're all still pretty darn good.

The PS3 actually has two Ratchet & Clank games already, with another on the way for Christmas.

As for CT, bear in mind that I was also spending time figuring out how the game worked.  Browsing menus, trying different options, etc. I'm now at the point where Crono just escapes execution.  Stuff like the trial sequence is the kind of dramatic material that put this era of Squaresoft RPGs so far ahead of everything else on the market at the time.

broodwarsJuly 28, 2009

Quote from: DrewMG

The PS2 didn't have any 3D platformers?  They had Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank - and all three of those had multiple sequels.  I mean, yeah, none of them are Mario Galaxy, but they're all still pretty darn good.

I don't know about that.  I'd certainly label the Sly Cooper games (especially 2 and 3) as better than Mario Galaxy.  I haven't played the other two PS2 platforming franchise so I can't judge them.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJuly 28, 2009

Wow, that's a pretty bold statement.  I really enjoyed the first Ratchet and Clank, and only played through the first third of Sly Cooper.  I'd stop short of saying that either of them are nearly as good as Super Mario Galaxy.

But they're more than competent - they're very good.  That's why I was so surprised to hear Jonny so readily dismiss the PS2 of having 3D platformers.  I mean, I understand the point he was trying to make, that the games are very spread out across different platforms compared to 15 years ago, but I do think that the PS2 is one of those rare exceptions that pleases just about every type of gamer.

broodwarsJuly 28, 2009

Quote from: DrewMG

Wow, that's a pretty bold statement.  I really enjoyed the first Ratchet and Clank, and only played through the first third of Sly Cooper.  I'd stop short of saying that either of them are nearly as good as Super Mario Galaxy.

But they're more than competent - they're very good.  That's why I was so surprised to hear Jonny so readily dismiss the PS2 of having 3D platformers.  I mean, I understand the point he was trying to make, that the games are very spread out across different platforms compared to 15 years ago, but I do think that the PS2 is one of those rare exceptions that pleases just about every type of gamer.

I've made no secret of the fact that I don't hold the highest opinion of Mario Galaxy (it just bored me till very late in the game when the more interesting challenges started to appear, especially the Comets), and the Sly Cooper games just do more of what I care about in games: story, character, gameplay variety, and easy-to-learn-and-use play mechanics that set the stage for challenging platforming.  And it's all wrapped-up in a very appealing cel-shading style that makes the games look unique and interesting.

KDR_11kJuly 28, 2009

I don't know about you guys but I'm not sure if Ratchet & Clank can even be called a platformer. It's more of a third person shooter.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJuly 28, 2009

Oh, come on.  It's got lots of shooting elements, but it's a platformer all the way.  Are we now going to refer to Mario as a "Growth Mushroom Simulator"?

I found Sly Cooper to be incredibly boring, and I agree that Ratchet & Clank is primarily a shooter, though it obviously has some platforming elements. It's basically just like Jet Force Gemini, except not as good. Jak & Daxter is a series I have not played at all, because the first one seemed so generic while the sequel was hated even by fans of the original.

broodwarsJuly 28, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I found Sly Cooper to be incredibly boring, and I agree that Ratchet & Clank is primarily a shooter, though it obviously has some platforming elements. It's basically just like Jet Force Gemini, except not as good. Jak & Daxter is a series I have not played at all, because the first one seemed so generic while the sequel was hated even by fans of the original.

Why Sly Cooper did you play?  Sly 1 is basically a more stylized and linear version of Mario 64, but Sly 2 and 3 branched out with more of an "open world" thing and definitely became less "collect-a-thons" and more mission-based thievery (which was always the series' strength).

Sly Cooper 2 is on my pile of shame. So are the first three Devil May Cry games (I bought the box set), but after hearing Jonny call Ninja Gaiden (which I quit playing 1/3 of the way through in disgust) a better version of what DMC tries to do, I have zero enthusiasm for trying out that series.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJuly 28, 2009

I didn't really care for Jak and Daxter, but I wholeheartedly disagree on Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank.  I'm really surprised you didn't like Sly Cooper, Jonny.  It's many things, but boring? 

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)August 01, 2009

I cannot recall a New Business segment when James has had positive words to say about his latest games.
In fairness, the titles you talk about sound like they deserve all the flak you give them, but while it is often funny to hear your rants, I feel sorry that you put yourself through this frustration.
Treat yourself to some good quality software for once. Rather than go down the usual 'anger volcano' route, I'd like to listen to the James Jones who enjoys the videogames he plays. If your gaming time between podcasts is really as bad as you describe them, that's deeply unfortunate. :-\

gojiraAugust 01, 2009

My thoughts on the Bangai-O series.  I played the Dreamcast version first.  Loved it so much I decided to buy the n64 one.  And the same for Spirits.

DC:
If you're interested in the original Bangai-O, it's much easier/cheaper to get the Dreamcast version.  The versions are slightly different, but overall I'd recommend the DC version for price and ease of play.  You could probably get a DC and the DC version of Bangai-O for the price of the n64 cart alone. 

The game itself is amazing.  I was a bit put off by screen shots and the size of the characters in this game, but once you find the quirk that makes this an excellent game, you'll see why they are so small.  You play though levels one at a time and there is a crazy story line loosely strung throughout.

N64:
The n64 version is still a great game, but it's completely in Japanese.  So learning what exactly to do is a bit difficult.  The n64 does have interesting controls though.  You can use the dpad to steer and the analog stick to shoot.  It's weird at first, but once you get used to it, it works very well.  After awhile of playing with these controls, I liked them a lot more than what was available on the DC.  There are different controls options for both versions, so you can choose what you prefer.  But it's basically a two stick shooter that has never been released on a system with a two stick controller.

DS:
This game seems more like an add-on pack to the original Bangai-O than a full sequel.  There's not really any story, you just attack the 100+ levels in any order you want.  There are puzzle stages which require specific actions to complete.  Then there are other levels that seem to be the best the developer came up with while messing with the included level editor.  It's a really good game, but I wanted more 'game-y' stuff like level progression, story, and difficulty progression.

broodwarsAugust 01, 2009

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

I cannot recall a New Business segment when James has had positive words to say about his latest games.
In fairness, the titles you talk about sound like they deserve all the flak you give them, but while it is often funny to hear your rants, I feel sorry that you put yourself through this frustration.
Treat yourself to some good quality software for once. Rather than go down the usual 'anger volcano' route, I'd like to listen to the James Jones who enjoys the videogames he plays. If your gaming time between podcasts is really as bad as you describe them, that's deeply unfortunate. :-\

The last I can remember is his months playing Ace Combat 5, which resulted in Jonny changing the rules for New Business altogether (though thankfully that seems to have been relaxed a bit of late, as there's been a couple weeks in a row of discussion about the same games).

I never changed New Business rules. That was all just joking. We don't even have rules.

GoldenPhoenixAugust 01, 2009

Quote from: DrewMG

I didn't really care for Jak and Daxter, but I wholeheartedly disagree on Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank.  I'm really surprised you didn't like Sly Cooper, Jonny.  It's many things, but boring? 

Never played Sly Cooper but I LOVED the first Jak and Daxter, one of my all time favorites. Too bad they ruined series after that.

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