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Episode 156: Through an Emulator Darkly

by Jonathan Metts - August 2, 2009, 1:11 pm PDT
Total comments: 42

Can you really enjoy Wii Sports Resort by yourself? What's happening to Virtual Console? Are bad games just victims of regretful choices? Listen to find out!

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In addition to the RFN Reunion show with Karl and the gang, you also get this stout new episode with the real podcast crew! New Business is dominated by the biggest game of 2009, Ripening Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love, but we also squeeze in a few minutes for Klonoa, Resistance: Retribution, and yet another damn mini-game collection for Wii (something about a resort).

Part 2 is a thorough investigation into the recent drought on Virtual Console, from the disturbing trickle of obscure games to the downright tragic shut-out of the past two weeks (and counting). Why do we expect new (old) games every week? Why do we really care about Virtual Console at all? Current events lead to a wide-ranging discussion of the service, its early days, triumphs like Sin & Punishment, and regional disparities. Also, how easy and cheap is it to release a VC game, really? Maybe not as much as you think.

That's already a lot of talking, but we're not through yet. The show ends with Listener Mail from four new names, and their questions are all doozies. Are reviewers being unfair to developers? What happens when WaveBirds go extinct? Can WiiWare games be expanded into disc games? Why isn't anyone talking about Little King's Story? Why does it hurt when I pee? Four-fifths of those questions will be answered on this very show.

Don't forget, the voting for RetroActive #8: SNES Edition ends Thursday, August 6!

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

Phil!August 02, 2009

No way, guys.  Final Fantasy IX is my absolutely fav FF in the series.  The game has the most charming characters, and a very captivating story, too.  Though, I still say that FFVI has THE best story of all the FFs.

Zidane's the man, and Steiner is a hoot.  Gotta love FFIX.  ^_^

CëricAugust 02, 2009

Quote from: Rachtman

No way, guys.  Final Fantasy IX is my absolutely fav FF in the series.  The game has the most charming characters, and a very captivating story, too.  Though, I still say that FFVI has THE best story of all the FFs.

Zidane's the man, and Steiner is a hoot.  Gotta love FFIX.  ^_^

I'm not a huge fan of FF IX (I thought much of the cast was completely undeveloped and useless, and the plot's really badly paced), but Zidane is indeed awesome.  As for best story, FF VI is up there but I'm really partial to FF X's storyline.  It's just very well-told with a very elaborate and interesting world, and the party is well-constructed to each add something to the story.  In FF VI there really is only a handful of characters that actually matter to the story and the rest just hang around.

kraken613August 02, 2009

The Pepsi promotion is actually for Rock Band songs. People just exploit it because it gives you Wii Points.

LolmonadeAugust 02, 2009

Rythm Heaven for 13$? They've got EBA for 15€ here but I'm not picking it up because of my lack of rythm skills. Amazon's deals of the week are nice though, I got Red Faction Guerilla for ~30€ only a few weeks after it came out. Prices for console games don't drop fast here though, games tend to disappear before they get a pricedrop.

I give game difficulty the benefit of doubt for the first few levels, they want to introduce people at first.

Klonoa Empire of Dreams is available everywhere for 20€ (or was for a LOOOONG time) here.

I'm saddened that the chance of Tingle 2 coming out here is slim since Tingle 1 is in the bargain bins everywhere.
Tingle seems to have the hots for Pingle or whatever your female advisor is called in Rosy Rupeeland so this Tingle doesn't seem to be as weird as the Zelda one (remember he got Tingle'd because he wanted to be rich, not because he wants to be a fairy).

If you want flying as a separate game there's Wing Island...

Oh thank goodness, VC isn't dead just yet. Tecmo Bowl is out this week; seems like a good choice to get people's attention once more!

James, if you like 3-on-3 basketball against the computer you're going to love it with people. I was playing with some friends over the weekend and that was definitely our favorite in multiplayer. The only problem is with two humans the steals get harder but it seems like shots get blocked a lot more.

AVAugust 03, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Oh thank goodness, VC isn't dead just yet. Tecmo Bowl is out this week; seems like a good choice to get people's attention once more!

That came out forever ago. I have it sitting on the SD card as I speak.

I really enjoy 3x3 basketball too. It's simple and fun. I loved the discussion on Virtual Console . The dialog about reviews and game developers was excellent too.

Seriously amazing job. I rated RFN 5 stars right now on iTunes. I reviewed it a while ago but I rated it on the info page as well.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusAugust 03, 2009

There's a scene in the movie "Hot Rod" where Andy Samberg's character is talking about a safe word for his stunt.  The safe word is "whiskey" but he pronounces it "hwhisskey" and when his team members ask him why he's saying it that way, he reponds "hwhy am i saying it hwhat hwhay?"

I was reminded of that scene listening to Jonny talk on this episode.  He really enunciates the crap out of those wh sounds.

AVAugust 03, 2009

Quote from: DrewMG

There's a scene in the movie "Hot Rod" where Andy Samberg's character is talking about a safe word for his stunt.  The safe word is "whiskey" but he pronounces it "hwhisskey" and when his team members ask him why he's saying it that way, he reponds "hwhy am i saying it hwhat hwhay?"

I was reminded of that scene listening to Jonny talk on this episode.  He really enunciates the crap out of those wh sounds.

now he is going to be self conscience of this quirk and it will annoy him.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusAugust 03, 2009

Quote from: Mr.

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Oh thank goodness, VC isn't dead just yet. Tecmo Bowl is out this week; seems like a good choice to get people's attention once more!

That came out forever ago. I have it sitting on the SD card as I speak.

This new one is the Arcade version.

Quote from: DrewMG

There's a scene in the movie "Hot Rod" where Andy Samberg's character is talking about a safe word for his stunt.  The safe word is "whiskey" but he pronounces it "hwhisskey" and when his team members ask him why he's saying it that way, he reponds "hwhy am i saying it hwhat hwhay?"

I was reminded of that scene listening to Jonny talk on this episode.  He really enunciates the crap out of those wh sounds.

Greg could speak to this, but that may be a result of audio post-processing. My summer living arrangements have resulted in a lot of Skype lag and more ambient noise, which has to be removed in editing. Sometimes these fixes make someone's enunciation sound different. It could also be related to your audio player -- when I play a podcast over my car's tape adapter, there's a lot of sibilance ("s" has a hissing sound) that is not heard over my high quality headphones.

EasycureAugust 03, 2009

I wanted to say I really enjoyed this episode. The VC feature was passionate and makes me wish the RFN crew had a say with how Nintendo ran the service. Releasing VC and Wiiware games on different days makes so much sense.

Also, the discussion over the first listener question was one of the best yet. I thought there were a lot of great points made.

Thanks, everyone! This episode did turn out well, even better than I realized at the time. Much credit goes to Greg -- not only for the snappy title, but also his editing toils that make us sound so good. What most listeners (hopefully) don't realize is that the wireless connection at my summer residence has caused some intense Skype lag all summer, and Greg is working overtime to compensate for the conversational awkwardness that frequently arises from that lag. James and Jon also deserve credit for being patient with my lag problem, which is frustrating for all parties involved.

nickmitchAugust 04, 2009

Great show as usual!  Content is top-notch, editing is consistently good, and the technical extras that you provide (including pictures, chapter breaks, and additional text) are always appreciated.

While glowing compliments like these don't offer much discussion, hopefully they do make your hard work with the show more rewarding.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusAugust 04, 2009

Regarding Little King's Story: We just got the review copy in. So keep your eyes out for a review in the near future.

SundoulosAugust 04, 2009

The collective dismissal of Final Fantasy IX pained me.  It's among my favorite RPGs.

I can't dismiss a game that I played for over 80 hours. I just think it's the worst Final Fantasy (though I haven't played X-2 or XI).

noname2200August 04, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I can't dismiss a game that I played for over 80 hours. I just think it's the worst Final Fantasy (though I haven't played X-2 or XI).

Wow, that's surprising, especially since many fans of the older Final Fantasies apparently thought it was something of a return to form (granted, that's not a universal opinion). In any case, it does seem like that style of story/characters/gameplay is going to be abandoned entirely by the series, so at least you'll be happy.

In any case, you seriously should look into Little King's Story. It's a fantastic title that's unfortunately flying under far too many people's radars.

Also, as always, the four of you did a good job on the podcast.

I like Final Fantasy 4, and FF7 for $10 on PSN is mighty tempting, but I can't see what aspect of it I would enjoy. That game is forever an antithesis of Nintendo in my mind due to the Great War, everything I've heard about it suggests it's a departure from what I enjoy about FF4, and it's not like the 3D graphics will hold up well. Thoughts?

EjamerAugust 04, 2009

Quote from: noname2200

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I can't dismiss a game that I played for over 80 hours. I just think it's the worst Final Fantasy (though I haven't played X-2 or XI).

Wow, that's surprising, especially since many fans of the older Final Fantasies apparently thought it was something of a return to form (granted, that's not a universal opinion). In any case, it does seem like that style of story/characters/gameplay is going to be abandoned entirely by the series, so at least you'll be happy.

In any case, you seriously should look into Little King's Story. It's a fantastic title that's unfortunately flying under far too many people's radars.

Also, as always, the four of you did a good job on the podcast.

I've never personally played FF9 though I did watch a friend play it but I got the impression it was Square trying pacify fans of the old games. Not saying that is good or bad though.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusAugust 04, 2009

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

I like Final Fantasy 4, and FF7 for $10 on PSN is mighty tempting, but I can't see what aspect of it I would enjoy. That game is forever an antithesis of Nintendo in my mind due to the Great War, everything I've heard about it suggests it's a departure from what I enjoy about FF4, and it's not like the 3D graphics will hold up well. Thoughts?

Time has done FFVII no favors. I greatly enjoyed the game back in the day, but in a recent attempt at a playthrough I had to quit because the graphics were so atrocious they were hindering my enjoyment and my vision.

EjamerAugust 04, 2009

Quote from: Mr.

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

I like Final Fantasy 4, and FF7 for $10 on PSN is mighty tempting, but I can't see what aspect of it I would enjoy. That game is forever an antithesis of Nintendo in my mind due to the Great War, everything I've heard about it suggests it's a departure from what I enjoy about FF4, and it's not like the 3D graphics will hold up well. Thoughts?

Time has done FFVII no favors. I greatly enjoyed the game back in the day, but in a recent attempt at a playthrough I had to quit because the graphics were so atrocious they were hindering my enjoyment and my vision.

The funny thing is that I found the graphics pretty bad (excluding the CGI scenes) even when it was new. It had no depth perception and I had a really tough time being the least bit impressed.

adadadAugust 05, 2009

Just listened and was happy to hear you guys gave some really good conversation out of my email about devs and reviewers! Probably one of the bigger divides I've heard among the crew too. I will say though I was only summarising/paraphrasing what was said on Out of the Game, and Jeff Green for example did say that he wouldn't change any of his old review scores and would only change something that was unconstructive criticism or something like that (as in he hadn't actually looked back at his 1UP reviews and found great reams of "OMG this game's art director is a retard"...that's what it sounded like anyway - I don't read 1UP).

I imagine that a licenced game is more susceptible to poor design decisions and it must be extremely difficult to project manage as there are an even greater number of outside forces and obstacles affecting development, it's no wonder there are so few licenced titles that achieve greatness, Goldeneye has turned in my eyes from being a great game to being a colossal achievement. As you duly mentioned on the podcast though it's all assumption and speculation so I hereby from now on preface all statements with an If.

Anyway enough rant, good podcast!

FF9 is a failed attempt to appeal to fans of the pre-FF7 games. It plays just like FF7, FF8, and even later games like FF10. The main difference is the art style, which is supposed to look like the earlier games but in 3D. Unfortunately, the super-deformed character designs look very strange in 3D, especially with the graphics capability of PSone. Other than the characters themselves, the art design is quite similar to FF7 and FF8, and the graphics technology is obviously the same -- pre-rendered backgrounds, polygonal characters and overworld. Oddly enough, FF9 uses very detailed textures, which look grainy on the PSone -- in that respect, FF7's flat-shaded graphics are more cartoon-style.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusAugust 05, 2009

I never really hear anyone talk about FF8 or FF9.  I played a bit of FF8 on PC and the story was starting to get interesting, but I was getting weary of the gameplay and thus I have no idea how the story ended.  FF9 seems to be virtually absent in any discussion of the franchise.

noname2200August 05, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: noname2200

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I've never personally played FF9 though I did watch a friend play it but I got the impression it was Square trying pacify fans of the old games. Not saying that is good or bad though.

That sounds about right, actually. But then I (and a couple of others) am a fan of the old games who needed to be pacified, so I guess I was solidly in the target demographic.

LolmonadeAugust 06, 2009

Quote from: DrewMG

I never really hear anyone talk about FF8 or FF9.  I played a bit of FF8 on PC and the story was starting to get interesting, but I was getting weary of the gameplay and thus I have no idea how the story ended.  FF9 seems to be virtually absent in any discussion of the franchise.

Don't worry, the story goes to shit pretty fast too.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusAugust 06, 2009

FF8-9 hold interest to me simply becuase I don't know much about them. 

SundoulosAugust 06, 2009

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

I like Final Fantasy 4, and FF7 for $10 on PSN is mighty tempting, but I can't see what aspect of it I would enjoy. That game is forever an antithesis of Nintendo in my mind due to the Great War, everything I've heard about it suggests it's a departure from what I enjoy about FF4, and it's not like the 3D graphics will hold up well. Thoughts?

TYP, I think it's worth giving it a go, especially for $10.  The problem is that the first part of the game can drag for some, especially since much of the opening setting is meant to be depressing, dystopic, and dark.  In my opinion, the game really opens up after you make it out of the first city and the world map is opened up.  The problem is that it can take a while to get there.

Final Fantasy VII causes more nerd-rage discussions than most games these days, but I still remember it for providing some of my most enjoyable moments in gaming. (e.g. the deconstruction of Cloud's past, the creepy aftermath of Sephiroth's assault on Shinra) 

To be honest, it's been at least 7 years since I've played the game in earnest myself.  I've got an old PC copy that won't work on my current system without a bit of tweaking.  If I had a PS3 or a PSP, though, I'd definitely pick it up.  My opinion is that if you found something to like about FF IV, there's a good chance you might like VII as well...if the initial cyberpunk setting doesn't bother you.

1up has a few nice blog entries on the game.

Mini-Grind: Revisiting Final Fantasy VII


Retro Roundup: Final Fantasy VII

Memorable Moments: Re-Visiting the Houses of Final Fantasy VII

Olimar77August 06, 2009

I have yet to see Little King's Story at any of my local retailers (I live within walking distance of Best Buy, Target, and Game Stop). I had every intention of picking it up this month, too. Instead, I bought Final Fantasy IV DS and Swords & Soldiers. I still plan on playing Little King's Story, but that sense of urgency has passed. I was willing to pay $50 for this title, but now I'm content to wait for a price drop.

LolmonadeAugust 06, 2009

They had LKS everywhere here butI just never overcame the barrier to paying 50€ for it. At one point my parents offered me to buy me a game and I forgot about LKS andpicked NPC Pikmin 2, now I'm not sure LKS is a good investment so close to Pikmin.

EjamerAugust 06, 2009

Quote:

My opinion is that if you found something to like about FF IV, there's a good chance you might like VII as well...if the initial cyberpunk setting doesn't bother you.

Blasphemy. I love FFIV and despise FF7 the movie, I mean the game. The visuals are hideous now and do not hold up at all. FF7 was Square trying to go mainstream with the series. I see nothing in common with FFIV besides it being in the same series.

BboyAugust 06, 2009

Wow, I wrote in that letter a couple of weeks ago about an FF7 on DS because I heard it was one of the best games ever, but apparently not. Guess I'll stick with the classic Final Fantasy's.

EjamerAugust 06, 2009

Quote from: Bboy

Wow, I wrote in that letter a couple of weeks ago about an FF7 on DS because I heard it was one of the best games ever, but apparently not. Guess I'll stick with the classic Final Fantasy's.

I wouldn't mind a remake of sorts, though the thing is to update it could take ALOT of work. They would need to dump their depthless painting backgrounds. The thing is that I doubt it could be on DS given the cartridge limitations which is too bad.

SundoulosAugust 06, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote:

My opinion is that if you found something to like about FF IV, there's a good chance you might like VII as well...if the initial cyberpunk setting doesn't bother you.

Blasphemy. I love FFIV and despise FF7 the movie, I mean the game. The visuals are hideous now and do not hold up at all. FF7 was Square trying to go mainstream with the series. I see nothing in common with FFIV besides it being in the same series.

Here is the context of my statement:  I think I remember TYP mentioning in some early Radio Trivia episode that he probably wouldn't like FF IV or some similar sentiment (forgive me if I'm wrong, TYP), mainly because of the length.  Eventually, he gave FF IV DS a try, and apparently he enjoyed it.  Who's to say he shouldn't give FF VII a chance for 10 bucks? 

For better or worse, none of the games in Final Fantasy have much in common, aside from certain recurring mechanics, names, or creatures.  I've found something to enjoy in each of them, excluding II, XI and X-2.


In other news:  I'm eagerly awaiting LKS.  My b-day is this month, so I'm hoping that my wife will procure a copy for me. :)  I'd also ask for the Metroid Prime collection and Professor Layton, but that would just be greedy.

LolmonadeAugust 06, 2009

The advantage of Professor Layton is that your wife can play it too.

SundoulosAugust 06, 2009

You know...I tried to get her to play The Curious Village, but she lost interest in it.  Right now, she's playing Mario Galaxy...she's already farther than Lindy. j/k  :)

EjamerAugust 06, 2009

Quote from: Sundoulos

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote:

My opinion is that if you found something to like about FF IV, there's a good chance you might like VII as well...if the initial cyberpunk setting doesn't bother you.

Blasphemy. I love FFIV and despise FF7 the movie, I mean the game. The visuals are hideous now and do not hold up at all. FF7 was Square trying to go mainstream with the series. I see nothing in common with FFIV besides it being in the same series.

Here is the context of my statement:  I think I remember TYP mentioning in some early Radio Trivia episode that he probably wouldn't like FF IV or some similar sentiment (forgive me if I'm wrong, TYP), mainly because of the length.  Eventually, he gave FF IV DS a try, and apparently he enjoyed it.  Who's to say he shouldn't give FF VII a chance for 10 bucks? 

For better or worse, none of the games in Final Fantasy have much in common, aside from certain recurring mechanics, names, or creatures.  I've found something to enjoy in each of them, excluding II, XI and X-2.


In other news:  I'm eagerly awaiting LKS.  My b-day is this month, so I'm hoping that my wife will procure a copy for me. :)  I'd also ask for the Metroid Prime collection and Professor Layton, but that would just be greedy.

IC what you mean.

Well, when I'm hankering for a new RPG--which will be after finishing The After Years (is the last part up yet?)--I might give it a spin.

SundoulosAugust 07, 2009

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

Well, when I'm hankering for a new RPG--which will be after finishing The After Years (is the last part up yet?)--I might give it a spin.

Since you recently played FFIV DS, and your opinion is likely to be unclouded by FF IV nostalgia, let me ask you this:  Do you find that The After Years is worth the money?

I haven't purchased it, and I'm not sure if I'll really enjoy it based on what I've read in reviews.  Since many of the locations seem to be basically unchanged, I wonder if I'm going to find it to be very boring.  (That's probably because I recently played both Final Fantasy IV Advance, as well as the DS remake.)

yoshi1001August 07, 2009

Glad you answered my e-mail. Planet Pictobits  sure does have a nice ring, doesn't it?

I don't know, Sundulous. I tend to forget the specifics of level design rather quickly, and since I only played the DS version, the game and its locales certainly looked different to me. There is certainly rehashing of battles imo, though, so if you played FFIV twice recently, maybe wait a bit before downloading The After Years.

The gameplay is very similar, though it has poorly-implemented, confusing team-attacks which I barely use). That said, I have enjoyed the first part (800) and Rydia's Tale (300) so far. The somewhat constrained party members at your disposal make Rydia's Tale fairly interesting, actually.

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