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Episode 165: Spectral Dog-Walker

by Jonathan Metts - October 11, 2009, 2:38 pm PDT
Total comments: 30

The RFN crew is playing some brand new games, and Mike Sklens hops in for the last of our Geist discussion.

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This jam-packed show starts with New Business, in which Greg previews Space Invaders Extreme 2, James tries to make GRAW 2 sound interesting, Jonny works out with Wii Fit Plus and Van Halen, and Jon successfully establishes a link between Spyborgs and God of War.

In RetroActive, we are briefly joined by Mike "StrikerObi" Sklens to wrap up the Geist discussion. You'll also get Greg's full thoughts on the game and hear what other listeners wrote about Geist in the forums. There is some spoiler material here, so if you're still playing through the game, you may want to skip ahead and return to this segment later!

Your weekly slug of Listener Mail covers game/reality confusion, hardware fleecing (and PSP Go), Nintendo's complacency, and Jonny's loathing for Killer 7.

We're always looking for great Listener Mail to read and discuss on the show, so please send your questions or comments! (We really love seeing your praise and feedback regarding the show itself; however, in the interest of time, we may edit your letter to be read on the podcast.)

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!

Additional music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is copyrighted to Nintendo, and is included under fair use protection.

Talkback

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorOctober 11, 2009

Booooo Jonny booooo.

EjamerOctober 11, 2009

Quote:

Jonny's loathing for Killer 7

I can tell already I'm going to LOVE this podcast

CëricOctober 11, 2009

The last question brought up an issue that's really started to become troubling to me: for years it seemed like the handhelds were just complimenting the console experience, but now the handheld market seems to be starting to supplant the console market (at least in Japan).  I look over some of the big handheld announcements in the past few years, and I see things like Valkyria Chronicles 2; the remake of Persona 1; Okamiden; and even Dragon Quest IX leaving their console roots and moving over to handhelds.  And it's not just that these series are moving over, but they're bringing the full console experience as well where previously they would be adapted into something more experimental or more suited to handhelds.  I'm starting to wonder if we're just not going to see Japanese games on consoles much at all if this keeps up, which would be a shame.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorOctober 11, 2009

As I mentioned in my review on the site all those years ago, Killer7 is more than the sum of its parts. James hit the nail on the head when he said that the gameplay is essentially an interface through which you're able to experience the story. Your enjoyment of the game boils down to whether or not you find the story captivating. In my case, I loved it, and scored it accordingly.

As for the controls, that's a strange complaint to have, honestly. Fault it for uninspired level design, or for following certain formulas a little too closely, but controls? It's been a while since I've popped the disk in (it requires moving the disk from the talisman I wear at all times), but if I remember it correctly, A moves you forward and B turns you around. When you reach fork in the road, you pick your path with the analog stick. And if you're shooting someone, you hit L for the crosshairs, and then fire with A. I mean, it's about as simplistic as it gets. There aren't enough maneuvers for it to be unintuitive, unless you're just mindlessly pawing at the controller.

I think the argument essentially comes down to whether you're judging Killer7 as a product by traditional standards, or if you're just going off of your experience. I would never call Killer7 flawless (not seriously, anyway - I'm sure I jokingly referred to it as such dozens of times) - far from it. It has a laundry list of issues (controls aside, of course). But my actual experience playing it was so positive and rewarding, I was able to overlook those flaws.

Oh, and I will totally cop to being lazy about mailing the game to Jonny. I must have promised him I was on the way to the post office like four times, and then I'd just forget. Cocaine's a hell of a drug.

I don't snort cocaine.

Emphasis on SNORT.

Okay, that was a joke.

Or was it?

It was.

...

The aiming never felt right to me. Navigating the environment is also confusing because of how the direction-choosing menu is presented.

I'm sure there is a lot to enjoy in Killer 7's story. In multiple attempts, however, I've never been able to get into the story because the gameplay is so bad. So, if the gameplay mechanics are simply an interface for the storytelling, they utterly fail because they prohibit me from experiencing the story.

In other words, you can't excuse bad gameplay by saying it's artistically bad.

CëricOctober 11, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

In other words, you can't excuse bad gameplay by saying it's artistically bad.

Indeed, and from my experience this is a problem Suda 51 has in general of just putting bad gameplay in the game for whatever reason (ex. No More Heroes' "open world' sections) for the sake of saying...something.  In the meantime, though, the game's still awful.

Regarding Killer 7, I didn't actually have fun with that game till the last 2 chapters of the game (the chapter that mocks sentei shows with Dan and the final chapter where stuff actually started getting explained).  Up till then, the story was just complete nonsense and the game wasn't all that fun to actually play to me.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorOctober 11, 2009

See, we just disagree about the gameplay being bad. I think it's limited, but I still found it decent enough, or at least unobtrusive in allowing me to enjoy the story. I agree with you on the issue of navigation in that it can be confusing, but that's not a control issue.

I guess we just have different thresholds as to what can be thrown our way before it's frustrating.

As for the issue of the story itself being unintelligible, I can see people feeling that way if they only played through the first third, or maybe even half. But much like, say LOST or Twin Peaks, if you stick it out you're well rewarded. Okay, maybe not so much with Twin Peaks. ;)

CëricOctober 11, 2009

Quote from: KarlCastaneda

As for the issue of the story itself being unintelligible, I can see people feeling that way if they only played through the first third, or maybe even half. But much like, say LOST or Twin Peaks, if you stick it out you're well rewarded. Okay, maybe not so much with Twin Peaks. ;)

Funny you should mention Twin Peaks, which amazingly I'd say actually makes a great deal more sense than Killer 7.  I actually just this last week downloaded and watched the series up to the point where the killer was "dealt with".  Man, and they say 24's writing is laughably bad.  An entire show devoted on an FBI agent who gets his leads and "evidence" though dreams and visions involving giants and midgets...and the whole town just goes along with him as if he's not insane.  Yeah, if you can look past the utter absurdity of the show there is some redeeming stuff in there.

I also just tonight started watching Lost, which so far has been pretty ****ing boring (I'm on Part 2 of the Pilot).

I've played through the entirety of Killer 7 3 times over several years, and the story's just as impenetrable now as it was when I first started playing the game.  The only part that makes sense is, once again, the last chapter.  The rest is just rambling nonsense, like Suda 51 decided to suddenly go Hideo Kojima on the conspiracy theorizing.

EjamerOctober 12, 2009

Killer 7 is for people who want to think they are fans of intellectual art, when it is the ravings of a lunatic about reincarnation, split personalities, and the constant battle between good and evil. Basically it is Castlevania only done in a pseudo intellectual way so Suda51 fans can think highly of themselves and look down on those who don't like Suda51's subpar gameplay design.

Quote:

I also just tonight started watching Lost, which so far has been pretty ****ing boring (I'm on Part 2 of the Pilot).

Love Lost.

CëricOctober 12, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote:

I also just tonight started watching Lost, which so far has been pretty ****ing boring (I'm on Part 2 of the Pilot).

Love Lost.

I'm really up in the air about the show so far, having gotten up to the 7th episode and so far not found the show all the great.  There's just a whole lot of talking and little actual doing.  Now, I'm fine if a show wants to do a lot of talking, as I'm a big fan of The West Wing, but Lost can't seem to make up its mind if it wants to be a spooky action show or a "let's talk about our feelings" kind of show.  I just find it a very hard show to sit through, especially since I only see maybe 2 characters worth caring about (Jack and Locke).

EjamerOctober 12, 2009

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote:

I also just tonight started watching Lost, which so far has been pretty ****ing boring (I'm on Part 2 of the Pilot).

Love Lost.

I'm really up in the air about the show so far, having gotten up to the 7th episode and so far not found the show all the great.  There's just a whole lot of talking and little actual doing.  Now, I'm fine if a show wants to do a lot of talking, as I'm a big fan of The West Wing, but Lost can't seem to make up its mind if it wants to be a spooky action show or a "let's talk about our feelings" kind of show.  I just find it a very hard show to sit through, especially since I only see maybe 2 characters worth caring about (Jack and Locke).

I love the characters in Lost, I did not mind the slow start it got off to in the 1st and 2nd seasons. It is very character, dialogue driven. Season 3 on really picks up the pace. In fact my favorite seasons are 3-5, they are more focused and to the point. Though with that said I appreciated the more methodical nature of the first two seasons because I grew to know and love many of the characters in the show.

gojiraOctober 12, 2009

My main issue with the control on Geist was the c-stick aiming wasn't as precise as I would've liked.  It seemed like you needed to push the stick far to get it to move at all.  So it was hard to do incremental movements.

There was something about the aiming in Killer 7 that gave me problems.  But I felt everything else about the game (sound, graphics, characters and story) were fantastic.  Overall I loved the game despite the aiming controls.  But that was a bit of a hurdle for me to overcome. 

GoldenPhoenix¸October 12, 2009

James... well done. What you said right at the end made me burst into laughter right into some womans ear on the train this afternoon.

Quote from: Plugabugz

James... well done. What you said right at the end made me burst into laughter right into some womans ear on the train this afternoon.

That's exactly what we're going for.  Our job is done here.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)October 12, 2009

Jolly good show, chaps!
You guys had the comedy mind frames very much in place, Greg in particular. The answers to the first letter had me in hysterics, especially "After playing Disaster, I look at wildlife and think 'I can take it'". Priceless.

The third letter was more thought provoking. While it is indeed true that Nintendo has been reliant on its established franchises this generation, I don't really see the problem with it. Okay, NSMB Wii and Zelda: Spirit Tracks might not be the most original games ever conceived, but we can be safe in saying that they will be high quality titles.
Also, the complacency is apparent on the other consoles as well, to be fair. Just look at the big holiday titles for PS3 and 360 - Uncharted 2, Assassin's Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and so on & so forth. I think it's simply what the consumer majority wants: more games in the brands they recognise and like. It is easier to be excited about a sequel to something you enjoyed than an unknown, out of the blue game with unique ideas you know nothing about it which could easily go wrong.

Anyway, great episode, although I have two more notes. I'm amazed none of you have picked up Mario And Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Plus, when should we expect the MegaDrive RetroActive poll?

EjamerOctober 13, 2009

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

Jolly good show, chaps!
You guys had the comedy mind frames very much in place, Greg in particular. The answers to the first letter had me in hysterics, especially "After playing Disaster, I look at wildlife and think 'I can take it'". Priceless.

The third letter was more thought provoking. While it is indeed true that Nintendo has been reliant on its established franchises this generation, I don't really see the problem with it. Okay, NSMB Wii and Zelda: Spirit Tracks might not be the most original games ever conceived, but we can be safe in saying that they will be high quality titles.
Also, the complacency is apparent on the other consoles as well, to be fair. Just look at the big holiday titles for PS3 and 360 - Uncharted 2, Assassin's Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and so on & so forth. I think it's simply what the consumer majority wants: more games in the brands they recognise and like. It is easier to be excited about a sequel to something you enjoyed than an unknown, out of the blue game with unique ideas you know nothing about it which could easily go wrong.

Anyway, great episode, although I have two more notes. I'm amazed none of you have picked up Mario And Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Plus, when should we expect the MegaDrive RetroActive poll?

Greg has Mario and Luigi 3,  my guess is that he will talk about it the next show. It came out a couple weeks later in the UK.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusOctober 13, 2009

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

Anyway, great episode, although I have two more notes. I'm amazed none of you have picked up Mario And Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.

Yes, I picked up Bowser's Inside Story on launch day here in the UK, which was the day after we recorded this episode. I've been very pleased with it so far and I'm looking forward to discussing it on the next show.

LolmonadeOctober 13, 2009

Instances of where companies wring as much revenue out of the customers as possible in the short run even with the risk of losing them? If you ask Sean Malstrom that's what the whole damn game industry is doing. It's the cancer that's killing the game industry and only Nintendo is taking steps to avoid that death.

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

Also, the complacency is apparent on the other consoles as well, to be fair. Just look at the big holiday titles for PS3 and 360 - Uncharted 2, Assassin's Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and so on & so forth.

Yes, they're all sequels, but note that all of those franchises were born this generation.  Beyond Wii Sports/Resort and Wii Fit/Plus, I can't think of any major Nintendo developed-and-published title this generation that isn't an extension of one of their existing franchises.  Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Punch-Out!!, etc.  You have stuff like Wario Land: Shake It, Captain Rainbow, and Excitebots, but those are minor titles meant more to fill out their roster than be flagships.  Outside of the Metroid franchise (which was always sort of a black sheep), Nintendo's game releases this generation have been completely predictable.  Sort of like, "Yeah, OK, I know you're going to release those four or five games, but what else do you have?", and then there isn't anything else.

Oh well, they're making money, who am I to argue?

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusOctober 13, 2009

Dear Nintendo,

Less Balance Board, More Pikmin.

Signed,
DrewMG

LolmonadeOctober 13, 2009

Dear Nintendo,

You made a unique control scheme now make games that work well with it. It's downright pathetic that it took a new peripheral to surpass Wii Sports and you don't even have new games lined up for it!

EjamerOctober 13, 2009

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

Also, the complacency is apparent on the other consoles as well, to be fair. Just look at the big holiday titles for PS3 and 360 - Uncharted 2, Assassin's Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and so on & so forth.

Yes, they're all sequels, but note that all of those franchises were born this generation.  Beyond Wii Sports/Resort and Wii Fit/Plus, I can't think of any major Nintendo developed-and-published title this generation that isn't an extension of one of their existing franchises.  Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Punch-Out!!, etc.  You have stuff like Wario Land: Shake It, Captain Rainbow, and Excitebots, but those are minor titles meant more to fill out their roster than be flagships.  Outside of the Metroid franchise (which was always sort of a black sheep), Nintendo's game releases this generation have been completely predictable.  Sort of like, "Yeah, OK, I know you're going to release those four or five games, but what else do you have?", and then there isn't anything else.

Oh well, they're making money, who am I to argue?

Really Modern Warfare 2 was born out of this generation? I think you may need to scratch that one, it is apart of the Call of Duty franchise. Also how is PUnch-Out!! a predictable release?The franchise has been dormant for well over a decade. What about Sin and Punishment 2, is that a predictable Nintendo published title? Or perhaps Endless Ocean, a brand new franchise? Not only that why use 3rd party games as an argument? Out of those games that aren't predictable Uncharted is the ONLY 1st party game on that list. The fact is that both Sony and MS rely just as heavily on established franchises for their 1st party lineup as Nintendo does.

D_AverageOctober 13, 2009

I bought Killer 7 on Karls word from an old RFN show. Two days later I placed it in an envelope after selling it on Ebay. I thought it was decent but the guy who kept repeating "we're in a tight spot really gave me the bad kind of creeps. It's all good though. I ended up gaining $1.25 from the transaction.

I am very eager to play Mario & Luigi 3, but am trying to wait until my next air travel, at the end of October. I may pick up Nostalgia too at that time, if reviews are strong.

Sorry about the Genesis poll -- I'm going to work on that today.

Quote from: KDR_11k

If you ask Sean Malstrom

No thanks.

VuduOctober 14, 2009

Jumping through a plate glass window to tackle a wild animal. This is the greatest thing Crimm has ever said.

D_AverageOctober 15, 2009

Sean Malstrom lost me at "fishing in Wi Play is actually a great game".  He fronts as a buisness man who studies Nintendo but he's just another phony. He cheers from the bench regularly for MS and Sony motion controls to fail.  Not the best source for "objective" industry analysis. 

LolmonadeOctober 15, 2009

He changed his tone to "the game industry must die so gaming may live". Now he's loking for ways the game industry is stuck up its own arse and trying to wring more revenue out of their ever shrinking customerbase.

I can't wait to not read anything he writes again, ever.

I'm a little behind on my podcasts, but I listened to this today. Two things: Yes, it was me who lent Jonny my copy of Killer 7. I picked it up for $10 the summer before the Wii launch and screwed around with it. When Jonny sent it back, I played it for about an hour and then sold it for $10 on half.com

Also, Sony didn't publish or do anything with Noby Noby Boy. That's all Namco Bandai and the dude who made Katamari. They chose to do it on PS3.

Quote from: ShyGuy

Jumping through a plate glass window to tackle a wild animal. This is the greatest thing Crimm has ever said.

I have no memory of this.

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