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Episode 177: Eminence Front

by Jonathan Metts - January 3, 2010, 12:09 pm PST
Total comments: 11

Andy sits in with the RFN crew to kick off 2010 with tons of games!

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Radio Free Nintendo enters 2010 with this bang-up episode focusing on impressions from our ongoing holiday gaming sessions. James was stuck at work for this one, so we asked Andy Goergen (of the NWR Newscast) to step in. His slow trek through the Zelda franchise is up to Majora's Mask. Andy is also catching up with The Conduit, and we manage to say some nice things about it (mixed with the usual criticism). Jon's New Business covers two major releases of the past few months. He finally has New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which we seem to have discussed every week since its launch. It is, however, about damn time we got some Modern Warfare 2 talk on the show.

Jonny's holiday journeys through the South brought him tantalizingly close to legendary gamer Billy Mitchell, but his real New Business is A Boy and His Blob. And, despite numerous misgivings that were at least partially valid, he played through most of Spirit Tracks and has plenty to say about that. Greg finally puts this segment to bed with a second look at Metroid Prime (from the Trilogy) and a report on Space Manbow from the Japanese Virtual Console.

Our weekly dose of Listener Mail got cut short, but we still discuss a pair of letters. The first, about getting bad video game gifts, leads to some funny stories from the crew. We end the show with a fun question about Wii achievements and social network integration. Be sure to check out next week's show, when we'll give our Nintendo predictions for 2010.

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

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusJanuary 03, 2010

Great episode- Thanks Guys!

I started replaying Majora this weekend. I'm looking forward to hearing Andy's thoughts.

KDR_11kJanuary 04, 2010

I wouldn't suggest going into DMs much as you're learning CoDMW2 because every death counts against your team, I prefer Domination because it allows you to go both on offense and defense and there are valuable locations so you don't just camp anywhere. One of my online friends is in the military and he talks a lot about how people don't know basic military behaviours and by applying them he can get crazy kill sprees with an LMG.

The quotes in singleplayer remain the same I think (the flags you can get for your emblem cover tons of countries but most people just get the various achievement banners). BiA DS did that too but I think it's more about how horrible war is.


Aonuma stated he made the train slow because players would just rush from dungeon to dungeon and he wanted to slow them down. I don't know WHY that idiot would want to slow the player down...

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJanuary 04, 2010

As always, I had a great time on the show.  Thanks for having me on!

Thanks for the Spirit Tracks imps, Jonny. You and I had pretty similar feelings about Phantom Hourglass, and much of what you stated about this entry made me cringe, so now I'm fully comfortable passing on this sequel.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)January 05, 2010

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

Thanks for the Spirit Tracks imps, Jonny. You and I had pretty similar feelings about Phantom Hourglass, and much of what you stated about this entry made me cringe, so now I'm fully comfortable passing on this sequel.

Pfffft. Your loss. The dungeon design in Spirit Tracks is some of the best in the franchise and honestly, if you give yourself things to do while driving, the train segments are fine, especially as more warp gates open up...

...which brings me to some corrections for the RFN crew with regard to Spirit Tracks.
* I don't know why you had so much trouble with the warp system. Every time I found a new warp point, I marked two locations on my map and labelled with region it takes me to. It really isn't as convoluted as you made it sound.
* You speak of the game like the temples and the train travel are the only gameplay portions of it. The activity in the towns have been, in my view, vastly improved over Phantom Hourglass. Nearly everybody has a sidequest for you, there's a decent amount of environmental puzzles to solve so you can explore the locale more and there's plenty of optional games to partake in.

Good episode otherwise. It has me chomping at the bit to play A Boy And His Blob some more (Little King's Story has been occupying all my gaming time since Christmas).

I'm with TYP. I was surprised at how much Jonny seemed to not genuinely enjoy the game. Like Lindy said, he "put in his time."

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusJanuary 08, 2010

The standard of the quotes have fallen pretty low from the first Modern Warfare. A couple of them had me thinking why they would quote those idiots. I don't mind that they were American centric, but they came off like they were hitting the bottom of the barrel.

The story also took a hit in the realism and cohesion department. It just jumps around too much for it's own good. Some of it comes off as an overblown Hollywood movie. But it did allow for some pretty cool situations (DC after the emp, the three fast food joint war, view from the ISS).

Also the game is far more heavily scripted than before, which is good and bad. It's good in that there are now far fewer sections where they would endlessly spawn, but now there are whole levels you have to start learning by rote due to all the backstabing that goes on (Brazil or "The Rock" Bathroom reconstruction).

I will have to replay it to understand the story better, but the first game was better.

Edit: sorry for the broken spoilers

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

* I don't know why you had so much trouble with the warp system. Every time I found a new warp point, I marked two locations on my map and labelled with region it takes me to. It really isn't as convoluted as you made it sound.

I did the same. But having hard-wired warp points, which are often out of the way, is far less convenient than simply playing a song and choosing your destination, as Greg noted. The system would be a lot better if you could take any warp gate to any other warp gate.

Quote:

* You speak of the game like the temples and the train travel are the only gameplay portions of it. The activity in the towns have been, in my view, vastly improved over Phantom Hourglass. Nearly everybody has a sidequest for you, there's a decent amount of environmental puzzles to solve so you can explore the locale more and there's plenty of optional games to partake in.

Nearly all of those sidequests you mention involve simply traveling among 2-3 destinations by train. They give you slightly different reasons to use the train, and some passengers make you drive the train more carefully (which is not fun at all), but it's all train-based. Some of the towns have minor puzzles and secret locations, but nothing more than in past Zelda games. As for optional games, the only one I saw was the Goron train-shooting thing, which is, again, just more train stuff. I can see how this would all be fine if you enjoy driving the train, but since I don't, the lack of true variety and exploration is really disappointing.

There's also the mini-dungeon thing at Hyrule Castle Town. It's decent in terms of providing a lot of additional combat, but most of the rooms are just slaughterhouses with no puzzle or strategic elements. And at the end of each section, you replay a boss from the real dungeons. It's extra content, to be sure, but it's not very imaginative material.

kraken613January 08, 2010

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

Pfffft. Your loss. The dungeon design in Spirit Tracks is some of the best in the franchise and honestly, if you give yourself things to do while driving, the train segments are fine, especially as more warp gates open up...

...which brings me to some corrections for the RFN crew with regard to Spirit Tracks.
* I don't know why you had so much trouble with the warp system. Every time I found a new warp point, I marked two locations on my map and labelled with region it takes me to. It really isn't as convoluted as you made it sound.
* You speak of the game like the temples and the train travel are the only gameplay portions of it. The activity in the towns have been, in my view, vastly improved over Phantom Hourglass. Nearly everybody has a sidequest for you, there's a decent amount of environmental puzzles to solve so you can explore the locale more and there's plenty of optional games to partake in.

I second this! I really love this game.

KDR_11kJanuary 09, 2010

Aonuma needs a good punch in the face, dude needs to realize that Zelda doesn't need transportation, it needs a fucking overworld. Epona should've gone to the glue factory, that damn horse is the reason modern Zeldas all expect you to ride something to go from A to B while filling all the area in between with nothing so they can claim an epic world without bothering with content.

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