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Episode 188: Rondo of Games

by Jonathan Metts - March 21, 2010, 3:50 pm PDT
Total comments: 37

The last episode before PAX East features Monster Hunter Tri, Ragnarok DS, Dracula X, and much more!

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Our live podcast debut is less than a week away, but we hardly skimped on gaming content to bring you this stuffed episode. We start with the disappointing, ostensibly free demo of Monster Hunter 3 Tri. Jon's all about God of War III, James is slogging through the inexplicable DS version of Ragnarok, and Greg has a new Japanese VC game (extra obscure this time). Jonny praises Mass Effect 2, slams the localization of Sky Crawlers, and then joins Greg in analyzing Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.

Listener Mail kicks off with a Shout-Out for Blizzard's 16-bit gem, The Lost Vikings. We also answer your letters about hatin' on decent games, quality co-op adventures for the whole family, and rampant speculation on the status of Dragon Quest X for Wii.

Heading to PAX East in March? If you can stand to miss part of Chris Kohler's panel or Wil Wheaton's keynote, please consider attending our own panel, Radio Free Nintendo: A Live Nintendo Podcast for Grown-Ups. Jonny, James, Jon, Karl, and Mike will be in person to discuss Nintendo games and take your questions, directly from the audience! There are also plans to have a social gathering with RFN fans that weekend -- check the forum thread for details. If you can't make it to PAX, don't worry! We plan to record everything for the podcast feed.

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

happyastoriaMarch 21, 2010

I can't waite to listen!

CëricMarch 21, 2010

I had a similar experience getting Resonance of Fate last week that you did getting Infinite Space, James, except that in my case I did have a pre-order so it might have actually been worse.  :-\

noname2200March 21, 2010

Disappointment with the Monster Hunter demo?! That's not a good sign.

Kytim89March 21, 2010

With the two-undreth episode of RFN looming ever closer, what is the crew of the show going to celebrate the occasion? Also, after playing the Monster Hunter 3  demo I am a littled worried about the final game. Particularly the controls. Without a solid lock-on feature there is no hope of beating a monster because the camera keeps causing me to miss the monster when I go to strike it, leaving me open for the monster to retaliate and kill me. If the final game is anything like this, I will probably return it to gamestop. 

Goshdarn iTunes is taking it's goshdarn time to make the episode available.

VuduMarch 21, 2010

I liked the MH Tri demo coverage

CëricMarch 21, 2010

Quote from: Kytim89

With the two-undreth episode of RFN looming ever closer, what is the crew of the show going to celebrate the occasion?

Honestly, I hope nothing at all but just a brief mention.  If there's one thing I'm getting tired of lately in some of my podcasts, it's the self-indulgent massive look-backs upon the origin of the various podcasts we've already heard multiple times now.  Yes, stuff like 103 will be the stuff of legend eternally, but I'm much more interested in the Now and what the crew has to say on gaming Now.

No plans for 200 yet -- I'm focused on PAX right now, and we've still got three months before the milestone. I tend to agree with broodwars in that we should not spend too much time reminiscing on the past. However, we can still do something special to mark the occasion. Maybe our Top 200 Nintendo Games Ever. No chance.

Kytim89March 21, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

No plans for 200 yet -- I'm focused on PAX right now, and we've still got three months before the milestone. I tend to agree with broodwars in that we should not spend too much time reminiscing on the past. However, we can still do something special to mark the occasion. Maybe our Top 200 Nintendo Games Ever. No chance.


I had the idea that you guys could basically psychoanalyze Nintendo and figure out what exactly their place in gaming history is. Their impact is very substantail. However, you guys seem to do this in every episode, so it would not work. Nintendo Power just did a special where in one issue they look at the past in regards to Nintendo and the next issue they talk about the future(games of 2010). I would like to see RFN do something similar.

The reason why I asked if the PAX podcast will be in video form is because I would like to see what the cast memembers loo like. I have listend to the show for about a year and it is strange to hear voices without a face to go with them because I am listening to podcasts more than television.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusMarch 21, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

No plans for 200 yet -- I'm focused on PAX right now, and we've still got three months before the milestone. I tend to agree with broodwars in that we should not spend too much time reminiscing on the past. However, we can still do something special to mark the occasion. Maybe our Top 200 Nintendo Games Ever. No chance.

Perhaps the show can be recorded as each host races to collect 200 banana coins in donkey kong 64? just a thought :P:

Jonny have you picked up FFXIII or are you waiting on that? I only ask because I think someone mentioned that they were interested to hear what you thought of it. I am really enjoying it, even in the face of its blatant Japanesey-ness.

Quote from: Kytim89

I had the idea that you guys could basically psychoanalyze Nintendo and figure out what exactly their place in gaming history is.

I heard that they're really good at making playing cards.

Kytim89March 21, 2010

Quote from: Crimm

Quote from: Kytim89

I had the idea that you guys could basically psychoanalyze Nintendo and figure out what exactly their place in gaming history is.

I heard that they're really good at making playing cards.


Or making a bunch of quirky peripherals that no one seems to understand. What I actually meant was why did Nintendo choose to go the route they have went and continue to this day. Why are they so reserved when they could easily be at Sony or Microsoft's level?

Quote from: greybrick

Jonny have you picked up FFXIII or are you waiting on that?

Bought it last week, haven't played it yet. Unlike some people, however, I do eventually play every game that I buy. I plan to start FF13 as soon as I finish Mass Effect 2, which will be very soon. I'll probably just barely start it before leaving for PAX.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusMarch 22, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Quote from: greybrick

Jonny have you picked up FFXIII or are you waiting on that?

Bought it last week, haven't played it yet. Unlike some people, however, I do eventually play every game that I buy. I plan to start FF13 as soon as I finish Mass Effect 2, which will be very soon. I'll probably just barely start it before leaving for PAX.

Well I hope you enjoy it, I have found myself having a better time with it than I did with ME2. I say that not to put down ME2, because I enjoyed that game greatly. I think the complaints of linearity are silly, I enjoy that the game doesn't pull a dragon quest on you. FFXIII propels you down a path much like ME2 does, except you play through a crafted story arc as opposed to choosing your way through that story. Where Mass Effect lets the player pick and choose what content they will experience and in what order, FFXIII presents a dictated adventure that to me at least ends up feeling more purposeful.

Mass Effect 2 is already one of my favorite games ever. I don't expect Final Fantasy to be on that same level, but it doesn't need to be.

CëricMarch 22, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Quote from: greybrick

Jonny have you picked up FFXIII or are you waiting on that?

Bought it last week, haven't played it yet. Unlike some people, however, I do eventually play every game that I buy. I plan to start FF13 as soon as I finish Mass Effect 2, which will be very soon. I'll probably just barely start it before leaving for PAX.

Do yourself a favor and try to play through at least the first 3 chapters before you talk about it on RFN, because the first two chapters are very different from the other 11 in terms of gameplay mechanics.  Up until Chapter 3, you don't have access to the Paradigm Shift or Crystarium systems, and without them the game really is just a shadow of itself.

I have to agree with greybrick on the whole "wah!  It's linear!" complaint we're seeing right now in the press and whatnot, usually without an explanation of why linearity is actually bad and how it hurts the game.  I love how FF XIII is just constantly propelling you forward and keeping a steady pace, without ever forcing me to stop and grind or run around performing some inane fetch quest.  Besides, the game opens up at the end, which sadly is where I stopped playing out of FF XIII fatigue (currently playing Resonance of Fate right now).

EjamerMarch 22, 2010

The linear nature of FF13 actually sounds appealing to me, and the combat system sounds fun.

Kytim89March 22, 2010

You guy talked abot Dragon Quest 10 being a wii exclusive. Well, what if Dragon Quest 9 and 10 do very well financially and Final Fantasy XV ends up being a wii exclusive?

I'm sad Jonny replied to this thread already. I was going to comment how much he's told me he hates ME2.

I can say for certain, no matter how much Square Enix makes on DQIX and DQX that FFXV will not be an exclusive for anyone, nor will it be on anything but the most powerful systems.

The hallmark of Final Fantasy titles are their exorbitant production values. Dragon Quest has always been a simpler experience, including in the realm of presentation. Akira Toriyama's simpler Anime style is bonded to that franchise. As such, it is fine on less beefy hardware.

Because of the high production values, and the lack of a clear platform leader (excluding Wii/Japan), it isn't fiscally sound for Square Enix to make the next Final Fantasy a platform exclusive, without moneyhats involved. Now if we see FFXIII bomb on the 360 this might change, but I doubt it will. Square Enix released Final Fantasy XI on the 360 so they probably have an idea of what to expect (despite the unique nature of FFXI).

GregLover5000March 22, 2010

My heart broke  :'(  at the missed opportunity at 51:40. LORDS OF THUNDER! Say it properly, with reverence!

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusMarch 22, 2010

All of the gamestop talk on this episode reminded me that I am still thinking about getting a DSiXL and that at Gamestop you can trade in your DS Lite and get the XL for $99.99. Now, seeing as I play GBA games on my SP or the Game Boy Player (still, yes) this trade in deal has seriously got me thinking. Anyone else biting?

greybrick, that is an astonishingly good deal if true -- but I don't see anything about it at the store's website. I'm skeptical that they would offer $90 of credit for a system that retails for $129, especially knowing that many systems being traded in would be quite old. But if that offer holds up, I might actually go for it.

Kytim89March 22, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

greybrick, that is an astonishingly good deal if true -- but I don't see anything about it at the store's website. I'm skeptical that they would offer $90 of credit for a system that retails for $129, especially knowing that many systems being traded in would be quite old. But if that offer holds up, I might actually go for it.


Supposedly the wii is not selling very well in Japan, so there might be a chance that Nintendo could use their economic clout to persuade Square Enix to make the game exclusive. Also, there might be a chance that Final Fantasy 7 will be remade for the PS3. So, if that game was to appear, it might let FF 15 appear on the wii. I just want a proper final fantasy for the wii, that is all.

As for Iwata appearing at TGS 10 on DS made out of gold. The DS would open up and a platform would rise out of the touch screen and a bunch of Nintendo employees form a series of human stairs for Iwata to walk down to ground like Xerxes in the movie 300. You know the platform he was carried around in? Imagine that but with a DS as the carriage.

I heared something about a cobra at the endo of the show. What does that mean?

Lastly, James and Johnny, if you tow have played both Mass Effect and Dragon Age, I suggest you visit the Bioware forum to discuss the game with thousands of other people who have played the game as well.

http://forums.bioware.com/

I used to frequent this form before the Sonic Chronicles and off-topic forum dried up. If you guys venture inot the form, you should go see the Sonic Chronicles forum, my topics are all over the place and I use the same name, kytim89.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusMarch 22, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

greybrick, that is an astonishingly good deal if true -- but I don't see anything about it at the store's website. I'm skeptical that they would offer $90 of credit for a system that retails for $129, especially knowing that many systems being traded in would be quite old. But if that offer holds up, I might actually go for it.

There were a couple of boxes with that advertisement on them when I went in today, and the manager told me it was correct. So, for now I will assume that it is real.

Edit  I just called in to another gamestop to confirm whether or not this promotion was valid for the DS lite seeing as the Gamestop I went into also made the Monster Hunter mistake. It turns out, a DS lite will drop the price to $129.99, and a DSi will drop it to $99.99. Understandable I suppose, but it was enough to put me off.

What really bugs me is that when the first gamestop pulled the boxes with the promotion details printed on them to read the deal to me, and I confirmed with them that I had a DS lite, they didn't mention the different prices. They even tried to get me to put money down then and there based on an incorrect deal. Mistakes happen, but two employees at that store both agreed that a DS lite would get me the $99 DSiXL. The things those people will say to get your money, "If I were you, I'd put down the $25 right now so that you get one and you can just bring in your DS lite when you pick it up". Hooey!

Quote from: Kytim89

I am a littled worried about the final game. Particularly the controls. Without a solid lock-on feature there is no hope of beating a monster because the camera keeps causing me to miss the monster when I go to strike it, leaving me open for the monster to retaliate and kill me. If the final game is anything like this, I will probably return it to gamestop.

Those are the controls, and they've been that way for time immemorial.  It controls exactly like the PSP version.  It takes some getting used to (and I'm used to it, so I don't mind it at all), but the key is to use the left shoulder button on the Classic Controller to keep centering the camera behind you when it gets out of whack.  I think they kept the camera and the direction of your character separate so that you can look around and see what's going on around you while you're whacking at something.

Quote from: Kytim89

The reason why I asked if the PAX podcast will be in video form is because I would like to see what the cast memembers loo like.

Enjoy

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Bought it last week, haven't played it yet. Unlike some people, however, I do eventually play every game that I buy.

Tough crowd in this thread.

Quote from: GregLover5000

My heart broke  :'(  at the missed opportunity at 51:40. LORDS OF THUNDER! Say it properly, with reverence!

Oh man, this was total ball droppage.  I'm slipping.  Maybe I'm just too used to cracking Cho Aniki jokes.  I need new material.

Quote from: Kytim89

I heared something about a cobra at the endo of the show. What does that mean?

Call the Cobra.

Quote from: greybrick

What really bugs me is that when the first gamestop pulled the boxes with the promotion details printed on them to read the deal to me, and I confirmed with them that I had a DS lite, they didn't mention the different prices. They even tried to get me to put money down then and there based on an incorrect deal. Mistakes happen, but two employees at that store both agreed that a DS lite would get me the $99 DSiXL. The things those people will say to get your money, "If I were you, I'd put down the $25 right now so that you get one and you can just bring in your DS lite when you pick it up". Hooey!

Oh, that GameStop.

I am totally doing the wave at this recording.

I wasn't necessarily talking about you, Jon. I know tons of people who buy more games than they can play or actually collect games with little or no desire to even play them.

LolmonadeMarch 23, 2010

You talk about the sequel stuff as a dilemma but it really isn't. A sequel must maintain the core essence of a game. This is very tricky but neither "keep it the same" nor "change it" are the correct answer. To pick up one of your examples: People complained about Hyrule being the same because it got stale and predictable, exploration doesn't really feel like exploring if you pretty much know what's going to be there. But just because we got bored with the land under our feet doesn't mean the solution is to replace it with water. People weren't bored with the basic idea of walking around terrain, they were bored by the place being the same every time. The player one podcast talks about God of War 3 and makes a very good point there: It still wows you with stuff you haven't seen before. That is part of the GoW essence. Just recycling old stuff would lose that essence because it would no longer wow you. Retaining that part of the essence means that you cannot retain the actual content as-is but it doesn't mean you should change GoW into an RPG or something.

Another example you cite is Mario 64, yes it's a massive departure. To many people the 3D Mario lost the essence of the Mario they loved which is why NSMBW outsold Galaxy. It's not about stars vs flagpoles, it's about the thought process involved in a level. What do you think about in 2D Mario? Just about what's on the current screen and how you can get to the right of it. In 3D Mario many stars are puzzles and require exploring the area, neither of which are part of the original Mario essence.

SouthForkMarch 23, 2010

Can't wait for the PAX cast.
It occurred to me while listening this week that everyone at PAX, no matter what they are into playing now (MW2, L4D, or ME2), was at some time an eight year old sitting in front of the T.V. playing a Nintendo in some form or fashion. So no matter what booth you are eager to check out or what next gen motion controls you are rooting for one thing is certain: everyone at that convention center has Nintendo to thank for getting them there. Kum bay ya.


Also. I had no interest in Monster Hunter Tri. I went to Gamestop yesterday to trade in a game and saw the demo display and grabbed one. The guy tried to get me to pre-order and I used Johnny's line from the podcast about the press release. Thanks Johnny.


Got home and I was floored at how much I enjoyed it. It is hard as hell and the 20 min time limit doesn't seem long enough to take a monster down. The controls are weird but once I figured them out I kind of got into it. So ironically I will be going back to that guy and giving him my pre-order money.  (I'm such a push-over.)


Rob.


P.S. Greg, thanks for the awesome editing. I love how much work you put into making the cast top-notch. I can't tell you how many times I've used the chapter feature to jump around. I wish every podcast put in that kind of work.

GregLover5000March 23, 2010

Quote from: SouthFork

P.S. Greg, thanks for the awesome editing. I love how much work you put into making the cast top-notch. I can't tell you how many times I've used the chapter feature to jump around. I wish every podcast put in that kind of work.

Funny, I was going to post just about the exact same thing yesterday, word for word. I was listening on my work PC (no iTunes) and was really missing the awesome chapter markers and wondering why more podcasts aren't made with the same level of craftsmanship. So, yes, enhanced podcasts: one more reason to love Greg.

P.S. A great game for the four-year-old co-op gamer is of course Boom Blox.

Really? I think the competitive multi in Boom Blox is a lot more fun than any of the cooperative modes. Now I haven't played Bash Party, so maybe that one is a different story.

Quote from: SouthFork

Got home and I was floored at how much I enjoyed it. It is hard as hell and the 20 min time limit doesn't seem long enough to take a monster down. The controls are weird but once I figured them out I kind of got into it. So ironically I will be going back to that guy and giving him my pre-order money.  (I'm such a push-over.)

That's my biggest problem with the demo...it actually turns people off from the game.  If you put your time in and actually learn to grasp the controls, it's very addictive, but the demo will communicate that to very few people.

Like I said on the podcast, the bosses are effectively living puzzles, and it's up to you to solve them through trial and error.  You start to think things like, maybe you should use a different weapon.  Maybe you could try a different tactic, like hitting them with a smoke bomb or paralyzing them.  What's their "tell" that shows you they're weak and ready to be trapped?  Can they call for help, and if so, how long do you have before you do so?  How far away do they typically fly?  When you enter the area, do they spot you right away?  It goes on and on.

Monster Hunter Tri is not a quick-hit game.  It's an unforgiving, old-school title that rewards those that take the time to learn its intricacies and idiosyncracies.  It's not suited for a demo in the slightest.

So its a game made for a very tiny market: me.

Kytim89March 24, 2010

So you guys want to start a monster hunter hunting party? If so, count me in once the game releases.

LolmonadeMarch 25, 2010

I don't think you could count on me because I'm generally bad at melee combat in games.

noname2200March 26, 2010

Quote from: KDR_11k

I don't think you could count on me because I'm generally bad at melee combat in games.

So stick to the bowgun! You can be the party's archer 'n stuff.

LolmonadeMarch 26, 2010

Bowgun? That's not nearly enuff dakka!

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