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Episode 196: A Look Ahead

by Jonathan Metts - May 30, 2010, 5:42 pm PDT
Total comments: 28

Andy helps us to size up Nintendo's handheld plans at E3 2010. Plus: Trauma Team, Bit.Trip Runner, and more Galaxy 2!

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Jon is coming back before E3, don't worry, but our friend Andy Goergen stopped by to fill the big man's shoes this week. As a member of the NWR Newscast crew, Andy is well equipped to discuss the big show. But before that, we have to let loose on yet another massive dose of New Business. Mister Goergen starts with Galaxy 2 and a gem from yesteryear -- Godfather: Blackhand Edition. Jonny remains stuck in PS3-land and is rather displeased about it, judging by his comments on Little Big Planet, PixelJunk Monsters, and a withering post-script on Heavy Rain. James returns us to the Wii with enthusiastic impressions of Trauma Team, while Greg reports on Bit.Trip RUNNER, a game that might be too difficult even for him.

This show includes only Part 1 of our E3 preview, but we still filled a whole segment just talking about DS, DSi, and especially 3DS. We make bold, idealistic predictions on unannounced features, launch windows, and the first games that Nintendo will show on the handheld successor. Also: can DS/DSi have one more great E3 showing? We answer that question and tease our Wii speculations, which will be developed further on next week's episode!

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

happyastoriaMay 30, 2010


    Hey, this is Oswald from New York.

Jonny, I’m happy you saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  Heavy Rain is the most pathetic attempt  at an emotional story. I want to know if you notice this in the game. It lies  to you!! Let me explain, I’m sure you know that the game allows you  to read the character thoughts. In no way do you ever know what the killer is  actually thinking (Spoiler, it’s the detective). The detective puts himself in  so many situations to ask himself these questions:
How is the father doing?
When he thinks about his own childhood, does he ever think  about the child he kidnap?
He must be confused trying to help the woman with the  killer, when it’s actually him, right? These are question that I have no doubt that the killer  would ask himself, but for the stupid story it doesn’t. I think you were right  when you said, “It’s like he only wrote the start and the end of the story.”
Another thing is when Madison finally finds out who the  killer is.  She says, “Oh my God! It’s  you.” How the hell does she know it’s him? There is not one single scene involving  her and the detective!!!!!!!
Also, is it just me or does it look like the father got hit  by the car, not his child?
One last thing, why does the killer want to kill the father when the father did everything he asked? He proved to the killer that he would do anything for his child. This is what the killer wanted to see. Yet, he wants him dead!

The only thing to save this game is some zombie sex!

There's going to have to be a significant presence for the 3DS simply because Nintendo made a public-facing statement in the original announcement saying it would be at E3. If they don't deliver, they get slapped with a lawsuit from their shareholders.

I honestly wouldn't mind if they did a Japanese launch this year (November) because DS sales are back down to earth from their prior heavenly levels, and let the 3rd party developers get the kinks out before a March 2011 launch in NA and Europe.

Chad SexingtonMay 30, 2010

FYI:

I don't know too much about Trauma Team but... there are so many similarities between the "diagnostician" and House because there is no medical specialty for "Diagnostician" in the real world.  It's a made up specialty for the show.  (I think Cuddy also mentions it in one of the early episodes.)

:P:

Kytim89May 30, 2010

As for third party 3DS games, I would not mind seeing a Mass Effect titles by Bioware. Think about it for a moment, if Nintendo were to allow
continus internet connection I could very well see Bioware providing online content towards the game such as DLC. The same goes for a DEad Space game as well.

The biggest question that I have is the 3DS graphics. What will they be like in terms of quality? I am speculating that the 3DS will have graphics on par with that of the PSP. I do not buy the idea of the 3DS being a portable Gamecube because the wii is basically a gamecube and that is what hurt the PSP in regards to it being too close to the PS2.

Oswald: I did notice some of those inconsistencies, among others. Several major plot threads just go nowhere. A major example: What was causing Ethan's blackouts, and why did he find an origami in his jacket? And another: Why would Scott go to such lengths (killing dozens of henchmen) to frame the playboy when he could have easily seen that the cops had other suspects? As I said on the show, Heavy Rain sets up all kinds of interesting characters and conflicts, only to leave them all hanging with its contrived twist at the end. If the story's climax is basically set regardless of player choices, then there is no excuse for that climax to be so out of sync with everything before it.

ejamerMay 31, 2010


Great show guys.


I really enjoyed hearing impressions of Trauma Team, as that series is one of my personal favorites and the latest game has really brought a lot of new content to the table.  It's silly and a definitely over the top, but hits me just the right way.


The throwback to Godfather: Blackhand Edition was also fun.  Hearing about older games that are still worth playing is always interesting and a nice change from the constant "new is better" focus that gaming seems to thrive on.


Finally, Jonny's PS3 beatdown had me in stitches - Sony's console is solid and has plenty of games worth playing, but I agree that two of the three games discussed (especially LittleBigPlanet) were seriously flawed.  Which is worth playing: a cute platformer that doesn't control well, or a story-based game where the story falls apart?  The short answer is neither.

adadadMay 31, 2010

I don't feel the same enthusiasm for the Godfather that you guys did on the podcast - the motion controls are very good but I didn't feel much affinity for the story, and the gameplay becomes very repetitive. All the rewards that come your way are monetary even when you take over an entire district (although the process of taking them over can be very fun, albeit intense and sometimes frustrating). Also as a big Vice City fan I can't get behind Jonny's comparison - Godfather pales compared to the personality and breadth of GTA's cities. Maybe you see the latter aspect as a plus, but in the case of the former I found the experience of hopping into my first car to be greeted by Billie Jean on the radio set up the tone perfectly for the entire game. On the Godfather side I don't think I can ever listen to that theme song ever again.

happyastoriaMay 31, 2010

Jonny, do you think the story would have been better if we knew who the killer was since the start of the game? I think it would have been better then the crappy ending, and a lot of the plot holes would have been fixed. It also would have been a hell of a lot more interesting.

AVMay 31, 2010

About E3 predictions for launch 3ds games:


Brain Age 3-D -agree with 100%
Nintendogs 3-D will be ready and you can almost feel the dog lick you


Johnny it's going to be a Remake of Wario Land from Virtual Boy, I highly doubt a new mario this year


Star Fox is something to demo and will be shown but not launch game. Maybe include a demo within each system.


Great show guys.

broodwarsMay 31, 2010

Quote from: happyastoria

Jonny, do you think the story would have been better if we knew who the killer was since the start of the game? I think it would have been better then the crappy ending, and a lot of the plot holes would have been fixed. It also would have been a hell of a lot more interesting.

To be honest, thanks to internet assholes I had already had the identity of the killer spoiled for me before I played the game, and although I still think the twist is very sloppily done it didn't kill the experience for me like it did for Jonny.  Playing through the game with this knowledge, you notice this character has very odd body and facial language, so they come off as a little bit more sinister (or at least "odd").  The twist makes marginally more sense the second time through.

What killed Heavy Rain for me wasn't the identity of the killer or the plotholes, though, but the total lack of replayability.  The game does an excellent job your first time through of making you  your choices matter, but when you replay the game making different choices (as I did to get the Platinum) you see that there really are only a couple of branching points.  For the most part, the story plays out identically every time, and on subsequent replays the really really slow parts of the story just drag even more (just about everything with Madison, the two flashbacks, etc.).  I did really enjoy the climax, though, with the big confrontation with the killer.  It just had excellent use of cutting and music that brought out a very Hollywood feel that served the game well.  Pity the plot just can't hold the game together.  Fantastic use of Quick-Time Events, though, and I hope we see more games that use the mechanical blueprint this game established.

As for LittleBigPlanet, I don't care for it, either.  It is a decent game, and a lot more fun with a friend for co-op play, but the entire game is just a tutorial for the level editor.  The levels themselves aren't interesting, and frankly aren't all that creative.  And as Jonny said on the podcast, the game's mechanics just don't feel good, and often they don't work as intended.

ShyGuyMay 31, 2010

Last night I heard a Jason Ricci and New Blood song on the local blues radio show.

KDR_11kMay 31, 2010

For reference, Plants vs Zombies is better than Defense Grid.

I could see pilotwings instead of Star Fox, shooting stuff has less mass market appeal.

TJ SpykeJune 01, 2010

Listening to the show now, I have to agree on several things. I got LittleBigPlanet in November 2008 and I thought it was piss poor and was upset I paid $64.80 for it, The level editor is decent, but the controls were terrible (and controls are the most important part of a platformer).

bhurakJune 01, 2010

I wonder if you are doing something wrong in Monsters?  My wife and I played through monsters on regular (and sometimes hard) difficulty without much trouble.  Sure, some trial and error to figure out which upgrades are going to work best, but we had a blast with it. 

ejamerJune 01, 2010

Quote from: TJ

Listening to the show now, I have to agree on several things. I got LittleBigPlanet in November 2008 and I thought it was piss poor and was upset I paid $64.80 for it, The level editor is decent, but the controls were terrible (and controls are the most important part of a platformer).

For what it's worth, I think the level editor is much better than "decent" in LittleBigPlanet. I just have no interest in making levels for a game that isn't fun to play.  (Actually, I have very little interest in making levels generally speaking - I buy games, not level-design tools.)

broodwarsJune 01, 2010

It really bothers me that they've already announced that LittleBigPlanet 2 will be basically a game creation tool for several different genres, considering they didn't even get the platforming and level design right just focusing on that game type in LittleBigPlanet 1.  Didn't anyone at Sony think to tell them that they're getting just a tad bit overambitious and pretentous, and to get the basics down first?

Chad SexingtonJune 01, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Oswald: I did notice some of those inconsistencies, among others. Several major plot threads just go nowhere. A major example: *snip* As I said on the show, Heavy Rain sets up all kinds of interesting characters and conflicts, only to leave them all hanging with its contrived twist at the end. If the story's climax is basically set regardless of player choices, then there is no excuse for that climax to be so out of sync with everything before it.

I think you just described Lost.

:(

yoshi1001June 01, 2010

In regards to Pokemon BW, it could also be 3DS enhanced in terms of a persistent Internet connection (assuming there is one). Can you imagine a Pokemon game you can play online practically anywhere?

Parents, you'll never see your children again.

Er, um...

By the way, there's already a BW splash page at Pokemon.com, which I believe is earlier than it was announced last year for HGSS.

As far as a "2-D" Mario game on 3DS, they could do stuff like put Lakitu in the foregorund throwing Spinies at Mario further back. They could also do some cool enemy foreground/background stuff, much like (gasp) Mario Clash for VB. Except it could actually work.

As for the actual name of the system, the furthest I could see them going from "3DS" is "3-DS".

Mario Clash: The only Virtual Boy acquisition that I regret...more than the entirety of the purchase.

I never felt compelled to pick up LBP--largely because my gut kept telling me it would be exactly like what Jonny described. I'm glad I listened to it. Growing up on Mario, I'm quite particular about my platforming controls.

noname2200June 02, 2010

I enjoyed Little Big Planet well enough, but that was probably because I was casually playing it with friends rather than tackling it as a serious platformer.  Not that I disagree with the sentiment: I busted out laughing when the Mexican jail levels were mentioned, because that's also when I noticed just how loosey-goosey the game was.  We literally took turns slooooowly dropping our bombs off...

Quote from: Shaymin

There's going to have to be a significant presence for the 3DS simply because Nintendo made a public-facing statement in the original announcement saying it would be at E3. If they don't deliver, they get slapped with a lawsuit from their shareholders.

That's not at all how it works.

Quote from: KDR_11k

For reference, Plants vs Zombies is better than Defense Grid.

This man knows what he's talking about!

Quote from: KDR_11k

Well, usually.

fiendcodeJune 02, 2010

Star Fox is a good guess, but I actually suspect F-Zero will be the big OMGdepth! 3DS launch game from Nintendo.  F-Zero's a franchise that's traditionally only done well at system launches (SNES, GBA), Nintendo tends to always deliver a racer for system launches and a visually impressive F-Zero 3DS could draw encouraging comparisons with Sony's Wipeout HD 3D debut for PS3.  Seems like an easy fit, plus it'd be another "placate the hardcore" title.


Not sure what else we'll see, but I think a Wario Ware title is probably a safe guess.  I actually think we won't NSMB until year 2.  A handheld VC (Virtual Console Express?) seems like a shoe in too.  GB games for 500 points, GBA for 800.

fiendcodeJune 02, 2010

A few more quick thoughts, but I agree with Greg that 3DS will launch worldwide this year.  I also think that if one region sees a delay into Q1 2011, it'll be America rather than Europe, mainly on the basis of rapidly declining DS software sales in the latter region.


I kind of suspect Golden Sun DS may be backburned into a 3DS project, Cosmic Walker is completely dead and Kirby Wii will resurface as a 4 player NSMB style 2D platformer next year.  NOA will probably even call it "Kirby's Dream Land 4".  Pikmin 3 as a 3DS game is tantalizing thought, but I still kind of think it'll be a Wii game.  And I'm still hoping against all odds we still get NPC! Pikmin 2 in the US.

I like LBP a lot, especially with a group of friends. I suspect the game feels "loose" because the developers created the levels with largely the same toolset that they allow players to have. I haven't messed with the level creator--it's very daunting. However, it's something I do intend to try someday. I'd like to create "walkthroughs" of all three Jurassic Park movies.

I feel stupid for posting my theory about Pikmin 3 being a 3DS game earlier this week now that I know Greg said the same thing on RFN several days earlier.

noname2200June 04, 2010

Quote from: insanolord

I feel stupid for posting my theory about Pikmin 3 being a 3DS game earlier this week now that I know Greg said the same thing on RFN several days earlier.

Nah, he just read your post and edited it in over the weekend.  Sneaky!

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)June 06, 2010

I'll predict that Paper Mario 3DS is somewhere in the pipeline. The prior games were released in 2001, 2004 and 2007 respectively - going by this three year interval schedule that the series has adhered to, I'd say we are due a Paper Mario this year or early next.
...
Not much of a basis for a prediction. A better argument for a new Paper Mario would be the fact that this franchise has previously mixed 2D (which has a strong pedigree on handhelds) and 3D (which is evidently the 3DS's speciality) together. I'm not sure the New Super Mario Bros moniker would be used for experimental 3D gameplay, but it would be perfect for Paper Mario, known for being quite experimental.

My gut told me the same thing, TYP. Then I ignored because Lauren wanted it. We played it together one and I couldn't stand the co-op. She played it later and enjoyed it a lot more. I played it later and liked it less.

Also, I totally predicted/wished for Mario Football game back in the E3 2008 prediction feature. I'm still waiting, dammit! Put Next Level Games on it!

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