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Episode 204: James and the Giant Pitch

by Jonathan Metts - August 1, 2010, 11:23 am PDT
Total comments: 34

Who knew that Pacifism could lead to war?

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We've got a classic-format episode for you this week. It starts with Greg's run-down of the annual post-E3 event in London, where Nintendo of Europe presents some (not all, unfortunately) of the company's demos for members of the press who didn't make it to Los Angeles. Greg finally has first-hand impressions of 3DS and also gives his much anticipated thoughts on the Metroid: Other M demo. See if he makes it through without saying "the baby"!

James is still mired in Tales of Vesperia, but he did make time for a new and surprising game: MLB 2k10. Turns out that Mr. Jones is a closeted baseball fan, and he gives the pros and cons of not playing one of these simulations since N64's Ken Griffey Jr. game. Meanwhile, Jon got a ridiculous deal on Final Fantasy XIII and has already played more of it than Chrono Trigger. He and Jonny also share tales of their recent co-op exploits in Modern Warfare 2 and ignite a few thoughts on the past and future of cooperative online games for Wii. Jonny wraps the New Business segment with victorious cheers for Bit.Trip Runner, a budding romance with Starcraft 2, and an offering of major props to the new god of Geometry Wars 2, fellow staff member Jared Rosenberg.

After the break, we bust out some awesome Listener Mail, the segment from/by/for our beloved fans. You griped about Netflix aspect ratios on Wii, worried that Apple's handhelds could usurp Nintendo 3DS, requested obscure 2D platformers, and desired entry to the hallowed grounds of F-Zero and Pikmin. Naturally, we felt it our duty to respond.

Don't forget, next episode is the big Mother 3 discussion for RetroActive. If you haven't dropped your thoughts into the official forum thread, there are only a few days left for a chance to have your comment read on the show. We can't be held responsible if you fail to act now now now!

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 (CD) (MP3), 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

AVAugust 01, 2010

great discussion on iphone and 3DS but I still think Nintendo should worry because Brain Age 3 -d sales may come nowhere as close as Brain Exercise Ap on iphone.

happyastoriaAugust 01, 2010

Jonny, I just listen to 20 minutes of your new podcast and I approve! I have one question: Is this available in iTunes yet? I can't seem to find it. Also, if you didn't find American Movie funny then it means you have no soul.

AVAugust 01, 2010

oh yeah I thought Greg could have talked about his impressions in more detail he sort of just glanced over everything.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusAugust 01, 2010

Quote from: Mr.

oh yeah I thought Greg could have talked about his impressions in more detail he sort of just glanced over everything.

Even as it was, my New Business was the longest of all of us this week, so perhaps you can imagine how the editor in me didn't much care for the prospect of me speaking for half an hour before anyone else got a chance to get going - especially as I'd be reeling off a bunch of demos that have already been discussed by the E3 crew. Hence, I decided to keep the focus on 3DS and Metroid: Other M this week, but I intend to discuss my detailed thoughts regarding games like DKC Returns and GoldenEye on future episodes.

I basically disagree with everything Jonny said in this episode. First off, and I think Neal will back me up on this, quit badmouthing DSiWare! Sure, there's a lot of iPhone ports on there, but, with the exception of Flight Control, all the ones I can think of are better on the DSi than the iPhone. There are also a lot of quality games there that aren't iPhone ports. Nintendo certainly supports it better than they support WiiWare; the Art Style games on DSiWare, in my opinion, are much better than the ones on WiiWare.

As for the iPhone discussion, I agree with the general consensus you guys came to, that the iPhone and 3DS will coexist relatively peacefully and not really eat into each other's market. You'll have people like me who'll buy both of them, but I don't think there will be many people who will see it as an "either-or" situation. An interesting point to make in regard to the argument that people don't buy gamer games on the iPhone and also that people won't pay higher prices on the App Store is that Square Enix is porting the PSP remake of Final Fantasy Tactics to iPhone, and they intend to charge $20 for it. The game is clearly worth that much money, but it'll be interesting to see how it fares.

Also, I doubt the iPhone will be getting a 3D display anytime soon, for the same reason they didn't put one on the other screen of the 3DS: the effect doesn't work well when you're using it as a touch screen, as it looks like there's depth there but your finger/stylus can't extend into it.

Well, I think the vast majority of DSiWare is crappolla, as we discuss biweekly on the Newscast.

There are some gems in there, though. Besides the ArtStyle games, there's Dark Void Zero, that Fuse pinball game, SPOTO(!), and...Shantae. Someday.

That's true, but the vast majority of games on any platform, whether digital or retail, are crap, so it's a pretty meaningless statement.

I own 30+ DSiWare games. I'd venture to say at least 20 of the games I own are quality...and then there's a total of 35 recommended DSiWare games from that feature I did back in April.

Also, there's been at least five quality games on the service since then.

DSiWare might not get notoriety, but it has quite a few very good games.


Also, there were two Griffey games on SNES, two on N64, and two on Game Boy (I believe the second one was Game Boy Color only, but I'm not 100% off the top of my head). Angel Studios, the company that made the N64 games, is now called Rockstar San Diego and just got half of its staff laid off/released one of the best selling games of 2010.


EDIT: Also, MLB 2K10 on Wii is a pile of crap. I reviewed it back in March, and it is terrible. As far as I know, it's basically the same crappy game that came out on Wii in 2008.

That was a good choice, because as I understand it you got far more hands-on time with Other M than anyone at E3 did.

KDR_11kAugust 02, 2010

When you talked about iPhone owners playing less DS I thought about my iPod: I bought it for gaming but now barely play the games on it. The main reason is the absolutely abysmal battery life, if you try to play for more than 1-2 hours you run out of battery. For portable entertainment it's mostly a podcast player and in that role it really has displaced my DS, I used to be gaming on the commute, now I listen to podcasts like RFN. YOU are the reason Nintendo is losing money!

You talked about wanting a new Geometry Wars Galaxies, while it's not exactly the same I think unRevolutionary on the Xbox 360 Indie Games channel can scratch that itch, it's level based kinda like GWG with plenty of variety for five bucks. If you want to play it more like a regular twin stick shooter with emphasis on shooting stuff yourself I'd go with the aggressive class path, for more tactical play the passive path is the way to go (the demo gives you the engineer class, that's on the passive path).

Retro DeckadesAugust 02, 2010

Hey James, I am assuming you never played EA's MVP Baseball '05 for Gamecube, Xbox, or PS2? This game is the complete baseball package. If you simply must have an up-to-date roster, then you might as well count this one out. If not, pick it up used for $5. It would take a long time to list all of the great features of this game, but here's a quick rundown of some of my favourites: Classic players and stadiums, design your own ballpark, excellent and helpful pitching and hitting mini-games, and the ability to charge the mound after being hit by a pitch. It also includes dynasty mode and AA and AAA teams. It sounds like a "jack of all trades, master of none", but it pulls everything off very well. I believe it was EA's last game in which they had access to the MLB Player's Association license before it went exclusive, and I still pull it out and play it often. IGN said that "you may be playing this game until EA gets its third party license back," and so far they have been correct.

Yeah, if you're not going to get a PS3, MVP '05 is still the best baseball game available to you, by a pretty huge margin.

Mop it upAugust 02, 2010

Quote from: insanolord

Yeah, if you're not going to get a PS3, MVP '05 is still the best baseball game available to you, by a pretty huge margin.

And if you do have a PS3?

Mario Super Sluggers is my favourite baseball game, though that's likely because I don't have much interest in the sport.

Quote from: Mop

Quote from: insanolord

Yeah, if you're not going to get a PS3, MVP '05 is still the best baseball game available to you, by a pretty huge margin.

And if you do have a PS3?

Sony's MLB The Show series is excellent and includes all those online features he liked in the 360 game, paired with a much better game. I'd still probably rather play MVP '05 if I could do it with current rosters, though.

Quote from: insanolord

Quote from: Mop

Quote from: insanolord

Yeah, if you're not going to get a PS3, MVP '05 is still the best baseball game available to you, by a pretty huge margin.

And if you do have a PS3?

Sony's MLB The Show series is excellent and includes all those online features he liked in the 360 game, paired with a much better game. I'd still probably rather play MVP '05 if I could do it with current rosters, though.

Hell yea, insanolord! MVP '05 is the best baseball game ever.

The Show is damn good, but it's hard to mess with the greatest baseball game experience ever made.

SundoulosAugust 03, 2010

Just as a small plug for Radio Trivia, one of my favorite obscure platformers  is in the latest episode as the listener request...  You can't really call it a 2D platformer, but it does have a weird mixture of platforming-style combat and RPG gameplay. 

I'm surprised that no one mentioned Blaster Master or Crystalis!  Perhaps I missed them, or perhaps those games (at least the first) aren't obscure enough anymore.

I was happy that someone mentioned Clash at Demonhead.  Awesome, quirky game. :)

Blaster Master was discussed last week. Crystalis is not a side-scrolling game, although I do love it.

Not the GBC one, though.

SundoulosAugust 03, 2010

I guess I missed the side-scrolling criteria.  Listening while I'm working has it's drawbacks.

I've enjoyed the discussions about FFXIII.  I am a long-time FF fan (as well as being an RPG fan at heart), but I am unable to play XIII because I don't own a PS3.  It's interesing because many of the me of the RPG-centric sites I visit have the full-hate on for XIII; sometimes it's almost to the point where, I'm starting to wonder if XIII will supplant VIII as the most popular Final Fantasy whipping boy among series "fans."  The game's detractors often cite the linearity and the  tutorial nature of the opening chapters (which seems to slowly introduce new tactics or abilities) as two of the major gripes.  Of course, people who seem to enjoy XIII cite some of these same attributes as positives, and seem to like the stream-lined nature of the game.  It's interesting to me that the game seems to be more appealing to people who aren't really close followers of the series, such as Jon and TYP. 

Perhaps I could interpret this as Square Enix's attempt to broaden the Final Fantasy audience. 

Sundolos, you can get FFXIII on 360. It's not as graphically wonderful as the PS3 version, but I don't think it affects gameplay at all (don't quote me on that. if you consider it, do research for yourself about that).

SundoulosAugust 03, 2010

Sorry, I knew that it was on the 360, but I make the mistake of just automatically associating FF with Playstation these days. 

I don't have a 360, either...at least right now.  Getting married, buying a house, and having kids has wreaked havoc on my gaming funds, so sticking with just one system has been prudent for me.  I intend to buy a 360 or a PS3 (or perhaps a successor) eventually, and I'll catch up on some of those games.  If Sony would ever release the Last Guardian, or if Level-5 releases PS3 version of Ni no Kuni stateside, it might be just enough to push me over the edge.  It's a shame that Tales of Vesperia probably won't make it to the PS3.  :(

I did finally beat Vesperia last night. 57 hours...

I inadvertently completed a mini-quest that makes the final boss MUCH harder, without knowing what I was doing. I ran into this buzz saw at level 61. I took him down at 71. And it was by a hair. And I used All Divide, an exceedingly rare item (I found two ALL GAME) that makes the fight far easier.  No question I would lose now that I don't have the item, even with the levels I gained post victory. Lose badly.

Who the hell makes a game where going the extra mile makes the game harder? A few weeks ago I noted that I was upset Vesperia lacked the "something isn't quite right about this game" quirks of other Tales games. Found it! A tricky optional mini-quest that rewards you with seven otherwise unimpressive weapons and puts you in a worse position to win. That's the series I know and love.

I still have the monstrosity known as the 200 floor EX dungeon, but I think I'll take a waiver on that, thanks.

SundoulosAugust 03, 2010

I haven't played Symphonia since it's release, but I do recall getting lost and going to the wrong dungeon, and I know I managed to do the same thing in Tales of the Abyss.  It didn't go that well for me in either case.

How does Vesperia stack up against Symphonia?  Abyss had it's charm, and a couple of characters that I kind of liked, but I preferred Symphonia, overall.

gojiraAugust 03, 2010

The original F-Zero on the SNES is still my favorite in that series (the first GBA game is pretty similar in gameplay).  I much prefer the skill involved in learning how to take each turn and deciding when to use your very limited boosts.  Whereas X, GX and the second GBA game have the boost/health dynamic.  That's cool, but basically you just memorize where boosts and health are located on the track so you can keep your speed up.  It's a rush, but not as satisfying as taking a corner just right.

F-Zero GX is only balls hard in story mode.  If you play regular circuit mode it isn't more difficult than any other F-Zero game.  Yes it gets insanely hard at the higher difficulty levels, but so does every F-Zero game. 

And my favorite obscure sidescrolling shooter/platformer type game is Metal Storm for the NES.  I go back and play that game all the time. 

Vesperia is closer to Symphonia than it is Abyss.  It's a bit less charming than Symphonia, but I'm also a bit more jaded on the series at this point.

Symphonia was my second Tales game - having played a translation of Phantasia for the SNES back in the early 2000s.  In reality Phantasia and Symphonia, while both wear the Tales trappings, have very little in common.

Vesperia was my fourth Tales game, and it has quite a lot in common with Symphonia and Dawn of the New World. 

The funny thing about DotNW is that while I dislike Emil, he and Marta have an interesting dynamic.  Something about what was effectively a 2 1/2 member cast (Tenebrae being an unplayable but ever-present character) made the story feel more direct.  It makes the game more charming than it has any right to actually be.

For comparison's sake Vesperia has seven party characters (and no hangers on like Tenebrae), and one is a dog...thing.  No two of them have a relationship as well developed as the one between Emil and Marta simply because they can't.  There are too many characters to pull that off without making the game even longer.  In its place you get things like mix-and-match conversations in battle designed to show developing group camaraderie.  For example, when one character has a tendency to try to get people to high five her after a victorious fight.  If she ever tries that with the dog she crouches down so he can reach, and he simply barks at her and offers her tail.  She exclaims, dejectedly, "Your tail!?"  The best the game manages with regard to these kinds of relationships is a collective relationship the members develop as they begin to understand each other.  Character conversations reflect that as the story progresses, but in the juvenile way one would expect from a Tales title.  The most explored personal relationship the main character has is to a person who isn't in the party.

So, despite the amazing tangent I just took this on, you can kind of see where I'm going with this.  Vesperia is structured markedly similarly to Symphonia, minus the two-world dynamic.  Dawn is similar to both (even piggybacking on Symphonia's story and characters), but had a different feel.  Also Dawn doesn't feature an over world. You just select where you want to go and an icon on a map moves there.  It's quite jarring for this series, but it is what it is.  It does make getting places nice and quick though.

Dawn of the New World gets a bad rap, in part because of the very odd monster raising the game features.  It's not well explained, and when you get a chance to "evolve" your monsters, it's not always clear that the change you're going to undertake with them will actually make them a better form.  I often ended up devolving by accident, only because I didn't know better.  I couldn't, the game didn't tell me otherwise.  However, about fifteen or so hours in you begin to add members of the Tales of Symphonia cast to your party.  At that point its almost always better to have them in the party then your monster of choice, so the entire monster raising system becomes a secondary thought.  The monsters exist to plug the hole where future characters will reside.  It's a side-effect of the two member party.

If you enjoy Symphonia you'll like both Dawn of the New World and Vesperia, although I certainly wouldn't play them back to back.  That's like 200+ hours worth of tales games, and your brain might implode.  I would say go with Dawn first if you're interested in it.  Its cheesy, but it has some charms.  Vesperia, while not a huge graphical leap from its predecessors, looks so nice in HD it might be hard to go back to the others.  Cell shading scales very nicely (obviously), and the vibrant color pallet of a Tales game looks nice in HD.

Also, Dawn of the New World gives me this little line: "Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality," which pretty much was always followed by me exclaiming, "Shut up, Emil!"  They must say that line about 200,000 times in that game.



Emil: Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality!
Marta: Yeah!

Me: So help me God...ONE MORE TIME and I am not responsible for what I do.

broodwarsAugust 03, 2010

Quote from: Sundoulos

I haven't played Symphonia since it's release, but I do recall getting lost and going to the wrong dungeon, and I know I managed to do the same thing in Tales of the Abyss.  It didn't go that well for me in either case.

How does Vesperia stack up against Symphonia?  Abyss had it's charm, and a couple of characters that I kind of liked, but I preferred Symphonia, overall.

I'm about 10 or so hours into Vesperia, and so far I'd say it's at least as good if not better than Symphonia.  The cast is just as likeable (Yuri may very well be the best character in the entire Tales series), the visuals even more gorgeous, and the battle system is thankfully gimmick-free after all that Fields of Phonons nonsense in Abyss and Monster Capturing in Symphonia 2 that game that doesn't actually exist.  The one thing I do miss in Vesperia, though, is the one thing I really enjoyed in Phantasia and Symphonia: the Summons, or more specifically the "Battle of the Spirits" Boss Battle song.  I'm not quite sure why apparently Phantasia and Symphonia are the only two Tales games to use Summons, because I always thought they were pretty awesome in combat.

wickAugust 04, 2010

I would have to agree on the iPhone vs DS views.

I own both and any game I do buy on my iPhone is quickly forgotten, perhaps this is why Nintendo is focusing on the traditional gamer more with the 3DS (so far) than they did with the DS

PlugabugzAugust 04, 2010

I have McKids (or McDonaldLand as its known here) on NES.

I loved that game except it was stupidly hard in spots.

SundoulosAugust 04, 2010

Another OT remark...the between mission cutscenes for Starcraft 2 actually kind of reminds me of the on-board dialog stuff in the old Wing Commander games.  I'd love to get into the Starcraft world again; it's too bad that I have to wait until we have enough money budgeted for a computer upgrade. :/

Mop it upAugust 04, 2010

Quote from: Crimm

Also, Dawn of the New World gives me this little line: "Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality," which pretty much was always followed by me exclaiming, "Shut up, Emil!"  They must say that line about 200,000 times in that game.

So that's where the quote in Maxi's signature is from! I had always wondered about it but never thought to ask.

Yep, that's the origin of the quote.

The friend/foe character says it. (every Tails game has one, it isn't a spoiler)
Emil says it.
Marta says it.
Emil says it mournfully.
Marta says it encouragingly.
Emil says it affirmatively.
Emil says it regretfully.
Emil says it dejectedly.
Marta says it wistfully.

Then it gets said 499,991 more times.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorAugust 05, 2010

"The whole world should be lifeless beings!!!!"

Uggggghhhhh.

Shitty anime dialogue strikes again. And frankly, I don't blame the localization team for these sorts of "Shut up, Emil" moments.

I think that's a moment where the localization staff has to make the call to either grit their teeth and deal with the sub-par dialog or decide to make a change to the script.

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