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Episode 206: Ambidextrosity

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Jonathan Metts - August 15, 2010, 3:21 pm PDT
Total comments: 43

We revisit Red Steel 2 and other Wii games, then blast through tons of Listener Mail!

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This week's New Business is actually focused on older games, ranging from yesterday's moderate hit Super Mario Galaxy 2, this winter's flop, Red Steel 2, continuing back in time through evergreen titles like Mario Kart Wii, flirting with early DS weirdness like The Rub Rabbits (a.k.a. Feel the Magic 2), and then jumping all the way back to the 90's retro scene with Mischief Makers and Gley Lancer. Jonny wraps it all up with a new game that feels a decade old, the revival of Hydro Thunder.

After the break, it's time to start catching up on Listener Mail. We usually read four emails per week, but this time it's seven wonderful letters from our beloved fans. Topics include the 3DS stylus, Miyamoto's next genre/mascot, great moments in Nintendo history, Sega CD on Virtual Console, the well-tread minefield of game reviews, accessibility issues in the motion control era, and news of James's next epic rant. Whew! Please keep those emails coming, and don't forget to include your name (or screen name) and location. Use this web form or the address mentioned on the show.

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

Kytim89August 15, 2010

When the crew was talking about how abismal the N64 virtual console was, Johnny mnetioned the word "Rare" and I think that was a subtle hint that the N64 service will not be complete without Rare titles because those games defined the system besides those of Nintendo. But that ship has sailde over the horizon and will never return. :'(


I mainly want SEGA CD on wii because of one game: Snatcher. Although they could release this game through the TG-16.

RUB IT!

Kytim89August 15, 2010

Quote from: Crimm

RUB IT!


I do not understand.

The discussion of Red Steel 2, despite being almost entirely negative, got me wanting to play it. I bought it at launch but never started it up.

Also, a minor point, I own an iPhone stylus, which I bought so I could take handwritten notes on my iPad, and it is not battery powered. Its tip is made of some strange material, I'm not sure what, but it works very well.

Retro DeckadesAugust 15, 2010

Quote from: Kytim89

When the crew was talking about how abismal the N64 virtual console was, Johnny mnetioned the word "Rare" and I think that was a subtle hint that the N64 service will not be complete without Rare titles because those games defined the system besides those of Nintendo. But that ship has sailde over the horizon and will never return. :'(

Rare really was a huge part of the Nintendo 64. I was reminded of this the other day when I arranged all of my N64 games in alphabetical order and noticed that nine out of the first ten were developled by Rare. Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Blast Corps, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Diddy Kong Racing, Donkey Kong 64, Goldeneye 007, Jet Force Gemini, Killer Instinct Gold...

Kytim89August 15, 2010

Quote from: OneTwenty

Quote from: Kytim89

When the crew was talking about how abismal the N64 virtual console was, Johnny mnetioned the word "Rare" and I think that was a subtle hint that the N64 service will not be complete without Rare titles because those games defined the system besides those of Nintendo. But that ship has sailde over the horizon and will never return. :'(

Rare really was a huge part of the Nintendo 64. I was reminded of this the other day when I arranged all of my N64 games in alphabetical order and noticed that nine out of the first ten were developled by Rare. Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Blast Corps, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Diddy Kong Racing, Donkey Kong 64, Goldeneye 007, Jet Force Gemini, Killer Instinct Gold...


I know that everyone is sick of me talking about this Rare fiasco and I am too, but the virtual console service will never be complete without those titles. It will always be hollow in some way.

Just recently the creator of Harvest Moon came out and said that title will never appear on virtual console because of problems with transfering the game's code.

http://www.joystiq.com/2010/08/14/harvest-moon-64-probably-not-coming-out-on-virtual-console/

Even the Turok games on the N64 will never appear on the virtual console. These among other great titles for the system that may, or never, not appear on the virtual console.

The biggest that I have is what is the ultimate fate of the series? Will it continue to slow to a complete stop and fade away, or will it pick back in time for the wii successor?

This is why I keep talking about emulating other SEGA consoles like the Saturn, Dreamcast, 32X and CD is because most of the major titles for those console were made by SEGA, some one who could easily port over their titles with very little legal trouble. Otherwise, it is going to be bone dry for a long time.

I mean the virtual console allows me a quick and easy way to get the games of yester year with out the trouble of having to track each title and system down, deal with a gray market and then face the possibility of the console breaking down and being unable to have it fixed by the company who manufactured it. I also do not have to worry about cords and setting each console up and all the power requirements needed to power each system.

For example, if I have a genesis and it breaks, what is the chance of SEGA repairing my console? Possibly slim to none, right? This negates the reason for having the console. Also, if I have a genesis emulated on my wii and it breaks, Nintendo will repair it for a modest fee.

I also hate having to manage a large assortment of games, cases and consoles. My obsessive compulsive disorder is too sever for to have all this clutter.

I might seem like a person very comfortable with down load only consoles and I am as long I have an easy access to the store on the console and the company takes care of my needs adequatly.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)August 16, 2010

I enjoyed the response to the letter regarding approaches to game reviews. It's unfortunate that time constraints prevented you from having a prolonged discussion about it, because I'd like to hear more about your thoughts on the subject.


I've always felt that the diversity of perspectives that reviewers can have towards a game highlights the importance of reading multiple reviews.
Let's use the example used in the show: fighting games. Suppose there's one reviewer who is an adept fighting game enthusiast and there's another reviewer with little to no experience with these types of games. Suppose they are both tasked with reviewing a really advanced dial-a-combo fighter. The first reviewer says that it's a deep fighter with fun, tactical play mechanics; the second reviewer says that the controls are fiddly & too complicated and the game is extremely hard. Is the first review more valid than the second review because the first reviewer is more skilled and knowledgeable about this genre? Not necessarily.
It would be highly unfair to say that a writer must be well-initiated into a genre before they analyse a game. Going back to the example, yes, you could draw from the first review that there's a lot of depth and strategy to how this fighter plays. There are certain people who will enjoy mastering these mechanics. However, by reading the second review from this different perspective, you could draw that this fighter isn't all that accessible to newcomers, which might be a turn-off for some players. Maybe the game is difficult and overly complex like they say, but the first reviewer didn't find this to be the case because he is used to this from his experience with similar games.
That's why it is imperative that you read lots of reviews before deciding on a purchase. This is a made-up example, obviously, but neither one of these two reviews would provide the full picture about the game by itself. If you read both, though, these differing perspectives show you how the same game can be perceived in different ways, so you have the best idea of whether the game is for you.


That's enough typing for one morning. Well done on another good episode and keep up the good work over the next 50 years.  ;)

TJ SpykeAugust 16, 2010

Quote from: Kytim89

Just recently the creator of Harvest Moon came out and said that title will never appear on virtual console because of problems with transfering the game's code.

http://www.joystiq.com/2010/08/14/harvest-moon-64-probably-not-coming-out-on-virtual-console/

Blame Natsume themselves. The original game is already on the VC, so it's their own fault if they can't transfer the N64 game too because they sloppily did the original code. I am sure they will continue working on it.

Quote from: Kytim89

Even the Turok games on the N64 will never appear on the virtual console. These among other great titles for the system that may, or never, not appear on the virtual console.

The biggest that I have is what is the ultimate fate of the series? Will it continue to slow to a complete stop and fade away, or will it pick back in time for the wii successor?

Unlikely to appear on VC, but it is possible.

Quote from: Kytim89

For example, if I have a genesis and it breaks, what is the chance of SEGA repairing my console? Possibly slim to none, right? This negates the reason for having the console. Also, if I have a genesis emulated on my wii and it breaks, Nintendo will repair it for a modest fee.

Sega doesn't repair their old systems anymore, so there is a 0% chance of them fixing your Genesis if it breaks.

Kytim89August 16, 2010

Quote from: Kytim89

For example, if I have a genesis and it breaks, what is the chance of SEGA repairing my console? Possibly slim to none, right? This negates the reason for having the console. Also, if I have a genesis emulated on my wii and it breaks, Nintendo will repair it for a modest fee.

Sega doesn't repair their old systems anymore, so there is a 0% chance of them fixing your Genesis if it breaks.


This is true and what I said actually makes sense. It reminds of my car, a 1986 Chevy Cavalier. That car runs great and still keeps up with the other cars on the road, but there is going to come a time when I will have to take it behind the garage, put a gun to its engine block and put it out of its misery because General Motors, mechanics and the dealership wont have anything to do with it because it is so old.

I have to beg the question: Would you rather have a genesis that will break and be unable to repair, or would you rather emulate it on a modern console that can be repaired or replaced easily?

TJ SpykeAugust 16, 2010

I am in full support of digital distribution (I don't think it should be the only way to get new games, but I support any and all games being legally available to download).

Kytim89August 16, 2010

I would like to see all the pre-PS@/xbox/gamecube era consoles emulated in some way for the wii 2.

MartyAugust 16, 2010

Quote from: insanolord

The discussion of Red Steel 2, despite being almost entirely negative, got me wanting to play it. I bought it at launch but never started it up.


I recently put up my impressions of the game a few days ago in the reader reviews section if your interested. The RFN crew actually cover alot of my complaints about the game, although I seem to have found many of the issues with the game less egregious.

Quote from: TJ

Blame Natsume themselves. The original game is already on the VC, so it's their own fault if they can't transfer the N64 game too because they sloppily did the original code. I am sure they will continue working on it.

Not necessarily.  They're relying on Nintendo's emulation, which would obviously be tuned for Nintendo-designed games.  It's highly possible that Natsume used some sort of technique that isn't well supported by the emulator, and Nintendo isn't exactly putting a lot of resources to VC these days.

TJ SpykeAugust 16, 2010

It may not be worth it for all systems. A emulator needs to be designed for the system and the game. I can't remember which one, but I remember a few years ago a guy who owned the rights to this obscure game system said that there was almost no chance of the games appearing on the VC because so few games were released for it that financially it made no sense to develop the emulator for it. Then there are ones like the Fairchild Channel F (one of the first game systems, released in 1976), Fairchild Semiconductor hasn't had anything to do with video games in over 30 years and I doubt they have any interest in spending money to get those games up.

Having said that, I agree that it would be nice to get as many up on Wii 2 as possible.

I can't wait to download Bret Hull Hockey for the Jaguar on Wii2.

GonjinessAugust 16, 2010

Hey guys,

Just writing to clarify the problem I was alluding to with accessibility, left-handedness, and motion controls. While I agree that the Wiimote is ambidextrous, motion controls definitely are not! Any game that uses a real-life motion to do something analogous on screen is very awkward for a left-handed player unless a left-handed mode is included.

For example:

In Metroid Prime 3 there are parts where Samus has to point at the screen with a key-like item and turn it to open a door. If you are right-handed it’s fairly trivial to point at the screen with the Wii remote in your right hand and turn your right hand counter-clockwise. It is very difficult for a left-handed person to perform that same motion (try it with your left hand right now)! Holding the Wii remote in my right hand while playing Metroid Prime 3 isn’t an option, as it is very unnatural feeling and highly inaccurate to aim being that I’m left-handed.

In No More Heroes 1 & 2 the wrestling moves are awkward to perform because the motions that one has to perform with the Wii remote and nunchuck are reversed. It’s not too difficult to flip left and right every time in my mind but it would be like if you had to drive your car in reverse every time you needed to drive somewhere. It’d get annoying pretty fast.

Motion controlled sports games in particular are unplayable if they don’t offer a left-handed option. Although I have not played Mario & Sonic Olympics, EA Sports Active, or Rockstar Table Tennis, I’ve heard negative things about them because of the lack of a left-handed option in the motion controls. Wii Sports Resort would be unplayable if there was no left-handed option. Bowling, Frisbee, and golf would be especially difficult.

Prior controllers are not a problem for a person of either handedness because that person is just using his fingers and thumbs. Typically it isn’t harder for a person to type with the fingers on his left hand because little finger movements to press keys and buttons are not affected by a person’s laterality.

I’ve used every Nintendo, Sega, XBOX, and Playstation controller and I’ve never had any problems. The Wiimote is entirely different and requires arm and hand movement, which is affected by laterality and coordination. As a lefty the natural thing is to pick up the Wiimote in my left hand. I was hoping that at least one person on the RFN panel is left-handed because they’d probably be complaining about the same things I am.

Anyways, it's enough of a design flaw for me to bitch about it, but it isn't that hard to adjust at the moment because the motion control in most Wii games is so crude. As motion controls get better, I do see it as being a problem especially in games where manual dexterity is required to play the game effectively and the game assumes that all players are right-handed.

I'm a lefty when it comes to writing and drawing, but I'm a righty when it comes to sports and gaming. It's very strange. I'm actually worse with the Wii Remote when it's in my left hand. Go figure. For MP3, I can definately see the disconnect, though.

I haven't listened to the episode yet, but I will probably nod in agreement with some of the critiques against Red Steel even though I really really enjoyed that game. For me, it was a 10-hour or so blur of fun combat and style with a little bit of repetition that, for me, very minimally overstayed its welcome.

LittleIrvesAugust 17, 2010

@Kytim89:  Snatcher! 
I've wanted to play that since I first saw images of the Japanese version way back in the early 90s.  And I think I'd actually prefer the TG-16 version, since didn't that have the original, uncensored graphics and storyline, whereas the Sega-CD game left some of that out for the American version?  Could be wrong.  Either way, I'd love to revisit an early Kojima experience... for the first time.

Upon listening to the episode, or rather just the Red Steel 2 part, I was right in my assumption. I still enjoyed the game. I dug the combat (I started on hard), and the game's style was good enough to overshadow the repetition of the levels. I also liked the enemy variety and how it encouraged you to use different combos for different enemies, and also how you could use more than one attack method on most enemies. The load times were abysmal, and wandering is a bit boring, but the combat was aces for me. *Insert Zach-like complaint about how it's kind of unfair to call someone's review wrong, especially when they're not there to defend it*

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusAugust 17, 2010

I think we should consider developing a special "YOU'RE WRONG" stamp bearing the visage of James Jones that would be emblazoned on the top of every NWR review that James disagrees with. The only argument against this that I can see is that numerically it may be easier to simply mark the reviews he doesn't disagree with.

Quote from: NWR_Neal

*Insert Zach-like complaint about how it's kind of unfair to call someone's review wrong, especially when they're not there to defend it*


I don't think any of us called your review wrong. I brought up your name simply to note that there are differing opinions and that some people like the game much more than any of us on RFN.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusAugust 17, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I don't think any of us called your review wrong. I brought up your name simply to note that there are differing opinions and that some people like the game much more than any of us on RFN.

As a matter of fact, James did say that Neal was "wrong" with respect to Red Steel 2 in typically undiplomatic fashion, hence my previous post. I would say if you have a choice between seeing the funny side of James' light-hearted barbs and waiting for him to stop making them, you'd be well advised to choose the former and avoid prolonged disappointment.

Kytim89August 17, 2010

Quote from: LittleIrves

@Kytim89:  Snatcher! 
I've wanted to play that since I first saw images of the Japanese version way back in the early 90s.  And I think I'd actually prefer the TG-16 version, since didn't that have the original, uncensored graphics and storyline, whereas the Sega-CD game left some of that out for the American version?  Could be wrong.  Either way, I'd love to revisit an early Kojima experience... for the first time.


Snatcher was a digital novel, but it could also be considered a precursor to the Ace Atterny series. It would be nice to have that game as either a TG16 title, but it would have to be released as an import title like Rondo of Blood. They could also turn the SEGA CD version into a rebirth title for wiiware.

I also wish that Policenauts would be brought over too because that game has never gotten an official US release for the exception of a fan translation.

People expect me to wear my heart on my sleeve.  If that includes overstating my opinion to make a point, then so be it.

I will say that the style in no way overshadowed the unending repetition for me.  Because it is monumentally repetitive.  The stylistic types is a very short list.  I'd say if someone asked me if they should buy this game I'd tell them no.

Unless they're a career accountant.  They love repetition and hunting down things like cars and other material assets.  Also, they're boring just like this game can get after the sixth "go kill X number of enemies" mission.

For revenge, the next Newscast will be all about how much Golden Sun sucks.

It honestly doesn't bother me that much, especially since I know that game is polarizing, but there was a part of me that wishes I could've been on the show to defend the game. Jon's attempt at defending it for me was met with a smack across the face. I think that's where James said I was wrong.

Kytim89August 17, 2010

All this talk about Red Steel 2 reminds me that I have been neglecting my copy of the game for Monster Hunter 3. Although I liked what I saw of the game, I do not like repetitive game play, but every game is repetitive in its own way.

FZeroBoyoAugust 18, 2010

All this talk about Red Steel 2 has only made me want to play it more. IGN even did an article talking about why the game didn't sell.

KDR_11kAugust 18, 2010

Quote from: Gonjiness

In No More Heroes 1 & 2 the wrestling moves are awkward to perform because the motions that one has to perform with the Wii remote and nunchuck are reversed. It’s not too difficult to flip left and right every time in my mind but it would be like if you had to drive your car in reverse every time you needed to drive somewhere. It’d get annoying pretty fast.

Yes but there are no pointer controls so all you'd do by switching controllers is put the analog stick under your off-hand's thumb

Quote from: Crimm

People expect me to wear my heart on my sleeve.  If that includes overstating my opinion to make a point, then so be it.

/facepalm

Quote from: Halbred

Quote from: Crimm

People expect me to wear my heart on my sleeve.  If that includes overstating my opinion to make a point, then so be it.

/facepalm

What? It's true! That's who he is on the podcast; if he weren't sarcastic and hyperbolic he would be completely out of character.

Let's say Red Steel 2 is 10 hours.
Let's say it isn't unplayable in repetition.
Let's say it costs more than $8.

There is no reason to give the game anything more than a rental. It's greatly unlikely that you'll replay the game. There's no reason to. All the talk of people not wanting to play with motion controls killing sales, how about the fact at 10 hours two people (Jonny and myself) got bored. Not exactly the word of mouth that resonates with perspective customers.

Quote from: insanolord

Quote from: Halbred

Quote from: Crimm

People expect me to wear my heart on my sleeve.  If that includes overstating my opinion to make a point, then so be it.

/facepalm

What? It's true! That's who he is on the podcast; if he weren't sarcastic and hyperbolic he would be completely out of character.


Don't encourage him! LOL

Let's say I really liked the combat mechanics in Red Steel 2.
Let's say I used the lock-on mechanic that made switching between the sword and the gun easy for me.
Let's say I had fun with it for the 10 hours the game lasts.
Let's say I really dug the art direction and setting.

I would totally recommend this game to people to buy. I don't think it's worth $50 (a point I mentioned on Newscast before), but definitely at $30 or lower.

On another note, I can comment on the behind the scenes of Nintendo Week. Allison and Gary seem to know nothing about video games,  and I've seen two directors. One was this outspoken Asian, and the other was this very demanding woman in her 40s or 50s. Also, Lauren signed a release or whatnot at the Nintendo event, and the guy who made her sign it was like "Please sign this. It's my first day. I don't wanna get fired."

Quote from: NWR_Neal

For revenge, the next Newscast will be all about how much Golden Sun sucks.

I'm all for this.

Kytim89August 18, 2010

Ubisoft should hold out on Red Steel 3 until motion control is perfected further and the wii 2 is announced.

KDR_11kAugust 19, 2010

I really enjoyed the combat though I do agree with Yahtzee that the Tiger move makes it too easy (directional block and dodging heavy attacks? Why bother when you've got a super block that cannot be broken?). A fun way to get rid of more annoying enemies (like the stronger ninjas) is to turn away and wait for them to attack, then use The Storm's counter-finisher function.

Don't remember having any trouble with lock-on getting in the way or anything. It's a first person brawler, lock-on is normal in those (Zeno Clash also has lock-on). The reason I don't use the guns much is that finisher kills get higher cash bonuses though when I'm desperate I'll mow 'em down with the SMG.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusAugust 21, 2010

Quote:

Lauren signed a release or whatnot at the Nintendo event, and the guy who made her sign it was like "Please sign this. It's my first day. I don't wanna get fired."

Lol!

That reminds me of the time when I sat down with a PR rep in silence because they had no games to talk about but were told to, "get the media excited about upcoming releases without revealing any information." We laughed about that fact for a couple of seconds and I sat there and worked on an article so that they wouldn't get in trouble for me leaving the booth thing so soon.

vuduAugust 24, 2010

Random complaint, but why does Jonny keep reversing the numbers in Kytim89's user name when he reads his letters on RFN?  It's Kytim89, not Kytim98.  I think this is the second time this has happened.

Kytim89August 24, 2010

Quote from: vudu

Random complaint, but why does Jonny keep reversing the numbers in Kytim89's user name when he reads his letters on RFN?  It's Kytim89, not Kytim98.  I think this is the second time this has happened.


Three times actually.

Sorry about that, will be vigilant in the future.

jrlibrarianJeffrey Trewin, Associate EditorAugust 26, 2010

When you write your next letter, post your name as Kytim98. Maybe Jonny will reverse it, while actually saying it correctly.

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