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Episode 214: Something-a-Trois

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, and Jonathan Metts - October 10, 2010, 11:43 am PDT
Total comments: 38

Just the three of us, we can make it if we try.

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This week's show features a reduced --nay, distilled-- crew of three gentlemen who sure do like Nintendo. Greg starts by bragging that Europe will get the Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary products, but he also has even more jealousy-inducing material with legendary NES game Faxanadu, just released on the Japanese Virtual Console and hopefully heading west soon. Jonny recommends Plants vs. Zombies and Explosionade, plus gives an update on his various RPG exploits. James has chewed through yet another Professor Layton game, and he has first impressions on Final Fantasy: The Four Heroes of Light. During the break, we also have a pre-recorded interview by Karl with the producer of DJ Hero 2.

In the second half, we return to Listener Mail with your questions about WiiHD, Facebook, games that humiliate us, the insidious influence of the Classic Controller, Nintendo's answer to Uncharted, and our favorite Kirby games. There's still time to post your thoughts on Yoshi's Story for next week's RetroActive feature -- hit that thread!

This podcast was edited by Greg Leahy and Karl Castaneda.

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

Kytim89October 10, 2010

In regards to the question about the classic controller, what would it have been like if Nintendo had never released a classic controller and instead went with support backwards compatability with the controllers of each Virtual Console? For example, an N64 controller that plugs directly into the Wiimote and supports the N64 games.

If the classic controller had never been made then good titles like Monster Hunter might have never came to the Wii, and if it did, people would sick of using the Wiimote to fight in the game. I tried playing it that way and it fot old really quick. This brings up two points: first,  Nintendo developed the classic controller to help ease third parties into developing with motion controls by giving them something that they were familiar with in hopes that they would eventually master the motion control set up. This eventually back fired, of course, and now many developers are straying away from the Wii as a whole. The second point is that some games are better at accomodating motion controls than others. For example, No More Heroes is a good example of motion controlleed games despite its flaws, but Monster Hunter would have to stay away from such controls(in my opinion).



broodwarsOctober 10, 2010

Quote from: Kytim89

In regards to the question about the classic controller, what would it have been like if Nintendo had never released a classic controller and instead went with support backwards compatability with the controllers of each Virtual Console? For example, an N64 controller that plugs directly into the Wiimote and supports the N64 games.

Then the Virtual Console would have been a colossal failure.  The only reason it sells what it does is because there is a Wii controller that lets you play the games just as you could on their original consoles (if not better).

Kytim89October 10, 2010

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: Kytim89

In regards to the question about the classic controller, what would it have been like if Nintendo had never released a classic controller and instead went with support backwards compatability with the controllers of each Virtual Console? For example, an N64 controller that plugs directly into the Wiimote and supports the N64 games.

Then the Virtual Console would have been a colossal failure.  The only reason it sells what it does is because there is a Wii controller that lets you play the games just as you could on their original consoles (if not better).


When I first started using my Virtual Console I used my Wavebird controller to play VC titles and in some cases I used the Wiimote as a de facto NES controller. This did not satiate my desire to relive the games of yester year. I found the Gamecube controller to be difficult to use and I searched around for a way to play these games with a different interface. I pondered the classic controller, but at the time the Pro version had not been released and the basic model was kind of dorky in my eyes and did not help my thirst for nostalgia very much.

I eventually bought the adapter that I have mentioned several times that can allow me to use certain classic controllers with the Virtual Console. Along came Monster Hunter Tri and the classic controller pro and I wanted that controller. After buying the bundle, I have used the Pro for MH 3 and nothing else.

KDR_11kOctober 11, 2010

That's YOU. The rest of us aren't playing VC games for nostalgia but because we never had the consoles or games on offer so we wouldn't have the controllers at hand.

For Nintendo to do mid-game storytelling they first need voice acting. You can have a silent protagonist even then, Half-Life started the whole non-cutscene-story trend. Nintendo doesn't do voice acting and they especially don't do translated voice acting. The games with translated voices I can remember are Doshin The Giant, Layton 2 and that DS cookbook (and Smash Bros if re-recording the names of Pokemon with regional names counts, the rest of the talk was left in English). Any other instance of voice acting (e.g. Super Mario Sunshine) simply gets subtitles slapped on which obviously wouldn't work in mid-game. Zangeki no Reginleiv is the only Nintendo-published game I know of where characters talk to each other in mid-game in a way that furthers the story.

Oh really? Maybe Greg will pick up Zangeki at some point and give us a report on it.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)October 11, 2010

Quote from: KDR_11k

That's YOU. The rest of us aren't playing VC games for nostalgia but because we never had the consoles or games on offer so we wouldn't have the controllers at hand.

Indeed. With the exception of one or two, all of the Virtual Console titles I have purchased are games I am buying for the first time. The service has, to me, never really been about reliving the old days, but rather to catch up on everything I missed.

As far as games that humiliate us go, I've got one. When Metroid Prime was released, I was quite young, 12 or 13. Now, I'm sure everyone will agree that Prime is especially complicated, even for somebody who has played through it once before. The game's greatness was obvious straight away, but evidently, my 13 year old mind could not grasp the geography of Tallon IV - I have vague recollections of wondering the Chozo Ruins for hours hopelessly lost (this was early on in the game). It's weird because I completed Super Metroid at an even younger age, though I suppose it is simpler by virtue of being 2D. Anyway, after that, my cousins told me exactly what to do up to Phendrana Drifts, and then I left the game until I picked up Echoes, when I realised I ought to finish it. Once I returned a little older and a little wiser, everything clicked into place.

broodwarsOctober 11, 2010

Well, for me the VC is all about catching up on games I missed when they original released and enjoying old classics I haven't played in years.  That said, the Classic Controller Pro is a superior controller to most of those original controller designs (you can make a case that the SNES controller was fine as it was, but I haven't held one in over a decade so I can't be sure) so I enjoy playing these games using my CC Pro.

I had the exact same experience with Twin Snakes, minus the strategy guide. I picked up the game because it was such a revered series, and there must be something to this. However, I became frustrated with the game's bizarre control scheme, so I gave up fairly quickly. However, a few months later I bought MGS2 and actually cut my teeth on THAT game, then went back to Twin Snakes and enjoyed the hell out of it. Then I played and loved MGS3 and MGS4.

And it's entirely possible, and not very difficult, to get 0 kills in the game. I've done it a few times. You just use tranq darts on everybody. The only time this is a real hassle is during the Sniper Wolf boss fight, because it takes much longer to knock her out with darts than bullets.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusOctober 11, 2010

I can say that the need to tether the CC Pro is puzzling.

I feel that the kind of people that see the value in a $20 tethered controller would also see value in a $40 stand alone controller. Using the analog stick to navigate menus isn't a big deal to me, and Nintendo could always patch in d-pad support for the Wii menu.

It would have made more sense if they had ever pursued the clip-on feature for the Wii Remote.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusOctober 11, 2010

Quote from: MegaByte

It would have made more sense if they had ever pursued the clip-on feature for the Wii Remote.

That would have been a more acceptable middle ground, although having a clipped on Wii Remote would make the controller even wider than a 360 controller, but I suppose that is assuming they actually integrate the Wii Remote inside the CC like a Guitar Hero controller.

It would have been something like this:
21dgdc1.jpg"

FZeroBoyoOctober 11, 2010

Ah, I particularly like the section on using guides to get through a game, and agree that needing help to get through is a lot better than being stuck and not able to finish. Overall, it was another top-quality episode.  :D

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusOctober 11, 2010

@ Aaron, I probably wouldn't have bit for something like that.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)October 11, 2010

I think the reason the Classic Controller is tethered is because Nintendo regard it as an accessory to the Wii Remote as opposed to an actual full-blown alternative, and thus manufactured it so that it runs on the Remote's battery.

The Classic Controller Pro is more or less a universal controller: perfect for dealing with older-fashioned control schemes, and configured amazingly close to the Dualshock's layout. Although many developers may not use it, they cannot say they aren't given a viable option.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusOctober 11, 2010

I want to take a stab at guessing the mystery guest: Denis Dyack.

I know the mystery guest, and I'm excited to hear the next episode because of it. Make of that what you will.

Kytim89October 11, 2010

Quote from: NWR_Neal

I know the mystery guest, and I'm excited to hear the next episode because of it. Make of that what you will.


Jeremy Perish?

jimwood27October 11, 2010

i had the EXACT same experience with The Twin Snakes and a strategy guide.  would have never made it through without the guide, i just cant wrap my head around games like that for some reason.  i tried playing 2 on Xbox without a guide and gave up pretty early (never even got to play as Raiden, oh no!)


i didnt expect my question about the classic controller to get so many replies here.  its a great controller (especially the Pro) but i just want to see the Wii Remote (and Motion Plus) implemented in more innovative and unique ways.  perhaps that is asking too much or there really isnt many other ways to implement motion controls.  i have played many games with traditional controllers and will continue to do so but would also enjoy more unique experiences.

Quote from: jimwood27

i tried playing 2 on Xbox without a guide and gave up pretty early (never even got to play as Raiden, oh no!)

That's what you think!

SundoulosOctober 11, 2010

I used to have Faxanadu and loved playing it; when I was a little kid, I always imagined the game as sort of a Zelda game, mostly because of the similarities with the Adventure of Link.  I had even made up a "guide" for the game, and drew Link in all of the hero artwork. 

Now, I remember the game being kind of grindy, and I also remember that the passwords were ridiculously wrong.  I had to replay some sections more than once because I transcribed something improperly.

I never realized that it was related to the Dragon Slayer series...it's kind of funny now to think that Faxanadu and Legacy of the Wizard are somewhat related, if only tangentially.  I had forgotten that both games had the Dragon Slayer sword as a final weapon.

CalibanOctober 11, 2010

"...legendary NES game Faxanadu, just released on the Japanese Virtual Console and hopefully heading west soon."

What? I, I don't know what to say. *does the happy dance*
Come on Terranigma, come on. If Faxanadu can, so can you.

Mop it upOctober 11, 2010

Quote from: MegaByte

It would have been something like this:
"http://i26.tinypic.com/21dgdc1.jpg"

This is what I feel they should have done. In addition to eliminating the need to have the Wii Remote dangling somewhere (which is very bad for people with cats BTW), it would have allowed easy use of the pointer when using the Classic Controller. And yes, some CC games do use the pointer...

I feel like I bumbled through MGS:TS. I probably died for a full hour at the very start of the game, but eventually was able to scratch out a win once I started breaking necks. This then ensued to barely progress for the rest of the game, dying over and over before making headway.

First Person Shooters (and  over-the-shoulder shooters) continue to be my weakness, since I have pretty much no interest in playing them. This made playing Uncharted 2 quite difficult, but I managed....

Regarding the last question on Kirby, I tend to think the writer had played Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland, which is a remake of Kirby's Adventure that, while loyal to the NES original, is easier due to the upgraded graphics making secret doors more obvious.

KDR_11kOctober 12, 2010

Considering how well the Wii remote works with FPS/TPS games and how much of the 360's library is FPS/TPS games it's downright pathetic that an FPS on the Wii is a major event.

I just listened to the podcast and... I really hope James doesn't put too much emphasis on 4 Heroes of Light being super hard and "you'll die over and over at first" in his review.

Johnny's question was very much relevant: you must have been playing it wrong, James. I'm not as far into the game as you are, but I did complete a few dungeons, and I've yet to have had my party wiped out.

My only theory as to what you did wrong would be that you didn't make full use of your spells at first. Limited SP/MP/whatev in JRPGs have conditioned us to rely on magic only as a last resort, but in this game you are encouraged to use it at all times, since your AP replenish automatically, and are therefore an infinite resource.

You get the Cure spell very early in the game, so there's little excuse to not have near-full HP at the end of every battle.

The "strategy" that hasn't failed me once so far is to thin out the enemies until there's one left, preferably low on health, and then use Boost and Cure before landing the final blow, so as to start the next battle fully prepared.

I haven't had to grind yet. Game's really not that hard. And any JRPG that encourages you to use the magic system as much as possible instead of having you make your dark mage attack with his staff for 3 points of damage in most battles, saving your MP for an eventual boss, should be praised for it.

Pandareus, you just made me way more interested in this game than anyone else has before. And that includes playing the demo at E3.

Haha, I wasn't trying to sell anyone on the game, but cool!

The battle system is just really interesting. Each turn, you get one Action Point. Choosing the command Fight will use up one point, but casting most spells will consume two.

UNLESS your character's job is White Mage, then casting Cure will only consumer one point. That's in addition to other bonuses that come with that class, such as being able to cast a white magic spell for the entire party, etc.

It's very simple, yet pretty cool.

llafferOctober 12, 2010

I have a general question about how the podcasts are constructed.  I got a launch model AppleTV 2.0, and when I point it to my laptop that stores my unheard podcasts, I'm able to listen and/or view them on the AppleTV without a problem EXCEPT for yours.  Episodes 212, 213, and 214 are visible on the list of podcasts on my TV, but when I attempt to select it to listen, I just hear the "click" of my button press, and it doesn't launch.

So I'm wondering if you do something unusual with the construction of your podcast files that other people don't do, that may prevent this from being played (I'm sure unintentionally) on an AppleTV.

Thanks

-Llaffer

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusOctober 12, 2010

Quote from: llaffer

I have a general question about how the podcasts are constructed.  I got a launch model AppleTV 2.0, and when I point it to my laptop that stores my unheard podcasts, I'm able to listen and/or view them on the AppleTV without a problem EXCEPT for yours.  Episodes 212, 213, and 214 are visible on the list of podcasts on my TV, but when I attempt to select it to listen, I just hear the "click" of my button press, and it doesn't launch.

So I'm wondering if you do something unusual with the construction of your podcast files that other people don't do, that may prevent this from being played (I'm sure unintentionally) on an AppleTV.


As I am not a Mac user, the show is edited in Audacity rather than Garage Band, and the enhanced AAC version (with the chapter breaks and art) is then created using third party software. The method I currently use to create AAC files (employed since about Episode 203) resolved the problems iOS4 users experienced with the old AAC files, but I would think it's fairly likely that the problem you describe here is similar in that it's related to how the AAC files are constructed outside of Garage Band.

Having recently scoured the best available software options for making the enhanced versions of the show, I'm afraid there's not a great deal of scope to resolve your problem at the present time, but I'll be keeping my eye out for any opportunities to improve the process going forward.

Kytim89October 12, 2010

My DSi plays this podcast in pretty good sound since about episode 200. The Newscast, on the other hand, had been suffering from poor audio quality on my DSi but it got resolved in the last couple of episodes.

llafferOctober 12, 2010

Thanks for the quick reply Greg.

PlugabugzOctober 12, 2010

LEROY!!!!!!!!!

Llaffer, you may get better results on Apple TV with the MP3 version of RFN, with the downsides being larger files and lack of chapters and the chapter art.

adadadOctober 15, 2010

Quote from: greybrick

I want to take a stab at guessing the mystery guest: Denis Dyack.

Seconded! I have the distinct impression this may be correct...

leroypantweatherOctober 16, 2010

great show guys....

So the talk about Faxanadu (I called it Fax-ah-nadu when I was a kid) got me thinking about my own copy of it. I had no idea it was rare at all.

I looked it up. It's not actually hard to find for NES at all, and you can get it off of eBay for a few dollars.

Heck, I'll sell you my copy.  I lost interest after the first few minutes.

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