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Episode 216: Made from Real Explosions

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, and Jonathan Metts - October 24, 2010, 12:08 pm PDT
Total comments: 69

Special guest Nathan Fouts tells us about designing (and selling) 2D action games.

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It's still just the three of us for most of this episode, but our special guest did arrive for an awesome middle segment. First, though, we've got the Layton vs. Gyakuten announcement, an ode to Retronauts, and in-depth impressions of Endless Ocean 2, Drill Dozer, Super Meat Boy, and of course, Kirby's new console game.

The focus on 2D platformers continues into part two, when Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games and 8 Bit Horse pops in to pimp his wares (which are worthy of much pimping) and philosophize on how to design an exploration-based 2D action game. He takes us on a journey through heavy metal artwork, 2D games of yore, and even Cho-Aniki -- wherefore art thou, Jon Lindemann? Be sure to check out Nathan's killer indie games on Xbox 360: Weapon of Choice, Shoot 1up, and Explosionade, with Grapple Buggy due next year.

The RFN crew wraps up this big episode with a promised batch of Listener Mail. We answer your burning questions about game-specific podcasts, narrative innovation in Star Fox 64, and Kirby's slow-paced gameplay mechanics. Keep those emails coming, and be sure to vote in the next RetroActive poll to help select which Nintendo DS game we'll play together and discuss on an upcoming episode. See you next week!

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

Loved the Retronauts pimping - it was one of my first podcasts as well. And now that both Sharkey and Ray have both been laid off, there's even less of a chance of it coming back.

Other episodes I'd recommend:
#30 - Chrono Trigger
#35 - Saturn
#36 - Phantasy Star
#48 - Famicom

broodwarsOctober 25, 2010

The response (Jonny's, specifically) to that reader Email on Kirby's Epic Yarn pretty much solidified my belief that this game has nothing for me outside of a cool art style.  Like the guy who sent that email, I'm also a little disturbed by just how much reviewers seem to be giving this game a free pass on gameplay just due to a cool art design.  Giant Bomb's recent Quick Look of the game was especially sickening, as it just consisted of continuous gushing from 30-40 year old men gushing about how "CUUUUUUUTTEEE!" the game was.  Hopefully, Donkey Kong Country Returns will have more of that exploration-based 2D adventure platforming that I get into.

Having just defeated the final boss, I'd argue Kirby's Epic Yarn definitely gets trickier, at least if you're going for all treasures and gold medals. There's definitely more to the game than cuteness. I'm a seasoned platformer fan that was critical of Kirby's last outing. There are some clever level designs and gameplay mechanics that emerge over the course of the game, and most of the levels feel distinct. The transformations are especially interesting in co-op, because not unlike in Mario Kart: Double Dash, you really need to communicate and coordinate with your partner to succeed.

Yeah, the gameplay isn't HARD, especially if you don't care about gold medals, and the exploration isn't as complex as in Wario Land: Shake It. But it's still fun, and I wouldn't call the exploration element trivial. Honestly, to me the gameplay feels like a mix of Wario Land 2 and Yoshi's Island, only less intricate.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)October 25, 2010

Although the graphics are garnering lavish praise, I don't think that's the sole reason for Epic Yarn's strong reception. In fact, the general consensus I've heard which is encouraging me to pick it up in the New Year is that the level design is so good that the fact it is easy doesn't really matter.

Good catch on getting Nathan Fouts on the show. I know he's not particularly well-known (if it weren't for a mention on the infamous Drunkcast, I wouldn't have heard of him), but he has an interesting history in the gaming world and seems very on top of games old and new. That's the thing you notice about independent developers - quite a lot of the time, they have a better grasp on what the consumer likes than some of the big name companies, as they more often than not become involved in communities. Case in point, 8 Bit Horse, which at first glance is looking pretty cool.
I especially enjoyed when he asked everyone about how they want exploration in games because it brought up a handful of thought-provoking conundrums that developers struggle with. Primarily, when Nathan talked about Galaxy 2, although what he said applies to tonnes of games, and mentioned the challenge for the developer to give a reward for exploring. It's a good point, and one that's incredibly difficult to get right.
For example, we frequently encounter in platformers the curious choice of leaving 1-Ups in secret little nooks. If you have the intuition to find your way to said secret places, you probably have the intuition to push through the game without needing extra lives. The players who can't find their way to these places, they are the ones who need the lives, but they don't receive them, because the reward for playing well is something that makes it easier. Rewards in general within games, not just for exploring, can be strange, like how in shooters, the more skilled players are awarded perks, when obviously they are not the ones who would need those perks.

I did ramble on a bit there, though I guess that's a testament to the complexity of the subject. Thanks for another superb episode, and you might be happy to hear that I've ordered a copy of Endless Ocean 2 based on your recommendation. Ta.

happyastoriaOctober 25, 2010

Greg, the way you feel about Retronauts is the way I feel about RFN. You made me laugh when times are down. You pull me up when life's to rough, etc. lol

Kirby's Epic Yarn is comparison to Flower. It's a laid back experience. Everyone knows what this games is about, and nobody should be surprised when they buy it. Kind of reminds me of SMG 2, some gamers were mad because it was "more of the same", but anybody can tell that by doing a simple youtube search.

SundoulosOctober 25, 2010

Quote from: Shaymin

Loved the Retronauts pimping - it was one of my first podcasts as well. And now that both Sharkey and Ray have both been laid off, there's even less of a chance of it coming back.

Other episodes I'd recommend:
#30 - Chrono Trigger
#35 - Saturn
#36 - Phantasy Star
#48 - Famicom

Oh, wow... seriously?  I liked what Ray was doing with the Sound Test podcast, too.  1up keeps taking away all the reasons I had to actually visit their site.  As of late, the only draw has been the feature Neal wrote on Virtual Boy. 

FZeroBoyoOctober 25, 2010

I must say, I'm quite interested in Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light despite hearing how even James is having a hard time with it. I'm also eager to play Kirby's Epic Yarn.


The feature was also entertaining, and the part about 2-D platformers stood out. I certainly hope Donkey Kong Country Returns gives us a good challenge.


Lastly, I hope Nintendo keeps the original content in Star Fox 64 for 3DS. That is all you need to pull me in.  ;D

While I can't speak for other reviewers, I gave no such free pass for Kirby because of its cute art style. I found the gameplay to be really inventive and awesome. The level design isn't necessarily difficult, but it's very enjoyable and rewarding. The art style helped make the game great, but it is not the only reason I think it's one of the best games of the year. I think it's one of the best games of the year because of how clever it is.

Also, it's not just that it has a cute art style, it's that the art style is inextricably connected in the gameplay.  That makes a huge difference.

noname2200October 25, 2010

Just want to put in a good word for Etrian (et-tree-en) Odyssey.  I'm not sure why Nathan compared it to a roguelike, unless he's referring to the above-average difficulty, but I'm confident that James at least would really enjoy it.  It's somewhat like Strange Journey, with a good mixture of Final Fantasy V's class and sub-class system thrown in for good measure.  For an RPG fanatic-slash-masochist, it seems like the game would work out perfectly for him.

mjafyxOctober 25, 2010

Here's an interview with the Super meat boy guys.
http://www.indiegames.com/blog/2010/10/indiegamescom_podcast_5_super.html
They mention that the music of the Wii version will be quite compressed. So i will be getting it for the PC since i don't have a 360.

I'm still playing Super Meat Boy and it gets even better... and even more cruel. The "final boss" is a superb tribute to Super Mario Bros. Now that I've completed the main quest, it's on to the Dark World and collecting bandages to unlock more characters.

PlugabugzOctober 26, 2010

You asked a question of why his games are not on WiiWare but what about PSN?

Hyrulian GuardOctober 26, 2010

RFN moved to the #1 spot on my podcast list, a few months back.
i see now that was a mistake. Not only did your Speacial guest have nothing to
do with nintendo, he admitted he doesnt even want to.
that being said, instead of JIZZING on that idiot, how about interviewing
people like Jools Watsham of Renegade kids or Matt Bozon of
Wayforward. Those two for example not only develope for Nintendo
but love pumping out awesome games for nintendo fans.

After this show i never will buy a game from M.B.G. and encouage everyone
i know (admiitedly a small group) to avoid those titles.
I have a 360, im not nintendo only, but i can go to itunes and subscribe
to any of 50  360,PS3, or multiplatform podcasts.

I find it insulting to your listener base, that you spent 1/3 of the RADIO FREE NINTENDO
Podcasts 1hr 45mins spugging over a developer that has not and WILL NOT make a  single nintendo Game.  FOR SHAME Jonathan Metts, shame on you.

Maybe if you spent less time pimping 360 games, you would have time for more
of your listeners mail.


PlugabugzOctober 26, 2010

He said clearly in his response to Jonny as to why he's not making games on WiiWare owing to Nintendo's restrictive registration practices (he works in an office in his home, and Nintendo don't allow same-address places of work) and he also said he's not in a place to want to develop for DS. Given the DS is a physical platform with a different setup altogether than digital distribution methods (which he uses) can you blame him?

It really is Nintendo's loss in this case, especially with silly WiiWare rules like that.

Hyrulian GuardOctober 26, 2010

AAGAIN, you would interview this guy why?  to pimp 360 games. thats it.

as for nintendos rules, they suck.  but im loving Shantae.
and Renegade kid makes only DS games, maybe you can talk to them.

crap. must be on the radio free multiplatform podcast boards. sorry, was thinking people came to NWR for nintendo, my mistake, obviously u cant get 360 or ps3
news anywhere else.

PlugabugzOctober 26, 2010

Quote from: Hyrulian

as for nintendos rules, they suck.

I'm glad you agree on this. Now it's his decision whether to develop for Nintendo platforms or not, and he chose not to because of what appears to be his business practices (digital platforms) and requirements that Nintendo laid down that he cannot meet.

I'm disappointed but at least he's being reasonable about it.

I have no problem with the guys talking about stuff other than Nintendo. I have a PS3 and Jonny's lavish praise about Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light made me deliberately go and redeem my £20 PSN voucher and get the demo (expecting to buy the game). I wouldn't have heard this because i don't listen to other podcasts elsewhere.

broodwarsOctober 26, 2010

Hyrulian Guard, if you dislike this podcast so much for being "so multiplatform" (as you have made clear multiple times in the past), why do you still listen to it?  Go somewhere else or stop complaining, because I'm getting tired of reading your complaints about a quality product like this that people put so much work into and you get for free.  I like having something to balance out the conversation about Nintendo products that sometimes I really couldn't care less about.  Besides, iirc (the interview bored me so thoroughly that it's hard to remember) a lot of the interview was life as an independent developer and conversation about game design.  That stuff's universal, not just specific to any one platform.  It's not their fault that Nintendo's requirements for WiiWare are apparently so asinine that they're chasing developers away.

Retro DeckadesOctober 26, 2010

Proper spelling and punctuation can go a long way towards being taken seriously. While we're at it, so can a good argument.

As for Kirby's Epic Yarn, it's game play is about as solid as it gets.

Hyrulian GuardOctober 26, 2010

Yup. Anyone who disagrees, get out! That's what America
was founded on. Don't know where ur from but
we charish other peoples right to complain.

As for listening, I may not be doing that long and
leaving nwr and not coming back. Apparently
people here don't think nintendo has any merit
and feels pushing xbla games on a supposed
nintendo site is fine.
You discussed me with ur " my way or the highway "
attitude.

broodwarsOctober 26, 2010

Quote from: Hyrulian

Yup. Anyone who disagrees, get out! That's what America
was founded on. Don't know where ur from but
we charish other peoples right to complain.

As for listening, I may not be doing that long and
leaving nwr and not coming back. Apparently
people here don't think nintendo has any merit
and feels pushing xbla games on a supposed
nintendo site is fine.
You discussed me with ur " my way or the highway "
attitude.


In the words of Linkara: "Because Poor Literacy is KEWL!"

Dude, I of all people don't have an issue with offering criticism.  The problem is that it's all you do with this podcast.  You've made it thoroughly clear that you don't like how this show operates, yet you keep listening to it and whine about it every time the cast decides to talk about something they're into at the moment that's not a Nintendo product.  Some people would call that the very definition of insanity (or stupidity), and frankly it gets on my nerves.  If you don't like the show, don't listen to it.  You are the only person making you listen to this podcast that you don't like.  It really is as simple as that.

Hyrulian GuardOctober 26, 2010

You know your right.
I'm out.
enjoy your XBX discussions.

I appreciate the feedback and criticism. Although I think your views represent a small minority of our listeners, it's important to hear those views, and we do take them into consideration. However, your tone is extremely off-putting. We are much more likely to listen to you if you treat us (and our guests!) with respect and politeness.

It seems you are new to this website in general, so let me tell you something about it. We are 100% independently operated and funded. Our entire staff works for no pay, and yet we strive for the same level of professionalism that you will get at IGN, Gamespot, 1up, etc. If you want to doubt whether we love Nintendo, ask the numerous staff members who have been doing this volunteer work for 7-8 years. We are adults, most of us with real jobs, and we have broad interests in gaming and beyond. We do what we do because we love doing it. That goes for the entire website, and all the podcasts as well.

Look around the web and iTunes for other Nintendo-focused podcasts. You won't find very many. Now consider how many of those are any good. Now filter out the ones that ever mention or discuss any non-Nintendo games/systems. I don't think you'll have anything left to listen to. If we only talked about Nintendo games and only answered emails directly about Nintendo games, the show would be less than an hour long each week. Furthermore, we'd have to specifically purchase a lot more Nintendo games to make up the difference, games that we may not actually care about... with our own money! Sheer economics demand that we can only talk about games we were going to buy/rent anyway. And all four of us on the show are multiplatform gamers, so obviously we want to play games on multiple platforms. That would apply to virtually anyone on our staff.

We made considerable efforts to keep Nintendo at the focus point of every episode. Even in this case, when we brought on an independent developer who makes Xbox games, we constantly referred back to Nintendo games. "Did you work at Geist?" "What are some of the Nintendo games that influence your games?" "Have you considered making WiiWare games?" "What makes exploration in Metroid games fun and rewarding?" "How do you design an upgrade like the Screw Attack?" ...and so on.

Find another podcast with 200+ episodes and more Nintendo content, on average, than our show. Go on, I want to see what you come up with. Make your case.

We love Nintendo. We talk about Nintendo, primarily and at length and in depth, on every single episode of this show ever produced. But we are not purists. We are not fanboys. We do not live in a vacuum. We know that Nintendo games are and should be influenced by what's happening in the entire gaming world, just as they continue to influence that world.

This is a Nintendo podcast for grown-ups. If you can't handle that perspective, find something that caters exactly to what you want. This is the Internet, after all.

KDR_11kOctober 26, 2010

Quote from: Hyrulian

Yup. Anyone who disagrees, get out! That's what America
was founded on. Don't know where ur from but
we charish other peoples right to complain.

America was founded on the principle that private people can tell others to fuck off.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorOctober 26, 2010

Quote from: Hyrulian

RFN moved to the #1 spot on my podcast list, a few months back.
i see now that was a mistake. Not only did your Speacial guest have nothing to
do with nintendo, he admitted he doesnt even want to.
that being said, instead of JIZZING on that idiot, how about interviewing
people like Jools Watsham of Renegade kids or Matt Bozon of
Wayforward. Those two for example not only develope for Nintendo
but love pumping out awesome games for nintendo fans.

After this show i never will buy a game from M.B.G. and encouage everyone
i know (admiitedly a small group) to avoid those titles.
I have a 360, im not nintendo only, but i can go to itunes and subscribe
to any of 50  360,PS3, or multiplatform podcasts.

Christ, I wonder why.

The funniest part about your whole spiel is that you seem to think that RFN talking about multiple platforms is something new. Hate to break it to you, man, but it's been happening for years. As Jonny so eloquently put, this is how we roll. You can come along for the ride or hitch your bitch-wagon elsewhere.

For the record, I don't speak for anyone on RFN, but you really have no idea how much work goes into that podcast, and how much they care about their audience. I noticed you actually had a couple of suggestions for guests on the show. Why not just suggest them without all of the hate? Nobody ran over your cat, dude, so calm the hell down.

I like the fact that, despite the fact that MBG makes great Xbox games, and Hyrulian Guard HAS an Xbox, he's gonna tell everybody he knows (admiitedly a small group) to actively avoid them. And WHY? Because the dude was on RFN. No other reason.

Also, the jizzing comment? Seriously? Low-brow.

Nathan Fouts appeared on our show at my request, and he was very gracious to do so, especially since we weren't really discussing his games specifically. Delete RFN from your computer if you want, send us nasty emails and forum posts if you want, but it makes no sense to punish this man who was just helping us out. Moreover, it's beyond ignorant to spread hate on his games when you haven't even played them.

I'm sorry. I missed what was going on. I was too busy having SO MUCH FUN playing Explosionade, Shoot 1UP, and Weapon of Choice, which are some of the coolest retro-styled games I've played in years.

You shouldn't play those games, Neal. Why? Because Nathan Fouts was asked to appear on Radio Free NINTENDO and graciously accepted, then proceeded to discuss why WiiWare isn't a viable platform for small developers, thus giving Nintendo fans information on how that process works, something none of us are entirely aware of.

Clearly, he should face the gallows. And you should't buy his games. Or something.

Kytim89October 26, 2010

If anyone should be pissed off at anybody it should be Nintendo themselves for sitting up the kind of shitty atmosphere that turns developers such as MBG and various other folks from developing on Wiiware. Although I do scratch my head at times when RFN discusses non-Nintendo related topics, but I then realize that part of discussing Nintendo's rivals is crucial to understanding how Nintendo is going to react with their games and consoles. As for other Nintendo podcasts, I have found several, but the quality was so damn cheesy that I easily found my way back to NWR and never looked back.

About a year ago I was ariting on the Bioware forum and I eventually found my way here to this forum. Of course everyone chastized me for my obsession with Rare returning to Nintendo(and they still do), but NWR is one of the best forums that I have ever written on and it would take a lot to make me leave this forum even though there are times when I get frustrated with a lot of the people on here.

I admire the way the podcasts of NWR are put together and I am very surprised that these guys do it all for non-profit. This is especially true when one notices the amount of sheer effort that goes into making these podcasts and the forum of the best quality possible. For example, the sound quality of RFN is superb, Greg does not have to put any effort into making the sound work, he would probably rather sit in his recliner and watch TV. He does it because he enjoys Nintendo.

On a side note, I wish the RFN team would bring on more third party developers and try to motivate them that the Wii is still a viable console. Also, I am pissed that such titles as Scott Pilgrim vs the World will never make it to Wiiware. 

P.S. Hylian Guard, if you do not like NWR or any of their podcasts, I dare you to start your own forum and podcast and do it better. I am sure that NWR would not mind having the competition(they would squash it like a bug).

Armak88October 27, 2010

I for one appreciate it when the crew talks about games on other platforms. Although I sometimes feel that this can take up a little more time than I like, I generally find it helpful. I find that even when I am playing another platform, I am a nintendo gamer. I get a similar feeling from the crew of RFN (with the possible exception of Jon). I find the games they enjoy are games that a fan of nintendo games would enjoy. I find that my gaming tastes fall somewhere between Jonny and Greg, so I have a general idea about whether the games they are talking about would appeal to me. I only own a wii, but I get the chance to play other platform games every once and a while, and I may eventually pick up another platform. Thanks to RFN I have a shortlist of games that I feel a nintendo fan like myself will enjoy, and I don't waste whatever time I have with an aimless guessing game.

And if nothing else, being rude only discredits your criticism. The Retronaughts tribute made me think about a day when RFN is finished, and that will be a real shame as I have enjoyed it for a long time. I wouldn't have the podcast be any other way, and I hope it continues for a long time into the future. Keep up the stellar work guys, it is much appreciated.

PlugabugzOctober 27, 2010

And finally, Greg is a Brit. And he sits up EVERY WEEK WITHOUT FAIL to stupid o'clock every thursday recording and spends upto/more than 24 hours A WEEK editing the podcast for our weekly consumption.

I don't know the average time spent (Greg, how often do you spend editing on average?) but just using the 24 hour figure over 100 episodes he's spent 10 DAYS editing. That's a hell of a lot for a person who still needs to eat, drink, sleep, have fun, travel and do all the other things that he does.

I don't know how he does it. He must be militantly organised to within a hair of his life.

SundoulosOctober 27, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Nathan Fouts appeared on our show at my request, and he was very gracious to do so, especially since we weren't really discussing his games specifically.

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Nathan Fouts appeared on our show at my request, and he was very gracious to do so, especially since we weren't really discussing his games specifically. Delete RFN from your computer if you want, send us nasty emails and forum posts if you want, but it makes no sense to punish this man who was just helping us out. Moreover, it's beyond ignorant to spread hate on his games when you haven't even played them.

I don't own an Xbox, nor have I ever had the opportunity to play one of Mr. Fouts' games, but I thought he gave a great interview.  I enjoyed his perspectives on game design, what interests him about game design, art styles, and thought it was insightful.  I design software for a living, and have always had a passing interest in game design, so I liked it.  Especially he brought up a number of Nintendo games during the interview (Mario Galaxy 2, Super Metroid, among them), I guess that I don't really understand the criticism.

NWRs podcasts have been on the top of my lists for nearly 3 years now.  I appreciated being able to listen to a bunch of guys who really love games, and who (usually :) ) appear to really enjoy participating in the podcast.  I can name a number of podcasts from professional sites that pale in comparison, and a lot of the time it's because it was very apparent that the participants didn't want to be there sometimes.  Enthusiasm makes a difference in the quality of the product.  In some cases, I just imagined that some of those guys were just recording podcasts because their boss was making them do it to attract website traffic (the IGN nintendo podcast (under various names, circa 2008 until Matt C. and Bozon left, I'm looking at you).  In the case of Retronauts, I suppose I had just attributed it to Jeremy Parrish's general mellow disposition. 

Man, I'm really going to miss Retronauts as well.  I found it relatively late into it's life, but it has been fun listening to old episodes.  I hope that someone somewhere will eventually take up that mantle in the future because I think there's still a lot of great old gaming material to mine for good discussion.

I'll also take an opportunity to state that aside from the techincal difficulties, the OOT and Super Metroid epsiodes are two of my favorites from any podcast.  I still have those episodes stored away on my mp3 player; I listened to the Super Metroid episode in my anticipation for Other M, and I'm sure I'll probably break out the OOT episode prior to the release of Skyward Sword.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusOctober 27, 2010

Quote from: Plugabugz

And finally, Greg is a Brit. And he sits up EVERY WEEK WITHOUT FAIL to stupid o'clock every thursday recording and spends upto/more than 24 hours A WEEK editing the podcast for our weekly consumption. I don't know the average time spent (Greg, how often do you spend editing on average?) but just using the 24 hour figure over 100 episodes he's spent 10 DAYS editing.

The average episode of RFN these days takes 3 hours or more to record and about 13-15 hours to edit. The only episode that took 24 hours to complete was RFN 150, which was exceptional for a number of reasons including 5 audio tracks, 3hr30mins of audio, and the splicing in of the clips extracted from previous episodes. 

Quote from: Plugabugz

That's a hell of a lot for a person who still needs to eat, drink, sleep, have fun, travel and do all the other things that he does.

I only do a subset of these things - feel free to guess which ones.

Retro DeckadesOctober 27, 2010

I am not a multiple platform owner and I'll admit that I am primarily interested in the Nintendo portions of RFN, but the game discussions on this podcast in general are so insightful and critically minded that they remain endlessly entertaining. I have unsubscribed from many other multiple platform-focused podcasts because the discussion severely lacked these aspects, instead resorting to descriptions of games and how they play.

Radio Free Nintendo's quality is unmatched.

happyastoriaOctober 27, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I appreciate the feedback and criticism. Although I think your views represent a small minority of our listeners, it's important to hear those views, and we do take them into consideration. However, your tone is extremely off-putting. We are much more likely to listen to you if you treat us (and our guests!) with respect and politeness.

It seems you are new to this website in general, so let me tell you something about it. We are 100% independently operated and funded. Our entire staff works for no pay, and yet we strive for the same level of professionalism that you will get at IGN, Gamespot, 1up, etc. If you want to doubt whether we love Nintendo, ask the numerous staff members who have been doing this volunteer work for 7-8 years. We are adults, most of us with real jobs, and we have broad interests in gaming and beyond. We do what we do because we love doing it. That goes for the entire website, and all the podcasts as well.

Look around the web and iTunes for other Nintendo-focused podcasts. You won't find very many. Now consider how many of those are any good. Now filter out the ones that ever mention or discuss any non-Nintendo games/systems. I don't think you'll have anything left to listen to. If we only talked about Nintendo games and only answered emails directly about Nintendo games, the show would be less than an hour long each week. Furthermore, we'd have to specifically purchase a lot more Nintendo games to make up the difference, games that we may not actually care about... with our own money! Sheer economics demand that we can only talk about games we were going to buy/rent anyway. And all four of us on the show are multiplatform gamers, so obviously we want to play games on multiple platforms. That would apply to virtually anyone on our staff.

We made considerable efforts to keep Nintendo at the focus point of every episode. Even in this case, when we brought on an independent developer who makes Xbox games, we constantly referred back to Nintendo games. "Did you work at Geist?" "What are some of the Nintendo games that influence your games?" "Have you considered making WiiWare games?" "What makes exploration in Metroid games fun and rewarding?" "How do you design an upgrade like the Screw Attack?" ...and so on.

Find another podcast with 200+ episodes and more Nintendo content, on average, than our show. Go on, I want to see what you come up with. Make your case.

We love Nintendo. We talk about Nintendo, primarily and at length and in depth, on every single episode of this show ever produced. But we are not purists. We are not fanboys. We do not live in a vacuum. We know that Nintendo games are and should be influenced by what's happening in the entire gaming world, just as they continue to influence that world.

This is a Nintendo podcast for grown-ups. If you can't handle that perspective, find something that caters exactly to what you want. This is the Internet, after all.

Wow, you just cock slapped him! By the way I can only think of one other podcast that has as many, if not more than RFN, and it's called GoNintendo.

happyastoriaOctober 27, 2010

Quote from: Hyrulian

You know your right.
I'm out.
enjoy your XBX discussions.

LMFAO! He spelled "your" wrong. HAHAHAHAHAHA

You can always listen to NWR Newscast. We talk all about Nintendo stuff!

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusOctober 27, 2010

Quote from: NWR_Neal

You can always listen to NWR Newscast. We talk all about Nintendo stuff!

This might seem like a perfectly reasonable suggestion Neal, but if our chap Hyrulian Guard were to reach the "post-game" discussion of Minecraft in Episode 27 he'd probably flip out and tell all his friends to throw custard pies at Markus Persson's face or something.

noname2200October 27, 2010

Quote from: Yoshidious

Quote from: NWR_Neal

You can always listen to NWR Newscast. We talk all about Nintendo stuff!

This might seem like a perfectly reasonable suggestion Neal, but if our chap Hyrulian Guard were to reach the "post-game" discussion of Minecraft in Episode 27 he'd probably flip out and tell all his friends to throw custard pies at Markus Persson's face or something.

Don't forget the upcoming Polo-cast.  That game's not even on a console!

Mop it upOctober 27, 2010

I've thought for a while now that NWR should go multi-platform, a lot of its current staff own and play other systems which they find ways to talk about, which includes podcasts and blogs.

Quote from: Yoshidious

Quote from: NWR_Neal

You can always listen to NWR Newscast. We talk all about Nintendo stuff!

This might seem like a perfectly reasonable suggestion Neal, but if our chap Hyrulian Guard were to reach the "post-game" discussion of Minecraft in Episode 27 he'd probably flip out and tell all his friends to throw custard pies at Markus Persson's face or something.

Touche.

Quote from: noname2200

Quote from: Yoshidious

Quote from: NWR_Neal

You can always listen to NWR Newscast. We talk all about Nintendo stuff!

This might seem like a perfectly reasonable suggestion Neal, but if our chap Hyrulian Guard were to reach the "post-game" discussion of Minecraft in Episode 27 he'd probably flip out and tell all his friends to throw custard pies at Markus Persson's face or something.

Don't forget the upcoming Polo-cast.  That game's not even on a console!

...YET!

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusOctober 27, 2010

I honestly just stepped into this thread to mention that the segment including Nathan was the best I had heard on RFN in quite some time, only to be greeted with the current controversy surrounding the interview.

I was going to mention how great it was to hear someone interested in modern 2d action games reflect with the RFN crew about where these games are going, and what can be learned from our favorite Nintendo titles.

Instead of just doing that, I will also say that if you had a problem with that segment, go make your own podcast. There is no institutional framework that allows you to change what RFN does. Sure, the methods to complain are in place, but there are no means by which a listener can make irrational and detrimental changes to an excellent podcast simply to suit their particular needs, because the RFN cast owes you nothing. In fact, all they do is give, their free time, their thoughts, and their mental effort.

Meaning you can enjoy making your own perfect podcast, and good luck measuring up to RFN. I know I try every time I sit down for a Newscast, but more in a Christian imitating Jesus kind of way- replication just isn't possible.

@ Noname: I compare the EO games to roguelikes because they are structurally similar. The quest for the amulet of Yendor is not all that far off from the quest to reach the bottom of the Yggdrasil labyrinth. Both genres also share a tendency towards difficult gameplay, and they are also ultimately about moving square by square through a dungeon.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorOctober 27, 2010

RFN is, in fact, bigger than Jesus.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusOctober 27, 2010

Quote from: NWR_Karl

RFN is, in fact, bigger than Jesus.

No its not, Jesus is important to millions of people, making you patently wrong.

I guess nobody will get that I'm taking a dig at James unless I spell it out.

@Karl: I was about to type the exact same thing, except add a Beatles reference.

@Nate: You have to blatantly say YOU'RE WRONG or HE'S WRONG!

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusOctober 27, 2010

Quote from: Halbred

@Nate: You have to blatantly say YOU'RE WRONG or HE'S WRONG!

No, YOU'RE WRONG. How was that?

We love you James, RFN wouldn't be as good without your largely entertaining and occasionally relevant input.

noname2200October 27, 2010

Quote from: greybrick

@ Noname: I compare the EO games to roguelikes because they are structurally similar. The quest for the amulet of Yendor is not all that far off from the quest to reach the bottom of the Yggdrasil labyrinth. Both genres also share a tendency towards difficult gameplay, and they are also ultimately about moving square by square through a dungeon.

I suppose that's true.  I personally associate those qualities more with the classic dungeon crawler than with roguelikes.  To me, the roguelike stands out because of its randomly-generated dungeons and their tendency to completely reset you upon death: you may be wiser for the experience, but you're back to level one with no items.  I guess it's just a matter of perspective.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusOctober 27, 2010

Quote from: noname2200

Quote from: greybrick

@ Noname: I compare the EO games to roguelikes because they are structurally similar. The quest for the amulet of Yendor is not all that far off from the quest to reach the bottom of the Yggdrasil labyrinth. Both genres also share a tendency towards difficult gameplay, and they are also ultimately about moving square by square through a dungeon.

I suppose that's true.  I personally associate those qualities more with the classic dungeon crawler than with roguelikes.  To me, the roguelike stands out because of its randomly-generated dungeons and their tendency to completely reset you upon death: you may be wiser for the experience, but you're back to level one with no items.  I guess it's just a matter of perspective.

Plenty of people throw roguelikes into the dungeon crawling genre, but I see the distinction you are making. I see the current death state in EO to be an evolution of the rogue death state- since you can lose significant chunks of progress but return with your knowledge of the dungeon.

EO's leveling mechanics are much closer to a game of Wizardry, though-which is why I noted it was half-roguelike and half-JRPG. (I know Wizardry wasn't originally a Japanese game)

noname2200October 27, 2010

Good points all around, especially with the comparison to Wizardry.  I concede the point.

Kytim89October 27, 2010

I am a little surprised that the RFN team have not picked up Monster Hunter 3. I mean that is a good third party Wii game and it would make a good new business for them to talk about on the podcast.

The demo of MH3 turned me off any notion of buying it. However, Jon does own the game and discussed it on a couple of episodes back in the spring.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusOctober 27, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

The demo of MH3 turned me off any notion of buying it. However, Jon does own the game and discussed it on a couple of episodes back in the spring.

If you are at least interested in the idea monster hunter, I would try out Demon's Souls. A very well implemented multiplayer RPG with a similar structure to Monster Hunter, but minus most of the tedium.

Kytim89October 27, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

The demo of MH3 turned me off any notion of buying it. However, Jon does own the game and discussed it on a couple of episodes back in the spring.


The actual game is a whole lot better. I suggest that you atleast rent it from your Gamefly account and then go online with me, Maxi and Mop It Up to get a good notion of the game. The game is not meant to be played single player, but multiplayer.

ejamerOctober 28, 2010

Wow, this controversy is laughable.


I enjoy RFN and make a point of listening because it comes from a group of guys who (a) love gaming regardless of the console being gamed on, and (b) are able to form and express ideas in an intelligent way.  Keep up the great work guys, it's much appreciated.

Quote from: greybrick

If you are at least interested in the idea monster hunter, I would try out Demon's Souls. A very well implemented multiplayer RPG with a similar structure to Monster Hunter, but minus most of the tedium.

I rented Demon's Souls. It made very little sense to me. I played the first level a few times, not really sure what I was supposed to be doing. Then I fought a boss that was a giant blob of goo surrounded by many smaller blobs of goo. Then I ran down a bridge and was killed by a dragon. In another level, I walked around a prison but a ghostly jailer one-hit killed me. Never did find the fun.

broodwarsOctober 28, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Quote from: greybrick

If you are at least interested in the idea monster hunter, I would try out Demon's Souls. A very well implemented multiplayer RPG with a similar structure to Monster Hunter, but minus most of the tedium.

I rented Demon's Souls. It made very little sense to me. I played the first level a few times, not really sure what I was supposed to be doing. Then I fought a boss that was a giant blob of goo surrounded by many smaller blobs of goo. Then I ran down a bridge and was killed by a dragon. In another level, I walked around a prison but a ghostly jailer one-hit killed me. Never did find the fun.


The more I hear about Demon's Souls, the more convinced I am that the game's only actual notable quality is its absurd difficulty.  It's all reviewers and commenters talk about, and I'm long past the days (if those days ever existed at all) when I need a game to beat me into the ground to enjoy it.

SundoulosOctober 28, 2010

There is one thing that I was curious about in the interview.  It appears that Mommy's Best Games has had a fairly decent track record with his past games; I'm surprised that Grapple Buggy is having such a hard time trying to find a publisher.  I understand that it's a very competitive market right now for small game developers, but how much does it actually cost to publish a game on Xbox Live or Xbox Arcade?  I'm certain there are legal, licensing and hosting fees, but I guess I'm surprised that hosting a game in that way would be considered a risk, at least if it has a pedigree of game quality.

Weapon of Choice, Shoot 1up, and Explosionade are all on the Indie games store, meaning they are self-published. Live Arcade requires certification, ESRB rating, and a lot of other things that make it difficult and expensive to self-publish on that service. I assume that's why Nathan is shopping Grapple Buggy to established publishers. It would also mean that he could get some funding up-front to finish development, rather than wait until the game is released and rely only on sales revenue.

Quote from: Kytim89

The actual game is a whole lot better. I suggest that you atleast rent it from your Gamefly account and then go online with me, Maxi and Mop It Up to get a good notion of the game. The game is not meant to be played single player, but multiplayer.

I'll do that. It would be fun to play with Jon and Billy, too.

Kytim89October 28, 2010


Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Quote from: Kytim89

The actual game is a whole lot better. I suggest that you atleast rent it from your Gamefly account and then go online with me, Maxi and Mop It Up to get a good notion of the game. The game is not meant to be played single player, but multiplayer.

I'll do that. It would be fun to play with Jon and Billy, too.


I remember reading some where that Monster Hunter 3 was the most successful third party Wii game of all time. It sold some where in the ball park of one or two million copies in Japan. It did farely well in the west, but it was recently revealed that this game had surpassed Brawl as the most played Wii game. This is important to note because it proves in some sense that third party games can be successful on the Wii.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusOctober 28, 2010

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Quote from: greybrick

If you are at least interested in the idea monster hunter, I would try out Demon's Souls. A very well implemented multiplayer RPG with a similar structure to Monster Hunter, but minus most of the tedium.

I rented Demon's Souls. It made very little sense to me. I played the first level a few times, not really sure what I was supposed to be doing. Then I fought a boss that was a giant blob of goo surrounded by many smaller blobs of goo. Then I ran down a bridge and was killed by a dragon. In another level, I walked around a prison but a ghostly jailer one-hit killed me. Never did find the fun.


The more I hear about Demon's Souls, the more convinced I am that the game's only actual notable quality is its absurd difficulty.  It's all reviewers and commenters talk about, and I'm long past the days (if those days ever existed at all) when I need a game to beat me into the ground to enjoy it.

Since I started playing with a friend after beating the first level I haven't had a hard time with the game at all. Sure, some sections can be a bit tough, but the multiplayer system means that help is always just a few seconds away. The game is structured so that there is sufficient motivation to both bring someone into your game and also to join someone's game.

The game really isn't that hard, and that isn't me trying to sound like a snob, or "not knowing my own strength." In all honesty, if you play the game while taking advantage of the multiplayer, it is very enjoyable.

I like that there isn't the tedium of mining, fishing, or farming ala monster hunter. The combat feels much more fluid, and perhaps a bit more western.

jrlibrarianJeffrey Trewin, Associate EditorOctober 28, 2010

I love this podcast, and will continue to promote it and support it as long as it lives. It already has surpassed Retronauts R.I.P. and 1UP Yours anyway.

I'm so glad that we finally got rid of Hylian Guard. Now our loving of Nintendo products (which happen to be gramatically correct) can continue in peace with one less troll.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)October 29, 2010

Quote from: Sundoulos

There is one thing that I was curious about in the interview.  It appears that Mommy's Best Games has had a fairly decent track record with his past games; I'm surprised that Grapple Buggy is having such a hard time trying to find a publisher.  I understand that it's a very competitive market right now for small game developers, but how much does it actually cost to publish a game on Xbox Live or Xbox Arcade?  I'm certain there are legal, licensing and hosting fees, but I guess I'm surprised that hosting a game in that way would be considered a risk, at least if it has a pedigree of game quality.

Nature of the business, I suppose. When a publisher wants its hands on a game, a lot of the time, they will approach the developer, rather than the other way around. If the developer is pitching their game in an attempt to acquire a publisher, I would assume it's best to get in contact early in the process, so the publisher can give their input on what they would like ASAP.
Of course, there are certain costs involved. That's why in some ways, WiiWare is a better option because the cost of development is undoubtedly cheaper. I know the 40MB limit is a turn-off for some, but with smart resource allocation, you can still squeeze some impressive stuff in there - LostWinds 2 is, in my view, up there as one of the best looking Wii games.

StratosOctober 29, 2010

Did that Hylian guy get banned? Cause his name is gray.

Quote from: Kytim89

It did farely well in the west, but it was recently revealed that this game had surpassed Brawl as the most played Wii game. This is important to note because it proves in some sense that third party games can be successful on the Wii.

I did hear that it had the best launch for a MH game in the West. But what is all this talk about Tri passing Brawl and such? What is your source? Link Plz.

Kytim89October 29, 2010

Quote from: Stratos

Did that Hylian guy get banned? Cause his name is gray.

Quote from: Kytim89

It did farely well in the west, but it was recently revealed that this game had surpassed Brawl as the most played Wii game. This is important to note because it proves in some sense that third party games can be successful on the Wii.

I did hear that it had the best launch for a MH game in the West. But what is all this talk about Tri passing Brawl and such? What is your source? Link Plz.


Sorry about not posting the source. Here it is:

http://kotaku.com/5656025/the-20-most+loved-wii-games-a-new-number-one

adadadOctober 29, 2010

Wow, what a ridiculous argument that guy put forward. I very rarely get the opportunity nowadays to play anything other than PS1 and N64 games so for me the current consoles exist almost exclusively in my imagination and yet this is no way impairs my love for this podcast. And I would hope that most listeners respect and have interests across the whole of the gaming spectrum, including at least some areas that Nintendo does not make its primary focus. If RFN were to focus exclusively on Nintendo the sights of the podcast would be too narrow in my opinion, and the listeners and podcast crew alike would end up losing out on the benefits of a broad perspective. Nintendo fanatics who lose touch with alternative experiences on offer these days are the kinds of people who end up trying to defend individual friend codes for every game as "progressive" or "cutting edge", simply because they don't know any better.

This week's interview was really enjoyable, and well done because I thought you guys did a great job of keeping a conversation with a developer, exclusively (currently at least) developing for the 360,  rooted in a Nintendo context by using Super Metroid and other Nintendo game touchstones as examples.

And finally just to say that that was an impressive Retronauts send-off, Greg! I have to second the survival horror episode recommendation, that was one of the first Retronauts episodes I listened to and it cemented me as a podcast listener, which soon led me to discover this very show. Fantastic stuff - I remember listening to it in bed and gradually becoming more and more SCARED in my half-asleep state during the discussion of Eternal Darkness! I had to switch it off in the end I was such a wimp.

PlugabugzOctober 30, 2010

Quote from: Yoshidious

I only do a subset of these things - feel free to guess which ones.

Given you star on and edit RFN, sleeping is out of the question.

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