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Episode 218: Killed in the Restroom, Again

by Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Nathan Mustafa - November 7, 2010, 2:17 pm PST
Total comments: 38

Nathan Mustafa from NWR Newscast drops in to help us remember Goldeneye (N64).

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James took a rare week off to attend something called American football, a crude mutation of rugby involving forward passes and other nonsensical rules. His substitute is Nathan Mustafa, the newest member of the NWR Newscast, here making his debut at Radio Free Nintendo. Nathan has been called "the James of Newscast", so it was really the perfect swap.

Nathan opens New Business with an affirmation of Super Meat Boy's awesomeness, which also gives us a chance to bitch about the WiiWare size limit that is delaying a port to our beloved Nintendo console. He also explains why he likes Fallout: New Vegas despite all the things he hates about it. (To hear about Nathan's exploits on Wii and DS, check out "What Ya Been Reviewing?" on the Newscast.) Greg maxes out Wario Land: Shake It and reports on the shockingly great Sonic Colo(u)rs DS demo, which Jonny also tried. Lindy is still digging for free time in Boston, so he instead gives us a run-down of what games he'd like to be playing, and we in turn list the games we want him to play (hint: they involve videos of him rapping, like Hulk Hogan). Finally, Jonny reports on finishing several games, including Picross 3D, Kirby's Epic Yarn, and Alan Wake -- listen for the latter game's tribute to James Jones.

After the break, we have a mid-sized retrospective on the original Goldeneye 007, a game we all love but have never really discussed on the show before. With Activision's well-received "remake" now making the rounds, it seemed like a great time to discuss the innovations and addictive power of Rare's first and most famous FPS. Later, we tackle a couple of Listener Mail questions about unsupported Wii accessories, Sims 3 for consoles, and even Need for Speed (a.k.a. Burnout: Real Cars Edition).

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

Quote:

Sonic Colo(u)rs

I see what you did there  :cool;

Also, I really need to find a Youtube video of "Hulk Hogan On Crack", as allegedly performed by a band called Bag of Hammers.

Re: Goldeneye - nothing tops 4 people pulling all-nighters with the following rules:
- License to Kill
- Slappers Only
- Facility
- First to 20 wins

EnnerNovember 08, 2010

There is a Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit for the Wii. Intriguingly there are major differences with the Wii version, most prominent being kart-like power ups and the replacement of the fictional Seacrest County with locations based on real world cities.


Become the best driver on the streets by competing in races, evading cops and earning bounty. The better you perform, the more bounty you achieve which can be used to purchase and upgrade cars.
There are six event types including Hot Pursuit, Eliminator, and the flat-out insanity Rush Hour mode which has the player racing against 99 other racers.
Enhance the intensity of the pursuit with eight unique Supe-Up power-up options which players can pick up and use in races to improve their vehicle's performance or to hinder opponents. iNCLUDING Tank, Soundwave, Boost, Repair, Deflect the Heat and Jammer.
Experience the thrill of driving 33 of the world's most desirable high performance cars at incredible speeds. Feel the power of outsmarting the law in high performance supercars like the Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini Gallardo and McLaren MP4-12C.
Race the open world of four cities based on the real world locations real world locations Chongqing, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro and Las Vegas. There are 20 unique tracks based in these cities with each city also being available as an open world for boss battles

Wow, this is the first I've ever heard of Hot Pursuit for the Wii. I somehow doubt that Criterion is actually developing it (they've never made a Wii game before, why start now?), but I'd be interested in checking it out if that turns out to be accurate.

Kytim89November 08, 2010

If thenew Goldeneye 007 games is so successful then could it rekindle interest in doing something with the original game?

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusNovember 08, 2010

Quote from: Kytim89

If thenew Goldeneye 007 games is so successful then could it rekindle interest in doing something with the original game?

That interest was already there, the reason some sort of port does not exist is primarily for legal reasons.

adadadNovember 08, 2010

Great discussion of Goldeneye, I absolutely love that game to this day. It, alongside Mario Kart 64, is the most played multiplayer game at my flat for 2 years running now. I had it when I was young but because of it's difficulty I struggled even to beat the game on Agent difficulty. Nowadays I find it much easier, and I have almost beaten all the levels on 00 Agent (still can't believe it's been 11 years and I haven't even unlocked the final Egyptian level), as well as having gotten almost all of the cheats. The most difficult of these by the way, is the Invincibility cheat, which demands that the player beat Facility on 00 Agent in a heart condition aggravating 2 mins 5 seconds. It's doable, but it took me several hours worth of failed attempts!

I understand the complaints about the graphics, and going back today they are highly dated (although this is also the case for almost every 3D N64 game), but I think you very rightly mentioned the fact that it was well designed graphically so as not to be overly confusing. A character or an enemy will always stand out from the background enough so as to be distinguishable. Mines too were just the right size that they could be noticeable, even in multiplayer, but not always immediately apparent. It takes some strategy to plant mines in a place where they won't be seen by the approaching player. It does take a bit of getting used to sometimes - usually when a friend is round at mine and plays GE for the first time, they tend to complain initially about not being able to see a gun on the ground. This can be difficult with the small weapons especially. Also I should mention that if like me all you play are N64 and PS1 games you'll become accustomed to the primitive graphics very easily - they are in no way worse than other games of the time.

I also agree that the biggest strength of the game's singleplayer is its variety. Most of the objectives are very simple, but the means by which you have to approach a level or a particular environment can differ wildly from mission to mission. You guys mentioned two of the best examples - Bunker 2, which is the most overtly stealth oriented level, and the Train, the closest thing the game has to a shooting gallery. In the middle of those two extremes though on 00 Agent a lot of the strategy for survival boils down to enemy management and ensuring you don't get overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Usually the best way to handle a room full of several guards is to lure them into a doorway or a limited up close space, so on certain levels there is a lot of shooting at closed doors with a loud weapon and waiting for the enemies to haplessly wander in and killing them before they have a chance to fire a single round. Other levels, primarily the outdoor ones like the Jungle, do not afford this kind of luxury and you're always being asked to adapt and act according to your environment.

One of the best examples in my opinion is in the Cave level. The majority of the level has you running down a thin, defined single path sparsely populated with guards, but with a parrallel path running either overhead or underneath which has guards on too who you need to maintain awareness of. This is interesting itself as there are several possible routes and strategies to adopt, but where it gets really good is near the end of the level when you come to the level's largest room, shaped like a cross with the bottom cut off. The entrance is right in the centre so you have three directions to shoot at/be shot at from. One of your objectives is to use a radio which is situated at the top of the room, in the midst of a large number of explosive barrels. If you shoot the barrels (very tempting as there are several guards in the vicinity), you will fail the mission. There are also guards situated either side of the cross. So there are several strategic considerations to be made. You simply cannot afford to stand in the middle accruing damage from five guards while you scope them all out individually. If you were to run up into the top of the cross, killing the guards there without hitting the barrels and then take cover, the other guards shooting at you will likely almost certainly hit aforementioned barrels, causing your death and the radio to be destroyed simultaneously. I don't have time to cover all the other factors that come into play in this room alone, but it's an exciting piece of level design that forces the player to strategise intelligently.

And if it's not your cup of tea, the game always offers the option to stick to the Agent difficulty and rely exclusively on your trigger finger!

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)November 08, 2010

While people may have fond memories of Goldeneye 007 on N64, is there much appeal in playing it now? I'm certainly not one to laud the achievements of the First Person Shooter, which has staled in its growing popularity, but it's obvious that the genre has come a long way since then.

Well, I say that, but perhaps I'm just being spiteful, as I never owned the game. I've only played it twice, not for more than an hour either time and only deathmatches - no single player experience. It was okay, but Smash Bros Melee trumped it easily in terms of multiplayer fun.

Funnily enough, I've not even seen the Goldeneye film and don't have any knowledge of its plot. All the reviews of Goldeneye on Wii have discussed the revised storyline with mixed opinions, but that will have zero impact on me, because I have nothing to judge the new story against.

PlugabugzNovember 08, 2010

I managed to sabotage Goldeneye for a lot of people by running into a melee of bullets, pointing at the ground and firing a rocket launcher. I just couldn't play the game because the N64 controller is too big and dual-analog confused me back then.

Nathan is HILARIOUSLY funny. Are you a brit nathan? Your humo(u)r is so much like greg's... very sharp and on point.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusNovember 08, 2010

Quote from: Plugabugz

Nathan is HILARIOUSLY funny. Are you a brit nathan? Your humo(u)r is so much like greg's... very sharp and on point.

I swear, Plugabugz isn't my alt account.

If you couldn't tell, like, from the way I talk dude, I was born and raised in Southern California.

- and as Jonny noted, Greg's editing magic makes us all sound very on point.

Good episode, gents. Good to hear Nathan on another podcast where he's not subjected to sports talk. LOL

Two quick things, though:

1) Pedro's blog post didn't cover the Elite reward. That's coming in the mail, and it's the little Mario 'n' Friends statue. What Pedro got is available for everyone on the Club Nintendo website.

2) It's a little strange that in an episode that heavily featured Goldeneye N64, you didn't make mention of NWR's own Goldeneye review (even during the break segment). It was posted two days before RFN traditionally records is all...

ejamerNovember 08, 2010


Great show, as usual.  Listening to your Goldeneye memories was particularly enjoyable.

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

While people may have fond memories of Goldeneye 007 on N64, is there much appeal in playing it now?

I played it a while ago and felt the game had aged better than expected... however, that doesn't mean I'd recommend to anyone who didn't grow up in the N64 (or earlier) generation.  Without nostalgia to hide the rough spots this game wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable.




My favorite memories of Goldeneye on N64 come from hours of multiplayer sessions and fighting to unlock all the cheats and secret levels.  Who can forget using proximity mines to cover all the spawn points, or having a slap fight to the death, or madly running in diagonal lines to gain a slight speed advantage?  Trying to find a way to shave 3-5 seconds off your best time was maddeningly addictive, and finally defeating (?) Baron Samedi and his haunting laughter was a great relief.


Although many of Goldeneye's greatest in-game accomplishments could be considered quaint now, it really did set a new standard for console FPS titles - both in single player and multiplayer modes.

adadadNovember 08, 2010

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

While people may have fond memories of Goldeneye 007 on N64, is there much appeal in playing it now? I'm certainly not one to laud the achievements of the First Person Shooter, which has staled in its growing popularity, but it's obvious that the genre has come a long way since then.

Well, I say that, but perhaps I'm just being spiteful, as I never owned the game. I've only played it twice, not for more than an hour either time and only deathmatches - no single player experience. It was okay, but Smash Bros Melee trumped it easily in terms of multiplayer fun.

Funnily enough, I've not even seen the Goldeneye film and don't have any knowledge of its plot. All the reviews of Goldeneye on Wii have discussed the revised storyline with mixed opinions, but that will have zero impact on me, because I have nothing to judge the new story against.

It's quite a tough question to answer as someone who's had and known the game for so long, but I would say that yes, there is plenty of appeal to be found in playing Goldeneye today. I suspect others may disagree, but it seems like a lot of people simply go and take one look at the game and then say "wow the graphics are worse than I remembered" and proceed to write it off. The FPS genre has changed a lot since 1997 and that's actually the reason why GE is still unique and interesting to me. Half-Life, which came out the year after was the more influential shooter for the genre I would argue, and I think you'll find most modern shooters are far more frequently based on that game's template.

In case you haven't played it, structurally Half-Life is a completely continuous world, loosely split into large chapters which are essentially irrelevant as you can save and load anywhere. It never takes the player out of the game experience between sections of the game. It also pioneered the use of heavily scripted events, where big events that would typically take place in cutscenes are done in real time, while you are in control of the character. Now from my limited experience with modern FPS's it seems like this is the common model.

Goldeneye uses a self-contained stage-by-stage structure whereby after every mission (and most of these are fairly short, I'd say they average about 5-10 minutes each) you are taken out of the game back to the menu to go into another one. There are no save points or checkpoints of any sort within any of the missions. As a result, and thanks to the game's high difficulty, Goldeneye's structure feels very old-school. It offers lots of incentives to go back and replay the missions on a higher difficulty level, to unlock cheats and the 2 secret singleplayer levels. And, as was brought up in the podcast, the higher difficulty levels add extra objectives to every mission and substantially alter the way you play.

The Half-Life model has the benefit of being more cinematic, more story-driven, and more "immersive" (not sure if that word is still allowed in gaming today). The Goldeneye model, as I said, is much more old-school. The equivalents in the platformer genre are the modern Prince of Persia games (Half-life's equivalent) and the Super Mario Bros games (GE's). Clearly neither of the two are intrinsically better than the other in my opinion, it's entirely a matter of personal preference, but hopefully this gives an idea of how Goldeneye manages to differentiate itself from modern shooters, and certain modern gaming trends in general. Now the recent retro revival (particularly with games like Super Meat Boy) shows that there is still a demand for these non-continuous, distinctly un-cinematic experiences and I would say your tolerance for old-school sensibilities should be the main factor in the decision of whether to play or not to play Goldeneye.

Anyway that was a long way to explain it, but I feel as though on the harder difficulties Goldeneye has much more in common with a game experience such as Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts than another shooter like Half-Life. Because it can be so very demanding, it's immensely satisfying when you finally master a level, pull off everything perfectly and make it through alive by the skin of your teeth, or in the case of the cheat challenges, when you beat it one second under the time limit. Also, unlike the graphics, the game's fantastic level design and weapons have not aged. Also possibly most importantly (it is the thing you're doing in the game the most after all), it is very satisfying to shoot enemies. It just feels really good.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of the appeal of this game - it's certainly not for everyone in the single-player mode at least, but it has the sort of challenge many modern shooters just don't offer or incentivise the player well enough to try. Oh and as a footnote as it's a Rare game it has the advantages of a good PAL conversion which is a nice plus.

In fact I just looked it up and found this interesting (from a Cubed3 forum post): "It\'s really arguable either way, and is a tough one to call, but I personally deem the PAL versions to be the definitive versions of both GoldenEye 007, and Perfect Dark. The increased resolution of the PAL versions is more evident (and makes for a clearer multiplayer experience when the screen is devided up into quarters) than the more stable framerates of the NTSC version. Of which only really comes into play when the game slows down. It still slows down, it just drops a few less frames than the PAL one, so is arguably negligible. You could argue for either version though, there\'s so little in it either way. Which again highlights how great Rare was."

Maybe this could help explain Johnny's complaint about it being hard to distinguish things clearly?

Quote from: Halbred

1) Pedro's blog post didn't cover the Elite reward. That's coming in the mail, and it's the little Mario 'n' Friends statue. What Pedro got is available for everyone on the Club Nintendo website.

Mea culpa! I made a number of factual errors on this episode. Got my head stuck in a space suit, reckon.

Quote:

2) It's a little strange that in an episode that heavily featured Goldeneye N64, you didn't make mention of NWR's own Goldeneye review (even during the break segment). It was posted two days before RFN traditionally records is all...

Blame Jon on that one. He puts together Now Playing, at least now that he's back. I'll try to remind him to include it on the next episode, though!

On a positive note, I actually DID get the Elite reward today and will be photographing it and making a blog post tomorrow (that's the plan, anyway).

ejamerNovember 09, 2010

My elite reward also just arrived.  It's bigger than expected, and actually looks nicer than I thought it would...

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusNovember 09, 2010

Quote from: ejamer

My elite reward also just arrived.  It's bigger than expected, and actually looks nicer than I thought it would...

Despite the fact that Nintendo continually notified me that my "Elite Reward" was in the mail, I received a desktop calendar yesterday.

Quote from: greybrick

Despite the fact that Nintendo continually notified me that my "Elite Reward" was in the mail, I received a desktop calendar yesterday.

That's the Gold Elite Reward, as opposed to the Platinum one everybody else is talking about.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusNovember 09, 2010

Quote from: MegaByte

Quote from: greybrick

Despite the fact that Nintendo continually notified me that my "Elite Reward" was in the mail, I received a desktop calendar yesterday.

That's the Gold Elite Reward, as opposed to the Platinum one everybody else is talking about.

As usual Aaron, you've managed to make me feel dumb.

I was present for the giant Bond-fest Jonny mentioned. I seem to recall Jonny and I pretty much owning the competition, even though neither of us had played the game in years (and I suck at FPSes in general). I believe it was discussed during Episode 184: In Memory of Geno, but I could be mistaken.

SundoulosNovember 10, 2010

I loved the memories of GoldenEye... I was actually in college when the game came out, and I lived in a huge house with about eight other friends.  We sort of had a central gaming area tucked away on the second floor where everyone had their consoles hooked up. 

We spent a ton of time playing GoldenEye, Mario Kart 64, and Star Fox 64...as well as a plethora of wrestling games.  Many of us didn't have computers that were capable of keeping up with the LAN-capable games that were out the time (Starcraft, etc.), so the N64 provided the bulk of my FPS multiplayer experience at the time.  Lots of wasted time, lots of all-nighter multiplayer sessions...

TJ SpykeNovember 10, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Wow, this is the first I've ever heard of Hot Pursuit for the Wii. I somehow doubt that Criterion is actually developing it (they've never made a Wii game before, why start now?), but I'd be interested in checking it out if that turns out to be accurate.

According to Nintendo Life, the Wii version is done by UK developer Exient Entertainment. They also made the Wii version of Need for Speed: Undercover. Looking at Wikipedia, most of the games have been handheld versions of sports games (besides these two NFS games, their only other console game was the PS2 version of NASCAR 08).

StarFox Assault's single player sucked, but the multiplayer was great. Kind of a scaled down Battlefield. I wish Nintendo would go back to it; it had a lot of potential.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusNovember 10, 2010

Quote from: insanolord

StarFox Assault's single player sucked, but the multiplayer was great. Kind of a scaled down Battlefield. I wish Nintendo would go back to it; it had a lot of potential.

*slow claps*

I couldn't agree more. Actually, I enjoyed Peppy's sacrificial moment in the single player, but that was about it.

The multiplayer was quick, there was plenty of variety, and it was highly customizable. I would have made a case for it on
the show, but I figured that the chances of it getting laughed out were high.

Dude, Star Fox Assault FTW. It has it's bad points, but I kind of enjoyed the single-player. Also, that multiplayer was awesome.

Nate, let's talk Assault on Newscast tonight. Why? I don't know.

SundoulosNovember 10, 2010

I actually decided to buy a used copy of Assault on the cheap not too long ago, but I haven't played it yet.  I was always scared away by the negative press it got, but I love Star Fox.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusNovember 10, 2010

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Dude, Star Fox Assault FTW. It has it's bad points, but I kind of enjoyed the single-player. Also, that multiplayer was awesome.

Nate, let's talk Assault on Newscast tonight. Why? I don't know.

I think the more pertinent question is: why not?

The more I think about this, the more things I remember that I liked about Assault. I say we play this at some point during E3.

kraken613November 10, 2010

This is kinda off subject but I wanted to thank Jonny for all the drops of Giant Bomb you have been doing the past few months especially. I had looked at the site a bit before every now and then but the past month or so I have really gotten into it. It has a great podcast and everything on that site especially the Quick Looks are crazy entertaining. So thanks for pointing me that direction.

yoshi1001November 10, 2010

You should have said "James Jones Will Return In Episode 219". Otherwise good.

If it weren't for the fact that Super Meat Boy and Rock Band 3 (and potentially GoldenEye Wii soon) rule my gaming time with friends, I'd bust out Assault. One of my good friends bought the game on the strength of the multi.

SundoulosNovember 12, 2010

I really wish Nintendo would let someone make another Starfox.  When the Wii was released I was hoping that they would release one with a strong on-line multiplayer mode; there's no reason it couldn't have been done. 

In fact, I rather liked Starfox Command's multiplayer; I just didn't care for the stylus control scheme.  It didn't take long for me to start getting hand cramps.

You guys have inspired me to pop in that copy of Assault.  It's about time for me to give it a try. 

I've considered getting Assault for awhile now. If I see it cheap, I'll pick it up.

ReggieFA!November 13, 2010

Great Goldeneye discussion and thread comments. You all covered all the bases on this classic game.

LittleIrvesNovember 14, 2010

Funny, how the usual RFN crew nearly laughed Nathan's love of Assault off of the show, but now everyone's coming out and expressing a renewed interest in the game.  Count me among the many who love Star Fox but have never played Assault due to its ignominious reputation (if I used that word correctly).  But I've also almost gotten it used -- so this might be the push I needed.  If Nintendo won't give me a new one to buy, I'll make due with giving my hard-earned bucks to second-hand sellers.  If the Gamecube ever becomes Retroactive territory, it might make for interesting conversation...

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusNovember 14, 2010

Quote from: LittleIrves

Funny, how the usual RFN crew nearly laughed Nathan's love of Assault off of the show, but now everyone's coming out and expressing a renewed interest in the game.  Count me among the many who love Star Fox but have never played Assault due to its ignominious reputation (if I used that word correctly).  But I've also almost gotten it used -- so this might be the push I needed.  If Nintendo won't give me a new one to buy, I'll make due with giving my hard-earned bucks to second-hand sellers.  If the Gamecube ever becomes Retroactive territory, it might make for interesting conversation...

I have been toying with the idea of proposing an Assault feature on Newscast (post-game of course). It would be fun to hear what Zach thinks of it as a newcomer. We did touch on Assault for a bit on ep 30 of Newscast, in which I fully came out of the SFA closet.

EnnerNovember 14, 2010

http://www.exient.net/news/item/the_secret_is_out.html

I was wrong about Criterion being the developer of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit for the Wii. The developer is Exient who worked on the Wii version of Need for Speed Undercover.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exient_Entertainment

Quote from: greybrick

Quote from: LittleIrves

Funny, how the usual RFN crew nearly laughed Nathan's love of Assault off of the show, but now everyone's coming out and expressing a renewed interest in the game.  Count me among the many who love Star Fox but have never played Assault due to its ignominious reputation (if I used that word correctly).  But I've also almost gotten it used -- so this might be the push I needed.  If Nintendo won't give me a new one to buy, I'll make due with giving my hard-earned bucks to second-hand sellers.  If the Gamecube ever becomes Retroactive territory, it might make for interesting conversation...

I have been toying with the idea of proposing an Assault feature on Newscast (post-game of course). It would be fun to hear what Zach thinks of it as a newcomer. We did touch on Assault for a bit on ep 30 of Newscast, in which I fully came out of the SFA closet.

I'm going to warn you straight up--I think Star Fox (SNES) is the best game in the series, followed by Star Fox 64.

Zach, I knew there was a reason we were best friends.

I totally adore Star Fox 64, but the original is by far my favorite in the series. There's something sublime about how it plays, and the music totally effing rocks.

The music, sir, is second to NONE.

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