We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

Episode 225: Start Spreadin' the News

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Jonathan Metts - January 2, 2011, 10:11 am PST
Total comments: 27

RFN kicks off 2011 by catching up with your Listener Mail.

Download in AAC Format

Subscribe to AAC Feed

Download in MP3 Format

Subscribe to MP3 Feed

Subscribe via iTunes (Please rate and review, too!)


It's a new year but RFN gets 2011 underway with a classic episode format and the cast you know all-too-well by now. Jonny's still on the road (calling in this week from the Big Apple) so Greg handles the hosting duties, beginning by taking us through a (relatively) brisk round of New Business, in which Dr. Metts once again demonstrates his mastery of physics by besting VVVVVV, a retro-styled, gravity-flipping puzzle-platformer. Also, James goes on the trail of dream thieves and flea murderers in the bizarre Touch Detective, Greg looks back at Donkey Kong Country 3, and Jon hits upon his "broiest" game yet with Resistance Retribution.

After the break it's time for us to catch up with your questions in Listener Mail, beginning with a look at the state of WiiWare—suddenly a hot topic in the wake of the recent cancellation of Super Meat Boy and the delay of Retro City Rampage. Next, the crew discuss the apparent demise of region-free portable gaming before wrapping things up by debating the causes of "fluff"—unsatisfying additional content—in games such as Kirby's Epic Yarn and Metroid Prime 2. Next week: Jonny and Lindy together in person!

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

happyastoriaJanuary 02, 2011

Jonny, did you think the music in VVVVVV would fit perfectly in a Sonic game? Sega should hire that guy to replace the horrible music in Sonic 4.

If RFN had Xbox Live-style achievements, Jonny would have just unlocked the "Road Warrior" achievement.

How many RFNs is that on the road for you now, Jonny?  I think it's at least half a dozen. Probably many more.

I loved VVVVVV. I played through the whole thing in about 2 hours, but it's still probably the best $5 I've ever spent on a downloadable game.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)January 02, 2011

You're welcome. I don't know how much it actually helps you to get new listeners when we review on iTunes, but it certainly can't hurt.

On the topic of WiiWare's future, I think the prime reason that a developer would choose WiiWare over another download platform even though it is unlikely to be as lucrative is if their game idea is based around something only the Wii can do e.g. LostWinds, Hydroventure/Fluidity and maybe that Art of Balance game that Karl likes. I have the utmost appreciation for the people willing to be experimental with pointer and motion features, because often, it's the most interesting content on the service.

KisakiProjectJanuary 03, 2011

@ James Jones.

I played Touch Detective 2 1/2 all the way through.  It was pretty fun.  I never completed the first one.  So you should go find it.  I found it at EB years ago for $10.  So good luck.

noname2200January 03, 2011

Glad to hear more Recettear talk, especially when it shares my biggest complaint about a still-fun game.  My best adventurer still has a rusty sword and some old scarf as his equipment, and I've already beaten the game. :-/

Kytim89January 03, 2011

If it were not for the hardware restrictions holding Wiiware back, then that service very well could become a power house due to Nintendo's relationship with independant developers compared to its competitiors.

broodwarsJanuary 04, 2011

Quote from: Kytim89

If it were not for the hardware restrictions holding Wiiware back, then that service very well could become a power house due to Nintendo's relationship with independant developers compared to its competitiors.

Yes, Nintendo's truly "special" relationship with crappy independent developers (excluding the few truly good ones like Gajin Games, Telltale Games, etc.) is really something to behold, which gives Giant Bomb something to laugh at every week and the Newscast something to groan at every couple of weeks.  Sony and Microsoft are truly jealous of the relationship that brings forth such classics as we largely see on the service every week.

noname2200January 04, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: Kytim89

If it were not for the hardware restrictions holding Wiiware back, then that service very well could become a power house due to Nintendo's relationship with independant developers compared to its competitiors.

Yes, Nintendo's truly "special" relationship with crappy independent developers (excluding the few truly good ones like Gajin Games, Telltale Games, etc.) is really something to behold, which gives Giant Bomb something to laugh at every week and the Newscast something to groan at every couple of weeks.  Sony and Microsoft are truly jealous of the relationship that brings forth such classics as we largely see on the service every week.

Sarcasm is fun!  Especially when it's as misdirected as yours!

Re-read what kytim wrote.  Note that it does not claim that the WiiWare service is a powerhouse.  Note that it does not claim that WiiWare is generally more attractive to indie developers than XBLA.  Note that it doesn't even use the word you quoted.  Note that all it says is that Nintendo has a better relationship with indies than Sony or Microsoft, while acknowledging that another factor negates this advantage. 

Have you heard anything to the contrary?  Because personally, I've heard tons of indies bitching about the service they get from Microsoft, but they put up with it because the market there is so lucrative, while by contrast many like Nintendo's level of service but hate how poorly WiiWare is marketed.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this very podcast echoed that sentiment.

Now, you may take issue with kytim's statement.  I do; I think that removing that size restriction is a necessary, but far from sufficient, condition for Nintendo to attract greater indie support.  However, the correct response is to point out the flaws in his statement.  Instead, you went off course and pointed out how crappy the current environment is, which is something he's implicitly acknowledged in the statement you quoted.  size restriction is

broodwarsJanuary 04, 2011

Quote from: noname2200

Now, you may take issue with kytim's statement.  I do; I think that removing that size restriction is a necessary, but far from sufficient, condition for Nintendo to attract greater indie support.  However, the correct response is to point out the flaws in his statement.  Instead, you went off course and pointed out how crappy the current environment is, which is something he's implicitly acknowledged in the statement you quoted.  size restriction is


The size restriction, though, is only part of the problem.  I was mocking the quality of the titles because he was giving the impression that Nintendo already had a better relationship with independent developers than Microsoft or Sony.  If Nintendo had such a great relationship, they'd have better developers and better games on WiiWare despite the size restriction.  When I see games like Limbo on XBLA or Flower on PSN as just examples of great output (among many others) by smaller developers and Nintendo's only real find this generation has been Gajin Games with the Bit.Trip series and whoever did World of Goo, I question just how good Nintendo's relationship with these smaller developers really is.  It certainly doesn't help when Nintendo for the longest time forbid these developers to issue demos, and even now the demo situation is laughable compared to the other platforms.  Then there's Nintendo's idea of marketing for these developers: a quick note on the weekly video show, a trailer, an email probably few people actually read, and maybe a demo and a spot on the front page of the convoluted Wii Shop Channel.  That has nothing to do with the hardware limitations of the Wii and everything to do with Nintendo just not giving a damn about any other developers on the service.  Sure, they have outstanding relations with the real quality independent developers of the industry.

noname2200January 04, 2011

Quote from: broodwars


The size restriction, though, is only part of the problem.  I was mocking the quality of the titles because he was giving the impression that Nintendo already had a better relationship with independent developers than Microsoft or Sony.  If Nintendo had such a great relationship, they'd have better developers and better games on WiiWare despite the size restriction.

But my point is that these two are not mutually exclusive; again, from what I've heard Nintendo does have better relationships with many indies, but that quality is completely negated by the fact that games don't sell so well on their service, and ultimately it's the money that drives indies to develop games on certain platforms. 

When, for example, was the last time you heard any indie developer rave about their experience getting onto XBLA?  I'm sure there have been some, but all I remember hearing is that the developer felt like they were getting their teeth pulled the whole time, although goshdarnit the money was worth it!  By contrast, the average WiiWare developer seems to be best embodied by Hudson (a non-indie, of course). who's representative once said that they enjoyed the process of making WiiWare games, but because nobody was buying them they were planning on bailing.

I'd also like to point out that the reason I'm singling out XBLA is that I've heard just as little about PSN, and aside from the fl0w series I'm at a loss to think of any great PSN exclusives (which is a knock against kytim's point).

As an aside, I also strongly disagree that Gaijin and 2D Boy are the only good WiiWare developers.  Shin'en's products are pretty high-calibre,  Romino put out a good game, and there are several other titles like Fluidity on the service that are pretty high-quality.  You haven't heard of these games like you have Limbo or Braid because unlike Microsoft Nintendo's done jack to promote them, so the cycle of "good game doesn't sell, so good devs stay away" continues, but that goes to the rest of your post.

Speaking of, I actually agree with the rest of what you wrote.  I just think that your response would have been stronger and more on-point if you'd gone with that.  That's all.

Kytim89January 04, 2011

It was late when I wrote my response, but I meant that if Nintendo had the forsight to to eliminate the hardware restictions for the Wii then services like Wiiware would get better titles because of Nintendo's relationship with indie developers.

For example, if Team Meat could have put the entire Super Meat Boy game on Wiiware with no problem then Microsoft would have fought tooth and nail even more to get that title. Wiiware has missed out on some good third party DLC games because both of Nintendo's competitiors are taking advantage of the hardware restrictions of the Wii. There really is not anything Nintendo can do at this point about the restriction, and I see Super Meat Boy as a bad omen of things to come for the service. I shutter at the thought of Retro City Rampage suffering the same fate as Super Meat Boy.

Honestly, this is why I am looking forward to the Wii 2 because Nintendo must be fully aware of the problem and the missed opprotunities it has brought onto the Wii. Therefore it is logical to assume that the Wii 2 will be powerful enough that such hardware restricitions are no longer exsistent.

On a side note, I beleive that I have written so many bad posts that when I actually write something good it makes no differnce. I am trying to work on that for now.  ;) 

Kytim89January 04, 2011

I will be watching to see if Retro City Rampage will suffer the same fate as that of Super Meat Boy. If it does, I will be convinced that the Wiiware service has hit a wall. Yes, there will still be good releases on the service, but one thing that drives creativity is expansion. The Wii hardware restricition is going to stifle this expansion and we will eventually be relegated to the same old titles or mediocre ones that will run Wiiware stagnate.

If this does happen, this would be present a good opprotunity to revitalize the Virtual Console, or atleast until the Wii 2 is released. Of course VC being on 3DS does make me forsee the revitalization of the virtual console on Wii at some point.

KDR_11kJanuary 05, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Microsoft are truly jealous of the relationship that brings forth such classics as we largely see on the service every week.

Ever looked at XBLIG?

Yes...but those are indie games.  The dreck we get week in and week out comes from publishers, and Nintendo rations it so one hidden item game doesn't overshadow the three others that were ready to come out that week. Nintendo is concerned we cannot process all the falling block games we are getting.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusJanuary 06, 2011

Quote from: Crimm

Nintendo is concerned we cannot process all the falling block games we are getting.

I don't know if my wallet could process all of those MyNotebook flavors at once.

Retro DeckadesJanuary 06, 2011

Informative discussion on the process of releasing a WiiWare title. I am glad to hear that Nintendo seems to have good relationships with such developers.

I had actually written that e-mail before Super Meat Boy for WiiWare was officially cancelled. Now I am wondering, "Is there any reason why Team Meat couldn't turn the game into an episodic release, breaking it up into two or three games that all fall well under the 40 MB limit?"

It's possible they could, but it would have meant higher development costs for them AND a higher total price for you. Keep in mind that Nintendo has a minimum price on WiiWare titles.

Retro DeckadesJanuary 06, 2011

I suppose that's true. As long as it would be cheaper than it would be for a retail version, I'd be willing to download it. As far as development costs, couldn't they simply and cheaply cut it between worlds? Something like "Episode 1: World's 1-3", "Episode 2: World's 2-6", etc.?

KDR_11kJanuary 06, 2011

Quote from: Crimm

Yes...but those are indie games.  The dreck we get week in and week out comes from publishers, and Nintendo rations it so one hidden item game doesn't overshadow the three others that were ready to come out that week. Nintendo is concerned we cannot process all the falling block games we are getting.

Actually most of those are indie as well.

Quote from: OneTwenty

I suppose that's true. As long as it would be cheaper than it would be for a retail version, I'd be willing to download it. As far as development costs, couldn't they simply and cheaply cut it between worlds? Something like "Episode 1: World's 1-3", "Episode 2: World's 2-6", etc.?

That's a lot of effort for apparently little return.  Think about it...not only would they have to spend time and manpower to break it up into chunks that made sense from a code standpoint, but they would also have to hire an external testing team to test each episode (again), and then they'd have to run each episode through Nintendo's approval process (again), and then they'd have to get on the hype train and market each episode (again, and over and over again over the entire release cycle).  Breaking it up into episodic releases would pretty much triple the amount of work involved.

On the other hand, they can use that time to make another XBLA game that Microsoft will actually promote, with no worries about size limits, and make a ton of money.

Pretty easy choice, unfortunately.

Kytim89January 08, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

Quote from: OneTwenty

I suppose that's true. As long as it would be cheaper than it would be for a retail version, I'd be willing to download it. As far as development costs, couldn't they simply and cheaply cut it between worlds? Something like "Episode 1: World's 1-3", "Episode 2: World's 2-6", etc.?

That's a lot of effort for apparently little return.  Think about it...not only would they have to spend time and manpower to break it up into chunks that made sense from a code standpoint, but they would also have to hire an external testing team to test each episode (again), and then they'd have to run each episode through Nintendo's approval process (again), and then they'd have to get on the hype train and market each episode (again, and over and over again over the entire release cycle).  Breaking it up into episodic releases would pretty much triple the amount of work involved.

On the other hand, they can use that time to make another XBLA game that Microsoft will actually promote, with no worries about size limits, and make a ton of money.

Pretty easy choice, unfortunately.


Why not a retail release? That seems like the logical conclusion to this problem.

They don't have the power to release a retail version. They need publishers to fund them.

Kytim89January 08, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Neal

They don't have the power to release a retail version. They need publishers to fund them.


Nintendo?

Nintendo won't publish Super Meat Boy in retail.

There is no debate. It won't happen. It's out on 360. Nintendo's not publishing it.

KDR_11kJanuary 09, 2011

Nintendo published Samurai Warriors 3 and that was on the PS3 too.

EnnerJanuary 09, 2011

Quote from: KDR_11k

Nintendo published Samurai Warriors 3 and that was on the PS3 too.

Indeed. It's weird that Nintendo decided to pick that up for other regions since Tecmo Koei handled it in Japan.

Share + Bookmark





Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement