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Episode 236: Trauma Hunter

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Jonathan Metts - March 27, 2011, 12:38 pm PDT
Total comments: 43

We've got games galore, 3DS launch impressions, and emails to boot!

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Finally, you can listen to RFN on your shiny new 3DS! Or any other device. This week's New Business is, for once, all Nintendo-platform games. Jonny catches up with Monster Hunter 3 Tri and quickly releases it back into the wild, but he was more compelled to finish Dive: The Medes Island Secret. Jon is still plowing through Pokemon Black & White, but he also checks out Natsume Championship Wrestling (SNES), just released on Virtual Console, which sparks a nostalgic trip through classic pro wrestling games. If you like when James talks about super-weird DS games, you will love hearing about Touch Detective 2.5. 

Greg rounds out the first segment with his thoughts on Trauma Team, one of last year's most underappreciated Wii games, but not before he surprises us with the brand new 3DS he acquired just earlier that day! Find out how Greg's been enjoying retaking to the skies of Wuhu Island in Pilotwings Resort, plus there's impressions of Face Raiders and the built-in, dragon-plagued AR games.

In Listener Mail, we address your letters about playing multiple games simultaneously, more games to play with children, the best video game history books, and the best/worst trends in gaming. Keep sending those great emails, and we'll keep discussing them on the show! Now go play 3DS. ;-)

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

tyrian3March 27, 2011

Yeah! I'm so happy when the new RFN gets released on Sunday night because this way I can start my week the right way: with some RFN podcasting goodness :)

kudos to Greg as always for the hard work with editing and posting the show!

LittleIrvesMarch 27, 2011

I'm downloading this now so I can listen while walking around my block.  Why am I walking around my block at 8pm on a Sunday?  Because a 3DS in sleep mode will be silently counting my steps as I do.  I'm a fool for unnecessary pedometers!

cricarraMarch 27, 2011

The Last Story. That's a JRPG that's different. FFXIII is a fucking mess sorry, and  DQIX is DQ. Bad examples Jonny. Persona is also just a dungeon crawling turn based RPG like everything else. The dating sim/visual novel part is what everyone went crazy about since people here hadn't been exposed to that kind of game yet.

BboyMarch 27, 2011

Wow, you guys really didn't like Monster Hunter, huh. There is a lot to get used to, the long animations especially. That's what people usually point to when they say they want Monster Hunter to westernize. Idk, for me it was totally worth the time sink. It's probably comparable to Twilight Princess' opening, but it doesn't have that sort of "oh god this is the new Zelda" feeling that makes you force your way through. As for the difficulty, I didn't have any trouble, but I guess that it's just something that differs from person to person and game to game, b/c I can't even beat Mega Man II on Normal mode.

I mean, it's certainly not for everyone, and I don't mean to say you can't have your opinions, I was just dissapointed that you guys were pretty negative because I usually agree with what you say, you know what I mean?

SarailMarch 27, 2011

I'm right there with you, Bboy. I found Monster Hunter Tri to be a fantastic game. So much so, that after checking my in-game clock time, I've logged over 150 hours into the thing. I love it.

It does have an extreme learning curve, though. I'll admit that. I remember playing alongside Jon way back when it first came out, and trying to learn the ropes as quickly as I could. I don't think I really "got" Monster Hunter until several weeks later when things really started clicking for me.  Battles are all about timing and patience -- having a good understanding of how certain weapons' animate when you use them, and learning to be incredibly defensive in the process. It feels sluggish or even constrictive at first play-through, but once you realize it works that way for a reason, fighting becomes incredibly intuitive.

My only disappointment with the game?  That there aren't any dual-wielding weapons. :P

I loved every bit of Tri.

Kytim89March 27, 2011

I loved MH Tri too, but the next major console iteration of the series needs a massive overhaul while retaining the basics of the series in the same way RE 4 did to the Resident Evil series. The clunky control scheme would be a start and perhaps more weapons and enemy varities.

I think it's possible that Monster Hunter could take hold of me the way it did for you guys. However, I have no interest in making that kind of time investment in one game when it has so little appeal even after several hours. There are too many other games to play.

Kytim89March 27, 2011

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I think it's possible that Monster Hunter could take hold of me the way it did for you guys. However, I have no interest in making that kind of time investment in one game when it has so little appeal even after several hours. There are too many other games to play.


This is why I have postponed playing Monster Hunter 3 because I have invested about 250 hours into the game, which is possibly more than I have ever invested in any game before, and I feel as though I have wasted my money buying other games. I am on the last levels of Galaxy 2 and Other M and I have nearly beaten most of my other Wii games. I have a shit ton of Virtual Console games, which I need to catch up on and complete. The most I have played of them is Super Mario RPG and Ocarina of Time, which I intend to beat both titles eventually.

BeautifulShyMarch 27, 2011

I haven't listened to the cast yet but I figured I throw out my thoughts on Monster Hunter Tri. Yes it can be a pretty big timesink.I've logged in 1,000 hours on the game since I got it in June of last year. Part of that is because of money issues. Didn't really have the money to get any new games since I got Tri. I have a giant backlog of games I need to get from 2010 and before that. Also I really enjoy playing the game. I kinda think of the game as Punch Out as far as reading the monster and knowing when to attack. Other "gripes" I've read are that the items take to long to use. Well there is a skill in the game called speed eating. It does what it sounds like.Speed up the animations of the item uses. The other option it to play it smart and know when to heal.Don't try to heal when the monster is looking at you.

If you don't have the time to play just play it every 2 weeks or so. You don't have to been like me and constantly play it. Set a goal you want to do in the game and go at your own pace in accomplishing that goal.

SupaKirbMarch 27, 2011

Wait... I can listen to you guys on my 3DS? How? I thought the internet wasn't up yet... Please let me know! I am an RFN addict!

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusMarch 28, 2011

In regards to standing while playing, I do that a *lot* in NCAA football.  If a game is close near the end, I stand and pace as I play the same way I do when watching a very stressful moment in an actual sports game. 

jimwood27March 28, 2011

thanks for spending so much time on my question, guys, great discussion.


I certainly agree with you about liking not having to go to a store to buy a game or not have the cases pile up next to the system or on the shelf but my concern is that I buy a game and it is then relegated to that system.  If i want to play with a buddy, they either need to buy the game or i need to take my system.  And forget about trading games with my brother or a friend.  Also, digital prices (with the exception of Steam) stay stagnant and high at this point and it all just seems more friendly to publishers and not the consumers, with the exception of not having to drive to a store.  I know its a push to get rid of used game sales but that wont make me buy more new games if prices stay too high digitally.


I was reticent to embrace digital music as well but i dont think the two are 100% comparable so I will move forward wearily again.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)March 28, 2011

The discussion of Trauma Team makes me sad. At one point, it was one of my most anticipated games for Wii. Now, hopes that it will ever be localised in Europe are fading fast. If it's not too much trouble, I would like to ask Greg what he did to allow himself to play Excitebots, Kirby and Trauma Team on his PAL Wii.

KDR_11kMarch 28, 2011

If you weren't trashing the Great Jaggi in seconds by the end of your game time you didn't play MH3 far enough.

tyrian3March 28, 2011

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

The discussion of Trauma Team makes me sad. At one point, it was one of my most anticipated games for Wii. Now, hopes that it will ever be localised in Europe are fading fast. If it's not too much trouble, I would like to ask Greg what he did to allow himself to play Excitebots, Kirby and Trauma Team on his PAL Wii.

making a pal wii region-free is actually quite easy and very rewarding :)
I've got both excitebots (for dirty cheap!) and trauma team because I got fed up with waiting.
Importing is legitimate defense, as I used to say in the gamecube days  :cool;

Quote from: SupaKirb

Wait... I can listen to you guys on my 3DS? How? I thought the internet wasn't up yet... Please let me know! I am an RFN addict!

You need to download it onto the SD card from a computer. Then you can listen to it.

NinSageMarch 28, 2011

another great episode, guys!

my responses....

1. This is unrelated, but did James ever finish 999? I remember him saying he would hate the game if it didn't provide a good explanation at the end and having walked the same exact road, I felt very unsatisfied by the conclusion.  So, just wondering what James' reaction wound up being?


2. MH3 is definitely not for everyone.  I tried the demo because my brother-in-law was hellbent on getting the game and wanted me to play with him. I hated the demo. Then, as release day approached I thought "well, I do love online co-op and my co-worker is psyched about it too ... aw heck I'll buy it."  500 hours later, I found that though we toss around the word "addictive" a lot, I was ADDICTED to MH3.  It scared me a little how much I wanted to play that game.

I completely understand the gripes voiced by John in the episode.  None of his points were wrong.  Just his tastes and, as he said, if he wanted to invest that kind of time the game may have appealed to him more.

But I do have to say, the things that REALLY appealed to me about the game was the fact that after 500 hours I STILL felt like I saw something new every day I played! For instance, the secret area on the ice map that can only be accessed if a monster breaks down a wall.  or the time when Jhen Mohran threw a teammate into the air and he (well, the game) caught himself on the lip of the ship with just his hands! epic!

Also, I really liked a break from the battle = XP = progress formula.  I know John said it feels like a lack of progression, and again, that's his feeling so there's nothing wrong with it.  But to me, I felt like the game just rewarded SKILL more than GRINDING. And that was a big deal for me.  Yea, you can grind like hell and get the best sword in the game.... now do you know how to use it?!!? That was very cool for me.

If anyone on the RFN crew wants a bad-ass status gunner for support ... I know a good one! (hint: it's me!)

3.  Still lovin' the PKMN.  Still lovin' Lindy's discussion of the series.

John's idea of HM streamlining as ADDITIONS instead of moves?  Heck yea, that'd be nice. And given the tweaks in Black/White I wouldn't be surprised if that sort of thing happened someday.

I really don't think GameFreak/Nintendo is as "shackled" by the HMs as it may appear. I know I had to delete all HMs and remove all items before I could "Pokeshift" my old guys into the new game.

And hey, I also missed having the old Pokes because - as much as it may be sad - a big part of PKMN is people developing some weird sentimental attachment to these little guys.  So, they will probably neeeeever start completely from scratch.  But that's just my take on it. 

Also, EV training is ridiculous.  Battle for fun and strategy or not at all!

4. I got a chance to demo a 3DS for the first time a few days ago.  It was at Best Buy.  There was no line.  My wife and I really thought the 3D was going to blow our minds.  But... it just didn't.  The conditions were not ideal: the screen was grimy and had all sorts of harsh light reflections .... so that didn't help I'm sure.  But even when I felt like I really "got it" I was just kinda like "oh, ok, it's WSResort in 3D............... nifty."

And right now, "nifty" isn't worth $250. 

As for Pilot Wings, I looooooooooooved the plane stuff in WSR.  I'm probably one of the few people who got EVERY landmark on all 3 times of day.... which is why I have little need to fly around it again. Know what I mean? Can't believe they didn't make a new location for that.  Maybe they felt not many people played the airplane stuff in WSR?

Also, since it was brought up, my wife loves the Chicken Suit in WiiFitPlus.  She's very good at it.

5. Totally agree w/ James on the FPS content.  It's not the genre I hate, but I do hate the generic take-no-guff roid rager protagonists.  I don't care if it's first person and I can't see them ... I would rather let the f*ckin' aliens tear that d-bag to shreds. ^_^

6. Totally agree w/ the panel on motion control going forward.  Let's face it, there were growing pains this generation.  It shouldn't have been a surprise.  No one knew Wii Fit would take off but Wii Music would crash and burn.  Sure, in hindsight it seems obvious, but ... that's the luxury of hindsight now isn't it?

But, in the future, I think companies won't be as worried about shoe-horning motion into gaming (they'll have 3D for that!) and motion control will gradually become a staple of gaming that has its applications just like the d-pad and the analog stick.  I'm sure that if modern gaming media existed when the NES came out people would have been UP IN ARMS that their precious Atari joystick was taken away ( "my entire right hand gives much more accurate control than my left thumb!! wtf?!?!" )

7.  My concerns for the future? I'm with James.  I like to OWN games.  It bothers me that my WiiWare games will be flushed down the digital toilet one day.  Where as I can still hold annual Tecmo Super Bowl tournies with my cartridge on Super Sunday.  Even disc-based games that thrive on updates and DLC ... good luck playing that in 10 years.

And if we really are supposed to "move on" from a game in 10 years, what does that say about the medium in general?  Imagine if writers and directors expected no one to want to watch their movie in 10 years.  Indeed.

Lastly, gaming journalism is my biggest concern for the future.  You guys rule but you're in a class by yourselves.  I could talk for hours on why Kotaku, G4 and parts of GameTrailers are poisoning the well for all of us.
... and I'm allergic to poison.

Kytim89March 28, 2011

Quote from: Crimm

Quote from: SupaKirb

Wait... I can listen to you guys on my 3DS? How? I thought the internet wasn't up yet... Please let me know! I am an RFN addict!

You need to download it onto the SD card from a computer. Then you can listen to it.


They can also be heared by using the DSi if the file is in an AAC format.

SonofMrPeanutMarch 28, 2011

Thank you, Greg!  ;D  I thought I was the only one who was hearing the "Guardia Millenial Fair" theme in Pilotwings Resort's plane mode.  Glad to know I'm not crazier than usual.

Maxi, you couldn't have played Monster Hunter Tri for 10,000 hours since last June. That equals over 416 days, and last June was less than 300 days ago...

NinSageMarch 28, 2011

perhaps Maxi had some extra zeroes in there, but I can personally attest to the fact that Maxi has played MH3 "a big whole heck of a lot."  :)

BeautifulShyMarch 28, 2011

Yeah I had one extra zero in there. So it is in its 1,100 hours played for my main character. I have 20 hours for my second character. Haven't went online with that character though.

KisakiProjectMarch 29, 2011

Glad James Jones likes TD 2 1/2 as much as me.  Nice plug hope some other listeners check it out.

LittleIrvesMarch 29, 2011

@NinSage: Regarding the "nifty" nature of the 3D...  I agree that when I played 3DS for the first time at PAX East, I was underwhelmed. But when I got mine home on Sunday, it's really quite a different beast, just like what Greg said about playing it at the London event versus at home. At PAX there were lights above my head that reflected back on the screen, and the entire chaotic nature of playing in a public place (even at a Best Buy) takes you out of the experience. But sinking into that screen at home, in ideal circumstances, feels muuuch better.  Maybe that's not the point of a portable. Maybe it's still not worth your $250.  But I'm digging it.

NinSageMarch 29, 2011

@LittleIrves

hey man, thanks for the input.  I do think at home things would work better.  and, for me, handhelds get used in nearly the same way as my consoles.  in fact, the only real differences in my portables is that I can take them on vacation and they make for ideal entertainment when falling asleep at night.

so I totally get sitting down and immersing.

as for the price? yea, especially now I really can't justify it but someday the price/bundle/features/stars/my income/whatever will all align just right and I look forward to that day ^_^

vuduMarch 29, 2011

As a follow-up to last year's Child's Play RFN marathon, Jon should do a Chrono Trigger playthrough marathon.  People chip in $100/hour to get Jon to livestream a video of him playing Chrono Trigger.  For just $2,000 we can make Jon's dream of finishing this game a reality (plus buy some toys for sick kids).

FZeroBoyoMarch 29, 2011

Nice to hear Greg's enjoying the 3DS and that Jon is still going through Pokemon. When it comes to playing RPG's, I'm halfway between Jon and James: I won't blow through them, but at the same time, I won't take forever playing them.


Also, I am listening to some older episodes of the show on my 3DS, and cracking up at how the foursome sound with high and low voices.  ;D  And with some of the modifiers in the game, you can listen to Radio Free Nintendo as if they were actually on the radio!  :P:

ShyGuyMarch 30, 2011

I stood through all of HOTD:Overkill and Red Steel 2. Greg needs to work on his lower body strength.

yoshi1001March 30, 2011

Yeah, that scene in The Lion King reminded me of Star Trek III as well. By the way, Greg, have you ever heard the dance version of Star Trek III's theme?

NinSageMarch 30, 2011

Quote from: ShyGuy

I stood through all of HOTD:Overkill and Red Steel 2. Greg needs to work on his lower body strength.

hellz yea, bro!

RS2 was a lot of fun in that regard.  definitely full body gaming.  and I sometimes stand for my various Wii rail shooters ... depends on my mood.

anyone ever play the Shaun White games with the balance board? talk about a lower body workout.... sometimes my quads would be so sore I couldn't play 2 days in a row!

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusMarch 31, 2011

Quote from: ShyGuy

I stood through all of HOTD:Overkill and Red Steel 2. Greg needs to work on his lower body strength.

Being the dedicated RFN listener that I know you are ShyGuy, you should know that I also played through Red Steel 2 standing up, but of course this was due to the motion controls involved in playing that game rather than the nervous tension James described while playing Trauma Team. I would definitely prefer to play something like HotD Overkill sitting down though, because--as I've found playing stuff like Trauma Team and Sin & Punishment 2--my aim is more reliable when I can rest my arm on top of my thigh. Red Steel 2 does involve some shooting obviously, but it does not require the same kind of consistently precise use of the pointer that those other games do. 

Quote from: yoshi1001

Yeah, that scene in The Lion King reminded me of Star Trek III as well. By the way, Greg, have you ever heard the dance version of Star Trek III's theme?

I have not heard this. Does it evoke the grim majesty of Bill Shatner kicking Christopher Lloyd in the face, but in a funky way?

ShyGuyMarch 31, 2011

Also props to James for mentioning the Touch Detective Sequel. Both games were excellent.

Quote from: ShyGuy

Also props to James for mentioning the Touch Detective Sequel. Both games were excellent.

Impulse buy for the win!

NinSageApril 01, 2011

James-

Care to comment on my earlier post RE: 999??

My thoughts...

Monster Hunter Tri - My take on this game is that it's an MMO for people that don't want to play MMOs.  It's kind of an MMO lite.  All of the stuff that you get in most fantasy MMOs are there: navigating instanced areas filled with underbosses to fight giant bosses at the end; boss fights that require group strategy in order to ensure victory; item, armor, and weapon crafting; quests; repetitive completion of mundane tasks to gain an item or reach a goal; the ability to pore over your character's stats and tweak them ever so slightly; the ability to personalize your character to your heart's content.  These are the elements that people that play games like World of Warcraft latch on to, but MMOs provide extra layers like world lore, PvP, and so on.  Just like some people think MMOs are a complete bore and a waste of time, many people will think the same of Monster Hunter Tri.  But there's also just as sizeable a portion of people that fall in love with that concept and can't be dragged away from it.  You're either one or the other.

Digital vs. Physical - As the digital market matures, I think you'll start to see games go on sale more and more.  Sony already has already instituted weekly sales for various games on PSN.  After a while every digital publisher comes to the realization that people usually won't buy games at full price, but will buy they go on sale, and they perceive to be getting themselves a deal.

Greg's Workout Habits - I find it ironic that dudebro FPSes are getting lambasted in this thread, while at the same time Greg is being told to work out.  Mixed messages!

NinSageApril 03, 2011

I do think MH3 satisfied an "MMO lite" void in my gaming habits.

I think the concept behind MMOs is great.  That being: who better to supply dynamic and "realistic" content than OTHER, REAL PEOPLE.

Unfortunately, the few MMOs I've played suffered from what I consider a fatal flaw that MH3 avoids.  That flaw is the idea that, though you have near infinite choices of character customization, unless you want to suck goats, there is one "right" build for, say, each class.

Oh you wanna be good at magic AND attack? Well now you suck at both and no one wants to play with you.  You want to be a support character who sometimes goes on the offensive? Well, again, you spread your stats too thin and now you can't help anyone.

That's been my experience with most MMOs.  But in MH3 I found I had a lot of freedom.  I really felt like I could sit down and say "ok, it would be fun if I could do X, Y and Z" and then I would just look over the weapon/armor/gem combinations until I found the one that best fit my needs.

I can craft a character who is built for offense AND a bit of support, and my skill in playing will determine my effectiveness ... not some under-the-hood stat calculation.

Now, go bug James to tell me what he thought about the end of 999 ^_^

gbuellGrant Buell, Staff WriterApril 04, 2011

This episode makes me really want to get Trauma Team. I haven't played any of the Trauma Center games though. Would it be a mistake to start with this one? (Cross posted to Facebook page.)

I'm pretty sure I covered this in an episode, but the true ending of 999 was kind of whacked. I have questions, but I cannot ask them without massive spoilers. Conceptually I do enjoy the way the peril of their situation was resolved.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusApril 04, 2011

Quote from: gbuell

This episode makes me really want to get Trauma Team. I haven't played any of the Trauma Center games though. Would it be a mistake to start with this one? (Cross posted to Facebook page.)

As I mentioned during the episode, this was my first Trauma game and I had no trouble getting into the story or handling the difficulty (I played on the higher of the two initially available settings, "Resident"). From what I've read, Trauma Team is apparently somewhat easier than previous games in the Trauma series, so it may be better suited as an introduction than the previous games anyway.

It's a bit easier, and a bit more inviting.

noname2200April 04, 2011

Quote from: Crimm

I'm pretty sure I covered this in an episode, but the true ending of 999 was kind of whacked. I have questions, but I cannot ask them without massive spoilers. Conceptually I do enjoy the way the peril of their situation was resolved.

Aksys published a list of answers from the game's creators a few weeks ago.

http://www.aksysgames.com/999/answers

(spoilers abound, obviously)

Alternatively, why not just post them in the 999 thread over in the handheld section?  I'm always happy to discuss this game, and I'm sure plenty of others those who've played it are as well.

PlugabugzApril 05, 2011

I'm throwing down an Action Replay (for the Gamecube) Challenge for Greg. I'm emailing it in now.

FZeroBoyoApril 05, 2011

I'm in the same boat as Greg. Didn't play any previous Trauma games, went in on the higher difficulty, and enjoyed it thoroughly and didn't run into too many rough spots. Very good game, pleasantly surprised me.

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