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Episode 256: In a Really Tight Spot

by Karl Castaneda, James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Jonathan Metts - August 28, 2011, 2:35 pm PDT
Total comments: 32

It's a five-man show as Karl shows up to the defend the honor of Killer 7. But is that even necessary?

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It's a full house this week as former co-host Karl Castaneda returns to RFN to discuss one of his favorite games, Killer 7. But first, Karl gives us the word on Ms. Splosion Man and Suda51's latest release, Shadows of the Damned. Greg has impressions of the frothily anticipated Rhythm Heaven for Wii, plus a quick look at Gargoyle's Quest for 3DS Virtual Console. (We'll have much more on that one next week.) James provides an update on Enslaved while waiting on shipment of even more interesting titles. Since Jon and Jonny didn't play much new this week, we shore up New Business with a single bit of Listener Mail pertaining to some wacky new 3DS rumors.

After the break, we finally make good on RetroActive #19 with a very thorough analysis of Killer 7, the truly bizarre adventure/shooter GameCube release from Capcom and Suda51's Grasshopper Manufacture studio. It's an honest and well-rounded discussion of the game's triumphs and shortcomings, and true to the predictions of many pollsters, the game proves to be fertile ground for conversation. Karl showed up with shield in hand but soon finds that the rest of us may not be so antagonistic towards his beloved game. We also read a few comments from the RetroActive forum thread, which remains open if you're still playing the game, or were inspired to do so by this episode. Thanks as always to everyone who voted and played along! We'll have info on the next RetroActive coming soon.

Jonny will be out next week, but RFN will roll on with a solid block of Listener Mail. Get yours in now and it could be answered on the show!

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

Next week I'm getting totally self-indulgent in the emails.

KDR_11kAugust 28, 2011

I'm pretty sure that Gargoyle's Quest came out in Europe. I've got the cart from a flea market (with German text and an NoE serial number on it) and the game is prominently featured in the European game guides.

KDR_11kAugust 29, 2011

A second a-pad on the 3DS could be done the way it's done with the iPad, a rubber assembly that sticks to the device with suction cups and basically acts like the thumb pad thingy the original DS shipped with. That would be in line with the $10 price as well.

Capacitative touchscreens are designed for fingers, that wouldn't work well with the 3DS since DS and 3DS games assume you have a thin, pointy stylus for poking small things with, not a huge thumb that'll barely hit the same quarter of the screen as the object you want. But yeah, the Wii U absolutely needs capacitative touch, you WILL be using your fingers with that thing.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusAugust 29, 2011

Quote from: KDR_11k

I'm pretty sure that Gargoyle's Quest came out in Europe. I've got the cart from a flea market (with German text and an NoE serial number on it) and the game is prominently featured in the European game guides.

That's interesting. I couldn't find a record of a launch date for Gargoyle's Quest in Europe, and reading the accounts from UK Game Boy owners suggested that the game didn't receive an official release here--i.e., the carts floating around the British market were just the American version, which wasn't uncommon in those days pre-ratings and pre-portable region lockouts. It would appear though from what you've said that continental Europe must have at least got an official release at some point (perhaps some significant time later).

Grey Market Gaming

NinSageAugust 29, 2011

Great show, fellas!

rrrrrrrrrResponses!

1. I really enjoyed NMH1&2.  In fact, they are some of my favorite games of this generation.  Though, they are not without flaws.  For me, it has more to do with some of the potty humor but... comes with the Suda territory, right?

2. Greg's explanations of Rhythm Heaven re-affirm my beleif that Greg is a smart, smart, cookie (or is it a crumpet for him?)

Also, really nice to hear the crew talking so passionately about a(n upcoming!) game on a Nintendo platform again.

3. Elite Beat Agents was amazing.  Looks like SEGA is working on some kind of EBA rip-off for the 3DS.  Which is fine with me... as long as it comes to the states!

3. There is a difference between people not being thrilled about 3D on the 3DS and people not being thrilled about 3D in general.  Right now, 3D in general requires glasses that make the image dark (and have to sit awkwardly on top of your corrective lenses!!!), and either more expensive movie tickets, or a brand new TV (when HD market penetration is just reaching decent levels).

The payoff for these investments/concessions has indeed been found to be little - and rightly so.

3D on the 3DS has merely been found to not sell units on its own (i.e. cool enough to merit $250 no matter what the software).  However, as a "nifty bonus" to a platform that is really just a suped up DS? There's no real downside to that.

If it makes people feel better, just pretend you're paying for the bump in processing power/visuals/connectivity ... isn't that the justification for every other platform ever made besides the DS/Wii?

So...
I don't think Nintendo needs to worry about problems with the 3D market in general.  They just need to worry about marketing their unique device as "cool games plus 3D" instead of "3D plus cool games." And I think they are in the process of doing just that.

4. I don't care about a lot of the typical "twin stick" games.  BUT... it would be nice for something like Kid Icarus  (since I HATE the dpad + stylus aiming scheme) and future Monster Hunters.  Also, I play MH3 with the wm+nc ... I certainly feel like it's "twin stick" setup since I use the d-pad on my right hand to position the camera.  What am I missing when people say the game still needs dual analog?

5. Can someone tell me why a capacitive touch screen on the Wii U would be such big deal?  I understand that if resistive screens have been around since the 90s (as Karl(?) pointed out), then it certainly won't bolster the manhood of the technophiles.  But, to that point, I have to ask: how long have buttons been around?

In other words, if it ain't broke ... what's the big deal?  What will we be missing out on? I'm asking honestly here ...

6. I love my DSiXL (it's so bad)! I would buy a 3DS XL in a heart beat! ... just sayin'.

7. Karl does a very commendable job explaining(defending) his perspective.  I wish I could think that quickly when people (in real life) tell me how Wii games don't count as real games.

8. whoa whoa whoa, early res evil games are horrible?! c'mon... RE1 has awful dialogue and the camera is always fixed but seriously... RE2 was a friggin' AMAZING game, folks!

Let's not let modern gaming make us jaded to the point of lost perspective!!

9. From James' point at the end about sameness, it does seem to me that the game industry should seek to find a balance.... a middle ground between "this sold last year, let's sell it again!" and "THIS IS BAT **** CRAZYYYYYY!!"

I don't think that would just be an artistically smart move, I think it would also be commercially successful.

Obviously, it is a difficult balancing act...

Mario 3D Kart > "OMG! How many times can you race Luigi?!"
Metroid: Other M > "OMG! They killed Samus!"
Sonic 4 > "OMG! This is a 15 year old game!"
Sonic Unleashed > "OMG! Sonic turned into a wolf!"
Twilight Princess > "OMG! Link turned into a wolf! .... hey... that's pretty cool..."

... but, I think we should hope that developers don't listen too closely to these extreme reactions and still feel confident maintaining foundations while testing boundaries.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorAugust 29, 2011

Capacitative touch adds the option of multi-touch controls, which technically exist in a roundabout way for resistive touch, but it's not very common, and I don't see Nintendo going that route. It just makes a lot more sense in the context of a big touch screen like the one on the Wii U - you're going to be using your fingers on it, so it makes sense to give it an input method designed for fingers rather than a stylus.

NinSageAugust 29, 2011

See, I was pretty sure multi-touch was the main reason.  To which I really have to ask... what's the big flappin' deal?

I mean, let's throw out the idea that you'd set the controller down and use two hands to manipulate the screen like some crystal gazer... that's just silly.

So then you're holding the controller with one hand.  Why do you need multitouch with the other? Just to do that zoom in/out pinch thing?  What would be the application?  You can already zoom in/out of maps, etc by tapping/double tapping/dragging, etc on a DS screen.

Lastly, when people try to impress me with their latest iGadget the gestures tend to miss about about 30% of the time.  That's the downside of the wiimote.  But it has upsides to counter it.  Doesn't seem like there is an upside to capacitive that would merit some of the scoffing I've heard about the Wii U screen.

broodwarsAugust 29, 2011

Quote from: NinSage

See, I was pretty sure multi-touch was the main reason.  To which I really have to ask... what's the big flappin' deal?

I mean, let's throw out the idea that you'd set the controller down and use two hands to manipulate the screen like some crystal gazer... that's just silly.

So then you're holding the controller with one hand.  Why do you need multitouch with the other? Just to do that zoom in/out pinch thing?  What would be the application?  You can already zoom in/out of maps, etc by tapping/double tapping/dragging, etc on a DS screen.

Lastly, when people try to impress me with their latest iGadget the gestures tend to miss about about 30% of the time.  That's the downside of the wiimote.  But it has upsides to counter it.  Doesn't seem like there is an upside to capacitive that would merit some of the scoffing I've heard about the Wii U screen.

Your arguments against multi-touch are pretty much the same ones I'd make against having touch control at all, because I'm just set in my ways and don't mind pausing a game to access information on my one screen or controlling a game with sticks and buttons.  But hey, people have gotten used to accessing info on the fly and controlling games with touch functionality, so that's just something I have to deal with.

The same goes for multi-touch.  It might not be a feature you see a big deal in, but it's one that other touch devices have or will have, and it's more functionality that developers have to work with in developing games.  Having it can really only be a good thing in the long run, and not having it seems rather short-sighted.

NinSageAugust 29, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Your arguments against multi-touch are pretty much the same ones I'd make against having touch control at all, because I'm just set in my ways and don't mind pausing a game to access information on my one screen or controlling a game with sticks and buttons.  But hey, people have gotten used to accessing info on the fly and controlling games with touch functionality, so that's just something I have to deal with.

I'm sorry you feel that way.  The DS is good stuff!

Quote from: broodwars

The same goes for multi-touch.  It might not be a feature you see a big deal in, but it's one that other touch devices have or will have, and it's more functionality that developers have to work with in developing games.  Having it can really only be a good thing in the long run, and not having it seems rather short-sighted.

OK, but still, what purpose could necessitate the tech?

When I bought a tablet PC for art, I had to hunt down an old single-touch screen because the new multi-touch ones don't know your stylus from your palm/wrist and will get confused. If a resistive screen means once I use that stylus I won't be providing other inputs accidentally, that's already a plus.

Anything that keeps the cost down is also a plus.

"Other devices will have it" isn't a very good reason unless it's one of those dick-waving contests techies love so much.

KDR_11kAugust 29, 2011

Quote from: NinSage

See, I was pretty sure multi-touch was the main reason.  To which I really have to ask... what's the big flappin' deal?

I mean, let's throw out the idea that you'd set the controller down and use two hands to manipulate the screen like some crystal gazer... that's just silly.

So then you're holding the controller with one hand.  Why do you need multitouch with the other? Just to do that zoom in/out pinch thing?  What would be the application?  You can already zoom in/out of maps, etc by tapping/double tapping/dragging, etc on a DS screen.

Lastly, when people try to impress me with their latest iGadget the gestures tend to miss about about 30% of the time.  That's the downside of the wiimote.  But it has upsides to counter it.  Doesn't seem like there is an upside to capacitive that would merit some of the scoffing I've heard about the Wii U screen.

Play an RTS. Console games are designed for console controls, try looking at games that have previously avoided the console due to the controls. Also multitouch lets you add buttons to the touchscreen for both thumbs without the user having to worry about only ever touching one of them. Besides, resistive is just tougher to use with your fingers, multitouch or not.


BTW, on Japanese games that use the second analog stick, the classic controller configurations of Sin and Punishment and Zangeki no Reginleiv use that for weapon handling I believe. Not that you'd want to play either with the CC but the concept of dual analog controls isn't entirely foreign to the Japanese.


Oh and Armored Core, Earth Defense Force, Shadows of the Damned, etc. The Japanese may not like FPSes but they can just make TPSes instead.

LithiumAugust 29, 2011

First off, thanks for the shout-out on the Podcast. I'd just like to add one thing about the garbled speech for the ghosts in killer 7 (and why what they say doesnt match up sometimes) is because in the Japanese version they spoke engrish instead  the localizers just decided to garble the speech instead of re recording.

also Fist time explosion LMAO that made the podcast for me.

NinSageAugust 30, 2011

@ KDR

Fine points, but I don't really see pushing two virtual buttons at once a big deal on a controller that will already have several buttons.

How would multi-touch help an RTS?  Aren't most PC RTSs controlled by pointing/clicking/dragging the one (1) mouse?


Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)August 30, 2011

Most PC RTS games have hotkey shortcuts on the keyboard, plus modern entries in that genre have functions to streamline multi-tasking, like queuing up commands and setting waypoints. Multi-touch definitely has uses for the real-time strategy - having spent some time with Plants vs Zombies on a friend's iPad, it's pretty clear that it can come in handy.

The thing about multi-touch is, if a game is going to utilise it on a screen of that size, there's a general expectation that it won't be used concurrently with button input. I mean, the touchscreen on the Wii U controller is at least 6 inches. Combining buttons and touch would be both uncomfortable and impractical. That's the one advantage that resistive has over capacitive. However, in cases where it's not replacing a button, capacitive serves a valuable purpose, so it's inclusion wouldn't hurt.

NinSageAugust 30, 2011

OK, so RTS game... and we're setting the controller down and using one or more fingers on two hands to command troops.

That's one.

Are there any others? Because again, I've seen a lot of people complaining about this and I just don't think they even know why they are complaining.  Other than tech for tech's sake.

So... who's gonna take the count up to two?

KDR_11kAugust 30, 2011

Anything that uses the touchscreen as a control panel really. Resistive means you'll have to use a stylus or press the screen with quite some force to do anything, capacitative lets you softly touch it with a finger. If you want multitouch usages for gaming then look at the App Store. Obviously DS, Wii or 360 games aren't designed for multi-touch.

CericAugust 30, 2011

Not a fan of Capacitive for the simple reason it doesn't always register my finger.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorAugust 30, 2011

Quote from: Ceric

Not a fan of Capacitive for the simple reason it doesn't always register my finger.

That may have more to do with the device/OS you're using than capacitive screens in general.

For example, using iOS on my iPad is like touching water. Everything is really smooth and responsive. On an HTC EVO 4G? Not so much. Both use a capacitive screen.


EDIT: Though it would be kind of ridiculous to expect Nintendo to create a decent OS.

CericAugust 30, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Karl

Quote from: Ceric

Not a fan of Capacitive for the simple reason it doesn't always register my finger.

That may have more to do with the device/OS you're using than capacitive screens in general.

For example, using iOS on my iPad is like touching water. Everything is really smooth and responsive. On an HTC EVO 4G? Not so much. Both use a capacitive screen.


EDIT: Though it would be kind of ridiculous to expect Nintendo to create a decent OS.

I don't think it is.  Why?

iPhone: iOS (More often then Phone 7 but less then OSX)
Macbook Air: OSX (Worse offender)
Phone 7: Windows Phone 7 (rare but it does happen)
Palm Pre: webOS (it happens but this is my wife's phone so I don't use it as much)

I've had trouble with the iPads demo units as well, the above are the ones I have at home.  There is nothing more frustrating then having a touch screen that won't respond to you preferred touch finger, pointer.  I just have to switch my fingers till one works.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorAugust 30, 2011

I can't speak to Phone 7 since I don't have much experience with it, but I will say that I think webOS is the only mobile OS that I've tried that matches the fluidity of iOS. My experience with it has been fantastic.

As for why it would be ridiculous for Nintendo to create a decent OS, I'd simply point you to the OS releases they've had so far. Wii, DS, DSi and 3DS are all based on labyrinthine menu systems thin on shortcuts and thick on being hugely frustrating. The mark of a good OS, beyond just not crashing all the time, is feeling intuitive. I haven't seen anything from Nintendo that suggests they can release an OS like that.

For the record, Microsoft and Sony's video game-related OSs aren't much better. Though I do like the unabashedly simplistic qualities of the cross-media bar.

NinSageAugust 30, 2011

Quote from: KDR_11k

Anything that uses the touchscreen as a control panel really.

Sounds ... ambiguous.

Quote from: KDR_11k

Resistive means you'll have to ... press the screen with quite some force to do anything

I guess my DS doesn't have a resistive screen then. =P

Quote from: KDR_11k

Obviously DS, Wii or 360 games aren't designed for multi-touch.

And I'm of the opinion that Wii U, PS4 and 720 games will also not be designed for multi-touch.  Which is why I don't think Nintendo's making a bad choice here.  Still open to meaty counter-points though ...

martyAugust 31, 2011

Quote from: NinSage

...
Other than tech for tech's sake.

Future proofing is the only thing I can really think of--but, in this case, the cheaper option is suitable.
I feel the exact same way about 3D--tech for tech's sake and has nothing to do with producing better games.

CericAugust 31, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Karl

I can't speak to Phone 7 since I don't have much experience with it, but I will say that I think webOS is the only mobile OS that I've tried that matches the fluidity of iOS. My experience with it has been fantastic.

As for why it would be ridiculous for Nintendo to create a decent OS, I'd simply point you to the OS releases they've had so far. Wii, DS, DSi and 3DS are all based on labyrinthine menu systems thin on shortcuts and thick on being hugely frustrating. The mark of a good OS, beyond just not crashing all the time, is feeling intuitive. I haven't seen anything from Nintendo that suggests they can release an OS like that.

For the record, Microsoft and Sony's video game-related OSs aren't much better. Though I do like the unabashedly simplistic qualities of the cross-media bar.

webOS is slick.  If you have a chance try a Phone 7 phone, I try it.  The Metro UI gets you in and out fairly quickly and the Keyboard is very well calibrated.  Live tiles can be handy and they'll get better next update (which should be soon unless you want to turn your phone into a developer one then it would be now.)

Technically Nintendo really didn't need much of an OS till the DS came out.  Before that it was basic management and getting everything setup for the game to take over.  From what the Famicast crew has said though the whole menu system might be just from the Japanese culture.  I noticed that in MHTri as well with the menu when I was thinking to myself this could be streamlined so much.

I think Nintendo would benefit a lot from getting a US and European perspective on a new UI for there OSes.

8. whoa whoa whoa, early res evil games are horrible?! c'mon... RE1 has awful dialogue and the camera is always fixed but seriously... RE2 was a friggin' AMAZING game, folks!

Let's not let modern gaming make us jaded to the point of lost perspective!!

"mixed bag"


Young Jonny needs to go back for a revision.

ShyGuySeptember 01, 2011

Young Jonny would have been well served to place to some spaces betweens paragraphs.

Young Jonny makes me think the Devil went down to Georgia.

ReggieFA!September 02, 2011

between

ShyGuySeptember 02, 2011

Thats is whats I meants.

Mop it upSeptember 02, 2011

The reason why the Wii U screen should have multi-touch is because the hardware should provide as many options for developers as it can. The Wii was clearly designed for Nintendo's own studios and as a result most third-parties didn't want to create games for it because it didn't offer them what they wanted. There may not be very many uses in games for multi-touch, but I personally believe that motion control is pretty limited in what games it works well in and Nintendo designed a whole system around that. Besides, I don't think anyone who visits this site is a game designer, so just because we can't think of many uses for multi-touch doesn't mean that game designers can't. All I know is that if I came up with a game concept that'd work best with a multi-touch screen, and I didn't have it available to me, I wouldn't be happy. As the old saying goes, it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

That's just my view, of course.

As for Resident Evil, I don't think the first three games were universally praised at the time of their release. They've always had people criticizing the mechanics, so that's nothing new. They aren't like most of the good NES games which were praised around release but are now considered to be aged and mostly unplayable by anyone who didn't grow up with one. Even if they were though, I don't have a problem in saying that a game is no longer good, because sometimes modern gaming makes the flaws and limitations of older hardware that much more noticeable, and not everything is still worth playing today.

I was a couple weeks behind on RFN, so I just listened to this today. Really made the swearing up and down that the second Circle Pad add-on was never going to happen entertaining.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorSeptember 12, 2011

For sure. Eating tremendous crow is basically a tradition at this point.

CericSeptember 12, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Karl

For sure. Eating tremendous crow is basically a tradition at this point.

That  being said. Where is the Test kitchen recipe?

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