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Episode 276: Star Wars Porn

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Jonathan Metts - January 22, 2012, 3:55 pm PST
Total comments: 28

We talk up games new and old, plus answer your questions about SOPA and Mario level selection.

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While everyone is hammering away at Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones for the upcoming RetroActive show, we have a classic RFN episode for you this week. It begins with Jonny finally finishing Trauma Team after a long hiatus, and he declares it one of his favorite Wii games. He also has impressions of the classic WRPG, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (not to be confused with any MMO). Jon is also in the business of finishing games started long ago, as he picks up where he left off in God of War 3. Greg celebrates the end of the PAL Virtual Console drought before moving on to Bionic Commando for Game Boy (via eShop), sparking a hopeful plea for the completely original GBC game, Bionic Command: Elite Forces. James steals home plate with a look at the Resident Evil: Revelations demo for 3DS, plus a mixed review of F-Zero: Maximum Velocity from the 3DS Ambassador bundle.

After Now Playing, we jump into the mailbag to answer your burning questions. Topics include how to parlay retail demos into actual sales, Capcom's plans for the 25th anniversary of Mega Man, and Nintendo's vague stance on the SOPA/PIPA bills. For the grand finale, we launch into a passionate debate over how to select and discover levels in 3D Mario games. Thanks to everyone who sent emails -- you can join their ranks right here.

Don't forget that RetroActive is underway, so be sure to play your copy of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones and join the discussion in yonder forum thread. We'll read some of the best comments on the podcast!

Lastly, be sure to check out Jonny's guest appearance on the VG Tribune Roundtable for his industry-wide 2012 predictions and bonus impressions of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

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), oriTunes, 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

AVJanuary 22, 2012

SOPA discussion is easily the best discussion on the internet. Fair to both sides. Great episode guys

Correction: Both Mega Man "Power Battle" games were on the Anniversary Collection. I played the eff out of both of 'em. Also, James is wrong and Jonny's right: the X games were better on the SNES.

4 is the best X game. This is well-known fact. Bosses are best. Most variety. Best upgrades. Beautiful sprites. Moving stages. Anyone who says otherwise is a hater.

To give the "next-gen" X games credit, X5 has "Burn Dinorex" as a boss. I always felt like the Saturn/PSOne X games had wierd collission detection and uneven art direction.

X3 is where it's at, yo.

SantiagoJanuary 22, 2012

According to an inside source you are going to be able to download full fledged retail titles for the 3DS ;)

AVJanuary 22, 2012

couldn't you download ' puzzle quest' on dsiware and that's full game???????

Good call, MAV. I totally missed the fact that Puzzle Quest ever released on DSiWare. It does appear to be identical to the retail version, just a lot cheaper ($8) and several years late. It's one of my all-time favorite DS addictions so definitely check it out if you've never played Puzzle Quest. Despite a clunkier interface, I think this first game is more fun than its sequel or spin-off.

Quote from: Mr.

SOPA discussion is easily the best discussion on the internet. Fair to both sides. Great episode guys

I haven't yet listened to the final cut, but I'm sure Greg deserves a ton of credit if our SOPA discussion is any good. We recorded a fair bit of material on that, and everyone immediately knew it would need to be remodeled (much like the bill itself).

There were a few retail titles who were later released on the DSiWare service.


Plants vs Zombies comes to mind, however most of the games in question were earlier DS games.

ejamerJanuary 23, 2012

Quote from: Crimm

There were a few retail titles who were later released on the DSiWare service.


Plants vs Zombies comes to mind, however most of the games in question were earlier DS games.

Plants vs Zombies is slimmed down in the download version - most of the content is there, but not all.


Also, just want to agree that Puzzle Quest is an excellent download for anyone who hasn't played that game. Very enjoyable - and having it on your system at all times and easily available at a low price make it incredibly easy to recommend.

The_Darkest_RedJanuary 23, 2012

Hey now James, I never said anything about 6 playthroughs in Deus Ex!

My point was that your complaints regarding the game's handling of stealth were more a function of you not taking your time and being more deliberate with your actions than the game itself being flawed. You don't need to memorize enemy locations or play the game 6 times to be successful in playing with stealth, but you shouldn't expect to be able to fly through the game that way either. Any decent stealth game requires a lot of patience and careful decision making, wouldn't you agree?

Johnny, you almost sold me on Trauma Team but unfortunately my backlog won't permit me to buy it. Instead I think I'm going to make Greg proud by finally trying out my unopened copy of Sin & Punishment: Star Successor.

Speaking of Atlus games and how difficult they are to find though, I was lucky enough to find a new copy of Radiant Historia at a Gamestop the other day for $30! I definitely waited too long on that one but now I finally have a chance to see what all the fuss is about.

Crimm's "Yeah, well, fuck 'em." in regard to complaints about the choice of games in the Mega Man collection he proposed was one of my favorite little moments on this show in recent memory. He should go into PR.

gojiraJanuary 23, 2012

I have Bionic Commando for the old GameBoy and I got exactly to that part Greg was talking about before I couldn't get any further.  The save state feature is almost reason enough for me to re-buy the game (it is out in NA btw).

I loved and still love Maximum Velocity.  I appreciate that it's the only other F-Zero game to use the original's boost system which I prefer to what was introduced in F-Zero X.  However, I also agree that the SNES game was superior.  I loved taking a good approach on a turn then leaning into it and hitting the brakes until the right moment when you would accelerate again.  Taking a good approach is still necessary in MV, but because of the tapping you generally don't need to slow down.  Leaning isn't as necessary either, but it still helps.  BTW, tapping the accelerator in the SNES game works as a valid mechanic to take turns as well.  It's just that the game wasn't designed around it so it isn't necessary like in MV.

The other GBA F-Zero does have tapping, but it also has the boost/health mechanic from X/GX.  If it wasn't for that I'd say it's the better of the two F-Zero games that made it West since it was otherwise an improvement over MV.  I don't know if the third F-Zero on GBA was any good, but it did have a track editor.  That makes both F-Zeros with track editors Japan only.  The other being the 64DD expansion for F-Zero X.

The RuffiansJanuary 24, 2012

The SOPA conversation was simply amazing! Really, you guys are like super, super, super smart. Haha. :D

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusJanuary 24, 2012

Quote from: gojira

I loved and still love Maximum Velocity.  I appreciate that it's the only other F-Zero game to use the original's boost system which I prefer to what was introduced in F-Zero X.

The other GBA F-Zero does have tapping, but it also has the boost/health mechanic from X/GX.  If it wasn't for that I'd say it's the better of the two F-Zero games that made it West since it was otherwise an improvement over MV.

I'm also a fan of the SNES F-Zero boost system; while I appreciate the risk-reward element introduced by the boost-health trade-off in X, the limited number of boosts in the SNES game meant that you were encouraged to use them strategically along portions of the track where the most advantage was to be gained. Experimenting to see how boosts can cut down lap times is something I still enjoy about playing Mario Kart time trials (where you have 3 mushrooms at your disposal for the whole race).

The fact that the latter GBA F-Zero games retain the accelerator tapping but dispense with the old boosting does not leave me all that enthused about the prospect of playing them, but having said that, I'm so F-Zero starved at this point that I'd probably snap one up if they put either of them up for sale on the eShop sometime relatively soon.

HellsAttackJanuary 24, 2012

Hey guys, just finished listening to this episode of the podcast. I have to say YES, I miss the Mario 64 format so much. It's definitely my favorite Mario game, I used to walk to Blockbuster Video and play their kiosk for hours on end only stopping to go to the bathroom at the grocery store across the street.


The last Mario game I played was Mario Galaxy 2 because it got so much positive press. I liked it, but I love the friendly free open world Mario 64 had. Mario 64 is epic, iconic, and filled with so much charm. I don't feel like Nintendo games have as much charm as Mario 64 or Paper Mario anymore, maybe Chibi-Robo or Pikimin.


I plan on getting Super Mario 3D Land fairly soon but have been holding off because I know it's not Mario 64 2.


Definitely agreed with you guys about Nintendo making the experience bite-sized. I need those big open world experiences.

KDR_11kJanuary 26, 2012

3D Land is the most Mario of the 3D Marios. If you replaced all the graphics then nobody would recognize 64 as a Mario game but 3D Land would still be recognizable as it maintains pretty much all the conventions of the Super Mario Bros gameplay. An open world Mario game wouldn't really be a Mario game.

motangJanuary 26, 2012

I for one would love to have a Mario game with a one huge level. Similar to one my all time favorite game Jak and Daxter, in this game there are no levels it is just one huge adventure with levels that are stitched together.

KDR_11kJanuary 27, 2012

I think that should stay in the realm of Metroid. Mario is about traversal being difficult which doesn't translate well to open world where you'll go across some areas dozens of times.

LithiumJanuary 27, 2012

Just when i think i had my backlog locked up Jonny had to talk about trauma team. That game sounds so awesome.
on a slightly reated note this site http://howlongtobeat.com/index.php is a really great backlog manager, been using it for a while now.

CericJanuary 27, 2012

Quote from: Lithium

Just when i think i had my backlog locked up Jonny had to talk about trauma team. That game sounds so awesome.
on a slightly reated note this site http://howlongtobeat.com/index.php is a really great backlog manager, been using it for a while now.

Wow, that site has me behind the ball on Fire Emblem.  I've got 40hrs into the game already.

LithiumJanuary 27, 2012

well it depends on how much you're doing, if you're trying to 100% it there's already a time submitted for 40 hrs for that.

MonteblancoJanuary 28, 2012

I am a little late in the discussion but I would like to point out why digital downloads cannot be less expensive than retail titles. In that scenario, the vendors are screwed as the console acts as a Trojan Horse, taking their profits from games sales away. As such, if Sony does that, they will actually incentive the vendors to push the 3DS and not stock the Vita, as the former will bring more business to them. A similar situation happened with the PSP Go. It barely sold any units, not only because of the initial high price but, especially, because vendors pushed the DS or the PSP instead of it. I would like to say Sony learned the lesson but, considering the high price of the Vita, the lack of back compatibility, and a lackluster launch library to the Japanese market, perhaps I am assuming too much.

KDR_11kJanuary 28, 2012

It's also the reason why prices for new AAA titles on Steam are terrible, retailers have told publishers that if they make a digital release that's cheaper or earlier than the retail release then the game gets boycotted.

That is the conventional wisdom in gaming, yes, but I think it's completely wrong. Electronics retailers are quite happy to continue selling televisions, set-top-boxes, digital music players, smart phones, and any number of other devices that are primarily used to play content that is not purchased at retail. Giving consumers the option to download games (at whatever price the publishers deem competitive) but also use games purchased at retail allows console makers to lower prices overall while still allowing less savvy and less connected shoppers the ability to buy games in a store. Things are already moving this way, and it's only going to continue.

MonteblancoJanuary 28, 2012

Jonny, I am not sure if retailer's profit margin in consoles is as high as TV sets. However, I am pretty sure they make more money selling games than selling consoles as it is the exact same reason why Sony usually sells consoles at a loss. As such, they will make their best to keep this lucrative sales to themselves. As most of the sales are still in retail, they have enough power to negotiate in a good position with the distributor.

ShyGuyMarch 13, 2012

Quote from: motang

I for one would love to have a Mario game with a one huge level. Similar to one my all time favorite game Jak and Daxter, in this game there are no levels it is just one huge adventure with levels that are stitched together.

Yeah, Jonny and Crew seemed to ignore some of the few exceptional 3D platformers out there: Jak and Daxter, and Ratchet and Clank.
The sequels generally got weaker and weaker, but the first ones were probably the best platformers of their generation and make Naughty Dog one the few good 3D platformer developers.

Quote from: Monteblanco

A similar situation happened with the PSP Go. It barely sold any units, not only because of the initial high price but, especially, because vendors pushed the DS or the PSP instead of it.

The Go also had less game playing capability (UMD) than the cheaper alternative, so that's not a very good comparison.

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