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Episode 284: BB Action

by Billy Berghammer, James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Jonathan Metts - March 18, 2012, 4:48 pm PDT
Total comments: 19

Our old friend Billy stops in to talk Mario Tennis Open, Journey, consulting, and volatility in the gaming media.

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James had to miss the first part of this episode, which provided us a perfect excuse to bring in Billy Berghammer for the first time in a good while. He just got back from GDC and got to play Mario Tennis Open, the upcoming 3DS revival for that sports series. Billy also describes his extensive StreetPass encounters at the conference. Greg is up next, explaining how and why he finally picked up Cave Story 3D; he also delivers impressions of the new English demo for Sega's hotly anticipated Rhythm Thief. Jon has an update on Super Mario 3D Land and also steers us into a critique of Swapnote now that the surprise and freshness has worn off. Jonny completes the segment with a trio of downloadable titles: Mutant Mudds and Zen Pinball 3D from the eShop, and the astounding game called Journey from PlayStation Network, which Billy has also played but somewhat less reverently.

James boards the RFN Express with a bang for the back half, in which we break from any typical format to address two special topics. The first is Billy's recent foray into the shadowy world of game consulting, in which publishers pay him to provide outside feedback, such as writing "mock reviews" that none of us will ever read. The second big story for this segment is the gaming media shake-up that occurred last week. Giant Bomb was purchased by CBS Interactive to reunite that gang with their former employers at GameSpot, while 1up was further gutted by lay-offs for some very high-profile writers, including ex-NWR writer Ryan Winterhalter. While the shake-ups weren't all good news, it was rather perfect timing that these events transpired on the very day that we had a veteran like Billy on the show.

We'll return to Listener Mail very soon, so please send in your questions and comments!

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

Kytim89March 18, 2012

KYTim89 Industries is interested in buying NWR for $125,000,000. I will fly my corporate jet to your HQ to finalize the deal.  ;)

PlugabugzMarch 19, 2012

I listened to Giant Bombcast on the recommendation of Lord Metts.

Far too much tangents that lead unchecked, which often resulted in that 3.5 hour runtime. In December they smashed out 5 episodes of these in a row, for their GOTY. I got through 20 minutes of the first and unsubscribed. Now if RFN was that length i'd be filled with joy because i know it would be taut lean gaming goodness rather than a chat -filled with long, blank pauses - about random topics about pizza.

LithiumMarch 19, 2012

you should have named him BB King. Also, I agree with Pillabugz.

Glad0sMarch 19, 2012

Gasp! Greg didn't open with Ahoy, Ahoy! Maybe the world's ending in 2012 after all....

Mappy is a saint!

Fatty The HuttMarch 19, 2012

Looking forward to the further Mappy audio adventures
...in which he (hopefully) fights a bear...?

TJ SpykeMarch 19, 2012

Quote from: Plugabugz

I listened to Giant Bombcast on the recommendation of Lord Metts.

Far too much tangents that lead unchecked, which often resulted in that 3.5 hour runtime. In December they smashed out 5 episodes of these in a row, for their GOTY. I got through 20 minutes of the first and unsubscribed. Now if RFN was that length i'd be filled with joy because i know it would be taut lean gaming goodness rather than a chat -filled with long, blank pauses - about random topics about pizza.

Agreed, I listened for awhile. Eventually however, I just got annoyed with all of the meaningless drivel they would talk about (I think they once spent like 15 minutes eating and talking about various snack foods fans had sent to them).

Add me to the people who can't stand the Giant Bombcast. Waiting for over an hour before they start talking about games is a bit much.

As for this episode of NWR, I definitely want more chapters of the Mappy audio play. Holy crap, robots! I didn't see that coming.

The RuffiansMarch 20, 2012

I stop listening to the Bombcast a year ago; it was too long - it's freaking 3 hours. The awkward silence, and various talks about food was just a turn off. It's fun to talk about non-videogame related stuff every now and then, but they take it a bit too long resulting in an elongated podcast.

broodwarsMarch 20, 2012

Yeah, I have major issues with the Giant Bombcast as well.  Their constant tangents, which are almost always extremely boring, usually lead to me skipping the vast majority of each episode.  I don't mind their long Game o the Year podcasts since the debate is usually lively and funny, but their normal episodes desperately need an editor.  You could probably cut at least a good hour out of their usual 2 hour podcast and lose nothing.

As for Journey, I played it a few weeks ago, and it's good but I really don't understand the "OHMYGHODTHISISTHEGREATESTGAMEI'VEEVERPLAYEDINMYLIFE!" reaction the game is getting from the press.  All Journey does is just hit the exact same emotional beats that Flower did, and I liked it better when Flower did it.  Plus, without the ability to continually fly (which you either need the special White Cape or a constant co-op partner to do), the game really feels like it's withholding the Fun for a large chunk of the game.  It just comes off to me as a pretentious arthouse game that wouldn't be considered notable if the critics hadn't latched onto it for being a pretentious arthouse game.

I know where you're coming from, broodwars. It kind of reminds me of something I'm noticing with the Kid Icarus reception. The controls are a little weird, and it seems like most people can't get past that. But the controls in games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are even weirder/poorer, but people lose their shit over anything those guys make. It doesn't make sense to me.

I'm not even saying I dislike Ico/SotC; just that I think they're a little overhyped because they're somewhat pretentious arthouse games.

NinSageMarch 20, 2012

Another stellar episode!

Responses ...

1. Don't forget, Street Pass isn't really designed for nerd cons, it's for STREET PASS! =) So having a limit of 10 is understandable.  Granted, getting up to 10 in America is almost impossible outside of nerd cons.  But I did do it in NYC one day.  Sadly, in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY am lucky to get 2 during the course of my entire day about town.

2. Me likey cutscenes.  I was crestfallen to learn SMG2 reduced focus on them.  Of course, I don't mean those little 5-second things before each boss battle.  That kind of stuff should quite simply happen "in action."  But really, not exactly a game breaker.

3. Journey looked absolutely amazing.  It seriously looked like one of the coolest games ever.  I just can't believe it's only like 2 hours (my PS3 buddy confirms this, btw).  I don't need filler and I don't believe a 40 hour game is automatically better than a 10 hour game, but Journey seemed like a game whose emphasis would be on ... y'know ... a JOURNEY.  Seems like a two-hour game shouldn't be allowed to have that title... more like "Jaunt."

3. That Mappy thing is..... yeaaaa.

4. I agree with Greg's general line of thinking.

Whether or not developers would "be stupid not to" spin their product is irrelevant to the conversation of what ethically should be done.  Which is really the only conversation anyone should be concerned with.  Even those developers!  I know everyone likes to say "it's a business, it must fulfill its role to make money any way possible."  Ya know what though? We aren't on this planet to make money.  Our society shouldn't be striving to simply MAKE MORE MONEY.  There are a lot of entities with lots of money... are they automatically doing what's best for our culture?

Why don't we try to have conversations about making business fit enjoyably into a positively evolving society?  Oh, "boo hoo, that's hard to do and takes thinking!"  Fine, cuddle up with your cold bag of money and leave everyone else to improve our culture.

In sum: using any avenue possible to show off your product? Great.  Using any avenue at all to MISLEAD the audience about your product for profit? No. Not great.  GTFO.

5. Jeff Gerstmann? yuk.  I will not shed any tears if he ends up further from the spotlight.

6. NWR does make excellent use of their freedom.  Which is why the content/tone of the site is still great.  Thanks for sticking to your guns ... not your wallets!

I really like Journey. It's different in a good way, it tells its story very effectively, and it's visually amazing. I don't find it pretentious in the same way that Ico or Shadow are--those games are irritating because they're almost unplayable, but dammit, they're DIFFERENT, right? So they deserve to be on a high pillar.

Journey has incredibly simplistic, but effective, gameplay. I'd write a blog post about how much I like it and why I think it's great, but NinSage will just give me shit for mentioning, much less enthusiastically recommending, a game that's not on the Wii.

NinSageMarch 20, 2012

@Halbred

If that's genuinely what you think I'm about then I apologize for the misunderstanding.  PM me if you want to clear things up in private where they are less likely to escalate.

As for my ability to appreciate non-Wii games ... I guess you'd have to go alllllllllll the way back to ... that post above yours.

Quote from: NinSage

3. Journey looked absolutely amazing.  It seriously looked like one of the coolest games ever.  I just can't believe it's only like 2 hours (my PS3 buddy confirms this, btw).  I don't need filler and I don't believe a 40 hour game is automatically better than a 10 hour game, but Journey seemed like a game whose emphasis would be on ... y'know ... a JOURNEY.  Seems like a two-hour game shouldn't be allowed to have that title... more like "Jaunt."

The RuffiansMarch 20, 2012

I like NinSage - he always has interesting things to say; always look forward to his comments.  He should be a guest on the podcast one of these days.

NinSageMarch 20, 2012

Quote from: The

I like NinSage - he always has interesting things to say; always look forward to his comments.  He should be a guest on the podcast one of these days.

Do I know you? Mother? Did you finally figure out the internet?

Seriously though, that was really, really nice of you to say.  Thank you.  Sometimes I worry that my love of Nintendo does not fit in with this Nintendo community.  ... *sigh*

Anyway, you CAN hear me on the latest NegativeWorld podcast alongside Guillaume who was on episode  282 of RFN.  That's pretty darn close, right??

Linky: http://www.negativeworld.org/boardreplies.php?id=7497&pagenumber=1
Direct Linky: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NegativeWorldPodcast/~5/bHgr1XjIpPM/Negative_World_Podcast_029.mp3

motangMarch 22, 2012

Was an a trip to the east coast for good portion of last week and this week, and I didn't know about 1Up, that really sucks. I did hear about GameSpot and GiantBomb though, and I hope GiantBomb stays the way it is the place I go to get game info (pretty much replaced GiantBobm with Wikipedia for video game info).

Another great show guys, and it's always good to hear from Mr. Billy.

CericMarch 22, 2012

Quote from: NinSage

Quote from: The

I like NinSage - he always has interesting things to say; always look forward to his comments.  He should be a guest on the podcast one of these days.

Do I know you? Mother? Did you finally figure out the internet?

Seriously though, that was really, really nice of you to say.  Thank you.  Sometimes I worry that my love of Nintendo does not fit in with this Nintendo community.  ... *sigh*

Anyway, you CAN hear me on the latest NegativeWorld podcast alongside Guillaume who was on episode  282 of RFN.  That's pretty darn close, right??

Linky: http://www.negativeworld.org/boardreplies.php?id=7497&pagenumber=1
Direct Linky: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NegativeWorldPodcast/~5/bHgr1XjIpPM/Negative_World_Podcast_029.mp3

Ninsage that gives you an RFN number of 2 and Guillaume has an RFN number 1.
James, Dr. Metts, Lindy, Greg, past non-guess hosts are 0.
I'm using an Erdos number scheme just for fun.
Being a calling on the Live show I don't know if I would be considered having an RFN number of 1 though.

Needless to say that Dr. Metts being the most prolific podcaster of the bunch would be the most considered Erdos.

NinSageMarch 22, 2012

Quote from: Ceric

Ninsage that gives you an RFN number of 2

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lr3navql0Q1qh1rku.jpg

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