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Episode 300: SPARTAAA!!!

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - August 5, 2012, 9:08 pm PDT
Total comments: 53

We just can't seem to quit you.

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It's time for another one of those special episodes, as we celebrate six years and 300 numbered entries (plus many more one-offs and live events) of Radio Free Nintendo. This year, we decided to mark the occasion by doing what we do best -- talking about Nintendo! A lot. Probably way too much. This episode is all about Wii. In fact, we probably set a world record for the longest any group of friends has talked about Wii in a semi-serious manner.

This incredibly long episode is broken into a few segments for easier digestion. The first couple feature your friendly neighborhood RFN crew --Jon, James, Gui, and Jonny-- covering the Wii from its debut as Revolution at E3 2005, right up to the present day. It's a lot like the DS feature we did for #200, except even more ridiculous and long-winded. Later, we go through the whole saga again from the start, but this time with a series of special guests discussing the beginning, middle, and end of the Wii story in a small group format. You'll hear insider tales and fond personal memories from RFN favorites such as Billy Berghammer, Craig Harris, Michael "TYP" Cole, Karl Castaneda, co-founder Mike Sklens and, of course, our escaped editing slave, Greg Leahy. If you make it through this entire, monstrous podcast and still want more Wii coverage... try the previous 299 episodes! They're pretty good. Except for 103.

We'll get back to normal next week with Listener Mail, so send in yours today! RetroActive is also coming very soon, so hit up that forum thread if you're playing Wario Land 4. And finally, thanks so much to everyone who listens, corresponds, comes to our live panels, promotes the telethon, viral markets on GAF, etc. We love y'all.

This podcast was edited by Guillaume Veillette, James Jones and Jonathan Metts.

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.


Glad0sAugust 05, 2012

5. Hours. 5....hours. Wow. Can't wait to listen, gents!

DropkikAugust 05, 2012

5 hours...What in the actual fuck?!


Looks like I picked the wrong week to actually release another episode of Radio Trivia.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)August 05, 2012

Congrats guys, a stunning achievement!  :cool;
I just hope Gui doesn't retire after having to edit this beast!

@TYP Nothing ever takes away from my Trivia Time, and hey, it's not like podcasts expire right?  :D

Try to identify the exact place I started recording myself to fill in gaps that were eaten by technical issues.

I had braced myself for a long and grueling editing session this week-end, but the truth is it didn't take me that much longer to edit than usual. Well, a couple of hours more, but some of those were actually due to Audacity hiccups. James and Jonny each took on one of the guest sections, so I even had enough free time to finally see The Dark Knight Rises this week-end, haha.

I hope you guys like the episode. It's pretty damn thorough. I hope my love of the Wii came through despite me just kind of always going back to 2D platformers: there's definitely more about the Wii's library that I like beside the VC, Wario Land, DKCR and NSMBW: Rhythm Heaven, Sin & Punishment, Punch-Out!!, No More Heroes, etc.

geoAugust 06, 2012

Googol is the mathematical term, meaning 10^100.  Google is the company name.  That is all :)

SorenAugust 06, 2012

Those first claps...


DarthBradyAugust 06, 2012

Thanks! this is just the thing i need to listen to while cranking away at my Nintendo Museum Minecraft Server.

I have to ask... since I have only been listening since around #175 - what is wrong with #103? must be something interesting to call it out like that. Are you being serious about avoiding that one, or should I go check it out and see what the fuss is about?

CericAugust 06, 2012

Quote from: DarthBrady

Thanks! this is just the thing i need to listen to while cranking away at my Nintendo Museum Minecraft Server.

I have to ask... since I have only been listening since around #175 - what is wrong with #103? must be something interesting to call it out like that. Are you being serious about avoiding that one, or should I go check it out and see what the fuss is about?

If you listened to the Drunkcast its a lot like that only a little crazier.  Though there is some good discussion to be had in there if you can filter through the white noise.  If you listen to 103 then listen to at least the start of 104 for the Dr.Metts Rebuttal.

LithiumAugust 06, 2012

when i listened to 103 it was a couple of months ago, but i decided to listen to the entire archive starting from episode 1 so i had all the context that made 103 hilarious. (not that i did that JUST for 103, i didn't even know what was coming when i listened to 103) when i finally caught up to where to started listening to RFN (around the same time as Darth Brady) Greg was having his final episode :(

Disco StuAugust 06, 2012

I like how the undercurrent of homoeroticism in this podcast has invaded even the sub-headline now! :P:

Seriously though, what a fantastic celebration of not just the podcast, but the last generation of Nintendo gaming.  It was great to hear Gui's defense of some of the company's shortcomings in the past 6 years, and you didn't come off as an apologist!

Here's to 300 more episodes of RFN and another generation of playing great games on the Wii U and 3DS!

Lies 103 is a masterpiece!

5 hours of awesome...

Challenge considered.

Quote from: Disco

I like how the undercurrent of homoeroticism in this podcast has invaded even the sub-headline now! :P: :

Undercurrent? I need to try harder.


EnnerAugust 06, 2012

Thanks for the podcast! Just finished listening to it. I really enjoyed all the Wii talk as it put some perspective on the system's life as a whole. I got the system quite late in July of 2010 so most of my feelings on the system are positive given I didn't have to wait to get a good game to play on the system.

CericAugust 06, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

Quote from: Disco

I like how the undercurrent of homoeroticism in this podcast has invaded even the sub-headline now! :P: :

Undercurrent? I need to try harder.


Yes it was.

I would have chose:
"Undercurrent? Man its getting Harder."

ShyGuyAugust 07, 2012

I hope Greg is one for four and half of those five hours...

Pixelated PixiesAugust 07, 2012

I still haven't listened to all of this epic cast but I just thought I'd say that it's really nice to hear from Craig again. That guy is a legend.


Speaking of legends, I can't wait to hear from Greg again as well. You guys have really managed to get together an amazing crew of Nintendo experts.

TJ SpykeAugust 07, 2012

Quote from: ShyGuy

I hope Greg is one for four and half of those five hours...

I haven't finished the podcast, but it looks like he is only on for for one segment (which is about 40 minutes long) and not part of the main podcast with the regular RFN crew.

Do_WhatAugust 07, 2012

I'm only two and half hours into it and I love it. I am so glad that so much of the show is just like an RFN. I love the wii discussion. You guys are great. I've listened to about 250 of these things (I think I missed an entire year of the show at one point) and it's my favorite video game podcast beside retronauts. At times they're the only ones I can even listen to.

Maybe it's because I grew up pretty much only owning used or quite old games, not having a new release every month never bothered me during the life of the Wii. Since a lot of games seemed to die quickly their prices dropped quickly. In the times when there weren't a lot of blockbuster new games coming out there were a bunch of games I hadn't played on the discount rack. The site has a whole feature thing about all the games people never played on the Wii. I don't have a massive backlog because I was able to play a steady stream of games during the Wii's life. To me there was never a lull of new games, because it didn't matter to me whether a game just came out or if it had been out as long as I hadn't played it before. I just picked up a copy of Metroid: Other M for $8 brand new. I'm playing through RE4 Wii edition for the first time (I played it a lot on Gamecube) because I picked it up for $10. The same goes for any console, really. No one plays every game that comes out for it, and so there is always a new game for them to play.

Gamecube is my favorite nintendo home console, but wii is right there with it. I think this has been a remarkable console cycle for nintendo. Thinking about what they actually accomplished, it's astounding. They are completely terrible at ending things though. Think about the momentum they could have if all the project rainfall games were getting pushed leading into this year. Or maybe there was a Baten Kaitos Origins (I love the shit out of that game) or Chibi Robo on the horizons that you could possibly start or finish playing on your Wii U. Oh well. I still think the Wii is good and I got a lot of joy out of it. I never bought any VC games because they always felt too expensive. I did grab a couple of wii ware games, but not as many as there are good ones.

I'm looking forward to finishing the episode tomorrow at work.

NinSageAugust 07, 2012

Great episode, gents.  Seriously pulled off one of the most enjoyable episodes for #300.  Way to rise to the occasion!

Responses ...

1. Paraphrase from Jonny: "their innovation is in gameplay, nintendo's never really done crazy controllers."

I can only assume you're referring only to PRIMARY controllers, right? Cuz I mean, in general, there's PowerPad, PowerGlove, all kinds of other goofy things.

2. I was in love with games all the way up until the end of the PS2 era.  But after that I was planning to live "a generation behind" and just buy games when they are a fraction of the price but still just as fun.

Then, I went to a classmates party and he had a Wii and was showing it off to everybody.  It was awesome and several months later ...

3. My wife spent weeks hunting down delivery trucks until she finally got a Wii for us at Christmas.

4. By the next Christmas my sister had a Wii and asked for video games.  That was a BIG. EFFIN'. DEAL. to me.

5. My dad played Wii Sports Resort with my wife and me one night.  He beat us at bowling and is still proud of it to this day.  I believe Gui said something about "remembering these experiences all my life." I agree, Gui!

6. I know Nintendo stopped marketing to "us." But, hey, marketing isn't games.  Games are games.  And my favorite games of this gen are on Nintendo's platforms.

7. Gui: "I was enjoying myself and everyone else was bringing me down."  Agreed, sir.

8. I somehow played hundreds of smooth hours of Brawl online.  *shrug*

9. The Wii was by far the most popular, but third parties ignored it.  If they felt like focusing on that, nurturing it, they could have made a ton of money.  But, they said "no, we'll make games the way we've always made them."  For the most part, they just couldn't make a good flagship game, they had to make their flagship games "big budget" games.

10. I loved the "faux retro" revival.  And yes, MegaMan 9 felt most at-home on Wii.  The controller, the fact that all the previous 8-bits were on the NES.  It was the right fit.

11. In my opinion, the Wii's software lineup in 2010 was one of the best release schedules ever!  When you look at all the quality games, it seems like a no-brainer to me.

12. Again, I can only paraphrase from memory.  Gui: "When I heard people say Nintendo abandoned them, that's how I feel about the other companies." YES, GUI!!!!  As someone who only had a PS1 and a PS2 during those generations, I was ready to walk away from "modern gaming" before the Wii.  The PS3/60 just didn't interest me.  After I got in to the Wii I thought, "that DS thing seems to have some good stuff going on."  And the rest is history.

13.  I don't think Nintendo is "saving video games" to be altruistic.  But, I do think they are doing it.  I hope they don't fall too deep into this HD/DLC rabbit hole that swallowed up their contemporaries.

14. Gui, you are the man this episode.  I like to think "Wii apologists" can actually just be "people who really like the Wii."  Remember when being a fan of something wasn't automatically a fan-boy?

15. I agree that WM+ was largely wasted on the Wii.  But the Wii U will give it an entire second chance.

16. I think Lindy said something about "everyone" wanting Other M and Sin+Punishment.  He was right, "gamers" wanted those.  The people in our circles wanted those.  We can't discount uber-popular games like Mario and Wii Fit by saying they are just appealing to "the masses" and then also discount games that only have "core" appeal.

17.  You say 2011 had a rough year and we're blaming Nintendo for only releasing those 3 games.  But, what happened to all the third parties complaining that Nintendo games crowd them out from the Wii's huge install base and that's why their stuff doesn't sell?

Why do third parties not get equal blame for not filling the holes they supposedly were starving for? Also, when everything comes out in 2010, we all know there can't be a sequel in 2011, right?  This isn't we're talkin' about.

18. Hearing from Greg was like a warm blanket for my soul.  Cheers, mate.  Go Bills!


Sorry for the super long, not very well developed post.  But, hey, in an (awesome) 5-hour podcast, maybe you get quantity and not quality, right?  ;D

Looking forward to 400.  ;D

TJ SpykeAugust 08, 2012

NinSage, Mattel did the Power Glove. Nintendo just marketed it. As for Power Pad, I suppose at the time it must have been weird, now we would just consider it another dance pad.

I was lucky to get a Wii on launch day. I went to a Walmart around 7PM for a midnight launch, and I was lie 28th in line (they had 30 Wii systems). It was kinda fun, even played a little Mario Kart DS with some other people waiting in line.

I hear people complaining about Brawl's online, and I would agree that now it is bad. I got the game at launch though and played it every day for like 2 months straight (when my Wii started having problems), and in that time I only had problems playing online 2 or 3 times. It was only when I came back a few months later that I started having problems.

Pixelated PixiesAugust 08, 2012

Quote from: TJ

I hear people complaining about Brawl's online, and I would agree that now it is bad. I got the game at launch though and played it every day for like 2 months straight (when my Wii started having problems), and in that time I only had problems playing online 2 or 3 times. It was only when I came back a few months later that I started having problems.

I thought Brawl was a good game, but it's online was absolute garbage. In the whole time I was actively playing that game I had only 5, maybe 6, matches which didn't either lag, freeze or fail to actually begin. My internet was also pretty incredible back then. It was such a dissappointment for me personally, as I had friends I coul play against online but none who were able to come over and play locally. Can you imagine having Smash Bros but having no else to play with? It sucks. I really hope Smash 4 gets it right.

TJ SpykeAugust 08, 2012

I mostly play Brawl by myself, I still enjoy the game that way actually.

Bandai came up with the Power Pad.

When we recorded the podcast or when I listen to it, I don't feel I was necessarily defending the Wii. I think we had a well-rounded discussion. I didn't have E3 or NWR experiences to talk about and the others are more used to analyzing the business or marketing sides of things so I simply focused on what I could talk about.

It's so funny, you can basically hear my disinterest about Smash Bros, but announce a Wario Land game on Wii and I'm audibly excited.

NinSageAugust 08, 2012


Wow. I did not know that about the 'pad and 'glove.  OK, so how about the Super Scope, Zapper and Rob (the effin') Robot?


I certainly don't think you were defending the Wii from the other cast members on this episode.  Everyone did a really good job of stepping back from the overall Wii-bashing and analyzing the experience objectively.  Which is why I enjoyed the episode so much!  I just appreciated some of your specific sentiments the most, that's all.

ZabeMusicAugust 08, 2012

I'm disappointed you guys didn't do the clip show, but a 5-hour show is good enough. Congratulations, guys.

On the subject of the Wii Remote being a Cube accessory. I seem to remember maybe the year before, that Nintendo briefly hinted at a new GameCube accessory which would extend the life of the system and take it in a new direction.

Also I made this the day the name change came. I was "sick" from work that day too lol.. ah memories..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgKVEtYisDc    *Seems like it may now be blocked in certain countries..*

I hosted the file and posted the link on the forums here before I went to bed, the next morning I woke up, someone had uploaded it to youtube and the video had taken off. I wish I had put it on youtube first myself, the original uploader got millions upon millions of hits eventually.

Darkurai the Oracle PonyAugust 08, 2012

Oh my goood they mentioned me on the show

A Wii retrospective wasn't what I expected the 300th episode to be, but I'm so happy it's what you guys went with. I was still in middle school when the Wii launched, so I had no idea some of the stuff that was going on back then. What really impressed me was that even though you essentially did the same show twice, there was really no redundancy between the two parts. There wasn't really any point in the second half where I was thinking that you were restating something that was said already.

Fantastic show, guys.

TJ SpykeAugust 08, 2012

Quote from: NinSage


Wow. I did not know that about the 'pad and 'glove.  OK, so how about the Super Scope, Zapper and Rob (the effin') Robot?

Nintendo did make all 3 of those.

AVAugust 08, 2012

no lords of thunder?

One aspect of the discussion I would like is the ' feel ' of some games with motion controls.

No More Heroes just feels more fun doing the slashes, and waggling in NSMBW actually is fun same with Galaxy.

That sort of stuff is satisfying for me.

SundoulosAugust 09, 2012

I think I've had stronger attachments to previous Nintendo consoles than I have had to the Wii, though that's probably mostly due to the amount of time I could spend playing them.  I'm in my mid-30s now, so the N64 was my console of choice during my college years.  I lived in a house with 7 to 8 other roommates at various times, and we played the heck out of Goldeneye, Mario Kart, Star Fox and nearly every wrestling game released for the system.  (It's too bad that Perfect Dark didn't come out until just after I graduated.)

The Gamecube and Wii never quite felt the same as those days simply because I didn't have the opportunity to play with friends in the same way that I did with that N64.  My association with the Cube is very different because I moved to a city where I didn't have a number of close friends for a while, and I spent a lot of time gaming on that system alone.  In many ways, the solitude was enjoyable, but gaming depressed me a little more just because that guys camaraderie of the N64 wasn't there anymore.  Eventually when I did befriend a group of guys, most of the multiplayer gaming came in the form of LAN parties or online gaming over the PC (Battlefield, Unreal Tournament, Counterstrike, etc.)  The other mutliplayer game time was devoted to Halo. 
To a man, other than that, they were mostly fans of the other consoles.

The Wii is a little different because, once my wife and I met and got married, we played games quite a bit on the system.  Much of the time was spent with old Gamecube stuff like Double Dash, Pikmin, etc.  The Mario Galaxy games ate up a lot of our time, and I think those are probably my favorite gaming experiences of this generation.

motangAugust 09, 2012

This was an awesome episode, loved the retrospect look at the Wii and adding Craig was really good move! Thanks guys!  ;D

ZabeMusicAugust 09, 2012

By the way, Craig was a guest on Podcast Beyond and said he got in trouble with Sega for appearing on this. He also called NWR "some Nintendo fan site". :-\

CericAugust 09, 2012

Its hard to know who your real friends are.

Fatty The HuttAugust 09, 2012

I found Billy Berghammer's Game Informer article about his first hands on with the Wii Remote (Revolution Controller) at TGS 2005. The article was posted September 17, 2005.

Courtesy of the WayBack Machine:

After months and months of Revolution controller speculation, trademark questions, fake documents, and the loads of other crap that typically floats around the internet, for the most part it can all end today.  On the eve of the Tokyo Game Show I was invited to an extremely exclusive behind closed doors appointment hosted by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto to get a demonstration and go hands on with the Nintendo Revolution controller.  Before you read any further I urge you to erase any thoughts of what a video game controller should be.  If you thought Nintendo was changing the way people played games with the Nintendo DS, the Nintendo Revolution controller will totally blow your mind – just as it did mine.
spoint.jpgNo, seriously – that’s it!  What simply resembles a remote control is the main core of the Revolution controller.  While Nintendo cringed every time the word “remote” came out of our mouths, that’s exactly what it looks like at first glance, and that’s how I will refer to it through out this feature.  Trust me, I was in the same boat as you when we first saw it.  Nintendo’s philosophy stays in line with what they’ve been saying recently in interviews.  Simplicity is key.  Nintendo wants people of any age and gamer type to pick up this controller and be able to play a game – whether you’re a hardcore gamer, or that hardcore gamer’s Mom who has never played a videogame before.  As Miyamoto explained, “It’s not meant to be technologically advanced controller scheme-wise.  We want to use new technology for new gameplay experiences.”  Nintendo wants to completely stray away from the general controller paradigm - two hands on a controller.  Miyamoto also joked, “Technology mothers buy tends to succeed.”
The controller has been in development since the launch of the GameCube by the same R&D team that has created the GameCube controller, as well as the past number of Nintendo controllers.  Miyamoto’s role was industrial design.  Even though Nintendo’s main intention is simplicity, and the ability for anyone to be able to pick up and play with it, Nintendo wants to keep the size small, so it wouldn’t be obnoxious to have four of these sitting on your coffee table.
Before the Nintendo faithful leap out of their windows, quite a bit of explanation is in order.  In most instances, you do hold the controller just like you would a remote control.  The main A button is just under the directional pad, and the B button rests on the underside of the controller which can be easily pressed by the user’s index finger.  Not only is the D-pad used for movement, but the Revolution controller can control movement by raising and lowering, but also by twisting, turning, and moving the controller left, right, up, down or forward and backwards.  Miyamoto calls this type of control “freehand style.”  Rumble is still part of the package, and as you can see, the Revolution controller is completely wireless.  smany.jpgFor the Revolution to recognize this movement there’s a separate thin bar with two black sensors that pick up how the controller is positioned.  We’re assuming one bar will be used for all controllers.  The bar itself doesn’t have to be part of the setup at all, and the controller’s movement will be detected as long as the two sensors are centered on the TV.  These sensors can be above or below the TV, so depending if you have your TV on a stand, case, or even mounted on the wall, as long as you center the sensors and space them out accordingly and the bars are on the same horizontal plane, the controller’s movement will be detected correctly.  Also, since the Revolution controller uses these sensors and not light gun or regular RF technology, the setup will work with regular analog televisions, as well as HDTVs or computer monitors.  The controller itself is currently working wirelessly from about 10-15 feet from the receivers, which is less than the Wavebird, but should be a good standard for most living rooms.  This distance could eventually change as well.
Since the Revolution controller is wireless, it will be powered by batteries. If this setup will use standard or rechargeable batteries has yet to be determined.  The models we toyed with are prototypes, and the final design could change.  There’s always the possibility that the controller could be charged through the port on the bottom of the controller.  Even though Miyamoto said battery life should be rather lengthy, I’m hoping all this can be recharged.  Battery life was great with Wavebirds as well, but if you didn’t use your Wavebird for a while it would still drain your batteries dry.  Hey Nintendo!  Mothers like to buy rechargeable things!
While Nintendo would not go into detail on what the power or home buttons would do, we can assume that the controller will be able to power the Revolution console on and off.  Most likely the controller will instantly shut off when not in use for a specified time, and when turning the console off with the controller, the controller itself will be powered down to minimize battery drain.  The Home button is a complete mystery at this point.  Finally, at least four of these types of controllers will be compatible with the Revolution, and with the four small lights on the bottom of the controller, players will be able to figure out which controller number they are.
You’re probably wondering where the heck the analog stick is.  Iwata-san stated that the company wanted to move in the direction of having a number of different peripherals, and with the expansion port at the bottom of the controller a number of different peripherals will be able to connect wirelessly.  The only device they demonstrated was an analog stick setup, where your thumb can move the analog stick while your index and middle finger can press either of the two Z buttons (Z1 and Z2) which rest just under the top of the controller.  Miyamoto called this design – the Nunchuck style of controller.  It is also possible to use two analog sticks together as well for games that could take advantage of it.  Drum Mania or Taiko Drum Master anyone?  How about a boxing game?  sNunchuck.jpgSince the Revolution will be able to download the entire history of Nintendo titles, as you can probably notice that by holding the controller horizontally, it will feel much like a NES controller.  NESStyle.jpgBut what about for SNES or N64 games where there are more buttons or a need for a second analog stick?  The Revolution controller can rest in a sort of controller shaped cradle which could add different buttons or control sticks to mimic the controller’s predecessors.  For example the analog stick portion would work quite well in the center of a N64 shell.  Whether or not these shell cradles will come in the box, or if third parties will make shell cradles is also not determined.  Not only that, but the expansion slot will enable any controller type to be hooked up to it allowing for wireless gameplay including dance pads, konga drums, and the like.  No specific peripherals have been announced, but the possibilities are virtually endless.
The Revolution Controller test drive:
After we got the explanation of the controller, it was time for some hands-on usage.  Nintendo created a number of demos to use with the Revolution controller that weren’t fully utilizing the power of the actual Revolution.  Miyamoto said what we were about to experience would be GameCube quality or lower.  This whole meeting was mainly to focus on how the actual controller worked, not to show the power of the Revolution.  Each of these demos showed how the different functions of the controller functioned, regardless of how crude they were.
Cubes was a multiplayer game that more or less crossed Asteroids with a shooting gallery, which is quite funny since one of Nintendo’s earliest ventures many years ago was a mechanical shooting gallery.  By pointing the controller at the screen you could move your cursor around, and by pressing A you would fire a shot.  Transparent cubes were worth 1 point, and solid cubes were worth 10 points.  Cubes was an easy way to get the simple gist of how the remote style controller worked and felt, and within seconds after getting the cursor on screen I was blasting cubes out of the sky and racking up points.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite as fast as Miyamoto-san.
The main screen shows a very simple-looking hand drawn pond with fish where you use the Revolution controller as a fishing rod.  This demo showed how the depth of movement of the controller works.  To move the rod around the pond you move the controller left, right, forwards, and backwards.  By lowering the controller you can dip the hook into the water.  If you got a fish on the line the controller would vibrate.  Once the controller indicated you had a fish you would pull the fish out of the water by quickly flipping the controller up – just as you would with an actual fishing rod.  Could this be something that would work with Animal Crossing’s fishing element?
Kuru Kuru Kururin
A Game Boy Advance and GameCube game that unfortunately never was released here, Kuru Kuru Kururin has you pilot a rotating propeller through an obstacle course.  Walls and objects along the path will cause your propeller damage, dwindling your stamina meter.  Unlike the real game, however, nabbing coins in your path increases your Stamina meter. kuru_001.gif
The Game Boy Advance Version of Kuru Kuru Kururin. NOT demo footage.There are also springs along the path that will change the direction of your always rotating propeller.  Pointing the cursor at the propeller you gain control of it to navigate it through an obstacle course.  While you can’t stop your propeller from rotating, you can speed up the rotation by pressing A.  Since I’ve played all the Kuru titles previously it didn’t take too long for me to get the gist of the whole game and fly around the course.  I think Miyamoto and the rest of the team was rather surprised how good I was at the game, but what can I say?  I’ve got mad Kuru skills.  I can already say that I want this to be released as a full fledged game.
Air Hockey
A simple air hockey/pong type game whereby moving the controller up, down, left, or right moved your player’s bar, and by twisting the controller you would rotate your bar to angle shots.  This demo was rather tricky and didn’t feel as comfortable as the other ones.  But there’s also the possibility that I had too much coffee today.
This demo was a very quirky game of basketball.  If you can picture a soft sort of basketball court, by pressing the B trigger you make an indent in the court that the ball would roll into.  By letting go of the B button and pressing A launches a shot.  Navigating the ball was rather simple, but since two players were making indents at the same time the ball got launched around more like a soccer ball at times. 
Pilotwings returns!  This by far was my favorite demo of the lot.  Set in the Isle Delfino level of Super Mario Sunshine, this demo lets you pilot an airplane through rings.  You can hold the controller like a remote control, but the easier way to pilot the plane is by holding it like you would hold a paper airplane that you were about to throw overhand.  By pointing the controller up or down raises and lowers your plane, and by moving the controller left or right and twisting it at the same time turns your aircraft left or right.  Pointing your controller up for a long time would cause your plane to do a loop.  Diving under the bridges, doing a loop, and then barrel-rolling through a few rings took a bit of practice, but once I got used to it the experience was extremely fun. scolors.jpgFind The Pokemon
Much like Where’s Waldo, this demo featured a big picture full of different Pokemon, and you must find one specific Pokemon with your cursor.  Since the picture is rather large, you can move your cursor in and out to perform zooming functions.  Once you find the specified Pokemon you zoom in on it to capture it.  After playing the previous demos navigating the picture was quite simple.
Metroid Prime 2
Retro Studios took a few weeks to adapt an early level of Metroid Prime 2 to the Revolution controller with the Nunchuck style add on.  By moving the main Revolution controller you direct where Samus looks, and the analog stick moves Samus forward, back, and strafes left and right.  Pressing the A button on the main controller makes Samus jump, B fires/charge shot, and the Z1 and Z2 button on the analog stick controller deals with scanning.  Miyamoto said this will be how Metroid Prime 3 will work.
While it does sound rather confusing, in practice it was quite simple.  Granted this was still a very basic setup, but it was more to demonstrate how Metroid Prime or a first person shooter type game would play with the remote style controller and Nunchuck analog stick.  Even though the lock-on function was available, you didn’t need it because you could look wherever you wanted – just like a normal first person shooter with a mouse.  This control style might finally quell all the Metroid haters out there who want non-lock-on aiming in Metroid Prime.
Even though the control was very different, just as the other demos, within moments it felt like old hat.  Unfortunately something seemed a little off once in a while with the point-look system, and at times it would twitch up – but as I said these are very early crude demos just made to demonstrate how this could work in a game situation.  This could really take Metroid Prime into a whole new level, as well as change how we play first person style games as we now know them.
We know “Touching Is good” – But “Is Feeling Better?”
I’ve always been a fan of Nintendo’s controllers – especially the N64 and GameCube controllers. And while everything felt weird at first, within a few seconds it felt comfortable.  But that’s always how a Nintendo controller feels right away to me.  Even though the controllers are very ergonomic and light, regardless of what you’re holding up in the air for a while that items is going to feel heavy and your arms are going to get tired – much like playing an EyeToy game where your arms are raised for a while.  When playing the Metroid Prime 2 demo, they let me sit down in a chair.  I rested my wrists in my lap like I would with a normal controller and had a slight space between the nunchuck and remote style controller and everything felt fine and operated consistently as if I were playing with a normal controller.  But most importantly – it was comfortable.
While I do have hardcore gamer friends, many of them are more into games like EyeToy or Donkey Konga.  We’ll come back to my place after going out and throw in one of those two games and play for hours.  Depending on the games Revolution has, I can honestly see my more casual gamer friends totally digging how easy it is to pick up and play.  How the hardcore will fare is an unknown, but at least for me, I can’t wait to see how Nintendo fleshes it all out. srevandremote.jpgHas Nintendo Lost Its Mind?
The big question is: do I actually like it?  At this point I have to say, regardless of how strange this whole concept is, it’s pretty damn cool.  The demos we got to play, and the explanation about the whole concept from Miyamoto was really helpful to understand what they’re trying to get at.  By just looking at pictures of this thing I’d probably think Nintendo was off its rocker.  Just like the Nintendo DS you need to “touch it” and get your hands on it to really get it.  But until I actually get my hands on a final Revolution title and see how it all comes together, I don’t have a final verdict per se.  Just like all consoles and controllers – it’s always about the games.
It’s obvious Nintendo has decided to get the heck out of the way of Sony and Microsoft and let them battle each other.  Nintendo has always had this “we’re going to do our own thing” attitude, but now they’ve taken that beyond the next level.  As Miyamoto said, “Nintendogs is setting the example of what we want to do with Revolution.”  Revolution is going to be all about completely different styles of gameplay.  But as I just said, we didn’t see any actual Revolution games so how this will all play out in the end will be determined by final product and games.

I have to admit, my head started spinning as I walked out of the demo.  How is this going to work with the expected Nintendo favorites?  Mario? Zelda?  Smash Bros? Animal Crossing?  F-Zero? Mario Party?  With Nintendo titles this could be very interesting, but could the Revolution corner itself into just having Nintendo-made games?
My biggest concern is third party support.  Nintendo said that they’ve been working with third parties and that third parties are really excited about the controller.  But seriously, is this the controller you’re going to play Madden with?  If I were a third party developer who’s porting a game to the different systems and wanted to make games for Nintendo as well, that’s three more teams – Nintendo Revolution, DS, and Game Boy Advance.  You can port a game to Xbox 360 and PS2/PS3, and dumb it down for PSP.  But moving a standard game to a Nintendo console now is going to need special work.  Sure, Electronic Arts and other larger third parties can take that chance, but smaller developers and publishers have to be a little nervous about taking that leap of faith.  But then again, it could offer up some interesting third party exclusives.
Well at least now it’s finally unveiled.  But even though we now have the answer to what Revolution’s controller is all about, it’s seemingly raising more and more questions.  Unfortunately, Nintendo was reluctant to answer a lot of questions from “Is this going to be the DVD remote as well?” to “How much will each controller cost?”  to “Will the Nunchuck be boxed in with the regular controller?” While this meeting is supposed to compliment Iwata’s TGS keynote speech tomorrow, we’re wondering when we’ll get more answers and indications of how revolutionary the Revolution gaming experience will be.
The meeting itself overall was a pretty intriguing experience.  Along with Miyamoto was quite a few people from NOA and NCL, and it was if we were guinea pigs for their little experiment and we were in some sort of Nintendo-esque Petri dish.  They were analyzing our every move, emotion, laugh, and frown to see what we thought.  It’s obvious Nintendo is taking a huge chance here with this style of game control, even more so than they did with the Nintendo DS or – dare I say it – the Virtual Boy.  But I understand why they invited a select few gaming journalists to come out to see how this whole concept works in practice.  If I was just like you, sitting at home looking at these screenshots, I would also be saying, “What the….”
While this whole Revolution controller concept is quite crazy, once you play with it for a few seconds, it all comes together.  Nintendo is taking a massive blind leap into the unknown, but as you’ve seen with games like Pokemon, Pikmin, Nintendogs, Electroplankton, and Animal Crossing, Nintendo doesn’t want to play the same way as Microsoft and Sony.  They truly want to create a gaming Revolution.  If Nintendo can successfully pull this off, who knows the realms of gaming we’ll touch in the coming years.
We’ll have more on the Nintendo Revolution and its controller soon, but for now, if you want to ask me about this controller, hit up this thread in our Game Informer Online forums, and I’ll answer your questions once I get a breather from TGS.

-Billy Berghammer

Pixelated PixiesAugust 09, 2012

Quote from: ZabeMusic

He also called NWR "some Nintendo fan site". :-\

To be fair, it would be a waste of breath to explain the greatness of NWR to the likes of Greg Miller. Those guys over at IGN seem like nice guys and all, but they don't have a F***ing clue what they're talking about when it comes to Nintendo (especially the Gamescoop guys).

Back in the day you could rely on Craig, Cass and Boz. IGN is not what it once was for Nintendo fans though. Sam Claiborn from NVC seems genuinely informed and interested, but he's perhaps the only one.

pokepal148August 09, 2012

its nice to hear from craig though. havent heard from him since he left ign((and put a nail in nvcs coffin as i moved to connectivity)

SundoulosAugust 10, 2012

Quote from: Pixelated

Quote from: ZabeMusic

He also called NWR "some Nintendo fan site". :-\

To be fair, it would be a waste of breath to explain the greatness of NWR to the likes of Greg Miller. Those guys over at IGN seem like nice guys and all, but they don't have a F***ing clue what they're talking about when it comes to Nintendo (especially the Gamescoop guys).

Back in the day you could rely on Craig, Cass and Boz. IGN is not what it once was for Nintendo fans though. Sam Claiborn from NVC seems genuinely informed and interested, but he's perhaps the only one.

This is very true.  I like the current crew of podcasters on NVC, generally, but I'm frequently amazed at the incorrect assumptions that they make about Nintendo history or older games sometimes.  These are often games that really weren't released all that long ago.  I haven't been able to stand Podcast Beyond or Gamescoop for a long, long time.

It was nice to hear from Craig, though.  I don't listen to Podcast Beyond.  If he really stated he got in trouble, I wonder if he failed to inform his superiors that he would be appearing on a Nintendo podcast.  Was it the fact that he appeared on the podcast or was it something he said?

Hey Einstein!August 10, 2012

Podcast Beyond - URK!
I have to disagree with a previous sentiment, they do NOT seem like nice guys to me. IGN's amateurism podcasts are what sent me searching for something better. So I guess I should be grateful to them. If the likes of Greg Miller and their UK podcast presenters weren't so opinionated, egotistical, arrogant, sexist and generally loathsome I may never have found RFN.

Thank you for a great 300th everybody. A Wii retrospective was EXACTLY what I wanted but I never hoped for a marathon like that. Now I just wish I had more time in front of the family TV to play Wii games.

Looking forward to the Virtual Boy retrospective next....

ejamerAugust 10, 2012

I was kind of disappointed at times with episode 300. When looking back, I prefer something with a bit more love and joy than straight retrospective - even when criticism and comments are dead on. However, this is why I love the podcast crew here: they talk about the good stuff and the bad stuff, with a lot of solid analysis about where and when things went both right and wrong.

Here's hoping we still get an inebriated 301 though, filled with "remember when..." moments that bring back favorite Wii escapades from various voices with a lot of laughter and love.

Remember when your friend got totally screwed over in Dokapon Kingdom, only to come back and screw you like you've never been done before?  Remember when you played Bit.Trip Runner as a drinking game for the first time? Remember when that grass felt like pants? Remember when you stayed up until 2am every night to hunt bugs and grief your roommate in Animal Crossing? Remember when Shaun White made the Balance Board cool again? Remember when you thought it was a good idea for the team to take on Alatreon in nothing but their boxers? Remember when co-op play in Trauma Center New Blood nearly led to blows after failed open heart surgery gone wrong? Remember when ... FuckTruck?

Don't know about you guys, but when I think back on Wii it will be dominated by lots of laughter and some great times with friends.

CericAugust 10, 2012

Thinking back my other people experience with the Wii was me hearing how all these other people were having a great time with other people with the Wii and me not being able to ever replicate that.

Pixelated PixiesAugust 10, 2012

Quote from: ejamer

Remember when Shaun White made the Balance Board cool again?

I'm confused on two counts. I wasn't aware that the balance board was ever cool, or that Shaun White of all people was involved in making it cool for a second time.

Any time I hear the words 'Shaun White' all I can think about is this


Ain't nothing cool about that.

roykoopa64August 13, 2012

Congrats RFN, on reaching 300 episodes and keeping the listeners thoroughly entertained and informed throughout the years!

Finally finished listening to this episode, and I have to say: That was a very thorough, detailed examination of the beginning and end of the Wii console. For all its shortcomings and inability to retain the massive wave of new adopters over its lifetime, the Wii absolutely remains one of my favorite Nintendo systems of all time. I definitely feel like I haven't even begun to tap into the the many hidden gems within the VC and WiiWare service. There  are still some retail games I want to play as well.

Even if Wii U weren't to release yet, I would still have my gaming needs fulfilled, and I've never had to rely on either of the HD consoles (or PC) to fill in any gaps (owning DS and 3DS doesn't hurt either  ;) ).

It was definitely an interesting period to go through as a gamer. I was just amazed at the power of the Wii to bring in all these people I knew who hadn't seriously played video games. Wii Sports was a phenomena that Nintendo handled brilliantly.

I helped a bunch of friends out who were looking for the little white console by scoping out stores to determine when the next shipment of systems would arrive, or call them if I happened to see one in the wild. I bought one for my parents (with Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii).

And yet I look around me today and just about every single one of those friends and family members who picked one up during the 'mad rush' no longer play or own the system. It truly saddened me that their interest in it slipped so much, but after listening to you guys, I can understand a bit better how, in many ways, Nintendo dropped the ball in retaining all its new adopters for the long run.

I wish Nintendo much success with the Wii U (I will be there day one), and I'm looking forward to seeing them learn from their mistakes, as slow as the process may be.

Anth0nyAugust 13, 2012

Finally got through the entire thing. Only took me a week  :P:

In retrospect, the Wii's library wasn't great compared to past Nintendo consoles, but it was a fun experience to say the least. Virtual Console was great, and introduced me to a ton of NES and SNES games I missed.

vileguyAugust 13, 2012

I love the statement made at 2 hours and 19 minutes. Forget the gimmicks and give us good games. Motion control is good for such few games, and the technology isn't good enough yet; it's simply too inaccurate and delicate. A pad, stick, or mouse is so much better because of the direct correlation between how much you move and what is registered. The standard controller used in the major controllers is amazing, and the classic controller is one of my favorite controllers to date. I honestly hate the Wii; I just really enjoy a few games on it and hope for better from Nintendo in the future.

sladeadamsAugust 13, 2012

Great milestone episode. It's great that this was done, as I was able to think about what I was paying attention to throughout the same times of the wii's release.
    I feel the Wii's awkward cycle was very overwhelmed by the massive hype of the CNN folks, nintendo simply took that "everybody likes video games!!!" opportunity more than they should have.
    Unfortunately with today's gaming society, there is almost too much choice and not enough time to play everything. take me for example, I buy a new title once every 3-6 months however I'm still behind, virtual console, 3DS, DS, Wii, iPhone, Steam, mac. There is very much to play out there, and therefore gamers want more and more and more. Nintendo can only produce so much, and when they do, it's not enough, even when there is more than that was asked for.
    Nintendo was a pioneer in times where they were mostly the market, but now the saturation and overgrown nature of mature gaming now populates the industry and the most talkative gamers are this crowd which demands their primal instincts are touched consistently, which nintendo's mellow nature does not do. (Chibi-robo does it for me...)
    The original great titles are still there, hidden, but still there. However, nintendo does make bad moves by not touching the community interests in favor a more closed platform (a.k.a. the apple model).
  Listen to RFN though really helps keep this feeling solidified. So, thank you guys for that, in my late 20's, I need it.

Happy 300th!

ejamerAugust 14, 2012

Quote from: Pixelated

Quote from: ejamer

Remember when Shaun White made the Balance Board cool again?

I'm confused on two counts. I wasn't aware that the balance board was ever cool, or that Shaun White of all people was involved in making it cool for a second time.

Any time I hear the words 'Shaun White' all I can think about is this

(YouTube link snipped)

Ain't nothing cool about that.

See, and this is my problem with the Wii generation: far too often, people judged without playing and weren't willing to try something new.

The Balance Board was cool in the way it brought video games to a whole new market. Having the opportunity to share something I love with friends and family who normally wouldn't be interested is the definition of cool to me - and the "exclusive" or "hardcore" culture that some gamers want to build up and cling to as a form of self-definition is bullshit from my point of view. The Balance Board also made people approach playing games from a different perspective, leveling the playing field so to speak. Yes, it was a total gimmick with an extremely limited range of use. But despite that, the Balance Board ended up with a small number of neat applications that were worth experiencing - with Shaun White being one of the best applications.

As for the Nintendo press conference being extremely lame, that has remarkably little to do with how much fun playing Shaun White can be with a couple of friends. Both on my own and with friends, in a party setting (with beverages) or in quieter moments, the two Shaun White Snowboarding games have been a huge success around these parts.

(I believe that Pixelated Pixes was at least half-joking with his response, but most people making those statements are totally serious. And they typically missed out on a bunch of really cool games because of those lame attitudes.)

Quote from: ejamer

But despite that, the Balance Board ended up with a small number of neat applications that were worth experiencing

Have you played Rock N Roll Climber? Not the best game, but absolutely worth experiencing if you have a Balance Board. :-)

It's funny how so many Wiiware games can simultaneously make me warn people that "it's not very good" while bringing a huge smile to my face as I recall the experience of playing them.

ejamerAugust 14, 2012

Quote from: Pandareus

Quote from: ejamer

But despite that, the Balance Board ended up with a small number of neat applications that were worth experiencing

Have you played Rock N Roll Climber? Not the best game, but absolutely worth experiencing if you have a Balance Board. :-)

It's funny how so many Wiiware games can simultaneously make me warn people that "it's not very good" while bringing a huge smile to my face as I recall the experience of playing them.

WiiWare was good for that. A lot of novel ideas that didn't necessarily translate into good games but were ridiculous enough to be worth checking out. Let's Catch is on my "to buy" list after hearing it discussed in a recent podcast... I mean, that story description... WTF?

Pixelated PixiesAugust 14, 2012

Quote from: ejamer

(I believe that Pixelated Pixes was at least half-joking with his response, but most people making those statements are totally serious. And they typically missed out on a bunch of really cool games because of those lame attitudes.)

I was of course half joking...but only half. I will admit that the balance board had some neat applications and I'm sure with a bunch of friends Shaun White was a hoot. I didn't mean to imply that either were of poor quality. I still maintain though that the Balance Board wasn't very cool (and that Shaun White the person is obnoxious). That probably has alot to do with how I felt about motion controls by the time the Balance Board was released. Any time I used my Balance Board I just felt...well, corny.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusAugust 24, 2012

This generation has been a strange one for me. While I was initially excited for the Wii and wanted one, circumstances had always pushed me back from getting one. For me, the DS had effectively filled in the Nintendo hole. Looking at the Wii now that I have access to one, it just isn't that appealing. Had I brought a Wii earlier, I would have been very dissatisfied with the whole experience. It just never had the one game the screamed "Get me, DO IT NOW" like the N64/GC before it by the likes of Goldeneye/Rogue Leader. While it had potential, it never set my imagination on fire.

However, instead of going PS360, I went PC/Mac instead which had more than satisfied the really "Big" game experience. It didn't help the PS360 looked like an endless desert of shooters of one variant or another. Sure there were a stand out here or there, but nothing ever worth buying a system for or dealing with the hang ups they had.

With the coming generation I looks to be a repeat with the 3DS filling Nintendo Quotient unless the economy drastically changes for the better.

In any case, congratulations on the big 3 double 0, but 5 hours....

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