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Episode 305: Xmas Eve-Eve

by Billy Berghammer, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - September 8, 2012, 4:07 pm PDT
Total comments: 30

Billy drops in to tell us about Paper Mario, Fluidity, and that other, RFN-less Penny Arcade Expo.

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With James on travel this week, we brought in the veteran RFN guest and world-renowned Nintendo guru, Billy Berghammer. It was good timing, because Billy just got back from PAX Prime 2012, where he played a couple of hot upcoming 3DS games in Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Fluidity: Spin Cycle. He also catches up with Nintendo Land and talks about the expo's slate of panels (nothing much for Nintendo fans!) and impressions of the Nintendo booth and other game exhibitions at the show. Gui finally catches up with the fantastic Virtual Console localization of Monster World IV, but he's much less happy with the DS sleeper hit known as Hotel Dusk. Jon rediscovers Monster Hunter Freedom Unite on his PSP, which leads us to preview the upcoming Monster Hunter 4 that will shake up 3DS in Japan at the looming Tokyo Games Show. Jonny completes the cycle with the astonishingly modern Wario Land (1) and a superb action-adventure remake, Ys: The Oath in Felghana.

Listener Mail was so much fun last week, we decided to dip back into the well. This week's letters cover the futility of fan-made game mods, the anti-Nintendo shadow conspiracy, controller options for Wii U backwards-compatibility, and the best/worst kinds of game bosses. Chip in your own ideas and questions for the RFN crew to ponder next time!

Don't forget to vote in the new RetroActive poll for which Kirby game we'll be playing together -- time is running out! And if you'd like to check out those sweet NWR podcast t-shirts, we'd really appreciate that as well. See you next week for a discussion of the hot new Wii U launch details from that September 13 press event!

This podcast was edited by Guillaume Veillette.

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

Glad0sSeptember 08, 2012

S-s-s-s-saturday? S-s-s-saturday?!?!? *mind blown*

Pixelated PixiesSeptember 08, 2012

No James makes me a sad Panda...but a new episode of NWR makes me an ecstatically happy Panda.

...I'm conflicted.

Glad0sSeptember 08, 2012

Can't you just be an emotionally middle-of-the-road panda?

Pixelated PixiesSeptember 09, 2012

Quote from: Glad0s

Can't you just be an emotionally middle-of-the-road panda?


No, because I'm a Bipolar Panda.

That you for speaking the truth on Fluidity on Wii, Billy.

I just finished Monster World 4 myself. The controls are a little chunky, and that third dungeon actually annoyed me due to its laberynthine design, but overall it is a very good game.

broodwarsSeptember 09, 2012

I really disagree with the sentiment that Wii games should be given special treatment in reviews due to the Wii's incredibly lacking technical prowess.  If they were to do that, it would be favorable bias towards Nintendo, which I know many on this forum wouldn't mind but still wouldn't be "fair."  Nintendo is the company this generation that chose to release a modified GameCube up against the PS3 and 360.  If it's entirely fair to praise the sales of the Wii against the PS3 and 360 as their competitor, it's equally fair to criticize Wii games for lacking the polish of their HD counterparts (which they are in competition with for sales).  An ugly game is an ugly game, regardless of platform.  There's simply no excuse for how bad most Wii games look, as we know Wii games can look good when designed with a mind to the limitations of the platform.

jimwood27September 09, 2012

I am one who has written in before about a media bias against Nintendo so I would feel differently than the cast does about it.  Yes, information from Nintendo is hard to come by but it shouldn't result in NWR/RFN completely outperforming the major sites who make a living covering the gaming industry.  I would guess a lot of readers/listeners are here because they can't find the coverage elsewhere (I know I am).  How is that acceptable from the other sites perspective?  It's Nintendo, not some no-name nobody.  They sold nearly 100 million consoles this generation but you would think it did Gamecube numbers (not that this didn't exist then either to some extent)


It's fine to be critical.  It's good to be critical.  But it's not good to be critical only to be dismissive.  That's where I feel the tone is different, Nintendo is more likely to have their stuff be dismissed immediately or can only succeed begrudgingly.  How soon after the SmartGlass announcement did people decree it the end of the Wii U?  Why did some people claim the 3rd party games reel at E3 2011 as looking worse than PS3/360 even though it was actual PS3/360 footage?  Why was the expanded market of the Wii such a bad thing but the expanded market of iOS so great?  It's because people see what they want to see.


Nintendo is rarely treated as part of the gaming industry.  This is partly, of course, Nintendo's desire to go against the grain and do their own thing but the rest of the industry and the media (which are kind of the same thing these days) want to keep pushing Nintendo further out into their own sector so they don't have to be dealt with anymore.  This isn't completely across the board, of course, but it just feels like it's more common than it isn't.


/fanboy rant

TheXenocideSeptember 09, 2012

So what was the Recent Nintendo release that turned into a fighting game?

Retro DeckadesSeptember 09, 2012

" So what was the Recent Nintendo release that turned into a fighting game?"

I'm wondering the same thing.

broodwarsSeptember 09, 2012

Quote from: TheXenocide

So what was the Recent Nintendo release that turned into a fighting game?

Based on the clues dropped ("major tent-pole title released this year") and Jonny's familiarity with it (as he had just finished the game before he lost his 3DS), I'm guessing that it's Kid Icarus Uprising.  I haven't finished that game, though, so I could definitely be wrong.

Pixelated PixiesSeptember 10, 2012

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: TheXenocide

So what was the Recent Nintendo release that turned into a fighting game?

Based on the clues dropped ("major tent-pole title released this year") and Jonny's familiarity with it (as he had just finished the game before he lost his 3DS), I'm guessing that it's Kid Icarus Uprising.  I haven't finished that game, though, so I could definitely be wrong.


I've finished it, but I don't believe that's the game they were referencing. I don't recall Uprising at any point resembling a fighting game. I'm super curious which game they were talking about though.

Pixelated PixiesSeptember 10, 2012

Quote from: broodwars

I really disagree with the sentiment that Wii games should be given special treatment in reviews due to the Wii's incredibly lacking technical prowess.


Completely agree. Although, I don't believe Jon was arguing that Wii games be given special treatment, but rather that they be reviewed for what they are and not for what they aren't. In order words, criticising a Wii game for being graphically inferior to a PC game would be like criticising a PC game for not supporting motion controls. They're going for different things, and the reviews of games released on the various platforms should take into account that fact.

Overall though, I agree with you that where there is commonality and as long as the comparison is constructive, it is right and fair to compare games released on different platforms.

geoSeptember 10, 2012

Glad to see jon loves some Monster hunter.  I'm glad one more person has 'cracked the code.'  Seriously people, give the game a try, play it!  Once it clicks for you, it'll become one of your top franchises.  It's so satisfying.

I'm not sure why this was clear to me at the time and seems to be confusing people now, but the game Billy meant (and I was thinking the same) is MGS4. If we implied or stated that it was actually a Nintendo game, that was simply misspoken.

TJ SpykeSeptember 10, 2012

I don't think there was any mention of Metal Gear, so that is why no one knew what game you were talking about.

TheXenocideSeptember 10, 2012

I got the impression it was RECENT recent. MGS came out in February.

TJ SpykeSeptember 10, 2012

Quote from: TheXenocide

I got the impression it was RECENT recent. MGS came out in February.

MGS4 came out over 4 years ago, you are thinking about MGS:SE3D.

KDR_11kSeptember 11, 2012

I still haven't played much of Dynastic Hero (the TGCD version of Monster World 3) so I'd rather pick that back up than go for MW4.


I'm not sure how much system power really warrants as far as review differences go. There are plenty of games that don't get even remotely close to using their platform's power (never mind the theoretical power of another platform) and yet are great games. If someone downgraded scores for e.g. Fluidity for its graphics he's a total idiot regardless of the platform the game's on.


And if we're going to complain about graphics, how about faulting all the games that use a smaller framebuffer than the output image would require (e.g. running at something like 1024x640 or whatever when the system is outputting an image sized 1280x720 or 1920x1080) or failing to reach the display device's framerate (60Hz or more).

Perhaps I made a mistake in editing, but I don't think so, I barely took out anything in that segment and I remember wondering what recent Nintendo game became a fighting game while Billy was talking.

mjafyxSeptember 11, 2012

Monster World 4 is awesome.
It was clearly the inspiration for Shantea and Monster Tale for the DS.

martySeptember 11, 2012

Great episode, I was only a little aware of the Ys series but would like to try it out now since like Zelda, minus puzzles, sounds like the Zelda games I love.

noname2200September 11, 2012

Quote from: marty

Great episode, I was only a little aware of the Ys series but would like to try it out now since like Zelda, minus puzzles, sounds like the Zelda games I love.

The Ys games are almost universally great (albeit never top-tier...outside of the music!), and Felghana's one of the better ones. You're in for a treat.

LithiumSeptember 11, 2012

for the longest time i never made the connection that "ease" was Ys because i only ever heard about that game series on podcasts XD

The "old dudes fighting" scene in MGS4 isn't particularly enjoyable to play, but it's so over-the-top that it kind of makes up for itself.

Do_WhatSeptember 14, 2012

The gaming press is made up entirely of the most hardcore of hardcore gamers, and so for the past bunch of years they've been holding this "nintendo has betrayed us" grudge. Not to say they're malicious towards nintendo, but there's no benefit of the doubt giving. Go back and listen to big podcasts around when Super Mario Galaxy 2 came out. The discussion was always "yeah it's good, but it really doesn't need to be on wii and it's mostly just a level pack for galaxy." It was much harder for good wii games to get press time because the press was too busy making jokes about how the wii collected dust (and this was years before the will was actually dead).
Also, from jump it was the "third party games don't sell on nintendo consoles" party. So something stupid like "Mad World" would come out, and instead of people recognizing that this particular game wouldn't have sold on ANY console it became a victim of third party wii game syndrome. I'm sorry, what box retail black and white ultra violent weird Japanese games have become million sellers on Xbox? Like, no one said that stupid Suda 51 game with the dick jokes didn't sell because it was on Xbox. It didn't sell because no one was interested in playing that.
Game writing is a victim of being super insular. It's exactly like comic book writing. Everyone knows each other, everyone has worked at every site/magazine and all view games in pretty much the exact same light. So there was never going to be someone or a group of people who were going to buck the trend when covering Nintendo.

LithiumSeptember 14, 2012

I'm going to have to agree with Do_what here, even after this episode im not entirely convinced that there is no bias against (modern) nintendo

ejamerSeptember 14, 2012

Bias, I'd agree. Grudge, I'm not so sure.


But Do_What has a great point in his last paragraph. I think that does influence how Nintendo has been viewed and rated and discussed generally, and most definitely how the Wii was covered.


It's interesting to see Galaxy 2 brought up in his post though. I seem to recall hearing the same type of comments, yet Metacritic has the game sitting comfortably at a 97% rating... not sure how to reconcile that. Are scores not really tied to personal enjoyment for big-name games like this, or was I misinterpreting/misremembering because I help a Pro-Wii chip on my shoulder?

yoshi1001September 14, 2012

For those looking into making games or learning game programming by example, I would suggest looking into the "Petit Computer" app on the eShop (also available as DSiWare). I haven't tried it myself, but it looks promising.

There's also a lot of tools for using existing engines with modern games that are free - it used to just be Lunar Magic (for Super Mario World) but know there's the various KazoWar tools for Poke-modding and the Reggie tool for NSMBWii.

ejamerSeptember 15, 2012

Quote from: yoshi1001

For those looking into making games or learning game programming by example, I would suggest looking into the "Petit Computer" app on the eShop (also available as DSiWare). I haven't tried it myself, but it looks promising.

Petit Computer is pretty awesome. It has some nice tools and features for working with sprites, and the language is given some convenient commands for working with DS controls (touch screen and buttons). BASIC isn't the best language for gaming in a lot of ways... but it's good enough that you can create some fun things if interested.


Some examples:

Jason Cirillo from Gaijin Games created a Petit Computer version of Zyrx and shared the QR codes via his Twitter account. (Google for the link.)
CPFace posted a fully documented platform engine that can be used to learn or as a framework to build on when creating your own game.
elecdil.blogspot.ca

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