Episode 317: Highway Through the Great Divide

by Michael Cole, James Jones, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - December 9, 2012, 6:13 pm PST
Total comments: 18

New Business stretches across segments, and we lament the passing of a beloved magazine.

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Our buddy TYP stops in this week to help us catch up on the biggest Nintendo game of the fall, New Super Mario Bros U. We're all positive on the game, though there is some debate over just how momentous this release could be. He also provides some Nintendo Land anecdotes and highlights a forgotten 3DS Virtual Console game, Balloon Kid. Having finally completed all the setup and transfers for his Wii U, Jonny finally delves into Assassin's Creed 3 and also revisits Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Guillaume would have talked about Little Inferno and Trine 2, if his audio for this segment hadn't been lost. So just imagine that he likes both of those games.

We got a bit carried away with all the new games in that first segment, so James was bumped into part two, kicking off the latter half with his long-awaited impressions of Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. Is it possible to finish a game twice and feel like you've only scratched the surface? Apparently so! From there, we tackle a couple of current events. The first is the noble demise of Nintendo Power, the official magazine for Nintendo games in North America since 1988. Not every fan was into the magazine, but those of us who grew up obsessing over every page have good reason to feel wistful. Finally, we present an overview of the Nintendo Direct announcements (mostly release dates and delays) and discuss the state of Nintendo's lineup for early 2013. Here's a good summary of that outlook:

Be sure to check out TYP's latest episode of the awesome Radio Trivia: Podcast Edition, rate and review both of our podcasts on iTunes, and send in your questions and ideas for the next Listener Mail! Also, don't forget that the Live RetroActive is coming up in just a few weeks, so it's a good time to start playing through Majora's Mask, especially if it's your first time. Thanks for listening!

This podcast was edited by Guillaume Veillette 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 Sony Masterworks and is included under fair use protection.

Talkback

ShayminDecember 10, 2012

Lost audio: Now we KNOW Guillaume's arrived as editor. :p

cL7oudDecember 10, 2012

you're not fooling anyone guillaume, we know you trashed little inferno  :)

supergttDecember 10, 2012

is that a dune shoutout? awww yea

azekeDecember 10, 2012

Quote from: supergtt

is that a dune shoutout? awww yea

I thought it was Avatar shoutout (haven't actually listened to it)?

Pixelated PixiesDecember 10, 2012

New Gospel, lmao.

Moving on.

Out of interest what is it about NSMB U that makes it better than the other NSMB games? I get that it has a much more involved and interesting World Map (something that isn't all that enticing to me). What else about it distinguishes it substantively from it's predecessors? It was said on the podcast that NSMB U makes little improvements in several areas, but if it's simply a slightly better version of NSMB Wii then I can totally understand why some reviewers would be less enamoured with it.

I should say that I have not yet played NSMB U. I'm just genuinely curious as to why people feel it is dramatically better than the previous NMSB games. It might just be (as TYP put it) that the veneer it putting me off, but I've yet to be convinced by any reviewer that U is substantively different from the previous games.

EyothrieDecember 10, 2012

Something's Phishy about the episode title..

CericDecember 10, 2012

Quote from: Shaymin

Lost audio: Now we KNOW Guillaume's arrived as editor. :p

That reminds me when we lost Austen First half...

broodwarsDecember 10, 2012

Quote from: Ceric

Quote from: Shaymin

Lost audio: Now we KNOW Guillaume's arrived as editor. :p

That reminds me when we lost Austen First half...

Well, we had a backup recording, so we got that content back.  ;)

CericDecember 10, 2012

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: Ceric

Quote from: Shaymin

Lost audio: Now we KNOW Guillaume's arrived as editor. :p

That reminds me when we lost Austen First half...

Well, we had a backup recording, so we got that content back.  ;)

Luckily were were testing the recording Backup.

lolmonadeDecember 11, 2012

I think TYP has more closely reflected my feelings on New Super Mario Bros U than anyone so far: the hyperbole about it being the new incarnation of Mario world is a bit much, but it is by far the best of the New Super Mario Bros titles, despite the music being recycled from the last two games.

James' description of the game he's playing makes me curious to check out that series.  The prior entry was 999, correct? 

RazorkidDecember 11, 2012

999 was the previous game and it is great!


I was right there with Johnny over the impact Nintendo Power had on his life.  NP was my ONLY gateway to gaming at large.  My family was poor and I got a new game once every year, so I consumed games through Nintendo Power.  I can't tell you how many times I would pour over those pages, cover to cover, memorizing and agonizing over every detail. I will definitely be getting that last issue.


It sucks that Guillaume's audio was lost for the first segment, I really wanted to hear his impressions of NSMBU, especially after I began following his exploits on miiverse. 


I don't get why you guys (and a lot of podcasts, too) can't just say that some of the games in Nintendoland are just fun to play. It's obvious that the game is pretty universally enjoyed, preferences notwithstanding.  But why does most people, when talking about it, seem to temper their enthusiasm during the discussion because it's a collection of mini games? Then complain that they take too long to play?


I still don't understand why people hate on Yoshi's Fruit Cart, its so fun! And once you've cleared the first 20 stages, you can warp straight to level 20 from level 1.  Why complain that you have to play through it all at once? It takes like 30min of dedication, which is waaay more than your average play session. Anyway...


I really want you guys to play ZombiU, I hope someone on the cast gives it a try, I'm always keen for more actual discussion of it and NOBODY is talking about it in other podcasts (besides Connectivity :cool; ).

That trumpet killed me Guilluame, both at the beginning and end.  Was almost worth the missing audio ;D .

CericDecember 11, 2012

Quote from: Razorkid

...
I don't get why you guys (and a lot of podcasts, too) can't just say that some of the games in Nintendoland are just fun to play. It's obvious that the game is pretty universally enjoyed, preferences notwithstanding.  But why does most people, when talking about it, seem to temper their enthusiasm during the discussion because it's a collection of mini games? Then complain that they take too long to play?


I still don't understand why people hate on Yoshi's Fruit Cart, its so fun! And once you've cleared the first 20 stages, you can warp straight to level 20 from level 1.  Why complain that you have to play through it all at once? It takes like 30min of dedication, which is waaay more than your average play session. Anyway...
...

Once I find some music NFR10 will be out.  I tend to defend Nintendo Land for what it is.  Though Yoshi Cart is fun in its own way.  It be nice to finish it.  My family was watching last time I played and they seem to enjoy watching it.

leahsdadDecember 11, 2012

Re:  The "Tablet" controller and its fidelity/power mentioned by Jonny

I've also noticed this, but having tried Netflix, Youtube, and the Internet browser on the Gamepad, I'm also amazed by how fast they are.  I've got the brand new Ipad 4 and I've spent a lot of time with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and the Gamepad beats those tablet devices easily, hands down.  Especially surfing the web.  Pages load so incredibly fast--- I think webpages load about as fast as Chrome on my quad-core overclocked PC, and definitely faster than Firefox.  But Netflix, I've noticed, is a lot faster once the app actually launches-- you can scroll through pages, open new genre pages, VERY quickly.  Once again, faster than my Ipad 4.  Significantly and noticeably.

Of course, I know why this is:  the gamepad is NOT A TABLET.  It is connected to a console which for obvious reasons has a lot more power than an Ipad 4 or any other tablet.  But because you're only holding the gamepad in your hand, it gives off that illusion of being a tablet, and probably the fastest tablet on the market on that.  It doesn't help that like many of the douchebags who buy Ipads, I use mine predominantly in the home, on the couch or in bed.  So I'm not affected by the whole "Well, I can't take this Gamepad to Starbucks and use it."

Maybe you'll get more Nintendo Land impressions after the holidays, RazorKid. I still haven't played these games with people, which I guess says something about my social life. ;-)

As far as the single-player games go, I find myself not playing them as much as I would have thought. Part of the reason why is having to start from the beginning of F-Zero, DK or Balloon Trip every time. Part of it, weirdly enough, is the fact that it's on disc: I find myself ejecting the disc when I'm done with it because it never stops spinning, even when outside the game, and the noise annoys me. Then, when I pick up the tablet for a quick play session, it's easier for me to start one of the games on the onboard memory. ESPECIALLY if they have off-TV play, like Mario, Sonic Racing or Nano Assault.

I'm glad the sad trombone is appreciated!

As far as NSMBU goes, I think TYP had fair points. SMW absolutely did have more secret exits which were awesome to find. Nintendo seems to think the Star Coins are adequate substitutes most of the time... and they kind of are, sometimes. The hard to find ones are. I'd still rather have one well hidden secret exit over the occasional well hidden coin and a hundred ones that are in the game just because "every level is supposed to have 3 of them".

Pixelated Pixies - If you are really sick of Mario, no, NSMBU isn't the revolution you want and wouldn't change your mind. But for fans of the 2D platformers, it's the best 2D Mario game in a looong time and it gives us what we want, mostly.

CericDecember 11, 2012

I think the Star Coins are a poor substitute.  Its awesome to find a different way out.  Finding a Star Coin feels like collecting a regular coin only bigger now.  They don't even necessarily clap like they do when you do something difficult. 

I agree that Nintendo Land should have came on the System for the Deluxe.  I don't really notice mine spinning the disc very much at all.  If I'm going to just do something fast I'll boot up Nano Assualt.

Hey RazorKid, I'm not sure what you want us to say about Nintendo Land. It seems that virtually everyone who's spoken about it on RFN has appreciated it in some way, usually in several ways. It's a difficult game to describe succinctly due to its broad, uneven nature. And we regulars haven't yet had much chance with its multiplayer modes, so that probably explains why we aren't jumping around exclaiming the game's overall virtues. That's not to say we don't like it, just that we haven't played enough of it. I think we are treating it like we would any other game, given the circumstances.


I will say, in all seriousness, that the Plinko/Peggle game to earn prizes might be my favorite part of Nintendo Land so far. But there are still several attractions I have barely touched or not at all. Yet.

Glad0sDecember 13, 2012

Absolutely fantastic episode, guys. That Nintendo Power discussion was one of the best, most emotional things I've ever heard on the podcast. Jonny's getting choked up was...well, geez, the saddest thing I've heard since James' getting choked up while talking about Greg.

And yes, the trombone during the intro was LOL-tastic.

RazorkidDecember 14, 2012

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Hey RazorKid, I'm not sure what you want us to say about Nintendo Land. It seems that virtually everyone who's spoken about it on RFN has appreciated it in some way, usually in several ways. It's a difficult game to describe succinctly due to its broad, uneven nature. And we regulars haven't yet had much chance with its multiplayer modes, so that probably explains why we aren't jumping around exclaiming the game's overall virtues. That's not to say we don't like it, just that we haven't played enough of it. I think we are treating it like we would any other game, given the circumstances.


I will say, in all seriousness, that the Plinko/Peggle game to earn prizes might be my favorite part of Nintendo Land so far. But there are still several attractions I have barely touched or not at all. Yet.

That's fair and maybe I'm just running my gaming podcasts together also.  I keep forgetting that you guys aren't beholden to play EVERYTHING that releases and you only have so much time to devote to things, especially a game that is only partially single player focused. I guess my complaint is more towards gaming culture at large (podcasts, forums, etc,) than you guys specifically.  Valid criticisms aside, I just wish others would judge the game on what it is and trying to do (semi-deep vignettes of gaming and novel local multiplayer) instead of what they think it should be.

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