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Episode 339: Ninstrodamus

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - June 2, 2013, 12:33 pm PDT
Total comments: 25

We now return to our regularly scheduled, annual tradition of doomed E3 predictions.

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Most of the RFN crew just had a week off, and with this being our last normal episode before E3, we're all eager beavers for Nintendo right now. Even in the usually dull period before that big event, we have some new games to discuss.

Gui is up first with a summation of his review for Lego Batman 2, the long-delayed Wii U port of last year's well-received adventure. It seems to be a good version of the game, but our editor is even more impressed by Lego City Undercover after playing this earlier game in the franchise. Jon has clearly been busy of late, but he does sneak in a few thoughts on the Marvel Pinball demo for 3DS -- noting that you may be better off just buying the full game. James glosses over his review copy of Murder Mysteries: Jack the Ripper (why-oh-why can't that be as cool as it sounds?) and instead pours confounded adoration over Asura's Wrath. Jonny joins the choir on Mario and DK: Minis on the Move, a fully loaded eShop puzzle game with enough modes to circumvent any specific frustrations. We then head back around the lineup so Guillaume can express his severe disappointment with The Starship Damrey, our first Guild 02 title, and Jonny gets a chance to characterize the rote experience of Uncharted: Golden Abyss on PS Vita.

The second part of this episode is all about E3 -- of course! We begin by rounding up the recent information on Nintendo's surprising effort to bring E3 demos to Best Buy stores around the continent. While everyone thinks it's a great idea, the actual implementation of this plan is considerably underwhelming. More importantly (based on the numerous requests from our listeners), we get into our annual E3 predictions. As James notes, it feels harder to pin down the possibilities this year due to Nintendo Directs and the Wii U's dismal performance so far, but we still manage to cover key topics like 3D Mario, Wii Fit U, Mario Kart, hardware announcements, and yes, Retro Studios. Everything we say will be proven wrong, but at least you only have to wait another week to see just how wrong we were.

The next time you hear from RFN, it will be E3 week. Expect multiple, shorter episodes with a rotating cast of NWR staff members and special guests. The home team might even answer some emails, so hook them the eff up, man! And if you'd like to hear more from the pirates of last week's show, check out the recent podcast episodes over at Crosstawk.

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

gamewizard65June 02, 2013

Alright, getting ready to listen! I love you RFN guys. :-*

SeacorJune 02, 2013

Jonny, I think your prediction of a Wii Fit U re-brand is on target.  The new name: Wii Shape U + Sports

gamewizard65June 02, 2013

I have the Marvel Demo on the 3ds and on the two tables that are playable, all 8 table views are included.

Also, when you are logged into Zen Pinball on the Wii U and you pick a table that you havn't bought yet, you are taken to the Zen Pinball on Nintendo's eshop and then you just have to click on downloadable content.

Pixelated PixiesJune 03, 2013

When I heard Jonny's prediction of a Wii Sports/Wii Fit hybrid my eyes widened. That is just such a great idea.

Gui raised the point that the match might not work because Wii Sports is primarilly multiplayer whereas Wii Fit is mostly single player. My original thought upon hearing the suggestion, however, was that 'Fit' and 'Sports' would work perfectly together because they compliment each other so well. Arguably, the problem with Wii Sports was that it was a mini game collection with litte structure or longevity, whereas the problem with Wii Fit was that it was more of a fitness tool than it was a game to be played with family. They both shore up each others' weakness. Having both in one package is, I think, a really exciting prospect.

I really hope that particular prediction comes true.

On the issue of the two new Smash Bros games, am I the only one who couldn't care less about having it on 3DS? The last thing I want from that series is a smaller screen and tiny buttons (and that's coming from someone who owns a 3DS but not a Wii U).

I think there could be evidence already that the Wii U Basic is not being re-filled, and could possibly just be coming out next week with an announcement of only Deluxe editions, with possible upcoming additional color/bundles.  I visit my local Target 3-4 times a week, and in the times I've looked at their ads, lately they've had several sales for the Basic bundle, including one week where it was $50 off, and another week where they offered either a copy of Madden 13 or Nintendoland free with the purchase.  Even with that, I always see the basics sitting there collecting dust, while I usually see 1 Deluxe Wii U at most.

I like Jonny's idea for Wii U/Sports in theory, as the core reason Wii U isn't lightning in a bottle like Wii with the mainstream market is because it isn't as clearly intuitive to use the Wii U gamepad as it was with the Wii Remotes.  The problem I see with his idea is that I don't know if Nintendo has figured out a compelling reason you'd need to use the Wii U gamepad for this type of game.  I remember back to the initial Wii U reveal, where one of their great big ideas for a golf game was to place it at your feet to show the ball/terrain below you as you swing with your remote. 

To me, the pivotal question that'll be asked if a Wii U Sports/Fit game we're made that didn't involve the Wii U Gamepad in some compelling way will be "Why does this need to be on the Wii U?".

Pixelated PixiesJune 03, 2013

Quote from: lolmonade

To me, the pivotal question that'll be asked if a Wii U Sports/Fit game we're made that didn't involve the Wii U Gamepad in some compelling way will be "Why does this need to be on the Wii U?".


I agree with you to a certain extent, but as far as I'm concerned there are plenty of Wii U games that don't 'need' to be on Wii U. I would argue that most third party games don't take advantage of the Gamepad. I might also suggest that Pikmin 3 (based on preview and demo info) doesn't seem to be making compelling use of the system's unique features. My stance on when system specific features should be utilised has always been the same, which is that those features should be used when and if it makes sense.

I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with you that there is no obvious way in which the Gamepad might make the Wii Fit experience better, but I also don't think that's necessarily a problem.

Quote from: Pixelated

Quote from: lolmonade

To me, the pivotal question that'll be asked if a Wii U Sports/Fit game we're made that didn't involve the Wii U Gamepad in some compelling way will be "Why does this need to be on the Wii U?".


I agree with you to a certain extent, but as far as I'm concerned there are plenty of Wii U games that don't 'need' to be on Wii U. I would argue that most third party games don't take advantage of the Gamepad. I might also suggest that Pikmin 3 (based on preview and demo info) doesn't seem to be making compelling use of the system's unique features. My stance on when system specific features should be utilised has always been the same, which is that those features should be used when and if it makes sense.

I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with you that there is no obvious way in which the Gamepad might make the Wii Fit experience better, but I also don't think that's necessarily a problem.


When I typed the quoted text, I was taking off my gamer hat and putting on my parent/average uninformed person hat.  I think people like you and me don't think "this game doesn't justify the need of the console" for the only reason as purchasing a system, but I've seen too many instances when I'm in gamestop, and a young child is crying to their father that they want him to buy a Wii U game for their Wii. 

I as a parent wouldn't want to buy a console when there's no obvious reason why I should get it.  When the Wii came out, it was obvious to me: There is no other system that features motion control and utilizes it to such a compelling degree (at the time) as Wii Sports, and everyone from my 5 year-old neice to my 85 year-old grandparents not only could understand how to play, but actively wanted me to bring over "the Nintendo" to their house when I came so they could bowl.

To capture any of that mass-market appeal, Nintendo needs to provide a reason why the Wii U is a must-have experience.  The Wii with the remotes and the Xbox 360 with Kinect did this, but the Wii U hasn't made a compelling argument yet. 

Pixelated PixiesJune 03, 2013

Quote from: lolmonade

To capture any of that mass-market appeal, Nintendo needs to provide a reason why the Wii U is a must-have experience.  The Wii with the remotes and the Xbox 360 with Kinect did this, but the Wii U hasn't made a compelling argument yet.


Perhaps it isn't the Gamepad that generates mass-market appeal. Perhaps what sells the system is in fact a Nintendo made sequel to Wii Sports/Wii Fit. Can you imagine if Nintendo were to offer a bundle which included a 'Wii Fit Sports' game along the lines suggested on the podcast, a Motion Plus remote, and a Wii Fit board? Can you imagine a big white box with the words 'Nintendo', 'Wii Sports' and 'Wii Fit' on it? That's bound to sell systems, don't you think?

Both Wii Sports and Wii Fit were hugely popular, and while it's unlikely that those brands will ever recapture the zeitgeist in the same way that they did in the previous generation, I do believe that there is enough residual recognition and affection for those games that a merging or rebranding of those series' could produce a system seller.

The two approaches are not, however, mutually exclusive. If Nintendo want to get the Wii U in to as many homes as possibile it will probably be necessary to release a broad range of games; from those which do fully utilise the unique aspects of the system, to those crowd-pleasers like Wii Fit which don't necessarily make good use of the gamepad.

As it ever is, the key to Nintendo selling systems is Nintendo releasing good games. Whether you play it with a standard controller, a Wii remote, a Gamepad, or telekinesis, the important part is that they're fun to play.

Leo13June 03, 2013

While talking about Mini's on the Move the DSi Ware game Link 'n Launch was brought up. As luck would have it, that game is FREE if you have 150 club nintendo points.

From what I remember of my time playing it, it's a good game! Not as similar as I remembered to that Minis on the Move mode that we talked about. The mechanics are a bit harder to wrap your head about (stay away, Jonny!) and I find the game overall much more challenging than that mode, but it's a lot of fun.

Leo13June 03, 2013

As for the Wii Fit cross Wii Sports conversation, instead of calling it Wii Fit Sports I'd call it Wii Sports Fitness.
As for the concern that there's no reason to buy a Wii U for it, what about this. My favorite feature of Wii Fit was going to the run mode or the step mode and having my wiimote's speaker blare out updates and commands so that I could switch the TV input to watch TV or a movie. Wii U could take it a step further. It could make every exercise playable/viewable on the GamePad only so that we could do our entire workout while watch TV (just like at the gym only no membership fees and no leaving your home).


Then if you really want to go crazy (and assuming the Wii U is capable of this and I don't have a clue if it is or not) make it so that you could launch Netflix or Hulu Plus through your Wii U (for anyone that doesn't have another means of streaming these to their TV) so that you can watch Netflix/Hulu while playing Wii Sports Fitness.


And if NOA feels really ambitious they could integrate Wii Sports Fitness with TVii (Do a lot of people like/use this?)


What do you guys think of all that?

Pixelated PixiesJune 03, 2013

Quote from: Leo13

Then if you really want to go crazy (and assuming the Wii U is capable of this and I don't have a clue if it is or not) make it so that you could launch Netflix or Hulu Plus through your Wii U (for anyone that doesn't have another means of streaming these to their TV) so that you can watch Netflix/Hulu while playing Wii Sports Fitness.


And if NOA feels really ambitious they could integrate Wii Sports Fitness with TVii (Do a lot of people like/use this?)


What do you guys think of all that?


+1 is what I think of that.

That's a great idea.

Leo13June 03, 2013

Glad to see someone else likes the idea!

broodwarsJune 03, 2013

I have to disagree with the notion that Uncharted: Golden Abyss is "the worst Uncharted game". That's impossible so long as Uncharteds 1 and 3 still exist, particularly Uncharted 1 with its boring combat arenas full of seemingly endless waves of goons.  :P:

AnGerJune 04, 2013

Quote from: broodwars

I have to disagree with the notion that Uncharted: Golden Abyss is "the worst Uncharted game". That's impossible so long as Uncharteds 1 and 3 still exist, particularly Uncharted 1 with its boring combat arenas full of seemingly endless waves of goons.  :P:

Still doesn't beat Uncharted 3 having the mostly dragged-out single player campaign, especially with the bloody ship graveyard section in the middle.

Let's just agree that Uncharted 2 is the series' best installment

On behalf of E3 predictions: I don't really want to predict stuff, because what I can predict right now is most likely what anyone can predict. Which no one will actually call "predicting", because it is known stuff. The only thing I dare predict is "X" not showing up.

On Retro: I think they're making something entirely new – probably something in the direction of an action RPG set in a (dark) fantasy world, much like their cancelled GCN project Raven Blade. While I'm not all too hot and bothered about this, I think this might just be the perfect addition to Nintendo's in-house portfolio.

jonkykongJune 04, 2013

On the topic of Mario Kart, what if they reinvented the series by rebranding it as Nintendo Kart?

I think adding Link, Samus, Kirby, etc. as racers and using those games to create all new courses and power ups would really spice up the series.

One of the best things about the Smash Bros. games is that it represents so much of Nintendo's history - bringing that to the Kart series could really give it a shot in the arm.

Leo13June 04, 2013

On the topic of Mario Kart. I like the idea of Nintendo Kart, but mostly because I think there are lot of people who will see Link on the box and want to buy it.


Personally i couldn't care less what the driver's face looks like. I pick based solely on characteristics.


I hope they do Mario Kart (or Nintendo Kart) more in the style of the N64's Diddy Kong Racing. At lease one specific part. I want the Boss Battles. Have the last track in each grand prix be a Boss Battle. As it is I don't plan on buying Mario Kart (I own Sonic & All Stars Transformed and like it A LOT MORE than Mario Kart Wii so I don't have the incentive to get the next version) however, if they did Boss Battles I'd be getting it for sure.




As for X, I hope you are all wrong. I had heard that it was coming out by Christmas and when I first heard that I thought there was no way, but I'd love for it to be the case. and obviously if it's ready by Christmas then they'll show more details about it in the E3 Nintendo Direct.

Pixelated PixiesJune 04, 2013

I'm digging all the love for Diddy Kong Racing that I've been hearing lately, both from Jonny on the podcast and elsewhere. Anyone who played that game with three other people back in the day will know that it is the best Mario Kart never released.

EnnerJune 06, 2013

Good to hear James enjoys Asura's Wrath. I have purchased and played through all of its DLC (US$15 in total) and the only one that is essential is the Part 4 DLC (~$7) that gives the game a proper ending. It's a bit gross that the true ending is DLC, but it does have some of the best and most outrageous sequences in the game. The Street Fighter cross over fights with Ryu and Akuma are clever and fun fights. The two x.5 episode DLCs are the worst as you are literally performing QTEs to have an FMV play to its end. The FMVs are animated by Studio 4 Degrees Celsius and look quite nice, but you can hardly notice the animation as you are too busy awaiting the next QTE prompt. The story of those FMVs are not vital to the plot of Asura's Wrath.

Quote from: AnGer

Quote from: broodwars

I have to disagree with the notion that Uncharted: Golden Abyss is "the worst Uncharted game". That's impossible so long as Uncharteds 1 and 3 still exist, particularly Uncharted 1 with its boring combat arenas full of seemingly endless waves of goons.  :P:

Still doesn't beat Uncharted 3 having the mostly dragged-out single player campaign, especially with the bloody ship graveyard section in the middle.

Let's just agree that Uncharted 2 is the series' best installment

That gives me pause from playing Uncharted 3. I despised playing Uncharted 2 by the end of the game. Looking at it was pleasant, I can give it that.

Uncharted 3 was funny. During the last level, which at the time I didn't know was the last level, I thought "Okay, I'm ready for this game to end now". And then it did.
It was literally just long enough to not overstay its welcome with me.

pokepal148June 07, 2013

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

Uncharted 3 was funny. During the last level, which at the time I didn't know was the last level, I thought "Okay, I'm ready for this game to end now". And then it did.
It was literally just long enough to not overstay its welcome with me.

so late to the podcast, late to the talkback... come on Lindemann

broodwarsJune 07, 2013

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

Uncharted 3 was funny. During the last level, which at the time I didn't know was the last level, I thought "Okay, I'm ready for this game to end now". And then it did.
It was literally just long enough to not overstay its welcome with me.

By contrast, I was ready for Uncharted 3 to be over by the time you reach the ship graveyard. Little did I know I was halfway through the game, & half of the game would be completely pointless.

Uncharted goes a long way on its great cut scenes. The gameplay does get monotonous, though.

EnnerJune 08, 2013

Based on my experiences with the back half/third of Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 1, the primary pillar of gameplay (the third-person shooting) becomes awful. You don't throw insta-kill snipers, insta-kill magnum wielders, insta-kill rocket troopers, two-shot grenade launcher troopers, ballistic armor shotgunners, shotgun rushers, and dozens of hardy grunts in nearly every enemy encounter and expect me to have fun. Do not get me started on the deplorable final boss fights on both games.

broodwarsJune 08, 2013

Quote from: Enner

Based on my experiences with the back half/third of Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 1, the primary pillar of gameplay (the third-person shooting) becomes awful. You don't throw insta-kill snipers, insta-kill magnum wielders, insta-kill rocket troopers, two-shot grenade launcher troopers, ballistic armor shotgunners, shotgun rushers, and dozens of hardy grunts in nearly every enemy encounter and expect me to have fun. Do not get me started on the deplorable final boss fights on both games.

Yeah...don't play Uncharted 3. All those things you just complained about are magnified by 10 in that game. Don't even get me started on the teleporting, shotgun-wielding fire demons.  ::) **** that game.

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