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Episode 342: China Don't Care

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - July 14, 2013, 9:14 pm PDT
Total comments: 36

We say goodbye to a podcast hero and then go full Japanese.

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This week's RFN begins on a melancholy note, as the crew mourns the untimely passing of Giant Bomb's Ryan Davis. We offer our thoughts on a podcasting legend who was gone all too soon.

But as always, there are games to be discussed. Thanks to the Fourth of July break we're all full to the gills with Freedom Fries, and whatever type of celebratory cuisine they enjoy up in Quebec. Speaking of Quebec, Guillaume returns in full force and kicks off a tour of Japan with his thoughts on the demon-taming mayhem that is Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS). Jon follows up with a discussion of Kokuga (3DS), the highly anticipated shooter brought to us by the creator of Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga. James then makes all of that look positively sane by comparison with tactical crossover RPG (yes, that's a genre) Project X Zone (3DS). Just when things are threatening to get a bit too Japanese, Jonny takes us back to the West side (arguably the best side, according to several rappers) with the Renegade Kid-developed titles Mutant Mudds Deluxe (Wii U) and ATV Wild Ride 3D (3DS).

We also hit the mailbag and discuss Nintendo's relationship with third parties, use of the Wii U Gamepad, eShop game prices, and relaunching Wii U.  It's a jam-packed show that you won't want to miss!

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

Pixelated PixiesJuly 14, 2013

All throughout last week I couldn't bring myself to comment on Ryan's passing. To be honest, I think I was in shock. As Jonny said on the podcast, the attachment that fans (as distinct from friends) all felt towards Ryan was one way, but it was no less meaningful. That guy gave me years of laughter and enjoyment, sometimes whilst events in my life conspired to make me unhappy, week in and week out I spent hours listening to him and enjoying his company. I was never able to speak back of course, but I definitely felt as though I got a sense of the man.

He truly will be missed.

Enough of the sappy stuff though. This is one of my favourite Ryan moments.

"Going into this?...I didn't know you were a wizard"

http://youtu.be/jsMrmkZzEHI

azekeJuly 15, 2013

I like the idea with bundling controllers.

But i think they should bundle wiimotes instead of pro controller. Cause pro controller u support is still spotty and all games that you'd want to play with friends are gamepad+wiimotes.

And that way people would actually be able to play fricking Mario game two player out of the box.

Also people can say that Iwata is a poor business and they definitely have a case here, but don't diss programmer Iwata. He's the reason why even Mario moves the way he moves.

For what it's worth, there seems to be three camps for what people will use the credit for:

- First party retail (Pikmin, Wonderful 101, Mario and Luigi)
- DLC (Fire Emblem, StreetPass games)
- Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies, since it's eShop exclusive.

KDR_11kJuly 15, 2013

I really want Steel Battalion U.

KDR_11kJuly 15, 2013

Hm, no edit button?

I think the reason that bad games don't impact the series sales until the next iteration simply is that you can't return a game after it turns out crap so the purchasing factors are advertising, word of mouth and the quality of the previous title.

eggface123July 15, 2013

Hey, can you turn down James Jones mic just a little bit? He gets so excited and has no volume control! Thanks!

EnnerJuly 15, 2013

I'm going to miss Ryan Davis.

On Kokuga: @Eribuster here; I responded to some of Jon's gripes with the game on Twitter. I bought it upon reading the review James Dawson review. I haven't played much of the game (Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Fire Emblem: Awakening are taking a lot of my play time), but I did manage to complete one of three non-VR missions. Sadly, the last phase of Final 1's boss was bewildering and I succeeded only through spamming power ups and luck. I've played through most of the VR/training missions and I come away disappointed on the game. The shoot'em up action is just really slow and the power up system means you are either relying on the main cannon for most of the mission or frantically dividing your attention between two screens. The slow movement of the tank means it is most efficient to engage at the maximum range possible which usually means shooting at enemies off-screen.

The game does have moments of tactical-ish shooting fun with nice explosions, tricky enemy encounters, and crazy bosses. However, the plodding pace and simple mechanics really mar the experience. Johnny spoke of ATV Wild Ride of missing one or two mechanics that would make that game fun and interesting; I think the same sentiment can be applied to Kokuga.

On SMT4 and eShop: There is a minor example of the digital version of a game achieving some sort of parity with the retail version. Project X Zone was released at US$34.99 on the eShop while the retail version with (throwaway) goodies was released at US$39.99. It is a minor difference of five bucks, but it's there.

Good show.

Leo13July 15, 2013

Where's this RetroActive poll? The last RetroActive gave me my first experience playing a MegaMan Game

broodwarsJuly 15, 2013

Just a note on the Email you received regarding Nintendo possibly releasing a Wii U without the GamePad: Nintendo would have to release a major firmware update first.  Right now, there are features of the Wii U that you outright can't access without the GamePad, such as the eShop.  Without a firmware update to add Pro Controller and Wiimote support, owners of that new bundle couldn't access those core features of the system.

We discussed a bundle that added a Controller Pro, not one that took out the GamePad. As Jonny mentioned, the Wii U is out, it has a GamePad, and we're more interested in discussing how it can be put to use than in see Nintendo abandon it.

The Retroactive poll is coming soon, we haven't solidified the finalists yet.

mjafyxJuly 15, 2013

The SMT4 book is actually a 175 pages strategy guide. I don't usually care much for artbooks and soundtracks, but this is quite nice.

MASBJuly 15, 2013

I listened to the show last night, just after it came out. In the letters section, I believe the gang talked about a Gamepad revision to make it more attractive, allow for purchase as a second Gamepad, etc. As  far as I know, Japan is the only region where you can buy a second Gamepad and that if it were an option in the US and other regions, it would sell for the equivalent for $130-150. Unless the theoretical revised Gamepad retails for $75 or below (and $75 is still somewhat nuts), the idea of a second Gamepad is dead to almost everyone anyway.

I just don't see why the Gamepad costs so much. Are they just trying to make back R&D money? Has the price of LCD screens gone up recently? There just seems to be no reason for it to be as expensive as it is. It's basically a controller with a screen on it that can wirelessly send/receive data (same as the WiiMote, only it needs higher bandwidth). No processing takes place on the gamepad, so the expense of a CPU/GPU, etc. doesn't factor in.

I realize that the past 10 years or so has seen the console manufacturers basically double or more the price of their respective controllers for slightly better tech than the late 90's (at least the Wiimote had some excuses for higher prices), but the gamepad has gone over the rails, doubling or tripling the prices over that.

Unless they address the price issue, they can revise the Gamepad all they and the fans want. It's still going nowhere as far as proliferation is concerned.

Yeah, this is what I want to know: what makes the Gamepad so expensive to produce? Somebody ask Iwata that.

CericJuly 15, 2013

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

Yeah, this is what I want to know: what makes the Gamepad so expensive to produce? Somebody ask Iwata that.

I thought the last quote we had was $80 for a replacement.  Which is only 20-30 dollar more then a PS360 controller.  Taking into account regular mark-up its easy to see its about where it should be.

Leo13July 16, 2013

Have you guys considered doing a new game for RetroActive? if we all buy a game at release we could all play it together and have the same discussions.


just a thought I know we've got quite a few options coming up if we want to do that.

kennyjJuly 16, 2013

I have to say, I was a little disappointed in the Gamepad ideas discussion. . . I kept wondering how many games you guys have played on the Wii U?


The best implementation I've seen for the Wii U Gamepad so far has been with Lego City Undercover. In my opinion, it's brilliant. It's the game I show people to sell them on the Wii U and the Wii U gamepad. You use your Gamepad as a communicator, as a "scanner", as a map, etc.


You also mentioned games not even using the Gamepad well for maps. Well besides LC:U, I found the map on AC3 to be incredibly valuable. It makes the game so much easier to play having the map ever-present. . .


As for the announced games? I'll admit they don't show off a lot of Gamepad use for the announced future releases.. at least not "deep experiences" (it's certainly used in LoZ: WW, Rayman, SMBW, Pikmin 3, etc.). I'd like to see more games that use it like Lego City.



I think the suggestion of dropping the Wii U gamepad from the console altogether is a bad idea for several reasons, but primarily because of this:

Think of how many games at E3 had one of the touted features be tablet functionality integrated into game mechanics. 

Whether or not you think gamepad play options are a good thing for gaming, it's something that's been heavily stressed at E3 (I know, mostly airstrikes).  That tells me the other console makers think tablet functionality is going to be an integral feature to next gen, so clearly Nintendo wasn't THAT far off the mark when making it a central feature to their console.

The difference is that Sony & Microsoft are assuming you already own a tablet.  This may be a better strategy on their part, as it limits the cost impact on their end, and I imagine there's good market saturation for people who own compatible tablets and are interested in gaming consoles.

It's not just tablets though, it's also phones. You can already get SmartGlass for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7/8 (at some point MS mentioned 17m downloads). Sony's app is also for Android and iOS, IIRC.

tchatenJuly 17, 2013

Not sure about you guys but I see SmartGlass not taking off it is pretty useless without the screen being a part of the controller - I don't want to have to balance a tablet on my legs or table next to me while playing a game.



What I do see as potentially cool is the ability for people to help you out remotely as you're playing. The map stuff is neat but won't really impact gameplay a whole lot, but somebody sending in help or leaving a hint from their smartphone certainly would.

Kytim89July 17, 2013

On the subject of Gamepad revisions, it would be nice if Nintendo took some design ques from Sony's Vita. That thing looks nice. However, this would raise the cost, but what I am talking about is a form facto of the Vita with the size of the Gamepad.

broodwarsJuly 18, 2013

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

What I do see as potentially cool is the ability for people to help you out remotely as you're playing. The map stuff is neat but won't really impact gameplay a whole lot, but somebody sending in help or leaving a hint from their smartphone certainly would.

The PS4 says "hi".  :P:

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

It's not just tablets though, it's also phones. You can already get SmartGlass for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7/8 (at some point MS mentioned 17m downloads). Sony's app is also for Android and iOS, IIRC.


That's a good point, and I meant to include smartphones in my statement.  There's such a large saturation of crossover consumers who play video games and own touchscreen smartphones that I think Sony & Microsoft did the right thing by not including any tablet with their systems and embraced the already large userbase that exists through current devices.

As mentioned in the podcast, it's a little fruitless to think about what it would be like if Nintendo used some of that R&D put in the tablet to beef up their system specs, but given the struggles they've had developing games in HD for the Wii U, i'm not sure if Nintendo would be up to the learning curve to produce better looking games than what they've got on the current system.

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

What I do see as potentially cool is the ability for people to help you out remotely as you're playing. The map stuff is neat but won't really impact gameplay a whole lot, but somebody sending in help or leaving a hint from their smartphone certainly would.

Are people actually gonna do that, though?

I really don't understand who these people are who have the time and the will to check on people's progress in a game they're not playing themselves at the time.

What are these jobs that people have that allow them to dick around on a tablet while they should be working?


I can't see myself using my phone while playing a game either. At least the gamepad is always on, and always right there in my hands. Waking up my phone every time I want to look at the map in a game is far less convenient than just pressing Select.

CericJuly 18, 2013

Quote from: Pandareus

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

What I do see as potentially cool is the ability for people to help you out remotely as you're playing. The map stuff is neat but won't really impact gameplay a whole lot, but somebody sending in help or leaving a hint from their smartphone certainly would.

Are people actually gonna do that, though?

I really don't understand who these people are who have the time and the will to check on people's progress in a game they're not playing themselves at the time.
...

You know who I could see getting the most out of this.  Siblings who do not live in the same house, Friends, Podcaster and Reviewers.  I know their has been some different times that if I could just boot up the game and show the other Casters what I was talking about it be easier.

TJ SpykeJuly 18, 2013

That is still a very small niche group of people, not something most people would use or even care about.

CericJuly 18, 2013

Quote from: TJ

That is still a very small niche group of people, not something most people would use or even care about.

True but its a small Niche group that probably also overlays a good amount of the small niche group that buys the most software.

Pixelated PixiesJuly 18, 2013

Quote from: Pandareus

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

What I do see as potentially cool is the ability for people to help you out remotely as you're playing. The map stuff is neat but won't really impact gameplay a whole lot, but somebody sending in help or leaving a hint from their smartphone certainly would.

Are people actually gonna do that, though?

I really don't understand who these people are who have the time and the will to check on people's progress in a game they're not playing themselves at the time.


I can only speak from my own experience, but there have been multiple occasions in which I've had to help people through certain games. There have also been occasions in which I have become exasperated with a certain game and would have quite gladly given up control in order to allow someone else to bypass it on my behalf.

Yeah but the examples given by devs at E3 are more on the order of "send your friend some supplies by touching the screen", nothing like "beat this section for him". And how bored do you have to be to actually log on and "send supplies"?

pokepal148July 19, 2013

Quote from: Pandareus

Yeah but the examples given by devs at E3 are more on the order of "send your friend some supplies by touching the screen", nothing like "beat this section for him". And how bored do you have to be to actually log on and "send supplies"?

if i can send him a bunch of grenades that may or may not explode the moment he grabs them im interested :D

Quote from: Pandareus

Yeah but the examples given by devs at E3 are more on the order of "send your friend some supplies by touching the screen", nothing like "beat this section for him". And how bored do you have to be to actually log on and "send supplies"?

Probably about as bored as you need to be to check Twitter, which people do dozens of times a day.

You're waiting in line at Starbucks, you pop open the app on your phone, check your friends list, see somebody online, tap on their name, and it gives you options to help them in game, leave a message, whatever.

It would take you about a minute, and would be a neat little diversion.  That's all this stuff has to be: a neat, bite-sized diversion.

I'm only in if I can sign-in while waiting in line, grief Jon with impuginity, and sign off.

kurona_brightJuly 20, 2013

There was a lot of talk about the $50 price on SMT: IV during this episode. I was under the impression that the increased retail price was due in part to the relatively fast release date in NA. It took around 2 months for IV to be released in North America (May 23 - July 16), which is considerably faster than the 5 months it took Persona 4 Golden to be released overseas (June 14th - November 20th). And if one wants to directly compare entries in the 'core' franchise, SMT: Strange Journey took 5 and a half months to be released here (October 8 - March 23), and Nocturne took almost 8 months to come over (and even more if you're counting the original release in Japan rather than the special edition version).
There was a lot of talk about how the extra $10 was justified by the goodies and extras one gets with the physical release, but do you think a faster release date overseas also helps to justify a price increase for what is a relatively niche franchise? (I know I sound like a gigantic nerd rattling off all these numbers, but I figured if I wanted to make this argument, I needed some data to back me up. :P: ) Granted, this argument loses power the further we get from the release date, but at the moment, I feel it's still a bit valid.

pokepal148July 20, 2013

Quote from: Crimm

I'm only in if I can sign-in while waiting in line, grief Jon with impuginity, and sign off.

pretty much my thoughts exactly

AnGerJuly 21, 2013

Replacing the Gamepad with a more "premium" model sounds like a plan. I recently got to try it and was shocked how much of a cheap toy vibe you get from it. Also, they should redesign the console or at least replace the 00's glossy finish with a high-grade matte.

pokepal148July 21, 2013

the thing with "tablet artillery" is that you will never see a game like zombiu running on that scheme because developers know that not everyone has a tablet/phone they can use.

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