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Episode 375: Whatcha Been Shipping?

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - March 23, 2014, 3:16 pm PDT
Total comments: 34

Our games range from old to recent and brand new, including a stunningly difficult new platformer. We also look at the state of RPGs on Wii U and respond to Smash Bros tournament backlash.

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The core group is back together again this week, and we came prepared for a fun show filled with games and hot topics to discuss! Gui is up first to tell us about his early exit from Bravely Default (after dozens of hours), plus a Virtual Console jaunt with Adventure Island II. James checks out the new 3DS eShop release, Yumi's Odd Odyssey, and he kinda hates it. But not everyone feels that way -- Danny gave it a very positive review here at NWR, and Guillaume seems to be enjoying it too. Jon gives us some news before Jonny wraps up New Business by revisiting Wii Fit U, the stealth release that just got a useful patch and continues to prove itself as a useful fitness product.

For the feature segment, we have a trio of special topics this week. First up is a discussion of RPGs and why they still aren't showing up on Wii U. Next, we parse out the mountain of feedback on our Smash Bros. comments from last week's episode. You'll never convert James, but Jonny at least tries to establish a diplomatic tone for this passionate sub-community. Finally, we celebrate Koji Igarashi's freedom and imagine what awesome project he might work on as a newly independent developer in Japan.

We'll get back into Listener Mail next week -- there are several great ones already lined up, but we'll always take more of your hilarious and provocative emails! And don't forget to vote in the RetroActive poll; there are only a few days left from when this episode is being posted, so do it now while it's on your mind. One more thing... he forgot to plug it last week, so in case you missed Greg's latest appearance on Radio Trivia, un-miss that right now!

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 PixiesMarch 23, 2014

I just want to point out that I'm 'That guy'. I've only ever played Chrono Trigger once, got to an end, and never felt compelled to go back. Same goes for Cave Story.

I've just never found multiple endings to be satisfying. I actually find that for me personally it detracts from most games, as I become anxious that I'm missing out by not playing through a given game in the optimal way. The result being that when I do reach an ending in a game I accept it as being my conclusion and move on to the next game.

The only exception I can think of was Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, which I did play through multiple times to see the various endings. It helped though that Shattered Memories was really short. I guess Chrono trigger can be pretty short too, but I'm also not that into RPGs.

Anyway, Just thought I'd confess.

Chad SexingtonMarch 23, 2014

Just follow up on the Melee discussion, if you watch Part 2 of "The Smash Brothers" documentary, the subject of using items in game comes up and is a big deal.  Basically, the East Coast players turned all items off and the West Coast players played with items on.  The legitimacy of the tournament results comes up and the need to standardize it became important.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ-wgY3zdj4&list=PLoUHkRwnRH-KTCH3tJ9WvsWWPEgUu-y6d

Chad SexingtonMarch 23, 2014

With me and my friends, we always played with all items off, except for Pokeballs. :)

And most of the time, we would play on Pokemon stages. ^_^

Invincible Donkey KongMarch 23, 2014

I enjoyed this episode immensely. Lots of funny material, and I'm glad to see I'm not crazy in hesitating to pick up Yumi's Odd Odyssey.

I'm also playing through Order of Ecclesia right now and holy shit, it's fantastic. I was on the outside of the "Vania" part of Metroidvania for so long but I'm so glad to dive right in to one of the best installments. It's a blast and I'm so glad that Igarashi is going to be free to be a crazy mofo. Prompt timing.

Curious to see what your list of the top Metroidvania games is, Jonny. Mind throwing it up?

Pixelated PixiesMarch 24, 2014

I'm still making my way through the podcast, but just thought I'd pop in with another 'I'm that guy'.

I Love running! Sticking on some 'Stiff Little Fingers' on my mp3 player and running along the river for an hour every couple of days is the best.

Between that and the 'multiple endings' question, me and Dr Metts are not seeing eye to eye this week.

:P

I wasn't really aware of what Yumi's Odd Oddysey was before this episode, and despite the overwhelming negativity from James the general description was interesting enough for me to go check out a video of it, after which I went on the eShop and bought it.

Play Aria of Sorrow if you can! Some of my favorite non-RPG ones are Shadow Complex, Strider, Outland, and Spider-Man Web of Shadows on DS. I'll talk about another one this week.

Pixelated PixiesMarch 24, 2014

Strike 3.

I thought 'The Smash Brothers' was very well made, lol.

This week's episode is weird.

Tyto_AlbaMarch 24, 2014

they did remove a couple of features on Wii Fit U, like the penguin-fish-catching-game, but not much and there are plenty of new things.

K-S-OMarch 24, 2014

I'm glad that Guillaume mentioned Pier Solar and Child of Light as examples of RPGs that are announced for Wii U.  Don't leave out the indies, man!

Thanks, I try.

While editing that part of the podcast I was thinking of arguments that didn't occur to me during the discussion. For one, it's kind of weird to compare the RPGs announced for the Wii U's first years and the RPGs announced for the 360 and PS3. We should be comparing to the PS4 and XBO. And the fact is, lots of things changed for RPGs in the past 8 years.

It might have been a coup for MS to have Square announce a port of FFXIII on the 360 back in the day, but Japanese RPGs, and especially the Final Fantasy franchise, don't have the cachet and console-selling power that they had back in the PS2 days. The only PS4/XBO JRPG announcement I've heard of is FFXV so far, and while some people are inexplicably excited for it, I think the low sales of Lightning Returns show that there's not that much of an appetite for that franchise anymore.

So I don't think the lack of JRPGs on Wii U is as damning as the lack of 3rd party support in general. In the case of RPGs, we're just witnessing the continuation of their migration to portables.

eggface123March 24, 2014

Nobody loves Meesta Jones! WHY!!!???? Is it because he is so little?! :-[

If you look outside JRPGs, there are a lot announced or expected for the other new systems.

As for the Smash Bros documentary, it's clearly a labor of love and I wouldn't take anything from the people who made it. I'm sure it's a big hit when screened at tournaments, because it's about and for that audience. The attempts to explain the game's appeal is hampered by extensive use of jargon and acronyms, so I think a movie like King of Kong does a much better job of creating general interest. The Robo-narrator is hard to understand, and off-screen game footage is wildly inconsistent, but it generally looks bad. On the other hand, I thought some of the players are well spoken and entertaining.

Yeah, outside of JRPGs, that was my point.

It doesn't make sense to harp on the lack of JRPG announcements for Wii U when in all likelihood there just won't be many JRPGs on this generation of consoles overall, and when their relevance for home consoles has been on a steady decline for the past decade.

JRPGs have moved almost exclusively to handhelds at this point. See: Vita, which has every wacky RPG out there because there's nothing else to release.

NeifirstMarch 24, 2014

I think the sales of the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD remake will be instructive as to how much love for the franchise still exists, not Lightning Returns. 

The $40 price tag will skew the results, though.

ResettisCousinMarch 24, 2014

Regarding the WiiU RPGs: it's been mentioned before and it's worth repeating. The entire segment of mid-budget retail games, especially from Japan, and especially that are then exported to the West, has fallen through completely. If those games are being made, they're on handheld. If they're exported, they're digital. I am sad about this. Wii had an outstanding lineup of fair-quality games matching the description (and the PS2 even more before that), including RPGs specifically. I remember thinking I'd trade in Rune Factory Frontier because when the inevitable Frontier 2 comes out on WiiU, they will certainly put the farm grid on the gamepad and how handy that would be. Oh how naive that was to expect. Fragile 2 set in a new culture like South America or Alaska? Arc Rise Extravaganza with an actually listenable localization?  WiiU has moved to to the hospice care facility, that's a certain fact. As for the outlook of niche games on console, or to an extent full scale Japanese console games as a whole, it is uncertain.

ShyguyMarch 24, 2014

Quote from: Pandareus

in all likelihood there just won't be many JRPGs on this generation of consoles overall, and when their relevance for home consoles has been on a steady decline for the past decade.

Which is a real shame as I've really come to like them in the past few years, but playing good ones involves tracking down used copies for old systems.

I'm still bitter that we're not getting Dragon Quest X on Wii U.

One of the problems with Melee tourney play is that there are a few techniques like wave dashing that are not simple to learn. One thing I worry about with the Wii U Smash, is that they will include a bunch of higher level play techniques that are not really spoken about.


The main thing a Smash Bros game should have is absolute simplicity in how to perform moves and techniques. Adding more complexity to the game is something I hope never happens. The best thing about Smash was that I didn't have to spend time trying to learn moves, I could do everything very easily from the get go.

anteojosMarch 24, 2014

Great work with the episode!

When the SSMB topic came up last week I was nodding passively, while I can appreciate all the skill demonstrated, dedication necessary to acquire that skill and enjoyment (plus cash) the pro players get out of the tourneys I agree with James and will add that I worry their version will leak and influence the design of what the game was initially designed to be.

Smash must have the element of randomness; random stages, random items.  This is how the game was designed to be played.  Likening it to sports, the pro version of soccer uses the same rules we use in our bar leagues, conversely, a game of poker on our 25-cent stakes table has the same element of randomness that the pro games have.

Just my two pennies.

p.s.
I also get bored from all the Foxes in tournaments.

RodrigueMarch 24, 2014

I'm a week late on listening to these episodes, but I would buy MP3s of Greg rambling about any topic.

RodrigueMarch 24, 2014

Quote from: anteojos

Smash must have the element of randomness; random stages, random items.  This is how the game was designed to be played.  Likening it to sports, the pro version of soccer uses the same rules we use in our bar leagues, conversely, a game of poker on our 25-cent stakes table has the same element of randomness that the pro games have.

Okay...
Now let's look at eSports. Starcraft 2, Dota 2 and LoL.

The most randomness you will get is critical hits in Dota and LoL as far as I'm aware, but they don't affect the games significantly.

If random items and hazard stages made for competitive tournaments then Smash Bros. would be played in tournaments with random items and hazard stages like it was on the US West coast initially. Unfortunately the guys on RFN don't seem to understand competitive games at their core. It's not really bad or surprising really, I realize there's a large gap between non-competitive and competitive gamers so I don't expect you to be experts on the topic, I just hate it when you talk about things like this because of it.

If you are concerned about the competitive players "tainting" Smash Bros. due to the competitive aspect, well, ever heard of Brawl? The one no one plays competitively because it's not as competitive as Melee? Remember the countless times Sakurai has said the competitive scene is not his focus? I don't really understand where this is coming from.

I hope that this new game will be viable competitively like Melee. If anything I am worried that it won't be competitive, and that Melee will be phased out, because it's a great, versatile competitive game. I don't see why you want to "sacrifice" the competitive scene when Melee was just as good as a casual game. There has always been the option to pick the stage you want and the items you want, solid mechanics will only improve the game.

I think it's a testament to how well-designed Smash Bros. is that it works and can be played effectively in such massively different ways.

mereelMarch 25, 2014

I'm curious whether any of the RFN crew listens to competing Nintendo podcasts. This one is heads and shoulders above the rest when it comes to 'contemplative podcasting,' but you can also be quite negative on Nintendo compared to the competition.
Anyway keep the podcasts rolling in. I love 'em.

SteëfosaurusMarch 25, 2014

Quote from: mereel

I'm curious whether any of the RFN crew listens to competing Nintendo podcasts. This one is heads and shoulders above the rest when it comes to 'contemplative podcasting,' but you can also be quite negative on Nintendo compared to the competition.

I found a lot of them are drinking cool-aid way too much.

Another problem (last few connectivity episodes were like that) is lack of anything to say. They just pick pick a subject and retread and rehash over the same overused opinions over and over and over.

There is nothing to say about this, move on.

I wish I automatically loved everything Nintendo did. Life would be easier and happier that way. We gotta keep it real though. They do a lot right and a lot wrong.

I think RFN strikes the perfect balance between positivity and criticism. Most Nintendo-specific podcasts seem way too fanboyish, and most general gaming podcasts either completely ignore Nintendo or give them way too much shit.

Pixelated PixiesMarch 26, 2014

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

I think RFN strikes the perfect balance between positivity and criticism.

Yup.

Plus, any real Nintendo fan knows that the Big N is as talented as it is idiotic. As a games company it's just as likely to frustrate as it is to delight. As a result, I've long since given up on understanding why Nintendo does what it does. I just try to take in what I do appreciate and reject what I don't.

Let me also say, if Nintendo was way more or less competent in either direction, we probably couldn't do a weekly podcast about the company and it's games for eight years. The weird, unpredictable, half-assed, half-genius nature of this company makes it perfect for our torturous examination every episode.

Pixelated PixiesMarch 26, 2014

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

The weird, unpredictable, half-assed, half-genius nature of this company makes it perfect for our torturous examination every episode.

This should be the new description for RFN. Imagine coming across that line in iTunes. How could you turn it up?

RodrigueMarch 27, 2014

Re: Bravely Default localization, they did add some unnecessary words in the localization, and sometimes had to lengthen lines to convey a meaning that is not directly translatable, but the total number of lines was the same.

fiendcodeMarch 27, 2014

Regarding Wii U Virtual Console RPGs, by the end of April America will have:

Breath of Fire II (SNES) Capcom
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) Konami
Earthbound (SNES) Nintendo
Golden Sun (GBA) Nintendo
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA) Nintendo
Uncharted Waters: New Horizons (SNES) Tecmo Koei
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES) Nintendo



Meanwhile Japan has all that plus these releases that are already in english in their original form:

Final Fantasy (NES) Square Enix
Final Fantasy II (SNES) Square Enix
Final Fantasy III (SNES) Square Enix
Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen (SNES) Square Enix
Secret of Mana (SNES) Square Enix

I think I've also reached my breaking point with Bravely Default. I haven't even gotten the "bad ending" yet. I hit a wall at the beginning of the Vampire subquest. It wants me to go kill six dragons in a row (oh wait, search the overworld for totems, THEN kill the dragons at each one). I'm kind of over it.

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