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Episode 425: Korn Hits the Road

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - April 12, 2015, 2:34 pm PDT
Total comments: 7

Gui plays a first-person shooter, on GameCube! Plus, your emails include the final Club Nintendo Elite rewards, Smash balloting, obscure rock band adventures, and Splatoon's voiceless online modes.

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It's time for another cartoo-oo-oon! Jon is back with both a vengeance and his thoughts on Axiom Verge -- good to hear from another satisfied Metroid fan. Guillaume makes good on a dare by playing a first-person shooter, on GameCube no less! But it's Geist, and as you may recall from our (pre-Gui) two ancient RetroActive discussions, that game is a fascinating mess. Jonny checks in on Elliot Quest, finishes Majora's Mask 3D (Oni-less), and returns to Box Boy for a more substantial look. All in all, this is a weird bunch of games for New Business, and James completes the set with Inazuma Eleven for DS... I mean, 3DS.

We're still lagging on the deluge of emails coming in since Nintendo decided to make the spring season interesting. Thanks for your patience -- more to come! But we did manage to address the last-ever Club Nintendo gold and platinum rewards, our picks for the Smash Bros. fighter ballot, a flight of fancy into gamifying some favorite rock bands, and that old chestnut of Nintendo skipping voice chat in a major online game (Splatoon, this time around). Please do keep sending those emails, which we love and cherish!

It's still a ways out, but with a game as big as Twilight Princess, this isn't too early to start playing along for RetroActive. As your thoughts and questions form, why not deposit them in our convenient forum thread for future podcast discussion? Yes, just like that.

Oooh, one last thing! Did you know that RFN has a team in the ongoing Smash Bros. online tournament, where we face off weekly against our Nintendo World Report friends? It's very dramatic and hella entertaining, especially with audio commentary from Scott and Neal to help explain every match. Check out the first few rounds, and keep up with the latest results on our NWR TV channel!

This episode was edited by Guillaume Veillette. The "Men of Leisure" theme song was produced exclusively for Radio Free Nintendo by Perry Burkum. Hear more at Bluffs Custom Music.


TOPHATANT123April 12, 2015

Level 5 also announced Yokai-Watch:Busters and bizarre new ip Snack World for 3DS so they haven't completely jumped ship, but man Layton 7 was a huge punch to the gut. One of my favourite franchises of the DS era reduced to a cheap cash in reminiscent of the original Layton series in name alone. Which is why I will also be voting for him in the Smash Brothers fighter ballot.

ClexYoshiApril 12, 2015

I... I feel really split on Axiom Verge and that bothers me. Like, 2 playthroughs later, and there are design decisions that I really do kinda bemoan... and it's stuff that's deliberate design choices at leave me feeling... Frustrated? headachey? at the end of sessions... but at the same time, I keep playing while Codename S.T.E.A.M. and Bloodborne sit on the sidelines! X___X;;

A lot of what I'm going to be talking about is later game stuff, so I'm going to spoiler off my bitching.

The big giant snail head HR Geiger weird thing is insufficient as a method of fast travel, and I didn't even figure it out my first playthough and MANUALLY FILLED OUT ALL THOSE MAP SQUARES  in the area it's in via launching drones and teleporting to them to fill in the squares.

There are several instances where I feel the game does a really awful job at conveying things or sends you on wild ass goose chaases, such as the infamous Glitching the one pool of pink stuff that you can suddenly glitch even though you couldn't do that to other pools of liquid, or the random room that has the Rulaski that they stop you to give you a dialogue scene about them. yeah, I get it's a character you learn a bit about via the logs you find, but that room is otherwise superfluous and I wasted a ton of time trying to do stuff around there to no avail, especially since it seems like the ending is not a good one at all and I felt like I did something wrong that wasn't speed-running the game.

I do not like that the game saves when you die. This makes me not want to even attempt the almost invincible trophy, as short of yanking the PS4 out of it's socket, there is no way to quickly turn the system off when attempting not to die in a VERY long game with some bosses that do not go down easily unless you've collected all the power-ups you possibly can. (For example, there's a boss where the Hypo-atomizer just wrecks it like it's child's play, but it only does so if you've gotten all the size and range ups you've encountered up to that point. otherwise, you're stuck trying to fight that guy with the Nova and that's kinda a nightmare)

I know it doesn't count towards completion percentage, but I really, REALLY do not like that there are RNG elements in the form of the secret worlds. the only way to even get a hint at where your secret worlds might have spawned in any given playthrough is to keep a look out for a particle effect that sorta looks like Scanlines. Finding these secret worlds is a needle in a haystack experience, because they can literally be anywhere besides maybe boss rooms.

I think there's a little bit too much game here for mine or Tom Happ's own good. this game is ludicrously big, and it's scary how much content is hidden via "Take a random guess and teleport into this wall/floor! into a 2x2 space that looks like it's solid wall but it's actually drillable blocks or just foreground!" This is all stuff that I'd be willing to swallow if right in front of Athetos' boss room you found an upgrade that basically gave like... an item checklist of reach region. not an actual marker or anything like Super Metroid just a... "You're missing 2 health shards, a power shard, a new gun, and 2 journal logs in this region of the map!" would be so helpful! you don't even have to tell me about secret worlds, just give me a hint at least!

Everything about the passcode generator besides maybe the Justin Bailey easter egg is awful. maybe if the menu better organized the journal entries would I think that using the passcode generator to decode them was a neat idea, but this isn't the case, and more often than not I lose track of what entries were in what language and what order i got them in and Agh! For some reason putting in a password of "AXIOM*-******" disables your ability to get trophies for the rest of that save file's playthrough. and then there's the wall passwords. These are almost cool in that they remind me of some La Mulana levels of puzzle solving by trying to get them from a cipher in a journal entry or by using the address disruptor on a random bit of environment and taking a screen shot, but the problem is you have to remember these random mess of characters and then try and type them into the Passcode generator before you forget them. do yourself a favor and open up a word document or take out a piece of paper, as I feel Tom Happ was trying to invoke the days when you had to write shit down. between this and the lack of information the map often gives, especially if you don't have the right upgrade to traverse a secret world. God forbid if you forget what wall you passed through to get to it.

The game's story is INCREDIBLY pretentious and left a bad taste in my mouth. I get that this is kinda Tom Happ's way of saying "reality works how we perceive it to work" and that the game delves into theories of Schrodinger's cat and all sorts of stuff, but the especially frustrating part is how stupidly abruptly it ends and some of the glaring holes that the game leaves, especially with the gobbletygook journal entries. The Rulaski do not make for likable characters, and neither does Trace, really. The game ends VEYR suddenly and it doesn't feel like it was built up properly at all. it makes me wonder if there's an optional final boss that Tom Happ has somehow hidden from us along with the gun that supposedly nobody has been able to find although I've seen people with the seeker gun you apparantly can get from a secret world.

And that brings me to my final complaint; the guns.  Yes, there's a lot of them, and there are situations where each one has their place befroe ultimatley getting outclassed by something else you find or something, but I feel that with the guns' lack of progress gating (I think the Nova and the Kilver are the only two that are used for any sort of mandatory progression) I really question why there is no new game + that carries over your guns and maybe the number of certain upgrades you've gotten? after all, I had a glitch occur one time where my shots got SUPER blimped up for a room like I had just picked up like... 6 or 7 shot size ups or something. I'd love to have had more of the game to fiddle around with stuff like the Ion blast and the Flamethrower some more or the Reverse slicer, which is a gun you get literally 3 rooms before the final boss. it makes little sense, unless the passcode generator can be used as a debug tool of sorts so you can cheat some guns onto yourself that you don't get until later, I feel like the game does a VERY poor job of getting you to experiment with the arsenal a bit more.

I mean, I'm still playing the shit out of the game, and I want a file where I get the Heat Seekers so I'll keep on pixel hunting for scanlines, but it's just... it's getting demoralizing.

My suggestion to people who pick this up on the good doctor and Lindy's suggestion is to finish it; DO NOT seek completion with this one. you will not squeeze more fun out of it like you will with something like Shovel Knight or Freedom Planet.

Evan_BApril 13, 2015

I mean, Shovel Knight isn't even that fun to play through without a completionist mindset so I can't imagine Axiom Verge being much better.

KisakiProjectApril 13, 2015

Geist sounds so bad...I should play it some time for the LOLs.  I think my buddy still has his copy.  Guillaume should play The Conduit 1 & 2 next.

ClexYoshiApril 13, 2015

Quote from: Evan_B

I mean, Shovel Knight isn't even that fun to play through without a completionist mindset so I can't imagine Axiom Verge being much better.

Ignoring Evan's disdain for Shovel Knight on the whole, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Super Metroid is one of the first games I felt a better incentive to find everything in. Sure, I had done 96 exits in SMW, 120 power stars, did 100 score on every level in Yoshi's Island by the time I picked up Super Metroid for the first time (Was in 1997 or 1998 if I remember right. my neighbor's dad used to LOVE Super Metroid and I wanted to get it and try it myself for the SNES.) Sure, you don't need all the extra energy and missiles, but it was satisfying to find them all, and while it was a challenge, it wasn't a true bother because the map would put markers where you found stuff and there were tools for figuring out the false walls like the X-ray scope or Power bombs.

Super Metroid doesn't rely on a lack of tools to find things and RNG to throw you off the trail to true completion.

Evan_BApril 13, 2015

I do very much want to play Axiom Verge when it is released on Vita, I just can't imagine Shovel Knight being fun from a completionist standpoint.

I think that Super Metroid is just the right size, but I disagree about it's collectables being easy or fun to find. The X-Ray visor makes things more manageable but only a bit. However, it's a bit easier to stomach because of the scale of the game.

SorenApril 13, 2015

BoxBoy's music goes from nice to totally annoying worst thing ever the moment you're stumped on a puzzle. Thankfully this doesn't happen that often. Unfortunately that's because the game is a bit too easy.

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