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Episode 429: Valkyrie Needs Bucket Badly

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - May 10, 2015, 6:30 pm PDT
Total comments: 21

A first-time guest brings New (Leaf) Business, while we check out PuzzDra, HarmoKnight, Kerbals, and a lot of retro games. Plus: the debut of Silky MC, James's cure for your backlog, Gui's hope for Splatoon, and Kojima's future with Nintendo.

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Guillaume revs up this episode with a fresh look at ExciteTruck and the cult hit Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes that started on DS before getting a sluggish console port. Next is our special guest, Karen, who finally makes an appearance on RFN after years of being mentioned in Gui's multiplayer impressions. They've both been playing free digital copies of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Karen explains how it's the perfect follow-up to their Tomodachi Life antics. James celebrates the official launch of Kerbal Space Program by getting extremely addicted to this PC simulation, but he breaks free long enough to revisit the original Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. Jon tried the new demo for Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition on 3DS, and it leaves him with more questions than answers. Jonny closes out this first segment with a take on Nintendo's own "endless" runner, HarmoKnight, plus quick thoughts on dredging Typing of the Dead: Overkill from his Steam library.

That's not the last mention of Steam either, because Listener Mail gets straight into our shameful backlogs and how each one of us tries to hold back the surging tide of games. You'll also hear an extended preview of our hopes and fears for Splatoon, especially after its own Direct and surprise beta test. Last but not least, we give serious thought to the potential for Hideo Kojima to come work with Nintendo in his post-Metal Gear career phase. Ridiculous? Maybe not.

We love hearing from all listeners, so please send your own email to the show! Also, the tentative date for RFN RetroActive is set for the week of May 25th. If you've already started playing Twilight Princess, keep going -- this is the home stretch, and there's so much to consider in this huge and complex game. If you have any particular thoughts or just need a helping hand, this is your new favorite bookmark.

This episode was edited by Guillaume Veillette and Jonathan Metts. Now Playing was produced by Jon Lindemann and James Jones. The "Men of Leisure" theme song was produced exclusively for Radio Free Nintendo by Perry Burkum. Hear more at Bluffs Custom Music.

Talkback

BeautifulShyMay 11, 2015

My problem with FFCC was that my friends were all dickheads and we'd get into 10 minute arguments about who's turn it was to be bucket bitch without revealing our optional objectives. also, none of my friends ever wanted to carry the bucket, or when they did, they'd troll us by kinda yanking the bucket away when we'd get to fighting a guy.

I still have my copy of FF:CC, but sadly, my case got destroyed one night when my dog got very sick and... uh, yeah. :C

KDR_11k¸May 11, 2015

I have 111 hours in Kerbal Space Program but so far have been unable to actually get to the Moon and get home alive.

I got stuck in high orbit. The low point is only 93km but the high is over 2mil.  The great kerbal space race has been an unmitigated failure. We don't have the technology to stage a proper rescue. Jeb, we will never forget your bravery...when your orbital rotation brings you over our skies

KDR_11k¸May 11, 2015

So long as you aren't too far away from the low point it is feasible to get out and manually push yourself back to Kerbal.

Guys, guys... while PuzzDra Mario Edition doesn't do a great job of explaining its mechanics, it at least mentions them. Something you didn't mention at all was the special skills each party member has, which can be accessed when you match their element coin enough times. They do things like turn all the coins of a specific color to another one, which can cause huge combos and clear the entire board, or heal, or defend you. It's a pretty crucial part of the game and the most effective way of moving through the advanced part of the demo. Give it a shot since the menu is also not timed and you can look at any number of skills.

Anyway, great episode. Totally understand your worries for Splatoon, but like Guillame I play online shooters for a very different and weird reasons and after giving the testfire a spin I'm much more positive about the game.

Like, burn his jet pack while he's holding the ladder during EVA? Hot damn! He has valuable science I need. I mean he's a valuable member of our program.

eggface123May 11, 2015

The "Now Playing" segment on this podcast today was one of the most stupid and annoying things I've heard in a loooonnng time. Cringe worthy indeed. Keep it UP!

Adrock¸May 11, 2015

Good show.


I was going to submit a question on Splatoon and what makes the value of a $60-70 game in North America, but that was lightly discussed in the e-mails this week. I'm sure this issue will be revisited and put to rest once the final game comes out. Speaking of which, having only five multiplayer maps at launch (and only two available at a time in 4 hour rotations) doesn't look good on Splatoon.


As for Hideo Kojima, I find it hard to know what to make of him in his situation. The limited perspective I'm getting from podcasts and articles lightly pin him as the egomaniac and primadonna and Konami as the company not interested in console games. Egomaniac and primadonna don't sit well with me, but I find it hard to argue against in the face of Kojima Productions and "A Hideo Kojima game." In any case, I'm eager to see what happens after when Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is out.

Kojima needs to go to a company that plays to his strengths and can charge a premium for his services, which is why he's going to end up going to Aniplex.

nickmitchMay 11, 2015

Quote from: Evan_B

Guys, guys... while PuzzDra Mario Edition doesn't do a great job of explaining its mechanics, it at least mentions them. Something you didn't mention at all was the special skills each party member has, which can be accessed when you match their element coin enough times. They do things like turn all the coins of a specific color to another one, which can cause huge combos and clear the entire board, or heal, or defend you. It's a pretty crucial part of the game and the most effective way of moving through the advanced part of the demo. Give it a shot since the menu is also not timed and you can look at any number of skills.

...

Wanted to come post the same thing. Special powers definitely make a huge difference in the more advanced mode, and I probably wouldn't have been able to beat that mode without them.


I liked the demo over all. It definitely is more interesting than the standard match 3 game, with lots of clever ways to build combos and movement patterns that you need to learn to improve your skill. Hearing you guys talk about Mario Puzzle & Dragons felt like nobody even wanted to enjoy the game going in... maybe not fair to say, but the game did get a pretty sound dismissal based on very limited experience.

ClexYoshi¸May 12, 2015

It was great to hear Karen on the program. Hope she'll stop by again sometime. It'd be nice to have Kim Keller back on the program. I was hoping she'd become one of the irregular fill-in guests (like TYP and Curtis). Plus she and Becky have their NWR show to promote, so with James gone a few weeks...

Long before Jon started performing, as soon as I heard the music start for Now Playing, I knew that gold was forthcoming. Not his best performance, but there were some flashes of dy-no-mite in there. I don't know if it was the material he had to work with this week or doing it off the dome, but half the time it felt like a struggle to make things that weren't rhymeable rhyme. The other half, vintage Diamond J was in the house and we should all appreciate!

If James is off Now Playing for a few weeks, maybe Jon could welcome him back with a duet of "Up Where We Belong." Just a thought.

I played the demo of P&D SMB Edition once. I liked it, but I didn't really get the strategy of it all, so it seemed more like luck than skill, getting big combos.

I spent over half an hour with the P&D demo, playing both modes a few times. I did use the skills sometimes, but there are so many available that I didn't know how to choose. I also thought time was still running down on that menu, so that's useful to know that I can be deliberate in choosing skills.

As for whatever strategy may be possible, the demo just doesn't point to any of that. It tells you about special gems that rarely show up, and tells you to watch your health. Obviously there is a lot more going on, but the demo doesn't help much to showcase those options, so yes, we were left wondering what the hell we did wrong.

Please understand that we were talking about the demo. That's all we've played, all we can criticize. I don't think we played it wrong or went in expecting to hate it. If the demo is a poor representation of the full game, that's a problem with the demo!

Bah, put this in the wrong talkback thread.  Reposting from that.

I'd love it if Nintendo would collaborate with Kojima & Guillermo Del Toro to produce a survival horror game exclusive to Wii U named TP.

The writer of the email on backlogs sounded just like me until he mentioned the spouse that was unsupported of their habit.  On-top of what was said on the podcast, big things that have helped me with backlogs are:

Don't buy a game unless you know it'll jump your to-play list to the top.
Don't fall into the sunk-cost fallacy of "just because you've played some time into the game, you have to beat it" if you're not enjoying yourself.
Don't play a game on your backlog just because you want to whittle down your backlog.  At that point, it turns into work and makes it less fun to play games.

Games are supposed to be a fun past-time, not something that looms over your head as unfinished business.  Too many other parts of life bear down on you like that, why would you want gaming to turn into that?

As I said, Johnny, the demo points some aspects out to you but ultimately does a poor job of explaining them.

After watching some of the videos about the game Nintendo has posted, there seems to be some strategy to moving the actual pieces.

nickmitchMay 13, 2015


First, a short comment on the backlog discussion:


Backlogs are beautiful, and shouldn't be a source of shame as long as you are being responsible with your money. People shouldn't feel embarrassed or ashamed because they've built up a collection of games. I don't, and your shaming tactics won't work on me.
;)

Quote from: Evan_B

As I said, Johnny, the demo points some aspects out to you but ultimately does a poor job of explaining them.

After watching some of the videos about the game Nintendo has posted, there seems to be some strategy to moving the actual pieces.

Agreed on all points.


My post before sounded harsh, but I just felt like the game has quite a bit of depth - much more than the average match-3 style game - that was overlooked in the discussion. The demo didn't make those strategies obvious, but I think without discovering a little bit of how the game works you'd have a hard time beating the harder path.


Comments in the show seemed to confirm this stance: people said getting through the demo was tough, but it's easy IF you understand the game. The problem is that the demo does nothing to help you reach that understanding so it's all on you to figure out what strategies will/won't work, how special powers work, and how changing the way you move pieces on the board can lead to very different combo results.


If you aren't interested in finding out how the game works, or if you feel burned out on match-3 games before starting, then it's easy to overlook the good points of the game.

nickmitchMay 13, 2015

Final comment (forgot to post earlier) about P&D demo discussion:


In some ways it reminded me of the Splatoon demo, where a chorus of calls were made that the roller is horribly overpowered.  I didn't play the demo and don't have a first-hand opinion... but saw a number of people with considerable gaming experience get shouted down when they suggested it was actually balanced but people just didn't know how to play well yet.


My gut reaction is that allowing the masses play one or two matches of Splatoon for the first time, all at the same time, probably doesn't give very many people enough experience to truly know. Is the weapon actually overpowered or does it just has the lowest learning curve? This doubt is especially relevant when everyone playing is a new player, and lacks the knowledge of how to cope with different in-game strategies.


So, yeah. It's hard to judge a game fairly based on limited play from a demo. Doesn't mean the opinions voiced are wrong - just that it's hard to tell on the spot.

KobeskillzMay 13, 2015

Hey guys good show. Thanks for going over my back log email in detail.

I’m chipping away slowly at it while not impulse buying nearly as much as I used too.

It helps too that a lot of games last gen ranged in the 8-12 hour mark. I recently passed Bioshock 2, Transformers war for cybertron and Bioshock Infinity. All 10 hour games pretty much unless you really really take your time.

I’m trying to avoid rpg’s and huge meaty games like Grand Thef Auto until I’ve knocked off a good amount of these short but great games.

That’s my strategy at the moment.

PS. Trying to play my 360 backlog made it EVEN more clear how that system was pretty much 99% shooters!!!!!

SteëfosaurusMay 17, 2015

You need pull off multiple combos in Puzzle & Dragons to do good.

It's actually not that hard. When you look at the board you mark several possible jewel exchanges to make match-three lines (blue arrows):
http://abload.de/img/puzzdraseq7p.jpg
Then you mark a path that you will go against these arrows that will do ALL these exchanges along the way. Most of the time you the jewel you're dragging around won't even do the match itself wherever it will land.

Strategy comes when you need specific colours.

SteëfosaurusMay 19, 2015

This is an example of skillful Puzzle & Dragons gameplay:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHhj95VuwCw
Guy think a turn in advance often doing "empty" (no matches) turns to place pieces in better positions only to clear the entire board on the next turn.

...is that dude a wizard? 'Cause I think that dude's a wizard.

lilboyillinoisMay 21, 2015

Playing Crystal Chronicles with my friends, was one of the most fun I had with any video game. But if you have a-hole friends. Then yea, don't play it.


I beat it solo and it was still fun. 

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