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Episode 443: Autumn of Too Many Leaves

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Guillaume Veillette - September 6, 2015, 1:44 pm PDT
Total comments: 34

If Nintendo puts out some games we won't have to keep finding names for this.

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The calendar rolls into September, and RFN keeps rolling with New Business. First up Gui has a duo of party-game hybrids: Wii U party platformer Runbow and Wii relationship-decimating party RPG Dokapon Kingdom. Next up, Jon covers himself in paper cuts on the jagged 3D models of otherwise-classic Treasure shooter Sin and Punishment, now available on the Virtual Console. Greg discovers what he's fighting for with Mega Man X4. Lastly, James gives an update on LBX and before diving head first into long-running RFN gag Tube Slider. You can see James suffer in the tubes in the New Business Preview.

After the break, it's a trio of Listener Mail questions. Spurred by the sudden announcement of Amazon selling Wii U and 3DS digital games, the show launches into a discussion of potential new features Nintendo could add to their network in the near future, and what should be expected on NX in particular. An innocuous question about good introductory RPGs predictably spirals into infighting. Lastly, we have an inside baseball discussion over the obligations and best practices of video game journalism (thanks to Neal and Donald for their help with this question).

Just a reminder, we're getting ready for our next Retroactive: Mario games not featured in Mario Maker. Keep in mind, this is literally ANY game in which Mario makes ANY appearance. You can send your suggestions for the poll, your mailbag questions, or end music suggestions to the RFN Mailbag.

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.

This episode's ending music is the end theme from Lords of Thunder. All rights reserved by HUDSON Soft/Konami. It was requested by Jon.

Talkback

TOPHATANT123September 06, 2015

Fire Emblem Awakening is E X C E L L E N T for beginners in my opinion although it isn't a straight up RPG, if we are talking about typical RPGs why not Pokemon? It's not too punishing and never bogs you down with stats and numbers if you don't care about that stuff, if you want you can complete the game with Pokemon that just look the coolest and have cool attacks. If you are new maybe go for X/Y, but if you want a premium cream of the cream pokemon experience you owe it to your self to play Heart Gold/Soul Silver.

Dragon Quest is good as well, especially the Level 5 ones, since it is the origin point at which all jrpgs stem from it doesn't concern it's self too much with gimmiks and trying to stand out from the crowd.

I really did not like Valkeria Chronicles, it seems like the game was made for me but I found the progression of soldiers to be incredibly boring and the story went off the rails pretty quickly. I also didn't enjoy the tactical elements either, it was mostly; A rushing an enemy and putting bullets straight into their heads until they die as you stand directly adjacent to them, or B 360 no scoping them with a sniper rifle from the other side of the map and killing them in one shot. I've yet to buy Code Name Steam but it bombed so hard the fire sales are getting hard to resist.

For ending themes I would like to suggest the ending theme for Super Mario Land for Gameboy, I've never even played this game but the ending theme is just incredible.

EnnerSeptember 06, 2015

Good show. And Linderman is on the take?!


Are Final Fantasy 4 or 6 not good entry points for JRPGs? Or is Chrono Trigger that damn good?

For the purposes of the question, I'd agree that Chrono Trigger is better for beginners. FF4 takes a long time, and FF6 can get really hard in the 2nd half of the game.

Yeah, I just got the sense from the question that pacing and brevity were important to Kevin. So I named some of the shortest, least padded RPGs I know. That pretty much disqualifies the Final Fantasy series. :-p

LucarioSeptember 06, 2015

Chrono Trigger IS Probably the best JRPG I've played, the only problem being it's length.
It's Ridiculously short like 17-20 hours, but defiantly worth it.

Mars1912September 07, 2015

By the way runbow supports 9 people by allowing a nunchuck as a seperate player.  So 9 is just the Gamepad and 4 wiimote+nunchucks.

Leo13September 07, 2015

Speaking of games with RPG elements, I absolutely love the NBA2k series so if he's into basketball games then he should try the my player mode on NBA2k. I own NBA 2k13 on Wii U and it's very well done.

As for Fire Emblem Awakening, it's my favorite 3DS game.

KobeskillzSeptember 07, 2015

I love the N64 so i'm going to have to defend it a little bit here.


The N64 connected to a HD TV will look unless these things come into play.


The N64 outputs a component signal through SCART which we do not have here in the US unless is some very specific monitors. So already the N64 is at a disadvantage on HD LCD screens.


Also the Wii U virtual console for N64 games is horrible. Terrible. It's even blurrier and much to dark. Go play the Wii N64 game and compare it to the Wii U one and right away you will see a difference in color, brightness and clarity guys.

KobeskillzSeptember 07, 2015


I love the N64 so i'm going to have to defend it a little bit here.


The N64 connected to a HD TV will look rough unless these things come into play.


The N64 outputs a progressive signal through SCART which we do not have here in the US unless is some very specific monitors. So already the N64 is at a disadvantage on HD LCD screens.


Games that support high rez mode with an expansion pack look much better on a HD TV because the higher resolution. So for instance Perfect Dark in 480p with a SCART cable actually looks good running on the old N64. Doesn't run very smooth lol. But you get the idea.


Also the Wii U virtual console for N64 games is horrible. Terrible. It's even blurrier and much to dark. Go play the Wii N64 game and compare it to the Wii U one and right away you will see a difference in color, brightness and clarity guys.




ClexYoshiSeptember 07, 2015

I love you guys for teasing the incoming Alleyway Retroactive. <3

Also, Mega Man X4 is something I've also committed to muscle memory.

I seem to think X5 is better than most people do.

and I think Mega Man X6 is worse than X7. yeah. it's THAT awful. Mega Man X6 is an example of what happens when you take a game engine that fucking works and just SHIT all over it. From prototypes of the game that leaked to the internet, it's been debated that that game's turnaround was somewhere in the league of 7 to 8 months. Inafune didn't even know it existed until he saw it in a store.

the rushed development shows too. sprites recycled from X4 and X5 animate far smoother than any asset developed specifically for Mega Man X6. the english translation is littered with spelling and gramatical errors and leaves in the japanese voice track. they left in the Jrock opening that they usually scrub from the western releases of the Mega Man X games. Boss fights are outright recycled from Mega Man X5.

Level design faires much worse. Blind jumps over instant death (Metal shark player, Commander Yammark, Infinity Mijinion), Obnoxious Mini-bosses repeated 4 or 5 times through a single stage (Blaze Heatnix, Ground Scaravich), instances of levels getting HARDER if you beat the Maverick the current level you have chosen has a weakness to (Shield Sheldon, Rainy Turtloid, Blizzard Wolfang, Blaze Heatnix), and some of the most obnoxiously healthy fucking enemies in a mega man game ever make for a FUCKING maddening. most of the time I just dash through and take hits because it's preferable to trying to beat the enemies with the absurd ammout of punishment they take, especially given Mega Man X's very weak Z-sabre attack and the overall nerfed feeling of even his charged up buster shots. Maverick weapons only go so far in aleviating this.

that's not even mentioning the whole reploid rescue system, where there are reploids you can touch in levels to save them and get some health and an extra lfie from them. sometimes, they also have abilities X and Zero can equip. There's also the Nightmare Virus enemies. these are just obnoxiously healthy and respawn if you don't pick up the pickup they drop when you kill them. they also will fly to any reploid on screen in need of rescuing and corrupt them.

Corrupted Reploids are gone for good once one of the nightmare viruses touches them even once. they dont' respawn. you get one shot to fucking rescue them. and if you're thinking "So, what? these abilities sound pretty minor; I don't need them!" think again!

there's a room in the first gate's lab stage that Mega Man X cannot make the jump for. the walls and ceiling is lined with spikes. yes, blizzard wolffang's weapon makes an ice block to stand on, but even with that AND an air dash, X cannot clear the spikes. you need the Jumper ability from a random reploid, or X's shadow Armor...

The SHadow armor, which prevents you from using maverick weapons, as a shit giga attack, doesn't ahve a charged buster shot, and shoots these shuriken that spray all over the place and do next to no damage.

Seriously, you better like fucking playing as Zero, because the damage he does is the only thing that's going to get you past enemies with any sort of efficiency, and his double jump is the only thing that can really get you past the horribly dickish level design and platforming.

This is of course, ignoring the fucked boss design. bosses are either so pathetic that they never get a chance to attack you, or take such a retarded ammount of punishment even with their weakness that a proper fight with them takes around 5 minutes (I'm looking at you High Max and Gate...!), not to mention there's a maverick in this game that DOES NOT HAVE A WEAKNESS (supposedly it's Guard Shell, but I have yet to reflect a shot of that shit at him) and makes for one of the most stupidly hard boss fights in all the series. also, every time he takes certian threshholds of damage or randomly when he takes slashing damage, he creates a clone of himself that tkaes a stupid ammount of punishment and fills the room with homing bubbles. and he can make as many clones as he wants and that fight sucks.

Quote from: Kobeskillz

I love the N64 so i'm going to have to defend it a little bit here.

The N64 connected to a HD TV will look rough unless these things come into play.

The N64 outputs a progressive signal through SCART which we do not have here in the US unless is some very specific monitors. So already the N64 is at a disadvantage on HD LCD screens.

Games that support high rez mode with an expansion pack look much better on a HD TV because the higher resolution. So for instance Perfect Dark in 480p with a SCART cable actually looks good running on the old N64. Doesn't run very smooth lol. But you get the idea.

Also the Wii U virtual console for N64 games is horrible. Terrible. It's even blurrier and much to dark. Go play the Wii N64 game and compare it to the Wii U one and right away you will see a difference in color, brightness and clarity guys.

While I agree that N64 can look pretty nice with the right setup, every N64 worldwide needs to be modded to display at its best.

Once its modded it'll display a 240p RGB image that can then be sent to an upscaling unit such as the XRGB Mini, this is the best way to play N64 games on a modern set. However, there is an HDMI board being worked on that will be an even better option once its out. A professional CRT such as a Sony PVM is also a great option if you can track one down.

As for RPG choices, I'd throw in the first Golden Sun. That was actually my first traditional RPG outside of Pokemon.




ClexYoshiSeptember 08, 2015

also, on the subject of RPGs... which is kinda a tough subject, honestly.

I have a friend who recently got into the genre for the first time via Tales of Xillia on PS3, which... probably just broke James' head a bit, should he be reading this post. The dude hates turn based combat, and he played that sucker all the way through, so... I suppose I could toss that out there?

If you can track down a copy of Radiant Historia, that's a bit like Chrono Trigger, although without the brevity and with plenty more GIANT FUCKING SPIDERS WITH WAY TOO MUCH HP!!!

The Mega Man Battle Network games are very unique JRPGs and they're on the eShop. They have a lot of problems, but the battle system is pretty great once you finally get a strategy that really clicks.

FF1 is actually a pretty brief game if you're playing the GBA remake or newer (PSP, iOS, god forbid if they ever release the 3DS version). the new MP system and better XP paypout of mobs means that you'll keep moving most times and not get stymied at something stupid like the Marsh Cave or something. That being said, FF1 is... really not very compelling stuff. the party has no characterization, and honestly? neither does any other character other than maybe... Garland? I dunno. just make sure if you get a copy of the GBA Port that you absolutley DO NOT PLAY FF2 THAT GAME IS LEGIT NOT GOOD NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY REBALANCE IT.

Also, I am astonished there wasn't a mention of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest on this topic, jokingly or otherwise. it is a game that Square designed specifically to be the JRPG gateway drug (and failed in spectacular fashion!)

LucarioSeptember 08, 2015

A pretty god reviewer does that one.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNnpxrZtzy0

KobeskillzSeptember 08, 2015

Quote from: Traveller

Quote from: Kobeskillz

I love the N64 so i'm going to have to defend it a little bit here.

The N64 connected to a HD TV will look rough unless these things come into play.

The N64 outputs a progressive signal through SCART which we do not have here in the US unless is some very specific monitors. So already the N64 is at a disadvantage on HD LCD screens.

Games that support high rez mode with an expansion pack look much better on a HD TV because the higher resolution. So for instance Perfect Dark in 480p with a SCART cable actually looks good running on the old N64. Doesn't run very smooth lol. But you get the idea.

Also the Wii U virtual console for N64 games is horrible. Terrible. It's even blurrier and much to dark. Go play the Wii N64 game and compare it to the Wii U one and right away you will see a difference in color, brightness and clarity guys.

While I agree that N64 can look pretty nice with the right setup, every N64 worldwide needs to be modded to display at its best.

Once its modded it'll display a 240p RGB image that can then be sent to an upscaling unit such as the XRGB Mini, this is the best way to play N64 games on a modern set. However, there is an HDMI board being worked on that will be an even better option once its out. A professional CRT such as a Sony PVM is also a great option if you can track one down.

As for RPG choices, I'd throw in the first Golden Sun. That was actually my first traditional RPG outside of Pokemon.

I actually play my N64 using S Cable on a Sony Tube TV and it looks gorgeous. Rogue Squadron looks great.


I think the N64 is being judged at times on HDTVs when those old systems were never meant for LCD 1080p tvs.

Yeah, on an HDTV it looks awful mostly unless you invest to get the best possible picture, like all old systems.

KobeskillzSeptember 09, 2015

Yeah I always here how awful N64 games look now and on HDTV’s they haven’t aged well and blah blah blah. Not talking about this podcast but in general.

It’s funny because well those games weren’t mean to be blown up or to go through HDTV’s

If you have then on a high quality old CRT TV with S cable then the N64 looks really really good.

IMO only games that used simple 1 colore textures look good on HDTV’s

Go to the Wii VC and fire up Mario 64, Mario Tennis, Golf, Kirby and even Paper Mario and they look pretty good in 480p because of the simple art style.

Again I stress avoid the Wii U VC if you can since the emulation is pure garbage for N64 games compared to how it was on the Wii. They are way to dark and blurry. Something went wrong. NES games too.

It's totally possible to make N64 games look great in HD. Just look at Rare Replay.

KobeskillzSeptember 09, 2015

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

It's totally possible to make N64 games look great in HD. Just look at Rare Replay.

Well yeah but that's not really running on the actual hardware which had limitations on what it could output.


You have a point that N64 games can look good on HDTV's but depends on the emulation/hardware set up.


Rare Replay/Wii good.
Wii U awful.


Plus the Banjo games look good because of the art style.


In general if you the N64 game is being outputted correctly (emulation, scart) then id say the games look better on an HDTV than most PSone games. Due to the big polygons and simple textures. Also a lot of games used the expansion pack for "hi rez" mode which was actually 480 and that always translates better to a HDTV than say something in the 200's resolution.


God i love that system. lol.  ;D

I don't think any hi-res (480i) mode N64 games are supported by Wii or Wii U Virtual Console. I do think they would probably look very good. Anyway, my point is that Rare Replay shows you can emulate N64 games to look good on HDTV. Blast Corps, Jet Force Gemini, and Conker all look great on XB1, and I don't think that's because Wii U is underpowered.

N64 games can look great if given an upscale and or polish. The Banjo games on 360 are largely untouched graphically, aside from a few textures, widescreen and framerate and look really good.

Wii U N64 VC isn't great, but for a casual audience of the system perfectly playable, Wii VC does look nicer though. The main reason to possibly look into going the real hardware route for N64 is simply because many of the games will likely never be re-released, especially on Nintendo platforms.

Not a cheap option though.

KobeskillzSeptember 09, 2015

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I don't think any hi-res (480i) mode N64 games are supported by Wii or Wii U Virtual Console. I do think they would probably look very good. Anyway, my point is that Rare Replay shows you can emulate N64 games to look good on HDTV. Blast Corps, Jet Force Gemini, and Conker all look great on XB1, and I don't think that's because Wii U is underpowered.

Yeah I don't think so either but it's a mute point since they run in 480p anyways through emulation. It only matters if you are using the actual system hooked up to hdtv.

Yeah rare did a bang up job. The games are in 1080p and I'm sure have all kinds of smoothing and stuff going on. They look stellar.

Nintendo just has them in 480p on both Wii and Wiiu. What baffles me is that the n64 games look better on Wii. They look really good actually. Not replay good but sharp, colorful and smooth.

On the Wiiu Nintendo changed their emulators for the n64/nes (legal reasons?) and they look god awful. Dark, blurry and at times stutters.

The Wiiu can def so those games in 1080p. Smash did it no reason why n64 games can't. This is a big slap in the face from Nintendo. 2 dollars to upgrade and I still go to the Wii mode to play them since that's where they look best. Ugh.

KobeskillzSeptember 09, 2015

Quote from: Traveller

N64 games can look great if given an upscale and or polish. The Banjo games on 360 are largely untouched graphically, aside from a few textures, widescreen and framerate and look really good.

Wii U N64 VC isn't great, but for a casual audience of the system perfectly playable, Wii VC does look nicer though. The main reason to possibly look into going the real hardware route for N64 is simply because many of the games will likely never be re-released, especially on Nintendo platforms.

Not a cheap option though.

I use the actual system still. The games look great on crt TV and s cable and the n64 has a big library that is still not available anywhere else. Sure Nintendo and rare games are covered but that system had a ton of other great games

Silicon Valley how I love thee.

Quote from: Kobeskillz

Quote from: Traveller

N64 games can look great if given an upscale and or polish. The Banjo games on 360 are largely untouched graphically, aside from a few textures, widescreen and framerate and look really good.

Wii U N64 VC isn't great, but for a casual audience of the system perfectly playable, Wii VC does look nicer though. The main reason to possibly look into going the real hardware route for N64 is simply because many of the games will likely never be re-released, especially on Nintendo platforms.

Not a cheap option though.

I use the actual system still. The games look great on crt TV and s cable and the n64 has a big library that is still not available anywhere else. Sure Nintendo and rare games are covered but that system had a ton of other great games

Silicon Valley how I love thee.


That's why I have been buying/collecting and setting up my N64 for optimal output :). I currently use an RGB modded system on a Sony PVM CRT. A friend of mine has an XRGB Mini and the N64 looks great on that, HDTV's suck at upscaling. I'll be looking into the HDMI board mod as well for the easiest and best output for the system.

That said, its not for everyone and even the Wii U versions are okay for most, even if they do look worse.

Leo13September 09, 2015

No way guys. Playing on an actual N64 is not a good solution because those joysticks on the controllers just wear out and have to be replaced

Yeah, although I still have my original controllers in nice condition. It's worth having the system to play games that aren't available elsewhere and accurately.

Plus I have the Hori Mini controllers, good condition original controllers, along with some custom PCB's for the GameCube style stick replacement. Makes them very close to the N64 stick, but won't wear out.

KobeskillzSeptember 10, 2015

Quote from: Leo13

No way guys. Playing on an actual N64 is not a good solution because those joysticks on the controllers just wear out and have to be replaced

I opened up my controller and added machine grease to the sticks which help give the sticks a much much much longer life.


It's for purist for sure though but I love it.

KobeskillzSeptember 10, 2015

Quote from: Traveller

Quote from: Kobeskillz

Quote from: Traveller

N64 games can look great if given an upscale and or polish. The Banjo games on 360 are largely untouched graphically, aside from a few textures, widescreen and framerate and look really good.

Wii U N64 VC isn't great, but for a casual audience of the system perfectly playable, Wii VC does look nicer though. The main reason to possibly look into going the real hardware route for N64 is simply because many of the games will likely never be re-released, especially on Nintendo platforms.

Not a cheap option though.

I use the actual system still. The games look great on crt TV and s cable and the n64 has a big library that is still not available anywhere else. Sure Nintendo and rare games are covered but that system had a ton of other great games

Silicon Valley how I love thee.


That's why I have been buying/collecting and setting up my N64 for optimal output :) . I currently use an RGB modded system on a Sony PVM CRT. A friend of mine has an XRGB Mini and the N64 looks great on that, HDTV's suck at upscaling. I'll be looking into the HDMI board mod as well for the easiest and best output for the system.

That said, its not for everyone and even the Wii U versions are okay for most, even if they do look worse.

Yeah you have a great set up. I thought about forever to get a my N64 modded again for the progressive image but I have a CRT Sony TV that’s great and I have the monster S cable that works on the N64 and SNES. The S cable gives me a nice balance of that olds school CRT look but also very clear you know. I think I’ll stick to that.

But yes N64 games on HDTV’s using anything but a modded system can be a pain due to TV’s sucking at upscaling.

Ironic that DK country on VC on my HDTV looks meh but on my CRT tv that game looks absolutely stunning. HDTV’s do a disservice to some games.

KobeskillzSeptember 10, 2015

Quote from: Traveller

Yeah, although I still have my original controllers in nice condition. It's worth having the system to play games that aren't available elsewhere and accurately.

Plus I have the Hori Mini controllers, good condition original controllers, along with some custom PCB's for the GameCube style stick replacement. Makes them very close to the N64 stick, but won't wear out.

I wanted a hori controller but they are expensive now.


I just grease up my controllers or get the ebay sticks which kind of suck.


It's better for me to buy original controllers which good to great sticks and preserve them with grease.


I have a box full of sticks.

Leo13September 10, 2015

Thanks for the N64 stick advice. Maybe I'll give it a try.

Leo13September 10, 2015

Funny you mention DKC. As you mentioned SNES DKC on CRT looks good and VC version on HDTV looks meh...I can agree, but if you plug your SNES into your HDTV via the composite cables it came with then DKC literally looks like vomit

KobeskillzSeptember 10, 2015

Quote from: Leo13

Funny you mention DKC. As you mentioned SNES DKC on CRT looks good and VC version on HDTV looks meh...I can agree, but if you plug your SNES into your HDTV via the composite cables it came with then DKC literally looks like vomit

Yeah I would imagine cause the DKC on the VC is in 480P and the SNES can only do 200 something in resolution I think and I don’t think.

What’s cool is that if you plug in the Wii/Wii U in an old CRT TV using S cable/Component cables then those VC games look really good too!

Is kind of backwards thinking but whatever makes those old gems shine. : )

Mop it upSeptember 10, 2015

I think the type of TV matters for old games too. I have a plasma TV, and old games look much better on it than they do on any LCD screen. There are several reasons for this, as a plasma has more similarities to a CRT with its glass screen, great contrast, deep black levels, etc. It also has much less latency than LCD, so no perceptible controller lag. Adjusting things like the sharpness level on a game-to-game basis can also help.

While any good-quality flat-screen CRT will always be best for old games (which I still have and sometime use), SNES and N64 games still look surprisingly decent on my plasma, enough that I often play them there for convenience. Plus, the select few N64 games that support widescreen look quite nice in 16:9. NES remains crap on it, though.

KobeskillzSeptember 11, 2015

Quote from: Mop

I think the type of TV matters for old games too. I have a plasma TV, and old games look much better on it than they do on any LCD screen. There are several reasons for this, as a plasma has more similarities to a CRT with its glass screen, great contrast, deep black levels, etc. It also has much less latency than LCD, so no perceptible controller lag. Adjusting things like the sharpness level on a game-to-game basis can also help.

While any good-quality flat-screen CRT will always be best for old games (which I still have and sometime use), SNES and N64 games still look surprisingly decent on my plasma, enough that I often play them there for convenience. Plus, the select few N64 games that support widescreen look quite nice in 16:9. NES remains crap on it, though.

My NES has the composite cables. that helps.

Mop it upSeptember 12, 2015

I have those too, but the NES just has such huge, chunky pixels that it will always look like junk on a big screen.

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