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Episode 444: Toys-to-Afterlife

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, and Guillaume Veillette - September 13, 2015, 2:58 pm PDT
Total comments: 16

Disney may have Infinity, but Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer provides the truest look into the unlimited expanse of oblivion.

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Greg took the week off to watch his beloved New England Patriots kick-off the NFL season with a win, so Team RFN is joined this week by print journalist and independent game developer - and friend of the show - Syrenne McNulty.

Syrenne starts off New Business with a duo of Toys-to-Life games. First she describes Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, a game that enables you to engage in the Sisyphean task of designing the same plot of land, over and over. She follows with Disney Infinity 3.0, an "everything but the kitchen sink" style of Toys-to-Life game that serves as a palate cleanser and a positive example to some of its lesser peers. Meanwhile, Gui has found himself looking for co-op experiences. He explores Astral Breakers, a Wii U eShop multiplayer puzzle game, and then returns to Wii U classics Super Mario 3D World and New Super Mario Bros. U. The question is, are they REALLY classics? Jon revs his engine with Excitebike Vs., now with actual saving. Is Nintendo's first level editor a stealth tease for how RFN is going to cover their latest? No. Lastly, James attempts to give some advice to people who want to play Metal Gear Solid V, but wonder if they should try to catch up first. Like all conversations in Metal Gear Solid, it goes on far too long.

After an unusually deep Now Playing, it's an all-news Listener Mail. Nintendo and their partners made last week especially newsworthy, and our listeners answered (especially one wise and dashing listener). Questions touch on the announcement of Pokémon GO, Ace Attorney 6, and Pikmin 4. They also probe the lack of Nintendo Directs, and such inquiries are answered using nebulous "sources." Questions even cover Nintendo's recent trend of improving games in significant ways, after the review cycle is completed.

You can send your questions to the RFN mailbag. You can also send us your Super Mario Maker codes and end music suggestions. Lastly, it's time for you to vote for our Super Mario Maker-inspired RetroActive. We received so many suggestions that we changed some of our plans; you can read about that and vote here.

Thanks to Syrenne for joining us this week.

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 Super Mario Land, composed by Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka. All rights reserved by Nintendo Co., Ltd. It was requested by TOPHATANT from the Nintendo World Report forums.

Talkback

TOPHATANT123September 13, 2015

The box for Happy Home Designer should have a warning on it: Requires Imagination, because it sounds as though the game part of that game is barely even there.

"They wouldn't just sub a direct" Oh NOE would, and have even, it was strange.

From Ace Attorney 6 I would like to see more variety like in 5 with the mood matrix, the magatama and Apollo's thing. Also no more trail and error HP traps, I just got past a really frustrating part in 2 - 2 where you have 3 options; one is totally irrelevant and once entered is impossible to leave without losing HP, the next was just a loop that went nowhere and the third was the actual place you should show evidence but the way you get across the message seems like it there would be no way to get it first time using logic. I hate it when they give you psyche locks but don't tell you you can't actually do it yet, the bit with Pearl's ball drove me bananas since you could only progress by presenting a certain object without really ever being hinted at needing to do so. Oh and I am sorry for you Guillaume if you did not enjoy Layton Vs Phoenix Wright, In my mind Layton is easily superior but I can see how a newcomer may not get it without some background and hope you will one day give the series another chance.

Oh and my music suggestion made it in, the song like all good endings is a perfect blend of happiness and sadness.

KobeskillzSeptember 13, 2015

Thanks guys for reading my email. I wanted to get your opinions on reviews. It doesn't reflect my view necessary but I guess I'm split.

I like Layton. I played the first three games over a week-end each. But the early Layton sections of LvsW are really bad. Very wordy and annoying dialogue, and mediocre puzzles.

LucarioSeptember 13, 2015

eh, football

LucarioSeptember 13, 2015

Quote from: Lucariofan99

eh, football

ah NRL! good!
just kidding good ep

LucarioSeptember 13, 2015

just wanted to tell Shaymin that I never expected your voice to sound like that it sound really nerdy (nah shit Jacob!) just wanted to put that out there.

KDR_11kSeptember 13, 2015

444 is the HP count of Death in some Castlevania games (because 4 sounds like die in Japanese).

Quote from: Lucariofan99

just wanted to tell Shaymin that I never expected your voice to sound like that it sound really nerdy (nah shit Jacob!) just wanted to put that out there.

Shaymin is Donald Theriault, I think you mean Syrenne?

ClexYoshiSeptember 13, 2015

I think Gui has found his new niche in his true trollery.

Seriously, the hot takes are real this episode!

TOPHATANT123September 13, 2015

Quote from: Pandareus

I like Layton. I played the first three games over a week-end each. But the early Layton sections of LvsW are really bad. Very wordy and annoying dialogue, and mediocre puzzles.

Fair enough then, the game has it's moments and I would say it's worth finishing if only for the music.

ClexYoshiSeptember 14, 2015

the funny thing is that the Famicom cartridge version of Excitebike COULD save courses using an acessory called the data recorder.... which was just a tape deck. the Famicom would output a noise code ala' Bangai-O Spirits or other such thing that you'd save to casette by hooking in the headphone jack on Famicom controller 2. this was also used to save your game in the Japanese Version of CastleQuest, (Called Castle Excellent in japan).

Whereas Castlequest actulally did some balance changes to the game to get around the fact that they couldn't have the save feature int he NA version without the ever expensive battery backup, Excitebike never had the feature removed because Nintendo was planning on releasing an accessory for the NES that would be comparable to the data set and add that much needed microphone support so you can finally shout obsinities at Pol's voice instead of having to waste your arrows on them.

Leo13September 14, 2015

Just wanted to come in on the Ne Super Mario Bros 2 vs U Gui talked about. I think the highlights of both games were entirely missed. The highlight of 2 is that Coin Rush mode where you play the level over and over and try to Fandangle the most coins out if it. They added some awesome twists that can really increase your coin total after you learn how to use them. My wife and I went back and forth a ton trying to beat the others high score.
As for NSMB U, there are 2 real highlights first is the DLC. I completely fell in love with Luigi U it was incredible. Second is that challenge mode. I loved trying to work through all those challenges.

MASBSeptember 16, 2015

To Greg: I expect a full report on Brady and Belichek for episode 445. If it somehow spirals out of control and becomes RFN NFL 2015, then Gui gets a week off! ;)

Happy Home Designer: I'm very disappointed to hear the news about the game. Seems like they didn't really use anything that makes Animal Crossing the success it is. It seems like it wouldn't have been that hard to address Syrene's complaints, which would have gone a long way to making the game fun. It doesn't feel like it would have taken months of development to fix, they simply had to allow for it in their overall design.

Now Playing: I'm not sure what to say except R.I.P. brotha, because it sounded like James wasn't long for this world. Pneumonia? Bubonic Plague? It didn't sound good. Hopefully, Jon was ready to take over the podcast in the event of James's untimely demise. :P

To Jon: Thanks for the Excitebike Vs. review. It makes me wish Nintendo would make a modern version for Wii U. Any game that allows for editing and online sharing, I wish for, to see the trollmasters Jon and James work their well-honed magic.

Question for the show: I'm sure you guys will be talking about Kimishima being named the president of Nintendo this week. I hope you'll also spare some time to talk about Shinya Takahashi, who took over Miyamoto's old job and is now in charge of the combined EAD and SPD. Many seem to think that Kimishima's reign will be relatively short and that Takahashi is being positioned to take over as president. What do you think about the situation and Miyamoto and Takeda's new positions?

KobeskillzSeptember 17, 2015

I enjoyed the hell out of both New Super Mario bros games.

2 had the coin thing which did shake things up a bit and U was actually fantastic in level design and difficulty. It gets crap for it’s somewhat boring and simple aesthetics.

If you play Mario Maker and go back to these games you will appreciate more how good Nintendo is at making Mario games. Even the “boring” ones.

It’s hard enough to make a level for one person but to make a level that works for both 1 or 4 people. Yikes!

I agree that the single player is def the highlight of those games.

But I have a 4 year old and the fact that if she gets stuck and all I have to do is move forward to bring her along is huge. Sometimes you guys look at things in a bubble and forget that there are other audience who appreciate what you don’t like in the series.

The New multiplayer is great for me playing with my little girl and me leading the way.

Leo13September 17, 2015

Quote from: Kobeskillz

I enjoyed the hell out of both New Super Mario bros games.

2 had the coin thing which did shake things up a bit and U was actually fantastic in level design and difficulty. It gets crap for it’s somewhat boring and simple aesthetics.

If you play Mario Maker and go back to these games you will appreciate more how good Nintendo is at making Mario games. Even the “boring” ones.

It’s hard enough to make a level for one person but to make a level that works for both 1 or 4 people. Yikes!

I agree that the single player is def the highlight of those games.

But I have a 4 year old and the fact that if she gets stuck and all I have to do is move forward to bring her along is huge. Sometimes you guys look at things in a bubble and forget that there are other audience who appreciate what you don’t like in the series.

The New multiplayer is great for me playing with my little girl and me leading the way.

I'm with you on playing multiplayer with my kids. My 3 year old son is actually a decent Mario player so we played super Luigi and Mario 3D world together

LucarioSeptember 17, 2015

Quote from: Kobeskillz

I enjoyed the hell out of both New Super Mario bros games.

2 had the coin thing which did shake things up a bit and U was actually fantastic in level design and difficulty. It gets crap for it’s somewhat boring and simple aesthetics.

If you play Mario Maker and go back to these games you will appreciate more how good Nintendo is at making Mario games. Even the “boring” ones.

It’s hard enough to make a level for one person but to make a level that works for both 1 or 4 people. Yikes!

I agree that the single player is def the highlight of those games.

But I have a 4 year old and the fact that if she gets stuck and all I have to do is move forward to bring her along is huge. Sometimes you guys look at things in a bubble and forget that there are other audience who appreciate what you don’t like in the series.

The New multiplayer is great for me playing with my little girl and me leading the way.

2 should have been Super Wario Bros not Mario.

LucarioSeptember 17, 2015

Quote from: Leo13

Quote from: Kobeskillz

I enjoyed the hell out of both New Super Mario bros games.

2 had the coin thing which did shake things up a bit and U was actually fantastic in level design and difficulty. It gets crap for it’s somewhat boring and simple aesthetics.

If you play Mario Maker and go back to these games you will appreciate more how good Nintendo is at making Mario games. Even the “boring” ones.

It’s hard enough to make a level for one person but to make a level that works for both 1 or 4 people. Yikes!

I agree that the single player is def the highlight of those games.

But I have a 4 year old and the fact that if she gets stuck and all I have to do is move forward to bring her along is huge. Sometimes you guys look at things in a bubble and forget that there are other audience who appreciate what you don’t like in the series.

The New multiplayer is great for me playing with my little girl and me leading the way.

I'm with you on playing multiplayer with my kids. My 3 year old son is actually a decent Mario player so we played super Luigi and Mario 3D world together

3 years Jesus!
I remember I was five when I played a SNES and Donkey Bong Country for the first time, great times...
before that I adored Thomas the tank engine.

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