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Episode 457: Define Winning to the Persistently Non-Competitive

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Guillaume Veillette - December 20, 2015, 4:44 pm PST
Total comments: 11

Not everyone can be a winner; thankfully the host of the show gets to define all terms to his advantage

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It's the last episode of 2015, and in a move that was definitely NOT a scheduling gaffe we are joined by friend of the show, and two-time conqueror of Xenoblade Chronicles X, Syrenne McNulty. No one was out this week, we absolutely planned to have five people this week and three last week.

Syrenne is here to answer all of our Xenoblade questions. However, we start New Business with Guillaume, who has the finally-released SteamWorld Heist on 3DS, which he is very impressed with, and a report on Axiom Verge, which he is less so. Syrenne has potential Wii U game of the year, Devil's Third, and lets us know how many awards it should win. She follows with some insights on the Japanese mobile industry that she gleaned from playing all of the Japanese App Store's Top 100. Finally, we reach the main event. Jon, Greg, and James provide their current Xenoblade Chronicles X thoughts, and turn to Syrenne for answers to their burning questions.

We wrap up 2015 with an abbreviated Listener Mail. Questions cover identifying a franchise that could go from Non-tendo to Smash in a generation, and if it is merely a matter of time that keeps us from "competitive Smash." The answer is no, by the way. You can ask us the unanswerable via our inbox.

We had really great response to our survey, you all are the best. If you haven't had time to fill it out, please do us a favor and take it. The survey will take a few minutes, and will ask you about a ton of podcasts you've never heard of, but it will help us understand what you all want to hear. As always, thank you.

Lastly, I (James) wanted to add a personal note as we end 2015. Obviously, I didn't start the year with the intention of taking over as host. When Jonny asked, I was terrified to do so; I was worried I would let down our listeners. Instead, you all have been unbelievably kind as I learned how to run and host the show. It's all incredibly humbling. Going forward into 2016, I hope to continue to improve both myself and the show, so please let us know how we're doing and what you'd like to hear us talk about. You can use the mailbag for your suggestions. I want to thank Gui for his continued efforts to edit the show, Jon for agreeing to stay on and being my sounding board, and Greg for helping me plan the transition and ultimately agreeing to return to the show. And of course, thank you to all our listeners. Oh, lastly, if you want to get the show something for Christmas, please use the break to fill our Mailbag with interesting questions!

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 Busted Bayou theme from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. All rights reserved by Nintendo.


TOPHATANT123December 20, 2015

Thank you James for making an excellent host and may the podcast persistently prosper under your rule.

NinfernoDecember 20, 2015

Great show as always. I just want to say thanks to James, Jonny, and the rest of the RFN crew, I had great fun in 2015 despite it being a somewhat sluggish year for Nintendo. Keep up the good work and make it even better, guys.

KobeskillzDecember 21, 2015

I actually really like the Tatsu jokes. lol.

They are sort of charming and make me smile when I hear Lin poke fun at him. Come on guys get a heart!

OedoDecember 21, 2015

You're right Kobeskillz, it was "sort of" funny in the beginning... but if you're going to bombard an audience with something, it has to be better than "sort of" good, otherwise it gets really old, really fast. It didn't affect my enjoyment of the game in any material way, but Tatsu was easily one of my least favourite parts of the game. He's a huge downgrade from Riki who actually became a likable character by the end and was actually useful in some way. If nothing else, Tatsu made me appreciate Riki so much more.

KobeskillzDecember 21, 2015

I'm 40 hours in so still a long long way to go on my part so I'm not gonna disagree with you. But so far I haven't been bothered and I do smile now and then when I hear the after battle comments.

Tatsu isn't really a huge bother so far. The music in new la is grating for sure. Now that's a pain in the ass. I don't even mind the battle music too much but God new la. Which is weird cause the world music ranges from ok to pretty darn good.

EnnerDecember 22, 2015

Great show.

The split on the fondness for the music amuses me, and illustrates the small, otaku corner I've been in for sometime. The music of Xenoblade Chronicles X is the full Hiroyuki Sawano at unlimited anime. Even the soundtracks he's done for several anime series were never fully presented in the shows themselves, as listeners to the soundtrack albums will attest to. As one who is a fan of his late-night anime compositions (I have yet to listen to his work in Team Medical Dragon and other television), his efforts in music with vocals are severely hit and miss. I think it is best summed up by him repeatedly using a Japanese singer to sing in German.

For my money (literally since I imported the OST), I love nearly all the music in Xenoblade Chronicles X. Black Tar gets me pumped and the NLA music is delightfully catchy for me. Granted, David Whitaker isn't a good rapper, Aimee Blackschleger is hitting notes she can't pull, mpi can't do English, and some compositions are just blasting horns too hard (Mika Kobayashi is just fine and dandy). But there is an eclecticism and bombast that Sawano brings to his anime work and to Xenoblade Chronicles X that fills me with glee.

Tatsu on the other hand....
I'm usually forgiving of the narrative deep holes Japanese video game fiction sometimes fall in. (As an aside, I find late-night anime tend to fall in different, sometimes shallower holes compared to Japanese video games.) But there is an aggressiveness, repetition, and sincerity to the running gag with Tatsu that baffles even me. Is someone on the team venting with the Tatsu gag? Did a writer skip too many meals during development? Does Takahashi think he's checking off "At Least One Instance of Humor/Levity Every Hour" with the Tatsu gag? I'm not sure if I enjoy the Tatsu running gag, but I'm not hating it. Certainly I'm morbidly curious if this running gag is going to go any where.

I think there are some details that even Syrenne is mistaken with in Xenoblade Chronicles X, but that is fine given how much of a wonderful complex mess the game is.

OedoDecember 22, 2015

Quote from: Enner

I think it is best summed up by him repeatedly using a Japanese singer to sing in German.

I remembered hearing exactly that in an ending theme for an anime I watched a few months ago (Aldnoah Zero) but I didn't connect the dots until I saw your comment. I actually liked both songs though (Wir fliegen might be my favourite song in the game and I listened to that Aldnoah ending theme a ton) and I'm in the same boat of enjoying most of the soundtrack. The lyrics in Black Tar are... what they are, but in terms of the overall sound and feel it does what a battle theme is supposed to do and gets you pumped.

EnnerDecember 22, 2015

Yup! Aldnoah.Zero's music is by Hiroyuki Sawano. I'm a step deeper in my appreciation for the music in that I think I'm starting to really enjoy the lyrics of "Black Tar" unironically. Maybe I'm just being a sucker for the lyrics of a song being closely tied to the narrative of the game.

pokepal148December 22, 2015

So James, how are you enjoying that little present I got you?

InvaderRENDecember 22, 2015

Great episode! Love hearing XCX impressions, I get to play in just 2 days (xmas!).
About 12 hours into Steamworld Heist and utterly addicted. The physics/feel of the game are just perfect.

MASBJanuary 05, 2016

Hey guys. This is off-topic, but I assume there won't be an NFL RFN Playoff podcast? I had sent in my proof of my donation prior to the telethon, but I never heard any word back or anything mentioned on the forums/website/twitter.  I always get the feeling that when the NWR website says your message has been sent, the exact opposite has happened.

At any rate, I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year's. It looks like James is starting to get cabin fever from lack of RFN. I didn't see Jon participate in any epic rap battles at Times Square on New Year's Eve, but he's biding his time I'm sure. Greg is probably about to lead an army of Mega Yarn Yoshis on Parlament by now. And Gui is probably at home eating a nice bowl of poutine wondering why life has been so peaceful these past three weeks. Cheers to all!

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