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Episode 458: Auguratio Ex Japonicum

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Guillaume Veillette - January 10, 2016, 2:06 pm PST
Total comments: 13

The end leads back to the beginning. Predictions become beloved games, or comedic failures.

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It's been two weeks since RFN last released an episode, and in the intervening time we've celebrated the holidays and inaugurated a new year. With the conclusion of 2015, RFN's team of Jon, Greg, Gui, and James celebrate the last year of games by naming their individual Top Five games. The two weeks without getting to talk games results in a particularly feverish discussion. Thankfully, no effort is made to hash out Radio Free Nintendo's "Game of 2015," because that is a losing proposition.

Speaking of losing propositions, after a lonely Now Playing, the team christens 2016 with our annual predictions. Funnily enough, while there are plenty of NX predictions to go around none of them deal with what the NX actually is. Instead, topics covered include the likes of Mario Galaxy 3, Splatoon clothing, and the return of Pokémon. Come for the well-reasoned predictions, stay for Guillaume's Seussian visions of the future.

Next week we'll be returning to the normal New Business/Listener Mail format. It's a new year, so let's get some new emails in our inbox.

This episode was edited by Guillaume Veillette 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.

This episode's ending music is the Pollyanna (I Believe in You) vocal theme from the Mother soundtrack. All rights reserved by Nintendo.


TOPHATANT123January 10, 2016

The only game that would have the ability to convert me playing mobile games would have to be Cooking Tatsu by Marvellous absolutely nothing else would fit the bill, if you know what I mean...

The Xenoblade talk got me so pumped up to play more of it, WHILE I WAS PLAYING THE GAME. It's truly in a league of it's own. I'm 74 hours in and still on chapter 5 not close to starting 6. I want to read every piece of dialogue, it's a world I want to just immerse myself in and it pains me whenever I have to leave it. I just recently stumbled across Professor B in some obscure part of New LA and got this crazy quest as well as a mysterious resolution including this new futuristic remix of overdrive called X-BT2. I was unsure at first how X could fill the huge shoes Chronicles had left for it, but these goofy, stupid, amazing moments that expand the universe make it for me to say that Xenoblade Chronicles X is my favourite game of all time. It's not just that it's bigger, it's also in a lot of ways smaller focusing on the day to day life of the characters and people that aren't relevant to main conceit of the game at all. The revelations of chapter 5 changed my whole perspective of New LA many hours into the game, I feel like the Ma-non are how humanity envisions it's self, not very big or strong but have the intelligence to save the day. But when the Ma-non move in there is a role reversal where the Ma-non declare all your technology is primitive and terrible, and that they should handle the thinking from now on, whereas humans play the part of the mechanised warrior race that exist to kill things with their reasonably expendable mechanical bodies. I love how when the Ma-non move in practically everyone gets new dialogue expressing different points of view on the immigration, and the Ma-non themselves talk a lot about human culture from the outside looking in, one that sticks out to me is this Ma-non who talks about how he keeps screwing up his job interviews for human companies but can't understand why.

ShyGuyJanuary 10, 2016

On Splatoon, They still need to open the cafe or whatever it is in the hub.

NinfernoJanuary 11, 2016

Great lists and predictions, totally enjoyed them. XCX is also my GOTY. It has like a sight-seeing (seriously, it has these locations it calls itself sight-seeing spots, most of which do live up to that name) exploration game, a monopoly like "how to optimize you gain" board game, and a Japanese role playing "how to build the most OP character/skell" number game all in this one package. And surprisingly all these 3 games are really good.

Yes, it has some serious flaws. The UI has lots of room for improvement; the main story's narrative is kinda weak; and the pop-ins are bad, especially in NLA. But the things it does right, you bet your ass they are jaw-droppingly amazing. It might be rough around many edges, but it surely is ambitious as heck, probably more ambitious than its budget allows. I just hope that one of its most ambitious achievements, the beautiful world of Mira will have a place in the history of gaming.

KobeskillzJanuary 11, 2016

Great episode guys!
Couple things.

I was one of the ones who gave you guys a hard time in this forum about really dismissing Splatoon somewhat. Gui was really the only one defending it and everyone else was pretty down on it. Glad you guys turned around on this great game.

I’m 100 into X myself and man probably one of the most addictive time sink games I’ve played in a long long long time. It’s crazy and shame this game is completely getting over looked for GOTY. I emailed you guys about this I think.

Yoshidious –

Do I still have the distinction of having made the stage that best utilizes Yoshi’s NSMB skill set? Yoshi Floating Island. : )

I played Mario Maker for 90 hours like in 2 months and then all of a sudden stopped cold turkey. I saw this comment you left on my level and gave me the urge to go back and start creating again.

Again great podcast guys!

PS. LA sucks? I guess perfect weather 99% of the year, near by beaches, mountains (anything really) and the center entertaiment of the world is a huge drag. 

: P

My last hotel ran a halfway house, this was not advertised in the listing. I hope you've been around long enough to hear all our long-running LA jokes during various E3s.

KobeskillzJanuary 11, 2016

Quote from: Crimm

My last hotel ran a halfway house, this was not advertised in the listing. I hope you've been around long enough to hear all our long-running LA jokes during various E3s.

Halfway house? So what's the problem? Lol.

I know I'm joking myself. no one actually lives in the city of la! Duh. If you have money you live by the beach. :  )

Which I don't. : /

azekeJanuary 11, 2016

Nintendo Yo is genius.

ClexYoshiJanuary 12, 2016

you know, I kinda bit my tongue at Jon going for Gunstar Heroes when there's a game that came out for Wii U in 2015 that feels like it could be a new Treasure game, but eh...

you know, I wanted to try Elliot Quest, but I never got around to it. I need to just like... get a $50 eShop card and buy a bunch of stuff someday.

My own GOTY is probably Bloodborne. other Non-tendo great stuffs that I played is Ori or Rocket League. When I get around to it, I'll probably spooge all over Y'know... that certain game for earthbound fans that didn't come out for a Nintendo console. >_>;;

As for Nintendo, I kinda fell off Xenoblade Chronicles X around christmas. Got my SKell License and... lost all desire to play, strange enough. or just... gaming in general, I dunno. I fell off of splatoon as well. did dump a lot of time into Super Mario Maker up until I realized how shit I am at level design. I'm still glad Yoshi's Wooly World recaptured my imagination and such, But I think on a nintendo console... I didn't have more fun with a game than I did with Freedom Planet, which was after replaying it from the PC version, so... that should tell you guys something about how much I just LOVE that game for a great wild ride. Honorable mention to Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows.

Now Playing got really hilariously personal

Dammit, Guillaume, this is a serious topic that will result in years of ridicule interesting discussion and retrospectives.  Stop making a joke of predictions!!  Take this seriously!

SonofMrPeanutJanuary 14, 2016

Since the episode didn't really go into the Nintendo-Universal deal regarding their part in the video games attractions, here's my takes.

This is all based around the following assumption:  Rather than become a whole 3rd park in Orlando, one of the Islands of Adventure will be replaced with a Video Game island.  Hollywood, meanwhile, will get the highlight attractions as part of the lower lot expansion.

1.  Both Universal Citywalks will be getting their own Nintendo store, Nintendo LA and Nintendo OL.  The new name of their New York location, Nintendo NY, leads me to believe they're planning this kind of expansion.
2.  Their flagship ride will be a Legend of Zelda indoor dungeon ride, using the tech from Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey.  In Hollywood it will be built over the soon to be former site of Revenge of the Mummy.
3.  A Mario Kart ride will be made to compete with Radiator Springs Racers at Disney's California Adventure (and by extension Test Track at EPCOT).  Basically this is to that ride what Back to the Future was to Star Tours.  Side Prediction:  It will get a Luigi's Mansion theme during Halloween Horror Nights.
4.  A Fire Emblem live stunt show will open at both parks.
5.  A Pikmin 3D attraction will open exclusively at Islands of Adventure.
6.  Some Pokémon attraction, though I wouldn't even begin to guess what it is.
7.  In-Park restaurant themed after Kirby and/or Yoshi.  Marvel Mania has made Universal wary to try similar themed restaurants on the Citywalk, so it will be in-park.

EnnerJanuary 14, 2016

1. The NX Prediction - The NX platform will be released in November with Super Mario Galaxy 3 (or some new 3D Mario platforming game). Greg predicts a 3D Mario game as well. James: "2016 is the year of not-2D platformers." Greg: The NX will come out in Nintendo's fiscal year. Jon: Maybe at least the handheld portion of the NX will make it in the fiscal year.

2. We will finally see a new Super Mario Brothers animated movie announced. Perhaps by Sony Pictures, Dreamworks, or whoever. (Ed: Maybe Sony Pictures has this on the bench in case the Ratchet & Clank movie doesn't go the way they wanted to. Wait, the Ratchet & Clank movie is being made by Rainmaker Entertainment, released by Focus Features.)

"I'm not going to do an amiibo one; screw amiibo."

3. About Zelda Wii U, it will be teased in a Nintendo Direct in March, will have a E3 2016 blow out, and an August 2016 release date. NX will come out this year and Nintendo doesn't want Zelda to compete with the NX. No NX port, some sort of remaster down the line.

A F-Zero game announced this year, for mobile, called F-Zero MX.
Square-Enix will announce Final Fantasy VII Remake for Nintendo NX.

1. The NX Prediction - The Nintendo YO. Wait, it's the Nintendo OY.

2. Fewer and fewer Virtual Console games. But they are releasing handheld Virtual Console games on the Wii U. It makes sense that in 2016 we will see a Nintendo 3DS game released exclusively on the Nintendo Wii U. (Ed: Well obviously the next Theatrhythm and Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai games will be on the Wii U!)

3. Scrambling to find something to release on the 3DS, Nintendo will remake the Nintendo DS game Tingle's Rosy Rupee Land. And there will be two versions with a green one featuring Tom Nook and a pink one featuring the Nintendo Badge Arcade Bunny. On this game's success, Rosy Rupee Land Gold will be released with Wario. Greg: It got him thinking about the second Tingle game with the pink Tingle, the Tinglette.

Nintendo will use Xenoblade Chronicles X as an inspiration for its mobile game. Partnering with Majesco, Nintendo will bring Cooking Tatsu to smart devices. "If you know what I mean~"

1. The NX Prediction - Western publishers will not be immediately on-board with the NX at launch. Greg wonders if even Ubi Soft will be there. Japanese publishers still making major console games (Bandai Namco, Koei Tecmo, Square Enix, Sega/Atlus, etc.) will be there in a wish to see a resurgence of home consoles in Japan and to have a competitive home console market.

2. By the end of 2016, Nintendo will be all in Splatoon. Splatoon the Uniqlo clothing line, Splatoon the consumable media license, Splatoon the concept album. "License deals for Splatoon are inevitable in Japan." Nintendo's mobile apps will have a Splatoon veneer.

3. "Western media will continue to find Nintendo's mobile offerings confusing. However, they will be very successful in Japan where tastes differ substantially." Western media will be frustrated; Japanese investors will be over joyed. If the mobile initiatives underperfrom, Nintendo will buy back stock from those mobage-pushing investors.

Nintendo will acquire talent from the mobile space to fill out their development roster.
Nintendo will acquire some poor, hapless developer or publisher to fill out the development backlog for the NX.
Nintendo will be more forward with presenting Monolith Soft as a marquee Nintendo developer and will tease a smaller project from them soon. Greg: "Disaster 2." James: "Yeah, I hope so. Disaster 2 for mobile. Steve Hewitt dating sim for mobile. There, done."

1. The (sorta) NX Prediction - It would be a huge oppotunity to get a Splatoon game on the NX Handheld. "To quote Matt Damon in Intersetllar, 'There is a moment, and I forget what happens after that.'"

"Project Guard and Giant Robot will achieve sentience and destroy 70% of the human population, before being given a specific release date."

2. It's the 20th anniversary of Pokemon this year. The Poke-palooza this year will see a Pokemon Z or X2/Y2. An amiibo pack will come with the new Pokemon RPG and unlock some extra functionality in the new RPG.

Nintendo's entire plan for the 30th anniversary of Metroid is the release of Metroid: Zero Mission on the Wii U Virtual Console (as well as the Metroid game that will not be named). Jon: He has no Metroid prediction this year for he has given up.

(Some people are predicting Mother 3 for 2016, but Greg does not share their confidence.)

Great show! The talk on Xenoblade Chronicles X has helped me love the game more. As 2015 was closing, I had Xenoblade Chronicles X behind Splatoon and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. I had slightly more disappointments with Xenoblade Chronicles X than I anticipated. But after playing more of the game and seeing through some major Normal Missions, I'm getting more joy out of the game. It only took a 100 something hours!

As for my own predictions/hopes...
I was on the "NX in 2017" train for a long time, but seeing how dire sales and the release calendar are for Nintendo has given me pause. Still, I will follow through and keep up with #NX2017 as it further tatter.

I really hope for a new F-Zero game, but all I get from crucial elements at Nintendo is apathy.

Honestly, I'm really hoping for Nintendo to debut a major new game with a new world and characters. Granted, we had Splatoon, Codename STEAM, and Xenoblade Chronicles X last year. There's still Genei Ibun Roku #FE to come out in English. It's more likely to see Nintendo bring a sequel out this year. But I would love to see at least one new, big chance from them this year.

Evan_BJanuary 14, 2016

The more I play of Xenoblade Chronicles X, the more I realize that it might be one of my favorite RPGs ever, but it's very strange to say this, because I will almost always place the original game above it.

Xenoblade was the perfect game for me, at the time. I wanted something big. Something incredible. It's hard to say that the sights in XCX aren't as fantastic as its predecessor, but there's something about the core setting of the original that is much more charming and wondrous. Its story and characters are arguably stronger, and its soundtrack is superior by far (though there's parts of XCX's soundtrack that are glorious). The core gameplay of XCX is deeper and more tiered, with Skells adding a completely new layer to the way the game progresses, but I would argure the gameplay styles presented in the first Xenoblade are more fun and varied (sure, the Tank is traditional, but the Mage, Thief, and Mercenary classes play very uniquely).

That being said, Xenoblade Chronicles X has a whole lot of things that it does right, and that make it a worthy sequel. It's insane how much of the original formula of the first game was preserved, yet also tweaked to give the game a COMPLETELY different feeling. Questing is SO much easier in XCX that it is the core of the gameplay, and the stories that unfold, with their bizarre narratives and unique variations, make up the heart of the game. The economy system is sublime and makes you feel that your effort to discover and improve has a positive effect on your city. Since the title is all about exploration, it takes a much more direct focus in this game, and constantly finding new caves and areas to take advantage of is immensely satisfying. Once more, Monolith proves that they understand level and environment design by creating multi-tiered landscapes that offer more and more rewards as you obtain the ability to traverse higher and more safely. And the ability to go anywhere means the spread of enemies is both more manageable and more dangerous all at the same time.

Looking at the game now, I felt that obtaining a Skell happened too soon, but that's because I truly enjoyed running through the environments on foot so much- that's probably why the original Xenoblade will always win out, for me. But You can do that, if you choose, in XCX. And, in retrospect, I put in a solid 50 hours of exploration on foot before getting a Skell, so I really shouldn't complain. Even then, the game throws areas at you that require on-foot traversal, and I respect it for that. There are caves that are inaccessible to Skells, and even the Skells are dwarfed by the world in many ways. But the harder sci-fi tone and dull palette of the game make it harder to become captivated by XCX, which is probably why this game and the original will war for a long time against each other in my personal book.

Any way you put it, you have to give Monolith Soft credit for making a game with similar mechanics to the first, but also creating something incredibly unique at the same time. To me, Xenoblade Chronicles X is the perfect SEQUEL, in that it improves on the flaws of the original while also standing as its own experience. But XCX wouldn't be what it is without Xenoblade, and I respect both titles because of that.

gamewizard65February 01, 2016

Quoting the beginning of the first paragraph: It's been two weeks since RFN last released an episode. :Q

Wrong! Should state three weeks!  ;)

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