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Episode 475: Super Dimensional Fortress Great Fox

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Guillaume Veillette - May 8, 2016, 7:18 pm PDT
Total comments: 33

It's a small wonder Great Fox doesn't transform into a robot, a tank, or some kind of robot-tank hybrid.

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After a somber episode last week, the full RFN cast digs deep and finds a way to reunite to get the show back on the road. The Spirit of Unity pervades New Business, which Jon starts with Free-to-Play Wii U game Lost Reavers. Where else but on Radio Free Nintendo will discussion of a generic loot shooter turn into a deep philosophical exploration of mankind's unending urge to consume? James tries yet again to give a good report on Bravely Second; he likes it, honest. He and Greg then attempt to double-team impressions of Star Fox Zero, and this combined effort shatters the show's harmony. Greg is a fan of the indefensible walkers, the crippling over-reliance on All Range Mode, and an unrelenting series of baffling gameplay decisions. James, to say the least, isn't. He also writes this article, and as such casts the final verdict. Guillaume tries to bring the show back together with thoughts on "free" eShop titles My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge. He worries about his Picross chops and, unless Jon is willing to share his expansive amiibo collection, that he'll never see all of the Challenge.

After the break it's time for Listener Mail. We feature an assortment of your reactions to the NX news, Nintendo's E3 plans, Zelda's delay, and all the recent news, such as future President Trump's plan to rid the United States of the Lindemann Menace. You can send your insights on the currents roiling the politics of both US and the EU to our inbox.

Our Castlevania: Rondo of Blood RetroActive is a few weeks away. Get started playing, and you can leave your thoughts in the RetroActive talkback thread.

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 Color Of The Summer Sky from Secret of Mana. All rights reserved by SquareEnix.

Talkback

LemonadeMay 09, 2016

Did James end up finishing Project X Zone 2?
Im almost at Chapter 30. Its a fun game, but it really does go for too long.

SorenMay 09, 2016

RE: Star Fox.

Sadly I agree a lot with James on this one. No amount of "getting it" with the controls will change the fact that the Landmaster is crap, the Chicken Walker is terrible and the Gyro is sooooooooooo boring. And yeah, the game felt it was necessary to bombard me with these things on my first playthrough. I hate that they turned a challenging but rewarding stage like Zoness into a slog in Zero. Unfortunately this isn't the Star Fox I want and I guess I'll never have it.

To Greg's point, I think games like Star Fox/F-Zero/Metroid are treated as more "R&D" type games. They're the games you make when you want to try something new, because ultimately their sales probably won't make a huge dent either way.

DONKHATANT123 KongMay 09, 2016

Lost Reavers crashed on me multiple times and I had a 5:1 ratio of connection errors to actual games, but it's miles and away more interesting than the sleep inducing Mario vs DK amiibo challenge.

ClexYoshiMay 09, 2016

I don't think Gui realizes just how many fans of Krystal there are out there. I mean, enough people like Krystal to have gotten the folks at Smashified to do concept art for her in Super Smash Bros.

Evan_BMay 09, 2016

Hear ye, hear ye, and listen to the sage critique of James Jones- a man that hates Zelda and Star Fox games for not being what he wants, yet willingly puts himself through the tedium of titles like Bravely Second and Project X Zone because someone needs to appreciate such bloated, grueling affairs. Is it that he can only enjoy things that are inherently mediocre? Or perhaps that his standards for classic franchises are too clouded by nostalgia...?

Jokes aside, I think I've claimed by stake as the most apologetic gamer in existence regarding Lost Reavers- but something about Jon's analysis doesn't sit right with me. In what way is the game a first person shooter? I could see a third person shooter, maybe, but that doesn't take into account the huge amount of melee combat that exists. Maybe I'm the one playing the game wrong, but even the "all-ranged" characters have melee attacks, and I've found that its much more of a factor in controlling the undead hordes.

Again, it is a shameless pay-to-win, but the collectible screen (which shows you how many of a certain special item from each mission you've obtained) has rewards, such as bundles of data chips, that can make the loot cycle far more forgiving. But as far as loot-cycle-based titles go, I don't think Lost Reavers is too atrocious- generic, maybe- but not lazily designed. Seasoned players (i.e. those in the level 20 range) rarely "troll" by standing outside the spawn boundaries, likely because they understand those enemies don't grant experience. The customization, role-based gameplay balanced with the equipment systems also has plenty of interesting depth, which feels far from lazy.

EnnerMay 09, 2016

Only the hottest of fires for paltry offerings on Nintendo's systems.


I can see how Jon can say Lost Reavers is a first-person game if the only character he played is the black solider man.

Yeah, I didn't play with any of the other characters in the game, so if they're more third-persony (I can see that, as they're sword-based) I get that.

If you don't like that label, I'll just call it a "shitty game", okay?

Evan_BMay 10, 2016

Ha! Fair enough. Honestly, with how clunky the shooting controls are, I'm baffled as to why they made half the characters shooting-centric in the first place.

Then again, it is a pretty bad game, so choices like that aren't too surprising.

KobeskillzMay 10, 2016

Quote from: Evan_B

Hear ye, hear ye, and listen to the sage critique of James Jones- a man that hates Zelda and Star Fox games for not being what he wants, yet willingly puts himself through the tedium of titles like Bravely Second and Project X Zone because someone needs to appreciate such bloated, grueling affairs. Is it that he can only enjoy things that are inherently mediocre? Or perhaps that his standards for classic franchises are too clouded by nostalgia...?

Jokes aside, I think I've claimed by stake as the most apologetic gamer in existence regarding Lost Reavers- but something about Jon's analysis doesn't sit right with me. In what way is the game a first person shooter? I could see a third person shooter, maybe, but that doesn't take into account the huge amount of melee combat that exists. Maybe I'm the one playing the game wrong, but even the "all-ranged" characters have melee attacks, and I've found that its much more of a factor in controlling the undead hordes.

Again, it is a shameless pay-to-win, but the collectible screen (which shows you how many of a certain special item from each mission you've obtained) has rewards, such as bundles of data chips, that can make the loot cycle far more forgiving. But as far as loot-cycle-based titles go, I don't think Lost Reavers is too atrocious- generic, maybe- but not lazily designed. Seasoned players (i.e. those in the level 20 range) rarely "troll" by standing outside the spawn boundaries, likely because they understand those enemies don't grant experience. The customization, role-based gameplay balanced with the equipment systems also has plenty of interesting depth, which feels far from lazy.

Yeah I also noticed his opinions are all over the place. He doesn’t like Link Between worlds, Metroid Prime and Starfox yet he played other games that are legit ok to bad games and then rationalizes why he likes them. So in the end is just his opinion. A very vocal one but still his opinion which he’s entitled too. Though again jarring when he’s talking bad about a good game yet making excuses for a bad game.

SorenMay 10, 2016

Quote from: Kobeskillz

Though again jarring when he’s talking bad about a good game yet making excuses for a bad game.

Counterpoint: James Jones is speaking the truth.

Bravely Second - 81 Metacritic score.
Star Fox Zero - 69 Metascritic score.

Also, bad games can be enjoyed. Case in point: me playing SF0 to completion and wanting to go back to it even though it's an ungodly mess.

KobeskillzMay 10, 2016

I never mentioned Bravely Default. I don't really need to list games james has liked that are far less critically liked than Link between worlds and Metroid Prime which you conveniently left off.


It's an observation not an attack.

OedoMay 10, 2016

Radiant Dawn does seem like such an obvious choice for the eShop, but I'm afraid Nintendo might be disinclined to do it because it's missing the features that made Awakening and Fates popular here (though they did release Sacred Stones and Fire Emblem GBA) or because it's a sequel and they aren't doing Gamecube games. I really, really hope it happens though. If you'd ask me what games I want re-released the most right now, Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn are easily at the top of the list. 

DONKHATANT123 KongMay 10, 2016

Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon is also on virtual console so I'm sure it's a matter of time before we get Radiant Dawn, although they could also be a prime target for a remaster. It would probably be the easiest Fire Emblems to make graphical improvements for because of their use of polygons instead of sprites, and you could bundle the two of them nicely together.

OedoMay 10, 2016

If they re-released both games for the Wii U with some sort of visual improvements (heck, even with no visual improvements), they'd get a free pass from me for the rest of the Wii U's life.

Evan_BMay 10, 2016

Quote from: Soren

Quote from: Kobeskillz

Though again jarring when he’s talking bad about a good game yet making excuses for a bad game.

Counterpoint: James Jones is speaking the truth.

Bravely Second - 81 Metacritic score.
Star Fox Zero - 69 Metascritic score.

Also, bad games can be enjoyed. Case in point: me playing SF0 to completion and wanting to go back to it even though it's an ungodly mess.

Hey whoa, I was just joking. James Jones is entitled to his opinion, just like how I'm entitled to my opinion that Galaxy and 3D Land are a hot mess. We all have games that we love despite negative reception, James Jones just hosts a podcast.

ClexYoshiMay 10, 2016

It's just a shame that Radiant Dawn is a dumpster fire of a game that somehow frustrated me more than Thracia 776 with how uneven the game is.

KobeskillzMay 10, 2016

Quote from: Evan_B

Quote from: Soren

Quote from: Kobeskillz

Though again jarring when he’s talking bad about a good game yet making excuses for a bad game.

Counterpoint: James Jones is speaking the truth.

Bravely Second - 81 Metacritic score.
Star Fox Zero - 69 Metascritic score.

Also, bad games can be enjoyed. Case in point: me playing SF0 to completion and wanting to go back to it even though it's an ungodly mess.

Hey whoa, I was just joking. James Jones is entitled to his opinion, just like how I'm entitled to my opinion that Galaxy and 3D Land are a hot mess. We all have games that we love despite negative reception, James Jones just hosts a podcast.

I'm 33 now so excuse me if I'm out of touch with the lingo kids use now a days. Hot mess means bad ass now?  :)

SorenMay 10, 2016

Quote from: Evan_B

James Jones just hosts a podcast.

And that's why he speaks the truth. (I was also joking.)

Quote from: ClexYoshi

It's just a shame that Radiant Dawn is a dumpster fire of a game that somehow frustrated me more than Thracia 776 with how uneven the game is.

I swear I think I played that game wrong. Micaiah was so underpowered and died so easily it made for a frustrating playthrough.

I have very specific complaints with Link Between Worlds - complaints that I don't think anyone can easily refute.



The non-linear system that required a single item meant the game never let you get experienced with items and could not make puzzles that required you combine multiple items
As a result, the puzzles remained variants on a theme, especially within a dungeon
The game's combat is especially non-threatening, even by modern Zelda standards
Thusly, the game itself is quite easy.
Also it looks a bit like butt.


FUNNILY ENOUGH my issues with Star Fox Zero are also structural. They created this control scheme, I'll say is questionable, (although I didn't dog on it during the show, because it's fairly low on my list of concerns) that does not really show itself off in traditional Star Fox gameplay. Therefore - this design conceit (like the non-linear dungeons) - drove the game down a path where it spends a lot of time doing other things that do show off the controls more centrally. This results in a Star Fox experience that does not feel very Star Foxy, and rather has you tank controlling one ROB-inspired proxy while another barks tutorials at you.


I was excited for this game; I was eager for new Star Fox. I'm hugely disappointed. In that way, it shares a lot with Link Between Worlds. I think they both looked at core mechanics of their series, and missed the boat on what makes them fun.

ClexYoshiMay 10, 2016

Quote from: Soren

Quote from: ClexYoshi

It's just a shame that Radiant Dawn is a dumpster fire of a game that somehow frustrated me more than Thracia 776 with how uneven the game is.

I swear I think I played that game wrong. Micaiah was so underpowered and died so easily it made for a frustrating playthrough.

that might have just been the growth rates, but no. ANY map that requires use of the woefully underequipped and underpowered Dawn Brigade is a horrible chore and a slog. Elencia's Gambit is probably the most rage-inducing map that's ever been committed to an internationally relased Fire Emblem game that's a part of the story regardless of difficulty played on. (Cannot attest for Trial maps and certain DLC maps for all the internationally released FE games.) I really hate that support was gutted out in all but function. Heck, I would have been cool if they even recycled support conversations from Path of Radiance, but that's not the case.

Also, I love that Radiant Dawn provides you with the decidedly most useless endgame badass they've ever put into a FE game. in the second to the last chapter, you can get this Dragon Laguz named Gareth, and it's got an INSANE Def stat and the highest base HP of any unit ever in a Fire Emblem Game... but he has no Speed or Res, and all the enemies in the last two chapters do magic damage. ._.

sudoshuffMay 10, 2016

I am actually looking forward to seeing how the New Business section of the show devolves into madness during the Summer of No Games. 

I just show up, read the script, and check my email for Neal firing me.

Evan_BMay 10, 2016

A Link Between Worlds was no easier than the majority of modern Zelda titles. I think approaching dungeon and puzzle design from that standpoint definitely streamlined the straightforwardness and "answer" to those circumstances, but also set the game apart.

I can't comment on Star Fox Zero, but I will say I appreciated A Link Between Worlds for its design decisions despite that lack of variety.

KobeskillzMay 11, 2016

Quote from: Crimm

I have very specific complaints with Link Between Worlds - complaints that I don't think anyone can easily refute.



The non-linear system that required a single item meant the game never let you get experienced with items and could not make puzzles that required you combine multiple items
As a result, the puzzles remained variants on a theme, especially within a dungeon
The game's combat is especially non-threatening, even by modern Zelda standards
Thusly, the game itself is quite easy.
Also it looks a bit like butt.


FUNNILY ENOUGH my issues with Star Fox Zero are also structural. They created this control scheme, I'll say is questionable, (although I didn't dog on it during the show, because it's fairly low on my list of concerns) that does not really show itself off in traditional Star Fox gameplay. Therefore - this design conceit (like the non-linear dungeons) - drove the game down a path where it spends a lot of time doing other things that do show off the controls more centrally. This results in a Star Fox experience that does not feel very Star Foxy, and rather has you tank controlling one ROB-inspired proxy while another barks tutorials at you.


I was excited for this game; I was eager for new Star Fox. I'm hugely disappointed. In that way, it shares a lot with Link Between Worlds. I think they both looked at core mechanics of their series, and missed the boat on what makes them fun.

I think it’s unfair to make the statement that you can’t refute your complaints because at the end of the day it’s just your opinion.

Hey man I liked the art style and combat and most everything you have a complaint about. Did you happen to play with the OG 3DS Dpad? : )

lolmonadeMay 11, 2016

Quote from: Crimm

I just show up, read the script, and check my email for Neal firing me.

"I'm just here so I don't get fined."


- James Jones.

Most of them are facts. The dungeons did only know you had a single item. They did craft dungeons in a way that meant once it was done you never needed an item again. It was made simpler by a lack of direct progression. It didn't ask you to combine skills.

Evan_BMay 11, 2016

Some might argue it allowed them to be more creative with the uses for an item. Either way, dungeons in Zelda rarely ever have you combining skills and often it's in the worst way possible (like Twilight Princess' mixture of iron boots and claw shots). But that's just my opinion.

Just be thankful you put your opinions on a podcast that isn't treated like the word of God- you avoid death threats, as opposed to the content on the site.

KobeskillzMay 11, 2016

Quote from: Crimm

Most of them are facts. The dungeons did only know you had a single item. They did craft dungeons in a way that meant once it was done you never needed an item again. It was made simpler by a lack of direct progression. It didn't ask you to combine skills.

True some are facts but your enjoyment of the game due to those facts is opinion. I enjoyed the game and didn't mind these things and even enjoyed them.


Is like Symphony of the Night. I prefer the old school games and can give you facts. The Metroid style gameplay made it easier. You mostly used swords vs your whip. Sub items became less important. You could get lost and experience much less tense action vs the older games.


That doesn't mean it's a lesser game it just means my opinion of it is different from others due to those facts. Others view those facts as positives.





KobeskillzMay 11, 2016

Quote from: Evan_B

Some might argue it allowed them to be more creative with the uses for an item. Either way, dungeons in Zelda rarely ever have you combining skills and often it's in the worst way possible (like Twilight Princess' mixture of iron boots and claw shots). But that's just my opinion.

Just be thankful you put your opinions on a podcast that isn't treated like the word of God- you avoid death threats, as opposed to the content on the site.

I love interesting conversations and nothing ignites that more that two different opinions. I also love that James is cool with people countering his opinions and not acting like oh my word is stone get out of my site. I’ve been on websites where if you question anything the creaters will stone you and even block you.

Evan_BMay 11, 2016

Funnily enough, I realized the parallels this discussion had with the previous episode where James Jones tried to defend Xenoblade Chronicles as Dr. Metts and Guillame smacked it about. Here, James tried to smack Star Fox Zero while Guillame and Greg defended it.

James Jones always gets bullied. Sorry, James.

IT'S MY SHOW, DAMN IT!

EnnerMay 11, 2016

Leave James alone.

KobeskillzMay 12, 2016

Quote from: Crimm

IT'S MY SHOW, DAMN IT!

Remember in episode 159 when you said… Nah just kidding. : )

Honestly since you’ve taken over I feel you’ve done an amazing job and I listen every week. This is coming from someone that was at times critical of you James but I admit you really are a great host and I appreciate the work you guys put in weekly.

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