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Episode 501: Faint Praise

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, and Guillaume Veillette - December 11, 2016, 12:05 pm PST
Total comments: 8

A listener's letter reveals a dark truth: We, you and I, are our own jailors in the prison that is Radio Free Nintendo.

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Jon was unprepared for a harsh revelation, and is potentially still hungover from our ultra-exclusive Episode 500 party. He was the only cast member invited. We're not bitter.

Greg, Gui, and James soldier on with New Business. Greg starts us off with thoughts on Picross 3D Round 2 (it's more Picross), F-Zero X on the Wii U VC (they fixed it), Shovel Knight (Plague Knight should be interesting), and Pokémon Sun/Moon postgame. Guillaume explores PC adventure game Read Only Memories, the game that dares to envision a future San Francisco that is more San Franciscan than the current one. He then gives an update on Paper Mario: Color Splash. James starts his New Business with a quick thought on setting up his AV setup to accommodate his new PS4, and very early thoughts on Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. He then returns to his Japanese import products with Game Center CX: Arino no Chousenjou 2. Guess what? That game's really hard in Japanese. It might be time to turn to the translation patch.

This week Listener Mail doubles as a way to cover the latest Nintendo news. We have questions about the rumored Virtual Console upgrade plan for Switch and the GameCube VC, the Switch demo on The Tonight Show and a potential Zelda delay, and an observant listener who noticed two conspicuously similar video game tracks, which is also how we end our show! You can help us combine two or three show segments by sending us an expertly-crafted email.

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's SoundCloud. The Radio Free Nintendo logo was produced by Connor Strickland. See more of his work at his website.

This episode's ending music is Unused Sound Test 10 from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Minish Village theme from The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. They were requested by Colin. All rights reserved by Sega Games Co., Ltd. and Nintendo Co., Ltd. respectively.

Talkback

azekeDecember 11, 2016

Shadow of Mordor stops being fun really fast.

While orc army gimmick does bring a tinge of personality to captain it just becomes an annoyance with time.

Ultimately you realize this unending stream of orc captains is just a hamster wheel for you to waste your time -- a tool to generate infinite amount of missions. Ubisoft uses 3 Eastern European game studios to fill up their open-worlds with collectathon, while WB has eliminated the middle man and just automated the entire process of creating side-missions.

Compared to Batman games -- there is no puzzle solving, no flying with the cape in 3d vertical environment, no interesting comic book fanservice. But you can kill some orcs? And then kill some more orcs and kill them all again and again and again.

Grimderp one-note tone of the game makes it even more boring. All orcs are all are variations of "me evil, me kill ya!". It gets old. At least in Batman games you can overhear mooks saying funny things.

EnnerDecember 11, 2016

Shadow of Mordor won some Game of the Year awards in its year. The nemesis system carried that game far. Important to note that that year is regarded to be a weak year (2014) for video games by some. This reminds me that I should find the time to play that copy of Bayonetta 2 (and 1) that I bought.


Good show.

ClexYoshiDecember 11, 2016

as someone who owns both of the Radiance Fire Emblem games, Path of Radiance is the good one, and Radiant Dawn is... just kinda bullshit for no reason? It's not like Thracia 776 where that game's crazy difficulty feels rewarding to overcome. Radiant dawn is hard because the game feels the need to need to severely handicap the player immediately. it very much feels like the game is meant to almost pick up in difficulty from where the previous game left off.

The problem of course is that while both of them are hella expensive, Path of Radiance (GCN) is the more expensive of the two!

I'd want Sega on-board the GCN VC train if only because I'd LOVE to play the good version of Skies of Arcadia and Phantasy Star Offline episodes 1 & 2 again.

Also, Killer 7. because I've never played that and I would love to have that window into the insane mind of Goichi Suda from 10-ish years ago

lolmonadeDecember 12, 2016

Quote from: azeke

Shadow of Mordor stops being fun really fast.

While orc army gimmick does bring a tinge of personality to captain it just becomes an annoyance with time.

Ultimately you realize this unending stream of orc captains is just a hamster wheel for you to waste your time -- a tool to generate infinite amount of missions. Ubisoft uses 3 Eastern European game studios to fill up their open-worlds with collectathon, while WB has eliminated the middle man and just automated the entire process of creating side-missions.

Compared to Batman games -- there is no puzzle solving, no flying with the cape in 3d vertical environment, no interesting comic book fanservice. But you can kill some orcs? And then kill some more orcs and kill them all again and again and again.

Grimderp one-note tone of the game makes it even more boring. All orcs are all are variations of "me evil, me kill ya!". It gets old. At least in Batman games you can overhear mooks saying funny things.

In all fairness, that's pretty much what orcs are in The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings as well - mindless evil-intentioned green monsters.  I don't disagree that I found the gameplay too uninteresting to play beyond 3 hours, but I had some friends who really enjoyed their time in the game.  I think it just comes down to whether you find the orc killin fun enough to keep you engaged over an extended time.

LemonadeDecember 13, 2016

Gui's comments about Colour Splash make me happy with the decision to not buy the game.

WanderleiDecember 14, 2016

I like that all three lads voices are distinct from one another.

OedoDecember 14, 2016

The fact that Breath of the Wild is coming out so late in the Wii U's life says more about the Wii U than anything else. Skyward Sword came out five years after the Wii launched and, if the rumors about Breath of the Wild coming out next summer end up being accurate, Breath of the Wild will actually come out a few months sooner in the Wii U's life. While you can likely attribute the long development time of Breath of the Wild to it being such an ambitious project, most of the development hurdles that surrounded Skyward Sword seemed like they were due to factors other than scope. I don't think making "smaller" 3D Zelda games would necessarily lead to dramatically shorter development times.

To the larger point about reining in the scope of the big Zelda games, I'd rather play a truly amazing game that takes five years to create, than a good one that takes closer to three. I have no problem waiting for Xenoblade 3, even if that means we don't get to play it until 2019 or 2020. If it's as amazing as the other two games in the series and ends up being my favorite game on the Switch like Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X were on the Wii and Wii U, respectively, it'll be well worth the wait. The big Zelda games are an important release for Nintendo that should be vying for "best game on the console" as well. If that means it takes four or five years to make it, so be it.

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is also at the very top of my list for the GameCube Virtual Console. I'm in the same boat as Greg; I wasn't as into RPGs during the GameCube era so I missed most of them back in the day and would really like a chance to play them now. I'm assuming the reason we didn't get Radiant Dawn on the Wii Virtual Console was because it's a sequel, so hopefully releasing Path of Radiance solves that problem as well and both games come out. The other explanation is that they're holding both games back for an HD remaster or remake, which I wouldn't mind either. 

Great show again this week, guys.

SteefosaurusDecember 18, 2016

Hopefully Chibi-Robo will also make it to GameCube VC, it's obscenely expensive on disc. Probably won't be as profitable for Nintendo as say Eternal Darkness, Smash Melee or Paper Mario TTYD, but I'm hoping they'll also release some of the less obvious ones. Baten Kaitos Origins is a really good shout too.

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