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Episode 535: Milking the Ghost Cow

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, and Guillaume Veillette - August 20, 2017, 6:25 pm PDT
Total comments: 5

All the children are doing it.

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Rested and refreshed after a week off, the team is delighted to be back together. Predictably, Jon spoils (read: improves) the reunion with his absence. Our go-to Emergency Guest Syrenne McNulty fills in, kicking off New Business with a trio of games. Quick thoughts on Agents of Mayhem are followed by thoughts on Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2, along with an exhaustive look at word salad Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy. Listen as she systematically deflates James' hype for games in two series he adores. Greg gives us an update on his Splatoon 2 progress, and then dives into Namco Museum. Switch might not have a Virtual Console, but this collection sure is $30. James has a look at another retro collection in Rare Replay, thanks to budding games philanthropist Jon. He's played the first 15 years of Rare's legacy, and it's weird. Best Maze Game 1984. Guillaume concludes New Business on a shady note, trying to sell 1-2-Switch to children.

After the break it's time for Listener Mail. Just two questions this week; we discuss what features we'd like to see in the Switch Fire Emblem, and what platformers we'd like to see come back, Sonic Mania style. You can ask us how we want to feel the magic user by sending us an email.

ATTENTION: We will be recording our RetroActive for Super Mario Sunshine LIVE on Thursday, August 24 at 9 PM Eastern. We'll be in the NWR Discord and taking call-ins. Check back soon for the link to the stream. We hope to see you there!

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 Perry'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 Dam from GoldenEye 007. It was requested by Cooper. All rights reserved by ???


WanderleiAugust 21, 2017

Is there a Harvest Moon/Story of Season situation going with Phoenix Wright?

ClexYoshiAugust 21, 2017

RNG has a VERY important place in Fire Emblem, but I feel like reducing some of it would help. RNG is ultimately what both simultaneously enables over-extension as well as what I basically call "Risk and Threat Assessment" where you simply have to ask yourself if you're feeling lucky before you put yourself in a 'do or die' situation Vs. the safe strategy.

As for the Growth system, I like it inasmuch that it's meant to give you replay value in that from playthrough to playthrough a unit can end up vastly different and it makes you think about how to distribute precious stat-up items to ensure a unit hits a cap. I think it should change, but not entirely go away, such as maybe having a Vulnerary style item that your unit consumes and they get a buff where if they hit their level up while the buff is in effect they're gaurenteed at least 3 stats to hit a point, with a 1 stat point minimum whenever you level up. I also think they really need to bring back proper lockpicks, tourches (along with fog of war), dancer rings, etc. Also, I suppose it's worth mentioning that there's Alfa's Drops in Blazing Sword, but it's a late game item, you only get 1, and it basically increases the Unit's growth rates by 5% all around.

Honestly, I've... really disliked the way fire emblem has been mutating on the slippery slope. maybe it's because I can't afford Fire Emblem Echoes, but I HAAAAAAAATE this series becoming this entirely DLC driven festival of avarice. I dislike the writing getting stretched so thin for this rediculous 'everyone HAS to support with everyone' mentality that leads to characters repeating their character arcs through multiple units or the inconsistency between characters depending on the support (See: Anything that has to do with Xander in the campaign Vs. Xander's supports in Fates.)

I feel that megaten games are Bufu'd out the rear end, I get frustrated at Gachapon games that break my phone and ban my account if I try to play on an android emulator, and I'll play Senran Kagura if I really wanna play a musou game.

I think the greatest advantage of being talked into busting out my Wii to play Super Mario Sunshine is that I get to play Path of Radiance again because it sure as hell beats ever playing Fire Emblem Fates again after essentially paying the cost for Steel Batallion to play a game that frustrates me to no end with bad writing after bad design choice after awful garbage grindfests pertaining to any of the My Castle features.

Also, I am disappoint that we got no new business pertaining to the bonding adventures of SpaceStationSilliconValley. Oh well, I suppose Syrenne did fulfill her quota of Visual Novels I have zero interest in ever playing ever related new business.

TheBigKAugust 21, 2017

I don't care what anyone says, Echoes was the best Fire Emblem on 3DS and one of the best I've ever played. Awakening was novel, I'll give it that, but the Pair Up mechanic broke the game and the whole children thing was kind of messy. They completely stole the limelight from other interesting and unique characters because they were OP as the living fuck. The story was a bit over the top as well. Fates, Fates was a train wreck. It was basically created as Awakening 2: Electric Boogaloo. The story made no sense and was full of plotholes and the entire game felt so contrived. I like a good story in my Fire Emblem, makes the battles feel more real and progression more meaningful.

Echoes, while a remake of Gaiden, felt both fresh and familiar. It felt to me like a return to form. The story, while comparatively "simple", didn't feel esoteric and nonsensical. The writing was fantastic and the voice acting really resonated with me. I haven't been as invested in a Fire Emblem story since Binding Blade. They brought back the Support system of the GBA games and the Fatigue system of Thracia 776, it had a little bit of everything from the old games. It was a masterpiece as far as I'm concerned, currently top contender for my game of the year.

As for future Fire Emblem games, keep the voice acting, make the plot believable, take risks as James said, remove that stupid waifu simulator support system unless it's like a remake of Genealogy where it made sense, and get rid of the avatar. I like my lords as actual people, not insert-myself-here vessels. I want to be invested in their struggles, in their world. I can't do that with avatars. Or just remake Genealogy/Thracia or Binding Blade/Blazing Blade. That would work, too.

ClexYoshiAugust 21, 2017

okay, cool. someone else posted. I wanted to put  my thoughts on the series that needs the Sonic Mania treatment in a seperate post from my Fire Emblem bitching and moaning.

Now, the problem with this is that there are very few communities out there that have has passionate a fanbase that's crazy good at programming and have sat there with a fine-toothed comb and overanalyzed the crap out of it. We got your Mega Mans, your Castlevanias, maybe Streets of Rage? that have the perfect storm of Fans with strong chops for level design, artistic prowess, programming genius, and a crowd of people passionate about the product to have this sort of thing go on.

I think the easy fast ball that this e-mail was throwing people's way was Metroid and AM2R. imagine a team of Thomas Happ and Milton Guasti gotten together with the backing of Wayforward to make that long awaited 'Metroid 5' as a Zebesian adventure that has snapshots of level design and abilities from both Zero Mission and Super Metroid? I think that'd be the MAJOR project you could get away with the sort of project that Sonic Mania is.

A lot of what makes Sonic Mania worth a damn is what franchise it is, and the way it disenfranchised all of but the most ardent of fans. It's filling a pent-up demand that if you took a moment to do a lick of research and are willing to fiddle around in the world of fan games, you'd never have that problem. the thing that shocks me is how many people go into Sonic Mania, love it, and then go "oh, I don't do fan games"

now, if we weren't talking about any sort of realism to this sort of revival, I think you could do Gex and the RezFlix zone. the 3DO original actually has some kernels of greatness in there if you pulled the camera back and reigned in Dana Gould a little bit for better set-up for the endless one-liners. The idea of a 2D platformer largely based on exploring via climbing walls, ceiling, and the background has great potential, and doing it while attempting to take the piss out of pop culture is great. yeah, you could use the tropes from the old games and use them to GREAT effect. Make the horror channel have a segment of a Found footage horror movie or have the cartoon channel now feature these more serious/emotional characters that insane fan bases crop up around like Steven Universe and such. I'd probably try and cast Mike Stolklasa of Red Letter Media lend his dry humor to Gex and have him very much be a member of the creative process for the game.

I fell off the Fire Emblem wagon at Fates.  I jumped-in whole hog at Awakening, and threw probably a good 100 hours into it at the time I played it.  When I started up at Fates, the game itself is good enough, I think I just played too much of the last one too soon from when Fates released for me to be hungry for more.

So for me, what the Switch game will need is probably what I'll get - enough time separated from the 3DS versions to where i'll be itching to play that style of game again.  I also wouldn't complain if they scaled back how anime it's all gotten, but I'm guessing they'll lean further into it.

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