Episode 538: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Guillaume Veillette - September 10, 2017, 2:45 pm PDT
Total comments: 12

We all want to be Marion Cobretti, but someone's got to be Snaps Provolone.

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It's the time of year where we have a veritable bevy of New Business. Jon has hands-on with retro-revival Sonic Mania, thanks to a screw-up at Sega and the generosity of listener Sgt. Flowers. He is actually surprised at the joy he's finding in this throwback to a 1994 2D Sonic that never was. We're sure Sonic Forces will hit the same high quality bar. He also has hands-on with Destiny 2, this time with in-game story. He's similarly happy with this sequel. Jon's getting all the best Engrams. Guillaume made good use of Nintendo rewards, scoring a discount on Picross 3D: Round 2. He loves it, which makes sense, or should I say IT ADDS UP? I shouldn't. He and Karen have been playing a lot of 2D brawlers, with some special attention paid to Double Dragon Neon (which he is cool on) and classics like Simpsons Arcade (which is still great). James is back to his organized crime roots with Yakuza Kiwami. This game is a remake/sequel; modernizing the PS2 original while also trying to mesh it with prequel Yakuza 0. Kiwami is quite a bit smaller than 0, which also came out this year, but it's still a dopey crime story. James and Greg have both finished Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, and have concluding thoughts on the strategy mashup. Having seen the entire game, they have lots of ideas for improvement of an already good game. Expect that sequel in 2019.

After the break we only had time for two emails. This week we look into the "correct" way to unload your old games, and we have a group therapy session to figure out which Sylvester Stallone role we'd each consider our "spirit animal." Our listerners are weird. You can send us completely insane questions via our inbox.

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 Staff Credits from Metroid II: Return of Samus. It was selected by Greg. All rights reserved by Nintendo Co. Ltd.

Talkback

lolmonadeSeptember 10, 2017

Guillaume,

Even if you lapse your PS+ membership, if you renew your membership, any game you had redeemed during the time you were a member SHOULD be available. 

Only exceptions are ones like The Simpsons or Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which are both games that had licensing issues that ended in them not only not being available for purchase anymore, but also taken off of download histories.  I have both of those on my PS3 hard drive, and it makes me really annoyed that once it fails, they're gone.

Ugh. There goes any guilt I might have had playing The Simpsons Arcade on MAME, then!

WanderleiSeptember 10, 2017

All Toads look the same! Racist much.

ClexYoshiSeptember 10, 2017

Remember that email you guys got a while back about the verbal rash thing with Pokemon?

It might just be my internet credentials talking and the sorts of communities I find myself in, but I think that applies just a tad with RFN talking about Sonic, even if James has come out the other end of Shadow the Hedgehog and Rise of Lyric (Relatively) unscathed.

Activation of Tails Copter combo while playing as sonic involves you looking up before Jumping and hitting the jump-button again in air. don't hold it though, as this will activate Drop Dash/Insta-Shield if you're playing the 3&K style sonic in NoSave mode.

Seriously, though. I'm on like... Playthrough number... 7 1/2?, I think? Sonic + Tails was my last one, but I've done...

Solo Sonic
Solo Tails
Solo Knuckles
Super Peelout Sonic
Knuckles & Knuckles + Debug mode
Using Debug + Level Select to get Sonic into Knuckles' Mirage Saloon Act 1 and deciding to play through the rest of the way just to see the bad ending since I had gotten all emeralds on all may playthroughs at that point
Tails & Knuckles playthrough that I focused on finishing up the rest of the Gold Medal Blue Sphere challenges
Sonic & Tails


... yyyyyyyyeah.


Now, for the corrections.

- Christian "The Taxman" Whitehead got his start in the SonicRetro community doing prototype disassembly, even finding an unused and undiscovered boss for the Sky Chase sections in Sonic Adventure. He eventually developed His Retro engine, and programmed a couple of basic levels into it, calling that Retro Sonic.

- He then used his retro engine to pitch a Sonic CD port/Remake to Touch Arcade. Sega saw this and were impressed, given the difficulties of just direct porting Sonic CD. This Sonic CD Port came out for iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Xbox 360, Steam, and PS3. it was released shortly after Sonic Generations, but before Sonic 4 episode 2. It smoothed out the special stages, added in Playable Tails, achivements, fixed the physics and funky collision with Sonic CD, runs at 60 FPS and in 16:9, fixes the spin dash  lets you listen to the US or the JP/EU soundtrack because Sega of America back in the day for SOME insane reason redid the amazing Sonic CD Soundtrack...

- From there, Whitehead brought on Simon "Stealth" Thomley, who was one of the Co-founders of Sonic Stuff Research Group (SSRG) and the project head of the excellent Sonic 1 Megamix Romhack and also made a better Sonic 1 port for GBA than Sega could ever be bothered to. Together, Christian Whitehead and Thomley's company "Headcannon Games" to which he is the only employee, worked to improve the Retro Engine further, and released Sonic 1 for iOS and Android. This version of Sonic 1 is better than whatever M2 barfed onto the 3DS, supporting true Widescreen, Smoother scrolling for the Special Stages, playable Tails, Playable Knuckles, added in Spin Dash, save features, a 7th emerald for Super Sonic, and new bits of level design to accomodate for the fact that Tails and Knuckles can fly over the likes of Marble Zone and Spring Yard zone.


-This dynamic duo continued on with a Sonic 2 port for iOS and Android. This had all of the above features along with making the half-pipe special stages polygonal, as well as adding in the fabled and cut "Hidden Palace Zone"  if you fell into a particularly infamous pit in Mystic Cave Zone. They were also poised to do S3&K, but Sega never gave them the greenlight on that... but eh, I can't complain since they got the greenlight on Sonic Discovery, although Takashi Iizuka insisted the game be called Sonic Mania.

-Iizuka-San was actually a rather big part of Mania's development. as Exec Producer on the game, he really hammered home the idea that Sonic Mania needed to be a game that would shake expectations and surprise people. Death Egg robot in Green Hill zone was a specific example of that, and I'd probably credit the thing they did with the Hydrocity bosses as being a part of the Sonic Team director's direct influence. That's not to say that this undercuts what Whitehead, Thomley, and the folks at Pagoda West like Brad Flik, Tom Fry, or Paul Veer's amazing achivement here.


Also, Jon, it's important to mention that Sonic Mania was designed to be like a SATURN game! the Special Stages are kinda a meld of Sonic R and Sonic CD's special stages. Blue Sphere is from S3&K though, so... yeah. this game has a HARD cutoff point where it specifically won't reference things after that unless it's for a dumb Meme (like Videogame Dunky's cameo, the loving tribute to deceased Romhacker PolygonJim, or & Knuckles Memes).


There are DEFENATLEY schisms in the Sonic Fanbase. I know people who are more modern Sonic fans then they are Classic Sonic fans. Hell, there's a guy who's a sometimes freelance correspondent for GameXplain who is openly disdainful of the idea that Classic Sonic is necessarily better than Modern Sonic and thinks the Classic Sonic love is just mainstream groupthink poisoning people.

One of the people who's a mentor for my art? She doesn't like Sonic video games. She was in it for the Archie Comic stuff and he might be done with Sonic if the new partnership with IDW comics doesn't produce the characters she grew up and loved like Princess Sally and Bunnie Rabbot.

There's some UK people who love the Fleetway publishing Sonic comics! There are people who love so many different and insane things about this franchise... and I'm glad that SEGA took a step back and is using this oppertunity to do the ol' Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream thing that Vince McMahon loves talking about in his philosophy in the wrestling business.

I'm confident that no, you can'd really sit there and compare Sonic Forces with Sonic Mania. It looks like Sonic Team is really trying. this game got a whole extra year's worth of delay. it has a tone more befitting of that sort of Shonen anime feel that Sonic Adventure 2 brought to the table. It's got the gameplay style that modern sonic fans praised from Sonic Unleashed/Colors/Generations. it's got Edgelord monster of the week antagonist, music with lyrical accompaniments by established musicians like Hoobastank frontman Doug Robb. I think when the dust has settled and we finally get to see what Sonic Forces is at it's core that it's going to be the right sort of game for it's fanbase, the traditional 'Sonic Cycle' be damned.


Also, Sonic Generations 3DS is NOT a better game than Sonic Generations on consoles. they're BOTH good.

Sonic 4 Episode 1 runs on the Sonic Rush engine. it just doesn't have the boost mechanic. Seriously, try playing Sonic 4, then play Sonic Rush without boosting. VERY similar experiences.

MASBSeptember 10, 2017

I realize I didn't give my Stallone Sprirt Role. I'd have to say Rocky Balboa, in the first Rocky film. When he's sort warring with himself on whether he can achieve his goals or not.

Nintendo has had a shortage of good sports games for awhile. Maybe create a Pele's Victory Soccer with Stallone and Michael Caine as players. That could have Game of E3 2018 potential, gentlemen!

When another slow mail episode comes along, I hope you'll be able to use the email I sent a couple of weeks ago. But I can't decide what would make a better conversation piece: Choaniki or Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland next to Donatello's David. It makes one ponder.

Thanks to Greg for his music selection. Brought back many good memories. Am I the only one that would go into first-person view to look at the Moon and the Christmas lights? I notice that I looked at the Moon alot in games during the Nintendo 64 era. Still do that with games sometimes.

I appreciated the Sonic talk. I need to play more of the Sonic games. Thanks to ClexYoshi for his informative Sonic post! :)

ClexYoshiSeptember 11, 2017

Your welcome, MASB.


I suppose I've proven I have the devotion to take Over The Top as my spirit role.


I think it's also worth noting that seminal PC Destruction Derby/Racer Carmageddon (there's an N64 port of it that's really bad too!) was originally meant to be a DeathRace video game but the license got tugged out.

lolmonadeSeptember 11, 2017

Quote from: ClexYoshi

Sonic 4 Episode 1 runs on the Sonic Rush engine. it just doesn't have the boost mechanic. Seriously, try playing Sonic 4, then play Sonic Rush without boosting. VERY similar experiences.

I'm still chaffed about how many reviewers tried to claim Sonic 4 was a "return to classic Genesis Sonic".  Sonic 4 wasn't the worst game i've played, but it wasn't a good Sonic game, and felt nothing like classic Sonic.

ClexYoshiSeptember 11, 2017

Sonic 4 is very much an example of a wolf in sheep's clothing. it wore the very plastic-y New Super Mario Bros. skin of the retro revival for the modern era, but the level design and logical sense of how things worked was gone. Bounce Pads and Dash pads are used Ad Nauseum to propel Sonic through sequences and homing attack chains were applied liberally to try and hide how fundamentally different the... everything is.

I find it interesting because The New Super Mario Bros. games also don't feel like they handle nearly as nicely as Super Mario World or even SMB3, and this is REALLY apparent in Super Mario Maker. Still, it's a close enough approximation that doesn't change how Mario fundamentally reacts with the basic building blocks of his level design.

Sonic 4 instead makes sonic feel like he is made of lead with how much friction he has on all sorts of surfaces and how letting go of the D-pad at any point in the air makes him sink like he's Mega Man. he's functionally different in a DRASTIC way, and it changes Sonic from what was a heavily physics based platformer, to more of a more mechanical one with some momentum elements that are often controlled by the game forcing you off a speed booster and spring in any moment where the game WANTS you to have built momentum.

KobeskillzSeptember 11, 2017

Mario Kart Double Dash used the Lan Adapter.


My friends and i had a blast with this.


But yeah the Lan and especially moden were hardly used.


Though PS2 didn't use these as much either. More so than GC but no where near the Xbox and it's online.

KobeskillzSeptember 11, 2017

In Mario + Rabbits there is a house in Peach Castles that lets you replay all the challenges that you've tried. That helps.

ClexYoshiSeptember 11, 2017

Quote from: Kobeskillz

Though PS2 didn't use these as much either. More so than GC but no where near the Xbox and it's online.

I played a shitload of FF11, Smackdown Vs. Raw, and SOCOM online on PS2. Especially Final Fantasy, though. that game shaped my high school and college years, for better or for worse.

Darkurai the Oracle PonySeptember 12, 2017

With regards to James' comments about Kiryu being the worst criminal ever, this is actually because he's portrayed as the old-style Yakuza that used to be more prevalent, but is no longer really in vogue nowadays.


I'm not really an expert on the subject so forgive me if I don't have it spot on, but Kiryu represents an age when the yakuza had a code of honor and would not harm civilians. The only people who were fair game were people who had business with the yakuza or otherwise were harming their community. There's an old article by Jake Adelstein where he got three real yakuza bosses to sit down and play Yakuza 3, and they commented that Kiryu acted just like some of the older guys they knew.


Here's a more fully-formed post on the subject from someone who knows more about it than I do.

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