Episode 540: Reset the Metroid Clock

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, and Guillaume Veillette - September 24, 2017, 6:25 pm PDT
Total comments: 15

The game just came out and already the grousing about the next 2D Metroid is underway.

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Last week's unprofessionalism came with consequences. Jon Lindemann has been removed from Radio Free Nintendo. To give ourselves a chance to recenter, we decided to focus on an unusually long New Business segment. Greg takes lead-off with the first properly-authorized appearance of Samus in a year, with Metroid: Samus Returns. We'll call his impressions fairly deep; as of recording he'd already cleared the game twice. For the momentous release of a 2D Metroid we give him all the space he needs - leading to a meaty 45 minutes of impressions. James has been trying to clear out his backlog, and finally got around to the trans-media property that is Final Fantasy XV. Watching the movie tie-in/trash fire Kingsglaive should have warned him what lay ahead. This may be the only game where the writers literally lost the plot. Guillaume was inspired by the announcement of Hamster's impending ports of Nintendo's arcade games to take a look at ACA NeoGeo Aero Fighters 2. A dolphin, a baby, and a robot walk into a bar and then liberate/destroy all the world's cities. Guillaume closes out the show with a look at Super Bomberman R. He still finds the game a bit rough, despite a raft of post-launch patches, but concedes that matchmaking aside they fixed online.

Jon will be un-fired, and return next week, and so will Listener Mail. You can send your questions, comments, concerns, and Metroid 2D petitions to our inbox.

This episode was edited by James Jones. 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 Title Theme from SteamWorld Dig. It was requested by Ben. All rights reserved by Image & Form International AB

Talkback

MASBSeptember 24, 2017

Jon's simply too far ahead of his time. His Metroid: Samus Returns performance art from last week was too ground-breaking. I suggest we all shave (and wax?) our heads (both of them?) in solidarity with Jon until his return next week. We can also wear a gold headband to symbolize our appreciation of head gold, knowledge of the streets.

Appreciated the in-depth look at Metroid. I do echo Justin Berube's disappointment that they didn't focus on remixing Metroid II music rather than having most of the game's music sound like it came from a Prime game.

I really enjoyed James's dismantling of FF XV. An unexpected treat! I do wonder what the people get out of the game that like it. It feels like the problems with the game are so obvious that they should have been fixed or accounted for by the dev team long before release.

EnnerSeptember 25, 2017

Really fun hearing James' laments on Final Fantasy 15. Only got the harsher criticisms on the game outside of reviews. I do wonder if the people who are favorable to it were just really happy to have a Final Fantasy that wasn't 13 or 14. I have yet to play the game and am curious to play it, but reading and hearing of it's slapdash and empty nature is putting me off. It does not help that I still have Breath of the Wild to chew through.


It was good to hear Gui's talk on Aero Fighters 2. I've only played that game through an emulator. I can only recall it being mediocre compare to the other arcade shoot'em ups I played.

WanderleiSeptember 25, 2017

I hope SE gives the FF15 port a big miss and use their experiments to bring FF7 remake of Kingdom Hearts to Switch. Although I cannot remember the last home console game from SE that I have enjoyed. The only recent games of theirs I enjoyed is the Brave Default games, which I feel like is where FF should have evolved too.

KDR_11kSeptember 25, 2017

I played Sonic Wings Special on the Vita (it's PS1 or PSP, don't remember) and that would give you 9 credits to finish the game and the last 3 or so levels would always reset you to the beginning of the stage if you continued, before that it's instant continue. Made for a decent mixture of leniency and git gud. Also it had extra versions of each character and secret characters that you'd unlock by beating it with different characters...

If you feel the need for some more Metroid you can play A Robot Named Fight on the PC, that's veeeery Super Metroid but a roguelite.

Darkurai the Oracle PonySeptember 25, 2017

A fun fact regarding the beginning of the show is that Big Ben actually is being taken away. Big Ben is not the clock, it's the bell.

ClexYoshiSeptember 26, 2017

When I think of Ecstasy of Gold, I honestly think of Wild ARMS' World Map theme, which rips it off wholesale.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrFhD87di0I


Seriously, I have NO Clue how Sony or Media.Vision got away with this shit

Terraforce777September 26, 2017

I personally feel James' criticisms of FFXV are overly harsh. And he either intentionally or unintentionally mitigates the things it does right whilst emphasizing what it does wrong which seems pretty unfair. Like his problem about the open world seems unwarranted. He makes it come across as if you can only traverse specific areas of the map, and traveling is hardly a bother (especially with fast travel). While driving you can find side quests, optional dungeons, enemies to fight, items to collect, etc, so his point about there being nothing to do seems dumb to me. And let's not act as if traversal time isnt a problem with other JRPGs like XCX which James likes even though I'd argue that game does it worse. The combat is also deeper than "two buttons" just like how Xenoblade can be different from spamming Arts till you win. This is all without even going back to things like his problem with Kingsglaive. I bought the Deluxe Edition that came with the movie and everything, but I still have yet to watch it and I wasn't lost in the story at all. Doesn't take more than rudimentary inferences or the ability to out two and two together to understand it:

Didn't mean for this rant to go on for this long, but a lot of his complaints are just weird, and some are just contradictory. Long time listener and I've grown to ignore a lot of James' unwarranted complaints, but this was a bit much.

ClexYoshiSeptember 26, 2017

Quote from: Wanderlei

I hope SE gives the FF15 port a big miss and use their experiments to bring FF7 remake of Kingdom Hearts to Switch. Although I cannot remember the last home console game from SE that I have enjoyed. The only recent games of theirs I enjoyed is the Brave Default games, which I feel like is where FF should have evolved too.

Nier Automata. Any of the Eidos fun times (Tomb Raider Reboot, Just Cause, Deus Ex, THIEF) Star Ocean: Integrety and Faithlessness, I am Setsuna, Life is Strange...

I know those are all examples of games made by studios outside of Squeenix proper, but So is Bravely Default.

Outside of Dragon Quest Builders (which is an acquired blend of tastes between Minecraft and Milquetoast RPG game) and A Realm Reborn (a game developed  because their first go at Final Fantasy 14 was so terrible), I'm inclined to agree that Square-Enix has been in a state of continual floundering since the jump to 1080p. I'm also inclined to believe that the floundering I speak of truly began the moment Hironobu Sakaguchi signed the paperwork to build a multi-million dollar CG animation studio in Hawaii.

You're free to disagree, but I don't think I was unfair at all to FFXV. It does do a poor job telling its story - a point even Square Enix acknowledged with repeated attempts to graft more story into it. The movie does touch on a lot of the motivations and lore that simply aren't in the game. Can you play it without? Yes. But it omits a lot of stuff that SHOULD be in the game. It explains why Noctis and co have the powers they do. It explains why there's a war. It explains what the Empire is after, who the minister is, what they're up to. It gives lore explanations for a lot of the party's actions that the game simply seems to drop on you. It explains why his marriage to Luna is significant beyond "It needs to happen." It feels cut out of the game to sell the damn movie.


No, the combat isn't one button - you can change weapons and get some type advantage, but you're still holding a button to attack. Your party doesn't seem to respond to the weapon theyre holding. You still have to manually feed them items. The game regularly doesn't explain fundamental elements about the combat. The bosses are often huge damage sinks that - while not hard - don't do anything to make them engaging encounters. The normal combat is the same enemies over and over. The only encounters that are truly fun are the ones that basically DON'T happen in the combat system. Ones where magic takes over and we get big set-piece battles.


The world is nice, yes, it is highly segmented to a degree that it negates the "openness." It also does a poor job leading you off the road. The quests will take you to the secret dungeons, but there are a great many quests. Finding the ones that take you there are largely luck or perseverance. The dungeons themselves aren't particularly well-crafted. The last one I did was a big repetitive maze with a fairly small number of rooms and reused textures everywhere. The only thing that kept it having any length was its confusing progress.


I find ANY comparison to Xenoblade Chronicles X's open world to be confounding. XCX gave you a sandbox you could move around in. It was truly open to you, you could wander near and far, discovering stuff constantly as you went. You could use your movement options to get to places you aren't meant to see, and when you're finally running out of places to reach it adds flight to change your perspective and the world's scale. Sure, you can go off-road in FFXV, but XCX has no roads. Go where you want, when you want, how you want. Yes you can quick travel but why can't moving the world be part of the fun? You can quick travel in XCX and Breath of the Wild, but I often decided to hoof it to see what I would see. That where Open World design actually adds something.


Like I said, your opinion is just as valid as mine, but I'm not here to find "balance" for a game I find distressingly bereft of the things I want from this series. Are there things I enjoyed? Yeah. In the wash do they override the things I did not? Hell no. My overriding impression of this game is negative, as a consequence so was my New Business.

KobeskillzSeptember 27, 2017

ok i might get blasted here but a while back the gang clearly answered someones email about playing games you don't like.


The sentiment was very strong about why play games you don't like and why force yourself and that's stupid and a waste of time.


mmmmm. This person deserves an apology! lol.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusSeptember 27, 2017

Quote from: Kobeskillz

ok i might get blasted here but a while back the gang clearly answered someones email about playing games you don't like.

The sentiment was very strong about why play games you don't like and why force yourself and that's stupid and a waste of time.

mmmmm. This person deserves an apology! lol.

James owes many apologies; for instance, I believe he has yet to express the requisite remorse for Episode 103 (note: this statement is very different from saying that no remorse has been expressed).

KobeskillzSeptember 27, 2017

Quote from: Yoshidious

Quote from: Kobeskillz

ok i might get blasted here but a while back the gang clearly answered someones email about playing games you don't like.

The sentiment was very strong about why play games you don't like and why force yourself and that's stupid and a waste of time.

mmmmm. This person deserves an apology! lol.

James owes many apologies; for instance, I believe he has yet to express the requisite remorse for Episode 103 (note: this statement is very different from saying that no remorse has been expressed).

You know I kept hearing about this episode as I started listening to this podcast a few years ago and when I went back to hear it I thought it was one of the all time funniest podcast episodes ever. Of any podcast.

No apologies needed there. We should be thanking him if anything. Lol.

pokepal148September 28, 2017

Quote from: Yoshidious

Quote from: Kobeskillz

ok i might get blasted here but a while back the gang clearly answered someones email about playing games you don't like.

The sentiment was very strong about why play games you don't like and why force yourself and that's stupid and a waste of time.

mmmmm. This person deserves an apology! lol.

James owes many apologies; for instance, I believe he has yet to express the requisite remorse for Episode 103 (note: this statement is very different from saying that no remorse has been expressed).

I seem to recall that you were on 103 as well. I don't think you've ever apologized for that.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusSeptember 29, 2017

Quote from: Donkepal148

I seem to recall that you were on 103 as well. I don't think you've ever apologized for that.

To whom do you think the apologies are owed? James had the responsibility of hosting 103; Jon and I were innocent victims/audio hostages, powerless to influence a show of which we constituted a mere 40% of the cast. If you thought that episode sounded like a train wreck, try being one of the guys in the train as it triple-somersaulted into a ravine. It's more than nine years later, and I still haven't recovered...

jarodeaOctober 01, 2017

Heh, a bit late in listening (and posting) but my wife and I watched Kingsglaive a month or so back and most of what I remember is some emo looking guy who can throw a knife to teleport (but not always, should the "story" require it) is running from The Empire™.  He seemed to be kind of important but some of his own men didn't follow him and others didn't sometimes as needed.  Fun fact about Insomnia, my wife fell asleep several times during it and was out for good around the time giant airships were fighting giant statues that could also throw their weapons to teleport (if memory serves the airships were oddly defeating the giant teleporting statues).

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