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Episode 571: Mandatory Hooligans

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, and Guillaume Veillette - May 13, 2018, 12:37 pm PDT
Total comments: 10

...and Jon's not even here.

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A three man show rolls no faster. This week Greg kicks off New Business with impressions of Shantae: Half Genie Hero Ultimate Edition. There's a lot of Shantae out there these days, and he lets you know if this is this is the genie you've been wishing for.

I don't even feel shame for that joke.

Guillaume has Sonic & Knuckles, specifically the weird "lock-on" docking between Sonic and Knuckles, which was only replicated on Wii Virtual Console...and that's not even a euphemism.

I do feel shame for that one.

He also has impressions of the gorgeous-looking demo for PixelJunk Monsters 2. James concludes New Business with impressions of Immortal Redneck, a Switch first-person shooter/roguelite that he had actually already reviewed before the show was even recording. You could just go read that, or listen to how he thought it plays well but is let down by the roguelite elements.

After the break we try to do an email segment, but instead spend all of our time talking about Nintendo's recently-announced Switch Online plans. You can send us an email here.

RETROACTIVE PLANS! We'll be playing Henry Hatsworth for our next RetroActive. Get started! The talkback thread is here.

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 was requested by Martin: Rainy Night, from Hotel Dusk. All rights reserved by Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Talkback

ClexYoshiMay 13, 2018

aw, yeah. my choice to pick up Henry hatsworth for $4 at half-price books is paying Dividends! my distinct memory is that it's one of the few DS games I've played that made me want to shut off the audio because it was so grating, and I usually can't stand turning the audio to a game off.


My costume Shantae mode reviews are still pending. I have it downloaded on my Wii U, I just have to hook it back up.

see, Greg... the dancing felt less cumbersome in the GBC game in particular because that game especially was less about having action-y platforming segments and being more about being this explorative Metroidvania title with a proper, interconnected world. it felt very inspired by Majora's Mask's mask switching or playing songs on the ocarina back then, whereas now it's constant pauses to this more action oriented platformer.

it KILLS me to be harsh on Half-genie hero too. this is one of my favorite franchises, and it's.. in the end, Half-genie hero is an all right game. I probably only rank it higher than Risky's Revenge because RR is such a content-lite game that it feels like it ends before it ever really gets going. I also feel like Shovel Knight kinda spoiled me as far as these games with DLC character expansions, though... as they're willing to get Jake kauffman to do new music, and shake things up in far more significant ways for the other campaigns, where this is literally the same level design, but with grapple points for bolo to swing on or switch blocks for Shantae's Patricia Wagon cosplay to Switch-force it up with!

"The Gadget bloke" is NOT how I'd describe Bolo. he's more of a moron that doesn't get enough air to his brain, but somehow still gets trusted with doing things.

He's kinda the Jon Lindemann of Shantae's world, if Jon had a full head of hair and threw spiked balls at things.




The complete Sonic 3 and Knuckles experience is something that people covet and cherish as incredible and profound games. Sonic and Knuckles is pretty much what would be a DLC Expansion for a game nowdays, because they couldn't fit all the content they wanted to put in Sonic 3 onto one cartridge.

if you're just playing the solo Sonic and Knuckles experience, you start at mushroom hill,w hich in the complete experience is the half-way mark through the game. obviously they had to rebalance some of the Sonic 3 levels when you have the carts locked together so that the jump from Launch Base to Mushroom Hill isn't as jarring.

Some of S&K's music is a classic. Flying Battery (even if I don't like the zone myself), Lava Reef, Sky Sanctuary, Death egg zone are all incredible musical pieces. yeah, Mushroom hill seems a little offputting when you compare it to Sonic 3's Angel Island as an opening zone, but Gui is seriously throwing the baby out with the bathwater on this one by just basing the soundtrack on that one song.

Knuckles is actually really elegant in his design. sure he can glide and climb up walls, but the things that actually define his character are some of his weaknesses. he actually has a lower jump height than Sonic or Tails, and there are basically bits of level design that were woven into the Sonic 3 Stages (which you could not play as knuckles without S&K) that are behind breakable walls only Knuckles could get behind, or that you'd have to use the debug tool in Sonic 3 to get to with sonic or tails. We talked about Wayforward literally just adding some context sensitive intractable objects to levels to make them completable by the other characters, but Sonic 3 & Knuckles seamlessly weaves completely new level design into the base level design and it is friggin' masterful in it's execution.

the funny thing though? the thing of "Flying through space trying to catch up to the final boss" thing you're describing? that's "The Doomsday Zone" which... is a stage in Sonic and Knuckles, NOT Sonic 3. Sonic 3 ends with you fighting this robot called the big arms as Dr. Eggman is trying to launch the Death Egg off of Angel Island.

Really, though. Sega literally employs people that made their name on the internet by pirating and reverse engineering their games from the 90's and purposefully doesn't go after people for legal wrongdoing. If you wanted to play Sonic 3 & Knuckles, you should just get Sonic 3 Complete.

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_3_Complete < So much care has been taken to make this the definative version of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, from being able to toggle music settings, cutscene fixes to fix continuity that got broken in Sonic and Knuckles, alternative sprites, the option to use soundtrack based on the weird PC Version of Sonic 3 and Knuckles, what version of the debug code you'd prefer to use, The Easy Mode from Sonic Jam on the Saturn, numerous bug fixes...

I know that before Sonic Mania, Christian 'Taxman' Whitehead and Simon 'Steath' Thomley did pitch a Sonic 3 and Knuckles port in their retro engine with 16:9 and various revamped things and Sega turned them down. they actually reused the tech they used to make the Blue Spheres Mini-game in their Proof of Concept to add it into Sonic Mania.

I also would like to pint out that I have actually played a SegaSonic the Hedgehog arcade machine. Even with a track ball, it controls like ass because it is an isometric platformer controlled with a damned Trackball. @___@;; Still excited for Mighty and Ray, though. sounds like they may do some work with the level design because Ray's flight might actually be cheesier than Tails' flight, but I'm getting off track.



I call bullshit on 5th gen console  stuff not holding up, because some of it really does! maybe not visually, but gameplay wise, yes. the best stuff from the era is probably games that mixed polygonal environments with 2D characters (Symphony of the Night, Final Fantasy Tactics, Paper Mario, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, Xenogears, the Suikoden stuff, etc.), but there's still stuff like Brave Fencer Musashi, the Crash and Spyro stuff, the Final Fantasy 9, Legend of Dragoon, and even the Megaman Legends stuff hold up pretty nicely visually. I still prefer the first generation of Armored Core titles over the later games too.

On N64? there's PLENTY of stuff that gets overlooked that's appealing visually. the Bomberman stuff, the Goemon stuff... heck, I'd even put Chameleon Twist on the 'visually appealing 3D platformer' list to an extent!

It's stuff that tried to pull off realism and din't stylize enough where the Jaggies and such are the most painful to look at. and yeah, maybe there was some growing pain, but to just throw an entire generation of gaming under the bus is such a reductionist excercise that it makes my head spin.

it's not really even the online NES stuff that I'm all that upset about with the pricing structure, it's the cloud save stuff. I still have to listen in to the rest to really get into that, but i've run out of time, as i have to show my parenntal unit some form of reverence on this holiday that your podcast has gone up on. I will listen to the rest later.

KobeskillzMay 15, 2018

I know I’m going to ruffle some feathers again but you guys are so damn pessimistic. I mean you start with everything glass half empty.

I also disagree that n64 games have aged bad. Sure some of them did and a lot might have early rough 3D mechanics but tons are still great to play and upscalled actually look pretty damn good.

But just like crapping on the nintendo online I guess the n64 comments are super low hanging fruit. No real anayaist other than to start off pissing on everything.

Sure the service could be disappointing and we only get those nes games but no one knows yet. I for sure would be Cautious but not outright start crapping on it like you guys.

OedoMay 15, 2018

Quote from: Kobeskillz

I know I’m going to ruffle some feathers again but you guys are so damn pessimistic. I mean you start with everything glass half empty.

I also disagree that n64 games have aged bad. Sure some of them did and a lot might have early rough 3D mechanics but tons are still great to play and upscalled actually look pretty damn good.

But just like crapping on the nintendo online I guess the n64 comments are super low hanging fruit. No real anayaist other than to start off pissing on everything.

Sure the service could be disappointing and we only get those nes games but no one knows yet. I for sure would be Cautious but not outright start crapping on it like you guys.

They touched on this several times in the episode, but what they announced is basically what we already knew or expected. If there was some big news to materially change the package Nintendo is going to offer at the launch of this service, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to sit on it: the time to give us such news was last week. What they announced is what this service is likely going to be for the foreseeable future. If it gets a lot better with SNES games (and beyond) and other cool stuff, it's not going to be any time soon. I spend a lot of time playing first-party games online and would really like cloud saves, so $20/year is fine for me, but I don't think the general sentiment among the RFN crew is necessarily unwarranted.

I do think it's a bit strange to devote an entire listener mail segment to this though. Again, what they announced is basically what we already knew (outside of some details like cloud saves and Nintendo's comment on Virtual Console), and these guys have gotten plenty of punches in about most facets of the service over the past year. Doesn't seem like  something that deserves an hour of discussion.

MASBMay 16, 2018

Posted by ClexYoshi: "The Gadget bloke" is NOT how I'd describe Bolo. he's more of a moron that doesn't get enough air to his brain, but somehow still gets trusted with doing things.

He's kinda the Jon Lindemann of Shantae's world, if Jon had a full head of hair and threw spiked balls at things.

-------------------

Whoa! Slow your roll! Show some respect. You're talking about the heir to the throne here! We're one bullet or vacation away from NWR Chat Season 2, Episode 1: The Headgold Awakens.

To Kobeskillz: They have a right to be pessimistic because Nintendo always acts so weird and hesitant about online. If feels like they start from scratch almost every generation rather than buidling upon what they created previously. And I have serious doubts about N64 mostly due to the fact that many of them won't be released due to them being made by Rare (outside of DK 64 and you can keep that as far as I'm concerned).

To Oedo: The crew was able to get a lot out of not very much. If you compare last week's online reveal to when Nintendo first announced it in early 2017, very little is new and even most of that is shrouded in "details to be announced later." Nintendo gave the impression they've been working night and day to bring the service to you and this is what we get?

It feels like they really want that PSN/XBox LIve money, but no clear plan about how to get it. "Ummm, Ummm, here are some NES games, some of which no one cares about! Voice chat? What? F you, use your cellphone! Use the clunky as hell, poorly programmed app that is used for only one game and that we've barely updated in almost a year!"

And locking previously free online play for games behind a paywall? Yes, I know they said from the start that would happen, but that was when the service they've apparently had the janitor working on in his spare time, was supposed to debut in Fall 2017. A few months of a free sample so to speak, before they ramp up the quality. Not a year and a half of free sample to pay for the same quality you've been experiencing the whole time.

KobeskillzMay 16, 2018

Quote from: Oedo

Quote from: Kobeskillz

I know I’m going to ruffle some feathers again but you guys are so damn pessimistic. I mean you start with everything glass half empty.

I also disagree that n64 games have aged bad. Sure some of them did and a lot might have early rough 3D mechanics but tons are still great to play and upscalled actually look pretty damn good.

But just like crapping on the nintendo online I guess the n64 comments are super low hanging fruit. No real anayaist other than to start off pissing on everything.

Sure the service could be disappointing and we only get those nes games but no one knows yet. I for sure would be Cautious but not outright start crapping on it like you guys.

They touched on this several times in the episode, but what they announced is basically what we already knew or expected. If there was some big news to materially change the package Nintendo is going to offer at the launch of this service, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to sit on it: the time to give us such news was last week. What they announced is what this service is likely going to be for the foreseeable future. If it gets a lot better with SNES games (and beyond) and other cool stuff, it's not going to be any time soon. I spend a lot of time playing first-party games online and would really like cloud saves, so $20/year is fine for me, but I don't think the general sentiment among the RFN crew is necessarily unwarranted.

I do think it's a bit strange to devote an entire listener mail segment to this though. Again, what they announced is basically what we already knew (outside of some details like cloud saves and Nintendo's comment on Virtual Console), and these guys have gotten plenty of punches in about most facets of the service over the past year. Doesn't seem like  something that deserves an hour of discussion.

Yeah I mean it never goes well when I call this out cause sometimes both fans and crew jump on me but yeah I felt it was pretty pessimistic.

OedoMay 16, 2018

No one's jumping on anything. Just like you're free to offer an opposing view to what the crew or other poster say, people are free to offer an opposing view to what you or I say. There's no hostility, so there's no reason to take things so personally.

KobeskillzMay 16, 2018

Quote from: Oedo

No one's jumping on anything. Just like you're free to offer an opposing view to what the crew or other poster say, people are free to offer an opposing view to what you or I say. There's no hostility, so there's no reason to take things so personally.

i'm not taking anything personally. Im just using history as my guide and in the past when i've brought this up it didn't go all that well.


Anyways doesn't mean i'm not a fan of the show. Been listening to it for years. I always say that. But this is one of those times where they really started with the whole this crap sucks this will fail this isn't very good blah blah blah.


I generally prefer a bit more balance in a conversation rather than be beat over the head on how this will suck and fail based on very early announcements.


I mean i still remember James very pessimistic view on Splatoon and well that turned out all right.

ClexYoshiMay 17, 2018

woah, this talkback thread got fun!


There's a surprising number of N64 games I can think of that I wouldn't mind revisiting that are niether Nintendo nor Rare games, actually. sadly, a fair few of them are Konami stuff (Bomberman 64, hero, second attack, the Goemon games) or made by western devs who are now defunct. actually, a lot of what keeps me from ccollecting for the console again is the fact that my hands just DO NOT FIT with 1st party N64 controllers any more. they're too fat to fit between the prongs. :C

I will say that the only Rare game for N64 that I fee  like is something I'd play again is Diddy Kong Racing or MAYBE blast corps. maybe.


as for the pessimism around Switch online service, it's... it's really hard to be optimistic. maybe somewhere down the road it finds a way to innovate and bring us the chunky online salsa we never knew the masses craved so much, but at the moment it feels super weird and awkward.

Honestly? I have a cool idea. in addition to the online play, Nintendo does Retro achievements and maybe even some online Vs. achievements for first party stuff. These achievements though, give out Gold Coins when unlocked for your MyNintendo account.

now, you have this service that people are paying into, and can essentially mitigate the cost of it if they're playing enough games to earn enough gold coins for profit. people are more energized to continue to get games that will use the online functionality because there's likely to be gold earned, and thus you have folks playing and potentially regularly engaging with these games to justify their Nintendo online service sub.

SorenMay 20, 2018

Only thing I'm going to say is I agree with James, the sooner we shovel all this dirt in the sooner we can move on.

SteefosaurusMay 21, 2018

I think Kobeskillz has a point, we're all being really pessimistic about the online service. I suppose a 'wait and see' attitude would be healthier for the overall discussions and everyone's general happiness, yes. But at the same time: Nintendo aren't really putting any concerns to rest themselves.

So far it basically sounds like "hey we're locking our most popular online games behind a paywall now, and I guess you'll get cloud saving and some NES titles in return." That's just not a very enticing product, especially for people who who have been Nintendo customers for a while now.

To be frank I hope that Nintendo either significantly alters what they're offering right now, or rescinds on it after all. Neither seems likely, but perhaps after some negative feedback it will at least be considered. So yeah while I agree the negativity may be overblown, I'm also secretly hoping it'll move a needle at Nintendo HQ.

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