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SwitchMobi

Episode 574: Game Freak Used Money Stone on Eevee

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Guillaume Veillette - June 3, 2018, 4:16 pm PDT
Total comments: 20

It evolved into 100 billion yen.

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Jon finally returns to us, and as such he gets to kick-off New Business. He starts with impressions of Dark Souls: Remastered, for the Xbox One X - The World's Most Powerful Gaming Console™. This is his first time with Dark Souls, although not the Souls series as a whole, and he seems a bit puzzled at the game's "legendary difficulty." Speaking of remasters and re-releases, he also has impressions of Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. It's a flashback to a simpler time for our future Evo champion. Lastly, to complete the theme, he looks at the new release of RFN-favorite Ikaruga - now on Switch. Guilluame asked Karen to join us so that they could talk about Yoku's Island Express - a "Metroidvania pinball game" that they both really love. Guillaume reviewed Baobabs Mausoleum Ep.1: Ovnifagos Don't Eat Flamingos, it's odd. James finishes up New Business with yet another review game: Milanoir, a brutal love-letter to Italian cinema that ultimately isn't much fun.

After the break, we knock-out a duo of Listener Mail. This week we examine the value if small levels and breakdown the announcement of Pokémon Let's Go!. You can follow us around with questions by sending us an email.

Next week is our RetroActive on Henry Hatsworth. You can contribute thoughts to the talkback thread.

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 Chris: Yoshi and Cookies, from Yoshi's Woolly World. All rights reserved by Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Talkback

ClexYoshiJune 03, 2018

Jon talking about Dark Souls vindicates comments I made during the 2016 Telethon wherein we were talking about unsuccessful jumps to 3D and I had explained that Dark Souls did a better 3D Castlevania game than Castlevania.

OedoJune 04, 2018

Game Freak's never going to run out of games to remake on their current pace. They've done one remake per Nintendo handheld since they started with FireRed and LeafGreen on GBA. Gen 4 is already plenty old like Greg points out, and Gen 5 (which came out in 2010) will feel plenty old when we're a few years into the life of Switch 2 as well.

I'm a bit surprised to hear that Guillaume had an issue with grinding if he played Pokemon Moon. You get Exp. Share very early in the game and there's a fairly significant exp bonus from Pokemon Refresh too. Since Gen 6, Game Freak has gone to great lengths to ensure people who don't any grinding whatsoever have options to avoid it (to the point where Exp. Share is kind of useless now for people who don't want a lot of their Pokemon to be overleveled).

I could have been clearer: grinding may not be unavoidable in Pokémon, but it's kind of the whole point of the game for most people. You're building up a team, possibly to face opponents in multiplayer.


Otherwise, the appeal is to collect them all (which I say is another form of grinding), or you're playing for the story, which as I said, I found boring.

TOPHATANT123June 04, 2018

My worry with Let's Go is that without the staple Pokemon mechanics there really isn't going to be a whole lot of depth. There isn't much of a story to speak of in any of the Pokemon games and the original game wasn't really THAT long to begin with. I understand wanting to do something different but it's hard to get excited when they're stripping out so much and seemingly adding so little.

OedoJune 04, 2018

Quote from: Pandareus

I could have been clearer: grinding may not be unavoidable in Pokémon, but it's kind of the whole point of the game for most people. You're building up a team, possibly to face opponents in multiplayer.


Otherwise, the appeal is to collect them all (which I say is another form of grinding), or you're playing for the story, which as I said, I found boring.

There's enjoyment to be had just from discovering and catching Pokemon you like, leveling them up (with or without Exp. Share), seeing them evolve, learning and teaching them new moves, building interesting parties, and exploring the world. It's not unlike other RPGs in that sense. That process and the battle system are satisfying even if you aren't interested in the competitive side or want to catch 'em all. These games couldn't sell nearly as well as they do off the back of the competitive scene (which is a fraction of the total fanbase) or just the story.

I get what you meant now though (and I know you've explained why you couldn't get into the series many times before). If the core gameplay loop I described isn't satisfying for you, I guess it can seem kind of like a grind.

ClexYoshiJune 04, 2018

Quote from: Pandareus

or you're playing for the story, which as I said, I found boring.

I have yet to meet this person that plays Pokemon games for a narrative unless you're talking detective Pikachu or other spinoff games. Most Pokemon fans I know are interested in telling stories in the universe of Pokemon or Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, but whatever world building and story bits we get are but condiments to... yes, what amounts to a grind. Some people chose the put limits on this grind (the nuzlocke) and some chose to take it to the next level (Shiny Hunting, competitive), but it is a video gaming comfort food.

I agree with the abolishment of random encounters and instead having Pokemon visible on the map at all times, but I also believe that the whole point of traveling with Pokemon is effectively rendered moot by this change. It was established almost immediately that the only way to keep kids from getting mauled by rabid birds and rodents the moment they so much as think about walking out of town was keeping domesticated Pokemon by your side, and there was an element of 'breaking' Pokemon for their capture in Pokeballs.

Without Pokemon showing active aggression towards humans that wander into their turf, either via Pokemon actually trying to chase you down on the world map nor them actually taking any action to defend themselves when you approach them for capture, you have effectively disarmed any sense of danger, resource management, or really any REASON to acquire Pokemon. The only threat left is other humans now to keep this from being Kanto Walkabout. (which, by the way, is what Pokemon Go is. walking for the sake of walking. I say this as an individual who is disabled and has trouble walking.)


that being said, I'm not against the idea of Pokemon Let's Go! It gets rid of a lot of the built-up technicalities of the franchise (IGN interviewed Junichi Masuda, who pretty much answered a question about EVs and IVs and said he wanted to make the games simpler) and boil it down to it's core elements. this approach to game design can produce the likes of Mega Man 9 in an era where Mega Man games had more in common with Pokemon or Super Metroid then they did with Mega Man... or it can produce the likes of Final Fantasy 13, an anorexic skeleton of a video game covered up by very pretty and shiny wallpaper. I imagine Pokemon Let's Go! falls somewhere in the middle.


______________________________________


Finally getting back to listening, Listen to Jon talk about fighting games is funny to me. Street Fighter 1 is an awful dumpster fire and makes me yearn for Yie-Ar Kung Fu with how busted the AI opponents are and how nigh impossible it is to get your basic attacks to come out when you want them to, let alone getting a single Hadoken to come out.

I find Street Fighter 2 to be constraining, like a pair of briefs that are two sizes too small. there's a lot of broken and dumb stuff in SF2 as well, like Kill combos and the meta of sitting in the corner with Sagat throwing Fireballs all damned day waiting for your opponent to jump in so you can uppercut or tiger knee them.

It's not like Frame Data just magically appeared out of the aether to make fighting games more complicated. it's in SF1 and SF2. Just because combos were a happy accident doesn't mean there isn't an insane execution barrier for the likes of Hyper Fighting or Super Turbo. I'd actually say that it's even more prohibitive than modern day fighters, where they make sure they're not putting 1 frame links into the game and putting in little things that let you flub inputs a bit or such.

Of the bunch of games that are in the 30th anniversary collection, I'm probably 'best' at Street Fighter 3: Third Strike... and even then, I'm garbage at what people would consider the 'gentleman's fighting game'. it sounds though that Jon might actually like Street fighter 3: The New Generation. 10 characters, each have a few special moves and they're easier to get to come out then some of SF2's, and you get 1 super attack that the game tells you how to do when you choose your character. No EX Specials. the only thing that's there that wasn't really in Super Turbo is the parry mechanic, where you hit the control stick in the direction you're going to be struck at the same time the opponent's hit lands on you. forward for parrying a standing attack or jump in, down to parry a low attack.

I understand completely Jon's issues with fighters seeming too onerous if he hasn't been keeping up with the genre.  That said, some fighting games have done good to offer simplified ways to play or to lower the barrier to entry so you can at least have fun from the start.  Dragonball fighter Z has auto-combos (hitting the same attack several times yields an automatic 3-4 hit combo) and most moves seem to be a hadouken-style circle turn + button input to execute.  The technicality then becomes learning your timing and counters when playing against others. 


I think the game inputs are less impenetrable than the fighting game player base online itself.  When I played Street Fighter or Smash Bros with my local friends, I was typically the better player.  When I went to college, I got exposed to people who were worlds better, and I regularly got bodied before I got better.  But when you get matched-up online with people, you're gonna get paired with people who make the game their job and will capitalize one mistake to take off half your life bar.



Regarding Pokemon Lets Go, I would be tepid at best if it weren't for my 6-year-old Son's current obsession with Pokemon.  Now I'm thinking it might be a Christmas gift for him, and something I can sit with him and his 4 year old brother to help them play through the game if they get stuck in spots.  I'm hopeful it'll entertain enough for me to enjoy the game in-and-of itself, but at the very least it'll be a good activity for my boys to share in the cold winter months until it's nice enough outside to where we can go explore catching Pokemon in Pokemon Go.


As someone who hasn't had the games capture me really since Blue/Red, them basing it in Kanto as a Yellow remake is exactly what I need to be engaged with the game.  Hopefully they haven't simplified it to the point where it's boring as an adult, but if you know kids, if they LOVE something, then a game or movie just being based on that thing is enough to keep them excited, even if it's thread bare.

wcmullinsJune 06, 2018

I haven't played a pokemon since Ruby. I remember being frustrated that I couldn't bring over my pokemon from my original red game (then years later to my horror my crystal game lost its save due to battery dying). I had probably 30+ pokemon who were > level 90. So yea i guess it is a game about grinding lol


I'm open to playing a new pokemon. I almost got X and Y when it came out due to having some of the originals. I'll probably buy Lets go pikachu and maybe the next one if it looks good for switch. 

ClexYoshiJune 06, 2018

Quote from: lolmonade

I understand completely Jon's issues with fighters seeming too onerous if he hasn't been keeping up with the genre.  That said, some fighting games have done good to offer simplified ways to play or to lower the barrier to entry so you can at least have fun from the start.  Dragonball fighter Z has auto-combos (hitting the same attack several times yields an automatic 3-4 hit combo) and most moves seem to be a hadouken-style circle turn + button input to execute.  The technicality then becomes learning your timing and counters when playing against others. 


I think the game inputs are less impenetrable than the fighting game player base online itself.  When I played Street Fighter or Smash Bros with my local friends, I was typically the better player.  When I went to college, I got exposed to people who were worlds better, and I regularly got bodied before I got better.  But when you get matched-up online with people, you're gonna get paired with people who make the game their job and will capitalize one mistake to take off half your life bar.

Preach it from the mountaintops, brother!

I've been playing a pretty fun lil' 4 button indie darling called Them's Fightin' Herds. A lot of folks liken the game to Melty Blood, but it's running on LabZ engine and it's great because it has a VERY robust training mode and as long as you're going from lights to heavies in your strings, they'll probably pick up most of the time. while this seems like it'd lead to infinites, they smartly put in a very easy to understand Juggle Decay system where what looks like it'd be a stun bar is actually filling up to putting the opponent in a juggle decay state. they also start giving out red hitsparks that get bigger and bigger as they get heavier through JD.

Mop it upJune 06, 2018

Quote from: ClexYoshi

I have yet to meet this person that plays Pokemon games for a narrative

Hello. Nice to meet you.

EnnerJune 07, 2018

Good show. Nice to have Karen on.


While I don't play every Pokemon game, I did enjoy Pokemon X's light kid's show fare of a story. The light quality of Pokemon stories are a nice thing to relax to as you raise your team.

ClexYoshiJune 07, 2018

Quote from: Mop

Quote from: ClexYoshi

I have yet to meet this person that plays Pokemon games for a narrative

Hello. Nice to meet you.

I... hm!

Mop, I'm curious... is Lysander every bit the poorly motivated, ill researched moron I think he is? because I was taken aback at how dumb his heel turn AND his grand scheme was. At the same time, we have Thanos from Infinity War doing something somewhat similar but on a much bigger scale and he comes off so much better for it because he sees himself more as a great equalizer rather than seeing himself directly more... philanthropic the way Lysander and his club of pretty bois and girls think they are?


I feel like BW1 was really the only place a Pokemon game's narrative got remotely interesting because of the questions it raises about the core conceits of the franchise (that it then promptly dumps without any proper resolution because the villain just is using this question of morality as a power grab.) MAYBE Colosseum with trying to do something for .5 seconds with it's protagonist and being in a region that's a madmax dystopian shithole before just dropping everything altogether?

I always thought it was silly that people try to like... make up fan theories to explain hardware limitations of Gen 1 and come up with some dumb fan theory about some sort of war or something and that pokemon trainers are war orphans or some sort of MGS Bullshit.

I also am a little offput by the surprising volume of NPCs in these games who are like... crocodile hunter levels of obsessed with animals. I get that they tie into like... mythology and the general workings of many of society's workings in this world, but like... business people walking down the street, football players, electricians, the barber, every damned TV Show on TV, Rocket Scientists, professional burglars, Shinto Shrine Maidens, the president of a multi-million technology firm, people lounging at the beach, and Ryu from street fighter ALL want to tell me about how much they love their pet animals or how they effect our everyday lives! Like... listen, bud. I like my doge. she's a very cute doge. I don't talk about my doge with every tom, dick, or larry I meat up with on a nature hike or that busts into my house to look for items or in-game trades.

OedoJune 07, 2018

Quote from: ClexYoshi

I feel like BW1 was really the only place a Pokemon game's narrative got remotely interesting because of the questions it raises about the core conceits of the franchise (that it then promptly dumps without any proper resolution because the villain just is using this question of morality as a power grab.) MAYBE Colosseum with trying to do something for .5 seconds with it's protagonist and being in a region that's a madmax dystopian shithole before just dropping everything altogether?

That's not really true. Regardless of Ghetsis's true intentions, N's feelings about those issues were genuine (and continued to be even after Ghetsis revealed the truth), and he did find some answers by the end.

pokepal148June 07, 2018

Pokemon Black and White for Retroactive. Let's go people.

Quote from: ClexYoshi

I feel like BW1 was really the only place a Pokemon game's narrative got remotely interesting...

Someone has never played the second set of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games.

ClexYoshiJune 07, 2018

Quote from: pokepal148

Pokemon Black and White for Retroactive. Let's go people.

YES!!!

Quote from: pokepal148

Someone has never played the second set of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games.

I have not, but like... I really don't like Roguelites. I do like the premise of PMD though. it's a weird little push and pull.





Also, Odeo, I suppose you do have N who comes to his own conclusions, come to think about it.

TOPHATANT123June 07, 2018

The problem with mainline Pokemon narratives are that they're trying to tell a story in an RPG with no party members. It's inherently more difficult than a game like PMD or just your standard RPG, but not impossible.

OedoJune 08, 2018

Quote from: pokepal148

Pokemon Black and White for Retroactive. Let's go people.

I'll third this. I know the RFN crew has moved away from doing RPGs for Retroactive lately, but you can beat the main game in Black and White and do a lot of exploring in 30 hours or less (which isn't super long by modern RPG standards).

zalmuteJune 11, 2018

I prefered demon's souls to dark souls myself.

Mop it upJune 11, 2018

Quote from: ClexYoshi

Mop it up, I'm curious... is Lysander every bit the poorly motivated, ill researched moron I think he is? because I was taken aback at how dumb his heel turn AND his grand scheme was.

Honestly, I had to look up that character name to figure out what you were talking about, hee hee. It's been long enough now that I don't really recall the story in Pokémon X, so it must not have been interesting enough for me to remember. But I now vaguely recall a late-game event that seemed kind of random for the sake of drama, and didn't really make sense. So you may be right.

Hey, I never said I actually remember stories in Pokémon games, ha ha. But I pay attention to it when I play, and it's an aspect I would like to see made better in the games. I feel like the world has a pretty good foundation for it.

Pokémon Black has the best story of course, but it was still ultimately disappointing to me for the reasons you mentioned. As someone else mentioned, N still stuck with the theme, but otherwise the plot fell apart pretty quickly. His character still didn't seem very well developed though, and his motivations felt a bit off considering what was going on around him. In the end, it almost felt like the story was poking fun at animal rights activists, hee hee. Even so, it was nice to see a game a bit more focused on story, and it had a few shakeups like what happens at the E4.

Pokémon Black 2 is a bit of an oddity. With the way the story in Black played out, I didn't really feel like it needed a direct sequel. And indeed, the story here didn't really add anything of value. But the concept of continuity in a Pokémon game was still pretty interesting to me. To be able to visit the same world at a later date and see what's happening and how things have changed was pretty neat. Although, it seemed odd that it was only two years later, yet so much had changed. I guess this is because they didn't want the returning characters to have aged. I'm pretty sure Pokémon games are all supposed to take place in the same universe, but it never really feels like that's the case.

However, the absolute best feature in Black 2 - and quite possibly throughout the whole main series - was the PokéStar Studios. The stories in these little short movies have better concepts, suspense, heart, and emotion than anything I've seen elsewhere in the series, and the absolute absurdity of some of them can be rather entertaining. Even the gameplay is decent; it's like a puzzle in figuring out the order of moves to get the best ending, and then there are surprise endings which usually require your own Monz.

This got me thinking... Someone made a point that it's tough to tell a good story without other party members, especially when the character is a generic avatar representing the player. I think what could be interesting is if the story was more like how some Dragon Quest games work, where the towns you visit each have their own plight or tale to tell. Many of the stories from PokéStar could already work in this context, such as solving the mystery of ghosts in one town or helping out with a failed science experiment in another. I think this could fit decently well into a Pokémon game without altering the formula very much, and it doesn't really need a strong overarching story. Just experiencing the world in this way makes it feel more alive and gives a better sense of place.

That's simply my crazy and radical view, though. I'm pretty sure I'm not part of the audience for Pokémon. For those wondering, my fave game in the entire Pokémon franchise is Super Mystery Dungeon.

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