We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

Episode 584: Symphony of the Night Trap

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, and Jon Lindemann - August 12, 2018, 3:05 pm PDT
Total comments: 21

Smash Bros. is all about crossovers and mix-ups.

Download in AAC Format

Subscribe to AAC Feed

Download in MP3 Format

Subscribe to MP3 Feed

Subscribe via iTunes (Please rate and review, too!)

Wednesday gave us the latest look inside the mind of Masahiro Sakurai's; we spend the first half of the episode breaking down the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Direct. We have vampire hunters, a gator man, and more digits than a number fetishist can handle. Forget "Everyone is Here," every THING is here. All the music. All the franchises. All of it. So of course, the conversation turns to "what should we add." The answer: Squid Mommies, the truck from Excite Truck, and Abra-only battles.

After the break we pick up with some New Business. Greg starts us off with Iconoclasts, the latest action platformer from Konjak - maker of The Legend of Princess and Noitu Love 2. Greg finally gets his shot at one of Konjak's games, and he enjoyed it. Syrenne finally brings Octopath Traveler to the RFN table, and she has some thoughts on the game. Let's just call it "constructive criticism" and advice for maximizing the fun you can have with Octopath Traveler. Jon's made a move on the newest Roguelite/Metroidvania on Switch, Dead Cells. Jon is just getting started, and will have more to say next week, but all reviews say that this game is great. That said, as a podcast staffed entirely by a collection of shambling corpses we feel like it doesn't really reflect the tedium of this death style.

No email this week, but don't let that stop you from sending us your questions.

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 The Lost Portrait, from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It was selected by Greg. Composition by Michiru Yamane. All rights reserved by Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.

Talkback

syn4aptikDave Mellert, Associate EditorAugust 12, 2018

I really appreciated hearing Syrenne's thoughts on Octopath Traveler, but wow did I have a different experience with the game! While I did some grinding early, I found the pacing to be pretty on point, especially if I stopped to do a side quest or two after every few main story chapters. The bosses were indeed tough, but I can't say I spent more than 15-20 minutes on any, except for the late-game bosses (15 min or so feels about right to me). I had a few deaths here and there, but the game always felt pretty fair. And with Cyrus's Evasive Maneuvers perk, I could get through most dungeons with only 4-5 random battles apiece (exploration led to more battles, of course). It always seemed pretty straightforward to power-level "lagging" characters.


I wonder how much your initial character choice changes your experience with the game. I never felt like Cyrus (my choice) was a drag, he is probably the best damage dealer after H'aanit.

I'm honestly not sure if the title is meant to be the greatest or worst Before & After ever, but well done.

And save Poke Floats.

MASBAugust 13, 2018

Considering the ability to load up songs to replace ExciteTruck's soundtrack with mp3, later changed to aac files, isn't every song in Smash Bros. an ExciteTruck track? ;)

Re: Having an ExciteTruck as a Smash fighter. In Justin Berube's The 20 Most Deserving Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Newcomers, I suggested a vehicle from Stunt Race FX as a fighter among other more plausible fighters. :p

RFN offering more bang for the buck? Could you imagine an alternate universe where RFN was included in Smash Bros. Ultimate? Imagine James, Jon, Greg, Gui, Jonny, etc. as fighters or assist trophies! As far as the soundtrack went, besides harmonica music, you could have every episode of RFN and its specials as the music. 1166 hours! You truly would die if you did nothing but listen to Jonny wax eloquent about Magic: The Gathering among other fine topics. That's not even including the telethons and NWR Book interviews. You could unlock those as bonuses by obtaining the Karl and Evan assist trophies.

There's still time Sakurai! You'd only need a 64 GB cartridge to contain all the RFN goodness!

With so much of the Miiverse having been archived, it's too bad Nintendo probably won't use some of that to bring back the Miiverse stage.

OedoAugust 13, 2018

The first character you choose in Octopath Traveler isn't stuck in your party for the entire game: you can switch them out after completing their fourth chapter. Since all chapter 4's have a recommended level of 45, there's no reason not to do their chapter 4 first, so you'll have full control over all four party slots for the seven other chapter 4's and likely the four Shrines for advanced jobs, late optional dungeons, late and post-game side stories, and the final dungeon and final boss. It's a weird restriction to put on players, for sure, but it's there for 1/2 or 2/3 of the game, not all of it.

I don't think any character in this game is useless. Alfyn is the only one that's more geared primarily towards boss fights, but the others are all useful in a lot of different situations. Primrose is the only character in the game who can use dark magic naturally and her buffs are important for boss fights. Tressa is the only character in the game who can use wind magic naturally and gives a lot of weakness coverage in general because she can also use spears and bows. With secondary jobs, you can make them even more useful. I never really had problems with rotating my party or having more of a support character locked into my party (I started out with Therion). The game is extremely flexible in letting you freely assign different roles to different characters.

When a boss powers up after recovering from Break status, you're not really supposed to just take their next attack. When they enter a more powerful state, that's your cue to Break them again before they can act (not restart the boss battle lol). If you have a Hunter with Leghold Trap (which you absolutely should for pretty much every boss fight), it's a trivial matter to Break them before it gets to that point (the Shield Points do increase, but the flip side is that you should know all or most of this weaknesses by then). After you Break them again, they usually return to a normal state. If the battle lasts long enough for them to power up again, you just Leghold Trap + Break them again.

That's probably why boss battles are taking you so long. Otherwise, 35-40 minutes makes no sense (especially if you're five levels over what's recommended). The majority of them are certainly not designed to take that long. I would say 35-40 minutes is more accurate for the entire dungeon exploration, boss fight, and post-boss fight cutscene cycle as a whole. Even then, I didn't always find it to be that long.

Getting to the final dungeon and the final boss isn't nearly as obtuse as you were led to believe. It really comes down to clearing all the chapter 4's, doing a couple of side story lines, and that's it. If you were doing all the side stories in the game anyway, you would not miss it. The side stories in question are also not "unmarked." The only maybe obtuse thing about the whole process is that the final side story needed to open the path to the final dungeon is outside of the towns, but again, it will still show up as an orange icon on your mini-map when you enter the right area (it's not unmarked). The game also does hint at the true ending fairly heavily through certain common elements showing up in a lot of chapter 4's and being left open-ended. Also, you do get credits after you clear either your first chapter 4 or your chosen character's chapter 4 (I'm not sure which it is exactly because I did my chosen character's chapter 4 first). You also get a nice illustration to finish the epilogue after each chapter 4 too.

To be honest, I'm not sure how you're playing the game to be running into a lot of these issues. Outside of the Shrines for the advanced jobs and the final boss, I thought the game was relatively tame in terms of difficulty and very fair overall. Once I learned to really make use of secondary jobs and the Break and Boost mechanics, I didn't have a problem going into areas or dungeons five levels underleveled and getting through just fine. You can starting ending boss fights comically fast when you really start experimenting with different job combinations and support skills too. In any case, it sucks that it's been such a drag for you so far.

MASBAugust 13, 2018

Wow. Great write-up Oedo. My hope for wanting to play Octopath Traveler has gone up again after cratering to zero listening to Syrenne's intricate tale of woe. Could she have been playing the game "wrong"? I hate it when I do that, but that's still a fault in game design, if you can go off the gameplay track that badly and not know it.

Also, I hate to be pedantic here, but this is RFN where pedantry reigns! If you can actually read and understand it, then it's not Old English. Old English is a Germanic language. You could read entire paragraphs and be lucky to decipher more than a word or two. Middle English is like Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Basically readable, but you'll be tripped up often unless you know how to read Middle English. Shakespeare is basically the start of Modern English. Even if you read in the original, you'll be slowed down by some weird spellings and some archaic words that are no longer used, but you probably won't be lost reading it.

An interesting podcast about the subject is: http://historyofenglishpodcast.com/feed/podcast/

To Greg: You mentioned getting a second Switch. Did something happen to the first or is this a chance for the Tubtime phenomenon to cross the Atlantic? ;)

EnnerAugust 13, 2018

Good show.


It is great to hear and read detailed opinions and critique on Octopath Traveler as one who has yet to make the purchase. So far, it seems that the game's extremely open-ended nature has made it divisive among the different types of JRPG fans.

LemonadeAugust 14, 2018

Octopath sounds like it does everything I don't like about RPGs. I would hate it so much

OedoAugust 14, 2018

Quote from: MASB

Wow. Great write-up Oedo. My hope for wanting to play Octopath Traveler has gone up again after cratering to zero listening to Syrenne's intricate tale of woe. Could she have been playing the game "wrong"? I hate it when I do that, but that's still a fault in game design, if you can go off the gameplay track that badly and not know it.

Also, I hate to be pedantic here, but this is RFN where pedantry reigns! If you can actually read and understand it, then it's not Old English. Old English is a Germanic language. You could read entire paragraphs and be lucky to decipher more than a word or two. Middle English is like Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Basically readable, but you'll be tripped up often unless you know how to read Middle English. Shakespeare is basically the start of Modern English. Even if you read in the original, you'll be slowed down by some weird spellings and some archaic words that are no longer used, but you probably won't be lost reading it.

An interesting podcast about the subject is: http://historyofenglishpodcast.com/feed/podcast/

To Greg: You mentioned getting a second Switch. Did something happen to the first or is this a chance for the Tubtime phenomenon to cross the Atlantic? ;)

I think it's fair to say that the game doesn't give you a lot of guidance. I thought that was a positive, but yeah, the flip side is that it has the potential to lead to some frustration like this. Maybe she missed that the fourth Warrior support skill increases the damage cap from 9,999 to 99,999 (which becomes important sooner than you would think, particularly for boss fights) or that you really need to be stealing a lot with Therion to get lots of good equipment and items. Buying from shops isn't necessarily the way to go, especially early in the game, and I used shops very infrequently until the final chapters (except for certain healing items, but those don't cost a whole lot). The majority of the best equipment and items in the game will come from stealing with Therion (and/or purchasing with Tressa) and rewards for completing side stories, but yeah, the game doesn't necessarily tell you this outright.

It's got to be something though, because the idea of boss fights regularly taking upwards of 40 minutes or needing to grind for two hours is still wild to me. I don't think any of the bosses in the main 32 chapters took me that long (it would only be the final boss and maybe a few from the optional content), and while I've definitely read and heard about a lot of people who are in Syrenne's position of not enjoying the game as much as they would have liked, her specific complaints are the first time I'm hearing some of this.

Anyway, I do hope she does find something that helps her enjoy the game more (especially if she's determined to play it all the way through). I think they mentioned Guillaume would be back next week, so I'm guessing she won't guest again in the coming weeks, but maybe she'll share her thoughts on Twitter.

KobeskillzAugust 15, 2018

It’s weird how James and Syrenne can be so criticial of good/great games sometimes like Octopath and and Zelda on 3DS yet almost defend and excuse crappier games. Is almost like they gravitate to niche games that reviewed so so and find value in them and other popular games that they have nitpicks with they go all in.

Not attacking them just an observation over the years.

James Kid Icarus a bad game? Lol. Come on. Come on now. You jumped the shark with Zelda Link between worlds but come on man.

sirmastersephirothAugust 15, 2018

So, what was the secondary job that Syrenne recommended for H'aanit?

KobeskillzAugust 16, 2018

The Syrenne feedback scared me. I didn’t want a repeat of bravely default 1 and what happened in chapter 5.

So I posed this question in a forum and everyone said that nah the game is pretty management and no real bs. I’m so confused now. Lol.

I guess I’ll find out.

ShyGuyAugust 16, 2018

I think Syrenne scared me away from Octopath.

KobeskillzAugust 16, 2018

Quote from: ShyGuy

I think Syrenne scared me away from Octopath.

Obviously is an opinion but i got scared too. lol.


But afterwards i asked a bunch of people and did research and well i couldn't find a lot of people who shared her opinion. Weird.


I have the game and im at the start so we'll see.

I've long explained the problems in Zelda on 3DS, and I stand by it. I get that people like it, but it's disingenuous to claim I haven't made a good case for why I think it's a bad Zelda game.

I don't need to justify Kid Icarus, Nintendo did it for me when they acknowledged the control scheme is so poor they needed to ship it with a stand. The game is one of the few that physically feels BAD to play.

KobeskillzAugust 16, 2018

Quote from: Crimm

I've long explained the problems in Zelda on 3DS, and I stand by it. I get that people like it, but it's disingenuous to claim I haven't made a good case for why I think it's a bad Zelda game.

I don't need to justify Kid Icarus, Nintendo did it for me when they acknowledged the control scheme is so poor they needed to ship it with a stand. The game is one of the few that physically feels BAD to play.

I don’t think you’ve made a good case at all. You just gave your opinion of why you think it’s a bad game but that doesn’t make it a good case.

Kid Icarus controls do have a bigger learning curve than most games but that doesn’t mean they were broken. The stand was more because the weight of the 3DS could cramp your hands but that had to do more with the nature of holding the system while using the touch screen so often shifted weight to your wrist.

Even if the controls were divisive that doesn’t mean the game itself was bad. The game was great is just some people loved the controls and some didn’t. Looking at the average review score I would say probably more loved it than not.

I’m not attacking your opinions. But I do find it odd that you’ll play a niche game with tons and tons of flaws and you’ll admit to the fact but also kinda defend it and look at the positives.

Then games that are clearly clearly much better you’ll just go all in on it.

ShyGuyAugust 16, 2018

I think it has to do with expectations and what the discussion focuses on. Either that, or James is trying to rival Jeff Gerstmann for terrible taste in video games.  ;)

pokepal148August 16, 2018

I mean Syrenne holds the crown for worst taste in video games but she's one of those people who can say the sky is red and still come out with a really well thought out and reasonable explanation for why she thinks that way.

Quote from: Kobeskillz

Quote from: Crimm

I've long explained the problems in Zelda on 3DS, and I stand by it. I get that people like it, but it's disingenuous to claim I haven't made a good case for why I think it's a bad Zelda game.

I don't need to justify Kid Icarus, Nintendo did it for me when they acknowledged the control scheme is so poor they needed to ship it with a stand. The game is one of the few that physically feels BAD to play.

I don’t think you’ve made a good case at all. You just gave your opinion of why you think it’s a bad game but that doesn’t make it a good case.

Kid Icarus controls do have a bigger learning curve than most games but that doesn’t mean they were broken. The stand was more because the weight of the 3DS could cramp your hands but that had to do more with the nature of holding the system while using the touch screen so often shifted weight to your wrist.

Even if the controls were divisive that doesn’t mean the game itself was bad. The game was great is just some people loved the controls and some didn’t. Looking at the average review score I would say probably more loved it than not.

I’m not attacking your opinions. But I do find it odd that you’ll play a niche game with tons and tons of flaws and you’ll admit to the fact but also kinda defend it and look at the positives.

Then games that are clearly clearly much better you’ll just go all in on it.

Kid Icarus Uprising is my favorite 3DS game. It has a lot of problems that hold it back though and I completely understand why people don't feel the same way about that game.

Michie_August 17, 2018

Quote from: ShyGuy

I think Syrenne scared me away from Octopath.

Don't be. It's a great game. I think she played a different game than everyone else.

KobeskillzAugust 20, 2018

Quote from: ShyGuy

I think it has to do with expectations and what the discussion focuses on. Either that, or James is trying to rival Jeff Gerstmann for terrible taste in video games.  ;)

his taste is different for sure. which is fine. I like that he brings a different perspective than most people. But i think i'm safe when i say that the majority of people think very highly of Link between worlds.


So him saying things like they are fact instead of opinion is weird. More so when you hear him talk about an average game and try to find positives. lol.

pokepal148August 23, 2018

I enjoyed the Octopath Traveler Demo but based on Syrenne's impressions I'll probably wait for a sale. I started with the Merchant because I like the idea of playing as the character who's going out to see the world for the first time.

ClexYoshiSeptember 11, 2018

Quote from: Michie_

Quote from: ShyGuy

I think Syrenne scared me away from Octopath.

Don't be. It's a great game. I think she played a different game than everyone else.

That's the exact sort of thing I fear for when Syrenne uses RFN as a platform for this sort avant garde rhetoric where Style Savvy and a weirdo but surprisingly tame BDSM Text adventure games are the pillars of gaming she holds near and dear. She does this while chastising the remedy for a Legend of Zelda experience that I never really liked as much and felt hit it's Zenith in 1991. She begroans a game I've been waiting for SO long for; A game that seems to have gotten Square-Enix out of it's own ass and delivered on the very promises that Akitoshi Kawazu promised in his dreaded Romancing SaGa games. I put a STUPID amount of time into Octopath traveler and loved every danged minute of it. there's not much I can't say that Oedo and the other people who dog-piled this thread (rightfully so) already have on the subject directly.

What I do want to say though is that I really do respect what Syrenne does. as Someone who has started dabbling with Gamemaker Studio and scream the the virtues of what I feel is a hidden gem from the highest of mountaintops, I can connect. Even if our gaming tastes are so fundamentally different and even the few cross-sections of taste are something we enjoy for far different reasons, I get it.

At the same time, when I feel like I have a hot take sitting in my lap, I do try to re-evaluabe it a bit before I go flying off the cuff on social media, because no matter how quiet the voice, I realize my word of mouth could touch SOMEONE out there. it takes a lot from me to call something outright bad. Maybe I can be flippant and dismissive if something doesn't get it's hooks in me, but...

I don't know what I'm trying to say here exactly. I don't want this to come off as "Hurr Durr don't have unpopular opinions and try and spread them!" because I believe in a theater of ideas and the discussion that follows afterwards. I just feel like it's a disservice to talk about a game that clearly has a bit of a positive zeitgeist around it in this reviewer's bubble. Granted, I'm still several weeks behind on RFN. I've been in too many Discord Calls and been too distracted to sit down and listen to whole episodes of Radio Free Nintendo. This could have been something that gets adresse din future episodes and I'm just making a giant ass of myself, but like... I had to stop what i was doing to type for some sort of catharsis, much as Syrenne needed to come on the show for therapy.


Maybe in the end we're not so different after all?


I'm depressed now.


I'm going to go lay down.

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement