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Messages - Crimm

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This is my penance for asking Jon to write the article this week

But what if... you didnt

This is a great writeup but I'm struggling to understand how the FOMO is this powerful

TalkBack / Mutazione (Switch) Review
« on: July 01, 2021, 02:36:00 AM »

A soap opera is still a soap opera, even if the cast are mutants.

Mutazione bills itself as a soap opera on a tropical island inhabited by mutants, and I struggle to compose a more concise summary for Die Gute Fabrik’s narrative adventure. Mutazione is about wandering around an island and interacting with the members of a small, insular community: their loves, their challenges, their flaws, and their history are better fodder for exploration than the island they live on. It just happens that most of them are mutants, but that’s largely incidental to who they are. Players interested in a bit of soap in their character-focused adventure titles should read on, those looking for gameplay focus can move on to other titles.

The ruins of the old world..

Kai, a high school girl from the city, has found her summer break plans ruined. Her grandfather, whom she has never met, is dying and her mother has sent her to visit him at his island home. At best, she’s heard her mother tell stories about her estranged father who she had left on the island where she grew up. A meteor strike had left the island dramatically mutated. Its plants, animals, and people all took new forms. While Kai’s grandfather had originally gone to study them, he instead found himself drawn into their spiritualist lifestyle, becoming their shaman.

Pretty much the entirety of Mutazione is Kai wandering around the island, talking to its colorful cast of characters. There are a number of standouts. Mop it up, a humanoid-feline has a taste for screaming rock music and a deeply pained backstory. Bopek, a pre-teen amphibian-like humanoid, struggles with being the only adolescent on the island. To cope, he has turned to his hobbies of fishing, weaving, and over-consuming hot sauce. Tung is a golem who loves to watch Italian soap operas, not that he understands the language, despite struggling with the fact he’s living one.

The population of the island.

Each character on the island has personality and history. Often Kai has to work through their personal concerns in order to get to the bottom of problems they’re facing. Unwittingly, Kai’s grandfather has been passing his shaman duties onto her, and getting to know the people of the island, be they mutant or not, is how she helps them.

This is where Mutazione shines. There isn’t a single character who I don’t at least like, and all of them have some kind of arc. The writing is snappy, and the cast plays well off each other. The Sausages, a pack of “market disrupting” sentient sausages, have the keen eye for business of an Amico investor, and the nonsensical schemes of an NFT seller. I adore their many high-falutin schemes, even if their actual job is literal **** shoveling.

Sadly, whenever you’re not interacting with the cast the experience is less enjoyable. The world is set up as a series of screens linked by exits. Oftentimes you have to wander the island trying to track down an islander who has gone off somewhere. The game also expects you to explore to get the most out of the story, and to collect seeds for a mostly forgettable gardening mechanic. The problem is Kai isn’t very fast, and it takes a while to get from here to there, an especially damning issue when you don’t yet know where “there” is. If there were more things to do along the way, this would be fine, but there largely isn't. I mentioned gardening, it had been a responsibility of Kai’s grandfather, and while the game puts a lot of story emphasis on it I found I did each garden once and then never touched them again.

Swiming with Mop it up.

The art style of Mutazione does shine, relying on a mostly-flat shaded cartoon style that foregoes dark outlines around most shapes. The style really pops on some of the mutated cast, in particular Tung, whom I would absolutely put up a poster of.

I enjoyed my time with Mutazione. It’s fairly short, less than ten hours. But, sometimes navigating made it feel longer than it needed to be. The cast is small, but rich with character and history. Their interactions are great, and getting to know them alongside Kai is a treat. That said, there’s not much mechanically to recommend. If you like narrative-style adventures, like Night in the Woods and its ilk, then this is an easy recommendation. If you like strong characters then this should be a priority to play. However, if you need a little more gameplay in your games then this might not be for you.

Truly, the Ubisoft is contagious.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 720: RFN is NWR Backwards
« on: May 02, 2021, 03:13:24 PM »
Oh my God he read the article

TalkBack / Poison Control (Switch) Review
« on: April 26, 2021, 05:01:18 PM »

Damn us to Hell.

I’ll get something out of the way immediately: if you find anime tropes off-putting, then you don’t need to read any further; Poison Control is not for you. Poison Control is awash in all the tropes you can handle, delivers from a matching sense of humor, and presents a wide array of cute anime archetype girls. Consider that the warning. And while some of the game’s humor landed for me, it was not an uproariously funny game. This would be fine if the gameplay was its own reward, but largely it feels repetitive. Poison Control isn’t a bad game; it just has a very niche appeal that it fails to exceed.

Yes, there are relationship-building prompts.

To simplify the premise, you play as a human who has awoken to find themselves in Hell. Not dead, but trapped in the afterlife. An encounter with a demon resulted in the demon hijacking your body, and in the process the demon takes the form of a girl named Poisonette. The unnamed hero and Poisonette are charged with the task of purifying “Belle’s Hells,” the physical manifestation of dark emotions plaguing both living and deceased girls. Their goal is to purify enough of these Hells to earn admission to heaven and with it one single wish.

Poison Control is a 3D dungeon crawler. Most of the time is spent as our living hero, which means playing a 3D third-person shooter. Situationally, you can switch to controlling Poisonette to dispel pools of poison from the Hells.

Weapons are collected from the various Belles by completing secondary objectives in their respective Hell. In exchange for money, these weapons can be strengthened. Most weapons have unlimited ammo with a reload cooldown, but others require collecting ammo mid-mission. The shooting feels repetitive; most of the Hells are themed around the specific thing that is plaguing its respective Belle, but ultimately that doesn’t create gameplay variety. The game presents the same handful of enemies, including a shield enemy that I detest seeing, not because it's hard but because it is painfully slow to dispatch. Even bosses repeat with a frequency that would make the Super Mario 3D World team blush. The shooting can be unsatisfying: weapons often don’t seem to do a lot of damage to some enemies, and at close range the aiming reticule becomes inaccurate.

I will take an anime girl that turns my arm into a gun.

Poisonette can’t shoot demons, but she can clean up Belle's Hells. Full of pools of poison, these pools are the actual manifestations of a Belle’s emotional distress. Poisonette’s steps clear out the poison, and creating a closed loop will clear all the enclosed space. As the bond between Poisonette and her living host matures, she will be able to run further, enclosing ever-larger areas and cleaning them up. Strangely, I enjoyed this gameplay more than the shooting, often leaving enemies alone to instead clean. While this is a good way to earn money, experience, and health, I often found that I was ultimately wasting time.

There are some real performance issues plaguing the game. I didn’t really understand how much the performance was suffering until I stumbled into a late-game Hell that, for whatever reason, performed with remarkable smoothness. The revelation would soon be replaced with end-game content that often resulted in literal slideshows and non-responsive button inputs. At its worst, it can make playing the game more difficult than intended. It is a shame, since while there is some good art, the visuals aren’t particularly complex. The draw distance is severely limited, which makes the framerate issues seem even more frustrating. Enemies can be literally steps away, but remain shrouded in the limited visibility.

Please return my body.

I warned that this game heavily leverages its anime exterior to create appeal, and I think there are some successes to go with the failures. Poisonette is not the only of her kind; there are others that each embody various anime tropes: a busty insatiable flesh-eater who speaks in double entendre, a boyish too-pure-for-this-world proper servant, and our Poisonette who herself is sassy and has ill-intent but a “good heart.” It’s all a bit much, even if their interactions can be the source of humor. My favorite set of tropes is the interstitial radio hosts who introduce each Hell. Think about Splatoon’s Off The Hook, but hosted by demons of Hell. They have almost all of the best lines, and their interactions are fun. Despite never seeing them, they’re still the best. The Belles themselves are also often a source of humor, be it a girl who has become romantically invested in a penguin mascot wearing gold chains or a young lady so impacted by her allergy to tree pollen she has set out to cutdown every tree she finds.

I struggled reviewing Poison Control; it has real notable flaws and dramatically overplays its hand with some of the anime tropes. The game is repetitive, and feels like it overstays its welcome despite not being particularly long. And yet, there are still plenty of moments that earned chuckles and even laughter. I still felt the urge to fully explore every inch of the Hells. I still did the extra, and still had some absent-minded fun freeing the Belles from their worries. Hell, I even grew to like members of the tropey cast. But, the game is what it is. I think some people will really enjoy Poison Control, but you already know who you are. The rest of you will likely find it a bit dull and potentially off-putting.

TalkBack / Re: New Color Of Switch Lite Launching May 21
« on: April 13, 2021, 05:46:35 PM »

TalkBack / Re: New Color Of Switch Lite Launching May 21
« on: April 13, 2021, 05:13:54 PM »

TalkBack / Re: New Color Of Switch Lite Launching May 21
« on: April 13, 2021, 11:32:22 AM »

After 49 of them, that means a lot. Thank you


It's probably safe to Google this.

Jon took the week off and James doesn't have any New Business this week. Guillaume finished off Pikmin 3 Deluxe and Capybara's Grindstone for Switch. It looks like a Match-Three, but it isn't. Greg is exploring handhelds-past with NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol.1. As with any opportunity to talk about obscure garbage (note: this is not a reference to the NGPC), things go sideways here.

After a break, we tackle two email questions. First, we try to figure out how Nintendo could make an Astro's Playroom-style nostalgia game. I know its very unlike Nintendo, but maybe they should consider it. Then we discuss the bygone days of "unique" handheld versions of games. You can ask us how Nintendo could do the thing they're already infamous for by sending us an email.

We're about two weeks out from our RetroActive on Resident Evil: Revelations. Post comments here.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 712: It Sounds Stupid Said Out Loud
« on: March 08, 2021, 10:50:38 PM »
Set realistic goals and keep evolving them.

I didn't plan to go where I ended up, I just wanted to feel better...then I turned it into a game. I had a custom suit made and they asked if I wanted any "room to grow," "No. Tight."

Regret that now, but I still appreciate the confidence.

Podcast Discussion / RetroActive 49: Resident Evil: Revelaitons
« on: March 07, 2021, 07:07:14 PM »
CAPCPOM can't be bothered to spell it correctly, but we're doing our 49th RetroActive for Resident Evil: Revelations.

Comments posted here may be used in the relevant episode. Recording will happen in Late March/Early April.

TalkBack / Re: Fallen Legion Revenants (Switch) Review
« on: March 02, 2021, 10:29:56 PM »
It's been a while...

TalkBack / Fallen Legion Revenants (Switch) Review
« on: March 01, 2021, 08:25:37 PM »

Repeatedly stymied by The Incredible Bulk, and his wagon wheel hands.

What a disappointment.

That’s the overriding feeling I get playing Fallen Legion Revenants. The sequel to 2018’s Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory, it went from a game I was hotly anticipating to a game that frustrated me to no end. If you’re looking to save some time, I’ll summarize: Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory is a fine game that’s beset with performance issues that hamper the experience in profound ways. Fallen Legion Revenants is a poor title that fixed the performance issues. The first game I still recommend. The second? See above.

The world is shrouded in a fog that turns people to monsters. The only safe place is a floating castle that once served as a refuge for the elite, but has now become more of a prison. The architect of this prison, the tyrant Ivor, has amassed both tremendous power and cunning enemies. Foremost among them is Lucien, a nobleman recently appointed to the castle’s ultimately powerless “council,” who now plots to kill Ivor. His ally is Rowena, the ghost of Ivor’s recently-executed lieutenant. Her hatred for her former boss, and fear for her son’s safety, kept her spirit bound to this cursed world. While Lucien plots, recruits allies, and engages in subterfuge to weaken Ivor, Rowena commands the loyalties of the spirits of long-dead heroes to campaign against Ivor’s forces and dispatch the damned on the ground.

Security2D is less exciting a phrase than "HD2D."

Lucien and Rowena each represent one half of the game’s gameplay. As Lucien, you skulk about the castle, complete tasks, search for hidden items, and politic your fellow residents in an effort to get a leg-up on Ivor and his allies. It involves a lot of text prompts mapped to the face buttons and sneaking missions where Lucien hides behind pillars. These actions can cause branching paths in the story, but ultimately they’re not especially engaging. They’re simple compared to games playing with similar ideas, and they often drag, even when they have a timer attached to them.

Rowena is tasked with fighting. Stages are essentially long hallways that are broken up with enemy encounters. Rowena and her party of warrior-ghosts, known as Exemplars, are on a 2D grid. Each of her three Exemplars are mapped to a face button, and her actions are mapped to the fourth. Pressing a button will send that Exemplar out to attack the enemies, who are similarly arranged on their own grid. There are special attacks, various cooldown meters, timed blocking, “perfect” deflections, elemental types, and other similar trappings of an RPG combat system mapped to this apparently-simple format. Many of these stages end with boss encounters, large enemies who possess a number of skills that demand using all of the above features in unison.

Welcome to chaos, population: this image.

There’s an overwhelming sense that something is wrong in many of these boss encounters. Maybe it's a damage setting that’s entirely too high, or a damage sponge of a boss that seems to be largely impervious until you stun them. Perhaps it’s a stun window that lasts for less than two seconds despite taking a while to trigger, or a healing spell that just seems to work worse during this boss. Perhaps its area of effect attacks are too fast, or too powerful, or can be spammed or combined with other spells that completely remove survival from your possible outcomes. The problem? In some cases it’s all of the above.

The first such boss to give me a sense that the game wasn’t playing fair was a purple giant with wagon wheels for hands. The questionable looking sprite was only the smallest of his issues. He only took any meaningful damage during his comically short stun window, but he hit like a wrecking ball. The only hope of even staying alive is to constantly parry him while also avoiding the powerful spells he throws out at ever increasing speeds. I can’t guess how many times I had to fight him before I got past him, but at one point I reached out to The Thirsty Mage’s David Lloyd, who was also mid-review, only to find that he was similarly stuck on the same boss.

This is not some late-game boss; this was Chapter 2. When I finally did clear him, I was given a story option: leave a helpless young girl we had been escorting with her clearly-evil parents or take her with us. The “take” option resulted in a jokey end-game scenario, and my vanquishing of this gnarly foe was completely disregarded when I reloaded my save. I had to rerun the nine and a half minute stage yet again, struggle against him two or three more times, before finally getting through. Except the game crashed, and so another run was lost. I did get through him eventually, but at that point the game had found so many ways to frustrate and annoy me that I really didn’t want to see what was next. I dutifully proceeded, but at that point me and Fallen Legion Revenants were on the outs. A few more boss encounters later and I knew I was done.

It’s not just unnecessarily punitive boss fights that hamper the fun. The storytelling isn’t compelling. Most of it is done via Lucien’s adventure game-style sequences mid-mission, and they just feel like a drag. Some are timed, but even when timing is tight they still feel like they take too long. This would be less pressing if they weren’t removing you from Rowena’s gameplay to do it, but to have them happen concurrently with the combat gameplay feels disjointed, and honestly punitive: if you need to change your Exemplar configuration you’re going to have to replay the same tedious sneaking mission. Due to a somewhat confusing message prompt, I reverted my save and ended up replaying Chapter 1 again, and so I can confirm that the choices you make do have impact, but I can’t exactly tell you how my actions on my second pass saved Evie’s life. I mostly just picked what I didn’t pick last time. Beyond that, the scenario isn’t introduced in a way that makes it particularly interesting, and the characters themselves are boring.

Visually, I don’t find the game to be much to look at. The art is detailed, and drawn by a skilled hand, but it is lacking in color and the character designs aren’t particularly appealing. This is doubly true for many of the bosses, who don’t look grotesque, but rather just weird. Given the game’s fairly limited “hallway” world, it would have been much better for it to look more captivating.

How to take down a dictator, step one.

I wanted to like Fallen Legion Revenants. Rise to Glory is a really good game that was let down by some technical issues. It kept me up late, kept me engaged enough to play it again after the review process, and gave me great hope when Revenants was announced. However, while the addition of Lucien’s adventure game-inspired gameplay breaks up what is, admittedly, a somewhat repetitious combat gameplay, it just isn’t fun. Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory had its share of boss encounters that seemed unbalanced, but I never felt as frustrated as I did with Revenants. I found myself much less interested in the characters or plot of Fallen Legion Revenants, and it’s probably safe to just say I liked everything about this game less than its predecessor. I’m honestly disappointed. If developers YummyYummyTummy announce another Fallen Legion title, I promise they’ll get my attention, but I’m going to have to wait a little longer this time before I let myself get excited.

Bro bro bro

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 707: Real Experts in Smurf Dancing
« on: February 07, 2021, 03:44:35 PM »
5. Doom Eternal
4. Hades
3. Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
2. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
HM: AVVICI Invenctor

5. Animal Crossing
4. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
3. Panzer Paladin
2. Manifold Garden
1. Paper Mario the Origami King
HM: Mario Galaxy, Mr. Driller Drill Land, Tropical Freeze

5. Paper Mario the Origami King
4. Lonely Mountains Downhill
3. A Short Hike
2. Streets of Rage 4
1. Hades
HM: Wide Ocean big jacket, pikmin 3, part time ufo, pixeljunk eden 2, animal crossing, super mario 35
OTHER: Forza Horizon

5. Paradise Killer
4. Part Time UFO
3. Kuukiyomi 2: Consider It More - New Era
2. Hades
1. Super Mega Baseball 3
HM: Robotics Notes Elite, Yes, Your Grace
OTHER: 13 Sententials

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 707: Real Experts in Smurf Dancing
« on: February 01, 2021, 12:33:13 PM »
It was a lot of pig with multiple cheeses and crushed red pepper.

It was phenomenal food to watch The Rumble to.

Gui, you're right a lot of the plan was to change the law to meet us at our crime, but Dr. Mario's Trunk-side Pill Distribution is always going to be less-than-legal. It keeps the profit margin way higher with the "illegal products and services" mark-up.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 706: The Age of Pissery
« on: January 26, 2021, 05:33:06 PM »
Crap you're right. I confused the two. Never mind

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 706: The Age of Pissery
« on: January 25, 2021, 06:47:52 PM »
He actually responded on twitter and seemed happy with our answer. I think it came off more aggressive than he intended.

But you're right, it is hard to come up with new content for the show. We record on Thursday, and by Sunday night I'm already starting to worry if I don't have something cooking.

Speaking of which, I don't have anything cooking and I'm deeply worried.

Just listening to the episode now, great so far as always. I know it's too late for James now but some info for the Bravely Default 2 Demo, you can set defult to L in the options menu!

Not sure why it isn't on by deafult but there you go.


Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 702: More Crane Than Kick, You Might Say
« on: December 16, 2020, 08:59:31 PM »
Hosting this podcast is a nightmare.

TalkBack / Radio Free Nintendo Episode 700 LIVE! Show has concluded
« on: November 20, 2020, 06:04:00 PM »

Join us Saturday, Nov 21 at 1 PM Eastern to celebrate 700 episodes of whatever the hell this is.

JOIN US THIS SATURDAY AT 1 PM EASTERN! Here's the link! The Discord where we will be chatting is here.

Here's how to read this in the timezone of your choice.

Okay, that's the Inverted Pyramid satisfied, so what are you doing?

Radio Free Nintendo is excited to hit our 700th episode, and we decided to share it with all of you. We'll be broadcasting live starting at 1 PM Eastern our recording of Radio Free Nintendo. We'll even take calls as our "Listern Mail" segment, so be sure to be in the Discord channel.

1:00 PM New Business
2:00 PM Jonathan Metts goes to Hades
2:30 PM Call-ins begin!
4:00 PM Sign-off

More things will happen than what's listed, but I'm not great at planning.

Why do this?

700 is special! It has multiple zeros and is the sum of four consecutive prime numbers (167 + 173 + 179 + 181), and thus is special. Michael "TYP" Cole also let me know that 2x2x5x7 = 700, and that feels pretty special. So you'll be joining us.

I will? That seems awfully demanding.I hope you'll join us. It'll be fun. Jon Lindemann might even be there. He has been explicitly reminded.

Oh right, because he forgot that time. So this is the Telethon?

Decidedly not, but that's a function of my stultifying laziness, not because there isn't major need. There isn't really anything I need to tell you about the far-reaching the impacts of this last year have been on the world, but to that end I think it's better I let you decide how to help. Child's Play is a great charity, with a wonderful mission, and I encourage its support. However, this year has exposed needs across a spectrum of causes.

I do still want to reward charitable behavior. So, I'm asking you to make a donation to your charity of choice and then email the receipt to rfn(at) We have prizes, including a Nintendo Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. graciously donated by Brian, of Beat of the Month podcast.

We'll be giving it, and some other prizes away via drawings after the show concludes. Donation amounts do not affect entry.

However, if we get $500 worth of donation receipts we'll add a Stretch Goal. A Stretch Goal we'll decide on air during the show. And like any good crowd funding program there may even be more goals to unlock!

So this is a scam?

Possibly. You'll just have to join us and found out!


Please don't ask why.

Jon was out this week, mourning his distinct lack of "power."

Greg kicks-off New Business talking about Turok, which he has bought but not yet played. James has bought RAW POWER, in the form of Xbox Series X. It's basically just Xbox One with extra power. You might say, it is the most powerful video game console. He's also playing Yakuza: Like a Dragon on it. He's not really feeling the RPG-style combat. Guillaume is playing two games he doesn't especially recommend: spooky game Observer and anime game Forgotten Anne.

After the break we planned to dig deep into the inbox but instead have a long discussion on how the "Digital Divide" is impacting the gaming industry and leaving some consumers behind. As always, the inbox is here.

THIS SATURDAY November 21, join us for the Radio Free Nintendo Episode 700 Live Show! We'll be going live at 1 PM Eastern, and we'll be hanging out in the NWR Discord. We hope to see you there.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 698: Everything's a Conspiracy Now
« on: November 09, 2020, 03:37:51 PM »
I'm vaguely familiar with the concept. But Nintendo is inconsistent about it. And they don't usually convert in English language release.

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