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Episode 258: Returning Champion

by James Jones, Chris Kohler, Jon Lindemann, and Jonathan Metts - September 11, 2011, 8:45 am EDT
Total comments: 20

Our old friend Chris Kohler helps guide us through the confusing world of Japanese gaming news.

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It has been nearly two years since Chris Kohler appeared on RFN, and we are extremely pleased to have him back this week as a sub for Greg. It's perfect timing, too, as the Tokyo Games Show looms and we also have a one-two punch of crazy Nintendo news out of Japan. But first, New Business! Jon is back with some love for Capcom's retro-style DSiWare gem, Dark Void Zero. He also reports on a duo of Resistance games, starting with the control-challenged Retribution on PSP and wrapping up with the apparently redeemed Resistance 3 on PS3. Jonny completed Ghost Trick and describes the arc of his affection for the game. He also got to play Serious Sam: Double D (on Steam), the latest dose of wacky from our friend and former RFN visitor Nathan Fouts at Mommy's Best Games. Mr. Kohler skips over the upcoming DS sequel to Professor Layton, instead treating us to a full diagnosis of the fifth game in the series, Mask of Miracle for 3DS. Then, James pulls into the show just in time to grill Chris on all the details of Layton and Luke's eventual shift into the third D. James himself has a 3DS game as well, but in name only -- it's SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked, and our cranky friend spares no rage for this lazy port.

After the break, we introduce a new, probably rare segment: "WTF Is Going On With Japan Lately?" Considering that Chris Kohler has written a book on Japan's gaming industry (check the back cover for Jonny's quote!), he is the perfect guy to have on the show to discuss this stuff. First up is Monster Hunter 3G and the confirmed (though still hard to believe) 3DS cradle with a second Circle Pad and extra shoulder buttons. Our next topic is the long-awaited reveal of Dragon Quest X, which will be an online RPG for multiple Nintendo platforms. Finally, Chris guides us through a short preview of TGS 2011, where we expect numerous 3DS game announcements as well as the last big push from Vita before Sony's competing handheld launches this fall in Japan.

This podcast was edited by Greg Leahy.

Music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is used with permission from Jason Ricci & New Blood. You can purchase their newest album, Done with the Devil, directly from the record label, Amazon (CD) (MP3), or iTunes, or call your local record store and ask for it!

Additional music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is copyrighted to Nintendo, and is included under fair use protection.


Retro DeckadesSeptember 11, 2011

I'd love to know if Kohler's book will ever get a reprint, if anyone happens to know.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)September 11, 2011

You see, this is why I love RFN. Amid the cacophony of wild speculation and freak-outs, you guys remain the voice of reason regarding the news coming out of Japan. Kudos to you.

PlugabugzSeptember 11, 2011

No greg?

*deletes off iPod*

sambsknSeptember 11, 2011

I'm not sure that I would agree that there are no games worth buying for 3DS coming out for two months. Bit.Trip is just a couple days out, and Cave Story 3D is right around the corner. Both ports, but at least they aren't from the N64 era, and they do add something.

tokimaru12September 11, 2011

do you guys think that since we now have the second circle pad that we will have another epic fail FPS such as Black Opps ds?

I think the second stick is aimed squarely at Monster Hunter, and nothing else, but it hasn't even been officially announced so we really have no idea how Nintendo is going to position it.  A unique accessory for MH only? 3DS Plus?  Who knows, but it really strikes me as a "special accessory" designed for a single game.

The 3DS has never been sold as a first-person shooter-oriented system (unlike the Vita, naturally), so I don't see this as the end of the world, or some huge gaffe on Nintendo's part.  The GameCube controller didn't even have a proper second analog stick, so I don't see what the big deal is, really.

I'm just saying that the games that I'm looking to play on a 3DS probably don't require a second analog stick anyways.

EnnerSeptember 11, 2011

Seeing Steam set up shop on the Wii U is something I would like as well. It would be awesome to see Steamplay across Windows, Mac OS, and Wii U (buy a game and have access across all platforms). I have doubts this coming true. I have a weird thought that Nintendo would not allow Steam on the platform because it would be a competing store and/or provide games cheaper than Nintendo would like.

KisakiProjectSeptember 12, 2011

So excited for Kohler!

Somebody sent us an email talking about how great it was to have an expert on.

You know, because the usual crew is a bunch of idiots.

LittleIrvesSeptember 12, 2011

Good thing you got it when you did, James -- http://tinycartridge.com/post/10138990321/smt-devil-survivor-the-oc-out-of-stock-heavily
People haven't been listening to RFN258, apparently.

There are no 3DS games coming out that I'm interested in. Whether the ones you mentioned are worth buying is quite subjective, and I have no opinion since I have barely played either. Both look like quality productions, but the platform really has issues when people are defending releases because these ports are newer than the other ports.

KDR_11kSeptember 13, 2011

The only way to make SMT a lazier port would be to superglue that plastic nub to a DS cart.

After consulting some PR material: the game did add voice acting - and it is properly good - but yeah...

Also on the subject of how free Nintendo's downloadable services are. They are apparently somewhat more free than sony or microsofts. Companies no longer have to reach a certain sales threshold anymore either.

I can't help but suspect that "free" in this case means, "You can do whatever you want, but you'll have to do it entirely yourselves."

Like how Vicarious Visions always had the best online functionality in their games. Do you think Nintendo gave them a hand with that? I don't. They were probably the only ones with the patience to actually build online modes from scratch for every title.

motangSeptember 14, 2011

I love your show guys, but having Chris Kholer was an awesome addition. He brought in a very good insight to all the stuff that has happen with DragonQuest X, new new add-on to Sega 32X...err...I mean the 3DS, etc.  :D

NinSageSeptember 14, 2011

1. No Greg?! *tear* He's probably busy dancing about the Bills 41-7 victory this past weekend.

But, this Chris Kohler guy!? I'm citing one of his articles in a research paper I'm working on! Life imitates work!...or something.

2. I agree that dual-analog is not really that big of a deal.  But, there are certain Japanese games that
I really want a second stick for.  Kid Icarus, RE:Rev, MH ... and I'm sure the list will only get bigger as time goes on.

3. GhostTrick eh? hmm, sounds pretty interesting.  I'd ignored it up 'til now but maybe I should rethink that.

4. "wtf is going on in Japan lately?!" LOL! classic.

4. I loves me some Monster Hunter.  If you don't get it? I don't blame you... When I played the Wii demo of Tri I thought it was the worst thing I'd ever played.  500+ hours on the retail disc later? I'm still loving it.

Also, Tri G does adds a bunch of new monsters... it may not seem like a big deal, but it is a considerable amount of content when you consider the game is MONSTER Hunter.

5. Well, man... this circle pad stuff is killin' me at the moment.
Sounds like we're going down that "terrible rabbit hole" Jonny mentioned.

A revision in the near future would piss-off early adopters even more and a late revision would just get us stuck in a horrific, fragmented audience that makes every new game announcement a cluster-eff of "will it or won't it."

6. Can't wait for DQX.  It will be awesome and I really don't think a sub fee is coming outside Japan.

James, don't forget DQ3 really let you create your own party and that was a billion years ago. Roughly.

7. I don't understand.  Everyone criticized Nintendo for making games that sell a ton but aren't very "hardcore."  Now we're criticizing them for making Zelda and Star Fox and not making enough casual money printers?

KDR_11kSeptember 15, 2011

Somehow the 3DS is a sign that Nintendo hasn't learned one bit from the PSP. First they put only one circle pad on there after people have been complaining about that for half a decade with the PSP and have that anemic battery life, now they focus on console-style games.

The 3DS is a weirdly non-Nintendo product.  It's like Nintendo forgot their golden rules when they thought it up.

1) Steep initial price point that hampered adoption of the platform
2) Selling point of the system is based on its visuals
3) Control inputs aren't necessarily adequate for the types of games that developers want to put on the system
4) Games aren't particularly unique when compared to those on the company's other systems (DS, Wii)
5) Has a bunch of features that gamers never really asked for/don't really need (3D recording, 3D pictures, AR features, etc.)
6) Released in a semi-unfinished state and then patched up post-launch to what should have been originally shipped (like the PS3)

This is like, Sony 101.  It's bizarre.

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

This is like, Sony 101.  It's bizarre.

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