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Episode 321: Return of the Mack

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - January 12, 2013, 9:18 pm PST
Total comments: 22

Our long, international nightmare is now over: Jon Lindemann has come back to RFN.

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Like Superman in 2006, Jon Lindemann returns to save Earth from... whatever's the opposite of what he does on the show. So we're really happy to have him back, and so will you be! So you and be will. Swoubyillandeo.

Jon didn't have a ton of time to play games during the past few months (that's part of why he wasn't on RFN), but he did make some progress on Super Mario 3D Land. You'll also hear the FPS master's thoughts on Call of Duty: Blacks Ops 2, which still isn't on the Wii U eShop because Activision doesn't like money? I can't imagine what else would explain it. Guillaume follows up with his own take on Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and he bought a new DSiWare game called... actually, just read that phrase over again -- you'll have more fun than he did playing Galaxy Saver. With the segment already running long, James trims his own New Business to a single, but highly worthy game called To the Moon. Jonny slows down just enough to give proper respect to Gunman Clive, the spectacular and highly affordable new 3DS eShop release, and he engages Jon for a quick discussion of Halo 4.

The second segment contains our apparently popular, annual feature on predictions for the new year. We start by recapping some of the stupid bets placed for 2012, though there are a couple of odd zingers and even a few that could still happen, though much later than we'd hoped. You'll even hear a very quick comment from Greg Leahy on his assessment of last year's predictions. From there, we move on into a brand new slate of ridiculous and occasionally provocative claims about what might happen later in 2013. You can bet that Retro Studios is a prominent (some would say perennial) topic, but we also cover the go-to Mario/Zelda/Kart franchises and pitch ideas that might generate some Wii U buzz to fill the post-holiday vacuum. It turned out to be a really fun part of the show, so hopefully you'll find some charm amid the naivety.

We're planning to count down our personal Top 5 Games of 2012 lists next week, but you can always send thoughtful emails to the podcast for future consideration. Look for scheduling info on the live Majora's Mask RetroActive very soon (Jan. 26 is a strong contender), and keep trucking through the game if you still need to prepare. Also, we hope you'll visit and support the guys at Tales of Charity, who are set for a marathon trip through Tales of Symphonia to raise funds for Child's Play. Check out what they're doing at the official Facebook page or on Twitter. The event is running from January 18-20, so don't wait!

This podcast was edited by Guillaume Veillette.

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.


FjurbanskiJanuary 12, 2013

Yeah, To the Moon is absolutely beautiful. And I completely agree with the discussion of 16-bit vs. newer games. It's so easy for us to accept the "flaws" of older games that they end up being much closer to flawless than newer ones. Interesting.

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 13, 2013

Welcome back Jon! We've missed you.

For reference and/or mocking, the predictions...


- One of the major localization houses (Atlus, XSEED, NIS America, Aksys or Level-5) will go eShop only and will have better ROI as a result

- Year of the Pokemon - not just XY, but the rest of the franchise (anime, TCG and unfortunately Pokemon Mystery Dungeon)

- Koizumi and Shimizu (Galaxy/3D Land) will have their next Mario game ready to show at E3

- Japanese exchange rates in press releases

- New Retro game will be a Metroid 2 prequel and is a squad-based shooter with no Samus

- Two games with Mario in the title at most (not counting Luigi's Mansion) - Mario Kart WiiU and a sports game on 3DS (bonus prediction: Mario Curling)

- Big year for Atlus and XSEED, Western devs will continue to ignore 3DS beyond shovelware

- Mario Paint remake

- New Retro game: Metroid Prime 4 (Jon agrees)

- Final Fantasy XV coming to 3DS

- 3DS Zelda comes first, Link's Awakening revival

- Dragon Quest X comes west

- WiiU sales slump in the west, surprisingly strong in Japan

- Wii MUsic at E3, uses Miiverse for sharing

- More focus on sharing

- Streamlined WiiU Gamepad announced by EOY

- Modern Warfare 4 on WiiU

- Jon won't plan on buying Pokemon XY but will anyway because of reasons

Jonny suggested a Pokemon TCG iPhone app, which makes me wonder how TCG Online ( http://www.pokemontcg.com/welcome) works on the iPhone browser.

PajamasJanuary 13, 2013

Dutch Angle: a camera angle technique where the camera is tilted on its side to create a feeling of tension or uneasiness. Also known as a Canted Angle. I knew my television degree would amount to something.

Kytim89January 13, 2013

Here are some of my own predictions for this year:

Pandora's Tower will be picked up by Atlus and released in North America. However, it will be released onto the Wii U's eShop and they will offer a very limited release of the physical game from their website. It will have something like a ceiling of say 20,000 copies and it will go down as being one of the rarest Wii games ever produced.
Grand Theft Auto V will announced for the Wii U.

Uncle_OptimusJanuary 14, 2013

Interesting that everyone seems convinced that Retro's next big project will be Metroid. It makes a lot of sense, especially in the context of Retro's comment last year that they were working on something "everyone wanted to see them do" (I'm paraphrasing here). That said I would love if the other rumour, that they are creating the next Starfox, turn out to be true. Would love to have their talent applied to other genres now that they have proven with DK that they are not limited to FPS/FPA gritty type games.
Or, you know, Nintendo can fund Platinum's Hideki Kamiya cuz that guy would love to do one and he has some experience making decent games.
Also, hes a funny guy: http://www.giantbomb.com/hideki-kamiya/72-60123/hideki-kamiya-calls-out-kotaku-on-being-garbage/35-574578/

Of course we all still want our Metroid fix, but Nintendo pretty please make it a 2D (in glorious 3D on the 3DS) return to side scrolling exploration. Heck, you could even talk to the guys at Chair (developers of XBA's Metroid-like Shadow Complex) if you can't spare a quality in-house team and Team Ninja is too busy with their next-gen boobie physics engine.

Great to hear from Lindy again! Interesting GamePad prediction. Nyko and other 3rd parties now have their 'Pad battery solutions available, doubling and even tripling the controller's battery life. Are you expecting Nintendo to offer a streamlined, boosted 'Pad as an accessory purchase (which, AFAIK, they still have not made available outside of repairs)? Or as the definitive new pack-in controller?

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 14, 2013

Here are my predictions.

1. An announcement will be made at E3 that Nintendo will be releasing an update to Miiverse that provides a more comprehensive tool set for drawing (i.e. different colours, basic shading tools, basic geometric shapes etc) to take advantage of the popularity of that aspect of the service. Nintendo will release the update on the morning of their press conference. Despite being an incremental and modest update, however, it will take until September for the download to complete and until November for it to install.

2. A teaser trailer will be shown for Monolith Soft's Wii U game. It will be a spiritual sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles, but will include some limited online multiplayer features ala Demon Souls. Europe and North America will not get a release date for several years.

3. The next Mario Kart (which will be called Mario Kart 8 to take advantage of the fact that the shape of the number resembles a racing track) will be announced for Wii U and will release this fall. It will include a feature where the person playing on the Gamepad can interact with the environment by closing and opening certain routes, cause or prevent certain obstacles from impeding the racers, and the option to tailor available power-ups on the fly ('Blue Shell only' games will be possible with this feature).

4. At E3 Reggie's script will include several lines which were meant to elicit laughter but will fall flat due to his stilted delivery. He will, however, reference Nintendo's continued support from third partys. This will elicit much laughter.

5. Retro Studios will continue to do no wrong.

shingi_70January 14, 2013

First part is cross posted as I mistakenly posted it in the connectivity thread.

Final fantasy 15 on 3DS is a freaking pipe dream. While I agree that the 3DS is doing hot in Japan it isn't selling top expectations elsewhere. The 3DS is a good place to make more new IP like Bravely default.

Also the New engine that powered angi's philosophy is going to power the next final fantasy. That and after seeing said demo if final fantasy 15 was on 3DS I probably wouldn't buy it despite owning the system.
I do think that Dragon Quest X is coming and the amount fanfare it gets will depend if square or Nintendo handles the duties.

As for my predictions for 2013.

1) Retro is indeed working on the next Metroid game. However story wise I think its going to take place after Fusion and deal with Samus against everyone. The game will also have a focus on multiplayer with something similar to metroid blast. It may even bring back the hunters concept.

2) Where going to see Nintendo acquire as well as start to create new Studios to develop games. I think a big reasons why we haven't seen a lot of stuff beyond march (even that seems delayed) is because Nintendo has shown off more than they can chew. They're a company for the longest time would have the same team who builds the big console games also develop the handheld titles as well. This wasn't as big of a deal when they were developing games for the Wii and handheld games had the power of a a SNES or N64. However the 3DS is more in line with a GameCube so when making something of quality its going to cost and have a pretty long developer cycle.

Look at Kid Icarus Uprising and Luigi's Mansion games that have been delayed for various reasons. Now alongside with that Nintendo is developing for HD consoles something that is very expensive and costly and they don't have the 8+ years that most of the industry does. Most of the games we have seen from Nintendo seem as of they started out as wii games. So unlike Microsoft and Sony who have desperate developers for their mobile space Nintendo is stuck in this weird space which I'm sure they didn't see coming. The irony can't be lost on Nintendo that last year they shutter project sora as the developer was made just to make Kid Icarus only to a few months later have to announce that Namco was helping with smash and at the last investor meeting iwata announced they were expanding offices.

3) 2D metroid on 3DS eshop to cross promote with Retros Game,

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 14, 2013

They should put Gui's idea of a game set in the Metroid universe but not from Samus' perspective and shingi_70 idea of 'Samus against everyone' together.

Picture this. Samus picks up the unmistakable life signs of a Metroid Prime on a distant moon of the now destroyed planet SR388. Samus, having struggled with the grief of causing what she thought to be the genocide of the Metroid species, takes it upon herself to investigate. Her ship, however, malfunctions and breaks up upon entering the atmosphere. The game opens with Samus still breathing but with tentacles protruding from her suit and attached to the last surviving Metroid Prime.

Several decades later a team of GF troopers are sent to the moon to investigate the last known location of Samus Aran. Samus, now the pawn of the last sentient Metroid Prime in the galaxy, is a recurring antagnoist and villain throughout the game as the troopers try to piece together what happened in the hopes that they can destroy the new species known as Samus Prime.

You're welcome Retro.  :P:

TJ SpykeJanuary 14, 2013

Quote from: shingi_70

Final fantasy 15 on 3DS is a freaking pipe dream. While I agree that the 3DS is doing hot in Japan it isn't selling top expectations elsewhere. The 3DS is a good place to make more new IP like Bravely default.

Unless it is doing poorly in South America or something, then you are wrong. The 3DS is selling really well in all major regions. The reason FF15 won't be on 3DS though is because Square Enix is a graphics whore with FF and will not make the next mainline game look worse than the previous one (which it would if it's on a handheld system).

FjurbanskiJanuary 14, 2013


1.) 3DS Zelda will be shown at E3 with actual gameplay. It will be named, and given a vague release date. Wii U Zelda will not have any gameplay footage, no trailers, no name. At most it will be mentioned and will have a picture (like with Skyward Sword), but mostly it will not be discussed at E3.

2.) Guild 02 will be announced via Nintendo Direct sometime after E3, maybe around August.

3.) Bravely Default will get localized, but will not be out until late 2013, early 2014.

4.) The Yoshi game that was leaked will turn out to be a real game. It will be shown at E3.

5.) Watch Dogs will be announced for Wii U.

6.) Another version of MH Tri will be announced. It will be called Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate OMEGA. Ironically, it will not be the end of MH Tri remakes. (jk)

7.) Miiverse will become even more rad, with the majority of Nintendo first party titles incorporating it in fun ways, with many changes to Miiverse itself, but Nintendo TVii will continue to suck. (not jk)

8.) The month of July will be a very exciting time for Nintendo fans, and lots of information will be put out. However, E3 itself will still be a little lackluster because most of Nintendo's coolest announcements will be made via Nintendo Direct a few days before and after E3.

TJ SpykeJanuary 14, 2013

There was no leaked Yoshi game. That was a test page, it meant nothing.

FjurbanskiJanuary 14, 2013

Quote from: TJ

There was no leaked Yoshi game. That was a test page, it meant nothing.


That's why I'm saying it DOES mean something, even though everyone thinks it doesn't. That would be a great surprise for E3. Bring it on, Nintendo.

Fatty The HuttJanuary 15, 2013

At E3, another 8 bit summer will be announced for 3DS e-shop. Please?

geoJanuary 16, 2013


Pandora's tower is being picked up by XSEED for US release o.O

SorenJanuary 16, 2013

So with the Pandora's Tower announcement by XSEED, can we confirm this was the quickest an RFN prediction was proven wrong?

LithiumJanuary 16, 2013

Quote from: Soren

So with the Pandora's Tower announcement by XSEED, can we confirm this was the quickest an RFN prediction was proven wrong?

awww you beat me to it

SorenJanuary 16, 2013

I vote for a cold open of the next RFN with Johnny's Pandora's Tower quote followed by a Sad Trombone.

broodwarsJanuary 16, 2013

Quote from: Soren

I vote for a cold open of the next RFN with Johnny's Pandora's Tower quote followed by a Sad Trombone.

And a laugh track.

FZeroBoyoJanuary 16, 2013

Great episode, guys, and it's good to have Jon back. If Jon really is immortal after becoming a vampire, will he finally finish the Mass Effect trilogy?

So I may as well throw out a few predictions of my own:

1. Wii U Virtual Console will be shown in a spring Nintendo Direct and both eShops will have a "summer of VC" and then go quiet for a few months until November because they can.

2. I'll support the Metroid Prime 4 prediction because it makes some sense. After the last time, I think it's a case of "Dude, you gotta fix this." Folks will groan at the thought of another one of those games at the start, but then will like it so much when it actually comes out.

3. The 3D Mario for Wii U will be shown at E3 and will release in November. After the huge success of 3D Land, the game will be more of that style.

4. An original Zelda for 3DS will be shown at E3 and release this fall. How it will be is anyone's guess... Twilight Princess sequel.

5. Wii U will finally get some of the big third-party games this fall.

6. Luigi's Mansion and Animal Crossing will be the first 3DS games with Miiverse.

Bonus: Jonny will say another game is hopeless for North America, and then we'll get a release date for said game a few days later ala Last Story and Pandora's Tower.

That's all I can think of right now. Fun!

Fatty The HuttJanuary 16, 2013

I predict Retro's next game will be announced either at E3 or just before during a Nintendo Direct.

It will be Mari Kart 8 for Wii U and will be Nintendo's big holiday 2013 game.

A track editor will be included and you will be able to share created tracks with your friends through Miiverse.

It will be playable at E3. Reggie will compete against (and beat) Bill Trinen onstage during the press conference. Reggie will then state, for the 5th time during the conference, that this year "Its all about the games."

Just listened to this tonight, and at least two predictions have already been proven wrong: the aforementioned Pandora's Tower announcement, as well as Guillaume's prediction that we wouldn't see a 3D Mario from EAD Tokyo at E3.

Got a news tip? Send it in!