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Episode 368: Is Your Heart Big Enough?

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - February 1, 2014, 2:42 pm EST
Total comments: 14

In which Jonny rediscovers Pikmin 3, and James exposes the true Quality of Life.

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Following our moderately epic live show with Greg and F-Zero, RFN gets back to normal this week with loads of weird games and a bit of Listener Mail. Jonny leads the charge with a fresh look at Pikmin 3, which he is enjoying far more the second time through. Jon catches up with 3D Galaxy Force II and admits that it may actually be better than Space Harrier. James is in love with and/or mortified by the ultra-Japanese weirdness of Yakuza 4 (from the developers of F-Zero GX). Simultaneously playing both Final Fantasy Adventure and its sequel, Secret of Mana, might seem like a tough challenge, but Gui has excelled in both and is now nearing their respective conclusions. Finally, Jonny comes back around with a strident recommendation for The Room 2 on iOS. It's great because it's not like any other iOS game (except the first one, which it's exactly like).

We only had time for a pair of Listener Mail questions in this slightly abbreviated episode, but they're both thought-provoking. The first asks us to assess Iwata's recent announcement of a "Quality of Life" platform, whatever the hell that means, and how it might affect Nintendo's existing (dwindling?) video gamer audience. James has already been studying the issue carefully and goes into his industry-speak trance. We also field a letter about our least favorite game genres and consider what might make us reconsider playing them. Let us know which genres miss the mark for you, or anything else about video games and Nintendo, by emailing the show! We really do read every submission and use the majority of them on the podcast, so your participation counts!

Also, in case you missed Jonny's guest appearance on the Back in My Play podcast, do check that out to hear a lengthy analysis/defense of the controversial Milon's Secret Castle.

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.


ClexYoshiFebruary 01, 2014

@56:45 : For a moment... just a BRIEF moment I was hoping that Johnny was saying that a Japanese dev made a sequel to the Tommy Wiseau EPIC in video game format in a similar way that Konami made a sequel to the Goonies on NES.

tyrian3February 02, 2014

About Jonny's intro about the live retroactive: I think he's kind of right on both his doubts, but mostly that may be due to the different nature of the live podcast compared to the live telethon. In the latter, the bigger number of live listeners and the presence of a dedicated callers segment puts the spotlight more on the caller and his questions/comments, meanwhile calling during a live podcast means entering an already estabilished discussion where it's a bit more difficult to find the right time to speak. In my personal case, for example, I was already excited just to be in the same (virtual) room with "the podcast people" ( ;) ) and then when Greg started gifting us his great knowledge of F-Zero I felt just right to listen and learn. Did I want to say something more?yes, but was I having a great time anyway?of course! The idea of a live podcast is an exciting one but it may a bit tricky to pull it off 100%. I think you guys did a great job because it was a great live experience and good to listen to again, but if you want to make the listeners participate more and more actively there is room to grow together  :)  It would help to know at least some of the New Business games in advance (but I imagine it'd be a bit difficult) or to invite a listener to take part in Now Playing to improvise the reading and have a laugh together. Also I hope more people will be there next time because the IRC felt a bit emptier than during the telethon.

chilenozoFebruary 02, 2014

I've spent most of gaming life between PC and Nintendo consoles. I do agree that playing competitive FPS on DAs feels unatural, all since N64's Golden Eye aim assist I felt that. It's ok for playing solo, campaign FPSs, but for competition, aim assist just suck. That's why I'm thankful for the Wii-remote, I'm pretty good in COD games on Nintendo consoles, thanks to the wiimote!

The DDP codes being usable on 3DS isn't new; I bought Bugs v Tanks among others that way. It just worked as a regular eShop code. (Of course, that doesn't matter now.)

KDR_11kFebruary 04, 2014

MOBAs aren't as complex as they are described in the podcast, at least not at a UI level. A MOBA character has up to four special moves as well as a regular attack, depending on the game you can also have items in your inventory that can be activated. In the case of Dota 2 that's a maximum of 6 items (because that's the size of your inventory). You have fewer raw moves than most action games, especially since most characters are context free, it doesn't matter what you did before you activated skill 3, it always does the same thing (unlike a fighting game where having punched before pressing kick may result in a different kick). The complexity comes from the team interaction and various item purchasing paths that generate complex situations. However you still only have your four skills to use in those situations, you may just need to use them differently.

RTSes aren't really about resource farming, at least not if your opponent is at a decent level. Maintaining and developing your income is a basic skill (though you can go for different spending balances depending on your strategy, how early you want to be able to fight), of course impacting your opponent's income is a part of the game but that's strategy because there are probably hundreds of ways to disrupt an economy and it's a matter of attack and defense. I'd suggest watching a few commentated pro level Starcraft 2 matches, while that game has a lot of busywork that kinda stops being a topic at high level and it's more about how you protect your economy from being attacked than how you build your economy up in the first place.

CericFebruary 05, 2014

StarCraft 2 a game can be decided by you being a couple seconds off on your build order.  In its own way its just way to unforgiving.

RazorkidFebruary 06, 2014

Great episode, but MAN where's the PC love? You guys made it seem like every popular PC genre requires its players to master them in order to enjoy the games (Jonny's insistence with HAVING to use hotkeys, Jon's insinuation that you have to get into all the fine minutiae of a game to enjoy it, Jame's outdated view of PC RTS's) 

-To James: Like Jonny said, I too recommend playing RTS's like Company of Heroes, or Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 which also have rpg elements and loot.  Those games are more tactical driven and resource gathering is absent. Also, StarCraft 2 STORY MODE is fantastic and is not at all focused on resource management and is a far cry from the days of more resources=more power of the early RTS days.

-To the keyboard/mouse opinions: For me, it's the superior control scheme for first-person shooters, strategy games, and anything that requires or takes advantage of very precise control that's not a platformer.  I love the traditional gamepad, but it's a poor substitute for certain genres of games.  Also, I feel like the Wiimote+nunchuck emulated kb/m controls best not only because of the pointer capabilities, but from a comfort level as well with it's split design.  Having my control scheme and input device split between both hands allows for a more comfortable position and longer gaming sessions on my PC and wiimote+nunchuck games.  I think the split design will be the next standard in controllers as it allows for better ergonomics as far as comfort is concerned. 

-Finally, you guy's WASD bashing was hilarious.  The keyboard is almost infinitely configurable in most games so you can change whatever buttons to do whatever.  I use to feel like you guys years ago when I first started playing on PC about using WASD and mouse control and all, but with practice and the right game to motivate you through, it becomes so much more natural and satisfying than using a controller.  I recommend playing FPS's that are slower paced or aren't twitch fests to get use to the control scheme like Portal.

azekeFebruary 07, 2014

Nice dig at certain other podcast at the start.

Quote from: KDR_11k

MOBAs aren't as complex as they are described in the podcast, at least not at a UI level.

All my numerous, numerous and sincere efforts to try to get into this genre ended with me staring at the UI and feeling completely stumped. I open the game and try to pick one of the 200+ characters that i know nothing about. Then, i open the shop and start to feel the despair of the Buridan's ass: should i pick this tree branch that gives me +2 to my dexterity or that branch that gives +3 to my agility. Oh and i am getting insulted while doing so and am timed too -- oops, i already lost while i was trying to figure it out. Ah well.

Dual analog control for shooters is the worst. And seeing them becoming the standard is just incredulous and unbelievable -- anyone willingly preferring this control scheme when given the choice forfeits all moral rights to complain about "bad controls" in any game, ever. It can work, mind you -- but at the cost of neutering entire game design all around this completely bonkers control scheme.

Also, no, keyboard is not the most universal control method. When i was PC guy (i simply had no idea about consoles existence) entire genres flew past me. Genres such as fighting games, character action, rhythm games -- simply because they don't work on KBM.

I play PC games fairly often (you'll hear about one next episode) and have been doing so most of my life, but I was raised on consoles (especially Nintendo... obviously). We weren't bashing PC games but trying to explain why we don't enjoy some kinds of games, which was the subject of that question, and some of those answers were associated with PC gaming. I'm not surprised this would irk people because we are talking about things we dislike that others of course do like. My comments on "KBM" were made exactly because it is commonly considered the über-scheme. Yes, it may be more precise, but it also makes some games less fun and less comfortable for me.

azekeFebruary 08, 2014

As to RTS games without resource farming.. First Dawn of War is kinda there but not really because you still have to capture points and they are basically the same thing, because you need to stand them which is basically farming. The ideal strategy in this game requires you to hit predetermined goals or tiers as they're called in certain amount of minutes after starting the match, with goals and times different for all factions of course.

From what i've seen of second game -- it severely reduces unit count, almost making it into SRPG or even regular ARPG.

Never played Company of Heroes but as far as i know it has control points as well.

One RTS that is completely devoid of resources is Sudden Strike series: reinforcement come with time or after you hit some goal on a map.

It isn't just the farming. The idea that the army I built is completely discarded and yet the first thing I have to do is reestablish supplies to rebuild it, is stupid. No army works that way. It devalues long-term prioritization.

azekeFebruary 09, 2014

Quote from: Crimm

It isn't just the farming. The idea that the army I built is completely discarded and yet the first thing I have to do is reestablish supplies to rebuild it, is stupid. No army works that way. It devalues long-term prioritization.

But then keeping the same army throughout entire playthrough would break the gameplay. Enemy would have to keep increasing it's own numbers as well with each passing stage to prevent you from steamrolling them with your big army. It can only go so far until you will hit unit count limit.

Can't believe i am defending RTS -- i don't even like that genre all that much.

That's how war works. Both sides build up forces until economic/population/resource/territorial constraints prevent one side from replacing their forces as quickly as they lose them. Long-running war ends through erosion, not tactical manuvering.

Just because the dumb constructs of the genre would require some kind of equally dumb response to correct them within the structure of the game design does not make them not dumb. More likely, it highlights a larger issue.

azekeFebruary 10, 2014

Sorry, but this here is just nitpicking.

Why are things that way and not this way? Well, it's because videogames are what they are.

Why does Samus always has to lose all her abilities in the beginning? Because videogames.

Why do you always start in a prison in Elder Scroll games? Videogames!

And so on.

And anyway, Total War does what you describe. You can totally steamroll your opponents just by being the biggest country with biggest army.

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