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Episode 414: Glitter Glory

by James Jones, Chris Kohler, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - January 25, 2015, 7:53 pm EST
Total comments: 15

We catch up with a few games that didn't make our Top Five lists, and then a special guest lends a credibility boost to our stupid yearly predictions!

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There are two particular episodes we do every January. One is the Top Five Games show, which you heard last week. The other one, which we on the show don't enjoy nearly as much as our audience, is the annual predictions feature. This time, we enlisted an old friend to make this chore a lot less cringe-worthy... But more on that later.

Up front in New Business, we take a critical view of several new games that are promising, but with obvious flaws. Leading that pack, perhaps inevitably, is the brand new demo for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on 3DS (with enhancements for New 3DS). Both veteran Jon and dabbler James had a taste of Capcom's upcoming game, including an online session together. What we learn is that yep, this sure is going to be Monster Hunter, and nope, the demo probably won't help anyone unlock the secret to enjoying this divisive series. Gui is far more positive on Chariot, the indie platformer just released on Wii U eShop, but the controls may be frustrating for the kind of intricate cooperation this game requires. Jonny finished up Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and definitely comes out positive on this weird little package from Nintendo, even though it ends in a whimper. James rounds out the opening segment with his first dedicated report on Persona Q, and his take on it will probably surprise you as much as it did us.

Then, it's finally time for our dumbass predictions for the rest of 2015. Thank goodness we have such a great special guest to class up the proceedings. We tried to keep it secret, but if you haven't heard by now... (spoiler alert) Chris Kohler accepted the challenge of predicting one of the most unpredictable forces in video games. He's a true Nintendo expert in the world of professional games media, and you better bet that he came prepared. The rest of us delivered the usual mix of trend-spotting, wishful thinking, and completely goofball ideas that our listeners know and love to mock all year long.

We'll try to get back to normal next time, so feed that email inbox and/or fling something pithy at our new Twitter account: @RFNpodcast! You should also read Chris Kohler's provocative work over at Wired Game|Life and listen to his fun and informative podcasts, Game|Life and Good Job Brain!

This episode was edited by Guillaume Veillette. The "Men of Leisure" theme song was produced exclusively for Radio Free Nintendo by Perry Burkum. Hear more at Bluffs Custom Music.


perrybJanuary 26, 2015

New New Super Mario Bros... Genius. Guillaume do you work for Nintendo?

EnnerJanuary 26, 2015

Great show! A quick write-up of the predictions for posterity and easy reference.

Chris Kohler
#1 - No (detailed) talk of a new Nintendo platform in 2015. And the New 3DS (Regular) will come out in North America in 2015. And more New 3DS exclusive games (3-5 retail games). Wii ports to New 3DS.

#2 - Nintendo will post a profit for the Fiscal Year ending in March 2015. Then they will post a loss in Q1 of FY2016. Wii U hardware will see a decline in sales year-over-year. Wii U will see a non-effectual price cut. 2016 will see the Wii U year of slog. The "unspoken" prediction of Zelda U being delayed in to 2016.

Lightning - Get ready to hear a lot about Nintendo's Quality of Life initiative. New Metroid is QoL; Chozo statue you curl up in a ball to.

Jon Linderman
#1 - Club Nintendo replacement will use the Nintendo Network account. An application on the Wii U and 3DS will have amiibo support for credit in the new loyalty program.

#2 - New Metroid Prime game for Wii U. New story arc. 2015 is the year we find out what is going on with Metroid. Not in 2015. Reboot or distance from the Wii Metroid games. A Metroid Prime game for 3DS or New 3DS.

Lightning - Splatoon tournaments and world championship.

Guillaume Veilette
#1 - Virtual Console moniker fades away. Repackaging of classic games ala NES Remix. New Kirby's Dream Land. New New Super Mario Bros.

#2 - Glitter art style for the Metroid series. Metroid is a sparkling vampire. Sparkle Samus and the Glitter Gun.

Lightning - Blew his load already.

Jonathan Metts
#1 - New model of the Wii U; cut manufacturing costs, more storage. Launches alongside The Legend of Zelda Wii U. New Wii U GamePad?

#2 - Platinum Games is working on a classic Nintendo franchise. Not Star Fox or maybe? Team Ninja gets another crack at Metroid (CK).

Lightning - A new, multiplatform Zombi U game.

James Jones
#1 - DS games on the 3DS eShop. Maybe New 3DS exclusive.

#2 - Promotional stage DLC for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Super Smash Bros. DLC in general.

Lightning - Gamecube games to New 3DS. Twilight Princess 3D (JM).

On Monster Hunter: It doesn't surprise me that we have another Monster Hunter demo that is hostile to new players. Given the franchise's history as a Japan social phenomenon, I doubt any Western complaints and criticisms go far in the game's development. With regards to the segmented map...

KF: One thing we have to be careful about is not changing what makes Monster Hunter Monster Hunter. We want people to be able to experience and enjoy what makes Monster Hunter good. And, at least as far as the current situation goes, the game play in Monster Hunter very much is based on this idea of having segmented areas you manage fighting against the monsters in. Changing that right now is something that wouldn't quite work. Obviously, even if you are going to move between areas, it's best not to have to worry about having a load time, so that's something we have to keep in mind. Furthermore, as far as what the future holds, who knows? 

For instance, part of the reason this segmented map is important is that's it's very much part of the game play. Let's say you're fighting against a monster in a particular area and you're almost dead. If you can make it to the exit of that area, you can get out of there and at least heal yourself while the monster's in another area. There's a reward for players who can successfully take this risk. That's very much ingrained in the base of the game play right now. So, the reason we haven't changed that yet is because—if we are going to change something like that—that gets down to the very roots of the game. If we're going to change Monster Hunter so that it basically features one giant, contiguous area, then we have to really reformulate and rethink everything so it works correctly. 

CericJanuary 26, 2015

I will be honest that I haven't listened to this episode but, we just talked the Monster Hunter Demo on Nintendo Free Radio this weekend.  I'm on record many places just bashing Monster Hunter Demos but, this one is alright.

Beginner Mode and tutorials do a comparatively good job of getting you into the hunt.  Most importantly though is the Online and Local Play.  Now the demo itself allows you to hook up with your Monster Hunter friend and let them go through the intricacies and I think that is huge.

SorenJanuary 26, 2015

James Jones' "Boo's" joke is the Captain Toad of RFN jokes. Not going to make top 5 lists (or even be acknowledged by the others) but still solid, solid work.

It's only fitting we get Gamecube and N64 games on 3DS and GBA and DS games on Wii U.

Fatal Frame 5 was pretty much confirmed as Japan only by Tecmo Koei last September.

To reiterate: I will probably only get interested in Monster Hunter if they fundamentally change the game; eliminating zones would be a good start. Obviously, I don't expect them to do anything of the sort, but maybe one of the clones or spin-offs will take more chances.

EnnerJanuary 26, 2015

Quote from: Soren

Fatal Frame 5 was pretty much confirmed as Japan only by Tecmo Koei last September.

If you're talking about that tweet from KT Europe, then I wouldn't put much stock in to that. The wording suggest it is out of Koei Tecmo's hands and more on Nintendo's. I haven't heard of anything else suggesting the game is never coming over. Also, things can change!

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

To reiterate: I will probably only get interested in Monster Hunter if they fundamentally change the game; eliminating zones would be a good start. Obviously, I don't expect them to do anything of the sort, but maybe one of the clones or spin-offs will take more chances.

From what I've read and heard, similar games like Soul Sacrifice Delta and Freedom Wars on the PlayStation Vita have their own quibbles. Freedom Wars in particular has been commented on to be opaque and brutal. Meanwhile, Japanese games have reported that the 3DS game Final Fantasy Explorers is more of an Action-RPG than a Monster Hunter clone. Final Fantasy Explorers also has its areas segmented.

azekeJanuary 27, 2015


1001 Spikes

I WISH i could buy this game, bugs and all.

But it's not available on PAL eShop...

mustbeburtJanuary 27, 2015

John and James - fantastic job with Now Playing.  It was amazing.  I really wanted to jump in on your Amiibo tangent.  Here's an idea that Nintendo could use to really screw the fans - don't reprint an Amiibo of Marth.  Instead, print an Amiibo of the Marth Amiibo.  That's right.  How meta would that be!  That way those that got their hands on the originals still feel awesome, and those that get the Martha Amiibo Amiibo feel second best!  I photoshopped a picture for reference.  It's a Marth Amiibo on a new red stand!


CericJanuary 27, 2015

If it's on a Red Stand that would make Marth part of the Mario Universe.  Fire Emblem Secretly the History of the Mushroom Kingdom Confirmed.

Amiibo of Amiibo? Good business!

ArtSpotJanuary 28, 2015

To add to Jonathan's prediction #1, what if Nintendo takes out the DVD reader from the Wii U. eShop will be the only way to get games (retailers will be pissed!). Sell gamepad separately (redesigned smaller). Future games can support multiple gamepads. Classic Wii U with DVD player & gamepad bundle still sold at same price.

Even better than separate gamepad idea, new 3DS XL can act as gamepad!

yougeniusJanuary 29, 2015

re: Monster Hunter Demo
I couldn't continue listening to the podcast when you started talking about the Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate demo, because as you said, it was making me angry! After I cooled down a bit I could write this comment, so bear with me.

The complaints about the demo's online are warranted, it does seem cobbled together. But it's a demo. It's not how the main game will work for online AT ALL. But how are you supposed to know that as a demo consumer? They should have made it clearer so that you wouldn't come away with the impression that the online would be as clunky in the actual game.

As for the zones, what's been said earlier is true: You'll be GLAD for those zones when you're down to a sliver of health and you need to get away to heal up.

Harvesting/Gathering items: There was a complaint that you could gather items from the environment, but it didn't tell you what to do with them. In the actual game, you have entire missions devoted to going out and gathering items, and bringing them back to camp, and doing stuff with them.

It comes down to what makes a demo of Monster Hunter interesting? Is it letting you play through the beginning hours of the game? Probably not, because all you usually do is gathering quests. It's boring, but it does teach you all the systems of the game that you complained that the demo didn't teach. Is that what you want?

Or should they just choose to highlight the exciting action part of hunting the big monsters? I feel that decision is better, because the gameplay for a demo is more engaging. But then you run into the problem of teaching people how to use all these weapons, and what all the items in the box are for, etc. etc.

It's a difficult game to demo. What they give you is a little slice of the monster combat, and that's all they really want to show you.

Maybe they should have removed all the harvesting points in the environment, and streamlined everything so that you just start the encounter with the cut scene where you stumble across the monster for the first time, in the field.

I don't know. I don't feel that Monster Hunter can ever be demo'ed for someone completely new to the game well, in this manner, due to the complex nature of the game's systems. Does it mean it's a bad game? No.
I hope that people don't come away from listening to the negative complaints about the demo and then assume that the game itself is the same.

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

To reiterate: I will probably only get interested in Monster Hunter if they fundamentally change the game; eliminating zones would be a good start. Obviously, I don't expect them to do anything of the sort, but maybe one of the clones or spin-offs will take more chances.

Maybe Dragon's Dogma is more your style? The new Dragon's Dogma Online, if it ever comes to the west?

That's a solid defense. My argument is that the games would demo better if the full games were better. I think many Westerners would agree, but Capcom has a core market and won't cater to me, which is fine.  I have Dragon's Dogma from PS Plus and hope to try it some day!

ejamerJanuary 29, 2015

To all the haters:
People have lost the ability to explore, think critically, and discover new things on their own. Everyone wants bite sized experiences fed to them with a silver spoon - games where things "make sense" and "get explained". Bah humbug on the lot of you!

Kidding aside, I like Monster Hunter and feel it got a bit of a rough shake on the podcast. The game is very good, but not very accessible. Then again, I also enjoyed Baroque on Wii and played that game to completion. So maybe unraveling opaque systems is just more appealing to me than most others.

CericJanuary 29, 2015

It's well known that besides Lindy the rest of the cast of RFN aren't big into games like MMORPGs and Monster Hunter.  What I would argue are more team games than anything else.

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