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Episode 485: Pokémon Journalism

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Guillaume Veillette - July 17, 2016, 12:57 pm EDT
Total comments: 6

Is Pokémon Go causing Global Warming? Should you feel bad for enjoying the game narcoleptics can't? Will this headline get on the Google News front page? One can only hope.

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Little did James know that one short week from mocking Jon Lindemann's PokéStop Tubtime, that Pokémon Go would have fundamentally altered society. Fans around the world are engaged, businesses are slammed, servers are taxed, politicians are foolish (more so than usual), and online journalists are producing Peabody-worthy content at a record pace. Eager to get on the hype-train, Radio Free Nintendo returns this week with our second Pokémon-referencing title in as many weeks. But, before we can gorge ourselves on the Pokébuzz, we start the show with New Business.

Guillaume is back, with a lot to talk about, so he and James start off with thoughts on Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. They both come off rather negative in their impressions, but they do like the game. Apparently, a game that is awash in the disposable products of pop culture ironically expects you to really stick with it. The Gui and James duo also offer a shout-out to 7th Dragon III: Code VFD, a game that borrows heavily from Etrian Odyssey - and is available now. Gui wraps up his New Business with impressions of Bonk's Adventure on the recently released TurboGrafx-16 Virtual Console on Wii U. Did you know that Konami produced the TurboGrafx? It was definitely Konami; there was never another company involved. Greg has impressions of Hyrule Warriors Legends, the 3DS port of the surprisingly enjoyable Hyrule Warriors. He has thoughts on the new content, as well as the efforts developer Omega Force made to adapt the game to play on the go. Lastly, it's time to go whole Watchog into Pokémon Go. Both Jon and James have spent additional time with the game, and give a mostly-serious overview for the five people who have yet to succumb. More pressingly, the entire crew digs into the game's success, and the broader implications for Nintendo's diversification strategies.

After the break we continue to talk about Pokémon Go. We've all seen the hard-hitting journalism on display, and as RFN host/producer James wants in on that click revenue. It's time for RFN to put their "serious journalist" hats on, and come up with the hottest headlines, sure to drive eyes to...our...podcast.

Following this brief attempt at professionalism, it's time for Listener Mail. A short segment this week asks two questions: what caused this RPG low pressure system we've been stuck in, and what's going on with the NES Classic Edition. You can ask us about our personal low pressure systems by sending us an email.

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's SoundCloud. The new Radio Free Nintendo logo was produced by Connor Strickland. See more of his work at his website

This episode's ending music is Ba'al Boss Battle Theme from both Bravely Default and Bravely Second. It was composed by Revo. This ending was requested Ben. All rights reserved by Square Enix.


Those political links are priceless. Wow.

TOPHATANT123July 17, 2016

The Pokemon Go zeitgeist can't be understated, even before it released I had anecdotally heard people discussing it on the radio, in restaurants, in theatres et cetera. Pokemon Go has captured the hearts of people all over the world with a gameplay style that plays to the strengths of what mobile phones offer, rather than trying to riff off of what had already been established. I expect the Pokemon Virtual Console games and Sun & Moon to benefit from this mobile endeavour rather than be diminished by it, which is exactly what they should be trying to aim for.

EnnerJuly 18, 2016

If you want anime to happen, just watch anime.

I'm a bit bummed but understanding of the disappointment Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE has brought to those on the panel who are playing it. For me, I'm in love with the game's setting, style, and thinly-developed characters that I forgive a lot of the game's issues with pacing, structure, play loops, and what not. If you're wanting of an explanation of why this is a lesser JRPG from Atlus, then look no further than the lesser time spent on making it. Assuming that the development team had barely a sketch of an idea on the game's January 2013 announcement, #FE had a little less than three years of development time. Adding to that, translated development blogs have read that they were prototyping different concepts in 2013. Atlus may not have settled on the J-pop-culture setting until late 2013, or mid 2013 at the earliest.

SorenJuly 18, 2016

I'm going to take exception to the Kotaku article about disabled gamers and Pokemon Go being clickbait. To me the article is well written, includes several interviews with disabled players and quotes Steve Spohn of the AbleGamers Foundation. (Link) It also includes links to other foundations whose work involves making games more accessible for handicapped players. I don't think it's a bad thing if the article says "hey able bodied gamers, think about your disabled and handicapped gamers friends and lets raise some awareness to make games more accessible for them."

DDR was probably inaccessible when it was first released. But handicapped gamers now have options to play it. And those options didn't come from the ether.

Can Niantic do more to make Pokemon Go more accessible? Probably not. But people like AbleGamers do a lot of good work and sometimes it's extra tough for them to get the necessary press and PR for their ventures. And so far Kotaku and the Daily Dot have been the only ones talking about this.

More links

KisakiProjectJuly 20, 2016

Lol the pokemon clickbait satire.

Speaking of up selling.  My wife has never played pokemon and doesn't game much.  She wants Sun & Moon now.  But I did give her my launch 3DS when I got the N3DSXL.  So she may be an outlier since she doesn't have to buy a system.

OedoJuly 20, 2016

You guys should totally do a "fake or real" style segment like they do on the Famicast except with Pokemon Go articles. James seems like he could do a good job being the host and putting together a nice list of both fake and real articles all by himself, but maybe you could use listener suggestions as well. It would most likely go off the rails pretty quickly, so I hope you consider it. 

Greg and Guillaume hit the nail on the head with the RPG question. I think Nintendo's seemingly increased focus on the genre does mostly come down to where their consoles are in their life cycle and Nintendo's tendency to cater to their home market where RPGs reign supreme and the expectation for these kinds of games exists. I'm certainly not complaining though; the more high quality RPGs I get to play on Nintendo consoles, the better. Also, I'd never really given much thought to the idea of Nintendo being the ones who bought Atlus and, you guys are right, it is a little surprising that it didn't happen. I'm so glad that things turned out the way they did though. I love both entities individually, but, as a pair, I don't think Nintendo owning Atlus would have worked. I wouldn't trust Nintendo to just let Atlus do its own thing (which Atlus is really friggin' good at and a large part of why I love their games) like Sega has. Sega's company-wide policy of "hahaha fuck it, who cares" couldn't fit more perfectly in their case.

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