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Episode 388: Visitation Rights

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - June 29, 2014, 11:58 am PDT
Total comments: 10

You wish us to talk even more about Shovel Knight and E3? MEKKA-LEKKA-HI, MEKKA-HINEY-HO

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Desperately trying to regain normalcy after all the recent disruption, the RFN crew is back to talking games and answering emails. Shovel Knight makes its second appearance in as many weeks, but we go much deeper now that three of us are playing this lovely game. Buckle in for half an hour of shovel talk, focusing heavily on "retro" game design! Jonny finally gets to talk about The Wonderful 101, and his reaction to this overlooked Wii U exclusive is mixed. Jon's audio was lost for this segment, but you would have heard him talking about Mario Kart 8 a little more. And Guillaume offers another dose of Tomodachi Life, this time detailing its approach to StreetPass (listen for a Fraggle Rock reference).

We promised lots of Listener Mail, and it does provide the bulk for this episode. It begins with a powder keg of an email about E3, Miyamoto's "new IPs," and the role of enthusiast media at a show where the companies provide their own coverage. Next is a hilarious, cautionary tale from a listener who got antsy about spoilers at the worst possible moment. Next is an observation about the increased female representation in Nintendo's games, development teams, and corporate staff. The show wraps with a helpful reminder about the Digital Deluxe Program and questions about whether the bonus plan should be extended.

Please keep the emails coming -- write your own question or comment for the RFN team! Also, be sure to check out Jonny's appearance on Connectivity for another Space Q&A with Scott, plus the return of Box Office Poison with several new episodes full of the summer movie hits and ex-RFN voices!

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.


ClexYoshiJune 29, 2014

It was a blast getting to listen to James, Johnny, and Gui really get into the intimate meat and potatoes that makes Shovel Knight so good. Although you folks didn't use the term I've heard to describe the phenomenon, the miracle of iterative learning opportunities is something I immediately recognized.

One they had going on during the PAX 2013 demo of King Knight's stage was that room where you come up the ladder and there's a long walk around the room to get up to where the wizard enemy is, and that gives the player the chance in that controlled environment to see the wizard charge up his little hadouken fireball and toss it out without getting punished. A good example of this (Bringing it back to RetroActive) cropping up in Mega Man 3 is that any given stage you go to, the first time you encounter a Hammer Joe in a level, it is up on a platform that is too high for Mega Man to get to before he has a chance to throw his hammer once. (except for the one in Hard Man's stage, but given that you have to figure out to deploy Rush coil as soon as you get in the room to jump up there before he has a chance to throw his hammer to be able to take a cheap shot)

I find almost all of Shovel Knight's Relics to be quite powerful and useful, with the Phase Pendant and the Propeller Dagger, and the Horn being the three I go to the most, but the Alchemy Coin, Anchors, and Chaos ball being pretty common pics for the right situations as well. They all have quirky properties that make them pretty ideal for quite a few situations even if their use is not mandatory. I do wish there were maybe a couple more optional stages predicated on their use, but I'm pretty satisfied with the most of the relics.

Actually, to refute another point that was brought up, the Boss Rush at The Tower of Fate: Ascension is really, REALLY kinda brutal  on the New Game + mode where all the food under the platters has been replaced with bombs. that's the point where you have to at least either be good at the boss patterns or know the properties of the relics well and have plenty of Ichor with you to endure that mess.

Regardless, I'm with Neal and Zack on this one. I'm enamored with shovel knight's design. it reminds me of some recent fan games that I love but will not name because I feel like I compare things to that particular fan game all the time and try to plug it whenever I can.

azekeJune 30, 2014

Complaints about QTEs in W101 not giving you enough time are utterly mindblowing to hear considering they give you literally 30 seconds to do them (while the sctual action they ask you shouldn't take you more than a second to do). You are literally SPELLED out by the character in game what figure you need to do and literally shown how to do it by the hint pictures right on the screen.

QTEs are a bad, bad, bad mechanics that is very oftenly misused by bad developers. Even by Platinum themselves (see Bayonetta).

W101 though is one game that justifies the entire existence of QTEs because of how brilliantly they're done in that game.

azekeJune 30, 2014

I never even saw footage of Miyamoto's projects, but videos of Treehouses themselves playing them was very fun in a drunk party kind of way:


I wasn't talking about the "make a Unite Hand!" QTEs but rather the ones where you need to jump right before a monster destroys your footing, or when you need to make a ladder to reach some place while missiles are raining down over the area and randomly land on you. There are many such moments, in which the game offers little or no explanation of why you're failing over and over, and that's just in the first handful of levels that I've seen. W101 is a classic example of a game that cares more about looking cool than playing well. It has a lot of good qualities, but it's hard for me to appreciate them when I'm so confused and frustrated most of the time I'm playing it.

azekeJune 30, 2014

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I wasn't talking about the "make a Unite Hand!" QTEs but rather the ones where you need to jump right before a monster destroys your footing,

Each time this happens there is is a text in the bottom center clearly indicating the button you need to press which is always jump button (B).

Though sometimes you also need to MOVE towards the goal you're jumping to, but even then little flying robot is literally making holographic arrows showing the direction.

Game is very visually overwhelming and in intensity is infact similar to bullet hell shmups (it's probably even more intense considering it has richer combat system).

Controls and combat system are by very, very, very far are the best part of the game. I wouldn't place graphics of W101 even in the top 5 reasons why it's inarguably GOTY 2013.

Explaining them proper would require around 15 hour lecture in the beginning which is exactly what people LOVE criticise Nintendo games for. Still i find that the game is still enjoyable even without core understanding of all systems.

AwesomeUnicornJune 30, 2014

Thanks for answering my question about female representation!  Even if the question felt somewhat misdirected as "four straight, white dudes" answering another social justice question, that's what I wanted to hear.  I've listened to ten or fifteen female-hosted, LGBT-themed, or social justice-oriented podcasts talk about the subject, but I wanted to hear your honest opinions, as people who aren't especially vested in the subject matter.

And I've got to side with Jonny on the Wonderful 101 opinion.  During some of the more chaotic sequences, I've repeatedly fallen off the level to my doom, unable to determine what is the actual direction that will advance the stage.  Once I came to the realization that I am actually incapable of being good at the game, I began to enjoy it much more.

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterJuly 01, 2014

It's kinda amusing James is so willing to call 'Kevin Tate' a coward for writing under a false name after his own thing with 'Sarah Miller from Iowa City'

The only person who didn't know her email was coming was Jonny. Everyone else was in on the joke. Greg knew the specifics before I sent the email, Jon knew the general outline. Once the email was sent, I let Jon know what it was.

Beyond that, I DID out Sara. I had always intended to, but I would have liked to keep that joke going longer but Iowa City had the temerity to experience a flood.

NeifirstJuly 01, 2014

Regarding James' criticism of having to replay levels if you lack money for an artifact: I found that if you discovered the blue chest and beat the boss, you could go and buy the relic in the village.  Essentially, you just have to discover each relic's existence once.

Yeah we found that out after recording, I had only had the game a short time when I made that statement.

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