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Team NFR reacts to the WiiU launch revelations!

When your last episode gets steamrolled by an oncoming train of WiiU hype, there's only one thing to do - record a quickie episode in reaction. How do Austen, Stephen and Donald feel about the launch details? Why did someone have to revoke a Poison Mushroom this week, and why is Kamiya getting death threats? (Spoilers: The Internet.) Will any of the hosts care about TVii, Skylanders or CoDBlops? And who will end up having to pay $400 for a Premium system? All this and some other things in our shortest episode ever. Don't get used to it.

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Transform and Rollout: Not just for Mew anymore

Dare to believe that NFR has survived to return for episode 4, as Megatron, Starscream and Soundwave Austen, Donald and Stephen take you on a journey through their latest round of gaming adventures. Stephen leads off New Business with the Recommended-for-Kairon dating sim visual novel Sprung, notable for being a DS launch title and getting snake eyes in EGM, which is somehow comparable to Phoenix Wright? Stephen continues with the PS2 version of Culdecpt (recently released in Japan on 3DS, coming out in America half past never) before finishing with the most unusual "game" in history: a time-travelling Microsoft Office training program starring the infamous Clippy.  Is it a long-lost Super Solvers classic, or should it belong in the edutainment trash bin next to Mario's Time Machine?

Donald attempts to bring sanity to the proceedings with a collection of games that would make Ian Dury happy: "Sex" (or the lack thereof) in Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky; "Rock and Roll" (along with several other genres) in the XBLA rhythm game Rock Band Blitz (thus continuing our 4 episode-long string of rhythm games); and on "Drugs" is how he feeled while playing NWR's Game of the Decade Metroid Prime (via Metroid Prime Trilogy).

Austen then summons his pale horse for the genre-mashing Darksiders 2; brings us closer to the Matrix with Transformers:  Fall of Cybertron (a game that truly lights that franchise's darkest hour); and wraps up with further observations from the Vita-outselling (though at only 40,000 copies that's not saying much...) The Last Story, which takes a turn for the Assassin's Creed rather unexpectedly along with elements of...Quest 64? Well, the law of averages dictates that something would eventually.  In what other game can you receive a bag of money just for sitting on a bench one minute; a moment later learn to swim with the use of magic frogs; and then later watch with glee as your generic, spiky-haired swordsman charges head-first at an all-powerful villain (seriously, why do they DO that?) just to be swatted away?

After the return of Now Postal Now Posted, Whatcha Been Watching has a little bit of everything. Stephen has a spot of tea while visiting the friendly Doctor Who, a touch of reality TV with the ultra-sugary Cake Boss, and LARPing with the Dungeons and Dragons-inspired Journey Quest. Donald has a report from the biggest TV party of the week - The Price is Right 40th Anniversary Special, and Austen shows his animated side with the first season/collection Blu-rays of Transformers: Prime (Hey, North American animation!) and Persona 4: The Animation (apparently Yu Narukami Charlie's a jerk now that he's been given a personality and spoken dialogue.  Who knew?)

A staggering Listener Mail shortage and the Persona 4 discussion leads to this week's Feature Discussion on reinvention and iteration. Is there a time to do it right? Or basically, do you want Castlevania II or III? As usual, the 1Up/Poison Mushrooms wrap it up with discussion of issues like Zen Pinball 2's table install problems on PS3/Vita, the rows of black cats that apparently run past Platinum Games' headquarters every day, and how the enhanced versions of this show are getting out faster than usual.

We're still looking for feedback and questions for Listener Mail, which you can send to nintendofreeradio@gmail.com.  You can also post in our thread on the NWR forums, or leave us comments under this post on our website at http://nintendofreeradio.podbean.com.  Finally, if you're an iTunes user, be sure to drop us a rating as well so we know what you want to hear on future episodes!  Nothin's gonna stand in our way of bringing you another action-packed intellectually stimulating ungodly-long episode in 2 weeks, but in the meantime: "Till All Are One!"

This podcast was edited by Stephen Shook. All music is copyrighted to their original owners and is used under fair use protection.

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PETER! You didn’t tell them about…the RUMBLE PAK, DID YOU?

Sadly, we were unable to secure VHS tapes to record for RSS subscribers, but we do have another massive-length episode of Nintendo Free Radio for you featuring Stephen; Austen; and Donald (what do you MEAN there used to be another guy?) rambling about their latest misadventures in the world of video gaming. This time, Austen kicks off New Business bear-ly scratching the surface of Atlus/Arc System Work’s new fighting game: Persona 4 Arena, a home console game that un-bear-ably displays controller commands with Fight Stick inputs for some thread-bear reason.  Afterwards, it’s time to party like it’s 1985 with the PSN’s latest rhythm game, Retro/Grade, ending (appropriately enough) with initial impressions of the Wii’s swan song, Mistwalker’s The Last Story.  Have the creators of Final Fantasy finally created a JRPG without a terrible opening Act, or have they lost that odyssey?

Donald then steps up on stage to discuss pacing and Classic Controller Pro issues with Sega/NIS America’s Wii Tactical Strategy Dating Sim Sakura Wars: So Long My Love; his experience on the Terrain of Testament playing (we think?) the PlayStation 2’s Fire Pro Wrestling Returns; and his battle against Spiral Power in the PlayStation Portable Mini Sasume Tactics!

Switching things up, Stephen renders his verdict on the WayForward 3DS (and soon to be Wii U) puzzle platformer Mighty Switch Force.  Does the game do justice to Nintendo’s latest handheld, or should the developers have been booked for negligence?  Wrapping things up, Stephen then recounts how the pacing and analog stick controls aren’t such a snap in the Virtual Console’s Nintendo 64 Pokemon game, as well as the historical turn-based strategy game Civilization V on the PC.

Following New Business, we activate the interlocks and connect the Dyna-therms for another installment of What Are We Watching (cheesy 80s theme song optional).  Everything old is new again as Austen discusses his newest anime Blu Ray acquisitions in the wonderful The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and the bizarre (but well-constructed) first season of Shakugan no Shana. Meanwhile, Donald describes the culinary misadventures of Gordon Ramsay in MasterChef and Hotel Hell.  Finally, Ceric delivers a techno-babble double-whammy in Star Trek: Voyager and the Voltron: Defender of the Universe sequel series with an-already legendarily terrible opening theme: Voltron Force.

Afterwards in the Feature Discussion, with the final issue of Nintendo Power on the horizon the 3 of us sit around the camp fire and ramble for nearly an hour about our memories of the beloved magazine; our thoughts on the publication’s closure; and the future of Nintendo’s marketing in the Internet age.  We then once again conclude the show with our “1Ups” and “Poison Mushrooms”, including such topics as the 2013 World Pokemon Championships in Vancouver; the surprisingly-strong year of downloadable titles (little did we know La-Mulana would get announced for North American WiiWare shortly thereafter); the industry’s frustrating practice of creating underwhelming countdown web sites; and…adventures in house cleaning and storage bins?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this and past episodes, so feel free to drop us a comment in the Talkback thread or on our website.  Be sure to send in your Listener Mail as well, and (time permitting) we’ll read and discuss it on an upcoming show!  You’re also welcome to talk with us and other fine (and often eccentric) folks over at the Nintendo World Report Forums!  Finally, now that we’re finally on iTunes, please don’t forget to rate us there.  We’ll see you in a few weeks, but until then we hope you enjoy the show!

This podcast was edited by Stephen Shook. Certain audio clips used for this episode are copyrighted to Nintendo of America and Nintendo Co., Ltd. This audio is included under Fair Use protection.

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Enhanced m4a Version ready for action!

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With the regular RFN crew scattered to the winds, four members of the Nintendo World Report forums - Stephen "Ceric" Shook, Austen "broodwars" Parkin, Donald "Shaymin" Theriault and Ryan "racht" Clay decided to step up and attempt to fill the large shoes left. Although it's hard to match the regular crew's chemistry, the replacements brought 24 games, or one more than Nintendo themselves had at E3!

An absolutely massive New Business segment sees Stephen lead off with Mass Effect 3 post-Extended Cut impressions (may contain spoilers, ends at 27:16), and follows up with the first World of Warcraft discussion to not meet the editor's axe in a long time focusing on the new "PokeWoW" pet battles. After a TheatRhythm Thief doubleheader and Skylanders, Donald jumps in with impressions of Pokemon Black and White 2 straight from Japan, warns people about Final Fantasy II (PSP) and outlines his training techniques...  for JEOPARDY. Yes, the game show. (You can download his tracking spreadsheet from Google Docs.)

Ryan picks up the RPG torch with Xenoblade Chronicles and scares everyone but Austen with his play clock before moving to Limbo on Steam and the joys of playing Kid Icarus Uprising when you're left-handed. Despite not being a wizard, Ryan also brings discussion of downloadable 3DS pinball both classic in Kirby's Pinball Land, and new in Marvel Pinball. Austen wraps with a run of DS adventures, rattling off Ace Attorney Investigations, 999 and Ghost Trick before talking more about Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals than anyone in the history of the internet and a couple of independent PSN games in Dyad and Quantum Conumdrum.

After the break, we asked ourselves to come up with one game we're each excited for in the 2nd half of 2012, and the selections may will surprise you. To finish, the group tackles the question of hatred toward accessibility in games  and why the majority of players being able to see the content of a game is suddenly a scary thing.

The regular crew will be back next week, but we'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode as we get closer to the big episode 300 - don't be afraid to drop a comment in the Talkback thread or anywhere else fine podcasts are discussed. Be sure to send in your Listener Mail as well and keep playing and discussing Wario Land 4 in the Retroactive thread.

This podcast was edited by Ryan Clay. Music for this episode was provided by Jason Ricci & New Blood, and additional music is copyright Nintendo.

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