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Jon and I discussed the tragedy surrounding the passing of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in this week’s episode of Just a Chat. It was rather tough to get through, but we managed to record this somehow!


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Let’s Talk #15: Remembering Satoru Iwata

Given the tragedy surrounding Satoru Iwata, it only seemed right to dedicate this week’s Let’s Talk to his memory. In the comments below, feel free to talk about anything related to Nintendo’s president.

It’s crazy to think that Satoru Iwata is no longer here with us. It’s also crazy to think that everything happened less than a week ago. Despite it having been a few days, I’m still barely able to come to grips with the fact that Iwata passed away.

A lot of thoughts and emotions have been running through my mind since Sunday evening. I can’t begin to tell you how shocked I was when I heard that Iwata had passed away. I just happened to stumble across Nintendo’s IR site with the news – it wasn’t even publicized on Nintendo’s Japanese Twitter account at the time. I almost considered not posting about it on the site when I discovered the announcement since I couldn’t believe it was real. I haven’t been that shocked about something in a very long time.

Even though I never knew Iwata personally, his passing has greatly affected me. It’s been a very sad and long week. There was a lot about Iwata that made him different compared to your typical company president/CEO, so I think that’s one of many reasons reason why many people have been taking this so hard.

Iwata seemed like a very lovely and personable man. Of course, he delivered the Nintendo Direct presentations to us, and during those videos, he wasn’t afraid to poke fun at himself. The Iwata Asks series was another key aspect during his time with Nintendo. These interviews/discussions provided very interesting and valuable insight into the development of Nintendo’s various games.

Iwata’s experience with game development made him quite the unique president. Of course, before joining Nintendo, he worked at HAL. Over the many years in the industry, he was involved with games like Balloon Fight, EarthBound, and Pokemon. He even helped Smash Bros. Melee make its release date. He was a programmer at heart having made a baseball game on a calculator despite it not having graphics.

A lot of people have been asking me over the past few days if I have a favorite memory of Iwata. Truthfully, I don’t. That’s because when I start thinking about his role at Nintendo, there’s so much that comes to mind. There are all of his Nintendo Directs obviously. E3 appearances. 2005 GDC speech. There was also the Game Center CX episode that struck a chord with me, in which he talked more about his life. And those are just the times we saw him in person. Outside of video-esque appearances, there was the time when he dramatically cut his salary in light of the Wii U’s struggles. Introducing Wii and DS to the world, and initiating the Blue Ocean Strategy to wild success were also key parts of his career.

I started paying attention to games during the tail end of the GameCube era, so honestly, Iwata being at Nintendo is really all that I know. It’s extremely tough to picture Nintendo without Iwata at the helm of things. Nintendo will most definitely continue on, but things won’t be the same without him. All we can do at this point is be thankful for his many years at Nintendo and how he put smiles on many people’s faces. He will be greatly missed.

How do you feel about Devil’s Third?


I’ve been extremely intrigued ever since the multiplayer trailer last year.

Additionally, the campaign looks to have my type of humor. It’s odd because a lot of people seem to be missing the jokes all together. For reference, watch the “Machete Kills” trailer. It’s basically that kind of humor, but in a game. And it’s amazing.

Recent news has made me a little skeptical. The only thing I’m concerned about is the frame rate, because people who have allegedly played the game have been complaining about the inconsistent frame rate.


As far as Devil’s Third go, I was interested in the game after seeing it. It’s not the usual type of game you find on Nintendo consoles, but the fact that they seemed to be backing it felt like a sign that I could pay it a little bit of attention. After seeing a bit, I was interested in it because it seemed like a brutal but fun action/shooter game with some cool online components, which I felt I could get behind, especially since it didn’t look as dull as some games.

The concept art, for instance, looks really cool IMO, and while you could certainly make complaints about the main character, I’m fine with his design and approach: he’s at least more memorable than the main characters in many other shooters, IMO. Pretty much, it was a game I had intended to give a good chance since there’s not much else like it on the console, and I like supporting developers who make exclusives for Wii U, esp. since I’ve enjoyed the Wii U a lot–more than most other systems. Dare I say it helped get me back into gaming with a few quality games despite lacking quantity.

Now that the game potentially isn’t being backed by NoA and could be very poor for whatever reasons, I’m less interested/more skeptical and need to have some kind of confirmation on how the game is. I mean, we’ll just have to see, there aren’t even reviews out and even then I take reviews and such with a grain of salt because ultimately they’re just opinions from people who are often only slightly more qualified to analyze, criticize, and praise games than the bulk of other people.

While I’d like to give it a try anyway, if the game is said to be terrible, it’s difficult to justify purchasing it, especially when video games are expensive and there are a ton of other video games out there I’ve yet to beat… play… buy… or even hear about. I mean, I only have so much time, money, and patience, so ultimately I can’t try out every game myself. Hopefully I hear some good things about it so I can keep my pre-order and get it as planned. In that case though, I can only hope someone else actually picks it up so I have people to play with online.

Not having more than a handful of friends (who I rarely talk to) that play Splatoon, for instance, really stinks. I had pretty much no one to play Bayonetta 2 with, either. It’s one of the few problems of preferring to play with friends (esp. with voice, meaning on the Wii U, I need to have them on Skype/they can’t be strangers, since it doesn’t have integrated voice chat into its games), and playing on a console with a low install base in specific regions (I’m not interested in voice chatting with random Japanese people, for instance, but if you limit matchmaking in such games to specific regions where there’s a common language, the wait etc. would be even longer than it already is).

tl;dr, I was interested, and will still pay attention, but I’m skeptical and my purchasing decision hangs in the balance of whether the game seems good enough to be worth giving a chance.

Pretty much, if it’s not a broken game and it’s at least fun but “with problems”, and the Metacritic score is in the 70’s or higher, I’ll probably get it. If it’s in the 60’s, it’ll be a much tougher call dependent on what specifics I hear about the game, and anything lower would really be pushing it. (Granted, it’s less about the arbitrary numbers we call review scores and more with the associated comments that generally come with those numbers.)

What a week. As you might expect, our podcast this week includes quite a healthy amount of reflection on the life of Satoru Iwata in the form of six “Iwata Bits” featuring quotes and anecdotes about the beloved CEO and some of our personal thoughts about him, but we also manage to keep on with some normal happenings as well. Enjoy.

Opening Shenanigans

4:32 – Iwata Bit #1, “The early years”
6:49 – GOTW – Radar Mission
9:59 – Iwata Bit #2, “My personal Superman”
16:14 – Balloon Fight Remix music break

What we played

18)1 – Jack dedicates his time to Earthbound Beginnings
31:53 – Austin joins the Order of Ecclesia
42:40 – Jack read Geoff Keighley’s book.
48:58 – Iwata Bit #3, “Nintendo is for kids?”
50:10 – Kirby’s Adventure Music Break

Shenanigans Redux

51:18 – Iwata Bit #4, “Iwata Balboa”
52:37 – Our personal appreciations of Iwata

Listener Questions Mail

59:38 – Need for Speed Most Wanted a platformer?
1:05:50 – Custom characters vs. pre-made characters
1:12:28 – Splatoon does allow for something.
1:13:54 – Breath of Fire recommendation.
1:16:52 – Book club recommendations.
1:22:45 – Buster needs to stop hating Majora’s Mask.
1:26:35 – Sometimes, a podcast is all you need.

Ending Shenanigans

1:29:32 – Iwata Bit #5, “Iwata saves Pokémon”
1:32:00 – Radar Mission quiz
1:33:58 – Iwata Bit #6, “A unique CEO”
1:34:57 – The End.

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Update: Winners are in! Congratulations to Vinicius, Fernando Machado, Pedro Capello, and Link Floyd. Codes will be going out tomorrow!

We’re kicking off a new giveaway for the Wii U eShop game Life of Pixel (thanks Max Criden!). In the comments below, tell us about your favorite game made before 1990 for a chance to win. It’ll fit in with the retro theme we have going on.

This giveaway will run through Monday, and we’ll be picking four winners. Please note that the codes are only redeemable on North American Wii U consoles.

Good luck!

Brian and Daan are finally back for a new episode of Just a Chat. There was plenty to talk about this week, including the strange situation surrounding Devil’s Third in North America, Zero Escape 3’s announcement, Dragon Quest VII and VIII for the west, and the Epic Indie Sale.


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Let’s Talk #15: How do you feel about Devil’s Third?

Devil’s Third is in a very strange place right now. The game has been in development for years, and is finally launching (well, in Europe and Japan at least) next month. To say that things haven’t done smoothly for Devil’s Third would be an understatement.

Originally, Devil’s Third was being overseen by THQ, but we all know what happened to that company. Nintendo eventually picked up the project and it was re-revealed at last year’s E3. It surfaced once again in a video from Nintendo’s Japanese YouTube page, but skipped E3 2015 entirely. The game’s status is also slightly unclear in North America.

Development and release issues aside, what are your thoughts on Devil’s Third? To be fair, we haven’t seen a massive amount from it thus far, so there’s not a tremendous amount to go on. There was the initial appearance at E3 2014, and the video that came out several weeks back.

But let’s have a talk about Devil’s Third – the game itself. Were you interested since the initial reveal? Did the latest footage manage to capture your attention? Did you never care for it at all? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Highlights from last week’s topic: What are you playing? – July 2015

David Arkema

I’ve been playing SSB for wii u, playing a lot offline matches with Ryu and (FE) Roy (I also got Lucas, but don’t care much for him). I love (FE) Roy more than I thought, because he’s another swordfighter, but I like him more than Marth. Can’t wait to have my hands on a Ryu amiibo!

Just bought Stick it to the Man and played through some levels. and I never thought I would realy like this game, but I do. I it that every NPC has its own personality and the sticker mechanics/gameplay.

Playing sometimes Splatoon. Just completed the singleplayer, which is like platforming with a gun (or roller). Now I sometimes play a couple online matches (every 3 days).

I am planning to finish Super Mario Galaxy 2 (wii u e-shop). Never played it on the wii before, but I realize know that was a great mistake. This game is awesome!

Also planning to get back Mario Kart 8 (online). This game I used to play every day I power on my wii u. But lately I’m occupied with SSB for wii u.

On my nintendo 3ds I play mostly Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Man, I thought after Monster Hunter 3 on wii u I would never play costs so much time (of my life), but then came MH4 ultimate (and for wii u Xenoblade Chronicles X 4/12/2015). MH4 looks amazing and thanks to the New nintendo 3dsXL it also plays amazing.

James Parry

Going on holiday for a whopping 7 week holiday in a weeks times in our holiday home in Corfu, Greece soon. I know, it sounds amazing; beaches twice a day, lovely greek food for every meal, beautiful weather the whole time, but I can’t bring my Wii U! No Splatoon until September! Ahhhh! (First world problem; I know!)

So, for me, summer is all about my 3DS (bar the beaches). This year I’ve got a solid line up including Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, which I put on hold since my brother got it as I was in the middle of loads of exams, Yoshi’s New Island (also been put on hold) Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Zelda: Spirit Tracks (a second playthrough).

The other day I also managed to pick up some second-hand Layton DS games which I plan to play during the summer followed by Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright; a crossover of my two favourite DS series.

So basically; my summer is a busy one. I’ll have to distribute my time between swimming, eating greek food, reading in hammocks under trees, hanging out with family members, cycling to the local bakery every morning, feeding the donkey living near our house, sun bathing, eating more greek food and playing a whopping library of fantastic 3DS and DS games!


I have been alternating between Xenoblade X and Splatoon. I think they complement each other pretty well: X is more suited for longer sessions and Splatoon is just quick pure fun. I have finished the story of X and reached the level cap of Splatoon and although I intend to continue playing those games, I guess I will spend a little less time with them going forward.

Also due to recent thunderstorms around my area of residence, there has been situations when I wanted to avoid using electronics that is plugged into the power grid. I have started playing Last Window: the Secret of Cape West (Nintendo DS) for that reason. I have owned that game for years and it has been factory sealed for all that time, so I’m happy that I finally got to playing it!


I’m currently playing Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. For anyone that didn’t know, I didn’t have a 3DS before. I was a Wii U-only owner until recently when I got a New 3DS XL for my birthday (but I didn’t get the game until a little later).

While it doesn’t have as much content as the Wii U version does, it’s still a very well-crafted game. I have a lot of fun playing this game on the go.

What makes a sword earn the classification of an epic weapon? How do you know the sword you wield will help to change the fate of the world? Throughout many franchises across Nintendo’s systems, there have been numerous heroes, each of whom have generally had an epic weapon to aid them in their lofty quest. Whether by their choice or destiny, these heroes have been selected for a task that only they can achieve. Some must complete this task on their own, some guided by a higher power, and some are blessed with companions to help them along the way. But what all of these protagonists have in common is they hold the key to their fates in their hands.

Let’s Talk #14: What are you playing? – July 2015

Summer is here, and it’s the start of a new month. Given that – and the fact that we’re a games-oriented website – I thought we should host a “what are you playing” topic for Let’s Talk this week. It may actually be something that we do at the start of each month going forward depending on how the discussion goes this time around.

So tell us in the comments below: what are you playing right now? It’d be great if what you mention is Nintendo-related, but I don’t think it’d be fair to exclude others from Let’s Talk if they’re currently playing on a different platform. That means anything is fair game! I’ll start the discussion off below.

I’ve been playing a whole lot of Mario Tennis on the 3DS Virtual Console lately. Nintendo put the game on sale in North America a couple of weeks ago, and while it was only about $1 less than the normal asking price, I decided to grab it and jump right in.

I played Mario Tennis a ton back in the day on the Game Boy Color. I still have my original system and the game cartridge in fact!

I have so, so many fond memories of this title. It’s really as a good as I remember it, and it sort of makes me wish that the Mario Tennis games these days were a bit more like it. Mario Tennis Open on 3DS was alright, but this one is much better in my opinion.

The main draw of Mario Tennis on the Game Boy Color was definitely the story mode. You can play as either Alex or Nina (plus a partner of Harry or Kate depending on if you select doubles), and level up/improve stats along the way.

Thus far, I haven’t even touched that mode even though I loved it greatly. I’ve just been spending a lot of time in exhibition matches thus far. Something about the core tennis gameplay feels perfect. I have a feeling I won’t be putting the title down anytime soon!

Highlights from last week’s topic: Your thoughts on Nintendo’s E3 2015 performance


Overall I think it was a pretty good show. Ya a lot of what we knew already, but the Starfox reveal, interviews, and muppets/puppets were great. I thought the Treehouse team did a great job really showing the viewer more depth to all the games mentioned in the digital direct and showing some games that were not mentioned (Fatal Frame). Also the return of the Nintendo World Championship was a lot of fun to watch. The one thing that I was seriously disappointed in was their was no announcement for a new HD Zelda remaster for the Wii U. I truly expected that they would announce Twilight Princess HD, since they delayed Zelda Wii U and they did such a good job on Wind Waker. I’m still hoping that this comes true.


I think it was the way Nintendo presented their games and some of the interviews were a bit long than they need maybe. Still am not too sure if it was a good idea too show all of the new upcoming stuff right before E3 ;^^. I mean they had their Nintendo Direct about 3 weeks ago and their Smash presentation last Sunday, and I think it would be better if they included some of those games in the Digital Event too.

Still most of the games Nintendo featured in the Digital Event is probably going to be good if not amazing ^^. I mean I am looking forward to 4-5 of the games they showed as I am a Zelda fan and I RPGer. (Really looking forward to Triforce Heroes ^^).

I mentioned it below in a comment, but I think the reason why Devil’s Third and Fatal Frame wasn’t shown in the Digital Event is because of a/the same law in Europe that forbid people to buy 18/M rated games before 11PM ;^^. (Don’t ask me why Europe has laws like that :-/).

The reason why I think there will be a Nintendo Direct in August is the amount of content Nintendo are releasing then. Like: The Match making mode for Splatoon (and Rainmaker mode), Tournament mode in Smash and Devil’s Third.

Right now I think the best thing we can do is wait for the good games to come and we are actually getting both Legend of Kay and Art Academy this month, so I don’t think we should be bitter for too long as there are plenty of games that are coming with are really good :-).


Nintendo’s Digital Event was kind of completely terrible. There was entirely too much fluff. I totally zoned out when Miyamoto blabbed on about the inspiration for Star Fox for entirely too long. And I actually passed out while Reggie was asking how Donkey Kong and Bowser got into Skylanders (only to wake up and find them still talking). Whoopie. I thought this was supposed to be about games?

I’m sure that kind of stuff is interesting to somebody, but I think even they’d agree it’s not really the time or place for it. One of the things I tend to appreciate about Nintendo’s presentations over the others is that usually Nintendo doesn’t spend so much time patting itself on the back. This year, not so much.

That and a lot of bizarre game choices. From the weird Metroid sports thing to two new Animal Crossing games that did nothing but offend Metroid and Animal Crossing fans alike. And I’ll probably just skip Triforce Heroes, as someone who really couldn’t get into Four Swords. I’m not into Star Fox. I’m not into Skylanders. I’d play Mario Tennis at a friend’s place if they had it, but I couldn’t imagine myself getting and playing it on my own.

I think Hyrule Warriors Legends was probably the best new(ish) announcement. I’d been waiting for a price drop before I picked it up, but a new portable version, with all the DLC, at the price of a 3DS game? Good enough price for me. I just wish it weren’t spoiled beforehand.

But seriously, no third version for Pokemon XY? I thought for sure they’d announce that.

It’s not to say everything out of Nintendo sucked though. Rather, all the games they showed that I’m looking forward to, are ones we’ve already known about for a while: Yoshi’s Woolly World, Super Mario Maker, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Fire Emblem Fates, and Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem (or whatever they’re calling it now). That’s a lot of games to be excited for actually, but I already knew they were coming. And the new videos mostly offered next to no new real information about any of them (excluding Mario Maker, which actually got a lot of new details). For the most part, there weren’t really any surprises. Honestly, I think they should’ve saved both the Micro Direct from a few weeks back, and the Smash Direct (and maybe even Earthbound Beginnings) from last weekend for the Digital Event. It’d have had a lot more substance if they did.


I think it would have been a better show if they didn’t sabotage themselves in the six months leading up to it. The Nintendo Directs, the Nintendo World Championships, and the DeNA announcement and the NX reveal accompanying it all took away things that could have been much bigger deals at E3. They should have put, say, Metroid Prime: Federation Force in some Nintendo Direct if they had a clue how people would react to it, but they didn’t because they absolutely had to have a surprise game in the championships. For each big reveal and deconfirmations leading up to E3, expectations went higher and higher and they just made it impossible to get anything other than the reaction they got. That said, they’ll be fine, even if the show did feel oddly 3DS-centric. They’ve survived a few “losses” and this one is being blown out of proportion.

As for me, I went in expecting only a ton of Mario Maker stuff and that’s what I got, so I was satisfied. And they showed a bunch of gameplay whenever possible, unlike some other shows this year as usual. Also Muppets.

Boss Jelly

Underwhelmed as a whole, it just seemed like variants of things we already knew about. I think Paper Jam, Star Fox and Tennis look pretty cool though. I’m not INCREDIBLY angry about the Metroid game but I’m a little disappointed after 5 years that this is the return of the series…Amiibo Festival on the other hand…

I do not know what the hell happened to this episode, but the audio is an absolute mess, and for that I apologize. You’ll notice Laura’s audio cutting in and out, her microphone quality was totally mangled, and there are a few weird snags here and there. It’s still listenable, but it’s not perfect and there are some awkward spots here and there. In any case, here are the chapters for this week:

Chapters today:

Opening Shenanigans

00:00 – Intros, greetings, hello
02:54 – Game of the week: F-1 Race!

What we played

06:14 – Jack tests his nostalgia for Super Mario Sunshine.
21:40 – Laura is a Mojave Monster in Fallout: New Vegas.
37:01 – Austin says Star Fox: Assault is like a sneeze on a wall.

Shenanigans II

51:18 – Freetures
55:14 – Star Fox Zero music break.
55:49 – Question of the day: How would you like to walk 600 feet?
58:00 – SMTxFE music break.
58:56 – Book club, moving advice, etc.

Listener questions mail

1:03:09 – Using Splatoon’s girl characters for marketing, other questions about female characters, etc
1:11:57 – Do you have more fun with games if you stay up to date on news?
1:20:21 – How long should a game be? (“It depends”)
1:27:11 – A nice email from a nice person.
1:30:56 – Briefly touching on E3 2015.

Ending Shenanigans

1:37:16 – Nonsense time.
1:38:37 – F-1 Race QUIZ

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Missed Part 1? Go back to 2002

As June draws to a close, I’m back with a second look back at the history of Monolith Soft and the games they created over the last generation of Nintendo consoles – with the exception of the actual Game of the Month. This was a period of change for the company and saw the release of several more experimental titles. Bandai Namco sold the majority of their stock in Monolith Soft to Nintendo in 2007 and while they wouldn’t become a first-party developer until later, all games from this point on would be on Nintendo consoles. Despite this, Monolith would still keep close ties with their previous owner, who took on publishing duties for some of their more niche games. Following the release of Baten Kaitos Origins there was a gap of two years before Monolith Soft’s next title – Soma Bringer.

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