Episode 93: A Mobile Monster

On March 22, 2015 by Jason Rechtman and Jose Angel Salado

Episode 93: A Mobile Monster

Monsters, pocket monsters, and announcements of monstrous proportions all await you in this episode of the Random Nintendo Podcast. The show kicks off with full coverage of Nintendo’s bombshell new mobile strategy, including a break down of what their DeNA partnership means and an in-depth analysis of plans for a unified membership program, the next-gen NX system, and beyond. We also share our full impressions of both Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Nintendo’s first true “freemium” game, Pokemon Shuffle. Plus, we discuss rumors of a toy-to-life Lego game, first details on the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, and February’s surprisingly positive US sales numbers.

What do you think of Nintendo’s strategic shift towards supporting mobile devices? Let us know your take on the big news, or any other topic we discussed, in the comments below. If you liked what you heard, consider leaving a review of the show (and subscribing!) on iTunes and be sure to also follow us on Twitter @RandomNintendo.

As always, we’ve included links to learn more about the news and games covered in this episode. Each link also lists a time stamp so you can easily locate the segments that most interest you. Enjoy!



9 Responses to “Episode 93: A Mobile Monster”

  • Satoshi wrote on March 23, 2015 at 2:06 pm:

    Hi Guys!

    Thank you so much for yet another fantastic show! I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into the podcast.

    Thank you for breaking down the big Nintendo x DeNA partnership. Its been kind of hard to get a clear look at how it all works, so hearing you guys talk about it was a big help. I personally am a bit worried about Nintendo going even marginally into the mobile games division due to the free to play model (particularly the one commonly used by DeNA) and the overall stretch of Nintendo’s development resources. That said, I do hope that like you pointed out that the “NX” is the answer to Nintendo’s resource control issues. Plus if there is any company that can support itself on multiple fronts it would absolutely be a company such as Nintendo, they do have very deep pockets.

    While I may sound like I hate mobile games (and granted they are not my preferred way to play) I am more against the exploitative nature of mobile game pricing schemes. As an example, I play Final Fantasy XIV on PS4 and while yes its a subscription based MMO (in a perfect world I’d only have to pay for the game and never have to pay again) I pay my $15 a month and get all the content updates and everything included as the game grows included for my subscription fee. It doesn’t pop-up a message asking me if I want to pay $.50 each time I want to use a potion. And that’s where I think mobile games (even Nintendo ones) are not great for the majority of Nintendo fans. We’ve been paying once for a high quality products for nearly three decades and so unless they do the “free-to-download” correctly Nintendo risks backlash from its longtime supporters.

    Anyways, thank you for all the game impressions too. I’m always interested to hear what you have to say about some of the recent games that have come out. I’m looking forward to the next show already!

    PS – Jason I hope you’re feeling better.

    • Jason Rechtman
      Jason wrote on March 25, 2015 at 12:32 am:

      Thanks as always, Satoshi! I hear you on the free-to-play model. I’d much rather pay one time up front and be done with it than be pestered throughout the game. Like you, I’m even okay with a monthly subscription if it gave me all the content right then and there. With that said, I’m hopeful Nintendo won’t go too crazy with free-to-play for its mobile games. Iwata stressed in an interview that Nintendo’s main goal on mobile is to leave positive impressions of their brands. Going too far down the DeNA-style in-app payment route would definitely hurt that goal.

      I am feeling better, thanks!

      • Satoshi wrote on March 25, 2015 at 11:44 am:

        Hey Jason,

        I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better. I really would like for Nintendo to do “free-to-download” correctly. Before we know anything else, I’ve appreciated Iwata-san’s commitment to being more up-front and honest about the “free-to-play” business model. In particular I liked that he pointed out that calling a game “free-to-play” was insincere, saying a more accurate name would be “free-to-start.”

        Ultimately we’ll just have to wait and see for now. I’m cautiously optimistic. Thanks again for a great podcast!

      • Satoshi wrote on March 29, 2015 at 12:39 am:

        Hi Guys!

        I just have to ask, how do you feel about the HUGE Zelda Wii U news bomb?!

        Personally I think its a good thing for the game itself. Ocarina of Time was delayed a LONG time and became the highest-rated game ever released. Conversely, delaying Zelda out of 2015 does leave a major hole in NIntendo’s Wii U support and release schedule for the year.

        Anyways, can’t wait to hear you tackle this in the next podcast!

        • Jason Rechtman
          Jason wrote on April 3, 2015 at 5:58 pm:

          Yeah, I agree that the delay is a double-edged sword for the exact reasons you mentioned. I feel like we’re going to end up having a lot to say about it next episode.

  • Andrew wrote on March 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm:

    Loved the podcast. Once I get a new 3ds I may look into getting the new Monster Hunter as well. It sounds awesome.
    I had a little bit of a different take on Pokemon Shuffle. I’ve been playing it as a way to clear my mind between play sessions. After playing for an hour or so I have another 2 hearts and can keep playing. I also like the turn limit as it makes it more fair for competitions since I’m assuming it’s not an option for most people to drop tons of money to get an edge for competitions by leveling up their pokemon. So far I’ve unlocked and caught the pokemon in the first 150 stages without too much trouble. Catching the different pokemon types helps a lot and you can go back to earlier stages and catch pokemon easier as you get stronger pokemon. Also after playing and understanding the game mechanics I don’t see any issue with the items offered. Every weekend offers a meowth challenge where I get enough coins for a great ball which doubles whatever percentage catch. As long as you know that and only use it when you perform better than normal, it’s not that much of a gamble. Also the premium gems seem fairly generous (1 per section of stages plus bonus street pass ones) so that you have opportunity to play around with the game mechanics before spending money so you know what’s worth using to meet your play style. I would say the downfalls are that an explanation of how mechanics work (maybe a replayable tutorial that lets you use power ups, but you can’t gain anything from it) and the 30 minute recharge is a bit long ( I think a 15 minute recharge or 10 play max would be better compromise). Just thought I’d share my take on how I’ve been playing. I’m curious how this type of play foreshadows Nintendo’s mobile presence.

    • Jason Rechtman
      Jason wrote on March 25, 2015 at 12:45 am:

      Thanks for listening and sharing your take, Andrew! For whatever reason, I never thought of going back to catch earlier Pokemon with my stronger ones. Kind of an odd oversight on my part.

      I think there’s a lot that Nintendo does right with Pokemon Shuffle and I too enjoy playing it in between other games. The core gameplay is a lot of fun, but you’re right that perhaps a better in-game explanation of the mechanics would have been useful. There’s a lot of things I figured out just going through the game, but based on what you’ve described, it sounds like there’s perhaps a few things I missed too.

  • Andrew wrote on April 3, 2015 at 2:36 pm:

    I’m going make the assumption that the upcoming episode will have talk about how awesome the direct made everything sound like it was going to be. It would have been better if it were an April Fools joke.

    • Jason Rechtman
      Jason wrote on April 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm:

      Imagine if it all was an April Fools joke? Heads would explode. But yes, we’ll be spending a lot of time on the Direct, plus have some hands-on impressions of upcoming games like Splatoon.

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