Radio Free Nintendo | OT | A New Era In Nintendo Podcasting For Grownups

Radio Free Nintendo began in 2006 as the official podcast of Planet Gamecube (now Nintendo World Report) and originally hosted by Mike Sklens and Evan Burchfield, later joined by Karl Castaneda and Jonathan Metts. In 2008, the podcast launched its "second season" under the direction of Metts, Greg Leahy, James Jones and Jon Lindemann and continued to refine its style into the best podcast you're probably not listening to. Guillaume Veillete took over the main editing role in 2012 as Greg stepped away, only for Greg to return as a participant in 2015 following Jonny's semi-retirement from the show.

Although it is a 4 guys over Skype podcast, the audio quality is amazing thanks to the 16-hour weekends of Greg and Guillaume. It's also one of the few gaming podcasts that uses the .aac format if getting it through iTunes, which means chapter art and (most importantly) easy skipping to particular segments.

The typical show will have at least some of the following:
New Business - Discussion of new games being played by the hosts. All major Nintendo releases are mentioned, as well as major releases on other consoles.

Now Playing - Quick rundown of NWR content. Or, random rap music. Largely retired.

Feature Discussion - A longer analysis of a major news story in gaming or a look back at a particular genre/system. Examples of the former include the Gaming Bucket List, the N64 at 15, the best of the SNES and Operation Rainfall.

Retroactive - The hosts and members of the NintendoWorldReport forums vote on and play through a game of Nintendo's past - or Sega/Hudson's, if it was released on Virtual Console. These discussions are long, informative, and usually end up coalescing around RPGs if given the option. This feature began in 2009.

The list of games previously discussed:
Dynamite Headdy (episode 131)
Luigi's Mansion (133/134)
Eternal Darkness (137)
Secret of Mana (140/141)
Super Ghouls and Ghosts (144/145)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (148/149)
Ninja Spirit (153)
Super Mario World (158/159)
Geist (163/165)
Shining Force (169)
Super Mario RPG (184)
Metroid II: Return of Samus (193)
Mother 3 (203/205)
Yoshi's Story (215)
The World Ends With You (221/224)
Ogre Battle 64 (230/232)
Legend of the Mystical Ninja (239)
Perfect Dark (245/248)
Killer 7 (256)
River City Ransom (266)
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (278)
MotoHeroz (289)
Wario Land 4 (303)
Kirby and the Amazing Mirror (309)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (323)
Ys Book I&II (330 / 332)
Mega Man 3 (336)
Pandora's Tower (349 / 352)
Goldeneye 007 (Wii) (381)
Pokemon Trading Card Game (420)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (431)
Blaster Master (439)
Mario Tennis: Power Tour (449)
Viewtiful Joe (464)
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (497)
LEGO City Undercover (497)
Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom (512)
Super Mario Sunshine (536)
(There are also retrospective episodes for Ocarina of Time (non-numbered, available here) and Super Metroid (142, available here) but these fall outside of the Retroactive banner.)

Listener Mail - When in doubt, let the listeners decide your topics. These can range from "What game would you recommend" to "What's every Nintendo development studio doing" and everything in between. Even when questions about the perceived self-loathing and hatred of Nintendo by fans and media respectively comes up, it's handled with a quiet dignity and understanding of the situation. Shorter bursts of email are common as the "(Lords of) Thunder Round". The address is [email protected]


James Jones @NWR_James
- Full time podcast host, former reviewer/podcast editor
- Turns the snark up to about 14 for the podcast, is the curmudgeon despite being the youngest of the regular 4
- Plays a lot of RPGs, on both sides of the West/East debate
- Most likely to declare someone wrong by default
- Likes: Ogre Battle 64, Gust Bellows, business-ass-business
- Dislikes: Everything. But especially rougelikes, King of Clubs, and competitive Smash.

Jon Lindemann @MrDiamondJ
- NWR Director Emeritus (served as director from 2009 - 2011)
- More likely to play a shooter of the "dudebro" variety
- Expatriate Canadian, living in California by way of Boston
- Has an immense pile of games that are not only unplayed but unopened, frequently special editions. Led to the declaration of "Lindemann Syndrome" on a podcast late in 2010
- Likes: Busting James's balls, rapping, cat helmets, NHL '94, tub time with handhelds
- Dislikes: Zelda II ("it can eat a dick")

Guillaume Veillette @GuillaumeNWR
- Editor from May 2012 onwards
- Previous experience hosting the NegativeWorld podcast
- Born and raised in Montreal, Canada and taught himself English with assistance of Final Fantasy Legend II and a French-English dictionary
- Plays a significant amount of co-op with regular guest Karen
- Likes: Platformers, retro games, poutine with bacon and onions
- Dislikes: US/Quebec lockout on preorders, bad audio, Majora's Mask

Greg Leahy (No official social media presence)
- Podcast editor 2009-2012, former NWR reviewer
- Despite being in the UK, prefers his football American style - specifically, the Buffalo Bills (the poor guy)
- Has access to a Japanese Wii and frequently imports, as well as providing a look as to what's on the Japanese Virtual Console on occasion
- Has no less than 5 Twitter accounts vying for supremacy, although none are legit
- Likes: Shooters of the R-Type/Treasure varieties, platformers
- Dislikes: Bill Belicheck, bad audio

Host Emeritus:
Dr. Jonathan Metts @jonnymetts
- Longtime Planet Gamecube site director/reviewer. Officially current site historian.
- Yes, he has a doctorate. No, he's not that kind of doctor (he's an aerospace engineer when he's not podcasting)
- Last spotted working for Elon Musk in some capacity, which has limited his appearances
- Has all platforms in addition to his Nintendo hardware
- Likes: Metroid, Illusion of Gaia
- Dislikes: Super Ghouls and Ghosts ("This game can go f**k itself")

Frequent guest hosts:
- Michael "TYP" Cole - Host of Radio Trivia: Podcast Edition, most common fill-in, impression of Wario is frighteningly accurate
- Billy "Plan B" Berghammer - Founder of Planet N2000 -> Planet Gamecube -> NWR, now an employee of the Treehouse so hasn't appeared recently (either by choice or fiat)
- Syrenne McNulty - independent game dev/Wisconsin based game reviewer, tends to bring Japanese imports and yuri visual novels to the show


The show also has an annual tradition of hosting a live podcast telethon with the funds going to Child's Play. Big names come out - 2011's featuring appearances from Jeff Cannata, Mark MacDonald and our own sprsk. And a few hours in, bombs start dropping - like when it was revealed that Battlefield was going to be a Gamecube game.

2010 Telethon Recordings
2011 Telethon Recordings
2012 Telethon Recordings
2013 Telethon Recordings
2014 Telethon Recordings
2015 Telethon Recordings
2016 Telethon Recordings
2017 Telethon Recordings


Podcast Milestones:
100 (the early days of RFN, 3.5 hours)
150 (best of the first 150 mixed into a discussion of RFN history)
200 (massive DS retrospective)
250 (behind-the-scenes tales and a massive call-in segment.)
300 (Wii retrospective, 5+ hours)
350 (Includes a long set of tales from the editing room while Jonny's caught in a flash flood)
400 (Recorded live in Colorado. 3+ hours, lots of games.
500 (Long questionaire about the podcast's history)


The Famicast - Previously bonus content on the RFN feed, now an independent show with its own Patreon. A Nintendo show hosted by four guys that live in Japan.

Connectivity - Formerly known as the Newscast before a late 2011 reboot, covers news of the week and more featured topic discussion. Also known to randomly break into Jeopardy games on little provocation - such as in their 2012 PAX East panel.

Radio Trivia: Podcast Edition - For most of the early 2000s, a regular site feature of Planet Gamecube was Radio Trivia, in which site staff would play a few songs from a Nintendo game and challenge you to guess the game. In 2006, a podcast was kicked off that, like clockwork, discusses 5 games per episode. No prizes, but enlightening discussion of game music both classic and modern.

Box Office Poison - Four former RFN hosts (Jonny, Mike Sklens, Stan Ferguson and Karl Castenada) along with friend Jonathan Rind discuss films both quality and otherwise. For an example of the former .there's Contact and for the latter, well, they've talked about the Super Mario Bros movie and Caligula.


OTHER LINKS - RFN main page
feed:// - MP3 feed
feed:// - AAC feed - iTunes - RFN Facebook page - NWR Twitter - RFN's official Twitter - The Radio Free Nintendo T-Shirt
Last edited:
Just in time for a new episode. Light on Odyssey, as the curse of Nintendo Friday releases continues.

New Business: James plays import Gamecube kusoge (and Bonk's Adventure) courtesy of Jonny, Jon's first purchase of Cyber Monday is the SNES New 3DS, Gui triple teams Binding of Isaac Afterbirth+, Costume Quest 2, Super Castlevania IV, Greg's early Odyssey thoughts
Listener Mail: The 2018 lineup, hot indie picks
Outro: Mario Galaxy "Waltz of the Boos"

Time: 2:02:21
Downloads: MP3 | AAC
Video playlist: James's brown envelope misadventures

Email: [email protected] or the form:


Producer of Manifold Garden and SCALE
Oct 26, 2017
wow thanks
I tend to bring Japanese imports, yuri visual novels, and kusoge, thank you very much.
Oct 27, 2017
Happy to see that RFN has got a thread over here.

I was listening to this weeks episode on the way to work this morning and was in stitches when James was describing Beach Spikers and Jon was imaging what was being described. I've yet to finish the episode ( only 30 mins in ) but I hope Greg decides to play some Odyssey audio through his mic at some point.
Oct 27, 2017
I finished this weeks episode this morning. I was looking forward to hearing what Gui thought of Binding of Isaac and his thoughts mirrored my own. I never played it on any other platform but always heard great things about it so I decided to pick it up when it was released on the Switch. The aesthetics of the game aren't really pleasing to me. Everything is dark and brown, which I suppose matches the tone they were going for with the game. I also found the shooting to be slow and clunky. Not being able to shooting diagonally was a little off putting. Like Gui said, the intention of these games is to keep replaying them to get further, but when you don't find it enjoyable then that cycle is kinda pointless. I guess the game is just not for me...or Gui.
Bit of an odd duck this week. Neither Jon or Greg could make it, so they roped in Dr Metts for the back half and some dude who posts on a message board for the first.
New Business: NWR's Fire Emblem Warriors reviewer sounds off, Gui went to the Nintendo holiday preview event
Listener Mail: Unpopular opinions.
Second half: All Odyssey feat. Jonny
Outro: Sonic Generations (3DS) - Big Arms Theme

Time: 2'20"18
Downloads: MP3 | AAC

Save the date: December 2
Last edited:
Oct 29, 2017
We'll be doing our RetroActive on Dec 2 for the telethon. We're only leaving voting on the game open till Thursday night. It's WiiWare games.

Not saying we're getting railroaded on La-Mulana, but you should consider Darklord.
Oct 25, 2017
hadn't been listening to this (or any podcasts) for a while but I'm starting to get back into it since about a month ago. keep up the great work and looking forward to the telethon!

oh and I voted for Darklord!
Oct 25, 2017
Yay, there's a new thread here. Felt weird having to actually go to the NWR site to get the podcasts.
Oct 25, 2017
Voted for Darklord. Since James seems to bring it up every podcast it is obvious he wants to really dig into it, haha.

Nice job on this week’s episode, Shaymin . As much as I enjoy the usual suspects, It is always cool to hear a different voice in the group.
Oct 25, 2017
Went with Darklord since the other games either aren't as interesting (heard that Blaster Master game is just bland as well & Contra Rebirth, while good, is...well, Contra) or have been ported to other consoles (La-Mulana is on Vita & PC as well).
The full crew is back, with minor late-game Odyssey talk.

New Business: Cave Story+, Elliot Quest, Samus Returns, future Switch game Wolfenstein II on the dumbest gaming system name since the Wii U, Odyssey
Listener Mail: System modding, Miiverse collateral damage, the next game to get the Panel de Pon treatment
Outro: Wii Shop Channel / Mii Channel (Super Smash Bros for Wii U)
Telethon page: Now open (and donations will be matched up to $2000 until December 1)

Downloads: MP3 | AAC
Time: 2:19:46
Oct 27, 2017
I'm a week late but I see Dr. Metts is in the last episode - always love his contributions.

Enjoying your cameo so far Shaymin!


Producer of Manifold Garden and SCALE
Oct 26, 2017
I'm on the next episode, and it's recording in about 25 minutes. I apologize in advance for the trainwreck.
This might be the most podcast discussion Style Savvy 4 ever gets, tbh.

New Business: Rocket League, DOOM, Skyrim, LA Noire, Snipperclips Plus, Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon, Style Savvy: Styling Star, RIVE (Switch), Switch as flight saviour
Listener Mail: Add a "Wa", ruin a character (surprised they haven't done Luigi), selling out, better ideas than Glitter Metroid, bad Konami crossovers
Outro: Contra III SNES: "Tearing Up The Turnpike"
Telethon: Please give, I want to talk about wrestling games and Terranigma

Downloads: MP3 | AAC
Time: 1:47:55
Oct 27, 2017
I haven't finished this weeks episode yet but just wanted to say what a trooper James is. Poor guy sounded very rough due to being loaded with cold and he still hosted the podcast.


Producer of Manifold Garden and SCALE
Oct 26, 2017
I haven't finished this weeks episode yet but just wanted to say what a trooper James is. Poor guy sounded very rough due to being loaded with cold and he still hosted the podcast.
AND during the entire second half he was recording using his computer and calling using his phone, because of Hotel WiFi!
Oct 26, 2017
Didn’t realise there was a thread here until it was mentioned during the podcast.

It’s also the first time I’ve ever heard someone say the name of the forum out loud.
yeah, I've been looking for this thread for the last few weeks... I had finally given up and concluded there wasn't one before listening to episode 546 (which I just listened to btw) and noticed I've been looking in the wrong place the whole time. Figures the thread would be in the Community section, rather than the Game section -_-

This year I really wanted to participate in the telethon and maybe even call in to talk some MoHun XX, which is possibly the last of the classic monster hunter games (and a damn fine one to end with)... but naturally, just like last year and the year before that I'll be sitting in some conference room bored out of my mind :/
Nevertheless, even though I won't be able to make it, I'd like to contribute some ending music (ofc it's from the game). To my surprise, MHXX's soundtrack was quite awesome, and even more shockingly, (according to the credits) they actually flew half across the globe to record it with a real orchestra in Vienna (which may be a series first from what I can tell) - only to never release it anywhere... well done Cacpom! No wonder they're in financial trouble every now and again

For my pick, I'd go with the Flagship-Monster,Valfalk Theme, but any is fine really.

If that's not exciting enough for you... there's always the credits *cough*

Looking forward to catching up with the rest of the episodes I've mist the last 2 weeks, and I'm also looking forward to the telethon next week (or its recording at least)
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
I would probably go to NWR more if there was a way of finding out what was on the site without having to go there.
Like if someone told me what was now playing on the website.
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
Just tuned in and have no idea what the guys are talking about. I’m guessing Kaizo Mario?

EDIT: Haha turns out it was the La Mulana Retroactive. Nobody mentioned the game’s title until the end.
Last edited:
Last edited:
Oct 26, 2017
I've only listened to the XB2 parts of the last 2 episodes, and since I've beaten the game 1,5 times by now (and still discovering new things in the menus...)... Id like to add a few things:

First of all, I think Gui would enjoy the game because the humour is actually quite good. It's somewhat tamer in english though (more on that see below). I'm honestly quite surprised how many time the game made me laugh so far.
I liked the english voice acting and the variety it presents so far (2nd playthrough english, first one was japanese), but since now 7 years later I actually understand japanese, I can't help but notice quite a few deviations from the original script. Nothing major, but enough to stick out. The characters and their... well characters are quite different though. Due to quite different styles, characters like Nia and Pyra are vastly different in Japanese and in english and it makes some situations in the english dub seem out of place or awkward. Still, I kinda like that I can beat the game twice and get a different experience each time.
Like you said as well, the game can take a while to draw you in. The original Xenoblade was and still is my favourite game of all time. I imported it from Japan shortly after it came out and beat it without any japanese knowledge whatsoever (At that time, there weren't any guides in english, there weren't even reviews. It was quite a task). So naturally the new one would have to live up to unreasonable expectations, which it can never pass. Initially I was somewhat disappointed by what it wasn't but over time started to appreciate it more and more for what it actually is. A surprisingly fresh take and update to the formula. But at the same time, it also feels a little bit to safe at times, not to mention, it kinda feels rushed.

A few random things:
The game features a surprising amount of environmental manipulation and plattforming which I immensely enjoy. Especially one of the last continents has an interesting "downwards" traversal concept with unexpectedly clever level design. You'll also realize how huge Gormot really is when you start digging below the surface - quite literally. The areas may be not incredibly huge, but they are densely packed and highly detailed. There's ALWAYS something around the corner. Even though it does not give you the same navigational freedom as Zelda, traversing was much more fun in the end because you actually had to think about the environment you're in, you had to visually track the path you needed to take to reach your goal. There's just a lot of environmental awareness few other games can match.

The scenario with the 15 minute fight you described probably happened to everyone at least once and it somehow reminded me of GTAs chaos engine. At some point you'll fight half of an area. At first it was quite annoying, but I quickly came to embrace the utter ridiculousness. There's one area in Gormott with a few hives.. destroy them first, just saying.

Fights taking long was an issue for most of the game before I finally understood the system. It's like a snowball. Starts slowly, but once you're in synch with your blade and start setting up combos, enemies will go down left and right. It's important to not focus on either driver or blade combos but utilize both. Shake, topple and so on are still as effective as ever, and the further you get, the higher your damage output will become. Together with some elemental combo you're damage multiplier will go through the roof. And when you add group attacks into the mix... Once it clicked, I started murdering unique monsters 3-7 levels above me like nothing.
Ofc equipment and shards are important as well!

well, I'm looking forward to the next episode (or to be more specific, the xb2 part)
Oct 29, 2017
I actually liked (hey, past tense) the use of Blade attributes to solve puzzles; I talked about it on the episode that went live today. The only part that sucked was having to dig around a mountain of Blades to find the right jigsaw combination that met all the criteria - only to undo it immediately thereafter (and if the game was feeling saucy, redo it a few moments after that). A similar issue pops up in the Mercenary missions.

As for the platforming, it's passable. One of the late-game areas is significantly vertical and the foibles of Rex's jump cost me a few restarts of a sequence of platforming. He'd clip the wall and kinda slide down or there would be the ramp gimmick and I'd mistime it. It's hard to come back from the Xenoblade Chronicles X space jump.

But yeah, past tense now. As in JUST NOW. I'm listening to the music on the game-cleared title screen. At a complete time of over 141 hours, I'm sort of dumbfounded. It sure didn't feel like almost as long as Mario and Zelda combined, but it only ended up about 10 hours short. It has dramatically complicated my Game of the Year segment. It is not as polished or explicitly "good" as either Mario or Zelda. It excels at something I'm struggling to pin down. I've been looking forward to playing the Zelda DLC, but I kind of want to ruminate on this one rather than touch other games.

What a goddamned year. During the last two it was nearly impossible to produce a good show for paucity of new content ("The Summer of 'Too Hot for Games'" was particularly atrocious), and now it's impossible to produce an informative one due to the absolute deluge of high-quality content.
Oct 26, 2017
yeah, just cleared some time from side-questing to listen to the episode and I agree with most that has been said.
There are certainly areas where the game feels extremely rushed - which is somewhat upsetting since it may impact enjoyment for some people
And yeah, equipping blades can be a real pain in the latter part. Well... not just blades but items as well since I always equipped everything +luck I had to get a better chance at receiving rare blades. The game would've immensely profited from custom load-outs like monster hunter has. This and other small adjustments would've improved QoL dramatically. Like reassign the - button to quick-travel, and the X button to the blade/character menu.
But who know... we already got one patch, might get another one down the line?

The only complaint I had about tiger tiger! was the missing online leaderboards. I got 3 RL friends and we competed for the highest score for like a week - ended up at ~65k. They got to like 70+
It's actually not that hard to reach: you just have to play aggressively and get all 3 bonuses: All chests, all crystals and no damage. This will get you an easy 50k+.

What I meant by "platforming" should probably be rephrased as "path finding", which apparently you thought was a chore. I quite enjoyed navigating through the world, seeing the goal in the distance and on the map an figuring out how to get there. Only today I had a quest (the one with Vess) where I needed to get to the lowest area of Mor Ardain. There were little hints on the map with rough outlines of a tunnel, but finding the tunnel was the real challange (and at least to me highly enjoyable). The path feels more deliberate and designed, and less DOI like in Zelda, which never felt as interesting to me.

It excels at something I'm struggling to pin down.
I know exactly what you mean. I had hoped a second play-through would clear things up for me... but so far it has not.
Edit: or maybe it has? I'm not sure how to put this... but the whole game has this hand-crafted feel to it. Every corner, every cliff, every rock feels deliberate. There's no copy and paste. Everything feels like it was put there for a purpose, but without feeling artificial - some botw for example could not replicate. It's highly condensed but at the same time the game is also highly detailed and filled with stuff to do - and most of it feels actually meaningful.
And then there's how the characters are animated, and despite all the "fanservice"-backlash, I think the characters are incredibly likeable (both from personality and design standpoint) and the facial animations are fantastic (granted, it makes more sense in japanese).

Regarding the rest of the episode: I know Gui is probably not going to read this, but just in case: you should seriously consider to buy SMT4:Apocalypse! I think it's exactly what you were looking for with smt3.
Last edited:
Oct 29, 2017
I ended up running every quest, except those for Blades I don't have (4) or would require grinding affinity for a few hours (1). Something like 152 hours - which is just silly. I actually found a new place in that last hour, and it wasn't hidden behind some high field skill requirement, I just hadn't turned left there. I wish this game was just a bit more polished, or featured a bit more of X's organic exploration (versus hiding stuff behind the Field Skills). But I got invested.

I liked moving through the world in X to the point that I would set aside entire days to do it. I felt like they slowed it down a lot in this game. When it's working, it's still great. I just found the impediments they put in sometimes were a detriment.

Having spent a bunch of time post-patch, the changes helped with some of the weird stuff. The Quick Travel button change is huge, but I'm so conditioned to having to drill in that I've actually cancelled out a few times by accident.

I'll make sure Gui sees the SMTIVA recommendation.
Oct 25, 2017
Enjoyed James's XB2 talk in the last podcast. I'm still quite early but he put it into words a lot of my own thoughts on the game so far.
Seems a bit early to be doing top 5s, but what do I know.

First segment: Top 5s feat. some guests from RFN this year, including some whackjob who had a Vita game, a phone game, and a PS3 game in his top 5
New Business: Mom Hid My Game, Gorogoa, Wolfenstein II, soon-to-be-offline-only Gravity Rush 2, Battle Chef Brigade
Outro: Super Smash Bros - Intro
Emails: From your brain to Gui's mouth

Downloads: MP3 | AAC
Time: 2'18"34
Oct 25, 2017
For some reason, the new episode isn't downloading on Pocket Casts. But I can't wait to hear what everyone's top five are once the file is fixed - these year-end RFN list shows are always among my favorites!
Oct 25, 2017
Interesting... it's still not working on Pocket Casts, but I can always listen to the episode via the NWR page.