: Greetings and salutations friends and welcome to Admintendo 2019! Yes, yes, we usually do a few of these in a year but our schedules haven't married up well this year so it's a one and done sort of year. Actually... well, more on that at the end.
Of course, I can't do this alone and I'm joined by my admin-in-arms, the mysterious masked man, Balladeer!Balladeer
: It's more meaningful with just the one, don't you think?
Hello GNamerians, hope you've had a splendid year! Hello Jay, hope you're having a splendid Yuletide?JayMoyles
: Indeed I am! I've done a lot of unwinding and relaxing along with making my new home (
) look festive, so it's been a grand time. Balladeer
: Do you have a new home?
I had no idea about this! JayMoyles
: I don't really talk about it to be fair, easy fact to miss...
How's the festive season been treating you and yours, Balla?Balladeer
: It's been okay! Tiny little village, roaring fire, sister taking over the Switch... I'm torn on that last one, it's nice to see somebody else enjoying it but... I want to game darn it!JayMoyles
: The perils of a family Christmas - fortunately, my brother has his own Switch so there's no risk of having to settle it in Smash for the rights to the Switch or what have you.Balladeer
: I'm also trying to multitask and pick a game for the GNamer Fantasy League, which is... proving tough. JayMoyles
: I believe you'll manage! Remember, you can always take a gamble with the new drop mechanic. Balladeer
: Might take a gamble to be honest. It isn't proving easy: the disadvantages of Nintendo's 'cards close to chest' approach...JayMoyles
: Indeed, Nintendo's 2020 is shrouded in mystery right now... more on that later, too! The Fantasy League's been a highlight for me this year on the forum, actually. Speaking of...The Forum in 2019JayMoyles
: It's been a year since we've actually spoken about the forum on Admintendo, thinking about it. I wouldn't blame you for forgetting what threads and happenings we had across 2019, but have there been any particular highlights for your good self on GNamer? Balladeer
: Blimey, it's been a while! I can only really remember stuff in the last half year, but some assorted random highlights: Drunka's recent music decade analysis has been really fun to take part in, and of course is relevant to my interests. The forum getting behind the Untitled Goose Game
fanart phenomenon was good fun too. And of course there was the bit where I spent two months drawing everyone for my own amusement... JayMoyles
: That GNamer Caricature thread you whipped up was a treat. Awesome, awesome work. I loved finding all that little details and references in each drawing, so props for that one. Balladeer
: Thank you kindly, it took a backsideload of work...
I'll be honest, some of the gaming talk hasn't been quite as intense as I'd hoped for. I was looking forward to a bit more conversation around Luigi's Mansion 3
and Pokémon that didn't seem to arise. The problem with a crowded release schedule, I suppose: barely anyone's playing the same thing!JayMoyles
: From the outside looking in, the Pokémon thread seemed to be bounding along at a fair pace. I'll admit that having had a fairly substantial purchase (have I mentioned that yet?) to make was in the forefront of my mind all year, so I've not played very many new games. And that's especially true for the end of the year!Balladeer
: I know, everyone's had their own good reasons. I've missed Andy of late as well, and that's hardly his fault. The cumulative effect has just been unfortunate.
What have you enjoyed on the forum front, Moyles?JayMoyles
: I felt we've had some really fun ongoing threads this year, actually. I enjoyed playing quizmaster for a spell in the GNamer Quiz thread, although I found it tough to balance the difficulty of some of the questions for the non-text based rounds and somewhat disheartening when I didn't get a lot of responses for said rounds as those videos took a fair bit of time to put together.
If I ever take the reins again on that, I'll probably follow Mas's example and go for picture/text based questions instead. Speaking of which, his run as quizmaster was ace, so top marks there.Balladeer
: I must apologise for being intermittent on the quiz, to both you and Mas. Playing as a Nintendonly gamer, I was constantly at a disadvantage, and I think that showed!JayMoyles
: You still participated and that's what counts.
I felt we've had some cracking chat in the Big 2010s Discussion Threads, both the off-topic and gaming versions. Not much more to add on that beyond the fact that there's been some great posts in there.Balladeer
: Aye, you've done a grand job on the decadely celebrations: well done there! JayMoyles
: I must mention the Fantasy League too. It's been great fun following how each of our line-ups have performed and I enjoyed the small margin of difference between our line-ups. It was touch and go at the end there with Pokémon's rough press before its release!Balladeer
: I did enjoy the fantasy league, but let's not pretend you weren't well ahead towards the end. JayMoyles
: It ended with only a five point gap. I was sweating!
Before we move on to some game-specific chat, I do want to add that I've got some neat plans lined up for the forum in 2020. I'm hoping the Hall of Fame takes off - even though I've still not put together the pitch for my game! - and I'm planning to try and keep the Podcast going without year breaks between updates. I've already got a guest lined up for Versus Mode! I've also a thread idea for the Retro forum that I think folks will like. So, here's hoping 2020 will be a good 'un for the forum. Anything to add before we move to the next zone, Balla?Balladeer
: Only that I'm very much up for more Versus Mode #content, and that the big disadvantage of having such a prolific forum output is that I've waffled on about all the HoF games I can think of already... JayMoyles
: I'd like to see you pitch your favourites again - I think part of the fun will be folks playing devil's advocate and try to rip your argument to shreds to ensure their game gets in. Balladeer
: (pre-emptive tears)
Shall we go on?JayMoyles
: Yes, let's move on!Nintendo's 2019JayMoyles
: So, after a somewhat sparse 2018 outside of Smash
, Nintendo had a pretty damn good 2019, all told! Let's have a whirlwind tour of the year that was for the Big N.
Despite what I just said, it was a reasonably slow start to 2019 for Nintendo with the first half of the year mostly focusing on indies, ports and a couple of bigger titles. Any standouts prior to summer for you, Balla?Balladeer
: You're not wrong: it was a slow start to the year for me, which wasn't initially so much of a problem because I was still playing and loving Smash
I'm guessing you were not dissimilar, Mr. Moyles?JayMoyles
: Indeed, although that extended into most of 2019 for me! I think I'm close to 300 hours on Smash
over the year... Balladeer
Woof! Anyway, I had to wait until March before I bought a new game I was keen on, I think. That was Yoshi's Crafted World
, the epitome of a 'nice' game. Unchallenging but charming, it was, with moments of real magic. A solid 7/10.JayMoyles
: Aye, YCW didn't exactly tempt me in the early parts of the year. It looked decent enough but it released around the same time as I was getting my teeth into some Nontendo games like Sekiro
and MK11. It would have been a bit of a tone shift going from them to YCW!Balladeer
: Not a bad tone shift, but perhaps moving from Sekiro
might have seen a quality shift as well. I really think that Nintendo needed to get off to more of a bang in the first half of 2019 to address all the moaning minnies (
) who complained about 2018 being slow. I'd have probably had a better time if I'd been into Tetris, to be fair.JayMoyles
: Agreed with that. I'm terrible at Tetris, but what a nice wee surprise that was for Tetris fans.Balladeer
: After that, and failing to get on at all with the old-feeling FFIX (sorry Mas), it wasn't until Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech
that anything else really tickled my fancy. I had to artificially engineer some excitement by getting the special edition of Jim Sterling-recommended Lapis x Labyrinth
. It was alright.JayMoyles
: I must jump in and add that I particularly enjoyed Wargroove
in the earlier parts of the year. I didn't enjoy the late game difficulty spikes, but it was a fun little strategy romp, all told.Balladeer
: Yes, I heard good stuff about Wargroove
! Just... completely and utterly not my kettle of fish.
Was Three Houses
released in the first half of the year as well?JayMoyles
: Ah, no, FE:TH was July! Before that was Super Mario Maker 2
- a game I feel that both of us are probably not qualified to chat about, although I understand you gave it a whirl, right?Balladeer
: I got it as a birthday present actually, and reasonably enjoyed the one-player mode but it can't really compete with the 2D Mario adventure it feels like it was meant to replace. Of course that's not the real point of Mario Maker, but as you say, we can't really discuss the real point of Mario Maker.
The last days of June also had Bloodstained
, evidently a very good game no matter how patchy it was on Switch, and Crypt of the Necrozelda
; so it wasn't all bad! Just... still not great for me.JayMoyles
: Aye, a shame and a surprise that you didn't get on with Cadence of Hyrule
. I bounced off Necrodancer
when I picked it up for a few quid in sale, but I really got on with CoH. The tunes as well - I think I still owe you a music week for that too. Balladeer
: (readership gasps in shock)
Re. CoH, potentially not a surprise given my well know[sic] dislike of ProcGen. It did have music and Zelda, so you never knew... but you kinda did.
Anything else on the first half of the year for you, Moyles, or do you want to crack on with FE:TH?JayMoyles
: I'm good to move forwards!
So, FE:TH was Nintendo's big summer game and it ended up surprising me with how bloody good it was. I was pretty vocal in my concern for how the game was coming across in previews and trailers as I was worried they were leaning heavily into what made Fates
a slog to get through.
But they didn't! They delivered a great gameplay loop of roaming the academy, teaching your students, getting into some battles and levelling up. They delivered some wonderfully well written characters and a far cry from the one-note cretins of Fates
. They restored my faith in mainline Fire Emblem games. Top work, lads.
Were you not tempted by FE:TH, then?Balladeer
: I was tempted. I think if the dry patch had continued on for much longer I would have probably given it a go, played it on Classic, and tried to approach it with an open mind. Fortunately, after bouncing off Oninaki
and Astral Chain
, we then hit September and BLOODY HELL.JayMoyles
: Speaking of Astral Chain
, that's another one I need to go back to. I'm concerned about the pacing, but I really liked the combat in that game. I... did not like the Oninaki
demo in the least, so nothing to add for me there!Balladeer
: Did you get much from September Jay?JayMoyles
: Link's Awakening
was the biggie for me - I've still not finished it thanks to some big life changing move for me coming along, but what I played was quaint and enjoyable. I ended up coming around on the art style.
Actually, no, the biggie for me was Sayonara Wild Hearts
. An aural and visual delight and one of the standouts for 2019 in my book. I loved the story the game told through its music, I loved the new mechanics each level introduced. Top work.
Lastly from the September marathon... honk. That's all I'll say there. How about you, Balla?Balladeer
: Honk indeed, honk indeed. I have lots of honks to say. I think the biggest thing about September is that I haven't yet played several great (or at least interesting) games like Creature in the Well
, Daemon x Machina
, and Ni No Kuni
because of all the other games
. Link's Awakening
felt old but looked new, and it's a Zelda so it's always going to be at least good. It felt small, as a port of a Game Boy game was always likely to; but I had the epic scope of Dragon Quest XI
at the same time. I've played ten hours or so and feel like I've barely scratched the surface.
As for indies, Sayonara Wild Hearts
didn't quite explode for me that it did in for some others, fizzling out slightly at the end. It was still a good and enjoyable experience, with a top soundtrack... I think we're still waiting on that one too Moyles? JayMoyles
: Ahem. No comment on missing music weeks. Balladeer
: I haven't finished talking about September's indies, of course, because HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK
But seriously I found UGG absolutely and completely delightful, more than delivering on its promise. That's without considering the wider cultural impact of the game, which I don't think we can or should ignore. JayMoyles
: Aye, UGG definitely captured the hearts and minds of all the memelords out there. It was a delight and did well to breach the surge of games in September. Honourable mention to DQXI, which I will get to someday.Balladeer
: That quality collection of indies bled into October too: I would recommend Tangle Tower
to Ace Attorney and Phoenix Wright fans, and the voice acting is top-notch. Meanwhile A Hat in Time
is just the happiest collectathon and I'm very much enjoying it, even if some of the Time Rifts take the resemblance to Super Mario Sunshine
a bit too far.
Then we arguably got the big two of the year... Luigi's Mansion 3
and Pokémon Sword and Shield.
I finished the latter first, and while it did feel unfinished it still had that Pokémon charm and some great new monster designs. LM3 is still going, and while perhaps I don't love it quite
as much as many seem to (it lacks an x factor, a je ne sais quoi that I felt the first game had) I still like it a whole lot.
Oh: forgot to mention Ori and the Blind Forest, Transistor, Bastion
Did you play anything from the last few months Jay? And have you received, or are you expecting to receive, any games for Christmas?JayMoyles
: Well, some nice soul sent me a cheap copy of LM3, so I shall be getting round to that at some point. Balladeer
: That sounds like a lovely chap!JayMoyles
: And I'm hoping to receive Pokémon
for Christmas and I'll get my teeth sunk into that over the festive period. Beyond that, I've played no new games since September, so I've plenty to catch up and enjoy.
Any last thoughts on Ninty's 2019?Balladeer
: I'll sign off by saying that The Lady got me Digimon Cyber Sleuth
for Christmas, and I'm excited for playing it in 2021.JayMoyles
: I could say that about a lot of my games...
But I wonder what games will be jumping the queue in my backlog in 2020? Nintendo's 2020JayMoyles
: For Nintendo, 2020 is mostly shrouded in mystery. We know of a few big releases and we've got an idea of a few more, so let us ruminate on our hopes and dreams and expectations for Nintendo in 2020.
First off, their big confirmed 2020 game is Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
I'm looking forward to a cosy time with this and it should play off the likes of FFVII:R, Cyberpunk 2077
and their ilk nicely as a bit of respite from all the drama and gunplay on other platforms. How are you feeling about AC: NH?Balladeer
: I'm... not. I'm really not the audience for the Animal Crossing franchise. I don't like games that encourage you to spread your playtime out, I can't get past the cloney status of the villagers to form attachments like some, and I feel like the experience isn't going to have changed enough since Wild World
, all those years ago. It's probably not for me. JayMoyles
: I hope having a few objectives like upgrading my tools and whatnot will keep me engaged during my time on the island with my animal pals. We shall see.Balladeer
: That said, I am looking forward to
trying to make headway into my backlog, failing, and short-circuiting my Switch with tears directly into its cart slot Tokyo Mirage Sessions
early in 2020. I'm not looking forward to much more at this stage, but that's because Nintendo are the masters of keeping us in the dark. What do you think we'll see, Moyles? Breath of the Wild 2, apparently but what else? Switch Pro? 2D Mario? F-Zero? Moth- (is forcibly silenced)JayMoyles
: Breath of the Wild 2,
it's a lock. Big winter 2020 release, you heard it here first.
Well, on a more realistic note, I think we'll see some spectacle character action goodness this year with both Bayonetta 3
- which will rock - and No More Heroes III
, which I reckon will be a return to form after the misstep of TSA. Bravely Default II
should be good as well, you'd hope.Balladeer
: Ah yes, BD2 does look exciting. I don't know when we'll see it, mind: it looked very early days. JayMoyles
: Other than that... I reckon we might see the rumblings of a new DK platformer. They've had Yoshi and Kirby make their appearances on Switch - DK's only had a port. They must have something up their sleeves though as there's big gaps in their release schedule right now.Balladeer
: WE FORGOT BABA IS YOU
Well let's just say that even though it fried my brain, I'd love to see Baba Is Two
Would you be up for another 2D DK? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Tropical Freeze
and would be right on board with another David Wise soundtrack, but... I'd like to see them announce a 3D DK (which I think is unlikely) or something more experimental, like Jungle Beat
. Also Retro is pretty occupied right now.
Speaking of, I doubt we'll see much of Metroid Prime 4
, but would it be too much to ask for a new 2D Metroid developed by someone else? (I'll can my hopes for a new Mario RPG, that got shot down last year.
: I'm down for a 2D Metroid again. Samus Returns was great fun. I'm worried about MP4 with the development hell that it's going through and I'd be stunned if it makes 2020, personally.
OH. A new Ace Attorney, please.Balladeer
: YES. Or just a port of The Great Ace Attorney
. Or in fact just Capcom pulling their f**king finger out on Switch. Can't believe we've still only had the one non-old-port game on Switch, and that was a Mega Man. JayMoyles
: It's surprising considering Capcom have been absolutely smashing it these past few years otherwise, what with Monster Hunter World,
the Resi remakes, DMC V and so on. Hey ho.Balladeer
: NO. Not hey ho. Capcom are not allowed to hey any hos until they pull their fingers out, point them at the Switch, and yell 'OBJECTION'.JayMoyles
: In regards to hardware, I personally hope we don't get a Switch Pro, but we probably will. I hope there's no hamstrung games released in future if we do get a mid-gen upgraded machine.Balladeer
: Firmly agreed. Anything more about 2020 before we carry on?JayMoyles
: Nothing from me boss - anything from you?Balladeer
: Nope! Shall we finish off in somewhat tragic fashion?JayMoyles
: Yes, let's...The FinaleJayMoyles
: So, I alluded to something at the beginning of this Admintendo and what I was alluding to is the fact that this will be your last edition of Admintendo.
It's for a couple of reasons, mainly:
1) Scheduling. Balla and I have struggled to find timeslots to put these together over the last year and as you've seen in this edition, we've had to cover a whole year and will inevitably missed out on chatting about some game or another. These take a fair chunk of time to "record" too, hence the difficulty in scheduling.
2) Lukewarm reception. Hey, we can't force you guys to read these or anything, but I must admit that it's a wee bit disheartening to only get a couple of responses following each edition of Admintendo. If there's no real interest in Admintendo, then that translates to no real drive from us to put these together. The hope behind these is that we get a wee bit of discussion afterwards, but alas. For those of you that do read this, thank you and it's really appreciated.
So with that, this will be the final instalment. It's been a good time waxing lyrical about games over the last few years with Balla, Zero and our many guests and I've enjoyed doing these.
Anything you'd like to say, Balla? Balladeer
: Nothing material to add to that. They've been fun to do, but they're obviously pretty substantial to read and even more substantial to put together. For that to be worthwhile, you need to feel like people want these to exist, and I'm sure some of you do and like Jay I'm grateful to ye.
Heck, I'm taking time off from spending Christmas with the family and eating spicy prawns and drinking prosecco to do this. If that's not investment I don't know what is!JayMoyles
: I... am taking time away from making dinner and playing Destiny 2
So Balla is sacrificing much more than I am!Balladeer
: However, it is always a pleasure to talk games with you boss, and with our other forumites. It's largely been a very enjoyable investment.
Also you said you were coming off Destiny 2
. Do you need an intervention?JayMoyles
: …yes, I think I do.
But aye, it's been fun over the years but it's time to put Admintendo to rest. I'll be consolidating these into their own thread in the Community forum after this one has been up for a wee while. I'm hopeful that we can still have big gaming chats through the podcast, but we'll see how that pans out.Balladeer
: It has been a pleasure, Jay, to do this one last time. As many Admintendi as there are hours in the day seems a fair place to stop, and of course, there's no reason to stop the Big Gaming Chat with these. GNamer has some of the finest longposts on the Internet, and long (sorry) may that continue!
ALL HAIL GNAMIA!JayMoyles
: So, with that, for one last time... adieu! Happy holidays everyone!Balladeer
: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good gnight!