TSM Episode 522: The Handheld Podcast

Useful for SNES games on virtual console, or Xenoblade Chronicles 3D.
The New 3DS was a newer version of the 3DS.

Download Link: Released 2019.02.25

Lusipurr, SiliconNooB, and Imitanis comment on the past, present, and future of the role of the President of Nintendo of America, and then delve deep into handheld console games and hardware, and whether they are played out of necessity or by design.


  1. Good podcast this week!

    It’s insane the level of incompetence of Nintendo’s business strategy. It’d be so easy to fix— bring back and expand the virtual console to include all emulatable systems with the library being released steadily, release new 1st party games for ALL of the classic franchises within the first 2 years of the console release, then realease sequels within the following 2 years, and make the console with modern current gen specs so AAA third party games can come to the system. Why don’t they do this? I suspect they’re trying to keep 1st party development labor minimal, and depending on gimmicks and advertisement to do the heavy lifting. After all, Reggie was an ad guy who previously worked at vh1, and his big move there was to use reality TV to change the viewer demographics to a younger audience.

    I primarily play games on console, I bought a 3ds to mainly play Zelda games, Metroid Samus Returns, to try out the fire emblem series (Awakening is really fun, I’d recommend starting there, Lusipurr), and to play jrpgs. Really it’s more about the games for me— as long as the game is fun, it doesn’t matter to me if it’s on a handheld or a console, though I agree the convenience of portability does make it ideal for my ADD when my tv is also being used for streaming/YouTube. I’m an adult with my own car, so needing to play games while on a commute isn’t really a part of my life anymore, though if I was using public transportation on a regular basis, that might be different.

    I bought my nephew a 2ds because he loves playing Mario with me, and the virtual console is good for us to play share games from my childhood with him. He’s only 4, so modern AAA games are far to complex for him to enjoy, but it’s really neat seeing him learn from his mistakes/failures and overcome them with repeated attempts. I really think it’s good to start kids out with the classics, so they can build their skills with the simpler games we grew up playing.

  2. Amazing show this week. Well it’s always, but you get what I mean. I’m passionate about handhelds so of course I have to share some memories and pictures ^^ Pictures on twitter though cause I have no idea how to put them here.

    My mum in particular wasn’t crazy about the thought of games to put it that way. I was fascinated though from the second I was introduced to them even though I can’t remember now if it was playing Gapper at school (trying to steal the pc before all the other kids). Playing Speedy Gonzales on the Game Boy with my friend. The Game Boy was hers and the rules were we played until game over, which meant I played about three seconds and she played about half an hour xD Or maybe it was being in a birthday, getting to play a ski game on pc. Or maybe it was tetris with my dad, taking turns on computer(I got to play longer this time). Whatever it was I was hopelessly lost to the world of gaming. What I wanted most in the world except a horse (which I got, we travelled showjumping and dressage for years) was a Game Boy. But I wasn’t allowed one for a long time. So what is little girl dreaming of a Game Boy to do? Well make one of course! I did that together with my sister in the only means available – paper. We spent days locked up in my room making paper Game Boys and games for it. It’s one of the most fond memories I have. I will share a picture on twitter because I still have them.

    Finally mum allowed me a yellow brick Game Boy I bought from a kid in class. The game I got with it was strangely Speedy Gonzales which I played so much I had to start speed running the first levels to get a challenge cause I couldn’t get past some obstacles in level 3. I burned through as many batteries as I was allowed and when I finally got rechargable batteries I played even more. Many a night was spent playing after bedtime listening eagerly for steps in the stairs.

    On a vacation my parents agreed to buy me a Game Boy Light and a new game (12 in 1). My sister got the brick. From there we played a lot together. And I will never forget us taking the bus to the city and buying each our own a
    black DS Lite. We played them together so much and still we love handhelds and when she’s visiting next weekend I have absolutely no doubt we will spend 90 % of the time glued to each our own Switch. Portable of course ;) I guess growing up without a home console, only playing handhelds has been a huge influence in my love for them.

    Now I have a lot of handhelds. In fact I don’t think I can get too many. I recently rediscovered DS Lite and am probably going to collect colored ones.

    Also taking a picture of all of them for twitter, because frankly I’m curious to see them all laid out myself xD

  3. Almost forgot! If SaGa is put on the shelf. Selfishly voting Dragon Quest because playing Suikoden II before Suikoden I is just not possible for my OCD lol. Also I want to play through the nes versions of DQ.

  4. @Winter: I’m surprised you have more handheld devices than me! I have 2 each of: Gameboy (both original grey), Gameboy Advance SP (one silver, one Zelda), and DS lite (white and red). My Pokemon obsession has always been quite bad. I also have a PSP, PSVita, 3DS XL, and a Switch. I’m seriously considering buying a second PS VIta because I’ve purchased games from both US & UK PSN stores and can’t be bothered switching memory cards.

    @Lusipurr: You and I had a rather long chat about memory cards a week ago. Perhaps that could be the topic of our discussion on the next podcast?

  5. I think a second Vita is a good purchase. I have two, but I’m dreaming of the lime green/white one. Later though, I’m i a Nintendo handheld phase now. Also have a weird obsession with timy handheld emulation devices lol. Bought the Pocket Sprite and the New Bitt Boy. Love both, but they are not for everyone. Enjoying the nes version of Final Fantasy on the New Bitt Boy right now.

    You have a pretty sweet collection! The Zelda gba sp is awesome!

  6. I wrote a bunch of comment replies on my phone and then lost them. :(

    Will retype tomorrow. Grr!!

  7. I prefer handhelds over anything else. The two primary reasons being that I hate being tethered to a tv or computer and that most the games I want to play are portable only anyway. I find portable games to be more creative, perhaps because developers can take more risks on them because of the generally lower development cost. I only really play a game on console or computer if it is the only way to play it.

  8. @LC11: I had not actually considered the development angle, and that may be one of the reasons that we got Bravely Default and Radiant Historia in the first place!

  9. @Fumunshu: I think if I were to get my son a ‘first gaming device’, I would go with the good ol’ Toast DS myself. It looks really robust and without any breakable hinges or anything I imagine it would be the best choice for a little boy.

    Starting out with the classics is very important: in older games, the gameplay is very tight and condensed (they had to rely upon it, so they had to get it right). Most new games are just pre-existing gameplay, but dressed up with a bunch of schmaltzy cutscenes and visual/audio polish. If someone can master the most important Atari games (for example), then they’ll have the necessary manual skills to play nearly anything, and they’ll be familiar (if only generally) with most genres that still exist today.

    @Winter: I saw your collection of handhelds on Twitter. Great scott! You really are a handheld fan!

  10. I wish nintendont wold have released saga 2 & 3 remakes in the day era. I have the Japanese version where not only the graphics were updated but also the monster and robot evolutions.

  11. I usually get motion sickness if I try to read, play a game, or do much of anything with my eyes besides blankly staring out of the car window, so on road trips I am usually the driver by default. Most of my handheld time comes on my lunch breaks at work, usually I get through whatever I can until I need to suspend my progress (also one of my favorite features for both the 3DS and the Vita), then I’ll finish up at home before switching to a console.

    I think that strategy rpgs and visual novels lend themselves particularly well to handhelds and tend to be what I play on the go most often.

    I do have good memories of playing Dragon Quest 9 with a friend of mine. I was pretty skeptical of the idea of a turn based rpg having an engaging multiplayer mode, but we had a pretty good time exploring the maps and joining each other in fights as needed!

    I don’t think Suikoden 4 was as bad as its general reputation would indicate. The overworld map felt and was pretty empty, and the encounter rate seemed a bit on the high side. I didn’t connect with the characters quite as much as previous entries either. But the combat was fine and the story wasn’t bad, particularly when complemented with Suikoden Tactics, which I remember as a very simplified version of Final Fantasy Tactics.

    I have favorable memories of Suikoden 3, mostly from its story and soundtrack. The combat definitely felt a lot slower compared to the rest of the series, and I really disliked issuing one command to two characters at a time. It led to a lot of situations where I felt like I was wasting one character’s turn because I needed to do something with their partner.

    I’d be all for either Suikoden 2 or early Dragon Warrior for the spring playthrough, though I’d prefer Suikoden 2 given the choice.

    Great podcast as usual, keep up the great work!

  12. I forgot to chime in about Reggie. During the Wii era, he made a lot of backhanded, sanctimonious remarks when pressed about releasing games more attuned to core gamers. The way he had to be dragged kicking and screaming to a US Xenoblade release, and the complete uninterest in localizing games such as Fatal Frame 4, despite good Japanese sales and its status as a well regarded series among survival horror enthusiasts at the time. All of which is ancient history now, but I knew from then on that Reggie had no desire to cater to my interests. On the contrary, he was an active obstructionist, and I will not miss him.

    You all have a great feel for industry trends, and are usually right on the ball when it comes to industry happenings. Here’s a possible discussion question – what events in, say, the last year or so have caught you by surprise? The possibility of XBox games being playable on Nintendo systems? The sudden collapse of Blizzard? Sony’s sudden pro-censorship policies? Or something on a more positive note – a game, series, or company that has turned out to be a pleasant surprise for you?

  13. @PubPibbs: I wish they had, as well! Probably something between Square and Nintendo there.

    Luckily, there are good fan translations for SaGa 1 on the Wonderswan colour and Saga 2 and 3 on the DS, so it’s still possible to experience them. I really enjoyed the SaGa 1 remake. But I was a little less on board with the remakes of SaGa 2 and 3. I would have preferred them to keep the 2D graphics and just increased their quality, but on the DS Square was *mostly* all about making 3D versions of their old 2D games (see Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV).

    DefChaos: Great comments!! Your discussion topic is one we’ll take up this week, along with Imitanis’ topic about memory cards and memory storage through time, from the Arcade to the present day.

    My wife has the same problem with car trips, whereas I can play games and read books without problems. As you might expect, this means that the designated driver is: me. >.< With regard to the choice between Suikoden or Dragon Quest 1/2, you won't have to wait until the next podcast to see what I've picked...!

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