Let’s get ready to rumble! Or let’s not, as I’ve already determined the winner of the gaming podcast crown of all times. It’s the Very Very Gaming Show- er, no. It’s not that.
Actually, my favourite gaming podcast is Radio Free Nintendo. As well as my favourite, RFN is easily the longest running podcast I listen to – rapidly approaching its 500th episode as of writing!
What is the show about? As the name suggests, Radio Free Nintendo is a podcast primarily about Nintendo. Hosted on the Nintendo fansite Nintendo World Report, RFN started way back in 2006. During those first few years when I discovered the podcast, the show was a fairly unprofessional affair – no regular schedule or regular line-up to be seen. But starting in 2008, the podcast was rebooted with an all-new four man cast and a fixed weekly schedule. Since then, the show has remained incredibly consistent with its schedule, and only two small changes in the cast members over the ensuing eight years. It’s a Skype-based podcast which means a lot of editing and love goes into every episode, which are about two hours in length. Finally, while the show is Nintendo-focused as the name suggests, the show also covers non-Nintendo games and topics, with discussions of new and old games alike, and the gaming industry at large.
Why I recommend it: I have had such a strong relationship with this show over the past nine years (and it is a relationship when you listen to the same few people talking for so many hours, trust me) I don’t even know where to start with summarising my feelings in a few sentences. Yes, the chemistry between the regular crew is stellar and frequently hilarious. Yes, the analysis of individual games as well as the gaming industry is insightful. Yes, the crew is highly knowledgeable about videogames past and present, and not just those on Nintendo systems. Yes, this podcast was the reason I wanted to start my own gaming podcast. And yes, it feels like RFN has always been around. It’s been in my ears through the good times and bad times over the years, and I don’t have a bad word to say about it!
This video below contains one of my favourite ever moments from the show, from an episode in 2008. It’s a one-off skit, a remarkably accurate parody of Disaster: Day of Crisis on the Wii. I say accurate because nothing in this work of satire would be out of place in the game, that’s how absurd it is. “EAT MY BALLISTICS!!!” says hello.
Where a newcomer might start: With nearly 500 episodes there are far too many greats to make any quick or easy recommendations for an entry point, sorry. Anyone interested in learning more about the show would do well to check out the RFN thread over on the NeoGAF forums, which lists a number of “significant” episodes that are well worth a listen. Otherwise, why not try a new episode?
There’s my recommendation, hope you enjoyed it! I shall return soon with follow-ups, recommending further sterling gaming podcasts. If you have any recommendations of your own let me know below – I’m always on the look out for a new ‘cast to love.