Greetings! Wheels is away for a couple of weeks, busy trying to complete Elminage (he also might have mentioned something about a baby). Never fear, however, as I am around to take control and shake things up for a bit. Yes, that's right, finally a break from Suikoden!
For those who don't know me, I'm based in the UK and mostly write reviews and previews for the site, although I'm happy to help out on other stuff where needed. My RPG experience is fairly recent in comparison to a lot of staff members, having mostly got into the genre around the time of the GameCube (although I had unknowingly played some games beforehand, like Final Fantasy IX, Golden Sun, and Pokémon). So consider this a warning that most questions relating to games from the 90s will go completely over my head.
Just a quick reminder here that if you want to send me a question/opinion/answer/abuse for next week you can e-mail email@example.com or send a tweet to @severinmira. With that, let's move on to the letters.
So, what's with that wheels guy?
I blame Kawazu. Such an obsession with the guy clearly creates some rather bizarre opinions. That said, he is one of those people who rightfully points out how great Resonance of Fate is so he's worth listening to every now and then. Plus anyone who manages to complete a Compile Heart game and lives afterwards deserves some credit.
Fanboying Part 1
Q for this week: Screw RPGs this week! What's the best non-RPG you played this year. Also fanboy #VLR in 20 words or less. :D
Strangely enough you just mentioned the game I'd pick, Virtue's Last Reward, in the second part there. Absolutely loved it, and can't wait for the sequel. As for the awesomeness of VLR in twenty words or less, here goes. Brilliant story, great characters (particularly Phi), interesting puzzles, superb voice acting*. Easily in my top 3 games of the year. And that's twenty words, perfect!
(* Unfortunately, the European version only has Japanese voice acting for understandable, if annoying, cost reasons. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the North American version, which includes the English voice acting. It's still an excellent game without but I would say NA has the superior version because of this)
Fanboying Part 2
Q&A: Time for some Xenoblade love! Who is your favourite Xenoblade character and why? What would you like to see in a sequel?
Hooray for Xenoblade love! As much as think the entire cast is great (although I'd probably put Reyn and Sharla on the lower end of that greatness myself), Riki just about gets the nod over Melia based on pure entertainment factor. Especially when controling him and bouncing around Valak Mountain or the game's other great locations. As for a sequel, I'm generally against attempts to shoehorn in sequels where a story has been completed, usually as to do so you have to actively screw over the returning characters in some way and considering how long Xenoblade is, I think they've earned a rest from that. So I'd prefer it to be a spiritual sequel, or at the very least set a decent length of time (a hundred years plus) after the game's events.
One area where Xenoblade was outstanding was in the world and environment, and I'd definitely like to afford the opportunity for MonoliftSoft to create a whole new set of them too. I loved pretty much all of the game's features, and would like to see them all return in one way or another with a bit of streamlining that hindsight offers.
I Thought You Were Too Busy for Q&A
Q&A: DON'T BE A MACSTORM: What is your favorite Kawazu game and why? Also what is your favorite Action RPG?
See emech, I told you it was because of Kawazu. Have I even played any Kawazu games? To Google (other search engines are available)!
Okay, it seems I've got a grand total of two games to choose from. Woo. Let's look at the one I didn't pick, The Last Remnant, first. Unfortunately I have only played the 360 version of this, which is always going to put it at a disadvantage thanks to the multiple technical issues. I might've been able to forgive these, however, if the story had managed to hold up. Unfortunately, I really couldn't get into it and completely lost interest in events just after the disc swap. You probably won't be surprised to learn the other game I played, and the one I do pick, is Final Fantasy XII. I don't hold in quite as high a regard as other staff members and it's certainly not my favourite FF, as it just took so long to get into, but it's still a very good game.
Do Tales games count as Action RPGs? I was never entirely sure what the actual definition was (of course, as it's sitting in perhaps the most poorly-defined overall gaming genre there may not be one). Anyway, if they do then I'll go with Tales of Symphonia. I've noticed a large percentage of the RPGs I play, outside of Tales anyway, are fairly laid-back in their battle systems, so the action aspect isn't something I usually look for. Actually though, thinking about it, Xenoblade might technically come under some definitions and my love of that game is well-documented. If neither of those games count for you, however, then I'd probably go with Dragon's Dogma. So depending on the definition it's one of those three.
Hang on a second, it seems Wheels got lazy last week and didn't do the connection challenges JuMeSyn set him. For shame. Nevertheless, I shall endeavour despite my lack of any knowledge of these things.
Dearie me, you've been without a connection challenge for too long. Let's fix that by linking Moby Dick (1930) to Summon Night 4!
To Google (other search engines are available) once more! Well, it seems that Moby Dick (1930) starred one Joan Bennett -> Joan Bennett appeared in a 1987 documentary called The Spencer Tracy Legacy, which also featured Mickey Rooney -> Mickey Rooney was in Pete's Dragon (1977), which was the film animator Jeffrey J. Varab was trained on -> Jeffrey J. Varab directed Valhalla (1986) -> Valhalla features in Norse Mythology, as does Ragnarok -> Ragnarok Tactics was developed by former members of Flight-Plan -> Flight-Plan developed Summon Night 4
Phew, that one was pretty tough. If anyone can figure out a better way to do that, let me know!
More fun with connection challenges! Link L'Atalante to Lunar Magic School!
I don't know what either of those things are. However, superior web browsing skills lead me to the following: L'Atalante was distrubuted by Gaumont Film Company -> Gaumont Film Company's logo is of a daisy -> There is a Princess Daisy outfit for Princess Peach in Smash Bros Brawl -> Game Arts developed both Smash Bros Brawl and Lunar Magic School. Huh, that one was a fair bit simpler.
I'll be here again next week before handing back over to Wheels. Remember, if you have a question, comment, or anything really you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or send a tweet to @severinmira. Until then, have fun with whatever games you may be playing, I'm off to continue my Xenoblade replay and to sink more time into Persona 4 Golden!