|New Year, Same Q&A
|January 5th, 2011
01/05 - 12:00PM EST
New year, same Q&A host! Didn't think I'd last this long did
you? 2010 was a great year for RPGs, and I'm curious as to what
everyone's favorite RPGs and non-RPGs of the year were. I'm guessing a
lot would say Mass Effect 2.
There were plenty of niche RPGs as well, and it seems like we'll be
getting plenty more of those as 2011 progresses!
Alright, to the backlog!
Wheels Fails at Timely Responses
Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for responding to my last letter. Your
suggestion last time about getting a handheld gaming device was duly
noted, yet seeing as I've recently blown 3 grand on various things (car
repairs being one) I'm going to have to settle for what I've got right
Yikes, did I really let this sit in the backlog for that long? Sorry
about that! Anyway, car repairs always stink, sorry to hear about that!
At any rate, I've noticed your hot topic bar, and that one of the
topics is whether or not the Final
Fantasy series needs another throwback like IX. My answer would be, yes AND no.
Yes because I think revisiting an older style FF game on consoles would actually
be a refreshing change as far as what SE has being doing with the main
series so far. And I'd also say no, because all the differences and
innovations that the main series has undergone have been things I've
enjoyed. I loved XII and
everything about it (it's art style, AMAZING dialogue, the story, the
battle system) and I also liked XIII,
both brought something different to the table. I'm a turn based
RPG fan, yet I enjoy more the games that combine real time aspects and
turn based ones (like the grandia
series). So now it would come down to
which I'd prefer more. Perhaps it is time to get back to the roots, and
I'd be interested to see how they'd do that while keeping game's
presentation values on the bleeding edge like they seem to like doing.
I'd vote for that. Sure. But boy-o did I like XII. Did I mention I liked that
game? A lot?
You've hit on what's so great about the Final Fantasy series, which is
that the titles can be so different from game to game, and yet feel so
familiar. Now I get that a throw-back game would obviously take the
place of what otherwise could be something new and fresh, but like Final Fantasy IX before it, the
developer can bring elements from past games into play while still
keeping the result fresh. Perhaps just use a setting similar to the
early games, yet with battles the likes of XIII or XII? Regardless, I think we'll both
be very interested in whatever FFXV
ends up being. As long as it's not an MMO.
My question to you, however, would be this: All of the main FF games have retained some form of
turn based combat. But what if it went full hog and used a battle
system more akin to the Tales
series, or Kingdom Hearts?
I'm sure some would be pleased, but I-- I don't know if I'd like it too
much. Purely real time RPGs just seem less appealing to me for some
reason. I'd rather play something like God of War if I wanted real time
combat. Sometimes, real time RPGs feel like God of War with a different story,
and numbers popping above enemies heads when they get hit. And
character levels. Of course I don't mean exactly like GoW, but I hope you see what I mean.
Hope you will or have had a good Thanksgiving,
I don't think that would be a good idea. For a spin-off? Sure, seems
they're already doing that for Final
Fantasy Versus XIII. I just think going fully into action combat
for the main series is a bit too much of a change. Yes, it's a series
based on constant changeability, but part of the appeal, as I stated
before, is the familiarity despite all the new stuff. Menu-based combat
is one of the things that makes all the game familiar, and going away
from that is a dangerous game. People love their menus, at least in
Anyway, good to hear from you, sorry for the delayed response!
P.S. Thanksgiving was awesome and included lobsters
Hey there Wheels,
In honor of Obligatory
Level Day, what's your favorite obligatory ice level?
Oh man that is a fantastic
question. I'm going to go with the classic Final Fantasy VI location Narche.
Everything in that town, from the music, to the people, just make one
feel, well cold! Of course, the location is a short distance from
deserts, so I thought it was a little out of place. They should have
made it seem higher up in the mountains or something.
Mine is World 4 from Super Mario
Brothers 2. Dodging the flurries and shy guys riding on wheeled
cannons while I'm unable to get any traction is one of my cherished
gaming memories. Almost as an apology for the deaths caused by those
guys, the game offers up awesome whales in the same world.
I don't know if that's my favorite non-RPG ice level, but it would have
to be way up there. Especially with the whales. I don't know why I
never liked Mario 2 as much
as the others as a kid, it really was a brilliant game, even if it
wasn't really a Mario game...
isn't an RPG though, so I'll try again: the Ashtwal Ruins from Suikoden V. It's desolate,
isolated, frozen. Who would want to go there except for the brave... or
the desperate? Plus, it requires multiple parties, so all of the second
and third tier characters get their time to shine.
Wow, that sounds very much like something straight out of Final Fantasy VI. I haven't gotten
to Suikoden V yet, I guess I
really should. I plan on playing it sometime after finishing up Suikoden II, either before or after
I've heard it's quite fantastic despite bad loading times. Plus the use
of multiple parties? Sounds like something Suikoden should have more of.
Anyway, great stuff! Next time shall we discuss lava levels in games?
Lots of good topics coming up lately. I really appreciated the
comment this week about how younger gamers will probably remember
years from now with joy in their hearts...or something like that.
I guess it is all a matter of perspective. maybe ill play it again
Anyway, more interesting to me was that you are playing Resonance of Fate, a game I
have really enjoyed over the last couple of months. Sadly, I sold it
when I got rid of my xbox to get a ps3. I am even considering
starting the game fresh on my new system, its just that good! But
I do have a couple of comments on the game...
Excellent! I always enjoy the chance
to blab about Resonance of Fate
and Final Fantasy XIII, two
of my favorite games of this past year. I think you should just go
ahead and pick it up for your new system. I'm playing it on a PS3
1. Why did everyone rave about how difficult this game is? I
mean, once you understand a few simple principles, you can pretty
much destroy everything...I did notice that I was way over-leveled
have made a large difference. But at around sixty hours in I had only
really struggled against one boss. What do you think of the difficulty?
Of course over-leveling makes a
difference! I mean if you do most of the side-quests, then the game has
a difficulty curve that is just right in my opinion. The issue is most
people likely aren't doing that, and thus to struggle more to advance.
Not only that, but if you don't grasp the importance of upgrading guns
and swapping the different weapons between characters, then you're
going to be at a huge disadvantage. It's a very complicated game, even
if some of us manage to grasp it more easily. Not only that, but
remember that difficult doesn't always mean "getting killed a bunch of
times before succeeding". Battles in Resonance
of Fate require a lot more strategic thinking than your
run-of-the-mill game, so aside from the easiest of random encounters,
your average battle has a lot more to it. We may breeze through the
battles sure, but when you really think about it, you really are doing
a lot more critical thinking than you normally would. This is what's so
great about Resonance of Fate.
2. I also thought the complaints about the environment really
exaggerated. Someone said that the game was boring because all the
levels are an identical cement color. I found the environments
interesting and engaging, and the world map style was really different
I agree, there's nothing too boring
about the environments. They aren't the best element of the game by any
stretch, but I never found them to be a deterrent, or anything like
that. They fit the game very well. I wish enemy design was a bit more
varied, but that never bothered me either.
3. Finally, what do you think of the story? I can say I have slightly
mixed feelings, only because it took so long to really heat up. The
saving grace for me was the terrific characters. I loved each of them
and enjoyed their interactions. Actually, the character interaction
reminded me of Shadow Hearts
in some ways (my favorite series except for the latest installment).
Anyway, great game, glad to hear of at least one other person playing!
Rock on Wheels,
The thing about the story in the game,
is that it's just not an important element for most of the game. The
character stories and great gameplay are what drive the game, and the
overall story heating up near the end is just a bonus. This is very
much a game about great characters and great gameplay. The fact that
it's not overburdened in story is a rarity for Japanese games these
days, and I really do think it's a strength, and not a weakness. Resonance of Fate is first and
foremost, a game, and at that it succeeds by leaps and bounds.
Look forward to hearing from you again!
Six Degrees of Separation Returns
Please connect Recettear to Planescape: Torment.
Easy! Recettear was published
in the US by Carpe Fulgur->Carpe Fulgur was co-founded by Andrew
Dice->Andrew Dice worked for CCP Games->CCP games developed Eve Online->Eve Online was published in box
form by Atari->Atari published the re-release of Planescape: Torment on Good Old
Games. OK, so maybe that wasn't that easy.
That's it for this ... nope, just kidding, we have a contest! Want to
win a copy of Radiant Historia
or Ys I&II? Send me your
pitch for what Ys VIII
should be like (if you want to win Ys)
what you would do for a Chrono
Trigger sequel (to win Radiant
Historia) in the form of a letter for use in Q&A. The best
entry will win the respective game! I
suppose I'll throw in pitch me a new Ogre
Battle game to win Tactics Ogre on psp as well. You
have until the end of February.
'Til next time!
P.S. By Chrono Trigger sequel, I don't mean for people to send me in
anything Chrono Cross related! I just mean a new game in the series.
Current Backlog: Warrior Needs Food
December 8th: Wheels
December 15th: Wheels
December 22nd: Wheels
December 29th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Ys: I&II PSP
2. Lord of Arcana (Yeah I'm shocked this is here too)
3. Tactics Ogre
4. Disgaea 4
5. Radiant Historia
On my Playlist:
1. Resonance of Fate Soundtrack
2. Uncharted's epic tunes
3. Donkey Kong Country Returns soundtrack
1. Will Mass Effect 3 return some of the complex
elements, or keep things simple like Mass Effect 2?
2. Dragon Age 2 on PC looks to provide a system to switch between
classic Baldur's Gate Style combat, and Action RPG combat, can this
3. Does the crazy complexity of the Armored Core series qualify any of
the games as RPGs?
4. Fallout-Who should do the next game in the series?
5. Should Camelot do a new SRPG franchise, since it's unlikely they'd
work with Sega again?