|Tales of Excitement
|January 26th, 2011
01/26 - 12:00PM EST
Well, the impossible has happened. Not just the impossible, the
mind-shattering impossible. Though it isn't officially confirmed, it
appears based on teasers from Namco-Bandai US, that a localization of Tales of Graces F is on its way! I
am beyond excited. Oh right, this isn't the Tales love-fest. We have a
contest going, and I'm going to get to some of your entries finally!
Remember that you guys have until the end of February to enter.
Im a long-time reader but I never really feel like I have anything to
ask or say until recently. Early last week I was going to send you a
letter asking you why FFXIII
received so much hate but that was
answered in the forum of the Square Enix announcement. I remember when
the reviews for FFXIII first
started coming in and most, if not all, of
the reviewers main complaint was that the game was too linear and that
it wasnt until later in the game that you finally gained the freedom to
move about and do whatever you want, I remember thinking "Why is this a
bad thing?" I never understood why people people felt the linearity of
that game was a bad thing. I understand everybody has their preference
and yada yada yada but I actually... appreciated the linearity. Im a
Gemini and its hard for me to make decisions so I actually liked that FFXIII
pretty much forced me go one way and enjoy the story. I actually
felt that the narrative suffered by the "openness" of Pulse (and most
of the people I know actually feel the same way...)
I don't really understand the complaints either, especially considering
it's a Final Fantasy game,
and people should be used to linearity. FFXIII rightly put the main focus
of the game on its strongest aspect, the battle system, and the whole
experience revolves around it. I think it's similar to many tactical
RPGs, where the experience outside of battle is often very linear. I
don't really know what to tell you. I guess people were expecting Mass Effect/Dragon Age/Fallout for some reason? The best
way I've seen it put is that XIII
removes the "illusion" of freedom, and this is probably what bothered
most people. I'll bet those who enjoyed XIII were fans of Final Fantasy X. I
think it's more a sign that linear RPGs have fallen out of favor than a
real condemnation of Final Fantasy
XIII. It's far from a perfect game for sure, but it does not
deserve all the hate.
Now, as far as the narrative suffering when you get to Pulse, I'd have
to disagree with you there. It just takes a different form for that
chapter. The narrative for that chapter is told through the
environments, along with the side-quests you get. I think this is
actually a fantastic way to go about this too, given the vast emptiness
that is Pulse. This is actually a theme I really liked a lot about the
game, the lack of towns and NPCs created a fantastic sense of
Also, it makes sense that the player was forced to keep going forward
(literally) since Lightning and her crew were on the run... it didnt
make sense, to the narrative (imo) that you would go explore Coccoon
and all its unexplored areas when you got a whole army of people that
are chasing you down and that know where you are! I understand that
this is a game and that this is obviously not reality but I always have
trouble when in the final hours of games... you got this big bad person
or thing trying to destroy the world in a matter of days/hours and in
that exact moment is when your character feels this need to go search
the world for their most powerful weapons, go race chocobos, evade 200
or whatever lightning bolts, or go explore that new dungeon that all of
a sudden appeared on that other continent over there. I think that's
why I enjoyed the recent Persona
games so much. You had a time limit to
do things. You had a certain amount of free time that you were able to
do whatever you want with but at a certain point of time you either
continued with the story or that was it. Game Over. I like a
certain amount of believability in my games so all of that appealed to
me A LOT (not to mention the real world setting of the Persona games is
also a big draw for me). I think another reason I liked FFXIII is
because your team members actually... follow you. They dont just...
disappear into your person (which might also explain why my other two
favorite FF are FFVIII and FFXII). They talk and comment about
world that you are running through and jump around and react to things
in the same way that you are. i appreciated those little touches. But
enough about that. FFXIII was
to death in the forum and
everyone is entitled to either like or dislike a game. The point of
this long paragraph was for me to ask if you have you played FFXIII and
what is your opinion on this "war"?
Good point, it's very refreshing for a game to have heroes on the run,
that actually feel like they're on the run. Pictures of the heroes have
been broadcast all over, so it wouldn't make much sense in many parts
of the story to have them wandering into towns. Granted, we've heard
that the lack of towns was a bit of a development concession, however
it still works.
As far as people following you, I think that's largely a minor thing.
Only showing one of the party members was often done to make
development easier, but it's not much of an issue anymore. On that
note, in Final Fantasy XII
only half of your party shows up in non-town areas, and only one
character appears while wondering around towns, so it doesn't fully
issue (same with Final Fantasy XIII not
all your party members at once, and only those in your battle
As far as the "war" goes , I've been very disappointed with the
discussion all over the internet, and don't think it's worth commenting
on further. Too many people commenting on it who haven't finished or
even played the game, so it's just
very disappointing. Reminds me of the "Final
XII plays itself" nonsense all over again. I'm fine with
people hating it, it is surely a love it or hate it type of game, but
just the lack of civility in many arguments (not talking about the
RPGamer forums, just mean in general) is very disappointing.
My second question to you is about Resonance
Fate. RoF is the
game on my list to play (right after Dragon
II. Ive been on a DA:O
binge lately [just finished my third play-through and going through all
the DLCs]. After finishing Witch Hunt
soon, Im just going to play
some casual games like Left4Dead 2 or
until March since I
only got a month left and I dont think I could start an RPG now and
finish it by the time Dragon Age II
comes out) and one of the things
that SOLD me on the game was the fact you can customize the look of
your characters! I LOVE when games let you do that. i would literally
sometimes not put the most awesome stat boosting armor on my character
in DA just because it didnt
match the other gear I had on him (i know,
shallow but whatever... i like my characters looking good, FEELIN'
GOOD!). As somebody thats played the game, what was your take on that
Thanks for answering my questions, sorry if I was a little long-winded.
I promise that if I ever write again Ill try to write a shorter letter.
I really liked this feature in Resonance
Fate. It was one of my favorite things about Dragon Quest IX, but I really
wished they had implemented it as something separate from the armor
system, so you didn't have to stick with older equipment. Thankfully, RoF delivers in this regard (it
only has accessories as far as armor goes), and there a lot of fun
types of shirts and such that you can get, including changing
character's hair color. It's also completely optional for those who
just want to stick to the default look of the characters.
Long letters are always welcome! Good to hear from you.
I've been a longtime fan of RPGamer.com for many a year now. Thanks for
all the great updates in the world of RPGs you guys!
From the whole fantastic team here
at RPGamer, thank you. We've got a really hard working crew here.
Except for that Wheels guy...
I believe every gamer has their own system. Mine would be the PS1. The
games were fun and innovative for the time. Heck I still think the
graphics look great! Maybe that's just because of my fond memories
playing it, but give me any old PS1 RPG over the crap they're putting
out today (well, mostly crap. There are diamonds in the rough). The
SNES takes a very close second for me. What's your system Wheels?
It would have to be the SNES. The classic RPGs for the SNES such as Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger really dominated my
childhood, and I still find myself going back to them often. This is
mostly a nostalgia thing though, as if I really looked at it, I'm sure
the majority of my favorite RPGs would be from other systems (Final Fantasy Legends 1 & 2
weren't on it after-all).
I have read that you have a dislike for Xenogears. Why is that? I have
played through this game MANY, MANY times and never bore of it. I find
the graphics pleasing, the story is incredibly interesting, the
soundtrack is a class act (Mitsuda's best work, in my humble opinion)
and the battle system was simple and easy to master yet keeps me
grinding for hours. What is not to love but for the fact that Takahashi
bit off more than he can chew and the the poor translation?
You may be disappointed to find out that there isn't a deep seated
hatred or anything fun of that type for me to gush about here. Xenogears just isn't my thing. I
liked the combat system well enough but the story/characters/setting
never really did anything for me. I certainly can't call it a bad game.
Maybe I should give it another shot. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood
for a Sci-Fi RPG at the time.
What are your thoughts on Xenosaga?
found it to be a let down and a
poor game in general. I played Episode 1 about halfway, I suppose, and
canned it. Given my obvious love for Xenogears, do you recommend my
giving this series a second chance? I believe the hardcore Xenogears
fan would feel the same as me.
I really couldn't get into Xenosaga.
was just too much talking for me, and I have a high threshold for
that from the Tales Series.
The actual gameplay didn't do that much for me either (talking about Episode 1 which is all I played).
I'd say it's something Xenogears
fans should at least try. It's a shame we never got Xenosaga 1&2 for the DS. That
seemed like a more compact version of the first two episodes.
Oh and as far as all the suggestions that have been made regarding your
name, I believe Sir Wheels would be in best order. Someone needs to
redirect Queen Elizabeth to RPGamer.
Sir Wheels...that has a nice ring to it. Very nice. I may have to
stick with that! *Wheels' ego levels up*
Let the Contest Entry Responding Begin!
I might have an idea for a couple of the games sequels you
mentioned. The first being Ys VIII:
I think Ys VIII should harken
back to the Ys 6 (or Oath in Felghana style of gameplay).
Then, I think Adol should go it alone, being shipped wrecked on every
main continent from the past Ys
games, starting with Ys seven
and going through Ys vanished omen.
levels with help from his past friends and
foes alike. Filled with puzzles and questing to face the evil Dark fact
and Darm tower once again. Only to wake up out of a deep
sleep................and find out, it was all a dream.
While I would prefer more Ys Seven style gameplay, a proper
follow up to the Oath in Felghana
gameplay style is a fantastic idea. Though Ys Origins isn't bad, it's just a
step down from the greatness that was Oath.
idea sounds similar to one of the versions of Ys IV, (or maybe both?) which went
back to some of the areas from I&II.
of the Ys games hint at
ties to the location of Ys itself,
it would be cool to have a game that better ties everything together.
As for a Chrono Trigger
I think Chrono and crew should take their TIME machine to OUR past
(circa 1998-2000) and THEIR future. Right around the TIME Chrono Cross was being thought
about and hold the developers hostage until they make a proper sequel
to the original Chrono Trigger.
This one made me chuckle. I really
like Chrono Cross, being a Chrono Trigger sequel I guess just
comes with completely unreachable expectations. To be fair, it did have
it's issues though.
As for the Ogre Battle series:
I think Tactics Ogre and Ogre Battle should blend their
style of gameplay together into one. Then face off against characters
from Ivalice (i.e. Final Fantasy
Tactics, to see whose tactics style of gameplay truly rules them
Gamer emporium (i.e.) Jason
Tactics Dissidia: Who Wants to Live Forever (to go with Ogre Battle's
theme of using the names of Queen songs) seems like a suitable idea for
this crazy idea. I would buy it! Ogre
Battle is probably too niche to warrant them doing such a thing
P.S. I don't think I'll win any of the aforementioned goodies, but it
is fun just coming up with some fun(ny) ideas for sequels:) feel free
to use any of this or edit any of this letter as you see fit:)
Don't be so down! You've got a shot.
Even though you bashed Chrono Chross
(come on guys, do that many people hate it?).
Let's start with my entry for a Chrono
Trigger sequel. Any really good sequel, in my opinion, tends to
keep what made the first game memorable and then go on to expand the
world, vastly improve on the mechanics, and generally attempt to make
the game better. First off, you have to have time travel. In my mind
the great thing about the time travel in Chrono Trigger was that you were
able to see the same world through many time periods that weren't
necessarily similar at all. You had the medieval times of knights and
wizards and frogs, the future with robots and a lovely apocalyptic
scenario, prehistoria and all of its dinosaurian jungle charm... It
varied a lot, I guess is my point. So in a good sequel you'd have to do
the same. It'd be nice to see a distant future without Lavos'
destruction, or even a new enemy's impact. How about a steampunk time
period between the present and the future? Starting the game off in a
new time period would definitely be a fun way to be introduced to the
characters of the sequel (and with time travel I see no reason that
some (if not all) of the original characters could return). There are a
lot of options you could explore, plus I would love to see the End of
Time area return with more of an impact on the story.
Very cool ideas for sure. I agree that the biggest thing about the
sequel is the core idea of time travel, and the base battle
system. The only
issue with your sequel idea would be what ending from the first game
would they use (which is important if characters are to return). Would Chrono Cross be canon (I know
I pretty much said you didn't have to take this into account, just
curious)? I don't recall much about how Chrono Cross handles this, but it'd
be more a pressing matter for your sequel. Maybe let the player pick
one and have things play out differently based on that? Certainly a
good starting point though. Let's see what else you've got...
The battle system could be kept mainly the same, but if you wanted to
improve it I would say something more action-oriented like Rogue Galaxy or FFXII would fit the pace most. As
long as they kept the Techs (especially the ability to combine them)
and the basic RPG feel I don't think you could go wrong. Especially if
Akira Toriyama were onboard for designing the new characters. The music
in Chrono Trigger was mainly
composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, but apparently some of the tracks were
Uematsu's so I think it would be interesting to see both composers
return for CT2. Perhaps even
go beyond two composers and have a different composer for each time
period. It would definitely give time travel in the game a more
powerful feel if it were done properly. Most of all I would like to see
Square-Enix return to making worlds that you can explore in the sky. I
think FFIX was the last
Square-Enix RPG I played where you were able to fly around the world. Lost Odyssey would've been the last
non-Square-Enix RPG that I know of. Lastly it would be great to see
this come to all three major consoles in beautiful HD amazingness, but
knowing Squeenix it'd most likely get crammed onto the 3DS or the Wii
and alienate the Xbox 360/PS3/PSP (Yeah, I wouldn't even mind it coming
to the PSP 'cause after Crisis Core
I fully believe Squeenix can do amazing things with it) gamers that
have been waiting so long for the second coming... Of Crono.
I don't agree that making it more action-oriented would work. That's
even more of a departure from the first game than Chrono Cross was. Sticking with
some form of the original battle system I think still would be best. FFXII style may be a good fit too.
I actually absolutely love your idea of using different composers for
different time periods. That really would give each period its own
feel. Then you could have the varying musical themes mixed together in
the final areas of the game of course.
You know, flying is fun and all, but I think it's largely trivial. I'd
rather they make very large areas to explore in each time period,
wouldn't you? I can't see them doing a HD game, much as I want one, but
maybe they could do a sequel as a downloadable game, but if not on
portables, perhaps they could just do it as a downloadable game for the
major consoles? We're getting ahead of ourselves. The sequel
needs to exist first!
Randomly, does it disturb anyone else that Square-Enix has a store
called SQEX Toys (among other things SQEXy)? It sounds like a word
commonly used in the porn industry...
I hadn't noticed this before, but now that you mention it, yes, that is
very much disturbing. Someone in marketing has some explaining to do...
(or maybe not, perhaps the attention drawn by the name is good?)
And just to touch on your hot topic of the next Fallout game... My hopes are that
Bethesda will go back to having full control, though they should take
the time to update the graphics properly and incorporate some
challenging boss fights into their world. I haven't played New Vegas, but from all that I've
read and heard about it I don't think I'll be picking it up until it
drops sufficiently in price, and that may not even be enough to
encourage the purchase.
Am I the only one waiting on a TMNT RPG?
Kain V. - www.EmbracingFate.com
I think you should play New Vegas,
rather than later. Many of the issues with the game seem to be
technical, which isn't completely Obsidian's fault. Mainly, I've seen
more old-school Fallout fans
loving this game than I did with Fallout
3 (I still haven't played much of it yet). It sounds like
Obsidian did a much better
job creating a fully realized world than Bethesda did. It did have many
of the original Fallout team
working on it, so wouldn't surprise me if this is accurate. Not
that I think Fallout 3
is bad or anything, but these former Black Isle folk specialize in good
story. Even if I end up not liking it, I hope it's not the last crack
Obsidian gets at the franchise. Besides, Bethesda has enough to work on
with the upcoming Elder Scrolls game!
Back on Obsidian though, is it just me or have they gotten a raw deal
as a company? Had to rush Knights of
the Old Republic 2 out, had to follow up a Bioware game again
with Neverwinter Knights 2,
seems like they had technical issues with Alpha Protocol as well. Hopefully Dungeon Siege III goes smoother for
P.S. No, I want a TMNT RPG, that is a brilliant idea!
That's all for this week! As you can see, contest entries will continue
to show up in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for your entry!
Also, I will be giving out a copy of Chrono
Cross as a second place prize, though judging by one of this
week's entries, that may not excite that many of you!
'Til next time!
Current Backlog: Objects in Mirror
May Be Closer Than They Appear
December 29th: Wheels
January 5th: Wheels
January 12th: Wheels
January 19th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Ys: I&II PSP
2. Dragon Quest VI
3. Tactics Ogre
4. Disgaea 4
5. Radiant Historia
On my Playlist:
1. Resonance of Fate Soundtrack
2. The World Ends With You Soundtrack
3. Mad Dog Radio
1. Does Resonance of Fate deserve a sequel
(spiritual or otherwise)?
2. EA has gotten Bioware to pump out RPGs faster than they did in the
past. Is this due to increased resources, or are they are risk of
the output of the RPG machine?
3. Does the crazy complexity of the Armored Core series qualify any of
the games as RPGs?
4. If Secret of Mana on the iPhone is a success, will Square-Enix
revisit the Mana series?
5. Should Camelot do a new SRPG franchise, since it's unlikely they'd
work with Sega again?