|March 9th, 2012
03/09- 12:00PM EST
Effect 3 week! I thought ya'll
would be sending me in some Mass Effect
related questions, but as it turns out there
were other things on your minds. We've got a
great variety of questions this week, and I
won't babble too much other than to remind
people that Tales of Graces F is only
a few days away!
On to the letters...
What Franchise needs an RPG? Well, comma,
good sir, I have an answer for you.
It's very simple, and everyone will agree: Smash Bros.
needs an RPG badly. Ideally an SRPG/TRPG.
Think about how awesome it would be. Kirby
absorbing enemy powers. Bowser
summoning Minions. Mario jumping on
things. Ike doing... Iky things. Like
some sort of Fire Emblem but more bizarrely
actually think this is a
fantastic idea. Given the
popularity of SRPG/TRPGs in
Japan, I'm surprised there
haven't been any big crossover
games of this type. Now, I'm not
sure how commercially viable it
would be, but there's no doubt
it would be interesting. We
could ponder for hours about the
various mechanics each character
would have. Mario could function
somewhat like a Dragoon from Final
Fantasy Tactics, Link
would gain new accessories as he
levels, and of course Pikachu
would have a wide range of
different electrical attacks. I
think they could make a really
good game out of this. Seems an
unlikely thing for Nintendo to
do of course, but you never
Hey Wheels, been a while.
Thought I'd ask you about what you guys know
about Square-Enix's plans for the
think at this point the best
thing we can do is speculate.
Certainly with Final
Fantasy X on the way to
the system, the thought is we
may see more PS2 ports. My guess
is they'll stick to that and
lower-budget projects like Army
Corps of Hell and Lord
of Apocalypse until the
system has a larger install
base. Perhaps they'll even do a
few PSP to Vita ports with
higher resolution graphics.
Are they planning on re-releasing Dissidia
Duodecim or making a sequel?
I'd definitely love to see Noctis join the
fray someday. Better stage designs
would also be great (here's hoping for
Crumbling Shinra building from Advent
no doubt that the two Dissidia
games have been
successful for Square Enix, so
I'm sure another sequel will
come along at some point. When
that will be, I'm not sure. I
think their best bet would be to
do PS3 and Vita versions, that
way they can appeal better to
western audiences. I don't think
we'll be seeing a sequel any
time in the immediate future,
Also, on a related note, have you heard
anything new about them making remakes of Final Fantasy
V and VI (or dare I say it, VII???)
think they did hint about doing
remakes of Final
Fantasy V and VI
some time ago, possibly around
the time the 3DS was announced.
Nothing definite of course, but
I can guarantee to you that it's
certainly something they'd look
into. I wouldn't hold your
breath on a remake of VII
however. That would be a tough
...or a more readily available copy of Final Fantasy
I still haven't played it yet, after all
these years. I don't have an NDS,
since I've stuck with Sony for a long time.
there is an iOS version that has
a nice uptick in the graphics,
and being digital is much easier
to find. I'm not sure if you
have an iPad/iPhone, but its
relatively inexpensive as well.
That seems like your best bet if
you have no plans to get a NDS.
I think you should, as you're
also missing out on a number of
other cool Square Enix titles,
like Final Fantasy IV
DS and Four
Heroes of Light. Sony
won't mind if you pick up an old
DS Lite on the cheap!
While I'm at it, might as well ask what you
know about "action RPGs" as a genre? What
are some good titles regarding that?
Closest I can think of is Chaos Legion
and maybe a few others, but that's it.
Though I don't like FPS stuff though, like
think action RPGs are the
primary way that we'll see RPGs
going forward. This is partially
due to the simple fact that
action-based games are more
popular, aand that advanced
graphics further bring out the
weaknesses of slower, turn-based
games. I don't think that's
really what you're asking
however. If you enjoy the Elder
Scrolls, check out Kingdoms
of Amalur: Reckoning,
as it has the same kind of open
world design, with much better
Effect and its sequels
are also must plays. Finally, do
not skip Dark
Souls, as I believe it
to be one of the finest action
RPGs out there.
And if you don't know...you know any good
places to go to check for Rumor Mills? :D
don't think there's really one
good place for that, your best
bet is to explore a number of
places, such as our forums, the
twitter accounts of our staff,
and places like Neogaf. I
wouldn't trust any place
exclusively based on covering
rumors, as they'll likely be
quicker to jump on rumors that
are clearly untrue. So stick to
hearing about rumors from
RPGamer staff! We won't steer
Okay, I think I figured out some good magic
spirits for Secret of Santa.
Please bear with me.
let's see what you've got!
The Roasting Chestnut, for heat attacks and
warming heal spells.
Jack Frost, for freezing enemies in their
place and also chilling mint curatives.
Tannenbaum (miniature Christmas tree dude!),
for making things green and merry and pointy
(right into the enemy).
Lady LED the Christmas light elemental, for
blinding and zapping the enemy into
The Gingerbread Man, for sugar-laden
boosting spells and cavity-inducing
And finally, the Spirit of Surprise:
Jack-in-the-Box, because everyone knows how
much battles often depend on the element of
good ideas, all of them! This
brings to mind who Santa's party
members would be, given the
relation to Secret of Mana. I
think Santa would work best
using the healing/support
abilities of these spirits, so
who to the one using the attack
magic? Perhaps Mrs. Claus? Maybe
the head Elf? For the warrior I
think we could use one of the
Reindeer, most likely Rudolph.
That would be interesting!
Now, on to the challenge!
You asked me to, and I quote, "take your
favorite game and theorize what it would
have been like had it been developed by
different people." Well... the first
game that came to mind wasn't a
favorite. It's not even something I've
played before, but most people who have seem
to have liked it. My first idea for
this was to take Demon's Souls and have it
remade... by Nippon Ichi.
that is certainly not what I was
expecting, but what the heck, go
Because seriously, what's the point of a
mental exercise like this one if we can't
play off polar opposites?
So imagine, a world somewhat similar to that
2. While once a human realm,
some time beforehand it was conquered by a
Dark Lord and converted into another corner
of the Underworld. The Hero did his
best to stop this, but the Dark Lord is
really good at thinking ten steps ahead.
Hero-guy never even made it through the
front door of the fortress.
like this is a good alternate
version of the world in Demon's
Souls, where you
explore a fallen kingdom full of
monsters. I assume it will be
more colorful and goofy? I'm
picturing some Demon's
Souls locations remade
in more of a Disgaea
Now, the Hero is doomed to a eternity of
Sisyphean punishment. The Dark Lord,
having a perverse sense of humor, has let
the Hero retain some measure of his skills
even though he's now a Prinny. His
Evilness has even scattered relics across
the land that will let the Hero return to
his original valiant self. However,
the entire realm is now one massive Psycho
Rube Goldberg Device of Messy Splattery
Doom™ specifically designed to relieve the
Hero of his mortal coil in as many gruesome
and hilarious ways as possible. As in
the real Demon's
Souls, memory is at least as
important (if not moreso) than reflexes, as
the player will have to learn by trial and
painful error just how to make his way
through. Ever see one of those Tom &
Jerry episodes where Tom has strewn
explosives and beartraps all over the floor
to try and catch one little mouse?
Stuff like that, but reimagined by the likes
of Miss Etna.
Cartoon violence for the win!
Write back soon!
Your fellow columnist,
actually think people would find
a game like this far less
frustrating than Demon's
Souls itself could be
at times. It's a lot easier to
take all the constant failure
when it's in hilarious cartoony
fashion! I think this idea is
brilliant, and I think it could
even be something that NIS would
consider making. After all, this
isn't a far cry from the Prinny
games when you really
think about it!
So why did the DS never see any Tales games
in the West?
Well I don't think there's any
uniting reason why they didn't make
it over here, so instead I'll break
each one down individually:
Tales of the
Tempest - This game is so
bad that Namco actually took away
its status as a main series game.
The reception in Japan was bad, it
didn't sell well, and really it was
a wasted effort. There was never any
reason to bring this game over, even
if it was an early DS release.
of Innocence -
This is the toughest one to peg. It
came out at the end of 2007, so it
was still well within the popularity
of the DS. There were no apparent
technical issues, as a fan group was
able to get a patch out quite
quickly. It did have a fair amount
of voice acting, so that could have
been a factor. It also didn't
exactly light up the sales charts in
Japan. Given the lack of the Xenosaga
DS game in the US, it could
be that Namco just wasn't interested
in the effort to localize these DS
RPGs. Even looking at Namco Japan,
they seemed much more interested in
PSP Tales games,
despite the mothership label for
of Hearts - A
later DS title, this game sold worse
than Innocence, despite
a more interesting battle system,
and two separate versions (one with
CG cutscenes and one with anime
custscenes). Too late in the DS life
for Namco to really care about
trying to localize it, I doubt there
was any serious thought about
bringing this one over. They
certainly aren't the only big
publisher to leave some big DS RPGs
unlocalized, as we missed out on the
remakes of SaGa 2 and 3 around
the same time. It also continued the
curse only recently broken by the
impending release of Graces
F. Until that game, no Tales
game with a battle system
based on the offshoot that first
appeared in the Tales
of Destiny remake had ever
That's it for this week!
Get ready for some Tales of Graces F!
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Tales of Graces F
2. Dragon's Crown
3. Ys IV Vita
4. Grand Knights History
5. Disgaea 3 Vita
On my Playlist:
1. Final Fantasy XIII-2 soundtrack
2. Ys Seven soundtrack
3. Dragon Quarter Soundtrack
1. With Tales Studio no longer a separate
entity, what will this mean for the series?
2. Why do you think Mega Man Legends was never a
big commercial hit?
3. What franchise needs an RPG?
4. What RPGs do you NOT want to see get an HD
5. Will Western developers ever return to expand
beyond typical fantasy and sci-fi settings?