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ASK WHEELS
Tales of Stuff
March 9th, 2012

03/09- 12:00PM EST

Happy Mass 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...





The Letters
Super Smash Brothers RPG

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. 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 awesome.

-Adam


Wheels

I 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 know!

Tales of Rumors

Hey Wheels, been a while.
 
Thought I'd ask you about what you guys know about Square-Enix's plans for the PlayStation Vita?


Wheels

I 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 Children).


Wheels

There's 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, however.

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???)


Wheels

I 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 project.

...or a more readily available copy of Final Fantasy III?

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.


Wheels

Well 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 the Elder Scrolls series.


Wheels

I 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 combat. Mass 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
 
Thanks,
 
Mimeblade


Wheels

I 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 you wrong.

Christmas in March

Bonjour, Wheels!

Okay, I think I figured out some good magic spirits for Secret of Santa.  Please bear with me.


Wheels

Certainly, 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 submission.

The Gingerbread Man, for sugar-laden boosting spells and cavity-inducing saccharine assaults.

And finally, the Spirit of Surprise: Jack-in-the-Box, because everyone knows how much battles often depend on the element of Surprise.



Wheels

Very 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.


Wheels

Alright, that is certainly not what I was expecting, but what the heck, go for it!

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 of Disgaea 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.


Wheels

Sounds 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 style...

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,
Gaijin


Wheels

I 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!


Tales of Twitter
 
So why did the DS never see any Tales games in the West?

@FinalMacStorm


Wheels

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.

Tales 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 this game.

Tales 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 been localized.
IN CLOSING

That's it for this week!

Get ready for some Tales of Graces F!

-Wheels


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