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ASK WHEELS
Akumajou Dracula X: Rondo of Q&A
  March 15th, 2013

03/15- 7:00PM EST

I thought last week would elicit some more responses from Breath of Fire fans, but I guess we've all had our say on the matter. So time to move onto other topics! Not much in the way of big RPG news recently, but we do have a number of interesting releases coming up.  Personally I've been playing the new Castlevania for 3DS as well as returning to some old ones I had skipped like Order of Ecclesia. I've also been trying to finish up Fire Emblem Awakening and its final few challenging battles. Once that is complete, I will be digging into Etrian Odyssey IV full steam. What are all of you playing? I'd also love to hear your memories of the Castlevania series, even if you want to talk about the non-RPG entries.

Next week Q&A will be taking a little spring break so kindly fill up my inbox with your questions for the following week! Now then, on to the letters...





The Letters
Dungeon Crawling for Beginners

@AskWheels Congrats on finish Elminage! What would you say is a great dungeon crawler for beginners?

@Merrygodown


Wheels

Thank you! It was a challenging game, but at least there was some fun to be had in the late game as I mentioned in the review.

As for your question, I think your best bet is to start with either Etrian Odyssey III or Etrian Odyssey IV. No dungeon crawler is going to be easy, but these two games have a number of features that make them much friendlier to those new to the genre. The series as a whole has far less obtuse character creation and management than typical dungeon crawlers, allowing for a strong focus on the actual dungeon crawling. So while the dungeon itself may be extremely challenging, it's not due to being able to properly manage your party. Etrian Odyssey III is easier than the first two thanks to better balancing, better mapping tools, and dual-classing to allow for strong party construction.

Etrian Odyssey IV
is much better as an intro to the genre, though. For starters, it has a casual mode where when your party wipes in a dungeon you just warp back to town Dragon Quest style instead of losing your progress. It doesn't make the actual enemies and such any easier,  but it at least takes the edge off the difficulty. Aside from that, with a world map of sorts to explore, side dungeons, and more quests, Etrian Odyssey IV has lots of interesting, optional content to explore to help level your party for the main dungeons. So I guess my recommendation for the Etrian Odyssey series, and for the genre as a whole, is to play the Etrian Odyssey series in reverse and then branch off to other games from there.

The Hot Topics Game

Hi Wheels,

I'll start by addressing your hot topics.

1) XCOM.  I know nothing about it.  I have no opinion! NEXT


Wheels

That's a shame! I know nothing of the original XCOM games, but the new one is a fantastic turn based strategy game designed by the same developer of the brilliant Civilization V. You should give it a try! I think you can get it for a good price now.

2) DQVII 3DS.  I heard that it takes like thirty hours before you can actually change classes.  Cut that down to three, and maybe I'll curr.


Wheels

Yeah it does take an excessively long time to be able to change classes. Judging it by how far into the game it is however, and it's actually not that far in! Still I think unlocking it a little earlier on would help the pacing quite a lot given how slow the game is.

3) Dragon Age 3.  I have no idea, and no real feelings about it, as I've never played the first two.  I heard the second one sucked though, so hopefully it'll be better?  I like BioWare, but I read about the setting for DA Origins and thought "MEH."


Wheels

People saying the second one sucked are being a bit overly harsh. The battle system is far more engaging than the original, and removes the issue in the first game where mages where leagues more powerful than the other classes. The story structure and constant reuse of locations certainly put a damper on the overall experience. Still, it had a lot of good moments. You should give the original a chance. The setting is actual interesting in game (I was pretty "meh" about it too just reading about the setting before playing), there's many meaningful story choices, and a great cast of interesting and well voiced characters. Cap that off with a bunch of cool DLC (which is all bundled in the now very cheap ultimate edition), and it makes for a fantastic package. Can't recommend it enough! I hope the third game can manage to take the best aspects of the first and pair it up with the battle system of the second game.

4) Camelot!  Part of me hopes that someday Sega will come to their senses and hand the reins of the Shining series back to Camelot, and it'll return to its tactical glory days.  Then there's the part of me that's remotely reasonable.  Whomp whomp.


Wheels

Yeah, I would love to see that happen, but it's a fools hope at best. Not all of the post Camelot Shining Force games are bad, but they've spent way too much time away from the tactical roots of the series. I think at this point I'd just prefer Camelot make their own new tactical series so I don't have to expect anything from Sega, would probably go an not localize a new Shining Force anyway.

5) THIEF 4. I DON'T KNOW, I DIDN'T TOUCH IT, IT'S PROBABLY RIGHT WHERE YOU LEFT IT.


Wheels

Why would you do such a thing to my precious Thief?!?!?!!?!?? You lie! I know you took it!

On to other things!  I'm really excited about Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.  I've never played a Monster Hunter game, always wanted to get around to it at some point, and my poor Wii U has been used for nothing but Hulu Plus, entertaining non-gamer friends with that Google map thing, and turning the volume up and down on my TV.  On a scale of peeing myself to turning into a rocket ship, HOW EXCITED SHOULD I BE? Should it be the first game I download to the harddrive!?  INQUIRING MINDS ETC. ETC. 


Worst wishes,
El Tommo


Wheels

Your level of excitement should be turning into a rocket ship, assuming you know what you're getting into with the series. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate should be a great place for a beginner to start thanks to the great number of weapons along with the inclusion of online play. The series is often at its best when played co-op not to mention a lot easier. Just don't expect anything in the way of a story. If you love fighting huge challenging monsters and tracking down components to make new weapons and armor then you will be in heaven!

BEAT

@AskWheels SO BREATH OF FIRE DRAGON QUARTER: DUMB OR DUMBEST?


Wheels

Depends on which Breath of Fire you're talking about, but generally the answer would be AWESOMEST.

@AskWheels HOW MANY TRUCKS TO KILL SATAN? WHAT ABOUT SUPER SATAN? WHAT ABOUT MEGA SATAN 64


Wheels

Pi

@AskWheels GIMME YOUR DRUGS IM 20 COPS.


Wheels

I don't have any drugs man, I mean...



@AskWheels HOW DO YOU BECOME A COP IS IT LIKE BECOMING A SUPER SAIYAN?

@BEAT_TWITTAR


Wheels

Only by defeating Dracula with nothing but the dagger sub-weapon without having used a continue can you become a cop.

Fire Emblem: Mars Awakening

Hey Wheels what's your Chrono Trigger party?

-FBM


Wheels

What a fantastic question. There are many different variations that I've used over the years, but my all time favorite grouping would have to be Chrono-Frog-Ayla. This allows for a strong offensive attack, enough magic if needed, and plenty of healing options. They also have some powerful combo attacks if I remember correctly. Of course, it doesn't hurt that I'm a big fan of Frog and Ayla. I never really missed with Chrono-less parties later on in the game so I wonder if I should try some other combinations using Frog and Ayla. Time for  another playthrough of Chrono Trigger!
IN CLOSING

See you  in two weeks!

-Wheels


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What I Can't Wait For:

1. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

2. Soul Hackers

3. Ys Vita

4. Lords of Shadow 2

5. Tales of Xillia

On my Playlist:

1. Green Day

2. Blink 182

3. Less Than Jake

4. Queen

5. Castlevania Soundtracks

Hot Topics:

1. Does the success of XCOM indicate main stream turn-based games are still possible?

2. Will Dragon Quest VII 3DS come to the West?

3. Where will Dragon Age 3 take the series?

4. Will Camelot do another RPG in the near future?

5. Now that Thief 4 has been relieved, what do you want to see out of the game?
 
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