|Back to the Q&A
|March 23rd, 2011
03/23- 12:00PM EST
After a brief break (during which I was writing PAX stuff), Q&A
returns! I've got a lot of your questions to get to, so I'll try not to
get too sidetracked this week.
In fact, let's jump right into your letters!
Wheels, Your Personal Shopper
I don't care what anyone says you are THE
MAN!!! the JRPG man that is....Anywho, (this term is a southern thing)
sorry my pic wouldn't fit in your Q and A. I sent my list of my games
to you as well b/c you couldn't see all my games w/my camera phone up
close. Now it's time for (drumroll please!!!) my question(s) is these
are my next purchases
Obviously I'm a bit tardy answering these particular questions, but no
matter! I shall answer them all the same. Let's see what you've got...
1. Dragon Quest V, This game
seems by many to be the best in the series, but it is really hard to
find for less than $50-$60 used. (even more @new) why do you think that
this game is so hard to find now?
Well, I can tell you it is surely one of the best in the series, if not
the best, and I think that has a lot to do with the price it goes for.
Sure, Square Enix did a smaller print run for the game, however, I
think that if Dragon Quest IV
was as highly regarded it would go for a high price as well. If you
enjoy Dragon Quest games,
$50-$60 is not that bad for a game that you'll enjoy as much as many
console releases for the same price.
2. Suikoden V, this game IMO
is also good but really hard to find $40 used ($50-$60 new) also why do
you think that is?
Suikoden V was
after the fourth entry was so poorly
received. Like all Suikoden games,
title, and thus had a small print run. Because
it is also very good, it will run you a higher price than other games.
It is still cheap at Gamestop if you can find a copy there.
It is certainly worth checking out if you like the series and some fans
like it even more than Suikoden III.
My most recent rare rpg is Shin
Megami Tensei: Nocturne (complete) I also had Megaman legends 2 (complete) for
$15!!! AND mint copies of Valkyrie
Profile (ps 1) Shining Force 3
(saturn) for $6 a piece @ a pawn shop in AL. I sold those for a tidy
sum:) but wish I would have kept them now:(
You should have kept those (especially Shining Force 3!). Nocturne doesn't go for that much
(Atlus actually re-released some copies around the time Strange Journey
came out I think, I got my copy for $29.99 brand new from Amazon). Valkyrie Profile you can get cheap
for the PSP. Good luck with Megaman
Legends 2. Maybe Capcom will re-release that on PSN when the new
one comes out. While you're looking for expensive games, Panzer Dragoon Saga is a must for
The reason I purchased FF 13
for the 360 is b/c that system was all I had to play it on at the time.
( I also bought from my brother for $30 @ the time when it was still
$60 new.), I recently bought a ps3. YES, wheels I AM A C.A.G (get it)
Gamer emporium (aka Jason from TN)
Hey, nothing wrong with looking for games at a good price! The 360
version of Final
Fantasy XIII is just fine. I also have that version now, as I
special edition from Europe that wasn't released in the U.S. So yes,
some expensive games in there, but all the ones you mentioned are worth
the price of admission. Oh, and get yourself another copy of Shining Force III!
Do you ever get tired of references to Wheels, rims, tires, etc. when
people are addressing you? Just thought I'd ask...
Surprisingly no! Even more
surprisingly, despite having this nickname for years, I only just
started seeing those references recently. I actually use them myself
sometimes too. I guess I'm just a sucker for terrible puns...
I could not help but notice the Suikoden
mention in the Hot Topics. That series is very near and dear to me. Of
course I had to write something in response.
If they do make another game (and I seriously hope they do) it would be
a dream come true to see them continue with the main series. Suikoden V was positively amazing
despite some minor issues with load times. The combat style was one of
the best in the series, the characters were deep and interesting, the
overall storyline was engaging and fit in fantastically with the world
they'd created in Suikoden I-IV
(+ Tactics/Rhapsodia). I
would expect nothing less from Suikoden
VI (and with any luck a release across at least two of the major
consoles would be nice).
I'd buy it. Heck I'd pre-order it now if they announced it before even
hearing anything about it. I know the original creator of the series is
no longer with Konami, but they could still find a way to continue the
main series plot and perhaps finally answer a lot of the questions
about the overall mythos.
I may be coming from a biased and uninformed view I fear. I have not
played Tierkreis yet, but I
did not hear a lot of great things about it as far as the storyline was
concerned. From what I've heard of the gameplay it was pretty 'meh'. I
am planning to check it out eventually... Just haven't had the chance
Regardless one of the things that make Suikoden such a great series (in my
opinion at least) is the continuing world. Granted we haven't seen all
of it, but what we have seen has been very impressive. War is
common-place much like our own world. Individuals rise and fall,
conquer and fade... All in the name of the True Runes which have many
questions left to be answered. As someone that has stuck with the
series (though I never got the chance to finish III before it was stolen from me) I
would feel cheated if we didn't have something to wrap the series up or
at least answer some of the more important questions.
Well, let's be fair, that's a lot to put on Tierkreis, which feels like it was
meant to bring new people to the series (the gameplay is fine in my
opinion, battles are as fast and fun as the other games in the series).
It does tie into the overall series a little bit, at least. You're
though, the continuing world is what makes the series so special. I
think I can appreciate what Konami was attempting with Tierkries, though. That continuing
world is a lot to throw at those new to the series. A sort of starter
entry seems like a good idea. The issue is, Tiekries, while a fine RPG, is not
a great Suikoden game. Why
even call it Suikoden if it's
not going to have basic tennents of the series like duels, and army
battles? At this point they may be better off doing low budget titles
that satisfy the niche Suikoden appeals
With that said; I doubt Konami would be able to put too much more work
into the series. This is painfully obvious just from seeing how long it
has been since the release of Suikoden
V with no info regarding a new main entry... If they do decide
to revisit the Suikoden
series I would think it is time for them to end it gracefully and with
a grand outro. Find a point in time that would allow for some major
returning characters (I can't be the only one desperate to see another
appearance by Georg Prime, any of the main heroes, Ted, Neclord, etc.).
Find a new place in the world that would allow the previous games to be
held in a proper perspective. Get Miki Higashino back to compose if
possible. Most importantly; answer the major questions and do it with
Like I said, I think a lower budget entry is the most likely route for
the series. Perhaps a downloadable title like they did with Vandal Hearts. Sadly, it doesn't
seem like Konami is very interested in doing anything with the series
at the moment. We haven't even seen Suikoden
II on PSN yet! Then again, I suppose if Konami can make a new Rocket Knight, anything is possible!
I'm going to leave out all the paragraph tags this time, since it seems
to be messing around with the regular HTML for some reason. A
couple of paragraphs seemed to get slashed in half last time.
That's my fault. I toyed with your
HTML. Shame on me! Feel free to put them back in, and I'll stop messing
I've really been digging the Chrono
Trigger pitches. Wish I'd thought of that space travel /
relativity angle, though.
That really was a brilliant pitch. It's a concept that's not used too
much in major sci-fi, which is a shame. All the pitches that people
came up with were fantastic. I just wish that they could all be made!
I'd buy them all, game developers!
Anyhoo, you wanted to see the Big Ol' Notebook of Ideas? Well... I kind
of misspoke last time. It's not so much a notebook as... hm, I'd better
just show you. Hopefully I can get this bit of HTML to work right.
There is every notebook I could find in my apartment on short notice.
After I took the picture, I found eight or nine more. These
include every plot idea, game idea, short story, poem, and illustration
I've had in the last ten years. About half the write-ups I've done for
Japandemonium, as well as every review I've written for the site, can
be found here as well, not to mention the better part of four novels.
Crazy! You really should get all those
scanned up. Not just because I'd like to read your crazy plot ideas,
but it would stink if you had a random roof leak or something that
them. That's a lot of writing!
But getting back to last week's challenge, a
sequel to SaGa? It's never been done, y'know, SaGa 2 cameos in SaGa 3 notwithstanding. I was all
set to pull out the notes on the Eternal
SaGa games I thought up back in college, but then I remembered
an actual sequel idea I'd once had.
Excellent! I've had some thoughts on
how another Unlimited Saga could
but let's hear what you've got.
Back in the day, I read a lot of 8-Bit Theater
(but who didn't?). After a very bored evening going through the
archives, the thought occurred to me -- why not do my own sprite
comic? As it turns out, I have zero talent for
spritework, but I still have the plot notes. So here's Romancing SaGa 2 - The SaGa Continues.
a punny mood.
I love that title. Double the SaGa! Someone should do a SaGa sprite comic. The monster
character could be something new every week. They'd have two readers
right away at least...
I doubt many have played the actual game, so
here's a recap of how things played out. The Seven Heroes saved
the world, only to get double-crossed and locked in Hell, which they
promptly conquered because they're just that badass. A long, long
time later they returned to the world to
have their revenge on the Ancients, who have mostly ascended to a
higher plane by this point. The few remaining Ancients gift the
ruling dynasty of Avalon with the inheritance magic, which allows them
to pass experience, power, and
authority down the generations until a hero is born powerful enough to
defeat the Seven. As new warriors become allies, their lineages are
bonded to the magic, making them eligible to be Emperors as well.
2 really needs to be translated somehow. You're lucky in
knowing Japanese. I think I'm past the age where it's realistic for me
to learn a new language (never mind new alphabets!).
Everything was going well right up to the great
banquet to celebrate the final victory over the Seven. It turned out
that the Golden Emperor was allergic to broccoli. Afterwards, the
heroes of the realm waited. And
waited. A week of waiting later, and it's obvious that without its
raison d'etre, the inheritance magic is kaput. Even before the
heroes return to their own lands, the Imperial authority has started to
break down, and the
Empire is on the verge of dissolution.
That all sound quite
Broccoli though? Broccoli isn't so bad. Replace it with the vegetable I
hate, peas, and then we'll be talking. Sounds like an interesting
From this point I'd planned on having four different plotlines running
concurrently. For reference, here's a map of the world.
Plot A follows five heroes from Avalon -- the Ranger, the Guardsmen,
the Court Mage, the Infantryman, and the Tactician -- as they cross the
continent from Avalon (far northwest corner) to the Ancient stronghold
of Austoroth (far east end) to ask them for help. To get there, they'll
have to cross the Gulf of Cumberland, the windy Steppes, the broad
Savannah, the desert of Meru, and the exotic East Country.
Dang it, this map is in Japanese! I
see the desert area, at least, so I have a general idea of what you're
talking about(okay, that's a lie, you're being descriptive enough that
can figure it out). I like RPG stories that focus on fewer areas
though, since it usually ends up making them much more defined.
plots of this type sound good to me!
Plot B takes place in Cumberland (right across the
gulf from Avalon, north center peninsular area of the map). The land is
controlled by the Holy Order. The Prince is technically the Emperor's
stand-in, but the Abbot and Abbess run the show. As monsters are
no longer a threat, they've set their sights on the Steppes to the
south. The Tactician has sent the two City Thieves to slow them
down by any means possible.
That sounds like a great story for a
full game on its own. Cumberland keeps making me think of Cuberland
Plot C centers on the members of the Dark Magic Research
Institute. These five magicians have always felt a bit outside
the Imperial culture, and in fact they're the only major players in
Avalon left out of the inheritance
magic (they're not actually recruitable in the game itself). Now
it's their time to shine like obsidian. Their leader, a
palette-swapped minister whom I've dubbed Lothar, has convinced the
Tactician to allow him
to dig through the rubble of Komulune, the volcanic island to the
northeast. There lie the ruins of both the Ancients and the
Sorceror who allowed the island to be devastated several generations
before. The Sorceror's ghost and vengeful Salamanders await.
Again, sign me up for this as a full
game. Off in search of ancient magic in the ruins of a lost
civilization? Sign me up!
Plot D is more fun. The Heavy Knight and the Martial Arts Master
are off on a goodwill tour of the Rongit Sea (the body of water that
splits the western part of the continent from north to south).
Before they depart Avalon, they prevail upon the oddest of the five
Dark Mages to try an experiment in dimensional magic. The result:
a Keg of Infinite Capacity. Their itinerary includes the swashbuckling
Buccaneers, the husky Herdsmen, the petite Pearl Divers, and the nearly
naked Nereids.I plotted this up to the point where things began
to pull together. The Cumberland invasion force had been
stalled. The Tactician's party had made it to Austoroth, and
summoned up a perfectly inappropriate new Empress. The World's Longest
Kegger was in full swing. And Lothar had just been invited to join the
shadowy conspiracy. A bunch of minor NPCs from RS2
had come together to overthrow the old world order, and with Lothar
they would be known as the Seven Zeroes. At last look, they were
still trying to find a seventh. RS2
didn't have a
lot of plot-necessary NPCs lying around, to tell the truth.That's about
as far as I got with this. What
do you think? As far as SaGa
titles go, RS2 is one of the
few with a wide enough ending to actually justify a sequel.
Well, it sounds like you've planned
a lot more plot than was in the original game. In fact, I kind of want
to play your game more than Romancing
itself! I mean, it's about as likely as
translation of RS2
happening, right? Well at least until the inevitable Romancing SaGa 2 remake.
Now, to return the challenge! Take one cliché RPG story
convention, preferably one that has appeared in the plots of at least
three franchises, and find a way to twist it so far that it pops.
Take your time. I'll be expecting a reply for Japandemonium sometime
That is a fantastic challenge, and I
shall save my response for your column! I'd like to throw the
challenge out to the Q&A readers as well though. What can you guys
come up with?
Good to hear from you as always, Gaijin!
I wanted to drop a line about the new Dragon
Age. have you played it yet? What are your thoughts. I've just
begun playing but already I can tell that this is a very different game
from its predecessor. Right before playing DA2 though I was playing ME2 and the dichotomy between these
two Bioware sequels struck me quite strongly. ME2 plays like a refined ME, changes were made but the
crunchy center that made Mass Effect,
remains in ME2. This doesn't
seem to be the case with Dragon Age 2,
even the scope.
I don't yet know if Dragon Age 2 is
Age game though.
Just my thoughts,
Well, as gameplay goes I think the two Dragon Age titles are actually a
lot closer than the two Mass Effect titles
many of the same spells and
abilities, everything is just sped up to a great degree. This would
have prevented a lot of the dungeons in the original game from dragging
on so much. I didn't see much difference in the UI either. Mass Effect 2 made the combat a lot
smoother, but overall it played almost completely differently. It felt
more like a true cover-based shooter instead of the strange shooter-RPG
hybrid from the first game. Where you are right, of course, is the
While I like the "one city" type concept, it's just not anywhere near
as in-depth or full of meaningful choice as the first game was. Does
this make a bad game? Not at all. I'm having a lot of fun playing the
game, and I'd even be comfortable to it call a great game. I think it
would have been better received as a Dragon
Age with some kind of sub-title, instead of Dragon Age II.
If Bioware can take the improved combat of Dragon Age II and fuse it with the
great story elements of Dragon Age
Origins, they could have a true classic on their hands.
That's all for this week! Next week I plan on diving headlong into the
new Legend of Heroes, so
hopefully that game turns out to be as good as I've heard. Send your
See you all next week!
Current Backlog: Need more FEDA?
February 16th: Wheels
February 23rd: Wheels
March 2nd: Wheels
March 9th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Tales of Graces F in English!
2. Disgaea 4
3. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
4. El Shaddai
5. Deus Ex Human Revolution
On my Playlist:
1. Ar Tonelico soundtracks
2. Various Suikoden Music
3. Radiant Historia Soundtrack
1. Does Resonance of Fate deserve a sequel
(spiritual or otherwise)?
2. Should Konami continue the main series storyline of Suikoden, or
start fresh (if they make another Suikoden game)?
3. What character are you angry about not being in Dissidia 2?
4. Golden Sun Dark Dawn appears to be a success. Is it time for a
console entry in the series?
5. Should Bioware make another Jade Empire game?