05/03- 7:00PM EST
Well the pre-orders for that soon to be very
rare physical version of Class of Heroes
2 have gone up, and I've ordered an
extra copy to give away right here! However
dear readers, you're going to have to work
for this prize. To enter to win this prize
you must send me a 500 words or less essay
comparing and contrasting two games with
some sort of clear thesis. Be creative!
Don't just go the typical route and compare
Final Fantasy VI and Final
Fantasy VII or something. I'll respond
to and grade all entries on Q&A! Don't
worry, your essay doesn't have to be
brilliant to win, everyone that sends me one
will have an equal chance to win. There will
also be a second place prize, a shiny import
copy of Tales of Rebirth for PS2. I
may do some kind of third place prize as
well. This contest will run until the last
day of May.
Anyway, on to the letters (and don't forget
to check out my review of Soul Sacrifice!
@AskWheels [Q&A] Please remind me why
importing Tales of Innocence R
and/or Tales of Hearts R is a dumb
excellent question! As it turns
out only one of these is a dumb
idea. That would be Tales of
Innocence R. The original
was well known due to a fan
translation being released.
Though that translation was
quality work, the game itself
was a pretty average Tales
game with not a lot going for it
in regards to the battle system.
The remake didn't help in this
regard, somehow making the
battles feel even more generic,
and not exactly highlighting the
power of the Vita. It's just not
a great Tales game.
Tales of Hearts R is a
completely different story
however. Featuring a fast paced
MP-free battle system similar to
Tales of Graces, the game
is an evolution of the Tales
of Destiny Remake-type
games that never came out over
here. It also ditched a world
map in a similar manor to Tales
of Graces. It's largely
linear so it is pretty easy to
play through a lot of it. I
can't speak for the remake at
all, as I'm unsure of the
changes, but your best bet to
play the game is probably still
the original DS version. It came
in two editions, one with anime
style cut-scenes and one with
computer animation style
cut-scenes. Since they are the
same game beyond that the less
popular computer animation
version is often cheaper and an
absolute steal. So long story
short, Tales of Hearts
in any form is recommended, and
Tales of Innocence is a
Some hot topics answers.
1. I think a little bit of marketing that
reaches mainstream sites goes a long way. I
think something more traditionally
turn-based from Square-Enix like Bravely
Default was going to be fine, but the
success of Fire Emblem: Awakening
probably increased interest in Japanese
hope so. It's a genre I very
much enjoy and would love to see
more games from. I think the
success of XCOM and
other PC turn-based strategy
games also helps as well. Still
it's a shame that we missed out
on the previous Fire Emblem
game, and I think it is becoming
clear that was a mistake on
Nintendos part. C'est la vie..
2. I think it will, with Nintendo's help. I
don't see it coming out until 2014 at the
agree here as well. Nintendo has
brought the Dragon Quest
titles they've published to the
West around a year after their
original releases, so still
plenty of time for this one to
come out. Combine that with the
success they had with Dragon
Quest IX on DS and it
seems highly unlikely that such
a huge title wouldn't be
localized. Of course stranger
things have happened, but I
don't expect them to in this
case. I think what we will
likely miss are the two other
3DS Dragon Quest titles.
3. I think it should be the last Dragon
Quest MMO. I just don't know if enough
of the core fanbase cares for MMOs.
would appear they do not, given
it hasn't been a smash hit in
Japan like most games in the
series. I have to at least give
Square Enix credit for trying
something new with the series,
which is not something the
series is known for. I would
expect Dragon Quest XI
and all other foreseeable titles
in the future to stick to a more
traditional approach, with the
only possible multiplayer coming
in the form of something similar
to Dragon Quest IX.
4. Well, at first I was going to put forth Suikoden
as a candidate for Kickstarter, but that's
one complicated issue (like is it really
dead or not and the very struggles the Suikoden
fanbase is having with Konami despite pretty
good visibility of their own revival
moment), so I'm going to go with Grandia.
Even though I didn't like Grandia 3
that much because of its plot, I know that
if the creators didn't have to rush the game
(especially the plot) would have been
better. There's really no equivalent series
to the Grandia series either.
don't understand, why couldn't
Konami do a kickstarter
themselves for such a game? You
seem to be suggesting that
someone else revive the
franchise, which obviously isn't
going to happen. Could be a good
way for Konami to gauge serious
interest in a return to the
original timeline of the series.
Grandia is a good choice
though. The original developers
(now owned by GungHo) aren't
exactly flowing in cash so that
would seem like a realistic
project. I'm not sure if any
Japanese developers have used
kickstarters yet, but I wouldn't
mind seeing them be the first.
Now for my own question. I've been working
my way through Ys II (rather slowly
as other things have distracted me). I just
beat Zava who is considered one of the
hardest bosses in Ys II after about
15 tries. It gives me a bit of hope that the
final boss of Ys II won't take 200+
tries like I believe Ys I's final
hope not! It probably depends on
which version of the game you're
playing (and on what difficulty
setting). At least bosses in Ys
II are a little more
dynamic because you have magic
and not just your regular
attacks. Keep at it!
1) Who was the hardest boss for you in a Ys
would have to say that the
hardest boss for me would be the
final battle in Ys Seven
on hard. The battle is complex,
requiring you to use different
groups of characters and do lots
of precise dodging. I had to do
a fair amount of grinding to
eventually conquer it, but such
is what I expect when playing on
Hard. The feeling of
accomplishment when I finally
took it down was amazing.
2) Is there a boss/bosses that you had a
hard time beating but you actually loved
playing the battle over and over again?
That would be the final boss on
the PC version of Oath in
Felghana (on hard of
course). The music for that
battle is incredible, and the
perfect mix of the skills
learned through the game
required to win just make it an
absolute joy to play. Took me
awhile to finally beat it, but I
didn't mind at all. Keep in mind
that the PC version has no way
to heel mid-battle, so you have
to be careful to avoid as many
hits as possible.
3) What's the best Ys song? (I
know...how can you choose?)
That's an impossible call to
make! I'd say so far though, my
favorites are the final boss
themes in Oath in Felghana and
in Ys Seven. Final boss
music is always important and
those games go well and beyond.
You are right though, an
impossible choice to pick only
one Ys song!
You should totally make the 5 RPG essays one
of your hot topics.
should! I'll handle that next
week since there's someone this
week responding to the current
Speaking of the essays: my thesis would
definitely be how Final Fantasy 6
blows 7 out of the water.
Well you certainly have come to
the right place with that
argument. I would happily write
that essay and explain in great
detail why this is so. Poor Final
Fantasy VII has taken a
beating from VI fans
over the years!
My Super Mario RPG vs. Paper
Mario essay would be about how, while
Paper Mario translates the Mario
FEEL from the platformers to RPG, Super
Mario RPG is a much, MUCH better RPG.
I'm not sure I'd completely
agree if we were talking about
the second Paper Mario game.
Still, if the objective is to
create a Mario RPG the Paper
Mario series is the best
result that could come out of
it. Super Mario RPG has
some issues. I love both though,
so I wouldn't spend too much
time quibbling. For the most
part you are right though, not
that this makes Super Mario
RPG a better game.
Essay 3: A discussion of how many Western
gamers are big babies in regards to Final
Fantasy 13. (Not going to TOUCH
Yeah, as many issues as it does
have, Final Fantasy XIII
is a fine game in my opinion.
There are plenty of far worse
RPGs out there. I also will not
touch the sequels, but I just
don't get some of the insane
hate pointed towards the game.
Yes it isn't brilliant, but it
also isn't the worst thing ever.
Essay 4: A discussion of how much better
Final Fantasy 12 would have been if
Matsuno hadn't left in the middle (I mean,
seriously, the plot in the second half just
seems to become a train wreck of a Star Wars
That would be a great essay. Too
bad we don't have more inside
info on the topic. What's
amazing to me is just how
fantastic the game turned out
despite the fact Matsuno left in
the middle of development. I
guess we can only ponder what
could have been. I think we
would be seeing XII at
the top of many favorite game
lists had Matsuno been left
alone to develop it.
Essay 5: A point-by-point analysis of why
Square-Enix needs to be banned from making
Well that's a bit much. Is that
directly at the high prices, or
that terrible Final Fantasy
game they realease? Either way,
there's far worse developers on
the platform. Not only that, but
some of their efforts have been
fantastic. The The World
Ends With You port is
brilliant, and I actually find
Theatrhythm to be much more at
home on iOS.
And for the questions, I see a newer one
that really stands out to me: question
3. Will Dragon Quest 10 be the
first and last DQ MMORPG?
Unfortunately, you and I both know that it
won't be the last one. Square-Enix
REALLY want a blockbuster MMORPG, and they
seem willing to destroy the company to make
one (hell, look at how much of a dive their
profits took the year they launched Final
Fantasy 14. Final Fantasy 11
did really well when it came out, and it
seems to me that Square Enix's pride never
recovered after World of Warcraft
nearly killed it when it came out.
you can probably see from the
last letter, I'm not so sure in
this case. If we were talking Final
Fantasy I would
absolutely agree we'll see a new
FF MMORPG in the future.
FFXI was a constant
source of income for them so I'm
sure they want to find another
game to do that (and I'm sure
there's some crazy enough to
think they can get World of
numbers). Dragon Quest
on the other hand, doesn't seem
like it would be a good idea to
try again as an MMORPG anytime
soon. Japan is still far and
away the primary territory for
that series and they need to
keep those fans engaged.
Mr. Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round!
Let's see how much content I can supply for
First off, you'll be happy to know that
making a Robin Hood game for Olivia
de Havilland would work out just fine.
Honestly, it's Robin Hood - tons of stupid
soldiers serving the sheriff of Nottingham
and Prince John, that movie had multiple
sword fights and other action sequences. So
combat opportunities are easy to find.
Dang it, now I have that song
stuck in my head!
Good to know I did well with
that Robin Hood RPG
idea. I had to come up with
something pretty quickly!
Now then, let's put Spencer Tracy in an
RPG. Shouldn't be too hard.
Some day you'll ask for one of
these using an actor or actress
I've heard of! Well since I'm a
fan of the newer version, let's
go with a bizarre Father of
the Bride RPG. The game
would not necessarily follow the
plot of either movie, but rather
put you in the role of the
father played by Spencer Tracy
as he goes through finding out
about who his daughter is going
to marry and whether its the
right move. It would focus
solely on character interaction,
possibly with some wandering
around the local town.
Recently I took it upon myself for reasons
that remain hard to understand to play Shining
Soul. It kind of stinks. I realize
most early Shining games didn't have
spectacular plots, but what little narrative
there is in this contradicts all the earlier
games and is just aggravating. As for being
a generic action RPG - it does that. Kill
tons of enemies for their juicy experience
points, fill the inventory and see if
anything good was dropped, then keep going
through increasingly long and featureless
stages. It's a remarkably easy game to play
while listening to something else, I've
found, because it requires little attention
and the music is unworthy of experiencing.
Ah, but now I'm finding enemies that move
faster. Makes no difference, since I can
just walk through them while they start
attack animations and 19 times out of 20
avoid the hit they were trying to land, but
it does force me to move a little more.
Yippee. Seems Grasshopper and NexTech were
responsible for this thoroughly unimpressive
title. Good for their resumes, eh?
Sounds like a dull experience. I
remember trying to play the
original Shining Soul
and finding just as boring as
you describe. I have the second
game as well, which I guess is
better, but I can't find any
motivation to actually play it.
Not sure why Sega chose to go
with action RPGs for the first
non-Camelot Shining games.
Shining Wisdom isn't
exactly the darling of the
It doesn't exactly hold up, but imagine how
this felt back when there hadn't been any Shining
games since III. If only it wasn't
the harbinger of where Sega was going to
take the series. It seems Japan eats this
stuff up though, so we'll probably just keep
getting them, although lately they don't
cross the ocean. Too bad?
No really, that's a question. Is that a bad
don't think it's a bad thing at
all actually. Other than Shining
Force Feather which you've
vouched for there isn't much
there to build a new fan base
here in the West. They've
released the original two games
on enough platforms, and I think
they hold up surprisingly well.
Imagine the horror of someone
going from one of those to one
of the newer games. It's a
shame, because I think with the
current popularity of Fire
Emblem there's a real
place in the market for
something like the classic Shining
Force games. In fact,
imagine if Intelligent Systems
got their hands on the IP! No,
it's too cruel to imagine such a
Gear shift! To get you back into Super
Robot Taisen: Original Generation, I
will tell you of The Man. He goes by either
Elzam or Ratsel, but he's a damn fine pilot
who can be put into pretty much anything and
will kick ass. One mission in OG 2
finds him singlehandedly beating off about
30 enemies, might have been more, that's how
awesome he is. The trick to him is very
simple. In this series character themes
start playing the instant someone gets into
a skirmish and you let the animations go.
Bosses have their own themes, and those
override the normal character themes. Except
for The Man. His theme is Trombe!,
and it overrides boss tunes. Because it's
awesome, because he's awesome, and a onetime
glitch just because standard practice.
that has gotten me interested
again. I think my GBA will soon
be fired up with some Super
Robot Taisen. I must learn
more of this person!
TO BE CONTINUED...
That's it for this week!
Q&A will be off next week, so get those
I think I STILL owe the King of
Content a connection challenge.
*Runs away again*
About the Host
What I Can't Wait For:
1. Ys Vita
2. SMT IV
3. Rune Factory 4
4. Lords of Shadow 2
5. Tales of Xillia
On my Playlist:
Less Than Jake
1. Does the success of Fire Emblem
Awakening indicate main stream turn-based games
are still possible?
2. Will Dragon Quest VII 3DS come to the West?
3. Dragon Quest X hasn't been a huge success,
will this be the first and last Dragon Quest
4. What RPG series would you like to see revived
5. Now that Thief 4 has been revealed, what do
you want to see out of the game?