|May 4th, 2012
05/04- 12:00PM EST
Welcome to another episode of Q&A! Your
half awake host is here to answer your
latest questions and comments. Yes, I did
catch a midnight showing of The Avengers
last night, but I am still here to answer
your burning questions.
On to the letters!
What is your take on Nintendo's net loss
that was recently reported? I feel
that Nintendo of Americas's [read: Reggie's]
apparent hatred of RPGs isn't helping
them. So many RPGs that could have
been localized at a profit...
I do think the RPGs you're
referring to would have helped a
tad, especially with the way Wii
software sales are lagging, but
I don't think it would have made
any kind of impact in the
slightest. The issue here is all
about the 3DS combined with
declining Wii hardware and
software sales (let's call it
the double whammy). The
price-cut of the 3DS has been a
huge success, leading to
increased sales, and of course
an increase in game sales as
well. The problem is, they're
currently selling the system at
a loss. So, not only are they
not making as much on the system
as they'd hoped, they're losing
money on each system. Is there
reason to be a bit worried?
Certainly, there always is when
a company is losing that much
money. Nintendo isn't a tiny
company though, and they've
definitely got all kinds of
money in the bank. A bit too
early to be acting like the sky
is falling. We'll see how the
Wii U does on launch, and
hopefully they'll be able to
sell the 3DS at a profit sooner
rather than later. Let's revisit
this question next year if
they're still losing the same
kind of money.
Going back to the RPG question,
I think saying NoA has a hatred
for RPGs is pretty silly. You're
talking about the same branch of
the company that took a chance
and finally brought Fire
Emblem to the US and
even gave that Heracles
game a try. Now, we're
certainly in agreement that
they've bungled Xenoblade
and The Last Story,
but let's not forget the decent
job they've done with the Dragon
Quest titles here. I
don't think we would have gotten
Dragon Quest VI
and Dragon Quest Monsters
Joker 2 if not for
them. I'm willing to give them a
pass as long as that 3DS Fire
Emblem makes it over
here. I mean we eventually got Xenoblade,
so it's all good!
Yeah, I know, I should give Legend of
Heroes another try. However, I will
have one thing to say about it, and that is
I felt the script was... not too good.
During my first two hours, I think I have
heard every single variation of “That said”
as a start of a sentence, it honestly felt
like someone for whom English is a second
language translated it. It was very
distracting for me.
funny, I can't recall seeing
that a lot. The European version
isn't a different translation is
it? Still, I had similar trouble
with the start of the game. The
story is especially slow, and
takes a bit too long setting
things up for my taste. Still,
once you go out in the world and
combat becomes more frequent,
things are more enjoyable. Stick
with it! Who knows when/if we'll
see the second chapter, so
there's no rush.
That said, (See? It gets annoying
already...) I did like the premise of the
game a lot, where you start out as lowly
mercs basically, needing to make cash. Also,
that one girl the mentor was refreshingly
sexistic in her remarks. Too many publishers
play it safe when it comes to character
development, and her lifestyle was
refreshing amongst all the politically
correct hipster kids.
you think she's entertaining,
just wait until you meet
Olivier! This game is full of
fun characters, and I really
hope we see the second game in
some form, either on Steam
or on PSP. Which reminds me that
I'm shocked Final
Fantasy Type-0 is not
But I read you haven't played Ultima 7
yet? Tsk tsk. If I am not mistaken you can
get it on GOG, but you want to throw the
program Exult at it. Google it up. It
basically rewires the game to work on modern
computers, and if you get stuck there's a
built in cheat program in it as well. Why
bother? Because the game is awesome!! The
game world is HUGE and there are more
secrets than you can find. Literally, as I
think there are a couple of places you can't
even reach through normal means. How sick is
that? Sick I tell you. It's a pretty
difficult game though, there are times you
need to pay CLOSE attention to the storyline
as you may miss vital information to
continue. But let me tell you this, there is
no game where you'll have more fun digging
through people's drawers than in this game
would love to give it a try. I
grew up playing many of the
games, so I'm not sure
why I never got around to
playing the later titles. I
actually have a collection
containing at least up to the
eighth game I believe, so I
guess I'll have to dig that up!
That or I'll just play more Runes
Anyways, you have more interesting
What HD RPGs do you want to see rendered as
8 or 16 bit RPGs?
HA! So you decided to throw the other way
huh? Difficult one, really. I wouldn't
really know... I do remember seeing the 8
bit remake of FF7 which looked really
nice. Honestly though, I think the 8 bit and
16 bit era doesn't really need additional
titles. We cherish the 8 bit and 16 bit era
for the titles that were there, instead of
those that weren't. Too poetic? Yeah, sorry,
I just don't have an answer for you. Haha.
OK, it's an odd sort of
question. I think the FF7
8-bit remake was just a
few screenshots or a video, but
not a full remake by any
stretch. The only real one I can
think of isn't an RPG, Mega
Man 7's 8-bit remake
which is complete and quite
cool. I think the only ones that
would be helped by this would be
games hurt by a poor visual
presentation. One example would
be the first Wild
Arms. Mostly the game
is fine, but the awful 3D battle
sequences destroy the charm
created by the classic 2D
exploration. As for FF7,
I think without the visual
presentation people would like
that game far less. What do you
Maybe they should repackage the ENTIRE Fire Emblem
saga and redo them all in 16 bit. But with
anime cut-scenes. I know, they're not HD...
It's all I could think of... Sorry.
OK, that's something that could
work. I'm picturing something
like the Sega CD Shining
Force that was just a
collection of Game Gear Shining
Forces. This would be a
cool way for Nintendo to catch
up fans to the stories from the
older games, but I suppose
they've never been big on
re-releasing their games in
Will Western developers ever return to
expand beyond typical fantasy and sci-fi
Yes. But not the big developers. They are
too scared to invest large amounts of money
in a product they are not sure will sell.
No, the future in game design (and
originality) is in the Kickstarter program,
as well as the online stuff like PSN and
X-Box live. Indies is where it's at!
Honestly, I've already seen so much
originality and fun titles coming from that
route. I am also very interested in the new
old school Shadowrun title, which I
suppose can be labeled as “beyond typical”.
What do you think?
think this is accurate. Big
budget RPGs are pretty much
stuck in the types of settings
that work, so I suppose it would
take a indie mega-hit to change
people's ways. Speaking of
which, I'm really excited for
game. That is such a cool
setting, and I'm really hoping
they do some good things with
it. Are there any indie RPGs out
there I may have missed with
Question to you, why do you think there
hasn't been a new Castle Crashers title? Or
at least a rip-off. One of the funnest games
I've played the past few years.
All the best,
is a really good question, and
one that I don't really have a
good answer for. You could
always just play Guardian
Heroes. Has that
developer been busy with
something else? Oh well, another
game I still need to play!
Greetings Wheelsenheim Reinbach III,
This is Grand Master Spruce from the Secret
Society of Kawazu Faithful. We have received
your application for admission into the
SSKF. After careful review from myself and
the council, it is with great pleasure that
I announce your induction into the premier
fanclub of Akitoshi Kawazu, the creator and
mastermind behind all that is SaGa.
a second, I'm the Master of that
Secret Society! In fact, I
founded it! Is this some kind of
joke? Clearly it is, but I'm
just going to play along.
You will be mailed your official SSKF sash
and mouse pad upon successful completion of
the entrance exam below. Draw upon your vast
knowledge of SaGa and Kawazu game
design to complete this final test.
pad? Really? Such a prize is
much too straightforward and
non-complex to be a Kawazu
prize. For shame!
1) Suppose you are developing a new RPG.
Your best course of action is to…
a) Make something that will appeal to new
and casual players alike.
b) Make something off the wall and overly
c) Make something that will sell a lot of
this of course is easy, this
should always be B. What's the
fun in making a game if you
can't go crazy and make a bunch
of complicated game systems?
2) Suppose you are chopping down a tree. All
of a sudden…
a) Your arms tire and you run to get a
b) The tree comes to life and bites off your
c) A light bulb appears over your head and
you knock the tree down with your bare
clearly the answer is D) one of
the above at random. All of
these things are possible SaGa
happenings. I notice you don't
even have a D)! That's coming
off your final score.
3) Your arch nemesis has taken the life of
your canine companion. You…
a) Set out for revenge.
b) Get a new dog.
c) Relax knowing that your dog has plenty of
considering the loss of LP is
what leads to death, the "taken
the life" phrasing suggests the
poor beast's LP has been
depleted. Therefore the answer
4) What makes the red phoenix the most
dangerous avian species?
a) Their force field
b) Their deadly talons
c) Their powerful magics
Obviously. This is the universal
answer when discussing phoenixes
of any kind.
5) Suppose your mother knits you a RED
a) Thank her.
b) Hug her.
c) Rebuke her for making such a vile thing.
kind of question is this? MY
mother only knits scarves.
Your first-born child will be named:
Grand Master Spruce
answer is D) Whatever the heck I
want. In the SaGa
games, when you make a character
in those that allow it, you name
them. Therefore, when
naming my first-born I am free
to name them whatever I wish. In
conclusion this test was
terrible. I give it an F and do
not permit you entrance to the
Kawazy society. Not even a
single mention of Final
of Mana, or Crystal
Chronicles? Just awful
sir. I am ashamed on behalf of
all Kawazu fans.
If you want some supporting evidence for the
"dolphins are jerks" hypothesis, do a google
search for dolphin-on-porpoise gang
violence. As for the Soul Hackers
boss, I seem to have made a slight
error. It's SNAPPY the Dolphin, not
Skippy. That death-by-overload method
though? It works. And it works a
lot faster than doing 5-10 HP in damage per
hit for forty minutes.
That would explain why my searches
went for naught! Anyway, I think
it's crazy that after having this
discussion Atlus went and announced
a remake of Soul
Hackers for 3DS. Perhaps
Western gamers will finally get to
experience the horror that is
I'm trying to recall which scenario comes
next though, the House of Horrors based on a
close friend's personal traumas or the
cryogenics experiment gone wrong that
reduces a whole mall of shoppers to drooling
maniacs. This game has a crazy
storyline, if you haven't figured it out
It really sounds like it. Not that
the Shin Megami Tensei
series was exactly short on such
Journey for example fits
its title like a glove. Is this one
particularly crazy for the series? I
can't think of anything quite as off
the wall as Snappy in other games.
Conquest. Get, or not?
What other major games on the horizon have
your interest piqued? I'm looking
forward to Time & Eternity and Atelier Ayesha,
though I have to worry that my usual HD
issues will cause playing problems yet
again. Hard to play when you can't
read the small print!
I'm thinking Conquest
will be a must get. This sounds
vaguely similar to the Pokémon
prequel someone proposed in an
earlier Q&A even. A more
strategy focused entry in the series
sounds like something right up my
alley. As for other things I'm
waiting for, I'm looking forward to
Ys Origins on Steam. It plays a lot
like Oath in Felghana,
which I loved, so I'm really looking
forward to playing more of it (I
imported it). I'm also looking
forward to the Game
of Thrones game even though
it will probably be terrible. Still,
it's based on my favorite book
series so I'm hoping to glean some
enjoyment out of it.
Finally, still waiting to hear your villain
concept. Mail it to me soon!
Your fellow columnist,
Doh, I will get on that as soon as
possible good sir!
That's it for this week!
See you all next week.
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Kingdom Hearts 3D
2. Ys Origin
3. Ys IV Vita
4. Persona 4 Vita
5. Gravity Rush
On my Playlist:
1. Various Ys I&II soundtracks
2. Disgaea 3 Soundtrack
3. Etrian Odyssey IV Soundtrack samples
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 3rd party developer would you like to
see make a Final Fantasy game?
4. What HD RPGs do you want to see rendered as 8
or 16 bit RPGs?
5. Will Western developers ever return to expand
beyond typical fantasy and sci-fi settings?