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ASK WHEELS
Mystery Dungeon: Q&A the Wanderer
May 25th, 2012

05/25- 12:00PM EST

Welcome to another episode of Q&A! Lately I've been addicted to playing some Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer. I've had a growing fondness for roguelikes not rendered in ASCII graphics, and Shiren fits that bill nicely, being one of the best in the sub-genre. That's not to say I'm anywhere near completing it, but this is how these games go. Of course more importantly, we've got the sad news that 38 Studios is no more, effectively, having let go their entire stuff. Hopefully they'll all land on their feet. I had high hopes for the world of Amalur, and it's sad to see this happen. In happier news, Ys Origin releases next week on steam!

Anyway, on to the letters!





The Letters
Tales of Daniel

Hey Wheels,

How are things?
 
I guess it's a bit of an unrelated question, but I read you love the Game of Thrones books... Tell me, do the books have a minimum of one sex scene per chapter as well as the series, or not?



Wheels

They actually do not. I'm guessing you're basing this on the TV Show, but remember that these are very long books and one episode of the show can be upwards of five or more chapters from the book. Each chapter focuses on a different character, which makes following the story interesting because you get some many different perspectives on what's going on. Considering some of the chapters are from the perspectives of children I'd hope they don't involve sex scenes!

I watched the first episode expecting basically Lord of the Rings - the Series, and the first scene was awesome! And then...
Politics and sex scenes. Every episode. I gave up around episode 7.


Wheels

I'm sorry you went in there with the expectation, as that certainly isn't the case. The two don't have much in common outside of both being fantasy. The series is lots and lots of politics and not much as far as heroics and such. There's more battle and fantasy as things go on, but the politics don't decrease in quantity. The sex scenes do tend to decrease as things go on, so if that bothers you, those scenes do decrease in quantity. You should stick with it though, the world of Game of Thrones has a great mythology to it, and some of the best characters I've ever seen written. It has actually replaced Lord of the Rings as my favorite fantasy series.

Another question, why is it that RPGamer.com features so little tabletop RPGs? I know they do from time to time, but just not that often. I do, however, really appreciate you guys giving so much coverage to "indie" RPGs. That definitely gives you guys an edge over other sites, if you ask me. I also really enjoy the retroviews.


Wheels

Well mostly I think it would be because we've only got one person handling the bulk of it. Perhaps we could use another person to provide extra coverage (maybe you could volunteer)? I'm glad you enjoy our indie coverage and retroviews. I think we do a pretty good job covering a lot of different things, though we could always do better. Any games you'd like to see us retroview?

And... Has Blizzard finally lost the last slight bits of their sanity, mind and soul? What's with having to be online 24/7, even if you are playing solo? That makes --NO-- sense whatsoever. I also read a couple of discomforting tidbits about the game having some kind of item shop like the free MMOs have. Seriously? Guhhh... What's next? We can only play it if we have a facebook account?
 
/end rant

Cheers,
Daniel


Wheels

Diablo: Facebook Edition? I could see that happening! Honestly, I have no idea what Blizzard was thinking here. I know the assumption is that if someone is on a computer they're probably online, but what about those still stuck with dial-up? What about those playing on a train or bus on a netbook? What about college kids where their internet access may restrict access and cause issues with the server? There's lots of scenarios where not being able to just play on your own offline will be very annoying. Heck they've already had all kinds of server issues at launch, and there seem to be times where people couldn't play simply because the servers were offline for maintenance. We've already seen Ubisoft have countless issues with similar restrictions, so I think Blizzard has made a mistake. I doubt it will hurt sales, but it will certainly hurt gamers!

Look forward to hearing from you again Daniel!

Strategy Tactics

Hey Wheels, you always are asking for questions so I thought I would comply with your kind request.  I’ve been playing games since the mid-80’s, but I’ve only really gotten into RPG’s since picking up a PSP 5 years ago which is a long way of explaining that I may be asking a stupid question.


Wheels

Thank you! I know it can often take a long time to write up some good questions, so I really appreciate the effort to do so. You know, that really is probably the best possible system to get into RPGs on since the glorious Super Nintendo days. There are so many quality titles on there, and remakes of many that you may have missed. Plus, you can catch up on a lot of great PS1 RPGs thanks to PS1 classics. I'm sure your question is not stupid, so let's get to it!

Is there a formal difference between tactical RPG’s and strategy RPG’s?  At first I always though tactical RPG’s referred specifically to the grid based derivatives of Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre and strategy RPG’s were turn (and semi-turn) based games where the battle system goes beyond simple attack, magic and defend like Resonance of Fate or even LOH: Trails in the Sky. However it seems that most people use the two terms interchangeably and I’m just weird for seeing a distinction where there isn’t one.


Wheels

There is not a formal difference between the two, which is often something that confuses me as well. In fact, if you enter either tactical RPG or strategy RPG into Wikipedia it brings you to the same page! It can be very confusing, and I wish people would just stick with one. That said, the fact that you mentioned Resonance of Fate earns you major brownie points. I love that game!

Also, are there some fundamental games of Tactical/Strategy RPG genre that I have to play but missed out on years ago? I finished the remake of Tactics Ogre for the PSP and I have FF:Tactics in my backlog, but what are some others I missed out on?
 
Thanks for the info!
Josh
@jscarpe


Wheels

There are plenty, and I will give you a number of different games to consider. I'm not sure what systems you have, so I'm sorry if I mention anything you won't be able to play. I'll start with PSP games. Check out both Disgaea 1 and Disgaea 2. They have very goofy and entertaining stories and an insane amount of optional content. They can be a bit grindy though. An absolute must is J'eanne D'arc. It looks and plays similar to Final Fantasy Tactics so you should feel right at home. There's Wild Arms XF which isn't amazing and has some design issues, but is still fun. Valkyria Chronicles 2 has a boring story for the most part, but the gameplay is a lot of fun. Speaking of that, assuming you have a PS3, Valkyria Chronicles is an absolute must, as are Disgaea 3 and Disgaea 4. You should also pick up Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection which has the first two Shining Force Games. If you have access to Nintendo consoles, buy every game with the Fire Emblem name. The two Devil Survivor games are quite amazing. Finally (for now), give the two Final Fantasy Tactics Advance games a try. They aren't as good as the original, but still are quite fun.

If that isn't enough suggests let me know and I'll think up some more!

Tales of Swap Note

Dear Wheels,

Why you like everything?

-Nyx


Wheels

Oh wow, I forgot I put out a call on the 3DS swap note to try and get some questions from people. Someone has responded (two people actually as you'll see in the next question). The truth is that I actually do not like everything. I hate Star Ocean 3. I hate roguelikes with ASCII graphics. I hate most Diablo clones. I hate that Shining Force Neo has the Shining Force name attached to it. I hate everything I've ever played that was developed by Idea Factory. I hate Sega about 50% of the time. You see, I do hate things!

Tales of Swap Note Part Deux

Hey Wheels!

Are you playing Reckoning yet? If not, why not? It's time to get your chakram on!

-Ocelot


Wheels

How sad a thing that I should come across this swap note this of all weeks. I have played a bit of Reckoning, and find that it fixes everything I disliked about Bethesda's games. The combat is simply brilliant! The fantasy world isn't the best out there, but its colorful and includes tons of back story, so I can't call it boring or uninteresting in the slightest. With DLC and more open world sequels in the same vane I think they could have slowly built up a cool world that eventually would have made an MMO quite viable, but it was not to be. I'm still holding out hope that someone swoops in to the rescue and we get to see more games like this from the talented people formerly of Big Huge Games. I don't suppose they ever finished that big balance patch I heard rumor of, did they?
IN CLOSING

That's it for this week!

See you all next week. Ys Origin is next week! Send me an Ys based letter and maybe you'll win a copy!

-Wheels


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