|August 11th, 2011
08/11- 12:00PM EST
Entries for the contest have now closed! I give to you the
entrants: FriendOfAgnes, Kain V, Nightfox, Clephas, Paladia,
Scott O., and RivalShadeX. If I'm missing anyone let me know as soon as
possible! I'll be deciding a winner by simulating matches in a fighting
game of some sort (or sports game if I can't find a fighting game that
does computer vs. computer matches). Since there's an odd number
currently, someone will randomly be selected to get a bye in the first
round. First set of results will be up next week!
Anyway, on to your letters.
You asked what platform could replace the current PSP as the go-to JRPG
platform. Although I suspect that the PSP will remain relevant in Japan
for at least a year past the release of the Vita so it'll get a
PS2-like tail, eventually Sony will try to get everyone on the Vita.
I'd have to agree with you there. Considering the continued appeal of
the PSP, and the fact the digital versions of PSP games will work on
the Vita, it seems quite likely they will continue supporting it for a
while. This is a bit of a mixed blessing, since it seems unlikely that
many of these PSP games will make their way overseas given the sad
state of the PSP here. Then again, perhaps the digital backward
compatibility of the Vita will help us in that regard. We shall see!
When that happens, I'm expecting the next big JRPG system to not be the
Vita, but the 3DS. It checks all of the boxes for Japan: portable,
still relatively immune to piracy concerns, and the controls/screen
size are of a similar size to the PSP to allow for porting straight
across. At least, that was part of my hope when I dropped $198+tax for
it before the price drop. The only problem for a JRPG fan who lives in
the wrong continent is the bloody region lock...
Yes the region lock does stink, though I'm sure someone will find a way
around it. You could be right about this, since the Vita's design seems
more focused on western audiences. This all depends on the 3DS sales
picking up of course. Excitement seems to have increased with the
online gaming community since the price drop was announced, but we'll
see if consumers respond.
However there may be a 3rd option possibility - despite the wishes of
seemingly every person on a non-RPGamer messageboard, Dragon Quest X is still coming to
the Wii. Do you think there's a chance that the Dragon Quest sales could cause a
halo effect that kick-starts Wii JRPG development? If it gets anywhere
near the sales that DQIX did
in Japan (4mil+), surely the likes of Imagepooch (sic) and Falcom would
take advantage of this.
My guess would be that no, regardless of how well Dragon Quest X sells it will not
kick-start RPG development on the Wii. After all, remember that Dragon Quest VII came at the end of
the PS1's lifespan, and it certainly didn't generate a revival of PS1
RPGs despite huge sales numbers. Depending on how close it comes out to
the Wii-U, it may actually help sales of that system, and perhaps lead
to more RPGs there. As for smaller companies like Falcom, I'd expect
them to stick to portables like they have been.
Or am I just dreaming because I'm a Wii-only gamer thanks to only
having an SDTV still, and the traditional retail JRPG content is
limited to Arc Rise Fantasia,
Tales of Symphonia,
uh, that's it? (If it wasn't for VC and After Years on WiiWare,
I'd have dumped it long ago and gone portable-only.)
Thanks for the work!
Wait, you know you can play PS3/360 on an SDTV right (stupid question,
I'm assuming you don't due to the issues HD games often have on SDTVs,
such as tough to read text)? Anyway, wishful thinking sure, but if that
cool trio of Wii RPGs would make it to the US, you'd have plenty to
play before Dragon Quest X
comes out. You could also play Rune
Factory and Shiren on
your Wii! Anyway, I'm sorry to say you may be out of luck as far as Wii
RPGs go. Don't give up just yet though! There may be a few more RPGs
before the Wii-U takes center stage.
Mr. Rubber Wheels,
Alright, Q&A is fueled by content. That's what I'm here to
provide. Let's do it!
I've never played Legend of Mana.
the series, and make a case for why I
should. Also make a case for how much it's worth in monetary
Yes! You always provide a plethora of
great questions sir, let's see what you've got this week.
Legend of Mana
is tough to peg in the series as it isn't part of the main series. It
plays out more like a brawler than it does an action RPG, despite the
fact that you do gain levels, learn new skills, use magic etc. You'll
notice familiar enemies and spirits, but beyond that there is little
that ties it in with the previous games. Despite this, I highly
recommend it based on the brilliant story-book visuals, the fantastic
music, and the "go at your own pace" style of gameplay. An epic
adventure it isn't, but considering you can get it for under ten bucks
on PSN, it has a low price of admission to give it a try. Just go in
with an open mind, and don't expect it to be anything like Secret of Mana.
SaGa Frontier 1,
both? I know you'll have plenty to say on the subject, since I'm
feeding you plenty of Kawazu material.
I know plenty about SaGa Frontier 1, but you may find it
strange that I have yet to play the second game. I plan to fix this
soon, as I had been saving it for a "rainy day." I suppose no new SaGa game on the horizon qualifies
Now back to the first SaGa Frontier.
You should give this a try. It features several different playable
characters, with no pre-set order in which you need to play their
stories. The stories aren't brilliant, but they're interesting enough,
and the battle system is a fun and challenging ride. I highly recommend
you give this game a try. At the very least, it's much easier to figure
out than Unlimited Saga!
Enough of that! Connect Action
in Arabia to Solid Runner!
since it never saw a home video
release - ANYWHERE!
Aha! I seem to have found information
to the contrary. According to IMDB, Action
in Arabia was released on home video by RKO Home Video
->Turner now owns the rights to the films from this company
-> parent company Time Warner owns DC comics->Sony Online
Entertainment published DC Universe
Online -> Sony distributed Square's film Final Fantasy The Spirits Within
-> Square-Enix owns the rights to the Ogre Battle series -> Atlus
published the PS1 version of the first Ogre Battle game -> Atlus
published Demon's Souls ->
was developed by From Software -> From Software developed King's Field -> King's Field was published by
ASCII in the US -> ASCII published Solid
After a year of hosting Q&A, how would you judge yourself next to
some of its previous job-holders?
I don't like to judge myself, as I
often have a poor opinion of my own work. I'd say making it through one
year puts me up there though, right? Q&A is tough to keep going,
though really the only reason I've been able to do it is thanks to
great readers providing plenty of material, along with staff like
yourself helping out.
Falcom's success is partly due to a very loyal fan base (I know Wyrdwad
will see this, he seems to have a superpower relating to Falcom talk),
and also because a lot of its work seems to be oriented toward the PC.
At least it was - recently Falcom has focused on the PSP, but that
can't last much longer. I've enjoyed most of the Falcom games I've
played, but I feel no urge to sample everything the company has done.
Partly that's because I tried Sorcerian on the Mega Drive and gave it
five minutes before shutting the game off forever, partly because I
don't rank the Ys games among my favorites even though I've
mostly enjoyed them (not the
fifth game though), and also because exploring everything the
company has done will take a very long time. I'm too free with my
gaming schedule to pin it down with nothing but Falcom stuff.
Oh the glorious and confusing history
of Falcom. Did you know that Ys I has
been released on like nineteen different platforms? Regardless, I
wouldn't recommend digging into everything Falcom has done. A lot of
their earlier games just aren't worth your time. You should play all
the recent Ys games,
specifically the PC versions. Oath
in Felghana is so much better on PC.
As for Sorcerian: once I got
into an action screen, I found that my characters had some of the
floatiest jumps I've ever seen (it's a side-scrolling format) and their
absolutely pathetic attack range made getting killed way too
easy. Not fun.
Speaking of Falcom games that go against its usual trends, I hear Brandish isn't much fun. Can
is a tough game, but I feel like a
little polishing of the gameplay could give this old-school RPG game
some new life. Apparently there was such a remake, but good luck
finding obscure old Japanese PC games! As for Brandish, I can't really get behind
the strange controls involving rotating the entire screen, but Brandish is still an interesting
action take on the roguelike genre. If you have to play it, ignore the
original and get the remake for PSP. I think it still does the screen
rotating, but its a bit better with newer graphics.
I have to keep the Shining Force III reminiscence shorter than
usual this time, but Scenario 3 begins with Julian heading
south to the Destonian Empire in order to save it from an attack by
what Sega translated as the Walcuray. Gracia, the current Innovator and
thus the only person who can actually offer a threat to the Vandals, is
with him (remember? He who was rescued by Medion from the formidable
forces of Bulzome). Julian is whatever level he left Medion's force as,
while Gracia and Kate (an archer) are level 5 promoted. As his starting
centaur, Julian gets Donhort, who assisted Medion for awhile under
computer control, but finally does what you want now instead of
whatever the computer decides. Also, as Gracia is vital to the story,
his death costs you a battle the same way Julian's does, though this
being Shining Force that only means losing half the current
cash (and a friendship levels).
Leading the Walcuray is the fourth High Priest of Bulzome, Goriate. He
doesn't get as much screen time as Fiale, Basanda, and Dessheren do.
That's a little disappointing.
Very interesting, I can't wait to make
it that far in. You mention the Vandals, and I have to ask, how much
does Shining Force III tie in
with Shining the Holy Ark?
It's a question that has always puzzled me.
One other thing: depending on Medion's choice in an early battle with
general Produn's forces back in Scenario
2, Julian may or may not have general Edmund on his side.
If he doesn't have Edmund, then after the first two battles he'll get
both Bridget and Isabella. If Edmund is there, only Bridget will
join for now. Bridget is a Spark-centered mage, while Isabella is
not only the first person Julian has on his team who can use Heal
(Gracia has Aura, but that drains his MP pretty fast) but is also
Domaric's daughter and thus an imperial princess. If Edmund is
not there, Julian can recruit Produn later. Since the trigger for
this was Medion deciding whether to spare Produn's wife Stella or not,
his feelings will have been shaped quite dramatically.
Wait a second here, choices from one
game affect things in the next? Seems crazy to see something like that
this far back, when we make such a big deal of it with Mass Effect. You don't usually see
this many different variances in story based on player choice in a
JRPG. Makes it sound like the team knew this would be their last Shining Force, and put their heart
and soul into it. Of course they may have put their heart and soul into
it just for the heck of it.
How's the Godzilla education going? Don't make me assign more
viewings, the series got notoriously silly after the first movie.
Three-Headed Monster features Godzilla and Rodan batting a rock
back and forth, and that's only the fifth movie. Then again, the
more recent movies dumped most of the overt silliness. Godzilla 2000 used some awful CGI
to show him underwater though. CGI Godzilla = BAD. Just
remember what Matthew Broderick was running from.
I actually haven't gotten to it yet,
but will do so as soon as possible! I may watch Godzilla 2000 for the heck of it. I
loved the soundtrack back in the day (despite never seeing it). Green
Day should be on every (OK not really) movie soundtrack.
Connect The Magnetic Monster
to Dragon Quest VIII!
Yep, time to get going. Plenty of material.
I'm going to save this for next week,
because the first one of these was tough enough!
Hi, Wheels! Since you brought this up, I thought you might be interested
in the following. I haven’t heard anything since this, but
that also means I haven’t heard that it’s been canceled.
What did you think of the final book? In case you haven’t read it
yet, I won’t mention any spoilers (there are two specific things King
did in the finale that irked me to no end), but I will say it left me
You’re an excellent Q & A host – keep up the good work!!
Thank you for the complement sir!
I have yet to finish the final book of the Dark Tower series, though I am
currently reading it. It is quite strange so far, and I'm not convinced
that it will provide a satisfying ending. We shall see though!
As for the whole Dark Tower
movie project, it sounds like that may be falling by the wayside, and
likely any possible game may be headed the same way. Which is a shame.
I really think an RPG involving many different versions of Earth, or
even just exploring Roland's broken one would be a lot of fun. I can't
predict if we'll ever see such a thing, but it would be a shame if the
interesting universe King created in the series isn't explored in a
Please Sir, I Want Some More
Will there ever be another in the Chrono
series?? i miss good rpg's!!
Hey now, I understand how you feel, but there have been a great deal of
great RPGs since Chrono Trigger came
out. For example Radiant Historia
is vaguely similar to Chrono Trigger
and also quite brilliant. I'm not sure why there hasn't been more games
in the series, given the popularity, but it doesn't look like it will
happen. So the best I can suggest is that you branch out and try many
RPGs. Try games like Suikoden II,
etc. There are many great RPGs out there, often in forms you don't
expect. I hope you found some games that grab you as much as Chrono Trigger clearly did!
That's it for this week! Next week the first round of the contest will
be complete, and I'll try and provide some sort of silly commentary as
to how the simulated matches went.
See you then!
July 8th: Wheels
July 22nd: Wheels
July 29th: Wheels
August 5th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Battlefield 3 / Xenoblade
2. Disgaea 4
3. Deus Ex 3
4. El Shaddai / Skyrim
5. Tales of the Abyss 3D
On my Playlist:
1. 80s Music
2. Catherine Soundtrack
3. Crystal Bearers soundtrack
1. Is it time for Tom Clancy to make an RPG?
2. Why do you think Nintendo suddenly decided to add region protection
to the 3DS when they hadn't done so for previous portables?
3. What long dormant RPG series do you want to see make a return?
4. Do you prefer digital releases or physical releases and why?
5. What makes Falcom's games so different than other Japanese games,
and why have they been able to have success on odd platforms for so