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ASK WHEELS
Round Two
August 26th, 2011

08/26- 12:00PM EST

  Round two of the contest is now complete! I'm just going to jump right into the results:

Left in the contest:

Kain V - Balrog
Nightfox - Dudley
Scott O. - Oil Man ... I mean Hakan
Paladia - Sagat

Paladia vs. Nightfox:

Round 1: Round begins with a quick back and forth of moves before Sagat task the advantage with a number of strong moves. Dudley quickly counters with his Ultra, but Sagat keeps the advantage. Even though Dudley hits a second Ultra, Saga still manages to take the round.

Round 2: Dudley comes out strong in round 2, quickly taking Sagat's life down to below half. Sagat counters with a number of strong moves and fireballs, almost finishing off Dudley, but he hits his ultra to take the round.

Round 3: Again a lot of back and forth, then Sagat hits his ultra. Dudley tries to counter with his, but it's blocked. It stays close to the end, but Sagat manages to pull out the match with just a sliver of life left.
Match goes to Paladia!

Kain V vs. Scott O.:

Round 1: Balrog is pushed into a corner early, and though he manages to hit some moves and his ultra, Hakan finishes him off with a stream of strong grab moves.

Round 2:  Balrog comes out much stronger here, hitting lots of special moves, and getting in with some strong punch combos. Hakan hit some moves, but Balrog has the ultra to take the round.

Round 3: Some quick back and forth of moves, but Hakan again takes the advantage. Hakan hits his powerful ultra, and though Balrog makes an effort for a comeback, it is ultimately futile and Hakan takes the match.
Match goes to Scott O. !

So then next week will be the final battle between Scott O. and Paladia.

Now then, on to the letters!





The Letters
The Return

Wheels,
  It's great to see you again, long time no write, right? I'm back to ask you some more rpg questions. Are you up for it?


Wheels

I'm always up for! Good to hear from you again. Let's see what happens to be on your mind...

3. What long dormant RPG series do you want to see make a return? was your question on your hot topic list.

my answer would be the Breath of Fire series, I love that series. I have BoF 1,2, and Dragon Quarter. But am missing BoF 3, and 4 as they can get pretty pricey online. I did find a complete BoF 4 one time for $15 that I stupidly traded in after I beat it, 75 hours later and I got the bad ending, lol. my question to Capcom is, why Capcom, why? what do you think wheelzy?

til next time true believer,

Gameremporium


Wheels

Luckily for you, Breath of Fire IV just came out on PSN for pretty cheap, so you can always grab that if you want to play it again. Anyway, I'm not sure why Capcom just stopped trying with the Breath of Fire series. I don't think it ever sold incredibly well, and Dragon Quarter was certainly a sales bust. At the same time, I believe the PSP port of Breath of Fire III did well, and the the GBA ports of the first two games seemed to sell, so obviously there's a market out there for the games. Maybe Capcom is just the wrong publisher for such a niche series? I think the best thing right now would be to encourage people to grab the fourth game from PSN, and hope it shows Capcom that there is still interest in the series. Hopefully we'll have new Breath of Fire games to talk about in the future!

Wheels of Fortune

Hi, again, Wheels of Fortune!
 
I was wondering – is the PSP region locked?  When Jeanne D’Arc first came out, I entered a contest to win the game – I told myself if I won, that would be the sign that would impel me to buy a PSP. I did & did.  This was my first handheld.  It’s taught me that I’m not a handheld gamer.  I drive myself everywhere, & for some strange reason, gaming while driving is frowned upon!!!  It was useful during 7 hour chemo sessions, but thankfully that’s behind me.  However, I own it so I’d like to use it.

Wheels

You are in luck; the PSP is not region locked! I've used my North American PSP to play both European and Japanese games without issue, even some Japanese PSN games. The good thing is that a majority of the best games have been translated and brought over, so the need to import is mostly minimal. The PSP is a great system for RPGs, and you should try out some of the other games for it such as Tactics Ogre. You can always get a video-out cable and play the PSP on a TV (PSP 2000 or later only) if the idea of playing it on a couch doesn't appeal to you. Either way, there are plenty of great games you should play!

I learned from RPGamer’s podcast that all PS3s play PS1 games.  I currently have the 60 gig backwards compatible PS3, but know it won’t last forever; so my question is do the other PS3s have the smoothing option for PS1 games?  I finished Suikoden Tactics & am now replaying (for the first time since I bought it new back in ‘97) Breath of Fire III.  When I first played the game all those years ago, I only had a 13” TV (at least it was color).  Now I have a 40” HD – there are so many things I never noticed in the artwork before (those darn roaches are WAY TOO realistic looking)!!!  Anyway, that’s what got me wondering about the smoothing.
 
Hope you have a great weekend!
 
Jbumi

Wheels

All PS3s have the same options for playing PS1 games, as it is just a simple software emulator that is also used when playing downloadable PS1 games. I don't recall a smoothing option as it has been a while since I messed with the emulator's options, but if it is there on one PS3 it is there on all of them. Another cool feature is you can actually remote play PS1 games running on your PS3 on the PSP. A very handy feature if you want to keep playing a PS1 game running on the PS3 while a show is on or something. Now, if they could only get a nice PS2 emulator on all PS3s!

Anyway, get yourself some good PSP games!

Tremors of Bacon

Hey Wheels, how's it going? I've been kind of busy with summer vacation-y stuff recently.


Wheels

I'm doing well sir. I hope you're enjoying your summer vacation. Don't worry about not writing in, vacation-y stuff takes priority of course!

Anyhoo, looking back to my challenge of Aug. 5th, here's one way to connect Wild ARMs to Kevin Bacon. In Wild ARMs 3, there's a semi-optional boss called Diobarg (in English) or Graboid (in Japanese). This is an obvious reference to the monsters in the movie Tremors, starring Kevin Bacon. So... how many degrees of separation would that be?


Wheels

That's one or two degrees of separation, depending on how you look at it, and a really cool connection that I didn't know about. I suppose it is well past time that I play Wild ARM 3. Is it worth my time? Speaking of Kavin Bacon, it's a shame he's never done voice acting for a video game, as that would make many of these connections much easier.

Now, waaaaay back in June, I proposed a different, game-related challenge: to take something not normally associated with RPGs, and build an entire game concept based on that. I've tried, but I really didn't appreciate just how difficult a challenge this was. Seriously, what can we work with that hasn't already been tried? Hide-and-seek? Done. Soccer? Done. Cosplaying? Done and done. Classical music? Done. Public works projects? Done. Sex? DONE.


Wheels

This is a good point, especially looking at the many zany RPGs that have been released in Japan. There really aren't many subjects that haven't been covered. I did just think of something which is severely under-used while pondering this, that being open-ocean and open-space RPGs that focus on exploring via a ship, possibly with off-ship exploration as well. It's past time to move the open-world genre of RPGs beyond exploring locations on foot! I want an open-universe RPG!

Obviously, all the easy pickings (and a few of the harder ones) have already been done by somebody. So what to do? I finally dug back into Ye Olde Notebook of Ideas (#4) for an old concept I had. It was a scavenger-hunt RPG that was partly inspired by Final Fantasy Legend II and Mission : Impossible. In it, the main character's village was dying of a strange illness. In order to save his family, the MC makes a deal with a sorcerer. The sorcerer is participating in a trans-dimensional scavenger hunt the main purpose of which is unknown to the MC. He just has to go to whatever realm the sorcerer commands, find the necessary item, and make it back to base alive. Story in this game is the annoying stuff that gets in the way of this goal. It may not even be necessary to resolve the issues of the current locale in order to find the current target item. Since this is a sorcerous endeavor beyond the ken of mere mortals, the target could well be anything. It might be the horn of a rare monster, or a single flower picked at a specific place at midnight under the new moon. The player would have a small stable of usable characters with skill sets like languages, lockpicking, orienteering, or acrobatics, alongside the usual RPG skills. Like in Mission: Impossible, the MC would have to choose three characters to accompany him, and somehow succeed with whatever abilities they have.


Wheels

I can reasonably say that I did not think you would come up with using a scavenger-hunt. Not only that, but the whole idea really puts a new, and fun, twist on the class idea of fetch quests. Instead of the focus being on the simple fact that you're just going and fetching something, the focus is on the journey and the obstacles in the way. The Mission: Impossible style character usage is just the icing on the cake here. What's more, I can actually see someone making a game like this, so here's hoping this idea sees the light of day! Never thought an RPG based on a scavenger hunt would sound so good.

Well, I have to get going now. I have a school camping trip this weekend, and a column to put together for the 26th. Talk at you later!

Your fellow columnist,
Gaijinmonogatari


Wheels

Conveniently enough, this is also going up on the 26th! Anyway, good to hear from you. I think its time you present me with another challenge?
IN CLOSING

That's it for this week! Next week the contest results will continue with the final round.

See you then!

-Wheels


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