|This Week, A Winner is
|September 1st, 2010
09/01 - 12:00PM EST
Yes I'm still here, with more great questions! These week we
talk Disgaea, old school SNES
RPGs, and more! Also I'll be announcing the winner of the contest!
We'll talk some more Ys Seven
as well, now that I've played a good amount of the game. Valkyria Chronicles 2 will also be
out by the time you read this, though now questions about this game
yet. Alright, on to the letters!
This Week, We Get....Disturbing?
Right, I have no idea where this is going, Demon's Souls is dark! Please be
talking about Demon's Souls...
computer, my mind locked on a single train of
thought. I have to send a letter to Wheels. I need to. He must know of
me. I can ignore it no longer. The rhythmic
pounding in my head demands it. The low roar of the creatures
just beyond the edge of my sanity command it. The guttural groans
of the earth beneath my feet beg for it. I don't understand it, I
You know this reminds me of Inception. You know that thing about
an idea being a virus that consumes you? That would actually make a
great game I think. Going into other people's minds and what not. Like Alundra,
in modern times and
darker. So yeah, I think you watched
Inception too many times.
in front of my laptop in this dark cave I call
my home. He loops in circles around my letters at they appear
onscreen, communicating to me in the only language he knows. He
is a wretched sinner, as am I. But he has nothing on you
wheels. Nobody has anything on you.
The question, the maddening question pounds inside my head like a
hammer on an anvil. I must know. I have nowhere else to
You know bug type things can actually be the most annoying enemies in
games. There's some gnat type things in Ys VI that have been driving me
nuts. Plus there's some bug enemies in Monster Hunter Tri that can poison
you and what not, and really mess you up during a big battle. Plus to
farm some component you have to kill some bugs only with poison, no by
bashing them to bits.
the raw, disgusting request for information flows out
Please don't let it be about Criminal
please! I mean, I think almost any topic
better. Unless of course if it were about Drakengard.
"Do you think that the industry would benefit from more games taking
hints from Nier and going the extra mile with localization to make the
game more appropriate and approachable to western audiences?"
I fall limp to the hard earth. It's done. Now the end may
What? That's all this was? A Nier
question? Well that's just fine then. Yes I'm quite certain that more
games could use the extra effort to make the game more approachable to
western audiences. It certainly seems to have worked for Nier, as I've heard it sold pretty
well, though it's hard to tell if that's due to the localization. Nier kind of has the whole dark
setting and action element going for, which worked for Demon's Souls. is a much stranger
game though, and both of those elements did not help Drakengard.
Localization is a complicated process, especially for something strange
like Nier's story. Some of
the more generic Japanese RPGs that come out, such as Arc Rise Fantasia could
certainly use some more character. This seems to be par for the course
for Square Enix though, as most of their localizations are much better.
So to make a long answer short, yes absolutely more games could use
this kind of localization. Remember, it's not just translating a game,
you have to get it to make sense to the new audience which is a
difficult process. You'll often see this in a lot of fan translation
projects. It will get the job done sure, but will just be missing a lot
of character. More companies going the extra mile would be great, as
long as it makes sense for the game and companies aren't going beyond
their means. I wonder if Nier was
and they just decided to give the localizers
a lot of freedom. It would certainly be an interesting case study.
Thanks for the.....whatever this was Beat and write in again......maybe!
Wheels! Man, read your bio! It's good to have a
decent host once again. And might I say I believe that is the
longest absence of a Q&A host I have ever witnessed, and I dare
say, I was starting to lose hope that it would ever come back, I was
thinking about putting in an app myself! Nice bio man!
Thanks man, I really do appreciate
comments like this. Q&A was always one of my favorite things on
RPGamer and it's an honor to be doing it. Thanks for the bio
complement, I'm guessing you enjoyed my gaming history?
So I just have to say though, the bio is good, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono
Trigger at the top of your list. Chrono Trigger is my favorite
all time game above anything else, followed by Final Fantasy
Tactics. But you made a comment in your last column about one of
your only non-rpg forays is pretty much just Halo.
DUDE!?!?! Seriously? HALO? Hmmmm.... Yeah, it's
got good multiplayer, but that only gets you so far. And the Halo
community is, well, a Halo community. As far as an FPS goes,
there are much better games out there, most notable is Metroid Prime,
which to me, on the Wii, is the greatest and most engrossing FPS of all
time. Tron 2.0 was also pretty stellar on the PC. But what
about games like Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Viewtiful Joe, No
More Heroes, Killer 7? There are beautiful, insanely fun works of
action art that you are missing out on man! Break your Halo and
grow some devil horns!
There's something special about multi-player in Halo, coming from the
long tradition of Marathon
Multi-player, it's essentially the modern update to Marathon that we never got. You
have to understand being a Mac guy, that Bungie's games have always hit
the sweet spot for me, be it their FPS games or others. The vast number
of different multi-player variants you can play is simply staggering. I
enjoy the campaigns as well, though I usually only play them once
For single player non-RPG gaming I actually play a lot of different
things, from Metroid Prime
(which I would actually classify as something slightly different than
an FPS), to Bioshock, Assassin's Creed, and Mario games of course. Halo just happens to be my
multi-player game of choice. By the way, I can't stand the Metal Gear Solid franchise past the
first game, but that's a story for another time!
As for Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, these games are the
ones I've gone back to the most, and I was pretty much obsessed with
them for a large part of my childhood. I would go on to use character
names from both as nick names for years. Though the Final Fantasy Legend games were
what got me hooked on RPGs, these two games will most likely top my
favorite games lists for years to come.
So I have the FFL cartridge still, but admittedly, I play the game in
all in it's dot matrix glory on my PC. There is just something so
fascinating about playing an 8 bit black and white game on a 46" LCD
screen, ya know? But every time I start the game that beginning
theme song just makes something inside of me melt. What a
song! You should post a link to it somewhere in this
column! But my favorite SaGa, and don't castrate me here, still
has to be Saga Frontier 2. The story of that game and the
graphical style is just fantastic to me, plus another great opening
theme song! The PlayStation was just the perfect blend of 2D and
3D coming together, and that time period of Squaresoft games was, in my
opinion the sequel to it's golden era on the SNES. I mean, you
had Xenogears, Front Mission 3(the first ever FM to make it over here),
Vagrant Story, Legend of Mana, Rings of Fate, Saga Frontier, Final
Fantasy Tactics, Brave Fencer Musashi. It was such a huge
explosion of great new games from Square, rather than the same old
Final Fantasy offering ever 3 or 4 years. Are you a Front Mission
fan? And what about Matsuno, are you a fan? And what is he
doing nowadays, any info on that guy?
Legend is an absolute classic. On the webpage for the DS version
of SaGa 2 you can hear an
absolutely brilliant version of that song. The SaGa series, especially the
gameboy games, are just something special that most people either don't
know, or don't care about. Which is a shame. I haven't actually played SaGa Frontier 2 yet, I've been
saving it for a rainy day, that being when it finally sinks in that SaGa 2 DS is not going to come out
The PS1 era really was a special Time for Square Enix (well then
Squaresoft obviously) that I will never forget. I missed out on Front Mission 3 though, the idea of
a tactical mech game didn't really interest me. Final Fantasy Tactics has to be the
best of the games of that era, and is probably the PS1 game I sunk the
most hours into, even more than Legend
If you mean Matsuo, one of the composers, he worked on Ogre Battle 64, Shenmue I&II, Final Fantasy XII, and Nights for the Wii (not as
composer on any of these titles).
OK so since I've mentioned the golden era. Tales of
Phantasia. First Tales made, best Tales made. Symphonia was
just too, well, childish to me. Tales of Destiny was a great
follow-up, but still didn't rub me down as well as Phantasia did.
Maybe it was because most of the team that made Star Ocean had
something to do with it, I don't know. But the JPOP, the time the
game was localized, how it was localized, how it was played. Yeah
Phantasia all the way, and I still don't think there is a tales game
out there that will measure up, call me old school, but long live 2D
FOREVER!! I think it's sad that a lot of people back in the
day(and even today) were anti Secret of Evermore. That game was
so absolutely radical and revolutionary for it's time, it's terrible
that people didn't give a chance because they were looking for the same
old thing in a Secret of Mana sequel. The alchemy system in that
game was amazing, and hunting for new spells whilst having your dog
sniff out ingredients for you never gets old. And the music in
that game was absolutely amazing, the debut of Jeremy Soule, one of the
greatest and most underrated composers in videogame history! So
my question is to you, what ever happened to Quintet? Are you a
Quintet fan? Are they still out there somewhere, and have any
plans of doing something other than making small obscure icons for
certain games? I heart Quintet and would love to see a solid 3D
entry by them! I think it would be awesome to see some golden
games like Illusion of Gaia, or Secret of Mana, remade into 3D!
What do you think? I also still hold out hopes for a War of the
Magi prequel to Final Fantasy VI. I have dreams of Magitek armor
armies rushing forth against hordes and hordes of Espers. Ahhhh,
Well, it's been a pleasure man, keep up the good work, and welcome to
Q&A from a long time reader, long time writer.
We've agreed on a lot of things, but sadly here is where we will split.
Phantasia is my least favorite in the series. The combat is
horribly slow, and the 2D plane doesn't allow for much strategy, and
the story is rips off from just about every awesome 16-bit RPG out
there. I really am not a fan of the 2D battle system in Tales games (Tales of Eternia I've found the
combat still quite boring despite being faster paced). A 3D battle
field makes a world of difference in keeping things interesting, and
it's with Tales of the Abyss
that I really fell in love with the series. The creators of Tales of the Phantasia, as you
likely know, went on to form Tri-Ace. I can tell you that I do not like
most of their work, and Phantasia shows
their worst ideas started from. The Tales
series is in much better
hands now. I'm a huge fan of 2D RPGs, but Tales of Phantasia should not be
your standard bearer!
Evermore is an absolute classic. Though it's not technically a
sequel to Secret of Mana, the
developers at Squaresoft USA obviously used the same engine to create
it. SoE was so unique and
fresh and I really wish more people had found a way to enjoy it,
instead of complaining that it wasn't Secret
Quintet seems to be in an unknown state currently. Their webpage is
gone, and they haven't officially released a game in ages. Apparently
their staff are showing up in the credits for other games, and Quintet
itself is credited for item creation in the Atelier Iris series, which is no
small part to those games. I guess they're surviving by renting out
staff members to other company's projects, but at this point who knows
if they'll ever actually release anything new. I played and loved both
of the action RPG classics Illusion
of Gaia and Soul Blazer
and would love to have more.
VI remake for 3DS. I want it. You want it. Keep the dream alive
(and yes a prequel would be awesome too)
Please write in again!
What are your thoughts on the Atlus merger? I've been seeing some
doomsaying about it, but Index's actions are usually those of a
company that is expecting strong gains from the subsidiary and wants
to keep said gains to itself. But perhaps they do business differently
I thought it'd be important to move up my
response to this one a week, given that people are likely freaking out.
If you are freaking out, stop it. Atlus is going to be fine, this is
just corporate nonsense. Remember, there are plenty of companies that
still exist as divisions of bigger companies, as in, non-independent
units, and they're still fine. It's just a distinction. I wish that had
been worded better in the release. You likely won't notice any changes
from this, except maybe hearing about more cellphone games using Atlus
properties in Japan. I'm not sure if they do business that differently
in Japan, but all signs still point to this not being a huge deal.
Thanks for sending this in!
The People Demand Shiny 3D
nice to see I'm the first to ever ask a question by Twitter! And of
course thanks for the recommendations on the Shining-series! They never
got much love here in Europe, which is a shame. Anyway, I thought it
would be nice to tackle one of the hot topics...
love in Europe? That's a shame. I wonder
how well the
games even sold here in the US. Anyway, let's see what hot topic you've
Disgaea 4 retain 2D Sprites or go for visual flair?
This is a pretty interesting question. NIS didn't do so well lately. I
have no idea how the portable Disgaea-games fare but I can imagine they
won't sell that great either. Now, Disgaea 3 was a lot of fun, but
could have been easily a PS2 game. Not a problem in my book, I never
have been impressed by HD-graphics and all. However, there are a lot of
people who are and probably didn't buy the game just because of the
visual look of the game. If Trinity Universe is an indication, I think
they will really change the look of the series on the consoles, going
the 3D-route, and maybe release a few spin-offs on handhelds with more
old school-kinda 2D sprites. I can't wait to see what they come up
with, but as long as the games keep their humor and over-the-top
battles with ridiculous amounts of damage it's OK by me!
What is your opinion on Disgaea 4? Should it be more of the same
gameplay-wise and only get a visual overhaul, or should NIS really
change the core of the game (like character creating or the item world)
together with the visual look?
Till next time!
For starters I think the Disgaea handheld games sold fine,
I think mainly where they've been hurting in the sales department are
the titles they publish by other developers. They don't seem to have
too many issues selling their internally developed titles, though I
don't think Prinny or Phantom Brave Wii sold well here.
Anyway on to the main topic.
I agree with you completely, despite probably selling pretty well I'm
sure many people were turned off by the visuals of Disgaea 3. Despite this it
absolutely was still the right platform, as the additional memory and
downloadable content made the game so much better. Just some basic,
great looking 3D, maybe cell-shaded, I think will be the best way for
them to go, and as you said they can keep doing 2D type games on
portable. I know NIS doesn't exactly have the biggest budget when they
make their games, but if they create a solid 3D engine they can then
reuse that on future Disgaea
titles and probably other similar titles as well. Given the lower
development costs, releasing on the PS3 probably gives them a chance to
make a lot more money, given they can sell at a higher cost, so they
should stick there. I look forward to seeing what kind of art direction
they go for with Disgaea 4,
but I expect the usual amount of humor that fans have come to love.
Now as for the actual gameplay, I don't think they should changes
things too drastically, especially at a time when they are hurting
financially. Scaring off fans is the last thing they would want to do.
They can still advance the series though, just continue the gradual
evolution of the gameplay. I also hope they focus a lot on level design
like they did in Disgaea 3.
There were so many great levels in that game that were more puzzles
than actual battles. Hopefully Disgaea
4 will get NIS back on track.
Thanks for the great letter, and write in again!
So what do you think of Ys Seven so far? Are you a huge Falcom
what? I want to know if you accept my review as fact or if we're
going to have one of these kinds of relationships.
In the past few months since first playing Ys I&II I've become a huge
Falcom fan, or at least a fan of the Ys
series. I mean I just ordered Ys Origins, in Chinese! What does
that tell you. I really love Ys Seven
so far despite the fact that it can be a bit chatty at times. Even so,
I think it's got a classic style story to it, something I would equate
to RPG junk food. It gets the job done, and I don't think it really
distracts from the action.
Let's talk about the action. Boy is it amazing! The boss encounters are
incredibly well constructed, especially the third boss where you've got
to take out all its legs just to be able to damage the thing. Even the
less interesting bosses tend to be very tense encounters, requiring
good dodging and careful use of healing items to make it through. I
also like the fact that there's a max number of healing items you can
carry, which decreases based on what difficulty you play on. The game
would be way too easy if you could just buy a horde of healing items.
The party mechanic also adds a lot of depth to the standard Ys formula, as not only do the
different characters have different types of attacks, which work better
against some enemies than others, but each character has their own set
of skills which you can learn from weapons as you progress. I don't
think I'd find much disagreement if I called it the best Ys game yet.
As for your review? I thought it was fantastic, and really hit on all
the best parts of the game, and the gripes that are there. I would have
rated it higher, but then, as you know, I'm a bigger fan of the overall
series. Generally I do like your reviews though, I just didn't care for
you're opinion of Crystal Bearers!
one of those kinds of relationships,
More letters please!
Well, that's it for this week. Keep the questions coming! The twitter
has been quiet, send me some questions and I'll try to get one of them
in each week! Not to mention I throw in some random other updates as
well. Anyway, I'm going to be playing tons of Valkyria Chronicles 2 this week,
and with Etrian Odyssey 3
around the corner, the parade of insanely long RPGs continues. Again, I
save all your e-mails and tweets, so if you don't see it the week you
it to me, fear not! It's been added to the log. Now on to the winner:
The winner of the contest, is Cait! I'll be contacting
you via e-mail about claiming your prize. Keep reading as I'll have
another contest coming soon. See you guys next week, where I'll be
answering some great questions from another columnist and more!
P.S. The answer to the trivia was Sega, but since my Falcom history
messed people up, I accepted all entries. Next contest all that will be
required is you send in a letter or tweet.
August 4th: Wheels
August 11th: Wheels
August 18th: Wheels
August 25th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Ys: Oath in Felghana for PSP
2. Etrian Odyssey 3
3. Fallout: New Vegas
4. Halo: Reach
5. Last Dragon Age Origins Add-On
On my Playlist:
1. Ys Seven Soundtrack
3. Final Fantasy XIII Soundtrack
1. Alpha Protocol got hammered by bad reviews, but
has gained a lot of fans, were reviewers too harsh?
2. A new SaGa game is coming, will it be a continuation of one of the
existing SaGa series, or something new?
3. If Sega makes a Valkyria Chronicles 3, what platform should it be on?
4. Demon's Souls was a big success for From Software, what should be in
a potential sequel?
5. Eternal Sonata was certainly a unique idea for a game, if you were
to make a game with the same concept, what musical artist would you
choose and what would the game be like?