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ASK WHEELS
Final Round
September 1st, 2011

09/01- 12:00PM EST

The final results for the contest!

The Match-up:

Scott O. - Oil Man ... I mean Hakan vs. Paladia - Sagat

Round 1: Sagat starts with a barrage of fireballs, but Hakan counters with some grabs and begins to take the edge, using his sliding move to get under the fireballs. He finishes with the EX version of one of his grabs, taking round 1.

Round 2: Again Sagat takes the advantage before Hakan counters with some well timed grab moves. Then Sagat hits his ultra. However it is not enough. Hakan gets in more grabs, after using the oil move which powers up all of his attacks. Hakan takes the match, giving the contest victory to Scott O! Congrats dood!


Congrats Scott O.!

With that over with, let's got on to the letters!





The Letters
The Return

A couple of questions oh wheeled one from your esteemed 8ut flaky colleague. First, why do I have to 8adger you every day to read Homestuck faster???????? 


Wheels

Because Homestuck is insanely long, and I want to take it at my own pace, like you probably did. I'm making progress though! I wish Homestuck was available in some kind of downloadable form, or didn't use flash so often so I could read it on my iPhone.

Second, why do I have to complain every day 8ecause you keep talking a8out Duty Calling or some BACON like that????????


Wheels

Come on now, I know it isn't exactly an original series or something, but there is something to the Call of Duty series that make it so popular. The multiplayer is a lot of fun, and includes the sort of grinding appeal that an MMO does. Winning multiplayer matches is just a lot more fun when it gives you a bunch of xp towards unlocking new weapons and such. Really though, Call of Duty is just what I play when taking a break from one RPG or another. Also Halo is still the best FPS series.

Third, given the recent release of Breath of Fire IV on PSN I'm curious if you have any thoughts on the franchise???????????

-fanboymaster


Wheels

I do have some thoughts on the franchise, namely that though the games may be quite good, the series never quite took off like many other classic JRPG series. The one time the series did something truly unique, sadly no one bought it (poor Dragon Quarter). I think the series has enough going for it that Capcom could find success with it, but it's clear they don't have much interest. As much as I like the series, especially Dragon Quarter, I just don't think the games would find much of an audience. I expect Monster Hunter will be the only RPG series we'll see out of Capcom for a while.

Political Tactics

Hey Wheels,

Just a quick note in response to Jbumi. Playing Suikoden Tactics got her wondering why so many tactics games are political. She must've not played the original Suikoden games. Suikoden Tactics is probably the lightest in politics in the series.

Wheels

I haven't played Suikoden Tactics yet, but given the dubious quality of Suikoden IV I'm not surprised. It's too bad they tied it to the most reviled game in the series -- it would have been cool if it was its own story, or maybe even a remake of an earlier game with a tactical battle system.

Most are political in nature though, but I guess the whole "tactical" idea is just a good link to politics, which are tactical in nature as well (Did that make sense?). That said, there are a couple of games that take a different route. Devil Survivor isn't very political, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (1 and 2) aren't very political, or very good but that's besides the point. Phantom Brave wasn't about politics as far as I can remember.

Wheels

That made perfect sense.  Politics involve all kinds of tactical decisions, because everything politicians do can have a positive or negative effect on their image. There's also the need to make deals with others to get what you want to get done. Let's not delve too much into that though. Those are some great examples of non-political tactical RPGs. I'd say they're exceptions to the rule though, especially Phantom Brave. I'd like to discuss Phantom Brave in depth some time, as I think it does some especially interesting things with the genre, despite its issues. It tells an often poignant tale that is quite unusual given the usual comedic fare that NIS produces. I'd disagree with your point of the Tactics Advance games being bad, but to each his/her own as they say!  Do you enjoy Phantom Brave and Devil Survivor, and the ways they differentiate themselves from other Tactical RPGs?

But there just aren't enough tactical RPGs out to begin with. There should be more. If there was a good, free, easy to use tactical RPG maker out, I would've probably made one myself, because I've got plenty of ideas for one, which aren't all political in nature. But there isn't, so I won't! :D
 
Just my two cents.
 
Cheers,
Daniel

Wheels

Oh there certainly should be more out there! Considering that they aren't even the most expensive games to make, I can't quite get why there aren't more out there. As for a tactical RPG maker, I wish there was one, but Disgaea 4 has a map editor, so that may be about as close you can get. Anyway, thanks for the letter. Looking forward to hearing from you again!

Remembering Baldur's Gate

Hello Sir Wheels,

How dost thou fare this week?
 


Wheels

Quite good! Working on reviewing Disgaea 4, so I've been busy, but I've also been inching closer to finally finishing Persona 3 Portable as well.

Hopefully you enjoyed my last submission; I have gotten rusty in my writing. Anyhow, this is not about me, for the most part.

One of the “Hot Topics” as “What long dormant RPG series do you want to see make a return?” and my reason for writing in this week is to answer that question as well as pose a question to you.



Wheels

I did enjoy it! I couldn't tell in any way your writing has gotten rusty. Anyway, let's see what series you'd like to see returned.

To answer your question “What long dormant RPG series do you want to see make a return?” my answer would have to be Baldur’s Gate for the PC (I am not counting the Dark Alliance games). The last title was released back in 2001 which concluded the Bhaal Spawn story. I played through the first Baldur’s Gate probably 10 or 11 times before I was able to complete it. My dad got a copy shortly after the game came out. I was still really young so I did not understand all of the aspects of the game. I would always play through the game up until before the game allows reentry into Candlekeep. My dad would always wipe the computer hard drive when I got to this point (not because I got to this point but old computers did not have much hard drive space as you probably already know) and I would have to start over again. This did not deter me. I continually tried to beat the game. The farthest I got into the game before losing my save was when I finally entered Baldur’s Gate. Then my dad decided to restart the computer. So I lost that save and was forced to start anew. In 2008 I finally was able to beat the game. Beating the game was not a chore but a labor of love. I enjoyed the story.  Reading all of the scrolls and books that are available in the game took a long time too. But the amount of detail involved in incorporating the Forgotten Realms mythos into the game was brilliant work.


Wheels

Baldur's Gate was absolutely brilliant. The way it incorporated the D&D rules into a real-time system worked perfectly, and the lore of the Forgotten Realms was incorporated so well that even those who aren't familiar with it could enjoy it. We could just talk for hours about how good the story was, how well it fit into the mythos, how great the voice acting was, etc. It's a bit dated at this point, but you can see the beginning of a lot of BioWare's modern practices.

I have yet to complete Baldur’s Gate II, but I would still love to see another entry into the franchise. Hopefully one day that will be possible. It will help me want to complete Baldur’s Gate II in order to prepare for a new entry, even if it does feature a new story arc since the previous one was concluded.


Wheels

You really should play Baldur's Gate II. It is a great deal better than the original, exploring more of the Forgotten Realms and bringing the story to an epic close. I haven't completed the whole thing myself, though I was on the final dungeon. It is absolutely a must play. I'd love to see another entry in the series, but it seems unlikely that BioWare will get to use the Dungeons and Dragons license again, and I doubt many would want to see a sequel from anyone else. I think it would be better if BioWare continues to develop the lore of their own Dragon Age world.

Have you played through any of the Baldur’s Gate games, the Dark Alliance series included? If so, which game out of the ones you have played is your favorite?

Continue providing your superb Q&A commentary sir,
-Rival



Wheels

Baldur's Gate II is absolutely the best in the series, in my opinion. It improves upon the brilliant groundwork put forth by the first game, and provides more locations to explore and more interesting characters to adventure with. It is by far one of the finest RPGs out there. Both Dark Alliance games are good for some hack and slash action, but not even close to the level of BioWare's games.

Anyway, thank you for the kind words! Looking forward to hearing from you again.

IN CLOSING

Q&A will be taking a brief break next week, with many of you I'm sure getting settled back into school, and your host starting work on his graduate thesis project. So take that extra time to get some more questions in!

See you in two weeks!

-Wheels


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Hot Topics:

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5. Borderlands somehow merged Diablo and first person shooters to make an incredible game, what can the sequel do to improve on the first?

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