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ASK WHEELS
Ice Cream Of Doom
September 21st, 2012

09/21- 12:00PM EST

Well, while Q&A was on its short break, Square Enix decided to announce a new Kingdom Hearts HD collection. While normally this would be very exciting news, at first it seemed they had made the shocking decision to include my most hated Kingdom Hearts game, 358/2 Days. Thankfully it appears it will just have HD versions of movies from it. A close call! This scare did give me the idea of forcing myself to play that game again for charity or something. You wouldn't make me do that though, right? RIGHT?!?!?!?

On to your letters!





The Letters
Region Locked From Fun

‏@AskWheels how about region locking of 3ds means pal players will miss out (Atlus / xseed don't do pal - sure ghost light does, but not all)

@emechau


Wheels

Yeah, I'm still trying to figure out why exactly Nintendo made the decision to region lock the 3DS. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason behind it, especially considering their previous portable consoles had been region free as far back as the Game Boy. Of course, after DSi specific games were region locked on DSis we should have seen this coming. I can picture importing or piracy really having a huge impact on the decision to region lock. Whatever the reason, it certainly isn't helping us customers. Sadly this is unlikely to change, so we'll just have to hope Atlus and XSEED expand to Europe!

The Best Around

Why is FF6 the best Final Fantasy? Many reasons! (But seriously, spoiler alert if someone hasn't played it for some reason!)

#1, it has an excellent but relatively simple story. Some Final Fantasy games have mediocre stories, some have crazy complicated stories that make little sense. FF6 doesn't fall into either category.
.


Wheels

I like that they focused with a mostly straightforward plot. It let them expand on the characters involved and create a lot of personal investment for the player. You care about the result of the story, because you like these characters. What's also nice is the end has a finality to it. You get the general idea of where the characters are going post-game, and there's no need for a sequel because there's really nothing to wrap up. Too many games in the series have plots too convoluted to fit into one game.

#2, it has a wide variety of excellent characters. Most of the characters have some depth to them, and are interesting rather than cookie cutter generic characters. Gameplay wise, I like the fact that FF6 managed to combine unique abilities for each character with the ability to customize them as you see fit, using Espers. In addition, you actually get to USE most of these characters thanks to a few dungeons where the party splits into 2 or 3, as well as a couple story splits. That's not to mention the game's second half, where you can acquire characters in a different order than the first half. In some Final Fantasy games, I'll get a character fairly early on and literally never use them again because I'm only allowed to have a party of X amount of characters.


Wheels

Final Fantasy VI is really the only game in the series to provide you with a large cast and make good use of it all around. Each character has unique abilities so there's plenty of reason to try them all and mix and match parties. They can also all be customized using Espers to set what magic they have, so you get to personalize them a bit too (unless you're crazy and get every spell on every character). The secret characters aren't used much as far as plot goes, but still provide some unique additions to the party.

#3, it has an excellent soundtrack. Other Final Fantasy games have had some great songs, but FF6 has, by far, my favorite all around soundtrack of any game. In particular, I like Forever Rachel, Locke's theme, Edgar ad Sabin's theme, Gogo's theme, Mog's theme, and Kefka's theme.


Wheels

I still think this is the best soundtrack in the series. Though you could make the case successfully that certain other soundtracks have tracks that are better than anything on Final Fantasy VI's, as an overall soundtrack it is unmatched in its cohesion and high average of quality. Dancing Mad has few rivals as far as final boss tracks go.

#4, Speaking of Kefka, he's easily my favorite Final Fantasy villain. Final Fantasy has a reputation of pulling a bait and switch with the main villain. Take FF4 for example...as much as I love the game, the main villain doesn't become clear until WAYYYYYYY into it. And I'm not even talking about the switch to Zeromus...you never even hear the name Zemus until very late in the game. It's all Golbez before then. FF6 has one main villain throughout (they tease the possibility of Gestahl, but Kefka is pretty clearly the main bad guy). Plus, we don't get an emo villain, or a rarely mentioned god. You get, essentially, the Joker, and you get him almost right away and throughout the entire game. A villain who is just plain nuts, and who causes all kinds of problems throughout the game. And then, halfway through the game, he WINS! He takes over the world, remakes it as he sees fit, does ridiculous amounts of damage, kills a ton of people, and then sits atop a tower ruling over the world. That just doesn't happen in most games. Either the heroes save the day before the villain can destroy the world, or the game starts after the villain has already taken over. Shaking it up by having Kefka do it mid game, essentially forcing you to "start over" in a reshaped world, is different and interesting. I loved visiting all the towns to see what had changed, and loved tracking down my party as I went along.


Wheels

Kefka is perhaps the best example of a completely insane villain in all of RPGs. The way that things go completely to hell in the middle of the game is astounding the first time you play it, as I can't think of a game before it where the heroes utterly fail to stop something like that. One of my favorite parts in the game is before the last boss fight, when Kefa shows his utter disdain for humanity by randomly destroying parts of the world for no reason other than his own amusement. There's no ridiculous monologue trying to tear apart the heroes' ideologies, just complete and utter madness.

#5, I may be mistaken, and correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the first Final Fantasy game with secret characters that weren't required? I can understand why some games don't want to go that route for story purposes (say, FF13 with so many cut scenes), but I love the idea of secret characters. Sure, Umaro was close to useless in the end game, but I always liked Gogo.


Wheels

I love the idea of secret characters. It harkens back to the old days when hunting down secrets was practically a hobby separate from gaming. Sadly the internet and guides and FAQs seem to have put an end to that. Still, optional characters are would be nice. With more of a switch towards in-engine custscenes these days it would make it easier for developers to include them!

#6, I loved that this game had some winks to people who really wanted to go in depth that weren't actually part of the story and were never definitively confirmed in the story itself. Mainly thinking of Shadow's relationship to Relm here, which is never flat out said but is pretty much a definite if you pay attention. Even the main romance in the game (Locke and Celes), you're never beaten over the head with it. While it's obvious there's a mutual attraction, they never go right out and hold your hand, explaining in depth what's going on. They didn't need to, but some games forget that.


Wheels

I loved this too. So many little optional touches you can discover. My favorite would be Shadow's dream sequences, which I can't even remember how to access. This reminds me that they actually let you leave the floating continent early and let Shadow die (you monsters). More RPGs need the possibility of main characters kicking the bucket based on your actions. This is why games like the Devil Survivor series are so great!

#7, the Opera. Come on now. The Opera stuff ruled. It totally doesn't seem like it should have, but it did. Locke's the man.


Wheels

By all accounts an Opera with weird computerized voices should have been terrible, but instead the whole scene was amazing.

#8, you're on more of a track for the first half of the game (although some exploration can happen), but once you get the airship in the second half, there's tons of stuff you can do. Reassembling your party, getting the secret characters, hunting the 8 dragons, tracking down the extra espers, finding Doom Gaze, fighting in the Arena...a ton of stuff to keep you busy. That's not even including the added dungeons in the rerelease.


Wheels

The second half of the game is just great. Heck you don't even have to reassemble the entire party to take on Kefka, you can do it pretty much as soon as you have an airship. Of course unless you want to just grind for countless hours you'll have to do some of the content, but the freedom to just explore and find your lost companions was great. Makes the final battle and ending that much sweeter.

I could keep going, but that's enough. I enjoy most of the Final Fantasy games, but FF6 is my favorite in the series and it isn't particularly close. It's my favorite game as well.

-Kyle


Wheels

Yeah we could spend hours praising this game and not touch everything that makes it special. I'd love a nice remake of some kind, perhaps even just something like the Final Fantasy IV PSP collection with nicer sprites. More people need to play this game, as not enough have!

True Logic

@AskWheels When is the next Ask Wheels?


Wheels

RIGHT NOW

What is this growth under my left nipple?


Wheels

Clearly it's just a peperoni. You need to more care the next time you eat pizza!

Family Guy

Excited about the Cole's KS announcement?

-falselogic


Wheels

Well I'm quite excited for the Obsidian kickstarter. I've always enjoyed their stories, and as Dungeon Siege III showed they can make a technically solid title when using their own engine. We'll have to see how things turn out, but I think with a less graphically intensive engine that lets them focus on what they do best, we could end up seeing something quite special!

...wait we're talking about different things aren't we?

If you mean that Quest for Infamy kickstarter for a Quest for Glory type game I am very excited! The world needs more Quest for Glory.

(Editor's note: he's actually talking about this)

New New New

Namco is bringing the rpg heat. New God Eater, Super Robot Wars, Summon Night, One Piece rpg, new Tales, toki towa ect

They are bringing over 15 rpgs. Are we sure they arent the new king of rpgs in japan?

-Alan


Wheels

Well, I wouldn't say new entries in well established RPG series exactly constitutes new kinds of RPGs in Japan, especially when one of them is a Monster Hunter clone. That being said, there are still plenty of interesting RPGs being made in Japan such as Beyond the Labyrinth which appears to have no shot of coming out here. It is good to see a new Summon Night, from much of the original team. More RPGs are always good, and I'm glad Namco is making plenty of them. Will we see many of these? Absolutely not, too many PSP releases. Fan translators will probably have a gold mine of good PSP RPGs to translate for years.
IN CLOSING

That's it for today.

See you all next week!

-Wheels


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