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ASK WHEELS
This Week, Answers Approach, Command?
September 22nd, 2010

09/22 - 12:00PM EST

  TGS has come and gone and we've got some new RPGs to be excited about, but not as many as I think many of us expected, but Disgaea 4 looks sweet and that's got me excited. Our excellent news staff did not need much of my help, so no need for a shorter column, though It will be one question shorter as it's been a busy past few days. Anyway, just got Etrian Odyssey 3 so dungeon crawling lies ahead for me, not to mention we're getting ever closer to New Vegas' release, so there's still more RPGS to get excited about! Anyway, on to the letters.





The Letters
Good Content Ahead

Introductions are failing me right now, so I'll do without.
If you could pick an intellectual property that is not associated with RPGs, and turn it into one, what would be the honored property? 


Wheels

This is an easy answer. Since I hear Game of Thrones is already possibly being made into an RPG then the answer I would have to give is the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. While I haven't finished it yet, the idea of wandering through multiple realities as a party of gunslingers seems like it would make for a fantastic and original game. It would probably be difficult from a licensing perspective though, since some of the cool aspects of it come from references to some of Stephen King's other books. It  would certainly make for an interested RPG I think.

As an entirely separate question: what is an intellectual property that is not associated with GOOD RPGs but could still be turned into one?


Wheels

That's a tough one because I can't think of all that many RPGs based on intellectual property to begin with, never mind bad ones. I'm going to go with Bleach though. Bleach The 3rd Phantom I hear was not a very good SRPG, but I think the anime series is interesting enough that they should be able to make something decent out of it. Going with a setup based on the first season, you could have a Persona style game where you juggle living daily life, and hunting down hallows. Probably not the best property people would want to see as an RPG, but I think they could make something good out of it.

When will the day upon which every game can be downloaded dawn?  Will the day upon which every game MUST be downloaded necessarily follow?


Wheels

The day upon which every game can downloaded will dawn very soon, I think. It seems like one of the biggest reasons people hack their systems is so they can throw all their games on one storage device and not have to worry about swapping discs. Therefore it would seem smart to include downloadable games as an option. As for MUST download games? Not going to happen any time in the near future. We're all spoiled internet nerds, sure, but there are still lots of people with very slow or just average internet access, and even for many mid-range internet connections.  Downloads still don't exactly fly, and don't seem to be speeding up. So I really can't see a day in the near future when people are asked to download 15gb games instead of putting a disc into the thing. While it could happen for portables, for consoles themselves I don't expect to see download only systems any time soon, unless it's done in such a way that they can still distribute them on physical media for those without great internet access. That's the only way I see it working out.

Skies of Arcadia 2 has spent almost ten years not happening.  Will it ever, or did Sega drop the ball yet again?


Wheels

Man it's Sega, what do you expect? I can't speak for how will the game sold (because I have no idea), but it had to have done something for them to release it on the Gamecube. The main roadblocks preventing it right now, are most of the original team is working on the Valkyria Chronicles franchise, and also Rieko Kodama doesn't seem to work on games very often. It would be nice to see, but I don't think Sega should do it unless they have the right people working on it, which they can't do right now. If they thought it was a guaranteed success they would have already though, so I'm guessing it didn't exactly light up the sales charts.

So if you were GameArts, surveying the sales of Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, would Lunar 3 be anywhere in your thoughts?


Wheels

I think the first thought would have to be, "did this game not sell because people don't care about Lunar, or did this game not sell because it's like the 10th version of the thing" (exaggeration, I know)? If it's the former, then no, they should completely ignore doing Lunar 3. If it's the latter though, then yes they should consider doing a Lunar 3. Personally I think the fanbase is still out there for it, and they need to just go ahead with it already. Honestly though they've long missed out on their best chance. The PS1 games did very well and they should have jumped on doing a new game right then. Those who hesitate are lost as they say.

Your mission is to sell the community at large on the virtues of the SaGa series.  You may do this in any way you please, though pointing people toward Unlimited Saga as a starter I would not recommend.  Go!
That should be enough content, I think.
JuMeSyn


Wheels

Thank you for lower-casing the g in Unlimited Saga. I would never suggest anyone start with that game, ever.  It's a spin-off of the series, and just a really odd game overall. Selling the community on the SaGa series is easy. If you're sick of the same old mechanics, hand-held linearity through games, and just need something fresh and different, then give the SaGa series a try, especially the first two gameboy games. While they often have obtuse mechanics for leveling characters, it's never something that's impossible to wrap your head around. Just ignore the negativity towards the series and give the games a try yourself. This is my message for everyone!

Anyway thanks for the content, more please!


Q&A Gets Poetic?


Dear Wheels, (I wrote with a sigh)
I have come wishing to ask why
Turn Based RPGS Persist
When the combat consists
Of a menu that's rolling a die?

Wheels

Man clearly you are not enjoying the deliciousness that is Etrian Odyssey 3. I agree that generic turn-based systems have gotten pretty boring, but there have been some brilliant turn-based RPGs of late, everything from 7th Dragon  to Persona 3 & 4. There are still a ton of different ways you can spice up classic turn-based battles to make them very tactical and difficult, and I don't want to see them go away any time soon. Granted games like Dragon Age and Baldur's Gate provide the same thing in real-time form, but I firmly believe that think turn-based RPGs have a place in modern gaming. So long as we have less games with invisible random encounters (a real relic of the old days).


Now granted, I realize there's more
But for the the simple fact is I abhor
All the ridiculous stats
Equipping clothes boots and hats
Just for chance to be all that wins wars


Wheels

I'm sad to hear that because stats are just the heart and soul of most RPGs. The great ones are all about mixing and matching things to make the best possible party/character you can for the given task at hand. It sounds like more action focused RPGs are your thing, you should play some Ys. That series is all about minimal stats and lots of monster bashing (and great music). Stats and RPGs go hand and hand, and that is just a fact.

In my heart I deeply believe
and surely you too can precise
That there must be a way
to make games fun to play
without use of such old gameplay themes?


Wheels

This is true, but people still love these old gameplay themes, and honestly they have stood the test of time. I mean I'm currently playing Etrian Odyssey 3 which is just a complete throwback of a game, and yet all of its gameplay still feels fresh and modern, thanks to smart gameplay design. There's still a ton of fun to be had with these old concepts. At the same time, it's always nice to see new things, and the Mass Effect games are very exciting because they show how fantastic a shooter/RPG mix can be, and I'd throw Alpha Protocol in that mix as well. There are plenty of new things that can be done with RPGs, but there's nothing wrong with a lot of the old concepts! Dragon Quest IX's success proves that people still like them as well.

That sucked.  I hold you personally responsible!

-Beat


Wheels

Well I guess I am since I responded to it!

Write in again Beat, maybe less poetically next time?



Twittering About the Classics

@AskWheels What are some classic PS1 titles you'd like to see appear on PSN? Similarly, what RPGs would you like to see on VC?

- Merrygodown

Wheels

Now that is a fantastic question! I'll start with the PSN. My first hopes would be for the Final Fantasy PS1 games, but thankfully we got those first, so we're all set there. There are a bunch of other PS1 RPGs that could really stand to see a release though. Most notably would be some Working Designs games, such as Alundra and The Arc the Lad Collection (both of which will apparently be coming), along with the Lunar games would be nice to see. Other than that, there's a lot of Square-Enix games that I would love to see, most notably SaGa Frontier (already on Japanese PSN) and Legend of Mana (coming to PSN in Japan). I know it's long as heck, but Dragon Warrior VII would also be fantastic to have in portable form. Other than that the big one would have to be Suikoden II, which is odd to not see on there since the first game is. I'm sure we'll see many of these games at some point, but I just wish they wouldn't take so long.

My wishes for Virtual Console are all SNES games. I'll start with the obvious Lufia games, which would be a nice tie-in to the upcoming DS game. 7th Saga is an interesting little RPG by Square-Enix that would be cool to see. Speaking of Square-Enix, they need to get some more games up there! we need, Final Fantasy VI we need, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Evermore deserves some love, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest would even be nice. There's also of course Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia, but I'm not sure who even owns the rights to those anymore.

There's just so many RPGs that are not on these services, and the worst of it is people are probably illegally downloading these games, even though they would buy them if available! Anyway, great tweet, send another!
IN CLOSING

That's it for this week. Next week I'll have details on the next contest (and we'll be back to a full column). Send in some more more letters and tweets! There's lot's of good topics to discuss. What do you think of the new HD Disgaea look? Will Fallout: New Vegas eclipse Fallout 3? What's your favorite Dragon Age downloadable content? Perhaps you'd even want to discuss Secret of Evermore. Whatever is on your mind!

-Wheels



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What I can't wait for:

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