|This Week, Contest
|September 29th, 2010
09/29 - 12:00PM EST
Welcome to another week of....WAIT A SECOND. Stop the phone. Tales of the Abyss is coming to the
3DS! Guys, this news is just tops. I love that game a ton, and it will
be great to have it on the go. Presuming it comes to the US of course.
Anyway, welcome to another episode of Ask Wheels. I'm going to jump
right into the letters, and save contest details for the outro! Check
Wheels rose to power by answering questions. But some of his
policy has people asking questions of their own. Questions Wheels
hasn't seen fit to address yet.
Alright Beat, let's see where you're going with this craziness. This is
even more crazy than the last one you sent in.
Wheels claims to be knowledgeable about RPGs, but if that's true, why
hasn't he played Skies of Arcadia? Such a classic seems like an
odd omission for an "Expert".
I'll be honest, I simply was not a Dreamcast guy. In the ruins of the
Saturn I was very angry at Sega and had no interest in supporting its
next system. So I didn't, though I did buy one (used) when the system
was on its last legs. I guess it was a kind of savage pleasure to see
it fail? Not to mention I didn't have a Gamecube until very late: I
just missed out on Skies of Arcadia.
have played some super-rare RPGs, isn't that a better qualifier as an
Wheels claims to be an American citizen, but how many American citizens
do you know that worship Kawazu, and know the proper pronunciation for
Alright, I will admit that not too many people like Kawazu games, but
that doesn't mean anything. He's got a small but loyal fanbase here.
Heck, there was even a cool Unlimited
Saga fan site. So don't you go insulting the maestro! As far as
being able to pronounce Ys, I
didn't for a long time until I heard someone else say it the right way.
Not to mention the proper pronunciation is readily available on
Wikipedia. Sounds to me like you're grasping at straws, or you just
need to play some Ys.
Ask yourself, is a man who refuses to address so many questions really
capable of giving us the answers?
I've answered all your questions. Even the awful ones. Heck I've even
answered Kawazu-hating questions which proves that I am an even-minded
We think you can answer that one yourself.
Paid for by the
commission to elect BEAT.
I see. Now the truth comes out, Beat you are a snake! Please write in
again though because this was enjoyable. Maybe you could tell me why Skies of Arcadia is awesome and
why you refuse to play Ys? :)
SaGa questions from the land of the
Hey there, fellow columnist!
You know I was just trying to get your goat with that "screwed over"
comment last time, right? Anyhow, I'm more concerned with the
fact that you have yet to play SaGa
Frontier II, one of the prettiest games in the series!
It's also (strangely) the most linear game the series has ever
produced, and the only one that would put the lie to my comment that
Kawazu doesn't do politically involved, centralized plot-lines.
fact, the entire setting of Gustaf the Steel's war to retake his
birthright would make for a great tactical game.
I know, I know! No worries. Anyway,
II is very high up on my games-to-play list, I just have some
other games I want to finish up first. Keep asking me about it and I'm
sure eventually I'll have some experiences to share! Your constant
praise of it keeps getting me more and more interested. Not that I
wasn't interested, given it's a Kawazu game, but I've been focused on
replaying the first two gameboy games lately given the remakes of SaGa 2 and Saga 3. I will play it though, you
can be sure of that.
Now, as to one of the side items on your last column: "SaGa 3
remake, will it be handled by Kawazu, so he can Kawazu it up?" The
answer is YES. Buried in all the TGS coverage on Dengeki's site is this
with the man himself, as well as the guy behind the SaGa DS remakes, Mr. Miura. To
paraphrase a bit, it's stated that the goal with SaGa 2 was to remake, while the
goal with SaGa 3 is to change
it and make it anew, working from commentary by the Japanese SaGa fans as to where the original SaGa 3 fell short and changing it
from a fairly orthodox (their own word) RPG into something more akin to
the rest of the series.
I think I might just pick this one up, after all...
That is fantastic news! By "the goal with SaGa 3 is to change it and make it
anew" I get the feeling
they're talking about bringing it more in line with the rest of the
SaGa series. SaGa 2 did this
as well, certainly not to the same extent, but it certainly did. There
a lot of interesting things about SaGa
3, but for the most part, it was standard by-the-book JRPG. If
you look back at those three gameboy games, I bet most people will find
that the third game has aged the worst from a pure gameplay
I was kind of annoyed about the announcement at the start, but the more
I hear, the more it sounds like they're putting together a great
remake. I'll have to pre-order this one.
As to item #5 on your talking points: "Eternal
Sonata was certainly a
unique idea for a game, if you were to make a game with the same
what musical artist would you choose and what would the game be like?"
have only this for a reply.
Live long and answer questions!
Wow Gaijin, this is just comedic gold. P.D.Q. Bach? Dreams the game
world while recovering from a bender? I love this. I'm just going to
say that anyone reading this should take a short break to enjoy what I
assume is a fantastic April Fools joke. If only it were true!
Please write in again Gaijin!
Six Degrees of Brownie Brown
Hello again, Wheels,
I just figured I'd shoot you a quick letter. I normally try to
"reserve" multiple questions and topics for Q&A letters, but I find
that this either takes too long and/or I forgot questions along the
way. Anyway, what RPGs really pleasantly surprised you or exceeded your
expectations? Maybe you bought the game because it was cheap or
received it as a gift and didn't expect much from it. However, you grew
to really enjoy it. Recently, this game for me was Magical
Starsign, one of the DS's earliest RPGs. This game really flew
under people's radars and while most reviews are on the positive side
they make it out to be nothing special. I suppose it's nothing too
special, but I was really surprised by how much I liked it. The battle
system is perhaps its weakest suit, being a rather simple, almost
turn-based system heavily reliant on magic. There are some interesting
mechanics, such as tapping the enemies at just the right time to
inflict more damage with a spell, an element's power increasing when
the right planet is aligned just right, and putting a character in the
front or back rows to change the spell from hitting one target to
multiple. It's not bad, but I've played much better turn-based systems.
The rest of the game is pretty good, though, especially the writing and
Starsign would actually almost make that list for me. Though I
didn't end up liking it all that much, I was certainly drawn in by the
classic "Square-Enix" art style though. At a bargain price, to be
honest, Magical Starsign
would actually be a really good buy. I guess since I got it at full
price I'm a little harder on it?
I'll give you two RPGs I got at a bargain that turned out to be
awesome. The first would have to be Shiren
Wanderer for the DS, which I got for under ten dollars.
It's a very well put together roguelike, but sadly Sega basically sold
it as a regular RPG, which is just not a good frame of mind to have
when going into that type of game. Having to start over the game when
you die can certainly be a turn off, but progress is made in other
ways, and it really is a well put together game. I absolutely got my
The second would be Valkyria
Chronicles. I didn't have a PS3 when it first came out, but I
picked it up once I did have a PS3. The demo didn't do much for me, but
I decided to try it anyway since it was available for just $19.99 new.
It totally blew away my expectations. It's great to see Sega making
good SRPGs again, as the Shining
Force games are what made me a Sega fan back in the day. I
actually wish I could have bought it when it first came out to give it
an extra first week sale!
If you're familiar with Nintendo's localizations for the Mario RPGs and
the like, then you'll know what to expect. It's also interesting, if
surprising how dark this game can get. There are plenty of bright
colors and food puns, but there is also a suicidal cat-girl and robots
that run on batteries made from wizards turned into gummy candies. Can
you tell that Brownie Brown, who developed Mother 3, made this game?
Connecting games? Let me think...How about Kid Icarus to Baten Kaitos:
Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean?
Well, that's all for now. Until next time, Wheels!
The localization was quite good, just
like the goofy and fantastic Mario
& Luigi and Paper Mario localizations.
I could tell it was a Brownie
Brown game! It's got that whole Secret
Mana look, as you'd expect from ex-Square-Enix employees who
worked there during that era. Though they haven't made any great games
(other than Mother 3)
it's at least good to see that art style live on.
As for that connection challenge? Easy.
Nintendo->Nintendo worked with Namco on Star Fox for Gamecube->Namco
published Baten Kaitos.
Thanks again, keep writing in!
I haven't actually written in since the days of WonderSlime. What
ever happened to him?
My question is related to the DSi. I don't actually have one at
this time, but I hope to at some time in the future, so I try to check
on their releases to see if any good RPGs are released as
DSiWare. From what I understand, there have been a couple that
have been released, but I have never seen any coverage of them on this
site. For example, an RPG called Zenonia just came out this
week. Do you think there will be any reviews of it on RPGamer?
Not sure what happened to WonderSlime, probably got burnt out doing
I think I've heard of two RPGs for DSiware, the first is Legends of Exidia from Gameloft
which I think was originally a cell phone game. I've heard it's an OK
Action RPG, but not much better than that, and also it is apparently
pretty short. It looks like a Secret
Mana type game, though obviously probably not as good. The
other is Zenonia, also an
action RPG originally released for iPhone. I've heard good things about
it, and I did read one mostly glowing review of it. At less than 10
bucks it probably doesn't need to be that good! I'm not sure how much
coverage there will be on the site, but it's certainly on my radar,
that's for sure. As an Action RPG, it sounds like it will fit
better on the DS than the iPhone.
Great question, send in some more!
That's it for this week. and right on to the contest details. Send me a
letter or tweet from now until 11.59 E.S.T. October 26th and you will
have the chance to win a copy of the limited edition of Ys: The
Oath in Felghana for PSP. Multiple letters don't improve
your chances, but are welcome. That's all folks, next week we've got
some Saturn and Shining Force talk,
September 1st: Wheels
September 8th: Wheels
September 15th: Wheels
September 22nd: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Ys: Oath in Felghana for PSP
2. 4 Warriors of Light
3. Fallout: New Vegas
4. Halo: Reach DLC
On my Playlist:
1. JDK Band
2. Green Day
3. Lots of baseball
1. Duke Nukem Forever is actually going to come
out, does this mean we still have a chance at getting Mother 3? and 7th
Dragon? and Secret of Mana 2?
2. SaGa 3 remake, will it be handled by Kawazu, so he can Kawazu it up?
3. If someone were to make a Halo RPG, who would you want to make it,
and what should it be like?
4. If you had to choice for Atlus to release Persona 2 (both parts) on
PSP or Persona 4 on PSP (Persona 3 Portable style), which would you
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?