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ASK WHEELS
Questionvania: Lords of Answer
October 6th, 2010

10/06 - 12:00PM EST

  Welcome to another week of Ask Wheels. This week we've got a wide assortment of questions, which I shall answer assuming I can pull myself away from Lords of Shadow, Etrian Odyssey 3, and Valkyria Chronicles 2. There are so many good games out, and many more to come. The news that there will be a Valkyria Chronicles 3 gives me a lot of hope for that series. Now then, on to the questions!





The Letters
Tales of Godzilla

So you need more content, eh?  That's what I've supplied in the past, and I can do it again.
People have been giving you easy six degrees of separation questions, I'm going to challenge you.  Link Blade Runner to the Front Mission series.


Wheels

Oh man this is a tougher one. The Blade Runner game was released by Westwood->Westwood got purchased by EA-> EA owns Bioware-> Bioware worked with Obsidian on some games-> Obsidian is working with Square-Enix on Dungeon Siege III -> Square-Enix makes the Front Mission series. That was tough!

Which RPGs do you say would benefit from the inclusion of Godzilla?


Wheels

This is an odd question that's going to be tough to figure out. I would have to say that no RPG would benefit from the inclusion of Godzilla.  He doesn't fit into any of the modern day RPG mechanics at all. The only way I can think of making it work of would be some kind of  optional battle in a Valkyria Chronicles game, using an entire squadron of tanks to take down the king of monsters.  Outside of that, he just doesn't belong.

Weigh in on the eternal debate: is The Legend of Zelda an RPG?


Wheels

Well to answer this question, we have to ask the question, what is an RPG? Wait. I've already answered this before. The short of it is, no, Zelda is not an RPG in video game terms because it doesn't have changeable stats that effect things beyond player skill. At the same time, I think it's fine to talk about Zelda as an RPG, because the series has had such a large effect on the RPG genre.

So Square-Enix has been on a remake/sequel bent for quite awhile.  Will there be a Final Fantasy V-2 and a Final Fantasy VI-2, will those games just be remade before The Big One gets remade, or will they be skipped entirely?


Wheels

I'm not sold on the recent Final Fantasy sequels, even though I enjoyed the one for Final Fantasy IV a lot.  I think a prequel could work well for Final Fantasy VI, as the game had a definitive ending that a sequel would undermine. Final Fantasy V already has a sequel, in the form of a relatively mediocre anime. Really though, that game is more about the job system, so I'd rather just see a new game using those mechanics. Both of them definitely need to be remade before the "big one" does.  These are classic games that shouldn't be skipped.  The 3DS seems the perfect platform to do remakes for these on, and I hope we see them sooner rather than later.

Of the games that didn't come out in English on the Saturn, which always intrigued you? (Please do NOT mention Shining Force III, the better to limit rage directed at Sega, along with my dismay at your not playing Scenarios 2 and 3 yet).


Wheels

Back in the day I never really knew that much about what games didn't come over, but I'd have to say the game that always interested me the most would be Dragon Force 2. The first one was a lot of fun and I always wondered exactly what the second game was like. I'm not sure why I never imported it or anything, since it's cheaper than the original, but I was always curious about it. Dragon Force was a fantastic SRPG, and I always wanted another game like it. I suppose it's time to just suck it up and import the thing.

Voiced characters or text to read?  Take a stand, or just point out good aspects from your position.


Wheels

I think this needs to be decided on a game to game basis. For example something like Etrian Odyssey, or even Dragon Quest? These games do not need voice acting, since story is not usually their main focus.  However, in current story based RPGs, voice acting is expected and should be there. Granted this is mainly for bigger budget games, as I have no problem with low budget games having no voice acting at all. It's all about what works best for a specific game though, I don't think it's something that should be applied to everything.

Did you ever own a Sega CD?  Even if not, what games stand out among its lineup to you?
There.  You have more content for awhile.
JuMeSyn


Wheels

I did not, but there a number of games for it that I always wanted to play. First among them was of course Shining Force CD, though had I known it was just the first two Game Gear games with slightly better graphics, I probably wouldn't have cared as much. What I really fawned over though, were the Lunar games. At that time there was nothing I had really seen with that kind of cinematic quality, so I was very interested in both of them. Of course when I actually did play them years later on PS1, they didn't seem like a huge deal, but I still enjoyed them. The only other Sega CD game that interested me, which I still have never played, was Popful Mail. Now that I'm a fan of a lot of Falcom games, it's something I really need to get to.

Anyway, as always, thanks for the letter!


Quest to Finish Dragon Quest


So I'm wondering, when do you think, if at all, Square-Enix will give North America a release date for Dragon Quest VI?  They have nothing for the DS coming now that FF: 4 Heroes of Light is out, and frankly I am getting impatient waiting for this last title in the Zenithia trilogy.

I've been to many forums where pessimists say it's not coming at all, due to the lack of news or announcements, though they did recently (July) trademark subtitles in Italian, German and Spanish.

I just want to finish my NA DQ collection, and VI is the last title to not release overseas, plus of what I've played of the translation, I believe it'll become one of my favorite DQ's.

Wheels

Well I'll try and calm your fears the best I can. I think the silence on Dragon Quest VI so far has been to give Dragon Quest IX room to grow. The series is already small enough here, so I'm guessing they really didn't want to interfere with the release of one of its biggest games to date. So the best I can say is to have some patience. I think we'll get some info soon, and the fact that Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded is already confirmed for the US shows they aren't done with DS games yet. There is of course the chance they could cancel the release of VI given that IV and V did not sell as much as they hoped, but I still think they sold well enough to make another one well worth Square-Enix's time (I saw an article on the sales numbers for a bunch of Square-Enix games not too long ago, you can see it here. These are official numbers from Square-Enix). So the best I can say is, enjoy  Dragon Quest IX and keep holding out for it. You aren't the only one wondering when it will be released!


Also, what games are you looking forward to in the coming months? For me, Fallout: New Vegas and Ys: The Oath in Felghana definitely, as well as Golden Sun 3 and The Sly Collection.

I'm contemplating picking up Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals next week also.

~Tiael


Wheels

I'm very glad you have Ys: The Oath in Felghana on your list. I've played through the PC version and it is one of the best Action RPGs of all time. Enjoy!

Fallout: New Vegas should be a very interesting experience. Though I enjoyed Fallout 3, to have some of the original Fallout team working on the franchise again is very exciting. We'll see if that results in a good game or not, but at the very least it makes the game worth checking out. At the very least I hope they fix some of the issues that were present in Fallout 3.

I haven't played through Golden Sun 1 or 2 yet, but I still will pick up the game and open it up after finishing the first two. I loved Camelot's earlier work (Shining series), so I want to support them. As far as Sly goes, I never played the original games so now is as good a time as any! They look like a lot of fun.

I have never played much of the original Lufia games, but I'm going to pick up this remake, as it looks pretty interesting. I know fans of the original games are bashing it for going away from the original turn based combat, but that should be taken with a grain of salt. It's just good to see a classic series return after so many years. Also, it's been long enough since Shining Force Neo came out that I think I can forgive Neverland (the developer of the Lufia series). Give it a chance I say!

Anyway, great questions, write in again!


World of Online RPGs

Wheels what is your favorite online RPG?  It doesn't need to be massively multiplayer, any RPG with significant online play will do.

-Nodal
Wheels

This is a tough question. I've never been a big fan of MMOs, so it won't be one of those. I've always been kind of a solo-gamer, so even though I've played a lot of games like Diablo 2, they aren't always my favorites. With this in mind, I'm going to have to go with Demon's Souls. The way it did online was just perfect for anti-social gamers like myself. Seeing the shadows of other players as you explore, along with the many notes they've left was just completely fantastic, and helped to take a bit of edge off the often brutal difficulty of the game. Having other players invade your game, or invading other player's games, was an intense experience, and added a whole new layer to the already difficult game.

The way it handled co-op made it very difficult to play with friends, but at the same time you always knew the player you were bringing in was not too much higher or lower than your own level, and you can even see what kind of gear they're wearing before bringing them into your game. At the same time, players coming to help had a good incentive to stick with helping the player, as the reward for helping them defeat a boss was being brought back to life, an always difficult prospect in Demon's Souls. The co-op could have been better though, to help friends join games easier, some kind of voice chat options so you could actually communicate.  Overall it was just a great and unique experience, and I hope From Software makes it even better in the "sequel".

Anyway write in again Nodal, it's been awhile!


RPGs for Babies

Wheels I have a three week old newborn who needs RPGs. What would you recommend?

-Lokii

Wheels

Well, the silly and fun answer would be to have your kid play Final Fantasy Mystic Quest since it's a RPG for babies (just kidding), but I'd say start with the classics. Games like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger are the obvious choices, and throw in Oath in Felghana and Secret of Mana for good measure.  Those should cover Japanese RPGs well enough. As far as Western RPGs go, well those aren't really what we would call "kid friendly" based on their combat and settings, so I will suggest instead the Avernum games from Spiderweb software for PC/Mac. These games, though released in this past decade, really capture the spirit of classic Western RPGs in a great way, while remaining appropriate for all ages.  Your newborn should enjoy them just fine!

Eventually that newborn will become a toddler though, at which point I think you should move on to some Etrian Odyssey, 7th Dragon, Saga 2 DS (you're teaching this kid Japanese, right?), Fallout 3, Baldur's Gate 2, and of course the original two Fallout games and Planescape: Torment. These are much more dense RPGs that I think younger kids (assuming you approve of them playing Mature content) would not be able to grasp, but at the tender age of three, I think you can give them a go. Just don't ever let your kid play Xenogears.

Anyway, thanks for writing in Lokii!
IN CLOSING

That's it for this week, and remember, send me a letter and you get entered to win a copy of Ys: Oath in Felghana for PSP! Still plenty more games coming out this year. I'm waiting for 4 Warriors of Light to come in the mail and of course we've got Lufia and New Vegas to come later this month. What games are you guys waiting for? Write in!

-Wheels



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What I can't wait for:

1. Ys: Oath in Felghana for PSP

2. 4 Warriors of Light

3. Fallout: New Vegas

4. Lords of Shadow (Alright I'm already playing it)

5. Z.H.P.


On my Playlist:

1. Oath in Felghana Soundtrack

2. Green Day

3. RPG Backtrack



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5. The Tales series seems to be in decline, if you were in charge of the series at Namco, what would you do to get things on the right track?


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