|Buddy Cop Edition
|December 15th, 2010
12/15 - 12:00PM EST
Welcome to another week of Q&A! This week, I'm fielding more
questions from the backlog, which is quickly drying up (hint, hint).
I've mostly been playing Golden Sun(the
one) and Resonance of Fate
lately, but managed to find some time to play a bit of Unlimited Saga and Birth By Sleep as well. What does
everyone think of the latest Kingdom
Hearts game? I think it's a nice rebound after the disaster
that was 358/2 Days. Anyway,
on to the letters!
This letter is valued at $5000
S'up Wheels? Is your name a reference to Prof. X? Or just tires in
general? Circular objects? I don't know. Moving on!
My main question today is about prices for new-old games. For example,
I recently discovered that you can buy FFVIII or IX directly from
Squeenix's website for like $15 each. Not for the PSP or anything, but
actual PlayStation discs. Brand new. And they have others listed there
as well, which is fantastic as a couple years ago all of my games were
stolen and I'm just now able to afford to actually replace some of
them, so it's nice to be able to buy brand new copies instead of paying
the same prices for them used and virtually destroyed at places like
GameStop or EB Games or whatever the game-invested pawn shops are
calling themselves these days. But FFVII
can only be bought new at
insane prices (unless you own a PSP, and of course mine was stolen so I
don't). On Amazon, if you look at new FFVII games they start at
$167 and go up from there. So my first real question in this email is
why on earth hasn't Squeenix started distributing FFVII on PlayStation
discs like they did with VIII
and IX? Especially when IX is available
on the PSN network as well. It's kinda disjointed... Thoughts?
My name isn't really a reference to Professor X, it's a long story,
which I'll save for another time.
Anyway, remember first, that Final
Fantasy VII is by far the most popular, even now, of those three
titles. So if we ignore Square-Enix's store for a second (I'll get back
to that), the prices FFVII is
going for, for a new copy are pretty much in the norm if you compare it
to a lot of other games. The prices it's going for used seem crazy,
given that you can get it for $9.99 on PSN, but around $40 isn't too
bad. Now, back to the Square-Enix store. I'm not sure why they have PS1
games on sale there, I'd imagine perhaps they're just extra stock they
had lying around (they probably printed a lot since all the titles made
the greatest hits line) but I don't know for sure. If they are actually
printing new copies, I'd imagine FFVII
would be included, which makes me inclined to believe that it's just
extra stock, and they'll probably remove the listing for them once they
burn through the current stock. Who knows, perhaps they seeing
physical copies be rare so that they can keep people interested for the
inevitable remake? Or maybe sellers just want to rip people off, I mean
there must be a huge number of copies of FFVII out there...
Also how are game prices decided on older games that haven't been
opened? An example is the recent Metal
Solid Essentials collection
that sold for like $30 and included MGS
for the PlayStation. But once
those were out of the stores, the price jumped to above $40 if you
wanted it new, whereas thanks to Squeenix you can still buy a brand new
copy of Chrono Cross for
around $15. I don't really understand how
pricing works for older games I guess, or what causes the prices to
jump or the companies to stop releasing them in some form. Konami could
make a killing if they distributed their old games in the same way,
especially seeing as how some of the true PlayStation classics aren't
being put on the PSN like they should be, and thanks to the PS3's
backwards compatibility it would seem to make sense to keep the option
available for at least some of the more popular titles like the Suikoden
series (as far as I know Suikoden 2
still isn't on the PSN
despite many people claiming it to be the best in the series and new
copies selling for $190+ on Amazon or eBay), or Wild ARMs, Legend Of
Dragoon, the list goes on.
Simple economics, my friend. Supply and demand. Also collections seem
go for higher, such as the Digital
Devil Saga 1+2 collection, even if you can buy the title
individually for cheaper. Basically, the more popular the title is, the
more expensive it will be if there aren't a large number of copies. For
example, Suikoden 2 and Panzer Dragoon Saga are both
fantastic games which demand a high price because they are also in low
supply. On the flip side, a game like Final
X , which was quite popular, is much cheaper because
there are many more copies out there. Now, this is used copies I'm
talking about. The older a title gets, the harder it will be to find
new unopened copies, thus the reason why you're seeing the huge
price divide. I highly recommend sticking to used copies for older
games. The best advice I can give you is to always look everywhere for
older games to find the best price, and never pay an amount that makes
you feel like you're getting ripped off.
As far as Legend of Dragoon?
I hate that game. First person to e-mail me about it can have my copy
free of charge!
The same seems to be true for OSTs as you can buy the Blue Dragon
soundtrack for less than $15, but expect to pay at least $40 for Lost
Odyssey (which requires importing for some reason as well). Both
2-disc masterpieces as far as I'm concerned and for some reason they
are both treated completely differently despite being composed by the
same person and theoretically having all of the same options for
distribution available. I guess I'm just curious as to how we can get
such fair prices on some things, and others are completely insane
despite coming from essentially the same source?
Again, you have to look at the rarity and popularity of some things. I
think the Lost Odyssey soundtrack
be more popular over here, and thus command a higher price. Not
to mention video game soundtracks are often rare over here in general.
I think Blue Dragon's
soundtrack is available on iTunes in the US, which would keep
the price of the actual disc down.
And, going to a completely different topic I've recently become very
curious about Action RPGs. I had to ask myself what the best one was
and the only answer I could come up with was Terranigma (which was
sadly never released here and finding a way to make it legally playable
in the US seems to be hugely problematic without emulation). I'm
wondering if there are any other ARPGs that incorporate
levels/items/weapons/etc. and fast-paced action in the same way besides
the Kingdom Hearts series, Brave Fencer Musashi (another game
to acquire that shouldn't be) or Musashi
Legend, etc. (and I
don't think Zelda counts as in my opinion it has always been more of an
Action/Puzzle-based series rather than RPG)? If you could give me some
titles to check out, especially for the PS1, PS2, or the 360 I would be
"Keep rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin'.",
I will do my best to provide some titles for you! As far as PS2 goes,
go for Ys Ark of Napishtim.
It's got everything you're asking for (in a simpler, more
streamlined way). Other than that on the PS2, try Rogue Galaxy for some Sci-Fi fun.
For PS1 I highly recommend you add Alundra
to your list, even though it is more of a Zelda style game than a full
RPG. As far as the 360 goes? Mass
Effect 1+2 man! I know, more shooterish than you're probably
looking for, but they are brilliant games. There's also Infinite Undiscovery and Magna Carta 2 which are pretty
good. Oh, and if you get nothing else I recommend for you, please give Nier a try. I wont say it's the
greatest ARPG or anything, but its unique setting more than makes up
for that. Finally, you can't go wrong with any of the Tales games, though based on the
games you listed, they probably aren't what you're looking for.
So yeah, start with Nier!
It's really cheap right now too (like how I brought this discussion
Let me know if you play any of my suggestions!
Square-Enix: We Demand Sequels!
As much as you want to defend Square Enix, they need to get their act
together and release a sequel to The
World Ends With You. I know
the control scheme had gotten mixed reviews (believe me I scratched the
hell out of my Hori filter for my DS while I had Neku beat the crap out
of Noise), but the story and the setting were excellent and I really
want to see it revisited. Is there an Underground in other
Japanese cities? Will we ever see a spiritual successor of Neku
visiting Kiyomizu-dera and Gion in Kyoto or going shopping in Umeda and
Den-Den Town in Osaka?
I haven't played this game yet, so
sadly I have no idea about half of what you just asked. If the game
sold well enough, which it seems it did, I'm sure you'll get a sequel!
Could be the staff involved has just been busy on other projects. With
Square-Enix obviously fully supporting the 3DS, we should see
plenty of new projects on that system. Don't be surprised if your
sequel is one of them.
I've fallen out of the Harvest Moon
fandom lately, since Harvest Moon
DS was a HUGE disappointment (unfortunately for me I got the
version) and Harvest Moon DS Cute was just a liiiiiiiiitle bit
better. My favorite game of the series was More Friends of Mineral Town for
GBA which came out almost 6 years ago, so I'm thinking if I ever get
back into the fandom, what game I should start with?
Well I haven't played any of the main series Harvest Moon titles, so I will
happily recommend the Rune Factory sub-series.
give those a try! I've had a lot of fun with them, and not just
because of the included dungeon crawling and combat elements! I
actually really enjoy the farming aspect of it, and I think they did a
great job integrating the various elements together. I'm never short of
things to do in a Rune Factory
game. They aren't perfect, sure, but I think you'll find them
enjoyable! You could also try the Atelier
titles such Atelier Annie which are somewhat
similar to Harvest Moon.
P.S. I have heard a rumor, a small rumor, that Squeenix might port Before Crisis
to the DS...
I think I heard the same rumor, but my guess is it's too far from when
they did the whole FFVII compilation
release that now. Never put it past Square-Enix to get a FFVII product out here, and
I think the FFIV sequel on
Wiiware showed them that they can successfully re-release cellphone
games here in a different form. Again, though, not something I expect
see at this point.
Anyway, let me know what you think of my game suggestions!
Final Fantasy VII: Buddy Cop Crisis
A long time ago in some long-lost forum post, I posited that Final
Fantasy 7 would
been a much better game if they replaced the plot
with a buddy cop movie starring Reno and Rude. Reno would be the
reckless one, always willing to something completely insane to catch
the perp. Rude would be hard nosed, and by the book, yet
completely dedicated to justice. Cid would be the endlessly
furious chief of police, Barret would be their bartender and everybody
else barely gets a bit part. Explosions and car chases follow.
Having taken a moment to revisit this old idea, it occurs to me that
I'm totally right, and that would be a way better game than Final
What other RPGs can you think of that would be way, way better as buddy
Beat, why the heck should I properly
answer a question from you after you kidnapped me and stole my column
for a week? Why I ask?
But....damn, this is great material. OK fine, your idea is actually
genius. There is an untapped potential out there for a great Buddy Cop
RPG. In that spirit, I present to you:
Mass Effect 4: The Other Guys. Staring the voice talents of Owen
Wilson and Bruce Willis, players guide Shepard's grandson, a grizzled
veteran cop (Bruce Willis) and his unorthodox partner, the grandson of
one of the other characters (player chooses, and this is your main
character) played by Owen Wilson. Wilson's character (the player)
doesn't take things too seriously, and the two end up in the middle of
a galaxy ending plot, that they can only stop if they can learn to work
together. Now how about that? No need to thank me for the idea,
(*This is assuming Shepard survives the trilogy)
The Hunt For an Alternate Cover
Okay so last night I was in a tiny convenience store in the middle of
Montana. I was getting some coffee and out of the corner of my
eye I noticed they were selling some VHS tapes. I glanced again
and realized they had some old NES/SNES/N64 and PS1 games for sale
also. 2 bucks each. Anyway I was looking through them and I
came across a copy of Dragon Warrior
for the NES. Now I have seen this game many times, and even have
one already, but this one was different. On the front of the box,
where the majority of the art should be there is a big generic looking
black and white “sticker”. I use sticker loosely because it seems
like it is actually an intended part of the box. It is about
5”x4.5” and just has a bunch of general game information on it
There was something else attached to it at one point in the first
paragraph of text toward the right hand side of the box. Anyway I
had never seen this before and I was looking for info online and
stumbled across your(awesome) website.
I don’t expect you to go researching this for me, but I thought you
might have some knowledge of why it is this way. I bought a few
other games that had some small round stickers on them with writing on
them so my guess is that at one time this convenience store rented NES
games and these are what they still had. They are all in amazing
shape though so that would be weird if they were rentals. Maybe
this was a promotional copy of some sort. Anyway thanks in
advance if you can help, and if not thanks for listening.
Jeremy M Brown
Very interesting! I think there's a couple of different possibilities
of what it could be. First and foremost, it could just be exactly as
you said, some kind of special sticker on the box, possibly put on
there by a rental place or something like that. On that note, it could
just be a special rental box of some kind. Of course, you'd then expect
to see other boxes like it for NES games, which it doesn't sound like
you've seen at all. Finally, Nintendo Power did give away Dragon Warrior for free, perhaps
that had a special cover?
Honestly, I'd imagine it's something to do with a rental place!
Anyway, glad you found the site, you should stick around! It's a great
website, which I long followed before writing for it. Anyway, I look
forward to hearing from you again!
Another week in the books! We've got one more week of Q&A, and then
your friendly Q&A host will be taking the last week off. I've got
something cool I'm going to try and put together for that week.
So fear not. Anyway, see you all next week ... probably with me
about Resonance of Fate some
Current Backlog: FEED ME
November 17th: Wheels
November 26th: Wheels
December 1st: Wheels
December 8th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Ys: I&II PSP
2. Cthulhu Saves the World
3. SaGa 3 DS
4. Disgaea 4
5. Radiant Historia
On my Playlist:
1. Resonance of Fate Soundtrack
2. Calling all Dawns
3. Golden Sun soundtrack
1. Will Mass Effect 3 return some of the complex
elements, or keep things simple like Mass Effect 2?
2. The Final Fantasy series is ever changing and evolving, but do you
think it's time for another main series game like Final Fantasy IX,
that pays homage to the past?
3. JRPGs currently are more creative than WRPGs. Discuss.
4. Tri-Ace: What's next for them?
5. Does 4 Heroes of Light deserve a sequel (hint: the answer is yes)?