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July 18th, 2014
Yeah, Second Chance writeup delayed again. A bit under the weather the past few days.

Anyway, let's get right to it, we've got lots of content to cover!

- Michael "Wheels" Apps

This Edition's Contents:


The current rumor is that an Etrian Odyssey 2 remake for the 3DS is coming.  I never played the original, only joining the series on 3DS, but I would definitely play this if true.  Is the second game worth experiencing in its original state?

Wheels' Comment

Etrian Odyssey 2 is the only entry in the series I've yet to play in any capacity. I joined the series late and Etrian Odyssey 3 had just released when I finished up the first game. Seeing as the first game is pretty close to the second, I saw no need to try it before playing the third game. The second title seems to have a mixed reception from fans: some seem to think it improved upon many issues of the first, while others don't find it much good at all. I'm sure if it does actually get remade, Atlus will turn it into a fine game regardless. Perhaps we should both fire it up and compare notes?

Okay, fine.  You want me to talk about the side Final Fantasy games I skipped over for the most part last time.  I can do that - if you put Maureen O'Hara into an RPG!  Be nice, she's 93 and still going!

Wheels' Comment

Who? Dang it I thought you'd let me avoid IMDB from now on! I dunno, let's say a dialogue-based Miracle on 34th Street RPG where you have to save Santa. There you go!

Apparently you wanted  Final Fantasy Tactics thoughts.  Well, okay... I still say seeing things is much easier in Shining Force III because the camera can be rotated to any direction, instead of four isometric viewpoints like it is here.  Also, yes, not being able to go back after choosing to move was a stupid flub that someone should have fixed early on.  That there game sure had a good variety of battles though, and I definitely had to pay attention most of the time.  Even when I knew it was coming, Wiegraf nailed me but good the first time (though the second part of that was fairly easy - I guess I got lucky with quick charge times to take out what's-his-name that Wiegraf turned into).  I never got Cloud, since the limited party size and the awesome people who join you anyway were more than good enough to do the job.  I came to it much later than most and was not blown away, but I definitely see where its reputation came from.

Wheels' Comment

The viewpoints are easily Final Fantasy Tactics' one huge flaw. I never got Cloud either back in the day,  and really if you look at it the powerful characters the game gives you to use somewhat undermine the joy of putting together your own powerful team. Granted you don't have to use them, but it is a lot harder if you don't. Maybe it's time for an updated and rebalanced Final Fantasy Tactics remake?

Might as well address its two sort-of sequels while we're here... Tactics Advance I remember being an amazing time sink.  Instead of going out and doing things on the streets of Vienna, I was playing that game on my old GBA SP while waiting for a couple of friends to wake up.  The story was nothing (except a girl getting gray hair in elementary school being concerned about her having to dye it - THAT was her horrible personal dilemma???) memorable, but pumping my team up was awesome.  I even liked the judges.  Same with the DS game, another amazing time sink, though I managed to avoid doing EVERYTHING for this one.

Wheels' Comment

I played a ridiculous amount of Tactics Advance back in the day. My parents got me a GBA SP with that game and boy did I get a lot of use out of that gift. Pretty much your exact experience by the sound of it. I still haven't played a ton of the sequel, something I've never been able to explain. It's probably past time for me to dig into it.

Never played any of the Crystal Chronicles series!  Or the Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon!  Or, um, what else... Dissidia

Wheels' Comment

I may have to fix that for you. You have provided a ton of content, perhaps a gift of some Crystal Chronicles is in order. Of course I'm guessing you don't have a GameCube or Wii which prohibits access from the best game in the series.

Now deep into Suikoden V, I'm suffering through the alarming inability to speed the text along.  Really, this is the fast speed?  What other game actually makes you sit through the text gradually unspooling on the screen and doesn't let you hurry it along?  Combine this with the load times and I've probably spent a couple extra hours with it already.  It's good though, don't get me wrong.  I just wish the technical issues had been smoothed over.
What it makes me reflect upon though, especially as it's the last one I have to finish, is how unlikely Konami is at this point to continue the series.  The Suikoden world probably could have sustained another three or four games, possibly more, before all the True Runes and lands had been visited.  It's not gonna happen soon though.  Something tells me Konami's financial straits aren't so strong that it can support the development of another, especially after the DS and PSP spinoffs didn't set the charts on fire.

Wheels' Comment

Though Suikoden V didn't sell as well as the previous two entries, it always seemed very odd to me that they almost seemed to give up there (despite the eventual portable spinoffs). As for the technical issues with V, they can be quite annoying. If only they could get these games on PSN to alleviate those load issues a bit. Still, despite all that, Suikoden V is a great game and one that clearly showed the Suikoden series should have continued.

Soon I shall begin Dragon Age: Origins.  What tips do you have for the neophyte?

Wheels' Comment

The first thing to understand is that mages are absolutely the best class in the game. The other two classes can't really do much without them. So prepare to have at least one mage with you at all times. Other than that, just explore the world and characters and have fun. If you're playing on PC be wary of the higher difficulty levels.

Why hasn't a Knights of the Old Republic 3 been seen after the sale of LucasArts?  MMOs do not scratch that particular itch, not for me!

Wheels' Comment

A very good question. Old Republic does have good single player stories by all accounts. I could see another dedicated single player RPG doing quite well though. Perhaps the new relationship between EA and Disney in regards to Star Wars will allow this sequel to happen?

The odds of being able to play an English Dragon Quest VII on 3DS are pretty low now.  Do I dare try to tackle that humongous thing on the PS1? 

I can't come up with anything else right now, so enjoy your probably final content mass from me!

Wheels' Comment

I would highly recommend the original version of Dragon Quest VII despite its issues. It's an interesting game, with a lot of cool stories in the various locations you visit. I don't want to spoil anything about the story, so just grab a copy and give it a try! I'll probably be playing it soon myself.

Well, Mr. Greased Wheels, I'd better make sure you have enough content for your finale in this position.  Thus, we have to have even more, just in case you wind up impoverished this summer, right?

For instance... a new Shining Resonance thing is coming for the PS3.  Just like those 3 PSP titles, you could easily import it if you cared to.  Aren't you eager, after all the revisions this series has gone through, to see what its first PS3 incarnation will be like?  You know you are!

Wheels' Comment

Why must Sega keep slapping the Shining title onto things? Seriously? I know some of them have turned out to be pretty good games, but it just makes me annoyed. Call it the jaded Sega fan effect.

A few weeks back i put up a review of The Denpa Men 3: The Rise of Digitoll.  The battles and story - you know what those are like.  I think.  It's that method of acquiring characters that I think deserves a widespread reminder, so that future developers who want to use such an unorthodox approach learn from the mistakes seen here.

Wheels' Comment

Oh dear, Denpa Men.

First off: while I can appreciate the idea behind making the player find unique wireless network signatures in order to have new characters pop up, in practice it meant I had to whip out the 3DS constantly when I went somewhere to do something else.  Lemme tell ya, there's nothing quite like being on a bus or in a parking lot flailing your 3DS around to make people avoid conversation.  I probably would have tried it if stuck in a long line somewhere, and the results would have been even more impressive to behold.  Oh, and in case you think I do that for the sheer fun of it, remember that this is the only way to get new characters.  Fun, right?

Wheels' Comment

Is this something that would make more sense in a Japanese city? Really it just sounds very annoying no matter where you are. An interesting idea, but perhaps best reserved for special characters or other optional content?

Oh right, right, as was raised in a forum comment, there is another way.  It was never explained in the game so I don't consider myself stupid for failing to realize it though.  See, there's a building into which you can go.  After a warning that you should try to find good lighting conditions, up pops the display for the 3DS camera.  The goal is apparently to photograph QR codes, and they can translate into characters in the game.  What counts as a workable QR code?  I have no idea!  The game is so vague on this that I could possibly photograph random UPC codes around the house and get a bunch of worthless characters. 



Wheels' Comment

Well that sounds like a better solution, had it actually worked. I mean, I'm all for doing interesting stuff with new technology but developers need to be careful about how this stuff is used. There's plenty of good ways this could have been implemented, like the ability to get new Miis through sharable QR codes. I guess the best thing I can say is at least the game didn't require you to go around photographing people to get new characters?

Wrestling Time

I am so tempted to write the outline for a pro wrestling RPG now. Or an RPG focused pro wrestling company. Either or.

(Yes, someone reads the hot topics.)


Wheels' Comment

Please do! I really think it's a great mix of genres that we're severely lacking. Good wrestling games generally let you make your own characters, and it seems like it would be great if you could then build up the skill of those characters as well. That's not even getting into the story potential for such a game. Someone needs to make something like this!

Top Tweets

Dragon Warrior Dragon Lord's

Wheels' Comment

Yeah I know I'm somewhat underleveled, was just cool to finally get there. Plus I'm sure the castle is a great place to grind. It does seem somewhat strange that I should be underleveled at this point though. After all, this is after I was able to collect all the best gear available and get everything required to make it to this castle. Almost seems like the game is missing a dungeon or something! I was able to go in and get the best sword despite the tough monsters. I'm sure the remakes are better balanced, something I'll be investigating in the near future. Since this picture was taken I have gained a level, and I'm nearing another levelup (which will get me healmore) so I'm moving right along. I think I'll give the Dragonlord a try soon!

Hot Topics

Here are some hot topics I've seen around the net:

  • Has the combined popularity of both Mario RPG series caused the recent experimenting in the past two Paper Mario games?
  • Do you miss the Dragon Warrior title or is the original name for the series best?
  • Why has Square-Enix only released one of the iOS Dragon Quest ports in the West?
  • Do you smell what the Rock is cooking?

See you next week!

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