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March 28, 2014

Welcome to another edition of the mailbag! I'm still working on Dark Souls 2 and Final Fantasy X-2, both sequels to two of my favorite games of all time. Can't say I have many complaints at the moment. Good to actually be enjoying Final Fantasy X-2 this time around! Anyway, let's jump right into it.

- Michael "Wheels" Apps

This Edition's Contents:

LOL Whoops I Missed Some Questions

Nobody's gonna answer my questions?  You're all twitter and no lolwhoops.

Wheels' Comment

Lies! OK I am all about Twitter this is true. However, I am here to correct this wrong!

How often do your sinuses bother you? Do you get pain or headaches often?

Wheels' Comment

I have some bad allergies pretty often, but not too many headaches though.

what is the next cool robot based game that is coming out (Titanfall doesn't count)?

Wheels' Comment

Well we just got an Armored Core, but I'm going to say Armored Core VI.

What's the longest you'll go without a shower?

Wheels' Comment

A day at most.

What RPGs come/came out this year that are currently on your 'buy when cheaper' list?

Wheels' Comment

South Park. Not for any particular reason other than I have too many RPGs to play at the moment. I'll also probably add Deception IV to that list as I'm mildly interested in it. Conception II and Drakengard 3 may go on that list as well as I'm not too sure about either of them. Anything particular for anyone else?

what company have you not heard a lot from so far this year that you're expecting to announce something great?

Wheels' Comment

I'd expect some more from XSEED this year, though I am worried Killer Is Dead didn't do very well for them. I'm still hoping for Atlus to announce the 3DS version of Devil Survivor 2 but they don't count as they've already had a big announcement. I'm still holding out hope for another Tales on 3DS but Namco also doesn't count because they already had a big announcement. I'm just going to say Square-Enix. Note that this is based more on hope than any solid evidence.

As for Dragon Quest, I'm dying for it to come out. In fact, I own Dragon Quest 7 on the PS1 and I got about 30 hours into it. However, I moved and hadn't picked it back up because by the time I found it again I already forgot where I was in it and wasn't eager to spend those 30 hours getting back up to like level 10. I'm missing a piece of map and I have no idea where I've already looked and going through the whole world in hopes of finding it seems like a drag. I would welcome a remake on my 3DS because I play that all the time and I heard it trimmed the fat and made it less ridiculously stretched out. I got every remake on the DS and pretty much every DQ game since 8, so it's a sure buy for me. I just wish it would have some announcement about it, even if it's a ways off or something. Nintendo should want to keep the high quality gaming flow up for this year to follow a stellar 3DS 2013. Right?

Wheels' Comment

I would think so. I still don't think it's out of the question because it would be a long localization, and 2013 was already jam packed with 3DS RPGs. Nintendo is very good about spacing things out. Of course the lack of the other recent Dragon Quest rreleases simply fills us with unease. It would just be sad to see the series fade from the west after finally getting the trio of SNES classics and and the brilliant Dragon Quest IX. I guess all we can do is keep the sales for 3DS RPGs going and hope! Come on Nintendo/Square-Enix!

Does anyone other than me want to play more Medabots? Or maybe Little Battlers? Or the PS3 Super Robot Wars OG? Why isn't there some kind of Operation Robots group out there petitioning to get me some Robot RPGs? I would stand behind that movement.

Wheels' Comment

I'm not sure, do those sell in the West? I know the Front Mission series never did anything here, but I'm not sure about any of the others. I'm the wrong one to ask about Robot RPGs!

Here's one for the old noggin: What is your favourite 50+ hour RPG? Like one that has a story that lasts 50 hours, not that you can just play for 50 hours. Can you think of one? Good. Okay, now take that game and make it 20 hours of story but still worth playing. Which game, how would you compress it, what are the reasons for removing or keeping certain parts? Leaving out any notable characters?


Wheels' Comment

I can't think of too many, at least I can't think of too many, or rather I can't think of many that are longer that I couldn't conceivably compress at all. Actually, I do have one, Final Fantasy XIII. This is an easy one too. You could remove a lot of the earlier scenes or them together into longer sequences, then cut out some of the early areas that take too long without much access to the battle mechanics. Then the game could move to Grand Pulse a lot quicker. However, you could also then expand the open nature of Grand Pulse to provide more optional activities. This cuts out the overlong tutorial type segments, gets you to the meaty combat quicker, and provides a breezier story with the option to extend time further thanks to many activities in Grand Pulse. How does that sound?

Grumpier Old Men

Hey Wheels, just to clarify, I wasn't mocking the Square Enix MMO's, rather the mobile phone stuff. Mana, that weird FF game with all the cameos, those games.

Still, I stand by my case. Not that I need freshness in my RPG's per sé, just that games nowadays focus entirely on fancy graphics but are basically the same game I played ten years ago, or are hommages in which I case I can appreciate that part but continually push archaic parts as "part of being an rpg" when in fact they were part of the fact that there were technical limitations in play way back when.

It makes sense in my head.

Daniel Brouwer

Wheels' Comment

I see, that seems an odd thing to mock then. Aside from that one terrible Final Fantasy game, Square Enix's mobile efforts have mostly been very good, with the port of The World Ends With You being a particular highlight. Granted it is mostly ports (not sure what Mana thing you're talking about), but there have been some standout original efforts on mobile as well. Mobile is sort of its own beast so I'd mostly keep that as a separate conversation.

I understand where you're coming from, I just can't agree with it. While that argument may hold some weight when you look at it from a high-level perspective, it quickly falls apart when you get into the nitty-gritty. Seriously, what ten years ago played like Lightning Returns? What RPG ten years ago played quite like Tales of Graces F? Resonance of Fate? Tales of Xillia? OK ignore that last one. Heck, look back at ten years ago, the market was filled with lots of Quake 3 based shooters and as I recall many Diablo clones (which to be fair has persisted to today). There will always be iterations and samey titles, but at the very least they often add new features and touches (like in Bravely Default), and yes sometimes just look nicer. Technology can help in more ways than just looks though, open world games benefit greatly from the added resources for example. If you think the market lacks fresh titles, I think you are just looking in the wrong places. I think you need some Kawazu in your life.

I guess I am not the only one who feels that way.


Wheels' Comment

Well that's sort of a whole different issue, and one that is actually largely gone outside of portable and lower budget RPGs. Lots of "old-school" RPGs keep it in place just for old time's sake. I don't think it's a huge issue though. One way or the other you're going to get into some fights, so shouldn't we focus on how fun those they actually are? I'm sorry but I don't see how, for example, Final Fantasy X would magically be much better if I could see the enemies and run away from them. Of course that's not to say random encounters are great per-say. Just shouldn't be on top of our complaint lists, especially when they're mostly gone anyway. I quite like the way Bravely Default handles them, so that could be a way forward for low budget and indie games that still use them.

Long story short, give some new games a try!

Top Tweets

Wheels' Comment

Macstorm, chances are it will be a long time before I'm close to being able to answer the question "is Dark Souls 2 better than the original." I didn't even appreciate the first game fully until I spent a lot of time in new game plus and began to regret not giving it a five out of five. This game being as massive as it is, it could take even longer to fully appreciate this one. Dark Souls 2 has ways to do new game plus type stuff during your first run! That said, if my experience continues to be as good as it has been, I can say that 2 provides a better first run than the original. This is for a variety of reason, which I'll save for my eventual review. I've still got a ways to go, so hopefully the end game is great.

Erik, I had completely forgotten about the new Rocket Slime! Now I'm sad again. At this point, I see zero chance of it coming to the West. Oh well, at least we got the original?

Hot Topics

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

  • Is the level of negativity in the gaming community something new, or just something more focused on now?
  • No seriously, where are your Dragon Quest VII thoughts and opinions?
  • What should BioWare do in the next Mass Effect?

See you next week!

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