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New Year's Q&A
  January 10th, 2014

01/10- 7:00PM EST

Happy New Year! I hope you all are having a good start to 2014. There's already several big RPGs not too far away, so we won't be getting a much of a break before our backlogs take another beating.

That said, 2014 will be a bit bittersweet, as my tenure as Q&A host will be coming to an end in July. We've had a great run, and I say we because this thing would be nothing without all the crazy and amazing questions from all you readers. Still, it's probably well past time to pass this on to a new host. I'll still be around RPGamer of course. I mean who else will review the likes of Valhalla Knights 3?

Anyway, let's jump right in to the questions!

The Letters

What 3 JRPGs would turnout better if done/redone by a western developer? (Or even you can take that as which would be better if turned from a JRPG to a western-style RPG)



That's an interesting question, and a tough one to answer. Let's do this thing:

Final Fantasy XIII-2
This game was a huge disappointment for me on many levels, but we won't get into that. Instead, I'll just say I think a company like BioWare would have been perfect here to insert lots of dialog trees and different options to make better use of the whole time traveling concept.

SaGa 3 DS
This is mostly for a graphical update. I'd love to see this game in glorious HD. I think a Western developer could design a great graphical engine for this game. Perhaps Eidos Montreal? Also this would mean we'd have an official localization.

Final Fantasy XII
I would change very little about this game, but I think a company like BioWare or Bethesda could help flesh out the game world a bit more. Imagine a Final Fantasy XII with more interactive characters, various factions to deal with, and perhaps even some choice and additional endings added into the mix. Add in an upgraded graphics engine with no transitions between areas and we could have an even better version of what is already a brilliant game.

Collector's Edition

What game did you tell people that they should play the most in 2013?


That's a good question. I think there may have been a few. I certainly recommended Fire Emblem Awakening but most people were playing that regardless. As for non-RPGs, I think I argued as much as I could to convince people to try DmC: Devil May Cry given how fantastic it ended up being (which reminds me I still need to finish the rest of that series). I think as far as RPGs go, I recommended Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter the most this year and some people seemed to actually give it a go. I really hope I turned more on to that classic.

What collector's editions did you get in 2013?


I got the Disgaea D2, Ys: Memories of Celceta, and Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW collector's editions this year. All were pretty good in my opinion, especially the Ys one, which had a huge series-spanning soundtrack. The Adventure Time collector's edition had the best case by far, a nice steelbook.

What collector's editions do you plan to get in 2014?


As of right now, the Bravely Default and Dark Souls II collector's editions are the only ones I plan on getting. I was pondering the Lightning Returns Collector's Edition, but the pocket watch it includes wasn't enough to entice me without a soundtrack in there. I hope those two turn out well!

Do you play demos for games you know you're buying?



I do sometimes, yes. I can't really think of an instance where it has scared me off from a game, so in general it's just a way to start getting the hang of the game before release. With some recent games having demos that let you transfer progress to the full game, like Etrian Odyssey IV, there's usually a good incentive to try the demos.

2014 Gaming Resolutions

Sorry if someone has asked these questions already...
1) Do you make gaming resolutions and if so, what are your 2014 gaming resolutions?


I don't usually do too much. We do some for RPGamer, and I still have yet to do one of those (do a renegade run through the Mass Effect trilogy). I think my only resolution this year is to finish up the .hack G.U. games.

2) Do you set aside an amount of money for games/month (or games/year) or do you just try to buy games when you can?


I just try to buy games when I can, prioritizing the ones I'm most interested in and waiting on the ones I'm not until more funds are available. The early part of this year will be tough since there's a bunch of games coming out in February. I'm not sure which ones I could even cut out because they're all big titles!

3) Do you think 2014 will be a better year for RPGs than 2013?


That's tough to predict, but if Dark Souls II can match the original, one of my top five favorite games of all time, then I think it's very possible.

4) Do you Namco will port or develop another game for the 3DS or the Vita soon? If so, which game(s) would you like to see?


I doubt we'll see any more on Vita. For that matter, I'm not sure gamers should care that much about any Vita efforts given the poor quality of the two Vita ports. A new 3DS game or port seems more likely, especially given that Tales of the Abyss 3D seems to have sold well in the West. I would love to see an updated version of Tales of Hearts (note: not the awful Vita update, which removed the brilliant battle system) so it has a shot at getting localized, or perhaps a portable version of Tales of Symphonia to go along with the HD collection. Which would you like to see?

5) If/when the Tales series moves to the PS4, what changes do you hope to see in the games?


I would hope that the developers look back at Tales of Graces f and try to advance the battle system more in that direction. Tales of Xillia was a big step back for me as far as the battle system goes. If the series makes the leap to PS4 it should also try and move the battle system forward instead of just doing a shiny talk on a style that hasn't changed all that much from Tales of Symphonia.

6) Do you think "X" will actually come out in 2014?


It's possible! The demo they showed off looked pretty solid, so they seem to already have a good engine running on the Wii U. Of course delays are very common so I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if it doesn't hit until 2015. I wouldn't rule out 2014 at all though. We don't know how long it has been in development. Regardless, I'm excited to see more of it.

Finally, as for whether Tales of Xillia 2 will garner as much interest as Tales of Xillia in the West, I believe that Tales of Xillia 2 should sell almost as well as Tales of Xillia since most people who have played Tales of Xillia seemed to have enjoyed it. I think some people, including me, would not have bought Tales of Xillia if we didn't think Tales of Xillia 2 was coming here too.

Also, Namco seems to be doing a better job of keeping Tales on our mind, so I don't think people will forget about Tales of Xillia 2.



On your first point, I think it should do nearly as well as Xillia. The console Tales games don't seem to have much trouble selling in the West and though not everyone loved Xillia, a new RPG will get some interest just for being a new RPG. Just looking at Ni No Kuni can show how a good looking JRPG can do.

As for your second point, I don't really agree. It may seem like that by coincidence, but to me it's simply a side effect of Namco moving the series primarily to the PS3. Thinking about, the series was a bit all over the place earlier in the PS3-360-Wii era. We had Symphonia 2 on the Wii and Vesperia on the 360 and then a break because we didn't get Vesperia PS3 (for reasons, leave it be), and we didn't get Graces on Wii (because it was a mess technically). Once Graces f got ported to the PS3 and localized, the Western releases got back on track. So I'd say business is more back to normal than Namco doing anything new. We haven't missed a main console entry completely for a long time. The Vesperia PS3/Graces Wii debacle was just a bump in the road.

Ysy Answers

I saw that first question in the Q&A and immediately felt a wall of text surge forth from me!

There are two Galbalans in 6 and one in 3.  The one near the end of 6 is the REAL Galbalan; the original.  That is his title when you fight him: Galba-roa, The Original Galbalan (or something like that).

Please note that there is a lot of speculation and inference after this.

At its creation, the Galbalan in 3 was presumably the same as the first Galbalan in 6 (I believe it was called the Wandering Horror); a Demi-Galba, a cheap knockoff of the real deal.  3's Galbalan, however, gained a significant amount of power after leaving Canaan through some unknown means (possibly devouring other Emelas), becoming powerful enough to be able to speak on its own and even influence the minds of humans.  It is probable that it ended up being more powerful than the original, as the original never gained those abilities.

It is worth noting that Adol's weapon from outside Canaan breaks when he uses it against Demi-Galba at the beginning of 6.  He can only kill it with a weapon from Canaan that is made of Emelas.  From this, we can deduce that the sword of Genos in 3 was actually a sword of White Emelas (based on Genos' having white wings, meaning he was Eldeen).  This is why Galbalan started to regenerate after Adol beat him; Adol did not have the necessary equipment to kill him.  While Adol never had a white Emelas sword in 6, the swords he did use were made of Emelas, which allowed him to kill Galba-roa.

This leads to me to a few small notes on 1 and 2.  The Black Pearl was a sphere of pure Black Emelas.  The being known Darm was what remained after Cain Fact fused with the Black Pearl is therefore Black Emelas himself.  The only reason Adol was able to beat Darm was because he was blessed by both Reah and Feena before the final battle, temporarily imbuing him with the abilities of their White Emelas wings.

Also, fun factoid.  Those little furry creatures in 2?  Those are implied to be the Redha guardians of the goddesses that "devolved" after hundreds of years with all magical energy in Ys sealed.  NOTE:  I didn't come up with this one.  I don't remember where I heard it, but it seemed plausible (I remember hearing about Redha guarding Alma, so it seemed to be a reasonable extension).

As for Sol-Galba, I have no comments about him, as I have yet to play 4 (sharing a Vita with someone playing Persona 4 Golden, it's been so long since I've seen it... T.T).



Thanks for the fantastic information! I had a good feeling someone would come through with a detailed explanation. The Ys wiki I pulled up was pretty good, but I wanted to defer to an Ys expert to explain things. For coming through, let me know if you are missing any of the Ys games on Steam and I'll buy a code for you.

See you all next week!

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