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January 18th, 2013

01/18- 12:00PM EST

Welcome to another edition of Ask Wheels! Lots of good questions this week and we're going to jump right into it. I'm just going to say that Ni No Kuni is coming out next week and I'm quite excited to give the full game a try. Who else is excited?

Anyway, on to the letters!

The Letters
Catherine x Infinity

@AskWheels Defend The Indefensible - The Persona Team should give up on 5 and only make Catherine sequels from now on. Go :P



Why would you do this to me? This is an impossible task. I guess I'll give it a try though. I have a feeling your defend the indefensible is going to become the next "connection challenge" of Q&A. OK, let's give this a shot. Now Catherine was quite popular, and to some extent took the social aspects of the Persona series and applied them to a more accessible genre. So why not just go gung ho and dump the Persona series and bring those social experiences to an expanded Catherine series? The broad appeal could be spectacular. Take all those social links and personal storylines and instead of having them apply to silly RPG dungeons, have them give the player bonuses in puzzle games and eventually lead to various endings! You could even maintain a connection to Shin Megami Tensei and have demon fusion be a different kind of puzzle game! Imagine the mass appeal and the cash that Atlus could be rolling in.

There you made me feel dirty, happy?

To Import or Not to Import

@AskWheels Ni No Kuni - the last hurrah for this gens RPGs or signs of an RPG upswing coming with next gen?


I think that it's a clear sign that Level-5 is not afraid to do large scale RPGs at least. As a company they seem to be on the upswing and success internationally with this game could mean more HD RPG projects (which hopefully won't end up as badly as White Knight Chronicles did). Honestly I'd say the sign that people will buy HD RPGs is how well Final Fantasy XIII sold despite the massive negative attitude towards it prior to release. Console JRPGs can still sell, and the success of games like The Last Story is further evidence. Japan is just not producing enough of them with their current skew towards portables. So success for Ni No Kuni could do a lot to convince publishers to put more resources into RPGs for PS3, 360, and WiiU. We will have to wait and see. At the very least Namco seems to have a new commitment to RPGs thanks to the success of Dark Souls and the apparent (I have no sales data to back it up, just going on observation) success of the past two Tales games. Let's keep a positive attitude!

@AskWheels Dragon Quest Monsters is clearly better than Pokémon. At least in DQ you can actually catch them all in a self contained adventure


Not only that, but I've always found the monsters from the Dragon Quest series to have much more charm than their counterparts in Pokémon. While I wasn't huge fan of the original Monsters game, the most recent one is an excellent adventure and one I recommend to anyone who is a fan of RPGs. After what a waste of time collecting them all turned out to be in the first Pokémon game, does anyone even waste time with that anymore? Seems like it could be a detriment to some people enjoying the game. That's not to say the Pokémon games are bad or anything, I've just been enjoying the latest Dragon Quest Monsters more than any recent entry in that series.

@AskWheels fire emblem is delayed till April in PAL territories. Is it time to import a US 3ds for the Feb US release?



It could be! Remember that would also get you instant access to the upcoming Etrian Odyssey IV and Devil Survivor Overclocked, which I believe still hasn't come out there? I don't understand Nintendo's sudden switch to region locked portables, nor does there seem to be any explanation for the switch, unless it helps in piracy blocking efforts somehow. So you may want to consider it, just remember the possibility that someone could announce an RPG you want is coming to Europe first!

Localization Woes

QUOTE from Ian W Bathelt (WarmCoat):

"P.S.  Props to Sega lately.  They are awesome.

QUOTE from Wheels:

agree! Their digital releases have been great (except for perhaps Sonic 4 Episode II) and they put a nice cap on the year with a racing game that pays tribute to their diverse past. I'm looking forward to seeing what Sega does next. They seem to have gotten their operation into better order!"


What is your definition of lately?  Valkyria Chronicles 3 says hi :)

I am probably not the only person here who may never forgive them for that...  grumble...  grumble...

I bet they would have localized any Sonic game on a portable system at the end of its lifespan..or if its prequel hadn't sold well (like at the Sonic game after Sonic 2006 for instance...)   Excuses, excuses...


I haven't forgotten Valkyria Chronicles 3. Quite the contrary it was part of my thought process when saying Sega had been doing great lately. I imported it and it's a fine entry in the series that wipes away the aspects of the second game that I did not like. Since the discussion in question was about Sega as a whole and not about Sega of America I didn't even consider the lack of a localization. Honestly, I can't even blame them. After two critically well-received Valkyria Chronicles games sold poorly why would they try a third?

The Sonic comparison also falls apart easily. The Sonic series has a well established sales record and any Sonic title would be smartly considered for localization even if a previous game hadn't done as well. The Valkyria series has no such track record. That's not even touching on the fact a Sonic game would be a far easier and quicker localization.

Speaking of games not being localized because of a system being at the end of its lifespan, it's time to go back to my other torch-bearing mob...


 Let us continue! I will just end by noting that I think it would still be unlikely for them to localize Valkyria Chronicles 3 even if the PSP was not at the end of its life span. It stinks, but I can't blame Sega for this one. I will still be angry at the lack of a 7th Dragon localization instead.

We must sacrifice Reggie to the gaming gods!  Then they will bless us with the Fire Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow that we were so cruelly denied!

Seriously Nintendo, WTH?  That game had NO voices...which meant no lips needed to be synced up.  No animations to change.  JUST TEXT.  You only needed to replace the Japanese words with English words and voila!  YOU WOULD HAVE MADE A FRIGGIN' PROFIT!


I'm lost on why this didn't see a release as well, but why blame it all on Reggie? Nintendo is a large company, I doubt every localization decision falls on him. It could be that none of them do even. Anyway, an all text localization and a well established series with just the minor bump in the road that was the previous game (just referring to fan opinion as I'm not sure of actual sales). The only missed entry since the series made its glorious North American debut. So what gives? There probably isn't a good answer to one. Perhaps they had too high expectations for the previous entry, not taking into account that it was a remake of the first game and thus missed some of the newer features of the series? Perhaps they couldn't find room in a busy schedule? Maybe retailers weren't sold on it? There's lots of possible reasons. Whatever their reason may have been, I believe it to be a mistake, and it ruined the prediction I made in Q&A a while back that we would get it! I hope it doesn't happen again! I almost wonder if Glory of Heracles bombing messed things up...

Sigh...  can a North American DS play Japanese games?  I believe that a PSP can, but with Nintendo, you just never know...

Out for blood,


The Nintendo DS was region free, so you could import it and play it on a DS. In fact all DS games are region free, I believe you can even play Japanese DS games on a region locked North American 3DS. Things get complicated in the case of this Fire Emblem game because it is DSi enhanced. DSi games are region locked, so while you can play the game on a North American DS, you can not play it on a North American 3DS or DSi. If you do have a regular DS I would recommend importing it, as it is a fine game!

Capcom x Sony

Sorry for the late response, school necessities beckoned!

I have loved and hated both companies for a long time now.  It may stem from not being an industry insider and more a working man with a limited budget now, but some things recently (even with the understanding how badly the internet blows stuff out of proportion) have made it hard for me to keep smiling and saying how much I love them (unlike Squeenix that has caused me to froth at the mouth when mentioned).


Oh no worries, I understand all about how crazy school can get, trust me!

Let's jump right into why you hate Capcom and Sony, two companies we likely have similar opinions of. We'll avoid talking about Square Enix for now.

Both point at each other when it comes to some games being localized or released for the West and each time it's over what seems to me a small or short-investment issue.  Monster Hunter may require dedicated resources to localize, but if the "real" issue stems from Sony's networking and server handling for PSN and they "won't make efforts to accommodate" that sounds like a cop out to me.  How hard did you try?  And Sony, if your handheld isn't treading water anymore, but DROWNING, wouldn't you make more of an effort to ensure more sales by encouraging more games on the system?  Why must we prevent the localization of a game that has enough of a cult following to merit localization of TWO versions of the same game on an entirely different pair of systems?  Somebody dropped an opportunity.


Don't even begin to get me started on Sony's failings with their portables. I used to think that Capcom jumped Monster Hunter to Nintendo platforms because Nintendo is paying them, but now I wonder if it was just to get with a company that actually supports their portable system. Didn't Sony even prevent the localization of some games on the PSP back in the day like Soul Hakcers? Sony learn from Nintendo. They support their portables with games, and do so themselves if 3rd parties don't. Sony has now lost Dragon Quest and Monster Hunter to Nintendo and I can't even figure out how they could let that happen.

I'm not fond of what they did with Resident Evil 6 nor the huge push for a handful of fighting games I really do not care for.  I know they're big money makers for them and I'm glad there's a market, but I wish to see even a fraction of that marketing go towards other projects (like a new RPG IP or adventure or an existing IP that doesn't get enough love like Okami and Monster Hunter!!!).  Didn't they used to make awesome puzzle and platformer games?


Well to be fair they made a huge push for one new IP, that being Dragon's Dogma, and they apparently were rewarded with some decent sales for doing so. So I can't harp on them too much in that regard. Their nonsense with fighting games has gotten pretty awful on the other hand. How quickly did they announce Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3? I still don't get how that couldn't just be a huge DLC release. As for Monster Hunter and Okami, they get plenty of love. Okami was a critical darling, the gaming public ignored it and its charming sequel. Monster Hunter is a tough one because it was stuck on the PSP for too long. They did a good job with the Wii version and I'm hoping Nintendo will add some marketing muscle to the release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.

Also, Capcom cancelled Mega Man Legends 3.  That's a guaranteed seat in hell.  End of story.


Yeah, that sucked on levels that are impossible to describe. What more can be said?

Sony also continues to attempt to expand into other territories with HDTVs (which are pretty cool), cameras (little more Meh for me.  I've had four different Sony cameras and my wife's cheaper Canon takes WAY better pics), and tablets/smart phones.  I know I'm leaving out much of their electronics business, but I want to focus on the tablets/smart phones a moment.  Have you seen the two screen tablet?  Have you seen it in action?  I won't even name the thing as I'm afraid it will summon it!  It's heavy, hideous, and doesn't work like a portable tablet should.  It's a headache inducing experience and it was such a waste of research dollars and marketing.  I applaud ANY innovation as long as it is recognized to be what it is: in this case, a gimmick.  Like a concept car that looks neat and changes bonnet shape, but isn't put into production because it folds like a house of cards when tapped.  The clam shell tablet should have just been a "See what we did?  We'll make it user friendly maybe and see if you want it.  But it's on the back burner for now."


To be honest I didn't even know they made tablets! Sounds like I'm not missing much.

Some of the smart phone offerings that I have played with in stores side by side with my Galaxy (now an S3 model) and a buddy's iPhone (first with a 4s, now a 5) make me shake my head sadly.  A PSP can be purchased used for 40 bucks with a quick Craigslist search and the Playstation store is mine.  I get neat games and then I get to spend my money on a phone that lasts more than 3 hours AND does personal organizer/messaging/web surfing/social media waaaaay faster and more efficiently.


Sony still makes phones? They don't advertise them very well! Are they android based? Who knows!

They both still manage to put out one or two things a year or generation of technology that keeps me coming back, but these are coming more and more infrequently.  I still pull for Capcom to keep trying to put some life into projects I want to support and Sony to keep making my favorite tech with which to show off to buddies.  I just hope that they can!




I hope so too, they employ a ton of talented people and I have high hopes for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and the future of the Vita. My biggest Capcom hope is that we'll see a new Mega Man game now that the series anniversary has come and gone. Maybe that's wishful thinking at this point?

That's it for this week, I'm off to try and play some more Elminage...


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What I Can't Wait For:

1. Etrian Odyssey IV

2. Soul Hackers

3. Fire Emblem 3DS

4. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

5. Ni No Kuni

On my Playlist:

1. Green Day

2. Persona live

3. Less Than Jake

4. Queen

5. Reel Big Fish

Hot Topics:

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2. Will Dragon Quest VII 3DS fix all the issues of the original?

3. Where could Mass Effect's story go next when the series eventually comes back?

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