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ASK WHEELS
Secret of Dragons
February 17th, 2012

02/17- 12:00PM EST

Well, last night I beat Dark Souls' New Game Plus. Granted it took some summoned help, but the feeling of conquering that game yet again is very sweet. With both endings complete, it's time to move on to a different New Game Plus, Resonance of Fate! Enough about that. Tales of the Abyss for 3DS is out, and I'm sure many of you are enjoying that. Only a few short weeks until Graces F! I also finally picked up Amalur, and I must say, Bethesda has some real competition for open world RPGs now.

Anyway, on to the letters!





The Letters
Secret of Xmas

Hey Wheels!

I thought the Christmas game concepts turned out fairly well, didn't you? About your one criticism of mine, I chose a female protagonist mainly because that's practically a defining trope for the meister genre.  It might be fun to give a choice of gender and have alternate male/female interactions, like in Persona 3 Portable.  Still, I don't think my idea would work too well with Santa himself as the main character.  Meister games work best when the hero has to start from scratch.


Wheels

I very much enjoyed these Christmas game ideas. That's a fair point about your game though, I suppose I kind of missed the whole idea behind meister games (i.e. you aren't the master at the start). Anyway, both of these games would be fun little holiday diversions. I suppose making a whole game based around a holiday wouldn't exactly be a big money maker though.

We should so do Secret of Santa though.  Just imagine the arsenal: licorice whips, gumi-chuks, sugar swords (that stuff can be sharp), and the obligatory candy canes for monster bashing.  Enchanted gelatin armor would provide some serious blunt force damage resistance, for that matter.  Why haven't more games explored the idea of weaponized confectionery, I wonder?  The only one that I can recall is Atelier Liese, and that was the result of a specific quest chain.


Wheels

I'm not sure. There's no lack of classic games with the sort of humor that such a game would be filled with. I wonder why, back in the day when companies like McDonalds were commissioning games, no candy company had something like that made. I'd be all for it. Too many games are serious these days and we could certainly use more whimsical concepts where you bash some skulls in with gumdrops or something.

Secret of Mana had a magic system based on elemental spirits. What
sort of spirits would you suggest for Secret of Santa?


Wheels

I think we'd have to use some classic characters from various Santa stories, and perhaps some random characters like Father Time to fill in some gaps. You could have some sort of roasting chestnut as a fire spirit, Frosty as an ice spirit, and maybe reindeer in some capacity? There's plenty of interesting ideas there. Mother Earth replacing Dryad?

Finally, what's the next challenge?

Your fellow columnist,
Gaijin


Wheels

The next challenge will be to take your favorite game (or one of your favorite games) and theorize what it would have been like had it been developed by different people. For example, I could theorize how Bioware would have made Final Fantasy VI. Have at it!

People Eating Tasty Animals

I read you Pokémon  Platinum Review. It did not describe the game to what it is suppose to be. The group, Team Galactic, Blew up a marsh, a lake, captured 3 Pokémon in nets and bringing them to an underground lad to extract crystals from there heads. Then use the crystal to completely control another Pokémon to create a new universe without emotions and where the leader can be a god and destroy the other universe with everyone inside it, including the organization he made.


Wheels

I see you mean Adriaan's Pokémon review. I wonder did you happen to catch the date on there? Did you perhaps notice that it was posted on the first day of a particular month? Anyway, I have no logical idea what you're talking about. Is this seriously the story they put in a game primarily aimed at children? I can't imagine this making any sence to my 10 year old brain. What happened to the days where Team Rocket was just trying to rob everyone?

Also the game’s computer can’t show emotions. There is a way to evolve Pokémon with a function called Friendship. The Pokémon in the PC are at a place where the professor of that region has them in a large area similar to a park where the trainers are not aloud. If you think Pokémon is animal cruelty, then what about those people who have there dogs in little purses or people who train there animals to do tricks??

-Forwarded from complaints department


Wheels

Wait, are you seriously comparing people teaching animals to do tricks or keep them in purses to Pokémon battling? So what you're basically saying here, is that as long as they don't kill each other it's fine to battle animals?

OK sarcasm aside, the next time you complain about a review that seems odd, maybe you should make sure it isn't an April fools joke?

On a side note, can someone please explain to me what in the world the plot to Pokémon Platinum was?

Dragon Questing

Dear Wheels,

First off, I'm gonna need you to rank the Dragon Quest games for me.


Wheels

Wow, OK I can do that. As long as you remember that I haven't actually completed all of them. I'll just base it on what I have played, and what I know of them. I'll exclude side games for now, I can rank those as well if you need me to. Here we go:

9. Dragon Quest I - The game that started it all hasn't aged all that well. It can be quite tough after many more modern games to go to one where you have only one party member, have to do lots of grinding, and have little direction. Still, it is an interesting historical piece.

8. Dragon Quest II - Similar reasons to I. The presence of a party makes it a little more friendly to the modern RPGamer, but it is still tough. Again, an interesting historical piece. The best thing to do is get the Game Boy Color version of I and II and play that.

7. Dragon Quest III - The fact that you get to make your own party and set off and explore make this game a lot of fun. The first Dragon Quest with a Job system, I'd say it feels somewhat similar to the original version of Final Fantasy. Still rough around the edges, but worth picking up the Game Boy Color version and giving it a go.

6. Dragon Quest VII - Now the presence of this game lower on the list would seem to suggest it is the worst of the more modern games. That's not exactly why it gets bumped down on the list. It has great gameplay, a brilliant job system, and a lot of interesting story elements. The issue is the pacing. The game is insanely long, and it can take you upwards of thirty hours to even get to the point where you can use the job system. Worth playing at some point, just understand the insane time required.

5. Dragon Quest VI - Only available on DS in the US, this is a very interesting Dragon Quest, and features a pretty sweet job system. It apparently is a little too unbalanced for some (I guess you can get super powerful by exploiting the job system) but still an absolute blast to play.

4. Dragon Quest IV - One of my personal favorites, Dragon Quest IV (DS version) splits the game up into several chapters, going through the back-story of your companions before eventually embarking on the main adventure. The only downside is it lacks the party chat feature present in the Japanese version, thus making us miss further characterization.

3. Dragon Quest VIII - Obviously the best looking game in the series, VIII provides a huge world to explore, and a fun story and localization that includes voice acting not present in the original Japanese version. They even included a fully orchestrated score! The character advancement system isn't as interesting as earlier games, and load times can be a bit annoying, but overall a fine game.

2. Dragon Quest IX - The most recent entry is also one of the most interesting in the series. You get to build your own party, and explore one of the largest game worlds put into a DS game. The story provides a lot of interesting moments in the places you visit, focusing more on the stories of the world's people rather than the over-arching plot. The multi-player capabilities mean this game has nearly endless replayability.

1. Dragon Quest V - Monster collecting? Yes. Amazing story? Yes. Classic gameplay? Yes. Don't skip this game. End of story.

More importantly, I have questions for you that simply need an answer. I will need thought out answers with some depth to them, as these carefully considered questions require.


Wheels

More in-depth than ranking the entire Dragon Quest series?

#1, Who wins in a fight, Cyan or Frog?


Wheels

Oh wow, that's an interesting question. I'd say the deciding factor here would be the baggage each character has. Having lost his family, Cyan seems like he would be the more reckless of the two, so I'd give Frog the edge there. Also, Frog has the Masamune as an advantage.

#2, Who wins Final Fantasy Idol, Edward or Celes?


Wheels

Absolutely, hands down, Celes. Edward is just some spoony bard, and Celes preforms an opera with basically no preparation whatsoever. That tells me all I need to know!

#3, Ninja Contest! Who wins, Shadow or Edge?


Wheels

No doubt in my mind the winner is Shadow. Shadow does all kinds of stealth ninja type things throughout Final Fantasy VI, and I can't remember Edge doing anything of that kind at all in Final Fantasy IV. Poor excuse for a ninja!

#4, One hour time limit, who can steal (or, if you prefer, treasure hunt) the most crap, Locke or Zidane?


Wheels

I'm going to call this one a wash. Both are easily distracted by a pretty face so I think they'd both drop the task and go flirt with the first girl they came across. If we leave that factor out I'm going to go with Locke since he's the only one who actually does much thei...excuse me, TREASURE HUNTING in his particular game.

#5, Who's the bigger creeper? Setzer (attempts to kidnap Maria to force her into marriage) or Edgar (hits on 10 year old Relm and tells her to call him in 8 years)?


Wheels

Oh no doubt Edgar. Dude is in a position of authority (King), and is completely abusing it to hit on a horribly underage girl. Granted Setzer was the only one of the two who actually tried to do something, but still. Edgar is a creeper!

#6, Who's the most feminine? Lightning or Tidus?

-Kyle


Wheels

Lightning is the obvious choice here since Tidus is kind of a tool. Also I don't think he's really that feminine anyway. Anyway the point is Lightning is awesome!


HEY! LISTEN!
 
Oh, a connection challenge.  Eh, link Buried Alive  (1990) to Wachenroder.  Nothing too obscure for you today.

I'm tapped. 
Enjoy!
JuMeSyn


Wheels

Easy! Buried Alive originally aired on the USA Network -> Re-runs of one of the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons ran on USA -> Sega owns Sonic the Hedgehog -> Sega published Wachenroder.
IN CLOSING

That's it for this week, time for me to go fire up some Lunar and War in the North (yay?)!

Next week Strawberry Eggs provides us with a history of the Last Bible games.

See you then!

-Wheels


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