|Q&A, Now in 3D!
|March 30th, 2011
03/30- 12:00PM EST
OK, it's not really in 3D, but given the recent release of the
3DS it seemed like the thing to do. I'm sure we'll see a slew of
releases with "3D" in the title in the coming months. Anyway, I've got
another Chrono letter this
week, along with a few more in the backlog. It continues to be a lot of
fun to talk about potential sequels, and like I said previously,
everyone is welcome to keep sending them in. Now, on to the letters!
I can safely say I'm not a fan of the SaGa
series. I like the music,
and to a lesser extent to graphics, especially in SaGa Frontier 2, but
I don't like using a guide to understand the mechanisms, not to
mention the terrible balance at times.
Well, I think you might be going a bit far on the balance part (maybe
not for the original games), but that's alright, it's not a series for
everyone. As for the difficulty understanding the mechanics, that's
often part of the fun. The best part of many of the SaGa games is taking the time to
figure things out on your own. Granted this can often time lead to
frustration, but it helps give many of the games a much more open feel
than most JRPGs. This of course doesn't make them very accessible. So
yeah, I can understand why you don't like them, but I think you'd find
the rebalanced remakes of SaGa 2 and
to be much better than the originals. Shame we haven't gotten them in
I'd like to know what your favorite series are, write back some time!
Someone Topped Us All and Actually
Made Their Chrono Sequel
Hello new Q and A person (Wheels, is it?),
It is! A silly nickname yes, but
that's a whole different story.
With all this talk of Chrono Trigger
sequels, why hasn't anyone mentioned Crimson
Echoes yet? The game was lost to the ether of cease and desist
gag orders, but the story and gameplay have been preserved in glorious "YouTube
I am surprised it hasn't been mentioned until now. I don't have any
experience with it, other than a friend telling me it was terrible.
However I know it's famous, so it would have been cool to spend some
time delving into what it did with story. What else is there to know
For those who don't know, Crimson
Echoes was a fan-made hack/game using some of the sprites and
shaded cells from the emulated Chrono
Trigger rom (hence the DCMA). A preview would be that the story
of Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross is explained through
the game, the literary interpretations of the authors, with a little
bit of the narrative from the Radical
Dreamers satellite game added in for good measure. Freely
traveling through time is discussed and it's implications are examined
in what I think is a thoughtful and concise manner.
That actually sounds like a very plausible and well thought out way to
do a sequel. Granted it doesn't sound like they did anything of note
gameplay wise, but that is a straightforward and excellent idea for a
sequel. Granted I'd have to see the actual story in the game to see how
good it is, but it is a great idea. Not to mention they actually made
it happen. That's dedication.
So, when the game was in closed beta, the authors got hit with a cease
and desist request from Square Enix
and obliged, destroying every single copy. Seriously. It is gone, save
these videos. It serves as the most poignant example of the "copyright
infringement police" supplanting fan creativity. Just thought I'd make
the last few people who have never heard of this cry at its
completeness and yet complete unavailability.
That sucks, but really, Square Enix has every right to stop such
things. Also, physical copies? Not a wise thing to do at all. This is
always the danger in even starting to make something using an
intellectual property that is not your own. I think the only company
I've seen that doesn't do much blocking of this kind of thing is
Nintendo. They've let things like Zelda
Classic and Super Mario
Crossover hang out there. I suppose these make for free
advertising of sorts for Nintendo. It's awful, but it is what it
is. I always wonder what the actual game designers think of fan sequels
like this. Perhaps the legal decisions would be different if they were
Thanks for writing in!
P.S.: It seems Crimson Echoes
has been leaked despite my previous understanding that it was not
available anymore. </playing with your emotions>
Hey, if you're 'morally opposed' to playing it, just watch the
youtube videos; also, don't watch this video,
because it uses the original content of one show to tell a different
story in the same medium. Enjoy your literary close-mindedness. ???.
Well that's not a completely fair comparison. After-all, that's a
video using original content to tell a different story, but it's not
something people would then go and watch instead of say, a new Star Trek movie. Crimson Echoes on the other hand,
is something that fans could conceivably choose to play instead of an
official Chrono release.
This is not a bashing of the fan sequel itself, as I've said it sounds
like a very creative work. However, fans too often can't, or refuse to
see things from the other side of the coin. The worst part, is
at the end of the day, no one wins.
We still have Super Mario Crossover
Of course! Bring it like the Rolling
Stones...well...used to bring it!
I have no idea how you missed Warsong. Admittedly, the game was
localized by a company that promptly died, and it didn't sell well at
the time. That might account for the minimal publicity. Chrono
Trigger has sucked up a LOT of the
space in your column for awhile with all the proposed sequels. Not that
there's anything wrong with that. Still, might it be time to see what
happens if you ask about ideas for something from the other console of
the time? Say for example, ideas on Phantasy Star V?
I got a Genesis late in the life of the system, so it could just be the
case of it being too old by the time I had the system. I went back to
look for RPGs, but I'm sure I missed a lot, including Warsong.
OK, I love sequel talk. Let's do this.
The ending to Phantasy Star IV
was pretty darn conclusive. I'd be hesitant to do a direct sequel to
it. It could be done however. The universe is massive, so there could
many threats separate from those that the original four games focused
on. Perhaps start a new ongoing story in the same group of planets that
relates back to the characters of the original series, but not too much
that new players can't figure things out. Regardless I'd rather Sega to
something other than multi-player titles with the series.
Those Square-Enix sequels just keep tantalizing me. Why don't I toss
some more out for you to explicate and judge? Front Mission 6.
It's extremely unlikely to
happen, and if it did would most likely not leave Japan. We can still
We can, even though I've yet to really
play a proper Front Mission title.
fans that constantly rave about the series. I find it
odd that in an era where SRPGs are thriving (mainly on portables), that
the Front Mission series
hasn't gained a major following in the US. I think I need to play this
series and give it some love.
Something worthy of the Seiken Densetsu series. I have no idea
how this would be numbered, since there actually is a Seiken
4, but that game was lousy according to every source. Heroes
of Mana was exceptionally lousy (read
this if you need substantiation), Children of Mana was
filled with annoying aspects that made it a chore, Sword of Mana
was okay without being great, and I haven't played Legend of Mana.
I think we just need to write off the
whole World of Mana thing
altogether. Dawn of Mana is
mostly terrible, with one of the worst cameras I've ever seen in a 3D
game. Many of the ideas could have been worthwhile, but at the end of
the day it's just a bad game. I shall avoid Heroes of Mana per your
recommendation. Children of Mana
and Sword of Mana left a lot
to be desired. Legend of Mana
is of course the last great Mana
game. So what happened to the series? It seems like those who were put
in charge of the titles simply weren't interested. I can understand
doing some spin-off games, but basically changing the genre for the
fourth title in the main series? It didn't make any sense. That being
said, people still have a lot of fondness for the original games. Put
in the hands of a new team with a small budget, I think they could do
quite well with a new sequel. Just, no more genre switches please.
What else... how about a sequel to Paladin's Quest? Sure,
there's Lennus 2 which I haven't played and it stayed in Japan
anyway, but digging up long-dormant series is in vogue lately, right?
Keeping with the Enix side, how about E.V.O: The Search for Eden?
the secondary market has deemed it worth remembering! After all,
expensive games are always worth the cost.
Quest? Now you're really digging into the obscure. I think if
they wanted to do another sequel to that, they'd have to remind people
that the original existed in the first place. Perhaps a virtual
title for Square Enix to do a sequel for. It's a very unique
concept (seems similar to Spore
years before Spore was even
a thought) and it's legendary status would certainly get a lot of
hardcore gamers interested. Not that it would necessarily sell, but
worth a shot I think.
More Enix... Robotrek! I didn't love it like a couple people do
around here, but it's definitely unique, and potentially worth a
I hadn't really heard of this one, but
a quick look at the wikipedia page tells me it's similar to Pokemon in that the main character
sends out robots to fight instead of himself, but doesn't have the
collection aspect of Pokemon.
Instead, you create your party of robots. Sounds like a really cool
idea, but sadly it was originally developed by Quintet (with Ancient),
a company that seems to be in limbo. Not sure if there would be
licensing issues there, but if they work that out I could use some Illusion of Gaia and Soul Blazer sequels.
Hm. Is Brave Fencer Musashi worth remembering? Haven't played
it, don't know, but some say unequivocally yes.
I'm running out of things I've experienced, as is now evident. That
should be enough Square-Enix fodder for one day anyway.
It's a fun little action RPG. It
did get a sequel in Samurai Legend
Musashi for the PS2, so that's not as much in need of a sequel
as other Square Enix titles. How about a sequel to Crystal Bearers?
Connect Ginger Rogers to Guardian Heroes!
You seem to be picking older and more
obscure actor/actresses for these little connection things as time goes
on. I admire your conviction in trying to stump me! Let's see here,
Ginger Rogers starred in Teenage
in 1956-> 20th Century Fox distributed the film->Sega acquired
game license from 20th Century Fox (2006)->Sega published Guardian Heroes
Alright, that one wasn't so bad!
I'd comment upon the Suikoden topic if only I'd played more
than the DS game. It wouldn't be fair to pontificate on something I'm
poorly versed in.
If you take any of my
recommendations to heart, let it be this one: Play Suikoden I, II, III, and V, as soon as possible. Ignore the
fourth one, and check out Suikoden
Tactics only as time allows.
So now that five Ys games are on PSP (even if the sixth game
reputedly is a lousy port), speculate on the possibility of the fourth
game (which is actually two distinct titles, remember) and the fifth
coming to that platform after not being touched in over 15 years. I
don't really have any more today, since I'm out the door to see Rango
in hopes of a good film. This should be enough content though.
Before the announcement of the NGP by
Sony I would have said that the chances were very good. With Falcom
already announcing support for the NGP, and already being busy with Legend of Heroes titles, I think
the chances are pretty much nil. I had thought that Ys Origins for PSP would have been
a shoe-in given Oath in Falghana had
seemed to use the exact same engine. Now even that
looks to be in doubt. Perhaps the market in Japan for PSP games will
last longer than I think, but even then it could be tough to get that
type of title released in the west after the NGP launch. Perhaps we'll
have to wait for remakes on that system?
As always, thank you for the fantastic questions!
I heard a terrifying rumor that you may have recently come into
possession of a copy of the game Dawn
Mana. My question is, have
you had time to play it yet and, if so, how long do you think you've
got to live, what with the better part of your soul no doubt having
been consumed by the treacherous disk?
May your suffering be minimal and your demise mercifully swift,
You'll be pleased to know that I have survived, and I'm already rid of
my copy of the offending game. It nearly got me, but not quite! The
worst part wasn't even the many problems the game has, such as the
overuse of havok physics, or the uninteresting story. No, the thing
that nearly destroyed me was the camera. How in the heck, in modern
game design, can they make a camera this terrible? Maybe on a system
like the PSP with only one analog stick, but on the PS2, with camera
control assigned to one of the analog sticks? It's just inexcusable. I
have no idea what happened to this game. I think the lead designer
hates the series and just wanted to toy with the havoks physics engine.
All I know is that I want to try and forget that it exists.
I think this game will haunt me for a long time. It is a thing of pure
That's all for this episode! People don't seem to be using the hot
topics that often, so feel free to send me in suggestions to replace
them. Don't forget you can also tweet me questions. I'm now much more
active with that, so I won't miss any of those questions.
'Til next time
Current Backlog: Need Legend of
February 23rd: Wheels
March 2nd: Wheels
March 9th: Wheels
March 23rd: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Tales of Graces F in English!
2. Disgaea 4
3. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky!
4. El Shaddai
5. Deus Ex Human Revolution
On my Playlist:
1. Ys Seven Soundtrack
2. Various Suikoden Music
3. Radiant Historia Soundtrack
1. Does Resonance of Fate deserve a sequel
(spiritual or otherwise)?
2. Should Konami continue the main series storyline of Suikoden, or
start fresh (if they make another Suikoden game)?
3. What character are you angry about not being in Dissidia 2?
4. Golden Sun Dark Dawn appears to be a success. Is it time for a
console entry in the series?
5. Should Bioware make another Jade Empire game?