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ASK WHEELS
No Puns Required
April 20th, 2011

04/20- 12:00PM EST

  Another week, more great questions from you, the readers. As some of you have noticed on Twitter, I'm busy playing through Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes HD this week, which has been an interesting experience. More on that when I write the review for it, of course. This has meant less time to play Trails in the Sky, but with the second part still a long ways off, I'm in no rush to finish it.

Enough about that, let's jump right into the letters...





The Letters
Resonance of Suikoden's Fate

Regarding two of your "Hot Topics"...

I'll get Resonance of Fate over with first. Yes, yes it does deserve a sequel of some sort. Amongst JRPGs, it was fairly unique for embracing a combat system revolving around guns; Plus, I love the steampunk aesthetic. A deeper story and a few refinements here and there could propel it to a wider audience.


Wheels

I agree completely. The problem is, I'm not sure Sega is the right company to do it, and I can't see any other company publishing a sequel. I just can't understand why Sega of America decided to publish the game so close to Final Fantasy XIII. Anyone could have told them it wasn't the greatest idea. Resonance of Fate is a flashy looking game that should have been able to reach a bigger audience  even if they wouldn't all have been able to get over the high learning curve of the battle system.  The saddest part of it all is that the localization team clearly put their hearts into the job, and the voice cast did an amazing job A nice sequel expanding on the great things about the first game and a more focused story could make for quite an amazing game. Of course with Final Fantasy XIII-2 coming in the near future, maybe they'd make the same mistake again...

Now to the one most near to my heart... "Should Konami continue the main series storyline of Suikoden, or start fresh?"

Suikoden has been my favorite  JRPG series since it debuted oh so long ago. While part of me wishes that they (Konami) would continue with the world and timeline they set up in one to five, I honestly think rebooting may be the proper route to take, as it's been years since V. Hell, regardless, I'd take anything at this point... but rebooting would allow new fans an entry point, which the franchise would need to survive in the long term. As long as the politics, 6-member party system, strategic battles, and 108 stars remain, I'm pretty much good to go.

Just my two cents,

theBridgeburner.


Wheels

Well, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if there can't be some kind of middle ground. Perhaps they can make a new title in the same timeline/world, that is a self-contained story that helps answer many of the questions of the series, but in a way that ties directly to the current game. A tough task to be sure, but why not give it a try? Then they could even repackage the old games in some way (maybe excluding 4) so as to give new fans a way to dig into the series as a whole. As long as, like you say, the key series staples like 6-member parties, strategic battles, and the 108 stars are there. I think all Suikoden fans can agree that the DS game, while good, is not the best route for the future of the series.

Anyway, thanks for writing in, and here's hoping we haven't heard the last of this great series.


Tweeting About the Witcher

@AskWheels also 4 the next askwheels: Your thoughts on the Witcher, and its upcoming sequel?  & CdProjekt's dedication to PC environment?

@dimortuisunt


Wheels

Well, sadly I have yet to play The Witcher, which is something I plan to fix once I'm in the right frame of mind. I know it was noted for providing a lot of tough moral choices, where there often wasn't a clear black or white choice. I'm very curious to see if this really is the case. That combined with the use of Bioware's Aurora engine make me wonder why it's taken me this long to play the thing. You often see ambitious RPGs out of Europe that suffer a lot from bugs and other technical issues. So, to see one that uses an already established engine makes me think they were able to do what many other developers failed to do, that being actually succeed at delivering on those ambitions. Of course, I'll reserve final judgment until I've played it, but it's on my short list of PC RPGs to play. As for the Witcher 2? Hopefully it will be as well received as the first game. There's no such thing as too many good RPGs as far as I'm concerned.

Now, CD Projekt's dedication to the PC environment is a whole different topic. I know there were plans for a console version of The Witcher which eventually fell through and it's likely that those issues prevented them from making similar plans for the sequel. It's too bad, especially given the recent success of the Dragon Age games on consoles. These types of RPGs seem to be having increasing success on consoles (Morrowond seemed to get the trend going), so CD Projekt is really missing out on a big opportunity to reach a mass audience. Perhaps if The Witcher 2 is a success, they'll give it another shot?

Thanks for the question!


Talking PS1 Classics

Sir Wheels,

Firstly, and most importantly, I would like to know if you've had the chance to play Xenogears yet. If you have, please give me your thoughts. And if you haven't than shame, shame on you Wheels!

Wheels

I did play it back in the PS1 days. I want to play through it again now that I've got it again from PSN, but I just haven't had the time yet. I can't say that I exactly have the fondest memories of the game. I didn't care that much for the battle system, and actually found the combat in mechs to be less interesting than that on foot. That doesn't even get into issues with the story. It was a long time ago, so I really need to just sit down and give it another chance. I did the same late last year with Final Fantasy VIII and ended up liking that game far more than I did when I was younger.

I'd also like to know your thoughts on the recent PS One Classics releases. It seems that Europe is getting all the good stuff! FFV on PSN, Chrono Trigger on Virtual Console, and a couple others I've seen in past weeks. Why, in your most educated opinion, are we not getting these classics in North America?

Wheels

I'm not sure about this one. I don't think we'll necessarily miss any of these titles, so it could just be a case of different branches of Square Enix going with different release schedules. Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger re-releases have sold quite well in North America, so it's simply a matter of when, and not if. Why do you want FFV on PSN? The GBA version has a better translation. The PS1 version had a terrible localization and the annoying loading times that all the PS1 re-releases of SNES era Final Fantasies suffered from. Unless of course you don't have access to the GBA version. As for Chrono Trigger, I'm all for a re-release playable on a big screen. I'm sure we'll see it on the North American Virtual Console in the near future.

Compare the PS3 to the 360. Good and bad. Which is the better system in your opinion? I'm biased, being a rabid Sony fanboy since I was knee high to a grasshopper. (I might have asked you this in my last email. Can't remember. Oh well. Answer away, answer man!)

Wheels

Now that Microsoft has released a new version of the 360 with fewer hardware issues, this is almost a toss-up. I'd have to give the edge to the PS3 based on the blu-ray drive alone, not to mention a better digital store and free online play. That's not to say that the 360's digital store is bad, or that you don't get a lot of value from having to pay for online functionality. There really isn't a huge advantage for either system, unless there are certain exclusives you have to have. Both systems have many different positives and negatives, and I'd encourage anyone thinking of buying one of the systems to look over everything about each system before making a decision. Generally I think people find that the 360 is better if you're focused on online games, and the PS3 is better if online games aren't as important a factor.

Have you played Castlevania: Lords of Shadow yet? It's a great play. With all these reboots coming out, the boys over at Konami and Mercury Steam did a bang up job on this little jewel.

Wheels

I have played it, and it certainly is nice to finally see a great 3D Castlevania game. I know some people had issues with it not being an open experience more like the Symphony of the Night style games, but that wasn't an issue for me.  I grew up playing the first and third Castlevania games and this game is right up that alley. Never hurts to have Patrick Stewart in your voice cast either. Looking forward to the (hopefully) inevitable sequel.

Lastly, do you like soup? And if so, what kind of soup? Remember, chowder is not soup. It is a completely different subject in it's own right and should be treated as so. Any man who thinks chowder is a soup is an idiot, and any man who doesn't like soup cannot be trusted.

Thank You and Good Day,

Jamey
Wheels

That would have to be New England clam....whoops, I mean I would have to say pasta fagioli. A simple, yet filling soup that I love to get whenever I go to the Olive Garden. Chowder is also great, whether or not its soup.

PS: I like Chicken Noodle. So there!

Wheels

Does anyone not like chicken noodle soup? It's a classic! Anyway, it was good talking games and soup with you.

Kingdom Times

Wheels,

I know this is soooo last month, but i just thought of this last night. What about combining the extra-dimensional travel aspect some people have discussed with one of Square Enix's already existing dimensional travel game, Kingdom Hearts. Crono, Lucca and Frog go through a dimensional portal to rescue Marle from a mysterious kidnapper only to find themselves in a cartoony world where they are saved by Sora, donald and goofy and the six team up? I dunno, I'm more of an idea man, I bet one of the other readers could actually do something cool with this idea.

~CronoVT


Wheels

An interesting idea for sure. I'm wondering if this would possibly be better served in a Kingdom Hearts game. Perhaps in Kingdom Hearts 3 instead of just meeting various Final Fantasy characters, they could run into the cast of Chrono Trigger as well, and even make a visit to their world. I've been quite disappointed in the lack of Square Enix worlds in the series so far. I know the Disney worlds are the driving force for the games, but it seems like they could fit a few in there at least. Oh well, regardless, you've got a good idea, and I'd love to see the two casts team up.

IN CLOSING

That's all for this episode! I've got more good questions queued up for next week, including one that will force me to somehow connect a movie from the silent era to a modern day game. That should be quite interesting.

'Til next week

-Wheels


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What I can't wait for:

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