|No Country for Old Puns
|May 4th, 2011
05/04- 12:00PM EST
Another week, more great questions from you readers! I've been
busy working on getting all the achievements in Clash of Heroes HD, along with
playing some Knights in the Nightmare.
never played the original DS version, but I can safely say that it
sure is a strange game. Not that this is a bad thing, I'm enjoying it!
OK, on to the letters!
Discuss Great Greed.
Well, Great Greed is an RPG
for the original Game Boy. It was an oddball title, which is saying a
lot because most of the RPGs on the system were that way. Most of the
characters, enemies, etc. are named after food related items, which
isn't as funny in our culture as I think it is in Japan. Battles
were pretty simple, with only the one player character, named by the
player, using magic attacks that you purchase. The story is pretty
strange, involving the player character getting stuck in a different
world because a character named Microwave loses her powers. I'm not
that far into the game, but I will be sure to write some more about it
once I am.
A Decent Proposal Part Deux
Hello again Wheels,
Thank you for your enthusiastic reply to my ideas (I guess readers
coming into this in the first place should refer back to the April 28
column). I will warn you that Baroque
itself requires a lot of work to get to the heart of the story and
concept and it guides you through none of it. Baroque Redemption: Godslayer would
provide a bit more guidance, although I would still aim to keep some of
the need to work things out for yourself.
Interesting, I still can't get myself to buy it for some reason. It
looks too strange, even for me. I'm sure I'll get around to it at some
point, however. So let's get back to your game..
Anyway, I had not been aware of the importance of multiplayer to Monster Hunter, but I will happily
work to include it, so here goes:
At the most basic level, multiplayer is easy. The game is a
rogue-like, so everyone starts at level 1 every time anyway. So
your friends can grab a controller and join you on whatever dungeon
they want, no problems, just throwing in another individual to fight a
difficulty adjusted dungeon. But just leaving it at that would be
boring. At the very least, you could modify dungeons to have
enemies/puzzles/etc which reward two player strategies, and you could
definitely make the bosses do this. For example, you may need to
have one player distract the enemy while the other comes from behind to
attack the weak spot. Perhaps there would even be special
dungeons which require multiple players to complete (kind of like Legend of Zelda: Four Swords).
dungeon designs for multiplayer versus single, but I suppose we have
infinite budget and design capability for a fictional game so we can
just do that.
Yes, no need to worry about budget concerns when we're just dreaming up
games! That would be a great idea in my opinion, to have two sets of
dungeons. This way, the multiplayer can be a new and different
experience from single player, instead of just being the same thing
with more people. Let's see what other ideas you've got...
But again, that's all fairly straight forward. Where this gets
interesting is the characters and story. Last time I left the
protagonist fairly ambiguous, but in the original game he was a member
of the Order Malkuth and intimately connected with the events
surrounding the blaze. Although he remembered none of these
events, he felt a strong sense of guilt over his unknown sin. For
since there's multiplayer, there will be four protagonists
instead. Each will have been somehow central to the events
causing the Blaze, but not remembering them (no one really does
anyway). Otherwise, they will all have different Baroques and
represent different aspects of the human psyche, particularly ones that
would drive them to enter these dungeons searching for the truth of
their past (and perhaps also which would have drawn them to cause the
blaze in the first place). The protagonist of the original will
remain with the Baroque of Guilt. Another protagonist would be
Suspicion, then perhaps Curiosity, and finally Hope. Like
everyone, no character will look normal, and each will have a distinct
combat style, adding diversity to the gameplay. Guilt used a
variety of swords in the original game, so we'll stick with that, maybe
adding some other blades for diversity. Suspicion will use a
range of guns. Curiosity could be a shapeshifter of sorts,
although requiring found items to empower her forms. And Hope
will use a sort of combat magic allowing him to fight by shaping the
terrain of the dungeon, not just the standard fireballs.
Excellent, this kind of mixes in a Diablo-style
feel, giving the player additional characters to play as, even in
single player. This will add a lot of diversity to the gameplay,
similar to how Monster Hunter
varies gameplay with different weapons (the ranged weapons especially
change the gameplay a lot). What's more, this approach let's you keep
to the narrative focused gameplay that makes this idea so interesting.
Each dungeon would focus on one of the four characters both in story
and design. This character would be required, and the others
could be brought along to help by friends (or maybe used on subsequent
playthroughs). As the game progresses, the interweaving details
of the characters lives before the Blaze and their contributions to it
would be gradually revealed through these dungeons. It would end
with one dungeon for each character based on that character's own
baroque, allowing them to come to terms with themselves and their now
revealed pasts, followed by one big dungeon which would require all
four characters (maybe taking separate paths for single players) to
come up against the big boss (who's identity of course must remain a
secret for now). I hope that provides satisfactory multiplayer
while still keeping a deep, character driven story (something I've
always wanted to see in an RPG).
This idea is even better, requiring certain characters for dungeons
means more people will try each of the characters. That's an issue with
some multiplayer RPGs, where there's no compelling reason to play as
anything other than the type of characters players usually gravitate
towards. Some players wouldn't like that, for sure, but as long as the
characters are well balanced and play differently, I think it would
work just fine. Sign me up for your game sir, where can I pre-order?
On a completely unrelated note, I've noticed you using publishers
rather heavily in your 6 degrees challenges. So:
Connect Riviera: The Promised Land
to Myst without using
publishers (developers that didn't publish the game as well are fine).
Yours once more,
I see you've noticed how I've been able to sneak my way through some of
the more difficult challenges, especially involving stars from
Hollywood's golden era. Let's see if I can complete your
challenge as stated.
All right, well
I'll admit it, I have failed. I can't find a connection. So I will
return the challenge your way! If you can complete it, I'll find some
kind of prize to reward you with! Best of luck.
Hey Wheels, miss me?
Sorry I'm a little late with this letter, but last
week was hectic and
I forgot to type it up. Do you think anyone else will ever try one of
these challenges of ours, by the way? The more the merrier, you all!
Someone has, and you can check it out
in last week's column (which I'm guessing you already did). I agree,
people should feel free to jump into our crazy game-making ideas. Maybe
we'll eventually collectively come up with something truly amazing!
Moving onto the question at hand, which games or
series lend themselves
best to a Monster Hunter makeover? Since we're going for a
spin-off, and not a new game IP, we would have to look at series with
distinctive and recognizable monsters. Unfortunately, you already stole
of the more promising choices when you used Final Fantasy XIII
I'm sorry! I needed to think up an example to drive the challenge home,
and that was the first thing that came to mind. It's the perfect idea
too! It's too bad Square Enix didn't run with that idea instead of
making Lords of Arcana.
A few other options that popped into my head en
route to the dentist
were Dragon Quest, Shadow of the Colossus, Zelda,
Mana series. DQ, I ruled out because I
design style would jive too well -- and in any case, the funnest
in that series probably wouldn't scale up appropriately.
I don't know about that! I think it
could work, as long as it's a more light-hearted take on the Monster Hunter. Things like slimes
would be the normal monsters, and boss monsters such as dragons would
be the bigger challenges to tackle. I'm getting off the track, moving
SotC is probably closer to Monster
Hunter than anything
else in terms of gameplay, but its monsters (while certainly on a scale
appropriate to such a title) are few in number. It'd be better to just
the colossi designers for a new IP in that case.
Maybe they could just make a
multiplayer version of SotC?
I've yet to play that game, but it sounds like almost a single player
take on Monster Hunter, with
That leaves us with Zelda and Mana,
of boss monsters. A coin toss made the
for me. We're talking about Link this time around.
Well that works for me! Mana has gone into too many
different genres, so best if we don't drag it through another!
Imagine, if you would, an older, more experienced
Link. Sometime after
his adventures in (insert title of choice here) he travels to the
continent of Maxima. The Kingdom of Hyrule is in need of supplies to
bolster the defense against Ganon's remaining servants, and Link is
with providing the raw materials -- be it Octorok gizzards for ballista
ammo, hollowed-out Moldorm carapaces for shields, or taking out Peahats
before they start the annual migration.
I'm going to go ahead and pretend this
takes place after Twilight Princess.
(Seriously, remember the Peahats of South Hyrule
Field in Ocarina of
Time? I had nightmares about those botanical helicopters of doom
Oh those things, I hated those things!
When I was younger those things really freaked me out. I imagine it's
going to be even worse playing the game in 3D. I feel sorry for kids
who will be playing Ocarina of Time for
the first time on 3DS.
Half the fun of a monster-hunting title is in the
though, and that's something we'd really have to expand on. Still,
Link in sleek black Moldorm-plate armor, or sporting a tunic of Peahat
leaves. It could be like the selection of facewear in Majora's Mask,
of shapes and usefulness. Different upgrades
could be made available for the sword, shield, boomerang, chain-shot,
bow. We could include more weapon types or odd tools. Since the focus
be almost entirely on monster design, some creative item use could be
required in lieu of dungeoneering.
Well, you could also have a great variety of Link's usual tools, such
as the boomerang and chain-shot, and do different things with them. For
example, perhaps you could modify the chain-shot with parts from the
Peahat to let Link use it like a helicoptor for hovering or even
directly flying. This would keep the classic Link feel, and allow
players to find all kinds of different customization options.
Ever played Link's Awakening? The fifth
dungeon boss was a
worm-like thing that lived in the walls and had to be dragged out with
chain-shot. Or maybe the anglerfish boss, or the Face Shrine boss? If
handled correctly, they would be awesome in 3D environments, though the
Face might not be the best pick for this kind of title.
All right, I take back what I said
before, let's call this a sequel to Link's
Awakening. I loved that game, and it kept me entertained as a
kid between play sessions of SaGa.
Those bosses would be amazing in 3D, especially the fifth dungeon boss
you described. Haven't played Link's
Awakening readers? Get on that, it is one of the best Zelda games.
So many bosses from the series would work
Dodongo, Gleeok, Manhandla, Gohma... and that's just from the first
Most of the bosses from Ocarina and Majora would work,
the rampaging mechanical bull or the giant Poe that was cut from the
version of OoT. I'd start listing more, but I'm not as familiar
some of the later games, and I'm running short on time here.
Well there's certainly a lot of bosses
that would be great. Though the later games are naturally in 3D
already, I can picture a lot of ways those bosses could be made more
challenging, requiring a more vast array of tools to defeat. However,
you have left out the most important aspect of any good Monster Hunter clone, what about
What do you think? Would Zelda make for a
spin-off? Which series would you choose? Be sure to let me know in time
for the next Japandemonium (Thursday the 28th)!
Your fellow columnist,
I shall let you know! That gives me
plenty of time to outline a great plan. Thanks for the great ideas, as
usual! I certainly wasn't expecting you to choose Zelda.
Welcome to the Complaints Department
Since I'm unable to post on the forums, I'd like to take this time to
vent my frustration with Might &
Magic: Clash of Heroes, and how your experience was not
reminiscent of mine. There was crap in the game I didn't like, such as
how it was dependent upon luck and how you have to start from level one
five times throughout the game, not to mention the cap on experience
and inability to grind. It was because of reviews like yours that I
feel conned into buying and playing the game. Thank you.
Well for starters, the key problem we get into right away is "how your
experience was not reminiscent of mine". Well, no, it shouldn't. A
review should be an honest depiction of a game based on the reviewer's
experience with the game, and that's what I wrote. Some of the issues
you mention, such as starting from level one I did mention.
didn't see them as issues. You also have a mistake here, in the final
campaign, your character does not start at level one. Also luck is a
very minor factor in the game. For most scenarios, the random unit
disbursements provide you with a plenty of ways to succeed. With these
facts in mind, I'm not sure how you can say reviews like mine "conned"
you into buying the game. I'm sorry you didn't like the game, but I
presented the things you didn't like as parts of the game, so you
shouldn't have been surprised by these facts.
I have to wonder, did you actually read the text or just skim it?
Oh well, remember reviews are tools to help you decide whether a game
might be something you like, not a guaranteed lock that you will.
I'm just going to repeat the same outro from last week, as no one
replied about a possible Dissidia tournament!
That's all for this week! As some of you may have seen, there was a
quick little contest on the AskWheels twitter,
and I'll be doing more
of those in the future, so keep an eye on it! I'm also wondering if,
once PSN is back up, you readers would want to have a Dissidia 012 tournament via Ad Hoc
Party? Let me know!
'Til next week
April 7th: Wheels
April 14th: Wheels
April 20th: Wheels
April 28th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Beyond the Labyrinth
2. Disgaea 4
4. El Shaddai
5. Tales of Graces F in English!
On my Playlist:
1. The World Ends With You Soundtrack
2. Green Day
3. Resonance of Fate Soundtrack
1. How much can someone's perspective/mood change
whether or not they enjoy a game?
2. Did BioWare/EA rush Dragon Age II out too soon?
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. What makes Falcom's games so different than other Japanese games,
and why have they been able to have success on odd platforms for so