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ASK WHEELS
For Q&A, You Monster
May 12th, 2011

05/12- 12:00PM EST

  It has been sort of a strange week for news, with PSN still down, a 7th Dragon sequel announced ... wait ... what was that last one? A 7th Dragon sequel? I would be excited but I just know I'm going to have to import this one (thankfully it's a PSP game). Anyway, that's a whole different story. Before I get to the letters and tweets, I should note with the six degrees of separation challenge from last week, I forgot to mention that the rule of thumb I use is to not use platforms in the connections, as this makes things too easy. So, if anyone wants a prize they will have to make that connection without using publishers or platforms. Good luck!

On to the letters...and tweets!





The Letters
Godzilla RPG: The Mothra Chronicles

@AskWheels How come there are no Godzilla RPGs. I want to play as Godzilla!

@dimortuisunt


Wheels

 Are you sure there are no Godzilla RPGs? This seems incredibly strange. I know the Japanese do (or did?) love Godzilla movies, that's for sure. There's no doubt that RPGs are popular over there as well, so how in the world was there never any overlap? This can't be right. Excuse me a moment...

Please Stand By

Well I return with dire news, apparently there aren't any Godzilla RPGs. I searched through the wikipedia page of Godzilla games, and there just aren't any RPGs there. This is just not right. The greatest monster in the world, and he's never gotten to star in his own RPG? I just don't know what to say. Nothing in the world seems right anymore.


Tales of Excitement about Tales Games

Dear Wheels,

Although I know full well that it likely isn't true, sometimes I just like to make believe that there's someone at Namco who is reading my letters to you. First, we get Tales of Graces F finally announced for localization, which reminded me of what I predicted in a letter back in the August 10 column. And now we get Tales of the Abyss 3D officially announced for localization! That itself of course is wonderful news, but it's timing with the Abyss anime also reminded me of the cross-media idea that I proposed in the October 20 column! I'd certainly like to believe that I had something to do with this stream of good news, but of course it's far more likely that Nacmo was listening to a large number of people (not JUST me) who feel the same way I do and expressed similar ideas. Well, it doesn't matter to me who it was that convinced them to localize more Tales games; I'm just glad somebody finally did.


Wheels

That's the crux of the matter, the who or how isn't important, just that they are localizing two great Tales games should make us all happy. I'm really hoping Abyss will reach a much wider audience this time around. Launching as one of the first big RPGs on a new system, as opposed to one of many (not to mention in the same month as Final Fantasy XII), it should get a big push. That's not even going into the fact that it will launch along with an anime and manga. Tales of the Abyss fans are going to be very happy this year. As far as Graces F goes, it's a shame it got pushed a bit into 2012, but at the same time at least it won't be going up against the likes of Skyrim. I'm going to guess it will probably show up at the start of 2012, which will be a nice way to begin the year.

Now, if only I actually had a PS3 and 3DS to show my support for them. What a miserable time it is to be a die-hard Tales fan AND a poor college student...

FirstAid


Wheels

Ah, that is a shame! However I keep hearing rumors of more console price cuts, so maybe you'll have a PS3 in time for Graces F! Can't say I think the 3DS will drop in price anytime soon, but you could always pick up Abyss for when you do have one.

Anyway, good to hear from you again, don't be a stranger!


Zelda Hunter 2: Sidescrolling Edition

Hey Wheels, heads up. The date mentioned in my last letter, where I said the 28th? That was supposed to be April 28th, since I'd naively assumed you'd manage to get Q&A up before my slightly rushed update on Thursday. C'est la vie. I'm hoping for Friday, May 13th for the next one, but that's if I can grab enough material together after the Golden Week lull in news coverage.

Wheels

I see, well as you have surely noticed, I have failed to get my own Monster Hunter clones ideas sent to you. I have really struggled to come up with a good one, but thankfully the recent 7th Dragon 2020 announcement has given me a good idea, so you shall have that in your inbox soon.

I can't believe I forgot about the multi-player aspects in Zelda Hunter, though! Well... actually I can, since I'm not a co-op kind of player by nature. I think the last time I made full use of a game's multi-player abilities was with Secret of Mana back in 1996. The Zelda series has never been known for its multi-player options either though, so I'd probably go with something similar to what they had in Four Swords, using Link-clones from slightly different parallel worlds. True, they'd all look a lot alike, but that's just an incentive to up the customization aspect, is it not?

Wheels

Absolutely, this way everyone gets to show of what kind of crazy Link they've come up with. This is one of the fun things about multiplayer in Monster Hunter games, see what kinds of weapons and armor they've crafted. Perhaps we could leave out some of the annoying co-op puzzles that sometimes plagued Four Swords though?

I liked your Peahat-plus-chainshot-equals-helicopter idea though. Perhaps a different upgrade would allow the player to snag an enemy and then hammer-throw them? But I'd say it's important not to allow too many abilities on one version of the same equipment. We'd need a reason to switch things up from time to time, as well as promote teaming up between players with different upgrade setups.

Wheels

Absolutely, making players try all the various weapon and upgrade combinations gets them addicted to collecting various upgrades and trying them out. This would also make it fun to play online and see what sorts of combinations other players have come up with. The possibilities are endless, and right now I wish this game existed.

So, why were you surprised that I chose Zelda, hm?

Your fellow columnist,

Gaijin

Wheels

I'm not sure, I think because Zelda is generally put in the "might be an RPG" category I just kind of assumed that's not what you'd go with. Not that I'm disappointed, Zelda is a great choice. Imagine all the possibilities if they included  a customizable Majora's Mask style mask system! I think it's time Nintendo makes a new multplayer Zelda based on your idea.

Exiled

@AskWheels Also here's an Ask Wheels Q for next week: I've heard you like
Spiderweb Software games. Which are some good ones to try out?

@merrygodown


Wheels

Well, they're all somewhat similar, so I'll first give you a basic idea of what sort of games they make. Based in the traditions of PC RPGs such as Ultima, along with classic Dungeons and Dragons, Spiderweb Software's games are decidedly old-school. That's not to say they're hard to play. There's a lot of nice touches to the games that make them easier to play than the games they take inspiration from. The easiest way I can describe the basic structure of a Spiderweb game: think Baldur's Gate with turn based combat. Of course in most of the games you're either creating your own party, or using monsters, but you get the basic idea. Anyway, the best game to start with in my opinion is the latest, Avadon. It feels a bit like some recent Bioware titles, with party members consisting of characters with their own personalities instead of ones you create. Perhaps you'd want to wait for my review of it? If you want to try out Spiderweb's claim to fame, then go ahead and start with the first Avernum game. That series centers around an underground world where criminals and political dissenters and the like are sent to. They create their own society (like Australia only REALLY down under), and the series eventually leads to interactions with the outside world. There's seven games in the series, so set aside some time if you end up liking them!

IN CLOSING

That's it for this week! Keep an eye on Twitter for ... well you'll see. Time for me to get back to playing Avadon, Spiderweb Software does not make short games!

'Til next week

-Wheels


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