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ASK WHEELS
The World Ends With Godzilla Part Deux
May 26th, 2011

05/26- 12:00PM EST

  Another Sequel crazy contest has begun! Only one entry so far, but I have a feeling you readers are going to come up with some great stuff. To give you some motivation, the prizes are now Tales of the Abyss 3D, Persona 2 Innocent Sin, or something similar. Finally getting the last missing chapter in the Persona series should at the very least be quite interesting. I'm also still trying to get through Avadon to review it, which is getting quite tough. I shall win though!

Just a quick programming note: Q&A will be taking a spring break next week, and shall return the following week.

On to the letters!





The Letters
The World Ends With this Sequel

Hey there Wheels,
 
I’ll give your contest a shot – World Ends With You 2 for x360/Kinect, multiplayer capable in combat.  I think the only way to “revolutionize” a game like WEWY that was already that unique and crazy is to bring it to a new platform where activating pins will require a lot of motion and energy.  Obviously, if Square served up another strong J-Pop/techno musical showing, it’d keep you moving and energetic in an RPG quite unlike any other.  I’d hate to fight in a 10 chain battle though – it could get exhausting and it’d be weird to get in shape from an RPG J.
 
BTW, I’m a big fan of the site and enjoyed your column this week – keep up the good work.
 
Regards,
Scott


Wheels

  Excellent! The first entry in the contest. I like this idea from an overall level, looking to match the unique battle system from the original. I can't say the idea of buying a kinect to play this really appeals to me, but that's not important considering this is all theoretical talk. It all makes sense though, make combat almost have a dance like rhythm to it, based on the battle theme that's playing. I'd like to hear you expand on this idea some. For example, what would the story be like (no spoilers of the first game, I'm still playing through it)? Would it also be a two character system? Glad you enjoy this great site, and look forward to hearing more of your ideas!


Another Player Dimension Ex

The subject title sounded better in my head.
 
So I was reading your column and FriendofAgnes' letters in particular about Baroque Redemption - Godslayer, and I just came up with the perfect game Konami could release to cash in on a possible huge success of this Baroque game.
 
Azure Dreams - Another Dream


Wheels

That is just a... DREAMY title. Yes that was terrible, I'm sorry. I can't resist terrible puns.

Sometimes things just happen, you know? I was reading how FriendofAgnes implemented multiplayer, making it roguelike so everyone starts out at level 1 every time...
Guess what? That was one of the main features in Azure Dreams. You always started back at level 1, though your pet didn't. All fine and dandy, but it would just be a cute animé Pokémon-esque Monster Hunter clone now, wouldn't it?
 
WRONG! Azure Dreams must be my favourite quirky, odd, and ultimately not very interesting game ever. It had so many things going for it, but it couldn't quite live up to the potential. Time to set that straight.


Wheels

You know, there's probably many mediocre games that end up like this, plenty of great ideas that just aren't done quite right. The issue is of course that because their execution is bad, there's never a chance to do a sequel. Let's see how you'd fix this!

It will take place several years after the original game. In this game, which could take the form of an MMORPG, or a dedicated server MORPG (money wasn't an option, right?), the original hero has left town with his family since he was super loaded anyways, and another legend about the tower has given rise to a new influx of wannabe heroes hoping for riches in the tower. As in the original, each time you enter the tower, you start back at level 0, though you can gain better equipment. However, when you fall in the tower, you will lose some of your equipment, so that's the tricky part. This will ensure that players will never be very far removed from one another in terms of how powerful they are. In the tower you can find money, items and of course the famous eggs. Now, these are very rare. You can hatch them, but you can only keep a few of them, so once you find another, you can sell it for a hefty sum (far heftier than in the original game). Monsters can be taken into the tower and will be able to become more powerful, though they won't keep ALL their levels when leaving the tower. Maybe just their skills, which can be leveled.


Wheels

This is a very interesting concept. The idea of a MMO Roguelike is interesting enough, but through in rare pets that can be retain some levels and skills? Makes for a very interesting experience, and I'd like to see what kind of economy would spring up around finding and selling eggs. Sounds far better than the original game so far.

Anyhoo, the fun part begins outside of the tower, where one can socialize with other people, trade wares and, wait for it, build buildings for the betterment of the town! Now, city buildings such as shops (and upgrades), temples, public baths and all that will be pre-set, and you can donate for them to be made available. Being a sponsor in a building will give you certain priviliges and bonuses, plus your name will be mentioned. You can also build a house for yourself and your pets, so you can increase your max. amount of monsters you can have, and all that stuff. Updates wouldn't create new levels to fight in, but new parts of town to build up and explore.
 
Of course, one of the servers will be a role-play server because I don't want my public bath to be sponsored by Sephiroth1982.
 
Unlike the original, this game will give you the ability to play different styles. Not classes mind you, developers should just stop that nonsense, but at the beginning you can choose which stat is highest, so you can work your way to a specific playstyle should you wish to do so.


Wheels

Hey, I like class systems, and they do make it simpler to figure out for some people. Not that it's bad to ditch class systems, as this allows players to customize characters far more than any class system could allow.

Anyway, the building up of the town is a very interesting idea. Makes for an ever changing world, while at the same time keeping the actual dungeon intact. So you get the best of both worlds, consistency of player experience, and an ever changing, player controlled world. Sign me up!

Man, this game would kick so much butt! I am already excited.
 
Oh, and about that whole Suikoden dilemma. Konami should stop that different dimension nonsense. especially if those different dimensions sport nothing but snotty brats who talk way too fast, and just stick with the world as we love it. The main appeal of the Suikoden games is the fact that every game takes place in the same world. Even if there are no returning characters and the game takes place 100 years after the previous one, the fact that you know the world in which it takes place, the history, the people that made a difference, all of that, makes you feel at home right from the start. And knowing that playing this game will just make the world bigger for you, more intriguing is half of what drives you. That is why I love the Suikoden games.
 
Thanks for listening to my seemingly endless rant.
Daniel Brouwer


Wheels

Oh I agree completely. This is why series like Suikoden and Phantasy Star have such devoted followings. It's nice to have a game with a good back story, but when that back story and history is the games themselves? That's a powerful force, because it gets people discussion and theorizing about a series, and helps spread the word. Not that this helped Suikoden sales all that much (although I find the fandom quite infectious). All other things aside, just look at the likes of Mass Effect and you can see how powerful a sales force a continuing story can be (a different kind of continuing story, but still relevant). I really hope more RPGs will go the route of Suikoden.

Anyway, I enjoyed your endless rant! Feel free to rant some more sometime


Kaijuu Theater!

Hey Wheels! I remember when Jumes posed the "kaijuu in RPGs" question to me, a few years back. The first thing that popped into my head was Final Fantasy VII, of all things. Remember the attack of the Sapphire Weapon?

Wheels

I do! That is one of the coolest, and most memorable sequences in the game. Really, they should have spent more time on sequence like that instead of some of the lamer cutscenes in the game. Let's not open up the Final Fantasy VII can of worms though.

But to base an RPG around kaijuu as the protagonists, or at least the fighting force? That would be a bit more difficult, in my opinion. A game in traditional RPG format wouldn't cut it, since walking around town isn't something that giant monsters are known for. Walking "through" town, yes. Around, no. For fighting on that scale, I think there's only one way to go, and that's in the footsteps of Super Robot Wars, the only other series I know of wherein the combatants are taller than the surrounding buildings.

Wheels

That's all well and good (always with the giant robots), but couldn't you ditch towns entirely, or at least, make some kind of giant monster town or something? Also, based solely on the characters in Rampage shrinking down to humans, couldn't that be an option as well? Of course towns could just be sequences of destruction, I'd be down for that.

Ever played the fighting game War of the Monsters for PS2? I'd imagine something like a cross between that and SRW. Alien forces invading, only to be repelled. A devious plot to undermine the Earth's defenses by seeding it with kaijuu-creating energy pods. Gigantic abominations of all sorts springing up. The Earth's only hope lies in a handful of kaijuu which for one reason or another are willing to fight on behalf of humans. Perhaps they used to be normal humans, like the 63-Foot Woman — now working for the gov't because they're the only ones who can afford her wardrobe. Perhaps they have some memory of their former lives that guides them, like Canine Kong's loyalty to the little girls who raised him as a puppy (named Faye and Raye?). We could have some fun here.

Wheels

I have never played this that I can remember, but it sound hilariously awesome. Would wipe the terrible memories of that Ultraman SNES game where you couldn't play as the monsters out of my brain. Are you about to pitch this as an RPG? I can't wait to see this.

Half the enjoyment of a kaijuu game is the wreckage, though. So in the tradition of Japanese developers creating new sub-genres titles just for their latest game, I propose we make Kaijuu RamPaGe a "melee free-for-all tactical RPG". Each time a unit gets a turn, it has a set number of points for movement and action, similar to Breath of Fire V in action. No tiles or hexes, just open area and distance. B button can be used to jump, adding a little platforming element to it. Random pieces of the battle environment can be ripped from buildings and used as makeshift weaponry. Every unit would have their own special skillset, and of course everyone in the game could be tossed around or through buildings. There could even be a gauge or some other measurement that would give bonuses or penalties for the amount of damage dealt to the surrounding area over the course of the battle.

You know, I'm kind of surprised no one's done this yet.

Your fellow columnist,
Gaijinmonogatari

Wheels

I'm going to go ahead and take your idea and suggest something more akin to Resonance of Fate. Certainly not as complicated as that, but it already provides a nice template for a tactical style RPG in a 3D space. This sounds like a pretty amazing game idea, how has no one done this? Imagine epic tactical battles where the whole city is torn into pieces by the end of the battle, with all of it being used as various forms of weaponry. Someone needs to make this.

P.S. I've been waiting for your own Monster Hunter clone idea for a month now.....

Wheels

I know, I know! By the time this goes up it will be in your mailbox, honest.

More Final Fantasy

Dear wheels,

I've beaten FFIII, FFIV, FFVI, FFVII, FFVIII, FFIX, FFX, and FFXIII. I was going to buy the Final Fantasy V anthologies PS1 disc, but I held back since it was reportedly going to be released on the Playstation store. I'm really looking forward to playing FFV, but now there's no news about it anymore! Do you know if it's still coming out?

-Brad


Wheels

I can reasonably say that yes, it is still coming out. Square-Enix's classics seem to be doing great on the store (or were while it was up), so I have little doubt that Final Fantasy V will show up there as well. Chances are a delay in the announcement of when it's going to come out is due to the outage of the PSN store. I'd keep an eye out for news on this in the near future. As for your list of completed Final Fantasy games, I see a criminal lack of Final Fantasy XII on there. I think I've made it plain in Q&A that I think it's a brilliant title, so you could always play that while you await Final Fantasy V! I think you won't be disappointed.

IN CLOSING

That's it for this week! Just a reminder, Q&A will be off next week, so you can take that time to get some crazy sequel pitches sent in, or anything else you want to talk about for that matter.

See you all in 2 weeks!

-Wheels


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