|Tales of Optimism
|October 13th, 2010
10/13 - 12:00PM EST
Welcome to another week of Ask Wheels. We've got some more great
questions this week, from someone probably even more optimistic than
me, to some questions about Super
Mario RPG, and more! I've just returned from Comic Con this past
weekend, where I got to play the new Golden
Sun game which was quite good. What's more,
there was a lot of buzz about it, and long lines to play it! This is a
great thing to see, and I'm glad to see so many people excited for a
Camelot Software Planning game. I also picked up Tales of
the World: Radiant Mythology 2 from a store selling
import games, which turned out to be quite a bit better than the first
game. More on those games some other time, for now, on to your
You've Got Questions, I've Got
I write you this email today for one specific purpose and that is to
have some questions answered. A little bird told me that you do that
sort of thing, so I figured I would use today's equivalent to carriers
pigeons to relay my query your way. Anyways, I shall commence with my
barrage of questions in hopes that you have the answers. Oh dear, I
hope you have some answers.
I have been known to answer a question or two....or three! I mean it's
not something I do every week or something, but let's see what kind of
questions you've got. They better not be about Call of Duty or something.
Question 1: Super Mario RPG
was a really interesting game back in the
day in that it married the Mario franchise with traditional styled
Square RPGs. In this glorious piece of data and plastic, magic was had
and the merging of worlds managed to create something beautiful. Do you
think any other collaborations could possibly work with RPGs? Are there
any non-RPG franchises you would like to see receive the same spin.
Note: I by no means desire to detract from the Paper Mario games here.
Of course you don't mean to detract from Paper Mario, that would be evil.
Anyway, this is a fantastic question, and one I've often pondered. The
answer is I always wanted a Sonic RPG,
which of course, we eventually got. Though it wasn't as good as Super Mario RPG, I think it was a
good enough mixing of the Sonic franchise
with an RPG. Other than Sonic though, I'm going to throw out the crazy
idea for a Donkey Kong Country
RPG. I know, it'd basically be the same idea as Super
Mario RPG, with a mix of platforming and RPG mechanics,
but I think they could get a lot of good humor into that kind of game,
and there are certainly enough side characters to fill out a whole
party. Also I'd love a Mass Effect
style Halo RPG, but I'd want
it from Bungie, so that ship has kind of sailed already.
Question 2: One of my biggest gripes in an RPG is when I start out with
ridiculous amounts of HP at the start. I know this may seem like an odd
thing to complain about, but this is one of the biggest reasons I don't
want to give Riviera: The Promised
Land another go, despite knowing how
good it supposedly gets. Does this make me a bad person? Does it? I
need to know.
It doesn't make you a bad person, I couldn't get into Riviera either, though for
different reasons. I can't really think of too many RPGs that start you
off with insane amounts of HP though. I can think of some that often
start you with not enough HP, namely some Dungeons and Dragons based games,
where choosing lower-HP based classes like Wizards is harder than it
would be in the pen and paper game due to low HP. Honestly though, I
really can't think of any RPG like you describe other than Riviera. Write me in again with
some more examples. I can see how it could be bad though, especially if
you're also starting the game not dishing out or receiving much damage.
Sounds like poor game design.
Question 3: I am a fan of Action RPGs and great soundtracks, should I
hunt down Nier?
I haven't player Nier, but
I've heard some good things, the soundtrack being among them. The game
looks too weird for my tastes. I'd imagine it must be much better than Drakengard, which was incredibly
bizarre. It's a shame that the developer got broken up after this game,
as I've heard it sold well, and certainly found an audience. I'm sure
we'll see more good things from the creative minds behind the game
though. Anyway, I say go for it.
Thank you for your time my dear anonymous friend. I hope that you will
be able to spill some roleplaying revelations my way.
No problem, and please do write in again! Let me know how you enjoy Nier and I'd like to know what
franchise you would make into an RPG like Super Mario RPG. That's right, now
I'm asking you guys questions!
Hey there, Wheels.
Your hot topic #1 is a flawed question. I quote:
"Duke Nukem Forever is
actually going to come out, does this mean we
still have a chance at getting Mother
3? and 7th Dragon? and
No, it doesn't mean that Mother 3
has any kind of chance, nor does 7th
Dragon or Secret of Mana 2.
way I see it, there's a big difference
between the Duke's game, and
the other games: the Duke's
game is still
in development. Thing is,
Mother 3 has been
released. No further development is necessary. Comparing the two is
like comparing apples and oranges.
Oh I agree entirely, I was just
using it as kind of a silly way to get people to talk about the chances
of these games making it to the US. I mean, Duke Nukem Forever was announced
like way back before Panzer Dragoon
Saga had even come out I think. It's just silly. Anyway, moving
What you really need to say is this:
"Sakura Wars: So Long My Love
for the PS2 was finally localized after
five years, does this mean we still have a chance at getting Mother 3?
and 7th Dragon? and Secret of Mana 2?"
That is a better question to ask, and in this case, I would have to say
that yes, since we finally got Sakura Wars, there's still a chance that
we can get Mother 3.
Sure, they're on different systems, from
different developers and publishers, but it hasn't been five years
since Mother 3 came
out. Nintendo can't pull some "Oh, it's too
old a game" crap on us, not after putting the Virtual Console on the
Wii or releasing such old school style games like The Dark Spire and Retro Game Challenge
on the DS. I even recently heard about a bar
in Gainesville, Florida, where people go just to play old school video
games! They even set aside a day (Monday) for it! They have
have the first three Super
Mario Bros., they have Golden
they have the first three Sonic the
Hedgehog games, and if
you like sports games, they have NHL
'96. Yes, I said '96.
games out on
store shelves right now, that cartridge
is now officially 15 years old. Nintendo can't tell us that a
game is too old when it only came out in 2006.
Good point here, there are certainly other examples of games being
localized years later as well, such as the upcoming Legend of Heroes games from XSEED.
So I don't think the case for them being officially localized is
completely lost yet. Mother 3
especially seems like it could be a great downloadable game for
Nintendo if they wanted to make it so, and they could license the
fantastic fan translation if they needed to. Granted the chances are
really slim, but it's good to be optimistic.
About the only thing I can think of that would hinder Mother 3's
localization is that it's a GBA game. At least the PS2 was still
kicking when Sakura Wars was
localized. The GBA is long dead, and
Nintendo has even gone so far as to abandon it entirely, given the lack
of a GBA slot in the two versions of the DSi that have been
released. It seems like it would be too much to ask for people
who don't have the original DS or DS lite to buy an older DS just to
play the game. If they have a DSi already, it would be like they
No, what they should probably do is to localize it, but release it in
the DSi Shop. It's evil, but it would cause those who don't
already have a DSi to buy one so that they can finally enjoy the game
that they've been waiting four years for. An upgrade would be
better, in Nintendo's eyes, than a downgrade. And it would save
money, too, since no one would have to mess around with cartridges,
As I just said, I agree that this is a fantastic idea. It likely
wouldn't require a lot of work, it has a localization that could
immediately be used, and a fanbase ready to buy the heck out of the
thing. I really like the Mother
fan base, and I just want them to get some sort of game over here. They
deserve it! As for the other games mentioned, it'd probably too much
effort to get Secret of Mana 2
properly localized and put on the virtual console or something. 7th Dragon would be a great
downloadable title in my book, but it's probably too big a game to be
released that way. With the 3DS on the way, the window for it to make
it over here may be quickly closing. We can still hope though, we can
I would also like to quickly tackle hot topic #4.
"If you had to choice for Atlus to release Persona 2 (both parts) on
PSP or Persona 4 on PSP (Persona 3 Portable style), which
That's an easy question to answer. Persona 2, of course.
Thing is, Persona 4 can still
be bought easily for the PS2. Persona
though, is either very hard to get (Eternal
because it's old and rare by now, or damn near impossible to find in
the first place (Innocent Sin)
due to not being localized. Persona
might not have been the best game in the series, but I'm glad
it was released on the PSP. When Persona
Portable was announced, I
could still acquire both the original and FES releases without breaking
the bank. I felt it was too soon for a PSP version.
Plus, after they finish with Persona
2, they'll do a Persona 4
anyway, and it'll be alright, considering how much time there'd be
between the PS2 and PSP versions. I just know they will. They've
gotta do something while we wait for Persona
Well it seems like the team that would work on Persona 5 is busy on something
else anyway, so yeah I wouldn't be surprised by more portable releases,
especially given that they've all sold well. I agree with you
completely, Persona 2 is too
damn hard to get in any form, and it is dying for another release, so I
really hope they put together a Persona
2 Portable. I can understand them doing yet another version of Persona 3, given its popularity,
but it is past time for another release of Persona 2. I just worry about them
over-saturating the series, but I suppose after how successful the
series has become, the fans deserve more Persona!
So i finally got a cheap psp (no, i don't care that it's purple). I
picked up Jeanne d'arc,Crisis Core and Persona 1. I was wondering you
knew about any Japanese or European release that would be worth
Keep on trucking.
You'll be surprised to find that there
are not that many. We really have lucked out on the PSP in getting most
of the great games localized. There are a few import releases you may
be interested in as well. For starters, a re-release of Breath of Fire III came out in
Europe, but not America, which is worth picking up. It's essentially
the original game, but given the difficulty of finding the original
release, that's OK. The same can be said for Tales of Eternia, localized only in
Europe, which is a straight port of the PS1 game, which released here
as Tales of Destiny II. The
original PS1 version is very expensive, and this port can be had for
relatively cheap. Finally on the Europe front, there's Silverfall, a port of a PC Diablo
style game. I didn't care for it much, but your milleage may vary.
On the Japanese side of things, about all I can recommend are some Tales games if you're into the
series. There's ports of the PS2 games Tales of Rebirth and Tales of Destiny 2, along with
yet another version of Tales of
Phantasia, which I would not recommend. I would recommend Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2
though, as it gets right what the first game did horribly, and is easy
to play if you don't know Japanese. All these games are pretty cheap on
ebay as well, so they are not hard to get. It's not an RPG, but if you
are a Tales fan, Tales of Vs. is a fun fighting
JuMeSyn gave me a few more to add in while proofing this: Suikoden I&II (both great
games, and to have them on one umd is awesome), Princess Crown (a Saturn game from
the creators of Oden Sphere),
(not an action RPG like the current Devil
Summoner games), and Tengai
Makyou IV (a series he informs me has never been localized).
That should give you enough to look into!
Wheels' Adventures in Farming
I wanna play Gaijin's game! I loved his PDQ Bach game when he
wrote it up, and I sure can't match that, but here's my more serious
idea. If I were making an RPG of a composer, I'd choose Hildegard
Bingen, medieval abbess and crazy-awesome lady. Not only did
she write nifty, haunting music, she was a skilled healer, illuminator,
political advisor, and herbalist. Plus, she had visions!
I've been thinking that a game with graphics in the style of medieval
illumination would be amazing, and Hildegard having visions of fighting
off freaky-deaky medieval-style monsters with the power of Light (plus
medieval monastic soundtrack) would be epic. Plucky anime
castmates would be strictly verboten, instead she'd be accompanied by
This sounds like an absolutely amazing idea! Especially about styling
it after medieval illuminations. It would give it a much greater
Western-styled feeling, likely allowing it to reach a bigger audience.
You could base a lot of the monsters and what not off medieval folklore
and legends, maybe mix in a bit of a Celtic feel for good measure. The
soundtrack would have to be heavily medieval based, perhaps even a bit
of harpsicord for good measure. This game needs to be made!
Anyway, I guess I should ask a question, too. Hmm. Okay,
have you ever played Harvest Moon?
so, what did you think? Did you get addicted to planting
veggies and gifting villagers? If not, what keeps you from giving
it a try?
I haven't really played any Harvest
Moon, other than to purchase the original game from virtual
console, and then play it for about 5 minutes. I did however, play a
good amount of Rune Factory.
I guess the idea of having combat and dungeons made it easier for me to
finally give the farming sim series a try, and I'm glad I did. I think
I actually ended up enjoying the farming aspects more than the combat.
It's all very well integrated though, selling crops gets you money to
buy weapons, unlocking new dungeons opens up new areas to farm that
stay at the same season all year, and eventually you get monsters to
help run your farm. Though I haven't yet taken the jump to a normal Harvest Moon game, the fact that I
enjoyed the non-combat bits of Rune
Factory tells me I'll probably get sucked in. Anyway, write in
again! I'll probably have tried a Harvest
Moon by then, assuming I'm not still addicted to Atelier Rorona.
That's it for this week, and remember, send me a letter or tweet and
entered to win a copy of Ys: Oath in
Felghana for PSP! Please give me an actual question to use in
the column though! If you want to send me a letter but aren't
interested in the contest, let me know or I'll be entering you in
anyway! Anyway, until next time!
September 15th: Wheels
September 22nd: Wheels
September 29th: Wheels
October 6th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Ys: Oath in Felghana for PSP
2. Tales of Graces F
3. Fallout: New Vegas
4. Disgaea 4
On my Playlist:
1. Oath in Felghana Soundtrack
2. Final Fantasy XIII Soundtrack
3. Etrian Odyssey 3 Arranged Soundtrack
1. Should Square-Enix take another shot at reviving
the Mana series?
2. After the SaGa 3 remake, should Square-Enix make a new SaGa game, or
go about remaking Romancing SaGa 2&3?
3. If a Final Fantasy XIII-2 is made, what changes to the battle system
should be made?
4. If you had to choice for Atlus to release Persona 2 (both parts) on
PSP or Persona 4 on PSP (Persona 3 Portable style), which would you
5. The Tales series seems to be in decline, if you were in charge of
the series at Namco, what would you do to get things on the right track?