|This Week, A Winner is
|October 27th, 2010
10/27 - 12:00PM EST
Hey all, welcome to yet another week of Ask Wheels. Feeling a
bit under the weather this week, so it will be a short column, but on
bright side, someone wins some Ys today! I've gotten a ton of e-mails
(all of which I'll get into the column at some point), and I have to
say thank you for all the great content. I hope to do another contest
in the near future (possibly "win horrible games from the Wheels
vault). Anyway, on to the letters!
Being the obsessive Kawazite that you are, I'm certain you're excited
for the newly announced SaGa 3 remake for the DS. What do you know
about the game? Are they going to Kawazu it up for the remake given how
lacking it was in things that didn't make sense for the original, or
will they leave the poor man out of it? Think there's a chance in hell
it'll touch down anywhere outside of Japan? What is SaGa 3, anyway?
What makes it different from the rest of the series?
Your devoted follower,
Hmnn, this must be HITO.
Anyway, let's talk about the original game first. The original version
of SaGa 3 was essentially a
generic JRPG with some SaGa
flavor added onto it. You bought spells and equipped them on
characters, and the meat system was there for good measure. It had a
cool little time travel based story, but all in all, it just wasn't as
unique or interested as the first two SaGa
games. Thankfully, for the remake, it does sound like they're Kawazuing
it up a bit, though I haven't seen enough footage to figure out what
that is. I did see what appears to be a point to point travel system
(like Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest)
so it appears the old world map is gone. Other than that, we'll have to
see. I think it has a shot of making it over here, being a nice looking
3D DS game, but I thought the same of SaGa
2 DS, so take that for what it's worth. I will say though, that
it looks just as good as SaGa 2,
and despite being my least favorite of the first three games, I'm
pretty excited for it. We shall see how it turns out! To be honest
though, I really want to see a new entry in the series next. These
remakes are fine for Final Fantasy,
since that gets main games as well, but we haven't seen a new original SaGa game since Unlimited Saga.
Alright, let's see here, another linking question... connect Front Mission to Clint
Easy, Front Mission is made by
Square-Enix->Square-Enix (then Squaresoft) made the movie Final
Fantasy: Spirits Within-> Spirits Within was distributed by Columbia
Pictures-> Columbia Pictures is now owned by Sony-> Sony owns
MGM-> Clint Eastwood was in Where
Eagles Dare, distributed by MGM (OK that wasn't that easy).
To those who have not played it (like myself), is Suikoden 2 worth the eBay prices it
Why haven't you jumped into Super
Robot Taisen: Original Generation on the GBA?
is worth every penny. Everything from the music, to the quick battles,
to the story, to the characters are just absolutely brilliant. Even
though 2D sprites, though primitive, look fantastic. Suikoden 2 is one of those rare
cases where the developer absolutely hits a game out of the ballpark. I
mean, you can get it for around $100, and seeing how it's better than
two of your average HD games, I don't think it's overly expensive. You
will hear nothing but high praise from me.
Also, I'm not into giant robot stuff, hence why I haven't played SRT in any form, just not my thing!
Secret of Evermore:
second-rate replacement for the game those outside
Japan never got, Seiken Densetsu 3?
Evermore is a fantastic game with good humor and atmosphere,
that people hate only because they think it cost them Seiken Densetsu 3 in English. This
is untrue, and completely unfair to Evermore.
It's a fantastic game (which clearly runs on the same engine as Secret of Mana), and though it's a
little rough around the edges at times (my cart had all kinds of
issues), it was a lot of fun. What other game has a character making
constant references to fake B-Movie sci-fi classics? It's hilarious,
and I really loved that game. I hope it makes it to virtual console at
some point, but it can be had for cheap online for those who still have
Do you ever wonder what designers were thinking when coming up with the
names of characters? I still do, but in the grocery store
yesterday I heard a woman call her son 'Justice,' which certainly
started me wondering. Now the character of Honesty in Shining Force III doesn't seem so
outlandishly named (and because she doesn't appear in Scenario 1,
you've never seen her, so there's a picture).
Honestly (see what I did there?), I have no idea where they get these
names, and I've seen tons of horrible names. I guess some people just
aren't creative in that department? Even if you aren't that creative
though, there's tons of resources out there to find interesting names,
so there really isn't much excuse for terrible names. Just name
everyone Mike and you'll be all good, am I right?
Will Tales of Graces, in some
form, come to delight the Tales
fans of North America? Predict!
I know that Namco essentially said it's not coming, but I am predicting
that if the PS3 version is a decent success, they will revisit the idea
of bringing Graces out
overseas. It's a real shame the the Wii version was such a mess. I
think that had Graces been
solid on a technical level, it easily would have been localized based
on the success of the Symphonia
sequel. So fans, set yourselves to "wait and see, but don't hold out a
large amount of hope" where Graces is
Why did Princess Crown never
come out in English?
Good question! I'm going to say that given the state of the Saturn in
the US (meaning it bombed), I'm going to say it never found a publisher
willing to bring it over. As far as why the PSP version didn't come
over, I've heard they no longer have the source code for the game, and
it's just an emulated version (readers: please correct me if I'm
wrong). I'd imagine that would make it difficult to localize, and it's
Has Dragon Ball's ability to
produce RPGs at last ebbed, with the lack of a sequel to Attack of the Saiyans? Or
will the franchise just keep spinning off ancillary product?
Enough for now.
I dunno, haven't we had enough Dragon
Ball games? I mean this franchise why big when I was a kid, how
is it still going? Are there even new shows? I dunno, I've yet to play
any of the Dragon Ball RPGs,
though the idea of one sounds really cool. Perhaps instead of churning
out games they'll make a really good Dragon
Ball RPG at some point?
A form that seems to drift in and out of relevance over the last five
years is the episodic RPG. The dot/hack series is perhaps most famous
for it, but even in series for which sequels are common, they're rarely
continuous. In some ways, Suikoden
and Ys deliver on the concept
episodic RPG series, but these are not really working towards a
conclusion -- only pushing forward an ever-growing series of
adventures. There's not much story arc, just plenty of story.
I really like series like Ys and Suikoden,
where games are connected in a shared world, often with reappearing
characters, yet each game is still able to be a game on its own,
without players needing to play previous entries. Suikoden maybe required playing the
previous games more, but it still works as individual games while at
the same time forming a unifying narrative (which may never get
finished). Ys works as the
ongoing adventures of a hero, and I think works better without a
unifying storyline. Though I love series with unconnected games (Final Fantasy) the opposite form is
woefully under-represented. People like full realized worlds, and like
revisiting them often.
Do you think there's any future in the RPG genre for a truly episodic
piece, like PAA:OTRSPOD (now
defunct), or do you think the idea of
making a truly epic creation out of small stories is something better
left to the (once-dead) adventure game genre? After all, there are
folks out there that will argue endlessly that RPGs live and die by
their story; if they can't accomplish the episodic concept, is there
really any story to be told? Or does it just expose the repetitive,
seamy, grindy underbelly of the genre?
I think that Dungeons and Dragons is actually
where a great episodic RPG can be made in some form. Think of all the
one-off adventures that have been made! Each of these could be an
episode. I know Neverwinter Nights
did this to an extent, but the official campaigns were always too big,
and user created content was too difficult to find the best of.
Episodic content can be all about the story, it just has to be on a
smaller scale. I think someone will get it right at some point. I say
adventure games are not the only genre that can do episodic!
Anyway thanks Byron, write in again!
Six Degrees of Seperation
Connect Method Man to Valkyria
What in the heck? All right, I'll bite. Method Man appears in the Def Jam series of video games->Def Jam is published by EA->EA
publishes mobile phone versions of some Sega games->Sega published Valkyria Chronicles.
Time to the announce the winner, which is the writer of the letter I
just answered, Byron! Don't
thank me, thank Java's random number generator! Anyway, again thanks
for all the great letters and keep them coming! I recommend those that
didn't win check out Oath in Felghana
regardless. Still many great RPGs coming out this year, Z.H.P. should be coming in the
mail, and hopefully I'll have some thoughts on that and the PSP version
of Oath in Felghana by then
as well. Until then, let's start the hype train for Persona 2: Innocent Sin for PSP!
September 29th: Wheels
October 6th: Wheels
October 13th: Wheels
October 20th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Ys: Oath in Felghana for PSP
2. Tales of Graces F
3. SaGa 3 DS
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. 4 Heroes of Light is fantastic, should this become a full-on sub
3. If a Final Fantasy XIII-2 is made, what changes to the battle system
should be made?
4. Fallout 4-would you rather it be done by Bethesda, or Obsidian?
5. A trend I've been seeing in a lot of the RPGs I've been enjoying of
late is not using MP, though it still has it's place in many games, not
having to manage it can be quite enjoyable. Do you think this should
show up in more RPGs, or should it only be used when the game is
carefully designed not to use MP?