|An Oath in RPGamer
|November 3rd, 2010
11/03 - 12:00PM EST
Another week, more Ys.
That's right, Oath in Felghana is
this week (I already
played the PC version). Seeing as I now have a massive backlog, I need
to get to answering your letters! I will get through all of them, and
feel free to keep sending stuff in. Anyway, time to dive in.
A Retroview of Retroviews
I am wondering what your personal opinion on the practice of
I kind of take issue with some of them (a lot of them) because they
don't seem very objective. I had thought this before, but found the
"Retroview" for Final Fantasy VII
pretty skewed. Now, don't scream
fanboy at me right away. I cut my teeth on Dragon Warrior and the like,
and waited eagerly for FF2 to
come out on the SNES. By the time FF7
rolled out, I was an RPG vet. But anyway..
I'm the same way, so we'll probably have some similar feelings about Final Fantasy VII, but anyway, on
to the topic at hand!
I guess my beef is that the "reviews" seem to focus most on uncovering
flaws in the game that weren't "evident" at the time of original
release. The two notable ones in the FF7
retro are the interface and
the graphics. Those could be fair claims, but the execution on the part
of the reviewer is poor in my opinion. The reviewer essentially holds
them up to today's standards as far as I can tell, which is kind of a
fallacy. Why? In a lot of cases these retro games (or aspects of them)
were the inspiration for new games and better polished features...but
at the time were leading edge in some cases.
Well here's the thing. There's a lot of different ways you can
approach doing retro reviews, you could review it again, comparing it
only to games from that particular era, you could review it as if it
came out today, etc. I don't think it's necessarily unfair to review an
old game by today's standards, you just have to take it with a grain of
salt. It's more an exercise in "how well has this game aged?" than
anything else. You have to understand, it's not meant to diminish
the impact the game had or anything. All things considered, I actually
think Final Fantasy VII has
aged better than most PS1 3D games, but that's just me.
The interface in FF7, for
example, was GREAT compared to some of it's
contemporaries (I'm looking at you,
Suikoden 1+2). And, as far as the
graphics go, of course they can't compare to today's...but were they
inventive and cutting edge at the time (yes) and did they inspire
improvement in graphics in the genre from other developers going
What the heck was wrong with the interfaces of the Suikoden games? I remembering
everything being very quick (like the battle system). At the same time,
VII's interface was also very good, but that's always been a
strength of the series. I agree with you on the graphics front. What
made Final Fantasy VII special
is that it took graphics in an RPG to levels you didn't even see in PC
RPGs and paved the way for cinematic RPGs, including western
ones. The game sold close to 10 million copies worldwide,
something most games can't even dream of. That said, going back
and pointing out the graphical issues is not exactly a bad exercise.
The game is readily available on PSN, and people want to know how it
stacks up against today's games. Is that so unfair?
So I guess at the end of the day I don't find most author's
"Retroviews" much of a worthwhile review in any sense, since they
comment little on the mechanics of the game and how it was executed at
the time, nor in looking back do they attempt to review the game
against it's contemporaries. I think that is a crucial element in
looking back at anything because of how easy peer comparison is in
retrospect, versus the time of original release. Anyone can look back
at an old game from a first gen system and say "This doesn't look as
good as new games" and write that down as a "flaw"...but I maintain
that is fallacious since these older games were the ground breaking
inspiration for improvements in newer games in the first place. Can
something that was top tier at the time be classified as a "flaw" once
it is technologically outdated? Almost by definition a prototype will
not be better than a finished revision...be it the first production
model or the 10th incarnation. Does that mean the prototype (in
retrospect) was flawed at the time? Probably not, especially if it
spawned a host of sequels, competitors, and innovation.
What are your thoughts on this matter?
Well, to to take the other side, why compare it to games at the time,
when you can just go look at reviews from that time? Isn't it more
interesting, especially in light of the re-release of the game on PSN,
to compare it to other games available today? I mean, I don't think
it's fair to say Final Fantasy VII
was a prototype, not when it is held by many as the shining standard of
Regardless, I think you're being a little too tough. Retroreviews
should always be taken with a grain of salt, as an interesting way to
take a new look at older games.
Thanks for writing, and be sure to let me know any more thoughts you
have on this subject!
Talking about Rune Factory
I've tried playing Rune Factory
and I like the Graphics and the
gameplay though there was only playing as a boy (and I wish I can play
as a girl ^^) and I was planning to play it but I haven't got the good
time for this game , and the days flew by , then I've heard there will
be another Rune Factory that
you can play as a girl and I was waiting
for this news for a long time, I was thinking if I should play the
previous games or not ... I like to play as a girl so I can choose my
Husband , and I don't mind to play as a boy but I don't think I can
choose a girl because it looks weird though it is a game haha and it
isn't interesting to me but I think I can do it if I should .... hmm is
it better to wait for this game ? and what's the different of
each series ? and what's the most fun things in the game to you?
Well I've got good news and bad news. The good news is you can be a
girl in Rune Factory 2, but I
think it's some kind of generational system, so you might have to play
as a guy first. I can't seem to find out whether or not this is the
case in Rune Factory 3, or
the one recently announced for Wii/PS3, so I'm going to guess it isn't.
You should still give them a try though, as the mix of Harvest Moon's farming aspects and
dungeon crawling is very good. It's a great series that I highly
recommend you play more of!
Let me know what you think!
See, I'm not talking Tales, Arc Rise
Fantasia isn't Tales!
I came across something rather interesting about Arc Rise Fantasia,
though for the life of me I can't find where I found it, so it's
probably just a rumor or hearsay. Anyway, I heard that Namco-Bandai
apparently sat on the license for a while before giving it to/letting
XSEED. This seems rather odd and almost counter-intuitive, though. For
starters, the announcement that XSEED would be localizing the game came
out about four months after the game was first announced in Japan. That
seems like an awfully short time to hang onto a license. Also, XSEED
was the one with a temporary (sigh) partnership with the short-lived
Marvelous USA. And really, why would Namco be interested in releasing
an anime-esque RPG that's an entirely new IP when they're hesitant to
release their own already established big-budget anime-esque RPG
series? Have you heard anything about this? Is this as
implausible as I think it sounds?
That sounds pretty implausible to
me. I mean, Marvelous published the game in Japan, how would they even
get the license to begin with? Beyond that, why publish a game designed
by ex-employees, that clearly takes a lot from the Tales series? Seems very unlikely
to me. Let's just say it's completely implausible. On the other hand,
they probably would have done a much better localization, so that would
have been cool.
I was going to ask you to connect Phantasy
Star to Luminous Arc 2,
recalled that Reiko Kodama was the producer of 7th Dragon.
Seeing as she worked on the Phantasy
Star games, including the first
one and 7th Dragon was
developed by Imageepoch, who also did the Luminous Arc
games, the connection was too obvious. So instead I'll ask
you to connect Legend of Mana
to Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of
Moon. Surely that would be trickier. . .right?
Well, this will actually be much easier than you think! tri-Crescendo
developed Fragile Dreams->tri-Crescendo
worked on sound for Valkyrie Profile
for tri-Ace->Valkyrie Profile
was published by Square-Enix (Squaresoft at the time)->Square-Enix
published Legend of Mana
As always, write in again!
To be honest, I'm really only messaging in for a chance to win the
Limited Edition Oath in Felghana. I'm not a huge fan, but I'm a
fan of the Ys series that's
at least played all the US releases. I
bought the limited edition of Ys7
but it's sealed, and I'll be doing
the same thing with Oath in Felghana,
going to have to purchase
a second copy in order to play the game. So if I win I'm still
going to have to purchase a copy.
Well, I'm glad to here this from
someone who is not a huge Ys
fan. XSEED has really done a great job with these limited editions so
far. I hope they do the same with Ys
Seeing that you're a SaGa
fan, thought I might as well make ask one SaGa
question. You may have answered this before, but what's your
opinion of Unlimited Saga?
one like the game somewhat but
if it didn't have the reel system then it had the potential of being
one of the best SaGa
games. I didn't mind the board game type
world map as it really added a unique style to the game(I thought I was
going to hate it to be honest.)
Saga is an oddball in an oddball series, which is saying a lot
given how off-beat the series can be. I think the problem a lot of
people have with the game is that if you go in expecting a epic,
cinematic, JRPG you will be severely disappointed. That said, if you
judge the game based on it's merits alone, it fairs much better. I've
talked about the game on occasion, and I think if you look at it as
kind of a video game version of a tabletop RPGg and such, you can kind
of "get" the game a little better. It really does harken back to the
early days of RPGs, and in that respect it does very well. It's far
from perfect, but given that you can get it for very cheap, I think
most people will find a lot of value in it.
Just again, please, no one go in expecting a typical JRPG!
In the past few people have been recommending SaGa Frontier 2.
Here's another recommendation from me. Other than two places you
can go back to one time each(sidequests,) the game is purely linear
based and easily the best storyline in the SaGa series. Worth
picking up and is a must own if you're a SaGa fan. Most games
this generation pale in comparison.
Another one! This is getting hard to
ignore. As I've said, I have it, and I will get around to it at some
point. Possibly once my playthrough of Suikoden II is complete. The
late PS1 era was kind of strange for me, as it was right near the end
of my high school days. I missed out on a lot of great RPGs at that
time (except for the Final Fantasies).
So I will get it to, there can be no doubt of that.
Last. With the announcement of the 3DS price, everyone seems to
be praising it still. It's a $300 "handheld" with 75% of the
games announced being ports. What are your opinions on that if it
happens to release in the states at the same price? Would you
pick it up for $300 or would you wait until a price drop? I would
have picked it up on day one at $250 but at $300 we're paying the same
cost at the two HD consoles for a handheld. I'm sure at that
price Nintendo isn't giving the fans a break and taking any sort of hit
Seeing as how I mainly play portables
at this time, I would absolutely pay $300 for one, especially one that
looks to be quite solid. I doubt it will retail in the US price for
that much though. I would expect $250 here. Remember, the portables are
huge in Japan, so they can sell there for much higher prices. I also
hope they let companies sell some games for more than they did on DS
here, so we can get some more Japanese games. There's no reason for
$39.99 to be the max price for DS games. That may sound kind of
backwards, but if you look back at some of my Q&As, you'll
find that the low price tag actually prevented several DS JRPGs from
being released here.
As far as lots of ports on the system? It's a launch lineup, this is
Anyway, please write in again!
Oh the Times, they are a Kawazuing
Pitch RPGs based around the following topics:
Stand Up Comics
The Sarbanes–Oxley Act.
Thanks a bunch,
What in the heck?
Well, I'll bite, here's a quick run-down of each idea:
Hip Hop-An RPG with Alpha Protocol
style dialog to keep your raps going, and keep the player, well, laying
down fat rhymes (is that what the kids say these days?). Heck you could
probably even keep in the third-person shooter aspects of Alpha Protocol (that was a joke)!
Deli Sandwiches-Well here we have more of a simulation game than an
RPG. I'm picturing a Harvest Moon style
game, where you have to shop for the best ingredients, and experiment
to find, as well as earn, new sandwich types. Now you're making me
Stand Up Comics-I think this could work just like the Hip Hop idea,
though maybe with more of a Mass
Effect style dialog system where your responses aren't timed
(people need time to laugh). You could get all the biggest comics to
provide material for the game, and have some kind of off-stage segments
where you have to search for material. This could work.
The Sarbanes–Oxley Act.-So I actually had to do some research on this
one, and I still have no clue what this Act does exactly. For those who
don't know, it was passed after the Enron crisis, to try and prevent
future disasters like that. So what I'm picturing here, is some kind of
RPG where you're an adjuster or something, and you suspect several
companies of some kind of fraud, and have to pour over the auditing
documents to figure out what's going on. It will be epic!
Thanks again Beat, you're letters are always.....interesting?
That's it for this week! I'm working on the back log as fast as I can.
I know many of you might be annoyed that it's taking so long to get to
some of your letters, but I'll get to them as fast as I can! I really
appreciate all the great comments you guys have been sending in, and
it's your great letters that are keeping me doing this. Keep it up!
Current Backlog: OH GOD
October 6th: Wheels
October 13th: Wheels
October 20th: Wheels
October 27th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Ys: I&II PSP
2. Tales of Graces F
3. SaGa 3 DS
4. Disgaea 4
5. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
On my Playlist:
1. Oath in Felghana Soundtrack
2. Final Fantasy XIII Soundtrack
3. Etrian Odyssey 3 Arranged Soundtrack
1. Will Z.H.P. convert more people to liking
2. The Final Fantasy series is ever changing and evovling, but do you
think it's time for another main series game like Final Fantasy IX,
that pays homage to the past?
3. If a Final Fantasy XIII-2 is made, what changes to the battle system
should be made?
4. Guys Square-Enix isn't in decline, and their newer games aren't bad.
You need to seperate your dislike of the newer gmaes and objectively
realize that most of them are quite good. You're giving Wheels a
headache. Dragon Quest IX is amazing. SaGa 2 DS is amazing. There's
plenty of good stuff to come from the company! OK I just defended you
Square-Enix, now get FFXIV into shape!
5. What do you think Bioware will do to get the story of Mass Effect 1
into Mass Effect 2 PS3?