|This Week, Giant
|November 10th, 2010
11/10 - 12:00PM EST
I think I'm running out of funny things to say in these little
intro sections. Suggestions? Anyway, somehow I got convinced into
buying Nier, and I've been
playing a fair amount of that game lately. It is, to put it mildly,
strange. One thing it doesn't seem to be, though, is bad. Why all the
hate for it in the gaming press? Anyway, I've also been playing a lot
of Oath in Felghana on PSP.
It was a bit disorienting at first, having originally played it on my
PC at a high resolution. However, being a brilliant game I got used to
it quickly. Enough of that though, let's see what you guys and gals
have for me this week....
I think you're doing a bang up job bro. Keep up the great work getting
us some info on what is going on behind the scenes in the rpg gaming
world. I've been following some of your recent discussions and I can't
help but comment, particularly regarding Sqeenix and recent console
rpgs in general. I grew up on FFVII
just like a lot of gamers, and my
most memorable gaming experiences have been console rpgs such as FF
IV-X, Star Ocean 2, Shadow Hearts 1,2 and most recently
Fate and Nier. I
wanted to pitch a couple of questions to you from my
Thanks! Glad you're enjoying the column. Let's see what kind of
questions you've got in store for me.....
1. I find it interesting that FFXIII
has received such a mixture of
feelings. It really is a love it or hate it game. Some people really
liked it, while others like myself felt it was a total sell out of the
genre. I can absolutely understand from a certain standpoint why it was
a popular game (great graphics, fast battle system, colorful characters
etc.) but somehow when I played it I still felt like some largely
important element was missing. In fact, the game was such a dud to me
that I got about half way in and realized I wasn't actually having any
fun! It was too scripted, all the characters except the boomerang kid
were totally static, the lack of towns and sidequesting along the way
creating a very mechanical feel. While at some moments it was
beautiful, I just wasn't feeling it. My main question regarding 13 is
this: Do you think the problem was the story and the way it was told? I
seem to recall that the previous installments of the FF series always
focused on a particular protagonist, and while lightning was probably
the main heroine of 13, the
story was structured around all the
characters equally, which felt very bland. Do you think that was part
of the reason square enix lost followers from this game? Or is it
I think it's something else. If you look back at one of the most
popular games in the series, Final
Fantasy VI, you'll see that there is not a single character who
is the main focus for the entire story, and the game works out much
better for it. Personally, I love the cast of FFXIII, and found they more than
made up for issues with the overall narrative.
I think most people have a problem with the linearity, which is very
strange to me. Final Fantasy games
known for being linear, and often instead focus on less-linear game
mechanics. Though we just got a Final
Fantasy that was wide open in XII,
is more an exception to the rule. Yes, Final Fantasy XIII for the first
half plays out in a much more linear fashion, similar to Final Fantasy X, however I found
that the first half of the game does a fantastic job of introducing you
to the game mechanics, characters, and world mythos.
XII puts a heavy focus on its strongest aspect, the battle
system. In this it succeeds. It's not everyone's thing though, which
is fine. Such is the Final Fantasy series.
2. My second question is this : Nier!
one of the best games I
have ever played! It has such a wonderful and compelling atmosphere
that it just welcomes you in! And yet I know only one other person who
has played it. Did you play it? And if so, what did you think/ why was
it not more successful?
I have just begun to play it, because a large number of people kept
talking about how amazing it is. So far, so good! The music and
atmosphere are so fantastic, and I've really enjoyed the combat so far,
especially the boss fights. I think the game even looks quite good,
despite being often criticized for sub-par graphics.
I think Nier actually sold
better than it was expected to, but I haven't seen any numbers to back
it up. As far as the bad reviews it received in many places, I don't
know. The optional quests seem mostly to be boring fetch quests, but
they are completely optional. I don't get it. Adriaan den Ouden gave it
a great score here on RPGamer, so it wasn't unappreciated by all.
I'm sure I'll be talking about it more as I get farther in. Spread the
word though! That's the best way to get more people to play an
3. Could you recommend any good games to play on a laptop during breaks
at work? I don't have time to really get into a big mmo game, but i
would love a simple and fun rpg style game to pass the down time/
breaks. Any suggestions?
I'd say try something like Torchlight
or Diablo II. Some relatively
simple Action RPGs, that you can just delve a bit farther in on each
break. You can save whenever your break is over, or even just put your
computer to sleep until you get out of work. Plus there are
multiple classes to play through with, giving you a lot of bang for
your buck! Of course, you can always just play a more complicated RPG
like Baldur's Gate or Dragon Age, since they let you save
at any time (except usually while in battle).
4. No question here. Just wanted to say that I used to try the SaGa
games and wow did I get my you know what handed to me haha. So hard!
Rock on Wheels
Good to hear! SaGa games can
be pretty difficult, but keep with them!
Helo my name is BEAT and I’m almost seven!
I was over at my frind jimmys house and I wanted to play Mario.
He was all like no way man I have this game that’s WAY WAY better! And
he showed me something called Final
Fantasy. He said you could
save princesses and defeat a vampire and pirates and go into the sky
and everything! So I said awesome and he put it in.
OH MAN, I totally heard about that,
you can like be this cool Magic guy with some kind of straw hat. You
can get a ninja or something too! Its got a ship that flies too! Its
amazing. I totally watched my brother's friend play it, and it was
like, WAY AWESOME.
Wels, I think jimmy was lying! You couldn’t run, you couldn’t
jump or anything! All he could do was walk really slowly and then
it would show him a picture of dogs and he’d pick “Attack” from these
boxes. It kind of looked like my dad’s old computer. I
asked him when do you go into the sky and he said he wouldn’t get there
fore DAYS. I had to be home by 7:30, so I didn’t get to see
9 Year Old Wheels
Man that sucks, when I saw it, my bro's friend had like EVERYTHING, it
was amazing. I wanted it, but my parents have already packed away the
Nintendo so we can get this new Super Nintendo thing! It looks so cool!
I got Final Fantasy for game
boy though, and it's kind of cool, you can only make like humans, and
mutants, and monsters, but monsters suck. You have to eat meat to level
up! It's so strange! It's so great though! There's FOUR worlds, instead
of one. Its tops!
I told jimmy that in Mario 3
(which I had brought from home!) that we could fight eachother for
bonues and find whistles and do all sorts of cool stuff, but he was
like man I’m almost to elfland! I told him he was stupid and
boring, and he said I just didn’t get it : (
Wheels why would jimmy play such a boring game? Should I uninvite
him to my birthday party (we’re gonna have a clown!!)
-BEAT (circa 1991)
9 Year Old Wheels
No way man, you just gotta get your own copy man, sounds like Jimmy
never gave you a turn, and that is NOT cool. Mario 3 is so great though man.
Like the raccoon suit, and the frog suit, and all the awesome levels.
There's one where you're giant! Why did my parents have to lock up the
You're a cool dude Beat!
-Wheels (circa 1991)
Firstly I'd like to say, as I'm sure others have, that I'm very pleased
the Q&A has been revived. It's a great part of this site. Now if we
could get Currents back up and running, I'd be happy as a clam. Anywho,
I'd like to start by mentioning that I've fairly recently come into the
ownership of a nice gaming level PC that my friends helped me build.
And as such I've been subject to giving into their nagging requests for
nightly Civ V games. I'm not
sure what your opinions are on that game,
or even that series, but as a newcomer to PC gaming in general, let
alone any one of PC gaming's current games, I have to say that game IS
as addicting as people make it out to be.
Thanks, as always, for for the
I am a Civ fanatic, though I
haven't yet been able to pick up Civilization
V (waiting on the Mac version). I even met Sid Meier at Comic
Con a few years ago, and got him to sign my copy of Civilization 2 Gold for the Mac! So
yeah, just a brilliant and addicting series. It manages to keep things
if not simple, at least easy to access, and makes managing a large
civilization pretty easy, and it's been like this in every single
entry! Just the consistent excellence of the series, despite changing
publishers over the years, is a testament to the creative minds behind
the series. The series seems to be gaining in popularity, and this
couldn't make me happier!
As for my actual question, and you'll forgive me if this was addressed
previously in a previous issue I may not have read, but what do you
think of Valkyria Chronicles
once again coming to the PSP? As someone
who really enjoyed the PS3 original game in the series (and as a
serious Skies of Arcadia fan
who ate all the SOA
references in that
game up with a spoon) I have to say I was disappointing when the sequel
released on the portable system, and am now heartbroken that it appears
to be a trend for this series. Some have said they think the game
should stay on the console so that its unique presentation can really
shine on the more powerful hardware, but I don't care so much about
graphics. I DO care about having to play a game I wont take with me
anywhere on a portable device with a small screen and less than optimal
controls, when I could have been enjoying it in my comfy recliner on my
The sad fact is that it simply is not
economically feasible for Sega, and most companies, to do SRPGs on
consoles with a high degree of graphical detail. While these types of
games have a solid following, that can be relied upon to some extent,
it clearly wasn't enough for Sega, and doesn't appear to be enough even
for Nintendo's popular Fire Emblem
series. That series appears to be going the same route. It sucks, since
Chronicles just looks amazing on a nice HD TV. Personally, I'll
take Valkyria Chronicles on
something it will actually succeed on, rather than continued risky
I've never been one for portable gaming. And yes, I've recently come
into PC gaming, but I don't see a reason to spend money on portable
devices when I really don't have opportunities to game on the go. I
don't commute long distances very much, and when I do, I'm the one
driving. I'm out of school for a year now, and my job doesn't exactly
lend itself to getting away with playing RPGs covertly... And playing
them at home just seems unnecessary to me. Oh well.....*manly tear-drop*
Here's to many more Q&A's to come,
Well, it's not like you only have to
use them on the go, I usually play my DS/PSP while watching TV on the
couch and such. Not to mention you can actually hook a PSP up to a TV
(PSP 2000 and newer) and play games that way. If you're a fan of JRPGs,
then you really need to get a DS or PSP, as given the popularity of
these systems in Japan, that's really where all the best JRPGs are to
be found. So I say, give in already!
OK a question for a question.
"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
I think what I would really like to see is a complete remake of Persona 2, combining both games
into one big game, using the P3P
engine. I'm not sure if social links would fit into the older games,
but the improved combat engine and map screen would work wonderfully. I
think they could ditch the spell card collecting as well, and use the
Persona creation system from P3P.
have to keep the demon negotiation system as it is
part of what made the older games so unique. Maybe you could just talk
demon's into joining you, a la Strange Journey.
Otherwise, give me P4P all
the way. As an aside, I was very disjointedness that there was no Persona goodness at TGS this year,
though Catherine does look intriguing.
So to keep this train of thought going, my question for you is what
would you like to see in Persona 5
(platform, changes to gameplay, etc.) ?
Keep up the good work :)
Alright, so obviously I waited way too damn long to get to this letter,
as we already have an answer to the question! So, your idea for a
massive Persona 2 PSP game,
combining both parts of Persona 2 using
the P3P engine would be
really cool! More like a complete re-imagining than a remake even.
However, Atlus chose the safer route, starting with a PSP version of Innocent Sin, which I imagine will
be followed by a PSP version of Eternal
Punishment. Great idea, though! I hope we'll also see a portable
version of Persona 4 at some
Sorry for the late response, I promise I'll try and get the next
question you send up before it gets answered for us!
That's it for this week! Keep those letters coming in. What's everyone
playing? What's everyone's early picks for RPG of the year? Let me know!
p.s. - If you're wondering why I keep answering
Beat's letters, I think the hilarity speaks for itself!
Current Backlog: Doing Good
October 13th: Wheels
October 20th: Wheels
October 27th: Wheels
November 3rd: 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. Hockey, go Whalers! ...what do you mean they
don't exist anymore?!?!?
2. Final Fantasy XIII Soundtrack
3. Nier's disturbing soundtrack
1. Will Z.H.P. convert more people to liking
2. The Final Fantasy series is ever changing and evolving, 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. What do you think the difference between Dragon Age 2 on PC and
Consoles will be?
5. Does 4 Heroes of Light deserve a sequel (hint: the answer is yes)?