|A Q&A Thanksgiving
|November 17th, 2010
11/17 - 12:00PM EST
So I decided to give Resonance
Fate a try. Why? I guess that after enjoying both Nier and Alpha Protocol, I figured I could
three for three with under appreciated RPGs this year. The result?
Undetermined, but boy is this an interesting game. Just as interesting
as your letters!
Like what I did there?
A New Version of My Nickname?
Not getting tired of the Tales
yet….but worried your kinda showing a tad bit of over fascination there
Sorta like when Googleshng would always rave about Koudelka & Shadow Hearts 1&2….waayyyy back
in the 90’s (yeap….been around reading this site that long dude).
Man, he would ramble about that game all the time, or at least brought
it up at least once in the column every week. Compared everything to it. Shadow Hearts this…..Koudelka that……not compared to the
battle system of Shadow Hearts 2…..blah
fanboyisum I tell ya.
Wheels-o-fun? Interesting. I kind of like that. Anyway, to be fair, a
lot of people have actually sent in stuff about the Tales series for me to answer.
Perhaps this is to be expected after a huge rant about the fans though.
I also then started use it in the title of the column, and letter
titles and such, so point taken. I will not talk about Tales unless someone asks me about
it. At least until Tales of Graces F
is out. Also I've never played a Shadow
game. should I?
Anyway, suppose I should ask a question, so here goes.
Whatever happened to Blood of Bahamut?
face of the earth or what?
To be honest, I had completely forgotten about that game!
Doesn't seem to have done much in Japan. Sold a cool 66,000 in its
first month, which doesn't seem too great. It got a 31/40 from Famitsu,
but that's not a real indicator. I haven't heard any buzz from
importers or anything either, so I get the feeling there just wasn't
anything special about the game. I'm tempted to import it just to see
what the heck the game was. Shame it had nothing to do with Bahamut Lagoon!
Thanks for bringing back the column again too. Glad to see it’s working
out for you. And don’t worry, you haven’t slid into that “over
fascination” category, yet.
Take it easy.
Thanks! I really enjoy writing this, so I'm glad people actually enjoy
reading my ramblings! Look forward to hearing from you again.
Wheels Goes on a Mystic Quest
Having glanced over the surprisingly busy message thread concerning Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, I have
to ask what your take on the game is. It was made by the same dev
team that did Final Fantasy Legend 3,
that was missing the Kawazu himself. Did you like it? Hate it?
Stay ambivalent about it?
I ended up liking it a lot. This
was despite the game being "that game my parents rented for me when I
wanted Final Fantasy II". I
mean, not as much as a normal Final
Fantasy entry, but in those earlier days of the SNES it was a
nice distraction to have. Had I been the one buying it would I have
paid full price for it? Probably not, but it's still a fun little game.
Personally, I liked it well enough when I first played it, fifteen
years ago. Unfortunately, I also rented Final Fantasy 2 (sic) that same
week, and Mystic Quest just
didn't hold up against that. Also, my little brother (second
grader that he was at the time) finished MQ in a day and a half, which
didn't do much for my opinion.
Well sure, it was pretty easy, especially given that you could heal the
last boss to death! Again there's no way it can compare to the more
complex Final Fantasy games,
but eventually I was fine with this.
As I matured as a gamer and played a lot more games, MQ's simplicity just became more
and more apparent. When indie game titles can prove more original
and challenging than a professionally made SNES title, that's a bad
I don't think it's necessarily a bad sign. I think the issue is with
what they wanted to do with Mystic
Quest to begin with. I don't think that you can get more people
to play complex deep RPGs by making a shallow, not complex RPG as some
sort of gateway into the genre. How is a simple RPG going to get people
to play more complex games? If you want people to play complex RPGs,
make them more accessible. Making a totally unrelated simple RPG isn't
going to help. Like I said, the game works as a fun distraction,
probably thanks to a good development team, but it didn't do what they
wanted it to at all.
The thing that really turned me off the game forever, though, was when
I came to Japan and saw a copy in the used games store. The
Japanese title? Final Fantasy
Mystic Quest. Seeing that, I just felt insulted.
You should feel insulted! I mean, look at all the complex and dense
computer RPGs that came out of the west, many of which directly
inspired the creation of JRPGs. It's not like people in the US had
never played complex games before. I guess we showed them by buying
more copies of Final Fantasy II?
oh, maybe it did do what they intended.....
So, challenge: In six steps or less, connect Mystic Quest to that
paragon of indie RPG worksmanship, Charles
Your fellow columnist,
Oh boy, well Charles Barkley Shut Up
and Jam: Gaiden is a play on the name of the game Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam->Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam was
published by Accolade->Accolade was eventually purchased by
Infogrames->Infogrames worked with Square Europe to distribute some
new and back catalog Squaresoft games in Europe such as Final Fantasy 9->Squaresoft
published Mystic Quest. There
go, I did the connection backwards, but still.
Look forward to hearing from you again!
Coming Soon: Q&A Reader Rewards
How do you feel about incentive programs such as Square Enix's Members
club and Club Nintendo that reward your for purchasing their products?
I've been attempting lately to collect the Square Enix games that
qualify for points and after doing some rough calculations...purchasing
the remainder of the games I do not have will cost me $400 or more to
ensure that the codes have not already been used. For that price, I
could probably eBay whatever prize they give out. Would you want to see
other companies use this? NIS? Atlus, perhaps? Or do you prefer not
having them because of the obscene amount of money that goes in to
getting a trinket or two?
I think they're a great idea, but only
in theory. Offering rewards to the loyal fans of your games is a great
marketing thing to do, but when you have to buy insane amounts of games
to be worth it at all, then it can get to annoy fans as much as get
them to buy more of your product. Why not just do more lesser prizes,
like soundtracks and the like, so more fans actually get something, and
the price to actually win something isn't insane. I'd be fine if other
companies did something like this, but I would not be happy if they
went the route of Square-Enix/Nintendo.
Limited editions. How do you feel about these? I know, in general, the
NIS and Atlus limited editions really do tend to be limited, especially
compared to something like a Call of
Duty or Madden limited
you splurge for the extras? Do you feel they're worth it? What are the
deciding factors? I've run out of shelf space thanks to limited
editions. Where is my Ys: Oath in
Felghana going to go now?
Sincerely and begrudgindly,
I really like limited editions when
they are done right, and the sad part is big market games like Halo, and Call of Duty, and the like seem to
have the worst limited editions. The limited edition of Halo 3 was just terrible, and many
people ended up with scratched game discs because of the poor design. Bioshock with the Big Daddy figure
I think has been the lone exception.
They really have no excuse too, when you look at the quality special
editions that Atlus, XSEED, and NIS put out. They've included
everything from artbooks, to soundtracks, to replicas of a hat a
character from Persona 3
wears. I really can't say enough about the quality work they do.
So long story short, fewer awful limited editions like Halo 3 and more like Ys Seven please.
Anyway, good to hear from you Hito, write in again!
Ah, senor Wheels. How does life treat you at the time of your
Time to bring some series you haven't talked about into the
conversation. What's your stance on Earthbound?
Besides for grad classes stealing my time, life is good! Anyway, Earthbound I can talk a bit about,
not so much the game preceding it, or the game that comes after, but Earthbound I can talk about. It
fits squarely into the classics of the SNES era for me. The unique
setting, groovy music, and fantastic battle system all fit together in
the perfect package. If you're reading this and haven't experienced Earthbound, go do so now!
As far as the other games in the series, Mother 1 seems kind of boring, and Mother 3 looks like a masterpiece.
Shame on Nintendo for not bringing the latter over here.
How about your thoughts on the original Phantasy Star games?
You know I'm an old-school Sega fan. Phantasy
IV is one of my all time favorite 16-bit games. That series
was just well ahead of its time in pretty much every installment. I
mean we haven't even had a high-quality Sci-Fi JRPG since Phantasy Star IV. The series was
just something special, and it is sorely missed. I understand that the
multi-player games are much more popular, but if you look at the sales
for games like Star Ocean and
of course Mass Effect, I
think there is a wide open market for another great Sci-Fi RPG. Make it
My feelings on Sword of Vermilion
have been amply expressed, but what about you? Does this tortuous
and unpleasant experience leave you feeling soiled, indifferent,
inexplicably happy, or have you simply never experienced its enormous
faults for yourself?
Thankfully my experience with Sword
of Vermilion is limited to trying it on the Genesis collection
of PS3, realizing it wasn't good, and leaving it at that.
I don't think anyone has brought up Fire
Emblem to you at length, so I encourage you to elaborate on the
I don't think anyone has, which is a shame. Fire Emblem is a series I became
interested in due to its similarities to the Shining Force games (which is
ironic, because Sega probably originally planned Shining Force as an answer to
Nintendo's Fire Emblem series),
did not disappoint. Sure, the series isn't that similar to Shining Force, but it's close
enough, and I really enjoy that tactics involved in battle, especially
with killed teammates not being able to be brought back. It can be
annoying, but it really does add whole new layer to combat. You can't
just come up with a plan to win a given battle, you need to win and not
lose your whole team. It's a great series and it's nice to see Nintendo
continues to support it, unlike a certain other company and their
Tactical RPG series....
Should I make a beeline to Shining
in the Darkness, or wait awhile?
Wait awhile. It's nothing special. A fun little distraction for sure,
but don't go out of your way to play it. Do, however, go out of your
way to play Shining the Holy Ark.
He who is remembered well by Q&A veterans, Matt, once said that Young Merlin was awful. Can
you speak on the subject?
I've never played Young Merlin,
managed to never play that as a kid. I think my SNES is
better for it. More to the point, can I just say I have no idea how
Matt did Q&A EVERY DAY.
Oh, and you can look forward to me continuing to retroview things
whenever able. I've been doing it for years, the results just
weren't read by many people, making Omegabyte's decision to shut PoV
down a good one.
Excellent, I always enjoy a good discussion of old games. Is this a
sign that I'm turning into an old man? Should I start telling kids to
get off my lawn?
How come the Samurai Shodown
RPG never got a translation? SNK fighting games don't necessarily
scream 'RPG,' but that one seemed quite promising.
You're right on that, but a Samurai RPG is just too fantastic an idea.
Do you have any idea if it was any good? Did it make it on anything
other than the Neo Geo? I'm guessing the answer to one of the last two
questions is no, which is about the only explanation I can give as to
why it was never translated. Perhaps we'll see a fan patch some day? Or
even another attempt at that concept? I'd play it!
What's the worst localization you've ever experienced?
This is a tough question, since there's so many factors that go into a
bad localization. I mean, there could be bad grammar, boring
translations, or just flat out mistranslated text. I'm just going to
say Ys 3 on SNES for now. I
don't think it had any errors in grammar, but the translation is just
the most awful and lifeless script I think I've seen in a video game.
Another linking question: connect Sigma
Saga to Burt Lancaster (boy is THIS gonna be fun!)
Oh man, this is going to be hard.....OR NOT! Sigma Star Saga was developed by
WayForward->WayFord developed Batman:
and the Bold for Wii-> Batman is a D.C.
property->Warner Brothers owns D.C.->Warner Brothers distributed
the movie The Flame and the Arrow->Burt Lancaster was in that movie
After listening to the Super Robot
Taisen: Original Generation backtrack (which you have done, of
course), has your stance on trying a game changed any?
A little bit, but I'm still not all that interested. I'm sure a bit
more prodding me is all that's needed to get me to try it!
People apparently like Wild Arms.
a sign that I need to investigate the series?
It is. Don't expect the most original series ever, despite the unique
setting. The games are consistently fun though, and the original can be
had on PSN for very cheap. That seems like your best route, try the
first game in the series, and that should give you an idea as to if
the series is for you. Also it has one of the best opening themes ever
(even though it's a rip-off of a theme from a western movie). Not
something to go out of your way to check out, but fun enough to at
least give the first game a try.
Where's my Grandia IV, dangit?
Honestly, I don't have a really good answer for this. It's not like
Gamearts is really working on much else. The latest Lunar remake was great and all, but
they really need to try and make a new game at some point. Maybe
they're making too much money doing jobs like that Ninja Turtles
fighting game. If it makes you feel better, I really think we'll see
both a new Lunar and a Grandia IV at some point in the
Looking forward to more great questions!
That's it for this week! Given the holiday next week, I'm going to be
taking a week off. I wanted to run a cool column while I'm away, but
I'm going to save that for a better time. Given it's Thanksgiving time,
I just want to thank you all again for all the great letters you've
sent in. Especially the SaGa
questions. I can assure you guys I've got more contests coming too. In
fact here's one right now. The first person that sends me in a quick
history of Canadian Thanksgiving will win a gently used (I got it from
blockbuster back in the day!) copy of Final
I'm sure one of you hasn't played it yet!
See you all in two weeks!
Current Backlog: Getting slim, write
October 20th: Wheels
October 27th: Wheels
November 3rd: Wheels
November 10th: 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. Cthulhu Saves the World
On my Playlist:
1. Back to the Future Soundtrack
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. JRPGs currently are more creative than WRPGs. Discuss.
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)?