|November 26th, 2010
11/26 - 12:00PM EST
Wheels has toiled hard, and it shows! With deft precision,
he somehow manages to balance his many duties and a student, a worker,
and a family man. Through it all, he has consistently
produced an excellent column every week, answering whatever
questions he is presented in a timely and orderly manner.
Given how much he's done, it's completely reasonable for him to take a
little time off for Thanksgiving. But the thought of leaving his
readership high and dry for so long just didn't sit right with
him. “Wouldn't it be nice”, he said, “if one of my most trusted
internet-friends would provide a guest column for me! That way my
readers wouldn't have to go without my keen knowledge!”
Then I punched him in the face, stole his computer and started raiding
My name is Beat. You may remember me as the guy who writes the
most insane questions. But today, I'm the guy who writes the most
insane answers. Armed with a near-total lack of knowledge and a
fierce hatred of everyone and everything, I am clearly the worst
possible candidate to fill in for the gentle and scholarly Wheels.
Let's do this thing.
Hot Topics! And not of the fake punk
Well, in the couple weeks since I last wrote, Persona 2 has indeed been
confirmed for the PSP. Well, Innocent
Sin has. And there
should hopefully be no chance of us missing out on it So I now
turn my attention to the Mana series,
and will address your Hot Topic
Alright cool. Let's hear it.
...unfortunately, it's not the kind of response fans of the series
would want to hear. I think Square-Enix should just give up on
the series. It's obvious by now that they're utterly failing at
capturing what was awesome about Secret
of Mana and Seiken Densetsu
3. I even liked Legend
of Mana, but even I know an utterly Guide
Dang It game when I see it. I don't even think another 2-D
installment would save the series. Besides, Square is trying to
juggle too many other successful games to have room for any more Mana
games. They've got upcoming Kingdom
Hearts games, overdue Final
Fantasy games, there's a Dragon
Quest X supposedly in development (and
I wish they'd tell us more already), and even another Parasite Eve
game. They also do random games for no reason other than because
they feel like it (like The World
Ends With You, for instance), so I
don't think they would have time to release another Mana game, let
alone spare a development team to make it.
The last (and only) Mana game
I played was Children of Mana,
it's indicative of the current quality of the series, the best we can
hope for at this point is that the franchise finds a suitable place to
lie down and fall into the gentle arms of death.
You're not wrong that Square juggles a lot of projects, but like any
large company, it has loads of resources to work with. It's much
more likely that they won't continue the Mana series because it's not
profitable, rather than because they're busy making more "cinematic"
cutscenes or Disney fan-fiction. Finally, The World Ends
With You wasn’t made "because they feel like it". It was
attempt to break into a new demographic.
I think when they came up with the World
of Mana a few years ago, they
were doing too much at once. If they came up with a one time
idea, had the urge to make a Mana
game and actually had some good ideas
behind it, then they should go ahead with it. But as it is, it
feels like they're trying to force it.
And to address the second Hot Topic, they also have the SaGa series.
But after Unlimited SaGa, it
doesn't seem like they have any interest
in making new SaGa
games. Should they? As I said about the
only if there are good ideas behind it. Should they
remake the older titles? Well, it'll be convenient for people
like me who missed out on them the first time around. I shouldn't
be selfish, though. Like I said, they've already got their hands
full with other stuff to worry about the whims of a guy like me.
probably coincidence, I will happily claim that Atlas does listen to
me. Hey Atlas, could you convince Nintendo to let you
translate Mother 3 for them,
Oh man, remakes. I once told a guy that if Square really cared about
innovation and trying new things, they wouldn’t have remade Final
Fantasy 10 times over. He got pissed at me, which was my
but I think the point stands. I would much rather have new games
than dolled-up old games. Still, nothing wrong with hoping for
the eventual PSN/Virtual Console/Iphone release.
As for Mother 3, The GBA is
dead and the DS will soon commit honorable
suicide to make way for its 3D replacement. The Mother 3 dream
will never come true. Now begins a thousand years of sorrow.
Garrison wrote in a couple weeks ago asking after Nier and wondering if
it was any good. Garrison: Nier
is going to be weird, but it
should be worth it if you like playing the video game version of that
person who is always a constant downer (you know the kind I'm talking
about). And trust me, there'll be more downs than ups.
Especially if you play the New Game + mode. But the game is
amazing and the music is fantastic. I even wrote a review of it
for a blog I contribute to, and it was a very favorable review.
Also, Garrison, if you like games where you start out with a modest
amount of HP, you could pick up the new Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes Of
Light game. I had to level up around 20 or so times in
reach 100HP with any of my characters. And yet you'll have more
than enough HP to deal with most threats, as long as you're properly
I'm not sure what Garrrison would think of that. So I asked him.
Beat, that person you described is me, and I'm not sure whether
or not that means I should get it or not. Believe it or not, I'm the
type who loves (massive spoilers) and I totally (minor spoilers).
Aren't I just the worst? Anyways, I'll go ahead with your
recommendation for 4 Heroes of Light.
I don't know what it is about big
numbers that brings my blood to a boil. Thanks for your honesty and
I'll try to stop self-loathing and learn to appreciate big numbers so
we can have a real RPG conversation.
Wheels, has there ever been a game in a series that you've played and
you thought to yourself that it was a disappointing game, and you knew
you would've liked it better if it hadn't been released under the
banner of that series? They wouldn't even need to change
anything, just call it something else and it'd automatically be better.
Also, what's the quickest you ever finished a game?
The game you're thinking of is Devil
May Cry 4. Had they just
called it “Pretty Boy’s Swordorcycle Adventures” I would have been just
fine with it.
The fastest I've ever finished a game would have to be Final Fantasy 8,
which I was done with in 30 minutes. Oh wait, you probably
mean “completed” and not “threw in the garbage and swore revenge
on the dev team”. In that case, Vectorman,
which I finished in a
single afternoon at the humble age of 11.
Thanks for writing in CW. I’ll be sure to tell Wheels how nice
your letter was when he comes to.
The Lost Touch of Square-Enix
Wheels, what's up dude?
No, This is Beat. These aren't the
Wheels you're looking for.
So first off I have to say that Square Enix is not losing its
touch. I think that people are just getting older, and they look
back on the games of their childhood from Squaresoft, and Enix, and
they get warm hearts of the memories of a care free life playing
videogames, eating cookies and drinking milk, whilst having no thoughts
of paying bills, going to college, or finding a lover that's
real. That's what I think is going on. They still put out
great games, albeit there is a huge lack of them on main consoles
because of the cost and it seems that handhelds are where the money is
because those games are cheaper to make, and they can replicate more of
an oldschool feel on handhelds. And they put out more games in
general, so naturally every single one of them isn't going to be
gold. Hey... did you ever play
3D World Runner?
Square went from that company that made the game where you make four
little dudes and have them march through a bunch of caves to kill the
bad dude, to that company that keeps making 40-hour-long,
incomprehensible CG-anime moves, craftily disguised as games.
Whether or not that’s “losing their touch” is up for debate.
I haven’t played 3D world runner.
I’m just gonna assume you’re
talking about Bubsy 3D and
then laugh hysterically.
But I do have a problem lately. Some events in my life have
really pushed me forward into progressing my life. My thoughts
still turn to video games a lot of the time, and how I do love them so,
the characters, the companies that make them, the stories, the art, the
graphics. But it seems that whenever I do have free time to play
a game, I sit down and it seems like I'm wasting time, or wasting my
life away playing video games. There is no life progression
playing video games, and my younger self would argue that video games
produce the same mental benefits that books do, but now I just don't
see that as the case because there are considerably more people that
you can talk to and relate to about books, and I find that books
increase mental dexterity and the spoken word much more than video
games do. But video games are the love of my life, and I hope to
get over this, some how, some way. Have you ever felt like
this? Any advice? Because my backlog is only getting bigger.
The thing you are experiencing is called “growing up”. There is
no cure, and its’ invariably terminal.
I’m so, so sorry.
As for feeling like you’re wasting time, well you are wasting
time. That’s what video games are, a time waster. And
that’s cool, provided you have time to waste. Think of it as
rewarding yourself for getting all that other stuff done.
So I still am playing games, just not to the extent that I would like
to. But I try to limit myself to one game at a time per console.
Right now I'm playing Robotrek
on the SNES. Ever played it?
It's a decent game, not the greatest I know, but I love the town theme
song in that game, it is just so...classic! Plus it's Quintet, I
heart Quintet! And it's something moderately fresh.
On my PS3 I'm playing Breath of Fire
IV. Been in my backlog for
sometime now, and I'm about 32:00 hours into it. I think the
first part of the game is a little better than the second half so far,
but I absolutely love the graphical style in that game and the camera
angles they use for some of the scenes. The sprites are really
well done for the most part, and the music is pretty good as
well. But still, I think I have enjoyed Breath of Fire III
a little better. I think as far as that series goes, the first
and the third are my favorites. The first one just has so many
classic elements to it, and I love having 3 characters follow your
leader around, totally old school. I think that may be a key
reason why I like Final Fantasy VIII
so much...well, there is more to
it than that, but that's for another letter. So what do you think of
have always liked the series, seems highly anime, and
artistic, plus I love the classic use of dragons in an RPG.
Quintet made Terranigma,
which is the only RPG that really
matters. This being the case, they’re totally awesome.
I’m sure Wheels has many opinions on Breath
of Fire, but unfortunately
he’s currently locked in the basement, screaming for help that just
My Wii I'm playing through Little
King's Story. I haven't Wii'd
much lately, and I haven't Wii'd standing up for a long time!
:) But it really does demand more time from me, since I still
think that, as far as gameplay goes, the Wii offers the most. I
wanna check out Arc Rise Fantasia
and Fragile. Those two
have definitely caught my eye. Also A Boy and His Blob!!
Seriously! And so many more, the list goes on and on. Nintendo
really is where it's at for oldschool gamers still I think. The
Wii gets a lot of flack from new schoolers and old schoolers alike, but
this oldschooler thinks the Wii is more hardcore than anything else out
there, aside from the DS, but I'm just not much of a handholder.
Little King's Story
is great though. Have you played any of
it? I can't remember correctly, but I recall you saying you
hadn't. And I definitely recommend it to any RPGamer out there.
You just know a game called Little
King’s Story is hardcore.
Just like the incredibly hardcore Movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, and
of course, the master of hardcore punk rock, Raffi.
Dude I have such a backlog, I blame college and the gym. But
seriously, I've got Persona 4, Rogue
Galaxy, Bahamut Lagoon, Suikoden
V, FES, Front Mission 3, 4, Valkyrie Profile 2, Resonance of Fate, Star
Ocean 3, Sakura Wars. I'm seriously looking forward to
retirement. Thanks for your help on the question front.
Also, when people just use letters for the game they are referring to
like LoZ:OoT. I think
they should state the actual game's title
in the letter before the just use letters. The last column
someone just said PRAA:NOTSPRD
or something like that, and I had no
idea what game he or she was referencing. Just a thought.
I blame college and the gym for lots of things. For one, they
killed my brother and started me on this quest of revenge. As for
acronyms, a world where I can’t say “Man STFA:TQOATS was so awesome”,
and have immediate understanding across the board is a world I want no
Thanks for writing in WarmCoat. I’m sure wheels would have loved
this letter if he was in any state to be reading things.
The 90s Is Dead We Killed It
No, I’m Beat! We’ve been over
I am an RPG gamer since 1991's FFIV,
and whenever you ask me of a
stereotypical hero I think of Cecil or Lunar's Alex. That said, I am
very interested in traditional RPGs. Sadly, the last RPG that I really
enjoyed was Dragon Quest VIII.
What is you take on this game?
While I’m sure Wheels holds the game
in high regard, my personal experience was that it was the slowest game
I’ve ever played. I made it about 15 hours in, and I have no idea
how I survived that long.
My favorite games are Xenogears,
FFVI, and DQVIII, and I do not think that
will change very soon. I did not even like DQIX. Why can't RPGs be like they
were in the 90's? I love menu based combat, controlling every member of
your party, every character having a background story, great music,
etc. Exactly the things that made Chrono
Apparently things are still sort of
like they were in the 90s on handhelds, though with the advent of the
3DS that probably won’t last. I understand your love of classic
menu-based combat, but the reason it keeps changing is simply because
the technology keeps getting better, allowing for more experimentation
within the genre, it's hit and miss, but it keeps every game from being
the same, which is at least sortof admirable.
What is so difficult about making FFTactics
2? (I consider the portable ones a joke) Or continuing the Breath of Fire series? Legend of Dragoon 2? At the very
least, a Xenogears remake!
Those were the games I really enjoyed. Do you recommend a game for the
current generation of consoles that could be a successor?
Guessing time! Concerning FFTactics 2, Square might be
hesitant to spend the time on another tactics game when Disageea and
its ilk have an iron grip on the market. My understanding is that
Quarter didn’t really sell all that well, so that’s probably
why Capcom’s not doing anything with the franchise right now. I
don’t know anything about Legend of
Dragoon, so I’m going to blame that one on aliens abducting the
development team and replacing them with sinister replicants. As
for a Xenogears remake, well,
nailing purple rats to crosses has fallen out of vogue in recent years.
Anyway, take care and great column you have here, keep it up!
Thanks for writing in ROG. I’ll
pass the compliment along to Wheels when I feed him in a few
days. Can’t let him die just yet.
Well RPGamer.com, it has been a pleasure. Wheels will return next
week to properly answer these questions, after the hostage negotiator
delivers the cash. I hope you all enjoyed my brief takeover, and
if you didn’t, well maybe now you’ll be a little more thankful for what
you have, now that you know what could have been.
Happy thanksgiving, I’m out!
October 27th: Wheels
November 3rd: Wheels
November 10th: Wheels
November 17th: 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 evovling, 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 sequal (hint: the answer is yes)?