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July 29th, 2014

- Michael "Wheels" Apps

This Edition's Contents:


Mr. Wheels of Commerce, salute.  The temptation to give you even more content to make your final month on the job incredibly memorable just couldn't be resisted, you see.

I feel that Squid Odyssey deserves a little further explanation, as even though I haven't exactly been rushing to play it, there are still some things that just can't be excused.  These are technical problems, something that appears to be quite common lately when 3DS games were originally on another system (witness my crashes with One Piece: Romance Dawn, and the lovely Ms. Marchello's horrible time with Grinsia). 

Wheels' Comment

The mass of content is much appreciated sir! You have always provided ample questions which helped me through many a dry spell when not too many people were writing in.

In addition to crashes in these downloadable games, crashes seem to be on the rise for retail games as well considering there's now patches for games on the eShop. In fact, two of the three games on my import 3DS have required patches (Monster Hunter 4 and Dragon Quest Monsters). There's at least one other game that really could use a patch as well (Harvest Moon: Tales of Two Towns). Not sure if there's a quality control issue somewhere or perhaps in the case of these small downloadable games just a lack of resources for testing. It sucks whatever the reason happens to be!

It's true, Squid Odyssey has only crashed on me once.  It's performed a very odd lock-up more times than that though.  I'm able to get into the controls to restart the stage, but nothing on the screen responds.  This happened with a particular character class, and now that I've taken both shooter squid out of my team it's okay.  Maybe.  Still, isn't that a rotten ailment, to restrict you from using a particular character class by making the game have technical issues? 

Wheels' Comment

That's the worst sort of issue. I'd almost prefer random crashes to being basically locked out of content because of technical issues. Hopefully the game will be patched in short order.

Oh, and restarting a stage this way is different than doing it because everybody on the team getting KOed, because you don't keep anything from the run this way.  It still requires a startlingly long load screen though - and how the hell is there a load screen on the friggin' 3DS?  This isn't a disc-based media!  What is going on here, for 20 seconds or more???

Wheels' Comment

That sounds like a bit of shoddy programming. I don't think Dragon Quest VII or Monster Hunter 4 (two of the best looking games on the system) have anything approaching those load times. Could also be the default SD in the 3DS. I'm just assuming it isn't one with the fastest data transfer rate. I'm probably giving the developers an excuse they don't deserve though.

I'm not sure if Heroes of Might and Magic games count as something we should cover on this site.  There seems to be a considerable difference in views on this point.  Not having played one myself (geez, there's a finite amount of time in the day already!), I can't offer a whole lot of firsthand information.  Your situation might be different though.

Wheels' Comment

I don't think they really count. There's an argument to be had I think, but ultimately those games are more your classic turn-based strategy games. A bit more RPG mixed in than say, Civilization, but still clearly turn-based strategy. More importantly they are very much worth playing and you should give them a try.

I feel the constant dumping on empires in RPGs is unwarranted.  An emperor CAN be better than a king or queen!  I offer as historical evidence the Spanish royal family in the late 1500s and mid 1600s, which died out due to rampant inbreeding.  Would you trust a man with only 6 great-grandparents (due to constantly marrying cousins and siblings) to rule you as king?  Or, for another example, George III of Great Britain - the man who went insane later in his rule.  Do we want a king who has gone insane?  Not that every emperor throughout history has been a shining paragon of greatness, but neither were all of them dastardly and despicable excuses for humans.

Wheels' Comment

Oh for sure, I feel like there's some untapped story potential for an RPG where the empire is not the great evil, the forces working against it are. Didn't the Elder Scrolls do this to some extent though? I recall the Emperor in Oblivion being a pretty cool guy. Then again I didn't like the Elder Scrolls games a ton so I'm not sure if that turns out to be the opposite. Anyway, an idea certainly worth investigating! Perhaps someone should make an RPG taking place in a kingdom where the royalty has been ruined by inbreeding as well?

Okay.  This ought to be the final word you get from me.  What a July you're having!

Wheels' Comment

Thank you sir, as always you've provided some interesting and unique content.

Disgaea is Rubbish

@AskWheels One last easy defend the indefensible to go out on? "Disgaea is rubbish." :P

Wheels' Comment

This one is actually somewhat easier than you think. Disgaea isn't exactly friendly to newcomers! The Disgaea games have all sorts of crazy features where you can break the game over your knee. How is anyone new supposed to figure them out though? What about strategy fans who aren't interested in the silly stories (quiet, I know that you can skip cutscenes, you're going to ruin this). I won't even go into how one of the primary series features, the Item World, takes forever to deal with. I mean who wants to deal with all these numbers and complexities in a strategy RPG? Disgaea is just an uninviting mess of weird penguin things and an army of clones of some weird blonde rock dude. RUBBISH.


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Wheels' Comment

All I have to say is:

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Four years of Q&A/Mailbag! How the heck did that happen? So what's next for your host? I'll be working on multiple reviews in the near future for Demon Gaze, Dragon Warrior, and a few other games as well. I'm still planning out my article on the perils of Monster Hunter clones. I've got some impressions to write on a few games. I may also do a podcast looking at the past four years of Q&A/Mailbag before the end of the summer. Don't forget you can also bug me on twitter!

So what's next for the Mailbag? We shall see. Perhaps someone else will take up the mantle. Perhaps we shall continue the ancient RPGamer tradition of Q&A going dormant for long stretches.

Time for some thanks before I pass the Mailbag on to the next host. I'd like to thank Hito, Nodal, and Fanboymaster for helping me get Q&A off the ground with early questions before readers started to send stuff in. I'd like to thank the many regulars who consistently sent stuff in for stretches, who I won't name individually for fear of forgetting anyone. Thanks to Fanboymaster again for providing questions whenever I was in a pinch and listening to me complain as I played Mugen Souls for review. Thanks to @EricRPG and @OnyxOblivion for constantly poking fun at my distaste for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Mugen Souls. Thanks to LolWhoops and Smacd for being the only non-staff to write up Final Fantasy Second Chances. Thanks to everyone that entered any of my silly contests. Thanks to @Beat_twittar for providing completely insane quests. Also thanks to @falselogic for interesting and slightly less insane questions. Thanks to @itzaraya for being a good sport about me finding new ways to pester him with that Conception II song. Thanks to my buddy Kyle for starting the connection challenges that people picked up on and kept sending me for years. Finally thanks to @Cooltendo for the awesome Mummy Trigger picture.

Mummy Trigger

As far as staff goes, thanks to Michael Cunningham for giving me the chance to write Q&A/Mailbag. Thanks to Mike Moehnke for constantly providing massive letters with weeks' worth of content that often kept this thing going from the start. Thanks to Michael Baker for often writing in despite my constant forgetfulness to write in to his column. Thanks to Alex Fuller for the new Mailbag template and for proofing many Mailbags. Thanks to Sam Marchello and Becky Cunningham for lots of proofs, questions, and general support for Q&A/Mailbag. Thanks to Cassandra Ramos for lots of great questions. Thanks to Nathan Schlothan for totally agreeing that DmC:Devil May Cry is great (I kid, I kid). Thanks to Phillip Willis for letting me promote Q&A/Mailbag on the RPG Backtrack. Finally thanks to the staff in general for continuing to make RPGamer great.

Also of course thanks to my wife and son for being awesome.

Now go buy lots of Dragon Quest kids.

P.S. No one took up my Crystal Bearers challenge. Oh well! I didn't expect anyone would, but I wanted to give one last shot at getting people to play that crazy game. Give it a try!

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