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June 27, 2014
Hey gang! Time for one more Mailbag contest, and it's a simple one. All you have to do is play and beat Crystal Bearers and then take a picture of yourself giving the credits a thumbs up (or other gesture). Play it with an open mind! Everyone who enters will have  a chance at a free game of their choosing (no not super-rare retro games sorry). Your thoughts on the game will be past along to the next Mailbag host. That should be fun!

Anyway, let's get to it, I've got Demon Gaze and Shovel Knight to get back to...

- Michael "Wheels" Apps

This Edition's Contents:

Final Fantasy X 2nd Chance

I first played Final Fantasy X not long after it came out.  I was new to console RPGs in general and JRPGs in particular, though I had successfully completed Final Fantasy IX several years before.  I never finished the game because I got to the part with the super-difficult boss fights (Mt. Gagazet and beyond) and decided I didn't care enough about any of the characters to bother grinding up for figuring out how to do the fights.  Since then, I've listed FF X as one of my least favourite Final Fantasies, so I figured it was a good candidate for my Second Chance playthrough.

Wheels' Comment

Exactly the sort of second chance I was hoping people would do. Sometimes a second look can give you a whole new perspective on a game you hated! Let's see how things turned out. Hopefully you liked it!

I ended up liking FFX a fair bit more this time around, for several reasons.  First, the improved graphics really brought Spira to life and made it easier to locate important things in the environment.  It's more than just prettiness, it's also about usability.  Second, I took the time to appreciate some of the characters a bit more.  I'm still not a big fan of Tidus and think Yuna deserves better, but I decided I liked Yuna, Lulu, Kimarhi, and even Wakka better this time (I always liked Auron).  Third, I'm now much more of a JRPG veteran and speak the language. I was much more proficient at the boss battles this time.  Fourth, I completely ignored the stupid mini-games that were required for the ultimate weapons. Forget that lightning-dodging, chocobo racing BS.

Wheels' Comment

Everyone loves Auron! Glad to hear you liked it. Though Final Fantasy X looked brilliant for the time I know exactly what you mean about the environments being easier to work with in the HD update. Makes seeing what you can interact with so much clearer! As for the battles, though I don't think it is on the harder side as far as Final Fantasy games go, I can see why it would be tough for someone completely new to the series. Also glad you ignored those awful mini-games! Easily the worst part of the game, I often see people complain about them and wonder why they waste their time. You don't have to get those ultimate weapons!

I still think I prefer FF X-2 to FF X, but I am a big fan of camp and generally find X-2 to be hilarious good times.  I've decided I like the Final Fantasy X's battle system more, however.  I much prefer a challenging turn-based system to a hectic hybrid one.  I don't think I'll call FFX one of my least favourites anymore, either.  I'll save that for FF III.


Wheels' Comment

Good to hear you enjoyed it! It's a fun game with a great battle system, and enough quality characters that you should be able to find some you like, even if Tidus doesn't end up being one of them. Final Fantasy X and X-2 are a good pair, and I'm very glad we've got these spiffy HD updates to play.

Also why you gotta hate on poor Final Fantasy III?

Quest for Dragons


Reggie Fils-Aime declared multiple times he loved the Dragon Quest franchise and would like to see more Dragon Quest games in the west… So, what is Nintendo waiting for?

As we’re speaking, an online petition requesting the localization of Dragon Quest VII for 3DS and Dragon Quest X for Wii U, called (Campaign name removed), has already gathered more than 1000 signatures!

(links removed)

Could you relay the information on your website please? It might help us get Dragon Quest VII 3DS in US and Europe!
Thanks for your attention.

Wheels' Comment

I certainly appreciate the idea, given how much I'd love to play Dragon Quest VII on 3DS, but petitions are a really bad idea that's going to take this nowhere (which is why I've removed the links). You need to be inventive, do things like getting Dragon Quest to trend on social media, get people to buy all kinds of existing Dragon Quest products like the mobile version of Dragon Quest VIII that just launched. Petitions are a dime a dozen, and gamers have been wasting time with them for more than a decade (I used to be a forum mod at Inside Mac Games and they were a particular annoyance there). In this new age of technology there's all kinds of way to spread the word and for gamers to show their love for Dragon Quest. Since we apparently didn't by enough copies of Joker 2 for Nintendo and Square Enix's liking, why not get people to go out and pick up the many new copies of that game still out there?

We can do much better than a petition, come on!

Top Tweets

Wheels' Comment

I got to play Shovel Knight early for being a backer, and man is it an absolute blast. This is exactly the kind of retro game that we need more of. It cleverly takes the best of our favorite 8-bit action platformers and mixes in plenty of modern sensibilities. I can not recommend the game enough.

Poor Dragon Quest IV! It was released here when the NES was long past its prime, with everyone already playing the SNES. It seems the least loved of the DS titles given the alure of V and VI since we never get the original versions of those. Heck, despite a loving effort to bring the first Torneko roguelike to the West, it would be the only one to make it. Such as shame, it is probably my favorite Dragon Quest (at least at the moment). Play Dragon Quest IV people! I really want to track down a NES cart to play the original version, but obviously it is quite pricey thanks to a low print run.

Hot Topics

Here are some hot topics I've seen around the net:

  • JRPGs don't seem to be having much trouble selling decently in the West, so where has Dragon Quest gone?
  • What PS2 RPGs would you like to see on PSN?
  • If Child of Light is a success, will we see more RPGs with the UbiArt engine?
  • Do you smell what the Rock is cooking?

Shovel Knight
                and Shantae

See you next week!

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