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ASK ANDREW
They Look Like Good Strong Hands April 30th, 2005

Andrew Long - 19:12 EST

SO YOU KNOW HOW IT GOES THOSE TIMES WHEN YOU'RE ALL SET TO LEAVE and you're like "Okay, gotta remember those keys I left right on the bureau here..." and then you go and forget to grab those keys and then you get locked out of your apartment and have to spend the night on your friend's couch, which would be fine except the cushions are oversize and slide off continually over the course of the night, waking you up repeatedly and causing you to awaken late, irascible, and feeling of poison the morning (okay, afternoon) thereafter?

Well, now you do.



Ramblebox
I chose that title because I picture the moment of that quote one day popping up in an episode of the Family Guy for some reason.

-AL  


L E T T E R S
Paine pushes my buttons again


Dear Weekend Q And A Guru.

i got a question for you.

now i got my question while playing final fantasy 1 i got close to 40 hours so far and its a fun game.

now down to my question.

i dont know anything about hardware or grafics chips in stuff but the DS and PSP.

my question is some say we will see final fantasy VII for the DS my question is isnt the DS cart to small to see it as well as the system cant handle the grafics from the psone era?
ANDREW


Yeah, you really don't. The NDS can definitely handle PSOne era graphics, as evidenced by the various 3D games it supports, not the least of which is the re-release of Mario 64. As to a game the size of FFVII, that would certainly be a little more challenging; you'd pretty much have to drop the FMV, and some of the backgrounds would likely end up a little neutered too. Overall though, I don't see why it wouldn't be possible with a bit of work on data compression. Beyond that, Nintendo is hard at work trying to figure out ways to add to the storage capacity of its carts, so while I doubt we'll see such a remake on the NDS, it certainly COULD happen.

please feel free to speak your thought on it. i was also curious if VIII and IX was to big for Ds carts as well as if it is like VII and cant handle the grafics chip on the DS.

please let me know if you do reply to this.

Thank you for your time

Paine


ANDREW


Again, the NDS can handle 3D graphics, so with some reworking and the elimination of FMV, I'm sure something could be brought to the NDS. Once again, though, it isn't very likely.


Suiko Tactics


Hello there I was curious on your thoughts on how the story on Konami trademarked the term "Suikoden Tactics" at the US patent office. Do you hope that they actually make something of it instead of sitting on it. Imperial Mog

ANDREW

Of course I hope that happens... Suikoden is a great series, and a good tactical game would make my day. What wouldn't make my day, though, would be a shabby tactical game along the lines of Onimusha Tactics, so if they do in fact follow up, they'd better do it right.



The Eggman Stirseth


Okay, it has been a while since I wrote in. After a long nightmare working at my local EB Games, I realized that it was a parasite. It had infected me, was slowly devouring me, and would not go away. So finally I left. This of course removed me from the game world and for a while that was a good thing. Of course then I started playing NWN and I realized that games are good, selling them is bad.

So with my new improved attitude, I got a job making games instead (Moving cross Canada in 3 weeks). And now I have decided that maybe I need a new game to keep me busy. I need a suggestion of a REALLY good RPG to occupy me. It doesn't have to be long, in fact I might prefer that it wasn't. I don't have infinite time to play, so something on the shorter side would be good (which probably rules out Xenosaga). Although I enjoy NWN, it is mostly because of the online play. When I play by myself I prefer Japanese style RPGs. I have a PS2, GC, PC (No Xbox, but then there aren't any good RPGs on Xbox anyway - KOTOR excluded). Any suggestions.

Eggman


ANDREW

Hmm... Not too lengthy, but enjoyable? That leaves you a couple of choices. SH2 is a good all-around title, and if you want some entertaining gameplay that doesn't take forever, you can go the BoF V route if you don't mind my tendency to hype it whenever a situation arises that, however unrelated, gives me an opportunity to do so. On the Gamecube side, Paper Mario 2 is reasonably quick, but isn't really all that good to my way of thinking; however, many others seem to enjoy it, so who knows - maybe you'll be one of them.

Incidentally, if you're moving across Canada, where to? I know Koei has a studio in Toronto, Ubisoft a setup in Montreal and Bioware's a legend out west... so feel like sharing? :D



Tales spoilers blah


Dear Andrew,

I see people are still ranting about FFX-2 reusing the same world map, enemies, dungeons, etc. from FFX. But that's what happens when customers demand RPG companies to make direct sequels to games that were more or less complete. What I mean by "complete" is that FFX wrapped up the story and quest pretty well. You cover the entire map, explore every dungeon, and complete the quest. I doubt that a sequel was being planned while FFX was in development. Now contrast that to a game like Golden Sun. In that game, you weren't able to explore the entire world map, complete the quest, or resolve the plot. It was very much an incomplete game, but that was because the developers had a sequel planned all along. The sequel had a lot of new stuff it could introduce, such as letting you explore the rest of the world, find new dungeons, fight new enemies, play as new characters, and so on. You simply could not expect this from FFX-2, because it was a sequel to a complete game. If RPG companies want to make direct sequels to complete games, they should set it up so that you could explore a different area of the world, or make it logical for you to explore a different world map altogether, instead reusing the previous one. The Shadow Hearts games are both direct sequels to their prodecessors, but they don't feel so rehashed because you explored different locations from the previous games. Also, a hypothetical Tales of Symphonia 2 would make a logical sequel because *spoiler*

when the two worlds became one again, you could surmise that the world map had completely changed. If Lloyd were to do what he said at the end of ToS and set out to recruit all the exspheres, it would make a suitable sequel for him to travel in a different world map, so that the sequel would seem recognozable, but not rehashed.

Okay, I've droned on long enough, so here's a question. Do you think direct RPG sequels are a good thing (letting you continue adventuring with the characters that you've come to love) or bad thing (possibly seeing the same faces, locations, and battle system could get old)?


ANDREW

Although I refuse to touch FFX-2 and hate Chrono Chross like the plague, I do think that the latter did it the right way. It irritated me that I couldn't visit the original game world from Chrono Trigger, but the game used that to effect, dosing gamers with judiciously spaced bits of nostalgia to keep them hoping for more. Then the entire cast of the original gets killed off. Super. So yeah, I don't agree with the way it did it, but by eliminating the original characters from the equation, the game did stake its reputation on the new batch it had created. Sadly, that new batch was far too large and therefore diffused to make any real lasting impressions, but it was the right idea, at least.



Good, old-fashioned slander


feel like an idiot for holding on to my hopes for so long, but I can't help it. Please, just give me a figure, I'll trust your judgement. What do you think the odds are that sometime b4 the ps2 dies that Tales of Destiny 2 (the real one) will be translated and brought over here? I'm guessing not too good with the increasing amount of time it is taking them to decide for sure. But those stupid buggers over at RPGFan keep getting my hopes up by saying it's still a good chance that we'll be getting it over here around the same time as the next Tales game.

I've never bought a japanese game before, and I still don't want to 'cause that means I need to mod my ps2 as well. But I am willing to go to great lengths for this game if it's my last option... Has the time run out? Should I spend a weekend glued to ebay to buy this game?

Much appreciated.


ANDREW

See, this is why you should never trust RPGFan. While they might have some sort of super-secret source that will in fact somehow engineer such a release, the facts of the matter are as follows: first, ToD 2 was released four years ago, which is an eternity for a localization to be delayed. Moreover, Namco is already flooding the market with new Tales releases, making the localization of an older game seem less likely, since there are newer, better looking and thus-more-likely-to-garner-mass-appealing Tales just raring to make the trip across the sea. Finally, Chris Winkler is my mortal enemy and he has the face of a squid.

All of these things point towards severely dashed hopes, at least in terms of the current generation. Still, I guess there's always an outside chance; the success of the last couple of Tales games might persuade Namco there's a sufficient market for such a localization, but I'm not too optimistic about it (though I never seem to be in these life-and-death questions of localization.)





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

And so concludes a fairly disastrous weekend for me. Let's all hope next week finds me in slightly more organized fashioned, eh? For now, Google McFly will take you away with his jammin' rendition of the weekday classic Googie B. Goode. As for me? Creamsicles, of course!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long makes like a tree and gets out of here.


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