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ASK ANDREW
Catching Fire and Beget the Chicken
June 3rd, 2007

Andrew Long - 00:27 EDT

YOU MAY FIND THE ABOVE TITLE TO BE COMPLETE GIBBERISH, which it is, but rest assured, I did not assemble it out of whole cloth. No, someone actually said that in #rpgamer, our lovely IRC channel. You should go there. Seriously.

Well, there's my monthly plug out of the way. The little piece of me that just died will be auctioned off on eBay forthwith!




LETTERS
More on the handheld vs. console bidness


I want to chime in on the handheld vs home systems debate.

The person who originally brought this up challenged you to name your favorite game and (If not a handheld game) then try to picture what a handheld port would be like. For me that game is Okami for PS2. When I try to imagine it for NDS, I see Final Fantasy 3 - esque graphics which for me ruins the Okami experience. Visual style is a big part of Okami - I fear it could be lost in a hypothetical port. The FF3 graphics aren't terrible and FF3 is a good game. I just don't think people will genuinely say "My favorite RPG is a handheld" anytime soon.

Graphics isn't the only thing holding handheld RPGs down. Input devices for home systems make input easier because they have a few extra buttons and dual control sticks typically. The DS has a touch screen. However, square tried and failed with touch-screen controlled RPGs. That doesn't mean it's impossible, it just hasn't been done well yet.

Flamethrower

Andrew

Which game is it that you're referring to, exactly? I know several recent S-E DS titles have contained touch screen functionality, but I can't recall any which are totally geared towards this aspect of gameplay. In any case, I find most good games don't really need a wealth of buttons to pull things off, and often there are redundancies among shoulder buttons, those twin joysticks you mentioned, and even sometimes between the ol' XO[].`. set. Basically, I don't buy what you're selling.

As to the graphics, well sure, Okami probably would lose something in translation. I don't, however, think, that there are too many games you could say that of, and while continuing graphical improvement is a-ok by me, I have no problem with games that look slightly less fantastic, provided the gameplay is there. That, in the end, is my issue with this argument; if graphics are all you care about, you should probably be questioning why it is that you play games in the first place, because ultimately, they should only serve to augment a good experience, not be the experience itself. Why do you think launch games almost always suck?



Don't you ever give up?


Abacab, Andrew.

The setting of Baroque is hardly what I find a novelty - post-apocalyptic accounts for at least a dozen major movies every year. The premise of a survival-horror RPG, however, does seem rather unexplored. If you have another title that fits the type ready to divulge please do so.
Andrew

Not to be too terribly obvious, but um... Parasite Eve?

And hell, when I see it on eBay Baroque goes for $10-15. Which brings me to a notion; how much money is too much? Clearly I'm not talking about new titles, since the only ways to acquire those are to cough up what the store is asking or to become a criminal. But for older stuff that can only be found via eBay and other online options, what is a fair price? And are you willing to pay any extra for the box, manual, and any additional paper products that came with the title? Last I checked, complete copies of Chrono Trigger (with the maps) fetch ~$100 on eBay.
Andrew

The answer to this question is entirely dependent upon the person. Having limited means as I do, I am disinclined to go for the whole shebang, since a game is a game is a game. I also find EB's practice of marking used prices down just five bucks from new with titles that are less than a year old to be fairly abhorrent, although you can often find decent deals on stuff they just can't unload ($14.99 Suikoden IV, anyone?), so basically you could sum up my personal preferences in this area as "horribly cheap". As I am not sure what you're willing to spend however, and as you seem to have your mind made up already (perhaps you've already bought this pile of awfulness?) why bother pretending you care what I say? Just buy the damned game and get it over with.

Why can't customers realize that if I'm rushing rapidly around the place with boxes in hand, I'm probably not eager to drop it all and look up something? Gr.
JuMeSyn

Andrew

Because customers are idiots. If you've worked longer than a month in retail and do not know this, you haven't been paying close enough attention. Possibly you should carry around fewer boxes?



Yes, I know what a rat flail is :P


Heh sorry got angry over Dawn of mana and the bankai was a joke from vgcats an online comic i love.. the joke was they were playing a dungeon crawler and one of the characters got this idea of tying a dead dire rat to a stick and using it as a weapon. a few months back they redid it only this time they made from of the anime bleach by making the rat-flail into a bleach style weapon. heres a link http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=225. hehe well in dawn of mana you have the mana sword but it has a secondry ability of shooting out a vine and using it to grasp objects and use them to smack monsters and stun them and they drop leveling items quite easily in that state.. once you get to level 3 you can grab monsters and using the attack button you can toss them around like a giant flail and stun them and other monsters also you can grab larger monsters and throw them. now this is cool exept every stage at the end of it it does a scoring system and all the experience you got is taken from you and when the next dungeon starts your back down to level 1. and about the magic system. if you ever played final fantasy VIII you know you go around and grab magic from hidden spots on the world map or from sparkly places in dungeons and towns.. the amount of magic you grab means you can use the spell that many times. Dawn of mana is the same, grab say undine which is the ice elemental and you get X amount of charges in her magic. this magic is used indipendantly of MP so if you have 5 undine than you can use it 5 times. it sucks in some boss battles where the boss will change its base elemental status and starts using fire and you need to use ice which means undine... oops you used it up the last time he did that.. well... lets go get close to him and get smacked around for our trouble cause we can't use undine for distance attacks.

Otaku Nick out

Andrew

Thanks for sharing, Nick. Once again, though, what you have written is basically a review, though I assure you nothing written like this would ever appear in PsoV. So I beg you all: send your reviews to Roku, I don't caaaaare. Well I do but there's not much I can say to this.



Once more for Namingway


Ahhh, one of my favorite subjects, so I just had to write in.

I usually name the main character after myself, and everyone else after people I know, fitting to personalities. This isn't unusual, of course, but it does bring up one preference of mine: I like being able to change names. I know a lot of people don't, for reasons I understand, but I enjoy it, and I always do so the first time through. In fact, it annoyed me in FFVIII that there were obvious dialogue pauses where it was evident that, at one point, you were able to change names, but that was removed.

What do you think of this entire issue? And for that matter, do you think technology will ever get to the point where you can change names even in games that involve voice acting? (That's probably a major reason why there are so few name-changing games today; DQ8 handled it well, I think, but that's an exception based on series tradition.)

Andrew

Eh. I used to be in your boat, but honestly, I find now that if I rename the characters I am inclined to think of them as such, which makes online discussion terribly irritating. Besides, do you really think renaming him would improve Squall's personality any? And hey, if you're that desperate at least you can still rename the GFs!





IN CLOSING

Geez... I guess you guys thought I'd do what I've done the past two weeks and bugger off after Saturday's column? Well, no dice! Send me letters or DIE! I mean, or live, but with a faint regret of some sort.



Send a Letter!

Unanswered Letter Backlog: zzzzzzzero



castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew isn't one for long goodbyes.


:o

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