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Alex Wollenschlaeger - August 8, 2001- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

No, you're not hallucinating. TRC was supposed to host with me tonight, but he was unavoidably detained, so you're stuck with me for a little while.

It's way too late for me to think straight right now, so I'm not going to give much of an intro today. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is up to you to decide.

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One Girl Army

Hi Guys,

I personally am a supporter of re-releases, I really liked FFC because I had neither FFIV nor CT for SNES (though I did rent CT for about a month, imagine the cost, it would have been cheaper to buy). I had been hoping for re-releases before they started to happen, because I never could find the games I wanted for SNES. A lot of people are like that, it is not something the game companies made to sell more games, it is their response to a need. For those of you who don't know, there is a petition going around online to bring the WSC and the early Final Fantasies over to America.

Xam Nulop

Dagon:
I agree with you. The ability to play a classic on a new system is great, especially for those who got into RPGs after the SNES era. With the recent popularity of RPGs, a lot of people are entering the genre that never had the chance to experience the previous generation of games. I don't like the fact that system/development restrictions mean that we have games with longer load times, but when the original carts are going for amounts they are, it's a fair trade-off.

 
Dandelions

Yo Turkey, Dagon,

Just thought I'd chip in my two cents. Personally, I don't like the idea of re-releases, even if they'd give me an opportunity to play games I might have missed the first time. Especially in a game rife with errors, like Final Fantasy Tactics, I'd much rather have a remake so that I could play the game as originally intended rather than having the text being horribly typoed.

However, I've been very pleased with the quality of remakes lately. Both Lunar games, though I haven't had time to play through them, and the GBC versions of Dragon Warrior 1-3 just scream quality. I appreciate it greatly, it shows a real love for the product to improve on the original in just about every way possible. Kudos to companies who focus on quality rather than an easy dollar, and also to those who know how to set their country codes right...

--Sean Michael

Dagon:
This letter brings up a distinction that needs to be made; these days we are faced with both re-releases and remakes. While I can understand the above point of view with regards to re-releases, I don't share it. There are many people that haven't had a chance to play the games that are being re-released, and for them it does not matter that the game is buggy. They just want to get their paws on the games that they missed out on. In an ideal world it would be much better if games could receive a complete once-over before re-release, but that just isn't going to happen. Re-releases are, for the most part, solely about companies recognizing a demand and satisfying it as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Remakes on the other hand have always struck me as having more of an artistic feel to them. Sure, the company is using the brand-name to garner sales, but there is usually a lot of effort that goes into remakes, which is something that I can really appreciate. As a further example, just look at the attention that the Arc the Lad series is getting from Working Designs. For a game that a lot of people don't really know anything about, the company is going through an awful lot of trouble to make sure that everything is just right.

 
Get Your Riot Gear

Hiya TRC and Dagon:

Well, I heard about that mess-up with the FF Tactics. *cackle* Hope they get something close to a refund...

Anyway, I got a few questions, so feel free to answer them. ;)

1) I was re-playing a few of the BoF games (especially 2), and I really liked the shaman soul-combining. Why didn't they add it onto other games? It could've made everything easier for everyone!
2) I heard somewhere Shenmue 2 is also gonna include, 3, 4, 5, and 6, but that hasn't been confirmed. So I wanna confirm it. ;) Is it coming out with 4 games in one, or is it just one game?
3) Fudge. *drool*
4) Got any good games in mind for the future/this year? If I get lucky, I might buy some games, so your interests can't be that different from mine. At least in theory. ...Right?

Well, that just about ends it for now 'cause my dog is biting me. Ow.

Laufingboy.

Dagon:
1. I've only played Breath of Fire III (which I really enjoyed) so I won't be able to help you with the first query.
2. You've almost got it right. Shenmue was Chapter One of the story, and Shenmue II will contain Chapters Two to Six. It's one game, but I've been hearing rumbling that it's up to ten times longer than the first. This sounds a little exaggerated, but you can expect a lot more this time around.
3. This is where we diverge I'm afraid. I had a traumatic experience involving xmas and fudge one year, and I've never been the same since.
4. There are a lot of games that I have to get in the next couple months, and only a couple of them are RPGs. I'm very interested in seeing what Hoshigami is going to be like. The game I want most of all is Tony Hawk 3 for the PS2. I froth at the mouth just thinking about all the new stuff that is going to be available with that game. Of course, like anyone who's played the first, I am really looking forward to Metal Gear Solid 2.

 
When I Go Out

Well, since I haven't gotten any remakes (just the originals), the only thing I can say is that it's making it a heckuva lot harder to justify getting old-time ROMs. (It's alright to download discontinued game ROMs because they don't make money on them anymore, but if they're reselling it...?) I'm just glad that they're adding more features in the remakes, such as the character-creation process in the GBC DW3. I may have to get it yet.

Speaking of DW3, why the hell did they give it a Teen rating? What could they have possibly done to an old-time "E" game to make it a "T"?

Also, what's with the lack of sci-fi RPGs on the market? I know why fantasy RPGs are so popular and all, but come on, who WOULDN'T want their characters to have specialized fighters that they could use in space battles? ("Eat Flaming Plasma, alien amoebas!")

Now, a question for you: Which is more important in an RPG, the gameplay or the story? And no easy answers like "well, they're both important".

Finally, I believe that all RPGs should have giant mutant scorpions that eat and dance. A lot.

-Mike Lemmer
"Can't we just nuke them now?"
"And skip the second half of the game? No way!"

Dagon:
Dragon Warrior 3 was released a long time ago, way before the ESRB came into being, so it didn't have a rating at all. But the reason that it is getting a Teen rating now is because they have removed all the censorship imposed by Nintendo, and given it a more faithful translation.

Scifi RPGs are rare, I would think, because it's the medieval setting that brings in the cash. When most rpgamers think of RPGs, they think of swords and magic and the like, something that doesn't translate all that well into a scifi setting. I think that this is one area where RPGs could really use some work. There are loads of cool ideas that could be used for games, yet we're faced with the same old same old game in and game out.

Since I can't take the easy way out and say both, I would have to say that gameplay is paramount. I much prefer playing a fun game with a mediocre story (like Grandia II) than a well scripted game that has me wishing for an early death at the onset of each random encounter. I get so annoyed with the tedium that I couldn't care less about the story. If all I wanted was the story I would rather read a book.

 
All That Is Good

Hello and good day gentle men, women and dragons!

I feel that re-releasing games could be beneficial to us as gamers, but only if the developers try to do it right. You see, when I was growing up, I missed out on the gaming experience that was Final Fantasy VI. I could not find a copy anywhere in the stores. I found a few copies on eBay, but who would be nuts enough to pay over $100 American for it? When I heard that Square was going to re-release it to the Playstation, I was overjoyed. Not only could I play the previously unreleased FFV, but also the ultra cool FFVI. When I popped it in my PSX, I was expecting a near perfect emulation of the SNES classics on the PSX. Instead, I got a game that was so buggy I was in disbelief. Sure it had the great story and all, but the music tracks seemed to be delayed at the beginning and ending of the battles. I also noted major slowdown when entering a town. I was also shocked that the Experience points gained from bosses was now nowhere to be found! I was very disappointed in Square for putting out such a buggy game. FFV was no better, if not worse with the horrible translation. But I still enjoyed them none the less because it was the stories and battle systems that kept me hooked.

I also missed the boat to get Final Fantasy Tactics when it first came out. Mostly this is because I didn't get my PSX until late last year. I was trying to get that game for the past year hoping to find it at a reasonable price online. I found it, alright, but it was running between $60-150! That was crazy and I didn't buy it. Then I heard the rumors of its re-release. I was hoping for it and low and behold the story was true. That was 2 months ago. In that time, I walked into an Electronics Boutique that I really didn't go to very often. On the counter wih a stack of games was none other than the object of my hunt: FINAL FANTASY TACTICS! I went to the guy at the counter and asked him if it was on sale. He said that it just arrived from another customer who just traded in his entire PSX collection for a N64. His loss, I thought. He then told me he would sell it to me for $20! I was so excited. I quickly gave him a twenty and went on my merry way. As I walked out, I heard his supervisor yell at him for selling it too low because of its rarity. Heh, I didn't care. I got outta there ASAP! When the re-release did come out last week, I felt like a fool because I didn't wait. Boy was I wrong. This business of it not working on all non-modded PSXs made me realize how fortunate I was. I truly feel sorry for anyone who did get this bugged copy.

Though there are re-release horror stories of late, at least they are usually very rare. CT and FFIV got out with only a minor glitch and the Dragon Warrior games all came out bug free (Albeit with some MAJOR translation errors in the release of 1 and 2, but that is forgivable because of the medium chosen). I think these releases give us gamers a chance to play all the games we missed in the rush between holidays and paychecks. Well, If you STILL can't find the games you want in working order, there's always emulation ;) Uh oh, I think Google is gonna attack me for that comment! Uh oh, here he comes now with a horde of Slimes! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

*Runs screaming from the building*

Anyway, Peace and love people!

Witecat

Dagon:
This letter pretty much sums up the entire column for today. Re-releases are essentially a good thing, since we're being given what we want. However, it's rare when a company will take that extra step and give us something that we'd really like. The inclusion of the hard type translation for Final Fantasy IV is an example of giving something extra and is a step in the right direction, though the added bonus of slow-down and generally little effort is something that I can live without. I'm left wondering how long this spurt of re-releases is going to go on. I'm aware that companies don't have to do much effort to re-release a game, but I would still rather see them working at new titles, rather than languishing in their past successes.


The Last Laugh:

I know, that was a short column, I'm sorry. I got quite a bit of mail, but most of it dealt with the same issues. Next time I'll give a topic that is a bit more open to debate. I haven't seen a heated argument in a while.

Chimerasame is going to be back with you tomorrow, and, in a unique twist, he will be hosting with his IRC Planescape D&D group. And just to preempt that question that just popped into your head; "Before any of you ask, the answer to the question 'Can I join' is 'No,' I have far too many people already. Sorry!"

Dagon "Jazz Pants" @rpgamer.com
An unofficial no-prize for the first person to tell me what band I'm listening to right now.

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