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Googleshng - October 5 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Very few people made any commentary on the sheer randomness that was yesterday's column. What feedback there was was positive though. I suppose if making a fool of myself can make one person laugh their head off without making anyone vomit, that counts as a marked success. One which will not be repeated today. Instead, today's column will be crisp, to the point, and devoid of ultra-feminine emoticons. At least as much as they ever are.

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Beefing up

Hey, I finally picked up Xenogears and here's the deal. I was talking to a co-worker about the game and he said that a friend of his had gotten all the way to the end of the game and was unable to beat the final boss because his levels weren't high enough. - that was a killer run-on sentence there - Anyways, the question is, what level is high enough? I'd like to avoid playing the game twice just to beat it if it's at all possible. Remember, you answer this for your country.

Super Deathblade - "his name is..."

Googleshng:
Well, considering that most of the second half of Xenogears is spent in Gears, which makes your stats and spells fairly irrelevant, I doubt being on a low level was actually your friend's problem. More likely, he either A- Didn't take the time to tweak his equipment properly, or B- went out of his way to avoid learning new Deathblows like a certain aquaintance of mine by the name of Jude. Either way, since there's a very nice shop and a way out of the final dungeon right next to the last save point, there's no reason your friend can't just do a little character building and win. As for you, well, as long as you keep learning new deathblows for everyone the whole game, which is both easy and fun, you should be fine.

 
Random stuff

Hey (Kefka kackles) GOOG-LE MWA HA HA HA
I was noticing one odd thing that you didn't mention about sewers in RPG's is that why do they exist if there are NO BATHROOMS in almost all RPG's even in advanced societies where you'd think that they would exist. Also most don't have plumbing at all. So what is the water in the sewers? Also why do they even exist if they have no function at all.
Also on the power thing I mentioned. Wouldn't Rezo be a good deal in asking for power. As long as I don't end up with the hairstyle and fashion sense.
Also I got some fun news. Saturday is my 20th birthday and I got a good feeling. I hope I get something really neat but being able to go away for school might be all I get.
Also have you ever noticed that in many RPG's. There are secrets in games where there is no way to find out in the game itself. Doesn't that annoy you?
Imperial Mog

Googleshng:
RPG sewers are full of dirty dishwater. Rezo would be a good bet, but then you'd have an army of fangirls chasing you. Now, as for your serious question, when an RPG has secret stuff that you can only find by exploring the world, looking for optional dungeons in out of the way locations, that I like. When an RPG includes things that you would absolutely find out on your own though, like, say, the Doom Train GF in FF8, or the sort of items a particular rare monster has a 1 in 256 chance of dropping, these things I dislike. Worst of all though is obscure things that you can miss, like for instance, most things worth having in FF7.

 
Multiparters are quite pesky when I'm tired.

First, is there an IRC channel for RPGamer?

Googleshng:
Yes, there is, but most people on staff avoid it like the plague, since it's infested with monsters.

Second, do you really get 120 Emails a day, or is it just a fiendish lie to make us think you're more popular and influential than you really are?

Googleshng:
Well, I don't get 120 e-mails EVERY day. It depends on a number of factors. Whenever a high profile game is announced, or comes out, or is about to come out, I tend to get a massive surge in mailflow, averaging 200 letters a day. If there isn't a whole lot going on, it tends to dwindle down to around 40 or so. Then of course in those rare weeks when the key RPG demographic (read: college students) doesn't have time for such things as RPGs (read: midterms, finals, etc.), things REALLY drop down, sometimes scraping as low as a dozen letters. 120 was pretty much last year's average thanks to the constant release of big name games. This year, with all the developers gearing up for new hardware, it's been more like 60.

Third, do you protest the Dragon Warrior's constant abuse & murder of (almost) helpless Slimes?

Googleshng:
Helpless? When you first start a game in the original Dragon Warrior (NES version mind you), a fight against a slime is a surprisingly even match! Then later on they tend to run away as soon as they see you. I DO object to the degree of tweaking they did to the GBC remake though, where you can kill the first slime you see in 1 hit, then get more than a single point of EXP and piece of gold.

Fourth, how many giant mutated rabid scorpions would I have to send to you to get you to make me a temporary guest Q&A person until the trading chain is once again complete? I would really like to know, because packaging for overnight delivery is a pain, not to mention the postage fees...

-Mike Lemmer
The heroes were too busy listening to the evil warlord's demented plans to notice the 30-ton weight falling from the ceiling. As the warlord finished, he called in the orc janitors to clean the floor of various unspeakable fluids.

Googleshng:
Moot point. Zach has his game, so next week, a guest host shall appear.

 
Chinese legends are spiffy

Dear Google,

You're very eager to answer a question that I am eager to ask. What is Saiyuki like? I can probably bet on it being a little better than you rate it, though, because you're a lot harder on games than me in most cases.

-Chimeraman Nate

Googleshng:
The basic interface of Saiyuki is just like FFT. Same sort of map, same sort of controls in battle, you can move before or after performing an action, and you pick which way you face at the end of your turn. Being attacked from above or behind works the same way too, and the backgrounds even look a bit similar. It doesn't have any complex timing issues though. The more you cast spells from a given element, the better you get at using it, much like Secret of Mana, or Grandia, but without the nasty snowball effects. You can't hurt the other characters on your party, which is good considering the proliference of area effect spells. The main character is a wimpy healer for a refreshing change of pace, and there's some interesting mechanics revolving around everyone else being able to turn into a giant monster. The most important thing though is that it has interactive environments akin to Vandal Hearts. In the first fight for example, you can have a character run across a log to the other side of a ravine, then knock it loose so the monsters have to take the long way around. Plus there's plenty of objectives that aren't simply "Kill everything." I like it.

 
OK Age

Google+,
I've often pondered what I would look like if I ended up in a Role Playing Game. Sure enough, that time has come, and I am the hero in Okage: Shadow King. Goody! I get to be the hero in the first RPG where the hero is a slave to a shadow. Glee. And beyond that, I look like a character pulled right out of The Nightmare Before Christmas!
Still, the game is fun. It's extremely lighthearted and packed with jokes. I found myself laughing out loud at times. It is a nice change of pace from the recent trend of depressing RPG story lines where every city in the world gets blown up or your favorite character gets killed or turned into a mindless vegetable.
The story line is at the very least, creative, but I honestly can't tell how much of it was altered in the translation because the game seems extremely japanese. Ahaha. The dialog is great and the choices you get when replying are equally entertaining. Also, the battle engine is about as unimpressive visually as Wild Arms, but still manages to be fun. Beyond that, there are no random encounters, which is something I hope more RPGs decide to leave out in the future. The only annoying thing about the game is the ridiculous 3-10 second load times when walking in between rooms and in and out of houses in cities.
Well, there ya go. Mini-review, semi-rant, time for my cup of noodles for breakfast. Oh, wait... I need a question to get printed... let's see... Can you honestly tell me that the cover art for Okage doesn't remind you of The Nightmare Before Christmas?

-Ari "Apologizes profusely!"

Googleshng:
I recieved a couple mini-reviews of Okage, and thisone seemed to be the most well rounded. I still find it really odd that out of all the possible translations of the title, they went with the most Japanese one. Between that and the... milk was it? in Grandia, I'm getting the sense that Sony's localization staff is extremely prudish.



Quickies

Hey Google,
Strangely enough, I have a link to the list of theaters showing the new Vampire Hunter D movie.

http://pub95.ezboard.com/fofficialvampirehunterdbloodlustforumfrm3.showMessage?topicID=26.topic

I typed that in by hand, too. Enjoy.

---The Arcane Gazebo

Once again, I find this out as it's LEAVING New York. I'll just have to uh, "persuade" someone to head up to Boston in a few weeks.

The Last Laugh:

It is now the weekend. I have things to do. Now Chesh writes some columns. Bye now, off I go. Dagnabit! It almost rhymed!

Googleshng "zzzt! The cow says, 'moooo' zzzt! The hero says, '...'" @rpgamer.com
Why did I put quotes around persuade? There wasn't any hidden meaning there...

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