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   Things you can't debate.  
Googleshng - January 17 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Yesterday I printed a funny little flame saying something like I was the devil for not adoring Suikoden. I think everyone had a little chuckle over that, and then I moved on...

... as opposed to everyone who wrote in today. Seriously. For future reference everyone, DON'T DO THAT. It makes it very hard to do a column.

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At least this one has questions in it...

Dear Google,

I understand your frustration with people flaming you. You have an opinion; "bias" would suggest that you are supposed to be objective. Since you're a person you can't be totally objective and even if you tried to be, it would suck the life out of this column.

I would like to say that Suikoden is about average (or slightly above) when compared to games of it's time. Most ppl don't think it's the most amazing thing ever - that's why no one ever makes that case to you.

Suikoden II, however, is a great improvement over the original. The story is excellent and the variation in battles (party, war, and duel) is a refreshing change. There's lots of side quests and lots of mini-games. The translation is on the FF Tactics level but, like FF Tactics, it has many redeemable features which outweigh that.

Finally, a note on character development. Suikoden II has "circles" of characters. The innermost group is the most highly developed and most essential to the plot. Outside that, there is another circle of characters which have moments but, overall, little to moderate development. And, there are some who have practically no characterization at all. (except tid-bits you can get from a character/investigator in-game)

Google, you have been asked about the Suikoden series many times. You response is usually that you didn't care much for Suikoden and you haven't played the sequel. I recommend Suikoden II to you. I know you have lots of games to play, but Suikoden II is one that's worth making time for. (note on time - Google, you know RPGs and you probably won't end up spending much more than 30 hours and still get everything)

Googleshng:
I have been told Suikoden 2 is a decent game plenty of times by plenty of people. I believe it, and pass that fact along when asked. But since A- I don't have the time, B- I don't have the money, and C- I have to constantly stay on top of new RPG releases, so I can't go track it down and play it. Oh, and I still say that no game should ever have more characters in it than the developers can A- Make interesting, B- Make useful, or C- make usable at one time. Whichever of those is highest. As I recall, in BOTH those games, the number is 6, and quite frankly, 100 or so superfluous characters seems excessively sloppy.

1. Was that webpage you linked to yesterday your cousin's? You mentionned how he lives in Japan now; is s/he on some sort of teaching exchange?

Googleshng:
Yes, that would be my cousin in the JET program, and posting that link managed to overload his server in like 5 minutes. That's impressive.

2. If I wanted to buy Shenmue II (and I'm in a somewhat isolated part of Canada), where should I look?

--Maikeru

Googleshng:
www.ebgames.com should still have it in stock, and a good number of their physical stores got copies too. If you have no luck there, well, look to import stores.

 
Oh hey, here's a non-Suiko letter!

Hey Goog,
Well, I finally went back to Xenogears after God knows how long, took it up from Babel Tower and went to the end, where I'm at now, doing sidequests and extra stuff. Couple Questions:

1. What do the doll accessories do? I see a few at the battle arena, and I think I may have had some before, but I oculd never figure out what they're for.

Googleshng:
Ah yes. The dolls. Each one does something different, I vaguely recall most of them affecting gear stats, and I think one or two might only work for certain people. I'd be more specific but quite frankly, it's been 3 or 4 years, and there's better things to equip.

2. Ditto for Chu-chu Idol. It's worth 20,000 at a shop but i want to know what I'd be losing if I sold it. I've done that plenty already. ;_;

Googleshng:
See above.

3. Ditto -again- (is that redundant?) for Ether Gaurds/Body Guards.

Googleshng:
Those do exactly what it sounds like they'd do.

4. What level does Fei learn his very last (X-triangle-X) Deathblow? I love watching ridiculously huge numbers pop up on screen, but I don't want to have to build ten more levels just for that if it's too high.

Googleshng:
It's way up there. I want to say 86 or so. Not really worth it.

5. Citan is such a badass with his sword. Not a question, but 'strue nonetheless.

And yes, I -did- look in FAQs before emailing you, but I Stiiiiiiiiillllll, Haven't foooooooound, What I'm looking for. Don't look at me like that, everyone likes U2.

So long and thanks for all the fish,
Paul

Googleshng:
He sure is. And hey! That fish isn't free!

 
And here's another one!

Heya, Googster.

My girlfriend has really enjoyed watching me play FFX (rare girl, no?), and is interested in playing some games herself; however, I'm having trouble coming up with a good starter for her. She wants one with A) a good story, 2) little to no party changing (she gets very attached to characters), iii) dungeons that are more puzzle-oriented than surviving random battles, and E) relatively simple--no 80 hour RPGs for her (yet).

Of course, that more or less eliminates most of my games...do you have any good suggestions for the PSX/Dreamcast/PS2 (or PC)? Are there good titles out for other systems?

Thanks,
-Llew Silverhand

Googleshng:
Lufia 2 fits those requirements perfectly. As does Wild ARMs. Wild ARMs 2 does too but ugh, the translation! The Shenmue 2 games are possibilities too if you wanna call'em RPGs.



Quickies

sorry i was jus wondering i love final finatasy 7.8.9and 10...but 7 is still my favorite is square soft planning 2 remake it on ps2? please let me kno ne information possible

For the umpteenth time, no. They aren't.

The Last Laugh:

Egads that was a scary mailbox. Worth it though since I finally saw someone stick up for Suikoden. Granted, it was on the grounds that you get a castle, and there's a dozen or so games that give you a town that you can actually CUSTOMIZE, but it's nice to know someone out there actually digs it.

Anyway, tomorrow Jaraph will be guest hosting once more. He should have an old game in his hands by next week too, so this is probably it. Be sure to send in lots of questions which don't have the word Suikoden in them.

Googleshng "Excuse me Mr. Cat, could you please release my foot?" @rpgamer.com
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