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Googleshng - September 18 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Well, after a good long stretch of time with no games coming out, we have two relevant games both out today. Of course, one I can't afford and the other I don't have yet, but no matter!

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Some Silliness

Hello, Sir Goog, master of all jello and everthing else that jiggles...

First, do you own a Sphinx cat? If you remember that question I asked Chimerasame a few days ago...

Googleshng:
You mean those nasty hairless freak-cats? No. Short hearted and black only hear, usually with some white in there too.

Second, is the bad club music you are referring to in KH Sephiroth's theme music? THAT music is not all bad, if there were some lyrics and a good beat to it...

Googleshng:
Can't afford KH, so I'll just be going with "I sure hope not!" Between all the Disney songs around to be thrown in, and recycled FF music, I don't see any call for throwing bad dance club music about.

Third, which image is scarier, that kitten eating the huge fish from yesterday, or your cat that looks like a demon? I WANT A SERIOUS ANSWER TO THIS!!!!!

Googleshng:
First off, he doesn't LOOK that demonic, he just acts it. Anyway, I'd have to give credit to Lucifer on that one. The kitten was cute.

Finally, how you would like to shown if you were a playable character in an RPG? I imagine Chimerasame as the Masamune-weilding chimera, Paws as a cute humanoid tigress with pouncing attacks similar to Hobbes', Chesh as the smiling Cheshire cat with smile attacks, FireMyst as a Dargon God reborn as a human with horns and wings, and you assuming a shape similar to Shadow Mario in SMS. Each one would be able to summon specific elemental monsters and alter the surrounding the terrain with these summons. The goal would be to c onquer the demons that have forced Sci-Fi to cancel Farscape and to level up, you would have to press the button right in every attack and defense you give out and recieve to enemies while traveling through different worlds that exist in paintings and sculptures as you make your way throughout Sci-Fi Network HQ tp find these demons. So, if I wrote a fanfic about this, would you be okay with it?

Whelp, those are all my questions. Answer them with care while I start my college homework at 12:30 in the morning with Red Fusion Dr. Pepper by my side.

Oh yeah, life is good. :-)

Signed, Huge Dreamer

P.S. Linkoln Park's "Reanimation" Cd rules!!!!!!

Googleshng:
I assume that was a typo of dragon, not Dagon, since I don't really see the fish connection. As far as I go, I've always wondered why people always pick up on how I like slimes, but never on my great love of the undead, or even orcs! Anyway, as far as said fanficcery goes, I doubt anyone would mind, but I really doubt you could get it posted here... at least without tying it into Kingdom Hearts somehow.

 
Blablabla Animus!

With college comes extreme laziness, as well as an overly formidable internet connection. As a result, I now have anime series Scryed, Trigun, Star Ocean EX, Serial Experiments Lain, Gunsmith Cats, Nadesico, Escaflowne, Love Hina, Hellsing, and .hack. I know it's a heck of a question, but what anime series can you personally speak for out of these, and which do you suggest I feast my eyes and ears to first? Last? Never?
Morp.
Epochkun.

Googleshng:
Going in your order there: Scryed- Haven't seen it. Trigun- One of the best series ever made. SO EX- Being based on a videogame is usually a bad sign. Lain- Confusing for the sake of being confusing. Like Eva but without the fight scenes or Pen Pen. Gunsmith Cats- Riding Bean spinoff. Nabisco- Amusing spoof of old mecha anime which goes and ruins things with one of the worst morals I've ever seen. Escaflowne- Mecha+Fantasy+Shojo+FF6+character designs by the Chrono Cross guy=Pretty darn good. Love Hina- Ask Chim about that one. Hellsing- Very stylish vampire show. .hack- I haven't even been keeping up on the game much.

Anyway though, Esca Trigun and Hellsing are my favorites from that batch, not necessarily in that order.

 
We seriously need a name for those moments in games you'd have to switch discs at for games that aren't on multiple discs.

hey googy,
i'm playing shadow hearts, i just got it even though i'v been wanting it for a while. So I level the Earth element thing up to level two, and go to the graveyard, and the stone gets bigger, but it's not glowing. I click on it, and nothing happens. It won't let me fight, it shows up in the faq saying "it won't let you fight because the main character doesn't want to fight". what does this mean? And also, is koudelka very similar to shadow hearts? I always saw it in the stores but never picked it up because i had so many unbeaten playstation games, but if it's as good as shadow hearts(i've heard it's better) than i'd look around for it.

Googleshng:
About halfway through Shadow Hearts is a rather significant plot point. After it, Yuri stops being such a baby about turning into demons (yeah, I realize he doesn't really let it show), and you can start getting the level 2 ones.

Moving on to your Koudelka question, gameplay wise it has pretty much nothing in common with Shadow Hearts, but they're both good games. It's also only 10 hours long, so don't worry about it sucking too much time away.

 
No EXP #1

Aloha,

Since it was such an open invitation for comment, I figured I'd.. uh.. comment.. on the "get rid of experience" suggestion.

The problem with getting rid of experience in RPG's comes in situations like the one that you mentioned - when the bosses just aren't hard enough. Yeah, it was nice to not have to deal with so many tedious battles in Chrono Cross, and not have to level up and such, but boss battles were all still rediculuosly easy. Theoretically, bosses could be made nice and difficult, but then another problem arises..

Without a way of leveling the character and gaining experience, all the characters will be relatively the same. Er, by that I mean that everyone playing will have basically the same set of characters. Therefore, it would mean that there's basically one set in stone way to defeat the bosses. Yeah, there'll be strategy to it - but then, once it's figured out, there's no more strategy.

The only real solution I can come up with here is to incorporate a system similar to "AP", where you gain things that will give specific, unique abilities to characters. The problem there is that leveling up once again becomes a factor. You do all kinds of fighting and leveling to gain AP to gain more skills to make it easier once again. It's sort of a double-edged blade.

On the subject of RPG difficulties, though, I remember hearing someone mention once the idea of difficulty levels in games. For example, when you start the game, you choose "Easy", "Medium", or "Hard". The, that determines how tough it is as you play throughout the game. An example would be Having a single version of Final Fantasy IV, where you can choose between the Easytype and the Hardtype. While such a thing doesn't exist, it would make the game easy for new people to RPG's, as well as a challenge to older fans of the genre, or just generally more skilled players.

Anyways, that's just my ( horribly winded ) two cents.

-The Rowinator.

Googleshng:
The reason bosses are two easy in Chrono Cross isn't that there's no experience points, it's that the only people working at Square who still try to make games challenging are all forced to work on the SaGa series. They're prone to going overboard though, so I suppose it balances out. The point still stands that if your characters are guarrenteed to be at level 20 when they reach a certain boss, no matter what, the designers can tailor that boss to be challenging but beatable for a group of level 20 characters, without having to worry about it being too easy if you're higher or too hard if you're lower.

Oh, and on the subject of being able to use the same basic strategy the whole way through the game, uh, how is that not true WITH experience? I can't name a single RPG where this isn't the best strategy for every boss: Cast stat boosting spells if you have'em at the beginning of the fight, then just wail away with your most damaging abilities, healing when you need to. Actually, if you had no experience, developers would probably be MORE likely to mix things up in that regard, on the grounds that you aren't being forced to do enough number juggling.

 
No EXP #2

Hey Google.  I'd just like to say that I completely agree with you on the Anti-EXP deal.  And no, I'm not just saying this to suck up and get into the column.  I think that's it's much more realistic to gradually build stats in smaller chunks over a period of time than than having and EXP-based system and get everything in one big lump-sum.  Think about it logically:  When you work out at a gym, do you steadily get stronger over time, or not get stronger until you do it enough times then BAM loads of stronger? (heh loads of stronger)
     As for a question:  Do you have any insight/guesses/knowledge of how most of the Non-EXP based systems work (for example Chrono Cross)?  I know that the growth levels in that game represented a "maximum stat limit" for the characters and such, but do you have any clue as to how the game knows when to give you +2 HP or +1 MAG?
     As always, thanks for your thoughts.

Master Margie
"Why don't you just take the kitten and raise him/her to be the 'small, furry beast' you sawa today?"

Googleshng:
I believe how CC works it is to take the difference between your current stats, and the cap on'em, and give you some fixed ratio of that after every fight.

 
No EXP #3

Goog,

I didn't read the roundtable but I can't imagine an RPG without exp. FF8 was bad enough. Only 1000 exp a level? I just found a couple of enemies that gave really good experience and stayed there for a long time gaining a level every two battles. And when I beat a boss and don't get any experience? Talk about a let down. I want to feel my power increase as I thrash my enemies into a pulp with my awesome level-upness. Yes that's right, give me exp or give me death!

-C. Odets

Googleshng:
You missed a bit of the point here. I'm not saying RPGs should have no way of improving your characters, I'm just saying you shouldn't be able to improve your characters simply by killing droves of wimpy monsters. Just have characters improve based on how far you are through the game, a bit like how Chrono Cross works things. While you were at it, you could also work more gameplay elements into the plot. For example, instead of learning the fire spell when you reach level 12, you'd learn the fire spell after having to hunt down a magic book, which you have to do before you can melt the ice blocking the enterence to some cave. That sort of thing.



Quickies

The Last Laugh:

Remember back in the day when the last column I wrote in a week would have another person from the RPGamer staff guest hosting? Well, it's long past time to bring that concept back, so tomorrow, Paul Koehler from the reviews section will be here. So, if you have any questions on that little aspect of our site, lay them on him.

Googleshng "Where's my Castlevania?" @rpgamer.com

and where's some money? I want Kingdom Hearts too!

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