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Googleshng - October 17 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

"Merry Christmas! I'm Excel! You are dog!"
Is there anything more amusing than random English words spoken with a thick Japanese accent? Oh wait, there is. Anyway, here's your guest host for this week.

Michael: Greetings to our lovely readers today! We don't have any parting gifts for you, but a new Q&A column makes always makes the world go round. You may know me as a mediaite, but I'm also Head of Media here at RPGamer. I organize our media efforts and make sure the other mediaites (as well as myself) provide you with the latest screens, artwork, etc... We are always open to questions, comments, contributions, praise, and even criticism, so fire off an email to media@rpgamer.com or kamikaze@rpgamer.com if you want to talk directly to me. Since there isn't much else to say I'll save my best babble for the letters. Onward!

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Waaaaah! I'm imperfect and must now self destruct!

You're still wrong. Amano didn't design the characters in FF9. It was a trio of no-name artists (at least ones I've never heard of) that provided the design work for the character models. The models (both for FMV and in-game) were long done before Amano came in and made illustrations. The only design work Amano did for FF9 was the logo (which he's done consistently since the start). Using Amano's name was only a gimmick to appeal to oldschool RPGamers.

Michael:
Wow, the gimmick sure worked on me. I was going to get the game anyway, but I was convinced Amano did the original character design. Chalk it up to sly business tactics once again!

Googleshng:
Huh... after a thorough investigation you would appear to be correct. I am both shocked and amazed. I also don't seem to have a self-destruct mechanism, so I guess I'll have to give that letter title a rain check.

 
Games, Guests, and Greed

Why don't you start off the fan-guest hosting bit again by asking for a copy of Kingdom Hearts? If you're not allowed to use the website for personal gain, just throw them Parasite Eve 2 as a trade... hahahaha, I guess that's still a gain though.

Michael:
Wow, can I ask for Kingdom Hearts?! =) Right now I believe we're in the middle of letting all the staff members guest host, but if anyone out there is gracious enough to send me a copy of the game I'm taking donations for the Michael Bischoff RPG fund as we speak! ^_^

Googleshng:
Three reasons.
First, right now I'm doing staff guest hosting, so you'd have to wait for that to run out of steam.
Second, the whole games for guesthost chain is founded on the premise of helping people get their hands on games that are nearly impossible to find, KH is still on shelves.
Third, largely due to the fact that it was hard enough getting it through to people that games people give up go to the last person who gave a game up (as opposed to me) when it'd been over a year since I'd been in on the action, if I kicked a new chain off with me getting a freebie, it'd be a huge headache.

So, if I get around to starting up a new chain, I'd have to kick it off with someone sending in a copy of Snatcher to patch that ancient hole in the last chain, or with a contest of some sort.

 
Suiko! ... Suavé!

Just wondering if you're looking forward to Suikoden 3 as much as I am. I hope I can scrape up enough cash though in the next few weeks to be able to buy it. Do you think its worth playing through Suikoden 2 to import your save? Also, where should the save be at? I forget these things. Thanks Google and Mike!

-SirAbcde

Michael:
Hey SirAbcde! I'm looking forward to Suikoden 3, but I'm looking forward to other games more unfortunately. And, I'm on a tight budget as well. If your heart is set on the game though, give into the impulse and buy the game when it's released. As for playing through Suikoden 2, if you don't already own the game I think it would be a waste of time (and money) just to create save data for Suik3. Now take my two cents and buy me some food! ^_^

Googleshng:
I have it on good authority from an importer or two that surprisingly little data transfers up from Suikoden 2. Of course, the reason for that is that it gets a whole bunch of data from the Suiko Gaidens, which weren't released here, and therefore you'll have to wait for the U.S. release to see if that was changed.

 
On a related note...

Guess I should finish reading the column before writing in...my other comment has to do with the guy believing the Japanese version of FF VII it might be possible to revive Aeris. Her final limit break is the easiest to get, by far, out of all of them. I can be at level two limit break with cloud, and already have the fourth one for Aeris, fair enough that you have to level build in order to get it, but it does not take much.
Next, I actually have a question to ask.
I need a new RPG, it's been awhile...I've had to play old Zelda games through emulation in order to keep myself entertained. Anyway, the point is, what would be a better idea for me...I haven't played any of the Suikoden series and I haven't played any of the Wild Arms series. I know Suikoden doesn't have enough continuity to make a difference if I jump into the 3rd one, but I'm pretty sure WA doesn't have any continuity. Regardless, which would you say is a better buy for me, a poor college student.

Thanks again
Chris (Bilbo)

Michael:
I understand the pain you're going through Chris; college is a drain on personal income. If I had to pick up either of those games I'd go for WA3. From what I've seen it appears to be the easiest game to take a nose dive into. Of course, since you're in college you could always SAVE what little money you have for important things like laundry. I once didn't have enough money to take care of that...and that's how poor I am myself.

Googleshng:
The Suikoden series all take place within a few years of eachother and share some of the same characters, so I have to wonder where you got the idea they weren't particularly connected. Faced with the same choice as you, I'd go with WA3, in light of the fact that your playing old Zelda games indicates you're in a puzzley mood, but you'd be much better off waiting until they've both been out long enough to have reviews to read.

Actually, better yet. For about the cost of one of those games, you could just go fnd the original WA AND Suikoden somewhere used, and probably the first sequel to whichever you like more... although it's likely you'd like WA1 more than Suik 1, and Suik 2 is considered by most to be a major improvement while WA2 has one of history's worst translations ever...

 
Dang punk kids!

Hello Googleshng,

Your right, older games do require so much more timing and reflexes then the newer ones. I remember the days of ninja gaiden, contra (megaman too) where one hit either killed you or knocked you off that small platform to your doom. With all the great capabilities these new games give players, do you think that developers have lost the ability to require gamers to have that kind of patience? Or have the gone away from it because they view it as "cheap"? With saving data now no longer a problem, I think they could afford a little more frustration factor in games. It may not be fun while its happening, but after you finally beat it, the satisfaction makes it all worth while.

Michael:
Mega Man 2 and the first Ninja Gaiden kicked my butt. I think as part of video gaming's growing popularity, that the majority of games need to be dumbed down. It is a process that happens when anything becomes popular; the masses need everything to be watered down. I'd like some harder games myself. =)

Googleshng:
Pfft, Mega Man 2 is FAIRLY challenging, but if you want REAL oldschool masochistic gameplay, there's no beating the Fantasy Zone series. Like most of their peers, you were constantly being assailed by things that would more or less take you out in one hit, but then there was the added challenge of a steady increase in the speed of monsters to a really insane degree, forcing you to stop into shops and upgrade your engine every level, which in turn make you so fast that you need super-human hand-eye coordination if you plan to go farther than a quick button tap away without hitting anything. On top of that, if you moved in a sufficiently erratic manner at a high enough speed, the interesting and novel and sadistic "sloshy-cam" could lose sight of you completely. Oh, and this was an intentional thing by the way.

It goes without saying that you lose your engine and any upgrades when you die, giving you effectively one life, right?

Anyway though, I' be tempted to incorporate my soul and sell off a decent percentage of the stock to get a new one, which is one of the many reasons I never claim to be sane.

Oh, the RPG question: Do you think it was silly in FF X to have the player choose Tidus's name and then have every voiced character mysteriously avoid calling Tidus by name. I can only speak for myself, but I could have done without that small bit of freedom. Thanks for the time.

Bill

Michael:
My one complaint with voice-acted RPGs, you pretty much lose any freedom to name your characters wild and wacky names. I haven't played FFX yet myself, but my opinion is that if the game is deep in plot then leaving the characters names default is best. Tactical RPGs and less plot-oriented games should let you do whatever the heck you want with the characters names. ^_^

Googleshng:
That's your ONLY complaint? Let me add a few more then. It makes boring plot scenes take up far more time, a good amount of voice acting in games sounds worse than scratching a chalkboard, it consumes a bunch of disc space that would otherwise go towards uh... probably bad FMV come to think of it. So, scratch that last one. Of course, on the other hand, I can name a good 3 games which really need their voice acting... and one that could darn well use some. Name changes don't really bug me ever as I almost always leave them alone. At least ever since I hit the point where anything I renamed people started coming up as the name of an NPC.

 
Anagram Fun

Hi..
just a while ago i found rpgamer.com...
it's a very good site!!
I also bought Final Fantasy 8 some time ago..
I was wondering...
Do you know what the openings theme is from FF8??
I mean, who created it, what's the title???
Thank you very much for your reply!!!
Matt.
(sorry if my english is a bit crappy, i'm from the Netherlands......)

Michael:
Don't worry about your English. You write it better than many native North Americans do, so give yourself a pat on the back. ^_^ Considering I haven't touched FFVIII since I beat it a few years ago, I'll see if my slimy colleague can answer your question. Enlighten us Goog!

Googleshng:
Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec, by the traditional FF composer, Nobuo Uematsu.

 
Random Space Filling Praise

Ah. What better way to take a break and have a good laugh than read your thoroughly entertaining daily column. Consider this nothing more than a whole-hearted 'thank you' from a loyal reader.

Michael:
If you got something good to say about someone, I say, "Say it!" I'm sure the media section would enjoy some thanks as well...*hint hint! ^_^

Googleshng:
Random praise is always nice, although I tend to appreciate a nice ol' fashioned question even more...
or killer robots loyal only to me... or large sums of cash. Still! Random praise is nice!

 
and to balance out THAT...

all right your pictures suck you suck and your whole entire site sucks

Michael:
Our pictures suck?! I'm going to have to take that one personally! >_< Anyone else surprised this came from an AOL member?

Googleshng:
I was getting ready to point out the fact that the only difference between RPGamer's screenshots and those posted on most other sites is that we let you look at them without paying a membership fee or staring at 5 billion ads. Everyone in the media has access to and posts the same images.

Of course, just now it hit me that the odds are better than average that this person is actually referring to my Page of Rantings. In which case, I completely agree that I have an astounding lack of artistic talent. I wouldn't go as far as to say the whole site sucks though, I mean, you've gotta give me credit for the occassional thing like this, and I've written at least a good 5 amusing rants. Like say this one.




The Last Laugh:

Michael: Done already?! >_< Well before I go I'd like to publicly thank all of the media team at RPGamer. We're a pretty anonymous bunch so thanks to Brian "Choco" Hagen, Jeremy "Shnazzman" Gilman, Shane "Sutarion" Castle, Shawn "Fox_Astron" Covington, Mattias "Haze" Kallenberg, and Anna Marie "Paws" Whitehead. Without you there would be no media, so keep up the good work. ^_^ It's getting late so I better hand off the mic to Goog and get to reformatting my computer. Peace...

Google: As the weekend draws near, and I prepare to throw another rant, let me stress a point. As I only have one e-mail address, if you send me a letter which isn't intended for this Q&A column, please make some sort of mention of the fact somewhere.

... actually, I should say that on the page that mught generate non-column mail.

Oh, and one more thing. Since CC is still trapped under a boulder or whatever is keeping him from tossing me a sign of life, this weekend's Q&A will be hosted by Thor Antrim. You may remember him from such Q&A columns as this one, circa 4 years ago. Also, some of you have weird fixations on him, so try not to send nothing but personal questions.



Googleshng "Oh #$@%, I have to get up in 2 hours." @rpgamer.com

and I'm not even particularly tired.

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