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Roombas and Moombas and Chairs! Oh my!
Googleshng - January 29 '03- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time
So I see an infomercial for a vacuuming robot and plan to comment on
it, and then find out Steve Jackson actually bought one. Now that I know they actually do a good job of
cleaning, I want one even more.
More talk on SoA
O Illustrious Slime,
With all the various bashings flying about, particularly of Skies, I'd just
like to mention this: I bought Skies of Arcadia for DC on your
recommendation alone, and I haven't regretted it yet. I just beat it last
night, with my game at something like 60+ hours, and it reaffirmed my faith
in RPG's. The only possible complaint I could've had against it was the fact
that there were just too many random battles. But that's it. It's a great
game, I just wanted to thank you for bringing it to my attention, otherwise
I think I would've given up on the genre entirely.
I'm still surprised at how many people out there have a problem with SoA's random battle rate. I mean,
you can fly halfway around the world without getting in a fight BEFORE you hit the point when you can
avoid fights entirely. How infrequently do you want to be attacked exactly?
Hopefully as frequently as the lowered encounter rate in the GC port.
A question for each element
I got more random questions for you to shake your choco-covered pretzel stick at.
1) Did you play the Metroid GBA game? If so, did you enjoy it? I thought the story was cool and the cutscenes (were they true cutscenes?) were a nice surprise. The sleep function made the game truly portable. However, I think the game was truly hindered by the lack of GBA controls. (4 buttons: ABLR vs. 6 buttons for SNES: ABXYLR) Otherwise, it plays exactly like Super Metroid. Mmmm, Nostalgic goodness.
I enjoyed Metroid Fusion to a certain degree, but I have big problems with the way they removed the whole
freedom to explore at your own pace concept (particularly at the end of the game). I mean, that's really
the whole appeal of the series. Oh, and incidently, you can't go pinning the awkward controls on the SNES
controller having more buttons. They just made very poor use of the buttons they did have. Well that's
a little harsh really. The controls are just fine aside from the extremely stupid decision of making you
hold R the entire time you want to fire missles... particularly nasty when you have to fire missles down
at an angle from a ladder. Ugh.
2) What did you think of SD4: Legend of Mana? I can't see why people dislike it so much. The fact that it went in a whole different direction than the previous SD games comes as no surprise as, I believe, that Squaresoft's trademark is to release very different sequels. Catch my drift?
People dislike LoM for two reasons.
Reason #1- It doesn't have the sort of game mechanics SoM had. By the way, side note to all the people
out there wishing for a US release of SD3- It doesn't have SoM's whole weapon and spell level system
Reason #2- It's a low pressure, non-linear game with no real overriding story of note. A good many people
don't care for that sort of thing.
3) Have you ever considered Korean RPGs? There is some true quality games coming from that country. Granted, none of them have been translated into English (or Japanese for that matter) but they show solid potential. Softmax has released War of Genesis III and Magna Carta for the PC which reach an unbelievably high standard. Gravity games is beta testing Ragnarok Online (MMORPG) for the US and has released it in Japan. (scratch above comment) And on the plus side, the Korean alphabet (Hangul) is very easy to read. Korea does use characters (Hanja) but it's only used to differentiate between homonyms.
There are a lot of interesting sounding PC RPGs in Korea. If I knew Korean and had a gaming PC, I'd probably
care a whole lot more. In fairness though, PC is a bigger roadblock than Korean in my case.
4) I believe the term Otaku is misused on this side of the Pacific. In Japan, it's anybody who has a fanatic hobby, any hobby. In the States, it's someone who has a fanatic hobby...about video games, manga, anime, and/or jpop. Have you ever seen anything the Japanese would consider Otaku? For example, I was looking at my friend's surf "digest," (500 pages of ads, shops, spots, etc.) Aside from the funny engrish ads, they go into serious detail. It describes tide charts, each surf break (standard fare), but goes into such things as places to park your car and the distance to the nearest surf shop.
Aiya. That was long winded.
P.s.- Kung Hei Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!
Yes, otaku is pretty much just Japanese for "creepy obsessive freak" and people use it wrong. People use
plenty of other Japanese terms wrong all the time though. People are constantly confusing sushi and sashimi,
and heck, people use anime as a term for Japanese cartoons when it is in fact the Japanese term FOR cartoon.
As a matter of fact, I once saw a list of the top 10 anime series in Japan, and the #1 spot was Tom and
I have never seen that tag before.
Regarding Kingdom Hearts, you said:
"So, if you want to heal yourself, you have to take your thumb off the joystick to use the D-Pad to disable the attack/block button for a few seconds while you open a couple menus and select the potion."
You can use the right analog stick to navigate the menus while moving, although you still can't attack at the same time. While I agree that a better control scheme could have been used, I still immensely enjoyed the game. I even got used to the strange camera. Oh well, maybe the development team will do better with the inevitable sequel.
After much consideration, I've decided to get Skies of Arcadia Legends. Maybe I'll actually have a question to ask then for the column. On the other hand, SOA fanatics will probably have detailed FAQs and guides up ridiculously quickly.
Hey, maybe I can actually throw a quick question in here! In response to Andrew's question about disappointing games, I wrote about Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana. If I remember correctly, you enjoyed the game. I played the game for four hours and didn't feel particularly drawn into it. Did I give it enough of a chance, or does the "do quest - get item - place item - do another quest" pattern continue for the rest of the game?
PS - I didn't know about the acronym HTML tag until today. I think I like it just a bit too much.
PPS - Great job with the columns! I think I've been reading them since you started.
A couple people pointed out the right stick bit, but quite frankly, having redundant controls to navigate
menus that shouldn't exist to begin with just compounds the problem. Anyway, yes, LoM pretty much keeps
up the non-existant pace all the way through.
What I want.
Are you going to get Skies of Arcadia Legends? You talked a little about it, but you didn't comment if you would jump in again. I'm still undecided, but it sounds like they fixed so of my problems with it so chances are I will pick it up.
Also are you looking forward to Xenosaga and Lufia for GBA? I've been waiting for something like Lufia to play on my GBA. Phantasy Star has those migraine inducing dungeons, and Lunar Legends sounds like they really Smurfed it up. It's got to be better than Lufia for GBC.
The Great Cornholio
SoA- I can't afford to buy a game I already own.
Xeno- I have some morbid curisoity as to whether there's an actual
game in there, or if it's really just a rendered anime series with a funky DVD menu.
Lufia- I'm looking forward to this, on the grounds
that I'm told it's back to being a Lufia game and not a randomly generated dungeon crawl.
Tech Support Ho!
WMAdoy's problem from yesterday, regarding the Xenogears disc, is
actually probably a PS2 problem. I, and many others, have experienced
the infamous "Disc Read Error" problem, which is usually accompanied by
the symptoms described (doesn't read, loud noises, etc.).
For me, it usually occurs on CDs. Not all CDs: in fact, many play
perfectly fine. Others won't read at all. It's pretty easy to
tell if you have the problem; stick the CD in a computer and see if it
reads. But sticking other CDs in your PS2 won't prove much. The
problem (for me at least) seems to be how the PS2 holds discs
internally. The noise is a result of the disc slipping; if you
notice a discolored ring for discs with color labels, this is
The solution that worked for me was putting bits of tape around the
hole, just off the plastic, to give the catch something better to hold
onto. In the case of Xenogears, this would be around where the "S" in
"Squaresoft" is. Try putting a bit of scotch tape there and on the
opposite side of the ring.
...and to bring things back on topic, I totally agree with your
assessment of Kingdom Hearts. The controls are rather sad, and... the
Gumi ship?! I can understand someone being bored coding an RPG and
wanting to make a shooter, but c'mon. Make it quality, or don't make
it. The controls are sloppy for the rest of the game, just like you
said. Square really needs to hire or contract some control testers... I
don't think any of their action games have great controls, when it comes
down to it. Maybe I'm just forgetting something.
I can name a good number of action-oriented games by Square with controls that aren't completely hideous...
they are however all made by people who have since gone on to form their own companies. What really shocks
me though is that nobody flamed me over that observation.
Anyway, that tip should be helpful to some people out there.