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Googleshng - June 4 '03- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

People have been bombarding me with a variety of odd complaints about some truly random stuff today. The cost of Dragon Force on eBay, blooming habits of cyprus trees, and a couple things that made it into letters.

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Match Point Sanity

Goog,

Yesterday, "Tuesday", a St Louis District court overturned a St Louis county ordinance preventing the sale of violent video games to minors. The reason behind this thinking was that the ordinance violated the constitutional right of Free Speech. (Taken from the front page article in Wednesday's St Louis Post Dispatch)

YOU know FYI

Arthur

The once and future king

Googleshng:
Always good to hear when insane laws get overturned.

Kartisian Complaints

You said: "Kartia is cool due to the innovative and interesting game mechanics"

Rock/Paper/Scissors like mechanics were never and never will be considered innovative. It was simply a matter of having the correct opposite phantoms of the enemy.

Not only that, but there was no reason to even summon phantoms to battle because the human characters were severly overpowered. Talk about bad balancing. Once they gained a few levels they were unstoppable and a single character could win the entire battle. Since they'd be getting all the experience for the phantoms they kill, they level way too fast and end up far beyond everyone else in the battle. For a system that revolves around summoning phantoms, it would make more sense to have the human characters unable to fight well or at all.

Sure, it had the potential of complex, challenging and interesting battles, but like most games failed miserably.

Googleshng:
I didn't say Kartia was cool because of the paper/rock/scissors phantom types. I said it had some really innovative game mechanics, and it does. The whole Kartia system. You get a few cards at the end of every fight, you spend the game building a library of symbols representing various words, and stringing together different combinations of these words, either before or during a fight, is how you create equipment, special extra characters, and cast spells. That's a pretty cool system. Especially how you can customize all these things, never cast the same exact spell twice, etc. etc. Plus it's pretty darn cool being able to create your own bridges by freezing chunks of rivers, burn down obstacles, and give yourself terrain advantage by sinking the ground under your opponents.

That said, yeah, the game isn't perfect, and tends towards the easy side late in the game. In fairness there though, MOST TRPGs are entirely too easy. Kartia gives you a game over if any human characters die, and if you max someone's level out they become practically unkillable. In most TRPGs, you only lose if the main character dies, and it's easy enough to never have anyone die. I'd say that balances out pretty well.

Of course, there's one thing nobody's mentioned here. Kartia has a 2-player competetive mode.

Good stuff on the horizon.

Heya, Google-sama!

I read your rant, and I think I can add something to your list of sci-fi conventions. I've never heard anyone mention this before, so either it's a commonly accepted fact or so unimportant that nobody cares. Have you ever noticed that whenever anybody uses a computer, whether to check their e-mail, hack into another computer, or start up a giant robot, he never uses a mouse? In some cases with old movies, I can understand that the concept of an icon-based interface hadn't really been wide-spread, but don't you think Microsoft would survive long enough to release Windows 2300: Giant Spaceship Edition?

What video games are you looking forward to this summer? In my opinion, it's gonna be a slow three months. I read through EBGames' upcoming list, and I counted a whopping five games that might have a chance of interesting me, two of which are RPGs (Shadows of Undentride and Magic Pengel, which hasn't gotten good ratings). I don't know why the summer months, especially July and August, are such slow business months for video games - you'd think people would have nothing better to do. I guess it's for the best though, as there will be plenty of time to work through our stacks of unfinished games, right?

BL Alien

Googleshng:
Most Sci-Fi movies made after the invention of the mouse have touch screens, or more recently, happy floating holographic touch screens. I can see those being more practical in some circumstances than mice, so they don't make the list. Now, computers in the future being consistantly less impressive than computers released a year after a movie was made, that deserve some ridicule.

Anyway though, promising games eh? Unlimited SaGa actually seems like it might be something I'd like. Pretty much going the same route as the first SaGa Frontier, which is honestly pretty underrated. MMBN3 should be pretty spiffy, although it also holds the potential to be just like MMBN2 with no real changes. Other than that though, yeah, there's a bit of a lull on the horizon here.

Èvil!

Ech, what's with all the strange symbols (È) appearing in the letters? Is there some sort of explanation, or is it a rather annoying phenomenon? It's kinda painful..........

-pneuma08

Googleshng:
Short form, when certain people send me letters, they use mail clients which use some weird non-standard text character to put multiple spaces in. Paste that character into an HTML character, and it turns into an È. Normally I do a quick little search/replace to zap'em all, but I forgot yesterday.

Odd concepts

Hey Googlesheng!

I've been a long time reader of your column. I just bought Kingdom Hearts from a used game store, and I am really enjoying it. But there is one thing that always tugged at the back of my mind: How could such a bizzare idea for a game actually work? Well, I was surprised on how well the game turned out, but I do have a question: What was the most strange idea ever turned to a video game that actually worked? Your thoughts are always appreciated.

Witecat

"My life just flashed before my eyes, and I had no idea how much the Strudehoker twins were a part of my life!" - Rose for the Golden Girls

Googleshng:
Kingdom Hearts doesn't really have any weird gameplay concepts in it, just a bizarre plot. If you want a game that REALLY tries something strange, you should check out Koudelka. It's an RPG in which you explore an old mansion from the sort of view the Resident Evil, and TRPG style combat.




The Last Laugh:

Today has been quite ulcerific.

Googleshng "Many people suck." @rpgamer.com

Must relax.

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