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Googleshng - October 27 '03- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

For some reason, today's inbox has a glut of rambling page long tirade letters. If you get bored, feel free to skip down to the bottom.

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More on Euro Releases

Hey Goog

>OK, let's get one thing straight here.

>Does it suck that europe gets the short end of the gaming stick? Yes.

>Is it unfair? No. You people have a different standard for televisions, and a truckload of languages.

>There's an awful lot of work for relatively little reward there.

Oddly enough, this "different standards and languages" thing hasn't prevented publishers to release _direct_ ports from the US versions (that is to say English only games - thanks to the already existing US translation -, optimised for the NTSC video standard, not the PAL one... which resulted in vertically shrunk images and a slower frame-rate) in Europe (and the rest of the so-called PAL zone) for years.

I say "so-called PAL zone" because oddly enough, the zone release restriction also seems to extend to portable systems, which obviously aren't subject to TV standards issues. Thanks god there are, as far as I know, no system compatibility issue with those ones...

Speaking of which... Let's not forget that the incompatibility between, say, a US PS2 game and a European PS2 system is (just like the "DVD movie zone" thing) a purely artificial feature added by manufacturers in order to prevent importing (that is to say free market exchanges)... and to hinder piracy as well, I guess (can't blame them for that... but for some reason it's still easier - i.e. requires a smaller chip or sometimes just a little swap trick -, on most protected systems, to have a burnt copy run rather than a legal imported copy). This is why you can't play a Japanese game on a US system either, although both are NTSC.

Let's get real. Translating game manuals into a few common European languages isn't such a big deal. Investing into massive advertisement campaigns (an obvious prerequisite to make big sales) is much more expensive for instance. And pretty risky too : tastes differ around the world, and the mecanics of the European game market are somewhat unpredictible compared to the (older, and consequently better known) US one. The issue is a purely economic (and maybe somewhat "cultural"? In terms of consumers habits) one, not a technologic or linguistic one.

Entr0pi3, who regrets the good old 16-bits days, when cartridges couldn't be burnt as easily as CDs, and a single adapter device was enough to get rid of the compatibility issue between imported games and Euro systems

Googleshng:
I wasn't trying to say it was technically overwhelming to release a game in Europe. I was just saying that to throw a game to America, you have to translate it into just one language, and don't have to worry about re-optimizing graphics. Plus you're hitting a pretty big market there. European releases on the other hand don't have nearly a good enough pay-off for the extra hassle involved. So yeah, it's all about the money involved really.

I don't see the trend of which he speaks...

Well it seems like the trendy thing of late has been to bash either SO2, LoD, or both. As a fan of both of these games, I would like to point out, why they are fun. First off let me clarify that these games are in no way, superb RPG's. Instead, they are RPG's desinged to give you some easy, fun filled enjoyment as you play them. I will usually play these games after I've just finished playing 80 hours of Tactics Ogre, or the 60 hours of Final Fantasy 7. After playing a really long indepth game like the above mentioned, it's nice to sit back and play a silly fun game like SO2 or LoD. That being said you may now continue with your flaming of the games and probably me.

-- Kalledon --

Googleshng:
I've been flaming games and people now? News to me. Anyway though, yes, there's some enjoyment to be had with those two games, it's just that there's a few hundred games more enjoyable than LoD is all.

Q&A has topics? News to me...

I know FFXI was yesterday's topic, but I just wanted to say I'm looking forward to it. (read: I've been vastly disappointed with EVERY MMORPG I've played with the exception of one week worth of Shadowbane) I played EQ, AO, DAoC Shadowbane and SWG. EQ sucked... AO sucked... DAoC was fun for five minutes, SWG really isn't that bad, I'm just not enjoying the setting as much as I thought I would... and finally we come to Shadowbane. It was actually a ton of fun for about a week... Now mind you, it wasn't the first week of play that was fun. The first two months were damn near unplayable, what with lag issues, server crashes, hackers and daily rollbacks. After they got the game playable though, it was mint... of course... by then, most people were fed up and had left, so entire guilds disappeared, some of the server's had their population drop by 50% in a few days, mod run events that were set up to face a few hundred PC's ended up going up against a few dozen and you can imagine how those turned out... and basically all that was left were the uber-guilds made up of long time beta testers who wouldn't let the little guys up from under their oppressive thumbs. All in all, failed experiment. Great idea though... wish it had panned out. In any case, I really hope FFXI can bring players together like SB did. That's what made me stick around as long as I did. Ok ok... my rant is over. I promise... no more ranting... not another word... done.

Tunafish makes me sick...

And now... for my actual question... I've been horribly uncreative with halloween for the past few years, revamping my 'Brandon Lee rendition of the Crow' four times over at last count. I'm a little strapped for cash and would like to do something creative. I'm a huge RPG fan, though admittedly most of my favorites are by Square. :) Do you have any suggestions for a moderately priced costume relating to one of my favorite games? (Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy VII, VIII, X, Tactics, any Zelda game, SWKOR would all be fun) I've got a nice 3/4 body length black leather trench coat that can be incorperated into the get up, if that helps. I don't mind throwing a few bucks into a wig or some make up/props, just don't want to spend $150 bucks for one night. :) Any suggestions that won't land me in prison would be appreciated. Then again... depending on what it is that gets me throw in the slammer, it 'might' be worth it. :)

Thanks!

Your friendly neighborhood Marine!

Googleshng:
Hmm... RPG characters with big black trenchcoats eh? Well, Yuri fron Shadow Hearts would be easy enough. As would Fox-face there. Sephiroth works if you have the wig and don't mind catching pneumonia.



Quickies

For EDekar, who is seeking a skill-based fantasy-setting P&P RPG.

RuneQuest.

http://www.maranci.net/whatrq.htm

Materials can be found around on Amazon and eBay.

There you go.

The Last Laugh:

Tomorrow Onswah will be guest hosting again, so make sure you toss him plenty of questions, particularly on Square games/Xenosaga/Lunar. It should be a fairly decent sized column no matter what though, as I'm told he finally found all those letters his spam filter ate last week.

Oh yes, and he's still looking for Earthbound or Dual Hearts if anyone out there wants a shot at guest hosting and getting a free game out of it.

Googleshng "Holy smurf. My cat opened a locked storm window." @rpgamer.com

Key word LOCKED.

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