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Googleshng - October 14 '04- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

The following is the end of a conversation between me and Thor:
Thor: Well I'm off to write a review for IC
Thor: About the most brutal, violent sadistic game of all time
Thor: Bye!
Me: Pikmin 2?
Thor: Yes.
Thor: Pikmin 2.

I'm not sure if he was being sarcastic, but I can tell you for sure that I wasn't. That game is downright disturbing.

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I need to get in on this money making idea...

Q&A Person –

Occasional reader, but first time to send in a letter. Anyway, I just read through one of the editorials that was recently posted in the “Keeper of Time” editorial update. This particular editorial, entitled “Capitalism and RPGs: Currency over Quality” caught my eye because it seemed to be (and after I read it, confirmed to be) the latest in a string of editorials on RPGamer that accused RPG developers of a most horrible sin:

Wanting to make money.

I am amazed at the posts/letters/editorials I’ve seen from some people in the RPG community who seem to think that companies like Square-Enix are suddenly overtaken by ‘greed’. It’s as if they somehow think that, at one point in the distant past (the 80s and early 90s), these companies were benevolent entities that only made games because it was a kind of art form instead of a way to make money. Never mind that, well, the very nature of being a ‘company’ kind of screams to the whole world that you have a duty to your employees and your stockholders to turn a profit. Yes, I agree that Square-Enix is exploiting the FFVII name. Good for them. They recognized a money maker and went for it. That’s what you’re supposed to do. If a game sells a bajillion copies and garners the respect and adoration of millions of people, as the owner of the rights to that game... what would you do? Just sit on it and say ‘oh, wasn’t that nice?’ Heck no. You’d create a bunch of new products to turn that respect and adoration into cold hard cash. Not only because it’s a damn good idea, but because any CEO that passed on the opportunity would probably be ejected at the next stockholder meeting.

Sorry, I realize this is more of a rant than a question. So, I guess to make this a letter more suitable for a Q&A column, I should pose a question. Here goes: why do you think it is that a disturbingly large number of RPGamers seem to view companies like Square-Enix as being more responsible for holding true to some holy principle of game design than being responsible for the bottom line? They are a company after all. Of course, you yourself might subscribe to the viewpoint I’ve spent this entire letter deriding, but I’m hoping that isn’t the case.

Happy Gaming,

Bastard

Googleshng:
Generally speaking, I am in favor of the companies that bring me enjoyable games making money. I don't think that's really the issue here. The real reason you see so many people up in arms over this sort of thing is that, quite frankly, a very large number of people have a very unhealthy fixation on FF7. The same sort of people who would cheer for a new game or movie or anime series or text adventure or any other sort of thing that continues the story of, say, Chrono Trigger, or Secret of Mana, or Vagrant Story will go absolutely bat-smurf crazy if you suggest doing the same for FF7. There really isn't any logical reason for this either. At least, not past the general "Do we really need ANOTHER sequel to this?" argument, but that's a hard case to make when we're talking about people who didn't really get into the series until it was the second or third largest series of games ever made.

So we most likely have people here who either A- consider FF7 to be this sacred, untouchable be-all and end-all masterpiece, not to be corrupted in any way shape or form, or B- are really freaking sick of the franchaise, and looking for some sort scapegoat so they can turn their back on it in a dramatic fashion.

In any case, here's the point. It's a highly successful videogame. This means people will buy things that have any sort of connection to it. Hence, such things get made. It's good for the company, because they get easy sales. It's good for the people buying the stuff, because they get more of a connection with a game they love. If this stuff doesn't appeal to you, just don't spend your money on it. Simple enough.

On the other hand, there is a certain ethical line that must be drawn when it comes to squeezing cash from a franchaise. The unplayable mascot filled kart racing game. So by all means feel free to spit upon Chocobo Racing.

 
If he were serious, I may have had a heart attack.

Hey there, g,

Just a few questions from a loyal reader today.

First off, I'd like to know what RPGamer's explanation for covering the Legend of Zelda series is. After all, save perhaps the second title in the series, none of the Zeldas seems much like an RPG to me. If you're going to cover LoZ, shouldn't you cover the Metroid series, too?

Secondly, I just picked up Shadow Hearts, but a friend of mine tells me that Koudelka is actually something of a pseudo-prequel to SH. My question to you is: Is SH a sequel to Koudelka in the way FFVII is a sequel to FFVI or in the way FFX-2 is a sequel to FFX? If you recommend my playing it before I play SH, would you please loan me your copy (my address is included at the end)?

Third and perhaps most important, I was wondering about the remakes of FF7-FF9. It seems strange that I haven't seen more coverage of these on RPGamer; AccurateReleaseDates.com says the set is due out on November 6th. Anyway, I was just wondering if you plan to pick these games up. If you pre-order, you get a wallscroll of Shiva battling Ifrit.

Seriously, though, why does RPGamer not have a release date for The Minnish Cap? IGN says it's due out November 16. I assume that's an American release date; am I mistaken?

Thanks for the time, g.

-jaraph

Googleshng:
Let's see... my date scanning says 11/4 for the Japanese release, 1/10 for North America. We haven't really said anything about that since it was announced at E3 though have we. Shame that.

Oh, and for anyone seriously wondering about the answers to those joke questions, respectively:
You'd kill us if we didn't.
Actual sequel.
That idea fizzled.

 
Utopia

Hey,

The quote is from Diablo 2 Cain says it only a billion times if you have played it as much as I have. I don't really have any questions that are burning in my mind to get answered. Well maybe one. Can we stop with the whole this FF is better then that FF? We all have our own opinions and reasons for liking games. I have been reading since Thor was hosting and this keeps cropping up. Keep up the Awesome column!
Noasdi

Googleshng:
Oh, how I dream of a day when people stop comparing various FF games to each other. It will never happen of course, but what a wonderful day that would be.

 
See?

Do you think Final Fantasy IV is underrated? It seems that it never gets the attention it deserves.

Googleshng:
I couldn't resist. They were back to back in my inbox.

Anyway though, most people who mention FF4 to me are calling it the greatist thing since sliced bread. There aren't a lot of these people of course, but I think the quantity and intensity of these praises balance out well enough.

 
Monitors

Another way to connect a console to a PC is to get a video capture device (internal or external) for your PC. Of course, you'd also have to figure out which kind of video connector you'd need to connect it to your PC, as well as convertor cables if you want to run the sound to your PC as well.

Actually, I recently saw a video capture card at CompUSA that had sound inputs as well. I'm not sure how it passed the sound to the sound card, but I'm assuming that it does that with the video capture software.

--
R. Bemrose
Webmaster, VGMusic.com

Googleshng:
Between this and the issue of someone's TV cropping off the corner of SHC, I feel I should point out that what I play videogames on is a TV made primarily out of wood, with several nobs on the bottom to adjust the picture, two dials on the side to change the channel, and the only way to hook any game consoles to it are two little screws in the back.

It's a whole lot less hassle then what you people use.




The Last Laugh:

Seriously. I have Orcs and Sakura Wars in the same part of my brain right now.



Googleshng "Bad thoughts." @rpgamer.com

Bad, disturbing thoughts.

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