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Burn Out March 23, 2005

Googleshng - 4:00 EST

OK. That was a bit more time than one should spend playing surrealistic text adventures. Hopefully it didn't have any adverse effect on my mind.

open mail

read letter 1




L E T T E R S
type reply


Well, I finally picked up a copy of Shadow Hearts 2 (just 20 bucks at EBgames). I've heard such good things that I figured...why not? But I won't get to it for a while. Here's my priority list:

Finish The Lord of The Rings: The Third Age for Gamecube
Play Ys: Ark of Napishtim for PS2
Replay Shadow Hearts
Play Shadow Hearts 2

I want to replay Shadow Hearts because apparently, SH2 takes place shortly after the events of SH. Plus, I remember liking SH. Here's the problem: As I recall, SH involved some plot element in which it helped to have played Koudelka. I've never played that game, and probably never will.

So here's my question: If you've played Koudelka and SH, what aspects about the plot from Koudelka is it good to know when playing SH? Yes, I realize this could be counted as a "spoiler"...but you could warn people about it first.

Thanks for the help.

an RPGfan

Googleshng

Well, the really short answer would be "all of it" and the really long answer would thus be a complete plot transcript of the game. The reasonable answer of course is summarized in Shadow Hearts, which you've already played, and are about to play again. I'll give it a shot anyway though.

A few people (including the titular character), all for different reasons, investigate a Big Old Building, which has served various purposes throughout history, and which is home to That Weirdo. In a couple of these people's cases, this is because they have reason to believe that some guy is using That Book to try to bring someone back from the dead.

Aside from the blatantly obvious character connections that I can't vaguely hint at without spoiling Shadow Hearts for people, That Weirdo, the Big Old Building, and That Book are all pretty darn significant to every game in the series.



x second letter


Hey Googs.

In response to Mcslug's letter, Valkyrie Profile uses pre-rendered CG clips for the "Big Magic" spells. Plus cool incantations to go with em. I thought they were well done, personally.

Googleshng

No it doesn't. Long overly elaborate animations, yes. They aren't pre-rendered though.



read letter with gag


Hey, Goog.

People are always complaining about how the RPG genre has "lost its creativity" or "run out of ideas" and other such crap. Personally, I think there are still a good amount of quality RPGs coming out, so I don't really agree. But HERE'S my point: I don't think it's a matter of skill, the reason that there are more not-so-good RPGs is that it seems like most once-great game companies are becoming too CORPORATE! If you search the long lost records of gaming history, you'll find that even EA used to make quality games (although it's a bit hard to believe)! But once they got so "popular" and probably bought some companies and such, then BOOM, they're a 'corporation' concerned only with making money. And THAT'S what's happening to Square. Well, they're not NEAR as bad as EA, but they're gettin' there. I mean, most of their games are still good, but now it's about 1/2 "for gamers" and 1/2 "for money." So, the way I see it, it's just a cycle. I don't know if EA will ever go under, but the other companies that have gone 'corporate' do eventually. So, eventually, it'll be "out with S-E, in with Nippon Icchi/Mistwalker!" Or whatever. Anywho, my two cents.

Oh, and for the questions: What was the first RPG with a female main character? How exactly are the Koudelka/Shadow Hearts games tied together? What's Baten Kaitos like? When does SH3 come out in America? What wall do I hit with the disentigrating hammer?

Googleshng

Phantasy Star, see previous letter, very strange, after it comes out in Japan, and the one that needs breaking.

Moving on to your real letter here, there's a pretty serious flaw in your logic here. Let's say I'm a developer who no longer has that drive to create new and interesting games, I just want to milk my past successes for all they're worth. The best way I could possibly do that is to just perpetually make sequels using the exact same engine, graphics, music, and if I can get away with it, character designs, and port my old games to other systems. Nearly no effort, guarenteed cashflow. Now, I can think of a few companies that do this, but we aren't talking about any of them here. We're talking about a company that takes the same basic elements, and repeatedly throws them into a new engine, with a new graphical style and soundtrack. Still plenty of work involved, throwing away the guaranetee that people will like it. It's just that, at least in your opinion, they've lost their touch and no longer end up with good results. Greed doesn't really enter into that sort of thing, just loss of talent.



n


Recently I bought a used copy of Alundra (let me make it very clear here--it was the original, not the sequel) for $25. This past weekend I bought a used copy of Vandal Hearts (again, we are NOT talking about a sequel) for $7. Which would you say was the better deal?

Googleshng

Well... Vandal Hearts. It's pretty simple math here honestly. Good for you in both cases though.



ring bell


Well, you mentioned 'em, so I may as well respond. Other than Peasant's Quest, what good flash RPGs have you seen on the Internet?

Yes, I know Peasant's Quest isn't an RPG. But it's a random strongbad reference.

Googleshng

Well, seeing how Peasant's Quest clearly isn't an RPG, that would bring the grand total to uh... 0. In fairness, I haven't exactly seen a lot of attempts. Which, come to think of it, is rather odd.





C L O S I N G
Googleshng:

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googleshng@rpgamer.com


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