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Buzzer-Beater April 9, 2006

Josh - 14:52 EST

Yet again, I'm getting this up really, really late. Luckily, tomorrow, I shouldn't have to! Weee! We've got some quickies today, so hopefully those'll pick up again. Also, people have written in, asking for me by name! Yay, I'm no longer "Matt" or "Bainick!"




L E T T E R S
I like swords.


Greetings Ouro (or whoever's on QnA when this gets picked up again...)

Well, I don't really have much rantatious fodder to rant about, so I'll get right down to it: yesterday, the issue of rpg weaponry came up. Since this is a fact that I actually have a tangible opinion about, I decided to write in.

Firstly, swords. Now, some people will say that they're horribly generic and to an extent, I'd agree with them. However, I reckon that there are some situations that are better utalised with swords. (well, you try and say that omnislash would look better with a mallet, go on-I dare you!) Besides, I own a couple of swords myself, so playing a character who can use these weapons puts them up a notch with me.

That said, what we need more of is characters who use whips. Why whips you ask? Simply put, they look cool. Besides, I can only think of Rydia (FFIV,) Quistis (FFVIII) and Jessica (DQVIII) who actually used whips and since I haven't managed to obtain DQVIII yet, that means I only really have access to two that I know of.

Granted, there is Ivy and any class that can use the sickle in soul calibur 3 that have access to whip-like weapons, but since we're focusing on RPG weaponry, I say we keep that out of the conversation for now.

Okay, what else to talk about? Ooh! Video game Mascots! My fave would have to be the Goombas from the mario series. Oh, so many hours I spent jumping on their heads. Good times, good times...

Well, that's it for me.

Peter 'Remove thyself from my leg!' Brennan.

Josh

Well, swords are great for their purpose. I mean, you can slash, stab, throw, slice, dice, neuter...anything you want! This provides developers the ability to use a wide variety of swords, ranging from 2-handed broadswords to epees! Character animations also play a large part in this, as the stance of a character should change (at least in newer games) depending on the weapon used.

On the other hand, they are still all classified as swords. One thing I really liked about Suikoden II was the fact that the main character used tonfar instead of your standard sword. Whether I perceive swords to be a detriment or a blessing to a game isn't really an issue, since that one thing couldn't possibly destroy a whole game for me...but I've been wrong before.

Whips are cool, I agree! They usually have really bad attack power, but make up for it by being able to paralyze, poison, or inflict other ailments upon unsuspecting baddies.



Why do people keep asking me about this game?


Matt, Josh, whoever....

Just some random points, all RPG-related of course. And considering that this is an RPG column, these should be right at home....

First off....I'm a little disturbed at all the bashing that Baten Kaitos has received on this website. Every time I hear it it's the same thing: "Bad voice acting! Bad voice acting, and a bad story!" The voice acting was horrible, I admit. However, nobody has mentioned the fact that you can simply turn the voices off, and rely on good 'ol reading skills. The scripting itself is fine; not pulitzer material, but definitely not shameful. The voice acting does have a way of ruining it, but that's a nonissue as long as you switch it off, no?

The story is less than remarkable, but it is engaging, and paced very well. The characters are, for the most part, quite interesting. However, what makes BK a good game is...well...the gameplay. The gameplay in BK almost never fails to be fun, and that's what matters most, right? It certainly had it's shortcomings, and I do wish they had done a better job on the story, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. And I'm not the only one who thinks that...go look up the scores on IGN and GameSpot. (Somewhere around 8.5 if I remember correctly.) I, for one, have great hopes for Baten Kaitos 2.

Josh

Like I've said before, I've never played Baten Kaitos, on account of me not owning a Gamecube. I do recall hearing good things about the gameplay in general, but lately, I've come across nothing but whining about the voice acting. This...I do understand where both sides are coming from. Sure, if the voice acting is bad, turn it off if the option exists! However, I find it hard to resist voice acting, good or bad. If I know it is part of the game, and I've already heard a smidgen of it, I'm going to have an inkling of what that character is SUPPOSED to sound like, and the voice will grate in my head anyway. For instance, I couldn't possibly imagine Auron having a different voice than he does in-game. My mind just discards the possibility.

Just a quick question...what did you think of FFVIII's soundtrack? This is on my mind because I recently picked it up, (the soundtrack, that is,) and became re-aquainted with the music. I really enjoy it, personally. The Succession of the Witches, A Sacrifice, and Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec are the three themes for the Sorceress, and I think they are some of the best enemy-themes ever. The boss theme Force Your Way is really nice. The battle theme, (which I can't remember the name of), is rather bland. However, Laguna's battle them, The Man with the Machine Gun makes up for it. I also have to admit that I really like Eyes On Me. The lyrics border on sappy, but the music itself is beautiful.

Josh

I really liked FFVIII's soundtrack. It had a very "modern" sounding feel to its songs, which fit the setting very well (by the way, the battle theme is called, "Don't be Afraid"). While the normal battle theme is pretty mediocre, I recommend getting the Orchestrated version from Final Fantasy VIII: Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec, arranged by Shirou Hamaguchi...I love that version. Force Your Way is all right...I like the final battle songs, "Maybe I'm a Lion" and "The Extreme." Those are both pretty good. "Martial Law" is good, as is "Compression of Time."

Another thing I'd like to ask....what's up with people describing Cloud and Aerith's relationship as a "love story?" It never struck me as a love story at all, in all the times I played it. It's pretty obvious that Aerith was after Cloud, but he never returned her advances at all. It always seemed to me that Cloud loved Tifa, but didn't want to admit it. I remember the scene in Cloud's mind, where he and Tifa pieced together his memories, he said outright that he went to join SOLDIER in order to impress Tifa, and then hid his failure so that she wouldn't know. Then there was the scene near the end of disc 2, (or the beginning of disc 3, I can't remember,) where they stayed behind together at the Highwind when everyone else left to find out what they were fighting for. That scene in particular made it seem like more than just friendship. Aerith and Cloud were definitely close, but not like that. What do you think?

Josh

Cloud and AeriS had something going on...but it wasn't pursued by any stretch of the imagination. Aeris tried to shove herself into Cloud's way, while Cloud honestly didn't do anything on his part. She's a homewrecker! She got what she deserved! I played that game hoping that Tifa would end up with Cloud, and feeling sorry for her when Cloud tried to hide how he felt for her. It was depressing, seeing two people who cared about each other so much fail to take a chance.

BTW, you think you have it bad at your parent's house with dial-up....I live in Middle Tennessee, in a place best described as the middle of nowhere, (although it has been called the Boondocks, the Hills, the farm, et cet,) and dial-up is the only thing I can get! My only other option is satellite internet, which costs a fortune to install, and a slightly smaller fortune per month! Stupid comcast, doesn't have service out here....grrr. Count your blessings. (Sigh).

Keep it up..the RPGamer column is flourishing in your hands!

Oliver.

Josh

Well, I don't know about Matt, but being at college has its perks...Cable internet everywhere! ^^

My parents' house is in a foreign country, South Korea, so when I visit, we have to 'pretend' we have internet. I'm just kidding, we've got cable over there, although the reliability of it leaves something to be desired.



Point-Blank Shot! Miss?


Hey Josh!

Dude, you look totally ripped in your bio pic. Let's spar if we ever meet! That'd be sweet to see how many ways you could make me a pretzel! =)

Josh

I'd totally kick your ass. Mweeheehee...

Despire the outward appearance though, I'm a complete sweetie. Now if ladies would just get past that stage of falling for total jerks, I'd be in business... :P

On the subject of weaponry...man I like guns in RPGs. Actually I'm fond of any long range weapon (I don't consider magic to be in the category of weapons. That's a skill, not a physical impliment, y'know?). I'm also partial to any unusual weapon. "Yeah Mr. Hero man...you may get a sword...but I have a nunchuku that splits into three sections, and it's not even sharp and I can *still* do as much damage as you do!" (I have Suikoden V on the brain.).

How do you feel about the keyblade in Kingdom Hearts? I gotta tell ya, at first I was leary. I mean...it's a big key. "Let's smack stuff with a key!" O_o But after you understand *why* the key's the main weapon you're like "It *actually* makes sense! Who knew?!"

Josh

Guns in RPGs don't make any sense to me. I can understand that if you have a futuristic setting, then...yeah. But 90% of the time, you're fighting enemies in such close proximity, guns are useless, and if they adapt the game to account for this, you miss if you are more than three feet away (I'm looking at you, Parasite Eve...). The keyblade was fine, in my opinion. At first you are wondering why the hell you are running around with a giant pole with crown-shaped teeth on the end of it, and then they explain it to you. As long as a game gives me a reason for doing something completely out of the ordinary, it's fine with me.

On a side note, I do have a couple of easy answer questions for ya. What games are you playing right now? Also, where did you get your nick, and do you know what it means? I've seen the word Ourobolus in the Strider games, and Strider Hiryu has a technique by the same name in Marvel vs. Capcom. Just really curious. I love unusual words, and I really don't know what it means.

Well, that's all for today, my good man. Thanks for fillin' in for Matt. You do an excellent job, man.

~Donovan

Josh

Currently, I'm trying to clear out my backlog (::points to the sidebar::). I'm trying to get XSII out of the way, since I'm practically done with it, then I'll move on to Grandia III (just started 2nd disc), then to Wild ARMs:ACF (bout 15 hours in), then Radiata Stories (just started), and finally, Romancing SaGa (bout halfway through Albert's story). In my spare time, I also dabble in Guild Wars and WoW.

Ourobolus is the combination of the words Ouroboros and Urobolus. The first is the correct spelling of the word, the second pertains to its usage in Xenogears. Ouroboros is the Gnostic (not that I'm Gnostic, or anything) symbol of a snake/lizard biting its own tail, symbolize birth and rebirth, black and white, yin and yang, etc., etc.

I'm filling in for Tiptail! :P But thank you for the kind words!



Man, I thought she was going to ream me for my Tifa comment yesterday.


Hey, just thought i'd throw in my opinion on the female lead/female gamer situation, so here we go!

Well, I'm a female gamer myself and I know that I'm certainly not a fan of female leads. The only female semi-lead I have ever taken to is Rose from Legend of Dragoon (yeah yeah nobody likes that game but you have to admit she was cool!)

I seem to get really annoyed at female leads because I always think that they're trying to make women look like so much more than an extra party member and I don't think they should be. I can accept female characters, oh yeah definitely, the male lead always needs to find someone to fall in love with or something. It's practically essential! Some of them arent half bad in battle either.

Let's use Final Fantasy as an example seeing as everyone can usually relate to that.

Aeris in FFVII was absolutely terrible in battle, and not once did I use her healing powers. Fair enough I did feel terribly upset when she died, but not nearly as much as I would have if i'd used her a bit more...

Lulu in FFX is the opposite. She's strong charactered, and excellent in battle. But I think if she had been the main character she would have annoyed me.

Now...let me try and make sense of what I've been trying to say.

It doesn't matter that I'm a female gamer, I still prefer male leads, and I don't find it difficult to relate to them at all. If anything, I find it harder to relate to the females as they irritate me so much. I dunno, I'm guessing that some game companies think a female lead will make them look like they're not sexist or anything?

Truth is, we don't care! we prefer male leads so much more! And please, if you're going to have a female lead, I'm begging you to stop trying to make them as warrior like as possible. Male leads aren't usually completely warrior like, so why should the female? Just make them a copy of a male lead, but make sure they have some female qualities.

That's me done really...long letter. Can't really remember what the point in this was, and I did a terrible job in getting my point across too!

Thanks anyhoo

Stef

Josh

Oi, now what we have 'ere is the legendary female gamah! Watch closely as I sneak up be'ind 'er and...

You forgot to mention that many male leads already have female qualities, and all we have to do is tack an 'a' onto the end of their name to change anything...(Squalla? ::shudder::). But seriously, I think you can have a female character that is just as well-developed and engaging as their male counterparts. It's all up to the developers to create a story that fits the character, and also isn't so far-fetched that the character can be pretty believeable and interesting! Lulu wouldn't have worked, because he backstory was lame, and she wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped. She was essentially the 'big sister' for Yuna, keeping her in check and harassing Tidus whenever possible. The nice thing about FFX was that it made all characters equally useful in battle by giving them strengths, as well as pitting them against enemies that were weak to said strengths.



Open mouth, insert foot.


Dear Matt/Ourobulus/Tiptail/Bainick/anyone else who wants to answer...

In response to yesterday's letter concerning Gamestop's acquisition of Babbages and Funcoland (may their souls rest in peace), I thought a note of interest might be that Gamestop aka Nefarious Hegemony of Gaming has also recenlty bought Electronic's Boutique. HOWEVER! As of yet, nothing really big has changed. But I sure as heck expect it to. Anyway, the source for this is my brother, who works at an Electronic's Boutique.

As for RPG's...You played KH 2 yet? It's pretty good, but I still like the first one better so far. Oh, and for everyone who has seen my little sig line "undeniably", it's true. I'm simply undeniable.

Undeniably (It's true, I tell you!),

Ganon0

Josh

Ah, ok then. Well, EBGames hasn't changed their name yet, since I drove by the store today and the sign was still there.

I really really want to play KH2, but I have to get my backlog out of the way or it'll never disappear. ;_;

AAAAAARRRRGGGHHH!



QUICKIES


Ouro,

Here's a quickie for you.

Why do you think there have been no updates on FFV and FFVI for GBA?

- Macstorm

I figure S-E was just waiting to see the success of FFIV first. Beats wasting development time on something that isn't well-received. Besides, they've been pumping out titles like Grandia III and KH II lately. Give 'em some time to rest!

how can i get a stronger weapon on hard mode besides a musashi +35 or wheere can i find one?

First, you must climb the mountain of Sqafemag, then call out loudly to the gods in the proper tongue. Should you fail, you will be given the lesser-known quixote +2, which really only pales in comparison to the musashi +35.



C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Sweet. Quickies work. I think I might as well just stay up until PT. No point in sleeping now.

I'm still interested in hearing your thoughts on RPG weaponry, but...on a side note...any of you psyched about the upcoming Silent Hill movie? I know it isn't RPG related, but...I love the series, and it looks like the movie is going to be true to its origins. I can't wait!!

See you tomorrow!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh isn't going to get sleep before PT. Sigh.


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