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   Welcome, guys and girls, to the temporary installments of Q&AK! I'm Brian Glick, and I'll be taking over until the flamboyant, grandiose, visionary, and irresistable-to-the-ladies Andrew Kaufmann returns to knock some craziness back into your lives. Until then, please email questions directly to me, so I can attempt to make your life even more meaningless!

Q: This is more of a opinion question. We all know a lot of Square's alternative games Parasite Eve, Final Fantasy Tactics, Chocobos' M.D. have all been based on previous games such as PE->Resident Evil FFT->Tactics Ogre, and CMD->Mysterious Dungeon series. And now for the question.
   What do you think of Square's recent turn for making copies of old games simply with a new world, chars, and story but same play mechanics and system? And of course, what unsuspecting game is next on Square's target list for Squarizing(or whatever =p)?
   Your friendly neighborhood mortician, Takuhi.

BG: I'd go even further back with some of those examples. After all, the Strategy / RPG format has been around for quite a while. The first one I ever played started waaaay back with Shining Force for the Sega Genesis. And similar elements from all of those games have been visible in games long before those. My opinion is that Square's simply using some of those overall engine ideas and improving upon them. After all, it's difficult to come up with a totally new gaming concept for each title. As the popular saying goes, if it ain't broke, why fix it? How does everyone else feel on this?

Q: With all of the new RPGs coming out in the next year, which ones would you personally suggest, and do you know which ones other RPGamer staff are going to get?

BG: Oh, boy. It's so hard to say, so many of them look good! The one that I'm probably looking forward to the most is Xenogears. Not only does it improve upon, yet keep, the "traditional" RPG format, it's also one of the longest games out there! And the fact that it's made by Square almost seems to guarantee a great storyline and gameplay.
   Another game I'm anticipating is Zelda 64. Nintendo did a wonderful job with the last two Zelda games for the Gameboy and the SNES, and the gameplay in Zelda can be summarized in one word: FUN. I'm hoping Zelda 64 continues this.
   Also, look out for something new to RPGamer soon: Game Reviews. They'll mostly be done by yours truly, and we're going to accept reader reviews in a separate section! Watch for it, it should be interesting.

Q: Did you notice that Breath of Fire 3 had nudity, but no actual foul language? And it actually would've been appropriate, in some cases. The word "dummy" is used quite a bit, and that gets damn annoying. Even Breath of Fire 2 had profanity, though mild. When you defeated the Gold Fly, he said "damn". No, it's not much, but it's an SNES game, so... Is nudity considered less offensive than language in Japan, or something like that? Were the Capcom censors drunk?
   -Lemur

BG: I haven't played Breath of Fire 3 yet, but now I'll certainly have to. *wink* Just kidding. This brings up an interesting point. Let's say you're a parent...what would you rather have your kids see? Swearing, or nudity? After all, there's nothing obscene about the human body, as long as it's portrayed maturely in video games. And although I haven't played BoF3, I suspect that the use of nudity in the game may not come across as strictly for artistic / storyline reasons...we all certainly know how immature game developers can be sometimes. (Not to mention some of the staff around here...*Brian ducks from a flying shoe*)
   Also, I do believe nudity is considered less offensive in Japan than language. From what I've heard, nudity is far more common on TV. Also, on a whole, the Japanese are far more polite to others than North Americans are.

Q: Dear RPGamer:
   I ADMIT IT! I'M A BIG PHONY! I CAN'T PROGRAM WORTH A DAMN! I HAVE TRAINED ETHIOPIAN SLAVES WRITING MY SOFTWARE! It would be best if my accursed bloodline was to disappear from the earth. Fare thee well. We'll not meet again.
   Bill Gates

BG: Oh, Mr. Gates, I'm disappointed in you! And all this time I thought you were programming Windows 98 yourself...

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