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ASK MICHAEL
We're So Gonna Get Sued August 22, 2005

Michael Wyatt - 21:09 EST

IT IS WITH, a fair to moderate amount of pleasure that I present to you the first in a series of columns of questionable quality! If you aren't sure what's going on, read about it here, or click the helpful RPGamer Idol graphic on the right. If you're here for Googleshng, sorry, but his show has hit syndication. Check the archives. If you're here for your medication, you're just very, very confused. I don't think I can help you.

But at any rate, enjoy the column. Be sure to vote for your favorite columnist at the end of the week!




L E T T E R S
You think you old school?


Contestant Number One,

If you were to take me on a romantic date, where would we go and what would you do to make me feel special?

Oh.  Wrong contest.  My bad.
MICHAEL

You stopped just as I was getting intrigued. Drop me a line after the show and I'll answer all your questions.

Ahem. moving on.  I must say when I read your bio I was impressed.  Born
before 1985, Old School gamer, and that monkey. Simply mesmerizing.  But I
must ask - what's your beef with modern games attempting to recapture that
'old school' feel?  The two games that have salvaged an otherwise lackluster
PS2 RPG history for me have been Ys VI and Atelier Iris.  Two games which I
felt did a fantastic job of blending the core elements of early RPG games
with all the modern fireworks we've come to expect.
MICHAEL

I'm glad that, uh, my age is so impressive. For other fans of my age, I have good news: it'll only get bigger!

I generally don't like games trying to be old school simply because nostalgia is a dangerous, dangerous thing. As craptacular as many of the remakes have been, they feed off of memories of youth, something a new game can't ever do.

Ys and Atelier Iris are both good games, even deserving of mention as two of the best games of the past year, but neither struck me as particularly old schoolin'. While I could go off on a tangent about the parts of those two games that didn't work for me, I could do that about the best games ever made, and I don't w-w-w-w-want to give the impression that these two titles aren't worth picking u-u-u-up.

Oops, sorry. Sound glitch.

Also - since you're actually old enough to have played these titles in their prime - what's your experience with the Shining & Phantasy Star series?  I just can't rationalize voting for someone that was lured away from the two best 16-bit efforts ever by the crafty marketing power of Nintendo.  Unless I see more of that monkey.  I've been known to sacrifice my standards for cheap ploys.  Blame America.

- Ian

In all seriousness: Good luck with the contest, and have fun if you win.  We loyal readers certainly do.


MICHAEL

I assume you're refering to Shining Force and Phantasy Star, the two bastions of RPG goodness that Sega actually managed to get for their systems! The Shining series was great; I'm not sure where TRPGs would be without its pioneering efforts. It might not have aged that well, but I enjoyed it immensely, and still do with the occasional trip down memory lane.

Phantasy Star is a little bit more sticky for me, though. I didn't like the series as much as most other people, and it took me a while to figure out why. As stupid as the reason sounds, I didn't dig the sci-fi groove so much. Thematic elements aside, though, Phantasy Star was definately a big win for Sega. You say that the series is past its prime, but Phantasy Star IV is still a great play.



They are like ants from up here!


Howdy Q&A Contestants, One thing that really peeves me is all the people whining and crying about "world maps" you can walk across like a 20- or 40-foot-giant not being in many of today's RPGs. Personally, I don't mind that RPGs don't let you do this, given their, well, unrealism, and the fact that many RPGs feature largely, open, and yes, *realistic*, open areas, in my opinion, easily eliminates the need for "world maps". In many instances today, world maps are nothing more than big, barren wastelands designed to artificially pad out playing time. I do, however, mind the lack of transportation other than your characters' feet. A simple warp spell would be effective here, and should be implemented in any RPG. What's your take?

Regards,
Jeremy, the Duke of Otterland


MYKULL


The world map system is definitely an underrated part of the gaming experience. A play through Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana will show you what I think is a frustrating world map system. Your point is well-taken about games that manage to make wandering the world map a chore rather than a simple point-a to point b experience. With all the time we spend pointlessly wandering the world map, I'm amazing no one has made Exodus: Jewish Exile for the PS2 yet.

It's amazing to me that the world map system could have been done so well back in NES days; how I long for other games to implement simple Warp and Return spells. How is it that world map making has gone backwards?



THIS could happen to you!


hi there Q&A guys and girls,

im a very big fan of RPGS since FFVII(i also became a fan of anime two years
later and i like those anime action games but i hate MMORPGs) and for some
unknown reason when it was time to choose between XB,PS3 and GC i chose
XB(Long story,biggest mistake in my life)
MICHELANGELO

Hole. Ee. Crap. That's a sob story if I've ever heard one.

so now its time to choose between PS3,X360 and NRV so i was thinking to myself "DONT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AGAIN AND BUY PS3" but that company MISTWALKER thats is formed by FF Developers are developing games for X360 so i was thinking "SINCE YOU HAVE XB GAMES BETTER BUY X360 SO IT WOULD SUPPORT THEM" so right now im confused

can you pleeeeeeease advise me ?


MICHELANGELO

As much as I'd love to say "PS3!!!!111oneone", I'll refrain from such things and instead say "what's the hurry?" The XBox 360 certainly has done little to appeal to me personally, but it'll have plenty of time to try to win over converts while the competition is still gearing up. Nintendo's Revolution has possibilities, as well. In short, I'd say plan on getting yourself a PlayStation 3. Be patient, but if Nintendo or Microsoft do something unexpected, don't be afraid to seriously consider it.



The Nintendo fan club unravels


Dear Salt n' Pepa

I just noticed this recently but Nintendo is repeating history. Not only have they overly hyped a Zelda game that was inevitably delayed (again), not only have they dropped the price of a Handheld console that will probably die out as quickly as Pocket Gameboy (my opinion), not only are they abandoning another major system in its prime (my observation) while once again hyping a newer one, but they used the EXACT SAME Trailer Music for the first Twilight Princess Trailer they had that they used for Ocarina of Time's first Trailer. ....what is up with that?  Budget cuts?  Inside joke for Nintendo Execs?  Koji Kondo not cooperating with their demands?  That, and I'm looking forward to the day Chaos Field comes to Gamecube, or at least I hope it does.  And if you ask me, Square-Enix has been holding back on talent as far as Nintendo is concerned.  Crystal Chronicles and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance are Tiddlywinks compared to other stuff the big SE has cranked out RPG-wise.  Take your frustration out on this letter, it's good stress relief.

~Blade Galewind aka Mimeblade


TEMPORARY RPGAMER EMPLOYEE #32478

Squeenix holding back on talent when it comes to Nintendo? That's conspiracy talk! Seems like just business to me. Nintendo has a history of being a real pain in the butt of developers, and while that opinion has eased up in recent years, it hasn't disappeared. Combine that with the Gamecube's relatively small user base, and Square-Enix is wise to hold back. If Nintendo shows themselves more worthy, I have no doubt S-E will give Nintendo some love.

Having said that, I own a Gamecube and a fairly high number of games for it. The only time I regretted buying it is when they dropped the price 2 months later. Arg! Aside from that, I love my 'Cube. If a game comes out for PS2 as well as GC, I tend to prefer the GC copy. It's a great system, and it's kind of sad that it doesn't have more offerings. Twilight Princess' woes only compound this. The delay was massive, and it's hard to believe that Nintendo didn't see such a delay coming months ago. That said, I'll endure any delay as long as the game comes out better than Wind Waker. Yech. It always gives me little feelings of pleasure when I see Wind Waker for $19.99, and a used copy of the bonus disc that originally came with a WW preorder for $34.99. Ladies and gentlemen, justice is very, very sweet.



The fate of Fate of fate of Fate


Have you heard any new news on Fate of Ages for Xbox?  It would be nice to have a good rpg on xbox.

INTERNAL ERROR

I'm afraid that it isn't looking good for the fate of Fate of Ages. *ahem* Onisoft's website is rather unhelpful about current progress, and even offers a URL (http://www.onisoft.com/foa/master.html) that is woefully out of date. As Fate of Ages is Onisoft's first game, the company either needs some serious help in the marketing/PR department, or you can consider the game dead in the water until you hear otherwise. A pity, too. What little information there is on the game shows promise.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Alright, that was a lot of fun. If you don't agree, vote for someone else, and wish that I never, ever make it past the first round of RPGamer Idol. That large Send A Question link down there goes to a different e-mail account than usual, so please send your questions for the next contestant to that address, rather than the usual one. Violators will be towed.

Michael Wyatt is out of here. Perhaps permanently?


Send a Question

<subliminal>Vote for Michael W.</subliminal>

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