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In the PSX:
SaGa Frontier 2
too hard
In the Genesis:
Shining Force
dededede! dididididi.
In the Gameboy:
My cousin's copy of Pokemon
In the SNES:
In the SMS:
Phantasy Star
In the NES:
Poor little thing.
In the Saturn:
No games yet
In the N64:
Neck neck neck neck reload.
In the Dreamcast:
Soul Calibur
This victory strengthens the soul of... Shiggy!
Googleshng - March 14 '00- 1:30 Eastern Standard Time

I've been looking for a job all morning, not fun. I think I found one though. Now then, I was really surprised at the lack of defense for the X-Box. It seems you all truly hate Microsoft. That's pretty darn informative actually. If the people who write in to me are pretty much unanimously against the X-Box at this time, it doesn't bode well for it's release. Also, last night I had a chance to look at those X-Box demos and they really aren't very impressive at all from a technical standpoint. You could make things that look like those on any of the new systems without a problem. That's actually something that's been bothering me lately. People keep talking about how much better every system is to its competition, but it's just reached the point where it doesn't matter. If you can do something like render FF8's dance scene in real time, then you have more than enough power to do anything you want in terms of actual in-game graphics. The only statistic I can think of which can still benefit from upgrading at the momment is storage space, and in that respect everyone is pretty much on even footing.


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Very good points

Everyone else seems to be throwing their opinion (with various degrees of sophistication and maturity), so I thought, hell, why not?

The X-Box, and I'll say this right off the bat, looks to be an amazing machine. I've seen the screenshots, and the specs, and they're stunning, and I as of yet haven't seen any movies (damn 36.6k connection), but I'm sure that they're just as impressive.

But as we all know, simply graphics don't make a machine (although some statistics about games sales and movies may sometimes contradict that).

I'm not saying the X-Box is going to flunk, not at all. Not only does it look very impressive, it also has Microsoft's massive PR machine behind it. But there are some problems which may limit it's popularity.

First of all, all the major console developers so far have been Japanese (Nintendo, Sony, Sega, all Japanese). Most computer software developers have been American. It also seems that the popularity of these respective systems tend to remain in their country of origin (consoles are most popular in Japan, computers tend to be more popular in America). Consequentially, most of the console developers tend to be Japanese. And herein lies the problem. While there are many great software developers from America, Europe and Australia, some of the most amazing software comes out of Japan, from Japanese companies such as Namco and Square. Most RPGamers can appreciate this fact more than the so-called 'average' gamer. And, although not a rule, most Japanese companies loyalty's tend to lie with, well, Japanese companies. Japanese companies will, if possible, choose another Japanese company over a foreign one. And if they do not, they tend to be shunned somewhat. An example of this is when Nintendo decided to switch to Philips for help with their SNES CD addon, and a general feeling of rejection from other Japanese companies.

A similar situation may arise with the X-Box. While Japanese developers will probably develop for the X-Box, I suspect that the 'big' developers' (Namco, Enix, Konami, etc.) participation will be minimal. That's not to say that the X-Box will have few games, quite the opposite. Many American developers will probably tend towards the X-Box and (if I dare say so) the PSX2.

My hypothesis on the X-Box/Dolphin/PSX2/Dreamcast popularity affair is that it will probably mimic to some extent the ways the the N64/PSX/Saturn popularity varied on either sides of the Pacific. In the US, probably the PSX2 and X-Box will reign (Dolphin is debatable). This is probably because a large range of action games will be available on both systems. On the other side of the pond (or on this side, depending on where you're reading this from) the PSX2 and Dreamcast/Dolphin will take the top places in the popularity contest. This'll happen because an abundance of titles tailor-made for Japanese audiences (simulation, RPG, 'wierd', etc.) will appear here. The same thing happened with the N64/PSX/Saturn. The PSX and Saturn were the most popular systems in Japan, because they had a large range of games (particularly strategy and RPG). The Saturn held it's ground for a very long time, considering it was the most technically inferior of the 'big three'. In America, the N64 and PSX seemed to be the winners, because of the abundance of action titles. I'm not saying that ALL Americans like action titles, and ALL Japanese like simulations, but these are general trends that have developed over time, and I highly doubt that they are going to change all of a sudden.

So while the X-Box will be a worthwhile machine, it will probably not be the 'ultimate machine' that (some would say) Bill Gates is pushing for, at least not in the land where all of our best RPGs come from.

(please withhold my email address)

Before I respond to this, that last little bit there amused me. My policy is that unless someone specifically asks me to post their e-mail address, or signs with it, I never print it. It's bad enough that I have to deal with responses to people's letters, they shouldn't have to. 8) Anyway, this makes a very significant point. I can't name a single decent RPG made outside of Japan (although Aidyn Chronicles looks promising). I can see also that a lot of Japanese developers would disdain developing for a system made in the US. Not all companies of course, Capcom and Konami for example make games for EVERYTHING, but a lot could have problems in that respect.

Almost another topic
Hey Google,

I see that you have Shining Force in your Genesis. I recently dragged out my copy, but I've forgotten how the whole unpromoted/promoted levels thing works. Do you stop gaining levels after you're promoted? I lost my manual and FAQs don't really describe the leveling system at all.


P.S. Enjoy the attached picture. The Real Truth about the X-Box.

OK, as far as I can tell, it works like this. When you promote a character, in addition to dropping their level to 1, it brings down their stats by a certain ammount. However, after promotion, the benefits of going up a level are highly increased. So promoting is good in the long run, but it initially hurts your stats. So, if you can't handle someone temporarily becoming a total wimp, don't promote them until they're on level 13 or so, then they won't bottom out quite as badly. Oh, and this picture pretty much sums up everyone's greatest fear about the X-Box. 8)

Hey there slime,
I beat Suikoden 2 awhile ago and from the first moment I saw Seed, (one of the young general's in the Imperial Army) a thought popped into my head. Now I forget if you played Suikoden 2, but if you did, does Seed strangely remind you both physically and personality-wise of Squall from Final Fantasy 8?? Not only does he eerily resemble him perfectly in the face, but his black and greyish garb also looks like Squall's outfits, and his laid-back, misunderstood attitude also reminds me of Squall.... not to mention Squall was in the SeeD academy!! Do you think Konami played a big inside joke on us and see if anyone caught it?? Or maybe I'm an idiot. It's ok, tell me if I am!!! Thanks!!!

I haven't played it, no. I'm broke, remember? Anyway, I wouldn't be at all surprised at a subtle little reference like that, Konami does that sort of thing all the time. They're wacky people.

Short question, long answer
What's the definition of first, second, and third party developers

Ah, what a nice change of pace! Most people get confused by this concept because they equate it to first second and third person, by which logic 2nd party would mean games made by you. 8) Anyway, a first party developer means that the developer is the company that makes the system in the first place. For example, anything by Shigeru Miyamoto is a first party game. Same thing with all the Sonic games and the Phantasy Star series. A third party developer is what everyone else is. A comany that makes games for other people's systems. That means companies like Square, Capcom, Konami, you know, basically all of them. Second party developers are a bit odd. They're basically in the ame boat as third parties, but they've effectively sworn fealty to a particular first party. 8) For example, Rare is a second party developer for Nintendo. They make games for Nintendo systems, and only Nintendo systems. That answer your question?

Big pile of random crud
First of all...
All the X-Box is just an evil PeeCee in disguise, complete with Windows, from what I understand. What good is a console that crashes every five minutes? It's slowed by x86 code too. What a crappy idea, and it probably sell well. Its a shame to see all the mindless idiots who will buy it too. Now if Apple made an i-Box then id be in heaven. LONG LIVE APPLE!!! Speaking of Macs,

12. What do you think of Macs? (this should be at the end but im too lazy to move it)

Wow... it been a while since I wrote to, or even read for that matter, a Q&A. I haven't read since... well Thor. I decidided I'd tell you that your doing a great job, but now I must decide your Q&A worthiness. On to the questions...

1. How many endings have you gotten in Chrono Trigger?
Which ending was your favorite?

2. Are you excited about ChronoCross? I know I am.

3. What do YOU think of the X-Box? and not your "official" opinion but your actual opinion, like the one in the hidden text only not so hidden this time ^_^

4. If they all came out at the same time which would you buy first the X-Box, the Dolphin, or the PS2?

5. What do you think of the retro look for FF IX?

6. What is your favorite Final Fantasy?

7. Favorite RPG of all time?

8. Favorite PSX RPG?

9. Favorite SNES RPG?

10. Favorite Other RPG?

and most importantly of all

11. Do you like Anime? if you don't Ill never read your column again.

OK I am done now.

~This has been a completely pointless message from Kevin, lover of Anime, Chronotrigger, and all things RPG. Return to your normal life.

Well, I'm using a Mac full of anime pictures to write this column, and I think I've managed to make my opinion of the X-Box public knowledge just by not getting ticked off at all these people bashing it. 8) I am of course looking forward to CC, and I think the best ending in CT is probably the one when Lavos kills you honestly. "... but the future refused to change. BWEEEEEEEEEEE!" As for my favorite RPGs on every system, Xenogears, Dragon Force, FF6, Phantasy Star 4, the original Phantasy Star, and... hmm... the original FF?

Oh, HERE'S that pity letter. 8)
I'm sure this topic will be beaten to death, but I'd like to put a comment in FOR Microsoft. I feel a great many people attack Microsoft simply because it's the new trend. Everyone from Linux freaks to people who can't work a coffee maker figure if they can't find a reason, just blame it on Microsoft. The first comment I hear from everyone is that the processor is already outdated. How many of you are forgetting what speed the Playstation 2 is running at? In terms of frequency, it's been outdated for the last year and a half. Anyone that plays games on a PC knows that at this point, the speed of your computer isn't half as crucial as it used to be. Most of today's games pull their graphics prowess from whatever accelerated video card you have installed. Sony has touted the Playstation 2 as some miracle machine. It's not. It's a custom graphics processor paired with a custom CPU. Microsoft is doing the exact same thing, except pairing an Intel CPU with a custom graphics processor. As far as the machine running Windows, everyone seems to think that the machine will have a "Start" button or something. I'm sure the version they put in the X-Box will be heavily modified, and if Microsoft intends on making this console, it won't have "Blue Screens of Death". Windows gets a lot problems blamed on it, and most of those are user problems, not the operating system. Granted, there are problems, but most computer people will tell you that if you configure Windows properly, there aren't that many problems with it. Finally, the X-Box, no matter the quality of the console, has some good developers behind it. Microsoft has deep pockets, and the marketing power to make this work even if the system is utter garbage. If they can put out a system that's easy to develop for, great graphics, and good developers, they could succeed.

Wesley Fonvergne (Tadrith)

This letter is what keeps me from saying you're unanimously anti-X-Box, but even it isn't particularly positive. I guess someone should say something to the effect that the X-Box isn't nessessarily running Windows in the traditional sense, but I have yet to hear anything saying that it isn't, so I'm not touching that issue yet. Still, this reminds me (and please don't lynch me for saying this) of the conversation I was having with someone about how buggy and crashy windows is, and he proudly said Windows hadn't spontaniously crashed on him in 2 weeks. I just laughed my head off at that one, but since about 90% of you use Windows, I guess you might not see what's so funny about that. 8)

Alternative Lifestyle Quickies

You know, there's a search engine named after you.

-The monster under your bed

I can't prove it's really named after me, but search for: More evil than Satan
It certainly shares my views. 8)

In Suikoden 2, Vincent and Simone sure seem to be really fond of each other. I mean REALLY fond of each other.


That's 2.

For the reader who asked about homosexual main characters in RPGs, it's heavily implied that Asellus in SaGa Frontier is a lesbian.

That's 3.

i know of one although he is not major by any means

Scribe Shanky from Brave Fencer Musashi

-kilky "You spoony bard!"

I had to trim that down to make it a Quicky, but that's 4.

Hey I was just wondering what the name of your favorite author is again, if you could just respond to me would fine, you don't have to post it or anything like that.


That would be Roger Zelazny. He totally rules. Go find a copy of Nine Princes in Amber.

Decepticons Forever!

Spaniard Ravage


Hey! I don't whine!

- Paul Atriedes

You're whining right now! I'll stop picking on you though if you tell me who to bet on in the big game. 8)

The Last Laugh:

Wow, I have some cool quiickies left over. A few things I feel need saying. Someone thought the FF9 character designs look like Gelfings from The Dark Crystal... hey cool! They do! This person said they wished Amano was working on them. I have news for you, he IS. 8) A lot of people knew the quote on index this week was from the Dragon Warrior bashing tombstone from the original Final Fantasy in Elfland I believe. What's really amusing though is how many people guessed wrong. Either the wrong town, or a DW game, one person didn't know the signifigance of Erdrick (he's the most important character in the Dragon Quest/Warrior series).

Dias Diem did that, see how Gelflingy he looks? Now here's a good ol' CC pic.

Now THAT is a good one! 8) Oh yeah, the way things are going, it looks like the writers of the infamous X-Box story will be guest hosting this week to defend themselves.

Googleshng "W-w-work?"
Having to get a job sucks, pray that you never have to do it.

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