Monday, October 29, 2001 "where were you to hold my hand, do the things that we had planned?"     


You've probably heard that I dislocated my shoulder, which is the reason why I didn't write a column last week. My arm's good enough for me to type now, though, so here I am.

As for today's title, well, we're all in pursuit of something, I guess. In fact, we're all in pursuit of a lot of things, although what things these are and how they are prioritized always fluctuates. Always. Let's just say that I've gone through one of these so-called fluctuations in the recent, recent past. Confused? Good... don't want anybody to know what I'm really talking about anyway.

Within three weeks, both the Xbox and the GameCube will have officially launched. Two major system launches will have hit, three days apart. Will both systems sell out completely? Will one do great while the other fizzles? Anything can and most probably will happen. These are exciting times indeed, friends.

Also, something that may be even more important to some people, Dragon Warrior VII will be released in a scant few days. It's been heaven knows how many years since North America has seen a DW game (okay, I could easily find out, but I'm not gonna. Nyaa), and now we're finally getting what we've asked for.

Let's move on to the letters, shall we?

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    Guess the Quote Contest
    Try to guess (be specific) the quote towards the top of the page. If you're the first one to email me with the correct answer, I'll mention you in my next column.

    mad rapping puppy
    Whee. I've correctly guessed the last two quotes, but I'm never the first.

    This quote is from Parappa the Rapper, from the driving stage (stage 2).

    Id like to plug my site,


    But you're first this time! Of course, "I forgot to close the door. You forgot to close the door." is from Parappa the Rapper. What a great, quirky game. I haven't played Umjammer Lammy, the sequel-of-sorts, and I really have no desire to, as it's just not the same. I am looking forward to, however, and will be forced to buy Parappa the Rapper 2.

    And in related news, I just ordered a Parappa hat from Sony's PlayStation website. Not even knowing if official hats existed, I checked eBay first, to no avail, and then I went to Sony's site as a final stab in the dark before coming back to writing. Sure enough, they have them, and sure enough, I ordered one. Hooray for the internet!

    all signs point to "no way in hell"
    Heyo Aegis,

    I was just wondering.. do you think that a US release of Shenmue 2 for the DC will be possible sometime after the game's Xbox release?

    The reason why I mention that is because Resident Evil: Code Veronica released on the PlayStation 2 eventually. But, the only flaw in this possibility is that Sega cancelled it's original console release for the US! =/

    thanks man,

    No. Let it go, it's not going to happen. The release of RE:CV on the PS2 was in a completely different context. They did a port of a game from a system with decently poor sales to a more popular system. In the case of Shenmue 2, the DC won't be just extremely unpopular by the time the Xbox version of the game comes out; the DC will be extremely dead. The only time they could release it on the DC would be now, and they've already said it's not going to happen.

    As much as it upsets people, Microsoft made a very smart move in securing Shenmue 2. If you simply have to play it, you have no choice but to buy an Xbox.

    back to '95
    In your opinion, what are the easiest and hardest parties to defeat Lavos with?

    -Mike Lemmer
    "Never trust a beeping laser rifle."

    I'm going to answer your questions in reverse order.

    I don't remember if you can fight Lavos with just Chrono alone or not. If so, I'd say going one-on-one would be the most difficult. If that's not possible, though, I do know for a fact that you can fight him with just Chrono and Marle (I did so myself in a New Game+ to see the programmers' ending), and I'd default to that being the most difficult.

    As far as the easiest party goes, I really don't remember. I usually had Chrono, Marle, and Lucca, which worked well enough, but I'm sure there are much easier ways to go about it. I'd hypothesize that Frog, Magus, and Lucca would be a mad cool powerhouse. Or not. Check a FAQ before you take my word on it.

    Hey, Aegis

    A few Q's here:

    1) Should I buy Devil May Cry or Silent Hill 2?

    I've played neither, so first I'll warn to take what I tell you as pure hearsay. That said, it depends on what kind of games you enjoy. If you're more of a "twitch" gamer and like action games, I'd go with Devil May Cry. On the other hand, if you're more similar to some of our poll-takers who claim to play nothing but RPGs, Silent Hill 2 would probably be more fitting, as it has puzzles, more of a plot, and you can even tone down/turn off fights with enemies. Both have received good reviews from pretty much every source I've seen, so you probably can't go wrong either way.

    2) What do you think of the Xbox? I personally can't wait to play it!!

    Putting my love of the GameCube and my desire to see it dominate the market in the next few years aside, I have to admit that the Xbox has a lot going for it and should not be taken lightly. It's been getting a lot of undue bashing by just about everybody. Not to say that some of the bashing isn't due, but it's been taken to an extreme.

    The Xbox has a strong launch lineup (Halo and Dead or Alive 3, along with some good representations of most genres), it sports some cool features like the ability to link up 16 Xboxes to play Halo (though whether or not anybody will do it remains a question to me), and it really is a decent bang for your buck, as the hard drive and broadband adapter are built in.

    However, the Oddworld demo that Microsoft has been using to show the system isn't doing their cause any good (the demo's horrible, horrible), the rumors of many of the demo systems crashing and freezing have me a bit apprehensive, and I keep hearing word that Microsoft will launch with fewer and fewer systems. I'm not getting one at launch, no, but I'll get one soon enough for the Sega games to come.

    3) What are your three favorite games of all time?

    So hard to choose, so hard to choose. Samba de Amigo (crazy music game with maracas) has to be one of them. Super Mario 64 is one as well. Third would be Super Smash Bros. (soon to be superceded by Super Smash Bros. Melee for the GameCube). Honorable mention goes to Final Fantasy III (6j), which is still my favorite RPG.

    4) Where do you attend college?

    I go to school at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.

    5) How are your game(s) coming?

    Game development has been put on temporary hold due to schoolwork, my attempts at furthering my social life, and laziness in general. Though I've scaled my tentative plans back to having two games done for the GDC instead of three, I'm still determined to be ready. I've got a whole month off school for Christmas break, during which time I'm going to program like a fox.

    6) What's your favorite pizza ingredient?

    Italian sausage.

    7) What do you think about REZ since you're a self professed music game fan? I personally don't like the genre and I think I might be getting it.

    Okay. It's a music game, and it's a shooter. A shooter. And I don't mean a first-person shooter, I mean a Gradius-style shooting things shooter. I'm psyched like there's no tomorrow. I just hope they release something similar to the Japanese REZ limited edition set with the all the goodies here in North America. It's very unlikely, but I can hope.

    -Tomm, RPG Xpert

    Thanks for writing in, Tomm. I hope all your endeavors are going well, and I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

    dragon warrior
    aegis, (nod)

    A couple of questions for your person:

    1. Have you had a chance to play RPGamer's copy of DWVII? After that new batch of info today, I'm terribly, terribly excited. Could this possibly be the game that's better than FFVI?

    2. Speaking of best games, I don't recall ever hearing which game(s) you consider your favorite(s)...any chance of enlightenment?

    Thanks for the time, a. See you around.

    -jaraph "Why must college interfere with my gaming?"

    Although I answered your second question in Tomm's letter (see above), I'd like to touch upon your first one. No, I've not had the chance to get my grubby little hands on RPGamer's copy of Dragon Warrior VII, and that's probably for the best, as I'm just too busy lately. However, I do wanna get on a little soapbox here for a second.

    As I mentioned in the intro to this column, Dragon Warrior VII will be released in a few days. I was originally thinking about buying it not necessarily to play it, but just out of principle. I mean, if the game sells well, then Enix is much more likely to port all their upcoming games here. In contrast, if it bombs, who knows how much else we'll see.

    Anyhow, that was my standpoint on the game. I've since decided that I am indeed going to buy it. Not necessarily out of principle, though my reasoning stated above still stands. Rather, I looked through some of our screens and movies of the game and I'm very much intrigued. I mean, it looks like it may very well be the perfect combination of old-school gameplay with new-school elements. So, I encourage all of you, take a look at RPGamer's information on the game, and if it looks appealing to you, buy it. You may end up thanking yourself years down the road because of it.

    2d + 3d != 5d
    Wuzup Andrew?

    First off I'd like to tell everyone that their Monday Q&A guy is really cool and has a really comfy couch. :) Anywho, off to RPG questions. You mentioned to me before when talking about Dragon Warrior 7 that putting sprites on a polygonal background is a bad idea. How about explaining this a bit further? It'll give you a chance to spread your opinions to the masses. Well, have fun and we'll catch ya later.


    Yes, Barry was up in Springfield a couple weeks ago on a reconnaissance mission (or something like that) and had the pleasure of crashing at my place.

    As far as my views on "sprites on polygons," it's not that I consider it a necessarily bad idea, I just don't care for it in general. For those of you who are less tech-savvy, I'm referring to placing 2-dimensional characters (sprites) over 3-dimensional (polygonal) backgrounds. Good examples of this are Xenogears and the upcoming Dragon Warrior VII.

    I personally don't like blending 2D/3D at all, although I realize it is done for good reasons sometimes. I'd say stick to one or the other. However, if you must mix, I'd druther see polygonal characters over 2-dimensional backgrounds, such as in Final Fantasy VII.

    End of the Road:

    Well, folks, that's about all the mail that's fit to print tonight. I'll remind you all, for future letters, that I have not played Final Fantasy VIII (8, eight, ocho, got it?). Without fail I get at least one FF8 question each time I do a column, and it's not like I can answer them. And no, I'm not going to play it just because of that. I hope you all enjoy the column, as I enjoyed writing it.

    Mail some... mail to Google for tomorrow, okay?

    Andrew P. Bilyk is going to save the world. One night at a time.

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