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ASK CORTNEY
Not Her Again! August 10, 2005

Cortney Stone - 23:20 EST

ANDREW BROKE HIS PROMISE to do Q&A last night, so here I am kicking it off this week by myself. Oh well.




L E T T E R S
Conforming to Individuality


Am I the only one who thinks that just because the guy who made Final Fantasy is working on two Xbox 360 games doesn't mean they'll be good?

CORTNEY

No. I've heard others say the same thing. I hope it doesn't bother you that you aren't unique!

P.S.: why can't I access the RPGamer awards for the year 2000?

CORTNEY

Well, it's linked right over here...bah, someone moved it. Sheesh. OK...let me rummage around in here for a bit...let's see...not that...not there...*crash* oops...

Aha! Here you go!


To my side, noble Einherjar!


I was skimming through eBay a while ago-- looking for a copy of Suikoden 2 that was less than $120, basically (why does it seem to cost so much, anyways?) When I stumbled upon a copy of Valkyrie Profile for about $70. I had some pocket cash that was begging to be spent on mildly obscure PlayStation Enix games, so I decided to go ahead and buy it. When it finally arrived at my house, I shred open the package in an unfathomable amount of ecstasy, and to my delight it actually came with the original instruction manual. I slid that baby into my PS2 and played until the sun came up. After a few hours of actual game play, I began to realize the sinister plan behind this game. My goal was to find these people in their near-death experiences, and "offer" them a place in Odin's army. You build these people up-- and then give them away. This was disastrously upsetting to me for some reason. You find these people-- learn their story-- beef them up a bit-- and then whore them away to Valhalla. Am I the only one that was somewhat thrown off by this? I like the story premise a lot. I like Lenneth a lot. I like that when a person comes over and finds it, I kind of hover behind them and tell them about how it cost me $70 as I treat it like a moose head over my fireplace. They naturally ask if they can borrow it and I agree, and they tell me days later that I got ripped off big time. This makes me feel like I'm being incredibly shallow about the game, because most of the people that I have lent the game to are frothing goons. Thoughts?

CORTNEY

My guess is that the value is due to the rarity, rather than the quality, of the game. However, some people love the game a lot, so even though it didn't appeal to you, some people swear it's a great game. There is only one solution! Send me the game. Maybe I'll like it!


I'm not Castomel, but I can do a great impression of him when he isn't looking!


Hi Cast
Can you give me a good definition of second-party development? I get 1st and 3rd, but 2nd eludes me. (Wow that sounds bad...)

CORTNEY

I tried to look this up, and you know, it eludes me too. I asked my coworkers, and Zachary "ASV" Lewis gave me this answer: "It's when a company owned directly by someone like Nintendo makes a game."

Also, speaking as someone who has not played any Harvest Moons since the SNES, I wonder whether the newer ones have advanced the gameplay mechanics enough to reinterest me? Or is it just more of the same but 3D?

Peace
HHHiryuu

CORTNEY

The newer ones are more advanced. The premise is the same, but the methods are more complex. For example, you can create hybrid seeds. You can also be more involved in your child's life and actually influence him in his choices for the future. You can also breed cows with a bull, instead of just using "miracle potion." Some of the more tedious tasks have also been streamlined for more efficient management and smoother gameplay. You really should rent one -- I recommend A Wonderful Life -- and see if you enjoy the advanced gameplay.


Love and Hate for Square and Enix


Here;s one for you...I really don't keep up on a developers/producers financial state, so long as they pump out games that I like. Final Fantasy falls into this catergory, and I noticed that the once fabled SquareSOFT, which made almost nothing but greatness, soon became Square EA, which produced hit and miss titles, lastly followed up by Square ENIX, which makes a good game, well, not as much as Square EA did. Nonethelss, I stuck my ground and tried to love the company that raised me more than my parents did. My question is, at what point did EA leave the Square merger? Did I just miss the big news announcement that EA was splitting, or was it a silent tradeoff to Enix? I know this is old news but i really missed the shark here. not that Squenix is bad(*tap,tap, tap,SwordOfMana, KH:COM*)...okay, Squenix has problems, but I will grant they are trying to atone for past sins. Obviously they are pouring a lot of work into the FF7 world, except giving gamers what they really want, an FF7 remake. It really should be common knowledge to them that the remake would sell enough for Square to buy it's own name back if it wanted, provided it wasn't handled by the Vagrant story team, so why deny dedicated, franchise loving geeks like ourselves what they know would be nothing but profit for them?

Lerchimus Prime X

CORTNEY

Square and EA never merged. EA just published some of Square's titles in a joint venture company called Square EA, which was 70% owned by EA and 30% owned by Square. EA didn't "make" any of the games; Square did.This was not very profitable, so EA bought Square's holdings of the joint venture. I'm not sure when this happened.

As for why they aren't making a FF7 remake, the answer is obvious: to absolutely befuddle the fans.


Simple and Clean?


Greetings,
I am really interested in buying the sheet music (piano) for the Kingdom Heart's theme song by Utada Hikari. Any leads for me? I've struck out with the traditional sheet music providers in the U.S.

Thanks,
Toni Rieger

CORTNEY

Today is your lucky day, Toni!


A question guaranteed to fill your heart with joy!


u know atlier aris etarnal mana if u do i need help on it im at the part where i got 2 do this puzzle at the kaludas play ground chess type thing lol were u got 2 place the chess pieces the right way its hard a lot my email is or my 2 emails are [email deleted for privacy] email me there pls thx bye if u dont ill cry sobsobsob

CORTNEY

Actually, I don't know what you're talking about. However, my newsie minion, Billy Young, does. He told me to tell you to place the white pieces at the four corners, or to place four of the red pieces in the corners, fight a battle, then place the last red one in the middle to obtain a new skill for Norn.


If it was true, we'd post the news


Just out of curiousity, since the first two games Norrath were so awesome, will there be a sequel to Return to Arms? For ps2 of course.

CORTNEY

Sorry, but it doesn't look like a third game is in the works. There are rumors of a third game, but no actual confirmation.


Andrew is Most Fabulous!


Most fabulous Q&A host,

The quote at the top is from Breath of Fire 3, Rei has a tendency to say this about, oh every hour of the game.

CORTNEY

Congratulations! Here's your reward. ~

I've been noticing that in some you will get equipment or abilities late in the game, that happen to be useless for how far you are. I was noticing this in FFX recently as I decided that I was gonna beat it. All of the weapon abilities you get late in the game are either on your legendary weapons,(which are also innately better) or they give you a comparable ability of a legendary weapon. Getting the stuff to make this equipment is also overly time consuming. Why give you the ability to make equipment that is expensive, time consuming to get, and worse than what the game gives you as a preset weapon? I thought the whole point of a game with such such a customization system was to allow you to make stuff that is beyond what the found weapons will be.

This is less pronounced in other games, but sometimes you find yourself using the same equipment for a good chunk of a game, sometimes in that 25% range, not because you can't get what is new, but because what you have is the best. Sometimes this equipment isn't even hard to find. Is this the result of bad game balancing or of the game developers rewarding people who pay attention and don't grab whatever is new and shiny?

veserius

CORTNEY

Perhaps they are just implementing Scrooge McDuck's advice: "Work smarter, not harder."


It's Kit cloud!


I don't suppose one of you Q & A hosts could kindly do as I ask for once and refer to me as Kit cloud, as I once again point out, this is my parents email address.

Anyway If an RPG in the ilk of the Mario RPG's were to be made, assuming they have a decent group of developers both RPG and action platformer, based preferably on Sly Cooper or Rayman, what are the odds it would be as successful?

CORTNEY

I imagine the odds for its success would be pretty good. People seem to adore Super Mario RPG, although I imagine the quirky humor is really what kept them hooked. But I'm no industry analyst. It's really hard to predict what gamers will love. Look at Fable. It was really hyped, and lots of people looked forward to it, but once it was released, people realized it wasn't that great and that it wasn't what they were hungry for.

More seriously which(if any) of the DS "novelty's" is most likely to make interesting advancement in the realm of RPG's as Yoshi's touch and go and Yoshi topsy turvey advanced the platformer genre? On an entirely different note what does a harvest goddess do in harvest moon, I have only played A Wonderful Life and I'm cheap so I don't have a link or mineral town.

CORTNEY

So far, I haven't seen any truly innovative RPGs for the DS. It's possible that Lunar Genesis could raise the bar, but the biggest thing it seems to have going for it is making you yell into the microphone for the characters to flee from a battle. That may not even be a wise thing, considering how much I yell at characters anyway. "Oh no, you did not just do that! Grawr! No, wait! Don't run away! Argh!"

As for the Harvest Goddess, according to my husband, the expert on Harvest Moon (at least in this house), the Harvest Goddess bestows various divine blessings on your character, such as spiffy items or the favor of a girl. In A Wonderful Life, however, he said that she doesn't do that much. Indeed, I am one lucky woman to have married that man.

Don't you just love multiparters?

Kit cloud

CORTNEY

Yes, I do. They are a joy to code in HTML!


Ha Ha, Very Funny


Dear Strongbad,

I was wondering (based on RPGamer's informed opinion) about how much life the Playstation 2 has left in it in terms of upcoming RPG availability. I have a huge collection of them already and then some, but in terms of new RPGs for the PS2, how much more can we gamers expect to get out of the system? The reason I asked this is because my PS2 died recently (plays taps) and I had to get a refurbished one.

Also, Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 (should it ever come to the States) would kick Disgaea's Hiney BIG TIME.'

Importfully yours,
Blade

CORTNEY

I'd say the PS2 has a lot of life left in it. There are still new PS2 games being announced, and many more are pending Japanese releases and North American localizations. Just look at our lists of upcoming and recently released games.


Bwuh?


hi where do chocobos come from

thanx,

brooke

CORTNEY

From Final Fantasy! Duh!


Alas, Fan Fiction, I knew it well


I have a question (Yeah like a million others do too) I just saw the trailer for Final Fantasy Crisis Core now what I want to know is (Oh no Here it comes ) I know this maybe a stupid question but is that going to be a game or an anime I know it's on a PSP but I just had to ask, oh and can you tell me how to get to the Fan fiction section of the site because I stumbled upon it and I can't find it there use to be a link to it but it's not there any more Thanks

CORTNEY

Crisis Core is a game. The anime sequences are probably just for promotional purposes, but it's possible that they could be in-game cutscenes.

Currently, our Fan Fiction section is dormant, but the last update can be found here.




C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

And so concludes another exciting episode of Q&A. Tune in tomorrow when Castomel takes the helm once again...or at least, he'd better. Otherwise you'll get more of me!

Cortney Stone is the Head of New Updates.




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