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ASK CORTNEY & ELLIOT
Geeks in Pink August 02, 2005

Cortney Stone & Elliot Guisinger - 23:20 EST

RAWR! I have returned to Q&A, and this time I've brought a good friend of mine along for the ride: Elliot Guisinger, Currents columnist and my personal chewtoy. Tonight I'm taking the lead, but tomorrow it's his turn, so be sure to go easy on him. I'm pretty rough with him as it is.




L E T T E R S
Hey now, we are a mystery man AND woman!


Hey there, mystery man/woman,
I gotta know, how can you find motivation to finish a game that you really enjoyed, but put down for a day or two and now can't seem to pick back up? This problem has plagued me for years and years, and as such, it makes me sad. Very sad.

CORTNEY

I had this same problem with Xenogears. What motivated me to finish was watching my husband pick it up and start playing it. That stirred the fires of competition! I immediately threw myself back into the game, and it became a race to see who would win first. He made it to the final battle first, but I ended up being the victor. Another way to get yourself motivated may be to talk about the game with friends. Discussing the game sometimes makes people want to play it. And of course, if you don't have friends, feel free to stop by our IRC channel! We'll be your friends, and we promise to not stab you...much.
ELLIOT

Lucky for both of us, I have that exact same problem. As far as a solution? Try electroshock therapy. For every day you don't finish a game you love, stick a fork into a socket. If that doesn't motivate you back into gaming, let me know so I don't have to do it. Otherwise, I'll see you in the peer counseling groups.

This letter seems terribly short, so I'll beef it up with some nonsense. Back in the day, I was inspired by a tv show depicting the Al Gore DDR game, and it got me to thinking: Why don't we just pick our leaders by DDR? Can't you just imagine George Bush stomping out those freeze arrows while Kerry nimbly freestyles from side to side? I've thought long and hard about it, and I see no inherent flaws in the system. Cheating would be terribly difficult, and the loser could be mocked endlessly. And think! No messy recounts or other scandals, just two aging scumbags dancing their butts off. Seriously, If they'd adopt this system, I think we could get today's youth interested in politics again!

CORTNEY

Do we really want someone who can dance around? Politicians dance around the real issues enough as it is!
ELLIOT

I'm not sure I'd want a President who would kick ass at DDR, though. Everytime they made a public address, they'd be all sweaty and tired looking -- plus they'd stink something awful. No, I think the best method to decide the ruler of a nation is the best method to make any decision -- rock, paper, scissors.


Telling Tales


Dear Andrew, Do you guys know if Tales of Rebirth is going to be released in North America? While playing through Tales of Symphonia, I've gotten really curious about the other games in the Tales series.
Thanks! :D
-SK

CORTNEY

It doesn't look like Tales of Rebirth is going to make it over here anytime soon. Have no fear! Tales of Legendia is bound for our side of the world in February of next year, as reported by my lovely assistant, Elliot Guisinger, in this article.
ELLIOT

No.


Sample my goods!


Hello Mystere,
First, I would like your advice on a couple of RPGs I want to seek out. I'm not sure if these games are actually worthwhile purchases like Atelier Iris or SMT:DDS so I was wondering whether Dual Hearts, Shining Tears, and Boktai 1 and 2 are cool or crap. So, what's the verdict?

CORTNEY

I haven't played any of those, although Billy Young owes me a copy of Boktai. Dual Hearts got a rather bad review by Castomel, so I've been avoiding it. Shining Tears also got a bad review from a staffer as well. Friends don't let friends play bad games. Boktai 1 must be pretty good, because they made a sequel and a third title is in the works.
ELLIOT

Fortunately, I haven't had the misfortune of playing those games, but from what I've heard from many people, your best bet will be to go with either of the Boktais. Stay as far away as you can from Shining Tears and Dual Hearts, though -- unless, of course, you like bad games.

Second, recently there have been a couple of games released that have become instant classics on their own merit like Makai Kingdom and Atelier Iris. I was able to preorder them and pick them up before it was too late. However, I can't wonder whether or not there are going to be a few more games with this status coming up on the horizon. Besides Lunar: Dragon Song, the third game in the series since Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, are there any rare cult-status games that are worth reserving for or not?

Thanks for any response if any.
BLG

CORTNEY

Wild ARMs: Alter Code F is coming up soon. I saw this one at E3, and it looks great. It's been delayed and delayed, but it's all for the best, I'm sure. This is the title I've been drooling over for quite some time. Another upcoming title is Popolocrois. It seems to have a niche following.
ELLIOT

If you're looking for upcoming games that will likely fly under the radar, but receive cult popularity, the Shin Megami Tensei series seems to consistently fit those shoes. So I'd keep an eye out for Digital Devil Saga 2. Magna Carta is another one to look out for, and if you have a PSP, I've got a good feeling about Popolocrois as well.


Changes are hard to accept


hey andrew , i have no idea where to send this so i am hoping if i send it to you , then you might help me out.The new pages for screenshots of games are not as great as the old ones. The old pages had funny comments and to me were a lot better then what u guys have now. I hope you guys go back to your old ways. Thnx

CORTNEY

Sorry to disappoint you, but we aren't going back to the old template. We changed the look of our media pages because we got a new thumbnailing/watermarking program (thanks Chris!), and our readers kept asking us to change to a thumbnailing system. Also, it's a pain in the bohonkus to think up all those captions. Believe me, I know. Sometimes it's easy to be funny and get on a roll, and sometimes you're staring at 10-20 screens of spell animations, and the cliche "Ooo, pretty colors!" is no longer an option.
ELLIOT

That's fine and all, but I didn't see a question mark, hence totally defeating the purpose of this forum. Away with you, sir.


Goog is gone! Gone!


Hi there whoever is filling in for Googleshng,

I thought I'd chime in with this, the Key above an enemy or item in Makai Kingdom means that when that object is destroyed or tossed out of bounds then a new section of the map will open up leading to new items to steal and/or new baddies to fight

I agree wholeheartedly with Castomel on the suckiness of FFTA

And Makai Kingdom is very short, I'm 5 or 6 battles from finishing the thing, and the story segments aren't as entertaining as I thought they would be, but the gameplays a good deal better than Phantom Brave, but I wouldn't say NIS is killing the genre, just too many people expect the next Disgaea, they don't get it and assume that because NIS' new game isn't further demon antics with Laharl and co. that NIS is pumping out crap sorta like how people hate FF8 for not being FF7 part 2

And um uh as for a question... which game should I play after I finish Makai Kingdom.

Aetlier Iris or Stella Deus?

Arros Raikou

*hopes no one is mad at him for borrowing the source code to make his sample collumn*

CORTNEY

Hey now, FFTA isn't that bad. I've played a little of it and I've liked it so far...although not enough to play it on a regular basis. As for your next game, go for Atelier Iris. I keep hearing good things about it. With Stella Deus, it's a different story. I believe Heath once called it "Stinka Deus," which is not the usual comedic gold he shares in the staff IRC channels, but it seems to be an accurate assessment.

Oh, and it's not too awful that you used source code as a template for your submission. Just don't do that again. One of the first lessons you'd learn, should you be hired, is to never EVER copy source code. Those that do not learn meet the business end of Paws's very experience castration knife. See her threat in the reaction thread to the hiring notice if you don't believe me.
ELLIOT

Having never played an NIS game, it's hard to say, but let me take a crack at it based on things I've read and/or heard. If you want another tactical game, go Stella Deus, but be forewarned -- you won't have a pleasant experience with it. Atelier Iris is not a grid-based tactical game, but it's still an RPG and it's not bad -- not great, but certainly not bad. If I were you, I'd go with Iris.


A question about Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life


how many hearts does it take to purpose

CORTNEY

I haven't played this game yet, but I checked around, and it looks like four hearts is sufficient for a proposal. Good luck snagging the guy of your dreams!
ELLIOT

If by 'purpose,' you mean 'propose,' then the real-life answer is none. All it takes these days is a fat wallet and a shiny rock to condemn you to a life of servitude.


???


Dear Host de jour,
After many unsuccessful attempts to convert my younger brother (who's mostly an FPS junkie) to RPGs I was shocked when, after watching me play the copy of Fable I had gotten for Christmas but not had a chance to play for want of an Xbox at college, he started his own profile and has now put more time into the game than I have. When I asked him what exactly he liked about it, he said he really enjoyed stealing stuff. Now I'm trying to figure out what other games he'd like based on that and the fact that he was completely indifferent to the Thief series when I rented it. Any recomendations? Also, since I want to buy him (OK, actually I want to buy it for myself, but I'm rationalizing it this way) a copy of Fallout or Fallout 2, do you think either of them would work on a fairly new, Windows XP running computer?

CORTNEY

Well, I'm PC-RPG-stupid here, except for FFXI, so I can't give you a straight answer. Sorry.
ELLIOT

The only other RPG that comes to mind where the character has total virtual freedom is Morrowind. Your brother will be able to steal to his heart's content in that game. RPGs aside, that one game series seems to be all the rave these days... Grand Theft Whatchamacallit.

As far as Fallout, I can't forsee any problems, but you never know. I'd go to the game's official website and see if you can find anything out about how it runs on XP.

Part two: if you had to choose between two kinds of writing for RPGs, the first of which emphasized epic confrontations and grand themes (Like the Final Fantasies, especially Tactics) or a style that turned out great dialogue and characters, but with more superfical overall arcs (Like the Lunar games or even Disgaea) which would you choose?
Eakin3

CORTNEY

I can't choose between the two. I prefer both! Sometimes I'm in the mood for something epic and thought-provoking, and sometimes I want something that will make me laugh.
ELLIOT

Grand themes, all the way.


...


Hey Andrew
I saw that they need a new Q&A person and I was wondering who is leaving is it you or google??

-Clayton

CORTNEY

No matter how hard we try, we just can't get rid of Cas-- er, I mean, Castomel is staying, and Googleshng is gone for good, as it says in the hiring notice.
ELLIOT

Actually, I think it's you, Clayton, who's leaving. Didn't you get the memo?


Single anime chick seeking Slayers Wonderful


hi i was wondering where you could get slayers wonderful in english for the ps1 and well if you could mail me here and tell where i could get a copy. thanks for your time ~a single anime fan girl~ ~lost and alone ~cassie

CORTNEY

The best place to check is ebay, but I looked there tonight and found nothing. I also hunted around the internet a bit, but only found import copies for sale. Slayers Wonderful doesn't seem to have ever been published in English, according to our game page...which is where I should have checked first before hunting for an English copy. D'oh!
ELLIOT

See above.


Old news


what is going on with Square soft ? i just read that even more poeple and the director of FF12 got out and went to MW ! this news is from http://www.the-magicbox.com and they got it from 1UP.com

- 1UP reported that Square Enix's Yasumi Matsuno no longer works as the director of Final Fantasy XII. Yasumi Matsumo is the director of Vagrant Story and the Final Fantasy Tactics series. It is also reported that a small part of the FFXII team has left the company for Hironobu Sakaguchi's Mist Walker

i have a feeling that square's next projects will no longer equal the quality of their earlier ones but what do YOU think RPGAMER ??? please reply me as fast as possible

CORTNEY

First of all, Squaresoft no longer exists. Second, this is rather old news to us. We reported it the other day. Third, Matsuno left because of health reasons. The part about FFXII team members moving to Mistwalker has not been confirmed yet; such a move would not be surprising though. Fourth, one cannot predict whether or not SE's projects will decline. They might suck...or they might be taken up by someone who could very well be the next Sakaguchi.
ELLIOT

It's been a long time since Square Enix has pulled off a project as good as its earlier games, so this upcoming trend of suckiness that you speak of has been around for a few years already. As far as I can tell, the mediocrity that we've become accustomed to will just continue on till the end of time. Either that, or they'll get even worse and we'll all have to get Xbox 360s.




C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

And so concludes another exciting episode of Q&A. Tune in tomorrow when Elliot takes on more of your letters. Feel free to ask him any questions relating to the business aspects of the game industry, as that is his area of expertise...at least, it's supposed to be! Of course, I'll be there to help as well!

Cortney Stone is the Head of New Updates.

Elliot Guisinger is the Head of New Updates's Chewtoy...and he also does something called Currents...whatever that is.


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