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Our Best Work is Done in Bursts
Amish - September 29 '02- 3:00 Central Standard Time
Whoops - a slight change in plans. This is Paul "Amish" Koehler from the reviews department. Our usual weekend Inbox hosts have been detained for the time being, so - once again, I return to fill the void.
Tomorrow, Googleshng will return as normally scheduled. Until then, enjoy my hackneyed attempt at an Inbox takeover (and efforts in answering the reader's queries) - all being done with a staff review, section update, homework, and dealings with women...whew!
Digging around in the old collection.
How's it going? Quick question for ya, I have the
three following games laying around, simply wondering
which one I should play first? Grandia 1, Xenogears
and Legend of Mana. Just tell me which you liked most, and which
you liked least.
Thx for your time,
In very quick order, Xenogears, then Grandia 1, then Legend of Mana. Xenogears is a large epic, and will take you a considerable amount of time to finish (around 60-80 hours). Even though it is a PlayStation title that is often sold used for $40, you will get your money's worth. Grandia deserves credit for its unique battle system, though if you have a PS2, try checking out the latest game in the series - Grandia Xtreme. Although some will debate my decision to put Legend of Mana last on this list,
I will stick to my guns and say it is the inferior of the three titles you mentioned. It's got great music, great visuals, and some interesting gameplay - but it's blasphemy to the rest of the Seiken Densetsu titles. (dons flameproof suit)
Retro vs. New-School RPGs, among other things
I've been wondering exactly what reviewers and gamers
alike desire from an RPG. As time has gone on, the
games have become more and more interactive movies.
That's fine, and I'd accept that, but then I
constantly hear whines about difficulty level and
combat being boring. Those elements are primarily
part of dungeon crawler games, a remnant of the older
days of gaming. Its hard to have a strong story
driven plot that would allow for enjoyable complex
fighting systems and the enjoyableness of item and
skill collection. Stories cause linearity in the
game, and having the long drawn out fighting sequences
between 'story' aspects would only weaken the plot or
cause confusion (i.e. Xenogears). There have been
great hybrid games over the years, Vagrant Story being
a great example. Some people will complain that the
fighting was too hard, the story too splintered by
fighting, not enough save points, bosses too hard,
etc. Others will complain about the limited numbers of
items and equipment, greatly reducing the replay value
and overall exploration. The game modified this with
dungeons that could be opened starting the game over,
but it was nothing in comparison to a true dungeon
crawler. Strong, difficult fighting systems with
integrated item/skills collection are not mutually
exclusive with a good story(i.e. FFVI), but they will
definitely limit the amount of story sequences and
character development. I guess my main point is that
people should learn to appreciate games for what they
accomplish and not worry so much about the overall
games' value. If you enjoy a long, challenging
fighting system, find a dungeon crawler and buy one
and whack away till your hearts content. If you want
story, then there is absolute no lack of RPG's with
great stories. Good hybrids are hard to make and
rare, appreciate them. Just don't whine when the
dungeon crawler doesn't have enough story, that's
When those succesful hybrids do come out, it also needs to gain enough publicity to sell a lot of titles - or gain a significant enough fan base to help game designers realize that they've hit a winning formula. Fortunately for RPGamers, the bottom line is not completely convincing companies - yet. Even the most hyped and over-promoted games that turn out to be utter garbage are seen that way by gamers, and word gets around fast. Hey, that's why we're here - to keep this debate going ;P
Kingdom Hearts - Demystifying Disney and Square
Hey Google, sup!?
One quick question.
When I first saw Kingdom Hearts on the net, I thought
it was gonna be a little to kiddie for my taste,
untill I saw it advritised on TV. Now I'm not so
sure. I know it isn't one of squares most mature
titles, but I need to know, is Kingdom Hearts a kiddie
game in your opinion?
I just saw the TV advertisements myself for the first time tonight, and was ... interested. If the playable demos at E3 were any indication, the game looks to be fairly challenging, if slightly "immature" (when comparing this to some of the more traditional Squaresoft titles). While I haven't picked it up yet myself, if our message boards and staff review help provide more insight, kiddie or not - it's a challenge. Out of the current titles this Fall, it looks pretty good.