Sinking to depths previously thought unattainable
Beware! There is a naughty-bad-bad link below, so watch what you click least you lose your visual virginity. Actually, the sucker would probably be rated PG, but I'm tired of people ranting about the types of things I'll link to, and I didn't have anything better to write about today, so I figured I'd try a blind stab at the funny with that "visual virginity" comment. Anyone laugh?

Didn't think so.

RPGamer related questions? Easy!
Hey,Mister God of Thunder(odin's cooler;p),when you review games,do the companys give'em to you,or do you have to go out and buy'em yourself???
Yeah, right. Odin's cooler. Odin and his freaky empty eye socket.

It really depends on the company. I know Working Designs sends out copies for review purposes, for instance. But I also know that RPGamer never received a copy of Quest 64. (Then again, who's complaining?)

Going where no reference has gone before

Has anyone else noticed that the font used for the logo of Star Ocean: The Second Story is exactly the same as the font used in the Star Trek: The Next Generation logo? If it is a Star Trek reference, however, I'm sure it will be a good one, since 'Second' implies the number 2, which is an even number, and all things Star Trek containing an even number have to be good. Beware Star Ocean: The Third Story (Tenatively called "Star Ocean 3: The Search For A Plot")

- Seth

No, I hadn't noticed it. Since I have no life, I made up this fun little picture to, ahem, prove Seth's theory. Hey, you know that odd/even Star Trek theory? Where the even numbered films are supposedly better than the odd? I did a little research to see if this was myth or actual public opinion. I think you might find the results a bit interesting. (The stats can be found on the Internet Movie Database, a great site; check it out.)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture - 5.7/10 (2060 votes)
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan - 7.5/10 (3572 votes)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock - 6.2/10 (1979 votes)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - 7.2/10 (2314 votes)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - 4.7/10 (1886 votes)
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country - 7.2/10 (1826 votes)
Star Trek: Generations - 6.5/10 (2486 votes)
Star Trek: First Contact - 7.5/10 (6908 votes)
Star Trek: Insurrection - 7.2/10 (2078 votes)
What does this teach us? Well, one, the theory is more or less correct. Two, the odd movies are getting better, compare ST: TMP to ST:I. Three, I'm way too willing to go with any idea that pops in my head, no mater how time consuming or unwanted.
I just wanted to point out that in the latest EGM, the scores for Crave's Shadow Madness were 4.0, 5.0, 6.5, and 5.0, saying that even though the graphics, sound AND storyline were above par, competing with Square's latest masterpieces, the lack of gameplay and ingenuity does not make it a truly good RPG experience. I see this as a step in the right direction. For the first time in a year that I've seen, a magazine in the US has the ba...guts to say that even with a good storyline, good graphics, and a good soundtrack, we want a GAME, not an interactive MOVIE! Question: What do you think?

- Stom

I think it's the first sign that people are finally starting to pay a bit more attention to the inner workings of an RPG, and not just the pretty graphics and storyline. EGM also gave Guardian's Crusade a less than stellar review, and their webpage has been handing out fair reviews for ages. Sure, they abuse the phrase "first gen graphics" (you'd think the only first gen games they've seen are Wipeout and Battle Arena Toshenden), but you'll rarely find a review that just doesn't get it, as in the case with reviewers who, er, bash an RPG for containing text.
Shadow Madness Demo Impressions. (That sounded quite professional!)
O Mighty God of Thunder:

I wanted to like SHADOW MADNESS, really I did. But patriotism alone does not make for a good game. Sure, SM is US-developed. But does it rock? Well, I picked up the DEMO of SM Monday and let me tell you, it's heart-breaking.

First, there were problems getting the game to load at all. I had a similar problem with TENCHU given that I have a first-generation PSX. (1001-series) Most games load fine on my PSX, especially if I stand it on its side. But the SHADOW MADNESS demo was nothing but problems.

Huh. I know that the original Genesis had trouble with some later Genesis games, but I've never heard of the problem affecting the various PlayStation models.
I did actually get the demo to load twice. Watched the JADE COCOON movie...that game will be Crave's first hit.
Ouch. And they're just porting that one.
I tried playing the demo of SHADOW MADNESS twice. There was a lot to like! The writing was witty, and presentation of the demo clever, the graphics appealing.

Then I got to my first battle. Gawd, who designed this battle engine? It's like some weird amalgam between an action RPG and a traditional turn-based RPG. Now, I'm not against action RPGs, but the reason one utilizes an action-battle system is to free the gamer up, give him more control. SM gives you less control. All you can do is select Guarded, Standard, Aggressive, and in some cases, Special. Then you hit "X" and hope for the best, because while you're waiting for your characters to even take their first SWING, you've been hit about 10 times by enemies who should be so wimpy that if you were in a FF/Xenogears-type battle-engine, they wouldn't even last a full turn against you.

I'm not quite sure I follow. Did the enemies just look wimpy, yet still kicked his ass, or...?
I was able to fight 1 complete battle and 2 incomplete battles before I gave up in frustration. The reason the other 2 battles were incomplete was that the game froze up both times, in mid-battle.

I wish Craveyard luck with Shadow Madness, and I hope the final release is less trouble-plagued than the demo in terms of loading and game freeze. However, due to the weird sit-back-and-and-watch-yourself-get-slaughtered battle engine, I won't be on board for the ride...I'll be waiting for JADE COCOON.

- CraigInMN...2!

I don't suspect loading time will change much, but I can all but guarantee you the full version of Shadow Madness won't be that buggy -- unless the bugs only affect those with older PlayStations, in which case they might slip through the playtesting cracks.

The battles do sound a bit frustrating, Cthulhu knows I hated Ogre Battle for its patented You Can't Do Squat System. (Tactics Ogre is quite good though. I suggest giving it a rent.) Does anyone else have any thoughts on the Shadow Madness demo? Or did ya'll receive copies so buggy you couldn't get past more 'n three fights? Discuss.

No, with me, damnit.

Um. Don't read this if you're easily offended. Yeah.
(Final Fantasy VII spoiler.)
In your interview with Total RPG you mention that you wanted characters to "admit they've made the beast with two backs." Is this a new summon spell in FF8? Where can I find some screen shots of this two-backed beast?

- Ranklchick

The best with two backs isn't in Final Fantasy VIII, only VII. It made an appearance the night Cloud and Tifa spent together, before taking on Sephiroth one last time. After looking long and hard for a screen shot, I finally stumbled across one. (Strangely enough, the site required Adult Check.) The following is the only known screenshot from a secret anime sequence (hidden on the third CD in /movies/) which shows undeniable proof that Cloud and Tifa made the beast with two backs.

(In case you're really, really stupid, or didn't bother clicking the picture, you've probably discovered that "making the beast with two backs" is actually a term for sex. Or at least, um, breast feeding?)

Getcher questions! While they're hot! Speak only fragments! It fun!
1 : Are you looking forward to Final Fantasy 8? Will you shout from the rooftops its praises before you even play it?
No, not until I play it. And then I'll be praising it for three months and complaining about it until Final Fantasy IX comes out. (Hey, it worked for Final Fantasy VII...)
2 : Did you like Secret of Mana?
Yes, very much so. Not only is it one of my favorite RPGs, it's one of my favorite multiplayer games; right up there with Twisted Metal 2, WCW/NWO Revenge, Doom 2 and Quake.
3 : Did you (or anybody!) ever find the Helmet of Darkness in Final Fantasy IV??? I can find the Shadow Helmet, the Black Helmet, but not the Darkness Helmet! And it's pissing me off!
My brother says he did did, so lemme look around here...

4 : I caught a fish that weighed twenty pounds on my first try in Zelda.
5 : This is from "The Writer's Complete Fantasy References", by the editors of Writers Digest Books. Intro by Terry Brooks. It's an excellent book if you ever pick it up, with lots of cool info, but this passage caught my interest in particular.
"Lorelei - A water spirit of German legends, the Lorelei is known for both her beautiful appearance and her beautiful song. In fact, like the Greek sirens, the Lorelei's song is nearly irresistable and lures men to their doom. The creature takes its name from the large rock of the same name in the Rhine River, upon which it sits and sings." (pg. 179)
Admit it, this the dark secret RPGamer has been holding! Drew didn't leave, he was lured in, seduced, then killed by Lorelei!! Admit it dammit!
He sure was -- the lucky bastard.
Mwah ha ha! I made it my life goal to be the only person in the world to have never seen Titanic, so I'm coming over to your house with a roll of duct tape, Titanic on tape, and a nice big TV to watch it on JUST FOR YOU! I'll never get away from the wrath of my duct tape! HA HA HA! Just for torture, I'll make a nice bag of popcorn, and place it just out of reach! You'll have to sit and watch the whole exruciating movie, while I go and play Super Mario Bros. and Secret of Mana. MWAH HA HA!
Man, you're evil! I mean, really really evil! We're talking right up there with Marilyn Manson, Adolf Hitler and Richard Simmons. Good taste in games, though.
P.S. Why is Secret of Mana getting so low scores in the final poll for the best SNES RPG? I personally prefer that game to Chrono Trigger by far and away, and I think its a better game than Final Fantasy 6 as well, save a few glitches. (Not that FF6 didn't have any either, <cough>sketch<cough>)
Well... um... it's a poll. See, people select one of the three listed as their favorite. Since more people consider Final Fantasy 6 their favorite game, and not Secret of Mana, they voted for FF6. Well, all except me -- I voted for Ultima: Exodus.
Serious-ass problems
Yeah man.

Man, I got some serious-ass problems. One in particular. I want to be interviewed. Seriously, man, I want to be asked stupid questions and I want to make snide remarks in response. I was interviewed like once in my life, something for my band, Red Wire Maximum, but the interviewer kept asking dumbass questions like "Who's yo daddy?" and "What? Dude, what the hell are you talking about?!" Anything you can do to get me an interview, man, it would be crescent fresh. Get off my property. You're a strange one, Mr. Grinch.

- Yo Momma

Okay. I'll interview. And I'll do it in a way that others can have fun, too. Just answer the following questions and send 'em in to
  • What is your favorite brand of underwear?
  • When someone shines a bright light in your eye, you have the audacity to contract your pupils . Well, mister, what do you have to say for yourself?
  • Did the opera scene make you cry?
  • Did Beyond the Beyond make you cry?
  • And finally, if you could be any kind of animal, what's that weird stain on your shirt?
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Why Quickies that satisfy. They don't always do that
- Daos
Try asking your partner to try new things. Communication is the key to a sucessful love lif... naw, skip it. Too easy.
Xenos is actually a greek word, apparently with a number of different meanings. For Latin and Greek dictionaries try or change the end of that to Greek to get the Greek dictionary.
Okiedok. Thanks for the link, Arcanus Dude. Man, remember Arcana? Groovy-ass game, pre-"Console RPG" era, Tarot cards used throughout, neat plot twists and only slightly annoying mazes? That game ruled.
Where did you get that comment at the beginning of today's column? It sounds a lot like a monologue that I found off of the web. This link I Could Die For You leads to it and the guy almost says the same thing. did you see this before or something?
Nope! As with most monologues, I pulled yesterdays' out of my, um, hat. Since I went on about hating everyone on Monday, I decided to go for a "pathetic drunken ex boyfriend" act as a humor joke.
Teta means Tit in Spanish! I'm telling your mother you said that.
Thor Stuff

I'm now going to tell you about a delightful little chestnut of mine, Stomp Tokyo. Strangely enough, I found this site via annoying-as-hell animated banner on RPGamer, so I guess they aren't all that bad.

So like, while searching for the star trek logo, I came across something freaky as Hades. Care for a little of the weird? Try (That's the acronym for Star Trek: The Next Generation, just so you know.)

You know, leeches. Sheesh.

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