So like, I'm back.
I'm too rusty. I'll think of a charming and witty intro tomorrow. For now, I'll just say the word "ploink":


Hey, I've got a crazy idea. Lets answer some questions!
gee its been a while since I stopped at RPGamer... anyhoo, I've got two questions for you.

1) That Star Ocean: Second Story logo you guys are using, is that the real deal? I only ask because it looks suspiciously like the Star Trek: TNG title font I've got on my computer.

Yeap, quite real. Much like Ernist "The Cat" Miller, it's the real deal. (Take that! A WCW reference! Hah!)
2) About multi-disc games: I don't know about you (feel free to comment) but I absolutely HATE swapping cds during a game... Final Fantasy 7, Xenogears, FF8 when it comes out... I'm sure that with the extra capacity in dreamcast's discs and the rendering capabilties of the "PSX2" (read: no more pre-rendered movies) we'll be seeing less of this in the future, but the MOST ANNOYING part of it is that the first disc is the longest! I mean, the first disc on FF7 was the biggest part of the game, the second disc was all of like, two or three areas, and then the third disc was the last level! Xenogears? Well, once you get through the 60-some hours of the first disc you can breeze your way to the 10-minute ending. So why is it that this pattern is developing where the first disc is the longest? What do you think?

- Super Matt Hanyok 2 Turbo EX Plus Alpha Hyper Fighting Editon

The special Dreamcast discs can't hold all that much more than a normal CD. DVD will ease the problem to an extent, but lets not forget, the world is obsessed with bigger, better, and exceeding the limits -- remember when 640mb seemed impossible to fill? Yeah, me too.

I've never been annoyed with disc swapping on the PlayStation. Maybe that's because I'm used to PC Adventure games, which have several different areas on different discs, and are forced to switch between them constantly (Boo! Hiss!) as opposed to, um, every thirty hours. As for why the first disc was the longest, my guess is they ran out of space on disc one, needed disc two, then didn't have enough room on that for the ending, so they included a last disc. It was kind of a letdown if you thought that all three discs would take roughly as long to complete -- but if you seriously expected a 90+ hour RPG without much experience gaining required, well, there's something drastically wrong with you.

The definition of RPG according to Nintendo Power. Fun!
Whilist I was in my sleep deprived state last night, I decided to browse through some old copies of Nintendo Power. In one of the older issues, I found a rather lengthy preview of Dragon Warrior, but the thing that caught my eye was that they had a definition of an RPG in it. Thinking back to the person who asked what exactly an RPG was, I thought that this could help. It is as follows:
"So just what is an R.P.G.? It's a game in which you take on a role, like an actor in a play, except in the game you don't have a script to follow. Everything that takes place is dependent upon the choices you make as you search for gold and information and battle through the wilderness between towns. Each time you give the command to fight an enemy, unlock a door, or speak to a passing pesant, you are changing the course of the action. Success in this world is achieved by building the strength of your character and gathering information because you begin the game with nothing but a name."
So there it is, straight from the Nintendo Power pros from the beginning of the time of Console RPG's.

- ArcticFox

Pretty decent definition, all things considering. (And please, don't send in your own definitions. Nobody cares, bub.) That description of an RPG, though vague -- thanks to everyone adding "RPG elements", it applies to like 50% of games today; the other half involving cars of some sort -- I can't think of a better way to describe a Console style RPG of the late 80s.

Some would be quick to scoff at Nintendo. After all, they aren't exactly the masters of RPGs. However, Nintendo Power was one of the biggest promoters of RPGs, long before EGM, Gamepro or anyone else gave them much notice. Nintendo Power had everything from a section loaded with FAQ's and walkthroughs for RPGs, to features on why an adventure/RPG was more fun for longer than your average twitch game, to actually giving away Dragon Warrior to anyone who subscribed to Nintendo Power. Sure, some could just brush it off as a way to get kids to whine until their parents give in and pay -- but if it was only money they were after, wouldn't they have given away some sort of mass-appeal action game? Ah rest mah case.

Tee hee, he's talking about Marijuana!
Hail Almighty God of Thunder!

I believe I know the problem of the person who had trouble with the Shadow Madness demo. (With the battle part at least)

The first time I played the demo that I own, I had the same "only one attack for every ten the computer gets". His problem is that the "target select" cursor that appears above the enemy's head is much harder to see than the usual large white hand, but it's there. Once I realized that I just had to press the button again to select the target, my guys stopped just standing there waiting for my commands.

Thanks for the tip, dude.
As for the trouble loading thing, I have two questions....

What is that guys smoking and does he grow it himself?


Most likely? Mittens. And no, because you can't grow mittens.
Welcome to Hell
Suffering with first-gen Playstations is nothing new. I had severe problems with any game by Square that featured an FMV (Okay, just FF7 and FFT, but that was enough) until I traded with a friend who doesn't play RPGs that much (the heathen). It would start jumping like crazy every time an FMV started and really ruin the playing experience, and I'm not surprised that other people had somewhat similar problems.

-Nate Railsback

Congratulations! Your PSX is probably suffered from what is affectionately known as "skipping" or "meltdown". I could dig through some unofficial technical documents I found a while back, but I doubt anyone really cares, so here's the rundown: You didn't turn off your PlayStation for six hours every five and a half minutes as Sony suggested. Of course, no one actually does that, but because Sony advised it, they don't have to pay for you to fix it. Which costs around $80. The only thing you can do is shell out the moolah or try turning the PlayStation upside down. It sounds insane, but that's how I squeezed some extra life out of mine.

With the newer models of PlayStation, the chances of meltdown is lessened somewhat, but the danger is still there. You can stop skipping before it starts by keeping a cheap fan to blow cool air through the vent, cleaning your PlayStation with a CD cleaner kit, and avoid playing for more than three hours in one sitting.

Fun fact: Sony has never officially acknowledged the skipping problem. As in, "The Saturn doesn't break half as easily. Our bad." They continue to insist it's just a completely normal problem of over-use. Random thought: The PlayStation2 will eventually be able to play DVD movies. Does this mean it'll break if you play too many Titanic-length films? I can see it now... millions of heart broken teenyboppers mourning the loss of their digitally enhanced Leonardo DiCaprio. Childish expression: Yuck.

(The odd thing is, in a recent EGM, Sony warned the PlayStation cord has a chance of shocking you. I guess Sony only admits hardware problems only if children are injured. Quick, lets find a way for skipping to hurt little kids, then maybe I'll get some freaking compensation already.)

Videogame movies. Awful, or god-awful?
This isn't really about RPGs but.... I just saw the Street Fighter movie on TV yesterday. Man I laughed my as...,um I mean my behind, off. It takes a certain kind of movie that can both bastardize the movie industry and the video game it was based on. Thank god I didn't pay money for it and just watched the much better anime insead.

- BeerGoggles_FromMARS

The scary thing is, there are more quality movie to videogame conversions than videogame to movie! Even the recent Wing Commander didn't do too well (the average IMDB rating is 4.2. Ouch). And that was a game series praied for its cinematics! How the hell do you screw up a translation like that?

Street Fighter was good for laughs. At the film, that is; never with. Street Fighter: The Animated Movie movie is much better. (And for all you primates asking me for the address of the infamous Cloud/Tifa picture, ST:TAM has a shower scene with Chun-Li, too.) I've only really liked two movies based on videogames: Mortal Kombat (awesome fight scenes, sets, acting and the plot was more or less faithful. Basing a movie on two games is kind of hard, ne?), and Super Mario Bros.

Yeah, Super Mario Bros. I know, I know, it had nothing to do with the game, but hear me out. When I first saw the movie, I was kind of disappointed, especially with the raptor-esque Yoshi. The second time I saw SMB, I hated it. The third time, this past year, I loved the sucker. Granted, the idea of going to such extremes not to base the film on its namesake (they never even saw a real picture of Yoshi!) was insane, but once you get past that, it's a surreal steampunk movie with neat sets, a lot of original ideas, and most shocking of all: great acting. In a movie made for little kids, people. That alone is worth a rent, heh heh.

Unintentionally Foolish
That screenshot is going to be a great gag for April 1st. And the day falls on 'Thursday Thorsday Madness' to boot! Imagine! Anyway, I wonder how many gullibles are going to get taken in by that prank, which was actually rather dicreet. I applaud you, sir. :)

- S.Cody

Glad you liked it, man. Let it be known that I'm the only one crafty enough to play an April Fool's joke on March 31st. Sadly -- that wasn't my joke. I just figured everyone would know I was being sarcastic. I didn't have anything planned for April Fool's day, so I guess it was a pretty swell joke, though unintention