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The definitive guide to Pokémon (I hope):

The Japanese title was Pocket Monsters, which is kind of an awkward phrase for little kids to toss around, so the two American words were contracted and combined, creating a new word. "Pocket Monsters" became "Pokémon". Or at least, that's what people called it.

When Nintendo of America ported the disgustingly popular game, they decided to go with the nickname. Either because of licensing reasons with the "Monster in my Pocket" people, because they thought it sounded better/would catch on quicker than the original title, or because too many parents knew "Pocket Monsters" only as "the commercial which wiped out all those Japanese kids".

 
A game we'll never play
Thor,

How come Samurai Shodown RPG never got brought over to the U.S.? It looked way cool! I love games with samurais. Also, is there any upcoming rpgs with samurais.

Thanks a bundle,

-$tubbz

SNK, while still alive, isn't going to show up on your favorite system any time soon. Unless you're a really, really big fan of the Neo-Geo. When SNK brought over Samurai Shodown III and King of Fighters '95 (both of which were published by Sony), neither sold more than in the three digit range. After this, SNK killed plans to port Real Bout Fatal Fury, and games like Samurai Shodown RPG were obviously a no-go, since SNK thought the market wasn't there.

As for an upcoming RPG with a samurai, well, none that take center stage. And it'd be dreadfully difficult to find out if any samurai star in a minor role in a game that isn't released yet. Just stay tuned and keep an eye out for 'em.

 
It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel like chicken tonight
Hey Thorry boy,

Is there any coincidence that your going to update the Thor Hack archive on our last day on Earth?

- THaGooNDaWG

Um. Yeah. A coincidence. That works...
 
"A scrub is a guy who thinks he's find"!?
Thor, (Sorry, no names...just Thor.)

First off, doing a good job with the column, read it everyday, or atleast when I can. Keep it up there dude. Here's some questions for ya I guess...but first.

1. Since you've been talking a lot about Shadow Zero as of late in SOM, and I so happen to be playing it, I was surprised to get it when I killed the Heck Hounds on or there abouts the fifth floor of the raised continent.

I guess I took this picture just to show all the skeptics out there (if any) that it does exist. This is in Gif format, so everyone should be able to see it. Sorry if the quality of the picture isn't that great, I had to enlarge it.

Hehe. "Heck Hounds". Good ol' Nintendo.
2. The gaming business has seen a lot of milestones since I first got my little Gray Nintendo, what do you see in store?
Companies trying to blend every genre in order to reach the largest audience instead of just trying to perfect gameplay? 3d graphics so nice you could faint, but riddled with the same old problems of pop-up/fade in/draw in/cropping/clipping/whatever, as developers try and push the best graphics (at a glance) as opposed to something solid? A game released by Square whose ending actually makes sense?

Who knows? I am but a simple Q&A dude, still waiting for his first prediction to come true. (Well, Square? Where's that Parappa the Rappa clone? <grin>)

3. Do you think that they will port FF8 to the PC (I was one of the few who did get FF7 for the PC, and frankly, it was fun, but I wasn't impressed.)
Magic 8-ball sez: Outlook good.
4. Your thoughts on Chrono Trigger, and the hopefully Upcoming Chrono Trigger 2?
Chrono Trigger was a classic. I wish I bought it when I had the chance. Chrono Trigger 2 would be sweet, as long as it remained 2d. And if it has to be 3d, at least make it like Xenogears/FFT, and not use pre-rendered backgrounds. Oh, and I'd dig a new cast of characters, with some guest appearances by the old cast. Time travel, and all.
5. If you were a Hot Dog, and you were starving, would you eat yourself?

- Gasper S. Keltner

Nope, I'd commit suicide by feeding myself to Teri Hatcher. Sure, I'd go to, ahem, Heck, but what a way to go out!
 
Damn the Man!
I know that Final Fantasy Anthology won't be including Final Fantasy IV, but did you know that you can still play every Final Fantasy ever made without using a console system? Even a translated version of Final Fantasy V? Just a little thing called an emulator.

- me

Yeah, good (illegal!) point there, dude. Since Square's so intent on never letting the original, uncut version of FF4j out of Japan, I'm almost tempted to promote a FF4j translation hack. But that would be very wrong and immoral, so I won't.
 
Another reason I'm glad I never went to school
Hey Thor,

About those parents who are suing anyone involved in games and their cat; apparently,. this isn't the parent's first lame-brained attempt at a lawsuit. From Gamespot's news-thing on it:

This is the group's second attempt at a massive suit. The first, filed in December 1998, charged the boy's parents, school administrators, teachers, and even students for being responsible for the shooting spree. But a judge dismissed the 24 defendants from that suits. Since then, the parents have sought to reinstate the 24 as defendants.
Apparently these parents were even more screwed up by the shootings than the kid that did the shooting was. I realize that they are just trying to find somebody to blame for their kids death, but how about this... Blame the psycho kid????
Crud, looks like it wasn't the parents of the maniac who're suing everyone, just the parents of the victims. That was a lil' confusing there, for a sec. (And lookey there -- the boys parents were blamed. Too bad they were just one of many.)
If the politicos are smart they will stay far far away from these crazies. From Gamespot again,
"We intend to hurt Hollywood. We intend to hurt the video game industry," said lawyer Jack Thompson.
No, these people aren't bitter. They don't want revenge. They only want justice. (for the sarcasm impaired- that was sarcastic)

P.S. - Gremio scares me. He was entirely too... fussy.

- Paul

But enough about Gremio. Lets talk Bloody Roar's Fox...

Hey, funny thought here -- Nintendo execs, arguing back and forth:
"We would have never been sued if we kept our anti-violence policy!"
"What about Goldeneye, huh? Without that the Nintendo 64 would have been toast in both countri--"
"Fine, whatever. Hey, I'm bored, how about we feast on another innocent fan's soul?"

Er, sorry. Still a tad bitter about not getting FF4 in FFA.

 
This is about (Adbusters, Issue 25 (Ok, I don't know what that is, but i got it from another site)
I'm gonna edit this down a bit. No need to print the full article -- especially since I've no idea who to credit.
"He fired eight shots. The FBI says that the average US law enforcement officer, at a distance of seven yards, hits with fewer than one bullet in five. Michael Carneal fired eight shots at a bunch of milling, scrambling, screaming children. He got eight hits. Five of them were head shots... Even more astounding was the kill ratio. Each kid was hit once. Three were killed; one was paralyzed for life. Never, to my knowledge, in the annals of law enforcement or military or even criminal history can we find an equivalent achievement.

"All the witnesses say he held the gun in two hands. He had a blank look on his face. He never moved his feet. He never fired far to the right or the left or up or down. He simply fired one shot at everything that popped on his screen."

5 headshots. He never fired a gun in his life. I don't believe you think that he learned nothing from video games. I understand that games didn't screw him up, it's the parents' responsibility to teach their children right. But - without ever practicing, he had a hirger accuracy and kill rate than a trained FBI agent. What do you think?
I think the feds should start training new agents on Goldeneye.

Seriously though, games like Doom do nothing to improve your aim. Nothing. You develop a new set of skills when playing Quake, kind of like the skills you develop while juggling. It's physical memory. It doesn't translate well to real situations. Light gun games, sure, but why bring Square into this if it's just light gun games? No, the Kentucky parents are seriously trying to say that Final Fantasy VII taught their lad to kill. How, you ask? Well, in FFVII Vincent had a gun, and it taught children to fire like so:

Rapidly press the "X" button on your PlayStation control pad.

Riiight. Ya know, some people have better aim than others. Like, a natural talent. Sometimes they become sharp shooters for a SWAT team. Sometimes they do nothing with their talent, or never discover it. And sometimes, well, sometimes they they mow down their art class. Doesn't mean you have to blame Mario. (It should also be noted the parents are also suing a couple of porn sites. Maybe someone should tell them that, ahem, those shots have nothing to do with murder...)

 
And speaking of pressing the X button
Het Thor,

Just in case you wanted a little more advice concerning LoL...be prepared for an extremely tedious battle system. At first I liked it. It was a lot like Xenogears (which I liked, overall), and it had much better graphics. But once you get all three characters, you do A LOT of X pushing.

Example:


Begin X
Vahn attack X
Auto X
Noa attack X
Auto X
Gala attack X
Auto X
Confirm X

That's just one round. And that is the absolute minimum you have to do before the round starts. It's not so bad when you're fighting a boss, and you have to actually THINK about what you are doing, but for those thousands of incredibly easy battles that require no intelligence, this gets really boring.
Ouch. I can see how that'd get rather dull. Still, as long as the battles aren't annoying, I'm fine with 'em. (Though anything I can do to listen to that god-awful battle theme less will probably start looking good in a few days.) Also, your chances of learning new Arts are better if you pay attention and enter the commands yourself. So, um. There's that!
The other thing is... be prepared for a childish tone. To me, it seems like this game is made for 12 year olds... very stereotypical bad guys (I just can't live without those insane/amnesiatic villians :P) and pretty bland issues. It kinda reminds me of the tone of a game like Zelda.
LoL may have cute graphics, and it may be rated "E", but kids will most likely be frustrated with the insane difficulty. Legend of Legaia is like Spyro the Dragon or Mario 64. They're kiddy games no one should be ashamed of playing. Unlike Strawberry Shortcake for the Atari 2600.
PS. If you do buy it anyway (don't get me wrong... I like the game overall, and if I had to do it over again, I would prob. still buy it.... just don't expect the world from it, in my opinion), be prepared to get stuck big time on a boss at the beginning of the second world.... I think it's called "Beserker". I lost to this guy like 6 times in a row, before I decided to do 2 hours of level building, and then I finally beat him.

- Lates

 
Translation woes. No, come back. It's funny.
What ever happened to dimwitted townsfolk in RPGs? I long for the castle guards of Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy 1. They hung around all day on one tile, never getting in your way, happily shifting their weight from one foot to the other. The only thing they ever said was "Long live the king!" or "This is the throne room.". The townspeople in Xenogears are like pulling teeth. I long for the ability to attack them like in Ultima games. They have, like, five or six windows of text each and they NEVER say anything worthwhile. "Hey, Fei, this is my hometown. Do you like my hometown? You have two legs and this is my hometown. <blinking arrow> This is my hometown." Okay, so I'm exaggerating a bit to make a point which is more of a complaint which makes little sense and is misconstrued to begin with. My head hurts.

- Marmelodov

Darnit dude, you nearly made me squirt coffee through my nose.

Anyhoo, you should try Legend of Legaia. The townsfolk say a bit less than they do in Xenogears, often give you an option to skip long speeches via yes/no question, and even allow you to pump the X button and speed through a conversation in around a second.

(Jeez! Again with the X button. that little sucker is starting to come up more than Final Fantasy VIII and Working Designs' delays combined.)

 
Thought up a new humiliating nickname?
Ask Thor
(I doubt you could beat "Thorgasm" if you tried.)
 
Like Old Crap?
Try the Archives
(Don't worry folks, it'll return as soon as the missing columns do.)
 
Bored? Easily amused? Stoned?
The Hack Archive
Thor Antrim: Anime Style
(Next update:
December 22nd, 2012)
 
No Quickies today. You'll see.
 
Thor Stuff

Fear! Legend of Legaia spoilers below, me matey. (Well, if you consider stuff that happens in the first three hours a spoil-able.)

Welp, I've hacked away at Legend of Legaia for a good two and a half hours today. What follows are a few random thoughts. It's no review, but it should be fun for anyone else playing:

  • The game is hard. Very hard. I'm gaining experience before the final battle for the first time since Sword of Vermillion for the Sega Genesis.
  • The characters resemble Wild ARMs' so much it's not even funny.
  • The huntsmen all look the same. It's quite disturbing. When i entered the oasis fountain thingy, I had an unpleasant flashback to the Young Bubbies Club.
  • The characters are super deformed (cute midgets) outside the battle mode, and realistically proportioned inside. Very Final Fantasy VII-ish. But then again, I liked that about FFVII.
  • The town music sounds very David Arkenstone-ish
  • The way slimes fly back when you kick 'em, man, that rules. But as my observant little bro pointed out, the slimes in Wild ARMs with random junk inside them, as opposed to a 'brain', were pretty cool themselves.
  • The graphics are not bad. Forget what you've heard. They're crude, yes, but so is 90% of modern art. The frame rate is decent so far, the colors are outstanding (especially after Xenogears's drab landscapes), and the cinematics are, well, like Xenogears.
  • Why oh why is the battle music that horrid? Why?!
  • One thing I should note is the fact that the game has been totally polygonal so far, yet you can't rotate. This sounds weird. It is. But it's freaking cool. See, there's no feeling of being lost, like in Xenogears. Nor do you feel like you're watching your characters from a thirty story building, like in most of Final Fantasy VII's pre-rendered scenes. And if you're wondering why they didn't just go 2d, since you can't rotate the 3d scenes, it's so that during long conversations and key moments, they can pan the camera to keep you entertained, or to make an impression.
And there we go. Now I've got to drop off to sleep and wake up bright and fresh to play more Legend of Legaia.

Shadow Zero Dancing Attack EX Mega! Thor "Hey baby, wanna see my dancing Ninja?" Antrim
Bleep. Bleep. Bleep. Whaaaaapa!

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