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Three Minute Metroid

Andrew Long - June 5, 2004 23:57 EDT

Okay, there's exactly three minutes before this day expires. Let's make this snappy, like tea and cakes!



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Mommy, Where Do Chocobos Come From?

What level is Shoe? 38
Can't talk... LATE

Pirate games? Such a genre exists?


Well, it may not inspire a BOMBASTIC reply, as such, but I'm curious to know - what do you think of pirate games? I think there's a hell of lot of unfulfilled potential there. I've yet to play a sea game that was a successful hybrid of land and sea combat and trade. Sid Meier's Pirates! (the first one, not the upcoming one) was before my time, as was Sea Dogs, by Bethesda. Although I did give Sea Dogs a try (by ordering it off ebay), I couldn't really get into it. The beginning of the game was really quite tedious - before you could get a decent enough ship to really get into the battles (which were in all honesty very good), you had to raise the funds to buy one by trading from port to port, which basically amounted to a deluge of fetch quests - a topic that was covered by a guy named Eggman in a letter yesterday, and which I find completely annoying. With all the possible gameplay ideas that the designers no-doubt come up with, why do they ALWAYS pick fetch quests??? It's like they brainstormed the most boring, tedious, hellish experiences that they could put the player through and decided to implement them. (Oh and btw, I totally sympathize with Eggman - I HATED that chocobo race in FFX) Anyway, I'm off topic. I also didn't really like Sea Dogs because too much of it was bloody INTERFACES. Instead of actually seeing cargo being loaded on and off, I got to press a button on a menu increasing or decreasing the cargo on my ship. Instead of picking up crewmembers in the town, you hired all but your officers through a menu, increasing or decreasing the amount of men on your ship. Sound familiar? And, quite frankly, the sword combat sucked.

I looked forward to Sea Dogs 2, and put in the disc with great joy when it came out, convinced from the hype that it would expand and improve on the concepts I liked from the previous game (basically the battles), despite its change in name and movie license. Anyone who's read a review by any intelligent human being will know that I was crushingly disappointed. I think it was then that I lost all faith in humanity.

But lo and behold! From the ashes of the old classic rises a new but not so new game that may just be a worthy swashbuckling adventure! The new Sid Meier's Pirates looks awesome, and I sincerely hope that it will live up to my expectations, and that it will inspire other developers to experiment with sea combat, because there really isn't enough of it.

Death of Rats

Well, if anyone can pull something off well, it's Sid Meier. I've gotta confess, however, to having played disturbingly few pirate games, which mystifies me given my proclivity for lurching around shouting "ARR!" after consuming only the most minimal quantities of rum (or indeed, most other alcohols). I guess you could count my hour or so of Skies of Arcadia if you really want, but I don't think it really figures in. Beyond that, the only thing close to pirate action I've mustered up is my time spent on the good ship Zelbess in Chrono Cross. I agree with you, though, when you say it's a shame that there haven't been more good pirate games, cuz it's a genre that could definitely use some expanding.

Okay, this might be a tad overboard

You said, "...Basically, what I'm getting at here is, I'd like some questions..."

Questions, questions.....Hrm.....Will this do?

(OPM column)

"Where is Legend of the Dragoon II? Why isn't there a great Batman game? Snowboarding games are so huge, so why not skiing? Why not one unlockable skier in SSX? Why aren't there deathmatches in Champions of Norrath? Why only one city in Need for Speed Underground? Is there going to be a sequel to Primal? Is it just me, or is there something weird about Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater? Isn't the title stupid? Are we really gonna wear a dead crocodile? Why does this creep me out? How many Ps2 owners don't know how to put the thing to "sleep"? How many are confused by that last sentence? Why are hit titles $50 and bombs only $20? Shouldn't we get a break either way? If sales are so huge (and they are), why hasn't the price of the Ps2 come down faster? Why doesn't Sony combine a Playstation and a laptop PC? Wouldn't that be cool? Did you know you could link some Ps2s via iLink? Why didn't more developers exploit this connectivity before Sony axed it? Will Ps3s link together without the internet? Will Ps1 titles play on the Ps3? Will ps3 link with the Psp? Will Psp titles play on my television? Do all develpers think science fiction means shooting creep aliens? Why not remake the stupid PC game based on Arthur C. Clarke's Rama novels? Have you read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson? Wouldn't that make a great sci-fi Rpg? Will anyone ever be bigger and more consistent than EA? Shouldn't Eidos have just scrapped the Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness? What the heck happened over there? What were they thinking? Do you have any idea how much it costs to advertise in magazines? Why don't publishers spend a little more on page and box art? Why are all game magazines constantly taking potshots at harmless celebrities? How many letters, posts, and game editorials have included the phrase 'that's what it's all about: having fun'? Why do games appear on magazine covers so far in advance of their release? Wouldn't it make sense to reward the game of the month with the cover every time? Or how about a title that's actually available that month? Would that be so freakin' hard? I don't think so!"

-The Lizard

Awaiting naughty gamers in the seventh circle of hell. Because there's never been a great Batman movie. Because skiing isn't cool, doodz. For spite. Also for spite, specifically towards 13-year-olds with a deep-seated need to point out the pugilistic abilities of their fathers as compared with other fathers. Because going between cities to start up races just ends up in other, deadlier races, like the one outside a suburb of Toronto last night where a guy was going over 200kph. I don't even know what Primal is, so your guess is as good as mine. I'd like to say just you, but then I actually read the title and have concluded that snake may in fact be a poor dietary choice, particularly for a military sneak hero. Yes. Yes it is. I certainly hope not. If you need me to answer that for you, I don't think I can help you. P-put it to sleep? But I love my PS2! You tell me. Because that's what people will pay for them. It might be nice, but as long as there's people paying that much, don't count on it. I'm sure they're a' workin' on it. Yes. No. Because. I don't know. I don't know. Probably. Eventually, no doubt, and if Sony uses any Nintendo-style gimmickry, it won't be for a few years yet. Most of them. Because Arthur C. Clarke has better things to do than concentrate on video games, I guess. Nope. If you say so. What do I look like, clairvoyant? Shouldn't Eidos have scrapped every Tomb Raider after the first? They took "breasts = sales" a little too far. Enough to keep the little guys out. What's wrong with box art as it is? A good percentage of the ones I'm responsibile for. Hype. No, because the game of the month is already in stores, and has probably garnered its hype long ago. The cycle has started now, and resetting would give everyone bad hangovers.

Please, never do this again.

This isn't as questionish as it could be!

You know, I work at (insert legally acceptable generic video game store name here). THe other day, a representative from Sony came in, and from what I gathered, the PSP is going to be a sold at a LOT cheaper than what most people seem to think...somewhere between 150 and 200 bucks. If this is the case, Nintendo is kinda screwed...the recent lack of LCD screens, plus the fact that they have TWO, is gonna make their own system not so insanely cheap. Anyway, in that light, d'ya think the PSP is gonna get a good slew of PSX RPG remakes, like the GBA got some SNES RPG remakes? I'd love to bust out Parasite Eve sitting on my toilet...

- Mysterious Benefactor "That's not mitochondria! That's...!"

I'm not sure exactly what the benefit to playing PE on the crapper is, but hey - all the more power to you, cuz I'm sure those PSX remakes have a better chance of ending up on a Sony platform than they do a Nintendo one.

Cas-Cas Binks? DIE

::Emerges in a white lab coat carrying several large syringes::


Eh, I've been away for a while, so I guess I'll share my frankenstienian RPG with you.

It's sort of a cross between Chrono Trigger, Thousand Arms, and Kingdom Hearts. Shounds weird already? Imposhibibble?

The game is based on relationships within the party. As you battle in this action-based RPG gameplay (KH-style), you get new "dual techs" like in CT, but with a catch: The techs you get are based on how the characters like each other. If the characters like each other, for example, they might coordinate better, and do a double attack, whereas if you set your teammates' house on fire, the tech involves him/her throwing you at high velocities towards the enemies, doing massave damage to them... and you.

Of course, the game would have a New Game+, so you can try out different methods of interacting. Am I missing anything?

Oh, and you want an inflammatory statement? Ermmm... Unlimited Saga's only practical use is as a coaster.

Sorry, I'm too tired to come up with anything good. Caio!

It's alive! ALIIIIIVE!

Thanks for sharing Neo. You'd probably better go to that galaxy far, far away, cuz if you ever call me Cas-Cas Binks again, I'm going to kick you so hard you'll wish you'd gone there on your own power.

Boingy, boingy!


I suspect the recent letter lack may be due to focus shifting from specific games to RPGs in general. While well-written theories about the industry and its future can be interesting, they're just not as much fun as talking about a particular game.

In the same vein, the games with the most excitment surrounding them seem to lately be those that haven't come out yet. Even magazines usually devote twice as much space to previews as to reviews. It's just not as interesting to look at something and speculate. Is this a recent development, or have I just not noticed it before? It's sort of melancholy, how things are hyped and hyped and then they come out and they're gone.

Potential solution: Bring back "What's in xxxxx's console." It's a good conversation starter, better than "Old Things" and "New Things," since that only tells you what's new, not what the host has a depth of knowledge and interest in.

Anyway, questions.

If you were inclined to cosplay, who/what would you go as?

Have you seen Puni Puni Poemy? It's like Excel Saga, except less sane.

How come, even with its rerelease onto the PS2, no one seems to notice Grandia II? Who's your favorite character in it? Has anyone placed the quote on the main page to it yet?

If this has ever been asked, it has been many moons ago: What's your favorite FF6 party?

"Deep fried goodness!"

If I were ever to entertain the notion of cosplay, the only character who could possibly be badass enough for my own satisfaction is Auron. As to Grandia II, well, I have to confess... I haven't noticed the port either, since when I suggested I was going to buy it, my friend scoffed and told me his precious Dreamcast version was a hundred times better because a Sega logo appears somewhere in the process and there's some bump-mapping or DIRBS or NURBS or whatever that crazy anti-aliasing technique the DC uses is called. In retrospect, I should have punched him and thrown his DC into oncoming traffic, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.


Apologies for the super-late column. I promise, tomorrow's will be slightly less tardy, and I'll even be slightly less tired, so things will turn out better! Actually, they'll turn out much better because at some point in the past, I sold a column to tuinte in exchange for a favour of some description. I think it was the lovely news template, if memory serves. At any rate, if you remember tui's last outing, he likesa the films and the editorials, along with the Jewish ladies. Actually, he didn't mention the third part, but I figured I'd throw it out there anyway.
Andrew Long is a weekend zombie come summertime.




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