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ASK ANDREW
Juicy Chess Club Brains
May 14, 2007

Andrew Long - 19:51 EDT

PERSONAL TO OMAR ELHOSSEINY, whoever that may be (I used to know but your nick escapes me presently): stop inviting me to join various social networking sites. I have joined all such sites that I care to, and will not respond to invitations. Please stop clogging my various inboxes. Else I will be forced to step things up to vague and empty threats, and nobody wants that, now do they?

No? No. So let's go.




LETTERS
Apparently people encourage this sort of thing


Square fans deserve some new RPGS. I also firmly believe there should be a new Bushido Blade. That game was so addictive. My friends and I still play it quite often and the sequel as well. A third entry on the ps3 would be way too good, I think. What about secret of mana 3? They should definitely port that over to DS or something. Too good to be left out. Star Ocean part One would be nice too.. Ach. Even the Dragon Quests that never made it here. 5 and 6 are great. I wish I didn't have to emulate to play them.

Na ja.. sorry for the random nonsense Andrew. keep up the good work,
judson

Andrew

Well, as she turns out, you'll be getting your SO part one, albeit on the PSP. As for the Dragon Quests, I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually find their way here, but that will likely depend in large measure upon how well IX sells this winter. I maintain, meanwhile, that SD3 is just not worth it. If you've played LoM you've pretty much played 3, and while I know the allure of the unknown is ever so sexy, having played SD3 I can say that I find it terribly average and not really worth a port. That's just me though, and a clamouring legion of idiots the internet over insists I am wrong, so take what you will from that.



Let's all fighting pigeonholes!


Often when I try to play an RPG, I get annoyed by the amount of town interaction and world map exploration. I just want to explore dungeons!! What are some RPGs where town interaction is minimal and you spend almost all your time in a dungeon? Some of these types of RPGs I've enjoyed are Torneko: the Last Hope, Brandish, Arcana, Ys 3, and Light Crusader. Also, some aRcadePGs such as Dark Seal and Dungeon Magic.

Andrew

One that immediately springs to mind is Shining in the Darkness; that game is pretty much entirely dungeon, with the town merely serving as an adjunct where you can get better equipment and not die if you're low on health. There are also the Diablo games, which, while randomly generated, a fact that may impact upon your enjoyment of exploration, do nonetheless offer a minimum of town-wandering and world mappery.

Other than that, though, you're in the wrong genre. May I offer you a Castlemavania or Metroidmobo?



Ummm... what?


Hey there! Even though I am excited about Final Fantasy IV's future release for the DS, I must admit I don't know if I'll have the heart to play through the whole game yet again. I think I would have preferred if S-E had decided to make sequels for FF 4-6 for the DS. --Lithium Flower--

Andrew

Perhaps you hadn't noticed, but FFIV is, in fact, part of FF4-6, and given the recent history of Square Enix, its repeated statements that its mission in life and business is to whore out the FF name until it is old and busted, and the fact that the company's list of new IP in the past couple years is so short you could count the titles off on one hand, one should not be surprised if FFIV DS is, in fact, destined to be part of FFIV DS - FFVI DS.



Hmm, these letters have all been short, best hide that with a noveletter!


I am a long time RPG player, dating back to Pokemon Red/Blue, Final fantasy NES, Zelda NES, etc. I consider myself a veteran, even though I haven't played all the Final Fantasys, or beaten all the zeldas.

Have you noticed that lately, more and more RPGs are coming out as mediorce? While i know most RPG Developers (Square, Level-5, NIS, etc) are all spending lots of money and spending lots of time developing these games, are they -really- trying their hardest?

When i think of this, games that come to my mind are games like Childeren of mana, Aterlier iris, generation of chaos, etc. What i mean by mediocre is, just developing a game for the sake of developing one, not really spending so much time on things like immersion, music, ambience, or things that really grab you and sink you in.
Andrew

Yes, the world is going to hell in a handcart, there are no good games ever made anymore, and the last decent RPG made was FFVII, or FFVI if you're really dedicated to the pursuit of stupid. No, I haven't noticed that. There are exactly as many good RPGs being made as ever there were, it's just there are a lot more people making RPGs nowadays than there were back in 1995, and a lot more of them are releasing their titles here than in the halcyon days when all games were good (hello BoF2? Paladin's Quest? Mystic Quest? Secret of Evermore? koff koff? Right, all RPG gold, I forgot!). Consequently, you have to be a little more picky about what you buy, and if Children of Mana, AI and GoC are all you buy, well, you're just asking for disappointment.

It's one thing to have pretty graphics, or flashy animations, or even cool looking box art, but why do I feel as if no games today are really grabbing and pulling me in?

Maybe I'm just too picky? Does anyone else out there feel my pain?
Andrew

All too many of them, which is why I end up drafting variations on this response a couple times a month.

One thing that kills me is when a japanese RPG gets translated into english voice acting, for the most part, its painful to listen to. One reason why is that japanese sense of humor and the way they speak is much different to ours. No one over here speaks like they do, we have our own cultural language, so it just sounds wierd. One big comparison would to be Final Fantasy XII's voice acting compared to say, naruto's english voice overs. Final fantasy XII in my opinion did a fantastic super job at sounding way more english cultered than crappy translations, as if they started with the english version. thats a huge immersion booster for me.
Andrew

What? FFXII had relatively excellent voice acting, it's true, but not for its similarity to colloquial english. The reason FFXII sounded good was because the translation staff read a little too much George R R Martin, along with a couple of other fantasy authors, and chose to couch the dialogue in the style of that you'll find in A Song of Ice and Fire (note: find A Song of Ice and Fire if you haven't). I will agree with you that much of the library of voice-acted games is trash, but it has nothing to do with "japanese sense of humour" or "the way they speak" being much different. It has to do with the fact that most translation staffs don't give a fig whether or not their dialogue sounds realistic because they don't have to; the games will sell regardless of how crappy things sound. Compound that with the fact that 90% of voice acting is done by the same untalented crew of hacks and it's easy to see why most games end up sounding like garbage.

Only a couple RPGs really stand out from the rest right now. games like FF12 and DQ8 are the big hitters right now because they can really make you sink yourself into them for hours upon hours. I would say that FFXII isnt all there with character development, or even story, but its simple enough to follow and get dragged into the AMAZINGLY addicting battle system. DQ8 is there for the big immersion and story factor.

I've given up on MMORPGs almost all together except the -only- quality *RPG* on the market right now (FFXI). (WoW is just a glorified EQ Clone with Dialbo mechanics and Warcraft lore, just a grind fest). games like vanguard really kill me, as well as EQ2, who release a really really unfinished game, then change it over and over and over with massive patches for years until no one really cares anymore.

Andrew

Gyahaha. FFXI isn't the only quality MMO on the market, but if the rest of your letter is any indication, I don't suppose I'll be able to convince you of that. So please, continue playing FFXI, heedless of its shortcomings. At least it means you've enjoyed something released post-SNES era.



Unfit for Print


Greetings With all the people complaining about Final Fantasy being a cash cow, how come Pokemon never gets thrown under the bus? Oh yeah, and Pokemon is short for Pocket Monsters. King Peekaboo

Andrew

Thanks for the helpful tip, your majesty! Say, next time you opt to dispense such pertinent advice, can you possibly direct it at a brick wall instead of me? Then it would save me the time of deciding whether to answer the legitimate part of your letter or just hiss at you for the second!

Re that legitimate part: because that bus is filled with screaming 8-year-olds who will surely destroy the thrower.





IN CLOSING

Hmm. It would seem I've come off slightly nastier than I meant to today, but eh. These things happen. I still love you guys, honest! Would I bang out these short, Hemingwayesque sentences otherwise? I think not! So, for next week, discuss with me, if you will, Blizzard's big announcement. It seems likely to be Starcraft-related, but they ARE running interference with that picture of Diablo, so that means I can talk about it!

Until such a time, may all your mishaps be creamsicle related, and enjoy your Sockulent week with Matteus!



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Andrew is resurrecting, living in a lighthouse, if you leave them, ships will come a-wreck.


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