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Chris Martin - December 29, 2001- 12:00 Eastern Standard Time

I live and breathe once again! It's been a while, but I'm back. A lot's gone on since my last column. Saw some excellent movies, played some sweet games, and romanced some ugly women. Instead of cramming it all into a lengthy intro, we'll just have it come up in the column as I answer your letters. Bow before my superior sense of logistics! Bow, I say.

I love you Lulu
Ask Cheshire Catalyst She's got that sexy Edea thing going on.

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In the PlayStation 2:
Final Fantasy X
Yep. Got one for X-mas. Sw33t.
In the Dreamcast:
Space Channel 5
I like to dance!
Thus spake Tidus
Hey Chesh.

I already sent a letter today, but here's another.

I went to GIA to see what they had there. Read the review for FFX. I like the game a lot and all but they do nothing but praise the whole game. It's like they could find no fault in it, and any fault they found they downplayed it to the extreme. They mention the voice acting, which I thought was alright. It's not bad but it's not the most excellent thing out there, although I have yet to find any excellent voice acting anyway. They even go on to say how some of the American voices do a better job than the originals. This might be a valid opinion, but isn't it more likely that the original voices have a better chance of portraying what the creators want their characters to embody? The review said in the beginning how X is the latest in a line of a consistently excellent series. They aren't bad games, in my opinion, but consistently excellent is going a bit far.

Anyway, my question is this. What do you think of this kind of behavior? I see it all the time. I like the Final Fantasy series a lot, but when people just totally bow down to it kinda makes me mad, because the same person might go on and just downplay another game because it isn't Final Fantasy. The media does the same thing. The local news here always says how X-Box is a great console because it's more powerful and is aimed at older people. The general public, unfortunately, eats this up.

Tristan Adnade

Cheshire Catalyst:
I've been playing FFX since Christmas. Personally, I've been very pleased with it so far. I especially like the innovative "Sphere Grid" system which makes the process of character advancement a lot less rigid. FFVIII and FFIX were both bashed by fans for lacking any real innovation -- largely, these games seemed to rest on the laurels earned by their predecessors. Those two games weren't bad, just not what we'd come to expect with the Final Fantasy series. (VI and VII) FFX not only succeeded where the last two installments fell short, but it maintains the level of graphical and musical excellence of the rest of the series. In short, we were all pleasantly surprised and those positive feelings are reflected in the reviews.

Then comes the issue of the voice acting. As far as I've played, I haven't heard any especially good or bad lines. Can American voices do a better job than their Japanese counterparts? Yes, but keep in mind that the American actors are playing with a big handicap. The Japanese actors have the original script in front of their eyes. The American actors have a translation of that script. Now, the American could simply be a better actor than his or her counterpart. However, the lines he's reading sometimes sound so awkward, that no amount of RSC-level acting can redeem them. Every language is different and when translating something, tone and voice sometimes become muddled. There are words in the Japanese language that have not English equivalents and vice versa. Compound the fact that you have to keep the translation down to a certain number of syllables for dubbing purposes, and you can wind up with some pretty horrendous scripts.

 
Fantasy Porn: Lord of the Nipple Rings!

Hey Chesh! Long time no see! (but that's what the fish in the desert said) Anyway, on to business...

1)What did you think of hte Lord of the Rings movie? I felt it was very well done. Nice special effects, but they weren't the focus of the movie. Also, some things were changed, but that happens with pretty much any movie adaptation of a book, so only nitpickers will get ticked at that.

2)I saw Cowboy Bebop for the first time the other night. Very bizarre stuff, and unfortunately I was wrong: Bebop from TMNT was not in it.

3)I finished college last week! Aren't you happy for me?

4)Pigs in a blanket are quite possibly the greatest food ever invented. Okay, that's not really a question, but that's what I'm eating now, so there. THPBPTPBPT!!!!

See you later, unless you happen to disappear or something. (You have a habit of doing that)

Robust Stu

Chris Martin:

1. I saw the Lord of the Rings movies. Books and cinema are two VERY different media, so some stuff is bound to be changed. For example, in the book, we don't find out about Gandalf's visit with Saruman until he and Frodo reunite. Instead of following Gandalf, the book centers around the sleepy goings on of the Shire. Makes a good book, but not a very satisfying scene.
2. When I lead my army of evil against whatever city I feel like taking over, I'm making damn sure my leuten...lieuten...luitan.... sergants are not borderling retarded.
3. Nope. Now you must leave the academic utopia of univeristy and venture into reality. Blecch!
4. We bought dad a dehydrator. He made seven pounds of spicy jerky. The strange thing is, he only bought three pounds of steak. That, and the cat seems to be missing.

 
No shortage of Fei
Hi Cheshire,

Remember around July Square EA found a stack load of Xenogears copies in their warehouse? People were claiming it was a limited re-release and would be sold out fast... what a load of bollocks! Squaresoft.com, Ebgames.com, Gamestop.com, us.playstation.com, Amazon.com... they all have XG in decent stock! XG is no longer rare... There's no reason for it to be going $50-80 on Ebay, when its 39.95 new. 'Nuff said.

-Phil Pro

Chris Martin:
Good to know. With Xenosaga coming out, the original game might garner some new fans. At least they can get it for a decent price.

 
Quickies

So, if almost all RPG's originate from the Japanese environment... then why are all the characters white?

-PauL

Actually, many of the characters ARE japanese. They just have weird anime hair that makes them look caucasian. This trend is starting to really change, fortunatly.

Am I pretty?

-- Colin Powell

Considering he could send the secret service or something after me, yes. You are a pretty man, Colin.

The Last Laugh:

That'll be it for today! Good night, and see you manana!


chesh"A man with a cross-shaped scar on his cheek and a policeman with a Japanese sword have been sighted coming our way..."@rpgamer.com
No prize for this quote.

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