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Rob Hamilton - August 02 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Actually, in spite of the title, the column isn't particularly focused on Xenogears, only the first couple questions. There's more about Tactics (and incidentally, less I could say about it.) Good game, tactics--the working version, anyway. A bit slow at times. A bit slow for most of the game, amazingly stupefyingly slow at times. On with the content! (I printed all the letters I got!)

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Hey Chimerasame!
Okay, got a quick(possibly) question for ya- Xenogears has been rereleased for a supposedly limited time. I do not own Xenogears nor have I played it, but I've heard it's good. I've also heard stuff about a different type of battle system. I'm not great with battles that rely a lot on timing of button hits (Legend of Dragoon took me a while). What exactly is XG's battle system like, and could I handle it with practice? I'd hate to miss this with Xenosaga looking so very nice, but I don't want to buy a game and not be able fight battles without severe pain.

Lady Mina

Xenogears' battle system doesn't really involve any tricky button-timing issues. It's different from a lot of RPGs in that there's a strong/medium/quick option of fighting moves you can pull in a battle, and various combos of these can create special effects. However, unlike the fighting games this system was drawn from, you're not rushed in any way to pick which move you do. (On top of that, it doesn't really even make much difference most of the time.) As far as button trickery and timing go, there's not much of that in XG, though some people have trouble with a particular location, which has some evidently-difficult jump maneuvers. That's just one stage of the game, though, and even it doesn't rugh you through that I know of.

Overall, Xenogears: great plot. Nice idea for a battle system, too, but that part turned out boring. The dungeons can get long and repetitive, as most enemies more or less require the same strategy (hit it lots of times and/or heal yourself). It's not completely boring, but certain parts make me wonder if the designers ever playtested. I don't mean to put down the game, though, the plot makes up for the battles.


I noticed yesterday that has come across some new copies of Xenogears and is selling them for forty bucks a pop, so anyone who hasn't played it yet or needs a new copy can pick it up cheap(relatively).


So, if you don't mind the battle system I was talking about in the last letter, this game could be for you for the low, low price of... right now... 52,300,000.00 Turkish Lira! (It'll be sixty million before the month is over, I'll bet.)


I just bought the greatest hits version of FFT today, and when i put it in my PS2, it didn't recognize the game, I was wodnering if this is a known problemw ith PS2's for that game, or perhaps it is just my copy.

People have been having all kinds of problems with the tactics rerelease. Actually, by the looks of this news story, Square is doing what it can to give support to the emulating community. I'm proud of them for their profit-sacrificing effort for the greater good! Now we all know that if we want to play a translated FF5, we can break out ZSNES instead of having to play that PSX version of it with the unnecessary load time, and Square will support that choice. At least, that's the impression I'm getting here... what do you think about the defective tactics CDs, Square?

3rd ed Xeno&Dragons

Hey Chimer, sup my brotha (that's right your my brother)

Oh, hi, Anna. When did you move to Canada and change your name to Lyle?

Anyway, which RPG game do you think changed the face of how RPGs are made? I think I know your answer but I just want to see what your opinion is. Secondly, why do you think FF10 sold so well? I thought it wouldn't sell as much since the cost of the game/PS2 is so much higher then say a PS1. I'm surprised.. are you?

- Sincerely,
Lyle J. A. Smith II
NB, Canada
"Sometimes an honest answer can get you in alot of trouble. But i'll give you one anyway."

To answer the first part... I can't answer the first part. Pen and Paper RPGs started up the whole idea back in the sixties or seventies, Phantasy Star and Dragon Warrior brought RPGs to consoles. Beyond that, about all I can do it tell you what games _I_ like... if I try to make a general statement about a game, I'll get plenty of people disagreeing, several of whom will be correct. I can make a few stabs: FF7 brought the genre a new dimension (literally.) Xenogears, Planescape: Torment and a few others brought deep plot intrigue into RPGs, a level they hadn't had before. Music has more or less been improving steadily, at least up to a year or two ago, so I can't think of any real benchmarks there. Out of curiosity, which game did you think I'd pick?

As for the second part... it's a Final Fantasy. People bought PSXes for FF7, and now a lot of those people have jobs paying a significant enough amount so that a $300 PS2 is less significant to them now than a $200 PSX would have been back before FF7 was out. I mean, when you've got a job, things like that just get put into perspective... two months of my car insurance for me is more than a PS2 and two or three games. I think I might save money in the long run if I'd pay for a sex change operation and keep it until I'd turn 25.


Hi Chim.

People have been talking about the difference between Greatest hits titles and original titles. Apparently, the only true difference is that Greatest Hits titles don't work.

Hope you're well.

Every single question in that letter indicates to me clearly and distinctly that you wish to pay for my college housing next semester. I wonder if Paypal could handle that kind of transaction? Oh, also, every question you included there is a million words long, explains the meaning of life, can cure cancer, and is a worse game than Tecmo: Secret of the Stars.


"I had a good feeling. We opened up the box! Inside were a defective copy of FFT. This is the way!" - someone not all-to thrilled by the recent buggy products being sold (FFC, FFT)

Your questions--every one of them--do all the things I said about the questions in the previous letter! Jeez! What's with this!

(Actually, I don't mind question-free letters, but I probably need to make a special section for 'em like Brad did so I don't have to tack on ridiculous and only marginally funny commentary...)


Hey (monks sing) CHIM-ERA-SA-ME
I was wondering what is it with Square's games being messed up. It is actually a rather sick joke to have the FFT game disks not even work. Who's to blame for this? Also is it just me or is Delita and Jowy playing from the same book and that book is Machivelli's "The Prince"?
Imperial Mog

This question came in riiiight as I was getting ready to upload this column. To the first part: that's been covered about eighty times. To the second part: I get the strangest feeling I've been asked this before... I don't think I answered it. Probably because I haven't read The Prince. I imagine that I should, especially if I want to accomplish any world conquest in the near future...


Why am I doing this?


I haven't a clue, but you should stop.

The Last Laugh:

Did anybody see The Downer Channel on Tuesday night? Hard to tell this early if it'll keep it up for long, but so far, that show rocks! I have chosen to place it with Family guy and Futurama on my list of "shows I can't miss... or at least, if I do, I'll get rather irritated about it." Hmm. I should stop naming my lists as I go along. I think I'll also add "Fake Fourth Television Show" to the list. Man, that show rocks!

Falcon will be back tomorrow to answer your questions about falconing. The types of gloves you need, the proper way to care for your falcon if it is wounded, et cetera.

Actually, sending questions about that sort of stuff would be interesting, but I don't think either of us would be able to give a whit of knowledge, unless he really does know for some reason. Send in questions about... heck, pick anything, it doesn't have to be RPGs. Whatever type of question you want to read answers to in this column, send that type of question. (To me, anyway, I'm not making any promises on behalf of Goog and Aegis.)

On that note... ... c'mon, that's the cue for the xylophone to sound! Blah. Oh well. The note in question was supposed to be a Bb. Imagine it. On that note, it's time for me to head to sleep, or some reasonable facsimile thereof. Or perhaps Tetrinet.

Chimerasame "I want a Mek'leth."
Frasier rocks too, though I rarely remember to watch it. And Boston Public seems cool.

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