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Googleshng - January 9 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Ahhhh. Back to the good ol' Q&A column! So relaxing. Not like the weekend where I had to help with that Awards stuff. Speaking of which, if you haven't already, go read those. They're pretty interesting. Oh, and I still need that programmer.

By the way, have any of you seen what the X-Box controller looks like? That is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the worst design for a controller I have ever seen in my entire life. First of all, it's BIG. So big that if you don't have extra large hands, you aren't going to be able to reach all the buttons. At that, you'll have to stretch your thumbs. The control pad is a featureless disc which makes pushing any given direction near-impossible. The button names and colors seem to have been chosen specifically to make anyone who has ever touched a Dreamcast or SNES controller be unable to ever adapt to the thing, and of course the analog buttons are the ones you can't reach at all without being a contortionist. For that matter, whoever came up with the whole analog button concept really deserves a massive beating. Analog joystick? Fine. Handy. Easy to get used to. Big analog trigger? Harder to get used to, generally less handy, but it is handy for stuff like racing games. Analog BUTTON though? Either you're pressing a button, or you aren't. You can hold buttons down, you can hit buttons really fast, but you can't hit a button a LITTLE. I don't see any circumstance where the ability to hit 4 buttons with varying degrees of pressure would actually be USEFUL, plus you just know that one of these days Capcom or someone is going to take one of these new analog button filled consoles and design a really addictive platformer where at some point the only way to survive will be to hit the jump button precisely to the 7th degree of pressure followed by duck to the 5th. Everyone will get stuck there forever and get really frustrating just because someone thought they'd make analog buttons. Ahem. Got off on a tangent there. As a side note, this here tirade was actually supported by the biggest X-Box supporter on staff, who even extolled some flaws of the sidewinder design for me.

Oh right, questions. 8)

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FF9 summons
Hey Googleshng!

I was just wondering if there was any way to actually make the summons the original length that they are the first time you cast one in FF9. I sorta feel jipped on some of them, they feel more like weird spells than summoning an incredibly powerful surreal being! Is there a way?


Get the boost ability. It makes them always full length and do more damage. Otherwise, it's just a question of seeing the occassional special summon.


Hmm. How can Chrono Cross be considered both one of the best and one of the worst games of 2000 at the same time? And I wonder how much input YOU had in choosing Skies of Arcadia as the best game in nearly every category?

Just curious. ;)

-Red Raven

OK, since I got a lot of letters like this, here's exactly how these awards were given. A list of the awards and every game that came out this year was sent to everyone on staff. We all picked our first (3 points) second (2 points) and third (1 point) choices for each category. Almost all of them came out really close, either from everyone voting for the same 3 or 4 games (which happened in best of the year) or everyone voting for totally different stuff (which happened in Biggest Letdown). For the record, Biggest Letdown doesn't mean people HATED it, just that it didn't live up to their expectations. As for what I hope is the joke part of your question, no. While I was of course ready to make bribes and death threats on SoA's behalf, enough staffers broke down from my ravings and bought it that it won on it's own merits.

Nordic spoilers!

hola, goog!

first, am i the only person disappointed that valkyrie profile didn't win ANY awards? seriously, i thought the battle system kicked the crap out of all the others in the category...

anyway, on with the vp questions...

1. i could have swore everything i looked at said that Surt was the final boss in vp... but the excruciatingly easy battle with Loki was mine... why?

2. is the Seraphic Gate really worth going through on the Normal difficutlty?

3. what's up with shiho? she can't cast any spells automatically... is it just 'cause she's blind? if so, why wouldn't her familiar be unusable (or target the spell for her... that's what familiars are for, no?)?

4. uhhh... which ending did you get? i think i got the 'A' ending without even trying...

yeah. um. that's all the questions i have for now... but i'm kinda disappointed that most of my favorite games of the year didn't even get 'runner up' status (i mean, how can ff9 and skies of arcadia win or almost win every category? it's just not cool, i tell ya.) oh yeah, thanks for that vp help you gave me. as you can see, it worked.:)

~shramoon~ still writing those thank you notes...

Surt is the last boss when you get the B ending, Loki with the A. One of several reasons I went out of my way to get the B ending. 8) Shiho can cast spells no problem, it's just that the ones she starts with are healing. Teach her some nice happy holy magic so she can nuke bosses with Celestial Star! As for VP not winning any awards, it DID come really close in a few categories, but it seems too much of the staff either didn't play it, or forgot about it.

Hey Goog! Happy New Year!

In the past you've stated your dislike for emulation, and I was just wondering why? Of course, the use of emulators and roms is semi-legal at best, but that's where the drawbacks end. For all the people who want to play old SNES, NES, and Sega RPGs (or other games) that are no longer on the market and haven't been for years, this is the perfect way to experience something they may otherwise miss out on. Companies aren't going to lose any money on people downloading a rom of Ninja Gaiden 2 off of the internet, because it's not even being produced anymore! And I don't think any store seriously expects to make any money off the three copies of Super Mario World they're selling for $8.99. Also, because the roms come in computer files instead of cartridges, it allows translation groups to translate Japanese games that we otherwise would never see in English in a million years. Plus, emulators nowadays are way beyond the buggy, half working experiments they were just a few years ago. Most systems have emulators that reproduce the system as good as the real thing, or better. Well, I guess you know how I feel about it, can you tell us why you feel the way you do? I'm not asking this to bash you or anything, I'd just like to hear your opinion and why you feel the way you do.

Robust Stu

OK, there are a number of reasons I'm against emulation. First off, there's the fact that, although I don't tend to look the part, I AM a professional gaming journalist, and have nice little chats with various developers and publishers from time to time. It would be more than a little rude of me to go about showing public support for stealing their old stuff. Beyond that of course there's the little bit about how I've spent the last 5 years or so making a game of my own, and it'd be a bit hypocritical of me to expect money for it if I were OK on emulation. Aside from not being legal though, there ARE some circumstances where I'd have no problem with emulation, but very few of them. Oh, and for the record, being too lazy to dig through used game bins for SNES games isn't one of them.


The Last Laugh:

Sorry today's column is so short. It's one of those instances where I look at the clock and go ACK! This is really late! I'd better post it now before it's time for tomorrow's! I have a lot of good questions left here though, which I'll get around to posting tomorrow. In other news, this Friday will be CN's final guest host spot, so if you have a copy of the extremely obscure game of his dreams, you'd better speak up now! Oh, and about half the staff of RPGamer, myself included, just recieved import copies of PSO. Feel free to send questions about it in tomorrow, and look for a preview soon. Don't ask about networking though, have to wait for the US launch to play with that. Hmm... getting drool on keyboards is bad... BYE!

Googleshng "I have PSO now!"

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