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Googleshng - January 17 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

I figured out why my time's been disappearing! I have the terrible flu that's had everyone I know bedridden for the last week or so. That explains everything! I should be able to get over it with a day of bedrest, but then I couldn't do this here column. So... I'm letting a horde of demons all the other staffers who are awake take a crack at it. Not only do you not get deprived of a column, but it has a wacky randomness thing going for it! Enjoy!

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G'day Goog, Having debated it in my mind for a while, It looks like the Game Boy Advance seems to be the little hand-held wonder that RPG'ers who preferred old style games are looking for. Golden Sun looks incredible, so does Tactics Gaiden, and even Magical Vacation seems to have something about it that makes me want to play it. What do you think?

Mikel:
Hi Adam,

Now, I'm hardly an expert on the Game Boy Advance, but I am currently the only one on staff who has had a chance to play the GBA, so Goog thought I was the best choice to answer this one.

As for the graphics on these new RPGs, I've always been a fan of sprites and other characteristics that try and define 'old-school.' I am a huge fan of the Lunar series, even now that 3D worlds are abundant on various consoles. Whether it's something nostalgic about the old days, or simply that most games with simpler graphics have better stories for counterbalance, I have to agree that I favor the style most of the GBA RPGs possess. Now we simply need to make sure that Nintendo knows to bring these great games across the Pacific.

 
Your weekend is right here...
See, it's in my right shirt pocket...uh, where did it GO???? Crud!

Anyhow, too bad I can't stick to a single alias, so I'll let you make one up for me...

Now on to the real question...

I'm really enjoying Lunar: SST and for once, I can say that SquareSoft does not rule all spacetime and dimension. (Lately, it seems its little corner of the universe has been contracting...is Square's Big Crunch coming soon?) Anyhow, I'm the type who likes to play without a strategy guide since I first tried it, but working takes a heck a lot of time out of my playtime. A lot!! I don't want to spend too much money on RPGs at once, otherwise I'll end up getting too many RPGs and not enough anime ^_^

But I digress, given the length of Lunar 1 and 2, how long would it take a first timer to clear 'em both? I'm an FF veteran since FF1, so I'm usually pretty quick with old school games.

Mikel:
Lunar has one really nasty trait, and that is, for the most part, that leveling up does no good. There is the debate that having a certain spell or 3 more magic points will make a difference. However, once you reach a certain point, having learned all the spells you can, it really makes little difference at all.

With that in mind, the time to complete Lunar games is pretty standard. I think each game can be completed in about 20 hours. This is just straight through, no stops for exploration, just point a to point b to point c, etc. You won't miss anything from either game by playing in this fashion. My personal experience is that each game takes about 35-40 hours. I like to wander around, fight different monsters, and sometimes just talk to everyone in town in hopes that one of the characters will take the chance to mock another in your party.

I hope somewhere in that reminiscent thought, you found the answer you wanted. Good Luck! (with WD's tougher bosses, you may need it ;)

 
Gnarly
AHHH!

AHHH!

Have you SEEN the "character artwork" that Rpgamer just released for Tide/Tida of FFX?! AHHH! HE LOOKS LIKE A FREAKING BLEACHED BLOND SUFER BOY!!! That's the single most worst-looking hero for any RPG I've seen in a looong time. I understand that Square wanted to shake of some of that "serious depressed" hero baggage (like Cloud and Squall...but I love those guys even if FFVIII was a pretty bad game) when they created Zidane (whom I love equally); who was funny, quirky, lighthearted, womanizing and generally adored by all. But if that's what the hero looks like in FFX... @_@s I thought he had brown hair, by the way. He did in the earlier screenshots...

Mistress Nightshadow:
Blond Surfer boy doesn't sound quite right. He's a badly made Australian stereotype. That or someone who'd you associate as a Hawaii regular. I mean, We got the fair skin, the blonde hair, the blue eyes, that attempt to look macho... and that skin tone... *shudder*

Sure it's bad enough, but maybe they'll be a flip side to it. He might not have a stereotypical character. I certainly hope not. Anyway it could be worse...

If Square decide to break their trend in not voicing actors in their Final Fantasy Series, and that person breaks out in either Aussie or Surfer talk, I think I'll have nightmares. We can only hope that they don't make our hero break out in sporadic "G'day mate" and "Gnarly". If they do... I pray that it never hits Australian shores. We'd freak out the general population... either that, or our government would pester Square for political incorrectness. I'm not sure what's worse.

Then again, since they never considered voicing for Final Fantasy, I think we're safe... maybe.

 
Just... Gnarly
Goog,

I was over at this gaming site, and I saw some stuff on FF10. It looks so good. I'm just wondering something, could they port it from the PS2 to the PC? I'm not gonna spend all the dough to get a PS2, so I kinda need them to port it. What do you think?

Chris

Mistress Nightshadow:
Well, considering that most of Australia probably can't afford to buy a PS2, I was kinda hoping that it'd be the case. Since they did it with Final Fantasy VII and VIII and I suspect with FFIX as well, they'd probably would, unless:
1. They don't port FFIX at all, which is a pretty strong indicator as to their intentions for the future or...
2. They find out the equivilant needed to run FFX is ridiculous, like a minimum requirement of a 1GHz processor and a Ge-force 2. Then it wouldn't be marketable. Chances of that are near zero, but we are talking about a PS2 game here.

I doubt either would happen, but since Final Fantasy IX hasn't been announced for the PC yet, don't take it for gospel, but it's not a once in a blue moon thing either.

 
Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence.
What's the difference between "RPGMaker" and this new "Ambrosia" RPG kit? And are either worth buying, or should I just learn how to animate sprites and add text and music on my own?

SLS

Merripen:
Greetings. I am the shadow called Merripen. I work as part of the RPGamer news staff, do some graphical work around here (want the christmas theme back year-round? watch for my petition soon...), and now I get a chance to warp Q&A. How pleasant.

To answer your question, there are some pretty big differences between the two. RPGMaker, released last year for the PlayStation, was the first effort to allow console gamers a chance to create their very own RPGs. It basically lets you make games comparable to Final Fantasy 6 (that is, sprite-based), and save them to your memory card. Your ENTIRE memory card, that is. It was a great idea, and many people seem to enjoy it, but it has a difficult interface, and you have to enter text... the painful way. So it never really caught on as largely as many thought it might.

For clarification, "Ambrosia" is a publisher, not the product name. Ambrosia's Coldstone RPG tool kit is currently in development by a company called Beenox, and will be released for the Macintosh. If Ambrosia continues its current trend, they may decide to make a PC version, as well. We don't know too much about this one yet, but it looks to be very much oriented towards the current level of RPGs, allowing full use of polygonal environments and extremely in-depth game design. Since Coldstone is still in the works, we will have to wait and see how it turns out.

As far as which one you should get, if either, it may be worth waiting for the latter. It will let you make much higher quality games, and has the major advantage of being on a computer, where you can type in your game's text. RPGMaker is one you need to look into a bit more before buying. Check out RPGamer's coverage, and perhaps rent it for a weekend before going out and purchasing the title.

 

The Last Laugh:

Merripen: Alas, sunlight approaches and my kind are unwelcome. This was most entertaining. Like a mobius strip... only moreso.

*fades into Shadow*
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Mistress Nightshadow: Hey wait a second, get back... Damn. He's gone already.

Since Mikel decided to fly off and Merripen went off to play with matches again (silly things) that leaves me to close for the night. For one thing, I'd like to point out to Google that we're NOT a horde of demons... We're either intergalatic travellers (that'd be me) or creatures from another Dimension (Mikel (a dragon) and Merripen (a shadow) would fall into the list) But that's just a minor point.

There's an editorial update due tomorrow so all you readers can chase me in there, and for all those who haven't heard, there's a little competition running there, where you can win real prizes, like a game of your choice and a guest host spot. The competition rules can be seen here.

Well, that's your letters for today... Google should be well enough to haul himself out by the end of the day for tomorrow's column. Yes, slimes can catch the flu too. You just don't know because you can't tell anyway.

This definitely proved to be interesting... make sure you treat the slime tomorrow with extra care in your letters.

Just a thought.





merripen
Snicker-snak!




Googleshng "Horde of Demons?" @rpgamer.com
"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."

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