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Googleshng - May 2 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

One guess what I just broke down and saw. Nice thing about living in a small town, by the time movies hit your local theater, everyone's seen'em and told you if they were any good. Plus the tickets are freaky cheap and there's no crying little kids! Anyway though, on with the column.

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Let's get this over with ahead of time...

Google,
I have to disagree with your point on WSC. Bandi is not a non name. Do you have any Final Fantasy action figure? Or how about Gundam models? Bandi makes a good number of product. To a good number of Anime fans, Bandi is a familiar name on lots of anime related product. Bandi also release a Console(it never show up in US), and the had good support with the orginal WonderSwan (in Janpan).You said that GBA is better since it has more games. This is not true, since other Square title such as Blue Wing Blitz and WildCard would be out soon. Other title sucha as Digimon and Gundam are also interesting. WSC also has Banpresto as a developer, which has been know to make many anime types of games. WSC actually had Square support, GBA, on other hand, is not going tyo happen unless Nintendo change management . Also, since WSC has been aviable in Janpan for quite a while, more games are already release than GBA at this point. If Bandi is actually planning to release WSC in US, then we can expect a fair number of games. You also mention that the WSC is 16 bit while the GBA is 32 bit, which is about as uesful pointing out that the PSX is 32 bit while the N64 is 64 bit. WSC has other strenght as well. First it is the WSC is actually backwards compatable with old WonderSwan games, so you can actually play any old SW game you may not have the chance. Second, WSC has is better control. There has been a lot of complain on the number of buttons for GBA. Whith only 6 plus the direction pad, it is hard to compare with the button that WSC has (as many as a PSX controler). The WSC is also playable on the side, which makes it better for shooter. Third, it is compareble with Sony product. Nintendo has been making a big deal on how GBA can hook up with the GameCube. Nintendo expect that the help sell GameCube. There is no reason why Bandi cant market WSC because it is comparable with a Sony system. Finally, WSC has a better price. WSC is probally going to cost around $60-70 with games $20-30. GBA is going to cost $100 and games at $30-40. The price for a GBA is enough for a Dreamcast, and might be too much for most people. I personally play the orgianl Wonder Swan and was quite impressive with it, and unless you had actually play a WSC, dont make negative judgment.

Googleshng:
Oh, where do I begin? I suppose at the beginning. First of all, while Bandai is a well known toy company, they are not an established video game hardware manufacturer. Next, I don't care how many games Square releases on it, the WSC's software library is never going to catch up with the combined libraries of the Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and GBA itself. There's a difference of several orders of magnitude there. Banpresto makes anime based games for every single platform around, none of which ever make it to the US, making that point doubley moot. Square is supporting the GBA just as much as the WSC, and it will most likely be getting remakes of FF4-6 after everyone's favorite eccentric executive retires next year. Comparing a 32 bit handheld to a 16 bit handheld is MUCH different by the way than comparing the PSX to the N64, since the most noticable differences there come from the storage mediums, and not the traditionally advertised specs. A more fair and accurate analogy would be to compare the SNES and the NES. As mentioned earlier, backwards compatability is a point for the GBA, not the WSC. The number of buttons on any controller, handheld, or mouse really isn't a limiting factor most of the time nearly as much as their placement is, and overall, it's just a question of how the developer makes use of them. I can't comprehend what you mean by "compareble with Sony product", so I'll just skip that bit, and moving on to prices, considering that Bandai hasn't really made it's mind up about bringing the thing over at all, I doubt they have any prices set in stone, making that point moot. Finally, regarding your hypocritical closing remark, I never made any negative judgement regarding the WSC, I just said I didn't see how someone could be drooling over it more than the GBA.

 
A little more on the issue...

Dear Googleshng,

There was excitement beyond words in the suite today when my roommate (Kyle) showed me his published letter in today's issue of "Ask Google". The letter in question asked about the wisdom of purchasing a used DC for Skies of Arcadia, and went on to assert Kyle's jealous championing of old-school Xenogear lovin', finishing off with a little home-brewed WonderSwan Color speculation.
You asked some questions about Kyle's single-minded devotion to the WSC, and I thought I'd clarify some of his points, if only to give you some possible insight into the mind of the "hardcore" (read: obscure) RPG hand-held gamer.

Kyle wants wants him some WSC like he wants him some NGE import soundtrack CD's, and here are some of the reasons: A) Exclusive Final Fantasy re-makes. Having *gasp* never even played FF1, the WSC gives him the unexpected chance to play all three original Final Fantasy's, thus allowing him to fill in embarassing gaps in his otherwise admittedly copious RPG play-throughs. I have to admit, this is a pretty persuasive selling point for the otherwise outmoded WSC. If one choses to try and play said games via emulator, one either needs to have taken Japanese in school (a luxury not all of us are lucky enough to have had available) or get one of the horrible translated versions which miss out on mucho plot and contextual detail. Plus, who doesn't want to fight a jumped up 16-bit Garland? The temptations are many for the weak of mind and heart, indeed.
B) Gundam Gundam Gundam! What are there, like 30 different Gundam games coming out for the WSC?? Seriously, for a Gundam fanboy (and you people know who you are out there), the GBA just can't compare to all of the Gundam goodness just waiting to be unlocked when (apparently) the WSC comes state-side. This is less a big deal for me, but there just aren't that many Gundam games out here in the states, not counting the fighting game for the PSX and the two or three third-person action games for the DC.
C) Hiroshi Yamauchi doesn't make a single solitary cent off of Kyle's hard-earned dough. Though we are trying to make a concerted effort here in the suite not to console-hate our way through the 128-bit era, old habits die hard, and it would be a bitter pill indeed for a recovering Nintendo-phobe to gain enjoyment from a system made by the Evil Empire. Sad, but that's definately a WSC selling-point for some of us out there.

Well, there you go. I hope that helps answer your questions. Thanks for reading. If you could find space to publish this, I would gain massive cool-points with everyone here (especially Kyle, who reacts with shock when an RPG gamer tell him that they don't, in fact, "read Googleshng") and maybe help Kyle to give up his console hating, just a little. But, nevertheless, thanks for the time. I can't wait to play Magical Vacation on my see-through blue GBA. Oh man, that's gonna rule.

-James

Googleshng:
Did you just refer to NINTENDO as the Evil Empire? That's a new one. Are you grinding an axe from the very old days of the SMS "competing" with the NES, or do you use a different definition of Evil Empire than I do? It's hard to opress the people when you're the underdog. Your Gundam point is interesting, but forces me to accept the fact that people really like Gundam. Finally though, my main point still stands that it seems more odd to drool over a system that has a snowball's chance of getting massive 3rd party support, and might not make it out in the US at all, than the system everyone knows will be quite successful, if for no other reason than the unholy undying strength of the Gameboy. Of course, on the other hand, I drooled over Koudelka more than Chrono Cross... I guess it all boils down to pushing the buttons of personal taste.

 
CC and stuff

CC spoiler of sorts

yo goog

I've got a couple of questions for you:

1. in ChronoCross what happened to Lucca? At first Kid is like: "and i never saw her again. wah : (" but then you get blasted back in time to the burning house. You find her glasses but not her..is she dead? thats what i assumed..but then i wondered what was the point of returning to that point in time if you accomplished..nothing?

Googleshng:
Evidently, when they decided to make CC, the team decided that they REALLY didn't like any of the characters from CT, and opted to kill them all off unceremoniously. As for that flashback, well, there IS the whole Serge/Kid sappy happy bit going.

CC spoiler of sorts

2. How do all the silly accents and stuff work in the japanese version? do they use a certain dialect ( i doubt there are enough written differences in japanese dialects for that to work)? or were they just added by a translator who had been smoking something?

Googleshng:
Translators got bored yeah. In Japan, they all just talk normally I believe.

CC spoiler of sorts

3. I've got a friend who is just getting interested in rpgs. She [shocked gasp!..er, no offense rpgirls..but you are rare] played ff7 and 8 on the computer and liked them..and then got a psx and ff9 for her bday. she really likes ff9, but is almost done with it. what should i get her to play next? shes into plot and character develpment, not leveling up, or difficulty. I'd say CC would be perfect, but she hasnt played CT (or any snes rpg)..so i dunno if thats the best choice...what do you suggest?

-hhhiryuu

Googleshng:
Well, the Grandias are cakewalks with nice plots, so those should do nicely. FF6 is also a good choice, and I suppose 4 too. Chrono Trigger itself is nice, followed by Cross. I'm actually having a surprisingly tough time thinking of non-Square games with easy combat. There really aren't that many, so after those I suppose she'll have to just get into combat too.

 
Fun fact

Someone about a year ago was looking for the Final Fantasy Logo font. Someone else suggested a font called Edition. Edition's close but no cigar, especially when you look at the logos for the newer FF games. Well I think I finally found it! It's at http://www.geocities.com/animesquare_se/rpgmain.html . Also don't try using either font without font smoothing on(in Win 98, right click on your desktop, hit the Effects tab, and check Smooth Screen Fonts. In Win 95, go to http://www.microsoft.com/truetype/grayscal/smoother.htm and download that free utility, install it, and use it.[Don't install the Win 95 smoother in Win 98 though..you already have font smoothing]) Otherwise these fonts go all nasty and jaggy on you!

To see the FF Font in action, go check out http://www.geocities.com/catgrove (I made a logo for my brother's page with the FF Font and Microsoft Paint+a free JPG compressor)

I hope you do post this...for whoever that nameless two people were--they're probably still wondering...one who's probably disappointed, the other who's still wondering why Edition looks so jaggy...

Mary-Alice Davies
--who only fakes FF logos when it's called for(such as for the FF Chronicles or for a Final Fantasy page logo)

Googleshng:
Some people will probably care about that.

 
PC RPGs

I read your rant and I completely agree about saturday morning cartoons. Pirates of Dark Water was a great show and I cried when they took it off the air. Also, an interesting fact, J. Michael Stracynski, the creator of Babylon 5 and Crusade, wrote a few episodes of the Ghostbusters cartoon. Now to my question. First, do you think Arcanum will be as great a game as I think it will be? Why aren't people more excited about Arcanum? It seems like all anybody talks about when it comes to PC RPG's anymore are BioWare's games. Everyone talks about how Baldur's Gate revived the dead PC RPG genre. Well, aren't they forgetting a little game called Fallout. I'm sorry, but I thought Fallout was a much better game and was much more non-linear despite every single BG ad bragging about how non-linear it was. Now, the design team is releasing another game that is shaping up to be just as good if not better, and nobody seems to care. Its a crime I tell you! Everyone go buy Arcanum when it is released!

-OologahQ

Googleshng:
Personally, I'm never that interested in PC RPGs. You'd think it's because I'm a Mac user, but all the popular ones are available for us too. Mostly it's the whole non-linear thing. I like to gut games, and they make it far too taxing to do it. That and there's a habit of basing them on AD&D, which, quite frankly, has lousy mechanics. Anyway though, I think you seriously underestimate the popularity of Fallout. Everyone I know has it, I've even played it a little, and I've never met anyone who didn't love it (if it came up in conversation). As for Arcanum, that DOES sound interesting. I once said "It would be interesting to have an RPG that had a steampunk setting and fantasy races." The person I said it to then looked at me in a horrified fashion and said something about Shadowrun being weird enough. Someone's finally making it though, so yay!

 
A public service announcement

Well, this is just to inform you and everyone else that I will be taking an extended Leave of Absence from Editorials. Unfortunately, I will not be able to perform my duties as Editor at least for the forseeable future, and my last update before my Leave of Absence will be this weekend. All replacement details have been arranged, so don't fret... well much.

With formalities aside, onto the questions.
1. Hmm... What RPGs should I keep an eye out for (for any and all platforms)?
2. Say, should I be worried about stalkers?
3. Anything that I HAVE to get RPG or non RPG related?
(Yes, I know I'm being deliberately vague. But it's so much fun! :P)

One last note: Anyone lucky enough to see me around will get an autograph on the back of a photo of me if they manage to find me... or something anyway.

Just a thought.
Mistress Nightshadow Currently shadowing America

Googleshng:
Games to watch for: Sequels to EVERYTHING. That should cover it. Unless you mean games you can't get ahold of in Australia, in which case: Everything getting a sequel. As for stuff you have to get, directions to hotels, and the money to pay for your shares of the rooms. Also a Chibi-Crucified-Lilith keychain. Everyone needs one of those. As for stalkers, why worry? They're cute!



Quickies

Why do you like skies of arcadia so much? I have it, I like it, and it's pretty fun, but what makes you speak so highly of it?

~Matt

The last time I was asked this, I gave a two page reply. Now I'll just try and summarize that. For the last... 6 years or so, just about every RPG released has tried an exciting new gimmick, which took time and effort away from other aspects. Skies of Arcadia though is just plain great all around. Each and every aspect and scene in the game shows a level of care and effort you just don't see in other games, yielding a great final product. Plus ship battles just plain rule.

Hello there Goog,

Gotta PSO question. Now are PSO and PSOv2 completely different or is PSOv2 just PSO with a lot more goodies? There ought to be a way to make that look less complicated but oh well.

-Radrisol-

PSOv2 adds a couple neat new features, 2 new areas, and doubles the level cap. How is the tough part.

The Last Laugh:

I really need to get my connection permanently fixed. Sure it doesn't happen often, but having my connection die for 3 hour stretchs does nasty stuff like make columns late. In other news, the new iBooks are really nice. I don't suppose any of you, say, work in an Apple warehouse, or drive trucks for FedEx do you?

Googleshng "Boiled" @rpgamer.com
Living in a greenhouse sucks.

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