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Googleshng - July 26 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Last night it rained, and it's been cloudy all day. This means I get to move any think straight for the entire day, not just after sun down. Yay!

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Greetings Google, I have some questions for you (If I may get straight to the point). 1. How do you feel about the series Slayers (Next and Try included)?

Darn good show, and one of the very few that can swing back and forth between serious and silly successfully.

2. What anime genres do you prefer (fantasy, sci-fi, humor, etc.)?

Well, looking at the list of anime I like, there's no noticable pattern at all. A silly fantasy show here, a serious sci-fi/western show there, a sick twisted shoujo series over there set in the real world or a reasonable facsimile...

3. Do you know where I can find a decent Strategy RPG editor/maker on the web, I have looked everywhere.

Nope, and considering that every TRPG worth playing has a very unique and interesting set of mechanics, I doubt you'll find one.

4. I have heard low rumblings and rumors of a Strategy RPG maker by AgeTec, do you know if this is true or not?

I haven't heard that myself, but I don't hear much of anything before it crosses the rumor line.

5. Have you ever participated in an online e-mail based RPG or even a MUD, if so what genres and RPGs where they? (okay thats two questions, but still...)

I created a play-by-e-mail RPG from scratch once, so i guess I'll have to say yes here.

6. Do you like original Fanfiction based on anime or games, or do you believe that it should be left to the professionals?

Many a thanks.

None of the above. I personally don't like reading fanfics, but I am not at all offended by their existance.

More on VP

Hope you haven't made the column yet. ANyways, this may be a rather basic question and I am just a goof for not knowing this, but I wanted to ask anyways:) I am close to the end of chapter 1, and all my people have negative hero value. I read that I should be sending at least one person up per chapter, but the requirements say 40 minimum fir this chapter. And with everyone having negative levels.....How do I raise their hero levels? Thanks!

Go into the experience spending screen and bring up everyone's traits as much as you can. Arngrim you still won't be able to send up, but the others will do quite nicely. Hero values also go up with experience, and since the higher you have the better, and it's just nice to have a full party, you should always wait until the last minute before sending people up.

Lufia 3fia doesn't quite work...

Is it just me or does the new Lufia game look pretty darn spiffy frickin' awesome or what? (What.) Ya get 9 characters in battle and the ancient cave has 200 floors this time, and well, it's just around the corner. I was just playing Lufia 2, and despite the simplistic storyline, it was quite enjoyable. Great puzzles too. What's your opinion on the Lufia series?

-Ari "Their beady little eyes and flappin' heads so full of lies..."

P.S. I just heard there are no Taco Bells in Canada. How can people live there??? ~_~

The 9 character party bit does sound interesting, of course I'm told that only the 3 on the side you get attacked from fight, which of course means that if you only have 3 people standing, being attacked from the side is a very very bad thing.

Dispelling rumors

Dear sweet Google,
Ok, this has been bugging me for a while. I've read in several of your columns that Hoshigami is made by the same people as the FFT team. It is NOT! In fact, the people making Hoshigami had nothing whatsoever to do with FFT. That was just a rumour. I have read this in several places, including a swedish game magazine called Super Play, although for the life of me I can't recall any of the web sites I read it on right now. I know, I have no proof to show you, but I'm sure there are some readers out there who can actually confirm this. If I'm wrong, then I'll look stupid, but I'm about 90% sure that I'm not. Have a nice day,


I recieved a couple of letters along these lines, including a version of this one here with two news stories attached. I used this version though since I'd rather not name names in what I am about to say if I can help it. A while ago, a certain major news network which makes the occassional sloppy mistake vaguely alluded to a rumor being dispelled about the development team of Hoshigami. Just as a guess, I'd say, this was probably a sloppy reporting of the fact that not EVERYONE who made FFT is working on Hoshigami. There was a handful of core Square employees involved just as far as putting the FF in FFT, who are of course still at Square. In any case, upon seeing this, some smaller news sites embellished this into large stories proclaiming that there is absolutely no connection between the two. The only articles I've ever seen pointed out supporting this are the aforementioned vague reference to a rumor, which doesn't contain enough information to prove anyone's point, and a story on a site which I know for a fact has run stories in the past that have no basis in reality whatsoever. Now you see why I didn't print those links. 8) Meanwhile I've talked to Atlus about Hoshigami, and they didn't deny its parentage, I've PLAYED Hoshigami, and it clearly uses the exact same graphics engine and character designer as FFT, in fact the main character looks exactly like Ramza with a haircut, and I am absolutely certain that it's made by the same team, and every reliable source I can find agrees.

Did I somehow mail myself? O_o

Hi Google. I've started playing my PS1 RPGs this summer that I did not have a chance to play during the school year and I started to play Parasite Eve 2. First of all, I'm one of the only gamers out there that loved Parasite Eve 1, but as I'm nearing the end of Parasite Eve 2, I'm becoming more and MORE disappointed as I play it. The gameplay seems totally different than the first one, and it feels like I'm playing another Resident Evil! Although I am also a huge Resident Evil fan, that series does not have the characteristics of an RPG....and I do believe that Parasite Eve 1 felt more like an RPG (it had a ATB bar, you gained HP, etc...). Parasite Eve 2 feels no where near playing an RPG!!!! Why did Squaresoft change the interface of this series????

My second point goes to playing Final Fantasy IX. Well, I'm a huge fan of FFVII and FFVIII but FFIX just does not excite me that much! The characters almost seem like characters out of a disney movie. And as I read those emails of fans who complained to Squaresoft about FFVII and FFVIII and wanting to go back to those old "Final Fantasy roots", I kept asking myself, why are they complaining??? FFVII and FFVIII are two games that brought many gamers into the RPG world (including myself). FIV and FFVI seem more fun to play than FFIX. And plus, I am eagerly awaiting Final Fantasy X to arrive in the states.


Up until that last sentence I completely agreed with this letter. As far as I can tell, this is how Parasite Eve 2 came into existance. First Squaresoft makes the original PE, an odd little Action/RPG that blends some elements of the Resident Evil series in with some elements from Square games. It wasn't exactly one of the greatest games of all time, but it had some good points, and I for one actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Overall it didn't do too well though, and the Resident Evil series continued to get good reviews all around, especially the second one. So Squaresoft decides they should just copy RE2 directly. They make a game that has absolutely no connection with the original PE except for the main character, the fact that you have spells, and the word mitochondria. Everything else about the game is ripped directly from Resident Evil 2, including most of the plot and setting. All of PE's virtues are gone. The gun customization, the unique plot, the constant high quality (for its time) FMV, the ultra-sick optional side quest in the plus games, not a trace of any of them. Now, directly copying RE2 then changing some names and appearences wouldn't have been such a bad thing. RE2 is a darn fine game. Unfortunately, the principals that made RE2 great (limited ammo, puzzles, a growing sense of dread as the game goes on and your resources dwindle to a dangerous point and bigger things keep appearing, the quick judgement calls on whether to fight or dodge, the very limited inventory, and legitimately scary scenes) all escaped Square's grasp. On top of that, they made a number of unbelievably moronic design choices, including a targetting and moving system that seriously hinders gameplay in an unfair fashion, and having unlimited ammo, and monsters that aren't a threat whatsoever but take 200 hits to kill and you're penalized for running. Oh, and then there's the unliked item boxes that force you to run back and forth across 20 screens every half an hour dragging your inventory through the game. Put it all together and you have the worst excuse for a game I have ever had the misfortune to play. Uh... ahem. Got carried away there didn't I?

Moving along to FF9, well, people whined about FF7 and FF8 "going high tech" despite the fact that the level of technology has been steadily increasing in the FF series forever, and even the first had a big nasty robot. People also complained about FF8 getting way too experimental in terms of mechanics. So then they decided to make FF9 a major nostalgia trip back to all the SNES FFs in an attempt to shut people up. This worked, but it caused other people to scream bloody murder at being sold a game with nothing new in it, not to mention a complete lack of character development for the 8 one dimensional characters it stars. So now they might just alternate between experimental and conservative for a while so that everyone is happy half the time... except of course for all those people who think the series has lost it's edge and are just moving on to games by other developers.

Xenogears remake

Well hello almighty keeper of the slime,
So I was just curious, I seem to remember some Xenosaga information that mentioned something about how Takahishi wanted to completley remake the whole Xenosaga, 'erm um....saga, he was planning on making all 6 episodes, including a re-make of episode 5, but I can't find it anymore, anychance you could help me find it? Or at least confrim you remembering, or something to that effect 'eh? Right then, that's all I've got right now, THANK YOU, much love, much love, bubai.

~ *iL* ~ *(hi$)*~

It was indeed said that Xenosaga is planned as a 6 game series with the 5th basically being a remake of Xenogears. We ran a story on it, which should be linked to from our news archives and the Xenosaga page.

The Last Laugh:

Before I forget, Toni Burbidge sent in this amusing picture a while ago. I suppose I should mutter Chrono Cross spoiler, and point out the spoofing of the Xenogears Perfect Works cover art. In any case though, tomorrow Aaron Bolner will be guest hosting. To get his spot, send him Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete, Valkyrie Profile, or Suikoden II. He can answer questions on pretty much any Square game, and the Phantasy Star series, much like I can, so just about anything is fair game. Try to get letters in quick though since I'm a bit late getting this up.

Googleshng "Poof!"
I could have responded to that Hoshigami thing with this song, but I restrained myself.

Old Issues
  • Hoshigami is made by the same people as FFT.
  • FFT is getting a GH rerelease(?)
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New Issues
  • Diablo 2 Expansion is so spiffy, but so costly. ;_;
  • Actually, it's not that expensive, I'm just flat broke.

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