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Googleshng - January 29 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

This weekend, I somehow found myself starting to make an anime music video. This really changed the rest of my plans. I also ended up having a chance to try GTA3, which really made me wonder why it was banned in Australia, and FF10, which I'll mention later.

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Hey google, I have a short question for you today. With the popularity of porting such Dreamcast games as Grandia 2 and Shenmue 2, is there any chance of bringing Skies of Arcadia to another platform for people who never got to play the game?
"I can see a dream in your dance. I can see tomorrow in your dance. We can call it our hope"
-Dance Dance Revoluion 4th mix

Googleshng:
Uh, such ports were announced a LONG time ago. Most people I know who don't currently own SoA are currently holding out for the GameCube version.

 
Charming names?

What do you think of the Square's recently patented title, Chrono Break? Neither the word Trigger nor Cross really gave much away about the function of the games' respective final items, so I don't suppose there's much that can be told based on this title, but aesthetically speaking, I like the sound of it.

And oh, I kept meaning to ask something a couple of weeks ago. What's the difference between Charm and Confuse? I guess in some games (FFT, perhaps?) Charm causes your character to actively fight for the other side, but in others doesn't it cause the same problems that Confuse causes (in other games)? I haven't gone through my library researching this, so my memory could be way off.

Thanks,
Sullivan

Googleshng:
Ah yes. About 2 months ago, Square took patents out on the names Chrono Break and Ultimate SaGa. Contrary to what some other people are going around saying, that's a far cry from any official announcement of any kind, but it would suggest that Square is currently using those as dev names for projects they're working on. Now that everyone's caught up, on to your questions.

Chrono Break has a nice enough sounding ring to it, but you won't here any Chrono related noise from me without dropping a character designer or a connection to earlier games on me.

And as for Charm and Confuse, yes there is a general concensus that the former makes you switch sides and the latter makes you act in a totally random fashion. Of course there isn't a single condition that works in a consistant manner in EVERY RPG. Not even poison.

 
Things people ask too often.

Will there be a final fantasy tactics 2? I have recently bought the first one and i became addicted to it. As everyone has. So i wold like to know if there will be a sequal? and will it be on psx or ps2.
thank you for your time

cass

Googleshng:
Short answer: No. There won't. However, there's PLENTY of TRPGs out there that are similar enough to keep you happy. I suggest Saiyuki and Hoshigami for example.

 
Long Importing Essay

There is a few reasons (some valid, some questionable) as to why territorial locks exist.

a) To protect a company's profits. It's said that you can pick up games in Hong Kong for about 1/5th the price of what you could get them in America. I don't know how true it holds today (That was about four years ago) but you can imagine if everyone ran over and started en-masse purchasing games from there. The company's profits will go through the floor. The margins may not be as big, but I am fairly sure of there being a price difference.

b) To protect the sub-contractors. Now many people don't know this, but there's a contractor which usually distributes games (translated of course) to other countries. Larger corporations, such as Square, can do it directly through their own subsiduaries, but I know for a fact that there's other companies which contract other companies to do disrtibution. (Example, Ubi Soft contracts a small company in Australia and licences them to sell their games as well as Australian technical support.)
Territorial locks are designed so that those sub-contractors are protected (somewhat) from some nobody importing a stack of games can just sell it en-masse. The contractor would have their rights (which they paid a lot of money for) protected so they can attempt to turn a profit converting a game from NTSC-J to NTSC/PAL and doing any necessary translation.

c) To enforce censorship laws in place around the world. As examples, the EU/AU versions of Fallout 2 had the children removed because you could kill anything that could move (including them) and Grand Theft Auto 3 was recalled and banned from the Australian market. (And if you didn't already know, there is a slight difference between the Australian and UK/EU PAL standards on the PS2 machine. I'm told it's not hard to override, but it's there, since Australia and Europe are coded into two different regions.)

d) Control. Some games companies decree for unknown reasons not based on reason b) or c) that certain products will just not be released. Maybe they're too lazy to release it themselves and no one wants to go through the expense of bringing it over. Those reasons are never disclosed.

Now the first I can easily understand, since well, your average American can relatively afford more than say your average Australian or Hong Kong resident. (Just look on the crossover rates and then the median pay a resident usually earns.) and the profit IS supposed to go to the game publishers. The second makes business sense since well, those companies DID agree to pay to port a game over and go through the trouble, and it's unfair to have a third person gain wild profits for relatively no work.

The third is somewhat questionable since why did a game make it past all the other censory boards but not the one which blocked it, but then again I'm not going to cross governments.

The last is usually where questions come up, and where most people believe importing is reasonable in this case, since well, if I can't get a game at all here, I'll go on the net/import store/visit a country and pick up a copy. Of course I won't be able to play it on my machine right now, but there's chips out there which will allow me to legally play the game if I go to all the effort to solder them in.

The last no one has ever been chased for in the entire history of gaming. It's considered a legal grey area, but legal for all intents and purposes. Well, not in the UK anymore.

Now there's your explanation as to why people believe territorial locks should come into play.

Now the ruling in the UK (which is currently law) has asserted the right of the company to decide where one can and cannot play a game, regardless of the fact I very legally obtained it say while I go to E3 2002 or see a friend in London, or get a copy sent from a US website.

The court case was supposed to stop pirating (Which isn't that unreasonable), but I guess they smacked the importing clause right on the head with it, as the ruling has said, since it allows no exceptions. At all. The company's decision is final.

It's unfair since that dictiates just who has the right to purchase items regardless of the fact I can afford to or not (which if it happened within Australia, I'd be able to easily sue and force them to discontinue using anti-discrimination laws since it's nothing short of commerical discrimination. No world court yet though...), but well... it's currently UK and possibly soon to be EU law.

Sorry for running over some points again, but it needs to be said. But then again, Americans don't need to worry too much due to some failsafes. Yet.

All Australians may resume panic however, since we're not so lucky...

Just a thought.
Mistress Nightshadow.

Googleshng:
That was a mouthful, so I'll try to be brief. People import games for one of two reasons. Because they want a particular game as soon as possible, or because they want a game that won't be released in their country. With the latter, none of those points except C hold any water, and actually, most people I know who import games their country is getting anyway tend to buy the non-import version on top of the import.

Bottom line is this. If a game is going to be brought to a country, it's OK for companies to whine about importing, however, when a company doesn't bring a game somewhere, PARTICULARLY because they don't think they'll turn a profit, it's absolutely moronic to complain about importing, because they're making money off people from whom they otherwise wouldn't see a dime. Also, any such decisions should be made by the publishers, not the console manufacturers.

One more thing though before I shut up. Why do England and Australia have to wait until games are translated into French, German, and so forth? Wouldn't it make more sense to let each country have a game as soon as it's been translated into the appropriate language?

 
Stuff and things

Hi Googeshng, my name is Fozzeh, you might remember me from e-mails such as "When the heck will FFX be out in the UK" and "Where can I find pictures of Paws curled up in a cute likkle ball looking so cute you just need to stroke her".

I've noticed quite a few RPGamer staffers have listed Final Fantasy Tactics as one of their top five games. I like it alot too (altho Xenogears is better in my opinion, even with the dodgy rush-job 2nd disc).

Anyway, enough drivel, questions,

1) Does it make any difference to the ending of FFT if you collect all them dodgy zodiac stone thingys? Come to think of it, does anything make a difference to the ending of FFT?

Googleshng:
Nope. FFT just has the one ending.

2) During the ending of Xenogears, don't you find the extensive use of male buttocks disturbing? Oooh, and doesn't Xenosaga look good? Bet we'll have to wait another couple of years before we see that in the UK, assuming they release it over here. They blooming well didn't with Xenogears, had to import it. *Grumbles*

Googleshng:
Not as disturbed as I was by Ramsus' purple underwear. I'm used to seeing a lot of skin at the end of games. I mean, the last boss in like 75% of all RPGs has this odd tendancy to be a nude female humanoid with various spikey things popping out.

3) Rumor has it that FFX won't be released over here till June/July at the earliest, due to it being translated into different languages. Why is it that people in the UK have to wait till mid 2002 or whenever for FFX when the english version has already been finished? OK, the atlantic is quite a stretch of water but I've heard in one of them new fangled airplane thingys you can do it in less then a day.

Googleshng:
I just asked that myself.

4) I know you're not real keen on talking Final Fantasy, but but but I love it, and was so disappointed to hear Final Fantasy XI was gonna be online only. Do you know if Final Fantasy XII is going to be online or offline?
Cause it'd be a shame to flush all the work and effort they have put into making Final Fantasy a trademark for quality RPG's, right down the toilet with other MMORPG's like Everquest *hack... hack... hack... yawn Zzzzz*

K, Thanks for listen to my mindless ramblage. Sorry if I sounded bitter :)

Fozzeh

p.s that question some fella sent you and possibly human Jaraph about killing harry the bunny master was from wasteland, an old rpg for the pc.

Googleshng:
I know absolutely nothing about FF12, but I don't think they're planning to go online with it.



Quickies

i need codes for Zelda 1993 links awakening

That's very vaguely worded, and not what I'm here for. What sort of "codes" anyway?

where is the picture of the person who looked like Zell

I would guess with all the other pictures from whatever game you're talking about. This is one of many questions I get every day that require psychic powers to answer.

The Last Laugh:

Wow, that was a long column... or at least a column with a long letter. Anyway, some quick thoughts on FF10: I like Lulu.
I like uh... cat boy.
I like how the setting gives a vague Pirates of Darkwater vibe.
I don't like Tidus.
I don't like many things that follow the hitting of the triangle button, particularly the color scheme.

That about covers it. Didn't have a chance to play it for very long, and I won't again for a VERY long time.

Googleshng "Oh drat! The sun set!" @rpgamer.com
Now I have to walk a mile in the dark.

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