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Googleshng - April 22 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Do you all remember how back in the 80s there was this big deal made about how some time around the year 2000 there was going to be this massive earthquake in New England that we'd all be totally unprepared for? The one they made a whole bunch of bad disaster movies about?

I slept through it.

In related news, yesterday the weatherman said that it would snow. Instead, it was a bone dry 80F day. I realize that meteorology isn't an exact science, but when you have a margin of error of 50 and a 75% chance of percipitation, why even bother?

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Picking a platform

Yo Goog,
What's your impression of Morrowind? Man, I'm salivating like a hungry dog for that game, cuz it's what I've been waiting for in an RPG my whole life. A nice big world, full of colorful characters, and you can do anything you want. You aren't pinned down by the plot, and you can follow it however you want. But the question remains, do you think it'll be better for the Xbox or the PC? I personally think that it's going to be a bit better for the PC, just because they include the construction set with it, and if there are bugs you can patch them with the PC version. Also, speaking of bugs, do you think that Bethesda will drop the ball like they did for Daggerfall? Thanks for the info.

-Umbrellajunky

Googleshng:
My knowledge of Morrowind is basically just "It's like Daggerfall." From that though, I can answer your question. Console RPGs and PC RPGs are two extremely different animals, both best suited to their respective platforms. Games like, say... Chrono Trigger, really need you to be holding a controller in your hands. Games like Morrowind on the other hand need a keyboard, and have that potential for patching later on, so if your PC can run it, you should most definitely get the PC version.

 
Fallout from Thursday

It seems strange to me that a positive review of a new console's games (and thus by extension the console itself) should hinge almost entirely on various incarnations of "it's an ok game and the graphics are really pretty." I stopped shopping for games based on their visuals around the same time I realized that Nintendo Power was more interested in convincing me to buy EVERYTHING than actually letting me know when a game was good/bad. That would have been around age 11.

As most of us know, given that until Square's FMV madness of the past few years RPG were the ugly stepchild of the videogame inductry, graphic do not make the game. All the processing power in the world isn't worth anything if the game plays like Hydlide.

I'm adopting a wait and see attitude with the Xbox, but I'd rather not give Microsoft my $300. But, if they manage to get a handfull of games that really whet my appetite, I'll probably do it. But so far the genres I like most are either poorly represented on Xbox or simply represetned better elsewhere -- and that includes the types of games listed in the mini-review of a couple of days ago (why play an arcadey version of Gran Turismo when you can play the real...wait a minute...how can something be an arcadey version of GT? Woudn't that make it pretty damn un-GT-like?)

Ooh, ooh! How about a game that's just like the origianal Dragon Warrior, except that you run around and fight in real time by bumping up against the enemies. We could call it Hydlide 2K2 and market it as an arcadey RPG! As long as we make it purty, it'll be a smashing sucess.

Sullivan
www.soundclick.com/sullivan

PS: Sour mood today. I bet it shows.

Googleshng:
I said when I posted that letter from an Xbox fan that I wasn't going to touch his review. If I had though, this would be pretty much what I said. Technically though, there were a few RPGs that looked better than their peers before FF7, they were just the exception, not the rule, and to be fair, he was listing action titles not RPGs. So, to review, the Xbox currently has some eye candy on it, which some people like, but Sullivan here and I don't, and the future prognosis is pretty darn grim, because the box is failing MISERABLY in Japan, which puts off Japanese developers, which leaves you with a console supported primarily by American developers, and the sad truth is that aside from a few PC people (who may port stuff to it, but you could just as easily play that stuff on your PC), American developers tend to suck bigtime.

 
The last part's about RPGs!

Yo,

I just realized that getting hit in the head with a football has many long-time repercussions, one of which includes a f*@&ing headache. Oh well.

1) As a followup to my useless yet amusing experience, what's the most painful injury you've suffered?

Googleshng:
Well, I've sustained numerous head injuries, which don't hurt all that much, so I guess it's a toss-up between melting my palm that one time, or breaking my leg that other time. Both through profoundly mundane means.

2) Reading past on my list of SNES roms, I've realized that a lot of games which had potential for successful sequels were never heard of again, like Terranigma...what a great game. Oh, yeah, this wasn't a question.

Googleshng:
Well, Terranigma was the third game of a series as is, and most people like to stop at 3 games.

3) In response to the fellow who didn't know what game Lufia 2 was: How can you forget Foamy?! FOAMY PUNCH! Good god, that capsule monster was cool. Much better than any party member I had.

Googleshng:
I always liked the healer myself. Made the Ancient Cave much less stressful.

4) I wonder if any RPGs will be released nowadays with rock bands as the soundtrack, instead of classical violins and cellos? That's a very fat chance, wouldn't you think? But I'm getting a little tired of soundtracks that have instruments I've never heard of.

As always,
Laufingboy.

Googleshng:
Well you know, progressive rock is still rock, so there's plenty of games with rock soundtracks. You should particularly check out Valkyrie Profile and the Castlevania series... oh, and Parasite Eve too. Still though, you're generally going to have at least SOME classical tunes on the average RPG soundtrack for the same reason just about every movie with a fantasy or mideval setting sticks O Fortuna in the soundtrack. It just plain fits. Oh, and if you want non-progressive rock, that's not going to happen, because music with lyrics doesn't work as background music regularly.

 
Ah, the things slow days cause me to print.

Goog, my androgenious hermaphrodite slime -

Since the dawn of time, mankind has been waiting for this momentous event. The release of Arc The Lad Collection. Truly, it was worth the wait. For the great Working Designs has gifted us with a bevy of omake goodness.

The quality of packaging almost makes you want to put on antiseptic gloves before handling this pure, untainted piece of heaven. Those who were blessed enough to witness the Lunar: SSSC and Lunar : EB packaging will know what it is like.

Inside, contains a wealth of treasures neatly tucked in. A CD jewel case containing 5 discs of ALL 4 games in the collection (Arc The Lad III has two discs) and a "making of" CD. A hardcover, leather boiund manual. And an omake box filled with hidden tiny treasures: 4 analog stick covers, memory card stickers, and character standies.

And finally, for those faithful souls who've preordered Arc The Lad Collection, they are given TWO handsome, well crafted silver pocket watches. These chronometers put Chrono Cross' clock to shame! They come with an aluminum casing with the game logo.
Now, with Lucia's gold pendant and Arc's silver pocket watch, you can mack your way as the Working Design Pimp Daddy, slapping and pimping Bromides. Truly, it is good.

Googleshng:
You know, if I didn't know that nobody at Working Designs reads these columns, I'd swear you worked for'em. Anyway though, it's always nice to see what they cram into a box. The watch is pretty darn nice really, I first saw that at E3 when they were handing them out. The rest, honestly, looks a lot like the Lunar 2 box, although the actual CD case manages to hold 6, which is pretty neat.

Anyway, more to the point, my copy of Arc arrived today, so if you have any questions on it, you can start asking.

 
I'm printing it, but I'm sure as heck not reading it.

Xenosaga/Xenogears Spoilers I'M not going to read

Dear Google,

I must tell you that you dropped the ball when responding to TREIZE's Xeno question in the 4/16 column. Apparently you haven't played Xenosaga. If you had, you wouldn't have answered him as you did. If don't want to be spoiled, you'll just have to take my word for it that you're wrong. If you want to hear exactly how it can be proven that you're wrong, you'll have to compare the ending of the Episode 1 as laid out in Xenogears Perfect Works and the ending of Xenosaga Episode 1.

SPOILERS:

In the Xenogears timeline, Episode 1 deals with the human descendants of earth, who have long since abandoned that planet (now known as Lost Jerusalem) and taken to the stars. They're searching for a new planet to colonize and call home. They also develop a planetary super weapon, called Deus. After Deus goes out of control, they dismantle it with the intention of somehow doing away with it before they reach their new home, New Jerusalem a.k.a. "the main planet". Before they can get rid of Deus, Deus takes control of the ship and warps directly to the new planet. The captain activates the self destruct, Deus and the only living survivor, Abel, fall to the planet's surface. Deus activtes it's -Kadomony- system (I may have fudged that spelling) and humanity is born.

Now, in the Xenosaga timeline, some key points in Episode 1 are somewhat similar, but so different that there's just no way it's part of the same story.

1) Most importantly, there is no Deus. There is no "planetary super weapon" by ANY name.

2) A colony ship does not crash onto a barren planet. It does end with a space station (they call it a "plant", named the Proto-Merkabah) crashing onto a planet, but there is almost no one aboard. Also, the planet is already populated.

3) Abel is mentioned at the end of the game, but his whereabouts are unclear. He certainly isn't aboard the station.

The only real similarity is the main backstory: humans left earth/Lost Jerusalem long ago and are looking for a new home, a New Jerusalem. Other than that, it seems to be a different story.

END SPOILERS

Xenogears and Xenosaga are not directly linked. Xenosaga retains many of the same ideas and themes, it is clearly related to Xenogears in a spiritual sense. These stories were cut from the same cloth. There can be a middle ground between "directly connected" and "not connected in any way at all." But I think the differences between them are much larger than "a few inconsistancies" or however you put it.

Daniel

Googleshng:
Always nice to have importers around to share such info. I believe though that what I said was that it was kind of like the difference between the original Bubblegum Crisis and BGC2040. Pretty much the same characters and storyline, but the specifics are different, and one's much longer.

 
A few issues

Hey Goog,

Now I don't know about your opinion on whether this would be a main character, but *one* of the main character(s) in Dragon Quest 5 (The most-main character's "wife") is pregnant during gameplay. In fact, they make a point of it during the game, scolding the hero for keeping her out fighting in her condition, bleh. While she isn't THE central character, she is definitely A central character to the whole game. Okay, I just thought you may have overlooked this little piece.
Oh yes, and a question... Well... I don't really have one... except... are you as excited about Xenosaga as I am? I loved XG and hope that even though they seem to be removing many of the intricacies that made XG so complicated (and in my opinion, AMAZING), the game should still kick major booty.
Oh! and would you like a DragonGod as one of your minions?

-DracoDeus

Googleshng:
Any character on your party counts for my purposes, so yeah, that'd make one. I still say it's weird though that it comes up less often than, say, the main character turning into a huge hulking demonic monster. Especially since there ARE so many RPGs where you get married and have kids. I mean, if, say, Phantasy Star 3 didn't skip over those 20 year periods, it might have time to get some actual meat for the gameplay.

Xenosaga has the potential to be a pretty spiffy game. It also has the potential to be a very expensive movie. So I suppose I'm looking forward to it in a somewhat aprehensive fashion.

Oh, and I work for a dragon, so that might cause a weird conflict of interest.




The Last Laugh:

New game. Me play. You ask about. All happy.

Googleshng "Zoom!" @rpgamer.com

Hey... do I have any open memory card slots?

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