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Googleshng - December 19 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Mmmmmm... Zelazny...

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Greetings (penguins sing), O Googleshng.
I have two things to say.
First, an exclamation of amazement.
Can it be?? Is the controversy of the mysterious Googleshng's gender resolved at last? First Andrew refers to Google as "she," then Google refers to (her?)self as a Queen in a column it possible that Google is, indeed, female?
Nah, couldn't be. ;-)

Second, and more pertinently, a question.
What do you think of voices in RPGs—do you like the format of FFX (note I say nothing about the execution, merely the merely the main characters being voiced all the way through), or more like Shadow Hearts, with voices some of the time, with just text printed most of the time, or no voices at all, or some other mix?
Personally, I think that if (and only if) it can be done well (ie, actually get good voice actors), having them voiced all the way through adds something to the story and the presentation.

Delvin Anaris

"It's only forever,
That's not long at all!"

I actually wasn't refering to myself with the title of yesterday's title, and today's is off a book. I've just been pulling card themes out of conversations all week. On the other hand, the rediculous royal title I stuck ELSEWHERE this week WAS refering to me.

Now then, it is absolutely unfair of you not to let me factor in execution on the voice acting subject since not only are you factoring it into your own answer, but you're underestimating the impact it can have on a game.

There are three things to consider when it comes to voice acting. How much disc space it eats, how good of a job you can do securing good voice actors, and what if anything will it add to the overall experience.

Koudelka benefits greatly from voice acting, since it's a short game with very realistic dialog that relies HEAVILY on mood and atmosphere. Plus they actually got a group of voice actors who can actually laugh and cry and such. Too bad they didn't get a decent recording studio to match.

Shadow Hearts on the other hand has slim, terrible voice acting which is just flat out jarring and bothersome, and FF10 keeps it pretty constant but has even more annoying voices for the mostpart, featured in a game that honestly would keep a more consistant feel without them.

In any case, the standard 40-60 hour RPG lacks the disc space to realistically provide solid voice acting, so I'm only for it in the case of weird short artsy games where it's honestly needed for tone.

Action/Adventure games do just fine with voices mind you.

Googleshng, how very nice to write you. I haven't done this for a while, but I've got nothing else to do considering I've just gotten my tonsils taken out. But I have an array of questions for you. So here I go...

My girlfriend got my a Gamecube for Christmas early, and I heard someone mention a memory card that NINTENDO makes and it's significantly larger than the memory card 59. Is this true? Because I won't buy a brand other than Nintendo for accesories, the quality just isn't there. And while were on the subject of Gamecube and all, I'm so stoked for Skies of Arcadia because I never had a Dreamcast and I've always wanted to play it just because of the praise you have given it. So could you give me a rundown of the battle system? Sweet. Also, I've played a little of Resident Evil 1 and I must say, how could you possibly improve on those graphics yet Mikami did with Zero. What was your favorite in the series? And I heard 4 is in the works, but wasn't 4 Code Veronica? Because in the preview blurp I saw for it, there was a cinema scene for Leon, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't in Code Veronica. So what's the sitch? Also, what is your favorite RE? Mine was definately 2 because of it's disk swapping which made it into 4 different games in one. One more for the cube questions. So if I reserved Zelda right now I'll have the two other copies that come with Wind Waker when it comes out?? I didn't quite understand if the 16th of February was the only day we'd be able to reserve for the two other copies.


P.S. What did you think of Metroid Prime? Do you ever get any run boots?

In no particular order: Yes, Nintendo makes huge memory cards. RE4 is a completely seperate game from CV, and I think 2 is still my favorite. Shinji Mikami doesn't do the artwork for the series last I checked, and I seem to recall he didn't actually direct RE0, which would explain the distinct lack of anything actually scary. Metroid Prime is quite spiffy and contains no run boots, but does contain something that lets you move pretty fast. Yes, pre-ordering Zelda now gives you the happy bonus disc of the gods. Now then, onto Arcadia...

Standard turn based combat system for the most part, but your entire party shares a Spirit bar. It charges up a little each round, and gets depleted whenever a character uses a special move or casts a spell. Since everyone shares it, you generally can't have one character use a massively damaging attack and have another heal everyone up in the same round, unless you spent the last couple charging it up. Adds quite a bit of strategy really.

Then of course there's the airship battles which run on a fairly similar system but factor in all sorts of other interesting concepts like tactical manuvering and taking advantage of the skills of crewmembers.

On the subject of Labrynth.

It's just one of those movies where the number of people who have seen and enjoyed it is quite high, yet you almost never hear of it otherwise. I think I saw maybe one program on animatronics and puppetry that mentioned it...
My younger sister and cousin watched that movie so many times that I could probably consider it to be a definitive part of my childhood; that makes it feel rather creepy when someone else mentions it, especially in passing. Also for the last few years my sister has been getting labyrinth memorabilia for her birthday, and I got her the DVD last Christmas... Also the image of David Bowie in tights is a bit... umm... memorable.

I've never been able to sit down and make a list of my 10 favorite movies, but every time I try to Labrynth goes on there. Anyway though yeah. I'm all for getting the goblin king a real pair of pants or two.

Come to think of it, I need to get that Labrynth/Dark Crystal DVD set. This tape here is more or less shot.

Hey, I didn't bring it up.

Hey Goog!

I find it insanely weird sometimes the type of things that people write in and ask you. I can't count how many times I've read something along the lines of:

1) "Hey google, I have about three hundred million dollars and would like to play one great RPG. (Insert list here) which one would you recommend I play first?"

People just assume that your tastes are going to coincide with theirs. (I'm not insulting you, I'm insulting the people that ask) If they would read your column regularly, they *should* know what your tastes are. Or better yet, they could read some reviews and decide for themselves.

2) "Googleshng, I've got a great idea for a new game! I've wrote out everything. How do I get it made by Square?"

Ok stupid, unless your work for a game company you're probably not ever going to get your game published. That's like saying: "Hey, I have a great script for a movie I wrote. (I work ad Wal-Mart) and I thought that Warner Bros. might make a movie out of it!

3) "Oh mighty Googleshng, I have a problem. My life has gone to hell! My girlfriend has left me for another! What do I do to get her back. PS: She left me because I'm a dunce who didn't pay her any attention. I sit at home, spend all my money on video games and spend no time with her. Please help.

Ok, these are the worst. I'm sure you have problems at home, but comon' people, this is a gaming site. Look at the name Does Google look like a psychologist to you? While I'm sure Goog has great advice, find somewhere else to ask it.

Well, that's about it. My ranting has subsided for now.


I DO get those questions a lot, although I usually don't print them, and you're pretty much right on the money about the appropriate replies. Don't let that stop you from asking my opinions on stuff though, you can never have too many opinions on something and it's faster (albiet more biased) than waiting for a review sometimes.

Oh yeah, and incidentally, I am the absolute last person you should ever ask for relationship advice. Not only am I just some horrible monster RPGamer keeps chained up in the basement, but your human concepts of "love" and "affection" are not only totally alien to me, but I'm somewhat proud of the fact.

The Last Laugh:

OK, so there's this deranged little punk who claims to hate me and yet not only has he read my columns dilligently for the last three years or so, but today he sent me a page long letter griping about that update to my personal home page I threw up yesterday and didn't post a link to anywhere.

Now as I said above, I'm more or less completely clueless on these matters, but according to every Rumiko Takahashi manga I've ever seen, this means I'm actually his one true love and he just can't admit it to himself. Or something like that. In any event, were I to give in to any such advances, I'd probably be more inclined to go with one of my more polite stalkers, so he's really just barking up the wrong tree.

Andy here on the other hand has nobody stalking him at all, so feel free to fix that this weekend!

Googleshng "Political sims are fun."

Less than a minute in, and I'm the most hated country in the region. Just like in AC!

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