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Googleshng - July 8 '03- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Switching from going to bed at 6 AM to getting up at 6 AM is hell.

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I meant more like "Argh! How do I move around the map?!?" sorta questions really...

I've read all the reviews for unlimited saga and no one seems to like the game that much. My question is are there any redeeming qualitys to this game? I'm a pretty hardcore rpg fan and I'm always looking to try something different.

Well ours went up between you sending this and me printing it, so you might want to look at that one. Anyway, the reason most people don't like it is that the entire SaGa series is targetted at a very specific audience. People who want to barely make it out of dungeons alive. The people who prefer games where you can kill the last boss without taking a hit outnumber them by at least 20 to 1 though, so they tend not to be well received.

Personally, I prefer games where the difficulty is high enough to be challenging without forcing me to character build for 30 hours at a stretch, but evidently I'm in the smallest minority of all there.

Like I told the last guy. It's good for what it is, you just don't like what it is.

I was browsing around my local Electronics Boutique, and I noticed a copy of Unlimited Saga.  I collect things that bear the Square name-brand, so I decided I would buy it.  I didn't even ask the clerks what they knew about it, but when I got to the cash register both sales clerks warned me that the game sucked really, really bad.  "Everybody who likes RPGs says it's horrible," said one clerk.  The other clerk expounded, "We have a used copy already.  Someone already brought it back.  It's that bad."  The game had come out the day before.

I've liked almost every game Square has put out, including Legend of Mana and even, to an extent, Saga Frontier, so I decided it couldn't possibly be that bad.  I mean, they'd obviously learned what about Saga Frontier was bad, because they'd fixed almost all of it in Saga Frontier 2, right?  They would keep most of the changes that had improved the series, right?  Nope.  Back were all the things that made Saga Frontier bad that had been taken out for the other sequel.  And worse, they'd removed the levelling up system, which I had very much liked.  Now you get stronger by completing missions, regardless of how many enemies you defeat.  Let me repeat that.  You don't get stronger by fighting enemies.  Unlimited Saga, therefore, fails to qualify as an RPG in my book.  It gets the ugly title of turn-based adventure game, with a MUD-like walking system no less.  Eww.  And the voice acting is disgusting, but you can always turn the sound off.

Why would Square release this game?  Is it some sort of bad joke?  Am I missing a crucial element of the game?  Does it get better (I've only played about an hour and a half of it)?  So far, it's easily the single worst game I've ever played, including the two dozen or so RPG Maker 2000 games I've downloaded.


I'm never a fan of people who complain without being based in variety.

Let's see. First off, the statement you made twice:
"You don't get stronger by fighting enemies."

Uh, yes you do. You just don't see the results right after the fight ends. If you don't fight at all, you don't get any more HP. If you never attack, you never learn new attacks, and the tougher the monster the more often you learn them. Heck, spells you DO get points towards after killing monsters with them, right after the fight ends like you're used to. Heck, even the skill selection you get at the end is based on the sort of opposition you were up against.

Next, changes between SaGa Fronter 1 and 2. Let's see, 2 dropped the ability to pick from one of 7 characters/plotlines, made it impossible for you to go and character build, made you lose LP more often, took out the different character types, and switched over to the funky watercolor style. The first 4 points on that list are bad things I'm sure most would agree, and the last four are still true in Unlimited Saga here.

Also, I'm not sure about the Romancing games, but there has never been a SaGa game on a disc based system with experience levels of the traditional variety.

So again, I'm not saying I expect you to like US here, but if you played the last two in the series, you can't say you didn't know what you were in for, so don't go complaining about it...

... except for the fact that the game never does you the courtesy of explaining how to get the most out of your skill allotments.

This bugs me too.

Im wondering what happened to the GBA game Magical Vacation. Is it still being translated right now or did NOA suddenly give up right after they announced it was coming to US shores? AND Will Ghosting on the GBA ever be fixed?

Regarding the status of Magical Vacation's release, yes, it DOES seem to have somehow slipped through the cracks. I'm hoping it pops up again some time though, that sucker looked pretty darn interesting.

As far as ghosting goes, I'm not totally up on the term, but I'm guessing you mean how fast moving objects tend to leave trails on LCD screens. I don't see how such a thing could be fixed really... aside from getting the GBA player and a nice TV of course.

What's with letters coming in pairs today?

1. A. An. Ran. Rang. Range. Orange. Oranges.

2. What's up with Magical Vacation? I've been looking forward to it for a long time, but it's apparently been cancelled, or something. Made by Brownie Brown, those guys who made Secret of Mana and then broke away from looked really good!

Like a lot of promising games, it just mysteriously fell off the face of the earth. Don't you hate when that happens?

Word Play

Yo Goog   I have another word game, and it's almost exactly the same. Instead of going from small words to big ones, try it the other way around.  Just remove a letter every step, seeing how long of a word you can start with and how small you can make it.  For instance:


    staring        remove an ' r '

    string          remove the ' a '

    sting           remove the other ' r '

    sing            remove the ' t '

    sin              remove the ' g '

    in                remove the ' s '

    i                  remove the ' n '

I think "starring" might be the biggest one, though.  I just thought you might be interested


Well essentially, the only differences between this and mine are that you don't have to have "A" or "I" at one end, and you aren't restricted to tweaking the ends. You can score a heck of a lot higher than 8 playing with the middle too, trust me on that one.

The Last Laugh:

So, for what it's worth, after I wrap up tomorrow's column I'm off for a two week stint in Japan. So if there's anything pressing you need to tell me, like "make sure you look for green tea pocky" or "make sure you check out game stores," you'd better tell me now.

Googleshng "zzz"

Tired at midnight. What sort of monster am I?

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