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Googleshng - January 31 '04- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Did you ever read I Feel Sick? You know that part at the end where she's trying to get home but is impeded by a gauntlet of cats puppies and psychic fat ladies? I can relate to that this month.

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An intriguing notion.

From what I've read about FFCC, it doesn't have any sort of experience system, it's not turn-based, and it has no plot. On what level is this more of an RPG than SSX Tricky? In Tricky you levelled up your character a little bit every time you successfully completed a goal; it's more of an RPG than a number of games this site features. I demand you either stop covering FFCC and the Zelda series, or start covering the SSX games.

LockeZ

Googleshng:
There's honestly a few things that RPGamer shouldn't really cover but does. I once proposed a ban on all future Action/RPG coverage actually, on the grounds that the line between Action and Action/RPG has more or less completely disintegrated, and it would save on hassle. Instead we pretty much wound up on a system motivated largely by popular opinion. Things like Zelda and Harvest Moon really aren't RPGs no matter how you slice it, but people consider them such, so we cover'em. Of course, with FF:CC, you also have to factor in that we cover the Final Fantasy movie.

I want my, I want my, I want my FMV...

Now i know this is way late, but i don't remember anyone finding the "playing with power" quote. It's from the description of the berserker garment sphere in X-2.

On a completely random note, has anyone noticed the decline in the number of CG's in more recent square games? I'd always loved the art in these and my memory card would get filled up with saves right before really cool CG scenes. But in FFX there just dont seem to be as many scenes as in say FFIX and what there were weren't even that cool, X-2 only has maybe 3? And Kingdom hearts only has an opening and an ending CG (though they were really cool). Is Square's CG department (the best outside Blizzard in my opinion) not being funded or something?

Or maybe i can't count, who knows.

Googleshng:
I assume you're refering to pre-rendered movies here, since CG stands for computer graphics and would thus cover everything found in the game. Well, the short form of it is that they are operating under the false impression that the PS2 can deliver in-engine graphics that are so good you don't need to fork over the cash to the Honolulu folk to get your eye-popping visuals. It's something that's actually been working out just fine for a lot of companies (See: Shenmue, the Resident Evil series, a few others that slip my mind at the moment), but between the visual style Square's been using lately, and the fact that the PS2 is relatively underpowered, I'd have to agree the in-engine stuff isn't really cutting the mustard.

Of course, it's also entirely possible that they've been intentionally cutting back on the eye candy, for financial or creative reasons.

You're asking the wrong person you know.

What makes MMORPGs so appealing? Certainly, it can't be the gameplay. If these games were single-player, they'd be so beyond-bad that we'd never touch them again...no, it's the social aspect we all love. Even if you don't know them, the concept of playing a game with other, real people in a fantastic, huge world is just too cool to pass-up. So why can't we have one with GOOD gameplay?

Yes, I love FFXI. I just completed the Samurai quest, and am back to whomping Forest Hares in mygood 'ol hometown, San d'Oria. It's fun. But, once again, even in larger parties, I must express my anger that battle is no more than hitting "attack" and then going downstairs to eat a slice of cheese and then coming back up a minute later. Oohhh, wait, no, in a few levels, we can use TP every seventeen attacks and do TWICE as much damage in one attack! Wow! Okay, I'm overgeneralizing, but item use in FFXI is an absolute minimum, and even skillchains and magic bursting don't add much to the formula.

Perhaps the problem arises in the fact that with current technology, a battle requiring lightning-quick decisions and true skill simply cannot be supported by lower-end internet connections. I would just LOVE a battle system like Tales of Destiny, everyone working together in true accord, dynamically shifting roles, or just something to give a REAL sense of teamwork. I far too often see five warriors stand in a circle around a plant, whack to death, and compliment each other on their great "teamwork". Oh, come on.

This is getting too long, so I'll stop here. I don't really have too much of a problem with all this, but I just thought I'd feed the column. I live in South Florida, and thus consequently don't care about the game of hockey, but, uhmm...Go Canadians! (Or whatever team you root for.)

- Feep "My battle theme is Kill Bill"

Googleshng:
I care about hockey? News to me.

Anyway though, yeah, combat is decidedly lacking in every MMORPG that I'm aware of, but honestly, I think the social aspects are rather overrated too. Every MMORPG I've ever taken a look at had a population breakdown something like this:

  • People just individually and mindlessly leveling up: 80%
  • People who never seem to be at their computers: 5%
  • People who wander around in their underwear hitting on everyone: 5%
  • People who stand around all the time talking to their friends: 4%
  • "heal plz!!!!!1111": 3%
  • People who do bizarre stuff to amuse anyone who happens to glance at them: 2%
  • People who legitimately attempt to interact with strangers in character: 1%

When you look at the population density of these suckers, that's not a very good pay-off. I mean, there's more total members of that last 3% present when I sit down for a traditional pen and paper RPG, which are also cheaper and have spiffy combat.




The Last Laugh:

Time to try and work on my art again...

Googleshng "THAT CAT HAD ACID FOR BLOOD!" @rpgamer.com

It's funny really...

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