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Googleshng - June 8 '04- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

Busy day ahead of me tomorrow. Must prepare. Must also write column.

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Meandering Multiparter

This is my first time sending in a question, but I've been reading your wonderful comments for almost a year now.

My first question, Why does everyone hate Tidus? Sure he's alittle like Cloud(Never played FFVII, just read a few tidbits here and there) but from what I've herd about Cloud I think Tidus is a "Nicer" character and just a better character overall. I mean when was the last time you were in the middle of a PROFESSIONAL sports game, that you were good enough to give autographs, and all of the sudden the world you've grown up in was destroyed in minutes and you were then attacked and given a sword, out of nowhere, by this guy you haven't seen since like childhood? I didn't think so. In turn why does everybody LIKE Auron? His specialty are the "Break" moves, which though somewhat useful against those big enemies the size of an Aeon, is really just an attack with a status effect that MAYNOT work. Plus what boss DOESN'T get immunity to status effects? Also The only overdrive less useful/more difficult than his is Lulus, maybe Kimaries I kept forgetting to use kiminse to get more overdrives for him.

Uh, what does any of that have to with one's personality exactly? The problems I find people tend to have with Tidus (and there aren't really all THAT many such people) would be that he is, quite frankly, very stupid and annoying. I mean, every conversation in the game is pretty much just everyone trying to beat a few concepts into his skull which the player is going to have a handle on pretty much from the get-go.

Auron meanwhile is the stereotypical Mysterious Badass. People always like them. It's the law. It doesn't hurt that his normal attacks do max damage pretty much the whole game either.

Next What is your opinion on the Chrono trigger novel Project?

I've never really been a fan of novelizations of games (or movies, or episodes of Star Trek...). At least with most though, it's sanctioned. This here is just some random fan trying to get an unsanctioned novelization written and published. There's more or less no chance of that happening, and if it did, there'd be a pretty open and shut lawsuit.

Finally, which do you prefer (in an RPG) Real time or Turn based? I personally think turn based wins hands down because: 1/Kingdom hearts The circle button is NOT jump, it's been X/B since what, before the NES?! For good reason. 2/MMORPGs/FFXII really all you do is chose your best attacks and let them run there coarse they don't even look that good and in MMORPGs everybody has pretty much the same move, plus there are few moves that do anything other than damage. 3/Morrowind click, click, died...Yay... need I say more? There may be more and some may actually be worth the real time, but I haven't played um yet.

Kit cloud

Turn based. There's something to be said for having a party. There are a few Action/RPGs I'm rather fond of of course, but statistically, there tends to be less to them strategy wise.

An Open Letter to the Makers of Pokémon

Okay, Google. I need to take this opportunity to voice something that just plain has to be said. Nintendo, we appreciate your creativity. We love that you like to make your fans happy. And we also enjoy happy themes in our RPGs as much as the stereotypical brooding hero. However, pokemon needs to step back, and either go out with dignity, or just completely retool itself. Not remake, which is what you've done with the "new" games you're releasing. I mean, completely remake the simple battles, get a better story than "I am trainer. I go to gym. Battle. Go to gym." You tried it with colliseum, and it was better than usual. But really, stop taking my little cousin's har earned (read: given by parents who don't use any kind of discipline) money.

I'll agree with you there. The Pokémon series doesn't exactly have a long enough history to just sit back and remake old games. Sure, everyone else is doing it, but everyone else has been around for 15 years or so. Once you have another 10 years of improvement and innovation, THEN you can go back and remake the original.

No that that's over with, let me ask you a quick question. Xenosaga: Do you think it's going to become a sequel whore, or is it just that they need to continue the story that they began in 1 because they had to finish that game before it ended, like how Sony went to the Arc the Lad team, and said, "Oh, guys, you know that game thatt you're making, that's about 20% finished? Well, we kinda need it to release in a month." Because I don't want to have to stick with the same characters for ever, when the second, and subsequently third and other games come out.
Thanks again.
Kenny the C.

It isn't a question of being pressed for time. They intentionally set out to do a serialized 6 game series, a la .hack. Presumably as the series goes on though, they'll start skipping a few thousand years here and there, and give you some new characters.

Timing is everything.

I've been thinking about this, actually. TMMORPG wouldn't be that impossible. You'd just have to tell people 'suck it up', a lot. There would have to be very much a network oriented timing schema, the math thereof would make most people's heads spin. But, if two computers on opposite sides of the world can communicate via a network with such sloppy timing, why not people, if they're given a much larger window of opportunity?

So the game would work like this: You have a 45 second 'planning phase', where (depending on market testing) you would either see everyone else's planning moves or no. You'd only have a certain distance you could move, a certain number of actions you could prep, etc. Then there'd be 15 seconds where all the actions occur relatively at once (play the simultaneous mode on the PC version of Risk II for an example). Then it preps for the next mode.

Then you set up areas that are excluded from the tactical aspect, such as cities, towns, Event areas, maybe head bosses. Finally, you make sure people know that, just like if you leave your character standing around in a normal MMORPG, he's liable to get aggro'd, and subsequently killed, if you leave your character in the middle of a battle, he'll just do lots of 'move 0's and 'action: nothing's, resulting in his death. If you take too long, you might only be able to move half as far, or not get all your moves in. Or whatever.

Well, there's two problems with that notion. The first is, well, Vandal Hearts 2 shows us some serious problems with trying to pull of simultanious turns in a TRPG. The other is, assuming each player only gets one character, that's a lot of downtime no matter how you slice it.

Now granted, these are problems that could be solved with some effort, but it would be much easier to just make a Mech Warrior clone. Time will tell hough I suppose.

The Last Laugh:

Well, back down into the salt mines with me. Need to clean them up a bit if I'm going to have company.

Googleshng "To clean!"

And away we go!

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