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   All turtle and no turtle make turtle a turtle turtle.  

Googleshng - September 6 '04- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

Five hundred turtle name e-mails. That's a rather freaky thing to see it is.

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Greetings, Flesh Being

Commence commentary:

1) You can get Aeris back with a gameshark or other cheat device, but it's generally a bad idea, as the game tends to crash if you have her in your party during a cutscene and she tries to talk.

2) Mr. I Sleep Through English Class was talking about Ocarina of Time, when you have to sneak into the castle at the beginning.

3) It's supposed to be an unladen swallow.

4) You have to admit that the orchestral version of Simple and Clean is good. You hear it only by leaving the game alone at the title screen.

5) Tidus may be a whiny SMURF, but a) he was a well-done whiny SMURF and b) he's damn sexy.

Departing.

Googleshng:
Uh... generally when people talk about things being possible in games, they aren't factoring in cheating devices that fiddle around blindly with memory locations, for reasons I hope are obvious.

 
Aye Captain?

Do you know of any rpg games that you are a ships captain and are able to add to your ship or buy a new ship? I would appreciate it if you could help.

Dustin

Googleshng:
Right off the top of my head, I can name a couple RPGs where you end up improving and customizing a ship. Skies of Arcadia, and SaGa (AKA Final Fantasy Legend) 3. The former would probably be more up your alley I'd think.

 
Changing clothes

I've recently been playing final fantasy 8 again and I just noticed something. Even if it only happens a few times in the game for a short while, the characters change clothes, and I've just been wondering, considering many games span quite a long time the characters never change. I know it's probably easier for them to make games without changing, it just struck me as odd when I noticed it. Any others games out there that incorporate this?

-jen

Googleshng:
Well, there's a good number of games out there where people change their clothes for a scene or two, or after a certain point in the game. FF6 and Wild ARMs come to mind. Then there's a good number of games where your equipment is accurately (or semi-accurately) reflected in how you look. For instance, pretty much every PC RPG out there. It would be somewhat interesting though to have an RPG where every time you go to an inn, you end up in a random alternate outfit, but the closest thing I can think of in any game are the occasional special items that change how various female characters look in combat, like the bathing suits in Shining Force and Xenosaga.

 
I ♥ Prinnies

Hi goog:

Is it just me or is Nippon Ichi a really friggin good developer? I haven't seen so many original games from one developer in the longest time. Disgaea was awesome; I simply loved the many myriad of concepts that the game introduced. The Dark Congress was a breath of fresh air compared to the usual dungeon stomp most games are nowadays. Transmigration and weapon abilities were also pretty cool. Of course, such novelties and gameplay mechanics have existed for a long time; FFVIjp/IIIus had abilities learned through espers, but introducing a grade-scale really intrigued me. No class was utterly dominant (execpt for majins, but every RPG has such a class). Another innovative concept was the color panels and color chaining. I can't begin to count how many times I've clinched a close battle by moving a single pyramid onto a crucial color. And color chains are nice ways to get items that were otherwise cost-prohibitive. Just about the only fault I could find in Disgaea was the AI, which made battles fairly easy. And the min/maxing one could do was also a detriment to the game's challenge (although you could circumvate that through the item world and really pushing yourself to the max w/o healing items and rests).

La Pucelle Tactics, in my opinion, feels like a more cohesive game, even though it came out 1st. The battles are much more difficult, which I like. The characters are also very likeable and the abilities learning system is pretty unique. Just about the only gripe I have is the simplistic AI and the purification system takes far too many turns to be effective. But again, most of the battle system is actually well thought-out and leveling up isn't a torrid affair anymore. There is so much control availiable to the player that there really isn't any downside at all. It's just about perfect at balance, your characters can be fairly strong, but you can not break the game very easily.

Finally, Phantom Brave is the most original game I've ever played. And that's saying a lot because I've only played maybe 2 hours of it. I love the idea of giving certain objects definable characteristics with spirits. It's also nice to plan out and be rationed in those spirit summonings, because they aren't free. Should I possess a rock and protect my big hitter or do I animate a tree and hope I can get a CA off? I love just about every aspect of the game so far.

So after all that, the question I wanna say is this:

Do you feel that Nippon Ichi is close to being a Tier II or even a Tier I developer? By that I mean developers that sell hundreds of thousands of copies of games and thus are able to garner publisher support readily. I think with a good push like Square has made in the past, N-I could easily achieve that in North America. People like me, I hope, are sick of playing the same old same old (FFTA????). And N-I has clearly shown they can handle TRPGs very well. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.

Sincerely,
0mar

Googleshng:
Well, I keep hearing plenty about them these days, but that's arguably just because so many spiffy little TRPGs by them have come out in such a short period of time. I'd think you'd have to wait until their next game comes out before you could really say if they have a name recognition factor going for them, or if we're just dealing with a five minutes of fame sort of thing.

 
Star Trekkin'

Google (the other one),

Star Ocean 3, after my brief time with it yesterday, seems to be one of those games designed to sell strategy guides. I also realized quickly why the thing is on two discs. Do we really have to hear what random guy # 6 is saying out loud? Playing it, I have a nagging suspicion that I know all the voice actors from somewhere, but I can't place them because the voice actors aren't listed in the manual. I also believe that I will be dying quickly and quite often, but I do have to admit the production value seems high. I somehow managed to get 8 battle trophies without knowing what the heck I was doing. Oh, and Sophia wins the 'little slut' of the game award for walking around with her fly open wearing no underwear.

Phantom Brave is exactly what I expected it to be as well. Although Marone sounding identical to Flonne is messing me up, (Same complaint with recognizing other people but not figuring out which voice actor it is.) I enjoy the new 'jump on people's heads' at home base command. The plot is surprisingly dark so far, and I've only played it for about twenty mintues. So far, it makes far more sense and gets to the point far quicker than SO3.

OH, and Tidus=James Taylor=Ratchet (Ratchet and Clank 2) Wakka=John Di Maggio=Bender (Futurama)
Trust me, it's the voice direction and dialog of FFX causing the problems, not the actors.

Googleshng:
The whole "designed to sell strategy guides" angle was my biggest problem with SO2. Shame that it's still with us here. In any case, I'm sure your little mini-reviews will be of use to some people out there.

 
A Joke from Old

when is THOR coming back???

heh.

or

remember when this column actually gave out hints and stuff to games? now its just like "whats your opinion on X"

Googleshng:
Eh, I answer what I get really. Most of what I get falls into the following groups:

  • Random Weirdness: Nice in small doses.
  • Incoherent Questions from people stuck in games: Occasionally thrown in for a chuckle, but how often do you really need to see "where is teh key i forest" honestly?
  • Opinion Questions: Probably the most common sort of things, which is fine by me, as they're also the most likely to be of use to a large number of people.
  • Technical Questions: Things like "How does one set up characters in Koudelka to survive the nastier boss fights?" These only tend to come in though when you have a very popular, very complex game out there.

As for when Thor is coming back, uh, when the streets flood with the blood of the innocent, and pringles rain down from the sky, only then shall the lookalike maker return.




The Last Laugh:

For the love of all that is holy, please avoid any use of the word "turtle" in letters tomorrow for the sake of my sanity. Thank you.



Googleshng "Pikmin!" @rpgamer.com

Cute violence... yum.

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