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Googleshng - October 4 '04- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

So, Shadow Hearts: Covenant is out, and a quick glance through the credits confirm that Sacnoth did indeed just change their name to the far less cool Nautilus. Very spiffy game. Start asking stuff about it.

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Hey, someone played that thing!

Hey (I guess Andrew will get this first although Google brought it up) somewhat ambiguous recipient of my email!

I've noticed that nary a word has been said about Megaman X: Command Mission. Leading up to it's release, there were like 3 screenshots and a crappy 25 second low-quality movie preview. Now that it's been released...it seems to have dropped entirely off the face of the earth. It seems that people don't even want to give it a chance since it's a really strange break of genre for the series...I guess...

I am having a lot of fun with it. It's almost painfully linear, but now that I think about it it's been a while since I've played an uber-linear game and I'm enjoying the storyline. I've been a MM fanatic since X on SNES and they've really done a lot of great things. I won't include spoilers on gameplay, but essentially they boosted the cast of characters substantially (Axl is queer. No idea why they added him to X7.), raised the bar on the voice acting (not too painful), and they have a kickin' battle system. I'm 17 hours through it and I see the light at the end of the tunnel already, but there are plenty of subquests and the like to keep the completist satisfied. I think the RPGaming world should give it a chance, cause aside from the easiness of the main story, it's a somewhat solid story, somewhat solid out-of-battle gameplay, and a darn addictive battle system.

Oh yeah. It's Q&A. Why did Capcom abandon their winning formula on MMBN4? 3 was phenomenal in graphics, music, and gameplay, and 4 butchered the latter 2 and the tinier graphics just kinda annoy me. What's your oppinion on this (dreadful) turn in the series?

-Doby G

Googleshng:
It is indeed odd how little of a splash yon X RPG is making, glad to actually hear something about it. As far as MMBN4 goes, well, I can't really knock them for deciding not to recycle everything a third time. That series really does need a little new blood pumped into it, you have to admit.

 
Zoinks! A long'un on yon game!

Hey, G. I'm an owner of Megaman X Command Mission here, and I thought I'd give you a quick description and a reccommendation. Since you haven't heard much of anything. It's... Well, it's definitely good. But it's rather common in execution. Let me explain better.

For one thing, you don't use items to heal yourself. You've got the subtanks, which you use at varying percentages to fill out your party's LE (Life Energy. It's exactly like HP, but more Reploidic!) But it still feels like using a potion, though with a little more math and strategy to it.

The battles are the same way. You've got the option to press the main attack button, and fire off your buster (swing your saber or axe. Whatever,) and end it, or use a sub attack or two first. But it's not deciding between magic or attack, just a little more math and strategy.

Weapon Energy replaces MP, and can be used for either of two sub attacks that you have, that more than likely totally suck, or saved up to pull off a character's "Action Triger" and do a ton of damage. Again, percentages, math, strategy.

The storyline is interesting, in that it's really the only departure that happens from the norm, and it's the least expected. I was waiting for more of X's "Dove" clashing against Zero's "Hawk." It's not really there. And those extra characters that Capcom's been shoveling on us for the last three games, Alia and Signas (Though I think that Signas is cool, like a goodguy/Navy version of Sigma,) well, those two are totally gone. Instead, you've got Colonel Redips giving you momentary garbled transmissions, telling you stuff you already know. And there's not enough dialogue from the main cast! I know that Capcom specializes in Action Megaman games, but now that they have the time and means to tell the masterful story of artificial life trying to find it's place in a biologicaly created world and society, they drop the ball. I haven't seen many cinema scenes (Though the ones there are are okay,) even though they could really help keep the wow factor up there. Like how all the extra flips and kicks made playing through the remake of Metal Gear Solid 1 a joyful new experience, though I had beaten the old version 10 times over.

Atomsphere. Definitely a Megaman X setting. Everything's a robot, even in the forests. Personally, I think it would be a lot cooler to be in an ACTUAL forest, struggling to do Robot things, but hey, whatever they say. Weather is nice, though the obligatory blizzard and/or sandstorm scene is just as pissoffing as ever. For a mapscreen, you get a computer terminal with the places you can teleport to, because when you've got a built in transporter node, why the hell would you walk? But the camera there moves as fast as a dead slug glued to a snail that's nailed to a turtle who's asleep in a tub of molasses in January.

The presentation's nice, with the standard Eight Mavericks to bust, though there are a few surprises in store. And there seems to be an individual chapter for each of them, though I'm only on number seven right now. And finally, a first for Megaman... (Drumroll) Good voice Acting! Alright, it's not solid gold, but it's a DAMN sight better than Megaman 8, or the amateur monkey retard job done on Megaman X7. X7 went something like this:

Axl: (9 year old boy voice, with reading disability) But. Zero. I. Can't.

X: Yeah... Ze, RO! I can't see WHY Axl? would HAVE to go?

So if you have a problem with this game's voiceovers, go play X7 for a while. You'll cry tears of joy when you get back to the MMXCM.

And every RPG's gotta have EXTRAS! This game's got a helluva lot. Somewhere in the game X gets himself a bachelor pad, and you can get posters, CDs of the game's music, Videos of cutscenes, action figures of the characters, sketches from the game concept gallers, and junk like that for it. And you can even get new colored Energy Scarfs for X, to billow as you run of dash. No minigames per se, but sending out recovered mechaniloids (crappy robot enemies) to find money and special things at areas you've beaten is nice. And I suppose playing Poker in Spider's Action Trigger is kinda like a minigame. Marino's "Emotional Wheels" (Slot machine) might qualify, too.

The graphics are nice in every aspect, but sometimes a reploid will do something that just doesn't make much sense according to the laws of physics. One character with drills for hands will stand in a pose where one of the drills goes right through the other, while spinning, but it's okay, they're obviously not really there, it's just a clipping error. Then there's Marino... Now, I'm not complaining, but she's got a great rack. This is an RPG standard, there's gotta be an overly endowed female character. Okay, fine. But she's a reploid. Made of things like steel, titanium, vulcanized rubber, and industrial ceramics. But all of this doesn't stop the DOA-esque jiggling in certain scenes. Makes you wonder just how biologically acurate those reploid factory worker PERVERTS made their creations. It also leaves the door open for far too many jokes about Venerial Computer Viruses, and alternate meanings for "Trojans." Different weapons look different, though they reuse the same weapon model a few times, as a Mk.II or a Beta version. And every character's Hyper Mode, a butt kicking super form, looks gorgeous. Well, the ones you can see. But even a cloaked reploid is cool looking. Mouths move for main character dialogue, and cutscene conversations are so animated that I have no choice but to conclude that all reploids are programmed with an Italian Nationality Chip, which forces their hands to move when their mouths do.

So enough jabber. Let me give the game a quick rating... Let's see. Ah. On my scale of 0 and 8 to 12 (0 being me regretting I bought it, 8 being good, 10 being everything I expected, and 12 being Chrono Trigger quality) I'd give it a solid 9. It's quite good, but just shy of awesome. Keep in mind I'm a Megaman Junky, weaned on Megaman 3, and having beat EVERY game in the series. But if you like RPGs without any crazy new battle modes, the Megaman X storyline, or even a good way to pass some time, give it a try. I'm glad I own it. And a sequel would be great.

Well, thanks for letting me review a game without actually working for you (SUCKER!) and take care, Mr/Ms. Google F. Shng, or Current Resident.

Kenny C.

Googleshng:
OK. I think anyone who didn't scroll past all that now knows everything they're going to learn about the game they're going to learn without playing it. If 14 paragraphs is a brief description though, I'd hate to see the long one.

 
Games and Schedules

hey gogley

i see you know a lot about games, so have you ever conciderd going into game development? maybe in the indy comunity?

i'm shore a lot of people would like to have you on their team, sening how you could steer them away from the silly repeating stereotypes that nobody likes.

i mean seriously man, i' mcertain that my team would start to drool if you decided to join, but than again, we'r preety much faling apart, but there are a lot of good teams out there you could join.

on the sidenote i saw a guy asking about games being released in large quantities around this time.

you don't suppose it has anything to do with holidays coming closer?

i guess not though, not like people want to give the games to people as a gift, nah...

Googleshng:
Well the big game glut comes in September and October, so that's not it. If the biggest concentration centered around December, that I could see. I think fall is just the unofficial Season of Nerds or something. Movies aimed at 20-something college students follow the same trend.

As for getting into game design, uh, I've BEEN in game design. Point of fact, I should have something out on the market within a year with a little luck actually. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

 
For what it's worth...

In reguards to Cogline's letter about Baldur's gate 3... Sad to say, but it's already out, and, it's had 2 sequals fitted with it, and, we'll be seeing a platinum version of it soon, if not already out. Give up yet? Yeah, Never winter nights. Now I know what your going to say, I must be off my gord and rocker and dipped into gran daddy's turpentine way to many times while licking paint chips, no. Go into balder's gate 2, look in the folder, there's a video file if you play it it gives a video trailer/preview of an up comming game where black isle's tells that there next project is never winter nights and there were rumors and i think even some articles back when, stating you'll be able to "carry over" your BG2 character to it. Sad to say, lil birdie black isles went by by, and since they were going with bioware to produce NWN's, bioware kept the project after black isles bit the dust. But, as far as my information goes, Bioware didn't have the rights to BG1 and 2, and, wanted to make NWN, their own game, set apart from the famous and infamous duo series of BG games. Rumors still spread of BG3, and probibly always will, but sadly, and I know it sucks, you'll just have to do with the two NWNs expansions as well as the up comming, though again only rumored, NWNs 2. I think the problem was that they couldn't figure out how to really continue over characters from BG2, to a 3d version of the game, so they opted to try and created a true DnD master piece, giving single player and multi player facets along with letting you play dungeon master too. Bio ware took over the project and made it more hack n' slash more combat orientated it seems, less massive and more containable to a world made entirely of copy and paste with a lil friendly to use editor program. So again, sad to say, and sorry to write such a long peice and burst your bubble, but who knows, I could still be wrong yet and some one out there could be crunching to make a BG3, keep hoping.

-Rain-

Googleshng:
Now here I just throw in my blanket statement. I live in some weird vacuum packed rumor free bubble, but the second something is officially acknowledged, we start covering it.

 
Random Praise

I didn't think you suckedat all this week. In fact, I think that the last two weeks to a month, you've been turning in some of the best columns you've done in a long time. Rock on.

Robust Stu

Googleshng:
Well hey, that's good to hear. Nice to know that when various catestrophes have me phoning it in, it doesn't show too much.




The Last Laugh:

So anyway, yeah, SHC is spiffy. Ask questions about it, and I will answer them. As per the job description.



Googleshng "Awroo!" @rpgamer.com

Seriously, Gepetto! That's so random!

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