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Googleshng - November 24 '04- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

Tomorrow is the day when everyone in America is obligated to eat copious amounts of food, much of which is the meat of a freaky looking bird whose natural defense is that uh... after you eat it, you get tired. How did that evolve exactly?

Of course, half the people in my family have recently gone for that whole "vegan" deal so uh... I don't want to think about what's going to end up on the table.

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I don't recall mentioning US recently...

I saw that Unlimited SaGa was recommended to some unsuspecting chap. I was wondering what merit you thought it contains. I played it for about 2 hours and I could not bear the battles, traveling, or menus. The thing that really urked me most was that there was no direction or map to follow.

So, I guess I was wondering what the redeeming quality is of this game? I'm not trying to be confrontational. I was thinking that perhaps I stopped playing it too early to get to any interesting aspects.

I did enjoy SaGa Frontier 2 (I played the first one, but didn't really like it) and always try to give the series a chance. I do enjoy the watercolor artwork that is used for characters and background. But the frustration of this game was too much to handle, and I like to think I'm a patient person.


Well, like all the SaGa games, it's very original, challenging, and not bogged down with hours of scrolling through conversations. Whether this balances out the insane difficulty and luck factor is a matter of personal opinion, but most say it doesn't.

Up and up and up...

Yeah, the Chrysler Building was 77 levels of hell. What sick game designer EVER thought random dungeons could EVER be fun? Every game with random dungeons, no matter how good it may have been (Diablo), could easily have been improved tenfold by simply putting a little thought and careful planning into the design. That stupid building took me forever to beat, and the "story" at the top was lame... = P

- Feep "The DS has tactical nukes too, I swear"

Actually, that wasn't a randomly generated dungeon... at least not in the sense that it's different every time you go in. I'd imagine someone did use some random method to get the original layout, the whole thing comes off too lazy to have been planned. I think that right there is the problem with randomly generated dungeons. Every so often, you get something like Diablo 2, which has randomly generated dungeons with a unique look and feel to each of them, and a general coherent layout they follow, but-

No... actually, there's just Diablo 2. All other random dungeons are really drab.

My name isn't Castomel.

I have to say, the DS actually shows a lot of promise as a home for RPGs. If Square Enix actually decides to take advantage of the second screen in their port of FFIII, they could start up a miniature era of convenience in handheld RPGs. Simply put the battle menu in the second screen, and voila! Navigating those menus, especially some of the big ones (ever seen the menus for a character in FFX who's learned all the skills on the sphere grid?), could become much faster, and easier to boot. And outside of battle, hey, developers could put what would normally be the pause menu on that second screen, which could help with some of the larger item and equipment menus, seeing as how RPG makers have decided that by the time you're halfway through the game, your inventory must be filled with hundreds of items.
But I digress, as it really looks like only a handful of games won't simply use the touch screen as a glorified map.. With this sort of attitude, do you think the whole idea behind the touch screen is wasted?
Naturally, there's a bright side to all of this. If everyone decides to be shockingly unoriginal, there's a pretty good chance that this could be the handheld with a port of Super Mario RPG. I've always wanted to pummel enemies with Mallow (who oh so shockingly isn't a tadpole) while on the go. At least I have since GBA started getting filled with SNES ports. Who knows, maybe even Paper Mario can make the jump to DS.. It'd be good timing on Nintendo's part, with the release of Paper Mario 2 still fresh in people's minds.
This does of course lead up to the main question. What sort of good RPGs are on the horizon for Nintendo's new handheld? There isn't much worry on my part that developers will attempt to bring their epic, 40-hour quests to the PSP, seeing as how its battery life is laughable at best, and the UMD format is a blatant attempt on Sony's part to tuck away yet more money with each game sale. Still, a lot of people seem put off by Nintendo's attempt to innovate gaming.

Generic NPC

Ah, the DS... well, here we have a system with a built-in Weird Gimmick. When you have a weird gimmick that ISN'T built into the system, you end up with something like 2 games that actually make use of it. When it is built in though, pretty much everyone at least makes the effort. Most of these efforts are really half-hearted. So yeah, most games will probably just use it for a map, or a menu, or an analog stick. What I could see it really being handy though is if anyone decides to throw an RTS or a Civ sort of game on the sucker.

As for games on the horizon... I see a Zelda and a Pokémon. RPGs tend to start coming once a system has been out a year, not on day one.

Yesterday's Title

That's from Mathnet isn't it? I wonder how many people will get it. I don't recall square one being on tv that long.

Surprisingly many people told me they recognized it, and not one wanted to stab me in the brain for giving them creepy math related flashbacks.

Baten down the hatches!

My problem with Baten Kaitos is that Disgaea's ruined me. I can trudge through a 100-floor dungeon and crank out the hours because I know that in the end, I'm gonna get the badass light-saber sword. Baten Kaitos, on the other hand is just sort of blah. So I kill some more guys. Who cares? I get a whopping Sword of Fire, just like the other three sword of fires I bought, and that I've had since the beginning of the game. Wooo.

Basically, there's no compelling reason for me to want to continue in the game, because they don't demonstrate adequately how I'm doing newer and cooler things. I mean granted, the story's there, but it's a fairly marginal story when it boils down to it.

From where I sit, it's like this. "Hmm... we're getting this reputation for making these horribly complex and wordy sci-fi stories, to the extent people don't notice there's games under them. Let's swing to the opposite extreme!" I do agree though that there's a lack of short term goals which can be a problem. I can try to get every card, sure, but we all know I'm not going to do it until the end of the game. Same with hunting down that old guy's family. The star charts at least pay off each time you find one, but still. Fun game to play, not so fun to gut.

The Last Laugh:

One more column for you to all toss letters in for, to be sitting on the server while we're all too turkified to look at it. Except for people who won't be eating large freaky looking birds.

Googleshng "It's got chicken legs!"


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