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Googleshng - January 11 '05- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

So... as you may have noticed. RPGamer is currently in the middle of a redesign, so things look somewhat uh... messy. It should all be smoothed out soon enough though.

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Uhh...yeah, hi Googs.

I may or may not have -accidentally- sent you a copy of a letter that was completely intended for someone else. Having read your column for quite some time, I think that you will probably be respectful enough to just delete it, instead of laughing over it and making a certain someone (namely, me) feel bad.

I suppose some sort of RPG-related question has to be included...




What's your opinion on Emoticons in RPG's? Can they significantly express emotions that words cannot, or are they just a minor nuisance? The first game that comes to mind that includes such icons is Tales of Symphonia, which I believe you enjoyed thoroughly.

Sorry for the 'crazy mishap,' and keep up the good work. I've been a visitor for 3 years or so.

AleXander Jennings

While I have no idea what you're talking about on the unrelated letter front, there's two things you may be suggesting with emoticons. There's games where the localization team actually puts ":)" and such in dialog boxes, and there's games where little icons containing sweat drops appear over people's heads in speech bubbles. The former is completely and utterly unforgivable, and if you do it, you deserve to be beaten with uh... let's say buckwheat pillows. The latter is somewhat more forgivable. It's just people attempting to convey facial expressions without making special high poly count models of people's faces or something like that. Honestly though, you can accomplish the same thing with voice acting, or well written dialog, or changing what graphics you do have, and it comes off better I find.

Statistics, or, You Are Not Most People


Vandal Hearts 2 is better than Vandal Hearts 1? What kind of insanity is that guy spouting? Vandal Hearts 1 was far and away better than 2. I've beaten Vandal Hearts 1 three times and will probably do so again fairly shortly. It is one of the most fun TRPGs I've ever played.

Sure, it doesn't have the best graphics (but it's really fun to see that blood squirt when you kill people) but they're fun graphics. The character design is great, seeing what your guys look like after upgrading them.

Plus, each character had their own role. In Vandal Hearts 2, you could make anyone a hawk knight just by giving him the armor. Everyone wore the same armor, it was stupid.

Wow, sorry, ranting and all that. I just can't believe someone actually enjoyed Vandal Hearts 2 and then said that most people like it better than 1. Every single person I've ever known that's played 2 hated it with a passion.

That is all.


Same here. With the occasional "well, it isn't THAT bad" breaking it up. Speaking of those blood geysers though, isn't it great how they adjust for the wind on the train mission?


Well 2005 looks to be a pretty good year. Suikoden 4, SaGa remake, Kingdom Hearts 2, FF12, and Xenosaga 2. I think I'm looking forward to Xenosaga the most, but could swing towards FF12 if my fears of it turning into a hash of FFTA and 10 are quelled. What do you think is going to be a good one this year? And what do you think will be a flop?

- Kalledon -

That's a tough one really. There's a lot of hit or miss titles in the near future, and the only thing I'm really drooling over just now is RE4. Things look pretty darn spiffy on the Fire Emblem front though.

They don't make'em like they used to.

Hey Google.

I guess this would be more of a rant, rather than a question.

But here is my concern. As time passes and technology gets newer and more convoluted, why is it that more and more companies are opting to ditch the traditional RPG formula? It seems to me that most console RPGs that are coming out lately are geared towards kids with ADD and very low IQÕs.

What is so bad with turn based battles, intricate dungeons, secret sub quests, hidden characters, and hard to find secrets?

For example letÕs take SegaÕs decision to make Shining Force NEO an Action RPG rather than a traditional Strategy RPG. This is insane! Shining Force has always been a series that has been based on simple Gameplay mechanics and fun turn based strategy battles. Are we the gaming public too stupid in the eyes of the developers to understand how to use these systems anymore? Or look at FFX, FFX-2, Arc the Lad Twilight of Spirits, Legaia, Suikoden III etc etc. Where is the over world map?? What happened to the days of actually exploring a game rather than going from point A to B to C etc? And I canÕt recall the last time I played a game where you had to actually search to find a secret character! Remember FFVI, and how you found GoGo? Those were there good olÕdays!! Or the dungeons in Phantasy Star II, man they were good.

Now though, itÕs all just a basic linear experience that is so glazed over with visual eye candy that the general public doesnÕt even seem to notice the actual lack of true to form classic console RPG elements. As a professional game developer myself, I canÕt for the life of me understand why the bigger companies such as SquareEnix, Konami, Namco, and Sega are opting to give us cake walk games that are only worth playing to see the next cinema, and very little to zero replay value. IÕd gladly trade all my PS2 and Xbox RPGÕs for just one more experience like Final Fantasy IV, VI, Suikoden I and II, and Shining Force I, II, and III.

I hang my head in shame for the developers becoming lazy, misjudging the target market, and forcing us gamers to play what they think we want.

Well, IÕm off to do some retro gaming with Suikoden II now.


Well, here's the problem here. Most people buying RPGs today can't stand the fundementals of the genre. They don't want challenge, they don't want exploration, they don't want strategy. They just want to control a spikey haired dork who walks from one side of the world to the other, meeting a collection of "varied" characters, getting progressively more overpowered attacks, with nobody ever dying, except during that one plot point towards the end with the really sad music. They'd also like a big budget cut scene every five minutes or so. So, that's what most people deliver.

In the meantime, there's still Wild ARMs, Shadow Hearts, and Skies of Arcadia for the rest of us.

The Last Laugh:

There's the column, hope you enjoyed it. The site should look a bit more consistent in the not too distant future.

Googleshng "Shiny"

Very Shiny

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