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Blizzard January 25, 2005

Googleshng - 4:00 EST

I'm glad this kind of weather is so rare. Having had a few days to melt, the snow outside is only about a meter deep now, roads are finally plowed, and power restored, but all weekend long it was huddling under blankets, bursting pipes, and stir-crazy cats.

What the heck is the point of this? I have an intro blurb sitting right there...

A Lengthy Letter

Hi Cast or Goog,

A few days ago a friend and I were discussing the state of RPGs in today's market. During our discussion, the subject of average play length came up. It seems that RPGs in general are getting shorter and shorter, or at least that is what I have observed. I find this to be a disturbing trend as I prefer my RPGs to take a while to complete.

I think that longer RPGs give people a better chance to learn about and identify the subtleties of the different characters as well as all the nuances of the world that has been created. A longer game also gives people a chance to enjoy the basic mechanics of the game, such as the battle system, for longer without having to play the game multiple times. This only applies to games where you actually enjoy these elements, I suppose, but who plays an RPG that they don't like?

My friend had some interesting counter-points to this, though. He said he prefers the shorter games due to the fact that he doesn't have a lot of time to devote to gaming. Thus, he finds that a game that takes only 20 or so hours to complete is more worth his while as the work he puts into it is rewarded much more expediently and is able to hold his interest better. A shorter game is also good for those times when there are a lot of good games coming out at one time (at least for those who HAVE to play them all while they're new). He also made the argument that a shorter game adds to the replay value as going through the entire game is a much less daunting task.

The example we used was Dragon Warrior 7. He didn't like it primarily because it was a fairly lengthy game. I, however, loved the way the story and the world unfolded and thoroughly enjoyed the job system and the side-quests (such as the town and monster zoo). The fact that it took some time to complete it all just meant that I had longer to enjoy the machinations of this particular work of art before moving on to the next project.

Of course, this does not mean short games can't be fun, Chrono Trigger being evidence enough of that. I may even be wrong about this whole issue and it is simply my imagination that RPGs are getting shorter.

Anyway, on to the questions. 1. What did you think of DW 7? 2. What is your opinion on the completion time of RPGs? 3.Am i crazy or is this actually the trend these days?

-Seraph Silverblade


DW7 had a pretty darn engrossing class change system, which scores big points in my book. As for the length of games, I've never noticed any real trends over time. 20-40 hours has pretty much always been the standard, with the odd 60 or 80 hour game here and there.

Funky PSX Games

I have recently picked up Valkyrie Profile and Koudelka, based on your recommendations from the site, but I was wondering how does Koudelka fit in with Shadow Hearts, I never heard of it before your site and I thought both games were made by different companies? Are there similar characters from Shadow Hearts that I'll recognize in Koudelka; and which game is better, Valkyrie Profile or Koudelka?


Koudelka and VP are like apples and oranges. Which is better is all a question of which strange style of gameplay you prefer I'd say.

As for how Koudelka and Shadow Hearts are related... well, they're made by the same people, take place in the same world, almost every character in Koudelka plays some fairly significant role in Shadow Hearts, towards the end of Shadow Hearts you revisit the setting of Koudelka, and one of the Big Important Books from Shadow Hearts is the one Koudelka's plot largely revolves around.

Didn't we declare this topic dead?

hey google or andrew,
over the weekend someone said that there was a pattern in final fantasys about major characters dieing he said.
"In Final Fantasy V, a major character dies.
In Final Fantasy VI, no major character dies.
In Final Fantasy VII, a major character dies.
In Final Fantasy VIII, no major character dies.
In Final Fantasy IX, a major character dies. (yes...VIVI did die at the end)
In Final Fantasy X, no major character dies. (Auron was already dead....and no, Tidus didn't "die")
We'll skip Final Fantasy X-2 and Final Fantasy XI. Let's just pretend they never existed.
The next "true" Final Fantasy in the series is XII. Looks like a major character is going to die in Final Fantasy XII."
BUt there is a major problom with this theroy in that it excludes Final fantasy IV where many characters died. Anyways which ending to shadow hearts 2 did you like better. Personally i liked the bad ending more. well have a good one


Yeah... there really isn't anything resembling a pattern here. I can pretty easily dispute about half of that list, and it ignores some games. I can't really say which ending of SH:C I like more though. Been too long.



Why are you guys so cool?? DO you guys ever get fan mail or recognized on the street by adoring fans?? hmmm??? hmmmm??? Ohh yeah and do you think xenosaga Ds will ever come to the states??


Well, the fan mail yes, but it's hard for me to be recognized on the streets. Not only is it far from common knowledge what I look like, but I also almost never go out in public. About the only exception is the odd convention here and there.


There we go, the column is up, and now it's time to see if I can find my mailbox...

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