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Signs of Life February 3, 2005

Googleshng - 4:00 EST

NonCon's page has finally been updated to reveal that there will indeed be guest speakers other than me. Good thing too, I doubt I'd have things to say on every panel.

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

Lots of Xeno Talk

I just read the February 2nd QnA and I've got some problems with some things in there. With regards to the Xenoxiety letter:
There is no reason to believe that Kevin may be alive. There's a cutscene which shows the prototype KOS-MOS putting her hand through his chest and another one with Shion crying on his grave with Allen looking on. Unless the prototype KOS-MOS was a vampire and by ripping a hole in his torso turned him into one and he therefore rose from the grave I don't see any way that guy could still be walking around My other question pertains to this person's other contemplation. They say that they are "wondering if it'll be revealed in Episode 2 as to why KOS-MOS' eyes are turning blue (possibly free will?)." Throughout the entire game it is suggested that KOS-MOS has been acting of her own accord. The first example of this is when the Woglinde is under attack and she boots herself up without authorization. The blue eyes signals somethign else. At the end of the game Chaos hears Nephilim's voice say "What are you going to do?" chaos looks at his hands, KOS- MOS comes by and says "Relinquish your pain unto me." My assumption would be that a higher intelligence inhabits KOS-MOS. This isn't so far fetched when you consider the hinted past relationship between her and chaos. I would even go so far as to say that Nephilim may inhabit so region of KOS-MOS' mind. And we do see chaos approaching the zohar emulator in Shion's hallucination with Nephilim back aboard the Woglinde. I can understand if this sounds a little too speculative, but it makes more sense than just saying "Maybe she's got free will." My last comment is that that Bill Kaiser guy that wrote the letter about getting a refund is a tool. What the hell is wrong with him?


As previously stated, I'm filing that letter under joke. The serious ones along those lines tend to go to webmaster.

Wow, an Arcanum letter!

Hey Goog, Well, it's Groundhogs Day. . . Again. For a romantic comedy that's a suprisingly funny movie. Anyway, letters have been a little lax lately so I thought I'd try to send something thought provoking. I recently bought "Arcanum:Of steamworks and magic obscura" mainly because I had heard about the concept (which is great) and its high customizability. I'd never really played one of these Diablo II clones before. I must say that I'm now at a bit of a loss. You only gain one stat point per level up and while you get to apply it to any stat you want to I'm really having trouble grasping how you can effectively grow a character of any usefullness by impoving one aspect at a time. For example: if you are both weak and inaccurate in your attacking but there are only enough enemies around to raise one level. Drat, I'm rambling, other problems are that the battles are a bit odd and the music is dreary. Do I need to play Diablo II (from whence my game was cloned) to understand this set up or have I run across a good idea with poor execution. How about a more general question: what are your thoughts on anything I've said or on Arcanum itself.

Lord of the Dance, Reigning King of BS, and Headmaster of the Mysterious Brotherhood of the Infinite Onion


Well, first off, you were grossly misinformed here. Arcanum is not by any stretch of the imagination a Diablo 2 clone. It's your typical, Fallout style PC RPG. I wouldn't say it has high customizability either, mainly due to that whole 1 point to upgrade with each level bit you mentioned, which, indeed, is the biggest problem with the game. In any case, a big part of the appeal to such games is how much you can do without fighting if you're creative.

Diablo and such meanwhile would best be described as "Gauntlet with skills thrown in" when you get right down to it.

How to drive a Q&A host crazy:

What is the third chrono game name? When is it starting to make? And when is it release?


There is no third Chrono game in production, which makes all these questions moot.

AGWS Salad

This isn't really a question but I thought you should know this. There is a Xenosaga anime airing in Japan. I think it premiered on January 5th but I downloaded a trailer with it and it looks really sweet. I'm not that much of a fan of Xenosaga but it's fun. I'm stuck at the stupid Domo-Carrier at the beggining and I'm stuck because my A.G.W.S units are weak and I don't haven any items to heal it. I kinda gave up actually. Dumb thing heals too much. Anyway, Google put this one on in your column. I guarantee it'll make someon happy.


Well, that wasn't quite phrased as a question, but here's some general advice for Xenosaga. Don't touch a single AGWS except for during those boss fights you absolutely can't handle otherwise. You're usually much better off on foot.

Suiko No


I'm a-scared for my second favorite series of RPGs. (Suikoden) The good people at Konami crafted three really in-depth, wonderful games, but the fourth offering tastes like turned milk. I can appreciate the piratey story somewhat, but where is the epic drama of a boy turned Blight? Where is the heart-wrenching quiteness of a Pilika/dead Lulu? Where are the mechs? Wait. Forget the mechs, that's Xenosaga. I'm still mad about the lack of Suikoden goodness in the latest title. Why do you think it's not the mindblower the first three were? And yes, I realize that part one was only so-so and that I'm looking at it with the loving Google-eyes of a fanboy.

The Mysterious Auger (Your shirt is red!)


I have this little theory about videogames. If a developer runs with a formula for more than 3 games, the series will start to suck. The archetypical example here is Mega Man. 1 got your attention, 2 fixed the flaws, 3 perfected the formula. Everything past there is just milking a sure thing without really spending much effort, and thus, they aren't really worth playing. If you have a series that constantly tries to reinvent the wheel instead of refining what they have, it can last, but otherwise, stop after 3.


There we go. Enjoy your weekend. I'm off to expel more hideous fluids from my respiratory system.

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