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AAGWSWSes February 21, 2005

Googleshng - 4:00 EST

Actually, I suppose since most of the mecha on mecha action in Xenosaga 2 is between two mecha designed for it, we'd get some kind of recursion with the PROPER abreviation, but still.




L E T T E R S
Voices


Well, I'm not sure how good of a question this, but since you haven't been getting any, I figured I might as well ask.

What in the world were the people behind the production of Xenosaga 2 thinking when they casted the voice actress for KOS-MOS? She sounds awful. What makes this even worse is that EVERYONE else in the game sounds better as compared to the first episode. Chaos sounds a million times better (he no longer sounds like a pre-pubescent girl). Shion sounds better. Jr and MOMO sound better. Even Allen sounds better.

And then there's KOS-MOS. Why? Fortunately, I've read that not most of the game's plot revolves around KOS-MOS, so hopefully I won't have to hear too much of her. But she was my favorite character from episode 1. Oh the agony.

an RPGfan

Googleshng

Just a guess, but they were probably thinking... "Well, this person did a better job than everyone else who auditioned for the part." I haven't gotten far enough to hear her new voice myself just yet as I have a lot on my plate, but to be fair, last game her voice had a creepy resemblence to Leela from Futurama that wasn't quite appropriate.

Now Thursday's voice, that'd be amusing.



Classics


I've been meaning to write, but haven't had much luck coming up with any questions I thought were interesting enough. But... here goes:

Are there any traditional, turn-based (or strategy/tactical) RPGs for the Xbox? I've had fun with a handful of Action/RPGs and Adventure games for the system but so far I haven't found anything engaging enough to make me sit and play for days, unlike with the PS2 and 'Cube.

I'm also looking for recommendations for older systems, mainly the Genesis, SNES, and handhelds; I'm not hung up on graphics - I prefer a good story and good battle system.

What games are you looking forward to this year?

-K

Googleshng

Nope. If you want to play RPGs on the Xbox, PC ports are the best you're going to find. As for older systems...
Genesis: There's the Phantasy Star series. Good games. Then there's a lot of mental scarring from the other options.
SNES: The FF games, Chrono Trigger, Lufia 2, Super Mario RPG... did I really need to recommend these?
Game Boy and Such: Final Fantasy Legend 3, the MMBN games (just not all of them, for sanity's sake), Golden Sun you'll either love or hate, Pokémon in some form or other... for that matter, that port of the first two PS games.

As for what I'm looking forward to this year... well, honestly, everything I'm looking forward to at this point I doubt will actually be out this year. Might want to ask again after E3 though.



Xenoganda


I know you hate Xenosaga Episode I with a passion, but Episode II is everything Episode I isnt--that is to say, it is fun!
Give it a try! I bet even you Xenosaga haters will like it! The battle system is way faster and more fun, the skill system is better, and the storyline is still awesome. Try it out, seriously.

Secondly and completely off that topic- what do you think about the upcoming Gamecube Fire Emblem?

JW

Googleshng

Actually, I was surprisingly pleased with XS1, and prefered the skill system to what 2 has somewhat. Customization can be cool too though.

As for the GC Fire Emblem, that's one of those games I'd say I was looking forward to this year if the release date wasn't late in the year enough to prevent me from being sure it'll be this year. Looks quite spiffy.



Missing, presumed dead.


I was talking with my brother about FF6 the other day and all the cool things about it and a question we never figured out. After Kefka sort of destroys the world in a way what ever happened to that Bannan guy who was the leader of the returners? You never really find out does he get killed? Just thought I'd ask since I never figured it out and you didn't get many questions last time

-Clayton

Googleshng

I think it's pretty safe to say he dies yes. I mean, a pretty thick chunk of the population does, he's pretty much at ground zero, he's fairly old, and he's the sort of person you'd figure would try to stay in touch otherwise.



Time and so forth


I usually forget to come to RPGamer as much as I should, but when I come, I always read Google's column. There's been a lot of talk about how, "I don't have enough time, so I can't play RPGs, that's why I think they're worse." Well, I'm 14. I have MORE than enough time for games. During January only, I played Baten Kaitos, Burnout 3, Halo 2, Mario Tennis, Puyo Puyo Fever DS, Mario 64 DS, Katamari Damacy, World of Wacraft, Suikoden 4 and I dabbled in ROSE online. That's a lot of time. Out of all of the RPGs up there, Baten Kaitos hooked me the most, for a grand total of... 31 hours! Suikoden 4 came in last, with 55 minutes. Not very long for either of them. Now, when I first saw FFVII, I was about 9. I don't care about release date, this is when I saw it. I thought the characters were kids, and quickly questioned the person who was playing it. After all was explained, I quickly became immensed in Role playing games. FFVII, got to the 3rd disc but quit cause I forgot Bahamut Zero. FFVIII, save game erased. FFIX, couldn't kill Tiamat in Memoria. Then we come to FFX. Couldn't beat 3rd Seymour. I hated FFX. I could NOT play this game as much as I could play the other Final Fantasy's. I shunned it, until FFX-2 came out. "Whoa" I thought, "A Class-ish system!". I was quickly slapped back to reality. Then came FFXI, which I admit I could not spend quality time with. My friend got it though, and I played. And man did I hate this game. Point is: From FFX on, I could not play the new Final Fantasy's as much as I could play the old ones. So I picked up FFVI and FFV. But I couldn't get immersed in these games either. So maybe it's not a question of time or age, but perhaps, individual attention span and personal taste. And I don't only play FFs. Star Ocean 3, Xenosaga, Legaia 2 and others were all cut by the Low-Quality Slasher.

So, to finish this off with a question: Do you prefer a story-driven, 80 hour game (a la Xenosaga), or a quick-paced Action RPG (Kingdom Hearts)? Basically: Story or Gameplay? Or a mixture of both? And how long do you prefer your games to be?

Googleshng

Yes. There aren't any games I can think of which I'd enjoy less due to the free time I have at the moment. Although I probably would have been less keen on Koudelka being 10 hours long or so if my schedule was less hectic at the time.

Anyway, as for the matter of gameplay vs. plot, I'll take the gameplay any day. If I want a good story, I own about a hundred books with better plots than any videogame ever made. If I want some solid gameplay on the other hand, games are the only place I'm going to find it, so they'd better darn well have some. You can of course have good gameplay and a decent story too, provided you understand how to tell a story while I'm playing a game, instead of switching between Plot Mode and Actually Playing Mode like most modern RPGs.

That being said, I'm forced to nitpick your examples here a little, since Xenosaga, while pretty high in cutscene, really doesn't have that much story. It's just introducing characters for sequels really. Kingdom Hearts meanwhile (and to a lesser extent, all action/RPGs) has pretty darn simple and shallow gameplay. I'd say any given TRPG makes a better example.

On the length side of things, I like games to be as long as possible, without hitting the point where they're just dragging on, getting repetetive, boring, long for it's own sake, etc. That varies from game to game of course, but I can safely say that anything over 60 hours is going to be too much.



Misconception Muliparter


I was wondering will they ever come out with the next Super Mario BROTHERS????? When is Luigi and Mario going to come together side by side to fight against Koopa again. I would love to play a Zelda 64 like Super Mario Brother's game with the orignal style manefested into 3D. Also bring back the koopalings and maybe this time explain where they came from by giving them a mom.

Googleshng

Well, SM64 DS should work out nicely for you. As for Bowser's kids... this may mess you up for life, but they have a mother. You know that conversation where Bowser's kid tells the princess she's his mother? Notice how she actually buys this? The only way that would be possible (aside from assuming she's braindead) would be if she did in fact have kids looking like Bowser, and put them up for adoption.



Also concerning the Zelda series. Why can't they come out with a forth tri-force to fill that hole in the middle of the other tri-forces. They can call it the Tri-force of Life since it would be the heart of the tri-forces being the center one. They can us this tri-force as an excuse to stop making so many prequeals and start going to next pert of the story past Zelda 2 and use this tri-force as a power to ressurect Ganon.

Googleshng

Because tri-force means "three forces."



Also how come RPG's stick with the samething. In Legend of Legaia, which by the way got so little credit while it drowned in the limelight of Final Fantasy only to have its own idea stolen by the same people that drowned them with the making of Final Fantasy 9, the fighting format was based on fighting combos and not the nomral style. I was taken back by that interface system when I first played it.

Googleshng

Uh... no? I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here, but the only games FF9 rips off are older FF games.



Also what the heck happened with the Shining Force series???? That was one of my favorite games from Genesis and now I can't believe how much it's been ruined. What happened to the orignal artists?? How come these new games that "claim" to be of that series dont even come close to the orignals?? Also how come they never at least released the complete Shining force 3. I managed to luckly get the first game of three that was specially made in english for sega saturn before.
Googleshng

Well, the other two parts of Shining Force 3 weren't released in North America, because the Saturn had already been declared legally dead by then, and the Shining Force team has spent the last several years making smarmy looking RPGs like Beyond the Beyond and Golden Sun.



Well thats the gist of my complants. I just think its a shame old series like Kid Icarus who could totally laid to dust in the trail of Metroid and the others I mentioned, get the lack of attention they deserve. They maybe oldies but they are the one thats started it all and at least should be brought back every now and then....
Googleshng

Kid Icarus was a Metroid clone, not vice versa... and not that good of one in enough people's opinions to really get a series going.





C L O S I N G
Googleshng:

I'm somewhat disappointed with how much carries over between the Xenosaga games. Better than nothing sure, but I'd gutted the first one, and all I get is a few extra skill points.

googleshng@rpgamer.com
googleshng@rpgamer.com


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