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x sand March 22, 2005

Googleshng - 4:00 EST

Did you ever have one of those days when you start poking around the page of someone you think is cool and end up with a game-a-day text adventure habit? Shade there is particularly spiffy... well, they're all spiffy, that's just the one I happened to be playing last night.

I never thought I came off with enough maturity to be considered an adult...

I'm an avid RPGamer... but I often have had troubles finishing RPGs (as I explained in a previous email about how its hard to get motivated for them any more)... and yet I still buy as many as possible. Anyway, I digress; yesterday I went to yon mall in order to spend the $30 my mother had ordered me to spend on Easter gifts for myself. Of course, the obvious way to do so was to stop in at my local EBgames and buy some RPGs. I purchased my PS2 only last May, and my Gamecube just last october, so I'm relatively new to this generation of gaming, and constantly find older RPGs I want. I was on a mission though; to find Grandia 2 and Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter. Instead, I found Phantom Brave had price dropped to $20 used... which I of course snatched, and Grandia 2. Sadly, the guy at the cash register, being of the sort who seems to most commonly work at EBgames, quizzically looked at the Phantom Brave cover, holding it as if it were some sort of distasteful thing (and it most likely was for him... his thoughts probably were as such "")... grr, I digress again. I asked him if they had any copies of Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter for PS2. He searched the computer base and came up with nothing.
"Breath of Dragon?" he asked me. I of course replied a negative, correcting him. The next few minutes were spent with me trying to explain to him he had searched the wrong thing. When he finally figured this out, he searched again, and sadly, EBGames doesnt even have the game in their database any more. Oh well. Fine. It was for the best.

Regardless, this huge letter which I'm sure most likely wont even make the QNA section is to ask if BoF V is worth picking up from the Capcom website for $19.99 including the Strategy guide? Also, do you think Capcom will ever get off its casualgamemanufacturerbuttocks and make a new Breath of Fire?

Thanks a bunch, even if this doesnt make the section could you just send a reply?



Wait, did you just imply that Capcom takes a while to crank out sequels?

Anyway though, yeah, I'd say BoF5 is worth $20 or so if you're into the whole hard, mid-game plus game, Resident Evil influenced sort of RPG that it is. I'm pretty sure you can find a copy cheaper if you poke about online a little though.

And no, I DON'T mean eBay.

But where do they make balloons?

I was wondering Where do Chocobos come from?


Nausicaä and the Valley of Wind. Which, incidently, has finally been released in this country after something like 20 years of Disney sitting on the rights to it.

Yaeaea! WA WA WA

Ok, I've heard some pretty mixed things regarding Wild Arms. Some people
love it like a fat man loves chocolate, while others would rather eat rotten walrus meat. What's your opinion on it? I recently picked up Wild Arms 2 extremely cheap, but if I plan on starting the series, I will obviously want to start at the beginning. I also noticed a new WA is in the works, which could be a nice addition if I happen to like the series. So my question to you, great master of the RPG's, is do you think Wild Arms is a series worth investing time / money in?


Here's the short form of it. Wild ARMs is the spiritual successor of Lufia 2.

On the off chance you haven't played Lufia 2, the WA games are all about puzzle filled dungeons, and they're one of the last bastions of the time honored RPG tradition of giving you a world map that you can explore more and more of as you aquire new vehicles and toys.

So, I really dig'em.

Why I hate this format: It doesn't allow for layered multiparters.

OK, good Googleshng, I'll bite: what WAS the first RPG with a female lead?
My best guess would be Faria for the NES, though I fuzzily recall a late game plot twist in which it is revealed the lead is actually an enchanted prince, ensorcelled in the doomed hope that womanhood would stop him/her from kicking ass, fulfilling prophecies, and claiming a throne or something. So we're in a bit of a grey zone as to whether that counts...

Real question 1: What are the upcoming franchise and non-franchise games you're most looking forward to (no time constraints)? My picks would be the new Fire Emblem games and Jade Empire, based mostly on past experience with the series in one case and the developer in the other.

Real question 2: Um, how can one tell whether you or Andrew is answering the QnA box at any given moment? I've seen him toss out some mockery for mistakes on this one, but no convenient explanations since I've started reading... Do you trade off weekly or something? (I'm mostly running off of hopes that since you posed questions for yourself at the end of yesterday's column, you're still answering...)

Real question 3: How does RPGamer classify the genre RPG, and thus which games they report on? Why does Drakengard (Drag-On Dragoon, whatever) qualify, and not, say, the Thief series? (I ask out of an admittedly deep bias towards the latter over the former) If the answer is that character advancement in power and metagame statistics makes the RPG, why does Drakengard qualify, in which advancement is limited to weapon upgrades and hp totals, and not Resident Evil 4, which contains advancement in both those regards, plus a fairly deep inventory/trade system?

Right. Hope you can forgive my devil's advocacy. Good gaming!


First female lead: The original Phantasy Star.

Anticipation: Hmm... let's go with Zelda and Phantom Kingdom.

The Q&A schedule (which recently changed a little): I do weekdays, Andrew does weekends. The current definition of "weekend" is, oddly enough, Thursday Friday and Saturday. So if it's Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, and you send in a letter, Andrew will end up answering it when he posts the column the next day. Otherwise, I will. I also try to clarify things by ending my last column for the week by telling people to have a good weekend and throw things at Andrew. He should be doing the same, but anyway. Saturday, start mailing me. Wednesday, stop.

Finally, RPGamer defines an RPG as anything the owner of the site says we should cover. 99 times out of 100 this matches up with "Are there experience points?"

Cut cut cut!

answer man,

Random question, do you think the future of RPG's will involve cg and cut scenes for spells, special moves, or even item use while in battle? I ask because for FFVII, if it's ever remade for a next gen system, then the summons could be made into cut scenes that are pure CG, or something like it to enhance the experience. Obviously it takes away from originality because part of the appeal is that when you're fighting the backgrounds of where you are fighting are stationary, i.e. the beach or mountains. But in games like FFVII, summons went out on their own anyway, so what do you think? Personally I think it'd be pretty cool. I know that Grandia II did it for some of it's spells, for example the eye spell and the claw spell both used cut scenes, but other than those 2, I've never seen it, but fully expect it in the future.

What's your shibby?


Well, first off it should be noted that all graphics in all games can be classified as "CG" except for creepy things with live action footage thrown in.

Anyway though, if you're talking about pre-rendered cutscenes, they're on their way out as in-engine graphics can look as good lately. I could see games from certain developers using over-elaborate spell animations though... I wouldn't like it, but I could see it.


So... many... good... games!

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