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Sucks to be Sony March 28, 2005

Googleshng - 4:00 EST

First they release a handheld with several nasty hardware issues, then get the pants sued off their console. I suppose the moral is, don't steal stupid gimmicky controller designs.

Hold still!

I just read that article on the Sony patent infringement scandel, and I would just like to ask: What is going to happen to games that use the Dual Shock option that haven't been realeased yet? I'm pretty sure Kingdom Hearts 2 will have it, for example; will it simply have to be altered, or will it just not come out? Thanks for the time.



The simplest solution from where I sit would be to just remove rumble features all around if you're a developer, and take the motors out of your controllers if you're Sony.

Should make for some awkward moments at E3 though.

RPG Halfu Yo!

Hey there Google,

I wanted to remind everyone about a classic example of a humor-based RPG from way back in the 16-bit era. Super Mario RPG was start-to-finish humor, cracking jokes at Mario's mustache, having Mario impersonate any number of other characters, most of the Nimbus Land sequence, Marrymore in general, Mallow and Geno's entire characters, and so much more... there was almost NO element of darkness present, and the whole game was a joy to play.

Ah, forgive my reminiscing... it's just that your first letter tonight (3/27/05) brought up the point of humor in RPGs. While I won't deny that most RPGs feature at least some humor, even Phantom Brave (AMAZING game but dark/depressing story), SMRPG stands out as still being the pinnacle of mixing those two elements that even the Paper Mario games and Superstar Saga didn't quite reach.

Ah! I almost forgot a question again! That makes it 2 for 2... well, with RPG elements being mixed with almost every other genre out there now (Action, Adventure, Sports, Racing, Fighting, Strategy, Simulation...), what are some good examples of how it melded with other genres? I know that the Fire Emblem series and Nippon Ichi's games are excellent examples, but what would your opinion be? Or is it better that RPGs stay by themselves and don't mix into other genres? I know that Final Fantasy X tried to have it both ways with the main quest as well as Blitzball...

Kevin Cox


It's been my experience that adding "RPG elements" (which basically means improving stuff with points earned by doing things really) to other sorts of games tends to work pretty consistantly, but anyone who tries to make say, a half-fighting game half-RPG is more or less doomed to mediocrity.

It had a lot of hype?

I was just wondering why there was such a large fuss over how great Shadow Hearts: Covenant is. Personally, I prefer the first one to a much greater degree because it had that unique gothic/horror element added to it. The characters were really funny (especially Marguerite and Yuri), and the story was nothing short of epic once you got out of Japan and got to Europe. The second shadow hearts seemed much too generic to me, especially considering what it was the successor to. Yuri's character became pretty solemn too and had none of the comedic elements from the first game. Those aren't bad things; it was still a great game worth playing. I just thought that some other games released last year deserved even HALF the attention SH2 recieved (I.e. SMT: Nocturne, probably the best game last year, and Phantom Brave).

So my questions have to do with both SH 2 and 3.

1) Why did they choose to run with the 'bad ending' from the first SH? (Although I don't mind, it made for a better plot in SH2.)

2) Will SH3 continue in the direction of the 2nd SH, or will it return to the horror roots of the first one? It also seemed as if Karin would be making a return...her side of the story seemed pretty open ended.


I haven't seen a disproportionate number of people hyping up SH:C. I've been saying it's pretty darn cool, but I talked about PB plenty too, and various other games from last year, and most other people just seem to be raving about MMORPGs these days.

Also, let me fix your numbers here before I continue:
1- Koudelka
2- Shadow Hearts
3- Covenant
4- From the New World
Keep that straight or you're going to confuse people.

Anyway, over the course of the first 3 games, the whole horror theme has been on the decline. The first one clearly had a horror thing going on, with a lot of wimpy people in a small space with some really deadly ghosts and freaks and NPCs. The second game cut back on that a lot, keeping a good chunk of the asthetics, but changing things from a bunch of people struggling against the evil stuff all over to having one crazy badass tearing it up (kinda like comparing Army of Darkness to Evil Dead). Then the third game pretty much dropped horror pretty much altogether, except as an influence to character design.

I really don't see where you're coming from on the decrease in humor though. That's been on the rise. Koudelka didn't have much except for a sick sense of humor here and there, and of course everyone's favorite old midget. Shadow Hearts adds a lot of really memorable lines from Yuri, and a few other silly things here and there. Covenant though has all that, Joachim walking off with all sorts of silly new weapons about which he waxes poetic, that bit with the cat, and of course, everything at all involving Blanca.

So getting onto your last question here, since you already answered the other, I would say given the year and location of the setting that it'll most likely head back towards more of a Lovecraftian vibe, and probably deal more with You Know Who and family, as hinted at towards the end of Shadow Hearts.

Getting hopes up.

Hello Googleshng,

A couple weeks ago I think you said you were looking forward to Makai (Phantom) Kingdom. I have enjoyed all of Nippon Ichi's recent RPGs alot, however I was slightly disappointed with Phantom Brave. After logging in 250+ hours in Disgaea, I as hoping for another game I could really get into, but for some reason I couldn't get into Phantom Brave as much. I think it was because I was hoping for Disgaea round 2 and instead got something different. I can't fault developers for trying something new, but hopefully Makai Kingdom will have some more aspects of what made me enjoy Disgaea so much (i.e. a more straightforward leveling system, more unique characters, and oh yeah...NEW GAME+ would be nice). What are you hoping for in Makai Kingdom? Are you looking more innovation from NI or more of Disgaea's core aspects with a couple of quirks thrown in?

Thanks for the time,

P.S. Have you given up on hidden text? Unless something is really screwy with my browser, it's been the same for weeks now.


I'm hoping more for something in the vein of the whole unlock new better versions of my class that I can transmigrate into than the whole Fusionist shtick, but past that I'm all for trying new things.

I can't wait to switch back to a usable template.

Hey there Googleshng,

First off sorry your game save corrupted on you, and I'm also equally sorry that you are having to sell your wad of anime

Now onto comments:

I think your pen and paper rpg about a pen and paper rpg is a very original idea so kudos on that and hope it gets off the ground soon

And regarding the letter sent to Cast a few days ago about the mature sexual themes in .hack, the mature sexual theme isn't in the game but with each disc of the game comes a dvd so the shafting of $200 for one game doesn't seem to hard, anyway the fourth DVD contained a bonus anime ep called .Hack//GIFT and at the end of it is a naked Subaru, BT and Mimiru in the hotsprings, and thus is why the whole game(I refuse to call it a series) got the rating slapped on it

And on the movie writers should write game stories, I'd say no because 9 out of 10 movies are cheesy corny 2 hour suckfests or are remakes of much better movies, so I'd say no using these brain dead hollywood screenwriters to turn their 2 hour suckfest into a 40+ hour suckfest, if rpg companies are going to hire writers it should be novelists... because a book's popularity depends on it's ability to tell a story where as movies, games and whatever else you have depends on the oh it's so prettiful and shiney... factor to get by

And to the trout as a weapon I recommend Phantom Brave, which has weird battle mechanics like that but is light on story in my opinion and the story and whacky battles don't coincide to good, so uh yeah

And uh now for a few questions:

Ok I was reading some where a few months ago that Chrono Trigger's 3 sage guys were named after chaps from the Bible as opposed to japanese scholars in the north american release, so my question, what were Ozzie Flea and Slash's japanese names?

Also this has nothing to do with a contest, but um were Moogles invented by somebody at Square or was the idea for them lifted from something else?

And lastly do you fear getting long rambling letters from me or do you look forward to it?

Arros Raikou

The above is the result of cold meds


90% of everything sucks as the saying goes. All I'm going to say on THAT subject is that if you want to hire some professional writers to work on videogames, Orson Scott Card should be at the top of your list, for several reasons.

That's an interesting point about PB. The plot is relatively serious and sappy. Combat is just plain crazy. It didn't really take me out of it though.

In Japan, Ozzie Flea and Slash have this food name gimmick going on, making the line "Ozzie's in a pickle" a terrible, redundant joke... and the Flea Vest was the Mayonaise Bra... which is just a disgusting mental image.

Finally, moogles are pretty much as original as you can claim a teddybear with wings and an antena to be... which I suppose is fairly original.


This server outage business is irksome. Here's hoping it clears up soon.

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