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     Next Conan's Hint!   April 27, 2005

When throwing these up, two things struck me as quite odd. First, why the heck did they change the name of Detective Conan in this country, second, why is there a newish anime series based on creepy obscure solid hunks of flesh colored plastic from the 80s that weren't even popular then? Anyway though, questions.

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So yeah hey Andrew/Goog/Someone,
I've never wrote in and I know you hear that alot but you know what your the one dying for letters here. And since you want anything....I had a choir performance last night....and I ate a burger...and maybe I should just throw in a question for good measure.
With Square's goof in making FF:CC (yeah that's right goof in controls, gameplay, story, etc.) how do you think the battle system in FFXII will work out? Because god forbid we get another CC.

~ DJ Nunya Business

Googleshng:
Yeah... they really don't have a good record in my book when it comes to more action-based interfaces do they. Honestly, when you're capable of summoning forth the horror that is Parasite Eve 2, you should really just swear off anything that isn't menu based for life. I think you'd really have to look at FF11's take on things before passing judgement though... or better, FF12.

 
I made the God Wad joke already, right?

I'm thinking of sending an e-mail to various japanese-ass companies to offer them my services on fixing the titles of future games whose text is translated into English, but whose titles are left super-radical-absurdish by the same japanese-asses.

In need of fixing-

-Choco Vader (sounds like a cereal that gives you lung cancer)-being that it looks like it's about little kids gambling and evading the TSA in outerspace, this is Midget Acid Trip
-Bakousou Yankee Damashi (don't know what it means, but it feels racist)-Foreign Game
-Baten Kaitos (can't say it, won't buy it)- now it's Beating Kato
-Sakura wars 5: episode 0: Arano no Samurai Musume- this is the one I want to rename Rambo/Rocky IV: First Blood Part III: Balboa's Constrictor because even though this Japanese-ass game presumably has nothing to do with Stallone it also presumably has nothing to do with any of the gibberish words and unrelated numbers in its current title either; at least my way will catch people's attentions.

Googleshng:
OK, see, here's the problem I have with your premise here. The only one of the games you mentioned that was released in the English speaking world is Baten Kaitos, which isn't Japanese to begin with. It's Arabic. Why? Because it's the name of a star, and when you invent the telescope, a good chunk of them end up named in your language.

 
About time to update the FAQ...

Why is google playing a MMORPG? I thought he hated them.

Anyhoo, you say that what you have heard so far about FFXII (or some of the things) you do not like. What don't you like about it and why? For the record, I have not heard anything on FFXII; i'm just curious to see what this negatively received information is.

Googleshng:
I was playing WoW because someone needed to review it, but then about half the staff revealed that they were capable of doing so, contrary to previous beliefs. Just as well since I'm generally down on the genre as a whole.

As for FF12... honestly, the thing that surprises me the most about it is how LITTLE I've heard about it. Generally anything with FF in the name gets pounded into my skull every minute of every day until it's been out for a year, but with 12 there's pretty much just three things that people ever mention, and they don't mention them often. FFTA's races and such (which is interesting, but reminds me of FFTA's plot). A MMORPG style system of combat (which most agree is bad). Nasty trashy character designs (which is par for the course at this point really).

I'm sure hype'll crank up around E3 on that one.

 
I'd prefer questions, but interesting thoughts do in a pinch.

Mr. RPG Man,

Do ever find it funny which games (and, to a like extent, movies, music and television shows) are considered great and which games are considered terrible. Obviously, that's usually because those great games actually are pretty great and those terrible games do, in fact, suck. But not always. Sometimes the great games really aren't all that great, and sometimes the terrible games aren't that terrible. Take, for example, Shadow Hearts: Covenant and Final Fantasy X-2:

Just about everybody and his grandmother hate Final Fantasy X-2 with a vengeance--even you nice RPGamer folk. And why shouldn't you? It was nothing more than a soulless creation by Square designed specifically to swindle you of your money. No real gamer worth his salt wasn't offended by that Britney Spears saturated garbage.

But, you know, the Britney Spears stuff was really only superficial. There's really an incredible amount of depth once you get past all that. The ability system allows for an almost unheard of amount of customablity, yet it's so streamlined that you only have to spend as much time managing your characters as you want. Combat is fast and fun and often provides a challenge. Characters, both new and old, playable and non-playable, are all very interesting, and it's fun just watching them adjust to their new lives and roles in a Sin-free Spira. The story, if you choose to pursue it, is actually quite intriguing (especially those delightfully cryptic Crimson Sphere reports).

It isn't all perfect, though: Spira just isn't that much fun to explore again. We've already seen most of what Final Fantasy X-2 shows us from Final Fantasy X, and what few new areas there are to explore are mostly made up of mindlessly repetitive corridor dungeons.

Googleshng:
You pretty much hit the nail on the head there yeah. People focus way too much on Charlie's Angel factor, which honestly shouldn't be that shocking to people, as it mainly comes from the slutty costumes, which REALLY aren't anything new. If you're going to pick on the game, pick on how 95% or so of the maps, monsters, random NPCs, etc. are lifted straight from FF10 with no change whatsoever. More importantly, you shouldn't bash it too much since it honestly has the simplest, most balanced mechanics of any FF game in a long time.

And then there's Shadow Hearts: Covenant. It's a good game. I like it. You like it. Everyone likes it. It has fun gameplay, great characters and good music. It may have some minor flaws here and there, but those only slightly hinder the overall great Shadow Hearts: Covenant experience. It's a very well-made game. Especially the characters, who very well may go as some of the best characters in almost any game ever made.

It's a good thing, too, that the characters are so likeable, because the story really sucks. It's not even so much that the game takes so many liberties with history that that bothers me (though I can't say the same for any history buffs out there). No, it's that so much of the game happens because Yuri and friends stumbled headfirst into just the right person.

**SPOILERS**

Take Kurando, for example. He's a pretty awesome character by himself, but, unfortunately, he's also a walking blackhole of plausibility. Not only is he Yuri's cousin, but he's also the bodyguard of a man who was both a very good friend of Yuri's father AND the father of one of the key characters from the first game (thereby establishing a connection between the two characters that was not present before). Also, of course, it just so happens that the big-chinned goofball from the first game is dabbling in the revival of said key character.

Mind you, you meet Kurando purely by chance. That's one hell of a coincidence.

Even worse, though, is something I find completely unforgivable: Shadow Hearts: Covenant devalues the importance of Shadow Hearts. Albert Simon summoned a god from outer space so that he could recreate the world to own liking, killing countless people and eviscerating entire cities in the process. He did that purely because he wanted to keep Rasputin from ruling all of Europe (only Europe?), and he died at the end of disc 1. Say what you want about Final Fantasy X-2, but at least it didn't degrade Final Fantasy X's story.

I could go on (oh yes, I really could), but this letter is already plenty long. I'm sure you've already written up a proper rebuttal that disproves every point I've made, not to mention all the fanboys I likely got foaming at the mouth by daring to insinuate that that crap Final Fantasy X-2 game was anywhere near the quality of Shadow Hearts: Covenant, the last great RPG for the PS2.

-DiNi

Googleshng:
Well, there's two problems I have with your logic on this one. First, it was already established that Yuri's dad had connections with the Japanese military, so that one isn't far fetched at all. Second, well, on the devaluing the previous game front, that's par for the course. Koudelka takes place in just the Monastery. It's this incredibly significant powerful locus of magic weirdness, you've got the one big evil book, the closest you come to some horrific supernatural abomination that could destroy the world is a single zombie (heck of a zombie though), and the most supernaturally powerful person around to fight it is some gyspy girl with telepathy. Shadow Hearts scales that all up a bunch of notches. The entirety of Koudelka becomes roughly as significant as one of the bigger dungeons in the game, you've got Yuri there who can eat demons for breakfast. You've got a bunch of magic freaky books. Covenant just kicks things up the next notch is all. Probably a safe bet that A New World will do similar.

 
Translations

Hey,

Many, many years ago, I recall in the back of GamePro there was a black & white ad for a company offering an import cartridge of Bahamut Lagoon for the Super Famicom with a full text translation of the game included. I have no idea who it was. I am very eager to play games like BL, Seiken Densetsu 3, Dragon Quest 5 & 6, etc. I really prefer playing them on my console, on the TV. I know so many people love ROMÕs but I am not a huge fan. My question is this: do you have any inkling as to where I could find full text translations of RPGÕs released only in Japan?

Googleshng:
A search engine is probably your best bet to be honest. I don't know of any place that actually archives full text translations of most untranslated RPGs (and there'd probably be legal troubles if one exists), but you can find a lot of people who have gone and translated individual games. Some are more likely than others of course.




The Last Laugh:

Up goes the column, there goes my shift, and down go my eyelids. Have fun everyone, play nice with the weekend host, and don't give cigarettes to chimps.



Googleshng "Escapism is bad!" @rpgamer.com

Not a good moral for a videogame that.

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