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     Mahjong Fun   May 25, 2005

Last night, someone exposed me to a weird mutant variation of mahjong. This was good, because I previously had no clue how to play it, and think I have a set somewhere around here.

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So it was mentioned to me that there is a game series called "Super Robot Wars [Taisen]" and that the latest version is coming in December known as "Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 Final" but it's a Japan-only release by Banpresto, which I do believe is an extension of Bandai. Okay, I have seen the awesomeness that is the trailer, who do I have to yell at or beat up in a burlap bag to bring this TRPG over here? The music too, is quite good as of what I've heard so far. If Bandai can send a game like Dragonball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 over here (which was terrible in both English and Japanese incarnations), they can most certainly send a quality game like SRW over here. And don't tell me it's a bad game because I played the GBA version of it from a friend, Japanese menus aside, it's a nice TRPG. Melee graphics are on par or better than those of Valkyrie Profile, which was quite good and as obscure if memory serves. And isometric to top-down field graphics is fine by me. Only thing missing from this game is Voltron [Golion for you purists], but I can wave that if they put the game in a neat little box package and 'port it over here.

So yeah, that's my question...sorta.


Yeah, you're dead wrong about that one. Bandai and Banpresto are two very different companies. In fact, Bandai is pretty much the only company that didn't greenlight all their mecha anime for use in yon series, so I'm sitting here with almost every giant robot in one game, meanwhile Escaflowne is off in some sucky imitator game alongside Power Rangers and such, wah.

Anyway though, Banpresto is a crazy prolific company, who also makes RPGs based on pretty much every anime series out there, which reportedly don't totally suck. Unfortunately, they have never sent a single game over to the U.S. and most likely never will. Shame.

Woo! Segue!

Dear Goog,
I have been a fan of Fire Emblem for some time now, and today picked up The Sacred Stones, and it looks promising with new classes and being able to choose the difficulty level right from the start. I was wondering if Nintendo would port any of the older Fire Emblems over here, because I really want to know what happened to Roy after the first one (in US) because I can't play the Japanese version (too much kanji and no furigana).
I cn't wait for the Gamecube version. If it was shown on E3, it means we too will enjoy it in English right? And also, what's your take on the series? I really like it, the battles are good, it is very challenging, has a variety of characters, good sound, graphics and story. Now I know where Vanguard Bandits came from (Escaflowne + FE)
PS: When will FFVII: AC finally come to Japan or US??

I'm quite fond of Fire Emblem as well... although my constant resetting means my GBA probably doesn't. Oh, and yes, we are getting the GC one. Woo and stuff.

As for yon spinoffy movie thing, September 14th.



I only played part of WA2, i guess I couldn't get past the changes from WA1. I loved the way everything worked in WA1 and it was just a disappointment in WA2. Also, I thought it was weird to be able to turn into that ultimate red guy only a few hours into the game...seems to me that should have been something to save for later on. Anyways, I guess I never gave it too much of a chance and from what i've heard I didn't miss much. You say there were plenty of characters in that game? I only ever got the three of them...

As to your last letter and the guy talking about $60 games...look back at old SNES prices. Those things were 60+. I believe Chrono Trigger and the SNES FF games were around 70 or 80 dollars.


Yes, later on in WA2, you pick up 3 more characters, including someone who has a spell which always goes first, fully heals your whole party and generally makes it impossible for anything to be remotely challenging ever. And again, spells don't cost MP in WA2. Really is a shame how many flaws the game has, because there's some really neat stuff buried under all of it.

Also, I don't know where you used to buy your games, but I only paid $50 for all those new. There have been some pretty darn pricey carts here and there though. The original Phantasy Star went for $80 back in the day, PS4 was $100... these prices though tend to be based off the cost of the media (the cart or the disc) though, so I can't really foresee any major problems here.

More on that...

i would just like to comment on the reader that was talking about the next gen games being $60... now back when the ps1 first came out all the games were 49.95...the n64 games were anywhere from 54.99 to 74.99 and that's at wal-mart.i remember banjo kazoie or whatever being like 64.99 and i remember a couple of games being 74.99.wal-mart is usually the cheapest place to buy games...places like babbages or gamestop they mark there games up $5 more than wal-mart so all there ps2 games are usually 54.95 when wal-mart's are 49.99. but basically all current gen systems games were $50 at release... and history usually repeats it's i would expect to see the ps3 at $300, the 360 at $300 and the revolution at $250..nintendo's raising price's while wal-mart's slashing with games on all being $50 at wal-mart...$54.95 at gamestop. bet.

here's a question...who care's. i keed, i keed. on to a real question...what ever happened to those rumours of Chrono Break. i know another chrono game is no where in the close future but damn would it be nice for another beautiful chrono game.

red sparowes. at the soundless dawn.
if rikku was real she would be christina aguilera...same sex appeal. yeah i went there. you've read it you can't unread it.

Uh... it was a nearly baseless rumor that died down after that nearly dropped away? What more needs to be said there?

One last thing on tech demos.

This is an extract of some screenshots I recently gathered while curious to see exactly how much Sony likes to fake things. Q&A readers might be interested. Google has stated the following:

The tech demo in question was a video of the ballroom dance scene from FF8, which was allegedly being rendered in real time by the PS2. The implication being that the PS2's in-engine graphics would look just like the best pre-rendered movies available at the time. This of course eventually proved to be a complete load of absolute BS, not unlike pretty much every other tech demo for any platform ever.

Well, a simple google search later (there's got to be some irony here, I just know it), I found these:

Guess what? That ain't faked. It's not even that great. Compare it to the original CG:

Not even close. However, compare it to some FFX-2 (sorry, your shots are all low-res):

More color, more texture, more polygons. As have most games top titles these days: check Jak3, MGS3, God of War, and many others.

- Ryan Pavlik (oGMo on #rpgamer)

Thanks, I was looking all over for those shots. Tad rougher than I remember.

Anyway though, I wasn't saying I thought yon tech demo was fake, just misleading. Again, same with all tech demos. We have a movie showing what you can do with a system if you dedicate all your resources to tight angle shots of one or two really high poly count models, which is great if you want to do in-engine cutscenes with those restrictions (as you see in Shenmue and FF10), but then when you turn around and actually look at screens of real gameplay (that last screen you list isn't too bad of an example) you see a serious drop-off in how smooth things look.

Personally, I say if you really want to wow me with tech demos, you need to show me an RTS. 100 units fighting 100 other units, with a camera that can be moved around by the person you're demonstrating to. You can shine up anything you want anyway you want. Unit textures, footprints, cloud shadows, wow me with lighting effects, whatever, but you need those elements in there. Anything else is just a bunch of pretty pictures that don't really tell me anything of value.

The Last Laugh:

OK, let me get this straight. I can sell DVDs of DBZ and Yu-gi-oh for 6 or 7 bucks, but nobody wants the first two DVDs of Trigun for 50 cents each? So much for taste. Anyway, enjoy your weekend everybody.

Googleshng "Dear Strongbad, where were you this week?"

I need my fix I do I do.

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