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  Agent's Departure   
Jeff Davis - June 06 '01- 5:00 Eastern Standard Time

It's been a fun day and half, but unfortunately for good or bad, all things come to an end. It figures the server went down during peak visiting hours, so today's selection of letters are kinda scant. Ahh, well. As much as I'd like to open with some profound discussion about gaming and such, I won't be able to see it through...So let's just dive into the letters. Oh and those who missed yesterday's column (with the server issue and all) can and should do so here. ^_________^ (Obligatory RPGamer emoticon)

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More on GC

Hey JD.

I wasn't at E3 but i've read about it a little bit. Now, a lot of ppl say that the Gamecube is gonna be the best and the PS2 will be in 2nd place. I think marketing is the most important factor here and some ppl seem to have left it out of the equation.

First of all, Nintendo made the N64 a kid's system. I'm 18 years old and I know that a lot of teenage gamers don't like very much on the N64 aside from Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. Some of them like Zelda; alot don't. Some like Mario; alot don't. It seems to me that Nintendo may do that same sort of thing with the Gamecube. With all their 1st/2nd (Rare) games, a lot of them will be kiddier, following along the idea of the N64. If they had 3rd party support from companies like Konami and Square, the GC would have a healty mix. However, while they have some 3rd party support, it seems like the GC will be like the N64. (*note* Konami and Square are big examples. They make a lot of games each year, some of which will sell the PS2 by itself).

Nintendo, IMO, has never marketed to the teenage/adult gaming community very much. Remember when the SNES was around and everybody liked Chrono Trigger and FF "3". Well, those RPGs were great at appealing to the age-group that Nintendo wanted to focus on. Now, those SNES gamers have grown up. They want more mature games, more realistic games. Playstation RPGs were like that. Playstation action, sport and fighters were like that. That's the kind of system the Playstation was/is. Sony picked a group to market to and did that very well. Nintendo decided to market to a different, younger group.

The same thing may happen with the PS2 and GC. Each will pick it's own market and try to dominate. That's not to say a 6 year old gamer can't play a PS2. But, statisically, s/he will not. I think the GC will be bigger than the N64 and the competetion with the PS2 will be tighter than with the PSX. But, in the end, i'm will likely get a PS2 because the kind of games I like are their main feature whereas the GC will have an occasional game I want to play.

Oh yeah......anything you want to rebut or comment on?

--Rahlious
"If the GC was getting Lunar 3, then I wouldn't have a choice, would I?"

JD:
I agree with you for the most part, for now there doesn't seem to be a great deal of adult oriented games for GC with Kameo, Eternal Darkness and possibly Waverace or Metroid. Until Nintendo has a wider spectrum of genres to choose from, PlayStation 2 will rank higher in my book. Or at least which ever system will have the best RPGs and within the next year that's PS2's FF X and Xenosaga.

With regards to PS2 beating out GC...I don't know about that one, SSB, Zelda, Luigi, RS2, WR, Metroid and possibly a Mario waiting in the wings will all sell like hot cakes. In this day and age, truly, there is no one-system under the sun.

 
Sony = Evil Corporate entity of naughtiness?

Dearest Googleshng, (JD's Editorial note:Goog is ranting somewhere at present)

My friend and I borrowed Dark Cloud last night form work to give it a go on his PS2. Expecting a decent action/rpg, I was hopeful. Unfortunately, Sony has once again played the role as evil corporate entity of naughtiness. They completely ripped off a large succession of games. First off, the game is Zelda clear as day. Secondly, the dungeon system was ripped off the notoriously annoying Sega rpg's, Evolution 1 and 2 and TimeStalkers. Yes, they actually took in the whole random dungeon thing (Hey I just left this place and I could have sworn that there was a left here. HEY! what happened to the auto map?!?). Not a good system to copy in my opinion. "The world has fallen apart and you must put it back together, in any way you chose!" reeks of Legend of Mana. On top of the game ended up looking/feeling like a souped up Brave Fencer Musashi(which at least had voice track for most main characters and Dark Cloud is, of coarse, silent). Usually you take the best parts of games to make a super fun game, but for Dark Cloud, they took the most annoying parts of some mediocre games to create a steaming pile of eww. Now this all leads to some questions.......

1. Why must Sony be so goddamn evil?
2. Why must Sony rip off other rpgs to make their own?
*cough*legendofdragoonissuchapoorattemptatafinalfantasy*cough* 3. Why does the doctor think my cough is unhealthy?
4. Is it worth playing Dark Cloud despite all of the bad points JUST to ride the gigantic flying hamster of doom the main character was riding in the opening movie?
5. Will Xenosaga's glory smite this game for all eternity? Once it comes out that is......

Well well welly well well welly well, thetas enough wasting of time for me, its time for a bit of the old ultraviolence in Icewind Dale....farewell for now.

-the dúnedain

JD:
As much fun as it is to mock and berate Sony and its hardcore fans, I think your title is much more deserved on the Microsoft side. But seriously, despite Legend of Dragoon borrowing more than necessary ideas from Final Fantasy, I don't think it's a bad game by any means. I would say 80+% of RPGs borrow ideas from other games anyway. Though, I do agree Sony masks these features pitifully. I know a couple of people who are currently playing Dark Cloud, and from what I can discern there's a 50/50 split in opinions between a good or bad game. As I haven't played the game myself, I'm at a loss to give advice.

I really can't say whether Xenosaga will be glorious or not, as you've seen as much as I have. Really, speculating at this early juncture isn't the most prudent. Though, it has captured my interests greatly. Along with FF X should make the PlayStation 2 worth more than its price of admission.

 
E3 Picture

When single shines the double sun,
What was sundered and undone,
Shall be whole, the two made one,
By JD's hand, or else by none.

Or: nice pic yesterday : )

Bart

JD:
I have nothing more to add...You said it all.

 
PSX RPGs

I was wondering if you could recomend any good RPGs for the PSX. I've just played through Breath of Fire 4, Final Fantasy tactics and vandal Hearts. I own BOF3, Lunar SSSC, Final Fantasies 7-9 and the anthology, both wild arms, and Star Ocean 2. any and all help in this quest for new adventures is appreciated.

Tha Tank

JD:
You should definitely check out: Lunar 2, Suikoden 1/2, Chrono Cross, Vagrant Story, Xenogears, Legend of Dragoon, in no particular order.

 
Star Wars xyz

JD,

Just a quick correction....Daeta mentioned that Starfighter would be a good game based off the fact that it was made by the same people who did Rouge Squadron. Starfighter for the PS2 and X-Box was not made by Factor 5 the people who made Rouge Squadron. Both are LucusArts games, but LucusArts was only the Publisher of The Rouge games. Factor 5 did all the work.

Matt B.

JD:
Thanks for the correction as I must confess, and I may be vitrioled for this, but I've lost interest in the whole Star Wars series. It's just zillions of sequels of different genres, year after year. Can you say, most abused franchise in history? That said, SW: Rogue Squadron 2 has caught my eye and is sure to be one of my first GC titles. But, my point still stands.

 
Marvel Comics correction

an you make sure that someone pimp-slaps Chesh for thinking that Archie Comics is a division of Marvel Comics? Thank you.

Marvel Zombie #3.14159

P. J. Reed

JD:
I asked someone on RPGamer staff to do so. You wouldn't catch me doing such a menial task after all. :)

 
PSO familiarity

Hey JD,

While we're talking of PSO, can you tell me if I'm imagining the intro song in PSO to be familiar. I know I've heard it somewhere, but I can not place my finger on it.

-Thomas

JD:
You're indeed right. One of the standout songs of which you speak of from the PSO album is the opening theme and the opening medley of it comes from the epic Phantasy Star 2 theme.

 
Forgetting Chrono Cross!

Jeff!

How could you possibly have forgotten to list Chrono Cross in your favorite game albums of 2000?

Kid ~Don't Mess With Me~

JD:
I don't know how I could have forgotten either. But let me make amends with a postscript. Soundtracks: Shenmue, Kessen, Grandia 2, Skies of Arcadia, Lunar 2 EBC bonus soundtrack, and of course Wild Arms 2. + Chrono Cross, Legend of Dragoon.

 
Parting is such sweet sorrow

Yo JD,

I do want to write in and thank you for introducing me to the wonderful world of Falcom albums, back in the day when you hosted regularly. I have 10 now, and have become a much more conscientious album buyer. Come back soon.

[Alan]

JD:
I normally wouldn't post self-promotional letters such as these, oh actually I would. But being strapped with letters due to yesterday's hoopla...Anyway, it's good to see I've made some contribution during my tenure. Rest assured, I shall return for another day as guest or something.


Closing Thoughts:

Goog is back tomorrow, sorry it couldn't be helped ;). Unfortunately, it's the end of the road for me here. I do want to thank RPGamer, Cheshire and Goog for giving me the time, though if I suspect correctly they got a short vacation out of this. So perhaps I'm owed the thanks. I jest only! It's been fun to touch base with you all from readerland again. We'll meet again I'm sure. But for now the GIA secret geosynchronous satellite awaits. Cheerio!

- Jeff Davis



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