Brian Rogovitz and David Looney - July 19th, '02 - 11:45pm Eastern Daylight Time|
LordBrian: Hey all, when I got the chance to guest host with my mortal enemy again, I couldn't pass it up. Well, after saying no to all the other chances that arose. But whatever! Since the last time I did Q&A, I've jumped ship from my old site duties as media grunt. Now I'm the admin of the RPGamer message boards, where I spend my time making sarcastic comments and pissing people off when I actually bother to enforce the rules. Outside of that, I'm either fansubbing anime or working on things in real life. All in all, pretty boring stuff.
TRC: Hello this is TRC, you may remember me from such Q&A columns such as
LordBrian and TRC, among other things. Today I am here with LB again. For
those paying attention I haven't updated guides myself since may and the
reason for that is because my harddrive died and I have yet to be able to
afford to get a new one. I should be able to get a new one in august, so
everyone get a new guide ready for my triumphant return.
For the record, anyone who doesn't like U:SaGa's music is a dork of the highest order
After reading up just about everywhere, when I was down in the States the last few weeks, I saw Unlimited Saga at a bunch of stores. Of course, I didn't buy it. I mean, 6 billion people can't be wrong, right? So, instead I did what I always do. I got the soundtrack....EW. Did Square do anything right with the game? Seriously. I did get Shadows of Undrentide, and it OWNS.
Anyway, my questions are (other than the ones above):
1) What is the worst RPG you've ever played, for any reason, and why?
2) If you could have any feature in any kind of RPG that you wanted, what would it be? Just sheer curiousity. (:
3) Why the hell hasn't RPGamer done a review of Shadows of Undrentide? This upsets me.
P.S.: Since I hate both of you equally, I sent this to both of you! Now I hate both of you equally even more! :D
1. Shadow Madness. I wish I could call the game merely generic, but it didn't just steal things from other games and put them together in a new, mediocre game -- it stole from other games, and made them all worse, and then put them together ass-backwards. And then there's the mind-bogglingly high miss rate in battle which makes every single battle an effort in frustration. Of course, it did have good music, but that's not nearly enough to save it.
2. With no nasty subtext implied, any RPG that lets me use the controller with one hand is a winner for me. The only series I can remember offhand that does this is Suikoden, but it's quite possibly the nicest feature EVAR.
3. Because PC RPGs are teh suck.
P.S.: I hate you too, but not nearly as much as I hate TRC. So I guess you still lose in the end.
Yes it seems that Square fubared it greatly. SoU apprently is apparently
owns all, but I can't play it because my computer sucks teh... umm.. bum. SO
1) Beyond the beyond I guess, I try to find the best in ever RPG I play. It
is the only RPG I ever stopped playing and never wanted to play again. I
really want to see sony remake it, because I doubt they can make it any
2) Right now, I don't know. The ability to kill who I want when I want, to
be truely evil or truely good. And to have a real evil ending.
3) Because we need a PC reviewer. Send hatemail to ASV@rpgamer.com, I am
sure he wants to hear it.
Ps: Why teh hate? I love you... so very much... in my dreams... but I've
said too much...
A dated letter addressed to someone else #1 (edited for content and relevancy)
With mention of life and death, I doubt I'm the only person to question our
shared hobbies. We all like RPGs, no question about that. But what does it
amount to? What do we receive from it? Is the entertainment value worth it?
Life is short - sometimes too short - and what do we do? We sit on our asses
and stare at flashing cathode ray tubes. Anime, movies, games, television,
the World Wide Web... What is it worth?
So, I ask you: what are games worth? A momentary diversion from the crap-hole
of life? Nothing more? You mentioned previously that most people waste most
of their time. What is a waste of time? Wouldn't games be considered a waste
of time? Anime? Television? Even some types of reading? They aren't
productive, to be sure. Reading and writing to Q&A isn't exactly productive,
either. What about you? Is answering hundreds of emails, some barely
legible, a waste of time to you?
I just want to know what you think. With the fragility of human life lapping
our boot ankles, should something change?
No, I don't think anything should change, though you ask some fairly philosophical questions. You're really just describing how our society works, and I'm not of the opinion that society needs to change. People live their lives the way they want to, and when you get right down to it, everything's a waste of time. Unless you're religious, of course. The you live your life working for your afterlife. But other than that, it just comes down to personal values. If someone derives enjoyment from spending time on the Internet, or playing games, or watching anime, that's fine. If they prefer to do other things, that's fine too.
What I'm (poorly) trying to get at is that answering your question is kinda hard. You imply that wasting time is mutually exclusive to using time wisely, and I don't believe that's really the case. True, there may be no real reason to watch TV or play games outside of the entertainment value, but so what? I don't feel that wasting your time is the same as wasting your life. There are a lot of things I could be doing that are more useful or more productive than writing this column, but at the moment there's nothing I really want to do more (which is a lie -- I have some anime I'd rather be watching, but that's besides the point). As pithy and useless as it sounds, everything really is relative. I think that people who spend their time doing things like protesting the latest government initiative are wasting their time. So, in short, everyone wastes their time differently.
What is enjoyment? How do you enjoy life? Are you so perfect as to call what
someone does for fun into question? Truely, you are not. So what if we enjoy
playing games or reading, as long as it isn't hurting us or anyone else,
what does it matter? I don't see you in india helping the poor. I try to
make the world a better place in my own little way, and that is all we can
do in this life. </seriousness>
By the way, I hate LB.
A dated letter addressed to someone else #2 (not edited, but lacking any sort of question)
I buy and play RPGs for a number of reasons. I personally cannot rank them in
terms of importance, but music, gameplay, story, graphics to a small degree,
and play length come to mind.
First, the music. Some of the music created by composers such as Uematsu
Nobuo-san, Sakimoto Hitoshi-san, Noriyuki Iwadare-san, and Mitsuda Yasunori-
san are top-notch. They create just the right kind of feeling for the visual
aspect. Field music, character themes, event music, and even some battle
music elicit strong feelings from the player.
Second, the gameplay. Well, I can only say that I'm not too enthusiastic
about this. Battle systems get rather old after a while, and without any real
reward, consistent battling becomes a chore rather than just an annoying
necessary evil to get that oh-so-glorious powerup or even something that's
actually enjoyable in its own right. Now, I'm not saying that all RPGs suffer
from lack of battle variety or simplistic combat. Final Fantasy Tactics and
Tactics Ogre provide exquisite examples of combat variety and very addictive
Next, the story. The story may not have to be spectacular or even remotely
interesting to be enjoyable, but I require at least some semblance of effort,
for crying out loud. Even if the story makes me want to burst my sides from
laughing because it's so bad, I'll still give credit for them trying plus
maybe a few bonus points for comedic value. On the other hand, if the story
encourages me to rip my eyeballs out and/or commit seppuku, then I'm going to
have to get medieval on dareka no oshiri.
Graphics. Ah, a touchy issue. Again, effort is key here. I'm incredibly
lenient. I've played and purchased numerous retro games in the forms of
anthologies and collections and ports from older systems. I like some of the
games, and I don't like other games. Now, if a company published a brand new
game (not a rerelease) with Super Famicom graphics for the PlayStation 2 (next
to nil in probability), then I'd have to seriously read the reviews before I
bought it. Such little effort is likely to pervade the other aspects of the
game. I don't blame the time period, but I do blame the programmer.
Play length. Hmm. Well, I've gone from both extremes. Castlevania: Symphony
of the Night for twelve hours holds my record for shortest game. (Chrono
Trigger with 17 hours comes in a close second.) Great game but really short
even with the inverted castle. Devil May Cry lasted longer than this. At the
other end of the spectrum lies Final Fantasy X. 210 hours and still not
done. >_< Ehem. *cough* Just one more damn Al Bhed primer. In the Al Bhed
home, no less. At any rate, I want my money's worth. I'm not the type of
person who normally plays an RPG more than one without a New Game+ feature.
Who wants to pay $20-$50 for a short game? Conversely, who wants to sink
hundreds of hours for a worhtless diversion? (A sweet, succulent, worthless
diversion capable of muting out life's lesser qualities.) :P
Again, sorry for the length.
As an acquaintance of mine would be tempted to say, your mind is an open trap of steely yes.
Look it's the moon!
This is why paragraph breaks were invented
Well, hi, you sound important.
I sent in a Q&A yesterday asking the truth about Xenosaga, well as expected,
Duffy (I shall continue to call him so for as long as he calls me wingy)
disputed my claims, with no hard evidence whatsoever, instead relying on
blind wit, and senseless insults, stating that I should do some research.
Well I did some research, I went back and found all the previous articles,
and let me quote for you a preview for Xenosaga ep1 at gamespot. It quotes
the Developer by saying, "Xenogears ended up differently then how I
envisioned it" To which I say...duh. he then goes on to say, "We decided to
start over with a story which will be represented through a series of six
episodes, encompassing the beginning to the end of the universe." I have no
Idea what the heck he means by that, but it is his own words, so at least he
knows. Also, if that is not enough proof that Xenogears is not episode 5 of
Xenosaga, then try this on for size. "There will be six episodes planned in
all, all of which are divided into three major parts. I already have the
story plotted until the middle of episode five in my mind, but certain ideas
may be perceived as old-fashioned as time goes, so we'll try to be flexible
to changes." Now if episode five is Xenogears, then why is only half of it
planned so far? Shouldn't it all be planned? Anyway, that's my argument,
surely you can relay it to good ol Duffy for me. And if you wondering what
to call me, because my name is too long, most people in games and chat call
me wing. But you can also call me Blair, since Col. Blair is the main
character in WingcommanderIV, and he was played by Mark Hamill, for those
who don't know. Did you know WingcommanderIV is the most expensive game ever
made. Probably because all the time and effort and money they put in the
Live action footage, of which there is an abundance of. Anyone who likes
Mark Hamill should get this game. And also, I was reading a review of
Grandia Xtreme, and nowhere does it mention that Mark Hamill voices a
character. I realize that this game may not be the best, but the fact Mark
Hamill is in it should be reason enough to bump it two points. By the way, I
noticed Deus Ex doesn't have a review, and yet it isn't on the reviewless
games list, perhaps you should tell that to someone of importance. Now on to
the Question. Have you heard any rumours that they are going to remake the
third Final Fantasy? I'm dieing to know yes, or no. I hope they will, if
they make it for the PS, then I'll have be able to play FF1-10 all on my
PS2. That would be reasonably cool. So please, find something out, inquiring
minds want to know.
First, I hope you realize that many people are gonna skip right over this one because of the GIANT BLOCK OF NIGH-UNREADABLE TEXT. That said...
I'm fairly certain I read somewhere that Xenogears wasn't really gonna be Episode 5 anymore anyway, since Xenosaga takes place in a slightly alternate universe, or some nonsense like that. Of course, I could just be imagining things, which happens fairly often. For all I know, the first half of Xenosaga Episode 5 (entitled Menschliches, Allzumenschliches) is Xenogears in its entirety, which would explain why he doesn't know how the second half will go -- thus leading to a game of roughly 500 hours in length.
Moving on, I've never played Wing Commander, Mark Hamill is a dork, and Grandia is one of the most overrated serieseses ever. Oh, and it gets points taken away for having an Xtremely crappy title.
Now for something with (only slightly) more substance. I would assume that no matter what system they bring FF3 to -- PS, GBA -- it'll be remade, and not a direct port. More than likely, it'll be remade into the same style of the FF1-2 remakes. As for proof of my assumptions, well, I don't really have any...except for this really crappy magazine scan I found floating around in the FF3 directory on the server. Granted, that shot is from the ill-fated WSC port of the game, but I don't think it's unreasonable to guess that they'll port that port to some new system now.
This was way too long for me to read. Blah blah blah. This is what
editorials are for, and really, I don't care. Please drive thru.
I love it when letters dovetail
I have a desktop background I downloaded from RPGamer of KOS-MOS from
Xenosaga 1. On the side of the background it details the timeline of the
Xenosaga series, as follows:
Episode I: 15,000 years before Xenogears
Episode I: 10,000 years before Xenogears
Episode I: 4,000 years before Xenogears
Episode I: 500 years before Xenogears
Episode V: Xenogears
Episode VI: Unspecified amount of time after Xenogears
It would be kind of hard for Namco to change this around since Xenosaga is
based on a book and the book is divided up that way. Now, my question is
this. The second Xenosaga game obviously does not take place 5,000 years
after the first one. It is therefore not Episode 2, right? What does one
call it? Episode 1.2? Episode 1b? Episode
why-the-crap-am-I-paying-for-two-games? Or am I wrong about the layout of
Have you ever heard of a Retcon? That is what Monolith ( not namco) is
doing, changing what has been said before, to hopefully make it more
And what book is Xenogears based off? THe bible?
As I said in the previous answer (and as TRC so helpfully chimed in), by placing the new games in a new, slightly different universe (like Sliders), they can now do whatever the hell they want. And I assume the book you're referring to is the Xenogears Perfect Works, which would probably hold up a little bit for the XS universe, but not exactly all the time.
Oh, and that's a whole lotta Episode Is you have listed there.
LB is a useless bastard when it comes to KH (SPOILERS HO)
*Warning: Kingdom Hearts spoilers*
OK, I just finished Kingdom Hearts (I'm a bit slow in the picking-up-new-games department), and I'm trying to make heads and tails over the ending. I may have just missed something, or maybe I'm just an idiot, but can you explain a couple of things:
1. WHY oh why did Riku and Sora have to be on opposite sides of the door when it closed? I mean, I understand Mickey being on the other side to close from within, but couldn't Riku have joined his friend on the other side?
2. Likewise, WHY didn't Sora stick with Kairi? As bittersweet as that was, they could have stuck together to try and "find" Riku and Mickey after they "vanished". Didn't Kairi want to share a paopo fruit with Sora anyhow? Something to think about.
Anyhow, the epilogue was at least a pleasant one, and left the door wide open to a sequel. Personally, I would like to see Disney characters visiting Final Fantasy worlds for a change. I mean, try picturing Donald Duck on a chocobo. Sheer craziness!
Anyhow, I wish you success in your guest-hosting.
All hail! Lord of Brians! *toot-a-toot!*
Yes, I am indeed the lord of Brians. However, as I have never played KH, I can't answer your questions. Thanks for ruining the game for me, though. I just know I'll be crying myself to sleep tonight.
1) Because Riku needed to be redeemed for the sequel to make sense ( and if
you saw the extra ending, you know a sequel is in the works.) Also for
2) I really don't know, because she had her home back? And he wanted to do
more adventuring too I guess.
And yes, the extra ending just... so.. sweet. It made then entire game worth
it for me.
Ps. I still hate LB.
Wherein LordBrian chooses not to answer a question
One tally for Brian-sama!
What is your favorite RPG character? Mine is still Magus/Janus after all of
these years... Ah, Chrono Trigger, such wonderful memories... Also which
RPG character has the best music?
I really like games and all, but these questions are a little too fanboyish for my taste. TRC will be more than happy to satisfy your inner fanboy, though.
The Vault Dweller from Fallout. He was just a major badass, and he willingly
gave up a part of himself to save everyone. Go him.
Battle with Thanatos from Secret of Mana.
There's no nice way to put this: you, sir, are an idiot (FF7 spoilers, for those still not in the know)
Okay, it seems that alot of people are very, very confused about the whole Final Fantasy VII deal. Here's how it goes, THE GAME WAS NEVER FINISHED. That's right. There was supposed to be a fourth disk to the game, and you were supposed to be able to revive Aerith, and there was a better ending. There are two things in the game which prove my point.
First, you can only get the item that lets Aerith learn her final Limit Break AFTER she's been killed by Sephiroth. Now why in (insert diety here)'s name would there be no way to get that until after she's dead, unless you could revive her?
Second, if you go back to the church in Midgar, you see a 'ghost' of Aerith. I forget exactly the meaning of the ghost, but I do know that it was a piece of code that didn't get erased completely from some sequence in the whole revival process.
Anyways, guess I should probably put in a question too, seeing as it's a Q & A column. So... umm... what do you think about the new character models for Xenosaga episode two? I'd have to agree that KOS-MOS looks like one of those thirty year-old soccer moms. I liked the anime style character models better than the realistic ones they used for Ep. II. Oh well, I'll still play the game, as Xenosaga has an awesome story and I'm not one of those fools who'll not play a game just because it's not aesthetically pleasing to me. Oh well, time for this letter to end.
Okay, it's time to start listening to reason, and stop pretending that there's actually more to FF7 than was really there. No, you can't revive Aeris, and no, it was never meant to be a feature that was cut out for time reasons. To debunk your first point, it is quite possible to get Aeris' final Limit Break before she bites it. It involves taking the little red car you get into Costa del Sol and crossing over the ocean on a ferry to Junon. The Limit is called Great Gospel. I've seen it. You're wrong.
As for the second "point," you're not meant to do anything with the ghost in the church. It's just a little thing to tug at your heart strings, seeing Aeris in the spot where she spent much of her time, caring and loving her flowers. It's symbolic of Cloud's first meeting with her, too.
I wasn't really a fan of the procelain doll faces of the first game, so I'm really not too sad at seeing them go in the second. It's kinda hard to tell how they'll work in the game without seeing them more in context, though, so I'll wait until I actually play it before forming an opinion.
Jesus H christ, when will this topic just roll over and die.
1) You can get it before she dies, otherwise why would it be there? So nyah.
2) It's her ghost, to give you even more reason to smack Sephiroth around
like the little manbiatch he is.
I don't care about Xenosaga I or II.. yes, I am a bad RPGamer. So.. yeah.
Wherein TRC gets the mistaken impression that he is somehow special
First I'd like to start by saying I somehow lost a day this week. I was at
my friend's house and we were drinking beer tuesday night, and I said we
should get together again the next night or thursday. Then he told me that
the next day WAS thursday, but I didn't believe him. So he showed me the
calendar on his cell phone which indicated that it was, in fact, wednesday
night. I still didn't believe him, so when I got home I checked everything
I could think of that would tell me what day it was, and all signs
indicated that it was, in fact, wednesday (or by that time, thursday
morning). So basically I got one day closer to the weekend. Don't you
hate when stuff like that happens? Anyway, I guess some RPG questions are
1)Why does everybody except me seem to like Breath of Fire 3?
I really beat the hell out of it in my review of the game, which you can
check out in the Points of View archive! I thought it was
the second worst RPG I've ever played, for many reasons.
2)Okay, of the Square RPGs that never came to America, which would you like
to see brought to this side of the Pacific and released: Live A Live,
Seiken Densetsu 3, Rudora No Hihou, Bahamut Lagoon, Final Fantasy 3,
Treasure Hunter G, Romancing Saga 1-3, or any other game I might have
3)This isn't really a question, but I just want to say that if you ever get
the chance to see Weird Al Yankovic like in concert, JUMP ON IT. I went to
see him last friday night in Poughkeepsie, NY and it was the best show I've
ever been to. He had a nice mix of songs off the new album and classics.
(he even broke out Melanie and Dog Eat Dog!) He even gets into costume for
each song, nad while he's offstage changing, he has stuff from Al TV or UHF
playing on the screen, and when he came to do the encore with the Saga
Begins and Yoda, the place was on its feet. Really, really cool show.
I gotta go, I got to find her!
Mwahhaha no intro to LB, no love for him. ONLY ME!
Yeah, I had that happen earlier this week too. Maybe tuesday never really
happened, or everyone was asleep for that day... DUMDUMDUM.
1) I enjoyed Breath of Fire 3, it was kind of broken in parts, like every
Capcom game. But the Gene system rocked all. And if you need a <Shameless
plug> guide feel free
to check out guides
2) I still think Final Fantasy 3 will come out here eventually, if square
ever gets off their lazy.... bums and releases rereleases for the GBA (
which is such an obvious idea it seems weird they haven't yet). So I can't
say that, since in my little world it is coming out here. So I am going with
one of the front mission games for the SNES.
3) Weird Al ownz j00 all.
4) Mmm, buttsex...
1. I don't like BoF3. Nor do I like any of the other BoF games. Something about them just doesn't appeal to me, I dunno what it is...but since I feel the same about the entire series (including the 5th) I guess it's the name, or something.
2. Seiken Densetsu 3. I've played most of the games on your list, and that's my favorite out of all of them. Some of those games absolutely blow, though (Bahamut Lagoon). Here's a hint, people: just because it comes out in Japan and not here doesn't make it good.
3. Meh, Weird Al does nothing for me.
Multipart from hell
1) I'm looking for a quality hair care product that can straighten
exceptionally rebellious wavy hair. Can you recommend any brands?
2) All these people coming up with ideas for RPGs are going about it the
wrong way. They're imagining up incredibly random gameplay mechanics and
then trying to stick on a story to explain the madness as an after effect.
You'll no doubt disagree, but I think the story needs to be created first,
and then the gameplay around the story. Things will make more sense
in-game, and you'll be more focused when coming up with ideas for gameplay.
3) Does Rico get his name from Xenogears or Street Fighter?
4) Why do many people rip on characters like Squall and look down on
"teenage angst"? It's real emotion that lots of people experience, and it
hurts. It's no less real or valid than any other feelings that people have.
Are you just being an elitist bastard, or have you no sympathy for people
who hurt internally? (addressed to readership, not necessary to you,
5) Which do you like better: The Legendary Beast (Griever's Theme) from FF8
(note: not "Maybe I'm a Lion") or One-Winged Angel from FF7? Personally, I
6) The villain ALWAYS wins in Wario Land 2 for the gameboy, cuz you're the
villain and you can't die. Wasn't there a Wario RPG created? What's it
called, what's it like, and is it any good?
Hey Seventh, die and burn in hell.
Just thought I would keep ol times alive.
1) Do I look like Alethea? I don't know, try washing your hair, you mangey
2) Both, in my opinion, are of equal importance. Although I can see the
logic of making a system and then making a story for it, but I can also see
the logic of doing it the otherway, as long as neither really suffers, wth?
3) Rico takes his name from Rico Sauve, because he is one Sauve SOB.
4) Exactly, we all feel it, so why the hell do we need it in a game? We play
games as an escape from our lifes, not as a reminder as to why we are
playing games to begin with. We want Squall to be with Riona ( or Quistis in
my case... mmmmmmmmm), not for him to act like a F$*%ing Jackhole. That and
Squall really would have benifeted from a better internal monoloque, so we
could see why he acted like that from the begining of the game. Which is why
I'd love to see FF8 remind with voice acting.
5) Since I can't recall the FF8 off hand, I'll go with One Winged Angel.
6) No, not a real one anyway, as far as I know. And techically since Wario
is the star of the game, that would make him the anti-hero, yes?
1. You know how much time I put into doing my hair each day? Roughly 2 minutes for washing it, I guess...and that's it. In other words, no.
2. You're...arguing about logic in games that involve saving the world from ultimate evils while fighting dragons and slimes and stuff. Stop that.
3. I know the answer, but Rico told me that if I ever told anyone else he's sodomize me with an N64 controller. If I were someone like Tadrith I might be tempted to tell, but sadly the secret will never escape my lips.
4. Actually, I've always thought Squall was one of the more realistic characters Square has ever developed. I was kinda sad to see him break character so quickly and dedicate his life to Rinoa. The jackass attitude I can relate to; the sudden shift to non-jackassery was a little too sudden.
5. I'll go with Griever too, because I think OWA is highly overrated. And I like being contrary to TRC.
6. Uhh...I still have yet to play any of the Wario games.
7. You can just define a normal class with the name Global, and put the variables you want as static members inside it, I guess. It's been a while since I took Java, though, and I never want to think of it again.
If you value your state of mind, do not click that link
Dear LB and TRC,
Something in RPGs confuses me. For instance - Cloud's Buster Sword from
FFVII. LOOK AT THAT THING! IT'S BLOODY 'UGE, LADDIE! Why, then, is it so
incredibly weak? I mean for Christ's sake, you get a BAT later on in the
game with a couple of crooked nails sticking out of it that costs more and
does more damage than a 75+ pound hunk of sharpened metal. Does that mean
that if I had the strength to wield such a sword in the first place, I'm
better off using a homemade bludgeoning weapon? IS SQUARE BIASED AGAINST
Or do I have to accept life isn't a game? D: MY LIFE IS FORFEIT!
Oh, and for educational purposes, I would like to include this freaky
Nah, it's just that the first sword you get is just so non-aerodynamic that it sucks when it makes contact with the monster. The later swords (and you must be thinking of EarthBound or something for the baseball bat) swing much faster, and therefore cleave much more killingly.
You're looking for realism in a game where you find little balls of
solidified life that you can put into weapons to cast magic. Maybe you need
help. Basically you are looking to hard at it.
Bottom of the column already? Let me check...yup, I still hate LB.