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Hungry Like the Wolf June 4, 2006

Josh - 8:27 EST

After a long day consisting of various athletic activities, I find myself in deep thought thinking things such as "What manner of junk food should I devour today," "How in the world is that guy able to maneuver that soccer ball," and "Holy crap! I need to stop harassing my friends and write my column!!" Hehe...so I popped in Batman Begins and sat down to answer your questions! Tomorrow I begin my first class...I'm so lucky that I get to have an entire GRADUATE course shoved down my throat in the span of 8 hours. Lucky me. But, the upshot of all of this is that I'll have something I can put on my resume that will immediately get me hired at numerous companies. Weeeeeee!

I uh...suppose I should get on with it then, eh? ^^;;




L E T T E R S
Don't worry, I don't bite......I nibble.


Hey Josh,

First time writing in, but I've been reading for a few years. My first RPG was Kingdom Hearts. I'd never even heard of RPGs before this. Extremely sheltered life.

I loved the graphics and the sound, story was awesome, but because of this, I'm a slight graphics whore. But I'm getting better!

While I still can't bring myself to play side-scroll games, I was wondering if you had any recomendations for a fairly new gamer. I've played FFVII though X-2, but that's about it. The only systems I have are PSX and GameCube. Any ideas?

Christina

Josh

Hey, never you mind. Always a pleasure to have a brand new writer gracing the pages of this column! You'll have to beware of my secretary, Matt...he likes to pose as a Weekday Host when I'm not keeping a close watch. :P

Well, I'm a little confused since you said you played KH, but don't own a PS2...so I'll just recommend games for that too, in case I'm reading something wrong ^^ (not that you couldn't have rented the system, etc). Since you said you've played FFVII, I think it's safe to recommend anything from any range of PSX games. So, here's a rundown:

  • PSX: Breath of Fire III/IV, Chrono Cross (though you should play Chrono Trigger first), Grandia, Xenogears, Parasite Eve, Star Ocean 2, Suikoden I/II (warning: 2D), and Wild ARMs.
  • PS2: Kingdom Hearts 2, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (maybe a bit more advanced, but a great game), Grandia II/III, Dragon Quest 8, Star Ocean 3, Wild ARMs 3, and Radiata Stories.
  • GCN: Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Baten Kaitos.

I don't know too much about GCN RPGs, but WW was a lot of fun. I picked all of these assuming that they were fairly simple...not really difficulty-wise, but more gameplay-wise. Either way, any of these should suit your purposes just fine. Be sure to write in again!



Fast Moving Video - FMV


Dear Wonderslime or Ourobolus,

I must congratulate you both on a really class column. I'd also like to tell Andrew (Castomel) "haha, i was right" cause I predicted ages ago that Zelda: Twilight Princess would end up as a Wii launch title and he poo-pooed me (it is in one of the archives). Vindication tastes ever so sweet...

Josh

Heh, don't worry. Cast still owes me a fabulous (read: not so fabulous) prize from way back when. But vindication is delicious, I agree. I always make sure to have a tin of it handy whenever I make a pie.

Anyway, moving on past that. I thought I would jump on the band wagon and talk about my favourite RPG moments. Now, I know Matt doesn't like IX all that much, but I have to say, it has one of my favourite FMV's in a Final Fantasy (ignoring Aeris' death and the assassination attempt of Edea). It's right at the end, after you have won and Zidane is running along the roots of the Lifa (Iifa?) Tree attempting to save Kuja. There's a point when he is standing there, arms on hips, smiling, just before a root goes to smack him one. I laughed so hard at that FMV cause it was so well done.

My other one, apart from the three now listed, is during Zelda: Wind Waker. Yes, I know, from that wonderful game! It is when you first go to face Ganon in the Forsaken Fortress. Link's expressions there, brought to life by the cell-shading, are just so well done that I loved it to pieces, and some of them are just so god damn funny, that I giggled for months afterwards.

Josh

However, I DO love FFIX. It had its flaws, but I thought it was a great game. I also loved that cinematic...it was probably one of my favorite FMVs ever seen at the end of a game. The speed of it was rapid, and the timing of the acrobatic movements was truly a sign of the creator's skill.

It's been awhile since I've played WW, but the cel-shading was a great way for the designers to implement facial expressions to an otherwise silent character. I remember being quite impressed with his changing face, and how well it was placed in the game. It certainly beats the little 'thought bubbles' of other games, right? Hehehe.

Well, I thought i should ask you a question and see how things are going in general. Being a PAL gamer, I generally feel very cheated by games companies by being forced to wait even longer than you lot, so I'd like to ask, do you think the Wii will be made region free? Even if it is, and the PS3 is anyway, how do you think they will tackle having to release the games at the same time, even with all the extra languages needed for over here? Oh, one last question... heh, do you know what region Iceland is in?

SjŠumst,
Hylean

Josh

If they made the Wii region-free...wouldn't they be...OH MY GOD! Nintendo would be stealing from Sony!! AAAAHHHH!! You're breaking the fourth wall!! ;_;

On one hand, they probably won't. I don't think it really affects the companies so much as the gamer, so it's not much of a problem for them. -However-, with the Virtual Console and such, they already have plenty of PAL games, since they've been released before. Never having known the plight of the PAL gamer, I'm still hoping that they will incorporate region-freedom into any new system, but sadly, I wouldn't get your hopes up.

Do I know what region Iceland is in...? It's Region 2, isn't it? Most of Europe is in that.



Frankly my dear, I don't give A-dam.


OK. With a lack of much of anything to say, I ask a question: what should I play next, after I finish Shadow Hearts 3? Here are my options of games I've yet to crack:

-Paper Mario (Gamecube)
-Suikoden V
-Digital Devil Saga Part 2
-Wild Arms 4
-Wild Arms: Alter Code F
-Kingdom Hearts 2 (replaying the first one is probably necessary, so count this as two games)
-Atelier Iris
-Gladius
-Metal Gear Solid 3
-Harvest Moon: It's a Wonderful Life
-Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (started but never finished. It's just too MEAN to keep playing.)

Yes, I own nearly a dozen games that I have yet to play. I think I have some sort of sickness where I make needless game purchases. Another disease you can get yelled at for having.

-TV's Adam

Josh

Well, first, what you can do is send me that copy of SMT: Nocturne, because I'm sick of searching for it. ^^

If you are looking for a non-RPG, then go with Metal Gear Solid 3. Hands down. It's an amazing game, and I'm currently going through it on Hard Mode with no Alerts and no Kills (I've made it to The End so far).

If you're looking for an RPG, then I'd go with Suikoden V. It's much better than the other 2 recent entries in the series, and Suikoden games are just so darn endearing.

As for needless purchases, I tend to do that too, which results in a similar problem...playing through multiple games at the same time, and forgetting exactly what you were doing when you go back to a game. It's a problem, but not one I'm willing to fix, hehehe.



The creators of this character design made it as a parallel to their rich, tortured soul.


What RPGs do you think had a memorable art style in game? This question would exclude things such as concept art and packaging but would include decisions such as color palettes, character models, backgrounds, and use of textures.

I came up with this question because the screenshots of FF XII have been bothering me. The faces of a lot of the characters have an "ashen" look to them as if they grew up in a coal mine or the airships were not getting regular smog checks.

Josh

The art style for FFXII looks to me like a cross between FFX and FFT. You've got the characters and detail of FFX coupled with the architecture and modeling of FFT. I really need to play the actual game (more than a demo) before deciding too much, cause what I saw wasn't much of the game.

SaGa Frontier II had a REALLY neat style. The game was essentially designed with watercolors, and it felt like you were walking through a painting. It still ranks up there as one of the most beautiful games I've ever played. Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter also had a unique style of cel-shading, and the underground architecture was extremely well-done. The characters themselves didn't have much range in facial emotion, but everything else was gorgeous.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Mobile Gaming? Is it a threat to the portable console market? Is it a competitive force? Or is it a complete and utter waste of time? Let's get this show on the road!

Tomorrow, I get to wake up at 5:30 and go run a few miles...probably 4 or so. And then...8 hours of cybersecurity lecture. Mwahaha....protect your computers, little ones...hehehehehehe...

*giggles uncontrollably*


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh is being eaten by bunnies....AAAHHH!


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