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Stom - March 31 '02- 1:30am Eastern Standard Time

Happy Easter everyone! Looks like I got my Easter basket early, as today's stack of letters is much thicker. Sadly, I didn't get a single flame about my comments on Final Fantasy VIII yesterday nor at the small crack at Xenogears. I was hoping to start a ruckus, but people apparantly don't defend their beloved games like they used to. Perhaps I'll just have to try harder to untame you all.

Also, my good buddy Aegis wanted me to mention his game demo that he recently took to Game Developer's Conference. If you run Windows 95/98, or can emulate games specified to run on 95/98, he requests that you download his RPG demo here, play through it, and then e-mail him with your comments and questions. Also, anything you might want to ask about GDC, you might want to e-mail him about as well. I'm sure he'll be more than happy to answer your inquiries in his column tomorrow.

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Xboxing

I recently sold my PS2 and have bought and XBOX, and I can definately say it was worth the purchase. The system is amazing, and with Project Ego(now known as "FABLE") and Shenmue 2X, Dino Crisis 3, and other games coming. I feel this system has a great future. What's my point? I want to know what you think of the XBOX. I personally feel it has a long future, and that more developers will begin to flock to it. I mean my god! XBOX is getting Sega classics remade with xbox graphics! Now all we need is Square...

Jason

Stom:
There's good news and bad news about Xbox, in my opinion.

The good news is that Microsoft's Xbox has the potential to be the most kickarse RPG system on the market. Why? Here, I wrote an editorial on it. To sum it up, I think the hard drive is the key, bringing the best of both worlds between PC-style and console-style RPGs, and that can be seen in some upcoming Xbox RPGs, like Project Ego and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Once those games come out, I might actually buy the system. Not until then, though.
The bad news is that the Xbox is doing incredibly poorly in Japan and Europe. The Xbox units in Japan were defective, scratching discs, and while they sold quite a few systems at launch, at least 100,000, by the third week they sold closer to 10,000 units. Microsoft has their work cut out for them if they're going to grab the attention of companies like Square.

Side note: I could not find anything to verify that Project Ego is now called Fable. I'm not saying it isn't true. I just haven't seen anything, nor has RPGamer reported on that.

 
Proceed.. on your way to Oblivion

According to my understanding(and I have a deep understanding, trust me, I'm Galvatron) Orson Wells passed away while they were still in the making of Transformers: The Movie, now I am no expert on this but I do believe that he was not able to finish all of the dialogue for Unicron and Leonard Nimoy finished it up. BTW, Transformers: The Movie had one of the greatest assembled collections of voice actors of all-time.

- Galvatron

Stom:
I have heard this myself, but I don't think I've ever verified it. I do believe that Orson Welles died during the making of the film, as he died in 1985 and the film came out in 1986. It wouldn't surprise me.

 
Disney Kombat: Mickey is de-spined. Flawless.

Hey, Stom. How's the weather? Now that I got that out of the way, time for a question or two.

1.I know you aren't found of FFVIII but doesn't Squall look totally badass in Kingdom Hearts? I mean he's younger then Tidus right? But he's the only FF character other then Cid that looks grown up.

2. Are you excited for this game as much as I am? Being able to kill a heartless monkey just screams buy me.

Stom:
I shall answer these two together. Ever since they debuted the game at e3, which I was there to see, Kingdom Hearts has screamed one word at me: kiddie. Now, with some recent additions, especially Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, my premonitions are starting to waver. However, I still have the fear that this will be entirely too easy of a game. I'll still try it out, because I could be wrong, but this screams to me that it is more kid-oriented, and kid-oriented RPGs don't tend to be too difficult.

3. I, sadly, have not been able to finish FFVI. I had the game on SNES and then I let my cousin borrow it. He now lives in Seattle while I live in Utah. So my question is this: Should I go out and buy another SNES and a copy of the game to see what happens at the end, or should I just spoil myself and found out what happens on the internet?

Stom:
I would recommend finding a way to get the game. Final Fantasy VI is by far my favorite in the series, and my second favorite game of all time, right behind the ORIGINAL Legend of Zelda. It also has by far one of the better endings in the series.

4. I would like to send a shout-out to my homies: P-Funk, T-Money, and Dr. Love.

-The Asian Vampire

Stom:
Shout out sent. Word up.

 
Final Fantasy Game Release Tactics

Stom- Hey hey! With Final Fantasy Tactics being brought to the Gameboy Advanced... 1) Will the horrible translations be fixed?

Stom:
That depends on many things. First of all, no US release has been announced. In fact, the Japanese release has not even been fully confirmed. We only know that there is a team at Square working on the port. It isn't official, and could technically change at any time. When it does come out, the company that brings the game over, if it does come over, will likely re-translate the game. Why? I might be corrected on this, but Sony is responsible for the PlayStation release of Final Fantasy Tactics, so I assume they helped translate. Now we just have to see if Square, Nintendo, or another company is going to handle the US release of the Japanese port that we can't even fully confirm is coming out, although it is being worked on. Bah!

2) Is it possible that Squaresoft has focused their attention to Final Fantasy Tactics and may release a sequel? -Stu

Stom:
Given the recent news behind the Ogre Battle franchise, and the fact that the team behind both FFT and both Tactics Ogre games are fully under the Square roof, it would not surprise me to see a sequel eventually. However, with the FFT team leader, Yasumi Matsuno, being a head honcho on Final Fantasy XII and stating that he wants to return to the Ogre Battle series, which he created coincidentally, it might very well be awhile, unless another team does it.

 
I Miss Pudding Pops

Hello O one who is called Stom, I have a few questions for you.

1.)I'm glad I'm not the only one who can readily admit he didn't finish FFVIII. The only thing I mildly liked about it was the fact that there was an absence of MP, and even then that kinda sucked. Go ahead, flame me. I dare ya.

Stom:
I don't think I disliked the lack of MP as much as how you acquired magic as a whole. In the original Final Fantasy, you got more uses of spells as you got stronger, but not really MP. Drawing magic was random luck most of the time. Oh, don't get me started again.

2.)What's your favorite anime? Mine would have to be Slayers, based solely on the fact that it's the incarnate of just about every RPG I've ever played.

Stom:
I sadly must admit that I am not a huge anime fan. I enjoy the major stuff on occasion. I own Princess Mononoke, Ghost in the Shell, and Akira. I admit that I watch Dragon Ball Z. So sue me. I can't afford to buy massive amounts of DVDs, and my poor PC doesn't have the hard drive capacity to download much. Plus, I just tend to spend my time doing other things. Not everyone likes to do the same things. I do want to see some Slayers eventually, though.

3.)I'm currently writing up a script for a game of mine. I honestly don't know a thing about game design, and was wondering if you could direct me to a few sources on how to do so.

Stom:
I really don't have time in this column to answer that question, mainly because it took me years to break into the business as far as I've gotten, and once I'm out of college in the year, I'm going to be in even further. The sad thing about the video game business is that it does not work like Hollywood. You can't write a script and try to get it made into a game like you can a movie. The best way to get into the biz is to work your way up. Start at a company doing Quality Assurance, basic programming, or copy editing, and work your way up. Some get lucky and find each other online, programmers, artists, musicians, and writers, and put their minds together to create a nice game, but the difficult part about that is funding.

If you want some more advice from some minds in the industry, go to Gamedev.net. Just look around, and if you don't get too lost in all of the different kinds of resources, maybe you'll find what you're looking for.

4.)Who's your favorite author? Mine's Garth Nix, who most people don't know, but is a great author.

That's it for now,thanks for answering my questions.

The Masked Mystere
"Go forth,for everlasting peace!"

Stom:
My favorite authors are J. R. R. Tolkien, Orson Scott Card, and John Grisham. I am also very close to adding another author to that list: Ursula K. Le Guin. I am reading her excellent Sci-Fi novel The Left Hand of Darkness. I do not know who Garth Nix is.



Quickies

Just a side note about FF8: the more a character uses a GF the faster and stronger they become with that GF, and unless you make your strong character weak by taking all his spells as well their character remains weak. And I also think that Xenogears is a highly overrated game, and is merely just playable..

Stom: This was the only thing I got about Final Fantasy VIII that wasn't someone agreeing with me. I had forgotten that characters and GFs bond if being together longer, but overall that doesn't outweigh the other factors. As for Xeno, I played it for five hours and it felt more like an interactive story with occasional battles. Once again, just my opinion.

Why did Star Ocean: Blue Sphere get cancelled for Game Boy color? Will it come out for the GBA?

-Cloud
ps:love, peace, and chicken-grease!

Stom: Star Ocean: Blue Sphere did come out in Japan. However, most reviews showed that it wasn't that great, which probably had a lot to do with why it was not released in the US. That also makes a GBA port unlikely.

Penguins will take you to Eygpt.
-el mariachi

Stom: As I said yesterday, chances of quickies getting posted are not very good, but I didn't say impossible.

The Last Laugh:

Stom: I wish I had more time. There actually were a few other letters that I wish I could've answered. Unfortunately, it is Easter morning, and I have to get up in four hours or so to get ready for a sunrise church service, and since I'm still typing, it should be clear that I have yet to start sleeping. Make sure to send Aegis your questions for tomorrow.

      stom I still have no sig pic, but someone is making me one now, and that makes me happy! @rpgamer.com
I have never seen two sunrises in a row in my life, but I'm about to.

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