||And Now for Something
||August 25, 2005 |
- 2:15 AM EST
I am feeling Ultra
Relax. A wonderful, invincible Relax. A
one-step-above kind of Deluxe. Okay, yeah, I'm a bit
ticked off that FUNimation wasn't able to get the rights to
the first opening theme of Kodomo no Omocha, but they did what
they could. It's a catchy song nonetheless.
I've got the windows
open in my room and I can hear the crickets over the hum of my
CPU's cooling fan and the constant clackety clack of my
fingers on my keyboard. I'd go into more description but
you'll probably fall asleep and you don't want to hear all the
Anyways, we've got a
nice crop of letters here for you today. Let us begin,
needs is a Dick Tracy wrist radio, a bottle opener and a citrus zester.
Angel0886's letter from yesterday, I can agree that many of
the Nintendo DS's games are gimmicky, but I think it's a big
stretch to say that the system is "a waste of money no
matter how much it costs," or to call the
voice recognition capability a "feature that shouldn't be
there in the first place." True, most DS games use its
unique features in tacked-on (and, in the case of Lunar,
downright stupid) ways, but they shouldn't be exemplary of how
to develope games for the DS.
Our writer is calling
attention to the fact that in Lunar: Dragon Song, you have to
yell "escape" in order to get your party to run from
battle. Now, I'm wondering if the "escape"
sound is something that you can set in game options, because
in the heat of battle I wouldn't be one to yell
"ESCAPE!" I'd be yelling "GAWD F***ING DAMN IT
GET YOUR PANSY ASS OUT OF THERE! WHY THE HELL DID I BUY THIS
F***ING GAME! I AM SO GONNA DIE! (etc. etc.)" and if the
designers had any sense it would be the secret password.
Look at Nintendogs. In that game, you can use the voice
recognition feature to teach a dog its name, so that when it
hears you call its name, it will give you its attention. If
you use your voice to associate certain phrases with actions,
you can teach the dog commands, making it feel like you're
speaking to a real dog. So while Lunar: Dragon Song just puts
the voice recognition feature to a tacked-on use for the hell
of it, Nintendogs puts it to brilliant use. The later
exemplifies how you can use the DS's features in creative
ways. It's a shame that most games make you think that those
feautres "shouldn't be there in the first place"
becuase they use those features so poorly. I'm hoping that
once the DS gets past it's infancy stage, third party
developers will figure out how to make creative games for it
and put those features to legitimately good use.
I'm still having a
little trouble fathoming the DS. For one thing, I
haven't really had the chance to pay attention to two
screens at once, especially if I feel like I'm missing
something important on the main screen. (I felt
simply pathetic attempting the demo for the DS
Kirby.) Then, of course, there's the stylus and
the touch screen which sometimes you have to use in
conjunction with the buttons. However, there's one
feature I feel that has been put to great use already:
wireless chat. There were quite a few people I ran
into at Anime Boston with their DSes, happily tapping
away and Pictochatting each other, and this was a scant
few months after I read an article by one of the tech
people in the Boston Globe that bemoaned the fact that
he had to find someone on (I think) Craigslist to test
out his new DS with.
With that said, here's a question. How much of a future do
you think RPG's have in the next console generation? Judging
by trailers, it looks like we'll have plenty of first-person
and racing games to chose from (people seem to prefer those
genres the most), and they look like they'll be a lot more
immersive. But how do you think console RPG's can evolve with
the increased horsepower, besides just looking better?
For one thing, I'm sure
that with the increasing number of households getting
high speed internet connections, we'll be seeing a lot
more MMORPGs, and not just of the fantasy type.
One of the things I've mentioned in the past to Heath on
his column is the fact that I'd really like
to see the CLAMP manga/anime Angelic Layer as an MMORPG,
or maybe more of an MMOFG--Massive Multiplayer Online
Fighting Game. (The premise of Angelic Layer was
that in the future, people could design action figures
that they could control using mental telepathy through
special headsets.) Developers just have to find
that special niche market that appeals not just to the
mainstream, though--I believe that there's a very good
golf-related MMORPG out there.
Change is inevitable, except from a
In response to
Angel0886's letter yesterday re: how much they hate new
handhelds for no solid reason, I say this: Would you rather
they include new features in the system (i.e. voice input,
touchpad, etc.) and not use it? How dare they try and
innovate! Damn them! "Why won't they just up the graphics
capability and call it a day! Two buttons is all I
need!". I really don't understand how someone can
"bash" a new tech for being.....uhhh....improved?
Yah, it's gonna cost more, but how much did a friggin ten
pound original gameboy cost when it came out. Don't whine
about innovation, or that it's "useless" or
"shouldn't be there". If that were the case, we'd be
without a lot of staples we all enjoy....
I like improvement as
much as the next person, but I'm still fond of backwards
compatibility and simplicity, and at least the same ease
of use as an earlier incarnation. I was playing
some of my old GBC games on my GBA, and I'm pleased that
the DS has backwards compatibility, albeit limited (it's
something I'm thinking of buying.)
By the way, I bought my
first Game Boy in 1992 for $89.99, which is when it
INCLUDED such wonderful things as headphones, batteries
and even a free game (Tetris.)
But, my question is this: Do
you feel "UMD", the PSP movie format will catch on?
I appreciate having the ability to play movies on the PSP, but
do I really want to invest in something I can only watch on
said PSP, especially when I already own a DVD player.. Now for
those that want to point and shout "hypocrite!", I'm
not complaining about the feature, rather the way Sony opted
to introduce a new standard in order to rake in more cash. I
can see this being a lot more acceptable if they introduced
some sort of converter whereby you could insert the UMD into
some sort of DVD shell, and then place that in the standard
DVD to playback. Kind of like really old school CD-ROM drives,
where you had to put the CD in a really bulked up jewel case
lookin' thing, and insert that into the drive. Thoughts?
From what I've been
hearing about the PSP, there's a lot of negative points
about it. The size of the screen, the battery
life...things like that that lend it to be more of a
gaming machine than something you can watch a three hour
movie on. I know a lot of anime companies (and
Squeenix with their dear little pet project) are
releasing UMD's of some of their series, but rather
stripped down from their DVD forms. It makes me
feel like the UMD turns the PSP into some glorified big
kid's Video Now or Game Boy Advance Video player.
Sony always seems to be introducing new standards.
A lot of their CD players come with software to create
ATRAC files, which I think are like the Betamax of
digital music, and then there's the whole thing with
mini discs and how they never really seemed to catch on
in America. (If you've never seen a mini disc:
imagine a small compact disc, about the size of a UMD,
in a clear plastic casing hinged like a 3.5"
diskette.) As for a converter, correct me if I'm
wrong, but does the PSP have a video-out jack, whereby
you can connect a yellow RCA cable from it to your
TV? (Of course, the picture quality is going to
most likely be somewhat lacking...)
FF7: AC, I can never watch Nurse Angel Ririka SOS in the
same way again.
Hopeful of the Hour:
I've heard that Final Fantasy VII will be released
simultaneously in Japan and North America on the same
day, September 14. However, why haven't we heard anything
about the North American voice actors for the
movie? Is the movie going to be dubbed? Will it only be
subbed? What can we come to expect for our beloved
Final Fantasy, just another subpar NSync voiceover good enough
for the likes of The Spirits Within, or
will we get something worthy of the name Final Fantasy?
Also, good luck to all Q&A hopefuls... I wish you all luck
(if all else fails go for their hearts with a sexy pose and a
batting of the eyes!)
I got two letters with pretty
much exactly the same question, so I'm answering the one with
a little more substance in it. Nothing personal.
Due to that wonderful thingy
we call the International Date Line, yes, North America and
Japan will be getting FF7:AC at the same time, however not on
the same DAY. We will get it the 13th of September while
they will already be in the 14th.
As for voice actors, the Anime
News Network lists
the Japanese voice cast, AND two actors for an English dub.
They are the only two voices listed as of yet, so I guess
there is going to be a dubbed version. One of the actors
is Michelle Ruff, who is listed as Elena (huh!?) and she's
actually a voice actress with more than several roles under
her belt (one of them being Fujiko Mine from Lupin III.)
So it sounds like they might be seasoned voice actors rather
than "Let's get Billy Bob Thornton to do a Buddhist monk
with that charming Southern drawl of his!" (oh gawd I
hated that role.) Hopefully (and this is a very big
hopefully) we will be getting a bilingual version which will
please the purists on both ends.
By the way, the reason why I
can't watch Nurse Angel Ririka SOS in the same way again is
that the actor who voices Ririka's daddy plays Reno. ^^;;
hear it for gender equality.
Rebecca, or at least I hope this goes to Rebecca and not
one of the others....
I'm a female RPGamer and I've been playing computer games in
since the age of five when the likes of Pac-Man, Pitfall and
stole my soul. I've watched the rise and fall of many a
company, and yet I still feel I'm searching for a decent rpg
the female market.
I don't want any of these overly cutesey games with their
breasted heroines, with room temperature IQs and clothes best
for a Caribean heat wave. Take Final Fantasy X-2 for example:
loved the stystems and in particular the battle system, the
of the game was slightly offensive and completely patronising
''girl gamers'' rpg.
Have I just completely missed a whole range of decent rpgs
leads, or are rpgs still stuck in the same timeloop that has
the rest of the industry for so long? Are there any signs of
genre moving the way of the other genres?
And as a girl gamer yourself, what are your thoughts on the
lack of decent rpgs aimed at the female market?
Well that's my rant over and done with. Thanks.
The thing is, the video game
market is always going to be dominated by guys, and guys want
their guns and their T&A, and they want them both BIGGER
than humanly possible, and they want to SEE as much of them as
possible without pissing off Jack Thompson. One of the
very first things I learned about in journalism was "sex
sells." Atlus apparently tried to reach girls with
Rhapsody: Cornet's Musical Adventure. I remember seeing
some release notes on the preorder sheets at a gaming store:
"Great for girls who are into anime," I believe they
read. Looking at the reviews that RPGamer has for it
makes me come to the conclusion that it's not only extremely
sappy, it's also extremely easy.
I have to admit, I like cute,
but I also like a little maturity and a little
challenge. While guiding a bunch of super-deformed
sprites with big, expressive eyes around a landscape, I want
them to be fighting for something, and if I lose and have to
restart a few times in that battle, then it's just going to
make everything worth it in the end.
Mostly all the RPG's with
female leads and female-oriented themes that I know of are
usually based on shoujo anime that made it big time in
Japan--for example, Sailor Moon: Another Story (Google it
yourself, please, I'm too tired to do the work for you.)
If you've got a Dreamcast, then it may be worth it to check
out Magic Knight Rayearth, if it can still be found. I'm
a big fan of the manga and the anime, and even with all the
cuteness its still an action packed story. (Plus,
Working Designs did the translation, so there's some brownie
As for an RPG released in
English with a female lead heroine, I should give Harvest
Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town a mention. However,
there is one thing that I find seriously wrong with that game:
It is actually somewhat easier than its predecessor,
considering that there's been an important feature added that
significantly ups your money making power. I haven't
played Another Wonderful Life (and I don't currently have any
intention to) but from what I've heard the bachelors are
Also, I just can't stand the
fact that after the girl farmer in HM:MFoMT becomes pregnant,
she still has to work. Until the day she delivers her
baby. That is just so wrong.
Is there a twelve step
program for this?|
I just wanted to know if I was the only one suffering from
Final Fantasy Withdrawl. I am used to having a new Final
Fantasy come out at nice intervals. I'm done my game,
and looking for something new and HEY look it's the new Final
Fantasy think I'll get that.
*All US Dates
FF VIII - September, 09, 1999
FF IX - November, 14, 2000
FF X - December, 18, 2001
FF X2 - November, 18, 2003 - don't really count this one but
FF XII - some time in the third quarter of this year ...
Yes I did leave out Final Fantasy XI but I do not personally
count it. I know it is there but I like Final Fantasy being a
Console game. I have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with Sqeenix
developing online games but does it HAVE to be part of the
series. My whole collection from the start are all nice and
flow, but now it goes 10, 12 ... bah! Is Final Fantasy XIII
going to be online? Are they going to mis match the series
like that now? Or are they going to continue the Series on the
Playstation and do Online games under a
I would be fine with them having it be Final Fantasy Online (incert
number) that way the two wont be linked together but they will
I just think that they should start at the begining, and not
take the numbers which should be games on the console.
There's my rant. Thank you so much.
You're welcome so much.
Here's my take on it: Square-Enix
has had a lot of other stuff on their hands, what with their
current affliction of acute sequelitis and all, so I guess
you've got a good point in claiming withdrawal. Some
people have even gone so far to suggest that they're running
out of money making ideas, so they're going back to what made
them (or is mak-ING them) the most money. Then there's
the obvious conclusion: you're beating the games faster,
resulting in a longer wait between titles. (Take your
time! Enjoy the scenery! Play that minigame a
couple dozen times more!) Then again, with the way
technology is improving in leaps and bounds, they'll probably
say that FF XII will be made on the PS3 or something because
they want the graphics and game play to be just so,
which will push it even further down the line.
Like your mother always
said, the best things come to those who wait.|
Current Q&A Host Contestant,
Why the heck do gaming sites and gaming stores always have to
random release dates when the official company release dates
are "Q3 2005"
and so forth?
Jeremy, the Duke of Otterland
I guess maybe it's because
gaming companies don't want to lull people into a false sense
of security by saying "Awesome Cool RPG LXV is going to
be released on the 32nd of Octember and it's going to be so
totally perfect!" There could be any number of things
wrong with a game that need to be fixed before its release,
and giving a blanket period of time lets a gaming company
narrow down to a specific date that they think will have the
most impact on sales.
My first column ever as part
of RPGamer is finished, and I'm one step closer to fulfilling
my dreams. I hope you were well entertained (heck, I had
a ton of fun doing this) and I hope you return that favor by
giving me the pleasure of your vote this Friday.
Enjoy the rest of RPGamer Idol
and have a good rest of the week. Yoroshiku onegai
Rudeen was brought to you by Mr. and Mrs. Rudeen.
I will not sell you my panlid. Quit
the Host Mommy,
Where Do Chocobos Come From?
Bucket's MapleStory Report
Ribby hit level 26 today.
High level monsters have been sighted in towns--if it starts
snowing, RUN AWAY.
Pointless Fact of the Day
According to the Bureau of Unfinished Statistics,
nine out of ten