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ASK ROSS
Life's a Show August 23, 2005

Ross Bemrose - 03:53 EDT

COME ONE, come all, to Powerlord's Q&A debut! That's right, it's me, the blast from the past, Ross Bemrose. I'm back here at RPGamer, and due to an "accident," I'm appearing earlier in the week than anticipated. Honestly, I don't know how that bear trap got in the middle of Matt's house!

Enough about me though, you're really here for the show. So, let us begin!






L E T T E R S
PC for me


Dear Andrew,

Everyone got all uppity about American RPGs last Q&A, so I guess I should too. Baldur's Gate and 2 were mentioned, so Black Isle was represented. But where's the love for Fallout 1, 2, or Planescape: Torment? I've played through all of these Interplay-published RPGs multiple times, and Fallout and Torment blow Baldur's Gate out of the water (though I admit the second was a huge improvement over the first). Check out a used game store and pick up Fallout 1, 2, and Torment for $15 total; best RPG bucks you'll ever spend.
ROSS

Andrew is apparently saving some of his unanswered email for the contest.

I did a little researching into these games, and they seem to have fairly high ratings... but I'm one of those people who tends to steer towards fantasy based RPGs rather than Sci-Fi RPGs. I might look around and see if I can find Planescape: Torment, though.

Interplay's bankruptcy may have disastrous consequences on all the series mentioned above. Fallout is the exception, as Bethesda software had obtained the worldwide rights to the Fallout series, with the exception of the rights for a Fallout MMORPG. It is not clear at this time whether Bethesda is still working on Fallout 3 or has dropped the game.

Anyway, besides my Fallout/Torment shout out, I have a question. What is it people find so amazing about the Diablo games? I respect Blizzard as a developer, but I really feel like they dropped the ball with the Diablo series. Yes, I realized they made mad ducats, but the games were little more than point-and-click adventures with no depth whatsoever. They're really not even RPGs. Multiplayer is a laugh riot, but single-player is a one-two, vodka-qualude knockout. At least it cured me of insomnia....But really, I always hear Blizzard fanboys lifting Diablo up as "TEH BEST EVAR!!!" So somebody school me; what did I miss?

Vicissitude


ROSS


I've never been able to understand some people's infatuation with the Diablo series. If I'm going to play a Blizzard game, it's going to be Warcraft II, Starcraft, Warcraft III, or World of Warcraft. I can't even count the number of hours my friends and I spent playing Warcraft II and Starcraft.

Then again, I suppose I have an infatuation with their RTS games.



Peering into the Future


Hello- Just wanted to say I stumbled upon this site recently, really enjoy the Q&A section in particular. You folks seem to like S/TRPGs quite a bit, which is nice to see as I've been a huge fan of the genre since back in the Nectaris days on the Turbografx-16 (I'm old).
POWERLORD'S EVIL COMPUTER

I hate hate hate hate hate hate

ROSS

Sorry about that, my computer sometimes starts doing that. I think it's channeling the spirit of Jack Thompson. Most of the time it's OK, but sometimes it just goes on a hating spree.

As much as I dislike saying this, S/TRPGs are my weak subject. I could just never get into an RPG where the average battle takes upwards of 5 minutes.

Anyway, my question is, am I the only one who's not too excited about any of the new systems? It seems like the PS2 is just now hitting its stride in terms of RPGs, with the last year in particular having a ton of them. In my experience it takes a good two or three years before the really good games start coming out for a system, so I'm a little bummed at the idea of cutting the PS2's glory days short, you know? What do you think? Are we going to see any decent games for PS3 at launch or shortly after? What's left on the PS2?

ROSS

I tend not to be impressed by a system until I see its game library. With that said, it's too soon to say for sure what games will be coming out when the PS3 launches.

The PS2 still has Final Fantasy XII, Dragon Quest VIII, and Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 coming out, just to name a few. At the time this show aired, our Upcoming Releases page lists 39 games. That doesn't include games like Shadow Hearts 3, which do not yet have a confirmed North American or European release.

One last thing- I was reading the Q&A archives the other day and someone asked (in what I imagined was Vulcan Raven from MGS' voice) "why Teh Fear of Childish?" in games. I just thought I'd toss in my two cents. As someone who's been playing RPGs for a good 20 years, overwrought, epic stories about saving the world make me want to fall on my own sword. Thank god for games like Disgaea, Grandia I, and FFTA that keep it simple and fun.

Finn McKenty "Snake... Do you like the glasses?"


ROSS

Every so often, I feel the need to go on an epic quest to save the world. I just don't think that every single RPG needs to have that as its central plot. In fact, I think that every RPG designer should read The Grand List of Console Role Playing Game Clichés and try to use as few as possible. Unfortunately, this list is in English, German, French, and Russian.



Tales of Translation


I understand my question on Tales of Rebirth had been answered before but i have different questions for Tales of Rebirth right now:

1) Why Namco never want to release the Japan game, Tales of Rebirth, that came out in 2004 to North American and Europes? Is it because of Racism that i had read at Game FAQ site or are they still working on American version to fix the problem in Japanese game?

ROSS

Although I don't know the official reason why Tales of Rebirth hasn't made it to North America, I can make a pretty good guess. Sony of America has a tendancy to reject games that use sprites. Rumor has it that's one of the reasons that Konami changed Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim's PS2 version to use 3D models instead of the sprites that the Japanese PC version used.

2) If not then i have to orders the Import Game but i must order some device can allow translate japanese to English and can play Import game for my American PS 2 console so where can i find such device and order it? Since i dont understand nor read japanese languages. I had tried every japanese import store sites including play-asia.com that i can find and search but i ended up nothing. if you know something can you tell me how i find it?

anyway that all i can share my questions..and i enjoyed the Questions and Answer columns in RPGamers. it really fun and interesting to learns what other people questions or opinions about the games or consoles.

thanks again for your time

Sincerely

Andy


POWERLORD

Sony has implemented a region lockout in the PS2. Bypassing it takes special hardware that may or may not be illegal. It doesn't matter, though, as there is no device to automatically translate the Japanese language to English. Automated translation has all kinds of problems with:

  1. Grammar. Grammar tends to be different for each and every language. For instance, the sentence "I want to vote for Ross Bemrose" might become "Ross Bemrose I want to vote for." before transliteration.
  2. Culture. Japanese culture is a lot different than ours. In our culture, ones ears ringing signifies that someone is talking about you. In Japanese culture, sneezing signifies that someone is talking about you.

I used Babelfish to translate "I want to play Chrono Trigger." from English to Japanese then back to English. I got "I think that we would like to do the clo no brake." back. It makes me wonder if there wasn't a reason that Square Enix registered the trademark "Chrono Break" after all...



Name: Warmech Metal Gear, HP: 1000, Weak: NONE, Special: NUCLEAR


I've always wondered why the metal gear series can't be catagorized as a role playing game. To be quite honest with you as much as i love rpg's, i'd much rather sit down and follow the MSG story then most of the crap Final Fantasy is comming out with these days. I know it's an action game, but there are pleanty of action rpg's, and isn't FFDC a "gun-action game"? so why is it any different, or is it just that most people in the role playing community don't bother to play other games, so don't take the time to realize that this is also a great series, worthy of an rpg title.


ROSS

Congratulations, you're the only person who sent a letter to the contest address. If I had access to the ~ box, I'd be tempted to give you one just for that.

Well, generally something is classified as an RPG based on its game elements, not whether it's fun or not. Personally, I enjoyed Metal Gear Solid, and to a lesser extent Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, and Metal Gear Solid 2. I detested what little I've played of Metal Gear Solid 3.



Psychic


Alot of people on the gamefaqs boards have been saying that Atlus plans to ship new copies of Disgaea:Hour of Darkness on Aug. 30. Is this true or is it just a rumor? And I just wanted to say that you guys are doing an amazing job with the site, keep up the great work.


ROSS

I didn't find any press releases from Atlus about this, so I decided to ask someone more knowledgeable about it.

MAGIC 8-BALL

IT IS DECIDEDLY SO

ROSS

There you have it! The Magic 8-Ball knows all!





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Wow, this Q&A show takes longer to do than it looks. Or maybe it was the fact that I kept talking to people on IRC when doing the column. I get distra... ooh, shiny. What was I saying? Reminder: we're using a different email address this week. So, send in some letters. Matt needs some to answer!

ross.bemrose@gmail.com
Ross Bemrose misses his RPGamer email address.


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The title is the first line of the song "Something to Sing About" from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Once More, With Feeling."

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