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TWIB (This Week in Bucket) August 31, 2005

Rebecca Rudeen 23:39 EST

I've had to deal with tons of constructive criticism over this past week and I hope you appreciate the fact that I am reading the posts on the message board and your e-mails. First of all, thank you for your support. Second of all, my best wishes to Ross in hope that he enjoyed this past week as much as everyone else did. Third of all, I apologize for the blatant sexism in my letter to Val last week which made Ask Bucket "fair and balanced" (note the use of quotation marks.) I realize it's opened up a huge can of worms for everyone involved, and there's some interesting debate going on regarding it, which I'm having fun reading. Heck, everyone has their opinions. I've got mine; I only wish I had had the time to balance them last week. Fourth of all, blame Microsoft for the hard to read column I had last week. (I use FrontPage to write this up; it's what I'm used to.) Fifth of all, I had the best damn grilled eel teriyaki over rice I've ever eaten in my life for lunch yesterday.

Lastly: I offer my sincere condolences to the people affected by Hurricane Katrina. I have been to New Orleans quite a few times and it's always impressed me as an elegant city with a rich history and culture. I have some distant relatives there and I was informed that they're all OK, but many of their fellow citizens aren't. My family here is wondering whether my father's hometown of Picayune, MS has weathered the storm all right. I've been watching some of the coverage and it just amazes me how much damage has been done, and is continuing to be done. New Orleans is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been to and I hope that not even a hurricane can knock down that pride and joy.

With that...

"Mrs. Pattersonerson? I'm sorry I didn't pass in my report on jellyfish in Antarctica yesterday. My DS bit me."

Hi Rebecca, I hope.

When I saw the name bucketmouse in your profile I was sure I knew you from somewhere, it's been bothering me all week. I just realized you're Ribby from Otakuworld (It's a shame they had to start charging for subscriptions.) I'm definitely a fan of your work, but I have to say dressing up animals (even electric mice) is wrong.

But...but...they're SO CUUUUUUUUUUUUTE! I mean, don't you just want to put Pikachu in baby clothes and cuddle him and give him little kisses?

Way back in my deep, dark past, I made a paper doll of Pikachu for a program called KiSS (Kisekae Set Systems,) among others.)

I think you're on to something with that whole Angelic Layer MMO thing, It's probably not likely to happen though. You don't really see a lot of anime based MMORPGs. Still, it's only a matter of time before Nintendo releases a MMO Pokemon game. How do you feel about games based on anime (or anime based on video games?) I don't think they're a bad idea, It just seems that very few companies take the time to do them well. You know I'd really like to see Sumomo and Kotoko (from Chobits) face off in the layer.

Thing is, any hot property--not just manga, anime or even Disney cartoons--that's game worthy has to be REALLY GOOD in order to have at least ONE game released from it, and even then the game is sometimes of highly dubious quality, and made just to please the little kiddies who won't care that there's no plot, bad music and weird graphics. However, the quality of a video game based on ANY property varies depending on the console it's on. You will get the "let's give the parents something to buy the kids for Christmas to tide them over because they didn't get that pony" on the Game Boy Advance, while "Hey, let's give this sweet graphical behemoth to those hardcore fans that hook up sound systems to their consoles" on the more "grown up" consoles like PS2 or XBox.

I've been hearing about attempts by fans to make a Pokemon MMORPG, eKaiyo Online, but their web page doesn't really list a lot of info other than some shiny graphics and some FAQ's from Ruby and Sapphire. I'd get a kick out of a Pokemon MMORPG if it allowed me the chance to join Team Rocket.

Is it just me, or does Gamecube seem like the only "kids" console out of the Big Three? I'd appreciate any input.

Congratulations on making it through round one of the contest, If you do happen to win a spot as weekend Q&A host, do you have any plans for the column? when your time here is up what kind of legacy do you plan to leave? The dog in your bio pic is very cute, It might be nice to see him/her co-host some time, anyway. good luck in round two, I'm sure you won't need it.


P.S. It wont be long before some kid tries to tell a teacher there Nintendog ate there homework.


Right now I don't have any plans about what to do in the future if I win. Personally, I'm surprised that I made it this far, given the fact that I'm somewhat behind on the video game scene and all, and my competitors have a lot more knowledge on that front.

The dog in my pic is named Greta. She's a Miniature Pinscher who turned 1 on July 19th. As much as I'd like to let her co-host, she's perfectly content with disemboweling plush toys for the time being. The other day she ripped the face of Po the Tellytubbie off and pulled stuffing out. I never liked that show.

This afternoon, she apparently ate one of my mom's foot socks. Right now she's fine, and in fact engaging in her favorite activities (running clockwise around the couch followed by running counterclockwise around the couch) but we're waiting and watching to see what happens to the sock. I'll spare y'all the details.

Perhaps if all the world's leaders thought of important things with water gushing over their heads every morning, there would be peace and harmony.

I was taking a shower today and during it I got a-thinking. you know how there's a general diference between console and pc rpgs, yeah? I often hear people talk as if the console rpg player and the pc one were whole species apart. and that's always bothered me but I could never quite put my finger on it. so I was thinking today, in the shower as I said, that maybe the difference between the console rpg and the pc rpg, and thus the gamer, has more to do with the physical apperati used for playing the game than anything else. you know, the controller. the pc traditionally uses a mouse and keyboard, right? so it kinda makes sense that games such as diablo or baulder's gate or fallout et cetera ad nauseam would grow out of the pc market. likewise, playing something like final fantasy on a pc always struck me as awkward. I don't know, wha' d'ya think?



Dear Mr. Bread,

You hit the nail right on the head. *BONK*

I think the major difference between PC and console RPG's is the degree of movement you have. A PC keyboard and mouse can limit the type of precise movements you can do in action-based games (I don't know how many times I was knocked into a bottomless abyss in American McGee's Alice because of one false step.) With a gamepad and a console, you're a few degrees closer to the action with the way you push the buttons and slide your thumb on the D-Pad to do a Bum Rush or go down that other corridor. Then again, with a keyboard and mouse, you've got not only control over physical movement, but possibly even targeting missile weapons. I haven't had very much experience with joysticks outside of arcades so I'm not too sure on what to say about those super sophisticated ten button behemoths that they're selling for computers nowadays.

Then, of course, PC's are best suited for MMORPGs and LAN parties with their interconnectivity, which also leads to one of the most obvious uses of keyboards for gaming:

Gamer 1: Dude, did you see me frag that guy?
Gamer 2: I was talking to Gamer 3 so I didn't see it.
Gamer 3: It's all YOUR fault that Gamer 1 fragged me, Gamer 2! You just love ruining my life, don't you?
(etc., etc., etc.)

As menacing as a Tonberry...Harder to defeat than a Cactuar...Scarier than Sephiroth's final form...IT'S THE DREADED PLOT HOLE!!!

Dear umm.... Whoever is getting this,

I've been reading a little about FF7: Dirge of Cerberus, and I was wondering... Is Vincent still going to be transforming into the weird monstrous creations of Hojo's sick little mind? I mean, it seems like the makers have either forgotten about this little bit of info, or they're keeping it secret for some reason. Maybe he gets his problem/multiple personalities (or multi-bodies, anyway) fixed sometime in FF7: Advent Children. Here's hoping someone says something about this besides me.



That was something I've been wondering, too. From what little I've been reading about, I'm not sure if FF7:AC is going to get into very much detail about characters other than Cloud and the Advent Children.

While searching through the scans that RPGamer has posted, on this one I noticed on question #7, Cait Sith is referring to Vincent's limit breaks in Final Fantasy VII. Unfortunately, I can't make heads or tails of some of the text in that box because the resolution isn't good enough for me to make out the furigana (Books and magazines published for younger readers have the Chinese characters or kanji spelled out with hiragana, or alphabetic script.) The general gist of it is: Cait Sith is interviewing Vincent. Cait Sith, in his cute little funky accent, asks about Vincent's special powers. Vincent is all like, "Whatever do you mean?" (Of course, he's apparently been dodging the last six questions.) The magazine then goes on to explain that they don't really know yet; and therefore, neither do we. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see on that.

Proving that reputation is everything...

Dear Contestant,

When you look at new games coming out, how does the name of the company, and/or if it is in a series affect your opinion of the game? Specifically, do you associate game with the reputation (or lack thereof) of the company/series? This question applies to two scenerios: before buying the game, and after completing the game. I've noticed a positive correllation between the hype of a game before release and the reputation of the company producing it, but do you think it actually affects the games sales, both initially and residually? More importantly, though, I'm curious as to whether or not the association potentially affects how people view the game when they review it, since i've read a lot of reviews that are along the lines of, "OMG FFX is teh best game evar!!!1!11oneone" even though there are games out there that are clearly better.

Hopefully that should give you something to write about.


PS - I have nothing against Final Fantasy X, but i needed a big name for my example, plus i'm sure the majority of the population thinks that there are games that are better games out there, beyond the world of square. Also, my question regarding reviewers bias does not apply to, which has always been an accurate source for RPG reviews! Me? Brown-nosing? of course not!


There's a lot of room for brand loyalty in the video game industry. However, even though Square-Enix has released a few crown jewels, I'm sure that they've (both companies in the past) released some rocks as well. When you say series, though, a lot of games released by these companies are episodic rather than one tying directly into another (the only example of this I've seen of the latter is Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age.) So when you're looking at games in a series, you never know what survived and what you're going to expect when you buy the next volume, while in episodic games like Golden Sun, you just want to buy the sequel to FINALLY get some closure and find out what exactly happened in the end.

I'm sure people have high expectations every time Square-Enix releases a new FF game, and I'm sure that some of these expectations later turn into disappointment. However, that doesn't change the fact that many of these games later get re-released with nice crimson colored stripes on their packaging.

I'm sure a lot of these reviews that you've spoken of are written by people fiercely loyal to their favorite company and have absolutely nothing bad to say about the game, even if it locked up their Playstation forcing them to pry open the CD tray with a paper clip. Happily, at least you don't let some little kid's badly misspelled and punctuated opinion sway you and instead search for more critical looks on games. I salute you!

I live for little moments like these.

What would your opinions be on an MMO that sported a piece of armour labeled: +4 Brassier?

-The Strawman


First of all: +4 in what? Strength? Attack power? Defense? Opera singing? Cosplay? Cup size? Just because there's a weird piece of armor in there doesn't give me that much of a picture of this MMO. Here's one right back at you: What would your opinions be on an MMO that included a monster called Balrog?

And second of all: I'd contact them and ask them if they needed a proofreader for their code. I believe there's supposed to be an E at the end of that, but my spell checker in FrontPage isn't giving it the red squiggly so I guess it's all right.

Okay, where the hell are the tildes I'm supposed to be giving out?!

The current quote is from The Legend of Zelda. The old guy says it when you enter Level 9.
Ross Bemrose


A WINNER IS YOU! Unfortunately, when Googleshng vanished, he took with him his Mystic Bag of Tildes that were such wonderful prizes. I'd give you one of mine, but seeing as they're second hand, they've been gathering dust along with all the other knick knacks in my room and you don't want to have a dirty tilde on the shelf along with your stuff.

You're just going to have to settle for a Chu Chu Pop. ===(:3 (In seven great flavors: cherry, orange, lemon, lime, blue raspberry, blueberry or grape. Collect all seven and summon the legendary Shenron to grant your greatest wish...uh, wait, which advertising copy am I reading again?)


And So...

This was a lot more fun to do this time around now that I had a general idea of what you guys want. Critique me, bash me, flame me, praise me, hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill get the idea. Once again, thank you for your support, and extend it with a vote this Friday once more.

Until next time...?

Rebecca Rudeen would rather not be hit with tomatoes; she doesn't like them straight up. 

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Oh, yeah, don't throw eggs, please. I can't stand 'em.


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