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Googleshng - April 6 '00- 1:30 Eastern Daylight Time

Sachi had to run off to classes before doing an intro or closing, so I have some space to kill here. Well, I'll do a little intro for Sachi then. First of all, despite having a girly sounding name and nick name, Sachi and Lacrymae respectively, Sachi is male. Also, despite being fluent in Japanese (which of course is why he was hired), and having a Japanese name, he's from Australia. Finally, despite the fact that he's one of the few RPGamer staffers that I never see doing anything, he does a ton of work. That last one is mostly because we're on pretty much the same schedule relative to our own time zones. In order to pull this off I had to stay up late and he had to get up early. There, that filled the space up a bit. 8) Oh, and now, the next morning, Sachi is back with an intro.

Sachi: Hi, everyone. I'm Sachi (well, you know that already), and I do a lot of the news from Japan. You might've read those interview translations, well those were mine :) I'm half-Japanese, and speak the language pretty well. I live in Australia now, but I actually lived in Japan for 8 years. I'll probably go back one day to live, since I loved Japan so much. Just to tell you a little about myself: well I love Japanese music, whether it be jpop or jrock. There are so many I like, but for you Japanese music lovers, my favorite band is L'Arc~en~Ciel. Don't hesitate to email me about music if you're interested! I love RPGs (well, isn't that a given if you're working here?) but I only play them in Japanese, since I can understand them, and they're released earlier (hey, I'm not patient :)). My other love is anime/manga (any Hayao Miyazaki movie, like Princess Mononoke, and Masakazu Katsura..the best romantic comedy comics artist) and writing.

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Welcome to RPGAMER Sachi! Please keep your ams and legs inside the car at all times and please, for your safety as well as ours, DO NOT MOON THE MOOMBAS!! ...

Since you're the new foreign embassador for RPGAMER, I want some answers. </threatening voice> </furrowed brow>
Sachi: Thanks Matt, I'll be concentrating on Japanese RPG news - but please don't expect me to have played every single RPG there is, it is a pretty full time position here at RPGamer and University when you're as lazy as me.

A) What do you know about Vampire Hunter D 2? VHD is my fav anime and I've been drooling over screen shots for too long. I NEED ANSWERS!!!!!
Sachi: Nothing yet. Anything I could tell you about Vampire Hunter would probably be insulting your intelligence as such a huge fan of the anime/game. Although you've inspired me to do some research on it...

B) Do you play all the imported PSX games that the rest of the non-versed western world is still waiting for to be translated? If you do, how is Wild ARMs 2nd Ignition? The first one was god, I can only hope for the best with the second.
Sachi: I _ONLY_ play RPGs in Japanese. So yes, I get to play them before all of you! MWA HA HA! But seriously though, while I play games before they see the light of day in the US - I don't get to play as much as I would like. Sometimes a game will go unfinished, and then othertimes a game will get overshadowed by another game entirely. But to answer your question - I haven't played Wild Arms 2nd Ignition yet. The first was great, but due to the large number of other RPGs released at the same time, I couldn't get my hands on it. Good thing I'm just the news and correspondance guy, eh? :)

C) Have you lived in Australia all your life or are you an import from Japan? If you're the latter, have you lived in AUS long enough to develop the accent? I talk to people from Sydney all day at work and think the accents kick ass. I want one, if I pay for shipping, can you mail me one?
Sachi: I was born in Australia, but lived in Japan from the age of 3 to 11. However, I don't speak with the alleged "Aussie accent". Neither do I refer to people in general as "mate" or "blokes". I also don't live in a tin roofed house with a rocking chair out the front and a koala in the Eucalyptis tree in the backyard. I haven't even seen a Kangaroo in person! Sorry to destroy the typical American's image of the "land down under"... :) Additionally, if you want to send me the money for an accent - I'll see what I can do for you. (Note: delivery time is approx. never)

D) What's wrong with me?
Sachi: What is wrong with you? Several things spring to mind, but hell - I'm just a news reporter, not a damn psychologist! ^_^

=Lo "yep" ki=

Googleshng:
Not much I can add to that, although as soon as I hear something about VHD2 I'll be sure to let you all know.

OK, a LITTLE redesign talk
Google,

About the site redesign...

The Good: Well, it certainly is long overdue. The layout of information has improved a bit, and the expanded menu bar is great. It's getting a little bit more color, and becoming less of a sterile "corporate style" site, which is good.

The Bad: The color choice is...interesting. It gets a little hard to read at times. There needs to be more space between the menus and the text. Also, It takes a little bit longer to load. When are the updates? I can't tell when the last update for any department was. I realize that sometimes this makes the person who writes that column look bad (especially when they haven't updated in a few weeks.) but it really helps to know when it was updated last.

The Ugly: What's with that wasted space at the top of the page, between the logo and the pictures of games? That's the most important space on any page! It's usually the first part anyone looks at! and lastly, though the site is starting to get more color to it, it is starting to become a little TOO much like the generic "RPG Site". It is starting to look like just another site with RPG in the address. Logo in the corner? Check. Rpg pic montage in the title? Check.

Oh well, That's just my two cents. Otherwise, it's starting to grow on me.

-Rail Cayder

Sachi:
True, the site update was long overdue. While I see your point on many of the issues, I don't agree with your point that RPGamer is looking more and more like a generic RPG site. Ok, so its true that some elements you mentioned are shared in common with such sites, but we think the new look definitely has a particular style about it that also complements the previous look entirely as well. Afterall, this is a visual site UPGRADE - and to completely discard those elements which make it associated with RPGs and RPGamer in the first place would be a little dissapointing. Remember, RPGamer has been around for a lenghly time period, and many of those "generic RPG sites" you mentioned have popped up since due to RPGamer's success - and no doubt tried to mirror RPGamer's entire premise. I hate cliches and stereotypes as much as the next person - but sometimes there is a difference between icons/symbols and cliched imagery. In this case, we hoped we tapped into the former. It is good to see a strong response to the site's new look - since it is the visitors that ultimately should appreciate it the most. Thanks for your opinion Rail, and hopefully it will grow on you as much as it has on us.

Googleshng:
Well, let's see... I'm glad you like most of it. Anyway, like Sachi kind of said, way back when (actually not THAT long ago) RPGamer looked pretty much like this, but without the polished look and color schemes that weren't all that great (white and green?) Anyway, then other sites popped up with the same sort of layout, or heck, maybe they were there all along and I just didn't see them. When I first saw RPG Fan for example I thought it was RPGamer's evil twin. It looked exactly the same except for the colors (BLACK and green?!?). Anyway, long story short, we experimented with something else for a while with the big blue pill of a header up top, and, for the record, a lot of people hated the change (myself included). So, for this one, we put it back the good way. As for the game on the top, well, that's so the layout looks good on any resolution. I have mine on the small side so there's a very small gap, yours is evidently a big bigger. As for the margins and dates, hopefully they'll be put in before next week.

Number Crunching
Well when you factor in the Free Dreamcast the internet deal comes to about 13 bucks a month (12.6 repeating infact), which is pretty good (not the absolute best, but pretty good). If the Sega connection is actually fast, then it is a good deal. Unfortunately I already have a cable modem, (which costs about 26 bucks a month), and I have to say, that the difference is like having the internet and not having it. Hopefully Sega hooks the dreamcast up with an ethernet port. Anyway I have a confession to make. I like Nobuteru Yuuki's work on Chrono Cross. I like it more than Toriyama. Infact I was quite surprised when everyone started bitching that it was plain and not nearly as good as the "DBZ" guy. Well to each there own.

Sachi:
Well to be honest, I like both. Toriyama looks good in 2D animation, but probably not in 3D. But the Chrono Cross characters actually do look good in CG. However, it was a little disappointing to not see Toriyama return - but I have a feeling Square were going for a more mature look in this next-generation sequel.

Googleshng:
Someone told me AOL is down to about $20 a month now, but even so, under $13 bucks is a really good price if it also functions as an ISP. Then there's the keyboard. Anyway, as for the Toriyama/Yuuki thing, well, like I said, I like them both. I honestly haven't seen more than a few character designs from CC because I'm avoiding all info until I have it, but as far as movie segments go, his style translates to 3D perfectly (as opposed to Amano) so I'm happy. Toriyama's drawing style wouldn't convert to 3D well either with those big intricate ears and a bit of hatching here and there. If nothing else, he doesn't make stuff shiny, which is nessessary for CG conversions.

Manditory Guest Host Question
Sup Google and Sachi. This question is for Sachi, but feel free to answer it Google. Hey Sachi I was just curious what you favorite Japanese RPG was an what your favorite American RPG was and which one did you like better. Also Google I was just wondering how much would the Xenogears soundtrack be? I know I could just go to gamecave or somewhere to find out but I am so lazy I almost didn't want to lift my fingers and type this letter. Thanks.

-Jordan

Sachi:
I can't name ONE favourite RPG, but to name a few... Dragon Quest IV, Final Fantasy VIII, Vagrant Story, and Seiken Densetsu III. As far as American RPGs go, I've played only few - e.g. Ultima VII, and Baldur's Gate. I prefer Japanese RPGs because they are more often focused on the story... and I have a fixed opinion that if most companies cannot even translate an RPG properly, they can't write a good plot either. Period. :)

Googleshng:
I've answered this one enough.

Chrono Character Design
Hi Sashi,
How is it back there in Japan?I sure hope it's nice,because I'd really like to live there someday.Anyhow,can you explain me the deal with the different Lodoss War series?I know they're based on some novels,but why are there such different series?At my video store,there have the 6"original" tapes with Gim,Leylia,Carla and comp.But there is also The Chronicles of the heroic knight.But some things are done differently in both of them.And then there's also "The Gray Witch".And finally,do you think I'll have a hard time learning Japanese?Is it a rather simple language?Thank you very much for your time.
Xeros

Sachi:
Well Xeros, I'm actually living in Australia...but I'm half Japanese and have lived there for 8 years. I loved it, and will probably go back to live too. Now, to answer your Lodoss question. "Record of Lodoss War" was a video release, and yes, it has Parn and Deedlit and the characters you mentioned. Last year, they showed a new TV series of Lodoss War. I'm not really sure if it uses the same characters or not. Learning Japanese is more of a challenge then, say, French or Italian, since you have to learn a totally new writing system. It's hard for me to say how difficult it is to learn the language, however, because I learnt it as a mother-tongue :)

Googleshng:
Yet again, I'm totally out in the cold here. Aha! Learning Japanese! Well, actually it's an easy language to learn in some respects, you don't have "false friends" to deal with (except maybe hai and no) or weird grammatical rules with so many exceptions that they hardly seem like rules. As for learning to read again from scratch, well, it's not as hard as it sounds... unless you want to learn kanji.

Anime
Hey Google,

I really want to get into the anime/manga thing, but I'm almost overwhelmed with different series, volumes, shows and subbing and dubbing to really figure out what exactly I want. I'm also worried about something else: money. I have little to no money in between getting video games and etc.

1. Do you recommend any websites that introduce anime/manga?

2. Do you recommend any specific series/volume/movie to a newbie?

And, to make this relevant for RPGamer:

3. I'm really starting to consider Dreamcast with their new offer. Is Sega.net just an ISP or does it offer multiplayer as well? And are you going to have to pay an additional fee to play Phantasy Star Online through their network?

Thank you for the time,
GaminMachine

Sachi:
1. One site: Anime Web Turnpike. (www.anipike.com) It's a very large links database of many different anime/manga. For someone who's just starting to watch/read it, you're bound to find heaps of information on whatever you might be interested in.

2. Two names: Hayao Miyazaki and Masakazu Katsura. Hayao Miyazaki is possibly the greatest animation director in the world and he makes beautiful movies, plus the stories are moving. Masakazu Katsura mostly does hilariously funny romantic comedies, such as Video Girl Ai, and the latest I"s. Definitely two names you should check out.

Googleshng:
I'd better answer that last question. Of course it does, that's the point. As for fees with PSO, well, I seem to recall hearing that aside from the cost of actually buying the game, it's totally free. Now then, I agree that Ani-Pike is the place to go. As for what I'd recommend, Ranma (in manga form), Slayers (SUBBED!), Escaflowne (which is only available subbed), and as for something dubbed... hmm... well, Eva has a decent dubbed but it's not a good thing to start with... Pokémon? Too bad Skiffy isn't showing anime right now, there's is a good mix (with bad ratios).

Quickies

You know what? I, too, bought a Saturn just to play Dragon Force. It's funny, once I beat it, I sold them both. Ah well.

-={~Potato Jones~}=-

Sachi: Strange thing, a friend of mine did that same thing and then sold it. I sense a pattern emerging... poor Sega.
Google: Well I'm doing it backwards, first I won it, now I bought a Saturn and am TRYING to buy it, so where are all these copies?

Dear Google,
Do you get payed for your work? If so, ...... Good! You deserve it!
-The Infamous Son Gokou

Sachi: In fact, we do get paid. With magic beans.
Google: My payment is the good feeling that comes from making thousands of other people happy. Just try spending that at Electronics Boutique though. >8(

hey sachi and google
so you wanted anime questions, well here's one for you: can you explain to me the end of evangelion (aside that yoshiyuki sadamoto was on crack ) i hope i'll get an answer because i have yet to make sense of the ending of this brillantly written serie
thanks
makkura

Sachi: End of Evangelion?? In short... no. However, if Yoshiyuki Sadamoto was on crack, maybe you need to be to understand his series. Hmm...
Googleshng: Did you know that if you watch Gunbuster you can pinpoint the exact momment Gainax as a whole goes insane? I think it's halfway through episode 4.

Googie!
I always pronounced your name "Googleshnug". I do not know why... o_O

--Toby,...the real one.

Sachi: So did I... but Goog gives me strange looks when I do - so I've started calling lame names instead, like "dude" and "hipster!". He still gives me strange looks. Go figure... ^_^
Google: Have you finished making PUPPETS Toby?

BEAT! you BEAT a game, you don't WIN it!
-culex

Sachi: But what if you entered a competition for one?
Google: No... you beat a person at a game, you win the game itself. I guess the word finish would be more accurate than either, but even that has it's flaws.

Are Shenmue US version translated both conversation and subtitle or either one ?. Thank you.

Sachi: As far as I know, the US version of Shen Mue will contain dubbed conversations and will most likely have an option to turn on subtitles as well. From what I've read, the only Japanese you will encounter in the game will be in the background - like irrelevant signs (important shop banners and such WILL be translated) and perhaps atmospheric background voices. As a side note, the translation of the game is well under way, and should be completed sooner than you think. Now all I gotta do is gets me a Dreamcast! ^_^
Google: The trick to quickies is BRIEF responses. 8) Anyway, the reason Sonic had both is that there wasn't very much speech in the game, or anything else that takes up a ton of disk space. Maybe when we start using tb discs you'll get both, but until then RPGs have better things to fill them with.

Just thought you'd be interested that TF: The Movie is being released on DVD on 10/10!!!! Whoooooo!

-DaRKoNe "With a gun shoved down your throat, you only speak in vowels"

Google: Good for people with DVD players.

The Last Laugh:


Sachi: Well, that was some ride..phew. It was fun doing it, but heh, I couldn't do this full-time :) Well to rap up, I'll just say: please comment on things I write, I'm always interested in people's opinions and so on. And it makes me feel warm when I get mail from people, too. ^_^ My IRC nick is Lacrymae, so if you see me at the chat, say hi :). Oh, and one more thing...I'm MALE! <looks at everyone, especially Goog> ;P

Google: Hey! I made a point of that in the intro so there! Anyway, there's no CC pic today, something came up for him last night. Oddly enough I don't even have a replacement handy. So uh, I'll quit eating into Brad's time and get this up already.


Googleshng "Free!" @rpgamer.com
Now it's the weekend and I'll have more time! Maybe I can finish all the stuff I need to do!

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