Ask miyuski
miyu - December 14 '99- 5:58 Eastern Standard Time

Wow! I got a ton of letters today, making me much happier than the angry person I was yesterday. I got quite a few responses to Mr. Mysterio's obvious Square-bashing, all of them saying that he was silly and that Square's 2000 lineup is really worth taking a look at. Like I said yesterday, it's stupid to bash RPGs just because you're trying to win an argument or because you're not going to be able to afford them. As for me, I sincerely hope Wild ARMs 2 is worth a look also, but I'm really looking forward to SaGa Frontier 2 the most. :)

Today while playing through Vandal Hearts 2 some more I came across a stunning realization that what I thought was one of the biggest flaws in Final Fantasy Tactics was probably one of its greatest ideas: having a low character limit. In VH2, you can have over 10 characters in battle, and the battles become really long and tedious sometimes. I think Final Fantasy Tactics really hit the center of the scale when it comes to short and worthless vs. long and tedious. There are just too many battles in VH2 for the amount of time it takes to do each one, in my opinion at least. I'm still having fun with it though, especially seeing all the neat spell graphics!

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Hello Miyuski,
You asked for interesting letters, I don't know if this is interesting but I thought I'd help populate your inbox.
Well personally I think Vandal Hearts II kind of sucks. I didn't really like the first one anyway! Why I bought the second one is beyond me. I would like to see more games with the look/feel of Zelda :OoT but that could be because I've had a mad crush on Link since I was 9 years old. I liked the freedom of movement which is why I am so addicted to EverQuest.
Anyway, my question is... wouldn't you (and the readers) love to see more of the Anime-related RPGs hit American shores? RPG fans are usually Anime fans as well and there is an RPG for just about every anime series. I bought Evangelion: Girlfriend of Steel because it looks neat be it would be nice to play it instead of just looking at the pretty pictures. I also bought an Evangelion game for SNES where you get to be Eva 01 and beat up the angels. Wouldn't American anime companies like AD Vision and Manga be wise to license the games corresponding to the series they license? They'd make a bundle!

-Ruth the insane Otaku

Well now, Vandal Hearts II isn't for everyone, of course! Some people fall asleep at the sight of the first battle in strategy RPGs, after all. If you're more fond of Zelda, there's no reason to keep buying SRPGs...

I totally agree on the anime game point, though. I'd love to play the Card Captor Sakura game for the WonderSwan, or the Tenchi Muyo! or Record of Lodoss War RPGs, or the Himiko Den game. There's tons of anime games out there, and I'd definitely pick a lot of them up if they saw this side of the ocean. In fact, I plan to pick some of them up anyway! I think I heard that ADV was thinking about picking up some anime-style games in the future, so maybe all hope is not lost! Here's to the future of anime games in America! Btw, nice e-mail address! Anyone with a username of fancylala is great in my book! ;)

Chomp I am rabite in 3d!
Hi ho Mr. Miyu! Do you think Squaresoft will ever make a 3d version of Secret of Mana? I'm a big fan of the original... HUGE actually, but I thought it'd be kinda cool to see all those cutesy characters and places in 3d. Squaresoft is going on a remake rampage recently, with FF Anthology and Chono Trigger for playstation, so why not the SOM series? Imagine the joy gamers like me would have over flying flammie in TRUE 3d, or going up against the Mana Beast and having it soar over your head. And think! 3d rabites!! Gaming nostalgia is a wonderful thing, they proved that with FFA. But would SOM 3d be a nostalgic trip, or something that looked suspicously like Zelda 64? I'll let you answer that, cause afterall, that's your... job. :)

Mr. Jelly Bean

Hmmm, a 3D Secret of Mana? I'm not sure how well that would work, seeing as I've yet to see a 3D game really capture the spirit of an old 2D game. Most attempts so far have been trite and stupid-looking, but it's not the dimensions that make the game, it's many things. If the gameplay and story are good, a 3D Secret of Mana could be really great. I think the hardest thing would be keeping the multiple-player aspect, because that would be hard to implement in a fully 3D game, and without that, the spirit of Secret of Mana would really be lost.

SaGa Frontier != Crap
Wow, you actually liked SaGa Frontier? What exactly did you like about it? I thought the graphics and music were good but the repetitiveness of it made it tedious to play. I was surprised when I saw that they were actually making a sequal to this game. What differences are there in the new one? Also, as long as I'm writing, what do you think about games like Alundra, Landstalker, and Crystalis? I've always wished that more of these type of Action RPGs were produced. --td

I liked the graphics, the battle system, and the stories for some of the characters, like Emelia, Asellus, and T260G. I had fun playing through their quests and getting side stuff, and I just thought the game was good, if a little short-sighted. To be better the game should have had more options that opened after each time you beat the game or something so that there would be more different things each time you played. The overall concept was interesting, and I enjoyed it.

I never played any of the games you mentioned, but I'm more of a fan of traditional RPGs, probably because I'm so bad at most Action RPGs. Quick reflexes were never my thing, so I tend to enjoy SRPGs or traditional RPGs a lot more. :)

Vandal Hearts II
I think the game rocked, the duel turn system is kinda funny and unrealistic, and in some cases can make the game extremely easy, especially when you have one boss vs seven of your characters, the boss won't even touch one of the characters because he will always attack the rear of the lowest hp character, so it is very predictable in easy in that aspect. However the weapon system is very cool, I love the switching of techniques, especially combining many recover marks on your shield. That is cool. The multiple ending feature is really cool. From being a mayor to being king, I wish though that for each ending path that it also brought up new levels, not the same ones. A few improvements here and there, and Vandal Hearts 2 would have been one hell of a great game, but all things considered it is still a fun strategy game that can provide hours of fun!!!

There u have it, my two cents

I have to agree with your opinion on the dual turn system, because I alternately find it funny or stupid. I think that overall the system is less realistic than FFT's AT system, although it is something different. So if you enjoy strategy RPGs, Vandal Hearts II may not be the best ever, but I think it's worth picking up.

Gah! My Oddess
Hi, miyuski. I don't read the column anymore (not enough time, really), but I remember seeing you before, and I thought you might be able to answer some questions of mine. I just wish to know the answers, but you can post this letter if you think other people can benefit from it. Sorry to bother you, I'll make this quick. 1) How did "Princess Monoke" (sp?) do against Pokemon: The movie? I remember reading a letter, saying that this box-office rivalry could define the very future of anime in america. I was gonna go see it at the theatre, but it wasn't showing. Will it be out soon in regular theatres?

Well considering that Pokemon was widely released and that Miramax is probably never going to widely release Princess Mononoke, I'd say there's not much of a rivalry there. To-date, Pokemon has grossed $80,771,180, while Mononoke release has grossed $1,937,984. According to Anime News Service, the reason Princess Mononoke hasn't gotten a wider release or more advertising is that the test run in St. Paul-Minneapolis flopped, so they aren't going to risk sinking more money into it. I think Mononoke could have done really well with some actual advertising and a real release, but apparently Miramax has less faith in anime then I do....

2. Do you remember the days when noone knew how to pronounce "Pokemon"?

Hah! Remember the days? That was *yesterday*. Even people who play the card game and everything still pronounce it Pokeymon! I've completely given up since I'm not a Pokemon fan anyway. :P

3. Do you like Starcraft? If so, do you know if a Starcraft 2 will ever be out?

Huh...I had more questions, but I can't remember them. Oh well. I'd still like to know these.
-Zack S.

Starcraft was definitely a fun game, and I'm sure Starcraft 2 is on the horizon, but for now we can look forward to Warcraft 3, which is looking to be a great game! I always liked the Warcraft setting better anyway, so it's like a blessing in disguise for me. :)

Lain wa LAIN desu.
You've actually seen Serial Experiments Lain? I thought I was the only one! If you understood it, I will be in awe. As it is, I am amazed. --Geoff "Knight of the Eastern Calculus" Russell (yes, I realize they're unpleasant but I need a nifty nickname.)

I just finished Lain a few days ago, and I think I understood most of it. It's not quite as complex as Eva, and I think the theme of memories and how they affect us was pretty obvious, so there were only a few crazy things that I didn't understand, like who *was* KNIGHTS and what the heck were they trying to really do. Maybe I just missed that, but I thought that was one loose end they missed. I recommend that everyone go buy the DVDs anyway because Lain is a great series to watch. :)

My last name is...IRRELEVANT!
Hey, I was suring a minute ago, and stubled upon a wepage with the full names of the FF4 cast. Some of them sounded funny: Cecil Harvey, Kain Highwind, Rosa Farrell, Yang Fang Leiden, Cid Pollendina, and Edge "Edward Geraldine" to name a few of the crazy ones. Are those really their names? Harvey?!?!? My favorite RPG heroe's last name is HARVEY?!?!?! -Myrddin
Hey miyu. I was flipping through walkthroughs when I noticed that not one person mentioned the three wisemen's last names in Xenogears. Do you have any possiblr ideas what they are? And don't give me a lot of crap like "Oh, Taura's last name was Smith." No way, Jose. What are their DEFINITE names?

Haha, I was just reading through my mail, and these two letter just stuck out. I mean, the letters are practically answers to each other! When they do give RPG characters last names, they're stupid and irrelevant, so hopefully the Wisemen just don't have last names. Or at least they're never mentioned. I've always been against last names, so I think they should just keep up the grand RPG tradition of ignoring irrelevant things like last names in favor of plot or something interesting. Heroes shouldn't be trifled with details, as the great Lord Ashram says! ;)

The dreaded FF8 discussion
This is my first time writing to the column, although I have been reading it for over a year now. Well I wanted to talk about how Final Fantasy VII and VIII just totally ditched the concept of armor. What happened to it? I think looking for armor and relics help add to the overall appeal to the game. Plus I miss gaining levels to earn magic. I mean how much fun can a game be if everyone in your party has the same magic. In FFVI thats how the magic was, but I think it was still a great game. FFVII started going a bit too far by focusing on materia and graphics. FFVII is one of my favorite games, but it is just losing it's shine that it once had. FFVIII is a different story. The graphics were sweet and I loved the story, but I hated drawing magic from enemies and having to have a GF attached in order to use it. Without a GF your guy was worthless. I will still keep buying square games in hope of a new light to get an actual fantasy game like FFIV.


Actually, I also got a few letters today about how people were just bashing Final Fantasy VIII for no reason and that it was a great game, and I sort of stand in the middle on this issue. I sort of like the junction and draw system, but what I'd really like better is a return to something like the FF4 system with set classes and characters instead of "Make-Your-Own-Character" systems that have pervaded the series since then. That approach worked great in Tactics, but I think it takes away from traditional RPGs, and I'd love to see Final Fantasy IX return to the FF4 style. I still think Junctioning was way better than Espers, though. As nice as FF6 was, the Esper system was my least favorite out of all of them. ^_^

Jasc the RPG!
oh my this is amazing!! exclusive screenshot from Jasc the RPG!! featuring cameos by famous FF8 characters and maybe a famous location too!! this is Jasc the RPG though!! amazing

THE amazing screenshot of the millenium!

My, our sources are finding it harder than usual to get information about this secretive RPG, but many people died to obtain this one screenshot! This promises more great things to come, and perhaps a mini-game that is similar to FF8! Jasc the RPG may be the most ambitious RPG ever!


haven't you thought about getting a real job?

Heh, I have a real job over the summers, I work at Sandia National Laboratories. :P

Nice hidden text. Yuko Sasaki freaks me out. You should talk more about Anime and J-Pop in your column if you get too few letters. What's your opinion on Hikaru Utada? Her new single is great!

-Sean Rahman

Ah, JPop, it saves my life sometimes. I love Yuko Sasaki, she's really great to listen to. I like some of Utada Hikaru's stuff, like First Love and her new one, Addicted to You, but some of her other stuff isn't that great. Ayumi Hamasaki is the best. ^_^

I am matter. I am antimatter. I can see your past. I can see your future. I consume time and I will consume you!

- Culex

You can't consume my memories, and with my memories everyone can continue to exist! You can't defeat the power of the human spirit!

i like a lot of shoujo (is that spelled right?) manga and anime. it's almost like the soap operas on in the morning, only way better.

Shoujo is the best type of anime, it's cute and has much better stories than any other genre! Shoujo ga daisuki!

I finally pasted Final Fantasy 8 last night. But now I'm all depressed-- a "Post-RPG Depression Syndrome" if you will. This happens to me with just about every RPG I play (except Beyond the Beyond and Persona. ick.) Am I the only person who goes through this? For me, usually the better the game, the worse the Post-RPG Depression. Ahhhh! I hate this part about RPG gaming. *sob* It's not funny! *sniff*...this is probably my worse time ever.

-Araka-- *sniff* -- geeta... waaaaa!!!!!!!

I never seem to have this problem because I always have another game to finish! Must...finish...VH2...Evolution coming...

hi miyu! no time for the old "in and out" there love just here to read the meter


Well my meter has nothing on it! Eternal vampires have no need of gas! Besides, I can use my fire to heat things myself.

Closing Commentary on Topics Relevant to Today's Column:

AGH I ACCIDENTALLY DELETED YESTERDAY'S COLUMN. Heh, even Q&A people make mistakes, I guess. Thanks to Dabria, who very nicely sent me a copy of the old column, now back up for your viewing enjoyment!

I had some other stuff to say about Vandal Hearts II, but now I'm depressed and tired and I want to just watch some Karekano and go to sleep. I'll be back tomorrow, so keep those letters coming. :)

Quistis Drunk
Oh my Quistis is drunk! From Cantatrix! (rar)
Curtis "Yum Yum" Harmon
Kimi wo, kimi wo shinjiteru, samui yoru mo...heha, that might as well be arabic, huh? ;)

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