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  The Oracle  

  Weird! Weird!  

 

Brad Lohr, The Oracle - July 31 '00


I just want to say that today.. well, is going to be interesting. Just as a forewarning, I take no personal stake in any of these .. well, basically any of these editorials or rebuttals, or whathaveyou responses.

I'm also going to make fun of each and every one of them. I really don't have many opinions on the subject, I buy games that are fun. If I have fun, great, if I don't, I come here and bitch about how lame the game is, and more than make the money I lost back in sheer venting power. :)

If I make fun of your mini-editorial, take heart that I don't really disagree/agree with you, I'm just doing the only thing I really have left in all this. Making it entertaining for everyone to watch. :)

Remember, don't get yer feelin's hurt... just roll with the punches, and laugh at the next guy. :)

 
Green Slime is now "it".
 

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Remember: Don't send him Huskey responses.

 
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Gauntlet Legends
Level 93, baby! I "beat" the game last night.. but there's still more levels!
 
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85 messages of unholy terror!
 
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Question and Answer
 
Hehehe.. you bad monkey you!
Hey hey! (I'm not replying to Sunday's editorial. What self-control I have!)

I've been playing Star Ocean 2 of late. After the first disk, I stopped listening to the game sound; I thought Rena's "Eyaa! Ooh...nooo..." was annoying, and then Precis joined the group (shudder). The battle system is getting pretty monotonous, so I don't want to level up enough to beat the Field of Power, and I've all but quit to play through Breath of Fire again. Is Star Ocean 2 worth beating?

Also, why is my Fol (what the hell is fol?) ticking away by the second? Is it some kind of side effect to the pickpocketing? Not that there's much threat of me going broke. I'm sure I'm closer than two million seconds from the end of the game.

-Siebzehn, who misspells his name because he looked to RPGamer's Xenogears Artwork Page for reference.

Brad:
Well, the money ticking away thing is easy: You have some "bounced checks" or other forms of forged or otherwise naughty money deals. You hafta go sell them to a shop, (of course, you'll hafta pay the guy to take them off your hands), honestly the skill that produces those doesn't produce forged money (that's actually worth something) often enough to be worthwhile.. though if you get enough Stock Certificates, (which do the opposite thing, add money over time, though not as quickly), that could eventually be useful. Of course, after the whole royalties thing.. I never needed money again. Beat the game. It's really worth it. The later battles are difficult, and you finally feel like you accomplished something when you beat that game.

 
Lockout Chip.. more and more!
To the Almighty Oracle

My fellow gamer friends and I have been wondering why the US Playstation (and other systems maybe?) locks you out of playing import games. I don't want to import, since I can't read Japanese and that would irritate me, frankly I'm just curious.

-Ryan

Brad:
The modchip lockout wasn't intended at import audiences. It was mainly aimed at pirates who were copying the games, and using Mod Chips to play the copied versions.

 
Yer not a gamer, yer a lamer! Nyah! (insert random 4 year old taunt here)
Brad, may I have your opinion on this:

My friend and I were having a discussion about Final Fantasy 7 the other day, Ruby and Emerald Weapons to be precise. I have never seen a real reason to beat them since I'm more about just having a fun gaming experience and enjoying the story than just kicking the crap out of something to be able to say "Oh, I beat it. I'm cool now!"

My friend, a member of the male persuasion, made fun of me for the fact that I never beat them, calling me "not a true video gamer and a wimp" and other such unfair remarks, including an insult against my female gender in general.

So do I have the right to kick his stupid lame butt, or should I accept the remarks that I'm not a true video gamer???

Mrs. Jericho

Brad:
Well, the only real reason to beat Emerald, and especially Ruby, is that they're really hard. I mean, nobody cares THAT much about a gold chocobo, though a full set of Master Materia isn't too bad. But it's mostly about the challenge. I remember going after Ruby back in the first days of FF7's release, and knowing maybe one or two other people PERIOD who had beaten him.. nobody have a real 'tried & tested' way to beat him yet.. hell, nobody knew how many HP the damn thing had. (I actually found out by -- HONESTLY -- taking a calculator, and adding up all the damage I did to him each shot. That's pausing about 1 billion times during the middle of each different stage of KotR .. rar. 1 million HP. :o) .. anyhow, the point is, they're HARD. If you're not too into it, then it's not some mark of a 'true' gamer. There are harder things out there. There are more 'extreme' stunts. (shrug) Anyhow, um, I'm done talking. (In a weird mood now, for some reason...)

 
Dart's a pansyboy! Dart's a pansyboy!
Hi-O Oracle!

I just bought Legend of Dragoon, and was just wondering, is it possible later in the game to take off double digit damage? When Dart is taking off 3 HP with a normal attack in the first battle and the enemies have around 5 HP, I was feeling rather disapointed. C'mon, I mean, here we have a mercenary who makes a living off killing stuff taking off 3 HP. Ten bucks says even imps from FFIV have more life than that. And what about those soldiers? Trained fighters who are sent to fight wars with 5 HP?!? What is the world coming too?

frum "Where can I get me some of those muffins?" Rand

Brad:
Well, I must admit that I thought the same thing when I first started playing.. you'll never do your 9999 damage shots.. but then, the whole game is scaled that way.. you learn to start thinking "1000 hp shot?! RIGHT ON!" .. I mean, I was doing 600hp normal attacks in the last battle, and getting dragoon perfects for 1000. Don't worry, you won't be a total pansy forever. :) Soon you'll have multiple people in your party that can hit enemies for 20 hp apiece!

 
Too many drugs for this man!
Hey Oracle,

It's been made clear many times that Shadow is Terra's father, but I'm playing 6 right now, and noticed something strange. When Terra has her euphony and it shows the flash back of her parents, Maduin (esper) and Madonna (human-I swear I don't remember if it was that in the SNES version, but I may be wrong) I'm like cool Shadow's real name is Maduin. Then I was switching my espers, and I noticed Madain is on my list, yet Shawdow is still alive. I'm I missing something?

One last note, isn't it cool how Sabin and Edgar's nanny is named Matron. You got to love Square's uncanny memory of NPC's!

The Great Cornholio

Brad:
Are you on crack or something? Shadow is -Relm-'s father, you nut! I am appalled and amazed that your fingers could even finish this email. :( .. and by the way, "Matron" is pretty much a pseudonym for "Nanny". I .. I fear anti-intelligence lurking within that body. It's coming to get m--------

 
 
Unanswered Questions and Comments
 
Okay, reply #1
To Mr. Huskey:

The reason all these RPGs are greeted with "This is the best game ever!" is due to the fact that high-quality RPGs are constantly coming out. FMV does not nescessarily need to take a backseat to gameplay-the Materia system was very innovative and easy to use, and you could just as easily decide who you wanted to fill what role as you could in FF6. FMVs are wonderful ways of enhancing storylines, and can add immesurably to the atmosphere of the game.

[ I think his point was that people were much more attenuated to certain roles. Relm will never be your main attack person, (though arguably no one other than Cloud will ever be in FF7, but other people, like Tifa, could easily go any way you wanted them) .. ]

Also, I fail to see how these games need button mashing. In Star Ocean 2 and FF7, especially, you need to plan ahead what kind of tactics and Killer Moves your characters will use (In SO2) and carefully distribute your Materia and set the correct Limit Breaks so that everyone is sufficiently protected and has a chance to handle themselves in fights. FF7's plot, I counter, was incredibly deep, and had wonderful character development and twists that outdid Final Fantasy 6 in almost every respect. I do not want to degrade FF6's good plot, but FF7's read like a good science fiction novel.

[ I don't really consider ther Materia system to be much along the lines of strategy, and when you get down to it, SO2 really -is- just running one guy around and whacking things while the other 3 hopefully do well enough so you don't lose... ]

Final Fantasy IV contained no plot holes, but FF6 certainly had a couple. What happened to Arvis and Banon? Were the Returners all right? What happened to Vector? How could the Coliseum be built in just one year? Why wasn't the Ancient Castle surfacing until now? Some fanatical FF6 fans have put these off, particularly the fates of Banon and Arvis, as being left for the fans to fill in. Face it, they were plot holes.

[ What do you mean what happened to Banon! You finally find out the truth! He's really Duncan, Sabin's master.. it's all about that incredibly useful "Heal" ability! As for Arvis, well, he prolly became food for the carnivorous Moogles that emerged after their home was ravaged. ]

_Fun_ in the T-Rex forest? I spent hours in there out of nescessity, not fun, so I could build up my levels and magic high enough to face Kefka. FF6's major design flaw was that it took far too long to build up your characters so they would survive Kefka's Tower. I also was not keen on having such a large cast in the first place. We got some FFRPG classes out of it, but it was bad design on Square's part. FF6 is a good game, but I do not think it is a godsend.

[ I spent more hours running around in that Crater going after Magic Jars for AP for goddamn Materia than I've ever spent going after T-Rex's in that forest.. and I've gotten every (all 14) people up to level 99 in FF3/6. I personaly REALLY enjoy a larger cast. They did more with 14 characters in FF6 than they did with what, 8 or 9 in FF7. ]

Mindless hunting action? That was what the Dino-Forest was. Just about everything in FF7 was somehow related to the plot. The WEAPONs were going berserk as a result of being unable to get to Sephiroth, the Gelnika was destroyed by a WEAPON, the Gi were enemies of Red XIII's tribe, and after their defeat he learns about his father Seto...

Jared.

 
#2!
Dear Brad,

The question here is "Is the RPG community compromising its standards of quality because of the past efforts of certain RPG companies"? In any case, this person has brought up some valid points, but in my opinion there's a few things wrong with them. First off, this is his opinion. [ Gah, no way! ] All the readers of the column are going to have their own opinions, and obviously they are not going to be the same. [ *gasp!* ] The RPG community is certainly not comprising its standards. I believe that they're just innovating themselves. Change happens no matter what. Eventually, things must change...for better or worse. [ We fear change. ] Of course there were great games back then. Even now there are still great games being made. I personally liked Xenogears, and I'm enjoying playing Vagrant Story. I see nothing wrong with them, and as for their plots, I happen to find them pretty good. If Mr. Huskey thinks Squaresoft is making horrible games, he's entitled to that. Yet, there's no reason for those of us who enjoy their games to stop buying them. It's evident that Square may have made a couple of bad games (or a lot according to Mr. Huskey), but on the other hand they've made some great games recently. There are even some games that I'm greatly anticipating the release of. So, if Mr. Huskey doesn't enjoy Square games, then he can buy some other publishers. [ Far be it for me to interpret his writing, but I believe that was his point. ]Enix and Working Designs among others have also made some great games in this "Post-SNES era" that he refers it to. Yet, if change is his main concern, then he's going to have a problem. The gaming developers can't just keep making the same type of game, with the same basic structures. Eventually it'll become boring, and rather quickly also. Therefore, if he can't accept the fact that the RPG industry will no doubtly change, then I would suggest going into another type of gaming genre. So to wrap it up, since I think I've went off tangent a bit, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. No, the RPG community has not compromised any of its standards, just changed them. In the end, everything is made in attempt for the better. After all, we the consumer just want the best game out there, and the developers just want to make a decent profit. If he can't accept it, too bad. It really is his loss.

[ I think another of his main points wasn't that he wanted games to all be the same, but that they were following this 'new' trend, (take psycho-freaked out main char, add tee-hee girly, a big guy who beats stuff up, mix in a bowl, add 2 eggs, package, make millions) which he felt was very anti-RPGesque. I can see where he was comin' from. ] J. Chow

 
.. number 3!
Brad, considering how relaxed of a guy you are about the whole old school/new school crap, and how you rightly decide to judge a game on its own merits without holding it up to the over-hyped memories of its predecessors, why do you print crap like this from people who are mired in the past? I've held my tongue for the past 18 months I've been coming to RPGamer, which really isn't easy for an opinioned Poli-Sci major like me, but now the floodgates are finally gone. These people who idolize the SNES games are doing the same thing as the people they criticize! They ALSO buy into hype- the hype generated by themselves! FF6 was indeed a great game, but it wasn't the oh-my-god-greatest-game-ever-made (because whatever that is, it still hasn't made yet, unless it's Monster Rancher 2). They've simply built it up into something absolutely, inescapably perfect in their minds, when I can remember a few flaws back when I played it through an unknown number of times (like that horrid glitch with Relm's Sketch that causes the game to go all to hell if you use it in most of the places you would want to use it in, or the way the innate power levels were so uneven between the people).

[ Self-induced hype is also thinking for oneself, one of his main points. *shrug* By the way, there are countries in this world which mentioned that whole .. "Monster Rancher" thing can get you shot. Beware. :) ]

ANYWAY, the SNES-worshipping otaku are most likely immature kiddies who still haven't learned one of life's basic lessons: the world hasn't changed, YOU have (and now I'm addressing "them" directly). The reason the SNES things seemed to have the greatest plots of all time were because you were 10 years old at the time, ^/@#it! They were the first things you most likely played, and so nostalgia value automatically sets in. As an older gamer, I still think Dragon Warrior 4 was one of the greatest games ever made, but you'd likely pick it apart for its crappy graphics, "dated" storyline, "undeveloped" characters and such. That's because it's not your own little gem. FF4 had a pathetically standard-faire basic storyline, with characters that could not be placed in a current game without being bashed for how one-dimensional or commonplace they are. But I still love it, and you know why? I don't form my opinion of a game with others as a reference point, and certainly not ones that shouldn't even be compared to it (each FF game is so different from the others that it really is like the whole apple-and-oranges cliche). I'm not some miserable soul who can't enjoy anything made after his own chosen "golden age," whether its music, video games, movies, or whatever, and who therefore tries to make everyone else feel as depressed and irritable as him by trash-talking what they enjoy. If you can only enjoy one food, you're a picky eater, but if you can enjoy all the world has to offer, you're a gourmet (and probably fat), and the same goes to games.

[ Hey now.. well, I'm going after everyone in all this, but this one I can actually say from personal experience: I started out on the NES, and honestly, I really REALLY like FF6. And I can pin it down to one specific reason: they put new and interesting things in it. Dungeons you go through with more than one party, 14 different characters whom you could build and then choose from, each with unique talents that were VERY distinctive, (not just limit breaks).. the whole Mini-Game fever that settled in on FF7 wasn't a good substitute for interesting -gameplay- additions in 6. Just my opinion. I really like 6 though. ]

And finally....here's the big wrap-up, so PAY ATTENTION even if you have skipped all this- why are you writing out these extensive criticisms still? Do you think someone is going to say "Wow, I liked this game before, but now I realize it sucks, so now I should sit in my room pouting and only playing the same games over and over again as a whiny curmudgeon just like you!"? Do you think people really haven't heard this debate brought up a thousand times, and that somehow by throwing it back into the spotlight you're going to change anyone's mind? Would there even be a POINT to changing anyone's mind? Or is your whole existance really based on making others uncomfortable for enjoying the things they do? If anyone is sick of this constant, anal-retentive whine for games to start being how they "used to be," here's the simple solution- deride them back quickly and ferociously. Call them a nerd among nerds, otaku (in the bad way that that word was originally meant), losers, or whatever, and get everyone else who agrees with you to speak up, too. Drown them out in a torrent of derision, and they'll go somewhere else- hopefully back to their own little chat rooms where they can endlessly talk to each other in a smug manner about how they know what the "real" games are. Maybe, if they're lucky, the little emptiness in their soul from worshipping a bygone era that will never return will slowly eat away at them, and then they'll wake up.

[ His point, as I take it, is to hopefully bring some people into a bit of thinking about what reasons they buy games, and not to just go "oop, Square game! Instant classic!" I must agree that way too many magazines/fansites/etc are Square whores. They hold up games like FF7 and 8 as the pure measure for other games to be judged by, but when I think about last summer, it was SO2 that really was my favorite game, not FF8. I didn't HATE FF8, I thought it was fun. I played SO2 for at least 3 months. (shrug) ]

Thank you, Brad. Even if you don't print this, it was still highly therapeutic getting it off my chest, and I hope I might at least hear a response from you.

 
Hey, this isn't #4...!
That thing about what they did with FF9...ripped out its heart, then shoved it down its throat, then they chopped off its head....and on and on and blah blah blah...He copied those words off a very funny episode of a show called NewsRadio. Why people can't just make up their own bs to criticize something that won't even be out for another 3 months is way beyond my level of comprehension. People if you guys must criticize games, please...criticize something that you have actually played rather than something that you know absolutely nothing about.
 
Wow, this is honestly one of the best responses I've gotten about anything, ever.
Heya. Long time reader, first time writer, and all that good junk. I'm just here to make a logical point against Mr. Huskey's editorial/letter from Sunday's column.

Mr. Huskey's letter is basically one contradiction and one logical fallacy.

Since his entire position is summed up in the last paragraph, I'll refer to that. The contradiction of his letter is that he tells us to stop being brainwashed sheep by liking Square's newer games, and for us all to be individual, free-thinking, educated gamers by not liking Square's newer games. He suggests we not judge based on blind faith (in Square), but listen to reason. But this voice of "reason" is just a transfer of faith, from loving to hating Square. There is no difference in either position.

Second, he assumes his own opinion on what comprises good gameplay or storyline is objective fact. The statement that earlier games had better gameplay and/or storyline than recent ones is a completely subjective assessment. One could just as easily say the plots of Square's earlier games are complete crap, because they're all about a group of heroes who have coincidentally banded together to destroy a really, really evil guy. Or that with their gameplay, the most extensive choice you make during the game is whether to fight or use magic.

In reality, there is no objectivity or a standard upon which you can base how good an RPG is. It's easy to say that this game is better than that one because of this and that, I'm right you're wrong so neener neener (get all that?). But don't try to pass off an opinion as fact, or persuade people to stop being one type of sheep and become another. It's all...irrational.

That's just my two coinage units of randomly determined monetary value.

~Nick Fofi (yes, that's my real name)

[ Calm, cool, and accurate. "Impressive". That, and I love logical analyses. mmm.. ]

 
#5!
I wholeheartedly agree with Darry. Square has constantly pumped out games just for graphics, and have not even touched a single bit of "Character Development". They just want to pump out games to make money. I also disagree with Xenogears being the "Best RPG Ever Made.. yada yada yada". Honestly, there has been no "Best RPG". A lot of them are considered classics. Take the example of Final Fantasy 4, Final Fantasy 6, and Diablo. Great games. But not the "Best".

[ Diablo: Posterboy for "gameplay" er... ]

Most RPGs lack one thing, and that is the "Character Attachment" factor. What I mean is how well do you get to like your characters? I happen to like the "Attachment" factor that was put in FF6. I actually cared for Celes when she gave herself up for the party. In fact, Celes was my favorite character (and not for that "Aria di Mezzo Carratere" either). Final Fantasy 7 also made me care for Cloud when he was Mako Poisoned (although his inability to sit up in the wheelchair was quite humorous).

Now Square has taken over-dramatized situations and attached them to stupid, idiotic characters. Final Fantasy 8 was a great game for graphics, but for liking the characters, they blew it. Not to mention that the magic system was.... euggghhhh... let's not talk about that.

[ But Squall had personality.. it was just one of a dead fish! ]

Xenogears was an accomplishment. They had graphics (sprites and polygons together... ingenious) AND the "Character Attachment" factor. I felt sorry for Fei when he destroyed Lahan at the beginning. Square did it better than they had been.

[ I must admit that I never really connected to the characters of Xenogears, it was more like reading an interesting book with neat ideas. (shrug) ]

If Square keeps pumping out sequels that aren't true to each other (I.E. Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross), then consumers won't recommend their games to friends... I still recommend that people should buy FF Anthology for the sole purpose of a great and classic game... But I do not advise beginning "Final Fantasyers" to buy FF8 because of the clunky system and not well thought out characters.

I agree with Darry 100% because Square has taken their name and stamped it on bad planned games. If other RPGamers will notice these facts, we might just start a revolution against Square making not thought out games.

[ Revolt? .. burp. No thanks, I just ate. ]

Isfacat

 
Did you hear that? I think he likes you. He called you "loose".
O almighty Oracleshng (sorry, I get confused)

[ Makin' fun of the guy who gets to put comments in the middle of your submission; 4 out of 5 dentists agree: bad move. ]

I know you will get a lot of mail regarding the moron who was making ignorant comments about the quality of squaresoft games since the S-nes. Normally I would dismiss him as one of the many pathetic loosers who feels the need to rant on square because..... well..... I dont really know. However, this perticular idiot badmouthed Xenogears. Thats a No-No. I have come to the conclusion that he is obviously not intelligent enouth to understand the deapth of Xenogears. Examples:

[ Is everyone who didn't absolutely love Xenogears "loose"? Hrm. :) Any chicks out there thin-- *SMACK* ouch, long range smack fom outside this country. :o Ouch! ]

He mentions the gears working after Animus is destroyed. Ok, unless Animus is the Zohar Modifier in the japanese version(Which I dont think it is), he just screwed up. The gears are driven by the Zohar Modifier, which is part of the final Deus. All the gears work till you kill the final Deus. THEN they stop working, except Xenogears. That is powered the Wave Existance.

[ Xenogears is deep man! deeeep! *toke* ]

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but Fei never fights Id. Elly, Bart and Ramsus fight Id. Fei fights Ghraf, and AlphaWeltall does sort of look like Id's Weltall.

[ I thought I mentioned something about not correcting every point in Xenogears SPECIFICALLY. Too much "deep Xenogears" greenbud for you, you can't read anymore! ]

And there's more: Elly is never near Fei when he turns into Id. First, at Lahan, then after fighting the Dora. After you go to Zeboim, Elly thinks Fei is sick on the Yggdrasil. She finally finds out AFTER solaris, and once again, she is not anywhere near him when he transforms.

[ If you weren't so loose, you would have realized this. ]

As for his theory that S-nes games were all better, I say screw him. I still think that FF7 is the best RPG ever made. And YES, I have played most of the previous ones. I liked them, but playstation allows for much more deapth of expression.

[ That's right! My opinion is better because I've played more games than you have, even though I don't know how many you've played. And I experienced FF1 after FF7, so I obviously have a better perspective on its lack of originality, because I mean, come on, that's the BEST game they could make in 1988? Where's the FMV? FF7 is deep too *toke*! ]

Ok. I think I have now proved that I know entirely too much about Xenogears 8). I have refrained from very profane and threatening letter that I would love to have written, but didn't, for Brad's sake. As for you Brad, thanks for your indulgence to my longwindedness. Tildes. ~~~~~

[ People who sit through Xenogears more than once have more problems than just the inability to handle un-tightness. :) As for vulgarity, if you'd put it in here, you just would have been ignored. Stop getting so antsy about a guy sayin' something about a single game. ]

Thanks ^_^

[ And I don't buy in on the whole tilde thing, either. :P ]

Rahvin

I, unlike certain cowardly loosers who talk crap on Xenogears, am not afraid give my E-mail address. Its Rahvin7@hotmail.com.

[ "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." ]

 
Okay, the kicking dog comment made me laugh. :)
Threads of Fate looks really fun, as was Brave Fencer Musashi. The small amount of Front Mission 3 I've played is fantastic. I really liked FF7, although FF8 didn't do it for me. Legend of Mana is gorgeous and fun, although Secret of Mana was an all around better game. Though Vagrant Story didn't do a thing for me, it seemed to make quite a few other people happy. Parasite Eve was ok-ish, but FFTactics was a true classic. And don't get me started on my hopes for FF9 or Chrono Cross.

Squaresoft isn't perfect, but there's no need for this kind of backlash. What, did they kick this guy's dog or something? Also, there's other RPG companies out there now, he doesn't have to act like Square has a monopoly on people's attention. Working Designs, Atlus, Enix, and small parts of other companies are all there doing well in a market that Squaresoft is a part of.

James Cunningham

[ This little response pretty much sums up my attitude more closely than any other I've seen so far. Not on the games exactly, but in just the "I liked this, they could have done this better", piece by piece. Honestly, I think his (Darry's) point yesterday wasn't "hate all Squaresoft games" but instead, "don't automatically love them, give them the same discerning thoughts you give other companies" .. (shrug) Just my opinion. ]

 
Another intelligent letter.. you guys shouldn't have! aww
Fun-factor. THE single-most important part of any game. Throw out a complex, detailed plot, complete with endearing characters and great graphics, but make it a pain to play, and what do you have? Crap, plain and simple. Just look at Betrayal at Krondor (my opinion, of course).

I'm gonna look at this debate from both sides of the spectrum: that of the defender of newer RPGs, and that of the valiant crusader of the "days of old". A majority of us that started out with the early FF series (and Chrono Trigger) consider it to be the way rpgs were intended, and the way they should be. I'm one of those who really hit full-swing in my love for RPGs around the time when FF2a came out. Of course, when you've had your first time with something (okay I'll wait for a sec while the sexual jokes are made......there, ya done?), it becomes the yardstick that you judge all future experiences with. This applies to those who started with something like FF7, and then, at the nagging of others, went back and tried to play the earlier games. They can't compare. Those who first loved FF2 say today's RPGs are "easy, bland, and lifeless, with cliched characters, shoddy, poorly-written plots and overly complicated battle mechanics." Those who started on FF7 say that earlier games are "dull, with too many characters, not enough development, tiresome battles, and repetitive graphics."

So, who is right? Neither, and both. All rpgs, past and present, have their flaws. The die-hard fans of either side of course don't try to find flaws in their own faves, but have no problem pointing out the ones in the more mainstream, popular games. I'll admit, I have yet to feel the same as when I first saw Celes throw herself off the cliff in FF3a, but I too have been one to judge too much.

Everyone has their choice of what makes or breaks an RPG. Some say graphics, some say battle mechanics, and some say plot. I say a mixture of it all, aka fun-factor. Xenogears has better graphics, a more interesting physical combat system, and a more complicated plot than Final Fantasy 3. Yet Final Fantasy 3 has (debatably) better characters, a better magic (Esper) system, and a simpler, yet to many, better, plot. It is you, the player, who decides whether to let the games' flaws completely turn you away, or to ignore them and enjoy the positive aspects.

I say, just clean the slate, and play each RPG like it's your first. Quit judging, and go back to just having fun. You'll get so much more out of them, trust me.

Well, I'm spent. It's 1 in the morning, and I have no idea if this was coherent or not. I guess I'll know when I see whether it was put in the column. Of course, maybe it's just too long, in which case....

--Cult of Personality

 
 
Quickies
 

Do you like Umaro?

Brad: Anyone who throws Gau or Mog in such a way that they finally do some REAL damage is good in my book.


Nope, Ayda just doesn't come along. She just stays there. So my mistake, you'd be short two stars. Plus, Ayda is an Archer unit in major battles, so you'd be losing a great unit in tactical battles, too.

John

Brad: That's what I thought. :)


Rose's Demon Gate spell--am I the only one who thinks it looks like a Dragoon taking a crap on the battlefield?

JMD

Brad: Honestly, I thought she was givin' up a bit of the bleed, myself. Which is even more icky. Of course, in Astral Drain she pees on you.


Hey, you forgot to put M.I.A. under Heather. It aint Tuesday.

-Sean

Brad: Some days she's just more missing in action than others. That, and the MIA thing isn't in my template, so sometimes I forget to add it. :)


Now testing the OmniQuickie (it's 5 Quickies in one!)
1. In reponse to the vast editorial, I think RPGs still make plenty of sense, and the gameplay is different but not as much easier as the guy said. What I find is that none of the characters are having fun anymore :(
2. It's the Flea Bra, remember?
3. Either you people are overloading on the TMBG enough that even I become slightly annoyed by it, or not having listened to any in a long time makes me more easily annoyed by it. Probably the latter.
4. I played as a Blue Valkyrie myself, until my arcade got rid of Gauntlet Legends in favor of Gauntlet Dark Legends (I think that's what it's called). It's mostly the same, only with some extra generic dungeons and my character isn't in it.
5. If I were an RPG character, any (female) RPG character, which one would I be?
-Cantatrix

Brad: Gah.. that's a lotta quickie action.
1) I like bombs. Bomberman has bombs. Gimmie Bomberman RPG.
2) But that would suggest transvestitism.. Square would not have men dressing in women's clo-- er.. n/m
3) They Might be Giants.. and what're we gonna do unless they are....
4) Hrm.. ah well, I've got like .. 2 games beaten off my "unbeaten" stack.. not bad! I'm happy about it.
5) Matoya.
do-Do-doo-do-DOOO, do-do-dooo, do-do-dooo, do-Do-doo-do-DOOO, do-do-doo, do-do-dooo, do do DOOOOO, do do dittleydoo, do do DOOOO, do do dittleydoo!


How stupid can some people be that they don't know what M.I.A. means?

-Matt

Brad: *shrug* I dunno. Knowing my readers, they probably think it has to do with Monkeys.. freaky people, with weird monkey fetishes.


Dude. In castlevania:sotn,(if you ever played it,that is) did you ever notice that alucard, the main character, is dracula spelled backwards? Wow. And get some pants on.

Ozzie, son of dad

Brad: NO WAY! You're right!!!!! Ama-- er, I noticed this back in Castlevania 3. :P


Do you play Diablo II? What's your favorite class?

Brad: I don't own it (yet?) .. we'll see how things go.

 
Wrapping it up...
 

Okay.. I've quit with like ... 40 emails still in the box, guys.. I gotta get to work, and stuff. Sorry! See you all on Saturday...

Brad "Can I bum a sig off anyone?" Lohr
Be back tomorrow! yay!