Monday, September 23, 2002

I just lived through yet another of my ever-so-becoming-typical exhausting weekends... make that weeks. Call it nostalgia or just plain family amusement when you see people you haven't seen in several years, but it was a most amusing weekend. Not including my little drinking escapade on Friday night... which we won't talk about. Deal? Deal.

A friend of mine on IRC, upon extensive searching, discovered there was an original version of Simple and Clean (the English Hikari) - you know, as opposed to the PlanitB remix we've all heard recently. I don't know what to think... maybe it's just being used to Hikari, but the lyrics aren't quite as good in Simple and Clean as in Hikari. And yes, I know what she's saying in Hikari. :P It's not to say I don't like the song, which I do, but eh. I'm not going to love Kingdom Hearts any less. :P

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E-mail Daniel, unless you're a scammer from Nigeria.
We love free systems.

Hey Liz,

I might be getting a PS2 for Christmas. My girlfriend told me she might get me one; she told me because she wasn't sure if I would really want it or not, ya know? So I've been thinking about it, and I'm still not sure. This would be my first "next generation" system since SNES, which is pretty cool... ok, ok, she did get me a GBA last Christmas, but that's pretty much a portable SNES when it comes down to it. Anyway, I would be inclined to get a PS2 for two reasons: FF X and Kingdom Hearts. These games just look awesome, I would love to be able to play them. My gf's brother borrowed a PS2 from his friend and I saw him playing FF X... it looked incredible! Screenshots online don't do these games justice... And of course I could always play FF VII through IX, and FF Tactics, none of which I have played either...

So why wouldn't I get one? Well, it is a rather expensive present (cuz I would need at least one game too, right?), and the main thing: time! I've been pretty busy with a multitude of things, and I've been "meaning" to hook up my SNES to play FF IV & VI (I even got a new AV cord!), and despite my excitement over my new GBA games (Breath of Fire 1 & 2, Tactics Ogre), I have yet to really sit down and play them seriously. I really want to, but it's so hard to find time! So I'm not even sure I'd have time for a new system...

What do you think about all of this?

BTW, keep up the great work with the mailbag!

- DragonNyght

There are truly some visually awesome games out there in which simple screenshots will never do them enough justice, and Final Fantasy X and Xenosaga are two of them. Kingdom Hearts isn't exactly hurting in the graphics department either. Of course, there's plenty of reason beyond these three games to get a PS2... so far, it has the best selection of any of the next gen consoles for obvious reason - the most games so far. You really sound as if you'd love to play all these games you mentioned... but in the end, is a $200 PS2 as a gift going to be worth it if you have the time? Well, you could always make time to play games a little bit, but if you're in a situation where you can't really control how much free time you get... that's out of the question I suppose. She might be able to find you something for that kind of money which you'd be able to make more use of. But hey, if you think you've got time in the future (as in, after Christmas obviously) to sit down and finish a game or two, why the heck not?

Though I just looked over your letter again, and, like me, you own quite a few titles you have yet to play. I wonder if your girlfriend's offer of a PS2 would still be good on your next birthday... or next Christmas. Heh...

Who doesn't?


I hate school, and I hate the fact all these RPG's had to come out now. Ok, I'm in 2 AP classes, 1 Honors class, 2 "Scholarship" classes, Latin, and Acting (Want my honors diploma, so I had to take this for my fine arts credit), and my work load is horrible. I have a myriad of assignments this weekend, and very little time to finish Tales of Destiny II and get a little further in Kingdom Hearts, but no, I have too much stuff to do. I wish all these games came out over the summer; when I actually had time to game. I hope shit gets better for college, man...I know for a fact next year; my senior year, I will have 4 AP classes, and many other big things, so even less gaming next year. Ugh, sorry for the rant, I just want you people that have time to game to be GRATEFUL.


Rant? Pff. I get them all the time from people who are frustrated one way or another about their current gaming situations, trust me. Mine's not too much better, and when I do sit down to play something, I screw around in Fire Emblem or play SSBM despite the predictable result - in either games. If I'm not doing my 35-40 hours a week, I'm trying to study Japanese, work on something or other at the site, or have a social life. But yes, I agree. You people should be grateful darnit.
To be an RPG... or not to be.

Dear Mailbag (since I don't know who'll be reading my ramblings this time).

I was wondering, am I the only one confused by the multiple genres of game in the adventure and RPG realm? Or perhaps it's much of the mislabelling that's got me confused.

See, when I say 'adventure' the first thing I think of is a graphic/point-and-click adventure like Monkey Island. Whereas someone else immediately thinks Zelda upon the mention of 'adventure game.' But for me, I consider Zelda an action-adventure. It has puzzles like a graphic adventure, but it has action based battles, thus an added element.

Or there are those Japanese graphic adventures like EVE: Burst Error or Love Adventures like Never 7 that I prefer to call digital comics or digital novels. Because, to me, they lack the puzzle solving, inventory, and interactivity of western-style adventure games. But these Japanese games I've played follow a deep and involved storyline almost like an interactive novel.

Then there are those who classify certain games as RPGs which are not. Or are they. Are we reduced to the 'I know an RPG when I see one, but I can't explain what makes such-and-such an RPG and this other game not.' I remember when RPGs were distinguished by statistical growth systems, but some modern RPGs have done away with levels so are they non-RPGs?

As for me, I'll just play these story-centered games, enjoy them, review them, etc. But still, sometimes discussion is easier with simple labels as opposed to 'action platformer with RPG elements.'

Pardon me for rambling, but hopefully this will be some food for thought.

Blademaster Dezo

Me, yay me. This is normally my stint unless I'm on my deathbed or not awake enough... or just really lack the time.

The only one? Hardly. The line between 'RPG elements' and 'this game is a full blown RPG' seems to get more blurry all the time. And naturally, a game like Zelda comes to mind. I see what you mean about comics and novels though... and I personally prefer the puzzles and interactivity in a game, but if the story impresses me enough, I just might stick with an otherwise unimpressive game... depending. Things like music play a huge factor for me as well. As far as that mentality in which you quoted up there... that's hardly the general mentality of the RPG fans, as far as I can see, but I've definitely talked to people who had that attitude. Nuh uh. At least I can admit I don't always know a (not so obvious) RPG when I see one, when it's close to that blurry line...

And again, personally, it doesn't bother me what a game is classified as. If I like it, I like it. Though for the site, you know we have to distinguish games with RPG elements, and games classifiable as RPGs, very carefully around here.

Cynicism is the pepper of life... uh, yeah.

Ah Mike,

I must say, it's always a joy to read your replies. Sometimes a bit of cynicism is just what the soul (or whatever) needs. (Hiya Liz)

So, what was my last Origins update? I can't quite recall. Ah yes... So, anyone have any suggestions on names for the race who created Samus' suit, the planets (you'll have to read to understand, so there!), those cool statues, all those ruins Samus runs through, etc.? At this point, I have taken a break from the actual story and am just naming things, writing descriptions for the environments, creatures, technology, etc. (For a short while, Samus uses a energy shotgun.)

In other, RPG related news: No one around here wants to even try Kingdom Hearts except me. Are they right? Is the Disney/Square combo a disaster? Personally, I thought it looked kinda cool.

OH, everyone go see Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, it's pretty good. But don't go thinking of it as an action flick, just go. It's actually a lot better than almost every action flick I have seen. And it's better than XXX.


Er.. the Chozo race created Samus' suit as far as I know, and are also the statues where she finds all her items. The ruins in each game all have names... but I can't exactly think of them right now. Maybe I should just advise you to look through the Super Metroid player's guide or to play the game again, or all the games again, or something. Yay for attention to detail... something I need to work on.

And no, these people you speak of can't be right - or wrong, really. It's their opinion, and not your problem if they miss out. Don't let it change your opinion for Gods's sake. :P

Oh right... those games.


How come I still haven't heard anything about the Rikku and Yuna FFX sequels? Everything else at the Tokyo Game Show seems go have come to light except for those. Is Square possibly giving up on them? Or are they quietly preparing the American audience not to get them? If I don't get my FFX sequels the shit is going to hit the fan. Do you have any word on those games that I just haven't weasled out yet?

Your guess is as good as ours. All the information anyone has to go on, is an unexplained poster at Square's booth (we have some news story about it and a pic, in our Square booth report) with Yuna in a Rikku like outfit (but white), and toting a pair of guns, with two silhouettes in the background. Interesting indeed. So as you may have guessed Square's not given up on them, but we still don't know anything about a North American release... darnit all.
Random randomness.


You really dont know me well, but I am so excited I need to tell anyone who cares about video games. Game Crazy is expanding and I was just hired as a Manager of the encinitas,CA store. I am so excited!! It is like my dream job!!

On a down note though, there was no news about shining force at all. I was hoping to hear SOMETHING, buty alas,not a peep. All well, maybe next time.

One last thing, whats your feeling on an Onimusha RPG?

Take Care,
Mike Desjean

Cool, congrats... even if I've never heard of the store. Ah well, not everyone can run a GameStop! Though apparently ex-editors can...

Not a peep about Shining Force did I hear from TGS. I expected there to be more interesting news out of TGS in general, but there really wasn't all that much spectacular. I wonder what caused anyone to mention that there would be word of a new Shining Force at TGS. Maybe there's one still to be announced elsewhere, so maybe we shouldn't give up hope completely.

Ah, yes, Onimusha Tactics. Funny, that I was watching Onimusha 2 at the hotel room during E3 and falling asleep, and thinking of how confusing it looked and might work somewhat like a strategy RPG... but for the GBA? Eh? Ah well, I guess the GBA needs something other than Tactics Ogre and Fire Emblem (if FE even COUNTS, since it never came here and probably won't :P) anyway... uh, oh yeah, there is FF Tactics Advance. Oops.

Closing Thoughts

Um.. not much to say here other than you need to write and express your love to me. No, you stalkers, that is not an invitation. Anyway, I was supposed to be in bed three hours ago, and my brain's in shutdown mode. Yay. So write me and keep me awake!

~ Liz, the ever lonesome one. (letters@rpgfan.com)


Twitch Schedule & Status

Sunday, July 22
TBA • 10am PDT/1pm EDT

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT

Star Ocean: Second Evolution • 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Octopath Traveler • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep • 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Octopath Traveler • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Final Fantasy IX • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Speedrun) • 6pm PDT/9pm EDT

Octopath Traveler • 5pm PDT/8pm EDT

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Retro Encounter Final Thoughts ~ Lunar: The Silver Star

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