Monday, December 2, 2002

So Thanksgiving is over, you're all fat and plump with turkey, ham, stuffing, deviled eggs and what have you, and your wallet is fatter than ever. For now that is, until you head to the mall (or amazon.com) for the Dreaded Christmas Shopping Season(tm). Yep, it's officially that season, and whether you love Christmas and the joy and holiday cheer and all that wonderful jazz which involves Christmas versions of rainbows, flowers and butterflies; or whether you hate the hot, crowded malls, the equally cranky shoppers, the irritating Christmas music, and being reminded that it's the 'season of giving' every time you cop an attitude, it's here. Have fun.

Yeah. Fun. Until I get stuck behind the counter, which will be the only thing keeping shoppers from trampling me over, and have to face 10 hours of 'can I have 50 of each of these $1 scratch tickets?' For three and a half weeks, no less.

As you've noticed by the lack of updates last week, I went away. :P To a far away land (not really), a warmer place (well, it IS Southern California after all), this was as close to a Christmas vacation as I get. Sleeping in, my first American Thanksgiving, a pizza dinner that cost all of $2 between two people, two really cool movies and lots and lots of progress in both Metroid Prime and Fusion. Both of which I love more each time I play, yet Fusion's the one that tends to frustrate me faster as it progresses. But damned if I couldn't put my friggin' GBA down... as many times as I've gotten annoyed with Fusion over the past three days, it just gets more and more addicting. Eep. And all I need is two major items. And only if that damned SA-X would quit creeping me out...

Oh, and GTA: Vice City doesn't look too bad either. Now go read some wish lists.

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Pff. Rikku would look cooler with more clothes on.

Dear Liz,

well u said to send in your x-mas list so here it is lol
metroid prime looks great
metroid fusion must have
zelda for gba
That dbz game for ps2 looks pretty nice lol

I cant wait for ffx-2 to come out! Rikku looks so cool! O yah anyone else wish diablo II got another addon! Finally suikoden III rules i beat it but not as good as the first 2.


Well, I was going to compliment you on your choices... until I read the DBZ part. I hope that's sarcastic. :P And in my usual Metroid fangirl tenure, I'll have to strongly point out that both games are must haves... as is that frickin' classic Zelda. Oh yes.

I can't wait until FFX-2 either... now that the Japanese version has an actual date, I'm pondering putting my Japanese PS2 to use come this March. If you read over the news stories and pictures we've posted, you might start to wonder what kind of game it really is, like is it an RPG anymore? A few of us have said that already. I can't make anything of the battle screens, and they've said nothing about the battle system other than they've done away with the FFX battle engine. So... it'll be interesting to see. I can more than handle a bunch of Japanese text, it's a learning experience for me.

Metroid urges? You're telling me!

My wishlist for Christmas is pretty bare when it comes to gaming. I've already bought most of the recent games that I'm interested in playing. There's only one thing that I absolutely must have:


Other than that, there's not anything major. I'm probably going to get either the new Shinobi or the new Resident Evil. I might add that new Morrowind expansion to the list, too. It looks pretty good.

A short letter about a short list. Oh, well. Maybe the next letter will be a bit longer.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to kick Kraid's ass in Super Metroid. Playing through Prime and Fusion has awakened my dormant Metroid urges.


The Darkrider

Your gaming list is short too huh? Well, I did the same thing and bought (or in some cases borrowed) most of what I want thus far. Though Zelda GBA will have to go on my list, because I'm too broke to buy anything else for myself. :P Still, you have a longer list than me it seems. The new Resident Evil is... well, really neat graphics-wise... I can't speak much for the story, since I only saw the game from the beginning to about half an hour in. Shinobi... as cool as it looks, I still haven't gotten around to renting it, and probably won't get to for a while. But, I've heard good things.

Now, there can't be anything you could possibly need a GC BBA for other than Phantasy Star Online. And I'm guessing that since the game isn't on your list, you have it already... Of course, I could be wrong, but just in case, I'd like to hear some impressions. I've only heard some from two people - er, PSO whores, playing the import version that... well, they dislike it now to the point where they don't bother playing. I was kind of looking forward to the GC PSO too, so if you or anyone has any opinions, lemmie know. Please. :P

Gee, seems to be happening a lot lately. You'd think Metroid was a kickass series or something... and still is. Yeah... :P

Sunny means nothing when you're this far north.


Ah, yes, the gamer's favorite time of year is almost upon us - time of year when we can get games from our family or friends without having to shed a dime. And the launches for this year look even more decent every time I see a game added to the list.

My wishlist? Mmm, well, KH would be on it if I didn't already pick up a copy the first day it was out. I really meant to wait, but... My 'early' X-mas gift is gonna be the sign-up fee for Ragnarok Online - the Korean company, Gravity, has finally decided to start up the international version of the game again. Hurray! 'Though you do have to pay a $10.00 US fee. Not so hurray. Especially when that fee works out to be about - what, somewhere between 14 -16 bucks Canadian? But that's what parents and credit cards are for.

As for the actual console games, I'm having a tough time deciding about Metroid - I think I'm gonna get Fusion out of my own funds, and then wait 'til Christmas for Prime. And the newest Zelda, of course - my dad will pay for that gladly, as he's just as big a fan as my bro and I. Perhaps Animal Crossing. And whatever interesting PS2 games I hear of from now 'til then, 'cause all of them are slipping my mind at the moment.

And if I can manage to get a job at my local Microplay over the holiday, I might just have a field day. Try out the demos for everything in-store when there's no one but the manager around. ^^

Oh, and as to the Vancouver rain - hasn't it been sunny the entire past week, or is my mind just trying to forget the feeling of being soaked when going back and forth to school?


Well, I thought Vancouver was kinda sorta sunny at TIMES when I left, but today I certainly came home to a LOT of clouds - probably as much as you can even fit up there. :P Oh well, at least it's... for some reason, kind of warmer when it's cloudy as opposed to clear. For now that is.

Hey, that $10 fee is a sweet deal if you ask me. I didn't even know until today that RO's servers were up again, but Gravity miiight be trying to cash in this holiday season. That, or they got sick of all the complaining from international players. God bless those parents and credit cards.

As long as you obtain both Metroids somehow, you shall hear no nagging from yours truly. You're pretty damn lucky to have a PARENT as a Zelda fan (other than the benefits of a free game :P), but I also know of someone whose grandmother is quite into RPGs. Amazing. And here, when I tried to let my stepdad play Chrono Trigger, he acted like a damn 10 year old...

Hmm, PS2 games. Now, obviously I don't know what you have, but I'm going to throw out some suggestions anyway. If you're into that kind of thing, there's always GTA: Vice City, I suppose. It has some neat and amusing concepts, but I *still* don't understand the huge fuss overall. There's Shinobi, a neat looking action adventure type, Kingdom Hearts of course, Suikoden III if you're big on RPGs (and decent ones at that), and... uh.... uhm... stuff that comes out next year. Yeah...

Microplay, you say? Which one? Lougheed Hwy. in Coquitlam perhaps? Probably not, but it was worth a try. Ah well.

Hm. People are picky.

I've seen the new FFX-2 Rikku pics... I know she shows too much, but it's alright. I think it's way better than her FFX cloths. Some people I know say: "Have you seen the look of Rikku in FFX-2!? Disgraceful! Shame on Square!" So... what do you think of Rikku? and... I wonder what the jobs will be. Some say: "If this is one of the jobs, I wouldn't wanna see the others." You think they can turn into thieves and mages, or something completely diffrent?

Thanks for your time. "Elizabeth." =).

I dunno if I'd be calling Rikku and Yuna's new outfits that kind of thing, but they do look kind of uh, slutty. :P Sure, there's some parts I like about the outfits, like Rikku's hair, and both girls' boots, but other parts just don't make any sense, like Rikku's scarf. I mean, they may LOOK kinda trampy, but it doesn't mean they'll act that way in the game, and to be quite honest I don't see either acting that way, unless it's an act for... something. I dunno. And yeah, I'd really like to know how this job thing works - I sort of hope it's kind of like strategy RPGs' job classes, but I'm not too sure that's the case here. And I bet there's people out there who'd say they WOULD want to see the other jobs, because they, or at least Rikku, couldn't possibly wear less clothes.
I've beaten... uh... many older RPGs. Go me.

Booyika! I have already beaten ff7 8 9 and 10. I have the soundtrack to ff10, Legend of the Dragoon, and Kingdom Hearts. And for your information I've beaten legend of the dragoon, legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Kingdom Hearts, Chrono Cross, Threads of Fate ......and I think thats all. I know it's lame. But I'm working on ff6 and 5 right now. I like 6 so far. 5 was ok but when I popped in 6 I fell in love with it. Oh yes, future goals. I wanna get ff9, ff7, and Chrono Cross Soundtrack, I wanna get Final Fantasy Chronicles, ff10-2, Kingdom Hearts 2, Chrono Break, The sims for ps2, and some day I wanna get a Gamecube, 'cause I'm startin' to get sucked into this metroid stuff. Oh and one more thing. I'm in love with ff8. It's always been my favorite. I saw the commercial for it a while back and I had to have it. Thats why I got my ps1 back then. It's still first place in video game rankings in my book. ff10 is second, Kingdom Hearts 3rd, Chrono Cross 4th, and Legend of The dragoon is 5th. Of course ff6 is moving in on 5th. Ok how much time have you waisted on me?


The Lizard

Sucked into this Metroid stuff? No pun intended I hope. Still, you could never have too many Metroid fans. One day, I'll have turned ALL of the readerbase into Metroid fans... maybe! I wish! I can dream!

Ah yes, the fabled KH2... one day, we'll hear actual information, and from a credible source at that. Wish I could say I was looking forward to it, but with Metroid and all, KH hasn't been touched for a couple of weeks. Sigh. And with Chrono Break just as, if not more fabled than KH2, I've been getting rather impatient waiting for an announcement on that game. (Speaking of, you really should get FF Chronicles for the PSX and play FFIV and Chrono Trigger. Two classics, I tell ya.) That's quite a list you've got there though... FFVI's a great game, one of my favorite FFs, but give V a good chance whenever you finish VI or something. It's supposed to be really good, but I haven't gotten much of a chance at it yet.

I'd recommend a bunch more RPGs you might like, but you've got a few to finish first. Maybe later. And maybe if you get a GC and play Metroid. And other good GC games, like SSBM. Oh yes.

Ashes to ash--- wait, were DC's made of ashes or dust?!

Hi Liz,

I'd like to take a moment to remember an old friend. Yes, that's right, after so many years, my Dreamcast has finally passed on. One moment she was fine, enjoying a game of Soul Calibur. The next, it was all over. There was nothing I could do.

Oh, but there were so many good times. I remember when I first met you in EB, showcasing your pre-launch talents for all to see. I couldn't wait to get you home, plug you in and show you off to all my jealous friends. There was always so much laughter, whether it be with Grandia II, Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia or even Space Channel 5.

Like all good friends, we didn't always get along. Sometimes you wouldn't read discs, others i'd drop my controller in a rage. But the good times far outweighed the bad. Although I may be importing a new, modded Dreamcast, I'll never forget the fun times we shared.

Goodbye, ol buddy. I'll miss ya. *sniff*


Disclaimer: The above letter does not accurately portray my mental state. :P

Our dear old Dreamcasts can't seem to withstand our hours and hours of Phantasy Star Online, Soul Calibur and - God forbid - Space Channel 5, now could they? I've seen two or three collapse after hours of PSO, yet my own... uh, still runs fine and lives on somewhere in Alberta, where it was shipped off to thanks to eBay. (Yes, I had to say goodbye too.)

It's a shame the DC had a short life, at least here in the West... they may not be in production anywhere at all, but games are still being pumped out for the thing in Japan, and lots too. Of course, this is the same country who had one of the last Super Famicom games released in early 2000 and sell about half a million copies. The Japanese game market is definitely an interesting one, I'll tell you that much. I always considered the DC not too shabbily designed, plus having a modem BUILT IN wasn't such a bad deal either. And sure, the DC can be noisy, but that's a small price to pay to play some neat titles. Especially ones which didn't turn out as well when ported to the Playstation 2 *coughGrandiaIIough*.

But if you're going for a modded DC, all that doesn't matter anyway. :P

Squenix: It begins.

Hey Liz!

This is my first time to write in, but IÕve been a daily visitor to RPGFan since 1999 and I love the letters column. I was looking around on the net at about 11:30 Monday night and came across possibly the biggest news story of the year: Enix merges with Square! This is wild, at first I thought it was just a sick joke, but then I saw the story on other sites as well. As of this writing the press conference hasnÕt occurred, so many details are still unknown to me. This raises so many questions, like how does this effect games currently in development and the long-running series from each company? What about Square and EA? DonÕt they have a distribution agreement in Japan and the US? I may be wrong, but I think that EA and Square also own stock in each other. This means that EA might have something to say about the merger (through stock voting rights) before all is said and done. Sony also owns 19% of Square, which raises more questions. Will SonyÕs percentage of ownership be the same? But the craziest thing of all is that now one company will have some massive selling titles. Star Ocean 3 + upcoming Final Fantasies + Dragon Warrior 8. ThatÕs about 10 million right there. Plus all of their other numerous releases. This company is going to be a monster. No company in Japan will have more software sales, except maybe Nintendo. EA isnÕt that big in Japan, but is huge in the US causing Square Enix to not be the leader here in the states. This move will definitely keep Square Enix in the black.

But the quality of the games is the most important thing and as long as they get better or at least stay the same, IÕll be happy. Another thing is that maybe we will see some Enix games on GC or Xbox. I own a PS2 so it doesnÕt affect me, but we might see Enix drop its policy of only publishing games on the consoles (GBA & PS2) with the highest user base.

Now for my wish list. These are the games I would like: Wild Arms 3, ViceCity, Dynasty Tactics, and some others I havenÕt decided on. I already purchased Suikoden 3 and canÕt wait to play it since I loved the first 2 games. I love rpgs, but I also like other genres as you can see. Rpgs are my favorite genre, strategy the next, and action third. I also like certain sports games but not all. Another thing I need is another PS2 memory card and maybe a Network Adapter. The one game I wish I could really have more than any of these 3 would be the Dragon Warrior 4 remake for PSX. When they cancelled the US release I was so disappointed. And the possibility that it will come out here is below zero since the development company disbanded. I have been playing rpgs since FF1 in 1990 and love the old school ones. And since Dragon Warrior 4 was the only one on the NES that I didnÕt get to play, it wouldÕve been great if they released it. Anyway, it would be another game for me to beat and I already have so many of those. My current backlog of rpgs: FFIX, FFX, Dragon Warrior 7, Vagrant Story, Suikoden 3, Arc the Lad Collection, and Grandia. You may look at this list and ask if I ever even play games. Well between college, girlfriend, a social life and sleep, I donÕt have much time. But in the time I do have I have a bad habit of buying a new game and playing it for awhile and then getting a new game before I finish the first. Hence, the backlog of which I have completed each game about half way through. It gets worse; sometimes I forget part of the storyline or mix the storylines up. I need help. Too many games! And there are always more being released all the time. 7 PS2 rpgs in the last 3 months.

This has gotten long enough so until next time, take care.


Hm, thanks for the reminder. Need to update topic. :P

It took me until I stumbled upon the Square Enix story on Reuters to finally believe it - and eventually source them in the news update I ended up writing that night. It was kind of weird to hear at first, but it does make sense. Both have similar audiences, and have quite the talent, and if you put the two talents together... well, not that I know when this will actually happen in a game, but it's nice to dream, right? Anyway, I don't think it'll affect games currently in development, nor existing series from either company, or at least not any time soon. As for Square and EA... well, their contract ends next year, so that solves that problem, if it was even a problem to begin with. Also, I believe that when the merger is complete, Sony will own 8 or 9% of Squareif they don't already. And again, since Square and EA's contract expires next year (plus it was only a distribution contract anyway), EA won't make the new company any bigger.

Yeah, with the new company being this big, I don't see how Enix will be able to stick to one or two platforms. Of course, if that does change, it'll be in the long run anyway. These things don't all happen overnight, you know...

Seems that Vice City is on everyone's wish list. Now, if only you owned a GC you might be saying Metroid Prime... *twitch* Anyway. I guess it depends on the kind of strategy game, but aren't strategies RPGs? Wait no... I'm still really stuck on Fire Emblem. Gotta do something about all these obsessions. And then, there's always the import solution for DW4 if you have a modded PSX. I reckon you'd want to play it in English though. Unless you want a course in Japanese that won't end up teaching you very much.

Again, same situation like me, but even moreso than usual, except my backlog is bigger. Heck, I probably talk about RPGs more than I play them. Maybe you should disappear for a few months ("I need a vacation from it all! I need to meditate... yeah, that's it!") and catch up. I kind of did that, only to come back into the real world and fall behind in games again. Of course, the tons of good titles released in such a short amount of time isn't exactly forgiving either.

Gee, which Metroid could that be?

BOO! Miss me?

Uh, my christmas list this year is actually really short. Well, in comparison to other christmas lists I've had before. I tell myself that I'm just giving my parents other options in case one of the others went under, but I really want it all. :P Mine is just a gamecube, a memory card obviously, and the two new metroid games (despite me already having played through one of them 3 weeks before it came out, hehehehe). I may add on to it, but most of the stuff I was looking forward to is either only being released in japan just before christmas or was pushed back at the last minute. :( Oh well!

On a totally unrelated and random topic, I just spent 5 days searching for a single song from Chobits that wasn't in any of the soundtracks or mini CDs or anything and finally found it. ...... on an X TV series CD. ................... With Kamui talking throughout the song. .................... *sob*

Just felt like sharing.


I must be the only one who's never seen or heard Chobits. Seems lots of soundtracks and DVDs, but that's as far as it's gotten. I don't know a thing about the show either, so I can't really say I'm interested.

It's a short list indeed, but if you get all of the above, you'll be very very happy, trust me. Yeah I know, you're thinking 'well yeah, because I'm asking for these things!' But I mean, when you PLAY the Metroids, if you're a fan of the Metroids of old at all, you'll love these. A lot. Not that I need to tell you that about Metroid Fusion, which by the way is more fun on the GBA than on a keyboard. (I lack a gamepad.)

...Kamui talking through a Chobits song? What the heck? Maybe the song appears in both animes, but if it does... that's pretty weird. (Uh, have you/anyone seen the X TV series by the way? I'd like to know if it's worth watching. I watched the movie and thought I'd have liked it much more if it was an entire TV series rather than cramped into a couple of hours.)

Closing Thoughts

So that was a bit longer than expected. I'm off to my week from hell now. And I changed updated the topic a little to keep up with ahem, current events of gaming. You know you have something to say about it. Just don't forget between all those Christmas shopping trips.

~ Liz, who has been up for way too long today. (letters@rpgfan.com)


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