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Saturday, January 18, 2003

Well, I've been wondering what to play first, while waiting for Xenosaga (if I can't get my grubby hands on a reviewable that is!). See, I have Suikoden III, Kingdom Hearts and Mario Sunshine... and I know I won't be able to beat them all by February 25. Depending on when I get Xenosaga, I could probably beat one or two. KH isn't mine though, so I thought about finishing that off first... nope. Someone wants to borrow Suikoden III. :P Whee, wish me luck. This is going to require a lot of motion sickness pills. With less time on my hands, I'm sure I'll be missing out on a lot of games in the first half of this year.

I was going to rant about the possibility that Suikoden III won't be in Europe at all, but since someone wrote in about that, I'll rant later on. Lucky you.

By the way, next time I get an e-mail asking why Yuna is 'fat' in FFX-2, I'm going to ignore it and suggest that anyone who actually writes something like that to me, think again about why I'd even put up something like that. Oh, and get your eyes checked. How the heck does she look fat?

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DBZ game? Recommended? Riiiiight.

Howdy. This is my... mmm... 4th E-Mail to you?

Anyways, What do you think about FFX-2? are you excited? will you buy it? I'm pretty excited, playing that kind of sequel. Paine... I like her. I think Square had someone like Lulu on their minds. And another thing... have you noticed most RPG girls don't use swords? that's what I like about FFX-2. Anyways. Comment on this one... I spend my money on bad games. First, I bought Kingdom Hearts (Don't worry! It's not one of the bad games list. It's actually one of my favourite games ever) which is excellent... and then... I bought... Budokai ^_^;. Dunno why I did it. I thought it looked kinda good. Well... NOT. It is a huge disappointment. Maximo too. It costs alot of money, but it isn't worth it. Well... the true reason of this E-Mail is to ask you if you can recommend on some PS2 games (RPG's, Action, Fighter). You see.. because I spend all of my money on that Budokai and Maximo and I don't wanna do that mistake again. (BTW, I live in Europe so I can't buy those North-America released games.

A few games -I- recommend:
KH (what else?)
SSX Tricky (Excellent! Even those RPG freaks would love to play that game.)
And... damn. The few last games I bought were crap! Damn! I leave the rest to you ^_^.

BTW... yesterday, I've been to my friend's house and played some Onimusha 2. It's just like Onimusha. Even the same defects (dubbing, god.) I didn't really like Onimusha... so I can't recommend on that game.

DBZ Budokai: Well, first thing is you can't jump in this game and everyone have the same moves (PPPPE). The graphics is awful, and it's so far from the series. I really DON'T recommend on this game. A total waste of money. BTW, you finish the game in about 4 days and that's it.

Even for the biggest DBZ fans, NOT recommended.

Thanks alot Liz. Seriously, I never thought there was a girl gamer ;).

Final Fantasy X-2 just has so many neat things about it, from changing jobs in mid-battle to the chain attacks, I can't help but be curious. Plus, being the first FF sequel, well, ever, I'd like to see how it's pulled off. And love it or not, I was a fan of FFX, moreso than many FFs in the series, and pathetic as it is, I cried at the end. Yeah, I'm a wuss. :P I know, a lot of people were appalled at first sight of FFX-2. But let the screenshots and gameplay info trickle in, and minds can be changed. Undoubtedly we won't be seeing this game before spring, so there will definitely lots to say about it after E3.

Wow, I sure know what games to stay away from. By natural instinct, I stay away from anything that even has a trickle of 'DBZ'.. I dunno, I think it gives me an ugly rash or something. Seriously. And the doctors can't help me... it has nothing to do with the fact that I don't WANT them to, really! *cough*

You know, while Onimusha 2 isn't my type of game, I watched the Japanese version for a little bit, and thought to myself how it would make an interesting strategy RPG. Not two months later, Onimusha Tactics was announced... the only Onimusha game we cover, at that. Go figure.

Hmmm.. Playstation 2 RPGs. Well, I'm going to have to vouch for, once again, Suikoden III. As well as the upcoming Xenosaga, and Star Ocean: Til The End Of Time if you're a tri-Ace fan... heck, even if you're not. I'd go farther back in PS2 RPGs, but I don't know what you've played, other than Kingdom Hearts. And we all know it's hard to suggest games when I don't know what you've played already... I haven't ventured far into the library of PS2 games, though I did like MGS2 and Devil May Cry... which reminds me, I ought to suggest DMC2 as well. I'm also a really bad person to ask about fighting games, but I do have friends who won't shut up about Tekken...

 
Xenosaga > Wild Arms 3

Hey Liz,

Considering I'm still playing Suikoden III and have Wild Arms 3 and Castlevania:HoD waiting for me after that, there's a good chance I'll be knee-deep in RPG's in 2003. Not that I'm complaining, oh no, it's just that there are too many good games and not enough hours to play them (there's work to thank for that). In no particular order, here are the games I'll be adding to the pile:

1. Xenosaga
2. Star Ocean: Til the End of Time
3. Skies of Arcadia: Legends
4. .hack
5. FFX-2
6. & 7. Growlanser II and III (if they come out this year, *crosses fingers*)

And on a wing and a prayer, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, in English (one can only hope). Hell, I'd buy an Xbox if the online Mega Ten made it to North America.

Later,
Dave

You know, if Xenosaga's almost out by the time you finish Suikoden III, I'd skip the other two and go straight to Xenosaga upon release. Seriously. Xenosaga has all sorts of RPG of the year potential, whereas Wild Arms 3, for 2002... didn't. Star Ocean isn't such a bad choice either. It looks damn fun, and the graphics aren't too shabby either. I think WD apparently has a lot of progress on Growlanser II, but time will tell... I mean, what else are they working on besides those two games and the yet to be approved Goemon?

Too many RPGs, too little time. Seems to be such a common problem...

MegaTen? Here? Yeah right, we never even got Persona 2: Innocent Sin. We're more likely to see a Persona 3 than an English MegaTen. Which is too bad, really, since MegaTen is supposed to be a great series, and not all that much different from Persona in some ways...

 
Oh, the awesome selection we have.

Games coming out in 2003 that I am anticipating:

1. dotHack. The concept seems really unique, and I am very interested in playing this game to see how well it really works.
2. Xenosaga volume 1. Due to time/budget constraints, I'm either gonna go the Xenosaga or the dotHack route; I doubt I'll have time for both. But if dotHack gets negative reviews, then I'll go for Xenosaga instead. I've heard a lot of good about it, a lot of it from you, actually. :)
3. Panzer Dragoon Orta. Not an RPG, but the demo was awesome, and the game promises to be just as awesome, if not more so.
4. Soul Calibur II. I mean, duh. It's gonna kick.

Games that have already come out I would like to get to in 2002:

1. Suikoden III. The reason that most of us didn't list it in our favorite games listings is becuase we haven't actually gotten around to playing it yet.
2. Wild Arms III, maybe. It looks cool, but if other things look cooler when purchase decisions are made I may never get to it.
3. Sakura Taisen 2 and 3. I already own these, but see the aforementioned problems with not having enough free time.

=====
Aaron W. Thorne

Even though .hack's battle engine didn't seem all that shabby at E3, it apparently, is a real pain in the ass after a while, and just not fun. For more details on that, we will have a .hack Vol. 1 review up soon. It apparently works well otherwise, and is enjoyable, at least, when you can SAVE your game.

I tend to blather on so much about my favorite games here, I bet you could pull out all my statements of each game and make a review out of it. (Except it might get a tad repetitive.) :P Xenosaga's battle system isn't quite perfect itself, but from the sounds of it, is still better than .hack's. And overall, of course, I'd suggest Xenosaga first, but not to forget about .hack completely.

Even though PDO just came out two days ago, I've heard nothing but good things so far. Mind you, that's only two days, so that doesn't give me much time to really hear anything BAD, but, well, this is a good sign so far. Not to mention, it looked sweet as hell at E3... ah yes, everything dates back to E3 for me. To me, its not worth buying an Xbox just for the game alone, but if you have one already... well.

Ah yes, Soul Calibur II. I trust that everyone reading this has seen the screens of the home versions, yes? If not here's the basics: The system-exclusive characters are as follows... Heihachi (from Tekken, yes, from ANOTHER FIGHTING GAME, GO NAMCO) for PS2, Spawn for Xbox, and (we all knew this already, buuut...) Link for the GameCube. Pardon my fanboyish ways (yes, fanBOYish, as I'm not a Link fan as in *drool* that kind of way), but Link looks just awesome. Sorry but he does. :P It does make me wonder though, if SC2 has story modes... just how they're going to fit Link in. If they do at all. The story modes are uh, anything but top notch plot wise, so it really doesn't matter. I loved the first SC to death, I'll be playing the hell out of the GC version of this one as well.

 
As much as I'm into fruity games...

Hey Liz! I have a problem. Have ya ever played Animal Crossing? I think it's kindof an Rpg. Well that ain't the problem. My problem is the letters you don't have to write but I am addicted to the game and I wanna make friends 'cause in real life I have no social life. Anyway. I was writing these LONG down to the very last drop of ink Letters. I would write Bob (purple cat) a love letter just for fun (he actually raved to about how good it was. He said "reminds me of something my grandpa used to say" but I didn't think his grandpa would say the things I said in THAT letter he he he). Then One time I wrote this letter to Mitzi (another cat) an indepth letter about toe cheese. I would get nice responces and I made good friends. Well a friend of joe's came over and he wanted to use his character and write little letters to the animals also. So he wrote a letter to alll the animals. and ALL the letters were the same. They stated "hi" Thats it just hi. One letter wasn't even a word it just said ww. So For a week after he left all the animals were talking about was this letter it's so warmfelt. Some one must have taken alot of time to write it ect. So A little frizzled I tried to write letters the same way. What did I get? Hate letters. Every animal gave me hate letters. So I went back my old way but It was too late now all the animals give me is hate letters no matter how much I try. Do you or anyone who may be reading this letter know how to make good short letters to the other residents in animal crossing!? Please I'm desperate!

-The Lizard

...well that's quite the interesting story. :P If not amusing... no offense to you, of course. It almost sounds like it's based on pure luck, but since I've never played Animal Crossing, nor do I intend to, I really wouldn't know for sure. Do any of you people?

Try writing them letters in 133tsp34k... I wonder what kind of response you'd generate. Or maybe AOL lamer speak, for that matter. Speaking of which, there's actual translation programs for both of those.. ahem.. 'languages', if you're not familiar with them, I kid you not.

And here, I'm half expecting someone to write in and suggest to write a letter in AC, saying 'GIB LABIS CANIN PLZ.'

Help me.

 
...Triangle Again!

After taking a quick glance through the release dates, I have come to a realization: I know very little about most of the games listed!

Kimi ga nozomu eien - Rumbling Hearts? I know nothing.
Shadow Tower Abyss? Nothing.
Ultimate Weapon Girlfriend? Thankfully, nothing.

Here's something that I do know: the first half of the year is going to be pretty damn good for us gamers. A quick list:

Xenosaga Episode I: A German Subtitle - Amazingly, I've managed to stay spoiler-free for this game (knock on wood; I'm sure some moron will spoil that sooner or later). The anticipation is high. This will probably be the first RPG that I buy this year. I already own the phenomenal soundtrack. It's probably the best non-Ys/Castlevania/Megaman/Guilty Gear/Zelda/Ninja Gaiden/Tetris/Fester's Quest OST ever.

Zelda GC - Even though I can't remember its actual name, that doesn't mean that I'm not excited about it. I can't wait until all the naysayers about the game's graphics jump on the bandwagon when they actually play it. Will I mock them for their lack of faith in a Nintendo product? You damn right!

Final Fantasy X-2 - How do you pronounce that, anyway? Ten two?! That is wrong on a number of different levels. Honestly, I don't care much about this game. I just want to see a bunch of digital sluts prance around in outfits that would make Ron Jeremy blush.

Devil May Cry 2 - Oh yeah. There is absolutely nothing that beats mindless killing, even if your doing it with an effeminate pretty boy like Dante. Capcom = God.

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life - Even though I know next to nothing about this game, it will be awesome. It has to be. Why? Because it's Harvest Moon. Even the worst game in the series is awesome. Of course, I don't count the Game Boy versions. They just suck.

I'm sure there will be some awesome stuff to come out at the end of the year, too. I just can't think of anything. Oh well.

If I could wish for one game to come out this year, it would be for a Castlevania game on a NON-HANDHELD SYSTEM. That would reach a level of awesomeness that defies description. I'm not gonna hold my breath, though.

That is all.

The Darkrider

Really, do you expect most of the staff to know about these games? I only know about them because I post the news stories daily, but of course, I know little more than you do. The premises as we all know, are beyond scary... but never fear! At least we're not writing news stories on games like THIS. Scarred yet? Damn.

You know, I could spoil Xenosaga for you very easily. But you don't annoy the hell out of me, so I have no reason to. The best way to avoid spoilers is just to play the damn thing right away. Or like me, play the import. It might even be better than Megaman X7! *cough*

Finally, someone's actually looking forward to the new Zelda, and not complaining about the graphics. Awesome. :P You won't be disappointed, according to some people.

Yeah, who would have thought that a half-devil main protagonist would end up so bishounen... other than all those fangirls out there? Me, I just think he's cool, however, that Lucia sidekick of his could get annoying. I listened to voice samples at Capcom Japan's site, and she has this heavy, almost, slightly exaggerated Russion accent... gah. I guess I could get used to it, if she's a decent character overall.

There is, though some weirdass rumor (or is it truth?!) that there is a Castlevania in development for an unspecified next-gen system, though it's not said which. Yes, aside from Aria of Sorrow. I don't really see anything wrong with Castlevania on the GBA anyway, even if I don't own either of the two GBA games. Unless, of course, you don't own a GBA.

 
Late? Never later than me.

Hi Liz,

Well due to living in the UK my pick of 2002 pales in comparison to whats on offer in the US but I'll try anyway: I know its a bit late but....

RPGs:

1. Neverwinter Nights (PC) - the single player was great enough but with the addition of a powerful tool-set and with endless great mods already created by the community it just beat Morrowind.

2. Morrowind III (PC) - although I've only played it for about 10 hours or so its bloody amazing, great graphics, freedom, good combat/magic system and a multitude of sidequests and adventures to go on.

3. FFX (PS2) - although far from the best in the series the new level-up/experience system was great (and time consuming) and the plot wasn't THAT bad.

4. Breath OF Fire (GBA) 1 + 2 - great ports although dodgy translation in some parts.

5. Castlevania : HoD (GBA) - in my opinion not better than CoTM but at least i can see this version :)

As for 2003 I'd in a crisis :( At the moment I'd getting around to importing Tactics Ogre , Zelda : Four Swords and Phantasy Star Collection for my GBA. But the worst problem for me is Suikoden 3. What an amazing looking game! Everywhere raves about - it made it into nearly all of the staffs top 5 and yet it apparently doesn't come out over here 'till September !!! Or apparently Konami might not bring it out all due to language problems (it did take ages for S2 to finally reach here). I'm seriously considering chipping my PS2 and importing.. but as of yet i cant afford it ;(

Then there is M.Prime, Fusion was great and I'd still trying to do it under 2 hours with 100% but it pales in comparison to Prime - i have to wait until March for that. Who knows how long for Zelda, PSO 1+2 wont reach me till May i think and people look at me funny when i ask for a release date for Skies Of Arcadia. However there is a glimmer of hope mainly Shining Soul - sure its no SF3 Sc2/3 - but its something to boast about :D Finally do you know whether i can use my completed PAL save on Golden Sun in an import copy of Golden Sun 2? And do you think it 's worth buying an X-Box for Panzer Dragoon Orta?

Thx

-Pete

Yeah, I don't see what was so bad about FFX's plot. Very linear, maybe, but that doesn't necessarily make a plot bad. The battle system was fun, and not as slowly paced as in the past, and the option to switch in and out characters in mid battle was pretty handy, even if it did make battles easier. And it may sound really lame, but I really got addicted to that stupid Sphere Grid system. I'm sure you heard plenty about it earlier this year...

Language problems... I understand the game taking a while, but not at all? If Konami of Europe knew how many letters I get from their corner of the world, anticipating Suikoden III, they'd realize it'd be worth it, or at least that's how it seems to me. I'm just failing to see how one can have language problems in localizing a game, other than the time consuming part of it all. I know the Suikoden fanbase is very... fanatical and would be willing to wait longer. They'd HAVE to wait.

Well... since GBA games are universal and all that, I think you can use a save from an EU cart of Golden Sun in an US import Golden Sun 2. After all, since they're handhelds, GBAs don't have PAL and NTSC versions. As for the Xbox, I'd say no, but that's because nothing else for the system interests me. Though if you're a huge PD fans and see some other worthy Xbox games, then I'd say go for it, even though it is a huge investment.

 
Sega fanboys unite.

Hello Liz,

I was wondering if you had heard of any plans to bring the Shinning Force series to one of the new platforms. My older brother walked off with my Genesis version, SF 2; some years back, and I only just recently liberated my SEGA CD version of the game from my mothers yard sale, thank God I stopped that loss. That was my favorite game from youth ... as I remember it you had to achieve certain things during gameplay to advance to a new book, while for some reason it did not have the free range of motion in the towns as did SF 2 it was still the source of lot of fun.

I have sought out titles like this every chance I get. I bought Dreamcast for the express hope that they would release a version for it, after I bought the Genesis, SEGA CD, 32x, somehow I just didn't have the money for Saturn. If there is a Shinning Force available in the US for Saturn, I'm out the door! Since most of the titles available for the SEGA systems are now showing up again elsewhere, I was wondering if maybe you could make an old RPG fanatic's day.

The reason I ask is that I have finally started to burn out the motor on SEGA CD, and am hoping against hope that they revive this title now that people who may have played it, have gotten jobs in the industry. My biggest dream would be if they updated it slightly, but that is too much to ask of them, will settle for a straight move to Playstation, like Lunar Titles, and made available for the US, maybe like a best of games. If Atari can do it, why can't SEGA, sorry I'll stop whining; the last thing I'll rant about is that I've done my part to support them, is it too much to ask them to do this one little thing? I have always waited patiently for companies to make available games in the US and have always heard about the ones I missed out on, at 15 I was even trying to learn Japanese.

Use what you will I know I wrote a lot gibberish.

Nes Ikari Warrior, (Bring me back to Life A, B, B, A)
Tim

Shining Force plans... there were rumors for a while, but as you can see, nothing came of it. And who knows if anything will come out of it anytime soon, since the rumors had it that something regarding the SF series was going to be announced at last year's Tokyo Game show, but of course, nothing was.

I really don't have much to say to a long letter about Sega, since my first Sega was, um, the Dreamcast. :P I could go into some long explanation about why Sega might not be rereleasing said classic titles, but it's late and what it mostly boils down to is whether it'd be profitable in the end for the company.

 
Blame Sony.

I was reading your mailbag and somebody was asking the FFXI release date in the US so I thought i'd reply (and you can finally have people stop asking you if you post it). FFXI will come out probably 1-3 months after Everquest: Online Adventures is coming out. Why EQ:oA you say? Because to my knowledge, Sony is making that game. Also, Sony has to make the Hdd's or give permission for a third party to make them. If FFXI didn't require the HDD, it's safe to say that FFXI would have been out already. So, Sony is waiting for EQ:oA to get a somewhat solid fanbase before they'll release the HDD's needed to play FFXI. Sony wants EQ:oA to be the first MMORPG game out there I guess.

If I was square, I'd be pissed at Sony. They are preventing their game from being released, which is going to hinder the popularity of the game. I know a lot of people who have already imported the game because they are sick of waiting or are just sick of waiting period and have stopped bothering over FFXI.

-Chichiri

Well, it makes a lot of sense to me. Even though I already stated my theory/the obvious that there needs to be an HDD available here, I'd... actually forgotten abut EQ:OA. Anyway, since Sony Online's behind the entire EQ series, it makes sense that they're also doing Online Adventures. Again, it's hard to import FFXI, since you can't connect to Japanese servers from outside of Japan. I think there are ways around it, but it's just too much trouble for some people, and I know very many people who simply stopped caring - and I don't blame them. I don't see it as a huge loss though, since the game wasn't all that impressive at E3.
 
Closing Thoughts

I really hate running out of things to rant about. So just send in your anticipated games, among other things, of 2003 and why. Oh, and PayPal me some money while you're at it! ... Or, not.

~ Liz, in need of more strawberry KitKats. (letters@rpgfan.com)



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