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Friday, January 24, 2003

So the rights to a Metroid movie have been claimed.

A day later, Retro makes public their definite plans for a Metroid Prime sequel.

Am I scared or excited? Well, yes once on each. I'm scared for the Metroid movie. We all know how game movies turn out. Must I bring up Street Fighter? Or the corniness that was Mario Bros.? Or the debatable Mortal Kombat movies? Or at the very worst, the frightful piece of absolute garbage that will be House of the Dead? With Metroid, at least they've got down a premise that works. Not that that means anything towards the final product, but it's already a lot more than can be credited to HotD. And what about Samus? If she talks as much as she does in the games, it'll make for a rather boring movie. I doubt they'll do that though. They better not destroy Samus' image and get a bimbo to play her and make it something like Tomb Raider. Ugh. I can't see anyone fitting into the role of Samus... but that's just me being horribly picky. Naturally, if she doesn't strip at the end of the movie, it won't even matter what the actress looks like. Moreso what she SOUNDS like.

Seeing how my experience with Prime was, I'm damn excited about the sequel. However, Retro has wanted to do this for some time now, so the news comes as no surprise to me. Since yesterday though, I've heard whining from different directions that people are upset that someone outside of Nintendo gets to do a second Metroid game. People, Retro is not totally detached from Nintendo. They kept close contact with the original Metroid team during Prime's development. And Metroid Prime wasn't just a 'tribute'... it was part of the Metroid series just like every other game, and Miyamoto asked them because he knew they were fit to create the first 3D Metroid. And in the end, who cares where Prime was created? It was a great game, and if the same team does the sequel, then it gives us all the more to look forward to.

Speaking of The Big N, their plans to bring out a GameCube successor in 2005-ish doesn't surprise me in the least. With Sony and Microsoft planning theirs, I don't see Nintendo being stupid enough to let them get a head start in the so called console wars. Let's hope it's more orignal than 'Xbox2', 'PS3', or worse... PHANTOM. (Hopefully by now, everyone's had a good laugh at that.)

Well, that's my Metroid rant of the month. Let's carry on.

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UK Suikoden fans unite! ...Maybe, if you'd just listen to me.

Hey Liz and all y'all at RPGFan. Love the site, always my number one source on rpg info and you guys are never wrong. Kinda why i'm writting you this email, need some clarification, hopefully you guys can set my mind at rest.

I've heard a very discouraging rumour that Suikoden 3 will not be released in Europe. Now why Konami would do a thing such as this know i don't know, but as this is the main RPG that i've been waiting for on PS2, hearing that now is not at all the best news to someone living in England.

Anyways Liz, i was hoping you could set my mind at ease by telling me that its all just a twisted joke.

Anyways that's bout it.
Thank ya kindly, and keep on the great work.
Jay

Well, if the staff at SuikoSource aren't lying, the rumor does indeed seem to be true that Europe won't see Suikoden III. I would e-mail them myself, but navigating their site requires skills I don't have, such as getting past dead links.

I wish I could say it was a twisted joke and make a bunch of UK RPG fans very happy, but I'd be one big fat liar. being lied to leads to hate, hate leads to no letters.

I would, however, not rule out Konami ever changing their minds. Heck, I'd snail mail them if you could find their Europe office address, because snailmailing takes more effort than e-mailing and would most likely leave a better impression on them, especially if A BUNCH OF YOU (read: every single UK RPG fan wanting Suiko3, or at least as many as possible) did this. Can't guarantee results, but it's worth a shot. So move it. :P

Don't do online petitions though. Companies do not, I repeat, DO NOT pay attention to these. Ever.

 
You better not have a backlog after all that.

Yo Liz,

I suddenly had this urge to write in and here I am. Perhaps this is because (if I read correctly) you implied that you have not (and I repeat NOT) played Ocarina of Time. Now I forgive for not playing Suikoden 2 (although I shouldnt) and Final Fantasy IX (which is BTW the best RPG since FFVI)... but Ocarina of Time is one of those games every gamer should play (kinda like Shenmue). This is as close to perfection as it comes for game design and everything about this game is just about incredible. So please do yourself a favor and play this game... NOW!!!

Now let's get back on track... what games am I looking forward to in 2003? Well I am counting every second till Xenosaga's release. Im not going to elaborate on the matter but let's just say Xenogears is the best game Ive ever played. I really really want Final Fantasy Tactics Advance - I havent touched my GBA since Advance Wars and that was months ago... and it's the only GBA I am eagerly anticipating even though Ive never played the PSX Tactics...

Star Ocean looks very good even though I hated Star Ocean 2... too bad it's going to take a while for this to come out here...

Lets see what else? I'm planning on getting a Gamecube this year so I can finally play all the great games Ive been missing (MP, SMS, Starfox, etc). Zelda certainly looks great. But the Gamecube game I want most is FF Crystal Chronicles... It just reminds me of the good ol days so much...sigh...

Soul Calibur 2 looks good even though Im not a big fan of fighters. And I want more info on FFXII dammit!

Other games I really want but doubt theyll come out here - Venus and Braves, Tales of Destiny 2, Disgaea, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, Tales of Phantasia GBA...

Since I didnt write to you about the "Games of 2002" or whatnot Ill just write a few sentences about them now... how about a top 5 to make it short? BTW these are the games I have personally beat in 2002 (since I didnt get a PS2 until a couple of moths ago) so theyre relatively old...

Honorable Mentions: FF7, Rhapsody, Shenmue, Suikoden 3

Most dissapointing: Golden Sun, FFX, Legend of Mana

5) Paper Mario - the best damn RPG for the N64 (not counting Zelda). I actually picked this over FFVII for the 5th spot.

4) Chrono Trigger - I finally beat it this year, although I first played it a while ago... great game but it's shortness detracts from the overall experience and I dont care what anyone says about multiple endings...

3) Suikoden 2 - the story in this game is what made it so outstanding. Even though the graphics sucked.

2) Skies of Arcadia - this is one hell of a game. It's gorgeous and its cast of characters make it truly shine... I really hope you get it for GC.

1) Final Fantasy IX - this game simply rocks. Its gorgeous towns and locales took me back to the days of FFVI... the characters in this game are lovable (especially Vivi) and I loved it from start to finish. I highly recommend you at least try it.

Okay, I think I'm done, sorry my letter's so long but I just had to get it all out. Perhaps I should write in more often...

Sincerely,

V-DAWG

Well see, since I never had an N64 in my possession for more than two weeks, let alone those two weeks took place LONG before OoT came out, it was very hard to play or even own a copy. ;P And because I never owned an N64, I'm most likely not used to the controller either. I've seen OoT in action many times, and since I've never played any Zelda in 3D, the OoT bonus disc was great news to me. And still is, if I can afford it. (Even if I can't, Im sure I can borrow it...)

Before FFT Advance comes out, I should really get around to playing the original FFT sometime. Though, with FFTA's North American date being no more than a big fat question mark, it seems I'll have time...

Xenosaga comes as no surprise. Boy, have we at RPGFan got a few Xenosaga-related things in store for you guys. :P

If you can hold out until October for Star Ocean: Til the End of Time, it may very well be worth it. I heard mixed reviews on Star Ocean: The Second Story myself, but I'm still quite curious about it, as well as SO3. Not to mention how NICE SO3 looks...

I'm surprised at the number of games you were able to play last year. I had a lot of free time (for a while)... and I still didn't play nearly as much. At least you got to catch up big time though. Anyway, in defense of Chrono Trigger... how long do you expect an SNES RPG to be? Most RPGs from that generation of games were only 5-10 hours longer, really. I think the replay value makes up for it as well.

I'm not much of a fighter person myself, but SC just seems to have a bit more mass appeal than, say Tekken and King of Fighters, other than the fact that there IS Link and a Tekken character in different versions of SCII. Oh, and Spawn, but who cares? Not me, anyway.

I think I'm going to spend years playing catch-up...

 
What I want for V-Day: DMC2. Talk about ROMANTIC.

My two big upcoming RPGs both apparently come out in February: .hack and Xenosaga. I am more than a little excited; I've been waiting on those two titles in particular for months. Maybe even years for Xenosaga.

Oh, and I'd like to pick up The Sims on PS2 as well. And then there's the new Star Ocean; I forget when that one's coming along. And Dark Cloud 2. And Silent Hill 3. And SimCity 4. Heh. And right now I can't even afford to put gas in the car.

The bad thing about all these upcoming games is that I've still got Suikoden III, Vice City, Phantasy Star Online (for GC and without the online hookup, but even so), Animal Crossing, Arc the Lad 3 and a couple of Resident Evils left over from last year. Though Animal Crossing isn't really a play-this-exclusively-for-three-hours kind of a game, so maybe it doesn't belong on the list. Either way, that's still quite a backlog.

Not that I'm complaining about this rush of interesting games or anything, but...I'm just a mite overwhelmed. They just keep coming out and coming out, and my need-to-play list just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

The plus side (?) is that valentine's day, my girlfriend's birthday, and our anniversary all occur in very quick succession in the coming months. Which virtually ensures my brokeness for the next sixty days or so. This renders it difficult to worry about any or all of these upcoming games, and thus I can use the time to kill the backlog instead of just reeling in the face of newfound pauperocity.

Excited though I am about all this new stuff, by the time I can actually get my hands on them they might already be PS2 Classics. Which means I can nab them for 20 bucks! I am crazy like a FOX.

-TV's Adam

Wow, The Sims to be a pretty big deal... I'm so out of tune with the world of Sim games, that I was a bit surprised to see that on the cover of this month's EGM. I wish I could say I was interested or not, but I have too many games on my mind to care either way.

I'd say the best picks out of your 2003 must haves would be Xenosaga, Star Ocean, maybe Silent Hill 3 and gas for your car. As for what you've got in your backlog, I'd play Suikoden III, the RE games (if they're GC remakes) and Vice City first. But, that's just me. PSO, IMO, isn't quite the same when you play offline. Even if you don't have to interact with a bunch of lamers, but you could avoid that online anyway and grab some friends and play in a locked, uh, game.

Like everyone else I'm sure, I've got the same problem. 2002 games needing to be played, 2003 games coming my way which will demand time, and I've also got a review to do. Not to mention that huge backlog of pre-2002 games. *cringe*

As for the expensive time of year, I know and feel your pain rather well. Christmas, both our birthdays AND the anniversary all happen within a week and a half of each other. Yikes. How do I handle it? By being rich during the rest of the year... Hah, I wish.

 
Konami, look what you have done.

Im absolutely fuming. Im a PAL gamer who's just heard the mind-blowingly awful news that Suikoden 3 will not be released in PAL using countries. We PAL rpg fans have had to put up with a lot of bad stuff in our rpg lives - namely mountains of great rpgs that never see the light of day over here - but this has got to be the last straw.

Just as i thought the future for us PAL rpg fans wasnt looking so bleak, along comes this bombshell, denying us THE rpg of the year. As if the original news that we were getting it in September 2003 wasnt bad enough, its infinitely preferable to not getting it at all!!!!

I feel utterly betrayed by Konami, my once-favourite games company. Damn them!!!!! I mean, i know people who BOUGHT a Playstation 2 for this game! a video of it came with a PS2 magazine cover-disk over a year ago! Konamis utter disregard to us and the 'oh, its just them' way of breaking the news sets me grinding my teeth to dust!

But still, whats the point in moaning about it? Why should i be bitter because i AM English and theres an ENGLISH LANGUAGE version of Suikoden 3 out there, and some American kids playing it, and I CANT!!!!!!! I mean, im only European, arent i? Im the lowest form of life to rpg makers. Forgive me for speaking out of turn - ill just wait in the gutter with all the other vermin, waiting for some obscure games company to throw me a crap rpg like Blaze and Blade, while thousands of American kids play games like Suikoden 3.

And the worst thing is, the whole thing will just blow over and be forgotten, because NOBODY cares about us! If it had been denied a US release, boy o boy, the swords would be out and war would be declared. Sites such as this would demand it be released and petitions would be signed by thousands. But nope, were just nothing... you may feel a pang of pity, but dont worry, it'll soon pass. You'll just go back to playing Suikoden 3 while we sit in silent rage. From now on, Konami games are banned in my house. im absolutely fuming!

There you have it folks, yet another opinion on the Suikoden III cancellation. (Are any of these opinions positive? Of course not.) So... check out my advice, a couple of letters above. ...What the heck is Blaze and Blade?!

...I wonder if Konami could get away with releasing even an English version of the game. One already exists, just not in PAL form.

 
.hack fix times three, to be exact...

Hey Liz,

Looking at the lineup for this year, I definitely need to get a PS2. The .hack series looks incredible, plus I would also get my anime fix with the OVA being packed in with each chapter of the series. Xenosaga is another game on my wish list, just look at my name to know that I'm a huge xenogears fan. According to Vic on the Working Designs Message Board, Growlanser II is close to done, so a release of that this year may be possible. Of course, that is if there aren't any delays form Sony's testers (Arc Collection), or a blizzard stops distribution (Lunar 2). If I can get a mod chip, or at least a Japanese PS2, there is also Sakura Taisen that I'd love to get.

By the way, last time I wrote, you said that there wasn't a license for a Chobits US release. Actually, Pioneer Animation seems to have licensed the series back in July '02, and the first volume is scheduled for release on March 11. I ended up coming across the July date when I was trying to find out some information on when they had licensed the Sakura Taisen movie, which ended up being at the same time.

Xeno

You don't have a PS2 yet? What's wrong with you?

Actually, I need one too, since I only have a Japanese one, and the North American NTSC one I have is borrowed. I say get a mod chip for yours, it would be much much cheaper... Trust me, I know this from experience. (However, I did not have the option of a mod chip at the time. Xenosaga is a dual layered DVD, and less likely to play on a modded PS2...)

Remember, 'this year' in WD language means next year to the rest of us. And... that's all I have to say about that.

As for Chobits, well... that's what a ton of people had told me, anyway. Maybe they just said that because they were unaware - I mean, it's hard to be aware when there's nothing out yet. I'm interested in seeing Sakura Taisen in English...

 
I want to call down a nuclear strike upon Microsoft's HQ...

Hello there,

This is my first time writing in to your mailbag. Truth is I just recently found your site, and I love it. I think I wandered here off of a link on Atlus' site. But this is great!

What am I looking forward to in 2003. Well besides the obvious, Xenosaga (I had my girlfriend reserve it for me, I am currently overseas on business we could say) the new zelda, and of course the Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles and X-2. But mainly, surprisingly, the games I am most looking forward to aren't even RPGs. The rumored sequel to ICO is pretty high on the list of most anticipated, but it is struggling against Starcraft:Ghost for the number one spot.

At first I thought the idea of a sequel to ICO was a horrible horrible idea. I mean ICO was an awesome game. But a sequel? It almost stains the beauty of what ICO is to make a sequel to it. I know games are simply made to make money for the people who make them, but ICO was a work of art. A sequel has little chance of being an empty rehash of something great. But my curiosity is there. My curiosity coupled with the fact that there has been little to no news about the forthcoming sequel makes it even worse.

And Starcraft: Ghost. I loved starcraft. It took many many of my nights way from me. Endless nights. But now the chance to move among the units I am used to seeing as tiny 2D sprites? To be down next to them, not looking at them from an isometric point of view. To kill them with my own (well not MINE but my character's) hands, not a clicking mouse. Sounds awesome. And to be a Ghost unit is even better. I read an interview with one of the developers where their eyes sparkled when they got to show the interviewer the ghost calling down a nuclear strike. I want to do that! In a video game of course, real nuclear war doesn't really excite me in any way...

Again I love your site.

--Matt

I hang my head in shame for never having played ICO. I do hear that it sells for cheap now, so I could always pick one up, but I don't want to make my backlog bigger. The ICO team is definitely working on, well, SOMETHING, but whether it's an actual sequel or not, I guess we'll see with time. Of course, if it turns out to be anything slightly similar to ICO, fans will be into it anyway I'm sure.

And StarCraft? Uh... not exactly my field of expertise. *sweatdrop* Though speaking of nuclear war... not that the war against Iraq would BE one entirely, but am I the only one who's happy that France and Germany are opposed to it?

I do like your RPG choices, very much so. Those are all the games I'm looking forward to most at this point RPG wise, plus Star Ocean. And um, Devil May Cry 2. That's an RPG, right? Well, if this site is --- no, I won't say it. Not here.

 
Yay for backlogs.

Hey, Liz. How are you?

First, I'd just like to say that it feels good to know that I'm not the only person with a terrible backlog of games I need to beat. Unfortunately, my list is about 5 times as large as yours and some of the games I've been meaning to beat for over a year. I don't even want to say the names of most of the games, because it would just end up in total humilation. Seriously. This list has some old games on it. Ugh. I need another vacation to play this crap.

Anyway, games of 2003 I'm looking forward to. I haven't really looked too far ahead in the release list this year, so I don't have many games on the list.

1) Xenosaga - I actually just got around to playing Xenogears (not very far in it, though), and WOW. It's damn good. I'm going to try and beat Xenogears before I get Xenosaga, but that might not turn out exactly as I plan it. I probably won't end up getting Xenosaga very soon after its release anyway, though. But, I'm still very excited about it and can't wait to play it.

2) Skies of Arcadia Legends - Yeah, this comes out in, like, 3 days (or it could already be out by the time you read this), but I'm still anticipating it. I never played SoA for DC because, well, I didn't have a DC. And since people don't shut up about it, I've decided to check SoAL out. Hooray.

3) Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - I can't put my excitement for this game into words. Well, I probably could, but I'm lazy. The game looks (visually) incredible. I don't care what other people say. And I'm sure it'll play just as well as Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. I've got my copy pre-ordered. Woohoo!

4) .hack - It looks pretty nifty, I'd say. I think I'll rent it first, though. Apparently it's pretty short.

5) Star Ocean: Til the End of Time - Don't know a damn thing about the rest of the games in the series. But hey, this one looks good.

6) Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life - I love the Harvest Moon series, so, naturally, I can't wait for this game.

Hmm...I think that's it, as of now. I'll probably look at a magazine or site about 10 minutes after sending this e-mail and find out about another game I really want this year, but, oh, well.

Thanks for your time! Seeya.

Okay, if you want to see a LOT of people with gaming backlogs, go check out our forums, and the appropriate thread on General Discussions. I'm quite surprised at all the backlogs bigger than mine - big to the point of 'disappear for five years to beat them all'.

You're one of the first people to really like Xenogears in the beginning that I've heard of, other than myself. After Fei leaves Lahan, the game gets a tad boring for 5-10 hours then picks up again plotwise and all that. Seriously, if you want a good story and can put up with tons of text, Xenogears is great. Xenosaga's not very closely linked story wise, but some similarities are there, and Xenosaga also focuses on story big time.

I know how you feel about people not shutting up about Skies of Arcadia, trust me. Zelda: WW does play a lot like the N64 Zeldas, which comes as no surprise... and is a great game overall from what I hear, from all of one person I know who finished the Japanese version. Ura Zelda, I'll warn you, is supposed to be a pain in the ass. And .hack IS quite short... I mean, with four volumes, an anime AND OVA, I wouldn't want them all to be 80 hour games either.

Other than that, great choices... again. I'm still waiting for someone to say they anticipate one of those whacked out Japanese RPGs...

 
Innovation and more innovation.

Hey Liz,

I don't think 2003 is going to be all that big of a year for me sadly. Although there is quite a few games I am looking forward to at the moment:

Zelda (GC)
Neverwinter Nights Expansion
Xenosaga
Star Ocean 3
Devil May Cry 2
Breath of Fire

And one other title. As an RPG fan this one seems quite interesting to me. It's project name is X.2, being developed by a much smaller gaming company called Crossbeam Studios. It's combining a lot of cool elements, really kicking up the gameplay aspect. Normally when you play an RPG, it's the engrossing story that really drags you in. Sure, casting magic is nice, summoning creatures or even performing a devestating combo, but this one is.. different. From what I have heard from an inside source weapon to weapon action will rival even that of Devil May Cry. The item system will compare to even Neverwinter Nights and the story will truly bring back the medieval feeling. I will be sure to give you guys any other info I can get, my inside source doesn't want to much leaked.

Anyway, take care.

If you do get to playing all those games this year, that'd still be a fairly big year in gaming.

From what you've leaked so far, it sounds like an interesting RPG, especially the weapon system possibly rivaling DMC. :P Not that it's a lot of info, but it sounds quite unlike traditional RPGs for the most part, and I can't comment on the item system in NWN. It may not be much to go by, but I wonder how big this project is, and if we'll end up covering it in the future.

 
Closing Thoughts

Well, I finally finished up a Mailbag this week. 'Twas a busy week for me, starting yet another new job and all. Anyway, if you haven't told me yet what you're looking forward to this year, do so. Please. I might have a guest host or two after the next update for a few reasons, but I'll go into more detail in the next update. You still send your letters to the same address though, so don't worry.

~ Liz, deprived of... love. Yes, that's it, love. (letters@rpgfan.com)



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