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Freedom French Fries
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

So, I contemplated, for MONTHS, importing FFX-2. And you know, the screens of Lenne and the Tidus lookalike almost did it for me. ...Almost.

So what does Liz end up importing in the end?

A FFX-2 poster calendar. 'Course, it comes out next month... but I decided to pass on the game in any case, since I've got a lot to play as is. And November's not too terribly far off. Ah well, I'm a sucker for pretty calendars.

Then there's that other pretty game that just came out in Japan... Chaos Legion, which, sadly, doesn't fall under our realm of coverage. Looks like fun too... and other than video footage, I don't know much about the game. I'm sure I'll get to drool over it come E3 though...

The sad part is, I'm really not sure what I'll be looking forward to at E3, since I don't even know what's going to be there. Of course, that's all part of the fun and surprise, and I know at least 90% of what Square's going to show. And of course, some Metal Gear title never fails to show up at E3. The major mystery to me though, is just what Nintendo's going to show... and all we can do is speculate. New Smash Bros. maybe? And, well, F-Zero is a given, hopefully in playable form.

And we all know what Liz's biggest wish of the moment is...

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E-mail Daniel, unless you're a scammer from Nigeria.
 
 
I don't mind leaked info.

Hey Liz,

Remember me, the guy that spilled a little bit of information about Crossbeam Studios (www.crossbeamstudio.com) RPG project code named as X2? Well, I hope you do because I have some more interesting details I would like to share with the RPG world at the great and loved RPG FAN! ::cough cough::

It seems as if this game may not actually have the action Devil May Cry does, I have been informed that they may switch it over to the traditional RPG layout, only playing as one character (similar to Vagrant Story).

The main character (which apparently doesn't have a name yet) is going to be an Elf. I haven't seen many RPGs where you play as an elf, so that's pretty neat. Since the main character is an Elf I heard they are really going to build off this to make a very magical, awesome first environment to really show what this title is made of (which I will be getting some screen shots that will be sent to you guys ASAP).

Now.. something that really caught my attention was a certain goal I was told they are trying to achieve. No one environment will be the same, nope - not one. Everything ranging from huge and beautiful forests, to isolated islands, to the top of high mountain peaks. Every place you visit will be original and unique in it's own way. Along with many different races, each so smart in a certain area, really building your knowledge for this RPG world.

That's all I can share with you guys at the moment, if I press my luck my friend may stop giving me details. I will send you guys more as soon as I can, when I can.

Sincerely,
An RPG Fan

How could I forget? After all, you mentioned a weapon system that rivaled Devil May Cry, one of my most beloved non-RPGs. In fact, your first letter gained some attention from CrossBeam Studios themselves. Read on:
 
Whoo.

I see we got a mention on RPGFan.com mailbag. Not too bad, being mentioned on a well respected site is great, especially when it's as big RPGFan. We are working on an RPG called X2, and the information was correct, however it's a huge project and I wouldn't expect it anytime in the next 2-3 years to be honest.

There are so many different aspects of the gameplay and storyline we're still trying to tweak before actual production starts. Combine that with the fact that we have numerous other projects in actual development (most with RPG elements and long storylines with heavy character development) and you'll begin to see just what's going on and why our games will take so long to finish.

Still, I'm glad someone liked the info, even if it was leaked. If you want to see more information about us, we just got a .com address, crossbeamstudios.com, and we welcome everyone to visit us.

By the way, love the site, keep up the good work.

Greg S
President, Crossbeam Studios

I'm not totally sure what companies read when they visit gaming news sites, but I'm actually quite surprised you guys noticed - that is, if you found it on your own.

And of course, if you read the first letter, you'll see that you get mentioned again and that a bit more info was leaked somehow. One good thing sure comes out of it though.. lots of readers finding out that the company, and game exist. I'd have to say that this game definitely sounds interesting, and I'm glad you're taking your time on it, instead of rushing the project.

Anyway, I wish you guys the best of luck, and I hope to see you guys on our pages when the X2 project is revealed. Everyone else... visit the site. Show some love.

 
More Xeno, and that's not the end of it either.

liz,

re: the question about how/if xenogears and xenosaga are the same story/universe/whatever...i don't know, but i did see a few more symbolic connections right from the start of xenosaga. 1. "ye shall be as gods" is shion's password and is also what flashes on the screen of the ship in the very beginning of xenogears. i'm pretty sure it's used more in xenogears, but it's been a while... 2. the "bling" sound and motion of the pendant the little girl is wearing in shion's "dream." this happens a lot with the pendant in xenogears. 3. the little girl herself reminds me of a young version of a certian red-headed whatshername from xenogears.

i am by no means a xeno-scholor (as my fuzzy xeno-memories will attest), so i'm sure there are many more connections than those stated above. i'll just have to wait (not very)patiently with everyone else for the next episode! (and replay xenogears a few times...)

xeno-xaq

Sure, there are a few connections.. but not too many solid ones. I mean, I found Nephilim to be a connection not because she looks like Elly, but because of her Zohar connection, but that's just me. The pendant is obvious too, and part of why she reminds me more of Sophia than Elly overall.

'Ye shall be as gods' also appears in the Xenogears intro on the Eldridge's computers just seconds before its crash. Instead they had 'You' though.. only a slight difference. I can't for the life of me remember when it's used in the game itself, or at all... and this, folks, is why I'm itching to play it again.

Anyway, there's still no solid connection outside of Zohar... and I don't know why this surprises people, because the games are so far apart timeline-wise. Wait it out.. you'll see the connection in future episodes. After all, Ep I occurred before the Eldridge crash. It'll be interesting to see Deus, hopefully the first Abel, and hopefully a bit of focus on the Mother and the Gazel Ministry. Oh yeah, and having all/most of those questioned raised in Ep I answered wouldn't hurt either.

 
The airships sound fun.

The sequel that I am strongly anticipating in my mind is a sequel to Skies of Arcadia. A true sequel (or a prequel; that would work too), not the Legends thing for Gamecube. I'm sure it is great and all, but I already played that game, and I'm not gonna buy a cube for it. I don't need the same characters, I just want the world, the airships, and the fun of flying around and finding Discoveries. Cutting down on the frequency of random battles would help a lot, too. And bring back the same composers for the score, as I really liked the music in the original.

I also wouldn't mind another Front Mission game. FM3 was fun, though I thought it dragged on a little longer than it should have. I'd like to see a mecha-based tactical RPG done on a current console so that the graphics looked good. :)

=====
Aaron W. Thorne

Funny, I've heard that a few times lately, since Skies of Arcadia Legends came out recently. I also keep hearing that SoAL is so good - better than Kingdom Hearts even. I recall SoA sequel rumors not too long ago, except I'd thought they were more than rumors. Maybe it'll still happen someday...

I'd wondered what had happened to the Front Mission games. Square really seems to like continuing all their series, so a new FM isn't so out of the question. if only they'd continue other series while they're at it...

 
Yes, it's a Dezo letter.

Dear Mailbag,

Since the topic asked for it, here are my 'wishful thinking' games. To be honest, some of my wishful thinking games are either already out or in the works. I was really excited when I read the news snippet that Funcom is making a sequel to The Longest Journey. It's a terrific game with a loyal following and the sequel will have some pretty big shoes to fill. And Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne is out in Japan. This is one game I badly want to play, given my fandom of the series. For veteran fans, a new Shin Megami Tensei title has been a long time coming.

One wishful thinking game that I'd like but is far from assured, is Persona 3. I loved Persona, Persona 2: Innocent Sin, and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. EP concluded well, but I still feel there is more to tell. However, if I'm not mistaken, EP is supposedly the final Persona game and Atlus R&D1 seems to have issues with the number 3. I mean, the last Shin Megami Tensei game was released on the Super Famicom (and even then it was a gaiden game: Shin Megami Tensei If...), so it's been a while.

Another wishful thinking game is a sequel to Car Battler Joe. Some major plot points were left unresolved in Car Battler Joe, and I'd like to see them expanded on in a sequel. Plus, I'd like to see the car building system expanded on.

Like a lot of Phantasy Star fans, I too want to see a single player, traditional RPG Phantasy Star 5. As great a game as Phantasy Star Online was, I didn't think it strongly connected to the rest of the series at all, save for a few common monsters and character races. A hypothetical Phantasy Star 5 does not have to be based in Algol (as 1-4 were), but could focus on post-Phantasy Star 3 where the people traveled to different worlds. But that's truly wishful thinking since Reiko Kodama and Overworks' (who headed many Phantasy Star projects) current baby is the Skies of Arcadia franchise and many phans, including myself, are not fond of the direction Yuji Naka and Sonic Team are taking Phantasy Star in.

Given how much I enjoyed the GBA port of Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars, I wonder if Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror may make a GBA appearance. I got into Broken Sword rather late (I never played it before the GBA port) and finding PC or PlayStation copies of Broken Sword 2 is difficult. I hear there's a third Broken Sword game in the works for the current generation of consoles.

And I'd also like to see more Shantae titles. Shantae was the swan song for Game Boy Color and is one of the best 2D sidescrollers I've played. I've heard rumors that WayForward may create a Shantae game on GameCube, but I'm not holding my breath. Rumors in the gaming world are often fallible.

I guess that about covers my wishlist.

As for lack of overworlds, it can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Without overworlds, the game's world feels more continuous and less disjointed since the perspective often changes. But for many folks, exploring the overworld is part of the fun of RPGs. To me, as long as it works in the context of the game, it's fine. A game like Grim Fandango requires tons of exploration, but it has no overworld and if there was one, it would kill the game and not fit into the game's world. A game like Grandia would not be much different without its overworld since that game's overworld is 'point-and-click' anyway and sometimes feels superfluous.

~Blademaster Dezo

(Oh yeah, and Dezo remembered another game later on:)

Hi, it's Blademaster Dezo again with another wishful thinking game to add to the list: A sequel to Tail Concerto. I really liked that game. I thought it was fun and very kawaii (cute). A sequel would be great, especially if it were cel-shaded since Tail Concerto lends itself very well to that.

~Dezo

Wow, that's a lot of wishes. :P

As far as Persona is concerned, since a third might not be in the works, I think most people are actually itching for an Innocent Sin port. Not that the odds are that great, but we can always wish, right? I do plan to play Eternal Punishment, I swear, but I don't know if I'd like it as much if I skip playing the first Persona. I haven't heard too many positive things about it, and EP is supposed to be the great game so... I dunno.

The only other thing I can really comment on is Phantasy Star... I've seen a lot of I-IV, and PSO was an obvious big difference, even to me. (I personally find PSO to be a load of fun sans cheaters, but I did miss having an actual story to pay attention to. I'm really not used to the online RPG thing.) A new, traditional PS is pretty much a common desire among the series' fans... and although the creators have mentioned that they'd LIKE to do one, again, who knows what will even happen. In the meantime though, there are still the remakes for the PS2... which I haven't actually heard about in a long time, but hopefully are still in the works.

 
This is making me thirsty.

About the overworld thing. I would like to see better water graphics. For example. I was playing Ico and at a certain part you need to jump from the windmill to a wall or something and I fell on my first try. You fall at the bottem of the winmill into water. And I loved how the water looked when I fell in. It had like a glossy look to it. And the waves were right on the money. I would love to see that pretty glossy lookin' water graphics in overworld view. Thats just my opinion.

-The Lizard

Usually in world maps your point of view is so far away from the water that I guess developers don't think detailed water doesn't really matter... I wouldn't mind it looking nice if you had to, say, utilize a submarine a la Final Fantasy VII. Course, I've got a lot more to ask for as far as overworlds are concerned... and decent looking water graphics isn't really at the top of that list.

Speaking of water, I like the water in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance... especially when you make your character run around in circles in it and the water ripples. Just looks so realistic...

 
Closing Thoughts

Wow... so soon after I get back, I go this long without posting an update. Me? Time starved? Nah.

Well, some of you slowpokes are finally finishing up Xenosaga, and ever so predictably, theories are abound, whether how things will get resolved in Episode II, or how the game actually relates to Xenogears. And with the story being so massive, there seems to be hundreds of theories already developed. I'm curious enough to want to hear any of yours... or just general thoughts on the story. Or well, anything else in the topic works too.

~ Liz, spoiled rotten when it comes to ice cream. (letters@rpgfan.com)



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