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Shock and Awe
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Yeah, I had a six day break between updates... again. Just don't kill me for the title.

Hm, what have I been playing? In a word, nothing. My choices are pretty narrowed down, as I a) can't afford Wind Waker, b) can't find my PS2 cable and have yet to the store and buy a third party one, and c) don't - okay, won't have a domestic PS2. Looks like I'm heading in the direction of Link's Awakening and getting through those two last dungeons and then FINALLY I'll get to GBA A Link To The Past. You know, that game I love to bits but haven't beaten, in the SNES days? Yes, that.

I think that I want to see Xenosaga's ending one last time. Yes, I really do.

Speaking of Xenosaga, I know I said I'd put up another column of XS-related letters this week. You people can breathe now - today's isn't it. It'll be the next one, once I get around to it. Mind you, today's has a minor Xenosaga related thing or two in it, but nothing spoilerific. Naturally, I'm saving those.

By the way, does anyone find it kind of funny that IGN is reporting that FFX-3 is actually going to exist? Heh, barely DAYS after Square said it was very not possible. Tsk... Not to mention that this piece of 'news' came from a UK 'online indie magazine'. Yeah, okay. So much for IGN being reliable... :P

Oh right. Letters.

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Mmm.. dust. Yep. Suikoden III is collecting a bit of that.

hello again

Okay I felt I had to chime in with several gripes about the recent content ... thanks. I've been playing xenosaga, like everybody else, why is it such a pain in the 'neck' to navigate about the menus? i mean there is literally no flow, and not for nothing the time it takes to change to the save screen once a blank memory card has about 15 to 20 saves is time enough for me to get a soda; back to the main gripe, maybe I'm just getting old, but it is getting ridiculous with what you have to keep track off, status points hit points skill points ether points tech points each thing has a level and some cockamamie [yeah i actually used it in a sentence, knocked me out of a spelling bee some 15 years ago] involved vodoo ritual for advance of your character and sometimes characters. I am no longer playing grandia xtreme for fun i just want to see what the stupid egg combo's are; another game with a needlessly complex system of 'customizing' your characters.

Back to xenosaga, so far it doesn't compare to xenogears, it is too much of a pain, although the video scenes are long they lack the polish i remember from xg, and characters i enjoy finding out about; and is it just me or is mine the only copy where the mouths move and no voice is heard? Sad Sad Day, if i wasn't a lazy good for nothing i'd learn how to make me own games, nooch. That is not to say that i don't enjoy the game, and the people that make them are held in any ill regard it is just that like everyone else i want something that is going to blow my mind. Pass this on to them for me, read Miller's Enemy of the People [by the way, is my big screen getting to old and abused, or does the commercial say episode 0, is it just some marketing thing, or a font thing?]

skies of arcadia legends, is already collecting dust on my shelf, right next to the really annoying to play because my hand remembers the old n64 contoller, ocarina of time zelda. soal i have given up actually beating it until i find all the discoveries.. and given up on doing that, its too annoying not a challenge so once again i fell into the trap and let ninetendo eat my money.

As to the demise of the world map, rage against the loss of that lovely feature. This from a guy who witnessed the effect of drop down windows/ menus had on games. Record of Lodoss War for DC is a lovely game that i fall to see mentioned really anywhere, good anime tie in, legion legend of excalibur has several unique qualities that make it okay to rent, but i found that i was rushed to really do anything in it, and saving was such a pain. i'm just looking for a game that will restore my faith in the genre and make me call in sick to work to play

Egg combos? O...kay.

Yeah, there's a lot of menus.. but wasn't FFX similar, but in a more fun way? I mean, with the bajillion menus, the customization... Bah. But it gave you something to do in Xenosaga, and forced you to actually do something if you wanted your characters to be at all useful, instead of just running around and levelling up and getting strength, etc, just handed to you by the game. Yeah, one thing I hate is things being made too easy. Yes, FFX was easy... but you had to work that sphere grid and customize your weapons/armor yourself. (Which is more fun than the Ether tree, I'll tell you that.)

Well, like Xenogears' dub scenes, you should keep in mind that the mouth movements were made more likely to match the Japanese script.. not English. So naturally, it's going to take more or less to say the same thing in one language than it does another. Yeah, it's annoying, but it IS only a minor thing, and it happens - in anime, games, whatever. (That's partly why some things are re-worded or changed around entirely in anime actually, to avoid the lack of matching up of voices with mouth movements...)

...Episode Zero?

You really should play SoAL.. it's supposed to be a great game (and I've seen a bit of it, and I don't find that unbelievable), plus it's supposed to be a lot of fun, and a big improvement over the DC version. Ah well, whenever you get around to playing it...

You know, I never really did try the RoLW game. I'd probably have more of a desire to if I had seen the anime (which I had a chance to), but the game was also supposed to be... pretty difficult. Good yes, in the eyes of the anime fans, but still difficult. :P Or maybe my friend is a whiner.

I hope you find that game soon. The last game that did that to me was Metroid Prime, and the last RPG was... I can't even remember. Actually, Xenosaga. Yeah, the battles are a huge drag, but the story is too good thus far.

 
One word: NO.

Hello! Demon Star again!

I havn't been able to find alot of other stuff based on the FFVII-2 rumors but I have found a few, so, tell me what'cha think.

Key: (#)A- The Rumor
(#)B- My thoughs

1A) The story will be a sequal and still told from AVALANCVHES point of veiw, it will just have tons & tons of more romance!

1B) This would show promise, BUT, unlikely. The only possible romance that wouldn't cause a complete riot would be Cloud + Tifa or in fan fiction terms, a Clifa or Clofa. But, this wouldn't work out seeing as the Cloud + Aeris fans, Clois or Aerid, would probley not be to happy seeing as Cloud + Aeris do kinda slightly hit it off at the begining of the game.

2A) Sephiroth returns and will not be insane anymore.

2B) HAHAHA! Yeah, right! I'm sooo sure! Don't even get me started!

3A) Aeris is revived ect.

3B) ... SHES DEAD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! STUPID RUMOR SPREADERS! All in all I doubt any of these have a chance but other people out there may say differntly. Until my next E-Mail,

Sail La Vi! (Translation: Good bye!)
~*Demon Star~

The Rumor:

*insert random FFVII-2 rumor here*

My Thoughts:

NO NO NO. There WILL NOT, AND SHOULD NEVER, EVER be a Final Fantasy VII sequel, prequel, whatever. Why? I didn't like the story. It lacked much inspiration, I thought. And the game was much too conclusive to leave anything open for a sequel.

Once again, in case any FFVII fanboys didn't catch the big fat hint above, NO MORE FFVII.

(...I really hope you're kidding about that goodbye part. I really do. And just in case you aren't... nah, I'll let you figure it out on your own, and part of that requires looking up some French words. *cough*)

...NO FFVII-2!

 
Yay.

Hey liz, nice site

I have been searching the web, being at all these xbox, and gc, sites. and I heard that the creators of Xenosaga have announced another rpg for the Gamecube other than Baten Katios. They said it was going to be fo rps2 too. So I'm wondering do you think this game could be Xenosaga 2, on gamecube and ps2? Also did you hear they are making a Fire Emblem game for gamecube, that is really exciting. And a Camelot rpg was announced for Gamecube as well, rumor has it that it is Golden Sun. Now I'm wondering which system is better rpg wise, Xbox or Gamecube. Personally I like Gamecube because it has the turn-based rpgs that I like, more than the hack/slash style of Xbox. What do you think. And about the Skies of Arcadia 2, on some Forums I have been to they said that the game is going to be on Ps2 as well as Gamecube. So I'm wondering why then put it on Gamecube, and create a fan-base on the cube for that game, when you cancell it on ps2, and nobody nows what it Is about, well of course Sega or Overworks hasn't said anything yet, but thatŐs what alor of People are saying, oh well thanks for the time.

Ps They should really put a POkemon rpg on Gamecube, Don't you think.

Okay wait.. Xbox? Are you kidding? There's a goog RPG for it, Shin Megami Tensei NINE... but yeah, that ain't coming here. Well, there's Project E-- I mean, Fable, and I know very well that we're getting Phantasy Star Online for the XBox... but I find the idea of voice chat rather scary, and you can play the same game on the 'Cube. But come on, the list of Xbox RPGs, for the most part, is anything but awe and inspiring. Sudeki sounds decent maybe, but True Fantasy Live/Life Online.. you don't want to know how much I laughed at that game, and if you saw how much it rips off both Final Fantasy XI and PSO, you'd be too. Other than that, most of the titles I've either never heard of, or just sound BAD.

I'm done ranting about Xbox's lack of decent RPG selection now. Now, where was I? Oh, I really hope you're not taking all these rumors seriously. After all, they're just rumors. Heck, even sites post rumors! Look at IGN and GAF. Do take this as a warning that just because a site says so, doesn't mean it's true. (Small disclaimer: We avoid rumors at all costs. We like confirmations. :P) They're even less believable when you hear them on forums - moreso if the forum resides at GameFAQs. Because 1) it would make no sense for the SoA sequel to be on PS2 as well as GC.. I'd say wishful thinking. 2) With Baten Kaitos and hopefully Xenosaga Episode II in the works, Monolith (who isn't exactly a giant company) wouldn't have time for another RPG alongside those at the moment. As for this Camelot RPG.. I haven't heard anything. Unless of course this is a rumor too.

 
It could be much much worse.

I'm a horrible, bad, terrible, blasphemic person. I didn't list Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. I'm so ashamed of myself... *Sob* Or FFTA for that matter. And Seiken Densetsu, which I'm probably gonna get just cuz it's pretty lookin', if anything. Aria of sorrow is close to the top of my 'want' list though which is why I'm mad at myself. I think by now they've learned their mistakes in the last two and will have fixed them and made something even closer to the SotN godliness! Just for fun, I'll add that, below Wind Waker, the game that's second on my 'want' list is Dynasty Warriors 4. :D DW3 lasted me almost an entire year, I'd say DW4 is a good place to put my money. :p

As for the Xbox... It's actually me who's doing the Halo playing. ^_^;;; Don't gimme that look!! :P I'm not playing it constantly or anything like that, but I won't lie and say it sucks, it IS a good game, a bit overhyped, but still good fun. And just so you know, me and a friend of mine rented it, I didn't actually spend money on it. :P

-Poojipoo

Well, I never believed Halo to be bad, just overhyped as you say. It does look like it could get boring after a while. As for Aria of Sorrow... I don't blame you. It's Castlevania! Though I want to see the PS2 Castlevania the most. Heh heh. Same with Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu.. yeah, that better come here! We know it will though.

Maybe I should play FFT before FFTA comes out. Gah, I'm so behind.

 
Darn...

Dear Liz,

The only other Xenosaga character lithograph I've seen in the US (other than those for chaos and Shion) is for KOS-MOS, and unfortunately, it wasn't one of the promotional items (I think it was sent out by Namco to retailers for advertisement purposes)... so good luck finding it.

When I got my copy last month I decided to just open it and play a little even though I hadn't quite finished Wild Arms 3. However, I quickly lost interest in the other game and proceeded to stay home "sick" a few days to finish Xenosaga. Needless to say I was very impressed and have had a hard time getting back into Wild Arms 3. It's too bad we're likely going to be waiting a long while for the next title in the series.

Anyway, I'll leave speculation and spoilers to others. I hope all is well with everyone out there. Take care!

Regards,
Vi

Well, long time no talk to. I'm glad you like XS - seriously, if you liked WA3 more than XS, I'd be really worried. No offense to WA3 of course, I'm sure it's not a bad game, but I know it's no XS. I too hate having to wait, but they'll need the time to make sure the next one doesn't suck - just not too much time, or I'll go mad. Oh yeah, and to liven up the battle system, or I will be falling asleep while pressing buttons over and over.

Actually, I heard recently that Sam Goody, of all places was giving out KOS-MOS lithographs. So... anyone managed to acquire one? And more importantly, is anyone willing to sell or give one to me? I haven't seen them on eBay...

 
Note to Sony: System wars are never over.

dear liz

I'm so excited. I already own a Gba and i have the chance of either getting ps2 or a gamecube but i don't know which one to choose i love action adventure games and obviously rpgs so i don't know whether to get a ps2 and wait for final fantasy X-2 and dark cloud 2 or to get a gamecube and wait for final fantasy crystal chronicles and get zelda i'm so confused but also i don't know whether to get xenosaga i'm new to the game and don't really understand t so could you explain it. Also i wanted to get your advise on which console to get and why.

Ps. how many playable characters are there in final fantasy X-2

Did you get a GBA SP? You better have. You'd best be getting Metroid Fusion and Four Swords Zelda while you're at it, you got me? :P

As for whether to get a PS2 or a GameCube... well, both have lots of good games according to me. You'd probably have to look at the entire roster of current and soon to be released games that you'll actually want to play. I actually never bought a domestic PS2. Instead, I bought my GC (which was cheaper anyway) and SSBM, and later I indulged in Metroid Prime (I consider it action adventure!) and I crave that Wind Waker goodness. :P By the way, if you do get a GC, you would also have Skies of Arcadia Legends to look forward to. If you get a PS2... well, you wouldn't have to WAIT for Dark Cloud 2, since it's already out, plus there's a whole ton of already released RPGs... FFX and Kingdom Hearts to name two. And really, if you plan on playing FFX-2, play FFX first.

News flash, by the way: Everyone's new to Xenosaga. Nobody's really 'not' new to it, since it IS a new game/series, only debuted last month, unless you're like me and played the import (and took two months to beat it :P). So.. there's not much to explain, except that the first of (hopefully) six episodes is, duh, out now. If you want to hear more, we've got three lovely reviews up for the game.

Looks like there's only three playable characters in FFX-2, unless Nooj becomes playable. I doubt it, though. Wow, it's pretty rare to have only three playable characters nowadays... not that I hear any males complaining about the three, of course.

 
Now we just need a Celtic VG music collection.

"Wait, did you ever play Xenogears? Joanne Hogg sang the two vocal songs on that OST too, so if you ever stumble upon it, I'm sure you'd like said vocal pieces. As awesome as Iona is.. they need to tour North America sometime. I have some albums and MP3s of their stuff... so pretty! Celtic music rules anyway."

No, I never played Xenogears. Until 2 years ago I was a PC gaming bigot, and I thought that consoles were for the kiddies, while all the "real games" were on PC. Yeah, I was dumb, but that's a story that would take a while to write, and it's off topic. So, no, I didn't know that Joanna Hogg did the songs from Xenogears. Would those be the two included on the Square Vocal Collection CD? Maybe I'll just have to get that album!

=====
Aaron W. Thorne

Yup, those would be the ones. As for the 'PC gaming bigot' well gee, I can't make fun of you now that you've changed your ways! (Damn! ...Kidding, of course. :P)

Definitely pick up that CD though. Not all of the songs are very commendable (I would seriously pass on that baseball tune), but, y'know, Square has coughed up great vocal songs for the most part. Heh, in a year or two they'll have to put out a Vol. II and put the FFX, FFX-2, KH, and Hanjuku Hero songs on it, among other future good vocal songs in future Square titles. I wonder what type of vocal song Chrono Break would get...

 
Closing Thoughts

Sorry if I sounded a little spiteful once or twice today. See, there's no caffeine in the house and --- anyway. Like I said, I'll put up a bunch of (sometimes spoilerish) Xenosaga-related letters in the next edition... which is NOT a week away, I promise. :P If you want to share your Xenosaga musings and theories, go ahead. If you don't want to talk about XS, write in anyway! You know you want to. Heck, if anything, tell me what you think about FFX-2 so far, from videos, pics, impressions, etc.

~ Liz, not tired for the first time in a week. (letters@rpgfan.com)



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