Monday, April 21, 2003

So I died and came back again, blah blah blah. Okay, maybe I was either just too busy and/or out of it to finish an update in one day. Must be all the Pocky. Yes... the Pocky.

After having to re-enter everything into my mail client AGAIN, I got an e-mail the other day about Final Fantasy X-2. Since it was, you know, written to the Mailbag, I'd publish it if not for the spoilers. Of course, I was already aware of most of the things in the e-mail (and those that I wasn't aware of, failed to surprise me...), but I doubt many of you are and I don't think you'd appreciate being spoiled. Which, also is why it can't be a news update as the writer suggested... sorry, I don't want a few thousand people mad at me. :P

Sure makes the game seem more interesting, but the mixed feelings are still there, somewhat. Seems I'm not the only one who feels this way...

Ah yes, Zelda, the other topic at hand. While all of you divulge in the awesomeness that is Wind Waker, here I am playing Link's Awakening... at work. (Hey, I need to play games SOMETIME!) I'm finally reaching near the end... I can't wait to play A Link To The Past after this either. At work and elsewhere.

So.. yeah. Letters, or something...

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Not every RPG warrants a sequel.

hello liz,

well...i've been playing zelda, it reminds me a lot of playing the first two, with a couple of weapons from LTTP, i agree with everyone. Yes the dungeons never killed me, way to easy, had a harder time trying to jump high enough before opening my deku leaf and figuring out what they wanted me to do sometimes. Yes i have wanted to bomb my own boat, i heard mentioned that the game could be beat in 30 hours, yes is that out of the damnable boat or in it, no you can not get anything that makes warping easier like the beloved flute from the first one, you get to go places near some place but you end up troddging along. Keeping track of what hearts i have gotten already is a full time job, and i think the toughest part of the game is trying to whack the old man orca.... i hear you have to hit him some 999 times to get respect. [thats almost as bad as wasting two days trying to dodge lightning strikes in ffx]

on to the second part of this tirade which has two parts, with the re-release of all the old games a la ff and some others, these companies have a golden opportunity, not for nothing they are wasting it. They put "all this effort" into a game that was good maybe some years ago, and use the same antiquated menus and what not, take the time and revamp the game right........otherwise i'll just continue to play my old favs on the respected systems, until they finally break. I mean just make a sequel, a good one happens now and then, i guess it just comes down to the fact that while they say costs for making games are getting out of control, and that they can't keep up with what we want, why should we suffer under the same games for years? i guess they are just following media's mind numbing approach to televsion, nothing but lame news repeated every 5 mins , and reality tv shows....the only sanctuary was the video game world, where a writer had a chance to share a story, and i guess they finally ran out of ideas.

And this is more of a general rant, who do they have designing these controllers? First of all they are all impossible, after about 45 minutes they are impossible to hold right, and the bottons are in these weird places, half the time i end up hitting the wrong button because the controller slipped. Is there a controller out there not built for the tiny? any recommendations?

the phantom ranter

I don't think that 30 hours involved using just the boat, no... I honestly wonder how much this boat is gonna irritate me, listening to everyone whine about it. (Actually, probably not, since what usually irritates me in games is being stuck.) And really, there's the warp I've heard mentioned, so things can't possibly be all that bad for you boat haters. Eh, and hitting some old dude 999 times? Yeah, sounds as bad as the lightning bolts, which had to be ugh, consecutive. Unless the hits do too, in that case that would be far worse.

As for re-releases, I think it's a matter of both costs, and for sequels, whether things are left open enough for one. I can understand re-releases though - not everyone kept their SNES/what have you, and younger gamers have a better chance at trying out our older favorites. Me, I never got to see all of EarthBound, so the recent Mother 1 & 2 news is awesome, even though I have an SNES. :P Plus there's Mother 1, and possibly Mother 3 to boot. I mean, come ON. And, just like Mother 1, remakes of other older games that never made it here (FF1, FFV) originally, give us a chance at what Japan had ages ago. If only they'd bring FF3 over, now...

Sequels however, can be really irritating when all they are, are constant rehashes of the original game *coughtombraidercough*. They're a complete waste if the developer's just milking the license, instead of trying to put actual effort into them.

Ah yes, controllers. Designing them... well, I don't think everyone wants all their controllers to look alike. The GameCube controller is like an evolved N64 controller, the Xbox one is big and bulky like the system, and much like the console name itself, the PlayStation 2 controller is exactly like that of the PSOne with barely a difference. I still have no idea whether the Xbox S controller is small enough for me. Though if you really want small, there are SNES controllers! :P

Whoa, slow down as you type. :P

Hey Liz,

Do you know how many copies of Skies of Arcadia Legends, have been sold, around the globe so far. And which do you think has better rpgs right now, Gamecube or Xbox, and which do you think will be a bigger rpg powerhouse in the future. I think Gamecube is right now, and will be in the future, I mean I like the trun-based kind og rpgs over the Hack/Slash more. And to me Skies of Arcadia Legends is better than Morrowind any day. And upcoming looks good for Gamecube, Tales of Symphonia, Baten Katios, Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles, a Camelot rpg, Fire Emblem, and xbox has Fable, True Fantasy Online, and Sudeki. But none compare to the ps2. Also what do you think about Xenosaga, I plan on getting that with my ps2, when the price goes down for it. or Suikoden3, Final Fantasy10, or Dark Cloud2, got any suggestions?

Well, I've heard no worldwide totals for SoAL, since you never really hear numbers of US sales til months and months and month later it seems. I can't seem to be able to find any Japanese numbers either. Which is odd, considering all the reports on Japanese games, you'd think something like that would sell enough to show up on the charts.

As for RPG powerhouse.. the GameCube has so far gotten by far more attention both here and in Japan. Especially if you like the more traditional type of RPG. And I must say, the PS2 mainly has more games overall because they got a year's head start ahead of Nintendo and Microsoft. The GameCube is pretty strong though.

Lastly, PS2 RPGs. I would dare say that all the ones you listed are probably the PS2's current best picks. My first two would be FFX and Xenosaga, followed by Suikoden III and then Dark Cloud 2. Of course, I haven't played DC2 yet, so I dunno if it would rank higher than any of those others for me. It's supposed to be lots of fun, in any case.

If only I could have some of that Wind Waker goodness.

Greetings fair Mailbag Goddess,

So, first thing: You mentioned the FFIII remake on the WonderSwan Color. Not to burst your bubble, but that game never came out. It was supposed to, but then Square got all quiet on it. There was some talk that it might show up on the GBA instead (as this was around the time Square announced it was making games for Nintendo consoles again), but it looks like that didn't pan out. So, that's that.

Topic is Wind Waker huh? I've gone on and on about that game so much, I hardly have anything left to say. Was it short on dungeons compared to other Zelda games? Of course. However, Wind Waker has more areas and locations to explore, win treasure and the like than any other Zelda game as well. So, while there's not as many *required* areas to visit, there's much more to do, if you're not just trying to rush through the game. Finding all the treasure charts, heart pieces and the actual treasures linked TO said charts, gives you a lot to do, which is a good thing.

Then there's the boat. Eh, I liked it. The sailing is sometimes a bit time-consuming, but it IS called the Great Sea for a reason. I guess it depends on your perspective on things. On one hand, they could have made the world smaller overall to appease said gamers and save them a few minutes here and there. The drawback to that is that it wouldn't give you the same "Holy crap, this overworld is HUGE" feeling. It could still be big, but... do you want all of the islands in the entire land to be close to each other? I dunno, seems like a lame complaint to me. Not to mention, there's a warp song/spell for getting around anyway.

Okay, so I've addressed two common complaints of the game. I'm not even touching the graphics again. If anyone can still look at the game and its great animation and NOT admire its artistic merits, well, sucks to be them. So what's good? Well, just about everything else. Said dungeons are chock-full of the expected puzzles, some of which took me awhile to figure out. The combat is a total blast. You frequently have a lot more enemies than your average OoT battle, plus the um... 'music thing' when you attack them (you have to see/hear it) is unique and different. There's something to be said about 'satisfying combat', such as hitting you-know-who with a Light Arrow and following up with your sword in Ocarina of Time. The thing I've learned is that most battles give that feeling of satisfaction in Wind Waker. And I like it.

Also, it has a final battle which is so supremely cool, it rivals that of OoT, which is by far my favorite battle of any game I've played. So, that's definitely saying a lot.

RPGFan's overworked graphics/layout/designer/pics/HTML/EVERYTHING ELSE guy,

Mike Salbato

See, this is why you could write a good review...

Hmm. I forgot that FFIII never came out. Is my memory hazy, or did any mention of the WSC FFIII kind of fizzle away after Square and Nintendo made up? Methinks it did. I wish it would show up on SOMETHING though, since re-releasing all the old FFs except for THAT ONE, even in North America seems really silly to me.

As for the boat, well, at least I get to hear differing opinions on it, since it's such a major part of the game and all. I like the 'huge overworld' feeling as well, just to get more exploration in, especially after you don't get to even HAVE an overworld (or you do, and it's not big/exploring is really limited/there's no actual map/blah blah blah) in a recent game or two. *cough*

So since it would apparently take me about ten hours to beat Ocarina of Time, can I expect Wind Waker to be like... OoT x 3? (Plus an interactive cartoon feel, of course.) That 30 hours estimate you gave in regards to WW doesn't surprise me much, especially after Metroid Prime was 20-something hours. Yeah, different developers, but it seems that similar goals were achieved by the two.

Satisfying battles would be rather enticing too. I tell ya, it's just not the same on a little GBA screen. :P Puzzles are still awesome (and difficult) though.

Now, if only I'd HAVE OoT here, plus some dramamine and eventually WW, then it'd be all good. Alas...

I have loyal subjects? ....Interesting.

Dear RPGfan,

A couple of days ago, I went into my local electronics boutique (video game store) to pick up a copy of the new release of FF origins, and this stupid wanna-be gamer comes up to the employees' and I,and just plain as can be, tells us that NO OTHER SYSTEM IS GREATER THAN THE "ALMIGHTY X-BOX"! (I almost slaped the guy in the face) Anyways, the guy goes off on this POWER TRIP about how the "almighty x-box" has all these better features and specs than the PS2 or GAMECUBE. First of all, when you come into a store like that "Ranting" about some console that was designed by the same people who are monopolizing on our country, Your gonna get slaped! So, he went on and finnaly told us that all of the Jappanese consoles suck because America rules and Japan dosen't. So, I slaped the guy in the face and told him to go and play FINAL FANTASY VII and see if he changes his mind, I cant believe these people are being branded by a company who dosent even come close to the playstations level of great quality rpg gaming, and I take that to my grave to! So, anyways, YOU GUYS KEEP ON BRINGING US YOUR GREAT WISDOM ON THE RPG WORLD, YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your loyal subject,
Josh Lester

...Was the guy on drugs? Please tell me he was. Well, it IS a fact that the Xbox has better specs. Better games? Don't get me started. And anyway, if he came in the store ranting exactly like you said, I'd be surprised if you actually slapped him. Said something, sure. And if you wanted the guy to see an example of the current kind of quality/graphics in games, you should have said FFX or something instead of VII. :P Plus, for all you know, he may not have been into RPGs. Let him rot in his Xbox fanboy ignorance, or something like that.

Reminds me of a guy in a GameStop a few months ago who, after hearing mention of Metal Gear Solid 2, said it sucked and went on about Halo being the best game EVAR. Or something to that effect. Not that I was present at the time, but I've heard the story many times and if I was there would have suppressed a laugh. Y'know, respect people's opinions and all, but don't act like yours is fact. :P

Man, there's too many X2s these days.

Hello there,

Once again RPGFan getting details before it's officially released on the crossbeamstudios.com site (note we have a great new look, I urge everyone to take a peek and scope out some of the other projects). Anyway, here's a bit of a teaser for Project X2:

The Great Miraz, an extremely powerful mage who isn't trying to conquer the world the way you would imagine. He uses his black magic to twist peoples perception, dividing the races through difference having them rip each other apart in confrontation while he sits hidden in his castle watching through the "Magic Eyes." It is thought that he was defeated in the war hundreds of years ago… but his powers lived on and he's out for revenge taking whatever followers with him. Training and teaching his dark minions, the second war isn't about to be won so easily.

Paul T.

There you have it, another update on this mysterious title. So, you mean to tell me that villains have motives other than taking over the world? Who'd WANT to take over the world, really? I just want to stay home and eat chips.

..Though, revenge is a good motive too. Interesting how he goes about it as well. I'd like to hear any gameplay tidbits too, when the time comes.

Mmm, toenails.

Hey Liz,

Not that I can't rant to you in IRC anyway, but here goes: I wasn't a "Celda" hater from the beginning, and I'm definitely not one now. I think The Wind Waker is substantial proof that it doesn't hurt to have a little faith sometimes. I had endless debates on The Wind Waker before its release, constantly forced to defend it and recite the same endless rebuttle: Wait until it comes out, wait until it comes out. Well, it's out, and I think the general community of nay-sayers can shove it. You don't like the graphics? Fine. But if you don't like the game play, put the controller down and go watch your toenails grow. At least then you'll be occupying yourself with something on par with your brainpower. But, aside from that...

FFX-2? Interesting concept. My only fear is that it may in fact be that the game is little more than a sex symbol-driven hunk of steaming horse crap. The dress-up concept interests me, and yes, I do like hot women, but... It's not gonna sell me if the game itself doesn't appeal. If sex could sell me, I'd have invested in DoA a long time ago, but instead I rather hate the series. Like everyone else, I'm praying they either don't bring Tidus back, or have a heck of a good explanation for his reappearance. I'm furthermore praying that Nooj gets a haircut at some point.

Which brings me to my other fear. Silly as it sounds, I'm worried that FFX-2 will be Final Fantasy V-2... Why? Uh, for one, outside of the main characters, everyone looks horribly silly. Two, the dress-up concept may be the only good part of the game. And three, the names for some of these people are silly as all get out. I mean... Nooj? Memories of Butz. I mean, Bartz... Which sounds nearly as stupid anyway.

But yeah, that's a silly fear. Now then, mush and answer me woman! ANSWER MEEEE!


I had no doubt that people had faith in Miyamoto and didn't disregard Wind Waker just because of the graphics. The people that DO however, were really annoying about it. I'd go on about how I had faith, but you should all be well aware of this fact already. Of course, I told many others how they should also have faith, and I've seen a few of them eat their words. Isn't that a nice feeling? Yeah, I think so too.

FFX-2, fanservice? Square can deny it all they want, but most of the outfits + massage scene + hot springs scene (and a line or two about BOOBS) sure scream fanservice to me. granted, the job outfits look cool, but I've been hearing that most of them are pretty useless, so they may be just there for more fanservice it seems. Oh well. I'm hoping the story is somewhat redeeming, but I'm hearing even that's a bit too on the lighthearted side for some people's tastes.

You know, the first translation I'd heard of his name was actually Nuji, which actually sounds a lot better IMO. Evey time I hear the name 'Nooj', I think n00b. God help me...

Spoiler? Not quite.

I recently saw a trailer to FFX-2 and in the end Yuna and Tidus are shot and it shows them lying dead on the floor!!! do you have an idea?
Well, it actually happens I believe closer to the beginning of the game. No wait, it doesn't HAPPEN - it's actually just a dream Yuna has. Does it bear any more significance later on? Uh... I don't know that. (Wouldn't surprise me though.) Even if I did know, do you really think I'd tell you? :P
Closing Thoughts

Yeah. Write me. Or something. Now. I'll answer more letters next time, promise. And maybe sooner.

~ Liz, whose highlight of the day was seeing 'TROGDOR THE BURNINATOR' scrawled in nice big letters on a sidewalk downtown. (letters@rpgfan.com)


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