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Friday, May 2, 2003

Well hot damn, I never thought May would come. Seems like Christmas just passed, and the rain was unending.. but here we are. The first month of sun here since September, and it also means E3 is creeping up on me... us. Maybe the beaches will finally be open...

I don't know if anyone out there has ever played games to the point where their hands cramped up, but that's pretty much what I did last night. See, LttP seems really hard to stay away from (but so are free scoop nights at Baskin Robbins), and I ended up playing until 3 AM, where my left hand had all sorts of lovely pains (not counting that big slice my index finger took Sunday morning from a serrated knife...), and my batteries died. But I got so much done in that game, and I have more batteries around here somewhere, so I'm not exactly sad. I've just gotten to the end of the first dungeon in the Dark World where I get to chip off pieces of a guy's face. Yum!

So as you can tell, I haven't gotten to OoT yet. Soon enough...

Okay, on to this batch of letters before I change my mind. :P

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E-mail Daniel, unless you're a scammer from Nigeria.
 
 
Mm.. missile launching PS2s.

Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiizzzzzzzz-

As far as the observations that people working at game stores are morons goes, I've seen it. I work at EB, and the people at our store at least try to learn all the facts before opening our traps. But.... if you think going into a game store and dealing with a stupid employee is bad, try dealing with stupid customers. If it's the employee, you can chew them out and leave. If you're the one behind the counter listening to raving Xbox fanboys rag on your favorite games ("Final Fantasy sucks, all they do is talk!" "Zelda!? That cartoony shit is for kids, Xbox is hardcore!"), you're being paid to sell these people things, and you're expected to be nice. I'll try to argue back, but people get irritated, and then they complain, and so on. So if I'm helping someone and they start in on a stupid tangent (My favorite: The guy who INSISTED that Japanese PS2s are more powerful than North American ones because they use the same technology to launch missiles in Japan as they do to play games. This guy was DEAD SERIOUS the whole time he was talking)., I just try to sell them their item and hurry them out the door. =P

Anyway, that was a long paragraph that made little to no sense. Cya at E3, I'm sure you'll be sick of me by the end, since we're in the same hotel and all.

RydiaMist

Trust me, I deal with stupid customers daily. Which is why being on the job is the worst time to encounter stupid people, because there's so many things I'd want to say but can't. Looks like we share the same tactic for annoying people - rushing the transaction ('THANK YOU, COME AGAIN! MAY I HELP THE NEXT PERSON :D'). Ah, gotta love retail like a hole in the head. Man, if I worked at EB and someone came in ranting about how much Xenogears sucked, I'd cry. :P Okay, no I wouldn't, but I'd probably ask the other employee to take care of said person's transactions and run off to the back room and blow off steam playing SSBM or something. ...Do you guys ever set up consoles in back rooms? That'd be an awesome stress reliever and way to spend long breaks.

Okay, um, missiles? ...Say what? For all you lovely people who may not know, I own a Japanese PS2. Guess what? THEY'RE THE EXACT SAME DAMN THING. Just region differences. Oh wow, I wish I was there, coughing and saying 'By the way, I own a Japanese PS2...' I'd really like to launch missiles up some people's arses sometimes.

 
Rumors are squishy and tasty.

Hey Liz!,

Long time no email, Eh?

This time my email is about a few rumors on FFX-2. Now, I myself, don't believe half these rumors because most of these rumors I have gathered from forums and ametures that started websites and things. But I thought I'de let you and the public deside what to believe so I sent them to ya anyway ^_~ So, here goes.

Now, don't expect some of these things to be believable what so ever but oh well! Anyway, The first of about four or fuve rumors I have for you is that in the sequal of FFX, FFX-2, will have some 'Secret Summons'

Now, I myself find this very impossible seeing as the 'fayth' all 'stopped dreaming' at the end of FFX and all there statues turn to stone after defeating Yu-Yevon. But, there may be some truth behind it. For example, the summons may be slightly different. Like just calling for help will make a 'loyal' creature come to you're aid. This is a little more realalistic than the fayth returning, because why would they wake up then go back to sleep? Just doesn't make sense.

The second rumor is that you get to control the bliztball players 'Besaid Aurochs' as fighting, controlable characters. I myself, think it may be possible. Judgeing from the screen shots I've seen, this rumor may be true. But, I'll let you deside what to think. After all, I'm just the responder.

The third is an incredibly short and stupid rumor that really has no point. It's that Rikku loses the 'Swirling' effect in her eyes. How is this possible? I mean, how would someone change there culture. Maybe she loses them as she gets older? But I doubt it.

The next, or fourth, is plain and simple. Tidus get's revived. We can dream and hope can't we? I myself hope this turns up to be true. But, how would this happen? There are no fayth to support him! He was only a dream. He didn't exist in reality, and Tidus was so cool too. He, Rikku, and Yuna were my strongest characters in FFX too... there my favorites.

So, What'cha think? Find any of them believable? I found the Blitzball one, and Tidus to be somewhat true, but the others I have none, or very little hope that they will happen.

So, until the next email I send to Liz, See ya!

Sincerely,
-Demon Star

PS: I hope you've got some good comments for me on this ^^

Seeing half this game, I can probably confirm or dispel half these rumors.. so uh, let's try.

Okay, well, in one way or another, the aeons do exist. No, you do not summon them. I don't know the story behind them, but the party actually has to fight most of the Aeons (if not all) from FFX, throughout X-2. By the way, these battles do not look easy, which is a freaking relief.

Hmm. Of the billions of hours of footage I've seen, you only ever fight as the three girls. Course, I didn't exactly watch the end battle for obvious reasons. Anyway, speaking of blitzball... it's back! And Yuna and the chicks play this time around. I can't really expand on any differences between that and FFX's Blitzball game. But just like FFX, I won't play it if I don't have to.

I never thought of the 'swirl' in Rikku's eyes an effect.. just as a physical trait she was born with. It's hard to make out anything in any of the official art or screens though.

Well, there would be no other reason for a FFX sequel other than to find Tidus, right? At the very end of FFX, you see him for a few seconds in the water, presumably alive. And then there's the Epilogue, where Yuna finds a Sphere or something, that shows Tidus (or at least he looks like Tidus) confined somewhere, and being asked questions or something. In the end, Yuna discussed going to find Tidus, and Rikku agreed. Not that we got to see this epilogue, since it was only with the Japanese version of FFX International, but it was put there for no reason other than to set things up for a sequel.

Of course, when he does turn up (c'mon, you know he will), there'll be some long winded explanation for it, but we can only make guesses. This, of course, makes Shuuin/Lenne all the more interesting, as they're the Yuna/Tidus lookalikes we've seen in screens.

 
I'm not the only one who hates Real Emotion?

I can no longer keep my concerns quite. I have been a rpg fan since I was eight year old (I'm 23 now) and have played or at least tried every one since then. I wouldn't say I'm a squaresoft fanboy (FF8 sucked) but I do like their games the most. I've never written anything to anybody before voicing my concerns about a game but I have to say that for the first direct FF sequel this one just sounds like crap. I'm all for innovation and shaking things up a bit, but its seems to me the only thing square is doing here is alienating their true fans. I can give many examples of this but all only give a few. First off it seems a shame to me that the developers went the sex sells route. I've always held squaresoft in high regard because they've always in the past focused the most on gameplay and storytelling. But I guess to compeit in today's market you need to worry about how little clothing you can design your characters with. Plus a J-pop sound track? Oh my god I'm gonna! be sick! Nobuo where are you! Well I could go on and on (girls only!) but my little rant is over.
FFX-2 is interesting to say the least. And being so far apart from most of what Square's done, it's scared off a lot of fans already. I still think it's worth a try, because despite the oozing fanservice, the game does look fun in some aspects. I mean, skimpy outfits do not necessarily make the gameplay terrible (I do like the chain attack thing), and, well, Square's allowed to try different things. Maybe they just wanted to see how much shock value they could put into a game. Though I'm kinda worried about the storytelling... I'm sure it gets more serious later on, but I hear it's really lighthearted - which I know, may or may not be a bad thing, but I too am used to pretty good storytelling from Square. But I've still got some faith. I don't mind J-Pop myself, but realEmotion is... I don't like it, since it really isn't my style.

Even if FFX-2 fails us, we've still got more Square games on the way. Lots more.

 
I don't want to hear about FFXI either.

E3, E3, E3......hmmm.

Well, I remember you saying something a month or two ago about MGS3 (unless you were joking) being at E3 (of course I'm sure this means like a 7-second trailer), so I'd like to hear about any developments on it. Kojima's gotta redeem himself for me on that one (I mean, MGS2 wasnt crappy, but he shoulda fixed the morbidly misproportionate movie-to-gameplay ratio.) I DO NOT wanna hear any FF11-coming-stateside info - I could careless. I WOULD like to hear something (if there's anything to report) about FF12, however. Oh yeah, and Chrono Break, too - I wanna hear some details.

I, like Sean in the last mailbag, used to be a hardcore gamer of every console and genre but RPG, until about 4 of 5 years ago when my friend felt so passionately about FF7 being a beneficial experience that he lent me both his PSX and the game. And I didn't have TOO much trouble with it, despite its being my first RPG (and all you "aw he's a neo-gamer / graphics whore" old-skool gamers SHUT UP, cuz I went back and played the 8- and 16-bit classics to get a bearing on the RPG roots, so shut up.) I second your nominating Chrono Trigger for Sean's first game and also suggest Grandia 2 for the man. Pretty easy learning curve (and overall difficulty for that matter), FUN FUN FUN battles, good graphics - a good one to start with, methinks. And plus, it's not the BEST game by any means so future better-game experiences wouldn't be spoiled for him.

So you're finally gonna play Oot, Liz? I'll spare you the "WELL IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME" comments, and just say "enjoy." Cuz seriously, it's one of the 10 best video games ever made. Period.

Whaddaya get when you mate an elephant with a rhino? --Elephino. Ha! Get it? ::dodges rotten food being slung at him:: (sigh) Fine then, time to end the letter.

~Neo VALMAR, who's too legit to quit.

Actually, Konami is pretty generous with their trailers. Not only are they about 2-4 minutes long and one heck of a teaser, but they've got this huge, HUGE screen they use every year at E3 to show them off, and the booth space to draw people in. Though I'm not sure at this point about Metal Gear Solid 3, as the GC MGS remake, Twin Snakes has everyone's attention now.

AND YOU HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE JUST HOW HAPPY THAT NEWS MAKES ME.

Being that MGS is one of my favorite games EVER, the remake will no doubt be pretty orgasmic for me. Not that we can do news on MGS here, but I'll be sure to ramble in my E3 impressions and the Mailbag of course. Yeah. And chances are Square'll be doing a good job of evading questions related to FFXII and CB, since they'll have another 8 games to discuss and show off anyway. Though I, too, would love to hear PLENTY about those two particular titles.

I'm still thankful FFVII was, like, my fifth or something RPG. Maybe it was eighth. Or twentieth. (I wish. If only I hadn't wasted time on those crap games other people in my family bought...) Yeah, I kinda forgot about Grandia II in my list of recommendations there. Though he was looking for pre-DC or PS2 games, so that explains that.

Rotten food? I've got some moldy food here for you and your bad jokes. :P

 
..I HAVE EXTRAORDINARY GUINEA PIGS?!

Hey Liz,

Once again, this is the third time in which I have sent an e-mail to you this month in only a matter of two weeks. You see, there has been a lot of things going in my mind as of late. Your latest topic has to do with what we want to see at the E3 convention coming up in perhaps a week after you have hopefully posted this message. I actually have a lot of things I want to see, but here is just a few of them.

First off, it's actually obvious that I want to see more about Playstation 3 and what its design will look like, as well as X-Box's new smaller console and Gamecube's new next-generation console, because I'm sure that they are rushing to release it stateside ASAP right alongside the PS3. I also want to see more about Ragnarok Online and Final Fantasy XI, because I plan on buying those games (as soon as I get a job, that is). Perhaps the only other thing that I want to hear more information about is perhaps the best game idea that has come across me in a long time, and that is Mythica for the PC. I mean, come on, no more idiotic veterans running around acting like they own the place because they are able to play the game 20 hours a day while we're at school and work. This game lets us become more even, and plus I can strike down as many humans as I want to, which sounds really fun if you ask me. I also want to hear news on Xenosaga: Episode 2 (the first game I still haven't beaten yet), Half-Life 2, Everquest 2, and Metal Gear Solid 3.

Yes, it is the attack of the sequels these past years, but could you ask for anything more than a bunch of people making their new game that much more beautiful and extravagant? I hope these games don't disappoint me in the future, because I'm sure that somewhere down the line I will buy these games and hopefully get an enjoyable experience.

By the way, I am also a hardcore old-school gamer. I still own the game, box, and instruction booklet to Final Fantasy 3..I mean 6 for the SNES, and when I found out that there was a game that Squaresoft looked over for no apparent reason at all, I got that angry look in my eyes that discovered that they're trying to hide us from something. I just wish that sometimes Squaresoft released games here first instead of Japan like they love doing all the damn time. Well, I'm going to go back to playing Counter-Strike and doing a hell lot of homework, ciao!

The Guinea Pig Extraordinaire,
Malcolm Jacobs

A week and a half actually... I'm that fast, I suppose.

PS3... my guess is we won't get any details until next year at the earliest. I'd like to see all three of the next consoles, especially Nintendo's next one, but I'm quite happy with my systems of the moment, except for the fact that I lack a domestic PS2.

Hearing about online gaming experiences remind me of why I avoid them - they just involve interacting with actual people, which I have to do more than enough of daily. That and the whole competition thing, I'd never have the time to level up to half of what any of the so-called veterans and even intermediate players are at, and be left behind in the dirt. Er, back to Mythica, you'll be hearing plenty. Not from me though. We'll only hear about Xenosaga Episode II, if we're extremely lucky. I honestly don't expect to hear anything about it, but Namco has surprised us before.

Mm, sequels... which reminds me, the Metroid Prime sequel will be shown in video form at E3, and I can't wait to see that. Yup, it'll be an interesting E3. Hopefully my feet won't hurt as bad as last year's...

Asking Square to release games here first is like asking Capcom to stop making sequels. It only makes sense that the games come out in Japan first, since that's where the games are developed, and by Japanese people, thusly in the Japanese language. My problem is not that games come out in Japan first, but that some take forever to localize. In some cases, it's understandable, but delays like Xenosaga make people way too impatient.

Can't explain Capcom and their chronic sequel producing though. Sorry. :P

 
Angsty Castlevania fans. Ph33r.

*sigh* The need for another letter has already arisen. Brace yourself, this one's gonna be long.

Recently, we video game fanatics have been hit with a double whammy. Two bits of gaming news have caused a stir among two separate fanbases. One of these bits of news is worse than the other. Let's get that suckiness out of the way first.

Phantasy Star Online Episode III is, quite frankly, the most asinine concept that I have had the misfortune of reading about lately. When you have a fanbase that is as rabid as PSO's, then you need to cater to what the players want. Do the players want to participate in card battles? Of course not. They want the fundamentals of the game to be improved upon, not cast aside for the latest fad in gaming. Do they really think that the card battles will draw in a new audience? The only thing I can see happening is a mass exodus away from Sonic Team's pride and joy. We gamers don't take kindly to being screwed over. I hope Sega learns this lesson in the hardest possible way, preferably a way that results in the loss of thousands of dollars.

The other bit of news is something much nearer and dearer to my heart: PS2 Castlevania. All the CV fans on the interweb are up in arms about the whole 3D thing. They're burning their copies of the SNES port of Dracula X; they're ranting on message boards. Worst of all, they're writing angsty goth poetry in their LiveJournals. This outpouring of hatred and animosity is understandable. We all remember the atrocity known as Castlevania 64. But is this a reason to slam the game before we see more than two screens of the game? Certainly not. If you people will take a look at that scan that the fine people at RPGFan provided for you, you'll see something to the right that I like to call "words". Read them. Even Konami knows that the N64 versions are blasphemies. Do you think they'll screw up again? I don't. These are the people that made Symphony of the Night, which is, as far as I'm concerned, the greatest game ever made. Just have a little faith, my fellow Castlevania whores. And for God's sake, step away from your LiveJournals. Please.

Well, that's that. You know, I think I should get some special reward for being the only regular contributor to the Mailbag. Nothing special, mind you. Just something that says, "The Darkrider is a wonderful human being, and I am most grateful for his letters, which are the calm in a storm of ignorance." Something like, oh, Castlevania related swag from E3. Just a thought. :P

Guess what? That's all I have to say! Peace, love, and Satan. \m/

The Darkrider

P.S. You're right. I don't make fun of your height. I don't even know how tall you are (but I've heard some unflattering comparisons :P). I'm just trying to find a new way to mock you in my typical good-natured fashion. My supply of Canadian jokes is large, but not limitless. :P

...you must be looking at some pretty odd LiveJournals. my friends page has all the angst, but not any Castlevania related angst quite yet. And hopefully never.

PSO Ep III makes me laugh. The games have been all about the action for so long... and now card battles? No wonder PSO players have been getting tired of Sonic Team (well that, and many other reasons). Am I one of five people who hate this card battling fad? Or are there more of you out there? Just to make it clear, it's not the concept I hate (though it's by far not my favorite)... but the fact that it's become this... thing for everyone to jump on the bandwagon over. maybe I'm just bitter over that Xenosaga card battling game. Maybe Sonic Team should retire PSO and do a PSV.

I could care less what the CV fans are doing. They can whine all they freaking want, but if I like what I see of the PS2 Castlevania at E3, that's my problem. Til then, I don't know what to make of the game and the scan going around, but then maybe I'm one of few left who like to actually give something a really fair chance before forming an opinion. CV64 was so bad it seems that Konami had no choice but to KNOW just how terrible. And the fact that this is the SotN team is very comforting, though I'm also very interested to find out who the composer is.

Wait, the only regular contributor? You really must not read other letters then, because I have more regular contributors than I can even count. Sorry, but I'm not getting swag for that many people. I can't even carry my own (and believe me, there's a lot...), so go suck up to someone else. :P

And your Canadian jokes are better wasted on Comic Boy over there. I'm practically turning American.

 
Burn it!

Hey Liz. I was looking around in one of my old issues of my playstation Magazine (issue 54) On page 34 it talked about ff remakes. Saying that they've been put aside for awhile to make way for future developments. This was said in march 2002. Then I noticed that alot of people are asking you when the remakes are coming out. My question is Was there some announcement made that I don't know about? 'Cause it seems like everyone is expecting them to come out soon.

-The Lizard

More like, people are expecting them period. As to why I've been asked so much.. well, people just hate me it seems. But yeah, that was the last bit of news that was spoken of on the remakes, and I'm surprised people still care. Oh wait, it's Square. I'm not surprised. So no, nothing new.

I just hope they stay aside for a long time.

 
Well, someone doesn't hate it.

Dear Liz,

Crazy Sega I used to hate them (I was a SNES kinda guy way back when), but times have changed! Sort of. Phantasy Star Online Episode III looks to be very interesting; I'm not very good at card games (or strategy), but it doesn't hurt to try something new, does it? I think PSO's general art/graphical style will lend itself well for the card aspects. But where's Sega's announcement about the PS2 remakes of Phantasy Star I, II, and IV? Will those ever have a chance of making it over here? Has Sega abandoned it (for a U.S. release, anyway) after the GBA collection?

I think the PSO art would really suit cards indeed, but I know a lot of PSO veterans are going to hate the change - going from a fun (when not hacked and littered with stupid people) action environment to cards. I would if I was still playing. In fact, I'm sure many are already worried it'll be like some Yu-Gi-Oh knockoff or something.

Nothing's been mentioned on the PS remakes for a long time, come to think of it. I sure hope they're still in the works. Speaking of, I wonder if we'll ever see a GBA port of PSIV. Or will it suffer the same fate as FFIII?

 
Closing Thoughts

By the way, I really hope you guys are seeing X-Men 2 when it opens today, otherwise I'll have to forsake you all. Oh yeah, and don't forget the recently changed topic.

~ Liz, in shock that it's been sunny for FIVE days now! Holy @#$%! (letters@rpgfan.com)



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