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A Winner Is Not You
Friday, May 9, 2003

Well, the weather's getting hotter, and I am still without a fresh supply of cold drinks around here, nor do I ever remember to buy a slushie or something. Meanwhile, I can't play OoT, which is a very long story. but I just can't... it's not meant to be, it seems. (Or maybe I just need to cut back my dosage...)

Wow, it's approximately four days until E3 begins - and I consider Tuesday, the day of the press conferences, to be the start of E3 - and already the rumors are pouring in. Yeah, we've all got lists from every such company and what they're going to show off, but you'll notice that plenty are holding off on releasing whole lists. Well duh, we need surprises. Anyway. Nintendo, who's good at surprises, apparently has some list that isn't publicly available, but also has a couple of interesting items not heard of before. I'm sure I mentioned one of them last time, it being Metroid Zero Mission, seemingly a GBA title. As if that had me excited enough, coupled with Metroid Prime sequel footage? Another very peculiar title on this ever so mysterious list was another GBA title 'Sword of Fire'. Now, as the title of the latest Fire Emblem (Rekka no Ken) translates to 'Sword of Blazing Fire' - various websites are doing the math and suggesting it to be a localization of Rekka no Ken. God that would make me happy. :P But... we'll see.

Oh yeah, and Vancouver's out of the NHL playoffs as of earlier tonight... man, I can't wait to deal with a bunch of grumpy people tomorrow. YAY!

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Xenosaga, FFX easy? Hardly.

Is it just me? Does anyone else feel that the final bosses in Xenosaga were just TOO easy? I have been looking forward to this game for so long, and I was so let down at the end. In general rpgs nowadays are easier, I guess to appease mainstream gamers, but these guys in this game suffered from a severe lack of HP and Intelligence.

It's not the incomplete story that bothered me, I knew I was gonna get the shaft on that seeing as how it is episode 1 of 6. In fact I loved the story, epic rpgs are my thing. What really gets me is that the final boss got exactly 4 hits on me, and I never even had to cure myself or use an item. And it wasn't like I was super-leveled up either. Heck, I didn't even use the Erde Kaiser! I took more damage from the regular enemy fights leading up to the boss. This is just not right.

Normally in an rpg you save rare items like revives that revive you with full heatlh or items that restore your whole party to healthy status for the final boss. That is because you expect it to be a long, hard, grueling fight to the finish, at which the end is a long cinema. It brings me to tears when I finish a game and all these items that I worked hard to save and not use go to waste.

I hope in the next episode there will be an end boss worthy of fighting my party. My K0S-M0S is so pumped up in her stats, I hope I get to use her in the next episode as a continue too :x

Oh and on another note, platform games have gotten so hard! Case in point: Super Mario Sunshine a.k.a. the hardest game EVER. Yes, that's right, EVER. I sware there is no way a little kid can beat that game. You have to be the most dedicated hardcore gamer ever just to get 80% of the shines, and it will take you longer than ANY rpg you have ever played. No joke. Took me 5 hours to get one shine in this one level. Who said Nintento makes these games for kids?

Too easy? TOO EASY? Go beat FFX again, then tell me whose final bosses were too easy. But yeah, I'd credit the general direction of an RPG's difficulty to the fact that the whole genre is mainstream (don't like that term? Fine, popular) as compared to ten years ago. While I may not recall Xenosaga's final boss being easy, I also didn't level up a whole lot this time, so everything was a tad tougher... um, oops. I thought it was supposed to be easier since I was reading Eglish instead of Japanese this time...

Ooor, maybe I'm just not remembering this fight very well. Only thing I can do to refresh my memory is break out the import. Look at it this way, maybe you can use some of those items when you go off on a sidequest... if you find those bosses difficult at all. There are a lot of things I'm hoping for when it comes to Xenosaga Ep II, but we've all heard them already.

How else would games keep our interest if they stopped being a challenge? I don't know, we have some pretty damn smart kids these days, so I'm sure plenty of them can make their way through our recent tougher platformers. Not that they were easy in the olden days, but they were a heck of a lot shorter!

 
Why can't there ever be male booth babes? Er, ignore that.

Hey Liz,

Ah, E3 is finally around the corner. What isn't there to drool over besides games, games, booth babes, games and games. Some much that there I want to hear about or don't know about yet so I'll just give a short list.

First of all, the PS2 Castlevania game. I've been a fan of the series since way back on the NES. I still remember how much time my friends and I spent on Castlevania 2 trying to get through fast enough to get the good ending. I've especially enjoyed the free roaming incarnations of the series which seem to have become the standard for the series.

Next is the new Star Ocean game. Of course we gamers outside of Japan never got to play the first game on the SNES, but the second game is a favorite of mine. There is really so much to do with the different item creation systems, the optional dungeon, and the private action system not to mention the multitude of character combinations to get in the ending that without the use of a guide it would take a lot to see everything.

I'd like to hear some info on Xenosaga episode 2 but seeing as that I haven't heard anything even as far as Japanese news, any American news is probably unlikely.

And of course we have Sakura Taisen 5. But seeing as it isn't supposed to be released in Japan until 2004, there probably won't be any news until next year's E3.

On an unrelated topic, I've been getting back into some of my old RPGs. I just recently finished Lufia 1 and started on Lufia 2. I must say that this is a great series and it's too bad that it isn't as well known as some others. They are quite enjoyable with a nice mix of dramatic story and light hearted comedy (the wedding scene in Lufia 2 comes to mind). The optional dungeon in Lufia 2 is the first one I've seen where it doesn't matter how early or late into the game you attempt it, it is equally challenging with the only difference being which characters you have available. Now all I need to do is finish 2, start the GBC one and then the GBA one that comes out either today or tomorrow.

Well, I've got to get back to studying for my finals, stupid differential equations.
Xeno

You know, you always hear so much more about Star Ocean 2 than you do about the first Star Ocean, which led me to believe Square Enix would never port it to a new system. Back to Til The End Of Time though, I'm really hoping it's playable since it wasn't last year. It looks damn sweet too, so let's hope those bugs are all smoothed out since the Japanese release.

On the topic of Sakura Taisen, someone on our staff did ask someone from Sega about Sakura Taisen last E3, and they'd never even heard of it. Blasphemy. Hopefully by now they have, especially if they plan on bringing out some ST or another here (I'd originally heard it was supposed to be some gaiden action title) in the near future. I'd like to see ANY ST come out here so I get some idea of why they're all the rage in Japan, and that would be a much easier option than me learning full fledged Japanese. Says the person with six Fire Emblem games in ROM form, and one in the form of a GBA cart.

Since both Lufias both came out on the GBA recently (or will be), they have some more exposurenhow, but not to the point of screaming popular. I hear nothing but good things from fanboys and girls alike, other than that some parts can be really challenging... gee, sounds like they're all telling me the exact same thing. Good idea as far as the optional dungeon is concerned though.

 
Anyone to lend me a whole lot of anime?

Liz (or whoever decides to respond to emails):

Ahh BGC 2040 - I did a marathon session of that anime last week or so, with the 6 disc perfect collection. It was not the greatest anime but a good/decent one. Slightly above mediocre... I much preferred the older 8 OAVs - music and characters still manage to kick some serious booty. Check it out if you get the chance. Currently trying to finish up Vampire Princess Miyu TV series (1.5 discs left), so wish me luck.

I just recently (a week ago) got a Game cube with a Memory card 51/Super Mario Sunshine pack in and Zelda: WindWaker, and have only played a bit of SMS.

Question: Is the two game DVD with Ocarina of Time and Master Quest worth it?

Since I didn't preorder I will probably just get it new. Plus I have to get Metroid Prime, Animal Crossing, Skies of Arcadia: Legend (maybe not - haven't opened the wrapper on the Dreamcast one yet.) Super Smash Brothers Melee. Blechhh - collecting PS2 games (mostly RPGs and the like) AND NGC games PLUS Anime and MOVIES truly truly is a drain on the wallet. Besides, since I started anime collecting and viewing, I haven't really touched my games too much.

Can you tell me where to get the Persona games for my Playstation? Domestic and IMPORT sites are good, since I have a JPN PS2. Also can you tell me where to get a JPN PS1?

Anyhow, check out my DVD collection at the following address. (yes. I really like to self promote my large collection of movies and anime.) Hope to hear from you

http://www.dvdprofiler.com/mycollection.asp?alias=Wooster

(and sort of hope this rambling pointless thing isn't posted to the mailbag. Sort of embarrassing really.)

Wow, so I'm not the only one doing BGC2040 marathons these days. I honestly didn't expect to watch it all in such a short amount of time, but I kept wanting to see more badly, and before I knew it.. it was all over. Definitely not the best anime I've seen, but I liked it a lot nevertheless. It's the only BGC series I've seen at this point. I'm curious as to how good Miyu is - a lot of people have recommended it but that doesn't always mean anything.

I'd really recommend getting that pre-order disc if you can. I don't know how hard it is to find, since Wind Waker's already been out for a little while. This IS Nintendo who ran the pre-order campaign, so I don't think the discs were too short in supply. Maybe a store has extra (doubtful) or maybe a friend or two has some copies. Heck, even try eBay. Even if you've played OoT, there IS the ever-so-challenging (to some) Master Quest. I'll have a few words on that game if I can ever get through OoT.

Although after that, and before your other choices, I'd get Metroid Prime first for obvious reasons. And SSBM. Yes, definitely those two. This might help, too: Just get the games, anime and movies you really want. I don't actually buy much of any of these, I mostly resort to renting and borrowing. Saves me tons of cash.

If you have a Japanese PS2, why would you want a PSOne? I mean, the PS2 will play all the first generation games as well, so I don't see the need for one. They might be out of print at this point anyway, so good luck finding one. Heck, the Persona game may be out of print too, so it would be time to look around eBay, or something. if you're looking for something not quite out of print, www.ncsx.org is probably the most reputable place for importing. Plus they get all that Japanese game merchandise you'd never see here otherwise.

And I like embarrassing people. It's my lot in life. :P

 
Hello Kitty headband? Oh God no.

I've heard so many people saying they don't care to play FFXI, normally I would not give a care in the slightest. Yet I own the game, and have been playing it for a while now. So I am left wondering why so many people are not willing to try the game when it is actually really good. I stopped playing DAoC (Dark Age of No-Content) so I could spend more time playing FFXI. I have not stopped playing Ragnarok Online thou, I _NEED_ my Kitty Headband.

I have found the game rather enjoyable, thou there are some things that are annoying. For example when the Expansion came out it thew the entire economy into turmoil. Everything is now super expensive and you can't earn money because they lowered the drop rate! But it's not the first time or the last time they changed the drop rates, they actually listen to what they players are moaning about and changes them. Sorta, but that's not what I'm writing about!

What I wanna know is what is how did FFXI already get a bad reputation? Is it the fact that it's been out here in Japan for over a year and it's still not out in America making them mad? Or do they just not wish to have a Final Fantasy game that is a MMORPG? If that is the case I cannot fathom why, the 200,000+ other people over here playing the game with me seems to think differently. Yes, I also know EverCrack has over 400,000 players in the US. So I am not saying it's better then that, just worth a shot! Well, at the least I would like to know why you are not interested in the game. Your infinite wisdom might be able to shed some light on the subject for me ^_^

Also, just for S&G's here are 2 screen shots I uploaded to Geoshi..cities ^_^;; Saved them as .txt files so you can see them without having to go to a geocities html page: http://www.geocities.com/enzo3060/pol-01.txt

This is my character Lavian casting Berserk on herself :) We were killing Snipper's down by the beach, the beach was really lovely. Zatoichi and I spent about 15 minutes running around in the waves of the beach. Watching our footprints get covered up by the water and such, running from the water, normal beach horseplay.

http://www.geocities.com/enzo3060/pol-02.txt
This is my character Rhyste fighting some weird bird creature u.u They ain't as tuff as they look, she used her Monk skills to put the smack down on that gray big bird! Her clothes are still her starting equipment, I made her after the expansion and I can't make any money yet with the economy so screwed up...

Also, I just wanted to point out that I was playing FFXI on a 56K Dial Up Modem! ^^ Downloading the patches REALLY hurt ;.; Some are kinda huge, but there is almost no lag at all in the game. I am extreamly impressed at how well Square-Enix hid the lag in the game. I for one have only been able to tell I was lagging when I went LD. (Or when two other party of 6 players come in and rain on your camp grounds..) I'm not quite sure how they did it, but I belive it is done how Ragnarok said their game was going to work. I can safely say I have NEVER seen Lavian jump from one spot to another from lag, nor have I seen a mob do the same, I must reiterate I am uber impressed by how they handled the lag ^_^;;

GT Ranma
XOXOXOXO

Ah yes, dialup hell. Well, this proves that FFXI can be played on dialup - something I wasn't so sure about in the last edition. Which, of course, makes me wonder how well, with graphics like that, the game handles graphics and animation and the like for dialup users. (Heh, I remember lag on PSO... that was always fun, having your teammates stand and watch you get your ass kicked by enemies only you could see. The lag was THAT bad.)

So is it me, or have more people imported FFXI recently, or have just decided to talk about it now? It's kind of creepy, actually.

As for passing over the game, I understand some reasons for doing so. For one the PS2 one costs an arm and a leg just to have all the necessities. For another... I just don't have very much patience for MMORPGs. I tend to flit from one 30-50 hour game to another (yes, I bore easily), and my tastes go more for console RPGs on top of all that. Another not-so-common reason is that I demoed it last e3 and it failed to leave impression on me as far as battles go, but I really didn't experience anything else in the game.

And I know for a fact that it bothers a lot of FF fans that there is an FF that's a MMORPG. To which I say, they don't have to play it, so I don't see the point in whining. They have FFX-2, FF Crystal Chronicles, AND FFXII to wait for. Others are mad that it's not out here yet, but I bet they're part of the bunch who lost patience and just imported it. But the importers seem to like it, so it can't be all that bad. Speaking of which, we will finally be getting an import review of FFXI (and hopefully the expansion) in the near future.

Bah. Unfortunately, the pics still can't be seen... but um, I believe you, so don't worry. So does everybody else! Right? (Just say right.)

 
I think I have more European readers than American ones.

hi Liz,

in the last mailbag, someone asked when Final Fantasy Origins was coming out in Europe. Just thought id let you know that its been out here in Europe for quite a while! in fact, it came out here before it came out in America, which is rare..

on the subject of RPGs in Europe, have you heard of an RPG which came out for the Playstation called Technomage? it only came out in Europe, i think, ( as it was made by a German company) but its really great! the graphics, story and voice acting are excellent, and the game has a very Allundra-like feel to it.

After playing the non-American release Blaze & Blade ( *shudder*) its nice to know we have some decent European exclusives. of course, it doesnt make up for all the RPGs we DIDNT get, but its a start!

one more thing.... is it possible that some companies might show games that are coming to Europe at E3, or is it just an American thing? ( still hoping for an announcement regarding Suikoden 3s future in Europe!)

anyway, bye!

Oh yeah. no wonder I overlooked FFO. I think someone from Europe actually informed me of this once, and I remember the shock we all went into. Perhaps whoever was inquiring in the last edition either lives in the wrong part of Europe, or their store isn't stocking it for whatever strange reason. That's pretty rare indeed. I'd suggest to whoever lives there to go get it now...

The name sounds familiar, but I don't remember seeing the game at all. And yeah, there are some very nice exclusives there - forgetting that Blaze & Blade exists, I've heard enough about that title. There is Terranigma, which I'm still rather envious over even though I have it in ROM form. Can't remember any other exclusives, though.

E3 is mainly a US thing, yes. Of course, since the media comes from all over the world to attend (lots from Asia included), if a title is also destined to somewhere outside of the US that they know of, in many cases the companies will say so in press releases and kits and even then, it's usually bigger titles. Sometimes they'll even announce games at E3 itself which are sometimes destined to be released in Japan first. European dates are usually estimates (a given quarter of a year). Of course, if the game is out in the US, or not destined for the US, it won't be shown at E3. But... I wouldn't hold my breath for Suikoden III.

 
That's ADVANCE to you, pal.

So Schala,

I have question that I would like answered if you'd be so kind. Are any of the fire emblem games for GBA coming to America? Also, is it true that there is an Advanced wars 2? Also, has Square posted a possible release date on Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles?

Fire Emblem... Uhh, well, read my rant about the rumor in the beginning, and that's about all the info I can give until E3 rolls around - I'd like at least more than one Fire Emblem after all. Advance Wars 2 has been in production for a long time it seems, and plays very much like FE. IN fact, it'll be shown, most likely playable at the show, so maybe you'll get some hands-on impressions. Finally, expect those FF games... tomorrow! Go run out to your store before they disappear! Nah, we wish. Expect them by Christmas, the big cash cow.
 
Oh boy.

I fell the need to mail you when ever I mentally curse at the moniter while reading mailbag. okay!. fisrt i could not believe my eyes. FF8 not great. I beleive you said it. several writers have said it it sucks by this you can not mean Final Fantasy 8 this is a great game and a great rpg. romance deceet unboring game play, creppy guy in gloves, and gunblades. what more couild you want? anyway i saw X2 saturday. painted my head blue and wore a trench coat for curt=nightcrwaler. the pheonix hint is a good hint at the end there. oops was that ruining it? owell. the cntroler of all after he says is anoying so im just gona put jojo.

Jo Jo

Wow, people just need to accept others' opinions - and that their own is not, contrary to not so popular opinion, fact. Maybe then a lot of blood pressures would go down. And that... is all I have to say about that. *walks off stage*

Too bad that part about X2 doesn't say or mean much. :P

 
Closing Thoughts

Um, yeah. Insert the usual drill here. On my end, it's way too late to be typing, and even moreso too late to be doing all these last minute E3 preparations. Don't worry, I'll actually *gasp* do some sort of an update before I leave! You can rejoice.. or not.

~ Liz, what, four days already? You don't say... (letters@rpgfan.com)



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