Prelude To Ruin
February 23, 2005

Hello, everyone.

Like a lot of you, I've been overdosing on Xenosaga Episode II: Long German Subtitle. Like a lot of you, I dislike it intensely. :P I finally beat it last night, so now I can move on to bigger and better things...like letting my family know I'm alive...and sunshine. :P

To the letters.

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Mmm, FFIV.

Hey, Daniel. Has anyone ever compared this site to another RPG website? I also visit RPGamer regularly, and I think you seem a lot nicer than the Question & Answers guys over there. I find them to be rather snide and opinionated.

Now, for my real question (if you'd like, you can leave the other thing out--it was just some random praise):

Are RPGs moving away from traditional turn-based gameplay? Back when I was a wee little girl, Final Fantasy IV was the first RPG I ever played. I fell in love with the gameplay.

Lately, I've been playing some of the games from 2004 that were on my backlog. I recently played Star Ocean : Til the End of Time, followed up by La Pucelle. One is an action-RPG, the other is a strategy RPG. And while I enjoy those types of games, I'm starting to miss turn-based gameplay, like that of Final Fantasy. Even FINAL FANTASY is leaving turn-based behind, or so I've heard. Why?? Does it not appeal to the new wave of gamers?

I've also played Suikoden IV recently... and what a disappointment! It IS a turn-based game, but the story was a huge letdown. Another game that comes to mind is Shadow Hearts. I loved the game, but it uses a gimmicky thing like the judgement ring to spice things up.

What's your take on this? Can we kiss menus that say "Fight" and "Magic" goodbye?


Me, delete praise? I'd never even consider doing such a thing. :P

Unfortunately, I fear that traditional turn-based gameplay is headed the way of the dodo. If it survives, it'll be in a form similar to an example you used: Shadow Hearts. Gamers these days seem to want battle systems that are a little more active than the systems of yore. Shadow Hearts delivers this with a system that is easy to use, yet adds enough suspense (for lack of a better word) to make fighting a little more varied, hence more interesting.

Personally, the rise of action-oriented combat systems doesn't bother me at all. I was an action gamer well before I started in on RPGs. The Star Oceans and Valkyrie Profiles of the world are naturally better suited to someone like myself with that sort of background. Which I'm sure is why I worship the Ys series so much.

Man, now I feel the need to dig out the SNES and mess around with Cecil and the gang AGAIN. Not that I'm complaining. :P

LOL @ hard

I have two questions.

1. I know you have not played Xenosaga II, but when you do is it as hard as Xenosaga I? I really enjoyed the movies and gameplay, but the game was very difficult and I still have not finished it. I hoping that the second game is a little easier.

2. Is there any way to get the dvd of Xenosaga without pre-ordering it?

Episode II is about as far away from hard as is humanly possible. :P The only thing that might give you trouble is the learning curve for the new battle system. The game does an absolutely abysmal job of explaining how things work. Trial and error is the only way I managed to sort it out. Normal battles are a little lengthy as well, but not as long as, say, Baten Kaitos.

I have to admit, I don't know the answer to your DVD question. My gut instinct is to tell you no, but I don't know that for a fact.

Yes, the RPGFan staff hates one another. :P

Hello D,

Just got done reading the new mailbag and wanted to say a few things. You mentioned about the Zenogears pixilation and taking care of it by turning on the "smooth texture's" , how do you do that?( It might seem like a dumb question but I dont tinker with the systems to much I usually play it as it comes out of the box)

My next thing was to answer that one person's question with RPG's, the is no question that Shadow Hearts II is great but seeing your going back to PSone games why not recommend Breath of Fire III, or even Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter for the PS2? You might be able to find it new for around 10 bucks.

This last part is a kinda "hmmmm" question. I wrote last time about Stella Deus and if anyone heard of it etc. And you went on about no one hearing about it and the whole graphic's whore" lol. Just wondering if a game that no one heard of,or is talking about, hits your homepage? Are you people not sharing info over there ha ha JK.

Well keep up the great work the site is great!!!!


P.S. Hook me up with that demo you guys got of Stella Deus :)~

Don't like tinkering with your system, eh? It's a good thing you don't have to, then. :P

It's simple, really. Just turn on your system with the disc tray open. When you get to the menu that says "Browser" and "System Configuration", hit the triangle button. Highlight "Playstation Driver" and hit triangle again. Two options should show up: "Disc Speed" and "Texture Mapping". Go down to "Texture Mapping", hit X, and pick "Smooth". Mission accomplished. :P

Why didn't I mention a Breath of Fire game? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that I hate most of them. :P With the exception of the third game, of course. I absolutely love that one. Yeah, that WOULD be a good recommendation.

And yes, we staff members do talk to one another...just not about Stella Deus, apparently. :P

Closing Thoughts

Well, wasn't that delightful. Keep the letters coming in, everyone. And you don't have to worry about spoiling Xenosaga for me anymore, so feel free to write those long-winded essays on the plot that I KNOW you're dying to write. :P

~ Daniel Stringer (letters@rpgfan.com)


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