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Voodoo Fire
March 31, 2005

Man, it's been a while.

This past month has been crazy. If you can think of any type of freak occurence that might happen to a person, you can rest assured it happened to me. :P From school woes to sickness, I've experienced it all.

But the worst thing, BY FAR, is when I injured my wrist...while playing Devil May Cry 3. The worst...and the most demeaning. :P

But enough about that. Let's get down to business.

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Ah, the eternal question.

Okay I've been looking at the reviews on your website so that I can make "informed" videogame purchases, but I don't get what you classify as an RPG! Prince of Persia:Sands of Time has an awesome story and ya it's pretty hack and slash...but it's a very graceful hack and slash. There are puzzles you have to do and you have to navigate ropes and walls and ledges, just like you have to do in, say Zelda. Yet it's not classified as an RPG. On the other hand there's a review of Drakengard on RPGFan, but it's like serious hack and slash. Yes it's got lots of CG movies but so did PoP:SoT. Drakengard isn't turn based so that can be a defining line of an RPG. So what does classify an RPG? I get it, Role Playing Game. You could be Dale Earnhart Jr. in a Nascar racing game, so is it an RPG too? Will someone please explain it to me. Are action and adventure games the same as an RPG, or is it all at the discretion of some guy who works in a skyscraper that makes a 6 digit salary? Ehem...well I'm good now....oh and by the way Xenosaga II was very disappointing. Bye now!

--Ami2ys4u?

This is a question that comes increasingly hard to answer with each passing year. It used to be simple enough: if a game featured an experience system, an emphasis on both storyline and exploration, and/or a fantasy setting, it was an RPG. Not so these days.

But really, does it matter? People spend too much time worrying about categorization. If a game is fun, it doesn't matter what type of game you consider it to be. :P

But to use your example, I would consider Drakengard to be more of an RPG than Prince of Persia simply because of the stronger story and EXTREMELY memorable characters. I mean come on, who could forget Arioch? :P

 
And now, a tale of game developers and green-haired callers.

Two things - first of all, the interviews have been great. It's exciting to see rpgfan get some top notch and exclusive material. Know that your readers appreciate it. Second, now you've got me wanting to go mess around with Cecil and Rydia. And that always leads me to messing around with Sabin and Terra. I think you see where this is going... so thanks! you've got me playing months worth of classic games, b/c i'm sick of trying to destroy albedo's freaking arms....

sigh...

Yeah, this series of interviews Chris has put together for us is nothing short of fantastic. I swear, everytime I turn around there's another one waiting to be read. I know I enjoy reading them, and it's good to see others are as well.

Don't fight the old-school urges, my friend. Embrace them. You know good and well fighting Milon is more interesting than fighting Albedo, anyway. :P

Back in my day, we clubbed slimes for hours to gain one level, and we LIKED it.

Heya,

I'm a long time RPG fan and a big fan of the site, keep up the good work! Being as in to RPGs as I am, I find myself starving in a video game world stocked with mouthfuls and snacks. These new games just don't seem to do it for me anymore. (crossing fingers for FF XII) I'd like to recapture that certain feeling I got as kid from RPGs(i think we all know the one), but it doesn't seem possible. I am glad that we are starting to get games that are not censored as much. Pub changed to cafe? Come on... I'd really like to start seeing more rpgs that are developed strictly for adults. I'm not talking non-stop sex and violence, but a little that fits with the story would surely help. How about seeing some main characters that sleep together at some point? No need to show anything, but there is a whole other demension to characters that seems to be only hinted at. I recently bought Growlanser Generations and I loved how at one point in Growlanser II the main character complained about how bad he had to use the bathroom. If I cannot recapture the wonder of my youth, at least give me a chance to enjoy my games on a more adult level.

Another thing has been on my mind for quite a while. I would really love to see some remakes or direct sequels to some of my favorite RPGs. Yes, they have been making more remakes recently, but, bottom line, Final Fantasy VI. Come on! This game deserves a resurrection. Restore the original translation, clean up a few loose ends (Gogo = Daryl?), orchestrate the music, expand the story a bit?, give it some bright new sprites and backgrounds (not 3D! Blasphemy!) and you would have a hit. If I didn't own it I would buy any system that it was made for. Then, a year or two later, a direct sequel! Ha. Anyways, that's what I think...

As we gamers start to go grey and toothless, it only makes sense that we would want our gaming experiences to mature right along with us. The thing is, I'm not sure having RPG characters going around having sex with one another is the answer. I know if such a thing had been hinted at between, say, Tidus and Yuna, I would have probably laughed all the way through the rest of the game. :P

Really, I'm not so sure there could be such a thing as a mature RPG. Would a level of increased violence do the trick, perhaps? Not for me. I find bloody, violent games like the infamous Mortal Kombat series to be more cartoonish than any Super Mario game in existence. Same for the aforementioned sex situation. If it were done tastefully, then it'd be no problem. But you know as well as I do that it would be so heavy-handed that it'd be like a hammer to the face. :P

While I like the concept of direct sequels too, a chum of mine raised a valid point about them the other day. If the original stories were done well, would there even be a need for direct sequels? He's got a point. A good story would either tie up all the loose ends or purposefully leave you wanting more. FFX did the latter, hence why FFX-2 worked well as an idea. Whether or not it worked well as a game is open to debate, I guess. :P Conversely, that's why I'm worried about all this upcoming FFVII spawn. That story seems perfectly complete to me. I don't see the point in continuing it...except for the blatant fisical reasons, of course.

 
Closing Thoughts

Okay, that's that. It's back to a regular schedule now. Be sure to send in some letters so I can actually fulfill that promise. :P

~ Daniel Stringer (letters@rpgfan.com)



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