February 21st, 2007

Rush Hour 3.1

Heath Hindman: Today is funny. I’m guest spotting in the letters column over at my old stomping grounds with…well…the same guy who wandered over here to give me a hand today. We’re easy-going like that…just not when it comes down to Sabres vs. Maple Leafs games.

So here he is, the Jackie Chan to my Chris Tucker, Andrew Long.

Andrew Long: That’s only cuz the Leafs have PWNED the Sabres this year, except in those games when they didn’t… I was just being nice to you and junk! Because that’s what I do… I help people. Perhaps I will help you now?

“Wrong Turn on IXth Street” Why do you waste time on us here at the Land… But really!

To follow that one, is another one: A lot of people are big FF heads, and all that jazz, and I wonder if I am the only one that sees that right about FFIX, where things were starting to go downhill, they said “We’re famous. I always wanted to make a movie!” (hence FFX’s cutscene followed by ten minutes of walking down a hallway with NO OTHER DIRECTION to go and a random battle, right before another cutscene). Isn’t there something wrong with selling a game more on its name than its virtues, and something even more wrong with people not seeing through it and buying for the name? I know that there are some people who legitimately like it, but many people I meet go straight into defensive mode when I talk about FFX. Is fanboyism winning this fight?

Heath Well, you’ll see a certain degree of name milking with anything that gets popular enough to attempt it. I can see what you mean in IX, and while I enjoyed X, I acknowledge its faults openly. XII was genuinely great though. I don’t think they cut corners at all in that game. And if they had, and a bad FF games followed, it’d just be a matter of time before people wised up. It’s happened with other such things, and it would happen with that series too. Though…XIII might be the beginning of the end. (What the hell, Shivacycle? Get that **** out of here.)

Andrew I think that while selling the FF series on its name is something that really isn’t a good long-term plan, if S-E was only pumping out FF-branded crap that name would cease to mean anything. Yet, people continue to buy the games, and love them, by the million, so they must be doing something right. I am not, of course, denying you your right to cynical bitterness; if hating games with a burning passion makes you happy, then by all means, hate on, hater. Hate on. Just don’t expect me to dislike an enjoyable game with rock-solid gameplay such as FFX just because you want to cry about S-E’s marketing practices.

And, finally, which is more worth the money – this is one that’s been nagging me: A 9*12 Wacom Tab ($540.00 USD) or an XBox 360 (roughly the same to get set up properly with worthwhile games). Note that by trade and choice, and self-definition, I am a an artist, and mostly digital at that, but that at the same time, I identify as a gamer, and am under heavy pressure from friends to get on Live with them. Answer, pronto, no?
Andrew If by Tab you mean tablet, then hells yes, go for that. A tablet is at the very top of the list of gadgets I want, because I love drawing, and nothing is more swell than actual coherent drawings online that don’t come at the expense of painstaking pixel work.

If not, then I’ve never heard of what you’re talking about, just get the 360.

Heath I dunno what that first thing is at all. But I do know that the 360 is pretty good for multiplayer games, and if nothing else, Gears of War is pretty great. But in my experience, if you’re not totally sure you want a console, it will assuredly not be worth it. So you’re best to wait, and maybe get the tab thing.

“They gave new meaning to ‘having a friend for dinner.'” Heath, It seems there aren’t many direct sequels in RPG’s, and by that I mean with the actual stories tied together. I want to know what ones are out there and which are the best. I’ve looked into SMT Digital Devil Saga and hears those are connected. How connected are they and, would I like them?
Heath Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 1 and 2 are some excellent gaming experiences. I think you’d like it if you like dark stories with cutscenes that make you be all like “Oh no…nooo no…no…no don’t…OOOOOOHHHHH…. …He ******* did.” They combine to form one of the better stories in recent RPG history (at least off the top of my head and not bothering to do any real research on that). They’ve got good gameplay to back them up, too. A bit linear, but at least when I played, that was grealy overshadowed by the sheer intensity of the games themselves. Andrew Direct sequels? Go for the Shadow Hearts series. While I’m not certain as to the connectedness of the third entry, the first two games are chained together at the hip. Also: searching for games based upon something as silly as this is bound to end you up in trouble, and not just any trouble. We’re talking FFX-2 trouble.

“I might be showing her my Type-O face” Dear Papa Heath, Type O Negative: Awesome, or awesomely lame?
Heath That depends. Was that the type that sprayed all over my kitchen when the deaf roommate broke Other Roommate’s nose, or the kind that sprayed all over my kitchen when that shifty 30-something-old showed up to steal my perscriptions, forcing me to defend the place with my sword? (Note: Both of these stories are true, which goes against my usual style.) Fun fact: one of my bigger phobias is being stabbed. Andrew Type O negative? Why that’s the most delicious type of blood there is! Not that I’m a hideous vampire who devours souls to live, or anything. I just read it somewhere. Mmm…blood.

Final Grumble

Heath: I feel like I was just in a buddy-cop movie.

Andrew: Now that you’re done here, come over to RPGamer and read our column, because I know there’s bound to be an RPGLand plug there. I guess the only one who loses out in this operation is RPGFan! And in the end, that means everybody wins.

Heath Hindman and Andrew Long judge each other by the content of their characters, not by the colors of their layouts.

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