Double Agent
Shin Mega Whatsitshoozin - February 16th, 2002 - Drew Cosner

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this column are those of the participants and the moderator, and do not necessarily reflect those of the GIA. There is coarse language and potentially offensive material afoot. We don't have to breed. Don't say we didn't warn you.

I accept defeat; there's nothing I can print here that hasn't been uttered in some fashion before. I wish I'd been born a few thousand years ago, when wit was still young. Alas.

Now down to the column. I'll start with a letter that, I feel, sums up the bulk of the opinions I received rather nicely.

What now?


"Shin Megami Tensei"?

What the hell are you talking about?

-Red Raven

This bodes ill.

Brushing up on the BS

Hi Drew,

"Hello! You've reached Microsoft!"
"Yeah, I want to know about that Shin Megami Tensei Nine game."
"The what? Megaman 29? We don't have any Mega-"
"No, Shin Megami Tensei Nine."

I will never, never, never play this game, and here's why:

1: It's on XBox.
2: It's an online game on XBox.
3: I've never heard of the series before.
5: The name is too damn long... No one's going to remember it. Not even the people who produce and distribute it. Hell, the poor bastard who ends up saying it really fast forty-eight times for a TV commercial probably won't remember it two minutes after he's done. Come to think of it, I could very well have heard about this series several times in the past, but never remembered it because of the name.
6: I have absolutely no interest in playing it.


Actually, I don't really give a crap about it either way. I was just bored and needing to practice my BS technique for a bit.

Got a ten-pager on Tartuffe for Wednesday, y'know. Back to work...


At least the game's pundits base their arguments on sound reasoning, if nothing else. I mean, it's not like they could just change the title in North America or anything. But I digress.

Residents Evil

Hey Drew!

How would RE : Online work? Simple, it simply won't be a massively multiplayer game. You might only be able to play with 9 other persons or so, starting at different locations, having to find each other and help each other along the way. I suppose some characters would be able to use only certain types of weapons but will have other skills (healing, or lock picking to get items in lockers and such). BUT, this brings me to mention a very very important problem online games will face.

Online games, while offering an extremely wide variety of gameplays such as fighting/sports tournaments, massive multiplayer RPGs and more, are extremely limited due to one and simple problem : Availability. It's gonna be very difficult for anyone to try and play at a dedicated time. I mean do you ever say "Ok I'm playing videogames next Thursday at 7:pm to 9pm!"? Or let's say we are playing a Mario like game where we cooperate to finish the levels. Halfway through, you have to go. Now what? That's quite a problem if you ask me. As much as online games might be fun, they will not only be extremely expensive as it is, but they will be greatly limited gameplay-wise anyway.

In the end we will most likely only play online games with our close friends, just as you usually would in a two player game. And hey, you could always use the phone instead of having to type in order to communicate.


I think your vision for an online RE would certainly be more conceivable, but I can't even imagine the kind of servers they'd have to be running to handle thousands of people divided into 9s, each with their own running game world. I may not be Mister Doctorate in CIS, but I'm willing to guess that would be prohibitively difficult and expensive for the provider. But hey, maybe I'm full of it and they've figured some dandy solution to do just that. You never know.

As for logging on at specific times, I'd tend to agree; I always get a little leary when I hear a game is to sychronize with the console's internal clock for realistic time schedules. Life isn't so simple that you can just log on and play whenever the game calls for it.

Rant time!


"But online gaming is hardly the afterthought for the PS2 that the 64DD was for the N64, and not only has Sony more or less beat the Xbox to the punch in implementing broadband service, the third party software support they've announced is undeniably impressive."

What kind of crack are you on?

"Sony has beaten the Xbox to the punch"? In what fucking universe? Point out an example for me of a popular console with a feature installed losing in that category to another popular console that makes the same feature available via an add-on. You can't even name one, because it has never happened.

The N64 whipped the PSX's ass in multiplayer games because it had four-player support built into the system, whereas the PSX made it available only via a separate multitap. And that multitap cost $30; when the hard drive and broadband adapter together cost around $200, what makes you think the PS2 will be more popular here than a system with both features built-in?

As for Sony's game lineup, they listed a substantial number of titles. The list has had a number of days to circulate and among all those sites I've visited, no one is interested in a single game on that list aside from FFXI. Most of your readers yesterday, judging by the letters you printed, feel the exact same way, except that some of them aren't even interested in FFXI. In other words: "Undeniably impressive" are some big words considering you have no evidence anyone is anything but unimpressed.

I like you, Erin [I'm sure that affirmation makes her day. -Ed.], but as idiotic statements like the one I quoted from you can't be defended, don't post them.


To paraphrase Erin's response to this:

The PS2 already has a much stronger installed base in both Japan and North America, their online strategy is ready to go, and they've got an assload of games that appeal to a wide audience. Conversely, the Xbox, with its amazing "built in capabilities" hasn't even launched in Japan.
I'm not even going to step into this pile of shit, but I will say one thing: DAs are held to no rules of conduct (within reason, of course). This is a forum for public opinion, and that extends to the moderators as well. In other words, we can say the Xbox sucks because green is an ugly color and people have to deal with it. You're welcome to get all huffy and indignant over what is, when you get down to it, inconsequential video game minutia, though. So I guess "rock on", Nij.

Get it straight!


First of all, it's Shin Megami Tensei Online that's headed for the XBox, not Shin Megami Tensei Nine, there was only two games actually called Shin Megami Tensei. But, none of that matters, eitherway, it will never see the light of day in the US, and that's a fact. Since sometime around 1987, there's been over 16 incarnations and 4 or 5 remakes of the Megami Tensei series, and the only ones that were released state-side were Revelations: Persona and one of its two sequels, Eternal Punishment, if you count Persona to be part of the parent series and not a spin-off. But that, too, doesn't matter, because both games were overshadowed and lost in the crowd to more hyped up games. I even believe Atlus once said that sales of Persona 2 in the US fell short of what they expected. So, with failing sales figures and the fact that 2 of maybe 20 games have been released here, both of which were in the Persona series, there's no chance that we'll see SMT:Online unless Atlus wants to take a huge risk on releasing it here, and it's so heavilly doubtful they will.

As well, I do not understand why Atlus would release an online Megami Tensei game on the XBox other than for its out of the box online capabilities. Megami Tensei is a Japanese game, and the XBox is an huge, ugly American console. They don't seem to mix well. The PlayStation 2 does not have out of the box online capacity, but quite a few developers have online games in the works for it. Why not release it on that?

Although I'd like to see what an online MegaTen game would be like, I never will, because interacting with people who speak a completely different language than me isn't exactly my cup of tea.

That, and I'd rather die in a puddle of my own vomit than buy an XBox.

- Esto Carass

You people are really big fans of the hyperbole, aren't you? I mean, I know this is the pot calling the kettle black, but just an observation.

Closing Comments:

Okay, an easy topic for tomorrow to commemorate the new Zelda and Mario Sunshine info: how interested are you in these games? Totally turned off? Intruiged? Chomping at the bit? Let me know. It would be really swell of you.

-Drew Cosner

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