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ASK OLIVER
Brownies and Ice Cream
June 30, 2008

6/27 - 5:37 PM CST

Ah, it feels good to have two full days off. I haven't really done much other than rest, game, and write for RPGamer, but honestly... can you think of better ways to spend one's free time? I certainly can't.

I beat Dante's disc in Devil May Cry 2. I don't believe I shall bother with Lucia's disc. The game wasn't as bad as all that, but it had issues. I suppose my final verdict is this: I liked it, and yet, I didn't. Does that make any sense?

I'm Moving right along in Fire Emblem, just beat Chapter 19. I also set aside three hours today to engage in a vigorous session of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which is always fun. I went with the Fire Emblem theme, playing as Ike and Marth for the majority of the time. They're both pretty decent, and they're nothing alike. Ah, SSBB... the game that keeps on giving.

Let's move along! There are five first-rate letters to be answered, and I'm just the man for the job!





The Letters
Come on... give the guy a break.


So Oliver wants more about FFIX eh? I'll hook you up.

Oliver

HOOK A BRUDDA UP

First let's get my bias out of the way though. I'm a big fan of the old FF's. I started with IV on the SNES so of course I'm going to totally fall in love with Square when they go back to their roots. Also I happen to be an aspiring composer so the music in a video game always has a massive influence over my opinion.

Oliver

I'm a fan of the old FF's too, of course. But as I stated before, I don't think IX is similar in the least to titles such as IV, V, or VI. Unless you honestly think four-character battles and the ability to multi-target is indicative of a "return to the roots."

FFIX's music is awesome, I can't argue with that. As far as FF soundtracks go, it's right behind VII and VIII on my favorites list.

That being said...

The characters were awkward but for the most part, loveable. Quina and Amarant felt like they had no place in the game at all. Zidane, Vivi, Steiner, Garnet, Freya... These characters are the ones you fell in love with and as such they were the ones most prominently featured in the game. Even Beatrix (as already mentioned), a hardly involved side character, was someone you cared about by the time the game was over.

Oliver

As I've stated before, I liked FFIX's cast. They weren't exceptional, but they were a fun group to hang out with. Quina and Amarant were a bit ridiculous, but at least Quina was good for a laugh. Amarant? Well, he was damn cool, but that's about it. We know he joins the party because he wants to prove he's better than Zidane, (or something like that) but other than that we learn practically nothing. It's a bit of a shame, too, since FFIX tried very hard to establish a well-developed cast, particularly with the implementation of ATE's. But in the end, I just don't think the characters compare to those from some other FF titles.

Though the game does have a major fault that has already been pointed out.

The class system was boring. Weapons and armor that teach you skills and magic? Sure it is simple enough and effective, but not very realistic... Even in fantasy. At least with magic from the original Final Fantasy you just bought the magic. IV's system required you level up your caster to gain new spells. The skills from IV also made sense as you'd expect a Dragoon to be able to jump and a karate master to know how to do a kick. VI was based off magical entities that had to be equipped and the skills were still based off the characters (save for Gogo and Umaro which didn't make sense anyway). Even VII's made sense with materia coming from the life force of the planet or whatever was going on (though I still don't understand how an orb of life force can teach you Slash-All). IX's system though, just felt like they ran out of ideas.

Oliver

Yeah, I agree it was fairly dull and uninteresting. The simplicity of it all was particularly off-putting after the deliciously in-depth Junction system in VIII, which I adored. As for the concerns over its realism, well, I don't think you could truly call any skill or class system from any RPG "realistic." And for the record, learning skills from weapons and armor is at least SOMEWHAT more believable than learning them from a giant grid or checkerboard.

Honestly that's about all of the negative things I have to say. The storyline is a fantastic one the first time you experience it. Vivi's journey definitely takes center stage and who couldn't fall in love with the little Orko wanna-be? Zidane was a bit of an awkward hero but at least he didn't have people questioning his sexuality or his personality in any way. I mean, when you play through FFVII and Cloud goes out with Tifa or Aeris or Barret... And cross dresses. And NEVER hooks up with anyone. Even in any of the sequels he hasn't hooked up with anyone. You gotta almost want him to be a homosexual because it'd just make sense. Besides, isn't it time for a positively portrayed homosexual in video games? Cloud could start a movement. With pride. Or maybe Vaan? Anyway... Zidane on the other hand is clear and honest about his motives. He flirts with Garnet throughout the whole game, grabs her butt at one point, and (SPOILER) actually hooks up with her in the end. That is straight up clarity sir.

Oliver

Look... Cloud dressed like a woman so he would be admitted to Don Corneo's house, so he could RESCUE HIS BUXOM LADYFRIEND. That is all. He did not enjoy doing it, nor did he wish to do it. Perhaps you've forgotten, if so, go YouTube it!

Anyways, that aside, I suppose we can be appreciative of the fact that Zidane very obviously enjoys Garnet's company throughout the game, and has no issues with maing that clear. And I concede, it is very annoying to continue to see Cloud strike down any hint of an advance from any woman. I mean, come on... him and Tifa LIVE together now, and he acted even colder toward her in Advent Children than he did in the original FFVII. Frustrating to watch.

The music of the game was an enjoyable throw-back to some of Uematsu's more memorable scores. The battle themes, Vivi's theme, so many epic pieces that are perfectly placed. Even Dark Messenger and the Final Battle theme felt like classic Uematsu. Not much else to say about that.

Oliver

It WAS classic Uematsu. He was the composer, after all.

I am trying to determine what my favorite FFIX composition is, and it's quite a difficult task! I am very fond of Protecting My Devotion, the music that played whilst Beatrix and Steiner fought to together to defend Alexandria from a veritable horde of nasties. That was also one of my favorite parts from the game, now that I think about it. So, today, my favorite song from FFIX is Protecting My Devotion. But that may change at a later time.

I think I'm gonna stop there. It is getting a bit long winded and I apologize for taking up so much time. WARNING: Shameless plug below!

Lataz,
Kain Vinosec,
www.EmbracingFate.com
Oliver

Heh. That's okay, as writer of this column, I shamelessly plug myself all the time. Surely I can allow someone else to do so every so often.

That sounded AMAZINGLY wrong.

Thanks for the letter Kain! Feel free to write again sometime.



FRESH BLOOD


Hey Oliver.

This is my first letter to Q&A so I figured Iíd start out with a couple of relatively easy questions for you to answer.

Oliver

Welcome, good sir, to the hallowed halls of Q&A. This is your first contribution, you say? Most excellent, we are always on the search for fresh blood. Er, fresh faces.

First, what is your opinion on the Shin Megami Tensei series?

I'm currently working my way through Persona 3 FES. I think that FES so far, probably ranks as one of the better games I've played in quite awhile, second only to Metal Gear Solid 4 but that's a different story altogether.

I havenít really touched Persona 1 at all and from what I remember playing of Persona 2, as it was a few years ago now when I borrowed it from the library at the college I went to and I didnít get a chance to finish it because I graduated, I liked it quite a bit. I havenít gotten around to trying out anything else in the series and would like to. I have Nocturne and I need to play through that.

Oliver

My opinion of the Shin Megami Tensei series? Fairly positive. My experience with the SMT series? Quite, uh, limited. All I've ever played is Persona 3, and I've only advanced about 10 hours in that.

Funny, because I just got back into the game last night, after leaving it cold and lonely for about a month. I DO enjoy the game quite a bit, but it's so... so... overwhelming. The amount of stuff to do is just mind-boggling, and I often get on, play for two hours or more, and feel like I've done NOTHING. And since I have so little time to play games these days, this feeling of non-accomplishment is not a good thing. My brother recently beat the game, and his final time was over 98 hours. That number... frightens me.

I, too, would like to play Nocturne. Dante (from Devil May Cry) is totally in the game. That alone makes it worthy of purchases.

I've got a nice huge backlog of games that I need to play through, totaling somewhere around 80 games. I'm terrible when it comes to finishing games and my new year's resolution was to beat as many games as I can. It's almost July and I've beaten 10 so far so I think I'm doing a good job.

Oliver

Yeah, I'm dealing with a bit of a backlog myself, which is a new experience for me. You see, it used to be that I never had backlogs because I would never begin, or even buy another game, before finishing the one I was currently playing. I would sit down and play 70-hour RPGs from start to finish. Not all in one SITTING, of course, but I wouldn't play ANY OTHER GAMES in the meantime.

Recently, however, that's changed. The main reason is simply this: I don't have much time to play games anymore. It took me weeks to advance a mere 10 hours in Persona 3. P3, of course, is an excellent game. But when it takes one so long to advance a pitiful ten hours, it's easy to get horribly, awfully bored. And when a person is horribly, awfully bored with a game, it's difficult to keep playing it. And that, my friends, is how backlogs are born. It's something I'd hoped never to witness, but alas...

Second, Iím looking for a suggestion for what to play after I finish up FES? Iím having a hard time deciding on what to play so Iíve narrowed the list down to a few games:

Of the following games listed, what are your thoughts on them if you know anything about them, and if you don't mind, pick the next game I should play?

Final Fantasy 12, Ar Tonelico, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Star Ocean 3, or Breathe of Fire: Dragon Quarter.

Valsar

Oliver

Oh, sigh... I've only played ONE of the games on that list, and it's Final Fantasy XII. However, FFXII is a positively divine experience, and occupies a prime spot on my list of all-time favorites. So, today, FFXII gets my recommendation. The VERY MOMENT you are done with FES, yank the disc out and replace it with FFXII. You will NOT be sorry, I guarantee it. Ah, FFXII. Thinking of it conjures up such lovely memories. I played no less than 36 hours of that game in the first week of its release. How I long for the days when that was possible.

Anyways, thankyasomuch for the letter Valsar! Lemme know your final thoughts on P3, and if you take my advice, be sure to keep me updated on XII!



Ignorant, hungry masses.


Salutations once more Oliver. Since that good day at work I reported, I've been stuck dealing with people all the time. Which SUCKS because it's damn boring. It even carries a fitting job briefing: POS. That stands for Point Of Sale, but something else with that acronym suits it far better.

Oliver

I could never work at a job in which I was forced to deal directly with the world's ignorant masses. I work in a kitchen in a restaurant, safely tucked away from all the idiot hungry humans. Dealing with them indirectly through their servers is bad enough, let me tell you.

Indeed, the two Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation games you'll see on Amazon are the only English items in that series. And they are AWESOME, so do buy them with your multitude of monies now before they price appreciate as so many Atlus games do! You must heed the exhortations of a SRT addict!

The reasoning behind these being the only two English entries is that anything without an Original Generation title means a plethora of characters from various anime are in the SRT game, and the licensing hurdles should that be translated into English (particularly in the case of Evangelion characters, though Full Metal Panic would also arouse some lawyers) keep them away. Lately there are a few more Original Generation titles but none has yet made it into English. I even asked Atlus for that Run to the Sun about it, and they had nothing to announce. Blast.

Oliver

Interesting, I didn't know the reasoning behind the lack of localized SRT games. I learn something new every day here! Unfortunately, that IS quite a roadblock, and I seriously doubt it'll be cleared up anytime soon. (Read: prolly never.)

I really DO need to pick those GBA titles up, but, uh... I totally just bought Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Devil May Cry 3, and the Diablo Battlechest within a 24-hour period. Cost me some moneys! I need to recoup a little before spending any more! Sigh.

So you wish to know about Madou Monogatari's end, eh? Well, I did have to fight Satan, but he was not the final boss. Best I can gather he was trying to use the power of Yog (an evil eyeball that stars as the villain) and got more than he bargained for. I had to fight Yog a LOT - that freak showed up at least 10 times, though the fight wasn't the same each time. The end was cute and wrapped everything up, which is entirely appropriate for the game. Oh, and the Violence Monkey was a neat opponent in random battles.

Oliver

omg spoilerz.

These names you keep throwing out... they're awesome. Satan? Yog? VIOLENCE MONKEY? Where has this game been all my life?

Anyways, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I might give it a look if I, uh, had a Saturn.

I'm pleased to hear you're addicted to Fire Emblem, as I know all too well the joys of those games. I played through Hector Hard Mode a few years ago, and it most assuredly packs a worthwhile challenge. One of these days I'll start up one of the Fire Emblems that never made it into English.

Oliver

I LOVE FIRE EMBLEM. I love it so much. I'm on Chapter 20 right now, and I can't wait to get back into it. (Been a few days.) I might try out some of those harder modes at some point, particularly since I've been cakewalking throughout the entire affair. Either I'm awesome or the game's just easy, but I've only had to restart a mission ONCE, and it was due to extreme carelessness on my part. (Didn't examine a boss, he had a longbow, Priscilla was in range... yeah. LIGHTS OUT.) Of course, the last FE I played was Radiant Dawn, which is BY FAR the most challenging of the four available in english, sometimes to the point of utter insanity.

In the event that you ever import and play any of the non-english entries, please be sure to tell me about them.

Ah, Langrisser. I shan't be surprised if you're unfamiliar with the name. It's a tactical series that hasn't seen a new entry in about 8 years, and that last entry on Dreamcast is considered a bastard to all the series devotees. Only the first game was ever released in English, way back in 1991 on the Genesis. The second game is considerably better, also on Genesis but only in Japan. As for the third on Saturn... well, I'd better talk about it a bit.

Oliver

Please, go right ahead.

First comes the new movement system. In earlier Langrisser titles the standard format of 'I move my units, then the enemy moves its units' prevailed. Not in Langrisser 3; now everyone moves at once, and once that's done the fighting begins. What happens if you wanted to move a character but an enemy got in the way? You're stuck is the answer. Also a special demerit must be given to the battle animations, which can fortunately be turned off to save a LOT of time. Not only does the camera fly about spastically without rhyme or reason, not only are the graphics very clearly 1996 polygons, but there is a frequent bug that pops up to make the animation keep going even after everything on the field has stopped moving. This makes already long animations even longer, and if you don't turn off the animation I recommend grabbing some light reading to keep you busy.

Oliver

Heh. I just felt the need to comment briefly on the battle animations in Fire Emblem. I love the animations in the two GBA titles, and I always keep them on. But for some strange reason, the animations in the 3-D entries on the GameCube and Wii just... suck. Well, okay, they don't SUCK, but in both cases I turned them off soon after beginning the game. By all rights, watching 3-D character models wailing on eachother should be far more interesting than the simple sprites on the GBA, but that's just not the case. They're just so BLAND and COLORLESS. The animations in Radiant Dawn were a significant improvement, but still lost out to the GBA incarnations. Plus, they take about twice as long to load, so... they just lose all around. Anyway. Back to you, sir.

Now, the central tenet of Langrisser battles that makes them different from any other series is their scale. Each of your characters can buy prior to battle troops in units of 10 each. In previous Langrisser games each of these units could be controlled independently, and a character can buy up to 8 of them per battle in this one. Gigantic headache, eh? So in 3 the commander and his/her units move as one massive formation across the landscape. But even though the troops are not controlled by the player anymore, they still appear on the screen and each of their units takes up a space. The problem here arises when many characters are jammed into a small space. The computer more-or-less randomly tosses all the units around the area, meaning that your infantry unit might find itself next to some cavalry you didn't plan on, and because formations fight as one the ability to attack one troop of the unit finds the whole unit being attacked. This is just annoying.

Oliver

Yeah... sounds like it. Confusing, too. Why such a drastic departure from previous entries? Judging by your tone, these changes don't seem very well-liked...

And yet... it's still Langrisser, and worthwhile to a point based on that alone. The love index system makes it so that Dyhalt, the hero, is able to get one of five women in the game to marry him at the end. And for one of those women, Freya, it's quite a challenge considering that you have to beat her into the ground three times in the first half of the game. And if you didn't do things right, near the end Freya will choose to jump off a bridge rather than join you. That happened to me and it was rather disturbing.

Oliver

HA! That made me lawl. I'm a sucker for games that let you choose and maintain your mates, friends, and whatnot. In fact, it's possibly the most entertaining aspect of Persona 3. Kinda makes me feel better about my inability to do the same in REAL LIFE.

The Espers just torched the imperial capital. Aside from no multi-targeting and the lack of a couple of Blitzes, the shoulder button-less FFVI playthrough is going well. How well it goes once I need serious healing inside of battle we will eventually discover.
JuMeSyn

Oliver

I can see it now... upon completing FFVI Advance, JuMeSyn proceeds to construct the "No Shoulder Buttons Challenge" FAQ! I think it's a brilliant idea! Don't you?

Seriously though, if you manage to beat it without shoulder buttons, I'll give you a virtual handshake.

Thanks for the letter, man. I'm sure I don't need to ask you to write in again!



Making a BAD BioShock movie would actually be the greater achievement.


Yo Oliver.

Oliver

YO VIRT! Long time no... uh... see? Type? Talk? Whatever. You have the honor of being the author of this week's STAFF LETTER!

Glad you're enjoying BioShock.

Oliver

"Enjoyed" is the proper word at this time, since I have completed the game. Yes, I understand you likely penned this letter BEFORE I was done with it. Sorry it took so long to get to ya, but shoot... so many letters to answer! Anyway, back to you sir.

Frankly, I'm NOT thrilled about the BioShock movie. I was just mooching around on the 'Net (something I rarely do), and I came across this:

"Video game movies suck yes? Yes. Why do they suck? Because games are not based on narrative, they are based on player interaction gameplay, and thatís the way it should be. Thatís why games are fun, and why they don't translate well to a narrative medium. And yet, rabid game fans always INSIST that their favorite game would "make an awesome movie!!!" No, no it wonít, because that's not what your game was designed or created for." After some experiences with recent and not-so-recent forays into game-based movies, I just can't find the enthusiasm for BioShock. In fact, the better the game, the bigger the probable movie flop.

Oliver

Well, I don't know where you got that from, but it's a fairly well-put statement, with some truth to it. But, in the end, I have to disagree. I think that if a talented team could transplant the spirit of a good game into a good film, we would have something special on our hands. Or at least something entertaining. That's what they finally did with the Marvel universe after all, as we've seen many, many excellent films based on comic books come out in the last couple of years.

As far as BioShock is concerned, if they can translate the remarkable atmosphere of that game into a film, then it would work. If they could re-create the world of Rapture in film, and do it WELL, then I think the movie would work. Hell, they can even tack a plot on if they want to. The game already has a good one to work with.

Remember Doom? Now THAT was a stunningly bad choice of game adaptation. The problem with Doom was that the original didn't have much of a plot at all, just lots of action with the player in the thick of things, all the time. Modern shooters have much more detailed plots, but as the 'father' of the FPS genre, Doom's plot was not one of its strong points. Definitely by no means movie material. The movie itself was extremely gimmicky, selling by means of big names (The Rock) and the infamous FPS scene where the protagonist goes around gunning down monsters. The movie itself lost money and was nominated for a Golden Raspberry award (which 'honors' the worst movies).

Wolfenstein 3D would have made a better movie.

Oliver

Heh. Can't argue with you THERE. Filmakers have to be careful in what they choose to adapt to film. Doom, of course, is a perfect example of a bad choice. Like you said, Doom has absolutely no merits outside of its gameplay, and since it's impossible to translate a good GAMEPLAY experience to film, the producers had nothing to work with. But not every game is like Doom. There are lots of other games with good plots and settings that could actually be used in film! BioShock, I believe, is one of these games.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was another travesty of a movie. That movie's greatest flaw was that it was not based on any Final Fantasy game (the latest in the series at that time was FFIX), but instead a strange storyline that is only vaguely related to Final Fantasy canon, usually by means of allusion. I know the movie elicited mixed reviews, but count me in the camp of haters chiefly because it does not have the Final Fantasy feel to it.

I'd take a Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest movie any day. With a hot actress playing Phoebe. Mmm...

Oliver

I have never seen The Spirits Within. From what I can gather, this is a GOOD thing. I have heard almost nothing but bad things about it, and I decided long ago that I would simply avoid it for the entirety of my life. Like you mentioned, it seems that the movie failed to capture the spirit of the Final Fantasy series, and this is something that a film MUST do. It can LOOK like the source material, it can bear the same name, but if it doesn't FEEL like it, then it's a failure.

The Resident Evil triptych and two Tomb Raider movies were pretty decent, but Street Fighter sucked. An at-best-average plotline was barely held together by too many characters with minimal development (*cough* Chrono Cross *cough*)... I thought Dead or Alive was not bad, though my ex- girlfriend, a fan of the series, hated the movie. Maybe classics have more difficulty translating to movies?

The most telling example of the classics-adapting-badly-to-movies theory: Super Mario Bros. Only one thing to say: WTF.

Oliver

Aaaand I haven't seen any of those either! Go me! (Hell, I didn't know there WAS a Dead or Alive movie.)

I have one more thing to say about the Super Mario Bros. movie: LOLZ.

All in all, I don't see good prospects for BioShock. Even Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children wasn't exactly a topseller, and it probably wouldn't have been a box-office hit if it had been released at the cinemas.

Oliver

Hey! I loved Advent Children! Sure, it wouldn't have been a hit at the box office, but neither was Unbreakable. Just goes to show you how much that silly BOX OFFICE knows.

I don't SEE anything for BioShock at the moment. I am HOPING for good things, but I don't claim to SEE them at this point. I will say that I'm encouraged by the team they have assembled so far, and by the fact that the game has so much to offer a film. That is all. And if it turns out to be crap, well, we can all just look forward to BioShock 2. (The game.)

It seems that game developers are getting wary of movies as well. Konami's Hideo Kojima, in response to rumors that director Uwe Boll was interested in a Metal Gear Solid movie, declared on his audioblog HIDECHAN, "Absolutely not! I don't know why Uwe Boll is even talking about this kind of thing. We've never talked to him. It's impossible that we'd ever do a movie with him."

On a different side of things, Blizzard has also been unenthusiastic about a movie: "I got in contact with Paul Sams of Blizzard, and he said, 'We will not sell the movie rights, not to you... especially not to you,'" Boll revealed. "Because it's such a big online game success, maybe a bad movie would destroy that ongoing income, what the company has with it."

Oliver

HAHAHAHA, Uwe Boll! I LOVE Uwe Boll! He makes me LAUGH. Honestly, he and Jack Thompson are the two most entertaining figures in the videogame... uh... sphere.

Yeah, uh, letting Uwe Boll make a Metal Gear film would be somewhat akin to letting a man with bronchitis perform a beautiful song you'd written. In fact, the result would likely be even uglier. Kojima's a BIT smarter than that, thankfully. The same holds true for World of Warcraft. In all honesty, these aren't examples of developers being wary of film adaptations. They're simply wary of Mr. Boll, and rightly so.

Think MMORPGs have what it takes to become movies? I think there are fans who would like to see an FFXI movie. Readers, what games do you think could be adapted for the big screen? Send your letters right away, there's no such thing as too few letters...

Oliver

"there's no such thing as too few letters..."

QUOTED FOR TRUTH.

No. MMORPG's are perfect examples of what you should NOT try to adapt to film. They have no plot to speak of, and no characters to speak of. MMO's are a pure and unadulterated gameplay experience, and that is something that CANNOT be translated to film. So NO. An affirmative no. But, my MMO experience is quite limited. Maybe somebody more knowledgeable could offer their opinion...?

I'll just about wrap it up here. Thanks for entertaining my long and less- than-coherent rant. You're a great Q&A host. Keep up the brilliant hosting!

-Virtuoso, RPGamer Staff Remixer

Oliver

Thank you for the compliments my friend, I appreciate them. Write again sometime! And please, make sure it's not TOO long before we are graced with another one of your beautiful compositions!



Dating advice, YAY.


Hello to Meta (Riddles) Ridley,

Oliver

Oh, oh... you called me "riddles!" Ethos will surely be angry with you. That is his special name for me, after all. I'm unsure how he'll take to other people using it!

First, what do you think will be the aftermath of the Limbo of Lost controversy? Its one thing to take ideas from other games, and create a fan-made tribute like Super Mario Fusion or Tikal and Chaos, but Majestic screwed up royally with this one. They ripped Oblivion AND Disneyís Pirates of Caribbean for their game... and sold it as their own work! The repercussions are obvious for those guys, but what are the chances of this affecting the internet and fan-made works?

Oliver

The aftermath? Well, once Bethesda, Disney, and all the other people who were stolen from get through laughing, there will likely be lawsuits. Big, fat, juicy lawsuits. This will provide me with large amounts of Currents fodder, and probably some additional laughter.

This won't affect fan-made stuff. You see, you can only sue somebody if they make some sort of PROFIT off the stuff they stole. It's probable that Majestic sold a copy or two of the game, which makes them quite vulnerable. If some random basement-dweller wants to construct some kind of ultimate crossover game featuring every videogame character on the face of the earth, that's fine. As long as he doesn't try to sell it.

Second, concerning that WOW girl, depending on your real-life rep at work, whether its known you hobby/moonlight as an RPGamer columnist or not changes the approach to ask that girl. If everyone knows, including her, then you have nothing to worry about. Next chance you're alone with her, relay some MMORPG experience with her (or just RPG expertise in general if you don't play MMO's) and then ask to hang out after work at an internet cafe where both of you can chat and play games. If you keep the RPGing separate from your day job, however, then it changes the approach to talk to her. Next time you see her, say you're more curious about her WOW gameplaying and that you'd like to learn more about it. In your own way, mention you know a thing or two about RPGs and ask if you'd like to talk more after work at an internet cafe or a pizza joint. The important thing when asking a girl on a date is to try to get in her head, not in her pants, cause you respect her and want to be more than friends. And if my advice is crap, well...look up Persona 3 on Youtube and see how to get max social links for Lovers, Empress, Justice, Magician, and Aeon for friendship advice.

Oliver

I cannot believe that I received not one, not two, but THREE responses to my JOKE of a hot-topic last week. Yes, the story of the WoW-playing girl is true, but I was joking when I posted that as a topic for discussion. I had no idea people would actually deign it worthy of writing about. Kinda funny. Scary, too.

Thanks for the advice, I guess. Lord knows I need it, since I seem to have this annoying tendency to make females hate me. Iunno how I do it! Judging by your tone, I'm guessing YOU are a female...? "BLG" is fairly, uh, ambiguous.

In truth, I have no time to be asking girls out and all that jazz. Too damn busy! There are more important uses for my time. Or rather, more profitable uses for my time. Women have the tendency to sap away large amounts of time AND money, which are two things I'm desperately trying to obtain and keep.

YES, I AM A GIRLFRIENDLESS NERD, OKAY!? SHEESH.

Have a nice day,
BLG

Oliver

A nice day to you, BLG, and thanks so much for writing! Sorry your last letter didn't make the cut. Although, in truth, if you'd waited a bit longer, it possibly could have. Same holds true for everyone. Your letter MAY NOT make it the week you send it, but that doesn't mean it never will.



IN CLOSING

6/30 - 12:28 AM CST
I likes teh brownie and ice cream. (Thought I'd put that out there.)

Ugh, it's LATE. I have to be at work in 8.5 hours! What a thoroughly unpleasant thought. I didn't get enough of this column finished last night, and I'm playing for it now. Posting late isn't an option, because Lusipurr would FLAY ME ALIVE. (He's a harsh mistress, y'see.)

Maybe I'll just thumb my nose at the necessity of sleep and play some Persona 3 after I'm done. I have recently gotten back into the game after all, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Lord knows if I'll be able to stick with it though. It will likely have to be played in bursts.

That's all for now, folks. Take it easy, and catch me in Currents #87 this Wednesday!

-Oliver



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What I can't wait for:

1. Prince of Persia: Heir Apparent

2. Tales of Vesperia

3. Fire Emblem DS

4. Final Fantasy IV DS

5. Soul Calibur IV



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1. Fire Emblem

2. Persona 3: FES

3. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions



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