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ASK OLIVER
There and Back Again
July 7, 2008

7/04 - 10:38 AM CST

It is the fourth of July at the time of this writing. The fourth will have passed by the time this is actually indexed, so I suppose I'll just say that I hope you had a fine independence day, and I further hope you didn't burn yourself with any fireworks. As for me? Well, it's yet to be seen if I'll have a good day. I plan on watching Return of the King, playing a bit of Persona 3, and then heading to a local park to watch some fireworks. I'll let you know how it all turns out in my outro.

I played a LOT of Persona 3 yesterday, and had great fun doing it. When you actually have the time to sit down and play large chunks of the game at a time, then it is an enjoyable experience. When you can only get in an hour or so at a time, it is not; you'll feel that you're accomplishing nothing. (This is probably because you're not.) I have about seventeen hours in the game so far, so... uh... A little over eighty more to go?

(sigh)

ON TO THE LETTERS!





The Letters
Going down the list


Been a very long time since I wrote into Q&A. Seems there's another new host.

Oliver

Indeed there is, sir. Your observational skills seem quite sharp.

Well, welcome Oliver. I now will commentate on things in your hot topics.

Oliver

People actually look at those things? Awesome! That IS what they're for, after all; I even go to the trouble of providing links to the appropriate Currents story. Thanks to you, I feel my work is not in vain.

For the love of all that's holy ask the WoW playing girl out. One it might save her from WoW addiction. Though if she's sitting in dark parking lots to get her fix it might be too late. Two it could get you a date with a girl who you know plays games. I figure if you work at RPGamer then you like games. It helps to have common ground.

Oliver

Haha... ha... ha. More dating advice.

You know, by all accounts, it may be too late for this girl. I won't go into any specifics, but, uh, she seems pretty far gone. This, of course, is coming from me. People have been telling me that I'm a lost cause for years now.

Now, perhaps this is a good thing! The two of us being hopelessly introverted and antisocial videogame addicts, we might get along WELL! But I'll probably never know.

Concerning Tecmo getting the pants sued off them.....why should I care? Itagaki doesn't exactly make games with me in mind. He makes games with overly hormonal, bloodthirsty individuals in mind. I could care less how his lawsuit turns out. Targeted at Tecmo, their advertisements for Itagaki's games are shameful and continue belittling stereotypes about gamers.

Oliver

Ah, the Itagaki lawsuit. There have been no developments on it for weeks now... I grow impatient! It doesn't concern me all that much, but truthfully, if Tecmo really did screw Itagaki over the way he claims, then I hope he wins. What's even more disturbing is that they've reportedly screwed over dozens and dozens of employees by refusing to pay them overtime. THAT'S just low.

I like Ninja Gaiden a lot. Sure, it's pretty bloodthirsty, but it's not the violence that sells the game. The combat is extremely deep, and extremely enjoyable. Mastering it requires a great deal of skill and devotion. In all, it's one of the best 3D action games you can find. Dead or Alive? Never played. Probably never will.

About Wii storage space, yes more would be fantastic. I buy a large number of Virtual Console titles, and am eyeing a number of the upcoming WiiWare products and wondering how I'm going to store it all. I'm hoping that they come up with a decent solution soon.

Oliver

It occurred to me that the recent launch of WiiWare will only increase the outcry for additional Wii storage. By all accounts, Nintendo should know this. They now have not one, but TWO downloadable game services on their system. I think it's high time they came up with a solution to this problem of storage. Honestly, though, I don't think Nintendo cares too much about public outcry these days. They know that whatever they do, all the ignorant, foolish masses "casual gamers" will throw buckets and buckets of money at them. Even if they don't have room to save their games, they'll STILL buy them.

Square-Enix is throwing a party? Or threw one? For games that won't be ready for years? I've grown to not much like Squeenix business strategy. Pretty is all well and good, but what happened to the days when they actually released games? I want the next "actual" Kingdom Hearts, mainly because Kingdom Hearts 2 was everything an Action RPG should be. Good story, good graphics and the best damn combat system to ever bear the name Action RPG. If you disagree, I'll be forced to ignore you by sticking fingers in my ears and shouting, "LaLALALALA." None of us wants that, so just agree.

Oliver

Heh... I have to agree with you. I, too, miss the days when Square Enix actually released games, rather than announcing them five to six years in advance, and then slowly torturing us with their extremely tight-lipped, secretive policies. I mean hell, even when they throw a party, it's literally behind closed doors.

I want a Kingdom Hearts III as well dude, believe me. Kingdom Hearts II was an amazing game, and the combat system was extremely well-done. A little on the button-mashy side, but still well-done. As far as action-RPGs go, however, I have to give the nod to the combat found in the Tales games. But I know you're not listening at this point, so let's change the subject.

And because I've done this whole thing out of order anyway, Final Fantasy 9. Good, sure, great....ehh, that might be stretching it. The game was there, but I've always hated the skill system there. You can't learn Fire unless you fight and kill thirty monsters with this stick. Oh you want ice too? Well this stick. No you can't use both at the same time! That's crazy. It was unique, in the best ways, but the blue mage thing (Quinna?) and the annoying hero(His buddy Blind was better) were strange choices.

Oliver

My goodness, the outcry against Final Fantasy IX's skill system seems positively UNIVERSAL. Poor Ethos, he's likely in tears at this point. But I agree with you, I really do. It forced you to grind, or to equip crappy stuff, just to learn VERY BASIC skills. I mean, like you said, we're talking fire and ice here. I did not like that.

Quina was very, very strange, and yet I found myself laughing at all the ATEs that featured him/her/it. I mean, she/he/it was ridiculous, but she actually wasn't TOO out of place in Final Fantasy IX's world. Zidane? Eh, he was alright. Like I've mentioned before, I much prefer Cloud and Squall. I did not find his "lightheartedness" all that refreshing.

But that being said I did enjoy FF9, right up till the end when the whole thing just decides to go crazy on you and dump some random uberboss in your lap. Made no sense. Still enjoyable.

That's it from me, looking forward to your responses,
Ken

Oliver

I think most of us enjoyed FFIX, despite its flaws. And sure, the final boss was a little, uh, confuzzling, but the game totally made up for it with its ending, which was awesome.

Thanks for the letter Ken. Write again!



Of course I already knew


Hey, Oliver,

Ah, so I see you're a fan of Unbreakable, eh? Well, give yourself a pat on the back, sir, because you have impeccable taste in movies. Perhaps you already knew this? Anyway, this brought to mind the commercials for The Happening, which says incessantly, "from the director that brought you The Sixth Sense and Signs..." Since when did Unbreakable become such a bad recommendation? The movie was divine. M. Night should stamp it on his resume in big red letters for all the world to see!

Oliver

I love Unbreakable. It is one of my favorite movies of all time. If not for the fact that this is an RPG site, not a movie site, I would take this opportunity to start fanboy-rambling about it.

Unbreakable ISN'T a bad recommendation, but it performed poorly at the box office. Hence, they do not use its name to sell Mr. M. Night's films. It's somewhat amusing actually, because in one of the extra features on the Signs DVD, (another great movie, incidentally) I recall hearing Night say that he doesn't like it when studios try to sell his movies by touting older films. But, ever since the disaster that was The Village, (I thought it was good, but most disagree) The Sixth Sense and Signs have been plastered on every single trailer or TV spot for anything that has to do with M. Night. Sad, too, since the former is almost ten years old.

Was The Happening any good, by the way? I'm still a little sore from The Village, so I'm waiting for the DVD release.

Oliver

Heh. I have no idea! I was quite excited about The Happening for a time, but upon its release, popular opinion seemed overwhelmingly negative. Not just the critics either; all my friends and acquaintances that have seen it weren't crazy about it. Poor Night... just can't catch a break these days.

Anyway, that's not what I wrote in for, but I just couldn't resist. I did want to inquire about your feelings toward the influx of RPGs going to the Xbox360 this gen. I have nothing against the good old 360, just to make my allegiances clear, and from an unbiased market perspective, it's really the best decision a RPGamer can make at present. But it's just so puzzling to me how so many RPGs, specifically the Japanese-developed ones, are going to a sytem whose Japanese install base is practically nonexistent.

Oliver

That IS pretty confusing, and I don't claim to know exactly why so many JRPG's are on their way to the 360. One thing I do know is that Microsoft has been working hard to get such games on their system, so a lot of it might have to do with them. I'm sure they have their ways of persuading people, after all. Additionally, while the 360's Japanese install base is quite small, the North American install base is huge. Lost Odyssey sold more copies over here than it did in Japan. With games like Infinite Undiscovery and The Last Remnant seeing simultaneous release in Japan and North America, I think it's safe to say that RPG developers (Square Enix especially) are trying hard to reach the American market. That seems to be their goal.

But maybe there's some groundbreaking game-selling secret these Japanese companies have discovered? Maybe they read the New Testament, and just started breaking RPGs in half and doling them out to the masses at no personal cost? Doubtful.

Good thing I don't have a PS3, because I had planned on buying it on the assumption that all RPGs in the universe would throw themselves at it in blind adoration. But this is not so, and had I purchased one, I would have been beyond inconsolable.

Oliver

Doubtful indeed.

I play a lot of RPGs on my PS3! Lately I've been preoccupied with Persona 3, and after that I'll probably be playing Tales of Legendia, and then- oh, wait.

The PlayStation 3 is NOT a good place for an RPG fan right now. In fact, to the RPG fan, the PS3 is like a smokey, barren, ash-ridden wasteland, in which the VERY AIR is a poisonous fume. It's really amazing when you consider the PS2, and how friendly it was to RPGamers. To the RPGamer, the PS2 was like a rich, green meadow riddled with beautiful, fragrant flowers.

Okay, those analogies were a bit extreme, but you take my meaning. I like my PS3! It makes my movies look beautiful! I just finished watching The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and my goodness, the PS3's upscaling abilities made it look almost as good as a Blu-ray disc. As for the games? Well, I actually just bought my second PS3 game, Ninja Gaiden Sigma. Which brings to mind, I never DID play my first PS3 game, which was Folklore. Isn't that sad?

On a tangential side-note, Tales of Vesperia has pretty much made up my mind for me. RPG with a wolf in your party = an RPG I will by UNCONDITIONALLY. Eternal Sonata is also a huge temptation. I suppose now's the time to jump on the 360 train?

Hopefully I'll be playing as a wolf very soon,
Cornman89

Oliver

It was time to jump on the 360 bandwagon MONTHS ago. Honestly, with such a robust library, and another price drop being all but confirmed, there's little reason not to own one these days. If Blue Dragon, Eternal Sonata, Mass Effect, and Lost Odyssey didn't convince you to buy it, then how about all that plus Tales of Vesperia, Infinite Undiscovery, and The Last Remnant? And I'm just rattling off RPG titles here!

Hopefully we'll BOTH be playing as a wolf soon, my friend! Write again soon.



Backlogs are the enemy


Hey Oliver,
Wow. This is the first time I've ever written to RPGamer, and I've been following the site since 1999 (I was 17 at the time). Having been let go a few months ago from the company I worked for (for three and a half years) has given me time to just sit around and do nothing while I wait for responses from recruiters about job positions. Being 26 sucks, man. Oh, and I'm a fellow girlfriendless nerd, and I have been since...forever. I once went out with a chick a couple times back in 2006 but she turned out to be a royal biatch who just couldn't believe that I didn't have my own car.

Oliver

Well, it certainly took you long enough to send a letter! But better late than never, I suppose. Welcome, my friend, to these hallowed halls.

Accept my sympathy for the loss of your job. That's no fun at all, I know. Here's hoping you find gainful employment for yourself soon.

Being a girlfriendless nerd isn't the worst thing in the world. Think of it this way: if you did have a girlfriend right now, she'd act as frightening drain on your limited funds! (They cost a lot of money, y'see.)

Anyway, I won't bore you with all that. I totally hear you on the backlog of games to play. Back in high school and even college, I had time to play RPGs and I would buy just one and play it and then buy another one, ad nauseum. Nowadays I don't do that much. Currently I still have Front Mission DS, FF XII: Revenant Wings, Wild ARMS:XF, and, if I can bare to start it again, FF VII: Crisis Core (the gameplay seriously put me off). Currently, though, I'm doing a second playthrough of Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria. Oh, I also have the original Grandia to finish....damn.

It sometimes amazes me just how many RPGs there are. I've currently finished 58, but I still have a TON more that I have to play. Grandia II, the SMT games, the Tales games...it never ends. Of course, that's a great thing. I always say that the one joy I really have in life is the awesomeness that is the RPG, and I want to find and beat as many as possible before I buy the farm.

Oliver

As far as RPGs go, I still need to finish Persona 3: FES, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, and Fire Emblem. I have yet to start on Mass Effect, Tales of Legendia, and... uh... some other stuff. Most of my backlog (at the moment) is composed of non-RPGs.

You must return to Crisis Core! Sure, the gameplay is a bit of a drag at times, but the game is so beautiful taken as a whole. And here's a hint: replaying games doesn't make a backlog any smaller!

The fact is, there's no way to play all the many RPGs that exist. I'd say that 95% of us don't have enough time OR money on hand. It's best just to play the ones you really enjoy, or are really looking forward to. But, then, if you're like me you find yourself intrigued by 95% of the RPGs that come down the pipe. This has a lot to do with working at an RPG site. I'm indundated with so much information on said RPGs, that it's difficult not to raise an eyebrow or two.

Glad to hear you're enjoying Persona 3. It was the last game I finished, and I had a whopping 92 hours on it. And that's just the Journey portion - I still have to play the Answer. It's the first SMT game I ever played, and it makes me want to play more. Have you been following the upcoming Persona 4? I SO want to get that if it's like Persona 3. What do you think about the characters in P3? I found them to be some of the best I've ever encountered. There wasn't a single character I didn't like - which is rare, for me, as most RPGs have at least one character that's annoying as hell.

Oliver

I'm very much enjoying Persona 3. I enjoyed it from the moment I popped it in, but after 20 hours or so I'm finally "breaking into" the game, if you take my meaning. Lots of fun, lots of fun. I, too, want to check out more of the SMT games. I actually own the first Persona, but I've never played it. I reeeally want to play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. So many games, and so little time. I think we've already discussed this...

I like the cast in P3, but I don't think I've seen them all yet. (Right now I have Junpei, Yukari, Akihiko, Mitsuru and Fuuka.) In fact, the characters are probably the best thing about the game's plot right now, which, from what I've seen so far, is pretty light. I'm not saying the plot is bad, but Persona 3 doesn't seem to be a plot-heavy game. Perhaps that will change over the next 80 hours or so.

All the talk about Final Fantasy IX made me think of the first time I played it, back in college. If there's one thing that I absolutely loved about it, it's the level of detail and the overall design of every single location in the game, whether it's a town or dungeon. I felt giddy every time a new location was revealed. As for the characters, I thought they were alright - sometimes I found Zidane's obsession with Dagger to be sort of annoying, and Quina annoyed me to no end. Amarant I thought was alright, though I was hoping for more backstory for him.

Oliver

FFIX's graphics were very, very impressive for a PlayStation game. Most people wouldn't argue with that. Other than that, your opinions largely seem to mirror those that have been voiced over the last couple of weeks. You thought Zidane's obsession with Dagger was annoying? Huh. I actually thought the love story in FFIX was the best in the series. VIII's was pretty good, but Rinoa was pathetic. Let me tell you from personal experience: acting like an anti-social, hard-assed, blindly devoted workaholic does NOT earn you the attention of attractive brunettes. It just... doesn't.

I'm glad you liked Final Fantasy XII. Personally, I thought it was good, but that it could've been better. I didn't like the pacing of the plot, and it just feels scarce, since Square Enix decided that they wanted to focus more on sidequests than actual plot. I would've liked more scenes between characters (I liked the Vaan and Ashe scene at Jahara, and pretty much any scene with the both of them) and more story-based missions instead of having 44 hunts and other side quests. I also hated the random treasure chests. And the License Board could've been better if they either a) let you see all the abilities you could learn instead of having everything be a mystery, or b) had a set path for abilities (so that you don't have to, say, learn basic Black Magic just to learn Time Magic, which is annoying if you're trying to make someone a Time Mage). It's one reason I liked the Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X a lot more. If they had the original version of FF XII with the Zodiac Job System it would've been SO much better. However, I loved the battle system. I can't stand the usual complaints that the Gambit System plays for you - I mean, it's totally up to you how you want to play the game. So if it plays for you, it's really your own fault. My play style is this: I only set Gambits for basic healing and for stat buffs like Protect and Shell. That's ALL. I cast all offensive magic manually as well as Steal and other Technicks.

Oliver

I loved Final Fantasy XII. Besides VII, it is my favorite Final Fantasy; perhaps my favorite RPG. The plot WAS very scarce, and that's one of the few flaws the game has. Squenix threw all of their resources into the development of the battle system and the multitude of sidequests, that much is clear.

Random treasure quests DID suck. So did the license grid. Your complaints almost exactly mirror mine. By the time I was done with the game, I had a party of carbon cut-outs who were differentiated only by their weapons of choice. This is NOT a good thing at all. The game showered you with LP, to the point of absurdity; I had licenses for high-level white magic like Curaja after five hours of play. And it was impossible to actually create a class of your choice, because you would frequently have to learn certain skills you didn't want, just to reach the skills you DID want. The license grid looked so big and beautiful at first, but after about ten hours of play, I was shaking my head at in disgust.

I, too, loved the battle system in FFXII. In fact, I hail it as the best in the series. I cannot stand people who complain about how it "takes control away," when all it really does is eliminate the need to mash the X button every couple of seconds. And if you want to, you can still do THAT. Setting proper gambits takes a good deal of thought in and of itself, and they can be switched up on the fly. Furthermore, it's incredibly easy to step in and issue manual commands whenever you want. In my eyes, FFXII does almost no wrong, outside of the crappy license grid. Let that be a warning to you all!

What do you think about the Ivalice Alliance? I think it's okay. I mean, Final Fantasy Tactics (the PSP version) and Vagrant Story are two of my favorite games, with great stories and characters. FF XII was pretty good. I've never played FF Tactics Advance and Advance 2 - I hear WAY too much whining about those, which actually makes me want to play them pretty badly.

Oliver

Meh, I don't think much of the Ivalice alliance. I mean, other than the obvious connection between FFXII and its DS sequel, Revenant Wings, it's pretty hard to imagine how the games are related. They just happen to have the same world name, for whatever reason. I loved FFXII, and I'm greatly enjoying Final Fantasy Tactics for the PSP. (Not done with it yet.) I recently acquired Vagrant Story but have yet to play it. I also possess Revenant Wings, but I've never touched that either! I don't own either of the Tactics Advance titles... they seem universally disliked.

I think SE's desire to have one giant world is good, but personally, I think the Suikoden games do it much better (after careful analysis, I've decided that the Suikoden series are my #1 series of all time, followed by Final Fantasy). For starters, the Suikoden games are at least close to one another time line-wise (except Suikoden IV, but it still manages to include a few familiar characters). As such, you get to see familiar characters in different games. I also think the political stories are done very nicely, and I like how you're really just fighting a war instead of having a handful of heroes saving the whole world. While many say Suikoden II is the best, I disagree; I'd say Suikoden III and V are better. The characters and emotions are done perfectly; as of late the only other game to make me feel that attached to the characters is Persona 3.

Oliver

I have never played Suikoden. It's a shortfalling that I should remedy at some point, but I'm not sure when that will be. It's like you said earlier... the number of RPGs to play is staggering. Suikoden just might be that RPG series I never pick up and play.

Well, anyway, sorry for the novel. Have fun with P3!

Sincerely,
Krishna Majmudar

Oliver

I shall! Have fun with Valkyrie Profile 2, or whatever game you're playing at the moment, Krishna. Write again soon!



Fresh faces everywhere!


Hi Oliver,

This is the first time I'm writing a letter to the Q&A. Though I am an avid reader of both your columns, usually I don't have much to say or questions to ask. But I'm breaking the silence!

Oliver

My, but we have a lot of first-timers writing in these days. This is a GOOD thing, though! Welcome to these hallowed halls, my friend. What's on your mind today?

Recently I finished Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and I absolutely loved it. The ending made me cry both times I watched it, and I really can't bear to watch it again- my heart still aches too badly. Instead, in a fit of game-induced mania I went to Gamefaqs and read a whole bunch of story FAQs to refresh my memory of the events in FF VII, and I learned something absolutely shocking.

Oliver

Yes, the ending to Crisis Core is, quite possibly, the most beautiful ending sequence ever produced for a game. It was also extremely sad, to the point where I was choking back tears.

Acquired SHOCKING bit of info, have you? Well, let's hear it!

The worlds of FF VII and FF X are actually connected! (I hope the following is not a spoiler...) Apparently the connection happens in FF X-2 proper, and FF VII is something like a distant sequel to FF X. Read this fantastic guide for further information: Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega Translations

I can't believe that this passed under my radar all this time. And I call myself a Final Fantasy fan...

Oliver

I wouldn't worry too much about it... it's hardly relevant knowledge. Personally, I've always just scratched my head at it and wondered why on earth they even bothered to make such a connection. It was so subtle that 95% of those who play Final Fantasy X-2 aren't going to get it, and nothing in FFVII or its many spin-offs hints at any kind of connection to the world of X. In other words, the only way ANYONE is going to make these connections is if they go dig up a story FAQ like you did. Even then, it's not that exciting. So, Shinra, the freaky little dude in the jumper from X-2 tried to extract power from the farplane. Cool? And then, GENERATIONS LATER, his descendents FLY TO ANOTHER FREAKING PLANET and form the Shinra company, utilizing his concepts. Exciting! Since the chances of another game in the FFX universe are practically non-existent, I doubt this will be explored any further. Kinda makes you think, though: if FFX-2 had taken the time to develop this connection, and made it central to the plot, than we may have had something much better than that silly tale about a big machine.

I guess I should toss a question in here: what is the most useless piece of RPG trivia you know?

Best of luck for work!
Aisling

Oliver

UGH QUESTIONS LIKE THAT ARE UNFAIR. I know all kinds of RPG trivia! How am I supposed to determine which one is the most "useless?"

Fine, I'll bite. How about this: did you know that there was an unofficial Super Famicom version of Final Fantasy VII, developed and released exclusively in China? It was, for all intents and purposes, a remake of FFVII in 2-D. Weirdest damn thing I've ever seen. Think I'm lying? check this out.

Thank you for the well-wishing Aisling, and thank you for your first letter! Hope I didn't scare you too much. Write in again soon!



A grand misunderstanding


To MetaRidley,

Bear with me on this; this goes somewhere.

Oliver

"Somewhere," you say? Very well, sounds intriguing. Carry on.

Let me tell you a story. So, I get up Monday morning, right excited to see a couple of movies today…Wanted and Wall-E. I get myself ready, and my brother, and while waiting for our ride to come, I decide to waste time online a little bit. I check online for a few comics I love sadly cut from my local Chicago Tribune (Candorville, On A Claire Day, & Doug Eat Dog) plus a few web-only comics sadly yet to be updated for the day (Penny Arcade, VG-Cats, and Snafu/Tin the Incompetent Ninja). Changing from Atreyu's When Two Are One to The Editors' An End Has A Start on Youtube, I decide to check my favoritest site ever to see if Q&A is up yet.

Oliver

And we have a FINE story on our hands thus far! I want to see WALL-E! Wanted? Not so much. Never could stand Angelina Jolie. I enjoy webcomics every so often, although I rarely go read them on my own accord. Usually it's through a link someone gives me on AIM or IRC.

Your favoritest site? What's th- oh, I get it! You mean RPGamer, the site I work at!

Still waiting for the call to leave, I read through your column, first about the pros and cons of FF9 and Cloud‘s questionable sexuality, then about Shin Megumi Tensei, then a usual JuMeSyn letter pedestaling Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation as usual (not knocking it, just wishing they could be localized on Virtual Console, XBLA, or even the Playstation Network), then the questioning of the upcoming Bioshock movie (knowing it’ll kick ass beyond a doubt), and finally, my letter on the Limbo of Lost controversy and dating advice for you.

Oliver

Heh, sounds like a perfect recap of last week's episode! Tell me the truth, though: did you scroll through the page first thing to see if your letter had been chosen? Or did you honestly start at the beginning and read it through? (Me, I always did the former, back in the days when I was a hapless letter-sender.) I was mean and made you go last. And, uh... I'm doing the same this week!

Kidding, kidding. I don't "rank" the letters in any way; I honestly just pick five at random. Somehow you ended up last two weeks in a row.

At first I was happy my letter and advice got published, but then I weakly went "oh... my... god..." after reading this line... "Judging by your tone, I'm guessing YOU are a female...? "BLG" is fairly, uh, ambiguous."

Oliver

...uh....

Did I err?

...Ummmm, I’m a guy. I can tell; referencing Gregory House, my parts are dangly, not aesthetic, making me male. I'm a 24-year-old heterosexual male, looking for a girlfriend given the chance personal circumstances get better. Until then, like you, I'm girlfriendless. And as for my RPGamer handle, BLG is an acronym, standing for Back-Log-Ger, ideally referring to possessing a backlog I'd have no problem playing through. However, a year or two ago, I sold it all for money to help with personal finances after my parents died, so that doesn't make any sense any more, does it?

Oliver

Okay... okay... SORRY. "BLG" IS an ambiguous handel! In fact, most internet names are! When you gave such sincere advice, I could hardly picture you as a man. This, perhaps, is a sorry statement.

"Back-Log-Ger." How clever. I like it, even if it doesn't apply anymore. But that's the nature of internet names... they stick. They become a part of you, as much so as your TRUE name. It's kinda weird, when you think about it. And good job on the no girlfriend thing! They're such useless annoying twits anyhow, who needs 'em?

Okay, to salvage this letter, to make it printable for Q&A, here’s my question for you…how’d you get your online nickname? How'd you name yourself MetaRidley? And as a possible hot topic, you could ask other staff and column familiars how they got their nicknames as well. What do you think?

Oliver

In truth, I hate my online nickname. It's so horribly dull and unoriginal. I made it when I was twelve years old, and had recently beaten Metroid Prime. Those of you who have completed MP remember the AWESOME boss battle against Ridley, in which he was actually named "Meta-Ridley." I thought "Meta-Ridley" was so awesomely cool that I named myself after him. It is my greatest regret, but that name stuck, and it will be my internet name forever. Although, funnily enough, it is not my AIM handel. Someone ACTUALLY took the name Metaridley on AIM. I would tell you what my AIM handel is, but then I'd likely be FLOODED with IMs from my many rabid fans. That's not to say I don't love each and every one of them, but if I was to spend time TALKING with them all, I'd never be able to actually produce a column for them!

Sadly, I was only able to obtain comment from ONE staff member. But it happens to be TEH ETHOS, so it counts for at least two or three! You all remember him, I'm sure. He's the newbie who filled in Q&A for me a few weeks back! Let's hear what he had to say about his internet nick:

<@Ethos> Well...my name is Ethan....soo....
<@Ethos> Actually
<@Metaridley> Yes?
<@Ethos> I used to ALWAYS go by the handle "relaxive"
<@Ethos> But got annoyed by the constant "Durrr, relaxative? Do you poo crap ba haha ha lolz"
<@Ethos> And I felt like "relaxive" was a dumb name to name RPG heroes
<@Ethos> So since one of my close friends calls me Ethos as a nickname
<@Ethos> And that's significantly cooler as a nickname for a hero in a RPG
<@Ethos> And doesn't make people think of [droppings]
<@Ethos> I decided I would finally shake the "relaxive" name that (mostly) served me so well for so long.

Quite a tale, wouldn't you say?

That's all from masculine ol' me, have a nice day,
BLG (or MayTaurus, if you prefer since I turned 24 last May, making this work...which sounds better to you?)

Oliver

I vote we stick with BLG. We can even be clever and sound it out, in which case we'd call you "bilge!" How about that?

Thanks for the letter, you manly, masculine thing! Write again soon!



IN CLOSING

7/06 - 11:17 PM CST
And that would be all, folks!

Damn, I don't have any brownies OR ice cream tonight. And it just occurred to me that I didn't eat a thing today! Too busy, precious, too busy. No time for luxuries like food!

I hope you all had a fine fourth! (For those who celebrate it.) Mine was okay, although I didn't really do anything. Went to a park, saw some fireworks, ate some nachos, spat some sunflower seeds. The fireworks were pretty, though. They usually are, being fireworks and all. I finished up my annual viewing the LOTR films. Even after (literally) dozens of viewings, those movies still blow me away every time I watch them. My love for them can hardly be expressed.

OMGCTDS. OMGP4. OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG. OMG.

In case you couldn't make sense out of that, I'm pretty stoked about Chrono Trigger DS, as well as Persona 4. How ironic that they would both be announced JUST after RPGamer's 2008 Halftime Report. I get the feeling that if they had been announced just days earlier, the lists would have changed pretty drastically. Mine would have, that's for sure. Yes, I know, I haven't finished Persona 3 yet... I can still be excited, can't I?

WARNING WARNING WARNING: there MAY NOT BE a Currents column this week! Q&A will be posted at the usual time. Thanks for your understanding.

Later folks, I'll see you again soon.

-Oliver



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What I can't wait for:

1. Chrono Trigger DS

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3. Persona 4

4. Final Fantasy IV DS

5. The Last Remnant



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