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LETTERS WITH AEGIS
     Tuesday, August 7, 2001 "tell me, how long you gonna stay here, joe?"     

CRAZY WALL MATH:

"...the Greatest Hits release of Final Fantasy Tactics should be in stores today, so those of you who've always been meaning to buy it should do so. It's there and priced to own. I'll prolly buy a copy myself." -- me, last week.

Fast forward a few days, and we find out that none of the rereleased CDs actually work. Although there hasn't been an official statement, I've heard from reliable sources that the discs were region-coded for Japan, which is why they wouldn't work on North American systems. Whatever the reason, I personally find this to be an unnecessary and inexcusable error, but perhaps I'm a bit less forgiving than some. Throughout today's column, we'll hear some more opinions about the Final Fantasy Tactics problem, and we'll get to know some of the people who share our love for RPGs.

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    Guess the Quote Contest
    Try to guess (be specific) the quote towards the top of the page. If you're the first one to email me with the correct answer, I'll mention you in my next column.
     

     
    the queen quietly quoted her qualms
    Hello Aegis. Fancy meeting you here of all places. Anyway, the quote is from The Simpsons, more specifically the lemon tree/shelbyville episode, spoken by the impound lot guy. It's very wrong how much of that show I watch. Oh well.

    -Alex

    Aegis:
    "Shake harder, boy!" is indeed from that very episode of "The Simpsons," a great show which I sadly haven't watched in quite awhile. Give yourself a cookie for that one.



     
    and it started with a plumber...
    Hey Aegis,

    I'm a guy who's 18 years old. As far as game playing goes, I mostly play RPGs. Interestingly enough, I didn't know what a console RPG was until I played Super Mario RPG. Then, a friend I met in school that year said "You like Mario RPG. What about FF II? The BoF series? Lufia? You've gotta try other RPGs; they're even better!" (and they were).

    So, I've played bunches of RPGs on SNES and PSX but more on PSX. I've never played FF VI (III US) past 10 hours. I always lose interest and I have no idea why. It might be because *everybody* has hyped that game so much. I often can't get into a game when a lot of ppl tell "That's the best game ever!". It happend with Skies of Arcdaia too. I've owned it since Xmas and I haven't hit 20 hours.

    I've never had a girlfriend. I have (or had) a crush on this girl that I became friends with this year. I don't even know if it's "have" or "had" anymore and I don't know when or if I'm going to get the courage to ask her out. I might be deluding myself when I think I'm going to meet someone of the opposite sex who has a lot in common with me someday. Life probably doesn't work like that.

    I play Magic: The Gathering. Well, actually, I stopped over a year ago but now I seem to have started again. Sometimes I go to type 1 tournaments. Now, some of my friends know this but a lot do not. I like to keep it that way but it just doesn't seem to work. Once in school the day after a tournament my friend was asking me about the tourney on the weekend. He used to play and he was interested in hearing how it went. I was trying to politely tell him that I'd tell him about it later. But, he kept asking me questions and eventually I told "I got 3rd.". So, then, another friend of mine (who I didn't know that well at the time) began pestering me about "what did you get 3rd in?". I told her "a magic tournament" and I could tell from the look on her face that she thought so much less of me at that moment.

    Friends. I have a friends. But, when a lot of them don't really know me it's hard to say if I have more than 10 ppl (in town) who I really should consider friends. Maybe I'm being picky; it's hard to get to know everybody.

    Life. Life was better when I was in grade 8. Those was the best times. I was getting into RPGs and I became friends with people who were also into video games, magic and D&D. Things aren't the same anymore. Oh well, I really shouldn't lament about time, of all things.

    Thanks for reading.....I went longer than I expected.....sorry.

    --Rahlious aka Mike White

    P.S. - Did you open the floodgates with this topic?

    Aegis:
    Thanks for sharing your life with us, Mike. I'm sure a lot of us can relate to some of the things you wrote about (I know I can). Although I didn't necessarily feel horribly outcast, I felt out of place in high school, and I only had a couple people that I considered friends rather than acquaintances. If you plan to attend college, though, be prepared to meet more people with similar interests than you ever thought you would. I didn't think high school was that bad while there, but college makes it look that much worse in retrospect.

    As far as opening the floodgates... no comment. ;-)



     
    from warmer waters
    Hey, Aegis! I guess it's worth it to send an email to talk about both subjects you suggest for today's column. I'll try to be as brief and precise as possible:

    My name, Francis Alma. 20 years old, male; born, raised and living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (in the heart of the Caribbean), and hence enjoying RPGs based on those that are imported from US (despite the fact that our main language is Spanish). I'm studying Computer Systems Engineering in Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC) [home page: http://www.intec.edu.do], and belong to the Bahá'í Faith [Official Web Page for the Bahá'í International Community, http://www.bahai.org].

    My first game in the RPG genre (if considered as such), was Legend of Zelda (NES), followed by Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior, both by the same time. The story could go on, until the games we see today, but frankly my last RPGs have been a bit of FF6 from FFA, FFT, and FF8. I'm looking forward to soon play FF9, Breath of Fire III and IV, Chrono Cross, FFChronicles and eventually, FF10 (also waiting for FF: The Spirits Within to hit our theaters this Thursday). The biggest chunk of games that I sank my teeth into were those for SNES, back in the 1990s, including FFII, FFIII, Breath of Fire I and II, Lufia I and II, Secret of Mana, Secret of Evermore, Chrono Trigger, Soul Blazer, and Zelda: A Link to the Past, among others. I hope this profile meets your requirements. ;-)

    Aegis:
    It's great to hear from an RPGamer in such an exotic location (okay, maybe not exotic for you... but for me it would be). Is it pretty easy to import games from the U.S., or did you just make the effort regardless?


    Now, concerning the re-release of FFT, there's something I'd like to comment and at the same time ask: I believe that if there was a problem with the original shipment, above all it wasn't an intentional action made by either Sony or Square (or most likely Sony, since Square isn't endorsing this re-release). However the case, though, I don't see why the game should be defective, if what they did was to take some sort of master from the original FFT and re-copy it (probably changing only the Copyright years, unless they decided to polish the translation/localization in it, as well) to a new batch of discs (please correct me, because I'm sure it's not as simple as that). In any case, though, my question is: if the game remained untouched, why is it defective? As far as I know, FF7 was also released as a Greatest Hit, and so far I haven't heard any complaints like these whatsoever... Probably there's a technical problem behind all this, but no matter what turns out, I believe that both Sony and Square (if they decide to endorse the re-release) won't lose on an investment like this if they can get the game to work (frankly, in terms of profit, I think that they'd lose much more if they leave things as they are right now), especially when there are people that are willing to pay up to US$100+ for the game, even if it is a -used- copy of the old batch of discs that are still being sold in sites like Ebay, or the like... But however the case, I refuse to believe that it was simply because "Sony was careless", I really don't think that any company that has the position that Sony or Square have would invest their money in something that doesn't work just because... It sounds too "immature" (if that's the proper word) to be true. But that's just me, though... =P

    Aegis:
    As with all of Sony's Greatest Hits games, there were no translation fixes or other changes involved. The rerelease was supposed to be the same old game in a shiny new green-striped packaging. It really does look like Sony was just careless. As I mentioned in the column opening, I've heard that the game had the wrong region code on it. I speculate that the game was tested before shipping, but it was probably tested on a development system or otherwise modded PlayStation which didn't recognize the wrong region code.


    Out of this topic, there's another question I'd like to ask: is the release of the Breath of Fire series to the GBA already scheduled for North-American release, or is it still in stand by? Just to know, since they were, IMHO, very good games to play (especially Breath of Fire II, you could say it has a storyline as complex and intriguing as FFT's, in terms of the topics the game deals with)...

    Thanks for taking this email into account, and I guess it'll be until next time. Adios, amigo. =)

    Francis Alma.

    "Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self".
    - Bahá'u'lláh

    Aegis:
    Both Breath of Fire I and II are scheduled for North American release, but we don't have any release dates as of yet.



     
    my broom has a rating of one-third
    Hey Aegis,

    Besides being a good writer, There is nothing interesting about me. Well, ok, I'm more fascinated by swords than a normal person probably should be. Did you know that in ancient Japan, katanas were rated 1-7 based on how many heads they could chop off in one swing?

    Aegis:
    I was not aware of that fact, but that's pretty darn cool.


    But yes, I think game companies are getting too careless. We've been seeing it for a long time with quality issues, not that I'd use any of the obvious examples like Tomb Raider or anything. Now they're just slacking while physicaly producing the games as well as churning out endless steaming piles of crap on top of that. While we're not in danger of a monopoly or antything, I fear that video games are in the same predicament as computers (not that I'd point out Microsoft or anything...) are. With a thriving market and no imminent danger of that changing, major companies don't feel like they have to try any more. They just keep doing what they're doing, and do that badly, and we suffer for it. Unfortunately, many people think games like Cool Boarders 374 and WWF Something-Explosive: Big Men are high quality (and by that I mean the effort put into making them well and making them good) games and keep buying them, so looks like we're stuck here. That sucks.

    Not that it's all like that or anything, there are still plenty of good games coming out all the time, and actual quality of the game discs themselves is still a relatively very rare problem.

    ~TH Cole is going to go run off and play Vagrant Story now

    Aegis:
    I do agree that there are too many big-selling mediocre games out there, but that's a different topic entirely. I mainly printed this one because I think more people should know about the katana ratings. Cheers.



     
    all about who you know
    Yo Andrew,

    All about Barry and relate it to RPG's? Hrm? That could take a while. Lesse. I'm 21 years old and am majouring in secondary education. I plan to teach American History to high school kids. I'm from a little place no one has ever heard of called Selmer, Tennessee. I'm quite Southern, and by Southern I don't mean Redneck or Cowboy. I hate society's grouping of them. And no, ladies, I'm not single, so no beating down my door, please...I can't believe I just wrote that. ;p I started playing RPG's way back in the day. Dragon Warrior was my first along with The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy. I always liked the fact that I had to put my mind into completing these games rather than just shooting at a target. Sure, the latter requires some degree of skill, but not as much, I think, as the former. Final Fantasy Tactics re-release? It strikes me as something done just to shut people up. So, they rushed it to get it out so they wouldn't have to hear about it anymore, but botched it in the process. Shame too. It's one of my favourite games. I love the story. When studying history as I do, you tend to run into such situtations as Ramza's from time to time, ie. recorded "history" not being what actually happened. Well, that's me in a very, very, very small gaming nutshell. Hope it was of interest to some.

    Vaya con tacos,

    Barry

    Aegis:
    I suppose the Tactics rerelease could be viewed solely as a way to shut people up, but I'd view it more as a way to shut people up while making a whole lot of money. I really don't think it was rushed either, but we'll really never know, will we? That is, unless some Sony employee who feels like divulging information happens to be reading this column...



     
    one...
    Yo Aegis,

    I myself think that Square has got some serious production issues that it needs to iron out, but the people that say that they aren't going to buy a game for a month after release because of all this are overreacting. Sure, none of the FFT copies work and a few copies of FFC have problems but those are _two_ games. The fact that two games had production issues is not going to bring down the death of humanity, people! They will work it out!

    Lepant, Beholder of the Evil Pant of Doom

    Aegis:
    I'll address part of what you said in the next letter's reply, but I will address this here: the FFT screwup is not Square's fault. Sony, and Sony alone, is in charge of the Greatest Hits games. Their bad, not Square's.



     
    ... and two
    Aegis,
    to answer your question, i don't think developers are getting too careless, i think gamers are expecting too much.

    Aegis:
    He doesn't say much, but when he does it's short and to the point and I respect that.

    You say there that you don't think "developers" are getting too careless. In the topic, I was referring more to publishers and game manufacturers rather than game developers, but if you are indeed referring to the artists and programmers behind the games, then yes, I agree that to an extent gamers do expect too much sometimes.

    However, if you are referring to publishers and manufacturers, but erroneously called them "developers," then I completely disagree. If I go to the store and buy a Toaster Strudel (Pop Tarts suck), I expect it to cook, correctly, in my toaster. If I buy a DVD, I expect it to play that movie in my DVD player. If I buy a PlayStation game, it better damn well work in my PlayStation. You're taking a gamble on artistic quality ever time you purchase a game, but the thing should be guaranteed to at least boot up and run.



     
    intermission
    You know just when you had forgotten all about it, and had returned to a state of normality: ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US.

    That is all.

    Sorry for ruining your day.


    -The Rick

    Aegis:
    This made me smile. Hopefully it does you too.



     
    the b sharps
    Hey Aegis, here's my life story because of video games really quickly! Back in the day when Sound Blaster 16 was a giant which stormed the earth, I collected MIDI files. Mainly popular music at the time and movie soundtracks, and one day I realized I could get video game music online, and eventually I realized I could get *A LOT* of it. I started becoming interested in MIDI as I listened to these melodies, and one day one of my online friends (I had AOL at the time) sends me a MIDI file of the original "Final Fantasy" theme. I loved it, I was so impressed by it. I'd never heard of the game, but by golly, the song was good.

    As I became more interested in MIDI and a year or so went by, I upgraded to AWE32 and began listening to my MIDI files in style. I eventually began editing them... changing the instruments and such, and this impressed me.

    Soon I got an AWE64, and I was bragging that I was a "musical genius" because I could change instruments in a MIDI. Soon, somebody heard my boasts and wanted me to compose the music to a video game. Uhhh, woah. I said yes. But I didn't know ANYTHING about composing, or music, or anything. But, I managed to whip up a cute little thing, it sucked upon recollection, but all our first pieces do.

    I kept plugging at it though, until I could do amateur compositions. After years of work I'd finally pushed my AWE64 to the limit, but my compositions were still crap. I got a Roland SK-88 Professional synthesizer, as my friend had one and the instruments sounded real. Suddenly, I started composing some good things (I collected movie scores, so orchestral music was a way of life and what I composed).

    I got my music out there on the Internet, and soon I was getting 4 to 5 offers a WEEK to compose video games for people. My songs have been played by orchestras and sung by choirs and/or soloists. It evolved beyond video game music, yet all this time I never stopped loving it. I taught myself all my music theory from those little MIDI files.

    And just the other day I finished the zenith of my musical career for RPGamer's "Audible Vortex" composition competition--a remix of songs. I've put together about 10 of my favorite Squaresoft melodies into a big 15 minute orchestral masterpiece, utilizing full orchestra (brass, strings, woodwinds, SATB chorus, church organ, percussion, plus solo trumpets, violins, flutes and of COURSE, my favorite instrument, the grand piano). I'm submitting it first thing next week when I have my bandwidth back.

    That's what video games did for me... they spawned my future profession as a professional composer. I owe it all to the "Final Fantasy" melody, which I heard way back in 1995 as a crappy MIDI on a Sound Blaster 16. Which is pretty much why I hold a special place in my heart for that song, and video games. (I just bought Final Fantasy VIII today... am I crazy?)

    Musically yours (as my music teacher likes to say!),
    -Chad

    Aegis:
    See, readers? Tell your folks that gaming can spark useful skills. It sounds like you've got some pretty impressive credentials already under your belt, and I wish you the best in your career as a composer. In fact, I have this game that I'm working on, and maybe I could comission you to write some music... expect an email from me later.

    By the way, my music teacher from high school says that too. Also, your "musical genius" comment reminds me of myself telling people "I am the smartest man alive" after I figure out something that had stumped me for awhile.



     
    three dimensional surreality
    Hey Aegis:

    I could tell you all about my spectacular life, my scintillating wit, and the extravagant vacation I'm leaving for in about six hours, but I'm sure that nobody would read my rant, or worse yet, people would read it and nobody would care. With that aside, I thought that this little blurb might "relate" what I do to RPG's, as the topic says.

    A few years ago I discovered a place called Active Worlds (www.activeworlds.com) where people can get together and chat in virtual 3-D worlds, build their own buildings, play all sorts of games, or better yet, make games for themselves. Over time, I've become the manager of the second largest of these "worlds", where thousands of people come to form a virtual online community. Why am I telling you this? Because I spent the last month or so creating a virtual weather system and a battle bot for a RPG that I'm creating. The software allows those interested in creating their own games to create 3-D worlds and robots to run RPG's and other games with very little effort - in fact, several RPG's exist already. Anyone who's wanted to create their own Internet games (not just a level for an existing game) should definitely check it out - if you do, stop by the world "AWTeen" while you're there and say hi to me :)

    On the other topic, I can't say much about the rerelease of Final Fantasy Tactics, because I have a copy that's several years old that I've "permanently borrowed" (!) from a friend, but I feel obligated to point out that these "minor mistakes" are ruining one of the big draws of console gaming - the ability to put the disc in your Playstation, Dreamcast, or whatever system you have, press power, and play. In other words, you don't have to wait for hours to install software on your computer that you have to configure, the initial release of which is usually buggy and requires all kinds of patches. It used to be that once a game was released, it worked (at least reasonably well) and you played it. Regardless of what Microsoft says (about its upcoming XBOX featuring fully debugged games), I can see the day when, with consoles connecting to the Internet, a buggy game is released initally to get it on the shelves as quickly as possible and buyers have to connect to the Internet to download dreaded "service packs". To me, at least, this is a troubling trend.

    Later,

    Brant

    Aegis:
    This Active Worlds thing you speak of seems pretty cool, and though I guarantee I'll never check it out due to my severe lack-o'-time, perhaps some of our readers will.

    The point you bring up about PC games and patches is one of the main reasons why I don't like the PC gaming market and will never be a part of it, either as a user or developer. If consoles do start turning toward this method, like you suggest, I'll rebel, I swear.



     
    rpg: the 'p' is for 'party'
    Hey Aegis

    So you want to know a little about me? Well here goes: First off I am 19 year old male living on the east coast of Canada (New Brunswick). I attend the University of New Brunswick in which I am going into my second year of Computer Science. I'm probably not your typical 'Rpgamer' for numerous reasons! The Biggest would be that I have only watched one, yes ONE, anime movie. That, of course, is 'Princess Mononoke'. I might add that it was a very good movie. I am a big movie buff but I like live action stuff. Can't wait for spiderman and Lord of the Rings! Anyway about my social life. Well it's pretty crazy actually. I play many sports such as Karate, Hockey, golf, rugby, and some others. I goto the gym EVERYDAY. Wouldn't you if you paid 60 bucks a month for the facility? I go out to the bars getting peod drunk on the weekend days. That or go crash a huge house party. I love going out, it's great. Great, Great Great. Try it sometime, it's great! That being said I don't do much gaming on the weekend because i'm either out or sometimes hungover. I've also had 5 girl friends in the past 2 years, which wasn't my fault! Girls are just to damn unpredicable! Before I proceed on that topic anymore I will shut my mouth before I get into trouble! Now, I've played about almost 50 different RPG's over the past 10 years I have been playing them. Dragon Warrior 1 would be my first. I don't think I beat it though. I spend about maybe close to 2 hours a day playing RPG's. Right now, I'm in the mist of re-playing Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy 7 and I'm on the verge of beating LoD, FF9, FF8 (YES i know, i have been stuck on the last battle for quite some time) and Chrono Chross. I'm @ the last battle for all of those games except CC because it locks up whenever a spell is cast.. i'm near the end of disc 1 so if I can get on the 2nd disc somehow, problems will be solved! Any suggestions?

    Now for some interesting info about me. I have won 5 silver metals in provincial fighting tournaments. I almost fell off the empire state building at age 13. A hubcap almost decapitated me last week. I met the queen of england (ewk) and I went bungee jumping 3 times! Weeeeee! Anyway, that's me!

    On the Final Fantasy Tactics re-release well I have the original so all I have to say is: HAN HAN!

    - Lyle J. A. Smith II
    NB, Canada
    http://hz.stratics.com
    Lyle@stratics.com


    Aegis:
    I'm not as much of an athlete, as much of a ladies' man, or as much of a partier, but I've become closer to what Lyle here describes himself as than your more stereotypical "geeky" RPGamer, which is what I used to consider myself. As you get older, you learn that balance and moderation is key to everything. Well, at least, most of us learn that... some never do. ;-)

    As far as your question goes, I've yet to play Chrono Cross, but if you can manage to get by without using a spell, that would work, right?



     
    the misadventures of troovis and crew
    In case you didn't know, that was the world's stupidest subject line. Anyway...

    First, some comments about FFT's re-release. Dumb. Just plain dumb. How can a mistake of such magnitude escape detection? It takes a mighty f-load of pure, untapped stupidity, I can say that much. Good thing I don't like Tactics, or i'd be really mad.


    Oh yeah, my life.

    I live in Stockbridge, MI. A sleepy little town if there ever was one. Well, perhaps that doesn't quite describe it. Boring as hell seems to work better. It was news when we got a McDonalds in town. I think that says it all. Nothing happens here. Ever.

    So here's the main character, Troovis. All his life, he's wanted to move on to bigger and better things, like the main character of every RPG on the planet. He's a computer geek, likes anime, is a juggalo (y'know, a fan of ICP, Twiztid, etc)... can we say outcast? Well, not really. He's fairly respected in school, and even has some great friends. Friends like...

    Nick- Scrubby, wiry kid with an attitude. Works a crap job at a local theater, has a nice girlfriend, and is more than willing to make a fool out of himself. Is responsible for developing the main character's biting sarcasm. Think of him as the comic relief.

    Joe McD- Big and buff. Likes punk music, so he's a bit soft in the head. The obligatory "hurt now, think later" character. Is responsible for blinding half the school while dressing up as a Spice Girl for a mock rock competition.

    Rykk- Basically a clone of Nick, expect scrubbier, works at a library, and has a wit sharper than a freaking Ginsu knife. Responsible for causing many, many, MANY embarrassments for Troovis. Also ironically the first, and best, friend he's ever made.


    So, these guys are basically the top main characters, but there are others, as well as hundreds of supporting cast, and they play out the adventure of trying to survive a mediocre education in a boring town with their sanities intact. Along the way they have many adventures, such as...

    Doing donuts in the icy school parking lot
    Troovis having a 4-year crush which ends with him and the girl becoming friends, and his friends hating her guts
    Smashing mailboxes with baseball bats
    Troovis creating an internet mailing list called Travis' Rant of the Week, which eventually gets e-mail banned at the HS he attends
    Backyard wrasslin matches
    Working mediocre jobs
    Crashing parties with dead cats
    Trying to make a 1985 Chevy S-10 move under it's own power
    AND MUCH MORE!


    Finally, the first part of this saga ends when everyone goes off to college, with Troovis heading 550 miles north to Michigan Technological University, for the study of computer science.

    The grand RPG that is life, no? I'm telling ya, I'm leaving in 2 weeks, and I don't think I was this scared when I asked a girl to the prom (being a geek, that was terrifying). Hey, you! Yeah, the kid who's about to become a freshman in high school. Live life to it's fullest, and treasure every moment, for time moves faster than you may think. In an RPG, at the end, there's always some ending that ties up all loose ends and gives closure to the story. There are no such ends in real life. We make decisions and we live with them. We have good times and bad. The most important thing to know is life is what you make of it. When I leave, I know that there will be many changes, but I welcome them wholeheartedly. I think a change in scenery, and some adventure is just what I need. You only live once, after all...

    Well, unless you're a Bhuddist or whatever. Then I suppose you live quite a few times.

    Yeah, that was long-winded, but you asked for it. Even if this isn't printed, it felt good getting it out. I never really realized how much fun there was, even in the not-so-good times. Hey, still plenty more experiences where that came from. Let the adventure begin.

    -Travis "Troovis" Howard-


    "I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight tooth and nail for your right to say it." -Voltaire

    "It's a meaningless end to the story, got no time for the forgotten glory, and just when I know what i'm after, it just brings me to laughter..." -Love Among Freaks, "Clerks"

    Aegis:
    Describing your life as an RPG was a cool method of talking about your life that, in retrospect, I'm suprised nobody else used today. So hoorah for your originality. As much fun as you've had in high school, I'm sure you'll enjoy college even more. It's always good to see a fellow computer science major. Good luck to you, and enjoy the rest of your summer. Write back in a few months and let me know how you're doing, eh?

    Oh, and for those wondering, his email's subject line was "Life in the Slow Lane: A Memoir By Lil' Troovie Howard, Age 18 1/2." I couldn't let him refer to it without sharing with the rest of the class.



     
    beware the conspirac-ah
    So, you wanna little a little sumpin sumpin about me? Well, like you, I am a pizza delivery boy, yet I work for the rival, red faction (correction, red, white, and blue faction), Domino's pizza. Gotta love the money you can make off of tips, but it pains me to see so many miles put onto my wonderful new Mazda Protege. And no, unlike the most recent Papa John's commercial, not all Domino's drivers are fat, nervous, Wayne Knight look alikes. You just have to look over the one person who works at the same store as me who got really fat directly because of all the pizza she ate.

    Personally, I think companies screwing the consumer like with FFT and FFA is just their secret way of testing us. See, they don't have the government sanction to do tests on the elusive creature dubbed, "fanboy", so they have to torture us in various ways and see our reactions.

    Oh, a question, right. What's your personal take on including super-hard, super-secret monsters like Omega weapon in games? Would you prefer a relatively easy game that has a few very hard sidequests or a game that's hard all the way through?

    Arrogant CoSine

    Aegis:
    It's always good to hear from fellow pizza delivery folk... even if they work for "the enemy." It could be a conspiracy, but I really just believe it's because of sheer carelessness. Perhaps, someday, we'll find out. The truth is... out... somewhere... yeah.

    I'd personally prefer a game that's reasonably difficult the whole way through. There's a condition on that, though. It can't be a difficulty that can only be overcome by continuous leveling-up. It has to be a difficulty that's somehow skill-related. Otherwise, the difficulty only stands as a means to suck up more of your free time.




    End of the Road:

    Today's column has gone up a bit later than I'd have liked, but I feel it's of higher quality because of it. As a special treat for our readers, we're going to have double the fun with dual hosts tomorrow. Dagon and TRC will provide your daily Q&A enjoyment, and they've got a topic for you, too.

    Dagon:
    Hey everyone. TRC and I are going to be on Q&A duty tomorrow, so I just dropped in to give you something to ponder. Re-releases seem to be the flavor-of-the-month right now, and we'd like to hear what you think about it. Are companies going for the easy buck at the expense of creating original games? Are they responding to a legitimate demand? Are they creating a demand knowing how rabid the fanbase is? Of course, we'll also be available to answer whatever earth-shattering queries you may have. Well, the ones we have answers for anyway. See you tomorrow.




    Andrew P. Bilyk is gonna go play Klonoa 2. Hoorah for 2-D platforming goodness.

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