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Andrew - February '24- 12:00 Central Standard Time

While exploring some Mayan ruins, Google stumbled upon a lost civilization, and immediately got their princess pregnant and became the princeís newest wife. The carrier pigeonís note claims heíll be back tomorrow, but if I were trapped in a room full of concubines, lord knows Iíd be taking my sweet time.

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What's Andrew watching this week?
Your mother would hate you.
What's Andrew playing this week?
Stick RPG!

Ancient Cave, here I come!

Heya Andrew,

A DDR RPG would be pretty cool; I know I've always been tempted to use my dance pad for a controller on one of the easier RPGs - something that was turn based, since an action system might be a little much for my brain until I had some skill with the pad.

On a side note, if BoFV is really one huge dungeon that you crawl your way out of as Raza said on Sunday, I am definitely picking it up. While I can think of a few RPGs with only one central town and multiple dungeons (Alundra, Time Stalkers), I can't think of one with just one location, period.

So, my bunny friend, do you prefer games with many places to explore, or fewer tried and true locations?

-Paws =^^=
Media Lackey: media@rpgamer.com
"I have more than a tattoo up my sleeve."

Andrew:
One huge dungeon crawl. Is anyone else reminded of the Evolution series for Dreamcast?

My personal preference completely depends on how well the game is done. While I loved the first Diablo, I also was equally enamored with Grandiaís vast, sprawling world.

 
Readerís opinion are like, long and stuff.

Andrew,

I've decided to put in my two cents, mainly because I've played most of the games that we're discussing, and own them (or soon will, in the case of Xenosaga).

.hack: Reminded me of PSO (which I _HATED_), but I played all the way through, and beat. Annoying characters, major lack of weapons and armor, and the game's "level caps" are very annoying. But I had fun playing it for 30 hours. The character's voices (only played it in English, because I like to understand what people say, kthxbye) weren't too bad, but some people (like Mistral) had voices that bordered on wanting to hurt myself to make it stop.

The battle system isn't that bad, but it could be improved. Targeting and such was sometimes a pain. By the end of the game, I realized how true everyone was when they said "take a wavemaster with you" wavemasters being mages. All in all, a good game, but wait a bit closer till volume 2 comes out in 3 months.

Breath of Fire 5: First off, this is not BoF. It's a cell shaded Resident Evil cross with Valkyrie Profile type game with Amano-style characters. Ryu has devolved into an anorexic 12 year old.

They definitely changed it from previous ones. Gone is everything you knew, and replaced with something like a dungeon crawl with a mix of stealth and speed. Battles go like this: You run up to enemies you can see and try to slash them before they slash you to get a first strike (ala VP), and then you run around in the field (replica of where you are) and kill the enemies. They are HARD, in the fact that the first enemies take off about 20-30 of Ryu's starting 100 hp. And you start with 5 healing potions. And they cost 60z a piece. And you start with 300z.

Why does it feel like RE? I don't know, but it has a creepyish atmosphere.

Storywise, it's not been developed too much (3-4 hours in). It's the same dragon powers awakening spiel, but we have FFT's elitism now.

I hear its very short too, like 20 hours first time through, then you rinse and repeat like CC to get different parts with the unique ranking system (your rank goes up eachtime you beat the game).

DC2: Bought, didn't play. But I expect it to be like the first one, but better. It's gotten very good review, so meh.

XS: I'm a XG fanboy, so don't listen to me.

--Nameles

Andrew:
Hahaha! Soon, my column will oust every video game magazine in the world with hundreds of reviews! Thanks, you nameles crazies!

Oh wait, you told me not to listen to you. Nevermind.

 
Anyone else feel like a nice juicy porterhouse steak?

Moo. Moo. moomoomoo. Moooooo! Moo. Moo moo. moomoo. mooooooo! Moo. Moo! Moo! Mooooooo! Mooo. Moo moo moo. Moo!!!!!!! Moo. Moo!! Moomoomoo. Moo. moo!

I laughed so hard the first time I found that level.

***will trade 56 sojs for 12 berserker's sets...

So, the ultimate question... WHAT DOES THAT LITTLE GEMIN THE Battle.Net LOBBY DO? BLUE, PURPLE, GEM ACTIVATED...

Andrew:
The gems activate Voltron, who is sadly missing his left leg, so now he just scrambles furiously in evilís direction.

 
Drugs support evil magic emperors, you bastards!

Hey Andrew,

Here's what I thought was a really funny RPG moment that a lot of people might not have seen. In Quest For Glory 3 for the PC, you can go into the apothecary, a drugstore run by a stereotypical hippie guy. He has a bong (Excuse me, WATER PIPE) in front of him, and if you light it you can smoke weed with the owner of the drugstore. Every time you take a hit these psychedelic lights start flashing and a rock riff plays and your character says something like "Whoa, dude!" The best part of it is if you take three hits, you die with the explanation being given that you become a drug addict and spend the rest of your life eating out of people's garbage cans and such. Just one of the many things that add up to one of the awesomest RPGs ever.

As an aside, I just picked up .hack/infection this weekend. I only got about a half hour into it before falling asleep (from exhaustion, not the game), but it seems pretty cool. I'll make sure to come up with a review of some sort when I finish it so EVERYBODY can know what I think about it! :-)

Robust Stu

Andrew:
See, this what games should be about. Letting the player fall into easily escapable vices and then scaring the crap out of them. For a bigger effect, the game should have deleted your saved game too.

And then blown up your tv.

 
Why are all the coolest hair styles impossible in real life?

Funniest RPG moments, you say? One of my favorites is from Fire Emblem 4...yeah, that game that nobody's played.

"Ah, Lord Andorey, I see you've arrived...nice mullet."

Okay, maybe it's not THAT funny, but after spending several hours running around trying to squash a civil war in Silesia, when something like that comes up out of the blue, I can't help but giggle like a maniac. Andorey's mullet is pretty damned ugly, though.

Andrew:
This brings up the question of why women love rugged men. Like Aragon from the Lord of the Rings movie. I mean, you just KNOW heís waking around smelling like a trollís butt crack, but the second he appears on the screen, half the audience swoons for his long greasy hair and stubble.

...and my girlfriend wonít even let me grow a pony tail. Bah!

 
Carabbit. Say that five times fast.

Hi! How are you?

1. For the funniest moment, off the top of my head I'd have to say Ryudo talking to Cardinal Oro. Oro says something stupid and Ryudo responds "Tell you what. I'm going to ignore you. And then I'm going to walk away." I got a cramp from laughing so hard. I'll probably think of something funnier after I write this, but for now that's what comes to mind.

2. I like the Grandia series. I kind of want to play Grandia Xtreme, but I heard it was a dungeon crawl. I like Grandia's battle system enough to have fun doing that, but I'd like to know if I can expect a plotline of some caliber?

3. About Duel Saga, I have to say that it is a very fun game. But, I didn't notice that the random battles took much longer than in any other game - in fact, in the battle sqaure (okay, I know this is an FFVII term but they're all the same thing, right?) there's a battle option where you have to beat the battle within 30 seconds. You can beat that 30 time limit battle using a full set of moves with one character - this I can say from experience.

4. I got bored with Xenogears too.

"Now, to unleash screaming temporal DOOM!"

--Carabbit

Andrew:
Iím doing just super!. Thanks for asking!

1. You know, I say that a lot too.

2. Iíve no idea, but Paws likes it well enough, so why not give it a rental?

3. What a random ramble from a game no one talks about.

4. Half of the players get bored, the other half start a religion based on it. Tomorrow, Iím staying indoors.

 
If you donít let your utensils rant, then who can you let go off on tangents?

I've been quietly following the "Choose Andrew's Game" debate (since it's also been helping choose this Andrew's game... gah!), and I have to say, I don't think Breath of Fire V (which you noted already) or Xenosaga are worth the time investment (read: in place of other games).

I'm sure Xenosaga is pretty good, but since you're strapped for time (as we all are eventually... sigh, for the days of uninhibited gaming), I think you should look for something meatier than a storyline with a game strapped on. I only say this because while the plot may be great, just go get an anime DVD if you want that. In the long run, it's far more gratifying to have a long complex game with lots of stuff to find than a really long plotline. And regarding Xenogears, if you burnt out after 60 or so hours, let me tell you something: you're not missing anything. It doesn't pick up, but it does a mind-bogglingly pointless ending animation at you. Now, I haven't played Xenosaga, so this is all speculation, but from the sounds of it, in your position I'd go with something else.

Oh yes, and from personal experience, from hearing you talk about why you hated Legend of Legaia, do not bother with the sequel. It's okay, and certainly improves over the first, but I still found it just wholly unsatisfying and generally tedious.

Now, my friend recently rented Dark Cloud 2, and I have to say, it's a very fun game. I don't think you would hold any regrets playing through it. It's not the top-notch RPG in any category, but it IS fun, and there's a much more stable gameplay-to-plot ratio than Xenosaga, apparently, has. So that's not a bad option.

But the real point of me writing is to encourage your thought about Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. I'm assuming you're a fan of The Second Story (as am I) and from the looks of Star Ocean 3, it's going to be a very good game. I, personally, have decided to preorder it and just wait for it to come as my "timesink" RPG for the upcoming months, with Dark Cloud 2 to hold me over until Star Ocean 3 ships. It's working pretty well.

Just a bit of advice since we seem to share fairly similar tastes (in RPGs). Speaking of which, I've been meaning to mention: I also thought Chrono Cross was mad fun while playing through it, and all the pointless characters were, despite their, well, complete invalidity, very fun to round up. It was disappointing and definitely misrepresented as a thorough sequel to Chrono Trigger; that's where my gripe comes in. But on the whole, CC was a lot of fun.

Hmmm... last thing before I go, here's my top 5 console RPGs, so it can help you take my recommendation with a little larger grain of salt:

1. EarthBound
2. Chrono Trigger
3. Final Fantasy VI
4. Secret of Mana
5. Wild ARMs
*
Whoo... ran way too long... ciao!

- other andrew (aka WobblyFork)

*6: Star Ocean: The Second Story :)

Andrew:
An interesting letter, oh doppleganger. I have to admit, I loved Star Ocean 2, and right now the new games coming out all look wholly blah to me. Maybe Iíll give Dark Cloud 2 a rental, but right now, Iíve found my desire to play any of these games has been dampened by the wholly mixed reactions to all the titles. Stupid rabbit, next time just pick a game at random!

 
Lactose tolerant. *barf*

Dear Andrew,

Hello! I'll get to the point here. The last funny moment I can remember was in Final Fantasy X when you're in the Guado town.

Wakka says they're going to the Macalania Temple, and Tidus says Macarena Temple. Then when they correct him, he goes "aye" like in the song. I dunno why, but I laughed at that. Yeah . . .

- Quistis Chick

P.S. I don't know what game had the cows in it, but I'd like to find out.

Andrew:
Oh yeah! That sure was a knee-slapper! Haha! I start to tear up just thinking about it! Hoho! And with his hair slicked up like that! Teehee! And such! Carrying on and so forth!



Quickies

http://www.evil-roy.com/UN/ You wanted weird websites right? Well it doesn't get any weirder than this. Sumo wrestlers, DW-ish pudding slimes, possible vampires with his own friend trying to prove it and slay him on the spot, and thats only in the bio page.

Why good sir, if I didnít know better, I swear that was YOUR OWN DAMNED STUPID WEBCOMIC! Still, nice try, trying to slip a fast one past me and get your name in the bright lights. Have a slap to the face.

You may as well just rent Breath of Fire 5 and beat it. It's getting decent reviews and most importantly it's supposed to be beatable in less than 10 hours, some say even 6-7. That way you've spent little money, lost little time and have tided yourself over for a while. Oh, and reviews for all of these games are available elsewhere (say ps2.ign.com), so I don't know why everyone's waiting specifically for RPGamer reviews...

--sabin1001

Iíve heard the time is closer to 20 hours, and I donít know how big of a nerd you are, but I donít have 20 hours in a single weekend to slaughter through a video game.

...oh wait, yes I do. *sob*

Um... Do you think Shining Lore Online will ever see a english translation? The English beta was due out about a year ago, but got delayed for like 3 months. The I heard the company that owns Lineage bought phantagram, and not a word since.

From RPGamerís very own media department, Brain Hagen says:

ďJust tell the silly git to look on the game page. If there's no release date with a US flag next to it, then NO! It isn't coming over here! ď

This might be sort of a silly question, but what are the chances of Venus & Braves being released in America? I know the first game, Seven, wasn't released here, but V&B looks the coolest game ever!

From RPGamerís very own media department, Brain Hagen says: ďJust tell the silly git to look on the game page. If there's no release date with a US flag next to it, then NO! It isn't coming over here!Ē Then he started crying.

Andrew-

Although I'm sure the quote "You spoony bard!" from FFIV(II) is on the minds of all as the funniest moment, I would probably have to go with the ridiculous music/dancing associated with the belly dancers in FFIV(II). All who see this will soil themselves.

Peace,

Craktroop

My favorite dancer was the one in the desert town, who would dunk her filthy, STD-ridden body into the townís water supply, and dance UPSIDE DOWN. Damn you gypsy woman, youíll kill us all!

The Final Grumble:

Well, hereís hoping Google makes it back soon!

Andrew "Gilgamesh's fanboy" Duff

For tomorrow, lets all send Google letters about your favorite types of pie! And no one better say ďvirginĒ.

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