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Andrew - March '15- 2:00 Central Standard Time

Am I the only one who questions McDonaldís belief that Shamrock shakes are a good idea?

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What's Andrew watching this week?
The Hitchhiker. *shiver*
What's Andrew playing this week?
Xenosaga.

ParaBOLA beam!

Duff,

My biggest qualm with Star Ocean 2 was actually neither the graphics nor the voice-overs. I loved the music, but I ended up selling the game after playing through it once. I just didn't find the battles to be that interesting. What the engine essentially boiled down to was jamming on the R1 button over and over until the battle ended. My brother actually had to come into the TV room once and ask me to turn off the volume because it was annoying him. A typical battle sounded like this: "MIRROR SLICE!" "MIRROR SLICE!" "MIRROR SLICE!" "MIRROR SLICE!" "Teeeeeeaaaaaar into pieces!" "MIRROR SLICE!" Personally, I've seen better battle systems, even in action RPGs.

Vagrant Story's weapon system was tedious, but using a variety of attacks in tandem with spells was necessary to survive. Secret of Mana had the best, IMO. Each character was forced to choose at most two or three of the eight weapons to become proficient in, and the spell menu was ridiculously easy to navigate. I was less excited about Kingdom Hearts, again because of the whole "tap one button until the battle ends" thing that applied to most non-boss fights, but at least there weren't frustrating game overs when a single enemy suddenly paralyzes your entire party three seconds into the battle (which happened every single time I tried to get through Indalecio's tower.)

Of course, I respect your right to love the game, and I ask that you respect my right not to. Disagreeing doesn't make either of us a moron, thank you.

Onto Xenosaga, since that's the active topic... What do you think of the strangely casual manner that the localization seems to, uh... how do I put it... sit outside itself? Have you read the descriptions in the UMN key term glossary? Some of them say things like "He's an expert swordsman, but you won't find that out until the next game" and "We hope to have this clarified by the time Jr is introduced." Who is "We?" The game developers are actually an active character! My personal favorite is the entry for "curry," where it tells a story of an American game fan at a Xenosaga showcase. It's almost kinda creepy. If this UMN is like Xenosaga's internet, I really don't want to know things that exist outside it's world like that. It breaks the suspension of disbelief.

-Moo

Andrew:
I enjoyed the openness of the Star Oceanís battles. They never tried to hedge you in, and basically left you to your own devices. Which yeah, meant that people like you did the best moves over and over again with no damn skill at all. It never FORCED the player to conform to any sort of style.

The UMN is kinda unsettling isnít it? I mean, Shion has a kick-ass martial art style that never comes up in this episode? Well, uh thanks guys, but I donít care.

 
Be careful what you wish for, or you might end up with three willies too.

Dear Andrew,

I have a big dilemma, and I know that goggle-wearing bunny rabbits give the best advice, so here it goes:

I got a GBA when it first came out, and have played it so hard that the right button broke. It only works if you press it *really* hard, but then it takes about a second for anything to happen. This all started about three months ago and I haven't gotten any games since. Now the GBA SP is coming out and so are a bunch of games (FFTA, Lufia, etc.) so I am wondering if it is worth it to get one. I have been trying to open up my GBA to fix the problem, but I don't have any triangular screw-drivers. The GBA SP also looks good because of the light-up screen, but I could always just get an afterburner for my beloved GBA.

One of those Gameboy players for the cube would also be nice, but I have limited funds. So what should I do? Thanks in advance.

->Willy3

P.S. can you recommend any games for the gamecube for a person who loves Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy?

P.P.S. I had some extra tildes lying around, so here you go: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Andrew:
WAIT. Get the Game Boy Advance SP. Youíll feel like a fool if you pick up a GBA when the SP is coming out so soon.

PS- Sell your Gamecube and go play CT and FF, or just hang tight and wait for some decent RPGs to come out for Gamecube, which may take awhile.

PSS- Great. What the hell am I going to do with all these useless tildes...

 
Spite. Itís whatís for dinner!

Hey Andrew,

Fantasy writers are violet people, huh? Well, it just so happens that I, Mr. Break-his-controller-over-FFX's-mini-games, am an aspiring fantasy novelist. Oh, and just so you know, I tried using super-glue to put my controller back together. I'm not using that controller anymore, since I've gotten a new one since then. The closest I've come to breaking it was one time when I got killed on .hack, but I managed to control myself and just spit on my player's guide. Just another woe...

-Otterland

Andrew:
I channel my rage into push ups. Youíd be AMAZED at how relaxed you get when getting angry results in hard work.

 
Fruit in a can!

Cher lapin aviateur

It all started with FF7.. then followed with Alundra and Wild Arms... it raged on with FF8, FF9, Valkyrie Profile, Threads of Fate (which utterly sucked), Legend of Mana, FF Anthology & Chronicles, Bof III & IV.. it then continued with titles such as Parasite Eve, Tales of Destiny 1 & 2, Suikoden 1 & 2..Star Ocean.. Saga Frontier.. Chrono Cross.

and many more games I rented and bought over the years for my dear little grey box of joy..

then one day.. it happened... my official Sony memory cards fell... and fell hard.. well.. peach water's not hard but acts hard on those little devices... my younger brother (who was enjoying a can of sliced peaches in a wide bowl just below the Playstation/Tv set) accidentaly pulled on the clothe that was below the playstation and the memory cards laying around it.. the cards (all three of them) fell in the bowl... and the console was there...hanging by the power cord..helplessly trying to do its job... there was only one card who survived (the one in the console) but it was new and had only my Xenogears save files on it... I had four of them (had them for 5 bucks each so what did I care) and my desire to play any Playstation titles was kinda dead for a while...

but heck.. as I never wrote in for any of my best game moments etc.. I'll just add that this moment of woe brought upon me a lot of good, happy nerd moments.

As I was helplessly recovering for "hours" of gaming.. years would fit better I think.. anyway.. as I was doing so I went down to my local video rental store to see if they had anything new... I walked straight pass the PSX alley.. and found a section I had never saw before...... the all new STUFF TO SELL section... and there I was... amongst dozens of Snes games... all for a low low price of 3 bucks each.... I looked carefully... and saw... amongst them all.... my childhood favorites.... FF2, FF3, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana..SUPER METROID !!! they were there... the boxes in MINT condition !!!

I picked them all.. went to the clerk (some nice chick I used to go out with) and bought them all.... to my greatest surprise....THEY HAD THE INSTRUCTION BOOKLETS FOR ALL OF THEM ! And they we're in pretty great shape too..

so I went home... plugged my snes in, removed Donkey Kong Country from the console.. and put on Chrono Trigger..

and played... and played... again and again.. until I fell asleep 3 days later.. Actually I didn't but needless to say I was some happy beach dude/nerd thingy creature.

Well that was long. Just to say that not every woe story has only downsides... or something. Oh and someone in my family died that day but I couldnt care less cause I had my GRAVITY SUIT !!!.. or something.

Love you

Otaku Popsicle

Andrew:
Great stories, teaching us that karma rocks and stuff. Oh, and the next time you want to end your letter with ďlove youĒ enclose a picture of yourself, thankyouverymuch!

 
To go where no one has ever gone before!

My worst RPG woe happened when I was playing Secret of Manna! This is a story that has nothing to do with tripping over cords or power surges.

I was playing the game with my brother and we got pretty far, we just beat teh fire palace. I was talking to my friend about the game and he told me about the trick to get back into Potos village! He told me how to do it and I was eager to get back in that town just to spite them for kicking us out! I easily got in and was livng up all the moments I was in there! The only problem was that I SAVED THERE! I didn't have Flammie so i was stuck there and couldn't get out! I had to start a new section! I was so pissed, i punched my friend in the back of the head for not telling i couldn't get out!

Ilian " AHHHHHH 24 hours of leveling up WASTED!" Cuturic

Andrew:
What a stupid trick. I mean, so what if you can sneak back into a town where nothing changes? Now, if you could sneak back in and have the whole place be burned to the ground, or cut your stupid blabber mouth ďfriendsĒ in half, thatíd be something.

 
TROUT FALL! EVERYBODY EATS!

Greetings, dear rabbit!

My tale of woe is the same as that of most people. I had a video game save that was VERY far into the game, only to lose it when my idiot younger brother saved over it with HIS data! The worst part: The game was Dragon Warrior VII, which is pretty much the longest game I've ever played. Incidentally, it's also one of my favorites.

I remedied this problem with sharp objects and explos... I mean, by making a copy of my brother's game( which had just reached Dharma Temple) and changed the names of my characters. That way, at least I didn't have to restart from scratch.

One question: You have younger siblings, correct? Have they ever reset/deleted/overwritten your game data before? I know you get lots of letters of such woe, I'm wondering if it happens to all such gamers.

NeoCarbuncle

ROCKS FALL! EVERYBODY DIES!

Andrew:
Actually, replaying Lunar for an hour, and then realizing that either my brother or sister had filled up the rest of the save slots so I couldnít, was the biggest problem Iíve ever had. After that, I bought a lock for my door.

 
Finally, useful math!

In response to the fellow who suggested Xenosaga games would come out as quickly as .hack games...here's a fun little math problem.Xenosaga came out last year in Japan. Xenosaga came out last month in America. Where, in that time, did you hear any details on XS ep 2? Once we DO hear about it, I'm guessing at least a year till release. So that's 2 years between Japanese releases if we hear about XS tomorrow. I'm going to go with "Namco said it'd take over a decade--so I'm going to bet on it taking over a decade."

-Tomm

PS. Not that I'm not sad. I love Xenosaga and want more.

Andrew:
Check and mate!

Shoot, this means another five years of listening to fanboys babble on about tedious connections and pointless plot points. *sob*



Quickies

Hey dude dont you remember ff7? They had no-kill machine guns in that waaay before xenosaga ;-)

MrEarthbound

Hey dude, donít you remember FF1? They had no-kill machines in that waaay before Final Fantasy 7.

Considering that Jim Henson voiced Jen, I highly doubt chaos shares voice actors with him.

But I cannot shake the feeling that Shion sounds exactly like Yuna at 45 RPM (that is, normal talking speed, comparatively).

And I canít shake the feeling of how bad of a movie Dark Crystal was. Stupid nostalgia! Youíve ruined my sense of good taste!

Are you saying you actually broke a SNES controller?! My god, that must've taken some abuse. I had my SNES for 5 years, and I had a very, very bad habit of throwing the controller into the floor, against the wall, or wherever - every time something bad happened in a game. And I swear, it still worked like a charm when I sold the machine.-- Calydor.

Well, Iím a mighty, sexy, sexy man. Iím sure my throws were much stronger then yours!

Unfortunately, I don't know any of XS's actors by name, I did recognize a few. These are all anime dubs.

Shion shares a VA with Milly from Trigun.
Jr. shares with Dilandau from Escaflowne.
The only black dude in the universe, whose name I forget, shares with Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop.
One of the guys on the bridge of the first ship shares with Vash the Stampede.
I'm pretty sure MOMO is that little girl from Tenchi Muyo.

Thanks. Your knowledge of voice actors is either god-like or scary. Not that you care, eh?

The Final Grumble:

I wish I got more stories of you guys going to great lengths for an RPG, and less about evil family members and cords.

Andrew "Tefflon" Duff

This column is brought to you by the letter 7. Go figure.

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