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Andrew - May '9th- 9:00 Central Standard Time

Lots of things could have made my column go up late. Perhaps because I was moving out of my college dorms. Maybe it was because I was trying to clean my wreck of room back home. Or, and call me crazy, it could have been because I just got Lufia: The ruins of Lore. Nah, it was probably the eye doctor appointment.

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Fantasy has no place in Tabletop RPGs!

For the last couple of weeks or so, Shadowrun has been popping in and out of letters and topics and, finding the general mood towards it very warm and fuzzy - like, I decided to check it out for myself. I only recently got into table top RPG's (about 3 years ago), although my older brother and my dad played AD & D when I was a kid. Anyways, I went to my local RPG/used games haven and picked up their 3rd Edition rulebook (for $10, since it was a little beat up) and checked it out. I like the rules and everything fine, and they certaintly do things in a very interesting and player - friendly way, but one thing I found about the game that was WAAAAAAAY beyond the normal amount of weirdness (of which every RPG, table top or video game or otherwise, has a certain amount) was the story. Most of it was... ok, insofar as the stuff that they made up and thus conventional historical knowledge has no leverage over. (Like the magic awakening, the elves and orcs and dragons and suck) But the history in regards to the development of current nation states up until 2060 ranged from bizarre to completely ridiculous, in particular their predictions for our nation. The idea that the Indian population could manage to subvert the entire western sphere of the United States and Canada, while conveniantly using the "magic revival" as an excuse to give them some sort of edge over the vast military power of the United States, and while completely ignoring the 100% chance of massive interior resistance from U.S. citizens within "their" tribal lands who probably have no desire to leave the protection and security of the U.S., leads to some major problems in their story. Take into effect that the Indian population of the United States is little more than 4 million, the chance of a successful Indian revolt is about as good as Mike Tyson being given the Noble Peace Prize. Also, considering the extent of the Civil War, it is a well - known fact that the federal government will go to any extreme to crush any secessionist threat (which also invalidates the second coming of the CSA, of which they basically say "it just exists," ignoring the fact that the South's secession in 1860 was based the protection of slavery and state's rights, and that beyond a couple of diehard wacko's, 99% of the people in the South really don't have any good reason to break from the Union again nowdays, based upon how "well" they did during and after the first time they tried it) I would go into the whole Siberia, Aztlan, China and Imperial Japan (I have no idea how the former got around the fact that by treaty they cannot have an army or navy, but whatever), but I will stop for now.

Of course, I could very well be taking this story way too seriously, which may very well be the case, but I would ask that all of you Shadowrun fans don't hate me, because the game itself is great, it's just that the story just doesn't entirely make sense, and is full of holes. Seeing as how the story of a RPG (game or table top) is a very critical element of the game's enjoyability, I just felt that I had to say something.

~DM

Andrew:
Youíre right DM, you are taking the plot of Shadowrun way too seriously. To be honest, you sound like a bit of a prat. The few times Iíve roleplayed, the Dungeon Master generally threw out anything he didnít like in the series and we focused on having, you know, fun. I just finished up a quick game of Feng Shui where our DM rewarded people for being extra creative, was very liberal with the gameís story(as nonsensical as it was to begin with) and went out of his way to make sure we were all having a good time.

Since youíre a history buff I can see how Shadowrunís plot would upset you, but jeez. Next time you feel you have to say something about tabletop RPGís being logically correct, donít.

 
Apparently Iím not pissing off the right people.

Hey, typing while drunk is both challenging and fun. Anyway, what transformation from 2D to 3D do you think went best? Mine would be Metroid. While it was a departure from the old, it was really cool. My crush would be Rikku. While I didn't exactly pine for her, those eyes were really cool. Time for more drinking. Yeah, being done with pledging and on to being a brother.

Andrew:
1. If you think typing while drunk is fun, then I can see why you need alcohol to cope with your pathetic little existence.

2. My favorite 3D conversion would be Mario 64, hands down. And I must say, itís soooooo surprising that a frat boy has a crush on a girl who wears skin tight clothes, has blonde hair, and a nice tan. Oh, and did I mention the chronic stealing?

 
Smash TV is not an RPG! OH yeah!

Andrew the Magnificent

Here's my idea for an rpg that would never happen. I'd like to see a game as rockin as Smash TV with RPG influences. Basically, it would be like any other overhead action rpg, only with lots and lots of guns, and hordes of enemies at all times. I happen to think rpg's are greatly lacking guns. I mean, sure, you get the occasional character with a rifle or whatever, but I don't care about that. I want an enormous variety of guns. I want homing missiles, lasers, flamethrowers, machine guns, shotguns... basically a Super Contra action rpg. You could get points by killing things and then distribute these points to your proficiency with the weapons (kinda like megaman battle network). You could upgrade your rapid fire and attack and such... but it wouldn't have accuracy because that would make the beginning of the game very annoying. Also, infinite ammo is a must, because scavenger hunts are not my idea of fun. I want non-stop killing things action. And the hero would have to be awesome and manly as well (Bruce Campbell maybe?), no sissy-boys could handle an awesome gunfest like this. Or it could be a little boy looking for his pet frog in a large subterranean dungeon. Whatever.

In any case, more weapons. I like to shoot things with any and every weapon imaginable. And another thing... the game would be filled with zombies. Lots and lots of zombies... and there would be gory animations each time one of them died, and a different animations for each weapon. And just as a tribute to the greatest movie ever, you would occasionally get a lawnmowerspecial weapon to use for a limited time.

Great, now that I've thought this game up, I can't stop drooling thinking about it. Anyone wanna makethis for me?

Tim the Zuhalter

Andrew:
So basically, what you want is an action game, with the ability to upgrade your characters. >_<

Donít get me wrong Tim, your game sounds cool, but it also sounds like conversations I have with my little brother. ďThe hero fights lots of zombies and stuff with cool guns and is really cool and strong!Ē Itís not a bad idea, but unless youíre 9, Tim, I think you could do better with an impossible game idea.

 
Unique characters are stupid!

I think we got off this topic a while back, but I have seen this idiotic idea so many times it makes me highly grumpy. Anyway here's my point, when i am playing an RPG i dont want to be forced to use certain select characters for basically the entire game. By this I mean having a system like FFIX's where every character is a specific type e.g. black mage, white mage, summoner, etc. Since if you actually want to beat the game in the most convenient manner (leveling up over and over again without getting anything done is not my cup of tea...this is why i dont play MMORPGs) you pretty much have to have this setup- black mage, white mage, fighter. In FFVII this was an irrelevant distinction, so I picked Cloud, Vincent (even though his later LB's sucked), and Cid. I didn't pick them because I needed their abilities, I picked them because I liked them. Case in counterpoint- FFIX. I was forced to choose Zidane (but it was okay cause dual daggers/swallow is the best weapon ever), but instead of Amarant or Eiko i had to pick Stiener and Garnet (ick ick ick) because of their innate abilities.

In short, I don't want to be forced to use characters i hate throughout the entire game just because the ones I liked suck.

ave, cuniculus, morituri te salutant!

-the Krello

Andrew:
Krello, youíre a moron.

RPGs are set up like this so that the player can experience a unique game each time they play. Itís completely possible to go through a game using only characters you like, and is time-tested, way back to the days of Final Fantasy 1 and the all-white mage party. Iím sorry that youíre a sissy boy and would rather have the most powerful characters on your team at all times instead of being creative and doing it your own way, but itís not the game creators fault youíre as thick as two short planks.

 
Long live creativity!

Andrew,

This is just a thought, but, in response to a letter on Sunday, doesn't the fact that all Materia is available to everyone in FF7 make characters more customizable? I mean, that way, you can put loads of healing materia on one character, support materia on another character, command materia on another character, no materia on another, HP/MP+ on another, etc. Then, if you level up everybody, you can have certain characters in your party and use strategy to defeat bosses. Bah, that game is so easy anyway. Heaven forbid we are forced to use strategy. Well, to be fair, you could always just "level up" the most powerful Materia and put it on your normal team, but isn't developing a unique playing style more fun?

...Sorry about that rant-like paragraph. Anyway, I don't know what to think about E3 thus far. Very few titles have really interested me. Sure, plenty sound like good games, but I don't have the feeling of, "Wow! I waited for this game so long! I'll look it up as much as possible!" Though I am interested in a few titles, I just feel like there aren't any stunning titles that will truly challenge gamers and make them think. Actually, though, I heard something about a new Ape Escape title, and, though it isn't an RPG, I hope something about it is in E3. Then again, it may not be, so I shouldn't get my hopes up.

--Ewcoolio

Andrew:
1. Yes, developing your own style is more fun. However, most of the society seems to be mysteriously drawn to making their games painfully easy and then complaining when they get what they want.

2. Well Ewcoolio, Iím sorry you feel that way about E3, but I can guarantee that this year RPGamer will be covering all sorts of games that make me tingle in funny places. And since Iíll be going, expect columns to consist mainly of misspelled l33t speak.

 
Gotta please the readers. Wait, no I donít!

Hey, just a note regarding the "press the c-button combination" battle system mentioned earlier... One game, to my knowledge, actually did that. It was Quest 64. I remember every torturous moment of playing that game, exactly the same as I remember every instant of the time I almost drowned.We shall never speak of either event again. As for E3, see if you can put the squeeze on Victor Ireland and ask him what the hell is going on at WD-- there's been almost total silence from them since Arc the Lad, and I'm personally curious. And I know there was a news story saying that they wouldn't have a booth or something, but come on, it's E3; to have E3 and not have Mr. Ireland attend in some way is inconceivable even to the most cynical of gaming minds. And, if at all possible, wear a big sandwich board sign reading "Hot Monkey Love From A Rabbit $12.50". This would be best if you could get a celebrity to take a picture with you wearing it. You don't have to do this last part if you don't want.

Ė
John Zeitler
http://www.thefurryone.net

Andrew:
Iím sad to say Working Designs will not be making an appearance at E3, which will make my packing considerably lighter, no more having to carry all my ninja kidnaping stuff. As for the poster board, I asked Mike, and he informed me that if I did such a thing heíd have me fired, or worse, have to spend all of E3 talking to Nintendo about whatís next for Pokemon. *shudder*

 
If anyone from Square reads my column, weíre all doomed.

In response to the letter about Final Fantasy Badminton...
What about Final Fantasy tennis? It would be even better then, because you'd get to dress up everyone in tennis uniforms.

Even better...what about the guys in tennis dresses? There could be humiliation levels for each player...and if, say, Auron was in a little dress for too long, he'd start banging himself on the head with his racket or something.

Andrew:
You must be kidding. Badminton is a million times cooler then this so called ďtennisĒ. As for the uniforms, Iím sure thereíd be plenty of uniforms for both games. After all, if weíre going to be making a complete mockery of sports games and Final Fantasy, we might as well do it dressed like stars! Cross-dressing stars!



Quickies

If you see Ted Woosley, punch him in the gut and scream "SHADOW MADNESS" really loud.

Done and done!

""(SNIPPED BECAUSE GAME STOP HAS NO DECENT OLD GAMES)"" I'll kill you! Funcoland has some decent old games and that's owned by Gamestop! ~rudyxx

Alright, you got me. I actually cut your letter because you attempted to plug that stupid 10% off deal GameStop has, and I hates the GameStop, because none of them will hire me.

I would like to known when Grandia xtreme will be out in the UK? Every retail outlet I ask they did't have the information if you do find out could you e-mail me.

www.Albayrak6@aol.com

Thank you

Perhaps I havenít made this clear. I do not live in the United Kingdoms, nor do I give a damn about when you people are getting games. If you are that interested in Grandia Xtreme, then import it.

The Final Grumble:

Hey guys, we do have a great E3 preview area. Check it out and write in about games youíre looking forward too. Now, back to Lufia...

Andrew "I still love you Atlus!" Duff

0_o The main hero doesn't have read hair?! BLASPHEMY!

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