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Andrew - November 16 '02- 2:00 Central Standard Time

Got about 20 letters today compared to yesterday's grand total 3 letters and a retarded quickie. Any good questions you sent in that weren't printed today will probably in Sunday's column.

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We're all suckers, but at least the Japanese get it in bulk.

Both you and Goog share the sentiment that American gamers'll buy anything with Final Fantasy or Squaresoft in the title, which, while being a scientifically provable fact, neglects that the same applies to the Japanese market as well. Let's look at it, Japan's gotten 11 main FFs, at least 10 based ons and spin offs, 2 crappy anime titles, books based on said anime, about 120 soundtracks, both FF related and non, and billions of yen worth of merchandise, both FF related and non. Then there's Square's non FF games, Saga, Chrono, PE, Mana and so on and so on. After years of Square flooding the Japanese market, you'd think people would get tired of them, but they just don't seem to have. I think the American obsession is actually quite mild compared to what the Japanese'll buy And for your comment on the FF series being stale, I won't argue with you on that, but remember, we could be easily be in Europes position and get relativly few games. Just be thankfull that you at least have the oppertunity to play it in your own language, even if you don't like it. -Kaiser Dragoon

Andrew:
Some well thought out points, Kaiser. With Squaresoft, both in America and in Japan, we buy their games because there's usually a 50/50 chance it'll be a super kicky awesome experience. Of course, the downside side of that is say, the Saga Frontier series. (Just joking! Only Saga Frontier 2 is complete crap.) While the market in Japan is certainly glutted, all it means is that fans have a chance to give their money away without thought to satisfy their gaming cravings. And yes, we could be in Europe's position, with no good games, poisonous meat, bad teeth, and a predisposition for saying "Crikey!" Boy, am I glad I live in America, where are only problems are greed, senseless propaganda, and killer pandas!

 
Return of the nerds.

I think of the MMORPGs on the horizon, all of which are doomed to fall prey to horrible, horrible people, I am most excited about Star Wars: Galaxies. For one thing, I'm a great big nerd, and Star Wars makes me all tingly. I think I also enjoy watching things I hold dear being violated by the masses. I am looking foward to the day a Jedi hacking little monkey named GEORGE LUCAS IS MY BITCH LOVER cutting a swath of destruction through a formally peaceful Tatooine market place. In short, MMORPGs are only a good thing in theory, but add real people and it all goes to hell.

Andrew:
Other than your painful lack of knowledge about Star Wars: Galaxies, I'd say you've got a pretty good point there. However, that's why most MMORPGs have servers for causal players, Pkers, and of course, Rping nerds. "By Lucas's beard! Thou dost not knowest the name of General Thrawn!? KILL HIM, RAPE HIM, AND STEAL HIS LIGHTSABER!" Why don't you et some friends together, Bal, and try to enjoy yourself. Yes, there will always be jerks on MMORPGs, but that shouldn't stop you from pretending you're a wookie cook.

 
Pissing off the undead.

Your letter-writer was incorrect; it was Lance Bass (who I believe has a tiny bit more actual "acting" experience), not Justin Timberlake, who did Sephiroth. Not that it makes a difference in the end; they both scared me with their intense paleness the first time I saw pictures of 'em... Goddamn, how can someone be that white and live?

Andrew:
I didn't deem it worth my time or the readers to comment on the Lance Bass/Justin Timberlake spoof, instead shuddering at thought that someone actually wanted a bunch of crappy TRPGs with popular characters pasted on allowed into the US. And hey, watch it with the pale guy insults. I've got some connections with the Angry Albinos of America Association, and they've got a monkey king on their side, while you just have an intimate knowledge of boy bands, and a talent for pissing off guys that are one step away from vampires. Or the icy grip of death.

 
Ramblings of an addict.

Hello question and answer person! Here is one non-relevant question, one relevant reply to yesterday's request for MMORPG stuff, and one downright insane question. NON-RELEVANT: What does NIU stand for? RELEVANT: You said to talk about MMORPGs. So... here goes. The only one I spent a large amount of time with was Evercrack. I'm recovered now, and realize what an incredibly depressing game to spend hours and hours with. You'd spend an entire day slowly building up experience only to have a random bear or something claw you to death as you try to get a spell going and lose all of the experience you spent the previous six hours acquiring AND you get to spend the next hour or so finding your body... hrm.. lost myself there. As sad as that sort of thing is, it was fun at the time. Sure, it was just a chat room that occasionally got interrupted by monsters, but it was appealing at the time. I guess any future MMORPG I'd play would have to be cheaper. Oh, and none of the charge by the month stuff. It's obnoxious to have to continue a subscription to a gaming service when you don't touch the game for a three months out of a year. I eventually had to stop my Evercrack habit just because it's hard to justify that much money for one game that I only wanted to play every now and then. I might change my mind if they changed it to something like 40 dollars for a 100 in game hours and if I want to renew that, I can. With that said, what MMORPGs are you into? INSANE: Which TV sitcom, past or present, would make a great RPG? There ya go. Thanks and good job so far. Blinky

Andrew:
NON-RELEVANT: NIU stands for Northern Illinois University, where I'm a freshman majoring in journalism. RELEVANT: Thanks for letting us all hear your bitchy little story about how bitter you are at a game you once loved. It really meant a lot to me, and I'm sure you pissed off a few EverQuest fans. Your pay rate plan is interesting, though I prefer my MMORPGs free and sexy. That said, I'm waiting for www.ragnarokonline.com to get back online, and in the meantime, am devoted to www.dransik.com , which is kinda like Ultima Online without me having to dump any money into it. Just time. Lots and lots of time. INSANE: Oh man, that is an insane question. My IQ just dropped by half considering what kind of shit-poor RPGs could be made from such pitiful base material. If anyone wants to write in what sitcoms they think would make a good RPG, go for it.

 
Quick questions.

Hello Andrew "humanity lover" Duff, First off, welcome to your new home. Second a few questions for you: 1. What was you first ever RPG experience? 2. What is your opinion on companies releasing updated versions of older RPGs on newer platforms? 3. What games are currently on your playlist? 4. What RPG's have you completed? Well I wish you good health, and many emails. MicroStout

Andrew:
1. ...what kind of question is that? Gah, why don't we just talk about my "feelings", or, "how freaking vague this question is". If by RPG experience, you mean the first time I played a vaguely RPG like game, or the first time I was really into one, or even the first time I "role played" during a naughty session with a former girlfriend, you've got to be more specific. 2. It's fine with me, especially if they port the games to GBA, so I have something nostalgic to play in my classes. Besides, there are many great games that could use the touch ups. Like, all of the Breath of Fire series. Finally, the packaging can have a bunch of scantily clad girls on it like it was meant too! 3. Suikoden 3 and Metroid for GBA. Something for school and home. 4. Name it. I've probably beaten it.

 
Finally, a letter from a non-RPGer.

AD, Could you do weekdays? As far as MMORPGs go, paying a monthly fee to escape into a never-ending fantasy land sounds more like a drug addiction than a good time. Which, I guess, could be considered the same thing to some people...but I digress. The point is that MMORPGs tend to accentuate the facet of this genre that I hate the most: needless level-building. Paying a monthly fee to level-build in a graphical chat room is not my idea of a good investment. Besides, five years from now, the game will be dead, and the $300 spent over the course of the years will come to nothing. Meanwhile, I can still get my roommate into RPGs with a good copy of FF7. So, there you go. -Red Raven

Andrew:
Yeah, MMORPGs are a bad deal. I mean, $300 for 5 years? That's a ripoff considering in the same time you could buy a $300 game system, and then blow a few hundred on 5 generations worth of games for said system, not to mention all the player guides, action figures, and other crap you'd get related to it. If the point you're getting at is how that MMORPGs are a ripoff, then you're stupider than your poor roommate. Put the poor guy out of his misery with some game that isn't synonymous with SquareSoft selling out with painfully easy games.

 
And on that note...

Dear Andrew, How come more companies do not add a difficulty level for games? It seems like a very easy thing to accomplish (such as doubling hitpoints of enemies and doubling their damage). I find that this choice can often make a somewhat lackluster game a heck of a lot more enjoyable. People are allowed to pick their own level of difficulty, and no one has the right to moan and complain about the difficulty or lack of it. I'm writing this is respect to playing Metroid Fusion, which is currently so much easier than Super Metroid, that I wonder what they were thinking. If its any clue, I got three energy packs in the first ten minutes of play. The secrets are obvious, and the whole mystery of exploration is defeated due to the fact that you're given a map of the place before you've even started. This wouldn't be as bad if it were difficult to kill the monsters that get in your way, but its not. A 'hard' level that blocked certain items at first as well as making guys harder to kill would have been much appreciated. Thanks, Modix

Andrew:
A quick chat with Nintendo confirms that they did not include a difficultly setting in Metroid because they hate you. Your mad, l33t skillz, have cause game companies all over the globe to simply roll over and make their games painfully easy just to spite you, since keeping up with your powers would cost too much money. Either that, or you've never player Kingdom Hearts on SUPER HARD DOOM DIFFICULTLY.

 
The idiot parade.

Hi, I've noticed that the PS2 doesn't have any RPGs (that I know of) coming out around Christmas in the states. Do you think that it is a sign of decline in interest in the PS2 or just bad timing on developer's part, or whatever? And when the hell is Growlancer coming out?! Thanks, Silversol *shameless plug* I have 2 copies of Squaredance on auction on ebay, one LE and one standard edition. Just FYI.

Andrew:
1. You're stupid. Painfully so. Look on the main page of RPGamer, and at the "Upcoming" list. If you mean games coming out the week before Christmas or so, you're still stupid. Why would a developer release their game so late in the Christmas shopping season? 2. The original Growlanser isn't coming out. Sorry to crush you like that, but geez, it's been like three years since the Japanese release. Get over it.

 
Lack of divine powers, yet another fatal flaw in my genetic makeup.

Hi Andrew I just wanted to ask you some information about the game called: "Secret Of Evermore". This game was made by Square Soft (USA) and was released for SNES in1995. Now here is my question, how can I find out some info about the people who made this game, I mean their names and e-mail addresses!? You see, I have tried every way that I possibly could think of and I got no result! So if you have any info that could be of any use, can you please tell me? Thank You and May God Bless You. Sincerely Shahab F.

Andrew:
So...uh...basically you want me to get you in contact with the team of 7 year old game that was made by an internal group at SquareSoft that has most likely disbanded years ago and started a bunch of new companies? I'm flattered you think I have that kind of power, but that's one idiotic request, Shahab. Sorry, you're asking the impossible.



Quickies

ANDREW WHAT IS UP WITH YOUR HOT WEINER/ASS COMBINATION AND CAN I PLEASE GET SOME. -J'sang

You can have as much as you want, if you're female, and can get past my valkyrie girlfriend.

Damn, you are bitter. Piznunk Da Funkilunk

And you like it.

Hey there, a, I'd just like to say, "Wow! Skin-deep sarcasm and pointless reader put-downs, all in one column! Pure genius! I hope this is a portent of the great times to come!" -Ben, a fan of video games

Thank you, Ben, a fan of video games. You're comments are both helpful and informative. Now, let me introduce you to my foot, a fan of shoving itself up your ass.

yo- my query is of the first of the FF series. particularly , FF 123 & FF 456 my gf tells me that 6 is the same as 3 only diff languages. jap & eng. Is this so, and IF so. Is this the same for FF12 & 45? if you can help me out, that would be sweet- thanks in advance guy- OndarkneSS

It's simple. Final Fantasy 1 came out here, 2 and 3 didn't. When FF 4 came out, it came to us as Final Fantasy 2. The States never got Final Fantasy 5 until much later on, like, last year, so Final Fantasy 3 for us was Final Fantasy 6 for them. Easy.

The Final Grumble:

Just got back from Harry Potter. An overall good movie. As Google said, "not enough children's movies have large reptiles being impaled through the brain..." I couldn't agree more. Till tomorrow, gentle writers.

Andrew "Tired but angry" Duff

Blimey Ron! You look like one of the stooges!

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