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   FAT COLUMN  

Andrew - November 29 '02- 2:00 Central Standard Time

As a surprise for all the readerís still picking turkey out of their teeth, hereís a massive column to pour over. I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend, because this column is sure to piss you off.

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"It's Time to Party, Ohhh Yeahhh!"
Greetings Duff-man,
"Ooh, a 'Sarcasm Detector', that's a real useful invention!"
Seeing as how my own personal Sarcasm Detector goes off the friggin' chart every time I read your column. But that's okay. It humors me ( the constant beratement of readers that is.) Anyways, speaking of wings, you don't see too many winged main characters in Rpgs, (although there is that ever-lovin' heroine of the Breath of Fire series, Nina.) Just a random thought.
Best. Column. Ever.
" Duff-man can't breath. Ohhh Nooo!"
(P.S. Break out your grammar checker on this bad boy of a letter.)
- Justin "I'm the main character from the original Grandia" Time

Andrew:
The horrible irony of this letter is that it was sent in just as last Sundayís column was uploaded. So much for just in time.
1. Good point. Iíd like to see more winged characters in RPGs, since they definitely offer some interesting new play elements. In Suikoden 2, getting winged characters was a huge advantage in battle, and there are so many cool ways that developers could use them to forward a gameís plot, not to mention travel.

 
Imperial Mog, move over. Weíve got a new unintelligible nutcase.


YO DUDE!! I discovered she was dead after the first date.. we were mad chillin' in my crib, dizzoin' some taxes, and I realized that her eye.. sockets.. were beautiful.. last I knew.. live ladies have eye sockets with.. eyes and stuff in them!! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!?!! I was like all scared and mad and stuff, so I totally crapped my pants, burned the corpse, then went to play some sweet-ass EarthBound and stuff. (I late went back and made this dope ice cream drink with her ashes.. it tasted like chocolate mint ice cream!) :0
Hmm.. RPG related note... did you enjoy EarthBound? It seems I've found a very large difference in opinion on this mad dope game... remember.. if you say you didn't like it, you're gonna look like an idiot (that means cool, but not in a sexual way.. or just plain stupid??)..
KEEP IT REAL DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Man, I found this weird jelly on my soder can.. I ate it. It's not good :0
Mr.Saturn - Breakin' it Down like Syndrome

Andrew:

Your mother must be very proud of you, Mr. Saturn.
1. Yes, I enjoyed Earthbound immensely. It had a clever plot, witty dialogue, and was one of the strangest games that Nintendo ever hyped to high heaven. I loved that enemies ran when I became too strong, loved how I could buy a house, and yes, even loved that stupid valley of the Mr. Saturns, and their stupid font. Iím still confused as to why Nintendo is letting this gold mine of theirs get away by not making more games under the EarthBound title.
As for your girlfriend, donít be all hung up that sheís a zombie, and that you ground her up and devoured her. You two can still have a very touching emotional relationship.
...just not a physical one, cause sheís about to blow out of your small intestine and splatter the walls.

 
Two steps forward, three steps back...


What's with Suikoden 3's pathetically easy recruiting?
The others just seemed much harder.
Sure, it's revolutionary, but didn't they cut a whole lot of it out? Like your castle can no longer really amuse you for hours on end, and it never grows.
Don't you think when they make jumps to new heights, games should retain the depth they had, and then add some?

Andrew:
I have to admit it, but Suikoden 3 underwhelmed me. While I like the idea of the trinity system, too much is lost in the scenarios, like the sense of exploration because of all the backtracking, and that you KNOW a war is going to happen. In the other two games, the heroís hand was always forced into war, where in Suikoden 3, it all seems like Iíve done it before. Right now though, my biggest complaint is the removal of the world map. It has really killed the sense of how big the world is, and replaced it with a way of travel that offers no benefits over the old form. Stupid Konami. Why tamper with greatness? Just because everyone is making their games in 3-d doesnít mean you have too.
If a company wants to totally change a popular series, they better damn well make sure itís flawless, otherwise they piss off loyal fans, (never mind that weíll buy the next game that comes along anyway) and make themselves look bad.

 
Iím angry because youíre stupid.


Dear Andrew,
My question concerns the upcoming Squaresoft game, "Unlimited SaGa." Actually, it's more of a long rant than a question, which I hope you post on RPGamer. Why, oh why, is Square still making "SaGa" games? They are simply horrible, in my opinion. I remember a few years ago when I got "SaGa Frontier" for PSX simply because it was a Square game. Absolutely horrible, I say. I never could finish the game, not even one scenario, because some battles are too f**king difficult, and the battle system is simply horrid and confusing. Hence, I take it that you would not recommend "Unlimited SaGa" for me. What's your take? BTW, I just got "Suikoden III," and I must say it kicks total @$$. It's what the "SaGa" games should've been, in my opinion, what with the distinctive battle system and such, though I could get used to it (this is my first "Suikoden" game, BTW). Thanks.
Sincerely,
J. Michael Gallen
jmichaelgallen@netscape.net
http://www.geocities.com/jmichaelgallen

Andrew:
So let me get this straight. Since you didnít understand the mechanics of the Saga series, and yes, Iíll admit they werenít the best games around, you now condemn Square for taking another shot? Are you stupid? Have you actually played the whole Saga series on PS1? Hell, Saga Frontier 2 was a vastly different game from 1, and it looks like Unlimited is set to be another completely new experience. Each game had a different strength, and Iím so sorry that the battles were too hard for a sissy like you. Saga Frontier used a system very similar to the trinity system in Suikoden 3, and guess what? Saga Frontier 2 was all about an epic war and the different views of the people involved. Well damn! It looks like the series you hate have a lot in common with the game you love! And hey, for your information, most people think that Suikoden 3's battle system is very poorly designed when compared to former games, which means you like games that are painfully easy to beat, so I hope youíre in kindergarten, Mr. Gallen, because thatís the level youíre playing at.

 
Unhealthy fixations.

Hey, I was wondering, since you seem to like Star Ocean 2, what were your favorite characters, or atleast the ones you used in your party. Did you ever try beating the game using only Bowman? He's insanely good once you lvl him up a bit, he dishes out damage so fast with Poison Pills and Explosive Pills and heals himself just as fast with Secret Medicine. Not to mention that you lvl 4 times faster with just 1 member in your party, although sometimes you have to carry Rena along when there are monsters that stone or paralyze you a lot. Have you had a chance to play Metroid Fusion yet? I bought it but I'm waiting for my Afterburner to come in so I can actually see what I'm doing. Do you know where I could go to get someone to install it for me? I looked over the instructions and it seemed pretty complicated. This letter is getting to long so I'll stop talking now, later.
blinky
"Time flows like a river... And history repeats..." - Secret of Mana

Andrew:

1. I never used Bowman, because, well...I have a huge crush on Precis. Say it with me everyone, ďPARA-BO-LA BEAM!Ē
2. Metroid Fusion is going to be a Christmas gift, so until then, complain about it to Google, because he HATES that game.
3. Blinky, I could never, in good faith, link you to a site on how to install your own Afterburner. If youíre having that much trouble seeing the screen, than I hope itís worth destroying a few GBAís to wash out the systemsís colors and let you see Samus in all her heavily armored bug glory.
4. Your letter isnít long, just poorly thought out. Read over what you write before you send it to me. That goes for the rest of you rambling punks too.

 
Earthbound, not only a great game, but also a mockery of all things sane.


Mr. Duff,
ďIt's pronounced, "It doesn't matter, you stupid nerd."
That has to be the *BEST* answer to any question in RPGamer.com history. Quite frankly, you could answer a ton of questions I see in Q&A with that quip.
Anyway, on to a question: I recently played through Earthbound for the first time. Before I started I had already heard that you beat the last boss simply by praying alot (This isn't totally true, you do have to defeat one of his forms by fighting). My question is, how exactly were you supposed to find out that was what you needed to do if nobody told you? I don't recall seeing anybody in-game saying something like "Pray in last battle and you will win!".
Regards,
Cruciform
...also, Vagrant Story was ass. Thank you.

Andrew:
Come on, Cruciform. If you were just turned into a blocky robot and sent into a place that probably doesnít exist, and were fighting the final form of an enemy that sent his spandex clad warriors after you, wouldnít you pray in your garbled, vaguely HAL like voice? Never mind what God(s) you believe in, just pray seven times and evil is destroyed! Come on kids, try it now!

 
???


Hey Andrew, It's so hard addressing an Email to you when you don't have a proper nickname. You don't have the absurd name of Googleshng, and just calling you your real name is unacceptable. I could call you "Cranky", but that'd be too easy. I think that an expletive is in order here. "Bastard" has a nice ring to it. Letters beginning with "Yo, Bastard!" just beg for a good insult. Of course, the RPGamer censors would probably have a fit over that. "Smeghead" would also work, but only British sci-fi fans would get it.
Anyways, I have three potential sigs, but only enough time to draw one of them (if that). Now, of these three potential sigs, which one would you prefer the most? 1.A mugshot of a butt-ugly mutant from Fallout. 2.An inquisitive computer monitor with a vast array of nasty weapons pointing at the one providing the questions. 3.A scowling shopkeeper looking over a desk stocked with dozens of old RPGs, with numerous descriptive books and items stacked up on the shelves behind him. Hey, if I'm gonna make a good sig for you, I might as well know what you like.
If there's one thing that's always confused me about RPGers, it's how much they want to level up to 99 on this game, or that. Why the hell would they want to reach level 99? Sure, I could see it if they got some ultra-mega world-destroying special ability at Lvl 99, or if the final boss was really THAT HARD. But who am I kidding? You usually quit getting level-based abilities around Lvl 70, and most of the time, even the final boss can be creamed around the 40-70 Lvl range.
I can see getting all of the Heart Containers in a Zelda game, or getting all of the power-ups and energy tanks in a Metroid game, or finding all of the secret rooms in Doom, because that requires a lot of searching and scouring and hair-pulling. But leveling to 99? Come on, even a brain-dead zombie that can only move the control stick and tap FIGHT could do that once you get a high-enough level. Is it a challenge if the enemies can't even scratch you at Lvl 80? The whole activity just screams "I AM SO PATHETIC THAT I SPEND HOURS WALKING AROUND AND BASHING MONSTERS JUST TO MAX OUT THE LEVEL COUNTER!"
You play console RPGs, of course. (If not, who did you sleep with to get this job?) Do youplay computer & tabletop RPGs as well? If so, which types do you prefer and why? Do you enjoy the cinematic stories of consoles, the "go anywhere do anything" style of computers, or the chaotic and unpredictable PC/GM behavior of tabletops?
Finally, I enjoy tormenting my players with traps. I already gave them the "box with a button" that warned "DO NOT PRESS THE BUTTON". The players repainted the room blood red with THAT one. You seem like a demented, twisted soul, so I ask you: what trap suggestions do you have to turn players into a fine red mist? (Preferably involving heavy machinery. If I can entice them into triggering it and laugh at them because they did it to themselves, all the better.)
--About the "Where does Metroid Prime fit in?" argument.-- Read the beginning of the manual. From the wording there and the numerous plot threads in the game, it definitely sounds like it takes place between Metroid & Metroid 2. The clues about the Metroid's energy-production (mentioned in Super Metroid) and the home of the Metroids (visited in Metroid 2) are in the game, providing good stepping stones for the rest of the series.
-Mike Lemmer
"You should encounter little organized resistance because the Pfhor are preoccupied. I've been introducing them to the MAGIC of orbital bombardment." -Durandal

Andrew:
GREAT letter, Mike.
1. On the advice of Google, I kept my real name because if Iím going to be verbally crushing readers, Iíd sure as hell better let them know this a real person with real feelings. Real cruel feelings.
2. I like the idea of the shopkeeper best, so letís see if you draw as well you write, Mr. Lemmer. Speaking of the contest, check out the Grumble at the end of the page for more about it.
3. Hey now, back off. Iím a fan of mass level gaining myself. Why? For one, I enjoy reading a good book and leveling at the same time, and for another, I really like some of the high level spells your characters get when you level bust. Remember FF6? Both Terra and Celes could get natural spells that rocked if you bothered to level them enough. Granted, you could always learn the spells later, but that wasnít the point.
Besides, games like the Suikoden series practically BEG for level gaining. If Iím going to have an entire army to combat the forces of evil, Iím going to level them ALL to the sky, yo.
4. Whom I sleep with is none of your business, but yes, I play computer and tabletop RPGs. I prefer console, since my computer seems to be constantly blowing itself up over computer games, and, as youíve probably guessed, other nerds piss me off. As for traps, Iím in the camp that traps should only be used if youíre sure that a group of pissed off Rpers is what you really want in your house for the rest of the night.
5. Freaking losers, eh, Mike? If they think putting the Metroid series in order is hard, they should try it with the Zelda games.



Quickies

Just so you know, you can't sell Megalixirs and expect to buy armor with 1gp a pop. ~Shenodin

Iím glad someone caught this. You people are too gullible.

What on earth is this Princess Maker thing you are talking about? I go away for a little while and suddenly RPGamer starts talking about porn and 80 inch busts.


Rule 1 of the Princess Maker series. You do not talk about the Princess Maker series.
Rule 2- You never, ever, ever reveal itís an untranslated game series from Japan that Iím SURE you could never, ever find by searching for it online.
Sssh.

"I'm willing to bet that the majority of the population does NOT see Vagrant Story as Square's best game ever, and certainly would question its divinity." I wouldn't. In fact, not only is Vagrant Story the best Square game ever, but the best RPG ever. Yes, really. The story is incredible, with the best script I've ever seen in a video game. The music is subtle, yet at the same time powerful and striking, kind of like Kellogs Corn Flakes. Customizing weapons is an original twist, but I can understand why you don't like it. I usually hate dungeon crawlers, and I can certainly see why this game's not for everyone. It's one of those love/hate games, and you're on the wrong side, buddy. I love it though, and it's most certainly on my "top-3 games ever"-list. -Gandalf the oil-colored rabbit

Sorry, but I usually donít replay games I dislike on the advice of rabbits, especially when they compare a gameís greatness to corn flakes.

No question, just wanted to mention that since college, my nickname has been Shadrach. Small world of biblical influence.

I guess I should be grateful all the people named Andrew havenít sent me letters impressed that we have the same name.


Hi there!
The windows version of FF8 will indeed let you play Chocobo World on the PC, it's simply a separate program you can start. That the game is just crap is a different subject, I assume...:-)

Thanks for the info.


Ahhh, so its bob barker who wields the Excalibur II! i had known he was involved in that somehow... though i have been trying to gather evidance on the fact that he has sexually harrassed many contestants in the past few years, but none of them seem to want to confess because of many bribes he has given them.also, many other friends of mine have been trying to learn of his conspiracies. one person claims that he, who says " get your pets spayed or neutered", is not trying to lower the pet population, but destroy it. though, he has all the beautiful models, who i have been assuming are a bit more....
as of my question, why hasn't RPGamer accepted my walkthrough? sure, if they had a faq of the game already.... or if they emailed and said it sucks it would be one thing....
-Kenneth Dalkree

Judging by your rambling, horribly pointless letter, your walkthroughs would probably cause players to slit their wrists.


Greetings (Mr. T pities) Shadrack 'foo
Now you have been having fangirls here and I could definately need some fangirls. I am a person who could definately use fangirls.
Imperial Mog

The first thing you need Mog, is a spell checker. As for the fangirls, maybe itís because youíre 2 feet tall, covered in thick white fur, and have one of your balls bouncing off your skull thatís keeping the ladies at bay.

No, seriously, did you actually think Kefka was in any way difficult? Cuz, damn. -Random

Take your middle finger, shove it up your butt, and then twist.

I know you belittle morons a lot, but some people just ask for it... How many frickin' letters do you get in one day asking you about your opinion of Vagrant Story? I mean, c'mon... READ THE COLUMN, PEOPLE, you're just inviting Andrew's Hammer of Beration! That's all.

Whatís nice about fans is that they can go off on rants that certain Q&A hosts canít go on, no matter how much they might want to.


Believe it! You have a secret crush!
Here's a CLUE: Person #1 is between 19 and 23 year old
Just click to
http://www.SomeoneLikesYou.com and enter the information below to find out who!
Email address: shadrack@rpgamer.com
Invitation code: HENTAI
Sincerely,
The SomeoneLikesYou Matchmaker

Oooh, between 19 and 23? Well damn, that really narrows it down! Thatís like only 25% of the worldís population! ...who wants to bet that thereís a porn site at the end of all this?

The Final Grumble:


Fantastic bunch of letters today. Good work people.
However, only 6 people have entered the sig picture contest, and since it ends tomorrow at midday, it gives me precious few choices to award my GBA game to, along with the guest hosting spot. So to top it all off, Iím throwing in something else to the 2nd place winner, SOME RANDOM TRINKET FROM MY ROOM! Thatís right, you get something Iíd have probably thrown away, mailed to you from halfway across the country just so you can wonder why the hell I sent it to you! Now, with me being so generous, you know thereís got to be a hitch. And that hitch is simple. This contest doesnít end until at least 20 PEOPLE enter. Yes, thatís right. It could take months before the winner is officially sent his/her new GBA game. Arenít I a jerk?
And once again, this is my contest, and RPGamer does not support or condone it in any way.

Andrew "QUIRKY MESSAGE" Duff

YOU FOUND A SECRET

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