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questionanswer&andrew


Inspirational Meow

Andrew Long - January 29 '04- 11:33 Eastern Standard Time

THERE IS AN ICICLE ON THE SIDE OF MY HOUSE that is taller than I am. Now, lest you think I'm some spring chicken shortie, I'm six foot three or four when I'm not being swallowed by snowdrifts, so this isn't a titchy little icicle that threatens to tear down the walls that hold me inside. No, this is one of those icicles that video game characters die from mere contact with. The problem is, it isn't big enough for me to hit with a hockey stick, unlike the other spiky threats to structural integrity that so beplague this house.

For those of you living in houses not made out of cardboard, however, I guess this isn't a problem, so today we have a whole bunch of letters about not icicles, but FFX-2, FFXI, and Square Enix. Also, somebody seems deeply irritated about the current release status of Tales of Phantasia, although to the best of my recollection, that particular announcement came down last week. Still, that shouldn't prevent me from thanking Paws for giving me a title, since I was fresh out of ideas and trying to snippet little bits of Underworld lyrics up there, which just doesn't work (unless I was, in fact, a machine, your beautiful dream dream dream dream).

A final Paws-related note: To that Shawn-based EB employee who wrote in to defend the honour of his heartless conglomerate: Paws also works for said unfeeling corporation, and would like your email address. Send it to paws@rpgamer.com. This message will self-destruct.

No, not really. Think of how cool I'd be if I could make your computers explode, though! Cool like a seven-foot long icicle, that is...




SEND LETTER




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27-13-8-3
Tonight vs... somebody
Let's face it
There's too many games
In the season
For me to keep listing them here
Better wait for baseball
Series are so nice and consistent!
Like a big thick icicle
Phallic imagery?
I sure hope not

Hate hate hate hate hate.. burn everything up!


So umm, I was sorta wondering ... How d'ya cast Fire in FFVIII?

ANDREW
Mandatory indeed, my friend. And now you must die (obligatorily, of course - that's why it'll be a ritual slaying!)

Scooby Doo strikes again


I can't believe you didn't use the argument that would have been easiest to use to refute the moron who was BSing about how crappy new FF titles are getting produced because of the Square-Enix merger. Let me ask you this...do FF titles get pumped out every six months? ....Not quite. How much of a time gap was there in between FFX-2 and the merger? Six months. It takes a good, solid year, and usually much more, for one of their widely known titles to come out. And this person is bitching about titles that were more than obviously in the works far, far before the merger ever took place. That person had no basis for argument whatsoever.

ANDREW
Correct, and I'd give a longer ramble here, but since I pasted these letters all out of order, the appropriate response can be found below, instead of above. As such, I think everyone should restart the column, from the bottom. You can even pretend it's backwards day!

And then there's the apologists


With all the insane Squeenix hulabaloo going on in the columns lately, I figured I'd throw out my two mostly-worthless, quasi-copper coins worth of opinion on the matter. At any rate, since the merger only a small handful of titles have actually been released under the 'Square Enix' moniker.

First, we have Final Fantasy Origins. I think we can all agree that FFII was too long in coming and wasn't ported that well either. The original game saw some vast improvements, though. So, in the end, it's about a 50/50 deal, slightly weighted for the better if you're really nostalgic.

I can say with some authority (being a TRPG nut) that the only one of Squeenix's collaborative efforts that I truly do hate is FFTA. Whatever I was expecting to get out of it was not what I got. It's a poor and pale imitation of its fantastically superior predecessor. What can I say? Sometimes older is better.

Next, there's FFXI. Everyone is well aware of my opinion of that game, but I guess the couple hundred thousand subscribers can't all be wrong, now can they? Something decent about the game must exist, but I'll tell you that from what I played at E32K3 and have seen in action since then didn't impress me even one whit compared to WoW (go Azeroth!).

FFX-2 is what I personally define as blasphemy against the mighty church that is Final Fantasy. But, again, several hundred thousand fanboys and mid-to-late-thirties gentlemen with their lolita complexes can't be all wrong. We have the return of the classic job system, but we also get to be subjected to Yuna singing... It's a toss, really.

In closing... I don't see much worth writing home about out of them lately, but then again, I don't see too much reason to conduct a healthy lesson in commercial terrorism against their heartless, megalithic corporate structure, either.

~ Zachary 'The Good Twin' 'ASV' Lewis

ANDREW
Holy hyperbole, Batman! Hmm... crap. I'm trying to squelch those rumours, not rekindle them...At any rate, thanks for sharing, Good Twin. Bear in mind, my evil influence shall win out, for good is dumb. Muah!


The obligatory defense of FFX-2


Hey Andrew,

I was under the impression that Enix had nothing to do with Final Fantasy X-2, XI, or Crystal Chronicles. Were these games not in development before the merger took place? The guy that wrote in about the Square-Enix merger causing Square's games to go to Hell seems to be a bit misinformed.

ANDREW
You are indeed correct, and I should have pointed that out yesterday. Unfortunately, I was suffering from a crushing depression yesterday, so I couldn't think straight and was feeling a powerful urge to dress in black and listen to Nine Inch Nails. Actually, I don't mind the Nine Inch Nails even when I'm feeling effervescently ebullient, and at any rate, I'm super happy today, thanks to my good friend seratonin. Now, before this herbal ecstasy I got from my email wears off (or I use any more commas) let's proceed victoriously to smash our paragraph in concordance-next!

FFX-2 may be light on story and a little too sugary for some people, but I found the job system too be fun enough to warrant a second playthrough. FFXI may be just another MMORPG, but I really do enjoy the way the job system is set up. I love how it allows you to play any job/subjob combination without having to create a new character. Are you still playing, or did you quit? Out of curiosity, what server is your character on. I realize that you might not want another stalker like Shroudie or The Batman, so only tell me if you feel like it. Just thought we could level up together sometimes if you were on my server. Does The Robin know that The Batman is having an affair with another man?

Uerar

ANDREW
Err.. The rumours of my affair with The Batman have been grossly overblown by a certain stalker who shall remain nameless. As to my FFXI server, it's no secret that many RPGamer staff members play on Midgardsormr, so stalk away. I doubt you'll want to level with me, though - I'm only at level 6, and I haven't found my way to the first dungeon yet, which is pretty sad since it's cost me about $30 thus far to do nothing at all. Still, if that doesn't put you off, I'm perfectly willing to tag along.


Speaking of Certain Stalkers...


Castococcoa,

With the coming of a new day and age, it would seem plausable to wake up an hour before my final test, no? Sadly, waking up 4-or-so hours before hand does not do much justice in my search for desireable sleep. Yes, sleep is a past time that I've grown quite fond of. It would seem that the dog has other ideas to ruin said enjoyment by wanting to go outside. Now as I'm mildly awaken at such early hours, explain this "6 Day Googleshng Suprise" you have going on as a bonus gift when you buy 7 credit cards, get into deeply unknown debt, and then have to murder for money? Six days of Google, and only 1 day of you? Or do you mean that you and Google just switched places? You confuse me to no end, but that wont stop me from loving you. My sweet, sweet valor of inconceivable enjoyment and happiness. Yes, we WILL have those memories... O.O As for the long letter bit, I can see how you feel. It's like kupomogli...only worse. No..wait, it can't get any worser than kupomogli, never mind. Yes, EB can be quite the moneymakers at overcharging. We used to have this awesome place down in Utica, completely devoted to movies and video game rentals. Granted, you could buy the games too, and they were quite inexpensive at the time of late 80's-early 90's.. Either way you look at it, those places are long gone... Although there is one in Batavia, but they overcharge dramatically. Even with that said they do carry Final Fantasy wallscrolls. With college closed down, you have had time to sleep and dream your little dreams. Speaking of dreams, I should find a way to drug my way to sleepdom, and then later sharing those dreams with you.

"God, where's the damn pillows",

O' Shrouded One

ANDREW
I don't know how valium's going to help you with your exams, but I digress. What I failed so spectacularly to explain clearly yesterday is that back when Google wrested his way back into power by hiding Andrew D. in an earthquake chasm, he originally wanted Monday to Thursday. Having been down on my luck and out of school at the time, I demanded some of those days for myself, because I wanted some joy in my life, dammit, the kind that only weekends could provide (hence, weekday columns). Now that I'm back in school and my joy is derived from bitching about professors who think that R.L. Stine qualifies as literature, weekends are pretty boring most of the time, and for some reason, my threshold for substance abuse still hasn't returned to normal since I got out of the hospital from being influenzled. To make this ridiculous story short, I'm moving to Friday through Sunday, while Jake's taking back the night, or weekdays, or at least organized crime. You'll have a whole six days to ask him which it is, because the last time we switched days I got five in a row and besides, I lost the coin toss.

ANDREW DANGEROUS
Now you just hold on here! I may have suffered alcohol poisoning in the Wine Caverns of West New Jersey, eaten deadly coal in the mountains of New Mexico, and contracted both cancer and emphysema simultaneously while blast-mining the surface of West Virginia, but I hain't never been stowed away in some lousy earthquake hole. Get yer facts straight!


Mmm...Dripping with good, down-home sarcasm


Many over the years have been rebuked for writing poorly contrived opinions about which final fantasy games were the best/ worst/ most underrated, etc. As recently as yesterday (1-28), a gentleman sent you an essay on the downfall of Final Fantasy since the Square-Enix merger. He was chastized for this. To protect others who are ignorant (such as myself) from embarassing themselves by writing poorly constructed final fantasy criticisms, perhaps you should devote some space telling your readers in detail what you consider to be a "justified" opinion about a final fantasy title.

Respectfully Yours,

-Grey

P.S., besides, everyone knows that FF3j was the most Roxor/1337.

ANDREW
Simplicity in itself, my friend - offer some reason other than "I hate it". Perhaps I'm the only one, but when I hate things, I have a good reason behind it, and simply saying that Square Enix is teh deval does not a convincing argument make. I mean, I could just allow every moronic non-opinion to air itself here, but that's why we have message boards (although Rico tends to frown upon this sort of thing too, so post at your own risk). At any rate, the only game he gave a concrete reason for disliking was FFXI. The rest were just "monkey poo", despite no rationale being given for that statement about X-2 and no possible basis whatsoever for FF:CC.

And don't go picking through old columns looking for mindless hatred that I've allowed to seep in. I never was one to turn down a good waffle, so I'm not about to start now.


YOU 'DREW
QUICKIE I
Tales of Symphonia DELAYED?!!

Curse the ones of making that have increased time to raise profit! Err, sorry, that was Fawful speaking.

- Feep "Delays suck"

Andrew:
Strange, Fawful usually amuses me...Besides, increasing the time was allegedly to raise the quality, so I don't think Fawful could get it so woefully wrong. Go back to Russia, you impostor!



DA LAST GRUMBLE

Well, thank you (except you, Good Twin... You flouted my rules! For shame.) for keeping the letters shorter. Shorter letters mean less scrolling and coupled with greater durability available on the market today, this should significantly increase the life of your scroll button. Now, if you don't have one, well, that's your tough luck. In other, more relevant news, the Good Twin also brought up World of Warcraft, so let's talk about how Blizzard's website crashed yesterday, leaving me bitter and out in the cold. Bonus points for sympathy, symbolized by mailing me bars of gold!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long doesn't do Tai-chi. Should you?

I'LL PROVIDE THE ANSWERS, YOU PROVIDE THE

QUESTIONS


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