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questionanswer&andrew


I Convalesce You!

Andrew Long - February 27 '04- 12:56 Eastern Standard Time

YEEHAW.... All that headlining and news can be pretty tedious, cuz I have to stick within these boundaries like "accepted form and style" and "grammar" and "absolutely, positively no mentioning moon bases". I kind of cheated on the last one, but hey - I've been ill, so I get to break a few rules now and then. Yes, I come to you once more, having undergone several intense medical upgrades at a local facility of mystery, actually known as "Oakville Trafalgar Medical Health center", which is a long way of saying "Hospital by the lake". Lest you think it's a crappy hospital by the lake, let me assure you - it's neither by a lake, nor is it a hospital, per se. It's an expansive collection of outbuildings and wards filled with screaming old ladies who go bump in the night, as I can personally attest to, having been stored next door to one of them.

So what happened to me? Those of you curious enough to know will be gratified to hear that I have a terrifying immune system disorder that preys upon my poor, defenseless internal organs, most specifically those in my endocrine system. Fortunately, most of these can be replaced by pills or microchips or talking dogs, but before I can get around to that part, I go through a month or so of denial, which is punctuated by me vomiting profusely and wondering if maybe this isn't the flu after all. This time, it was my adrenal gland that got whacked, and boy was that inconvenient - metabolizing sodium is a sort of nice thing to be able to do, as you might well imagine. Anyhow, I am now officially afflicted by "polysomethingsomething immunodeficiency", which translates to "roving death squad in your guts". Fifty points if you can guess what the organ it took out four years ago is called.

Now given my horrifying debilitation, you're probably saying "Gee, I bet all those letters he asked for sure did pile up!" And you would be right, although I would probably tell you to stop talking to yourself, because only crazy people talk to themselves, unless of course they want to appear suave and diplomatic (everyone knows ambassadors mutter too much). For some reason, you guys seem to prefer leaving poor sabin letterless and clogging my darkened mailbox with dozens of letters. As a result, I'm going to have to split them up over the weekend to clear them all. Yes, some of these letters are so mouldy I could sell them to wine connoiseurs in France, but because I love you guys so much I'm going to air them out (actually, I just like sharing things, especially if they're disgusting) and we can marvel at the three weeks that was. Seriously, it was marvellous. Well, not for me, but I'm not everyone, now am I?

Without further ado, then, let us proceed to my giant stockpile and pretend to dismantle it, just like the US and Russia always do when they get together. And to the guy who sent me uranium: this is all your fault!




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34-18-9-3
3 in a row to crappy teams...
Well, the Lightning aren't crappy
But geez
Goalies are pretty important, it seems
Which stands to reason
Bathtubs don't work too well
When you leave them unplugged

I'll Connecticut you...


::Pokes head in::

Greetings! Or, as they say in Connecticut, "Hello"!

Who's ready for some zany antics disguised as questions? You know I am!

1. Did anyone figure out Feep's riddle yesterday? I think it's pizza, because it's round, and... yeah. What's your guess?

ANDREW
If by that you mean "did you get any letters about it?" then the answer is I don't know, I haven't actually read all of these yet. In related news, I have no idea what it is because I've spent the whole day resizing screenshots, proving once and for all that I'm not cut out to work in our media department. I guess I'll just guess randomly and say "the horizon." Okay, so I looked... sue me. It's still probably wrong.
2. Played Crystal Chronicles? Fun, but lacking in summons. Carbuncle made it in, but for some reason, they made him a fat, lethargic monster. Not like me! I'm cute and cuddly: DO NOT DEFY ME!!!

ANDREW
Riiiight... Yes, I have indeed played it, though not the English version.
3. What's with all the Final Fantasy games coming out so soon? First FFTA, then FFXI, then FFX-2, then Crystal chronicles, now the PS2 version of FFXI, all in the span of six months? Crazyness! As awful as this may sound to some fanboys, I hope the next one is a far ways off. Pushing out too much too fase will definately cause the quality to taper.

Anyhow, um, episode over!

NeoCarbuncle
"Polly want 2-3 hours at 300 degrees in my oven?"

ANDREW
Don't worry, Square Enix is claiming "Q4-2004" right now, which by usual standards probably means "Q2-2005". Then again, FF's usually come out in the fall, so who knows? Yoichi Wada, that's who. Why did I bother mentioning him? I like typing!


The return of Randomopium


Castofeeling,

You're back and ready to go, eh? Good news will come now. 1.)Your back from your little unexpected vacation. 2.)I now have a reason to live!! Randomopium lives on, my dear friend. We can start anew and live on in Sweden!!!! Is it me, or is the modern world overflodded with reality-TV crap-upon-crapai? They should have a reality-dating/marry an psychopath for the RPGamer crew. You'd be the prize, dear sir, as a delightful, delicious peach dish. The catch? (cause you know ALL these shows from hell have them) The final episode concludes with you, in your sparkly dress and tiara, confess to your suitors that you, in fact, do have a real love in your life. Then you and the undisclosed man of your dreams, don't look at me like that!!, skip merrily onto their bicycle built for two. A question would include, "Where the hell have you been?!", but I already know the answer my Casto, my Castomel feeling. I do confess, the list of questions I had sent you for last weekend were the only ones that take the cake in terms of "I don't know what to ask". Sadly, progress has been quite slow in my daily life, except the fact that I got a job. Now I can actually buy some games!!! Although, I'll have to wait until May, dear Darien Lake refuses to open anytime earlier than that. Gripes? Hardly, except the fact that I can't have my goatee during said employment. Don't cry for me, I'll make you pie for tomorrow.

Oh what a pie it'll be!

O' Shrouded One

ANDREW
Whoa.. Darien Lake? You mean that crazy water park that always advertises on Fox 29? But but but... Canada's Wonderland (excuse me, PARAMOUNT Canada's Wonderland) always claimed it was filled with evil and suffering! Also, you're bang-on with the reality junkness; every time I walked into the living room to soothe my aching back, which has apparently gotten far too used to lying down on that infernally uncomfortable hospital bed, there was either a fat naked guy tightroping over a pirahna-infested pool or a fat guy making a mockery of a wedding and getting a whole lot of less-fat guys in kilts pissed off, or a fat guy turning into a slightly less fat guy with a bad face job. Yes, TV is truly a cesspool of desire. Hmm... Wonder what's on?

As to those goatee tyrants, I say show them in late August or whenever Darien Lake flies on back to hell for a new shipment of death lava by growing yourself a goatee to end all goatees. Or you could do like me and not shave for three weeks, causing gratuitous molester 'stache. It's groperrific!


Believe me, I know all too well


Hey there, Yesterday, Google mentioned the Phantom system and its state of existence. Well, it's not clear whether the actual system is alive, but the company behind them (Infinium Labs) sure is. In fact, they've taken to threatening web sites who claim otherwise, so Goog had better watch what he says. ;) Anywho, here's a slashdot article that explains the whole thing.

WHYYYYY

Just thought you'd like to know.

-jaraph

ANDREW
At risk of having my ass sued by the ever-so-reputable people at Infinium Labs, I've seen all the stories floating about concerning their brand new executive team and I'm not terribly impressed. While I guess non-dodgy executives is a step in the right direction, the trouble with executives is actually making sure that they're non-dodgy. Since I've seen the risks surrounding the libel of these upstanding gentlemen, I think I'll hold my breath until after the Phantom has safely tanked - and it will tank, if you want my opinion. Nothing can make up for the bad press this thing has among the gaming circles, and if nothing else, us gamers don't take kindly to people pretending a shiny render is an actual system, nor do we appreciate the Barnumesque qualities of inviolable plastic boxes with shiny green lights inside, or their being held as the same for that matter.


Copycats


So, I noticed something I found humorous the other day. Level-5 has a propoganda poster for it's "Next RPG" that looks something like this.

That in and of itself isn't that funny, but when you compare it to the FF XII poster that has been out for some time (pictured here ). the similarities are obvious. Either that or i've started seeing things. Well, I guess i should make this a question... So, is Level-5 trying to reap some of the FFXII hype for their Next RPG? How exciting!

s.f.

Milhouse: We gotta spread this stuff around. Let's put it on the Internet!
Bart: No! We have to reach people whose opinions actually matter!

ANDREW
Nah, imitation is just flattery, that's all. Just be glad they're not going the "MP? We don't have no MP on Lennus, foo" route.


Of Dragons and riding them


Castomel-

You have requested questions and I will provide them. Awhile back you asked for questions on the topic of Drakengard and people's opinions of the upcoming game. Perhaps its just me, but I have very much been excited for this title since I first saw screens of it. I personally am a huge fan of the Dynasty Warriors games, and this looks to be very much the same. It looks like it takes the best aspects of Dynasty Warriors and then adds upon them. I can't count how many times I've played Dynasty Warriors and thought to myself, "Man, how cool would this be if I could ride a dragon?" AND NOW I CAN. Much excitement here. In any case, what is your opinion, are you looking forward to the game? I personally think it will be a big hit. After going to the official site and reading about the plot and whatnot I have decided it has all the ingredients necessary to create another cult-like following. It has the religious controversy that has made other games' plots far more interesting than they otherwise would've been. Such games include Final Fantasy Tactics and Xenogears. Also it has the stereotypical "Warring Nations" plot, but this plot can be well executed when done correctly. The game play of this game is designed to make this aspect almost a guaranteed success. Instead of just being told about the gigantic battles that are being waged, you actually get to take part in them. I don't know how many people out there are looking forward to this game, but it doesn't seem to be triggering people's interest as much as I thought it would. If this is indeed the case then I hereby declare it a sleeper hit! Well, that's all I've got to say, but what is your opinion Castomel? Do you agree with the above statements I made or are you at opposites with me? I would greatly appreciate hearing yours and anyone else's opinions. Later.

-Yankee

ANDREW
Well, if the plot is as shiny as you say, then colour me interested. As to the "warring nations" bit, you'll have to forgive Japan. Boundaries were at an especial premium in its formative stages as the single nation we know and love, so those wars were kind of like the latter rounds of a game of Risk, except instead of getting a bonus army from cards every turn, they rounded up peasants instead.


Xenowha?


Okay, what the heck is going on in Xenosaga II? Judging from what I've read, the game is either entirely or largely a flashback to seven or fourteen or however many years ago, focusing primarily on the backstory of Jr. and Margulis. But looking at these screenshots, I don't understand...I see Ziggy, MOMO, chaos, and several others standing around fighting TOGETHER against pre-scarred Margulis, indicative of the past. These characters have MET? And they didn't remember when they met in the first game? What's going on? Also, how is this exactly going to tie into Xenosaga Part I...like, the game just starts off as a seven-year prequel, or they go into current events and THEN go back, or it switches back and forth...or...agh. My head hurts. Give me an aspirin.

- Feep "Ow"

ANDREW
There, there. I'm sure there's a superspecial robot that will clear everything up. If there isn't, don't blame me - I could never stomach either of the first two games for very long.


TO:KoL - the game that just won't go away


Hey Cast,

A while back (right before FFTA came out) I remember a letter from one person who said he picked up Tactics Ogre: KoL to hold him over and that it sucked (not sure if it was your's or Goog's column, but thats not the point). Anyway, I've recently started playing KoL and it is immensely better than FFTA. First off the storyline doesn't make my brain dribble where as with FFTA I had to work up the patience to go on playing it. I do admit that compared to previous TO/OB games KoL does seem a little weak on the plot side, but then it could be that I'm only on chapter 2.

Also, in FFTA there is absolutely no special classes. Now I'm not saying you need a bunch, but in every other final fantasy you have a couple of characters that stand out from the other rank and file troops. Meanwhile, KoL has a couple characters that have their own unique abilities and really sets them apart from the rest of the troops making picking which units to use on a level a lot more tactical, while in FFTA I'd just pick at random or see who needed the most leveling.

Anyway, I'm curious to see how you compare the two games. Pros, cons, etc.

-- Kalledon --

ANDREW
Well, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "every other FF", since FFT is the only other TRPG, but I will wholeheartedly agree with you, having now finished FFTA and preparing to launch into a frantic search for the TOKoL cart to get my GBA strategy fix. Curse that cart... it's forever escaping my grasp. Anyhow, TOKoL has depth, it has a story, and it doesn't get boring after half an hour. FFTA is for beginners, and it shows. I still think you're forgetting about Marche and that stupid moogle, though. Either way, if you want to see a detailed blah about my thoughts on the game, go here.


Ladies and Gentlemen, my evil twin!


Being the evil twin, I thought I would consult you on your plans for world domination. My path involves a clever ruse whereby all the world leaders are hypnotized by the Taco Bell chihuahua and pass their mantles of authority on to me. But, as has been well established for quite some time by common mythos, good Emperors - such as I would be - are always overthrown by their infinitely more evil usurper counterparts, e.g. you. So, anyhow, what was your plan to wrest the powers of supreme planetary lordliness onto yourself so that I might plan against them?

ANDREW
Well if I told you, they wouldn't be very secretive, now would they? Besides, I've arranged to have that dog taken care of, so I think you'd better go back to the drawing board. Aha. Muha. Muhahaha. Muhahahahahaha!

Now I feel kind of guilty <.<


Oi Castomel,

My apologies for not having written lately. I've had some various malaises and troubles and well, laziness, and one week where I didn't want to touch the home computer at all after working OT in front of one at work every day.

ANDREW
There, there. I'm not that demanding. As long as you sacrifice your hamster's first born to me, I shall be appeased. Or at least creepy, and everyone loves creepy!

Excuses, excuses! Tch.

You had mentioned KOTOR a week or two ago, and I don't think anyone responded to that. As it happens, thanks to all the OT I pulled that one week, I was able to buy an Xbox. I mostly bought it for a member of the household who's a DOA fan, but KOTOR and Morrowind were two games I'd wanted for awhile, and my poor aging comp couldn't take them on, so I got the Xbox versions.

I'm still in the "ooh cool" phase with both games, having only played an hour or so on each. Japanese-RPGamer that I am, I've never come across a FPS type RPG (except the Phantasy Star dungeons), but once the novelty of that wears off, I hope Morrowind still has a lot of fun to offer. As for KOTOR, already the story's pretty interesting. For both games, the "play it your way" aspect is fascinating, too.

ANDREW
Trust me, KotOR remains fun. I'm about 30 hours in now, and whipping out my lightsabres for no apparent reason has yet to grow tiresome.

After butterfly-flitting across the two Xbox games, I snuggled in with FFT and forty gameplay hours later, seem to be in for the long haul.

When I first played FFTA, I was sure it was a better game than FFT, but coming back to FFT with some consideration time inbetween, I do feel, if I wrote a review of each, that FFT would get the better score.

That leads to the Q-that-fuels-the-A: has some "consideration time" changed your opinion of a game? For example, is there a game you've given a good review to (or a bad one) that in retrospect you, yourself, don't agree with?

Beth.

ANDREW
Why yes! If you check my reviews page, there are indeed several scores on there that I'd reconsider. Foremost among them is Chrono Cross, which for some reason I gave an 8 to back in my younger, stupider days. I'd also plug another point into FFT, stab Lunar down to a 5 or 6, and give Final Dragon Secret of Ever Fantasy Warrior Mana Quest Story MCMXVII the 10/10 it so richly deserves.


Unfit for Print


Did cloud ever have sexual relations with tifa?

ANDREW
Well, that would depend on how you define "sexual relations." If you're truly curious, I do believe this very site hosts reams of languid fanfics about that particular relationship. Otherwise, ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Go away.


DA LAST GRUMBLE

There will be countless quickies tomorrow, for my back hurts too much and I grow lazy. Feel free to send in more mail; I think I'll steal Beth's topic and ask you guys if there's any games you've played that you originally loved, but in retrospect would feed to your pets.

castomel@hotmail.com
Andrew Long is wondering whether it's possible, it's possible, to find relief from back pain.

I'LL PROVIDE THE ANSWERS, YOU PROVIDE THE

QUESTIONS


"You're getting pissed, Jerry!" - Paul Molitor, 1995 Obus Forme spokesperson



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