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ASK ANDREW
Duffman... Can't Breathe! Oh No! March 24th, 2005

Andrew Long - 12:23 EST

SO ANYWAY, it seems that even with the rapid approach of Daylight Savings Time, winter is determined to spite me, for it snowed again last night, and not just a light dusting, either. No, it was good enough to make traffic a hellish deathscape and completely obscure visibility on the decaying highways of Toronto. Thankfully, I managed to get home in one piece, and with some delicious shepherd's pie and cookies from my grandma to boot, but I officially can't freaking wait for E3, because that's the only guarantee I'm ever going to have of enjoying some nice weather in the next two months (though now that I've said that, LA will probably be plagued by monsoons while I'm there.)

In accordance with that scheme, I got myself some tickets to that More Friends concert, and I must say, I am looking forward to it - on the condition that the haunting female vocals we have been promised do not originate from my home country. I really think I will murder the unlucky soul sitting next to me if either of a few female songstresses that I could name, but won't for fear of generating google ad content bearing their names, appear. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED, SEAT 19E!



Ramblebox
Mmm.. oatmeal chocolate chip... I sure do love my grandma <3

-AL  


L E T T E R S
A burning issue


Are quickies dead?
- Feep "Are quickies dead?"

ANDREW


Quickies are not dead, per se; it's just that when this new template was created, no allowance was made for them, and on account of I am generally incompetent with HTML design, I have not deigned to incorporate them yet. Never fear; someday they will make a return, but until then, we need some sort of quickie replacement device. Any suggestions will be most welcome.


First time my eye!


Zup, Drew-Dawg?

First time reader, long time writer here with a few questions and what not.

Do you think Square (in the morally and creativity bankrupt state that they are in) will start making sequals to other Final Fantasies after this awful Advent Children is released? If so, do you think they're actually be RPGs or will they be hack jobs with the lovable Final Fantasy characters being exploited over games of Pong and Pac-Man?

I'm hoping for the latter, because I'd love to see FF7's Tifa do a Dance Dance Revolution game. She makes my pants uncomfortabe. What is it about gaming companies going sour when they head honchos get old and senile? I mean, the Nintendo guy is doing everything he can to destroy their company ("People don't want online gaming") and Square-Enix's dudes aren't doing much better either.

I want to make a game where Aqua Man gets teleported to FF5's world, only to find that Areis and Locke were teleported there by Magneto or something. That would be cool. Who should I call to get that one published?

Thats all. As you can see, I really don't have anything to write about at all...but that's never stopped me before.
Tad Ghostal
P.S. When is SH3 coming out?


ANDREW

Okay, first off, Nintendo is no longer run by Hiroshi Yamauchi, although he does still occasionally phone in to check up on things, according to various interviews with the current CEO. Besides that, it has been generally acknowledged that the next Nintendo platform will have some form of online compatibility, as someone has evidently realized how foolish it would be for the Big N to ignore the popularity of online gaming yet again.

Now, as to the other FF sequel conundrum, I honestly don't think any other Final Fantasy titles are open-ended enough to warrant a sequel. FFI and II were too simplistic, III not widely enough known, IV killed off all the bad guys, V killed off all the bad guys, VI ended with the destruction of magic, VIII involved entirely too many Ks to even kkkkonsider a new installment, and IX killed off all the bad guys, in addition to losing a main character or two along the way. As such, I think if you do see another FF sequel, it'll be for XII. In fact, I would expect one.

As to the "hack job" question, FF characters have been appearing in all sorts of crap that they have no business being in for years. Why, just this week, I was at a train station and saw a young asian kid reading a magazine going on about how Tidus was going to be making an appearance in Final Fantasy World, whatever the hell that is (I got the impression that it's some sort of cartoon show).

P.S. Die.



Clarification


I got this story from Nintendo Power, which is an official source, but I also found a nice listing online for easy reading, etc, via N-Sider

http://www.n-sider.com/newsview.php?type=day&date=2005-03-19#812

Secret of Mana is coming to the Nintendo DS, along with a slew of other good games.


ANDREW

Hmm. Well, I'd be more excited if Square hadn't done something similar to this back in 2001. After releasing FFI and II, the future for Square appeared to be bright on the WSC, and in fact the company did announce a series of "Square Classics" or something like that, which was rumoured to have included Seiken Densetsu II(Secret of Mana). Unfortunately, only four of the games were ever confirmed, and the WSC went belly-up before anything more could be done about it. I do distinctly remember, however, seeing screenshots from the remake in question on the Magicbox, so it did exist at one point. Let's just hope S-E makes it all the way this time (and doesn't fiddle around with the game mechanics any).



Randomblings


would like to say that it was an honor to be on you Q&A section in the past. I hope this dosen't come off as a rant, but more as an obersvation hopfully ending in a question.

I would like to first say when reading about the faulty PS2s and such. I commented out loud that it was very true, but with the right care can last you a long time. After using the PS2 in my college computer lab (purely for educational reasons....honest!) Well now my PS2 is broken. And so every day after that everything labelled "SONY" started to break. Headphones, CD player, you name it. Now....I only play computer games.

Now, with newer games becomoing all graphics that is true yes. And with spin off after spin off or exsiting series you wonder, what is to become of a industry that used to be new and innovative almost all the time. Something that all the popular kids at school didn't understand so it didn't need to cater to them. Although the all mighty dollar rules everything, gamers are in for a long wait. Why do I say this? Well...what happens to the developers of today? Why get old, they retire, and then there is a new guy. Hungry to get into the industry with new stories, to compliment new graphic technology. It just sucks to wait so long.

My Animation class agrees that Square-enix should have named every final fantasy by its story, for example "Final Fantasy: Clones and Materia." Um...that was off the top of my head, bad i know. What do you think of that? Also what steps do you think need to be taken graphically, econamically(y'know so we can have good games at a good budget without risking turning out crap), and story wise in the industry.
ANDREW

I think your animation class should stick to animation, cuz I sure wouldn't buy a game called Final Fantasy: Clones and Materia over one called Final Fantasy VII. As far as changing things in the industry, I have no problem with games looking nice - it just shouldn't be the ultimate focus of a development project, because eventually there will come a point when you can't make things look any better, and at that point, gameplay has to become the focus. Economically, there's really not much you can do. Big budget games are a reality now, and unfortunately, companies aren't going to spend less on games just because it makes it difficult for other developing companies to get into the market. I think something like the Phantom will have to come along if there is going to be any hope for smaller developers to make it. Notice that I say something like the Phantom, because I still refuse to believe that the Phantom itself has any hope of success. Finally, in terms of story, I can't say this enough, but game companies need to hire actual writers if they ever want to advance the state of the medium beyond its current point. FF:tSW proves what happens when you allow game developers to write for story-driven enterprises, and I wish the lesson had been more keenly felt, because some decent writing could have rescued that movie.

I'm not a spokesperson for the industry, but if you see the type of people trying to get in right now, and currently in college, you'd be VERY impressed. Its just real hard to start out.

Ro.

Really sorry about the length and

Sorry if the question is real hard or just long. Really..


ANDREW

I don't doubt that I would. I know any number of people trying to break into the industry, and I've seen firsthand what it's like for them. For instance, a game we've been covering since I was hired here back in 2000, Mythri, is mute testament to how difficult it is to get something off the ground when you're not part of a big company, but then again, the development work being done by two former staffers here, Doug Hill and Andrew Bilyk, seems to be progressing well, although Stom refuses to give me any details because he's mean and I think he got beaten up by space bullies or something and anyway I think he just likes keeping secrets. In the end, I have no trouble believing you when you say that starting out is incredibly difficult, and all I can say is that if you believe in yourself and work at it hard, you will be putting yourself in a much better position. I wish you luck.



A cornucopia of concerns


Hi.

The Q and A section of RPGamer is always fairly entertaining and I check it out when I can. I've never had any questions in all honesty but ever since I got my Nintendo DS and beheld its lack of software (released) I find myself looking forward to a time when a shed load of promised RPGs arrive. That's where my question comes in.

Final Fantasy III: I have never played it. Ever. Never Ever. Then again before Origins I had never played FF1 or FF2. Anyway Origins and Dawn of Souls struck me as fun blasts from the past and I will defiantly be picking number 3 when it comes out in Europe. Just wanted to know what DS features do you think the game will have? And what would you LIKE to see it have???

Actually while I'm here: Have you played Phantom Brave yet??? Good GOD!!! It's such a sad game; sad in the fact that the System works wonderfully(battle, customization all that stuff) but the story and the protagonists. Never have I played a game that created such a conflict. I ended up not playing it after getting well over halfway. I assumed all Nippon games were tongue in cheek funny HAHA games; oh dear, how wrong I was. Just thought I'd add that.

Cheers


ANDREW

Thanks for sharing, Kablamoo. I'm not quite sure what you mean by DS features, but I will assume you're referring to the stylus and second screen, so if I were to guess, I'd probably have to say that the stylus doesn't seem very well-suited to that game, from what I remember of it when I was playing it at... my long-lost Japanese cousin's house. Yes, that's the ticket <.< Anyhow, I'd guess you'll probably see the second screen used for maps and speedy access to inventory, and perhaps that's one way they could incorporate the stylus: for speedy healing. I guess they could also use it as a means of complicating spellcasting or something, but I don't know whether or not Square Enix can really be bothered, since the company's remakes tend to be on the spare side. Then again, FF: DoS kind of proved that wrong, so maybe we'll see something different.

As far as your objections to PB go, they were kind of eaten in a wave of weird UTF symbols, so all I can see here is that you think the story is sad. To you I say: suck it up! Life isn't all bunny rabbits and fluffy clouds! I haven't played PB yet, though, so what do I know?



More Remake Junk


Hello sir i got a question for you.

i heard final fantasy VII when it was being made squaresoft cut out 60% of the game to rush it. is this true?
will it be added in the psp version of beyond crises core?
also i would like to see square-enix port there snes classics to the psp as well as gba.
i also would like to say your q&a is intresting plus my last thing is.
i would like to see more final fantasy spin offs. from charectors from I to say XII
do you think some of the spin offs could be done or is the charectors in some of them not worth a spin off.
hope to hear from you

Paine


ANDREW

I don't think Square did very much rushing of FFVII, and what was there seemed pretty complete. The game took four or five years to develop, after all, and I have certainly never heard anything to this effect. The only area I could see where this might be true is the translation, which was pretty miserable. I think if there was half a story still kicking around, it would have come out a long time before Crisis Core, at least if it was at all critical to the overall story.

As I've mentioned earlier in this column, I don't see much potential for spin-offs in any of the other FFs other than possibly XII, because most of the stories in the series have been pretty final. VII was the only one that was really that open-ended, and besides, I'd rather see some brand new games before more tired rehashes. Is nobody else getting just a little tired of perpetually living in the past?



HEY IDIOTS.. CHECK MY SIDEBAR!


can u please tell me where chocbos come from?!?!?

RAMBO III: SECOND BLOOD

They're close...



OH NOES! IT'S MORIARITY!


Quite simple your quote is from the ask andrew column on the 17th of March 2005 wheres my 10 points you big gayball. have I attained mortal enemy status yet? am I your Moriar- ity. or am I still just some ranting asshat. maybe you cant figure it out as blinded by the homosexual tendencies raging within you as you must by now be. so in closing

Mookie,Aka Dmookman,AKa Mookwarrior
Ps Dont mess with texas


ANDREW

You will get nothing, my dear boy, because you have FAILED TO ANSWER CORRECTLY! In actuality, that title came from a Far Side comic, as was correctly noted by several people in Google's column on Sunday. And no, you are no Moriarity... You're far too adorable for that!

P.S. - Or what?





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

So then. We're agreed. Tomorrow we shall discuss Dear Friends, More Friends, and those friends who may or may not be up to no good. I also accept queries about DDS and Ys VI!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long is not a significant source of Vitamin C.


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