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ASK ANDREW
Step On A Crack January 13th, 2006

Andrew Long - 1:51 EST

OR THROW A BLACK CAT AT A LOVED ONE. It's all the same; broken backs will surely erupt on this, the day of my daughter's wedding. It is also the day that we do the Q&A column, so let us proceed with flying colours! Oh, and as an added boon prize, please allow me to share with you this school play of genius. That's right, folks; it's a live-action edition of Mike Tyson's Punchout. I highly recommend it.




L E T T E R S
Ask Andrew Helps, not unlike it's meant to


Hey there, Some of you may gasp in terror at what I'm about to reveal...but it must be done. There are some among us that truly did not enjoy Dragon Quest VIII, and along with that, Digital Devil Saga (neither 1 or 2). I returned these to EB and don't regret it in the least. What did I think was wrong with them? They were bland and boring to me. I mean, yes they had traditional RPG makin's and yes that was fine. However, that was not the problem. They were just too damn boring. I mean, does no one else think that they were lifeless, in a sense? Like there was just one thing missing from them to make them fun? Well, the guy who draws VGCats does, at least. Anyway, aside from being whiny, I do have a lot of good things to say about Baten Kaitos(though I won't, because it's just what everyone else has said). I was lucky enough to find a worker at EB who would part with it and I think that may have been one of the b est impulse buys ever. On to a crappy question to justify sending my annoying opinions! I'm really excited about PSU. I mean my friends I wasted obscene amounts of hours just level grinding in PSO so I expect to have at least that much fun in PSU. I suppose that's why we were able to play so much PSO, because even if a game is mediocre at best, multiplayer makes it fun. Anyway, has there been any news whatsoever as to how battles will proceed in PSU?

Yes! That is my crappy question! And that is all...

Have a good one,
Buddy Wingnut


ANDREW


The salient details you seek were ferreted out by our news department some months ago, in this article. For those too lazy to click through, it seems the game will feature three weapon classes, and characters with varying proficiencies in each. Players will be able to use more than one weapon, and even more than one weapon class, at a time, and the menu is set up to configure preset weapon combinations. Along those lines, there will be a system of attack combos, activated by pressing buttons in proper sequence. Proficiency will be determined by character class and race.

There's plenty of other information on this game as well in our news archive. Happy hunting!



Hmm... Lost faith... This can only lead to bad things!


Hey Matt!

I think i have lost my faith in Sqaure-Enix. If you will answer my questions (as you do) perhaps you can restore that faith.

1. The FFIV-VI GBA Remakes. Now, i just dont understand why really. I'm sorry, but i dont get it! It's Final Fantasy IV, a fantastic game in the palm of your hand. With, reduced audio effects, slightly better sprites, and a few new dungeons that are generated randomly. Look, Dawn of Souls was okay i admit. Still, it was simply a port of somthing that could easilly be done on a better format. I knok, It now has a level of portability that makes gaming on the go much better now. But, THE GBA! GOD! Listen, why not remake em all at once and bung em all on PSP. It would have a higher resolution and would be able to play FMV's! Oh, the pre-rendered glory! So why, Why not put them on a better format?
ANDREW

Because by putting them on the GBA now, they can turn around and put them on the PSP in two or three years, with all the enhancements you're seething for. Additionally, I fail to see how the inclusion of FMVs would spice things up any; the stuff in the PSX version of FFIV was fairly pedestrian, and I don't imagine you'd see S-E taking the time and money to shoot new ones, although I suppose it would be just the sort of gimmick that might make people buy them again. In any event, never forget how S-E became, and remains, financially viable to this day; the FF name. As long as there is a platform that can be exploited for remakes, it shall be exploited. As such, I beg of you, do not fear, I surmise that you will see your PSP remakes, or failing that, DS versions, before too very long. It's the money-grubbing way! And we just keep on lapping it up every step of the way.

2. FFIII DS. That made my love in reality sink further into the hole of no return! 3D! 3D!!!! Look, that game was a NES classic. It doesn't deserve to be violated in such a way that would make it "Appeal to a new generation of Gamers". I sya it would be better if the enviroments were 3D and the characters be 2D like Grandia. But, have the camera be in a fixed position so it would be like playing it from a top-down perspective as the older gamers once did. Now all i hear is this DS crap with the 2 screens being used to play the game. Wouldn't this be better on somthing that aint another peice of outdated perversion from ninty

---CUTTED!---


ANDREW

Ninty? Oh, you are so going straight to Unfit for Print!



I could swear I answered this before my disappearance...


Hi there Castomel,

I sent this one in prior to your disappearnce please answer it this time

Since I recently got a job, I've been filling in gaps in my game collection for the PSone, my current collection for the PS is quite slim even after filling in some of the gaps, look at my list http://www.geocities.com/tenma_no_kage/PSXgames.txt so are there any other PlayStation1 games that a hardcore RPGamer should at least try? Action, Strategy and turn based are all acceptable

Arros Raikou
*feels great shame in his general lack of PSX RPGs*


ANDREW

You've actually got the list fairly well covered, save for one glaring omission: the Suikoden titles. No PSX collection should be without Suikoden 2, and you should definitely try and snag Genso Suikoden as well; both games are eminently enjoyable, though my advice is to play I first, as II surpasses it in almost every respect. I am also dismayed to see that you have Crapsody among your list of games; I highly recommend taking it, placing it in a microwave, destroying it, and then for good measure, throwing it into the ocean, should you have one available to you. I cannot stress this enough; that game is pestilence.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not tell you to seek out Koudelka, which is reputedly quite excellent.



But of course!


Staff are allowed to send in Q&A still right? Sorry Matt (or whoever answers this), I'm new.

I just have one quick question, ideally how many characters do you like to have in a party at one time? 5 like in FFIV, 4 like DQVIII and FFIX or 3 like in most of the later FF games? Or does it really matter to you? I enjoy having more available, but I may just be biased by FFIV.

- Macstorm


ANDREW

Honestly, if a game does it well, I really have no particular preference. I used to like 4, but after getting used to the newer FFs, came to accept that 3 was a reasonable number, providing the battle system is fluid enough. The only number that I really don't like is 2; games with 2-person parties always seem to fall short, in my estimation.



Unfit for Print


...2. FFIII DS. That made my love in reality sink further into the hole of no return! 3D! 3D!!!! Look, that game was a NES classic. It doesn't deserve to be violated in such a way that would make it "Appeal to a new generation of Gamers". I sya it would be better if the enviroments were 3D and the characters be 2D like Grandia. But, have the camera be in a fixed position so it would be like playing it from a top-down perspective as the older gamers once did. Now all i hear is this DS crap with the 2 screens being used to play the game. Wouldn't this be better on somthing that aint another peice of outdated perversion from ninty?
ANDREW

There. Now that we are more properly situated, allow me to get the rest of this straight. You're dragging the tired old "OMG 3D DESEMACRATION!!!!!1" argument out of the closet? Please. Immediately dismissing something just because it makes use of available technological features is pretty much the stupidest approach I can imagine, and I do not understand why you would react in such a way. The quality of a game is by no means based upon whether or not it is in 3D or 2D; the quality of the game is dependent upon its mechanics, and while I am sure the second screen blows your conservative mind, do you seriously think it'll be used for much beyond inventory and maps? Personally I would be more worried about the fact that the art design looks eerily like FF:CC's, which raises the possibility of many of that game's mechanics being imported for use in the two screen system. I doubt this is the case, but since paranoia is apparently the order of the day, I should get my day in the sun too.

In any event, I've said it before and I'll say it again: the only reason NES games were 2D is because developers lacked the capacity to make them 3D. Had the option been there to choose, do you really think any game would ever have been 2D? Do game companies generally make 2D games today? No. This doesn't mean that 2D games are bad or that I don't like 2D games, it's just a simple matter of technology, and to cling to an outmoded technology for strictly nostalgia's sake is kind of silly, much as many older games did tend to have a great deal of attention paid to gameplay in favour of graphical shininess.

3. Before Crisis. I think you know already that US mobiles are not as technologically powered as the phones we get over here and in japan. I mean, i'm getting the Sharp 903 in a few days which is level pegging with the P900iv from Panasonic...that aint over here yet! But, if Before Crisis is getting released in the US. What handset do you think it will be avaliable for?

Okay! Rant over. i leave you now to your own devices

Love and Kisses, Leo


ANDREW

I really don't know, and honestly, can't be bothered to care. I don't own a cellphone, and when I did, I never used it, so which member of the oligarchy ends up with bragging rights to S-E is a matter of sublime disinterest to me.





q u i c k i e s


Do you know what to do in Mosal Ruins in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time?

ANDREW:Probably, but since most of SO2's dungeons are a vague blur of real-time combat in my memory, I surely don't remember.
C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Well, that went a little later than expected. My upstairs neighbours are quite deleterious to the restfulness of my sleep, unfortunately; for the better part of a week, it sounds as though they've been conducting WWE cage matches in their apartment, and I'm actually quite surprised that Hulk Hogan's head hasn't rammed through my ceiling at some point going "RAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!"

Should such a situation occur, I wonder what I'd do. Probably get my ham cannon and launch one straight into his faaaaaaace. In any event, I shall leave you with that delightful mental image. For tomorrow, let us discuss the hot news topics of the day: EQ expansions, Dragon Warrior coming to Europe, et cetera. You PAL gamers must be pretty happy, yesno? I know I would be...at least I assume. I still haven't bought DQ8 :(.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long turns to the left, where you will see a sad, sad man. That is all.

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