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ASK ANDREW
Crawling Out Of The Woodwork Smarch 1, 2007

Andrew Long - 14:32 EST

THERE you all are. I was beginning to worry that this lousy Smarch weather was keeping you all away, but it seems you all up and decided to email me at once, so today's column will be happiness and bunnies, as every column can be! Well. That happiness and bunnies will have to be mitigated somewhat, since not only did people I LIKE email me, but my various nemeses have returned as well. As such, personal to andrew H: Don't bother. I still don't do your letters. And seriously, how can you say the VC sucks when you already have 7 games for it?




L E T T E R S
Following the topics


To The Drizzel:
ANDREW

I don't think we'll be doing that anymore, yes?

So glad you're back! At least for a little bit, you were always my favorite Q & A'er, especially back in the days of you and Google, you were always more fun to read.
ANDREW

Thanks for the kind words; I'm glad to be back.

Anywho, the question: What do I want to see onthe virtual console?

For me personally, I think Nintendo should try to market the virtual console for nostalgia and to try to reach those Gamers-gone-by, the mid and late 20-somethings, and even those in their 30's, who played nintendo non-stop when they were youngin's.

My choices, like yours, all stem from my own childhood, and what I remember having the most fun playing: Zelda (duh), the mario's (Of course), but then there were games like, "California Games", TMNT always deserve a nod, American Gladiators, and other less notable, but for me, totally memorable games. That's my view on it.
ANDREW

Yeah, a lot of the older generation consoles, NES and SNES especially (and no doubt whatever Genesis games end up on there too) will likely have their sales fuelled largely by nostalgia. That said, you never know how the younger crowd might react to certain titles; I maintain that Jackal and Contra are still awesome even fifteen or twenty years later.

Now for the last question, about buying a PS3. I couldn't be persuaded at gunpoint to buy a PS3 right now, not with the crappy hardward, shifty launch titles, and ridiculous price point. Bluray you say? Who gives a crap, I can watch Anchorman and The Departed on my PS2 just fine, and because I'm not made of money, I won't be owning a wide/flat/plasma/jesus screen TV anytime soon. I understand that Sony is looking toward the future, but shooting yourself in the foot now won't do you any good.

Thanks again, and glad to have you back, for now at least.

-Frammy
|= |=


ANDREW

I tend to agree. Taking the long view is not going to do them much good if Microsoft solidifies its hold on the 'hardcore' gamer element and Nintendo eats up the rest of the crowd with its family-friendly and other fare. Still, Sony execs seem to think we're utter doorknobs, so expect them to keep trying to ram their crappy console down our throats.



Wow, my topics finally worked for the first time ever o.O


Hey Andrew,

Zero letters!? Where's the love? Where is everyone!? Write in you lazy bums.

Anyways, the PS3, right. Games. Good games. That's pretty much the one thing that's stopping me from picking up a PS3. I will complain all day long about how expensive it is and how stupid Sony is, but in reality I just want some good ol' games to play. If there were a couple good RPG's and some action games (not FPS) that could tie me over until the big games were released I might pick one up. I know it's not the price because the Wii's price is much lower and I still haven't picked that up, for a multitude of reasons (mainly I can't find one!). But I bought a NDS, my first Nintendo product, because of the great games. And most weren't even RPG's. But right now the PS3 has no games that would make me willing to spend a couple of paychecks on it.
ANDREW

A valid reason, to be sure. Like I said yesterday, FFXIII will probably be one of the reasons why I cave on the PS3, but for me the price is a much more significant deterrent, simply because I work at a donut shop, which isn't exactly noted for filling one's pockets with cash.

My memory seems to be a little fuzzy, but how long did it take for the PS2 or the Gamecube to take off? It wasn't instantaneous, but was it a year or shorter than that? I don't want to pass judgment on the PS3 just yet, but Sony's actions are starting to piss me off.
ANDREW

Nah, the PS2 was sold out for months after its launch, and the "OMG 1200 BUCKS" frenzy lasted significantly longer, with far fewer returns. While its launch lineup was equally crappy, it was also followed up by real games in short order, and beyond that, it didn't have issues with backwards compatibility, which made it a much more attractive prestige item, since you could get some use out of it right away. As for the GC, regrettably that never really took off at all, as evidenced by its wretched 15% market share.

GDC? E3? Tokyo Game Show? What's the difference between these, geographical locations or are some official and others not?
ANDREW

GDC is the Game Developer's Conference, an annual event held by IDSA, which will be taking place in San Francisco this year. In fact, in a few days. It's more development-centered than E3, with a lot of the keynote speeches and events concerning philosophical and technical advancements in the field. That said, you'll still get a number of actual announcements there too, as evidenced by Wil Wright's unveiling of Spore at the show. E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo and is no more, at least in its prior form. TGS, meanwhile, is a free-for-all in Japan where developers show their games to teeming hordes of the public and hope nobody gets hurt in the process.

I'm disappointed about the news that the Wii's Fire Emblem game doesn't use any motion sensing innovations. It can be played on the classic or GameCube controller for crying out loud. I can understand how it may be difficult to work with something like that early on, but at least try a little.
ANDREW

Well, it's a strategy RPG, in its defense. There's really not much you can do to incorporate the Wiimote, other than perhaps some needless nonsense like turning around to determine which way you face. Now, all I need is Tristan Adnade to email me to tell me that the new FE doesn't have directional buffs and debuffs, and this column will be complete.

On the topic about graphics I'd have to side with stylistic over realism. I still prefer sprites over 3d graphic simply because there's more expression and emotion in the simple graphics. You are not wasting time trying to make the best graphics ever, but putting time into making a world believable. We're still aways away from completely realistic looking video games, no matter how good you think the PS3 or Xbox 360 look they still have flaws. I think games like Okami and Wind Waker are the way to go, though I did think some of the FFXII sequences did look sexy.

Well, I think that's enough for one day.

The Dark Chevalier


ANDREW

I quite agree. Realism is not likely to be achieved on a television, so why bother trying? Impressionism ftw!



An interminable noveletter sprinkled with German is still an interminable noveletter


Herr Andrew, guten tag. Wie geht's es mit Ihnen? Ich hoffe alles ganz gut gehen! Ach, ja, ich muss mein Deutsch practizieren. Koennen Sie mit es hilfen?
ANDREW

...What? "Mr Andrew, hello... How ... is with you ...? I... go ... win ... ...! ? yeah, I need to practice my German. Can ... with ...?" Is what I get out of that. No, I don't care to look up the rest.

Unexpectedly I have the day off thanks to low store sales causing a sharp reduction in hours worked for the week. So what shall I do with that time? How about a letter to you? The last one was so much fun! ANYWAY. Just finished Sigma Star Saga. I'll give it this; unique and challenging. Hardly perfection but the game did manage to meld the classic shooter into an RPG form without too much ugliness. My trigger finger is very sore now thanks to the constant blasting action of trying to take the final boss six times before succeeding. Your comments on the game?
ANDREW

I haven't played it, so I have none, regrettably.

GDC: Global Demigod Conglomeration? That's all I've got.
Revenant Wings: Attention from me elicited, no more. After all I've not played FFXII nor am I likely to soon.

Rather than talk more about the PS3 issue you were referring to, here's an entirely different one: http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3157501 I find that statement somewhat askew - what say you?
ANDREW

I say that amounts to "yeah, we got our asses handed to us in that lawsuit, so if you get rumble, it'll only be from other companies so we don't get sued kthxbye," which is yet another rationalization of poor decision-making on Sony's part. Seems to be their bread and butter lately.

Ever played Warsong? I know you haven't played any of the other Langrisser games since the rest never made it into English, but you may enjoy Warsong more than I did.

Now then, Tengai Makyou IV. I won't be able to finish it until the import shop in Edmonton finishes modding all the systems that got there before my Saturn did, but the first disc was truly memorable. In a good way. I think I can sum it all up by saying that Manto, the King of Lake Tahoe, is a 70's leisure suit-wearing ape who treats the incursion into Lake Tahoe like a game show - before fighting him three levels of 'Manto's Challenge the Trap! In USA!!!' must be conquered.

Should you have somehow missed all my mentions of the title, scroll down to see the world map: http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/tengai/tengai2.htm

And explain to me why those goofy developers saw fit to insert Mexico but not Canada onto the map.

Quandary time. I could continue on my GBA-centric way (TONS of options there), start up one of my growing DS library, boot up something on Genesis, plug in the Sega CD for either Snatcher or Dark Wizard, or perhaps plug the SNES back in for something. What is YOUR recommendation based on that scanty information?
ANDREW

Without knowing exactly what games you have and haven't played I can't really offer much, other than to say that the Sega CD is risky business.

Does Gauntlet (in any title) count as an RPG to you?
ANDREW

No.

I notice you didn't include any of your own listening preferences... curious. But fine. Here is an alternate playlist that will illuminate the breadth of my aural taste: 'Gates of Eden' - Bob Dylan, 'Fever' - Peggy Lee, 'Mihata no Moti ni' - opening theme to Sakura Wars 3, 'Rehumanize Yourself' - the Police, 'Wish' - Nine Inch Nails, 'Pictures at an Exhibition' - Mussorgsky (composer), and 'El Matador' - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. How many of these do you recognize?
ANDREW

Well, you'd have to grow up with your head buried in the sand not to recognize Bob Dylan and Nine Inch Nails, and I grudgingly recognize the Police. Mussorgsky, meanwhile, was the name of my red skull in Disgaea 2, and beyond that I know him from one of my aforementioned roommate's tendency when stoned to beckon me to the basement, turn off the lights, blast Night on Bald Mountain through his disgustingly expensive sound system and say "It sounds like GHOSTS!" You can see this friend, incidentally, on www.purepwnage.com; he's Dave, or Chinese Dave as we used to call him (we also had a Big Dave and a little Dave, and somehow Medium Dave just didn't have enough zazz.) never heard of Peggy Lee, and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs I think I have seen strictly as a byline on Much Music. As for my own preferences, I listen to sprinklings of everything; my current obsession, however, is the Arcade Fire's new album, which is ten kinds of awesome.

There's a very simple reason I would consider getting a GC instead of Wii: the difference between $250 and $45 or so. Which I can pick a GC up on eBay for. Speaking of the GC, is Tales of Symphonia really as good as its reputation? And the two Baten Kaitos titles - worthwhile?
ANDREW

Couldn't tell you about the BKs, but I enjoyed Tales of Symphonia, other than its regrettable translation and sometimes painful music.

Your one (can be more though) title that YOU, Sir Castomel, wanted to be in English and never was! Clock ticking - GO!
ANDREW

...What?

So what'll you have be your 50th review? And will you have a bonus spoof review the way I did? Of course you're welcome to try catching up with my review number - I'm sure Roku would welcome submissions to fill the PoV column up now that the winter release list is pretty much exhausted.
ANDREW

At this point, it's looking as though 50 will be PoR, as I just finished it yesterday.

Y'know, I could see myself picking up an Xbox 360 someday. The only games on the backward compatibility list I still want to see are Jet Set Radio Future and Panzer Dragoon Orta. Eternal Sonata and those two Mistwalker titles could be worth playing, and Microsoft seems to have learned a few things this time around. It's being force-fed other truths, true, but at least Bioware isn't having to support the RPG community on Microsoft's machine singlehandedly this time.

Ramble jabber blah blah yammer blather drone ruminate pontificate elucidate discuss explicate - wait, you don't LIKE me switching from topic to topic? Better knock it off before I occasion anger.

MST3K quote! 'Can we interest you in a replacement door?' Said as some cult members chainsaw through a door in the Final Sacrifice.

JuMeSyn


ANDREW

I am intrigued by the 360, but my problem stems form that awful unveiling show they had lo those two years ago or so with Elijah Woods and the Killers, who I deeply hate. I know that is entirely superficial, but it's really causing this huge mental block, that they would insult my intelligence with that pap.



Some down-under flavour


Urgh whoever, what am I doing writing a letter now, when Final Fantasy 12 has finally come out in Australia and I have it right now.

Anywho as I have yet to even take the plastic covering off i'm wondering what your experience/s is/are of the game if any? Urgh whoever, what am I doing writing a letter now, when Final Fantasy 12 has finally come out in Australia and I have it right now. Anywho as I have yet to even take the plastic covering off i'm wondering what your experience/s is/are of the game if any?
ANDREW

I have quite enjoyed what I've played of FFXII. I've heard complaints out of some people about certain elements later on in the game, but I think that although it completely changes what an FF title consists of, it does so in a good way. I also <3 the plot.

Oh and what games are you looking forward to in the coming months?
ANDREW

I'm still trying to catch up to the time where I was unemployed and couldn't afford games, so get back to me in a month or two on that one ^^

Finally if you've gone, are going to Uni in the pastg years/ this year what has the experience of transistion been for you. Being an older person this time 'round, has certainly made it a lot less intimitating for me, but the distance from home, even if its only 100km's is still a little nerve wacking. Especially with thr price of fuel now adays!

Bainick wants to do a co host this week sooooooooooo SEND LETTERS!!!
ANDREW

Well, initially I didn't take it so well; my roommate and I did not see eye-to-eye on things and the bastard stiffed me on my phone bill. That said, in subsequent years I had a lot more fun because I lived in a house with my friends. We dubbed the place "the crackhouse" because it looked like one; if you stepped back on the street you could see our house, side by side with the house next door, and they were mirror images. The only problem was, our house kind of looked like the "before" picture. Yes, the roof was sagging, the porch rotten, the front steps missing large chunks, the kitchen floor like travelling across a crater, the basement charred by fire damage, and beyond that several of my roommates trafficked significant quantities of narcotics (our house bong was a giant plastic corona bottle we called Big C.) Fun times, fun times. Then I roomed with RPGamer ex-pat tuinte in a spiffy apartment about ten minutes up the road from the crackhouse, which was also supergreat cuz he didn't harsh on me for my thorough messiness and delinquent bill payment (warning to all: you do not want me as a roommate). In any case I still need to finish school, but I ran out of money, so I'm thinking September or January.

As for the letters, I wouldn't worry; after today's column I will still have between ten and fifteen left, so if you want you can cohost tomorrow or Saturday, unless you're BFF with Matt and want to wait for Tuesday.




You mean you're not muttering veiled threats? What gives?


virtual console, simply needs hot girl on donkey action, Oh god that's hot.

Mook

ANDREW

I always suspected you liked animals...



Cara strikes back


Hey Andrew! Good of you to fill in for your MIA pals.

Okay, first, to Zohar's comment about targeting in Rogue Galaxy: have you discovered the R1 button yet (or is is R2? I can't keep them straight. In any case, it flips the camera behind you.) :D

As for the PS3, well, my favorite games are Suikodens, Tales, and anything Level5. Seeing as how Level5 has already annouced White Knight, I guess I'm headed for a PS3 eventually. Probably not until I'm done playing all the PS2 games I can (and hopefully some sort of price drop.) Suikoden 6 would just sweeten the deal.

--Carabbit


ANDREW

Yeah, I have to admit that after the awesomeness that was Suiko V, the location of VI will have a big impact on my next-gen decision between the 360 and PS3. Hmm, there's one that I could review for #50, come to think of it...



I feel like a call-in show host...


Dear Andrew,

Iím a first time writer and relatively new member of RPGamers, though Iíve been using as an information source for a while now. Iíve always wanted to write in, but for some reason I never have. So, I decided to finally do so. Iíll try not to ramble.
ANDREW

Ah ah ah... that's RPGamER. RPGamers is a bizarre German site that may or may not have anything to do with actual RPGs.

To the question about which Virtual Console games Iíd like to see, the first that comes to mind is Chrono Trigger. See, I just started planning video games seven years ago and RPGs about three years ago. So, I have a huge list of games that I missed out on. However, thanks to the many lovely Final Fantasy ports, Iíve been able to plan and beat most of the series. However, I havenít been able to find other classic gems. And, after playing and loving both Final Fantasy VI and VII, I really want to see the legendary Chrono Trigger myself. So, this game is the highest on my ďMust Have VC GamesĒ if and when it comes out.
ANDREW

Ah yes, an excellent choice. CT is pretty much the best thing going on the SNES, so such a VC offering would be welcome, since I always like an excuse to replay the classics.

As for other gems I missed and want to play, I think next up on the list would be Earthbound. Iíve simply heard so many positive things about the game that I canít stand not being able to play it myself. Now, there are some VC games Iíd love to playÖ but they never came out in English to begin with. My cousin introduced me to Fire Emblem, and Iíve since then played those I could find. However, for English plays, thatís a very, very limited selection. So, I constantly wish that the Super Famicon Fire Emblems would be translated and finally released on Western shores via VC.

Well, since this is a Q&A column, Iím required by some law to ask a question, no? Well, mine is simple, I think. Now, obviously being gamer with a short rťsumť, what with my limited experience, I have found two prominent groups of gamers that endlessly annoy me. The first would be the highly recognizable newbie. I doubt I need to describe the annoyance they cause me. However, another group of gamers that annoy me are the elitist. Iím talking about those that have been playing since the third (or earlier) generation of video games that have in recent times become very annoying. Those that rant about how games today all suck compared to the classic annoy me. Iíve gone back and played some of those classics. Yes, many are good, just like many more-modern games are goodÖ but that does not mean every old game is amazing. No matter what time period, there are games that are dreadful. So, my question to you is which one of these groups do you normally find more annoying?


ANDREW

The elitists by far. Noobs are lovable in their own way, whereas elitist twits really grate on my nerves since I've been playing games just as long as them and still manage to enjoy new stuff just fine. The thing that forever puzzles me is why people continue to play games if only to hate them? I mean, if your hobby isn't bringing you any enjoyment, at what point do you sit down and say "hmm, why am I still doing this?" You would think that point would come fairly quickly, but apparently not. Basically, I agree with your statement that there have always been a lot of crappy games, and there always will be; it's just a matter of being judicious and picking the ones you know you'll enjoy. And hey, if you do happen to grab the odd bomb, at least you'll have the consolation of reviewing it terribly! Or at least, I will.



The first suggestion, hopefully of many


First time ever writing in to Q&A. Yay. Anyways, I believe the question was asked "What Virtual Consol Games do you want to see?". There's a few I'd really enjoy playing. First off, I'm a huge Harvest Moon fan and I would love to see some of the original games available for download. How about Zombies Ate My Neighbors? And finally, Doctor Mario.

So, am I crazy?
-UFJ

P.S

Game
About
RPGs
That
Encourages
Rage


ANDREW

Harvest Moon? Oh my yes...A good first suggestion for GARTER, though :) That warrants two fabulous* prizes out of five.

prizes are not fabulous



Ack! Run!


I love my Wii, but now I'm finished Zelda. What do I have to look forward to? I'm not a fan of strategy rpg's so Fire Emblem isn't going to do it for me. So do I have anything to look forward to or do I need to save and get an XBox 360 for Blue Dragoon, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect and the other rpg's that are coming out for it? Maybe I should steal my daughters DS? What do you think?

joncarim


ANDREW

Hmm, that is a good question. Would you accept "replay TP!"? Didn't think so... Well, there's always Elebits to try, or you could go for one of the VC offerings. Beyond those, there's not much in the near future, but you do have a few games to look forward to over the middle-to-long term: Super Paper Mario, DQ Swords, the new FF:CC and Sword of Legendia are all on the horizon.



Unfit for Print x 2


I was wondering is there going be any new ogre battle game are a game very close to it. Also wondering is square enix going rerealse any old final fantasy onto ps3 like 7,8, and 9. I just think that would be a great idea.

I was wondering are you going put some of your older games on the ps3 that where not on the ps2 but only x-box. Like star wars jedi knight games also star wars knights of the old republic games. Also are you going ever make gladius 2 i really liked that game. thank you for your time Josh Lawry -

Caviartheory


ANDREW

Well, Joshy, aside from the wide array of questions I never want to answer again (Square swallowed Quest, the maker of OB whole, never to burp them up again, 7,8 & 9 ain't ever being remade) I don't make games. I never have. I probably never will, owing to my utter lack of coding expertise. But because I like you so, I think I'm going to make an exception and announce that I will be releasing Gladius 2 from my independent studios in Smarch of 2020. That's right; I just hit the Smarch trifecta, bitches!





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

You see? Sunshine and happiness! For tomorrow, Josh raises a good point; do you think the Wii will be able to hold the interest of RPGamers until that next batch of titles comes out, especially considering there don't seem to be very many of them? Do you enjoy that comment about the Sixaxis to no end like me? And hey, how about that new Oblivion expansion? Still plenty to talk about!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long enjoys getting 20 letters.

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can you tell I'm totally out of gas? ^_^

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Various topics, of death

Wii VC: What do you want to see?

PS3 PR: argle-bargle or fooferraw?

Cats: can they be fuzzier?

The Oblivion expansion: is there anyone more awesome than Patrick Stewart, cuz if there is I don't wanna know?

The Wii Gap: Will you wait for the stuff to come?

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