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ASK ANDREW
Bowel Buddy! April 7th, 2005

Andrew Long - 04:10 EST

NOW, PERHAPS HEALTH FOOD NUTS are a little more mature than myself when it comes to their foodstuffs, but I just cannot conceive of putting something in my mouth that is called a Bowel Buddy Bran Wafer. Not only does the food product sound utterly disgusting, but the appearance in the title of the word "bowel" suggests a grossly shortened food chain that I'd rather not contemplate.

Lest you think that some delusion compelled me to have sought this peculiarity out, it was actually advertised by none other than "Brand Power," an infomercial-style setup that pretends to put a sensible spin on products that just happen to be made exclusively by Kellogg's, Nabisco, and Kraft foods. Not only does this insult my intelligence, but the fact that these bran monstrosities actually managed to get on TV offends me deeply as a person. Bear in mind, I have been accosted twice in the past two days by diverse groups of people, one a disreputable old man who appeared to be hunting a skunk on a street next to my apartment, the other a gaggle of teenage girls who were seized by a burning curiosity to determine what sort of underwear I had on. If that doesn't offend me, nothing will! Except Bowel Buddies.

In conclusion, I hereby demand that each and every one of you (except for the vegetarians among us) swear off bran forever. Sure, you'll regret it when you're sixty, but I think it will be well worth never having to eat anything by that awful, awful name.



Ramblebox
He had a canvas sack and some sort of stick! That poor skunk ;_;

-AL  


L E T T E R S
Paine returns... and with a new email icon!


hello q and a person. the reason peeps want the ports in my opinion is for the peeps that ownt he current system that says no one has the game from the past so they say they want it for the current system ported or remade because they heard it was awesome and wanted to try it out.

i dont mind some ports however i think if they got a psone and bought the games or snes thry would be satisfied. me i think since i got over 1500 hours clocked in on final fantasy VII that companys use ports or remades to milk the cash cow on newer systems.

anyways there is my 2 cents

Paine
P.S.if peeps are to lazy to go find the machine and the games they wana play and want ports all the time then there not looking or pushing themselves hard enough to find the games they want to try because peeps told em they rocked.


ANDREW


I will not deny, you make a pretty strong case. On the other hand, I own all the old systems, the lion's share of the good old games, and pretty much everything that I deem to be worthy of classic status, so I say nuts to you noobs. I wants new games, dammit!

In other news, 1500 hours on FFVII? That's just unhealthy.



A curious origin


Hello again Q&A person, I remember Cheshire Catalyst who used to do Q&A on the site. My name came from my DJ name that I have been using for a little over the past five to six years. It was a name given to me by my girlfriend at the time. I was actually pretty curious as to what you know about Digital Devil Saga and Nocturne? (I believe that is the right spelling.) I was wondering if Digital Devil would be a nice one to pick up when it comes out. I am always looking for new RPG's to play when I can. Anyways, that is all I have to ask for now. Thanks.

Cheshire Catalyst
(Not the same as the one who used to post on the site)


ANDREW

Thanks for clarifying, Cheshy (out of curiosity, what sort of music do you spin?) I must confess, I know woefully little about DDS and Nocturne, which is unfortunate since Atlus has been more than happy to lavish RPGamer with information about its game. What I can tell you is that one logically follows the other; DDS features a number of enhancements over the gameplay found in Nocturne, and seems, all in all, to be a souped-up version, from what I gather. It's also somewhat more futuristic than other titles in the series. If you're looking for these and other details, I direct you to this recently conducted interview, in which Atlus waxes eloquent about its game better than I ever could.

In general, SMT tends to fly below the radar, and although I did encounter some complaints (chiefly from Paws) about SMT: N, I would tend to suggest that if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, you should give the series a try. Remember, if you're not quite sold enough to buy the game, you can always rent it.



You've done it again, Holmes!


Actually, I know why it's ARMs and not ARMS - because the "S" doesn't stand for anything.

In WA3, ARM was stated to stand for "Ancient Ruin Machinery" or something of that sort.

Did it have such an acronym in other games? And if it's new, did they know that it meant something all along and just explain it now, or do you think they made it up?

And yes, I know that it was probably mainly chosen as a pun on "Firearm".

-DNE


ANDREW

No, it's been there all along, with the same connotation and everything. It's delightfully clever and all, but it makes writing news articles a real pain if you happen to forget about it. Then again, I haven't officially had to write a news article in almost two years, so what do I care?



Yay! People are finally getting the days straight :D


Hi Andrew (I think...)!

A couple of days ago, somebody asked a question about rpgs with turn based combat but real time attack periods. I just wanted to let them know that if they are willing to expand they're search to turn based grid rpgs, they should try out Ring of Red for PS2. Its a mecha rpg not unlike the front mission series, except set in an alternate history 1960s. Among its many nifty features is that when you attack an enemy unit, or are attacked, instead of showing a little attack animation you actually control the mech (and attendent infantry) in battle. It's still slow paced, with specific attacks chosen from menus in battle (although its always in realtime), so its not like your suddenly playing Zone of the Enders or anything, but you do get to sight in your main weapon when you fire (kinda). I suppose it's difficult to get a feel for the game from that brief discription, but check out reviews if that sounds like what your looking for. The setting gives the game a really unique! flavor too. I recomend it highly.

As far as questions go, what are your thoughts on stella dues? It looks (graphically speaking) really amazing, but I don't really know anything about its gameplay systems or story setup...

Thanks!

-TrueTallus


ANDREW

Ah, Stella Deus. That's another one of those games which I have paid only peripheral attention to, but now that I read up on it, the plot actually sounds really cool, if they manage to pull it off without laming it up. The concept of staving off powerlessness with a cult-like religion is definitely the opposite sort of thing we've all come to expect from RPGs, which since FFT have tended towards anti-religion. Then again, it sounds rather as though the Ekuwe in SD is on the verge of turning ugly, so perhaps it's not so unconventional after all. Either way, as I haven't really seen too much about this game, I'd like to wait and see what pops up in the next couple of weeks, but it definitely looks like one to watch.



<3


Andrew -

I've revisited Super Metroid for the SNES these past few weeks, and I find it to be one of the very few games that still compels me at 23 1/2 in the same way as it did when I was 16 or 17. The amount of bombing, superbombing, shooting, jumping, freezing and grappling required in what appears to be a deceptively small world is amazing. Additionally, the freakish nature of the monsters still makes me jump. The graceful way in which Nintendo packaged it in a 16-bit cartridge has stood my test of time.

Are you of the opinion that the game qualifies as an RPG, or is it more in the Adventure column?

Enjoy the nice weather!
Mr. Craktroop


ANDREW

It's definitely an adventure game, but yes, I will agree with you, and will go so far as to say that it is one of the top three 16-bit games of all time. Super Metroid is the complete package, and I just can't conceive of someone who likes to play games for the gameplay not enjoying it immensely. Anyhow, don't feel compelled to sandwich every game you love under the RPG heading; there are good games out there that don't involve a party and an evil emperor, and it's not a crime to enjoy them.



Oh, that naughty monkey...


Hey,

I just wanted to report a possible "Steve the Monkey" sighting. I came home the other day and found bana peels all over my keyboard. The window was also slightly ajar. When I looked out the window I saw a small shadowy figure scampering across the street. Sadly the figure was hit by a passing car ;_;. But When I went outside no body was found!

If anyone happens to see a injured monkey roaming around their neighborhood...PLEASE call 911!
----
Best Regards
Christopher Beaupre


ANDREW

Hmm.. Actually, that was probably my friend and I. We were driving along the highway last night, and a raccoon had the misfortune to dash from the woods across to the center median. We knew what was going to happen thereafter, of course, but he was going too fast to avoid it, and though he managed to slow down to 60km/h or so, all that achieved was a messier end, I would imagine (though mercifully, I didn't really see what happened, other than the unfortunate "thump.. THUMP!") In conclusion, RIP Raccoon. Your rodently instincts have served you poorly.



No love? See if you ever get your GBA back...


Dear Googomel:

Hm, what is up with the new layout for Q&A? I can't read it for the heck of me. Even squinting doesn't help. x_x It's not permanent is it?

No Love,
Scar


ANDREW

From the sounds of it, Goog missed a line in our style sheet somewhere, resulting in super-small text. If you look at yesterday's column now, the problem has been fixed, more or less.



System Inquisition


Hello!!

I was wondering is the upcoming game Jade Empire only for X Box or is it for PS2 or Gamecube also?
-Clayton


ANDREW

Jade Empire is what we around here like to call an Xbox exclusive, meaning that if it does well, it'll probably end up ported to PC. As far as the GC and PS2 go, however, you're knackered, so if you're dying to see that empire, I'm afraid you're going to have to go Microsoft.



Those sneaky, sneaky Skies of Arcadia


my constant search to find a recent RPG from Sega that might actually be good, I randomly put Skies of Arcadia 2 into the search at google and found THIS news topic on your site. http://www.rpgamer.com/news/Q1-2003/031603a.html I also found it in various other places which I'm too lazy to list or look up again. Is this true? Was it cancelled or something? Why haven't we heard anything about it? Perhaps something at E3?

ANDREW

It's not altogether clear what happened to that project; if memory serves, it may have been cancelled in the winter of that year, but it may just as easily have been the upshot of this little number. One thing's for certain; if it is still under development, Sega's done a mighty fine job of getting everyone to forget about it. It's not altogether impossible, anyway; PSO knockoffs and the most terrible insults to the name Sonic the Hedgehog have been keeping Sega busy lo these many years, so perhaps Yu Suzuki or someone will finally pull their attention away from awful buttrock soundtracks and craptastic gameplay long enough to favour us with a sequel to, by most accounts, the best RPG to appear on the Dreamcast. Don't hold your breath, though.



Yes, this question has been asked here before <.<


Andrew,

Given I already know your feelings towards the issue, but what would you think of a game where the main character is openly (not stereotypicall) gay/bisexual? Honestly I could see a RPG dealing more with human emotion and feeling if developers looked into it. Of course he would be an attractive punk (with mohawk!) that happens to be a brawler. Then again, that's just me.

"There's a guy in a chicken suit and he's laying eggs on the mayor's desk!",
Shroudie


ANDREW

Wouldn't really make much difference to me, to be honest, because the writers of videogames usually manage to make a wretched botch of whatever love story they throw in, so gay or straight or both, I can't imagine things turning out any more creatively than they already do. As such, I really don't see much difference coming out of it. If you really want a homotastic mohawk punk, though, might I suggest you play FFX? Brother, while straight by all accounts in the game, certainly meets all your criteria otherwise, and ultimately, it's make-believe, so it's entirely up to you what conclusions you draw.



Ahoy hoy


Greetings (Issac Newton sings) ANDREW I know that I am surprised that with game physics being what they are, that Issac Newton wouldn't go crazy and turn evil from insanity. Is it possible to make an alternate laws of physics that apply.

Imperial Mog


ANDREW

I'm sure it's possible, but those laws would never match up for every game, and if you mean is it possible to apply those laws to a real-life situation, then you're crazy as a loon.



Oh dear...


Dear RPG gamer, I would like to know if you know if from final fantasy X if rikku is modeled after a real person or not and if so do you know her name?

Sincerely,
John


ANDREW

All characters are modelled off somebody the artist/author/whoever met or saw in real life, but as to who that person (or people) could be? Good luck getting to the bottom of that one. For the sake of simplicity, I'll say "no", because otherwise you'll probably just write back tomorrow demanding to know who. Believe me, I have no clue.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

For tomorrow, since the Pope's death has everyone in a religious frame of mind, I ask you: do you think videogames give religion a fair shake? Do you suppose the views expressed in many RPGs are an offshoot of social values in Japan, or do you think that the translations we receive in North America and PAL territories are doctored to meet our sensibilities? Or perhaps are game programmers bitter atheists with a bone to pick against religion? Only you can decide!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long will be having sex on the streets of every major American city from coast to coast.


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