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ASK ANDREW
What Is Horse Rustler, Esq.? April 14th, 2005

Andrew Long - 1:55 EST

POOR ALEX TREBEK. What does he get for turning Ken Jennings into a household name? Slapped with a horse-rustling lawsuit, that's what! How can a man with such a fantastic mustache (well, okay, he shaved it off, but that looks even dorkier) possibly be guilty of such a thing? I say we storm city hall until we GET THAT MUSTACHE BACK!

Or something like that. I know one thing, though. If Trebek had Kaiser Krab on his grounds staff, people would think twice about delivering him horses for the purposes of trumping up lawsuits. I mean, would YOU want to walk around a corner only to find that terrifying claw peeking out at you, to be followed by the shuffling pink-eyed deadliness that inevitably succeeds it? Not me, that's for sure.

No, I would offer up my horse to Kaiser Krab and count myself lucky in the bargain, because being shredded by his terrible blue claws is a fate no man deserves. Technically no horse either, but given a choice, I would drop the lawsuit and play Shining in the Darkness, because for the last time, LIBYA IS A LAND OF CONTRASTS!



Ramblebox
This is what happens when I put off writing this thing for too long...

-AL  


L E T T E R S
Because killing topics people still want to talk about is dumb


greetings Castomel

Why are all these people talking down the FFVII compilation. I mean NONE of you have played ANY of them apart from maybe BC, which is unlikely any of you would be playing that though and it probably kicks ass anyway. Perhaps its that you've all been let down by so many spinoffs in your life that you hate to get hurt once again. Thats all just stupid. Everyones being stereotypical. The people who are letting the original game down are the people who put it as 'milking the cow'and complaining some more afterwards. They all think the spinoffs will never be as good as the original, well DUH, of course they wont. Theyre not supposed to be. Squareenix obviously has that in mind. They're not feeding us empty lobster husks, otherwise the compilation would have been release already and we all would have been dissapointed ages ago.
ANDREW


So... They're not going to be as good, but because Square Enix is taking forever to make them, they will be as good? I don't follow, and I certainly don't see how lobsters come into it.
ALEX TREBEK, WEARING A LOBSTER BIB


What? What lobsters, Johnny? There were never any lobsters delivered to this address! Your $100 clue: "His dinner was served with butter and a flavourful wine."

The original will always be as great as it was for its time, and nothing will change that fact for those who have played it and are fearing hell will break loose and lame will spread forth. From what you can already see the comiplation is looking sweet and i bet alot of you out there drool when you see another AC trailer or imagine yourselves playing as Vincent and sniping down some SOLDIERs then mowing a few more down with a chainsaw after turning into Hellmasker. Basically you all want more, and you know it. So instead of badmouthing the compilation, look forward to it. And if one is crap then ONE is crap, not the whole bloody thing.
ANDREW


I don't think there's anything wrong with what you're saying, and I would agree in principle with most of it. What I think the problem most people are having with this situation is is the fact that back in the day Square could be counted upon to put the nth degree of effort into each one of its titles, and making games seemed more about advancing the genre than advancing the bottom line. Now, however, with the advent of the "LET'S MILK THE FINAL FANTASY NAME UNTIL IT'S BRUISED AND PURPLE!" era, people have understandably become cynical about the continuing succession of crap that has been shoved down our throats with the FF name attached to it. Sure, some people love FFVIII, IX, and X, and I count myself as one of them for two of those three, but FFX-2, the first FF movie, FF:CC, FFTA and FFA aren't exactly a legacy of excellence to be built upon. In the end, it comes down to a cynical marketing tactic leading to customer dissatisfaction, and all I can say is good. Maybe it'll give the next company to seize upon the bright idea of mindless serialization cause to stop and think before jamming Fighter Game G: 2005 Extra Hyper Sports Blitz Death Grip Edition down our throats.

Then again, EA has yet to fold, so I guess that's probably too much to ask.

As a question for you.. Where do you go to buy your new games. In the past I used to go to EB but i found alot of things were pretty dodgy. When i bought a new game from there the cases would be reused ones from older traded-in games, so there was a whole lot of scratches and damage and whatnot, the game cover was simply inserted into the old one. And also the apparently new discs had finger prints and the odd scratch which does seem quite suspicious, but not too suss as to make it look definitly second hand...

7evilz


ANDREW


Yeah, EB can be a little dodgy when it comes to actually giving you new games when you pay for them, but they're the closest place to my home, so they win by default, unless I'm in Toronto or feeling adventurous, in which case I go to this wicked little used game store that also carries new stock that's off Yonge St. in Toronto, or Microplay, which is, I believe, a local chain hereabouts that isn't quite as mercenary as the other options.


Tales of Localization


Hey there Andrew,

Well I guess you can say I'm kinda of happy that Tales of Legendia is coming to North America. Although I never played Tales of Destiny 1 and 2, I played Tales of Symphonia and I really liked it. Well my question is if Tales of Legendia is coming to North America will Tales of Rebirth come out to North America? Also what about the PS2 version of Tales of Symphonia.

Well that's it
Krystel


ANDREW

Nobody ever knows quite what Namco is up to when it comes to localizing Tales titles; the process seems to me to be entirely arbitrary, so whether or not the success of ToS will mean ToR coming is anyone's guess. As for the PS2 version of Tales of Symphonia, well... That I file under "I'll believe it when I see it," because the Japanese release was already almost 8 months ago, and to have heard not even a whisper about localization leads me to believe that you'll just have to make do with your crummy old GameCube version.

ALEX TREBEK, WEARING A LOBSTER BIB
About that... For $200, "Alex Trebek has just stolen this game from your home."


More FFVIIness


I bought and played and beat with much enthusiasm Final Fantasy VII. It was a great game with a great storyline. But... Aren't people taking it just a little too far? I mean, it seems to me that with all the games out there, people would move on. It could just be a "Star Wars"-ism, though. That's my new phrase for today. It means a decent thing that comes out at the right time, and people start to worship it like it was the best ever made. Other "Star Wars"-isms... The Matrix, Halo, Harry Potter... you get the point. What's your opinion?

ShuyinJS

ps. I thought the story of Shuyin and Lenne from FFX-2 was much better than the girl power, Charlie's Angels, Grand Theft Auto amalgam that they tried to pass off as a game.


ANDREW

One thing you should know about people by now is that they can never ever move on, nor show any restraint when an opportunity to take "it" too far arises. For instance:

ALEX TREBEK, WEARING A LOBSTER BIB
The $300 question: "This lobster-bib wearing gameshow host has just pilfered your treasured memory card with your first-ever FFVII save file!"
ANDREW
As you can see, I have clearly demonstrated human nature, and as such, you should now know better than to have asked this question. Accordingly, as soon as I get my time machine back from Alex Trebek's stable, I will send you back to last night, where you will presumably retain the knowledge not only to not send in this question, but to save Christmas in an as-yet undetermined fashion!

As for my opinion? At least two of the things on your list are null and void; the Matrix due to its two alarmingly terrible sequels, and Halo because a year from now, nobody will care about it. That said, I have been informed by ASV that "anyone who can bash Star Wars and FFVII fanboys in the same breath has earned my respect" so you must have something going there.



Shudder


Yesterday there was a mention in the Q&A column about people doing scary, long things in flash...

I was wondering if this was was the culprit? (100% rpg related)

ALLEGED CULPRIT

Because yeah, that's... Scary as hell.

-JohnnieWalkerRed


ANDREW

I concur. Everytime I think I have too much time on my hands, along comes someone else to show me that by comparison, my calendar is as full as a certain district court judge who will be hearing a certain horse-rustling case in the near future.

ANDREW DANGEROUS
ALL RIGHT! That's enougha this. We get the picture, all right? Good gravy, here I am, toiling away in the spiced brandy grottos of El Salvador, and all I keep hearin' about is Alex Trebek allegedly this and LOBSTER that! D'you think average hard-working Joes like me wanna see this humslush? NO! Now iffin you'll excuse me, SOME of us have booze to mine!


I am biased ^^


I've been playing rpgs for a long time, but I've never made that move into the MMORPG world. Lately I've been thinking about trying one out, but I have no idea which. What do you reccomend? I don't have all the time in the world, but I'm still looking for an involved, original game. Thanks Jason S.

ANDREW

I have personally played 3 MMORPGs in my time, and I can tell you truthfully that you should really reconsider this decision, for your life will be eaten. If you fail to heed this advice, however, allow me to go on at length about the three I've tried. First, Ragnarok Online: it was overcrowded, bizarre and incomprehensible. I'm sure there are those of you out there who are quite comfortable with that game, but I wouldn't touch it again for all the gold in Lordaeron. Which brings us to WoW. My personal recommendation, WoW takes everything that makes MMORPGs terrible and minimizes it for optimal enjoyment. It's still an MMORPG, but it feels more like a Diablo that you won't get tired of after three days. Finally, I have subscribed in times past to FFXI. Some will tell you that this is a game you should play, but those some all have raging catgirl fetishes and can't recognize poorly paced gameplay when it kicks them in the face. FFXI takes for-ever to get to the point, and that's saying something when you're talking about an MMORPG. Aside from having a poorly executed in-game economy and prohibitive costs for extra characters, it is also not intuitively obvious how to progress and has limited guidance available for new players. On the upside, it is pretty and does feature some nice music, and the battle system is pretty much the same one you'll find in any MMO, so it's not all bad. WoW's bedda, though.

Other than that, you can also try out City of Heroes, MxO, EQ2, DAoC, or pay lots or little for the current grandaddies on the market, AO and UO. UO is generally enjoyable and AO has its moments. City of Heroes and MxO are quirky, and EQ2 a poor man's WoW. DAoC - well, read up over at MMORPGamer about that one. Actually, you should read up over there anyway; Heath knows what's going on in the MMO universe, and he would probably be able to give you better advice about this than me.



Steve the Monkey


Cast,

You have to help me. I've got a big problem. They password protected the computer where I work, and I can't use it anymore. I figured out how to get out, and this one house always leaves a window open. I've been sneaking in and using their computer to do my work. I've got to earn my bananas everyday, you know? When I wasn't able to use the computer, the boss stopped paying me! ;_;

So anyway, when I get to this guy's house, I'm usually hungry. I ate a couple bananas one time, but last time, I felt really sleepy after I finished my work. I remember starting to go back, but then I blank out. I can't remember anything! What do I do? I don't know what I did or anything. I don't even know how long I was out.

Steve the Monkey
Monkey Keyboardist

P.S. What's the next game you plan to buy?


ANDREW

It sounds to me like you've been the victim of some sort of kung fu attack. As a monkey, your only possible response is to fling as much poo as you can muster up at the offending kung fu artist's home. Only then will the balance of the universe be restored.

P.S. If I can afford to buy a game, it's going to be MP2.



Customization


What are your thoughts about customization in RPGs?

I like having control on how a character develops only if it makes a significant difference in gameplay. What is the point of one use items to raise a stat if you can't even notice a difference?


ANDREW

I like it, but I always tend to make well-balanced characters, cuz I'm afraid to miss out on stuff. In the end, that ends up missing me out on plenty, but oh well. I would say that generally speaking, if customization is present to a limited extent I'm okay with it, but I hate hate hate making your own weapons unless it is limited to enhancement from say, gemming a socketed sword a la Diablo II.



Unfit for Print


what has 4 legs 6holes and most of the time green and if it fell out of a tree it wqould kill you

ANDREW

You, with stilts ratcheted onto your arms, taped to a green chair, on a good day? I don't know, and quite frankly, you're not a giant sphinx with laser eyes, so I don't care. Go away.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

For tomorrow, we shall speak of many things, including: Jade Empire! Remembering that "alleged" does not mean "proven" (although, my former prime minister did once say "A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven", so how can I possibly be expected to stay on top of the official definition?) ! And.. many other things (for visual reference, imagine the Jade Empire logo spining around in a tight circle with Alex Trebek's mugshot).

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long has a good proof, not only because it's proven, but because it's got funk. AND style!


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