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ASK ANDREW
Magical Sound Shower May 6, 2005

Andrew Long - 4:12 EST

THERE IS NOTHING QUITE SO FOUL as the soundtrack to a game developed by Sega, because that soundtrack is sure to include more buttrock than any one man can stomach, and in some cases any number of other butchered genres, none of which really deserve classification as such. So it is with OutRun 2, an excellent game that... Well, it doesn't suffer from its hilariously bad soundtrack, precisely, but it does have one, and I've been hearing it play nonstop for the past two days since my friend has discovered that my sister does, in fact, have an Xbox he can play incessantly.

If you don't believe me, sample this little bit of lyrical magic: "Spinning and turning and turning and spinning and / This is like paradise / It is very nice..."

I wrote better rhymes in the third grade!



Ramblebox
And that's saying something... Back then, I ended my poetry with "I hear a (something) around the bend, we'd better go, this is the END!

-AL  


L E T T E R S
Meow Mix Meow Mix please deliver!


Hello rpgamer,

I'm a first time writer. I discovered your incredible website by accident some years ago and I have been a loyal follower ever since. I am very impressed with your very extensive list of upcoming game releases and reviews for those games. I have decided to purchase or not purchase an RPG on several occasions based on your game reviews and comments and have concluded that I and your organisation have very similar tastes in RPG's.

Having been an RPG player for more than a decade now I am dissapointed with the quality and quantity of RPG's being released or created in North America (Canada) nowadays. I consider myself to be an oldschool RPG fanatic and often remember 'the good old days' when RPG's, in my opinion, were not a load of crap.Is this phenomenon attributed to the lack of North America not importing enough games?

I have often read that the game designers are gamers just like me and are trying to make RPG's that they would enjoy playing. I am having a hard time accepting that reality, because if the crappy games they waste time making. I am often looking forward to a big north american release only to be later dissapointed at the poor quality, lack of storyline and the fact that before I sit down the game is already over. Could this be due to the market having become so saturated with 'wannabee' video game designers?, or maybe the games had to be dumbed up so that new RPG gamers could intergrate this once select group of gamers. I meen, god forbide they should have to learn how to not mash the buttons and how to use a D-pad or in most cases read a 10 page booklet, we wouldn't want that now would we!

Instead of ranting on and on about how I have been betrayed by the RPG industry I will simply send this letter in hopes that someone will respond to my questions and express there point of view.

Sincerely,

Some Pissed of Canadian.


ANDREW


Your views, such as they are, aren't anything particularly uncommon hereabouts; besides ranting about one of your complaints or another at various times myself, I have fielded many letters that echo your bleeding heart, and while I often wish that people would whine less and stop playing games if they hate them so much, candour compels me to admit that if they were actually to do so, I'd be out of a job, so instead of telling them so I spin some fluffy advice to fill their brain with cobwebs and perpetrate the idea that there are, in fact, original ideas out there.

Here's the sad truth, Roger: You're no longer a little kid, and everything is no longer new to you. You've seen stuff before, and hey presto, you've discovered that there's some stuff you don't like. On the upside, you should have some idea what you DO like by now, since if you don't you're probably some sort of misanthropic time bomb waiting to explode in a suitably grisly fashion, so my advice to you is to find out what that is and research your games before you buy them. There are still good games out there, and surprisingly enough, they come at just about the same pace as they did when you were a young lad. The trouble is, they're surrounded by a hundredfold increase in pure steaming garbage, which makes finding something worth playing a little more challenging than it might have been back when you were a kid and mashing ants might have entertained you for an entire evening. Beyond that, people are terribly uncreative for the most part, and because of the unfortunate reality of the sheer number of human beings alive today, you're bound to get some utterly untalented monkeys making some utterly awful games, which means you need to be more careful about spending your money.

Rent games before you buy them. Read at least three reviews before you rent them. Talk to people online and on message boards, heck, talk to them at school, because if you don't you'll just keep wasting money on lousy games and coming back to whine at me, which is really rather boring when you get right down to it.

So there's your instructions, my friend. Whether you choose to follow them is entirely up to you, of course, but the next person who sends me a letter themed along these lines can expect a reply with enough acid to engrave a year's worth of class rings.



Xenobabies


In 1998, Square released one of the best RPGs known to man, Xenogears. Traveling ahead a few years, they sold Xenogears' rights to Namco. My question is, what is the possibility of a port of Xenogears to say... the PSP? Xenogears was Square's creation, but now Namco essentially owns everything Xeno... What to do? What to do?

-Zork


ANDREW

If you're not one of those Sony or nothing people, you can direct your slavering fanboyism towards this little number, which more or less fits what you're looking for, minus being on the PSP. If, however, your only possible portable involves a giant battery sink and deadly media, I'm afraid you're out of luck for the time being, although I rather imagine that with Namco's new ownership, all its titles will come under review, so you never know.



Randomblings


Hey Andrew what's up (My sisters think you're hot, how messed up is that)?

I was wondering what you thought about each Breath Of Fire game, I going through the 1st now and its alright (3 is my favorite), the game I want to ask most about in the series is IV which is the only one I don't own, I no longer see this game in any video game stores and was wondering if it is worth tracking down?

P. S. Have you ever played A game called Tecmo Secret Of the Stars for the SNES? God what a terrible game it was, but Bad Bad has to one the coolest names for a villain ever.

Thanks Much for your time.
You'll Rebel to Anything (As Long As Its Not Challenging)


ANDREW

BoF I, III, and IV I haven't played, but I did enjoy BoF II, which looking back involved elements that showed up in a number of games, from the fishing nonsense that would go on to plague MMORPGs to the day-night cycle to the building of a town. I think anyone who reads this column knows what I think of BoF V, so I won't say much about that other than <3.

As for BoF IV, I am assured by Zachariah, our helpful Head of Interaction, that the badness of Breath of Fire IV exceeds our mathematical ability to express it, so I suggest based upon that opinion (he is generally pretty right about things) that you don't bother. Then again, if you liked III, you might find something to enjoy about IV, so who am I to say yes or no?

P.S. Yes, yes I have, but not for long enough to find out about Bad Bad. Up until now, in fact, I don't think I've ever met anyone who has made it that far, which suggests to me that you are either clinically insane or possessed of superhuman stamina.

P.P.S. As a side note, your signout tinged me with irritation and I couldn't figure out why until I remembered that while watching the news tonight, our national anchor hereabouts, Peter Mansbridge, said "Thanks much" to one of his correspondents, which set my brain on fire. I've probably never mentioned it because you Americans are lucky enough not to know who Peter Mansbridge is, but I detest him in all his foulness, mostly because he takes Hockey Night in Canada as a personal insult because it preempts his crappy newscast. The smug looks he gives when he gets to broadcast news during an intermission makes me want to stab him, and he's got this weird rot on his lip that makes it look like he has a mustache, but oh - there's no mustache! He also has phony gravitas, his voice sounds marbly, and he was on the air for 23 hours straight during the events of 9/11 for no apparent reason other than because he's Peter Mansbridge.

RAR! I can't BELIEVE my cousin wants to become a talking head >: (

Okay, I'm done ^_^



So... Hello to Nova Scotia?


Hey Andrew.

Since you asked I am moving to Nova Scotia. I will be working for a smaller studio in Lunenburg called HB Studios. They have done a couple of sports titles including Rugby 2004,2005 and Cricket 2002,2004. There website is: http://www.hb-studios.com. Check out the pics in the "About" section. The studio looks really cool.

I know it isn't RPGs, but hey, it's a start. Besides, I am working on my own NWN mod right now (trying to do a small portion of The Wheel of Time). We will see how that works out.

Eggman.


ANDREW

You had me until "Wheel of Time." Then I remembered that trying to read through The Dragon Reborn reminded me anew of how much I hate that series, and now we're at here. Here, for reference, is the place where I am now plotting to sail Nova Scotia out to sea and sink it.



The long never-seen comic


Hey there Castomel,

Remember when the first Fullmetal Alchemist game came out and you asked for questions comments etc about it?

Well I infact asked if Ed and Al's missing father was evil or not and you saw my evil father and raised me a cute mascot that everyone will love but will ultimately be killed by the evil father well my girlfriend made it into a comic which you can view here http://www.sheezyart.com/view/403616/ sorry if the guy doesn't look like you and the stuff on the royal flush says Plot, Music, Great Art, Voice Acting and Fanservice which are all fairly important to anything of the Anime or RPG nature coming out of Japan

Also feel free to remove the link if need be cause I'm not trying to advertise for free, I just wanted to show you the comic

now a question from my girlfriend Q-chan, Do you like the comic?
ANDREW

I would love to offer an opinion, but each time you've sent me this link, Sheezyart has decided to reorganize itself, helpfully informing me that I cannot, in fact, access any content. Oh, well... At least I won't have to heed your Shounen-Ai warning!

Now a question from me, feel free to mark spoilers here,

I've been playing through Skies of Arcadia Legends for the gamecube since whenever I finished Baten Kaitos, and since Googleshng said some stuff was changed/added/removed/etc so what all exactly was changed/added/removed/etc from yon game when it made the system hop?

Yeah I know I should have bought the game for the dreamcast but didn't because it's title sounded more like a flight sim and less like an RPG...

Arros Raikou

Fair warning don't browse her gallery to much as there is one Shonen-Ai drawing there, you've been warned


ANDREW

I must regretfully direct you to ask Google, because I have neither played the DC version to completion nor played the GC version at all.



And now, for the bottom to rot out of Q&A as it so often does


Hey qweermo

I'm still here, are you still denying your blatant homosexuality? I cant decide if I want buy a psp or a ds send me both and let me check them out. also goonies 2 was garbage anyone who says different is a burden on the human race and a failure of evolution. I just bought a sega cd:). its nice but it says your gay :(. Hey did you ever get my application for a job on this site???? I hope so I cant wait to work alongside you just dont touch my ass.

Mookwarrior
AKA Dmookman
AKA Mookie
AKA someone whos a a gay guy shouldn't grab


ANDREW

Hmm... so you're AKA as a... a gay guy... shouldn't grab? I don't get it, but you should know that a prerequisite of working for RPGamer is me touching your ass, and let me tell you, I grope with the best of them. Yes, anyway, I did get your application, and it wasn't filled out properly, so we couldn't really consider you, much as I'd love to have someone who calls me qweermo kicking around. If you actually want to work here, you can fill one out properly and resend it.



Sure thing, giant beer!


acually Q&A Guru i found you to be quite funny as for me i dont write in unless i have a question.

and yes i care about certain games as im lol a classic gamer from the 80s. :D

Later Q&A Guru

Paine
P.S.stay funny. :D


ANDREW

Thanks for sharing, Paine.



Someone isn't paying very much attention


Have you ever encountered an RPG with notable English voice acting, uncommonly good or horrible?

ANDREW

Umm.. Do you read this column? I know you do, because I get letters from you frequently, so I can't understand how you've missed my frequent outbursts regarding the state of voice acting. Yes, I have encountered many RPGs with notably rancid English voice acting, because English voice acting in RPGs is trash. The day it stops sucking so badly is the day they write real dialogue and hire real actors. Until then, I'll stick with plugging my ears.



Unfit for Print


Dear... anybody?

I was just wondering if you knew who to send any form of petition to in regards to the upcoming release, NamcoXCapcom, developed by Monolith Soft? I fear that it will never see US localization, since some of the characters mentioned in the crossover have never been seen by the american public. If you could help out, I'd be very appreciative.

-DLPChris


ANDREW

Gee, Chris, that's an awesome idea! If I were a developer, I know that a piece of paper with the names of people scrawled all over it - people I couldn't be bothered to care enough about to send a game to in the first place - would sway me sufficiently to get off my ass and send my game over! And hey, that market research and corporate policy that convinced me not to localize? They're hogwash! Obviously a signature on a petition is money in the bank, which is why petitions always work!

Sadly, however, they don't, so I can't. And I wouldn't anyway, because nine times out of ten, games that don't get localized are CRAP!





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Well, I lost the only letter that was on-topic, but I guess what was there will serve. For tomorrow, though, I'd really, really like to talk about this merger... Don't ANY of you care? WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long has discovered more lines on the parchment...Ducks must wear boots!


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