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ASK ANDREW
Where Were You While We Were Getting High May 28th, 2005

Andrew Long - 15:10 EST

OKAY, I figure this'll be simple if I just keep saying to myself "always save every two minutes, always save every two minutes, always save every two minutes". So, repeat after me: always save every two minutes. Always save every two minutes. ALWAYS save every two minutes. ALWAYS put salt in your eye.

OW! Well, I'd better call in sick...




L E T T E R S
Slimeslimeslimeslime


Magnificence,

You adventurous slime patrol sure was amusing - it kept me awake at work today! In any case I was wondering where you managed to procure so many slimes - and if in fact it is possible to procure one for myself somewhere?
Cheers,
star boi


ANDREW


While Google would no doubt be better qualified to answer questions about slimes in most cases, I believe I can fill in ably here. At E3, Square Enix was running a video presentation of various trailers for its products every half hour on the half hour. To get in to see this extravaganza, however, one would have to sit out front of the S-E booth for an additional half hour watching other, crappier trailers while waiting to get in to see the good ones. Once this excruciating...ly wonderful hour passed, booth attendants handed out slimes. As such, the slimes you see represent twelve or so hours of RPGamer staff members sitting through promotional materials, and some of us were even hardy enough to go twice.

So to answer your question, slim chance, although I did see one sell on ebay yesterday. That'd prolly be your best bet.



Worst... Game... Evar


When I went to read the letters today and saw again that there had been a problemb and none were to be had, at first I said to myslef 'ugh.' But then I read the reason and remembered that the same thing had happened to me and my friends here in Hamilton, that's some power spike! Incidently I always find it entertaining to read the various Ontario-centric things in your column, like OAC references.

I suppose a question is in order. With all the cruddy RPGs out there what in your opinion is the absolute worst? To my mind it was Drakkhen, getting repeatedly killed by a wierd possibly dog thing that shoots lasers from it's eyes while emitting possibly the most horrid sound to ever leave my TV is just too much. But honorable mention goes to Super Hydlide if for no other reason than it's graphics. So bad that when I tied playing on my Nomad nothing was discernable in the slightest. Everything just looked like a mottled mess of green and brown, and the only indication that a monster was actually a monster was that the texture flickered and that the game informed me I had died. When I think back to those, things like FF X-2 don't seem quite so bad anymore. Barely.


ANDREW

Yowza... So it was as far west as Hamilton, eh? That's madness, cuz it went about that far east as well. Good thing it was short, cuz if I was still sitting here in the dark I'd be very bitter, on account of I don't have any camping trips planned this time like the one that so conveniently got me through the majority of the 2003 outage.

And yes, questions are always in order! Like you, I must regrettably name another game in the stead of FFX-2 as the all-time worst, and that game, as long-time readers of this column should know, is Rhapsody, or as I prefer, Crapsody. I have nothing but respect for all things NIS now, but Rhapsody was just about as unauspicious a start as you can get out to, which is why I'm so very glad that Etna is around to make fun of Flonne. Else, I'd have to suspect that somebody over at NIS doesn't have their head screwed on straight(although after hearing a description of their isolated development facility, maybe Rhapsody was just the result of cabin fever or something.)

Incidentally, Gae Bolge? Best item description evar <3



Another satisfied customer


I am appalled by your comments concerning Wild Arms 2. Though I have never played it, nor have I ever played any WA game, I find your remarks to be offensive, prejudice and perhaps a tad bit racist.

"Battle system too easy," my Foot!!!!!! You just lost a paying customer, pal.

Tad Ghostal.
P.S. See you tomorrow.


ANDREW

Hey bro, don't look at me - I never made it past the one-hour mark in WA2, so it's not like I have any opinion at all, other than "suck".



This edition really is limited


sup weekend Q&A Guru

i got a question for you.
since Ys IV is coming out in japan shortly do you think there will be a collectors edition as well?
All the best

Paine


ANDREW

While Japanese gamers are certainly showered with their fair share of collector's editions and special box sets and limited presses, a cursory search of the internet has come up empty. As such, if there is a special edition planned, it probably hasn't been announced yet.



Let's try this one again


Hi Andrew

I guess it is just me but I actually liked James Arnold Taylor in the two FF games where he gave Tidus his voice. I see that you don’t like him as you called him stupid Tidus garbageface. I am curious as to why?
ANDREW

Ah, let me count the ways... The annoying battle voice samples, the poor conversational timing, the single tone in which he cast nearly all of his lines (except, of course, for those where he went into "contemplative Tidus" mode, which sounded more akin to the narrator from the Wonder Years on speed), heck, the way he said "my old man" with the exact same inflection every single freaking time - yes, there are many reasons why I hate Mr. Taylor's voice acting, and as such you can imagine why I might not have been thrilled to see him waltz out onto stage and even less thrilled to have an asshat beside me drinking it all in.

Seeing as there looks to be a major cat fight starting in the voice industry over residuals and I imagine this means that the voice acting will only go downhill.
ANDREW

Why on earth would you come to that conclusion? This little pack of talentless hacks that's fighting over the residuals is the reason voice acting sucks so terribly, and maybe if somebody else comes in and displaces them, we'll at least have a chance at having a decently acted game once in our lives. I know I'll be happy to see the day when a teenage character is voiced by a teenage voice actor, as opposed to a thirtysomething woman trying desperately to sound like a prepubescent boy.

Still, some titles have gotten it right. I had a great time recently with Jade Empire and seeing Bioware get it right. After all casting the magnificent bastard, who’s actual name escapes me, as John Cleese can only be thought of as inspired. So, since you want questions only then elder scrolls 4: oblivion sounds like it will be a fabulous game but I just upgraded my computer and I doubt that I will be able to play this on my current machine so I will be forced to buy a damn xbox 360 to run it. Hence the question: why do we need to be able to see every drop of sweat on a characters face when we still, largely, ignore story and plotline in the damn games?

Have a great day, Andrew!

Angus Creighton


ANDREW

The short answer is, we don't. The long answer is, sweat drops may be largely cosmetic, but there's a lot more that goes into making Oblivion the presumable resource hog it will be than just sweat. For one thing, the game features a truly astonishing level of detail in nearly every aspect of its development, from the forests that grow based on algorithms derived from studying variables such as forest growth and soil erosion at the University of Maryland to the real-time monitoring of a thousand NPCs, each with their own daily schedules and each with a complex set of goals that they need to accomplish in order to get through the day. These things are just plain neat, and more than that, they add to the level of realism you can expect from a game, which is what some people want to see. Thus, as long as there is the perception that some RPGamers want this level of depth, and there is the hardware to support a continuing increase in complexity, you will see developers working towards those things.



Good old conspiracy theories


Given the completely free will of the NPCs in the upcomming Elder's Scroll 4 : Oblivion, and by free will, i mean reports of an NPC stealing food and another casting paralyse and then firebal on its noisy dog, without the game's programmers actualy asking them to do that, and i expect much more unexpected behaviours coming from the NPC's in that game, i can't help but feel like the reality seen in "The Matrix" series is on our doorstep.

Do you think the NPC's in Oblivion will be so smart that they will get free of the game, invade your computer, go "all your base are belong to us" on mankind, crash the whole internet and world phone networks or take them for their own use in taking over the world?

Fear, is say, FEEEEEEAAAAAARRRR!!
-Yulrick


KENT BROCKMAN
And, without knowing precisely why these ant overlords have chosen to invade our planet, do you think it's time for us to crack open each other's heads and feast upon the sweet, sweet goo within?
ANDREW
Yes. Yes I do, Kent.


A Noveletter: because I can


Hi there Castomel,

I wrote this into googleshng but it either A.) wasn't spiffy enough B.) was lost in all the spam or C.) Googleshng didn't know the answers

I realise not much of this has any relevance on RPGs but what the heck I'll ask again

Question 1: Is the Gameboy Micro the next generation Gameboy or is it just an even small GBA SP??
ANDREW

It's just a small GBA SP. Basically, I guess Nintendo didn't feel they had dicked gamers over quite enough with the one-two punch of the GBA/GBA SP within a couple years of each other, so the Micro should soothe their delicate consciences.

Question 2: Do you know of any place with a dial-up friendly version of the FF7 Tech Demo for the PS3, just wondering cause I like FF7 despite the fact the more I look back the more it's plot degrades
ANDREW

If you're still on dialup at this point, then I cry for you, because I'm pretty sure there aren't many sites that gear their downloadable content towards the slowmobiles among their audience. I know we sure don't; heck, even broadband won't get you far most of the time ^^;;

Question 3: How many years has E3 been arround?
ANDREW

I believe the first E3 was in 1994. Since then, IDSA has become ESA, gamers have grown much more rabid, and we've come to know what the word swag means on at least three deeply important levels.

Question 4: Out of curiousity what was the first game RPG or otherwise to sport some form of a new game plus??
ANDREW

You nearly answered your own question down there; I'm fairly sure the first "New Game+" feature came with the original Zelda, which scattered redesigned dungeons around a much sneakier world. If you don't consider that New Game+, well, the second Zelda has the real deal, with full 8-8-8 world-roaming privileges upon beating it.

You get skipped of the bonus question, cause I'm sure somebody else had jousting before the new Zelda game did but still...

And regarding the whole WA2 thing, it was as you put it a big ball of poo and if there is any one game deserving a remake it is that one, while I did enjoy using the tools to solve puzzles, the weird setting and the main character turning into a demon and later some weird he she thing... the demon more so than the he she thing... but despite that there is the translation which puts all your base are belong to us to shame and the fact even the secret bosses were pushovers when you abuse the healing spells and the power ranger demon dude, I think only Ragu Ragula or whatever gave me problems, and that they thought being able to destroy peices of a boss was mind blowing despite the fact every other RPG made years before had that feature
ANDREW

Umm... Only terrible games deserve remakes? You sir are a madman.

also regarding the whole Banpresto games thing, if my flawed memory from whenever I got my Sega Genesis are right then the Power Rangers fighting game was made by Banpresto, so I guess they had a North America branch made that thing over here and fled back to Japan I dunno

Arros Raikou
Hoping the shear weirdness gets this in the collumn


ANDREW

That's... great. You really need to focus your letters, dude, cuz if I'd realized this one was so long at the start we never would have gotten this far. Just try and remember, you don't have to mention EVERY little thing that comes into your head. Trust me, half of them were completely uninteresting, and a couple more could have been figured out with some cursory digging around.



Culdereconception


Hey There Guys, I was just wondering, what your thoughts were on the PS2 game Culdcept. Im not sure what you would classify it as, as it is like a collectable card game mixed with a monopoly-type board game. It is completely fantasy based, and is a household favorite where i live. I live with 6 other people right now in a big house, and we all enjoy completely different kinds of games. Im the RPG fiend (currently own over 100 of them), others are hardcore into FPS's and so on. Never the less, we all are addicted to it. And im talking long term. we have been almost constantly playing it for over a year now. The fact that there are so many cards to collect, and so many extra features and statistics that the game keeps track of, it is never ending fun. I have tried to play every other card based game for every system i can find, and none of them even come close to the level of strategy, fun, and complexity of said title. I understand that there are no *real* RPG elements to it, but you do have a character called a "cepter" in which you collect your cards and awards, and you always use the same character basically "building him/her up". I just had wondered if you guys have played it, and if not, i urge you and everyone else who reads this letter to go out and try and find a copy of it. Trust me. Thanks for your time.

Kainage

ps If you guys haven't read the "Gamers Manifesto" over at www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/games/manifesto.html you probably should.


ANDREW

Thanks for the recommendation, but I must caution you against a pitfall that seems to ensnare readers from time to time. It's okay to like games that aren't RPGs! You don't have to stretch to define things as RPGs just because you like them - it's entirely normal for RPGamers to enjoy games from other genres as well. Sure, the RPG elements may contribute to your enjoyment, but you don't need to categorize things so rigidly just to enjoy them. So you enjoy your board game / card dealie or whatever it is, and feel secure in your RPGamerhood.

P.S. - "Where's the game where we play a salty Southern lawyer who has to piece together evidence to exonerate a black man falsely accused of murder, breaking down witnesses and spotting inconsistencies in testimony?" You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.



o.O somebody hasn't read his Chaucer...


Two wives...? TWO WIVES?! I'll give you two wives, you knuckle-headed sexy jerk. Just you wait until I put down this iron and start ironing you into the bedframe! Yuch.. Oh, and I see my team has done a good job on "Operation Castophoto." Which one is more appealing to you?

With a cherry on top,
Shroudie


ANDREW

Um.. Which what is more appealing, being ironed into a bedframe or being stalked by proxy? Gee, that's quite the choice...



A helping hand


There was a guy that was asking about the secret of evermore on your site, wanting to know where it was made. Myself being the second person outside of the industry to play that game, I'll help clear that up. It was actually made in Redmond Washington. my mom was a friend of the lead designer Beau Folsom, http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/bio/developerId,26311/. hope that helps

--
I used ....
... My chinese Star
to pick the locks...
... and steal your car.


ANDREW

Thanks for sharing, you name-dropping cad!



I was wondering when Mook would chime in


DEar Qweermo

Did you have any hot man sex in LA? I know it must be easier to pick up a transexual hooker there than in canada Shining in the darkness sucked balls fat hairy elaphant balls with elaphant poo smeared on the elaphent balls . im looking forward to the reamke of ff 7 and the new crhorno break game how bout you ????
Mookizel televizel


ANDREW

Just how do you know this, exactly? Have you been picking up transexual hookers in L.A. and Canada, you naughty naughty person, you? You should really spend more time doing constructive things like actually playing Shining in the Darkness instead of randomly comparing it to elephant genitalia.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Apologies again for yesterday's unfortunateness, and for next week, we shall speak of many things, including Jade Empire, which I am now playing, and the upcoming Atlus/NIS releases, Riviera and and Atelier Iris. Until such a time, may all your mishaps be creamsicle-related, and may the power grid hold out until I can book a camping trip!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long is slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball.


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