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ASK ANDREW
I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up!
April 7th, 2007

Andrew Long - 00:12 EDT

WELL, I DIDN'T want to go a month without doing a column, but alas, that's almost where we're at, thanks to an unfortunate incident involving myself and my mom's cast-iron bathtub, which needless to say is tougher than my feet. Yes, I tripped on a bathmat, smacked into the tub headfirst and broke my foot, with the net result being I was stuck in bed for two weeks solid. Bed means no computer means no updates, and for that I apologize. Suffice it to say, the offending bathtub has... really suffered no lasting damage, annoyingly. In any case, while I'm still laid up, I am at least at my dad's, where a computer is within range of my injured feetses. So let us press forth, in the hope that we'll actually have some letters tomorrow; roku only left me two, the devilish fellow!




LETTERS
Seeking Prelude, must have arpeggios, dial mailbox #30015


Hi QnA person!

Yay for strong female protagonists! (All three of them) But I must thank Matt and Andrea for their suggestions, I'll definitely have to get my hands on those games. I'm glad that women in video games are doing alot more than getting kidnapped it seems. Although I just finished Tales of Symphonia and as much as I liked it, that girl Colette annoyed the crap outta of me. "We" had to save her like six times! Let someone else get rescued once in a while, sheesh.

Ishmael mentioned Buffy the Vampire Slayer (love that show) and while I agree that it gave a good example of a strong female lead, I think it also stands as a good example of an ensemble cast. All the characters have a reason to be there and are able to get along (most of the time) So my question is, are there any RPG's out there with good ensemble parties? Games like Final Fantasy VI that really have no main character or one where every character has a good reason for being there and/or serve a purpose.(I'm looking at you FFXII/Chrono Cross) One last question, what kind of battle system does Final Fantasy Fables :Chocobo's Tale have? It looks like it uses cards but it's not going to be like KH:Chain of Memories is it?

-Whitney

Andrew

First off, Whitney, Buffy must never be mentioned in this column. Ever. I find the program to be anathema, and while I respect that there are many of you out there who enjoy it, that doesn't mean I have to hear about it here ^_^. Now, as to your question concerning the ensemble cast, it's difficult to say; most games tend to follow the Hollywood example of a leading man and leading lady and leave it at that. One game that you haven't mentioned that sort of comes to mind is Shadow Hearts 2; while the game is definitely Yuricentric, there are a number of solid supporting cast members, and they all have a reasonable explanation for their presence.

As to FFF: CT (Oh, S-E, will you ever give us credit enough to not slap that FF tag on all your games?) why not read our newly posted review? Mac has all the answers you're looking for there.



And now, for two weeks-ago letter


Andrew,

"Throw You In A Lake
Or Feed You Poison Birthday Cake
You don't have to choose just one
Doing both gives me twice the fun"

I honestly don't know where you got the first two lines from yesterday, but after I read them, I couldn't help but come up with the rest *S*. It just fits so well!
Andrew

Ah. The lines come from "I Can't Decide," a song by the Scissor Sisters, and while I give you plaudits (redeemable at our gift shop for one peeled spanish peanut!) for your poetic efforts, the next line or so actually reads "I won't deny I'm going to miss you when you're gone". Download the song, it's awesome.

I had to write in because I'm feeling the Daylight Savings woes myself. It was almost as if Saturday didn't feel right because I knew subconciously that my Sunday would be ruined. Alas, it was. Not only did I have to get up earlier than usual, but I was so worried about being late, I got to work about 45 minutes earlier than usual! Not a good thing in the least since I couldn't punch in early. Plus, I was told that work would be slow due to the fact that the customers likely wouldn't remember it was daylight savings (I work retail, just for all those in a quizative state of mind). Turns out the person who told me this was half right - the customers did forget about daylight savings, but they still showed up at the store an hour before the time they thought it would open! Sometimes, I wonder if I'm just cursed. The only good news about Sunday was that it did feel like I was going home an hour early. Not sure why - just felt that way.

Anyway - onto games (after all, this is a site about RPGs, have to mention games at some point - it's like implied or something). I just recently got my hands on a copy of Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga, parts one and two and I have to say I am fully enjoying it. I have also played Nocturne and Devil Summoner. Although I still feel Nocturne is the best of those three, Digital Devil Saga is a close second. Is it true that there is a rumor of a Shin Megami Tesnei game on the PS3? If so, are there any details yet as to what type of game it will be (such as Nocturne, which is basically an adult pokemon game, DDS which is traditional turn-based, or Devil Summoner which was poorly done action-RPG)?

Although I have no want to buy a PS3 whatsoever, if they made a SMT game on it (and it wasn't like Devil Summoner), I would likely buy one eventually to play it. Heck, I'm currently already considering it just to play Final Fantasy XIII. Until then, I'll stick with my Ninetendo Wii and keep saving up for a HDTV so I can pick up a 360 (I just can't see any point in buying one without an HDTV). In closing, hope you aren't as cranky today, although you certainly come up with some interesting comments when you are *L*.

Scott K.

Andrew

Your emoticons confuse me, my friend. On the matter of the SMT PS3 title, I have heard no such rumours myself, but that doesn't mean they're not out there; I just try to avoid rumours here, except for when I occasionally decide it might be fun to start one (Paper Mario on the 360, anyone?) Also, it sounds to me as though you aren't that averse to getting a PS3; you've already named two titles that you might like to play for it, so as far as my Golden Law of System Acquisition is concerned (and it's not really my law, I totally stole it from someone else) you're just three games short of solid justification. So I guess you'd best keep your ear to the ground, eh?



And pillaging the letter folder I always forget to check, I come up with:


Hello there Andrew!

Please don't mind any rambling I may do in this letter, it's a habit of mine. I've sent in many a letter to Matt and few to Josh, so why not send one to you as well seeing as I never got a chance to when you used to be the Q&A host.

Now let's see here "What would I like to see on the VC". I don't have much of anything that hasn't been already said. I'd like to play Chrono Trigger, the Dragon Warrior/Quest games, pretty much any Zelda game as so far I've only played Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and the original via the VC, Super Mario RPG...Oh did anyone mention Secret of Mana? Now there's a game I've always wanted to play. I love the Seiken Densetsu series despite only having played two games in the entire series (Sword of Mana and Children of Mana and most people started with this game. I'd also love to see a few unreleased Japanese RPGs translated and released on the VC. I wouldn't mind shelling out extra cash to get those. There's Seiken Densetsu 3, which many people seem to consider the best Seiken Densetsu game, the older Fire Emblem games, and of course MOTHER 1! That last one is an especial crying shame. Nintendo finished a few prototype that would've been "Earthbound" making the game Earthbound for the SNES "Earthbound 2". However they scrapped the project entirely, probably since the SNES was on the horizon at the time and they thought an oddball game like Mother/Earthbound wouldn't sell. They don't even really need to translated it, just fix it up a little.
Andrew

Meh. People may consider SD3 to be the best, but those people are idiots. SD3 is basically just a mashed-up version of Sword of Mana (yes, I know that SD3 came out before the remake, but FFA came out before that, so nyah), which I found to be rather aimless and not particularly grand. It wasn't terrible or anything, but in my estimation, Secret of Mana continues to be the best the series has managed, and as such, I would also like to see it on the VC, if only for the excuse to play through it again.

Now "Will I wait for Wii games to come"? I say "Heck yeah!" Well, I've already bought the console on launch day (managed to score a reserve so I didn't have to wait on a line outside a store), so I don't have that much of a choice in the matter. Honestly though, I think there's still enough games to tie me over until some more come out. For the Wii itself there's Rayman Raving Rabbids, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Trauma Center: Second Opinion (never played the first one), and Elebits. I'm sure I can find more than a few titles to play on the VC. Not only that, but I still have yet to finish Baten Kaitos for the GCN and of course there's Baten Kaitos Origins. Not to mention my DS collection is pathetically small at the moment (I only have Kirby Canvas Curse, Animal Crossing: Wild World, and Children of Mana) so I'll need to expand that. Even the GBA has games for me I've yet to play (Tales of Phantasia, Final Fantasy IV and V Advance, Summon Nights Swordcraft Story and Yggdra Union). I'd say that's plenty to keep me busy until Super Paper Mario, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, Dragon Quest Swords, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Harvest Moon and other games come out.
Andrew

Yeah, nobody's suggesting the Wii won't have a great lineup in the future; it's just that now that SPM is out, there's a bit of a yawning gulf between now and the Chrismakwaanz spend phase in terms of Nintendo's release calendar, whereas Sony will probably manage to squeeze out a few third rate RPGs and probably a Madden or twelve. We shall see what we shall see, I guess.

Now see, this is why I don't think you really need to own a Sony console to be considered an RPGamer. Though I love games, I consider myself primarily an anime fan and I collect domestic DVDs. Thus I only have enough resources and time to own one console and a handheld. I've always had a fondness for Nintendo and it's franchises so I've pretty much stuck with them. Yet despite the limited amount of RPGs for the N64 and GameCube (especially the N64), I still became primarily a lover of RPGs. Now that there are so many for the DS and even many on the GBA I have yet to play and a few on the Wii's horizon, I don't know where I'll find the time to play them.
Andrew

Mmm, I'm sorry, but in the N64/PSX generation, unless you were packing a Saturn you couldn't really consider yourself an RPGamer. Besides the two Zelda titles and that godawful abomination of an RPG Aidyn Chronicles, about all there was for poor Nintendo loyalists was Paper Mario, and my opinion on that series lying somewhere between "desultory" and "hatred" at present, I would think that N64 exclusivists were SOL. I'm sure y ou were able to tide yourself over with plenty of anime, but until you grabbed a GBA, you can't seriously hope to convince me that there was much of anything going on there.

Now then I recall you offering Sword of Lengendia as a Wii RPG to look forward to. I was under the impression that we still know next to nothing about the game aside from the fact that it's an RPG from Namco Bandai. I keep thinking it has some relation to Tales of Legendia, maybe a sequel/prequel/spin-off or even a sort of "Wii port" of ToL (think Twilight Princess being for both the GCN and for the Wii). Of course it may only be that share the name and Namco Bandai thinks it's funny making us think they're related. -_- I personally can't look forward to something I know nothing about, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested

Let's see now, since this is Q&A, I should ask a question. Let me just pull out a random unrelated to anything I wrote about earlier question that I do from time to time...

Ah yes! Have you ever played a game in which the last form of the last boss was actually easier than his/her/it's pervious forms? Overly easy last bosses are one thing, but when a boss has more than one form, you expect the last one to be a killer, you know? This has happened to me twice, though in one instance I realize now was a bit of a fluke. In Tales of Symphonia, I remember Mithos putting up a decent fight in his first form. He teleported around constantly and he had that attack where he caused poisoning, paralysis and curse. His second form however didn't move around at all and could easily be knocked down by a Beast-related tech. It took far less time to beat it than his first form. Though the sudden change to a mechanical suit of some sort is a bit random, I still expected it to be a tougher than his dodgy first form. The second instance was the first time I beat Julius in Sword of Mana, but now I realize it was because both me and the Hero pulled off two charged-up attacks. In other play-throughs it took longer.

Well I think that's enough for now, after all I can only jump from subject to subject for so long. Thank you Andrew for hearing this nutty girl out. ^^

-Strawberry Eggs

Andrew

Yes. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest featured a final boss you could kill in two hits using Cure. Also, by the time I got to Yu Yevon in FFX, he was pretty much dog meat, Jecht having offered a slightly larger challenge (though not really).





IN CLOSING

So then. I think we need some letters for tomorrow, yes? What about? Well, there's that new Paper Mario just out, you could shower me with sympathy over my heavy tire-damage foot, and hey, i'm sure that Chocobo game is very nice. So make with the letters, guys and girls... I need them to live!



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