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ASK ANDREW
Beware... I live! September 26, 2005

Andrew Long - 19:57 EST

IT'S BEEN A LONG MONTH, a crazy month, a month in which I downed enough illegal ecstasy drug to fell a stable full of horses, or maybe it was just booze and not even enough to drown a fly in, but who's really counting anyway? You're all indescribably happy to see me, right? Sort of like I was indescribably happy to see Shaun Desmond while walking through a mall on Saturday, at least until I realised that a) it was Shaun Desmond and b) that I hate Shaun Desmond, at which point I took a quick detour away from the screaming freaks and bought a creamsicle to wash the memory of the whole awful thing from my mind, which appears not to have worked. This can only mean that I need to eat more creamsicles.

So yeah, I hope you've enjoyed my contest, and I assure you, we will find a way to unfuse Ryan Seacrest and our own Phil Clayton... *sniffsniff*. That Phil... He's such a trooper... Going around with that hair, that hair that cost so many innocent lives, just welded to his head the way it was... 'sbeautiful! He even kept on truckin' after his dog lost the Little League World Series, you shoulda seen them, just a big pile of misery, chewin' tobacco on his back porch. THE HUMANITY!

Folding Tool Heavy Duty

Oh, come off it. You're just hamming it up for the cameras, and please - you have to be cuter for that to work. You've got it all backwards, and if I were to be a gauge of the sympathy you're likely to garner with this pathetic tack, I'd have to say that you've come up dry.

Andrew

Hmm.. Aren't we done with you? I'm certainly done with you. Oh, and another thing I'm done with: the stupid freak who keeps sending chain letters to qna@. I am not twelve. I do not have cheese for brains. I will not forward the letter to twenty people so that my hair doesn't catch fire and ruin the Buffalo Bills' chances of making the postseason, while simultaneously netting me that hunky boyfriend I've always been dreaming of. For one thing, my hair looks freaking awesome when it's on fire so I regularly torch it without the help of failed chain letters, and I think we all know how often Buffalo wins. And as for the hunky boyfriend? I think Seaclayton will suffice until we get him prised back apart. So please. Die. And if you're feeling accomodating, kill off all those other dumb little starry-eyed freaks on your mailing list so that none of them ever think about sending me any mail.

So now that we've grown reaccustomed to my cuddly warmth, let's all read some letters or die! Can you do anything less?




L E T T E R S
Oh, Yasir, you maniac... How I've missed you and your batshinsanity


yo yo yo how ya doin QnA Lozer,

hope yall having a good time,now for my Qs

by the way i have an XBOX and i REALLY love RPGs(dont ask me why i didnt get a PS2)
ANDREW


Can I ask why you got an Xbox? Because in my everlasting quest for knowledge, your system ownership is on the very top of my list!

so do u think that the new rpgs on XBOX360 worth sticking to the system ?
ANDREW


All those games I haven't played? Utter genius. You should definitely sink your money into a console sight unseen, and right at launch if you can manage it. That way, you're certain to get the best value for your money between the unpolished games and extra-pricy console.

im really interested in ENCHANT ARM so do you have any piece of information about it other than the site's or if it will be released in english?(hopefully only the menus and no dubbing)
ANDREW


Beyond made-up junk over at IGN like release dates they have no apparent backing for and segments on videos whose main contribution to the sum of all knowledge about enchant arms is to mention how awesome it looks, no, there is no other information.

by the way alot of people want an FFVII remake but i personally pray that it wont exist coz i dont think that it would live up to the original game no matter how good the graphics will be,what do YOU think ???
ANDREW


I think you ask too many questions. I also think that saying it won't live up is kind of silly, especially if it's just a strict remake. If a halfway coherent script and graphics the likes of which were seen in the PS3 tech demo are part of the overall package, then I definitely think a remake would have potential. If they go mucking around with stuff, however? No way. Especially not if Cloud starts shouting crap like "Booyah!"

alot of games are now online and i personally hate it coz i think rpgs are meant to have an original storyline and special anime-like charecters,i DO enjoy online MMORPGs but i think that theres TOO much un-needed attention to it,what do YOU think ????

well thats all and please mind my english,im arabian and not THAT good at it

have fun

bye


ANDREW


I think that how much attention you, the media, or the Queen of England pays to the online gaming scene is irrelevant to your enjoyment of offline console titles. Do you really sit there steaming about how Gamespot had a ten-page feature on FFXI while you play through Shadow Hearts II? Hells no, you concentrate on SH2 because it's so damned awesome. I will grant that if media coverage of something had an impact on its overall marketability you might have a point, but Michael Jackson spent six months with wall-to-wall coverage and his album sales? Oh, they tanked! </false analogy>


A Massively Multiplayer Online Quandary


Salutations,

I find myself in an odd predicament. I would like to start playing an MMORPG again: either WoW (which I own and stopped playing) or FFXI (which I have played in the past). My problem is thinking to far ahead and not wanting to do the things I know I'll have to do, i.e. 4+ hr dungeon crawls to MAYBE get a piece of l33t gear I need (WoW). I find that I only like to commit maybe 1-2 hours every other day to a game, and I always fall behind the "hardcore" players in my guild. I also am constantly torn between whether or not to start/maintain a profession. I found myself spending so much time mining (in WoW and FFXI) that I wasn't levelling at a good pace at all. Lastly, I can't decide between which world I'd like to "return" to. I like the character customization a lot more in WoW, including the variety of equipment, but FFXI seems a lot "simpler" to me. Whenever I'm doing something in WoW it seems like there's 10 other things I could be doing, and I'm torn on what I should do! I want to play a game to relax!! I know these may seem like petty complaints, but my free time is severely limited since graduating and starting a career. Add to all this the urge to console game too, and I'm screwed if I want to make time for the lady and friends. Getting older sucks! What do you think? Am I over thinking things? Which game should I play? Thanks,

ndhl


ANDREW

I think you should sink some money into Guild Wars and try something new, because if you're the type of player you just described (which is more or less the type of player I am) getting dicked with monthly charges doesn't seem like a wise idea in view of the fact that they won't be terribly cost effective. Guild Wars has no monthly fees, plays somewhat similarly to WoW but with less fuss, and with all that money you'll be saving, you can buy the lady some flowers and then throw them at her one by one until she agrees to join your guild and marry you by one of the game's various lakes.

Failing that, WoW. FFXI is poison(and anyway you're several expansions behind by now if you've stopped playing).



Hmm.. How to answer a question after barely reading it...


Shadow Hearts: Covenant Spoilers Hi.. how you doing Andrew. I don't know if this is the right place for asking it, but I have a doubt about Shadow Hearts ending. I noticed in the end, that when everyone come back after defeating Kato, Karin appears in front of the Minister Mansion and then Yuri's father go to her to see what's wrong, and suddenly he saw a picture getting out of her of his 3 years old child and his wife Anne, which I think it's just look like Karin. Is there any relation between Karin and his father appearing in that period, before Yuri has been borned.

Thanks


ANDREW

Thanks? THANKS? I haven't beaten that game you astro-jerk! Save your crazy postulations and ruminatory machinations for someone else, because all I can offer you is a NANANANANANANANANA! Also, borned? Eww.



Musicas violentes!


music. Stylish, fresh, innovative composition, that's what tickles my proverbial fancy. I was listening to my CC soundtrack the other day, whilst trying to figure out the jostling meter of the track "Hurricane" (disc 2 - track 20), and said to myself, "I really like this battle theme" (even if it's just a polished-up/shiny version of the one in Radical Dreamers).

My question is this: what is your favorite battle theme and why? Do you prefer battle music with pounding guitar? Driving percussion? Crazy meter? A slew of strings? What?! The world wants to know.

Nichole


ANDREW

I prefer battle music that is fast, if that's what you're asking, but in terms of favorites, I have too many for particular situations to pick just one. In terms of overall solid "I can listen to this for 100 hours and not want to stab out someone's eyes" I would have to go with the battle theme from FFX, which has just enough syncopation to make it seem like it's got variety. Nostalgia? FFIV's boss battle. Boss themes overall? FFVIII and FFVII are hard to choose between, but I'm gonna go with FFVII just because it's fun to drive through rundown neighbourhoods and roll up your windows while singing it (or by warning signs for deer, moose, or any of the other various things that yellow signs warn against). Finally, in terms of hilarious almost-badness, Shining the Holy Ark, which is beyond the reach of those who haven't played it, simply because of its ineffable awesomeness.



Alas, SoA.. We knew thee well


A while ago, weíre talking back in 2003, Noriyoshi Ohba had said Skies of Arcadia 2 was in the planning stages. Iím guessing planning didnít go all that well since it doesnít look like anything came of it. Has there been any mention of a sequel anytime since then?

thanks


ANDREW

Not since the last time this question came up, which I believe was within the past couple of months. Then, as now, I have no clue what Sega is up to, and can only conclude the lack of SoA means that Yuji Naka is up to no good. This being the case, I would instruct you to go to L.A. with a canvas bag, one of those newspaper-cleaner-upper stick dealies, and start poking around in alleys near the convention center. If the bum that RPGamer adopted at E3 doesn't stab you back for damaging his precious slice of cardboard, you should be able to find Naka's scent. Then you must hunt the deadliest game of all: man.



Ssssorry... Black!


Figured I might as well finally write in, just so I did it once during the contest.

As for cartoony vs. realistic, I don't really have a preference between the two of them. I would say realistic is somewhat safer, because that's less likely to bring in a truly awful style. I don't think I've see a game using realistic graphics that ever made me shuidder at the awfulness of it. With cartoonish, there's more room to experiment with the style, and that is not always a good thing. (I really hate the way Link looks in Wind Waker, and overall, I don't like that game's style. It wasn't enough to keep me from playing it, but then it just bored me.) On the other hand, neither FF9 or Wild Arms 3 bothered me with their more cartoonish look. So, I guess I'd say going the cartoonish route is more risky, but not necessary better or worse than being more realistic.

- Nwash (still suffering from the chronic brain fart)


ANDREW

I know I complain an awful lot about Wind Waker; from its terribly drawn-out ending to its lack of innovation or dungeons, I can find fault with many aspects of it. One thing I really did enjoy, however, was the way it looked, so I'm curious as to why you feel this way. Do you really prefer the "OMG TEEN LINK WITH SEXAH BRACELETS AND EARRINGS" look? I think it's a trifle overdone myself, and the cel-shaded version, complete with the shifty eyes, which are pretty much my favorite thing ever, delighted me.

Nevertheless, I suppose you're entitled to your random hatreds; lord knows enough of my own seep through into this column.



Ah, multiparters, how I have missed thee.. Well, except for the seven part multiparters, thank you very much Yasir


This is a question i asked previously, but as it was diverted uselessly and converted into a tirade by steve, i will ask again: Just what happened to innovative rpg games? RPG's mostly follow a basic template, but we get too many generic ones that basically swap ideas from each other, the latest craze being hundreds of characters. Nowadays, truly innovative games are hardly present, most are variations of the same formula. Added to it is the fact that most sequels need to directly copy their predecessors with a few more "features", or risk the wrath of fans.
ANDREW

Okay. We've gone over that plenty before, but yes, you are indeed correct when you say that few developers try anything new, and yes, it's because people freak out if stuff is too far away from what they were expecting, particularly where series are concerned. The question I have is: are you going anywhere with this? ^^

Then again, how much is too much? Dragon quarter was panned by many, though it was truly innovative. (i frankly hated it because of the save system and time limts, bu i have to admit it was different). Your views on the matter?
ANDREW

I loved BoF V to pieces, partially because of that save system, and partially because of the atmosphere, but also because of the story, which was actually quite touching in its way. You will note that at its core the game really didn't do much in the way of innovation beyond the layered save system; the battles were pretty much source-direct from Xenogears, the music, while enjoyable, didn't really break any ground, and the graphics, while atmospheric and beatiful, weren't really a technical achievement. Still, that one element that did change caused the others to experience subtle shifts of their own and the end result was an entire package that felt fresh and exciting... at least to me. You not so much, apparently.

My last query is on ff7. The movie is great, IMHO, though lacking in much story. However, the other sequels planned...are rather disappointing. FF7 is an rpg, why do we have shooter sequels? I do not mind it, but where is the main fare? how much do we have to wait for a ff7 sequel, considering the original is nearly a decade old. Why not an ff7 sequel, if they can make crappy cookie cutter sequels like FFX-2 ?


ANDREW

Okay, first, there are like eight FFVII sequels coming out, so cut your whining. Second, I should probably take this opportunity to mention that I refuse to talk about that movie that all you bootlegging bastards have so nefariously stolen off the internet. Why? For a few reasons. First, while I have no real scruples when it comes to various sorts of online piracy, movies are for some reason something that I hold sacred in that regard and refuse to watch in any form other than that in which they are released (or when they show up on TV, I suppose). If FFVII:AC is as good as you're all suggesting, then the fact that you've all gone and stolen it from Square Enix means that their film production arm will suffer a loss of profit somewhere along the way, no matter how many of you asshats piously swear you'll buy it when it comes out. Again, I can't really preach here, but if S-E has finally made a good movie and then lower-than-expected sales cause it to reconsider its course of action, I will destroy you all. Finally, I never could be bothered to play around with programs upon which pirated video are conventionally displayed, and certainly not where subtitles are involved. Herego, screw you guys, I'm goin' home.



Where's that Karnak fellow when you need him? Oh, right.. dead x.x


What do you think are the chances of us seeing Grandia III in the states?

J.W.


ANDREW

All signs are pointing to yes; earlier this month, it was revealed that Game Arts has completed an English demo of the game, news which, when coupled with the revelation that S-E is mulling a localization, makes the whole thing seem fairly slamdunk. Then again, Konami isn't bringing that fancy Suiko collection for PSP over, so who knows - perhaps stupidity is contagious. We'll have to wait and see.



FFXII fretting: a pastime since 2001


I just saw the screenshots for FFXII and wasn't impressed. It looks like Quest 64 with those rings,a game which I loathed beore I sold it. Is this going to be another action RPGor a turn-based game?

Dace.


ANDREW

As soon as Square lets somebody in the press actually play the damned thing, I'll let you know. Until such a time, fret, my pretties! AHAHAHAHHAHA!



Unfit for Print


Were do chocobos originate from? thanks

ANDREW

The same place they always have - your mother's FAAAACE!





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Ahhh... It is nice to be uploading this all by my lonesome, without fear of some crazy HTML error gumming up the works (over the past four weeks, I think pretty much every RPGamer Idol candidate had some sort of problem). With that in mind, tomorrow is the day of our big reveal! Who will be my new compadre-in-arms, Bucket or Matt? For tomorrow, send in letters talking about your votes and why you cast them, and because today's column inspired me some, include your favorite battle theme for kicks. As for me? It's time to buy a box of creamsicles, baby!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long should have used some of those teenyboppers as a human shield and whacked Shaun Desmond with one of them.


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