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questionanswer&andrew


Rastafarize 10%... And We've Got It!

Andrew Long - October 8th, 2004 - 02:10 EDT

SO BLIZZARD MANAGED TO KNOCK BNETD back into the stone age with some stunning litigatory prowess. I'm not sure whether to approve of this or not - on the one hand, it does reduce the number of people who will be playing WC3 illegitimately, which I would think will reduce the quantity of cheats and hacks for the game concamitantly, but on the other hand, it successfully prosecuted its lawsuit using a chapter of the DMCA, which as far as I have been able to determine, is in fact the devil in legal format.

So I sit here, torn, vaguely disappointed that I am not, in fact, playing Warcraft at this moment, and occasionally capitalizing words I shouldn't due to the couple of drinks I had earlier. Happily, they haven't been joined by 14 others in a steady flow, so I won't be breaking out into I Would Walk 500 Miles anytime soon. Not that we were in any particular danger of that happening before, but you'd be surprised at what musical horrors used to fester in my mom's car.

Yes, back in the heady days of 1991, my mom still followed the popular music scene for reasons unbeknownst to me, possibly because she wanted to get in touch with her Irish heritage, possibly because she was getting slightly tired of listening to Charlotte Diamond and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star during every car ride. This still does not explain, however, why she chose to purchase both a Garth Brooks tape AND a Billy Ray Cyrus cassette, the deadly combination of which forever sealed my seething hatred of New Country music. To this day, I can still remember lyrics to horrible Billy Ray Cyrus tracks, and I am reliably certain that if I took complete leave of my senses, I could belt out a fair rendition of Friends in Low Places.

So what is the moral of this story? Well, there isn't one. There never is, you silly muffinheads!




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I think I should change this track
It has played through thrice
Solution?
Send in the clowns

Pape-aback writer...or not


Greetings, O Answerer of Many Questions,

Having a fast-paced science class does interesting things to my brain. For example, while in a heated debate about the interconnectivity some fanfiction offers between Final Fantasy games (most authors on this site have done a very good job with theirs), the questions arose:

"How can you make FFX dark and science-y? It's way too spiritual and happy [and crappy] to turn into something like that."

ANDREW
I would imagine sciencing up a game that contains an entire race devoted to ancient technology wouldn't be too hard to do; all you'd have to do is concentrate on the Al-Bhed. And uh... Last time I checked, FFX wasn't particularly happy, or particularly crappy, and the spirituality, though fairly run-of-the-mill videogame filler, was none too flowers-and-candy either.

So yeah. Basically FFX-2 sans the fanservice.

Being a writer planning to make her first forays into the world of fanfiction outside of Fanfiction.net, I was wondering: how would one make FFX into such a fanfic? Since you know everything, maybe you could give me some takes on this.

ANDREW
Being a devout hater of fanfics, I would suggest not making FFX into such a fanfic, because fanfics always take any good I found in a game and poo all over it. Since I know this answer will not meet with your liking, however, I repeat: FFX-2 without quite so much focus on the pretty ladies, or at least, a different focus on the pretty ladies.

Oh, and an actual game-related question: what's the best party to beat the God-boss-thing at the end of Xenosaga?

-NayanRoo

ANDREW
Having vowed never to touch the game again, I'm afraid I can't offer an opinion on this.


Chronology


castographer, i was wondering if you( or google) knew what exactly chrono crusade was, if it is in any way associated with the trigger, or cross? Its apparently a new anime that I just heard of, but i have no idea what its about. thanks.

ANDREW
Although the name is certainly stylin', Chrono Crusade does not, in fact, have anything to do with Square's series. No, the anime, which was once a manga, was picked up by ADV films for North American distribution back in March, and it follows an unlikely duo of some sort, possibly with an annoyingly cute animal sidekick, if I know my anime, as they attempt to destroy a supernatural evil through exorcism in 1920s New York. Eat that, Lavos! ...Or more accurately, not-Lavos.

Hmm.. I'm definitely a negative, negative man


The results of the recient poll on Gamefaqs.com crushed my spirit. In the final round, Cloud Strife, my most beloved video game character ever, was defeated by Link. Certainly, Link is a sort of cool character, what with the green tights and the not talking. I think that everyone likes Link, and not everyone who voted played FFVII, which is why I guess that he won. Now, to my question.

ANDREW
And I think that a hell of a lot of people played FFVII, and of that hellacious whackload, a fair cross-section likely devote their time to voting on GameFAQs. It's just that GameFAQs is also home to a truly monumental number of Nintendo fanboys, as you will witness whenever a major Nintendo character or game comes up against a clearly superior opponent.

I believe it's safe to say, hopefully without offending anyone, that FFVII is Square-Enix's trump card. Their new phone game, Before Crisis, is a prime example of this. They know that FVII was golden, therefore marketing on the people's love of the game so that they'll purchase their phone consol thingy. Also, if anyone remembers that abominable fighting game that Square Released years ago, 'Ehergize', it featured six FFVII characters in it. I think the game's title is German for "Will Sell Because Cloud and Sephiroth are in it". Kingdom Hearts is a FANTASTIC GAME, but a cast of FFVII characters (and Squall.. But really.. It's Squall.) is what caught the eye of older gamers, who would have been terribly embarassed to have purchased a Disney game sans a familiar and beloved team. Possibly why Kingdom Hearts sold so well is because it appealed to both the younger gamers, and the older ones who were familiar with Final Fantasy. This offends me slightly, as it plays on our incred ible desire to know more of Cloud and his possee. But, it is business, and therefore inhereintly evil.

ANDREW
Call me crazy, but FFVII pretty much gave me all I wanted to know about Cloud and gang. That was one of the reasons why FFVII was so well-executed - it had an incredibly well sketched-in backstory, and the character development has yet to be matched in any game before or since. This is why I am inclined to believe that the sequels will be rubbish and we will all be bleaching our eyes within a few weeks of contact with them, movie or otherwise. Well.. the movie will probably look cool, but the dribs and drabs that I've seen of its plot look none too promising.

This is why Advent Children excites me. Squaresoft lost alot of money when The Spirits Within came out, so they embark on another foray into the world of CGI movie entertainment. But, if all they desired was vast riches, then experience should show them that this is a waste of time, and why do it? Could Square-Enix actually be willing to expand on (in my opinion) the greatest story ever witnessed because their fans would adore them for it? Or, perhaps more nobly, are there story elements of the game that continued, and were not included? OR could it all be terrible lies, and they believe Spirits Within failed because it did not really reach the Final Fantasy community, and that this will, in turn sweeping in more gold, while preparing NEW people to the franchise, in turn preparing them for Dirge of Cerberus?

Perhaps I should become a wandering street philosopher, scrounging in garbage cans for food while crying of the gaming apocolypse. And proclaiming of Meteor.

Your's Truly,

Tnayven
--

ANDREW
Bleh. I hate to disagree with every letter I receive today, and possibly I'm just feeling contrary, but again, I don't think there was much to expand on in FFVII. They told you what happened On That Day 5 Years Ago, and at the end, wa hey - you got to see what happened in a thousand years. Certainly, that does leave you with a large blank to fill in between "Cloud saves the world" and "Cloud gets old and returns to the lifestream", but I think any attempt to do so is fanservice of the worst sort, a shameless "trumpcarding", as you put it, of the most egregious sort. FFVII stands alone as a fantastic work of art, and sequels only denigrate that. It's like Children of Dune and the other regrettable sequels that followed - utterly unnecessary, and utterly degrading to the original's grandeur.

So what you see as a grand gesture of reintroducing people, I see as shameful and shameless fanservice. I don't know; perhaps it's because George Lucas and others have so utterly destroyed my faith in humanity that I can't see this as a good thing, but either way, enjoy your optimism while it lasts, cuz someday you'll be like me - saying utterly a lot and sipping orange juice in a tiny apartment room at 4 AM.


RPGamer alumni: writing this column since 1998


For the convenience for your readers, here are some details on Baldur's Gate 3 and NWN 2 since some are interested in the development of these games. Note: the links given will redirect readers to Obsidian Entertainment's message forums and the Gamespot website.

Fact: Baldur's Gate 3 and NWN 2 were unveiled in two short articles in the D&D Anniversary edition of PC Gamer magazine (Gold cover with a large red dragon on it). Atari will be publishing them and Obsidian Entertainment will develop NWN 2 using the Aurora Engine. What we don't know however according to the PC Gamer article:

1. Name of the Developer for BG 3
2. Name of Graphics Engine and Type for BG 3

Rumours and unsolicited information: Supposedly, BIS was working on game concepts for Fallout 3 (codenamed Van Buren) and Baldur's Gate 3: The Black Hound (codenamed Jefferson ) in the latter parts of the year they were shut down. Since the Fallout license was given to Bethesda, all concept work by BIS was scrapped and the BG3 concept also met a similar fate.

Related information: In Neverwinter Nights (Bioware version), the game was supposed to allow Baldur's Gate 2 characters to be imported into NWN, however the code for the Aurora Engine was too different from the Infinity Engine so the idea had to be scrapped. Interplay also lost publishing rights to NWN because of a lawsuit filed by Bioware which Bioware won. This caused Bioware to team up with Atari to publish NWN who bought the D&D assets from Hasbro (the toy manufacturer who also owned Wizards of the Coast and TSR). Also Black Isle Studios closed down just as work finished on Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance II not after the NWN project was lost. The NWN project was all Bioware--BIS only acted to provide logistical support to Bioware just like in the Baldur's Gate PC trilogy. The closing of BIS was meant to happen and some ex-BIS employees were rehired by Feargus Urquhart at Obsidian Entertainment (current projects include NWN 2 and KoToR 2 ).

I hope this helps a bit

ANDREW
Thanks for sharing, Becky. If only you hadn't quit we might have stories like these posted, but alas - nobody on staff seems to care much about PC RPGs. But that doesn't mean we're still not your complete source for RPG coverage! Nosirree!

Seriously, we're super-great!


Mmm.. sweet sweet CAN (dy)


Hey. It's The Pezman again. First off, I'd like to apologize if I came off sounding arrogant last time. It's just that there was a lot of confusion in terms of whether my question had been receieved, and I wanted to make sure that you guys had it. I'm sorry if I acted rude while doing so.

ANDREW
Hmm.. Well, I have no idea which time you were talking about, exactly, but don't worry about it ^^

Anyway, you asked for SHC questions. I've got one. I never got the first one, and I knew about Gamestop online's free prequel offer (a very good one, I might add. Keep it up, GS!). So I got SHC online. And now I have a free game. Spuffy. Unfortunately, my parents have confiscated it so I can't start playing it till the SATs (damn that test) are done. But my questions:

A) I know that Koudelka is a pseudo-prequel to this series. I've wanted to get ahold of the game and play it for some time now. Should I bother doing that before starting Shadow Hearts?

ANDREW
By all accounts, yes. I can't personally give you an opinion, but Google thinks the game is the beezes kneeses, so I say go for it, since his taste is usually fairly similar to mine in terms of games.

B) Penny Arcade, and the review they link to, give the game a less than flattering remark. What do you think?

The Pezman

ANDREW
I think that your opinion and PA's can't always jive, and if you're willing to take their (or whoever's review they're linking to) word for it, that's a-ok. Have you ever considered renting, though? Unless you're talking about Koudelka, which admittedly won't be in your local Blockbuster it shouldn't be too hard, and if you ARE talking about Koudelka, you can pick it up on eBay for under ten bucks anyway(or you could the last time I tried to get it, anyway), so why sweat over such a small sum?


Randomness to go


You like The Postal Service? Judging by the heading for the 10/3/2004 Q&A, you are awesome. Um... Do you like Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy VII more? There we go, 2 legit 2 quit.

ANDREW
Heh. I wouldn't go around judging people by their interaction titles, but yes, I do indeed like The Postal Service, and furthermore, I can reliably state that based upon several intelligence sources, that I am in fact awesome. As to CT and FFVII, CT all the way. FFVII may be a great game, but CT is in the best game evar league, so in my books, there's no comparison.

YOU 'DREW
QUICKIE I
i cant find final fantasy 64.
Help!!!!!!!!!!

Andrew:
Yo, dude! That TOTALLY happened to me with my copy of Chrono Break the other day! I like, searched all over the place but in the end all I found was a localized copy of SD3, so after I put that in the microwave, I was totally bummed out.

QUICKIE II
on the topic,
when is valve gonna sell half-life 2?

Andrew:
And what topic would that be, exactly? Last time I checked, we don't cover FPS titles.



DA LAST GRUMBLE

So, FFIII on the NDS, eh? Think we'll finally get our grubby mitts on it, or will we have to barnstorm Japan in order to score a copy? I MUST HAVE EET!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long likes the OST OWA better than the orchestrated version.

GOOG'LL PROVIDE THE ANSWERS, YOU PROVIDE THE

QUESTIONS


But boy oh boy does the orchestral main theme own!

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