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questionanswer&andrew


Cristobal Casserole

Andrew Long - October 9th, 2004 - 19:34 EDT

WELL, I WAITED A DAY AND THE BETTER PART OF ANOTHER for some new letters to come in, but apparently all you crazy Americans are too busy making love to the statues of Christopher Columbus that apparently dot your fair land, so your idolatry has left me with a grand total of one letter.

Fear not, however; I have some slightly moldy old letters kicking around in the back of my fridge, and combined with my spicy dialogue, it should be able to adequately cover the taint. Even so, this holiday revelry business is bad news bears for my letter count... I should really figure out some way to circumvent that.

I know... I'll have a race! We'll take the Spruce Moose! Hop in!

I SAID, hop in...




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From the archives:
Cut Eat Bet For Scam Seven

This little number is from September 15th


Junctioning in FFVIII was a cool idea, but it had no limits. You could make anyone anything that you wanted to, which is cool in theory, but suffers from the same problem that FFVII did: a lack of individuality. You never really had to make a choice about whether to use Quistis or Selphie or Rinoa or whoever, because all you have to do was switch your GFs and draw a little. Another big downside was how the game actually discouraged you from using magic, since it made you weaker.

But I still love FFVIII. ^_^

ANDREW
Yeah, FFIX ended that little trend rather abruptly, although X had the best of both worlds.

Anyway, you asked about sequels, nay? Well, if you take a look at Chrono Cross and Chono Trigger, you see a perfect example. Everyone was looking for the second coming of Crono, and they got something completely... Not. People tend to go to sequels because they liked what was in the first and wanted more of the same goodness... New games or franchises or spin offs are generally the ones that start something new, for most people. But like you said, unless it has some sort of new stuff, people complain about it being the same thing as the last game... I guess the best thing to do is to leave what you had in the last game, and add on rather than change.

Or people could stop being stupid. But whatever.

Anyway, here's a question: PSP or DS?

The Pantswench

ANDREW
DS, clearly... PSP's battery life is a big issue that doesn't seem to be any closer to resolution today than it was at the handheld's announcement, and while I'm sure the NDS will be no dainty butterfly of battery consumption, the PSP just looks critically bad in this respect.

As to your sequel ramblings, there's only one problem with not innovating - the gaming media and a fair number of gamers tend to take companies to task when they crank out identical-seeming entries in a series. It's entirely illogical, of course - nobody would have liked FFVI if it hadn't been like FFIV in many respects, and VIII's dissimilarity with VII was one of the main reasons it suffers the level of scorn it does - but nobody ever accused people as a whole of being consistent, so I wouldn't waste any time trying to figure it out. It'll only make your hair hurt.


JoJo echoes on down through time (from September 13)


Hey man,

I decided to respond to your character names you most don't like topic deallie. I hate the name waluigi. I know it isn't RPG related but I Always assumed the purple dude would be named wuigi. you know the way baby luigi or any other 5 or less year old makes an l sound. like wowwie pop. They didnt add an a to wario's name making it waario. That would be just plain stuiped. anyway tales of symphonia is fun and such.

JOJO

ANDREW
That's all well and good, but Wuigi would be pronounced "Weegie" which is just one step from "Squeegee" or "Wedgie". Game companies have good reason to avoid such names, I think.


My one letter from today: to provide balance to the universe and junk


After your words on the upcoming Final Fantasy VII sequels, I wanted to get my piece in. Will all of the sequels suck? Probably. But I'm still holding out hope. It does have a wonderful world to build on, and great characters with a well developed backstory. Even if the first was brought to conclusion, it doesn't preclude future events from happening. Just look at something like the Godfather. It was wrapped up at the end, but they still made another. And many people consider the second better than the first. (You don't need to bring up part three, I know, it's awful.) Making a sequel off of an existing world as good as this gives them a huge amount of potential. It's probably all just wishful thinking on my part, but I really don't want to condemn them yet.

Oh, and on another note, Postal Service is awesome. And Chrono Trigger. Hands down, best game.

-Atman

ANDREW
Yes, I'd certainly better not bring up part three, seeing as how it stabs a giant hole in your argument. I'm not suggesting that it's not possible to make a good sequel - I'm saying that the likelihood of these particular sequels being good, based upon all information that I have available to me at this time, is low. Think wishfully all you like, but I'm the one who will be pleasantly surprised, since that will hold true if the game is anything other than an utter debacle.

And yes. Yes they are. It still won't make me overlook the Godfather part III though...Sofia Ford Coppola should stick to directing.


More JoJo, this time from September 24


Hello Cast (Can I call you cast),

ANDREW
I call me Cast, so I don't see why not...

I realize I am good bit late with this, but I would actually like to talk about weather and games. You may realize that you asked us on Wednesday to talk about this but according to Cast's Calendar,which by the way is on all kinds of tasty crack, said Thursday is the last day of the weekend followed by the start of weekdays on Saturday. Your calendar been puffing the old "Magic Dragon"?(Nudge, Nudge,)

ANDREW
My calendar is quite sober, thank you very much. Sorry for taking so long to post your letters though... They always seemed to roll in near the chunks of letters I decided not to print.

Anyway on to weather and games. Weather has so much to day with when I play videogames. Cause when it rains it twitches from playing twelve hours of mind nubbing videogames in the dark. Wow what a mouth full, but seriously day before a predicted hurricane or snowstorm you will be able to spot me at the local blockbuster, or if im feeling rich EB games, prepareing for the storm. Preparing for a storm, for me, is like this:

  • Toilet paper-no
  • salt- no
  • boards for shutters-no
  • Milk, and bread-no
  • Flashlight-no
  • Shovel-Me shoveling? Hell no
  • Batteries-yes
  • Newest Party game-Oh Yeah
  • Long one player game-must have
  • Junk food and soda-Well storm or not a trip for supplies yeilds these

You get the picture. I you cant go outside best have something to do inside. On a semi unrealated note, I feel really well and do play really well on windy days. I dont know why but my adrenaline is pumping on days with a constante fast breeze.

Well fall is upon us* and that means halloween, the second greatest holiday of all time. This means pumpkins, costumes, masks, and enough candy to keep you up vomiting till FF20 comes out. Be afraid, very afraid. Anyway I pose this question as always to you andrew, as well as any people who read this if you choose to post it. What are your favorite scary games movies? What games give you the creeps? What games get in your head, find out what makes you tick, and then jumps up at you while your drinking your soda, causing you so spit it all over the closest person. I never got into resident evil it just too boring, YAWN! I did like eternal darkness and the suffering. I also have always had a special place in my REM cycle for a man with a claw and a sweater.

Well I now draw to a close, because I absolutely must get up early and um well do something. As to what that something is even I dont know but tomorrow morning feels like it will be important. Stop looking at me like that!

If there a drug joke I haven't heard it isn't a very good one,
JOJO

ANDREW
To be honest, I hate all game movies equally, and have yet to see any game-based movies that derive from the horror genre, largely because the commercials for such ventures generally convince me to avoid them like the plague. I will say, however, that the first time I played RE2 I was utterly creeped out, and Doom III had a similar effect this summer, especially in a dark room with the sound up high.


I don't think I ever printed this letter from September 4th


First of all, I refuse to care about the Matrix Online due to how horribly flawed that other Matrix game, which isn't even worthy of being referred to by name, was.

Regarding the question of being the only person who played FFVIII right, naturally you're not alone. There are probably thousands of pasty gamers who gave up any hope of a social life spending hundreds of hours perfecting their characters. But for the less hardcore such as myself, even Ultimecia can be easy due to the greatness of Triple Triad. Laguna or Gilgamesh card plus Card Mod equals 100 Heroes or 10 Holy Wars and invincibility throughout the battle. Simple, no?

ANDREW
So, calling me pasty, eh? Just because I'm the colour does not mean I spend no time in the sun... I have Irish blood dammit! IRISH BLOOOOOD!

And yeah, for those people who keep making fun of James Arnold Taylor's job as Tidus, go play Tales of Symphonia. He redeems himself with what is an overall far superior job as Yggdrasil (though the really picky amongst you who expect every game to be like Kingdom Hearts and have a Haley Joel Osment or two can laugh at what a "horrible" job he does). Still not perfection, but it's at least decent.

ANDREW
I don't expect perfection from these people. What I expect is believability, something I suspect anyone with the ability to imagine a genuine conversation should be able to inject. Either James Arnold Taylor had never spoken to another human being before reading his lines for Tidus, or somebody drugged him with a very bad drug. Obviously when you spend second-rate money, you're not going to get top-notch talent. But that still doesn't mean that it has to be bad - Disgaea had excellent voice work, and I'm sure a lot of those VAs have had no real film experience (though I recognize a few voices there that have likely appeared in numerous cartoons.)

While on the topic of voice acting, what are your impressions of Star Ocean 3's voice actors? So bad it's good, just plain good, average, etc. I haven't yet heard the greatness I've been told to expect...

-A generic NPC

ANDREW
I'm hearing that they're much less infuriating than those in SO2, though I suspect that by this point you've managed to score a copy. This is, of course, not much help, either way - the voices in SO2 were among the most furiating things ever to soil a game.


A Slightly Moldy Unfit for Print


You have a translation of the FF7 Japanese script.

But do you have the Japanese script?

You're about the only place that would actually have it. Isn't there anyone on your team who has the Japanese version and will record it all?

ANDREW
Yes, actually. We keep it in our secretive vault of "stuff that would draw tons of readers but that we keep secret for spite", which has a +1 to "dumbass" enchantment cast upon it to encourage its continued existence. Because of the veiled nature of this vault, I'm afraid our new staff cactus Myrtle II: First Blood, a newer, tougher, bandanna'd version of Myrtle I, who was eaten by madhtr last month, is on her way to your home even now to fill you full of needles. She's little, so there'll only be 1000, but I think that should do for the likes of you.


YOU 'DREW
QUICKIE I
There are a lot of Nintendo fanboys on GameFAQs,
but just as many if not more Square fanboys. This is the first time Link has won, methinks. Last two years Cloud and Sephy have won against the clearly superior Pikachu. And Link too.

bobs

Andrew:
I guess somebody must have POISONED all the SE fanboys then. CONSPIRACY! IT WAS THE ILLUMINATI! Seriously, I heard them plotting last night while aliens probed me as I watched satan rig the election... it was madness!



DA LAST GRUMBLE

So it seems holidays and Q&A are a bad mix, even if the holiday is one of those annoying greeting card numbers that only bank tellers benefit from. Nonetheless, for tomorrow, let us discuss the wonders of video-game based movies, as per the long-dusty letter from Jojo. Specifically, what genre of games do you think makes for the best moviegoing experience? Do RPGs fail, based upon the results turned out like FF:tSW, or do you think there's still hope, given a number of anime projects that are similar to games but not really based off them. More importantly, do you think Hollywood can ever do a good job on a Japanese game?

Well, I guess it's not important at all if you import, but I am lazy and like my movies.. well, imported, but not from quite so far.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long has a heartwarming ending, if you stick around.

I'LL PROVIDE THE ANSWERS, YOU PROVIDE THE

QUESTIONS


Not to this column, silly.

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