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ASK ANDREW
In The Cold... October Rain? October 7, 2005

Andrew Long - 16:33 EST

TO MR. JACKSON LEAR: die. That out of the way, I can now (almost) comfortably proceed with the rest of the column, which was delayed by the target of my introductory woe. Mr. Lear, you see, wrote the impenetrable thicket of a book that I had to read for a test today, and operating on the theory that in general, I can knock off a 400 page book in 4 hours or less, I started reading it last night. Alas for me, Lear is not for the faint of heart nor the lean of vocabulary; though I consider my own knowledge of words and their meanings to be fairly extensive, some of the crap this guy stuck in that served no purpose other than to obfuscate his meaning made me want to take one of his figurative carnivalesque fatsos and drop it on his head. The upshot of all this is that I stayed up all night reading it, thus delaying this column and crankying me up right good.

In any event, I now know that antebellum refers to a prewar period and that fecund means fertile. I suppose these are not particularly advanced terms, but neither are they particularly necessary ones, and it is that distinction that so sticks in my craw. If I use words not common to my speech, I tend to do so for effect; so far as I could determine, the only use of Mr. Lear's verbosity was to strike me dumb with the sheer heft of his prose and in that I must say he was successful, though I nevertheless managed to elicit the overall thematic suggestion of his book with some effort and more bleary blinking. Accessibility must be the ultimate goal of any writer, for while you can surely saddle up your vocabulary and ride circles around people, if they can't keep up it's a moot point because they'll get bored with your crappy parade and wander off to find a BB gun with which to end it. Word of Honour: if I find a BB gun, this book will become my very first target. Second Word of Honour: I will never again complain about one of my texts in this space (for at least a month!)




L E T T E R S
Advice: don't hole up in Tweed


Hi, first time writer here.

Okay so I was wondering, am I the only person that thinks both FFX and FFVI are tied as the best FF games? (For completly different reasons, but both are the only ones I still play daily).
ANDREW


I certainly rate them both in my top three, but I like FFVI a lot more than FFX for the simple reason that FFX, while a very polished game, was also ridiculously easy to an extent that even FFVI couldn't hope to match, and at the same time, also involved a great deal of involution that I don't particularly relish the prospect of repeating. Nevertheless, I'm sure you're not totally alone in this sentiment, nor is it entirely unreasonable; both are fairly fantastic Final Fantasy titles.

Also do you know of any way I could get a permanent save file of my game progress, as memory cards are only good for about ten years, and dont do well with magnets and electricity.
ANDREW


There are those sites that act as clearinghouses for save files, so I would imagine that if you buy some sort of thingummy it allows you to transfer them from the memory card to a more permanent means of storage. That said, you're overlooking a number of things: first, your likelihood of ever wanting those save files again, second, the difficulty you will doubtless encounter in ten years time in finding a new and unscathed PSX memory card, and finally, the fact that newer generations of consoles look to be circumventing this problem altogether, suggesting a simpler means of transfer is on the horizon. My advice? Wait for it...

Lastly do Canadians have as much access to video games as the U.S.? I'm thinking of trying to move there and be a hermit, I cant stand most people around here. (I do live in Texas which should explain it)
Thank you for reading and sorry if I wasted your time.
Dave


ANDREW


Generally, yes, yes we do. In fact, in urban centers like Toronto and Vancouver, our access to the Chinese black market creates all sorts of opportunities to get our hands on games not generally seen in stores. That said, game availability as a whole will always be at its best online, and last I checked, my interweb is quite functional. Now, as to the merits of hermiticizing the Canadian wilderness, I think you'd be better off staying down south, if only because being a hermit kind of loses its thrill when it's -30 before the wind chill.


A Double Serving of RPG Loooove?


Dear Andrew,

Is it just me or has the DS got a lot of role-playing attention lately? In just the past two weeks, Lost Magic, Iron Feather, Seiken Densetsu DS: Children of Mana, Deep Labyrinth, Wizardry Asterisk, Contact, ASH, and Tingle RPG were all announced, and we also got some long-awaited information on Final Fantasy III and Zelda DS. It makes me wonder if it was all coordinated. Anyway, next to being revived after getting killed, the RPG element I would most want to have in real life is holding a huge item box. I could never understand how my party could carry 100 potions and ethers, 10 swords, 5 axes, 12 pieces of armor, 16 hats, 20 boots, 50 accesories, dozens of obscure items, a bunch of Crystals/Magicite/Materia/etc. and all their money around the world, but it sure would be convenient in real life.

Alan


ANDREW

It's not just you; the DS has reached that nice point that comes about a year after a system comes out where it actually becomes worth having. These new and incipient RPGs are all indications that the DS is, in fact, now supported by a decent library of games, unlike the DS of a few months ago, which I could cheerfully scoff at by virtue of its craptastic software offerings and questionable goodness. And no, it's not co-ordinated; it's just the natural result of a bunch of companies having their hands on DS devkits for about a year; give a developer a year to develop junk and hey presto, that's what she tends to do.

And I agree; lugging this wretched backpack around has given me an appreciation for storage space and a magical means of shrugging off its apparent impossibility.



QnA monkey? I'll have you know that I'm a highly evol- oooh! Bananas!


Dear QnA monkey,

It has recently come to my attention that Ys Books I and II were the best games ever. Or something to that effect. At any rate, several people have confirmed this, but it seems thoroughly impossible to aquire a PC Engine/Turbo duo/Turbo CD/whatever the hell else there is, and even more difficult to get the games, outside of dealing with shady ebay characters who wish to complete all transactions in even shady-er back alleys

So how does one go about aquiring such things? Where does one start to look?

Also, where the hell did this new QnA guy come from? Did I miss something while I was out having part of a life and playing We <3 Katamari?

~Chen Kenichi


ANDREW

Well, you're not necessarily stuck picking up a TG16; Ys I & II were rereleased for the PC, as well as the PS2. That said, you'd best be speaking Japanese, because as you have probably already discovered, their fiendish rarity comes from their lack of a North American release. So, if you're just dying to play them, that's probably your best bet. Since I'm apparently preaching forbearance today, however, you might consider waiting a bit; the series has been getting increased attention lately, and it's not altogether impossible that a remake or localization might at some point be considered.

As to your second question, Matt won a contest between six well-qualified candidates for the position that I was unable to decide between. A contest that ran five weeks. If you somehow managed to miss that in its entirety, I can only assume that the life you speak of involves some sort of mind-altering drugs and a forced plane ride somewhere far, far, away and without benefit of internet access. Or maybe the King of All Cosmos just demanded a little too much of your attention.



Eep


Hail,

According to the Games section of your website, Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi (aka Sealed Sword) came out in the US in 2002, but I don't think that's right at all. Has this game actually made its way over here, and if not, will it?

Also, props to sprite-based games, as they are superior to all. Cheers,

Nathan


ANDREW

Well, Nintendo seemed poised to bring The Sealed Sword on over, but somewhere in 2002 it got lumped in with Magical Vacation in the grand scheme of release plans, and that, of course, is never a good thing. In the end, it comes down to the unfortunate state of some of our older game pages; while you can generally trust the release dates in our database, those found on the actual gamepages can be downright unreliable when they put their minds to it. Indeed, a quick crosscheck with a nameless outside side reveals that FE6 came out in March 2002 in Japan and then was never heard about again. Apologies for the inaccuracy.



You're not gonna like this answer <3


ThisGuyAreSick (formerly known as Castomel ^_^):

So.. out of curiosity.. how exactly do you find time to play CT when you're.. in the bathroom for the majority of your waking hours?

Angel0886


ANDREW

Who said anything about the bathroom? It's all about plastic bags and a garbage can! Then you can just lean one way, puke, and continue playing CT in the other direction until someone comes in to remove the icksome bag.

In my defense, she did ask.



q u i c k i e s


Longer columns are much better. Bring back quickies. Make me a quickie. Mr. Snuggles

ANDREW:As you wish, Mr. Snuggles.
C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Well, today was thoroughly miserable. In any event, for tomorrow, let us speak of this new glut of DS RPGs. Are you any more likely to pick up a DS because of it? Do you own one and are finally feeling justified in your purchase? Do you still think they're just a clattering cacaphony of clanking claptrap? And in the spirit of the approaching (Canadian) holiday, which RPG or developer has been the biggest turkey of the year and why? I crave your responses!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long needs more than two new letters a day.

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