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ASK ANDREW
Looks Like Snow October 23, 2005

Andrew Long - 12:33 EST

YOU KNOW, I WOULD COMPLAIN about the fact that none of you ever send me mail, but it doesn't seem to have any effect, so I will simply assume that you enjoy crappy columns with letters that I am forced to print, as opposed to being able to pick and choose. It's cool, really - but another week or two of this will be a pretty obvious indication that you guys are thoroughly disinterested with me. If this is the case, so be it - I can understand that I have perhaps overstayed my welcome; but if you're just being lazy, or assuming someone else will write, well, think again, the past month indicates that very few of you do. And don't just send in a token letter tomorrow, because while I'm sure Matt won't mind the extra mail, it does me no good whatsoever. The only way I get stuff worth talking about is if you send it, and keep sending it, so for the love of everything, hold up your end of the bargain. Q&A columns quickly become nonexistent without the Qs. If you don't have a question, just send a rant - I have no problems replying to such things.

This is the last time I will mention a lack of letters, but seriously, do you know how discouraging it is to have to use letters like the ones that so often end up in Unfit for Print? And if you're afraid of getting put there, well, the more mail I have the less likely I am to be bitter at such questions. So please, give me a reason to keep putting effort into this, because right now I've got precious little.

In any event, here are today's four letters that people could be bothered to send.




L E T T E R S
Belated FFIIIery


Hi Andrew. Actually, I sent this on Friday, but I think I made a mistake in writing the address, so I decided to try again. If you already got this, then nevermind!^^;

With regard to your prompt, the new FFIII screenshots have me very excited! Nevermind that I already have a backlog of games to play due to a waaaaayyyy too busy first semester of senior year in college, and that I don't have a Nintendo DS...

First off, it's the first time we've ever had a chance to play FFIII in English, and I'm anxious to finally be able to say I've played every Final Fantasy. Beyond that, the changes look absolutely incredible. Actually, I think it looks like they might have made one or two of the "Onion Kids" girls, which I think would be a nice way to balance out the cast (as opposed to the all-male original) even if they have the personalities of styrofoam (sp?) blocks like FFI's cast, but then again, maybe they decided to add in a bit more of a story or even give the characters names, which would be an intriguing addition in itself. Looking at the scenery, it makes me wonder if they added a bunch of areas to the original, or if it is largely the same but in 3D? I'd imagine they've added SOMETHING, I'm just curious as to how much.
ANDREW


I'm not sure what they've added, but what was in those screen areas looked very much like the game's opening dungeon and town. The dungeon is a cave that the Onion Kids fall into, which contains a Crystal temple and a very nasty turtle. The town, meanwhile, is their hometown, so one would hope that a little backstory has been added in here, if only for the sake of modern conventions.

The only thing that kinda disappoints me is that they aren't going all-out like this for the SECOND remakes of FFs IV, V, and VI, which I think is a shame. However, I do understand that it takes a LOT more effort to do a ground-up remake than a rerelease with some added content, so I guess I can't really blame Squeenix, and should be grateful that I at least will finally be able to get to play FFIII. As much as I wish I could have played II and III on the NES back in the day, it's most certainly better late than never! (although if I had a choice, I'd probably rather have an SNESized FFIII on GBA and a PSXized FFVI on DS. Yes, I still say "PSX"). Speaking of FFII, I wonder why they didn't include III in FF Origins? I mean, it's not like it would take up a ton of memory or be THAT much more work, would it? Other than separating III to milk it for more money (which it didn't look like they would do at the time), can you think of any compelling reason to have not simply made Origins into an oh-so-nice Final Fantasy NES collection?
ANDREW


I'm honestly not too sure why this wasn't done, but I can make a couple of guesses. First off, people were pretty willing to pay the sticker price for just two games in each of Square's previous North American compilations, so there was no real incentive to sweeten the pot with a third. Secondly, I'm not really sure S-E itself knew what exactly was going to happen with the FF3 remake, and so its uncertainty kept it from being included. Finally, FFIII really is a much bigger, more complex game than either I or II, so while I have no doubt that space limitations were not a concern, it did represent a lot more work (and who knows, perhaps Nintendo was in there muddying up the waters, trying to ensure that FFIII was a DS exclusive.)

Well, anyway, I'm off to go squander my fall break on catching up on RPGs like Xenosaga Episode II and Suikoden IV... and maybe start one of my research papers if I get to feeling like being responsible.

-Molly


ANDREW


Oh, Molly... Responsibility is for suckers! Thank you for your letter, in any event.


And now, fright


I AM EVILLLLLLLLL. I EAT GRAPES AND BERRIES AND NUTS AND SHEEP. THE SHEEP BLEED ON MY NIKES. AND THEN I DIP MY NAKED TOE INTO THE POOL ONLY TO BE PUSHED IN FROM BEHIND AND DROWN A SHALLOW DEATH IN THE 2FOOT POOL. OHNOS TO ME.

ARE YOU REALLY NWASH IN DISGUISE?
ANDREW

Quite frankly yes. As a cunning ploy, I have been Nwash all these years, lurking behind the scenes, pretending to be Andrew until the time was right and i could get my true self hired. Speaking of which, Nwash has been hired by RPGamer. He is currently working on an undisclosed project of doom. which will be revealed just as soon as we get all the details ironed out. For now, however, you must wait, and maybe get some of that sheep's blood out. I hear nothing gets blood out, but it never hurts to try.

IS THE NEW FIREEMBLEM ON GC ANY GOOD?
ANDREW

Yes, yes it is, though admittedly I have only played it at E3, where the conditions were less than ideal for such a judgment. Nevertheless, it seemed to be a fairly solid T-RPG, and once I figured out the controls (Nintendo's controller diagram, while marginally helpful, failed to outline the more involved aspects of battle, like healing and using spells.) it was a pretty entertaining way to wait for Zach to finish what he was doing so we could scam our way into the Zelda demonstration.

CAN I HAVE SOME SWISS CHOCOLATE FOR HALLOWEEN? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE FOR HALLOWEEN, MY SECRET NINJA LOVER?


ANDREW

I don't think it would be wise to give you chocolate, my dear friend. And, as all good secret ninja lovers must do, I am keeping my plans secret, for now. Let it not be said that I do not follow my fortune cookies to the letter, even years after the fact!



NEVAR


I still don't see how the quotes got from mr. Hironobu to you... or how the Hell you came up with that story.

Onward to my question! I don't have enough time, money, or resources to track down kill and eat (I meen find buy and play) all these old games that Ive been missing out on over the past 13 years. I meen... Im on disk 1 in Final Fantasy VII... thats when you know your behind. So could you help me figure out which games are actually worth playing and which aren't? I don't want crap like "well this game has great music and this one revolutionized the 32 bit world" cause I don't care about music (I like it but if its not good I'll listen to a damn CD) I don't care about graphics (unless its Final Fantasy VIII... that game discusts me) and if the gameplay isn't all that great, the game isn't all that great I don't care how powerfull the story is.

So what'll it be? Do I still have to hunt down Chrono Trigger, Xenogears and Suikoden 2 or am I good?

-Tical
PS: I am not going to quit complaining about not getting my Makai Kingdom poster untill my cries are heard! Editorials take time to writedammit XD.


ANDREW

So.. You want me to identify every good RPG that has come out in the past ten years? Because there are a lot of them, so I'm afraid you're going to have to be a wee bit more specific. Certainly, the three games you have mentioned are good starts, but ten years' worth of missed games is too big a list to adequately place here. Thus, I recommend you grab FFT, Disgaea, and the aforementioned trio, and call me once you've made your way through them all. Trust me, that's only the tip of the iceberg, although admittedly, they're a pretty awesome tip.



Topics of columns past


Photoshopping at that very instant, my head exploded when I read the stupidity on Adobe's website.

If you could photoshop a game and add your own unique brand of art into it, what game would you choose? What would you add? Would your photoshop make fun of the president? Who uses 'photoshop' as a noun anyway?

More seriously, if you had the cash, what games would you see Santa bring you this year?

J_Sensei


ANDREW

I think we all know the answer to that one - a lucky noun-user. If I could photoshop a game into glorious somethingsomething, I would probably choose Paladin's Quest, simply because it is so godforsaken ugly that anything would represent an improvement, up to and including a mugshot of good ol' Dubya. Iffin' I had the cash, meanwhile, I would be begging for DDS2, We Love Katamari, Radiata Stories, and of course, Quake IV. Seriously, I haven't been able to even make a dent in this fall's selection, and with my current lack of iPod, Christmas is unlikely to be much of a help in remedying this situation.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Well, that's that. Enjoy your Mattery, and I can only hope that next weekend brings a little more in the way of mail, because four letters does not a tasty column make. That is all.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long does not know who won game one.

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