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ASK ANDREW
Another Triumph! November 3, 2005

Andrew Long - 3:09 EST

I AM GROWING WEARY of the Christmas season starting earlier every damned year. If it gets much more out of hand we may as well just start celebrating the frigging holiday year-round and be done with it. I'm sure the retail people would be happy, at any rate (and by retail people, I mean everyone but the people who actually have to work retail). I just can't understand what gets people all excited about putting up a Christmas tree the first weekend in November, at any rate; 2 or 3 weeks should be the max, says I. Else it just gets kind of ubiquitous and poopy.

In other news, how about that devil Bono? After serving as a coolness sponge for my dear befuddled Prime Minister, he has gone out and snapped up beloved Canadian developer BioWare, as well as some firm that John McCarroll from RPGFan assures us is in fact teh awesome. I just can't help but fear that this means U2 songs in future video games... I mean, I like U2, but I don't really like Bono, at least not the sovereign nation thereof.

So discuss! I wants letters! If that doesn't pique your interest, there's also Mother 3's incipient GBAitude, Oblivion getting poinked back into the middle of next week, figuratively speaking, and of course, Tales of Phantasia somehow making it over here, apparently belying my theory of "if a game doesn't make it to North America, it's crrrap." It's been a newstastic week, in any event, so there's plenty to talk about. Column, energize! Form of fox!




L E T T E R S
A little unfit off the top


http://earthbound.NOT ON MY LAND.net

Anybody mention that yet?? <[?I figure with it being an RPG site and all you guys would either know about this or want to know about this. Awesome EarthBound Remix Project featuring tons of guys from VGMix, OCRemix, OneUp Studios and more. Spread the word, spread the love, and recommend that people use the torrent. It's blazingly fast (over 500kb/sec??) and worth every second of the download. Over two hours of free EarthBound remixes. What's not to love??


ANDREW


You, attempting to use me as shameless publicity. I don't go in for that. Also, anyone that advertises something as "blazingly fast" needs to have something blazingly hot shoved somewhere unpleasant, just so that they can gain a proper appreciation for the adverb. Go away.

To any of my lovely readers who may be feeling deprived of a delightful link right about now: Don't ever say I didn't do nothin' for y'all.



Randomblings


All this remeniscing of this is the best ending because...and this battle system bogged down the game with terrible... There are obvious quality flaws in many games when you think about it. Star Ocean has never had the best battle system, but really a great story. Final Fantasy has really written the book on most of the systems you see out there today anyway. I agree with the cat that said not enough people hail the return of Mana, and alas, finally to a 3D platform. It's needed to be there 2 years ago if you ask me.
ANDREW

Eh. 3D is not the be-all and end all, and if you do a 2D game well, there's no reason it can't succeed; I honestly wish more people would try out stuff like Nintendo's Four Swords, which looked quite pretty with its uberenhanced 2D graphics. The main problem with the Seiken Densetsu series, in my view, is the fact that no game aside from Secret of Mana has really been all that much fun. Oh, I know what all you aghast importerinos are saying - "gasp!" most likely - but I maintain that much of the love that goes to SD3 comes from the forbidden thrill of having imported it. I did so myself. It still didn't make it any good. In any event, Sword of Mana and Legend of Mana were both abundantly mediocre, so there's really not much to recommend to the series beyond Secret of Mana.

Andrew, from one quality control personell to another, do you game with component cables? Or do you RCA? That is my question. Star Ocean 3 looked beautifully smooth in progressive scan. But you have to give props to Nintendo from bein' all high def from day one with Super Mario Sunshine and all, and with at least 43 % of it's games high def, that's pretty good for the old dogs who know what this hobby is all about.
ANDREW

Meh. While component cables do impart some improvement upon the AV side of things, the price most companies charge for them is too ridiculous for me to bother, and the manner in which Best Buy tries to pawn them off on people, combined with Monster's terrible customer service and filthsomely litigious nature (OMG MONSTER DAWT COM YOU HAVE SULLIED OUR HONOUR!1 SECONDHAND CLOTHING STORE IN PODUNK? OH NO YOU DI'INT!) ensure that I will never seek them out.

And last but not least. Have you played Fire Emblem, been playing Fire Emblem? It is a very well done game. One that deserves a high spot in the TRPG hall of fame. Very heart pounding. Losing a character is hard to take at times. But that's what it's all about, is dealing with the loss. You lose part of the story, and gain it in other areas. Everyone needs to go and buy that game, and if they don't have a Cube, go buy one, a memory card, and that game....and a copy of Twin Snakes if you're new to the cube.

That's it my man, peace Drew.
DataIan


ANDREW

Twin Snakes, eh? Never heard of it, I must confess, you'll have to fill me in as to what it is. As for Fire Emblem, it was one of the games I enjoyed most at E3, possibly because I was able to sit on Nintendo's big fuzzy carpet while playing it, at least until event security came over and made me stand up, those bastards. Haven't they ever heard of lazy gamers?



Eh, at least you're not Paine


Andrew,

I was thinking about the new FF GBA remakes/ports/I'mnotsurewhattheyareanymore the other day, and then I started my umpteenth playthrough of FFVI. An urge I find myself unable to fight. I always remember that Evade doesn't matter, and to concentrate on M Evade, and that Dark status really has no effect. Quirky little bugs. But then I wondered what would happen if S-E decided to "fix" these "problems." I'm torn between experiencing a semi-new, "fixed" playthrough, and the fact that nostalgia makes me feel I would be happier with the bugs still intact. For me, they are now part of the FFVI-experience™. But the prospect of a "patched" game is still intriguing. Your thoughts?

-Justin Q


ANDREW

Absolutely. Changes to old games irk me to no end, be it to music that I whistled along to in a certain way, or the addition of stupid sounds a la every Mario remake ever. In my view, if you're gonna remake something, there should be no "making it better" involved. If you wanna revoice the soundtrack or upgrade the graphics or whatever, that's fine by me, but don't go messing around with the story, system, and especially not the music. Nothing made me sadder than to hear the gimpy soundtrack they put in Lunar:SSSC, which completely eliminated some of the most unintentionally funny crap from that game. And without unintentionally funny crap, lemme tell you, it ain't got much.



So you know that first letter? I <3 hypocrisy ^_^


Hi Andrew!

A few years ago a friend of mine loaned me Tecmo's Deception. Basically you're this evil lord of a castle that has to kill all the heroes that come to your castle by setting up traps and monsters. It had it's fair share of faults and certainly hasn't aged very well, nonetheless I still had quite a bit of fun with it. A while after I finished it I saw an announcement for a PS2 Deception title. Even that was a couple years ago. For some reason, it popped into my head again the other day but being somewhat lazy I didn't research what became of it. So of course when I went to gamefaqs today, there was a link to a full review of it. I'd be interested to see what modern graphics and a better translation would do for it (though after reading the review it looks like the better translation didn't happen). I never did play the 2nd or 3rd game in the series. Have you ever had any experiences with any of those games? If so, what did you think?
ANDREW

Apologies, I fear I've been avoiding Tecmo ever since I saw the miserable review for Secret of the Stars in NP. It's not too often you see a miserable review in NP, after all (and it had the unfortunate luck to run alongside a preview for Chrono Trigger, so the "stars" were really aligned against it! HA!)

Oh yeah, the new one is called....Trapt. I honestly thought it was a joke until I opened up the page. Probably the worst name for a game that I've ever seen. Even if it's a great game I don't know if I would ever be able to get over it sharing a name with a band like that. Trapt the band is a great example of why I hate most 'popular' music and also a sure sign that I am in fact getting old.

So now I have ever so gracefully made music the topic. Almost all of my favorite games have excellent music in them as well, sometimes getting stuck in my head for days at a time. Especially boss themes, those are usually my favorites. I never listen to any of my other cds when I play games because I find it rather jarring - a game's music is a huge part of it's atmosphere to me. However, I also don't collect game soundtracks. I bought the Xenogears soundtrack and while there's no doubt that it's wonderful, I just can't listen to it without having the game in front of me and the controller in my hands. I guess I just can't have one without the other. How important is music to you in games? Any favorites? What kind of "non-game" music do you listen to?

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my questions....more of a ranting this time I guess. Hope you have a good day!

Jeremy


ANDREW

I should mention that señor Zacharamias has just posted the inaugural edition of Soundtrack Station, so if you'd like to track down some more soundtracks, that's a great place to start. Secondly, I have my share of game music and other - currently I'm listening to the FF:CC soundtrack, which, compared with the game, is quite good. As to what I listen to, it varies depending on my mood. I like some rock, some electronic (trance, tech and tech house and the occasional d&b) and if I decide I hate all my music, I go for latin stuff just for kicks. Anyway, thanks for the letter, and I vow to have the greatest day EVAR!



Always room for a Drinkslinger


Andrew,

I'm just sending putting my drop of water in the box.

I justified the expense (after the fact at least) of my X-Box experiment by telling myself that I'll just buy the good Next-box when that comes out and gets cheaper.

In the mean-time, I dusted off my N64 to play Bond, but it wasn't as fun to play without three drunk dudes to join me on a Tuesday night and the Computer didn't seem to be quite as befuddled as said dudes when considering the best way to defeat a ducking Oddjob. Ah, childhood memories.

So I managed to score a copy of Ogre Battle 64. As one of the few (but loyal) fans of the original, and a fan of the two subsequent Tactics Ogre games and FFT, I've become quite taken with it.

I'm under the impression that Enix or Square-Enix or Square bought the rights and that Square-Enix is current owner of those rights. I'm also aware that the creator and/or team for most or all of those games is/are the mind(s) behind the new Final Fantasy title that seems to have been expected to release about five years ago. I doubt that there has been any scuttlebutt about another Ogre game.

My question is two-part:

1. Can you handicap the chances of another Ogre game coming out, based on the fact that you would surely know more about designers and such and would have read more interviews with these people in which that question may have been addressed? The designers' names would be more than I know, but don't tell me them unless you can translate them into English for me, i.e. Jansusthiro Matsushido becomes Johnny Matsock.
ANDREW

Such handicapping would be perilous business, and were I to engage in it, I would tend to say the chances are low. My impression is that Square glomped the Quest people more to eliminate them as a source of competition than to actually capitalize on the Ogre Battle name, and chances are the members of that studio put work into FFT:A and maybe a Front Mission or two, though I couldn't really back that up with any conclusive evidence. Now that I've said it, however, someone will be sure to tell me if I was right or wrong!

2. Ogre Battle, March of the Black Queen, and Let Us Cling Together are all Queen songs. What Queen song would lend it's name to the next title? I'm hoping for "Ogre Battle: Crash Dive on Mingo City" or "Tactics Ogre: Football Fight.." The latter might at least lend notoriety to the series if only by the outrage caused at Christmas by the erroneous purchaser Grandmums.

Absurdum,
Drinkslinger


ANDREW

I dunno... Ogre Battle: Fat-Bottomed Girls has a certain ring to it ^_~



Unfit for Print


hi im from america and i want to now everything about this game all its secrets and more. i wish u could tell me the date its coming out in brooklyn n.y

P.S: if u can please send me awsome pictures of the game


ANDREW

Once again, you failed to mention the name of whatever worthless game you are talking about. Once again, you have failed English. Once again, I am left to marvel at the stupidity of some people. Once again,



q u i c k i e s


The front page quote is from Ganon in Link to the Past... hopefully this hasn't been answered like 12.5 billion times already.

Yah, that was it, pretty much.

Also, I'm very happy to see that Suikoden V is bringing back the 6 member party. When there are over 100 characters to try out, 4 members in a party just doesn't cut it.

ANDREW:Ah, in fact you are first, and in record time, only an hour or so after it went up! As such, I award you this uber tilde: ~

As for Suiko V, 6 party members is a start, but I remain skeptical. IV was just too quickly churned out.

C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

So get crackin' on that stuffage in the intro. Until tomorrow, I bid you adieu, for the winds are picking up and threaten to nearly frighten me!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long has protested against defunct landmine divisions since 1996.

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