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ASK ANDREW
Virus, Dammit... Virus! November 5, 2005

Andrew Long - 5:09 EST

DAMNABLE SQUARE ENIX! No spell name appears safe from its rapacious revisionism! What's next - Ramuh randomly being renamed to Quezacoatl or Ixion? Don't laugh, it could happen! We're through the looking glass here, people! IT'S IN REVELATIONS!

In any event, they'd better keep that virus sound effect if they know what's good for them...




L E T T E R S
Generations of Whatnow?


I saw your site featured a game series with the name of Generation of Chaos for the PS2. I have just recently read an article of the new game in the series coming out for the PSP, and it looks a lot like Dragon Force for the Sega Saturn, one of my favorite games of all time! I tried to locate the games but I could not find them. Where could I buy these 5 Generation of Chaos games at? I checked a couple of Japanese video game dealer websites but to no avil.

Thank you for your time.
Thomas Smith


ANDREW


Generations of Chaos is not yet out in North America, to the best of my knowledge; if you look at our gamepages, you will see that to this date, the series has remained a Japanese exclusive. What you likely saw on our site was news of the title that NISA is preparing to launch upon our shores. It's slated for sometime this February currently, so that will be your easiest means of getting your hands on one of them if import shops have turned up empty. I should warn you, however, that what I saw of it at E3 did not really remind me much of Dragon Force; even Jack Niida, NISA's PR guy of wonder and all-around nice fellow, was sort of at a loss to describe the gameplay.

That said, it looks pretty nifty, so if you like the art style, go crazy; it's not like there are any other T-RPGs for the PSP at the moment.



Zachamerion pads out my inbox


Andrew, It's a curious thing this Bioware 'network' of 'developers'. Now, I consider myself to be one of the few Bioware fanboys on the RPGamer staff (even though Jade Empire was for crap), and having reported roughly ninety percent of all the Neverwinter Nights news we've posted since the games release, it makes me stop to wonder about the future of the sequel; coincidentally, have we heard anything about that lately? And, more specifically, have you ever played the original game to be able to give me your opinion on it?
ANDREW

I have not played the original; that said, I have not heard a single negative comment about it, so if it does indeed allow for the online execution of D&D campaigns, then I can't imagine it being anything but super-great. Also, perhaps I am not the best to comment on this; now is as good a time as any to launch an upcoming wave of hype directed at our good friend Nwashtomel, who in 20 days' time will be premiering a brand new column, The Saving Throw. Nwash will be concentrating on all the P&P stuff that's fit to dish, and so I imagine that maybe he could make room in there for NWN somewhere, hein?

In any event, this "network", as it is being styled, is apparently the monstrous brainchild of the Elevation capital venture firm, a cabal including such stalwarts as a former president of EA and the sovereign nation of Bono. Yes, I know I called him that yesterday; I just can't get enough of saying it.

Also, is it just me or now that Black Isle Studios is defunct, does there seem to be a huge lack of traditional-style PC RPGs coming out? I love Elder Scrolls and Dungeon Siege and all... But a nice turn-based exploration game in the mould of Baldur's Gate would be nice to see again.

~ Zachary 'ASV' Lewis
~ RPGamer Business Manager


ANDREW

Yeah, it's a pity there hasn't really been much in the way of what you're looking for lately, but the PC market seems to be trending hard towards MMO offerings, given the much more robust financial outlook they offer for companies able to pull them off capably. I am sure that his Sovereigntyship will grow interested in cashing in on a new Baldur's Gate eventually, so never fear. You'll get your chance.



Randomblings: no column is complete without 'em!


Hello Matt (or Andrew),

Well, I have a 50/50 track record. My first letter was printed, second was trashed, only to be seen recycled as toilet paper..... Please print this letter! Anyway, onto my letter and questions...

Here is a good question that I asked before, but never received a response....

With FF XII coming out relatively soon in a few months (which I might add I am NOT very much looking forward to) do you think it would be a good idea to re-make FF III (not released in the US) and package it with XII? I think that would be kick-butt awesome! I love the older FFs, so I believe others do as well. Plus, looking at it from SquareEnix's part, they would definitely sell MANY more games.
ANDREW

Hmm. Your logic is broken, my friend. Square Enix will sell an absolute faceload of copies of both FFXII and FFIII, and without even trying, I might add. There is no need for such a bundling because there is already such hype surrounding FFIII that it is assured of becoming one of the NDS's top titles within days of its release, and as for FFXII, if it ever gets through the sticky process of being developed, what do you suppose the chances are of it failing to sell at least 1.5 million copies?

None, that's what, coincidentally the same chance of the package deal you suggest ever coming to pass. Square Enix only bundles games when sales of one are likely to be poor, and I don't see that being the case with either of these.

My next question is actually a pair of suggestions for people to try out: Play Ys: Ark of Napishtim NOW! It is a solid game, albeit a bit easy, but it just... I don't know... gets you hooked! Then, even better, play Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Easily the next Final Fantasy type franchise, and much fresher then most recent games. So, to whomever publishes this letter.... did you enjoy these two games? And why?
ANDREW

I have not played Ys VI, but am assured that it is if not the bee's, then certainly the flea's, knees. As for SH2, it is quite possibly the most marvellous PS2 game I have played, behind of course the inestimable BoF V, which I love indiscriminately. I really must get around to beating SH2 one of these days...

Finally, what is your opinion on the Grandia series thus far? I feel the games are interesting, and play rather well, although not great.

Well, I'll close now, and in closing, I can't wait to buy Dragon Warrior VIII. It looks simply awesome! And if you print this letter, I will send you all four original DW's for NES right away... (if you can wait the 150 years it'll take me to save up...).

Thanks guys! Great columns by the way!

-Greg in Philly


ANDREW

Thanks for the kind words, Gregoire, looks like you're shooting about 50% again! In any event, Grandia is kinda meh, in my view. While its battle system was cannibalized for the purposes of FFX, none of the games are really all that amazing, and the music is nothing to write home about, which in my books takes it down a peg. A WHOLE PEG!



Oh, the disagreements! They are DELICIOUS! FIGHT children, FIGHT! YES, claw and bite!


What's up with that nut saying Star Ocean had a good story and bad battle system? and final fantasy having a good battle system?

It's completely the opposite! The battles in Star Ocean was always fun! ( well except maybe for the gamecube version I don't have that) but the story was medicore at best! While the Final Fantasy have a good story, but the battle system is kind of boring, I mean who doesn't get tired of mashing the attack button in every single battle in a dungeon for a lot of time and after that maybe select the heal button. Now the only fun battles in FF are the boss battles.

So to set things right:
Star Ocean -> Fun Battles -> Medicore story
Final Fantasy-> Medicore Battles ( at best ) -> Fun Story.

Zombie Zwede


ANDREW

Thanks for sharing, Zombie Zwede. Might I humbly inquire as to where your immense authority on all matters comparison derives from? Because all I see here is opinions, and I get the strong feeling that tomorrow I will be posting a letter that goes something like "Zombie Zwede -> DUMMY -> LOLZ". Bear that in mind next time you decide to tout your opinion as canon law.



He takes the flame bait... He splits the defence... SCOOOOORE! UNFIT FOR PRINT!


Wasn't trying to "use you" as free publicity. I thought you bastards would enjoy the project that was done. Ya know, being a goddamned site about RPGs in the first place. The site holds contests for remixed game music, but when I send you a link that was all new game remixes from an RPG, you mock and insult? Maybe if I was charging money it'd be about publicity. I'm trying to spread the word about this project but you're apparently too good for that.

Thanks, dick.


ANDREW

You are most welcome, sugah. You see, there is very little that my cold, shriveled heart can enjoy, and when what little there is comes purveyed by someone with a questionable grasp on civility and an even more tenuous hold on good english, it curls up and turns a little blacker. Suffice it to say, I hate you, I hate your worthless project, and I hope it fails.

Much love!



q u i c k i e s


It's from Zelda: A Link to the Past, said by Ganon gimme my tilde

Arros Raikou

ANDREW:Tsk. Gimme gimme never gets... Don't you know your manners yet? In any event, the tilde you speak of was awarded yesterday, so with all due respect, scaramba!
C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

And that, my friends, is all. Tomorrow, as ever, is open-topic Saturday, so send your love! This FFIV business has me worried, incidentally... If they take out that virus sound, I will seriously destroy them all.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Oh yes, Andrew Long will most certainly destroy them all.

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