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   Disgruntled Goat   

Andrew - August 19 '03- 1:03 Eastern Standard Time

Yoshi's Island is a fiendish game in all its intricacies, and I heartily wish that the past few years hadn't turned me into the completion freak I am today, because it's sucking up all my time needlessly. For those who haven't played this game, you can go through the levels easily enough if you just want to get from point A to point B, but this is missing the whole point of the game. On top of this linear approach, you can also hunt for 20 red coins and 5 flowers, while attempting to avoid getting hit to the extent that you retain 30 stars - each second you spend after getting hit without Mario on your back costs you a star.

Anyhow, as I say, if you've played any Mario games then you'll feel right at home with the control schemes and the general feel of the controls, and the hiding tendencies of Mr. Miyamoto as they relate to special items and such. This works just dandy and will net you about half or three quarters of the required items in any given level. The trouble is, any score below 100% is worthless because you can't get bonus levels without 100s across the board in each of the game's worlds. As a result, getting hit by enemies, far from being the "oh shucks I died" it would rate in most other Mario games becomes a frenzy of swearing and throwing shoes at the screen when the little bastard starts screaming and you see your precious stars leaking away into the sunset.

Now throw in annoying seasonal allergies and you'll see why I'm more than a little bitter. I'll try not to be too irascible, but I never was much on the whole "maturely dealing with things" side of life, so I may just lash out in petty retribution for my inability to sneeze. Either that or I'll just revert to my age old practice of whipping goldenrod with a coat hanger - I have a backhand that would make most pimps weep with jealous inadequacy. And then I would, of course, be forced to steal their bitches, because I'm just that bad. Now, if I could just find that last flower...

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Some crackpot book detailing a crackpot theory on why Moses is Akhenaten
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Yoshi's Island, Castlevania: CotM

 
The Ugly

Hey Andy, (*braces for the sure, quick death*)

Andrew:
What, you thought I was kidding? You're fired!

Do you rent out the staff cactus once in a while? Let me know, I might slip you a C-note(of course there's Canadian conversion, duty, and crap like that so it ends up to be around $2 American dollars :D).

Andrew:
For your miscreant soul, I think a whipping with the staff cactus is all you can ever hope for.

Hmm...so you don't like Andy? Drew is out too...aha! We shall call you Werdna! You could be like that evil sorcerer back in that old, old Wizardry game! Four I think it was, I don't know if anyone but me knows all sorts of crap about old PC RPGs. I think that game had one of the coolest concepts ever, despite its age. The villian you defeat in the first? game comes back to life, and you control him on his quest to gain vengeance against your original party! Tell me that's not a twist someone should put in a game these days.

Andrew:
That's not a twist someone should put in a game these days (you did ask ^^). Also, I have no problem with Drew - that's what my parents call me.

So what do you think of the Game Boy Player? Yay, or nay?

Andrew:
It's in my living room, so even if I were to say nay I'm stuck with it now. Good thing I love it.

As for the topic put forth by you...my first RPG was EarthBound, it introduced me to all those fun things like "leveling" and "eating out of garbage cans"...I love that game. Pure fun wackiness...Nessie, come home.(As in, bring more Mother to North America, dammit!)

Andrew:
I hear there's a sweet fishbone down the alley behind the bowling alley, but you'll have to fight with that mean-ass tabby cat in the wife beater. You know, the one chainsmoking catnip.

And about that twisted character who wants to know who's going to be doing the news....I hate you. No one cares *cries* No one notices *sobs* No one gives a damn anymore *bawls*....*sniff* Cortney, Gabe, and I don't appreciate this. We're starting a newsie army to come beat down this punk. (That's why we need to rent the staff cactus, by the way.) That's about it, but you should beware of EVIL Saturns...they tend to bite...
-Orie "EVIL Saturn" House
Now General of the Newsie Armies
P.S. BAD Andy! Goo Piza!

Andrew:
You'll eat those words, Pizaface! And someone is seriously going to have to explain this whole "EVIL Saturn" business to me.

 
The Disgruntedly Bad, Part 1

That [diatribe which was snipped to shreds] was all directed to the one who wrote in yesterday, not -YOU-. :P You, I like. :P Hell that first line to you was supposed to be removed as well. Sheesh.

Andrew:
I know it was addressed to the guy from before - I just didn't care for the tone of your harangue, nor do I have much interest in posting rants. If you want to cut each other into little pieces, I'll be happy to pass on your email addresses to each other and then you can get some axes and run off into the woods to cut each other into ribbons. I've been looking for something to tie up this Tuesday present for this girl I'm stalking anyway, and human flesh seems creepily appropriate for some reason.

 
The Disgruntledly Bad, Part 2: First Blood

Okay, I'll be honest, because no one else will say it because they don't want to hurt your feeling. I don't either, but I''m just gonna tell it like it is. I realize you're new here and need some time to settle in a "flow" for answering this page's questions, but this page is here for RPGamers who need their Q's A'd or a small rant about something. No big deal if kept into context. But we don't need your long drawn out monologues about Uncle Ernie or whatever, and not every question requires a five paragraph response that touches more on your past life experiences than the answer said writer was looking for. I'm not saying you are incapable of doing the job, you just need to keep more in focus with the subject of this page. We lie our questions answered to the best of the column writers ability and can care less what uncle ernie was doing while you were playing Vagrant Story. All we ask is you keep things in context, and don't be a Google! I have enjoyed this column since it began, and wish to continue doing so. Thank You.

--RabidPGamer

Andrew:
You know, I paused to consider whether you weren't a crackhead after reading this the first time, and the reply I fired off to you privately should probably clue you in as to what conclusions I drew: namely that you're a windy crank with no attention span or grasp of how to scroll past crap you don't want to read. While I do post everything I receive I don't expect everyone to read every single letter, although those who do will no doubt be delighted to find two or three lame running jokes rearing their ugly heads throughout.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you don't like my rants, then by all means - scroll past them. I conceded yesterday, after all, that nobody is likely to care who Ernie Eves is outside of people who live around here, and despite my attempts to make vague generalizations and sweeping overstatements to include each of you, my dear readers, inevitably there will be the few grubby souls who "lie(sic) [their] questions answered to the best of [my] ability." and nothing more.

Seeing as how you're apparently unwilling or unable to operate the scroll button (it's actually quite simple if you try - you drag your mouse over top and "click", a complex operation involving at least one finger, possibly two if you're one of those people who likes to do things with gusto), however, I would just like to point out that I did, in fact, answer every question I have been posed thus far, save those that are a waste of my time. I know that doesn't sound like the nicest thing I could say, and that's deliberate. If you're too lazy or inept to find the answers to such burning questions as "When is Chrono Break coming out?" or "Did FFX get released in North America" or "Will there ever be a rainbow?" then you'll probably just forget what I say here as soon as I finish saying it.

No, I'm not going to answer the inane questions any more than Googleshng or Andrew or any other Q&A author in recent memory was willing to. I've already been over this in my second column, but I'll repeat it here for your benefit: Q&A's function is no longer to serve as a place where such questions can be asked, because realistically, these questions don't make for interesting reading and the majority of people know the answers already and have no interest in seeing the questions asked dozens of times. Q&A now exists because it's nice to have a public forum in which this site's readers can interact with someone who works here (me, in this case), and it also exists to entertain people. While I'm certainly willing to discuss elements of games or answer questions that can't readily be figured out by a quick search through our own archives or elsewhere, I would much rather be involved in discussions that are of interest to the readers of this site as a whole, and I do that in the way I see fit which I would like to think makes it more entertaining than dry, curt responses with all the personality of a mud hut would be.

Yes, I do tend to go on at length, but you know what? By your egocentric logic, everyone must think my feelings are really damned fragile, because thus far nobody else has complained about the things you're harping on. I know this doesn't mean that nobody else is dissatisfied with my style, but I expect that there will be people that dislike me, and hey - if you're one of them, feel free to let me know. I won't melt under your criticism, nor will I really much care unless you have something valid to say, because as I say, I'm a big boy and it'll take more than your squalling to make me cry.

Anyhow, I expect that since this is the sixth paragraph of this reply you've probably lost interest and have gone to chew a hole in your wall out of frustration at being subjected to so many words, but on the off chance you're still here, I have no problem with you not reading this column. I do of course wish to attract as many readers as possible, which is why boobies there will always be some hot cum guzzling thing that will show up on search engines donkey sex contained betwixt yon walls of words, but I also respect your right not to read what I have to say. I will, therefore, once again suggest: if you don't like me, go read John Hummel over at Gameforms. To my knowledge he's the only other daily Q&A host in our neck of the internet, and while he does tend to ramble as much as myself on occasion, you'll be comforted to know that he gets to the point eventually (and he's really much better at it than me).

I guess what I'm saying, in the end, is screw you and you're stuck with me the way I am unless significantly more people complain.

 
The Disgruntledly Evil

Your responses were impressive. Though I am dissapointed with your response to my RS3 question, it was sick and wrong of me to ask a Hybrid Heaven question as that game does suck. Imagining myself dressed up like Sailor Moon made me laugh for five straight minutes so I wont count that response against you either ;P #6 seemed to be a copout but then again, I'm not the Q&A guy ;)

You hit Persona nicely as well as LoZ 2 so thats 2 for RPGamer and 2 for me

2-2 Alright time for round 2. You've forced me to break out the heavy artillery

1. In Eye of the Beholder 2, should I take San-Raal or Amber? Is it even worth resurecting them since it takes precious charges away from the shrine?

Andrew:
San Raal because in the limited quantity of information that exists for this game (and no, I've never heard of it before now), it's the only name out of the two listed, although it has the dubious distinction of being the selection of the person in question strictly because he was unable to import his mage from the first game.

2. I can't seem to get anywhere at all in the beginning of RoboTrek. Do you have a recommended stat distribution for the first robot?

Andrew:
High charge and power are always a good idea, and keeping HP high is useful for preventing robot doom. Failing that, try and get a glitchy copy - apparently a bug exists whereby you open the first treasure chest in the game and get 7500 GP as opposed to the 20-30 it's supposed to contain.

3. What is the correct code to get the extra 'hidden cinema' I've been hearing so much about in Beyond the Beyond?

Andrew:
Down and circle at startup, though why you'd want to see this terrible cinema is beyond me. It was made before FFVII and so the video technology could be charitably described as "garbage". Still, if you like your swordfights in excruciating slow motion and blocky polygon goodness, then this one is for you.

4. Should I use Knights or Berserkers in Tactics Ogre. The stronger power of the Berserkers is pretty sexy but Balder swords are pretty nice

Andrew:
Depends on your style, I guess. Knights are solid but boring. Berserkers, on the other hand, are one of those classes you should use if you want to stroke your T-RPG ego. They might not be quite as all-around good, but if you can get away with using them, then dizzamn, you da bomb hizzy. And lest you think I've turned utterly lame on you, I'm saying that with my best approximation of a slowww southern drawl, which isn't very good on account of I've never been further south than Michigan but you can probably imagine the effect it has on ebonics in my fevered imagination.

5. In Mother (it's a far cry from Earthbound for the SNES but ehh) where do I find Hank's Bat? I'm totally lost as to it's location

Andrew:
Why, deep within the mountains of Itoi, my Hindu friend. Apparently, this "Awesome bat" was "personally autographed", if the manual can be trusted. Which it can't, since if I recall correctly, Nintendo likes to sneak things like "you can find monsters in them tool" into manuals, resulting in some very befuddled 9-year olds who want nothing more than to escape Christmas morning mass and play Zelda II but instead get dragged to church anyway thinking longingly of typos and playing Nintendo.

6. What's one of the better monsters to take with me in Azure Dreams?

Andrew:
Analoebas are kind of cool because you can meld them to your own devious purposes with ease, but that's about the best answer I can give you, since I don't know at what point in the game you mean.

7. Is getting Ash to Vandalier in Vandal Hearts *really* worth it?

- Galvatron

In Round Three I have pre SNES RPGs ready to go. *cackles*

Ahh yes and a thousand pardons for getting the subtitles wrong on 'The Adventure of Link'

- Galvatron

Andrew:
Unless you're a glutton for punishment, yes, yes it is worth it. It makes fights much easier, and gives him access to every spell in the game, which is at least passing useful.

As for your disgraceful Zelda faux pas, I suppose I can forgive you... this time.

 
The Delightfully Pretentious

Okay, I've got a question for you that you probably can't answer, but I wanna give a crack at it anyway - what IS it with religious iconography in videogames nowadays? I mean, back in the day, it was confined to a few things only, you know, a Holy here, a Devil there. But nowadays it seems, after the advent of Evangelion and Xenosaga, there's no stop to this whole symbology! I think if you wanna make a point, you have to do OVERT religious symbols, but then that would probably alienate too many people. And of course, by "overt," I mean using the actual people from the bible. And not have it Bible Adventures. Although throwing Baby Jesus into pits is DAMNED fun.

Andrew:
I think you just finished your first Philosophy 101 lecture and came away brimming with useless information. Let me tell you something about Philosophy 101: the only reason it exists is to make you sleep, unless you're that one person in a million who enjoys saddling up his vocabulary and giving people the world over delightful mental complexes which drive them to anything from suicide to the construction of ghoulish war machines.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I do, in fact, think I can answer your question. A lot of religious symbolism and crap is in Japanese videogames nowadays because Japanese culture, just as North American culture, is fond of iconography, and the extent to which this is the case is just a little more shallow in the cases of the two titles you've mentioned there. Evangelion, incidentally, doesn't really have a hell of a lot to do with religion. If you actually watch it carefully instead of just keying in on terms like "angel" and "spear of Longinus" and "Tokyo 2" and then jumping straight to "By Jove! They're trying to get religious on my ass!" consider instead other themes present in the show, like how the story might relate to traditional roles in the Japanese family and their effects on children which I've seen a fairly convincing essay on that's available somewhere or other online. Then perhaps it may dawn upon you that the religious bollocks is really so much fluff tossed in to make people like yourself feel enormously satisfied with their cursory examination of symbolism, rather than stopping to consider what sorts of actual imagery may be at work.

In my view, the inclusion of the Judeo-Christian iconography is basically just there because it looks cool and seems deep, without actually necessarily being either. I mean, does the subtitle of Xenosaga really mean anything beyond "Hey guys! Look at me, I read Nietzsche, now you can tell all your friends that you did too!"? For that matter, are there more than five people who study Philosophy for any other reason? Yeah, it might impress the first-year chicks but beyond a few meaningless flings, you have to step back and consider whether someone who stares at you with a deep-thinkingly deep thinking expression on their deep-thinking face is really worth your time when every ounce of their mental effort is straining to put together deep statements like "Hume is really thought-provoking" or "What does that really mean, though?" I mean, I don't object to people expanding their mental horizons, but most of the time it tends to end up in disaster, from what I can see.

Yes, this is why I'll never get a girlfriend. Or maybe I'm just overly cynical. Who can say?

As for philosophy, I really do like a good dose of philosophy in videogames, but it all seems to stem from the same Final Fantasy-driven roots. I dunno. The last game I played that really took my brain for a loop as far as the way of thinking is Metal Gear Solid 2: The Sons of Liberty. What do you think? What's the last game you played that really screwed you one in the head?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about being able to PLAY games and simply enjoy them as games, but sometimes, an RPG that can treat you to the same though-provoking stimuli that a good book can is worth more than its weight in gold. There's been a SIGNIFICANT lack of that recently, though. I dunno, maybe I'm missing something. Last time I got the inclination to deeply delve into an RPG was Vagrant Story. It was just fun to try to figure out what the hell was going on. And it was also fun to take some of the philosophy from that and look at it.

But hey, if you can think of any recent additions to the gaming pool that really drew you in on an intellectual level, by all means, share!

-Kev

Andrew:
Hate to break it to you, Kevvers, but as long as sapwads like Sakaguchi are involved in gamemaking decisions, the deepest thinking you're likely to encounter is "Gee, death is sad" or "racism is bad" or "if we work together, we can accomplish anything!" Yes, take heart- I too am an intellectual snob, but unlike you, I have standards. I mean, come on. Vagrant Story? I know the philosophical implications of which crate you can push around and why are absolutely earth-shattering, but the most frustrating mental puzzle I took away from that steaming road apple was the perplexing question of how anyone could have thought that battle system was a good idea.

If you'd like my advice, at any rate, it would be this: drop Philosophy. It'll do you good in the long run, and maybe you'll even take up a useful occupation someday. Don't stop thinking deep thoughts, of course, but try and avoid the ones that really aren't worth thinking about. They make my teeth hurt, unless that's just Mr. Gingivitis telling me I need to floss more regularly.

 
The Disgruntedly Bad, Part 1

Kweh!

1. I'm wondering if you know any RPG that has a more "adult" setting. Most RPG's nowadays tend to concentrate on teenage themes and content. The only RPG I've played recently that has anything similar to adult content the was Parasite Eve series, and that was a few years ago. If they DID make a adult-oriented RPG, would you play? I've actually never played an RPG with ridiculous violence, nudity and/or with anything "sexual" in nature, much less one with an Adult-Only rating.

Andrew:
The only adult-oriented games that come out of Japan currently tend to deal with tentacle rape, so I'm not so sure the mainstream North American RPG market is ready for that sort of thing, nor am I particularly eager to delve into said genre. Besides, most RPGs have some adult characters - I mean, technically speaking, Yuffie and Red were the only real adolescents in FFVII. Everyone else was legal.

2. Have you played Chaos Legion yet? Every site I've seen that's reviewed it says it sucks. Gamespot gave it a 5 I think. They say it was too easy and the graphics are bad. I've been planning to get it for a while, but I'm trying to rate those revies before I go out to get it.

Andrew:
Haven't played it myself, although someone hereabouts is working feverishly to get a review finished. At least, it better be feverishly, or else I'll keep getting questions about it that I won't be able to answer, since I lack the requisite PS2 to play it.

3. Why is it that the site needs a Music Curator? Is guifa leaving? I had the urge to apply myself, but the fact is I'm nearly tone deaf. I listen to rock and metal myself, but the only thing I have that resembles any talent in music is my voice lessons. Anyway, about having my chance before, I can always try again right? ~_^

Andrew:
You're tone deaf and you sing? I'm glad I don't live anywhere near you... And yes, you can always try again and at this point, I would have been surprised if you hadn't. ¬_¬

4. About the Phantom, I'm really having my doubts about it. For months the only thing they really had at the site was a bunch of rendered shots of the console, and the videos they have up do little to convince me about the supposed power of the console. Of course, I'd only be able to judge when I see the real thing in action when they are SUPPOSED to unveil it at the convention whose name escapes me. I think it could be promising, but the bottom line is that I can't make a rational and fair judgement until I see it.

Andrew:
As far as I can tell, the only thing the people at Infinium Labs are qualifiably good at is making really shiny site art and dragging their feet on actually showing the alleged technological marvel they're still keeping under wraps for no good reason. I'm willing to be judgmental because this has scam written all over it. I wouldn't send them money if you paid me to, and I'd be very wary of the "preorder" campaign since it could just as well turn out to be the "fly-by-night once we have all your money" campaign if Infinium is as dodgy as it leads me to believe it is. I just can't help but think of one of those flowers that looks really pretty right up until the point when it sprouts fangs and eats you.

5. So.... are you like the pope of the Church of Nonestus? How can I join your Church? Does it involve going to your house and performing favors? Does it involve running around naked covered in pesto sauce and motor oil declaring "Nonestus the almighty!" Count me in!

MeoTwister5 -- Gabe "Is probably sober" Ang

Andrew:
Nonestus? I have no idea what you're talking about...

 
I probably should have seen this coming when the email address contained the dreaded "@aol.com"

Hello Andrew, you can bash me for this all you want, I don't really care as long as I can yell at this moron.

---snip!---

... or rambled on incoherently.

Andrew:
Yup, that was pretty incoherent. Come on, people. I said no ranting, and just because I happen to disagree with someone doesn't mean I'm going to post rants attacking them. If you want to fight, use axes. I need more skin for this package, dammit. It's just four hours until Jenny goes to the gym, and that's prime stalking time.

And now for a question just for the heck of it, Ever play Radical Dreamers? I wish someone had told me playing it was like being in a bad Goosebumps book. *shivers* Unless you like that sort of thing, and in that case you are a strange, strange man. And on my final long winded note, I heard you mention The Phantom yesterday, and this has almost nothing to do with that; but, AFFLECK WAS THE BOMB IN PHANTOMS! -AlbinoMonkeyKing

Andrew:
And it's letters like this that make me want to move to an island and renounce my humanity, cheerfully barking in lunatic joy at the bright moon above for the rest of my days. Since that isn't an option just yet, however, I will plead with you to get help so I don't have to. On that note...

 
If you're suffering from low attention span at this point, you may wish to revisit my scroll button tutorial

Well, technically my first RPG was the original Legend of Zelda, which my father and I used to fight over the NES for... after that, for a while, I didn't really do much gaming, exc. clocking time on a Game Boy when we were travelling. (Er, yeah...I suppose this means I should count the Final Fantasy GB games ^_^; but they got forgotten as soon as we weren't spending hours in a car.) Then I got a Genesis, and wandered into Blockbuster to rent something to see if I wanted to buy it. I was actually renting Sonic 3, which was probably stupid of me seeing as how I've never been good at Sonic games and typically wind up throwing controllers. They had a rent one get one free special, so I picked up Phantasy Star IV. A week later (Hey, I had school...), I had just gotten my ass whupped by Zio in his first unkillable form, and Mom drug me into Blockbuster (clutching the cart and whimpering) to return it. Needless to say, I bought the game. And Shining Force II, which also ate days of my life. Thenceforth I started gaming rather heavily.

The first game that got me to sit up slack-jawed for over 24 hours without really leaving my room (I fetched food, that was about it...my parrot learned to unplug the controller during this time) was apparently one of the damn most obscure games made - Panzer Dragoon Saga. (Yes, I got a Saturn instead of a PS and didn't get a PS for a long time...) We pre-ordered it online so it'd arrive when it came out; not only was it barely advertised and acknowledged, but it came out just as the Saturn died, so a lot of people don't even recognize it. *sigh* Sad, too...especially for its day, it had excellent graphics, an atypical storyline, and the battle system and levelling systems for the dragon were pretty involved. (Plus the ability to shift forms in mid-fight was damn cool, and the fact that the spells you got were determined by which forms you flew in most of the time...) It was also completely voice-acted (although they didn't localize the voices - just subtitled it).

Andrew:
You may be gratified to learn that not only did my predecessor have a fondness for the game in question, but one of my best friends also regularly demands I play it.

I played FFVII on the computer - I still didn't have a PS yet. You may point and laugh now, because the computer version was buggy and annoying, and had dialogue changed in a couple places. I have screenshots somewhere of some of the more amusing glitches. (During the plane escape, the graphics and the background weren't timed right, so the soldiers shooting at you were actually standing *ON* the wing of the plane...) ...^_^;

As for old-school vs. new-school and all the biases...I play both. ^_^. I didn't have a problem with FFX; yes, I actually liked it. And before anyone comments on "it was too linear and all cut-scene, nothing but pretty graphics" as the only reason to find it interesting, I recently got utterly bored with Xenosaga (now THERE is not enough game, too much cut-scene...yeeesh...) and have spent a week obsessing over Castlevania:Symphony of the Night and the GBA Castlevanias. I've also been playing the older FF's I never got to because I didn't have an SNES, didn't find Final Fantasy, etc., and y'know what? There's these scenes where the little sprites stand around *talking* and the player doesn't do anything...or something story-scripted happens and the player doesn't control it...and the cut-scenes in modern games are just putting nifty pretty graphics to those scripted areas. Hell, I would like to see an updated, remade version of Phantasy Star I where they actually write enough dialogue to understand what's going on without being familiar with the series, or understand where you're supposed to go next based *just* on what's in the game. As for not enough exploration - that I'll grant with FFX, I would've liked more freedom to run around the map; 'course, most games limit how much of the map you can explore up to certain points, but cutting it off until the end was kinda annoying, and yes, most of the areas weren't as big as in other games. On the other hand, I also don't see a point to something like FF1 where there's huge areas of map that are just there to make you walk longer while running into random encounters; travel time is one thing, but some pity on the player's patience is nice. (And fer gods sakes, I have a special spot in my areas of twitch-fits for the maps in Persona 1. 2 was fine, they actually let you figure out where you were going, and I like the Persona games (RELEASE INNOCENT SIN IN ENGLISH, YOU UNFAIR EVIL ATLUS PEOPLE YOU!!), but Persona 1 had hordes of convoluted, oversized first-person mazes with no automap.)

Is it just me, or is the PS2 hitting a dry spell of RPG's, particularly vaguely traditional ones? I'm usually mostly an RPG player, and I've noticed that in the games I've been buying and watching for lately, the only actual, honest-to-gosh-no-genre-confusion *RPG* was Xenosaga, which I'm tempted to label as an "interactive movie" and not an actual game...I have action games with some RPG-ish elements (Dynasty Warriors, if that counts for anything :P ), and straight action games coming, but (not counting .hack, which I'm not buying the parts of because I can't afford to pay that much for a serial game), there doesn't seem to be much out for a while yet.

-Atolm2000 "ZIM!! You won't get away with this!!" *BLAST* "*cough* You got away with it...But you won't get away with it forever!"

Andrew:
Shh! If people catch onto that whole cutscene thing, the old school vs new school debate might fall apart and then what will we have left? Star Wars vs. Star Trek, that's what. That's an ugly ugly rivalry, and if you ever want to consider yourself anything but a dork, you're well-advised to stay out of it. Fortunately I have no such compunctions, but on the other hand Star Wars and Star Trek both have their ups and their downs, so making a decision is painfully difficult for me. Instead, I recommend Galaxy Quest. Not only is it largely overlooked, it's a pretty good movie if you've ever seen William Shatner in a commercial and wished a piano would fall from the sky and brain him.

 
¬_¬ (Looking out to left field, where this is coming from)

Hey, Andrew.

I'm wondering, have you noticed the overwhelming influx of the "feminazi" sort into the video gaming scene? Lately, it seems like any time I stumble across a female who's into video games, she seems to make sure that everyone around her knows _quite well_ that she's an independant woman...

---(insert the sounds of pleasant ocean music, since I ain't posting this...)---

... I just want to play the damned game.

Capice?

-j

Andrew:
My friend- you're a great guy and all, but I wish you wouldn't let your enjoyment of pissing people off get the better of you so much. I suppose both sides of this argument should be brought up at some point, but I doubt expressing it like this will do your credibility much good, nor is this really the place to do it. Still, far be it for me not to post the eviscerated remains of your letter, since I do, as the white kids say, post everything. Just don't look at me if a certain someone guts you for what remains of this delightful diatribe (although if what I've seen is any indication she's just doing the next best thing and ignoring you completely) because I'm certainly not in the mood to risk my own decapitation by posting it in its entirety.

 
Coincidence? I think not

Hello there sweet thing,

I am terribly sorry that I "ruined Christmas" for you by not keeping up with the ridiculous charade of maintaining Googleshng's identity. It's just that after receiving piles of letters packed with various theories and nonsense about who the slime really is I realized that I'm not as funny as you are, and I can't come up with any quirky little evasive maneuvers like biographical pages of fictional characters and Biblical references. I also realized that Goog him/herself wasn't doing that great a job holding up the veil of mystery, and therefore I wasn't obligated to keep the sinking ship afloat. Next time you decide to employ a running gag to maintain someone's anonymity, would you be so kind as to inform me? ^_^ Had I known ahead of time that we were going to keep the identity concealed, I would have gladly played along. In addition, it would have spared me from reading and responding facetiously to a particularly venomous and idiotic letter from a reader who assumed that Googleshng wanted to remain hidden from the prying eyes of his/her readers, and that I had spoiled the entire thing, when in fact the spoilage was not my fault. ^_^

Contrary to a suggestion from a letter writer yesterday, I am not Googleshng. Out of all the staff members, I am the least likely to masquerade on the internet as a lowly slime. Besides, Googleshng had been working for RPGamer for quite a while before I joined last fall. In addition, I was one of those who filled in for Googleshng while he/she was in Japan. How could I be here if he/she was all the way over there?

Furthermore, you used the word "normalcy" in your column yesterday. That is not a real word. The actual word you are thinking of is "normality." "Normalcy" is a word whose origin is attributed to former president Calvin Coolidge, who made a similar mistake to yours in a speech. Do I need to get out the whip again, Andrew? ^_~

Alethea

Andrew:
Hey, if Calvin Coolidge says "normalcy", then normalcy's good enough for me. Usage is nine tenths of the law where words are concerned anyway, and that one's been around for almost a century, so I think it's paid its dues as ugly slang. This, incidentally, is one of the more surprising facets of linguistics - they're actually willing to consider stuff like "ain't" proper if enough people start using it, which raises the ghoulish spectre of one day finding "a/s/l" and "omg hax0r" in your local Webster's dictionary.

As for the whole Googleshng thang, my apologies for earning you a venemous flame. While I personally enjoy flames since they tend to be poorly written and terribly hilarious, I know everyone doesn't share my cavalier disregard for the feelings of some kid who can't string a sentence together without cementing the various parts of speech together with swear words and random punctuation.

Still, I can't help but think that my assidious attempts to maintain that Googleshng is, in fact, Matlock, should by their very existence be proof of my desire to continue driving the joke into the ground. Then again, I drove fifteen kilometres today to gawk at a housefire, so what do I know?

 
Hmm... I guess I have a regular :D

Hey Andrew,

Actually, the Moonstruck person(girl/guy?), wrote that long rant about me(you know, how I think FF10 is crap, and 7 by the way). Who "is a big fan of the Dragon Warrior series"(which is cool by the way).

Andrew:
So I gather. We're trying to work things out, Moonstruck and I, which we can do just as soon as he sends me what's left of his right knee so I can finish this enchanting bow.

Also, I don't really like what you said about Dragon Warrior 7, Andrew. Dragon Warrior 7 has an awesome story, great gameplay, and if you'd want to find everything in the game, you'd have to spend over 60 - 80 hours to complete everything(and most of it is just storyline, and the game itself). So yeah, it's a long time consuming RPG, but it's a long time consuming "quality" RPG, much like how Xenogears is(just with different gameplay). But I guess I can forgive you for being biased over FF7 and saying DW7 sucks(see, I'm nice).

Andrew:
That's awful kind of you. In fairness, I'm also willing to let your gross oversimplification of DW7 fly, since apparently terrible pacing doesn't seem to faze you at all, whereas I tend to lose interest in an RPG that goes its first four hours without a single fight.

Anyways, I could make a huge rant about how the Lunar series and FF2 sucks, but I don't think I will(see, Moonstruck, I hate Lunar, their just as bad as FF10). The main reason I do hate those games/series, is that you have to level up for hours on end to defeat a boss, or in FF2's matter, to be able to defeat the next group of enemies, which turns the game including its storyline from, less than an hour, to 20-30 hours because of your having to raise stats(talking about FF2 here, Lunar is a bit longer).

So, Andrew, I'm sure people want to know what the first RPG you've played is, as well as what your favorite RPG is also. So what are they?

And are you going to get Disgaea, FFTactics Advance, and or Dragon Warrior 8?

Andrew:
As I've already mentioned, my first proper RPG was Dragon Warrior, while my favorite remains, and probably ever shall, Final Fantasy VI. Final Fantasy II is ungodly punishment and should be burned. I appreciate its contribution to the rest of the series, but that doesn't mean I'm ever going to play through it again.

Finally: Disgaea I'd get if I had a PS2 (this is getting to be a recurring theme!) FFTA I'm going to be all over like a cheap suit the second it comes out, and by the time DW8 rolls around maybe I'll have a PS2. If that is the case, then hell yes would be my reply to your question. See, Ragey McRagerton? I do answer my questions, and when I'm feeling all allergy-stricken and woozy, I even do it with a minimum of fuss. So nyah.

And this... is the end of the story... because my computer froze, and luckily this page still works, because I wouldn't type all this again. So, hoping my computer doesn't crash when I try to send the email.

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Andrew:
Thanks for sharing, kupo.

 
I should probably stop while I'm ahead...

I doth now crave to rant and rave...

The Phantom cannot possibly exist in today's market. From its very moment of conception, it has been doomed to go down in video gaming history as one of those newfangled systems that nobody ever buys, like 3DO or the N-Gage. (Wait...that hasn't been released yet? You'll never see anyone buying it, so it's hard to tell...) Even if the damn thing magically got its act together, released specs, started production, and secured some exclusive third-party titles, the "niche" it attempts to fill doesn't even exist. Console gamers want simplicity; they want to buy games, stick them in their machine, and play. They don't want to have to download rehashed PC games over the internet for a fee. As for PC gamers who might be interested in said games...why bother? They have a PC, which can do everything the Phantom can and more. Saving on the hard drive... who cares? Owning a CD is just as easy, and you can bring it over your friend's house, to boot. It's too expensive for the average consumer, and all its other features are just gimmicks. The company is unheard of, unreliable, secretive, bumbling, whatever whatever whatever. If this thing sells more than ten units worldwide, I'm going to dig my own grave, rip out my innards through my nostrils, and fall, convinced the the human race is forever lost, into the end of my existence.

Onto lighter issues.

About the blackout...oh, wait. That's a darker issue. = D

Atma Weapon? I dunno.

- Feep "Everyone does the quote thing now"

Andrew:
Your dribbly conclusion does my heart proud, my friend. Anyway, yes. The Phantom is, as that movie with those Scottish guys who did a lot of heroin put it, "the dodgiest of scams in a life filled with dodgy scams", assuming it is, in fact a dodgy scam which seems reasonable but probably counts as libel or something so I'd better sprinkle it with as many "seems" and "probablies" and "Scientology? now there's a REAL scam(s)" as I can. If nothing else, Scientology lawyers are apparently more rabid, so at least I can be assured a quick and painful death before I reincarnate on Blisstonia as a fully aware Thetan, having slain all the dragons on the bridge of pyramid scheming. Yes, some bastard at my house left us on a mailing list for Scientology propaganda, so we get newsletters mailed to us monthly all about L. Ron Hubbard and how gratifying it is to blow $100,000 on getting Clear (heck, if I'd paid that much to be "emancipated" I'd want powerful lawyers to dick whoever makes fun of my gullibility too). We've even made a L. Ron collage on my friend's door, which I'm pretty sure he hates bitterly but will be nothing compared to the J. Lo and Ben breakup montage we have planned for another of my roomies. Yes, spite: for my money, the strongest force in the universe.

 
Title: It was late and I was tired medium: HTML table

No Name Buttertarts! Those rock. I sell those, you know. So, what did you do for your outage? TO must be pretty boring in the dark. Anyway, my question.

Andrew:
Actually, I was in the suburbs during the blackout, which was even more tedious. At least there were bars open in Toronto. As for the butter tarts, I never got the chance to find out. Rest assured, they were purchased in the somewhat boonies, though.

I've been thinking about getting a GameCube (you know, because I live in Hicksville, Ontario, and I don't do that haying thing. Buy a new hat.), but my rule for a new system is "Find 5 games that I want for it before considering buying it." I can think of SSBM, Metroid Prime, and Zelda:WW. I can't think of any other ones that I might want, RPG-wise anyway. The Expos suck. I've seen Skies of Arcadia just a little, and am considering it, but I'm not sure. What would you suggest?

-Scar

P.S. I know Mistress Nightshadow's true identity.

Andrew:
First off, accept the fact that the Expos own. Then, take a look at any of Pikmin, SoA (which by all accounts rules), Animal Crossing, or heck, even PSO.

As for MN, there's no real reason to out her real identity at this point, but as I am a spiteful spiteful man, I may inadvertantly blurt something at some point.

 
Inadvertantly scrambled with fourth letter while removing gently (without capping it), editorialist says (5,4)

Andrew the MCMXLVIIth,

First off, a small clarification. For the Trivia Question, I was referring specifically to characters whose names appear in dialogue boxes, as the person speaking.

Secondly, what are your thoughts on 2D games? Do you see a future for them on consoles, or will they have their last hurrah on the GBA? How do you feel about the possibility of their going away? Personally, I think that developers, publishers, and console manufacturers downplay the format. While I don't think there will be any truly revolutionary things done with it anymore, it still has the potential to be used for creative and beautiful games. A fully hand-drawn, detailed, and smoothly animated 2D game would be eagerly accepted by many gamers. Assuming, of course, that the gameplay doesn't suck. I'm sure the current and future consoles are powerful enough to handle such a thing. Ah well, at the least we can hope that cell-shading advances to the point that you can't tell it's 3D...

And lest anyone think I hate 3D, I don't. I would just like to see a viable facet of gaming kept alive and used to keep us all entertained for many years to come.

Bart

Andrew:
I think you and Alex have been talking behind my back, because the conclusion to his latest Japandemonium touches on this selfsame subject, and does so in a pretty logical way. I agree that it would be great to see a new whack of 2D titles with sweet gameplay, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards right now and the PSP could put an end to that forever. Still, we can always hope.

 
Mmm.. only three more weeks till training camp :D

Yo Cast~
You’re smart with hockey, so tell me, who’s going to kick ass in the NHL this upcoming season? Will my Blackhawks again be doomed to suck?

Andrew:
I think it can be safely said that the Colorado Avalanche will steamroll everyone as long as they get a goalie who's halfway decent. Detroit might put up a fight, but in the end any team that can ice Sakic, Forsberg, Selanne, Kariya, Hedjuk and that sixth guy who I can never remember is probably going to be putting up double digits a lot of the time. As for the Blackhawks... Well, Mike Smith is still in charge, and he has this inexplicable attachment to players who aren't quite good. Still, they're up-and-coming, or so I hear, so maybe you'll get lucky and this'll be the year they turn it around.

Oh yeah, I have to plug the Roundtable because I want more people to read it. I also want you readers out there to submit some topics you want to see discussed. We want to make the Roundtable an Interaction section, but to do so we need YOU. So, submit some topics, alright? Yeah, I’m whoring myself out, but I will do what it takes to make the Roundtable succeed. =) Oh yeah…

Do it for Uncle Sam, even if you’re Canadian. ;)
- Michael “Kamikaze” Bischoff, Roundtable Director

Andrew:
There's your daily hit of shamelessness, everyone. Don't say I never did nothing for y'all.



Quickies

Dear Andrew the fool,

I realize I sent my letter of application to be a ruler in Andrew Duff's kingdom but your insolence is no way to treat a ruler of Killer Squirrels and future ruler of the world. I demand an unconditional surrender to me. Here are my demands.
1. All of your video games and systems sent to my castle. (E-mail me when you need my address because I don’t want psychos with delusions of world domination stalking me.)
2. Your Q&A Position
3. An Airship with a captain named Cid.
These are my demands. I expect you to meet them by August 25, 2003 at 5:00 p.m. eastern time.
Lord Karl, Ruler of Killer Squirrels
Anyone who wishes to join me can do so if they wish.

I have a better deal... I give you the finger, and you take your squirrels back from whence they came and think up better things to do with your life, like anything besides raising squirrels will no doubt be.

I just have to ask, what is it with me that you people don't like me? I've tried asking irrelevant questions, doing the html myself, asking relevant questions, wierd subjects, quickies, longies, EVERYTHING!!! And still I have not recieved the fruit of my efforts... my questions are never answered. Oh well, I'm gonna go eat lunch, I do get up every morning just to do this, and I'm never gonna quit, if I run outta questions, I'll ask old ones again.
Arghh... difficulties...

Kristoff of the Fire

I am the Alpha. I am the Omega.

Who are you, and what have you done with my pants?

hey andrew, i was just wondering if you knew anything about a making of a kingdom hearts 2. I was really amazed by the first one so im like going crazy to find out if there will be a part 2.. after seeing the ending of part one i think there should be one.... Thanks, Kevin

Yes, Square Enix and Disney are in negotiations or early development or something or other right now.

Hi Cast...
Will you bash Hoshigami for me? It would really make my day! Also, did Mistress Nightshadow run editorials at some point? If so, what is she up to now?
Vrumugun

I would dearly love to bash Hoshigami, but I've never played it so that seems unfair. Also, I'm about to pass out in my chair, so no dice. Yes, MN was indeed the editorialist hereabouts for a fair length of time. I don't know what she's up to at this point - she fled to lunarnet and never returned my phone calls, which is why I need to step up my stalking regimen, for it is only through stalking that you can let go of the past and embrace new beginnings.

Just got around to reading the weekend Q&A, and the 1990 copyright for KH is probably for FF5, considering that FF5 was where moogles show up, and FF6 came out in 1992. I'm not saying I know this is the reason for the 1990 copyright, but I'm quite certain of the dates mentioned.

Doubtful... Besides the fact that no FF5 characters appeared in KH (moogles or no moogles), your dates are all horribly wrong -FFV came out in 1992 in Japan, and FFVI came out in 1994 in both Japan and North America.

I just want to say...

WOOHOO, IT DIDN'T CRASH.

-andrew- -kupomogli-

You already said that :P

The Final Grumble:

So yeah. If anything I do bothers you, let me know about it - I'm more than willing to make changes to this column if I think it will be for the better, and it's probably in everyone's interests to catch them now when I have fewer than five columns under my belt than a few months down the road when you're all plotting to kill me. Rest assured, I'm not so paranoid as to think that one letter out of 25 represents the opinions of everyone who reads this space but I do like to be as accomodating as possible, so let's talk to each other.

On that note, I throw one final topic to the winds for this week: Star Wars, or Star Trek? As before, the previous topics are fair game, but I'd be interested to hear about this, especially considering both KoTOR and SW:G are both recent releases and might sway some people in either direction regarding George Lucas's bloated money machine (which I still love, sadly).

Oh, for those who sent in trivia answers: check back tomorrow, you won't be disappointed. Still nobody has guessed the title quote, incidentally, so there's tildes up for grabs! Anyway, I sleep now, hoping not to wake up facing various lawsuits or angry associates, both former and current. Seems unlikely, but hope, however misplaced, is a virtue, or so I'm told.

Andrew "Sneezies make my head hurt" Long

Word of Honour: I actually saw that written on an application at work once

Old Issues
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New Issues
  • Restraining orders
  • A brand new cold
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