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Q & ABUSE
ANTELOPE DIVERSION
Chapter I: In Which Our Hero is Introduced
ante diem VIII Ides October, A.D. MMVII

Lusipurr - 19:05 GMT

Greetings to you, reader. Welcome to Q&A at RPGamer. I am Lusipurr, and I have been drafted to address your varied and sundry questions.

I have been placed in this predicament because your usual host, the beloved and jovial Sean Kepper, is off stuffing his fat gob with turkey. This is because Canada hasn't got the sense to set their holidays up properly. In the frigid north, Thanksgiving manages to occur before Halloween. When my eventual domination of all the Earth comes to pass, I will remedy this chronological peculiarity.

My supervisors here at RPGamer will probably be so horrified with this column that I will never again be forced to endure this thankless and time-consuming task. Therefore, please direct further correspondance to either Matt or Sean. I don't care which, just don't send them to me.

I will now address your tiresome and annoying questions.




It begins.
Do not copy your partner's work.


Shawn,

What current Japanese-announced titles are you most looking forward to seeing localized and why?

- Macstorm

Lusipurr

What an uninspired question. But wait, there's more!


What are the three RPGs coming out between now and the end of the year that you are looking most forward to? What three non-rpgs are you looking most forward to?

Have a good one!

J Sensei

Lusipurr

Apparently you two fools conspired together to pose your nearly identical questions. I do not normally reward this sort of blatant cheating. However, I note the enclosure of $100 (United States currency), so I will forego the usual declamation of, "Get thee hence!" and give you a brief answer instead. In future, you will not be so gently dealt with.

I would love to see Final Fantasy IV DS localised, but that is 'dead cert'. Mother3 is up there for me, though I am beginning to think Mother games in America are a forlorn hope. In my youth, I signed petitions for the cause, but I have since given up on such vainglorious pursuits. Final Fantasy Dissidia looks fun. I am still disappointed about Venus & Braves.

Between now and the end of the year my attentions are focused on just a handful of titles. I have pre-orders on Final Fantasy Tactics (my favourite game), Beautiful Katamari, Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles, Disgaea Afternoon of Darkness, Mario Galaxy, Final Fantasy XI Wings of the Goddess, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It's a big handful.

All right, I am bored with this question. Next!



Squeenix.


Dear Shawn,

What do you think of the Square-Enix merge years ago? Arguably, many Squaresoft titles, or even Enix titles, have been inofficially ranked as "greatest games of all time". Politics/money aside, do you think it has been a productive change for both companies, in regards to quality of games, or not?

Thanks,

Joe S.

Lusipurr

So this is my next question? Something about a piece of news from years ago? Good heavens, what is with you people? Are you incapable of coming up with something original? Admittedly, when I agreed to do this column, I did not expect the great and the good to contribute their wit, but I also did not expect the sort of inane drivel I have had to cope with thus far. I'm entirely shocked--appalled, even.

But, since you took the time to write in--God only knows why--I suppose I will give you a token reponse. That way, you can go off feeling as though you have accomplished something. I think the Square-Enix merger has had its up and its downs. On the plus side, we are seeing a lot more output and considerably more 'fan-service' in the development of their games. There seems to be more diligent work on translation (though it is debatable whether this is because of the merger or because of general market trends) and localisation. At the same time, it seems there is more fluff. One gets the feeling that more and more they are merely milking their licenses without actually putting in the diligent effort that once created epic games. In short, there are more games, but they are not necessarily excellent or innovative games.

I bet you feel pretty good about yourself now, don't you? Good. Now go away.



Enter JuMeSyn.


Alrightythen Lusipurr, I do believe this is our first instance of conversing. How goes life?

Lusipurr

It would be going much better if this first instance of conversing were not taking place. But I'm not the sort of fellow who complains.


There is a standard question I ask everyone who hosts Q&A, and here it goes: what's your Sega experience? Doesn't have to be RPG-oriented, just lay it all on the table. Coming from someone who owned a Master System and still owns Sega's other big consoles, this is an important subject.

Lusipurr

I cannot believe I am fielding this sort of inane twaddle when I could be out, enjoying the weather, playing croquet on the lawn. No, I have not owned any Sega consoles, at all, ever. This is not a shortage I regret. My NES and SNES were more than sufficient.


Would you like a quick music link?

Lusipurr

No.


Hope so: this is from very near the end of Panzer Dragoon Saga. On the presumption that you've never been able to play it, I thought a little aural sample would be nice.

Lusipurr

I just said no. What are you, blind? Good heavens! You see what they are sending me to work with? How can I be expected to carry on with materials like these?


Actually I'm going to put another link in here. Noriyuki Iwadare turned in some fascinating compositions for Langrisser 2, and this is the ending credits accompaniment. Some of the arranged tracks on this album play oddly compared to the Genesis synth, but this one works pretty well.

Lusipurr

You impossible dolt! You malformed brick! You raving sea-cucumber! Are you even reading this? Are you even paying attention to my protestations of disaffection? I care not about your silly 'digital audio'. I have no need for your favourite excerpts from video game soundtracks. I am trying to listen to Cosi Fan Tutte! I do not want your digitised schizophrenia to invade my listening space! No! No! A thousand times no!


I've got an historical notion for a potential RPG that hasn't been explored, probably thanks to political ramifications: anything versus a Communist government.

Lusipurr

Just when I thought it could not get any worse. Spare me your academic pretensions, please.


Not many people are going to claim that the Soviet Union was a beautiful thing to live under, but China's current government would probably take great offense at any effort to cast Mao Zedong as the bad guy. So would Kim Jong Il, but since North Korea is not an intended market for anything save food aid developers could safely ignore it unless a war resulted. Actually a gigantic list of quite unpleasant characters exists without leaving eastern Europe, with Ceaucescu alone being quite the odious tyrant. I have no initial idea how to translate this into an RPG but the conception seems ponderable.

Lusipurr

You really aren't paying attention, are you? I have an idea for a great RPG. Tell me how you like this one: plucky fellow writes into RPG Q&A column host with nonsensical balderdash. Column host goes berserk and levels plucky fellow's home with an industrial steam-roller. Game ends. I think it has real promise. The longer this goes on, the more promise it seems to have!


Another of my questions that everybody gets to answer: what would it take for you to import? My own importing did not begin with Shining Force III (don't ask me why I played through Seiken Densetsu 3 on the Japanese cartridge, I just did) but Shining Force III's ultimate disrespect by Sega of America impelled me through sheer disbelief and rage to play the rest of the game with or without English text onscreen. What impetus would you require?

Lusipurr

I would require a serious grasp of the language. I am happy to import from Canada, Britain, and Australia, provided I have the hardware on hand. From the far east, though? I think not.


Oh, I guess I'll have to give you another music link. This is the music for Skies of Arcadia's airship once Vyse acquires the Delphinus midway through, with the instruments changing to reflect the six different regions of the world as the tune proceeds. Like/dislike/utter indifference?

Lusipurr

Like/dislike/utter indifference? You cannot be serious. Go on, have a guess.


One more (this the last, I vow). This is the castle of Ninigi in Tengai Makyou Zero. It's a rough place, and Ninigi himself is definitely NOT a pushover. I find the music is rather befitting of the Eastern setting the game takes place in, with an ominous foreboding attached.

Lusipurr

Ominous foreboding, what? This might be useful. I will play it over a loudspeaker system as I approach your domicile in my steam-roller.


I feel as if I should have something more prepared, but honestly I just want to go to bed preparatory to another 5:00 work day. I do hope my contribution was interesting and gave you some pleasant listening; fare thee well.

JuMeSyn

Lusipurr

I want you to go to bed too. As for your hopes--we all have them, but they don't necessarily come to pass. Guess what I'm hoping right now!



And now for something completely different.


Hi Matt!

I like reading your column. Can you guess why?

-Kharamain

Lusipurr

This isn't Matt. But, I bet I can guess why you like reading his column. It's because he pats you on the head and tells you what a nice, special, unique little fellow you are. Can you guess what I think of you? Ha! Ha!



Over-Hyped Gaming in the 21st Century.


Hi Shawners!

Lusipurr

Do not call me Shawners.


So who do you think would win in an ultimate celebrity hero deathnatch: Ness or Cait Sith? Personally, I think it'd be a yo-yo to the head for the win for Ness.

Lusipurr

Cait Sith all the way. If he didn't stomp Ness into paste with a giant moogle hop, he'd crack Ness' head open with a well-timed megaphone strike. And besides, what is PK Flash compared to Knights of the Round?


What do you think is the most underrated or underappreciated RPG out there? Is Quest64 really not as bad as its reputation? Is Final Fantasy Mystic Quest a hidden treasure in Square's goldmine of games?

Conversely, what do you think is the most overrated, overhyped RPG out there? Please note that any of the games that I particularly like are ineligible and their mention will cause me to immediately stop reading your reply, because clearly you would be wrong, and it would be pointless for me to continue reading such nonsense.

Lusipurr

Is that the sort of attitude one should adopt in a public conversation? Surely not. However, I will look past your immoderate language this time. Quest64 and Mystic Quest are both games which have earned the ire of gamers--and rightfully so. There are worse titles, though. I think SaGa Frontier is exceptionally underrated. This seems to be because many people chose Blue's quest first. His quest is probably the most non-linear in the game, and certainly one of the weaker sections of an otherwise decent title.

As for overrated RPGs, I can think of a number of games that were marketed (and then lauded by gamers) as genre-changing paradigms, when in fact they were barely average. Knowing full well that I will inspire the hatred of 95% of the reader base (and not caring one jot!) I think Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the most overrated games in history. I personally don't like the game, I never liked the game, and I regret standing in line for several hours to get my hands on it at midnight. I loaned it away and never even bothered asking for it back. Recently I tried messing around with it again (this time on the Gamecube) to contrast it with Wind Waker (which I enjoyed) and Twilight Princess (which I enjoyed a bit less than Wind Waker). I still don't like it. It's clunky, ugly, and uninspired. For all of the fanboys and fangirls that endlessly praise its 'truly inspired' gameplay, I award it the title of Most Overrated RPG Ever.


At present I do not own any of the current generation of consoles. I figure it's high time I was introduced to the world of 21st century gaming, I have a friend who owes me some money, and I'm assuming he will pay me back before Christmas.

I'm completely out of the loop when it comes to the newer games. I mean, I can't even see the loop, that's how far out of it I am. Seeing as you are considerably closer to the loop, I was wondering if you had any advice or suggestions as to what console would be the best investment for me.. I only really play RPGs, and am partial to games such as those in the Final Fantasy and Suikoden series - games that have strong plots, and decent gameplay and character development. Sound and graphics are secondary to me. I don't care if the character art looks like something a drunk monkey with a box of crayons made, as long as there's a good story behind it.

Ginia

Lusipurr

If you are going specifically for RPGs, the PSP, 360, and DS seem to be the strongest consoles for the present and immediate future. Blue Dragon and Eternal Sonata for the 360 are extremely solid titles which I have enjoyed. The PSP has remakes of Final Fantasy I & II, Valkyrie Profile, Disgaea, and Final Fantasy Tactics, with the anticipated Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core coming soon. The DS has Final Fantasy III & IV DS and a wealth of titles for GBA, as well as the Fire Emblem series which you may want to investigate.

The DS and PSP are comparable in price, and the 360 just experienced a price cut, making it an attractive buy. You should pick up all three, but you might want to begin with the PSP as it will have the most games available in the shortest amount of time for your specific tastes.



QUICKIES

Why do RPGs lack in fairies?
-Sara

Lusipurr
They don't. Link! Listen! Link! Link! Listen!

Although I've never been able to complete an RPG (due to my lack of diligence in levelling-up characters), I have always considered them one of my favorite genres of video games.
-Christina

Lusipurr
You need to pull your socks up and finish a title! I've found that if one does not run from any random battles, extraneous levelling isn't generally necessary. Most games can be finished easily with this method.

State of Emergency 2 is the best RPG ever made.
-Nate

Lusipurr
What sort of puerile claim is that? You, sir, are an idiot.



Finally!

This mundane and tedious task at an end, I can finally pip off to spend my few remaining hours of free time doing something enjoyable. I suppose I should encourage you to send letters to Sean and Matt, but I don't know if I want to inflict you upon them.

Thinking on it, I am here because Matt and Sean are too lazy to be here themselves. That decides it. Send them lots and lots of letters, people. Bombard them with missives; drown them in correspondance. Ask your youngest siblings for their input. Type out your e-mails using your nose. They will thank you for it, I assure you.

Good bye and good riddance,

~Lusipurr



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