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Q & ABUSE
POUNDCAKE TREACHERY
Chapter VII: In Which Christmas is Celebrated Early
2007.12.07

Lusipurr - 18:15 GMT

Once upon a mid-day dreary, whilst I pondered, somewhat bleary
Over many an ancient and forgotten website of gaming lore--
Suddenly, there came a whistling, (I tell you, I was listening)
There were new emails glistening, bristling in my computor.
"Well it's some right nutter," I muttered, "Silly fool, attention-whore!
Only that, and nothing more!"

Ah, somewhat foggily I remember, 'twas in early December
And every single stupid letter written by a callous, dreadful bore.
Eagerly I wished the morrow for to end the pathetic sorrow
Brought on when I sought to borrow--borrow! Sean Kepper's lore.
For the writing of a column rich, full plentiful with lore.
Called Q & A here for evermore.

And the boring, sad, retarded snivelling of each silly, stupid person
Bored me--filled me with fantastic hatred oft felt before;
So that now, to finally shut their lips, I stood with hands upon my hips,
Quickly, then I came to grips with the nonsense at my door.
Told them all what silly, stupid fools they were, and nothing more.
"That's all you are, and nothing more."

Presently, I felt much stronger, enduring them no longer,
"Ass," said I, "or dolt, truly, your departure I'd adore;
But the fact is, I am tired, and I'm hoping to get fired,
So that I'll nevermore be mired in letters I'd rather ignore.
Please depart forthwith, ye varlet!"--I typed on the keyboard.
Silence then, and nothing more.

Full long I waited, fearing; ever more attuned my hearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no column writer ever dared to dream before;
But from the pleasure I derived, when no e-mails had arrived,
I hurriedly high-fived my cat, who in shock rushed out my door.
"Thank heavens they are gone!" I cried to her through open door.
Rejoicing this, and nothing more.

My wrathful lust abated, my gross desire for vengeance sated,
And cheese waiting to be grated 'pon my luncheon-time cracker,
I felt it now was fitting for to abandon idle sitting
Wasting time, frittering, in front of the computer.
So I made my lunch and ate it, and returned to the den once more,
Fearing what I'd see in my inbox from before.

Back into my chair I plopped, knowing I could not be stopped
By department heads and fanboys typing more furiously than before.
Better still, I'd draft a wish list of what I want for Christmas,
A sign, no one could miss this, of that which I hope for.
"A silent, happy Christmas, away from whiny attention-whores"
Thus ends the Lusi-Christmas Special, for you little, dreadful bores!




Feeble Questions
A Feeble Mind


Greetings,

You may remember me. I'm the guy who called FF7 "a masturbatory fan-favorite", and I'd comment about the "coincidental" Editorial defending the game that popped up JUST after my letter was printed, but I'm angry about something else today, so I'll save that rant for another day.

Lusipurr

Nope. Never heard of you.


I have once again found myself at a loss for words at the ignorance displayed at RPGamer. It's...mind blowing.

Lusipurr

I like cheese and cheese with milk!

Milk with cheese and cheese with milk!

And milk, with cheese

And cheese, with milk!


My big issue today with your response to the first letter in Monday's column. Do you realize just how much you sound like a raving Sony fanboy in your posts? Almost every point your brought up was a complete logical fallacy that made you sound like you were doing it to try to justify your purchase of a PS3. Let's run through your argument and point out all the flaws, shall we?

Lusipurr

Yawn. I wasn't here on Monday. Please pass the butter.


"Meh, just take the time to learn these problems and then the fighting won't be needed. It is the same thing with anything else. Have a problem with a tool? Learn to use it better so it isn't a problem. At work when I have a problem with something, I often need to read/work on it on the weekend so that I don't have the issue anymore. But I guess that developers don't see the need to actually learn to work with it rather than complain about it being an obstacle."

The very fact that there ARE problems with trying to develop with the software is the problem! If you're using an inferior, pointlessly complicated and obtuse tool, you can learn to use it well all you like, but it's still going to be a needlessly complicated, inferior and obtuse tool. It's like in Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, where Megaman has a really neat trap with his Megaball that you can play to cause serious damage to the opponent. It's one of Megaman's best moves, and any Megaman player worth his salt needs to know how to do it. However, it's horribly complex, hard to set up, it doesn't work on all characters and in all situations, and even though it's one of the more powerful options Megaman has, it's not anywhere near as useful as some of the basic combos for better characters.

Yes, devs can learn to use the Sony development tools. They DID because PS2 was so prolific that if you didn't develop for it you were losing out on tons of cash money. But it's still a BAD TOOL, and there's absolutely no excuse for it. The moment Sony dropped out of the lead and the PS2 was no longer the market leader, can you blame developers for not wanting to put up with that shit when they can make so much more money using the much easier to develop for 360 and Wii kits? Why spend 30 hours building a Rube Goldberg Machine to make breakfast when you can pour a bowl of cereal in like 10 seconds?

Lusipurr

A British tar is a soaring soul,
As free as a mountain bird,
His energetic fist should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word.

His nose should pant
and his lip should curl,
His cheeks should flame
and his brow should furl,
His bosom should heave
and his heart should glow,
And his fist be ever ready
for a knock-down blow.

His nose should pant
and his lip should curl,
His cheeks should flame
and his brow should furl,
His bosom should heave
and his heart should glow,
And his fist be ever ready
for a knock-down blow.

His eyes should flash with an inborn fire,
His brow with scorn be wrung;
He never should bow down
to a domineering frown,
Or the tang of a tyrant tongue.

His foot should stamp, and his throat should growl,
His hair should twirl, and his face should scowl;
His eyes should flash, and his breast protrude,
And this should be his customary attitude.

His foot should stamp, and his throat should growl,
His hair should twirl, and his face should scowl;
His eyes should flash, and his breast protrude,
And this should be his customary attitude,
His attitude
His attitude
His attitude.


"It doesn't matter even the littlest bit. If it costs one million dollars to make a game for easy system A and two million dollars to make the same game on hard system B, but the sales for B is five times higher than for A, it might just be worth it, right?"

Of course. Nobody disputed that. Did you even read the letter? And that's exactly what happened in the PS2 era. Every developer on the planet hated the PS2 development software, but there were so many PS2's in households that they sucked it up and dealt with it. The issue now is that the PS3 dev software is even MORE needlessly complex and hard to use, but Sony ISN'T the hardware leader anymore. Using your example, they're essentially shelling out the $1 million extra to develop for the system, and only selling a third of what they would on the other systems. And under those conditions, there's no way that Sony can justify their hard to use and difficult tools.

Lusipurr

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DETROIT/PONTIAC MI
940 AM EST FRI DEC 7 2007

MIZ068>070-075-076-082-083-081000-
LIVINGSTON-OAKLAND-MACOMB-WASHTENAW-WAYNE-LENAWEE-MONROE-
940 AM EST FRI DEC 7 2007

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

AREAS OF LIGHT FREEZING DRIZZLE ARE POSSIBLE THIS MORNING ALONG AND NORTH OF M 59. UNTREATED SURFACES COULD RECEIVE A VERY LIGHT COATING OF ICE ON TOP OF THE SNOW FROM EARLIER THIS MORNING.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY

SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE LATE SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY BEFORE PRECIPITATION CHANGES TO A WINTRY MIX THAT WILL LIKELY INCLUDE FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET. MIXED PRECIPITATION WILL CONTINUE INTO SUNDAY NIGHT BEFORE IT TAPERS OFF.

ANOTHER WINTER STORM SYSTEM WILL IMPACT SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY. ALTHOUGH THERE IS A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF UNCERTAINTY WITH THE DETAILS OF THIS STORM...IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BRING MODERATE SNOW ACCUMULATIONS AS WELL AS FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION WILL NOT BE NEEDED TODAY AND TONIGHT...HOWEVER SPOTTERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO REPORT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF ONE INCH OR GREATER TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.


Honestly, I could go on, but I'd just be repeating myself. You keep chanting the mantra of "Learn the tools and it's easy to develop!" when you're talking about people who KNOW how to use the tools! The issue here is that even when you KNOW how to use the tools, it's still pointlessly hard to use them! Honestly, you sound like a whiny Sony fanboy desperately trying to defend his PS3 purchase, and it's really sad.

Oh, and if anyone's reading the newly revived "Currents" section, the first story therein was debunked over a week ago. The story talks about how Nintendo scored a 0/10 on Greenpeace's "Guide to Greener Electronics" scale. If anyone had done their homework before writing that article, they would have found the numerous sources pointing out that Greenpeace used a single webpage for their scoring, and that they gave 0's to anything that said "No comment". And considering their source wasn't exactly official to begin with, the entire thing was dubious from the start. Nintendo and Microsoft actually have solid plans in place for all of those categories, but Greenpeace decided to not research their data so they could cause a big stir over their article. Which it seems was the plan at RPGamer too. Honestly, if a website is going to run a "news" type column, they should do their damn homework.

-Philip the Tomato

Lusipurr



The JMS Strikes Back


Sir Sensei, salutations. Er - I'll have to come up with something different to refer to you by. I already have a friend informally called Sensei (a title he picked up thanks to a masterful Warcraft III match). And if Lusipurr the Libelous gets this letter - he'll have plenty of material to vent his spleen over.

Lusipurr

Libelous!? I speak only the truth!


...as seen through my distorted frame of reality.


Alrighty, I have a couple of standard queries that everyone eventually gets from me. Firstly: your Sega expertise, good sir. Deliver it unto me in whatever array you choose. RPG expertise on the subject is not necessary should it not exist.

The second of my standard queries ought to prompt quite a bit more from you than most I've inquired whereby. As you reviewed Mother 3 I presume that importing titles is a rather common occurrence; please elucidate more of your importing knowledge that I (and whosoever may take interest) might be enlightened.

Lusipurr

Stop asking stupid questions. You already know the answers. Ask something else.


Allrightythen, we've gotten the standard stuff out of the way. Now for a few other things. The topic of reviewing somehow reentered discussion recently; this is something I know a little bit about by now. Speaking for myself I can say that the raw score is a terrible judge of how one would enjoy a game; just because I dig Sakura Wars and scored the games accordingly does not mean that others would agree. I have noticed a tendency in EGM to generally give RPGs a 7-8.5 score on a very frequent basis. On the rare occasions the numbers dip below a 5.5, say, it means something. Gamepro has not entered my consciousness for a long time but I remember a fair number of games that were granted all 5's in their scores. It may have changed in the intervening decade. Now here's something you just might have a clue about, and I'm interested. Is there any inkling of interest from Atlus at bringing Super Robot Wars: Original Generations out in English? It wouldn't prompt me to buy a PS2 but the great time I had with Original Generation 1 and 2 makes me long for this series to get some more exposure outside of Japan. And thanks to the legal mishmash that would result in trying to bring any non-OG titles to the rest of the world, the Original Generations must be the only hope.

Lusipurr

Super Robot Wars? Original Generation? Sakura Wars? Do you play anything worth playing?


I mentioned Sakura Wars in passing, now I mention it again. Could this DS installment make it outside of Japan? I do not pretend to have in-depth knowledge of the approval process for title translation but the fact that Sakura Wars has never been on Nintendo before might make a difference. So long as I'm asking about titles that haven't left Japan, if you have any hidden knowledge on the merits of Madou Monogatari, Farland Saga/Story, the tactical Summon Night games, Live A Live, and/or Surging Aura, please divulge. I do not expect such knowledge despite your considerably greater familiarity with Japan-only titles than many RPGamer staff; I ask simply because it is possible. Jack Thompson? He's a variation on the ambulance-chaser. See all those attorneys on Headline News ads in the morning asking if you or a loved one took this drug or used that product which is currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit? They are of the same ilk as Mr. Thompson, if less successful at it.. Think: does Jack Thompson ever NEED to work again thanks to all the money he has no doubt accrued thanks to his infamy? Very doubtful. Why he continues to work at this anyway bespeaks an ingrained mental chemistry defect that cannot be cured, possibly deriving from his love of infamy or a deep-seated joy at prompting rage in others. I expend little thought upon the man, and shall not do so now. I feel as if I should throw a music link from a game you've never played into the mix... but Galbadia Hotel just froze my browser. So never mind. You'll have to survive. JuMeSyn

Lusipurr

I read your letters every time, and despite trying, I never understand what you are going on about. I'm sure you are on about something, I just wish I knew what it was.

As for you not being able to supply me with tonnes of music links, all I can say is darn.



Off-Sites


As long as uncensored mudslinging is allowed, I'll toss a handful at Gamespot as well. Not only are their reviews generally just bad for all of the reasons mentioned by 7thCircle, the site seems to be constantly playing catch-up. I visit IGN, Gamespot, and RPGamer, in that order, on an almost daily basis, and it is remarkable how long it takes for Gamespot to post reviews for games that IGN (or RPGamer) has had up for weeks. I tend to allow you fine people at RPGamer a longer courtesy period for your reviews, as my impression is that you are a smaller-staffed site, but even you have helped to stoke Gamespot's burgeoning sense of self-aware shittiness. And you did that simply by writing a review for FFXII: Revenant Wings. IGN, per usual, was on top of things and had their review posted the day after the game's release, you had yours up by the 25th, and Gamespot is still too enthralled with Mario Galaxy to even be bothered. What happened?! Did they just MISS it? Is it feasible that a blip that big might not have even registered on their radar?

Also humorous is the fact that Gamespot seems to emulate IGN with condemning regularity- they'll wait for IGN's review, stamp it with almost the same numerical grade, and dilute the language of another, superior reviewer into a reeking avalanche of impersonal Gamespot sludge. On the rare occasion that Gamespot sacks up enough to try and generate some original thought in a timely fashion, they just wind up embarrassing themselves like they did a few weeks ago with Assassin's Creed, which was widely considered the letdown of the holiday season by every critic but Gamespot, who gave it a glowing 9.0. It's easy to picture their triumphant grins melting into concerned frowns as they read other, informed reviews. Too late to take it back, Gamespot. Or maybe you just have crappy taste.

At any rate, I will go ahead and out myself as a staunch defender of IGN. And no, I don't work there. I have found their reviews to be wholly accurate when given the chance to make an assessment (they seem mostly compatible with RPGamer's, in fact), and their writers are capable of being clear, unbiased (or at least candid about it when they are), and often very funny. I don't have a problem with the 10-point review scale, and I actually prefer it to RPGamer's. It seems to leave more room for nuanced evaluation, which is important in an industry flooded with genres offering games of wildly varying quality but nearly identical features--the RPG genre is certainly not exempt from this phenomenon, and may, in fact, be the prime perp (Blue Dragon being the unholy pinnacle of this wearying sameness). True, most readers are only going to shop out of the top half of the scale, but I am still capable of mentally differentiating between a 4.8 game and a 1.2 game, and appreciate the numerical distinction.

I agree wholeheartedly with 7thCircle's contentions about well-written reviews. It's not enough to just love playing Harvest Moon: I Baked Cornbread in your grandfather's dank basement for the fifth time--if you're getting paid, you better know how to f-ing write. At risk of getting my letter/novella deleted and my handle blacklisted, I'm going to briefly turn my Doomgaze on RPGamer. You're like a bipolar hook-up buddy: one second you're yelling at me and making me feel bad about myself, and the next you've got your hand in my pants while I'm driving out of the parking deck. Too much? Some reviews are well-written, grammatically sound, and very informative, while others are so abysmally pockmarked with cliches and linguistic anomalies that I end up not even trusting the opinion of the reviewer. I don't trust a reviewer who tells me that, although a new battle system may SEEM like just a rehash of the tired Active Time Battle system, it's actually revolutionary because it allows you to pimpslap a dragon AND use a potion at the same time! That seems suspect.

Lusipurr

We do indeed have a smaller (unpaid!) staff, and also rather strict rules regulating the amount of effort going into playing a game before it can be reviewed. An MMO, for example, requires no less than 100 hours of play time before it can be reviewed. I should hit that this week with the WotG expansion areas and finally be able to write my review on it.

As for mudslinging, I have no idea if it is allowed. I also do not care. My job is to publish reader letters, so sling on, mate. Sling on.

Thank you for the comments about the site. I have been stomping my feet trying to impose my stylistic will upon the staff, but as of yet have only received the harsh rebuff of my superiors. I strongly believe that when we write our news, reviews, and interviews, there is a high level of journalistic integrity and profressional style which must be adhered to. Blurbs and columns are one thing--news and information is quite another. Sometimes I feel my concerns are written off. "Lusipurr is an academic," they undoubtedly say to each other, "He knows how to write for historical journals, not the web-reading public."

Mayhap this column's success will eventually bring them around to believing I am capable of doing both--and, more importantly, doing both well.

There's nothing wrong with Blue Dragon. It is an excellent example of traditional, classic RPGs--these are not made much anymore, and when they are made, they are made badly. It's nice for us classic fans to have something new (and good) to play. There's not a whole lot of surprise in the storyline of Final Fantasy IV on the fiftieth time through.


Anyway, I don't mean to be a raincloud. Keep doing what you're doing, I love reading Q&A and I do trust your reviews more than the average bear. I still don't understand what SOCK II is, even after Matt explained it to me in Q&A a few months ago, and I wish JuMeSyn would stop writing in about games that no one has ever heard of and will never play, but I'm a big fan and have been for many years.

Great call on Monkey Island for best music. I made the theme song my ringtone a few years ago, back when phones still used MIDI. Before Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin.

RUFiO

Lusipurr

This is quickly becoming my favourite letter of all time. I believe the saying is "Preach on, brotha."

My own favourite piece of music still has not been guessed--but I will mention that it is from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. And no, it is not "I am the Wind".



Words of Wit and Wisdom

Happy Christmas in advance.

I have cautioned Sean Kepper about handing over the column to other people. When he is not around, I am doing my best to wrest control of the Q&A column from his greedy, sweaty hands. With your help, I may be able to defeat him utterly. Then we can celebrate my overlordship of this mighty column. It will become a paradise of my wit and sense, which the uneducated can turn to for edification and erudition as handed down from on high by yours truly.

I'd type a bit more about how great it will be, but surely today's column is sufficient as an example. Get ye gone, rascals!

~Lusipurr



Whinge via e-mail!

Unanswered Letter Backlog: My eyes! The goggles do nothing!




Lusipurr has a wedding to crash.

Nevermore! Nevermore!

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Dec. 05: Sensei

Dec. 03: Sean

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Ding! Dong!

Ding dong merrily on high,
In heav'n the bells are ringing:
Ding dong! verily the sky
Is riv'n with angel singing.
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!

E'en so here below, below,
Let steeple bells be swungen,
And "Io, io, io!"
By priest and people sungen.
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!

Pray you, dutifully prime
Your matin chime, ye ringers;
May you beautifully rime
Your evetime song, ye singers.
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!



My Truly Magnificent and Excellent Editorials

1. Conventions and Gamers
2. Anime, Cosplay, and Gaming
3. The Evolution of Sound
4. ESRB Ratings: Blessing or Curse?
5. Out of Time
6. The Decline and Fall of PC Gaming: Fact or Fiction?



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