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Q&ABUSE
Internet Telegraphy
August 16, 2008

8/16 - 1:30 PM CST

CASTLE LUSIPURR

YORKSHIRE

MEAT A RIDDLEY ENCLOSED MY RESPONSES FOR LETTERS STOP LOT OF RUBBISH THIS WEEK STOP WHERE HAVE ALL THE SENSIBLE PEOPLE GONE STOP NOTHING REALLY WORTH MY TIME STOP DO NOT KNOW WHY I BOTHER STOP OH WELL STOP POST AT EARLIEST CONVENIENCE STOP

WILL NOW ANSWER YOUR TIRESOME AND ANNOYING QUESTIONS STOP

Oliver
Oh, dear...

Good eve, RPGamers. Our gravest enemy dear friend Lusipurr WAS supposed to host this week's column, as you were informed a week ago. However, due to complicated matters that he didn't deem necessary to expound upon, he has been called overseas. That's right, he's overseas. Where, exactly? I don't know. Nobody knows. But he's not here.

But not all hope is lost! While cut off from most modern means of communication such as telephone, email, and instant messaging, he was able to contact the RPGamer offices via telegraph. That's right, telegraph. So, working with what I had, I sent him the letters via telegraph, and he sent back his responses in the same way. The result? Er, well, it's slighly less than ideal, I concede. But, uh... we'll work with what we have.





The Letters
Asking for a beating


Good day to you Lusipurr,

As the hot topic is apparently to bug you I have come to do just that. I expect pure loathing and berating from you in response. Do your worst. I demand it.

Firstly I have to say that I would of used the phrase would of if I would of thought of using the phrase would of when I was thinking of what I would of said.

Secondly I must inform you that both Final Fantasy XI and Castlevania suck. That's right suck. Final Fantasy XI was deserving of a negative 11 out of 5. Have I played either Final Fantasy XI or Castlevania? Why no I have not. But as the games clearly suck, that is obviously why I have not played them after all.

Lusipurr

WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY TO WELCOME YOU TO THE COLUMN STOP HOWEVER THAT IS BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY TO SEE YOU STOP INSTEAD I AM EXTRAORDINARILY DISSATISFIED WITH YOUR PRESENCE AND SUGGEST YOU FIND NEAREST PIT TO JUMP INTO STOP YOU ARE CLEARLY A POOP STOP CONCEPTS ABOUT CASTLEVANIA AND FINAL FANTASY ELEVEN HORRIBLY WRONG STOP DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU COULD BE THINKING STOP DERANGED STOP SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION STOP


Oliver

Are you insane, woman? DO NOT INVOKE HIS WRATH!

Okay, so I told everyone to bug him... but I didn't think I'd be around when it happened. My life is now officially at risk...

All right enough of that. On to a new topic....though you probably won't bother to even read it after I dared to besmirch Final Fantasy XI's good name. But I shall continue regardless.

Will you be buying the new Chrono Trigger DS game, despite its seeming unchanging-ness? I probably will, even tough this will be my third copy of Chrono Trigger. Do you think that they will add anything extra to the experience? If it were you, what sort of things would you add? I'd personally like some bonus extra gameplay or a new ending. But that'll probably never happen. I can dream though. Maybe they'll at least package it with some sort of toy.

Speaking of which, what sort of package add-ons do you like (either in-package or a pre-order item)? What do you wish they'd include? Personally I enjoy the useless things, like that Ghaleon punching puppet that came as a pre-order with Lunar 2.

Now that I have given you a chance to vent your frustrations and given you the opportunity to express your thoughts should you have actually read that far, I leave you to other letters.

Half expecting you to be disgustingly nice just to spite me,
S. Reinbach IV

Lusipurr

SHOULD NOT CONTINUE ADDRESSING YOUR WORTHLESS LETTER BUT AM FEELING GENEROUS STOP WILL PURCHASE CHRONO TRIGGER D S STOP ALSO THIRD COPY STOP NOT EXPECTING MANY ADDITIONS STOP WOULD LIKE COMPLETE SOUND TRACK INCLUDED STOP NOT INTERESTED IN FLUFF LIKE PUPPETS STOP ONLY GOOD FOR MENTALLY DEFICIENT PEOPLE STOP BUT YOU KNEW THAT ALREADY STOP NEW ENDING WOULD BE NICE STOP HIGHLY UNLIKELY STOP NOTHING MORE TO SAY TO YOU STOP PIP PIP STOP


Oliver

Gah! Stop scaring away my readers!

Excuse his rudeness, Ms. Reinbach. Please, write again.



Communications Breakdown


Hail Shlusipurr, (sorry, I’m drunk for the moment…) First, thank you for your last column. It cracked me up from start to end. You do realize your back and forth between you two sounded like a married couple, right? You even completed one of MetaRidley’s sentences. However, your talk of rhubarb pie helped me decide on what to get for dessert today. Well done, gentleman, well done. But my God, Lusipurr. I thought you were cultured, but that Orgasmic Rape Simulator line threw me for a loop. When you left the column, what the hell have you been doing to create such a weapon? Seriously, though, to ask a legit question in this letter and save myself, what do you think E3 could do to reinvent itself just like Batman did to become the Dark Knight? In case you’re confused about what I said, back in the 1960’s, the Batman franchise became too unoriginal by trying to copy other gimmicks other comics used at that time like science-fiction. Supposedly, DC Comics was close to killing off the Batman character. So, in response to this danger, they reinvented him to look more contemporary and return him to his detective noir roots. This eventually led to the creation of the source material that helped make the latest Batman movie franchise a multi-million dollar hit.

Lusipurr

WHAT IS ALL THIS STUFF ABOUT PAC MAN STOP PAC MAN NOT AROUND IN SIXTIES STOP YOU ARE CLEARLY CONFUSED STOP NO PAC MAN RHUBARB GAME STOP DOT NOT PIES STOP PAC MAN NOT RAPE SIMULATOR STOP THOSE CHARGES DROPPED STOP THOMPSON DISBARRED STOP


Oliver

...

Now, to explain the current problem with E3, according to the Currents column, the ESA restructured E3 as of last year. They made the new E3 more exclusive and invite only, centering more on industry professionals rather than their potential target audiences whose opinion actually matter more in this case. From the industry perspective, I'd think the ends are more important than the means, since the money that comes in at the end of game development helps cover costs accumulated in creating the game. With this new E3, the ESA threatens to isolate future customers and appear more corporate-cold and unfriendly to bloggers and unprofessionals that reflect the target audience they seek profit from so very badly. In other words, the more they attempt to appear professional to attract industry insiders, the less likely E3 will continue to attract regular-people buzz of gamers like you and me, making it unpopular and unworthy of any media attention.

Lusipurr

DO NOT CARE ABOUT E THREE REORGANIZATION STOP AS LONG AS CONTINUE TO GET PRESS INVITE STOP WE DO SO HA HA STOP IF YOU ARE SHUT OUT TOO BAD STOP WHAT DO I CARE ABOUT PEONS AND BLOGGERS STOP ANSWER NOTHING STOP PROVIDED ANSWER IN CASE YOU COULD NOT FIGURE IT OUT STOP


Oliver

Lusipurr fails to mention the fact that he himself did not receive a press invite to E3 2008. Or E3 2007, 2006, and so on. Honestly, I don't think they'd let him go even if he did manage, through deeds most foul, to acquire an invite. He would likely do no more than sit at the bars and enjoy drinks with little umbrellas.

I did not receive an invite to E3 2008 either, which I admit, was a bit of a disappointment. Mikel and Chris were the only two who went, and they soon found out that they were rather hopelessly outmatched. I imagine we'll be sure to secure more invites next year.

As for E3 itself, I'm impressed at just how well you summed it up. You are absolutely 100% correct. There is nothing wrong with downsizing the event, and reducing the copious amounts of money developers are forced to spend. But the ESA has mishandled E3's downsizing in the most horrible of ways, and now, like you said, it has become a no-never-mind affair. Consumers are being ignored. The media doesn't care. The event isn't generating any excitement, and when the industry's biggest media event is so easily ignored by so many people, something is wrong.

To link the last two paragraphs together, Batman suffered for a time from the opposite of "If it isn’t broke, why fix it?" by adding more to it than necessary. Only by reducing it and reinventing it to the classic pulp-fiction detective-noir comic it was meant to be was it able to become profitable and acceptable again. In the case of E3, it had too much going for it, and this reinvention since 2007 may have taken away what was excessive and luxurious about it, but it also lost the grass-roots regular-people access that is necessary to connect to potential gaming audiences the gaming industry seeks. In trying to fix it to be come a simpler gaming expo, they broke it by making it too simple.

The point of my rant was to ask your opinion (despite how dangerous that is) of what could be done to restore E3 to former glory. So... what could be done?

Lusipurr

AGREE THAT PAC MAN OVERDID IT STOP PAC MAN WORLD VERY DISAPPOINTING STOP HOWEVER REINVENTION AND GOING BACK TO ROOTS VERY PROFITABLE STOP PAC MAN CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION ON XBOX HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL STOP NOT UNDERSTANDING REST OF YOUR DIATRIBE STOP YOU ADMIT YOU ARE DRUNK STOP CAUSE IS KNOWN STOP WRITE AGAIN WHEN NOT INEBRIATED STOP


Oliver

*sighs* There's a reason the telegraph is no longer a commonly used method of communication. My apologies friend, it would seem your letter was garbled. I can't think of any other reason why Lusipurr would choose to start rambling on about Pac-Man in response to your E3 musings.

...

Actually I can, but we shall assume that this is merely the result of a communications failure.

What does E3 need? It needs to let real gamers come to the show. They can have their little press events and such for the first few days, and then let the public in on the last day, or even the last two days. Generate some excitement! Create a buzz! Garner some mainstream media attention! Let the world know that the gaming industry's biggest event is taking place, and that it's worth caring about!

Finally, as a historian intellectual who has managed to land a fiancée, do you have any dating advice for the Girlfriendless? I’m not asking how you met her, nor prying to your personal life. Just some dating advice for the hopelessly hopeless like Metaridley and myself. Please, offer hope for a relationship that can lead to romance to true love.

My God, I hope I'm still allowed to write in this column after all that.

Have a nice day,
BLG

Lusipurr

FOR MY PART COLOSSAL INTELLIGENCE HAS ALWAYS BEEN USEFUL IN OBTAINING ATTENTIONS OF FAIRER SEX STOP FOR YOUR TINY BRAIN GIRLS LIKE SMART GUYS STOP WIT AND CULTURE ALSO NECESSARY STOP ALSO HELPS TO PUSH A STIFF ONE OVER THE LARYNX FIRST STOP YOUNGER GIRLS EASIER TO IMPRESS STOP DRESS WELL STOP NO JEANS OR T SHIRTS STOP CERTAINLY NO ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH STOP THREE PIECE WOOL SUITS SWEATER VESTS PLUS FOURS BOW TIES TUXEDOS PATENT LEATHER SHOES SPATS STOP HELPS TO HAVE LOTS OF MONEY STOP OBVIOUSLY STOP ANY WAY WORKS FOR ME STOP BEST OF LUCK STOP PROBABLY HOPELESS STOP PIP PIP STOP


Oliver

Shawn made a pact with a demon, and with that power, summoned a demonic mate to aid him in his nefarious deeds. I suppose that can be technically considered a "girlfriend," if you get right down to it.

Anyway, here's my advice on dating: DON'T.


Generalizations


Dear Lusipurr [if you end up addressing this],

As an endearing fan of the more traditional turn-based rpg fare, I do believe that this coming squall of rpgs for the various platforms has me in a sad way. I thoroughly enjoyed romping through FFXII as did I also enjoy the likes of similar hybrid affairs in Grandia II (and to a lesser extent III). So it was to my great displeasure that when I looked upon a trailer for Infinite Undiscovery that I noticed the battle system resembled something closer to that awful deluge of Tales games constantly flung at me like so much of the fancy shovleware I regard it to be. The difference between the Tales games and actual shovelware is that Tales has a fanbase. One that likes to play games mislabeled as rpgs, when in reality they're just "action games with restrictions". I enjoy tactical gameplay wherein I can control all or most of the elements on my end of the fight, so Tales' wishy washy ally AI can go off and attempt to eat their elbows for all I care. For those fans of Namco's series, I'm simply using Tales as my example as there are many other real time rpgs that fit the same mold (as well as those that don't). I'm all for advancing turn based gameplay akin to FFXII, and it would seem FFXIII might be doing just that. There's hope for me yet, but I fear the silver lining grows dim as rpgs grow more westernized and action oriented.

Lusipurr

TURN BASED GAMEPLAY MOST EXCELLENT STOP ACTION GAMES DULL AND BORING STOP TALES PREEMINENT AMONG SUCH DROSS STOP MEAT A RIDDLEY LIKELY TO DISAGREE STOP COMPLETE BLOCK HEAD STOP IGNORE HIS COMMENTS STOP YOUR TASTE IN GAMES HIGHLY REGARDED STOP WOULD PREFER ALL GAMES TURN BASED STOP LOST ODYSSEY PINNACLE OF GAMING STOP BLUE DRAGON ALSO FUN STOP INFINITE UNDISCOVERY LOOKS SURE TO DISAPPOINT STOP COULD NOT RECOMMEND PURCHASE STOP SAVE SPENDULIX FOR LAST REMNANT STOP THOROUGHLY EXCITED STOP CANNOT WAIT STOP SQUARE ENIX TIRED OF ME PESTERING THEM DAILY STOP ASSURED RESTRAINING ORDER ONLY A FORMALITY STOP ARMED GUARDS MERELY A PRECAUTION STOP SO THEY SAY STOP


Oliver

Yes, the Tales series DOES have a fanbase, and I happen to be among them! So yes, as Lusipurr predicted, I am disagreeing with you. You don't like action RPGs. That's fine. Lots of other people do, though. And I think it's rather ignorant to write off the action RPG genre as nothing more than "action games with restrictions." That is not true in the least! The AI in the Tales series is occasionally a hindrance, but it's actually quite customizable, and manual commands are easily issued. In reality, the battle systems in those games are top-notch, if you only take the time to learn the ins and outs. It's a lot deeper than it would appear at first. And besides that, the Tales series is merely a drop in the pool of action RPGs. Would you condemn them all?

Lusipurr played approximately two hours of Tales of Symphonia, so he is hardly qualified to speak on the subject. His agreeing with you is worth nothing.

Also, here's my two cents on my favorite rpg of all time: Skies of Arcadia Legends. Great game. Massive potential. Full of cliches and an old battle system with too frequent random encounters? Yes. Then what? The rest, in my book, is gold. And as the ending is more or less open to a sequel, I feel that even a modern retelling of the game (e.g. Xenogears --> Xenosaga) would work very well. The problem, of course lies in who would create this game. Overworks? Sorry, but they were taken out with many other big talents when Sega restructured their internal development studios back in '05. It almost seems that asking for anything of quality from Sega these days is a fools request. Just look at how much they're whoring out dried up old Sonic just to turn a buck.

Ah well, recent endeavors like Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon bolster my hope for this genre. And ones such as Tales of Vesperia have me plunge into despair...ia.

And with that I bid you my fondest fare--oh, pancakes!

-[with pancakes in mouth] Mel

P.S. In regards to the Xenosaga letters you had last week: I fully concour with those appreciative with its story line aspects. A little convoluted? Perhaps. But those whining about lengthy cutscenes need only to introduce themselves to the virtue that is PATIENCE. And if you're plunking down money for a game like this, shouldn't you have this quality to spare? Perhaps not with the likes of CERTAIN GAMES flooding the genre.

Lusipurr

YOUR LETTER HAS GONE AGLEY STOP PITY TOO AS IT BEGAN SO PROMISINGLY STOP WHAT IS ALL THIS RUBBISH ABOUT ARCADIA STOP COMPLETE BILGE STOP RETURNED AFTER TWO DAYS STOP KEPT BEYOND THE BEYOND LONGER STOP CLEARLY JUDGMENT FLAWED STOP HENCE EULOGISTIC REMARKS ABOUT XENOSAGA STOP UTTERLY HOPELESS NOTHING I CAN DO STOP LONG CUTSCENES REQUIRE PATIENCE STOP I HAVE BUT LITTLE STOP SO FEW VIRTUES ANYWAY WHY TROUBLE ABOUT THAT ONE STOP PAN CAKES STOP ARE YOU ILL STOP WHY SO MANY CRACKED PEOPLE WRITING ME LETTERS STOP WHY PAN CAKES STOP WHY XENOSAGA STOP WHY BOTHER READING YOUR LETTERS ANYMORE STOP HAD ENOUGH OF YOU BLIGHTERS NOW STOP TELEGRAPH COSTING ME SMALL FORTUNE STOP GOOD BYE STOP


Oliver

Actually, your letter went agley when you besmirched the good name of the Tales series, but you sealed the deal when you proclaimed Skies of Arcadia to be your favorite RPG. But that's okay! Q&A is meant for dissenting opinions.

And I agree with you 100% about Xenosaga. If you buy a game like Xenosaga you should expect to watch cutscenes. And I can assure you, Xenosaga's cutscenes are more worth your while than many games out there right now.

Enjoy your pancakes Mel, and write again soon!

IN CLOSING

PAC MAN AND PANCAKES STOP WRITERS ALL AS TIGHT AS OWLS IT SEEMS STOP MUST BE SOME SORT OF HOLIDAY STOP SILLY BUGGERS DAY PERHAPS STOP DOUBTLESS OLIVER ALSO FLUSHED TO THE GILLS STOP COLUMN LIKELY TO BE LATE DUE TO HIS EXCESS STOP OH WELL STOP SUPPOSE HE IS USEFUL FOR SOMETHING STOP HOW ELSE WOULD COLUMN GET DONE STOP SUPPOSE I SHOULD BE THANKFUL STOP FOR HIM NOT THE READERS STOP READERS USELESS AS ALWAYS STOP HAD ENOUGH PIPPING OFF STOP GOOD BYE YOU ROTTERS STOP THANK GOD OLIVER WILL BE HERE NEXT WEEK STOP PIP PIP STOP P S PLEASE DO NOT EVER LET OLIVER STOP

Oliver
Well, that was certainly something we've never seen before. But honestly, we must thank Lusipurr for dictating a Q&A alll the way from wherever-he-is. No, I still don't know. But it must be far away. He can only communicate through telegraph. Why else would he use something like a telegraph?

...

Well, in any case, it'll be back to normal next week. Me, and only me. Send a letter if the fancy strikes you. You never know, it could turn up in one of these columns someday!

-Oliver
-Lusipurr



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What I can't wait for:

1. Tales of Vesperia

2. Valkyria Chronicles

3. Infinite Undiscovery

4. Persona 4

5. Prince of Persia



On my Playlist:

1. Fire Emblem

2. Soul Calibur IV

3. NOTHING



Hot Topics:

1. Skies of Arcadia: Hot or Not?

2. Long cutscenes: what say you?

3. Tell him Castlevania sucks!

4. What can be done to right E3's wrongs?

5. What should I have for dinner tonight... (sigh)



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