First off, I have to apologize about the lateness of the past two days' columns. Between work and school and that ever-naughty, time draining social life junk, I didn't get home to upload until later in the evening both times.

Several people have emailed me with wordy explanations of what makes Warhol's "Marylin x 100" a work of art. Ok, I have nothing against the abstract, and I don't dislike all modern art. I do, however, feel that a piece of artwork should show a level of skill and creativity on the part of the artist that is not found in any common Joe walking down the street. Warhol does not display this in his piece. The paint is completely out of the lines, the silk screens of Monroe's face are often horrible, the pencil lines which should have been erased are left behind, and there's even a huge smudge of ink on the bottom right corner... It's as though Warhol put absolutely no effort into this piece whatsoever. And if all that wasn't enough, he didn't even finish it himself! He delegated the rest of the work out to an apprentice. I simply cannot respect that.

And finally, several people sent me explanations of Elly's weight that ranged from super-scientific to, well, absolutely absurd. I think that Square just wanted her to be super-idealistic female character. But then. maybe it really does have to do with the fact that her "overall mass is comparable to that of the usual person's, but since the world of Xenogears is smaller than our earth, she has less weight". Who knows, eh?
DVD as Opposed to CD
There is one thing that has been bugging me for a while. I've asked a lot of people but they don't know either. So now I ask you. What is the difference between DVD and CD?

Good question. The truth is, pretty much nothing. DVD's are just CD's with added compression, a layering technique for extra data storage, and a better filesystem that allows for more data. Also, the data "pits" are much closer together so more info can be squeezed on. Altogether these tweaks allow DVD to hold on average 6 times as much as a CD, sometimes more, on a single disc.
Not Yet!
Hey Drew. A couple of things have been bothering me, maybe you can help.

1) In Wild ARMs, there is a tower called the "Epitaph Sea." In that tower is a bookshelf. On that bookshelf is a book titled, "Erotica." When you try to open it, it says, "Not Yet!" Can you explain this?
It means you're not old enough to view such rubbish. It also means that the game had some really weird programmers.
2) In Parasite Eve, during the evacuation FMV, a cab screeches to a halt simply because a cop is standing in the way. Since when to Manhattan cab drivers care about human life?
Since Mayor Rudolph "The Negative Reinforcer" Gulianni got elected. Better watch where you hock that loogy while in NYC, bucko!
3) Again, from Parasite Eve. How the heck can Eve survive a direct hit from a nuclear warhead? And shouldn't the radiation effect the as-yet unborn Ultimate Being as well?
She ducked underneath her desk and put her hands abover her head. According to American public schools, that will protect you from anything.
Thank you for your time, The Doughboy

P.S. My sister is an anime freak, but she says that your anime picture looks more attractive than Thor's. Just thought you might want to know.
I speak the language of love.
Hey man,
I had a few questions about some of the new game systems out there.

1. Will PSX2 games work in the original playstation? cause i ain't got no money for a damn near $400 dollar system.
Dude. I try to answer all questions fairly, but let's think about this. If the original Playstation could play the Playstation 2 games, why would Sony have even bothered to make a new system?
2. And do game boy color games work in a classic game boy (the gaint grey one)? again because i'm flat broke with no end of my poorness in sight

Yeah, some of the Gameboy Color games do in fact work on the old black and white Gameboy. Not all of them, though. Some are designed specifically with the Gameboy Color's extra processing power in mind, and thus won't work on the old Gameboy.
You're Disrupting the Class

I've got a little comment I want to give about FMV in response to a letter someone wrote in your column. They said that non-interactive cutscenes were always present in RPGs, and the advent of modern gaming has replaced those scenes with FMV. Therefore, FMV does not detract from gaming since non-interactive scenes didn't. I don't agree with this entirely. I enjoy FMV as much as the next guy, but I think the real thing that replaces the cutscenes of the snes and other systems is realtime scenes. These scenes SHOULD be (and are, mostly) more plentiful then FMV in games . When you see a video come on the screen, it causes a seam between the gameplay and cutscene. With the exception of Square, who has done wonders with seamless FMV, especiually in FF8, most FMV cutscenes don't seem to go with the game, and thus distract the player. I believe with the Next Generation Playstation, this may change. From the technology demos that I've seen, it doesn't seem to be any big task to make FMV quality cutscenes out of real time gameplay. I think when this happens, games will reach new levels of interactivity, far superior to what we have right now. To illustrate, consider Parasite Eve: a great game, but primarily an FMV cornicopia. If they redid this game on the NGPlaystation and did all the FMV in realtime, and THEN added interectivity to the cutscenes (I don't know how, but Square could think of a way), then Parasite Eve would be the kind of game I want to experience. Do you agree with me?

Absolutely. Of all the letters I recieved that were against FMV, every single one of them listed the disruptiveness as their reasoning. Companies use FMV for the more pivotal scenes since up to this point FMV has far exceeded regular in-game graphics. However, with new systems like the Dreamcast and the PSX 2 coming out, FMV will blend in seamlessly with the graphics that are of FMV quality in-game. In fact, since the in-game graphics of these Next Generation systems are so good, I seriously wonder if we'll see much FMV at all on the new systems.
What Have I Been Smoking?
Whoa, whoa, whoa... Baldur's gate not an RPG? What the heck have you been smoking?

Baldur's gate is, IMHO, as close to a 'true' RPG as you can get.. (Yes. I'm calling PnP RPG's "true".. After all, that's how computer RPG's started.. Trying to recreate the PnP RPG experience.)

Baldur's gate is not a console RPG.. Obviously.. It's an RPG along the lines of AD&D (Yes, yes, I know it's a far cry from PnP RPG's, but it's a hell of a lot closer to it than console RPG's are.)

If you're going to start using console RPG's as a base in which to judge all other games on; get your own damn achronym; PnP RPG's were here first.

-Drak, getting annoyed at people forgetting thier roots.
I haven't been smoking anything, I'm high on life, baby! And caffeine. Sweet, sweet caffeine. We must all now take a moment of silence to reflect upon just how much coffee rules.

Okay, time's up. I received several letters stating basically the same thing as this one. Here's my reasoning: First of all, having an RPG battle system doesn't necesseruly make a game an RPG. And, look around at the games RPGamer covers. Although "RPG" can in fact be used (and should be, don't get me wrong) when speaking of pencil and paper RPG's, the RPG's I speak of and the sort of RPG's RPGamer covers are of the console-style variety. And I'm not even going to touch the "what makes a console RPG?" debate over again, so no letters about it, okie dokie?

But nobody put it quite as eloquantly as this man:
How dare you even imply that Baldur's Gate is not a RPG! MUST think retort... Ummm...Errr... All console RPGs are not RPGs! Take that! And that!

-The Red Scare
Go Figure...
Heck, don't feel so weirded out by the inconceivable ages and weights of the XG characters. Now, if you think about it, Citan hasn't even hit 31 yet. (Either 29 or 30, I forget) He's the same age as Sigurd, who (before he was kidnapped by Solaris) was Bart's royal protector. Since Bart is, like, 20, that would've made the Fatima dynasty the stupidest damn family of all time, hiring an average 10-12 year-old boy to protect their hope for the future.

Actually, Bart is 18, which would mean his Guardian was 11 years old. Yeesh.
Playstation 2 Pricing
Dear Drew,
Okie So many things to discuss. First the Playstation 2 will NOT have loading times(maybe some but not bad), for my proof I will compare with the Playstation. The Psx a 4X? CD-ROM drive, Psx2 a 2X(maybe 4) dvd-rom drive(which is equivalent to a ~32X CD drive); Psx 4 MB ram, Psx2 32 MB ram. Also we see a tremendous increase in the bus speed, plus actual graphics processing, all these reasons make it so that load times will be as long as a top-gen custom computer of today. The second issue is the price of the psx 2, I'm guessing we will see it for $350, here are my reasons. Dvd-rom right now are available for under $200; you can get a kit for around $150 (if you look hard enough) which includes the drive, software, and a decoder board. If you don't believe me about the price check out, so with that price in mind expect the price to drop down to $75-100 for a drive alone. Then you have the Ram which goes for under $40, when you add in the drive and CPU/gpu/spu, chipset, interfaces, compatibility with current games/peripherals, then you have around $300-400 so I say $350 or lower. Third in your news report about the Psx2 you didn't put a direct link to the demonstration video(s) Fourth since it is Thursday(normally Thursday Thorsday Madness) I just would like to add that it was snowy on Wednesday, I live in Oregon and that's just wacky to happen in March. Fifth My Playstation totally fubar'd it self, it boots up find, the CD spins up well, but it won't read any psx discs, nor will it read normal CD's, this really sucks cause I just bought Xenogears and was going to start playing it, do you or anyone else know what might be wrong. Sixth I think that's just about enough of my rambling. Catch ya later.

Remember how I said there was a more wordy and technical answer to yesterday's loading time question? Well, here it is. Andrew also makes several good points. New consoles always have amazing specs when announced, sometimes they don't live up to them, but if they didn't have amazing specs, no buzz would be created, and people wouldn't feel the need to leave their current generation console behind for a new one.
You May Already be a Winner!
The title "Here's a map. All the info is there, except for the info that isn't there." is from Earthbound, when the librarian gives you a map.

Looks like we have a winner! Tell him what he's won, Johnny.

Johnny: This lucky young man has won an all-expenses paid trip to your backyard, Drew! Once there he will proceed to mow your lovely lawn and serve you as a slave for the rest of his natural life! But that's not all! He'll also get to clean your room, do your dirty laundry, and fix your car! Yes, Mister Daverd, you are our grand prize winner!

Several men clad in black suits will be pulling up to your home shortly to award you your prize.
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Geraldfiend wants me to know that "Andy Warhol rules your mind with anarchy"...Um, okay. I suppose he controls my digestive system with democracy, huh?
Shinyhat hopes everyone realizes the true power of the PSX 2. The future is now! The PSX 2 will rule us all!Yes, Sony has secretly been plotting with top government officials the world over for the past 50 years to unleash a virus forcing us to play the PSX 2 at least 6 hours daily lest our brains explode.
Drew Stuff

Hope you like today's column. I've not much to say since I got most of my ranting done at the top of the column, so I'll see you guys tomorrow :)
Jeez, this Drew Stuff really blows.

- Drew Cosner

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