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   Super Wacky Fun #4  
Andrew P. Bilyk - January 31/February 01 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Okay! Here's my big column... yet it's a day... and then another... late. As you probably know, our site had been experiencing technical difficulties, but now we're back online and good to go. I will warn you though, that when you read this column, mentally replace all "today"s with "day before yesterday"s, "tomorrow"s with "yesterday"s, etc... This was meant to be up a day earlier than it is, and I won't go through fixing time references because I know I'll miss at least one and confuse you all.

I've been looking forward to hosting for quite awhile, and now here I am. My name is Andrew P. Bilyk, and I go by the nick of AegisFlash on RPGamer's IRC channels. I've been working at RPGamer for about 10 months. I started out as a news writer, had a three-month stint as News Director over last summer, and I now run RPGamer's RPGuides section, which should be one of your primary stops when looking for new and updated RPG-related FAQs and walkthroughs.

Digging a bit deeper into that which is myself, I'm a Libra, I'm a big fan of 80's music and disco, I'm a 19-year old sophomore computer science major, and I just happen to be the maraca king. I hope to become a video game programmer, and later game designer, once I get out of college, but for now I'm pretty content playing games and working here at RPGamer. I would continue to say more about myself, but you'll get quite a bit of that by just reading the column.

After all the server confusion, Cheshire Catalyst is up tomorrow. Our guest hosts have been pushed back temporarily, but hopefully you'll see them next week. Any questions mailed to me or Chimerasame since late Tuesday evening need to be resent to Chesh.

P.S. -- Don't forget, if you want to snag a Q&A guest host spot, all you have to do is send JWH a copy of Snatcher or an imported Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Mail your local Q&A guy if you're interested.

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Broadband adapter arrived yesterday, couldn't configure it right. I'll try again today.
I lost my shoe. Have you seen it?
Hey Aegis! I don't really know anything about you except that you do that RPGuides section. Maybe I should check out that section. haven't really been there more than once sorry. hehe.

Well I got a question. I'm nearing the completion of Final Fantasy IX and I need an idea for a new Playstation RPG to get. I'm thinking Lunar 2, Valkyrie Profile... I don't know what else. What are some other good recent RPGs I could try. I'm confused.

Oh, and my Playstation broke recently! I've been having to set it up on its side for the longest time for it to work and now it just doesn't work at all. Oh well. My roommate has a Playstation he never uses so I'm using it now. So... I'm considering getting a Playstation 2 once the semester is over? Think that's a good choice?
Well thanks!

~~Pip~~

Aegis:
Hey hey hey. First off, shame on you for avoiding RPGuides. It may not be as well-known and illustrious a section as this, but it's still cool... it is... it really is...

Well, after a good five minutes of weeping in the corner, I'll start on your first question. As far as RPGs go, Lunar 2 and Valkyrie Profile are both great starting choices. They're both still on my to-play list, so I can't personally comment on either, but I'm shooting for VP first. As far as other recent RPGs go (and I'm assuming PlayStation only), Breath of Fire IV was supposed to be pretty good, Enix's Torneko: the Last Hope I've heard is a quirky yet cool game, you could check out Natsume's Harvest Moon: Back to Nature if you want some farming action, and dependent on how far back you mean by "recent," Chrono Cross, Legend of Mana, and Vanguard Bandits are some pretty cool games if you haven't gotten to them yet. If none of those sound like your kinda thing, check our release list for past PSX games to help you decide.

Yeah, as far as your broken PSX goes, Sony really makes crappy hardware. You've heard Goog complain about it, and now you'll hear me complain about it. I bought a 7001 model, which was the first version of the system that came with the Dual Shock, back when it first came out in 1998 or so. The CD drive started literally falling apart last year, and things have just been going downhill since.

As far as the PS2 being a good choice to get... I'm personally not too hot on it, but it really depends on your taste in games, etc. However, either way, I would personally wait on it for a bit, at least until after E3 this May. You see, most people can only afford one of the three big-time next-gen systems, so I'd advise you to wait and see just what Nintendo and Microsoft have up their consecutive sleeves before you plunk down your cash on a new system. Plus, the longer you wait, the better the chance of a price drop!

 
Phantasy Star Online: actually online tomorrow!
Heyo,

Seeing as PSO is coming out tommorow, (hopefully), I am trying to pick my Race/Class combo before hand and i'm having some trouble doing so.

I have decided to go the Hunter route, as i'm kind of tired of playing a mage-type class in every MMORPG, and the need to just run up and just slash the monsters is slowly invading my brain, but the question is, what race?

The problem is is that the HUcast has the best HP/ATK of the Hunters but no TP whatsoever. The HUmar has a good balance but is giving up that awesome HP/ATK worth it for a handful of Technique Points? Just how importand is magic to the Hunter Class anyway?

While i'm at it, how many Dragon Quest/Warrior games have you played? DQ is a great series and i'm mad that it gets so overlooked because of Square. Some say DQ VI is better than *gasp* FFVI! I haven't played VI yet, but I will...someday. *Looks at The Monument of Unfinished Games(tm)*

*SIGH*

~Raistlin X

Aegis:
First off, just to clarify for everyone: PSO ships today (January 30), but it most probably won't be in stores til tomorrow. With that said, good choice in wanting to become a hunter. After trying out all the types on the import, that's what I stuck with. I'll tell you first off, don't use the HUcast. Androids can't use magic/techniques, and from my personal standpoint, you want them. I wouldn't want to go through the game without a healing spell... then again, that's more of a moot issue if you play online with people, but still. Considering that, I'd recommend to you what I chose myself: HUmar. The human hunters are stronger than the HUnewearl, but they can still use some magic.

Truthfully, I haven't really played any of the DW/DQ games. I bought a used copy of the original Dragon Warrior last semester at Babbages for $4, but I've yet to really play it. I do have quite a bit of respect for the series, though, and I'd love to see it come back to its feet in North America.

 
I don't have to do all the work, ha-HA!
Oh mighty Aegis-san -

1) Have you heard anything of Final Fantasy IV - VI on the Game Boy Advance? I'm really looking forward to them.

2) You know that Square has decided to give the hardcore fans a break and release FFIV and Chrono Trigger on the PS? (Not really a question, but hey?)

Nichabod

Aegis:
I'll let the next letter answer the majority of your first question, cause it's right on subject. However, as far as Square releasing the PlayStation versions of Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger here in North America, that's not for certain yet. As our news guys (who kick major rear, by the way) covered back in December, there's a good chance of the remakes coming out here, but Square has not made any official announcements yet as far as I know.

 
If this does not make sense, you must acquit!
Is it just me or is Nintendo's president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, a lot like my grandpa? He probably doesn't verbally abuse you when you try and help him out but still, he is one crazy arse old guy. Why would he turn down Square's bid to develop for the Game Boy Advance when he knows consumers would eat it up faster than a fat kid at a cannibal convention. It just doesn't make sense. You just can't turn down one of the biggest video game companies. I guess he's still mad about Square ditching the N64...either that or he needs his Depends changed.

Gai Daigoji

Aegis:
Okay, here's the background info: At a business conference on January 22, Square had implied plans to rerelease Final Fantasy games IV, V, and VI (4, 5, and 6 for you non-Romans) on Nintendo's upcoming Game Boy Advance.

However, hopes of the many were crushed earlier today by an interview with Nintendo's president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, who stated "We do not have a contract with Square, and do not plan to even consider a contract in the future." He may not be president of the Big N for too much longer, but while he is, he's not gonna help RPGamers see a Final Fantasy on the GBA.

 
"The Regular Meets the Guest" or "It's a Small World"
Hey (monks sing) A-EGIS (damn not enough syllables) You really should have broken it "AE-GIS," but I guess that's being picky.

You may rembember me from a letter that scared the hell out of you. Since you're at Southwest Missouri State University. I asked if you ran into my ex-girlfriend and you said yes since you were both at some fraternity meeting or another. She said I was crazy and won't talk to me now for just over a year. Now it'd really creep me out if you were dating said person.

Also I noticed when you are home it must be near St. Louis which is in the area where I live. Which part of the region do you live in so I could meet you in the summer, me I live in Fenton. If you live no more than 5 miles or so I'll really freak out by everything. Oh I just have to ask this, the oldest local joke in the book, "what high school did you go to"?

If you need further questions and I really want to know a fellow person who plays RPG's if not even a staffer since I know nobody and have as empty a schedule as Goog's, just ask.

Imperial Mog

Aegis:
This is why I believe in fate, folks, because of all sorts of creepy coincidences. As far as you scaring the "hell" out of me, no, you didn't really, but it was a really weird coincidence that I had actually met your ex on a campus of about 16,000. As far as me dating her, nope, that never happened... but one of my ex-roommates was seeing her for a bit last year, so go figure, eh?

Actually, while I'm from Missouri, I don't live in St. Louis or its "Greater Area." I live about an hour east of Springfield, where I go to college, and I went to the horribly small yet not-really-that-bad Bradleyville High School.

I just now realized that this didn't have to do anything with RPGs, and I could have just as easily replied to you by mail, but I'm not going to delete this after already writing it, and plus, you're a regular. I guess hindsight really is 20/20, like they say. For all you other readers, you can view this as a very toned down wacky reunion like you might see on Springer or something... just minus most of the guests. So enjoy and don't cry. Please.

 
"Everybody's Super Sonic Racing"
Hey, I'm considering getting a Dreamcast - the one that comes with the Smash Pack and all. I have a PSX, and I really enjoyed Bust-a-Groove - both 1 and 2. Is Samba de Amigo comparable to BAG? Is it worth getting, or at least considering to get? Is it playable without the maracas controllers? I know you're the general RPGamer guru on that particular game, so any advice you have would be appreciated.

Ravyn

Aegis:
Hoorah for you. I love my Dreamcast, and the Smash Pack disc, which will be included in a special DC hardware package, contains Phantasy Star 2, Shining Force, Streets of Rage 2, and a lot of other cool Genesis games and more. The disc hasn't been announced for individual sale yet, but I imagine it will be in a matter of time.

As far as Samba de Amigo being comparable to Bust-a-Groove, I haven't played BaG so I can't really make a good comment. I can, however, say that if you like music games at all, you're almost guaranteed to love Samba. I've played Parappa and Space Channel 5, and I love them both, but Samba is my god. It's most definitely worth getting if you ask me... for a bit more info, go read my mini-review that I put up in a past RPGuides (Info Station at the time) update.

The game is certainly playable and enjoyable without the maracas, but the maracas really do make the game just that much better. However, to those who haven't purchased the game yet and would like to, I might recommend that you wait until the next version of the game, Samba de Amigo 2001 as it will be called in North America, is released this spring. It has a new mode, all the original songs and more, and all you lose from the first game is a set of mini-games. Plus, word on the grapevine is that Sega will release more maracas at a friendlier price than $80 a set, so keep your hopes up.

 
All signs point to *your mom*
Hello, O Shield of Zeus (and sometimes Athena),

Since you seem to want questions about the more mysterious consoles, and I want answers, I think we can work out a deal.

As far as PS2 RPGs goes, the only one I'm looking forward to is Suikoden III. Is there any possibility at all that it might get a release on GameCube too? How 'bout Dreamcast? Please say anything other than PS2 or X-Box; I fart in their general directions!

--GoblinKing

Aegis:
I must say I haven't kept up much on the whole Suikoden III situation, however I can tell you with all certainty that it won't come to Dreamcast. I'm sure all of you have heard the rumors/news lately, and software support for the Dreamcast is going to dwindle as the year goes on, most especially third-party support. Things may change if some sort of miraculous Xbox/Dreamcast compatibility announcement is made, but even that wouldn't convince Konami to bring out a Suikoden on the DC.

As far as the GameCube goes, its just too early to tell, considering that Nintendo hasn't even announced their own games yet, but I would really doubt seeing Suikoden III on the GC. Suikoden IV, maybe, if the Cube does well enough, but only time will tell.

Honestly, if it goes anywhere other than the PS2, it would be the Xbox, as much as it probably upsets you to accept that. The Big M is putting 500 million smackeroos behind advertising the system's launch this fall, and for that and many other substantial reasons, I see the Xbox doing pretty well. Then again, though, noone can predict the future, and I may very well be proven wrong.

 
Unleash the fury!!!!!!!!!!!
All hail Lord Bilyk!

Since your low on questions I figured I'd throw a few generic ones into the mix.

1) Who's your favourite character in FF4? Mine has always been Cecil, Lord of all Final Fantasy.

2) What's your favourite piece of VG music? My vote goes to The Prologue. Uematsu is king.

3) How is Southwest Missouri State, I think that's where I remember you saying you went, and what are you majouring in?

There ya go, Andrew. Enough questions to tack a little bit of length on to your column.

Barry

P.S. So, will you tell me about your sweet shirt now?

Aegis:
Greetings oh one that is called Barry. As I told you in person, nice little arrangement of questions. Now, on with the answering.

1) I'm wit'chu. No, I mean it. I'm wit'chu. In saying that, of course, I'm saying that I'm also partial to Cecil. I usually get attached to the "hero," for some reason or another. I'm sure there's some deep psychological methodology behind that, but let's ignore it and move on.

2) Favorite piece of video game music, eh? Oh, gosh, I'm gonna give you a few, cause I really can't decide. The tower theme from the original Phantasy Star, "One Winged Angel" from FF7, the Legend of Zelda theme, the FF4 boss battle theme, and many more that I have to be forgetting fall under my "all-time favorites" category.

3) Yep, that's where I go... SMSU: the college of champions... riiiight. Seriously, though, I do like SMS a lot. I'm here, living every young boy's dream: majoring in computer science, on my way to becoming a video game programmer. The only bad part about the major is the fact that you have to minor in math and nearly minor in physics (only 2 credit hours away from the physics minor), so there's a lot of math and, uh, physics involved... at least I'm almost done with the math; only one more math class and I'm done forever!

Okay, you wanna hear about the shirt, eh? After flying to LA for E3 last year, getting lost at the monstrous LAX airport, and taking a 60 dollar taxi to our hotel, I finally end up meeting many of the RPGamer staff for the first time. As it happened, I was wearing a bright orange and blue, flamboyantly Hawaiian tourist-esque shirt, and I've never heard the end of it.

 
Quickies

The BlasTech DL-44 heavy Blaster Pistol is, for those who don't know, the weapon of choice of one Han Solo.

--scifantasy "RTF*."

Good to know if you ever become a contestant of the upcoming Star Wars-themed edition of the "Regis Flaunts his Hairpiece" comedy hour... er, I mean, you know, that "Millionaire" show.

<insert pointless yet funny quickie here>

<insert witty, insightful, and clever reply here>

Hey, check out this cool site - I discovered it by accident, but wow are the comics funny! http://www.fuzzyfur.net/DSOS/adv/index.shtml

Rock on,
JK

Not only are the comics funny, they're chock full of rich, creamery butter. Seriously, though, the comics are pretty darn cool, and they're RPG-themed. You can't beat that with a wooden stick or a pike filled with Jell-O. Jell-O in a Pike: a miracle of science, endorsed by Bill Cosby himself.

I've played the GBA. For three days. Jealous yet? O:>

Mikel Tidwell, Resident Dragon and Overlord of RPGamer

Everyone likes to egg me on... Bossman Mikel went to Spaceworld last year and got to play all sorts of GBA games before 99.999999999% of the world's population. I'm really dying for my GBA, which I plan to import from Japan on its launch, March 21, along with Mario Advance, F-Zero Advance, and Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. I can't wait.

The Last Laugh:


Doing Q&A was pretty fun. I enjoyed it, I think I did a pretty good job, and I hope you readers agree. I could ramble for a bit more, but it's late, I have class early, and I think I probably rambled enough through the beef of the column. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to check out RPGuides every once in awhile!

Again, one last reminder: you can give away Snatcher or an imported Persona 2: Innocent Sin for a guest host spot, and be sure to send (and resend) mail to Cheshire Catalyst. Cheers!


aegis"Runnin' on empty"@rpgamer.com
"It's a nice day to.... start again. It's a nice day for a.... white wedding."

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