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Andrew:
...so you want me to send you, someone I hardly know, a Pepsi bottle so you can please a very odd relative?

How could I say no? Sure, Iíll email you when I get my hands on one.

Oh, and Iím going to be staying with a family, hopefully. I just wish I knew who they were a little earlier then a day or two before I move in with them...Have I mentioned how excited I am about being able to study in Japan? Because itís like constant puke butterflies in my stomach.

 But I love it because itís so stupid! ...waaaaaait.

I think the name of FF6 end boss theme is Dancing Mad. Too bad that, contrary to FF7 One-Winged Angel end boss theme, no re-orchestrated version of this song has ever been made (as far as I know, at least)

Andrew:
The sheer number of readers who wrote in with the answer is embarrassing. More so when I realized I have a Samba version of said song on my computer. Itís carnival!

Speaking of which... That song playing during the opening video of FF8, Liberi Fatali...*shivers*... It certainely played a huge role in drawing my attention towards this game [Inner voice : as if the single mention of Final Fantasy in the title wasn't enough, you shameless fan-girl you...] despite the somewhat negative reviews I had read.

Andrew:
Regardless of how little I liked the rest of Final Fantasy 8, yes, the opening song and FMV fight scene was wonderful. It was that kind of stuff that made me so excited for the Final Fantasy movie, and while Iíll argue that it wasnít an AWFUL film, it certainly didnít live up to its almost limitless potential. *sob*

Brand names (and favorite developers/artists/teams/whatever).

Trailers (which awaken the silly superficial graphic whore in me) and fun playable demos (giving a good idea of the game's atmosphere).

Previews and reviews (from my personal selection of favorite video game magazines and web sites) mentioning elements I love to see in RPGs ("originality/uniqueness" being one of them... especially when it comes to gameplay. Or setting).

Such are the key factors for me wanting to buy a game. Please note that some of those factors can be in total contradiction sometimes. Which leads to a bizarre collection of video games, mixing both mainstream (even published on our old continent !) and underground (more than often, japanese only...) titles.

Entr0pi3

Andrew:
I find if I havenít decided whether I like a game or not, all these factors help immensely, but if Iíve decided Iím going to buy a game, it gets picked up regardless of what I read about it. Which has led me to defending games like Rhapsody and Tail Concerto despite their flaws as awesome games. Yes, Iím a sucker for cutesy RPGs. ^_^;;

 Ripping off religion for fun and profit!

Hey Andrew,

On the topic of a bible-inspired RPG, it could be possible, given that many RPGs have a good deal of religious inspiration. For instance, "Tales of Phantasia" has a LOT of Norse mythology, and the Estpolis/Lufia games just regurgitate the Hindu theme of reincarnation (i.e. redhead heroes, blue-haired maidens), so yeah, it wouldn't surprise me if I saw one in the future.

-Lord Otterland

Andrew:
Well yes, but all forms of art tend to borrow from each other. Artists usually ends up being influenced by anotherís work. The real test would be to create a game based on the Bible, not just taking stories from it or adding on your own damn twists. I can imagine how hard it would be for the creators not to tack on their own ďartisticĒ interpretations to such a game, and end up ruining it completely. Hehe. Actually, think of the development team. Youíd have to have a few priests, rabbis, historians, etc on hand at all times to make sure you didnít butcher or completely misinterpret things, the staff would have to be highly religious, and even the playtesters would have to have an eye for the religions of the time. And of course, it could be the only game ever to be delayed because the creators kept screaming ďBLASPHEMY!Ē every time they played and breaking into tears.

 Saying hell with it and giving into cuteness isnít THAT hard.

You know, my friends and I always found it funny that I, a big burly 19 year old man with a beard, would tell them to screw off for a week so I could play Rhapsody, because it was so fun. Now having seen the clip that guy sent in last week, it makes me want to cry big manly tears when I realize even if I order Rhapsody 2 I wouldnt be able to understand the lame, yet funny jokes and the crazy, but endearing storyline....

Oh well, the music was always better in japanese. *Goes to order his copy of Rhapsody 2*

On the question side. What game have your friends ridiculed you the most for playing?

Kaene

Andrew:
The first Rhapsody was so much fun because it threw everything about traditional RPGs out the window and replaced the typical angst-ridden male hero with a girl wearing permanently glued on rose colored glasses. So what if the battle system and dungeons werenít anything to write home about? It was, and still is, a breath of fresh air in a genre that takes itself way too seriously.

And...er...actually, I was usually the one doing the ridiculing. ^_^;;

When my friends cracked and picked up a sports game and then spent the next month begging for others to come play it with them while talking about their AMAZING dream team and how they ďpwnedĒ the computer...well...it usually earned them a swift whack to the back of the head. The goofs.

 Long letter, smart-arsed answers.

Andrew,

Actually, I rush out and buy less than half my games, and when I do, the main reason is (admittedly) company or series loyalty. Many many people will buy RPGX 3 simply because they bought RPGX 2. It's called cognitive dissonance ^_^ No matter how many people give terrible reviews to a game, if you spent money on it, your brain will make some degree of effort to convince you that "Eh... it wasn't all that bad." Thus it takes a truly terrible game for the average gamerto bail. I've only sold one game since I started playing: Breath of Fire 3, and that's only because I was bored enough to get rid of it before I could develop any sentimental attachment.

Andrew:
Yeah, I suffer from the ďspend money = good productĒ mindset myself. Thatís why when a bad game does end up in my hands, Iím so vehement about encouraging others to avoid it. On that note, stay far away from Skies of Arcadia, Final Fantasy 8, and Chocobo anything.

The other half of my games? I get those on word of mouth, often years after their releases. With so much Vagrant Story fanart flooding around the net, I got the idea that this must be some sort of sleeper hit. I didn't pick it up until a year ago, and was quite satisfied. BBS's hold a lot of clout in our circles.

My obligatory question: What is the oldest-at-the-time game that you fell in love with? (Hmm... maybe I can word that better. Let me try again.) Of all the games you love, which did you first play the longest after its original release date? Mine would have to be Lunar 2, which I finally picked up last April.

Andrew:
Actually, Dark Cloud 2. I picked it up on a whim and find myself dragged back to play just one more level every chance I get. I hate to say it, but itís pretty underrated considered how much fun it is, though I initially disliked the concept of the game throughly. So I guess that shows me what a muggins I am, eh?

Oh, and a totally unrelated question, are you or any other RPGamer staffers coming to Otakon this coming weekend?

Andrew:
Actually, yes. Brian Hagen, more commonly known as Choco will be there. So if you see a crazy short guy wearing a killer trench coat, go say hello and heíll probably blush so hard heíll set himself on fire.

-Tommy Moo

P.S. (And you can delete this paragraph before posting my letter in the column if you like...) I've noticedthat you've been making some effort to be a bit more cool-headed lately, and I wanted to let you know that I really appreciate it. From someone who's spent most of his life playing the badass, I know how great it feels to suddenly not be feared. I already feel more comfortable sending you letters. Join the party, man! We're all rooting for you. And while I'm at it, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings several months ago when I rebuked you. I hate being at odds with people. Life is so much better when there's no one left to get revenge on. Thanks.

Andrew:
Uh...thanks. ^_^;;

 Dance Dance Remixing!

Hey, hadn't been checkin in on the columns for a few days, and missed a relevant chance to try and spam my music again! I remixed Naoki's B4U from DDR. "SGX, there's rap in that song...what did you do with the rap?", you say? I RAPPED IT MYSELF! Huzzah!

www.mp3.com/supergreenx .

Also thought you should know that this is my new email in case you need to get in touch with me.

Question: MAX2 or Ultramix? Hmmmmm. I can't decide!

Statement of opinion: Dark Cloud II bugs me because there are too many systems to learn. I just wanna kill stuff, not think of ideas of things! Bah! Tempted to play Kingdom Hearts again.....

- Danny

SuperGreenX

Andrew:
As always, great songs Dan! Iíve been playing the heck out of DDR Max, but when I get to Japan Iíll be scouting out an arcade where I can splurge on the newest versions. Mmm, Japanese arcades...

Dark Cloud 2 is great because it gives you a ton of systems to learn...and then makes all of them optional. Heck, I almost never use Monica(THOUGH I DO BUY ALL HER COSTUMES, LIKE THE MALE PIG I AM! =D) in battle, and while I enjoy pimping out my towns, the whole fishing and golf mini-games are happily ignored. I love having the option to spend my days fishing though, even if I spend them instead maxing out my weapons.

 Hindsight is always 20/20

Hey Andrew,

Goog's gone (or going to be), huh? Is this a temporary thing, or permanent? If it's permanent, I have to say, nothing against Goog, he/she seems like a really great and knowledgeable person, but hasn't really seemed all that interested in the column as of late. He's consistently posted really short columns for quite a while now, and hasn't seemed like she really cared at all towards the end there, even going so far as to not even post a column occasionally. Especially since while he was gone, all the guest hosts posted nice long columns that they did their best to answer as best they could. It sucks, because I've gotten kinda used to Goog the last few years, but I can't say I didn't see it coming.

Andrew:
From what I know, Googleís move is a permanent one. To be honest, regardless of how good or bad I thought his columns were, Google is also the Head of Interaction, which means heís in charge of everything in the right sidebar. Now, call me crazy, but in my eyes making sure those sections are updated as often as possible is a whole lot more important then a couple of Q&A columns a week. As of now...there are 4 sections that havenít updated in a month. Thatís sad. I can only hope Googleís forced move will result in a better site on the whole.

And what about you? I know you're still doing a good job with the column and all, but you're going away in like a month, right? So what does this mean for Q&A? Is it going to be run by cycling guest hosts, are new people going to be hired, or is it going to be done away with altogether? (I doubt the last one highly)

Robust Stu

Andrew:
Well, when I leave for Japan in a week or two, Iíll be taking a week or two off, and youíll have a week or two of guest hosts. ^_^

Donít worry, there will be someone to take care of my columns while I'm busy blowing up Osaka. Iíll certainly be back if I can, but I wonít lie, if Japan proves to be too trying on me to get the column up, then Iíll hand it off to someone with more time and hopefully move myself to part of the site that isnít such an enjoying drain. I promise you this though...I SHALL NOT LEAVE TILL WE GET THE DRATTED NEW FORMAT UP FOR THE COLUMN.



Quickies

I'll be the rooooundabout
The words will maaaake you out 'n out

Mountains come out of the sky...
And they stand thereeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Candy is a very enjoyable tune. Enjoyable and stamina-draining. I've got a AA on light, and a C on Standard...haven't passed it on heavy yet, how about you?

-Rich?

Iím doing about as good as you, though I can assure you that wearing my new poncho, Iím doing it with much more style.

How many "Can I have Google's job" emails did you get today????

~rudyxx

None, actually. Go figure, eh?

Will you marry me?

Thatís it? No ring? Not even a fancy dinner? Obviously, a mysterious fan like yourself could never support me!

The Final Grumble:

Letters on Google leaving seem to pretty mixed. I donít know what I was expecting from you guys, but Monday should be an odd day for all of us. Whether you loved her or hated him, itíd be great if you guys could send in some letters about how you felt about Google's long stint as Q&A host to me.

Andrew "You can't fire me! I'm a people person!" DuffClaire Belton

This column has been read over by Araes and LoaK, so grammar and spelling errors should be down. Hooray!

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