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Andrew - December 15 '02- 2:00 Central Standard Time

If anyone has a chance to pick up the anime magazine, NewType, do so. It rocks.

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Freaks of the world unite!

Hello, Andrew.
How has your holiday season been?
I would like your opinion for some holiday gift ideas for a freakish person who has not played an RPG before in his life (translation: a friend). I want to get him a good RPG, but it has to be a good example of an RPG.
He has a Playstation II, and I was wondering if you could give your opinion of which one of the following games would be the best choice:
Grandia (Any one of them, I know nothing about the series)
Suikoden III
Kingdom Hearts
Final Fantasy X
Dark Cloud
Dragon Warrior VII
Is there anything you would recommend as well?
Thank you, happy holidays.
~*~Zhang He~*~
"So, was the enemy camp pretty? ... People! We must destroy their formation with the beautiful one of our own! This is the art of battle!"

Out of that list, Iíd go for Kingdom Hearts, since its engaging plot, well thought out game play mechanics, and entertaining characters should get just about anyone to give the stat-juggling of RPGs a try. Good luck, itís a hard genre to convince people to like.

Why is it as we get older, we get more confident in out stupidity?

Hey angry man, Since I guess I'm a little older than most people who read the column, I'm not hoping "Santa" brings me any anime or crap like that. I'm hoping "Santa" brings me cool stuff, like a CD changer and head unit for my car, a Mario Lemieux jersey (every hockey fan should have one), some clothes (because I'm a cheap bastard when it comes to this crap), some beer (Yuengling/Guiness preferred), and hopefully some sex from my wife. I can pretty much assume I won't be getting that last one, but, I guess that's why we get married. I am hoping I get Kingdom Hearts, but I'm not crossing my fingers. [br] So, what are you hoping you get this season? I think that's the question on everyone's mind. [br] Oh, and one last thing. Last year (I think) the site had a spiffy little Final Fantasy holiday jingle posted. I felt kinda gay, but I really liked it. Any chance someone could dig that up again, and post it on the main page? I guess I could have searched for it myself, but that would require work, and I'm not that bored yet.[br] Piece out, holmes...[br] Constructicon

Whoa. Anime is by no means childish. The only people Iíve ever heard say that are people who donít actually, you know, watch it. Especially coming from a guy who wants a Disney/Square cross over game for Christmas, youíre being pretty hypocritical in your ideals.
Iíve been hearing rumors that Iím going to get spoiled silly for Christmas, but right now, Iíve been taking those little subscriptions cards out of any and all magazines that interest me, and I figure Iíll just ask for subscriptions to all of them. Iím a big fan of flipping through life, so this should work out well.

Math. The wrong way around.

To the young man (or woman) who wrote of his/her dream RPG, I say this: Go pen and paper or board game style, yo.
The truth of the matter is is you need a mathematical system to be put into place for any technical-based game (RPG's, for example) to be successful. If you have these ideas that DON'T necessitate a video game format, then make in in a board game format and share it with your friends first.
Simple, no?

I hate these type of letters. No explanation why he thinks pen and paper is the way to go, puts other readerís dreams down, and ends it by pretending that his medium to express himself is better then anyone elses. Well you can stick that in your pipe and smoke it, sunny jim.

Maybe he was just in a bad mood.

First off, thanks for being the damn entertaining guy you are. With finals slowly approaching and threatening its death grip on my brain, itís nice to know I have somewhere to go to be entertained as you bash the unwashed masses.
So what do I want for the holidays? A whole helluva lot, but Iím not gonna get it. Iím a poor college student, and my parents are even poorer for sending me there. I actually told them that I didnít want a present this year (seeing how iím getting a college education, and have a nice shiny minivan and all), but they refused to consider that, soooÖ I asked for a GBA. They can get me the system, Iíll hit up the rest of the family for games, and everyone will be happy, including me. PSC, here I comeÖ
I notice that you like Chobits. Tis a great series, no doubt, and I eagerly await the first DVD coming in March. In the meantime, I suggest a little series called Azumanga Daioh. Itís extremely funny. Give it a look.
Well, time to beat Data Structures material into my tired brain. Peace out.

A mini-van, eh? Lucky bastard. Iíd rip out the back and set up a pimp pad.
Oh God. Thanks for directing me to Azumanga Daioh. Now Iím going to have nightmares of that stupid cat. >.<


Salutations Andrew,
First off, I think you do a great job as the weekend guy, so even though you're not so new anymore, welcome.
Here are some questions and comments:
Am I the only one who thinks it's stupid that Sega, or D3, or whoever's responsible, is leaving Phantasy Star 3 out of Phantasy Star: 3D Ages for the PS2 but including 4? I mean, it's great to get the remakes, but why leave out a game that's smack dab in the middle of the whole series? All or none guys, all or none...
Am I right to assume that there are no plans to bring Final Fantasy 3 over to the PSX along with 1 and 2? I've read nothing about it, but it would be a great thing to see, and I figured I might have missed something in the news...
Always, Shaun.

1. Sega wants our money. If you donít agree with their business practices, donít buy their games. I donít know what else to tell you.
2. From what Iíve heard, Final Fantasy 3 is coming to GBA. But itís still up in the air. Letís keep out fingers crossed, eh?
3. No news on this yet, but expect some sort of announcement to come up in a week or so.

Techno Ocean

I was just performing my weekly website hopping, and came upon your ask andrew section in rpgamer. Regarding finding items to customize weapons, im guessing that your talking mainly about Final Fantasy X? If not I can think of no other game that has such a frustrating item creation system (except for FFVIII but not for weapons or armour). I have been on an FFX kick and I am not out to bash the game, but it has several problems and one of them is the weapon and armour system. While trying to create a new power up system square did well in eliminating character levels in favor of attribute and ability growth. However having weapons and armour that add to your defense or attack power would conflict with this system so now we have to deal with percentages. Percentages play a large role in an items abilities, if your armour has HP plus 30% you'll have 30% more hitpoints depending on how many hitpoints your base level is. If you have Attack plus 20% your attack power will be 20% more depending on what your base level is, and so on. There are aslo other abilities that can be added to weapon and armor, immunities, status attacks, elemental defense or absorbtion, evation, counters, auto abilities, and more. The weapons and armour function more like relics in FFVI than anything else. It would have been nice to be able to share weapon types this time around since every weapon and armor can be customized to do the same thing, wouldnt Tidus have been good with a blitzball too? How about Auron with a spear? The big problem with FFX's weapon system is the fact that you can customize something, but you cant un-customize it. Any items that you have worked hard to get may lost forever, now stuck onto a puny weapon with 1 or 2 customizable slots, or you may hold out for a loooong time unable to take advantage of your 800lb Gorilla of an upgrade until you get a weapon with 3 or 4 slots. Though weapons can be purchased the ones that are worth anything, are VERY expensive. This may not seem like a big deal but the ability to get make a lot of gil does not come into affect until near the end of the game. So you find yourself having to choose between essential Hi-potions or a doll or Lulu, lukily monsters drop a lot of weapons and armour but rarely with any real good abilities attached. Finding the items to create the most powerful abilities is VERY hard, and takes a VERY long time. One way is to participate in a mini game that forces you to go to every area of the game (After purchasing expensive speical weapons) and capture every kind of monster for the the arena manager. Another way is to play blitzball which is fun but completing a season can take over an hour (especially if you join the tournaments) of non stop blitzing only to walk away with one elixir (it takes 6 for HP plus 20%). Still another way is by using an ability called bribe, paying a monster to leave, and costing you upwards to 2,000,000 Gil for them to drop the best items when they go. It gets very frustrating, but I guess it doesnt compare to the hell of learning to speak Al Bhed (which also gives you items to customize with if you do.)

Ah Final Fantasy 10. Could Square have gone anymore overboard? This letter really speaks for itself, but after Final Fantasy 7, weíve all come to expect lots of side-quests to get the best gear, but only in FF10 are we forced to do it in the silliest ways possible.

FF10 sucks? No waaaaaaaay!

You mentioning Homestarr Runner's site gave me some incentive to write, thus a few questions...
1. What's your favorite Strong Bad e-mail? Mine personally is a toss-up between "Comic" and "Techno".
2. I also dislike item creation/massive item hunting. Star Ocean 2 was a big pain the ass with item creation. I never had the right items to make what I wanted. Why spend the extra hour o go back and fight one certain enemy in hopes that they will drop a fuzzy hoof or whatever the hell you need?
3. If you could have one game that's currently out now, which would you choose? I'd go with Steel Battalion, personally.

1. Techno does rule, though I canít say I have a favorite email.
2. I enjoyed Star Ocean 2, yet remember nothing of what you just mentioned. How odd.
3. Popful Mail. No question about it.


The quote is from the robot thingy in that gay little tunnel thing in Motavia in Phantasy Star 1. if I remember correctly- Which I don't think I do- don't you have to go down in some dungeon and buy a cake or something like that?
...If I'm wrong, bugger off. It's been a few years.
Oh yeah, and does a 20-volume set of Anne Mccaffrey's "Dragonriders of Pern" count as nerdy? I really want that thing... *drool*

You are correct, sir. On both accounts. Have a ~.

Last weekend, you were asked what gender Gremio is in Suikoden.
From the instruction booklet:
"Gremio (27 years old)
A childhood friend of the hero whom he is always worrying about."
Gremio's a guy.

Odd. My booklet says ďitĒ in lieu of ďheĒ. Why donít we all check out instruction manuals!

hey i need to know where i would be able to find information about a video game company, its for a project

Um, since you didnít actually name what company youíre looking for, I suggest you just type in their name in Google and go to their website. That should have plenty of information for you. Good luck.

Hey! I have some questions about the PS2. Sometimes, while I am playing a DVD or game, the system will freeze up. How can I stop this? Also, sometimes the system will not even start. No picture, nothing except the sound of the PS2. I checked the wiring, and it's all fine, and the discs are clean too. What should I do?

Thatís easy enough to fix, Zero! Take your PS2, turn it on itís side, and then kick it into a wall. Then go buy yourself a new one, and treat it better then youíve been treating this one.

What do you think of the possibility of devolpers getting the bright idea to use the lock-on technology Sonic & Knuckles had to have GBA games spanning multiple carts? I'd be glad to pay albit more so my GBA can output the music it was meant to play, not this bloody NES music. (No insult to the NES and its music, mind you)
-SDHawk, Master of the Obvious

Well, that sounds like an interesting idea, Hawk, but Nintendo is kinda doing that with the whole connection to GameCube thingy, which adds on games, items, and the like.
As for the music, well, it depends on the game, and for me, I play them during class, so Iím usually not rocking to the tunes. If you hate the sound that much, just turn it off like I do.

The Final Grumble:

Next weekís topic- Your worse RPG experience ever. Lose your save? Get killed by the final boss because you forgot to heal beforehand? Accidently hit No when an NPC asked if you understood half a dozen times? Letís hear your stories of woe during the merriest time of year.

Andrew "Surprise!" Duff

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