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Dogs on the Beach

Andrew Long - January 30 '04- 12:07 Eastern Standard Time

CRIPES, I'VE STARTED A DEBATE what with my poorly backed up statements and various other exhortations. I think that Mr. DPearl is the ultimate culprit of course, but then again, perhaps my "Good Twin" isn't so good after all. Whatever the case, there seems to be much ado about Square Enix, and I couldn't be happier. Yes, ado means that I'll almost certainly get yelled at for starting a debate, and if you can't get yelled at a minimum of once weekly, then why bother doing things to deliberately piss people off, like that time I put spikes in my friend's shoes (speaking of which, jacks work really great for that, especially if you load the toe with the red ball, greatly increasing the risk of stubbing even if your victim does manage to remove and eradicate all the jackses).

So, with our daily sabotage tip in tow (toe? nyuk nyuk nyuk kill me), I think we can confidently recognize the following letters for what they are: deadly affronts to your persons that demand a deluge of mail for Google, who is probably, like myself, suffering from mydoom, since it appears my RPGamer address is flinging off random emails left and right. LONG LIVE SPAM!

Well I told you to kill me...



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Let's get started with something light

Heyo Cast,

Tell me, if you happen to know, what are the chances of Mother 1 and 2 (Earthbound in the states) for the GBA coming out here in the US? Considering Mother 3 is in the works, I want to rev myself up playing the original and the flaunting sequel. Also, we've never played the original, so it would be more of a reason to bring that GBA game over here.


My magic 8-ball says "outlook dim", my friend. The game's been on the shelf for over six months now, and that's a perilous long time to be available in Japan with neither hide nor hair of a localization. I'll make you a deal, though. If you'll only send me those gold bars, I will pay a group of people to pray for its arrival, like this one kid's father did in that crazy spelling bee documentary Spellbound. Granted, they were praying for holy victory so that their countrymen could eat, which is probably a lot more noble than, say, a grossly consumer affair such as this, but if I let that get in the way of my solicitation gold bars, I'll never see a single one!

Edited for length


Hearing the recognizilation of such a trivial matter, I'd figure this is the perfect time to set all things wrong in this crazy kind of life that some how winds up sounding like a Fiona Apple cd, granted if she's still living and breathing in Appletown, USA home of chili fries and hangovers, which by the way, the valium did wonders for those hard to reach areas. How dare Blizzard have their site crash after my Castokins so desperately needed to go onto it. Drink the tears away with some hardcore, mediocre grape-orange vodka/soy milk. The gold bars are in the mail, my demon-like friend, and soon we'll take over said company and take matters in our own hands in the name of honor, pride, and a happy-go-lucky teenage girl who must fight of her mother's delusions, her dead-beat boyfriend, and crazed stalker all in the name of sacredness as she enters womanhood. I was near the end of Ch.2 in FFX-2 but decided to skip some side-missons that would allow me to see the 100% ending. Luckily, I saved on another file, so I can always go back. Is it me, or does this letter make seldom sense at minimum? Perhaps I should go back and change that day so that I wont have to worry about little things like this. By the way, Conan will host Late Night live in Toronto sometime in February. I could win us some tickets by correctly unscrambling the picture correctly, or by simply saying that it's the CN tower.. Damn, easy news contests, now you'll never be a teen model.

I know you wanna hit that,

O' Shrouded One

Err... Well, if you can win the tickets, by all means, win the tickets. Just promise you won't hang around the city afterwards, stalking through Trash-Co bins and throwing discarded apple mash at my house. Thanks for the gold bars, though. At least one of you is listening to my pleas for free wealth.

Proof that my email is out of control

I will be out of the office broadcasting at The Stollery Children's Hospital for Radiothon for the rest of the week. I will respond to your email at some point next week..Please remember the kids at Stollery if you can

I have no idea who this person is nor why they would be hosting a Radiothon at a Calgary hospital, but it will be most amusing if they actually respond to my email, since I'm fairly sure it says something about Unicode text in Binary with just a little bit of moonsauce. And the attachments? Bueno!

The exciting counterpoint of the amazing Dr. D. Phineas Pearl

Hey Andrew,

Well, you want reasons, I'll give you a few. But first, let me ammend slightly. If Enix really has had nothing to do with the three releases I mentioned two days ago, then rather than bash Square-Enix, I'll just start weeping at the downfall of Square... (though I have to ask why Enix would want their name on games that they had nothing to do with)

Anyway, FF:CC... I listed the magazine rating as a comparrison to every other FF game that's been released in the past 7 years. None of them have been below 8.5. Regardless of the fact that a magazine article is not the highest authority in rating a game's success, it does demonstrate a serious decline. FFXI is up next. I think that pointing out that they didn't follow through on their promises consitutes giving a reason for disliking it.

Promises? Come on, that's like saying you really expect your Jeep to fly off to the Olduvai Gorge and start all-wheel driving over the skeletons they showed on the commercial. As to the magazine's rating, I still maintain that it means nothing. After all, it gave FFX-2 8.75.

Finally, FFX-2. As 'pretty' as the game was, I was instantly turned off by the dress-sphere grid. Utterly rediculous considering the game that spawned the sequel. The game had a serious lack of drive as well. I'm not against nonlinear games, I just don't think that going from FFX to FFX-2 translated very well. They apparently wanted to seperate themselves from X, but pushed too hard. The last thing I'll mention is that I was sorely disappointed with the heavy pop music theme. I seriously thought I was watching a Brittney Spears video when the game started.

So to wrap things up, if Enix really had nothing to do with these games, then I formally appologize to Enix and turn my venemous gaze squarely upon Square. Boo to you I say... boo to you!

I forgot to sign the last letter, but you can call me...


PS: Sales don't necessarily mean a good game by the way. The name Square holds enough respect for many (myself included) to pick up a title without so much as a glance at the back of the box. Well... it did anyway.

I know sales don't mean anything, I just haven't played FFX-2 yet, so I can't very well say anything qualifiable about it. Bad argumentation? Yes. Does this make me a sexy provocateur? Damn right. Especially the sexy part.

Yet another ray of light, refracted through the gigantic prism of opinion

FF10-2 would have been a good game if it had stood alone. I don't mind girly middle-school-maturity-level games receiving the Final Fantasy name. What I do mind is Square making a direct sequel to a game, but making the tone, mood, and target audiences of those two games be completely different. FF10 was somewhat girly and immature, but it also had strong themes of death, sacrifice, and religious corruption that are decidedly lacking in its sequel. They should have made the two games consistant with each-other, since the idea is that the same people are supposed to buy both of them.

Downfall of FF? I doubt it highly. None of the new FF games have been *bad*. I mean, FFTA was no FF6, I'll grant you that. But for all the lust that fanboys have over the FF series, the entire series is decidedly lacking aside from two or three games. Which two or three games those are depends on who you're talking to, but no one who geuinely liked all the games FF1 through 9 disliked the newer ones, because liking all the others means their taste is very broad. So any time someone tells me the series is going downhill, I respond by reminding them that they also hate the first three and probably at least half of the others.

The worst Final Fantasy game is still better than the best Dragon Warrior game, if you ask me.


Now there's a debate we've probably had a million times before. Somehow, I find Dragon Warrior a little more entertaining than FFII, but then again, that's just me. Still, I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. I think this is the first letter you've sent that hasn't been facetious, sarcastic, or in some way suggestive of my idiocy or that of my readers. Oh, well. Perhaps there's a cheeky Tad_Ghostal letter in my future?

A saving throw vs. slander

I dunno if anyones told you...and i'm not really sure what the EQ definition of "dungeon" is. But in FFXI there aren't really any dungeons until you get to about lvl 24 and go into zelkfutts tower (except for maybe that thing near windurst, but i'm bastokan so i dunno). Just about everything is open air. Frankly, at lvl 6 you shouldn't have left sarutabaruta/ranfaure/gustaberg (leave at about lvl 7-10 or so, then go to valkurm or something and party at about lvl 13-14)

Well how about that - I haven't. What I meant by mission or dungeon or quest or whatever the heck I said is the first chore from the gate guard in cheery little Windhurst. It involves some ruins that for the life of me, I can't find. Again, this is because I just can't resist the twin urges of travelling alone and attacking powerful monsters. Actually, there's a few other urges I have trouble resisting, but I hardly think my sordid adventures in the sewing guild merit explanation here, now do they?

Scroll button come... whatever, I can't be catchy

Hey Andrew,

I have no scroll button on my mouse because my ferret decided that it looked like sweet candy I suppose. I also have no gold bars to mail you either, but I have a question for you. How did the two-player mode on Kartia work? I never played it when it came out for some reason, but I noticed recently that it offers support for two people. Is it some sort of cooperative story mode, or is it another game where you can duel your friend's characters? I saw it EB a few weeks ago for $4.95, but I didn't buy it for some reason. It might still be there, so I will have to go back to check. Also, I am not sure if you have watched this short movie about Final Fantasy or not, but you should really go to DELETED! and search for mindless drivel with a Linkin Park soundtrack that really isn't worth it.

It is well worth it. This isn't some shameless plug for their website because I have nothing to do with them. I am sure you can find this movie elsewhere, but this is where I found it. Sorry for the long letter, but at least I had an actual question mixed in there somewhere.


Two-player co-operative mode? Why on earth would you want that? The two player mode is, as the review I gleaned this information from so boldly states (well, this isn't the direct quote because I lost the URL, but it's good enough, I say), "What every T-RPG player has been wishing for," that is to say, versus mode. Defend a castle. Spite your friends with your deadly open field skills. But always remember: cooperation is for sissies.

I'll show you output...

You were asking about the output of S-E so far?

Well my opinion doesn't have much to go on (having only sampled FF X-2 and currently playing FF11, but from what I have seen, it seems like the same Square I've known for years. FF X-2 looks pretty good, and seems to have a neat job system, but I hear the story isn't quite that interesting. I was actually a fan of FF10 if that tells you anything!

Do you currently play FF11? I seem to recall at least one of the hosts mentioning that they had a character. I'm currently running around the Fairy server, trying to get those last two levels needed to unlock the advanced jobs. The game has some very good points, and some pretty annoying flaws. The graphics are beautiful, the play control is horrendous. I wish they'd have spent more time on the PC version's interface, and added things like hotkeys, instead of the annoying CTRL+key macros.

I agree, but as I mentioned yesterday, I do indeed have a character, named, strangely enough, Castomel. I'm not on Fairy, although my original character was, so there will be no stalking for you (forgive me if you weren't planning to in the first place... At this point I just assume the worst).

The best part though, is I feel like I'm playing a FF game when I do the missions and quests. No MMORPG since Ultima Online has made me feel so part of the world.

Back to the topc at hand: I want to see how the Enix products, particularly Dragon Quest, turn out with the square influence. I've always loved that series, but the old slow battles and menu system have been run into the ground. Here's hoping for a US release of DQ5!


Agreed. And here's hoping it's a hundred times better than DW7, because I still can't pick that up, thanks to its terrible pacing.

Unfit for Print

Hello, Andrew

Affair with another man? My goodness I thought this was Farrah Fosset love line....Yeah right I just wanted to marry you so I could murder you in your sleep and rip out your V-core and feed it to Alfred so he can become most powerful... HAHAHA HAHAHA HAHAHA mmm sorry excuse my crazy laughing

no I do not know what a V-core is

Why do I get all the crazies? ;_;

Hey Andrew,
The title page quote is said by an old man in the first Shining Force game.
-Lord Otterland

You have indeed won your case. Head down this way and you can talk to Douglas. ~


So, I guess it's a wee vacation for me. It'll be a week before I sit in this chair again, and until such a time, play nice and share your extra creamsicles. For Friday: does anyone care about the Enix side of the operation? Looking forward to SO3 or DQ8? I know I am (the latter, at any rate), but somehow trying to talk about them always turns to FF. Well, here's hoping!
Andrew Long grabs his stick, he's got his skates.



And by "stick and skates" I mean "work clothes and wallet".

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