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Mustache Better Than Spike? That's Crazy Talk! January 14, 2005

Andrew Long - 3:41 EST

WELL THEN. FRANKENSTEIN'S A GREAT GUY AND ALL, but I personally tend to favour the "get somebody to make you a new template" approach, since I am of course constitutionally incapable of doing things by myself for some reason, which doesn't really explain how this column got here, but I digress! I really am flying almost solo here, because for some reason, all you fine people have decided to stop writing letters. As such, it's time for another heaping helping of delicious mailbox leftovers. I know, we played this game before without noticeable effect, but maybe if I dredge up something from... Oh, say, October, you'll get the picture.

I need letters. If you like reading this column, sending them is the only way to perpetuate it. I sound like a broken record here, I know, but maybe you think I make these things up or something. I could try, you know - it's not like I haven't read enough of them over the years to do a very convincing fake - but I don't think anyone would like that too much. So let's do this nice and legit-like, eh?



Ramblebox
Hmm... New format? No need for line breaks? We shall see.. I like line breaks, to be honest. They allow nonsense to be properly limited without overflow into things best left undeluged.

-AL  



L E T T E R S

FROM THE BLEARY SHORES OF NOVEMBER 20TH - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SISTAH!

Andrew,

I feel like I've read good stuff from both you and google about Disgaea, and how it's claimed many hours of your respective lives. I also feel like it was you who mentioned that you were the type that feels the urge, while going through a game, to find every item and complete every sidequest. I apologize if I've confused the two of you, but my question is this: how do you go about playing a game like Disgaea (Phantom Brave, FFT or what have you)? This may sound like such silly question to ask, but as a "completion perfectionist" myself, I struggle to make it though such games.

I've had Disgaea since last Christmas. And while I've found it's humorous tone entirely refreshing, when I do sit down and play it, I have still yet to finish it. I really like the combat system, with all it's team attacks, throws and special moves (that kick-ass), but outside the battles I feel pretty lost/overwhelmed and my attention drifts. I especially get bogged down with the item world, attempting to find/create all of the character classes, and keeping my party varied and of equal strength. I suppose I'm just looking for any suggestions at all that you might have on enjoying these tasks, because, somehow, despite all enjoyment that's been had, I really can't figure out how to keep myself hooked.

Thanks,
Bearman


ANDREW

Ah, the difference a few months makes. You're not hooked on Disgaea because quite simply, Disgaea is a binge-playing style of game, I find. To clarify: after playing a third of the way through or so in the space of two weeks, I grew suddenly and desperately bored with the gameplay, which when you think about it is fairly one-dimensional. Granted, it's fun leveling up your characters insanely and getting them nifty new weapons and such, but the problem is, there really isn't any point to it because all the difficult battles are the optional ones, and the random maps take away from the distinctiveness of the gameplay.

In that respect, it is much like Diablo II; the game itself is great fun to play - for a while - but eventually, it's just the same old, same old, and there just isn't much there to keep my interest. So fear not, my ursine friend; eventually you'll be able to stomach another few hours, and get just a little closer to completion. I really don't think "completion" per se is possible in Disgaea, however, so you might wanna lower your standards a little.




DRACOS MAKES ME DO SOME WORK

Heya Castomel, I know I heard of that the visionary behind the Suikoden series disappeared midway through Suikoden 3and supposedly the Suikogaiden creator took over leading the project. Is she still leading Suikoden IV? And what's your thoughts on how the series is going without it's original creator behind the development team making it?


ANDREW

Using the present tense might be a tad misplaced, since Suiko IV has in fact shipped and was in Japanese stores ages ago, but yes, Tomonori Matsugawa did indeed run the show. As to my thoughts, I have yet to play either of the newer Suikoden titles, so I really can't say one way or another, unfortunately. I've heard mixed reviews of Suikoden III, and even murkier whisperings about IV, though, so I'm a little worried, to be honest. Then again, basing an opinion off of fan speculation has never been a wise idea, since fans bought up FFX-2 in droves.




MORE LOVE FROM MY FELLOW STAFF MEMBERS

Now that 2005 is upon us, which game are you looking forward to most, and which game from 2004 did you wish you'd bought but didn't? --J Sensei


ANDREW

Hmm... Much as Zach has tried to warn me against it, I'm still interested to see how FFXII will turn out now that most of Square's creative talent has jumped ship; much like the Suikoden series changing hands, the FF series is likely to undergo an even greater shift now that most of the people who played an instrumental role in its creation work elsewhere. I'm also keen on DQVIII, because the graphics quite simply sucked me in. At this point, I'd buy it even if I heard awful things about it, and I've heard good things, so I'm excited. And I would also be remiss if I didn't cheat a second time and drool a little bit over the incipient localization of FFIII (finally).

As for 2004 regrets, I have a few; missing Metroid Prime: Echoes, in particular, is causing me no small amount of pain, and though I'm not the biggest fan of Star Ocean, it still sounds like it might have been worth picking up. Beyond that, there really wasn't much to look at in 2004; Phantom Brave, maybe, but I'm putting that off until I finish Disgaea anyway, so that's more or less a moot point.




AND MORE!

Castoman,

It has been a while, I know. How has your life been? Well, have you read the latest from the RPGamer Beauty Pageant? Last I heard, you got some votes from a special admirer, as I did as well! When you're home with tui, do you call eachother by your nicks or real names? Like, "hey Michael, what do you have planned for tonight?" "I dunno Andrew, going drinking?" "Hell yeah, Michael, wanna come with?" "Word."

That is all!
=====
Steve 'Shroudie' Przestrzelski
RPGamer News/Meida Updates


ANDREW

Yeah, we call each other by our names, though to be honest I don't call much of anyone by name unless I have to cuz, well, I tend to forget people's names pretty fast if I've just met them. As for my life, it has been just great, aside from the fact that my nights and days are most horribly reversed at the moment.




GEE, HE WROTE IN BEFORE AND I NEVER ANSWERED...PERHAPS THAT'S WHY HE HASN'T SINCE? DAMN..IT'S ALLLL MY FAULT!

'Drew and/or Googs,

After reading the Q&A's constantly here at RPGamer, but never throwing out one of my own questions for you to ponder, I decided to break my silence and toss you a figurative bone. Especially since Mr. Long was begging.

It's been talked about before here, but with the influx of RPG elements into just about every form of game out there now, what sort of game would you like to next see made featuring the leveling up and character building that we have come to love?

Personally, I think a good wrestling game, with a full-fledged RPG-style system behind it, would be incredible. Driving across the country in your car, going from territory to territory, making a name for yourself in the ring, ect. Building your character up as you go along until you reach the "big time", with plenty of backstage intrigue and whathaveyou. Hell, the battle systems in games are already getting closer and closer to action games, and there are many the side-quest that involves a sport of some type. Why not just have the "battle system" be a wrestling match, but otherwise keep it completely RPG-ish in all other elements?

Man, I'd eat that with a spoon.
ANDREW

That's because you're crazy insane. There are wrestling games for that reason, and watching the glorified soap opera they call professional wrestling these days on TV is bad enough without turning it into a game that I'd have to sit through. Now, if you were to have Mexican wrestlers, on the other hand... That might be an RPG I could sink my teeth into, especially if there was a character named Dirty Sanchez or something!

On a side note, I hear ya on the lack of Metroid Prime 2 pain, Andrew. But when you get the chance to finally pick it up, play that sucker multi-player with your friends. It has, by far, the best multi-player game in a shooter on a console I've ever had the fortune of playing. I'm salivating at the mouth just thinking of it. I'd buy the game myself, but the DS has officially cornered the Blot-market, as Feel the Magic XX/XY is just staring at me, begging me to play it.

Enjoy the question, good sirs,

Brian J. Blottie


ANDREW

Thanks for sharing, Brian. Yes, I am still desolate at my lack of MP2, and your talk of multiplayer only makes me more filled with jealous rage. I must ask though: where else would you be salivating but your mouth?




SO, GOING BEHIND MY BACK, EH? UNFITTED!

Heya,

Regarding my question on the FF1&2 contest (answered as "Unfit for Print" in Cast's January 9th Q&A), what I meant was that even though it shouldn't allow entries any more (being as it was past eligible date) it was still inviting people to enter... I was simply sticking in a noted issue as a sidebar as I reached my question. Even as of this writing it still says "Enter now!" when it could at least say "Contest over, results pending." That wouldn't be so hard and depending on how you handle the back end, would make sure that you don't get any ineligible entries to deal with as far as date issues go. Otherwise - waiting on Nintendo, okay.

Ismail


ANDREW

Yeah, sorry about that. I didn't actually check the contest page when I answered that letter, seeing as how I'm fairly up-to-date on contests and the like hereabouts, but "enter now" is a tad misleading, isn't it...If you're looking for a contest, at any rate, may I humbly recommend the delightful affair taking place right now in the Fanart section? The next round is slated to begin soon, so head on over and keep an eye on it!





C L O S I N G
MINIONS:

Letters. About anything. PLEASE! You're killing me, people.. killing me!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long will return.


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I can't help but think that tui is trying to get rid of hidden text ^^

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