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ASK ANDREW
Pomp, Pomp, Pomp, Pomp La Mousse February 13th, 2005

Andrew Long - 14:56 EST

IT APPEARS I HAVE A NUMBER of conflicting viewpoints to choose from... Who oh who shall I rely on? We shall see what we shall see, I suppose...



Ramblebox
<.< >.> <.<

-AL  


L E T T E R S
Six choices evaporate to two


Hey Andrew I'm a first time writer, but a long time reader of the columns here at rpgamer. First of all xenogears and vandal hearts would be the two games I would recommend. They are some of my favortite games because their stories and gameplay are some of the best around. Secondly, my question would be what kind of rpg (like ff, suikoden, SO, etc.) are you looking forward to on the DS if any? Personally I think the only good looking one is Egg Monster Heroes and I don't exactly know how the story will be on that. Also Lunar for the DS has sparked my attention but only if its the classic series we all know and love.

ANDREW


Umm.. You mean the classic series we all know and you love. The only Lunar title I'm fond of is the original Sega CD title, and besides that, there have really only ever been three actual games in the series, of which two have made it here, so I almost don't bother with the term "series" to begin with. At any rate, I knew I was going to get lots of votes for Xenogears, so I guess this makes one. I'm interested to see Vandal Hearts there, though, because what I saw of it didn't particularly impress me when I played through the first couple levels (and was subsequently unable to save thanks to my delightful PS2's inability to register PSX memory cards regularly.)

The DS does indeed tickle my fancy, but as you have pointed out, there's little reason to get one right now, given the only title really worth grabbing is Mario 64 DS. Even so, FFIII is in the future, and indeed, I would be interested to see what's up with this "half-baked" hero I keep hearing so much about (and besides, with Uematsu bolted from S-E now, I have to get my fix somewhere!)



Indecision


Wellllll, it all depends what mood you're in. I'm kind of a sucker for the (almost) unique flavorings of the modern, science-based Parasite Eve, but if you want a more classic feel, so with WA or WA2. If you're feelin' trippy and religious, go for Xenogears, but honestly, I think the game is a bit overrated. Avoid Dragon Warrior VII, because it sucks, and I've never played Vandal Hearts.

This dilemma is, however, moot; go play Xenosaga Episode II in a few days.
ANDREW

Heh. So Xenogears is overrated, but go play its vastly overhyped demonspawn instead? No thanks, and besides, my quandary is that I have only my PSX to warm me in the cold, lonely night. Herego, I shall count this as a vote for PE and also a vote against DWVII.

Here's an odd question, directed toward the general populace of RPGamer.. Is anyone considering naming a future child after an RPG character? Personally, I love the name Rinoa, despite the blasphemy that is FFVIII. Spam Q&A with the names you would pick! Go! Now!

- Feep "I'm 19 years old today! That means I'm too old to be in an RPG now. = ("


ANDREW

An interesting question indeed. It's funny, actually; the former receptionist where I work, while pregnant, happened to read a book she found lying on a table while she was in hospital waiting for things to come to a head. That book? David Eddings' "The Pawn of Prophecy". Apparently she was fond of at least one of his characters, because she now has a son named Kheldar. I'm sure Leigh Eddings would be proud, since she's the one who allegedly comes up with all the names.

And don't get too down, my friend; you're still young enough to be an RPG "old man" party member! Take up smoking and you can even pass for Cid Highwind in a few years!



Two for topic!


Hey Castofresh,

This is 2 - parter directed at the last two topics.

My most romantic gaming moment wasn't really a moment, but a lifestyle.. My ex-gf actually LIKED to watch me play video games. When we were bored or if I was simply too hooked on a game to do anything else, she would watch me play and question me about the game. Actual interest and interaction! It was pure bliss. But then she tried to play one of my FFVII files, and as you can guess, it was all downhill from there.

Part Dos, There is one, single, solid reason for picked up and locking down on Xenogears. The amin character's name is Fei Fong Wong. Come on, tell me that isn't the most fun name to say ever. Plus you have giant robots. A funny name and giants robots. The possiblities are endless!

Boot up and give'em hell Fei Fong Wong!
-Frammy


ANDREW

I have a friend who likes watching games too, and it's bizarre. I'm far too immature to actually sit there and take the inactivity with gentle good nature, so I simply can't understand how someone else can.

As for your advice, I can't help but agree! I'll do it... I'll finally get myself out of that frigging opening forest where I've been stuck ever since I bought the game, immediately played it for four hours, and then got frustrated and trapped and have been stalled for the past five years. Make that two for Xenogears.



Another question with my recommendation


1: Wild arms 1 is a fantastic game with a great story. i can't really rave enough about it, play it NOW.
2: What ever happened to Wild Arms: Alter Code F I have been waiting to play that game for a while now, and haven't really seen any info on it in a while. was it cancelled? is it not coming to N america? I need to know!

-TheBluick


ANDREW

Score one for WA. Perhaps I shall; I'm about five hours in on that one, and if memory serves, Disgaea's arrival was what stopped me from getting any further. As to WA:ACF, Sony now lists it as an 05/2005 release. Keep an eye on the news department this week; they should be doing some sort of update on it (at least, if they know what's good for them). I don't know exactly why it was delayed, but at least it's still in the pipeline, at any rate.



More indecision


I haven't played Vandal Hearts, and I have a pathological phobia of Dragon Quest games, but I can offer you my quick advice on the remaining four games.

First off, I'd definitely tell you to play through Parasite Eve once, especially if you've ever been to New York. For one thing, you can blaze through it in less than eight hours easily. It's not incredibly deep nor incredibly challenging, but it's a very interesting game with plenty of goodies, and having an RPG set in the "real world" is oddly something that doesn't happen very often and is quite refreshing.

I've always liked the Wild ARMs series despite their stories being almost nonexistent. I like the puzzles and tools a lot, in particular, and WA1 has a certain undefinable charm to it. However, its battle models are ugly as sin. As for WA2, the puzzles are almost as interesting, but it's plagued with the absolute worst translation I've ever seen, which includes FF Tactics... although you may find a good drinking game in it.

As for Xenogears, my oft-repeated line is that it's a good game to *have played*, but it's not very fun actually playing it. There's no way to increase the molasses-style text speed, the translation is nowhere near where it would have been had it actually had funding, and the majority of the second disc is narration rather than exploration or fighting. Whether the normal battles or Gear battles are more exciting is a matter of opinion. But once it's all said and done, the story is pretty magnificent, unless you're *really* cynical.
Um... forget I said that.

--Cidolfas


ANDREW

I'm glad you remembered who you were talking to there :) So, I shall count this as one vote for PE and WA and one vote against DW7 and Xenogears. I also have to agree with you on the battle sprites for WA; while I'm sure they seemed like a good idea at the time, since everyone was showing off their fancy new 3D programming skills back in 1997, they haven't aged very well at all. Still, I like the idea of a drinking game challenge, so perhaps I shall take you up on that and try and blaze through both Wild ARMs. Or perhaps not... I do have to abide by the vote, after all!



So you like dumb questions... interesting


Hey yo, I just started reading your column not too long ago, and I must say I highly enjoy some of the stuff asked. Especially some of the crap and dumbasses that appear asking retarted questions. Ask and ye shall receive as they always say..

Anyway, heres some reasons to finish your games

As an RPG Gamer, it is your sole duty to play as many RPGs as you can so that you can uhh.. I dunno just finish the damn games.

Wild ARMs ( and WA2) - These were pretty good games. WA2 was a little.. weird but good none the less. FINISH THEM BIATCH

Parasite Eve - The only reason you should really finish this game is because its short. You can beat this game in one day practically. Dont bother with PE2 though.

Xenogears - If you've never beaten this game, then you really shouldnt have your own column, simply because you are not worthy of one. I'm not saying that I am, but an avid RPGer such as yourself should grace yourself with such holiness that is the "Xeno" series. Though I cant really say much for Xenosaga EP 1, it was like watching a damn movie. Heres to hoping Episode 2 will do the damn job.

Dragon Warrior VII - I'll be honest, I've had this game for a long time now, and I stil havent finished it. So I cant really motivate you to finish it.

Vandal Hearts - ...never played it, but finish it anyway.
=====


ANDREW

So, in the same boat as me for DWVII, eh? I just can't deal with its nonexistent pacing, and while the old-school battles are all that and a bag of chips, there's just too much dead space between them to carry things. Also, every time I play it seems to be in the midst of a Sweet Tart binge, which is probably downright bad.

I shall hereby count your voting as one for Xenogears, and one for WA, however much I may disagree with your assessment of the Xeno based upon what I've seen of it. I should give you a warning of my own, however; if George Lucas has taught me anything, it's that you can't hope for Episodes 2 to do the damned job, so I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Well, I did have a letter all set for Unfit for Print in which the writer asked to see the breasts of my imaginary psychic, but I seem to have deleted it by accident, so I guess it is lost forever to the sands of time. For next weekend, I shall announce whether or not I successfully managed to play through your winner, with 7 votes, Wild ARMs (thank you to Ourobolus, Karen, Noi, and an RPGfan, all of whom sent recommendations not appearing in today's column.) XG came a close second with 5 positive votes and 1 against, tying it with PE at 4, one ahead of VH. To nobody's surprise, DW7 came out dead last with a score of negative 3. Eat that, Erdrick!

So have yourself a good Hallmark holiday, fatten the wallets of chocolatiers worldwide, and if you're feeling rebellious like me, remember: nothing says I love you like a giant orange creamsicle!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long is a hopeless romantic.


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