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ASK ANDREW
A Pint of Guinness March 17th, 2005

Andrew Long - 06:59 EST

IT WOULD SEEM THAT EACH TIME the weather attempts to tantalize me with springlike conditions, it immediately thereafter sees fit to dump five to ten centimetres of snow on me, depending upon how spiteful it's feeling. As such, I am growing decidedly cranky, because winter should bloody well be over by now. On the upside, today is the international day of beer consumption, so at least I shall be warm, if cranky.

In other news, this week has sucked. I have spent it almost entirely in bed, watching daytime TV and recovering from antibiotics that, as it turns out, I took unnecessarily because the doctor failed to correct the root cause of the problem he prescribed them for. As such, I apologize in advance if I happen to be a little bitter.



Ramblebox
And by "a little bit bitter" I mean "I had a bizarre dream last night"

-AL  


L E T T E R S
Remakes for thought


Hay i got a question for ya.

my question is

since we saw final fantasy 1+2 Dawn of souls and III for the DS

my question is do you think we will see Final Fantasy IV,VI,VI,Secret of mana for the DS? or even the GBA? or last the PSP?

i want to hear your imput on it.

also do you think it will show up on this years E3?

Sincerly

Paine


ANDREW


Saw? Are you some sort of future traveller? I ask because we haven't actually seen FFIII yet, although it is on the way, and it will likely be at E3. As to IV-VI and SoM, however, that remains uncertain. The likelihood is certainly good that they will eventually arrive on one of the two handhelds, simply because Square Enix is creatively bankrupt or something and can't seem to get enough of resting on its laurels. On the other hand, the only one of those games that makes immediate sense to me is Secret of Mana, because it was released for the WSC in Japan a few years back, meaning another easy conversion for Square Enix, should it choose that route. Either way, you won't be seeing any of them at E3, I wouldn't think, since they've got Radiata Stories, DQVIII, FFXII, and FFIII to show off.


DON'T call me Andy, seriously.. I hate it


Hey Andy (you're doing this one now, right?)!

Ummm... I have only one question. What's your opinion of Chrono Cross? I know either you or Google hates it like the Black Plague, but I couldn't remember who was who. So, anyways, is it a good game? And if you're the one I asked before, could you see what Google's answer is? 'Cause I know there's a LOT of mixed opinions on this game.


ANDREW

It is I that hates it like pestilence, because of its decision to crap all over Chrono Trigger's characters near the end of the game. Beyond that, it had terrible pacing, loads of unnecessary characters, an annoying translation, and an end boss you could defeat by playing music. None of these are the stuff of great games in my books. I really must get around to re-reviewing that someday...

Anyhow, Google, if his review is any indication, seemed to like it a fair bit. He's not around to ask currently, however, and he beats me with a giant spiky pole if I don't get the column up by noon, so I'm afraid you'll have to take that for what it's worth.



Splitting hairs over minutiae


Hi!

I wonder if you have wondered about this feature called "leveling up" which some games (if not all) use on a random base which means everytime you got a level the points added are sometimes higher and sometimes lower. If you now restart the game and reload and fight again before the level up occured you might wonder why you get more or less points than before. I remember this (and i didnt bother then) from Phantasy Star 2 (MD) where some charakters had a specific level where it really boosted your Hp and other stats to the sky and if you were unlucky it was just going up 6 hp instead of lets say 12 hp (in this game any hp was essential) In the good old days i didnt notice this at all. What do you think of this? Should someone level up, restart, reload if he isn't pleased with the results? It surely destroys the game, thats what it does for me for some time.

best wishes,
dezo


ANDREW

Ruins the game for you? So you're telling me that your experience is irretrievably marred by either a)failing to obtain that extra +1 to stamina or b)resetting until you do obtain that extra +1 to stamina? Because if either of these is the case, you are a sad, sorry little man. If a game generates its level-up statistics randomly, which a number of games do, sure, reset every time you level up for all I care. If it really harms your gaming experience to have the thought of that lost character boost hovering over you, though, you're playing RPGs for all the wrong reasons. I would, if this is the case, recommend that you play only games that have set bonuses on level up, because resetting just because you think you might be able to do better is not only stupid, it's obsessive-compulsive.



Abusive relationships


Damn man. Sorry to hear about your luck with your NES but I also claim that the NES was the most durable system I've ever seen. Mine still works like a charm from 1989. I still play it. And you have no idea the hell my NES went through when I was growing up. My mom beat the living hell out of that thing every time I got in trouble. She threw it down stairs and at walls. Sure my casing has holes in it now, and somehow tree sap crystalized on it, (she did throw it out the window once!) and yet it still works!

ANDREW

Nice! My mom was the same way, though she largely cured herself of the habit of throwing my systems around by the time the NES came out. I still remember the sound of my TI/499A crashing against the landing as she threw it over the balcony, though... I was thoroughly horrified, though it miraculously still worked. Yes, old hardware was made to stand up to abuse. Except NES units... I maintain that they suck, even if it is just because the connectors were easily misaligned.



Drinkslinger continues to worm his way into my heart


Andrew WK,

I read something awhile ago where you made a snide comment about Chrono Cross, which I remembered fondly as one of the last RPGs that I made it through. I got through both Xbox Knights games and Fable, but I think I started and finished my friend's copy of the latter while I was waiting for a pizza, cigarette, and beer delivery. Near the Miami of Ohio campus there is some business that delivers beer, pizza and tobacco and the phone number is ???-1234, which probably triples business at 3 AM.
ANDREW

Oh man. You just reminded me of this song my OAC law teacher made up in response to the news that the Ontario conservative party was plying 8th graders with those very same commodities in exchange for their slave labour on the campaign bus. It went as follows: "Free pizza, smokes and beer, if you're 14 you can find them here!" It was really quite catchy. And yes, such a service would be immensely popular in any school-related area at 3 AM, and quite frankly I envy you with all my soul.

Anyway, I picked up Chrono Cross, again, the other day and it was sort of fun and a lot of the music was cool, but my playstation kept screaming and hopping during the computer animation scenes and refusing to play them. Thinking that this might be a mechanical version of animal intuition, I accepted the PSX's opinion, but unplugged it to show it I was still boss. The half naked teenager with the mohawk and the mother who looked like Kamala in drag were kind of freaking me out, anyway.

So I dusted off the SNES and looked for my CT cartridge to play that and see how it compared.

The good: Everything right through the first trial, Magus's castle, the reptite castle, Zeal and the underwater palace, and the end sidequests. The character design. Ozzie's awesome. The song in Medina village. The battle with Lavos' shell.

The bad: every section I didn't list. The regular old battles, and that stupid bass guitar fight song, couldn't be more annoying.

The Ugly: Character motives and believability. Crono.

I need to clarify this last section. What I mean is that other than Magus, no character had any reason to get involved with this stupid adventure. I suppose that damned robot could have been programmed to want to fight Lavos, but all in all, the future seemed to be a pretty cool place for him.

And I understand that believability isn't something I should expect from a story about a bunch of kids who travel through time killing dinosaurs and wall art with swords, crossbows, phasers, and their teeth, but my suspension of disbelief was broken in several places.

Why would some nerd, a spoiled princess (literally), a guy who must be from a TMNT ripoff that got axed, the cavewoman from that trashy romance novel that every woman in the world has read, the robot from lost in space and a character from bladerunner believe that they can destroy a gigantic hedgehog machine that erupts, has the ability to destroy all of humanity in a single day, can mimic the physical properties of any entity in the universe and has the dreadlocked alien from ID4 inside of it to boot.

Fine, Magus is an evil warlock and wants revenge because the thing ate his sister and sucked his mom's soul out. Being an evil wizard he probably believed he could defeat anything, so I get what he's doing.

But Crono as the hero? He runs around people's houses looking to bogart all their tabs (presumably of acid). He's a gutterpunk who hits birds with a wooden sword. There's a name for people like him-assholes.

I used to see his kind all the time on campus, sitting outside the abandoned movie theater. They didn't wash properly and used to harass people they recognized from one party, like, five years ago for beer money. I'm going to trust him to save my world? Not bloody likely, his kind can't even apply for a job properly or work a soda machine without kicking it.

If I'm the king, I'm going to see him dead before I let him touch my daughter (so that part was believable). If that doesn't work, you bet I'm going to disown her when she brings a goth dude with blue hair, ear implants and a cape, and a smelly half-naked woman wearing animal skins in to soil my royal hall.

Coming to the conclusion that CT was not what I remembered was not unlike experiencing the Bible for the first time as an adult and realizing that the supposed-greatest-King-the-world-had-ever-seen-or-will-ever-see started a war with god-knows-who only because some guy would be away getting killed instead of whining about the King's constant shagging of said guy's wife. I had to eject the tape to make sure I was watching Charleton Heston Reads the Bible and not Charleton Heston Paraphrases Caligula.

-Drinkslinger


ANDREW

I would destroy you for mocking one of my favorite games of all time, but my heart just wouldn't be in it, cuz your description is frigging funny. You win this time, Drinkslinger(though I maintain that Chrono Trigger is, in fact, teh awesome, believeability or no)!



A good point


Hey Googlemiser,

I saw this comment yesterday: "Another problem is that a huge section of the population refuses to listen to anything that doesn't have lyrics. I've never understood why that is, but it's true."

I've found this is the part of the population that has no rythm and/or is tone deaf (sadly, the majority of the wetern world has this problem. cultures that have pitch and/or rythm elements to their languages, such as chinese if i remember correctly, have a huge advantage). To them the music portion of a song is just meaningless static and the words are all they can remember/(repeat to themselves or others in an attempt to sing). The fact that all that's left to the tone deaf/rythmless is usually bad poetry is beyond them (and why they still like it is beyond me).

My proof? One word...Karaoke (to those with picth and rythm: be afraid, be very afraid)

watcher
Has somewhat hypersensitive hearing (as well as pitch and rythm) and therefore loathes Karaoke as his natural enemy.


ANDREW

Hmm. My opinion on this matter is probably a little coloured by the fact that both my mom and sister are exactly as you have described, with one notable exception: they can both sing on key. As such, I wouldn't say that all people who are lyrically obsessed are tone deaf, but having avoided karaoke like the plague since birth upon seeing it depicted a few times onscreen, I can well imagine how that might be a relevant assessment of the situation. Nevertheless, I will agree that lyrics are at best a non-essential element to music, since much of what I listen to contains none.



The continuing adventures of my apparently mortal enemy


I must be the luckiest man ever I still have my original NES never any problems I always thought that system was indestructible, I mean hell I have memories of taking those controllers and swinging them around my head into a wall out of frustration when I would lose only to plug them back in with no problems. Also I hear all these people with ps2 problems I have one of the earlier ones purchased within 6 mos of when they came out that has been to hell and back, I mean we've gotten drunk and played hockey with dropped it off the TV even fallen on it during drunken battles and still no problems.

Mookie

PS. Is sh3 coming out in America soon?

PPS have you come out of the closet yet Andrew you big gayball?


ANDREW

While it seems unlikely that a) you would play hockey with something, given that you have previous gone on a tirade about the alleged crappiness of hockey and b) that a PS2 would survive such an endeavour, I suppose you might have been one of the lucky ones. You're still an unmitigated asshat, though.

P.S. Die.

P.P.S. Blow me.



Unfit for Print


Oh and Secret of Evermore was awesome blow me on a consistent basis Nathan

Mookie


ANDREW

Whatever you say, Mookiepoo.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

A little light on the letter side today, so I guess I'd better concoct a topic of some description... How about that new Musashi game? I hear it's all the rage!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long is now caffeine-free!


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My calcium's through the roof, though!

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