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ASK ANDREW
The Windows Are Locked Now, So What'll It Be?
February 21, 2007

Andrew Long - 1:44 EST

SO ANYWAY, I says to myself, I says, "self, you know that Heath character who's always doing the self-promotion thing on our boards? Let's bring him on to cohost for shits and giggles!" Then Mikel swatted me for cursing and I edited that to "spits and giggles". Then I got apprehensive, then concerned, then anxious, then worried. Then I took a nap. Then I actually got down to writing this column. Heath?

Heath Hindman- 1:55 EST

Yeah so I was like "Man, doing letters over at the 'Gamer was the spit, back in the day. And I seriously said "spit" that time; I didn't get yelled at. And then Andrew and I were talking and he was all "Yeah you can come cohost." And I was like "Shit, yeah!" That time I did get yelled at.




LETTERS
Didn't I tell you to go live life? Oh well


Hi Matt,

I was wondering, and this may be off my norm for you, prepare for a bit of shock. I used to play Dark Cloud 1 which I absolutly loved, rebuilding the towns and the characters, it may not be final fantasy but the Evil Genie was fun to tackle. Then there was Dark Cloud 2 with Max and Monica. The story line was great and the camera/invention addition was fun. Not to mention that it was great following in the steps of 1. It did take awhile for me to warm up to the two characters, but in time I did. I loved the back floors and building up the weapons. I also liked the return of several characters from 1 to 2. Last I heard about two years ago was that there was a Dark Cloud 3 in the works. I would have assumed it to already be out, but it apparently is not, I know the first Dark Cloud went Greatest Hits, I think Dark Cloud 2 did as well. Why have we not seen Dark Cloud 3. Is it delayed? Has it been cancelled? Was it relesaed and hidden on the backshelves at stores? Or? Did the company close up? Whats going on?
Andrew

So how exactly is this out of character, Paine? I mean sure, it's not a remake you're asking about, but it's close enough! My answer from before remains the answer now: if we know about it, you'll see it on index. As such, I recommend you direct your attention there.

Heath
Dark Cloud 3 was indeed released about a year ago, but in a triple pack that included Shenmue III and Skies of Arcadia 2. All three of these were playable exclusively on Dreamcast.

Now for my usual severe beating of the preverbial dead horse. Square Enix questions. They say they plan not to release many major tirles on the next-gen game platforms during 2007. I am expecting to see Dragon Quest IX which will rock, but is there any other titles they may release during this time? I am hoping to see new games, they mention lower budget titles. By Lower Budget what do they mean? Do they plan to release something like the low budget Hylide or Paladin's Quest? I know they plan ports in this time, do you have any idea what systems?
Andrew

Well, Paine, here at RPGamer we have a release date database, that, believe it or not, you can access from our index. I would chide you for not using it, but alas, it does tend to be horrendously inaccurate. Still, having no other source, all I can say is that at this point the only title showing up for release by S-E anytime soon is Final Fantasy Fables - Chocobo Tales, whatever that is. You might also keep an eye out for Revenant Wings, which judging from its Japanese release date should be getting here just in time for Christmas. Hey, that's a sequel! You're bound to love it! Just think of all the time you'll save not having to learn about new characters!

Heath

Look, I don't know how to tell you this, but they're ALL low-budget games. Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest titles are manufactured by kids in sweatshops making 3-5 cents per day, or 2-3 cents per day if they want to borrow a small, battery-operated fan from the manager.

Then, Wal-Mart buys them in bulk for about $4 a copy. Then people like you--who hate kids and love child abuse--pay $50 for them and keep the cycle going.

I do have another Question of sorts I am also a fan of first person shooters such as Black, Halo, Timesplitters, Call Of Duty, Etc, Etc, Etc, So on and so forth. I know you don't deal with first person shooters, however I have relevance in this. Do you think we will ever see an RPG/FPS besides Dirge Of Cerbus. I think it would be interesting. The Elder Scroll Games Border On it, but not quite, what do you think on this?

Sincerly Paine

Andrew

I think it's kind of an unnecessary hybrid; RPGs are more about story than frantic gameplay, while FPSes are all about the visceral experience they offer. Combining the two seems like it's bound to remove the best parts from each, so whether or not DoC ends up being good, I'm just not sold on the idea.



Why indeed, dezorian, why indeed


Hi!

I wonder when Landstalker (PSP) and SEGA AGES: Phantasy Star Collection (or at least part 4) (PS2) will be released. They sure take their time considering the fact that these games should be released years ago. Why doesn’t Sega and Co. even care giving some infos about the status on their games? I sure never saw any info on the net. And I hate the Shining Force Sequels, they don’t deserve the Shining Label. SF is all about nifty strategy, good music, good story...no massmarket realtime pseudo-mmorpg-kinda game without a soul…

thanks for listening,

dezorian

Andrew

Well, I'm not certain when, but sometime between now and Conspiracy Entertainment's 2004 acquisition of the rights to the PS trilogy, it decided to take those rights and... do nothing with them. Yes, its planned PS2 port has been cancelled, so I'm afraid you're out of luck when it comes to the Sega Ages title. So really, it's not Sega who "doesn't care", it's Conspiracy, and it's more likely that they "can't afford it." As for Landstalker, it has apparently met the same fate; while 1up claims it has a release date of 08-20-2007, our own Aethelred has declared it "as dead as DeForest Kelley." So I guess what you mean by "I never saw any info on the net" is "I never looked for any info on the net," because finding these things out was by no means a painstaking affair.

Heath

Only Sega RPGs I've heard a peep about lately are the upcoming Shining Force EXA and the recently release Phantasy Star Universe. Judging by this letter, I don't think I'll recommend either of them to you.





Hello JuMeSyn -

So I knew this day had to be comming, and I've been saving a MST3K quote for ya (it seemed weird to ask Matt or Josh to pass it on). "Science has yet to justify the existence of Isaac Asimov's sideburns" - Tom Servo. Man, I haven't seen that show in what has to be close to ten years, but that quote has stuck with me all this time and still makes me chuckle, especially when I see a photo of Asimov on a book jacket or somesuch.
Andrew

They're good at that... I saw this one ep of them watching these devils dancing around in an old musical of some sort, and one of them quipped "You'd think that after an eternity of this, they'd be better at it..."

Anyway's, I needed to come up with some questions to ask as an excuse to send that quote in, so I dug through the editorials looking for inspiration, and doing so leads me to my first question. Do you ever sleep man? I mean just going back in the archives a few months, it seems like you're in almost every update, I know you've written tons of reviews, the length of your letters to Q & A is legendary, and playing all those import games has to be time consuming since I get the impression that you check online translations and don't actually speak Japanese. Where do you find the time?
Andrew

I guess this is one of the problems with answering questions intended for other people, but hey... I have almost fifty reviews, it could sort of apply to me! Alas, I play no import games, save for that unfortunate experience with SD3, a game which to this day I cannot fathom why so many people enjoy.

Secondly, have you ever seen Kung Faux? It reminds me of MST3K in some ways and I highly recommend it if you haven't. The guy's from the Wu Tang Clan took these old martial arts flicks, completely reworked the plots, and added beats by the Rza. Absolutely hilarious if you don't have a problem understanding ebonics.
Andrew

Thanks for sharing, kezzy. No I haven't.

Thirdly, in connection with your Brave Story editorial, have you read any of the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card? It seems like an ideal alternate history setting for the type of RPG you describe, heavy shamanistic elements and also the settlers have a lot of usage of what I recall they called hexes, which could be used as a second magical system.
Andrew

I must confess, the fervence with which googleshng liked Orson Scott Card put me off reading him forever. Which is odd, since I tend to like a lot of the games and junk that he does. I wonder whatever happened to that guy, anyway...

And lastly, as regards your editorial about a TMNT RPG, has anyone pointed out to you the GURPS TMNT expansion? I spent a lot of time with this one in junior high school, although in some ways I think it would translate better as a PC RPG. My friends and I were constantly creating new characters just for fun, since everything from the particular animal, to the effect of the mutation was generated by random dice rolls there seemed to be an almost infinite number of possibilities as to how your character would turn out. Good fun indeed. Anyways, I hope you enjoy your hosting opportunity, have fun with it man.

kezzy

Heath

I think I'll just let IRC answer this question for me.

(Owozifa) Some town named "The Pas"
(Rage) Man, they should add a 't.'
(Owozifa) Oh YES
(Rage) That be so awesome.
(Owozifa) "Hey, I'm going to The Past today."
(Owozifa) "WHAT?"
(Rage) "You're living in The Past, dad!" "Shut up, so are you!" "I know...but I don't want to go to college in the future!" "IF YOU...wait, do you mean the tense or the town called The Future?"

So you see, I simply take frequent trips to The Past.





would have to say that playing a game makes me fonder of a game's music most of the time. There is a certain emotional significance to hearing the music in the context of the game that you don't get by listening to the music alone.

Just my $0.02.

--
R. Bemrose
Webmaster, VGMusic.com
(Also former RPGamer Music guy / MMORPGamer)

Heath

Is that $0.02 US or Canadian? If it's US, I think I could take it to Andrew's neck of the continent and like, buy a car, the quality of which would of course vary depending on the exchange rate of the day.





To Andrew, the same Andrew that I assumed accompanied Googleshang years before,
Andrew

Well, one of them, at any rate...And my last column was only a year ago, c'mon. You're making me sound like Methuselah here!

Nice to write to you; its kind of cool writing in to someone known for snipping letters that drag too long and giving caustic responses to those stupid enough to be on par with thinking Sony actually cares about its customers. They sort of shot themselves in the foot at this point with expensive launch prices, a noticeable lack of good launch games, and incapable backwards capability with older games. Care to give more examples of how they were dead before their ship even sank?
Andrew

No, you've just about covered it :) I'm so glad being a Nintendo fanboy is semifashionable again!

Here are two RPG questions to help your column while exploiting that cynical wisdom of yours..

First, what do you consider the worst RPG of the past year? Give any reason you want...crappy story, impossible gameplay, irrelevant characters, glitchy graphics, etc. This one's all yours...
Andrew

Hmm... Worst RPG of 2006? Well, I didn't really get a chance to play a huge number of them, so will you accept "worst I've played in 2006?" If so, (and you have to) the answer is Phantom Brave. Someone needs to take the team that programmed that business out behind the shed and do what needs to be done.

Heath

Spectral Souls on PSP. I once said of it: "Several PSP RPGs have suffered from mammoth load times. Idea Factory apparently wanted Spectral Souls to hang out with this clique, so the devs dazzled their game with all mannor of load times: the long kind, the not-as-long kind, the kind in places where one would never expect loading to happen, and the kind that makes the game's battle music skip a few beats. The gang's all here, and players can expect to see "Disc Access" flash onto the screen a few hundred times per play session."

Second, name one RPG that you've played in the past that was so bad that it was actually worth playing just for the sake of being ridiculously stupid. In other words, what game have you played that was so bad it was good for a laugh when looking back on that gaming experience?

Have a good one,
BLG

Andrew

That'd be Legacy of Goku. Everytime I thought it couldn't possibly top its own badness, it did. In retrospect I probably should have suspected something was up when the first mission in the game was to collect some porno magazines. Come on, people! Class it up! Would it kill you to say bromide?

Heath

I'm gonna tap the PSP again and say the new release Legend of Heroes III fits the description. Seeing its terrible localization and tremendous, shameless stack of cliché was always good for a laugh. I quoted it often in IRC when playing it, and folks would either respond with laughter (that the translators were surely feeling all the way from the internet), or with migranes.

When my fiancee and I and were gaming it up in our sweet blanket fort recently, she actually wanted to see how bad it was for herself. Again, quite a few laughs happened that the translators would actually not be smiling about.

IN CLOSING

Well, that's it for me. It would seem, however, that we are suffering from a slight dearth of mail. As such, I'm going to need you guys to go all-out so we can have a nice, long column tomorrow. The topics are plentiful; GDC's just a few weeks away, Riviera and FFVIa are newly out, and Jade Empire is getting a special edition release for reasons that I cannot possibly fathom! Also, I never get tired of bashing the PS3, so do be dears and give me some fodder in that department too, and we'll all have a merry... February 22nd. The best holiday of them all, you know!

Heath:

This was cool. If you care at all, Andrew and I also did a smaller, more ghetto column over here which was also kinda neat. Maybe I'll be back again at some point. Who knows?



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Andrew Long declares that Heath Hindman will pay. Don't be thinking he won't pay!


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