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Back To The Future February 28th, 2007

Andrew Long - 13:14 EST

OK, SO APPARENTLY the bottom half of my column was eaten by the moon, so I'm going back to my old template for the time being. Sure, it's not quite as pretty as Matt's and has a few table issues of its own, but at least it doesn't exclude the bottom half of things. Now, to cases!

Making up for lost time

Hey person,

haven't written to the Q&A in a long while so I'm going to be touching base on various topics I've noticed...

It seems that many of the letters you receive are poorly written and I find it a big turn off when reading Q&A. I'm not a huge stickler nor am I a shining example of literary perfection, but when I read some of those e-mails, I can't help but lose more faith in humanity. Yes, I know that English isn't the mother language of all and I should just let it slide...argh, moving on.

Yes, sadly not everyone bothers to make themselves coherent before pressing "send." I am one to let peoples' ignorance convict them, so I don't usually proofread letters I receive. Some of the worse ones end up in Unfit for Print, but sometimes incoherence does mask a good question, so I try to puzzle my way through them all. Every so often, though, I get tired of it and do an aolhax0r84 column as revenge. Hmm... 1984 would make him 23 now... Guess I'd better make that aolhax0r93.

The PS3 isn't doing a good job at selling itself (obviously) and the incompetent spokespeople aren't helping either. It needs games and it needs them fast, but not just any games--it needs something to set itself apart from the 360. But what's the point of this "advanced" technology if many homes don't have an HD television, if not even a widescreen? In order to fully appreciate what the PS3 is trying to offer, we gotta have a capable monitor as well. I kind of wonder if we, as RPGamers, really care that much to shell out our life savings for fancy graphics. I mean, we're still buying/playing FFVI with its beyond dated graphics...

Well, bear in mind, HD is going to become standard in 2009, so Sony's focus on technology will probably be a little more sensible in that context, while Nintendo might lose some customers at that point due to their failure to include such compatibility. And yes, while Nintendo will lose some customers, that will only be the highly superficial segment of the gaming population, who probably weren't going to go Wii anyway.

How many games do you have on your backlog now? I've been buying game after game with no desire to actually play through them. I still need to beat Disgaea 2, Star Ocean III, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Wild ARMS III and IV, Suikoden V, FFXII, Rogue Galaxy, Tales of the Abyss and more. The list goes on and on...but I still want to burn more cash even though I'm currently jobless. Do you think the RPGamer is a collector of sorts or is it just me?

Oh lord, don't even talk about backlogs... I have games dating back to 1999 that I still haven't finished. Only since I decided to attack the Suikoden series this summer did I even put a dent in that pile, and I still have a good twenty games or more kicking around that I really ought to finish. Off the top of my head the list goes as follows: DQVII, SO2, SO3, FFIIIDS, FFXII, Vandal Hearts, Wild ARMs 1 and 2, Disgaea 2, TOKoL, Majora's Mask, Lufia 2, M&L Partners in Time, Suiko IV, Harvest Moon (one of them), Xenogears, Xenosaga, Vagrant Story, Radiata Stories, Shadow Hearts II, and probably a couple others. So yes, I will agree with your collector premise.

I have something I'd like you to do if you don't mind. Could describe what you'd like to see in a new RPG franchise? Pretend that you're making your own and tell me what kind of characters, story, gameplay and other gaming aspects you'd want. Don't worry! Copyright is all yours! If that's too much to ask for, just tell me what you look for when you make a purchase for a game.

Anyway, this'll be my letter for the year so good luck and all that fun stuff.



A new RPG franchise? Well, a story by an actual fantasy author is the first thing I'd want to see; getting a decent translation staff and a good story worked wonders for FFXII, and I just can't help but think that having an author write the storyline would be an excellent touch. Second, I'd want an update on the Tales-style battle system; that is, one of those actiony-hacknslash semi-turn-based dealies, with special moves as in Legend of Legaia, but learned by level, so as to prevent internet roguery. Finally, music by Uematsu or Sakimoto cuz they are both love.

My reasons are my OWN

Hi Andrew

What would it take for me to want to buy a ps3? I think that it would take two to three games of the caliber of Oblivion and Gears of War. That is what it took for me to be interested in the Xbox 360. On the Sony front that means FF13 getting stellar reviews and being available now. I guess that Sony is SOL at the moment! Besides, I still remember the pain of buying a PSP at launch and there are only, now, three games for the system that I like. A shameless plug; try Ratchet and Clank: Size matters!

I thought that you had given up on Q and A, Andrew? What gives? I understand that with Matt being busy the show must go on and such but if there are no letters why push the topic out the door? I am curious.



Heh, the commercial for that was awesome, with the guy getting eaten by the owl. Reminds me of a couple simpsons moments: "Hey, you're a northern reticulated chipmunk, yes you are, yes you are!" *Owl* Come to think of it that's pretty much where they stole it from. Also, the end of the Sherry Bobbins episode where she gets shredded by the jet engine. In any case, I am back because Matt is in thesis hell, and Ouro is who knows where. I had given up on Q&A, but not because I particularly wanted to; I lacked the time and interest a year ago to continue, and people obviously weren't too keen on me either. I figure that I can leech off Matt's popularity now and stick around at least another little while. As for pushing the topic out the door, nothing kills letter flow faster than there not being columns, as I found out one wintry February morn a year ago. Now, let us never speak of this again.

Wow..people actually followed my topic! That never happens @.@

Yeah...about the PS3...

What will make me buy? It is as you said: It will take a price drop AND/OR some good games. Neither are coming anytime soon. Sorry. Oh. And I'm happy they got their Bluray format off the ground, but its not like it affects me any. It will be a LONG time before Bluray surpasses DVD. For what it's worth, lots of people say the PS3 is a good Bluray player, so you could get it for that because its the cheapest one on the market.

Random question of the day: What is your favorite PS1 game? Mine is FF7.


Hmm. Well, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one waiting for those two things. As for BluRay, I tend to agree that DVDs are just fine for the time being. Personally I'm hoping they go the way of the laser disc, but whenever I become spiteful towards a format it always seems to succeed, so I'll just bide my time. As for my favorite PS1 game? Probably one of BFM or SotN, though FFT comes fairly close.

Now there's someone after my own heart

This one is very simple,

What would sony need to do to make me buy a PS3?

They'd need to make their HD graphics look just as good on my 13 inch TV as they do on 1080 plasma, drop the pricetag 300 bucks, and put out some good games. Or a good game. Games would be better but really i'd settle for a game at this point. OH, and fire everyone in their marketing department. Because WOOOOOOW.

PS, i wasn't joking about the 13 inch TV part. I will never care how high def graphics can go because i will always have a little POS tv that i can sit up on my desk next to my monitor. And i can't afford a several thousand dollar TV.


Yes! I'm glad I'm not one of the only ones (my friend Jim swears by an old Commodore 64 monitor, which is a surprisingly good videogaming device, since you can hook up state-of-the-art sound equipment and the picture is quite nice, the colours very sharp) who likes to game on a smaller TV. It probably stems from my years of banishment to the basement, sitting in an ancient chair that was falling apart, only sometimes comfortable, and squinting at our old 12-inch set from like.. the 70s. So high-five!

And yes, Sony's marketing department needs to go the glue factory. But not until they provide me with some more grade-A laughs ^_^

And now, to give Nintendo its requisite love <3

Dear Q&A Person,

What games would you most like to see either remade completely or ported to something like the Virtual Console?

I want to see original stuff that I've either never had the chance to play before or missed out on. I'm thinking some of the middle Dragon Quest/Warrior games that I never really took the time to try.


- Macstorm


Hmm. The middle Dragon Warriors are indeed a fine choice, but I'd have to go with one of my favorite platformers of old, Bubsy and Close Encounters of the Furred Kind. Despite its cheesiness it was actually a very enjoyable game. It's a pity its subsequent sequels wandered off into the desert of videogaming and died a miserable, and well-deserved death. That is one series that never should have entered the 3D realm.

As to remakes, hmm. To be honest I have no problem playing older games in their original state, so while I do tend to purchase remakes of games that I liked, really it's just an excuse for me to play through them again (see: FFVIa).


So then. Let's hear from you guys: what do you want to see on the Virtual Console? I know my selections weren't exactly awe-inspiring, but you lot probably have some interesting choices, so let's discuss! There's bound to be something I didn't think of. Also, do you suppose I should come up with a game so as to continue the newfound tradition around here? I think GARTER should be an easy acronym to come up with words for!
Andrew Long thinks... Game About RPGs That somethingsomething.

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