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Andrew Long - April 4 '04- 19:37 Eastern Standard Time

SO ANYWAY, I have devised an excellent system for the selection of my MSN messenger image, which I employ whenever I tire of whatever image I'm pretending is me for a given stretch. Today was such a day, and I once again used my system, which basically is to enter a random word into the Google image search directory and find the best image that comes up. Since Shroudie is always calling for sexy pictures, I think you'll all agree that this particular image is a highly necessary addition to this column.

Having now neatly disguised my lack of anything to talk about, I think I'll go while the going's good and get on down to the letters.



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W, 6-0 @ OTT, SO
And so, the season ends
Series tied, 0-0
Also, baseball begins tomorrow
Oh, the thrills never end

Hmm... you scamps seem to have turned this Shadow Hearts 2 thing into a running joke of some sort


Haven't written in a while, but I need to know...

When is Shadow Hearts 2 coming out?!!!11?!1
(I know you hate me.)

Now, now... Hate is such a strong word. Let's just say that if I'm ever in your area, I'll salt the earth in your garden to ensure that nothing will ever grow there again.

Now, for the slightly less anger-inspiring questions:

0. What can I do to be inspired to play RPGs again? The last one I played to the near end of was FF X, in which I'm determined to beat all the dark aeons/nemesis/penance... but at 160 hours I think the game has broken my spirit :( Do you have any suggestions for noteworthy, unique RPGs of the past few years?

Breath of Fire V. Disgaea. Mario & Luigi. FFX, actually. There's more, but that's a good start. I hear you, though... I have been less inspired to finish games of late. Of course, that could have something to do with being uninspired to do much of anything, but that's another story.

1. Why is Australia the ass-end of the world when it comes to releases and release dates? In living memory, the only game I think we've had before the rest of the world was Mario Kart: Double Dash, which is incidentally a great game, but seriously... one game in the past generation of consoles to be assigned a Europe release early. As for all the games that don't make it to Europe, and thus Australia... *cries* Disgaea isn't even here yet! What can you do to help this trend, good sir?

Well, if you'd like to provide me with funding, I could become some sort of international superterrorist, rocket-launching gaming companies into submission until they coughed up sweet, precious games in the direction of Australia. I doubt the UN would approve, though, and I don't feel like fighting Mothra or NeoMothra. As such, I'm afraid you'll just have to suck it up or use eBay.

2. Why do you think all RPGs need some form of combat to progress the story and the gameplay? I know 'all' isn't neccesarily true, but I'm not getting into the whole Harvest Moon = RPG thing here. Everything I can think of involves the same slime = gc = item to kill slime faster technique, which is fun if you don't mind pressing A repeatedly for umpteen zillion hours, but where's the change? I'm impressed with Mario and Luigi and others of its ilk, wherein you have to actually time your presses a little, decreasing the RSI on your thumb.

Meow, meow, meow. RPGs do that because it's conventional for RPGs to do that, and if you want a story without fighting, watch Lord of the Rings. While there may be a slight decline in creativity currently, there's still a lot of decent games kicking around, and whining about basic RPG staples like fighting doesn't accomplish much. Basically, part of the thing that draws a lot of people into RPGs is the chance to simulate kicking ass and waving a sword around, so if you take that out, you limit your target audience.

3. (F1 junk) Why does Michael Schumacher win so much? And why do McLaren insist on building Raikkonen's engine out of old noodles and hair ties? The guy has blown 4 engines in 3 races!

Michael Schumacher wins so much because of all the noodles and hair ties going around on virtually every other team. For example, the only Canadian racer on circuit currently is Villeneuve, and ever since Williams and Renault decided they were too good for racing (or at least, each other), he's been through a succession of crapulent cars that have a remarkable tendency to melt down at inopportune moments. That is, of course, if the engine manages to last through the entire race, which is by no means a guarantee.

4. Short and to the point, which is hard: what's your favourite of the Zelda games?

The SNES Zelda.

ty for your time, even if it is just that second while you reach for the delete button :D


What... you think these letters just appear here without any intervention on my behalf? This thing doesn't write itself! And now... DELETED!

Shroudie's first try


It's good to see that I started a trend with our good buddy 'Buncley. Paper Mario 2?! Whoa..I just ignore the first one and they make a sequel?! Craaazy. Good news is that the Leafs beat the Sabers the other night. Those loveable Sabers, always sucking to their full potential. Now you live 15 minutes away from the campus? According to the site, the "off campus housing"/hotel rooms are 5 mins. away, so that means I'm 10 minutes from your doorstep! Stalking EVERY night, my friend!! We can make a daily routine of me stalking you around town, grabbing a bite to eat, and then going to watch a movie...or something. Now mistakes are all good and holy to attract more letters, but I still say that sexy pictures will bring more viewers! Like they say, "nothin' says lovin like somethin' from the oven". Err..well, that doesn't make any sense, but I'm sure it's good for something. Granted, you could make more out of that than any of us could. So with that, I leave you to ponder the matters of randomopium.

Fresh baked deliciousness,

O' Shrouded One

And ponder I shall, although the propaganda of OCAD is rather liesome at best. Student housing is, in fact, directly across the road from the campus, so my estimate remains fifteen minutes, which is probably rather optimistic and based upon the fact that I walk rather quickly. Still, that's pretty close. As to the hapless Sabres, well... better luck next year, and may Tom Golisano never run for office again. I just can't take his horrible advertising campaign.

The sky, she is falling!

"Case in point: the Final Fantasys. Square gave us FFX and FFTactics. Squarenix gave us FFX-2 and FFTactics Advance. While the sequels are still enjoyable, their lack of story made me run back to the originals. " "at the screenshots of Dragon Warrior 8, it looks like Square convinced Enix to do something different."

All of these games were in development before the merger and did not undergo any serious changes as a result of it. This argument is a failure.


You're the failure, Kent! YOU'RE THE FAILURE! Seriously, though, don't trouble yourself with rabid tehdoomers. While they might like to think that Square Enix is the devil, the fact of the matter remains that it's still too early to tell, and besides, lack of creativity and sequels is an industry-wide trend right now, so you can hardly blame one company for going the secure route. I wish they'd try new things more often, but then again, I haven't even picked up Drakengard yet, so who am I to talk?

In other news, did you know that a piercing through the bridge of your nose between your eyes is/was known as an earl? That's fantastic!

Actual email title: "what is the blocks"

In the Fire temple the room with the fire curtain that fallows you there is a block that looks like a gorons face what do I do to it? I am stuck because theres no where to go after I get the goron that is under the crack that I blow up with a bomb. I then got the key by pressing the switch and then Im stuck.

Well, first you can go back to the drawing board and write a letter in intelligible english, and then you can send it again so that I can properly look up what you're talking about. Also, it'd help if you told me which game you're referring to, since gorons appear in several Zelda titles. I'm perfectly willing to be your FAQ monkey, but GIVING IS A TWO-WAY STREET, and your way just sprung a traffic jam. Which reminds me of this time my grandpa went the wrong way on a one-way route. Boy was that fun! I almost died! But I digress...

Unfit for Print

Can I play Final Fantasy XI PS2 version, without having 40 Gb Hard Disk?

From: Arc

You can't even buy FFXI PS2 without the hard disk, so why would you be able to play it alone? Sometimes I wonder about you people...

Shroudie's lament, with random cords picture

Snow? SNOW?! Why the hell do we have snow in April?!?! Damn you lake-effect-type things.


How very poetic. Attachments make my brain bleed, and I should probably mention that Mikel has acquired a delightful new spam filter that pounces upon anything with an attachment or HTML in the body. As such, if you send me a letter, make sure it has a title, contains no HTML, and comes from an email addy that does not contain numbers. If any of these applies, just send to


I must slumber now, or at least eat something. For next week, I'm all fired up over Paper Mario 2, so feel free to send in letters about that. Also, I hear there's this game Shadow Hearts 2 that might just be getting released soon, so if you'd like to inquire as to its supersecret release date, which only i know, then feel free to ask about that too. Until such a time, may all your mishaps be creamsicle-related.
Andrew Longis seeing green - time to eat!



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