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Andrew Long - April 23 '04- 17:24 Eastern Standard Time

AS I MAY HAVE RANTED ABOUT ELSEWHERE, SONIC HEROES is the worst game I've ever played, bar none. Weighing in a close second is Castlevania: LoI, which may have suffered from asstacularity by association to a degree, since I rented it the same time I did Sonic Heroes, and was already moderately disgruntled by the time I got around to the game, which took a hell of a long time, thanks to the splendidly unnecessary introductory blather, which for some reason involved a fat old man in a cabin babbling on about alchemy, a subject only tangentially related to anything.

I really don't know where Konami went wrong with this one - I mean, the mechanics are largely similar to other Castlevania titles, and the music was nice, but there was just something about it that didn't feel quite right. Maybe it's the lingering memory of Harmony of Dissonance, which definitely didn't light my fire. Maybe it's the fact that the dungeon design was tedious and the fighting limited to mindless hammering with clumsy controls. Probably, I just didn't give it much of a chance, but one thing is for certain - I dursn't like it.

But I digress! I bet you're wondering why I've been jarred from my rhythm of actually getting the column at the crack of midnight. Well, as she turns out, my computer was infested with no fewer than eight separate viruseses, all of which were pumping out spam at a terrific rate. This, naturally, led to my ISP cutting off the problem at the source, and so I finally had to bite the bullet and do the format I'd been putting off the past few months. You see, I knew I was farming out spam, probably because I kept getting autoresponse emails from childrens' hospitals informing me that while doctor Yossarian would be happy to correspond with me upon his return, I probably shouldn't bother him while he's on a star-studded medical tour in Guam headlined by Madonna, but I kind of hoped nobody would notice and I could get away with avoiding a format for a little while longer.

No dice, it seems. Here we are a day later and a few GB lighter, your letters safely tucked away in my email account and me with no FFXI CD key. Since it's still Friday, I guess I'm not technically late, but sorry anyhow.

Oh, and lest I forget - HAHAHAHAHA! You suck, Ottawa! That is all.



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Importation lamentation

:D It's my 17th Birthday today :D

You know what would be the best birthday present ever?

For you to spill the beans on the Shadow Hearts 2 release date, either for the US or Europe doesn't matter, since I'm gonna get into importing games from the US.

No dice.

Do you think that it is worth me shelling out for a PS2 from the US (it would cost me 138) because the PS3 is coming out in 2006, do you think that I would get my money's worth in the time space from now until then? 138 is quite abit of money for me, and I of course will be wanting to go from a PS2 straight to a PS3 when it comes out, and that will cost alot. But I could import a PS3 then and just carry on with what I was doing with PS2 games.

My reasons for wanting to start importing are, that games come out very early than they do over here, most new games I can cheaper if I imported them and lastly there are more rpg's out in the US than here.


Well, as long as you're going to be importing a steady stream of games and they will, in fact, be cheaper, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't, provided that £138 includes all the delightful duties and taxes that tend to crop up when you import stuff overseas (and as long as you don't mind that you'll be paying about $70.00 US more than the tag price I found at EBGames). These are the questions you must ask yourself, and once you're able to say "why yes, that doesn't leave me with a vaguely gnawing feeling that I'm getting ripped off," go crazy.

The topic that just won't quit

Hey Andrew,

So you want to know how long your readers have been around? You want to know why some write and some don't? Here is my two cents.

I don't know how long I have been around exactly. I know I have been visiting the site for many years. I did not read Q&A originally, but eventually got hooked. I seem to recall a number of different hosts including some Andrews, a slime, various feline creatures (Paws, Chesh) and several others in between. I think the earliest I was reading Q&A was around the time the cats were dominating (possibly a little earlier).

I have written off and on now for a while. Originally I didn't write much, because when I did, I never got answered. Lately, I have gotten answered more, so I write more. I was briefly turned off from writing during the reign of a certain other Andrew. This is because I found that any time someone made a mistake in their letter, they were insulted, and on the one time I decided to comment on a similar mistake made by the host, I was also insulted. So basically, insulting your readers is bad (Unless they don't use decent english, because who wants to read those letters anyway). You may also consider replying directly to the writer in some way so they know that an answer has been posted (more encouragment). I know I sometimes forget to check Q&A for a day or two and may miss an answer to my letter.

Anyway, if I was to offer any advice on ways you might increase your fan base. If you see a good comment from someone who you don't recognize, answer it. I know I was turned off early on by a lack of response. It is nice to see the posts from Shroudie, ImperialMog, NeoCarbuncle, and all those other regulars, but they are not the ones who need the encouragement. Also, avoid insulting people. Fact is, if their comments are stupid, then it is pretty easy to just ignore them. If you post an insult, they may never write again, worse yet, they may stop reading.

Easy, yes... but not easy. The sad fact of the matter is, some days those stupid comments are all I have to print, and while I do try and provide an honest answer after crying about the question, I look upon that crying as compensation, I guess. It's not terribly honorable, but then again, I'm not a knight.

I offer this advice, off course I don't expect YOU to take it. The fact is, as far as hosts go, I think you are probably the best I have seen in a long time. It is nice that when someone has a question you do your best to answer it. It is also nice that insults are kept to a minimum. And most importantly I love when you come up with new topics for discussion other than "Stuff" and "Things". These discussions are what keep me coming back for more.

And that's my two cents.


Thanks for the kind words, Eggman. I shall endeavour to maintain some semblance of discussion here, cuz let's face it - without direction, this could very easily turn into a rudderless, latestFF-centric/catgirl fanfic ship, which would probably compel me to steer it directly into the sun. As to emailing confirmations, I don't do that for the simple reason that it would double the length of time it takes me to do a column. Sadly, I remain a lazy, lazy man.

Swearing "this isn't spam" is like a hockey player throwing his arms in the air after he trips someone

I need to vent. You know the other day I was re-beating FFX and I realized just how different FFx is to FFx-2. Beyond the drastic change that has happened to strong willed conservative Yuna, I really thought about how, in some ways, dissapointed I was with FFx-2. I mean I love that Square was thinking outside the box and trying new things but FFx-2 just didn't engulf me like FFx did. It feels as though everything FFx worked so hard to do was just kind of thrown out the window with FFx-2. Everything is just so.........bubbly. In FFx Sin was a horrible and terrible thing. So much so that summoners were willing to give there lives so that people could live without fear for ten years. Sin killed thousands of people. *spoilers* So in the end Yuna makes it so that it never returns. Great! Only two years later everyone is over it. Everyone is over the lost loved ones, friends, and family it destroyed two years ago. TWO years people! Sin was just stripped of all the power it had and all the fear it inflicted in FFx. Ok, so as if that wasn't enough, now the immature people of Spira have cut themselves off even more from their remaining family and friends with this Yevon and Youth league thing. CHOOSE A SIDE! If you aren't on my side I disown you as my son! Your deceased mother, brother, sister, and old Grandpa Joe will never be able to rest in peace if you aren't with me! I also wish that Nobue would have done the music too. Alot of the songs in FFx-2 get on my nerves. But when I listen to FFx's music, man, it's fantastic. Beautiful, dude. Of course, I don't think that anyone can do better so I don't think that's really a fair to compare. Now I do love FFx-2, (Especially Paine, she is soooo kewl!), and I do like the Battle system and *spoilers* that fact that Tidus lives once again. I just wish they would have done better. But not all games can be absolute master pieces. In the end, you just gotta love FFx-2 for what it is. Ok, I'll stop now. you will suffer no more of my rantings.

I think the reason for this shift is fairly simple: FFX was sad because Hironobu Sakaguchi was self-admittedly pining for his recently deceased mother, and he expressed that personal tragedy through the development of a fairly mournful game (which, all things considered, really turned out for the best). My theory on the matters is that either the impact of his loss has been muted somewhat with the passage of time, as tends to happen, or, given the allegedly manic cheerfulness of some parts of FFX-2, perhaps he's just discovered Prozac. Either way, when in doubt, blame Sakaguchi. It makes Tidus a lot easier to stomach.

Mmm, brain damage

Hmm, great topic for an editorial! When I get bored, I try to play through Zelda games (any one, really) without picking up any heart pieces or containers. So, by the time I got to the last boss, I'd still have only three hearts of health. Makes the game a little tougher. Either that or look for hilarious game glitches on the internet and try them out. (The N64 Zeldas and original Pokemon games have some great ones.)

Hmm... as for how long I've been reading this column, y'know, I can't remember how long ago it was or how I started. Isn't that odd? Perhaps I should stop banging my head against that old brick wall. I seem to have caused myself some brain damage...


There, there... I'm sure your skull will grow back over time, or failing that, harden some so you can get away with more banging before each concussion. Thanks for sharing, anyway, and I'm sure Joseph will be happy to accept your editorial, provided it has a little more substance than what you just detailed up there.

Today's photo entry brought to you by: Shroudie


So, you would think that with 2 tennis games, we'd at least win one, right? Nope. Enough of that though, let's talk about your adventures in the world of Castomel. Kingdom Hearts II, now looks very promising due to the great Auron being a part of the FF cast of KH. I wonder what other FF characters will make an appearance? I would ramble on, but now I must sleep for I must plan future schemes.

Short and sweet,

O' Shrouded One

Well, thus far I actually don't know if any other characters other than Auron have been confirmed from FF, but given how dark and brooding they've allegedly decided to make Sora, perhaps the FF characters will be reflective of that - after all, if there's one thing Square does well, it's emulate teenage angst. So I'd bet on Squall, Vincent, and maybe Amarant just for kicks. And Cait Sith, because nobody suspects the mogconcat.

Highly important questions

Hello Andrew

First question... How dangerous is Andrew Dangerous? Is he:
A. dangerous enough to erase my Hard Drive?
B. dangerous enough to be on Canadian's Most Wanted's new TV show I would like to host but no one wan't to see the pilot I made (With twenty six toothpick no less)?
C. dangerous enough to get rid of Shroudie if he was to step in a carefully placed Shroudie Trap?
D. dangerous enough to only be a fictional character for me and you to waste space on SUPER important Shadow Hearts 2 release date question?
E. dangerous enough to not be listed in the choice of answer I have provided?

In case you would answer E, and who wouldn't, please include a brief but comical description of how dangerous Andrew Dangerous really is.

Look here, buddy. If you wanna know just how dangerous I am, you try fighting against the booze cartel in lower Cambodia. You try COAL MINING. Try doing both at the same time! Then you'll know - except you'll be dead, so of course you'll never be able to appreciate my fabulous dangerosity. Instead, I think you'd better just settle for the following fabulous likeness captured by Shroudie, who I was unfortunately forced to kill, since he was holding out on the orange vodka I needed to live, as was the style at the time.

Second question... Can I talk with you about Metroid game?
A. Yes
B. No

If you have answered B, then screw you and delete this letter. If on the other hand you have answered A, then delete the whole "screw you" and replace it with "I love you" or "you are my best friend" or " The last Metroid is in captivity. The Galaxy is at peace." Whichever fits most you're mood.

I'm always in the mood to take the last Metroid into captivity! Especially if it makes my voice sound like that voiceover, because that's what we should all aspire to.

Bakaness aside, have you played Metroid Zero Mission. Am I the only one that still think Metroid game are meant to be in 2D? Don't get me wrong, they did an awesome job with Prime (both in keeping the Metroid feal and in not screwing up) but if I had to class Prime on a scale, it would be inder Metroid II The Return of Samus Aran... which isn't a bad game... just a FIRST GENERATION Game Boy game ^-^ But that's just me.

Thank you for allowing me to waste both youre and the reader's time and you have a great day.


Hmm.. I gotta disagree with you there. While Super Metroid is undeniably the best Metroid EVAR, I think Metroid Prime rates a fairly close second - the only thing that really held it back was crappy field of vision and the fact that turning could take forever. I also don't think that 2D Metroid titles are always that great, cuz quite frankly, Metroid Fusion didn't exactly ring my bells, especially not with its super-ripped off from Alien plotline. Granted, Metroid has always been just a step away from direct plagiarism of Alien as it is, but was it really necessary to rub it in our faces with a HAL-lookalike Bishop clone?

Boingy, Boingy! - Yes, that is my default letter title, and no, I didn't proofread this column immediately <.<

I read Thor, and I think some other guy that was concurrent with him. I read RPGamer before that, back in the days of, though I can't particularly remember reading Q&A back then. I do remember some lovely FF midis from back then, such as someone's combination of Aria de blahblah and Aeris's theme, and a piece dedicated to AndrewK. I remember going to and it was a math site about squares, but they had a link to at the bottom. I could never remember the .net extension so I went there for the link every time I wanted to come here. While Thor was still writing, I stopped reading Q&A for some reason, perhaps went under and I lost the link. I later came back to RPGamer for other things, and I picked Q&A up again about a year ago.

For your information, I don't think I've ever used a moniker other than LockeZ, except in my breast enlargement spam email last week, where I called myself Zax just because I was using an FF7 theme.

If you say so... I'm pretty sure I've received email from you under several different names, but perhaps that was someone else.

Making anagrams of people's names is fun. Andy Duff becomes Dady Nuff, for instance. I know a Matt Earlywine, whom I call Wiley Man-Tart. Andrew Long could be Gown Lander, Drown Angel, Darn Glowen', or Lown Garden, which is almost Lawn Garden, if you want to stretch it. I have trouble with my own name (Ben McAlpin) for some reason though. Can you do anything with it?


Clam nib pen? Probably doesn't write too well, but it's about the best I can do, despite my love of that Simpson's episode where the guy rolls Lisa a red ball and says "Here is a ball. Would you like to bounce it?"

I have been reading since the ridiculously early pre-RPGamer days!!!
However, this is only the third or so time I've written in.




So hopefully we can put this unpleasantness behind us for tomorrow, which may or may not occur later tonight. Either way, we're going to have a pretty short time between these two columns, so anything you want to get in on old topics get in now, or forever hold your peace.
Andrew Long is heading out shopping... oh joy.



Well, okay... So I volunteered to go, but I have to complain about something!

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