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The, Bart The

Andrew Long - May 9, '04 - 03:14 EDT

I AM BITTERNESS. My evening was going splendidly, you see, right up until my sister meowed about being hungry, which of course tricked me into thinking that I was, in fact, hungry too. As a result, we went to this dodgy little Chinese place, which I selected purely on the basis of its dodginess, operating on the theory, which had served me so well in the past, that if overhead was so apparently low, then obviously they wouldn't skimp on the food. Regrettably, I forgot to take into account the fact that I live in the suburbs, and that the seediness-to-food-goodness inverse ratio only applies in major urban centers, where I can only assume that the magical sphere of influence that enables the air in Toronto to be of higher quality than the air in Toronto's suburbs has a similar effect on food.

So, with my equation thus horribly imbalanced, I subjected my sister, my friend, and myself to a terrible meal. The spring rolls tasted like licking an ashtray (or at least, how I imagine licking an ashtray would taste) and the random chicken dish I ordered in the hopes of scoring something other than the generic chub sauce that crappy Chinese joints the world over toss on their crappy chicken dishes in an effort to make them seem vaguely different than chicken fried rice (an effect which can also be enhanced with ridiculous servings of vegetables, another element conspicuously absent from good Chinese restaurants) was drenched in generic chub sauce. My friend, who complained the loudest but clearly got the best of the deal, was merely subjected to noodles that tasted like dust.

Anyhow, the moral of the story? Well, if you've found a restaurant that played an infomercial with the Chrono Cross theme song in the background, don't mess with a good thing. Also, as always, I like telling stories.



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Mommy, Where Do Chocobos Come From?

What level is Shoe? 36
No Disgaea this weekend
No Disgaea for Shoe
Oh, what a world, what a world
Seriously, it's really something!

If I had a dime for every time someone tried to convince me Half Life was the bee's knees, I'd have 30 cents by now!

You said that FC was the best FPS you've played since Quake II. You've never played Half-Life? Good lord son, that game was the defining FPS for 6+ years (and IMO, still the best FPS out there). FC is good, but HalfLife blows it out the water.

Half-Life is only like 20 bucks right now, go get it! That game seriously kicks ass.

Actually, I have played Half Life, and I gotta tell you, I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't really get into the plot, and the control definitely wasn't to my liking. Granted, I've played (and become obsessed with) CounterStrike, which I do like a good deal more than HL, but the latter just didn't have the feel I like in a FPS. Which is actually kind of odd, since FarCry pretty much goes out of its way to emulate the feel of Half Life. Either way, I know everyone else and their mother wants to bear Valve Software's children, but I'll stick to id and random German developers, thanks.

An early hit of Shroudie


It seems that my ongoing struggle with a desire to sleep in has left me letterless for yesterday. Never fear, for I started work yesterday in the 40 F weather in shorts, and oh yeah, making cotton candy. I would ramble on about this now, but I already told another dear staffer about my sticky situation yesterday. LockeZ, with his special rpg-defining moment of super-dapper fun-times!! Just two things I want to comment on, rpg as a menu based combat, you only hit the nail half-way in. Seeing as though I already discussed my view on 2 different days, let's move on to my second point. Yoshi's Story as a FPS?? The view is never, ever first person, although it does have shooting/aiming mechanisms in it. I would classify it as a side-scrolling platformer/shooter, like Metroid. Wait a second, FFXII's main characters are all blondes? What about Ashe? She seems like a sandy brown to me, unless I'm seeing things again. But in terms of minorities in rpgs, I say that as long as developers don't deliberately throw in a minority for the hell of it, 'cause honestly,I don't really care. Barret was all right, although very stereotypical, and the cast of Chrono Cross was...rather.....diverse and their nationalities/accents were not explained enough. It's a funny thing that you mention kidnapping Uematsu as part of a large airship smuggling operation. That was going to be my next plan, but replace "Uematsu" with "Castomel". It would seem that a particular "Good Twin" was gloating about the concert, and how close he was going to be. Whichever the case, it sounds interesting, and if we were there, we'd buy a bunch of tourist trap gifts. And by that I mean beer, keggers, and shots of morning sunshine to brighten our day.

Must kidnap ASV....

O' Shrouded One

Yes, what that "Good Twin" fails to realize is what the range on a high-powered sniper rifle can do from a balcony seat in the hands of a highly skilled assassin. Yes, enjoy your peaches, old man.... They will be your last!

May I never hear mention of Garfield in this context again

::Arrives wearing a moogle outfit::


Personally, I like the ability to play as different races, but only if the races have some unique trait to them (a la FFTA or FF11). Especially the anthropomorphic ones. We wants more sexy Viera bunny ladies, and we wants them now!

Oh, creamsicle, did I say that out loud?

I certainly hope not...

Well, while we're on the topic of furry heroes, why not have different color fur? I mean, you can paint the moogle in FF:CC, but... who wouldn't enjoy an orange tabbycat-girl sword-slinger? Besides fear of getting sued by Jim Davis, of course.

Oh, and one last question: What color do YOU think looks best on a bunny lady?

Oh, my hero, so far away now, will I ever see your smile?

That depends on how you season the gravy, I suppose.

Doubting Thomas weighs in

I kind of doubt that the reason Auron doesn't have armpit hair is because of the ban on showing pubic hair (which isn't even well-enforced and is kind of vaguely worded to begin with, though most media outlets censor themselves anyway). Pubic hair would be defined as hair in the, well, PUBIC region (i.e., between the legs and around the genitals). In fact, I just watched a Japanese movie that involved lots of guys in bathing suits (er, it's a sports comedy), and there's no mosaic effect or censor bar whenever one of them lifts up their arms. I think it has more to do with the fact that body hair is just liked less in Japan (not to mention less prevalent physically) than it is here (not that there aren't plenty of people there that do like it, or people here that don't), and therefore: a) if the people of Spira are more or less Japanese, then he's more likely to shave there and have less to begin with, and b) it's what the drooling fangirls (and fanboys) would like.

Hmm, from the amount of parentheses, you'd think the above paragraph was some source code written in C (or C++, for that matter).

printf ("-The Nameless Translation Dude\n");

Fair enough...I mean, I'm not entirely familiar with the ins and outs of that particular law, just enough to know that in general, you won't see that sort of thing depicted in a cartoon, or an artificial likeness, such as a game, which is why I suggested that as the reason yesterday. I don't personally consider that to be pubic hair, as you say, and I don't really see why anyone would. You've probably summed it up best in your letter, so I'll just sit here, desperately trying to think up some way to steal your thunder.

...You win this time, Nameless Translation Dude.

Umm.. The first thing I saw in this letter was "wet crimson" - How delightfully disturbing!

Hey Castonation,

You know,I wasn't really aware of the fact that there will be a Nobuo concert.i tend to ignore such news since they only lead to sorrow and murderous rage,as there is a slim chance that he will be having a concert in Europe and moreso in Greece.So,things like getting an autograph of his,hangin around with Nobuo and kicking back with a couple of beers(or sake,no big)while discussing music are non negotiable.Or attending a concert of his...

Also,shadowy thoughts that threat your castonic well-being are being formed even now for daring to mention this concert!Was that smart??Huh??WAS IT??ARE YOU NOT ASHAMED ANDREW?Do YOU SEE THE CRIMSON?sWEET CRIMSON....gone...

You're... crying blood? You should probably see a doctor about that, dude! And while you profess to be a Love Doctor, which I'm sure is good when those ills of the heart crop up, someone with a medical degree that wasn't granted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical School is probably your best bet for continued survival.

However,as a civilized gentleman that I am,I've figoured that a really small percentage of Uematsu's fans are going to have a chancce to be there so I'm not realy entitled to be angry.Or murder things...

Apart from that,what do you think of Star Ocean 2?I was under the impression that it was a respected RPG,what with its size and exotic battle system,but I've seen much criticism against it.I too was annoyed by all those bubbles above characters' heads and the slowness they brought upon the cut-scenes,not to mention that the scenario isn't really great but is that bad enough??The bubbles thing was presentin Breath of Fire 3 too but it was a dynamite game right?...Right??

See ya,
The Love Doctor of Love

PS:Hook me up with the redhead girl that wrote yesterday!Don't forget!!

Eeeee... I hate to be the bearer of disagreeable tidings, but the only person I know who likes BoF III is kupomogli, whose opinions are, how shall I say it... diametrically opposed to my own. Yes, that'll do nicely. As to Star Ocean 2, I personally don't find it to be that spectacular, although it's by no means the worst game I've ever played. I actually think it would have been pretty good if the development staff had taken the time to a) iron out some of the bugs and b) spend more than ten minutes translating it from Japanese.

P.S. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU PEOPLE? I AM NOT MSNNNNNNN! I'll make you a deal, though... You get me tickets to one of the Olympic venues, and I'll hook you up with the redhead.

Grab bag

Yay! Strike 3, third letter ever to Castomel.

Willl it get answered? Only Castomel can... answer. o_O

Stepping away from pointless grossed out eyes type smiley, how are you feeling. Any new sickness you haven't cought? I sure hope not... or I do... maybe I should rephrase that but I'm lazy.

It's okay, I'm pretty lazy too, which is wh

I fear clowns. There I said it ok. Let's not talk about those anymore and let's sit in front of the TV and watch "IT" from Stephen King.

Ok, how to define an RPG. Heres my attempt to explain it to you.

Pick a game, any game. Hold it close to youre heart and close youre eyes. Empty youre mind and listen to youre heart. What does it say? Is it an RPG? Yes, no. And there you go, you have the answer.

What? I'm sorry, that wasn't even ENGLISH! I truly can't believe the answers you people are coming up with! That was totally off, totally pitchy! I'm indignant! And I fold! I contain seventeen different tools! Why can't you do the same? I want five tool questions, people, or I won't blame America at all for voting you out! I totally -

Ach! Back to the toolbox with you, Nessie!

Now about that Uematsu concert. For as long as I have realised how cool FFVI's music where (FFVI was my first RPG) I have dreamt of hearing it live. But sadly, I'm in a financial slump and can't pay for an airplane out of Canada, an crummy hotel and some overpriced concert tickets.

Guess I will cross my fingers that Uematsu san and Nagano san (the new leader of Montreal's Symphonic Orchestra) are friends and he will come make a show in my hometown... but I'm just dreaming here.

Heres a topic for future Q&A if you have no idea what to talk about. You could ask people how they could turn non-RPG game into RPGs. For example, somone could turn a racing game into an RPG using many different methods. It might be interesting to see how people would see it.

I for one, beign the Metroid fan I am, would like to attempt turning Metroid into something more RPGish than it is now.

The problem about it is that right now, we can see a Metroid game as an extremely elaborated Dungeon Crawler. Also, one game = one dungeon. So I guess the world map would be space and the flow of the game could be mission based (since she is, after all, a bounty hunter) I'm all for hybrid game and I would easily see Samus's ship section (going from planet to planet) beign a space shooter in the same vein as Starfox. Would also be nice to infiltrate a Space Pirate space ship and then have a mission to eliminate them all. Now that I think about, I set a bad example as to how to modify the gameplay into RPG.

To say nothing of the fact that it sounds a little too much like Xenosaga for my liking...

I for one think that RPG (to come back to my heart) are games that you play the role of a character. So you play the role of Samus Aran and do mission for the Earth Galactic Confederation and some (side mission) on her own.

Gameplay would be the same as Prime, first person shooter. We have seen a couple of FPS RPG in the past and well, they did not do great, but that was due to bad implementation of gameplay. With Prime's control scheme and presentation, it would be great.

Each new dungeon would old it's boosting items wich can help in the current dungeon to achieve a goal and also help gets items in previous dungeon.

I think I will stop here, I am failing at making an entertaining letter here... sorry Castomel...

On this, with all the hope that I will get answered, I want to help you with the kidnaping of Maria by providing you with "The World's Fastest Airship"!!! Call now to order your very own Airship, our operator are standing by!


Well, I would, but that bratty kid from the auction house would probably just outbid me by like a million GP, so I'll stick to grappling hooks, kites made from the hides of endangered supermodels, and this little contraption I like to call Mr. Thingy.

Unfit for Print

Hey Andrew,

Started playing La Pucelle today, and what I saw can be compared to the RPG Eternal Eyes. Eternal Eyes has a boring story, where you force yourself through every battle, and no matter how badly you do, you will complete each and every battle easily. This is a game monsters change forms through levels, and some even become weaker than there other forms. La Pucelle and Disgaea are the same way, you play Disgaea, and they create La Pucelle in it's shadow(a game that wasn't in the process of being created for a long period of time, very short actually), and you come with a game that has taken a(one of those stupid similes coming up) several large steps backwards, rather than a game that should be better, where as people should learn from their mistakes(even though Disgaea didn't have many mistakes to begin with). La Pucelles story is very bland overused and boring, and the gameplay is(like I said earlier) a shadow of what Disgaea is, where all the multiple colored blocks are removed in exchange for some dark gates(or something I forget their names), and the strategy involved to finish the battles is lowered alot.

This is only a preview of the game for all of you who are thinking of getting it seeing as I haven't beaten the game yet, but I do advise everyone to rent the game before you think of buying it, you will be very glad that you did(and I wish I would have).

So now we all know why Atlus didn't want to publish this game, but no, I don't know if it'll get alot better later on in the game or not, so I shouldn't very wel judge it now, but for how long I've played it my opinion is a decent observation(unlike your play a game for 10 minutes and say it sucks observation).

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Okay, first off, don't send me a letter every time you get some fool notion in your head. Second, don't frigging sit there, blast a game, mention you've only played it for an hour or two, and then claim I bitch about games after ten minutes. The only games I bitch about are ones I've played at least ten hours of, games I know are bad because people I trust have assured me that they are, in fact, bad, and Castlevania: LoI, which generally sucked ass on all fronts, not unlike all other 3D Castlevania titles. Finally, you smell.

Okay, I really need to never eat at that place again...

Orphen is one of the best RPG's
I've ever played where you don't gain levels....or much of anything else for that matter.

Thanks for sharing, rudyxx.

Hi Cast, I want you to die
a horrible death for bringing this subject up, I had managed to forget about the concert (and obviously I am not going).
- Glass

Hmmm... Well, if Glass is wishing me a horrible death, then I can only assume I'll be coming out second best in an encounter with a plate glass window in the near future. Up yours, glaziers!

Are you going to the Uematsu Concert?

Answer! No! I hate everything!

Hey Andrew,

I AM SO fiending for E3. I'm not going to the Uematsu concert but I want them to play A Fleeting Dream from FFX. That song rocks. I have no idea why I want them to play that if I'm not there.
The Batman

Why must Batman live only to spite me? ;_; Maybe I'll just go jump in a vat of acid and save us all some time.


And so, we are on the brink. I start off about 90% of my outros with "and so", incidentally, so if you ever get tired of it, I recommend you search for "Paraffin" in Google as an alternate means of entertainment; after all, you know I'm just going to drone on about creamsicles and some boring topic which will never compare with endlessly defining RPGs and spiting me with Silent Hillses. Still, one must do one's best, and thus, for Friday, I want you to send me letters concerning your opinion on the biggest story of E3. The catch? We don't know what that's going to be just yet, now do we? Oh, the excitement!

So get out your crystal balls if you're itchin' to send some Sunday mail my way, and may there be vendors selling Creamsicles at the Uematsu concert, for nothing goes with Terra's theme quite like orange and vanilla!
Andrew Long sounds like a chapter out of a self-help booklet.



Hee hee... mule.

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