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Baby Back Baby Back Baby Back Ribs

Andrew Long - June 3, '04 - 23:31 EDT

IT'S FUNNY how in any situation at my wonderful place of employment, there will be a stupid catchphrase associated with an annoying part of my job that 90% of customers will manage to say. For instance, when I have to shove seven pieces of paper in their face and ask them to sign each in triplicate, I will be regaled with the ever-hilarious "Hoho.. I'm signing my life away!" I'm sure anyone who has to deal with credit card transactions will be familiar with that little gem. If people have to wait for a while in line, they're also likely to say "Gee, this is the first time I had to wait to give someone money!"

Today, however, took the cake. You see at Leon's, they have somehow tapped into the inner idiot that dwells within each Canadian, exploiting this stupid element of our souls and turning it into massively popular sales based around entirely arbitrary themes. In September, there is Customer Appreciation, which brings free hot dogs for all. In February, we have the Luau sale, which means free juice and plastic flowers. In May (or June, such as the case may be), however, is the worst of all. Yes, the merry merry month of May(or June) ushers in the Viva Las Leon's sale, which entails everyone in the store dressing up like fancy chimpanzees and getting customers to roll dice for a small discount. Today as I supervised our exciting and possibly unlicensed craps table, it seems everyone who got the lowest amount of "saving even more" off their order just had to say "Well, it's better than a kick in the pants!"

Having now heard this tale of woe, I hope you will understand if I'm a tad irascible, because I had to deal with several hundred such people today.



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Updated, once I get my lazy ass on it

Mommy, Where Do Chocobos Come From?

What level is Shoe? 38
Formats are a comin'
I can feel it in muh bones
No, not that one, you timber maniacs
Get your mind out of the gutter!

Failure to comply with instructions will result in BLARP

Soul Calibur II.

I mean, c'mon. The Tales of Destiny battle system would be a complete and utter JOKE if it was packaged as a fighting game, but everyone seemed to love it anyway. Think about the Soul Calibur 2 system, with all its intricicies and tactics, and then add the ability to build up your character from scratch, teaching him or her specific combos, special moves, branching out, developing, keeping track of staqndard RPG statistics...

Namco needs to fuse their development teams.

- Feep "Just kidding!"

Having never enjoyed any of those intricacies and tactics, I'm afraid at this point I'm forced to simply sit back, smile, and nod. For the sake of some entertainment value being derived from this response, please direct your attention to this intrepid rack of baby back ribs.

Simmer, simmer... Boy, I sure am tasty!

The joys of work


Ahh, the weather finally is the way it's supposed to be. Granted, Monday totally sucked in which I was stuck outside for 6 hours serving dip'in'dots. Although, I did get about 7 customers, but I didn't get a break again. Well, I'm working from tomorrow 'til Sunday, so that should raise my pay quite a bit. In all, 18 hours, but that'll be something I look upon as a blessing in the future. Well, battle extravaganza!! Ideal system. I'd have to with the good old-fashioned ATB system with a few quirks. Four party battle systems are great and will be included, of course. For battle speed....faster than FFIX and slower than FFX-2, mid-point somewhere between. Character swapping is great as well, esspecially when you want to build up experience. XS's and CC's "stamina" systems are ideal ways of attacking quite a bit and added in as well. Oh, before I forget, 2-person attacks such as "double techs" would be awesome too. Mix it all together, add some creamsicles, and let simmer... The end result? A hodgepodge of things that I don't have the mental cappabilities to disipher at this moment. Rather a recipe for success or complete failure is up to the other readers. It may not even work out, but what the hell, eh? Well, we'll talk more when I faint tomorrow.

Schools almost over, but tests are ahead...may the madness continue on to insanity,

O' Shrouded One

As soul-crushing as six hours of dips and dots may be, I would have to contend that a day which started out with my dad scoring two traffic tickets for a license sticker six months out of date (apparently, he's turning into an ornery old man, since he knew the sticker was out of date but refused to replace it thanks to some obscure beef with the local licensing bureau) and then proceeded to involve nine straight hours of soulsucking paperwork, with only two fifteen minute breaks to space it out, is more of a drag. I'm not the expert on this area, however, so let's consult our baby back ribs!

Did you know I'm chip-roasted for extra flavour? Damn, I'm delicious!


Dear Neighbor,

As you may know, Senator Velella has resigned from the Senate. However, this office will remain open to serve the people of the 34th Senate District. All e-mail should now be addressed to Please update your records. The address and phone numbers will remain the same.

While we cannot vote on current legislation, we will still be here to help you cut through government red tape. All concerns regarding the State budget or any legislation will be kept on file and given to the incoming Senator or appropriate party.

Well, however lousy the world may get, it's nice to know that my rights as a citizen of New York State are protected by a now-defunct senator.

I'm made from 100% American pork! That's the tastiest kind!

The hell it is... Canadian bacon owns your sorry ass, back ribs!

We'll see about that... Can you say no to my delicious sauce?

Why must meat always defeat me?


Hello again

In response to Derek about shorter, more enjoyable RPGs, yes the GBA is the system. I actually am a fan of the little system and hope that the whole spirit of portable gaming is left intact as we march towards Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. Oh yeah, in relation to an old topic, I go with DS all the way. PSP can boast about better graphics and blablabla, but any company with money can have a portable system with good graphics. DS is better in my opinion because it brings something new to the table and that's right outside the box. (compared to the big N's last foray into something new *cough*conectivity*cough*) Of course, everything now depend on how developers will take into acount this new tool.

Thanks for sharing, Soul. I'm not so sure about the GBA being the system, myself, if only because the majority of the RPGs I've played for the handheld haven't exactly been top-quality efforts. Sadly, it seems that portable development tends to take a backseat in the eyes of most developers, and until that attitude changes, I'm not sure if we'll get anything better than second-rate knockoffs and whatever Camelot dredges from its toiletbowl in a given year.

In the end, I will probably take both. Altough the PSP will probably have a price tag looking somewhere along the lines of "One PSP in exchange for your first born child" which mean I will probably be getting the DS a couple years ahead of the PSP. Oh yeah, I don't care that the PSP can play special DVD movie on mini disk... if they think I'm going to buy the same movie twice... in two different format, they're mistaken.

Pssh.. Firstborn children are overrated, especially if you can score one during a random encounter on a steamy night in Cambodia. Using my highly certified scoring system, such a firstborn child could be easily entrusted to a caring corporation like Sony, embiggening the all of us AND giving you a chance to start over with a clean slate (and the chance to have new and more valuable firstborns for any incidental handhelds Sony might dream up in the future! I mean, once they get addicted to raising your kids, they'll be sure to keep the portable goodness coming!)

So back to topic... sorry oh master of the creamsickle... I have sidetracked myself. I won't do it again, I promisse.

Best combat system... If it's an existing one, I have to go with Parasite Eve. I liked how you used skills to avoid enemy attack. It kinda killed my need to press TV mode on my remote while holding X.

So, my combat system has something to do while in battle. Press X at the right time to double the strenght of your attack... oops, been done. Ok ok, no worry. You get to play Guitar Freak during battles... oh yeah, been done -_- Ok, how about battles are done in a 3rd person fighting mode... ok, Kingdom Heart ;_;

Ok ok, I suck at this. But for sure if I was in charge of creating a battle system, I would expand on the concept of Chrono Trigger. I just loved learning new abilities and mixing them with every character to see what new spell I can do.

On this, I wish you a good week end.


P.S. I just got Mario RPG factory sealed for 109.00$ USD... that's 150.00$ CDN. I am in insane old fool. Oh well, at least I'm happy

You know what? You're right. Chrono Trigger had a perfectly acceptable battle system, and I wish game companies would realize that you don't have to force players to collect sixteen shards of ossified lion turd just to gain that one last ability. The beauty of Chrono Trigger was in its simplicity, and despite the fact that there really wasn't a lot of playing around to do, it allowed you to focus on the game rather than footling about in a murky labyrinth of subscreens. On the other hand, I love FFX too, so maybe I'm just susceptible to lvl 3 Muddle.


Hey Castomel,

I wanted to address a couple of issues from last column. The first is lengthy games. I have to agree, 100+ hours of gameplay no longer appeals to me. I would much rather play a solid 30 hours than 100+ hours of mini-games. So how do we fix this issue. It seems that everyone writes into these columns and complains about the same things, but yet they continue to occur. So what then is our solution? Are there people out there who like the lame fetch quests and mini games? I am all for added content for those who choose to look for it, but it should be done in a way where you find an extra dungeon if you look hard enough, or talk to the right person. It should not mean that if you talk to person A and give them the item you got from person B, then you can get something from them to give to person C...etc. etc. etc. It should also not involve developing a mastery of chocobo riding, or digging, or some other nonsense. I want good solid side quests.

The trouble here is that every RPG contains one of these elements, and thus the only real power we have, that is, to buy or not to buy, kind of falls by the wayside since nobody has really come up with anything better. It's kind of sad, given that we've had almost twenty years to punish Enix for inventing the fetch quest(or Sega, if you MUST point out how delightfully antecedentastic Phantasy Star is.)

Here is and idea of what I consider acceptable side quests. Throughout a game you may find some gems hidden in dungeons. There is an area of the game where if you have collected all the gems and place them into a lock of some kind it opens a gate into another dungeon. This dungeon would give you an opportunity to find some really cool stuff. The point is the side quest should be an extension of the gameplay already present in the game. It should not be something unrelated like chocobo digging. This way those who enjoy the game enough can continue to do so with the side quests, while others who enjoy it less, or are in more of a hurry can continue on and complete the story. These quests should also be staggered through the game, rather than simply having the world open up at the very end to a slew of side quests.

Wow... it's like the worthless Stardust in LoD, except good! If only you'd thought of it ten years ago and somehow found a way to infiltrate that wretched development staff.

The other issue I wanted to address was the big box website vs. the Mom and Pop website. Personally, I come to RPGamer because I can not stand Gamespot, or IGN, or many of the others. First and foremost, I can not stand the fact that you can not access any of the interesting content without a membership. Second, I find they try to cover way too much stuff and the result is I can not find anything I want. I prefer to look for sites that are small and more focused. The problem is that as those sites gain more attention, they need to become bigger to compensate and the result is they grow too big to be run as free sites. I am curious if that is the direction that RPGamer has been forced into. Has the readership of the site increased, or decreased in recent years? Has it reached a point where it is becoming difficult to run as a free site due to a massive need for resources?

Anyway, them's my thoughts.

We have grown consistently larger pretty much up until FFXI's launch, at which point our numbers mysteriously started dropping off. Now, I'm not blaming anyone in particular, but it seems to me that Square Enix has some splaining to do, since you'd think it'd be interested in maintaining the overall well-being of a site that indoctrinates... I mean, influences, so many of its adherents. Then again, if there's one thing that Square Enix has shown, it's that it loves the prospect of thirteen dollars monthly much more than any intangible thing like respect, loyalty, or support from its fanbase.

Unfit for Print

yo dude i beg to write back if u no how to get me to write a letter to square soft i would be more than welcome to do anything for u i must write to them its important im am literily the biGGGGGGGest fan of final fantasy 8 so please do this for me thank u

Well, actually, getting you to write a letter to Squaresoft is simplicity in itself. I just say "yo, dude who can't frigging spell, eat brick!" After bashing you senseless, apparently not a very long trip, I'd just bank on you not knowing what had happened and place tantalizing clues around your room suggesting you'd written such a letter. Yes, a little stamp booklet with one stamp missing, an uncapped pen... And then, I'd send you a fake reply, and you'd just HAVE to write back! It's the perfect scheme...


It occurs to me that whenever I come up with these seemingly funtastic topics, I never end up offering much of an opinion on anything. As such, tomorrow shall be Opinionate Andrew day, during which I encourage you to send me things which are likely to cause me to react with some sort of bombastic reply. Basically, what I'm getting at here is, I'd like some questions! In fact, I'll leave no question unanswered, and I'll even be 80% honest! That's 10% more than you get with umbrella vendors, people, and I think if you can outdo the umbrella guys then at the end of the day, you have to feel pretty good about yourself. Also, Namco turned fifty. Anyone have charming memories of Namco games of yore to share? Ever been mauled in the gummy machinery of a Nakamura Factory Concern amusement park contraption? Tomorrow's the day to bask in the warm afterglow, though I suspect if you have been eaten by their coasters, it's more likely to be a toasty afterlife from which you'll be greeting me. At any rate, I've said too much!
Andrew Long will be live in Beijing for the 2008 opening of the new Namco theme park!



Pfft... Not bloody likely

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