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Blackrock and Roll May 7th, 2005

Andrew Long - 23:23 EST

DID YOU EVER GET THE FEELING THAT an introduction was going to be short but you couldn't quite figure out why? Well, now you can!

You should probably know that I'm the most stubborn person alive...


Lunar Magic School, Star Ocean, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Dragon Warrior V, Dragon Warrior VI, Tales of Phantasia, Bahamut Lagoon, Seiken Densetsu 3, Lennus 2, Angel's Present, Star Ocean: Blue Sphere, Shining Force 3: Story 2, War of Genesis 1, 2, and 3, Atelier Marie, Atelier Elie, Atelier Lilie, Atelier Judie, Atelier Viorate, Treasure Hunter G, Magna Carta, 7th Saga 2... None of these made it overseas. I want you to list 207 games that didn't make it overseas that suck.



I will assume that this list is your masterstroke of revenge for my declaration that 9 out of 10 games that fail to achieve localization are garbage, but regrettably, it is poorly thought out revenge at best. For one, your suggestion that at least half of these games is good is hilarious, since "mediocre" does not equal "worth bringing over" and "my feelings are hurt" does not equal "Andrew will surely never find out that Shining Force III Second Scenario came out in North America in 1998". Also, I never said anything about Korea, a territory best left untouched in your search for palatable gaming entertainment, so we can strike War of Genesis I through III from the list. With such niggling deficiencies taken into consideration, you are thusly left with not 23 games, but at most 12, and I promise you I can easily find 108 games that suck and did not make it to North America; if you'd like, we can even play Dress Up Suikoden and make them stars of destiny! Actually, I can easily find 150 RPGs that suck and did not make it to North America. It's so easy, in fact, that I'm going to find 207 of them just to spite you because you're obviously a literal jackass with no sense of humour and a limited capacity to ignore a bad idea when it stares you in the face. On that note then, you may find your list here. Don't say I didn't ever do nothing for you. What does this teach you? That I am petty, that you should know better than to challenge me to a ridiculous task, and that there are entirely too many bad RPGs out there.

As a footnote, I should mention that the accuracy / RPGness of these games is determined by RPGamer's coverage, and the veracity of their Japan only status has been verified with RPGamer, GameFAQs, or both. I should also mention that I do not necessarily consider the lot "bad", per se; I just don't think they rate a localization, because mediocrity, lack of creativity, and shameless consumerism should not be raisons d'etre. In any event, don't bother sending in letters disputing their quality, because this exercise was a show of demonstrating the silliness this discussion has degenerated to, not out of any particular desire to slag games I've never played.


Hi Andrew

Like some of your other readers I find the sheer amount of garbage in the rpg game industry disturbing. I agree that good games can be found and the best method of finding them is to wait, listen to other gamers and reviewers before laying down the cold hard cash. Having said that I find often that it is difficult to discover who actually knows what they are talking about. The signal to noise ratio on the net is really really low. I found out about you guys only recently and so far your view on rpgs matches mine. Otherwise I believe that gamefaqs is a reasonable resource and gamerankings are good for numbers but I can’t think of other good choices for reviews Now for a question: Can you give me a couple of good sites for reviews?

Well, that's actually why I say to read several, because there really aren't very many balanced game reviews. I hate to be a shameless hypist, but RPGamer's reviews are actually among some of the most strictly regimented reviews I've encountered, on the staff side, at least. You've already found GameRankings, so what I recommend you do is do some trolling when you have an hour or two and find a reviewer or two whose opinions you tend to agree with consistently. Then read his or her reviews when decision time rolls around.

Second question: Have you heard any more about the issue of the screen actors guild and the game industry on the renewal of the contract for voice acting rights?

Not as yet, and the fate of the miserable hacks who currently provide the voiceovers for games doesn't really set my heart afire with passion, or even interest.

Third question: About the merger. Doesn’t the Tales franchise come out of Namco. What, I wonder, does this mean for Tales games. If it is like the squeenix group maybe we can look at endless delays…oh joy.

Angus Creighton


I certainly hope not... Bandai rounded up about 30% of the stock, though, so it will have a certain impact on things. I would imagine at least one of the titles on the already bloated roster of upcoming Tales games will be axed, delayed, or significantly altered, if only because there are so very many of them. In any situation when two companies are pooling their resources, there will also be some movement among the development teams, so that too might slow things down. Still, can't really say until it happens, so...

What do you think I am... made of PS2s?

Hey Andrew,

You know what's funny about your advice, "I often wish that people would whine less and stop playing games if they hate them so much"? Well, that's what I did. I found that I wasn't enjoying RPG's as much (FFX was probably the last one I took the time to beat) and that there wasn't terribly much innovation in them, so I started playing more tabletop RPG's with my friends, because I enjoyed my gaming more with that social element and the freedom to try all sorts of crazy stuff inside and outside of battle. Wild ARMs 3 and Shadow Hearts, however, proved to be rather fun in the five or ten hours I've given each of them, and I wish I had more time to play 'em. Also a Playstation 2 in my dorm room would be helpful to that end. Hint hint.

-Jackson Ferrell


Thanks for sharing, Jackson. If you think I have spare PS2s kicking around, you're sorely mistaken, but hey - you never know when one of your fellow readers might be feeling up to a random act of generosity. As to your eerie life-imitates-my-advice pattern, you've gone down the same road as me with the ocial interaction side of things. I just can't play RPGs the way I used to because I'm not quite as antisocial as I was when I was 12. Well... I'm still pretty good at it, as your fellow readers will no doubt point out, but that's neither here nor there! Here nor there, I tells you!

Bannamco? Namcodai? Namban? Hmm... that last one sounds too much like a certain organization...

Hello Andrew,

I was wondering, with the Namco/Bandai Merger coming about and the Square Soft/Enix one happening not too long ago, what this means for the Game Industry.

I was under the impression that Mergers are bad. It's one company eatting up a smaller one and taking the good aspets for itself. of course this might be a misinterpertaion on my part, I'm not a business major, so I won't pretend to know.

But with such big name companys merging into one is it becoming a semi-monpoly. With 2-3 big name superpowers controling everything. and with tiny companies barely making it?

hope none of this comes off as slightly stupid.. thanks for you time in answering this.



Unfortunately, it seems the gaming industry is mirroring other facets of the commercial world. Big corporate mergers have been all the rage for the past five or ten years, and you are correct when you say that it's an excellent means of squeezing little companies out of business. Unfortunately, there's not much to be done for it, but I don't think small studios will die out; throwing money at something doesn't give it good gameplay, and decent graphics aren't too difficult to concoct.

I agree that it's probably a bad thing that these mergers are occurring, but unfortunately, the only way for the fairly large corporations to remain competitive with the very large corporations is to join them in conglomeration.


Dear Andrew,

PLEASE STOP LOSING MY EMAILS. Just save them or something, you know you want to. Anyways, do you think the merger of Bandai and Namco is a bad idea? Will Bandai be able to add some production input into Xenosaga, what with half of Bandai's video game resume, HALF, involving the clever use of giant fighting robots, namely Gundam? I could perhaps forsee a small change in the way Xenosaga plays out based on a company whose soul concern over the past 10 years has been "let's release another rehashing of the same crap...but with MORE ROBOTS!" I wonder...since most of those Gundam games are tactical, does that mean we are going to have to sit through Namco vs. Capcom Tactics, consisting of giant fighting robots fighting against smaller, bluer fighting robots?



Forgiveness please -.- We can all hope that your horrible version of T-RPG future will never come to pass, but then again, Onimusha Tactics somehow managed to pass inspection, so the groundwork has been laid. I do think you're worrying a bit too much over Bandai's influence over XS though. The development team that is working on the series probably won't be affected by Bandai's arrival on the scene fast enough to make too much of a difference over the upcoming installment, and I would hope that a team planning a six-part saga has the remaining parts at least sketched in, so I will, based upon that vague and probably misplaced sentiment, suggest that you probably don't need to lose any sleep over it.

On the other hand, Bandai does churn out a lot of paraphenalia related to videogames, so what I might be looking for is one or more of any number of spinoff products such as toy robots, an anime series, or even the DVD release that the Xenosaga series so clearly should have been.

Exciting update! I just found your original letter! Isn't that swell? :D

Well, we almost made it without having to edit a letter...

since you want to talk about the namco and bandai merger; here's a question... will this mean that games like soul calibur will have j-pop characters in them like little panda bears and hello kitty like crap? just wondering... bandai sucks.


Please to be watching your language, good sir. There's really no need for it anyway, since Bandai's primary contribution to the world is not j-pop characters and pandas but giant robots, which will no doubt be sufficiently manly to soothe your robust tastes.

What a treasure

Hey qwweermo how come mario rpg own so much ass but all reincarnations suck so much balls? Mookwarrior Aka you know the rest


Probably because you spend too much time coming up with new and creative ways to mention various parts of the male anatomy to bother playing them through.

Unfit for Print

That is The biggest case of hetero sexual descrimination I have ever heard of cockfag you know my app was fine and dandy yesiree you can post it on here and let the good people decide. you qweers are trying to segregate me I will not be treated like a highly intelligent piece of meat.

aka Dmookman
aka A guy whos ass you shouldn't grab you may pull bag a nub or a dingleberry


The only discrimination that took place with your application was RPGamer's long-standing policy of refusing to hire dumbasses. Take heart, however: there is no danger of you being treated as a highly intelligent anything.


Well, here's hoping that we can have a column next week that doesn't descend into idiocy. I suppose I should stop printing these letters, but idiotic behaviour like this deserves to be shared. At any rate, be nice to the slime, and remember, creamsicles and all that jazz.
Andrew Long is slip slidin' away... down his chair. Stupid slippery wood!

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