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ASK ANDREW
Mmm... Crisp Spider Meat! May 12th, 2005

Andrew Long - 23:23 EST

NOW, I KNOW THAT HUNTERS need various sorts of meat to feed their little pets, be they scorpions or echayakees or lions or bears, but who in their right mind would feed spider meat to their pet? I mean, spiders are supposed to be swimming with poison, and even if they're nonvenomous, there's still the risk of choking on the silk.

I'm not saying that the spiders of Azeroth couldn't be a delicious delicacy... It just sounds so very wrong. Am I right? Am I right?

Well, I still say it's creepy.




L E T T E R S
Soundtrack Scuttle


Is there a particularly high chance for domestic releases of RPG soundtracks, preferably soon? They honestly seem to almost always be packaged in paper sleeves with less than half of the tracks of the original soundtrack, and only included in "Limited Editions" or the like. I also think that the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack was one of the very few RPG soundtracks that made it to the US unscathed. On a related note, are CDs usually region-free? Sorry for the trouble and possibly horrible grammar.

ANDREW


Most soundtracks are available in some form or another from sites like animenation, but for whatever reason, even in the face of the success of the Dear Friends concert series and the abundant evidence supporting a viable market, soundtracks just haven't taken off over here. The only real reason KH managed it is because Disney was involved, and Disney, in apparent contrast to most game development outfits, knows how to milk the North American market for every last penny of cross-promotional goodness, whereas most other development companies are based out of Japan and tend to take a distinctly disdainful look at this market.

Take heart, however; Apple, in its ever-dominant need to eke out market share wherever possible, has teamed up with Square Enix this week and will be bringing the entire FF series, along with the Dear Friends concert, to its iPod service. I know it's not exactly what you wanted to hear, but hey: now when you download FF tracks off of MP3 clients, you can feel that warm glow of guilt that people who follow more conventional music get with each and every download.

Oh, wait. Nobody feels guilty at all because mp3s tend to help out less prominent artists. Oh, well. I'm sure there's a record exec out there shedding a tear.



DARN... Ark-ebus!


Goog or Cast,

Although Ys: Ark of Napishtim wasn't the greatest game to grace the PS2, nor was it the most captivating... It was, however, a great deal of fun that brought me around 20+hrs of enjoyment. I'm not sure how well it sold in America, but I do hope it sold well enough for Mask of the Sun: A New Theory to gain localization here in America. So I guess my question is...

What do you think the chances are of this happening? I'm guessing they're probably not very good.

P.S. You'd probably hate this, but I would love to see Square-Enix do something similar to Final Fantasy 6. I usually abhor ports, but I would love to see a revamped version of FFVI with an updated storyline and gameplay... Of course, this is merely for nostalgic purposes.

- Steven


ANDREW

Hmm... I'm not too keen on fiddling around with FFVI, no, even if Ted Woolsey did do a questionable translation in retrospect. The gameplay is just fine by me, and while it might be nice to see the game redone in that hyper-16 bit style you see in Four Swords or even the look of Ys VI, I think in the case of FFVI, I'd rather see well enough left alone.

Ys, on the other hand, is a series I've never played in the first place, so as far as I'm concerned, it makes no difference what gets done to it. I also think that Ys VI got a pretty good reception, and so if Konami can be bothered to sink even a bit of money into some advertising, I don't see why it wouldn't do well.



>:(


Andrew:

http://www.battle.net/war3/ladder/W3XP-player-profile.aspx?Gateway=Azeroth&PlayerName=castomel

This is you isn't it? Are you trying to tell me that one of the columnists of a major gaming website cannot even maintain a .500 average in a game populated by 12 year olds and high school dropouts? How am I to respect he opinions of a so-called RPG guru when horny little bnet kiddies can school you with one hand on the mouse and the other down their pants?

-Jason


ANDREW

Because they cheat, I tells you! Also, it's totally the fault of my allies, so don't come after me... As I recall, our team record was fairly miserable, eh? Incidentally, true story: I actually won a game once with one hand on the mouse and... well, you can use your imagination, though I suspect you'll never talk to me again if you do. ^_^



You're just lucky this mailbag is so empty...


Hey Andrew,

Upon reading the QNA as per norm I noticed your massive list of 207 RPGs that should have stayed home and I was immediately disgusted and appalled at many games on the list. Then I read this statement "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."

Indeed, I am glad you choose not to insult games you have never played, but it still might leave the wrong impression for some users about what games are on there and that they may actually be bad, so for some crazy reason (i.e. Bahamut Lagoon is quite possibly the greatest SRPG I have played, and I've played a lot), I figured I'd write in about what you said not to write in about for lack of anything better to do now that I've run to the mall to get my mom something for tomorrow.

There are many on that list I certainly disagree with but I'd just like to point out a few on there that I find to be quality games. Bahamut Lagoon for one, the aspect of the Dragons in your party truly added a lot to the game, in my opinion, and I found the game to be a truly awesome game because it combined just about every awesome aspect of SRPGs into one game, and I loved every minute of it. Second, Seiken Densetsu 3 is easily my favorite action RPG of all time, and I have no idea why it is on that list excepting that you had simply listed a bunch of random games.

Also, Magna Carta IS indeed getting a US release it seems, as Atlus is showing it at E3...

So thanks for reading this... I just figured I'd write in about some of the games on the list.

-W


ANDREW

To you I say this: I have played Bahamut Lagoon, and while you are of course welcome to consider it the greatest S-RPG you have ever played, I am just as in my right to consider that as a sign that you have never played any other SRPGs, in spite of your claims, because I found it counterintuitive, poorly paced, and all in all rather difficult to figure out (and this was with a translation). Additionally, while SD3 gets heaps of affection piled upon it, I am firmly of the belief that this love is accorded only because we were denied the game by last-minute machinations from Square that dumped SoE on us instead, and as a result, lingering resentment and the idiotic notion that games that don't get localized must be such pure gold that the evil Japanese are keeping them from us out of towering spite combined to form a soup of frustrated fanboy drool that has yet to be matched for any other title. I say this because besides the addition of a few stupid minigames and the random map, Legend of Mana is roughly the exact same game, but nobody ever leaps to its defense or even talks about it, leading me to suspect that the gameplay can't be the reason everyone lubs all over SD3. Also, it's a lot easier to overlook crap when you can't actually understand the language the game you're playing is in.

Either way, I played it, and while it was playable, it didn't hold a candle to Secret of Mana, in my view. Obviously, you are entitled to enjoy your blend of nostalgia and indignation anyway you see fit; after all, forbidden pleasures and all that jazz. Just don't ever expect me to hop on the SD3 bandwagon, because I own the game, and wish devoutly that I didn't.

Finally, Magna Carta - cool beans! It's still a valid part of the list, because it ain't here yet.



Le sigh


andrew,

wow, my first time to write in my letter was edited...sorry about that...careless, really... anyway thanks for refreshing my memory that bandai makes crappy robot games...i knew they made crappy something...atleast they'll be able to market more useless crap that people don't need... here's a question.... hype for games on the next gen consoles is starting to roll out...like possession for the ps3....the game sounds interesting and it might be cool, but i think the project will be canned....what do you think... i remember watching the trailer for the bouncer back in may of 99....wow now that game looked tight... here's another question......since you found 207 games that weren't worthy of being localized can you tell me alot of good playstation games that were ported over to the PC.....???.... i'm too lazy to look them up myself...wow thank god all the yu gi oh games didn't come over...but seiken densetsu 3...it was good enough to get a translation....sure the hell was better than alot of the games that did come over, not the best but slightly better than the crop.

peace qweermo......wow that's catchy..

virion


ANDREW

The ellipsis. A fine device when you're looking to write eighteenth century fiction and gloss over the sex scenes. Not so fine when you're writing a letter. Periods or commas will do just as well, trust me, and they won't make me so inclined to pass over this letter. At any rate, to cases. Possession: I see no reason why it would be canned, because first off, it's multiplatform, and second, it looks like it's going to be a launch title, and not a bad one at that. I imagine Sony and Microsoft will want to keep it alive.

As to PS to PC ports, I hate to say it, but they were all bad. There also weren't very many of them, at least not in North America, so it's really not worth your time to track them down because PC games tend to be out of stores within a year or two of their release, and the PSX has been out of commission for five. Finally, see above for my reply on SD3.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Well, I hate to do the bare minimum, but it seems that nobody wanted to write in today, so that's what we've got. For tomorrow, let us speak of E3, because I'm leaving for LA on Sunday and I want to add to my anticipation some. MAKE ME GIDDY!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long is deathly afraid of airplanes.


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