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ASK ANDREW
Hmm Indeed June 9th, 2005

Andrew Long - 4:14 EST

WELL THEN. I hate to give the impression that there's some sort of disagreement brewing here, but I feel I need to apologize for last weekend. You see, I was always under the impression that Sunday doesn't really begin until Sunday morning at midnight, so when I said last week that Roku would be guest-hosting, I had assumed that the definition of "day", or specifically, "Saturday", would be governed by, you know, the typical 24-hour period assigned by calendars to the average day-night cycle occuring between Friday and Sunday as opposed to some arcane definition that has as its basic tenet "if you don't post by 3 AM I get to bleat and moan and inconvenience people you got to cover for you despite my own irregular posting times because hey - I can, baby!" That said, I also apologize for the severe lateness of Friday's column; it took longer than expected and I didn't get off work until an hour later than normal, thanks to our wonderful Las Vegas-themed sale at work.

At any rate, I should probably have known better. I have encountered scant sympathy in regards to my occasionally busy schedule before, so this isn't really anything new. Happy new roof, my dear counterpart. Hopefully it will give you enough light to read a calendar by now and then, or at least figure out what day it is before grumbling about a column that you weren't going to start until the following afternoon anyway.

Now that that's out of my system, let us proceed to the letters, few though they are, shall we?




L E T T E R S
The Drinkslinger serves up crankiness


Andrew Dice Clay,

When picking a conservative op-ed type person to trash, Bill O'Reilly really isn't the best example. He's more of a common-sense average-Joe simplest-answer-is-best (broke up the hyphens for you) type guy who happens to be condescending, partisan, arrogant and frequently wrong. But he uses compelling rationale and doesn't tend to foam at the mouth or make sculch up. In fact, the only time that I ever saw him foam at the mouth was when Tom DeLay's publicist (why do politicians have publicists?) told him there was nothing wrong with giving your wife $250,000 of the public's money. While he's the most effective mouthpiece for a lot of things I hate, he's not the worst or the most unreasonable.

Some good picks for bad fascist/theocrat: Pat Robertson, who claims to have successfully prayed a hurricane away from his house and onto an Island of gays, where God killed a few hundred sodomites at Pat's request.

Heroin Rush Limbaugh, who admittedly and unapologetically fabricates and defends the practice by saying that he's in the business of getting ratings, not journalism. He has also been high on smack during radio broadcasts.

Sean Hannity. How could nothing intelligent come out of a head that big? He's a violation of the law of averages.

And last (and best) Ann Coulter, who, in consecutive columns, first criticized Clinton for not doing anything about terrorism other than bombing an aspirin factory in Sudan, and the next week said that Saddam did have WMDs evidenced by the fact that we destroyed a chemical weapons facility in the Sudan during the 90s. It was a real "WHAT?" moment for me reading the second column. She also said (twice) we should give the middle east an ultimatum: convert to Christianity or we kill you. On the first occasion I thought she was kidding, but she clarified her position on Hannity (see above) & Colmes. And I heard she has rabies.

But let's be honest, Franken sucks too.
ANDREW


Heh. To be honest, my choice of the O'Reilly Factor was motivated by a particularly ridiculous statement that I'd encountered regarding Deep Throat the day I wrote that column more than any particular malice towards him. I should note, however, that "common-sense average-Joe" is still uncommonly similar to "common-sense oligarch-with-not-your-best-interests-at-heart", at least in terms of how their agendas line up.

And yes, Ann Coulter is the devil, and indeed, left-wing wags are generally just as bad as right-wing wags, if slightly less cartoonish in their villainy.

I recommended Jade Empire about a month ago. I got sick of it really quick, and was really annoyed about saving up all those points to use for the good styles that you only get with an hour left: ghost thing, John Cleese's gun, giant rock monster from horrible Tomb Raider movie, etc. And I wanted the David LoPan-looking emperor dude to be more prevalent.
ANDREW


I'm already getting the sense that Jade Empire is pretty much KotOR with an Ancient China skin thrown over top, but it's still a good deal more entertaining than the last few RPGs I've played, so I'm willing to ride it out, for now.

Hell, the only games I've played in my post-Collegiate life that I've liked have been Star Wars games, which wither means I'm growing out of Video Games or that I've contracted the Star Wars social anxiety disorder that eventually makes people go to a dork convention as, say, Grrrwwwrrrwwrr, the wookie striptease artist (I don't actually know what convention people do at conventions, but I imagine the sexual dissatisfaction that accumulates in those buildings probably makes them do all sorts of things that would normally and famously be associated with male-only prisons, more dorkily of course) or both.

I got a real (read corporate) job a few months ago, but I quit it on Friday to move to Ocean City, Maryland and work in a hotel where they're putting me up for free in a bungalow on the beach. When I say on the beach I mean twenty yards from the sand. No more taking life seriously.

If hockey ever comes back, write a memo to the Leafs and tell them to quit signing so many old-asses.

I'm out until October.

-Drinkslinger


ANDREW


Enjoy your hotel, you lucky sot, and I'm pretty sure that once this reported new salary cap comes along, those old-asses will be magically divested in short order. $60M doesn't turn into $36M without a few deletions, after all.


A disagreeable sort


Hi! I'm one of those casual gamers you guys love to hate... I've never heard of those japanese sounding game you're often talking about, I tough Final Fantasy IX was the best one ( haven't played 1 to 6 ), I think that better graphic are great and that if you guy love those old game so much... well, just get a old system an play those... Oh! an by the way, I'm from Quebec, french speaking (wich explain all the grammer and ortograph) and a separatist... so hate away.
ANDREW

I don't hate you for wanting to separate, I just think you're an idiot. I won't go into the various reasons why here because if me talking about American politics bores my readers, Canadian politics promise to be a real snooze, particularly where this issue is concerned. Suffice it to say I see no logical reason, economically, socially, or otherwise, for Quebec to separate, and all the Liberal malfeasance and decades-old resentment in the world can't convince me of otherwise. That said, I must say, besides the separatism plank, the BQ and PQ actually have pretty good platforms, overall, and if it makes you feel any better, I have never voted Liberal federally.

Anyhow! FFIX, the best? You're actually not alone in that assessment, which makes me sad, so don't feel too bad about that. I also am a fan of better graphics myself; I just don't think they should come at the expense of attention to gameplay, and if 90% of the time spent in producing a game comes from shining up the sweat on a character's forehead or adding a few more polygons to Garnet's butt, there's an imbalance.

As for questions, there's one: Do you know any thing about the new King Field game that was suppose to come here. Is it out in japan in Japan? Is it coming? I know I'm one of the 5 guys that care, but I really enjoy The Ancient City and you're the expert so maybe you know.

And, by the way, what did you think of Drakan: The Ancient Gates?... I've played this game 4 times and think it underated. It's a shame that the sales wheren't good. Now we'll never get the sequel (I love sequel to, so... there).

That's all for now. Thank for listening...
Geekastic


ANDREW

Unfortunately for King's Field fans, the new PSP title, while supposedly under development, was apparently not far enough along to be shown at E3, and news online is scanty at best. I'm pretty sure, therefore, that it is neither out here nor in Japan. If anything concrete comes up, though, RPGamer will endeavour to follow it. I have not, unfortunately, had the chance to play Drakan, since I didn't have a PS2 back in 2002 and had other games higher on my list of priorities when I finally did get one. As for your love of sequels, well... FINE! Geez man, I can agree to disagree, you know, so you don't have to phrase each disagreement as a deadly challenge :) Anyhow, if you care to argue the finer points of separatism, I'd be happy to have at it, but not here. castomel@ will do nicely.



<.<


Hey Google,

What ever happened to the FF1&2 Dawn of Souls contest? Just wondering, because there was never a winner.
-andrew- -kupomogli-


ANDREW

While I endeavour to delete your emails on sight because you are miserable, Google feels no such compunction, and so I regrettably chanced to read this. As such, I feel I should offer an explanation, since this contest did sort of fall through the cracks. Basically, the Dawn of Souls contest was killed because of an unfortunate situation whereby we failed to gather sufficient information to send prizes to the people who won them, none of whom returned our "hey, you won!" emails. Then, to compound things, once we tracked down alternates, the PR agency with whom we had been running the contest in association changed the PR guy handling RPGamer, and the new guy would not discuss the contest with us. As a result, much as it pains me to admit it, there are no winners because we couldn't get a hold of them, and of course there are no longer prizes to be had now. On behalf of RPGamer, I offer our readers our sincerest apologies. It won't happen again.



Oh, he'll squish reeeeal good


OMG IS THERE ANOTHER CHRONO COMING OUT?

Hi Andrew. Just curious as to what your thoughts were regarding the elusive third chrono title. Trigger was my favourite game of all time, and Cross was a masterpiece (in my opinion and many others of course) so why aren't Square-Enix making a third?

I can assume many reasons. The series itself is a bit of a niche product, with the name 'Chrono' not nearly as recognizable as 'Xeno' or 'Final Fantasy'. Is that why? Do they not believe the effort they put into a third title would not be worth the sales?
ANDREW

I wouldn't say Chrono is particularly niche; the response leading up to Chrono Cross, as far as I remember, was much more droolsome than that leading up to Xenosaga, although it's a pretty close call. I should also mention that Square Enix holds no rights on the Xenosaga series. If there is no third title, I chalk it up to one of a couple possibilities: either work on Chrono Break, if in fact it existed, was not to the satisfaction of the brain trust at S-E, or perhaps it just didn't have the top-flight development staff to handle such a project. Heaven knows S-E is having a hard enough time putting together a consistent lineup; throwing a Chrono game into the mix would be potentially disastrous.

Or are they thinking that a third chrono game would be impossible, maybe Cross ended up the plot nicley? (To be hoenst, I could think of many plot points that would warrant a third game. For example, Lavos may not be the original Lavos, but a spawn from an even bigger lavos). Or what about that cutscene from the psx version of Trigger where somebody goes nuts with the Masamune and slaughters everybody?
ANDREW

This is also a good possibility, actually. Where indeed do you go after the debacle that was the end of Chrono Cross, a game that completely crapped all over the legacy of its predecessor? Do you simply and judiciously ignore its existence, or do you do that to Chrono Trigger? I'm not really looking for a direct sequel or anything, but at this point, the world of Chrono Trigger is so messed up it's hard to say whether or not it would be worth adding any further complexity to a storyline that has already meandered across two huge timelines and several dimensions.

I keep seeing lots of sequels of games being made, like Xenosaga, Grandia 3 and Star Ocean 3 ...but no Chrono. I know the original team from the first game isn't together anymore either....

And for all the new console makers out there, whichever one of you gets the third one, I'm automatically buying it simply for that. Thanks Andrew

Henry, aka dollerz


ANDREW

You and pretty much every other RPGamer. Believe me, it's not that I don't want to see what Square Enix would do with a third Chrono title, I just question whether it could do anything worthwhile.



KotOR KotOR KotOR


hey long time reader first time messenger. i just completed kotor2 as a light jedi and fought it was absolutely awesome. the only thing that was a let down was the end sequence. (wont mention it as not to spoil it). just wondering will there be another kotor along soon even though it doesnt really lead on for a sequel.

Jack


ANDREW

As surely as there will be an episode VII within the next ten years.



Fun With NIS


To whoever gets this, Seeing that you need letters, I have decided to send one. WHat have you heard about that strategy rpg for the psp by NIS? ANd what are your thougts on the new handhelds in general?

-May all your devils cry


ANDREW

I have seen that PSP strategy RPG, and it looks pretty decent. Unfortunately, however, I was too busy gawking at the pretty art book on the table to pay as much attention as I should have to the GoC presentation, so it slipped by, beyond the fact that it will apparently play like Monopoly mixed with Civ and FFT. The graphics looked much like other NIS titles, for what that's worth.

Having now seen both the PSP and the NDS in action, I am deeply conflicted, since up to this point I've been singing the NDS's praises and heaping slag on the PSP. Now, however, I am forced to concede that the PSP is teh awesomeness, while the NDS strikes me as a gimmicky waste of cash. Hopefully titles over the next couple of years will prove both to be worthwhile, but at this point, the PSP looks like it's the handheld for me.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Let's have some letters for tomorrow, shall we? And in those letters, we will speak of many things, including the rumoured cost of FFXI for the Xbox 360. $60 for a game that will be several years old? What gives?

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long should not be so prone to outbursts, but oh well...


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