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questionanswer&andrew


Ideal for Seafood!

Andrew Long - September 10, 2004 01:21 EDT

SO, COMING DOWN THE HOME STRETCH, it looks as though Lakitu is settling into the lead, but we can't count out Azala yet. Word has finally arrived from Locke, at any rate, and he will be here, possibly with bells on (although I haven't mentioned that part of it to him yet, so try not to spoil the surprise!) to crown the winner, or at least stab me for creating such an ungainly contest in his turtle's honour.

As you may or may not have noticed, the site is currently undergoing a frenzy of hiring, so if you're of a mind to join the team, applications can be found here, there, and everywhere, although not here, because I'm feeling fabulously lazy and haven't quite finished the page in question yet. Suffice it to say, if you've ever wanted to hop aboard, now's the time to do it, because I don't think we've ever had this many positions open at once. And I also haven't ever had this many letters kicking around in my inbox, so I guess we'd better get to it - some of them have been there for almost two weeks!




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What Level is Shoe? 42
That's right
I started playing Disgaea again
But that's neither here nor there
Actually, it's here
But there, well.. soon
You'll see
Just you wait
And.. we're incoherent
That's a wrap

Ooh, I was hoping someone would send one of these


http://www.opcoder.com/projects/chrono/

Chrono Trigger is easily one of my favorite games of all time. Just imagine my delight when I found out about Chrono Resurrection. Then imagine my rage when I discovered Square Enix made them stop. If I thought Square cared, I would have some very angry letters to write, yes I would.

ANDREW
I'm imagining, but I don't quite understand it. First, the project never had any chance of reaching the stage where it would become a game because a)that would be a gross violation of intellectual property law and b)the project was never intended as a game, if I recall correctly. Moreover, I have always been vaguely (well, okay, not just vaguely, more like downright) irritated by the existence of this group, first because of its fans constantly demanding RPGamer cover it (which is just a super idea, except we'd rather remain in good standing with Square) and secondly because of the utter lack of creativity exhibited. Yes, LACK of creativity. I know, you've been over the awesome profiles and read all about how everyone involved was a five-year old programming or piano or nosepicking prodigy, and those sure are some nice copies of Chrono Trigger concept art they have there, but let's not lose sight of the fact that the entire operation does consist solely of leeching off of someone else's ideas. This group wrote no story, created no characters, developed no gameplay mechanics, and certainly didn't draw anything of its own. Rather than demonstrating any ability to think creatively or exhibiting any particular talent, other than the ability to copy something from two dimensions to three, it chose to steal the copyrighted material of somebody else, and for that it deserves to be shut down.

So cry all you want, but I have no sympathy for anyone involved. I am as glad as can be to see Square protecting its intellectual property, and I couldn't be happier that this project is now dead and buried, "indefinitely" or otherwise (you'd think it would be the latter given the "cease and desist" order the group received, but I guess we'll see how that plays out.)

S


Translation trials


Yosa,

I am one of those who prefer Japanese voice acting to English and I wonder if there's been any word regarding FFXII featuring English subtitles in the Japanese version of the game?

-Quincy

ANDREW
As translating games to English tends to be one of the more time-consuming elements of localizing a game (other than airbrushing out robot sex and boobies) such subtitled versions of a game generally don't appear until either the actual English localization, or until a Japanese "International" rerelease, as in the case of FFX. I would expect to see the latter, since that's the route Square went last time.


Nintendo fanboyism 101


Hi!

I love the site. I'm fnding that I come here more and more often. Love the content. I wish there was more!

On to my question. I've always had Nintendo Systems; from the NES, to the SNES, to the N64, to the Game Cube. I started out with RPGs on my NES with The Dragon Warrior Series and Final Fantasy. On the SNES, I continued with the Squaresoft offerings. Needless to say, the offering on the cube and the 64 have been paultry. I've had a sort of rejuvination with RPGs with Tales of Symphonia on the cube, the Golden Sun series on my GBA SP.

ANDREW
You claim you like good gameplay and yet you sat through both Golden Suns? Hmm... I don't know if there's any helping you.

Being a Nintendo Fanboy, I would never buy another system. However, I got lucky and was given a PS2. Now I have a Playstation, which RPGs would you recommend I start with on either the PS1 or PS2? One Caveat. I was so hyped up about Final Fantasy 7 that I borrowed a friend's Playstation when it came out for a week and played through it. I was disappointed in the amounts of FMV. I also hated that battles consisted of picking a spell/summon and sitting there for ever watching the same animation over and over. It got tedious as hell. So, I'm not necassarily all about the pretty RPGs. I want good gameplay. Any suggestions?

Thanks and please don't Flame my lack of knowledge and ignorance,

Rahul

ANDREW
"Don't flame your lack of knowledge and ignorance?" Forgive me, but flaming ignorance is what I do, because ignorance is mostly what's wrong with this world. That said, just because you're rabidly loyal to Nintendo for no apparent reason doesn't really qualify as such, although you have been missing out on some mighty fine games thanks to your closemindedness. Since you claim not to enjoy pretty graphics, that pretty much rules out anything made by Square, except for FFT, which you should pick up immediately, and Breath of Fire V, which looks pretty AND has great gameplay. Shadow Hearts is, by all accounts, the bees's kneeses, and Disgaea is funtastic. Finally, I think you've been missing out on some Nintendo stuff as well, because I don't see Mario and Luigi or Skies of Arcadia on your list, and if anything has engaging gameplay, it's those two. Hopefully that'll be enough games to tide you over for the time being, but meanwhile, if you can somehow get your hands on Valkyrie Profile, that's another good bet.


Good old semantics


About FFVIII - I liked it too, but only after I finally used FAQs. I had reached the final castle, but had no hope of getting through it because I had not played the game properly. I was aggravated, but wound up loving it when I consulted guides and finally powered up my characters and did things the good way. A game shouldn't make it so hard to finish without an FAQ though...

As for steampunk and such, I disagree with your statement about analyzing the different subcategories being useless. Certainly it's not something to lose sleep over, but it's fairly important to separate Romance novels from Science Fiction novels from Mystery novels. The same does apply (though on a lesser level) for Cyberpunk and Steampunk and whatever else.

ANDREW
Well, yes, of course it's important to separate Romance from sf, and if you'd actually read what I said, you'd key in on "subcategory" as opposed to its more wide-reaching big brother. Speculative Fiction is speculative fiction regardless of what universe you set it in, and it's different from normal fiction in that normal fiction takes place in settings that are familiar to us - ie, places that actually exist, could exist, or could have existed. Anything that doesn't fall into that category is speculative fiction, and thus there's no real need to differentiate between its various subgenres and romance because it's pretty evident that books about steamy romance in the sultry New Orleans swamp are about situations that are all too conceivable (well, the actual plots of such novels are another matter, but you can't fault their settings, at least) and thus are rather difficult to confuse with either sci fi or fantasy - unless, of course, you find it inconceivable that you will ever have a date, in which case I suppose you can shelve them in the same section and confuse your lonely, lonely self till your face turns blue.

I'd consider steampunk to be a world where "high tech" machines and computers basically look and run as if they would have been possible with 19th century technology. A world full of things like Doc Brown's locomotive time machine would define it pretty well - as opposed to time machines built out of DeLoreans. I've never thought of any of the FF's as steampunk, or any game that I know of.

But maybe I don't know what I'm talking about...

ANDREW
Yeah, while the FFs are always trumpeted as steampunk this and steampunk that, I mostly just think of them as FFs.


FOR WHYYYY


Hi there!

First (minor FF spoilers I guess), I just realized something. Maybe the reason no major character has died since FFVII, as was costumary in all previous FFs, is because people asking how to freaking revive them all the time! I mean, the only character to die was in FFX. And that's only until FFX2... Wait, did Beatrix in IX die? God that game is so forgettable.

Anyway, moving on. I agree with you on FFVIII. The only FF I didn't enjoy for the PS1 is FFIX (as I've already meantioned). The battle system was great (junctioning was cool, drawing was not, but you already said there are alternatives), anyone using GFs is just wasting his time. The music is great (bad world theme), and story was good too, apart for the plot twist.

Lastly, I don't care too much about MMORPG and even less about anything Matrix-related.

Uh.... a question... So, did Beatrix die?
Zohar Gilboa

ANDREW
Bad world theme? FFVIII's world theme wasn't so bad, although it did sound a bit like 60s lounge music (at least, the orchestrated version does, at any rate). Granted, pretty much every other FF world theme is better, but that still doesn't make it terrible. As for Beatrix, I really don't remember either; I'm inclined to say no, but I can't really be bothered to play through it again to find out, so I guess it will forever be a mystery.


XI


Dear Werdna,

Please, would you care to STOP erasing a certain game from your mind, and try and recall a lot of it, and then after you are done recalling it and writing a response, THEN erase it from your memory? You cannot be in denial your entire life! you must face it and openly except it to truely overcome it! I know you know what I'm talking about. I think.

Final Fantasy XI. I have recently become somewhat addicted to a game named Conquer, which is an online game made in China. Before I played Conquer, I was very-much-so against online games, or MMORPGs. but now, that has changed. I am ready for something new. I have played all of the FFs up to this game, and now I want to try this one. I have seen the trailers and have been oogled by the graphics. I have seen the different classes, quests, and the complexity of it all. It looks like fun. My idea of fun anyway.

I play online games for one reason alone. Hunger for power. Work my way up the food chain. It is one of my favorite wastes of time (other than reading). I think you were the one to play quite a lot of this game, and I want to hear what you thought of it.

Does the game give you a lot of things to do?

ANDREW
In the words of the immortal Guvernator, "Yeah, but they were all bad."

People to cooperate with and fight together with, quests, jobs, etc?

ANDREW
Natch. This was pretty much the only thing that made the game bearable, and there was still a fairly high risk of running into idiots who didn't know what they were doing, and if one party member fails, the whole party ends up in trouble, which tends to bleed away experience pretty fast. Basically it's a good idea to find people who you work well with and stick with them, cuz some randoms just have no clue.

Did the game make it in such a way where it is fun, or boring?

ANDREW
I'm not playing anymore, am I?

Does this game satisfy a hunger for power?

ANDREW
Uhh - it had a regional conquest system, but unless you're a raving megalomaniac, I doubt it will sate your lust for dominion any.

Is there a big problem with communication?

ANDREW
Nope, as long as you can type reasonably well.

I have heard a lot of music for this game in the trailers... do any palces of the world play music, or is this game more of just running around listening to the soundeffects?

I am contemplating buying this game and devoting time to play it. Before I let square gradually suck money out of my wallet, I want to know these things first.

Brendan Mesick

ANDREW
It depends on what area you're in. Some, like Rolanberry Fields and the Plains of Sarutabaruta, have music, while others, like various caves, dungeons, and hilly regions, do not. In the end, it pretty much comes down to being a matter of whether or not you like MMORPGs. If you do, there's a good chance you'll like this once, since it's basically just Everquest in FF drag. If you don't, well... Steer clear.


Eager Beaver


Hey Andrew,

Worry not. You're not the only one who could actually play FFVIII. I had no trouble with the monsters leveling alongside Squall, and while a couple of my characters fell behind in parts of the game, I could get them back up to speed through some rotation. Besides, if your Guardian Forces are levelled properly and you have everyone with a decent supply of magic, you can still have 9999 HP with a Full-Life junction even at a low level... I don't see why everyone has such a big beef with this concept.

To the kid wanting to bring Aeris back. I remember seeing a Gameshark code that gave you the ability to bring her back in battle... but essentially she was a statue, an obvious glitch... you can't use her... she stands there in rigor mortis. Give it up.

ANDREW
Ugh... That's like tipping your grandpa out of his coffin and playing Weekend at Bernie's with his corpse - why bother?

On that note, I find myself replaying most of the RPGs of the Playstation era and I just can't seem to get into this new generation of games. Though I still have to try Breath of Fire 5 and Disgaea so maybe I should get on that... though I am looking forward to Shadow Hearts 2 and Megaman X: Command Mission. What games on the horizon are you eager for?

Derek

ANDREW
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by those two games you mentioned; both have very strong gameplay and good stories. As to my current wishlist, it is topped by Phantom Brave, and then followed by Star Ocean 3, FFXII, and DQ8, which had better be released over here.


More translation follies


I am stuck trying to kill Odin in the Basement of Bal Castle. It says to use "Mahouken Bureiku" for a quick and dirty way to beat Odin. What do those words mean? Please help.

Thanks,

Vivien

ANDREW
In layman's terms? "Stop playing ROMs and buy FFA, as asstacular as it is." If you're dead-set on playing your illegal copy, however, an eyeballing of those words leads me to the conclusion that it's bastardized english, approximating "Magic Break". If anyone can tell me different, feel free to help out Vivien here and drop me a line.


Challenge THIS


"playing the game can be fun, and even challenging if you put the summons away."

Okay, now I'm going to have to hurt you. You really shouldn't mention "challenging" and "Final Fantasy VIII" in the same sentence. I beat the entire game using nothing but regular attacks. The Junction system makes the game far too easy to overpower your characters. Heck, I took out the [insert adjective I forgot here] Weapon with InvinciSquall in about 5 minutes. I never used summons, and the only magic I used was the occasional Cure/a/aga and Aura. Between Ultima, Flare, Triple, and Full-Life, the game is so easy a four year old can beat it.

Just my little rant I give whenever I hear Final Fantasy VIII described as challenging.

RPGuy96

ANDREW
Thanks for sharing, RPGuy. Bear in mind, I'm speaking relatively here - figuring out how to junction stuff IS comparatively difficult to just mashing the O button everytime you pop Ifrit out.


Unfit for Print


could u rank the dragon quest games and final fantasy games in terms of bestness? Overall bestness?

ANDREW
No, because not only is bestness the dumbest word I've ever seen, something can't be more best than something else. If you want me to rank all 18 games in order of my personal preference that also won't work, because I've only ever played two Dragon Quest titles. Still, if I had to rank the FFs, it'd probably go 6-7-10-1-4-8-9-3-5-2. And for what it's worth, I like the original Dragon Warrior better than VII.

YOU 'DREW
QUICKIE I
Hey Cast,

What do you think you would do if some former Square employee came out and, after all these years, tells us that there are indeed legitimate non-cheat code ways to revive General Leo and Aeris? Wouldn't that be a big kick in the teeth?

Robust Stu

Andrew:
Oh, it'd be a kick in the teeth all right, but not the set of bicuspids you're probably thinking of. Remember, I'm easily enraged!

QUICKIE II
Hello. My internent name is Sorakh.
Inspired by Kingdom Hearts, that name did, yessir. But that's not what I wanted to talk about. Today I want to rant about the fanfiction people who only sees my favorite character in Fire Emblem, Sain, as one person-a pervert.
Now, I might be a female, and I might be innocent, but I'm possitivly sure that Sain is not a pervert. Where in the game did he flat out ask for sex, like Miroku from Inuyasha does in said anime? I don't recall any place where he did that. And no, the Isadora support is not one. What proves that, anyways? Idiots, if Sain WAS a pervert, quoting from a fanfic I have read, what does that makes those who flirts around and actually do the...well, I don't have to say it. (Oh, and if the author sees this, I'm crediting that part to her. Brilliant, Arii, brilliant.) Sain has more then women on his brain. He has his job to worry about. He has Kent to devote with. He was authority to hate. The citizeny, as it says in the game, love him. If Sain was a pervert, non of that would be happening.
So, if Sain is not a pervert, what is he?
Read the manual. It says, and I directly quote, "A light-hearted scoundrel with an eye for the ladies, he is nevertheles a talented fighter." That is his discription right there. Don't believe me? Kent himself says "You're almost more trouble than you're worth." That mean he's good if he's such a scoundrel.
All in all, I think portraying Sain as only one thing is disgusting to the ones who can find just about lots of things about him than wooing women. And to finish, as a fangirl of Sain (not rabid, by the way), I will say what I think is going in the minds of every FE owners.
Lowen needs a hair cut. Badly. (Okay, that was out of topic, but I HAVE to agree. Not that Lowen's ugly, though.)
To the rest of the world, it's SainPriestessSorakh out.

Andrew:
Oh, Sorakh... You must be new to the ways of the filthy-minded individuals who churn out fanfics if you ask me such a question. You see, the real perverts aren't the agglomerations of pixels and / or polygons that make up your average character (and please bear in mind, we're talking about figments of somebody's imagination here.) They're the people who decide that yes, games like Fire Emblem DO in fact need a subplot in which the main characters are homosexual furries that like to cavort about playing at watersports under the light of a full moon with werewolves (not that there's anything wrong with that). So set your mind at ease - your character's honour, how ever absurd such a concept is, is intact.

QUICKIE III
duke nukem likes rpg's doesnt he?

Andrew:
HA! Italianmaze, you're such a card! That's right folks, he's not talking about the roleplaying games we all know and love, but instead about ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADES. The funny just never stops here!

QUICKIE IV
The Zelda Quickie
would have had to have been about Ocarina of Time, in which Talon was delivering milk to Hyrule Castle.

--
R. Bemrose
Webmaster, VGMusic.com

Andrew:
There we are... I think that clears up all the old business.



DA LAST GRUMBLE

And that's where we call it a column, folks. For tomorrow, if there aren't a million of you clamouring to behead me for not directing copious love at the talentless hacks at CR, I think we shall discuss the newly enrevelated Radiata Stories, which seems to contain an inordinate number of poorly thought-out names. Yes, from our lovable terrier - I mean, hero - Jack Russel, to the lovely and talented Justin... Oh wait, that's Ridley Timberlake, the naming in this game just screams laziness. As a thoroughly entertaining subplot to our main topic, I will also ask: what is your least favorite character name and why?

In the meantime, I will depart in preparation for a thoroughly unenjoyable 12-hour shift at work. Oh, the pain, the pain of it all!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long can be a bitter, hate-filled man.

I'LL PROVIDE THE ANSWERS, YOU PROVIDE THE

QUESTIONS


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