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Table Salt July 8, 2005

Andrew Long - 19:06 EST

HMM. I guess you guys don't like guest hosts or something, because this mailbox has been seriously empty of late. Add to that the fact that yesterday's column went up "late" and you can see how today's has ended up in the early evening. I hate to shake you down for letters, but three does not a column make, so for tomorrow, let's see some more action so that nobody else will have to resort to printing any more stuff that I answered three months ago.

See if I let you use my column to start nasty rumours

Recently, I heard a rumor that Square-Enix would remake the Final Fantasy games from Final Fantasy IV to Final Fantasy VI. Where I read it, it was mentioned the Game Informer magazine had the rumor posted in its "Good, Bad, and Ugly" column. Is there any word regarding the veracity of this rumor? Thanks for any response given.


Do you really need to ask this question? Square Enix has pretty much announced their upcoming plans, and FFIV - VI aren't anywhere among them. Add to that the fact that you found this tidbit in a rumour column, and I would tend to suggest that your chances of seeing these remakes are minimal. I should also mention that if you do see them, it probably won't be on a console; Square Enix seems to be getting heavily into the portable market, and while I doubt a cellphone could handle, say, FFVI, I'm not so sure that it wouldn't be possible to throw FFIV on a phone, assuming it's broken down into chunks or something.

Anyhow, stranger things have happened, but I don't see this one coming along, at least not until FF3 is safely and finally released.

Yes. Yes it is a Gundam

Hey there QnA person,

First a real question: When exactly is North America getting Wild Arms: Alter Code F?? it was announced for localazation ages ago so uh did it get canceled or what?

You know, this is why we have gamepages and release databases. WA:ACF is slated for an August release, and that pretty much meshes with the timeframe we've been given for a review copy to land in the hands of our review team, so you can probably set your mind at ease.

Now for the weirdness:

Bizzare Question 1: What is Ultimecia's tie in to Griever(sp?) just curious cause I've been wondering and theorizing about that for awhile, so uh yeah why does her summon thingy and Squall's necklace share a name?

Any theory I could offer you is just that; a theory. That said, the most common explanation I can find seems to be that Ultimecia is Rinoa, Rinoa made a copy of Griever, and herego, Ultimecia is able to use Squall's connection to Griever to her advantage, as well as to summon it.

Bizzare Question 2: A bizzare topic came up between me and my gf the other day, regarding potions in rpgs and exactly how they work, cause in final fantasy they are tossed above the head of the injured character and when sparklies come out the injured is healed, yet in Zelda potions are swigged down yet in other games you don't even see the potions, which brings me to my question, why do the FF styled potions have to be applied to the skin and hair and what would happen if it were drunk? And does confetti and glitter really have magical healing properties?

You and your girlfriend need to find better things to do... Go on a date or something. Heck, you can even pretend it's like FFVII!


And I think I'm one of the few people that knew what Tanabata was before the reader's digest version of it,

curtosy of too much anime...
Arros Raikou
*points at J Sensei's signature banner thing and yells
"It's a Gundam!!"*


I have no idea what you're talking about, but thanks for sharing, Arros.


I hear you've been sick with the stomach flue. I see steve's plan to poison you has been a complete sucess! Mwahahhaa!

Some Regards
Christopher Beaupre


So it was the nasty monkey all along... Well, that tears it. Nothing will do but for a monkey genocide! TO THE DEBANANANATOR!

The simplest explanation...

(I apologize in advance for this letter's length)

When the GBA was considered the hottest handheld, we saw a lot of ports of classic 8- and 16-bit games being released on it. Super Mario World, Breath of Fire, A Link to the Past, River City Ransom, Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Donkey Kong Country, and countless others found their way to the GBA. Understandably, lots of people complained about the lack originality we had to put up with, since most of the worthwhile games for the GBA were just ports of the best games of the past generations. I think it's because a lot of developers lost the talent and passion they once had for developing creative handheld titles, and since the GBA was of similar power to a 16-bit console, people just got lazy and ported their old classics to it and make a quick and easy dollar. Now when I look at the PSP, I see some of the same thing, what with the handheld getting a lot of ports and compilations of classic, but slightly more recent, games as well. Mega Man Legends, Breath of Fire III, Dark Stalkers, Wipeout, Ape Escape, Tales of Eternia, and MediEvil are some examples. But then I see something else. The PSP is also getting ports of other games that are very recent. Midnight Club III, Mortal Kombat: Deception, Gran Turismo 4, NFL Street 2, T.H.U.G. 2, and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, are all on or coming to the new handheld, and they're not even a year old. Plus, there are games like Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, Tomb Raider: Legend, Marvel Nemesis, and The Godfather that sound like they are being developed SIMULTANEOUSLY for the PS2 and PSP! It looks like the days of waiting years for a handheld port of your favorite game are over, now you'll only need to wait weeks. So while the GBA got a lot of 8- and 16-bit ports, the PSP is getting a lot of 32- and 128-bit ports. Again, I think it's because a lot of developers lost their passion for handheld games and also got lazier. The PSP is of similar power to modern consoles, so those same developers can now make a quick and easy dollar by developing games simultaneously for consoles and the PSP. And I think that as our handheld systems get more and more powerful, the problem of unoriginality will become worse and worse.

So here's a question: There was a lot of vocal complaints about the GBA getting mostly ports, remakes, and updates of old games. But the PSP has become just as big (if not bigger) of a culprit of offering mostly ports, remakes, and updates of classic and even recent console games, and yet I don't hear anyone complaining about the lack of originality on Sony's handheld. Why is that?


Mainly? Because not enough people have PSPs at this point to warrant there being a sufficient outcry against this practice. The GBA's user base developed much more quickly than the PSPs has by virtue of the fact that it had no real competition in the North American market, and as such, the stream of remakes began flowing almost immediately because developers knew they had a sure thing. That said, even though it hasn't cornered the market, the PSP is rapidly becoming subject to the same sort of thing by virtue of its apparently superior technical specs, and so people will undoubtedly begin wondering. You have to remember, though, that the PSP just looks so damnably impressive that people aren't much going to care about lack of originality when they can play PS2-quality games while wandering down the street. That is factor number 2; lack of originality matters less when the games being released on the PSP are basically just slightly dumbed down versions of stuff, because people will be content to be able to play such complex games on handhelds, especially handhelds as pretty as the PSP.

Finally, though, you're overlooking the biggest factor of all. Of the titles you have mentioned above, only two are RPGs, neither of which has been released at this point. You haven't heard any complaints around here because there hasn't been a steady stream of RPGs dribbling through at this point. Give it time, young padawan; surely the whining will begin once the remakes start piling up, and if nothing else, it's sure to draw Paine out of the woodwork to speculate on what will be remade next. Not everyone dislikes rampant uncreativity.

Unfit for Print

hoo is better between serra and priscilla?


I think the better question is, why hasn't someone taken your computer away from you yet? Even more puzzling to me is why your child prodigy radio intern father/uncle/brother/cousin would have ever allowed you to append your name to his agency's email client(for reference, this person's email address leads to a voiceover agency run by a dude who claims to have been a radio intern at the tender age of thirteen. Now that's crazy!).


For tomorrow, let's try and have a real column, shall we? I tire of digging through weeks-old mail for suitable questions, because those letters are weeks old for a reason. As such, we need a compelling topic... Shall we say, Atlus's latest announcement? Another Megaten title is just what the doctor ordered! If you disagree, there's also Hero's Journey, which, while not recently announced, is nonetheless a pretty impressive looking game, which I just happened to see a lengthy, lengthy presentation for. Finally, if that doesn't pique your interest, we do have that question about Griever and Ultimecia that I'm sure somebody out there is dying to present an alternate theory for... So let's go! There's plenty to talk about! Don't let me down!
Andrew Long dreams of Jeannie.

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