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questionanswer&andrew


Kitten Eaters From Outer Space!

Andrew Long - October 2 '03- 01:18 Eastern Standard Time

IT MAKES ME SAD when I can't think of something to go on about to start off the column, and subsequently, I just can't bring myself to get around to writing the rest of it until I've well and truly rambled on about at least something. As it stands, however, I'm afraid nothing is going to have to suffice, because unless I were to whine about the fact that my stupid eye is still stupid swelled, which makes me look horribly strange, there really isn't much to go on about today.

So I guess I'll just have to be super fantastic while answering the letters below - and hey, this'll save time for all those people who scroll right past my ramblings, although that still doesn't make me wish I could somehow insert a spikestrip into my introductions so at least their tires get torn to shreds on the way to the letters. Which isn't very nice, but then, I'm a pretty lousy president.

Oh, incidentally, I'm probably going to be tweaking things here and there over the next couple days, so if a bucket of my renovatin' cement falls on your head, be sure to rescue Bucket Mouse.




SEND LETTER




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Confounded eye
dratted tooth-
such is life
Voting, though not
FCP of Ontario
Bigots
..but married, married
(which is all that matters
when you look like this)

Boingy, boingy!


Andrew,

In yesterday's splendiforous column, you said, "The Xbox, sadly, is another matter entirely. Not only can I not think of a title offhand, nothing on the upcoming slate is remotely appealing where RPGs are concerned." I do agree with you for the most part. However, I wanted to point out that "Morrowind: Game of the Year Edition" is slated for release this month, and it is a pretty spiffy RPG with the main game plus the two PC expansions built right in.

It's probably not for everybody, though, seeing as it has more life-sucking proportions than most RPG's in existence. I'm planning on buying an XBox just so I can get that game. Because my computer is physically incabable of running the game unless I bought more RAM and a MUCH better video card, and I'd also have to buy the game and both expansions, which all told would probably run me far more than just buying an XBox and the game, and I can play it sitting in a beanbag chair holding a controller instead of a desk chair holding a mouse. The differences are astounding! And on a side note, Fable looks pretty good too, but that's far off on the horizon. Besides those two games, I see absolutely no reason to buy an XBox. Nothing else interests me, and anything remotely good is already available on the PS2.

By the way, FFTA with a Game Boy Player is the only way I could ever imagine playing that game. And it looks so good on a TV, I can't believe it was actually designed for a tiny screen. Now if only the story didn't suck so bad. Wait, what story? I guess the story can't suck if it isn't even there. At least the gameplay rocks.

That's all. I'm done bouncing from topic to topic now.

Seth

ANDREW
Eh, the Xbox isn't all bad, aside from the fact you could outgravity a black hole with its sheer mass. What is all bad is saying that "All the good games are on the PS2" because this is just silly. While the GC isn't exactly a stronghold for RPGs, it does have a number of highly entertaining titles that lean in that direction, from Wind Waker to Skies of Arcadia Legends, to say nothing of its other games. If that sounds fanboyish, it's because it is - I love my Cube and I would cheerfully drop my Xbox off the CN Tower just to see what sort of seismic activity I could drum up if I had to choose between the two. Granted, the PS2 has lots of games, but last I checked, "lots" doesn't mean "good". Yeah, you could buy Twisted Metal Black, but then what would be the point of continued existence?


Junction this!


Sup Drew-dog,

Yes, Breath of Fire 5 doth rocketh. For some reason I love any RPG with a new game + feature. If I see that I can play through the game again with a beefed up character, I will almost surely buy that game.

Hmm, well the junctioning system in FF8 caused me great anguish. I would sit there with all these spell juncioned to my character and NEVER use them because I knew it would somehow (even minutely) weaken me. So, what'd you think of junctioning?

Nickolai

p.s. "Fighting crime in a future time"? What was that from? Was it a futuristic cop show that had a robot german shepherd? Cause if it was you made my day.

ANDREW
To be honest, the thing that got to me about FFVIII, and probably what keeps it from ranking higher on my list of favorite games, is the fact that Square felt compelled to drag it out over four discs. That game could easily have been twenty hours shorter with a plot of equal quality, but no. Rather than streamlining the plot some and taking out a few boring dungeons, you get to fight the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim instead. I actually liked the Junction system, because I'd much rather hold onto magic than items, since there's only so many spells you can possibly lug around whereas items (yes, FFIX, I'm talking to you) pile up like the miserable trash they are. This makes it ridiculously cumbersome to customize your characters, and don't even get me started on Synth'ing.

And yes, yes I did just make your day. C.O.P.S. was the best cartoon ever, which I can back up by pointing out the fact that the bad guy was named "Big Boss." Now if that's not creative genius, just what is?


Festivus... I mean, Festival


Hey Andrew,

You know what absolutely drives me up the wall? Tell me if this has ever happened to you, where you've easily won a game or beat a boss numerous times without ever losing, and then go up against that particular obstacle again and no matter how hard you try, you can't get through it? That happened to me today with the Festival of the Hunt in FF9. I went through the game seven times already and never lost the FOTH once, and then I play it on this play through and lose FOUR TIMES before I'm finally able to win, scoring the winning points literally the second time runs out. Stuff like that drives me up the wall.

Robust Stu
Gold Reviewer/Swell Guy
www.geocities.com/robuststu

ANDREW
I think my most memorable such failure occurred in Brave Fencer, where I managed to navigate a treacherous bit of abandoned mine my first time through and then promptly forgot to save. Naturally, it took me two mindblowing hours of fun trying to repeat my fantastic acrobatic fit before I was able to pull it off again. Which is a long way of saying, I feel your paint, or whatever the non-odd-typo version of this sentence looks like.


It's just you


Hello, Andrew.

Andy.

ANDREW
No. You die now.

A.

...Or something.

Firstly, nice layout- it's a tad incongruous with the rest of the site, IMO(it looks as though you took a moveable type weblog and transplanted it into RPGamer), but it's quite good, nonetheless.

Secondly, is the title from your previous post a reference to the New Order song of the same name? If so, that song rocks. Is it just me, or does it sound as though Bernard Sumner is singing "We might be a russian, but it's time you've remembered cosmonauts" in the middle of the song instead of the actual lyrics?

Hoping for a tilde,

-D.V.

---"More power to your elbow!"---

ANDREW
Despite my attempts to locate any title I used that is also the title of a New Order song, I was unable to determine if in fact it was a reference, which is usually a good sign that it's not. Anyhow, my efforts have led me to the conclusion that you are batmobile insane, so I'm afraid the only thing I can offer you is this high quality symbol:


I should probably discourage this kind of rambling... It could put me out of a job ;_;


Castomel the highest,

Looking back upon the day of yesterday, things seem out of place.. Oh wait, my drugs are in my OTHER pocket. Phew. By and by I says to Penny Sue, bys and bys. Then, coincidentially enough, I impale a knife into her. The moral of this story is: never stick a knife into a tractor trailer if it did nothing to you. Speaking of insanity, I can't think of any human brains I could rip out of....oh wait, wrong subject. I do like the new layout, very shibby. It will work, for now..... *insert ninjas crashing through the roof and abducting Googleshng this very moment* I'm sorry to say I haven't played BoFV:DQ, but it looks kinda good...so we'll see. That we will.... .......... ....... Oh yeah, this is kinda self-explanatory, but I couldn't get used to FFT when I first got it. Getting used to actually moving and targetting spaces etc.. Not a big deal, but that was mine. I wanna be sedated. A rather interesting question(s) for you, Mr. Long. What size cage should I get for Google? And for RPGs.... Any random enemy monster that strikes you as a favorite? Those sexy Malboros are indeed a favorite of mine, but after Tonberries and Cactuars of course. Ok, enough ranting. Bah!! Time for some hardcore sleeping.

Until the end of time,

O' Shrouded One

ANDREW
Wart Pucks. I don't understand why these things never made a reappearance after Final Fantasy VI, because quite frankly they have the best name ever, and besides, I started calling my sister that and she got annoyed and threw mozzerella cheese at me, which of course only encouraged me further. In terms of cage size, I recommend that one they put Magneto in, because if you want to keep your unwilling pet slime happy, you'll need to distract him at least daily with plastic chess until such a time as he can leech all the metal from your body and shoot you with blood bullets.

Finally, you may think you've won with your subtle cologne and dignity, but your Ramonesery has not gone unnoticed. Wa hey!


Screeeeooo! Is what you should always scream when you cast Lightning in FFMQ


Hi Casty...

I have the same problem with BoF V... I think I only lost one time when playing through the whole game, which really defeats the purpose, ya know what I'm saying? I know for a fact that I missed a lot of the game that strangely only appears as you die a lot, but does the storyline change if you get your D-Ratio below Bosch's 1/64 by beating it several times? It's been a while but I seem to remember he kind of looked down upon you in the beginning of the game. I really do not fell like running through those dungeons any more though...

Sigh... I seem to lose in normal RPGs a lot more than in TRPGs, which I find to be quite strange since several people seem to do quite the opposite. Heh, oh well, I guess it comes with the obsession I had with the Shining Force games in my youth... I would always specialize in all mage/archer groups and I really do the same now... As a matter of fact, my main character in FFTA is a Illusionist right now... Tempest magic is fun! Do you find yourself preferring any particular element of magic in any games? I would think my choice is obvious...

Vrumugun

"Weeeeeeee!!!"

ANDREW
For some reason, lightning magic makes me tiny-bubbles happy. As for Bosch, I can't say as yet, since I have to restart the game due to my horribly bloated D-Counter. I do hear that a lot does change with better ratios though, so I wouldn't be surprised if Bosch ends up slightly less highfalutin'.


Warning: This text is not invisible


Dear Andrew:

First, I would just like to say GGNTFF7AC>BOF5ROFLMAOBBQKTHXL8R.

What's one thing that made a game bad for me? I hated the graphics in Wild ARMs 3. The textures didn't move correctly when the characters moved, and it made me almost throw up. I also didn't like other things in that game, like the author deciding that motives were too cliche and so he wasn't going to give the characters any, but the real problem was the graphics. Better graphics in a game make me feel like it's more real, and so I can get more attached to it.

Incidentally, I utterly despise the new layout for one particular reason: there is no invisible text at the end. Put it back in or I might just stop reading the column.

LockeZ

ANDREW
Err... Characters with no motives? How does that work, exactly? I mean, I can see if it was a game about cats or something and all the cats cared about was sitting around like the wretched furniture they are, because that really doesn't require motivation at all, but then again, that would be a really lousy RPG, which is why you should buy a kitten. Failing that, at least consider some of my mail-order scorpions, which are guaranteed to keep do-nothing cats on their toes if they don't get you first.

As for the hidden text, don't make me go and actually hide it... Just think how annoying that would be - why, you'd have to highlight the entire page before reading every day!


Randomness


Hey, Drew.

Believe it or not, there is, in fact, a single game in history with excellent voice acting. Thing is, it's for the PC--Quest for Glory IV. The actors are not only talented, but they actually have fun with the script and even perform little ad libs which are actually very funny. And come on...they got John Rhys-Davies to do the narration. Not only is he on my top three list of most beautiful male voices (the other two being Avery Brooks and James Earl Jones), but he's just plain awesome.

Advent Children...hm. I sort of have mixed feelings about it. I'd like to see where the characters end up, but if Square goes and screws up their own game, I'm gonna be ticked. Those pictures we're seeing of Sephiroth had better be from flashbacks (doubtful), because if they go against everything they told us about the nature of the Lifestream and revive/reincarnate him, they're going to prove once and for all how cheesy they've been getting.

With the whole thing...I tend to take the approach of "I'll see it before I judge it". I'm not incredibly hopeful, but I'm hoping to be surprised.

As for games where I wanted to throw the controllers at the T.V. and scream, "Fine! I give up!"...Breath of Fire III, definitely. I eventually did just that. I think you can figure out why. I pretty much dropped the whole darn thing after that big fiery mountain. No, I didn't even get to Ryu growing up and all that. Just couldn't take it that far.

I do, in fact, have a question. This is a plot question from a game where people would wonder why I'm so interested in the details. In Chrono Cross, you've got the Isle of the Damned flashback scene where, at the end, Lynx takes the Masamune, throws it over his shoulder, and merrily walks off with it. Does this imply that Lynx is the master of the Masamune? Does Lynx's appearance in and of itself imply that this whole darned thing was set up by FATE? Or am I just missing something?

Yours in all sincerity, Captain Faris, who doesn't necessarily like FF5, but thinks the name's kinda cool and has had it for some time now.

"Me, I'm dishonest. And a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly...it's the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you never know when they're going to do something...incredibly...stupid."

-Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

ANDREW
That scene with Lynx sounds like one of those tasty little subjective things developers like to throw in when they're feeling artsy, which is a really good way of copping out on this question since I don't remember the scene in question at all. You'll have to forgive me on that one - I've spent much of the past three years trying to eliminate all traces of CC (aside, of course, from the music) from my memory, so unfortunately, the plot was the first thing to go.


Murphy's Law EXTREME


A quick note of sympathy for the wisdom tooth situation. That's no fun.

When I had mine done, I had to watch the informed consent video before the surgery, detailing all the risks of surgery (death, infection, etc). Anyway, the video did a VERY good job of describing the risks, and when the nurse came in to have me sign the forms she looked at me and said, "Are you all right? You look... gray."

The surgery itself was fine, but the rest of the week was lousy. I had my teeth done on Monday, and my father died at 3:30 AM Friday morning.

Which was the same day Titanic opened.

ANDREW
All of which furthers my theory that the universe is, in fact, a spiteful bitch who got stood up by God and has spent the last few billion years getting fatter and taking out her pain on us in an effort to forget her terrible shame.


Unfit for Print


hey i kno this is a stoopid Q, but do u hav the director of final fantasys e mail address?!?! if ya do then plz email it bak 2 me!!!! Thanx, Lewis!

p.s. plz reply!!!!

ANDREW
P.S. NO


YOU 'DREW
QUICKIE I
Marbie really wants to, so I'm decideing to let him write:
I like the new layout! Too bad none of the links work, and the gold is very...gold. But otherwise it's great! Much more readable and all. I, for one, love the "You, 'Drew'" part. Terrifically witty (well, not really).

-Tess ^^

Wow...I never realized what a master of backhanded compliments you are! Then again, I suppose I had it coming to me after the way I answered your last few letters, but I stand by my conviction that there's something terribly incongruous about your email address and the target audience of this site. Well, at least until FFX-2 comes out, at any rate.
QUICKIE II: First Blood
Dear Andrew,

Yo,

You killed the hidden text in your new format. What were you thinking? You're a madman ... yup ... this can cause nothing but harm.

-Will

Hmmm. I'm noticing a trend here...
QUICKIE III: The Search For Spock
Dear Andrew,

Andrew,

What good is a Q&A column with no hidden text?!
- DynaBladeX

FINE! Have your lousy hidden text... Truth be told, I was just too damned lazy to put it in, all right? Yeesh.
QUICKIE IV: A New Hope
Dear Andrew,

I can't tell what the heck is going on anymore with this new fangled layout of yours. Soooooo I just skiped straight to the bottom part to send you a letter but I couldn't figure that part out eithere.... Sooooooo I looked around the site randomly and got your email that way. In any case I had a hard time paying attention to what was going on enough before, and now I can't focus at all and my eyes set fire and fall out of my head onto my keyboard. Thank you for yout time.

~rudyxx

To which I can only say, get some real eyeballs.


DA LAST GRUMBLE

I had planned to have a guest host tomorrow, but he seems to have dropped off the face of the earth, so I guess that's on hold for the time being. In the meantime, all this talk (well, okay, two letters) of various systems has me pondering - how do you think the Dreamcast would be doing if it were still around today, and what do you think the RPG situation would be? Personally I think it died all too soon, but I know there were many people who were all too eager to wallow in the irony of Sega making titles for Nintendo.

Okay, so I was one of them, but that still doesn't mean I can't regret the DC's death, now does it? Oh, and Google has informed me that I need a large mailto link or else all the Ritalin addicts out there will run off and chase moonbeams instead of sending me letters. As a result, the word "questions" will now be supersized for all your attention deficit needs.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long is currently harbouring a cat somewhere within his blanket because it's too damned cold and cats make good foot warmers. Ask him some more questions to distract him from the long, cruel winter staring him in the face.

Whiners! Every last one of you is a whiner! ^_^




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