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Pornstars and Paintbrushes

Andrew Long - October 9 '03- 03:03 Eastern Standard Time

REMEMBER THAT EPISODE OF The Simpsons where Homer goes into space and then gets upstaged by a carbon rod? Well, reality has decided to mirror fiction once again, sort of like dessert after the California recall election thingamabob. Yes, NASA is now trumpeting the virtues of 99 cent paintbrushes as revolutionary repair tools of the future, which can be used to fix the siding on the space shuttle and paint a really nice watercolour scene as well so as to impress all the Martians that are out tooling around with how much nicer our scenery looks than that hideous red dust they have to put up with all the time.

I for one welcome our new paintbrush overlords, because really, who could possibly hate a paintbrush? As a tool they offer many exciting features like "painting" and "brushing" and "unclogging drains and other things that get plugged," to say nothing of their desirability as Thanksgiving centerpieces. Speaking of Thanksgiving, the Canadian version strikes Monday, meaning I may be bloated with turkey when next we meet after when next we meet. Turkey is great, because except at holidays, nobody really has much interest in eating it. Case in point: the Licks' Burger Joint near my house, famous for its polling which indicated Larry Flynt was a lock to be the next Miss Manitoba, has run into a serious turkey burger surplus problem.

Solution? "Customer Appreciation Event 2003!" CAE 2003 involves 23 cent turkey burgers, presumably because nobody will pay the four bucks Canadian they probably charge normally. I certainly don't see what the appeal of dirt cheap burgers of such questionable quality is, but I have no doubt there will be a phenomenal traffic jam there tomorrow and will therefore seek to avoid my hometown like the plague. As a result, I will be coming to you tomorrow live from outer space, surrounded by paintbrush after paintbrush, drawing a mural involving Mexico and maybe a few houseplants I once had, and also this scribbled Marilyn Monroe picture my sister once cobbled together for a 7th grade art class.

...Yeah. Be thankful I don't use CNN headlines to get the ball rolling, or this would get much more outlandish.



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Hey Andrew,

As a computer tech by trade, I can tell you that things won't regularly "short out" just because you put things together yourself. If you put it together yourself and it worked, then months later stopped working, I can tell you for a fact it didn't "short out" because you put it together yourself. It is possible to short things out by putting it in wrong/backwards/whatever, but more often than not that won't happen, because computer parts are usually designed to prevent such things from happening because of user stupidity. Add that to the fact of this guy's habit of poking around the interior of the computer, it all depends on what he's poking around in. Usually the guy won't do it right in front of you when you bring it in, he'll take notes on what the problem is and then look at it later, partially so the user isn't sitting there making suggestions and observations as he works. That's the RIGHT way to do things, so either this guy doesn't know anything about computers and wants to make it looks like he does in front of the customer, or he's just really bad with the customer service/approval side of what he does.

But for anybody else out there who knows their stuff techwise and gets amusement out of computer stupidities, here's a very amusing link I think a lot of people would get a kick out of:
This is a link.
I have found myself in very many similar situations on numerous occasions.

Robust Stu
Gold Reviewer/Swell Guy

Thank you for confirming, as did several others, that my suspicions were well-founded. I should probably note that I'm not all that incompetent - I just haven't had to put a computer together in a while, and I sure as hell didn't feel like tinkering around two nights ago beyond a cursory pulling of random plugs (the disorganization of which are no doubt causing my friendly neighbourhood service tech to orgasm with sheer condescension in anticipation of telling me what I did wrong.) Anyhow, I think it's only a matter of time before someone pulls this guy's plug, because the tech support guy they had before him was much more accomodating. Hell, the guy in the paint department at Canadian Tire was more helpful.

Tess lives!

Hiii Andrew o_O

Anyways! About the NGage, I personally think it will flop. It's extreamly overpriced, the buttons are placed in terrible postitions, and it plays really old games. Especially now that Game Boy Advance SP is coming out in so many pretty colors, will anyone really buy it? Most of the world already has a cell phone, and MP3 players aren't really that crucial to my being. Plus, most cell phones have games on them, if not compatable with games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater and Madden Football, they at least have those weird bowling games and pong. Not only would the phone be terrible to dial and hold, but what kind of fool would you look like with a GBA up to your head? I know they are making the headset, but really, I don't think it will help much. Plus, its ugly! GBA SP is much prettier, and when they do make remakes of the old games (like Tactics Advance, for example), they make them nicely. Personally, I don't like the idea of playing 3D games on a portable system, it just looks weird. I'd rather play the 3D games in the comfort of my living room so I can really get the full affect of those hour long CG sequences. Also, games are expensive enough these days, but to have to go out and by a portable system that's probably going to be the same price as Playstation 3/Xbox 2/GameCube? And then to go out and buy games you bought 5 years ago for 2x more just so you can play them are the new system? Maybe, just maybe I'd consider if it were coming out with some epic RPG only for the NGage, but otherwise, no thanks. I just find it a waste of money. If it were cheaper, or I were richer, maybe I'd try it out. But frankly, I think it's an ugly, dumb, flog (yes, a flog. a flog is worse than a flop!) of a system that no one will buy.

-Tess (I'd write more--but the yankee game is on ^^)

Flog, eh? Your invention of words or covering up of typos does my heart good. Here, have a tilde: ~

ps: I know you probably don't care: but what do you think of Shwartzinager (yes, i know its spelt wrong, but I'm not even going to bother spelling his name) becomming Governer of California? I heard on the news that he got about 3 Million votes, and that Mary Carey (the porn star) got 9,850. Isn't that sad? 10,000 people in California want a porn star running theur state. So scary...

Hey, don't be so quick to dismiss porn stars, especially when you're comparing them to action stars. I mean, a porn star knows all about pushing people's buttons and they're pretty much guaranteed to be good public speakers since going on camera in the altogether takes a certain level of brazen courage. Action stars, on the other hand, are more likely to fall victim to catchphraseology like "The deficit is terminated" and "I hung out with Enron, but they were all BAD" and "Fair share of Indian Gaming Monies for ALL." The worst you'll get with porn stars is hilarious double entendres and bad saxophone music.

Besides, oughtn't you to be more concerned with the fate of porn magnate Larry Flynt, who reeled in a full 15,000 votes?

FFIII Lament I

Ah, well...

I wish Squeenix wouldn't do this to us all the time, porting NES/SNES games to the original Playstation. I don't see a reason why they couldn't port a game like FFIIIj to the GBA - it would be a splendid game, I'm sure. That goes double for games like Chrono Trigger, FF's IV-VI, Seiken Densetsu 3, (we still haven't got this one released in the states ;-;) and etc. The list goes on and on.

Personally, I don't appreciate buying games like FF Anthology or Chronicles for $40 or so, when you could buy them seperately for $25-30. I suppose you get a better deal with the PSX games, but that's besides the point. I prefer my old school RPGs in cartridge form. :-)

Squeenix needs to listen to us folks once in a while, eh?


Yes, yes they do. I for one have been advocating a movement by the company into the rocket bike sector for the past five years but do they listen to me? No! So what do I do? I get on the phone and I tell them, I says, "Hey! Is this Square-Enix? Good! Shut up! Now, I'm just an ordinary blue-collar slob, but I think you folks should make rocket bikes! What? You can't hang up on me! I liked FFVIII! I l-i-i-k-e-d FFVIII...."

A month later I got a complimentary fruit basket with a copy of Vagrant Story.

I was beginning to get worried there...

It has...been a while Andrew,

I've been pretty busy here and have had a lot of crap going on... I'm sorry for not keeping up with writing and all... Hell, I haven't even had enough time to check rpgamer everyday...

So that's why our rating fell through the floor last Thursday. This is all your fault! YOURS I SAY!

I was taking the dog out what 2-3 nights ago and looked up into the sky. The moon was calming. I find moonlit nights quite peaceful... It seems to calm all my stress and make me think of a better time back when the Shogun ruled and Samurais were looked as strong warriors...

Enough reminiscence for me... I think the N-Gage is crap. Nokia should stick with phones, you don't see Verizon or Bell making gaming systems. "Oh look here Jimmy, since we can make these here phone-type thingys with toothpaste, we should make a new type of PS thingy just by using this old 1990's phone cord and duct tape!" Have you seen the stupid ads they have in the gaming magazines?? They have, "this is where I molested Stephanie" and "this is where I committed suicide by stabbing my grandmother" and all kinds of crud. BAH!! Not wasting my money on a mock-up wanna be Gamegear....

Maybe FF III should be tranlateratingded and shipped to NA. Desh just rules, simple as that. BUT!! Hopefully they wont totally butcher the names like they did in FF Origins with Jayne opposed to Jane. I mean, come on!! Who spells Jane, Jayne?? And Mindu?? Sounds better as Mihn(nh) in my Holy, word of God opinion... Yes children, you may sacrifice the babies now.

I see kupomogli escaped from Ivan the Terrible's evil pink island of Barbie... It looks as though he's back to obsessing over small things. Saga, SaGa... It's not as bad as spelling it SaLand or somethingsomething... Don't sweat the small stuff, unless its a priest who says your going to Hell....then you can whip out the knife and show him whose the Messiah!!!!

Back to my cynical nature as always....

The moon soothes your soul... like a river in your heart,

O' Shrouded One

Yeah, to me the N-Gage is like Nuts & Gum - together at last: yet another line from that Homer goes to space episode. You also hit the nail on the head with the Game Gear comparison, because for my money, anything that's uglier and clunkier than that deserves to fail simply by virtue of the fact that I didn't previously think it possible.

Sorry, I get like this sometimes with the Simpsons obsession -_-

Hey Andrew,

I'm not saying your background is bad, but the colors that are used, they are painful to the eyes, kindof like the lyrics to that one song, BLINDED BY THE LLLIIIIIIIGHT, or something, which is the only lyrics I really know of the song.

Also, the fact that UNLIMITED Saga is spelled like that is something everyone needs to know, incase they decide to make a strategy guide for it, or something close to that, they don't want to look stupid that they don't know the games actual name right?

You got me, although from where I'm sitting, my template appears to be a dull yellow with white, which to me isn't terribly blinding.

That one guy talking about Arc the Lad Collection, if he plays the original on the computer, then he'll want to play the 2nd on the computer as well, because if he doesn't, he'll be missing alot of secrets, which you don't really need to have, except for the Chongara's Hemoji and Odon, which you might not get on the 2nd unless you get them on the first, I don't know, because I've always got them on the first. Then there is Romancing Stone 1, 2, 3, and 4, where on Arc the Lad 2 you can combine them into a single Romancing Stone when you get to Chongara's Hut half way into Arc the Lad 2. If you don't have the Romancing Stone, the last boss will be extremely hard, unless youre on level 150 or so, where as I killed him with Elc on level 80 something because everyone got killed in 2 hits and I didn't bother bringing them back to life, having Elc cast Invincible level 3 and attacking until it wore off, then used it again, and thats how I killed him, where as I would have died on the boss right before the last boss if I didn't have the Romancing Stone. The rest of the game however, you dont have to use the Romancing Stone at all, except for Monster Tournament which it's very good to use in the tournament mode when you're fighting monsters on level 140 and have about 40 wins, and you're using characters that are on level 70.

Then transfering your character to Arc the Lad 3 is basically worthless, except for the fact you can get the Romancing Stone, Raila's Mirror, and the King's Image. But the last boss is worthless compared to the last boss on the second, so unless he wants to collect all the items, he should just play Arc the Lad 3 on the PS2.

And also, people playing Breath of Fire 5 could also change into the dragon form during every battle they go against, and then die earlier in the game, and then start over so the first time they really play they'd get a sortof decent ways into the game, but I don't know, I'm just making it up, I haven't played the game. I'm going to purchase the game soon though, just as soon as I get another job.

-andrew- -kupomogli-

So wait a sec. There's Romancing Stones and Romancing SaGas and some guy called Elc out there? I don't know if the world can take all this stuff, but if it can, count me in! I call dibs on Romancing Pasta, cuz there's nothing sexier than a good tomato sauce, except possibly anything else.

Heartlessness is fun

Yeah, Johnny going down was Not Good. I'm more concerned about him than Roy from Siegfried and Roy. Of course, Fox, being (of course) Fox, instant replayed the damn collision 20 times.

Well, they've announced FF7AC, and the Red Sox and the Cubs could potentially face each other in the World Series. Two rather improbable and weird events within a few days of each other. Do you think the temperature has dropped down there in H-E-double Buster Swords? What's next? (I'm putting my money on Sailor Moon Sailor Stars getting licensed.)

Oh come on now. You're at all concerned with Roy? I mean, the guy works with tigers... An incidental mauling is an occupational hazard, and probably something he richly deserved for keeping that tiger holed up in the smoky hellpit that is your average Las Vegas casino. In fact, I'm surprised the freaking thing didn't run amok and eat slot machine after slot machine until its tears tasted like quarters and its breath smelled like 7, lucky 7!

Which is not to say, of course, that I would wish this sort of injury on anyone, but neither do I feel pity for him under these circumstances. Johnny Damon, on the other hand, sports some world-class plumage, and should be revered and worried about simply for his willingness to wear such a world-class mullet. Next, by the way, is my precious Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup, seeing as how they've gone almost forty years without one. Nothing compared with 85 years, granted, but I'm nothing if not selfish ^^.

So, almost-Devil's Advocate, eh?

The N-Gage looks interesting in terms of its multi-functionality (I don't think that's a real word, but it works in its own strange way), but the price ($300) is way too high. It's great that Nintendo is going to be getting competition from the hand-held console end of things.

The fact that it can do 3-D graphics is interesting, but the quality of the games will determine its success. The layout of the controller and buttons ooks a bit convoluted, though. I don't think the N-Gage will last, but if they can keep the price down it might have a chance. The entry price-point will also be a factor with the upcoming Sony PSP.

As for FF III J, it would be cool if they could bring over the Wonderswan version and port it to GBA... It doesn't seem likely we'll get the FFIII / Dragon Quest IV PSX bundle that fans have proposed, but that's still a nice idea. I never beat FFIII, but it seemed rather similar to FFV in plot and gameplay-- a precursor to FFV, if you will. Dragon Quest IV for the NES was great and very ahead of its time; the whole 4 mini-quests leading into 1 big quest concept should be used more in RPGs, although Wild Arms 3 did this a little in the beginning.

Hope your Internet is back up and running again.

-- Deshrill

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that price point is going to make it prohibitive for a large slice of the GBA's market - the little kids with parents who feel iffy enough about dishing out even a hundred bucks for that system. Add to that sixty dollar games and you don't have an equation that adds up to much success - and besides, I'm sure those parents don't want their kids to have the capability to accidentally pipe Britney Spears MP3s source-direct to Moscow while they're plugging away at Yu-Gi-Oh or whatever it is kids waste their money on these days.

A GBA port of FFIII seems to be the consensus choice around here, and I'd have to agree on that one. The game really isn't so complex that it warrants a PSX port (although really, neither were FF or FF II, but I guess that didn't stop S-E)

I knew I wasn't alone...

'I'm afraid that there might be bad acting'. What the Heck? I mean where do you find these people? Who in the world would be worried about bad acting in a movie devoted to shooting things, and that just happens to have the high class of being a video game transmediation?


Yah, so I wanted to watch the Core when it first came out. People said 'No, the acting is horrible!' But I said 'It's an action movie. Yah, like people go to an action movie for the acting.' But still no dates. So I didn't go to the theatre. Then it came out on DVD and I rented it. I've never wanted so hard to cram something larger than my elbow into my ear to end the suffering. It's a painful, painful movie. Worse than The Faculty, even.

I just thought I'd make some comparisons.

I share your bewilderment, my friend. I had thought that virtually the only appeal to horror movies was laughing at them, or at least watching them and then getting crushed by copycat maniacs in increasingly unrealistic stunts. Hmm... I hear a sound outside. OH MY LORD IT'S MY CAT! AND HE'S GOT A KNIFE! GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER! Well, at least it would be if it wasn't so gosh-darned cute.

More N-Gage hate

Hi Andrew,

First off, since I haven't written in to you yet I want to let you know that I think you are doing a fine job at the whole Q & A thing. I particularly like the longer columns and steady (on-time) updates. Keep up the good work!

Anyway, I guess I should say a little something about the topic at hand. The N-Gage quite frankly makes me laugh. It is almost as though Nokia has to go through with it because they have already hyped it and designed the thing, but someone working for Nokia must know what the gaming community as a whole thinks of it. I mean, the games are all getting poor reviews, it's expensive as hell, and you need to remove the friggin batteries just to change out the games! I, as a gamer, and as the core audience this thing has been developed for find the whole thing to be laughable and will most assuredly not be picking one up. I don't think I am the only one...

Well, with the whole N-Gage rant out of the way I want to say "Cheers!" for picking up the highly underrated Dragon Quarter. It is the first game in recent memory that I immediately started a new game for right after finishing it. I would also like to say that it is quite possible to finish the game on your first play through without ever having to restart. I did just that, though I was using a walk through (I know, I suck) but it really just involved making sure you kill everything so you don't miss any experience, keeping your Dragon usage to a minimum (and by minimum I mean save it till the very end), and your stock of healing items full.

Anyway, back to work I go, keep up the great columns Andrew, until next time.

Lee Babin
Great Canadian RPG Reviewer

Well, YEAH, if you go in knowing what you're supposed to avoid then it's possible, but I'd say that kind of ruins some of the fun, since you get to see the bonus FMV your very next time through. Yes, you can see Bosch sucking up to the Captain, Nina in Biocorp doing various and sundry things, and of course, Lin doing whatever it is Lin does, which is mostly running around looking generally cool (and is it just me, or does she have the perkiest breasts in all of videogamedom?)

Oh, and thanks for the kind words.

Boingy, boingy!

What's Up?

So.. your talk of Breath of Fire V got me really excited, I live in Holland so it's coming this friday, I can't wait for it. I sure hope it's there when im out of school (my gameshop suffers from frequently late shipments)..... And sometime next month it's time for Unlimited Saga, and Gladius.....

DAMN! I better find a job if i want to survive this winter.....

But I haven't ask a question yet..... uhmmmmm....
Okay.... what's your pets name?
Yeah I got my rant... AND asked a question!


Of pets I have four, of which I personally named two. In my super fortress of solitude here in Whitby, I have two cats, named Yogi and TV (He's black and white, get it? Yeah, I know it's lame, but I didn't do it. Yogi, incidentally, is so named because his front paws each have seven toes, making them look like catcher's mitts. I like to think that makes his name slightly more clever than "Mittens" or "Pluspaw" or "Clubfoot", but then again, I can be pretentious.)

In Toronto, meanwhile, there are also two cats in my house, one of which was mine until I lucked out and pawned it off on the girl who owns the other just before it got hit by a car and racked up about three thousand dollars in vet bills. Its name is Gus, while the other cat is called... Socks. Actually, we usually just call her Weiner Cat because she's half the size of the other one and kind of dense to boot, and I just call all my cats "cat" most of the time.

What the hell is an RPG?

"RPG" is the acronym used by the military to describe a device known as a "Rocket-Propelled Grenade." Such a device can be used for many purposes, from launching grenades into enemy encampments to launching them into your face. Since I lack the means to do so, however, I think I'll just settle for inviting everyone to send you annoying email, since I believe in the principle of tenfold revenge. Go, my pretties! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!
To all of my Chicagoland brothers
and sisters (save for disgruntled South Siders), GO CUBBIES!!!
-Michael "Kamikaze" Bischoff
Hey, what about bandwagon jumpers like me? We have feelings too, you know!
Geh, I forgot to sign that e-mail.
That's what you get when you only have 6 hours of sleep.

Bucket Mouse

Hey, no whining. I had six hours too, except it was split in two by an hour-long car ride and a miserable game of Warcraft.


So I guess the consensus is in: NGage is stinky. That was more or less to be expected, I suppose, this being an RPG site, and the NGage having exactly zero RPGs confirmed. Since I really should be focusing on RPGs, I think I'll set up pseudo-RPGs as our topic for tomorrow. Nintendo has announced a Zelda Compilation featuring pretty much every Zelda title ever made. I know I'm looking forward to being able to play my favorite NES game without accursed scan lines and annoying random resets, and hey - maybe they'll even update the graphics and give us something else to bitch about. So what do you think - Compilation good, bad, or moneygrubbing? Give the 8-bit titles the 16-bit treatment that all the NES Mario titles got, or leave them as they are for posterity?

Also, the long-awaited guest hosting segment will finally come to pass tomorrow, so let me just remind everyone that the upcoming guest host craves Megaman X3, although he will indeed settle for Guilty Gear (which I've already located a copy of, so don't bother offering that.) X3 is all it takes to get you in that chair and mitigating my randomness, so if you're just itching to see some sort of dignified column, now's your chance!

Until such a time, rant about Zelda. Now, begone! I must sulk, for the site was down and nobody saw fit to post this once it came back up so now I'm sure to get no mail unless the magic of Christmas suddenly compels everyone to write letters.
Andrew Long spent two hours at a seedy diner tonight and loved every minute of it.



I don't care what you say, that home run was a FAIR ball

The Mark of tuinte
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