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Remembering Boxing Day

Andrew Long - November 12 '03- 02:12 Eastern Daylight-Savings Time

OH HOW I HATE BRYAN ADAMS AND HIS (alleged) Princess-shagging, ballad crooning horribility. In particular I hate how his stupid patently cashgrabbing selloutastic compoundwordfully crapriffic song "On Remembrance Day" and the crappy video we used to have to sit through on high school. For all you wacky Americans, Remembrance Day is basically Veteran's Day, except with poppies and a lot fewer veterans. At any rate, the Bryan Adams song in question is the audio filler for a terribly sappy video which involves some sort of war mother and her wargoing son and his wargoing ways, which is all very touching except for the fact that there's Bryan Adams blaring in the background, which kind of ruins the effect.

Now that I've said "Bryan Adams" more times than any heterosexual male ever should, my melodramatic side is just raring to make me say something about the gravity of this day. Regrettably, I slept through most of it, so I win this time. Yes, I know: having arguments with yourself is a bad sign. So is waking up at 5:15 in the afternoon, but I didn't let that bother me, now did I? Anyhow, I'm fairly certain this makes me a horrible person, so I guess we'd better skip right on to the letters before people start thinking daggers at me from half a world away.





SEND LETTER




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7-4-2-1
4-1 on Saturday :D
Anaheim tonight
The guns will fall silent
On reMEMbrance DAY!
There
Now you too know the pain
Of forced Bryan Adams
Though having to put on a Celine Dion
production in eighth grade French
Was equally bad
Thank God for Catholic Schools
Or at least for Advanced French

Why must you dredge up VS?


hi

I wonder if you could expand a bit on your opinion of Vagrant Story. From what I've gathered your main beef seems to be with the combat system, while I liked that system very much. I got totally wrapped up in trying to achieve the longest combo possible, I think I got to 27 or something in the end which isn't very good by any standards, still it was a lot of fun. Another really sweet aspect of the game was the collection of statistics. Since the topic of Star Ocean 2 has been popular recently, has anyone commented on how incredible the music is in that game ? Fields of Exper may be the best overworld theme ever IMO. Oh, and don't think that your quotes go unappreciated, because I recently relistened to all episodes of that show while playing through FFV, so at least they're appreciated by me. k

ANDREW
I could expand, but that would involve talking about Vagrant Story, which is a pastime equalled in distastefulness only by actually playing the game. Nevertheless, our local Q&A Confucious has demanded that all questions be answered, and so I shall not leave you wanting: I hate VS because the pacing is terrible, the dungeons are tedious, the graphics were ugly even for their time, and I'm sorry, but no battle system should involve the terrible sluggishness that so horribly mars this one. I know this because Breath of Fire V bore some similarity to VS, and was much more enjoyable in the bargain. I also have a personal hate-on for Synthing in all its evil forms, and however necessary it is to this game, it just shouldn't be.

I'm not saying that there's no way anyone could like VS, but let's just remember, some people swear by the odious Twisted Metal Black, so I guess what I am saying is I can't understand it. . To answer your other question, the music has been commented on, I do believe, in the one column that my hatred for that game inspired me to topicalize. Geez... I sound as though I hate every game... In regards to the music, at any rate, I don't know that I would call it "incredible"; there's a few really nice tracks, but overall I don't really think it qualifies as much more than average or slightly above so. Still, feel free to call me biased for that if you'd like - it's just that music is one of the main reasons I like games and if the music is hum and blah then generally I find the game to be as well.


Nintendo: Evil since 1889


Hello Andrew,

Long time no write--well it's been a couple of weeks. Take heart! I still like ya, even if I'm neglectful sometimes ^_^ I was going to ask you "Why not FFX-2?" this week, but someone else beat me to it. I'll be buying it, 'cause it looks like fun and there are times that I can do without Serious Purpose in my RPGing. I read your spoiler and didn't really understand it--but am not looking for more specifics! If there's over 100 hours of gameplay to be had, and I get to see Rikku and Yuna in a new story, that's well worth it I think. And the job grid looks like it could be cool, with a potential for variety in battle strategy and character tweaking.

When you talk about Nintendo corporate strategies, I don't entirely know what you're talking about. I was interested in the comment and was curious about what other tactics it's used in the past. Any examples you can give?

ANDREW
As you are about to mention, the Zelda bonus disc program is indeed the sort of thing I'm talking about. Going back somewhat further, there were various skulduggeries in the 80s, from sharking it up in an attempt to corner the market to the wonderful saga of stealing Tetris from under the nose of one Robert Maxwell of Mirrorsoft, who, as the above linked article so eloquently puts it, "took a header off his yacht in 1991" after spending several years crying in his milk over the whole situation (believe me, he was bitter; in a recent documentary series on the history of videogaming, a full half-hour was devoted to this particular saga and Mr. Maxwell was featured prominently cursing the name of Nintendo in vintage 80s getup, right down to horrible glasses with lenses the size of CDs.) Basically, before Microsoft came along to suck up the stigma of Evil Corporation, Nintendo was doing its best to steal the moniker for themselves, which somehow went mostly unnoticed despite evil such as the Wizard (which I still somehow enjoy watching, which probably means I have serious mental disorders.) So yeah. Don't let anyone tell you that Tetris isn't violent - just look what it did to poor Robert Maxwell!

If their new Zelda bonus disk program is an indicator, though, I'm with you....

1. Subscribe to Nintendo Power. No thanks, I prefer more broad-based magazines like EGM which, aside from covering all consoles (although admittedly not in as much depth), are not obviously in the pocket of a particular game or console manufacturer.

2. Register your GC and some games. I bought a refurbished GC (mere months before new ones went down to $99, grr) and am not sure if Nintendo would accept registration on it. Even if they do, I'm not interested in enough of the games they list to make me buy and register them for the bonus disk.

3. Buy a GC bundle. I've already got a GC, and while I suppose I could share the love and give my refurbished one to a sibling for Christmas so I could buy the bundle, the idea chafes.

ANDREW
Horribly enough, I think I'm going to go the NP route, because I'd like to see what's become of it since 1990 when NP was my favorite magazine next to Reader's Digest, which is unfortunate because Reader's Digest is a disgustingly wholesome little right-wing rag designed to turn its readers into petrified old women. Suffice it to say, it is that magazine's fault that I still wonder sometimes whether we can trust the Germans, and can recount any number of character-building stories of people dying of cancer, heart attacks, blindness, lymphoma, AIDS, bonus cancer, strychnine poisoning and all seven at once.

Lamentably, my grandmother, in a touching tribute to my grandpa's dying wish to turn my father on to the joys of religion, has continued to give my dad a subscription, a heartfelt gesture which will doubtless ensure that RD is forced upon me well into the future, since I'm reasonably certain my grandma will live to be 100 or so (I'd say 'knock on wood', but somehow that seems like something Reader's Digest would say.)

I saw the Ocarina of Time GC disk used at a local game store (didn't buy it and it was, of course, gone later, drat), so it's conceivable that this new disk will crop up used eventually. Since I'm too tight to buy stuff at online auction prices I'll have to wait and take my chances. I've got a bunch of Zelda anyway (WW, Ages, LttP) and there are others I could easily pick up (LA, Seasons) so somehow I'll live without it, if it comes to that.

If I let corporate policies guide my buying decisions I wouldn't buy any of the major consoles. Neither Sony nor Microsoft nor Nintendo are innocent of approving poorly-tested guaranteed moneymakers (q.v. the Matrix game), for example. I'm not unhappy to read that Nintendo is at #2 in the US--although that position is self-declared and I wonder how much truth there is to it! If a good market position means in the long term, that Nintendo is able to continue developing first-party titles and can bring out a next generation console, I'm happy to know that their strategies are working. Good third-party support would be helpful too, but Nintendo doesn't seem to do well with that.

I also have a great fondness for Nintendo's mascots and hope to see many more games featuring Mario and Link in the future.

* Side note: I totally agree with you on Mario Sunshine. There are only so many hours one can struggle with jumps, and the backtracking that screwing them up entails, before giving up in despair. I'm not bad at any platformer except this one...and (unsurprisingly) Mario 64...

Beth.

ANDREW
Don't get me wrong - I'm a raging Nintendo fanboy and will be until the day I die, I just think it's funny how Nintendo doesn't get the same rap as Microsoft even though they probably deserve it. Nonetheless, I would like to see them OWN the next generation because Sony makes crappy hardware and supports even crappier developers (aside, of course, from the many RPGs it has enabled to take the spotlight, and now that they're established, Nintendo should steal them like the dirty thieves they once were and then sail Sony out to sea and push it off the big ol' NoJ yacht.)


More Zeldaness


Hey Andrew,

Boy, am I glad that Nintendo decided to offer other ways to get the Zelda compilation disc, other than going out an buying a GameCube. To me, only offering it by buying their system (as it appeared was going to be the only option) is kind of silly. I mean, chances are if you want that compliation disc, you're a pretty big Zelda fan, which means you're probably a big Nintendo fan, which means you probably already own a GameCube. Please, prove me wrong if I am, but I was under the impression that that's how it was.

ANDREW
Oh, that's the one thing I forgot to mention above: don't expect Nintendo to do the logical thing. Yamauchi may have been a decent executive, but some of his decisions were ass-backwards moronic, like sticking with cartridges for so very long and alienating Square on his way into near-obscurity in the console wars. Apparently that part of the corporate directive seems to have lingered, since little things like the GBA SP and the GBA SP headphone adapter continue to crop up periodically. Why do you hate me, Nintendo? I spend and I spend and I spend and all I get is profiteering thinly disguised in flashy new features.

I'm wondering how the older Zelda's are going to play out with the GameCube controller. The D-Pad's a little small, and I think that the joystick will feel a little strange, moving around in a 2-D environment. Do you suppose there'll be the option to attach the GameBoy Advance for the two old Zeldas? I'm thinking that it's unlikely, but it would have a little bit nicer 'feel' to it, I think.

And speaking of compliation games, I like how companies (primarily Nintendo and Square Enix right now) are rereleasing their older games, particularly as bundles. I especially like Square's approach when releasing Final Fantasy Origins. Though, in their case, they knew they had to fix it up if they wanted people to buy it for reasons other than nostalgia. $44.99 is already enough to dish out for a PSX title, nevermind one that looks as rough as it feels. And I know it takes extra energy (and money) to remake a game like that, but if companies are going to continue rereleasing games, I think it might be worth their while to spiff it up a little, in addition to all the extras they're adding to the games.

Also on this topic: with the release of the Greatest Hits (curse that ugly green bar) versions of four Square titles, do you think they'll have fixed the Final Fantasy Anthology-PlaySation 2 compatability problems? I've never played Final Fantasy V (never had a PS), and I'd also like to get it just for the music CD that comes with it, and the cut scenes in Final Fantasy VI. And that rather frightening, nearly $50 price tag it originally bore scared me away from it.

Now, since I've done so much talking and not very much asking, I have a question: What exactly is "The Mark of tuinte" that appears just above the RPGamer Privacy Policy at the bottom of the page? And, finally, a video game related question: Of the games on the Zelda compilation disc, which one is your favourite? I would have to say Majora's Mask, myself. While there are a lot of things that they could have improved on, I think it was fairly well made. While Ocarina of Time was good, I don't think it's as fantastic as everyone makes it out to be; Zelda II is probably my least favourite of the Zeldas, but interesting, nevertheless; and it's been so long since I've played the original Zelda that I can't even remember what it's like.

That is all. Cheers.

~Simon

ANDREW
Those Greatest Hits titles are just being re-released in their original form. How that would alter anything is beyond me, so I'm pretty sure the only difference you'll see is that apparently hateful green bar. What's the problem with that, anyway? Do you guys actually sit there with the CD case in one hand and your controllers in the other, seething silently with rage as you eye the stripe occasionally? My cases sit in a shoebox, for crying out loud. To this point, I have yet to hear the cardboard complain.

Oh, and the Mark of tuinte, as I do believe I've explained, is a monogram that should have been removed from this page by yours truly since it was a condition of his hiring to make more templates ^^;;. You may also recognize his work in such sections as "Guides" and "Editorials", as well as "the new news template".


At last, someone who hates even more games than I do


Hey Andrew,

Man, just started playing Fire Emblem, and I'm already four hours into the game. I've played the others, but I couldn't understand anything, but when I played them it wasn't legal, as I played them on a rom. But anyways, Fire Emblem is more like, "the tactical series that lacks strategy". Seriously, I've been playing this game and I could probably make an idiotic move, and still win the battles without a character dying(where as I don't know what happens when a character does die, because no one has died yet. Not like on Final Fantasy Tactics where the first time you play you get destroyed by Wiegraf one on one, I'm talking about that I've been playing 4 hours and I haven't had to restart at all. Thats how easy Fire Emblem is.

The story sucks too and has did its best to only limiting me to playing one battle and then saving and quitting, as it is easily boring sitting reading the storyline and could easily put you to sleep at the beggining and end of every battle.

Other than that, I just wanted to ask what games Rudy wanted again, I already know he wanted an unopened Rhapsody, which I don't think that will be possible to find unless it's imported. I was thinking that no one gives Rudy any games for awhile, because I think Rudy's funny. But then again, if someone does give Rudy a game, hopefully they ask for "Secret of Mana, Tobal no.1, Final Fantasy 4(for SNES, which I have two), Super Castlevania 4(where as I have two of this as well), Shadow Madness, or an unopened Shadow Madness."

-andrew- -kupomogli-

ANDREW
See, you're operating on the theory that anyone would want Shadow Madness, which concordantly raises the question of why on earth you have two copies of it. Apropos, for whyyyy??


I apologize to the fine people of NJ in advance!


Andrew,

have you ever heard that rufus wainwright song "11:11" It goes, 'I woke up this morning at 11:11'. I only mention it because I woke up this morning at 11:11 and today is 11/11, though by the time this gets posted it won't be 11/11. Anwyways, that isn't the point. My point is that, well I don't have one. So, why is it that when people write in letters and they try to prove you wrong you end up just making a sarcastic comment instead of directly responding to their criticism, theory, etc? Is that a Canadian thing?

s.f.

ANDREW
Never heard the song, although I have been bitter ever since November 11, 2001 when at work I would have been able to enter all paperwork beginning with the numbers "11111" which would have been super-easy and stuff. As for the sarcasm, I hope you're not just lumping everything I say under sarcasm, because that'd be GREAT. And by great I mean wonderful, which of course I don't mean at all, but who wouldn't want to do this super-obvious reverse psychology sarcasm doodad while conveniently forgetting to answer your question just like you said above because that qualifies as comedy somewhere?

Damn. That last bit could be construed as an answer. Gotta think fast! Uhh, uhh, NEW JERSEY IS A HELLHOLE!

There... That should hold 'em...


So very Unfit For Print


canadian quarters should be retitled elk/sluts officially. they have elks on side side, than that stupid slut on the other side. whats the deal?

ANDREW
Well first of all because Queen Elizabeth is much better at monogamy than the rest of her family, and second of all because they're caribou, you moron. Lord... That's like asking why American quarters aren't called hawk/traitors.

And again! Unfit for Print


hello i got a question. if americans and europeans are getting the zelda collectors disk does that mean the japanese will be final screwed outta something since we get something they dont?

Sincerly

Terra

ANDREW
I have a better question. If an American company makes an assault rifle and then sells it exclusively in Guam, or a French company makes some cheese that it decides to export the whole batch to Siberia, does it make sense for them to deny those products to presumably gigantic markets in their own countries for these products? Further, is it prudent of me to diss George Washington and call all Americans guntoting rifle freaks in consecutive answers? The answer to all of these (and yours!), my friend, is blowing in the wind, which may just be where all those flowers went. Except it's actually just no. Nevertheless, I do tend to let my love of hyperbole get me in trouble, so anyone who thinks my tongue is anywhere but in my cheek, bring on the flames!


YOU 'DREW
QUICKIE I
Hi Andrew,

Just wanted to try to get as many people as possible to vote for RPGs to recieve awards through www.spiketv.com. I would hate for some of the other games to win, ya know?

Vrumugun
"Ya know?"

Andrew:
You heard the man... Go forth my pretties, and wage war against those who would vote for Deer Hunter Gold Laminated Buck Trophy 2003 Edition!

QUICKIE II
>"How about into the 'now'?"
is the one of the 2-3 full sentences Crono (of Chrono Trigger fame) says in the game. And even then, they're all in one of the many obscure endings -- this one being Marle & Lucca's slideshow, if I recall correctly.

~Happosai

"I'd do it myself, but I can't reach that far around."

Andrew:
How do you presume to give yourself a tilde? FOOLISH HAPPOSAI! Although your guess is disturbingly correct, I cannot give you a tilde since you already have one. ~

HEY! Stupid conscience...

QUICKIE III
"Finally, any number of reasons, but most prominently so due to the wide availability of Rhapsody. "

I'm curious about the "wide availability" comment. I've been trying to find this game for a couple years, and have been having problems due to it being out of print, used copies being rare, and the used copies that do turn up costing $40+. Thank you.

-Mother Whale-

Andrew:
See, in my view any copies constitutes too many copies, while the pricetag you're mentioning counts as ludicrous insanity. By the way, if you're related to the Big Whale, tell it to swing by my house sometime - I've been looking to go to the moon.



DA LAST GRUMBLE

It appears that topics can once more be adhered to so let's try another one for tomorrow. We'll stick with Nintendo as our theme, and talk about Nintendo Power. Anyone like me and have fond childhood memories? Still a child and developing them as we speak? Care to tell me what I'm in for if I do indeed subscribe on the 17th? Your stories are my gold, so come on down, and I'll give you cash!

Ok, so maybe I'm not Russell Oliver or able to give you cash, but for the five or six people who will know who that is, it's all worthwhile. To the rest of you: think local advertising.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long was actually pleasantly surprised by the third Matrix movie, possibly because his expectations were zero.

I'LL PROVIDE THE ANSWERS, YOU PROVIDE THE

QUESTIONS


Although that ceiling fight scene was pretty dumb - I mean, why bother?



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