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Rained Out

Andrew Long - October 16th, 2004 - 1:25 EDT

THERE IS NOTHING QUITE SO ANNOYING as paying for "always on" cable service that is not, in fact, always on. It is doubly annoying when this service fails for two weeks running, leaving you scrambling to provide adequate updates. As such, when I get home on Sunday, I'm gonna badger tui until he takes the old modem to get it replaced for a newer model that the local cable outfit is ramming down all our throats anyway.

So yes, the last 24 hours have contained a fair amount of misery. Consider this: after I woke up, still without internet access (the final damage would end up being 400 emails that piled up in my inbox, daring me to read them all, which I did, except for the roughly 300 that promised me enough free gadgetry to safely win my way into tax prison were I to claim them south of the border) I took the early subway, which was for some reason packed with noisy schoolkids. Having discovered to my disadvantage that morning that gin does in fact have much the same effect as smoking five cigars on your throat, which makes me wonder how some people do both and still live to talk about it, I careened from the subway to the waiting train, where the swaying motion nearly made me ill.

I got home without further incident, but hey presto - my dad, who had told me on Monday he would be home, was in fact at work, which left me to walk the hour or so to my house. That would have been okay - sure, I was late for work, but at least I was home - but then, as I stepped outside (locking myself out in the process) to bike to work, I got my own personal rainstorm. I say it was my own personal rainstorm because it started the second I went outside and let up the second after I was soaked right down to my socks. Anyway, I got to bike through this sopping mess, and about halfway, because I wasn't quite miserable enough, the plastic bag in which I had a small carrying case and two cans of pop got caught in the spokes of my wheel, burst into tatters, and sent one of the two pop cans flying into my bike wheel, whereupon it skittered onto the sidewalk and exploded, showering me with diet coke.

At that, I had to laugh like hell. Obviously, the big man upstairs was laying it on a little too thick, and sad to say, even God can be a little obvious at times. Then again, He is said to work in mysterious ways, so maybe the fact that I was enormously, illogically, and ridiculously happy for the rest of the morning and much of the afternoon was in fact the desired result of my awful awful morning.

And now for no reason, here's my friend Mikehole.

Mikehole (no matter what he may tell you)

Evenin’ all, I am the aforementioned friend Mikehole. Please, call me Mike, because Andrew refuses to do so. I have known Andrew, or “Castomel” as his “audience” on the “interweb” seem to call him, since he was but a small bespectacled boy, and now that he’s a large bespectacled man, I can safely say that he hasn’t changed a bit. Please don’t edit that. I’m glad that I suckered myself into guest-hosting an always-entertaining Q and A session, because it will take my mind off more pressing issues like education. Pshaw.


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So maybe his name IS Mike
But I still say
It sounds like Mikehole
When his parents say it

The ol' roommate gambit

After introducing him to my PS2 during freshman year, roommate likes RPGs and video games to a limited extent. He saw an ad for Fable recently, and checked out some sites, etc. but couldn't really find anything helpful. The idea of good vs. evil and every action having a consequence sounds cool, but plunking down the $$$$ for an X-Box and this game doesn't. He's rationalizing the impending purchase by saying that he also needs a DVD player, and I don't want to encourage him for my own greedy motives (ie, wanting to play Fable without having to buy the XBox + game), so for both our benefits, would it be worth it? Is Fable any good?



Actually, Mike is an excellent person to have along for this question, because he doesn't really play RPGs either. Sure, he may tell you that this game or that had RPG elements or that I once tracked mud on his mom's clean floor after hunting for wasps at the local creek for hours, but the important thing is to never believe anything you hear about my childhood, especially the embarrassing stuff.

Oh, and Fable's all that, but it doesn't really rate the bag of chips.

Personally, if I had the cash and wherewithal to buy an X-Box with a game, I’d certainly do it. I’m a big fan of systems like that where the X-Box doubles as DVD player and triples as a microwave, as I bought myself one of them funky tv in-out cards from ATI for my system, so I can watch TV…. on my computer!!!! My GOD!!!#($*@#$

Anway. Do it. DOOOOO IT.

Microwave? Oh, Mike... what will you believe next?

I believed that abstinence was the way to avoid unwanted pregnancies. I was wrong.

I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but that's super!

To report a regicide, press 1

I am starting to wonder if Media Play is a good source for relaese dates of games. Originally they told me the game would release on 11 November 2005, next they wrote me this. Quote "We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your order recently placed with Our system shows that Suikoden 4 has not yet been released. The expected date of release is 12-7-04. Please let us know if there is anything else that we can do for you. Sincerely, Matt McClure Customer Service" end quote. What do I make of this?? to top it off everyone else has it relaesing on 1-11-05.

I'm not sure what you make of it, but personally I think Matt McClure has been huffing some serious fumes, because everyone else is going by what Konami has stated, which is the information by which I would go. Nevertheless, it is possible that MediaPlay has access to some sort of ingenious time ray, so perhaps they may yet fulfill their empty promises. As this is likely not the case however, I suggest you prepare an email to Matt McClure informing him that he smells, which you can send on December 8th when you end up with no Suikoden IV. Make sure to include lots of tearful emoticons(like so: ;_;) for maximum emotional impact.

We can dance if we want to, we can leave …. Oh, sorry. The Men Without Hats, ladies and gentlemen…irreplaceable. Um, so yeah, this Matt McClure guy needs to get his act, and mediaplay’s act, together before you, er, send a strongly-worded note. Damn. I’d be quaking too.



I don't mean to discredit your sources or anything, but I would like you to check out these following sites and then tell me that the are wrong. I personally believe that Konami would be to most accurate of all of them. The only reason I question this is because of my order form that I ecieved from I have pasted a portion of that order form.

To find out more information about the games listed below, select the game title from the drop down menu above. Please note that the release dates listed below are subject to change.

Sony PlayStation® 2
Ship Date
Suikoden IV RP Winter 2004
Title: Suikoden 4
Publisher: Konami
Genre/Category: RPG
System: PlayStation 2 System
Number of Players:
Release Date: 1/05
B/O Qty Item # Title Available *
1 ######## PS2 SUIKODEN 4 / GAME 11/11/04

* All items with an Available Date displayed are considered pre-release items. Pre-release items are not yet available for purchase. You should receive this item on or shortly after the date displayed

Official game websites are rarely updated regularly, unfortunately. You will note that the release date on says 1/05, or January 2005, which washes with the official release date officially announced by Konami at its official summer meeting, whereas "Winter 2004" doesn't make any sense at all, given that "winter" tends to refer to January to March, which by my reckoning is seven to nine months ago.

Nonetheless, I can hardly blame you for being confused, since this is ridiculously confusing by any stretch. I really can't tell you why it would say "01.2005" and then "This game will be available 11.11.2004" except if they're talking about a special pre-order or review copies or something. I will say, however, that Konami would be foolish to compete with the titles that are coming out in November. Not only is Nintendo churning out a new handheld, it's also cramming sequels to Metroid, Paper Mario, and the Legend of Zelda onto its various platforms just in time for Christmas, and as if that wasn't enough, GTA: San Andreas is scheduled for the middle of next month, which would put it in direct competition with Suikoden if in fact any of this misinformation proves to be not. All in all, that doesn't sound like a very appealing prospect to me, and I'd sure be moving my game to January, dead month or no.

Incidentally, it appears I owe an apology to Matt McClure; it would appear that the one huffing the ol' gasbag is Sony and / or Konami.

Shroudie resurfaces

Castoneum, I've missed you so, my pet! Tell me what you have done with yourself? Any latest crazes making you want to stab people? I know I do! No place to hide, I say! No place to hide!

I've missed you so, sweetness,


As I mentioned before, my cable was on the fritz, meaning the only craze that makes me want to stab people is the absolute mania of suckass currently taking Rogers Cable by storm.

Man, if I didn’t know the backstory behind the Shrouded One, his fall to the sixth circle of Hell and his subsequent resurrection, his elevation to Saint O the Shrouded, the tears behind the laughter, etc, etc, then I wouldn’t know what to think of this letter. But. BUT. I do. Howdy, Shroudie. It’s a pleasure to respond to such a celeb. “Sweetness” has been a busy boy of late, so I’m told, and the next time you call him “Sweetness,” he’s gonna buy a 2 x 4, and a box of large nails, and you know the rest.

Busy boy? I think you're confusing me with some sort of non-troll variant of myself.

I'll show you Australian

Hey guys, anyone remember a classy little RPG on the SNES called Earthbound? I think it was called Mother 2 in other parts of the world. I was a huge fan, and I just found a copy in my local pawn shop for (Get this) $2.50c!!! What a great excuse to dust of the old SNES and hook it up again!

I got into RPG's on the NES and SNES, and I think that they have got the best RPG's of any system. Sure the newer consoles have more processing power to give us flashier graphics and surround sound, but how many people out there remember the satisfaction they got from finish Zelda: A Link To The Past for the first time? And the depth of some early SNES and Megadrive games; I still think FFVI had a more involved story than FFX. Give me 8bit sprites and cheesy MIDI music any day! Why don't you guys start an RPG Hall of Fame, and list the games that set the standard that games nowadays still try to stand up to? A few for starters: Zelda: Link To The Past, Secret Of Mana, FFVI, Shining Force, Earthbound, and Lufia. These were the golden years of RPG's, before every other company realised what they were missing out on and jumped on the bandwagon.

I'll cut my rant short now, otherwise I could go on for days. Keep up the great work fellas, you are running the best RPG webpage I've found on the net. VIVA LA SNES RPG'S!!!

Tynny (Like a beer in a can, yes I'm an Aussie :P)

We don't have a hall of fame for two reasons: first, because such a resource already exists and secondly, because your best RPGs EVAR are another man's pixellated trash. With each new generation of consoles comes a new generation of gamers, and a new minimally bearable standard. Certainly there are a few games like FFVI and CT which most people will agree remain playable and generally great to this day, but not all the games on the SNES aged quite so well.

In showing just how limited my knowledge is of RPGs, the one I play over and over (go ROMs go) and seems ageless and unbeatable is good ol’ Secret of Mana. If you want involved plot, well-developed characters, celebrity voice-overs (ok, fine, I’m not a celebrity), catchy-as-hell music, and long-ass gameplay, nothing beats the Secret of Mana. I even first started playing it at Andrew’s house, cuz my parents never invested in consoles. >=-[

And of course, when Mike says "Go ROMS, Go", he means "Go ROMs, Go, straight back to the people who made your highly illegal and undavisable asses which RPGamer would never condone nor promote the use of!"

A grave issue

I went to my local eb store to pick up my copy of Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne today only to find out I was the only person to preorder it! I asked the friendly sales clerk how many people came in to buy the game, I was shocked to find out just one person walked in to get this fine game! I hope future sales do well because I would like future installments of this series to reach our shores. Sorry for the rant.


I'm surprised SMT even managed to garner your pre-order, given Sony's baffling and repeated efforts at anti-marketing surrounding the game. Not only was there little to no advertisement, the release date was buffeted around like a rowboat in a hurricane and of course, there is the small matter of the spotty release record for the rest of the series. With all these things in mind, I wouldn't hold my home out for too much more in the way of SMT goodness.

yeah, what the smart guy said. yeah.

Now this is why you bring friends along for the ride - pure, unadulterated ego stroking.

Unfit for Print


Do you know anybody who has the all bath scenes from LUNAR SILVER STAR STORY for all consoles (Sega CD, Saturn, PSX)?

Yes. Now, riddle me this: Why - no, actually - no, "why" pretty much sums it up.

Hmmm…. Perhaps the intrepid author of the letter simply wishes to see some high-quality baths as imagined by the artists working on Lunar Who the What Now, and wants to design a bath of his own? Well, maybe not. Would I also be remiss in asking what kind of self-respecting RPG has shower scenes?

You would not be remiss, but Lunar has never pretended to be particularly self-respecting, so I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it if I were you.

I wanted to know which website would be accepting preorders for this game?


If by "this game" you mean "Xenosaga II: Annoying Director's Cut Which No Major Online Site Has Posted Information On" then you're out of luck for the time being: no major online site has posted information on that annoying director's cut.


Thanks folks, it’s been real. I hope you found the witty banter a-flying between Andrew and myself entertaining, informative, and heart-warming. Here at, we do try our best to create a community atmosphere… well, at least Andrew does. I’m a stranger to these parts, but I do visit the site regularly to see what the kids these days are interested in – and that would appear to be video games. A disturbing trend, to be sure.

Peace Out. Mike.

Actually, Mike calling video games a disturbing trend seems to mirror what the local soccer moms have to say on the issue, because they've been crowing all day about the Ontario government's decision to require photo ID on the purchase of all "questionable" games. Now, I'm no Wolf Blitzer Reports, but it seems to me that a youngster can buy pretty much any book you could possibly find in a bookstore, and it's the rare video store clerk that actually turns a kid away with an R rated movie... so is there really any point to such a procedure? Cuz I swear, if I get ID'd the next time I go to buy a game, there'll be heck to pay... heck!

For tomorrow, at any rate, let's do the dirty video game censorship and ratings dance. Do you approve of ratings and policies like the one I just described? Do you think they're pure evil? It's election season, so you should all have your rhetoric hats on!
Andrew Long is rated M for Monstrously Sexy.

Mikehole, if that is his real name, fears for his email address; send all inquiries to me, for castomel@ is the proverbial village bicycle.



Peer into window
Damn, is that man ugly--- oh!
I need new glasses.

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