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I'll See To It You Don't Get Apricot One!

Andrew Long - November 27, 2004 - 00:18 EDT

MY ISP IS A DEMONIC EATER OF BABIES, and possibly kittens too. I am now three weeks into the random "Hey guys, I'm sorry, but vis a vis the new colocation reallocation misinformation irritation initiative, we have to leave your service out for an extra ten years because we like collecting money for services we don't provide!" There is allegedly some real and profound and compelling reason as to why I haven't had internet service for the past three weeks, but it seems to change every time we call, along with the timeframe they offer for a solution. First it was an error in proxy server allocation distribution or something - I think the guy was just tossing random buzzwords together until I shut up, so I repaid the favour by not paying attention to what he was saying, while wasting as much of his time as possible.

Then they claimed their server software was knackered. Swell! Then they called, but of course I was one ring too late to pick it up. In conclusion, I hate the world, and I apologize most heartily for failing to provide a column yesterday. Rest assured, had I the connection, you would have received a fine column, rife with references to a certain hunter of crocodiles who appeared on the Late Late Show and described what was quite possibly the most hilarious theoretical death sequence ever.


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The kupomogli LJ

Mommy, Where Do Chocobos Come From?

McDonald's coleslaw
Is the devil
I think they put
Beef gravy in
Vegetarians unite!

So, two parts, eh?

From a business standpoint, Square screwed up by not doing any extra capitalizing on their characters besides the forgotten Chocobo Racing and little cameos here and there. Another thing they should have done or still should do is a Seiken Densetsu Series-esque RPG adventure with all the jobs and skills from FF5, with some variations. The title: Final Fantasy Adventure. Yes, the title already exists, for Seiken Densetsu to boot, but it doesn't really count. Thoughts?

There's enough crappy Seiken Densetsus rolling around without mashing one together with FFV.

One more little thing. What do you think about what's been going on in the industry lately, what with Square and Enix merging, and long time rivals making games for each other's systems. Good or bad?

Good in theory, bad in practice, reason being that many of these long-time rival efforts have been resoundingly mediocre (see FFTA). I'd like to think that eventually it will be happiness and creamsicles for all, but who knows.

Please never send the same letter three times again

Hi there!

Hey there!

I recently completed what I believe to be the best RPG of this year, Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Although this SH did not possess the gory goodness of the original or it's predecessor, Koudelka, I still loved it for it's amazing graphics, excellent game play, and adorable Yuri's. Wait, I think there was only one of him. Anyway, this game is incredibly awesome, and, I think, surpasses many of it's competitors such as FFX-2 and SMT: Nocturne.

HOWEVER! No game is a complete masterpiece, and I discovered early into my little gaming excursion that SH:C is no exception. Being the super sleuth that I am, I quickly noticed that the game's subtitles do not match the spoken dialogue(By the way, the game does have excellent voice acting. To get rid of this little annoyance and to prevent me from smashing my TV, I simply entered the "Options" menu and turned the subtitles off. This appeared to rectify my little situation until the very end of the game. In the last few seconds, (I'm talkin' the good ending here)two screens are shown that contain nothing but Japanese dialogue. Because of my previous actions of problem- solving, I didn't have any subtitles to translate what was said on the screen. It wasn't until later that I realized that you could control the subtitles with the select button. Anyway, after beating the game I saved my replay data, but I mistakenly did it over my regular file. So, now I have to replay the entire game to find out what those two screens mean. I am desperately hoping that it reads something like, "To be continued" or something, but I really have no idea. Could you please find this out for me so that I don't have to spend forty more hours trying to do so? If you do, I'll love you forever, and maybe even give you a cookie!

To be honest, I haven't played that far, and being unwilling to spoil the game for myself by checking, I will nonetheless guess that if SH had a gold bat, which after all turned out to be a character, then SH2 having a peach bat probably means a character in a third game is a good likelihood. Beyond that, videogame developers no longer enjoy creativity, and when they've got people like us around to lap up sequels, why would they? Your chances of seeing SH3 are probably pretty good, especially considering the overwhelmingly positive reception Covenant has received. I'm not too sure what they'll do, though; Shadow Hearts: the Stock Market Boom Years? Shadow Hearts: Bolshevik Madness? Shadow Hearts Visits the Spanish Civil War? Shadow Hearts and The Magical Bennett Buggy? Shadow Hearts: the Manchurian Incident? If that's what we're looking at, here's to non-linear serial progression!

And another thing! Sure, the subtitles skimp out on some of the dialogue, but it's not like they cut out anything critical - it's usually just skipping over the verbal garbage that voice actors lovingly lard their characters down in, usually in an effort to sound mega-talented.

One more thing. I've recently capitulated to my long- time love of strategy games and have begun playing FFT again for the millionth time. Even though I love the game, I was wondering if there are any more strategy games coming out that would satisfy my hunger for turn- based tactics. Right now I have a GBA, PS2, and am going to be getting a gamecube maybe for Tales of Symphonia and others. Could you please tell me of some new titles?

Love, Shelley Rae

P.S. You like cookies, don't you? Well, you better--or else.

Three word: Phantom Brave series. That is all. Well, except for the small matter of your cookies. Not only do I like them, I have stolen them. Wa hey!

Is it THERE yet?

hi my name is agnes leung. i live in canada. i was wondering when kingdom hearts chain of memories for gba will come out in canada. if u know can u please tell me and if u can that would be great

Hello, Agnes Leung. I also live in Canada, and am expecting CoM to appear in stores here a day or two after the American release date (December 7th), as generally happens. The delay is usually over printing French versions of stuff, though sometimes it's just shipping concerns.

Choose it or LOSE it!..or not


I was just recently bought valkyrie profile (finally) on ebay and was just wondering what other game would you recommend that I buy between shadow hearts 2, breath of fire 5, growlanser, ico, or phantom brave, or any other psx games? Or should i just save up and buy a GC now that they have sooo many interesting games coming out. Zelda looks great! Also do you think that golden sun 2 is worth picking up, I liked the first one, but not that much. Maybe i should just rent it.

PS. It great that TO finally got a winning team, between the raptors losing badly and the leafs not playing, it great and refreshing to see the argos win. Go Pinball go. One more next year, yeah!

Okay, let's answer these in order. First, it's a tough call between the games you've mentioned because they're all pretty great. If I was absolutely forced to pick, however, I'd probably lean towards Shadow Hearts 2, if only because it's likely to offer you more gameplay time than BoF V, which is an infinitesimally close second. Well, that is, if my advice wasn't to save up, buy that GameCube, grab Metroid Prime 2, and game yourself silly.

Finally, friends don't let friends recommend Camelot games, so Zach wishes me to inform you that Golden Sun 2 is the devil. Actually, I made that up. I want you to know that Golden Sun 2 is the devil. And yeah, that Argos game was actually really entertaining, though I suspect they probably would have lost if Buono hadn't driven his kicker insane with his absurd punting scheme and basically giftwrapped several of the Argos' touchdowns.

What the HELL

Take that!
Nobody ever lost money taking a profit.

Don't go through life, grow through life.

A caricature is putting the face of a joke on the body of a truth. Liberty is slow fruit. It is never cheap it is made difficult because freedom is the accomplishment and perfectness of man.

Life is doubt, and faith without doubt is nothing but death. It is easier to believe than to doubt. Be a good animal, true to your animal instincts.

One good analogy is worth three hours discussion. Fear of death has been the greatest ally of tyranny past and present. Absence and death are the same -- only that in death there is no suffering.

Individuality is either the mark of genius or the reverse. Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. The difference is wide that sheets will not decide.

Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder.Attachment to spiritual things is.. just as much an attachment as inordinate love of anything else.

Her great merit is finding out mine -- there is nothing so amiable as discernment.

No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history. Gossiping and lying go hand in hand. It is madness to make fortune the mistress of events, because by herself she is nothing and is ruled by prudence. Who ever has no fixed opinions has no constant feelings. When in doubt, delete it. Come live with me, and be my love, and we will all the pleasures prove. To get what you want, STOP doing what isn't working.

The construction of life is at present in the power of facts far more than convictions.

When we become a part of anything, it becomes a part of us. Marriage. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.

Da boch

Much as I usually accept rambling marriage proposals from random Germans, I think I'll take a pass on this one. Sorry, friendly.



Okay, so Christmas is about the only time where I can get some video games coming through my house. My only problem is, I don't know which ones I should ask for. If you could just tell me some games that you would recommend that would be awesome. Systems are not a boundary as I own them all, and any game you might suggest will be appreciated.

I have already decided on asking for Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Shadow Hearts Covenant(Since Google seems so impressed with it, it must be good).

Many thanks,
The Buddy Wingnut

I should probably note that I am equally impressed with Shadow Hearts, which is a more reliable indicator since Google sold his soul to the Koudelka series some time ago. If you're in the market for PS2 titles, there really hasn't been much recently worth asking for, though PB is pretty decent. I would probably ask for Metroid Prime 2, as well as FF1&2 for GBA, if you haven't already sunk money into one of the remakes. If you have an Xbox, I'd also go for KotOR2, since the first was pretty awesome.

Well that appeared rather suddenly o.O

Curse you US government! Curse you Canadian government! As for my "mystery game" from a month ago, it was The Bouncer. For $15, and I curse it along with the rest of my other curses. Alas, I still have my love. So I started Xenosaga again, and I made it to the last boss, before failing miserably. Episode II better be worth it. I hope I don't have to refer to the reference section everytime I hear a big word... What are you hoping to be under your tree for the Holidays? Games? Systems? Engagement ring? Lingerie? You'll have to guess, that's for sure!

With Greek-style loving,


My hopes are threefold: an NDS, Metroid Prime 2, and World of Warcraft. Money to pay for the two months rent I currently have no idea as to where it will come from would be cool too.



Concerning your harsh treatment of FF5. Jeez. You really think it's that bad?

I'm not saying it's my favorite, because it's not, but if I want to think of a very average FF, it's FF5. So you're right in that it's mediocre. But I think FF8 or FF2 would be my least favorite. Or Mystic Quest, which almost thankfully everyone always forgets about.

And wouldn't you know it, FF2 is my least favorite, and I think FFV is mediocre! Soah... what's the issue?

As far as your points, a few of them I have to agree on. The graphics were nothing new, part of the way between 6 and 4. And the plot wasn't AMAZING, but it wasn't much worse than FF4. It did have a ton of morbid death moments, but it also had lots of humor to offset the balance. As far as innovation, look at it this way. Gameplay and 'cool plot ideas'-wise, there's not much difference between 6 and 4, except that 6 didn't have crystals. FF5 HAS crystals, but it's the last real FF with real crystals, as they get destroyed. The gameplay is totally different from 4 and 6 in that the job system allows for more versatility than even FF6. 4 was rigid, but held character individuality.

In stark contrast, I really liked the soundtrack. I'm not sure, so don't hold me to it, but didn't Uematsu do this one too? It represented a much more lighthearted airy soundtrack than something like FF6. No TRULY memorable songs, but there's not many I couldn't listen to a few times in a row and a lot of them are really catchy tunes, yo.

So anyway, just wanted to bring that up. It may just be a serious difference of opinion. You didn't like the feel of the game, which I can understand, and I did. But frankly, aside from pretty small things (at least in that time) like plot and number of characters, the SNES Trilogy of FFs just isn't that different if you're willing to step back and look at it subjectively.

I will for the life of me never understand why it is that people take reviews as personal insults. A review exists as somebody's opinion on a game. If that somebody, like myself, happens to write for a publication of some sort, then there is generally a certain minimum level or standard, which that review must adhere to, which might further lead one to assume that some amount of objectivity enters into the mix; however, that would be an incorrect assumption. Though my opinion might be more educated than Johnny Q. Actiongamer's, it is still just an opinion, and you are as free as you were the day you were born to disagree with it. I might not like your reasons, just as you might not like mine, and that's the beauty of free speech - we don't have to like each other's reasons. All you have to do is write your own review if you think I've done the game a horrible injustice by declaring it mediocre, and if enough people agree with you on the basis of the merit of your review, well, then who ends up being the more trusted reviewer?

Anyway, the only difference I can see here is that you admit to liking mediocre games, whereas I find them resoundingly boring to play through. You can draw your own conclusions from that, I suppose.

le sigh

Hey there,

Okay,first off,ouch dude.Normally,I would be mad,but
A)You could just not take my letters,which is bad,and
B)My letter was really* dumb,
so it is fine.

See? That wasn't so hard, now was it? Seriously, though, I hope you see where I'm coming from on the message boarding party loser issue.

Okay now,thanks for telling me what HM:OHAWL stood for.You saved me from going completely insane.Are there any screenshots?If so, gimme links.NOW.

No prob, bob. As far as screenshots go, I'm guessing it looks pretty similar to the original version, so you can check our gamepages for either.

Do you like Harvest Moon?If so,which did you play,why did you play it,who did you marry in the game,and why?

I have not yet had the chance to play Harvest Moon, but there are a few people on staff, present and former, who love it. Paws is one of them. If you're looking for useful feedback about the game, email her at She is hectically busy IRL, however, so you're prolly looking at a bit of a delay in getting an answer.

Okay,I hope this letter isn't total crap,because I'm not half-asleep while writing this.
Because I must beg for forgiveness from the almighty Castomel,
*substitute 'really' for 'extremely'

Okay, honestly, don't take my good-natured abuse the wrong way :) There's no need to apologize, I'm just trying to run this thing without going crazy, and I appreciate your efforts to help me in that regard.


So anyway, one of your letters has given me an idea for tomorrow's topic. For tomorrow, send in questions on any subject you like, but make sure you phrase them "good or bad?".
Andrew Long may or may not bring his evil twin onboard for added goodbad goodbadness.




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