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For Reference, Today You Will Have: Big Trouble.

Andrew Long - November 28, 2004 - 02:06 EDT

HMM. It seems I failed to word my request such that anyone understood my general intent, so I guess today's column will just be some column where ASV guest-hosts. Not that there's anything wrong with that! At any rate, let's get this show on the road. Zachariah?


Indeed, my Evil Twin is correct! I co-host this day of days! And might I add that I'm the far better twin, given that I've not only played - but now beaten on hard - Metroid Prime Echoes; a point that will doubtless give my companion endless throughs of agony for the next several hours.


I'll show you agony... in the FACE!


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Dear Andrew,

So yeah, this has been bugging me for quite some time, but it recently came to my attention that we all have a wonderful resource of answering goodness here, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

What is everybodys beef with FF8? It seems like every person that I ask about the FF series who is an enthusiast dumps on FF8 the most, and I cant begin to understand why. The story was good, not too much confusing or vague about it, like some other FF's, wonderful graphics, awesome cutscenes, and quite possibly one of my favorite soundtracks to come from the series. I'm aware that a vast majority of people favor FF7 because its the first one they ever played, but I've been playing FF games since the gameboy days (now THERE were some iffy titles). The ONLY thing I can possibly see wrong with it was that the draw system was, at times, a bit of a drag. But I mean, come on, triple triad? It doesn't get better than that for minigames. Better than FFX's infuriating chocobo balloon chase, that's for sure. Perhaps they were unnerved by the fact that all of a sudden characters looked proportioned like normal humans.

Anyways, the bottom line is, so I stick to the topic. FF8: Good or Bad? And reasoning and explanation would be appreciated, because im baffled as to why people hate on this awesome game with so much frequency.

Faithfully following Castomel,


First off, Good. And I'm wondering about how faithful you really are in that following, because it seems to me we had this very same debate a month or so ago, and you know what? About as many people loved FFVIII as hated it, so I suspect you're not quite as lonely on the likeful side as you might think. It's just that people who hated it tend to be more vocal, and even those who enjoyed it tend to have a nitpick or two, since FFVIII, while enjoyable, did have a battle system that was easy to run into trouble with.


Final Fantasy 8 is much maligned for no really good reason. Sure, it's not that 'fantastical' in nature. Sure, it's got the horrendously awful 'Draw System'. Sure, it's got the second-most obnoxious character ever to appear in a Final Fantasy...But, it also has probably the most realistic love story ever to appear in the series. It has a feasible plot. And, it has a heroine with neither anime-colored hair or huge boobs, so how can it be all bad?

Hmm..This doesn't meet specs

Castopatient and The Good Twin,

May I suggest the extra cheese sauce, my lord? So as I get filed with these malpractice suits, I figured I would include my two cents in the manner. The Holidays suck with 20,000 people (I lied) running around Wal-Mart and the likes finding gifts to be returned the next day anyways. As you remember, your gift has sexy (when I never see you) written all over it. Anyways, I'm actually asking mainly for cds this year, due to my impulse to buy games and never play them over the summer. You remember those times when me and Roku would make up our "lists"? Such memories... ASV, what advise can you give me regarding games to ask for and love tips, my slave master of the universe? Star Ocean? Disgaea? Phantom Brave? Tips or tricks on how to stuff a large...nah, I wont gross you out right now. No matter what, our passion will never be exstinguished!

Let my logs heat up your cold winter nights,

O' Shrouded One

Yeah, speaking of 20,000 people running around stores, for some reason, the Black Friday craze has caught on in Canada, except because it's Canada, we've naturally picked up on it a day late. I can't really explain why, but sweet jebus, my place of employment was packed to the gills with irritating people today, and all of them seemed to want cash refunds. Well, except the ones trying to pass counterfeit. HATEFUL HUMANITY!

Why must I continually be subjected to this kind of thing? And people wonder WTF I'm so prone to acting 'Evil'... As forwhat you should ask for for Christmas... You'll find out my opinion onthat subject in a little less than a week - in astonishing detail - whenour holiday shopping guide feature comes out!

Again we are forced to surmise?

Castomel's evil twin:

Which RPG villain do you think had the best plot to take over the world?

Ooh, ooh, even better: Which RPG villain is just a stupid idiot who should have been killed by an underling long before you had to kill them?

R. Bemrose

I'll have to break this question down into two proper responses. First, in terms of feasibility of world-conquering-success,and given the dynamics of the world in question, I quite think that the best world domination scheme ever concocted was put together by Altima from Final Fantasy Tactics. On the other hand, my personal favorite plot is from Kefka.

As for an RPG villain that should have been ousted by one of their underlings, I've always felt that the villains of both LUNAR titles were pathetically weak, both in terms of battle prowess and personality compared to their henchmen.

You mean, Cheese, good or bad, right?

Whats your favorite cheese?

Christopher Beaupre

I will go with a resounding good, as I have yet to meet a cheese I didn't like. As to what kinds are best, I like many cheeses, but will have to go with Havarti for deliciousness.

I'm a pretty big fan of provolone if we're talking sandwiches. But, like my Clearly-Evil-Twin, I'm gonna have to say 'good' in that I've never met a cheese that I've hated.

I think there's some serious evil a'brewin'

Hello, I keep hearing rumors that FFXII will have the same battle system as FFXI...and that sucks? I have never played FFXI nor will I ever play any of that MMORPG crap, so you you please enlighten me as to what that battle system is and why it would suck?


Let's see... BAD! BAD! BAD! FFXI's battle system works admirably for an MMORPG, that much is true. That's because an MMORPG has to have a certain rhythm in order to play out properly online. The thing is, party battles are fun because you're only responsible for one element of what's going on, and so it can be entertaining to dash in and out or provoke the monster or be one of those dastardly white mages who doesn't know what they're doing and wandering into the line of fire, dooming your party to failure. I doubt this will work too well for a conventional RPG, because basically all you do is press a button and stuff executes automatically. If you need to cast a spell, you click on it, it casts, and then you can cast it again after a cooldown period. I guess it could be workable, but it smacks of laziness and I just don't think it will translate well.

Having played FFXII at E3, I can say quite fervently 'bad'. I'm highly not big on the MMORPG battle formula, and FFXII conforms to it with a disheartening honesty. It really is too bad, though, because before I played it for the twenty-odd minutes I could stand to do so at the show, I was drooling over the very prospect of the game; 'though I'd still like to say that Ashe has a very nice skirt thing going for herself.

Star Ocean Lesbians: Good or Bad?

Greetings Cozumel

I was curious if you noticed this in Star Ocean 3, was I the only one who though Nel and Clair were a little more than "just friends"? Also I have a thing on my livejournal where people can ask me questions about me and I know some people have questions about me personally.
Imperial Mog

I haven't actually played Star Ocean 3, but far be it for me to disapprove of any incidental girl-on-girl polygon action...Besides, Congress has declared we're all addicted to porn, so we need our sweet sweet pornohol somewhere when we're not looking at porn!

Unlike my Clearly-Evil-Twin, I'm dead set against polygonal lesbianism! Although that stems somewhat from the utterdetestation I have for Star Ocean 3 and all of its utterly wretchedpredecessors.

Unfit for Print

Dear Andrew I believe it is, I have been playing video games since 1989 and I was born in 85 (Mario was my first love, I sucked though) so I have much gaming experience under my belt. In all my rpg playing years I have come to the conclusion that square-enix sucks. I am happy that many of there employees left the company to start making games with their own visions. I wont mention the games but one of the companies (with ex square employees) games is one of the best rpgs I have played in a while. The damn wolf has more personality than damn fayt of SO3, hell even FFX-2 I like my ladies classy not changing clothes for sexually deprived 13yr olds to look at. Hell only game I liked was drahken guard and that wasn't even a rpg. So my question is what the hell happened to square since the 8-32 bit ages. I find my self more often looking for the great square ps1 rpgs because when I first played them I'd be in awe now I play games and almost fall asleep because there is no damn story! There are many nice new games out just not by square-enix and I think if this trend continues I might just start an anti square-enix resistance movement. (Lets hope DW8 doesn't suck or I'll start the group right away)

-Very disturbed 19yr old gamer

Dear Very disturbed 19yr old gamer, Oh NOES! Heaven forbid Square-Enix have to suffer another disenchanted fan! I hate to break it to you, buddy, but people have been growing disenchanted with Square ever since FFIIj sucked incredible amounts of ass, so I'm pretty sure they're used to people threatening to liberate their offices in the name of freedom and justice if they don't immediately make games that are exactly like the games that they used to make (except for those wonderful misanthropes who babble incoherently about innovation and then religiously bash every new game they see.)

Since I will assume this is a good/bad question about Square Enix, given our current topic, I will say in closing that over the past year, I'm leaning towards bad. That said, 2005 may change all, so the jury is out.

It's wonderful what can happen when teenage drinking leads to cirrhosis of the brain. But, all of that babbling aside, I've been called the 'Squaresoft Anti-Christ' by members of the Final Fantasy Fan Club for my review of Final Fantasy Chronicles. I haven't played a game made by Squaresoft that I have genuinely enjoyed in the long-term since... Final Fantasy Tactics. Enix at least had Dragon Warrior VII going for it before. So... I'mma say 'bad'.

why? why why why?

I ask you why?
Why what? You may be wondering. Why EVERYTHING?
O yea, and World of Warcraft kicks ASS!!!!

The Spitefully Hateful Evil Twin, Drew:
I hate you. Why? Because I don't have WoW yet, that's why!

The I Ran Out of Z Names That Sound Like Zach-ish Evil Twin, Zebulon:
And should my plans come to fruition, you never will have WoW.


Well, hopefully now, everyone gets the idea of the good or bad column, so hopefully we'll be able to do another sometime soon. For next weekend, I really should have managed to get World of Warcraft by then, so feel free to chat it up about that. Else, I guess it's around that time of year when you start compiling Christmas wish lists, so share those if you're of a mind! Otherwise, share your creamsicles with no one, for they are too delicious!

ZACH Well, it's been fun, but I must now return to my happy-fairy-land of Holiday Shopping Guides, IRC JavaApplets,two-weeks-late Interaction Department Status emails, and generalbusy-bodyness good humanitarianism! So, I'll seeyou lot later! And don't forget never to dip your creamsicles in frenchonion dip, lest you make baby Andrew cry!
Andrew Long consulted several baby name listings in the making of this column.
Zachary Lewis will probably spend the rest of his evening writing legalese. Don't you pity him?



And as a result I am SO naming my firstborn Zebulon!

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