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No Cilantro for Reege

Andrew Long - December 10, 2004 - 01:25 EST

SO ANYWAY, today's column has been slightly delayed on account of I set my oven on fire just as I was sitting down to write it. Handily, starving it of oxygen and sweet, delicious grease seems to have tamed it for the time being, and my pizza now simmers, just waiting to be cooked through.

I must say, not having World of Warcraft is growing quite unbearable, and I most certainly must rectify that situation now or eventually. Hearing tales of people with characters already at high levels while I sit here playing Warcraft III like a sucker are making me very cross indeed, and as ASV will no doubt be all too ready to tell you, a cross me is a shiftless, good-for-nothing me. I therefore hope for all our sakes that I finally cave and buy the game tomorrow, because if I don't there's no telling how bad things could get.

I also just thought I'd commend the fine people at Yahoo news for their timely journalistic verve. Without stories such as these and others such as "Study: Reintroducing Wolves Affects Ecosystem" I'd probably have to turn to government studies for my useless information, and who the heck wants to read a government study? Certainly not you crazy Americans... You're too busy with your newfangled Japanime!

Yes, I know that term warrants instant death. Please remember, I try to be ironic from time to time, operating on the theory that dumb jokes wear thin after a while. Anyhow, since apparently nobody bothers to send me letters unless I demand them on pain of whining, enjoy many, many leftovers.


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Finally, a comment from me on something other than fantasy authors.

This question is in regard to the the highly anticipated Xenosaga: Episode 2. I really want to pre-order it, so that I can be sure to get one of the original copies on its release day, especially if it's released in limited quantities. Here's the problem. I've heard about the fabled Director's Cut DVD containing all the Cinema scenes from Episode 1. Yet, to my knowledge, not a single store, here in the U.S, has claimed that they are supporting this pre-order bonus. The game's release date, in February, is approaching quickly. I don't want to pre-order the game from a store, only to find out that they aren't supporting the pre-order bonus, and then have 50 bucks tied up in store credit somewhere.

So, here's the question. When can we expect to be told what stores are supporting the pre-order bonus? Or, was this a Japan only promotion (please say that isn't the case).

Thanks for any help you can give.

an RPGfan

PS Xenogears is still a fabulous RPG and is easily worth 70 bucks.

If all the stores have claimed they aren't supporting a pre-order bonus that appears to have been for Japanese consumption only, by all indications that I can find, then I would have to say that the likelihood of such a bonus appearing isn't all that good. You can always look on the bright side, though; if you really want to see all the Cinema scenes from Episode I, why not just pop the game in and start a new "playthrough"? It's not like there's anything but FMV anyway...

I really am a great guy ^_^

Hi. I've been playing Baten Kaitos:Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean. I've been looking around for a decent FAQ but haven't been able to find one that can answer my questions so I was hoping you could. I'm stuck in Anuenue. I was just told that I should go look for Komo Moi cookies, but the person who sells them is out. He then told me to go find him a Celestrial Seed. I haven't the slightest clue on where to find the Celestrial Seed. Please answer me when it is convenient.

While I don't normally field FAQ-style questions, upon seeing the dreadful state of Baten Kaitos FAQs in general, I decided to take pity on you and do some message board-trolling in order to find the answer to your question. To wit, then, according to Daredevil3181, who wishes the world to know him by the quote "I have a lot of growing up to do. I realized that today in my fort," you are advised to "take a Celestial seed (found in the Queen's bedroom) on to a blank Magnus. Then bring the seed to the cookie making guy just outside the palace on the right-hand side. He'll make them for you then."

So there you have it, my friend. I hope that solves your problem.

plugs and week-old soup, surprisingly from two days ago

Hey Goog, I'm a first time writer here.

Well the reason I wanted to write because a couple columns ago some one asked why the name of Dragon Quest was changed to Dragon Warrior. The reason behind this was because when Nintendo brought the first game over to the U.S. there was a pen and paper rpg called Dragon Quest, so thus they had to change the name.

I'd also like to ask, what was your opinion of Zelda: The Four Swords for Gamecube? Is it worth buying? I'm thinking that I might pick up.
Check out Gaming Hybrid!

Much as I would love to plug a competing website (a term I use loosely, since Gaming Hybrid apparently only covers "the best games in series", which is a pretty flawed statement if you've ever seen a "what's your favorite FF" poll around here) I'm afraid that to do that successfully you would have to spell the url correctly, and since you have failed to do so, I fear I must fart in your general direction. Lousy pizza..

Anyway, the Dragon Quest issue was covered on the weekend, so you can set your mind at ease, everyone. Also, Four Swords is most certainly worth buying.

Diff'rent Strokes for different folks

Hey Andrew, I read your method for beating the final boss of Final Fantasy II, and while that obviously works as you have pulled it off, AND makes for a heck of a thrilling battle (which is VERY cool) I just wanted to let you know a very easy and fast way to take his butt down. First of all, at the beginning of the game, make sure you assign someone to use swords all the way through the game. (I chose Firion, since he already started with one) and just go through the game. During your adventures, you should come across 2 blood swords that have an attack power of 0. At the end of the game, give one to your sword person, and one to Leon (unless someone else is better with the sword than him. So your two best sword people, really) These swords work wonders on bosses though, even the final boss. They do like 2600-3000 damage, and Heal for that much. Just have your two characters that don't have the swords attack with whatever they're best at, and have the two sword chars kick his butt. Also, since this IS a q and A, I must ask: Why do you hate Final Fantasy V so? It's my (Brace yourself!!!) Favorite one in the entire series!

-Joey Janowski

Oops. I did actually have someone using a single bloodsword, but not combining them probably added to my grief considerably, cuz I think I sold one about halfway through. As to FFV, I've already gone over that in detail; I don't hate it per se, I just think it's quite mediocre and it's just not something I ever want to play through again. It's repetitive, I don't like the characters, and the job system is done better in FFT. For a more detailed list of gripes, check here.


Dear Castiemel,

So, I just finished Suikoden. Awesome! On to Suikoden 2 now. I'm wary of 3 and 4 though. I know one of you isn't a big Suikoden fan, but in case you have an answer, I'd like to know if 3 has that same 'magic' that 1 has.

I can't tell you from firsthand experience, unfortunately; my copy of Suikoden III sits, untouched, in its case, waiting for me to finish Suikoden. I have, however, beaten and loved Suikoden II, so I have some idea of the feeling you're talking about. II has the magic, anyway, so why not forestall the worrying till after you collect the next 108 stars?

I'm not one to judge a book by the cover, so to speak, but I'm partway through SH1 and the characters are so transparent, and the dungeons... I've seen less cheap gameplay-extending tricks in Legend of Dragoon. Is SH:C good enough to endure a potential entire game of this? At least Aeris fulfilled the saintly-ish female lead position and actually maintained a personality while she was at it.

Never played SH1, so I really can't tell you. As for SH:C, I have some idea of what you mean, having already spent three or four extra hours backtracking to ensure I'd completed every dungeon fully, but honestly, I needed the experience to level up Yuri's summons, so I have no complaints currently. And uh... Aeris had a personality?

I'm really looking forward to Mist Walker's future efforts. I'm glad they got an accomplished writer on the team. So, let's pray for some great stuff from the (Hiro)NobuNobu(o) team in the future. That's right. That term had better catch on, too. NN. Yes!


Let's hope they ditch the battle menus in FFXII and make the battle system like Secret of Mana. What do you think about that? It'd be fun to go around charging to 100% and hitting monsters in 3D. Stealing Seiken Densetsu's battle system isn't much less inventive than stealing FFXI's.

I likes my menus. If I wanted an action RPG, I'd buy an action RPG.

I really need to play the new TRPGs. Growlanser is coming... someday. That's a TRPG, isn't it? What do you think about it? If you say, "If you liked FFT, you'll like this", then I'm in.

Well, I'm done topic-hopping for now.

Until next time!
AyaroS PS: Anyone know where Hiroki Kikuta is? His site was last updated after he finished Koudelka. He's not on SH's staff list. Weird.

Lucky for you, I'm not going to say that, because Working Designs has failed to impress me at almost every turn, from the six zillion remakes of Lunar to Magic Knight Rayearth. Zach informs me the Arc collection is good, but I have my doubts about that. Anyhow, I really have no factual basis for saying that GG is going to suck, so feel free to ignore me.

PS: I didn't even know Kikuta did the soundtrack for Koudelka, since if memory serves, Mitsuda did the honours for both SH entries in the series. In fact, the last time I even heard of him doing anything was for Secret of Mana, so I'm probably not the best person to be asking this question of.

Robust Stu, from last weekend

Hey Cast,

What a swell, swell weekend this is going to be! First, I'm going to a WWE show at MSG on sunday, then this is also the weekend I'm planning to finish off Castlevania: Circle of the Moon and Vagrant Story which, since I bought it like five years ago, I've gotten through the first two or htree areas and then forgotten about it, picked it up again months later not wanting to play from the middle and started over, rinse, wash, repeat. You know the drill.

You start over? I just write it off as not worth my time and press on...Especially where VS is concerned. Besides, what do you really need to know from the start? "Ashley's family dead. Ashley ANGRY. CRUSH! KILL! DESTROY!" Man, I hate that game...

But AH! I see this has also been old RPG-Beating Season for you, too, as you've finished Final Fantasy 2. Now, I could be a jerk and ask whether you thought the whole Cecil-Golbez-FuSoYa thing smacked of Luke-Vader-Kenobi, but I'll take the high road and ask if you thought the endless leveling of every single stat for every single character (Saga Style!) took away from the game (as I thought the first time I played it through) or if you felt that the addition of actual dialogue, doing something different for RPGs of the day, and more customizable characters made it an improvement over FF1 and, thereby, a worthy gaming experience? Or did you just take the cheap way and use the quick level gain trick like most people who know about it do?

I knew of no such trick, so I was forced to sit there while fighting imps and hammer on my own characters instead. I hate FFII to the very depths of my grubby soul, and found its levelling system to be poorly implemented, to say the least. Secret of Mana did it much better by taking out most of the unplayability-causing elements, so there's really no reason to call FFII a worthy gaming experience. All it deserves is a nod for innovation, since it really did have a big impact on many of Square's future games.

Okay, since you want good/bad questions and got almost none last weekend, I figured I'd throw you a bone: Robert Jordan, good or bad?

Hm, looks like I turned into a jerk after all. Sorry.

Robust Stu
Gold Reviewer/Swell Guy/Insane Cretin


In the immortal words of Digory, "What are they teaching in schools these days?"

Hay man i have a Question abou Final Fantasy Vll: Dirge of Cerberus i was wondering whe can we expect an american release of the game as well as voice real voices to be in dialouge manner?

I'm afraid you need to rephrase this in the form of English, cuz I have no clue what you're asking me. If it's "when", the better question is "if", and "voice-real voices in dialouge manner" is really some of the best gibberish I've heard in a while. Please consider taking several years of elementary school before trying to write another letter.

Unfit for Print v.0

Hey Dude!

Alright I'm a first time writer, and i've got a question. Is it just me or are RPG games not as good as they used to be??? I mean now it just seems like all they focus on is graphics, controls, ect. I just can't get into the new RPG's for some reason. Take Fable good game don't get me wrong but it's short, Suikoden 2 actually made get tears in my eyes and FF6 was just so much fun so where are the games like that hiding now?? Once again I ask is it just me or are RPG games not as good as they used to be?


All right, I've been over this time and again. RPGs are different from what they used to be, but whether they're better or worse is entirely a judgment call, and based upon the time, effort, and money expended upon today's games, I would tend to suggest that by sheer dint of volume there are enough good RPGs out there to say that at worst, there has been no real change. In 1994 there were bad games and there were good games (Magic Knight Rayearth, anyone?), and the only reason FFVI seems so very fuzzy and fluffy is that you have delightful nostalgia associated with it. Believe me, there's kids who played FFVII three years later and have the very same feelings, and three years after THAT, FFIX was making people's hearts go all aflutter with happy wonderfulness, though admittedly, most of those people are insane. So no, while Square Enix is currently teetering towards "in the tank", RPGs are no worse than they used to be; I personally have enjoyed FFX, BoF V, Disgaea, Shadow Hearts II, and any number of other RPGs just as much as I would have loved them ten years ago.


Hey Dude! First time writer. But anyway I need to know where the good RPG's are hiding. I'm not impressed with the new ones. I mean they just aren't as good as the old ones! It seems like all they care about now is graphics, controls, ect. Take Fable, don't get me wrong that game was good but really short. Suikoden 2 actually made me cry and FF6 is so much fun it's unbelievable. So I guess my question is really is it just me or are the new RPG's not as good as the old ones? -Clayton

Hey guy! Sending the same email twice and rewording it slightly does nothing to make me want to print it more, and tacking on some lame whining about Fable sure doesn't change things either, but I did notice something I forgot to whine about first time, so it's your lucky day! When FFVI had scaled world maps, people said that all developers cared about was graphics. When FFVII moved to 3D, when FFVIII had a great deal of FMV, when FFX had stunning visuals, people said that all developers cared about was graphics, but hey presto, each of those were pretty entertaining games. GRAPHICS ARE NOT A SIN! Anyway, since I'd rather not have whiny, recriminatory letters from you tomorrow, I'm not blasting you because I think you're an idiot; I'm blasting you because this isn't worth talking about and you should really know better than to bring it up. I have stated numerous times that while I love my SNES classics to death, I still buy and enjoy new games thoroughly, so next time you write in, kindly think up something a little less played.

Unfit For Print

Is tales of syphonia PS2 VERSION ever going to be realesed in English??? Thanks

The better question is, what does someone who can barely string together a sentence in English care if a version in that language is ever released?


Well, you can see why this stuff wasn't printed originally, I hope. For tomorrow, hopefully there will be less unpleasantness, since I understand a certain Star Wars title has launched recently. Either way, I leave the topic open, cuz defining it sure doesn't get me any mail.
Andrew Long is a little bitter over this whole inbox dregs business.




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