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Andrew Long- September 15 '03- 01:18 Eastern Standard Time

Should there exist an official sport of Hell, I am tolerably certain that it is five-pin bowling. I am convinced of this fact not only because of that episode of the Simpsons where it is revealed that Homer is owed 1 (one) brain, but because personal experience has taught me this. The only game of Fypin, as I shall now call it because I'm just cool enough to invent mashed-together Bemani style words seeing as how I'm too lazy to hyphenate and use extra syllables like the rest of you deadbeats, yes, the only game of that thing I just christened the most horrible game on earth, the only Fypin game, for the third time, that I have ever enjoyed was one I played with my Grandma up in the middle of nowhere because it got me out of the death-rays of the sun which was doing its level best to aid me in the mysterious process of exfoliation by brute force.

Needless to say, when such an experience constitutes the best of a sport, you can imagine what the worst is like. This worst, as I chose to call it, comes in the form of a little hellhole on the top of a hill in the middle of one of the nicest parts of the nicest towns in Ontario, where "nicest" is used in the most "We've got loose slots" sense possible, should that particular sense even exist. Anyhow, NEB, the acronym of choice among the cool little gutter rats that infest the place so they can smoke and come home with a handy excuse to explain away the smell, or at least the people who like to think they think for them, may not have actual loose slots, but it sure has every other form of entertainment you could ever wish to avoid, like hellish karaoke, indoor go-karts, and even some DDR, which I suppose is the only good thing about the joint. There's also delightful miniature cable cars slowly plying their way across the ceiling, hunting indifferently for somebody tall to smash into.

Perhaps the best part of this place, however, is the fact that the beverage cart is a metal cage built onto a carpet cleaner, which basically kills two birds with one stone. I'm reliably positive that driving this crate probably leads to wishing for death, since the depressing requirements are big breasts and putting up with 14-year old lameasses staring at them (well, the staring isn't limited to the 14-year olds, and they can perhaps be excused since the staring selection available to them in their circle of acquaintances seemed much more limited in scope and grandeur).

Without further ado (and ignoring the fact I'm especially bitter because I was dragged there and proceeded to bowl a 59), then, on to the terms of the contest: First, Andrew cannot devise the exquisite torture he must undergo. Secondly, he has full discretion of selection, but he must prove he has performed the task he selects. Finally, the reward for such performance will be to co-host a column next Monday, alongside yours truly. This, of course, assumes he is able to perform it in that length of time, so should a longer task pop up then additional weeks shall be interjected so as to prevent me from looking like a total ass.

So, without further ado, let's get on to the suggestioning. Some people, it seems, have very colorful imaginations.

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I SAID no defining your own terms!

Hey Andrew,

Man, you know, I had high hopes for FFTactics Advance. That's until I played it for a few more hours. Like I said when I first got it and played it, which was for about an hour and 30 minutes I thought it was pretty good, but then, I played it for about 5 more hours, and 4 of those hours were extremely boring.

The coolest thing about the game is mastering all the abilities that you can for a given class, and then changing classes. But the thing is that if you master every ability you can, and then you change classes, and you want to master all the abilities that you can master for that class, it means that you'll eventually have to use another beggining of the game class weapon once again every time you change classes unless you dont want to master all the abilities, and mastering the abilities is the only cool thing in the game, because the game is so easy its pathetic. Even with my characters with the armor I've had on since the beggining of the game, because I'm not any class that can learn the abilities from armor, except for the White Mage. Although learning abilities is the coolest thing in the game, it's also extremely stupid, because it takes more than 4-5 battles to learn an ability because you usually get 20-30 ap each battle and some weapons(very few), cost 100, but more cost 200 - 400 ap to master the ability.

Right now in the game I have 8 hours and I have more than half of the map complete so I'm sure that I'm almost done with the game, and I have quite a few missions complete(alot, not a few). So another 6-8 hours of easy, every battle is almost the same, gameplay.

Also that one guy that said how magic is stupid and it has low hit percent. Magic is better than anything in the game because you can cast as much magic as you want and you won't run out because you keep gaining magic back, and the stupid thing is that if you are blinded, magic gets a lower hit percent, and has the exact percent as weapon attacks do, because Squaresoft didn't add any accuracy stat, so the only way you can raise your accuracy is by equipping concentrate(or with Magic Users which is why they are alot better than physical attacking characters, Turbo Mp, so they can cast magic with alot higher hit rate, and take double the damage, only having to use double the mp, where at a higher level they'll recieve more of it back so there is no worries).

So anyways, I take what I said about Squaresoft finally making a good game back. Because for a few hours, yes, FFTactics Advance is good(yeah, 2 - 3 hours), after that you start getting bored and it feels like a chore to play the game. So, atleast I can fall back on Disgaea and replay that again.

Andrew:
Well, I'm only four hours in, so either I bore less easily than you or the fact that I keep getting Marche red-carded irritates me just enough to keep playing. Whichever is the case, I have no complaints with FFTA at this point. Yeah, it's dirt easy, but I really haven't found a T-RPG that isn't, to be honest, so I'm not too concerned about that. My only major complaints are a) that Square Enix thought that the item system from Final Fantasy IX ever deserved to be resurrected, and b) that you can't see how much an item improves a stat when purchasing and equipping it. I guess it's to be expected since Enix is probably sucking Square's interface skills out its ear and spitting them on the floor, but I still wish that my analogy didn't involve such a disgusting mental image, and also that this wouldn't take place.

Also, by the way, I think whoever wrote the review about Disgaea needs to redo it, because they go and praise the game, and then you look at the ratings that they gave it to what they praised, and you see someone who doesn't really know what they're talking about(and didn't cover much about the games other features). And there is no New Game+ on Disgaea, now, there is a Continue+, because a new game+ would let you keep all your items and everything while restarting the time to 0:00:00(which is like that because the 10's and 100's hours don't show unless you gain that much time), while continue+ sounds more correct since you keep the time you had when first playing the game. And restarting the game isn't really great anyways, unless you want to listen to the story again(or replay the game against characters who won't be a challenge to you and get to the end of the game where you can get an ending by none of your party members dying), because at the end of the game you can still face all the battles that you originally fought, as well raise the levels of the enemies by getting your promotion high enough, and open the secret worlds like the Human world where you can go battle and take over(and you can't open many of the secret places until you get a certain point into the game).

Andrew:
Saving the nitpick about Save vs. Continue, I must now shout at you: opinion, opinion, opinion! It's a review, my friend, and there's going to be some subjectivity however much you try and stamp it out. The only people who claim they're objective when reviewing things either don't look at themselves too honestly or are befuddled morons, so let me give you this piece of advice: look for a reviewer you agree with most of the time so that these little things don't irk you so much. It's much easier to buy the "objective" line, because let's face it: "objective", when it comes to entertainment, tends to equal "the stuff that agrees with my opinion on a given piece of art", regardless of how many attempts at defining elements of art there may be.

Incidentally, Zac posts his email address on every review he does, so whine at him, not me. I will warn you, however, that I know he finds flames as entertaining as I do, so try and restrain your creativity if you don't want to become an addition to the classic flame hall of fame. Moral of the story: RPGamer does not change reviews just because a few people think that an injustice against heaven above has been committed because Zelda got an 8. It's both presumptuous and short-sighted to think any self-respecting reviewer would change his mind on this basis, so please, have a good case or at least a more factual grounding if you're still going to give frothing at the mouth a shot.

Other than that, the only reason I decided to say that one quote was someone wrote in about Legacy of Kain: Defiance, and that brought me to that one beggining part in the original Blood Omen(or if you said Soul Reaver 2 I would have said you were correct as well, because Raziel goes into the past, and the one priest tells Malak to stay, and you can hear the one character saying that quote in the background).

Hey, you wanted us to send emails in why I should be able to be guest host or what I'd have to do(something that I could possibly do and wouldn't be impossible). I'm the only one who wrote in about what I thought the best class combinations would be, and I even put every single different type of the best class combinations, like Attacking, Magic User, and stuff, so I think that was pretty good. Or I think if I could get a picture of every Final Fantasy game that has ever been released in the US(which the SaGa series don't count because they're not Final Fantasy, even though I do have Final Fantasy Legend 12 and 3, as well as Final Fantasy Adventure(Seiken Densetsu), then that would be alright as to being a guest host, seeing the fact that everyone is Final Fantasy this and Final Fantasy that, when the ones they talk about(like FF10 and FF7) are the worst in the series.

Plus I'm not rude man, it's just I say what I think, and it's my opinion, and everyone has their own opinions, even if most people's opinions of an RPG now would be how good it is based on graphics(which I think(my opinion) is stupid by the way).

Anyways, sorry for going ranting about how Squaresoft screwed up on FFTactics so badly, if they didn't mess up like that, I think the game would have been perfect if they did a few things differently.

You can do it EEEEBBAY(look at this man, I'm advertising and I'm not getting paid, what is this)!

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Andrew:
Your challenge is weak and watery, and I deem it to be unsuitable. Next!

 
-Hey ma, can I have some ice cream? -No dice. -This ain't over!

Hey Andrew,

I decided to think of something nice for kupomogli to do, but I got a little anxious when setting my thinking cap and wrenched the lever past "Jerk" over to "Bastard." An honor of THIS magnitude should be accompanied by an appropriately large and inane initiation ceremony. First, he should be dressed in some thick clothing (preferably wool) inappropriate to a tropical climate. Then he should be made to spend several hours of his day in a small room with no air conditioning. Then, he should be forced to share this space with a crowd of 40 or more 6-14 year old Taiwanese students with a teaching plan that says "play some games." After breaking up several fistfights and getting nothing accomplished, he should be forced to do it again. And again. What do you think? I think it's GREAT torture, and well worth (heh heh) the glorious honor of guesthosting a Q&A. Which brings me to my question. Can I guesthost a Q&A? I've already done the initiation.

Ke Da-Wei
The evil Taiwanese Bushiban Teacher

Andrew:
I want terrible tribulation or at least terrible trouble with tribbles, not your life story! Next!

 
A little misdirected, but his heart's in the right place

"what arcane task must Andrew "kupomogli" perform in order to net himself a guest hosting spot?"

that's so easy. All he has to do is send me a brand new copy of Disgaea and I'll be happy to have him guest host. Heck, I wouldn't mind if he guest hosted for a whole year if he sent me Disgaea. Aren't I easy to please?

-Watcher-

Andrew:
Yes; however, you overlook the fact that such a scenario, while falling under the "bribery" definition I described earlier, fails to qualify on the specification that it does not benefit me directly. As such, I will accept your suggestion as a possible tribulation, but only in the case that I am the one who receives a copy of Disgaea. I can't find the frigging thing anywhere!

 
Now see, this is what "thinking cap on bastard" looks like!

Hey Andrew,

Since this guy seems to think he can just wander on in and host Q&A, I say we really put the screws to him, and have a multi-staged initiation to prove he can handle the pressure he will receive in such a space. Here is what I have in mind:

  1. Force him to go five minutes in a cage with Ken Shamrock (The Mixed Martial Arts guy).
  2. Make him drink the sludge out of your shower drain.
  3. Have him play nude twister with all four of the Golden Girls.
  4. Have him go in the shower at Sing Sing Prison and drop the soap.
  5. See how many fat ladies we can pile on top of him. SMELLY fat ladies. Preferably all named Bertha.
  6. Turn over a list of his MP3 collection to the RIAA.
  7. Have him dress up as a clown and walk the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan handing out M-80s to children.
  8. Make him play Breath of Fire 3 nonstop for a month.

    I'm sure I can go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Tack on anything else you can think of. If he can get through all that, I think he might deserve a one shot deal hosting Q&A.

    Robust Stu
    Gold Reviewer/Swell Guy
    www.geocities.com/robuststu

Andrew:
As I am not wholly without heart, I will accept any one of these particular challenges, should they be accompanied by evidence not involving nude shots of the Golden Girls (although in that case, an afterglow shot is acceptable, but only if it features all five parties wrapped in towels and sharing a cigarette).

 
More ideas

Kupomogli should have to pay for all the bandwidth that RPGamer uses on the day that he guest hosts. Or take a picture of himself with a cactus in his mouth. Or get a date. Yeah! No RPGamer could possibly get a date. That's, like, an impossible challenge. Although I don't know how you could enforce it.

For those people who didn't buy our computer in the last 12 months, it may not be a much better deal to get the PC version of FF11. Most people, to play FF11, would need a new video card and more RAM, at least. Some might need an entirely new processor, which I'm fairly sure is the type of thing you can't just upgrade. Additionally, if you play it on the PS2, you get to use a TV rather than a monitor; most people's TVs are bigger than their montitors, and that lets you sit on a couch too. I don't know anything about the resolution differences, but if you ask me, I've never found PS2 games to be pixelated enough that I would want to raise the resolution.

I will be getting the PC version because I have a computer that can handle it (one of three on my dorm floor that can). But what Square should really do is release the PS2 version first by like 6 months so that people like me will be conned into buying both of them eventually.

LockeZ

Andrew:
Well, assuming you don't go through one of those wonderful companies like HP or Compaq, upgrading a processor isn't really that big a deal, providing you get the corresponding motherboard to go along with it. Nevertheless, that, combined with a new video card, would be a prohibitively expensive proposition. That notwithstanding, and despite the fact that I now own a PS2, I'm still leaning towards the PC version, because the game just seems suited to a computer over a PS2.

In other news, your three challenges are acceptable, but again, the monies pertaining to the bandwidth must be paid to me. That is all.

 
That proposition will never fly! NEVAR!

What must kupomogli do? Simple, good sir. Have his first name legally changed so we don't have yet another Andrew do letter duty.

- ChocoMog ZERO
Supporter of Proposition 314: Name-Based Affirmative Action for Q&A Columnists

Andrew:
Works for me, although your affirmative action seems dicey to me, particularly since "Andrew" is clearly the ubername.

 
People just don't get this bribery clause

Besides giving me video games, he could take a picture of himself hanging upside down from the ceiling by the wires of his ps2/gcube/xbox/n64/etc. AND he'll have to wear nothing but a cardboard sign (like the ones concerts) covering himself the says sumthing like "I WORSHIP KING ANDREW L." and THEN you can make him give me all his games. That way, it combines the bribary (games), the torture (upside down), and the embarssement! (naked with a sign!!) its so perfect, I could just die.

or u could just make him delete his ultimate FF game file, *shudders* like something he spent 8000 hrs on to complete all sidequests and make it the ULTIMATE file ever. Only that would be soooo cruel and you might get arrested. ^^

-Tess :D

Andrew:
Will you marry me?

 
Unfit for Print

got a question i am thinking of buying final fantasy 11 from an american internet site but i was wondering when its released over here in the UK and the UK starts to get expantion packs for the game would the verion i bought from the Usa work ok with the expansion packS ill be buyinbg over here in the UK.

IF YOU DO NOT NO THE ANSWER OF THIS QUESTION CAN YOU PLEASE ASK SOMEONE ELSE AT RPG GAMER AS I AM DESPERATE TO FIND OUT THE ANSWER SO I CAN PRE ORDER MY COPY ASAP

CHRISTOPHER CUMMINGS
=====

Andrew:
See, even if I knew the answer to this, the fact that you sound like a four-year old telling a story makes me supremely disinclined to ever bother trying to find an answer for you, especially since you called us "RPG GAMER" and in so very many capital letters. So here's what we need to do. You need to write a new letter, paying attention to little things like "grammar" and "turning off capslock" and "your mother" and then we can get back together and get to the bottom of this little quandary. I, meanwhile, need to remind myself that while I rather like to answer questions, I only attain this state of mind when I can understand them without first wanting to throw bricks of plutonium at Buckingham Palace.

Quickies

Hey Andrew,

Have you ever seen the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance commercial, and what did you think of it? I just saw it and man it was gay, I guess Squaresoft may have made it to show how pathetic they're getting.

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Nope, but you sure seem to be hating on Square these days, which seems silly since it no longer exists.

Andrew L.;

Okay, so skaters have a role model: Tony Hawk. Hockey players have a role model: what's 'is name from Canada (sorry, brain-fart)

Who is the role model for RPGamers?!

-Wesley

Wayne Gretzky.

This week's quote is from the original Final Fantasy for the NES, and it's from the brooms in Maytoya's Cave. Read it backwards, and it's a hint on how to display the world map. Can I get a tilde, or whatever is given out nowadays?

Thanks,
Dragonstrider

Regrettably, this week's tilde has already been awarded. However, you can join us next week when we go live on tour to "Creator of Girls Gone Wild's Jail Cell". Which seems like something we'll probably never do, so don't get too comfy there.

This is to answer Will's question from yesterday. First of all, to get back into S. Figaro, use the secret passages that locke used to get out. Then, take a boat to Nikkeah, ride a chocobo all the way to the Baren Falls...and jump. You're back, wow. -watcher-

Thanks for sharing, watcher. That took me forever to figure out when I got stuck in that situation, or at least an hour. I forget which it was, but I do know it made me hate FFA that much more.



The Final Grumble:

I think I've made it clear which terrible fate is my preferred method of punish..I mean, payment, so we can only hope Kupo complies. Nonetheless, Andrew, you do have a wide variety of choices to make, but I will be terribly disappointed if you opt for anything that doesn't involve hanging upside down in a cardboard box. Regrettably, this is a democracy, at least until that Patriot Act passes, so I leave the choice up to you. For everyone else, random Wednesday comes a day early, because we're all holding our breath waiting for Andrew's answer, which may influence my topic scheme for the next little while.

Andrew "Cynical" Long

Well of course that delightful bit of legislation has no direct effect up here... We've had no unconditionally guaranteed rights since 1982 anyway!

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