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     Catan!   June 12, 2005

Finally, I own my very own copy of Settlers of Catan. Woohoo.

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The number of letters people send me calling me Andrew is staggering...

heya andrew, I saw the images online of the new boomerang-like ps3 controller, and I remembered an Ad on an old EGM issue i happened to have (january 1998). I don't have a scanner right now, but i found the controller on the ad online:

this controller is from Alps interactive, I'm kinda dissapointed the new ps3 Controller looks a lot like it, being the new ps3 design so dang awsome - still, everyone else cloned the PS dual shock, and I'm sure the ps3 controller is gonna kick ass I just wanted to now, what do you think about this?
thanks for your time

Everyone else meaning... third party designers of PS3 controllers? Anyway, opinion: the scrawny shiny boomerang sucks very much. Someone needs to study basic ergonomics.

Da Remake.

Sorry to hear you didnÕt get any questions yesterday. I just finished Resident Evil 4, which features one of the best item management / gun upgrade systems I have ever experienced. All of the guns have several fields to improve in, such as power, reload speed, firing speed, and ammo capacity. Most of the guns even have an exclusive upgrade after you max them out, such as being able to pierce 5 enemies, or gaining phenomenal attack power. Of course, this spectacular upgrading system turned my thoughts to the days of the original Wild ARMs and fighting endless battles with Hayokontons to get money for RudyÕs final ARM upgrades. While the original Wild ARMs is my first RPG and one of my favorite games of all time, IÕm a bit worried about the remake, Wild ARMs Alter Code F. While it does seems to incorporate the Personal Skills system from Wild ARMs 2 (one of that gameÕs best features, in my opinion), it also seems to use the ARM upgrade system from 2 and 3, which prevents RudyÕs ARMs from ever maxing out stats. IÕm sure there are a lot of other things to complain about in the remake, but maxing out the ARMs was my favorite side quest in the original. As one Wild ARMs fan asking another, what is your take on the remake? What do you think will be fun about it and what do you think will be frustrating?


P.S. Even when Alter Code comes out, IÕll still be playing the original.

Things which I am not looking forward to about yon WA remake: Redoing the single translation Sony ever did a halfway decent job with, removing the whole equal importance of all characters concept, having more characters than I can use in a single fight, shifting away from the perfectly good mechanics of the original to the flawed mechanics of 2, having another remake of a game that isn't old enough to justify it out there, and they'll probably change the intro, which I was rather fond of.

Things which will presumably improve: The graphics, but honestly only when in battle.

I once heard someone pronounce it "X-Energies." How weird is that?


I recently visited a popular Xenogears message board after finally forcing myself to complete the game. It has come to my attention that I may be one of the only living RPG fans who think Xenogears is more convoluted, and awkward than anything I've ever played in my life. The battle system is nice, I'll give them that. On the other hand the general control, the translation, and the pacing are all pooh-pooh. The story is packed with deus ex machina, and extremely convoluted. There are plot points that get completely cut off (**SPOILS i.e. what happens to Citan's family after Shevat crashes? Citan doesn't care that they are probably dead?END SPOILS**). What do all these rabid fans cling to? Is it the story? Is this really the deepest story some folks have come across?

I don't mean to sound insulting, I just want to know if I'm the only one who doesn't buy it. The stories in FFX, and even SMT:Nocturne hit me much deeper than Xenogears did. Am I all alone in this?

As a separate questions altogether, has there ever been even an inkling of a mention of a Valkyrie Profile remake or sequel? Are there any newer games that 'borrow' from VP's battle system or general style?

Sal Pancho

Yeah, VP is a sadly singular game. The closest things to it really are the various Mario RPGs out there. As for Xenogears, those are all actually quite common sentiments. I think the main part of the appeal is the novelty factor. Before Xenosaga, RPGs were all nicely paced, with more gameplay than dialog, single options for the attack command, and more sane in length. So it was something really different... which has since become something of a standard, ushering in some real nastiness, and making it easy to lose site of that bit of spice it added to things.

Plus there's something to be said for the sheer volume of elements/scenes from various works of science fiction, and giant pink hamster factor.


Dear Andrew,
You seem to share my opinion on FF9. Great Graphics and presentation, but where's the filling?

My name isn't Andrew, but otherwise yeah. Although the way I prefer to put it is "FF9: Made from 90% recycled materials."

What the heck?

<walks into the sunset with the ladies>

Best Regards,

Metal Slime

Let the record show this would be a quicky if I were less tired.

The Last Laugh:

Sorry if I came off overly brief tonight, it was a long day. Also, America the Book is hilarious.

Googleshng "Funny political humor is RARE."

Funny textbook humor even moreso.

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