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"As the conversation continues, we see a pointless map diagram of the secret passage. The diagram shows two dots, representing Kyria and Synesta, and a line of arrows indicating the passage between them. And that's it. Seriously, what is the fucking point? In an instance rarer than an RPG hero over the age of 21, the game designers are actually doing more than is necessary for the player, as opposed to their usual lazy tactics. Is this their New Year's resolution or something?"
     -Ben, Breath of Fire IV Part 5




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03.12.03 :: Hype and Hyperactivity

The opinions in this letters column aren't necessarily those of Jeanne Rubbo, owner of videogamerecaps.com. Even so, Jeanne owns *us* and has locked us in a dark closet with Tidus and Rinoa until we think of something funny. HELP! In the meantime, send in your comments, queries, whining, flames, spam, opinions, facts, opinions that you think are facts, and general idiocy to mailbag@videogamerecaps.com

Welcome back to the VGR Romper Room, kids. This week we've been a little behind in letting to your letters, but only because we waded through the uncharted waters of off-topic missives that flooded the inbox. We're tired. Really, really, really tired, and AG can't swim very well. She just kinda floats there, looking embarrassed. So, before we have to call a lifeguard, let's see what the VGR Do-Bees have sent in on our topic (remember those?) of overhyped and underhyped games.

Wankst
Hey there VGR people. First time trying this mailbag, so... if I screw it up, then feel free to call me a wanker.

Now, as far as overrated video games go (out of the millions floating about) I have a serious bone to pick with Xenogears. Now, I'm probably the only person in the world who thinks Fei's a whiny wanker with Daddy issues (a la Tightass) or that big shiny robots and a pocket dictionary do not a good game make. Apparently, the story's supposed to be deep. (As of now, I'll act like there IS a story in that game.) Fei is sort of like a reverse angsty Mary Sue. Until he gets a big shiny robot. Then throw in an occasional reference to religion (oh how deep), plus a few randomly-chosen long words from the dictionary, and... uh, voila? Voila doesn't register here. Nor do the fans' claims of deep characters... or character development. I'll give you an example:

Fei: ::ANGSTS:: =(

Elly:: ::ANGSTS:: ;_;

Fei: ... you're hot =(

(And, for the sake of the innocent, I'll mark a spoiler here)

Elly: You are too >=( ::sex:: You're pitiful in bed =(

Fei: ... ::ANGSTS::

There's enough angsting in that game to make about fifteen Linkin Park albums right there. In fact, the only person I recall not angsting was Chu-Chu, but I wanted to shoot her anyway because she's such a wanker. Not as wanky as Fei or Tightass, but there you have it. Even Dan, the five-year-old irate balding midget who stares at his sister's rack and says how big it is is an angsty brat. Now, it may just be me, but the only character of interest I recall is... ::fanfare:: Big Joe with his super muchacho information :O and... ta-da... his status as the only character in this game who doesn't mope... ever. Oh, plus Billy, Bart and Sigurd were hot and the music was okay, but I digress.

There you have it. My thoughts on the supposed "greatest game ever." Now I'll go before rabid fanboys flame me for disliking it. Until then...

~Hot Springs Tamago

My goodness, I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. I'm sure my little brother would be tearing his hair out and screaming in agony at your sacrilege, that is, if he ever read this letter. Since he doesn't read the mailbag, I'd say you're safe. However, I can't protect you from the thousands of angst-loving, Eva-worshiping, screaming fanfolks destined to fill your email box with 1337-speaking, hate-filled rants about how you don't like their BESTEST GAME EVAR!!!!!111!!! You're on your own there, my dear. I think you can take 'em.

-AG

You think you're the only person in the universe who's compared Fei Fong Wank to the Wankmaster himself? Excuse me for a moment.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

No, my dear, your comparison may be apt--very apt--but it's nothing new. I'm quite sure you and I are not the only people out there who wondered why Elly, even desperate as she is, would jump in the sack with our favorite ponytailed angst king.

But to be fair, my favorite cute blond and yours, Bart Fatima, wasn't really THAT angsty. Eh, so he has the (spoiler!) problem with reclaiming his throne, and that does lead to a LITTLE angst. But I'd say he handles it much, much better than the rest of the cast. And you have to give the guy a break--he's been constantly paired in yaoi with his freaking half-brother.

-LC

Sacrilege!...except it's a game
I hate Final Fantasy VI.

...okay, okay. Maybe I don't hate it. Hate is too strong of a word. But, um - best game ever? Hell no. It did have some things going for it, I'll give you that. While some of the characters were clich?, dull, or both clich? AND dull, they weren't anything to really hate, and while the plot sucked, the IDEA of the plot was good enough. However, the plot was rushed. No, really. And it wasn't very well explained, either. WHY did Terra want to know what love was, of all things? We never get a real explanation for that. Furthermore, they could have dealt with the "Who am I?" conflict a LOT better than they did. Look at Final Fantasy VII, for example. Then, I actually CARED. My feelings about Terra's can be best summed up in one word, "...whatever." [and when I'm quoting Squall to back something up, then you KNOW I feel passionate about it.]

...while I wasn't too wild about Final Fantasy VIII, it wasn't that bad of a game - it did have The Best Minigame Ever, Triple Triad. While I found Squall boring, and the ending random and rather stupid, I wouldn't go as far as to say that I hated it. In honor of Triple Triad.

[by the way; Boromir bashing? Never! I am all about the Boromir love. And the Horn of Gondor is the coolest phallic object ever. After all, you can't BLOW a gunblade, can you?]

- Nia

Well, I'm glad to see Boromir getting the props he deserves. It takes a REAL man to blow a horn and still be straight. Well, straighter than the rest of the Fellowship. Which, I guess, isn't saying very much.

As much as Triple Triad makes me want to crawl in a hole and die, I have to acknowledge its total 0wnz0rzship of pretty much every other Final Fantasy mini-game, with the possible exception of Chocobo Hot and Cold. It's challenging, addictive and has great music. I just wish cards couldn't be synthed into items. It makes the completist in me scream really loud.

-LC

Nia, is there a Final Fantasy game that you do like? Just kidding. FFVI is one of the games I missed due to those twin evils known as work and college. I have it on my backlog to play one of these days, but I promised LC that I'd finish Suikoden and Suikoden II (which I just found at a Babbage's of all places) first. So, I'll take it as proof that you mean what you say when you use our beloved Squally to back you up. Though how anyone could really hate the beautiful, flaming Squally is still beyond my ken.

P.S. You should really be asking Seifer about blowing the gunblades, though. I hear he's quite knowledgeable about that kind of thing.

-AG


So that's it, boys and girls. Two letters on-topic this week. Two letters that didn't take a one-off joke in last week's mailbag and completely gut it in an abortive attempt at being TEH FOONAY. For the next fun-filled edition of the mailbag, we'd like you to put your thinking caps on tight and produce a semi-coherent letter or two on the ESRB Ratings System. For those of you out there scratching your head wondering what the hell we're talking about, that's the privately funded think-tank that tells us if we're old enough to play Demon Hentai Tentacle Fun VII: The Armageddon and assigns a nice little code to correspond with the age level they think the game should fall under. Do you love it, hate it, think it's a good tool for parents when purchasing games for kids? Have your say no later than Friday, March 14 at 8:00 PM EST. Until then, we're going to be here, throwing the off-topic sludge into the recycle bin.

- AG and Lita-chan

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