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"The scene changes to the next morning, and all six Zexen Knights, plus Boy, are gathered at the front gates of V. del Sexay. Tootie is the last to arrive on his horse, making Borus wonder if he was up late with a giiiiiiiirlfriend. Yes, because the ladies find bowl cuts so attractive. Mmm, gimme some of that."
     -Sam, Suikoden III Part 4

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07.31.03 :: Recaps of the Future

The opinions in this letters column aren't necessarily those of Jeanne Rubbo, owner of 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

Before we get started, we would like to thank everyone who wrote in to the mailbag this time. Due to space constraints and limits to AG's always questionable sanity, not every letter that was sent in made it into the column. We'd like to think that the letters shown here are the ones that best reflect the principle behind our request in the last mailbag. Have a cookie or two on us, oh intrepid writers of note, and let's see what games you think are begging for a little snarky lovin' from your ever-faithful VGR recappers.

Non-RPG recaps
Hi AG and LC,

OK, after I crossed my heart and hoped to die, stuck a needle in my eye (well, not REALLY) that I'll never bring this up again, I got to thinking about which games have so much bad exposition, bad foreshadowing and all other crap that they just NEED recapping. So, here it is:

Resident Evil: Code Veronica

Well, the jokes about a bisexual, incestuous threesome between three certain characters would make for some great jokes, right from the start. Also, how many games have a 'man' crushing on his twin sister so much that he DRESSES like her?! (Even the sexy underwear... Ugh.) And then there's Tidus the 2nd - Steve, the 17 year old wanker who pretends to be all macho and cool, when in the end, he's just a cry-baby who's trying not to reveal his homosexuality and crush on Alfred, our cross dressing friend. And, I hate Chris Redfield. I need to hear (err, reading works, too) SOMEONE slagging him off!

Jet Set Radio Future

OK, so it's not a particularly long game, and there are not many discernible cut scenes. Its plot has so many holes in it it's like fricking swiss cheese. Still, two girls with crushes on a gang of guys who think it's cool to meet up in the sewer system, a guy with a nose the size of Wisconsin and a preadolescent crush can be quite satisfyingly made fun of... I guess. Judging how much crack Sega were smoking while designing characters might be interesting, too.

Dino Crisis 2

Again, this isn't the longest of games, just a couple of hours, but still, Capcom manages to throw in so much foreshadowing and bad voice acting that it just needs to be done. Blonde stupidity runs rampant, bad romantic tension abounds and the game designers take too much advantage of the whole time travel gimmick to give the game much credit as a serious thing. Jokes about the line, 'It's our one-eyed friend again!' or, 'Back for more, you one-eyed menace?' would be compulsory...

I would suggest the Tomb Raider games (or even the movie if I didn't know wasn't named for the good of Jeanne's health) for the simple reason of contemplating how the woman can MOVE with so much tissue stuffed down her front, but I've never played the games, so I've got nothing else.

May the rest of your day be devoid of wankers,


Recapping RE Code Veronica is fine, as long as it's not me doing it. Rotate-forward and I are not friends because basically, I suck at that kind of control system. The recaps would be full of "And Chris gets run into a wall because I'm too stupid to turn the opposite way and use the fifteen-button CAPCOM code that'll get him out of this zombie attack. Oh, look, he's bleeding. Bleed, boy, bleed!" Judging from your letter, I think you'd like that.

My little brother has JSRF for XBox I think, but the only thing I can remember about the game is "Lookit the cell-shading! Isn't it rad?" Not when every game and its brother has a cell-shaded version out, it isn't. Dino Crisis always struck me as Capcom's answer to Parasite Eve, which was Square's answer to RE. It's a damned mobius loop we'll never escape from. And that's the second time I've used the term "mobius loop" in a mailbag. See what I mean?


Well, I'm always open to the idea that not just RPGs are recappable. But JSRF? I don't know. From what I know of it, there is a story involved, but it's just enough to tie together an entire game of tagging shit. While fun to play--and I have it on my boyfriend's authority that it is quite so--I just don't see it as recap material.

The Resident Evil games, on the other hand, have potential. I'd like to find a person masochistic enough to actually play them through for a recap, though. God knows I, like AG, would never even consider it. Getting attacked by demon dogs, only to fail at running away because the control scheme sucks? Pass.


Cry, cry, cry
Well well, new subject... I'd have to say Devil May Cry. I know plenty of people have complaints about this game, that it's too short, and I have actually heard people debating Dante's sexuality *ahem* But for me, I found it a good game, the story's pretty good, and I think it would be a pretty fun game for you guys to recap. Oh, and don't laugh at the accent. I can't help it. I'm British. ><

The new one wasn't up to scratch, really, but the first one became one of the most popular Ps2 games, and I think it was deserved.

Oh, and love you guys for saying you'll recap the Bouncer, 'cause it was the first ps2 game I ever owned, and I still love it!!


Okay, I don't know jack about Devil May Cry, other than that Dante has white hair and is purty. So I will leave my commentary at this: mean there are GAY characters in videogames?


Wotcha, Alice. Yes, I plan on taking a swipe at The Bouncer, but I make no promises as to when that'll be. I guess it depends on my tolerance for the bad over-acting from the Bishy Blond Baddie? and his whiny little sister. Let's not forget that I utterly suck at fighting games, and this one's no exception. I play them anyway because I'm a masochist. Speaking of masochism, that's exactly what it would take if you wanted me or another recapper to tackle DMC. Don't get me wrong dear; I love the game. I love Dante #1, who's nothing at all like the idiot Capcom presented in DMC2 as the bigger, badder Dante. Bollocks to that, I say, I want my snarky Dante back, and I want him back this minute. We won't even go into my apparent red coat obsession, it should just be taken as a given here.

In any case, DMC isn't story-heavy enough for a recap, at least not for me. My beloved spouse HG once did a fine recap applicable to just about any action game, be it DMC or an RE clone. I reprint it here, with his permission:

Opening scene: Oh please our brave hero, our world is being attacked by a terrible monster. Oh, save us.

The plot thickens: The hero kills everything in sight.

Ending: Thank you great hero. You've saved us all.

Add in a "Luke! I am?your brother!" moment, and the game's all done. Well, all except my ranting about Trish. Die, Trish, DDDDIIIIEEEEE!!!


Videogame Ripoffs
w00t! First mailbag contribution!

I had Valkyrie Profile halfwritten in before I read the rest of the subject and so I provide my suggestion for a recap:

Final Fantasy

This is almost like a 'before they were wankers' compilation. Every RPG clich? before they were clich?; random battles that kick your ass and bosses that can be instantly killed. Spells that don't work and items that are entirely useless. And they have the Masmune; which is hunderds trimes cooler then ANY Masamune. It might even be the only RPG without any Mary Sues...

Aside from that; your site rules...


And you were doing so well up to your next-to-last sentence, too Zero. However, you've insulted my Masamune and for that I'll have to take the obligatory five drinks of sake to purify myself. Oh, hell, who'm I kidding? So sometimes writing my end of the mailbag makes me want to go on a bender. It's nothing personal, I assure you. Then again, maybe it is. See, it's not a very nice thing at all to say that, "aside from what I want you to do, your site's great." Surely what you really meant to do was say "thank you" for the hard work we recappers put in day after day, slaving over hours of game footage, tragic twoo wuuv, airheaded Mary Sues and lunky heroes, right? Which brings me to my point. Final Fantasy would be a hell of a game to try to recap. The characters have no set names, no set personality traits, and there's a random battle once every minute or so. Oh, sure, we could just make shit up as we plow along, but that would defeat the purpose. Every game's got to have a target, and even I would get tired of ripping on "I like swords," after an hour or two.


FF would be somewhat fun, and there would be SLIGHTLY more to go on now, as the Origins version has a few FMVs and such, I think. But really, whoever did it would get in as far as a paragraph and it would probably already feel like a blatant ripoff of the fabuolouso 8-Bit Theater. And that's not cool.


Link is...straight?
Oathkeeeper Again...

Yeah I know, you'll kill me but... it should be Paper Mario. Reason? Well let me give you this. Every time Bowser is trying to kidnap Peach, what goes through your mind? Uh-huh, you're right. And he has some sort of gay Star Rod to wish for ANYTHING Bowser wanted. What would he want? HMMMM? Plus you'd have a field day with the jokes. PAPER MARIO? Come on! And why would Bowser tell Baby Bowser that Peach was her mom in Super Mario Sunshine. I'll leave you with that. Along with that he is INVINCIBLE.

Until then...


Oathkeeper Keyblade

P.S. I kinda don't like the fact that Link is gay. Look how many girls like him. Malon, Zelda, Ruto, Saria. He loves Zelda. It's his clothes. The SAGES gave him the clothes, so its not him.

Saying that it's Link's clothes that make him gay is like saying that Rupert Everett kissing Minnie Driver in "The Ideal Husband" made him straight. LC likes the idea of one day tackling Paper Mario so I leave the nitty-gritty to her. It's been many moons since I've played any type of Mario game. That sound you hear is thousands of hardcore platform gamers burning me in effigy and the resultant triumph-drunk lynch mob that's come to take me away, if another mob doesn't get you first for the cold-blooded murder of the rules on English grammar. They would hold your letter up and win the prima facia case in a heartbeat.

P.S. Link is gay. Admitting the obvious is the first step to the new, more enlightened you. Take that first step my son, and revel in your newfound Nirvana!


First, in response to your Link-isn't-gay comment:


Link is so, so, SO gay. The sooner you accept this fact and get over it, the sooner the rest of us will stop laughing at you.

Now, then. Paper Mario. One of my favorite RPGs, a quality one at that, and best of all, the hero is totally flaming. It seems to satisfy all the recappin' requirements. The problem is, for a game to truly deserve snark, it has to take itself seriously. I don't mean that a game has to be devoid of humor to be recappable. Lunar, for example, has plenty of humor. But on the whole, it takes itself (very) seriously. Paper Mario is 100 percent tongue-in-cheek. Pretty much any joke you can make about it is already made for you by the game itself. And where's the fun in that?

I may try it someday anyway. So consider this my DIBS!


When one Grandia isn't enough...
Since you are having so much fun recapping Grandia 2, what about recapping the original? What other game have you EVER heard of where you have to fondle a girl's underwear to advance the game (other than hentai "dating" sims which we can't get over here anyway)? There is a lot to make fun of in that game. Sue's Pom-pom cheer is still a riot. The ending is a classic...

How about Rhapsody - A Musical Adventure? That game never got the attention it deserves, and I'll let you interpret that anyway you like. Marjoly is a panic. You got Pancake Attacks and Flan Manuevers and other such devastating (?) attacks. I'd love to read what Jeanne and crew could do to this game.


I can't speak for the other recappers, but I for one have never played either of these games. I once considered picking up a copy of Rhapsody, but I think I ended up buying Grandia II instead. I think God is still laughing at me for paying money for that one.

As for the original Grandia, from what I've heard it would be a very funny recap. Applications, people! Send 'em in!


CS, underwear fondling? And is that a slight note of sadness I hear when you mention that hentai games are only imports? My goodness, what would the Soccer Moms say to that? They don't like video games as it is, I can't imagine what would happen if hentai games were more prevalent. We wouldn't want to give Mr. and Mrs. America the impression that all gamers are sweaty-palmed single men sitting on their couches, madly pressing buttons so some saucer-eyed anime ing?nue will be party to sex acts that even Larry Flynt would blush at printing, right?

Now then, once again I see that you've asked us to recap Rhapsody. Maybe one day when I'm out and about I'll track this game down at the mall and see what all the fuss is about.


Again, thanks to everyone who wrote in--some good suggestions came up, and that's all we could ask of you. That, and to actually tell us WHY you wanted said game recapped, which kept a lot of letters from being printed here.

As some of you may have realized by now, the VGR Mailbag is nearing its first birthday. We'd like to do something special to commemorate our one full year as letter-answering persons, so we decided we're going to have a contest! You are very excited!

If you check the Extras section of VGR, you'll see a new section devoted to LiveJournal icons. Jeanne has received some lovely and downright hilarious icon images, and we'd like to get even more icons. That's where you fine people come in.

Make some more LJ icons for the VGR LJ community! All videogame-related humor is in-bounds, but it would be swell if you would make icons directly related to the recaps on the site.

Image requirements:

- Must be 100 x 100 pixels
- Must be in .jpg or .gif format
- Can be animated or still
- Must be a reasonable file size (less than 20KB)
- Must feature some kind of videogame humor (bonus points for recap quotes!)

Submissions will be judged (by us) on aesthetic quality and, more importantly, on T3H F00N4Y-ness. Be creative! Of course, anything that we consider offensive (derogatory racial/sexual comments, etc.) is out, so please don't bother sending it at all.

Please send all icon submissions to (preferably in a .zip folder) by Friday, August 8 at 8:00 p.m. EST. We'll post the submissions and announce the winner shortly afterward. The winner will receive a prize of some kind (probably a gift certificate).

Don't have graphical prowess? Too lazy to enter the contest? Feel free to send us birthday wishes, or suggest a new mailbag topic. Any questions you have about the contest can be emailed to us, or posted in the message board's VGR Mailbag! thread.

Until next time, happy icon-making!

- AG and Lita-chan

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