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"If Bitch ever becomes famous, and Tita is in a bind, he will promise to come to her rescue. She's a woman after all, and that means that she's helpless and needs her big strong manly man to rescue her."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy VII Part 1




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12.05.03 :: Games that might not suck

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

Well, heat up the leftover turkey and stuffing, kiddos, and sit yourself down to another long-overdue mailbag letters extravaganza! We've got all your favorites, from fresh-mashed creamy hentai dating sims, to succulent yaoi-mad boy kiss fantasies. Join us as we dig in to our lovely mailbag feast, and don't forget to keep your elbows off the table.

Vote one for VP2
Dear ladies of the mailbag,

Hi hi! First time writer, don't rip into me too badly, pretty please? Okieday, now that that's out of the way...

Games I'd like to see... Can you say Valkyrie Profile 2? I would kill for VP2. I would only worry about it if they decided to do it in 3D, and that's a small fear, because in the end, it's not graphics that get a game remembered. Let's see, what else... A FF game with a female lead would be a welcome change. Or a FF with a female that ISN'T a Miss Universe candidate, and isn't weak and helpless. But then who would the fanboys dream about? Oh! FFVI-2! I don't really see how they could make a sequel for that, but if they can do it for X and VII, then they can damn well do one for VI, too!

Um, I guess that's it. Hope you enjoyed. =^-^=

Lady Kitten

Well, I guess Square has flirted with the idea of a female lead. FFX-2 is the obvious example, but at least for a while Terra is the leading character of FFVI. And while I'm saddened by this, I'd say that Rinoa is probably the most important character in VIII. The game is from Squally's POV, but really all the plot points, all the major plot-driving characters, and it seems the universe in general revolve around Rinoa.

But a main female character who also isn't gorgeous or brainless...now that's a rarity. And by "rarity," I mean I don't think it's ever happened. In general, the world is aligned against ugly, smart people. No bitterness on my part or anything.

-LC

Um, okay. I can't really argue with any of that, but we'll be covering much of it in this mailbag, so I'll leave it open for the other kids to have a go. I do have one nitpicky detail, though. According to what I've read, Advent Children is not the sequel to FFVII, it's a DVD - one that has been assraped by every drooling fanperson from here to breakfast, and the damned thing's not even out yet. You can't play it, you can only watch it and squeal over femme-Cloud and double-femme-Sephy. That's not a game "sequel" in my book, but I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

- AG

Hentai Dating sims
Dating simulators! I'd really like to be able to play a dating simulator aside from the Harvest Moon series and the Hentai ones that seem to be the only ones translated into English. I'd really like to get my hands on Final Fantasy Memorial, but there is probably as much chance of that being translated into English as there is of Pres. Bush Lite marrying Saddam Hussen! I'd also like it if the Suikogaden (Suikoden side games) were translated into English so I could play them also. From this you may infer certain facts. If you guess that I really like RPGs and Suikoden in particular you are right. If you also guess that I am a frustrated gay man who can't get any, you would be dead wrong - or at least half wrong. I am not gay. I am not even particularly cheerful. But, yes, I can't get any, which is frustrating. But that's a different topic!

I, too, would love to see an English translation of the two Suikogaiden games. If only so I could see Nash before he became a sex-obsessed denial case in the midst of a mid-life crisis. /Captain Obvious

Realistically, though, it's not going to happen save by way of a fan translation or something. Text RPGs like that have never been big here, and even if they were reasonably popular the Suikoden series isn't popular enough to get the demand up.

I'd rather not touch the dating sim topic with a ten-foot pole, though. And I just said "dating sim" and "ten-foot pole" in the same sentence. Shit.

-LC

CS, now this is just a personal failing of mine, but any time I hear the words "dating simulator", my mind immediately turns to dreadful stories I've heard of 13-year-old boys masturbating to anime DVD covers in a public toilet. Judging from the "not hentai" line, I'm assuming this isn't what you meant. But, enlighten me, here. Is going out with a fictional girl that much more fun than chatting up the perfectly lovely ladies who share your planet? We're not all super-high-maintenance princesses with a taste for Blahnik shoes or Prada handbags, nor are we all hose-beast shrews who badger our long-suffering mates into submission. I'm having a little trouble concentrating on the last part of my letter, since Joey just read that last line and is now laughing himself silly in the corner of my office. Bastard. He'll pay, oh, how he'll pay?

-AG

Vote two for VP2
Valkyrie Profile II. Duh.

But if it's something I'm making...

"Psuedo-realtime RPG (a la Star Ocean)"
5 Main Characters, you choose 1.

A.) Anova Kamahl (Weapon - Longsword)
B.) Elise Diprett (Weapon - Shortsword and Dagger)
C.) Mirrelle Branche (Weapon - Naginata)
D.) Trerre Andrews (Weapon - Staff(mage))
E.) Elena Aguila (Weapon - Bow)

Throughtout the game you'll be faced with two decisions to recruit two of the other four characters. Depending on your decision you will end up with two allies and two enemies. Each character has his/her own story and starting town; and some story changes depending on recruits.

It'd be really neat to see how individual personalities interact with the others, especialy how the differences between enemy/ally realtionhips change yet remain in character.

A few basic personality ideas:
Anova--Millitary Cadet; Unsure of himself or his abilities
Elise--Heresy Inquisitor; Firm Conviction, Altruistic
Mirrielle -- Guard; Pacifistic, despises herself
Trerre -- Monk; Underhanded, Opportunistic
Elena -- Bandit; Cold, Unconnected, Overly Self-Reliant

...I really don't have a good setting/motivation for the conflict yet though...

--zero--

And another vote for VP2! I feel so bad that I haven't played this game yet. You know, since it's apparently the Second Coming of Christ Plus a Side of Pancakes. I must have missed its Holy Grail-ness when I was watching Josh play it, since I was so busy laughing at the bad voice acting in the battles. Anyhoo, it did seem fun enough. But even if it does happen, it might be all Square-ified this time around. And I get the feeling--just a hunch--that many VP fans wouldn't be terribly thrilled about that.

I do very much like your ideas on character personalities. I for one would love to see a pacifist character that was actually pacifist, instead of someone who cries "No violence!!!" over and over but still participates in all the random battles without a word of protest.

-LC

Can you read the whole thing?
X RATED?! How...How could you restrain me in such an evil manner?! Ie-Expect lots of bleeping and such for this entire letter because I'm a scary pervert,I suppose? *shrug*

Alrighty,let's see here...

Characters-

1. How about a pair of non-stereotypical lesbian chicks? You know,the type that aren't Haruka and Michiru from Sailor Moon. Yes,yes,I know. Fanboy service. But just think...Imagine all the fun that could be had. Their pants around their ankles,both hands attached to two different joysticks... just WAITING for that scene. Just absolutely begging the game to hurry up so their mom doesn't catch them.

Again.

And then the end of the game screen comes up,no lesbian interaction,no homosexual innuendo,aside male/male pairings... It'd be a game that would drive the men nuts! Mwahahahahahahaha-...uh. >.> Why are you all looking at me so funny?

2. How about an animal that's not used very often? A unicorn,maybe? How about a giraffe? Have any of you ever seen a video game starring a giraffe? Then again,the graphics would probably be one hell of a bitch. Oh well,too bad,game designers.

3. *Number three was bleeped out,because it had far too many bad words. It was X-rated. Wah.*

4. Hows about a hero who's a cocky asshole,for once? You know,kinda like Tightass,only not so wankerific. And,gasp,possible one over the age of 18? I swear,some of our game people have an itch for the young'uns.

Plots (Also known as 'Conceps That Screw With A Game Designer's Mind'.)-

1. It's the end of the world as we know it,it's the end of the world as we know it,it's the end of the world as we know it,and I feeel finnneee. Yeah,same old song and dance. ...Only let's have them FAIL. You know,we get to watch the entire human race fall in pixelated images. Yay!

2. O.O! OOOO! I have it! 1 H4/3 17! Boy meets girl at young age. Girl/boy must leave boy/girl at young age. Boy and girl meet up again some day and fall madly in love. Then they're both killed by completely opposite events with no link between them. Five hundred miles away. And they don't come back later in the game. HA.

3. How about the hero dies. Some extremely lame way. Like the dumbfuck gets hit by a car. Example:

Cloud: *walks across the street toward the beginning of the game*

Sephiroth: *runs over him with the motorcycle used in the Crazy Motorcycle Chase (real original title there,guys.) mini game*

Cloud: *splat*

Sephiroth: ^_^

And then he's not involved the rest of the story. No kids. No nothing. The group has to get on without him.

4. How about playing as one of the innocent by standers,for once?

Mechanics-

1. If I ever have to run around trying to hit things with a Keyblade again? I. Will. Hurt. You. Square.

Extremely badly.

Enough for every last one of you to go to a rehab clinic.

2. ...Two words: Draw Points.

3. How about saving on the damn menu,along with the designated save points? Some people DO have things to do,sometimes. And some of these people are kids,with asshole parents who enjoy watching them scream in agony when they shut off their PS2 in the middle of a game,without warning. *Glare. Twitch.*

4. Completely off topic,but how about making a console,that's just a console? Like the good old days? I did -not- see a 120gb hard drive in the super nintendo entertainment system,and those things were insanely popular. Nor did I see a DVD player in the sega genesis. The new PSX is some 400+ pounds,it's gonna be like...$600 here! Who in their right mind would pay,let alone charge,that much for a -gaming system-? >> This only fits into mechanics because..um... well. Mechanics of a system. *nod*

Mini-Games-

Girls,you're going to LOVE me for this one.

Mini Games,Damn them. Damn them all to hell. Especially the Legend of Dragoon one where Dart races through the damned obsticle course. I've YET to get through that stupid thing.

And on that note,I'm done.

Lots of love to the mailbag girlies,
Lisa

Whew! That was quite a read, for a short attention-span mailbagger like myself. I can't fault your enthusiasm.

On Lesbians: To be fair, Sailor Neptune has never really struck me as a "stereotypical" lesbian. Sailor Uranus, sure, duh. But Neptune is very feminine and ladylike. There is the bitch/butch dynamic between the two, but Michiru as a person isn't my narrow idea of a lesbian.

Anyway. I'm all for equal sexual representation in my RPGs. And it's not like we haven't had plenty of TEH MAN GAY. (Even if the game designers won't just come out [heh] and say it.) But...but...okay, I don't know what my "but" is. I'm just scared of the fanboy squeeing that would ensue if there were two openly lesbian game characters.

On Asshole Protagonists: We had one, remember? His name was Squall. But he was replaced by a love drone around the end of disc 2. Still, I think that's what you're looking for.

On Save Points: You're not playing the right games. There are games where you can save anywhere. (The Lunar series comes to mind.) Also, just about any RPG on the GBA. You can even save mid-battle in FFTA. Obviously, because portability sometimes requires sudden shut-off. So that particular mechanic is in use. :D

-LC

You know, I'm a pretty fast reader, but by the time I got to the end of that, I'd be halfway through many of the games you've mentioned. My brain hurts. I think I need an X-rated drink.

-AG

Squally/Seifer buttsex!
Hello, ladies!

Well, as the 'Let's All Bash Tightass' game idea has already been, and most likely will be again, brought up, I won't go into that - although, I have to admit, I would like that very much.

My perfect game would be devoid of wankers, Mary-Sues and 'I have a tragic past and was once sulky and bitter, but hey, now that I've met Mary, I can be as happy as a wanky bunny in a field of lettuce!' heros. It would instead have... well, I can't think of a single personality trait Squaresoft, among others, hasn't used and abused, but as long as the cast is devoid of all the above, I'll be happy.

Actually, I want a sequel to FF8. Where Squall dumps Rinoa like the two bit Mary-Sue she is and pursues his real true love. Who we all know the identity of, but I'll let Square make it a mystery for now - because I know they want to. The finale of this game would have to have to, of course, have the two of them consumating their long-drawn-out love. Hey, if they can make a gang of transexual bodybuilders screw a guy in a hottub, they can do this for me.

As most of the half hour I spent thinking about this game was spent thinking of the finale, (*ahem*) I don't have any unique battle mechanics to throw in, but what I know I would like is a simple, easy battle system. Something Squaresoft have obviously never heard of.

Well, until next time,
Zarrah

Wait. You don't think drawing 80 kajillion spells and junctioning obsessively is easy? Zarrah, Your Logic Is Not Earth Logic. Obviously.

(Of course, if you really do think that's easy and fun, well, more power to you. *cough*Jeanne*cough*)

-LC

It certainly is telling when the main thing our readers want is to see Squally and Seifer getting down and funky, preferably with the hot hot blocky mens of the Honeybee Inn. I'm not sure if I should revel in the fact that the truth Jeanne's been telling us has been heard 'round the world, or denounce the lot of you as perverted yaoi freaks. Maybe it's both. Hey, it works for me.

-AG

Heal me, baby!
To the Ladies of Snarking Eternal-

I can think of only one thing I want to see in a fantasy game: an intelligent lead male who is a White Mage. Preferably without any sickening and unbelievable plot-enforced twoo wuuv ala Squally and Rinhoa.

-ChaosWEAPON

So, you want a young man fondling his staff for 80-odd hours in various situations? Sounds like your stereotypical gamer guy to me.

-AG

You can't see me, but right now I'm repeatedly pointing at the Suikoden II jewel case on the shelf. Sure, he's a silent hero, but if you consider yourself to be intelligent, then he is, too. And he's very much a white mage. Viola!

-LC

Squally/Seifer buttsex, part 2
What sort of games would I like to see? Well, for starters, I'd like to have a game in which the main character is female or that contains at least one female party member who can kick some ass. Because contrary to popular belief, women can do more than just sit there in skimpy outfits casting White Magic. And no, I don't mean laundry.

I'd also like to see a final boss that hasn't just been thrown into a game at the last minute. I was very upset to discover that I couldn't give Kuja's ass as much of a kicking as I might have hoped. It would be nice to defeat a villain I actually care about defeating for once. Like, not Necron, for example.

And for the love of God, no more kissing scenes. Unless, of course, it's between Squall and Seifer.

You people are doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

-D'Artagnan

I am in definite agreement with you about the last boss thing. Games where defeating the final boss is a really satisfying experience on a story level or a gameplay level, let alone both, are few and far between. Again, the Lunar games come to mind, as do most of the Zelda games. But Final Fantasy finale bosses...they just suck. They're all either way too easy and half-assed or some completely random, out-of-the-blue character (like Necron) who you don't care about beating because you don't know who the fuck they are.

Don't forget, women can also do dishes. Preferably pregnant and barefoot.

-LC

Well, my Three Musketeer'd young friend, we've got the first part in many games. We've got Rose from Legend of Dragoon, Chris Lightfellow from Suikoden III, and now, even Squenix is on the ball by presenting us with Paine.

As for the "What the SHIT is this?" boss, I don't think they're ever going to go away. Too many game designers have it ingrained in their cloudy little heads that we like chasing after Baddie A through the whole game, only to find out we were really being fooled by a puppet of Super Baddie B - who, by the time you've done all the sidequests, mini-games, and fiddly completion areas, goes down faster than a dating-sim coed.

-AG

They are gay and it's okay
Dear High and Mighty Exhalted mailbag peoples:

This is my first time giving a shit about the mailbag and writing in, and I'm about half-asleep right now and that's just as good as being high, right? Anyway, my idea for a game would be:

Something that's halfway decent! Maybe for a leading male, we could have a strait, coherent, non-angsty person who can actually fight. And for a leading female, we could have a (surprise surprise) someone who isn't a total Rinoa-esque fucktard! I dunno, just my 2 cents.

almighty skeptic

Thanks for your winning enthusiasm about writing in. I'm very impressed. *golf clap*

Nothing wrong with being gay. And for the record, most of the gay protagonists I can think of (Squall, the Suikoden heroes, Link, etc.) are good fighters.

All for the non-fucktard females, though. Definitely.

-LC

Well, almighty skeptic who forgot their punctuation rules, this is me, giving a shit about answering you. There it is. Enjoy.

?note to self - see if I can use "I'm half-asleep, therefore it's like I'm high !" the next time I come in late to work. If I'm lucky, they won't can my ass - but if they do I just won't give a shit ! Hooray!

-AG

Squally/Seifer buttsex, part 3
Essie:Hiya^_^, this is our first time emailing the 'Mailbag'.

Moona: Hopefully you'll recognized as the duo that you can't decide wether we are two different people or a sad person that has voices in his/ her head,*annoyed*or maybe you don't remember we exist like the rest of the population of the whole world.

Essie:*sweatdrop*um. . .I think she's pissed about something. . .*happy* anyways ^_^ *claps* I'm still sticking about to my idea about the FF fighting game.*daydreams about kicking Tidus ass with Auron over and over gain*

Moona:*calms down* My ideal game is when the main character, who is a little bit clueless, doesn't fall in love with the main female, who will be shunned for the rest of the game, lead but instead falls in love with his male best friend, that has a good MarySue detecting sense. Yeah, I would have went into a lot of detail but it was requested that it didn't.

Moona & Essie: That's all ^_^/ Bye.

The FF fighting game has been done before. It's called Ergheiz. But I won't argue with any idea that involves Auron beating the snot out of Tidus.

So you want FFVIII, but with a good ending. I see.

-LC

Actually, you're right. I do wonder if you're one person or two different people. And did you know that email accounts and message board memberships are usually free, so you really can have one for each of you? That would certainly take the cases of mistaken/forgotten identities down a notch or two. Just something to think about, m'dears. Most people do better if they're only talking to one person per email/post at a time. I do, but I'm old, bitter, and grouchy. Give me a red coat with tummy control and a big sword, and watch the fanfolks kneel before my awesome, sake-soaked coolness. It also means I get to beat the shit out of Tidus, and you can't go wrong with that.

And for the game idea, well, if Square hadn't tried to hit us over the head with their cracked-out twoo wuuv between Squally and Rinoa and had actually let matters take their course, you would've just described FFVIII. Unfortunately, I sense FFXII is going to be the same way.

-AG


Taken all together, it would appear that the games our readers most want to see:

A. Doesn't have Tidus, or any simulation thereto
B. Is a sequel of a game already made
C. Has HAWT Squally/Seifer buttsex
D. Has a kick-ass girl, preferably with a sword
E. You can date the kick-ass girl in a series of contrived, crack-flavored games and watch her take off her clothes in the bonus round

I don't know if we'll ever see this meta-game, but it was interesting to see how many times the same themes came up. And since we love recurring themes, here's another for you, our patient readers. Tell us your top three Christmas wish-list games. These don't have to be games or you own, games you've gotten, or games currently published, they can be any games from any system that you either received or wished you'd received. Maybe you always wanted the full Virtual Boy catalog, or maybe you gave your treasured Super Metroid and SNES away as a gift and have been lamenting it ever since. (AG blames it on being drunk and broke that Christmas). You've got until Wednesday, December 17 to get your missives in our in-box. Happy Holidays!

AG and LC

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