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"Freya decides that she can't wait for Cid to send out the troops, announcing that she's heading out for Burmecia right away. Zidane chimes in that he's going with her, foregoing even sweet princess ass-squeezin' in order to help a friend in need. Now that's true friendship for you, Freya."
     -Kelly, Final Fantasy IX Part 6




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01.27.04 :: Christmas Wishes

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

Merry Christmas in...uh...January, everyone! Though it's too late for Santa to do anything about your Christmas desires, it'll still make for a good mailbag. Put off taking down the tree for yet another day--hell, just leave it up until next December--and sit down with a cup of spiked hot cocoa to read your fellow gamers' ideal game gifts: past, present and future.

J4P4N RULZ!1
Besides Valkyrie Profile 2?

Lessee...

3.) Fatal Frame 2: Legend of the Crimson Butterfly

--The first Fatal Frame is to this day the only game to actually instill fear in me. It's utter darkness and disturbing style etched itself into my head. I can't wait to get a shot at the sequel.

2.) Venus and Braves

--The latest 'game that will never come to the USA just to piss off Zero,' Venus and Braves looks to be an amazing strategy RPG by Atlus, and Atlus makes the best strategy RPGs. This game has been reviewed rather glowingly by some lucky enough to have played it in a tongue they understand, I only wish I could see it here.

1.) Final Fantasy III

--Square has lovingly (read: for profit) blessed us with every other Final Fantasy game, why not let us go off on the most extensive Job System ever created? I've messed around a little with a crappy fan-translation, but I'd love to see this game show itself on these shores. And hey? Who wouldn't want to kick ass as a scholar? SquareNix should wake up and smell the roses (read: dollars) and package Star Ocean (one) and FF3 together and market it as FF Remembrance or something...

--Zero--

I can't speak for how good Venus and Braves is, but I see glowing reviews of just about every RPG that doesn't come across the Pacific. I'm sure a fair few of them are good fun, but I'm just as sure a lot more of them are ass and a side of stale chips. Deny it all you want, but a lot of fans get so stuck in Nihon-mania mode that they can't tell good from bad anymore. Not saying that's the case here, but it often is.

As for FFIII, you'll probably get your wish eventually. If Squeenix can think of a game to package with it, that is. And as far as I know, they're running out of things to either translate for the first time or re-package. Would have been nice of them to throw that one in with I and II in FF Origins, though. And would have made it a lot more tempting on the shelf. Maybe that's just me.

-LC

I'm with LC on this one. I heard a bit about Venus and Braves when it was released, but after that, zilch. Now, maybe I'm going to ruin my uber-gamer-girl cool street cred as some bitter fanboy digs up the links to whatever site there is dealing with V&B, but I just haven't heard much about it. Some American gamer fans just love falling into the "OMG It's Japanese, and Japanese is BETTAR!!!" camp, like it or not, and so do the American gamer mags, to some extent. But if you want it, mod out your PS2, cross your fingers and play with my blessing.

I'll second you on Fatal Frame 2, and there are already used copies out in my local Big Game Store begging for my credit card number. Hooray!

Finally, I would've liked FFIII on with FFI and FFII also. Damn you, Squenix. Damn you to Hell.

-AG

Here comes the lag...
My top three wish-list games are:

*Sword of Mana--I loved the original Final Fantasy Adventure game and the remake looks beautiful. I just hope they didn't screw up the story by trying to make it have a nappy ending. Oops, did I mention spoiler?
*FFXI--I have this for my computer but the damn thing won't run due to my inadequate video card, despite the computer being less than 2 years old. Guess I have to go for the PS2 version.
*Valkyrie Profile--I played this game but never really sat down with a strategy guide to finish it and ended up having to sell it when I was low on cash. There is great yaoi potential in this game that only I seem to see...

--Teresa

1) I hope all you PS2 folks don't lag up the servers. Seriously.

2) I did the same thing with FFVIII that you did with Valkyrie Profile. But it was more because I didn't like it and didn't want to play it anymore. Then, in a fit of Squeifer lust, I bought a second copy of the game and gave it another try. That was a year ago and I still haven't gotten past disc three. I guess it wasn't meant to be. I don't want to see that lame excuse for an ending anyway.

-LC

It took me four tries to get to disk four on FFVIII. Now, it's one of my better-loved titles. It just took a really, really, REALLY long time to grow on me. Then, of course, what should happen but a scratched Disk 4 brought my ending cinema to a grinding halt, after I beat Ultimecia in the most lop-sided fight ever in my gaming life. Jucntions? Proper planning? Bah. An entire night, two pots of coffee and a considerable amount of screaming "FUCKING FUCKETY FUCK FUCK FUCK! ULTIMECIA YOU DIE NOW!!!" was all I needed. Oh, yeah. We're talking about VP. I still need to get my own copy. Fat lot of help I am.

I tried playing Legend of Mana once, and it just didn't do it for me. Then again, Unlimited Saga made me want to weep tears of blood, so what do I know?

FFXI will consume your soul. Run, young one. Run away while you still can!

-AG

FFVIII virgin
Well hello there, snarky mailbag people!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas- which of course means my relatives will soon be pestering me about writing up a wish list, and my requests of "Money" and "Just don't get me a freaking copy of 'veggie tales', like you did last year" will go unheeded. Though I wouldn't say no to an Auron Action Figure ^_^, these are the games that I will be putting on my actual list;

1) Final Fantasy 8- I'm what you people might call a Nintendo fan girl, and so this particular game, and every other game for the Playstation passed me by as I was waiting patiently for the good N64 games that weren't Zelda or Mario. Of course, they would never come. Anyway, I finally said 'screw it' and bought myself a Playstation 2, which means I can play the old Playstation games, and everyone keeps mentioning this one. I'd like to know what the hell you people are actually talking about.

2) Bucky O'Hare- Okay, now this is an odd one. It was an old NES game about a green space rabbit and his odd-looking friends. I loved this when I was a kid, and now I can't find the darn thing anywhere. I'd love to play it again. Hooray for nostalgia! My gaming skills were not quite what they are now, and I never got to beat it?

3) Jak and Daxter- No, not the second, the original. I didn't have a Playstation 2 until very recently, and am playing catch-up with the rest of the world's video game library. This one looks too cute and Mario-esque to pass up.

And there you have it! By the way, this is my first time writing to the mailbag. No, I'm not going to ask you to go easy on me. I know from reading the past installments that doing so would go against your natures. A Merry Christmas to you both!

~Chocobo Surprise

Hey, what about Star Fox 64? And Goldeneye? And...okay, that's all I got. I suppose there was also Donkey Kong 64 and Perfect Dark and Diddy Kong Racing, but those were all Rare titles, too. Whoops.

Just play FFVIII until the end of disc two. After that it will suck your will to LIVE.

-LC

You know, every now and then I hear the parents in my office talk about their kids complaining that they want a new game system. I'll inevitably hear "I don't know what he's complaining about, he's got an N64 I bought him." Then I have to walk away quickly, so they don't see me laughing like the socially inept hyena that I am.

Oh, and Jak and Daxter? Just get one of the Spyro games. No, really. You won't be able to tell a difference. For the money you spend on J&D, you can have all three (or four, or however many) Spyro games. And the dragon's cuter than the damned weasel.

-AG

Find a guy who'll wear a Legolas costume
Hail! First time writer, probably won't be last. (that is, if you still want me. hah. =p)

Welllll, my Top 3 Game Wishlist of All Time would have to be:

3) Final Fantasy VII
Ah, FF7. The first RPG I ever played. My brother borrowed it from his friend, beat it before I did, and gave it back. *ger!* For the rest of the year, I think I whined about it until I got bored of it and stopped. (what, go out and get the game myself? I was 7! =p) Of course, a few years later, I went out and got it, but still...

2) Final Fantasy X-2
For lack of anything better to put as number 2, believe me. haha, I'm just kidding. I liked FFX, and 2 is on my Christmas list for this year. I really just picked this because it makes me realize that I am the ULTIMATE loser. I've been sitting around all day, moping, because I have nothing to do because I've beaten every single RPG that I own. Numerous times. And I find it sad that I need to have a new game constantly to keep me occupied. I just wish I didn't lend my copy of DMC and Xenogears to my one friend who hasn't even *touched* them during the 3 months she's had them.

1) Devil May Cry 2
Yes, the ultimate game I wanted. I went out and reserved this muthafucka the March before it came out. (sad, isn't it?) By that November, I was already counting down the days until it came out. Hell, I even bought the issue RPGamer with the demo for it in there, (not to mention the spiffy pictures!) and that's saying a LOT because I hate magazines. Well, what can I say? I love my Dante. In fact, I even got the game a day early because I reserved it so early, and I made such a big deal out of it that I got DUMPED the day after! I guess all that fawning over Orlando Bloom AND Dante just got to him. =p

So, there you have it. The game I almost couldn't get, the game I want, and the game I needed. If I could, I'd put all 3 of them on my list again this year, but I think it'd be kinda stupid to ask for games I already have. heh.

-Sirea

X-2 is fun. It's disturbing, and wrong, and horribly annoying at times, but it's fun. And it's got that pop music zing that every game really really needs.

As for your boyfriend: if he actually dumped you over gawking at hot guys (ESPECIALLY Orlando Bloom), then a facetious "good luck" to him in finding another girlfriend. Finding a girl who doesn't like Orlando Bloom at least a little would be like trying to find Atlantis. In the Sahara.

-LC

I was wondering why my shoes were wet and filled with sand, LC. Thanks. Every time Leggy makes his swishy-haired way into the scene, all I can do is snicker and say "I'm PRETTY!" in an annoyingly loud voice. He doesn't do a damned thing for me. Maybe it's the "not dead", "not drunk", and "not scruffy" factors at work, but I'm not a big Aragorn fan, either, and he's got two out of the three criteria. Go figure.

And DMC2? I hated it. My Dante-loving fangirl self wept the entire time I played. This isn't Dante, it's some red-coated, silver-haired silent avatar with guns! Where's my bad dialogue, where's my smart-assed, Matrix-jumping, SUPA-cool bishie? Capcom, why hast thou forsaken me?

-AG

Today's news: snowstorm in hell
My list:

1. For Kingdom Hearts to have never,ever appeared. (Ooo...I feel toasty all of a sudden. *swats a couple of flames away*)

2. Sega to have never become every single console's whore. (*sob*)

3. Enough money to send the whole of the video game industry to rehab.

^_^ Thank you!

Lisa

I like you. You can stay.

-LC

I like you too. But the "dark grey body, black text" emails have got to go. My eyes are bad enough, thank you, dear.

-AG

Yuna = teh stoopid
First off, this is my first time writing in, so this may be awkward. Especially since I still don't grasp the concept of e-male. @_@

Anyway...

Three games that have made it onto my "Must Get Even If It Involves Sacrificing Tidus...Which Is Actually A Great Idea, Come To Think About It" list are Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, as well as X-2 (if only so I can find out if Wanker Man stays dead) and Legend of Dragoon.

On an unrelated note, WHY MUST THEY TORTURE US WITH X-2?! I mean, the idea of having a female lead who doesn't suck (...) is a nice thing, but...why does she want to revive Tightass?! What did we do to deserve that fate? Has his wankiness taken over Yuna or something, or does Square-Enix think that Tidus was BEST CHARACTER EVER? Because if they do...I have a baseball bat that says otherwise. >_>;

As for those other games...well, I'm being pressured to play LoD (my friend thinks it's the best game ever), and FFTA just looks cool. It'll probably suck, but I'll risk it.

-Drake VonKat-

A fine list. Even Legend of Dragoon. The CGs are very nice.

As to your questions regarding X-2, I'll address them in order:

- Because she's Yuna, and being Yuna means being stupid and needy.
- We've paid money to play their other games, so we must be punished.
- Yes, and probably yes.

Yuna speaks in Wankese in X-2. Nuff said.

-LC

You mean LoD isn't the best game ever? I'm going to curl up with my Rose doll and sleep for days! (No, not like that. Damn, you people are sick.)

-AG

MARIO PAINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This isn't three, but I'll tell you about one game I really wanted for Christmas one year. I make fun of it now because I love it. I wouldn't lie, honestly. You can stop rolling your eyes now.

When it first came out, I always remember wanting Mario Paint for SNES. I know you're probably thinking, "What was she smoking?" but honestly, it looked cool at the time I saw it.

I happened to be at a neighbors house and he had just got it for his birthday. It was Super Nintendo... using a mouse! There was even a mouse pad for the mouse! Wow. I wish someone had thought of it sooner. (Wait a second...) I remember being able to swat bugs and make songs. Of course you could draw pictures and words as well! So what was so great about this? I never did buy/receive it, but thinking back on it, I think that was a good thing. I could have played with a real fly swatter, a kazoo, or a pen and paper. It might have even been more fun! Try to contain yourselves because I know I am. I'm still trying to figure out why I would have wanted a game that cost 100 dollars for things I could have done with exciting real life objects. Any ideas?

-Touki

Oh. My. God.

Mario Paint? Jesus Christ, THAT was a game.

This is probably nostalgia talking, especially since I traded in Mario Paint and my SNES mouse and pad recently to pay for...my GBA SP, I think. So now that I can't play it anymore, I have to say that was indeed the coolest idea ever. Making lame, simplistic songs. Making rainbow paint patterns and covering it with mushrooms and stars and fire flowers. Playing the bug-swatting game, which stands as the BEST MINI-GAME EVER, TAKE THAT SQUARE.

I'm going to faint from happiness, just thinking about it. I got Mario Paint for Christmas when I was, I think, in sixth grade. And since I had already beaten Mario World, I played nothing else for the rest of my Christmas break.

Good times. I'm tearing up, here.

-LC

Convert via gyroid lovin'
Hello AG and LC,

Seeing as this is one letter I won't have to be afraid of parent(s) reading and making comments like 'when are you going to get time to play all these games?' I can actually enjoy writing a Christmas list. Yay! Err, sorry if it's too long...

1) Animal Crossing; As the GC-hating Australians have PAL Animal Crossing and Britain doesn't, I've had to order NTSC Animal Crossing with a Freeloader. I liked my bank account; then it got a one digit balance... Anyway, I heard about Animal Crossing on the VGR forums, and the Gyroid video in the extras section that I was laughing my ass off at a while back, so I just had to get my grimy mitts on it.

2) Final Fantasy X2; Well, I liked Final Fantasy X, so to me, it logically follows that I get the sequel as well, even if the game does seem to be Square's version of a 'let's dress/undress random girls!' dating Sim where Mary Sues run rampant. Although, I'm not sure Christmas comes into it, what with FFX-2 not coming out in the UK till February...

3) The Sims Bustin' Out: Yes, I am a perverted yaoi freak, which is pretty much proven by the fact that I'm looking forward to being able to make male Sims roll on the shagpile and French kiss. *notices stares* What? I can't be the only one!... I am, amn't I? Anyway, I'm a complete Sims fanatic, ever since we got our nice new computer and The Sims (plus the Hot Date expansion pack) and I discovered that my family, minus pets and old people neighbours and plus a neighbourhood full of game characters were actually very functional, as opposed to dysfunctional. Even if my CG dad did hate Auron and CG me did got down and dirty with Tidus...
(Note to self: Need new wire brush)
Can't play it on PC anymore, as the computer's old, decrepit and has a bad attitude, so the console versions will have to do. I want!

And there's my top three. And a few completely inane side-stories, but anyway.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and if you're anything like the folks in my neighbourhood, I hope any hangovers you may have aren't too bad!

Zarrah

Gyroids are awesome. They just are. They dance and are merry. And they like buttsex.

-LC

A fine list, my dear. Animal Crossing is tons of fun. I like hitting other people with shovels and nets, and bugging the hell out of that commie Tom Nook, but that's just me.

-AG

Missed games
'HOY!!

There are times when you can't get what you want for Christmas. You can't get a pony ("it's a big responsibility"), you can't get your own F-14 fighter jet ("where would we park it?") and you can't get that elusive version of FFVIII where Squall leaves Rinoa's comatose body in Garden and lets the plot move on without her. With that said, here are some games I wanted to get on Christamases past but didn't get:

1) Super Metroid: No, I'm not just naming it to please AG. I just wasn't interested in that game until two years after it came out, and by then, I could only play it by renting it at Blockbuster or borrowing it from a friend (who sold it a few years ago). Pity I couldn't get it earlier, because it's just not the same on an emulator (the fact that said ROM freezes just before you meet Big Baby Metroid is sad).

2) Chrono Trigger: The game _was_ on my Christmas list for the '95, but my relatives couldn't find it at the stores [Clark Kent: You mean _Santa_ had run out of stock]. What he said. At least I could later experience that game on the load-some PSX disc or by way of internet piracy. Plus, I got Yoshi's Island instead.

3) Megaman X4: Okay, so this game never made it to my Christmas list, but only because by the time I got a PlayStation (1999) the game was out of stock on most stores. At least I managed to later buy X5 (and avoid X6).

4) Mario Kart: Double Dash!!: this is the game I would ask for Christmas if not for the fact that I'm currently 7 timezones removed from home. Well, that and the Megaman Anniversary Collection, but it comes out in February.

With that said, I wish you all frohe Weihnachten, joyeoux Noel, merry Christmas y Feliz Navidad!

~Quartz Falcon

HOY!!! right back at you, QF. I'm going to start calling you Maryll Sue.

Thanks for the Christmas wishes. Yours, too, is an excellent wish list. I only got one of those four for Christmas myself. But that's because my parents thought buying the SNES was enough, and I would be able to enjoy it for twenty years with only five games. You know how parents are.

As for Double Dash!!, don't worry--the rest of us will be thinking of you when we play it. Between me, Josh and our friends, we've gotten every secret and every trophy in that game on two separate memory cards. And it's still fun. Even if the AI players are cheating little bitches.

What? They ARE.

-LC

Hoy, QF! I can feel the lump in my throat as I remember days of Super Metroid past. Fortunately, Mr. AG has Metroid Fusion permanently plugged in to his GBA SP, so I can sit with him in restaurants and sigh in happiness at the Samus goodness therein. It doesn't stop the bitter, tearing ache of my stupidity in giving Super Metroid away, but it does ease the pain somewhat. You've just got to love little blue monkeys and brain-eating glow-in-the-dark gelatinous baddies. And Big Bird People on crack, can't forget that. What? Oh, it's nothing. Just something in my eye...

-AG


Well, that was a fun vicarious Christmas, wasn't it? Hope all of you got at least one thing from your list this year. Unfortunately, none of us can cross "Squall and Seifer should get together and go at it like horny bunnies" off our lists. Truly sad.

For next time, we want to talk about sports games. Yes, haterz of Madden, seriously. As seriously as we can discuss anything, anyway. Those of you who have no qualms about playing football on your console: what do you like about sports games? What are your all-time favorites? To the evil haterz of Madden: why? Is there something about the games themselves that doesn't appeal to you, or are you trying to be a 1337 anti-jock? We won't judge you. Much.

Tell us your sports games opinions, with as little vitriol as possible, by Friday, February 6th. Be warned, though: if you invoke Snacky's Law we will have to point at you and laugh.

Until next time!

- AG and Lita-chan

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