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"Shinra adds fuel to the fire by proclaiming that in his expert opinion that Greyskull is definitely a weapon. Cue much spastic arm flailing and doggie-paddle motions from Brother, as the Ritalin eats away at his cerebral cortex."
     -Kelly, Final Fantasy X-2 Part 6

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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

Hello again, reading faithful. Last week we explored the power and the glory that is the wide wunnerful world of spam, and this week, our handy-dandy mailbag runneth over with random missives sent in for our reading pleasure. We are pleased as punch! Never before have so many yummy letters befallen into our greedy little hands. So, without further ado, we give you this, The People's Mailbag.

Random favorites
Hello Ladies!

This is my first letter to you, and it is also the first idea that came to my tiny little brain. I've decided to list a few of my favorite games that are not RPGs, simply because I have a handful of them.

First off is Lemmings, one game that can be truly frustrating. I fell in love with this game at my Uncle's house. (It was on an ancient MAC, the only computer he's ever owned.) It's really great stress relief to just hit the nuke button and watch the little 'buggers' blow up.

Secondly, is everyone's all-time favorite, Bust-a-Move. Weather it be the horrible translations, the pulley system, or those damn rainbow bubbles, people just can't seem to get enough of those two dinos and their freaky little friends.

I also have a theory that some of the earliest games I have played are some of the more complex. Like those Donkey Kong games on the NES, where you'd have to climb up the levels while the big ape hurled barrels down at you. I don't think I ever managed to get to the last level on that one.

Finally (I'm making this the last one or else I could go on all day...) is a little game called 'Dodge' It's on my Emulator, and I don't think it was ever translated from Japanese. But the concept isn't that hard. You play as a little team of Super-Deformed Mecha, that look like Gundams and... they play dogdeball. That's it. That's the whole point of the game. It's strange, but funny to watch what the little suits do when they get hit.

Now that I've probably wasted your time, I'll go check the messageboards...


Okay, I need to get over the fact that there are actually super-deformed mecha out there, and that the Japanese will stop at nothing to push the envelope of crack-smoking entertainment.

*deep breath*

Okay, all better.

Now then, Josh (ElMundo to you mortals) just pointed out to me that you technically can't get to the last level of a game like Donkey Kong, because the levels just keep cycling, with increased difficulty. So if you played through 99 levels and still didn't beat it, don't worry. If you never got to the third level?I am sad for you.


Oh, Ruh, you've made me all sentimental. I adored Lemmings. In fact, I've even become a convert to ElMundo's Holy Order of the Lemming. (With a mighty shout-out to my lord and master, ElMundo. The check for the monetary value of my worldly goods will soon be in your hands, oh, great one, but it's postage due.) I've also been known to pull major marathon Bust-A-Move sessions with HG from time to time. There's just something about that hermaphroditic card dealer with the rose fetish. Gets me every time.


Tidus is a wanker
Today, I speak of EVERYONE's favorite subject; Tidus, and why he's a wanker.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I could understand why he hated Jecht. I'm just saying, issues with his father were no reason for his wanky behavior. Why? Well, plenty of other characters have had "I hate my Daddy!" issues, and they weren't wankers, were they?

First example; Faramir, from Lord of the Rings. Yes, I'm a Lord of the Rings fan. Stop laughing at me. Anyway, let me say that he had it MUCH worse than Tidus; his father thought his older brother was perfect in very possible way and just loved comparing the two, and his father was a scary scary man who could read his mind if he damn well felt like it, while Jecht was just a drunk who liked picking on little kids. [Would you believe I almost wrote "girls" instead of "kids"?] Faramir did not wank about how EVIL his father was. Faramir did not cry about how EVIL his father was, even when his father told him that he wished he was dead and tried to set him on fire. Furthermore, Faramir had the good common sense to realize that a girl who used a sword was much cooler than a girl who used a stick. [Nothing against Yuna. I'm just saying, it would be a lot cooler if she used a sword.] This could mean either of two things; either Faramir is very, very, very cool, mature, and all things amazing, or Tidus is a bigger wanker than anyone ever realized. I prefer the former, since Tidus is SUCH a wanker, I find it hard for people NOT to realize it.

Secondly; All and Any Squaresoft character that had issues with their fathers. Red XIII, Yuffie?um?I KNOW there are more. I'm sick, tired, and I have to study for finals. Give me a break. I would mention Squall, but I Hate Him. Probably not the smartest thing to say around here, but I figure as long as I don't wank on and on about it in a Tidus-like manner, you won't eat me for it.

Er...yeah. The point of this? Tidus is a wanker, and just because his Daddy was so meeaaannn to him is no excuse for it. Now if you excuse me, I must go and try not to fail Algebra.

- Nia

You hate Squally? Hate...Squally? Nia, for that I would curse you to fail that algebra class, but I'm feeling mellow tonight. So, here's Auntie AG's "Shonuff Super Value Hexalizer" in action to make it so you squeak by with a B or so. Yes, fear my awesome cursing power younglings!

There, now. Don't take it so hard. At least you managed to save yourself by proclaiming the VGR Battle Cry and expounding on it to the fullest, so well done. You even worked LotR in there, to LC's joy. And to give credit where credit is due, you have to admit that Squally had the best way of dealing with his old man, Laguna the Goofball. He simply shook his exquisitely coifed hair, batted those mascara-laden eyes, and said, "What a moron." Now that's what we like to see in a video game character, parental disrespect! Maybe all those soccer moms are right, and video games are the downfall of young American society. Nah. We'll blame that on American Idol.


I hope for your sake, young one, that I didn't just read a veiled insult to Boromir (AKA "LC's Sex-God"). You know what I do to people who don't like Boromir? I hunt them down and beat them to death with the Horn of Gondor, that's what I do.

Well, except not. But I agree that Faramir is also cool. Until they anally raped his character in the Two Towers movie, anyway. And no, I don't mean the type of anal rape where Faramir ends up with six kids. It's a figure of speech. Seriously. I don't want anyone to write a fanfic.

This whole response was off-topic, but it's okay, since we've discussed this topic before. No harm, no foul.


Hyper hype
'Lo there, folks.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about hype: that odd phenomenon surrounding so many upcoming projects, which propels them to high heavens only to then make 'em fall.

Most game/hype relationships fall under three categories:
- games that manage to live up to the hype (Eternal Darkness was well touted both by previewers, reviewers and fans, while BMX XXX was hyped as the purely immature crap it is).

- games that surpass the negative hype surrounding it

(random gamer circa late 2001: "Dude, I just saw the Metroid Prime demo and it SUXXORS!!11"

Same gamer, present day: "Dude, I just played Metroid Prime and it ROXXORS!!!111 LOL!" Watch the same thing with Zelda:WW)

- games that fail to live up to the hype.

That last category covers a lot of games (/Statement of the Bleeding Obvious) and mostly it's because the hype, much as it helps in the initial sales, raises the ball too high. Sometimes it's the company's fault: see Metal Gear Solid 2, which wasn't quite the 'New Adventures of Solid Snake' Konami touted, but rather '2 hours of Solid Snake, followed by the Adventures of a girly wannabe with a domineering girlfriend'. Sometimes it's the fault of the fanboys and fangirls: witness all the people expecting Square to make an RPG which can be summed up as FFVI Redux, or those complaining about Metroid Fusion's ADAM-enhanced linearity.

Anyway, people should take the hype with a grain of salt, because there's little chance that a sequel will fulfill your expectations.

Until next time, "Fight with might and believe the hype!" (How rich that Chrono Cross had that quote)

~Quartz Falcon

QF, I should've known to count on you for a truly thought-provoking letter. Well done, my lovely, well done indeed. Ah, hype, a game's friend and worst enemy. Too much too soon, and you'll never live up to the drooling fanboy's dreams. Too little, or too much bad hype, and even a good game will fall. Look at the games that never made it out of Japan. Vib Ribbon, anyone? And then there's FFVIII, still known to this day as The Great Satan to the Cloud/Sephiroth Marathon Doujinshi Writer's Team. Then there are the games, that for one reason or another, just hit at the wrong place at the wrong time, and when people finally did realize what a great game it was, it was too late and out of print. Suikoden, I'm looking at you, and I curse you Konami! May you burn in Heck! Then there are the games that are over-hyped. A recent example of this would be HG's latest acquisition, Devil May Cry 2. Yes, I feel the impending flames from here, so just lay off your keyboards, kiddies. I adored DMC. I don't know if it was the red coat, the silver hair, the attitude or just the all around "Alucard on steroids" vibe of Dante in the first game, but I loved him. The fact that the game was beautifully done and super sweet on control didn't hurt matters either. But DMC2 isn't a patch on the first game. Guess it pays to not believe in your own hype. Capcom, I hope you're listening.


When it comes down to it, games are like all other pieces of entertainment: show us a game too much, too soon, and we'll be sick of it before we even get to experience it ourselves. I had already resolved to not buy or play MGS2 months before it came out, simply because I was sick of hearing about the goddamn thing. And from what I heard about "Captain White-Haired Bishounen, with Him as Always is Solid Snake," I'm glad I made that decision.

Another problem is the hype on the box. The most recent example I can think of is Mario Party 4. The box promises, and I quote, "even more MEGA fun!" Now, Mario Party 4 is a lot of fun, make no mistake. But only an elite few games can possibly live up to the standard of "MEGA fun!" They're setting up us poor, fragile-hearted gamers for a world of disappointment and hurt.



Wanker: a brilliant word

I only found your site about a week ago, someone posted the link in gameFAQs, and since then I've been busily reading through the recaps and forums. I just wanted to say this site rocks, it is so funny, you are really talented. I'm from the UK, and we don't get all the games that the US folk do, I've always wanted to play Chrono Cross, but alas we'll never see it this side of the pond, so it's great to be able to read what it's all about in the recaps. I adore the Final Fantasy series, and have played them all (well 6-10), only about a quarter of the way through 10 at the time of writing, and your recaps are spot on. Tightass as a wanker, brilliant. It's a shame wanker isn't a common word in the US vocabulary, it should be, your efforts to promote it should be rewarded.

So cheers from the UK, and keep up the good work, you run a fine site.

Kindest regards


Hey, Simon, thank you for the compliments. We and Jeanne really appreciate it. And thank Jeanne for the new surge in the use of the word "wanker"--we're just following the wonderful trend she started.

We're sorry to hear that our friends on the other side of the pond (the colder pond) are getting screwed in the videogame realm even more than we are. But it's probably better that you don't play Chrono Cross--I'm sure there are Americans everywhere who think Kid/Steve Irwin is the perfect demonstrator of Queen's English.

Always glad to meet someone else who thinks VGR is the mutt's nuts. Cheers!

-AG and LC

Videogame REVIEWS?
I like the site, and while I don't agree with all your views, I still think you're funny.

Still, the site is called "Video Game Recaps" but you might as well call it "RPG Recaps." Why don't you review some story-intensive games that aren't RPGs? Metal Gear Solid and it's sequel would make excellent games to recap, as the stories and elements range from realistic to ridiculous to batshit insane. C'mon, what's stopping you?

Hey there, Pete. What's stopping us, you ask? Well, other than a little thing we like to call "Don't tell us what games to recap" and a complete lack of interest from any of the three current recappers in taking on that mullet-headed '80s throwback and his dog-tag fetish, nothing's stopping us. Nothing at all. And, since you mention it, nowhere on the site does it say that we're the End-All and Be-All of Gaming Opinions. Though you'd better fucking believe that the non-knuckle dragging contingent on the site think we are -- if they know what's good for them. Thing is, we know some folks out there don't agree with what we say. Some folks even believe that Squally and Rinoa are married and living in Reno. We KNOW all this -- we just don't give a good goddamn.

By the way, this isn't a "review" site. We'd like to think that's perfectly clear, since, as you said, this is Videogame RECAPS. And since most reviewers don't make a habit out of anal intercourse jokes. Their loss.

-AG and LC

The kindest letter ever
Hello what the hell is wrong with you?? Are you fucking retarded if you actually play kingdom hearts YOU WOULD ACTUALLY LIKE IT and another question why the fuck did u buy the strategy guide just to make fun of it ( umm your wasting money) its awesome game. I am sure other people that have common sense could understand that!!!!!! I CANT BELIVE WHAT YOU WROTE ABOUT KH HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that game to death its awesome and i guess you have no sense of anything to even read my email??? RIGHT Well i guess you have nothing better to do then make fun of awesome games so i hope you fucking burn in hell and rot. GOOD BYE and i hope soemone reports your website and shuts it down


Thank you, Ms. "SINCERLY FUCK YOU," for this amazingly thought-provoking and insightful letter. You know, you couldn't be more correct.

1) Kingdom Hearts IS a great game.
2) We DID waste money on the strategy guide.
3) We DO have nothing better to do.

Ladies and gentlemen in the audience, I do believe this is the best letter we've ever received! You're so right. What is wrong with us? What could possibly make us believe that the game designers were smoking crack? Why, we're surprised that more angry letters haven't poured in from around the world at our blasphemy. But there aren't. You're it. Lucky you. And just in case you missed it, though how we couldn't really say other than terminal illiteracy, we have played the game -- twice. Each. How else could we wax snarky on the completely fucked-up intro? How else could we tell you that the Traverse Town music sounds like Sora's in a cheesy porno film? We like it enough to devote the many hours it takes to tear each and every world apart with its plot inconsistencies and built-in designer acid trips. know, now that we have faced your wrath, we have to pause for a minute and let the power of the FUCK YOU shine its light on our blackened, bitter souls. Yes, we have seen the light, brothers and sisters! No more! Through the power of the FUCK YOU we have renounced our snarky ways! Never again will we look at the chemically-induced late-night hodgepodge of plot points and say to ourselves "Just what the hell is that?" No, my children, we have seen the truth, and its name is FUCK YOU! If only we could spread the word to everyone, starting with you! So FUCK YOU, my sister, SINCERLY FUCK YOU and may the FUCK YOU sustain you and keep you forever!

Oh, and just as a side note, we do hope that "soemone" reports our site. We'd love the free publicity.

-AG and LC

Well, kids, we hope you all enjoyed the potluck mailbag, particularly the last letter, the words of which will forever be burned into our hearts and minds, like so many a line from a TurtleNinja fanfic. We pray to Yevon that the uplifting message of FUCK YOU will make all of your worlds a better, kinder place.

Before we sign off, we've got one more overdue thing to share: that sweetheart CS sent us another hilarious fanart image. Share and enjoy!

Now then, for your topic! As you all should know, next Friday is Valentine's Day. We here at VGR are as romantic as the next person, and we want our favorite maligned videogame characters to share the love, too. That's where you come in.

What we want you to do is assume the persona of one of your favorite game characters and write a Valentine's note, or a mushy love confession, or even a bitter breakup letter (your choice) to that character's significant other. Use all the gunblade euphemisms or special stew references you like, but we ask that you don't go over-the-top gross. Subtlety is our friend.

On Valentine's Day, the lovelorn citizens of Videogame Land might even be lucky enough to receive a response from the object of their affection. Won't that be sweet? So you have until Wednesday, February 12 by 8:00 EST to bust out the romantic poet in you. We'll be waiting with flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries!

Until next week, SINCERLY FUCK YOU!

- AG and Lita-chan

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