Retrograding Mailbag 06.19.03

Retrograding Mailbag

Tagline: The more mail I get, the more of these I have to do.

Allright. Lots of emails about the last few columns. All except 1 positive, but that’s because Alex actually did do a pretty big f*ck up, so I’m going to my first ever retraction here as I jabbed EA pretty hard for a mistake they didn’t make. But luckily it was a company I hate anyway (THQ) so it’s good know my hate has a proper outlet.

Anyways, here’s that letter.

Aside from being the world’s shittiest columnist, you are also a god damn
idiot. “Of course the punchline of this that 4 of us ended up in the fetal
position around my TV bawling our eyes out at how Bruce and Sam and Evil
Dead had sold out to the horrible Satan that is Electronic Arts and how none
of us have been able to actually watch an Evil Dead movie since because of
how damn bad this game was.”
Electronic Arts had absolutely nothing to do with Hail to the King. They
didn’t develop it, market it, publish it, or anything else. HTTK was put
out by THQ. I mean if you’re going to bash EA every column you probably
should know what games they’ve made.


And he’s right. They didn’t. I spent so much time bitching about the LOTR game before it, I zoned and just kept writing EA, EA, EA. And I’m an idiot for it. Not a god damned idiot, but one nonetheless. And the shittiest columnist comment hurt too. I wonder how Scott over in 411’s Wrestling area manages to deal with the comments I KNOW he gets. Still, it’s good to get a piece of hate mail once in a while. Let’s you know you’re not universally loved.

I will say I think that’s the first time I’ve made fun of Electronic Arts in a column though, so the guy is either an EA fanatic or someone that just assumes I really really hate them instead of lightly despise them. But seeing as that’s my only piece of hate mail in a long time, we can get onto other more interesting stuff.

Hey love your article. Keep up the great work. There is no X-men arcade for the GBA Their is a X-men Reign Of Apocalypse That is a 2-d Side scroller that has the same play mechaniacs as the arcade game but it is a completely differnt game. To the people who have not played the arcade game but have read your praise and descriptions of it might confuse the gba game for a port. Thanks for the Time

Okay. Well, that answers that question. X-Men Arcade is NOT out for the GBA. Thanks K’ for correcting last week’s writer.

Oh, and you may not agree with me, but one of my old favorite sports
games was Base Wars, the one where you controlled robots. IIRC, you
could even buy new arms and stuff for the robots. I thought it was a
ton of fun, and just thought I’d mention it. I even HATE baseball and I
still have very fond memories of that game.

Anyway, talk to you later. Looking forward to the next column. Enjoy!


Second best baseball game ever. Best? Baseball Stars for the NES. I want that more than any other game to come to the GBA right now. Seriously, I could talk forever about that game.

Where does Ranma 1/2 for the SNES fit on bad licensed games? I bought it, and it was pretty shitty.


You know? I’ve never played it. But I have heard it was a stinker. GamesTM in the UK actually mentioned that they really liked it a few issues back but hated the US port where they completely redid the game as a non Ranma fighting game. Now, the problem is, are Mary and gamesTM talking about the same game? There are at least 5 Ranma 1/2 games for the SNES. And sadly, I’m not going to go through them all here.

Now for a letter from our newest handheld gamer (and thankfully someone that will be able to do ADVANCE for me when I get bogged down.) Alex Williams.

Hey, Alex.

Funny column, and oh so true about the first two. I had the unfortunate pleasure
of owning Superman as a birthday gift from my Uncle. Now don’t get me wrong
here. My Uncle is a great guy, and a video game fanatic. He just handed it to me on
the basis of “Hey, it’s Superman! What could go wrong?” I don’t think he played it
at that point yet…

Anyway, I believe there is a GLARING omission in your “honorable mentions” that
I think you should consider:

E.T. The Extra Terestrial (Atari 2600)

The E.T. liscence was given to Atari in order to bank on the already smash-hit
movie. Of course if you’ve seen the movie, it was about a lone alien making
friends with a young boy, and contacting his family to return home.

What is the game about? Falling into pits and picking up phone pieces. Really,
all you do is seek out pits, fall in, and pray to whichever higher power you
believe in that there is a piece of a phone in it. There usually isn’t. There’s
about 10,000 random pits to explore, and about 3 pieces of a phone to find. If
there isn’t, you have to leave the pit by extending your neck and levitating.
(This takes about 45 minutes.) And once you leave the pit? Well, thanks to bad
collision detecting, 9 times out of 10, you’ll FALL IN THE SAME PIT AGAIN!
You’ll expierience mind-numbing pain and suffering as you try to escape the same pit
about 5 or 6 times in a row, only to run out of gas and tumble back in. Yay.

And assuming you actually are lucky enough to FIND a piece of a phone, are you
rewarded? Nope. Punished? Yep. If you find a piece, GOVERNMENT AGENTS will find
you and take you to what looks like a Roman temple! Joy! Now you get to
repeatedly fall into the same three pits, AND dodge badly designed human sprites

This game was SO bad, and SO many copies weren’t sold, that TONS of them were
taken to a landfill in New Mexico and buried there. You couldn’t even GIVE them
away. My copy? I still have it. I bought it online for a penny. I’m serious.

That should have been on the top of your list, my friend. Not even Heroes of the
Lance was as bad as THIS.

hope to see the new Retrograding Advance soon. Take care,

Alex Williams

Okay. Confession time. I beat ET. The first time I played it. When I was SEVEN. I honestly have heard horror story after horror story about this game. But I’ve never had a problem with it. I know people that cry tears of hate for this game. I’ve seen the GameFAQS board for this game. But me? I’m just good at this game I guess. Like how I’ve never lost a guy in any of the Ogre or Final Fantasy Tactics. ET is just a game I’m really really good at. I think it was that selling of my soul to Satan…

Now for two big letters about the GBA Player controversy.

I cannot believe that people would be angry about playing GBA games on a tv
and, more importantly, ports of old games. I can’t fathom the hatred of
either personally.
The GBA player solution is simple, don’t buy it. Is anyone forcing these
people who hate it so much to play Golden Sun on their tv? I doubt it. So
why complain about it? The principle? Last I checked games are entertainment
and if I want to play them on a tv instead of a tiny screen, why shouldn’t I
be able to? I am not hurting those people who like finding direct light or
coughed out $100 for the SP. Let me just enjoy my games please.
The port of older games is definitely a good thing. I loved Donkey Kong
Country when it came out for SNES. I still put it in occassionally and play a
few stages. However, my 8 year old cousin doesn’t have an SNES, but she does
have a GBA. Now she can enjoy DKC as much as I did without having to hunt
down an SNES and a DKC cart. Similarly, I never owned a Sega console till
Dreamcast(try not to hate me too much =). So I never got to play Phantasy
Star, Shining Force games, etc. When Phantasy Star Collection came out, I
picked it up. I enjoyed PS1+2 as much as I would have if I had it on Genesis.
I’m working my way through PS3 now and I enjoy it as well. If I were to go
on ebay and buy the three games I’d be spending quite a bit, not to mention
I’d have to buy a Master System and a Genesis. If anything, I was only
disappointed PS4 was not on there. So let me enjoy my Sword of Mana since I
never got to play Final Fantasy Adventure please.
Is this porting of old games unoriginal? Maybe, but its not really that new.
In the days of the NES, am I the only one who remembers that games were ripped
off left and right? I mean, Castlevania came out and a few months later a
bunch of games with a similar look would come out. Is that more original? At
least with the GBA companies are porting games that are good.
Furthermore, original games do come out, albeit with some time between them.
Lets face it, so many games have come out that bringing something completely
unique is a hard task. Usually games that come out that bring something
amazingly different to the table only came out because of new hardware. Super
Mario 64 was an amazing game, but it couldn’t have been done before that on
the Super Nintendo. MGS couldn’t have been done on the Genesis with the same
That being said, just because a game will “steal” ideas from older games,
doesn’t detract from the quality of the new ones. If MGS didn’t come out,
games like Splinter Cell may not have been as good as they were. Who really
cares if FF7 or FF8 plots were stolen from games X,Y,and Z(cheap jab)? The
games were fun to play and that is what matters.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is that people need to just lighten up
and enjoy what they have instead of always wanting more. Unfortunately games
with the quality level and uniqueness of a Super Mario 64 can’t be released
every week. That doesnt mean that I shouldn’t be able to enjoy my port of BoF
on my GBA.


p.s. I love reading your columns even if I don’t necessarily agree with your
viewpoints always. Keep up the good work.

Hey! I CARE that Square steals a lot of the FF plots from other games and always insist people steal from them. But Jkungl (How do you pronounce that???) agrees and brings up the same points I did in my column. Ports of old games to new systems is a good thing. Playing Game Boy games on TV are a good thing. Porting isn’t even a bad thing. It should just be quality over quantity, something a lot of companies forget.

Overall I agree with your opinion of the GB Player. I imported one a few months ago and I love it. Having the ability to play Fire Pro Wrestling and Golden Sun on a TV screen is great and I can’t see how anyone with some sense of intelligence can hate it. What sort of argument is “well it’s a portable game so you should ONLY play it on a GBA”? If one used that logic then there would be NO SNES ports on the GBA because those are console game and Street Fighter II would never have been ported because it’s an arcade game.
I do somewhat disagree with you on one issue, that being on the abundance of ports on the GBA. You wrote “Then we have the complaint that ports prevent new games for coming out for the GBA.” and disagreed with that statement. I’m not against ports but I do feel that there isn’t enough GOOD original content on the GBA and in some cases ports are being released instead of new games. Has Capcom even released any original GBA games? Aside from Metroid Fusion I can’t think of a title released in North America by Nintendo last year that wasn’t a port. Like many Mario fans I’ve wanted a new 2D Mario game for years yet I’ve come to accept that as long as Nintendo can sell ports of existing Mario titles they’ll never make one. Ports and re-releases are fine if they are handled as a port. Something like Phantasy Star Collection is great because you get three classic titles for the price of one GBA game. Something like Super Mario Advance sucks because it’s just one game, it’s sold at full price (when one can get Super Mario All-Stars for like $10), and it’s being released INSTEAD of a new title. People never complained about Final Fantasy Anthology because it was two games (one of which had never been released in North America), and it was released alongside new Final Fantasy titles. Those who missed those titles the first time around got to try them out while those who already had could play something new as well. If Nintendo simply released Super Mario All-Stars on the GBA and released a new 2D Mario then I would have no problem with their attitude towards ports.
Any sort of re-release or port is fine because if it’s a classic title it should be made available to everyone. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of new content and should be priced accordingly. No one bought Resident Evil 2 on the Gamecube because it was sold at full price. Sonic Mega Collection on the other hand was well accepted because it was a collection. No one would EVER be able to get away with a PSX or N64 port on the current consoles without some sort of discounted price or remade engine (like RE for Cube) so why should they be acceptable on the GBA? A lot of it has to do with the attitude of the people buying these titles. There has to be a way to tell publishers that we will accept ports as long as they are in a collection format and we still get new stuff. Unfortunately I can’t think of a way to do this without them interpreting it as “no ports at all”.


See. Again? Even I don’t get this mentality of “Portable games should always be portable”. Why make an AC adapter for one then? As for Capcom not releasing any new games for the system: Mega Man & Bass, Mega Man Battle Network 1-3, Onimusha Tactics comes to mind. Although the latter isn’t out yet. But that’s still 5 games.

And Robotech was a non port to the GBA that ruled. Even Eidos released a GBA exclusive Tomb Raider (which I had to buy for the wife to be. Ugh.)

I do agree that Sonic Collection and Phantasy Star Collection are the way to go for old games. Give us a bunch at once. You’ll sell more that way! And make fans happier. But only Sega seems to get that right now…

But that’s it for this week guys. I know I got one letter this week from someone wondering why I don’t print everyone’s letter, and that’s because I get a couple dozen a week. Remember I do 2-3 columns a week unlike everyone else’s and that means 2-3 times the mail. I put in the letters I like best without any rhyme or reason. But seriously, if your reason to write me is just to get in the Mailbag, then keep writing! Write write write! But I do give preference to 411staff members, because I’m into nepotism.

Until next week, here’s some ebay links to the games I hate so much…

Heroes of the lance!

Evil Dead: Hail to the King

SuperMan 64

Fellowship of the Ring GBA

The Ring

And Yes, I really did suggest to Bebito his new Gimmick should be Hoochie.