Retrograding Mailbag

Before I begin, you’ve got ONE WEEK before the EWR contest ends. I’ll be sending in the results to be posted while I’m in California on business so hopefully we’ll get a few more in before the damn thing ends.

But as always this is the column where you speak more than I do.

Hey Alex,

I was wondering what you thought of MDK 2 for the Dreamcast. I personally love the game and it is quite the challenge. The game of course didn’t get the love it deserved but it should. There are a lot of DC games like that. I really love that system.

The column rocks keep up the excellent work.


MDK 2 isn’t a bad game. But it’s not my cup of tea. I totally agree with Greg that it was overshadowed by bigger guns like Skies of Arcadia, Phantasy Star, and Sakura Taisen 3 & 4. Still, the game deserves some props and I’m glad Greg still plays and loves it. Cherish the older system you bastards!

hey their i have a couple ?,s for you.
where can i get this game it sounds good
should i just wait for 4.0
wb brenton

See, from the above 4.0 remark, I’m assuming he’s talking about EWR. You can find EWR, and everyone’s favourite Goth God of Gaming at

Irland rules bitch!

love the column…later

See? The Irish can’t even spell their damn countries name right? And they wonder why the rest of the world considers them to be the Joey Lawrence of the United Nations.

Hey Alex,
Excellent column as always. Even when you phone it in, you still kick
ass. I just wanted to touch on a few things here:

Star Wars Galaxies: I pretty much agree with you here. Sony and Lucas
Arts have too many dollar signs in their eyes with this release. I’m a
big Star Wars fan myself, though not as bad as some other fans out
there. My biggest Star Wars geek things are my collection of Star Wars
figures that hang on my walls (basically covering the majority of my
bedroom walls) and when I waited 18 hours to get tickets to Episode I.
Needless to say, that experience killed my HUGE fanboyism, and now I’m
merely a fan. Oh, and don’t worry about offending me, because it’s
impossible to offend me. Anyway, I think Sony should have worked out
the kinks in Galaxies more and let some of the hype go to the other Star
Wars RPG (and the better one, in all likelihood), Knights of the Old
Republic. I mean, it’s by Bioware, so that means it HAS to be awesome!
Oh, and as for run-on sentences, well, I had a fondness for them as
well. Back in high school, I wrote an essay with a sentence that so
ungodly long that I can’t even begin to remember what it said. I
thought for sure that my english teacher would count me off big time for
it being a run-on, but she simply put “nice sentence!” That teacher
loved me. The year before (10th grade) I had a real bitch of an honors
english teacher, so I decided to take regular english the following
year, rather than AP. So in 11th, I was just in a regular english class
and I goofed off most of the time, but still got an A+. Needless to
say, my teacher wanted me to test for AP, and I did and made it. I’m
glad I did, because that regular english class was such a blowoff. I
remember when I used to be an excellent writer. What the hell happened
to me?!

Censorship: I agree with what you say for the most part here. I hate
and abhor censorship of any type. I hate it when they show movies on TV
and butcher the hell out of them. I don’t think ANY movie should be on
TV. Likewise, with games I feel that nothing should be censored,
because if it’s the creator’s vision that something is in there, it
should stay in there. Ratings are fine in this regard, because then the
uninformed masses will either stay away or flock to the Mature rated
games. Then there’s the games like BMX XXX that shouldn’t be censored;
they should just be banned for being so awful. It just makes me mad
that in America, they want to make sure our impressionable children
aren’t exposed to anything relating to sex, but violence is all fine and
dandy, and I know it’s the total opposite in other countries. I say
expose kids to everything, because that prepares them for the real
world. In the real world there is violence, sex, rape, murder,
kidnappings, war, etc. I’m not saying that people should be numbed to
it, but I’m saying that they should be aware, because we all know that
sheltered children who know nothing about the world end up being really
f*cked up when they move away from their parents.

Oh, and if Shin Megami Tensei 3 is released in the states, I am sooooo
there. I know that there are the Persona games here, but I have a hard
time spending money on older games when it’s hard enough keeping up with
new games. Winning them in a contest is a different story though. ;)

Regarding your question to the readers, the only reason I can think of
why some goth chicks are super hot is because they prefer drugs to food.

Also, great choices on the guest columns. All were really well done and
if I were in charge, I’d give those people a job. :) Anyway, that’s
enough for me. I’ll seeya later.


Things to touch on: Star Wars Galaxies is finally up and running properly after some worst case scenarios coming true. My friends that actually play the game are actually enjoying it, but do complain no one plays in characters and all anyone does is try to get as much power as the possibly can. Why not call it Star Wars Gygaxies? Please someone get that. Please?
Also, Charles Platt and LiquidCross totally rule and will be given guest spots in my columns any time they decide to write something and send it on in. Bebito and Lee are big fans of them too, and so you know they’re quality writers.


Hullo. I’ve not written to you in a long, long time and it might not have been
from this address — I don’t recall. In case you forget, I mailed you a couple
of times with comments on your 411 column, and also volunteered to be part of
your PBM. I then uh, totally fell out of touch. Sorry for that.. basically,
things got hectic all of a sudden, and I fell out of touch with all
“non-essential” people whilst trying to keep it all balanced and good.

I just wanted to say that as a permanent English resident who listens mostly to
Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Cocteau Twins, The Flaming Lips and well, all
manner of disperate stuff (little of it recent), I’ve heard of Cold and
Evanescence. Cold are a generic nu-metal band who have had some song used by the
WWE in some manner, in recent months. Evanescence are a nu-metal band with a
quite attractive female singer. Imagine Linkin Park being fronted by your
proptypical ‘goth’ band female singer. Revolutionary, eh? The kids are just
lovin’ em at the moment overe where you are, I hear. The other two I’ve never
heard of. I just thought I’d mention this as I tend to have my ear fairly close
to the ground when it comes to music, or at least as much is possible in the UK.

I’m guessing that the other two are as bland as the first two.

Also, IT Came From the Desert was a fantastic game, and since I was thinking
about this only last week also, I really must get around to playing it again

Tell me, however: why should I buy River City Ransom?

I have to leave very soon, so I wanted to write this, rather than read the rest
of the volumn. Uh. I’ll read it later, mom! Okay then.



A little music Trivia, another kudo towards IT came from the desert, one of the most original video games ever made, and to answer Andrew’s question about River City Ransom, read my ten reasons to buy a GBA column right Here

Feel free to put up my e-mail so people can respond (*hatemail*) to my diatribe. My videogame life has changed a bit as my NGPC fixation is now a Game Boy Player addiction. I can’t stop playing Golden Sun. I’ll have to get Advance War now that I can see the damn games. Lately, though, I’ve been diving back into Warhammer 40k, my erstwhjile hobby of the last 4 years. I am as close as I’ve ever been to a finished army (Space Wolves) so, umm, yeah. That, the new Harry Potter, the Warriors on DVD, the new Mars Volta cd, and Battle Royale (which could be the best River City Ransom clone EVER if put in game form, or maybe a Survival Kids clone) have eaten my brain. Evanescence are a pseudo Christian rock band with a crap female singer. The average American’s music taste disturbs me. I went to the White Stripes and Quintron (the GOD of analog synths) and Miss Pussycat, Queen of Puppetry. Oh and the Goth chick thing, frighteningly accurate. You should go to Torrid, the fat chick’s Hot Topic. Funny stuff.
Well, the casino beckons…

So if you want to write to longtime Retrograding fan and one time guest columnist, send your commentary over to

Oh. And Battle Royale is a great movie. Import fans, get that DVD!

And TWO different descriptions of the same band. Which is correct? WHICH IS CORRECT?

Well, well… 411 Games’ very own Chthulu fan has awoken from his sleep, and is
making up for lost time. This would appear to call for an oversized feedback email (which would have been here earlier, but I’ve been working flat-out to repair the damage done to my overdraft this year.

1) First off, Dragonlance *IS* being released in 3.5 edition, the month after the
Core Books come out. Complete with Kender, who have already been pre-emptively banned by two-thirds of Sheffield’s GMs… And TBQH, I’m looking forward to 3.5, since it gives me an excuse to buy the Core Rulebooks for the first time. And provided he doesn’t get nerfed in the final edit, the Mystic Theurge will be the new Default Munchkin Spellcaster Class (Strongheart Halflings with ‘Caster Prodigy’ taken twice.. Scary)

2) Tomb Raider sucks. Always has, always will. This is not a fact in dispute. But I take great exception to the comments you made about the attractiveness women in the UK. It’s an outright
lie, and I have about 1GB of photos taken over the course of a University year that prove you wrong ;) As far as the liver goes, if large portions of the US weren’t so uptight about alcohol, your ladies might stand a chance of catching up in the tolerance stakes (then again, you *do* have the Bush Twins, so bonus points there: But I still reckon I could dirnk them under the table, and am just waiting for a chance to try…)

3) With regard to the Goth scene: I think it’s a matter of the style of dress.Ladies’ Goth fashion is corsets, mesh tops, black leather/PVC, dresses with excessive cleabage, that sort of thing;
all in Black, of course (this is unless you are an uber-pretentious Goth, in which case you wear 18th century riding cloaks, Victorian-style dresses, and custom-made fake fangs; in that instance, you’re OK… I mean, that sort of gear looks good on EVERYONE). The thing about that sort of fashion is that it leaves no ‘room for maneuver’; unlike the Real World, where people can wear clothes that accentuate or conceal their figure (as they choose), in Goth Gear, there’s
nowhere to hide. The fashions do the same thing to everyone, sculpting the body
in certain ways; it’s a matter of how the body in question reacts to the effects. If the lady in question has a body that curves in the right places, those curves become accentuated by the clothing she wears. Conversely, a body which is not well suited to the clothes has its less-immediately-attractive qualities accentuated in the wrong way.

4) For Star Wars: Galaxies observations, start with and then read the next day’s comic. There have been a whole host of other references in the past few months. You probably read Ctrl+Alt+Del already, but if you don’t you should. And don’t forget… There are plenty
of Star Wars fans who would denounce you as being beneath them for your incessant obsession with old video games… Try which you will no
doubt disagree with, but nevermind, it’s more fun if they’re wrong… I fit into far too many of those

5) Final note… That D&D Arcade Game you mentioned.. Is that I-want-to-be-a-next-generation-Gauntlet one with the pseudo-isometric viewpoint and a system where you could get a 3-letter
password to ‘save’ your character, so you could take a break? Because I gotta say, I wasn’t all that impressed by the game….

Well, that’s about all I can think of to write for the moment. More will
probably follow after your next column. ;)


Well, whenever anyone puts a disclaimer in their letter in case of mailbagging, I HAVE to put it in. Anyway, time for points to be addressed.

1) NO! NO! NONONONO! I hate Kender! Hate them with a passion! And Muchkin Gamers are right behind them. It’s scary to think people actually enjoy them. They’re like Pixie Stix with mouths.

2) I don’t think Americans are uptight about Alcohol, just that the Brits have taken Alcholoism from a disease and turned it into a way of life.

And after a year of UK living, there was only one woman I ever saw that met my standards and the rest all I could see were bad teeth, thin hair and a beer belly starting to form. Or else there’s a lot of pregnant women in London. :-P

3. No one should ever wear Cloaks, Fake fangs or fluffy pirate shirts. EVER.

4. Nice to see other people in the VG media hated Star Wars Galaxies’ launch as much as I did. And Old Video Games are always going to be cooler than people obsessed with puppets and glowing schlongs. ;-)

5. As Misha and I talked about off email, he was talking about Gauntlet Legends. There was no password for the D&D games. According to a Capcom re[, the systems never made it to the UK, so it’s no wonder he was a bit confused.

Fucking hell man, you described my most recent ex to a T…A t-bone steak,
cause that bitch was fat as hell.

My long time GF had cheated on me 3 months prior to me meeting the goth
chick and i needed some action (Rebound time).

She was a girl i knew, and was goth and f*cking fat. But i didn’t care, I
still hit it.

The thing was, she ALWAYS FUCKING TALKED ABOUT VAMPIRES. She loved that
goddamn Queen of the Damned movie and I’d always laugh and be like “Yea
Alliah plays that part great…CUZ SHES DEAD! rahahah!” And the bitch (my
ex) actually THOUGHT she was a vampire! She would f*cking bite me HARD as
hell when i was bangin it and id like have to hit her to stop. Kinky yes,
but too painful. :-p

I banged her a few times and then left her cuz she was nuts.

The moral here: Goth chicks ARE always fat and they ARE always into the
vampire shit. But they can provide some kinky sex and you can usually hit it
any way you want to…

P.S. A few months ago, i gave you a drunken rant on how they should make a
Parappa the Rappa TV show about him going into gangsta rap and then gettin
like my vision, but its being made by the nutcases who made Digi Carat, so
it should be just as crazy.


Also, just put my name under uh…Steve or something. I dont want fatty
mcgoth seeing that. i know, put it as EHHH STEVE! Ahahahahahahahah


Do you see people? Do you see what I get for getting the most mail out of any of the 411games staff? I get wacky emails about banging overweight goth chicks in my inbox. So, “Steve,” thanks for writing. I honestly can’t comment on this. I’m finally speechless.

I wrote you three stories about your character in the past. I started a new
game a week ago, and I finally noticed today that in the roster of ROH is
Alex Lucard.

When I devised your character for the three part story, I made you in my
game and never removed the character.

I noticed your character was in the game when visiting the game’s, the Scott Keith section, there was a question of “which
wrestler do you think has gotten the furthest with the least amount of

There you were, Scott Keith saying thanks to a promotion’s obsession with
steroid freaks, he said you were the worker to go the furthest with the
least amount of skill.

Then I went and checked ROH somehow you were at 100 overness, but ROH is now
a global promotion (falling back to national several times).
Fun things you never expect from the game.

Ummm…thanks? Any publicity is good publicity, right? But this is just another hint for you all to get your contest entries in in in!

This was a great column. More and more, I’m getting GBA games over other games
simply because I enjoy them more. That, and I think you did the impossible: you
got me interested in a Hamtaro game.

I hope to get some new reviews to you soon, as I have only a few days left before
my Vegas vacation.Look forward to reviews for Super Monkey Ball Jr, Sonic Pinball
Party, Game & Watch Gallery 4, and Dragonball Z: Legacy of Goku II in the near future.

Take care,

Alex Williams

Man! How many people did I get to want to play a Hamtaro game. More than just Alex on our staff wanted to play the game after I talked about it, and I thought I only gave it a slight rub. I also got a few other emails asking me about it. So who knew we had a bunch of closet Hamtaro fans here?

Who am I kidding. People just want to make the hamster piss on everything!

I’m going to assume that you lumped Metroid Fusion in with Advance
Wars and Golden Sun in the “untouchable by criticism” category but
neglected to mention it. :)

Another reason Atlus rocks the GBA: Super Dodge Ball Advance! Yeah, I
wouldn’t put this on any list trying to “sell” the GBA, but for some
of us old-school NES fans, Super Dodge Ball was a blast and sorely in
need of a new version (I actually have the ROM of the original…

On a related subject… the best unintended feature of the GBP is that
it actually makes the GameCube a cube. (I have a black GCN, so the
color thing doesn’t bother me.) It may be nitpicking, but I’m not the
one who named the system. :)

Chris Ingersoll

Are all of us video game fans anally pedantic?

Metroid actually got a small write up in that column, but at the last second I decided to junk it and go with Pinball of the Dead. So Chris is right in a way, I felt it was TOO easy to recommend Metroid Fusion.

TOTAL AGREEMENT.. even though my game of the moment happens to be Burnout 2 (GREAT game, even if it is published by Akklaim), the GBA is the best system out there by
a LONGSHOT. Even if I can’t get used to the SP’s button layout.

Couple thoughts, though:

– I’d say Advance (or Famicom, or whatever it’s called this week) Wars gives
Tactics Ogre a run for its money as far as GBA strat games goes. Might be
because I cheaped my way to an uber-army first time through KoL – it
deserves another shot, though.

– THQ gets the credit for the brilliant Monkey Ball Jr., I believe. That
game is SCARY in its faithfulness to the original, however.

– Where’s the Wario Ware love? That’s the most brilliant “concept game” I’ve

– I’d have tossed Metroid in during #9, even if it’s the only one of the
series you mentioned to make a successful jump to 3D. Amazing how the
success of the GBA series has managed to revitalise the franchise in 2D on
the PS2, huh?

– And you write for a wrestling site. Fire Pro must therefore be on every
list, by law. :)

– Sven

THQ just publishes Sega titles for the GBA. No idea why Sega doesn’t do it themselves. God am I NOT enjoying being the reviewer for the GBA version of SC5. Poor Ulala.

Acclaim can get some positive props now that Ron’s gone. I like Ravenloft: Iron and Blood and WWF War Zone dammit!

Advance Wars is good, but I prefer Ogre Tactics a zillion times over. It’s probably just taste though.

Wario Ware was reviewed by Alex Williams, thus it couldn’t be on the list.

And we are NOT a Pro Wrestling site. NOT NOT NOT! We are a pop culture/media based entertainment sight. We are not a Pro Wrestling Site first and foremost. The Games section is almost as popular as the wrestling section and a lot of us on the staff do not like being considered a games site second, and part of a pro wrestling site first. BOOOO!

I have found myself dissing one of my good friends for ranting and raving
about his GBA. He finally talked me into buying a GBA player for my
Gamecube, I had my doubts, but once I fired up Final Fight, I was in awe, I
felt like a kid again playing the old super nintendo, but then I found out
that this version was better than the super nintendo. I am completly hooked
and that is just after playing 1 game, I will be sure to play some of these
games that you have mentioned. Thanks for the great column

True Story. Final Fight was the first review I did for 411 and what I used to get the job here. So glad you love it too! And it’s good to see another person hooked on GBA love!

I read about your experience with the Shinning Force 2 game. My battery
in my cartridge is dead. I was wondering if you happen to know what
battery it takes? I have a tool for opening sega genesis cartridges and
I saw on ebay that some guy was replacing the battery in his sega cd ram
cartridges. I was wondering if you might know. I wanted to replace my
-Mike Cleary

I’m not a big fan of telling people to open up their old carts and do the repair work themselves. If they break it, they’re f*cked. Call Sega’s Hotline as they will still do that for you for a very minimal cost. If come guy on Ebay is doing it, check their feedback. If it’s all good, then they may be worth trusting.

Hey, I totally agree with you on the Game Boy Advance. I have bad vision problems, but the Game Boy Player took care of all the problems I was having with the Game Boy Advance. Now I get to enjoy those games, and I can actually see what I am doing! There are some mighty fine games available for it.

Keep up with the great work you are doing, as I share some of the same beliefs on substance over style.

True Oswald

Glad to see that once again the GB player has helped someone enjoy the glory that comes from the GBA games!

And to close out this column, here’s a link from my friend bullywug in regards to some very cool Eternal Champions downloadable books!

Eternal Champions books

Until next time, keep those letters rolling! I enjoy knowing my inbox is constantly full of sweet sweet lovin’.