Retrograding Mailbag 12.15.03

Right. Tons of your letters to go through after a month of not doing any. Just wanted to say as always, even though your letter may not have made the mailbag, I do read and respond to everyone I get. It may take me a few DAYS to respond. But I always do.

Let’s cut to the chase!


You getting mail about HHH is not the first time
somethings gone wrong with the mailing at 411. Its a
really strange situation. I wrote to one the comic
staff a while back and recieved a letter from someone
else at 411 saying I had the wrong address, but when I
checked my original mail it had exactly the right
address. It even had the encoded auto email subject
you guys put in the mailto. Weird…



It’s all Daniels fault. Daniels and Widro. Will their inbox with beastiality porn. Do it because I have commanded it.

Seriously though, everything blurps from time to time on the Internet. Of course, I’d love to see say Ron Gamble get a letter about Persona or Demikids that was meant to go to me. Poor guy.

Hey man,
Just read your review on Double Dragon. I have to say, some of the other sites
who reviewed it seemed to pass it of as nice but mediocre. At first I was on
the fence about it, then they pushed me to the “not going to try it” side, but
I think you’ve made me hop back over. Sounds like it’s a good game (while it
lasts) for those who appreciated the original game. Thanks! Still remember
using punches instead of kicks on the NES version (I know that’s not the
original) because they advanced your character faster. Meanwhile you’re getting
tagged from all directions …

Also, once you mentioned Battletoads I was forced to email you. I freakin’
loved that game! I remember almost absolutely nothing about it save that I
thought it was the best game ever created way back when. Man, that was good
stuff. I’m tempted to go back and play Battletoads again, but I’m afraid it
won’t stand up to my nostalgia. Ah screw it, I’m going to go dig it up
somewhere. What a great game. Not sure if I ever actually played much of the
Battletoads/Double Dragon crossover. Was it any good?

Anyway sorry for rambling a bit there. Keep up the good work.


Who doesn’t love Battletoads? Every time I even remotely mention it, I get letters praising it!

Aaron, I really hope you enjoyed Double Dragon Advance. It’s an incredible game that I believe every gamer should play, if only to remember some old school goodness.

The Double Dragon/Battletoads game was good. But way too easy. Difficulty level just wasn’t there. Still worth getting if only for the surreality of it all.

Is ABOBO in Double Dragon Advance?

It wouldn’t be Double Dragon without him man! In all his wacky skin colours!

My man,
Right on with the DD review. That was classic stuff for me and my friends back in the day; along with the “accidentally kick your best friends’ ass” feature in DD2 and the superbad (but underappreciated) DD4 for the SNES.

But that’s not why I’m writing. Why am I writing? You were even more right on about one thing there: BATTLETOADS!!!!! The first time I fired that thing up and that opening theme started I loved that damn game. As a matter of fact, my NES is still working and I find myself still playing it now and then just for laughs, and there are plenty. Man, how f*cking cool was that game?

Anyway, that’s all I had to say. Keep it all up; you’re a great well-balanced writer who has something a lot of “opinion” writers seem to lack now–perspective. Maybe it comes from your background in more “historical” essay-type work, but whatever it is, it shows and doesnt go

And I’m not putting the apostrophe in “doesnt” up there for the sole purpose of bugging you, not to mention starting this sentence (and paragraph, at that) with the word “and”. Hell yeah.

Nick Anderson International Man of Mystery

Thanks Nick. He is right about my writing background. Most VG writers/journalists don’t have a professional author background, much less one of a researcher/folklorist. That does give the tone of my writing a much different nature than those that chose to write simply because they love video games. I really appreciate the kind words though. And am glad the way I write is appealing to such a crosscut of vg fans.

Did you play Destiny of an Emperor? and If so, what did you think of it? I keep hearing its among the greatest RPG’s ever in gaming circles (I just picked it up, and am not far enough in yet to have my own opinion yet) but I never heard you mention it. Just curious. Thanks, as always, for reading.


Different Aaron than earlier on. One’s British. The other’s American. Still, it’s nice to know Aaron’s around the world prefer Alexander Lucard over other writers. :-P

At first I didn’t remember this game. But then I looked it up on line and recognized the graphics on site. One of Capcom’s earliest games, this little 8 bit game Reminded me a lot of Dragon Warrior 2. Other than that, it’s been over a decade since I played this game and can’t remember much about it.

I definitely would NEVER consider a Capcom RPG to be among the greatest ever made. Especially if it’s that forgettable to me. But then we’ve all seen my list of the ten best RPG franchises ever made, eh?

Have you ever played Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the Dragonbone Staff(ps2)? I actually liked this game, even with the tactics kind of gameplay. I think what i didnt like about FFTA is that i got to one level that just kicked my ever lovin blue eyed ass.(10 points if you get that reference).. It was a level that had a bunch of summoners that could summon almost everything at once and i had like one summoner that could summon about one thing. I dont know if i just rushed the game or what, but it annoyed the shit outta me. Also, it was so gd slow i lost interest after that. Im thinking (like you said) that if i had a faster paced tactics game maybe i’d get into it. Now Heroes… was much faster paced and ive never actually beaten the game, but i play it every so often and have a great time. So i guess that gets back to my original question, but a bit modified. You think i may get into Disgaea or maybe you know of another one i could try that wasnt new?

John derry nh

You know, I don’t play the PS2 that much. There are very few games I ever actually want for it. I spend more time with the GBA or Game Cube out of current systems. Otherwise it’s my NGPC or NG or Sega Saturn. The Neo Geo as of late has really been getting a work out with the release of Capcom vs SNK Chaos and the new Samurai Showdown game!

And John, how could I miss a reference to Benjamin J. Grimm and his second most famous tagline. The first of course being, IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!’

I think due to the nature of Disgaea that anyone could get into it. However, if it’s speed you’re looking for, Shining Force, Onimusha Tactics, and Sakura Taisen would probably be more up your alley for Tactics style RPG’s.

Hi Alex…just a followup to the DC reader and to other folks..GameCrazy has a deal where if you buy $50 in “old school” games, you will get the games system FREE…I believe the systems are DC, PS1, GBC, SNES, Genesis etc..basically, anything that is is not XBOX, PS2 or GC..

anyway, I enjoy the column!



You know, I couldn’t find this deal on line, but if it’s true…BUY A SEGA SATURN. Let me repeat that: BUY A GOD DAMN SEGA SATURN. BUY IT NOW.

Hey there,
Thought you might be interested in this. It’s not going to be compatible with
Mythos and Chaosium is just licensing it out, but I’m intrigued at least …

Talk to you later,

Three! THREE Aarons! Ha ha ha ha! (Insert crash of thunder here). And woah. New Call of Cthulhu card game? I don’t think anyone can beat Mythos for sheer coolness value. But I’m sure this will be something worth picking up. Or at least to try.

Dear Alex,

Enjoyable column–it’s been a while since I’ve seen one from ya, but since
I’ve been too busy to read up much on the site anyway, no biggie.

The Sega CD…ah…I’ve owned many a pre-owned model. It’s a vicious
cycle–get one, play it a while, sell it, buy it back again. The primary
problem is that I simply don’t have the room or time to play it then I let
it go. If I were able to score one of those CDX’s, then maybe I’ll hang
onto it. Still, when I head up to visit my sister I can play my
brother-in-law’s SCD.

Anyway, some feedback.

Slipheed? I could swear it was Silpheed? Played it some…doesn’t look
like much today, but a blast to play.

SamSho I didn’t play. Loading times, minus one character? Is the CD sound
mean so much that you’d get that version over the Genesis version (which had
atrocious sound)? I was also surprised to here Takara didn’t make it.
Disappointed, too, because usually they were the best at translating arcade
titles to ANY system. They’d be able to deliver the home experience with as
little sacrifice as possible. It’s because of Takara, likely, that the NGPC
has such great fighting games on it.

Still, I haven’t played the SCD version so I wouldn’t know.

Number 8…number…

Ack…you didn’t?! Night Trap. I’ll be damned, you did.

“Full-motion video. Interactive gameplay. A more lifelike experience.

These are the things in which the Sega CD specialized. And no Sega CD game
featured these aspects quite like Night Trap.”

Shame they all sucked. The average modern-day FF game is more interactive
sadly. I fail to see what’s lifelike about terrible, grainy video occupying
a fourth of a game screen.

FMV games, in my opinion, were a terrible idea and a horrible embarrassment
that should have never been done. I could see your point with the whole
influence thing–but it’s just a terrible game to me. Oh, and “the first
console game to feature real actors?” Dana Plato?!

I also beg to differ for crediting NT with more modern games. Basically,
after the FMV game genre bombed so horribly on the SCD, it was put to bed.
Then Capcom unleashed it’s far superior take on Alone in the Dark i.e.
Resident Evil, and other companies were using the Saturn/PS’s power to do
similar games. GTA3 was just a more polished, 3D version of their past

How often do you see actual digitized video these days of human actors?
Almost never, because we usually see real-time poly cutscenes or CGI
characters used in them. It’s the new systems’ polygon pushing power
combined with the format that allow for it to be done. I think you’re
greatly overestimating NT’s role, that’s all.

Okay, you have your reasons, but I were to pick a mere 10 games to sell a
friend on the Sega CD, Night Trap wouldn’t be one of them. At least it’s
better than Sewer Shark, though. Yeah, Night Trap was infamous, but not
enough for people to rush out and buy Sega CDs in large volumes, or even to
say, “yeah, that was a great game. Glad I picked it up.”

Well, I’ll probably like the other entries far more. However, so far it
seems like you’re damning the SCD with faint praise.

— Andrew

P.S. : I’ve heard the report of the Sega Ages collection coming to the
U.S.A. While checking out E-Bay earlier, it seems the Sega Ages version of
“Phantasy Star” in Japan for Saturn was…PSI-IV all on one disc. Is that
what we’re getting? Maybe even a fixed-up translation for the games?

The mistransrations in Phantasy Star IV, and having to scour FAQs or, in the
case of the GBA PSC, the included shop/item/armor guide to play the games
kinda hurt the enjoyment. If we could have that fixed up and released all
in one package, I’d be delighted.

1. Yup. It’s Silpheed. Bebito misspelled the name of the game. Silly boy.

2. Samurai Showdown on the CD was incredible. It felt a lot more like the arcade version and the Neo Geo version than any other console variant of the game.

And Takara? Takara did nothing with the NGPC or any of it’s games. As well, Takara only really ever ported Samurai Shodown games to other systems. They had nothing to do with the original versions of the NG classic series. And even then Takara was only the publisher, not the developer.

3. The FMV style of game continued on far past the Sega CD onto the Saturn and PlayStation and even the PC as well.

Remember without Night Trap, we wouldn’t have a rating system, we wouldn’t have games willing to take the risk and push the envelope like Night Trap did in it’s day.

I can’t honestly believe someone just said Resident Evil is Superior to Alone in the Dark. Wow. Just Wow.

First of all, they are in two different genres. One is a horror based game (Resident Evil) with horrible plots filled with zombies and running around back and forth ala Tomb Raider. The other is a terror based game (Alone in the Dark) based on the works of HP Lovecraft where you have to think in order to survive, not blow shit up.

I agree Night Trap is not the greatest game ever made. No it’s not. But the point of the article was not to say “what are the best games ever made for this system?” It was to say, “Hey. What are ten games that made the Sega CD memorable? What made it stand out and what will people remember even ten years from now?” And Night Trap is one of those games. Like it or not, Night Trap really did change the face of gaming, even if it wasn’t because of the game itself.

Ten years from now, no one will care about GTA’s gameplay or story or the fact it’s really not that good and the fact Rockstar forces companies to tow the line on praising their games by giving them incredible reviews if they want free shit. They’ll only remember and care about the controversy.

I do however suggest big time that you try Dracula Unleashed, an incredible FMV game that is still something I love to pull out a couple times a year to play. A game I wish had made the top ten, but alas, like most of the Sega CD games, I’m the only person that owned/played a lot of them out of the Kliq.

As for the Sega Ages thing, Bebito reported a while back, Conspiracy Games are publishing them over here. Why is it not Sega? Because Sega has the marketing intelligence of dead monkeys,

Phantasy Star appears, from their web site, to just be the first. And as far as I know, that’s all that has been re-released and completely graphically redone in Japan as well. There was a PS collection for the Saturn however…

Conspiracy Games is the same company that brought over Record of Lodoss War AND Bangai-O, so you know the translations will be pretty spot on.

Oddly enough, Conspiracy hasn’t decided what system they’re publishing the Sega Ages games on, even though it Japan they were PS2 only. If they’re smart, it’ll be a multi-system thing. But most likely they will stay just on the PS2.

I just want to tell you that I loved the article! Reading it brought back many memories. Actually, when I read it, it seemed like something I would’ve written. I can honestly say that Lunar and Lunar 2 were my favorite RPG’s of all time! It pulled me in from the start and never let go. I think I got that when I was around 13 as well, but for Christmas. When they redid them for PS1 I was happier than ever. Sure, some stuff had changed, but, overall the game was still the same and still my favorite. I still remember a famous line from the Sega Cd version of Lunar that really gripped me. It was when Alex and Ghaleon go the see Quark. *cough cough*
Quark: “So Alex you’ve returned. And this time you’ve brought another friend with you. …WAIT! Ghaleon! Is that you? I haven’t seen you since we lost Dyne.”
(evil ghaleon music play. I love that beat!)
Ghaleon: Yes dear Quark. And if it were not for you he would still be alive. A part of me died that black day, and now dear friend, things are changing again. I’ll soon rule the world… but first YOU HAVE TO DIIIIIIIE!!”
Alex: Ghaleon! What are you doing!? Noooooooooooooo!!(Like the first time you hear a peep out of Alex.)
That sends chills up my spine just thinking about it. lol I don’t want to sound like a pycho so I think I’ll stop the Lunar talk there. Vay was another great RPG by working designs. Wasn’t AS captivating as Lunar, but, wasn’t far from it. I think maybe the characters were too bland. When this one elf/archer(I think he was) Potil(sp?) got shot in the back with an arrow while trying to escape from the castle I had the same feelings running through me that I did when Quark died, only not as severe. Popful Mail was another CLASSIC! I don’t remember much from it though, which is weird, I beat the game like 50times. I remember a little blue dragon you play as though and a bad guy who talked like Arnold Shwartzaloogie.
As for Eternal Champions…. I still say that it is one of my favorite fighting games of all time! Well, I am also a gore lord. If a game has alot of blood I am stuck there for hours on end. Just preforming the Sudden Deaths, Overkills, Vendetta’s, and Cinekill’s were enough to keep me playing forever. Plus they had that difficulty to them. It wasn’t like Mortal Kombat where you type in some fancy button combo to see the stages pit fatality. You had to have the opponent in the PRECISE location in order to pull it off! I think that gave it some points on the “Oh Sh*t” scale! I mean, if your fighting against a friend and you aren’t pulling anything off and then all of a sudden he is in the right position and an Overkill starts…. you FLIP out! You aren’t CONSTANTLY seeing the deaths over and over and over, you have to keep playing and keep your fingers crossed that your opponent is in the right spot to have the death start, and I think THAT gives it MAJOR replayability. I wish I still owned a Sega Cd for that game alone. -_- I gave mine to my ex for her brother some years ago… we broke up… the little bastard still has it along with my Eternal Champions!
Another game that I thought was classic for Sega Cd was The Adventures of Willie Beamish! Great cartoon graphics and an awesome point and click adventure! God… there were soo many games for Sega Cd that I miss. Hey, I don’t want to go on and on and annoy you with all of this. Let me just say that I loved the article! It brought back fond memories. I didn’t think anyone still remembered the Sega Cd. I know the friends I currently have never saw/ played one. :- So, it’s nice to know that there is someone who not only remembers, but, got lost in the amazing games that came out for it. Thanx again! Take care and keep up the great work!

My top 10 Sega Cd Games in no particular order…….
1. Lunar The Silver Star
2. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue
3. Adventures of Willie Beamish
4. Vay
5. Popful Mail
6. Dracula Unleashed(amazing FMV game!)
7. Eternal Champions
8. Snatcher
9. Rise of The Dragon(I think it was called)
10. Monkey Island

Hope this wasn’t too boring or long.


Steve, there is NO such ting as too long an email. Alex Williams really enjoyed your letter and the fact you loved his comments on LUNAR. And glad to see love for Dracula Unleashed AND Secret of Monkey Island.

Everyone needs to experience Eternal Champions. It is an awesome fighting game that I wish was still around today. Even if it cheated like a motherf*cker.

Seriously. If they made an KoF vs Eternal Champions, you KNOW Fred and I would be the first two people in the world to preorder it.

I think the best thing about you’re writing is that not only is it of such high quality (I’ve now read about this game three times from you!) but when you decide to put up content you put up atleast two insanely long columns that are better than they have any right to be. Again, I should not care, its the same damn game! Still, somehow I do. Two quick questions besides. First, did you ever read Romance of the Three Kingdoms? Second, Are you going to review Dynasty Tactics 2? I’ve asked before but you’re answer was rather vague. Thanks.


Four bloody Aarons! What is this? A cloneathon?

Anyways, this letter was in regards to part four and my Shining Force CD comments.

And I agree. Three times about any game is enough. Even from me. No more Shining Force comments from me for a while. ;-)

Someone missed my Onimusha Tactics review…

I love the R3K games. Haven’t read a book about it though. Unless you mean actually history books on the subject.

And I only review Game Cube and GBA games. I will review KoF 2K/2K1 if no one else on the team does. And probably I-Ninja. And Midway Arcade Classics. And Goblin Commander. And Beyond Good and Evil. Because no one else probably will.

Sheesh. I have SO MANY reviews to do. I still have two Natsume games and Sword of Mana to get up. Yes people, Alex is stuck with REVIEW MADNESS.

Hey man you are great for giving the Sega CD the love it deserves. I will have to say that I have more respect for you then the others on your team because Dark Wizard should have been #1 on the list. I’ve only beaten it with Crystal and would have to admit I was drawn into that storyline like crazy. My friend loved the game and pretty much lived at my house until
he beat it. Even now he bugs me about pulling out the Sega CD and dusting off the Wizard. Anyway, can you reccomend any games along the lines of Dark Wizard?

Thanks for the memories,

ME? Respected more than the rest of the Kliq? HEAVEN FORBID! ;-)

There is a series of games called Master of Monsters that is almost the exact same as Dark Wizard. You can find it on the Genesis, Saturn, Playstation, and Turbo F’N CD. Other than that I’d suggest Disgaea, Brigadine on the PSX, Kartia, and Fire Emblem.

Thank you.

I know I made a cheap joke at it’s expense, but you answered my
question. Why shouldn’t I laugh when someone wants Pokemon Channel?
Well, you just told me why.

Armed with this review I can now sell this game effectively. Any
parents getting a Cube for their kids for Christmas are getting told
about Pokemon Channel. They’ll love the fact that it’s non-violent,
teaches plenty to things, and is MUCH more interactive than either the
box, or other reviews have lead me to believe.

I’ll definitely take the “Idiot” Label for this one, and it will be
prominently displayed in my next comments during Lee’s Hump Day Otaku
News Report.

Thanks for reaffirming my belief that is one of the best
resources for game reviews.


Okay? I know I said this yesterday, but I have no idea what he’s talking about. Glad he liked the review though!

Even more glad our reviews and trusted and respected.


Good review, in fact its the first games review ive replied to on 411 so
thats something in itself. 99% of the time ill read them and go ‘eh that was
alright’ and go to something else.

Nice to see coverage of a ‘lesser’ game and in that i mean something that
isnt another splinter cell, mario, MGS etc etc *yawn*. I probably wouldnt
have noticed this game till i actually saw it on the shelves till reading
your review but its certainaly made me take notice. ANything pokemon is
usually good and whilst the franchise does have some ups and downs this
doesnt sound like one of them. Besides if its got squirtle in it it cant be
bad (this from the man who leapt up screaming joy at the tv when playing
super smash melee and seeing the squirtle baloon).

Keep up the good work,
Minion & Squirtle

Squirtle, along with Smoochum and Pikachu are in Pokemon Channel more than any other Pokemon in the game. I think you’ll be happy with it Minion.

damn you, Alex Lucard! There go the next few months of my free time!

Pika pika PIKA!

Princess Jennifer

Everyone likes Pokemon Channel. EVERYONE.

Pokemon Channel: It’s all Alex’s fault He posted a full on review of the game, and I HAD to have it. It sounded like Animal Crossing but more interesting. And it is. At least once I got that little bitch Pikachu to leave the house…it keeps wanting to watch TV


My Pikachu always want to go for day trips around to the mountains and beach when I’m at bloody work. Why can’t he be nocturnal. Damn electric rodent.

And that’s it for this mailbag. 11 pages of letters. Keep ’em coming!

Oh. That’s right. You want the porn, right? You sick perverts.

Ah well, I did mention it so here…

Cut and paste that into your browser. I’m not going to give credit to the loon who forwarded this to me. But at least unlike another Alex who months ago spiked his hit count with a fake Nude Lara code, this Alex actually gives it to you. Even if it embarrasses the hell out of him.

But like I always say, if the letter is original, I’ll include it here…