Wow.. I am in pieces. Frantically looking for evidence of fraud, checking the date -- I never met Ryan but even so this is now one of the saddest days of my life. He never failed to entertain and delight. A deviously beautiful human being; there is a lot less joy and wit in the world for his absence..
I played an "undub" copy. Japanese voice reinserted into the English game. Used PCSX2. (I own 2 copies of Persona 3, but neither of them is the Japanese version, so I technically pirated the voice over, whoops) I don't totally hate the voice work in 3, and I'm not one of those people that always wants original Japanese voiceover, but 1 clunky delivery can really take you out of the game.
Kuja is just Roy Batty x Vegeta. Personally I think Seifer (VIII) and Delita (T) are way more interesting than Kuja as "complicated" villains. Side note, I totally thought Kuja was a girl for at least 1/3 of the game.
Just spin and fear tactics from Activision. They didn't like MS explicitly sanctioning pre-release access. Activision doesn't consider your license valid until the street-date. Playing the game before release (even offline), even having paid the full retail price, is identical to piracy.
I pre-ordered the hardcover because it only cost me $3 after applying Amazon credit. I have a fetish for hardcover books. Also, after exploring a cave its kinda nice to be able to check that you didn't miss the little trap door that leads to the Goonies-esque pirate ship cavern and all that booty.