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ASK SEAN
Column 51: Three Times Seventeen
January 14th, 2008

Sean - 12:19pm EST

Well, my game idea is still in my head and, like most other people, any ideas of side projects will probably stay there. For now at least, I am too caught up in FFXI to even contemplate taking on another project, so I will just stick with work, RPGamer, and gaming.

Speaking of FFXI, I played way too much this weekend. I gained two levels and can now wear the pimp Red Mage hat (complete with feather), finished missions 5-1 through to 6-2 for my home country, and killed Ouryu (a mean dragon for Promathia 4-2) on my first try. It was worth it though. Lusipurr was there for the Ouryu run. He was strangely pleasant on that day.

Speaking about Lusipurr, I don't know what got into him last week. It was strange seeing him pretend to be nice. It wasn't as funny as I expected it to be, as his nice is still another level of mean. Oh well, I hope he is particularly scathing this week to make up for his last one!

And before I forget: I love Ratchet and Clank on the PS3. That is all.




LETTERS
[QNA] Your Wacky Title Here


Ok Sean! More Questions on games! This time i've added some of my portable selections and also some of my next-gen picks. Please answer if possible.

Phantasy Star (1, 2, 3, 4, and Universe)
Sean

I liked one enough to write a guide on it but the others not so much. I detested two, yet still finished it. A blander game I have yet to play. Three was boring, and the others I didn't bother trying.

..hack (all)
Sean

This series is a mix of bland fighting and a somewhat interesting storyline. It is too bad you need to pay four times to see one story.

..hack//GU (all)
Sean

After the first set, I decided to skip this one. It is apparently better though.

Persona 3 (along with the rest of the Shin Megami Tensei series, if possible))
Sean

Persona 3 was supposedly RPG of the year at many places last year, but I have yet to play it. I liked the Digital Devil Saga series a lot, and both Nocturne and Devil Summoner look really interesting. Persona 1 is like the plague though. It is also the price of two new games. I'll sell you a copy, if you want. ^^b

Xenosaga (all)
Sean

You need these games. Get them all and play them three times.

Shining (Force EXA, Tears, Soul, Soul 2)
Sean

I've played the Shining Soul games. They are fun, if you have friends to play them with. Otherwise, I would pass on all of them.

Tales of... (Phantasia, Destiny)
Sean

I really liked Tales of Destiny. I think I played through it three times and had fun all three playthroughs. I sold my copy of Tales of Phantasia after finishing it. I didn't like it quite so much.

Enchanted Arms
Sean

Haven't played this one yet. It got fairly lackluster reviews though.

Folklore

Sean

Get this one. Read my review in the sidebar. I really liked it. ^_^

Again, thanks a lot. Really. Sorry if I'm getting repetitive on ya.

But hey, I need advice, and you need letters. Everyone wins. I'll try to write in in the future on some... DIFFERENT TOPICS.

Thanks again
C.No

Sean

Well, for one you can let me know what you decided to get. It is always nice to see results from these things.



Portable RPGaming


Hey Sean,

I'm really sad to see so few emails come in for Q&A. I hope things pick up once some more "mainstream" RPGs are released such as Final Fantasy IV DS and Final Fantasy XIII as these titles attract so much attention and will certainly be under a great deal of scrutiny.

Sean

Or the opposite can happen and the stream of letters will dry up, as everyone who normally reads this here column is out playing all the new awesome games.

So I am converted. I finally went portable. I had no choice really. I had to get a DS. Why? Because those bastards at SquareEnix decided to release Revenant Wings on the DS. And I can totally understand why they chose the DS now, but allow me to explain. I have a really nice 32" LCD TV, a killer Paradigm/JVC home theater system and a nice comfy leather couch. So why on earth would I not want to enjoy these things while playing my PS2? At first it was really weird playing on a tiny screen but I quickly warmed up to the idea. I started off playing Zelda which is pretty cool, but halfway through, when Revenant Wings came out I switched over. I play at work during my lunch, sometimes in bed before sleep. Times when I would not have normally played any games. So it hasn't replaced my console gaming, it has complimented it. Nicely.

Sean

Yes, they compliment each other nicely. I tend to do the same thing with my handhelds: bus, school, lunchbreaks at work, bedtime, and occasionaly as I watch boring shows or movies on TV. Who says I can't level grind while doing something else?

As for Revenant Wings, I really enjoy this game. You can literally pick it up for 5 minutes, polish off a quick battle and close the DS screen and come back to it when you are ready to play again. The story in the game is decent - nothing to fancy. The music is totally recycled but excellent none the less. Its a near perfect mix between Final Fantasy and a real time strategy game. The stylus controls are well done, if not adequate. Some times you wish you could be a little more accurate with your in-battle selections but it works well enough.

Sean

I picked it up but haven't tried it out yet. Recently, I have been trying to read a lot in the hopes of trying to train myself to go to bed earlier. It is not working. Stupid FFXI.

I'm really not sure what else to try once I finish RW and then Zelda. Any good RPGs to recommend on the DS?

Killerpickle

Sean

Get FFIII. I liked that one. You can try the Golden Sun games. They are decent. Some would recommend the FF Advance remakes, but I say to wait for the 3D versions. The two Mario RPGs are quite nifty and so are the five Castlevanias. If you like old school stuff, try Etrian Odyssey. Ummm... I am forgetting some. Readers! Help me out here!



What Japanese games I would play...


Hello Sean!

John's question on last column got my interest. One of my biggest frustrations in life was not being able to read ANYTHING in japanese; and thus not being able to play wonderful games that will never hit western shores!

Sean

You can change that, you know. All it takes is effort to learn the language.

BUT! If I did knew the damned language, I would start playing right away the Black/Matrix series! But other games that would be played also include Samurai Spirits RPG, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, and Persona II: Innocent Sin (remember? I'm that crazy guy who bragged about this series on one of your columns!).

That's It for now!

Ziphakiel

Sean

So go learn it! Take a course! Do the self-teaching thing! Be less lazy than me and JUST DO IT! I tried years ago and lost interest. I am currently ok playing whatever comes out here.



a new lusipurr!


hi sean-

you may know me from the podcast as GooseAss, but i'm also an avid QNA reader. just thought i'd tell you that i've really enjoyed you columns lately, especially after getting to know you more on the podcast. lusipurr is funny, but i like sean better, so i hope to see this trend continue.

anyway, just wanted to tell you how much i enjoy your work, and hope to see you around for a while! can't wait for the next podcast!

Finn McKenty

Sean

Ummm... I have never been on the podcast, and likely won't be for a long time to come. You must be confusing me with Shawn (Lusipurr), the other host. Sorry about that! It is kind of cool that you prefer me! Thanks!



Letter for QnA Column


Hello Sean (or Lusipurr)!

I've been reading your columns for awhile now, and they are very good reads, with interesting topics. I'm guessing that I have written in about six times previously, but back when Matt was in charge. To all of your critics, Sean (and Lusipurr), I say this : stop whining about the quality of the hosts of the columns, because you guys are good at what you do, and you spark intriguing talks on games, which is the whole purpose of QnA. Finally, to the guy who has a problem with Lusipurr and his insults, I say that you obviously have no sense of humor. Why? Because I laugh constantly at Lusipurr's responses, knowing he is just having good-natured fun. Heck, I'll probably even be "insulted" by Lusipurr if he gets this letter. Bring it on, I could use a good laugh, knowing full well that both Lusipurr and Sean are two great letter editors, who actually take time out of their busy days, and answer us, the readers with informative feedback. And, they do it for free.

Sean

Lusipurr cracks me up. I just don't have the wit to keep up with him. Thanks for the vote of confidance--we really need them around here! I guess I need to come up with a new topic and now is as good a time as any! So guys (and gals), what do you all think about sentient weaponry? Do you like it, dislike it, or hate it with a passion? What were your favorite sentient weapon moments, as well as games you get them in?

Now, moving on, I'd like to ask a few questions. First off, what is your opinion on the Grandia series? I personally love the games, and hold them dear to me. Same goes for Shadow Hearts. This series brought in a breath of fresh air to RPGs. And on the record, many people did not enjoy the third installment. However, it was one hell of a game, and a blast to play. Pick up SH : From the New World. Excellent gaming at its finest.

Sean

Grandia: I liked the first one, loved the second, and really enjoyed the third. I did not like Xtreme.

Shadow Hearts: The first one was ok, but I felt it was much longer than it needed to be (a really negative for me). I never tried the other two.

Speaking of these games, let me ask this : Besides Final Fantasy, what is your personal favorite game series of all time? I'm talking games with at least one sequel. Mine, as noted above, is Grandia.

Sean

This is a hard one. I like the Dragon Quest series, of course, as well as Xenosaga. Breath of Fire has had only one really good one (guess which it is!), and I am sure I am forgetting plenty more. It is very tough to decide here. I might just have to say Knights of the Republic and Might and Magic, as I just love both series.

Finally, my PS2 is starting to break down. I have a large backlog of games, so I don't want to move to a next-gen system quite yet. Do you know how much longer Sony will manufacture and sell the Playstation 2?

Sean

No I don't, but I would suggest picking one up just in case it isn't for long.

Well, that wraps up my letter. Thank you very much! I'll be around reading, perhaps writing in again. RPGamer remains the best RPing gaming site around, so even though times are slow, I have faith. Enjoy your games everyone!

Sincerely,
Greg in Philly

Sean

Yes, we are the best, aren't we? Please keep on reading and writing. Without those like you, we wouldn't be in the same place anymore. Thanks for writing in, everybody!



IN CLOSING

I got caught at work today--something very big came up, so I apologize in advance if I need to get someone to fill in for me on Wednesday. As it is, I don't expect to have the time between then and now to get it done. See you all Wednesday or next Monday!

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