January 17, 2006
MagRowan - 16:48 EST
MagRowan here! Apparently my penchant for useless
knowledge has finally payed off as I am here
usurping co-hosting today's Q & A column.
Too bad my delusions of grandeur have taken over and
are now playing havoc with my sense of reality...
Reality being me as a post college code monkey.
*Typity Typity Typity*
Ooh! Lime sherbet! Don't mind me, I'll just sit here
and munch some sweet confection. Yum! So anyway... I
will attempt to answer some questions here, without
stepping on Matt's setup, and without dripping the
lime sherbet I am consuming into my keyboard. Tricky
Bring on the column!
The world is dense in monsters!
What do you think of Wild ARMS 4? Well, provided
that you've had the
chance to play it. I'm not that far into (just
enough to see that I
like it before I finish Alter Code F) but I like the
combat a lot. I think that the ability to turn off
encounters once you've "finished" a dungeon is a
brilliant idea that
should have been thought up years ago.
I'm sorry to say that I have not had the chance to
play or even purchase WA4 yet, though I have played a
bit of the original Wild ARMs. I found myself liking
the storyline, but I have never found the chance to
complete the game.
The ability in WA4 you describe seems quite
intriguing. There have been times when I have wished
for the ability to walk through an area unmolested,
just because I found the encounter rate rather high,
but usually I just fall back and look at it as a way
to level up.
My sis on the other hand either levels up or if she's
in FF VI uses the Moogle Charm, gets to the goal, and
I know that you have a wonderful love for Dragon
Quest 8, however I
have one beef with it now that I've played another
RPG, it has to do
with the encounter rate. I'm left wondering why I
into fights while wondering around a dungeon in WA4.
Yes, indeed Matt's love for all things DQ (including
the ice cream franchise), especially the latest
installment, is legendary in this column. I myself,
again, am sad to say I have not had the opportunity to
play it. From what I hear though, the game does have
a high encounter rate, indeed.
Usually, I am not fond of high encounter rates,
myself, if they average out to a battle every couple
of steps. I mean, I love to battle, but if it starts
to feel like slogging through a vat of molasses in the
depths of a northern winter (as one is inclined to do,
yes?), I tend to get a little frustrated.
The antithesis, no battles, is annoying as well
though. I mean it is an RPG, right? Might as well
try a SIM or an e-book if you want story without
Also, am I
alone in thinking that the standard ending for the
game is much for
satisfying and romantic then the one you get for
Okay on that one, I shall most definitely have to
defer to Matt who is the almighty master of all things
DQ (or at least as compared to me).
And on that note, I'm going to dodge the bullet and say "Poo on you, I haven't gotten that far!!"
Regardless, though, I can certainly say that I thought the "standard" ending was really satisfying and well done,
Thats all for now.
Thanks for the letter there Sean! If you have gotten
nothing from my answers, I have at least gotten the
feeling that I am missing out on some interesting
games that have come out recently. Maybe I should
rethink my policy of waiting to purchase games until a
year after release... then again, my backlog and my
bankbook probably couldn't stand up to the influx of
Hi there Slimey?
Oh my- Q&A has to be doing better than this. Tell me that's not your question...?
As for SOCK my best guesses are
a) The Liberal Party
d) Everybody Hurts
Now for the question, what exactly do RPG creators
have against clowns, jesters and jokers?? I can think
of of 5 or so examples where some where over the
course of the adventure you lock blades and press
powers with a... clown... and I just want to hear any
weird theories on it you might have
*Thinks all evil RPG clowns should drive about in tiny
cars that go ernty ernty*
Phew, that puts that question to rest. Clowns can be freaky, as I'm sure you'll agree. I was never really afraid of
them as a kid, but I always thought that they were stupid, and I felt idiotic watching them when the circus came to
town. I hated the circus for that reason, but also because of the flowery smell of feces which would inevitably fill
the auditorium in which it was held. "Dad, go get us some nachos!"
I guess there's something a bit mysterious about the silent nature of clowns, and their brightly-coloured garb
is reminiscent of a wizard's robes. Clowns almost always play magical roles in RPGs, but their chaotic sort of
nature makes them good candidates for a crazy villain or sub-villain (Zorn & Thorn actually come to mind before
Dhoulmagus, and I'm sure there are many others).
I think the idea works well, at any rate. Thanks for your letter!
Hi this is my first time responding I read this
section just about everyday. My question what is the
problem with PSP. There are games to play on it like
Legend of Heroes, Popolocris, Kingdom of Heaven and
several others. Im not a fan boy because I own a DS
too. I own more games on the psp. There both great
handhelds and both are gonna have great games.
I think most people's current reluctance to purchase
the PSP, at least as far as RPG-wise, is the current
lack of 'main-stream' RPGs. By 'main-stream' I mean
the standard lines of games, i.e. Final Fantasy, Mario
& Luigi, Xenosaga, etc. There are some good titles
slated for the PSP, but none of them fall into the
major RPG franchises, that I know of, well, maybe the
Valkyrie Profile title. I do not doubt that the PSP
has some good non-RPG titles, I hear Lumines is like
video crack (or so a sales person confided in me). I,
myself, do not own a PSP due to a lack of fundage for
a new console, even of the handheld variety.
As for the DS, a lot of up and coming games belong to
big franchises like the remake of Final Fantasy III or
the port of Xenosaga I + II or even the recently
released Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. I do
own a DS (yeay for Christmas!) and am personally
looking forward to both new titles and the M&L
title. Those and a lot of the Nintendo franchise
titles as a whole, such as Zelda, Castlevania, and
Mario Kart. I think the Nintendo standard offerings
are what draw most people back to their systems again
The aversion to the PSP might be as simple as loyalty
to a long running champion of handheld world in the
form of the DS, but if I had my way, personally, I
would have both systems. My philosophy? You can
never have too many consoles or too many games, just
too much backlog!
Time for a good finger-wagging
Oh great Slime, lead us to enlightenment, preferably by enlightening us. I must say, you sure do like
messin with us readers...the infimum? Well...at the least I learned something new (I think...I probably read the
fancy definition wrong.) Is your first questions answer a) 1993? thats the one im going with anyway. And question
number 82's answer is most assuradly b) A pretzel. Though to be fair, it was really a black pretzel.
Real analysis is everybody's friend. Well, everybody except for people who aren't math students.
I have been meaning to write in for some time now, but Ive been...well, lazy. However, there is much to say,
and i will begin with a response to some shameless lies that were purpertrated a while ago. SMT: Nocturne is a
damn fine game. And it is far superior to DDS. Not that I disliked DDS, but after playing nocturne I cant
really settle for less. Much in the same way you critisize Chrono Trigger for being too easy, i enjoyed
Nocturne because it was so hard. It was an RPG that was a CHALLENGE. To put that into context, after playing
it then DQ8, I was relieved at being able to take it easy during battles. Nocturnes battle system is set up so
that if you know what your doing you generally will win, but all it takes is an ill timed missed attack or critical
hit or even an enemy casting a spell your weak against to get you killed. And there are none of those fancy armors
or items to make you all uber, no, you have to go find more demons to help you kick ass, a process which can be
fairly gruelling. Though, it does get easier towards the end once you know what your doing...usually. And you
get to fight lucifer if you feel like it.
Sounds intriguing. As regular readers will know, my brother has played both, and his preference, like most other
people I've talked to, is for Digital Devil Saga. While he enjoyed Nocturne, he thought that DDS was a big step up,
and last I heard, he was pining for the sequel. I have definitely heard that it is a challenging game though; from
the sounds of it, there have been many people who have thrown down their poor PS2 controllers in frustration over
the fierce battle system. Not me, though... I'm a Megamivirgin.
Oops...I went on a bit of a rant there...but since you have done the same about DQ8, I dont feel so bad about
endorsing a game I love =). So Ill move on to something else you have Inquired about: the PSP. Its a fancy
system, anyone can tell you that. Its extremely shiney. But as to RPGs...theres not really anyhting worth getting.
There are good games, like Lumines, but puzzle games are fairly notorius for haveing small plot lines. BUT!
There is hope. And that hope i in the form of emulation...emulation ON the PSP. Yknow all those SNES and NES
games you like? Can you imagine playing them anywhere? Anytime? And we all know the SNES had one of the best
RPG librarys ever. So really, you get to play abunch of old games youv already played before, but portably.
*cough hack* I'm sorry to interrupt, but as fun as that may be, I have to put my foot down and say THAT'S ILLEGAL!
Well, technically, it's illegal unless you own the original game, but I still can't condone emulation at all. Why?
Many of the classics from the past have been coming back lately anyway as remakes for consoles and handhelds.
Additionally, with the release of Nintendo's Revolution sometime in the not-so-distant future, many of these games
should be at the fingertips of video game fans anyway. Emulation is a shady practice; refrain, especially since
there are lots of opportunities ahead for gamers.
I myself think its very worth it though, since so many remakes are being made lately. As an aside to remakes...
i want FF6 remade in FFX or even FFX-2 graphics. After seeing the intro in the PS1 remake (port really) i ahve
been pining for such a thing. Ive played the game in 2D, ive had fun with it, but I want to see the characters.
While its true that as Sprites its easier for your imagination to make them seem even more real, graphics are all
that stops the "graphic whores" from playing it. One of my best friends is in the same boat as me about FF8 (we
both think its the best FF) but he wont tough any of the older ones cause of the graphics. Hes an artist, so I
guess that could explain it, but its a shame that these people are so unenlightened. Its like a disease, and esuna
It's true, and it's unfortunate. Final Fantasy VI would be so amazingly great if it were ever remade on a grand
scale. Of course, the game is being remade for the Game Boy Advance in the near future, so we'll have to see
how it turns out, but I doubt it will attract a whole new crop of gamers. Too few people have experienced the greatness
of that game, the game that in my opinion is the unmatched epitome of the Final Fantasy series.
But I am sure you know what I mean...have you ever tried to get people to play a DQ and had them see the
graphics and return it immediately? That happens any time I try to get people to play DW7. Coincidentally,
I stopped trying years ago. But what kind of games do you find that people are the least responsive to? I know
that no one but myself will touch any of the SMT's, even though I find them to be such great fun. In fact, I
play the older ones on my PSP. And though i try ever so hard, only three people I know have played or intend
to play anfy Suikoden games, despite thier obvious greatness.
Heavens yes, I know what you mean. I have friends who saw me playing Dragon Warrior VII a few years back that
concluded within a glance (literally) that the game was utterly boring. Now, whether that statement is actually
TRUE or not is neither here nor there, but the fact is, the opinion was certainly based on graphical loveliness (or
lack thereof) alone. I can't help but wonder if its sequel would not have done so well without the nice eye candy.
It's too bad.
To be sure, Im with you in the "wishing for the old days" mentality...there are still so many gfames in my
backlog, how can I bother playing the rehashes they release nowadays? Strangely I keep buying them though, hoping
theyre actual improvements. And some are...Im just hoping the next tales game is as cool as the...well, all of
the others. Im also hoping Oblivion is good, along with NWN2. The first is a must have for all DND lovers, no
question. You can get it in a set with all the expansions nowadays for about 30$, which is not bad at all considering
how excellent it is. If you get a PC game, its definately the one Id recomend...or maybe warcraft 3...but thats
a different genre, even though the story is remarkable for a RTS.
May the goddes watch over you,
Thank ye. Try not to become too bent out of shape. The genre has a lot of exciting things to offer, and while
it's not always going to be the same as it used to be, there are many new and interesting games of modern times
that you should try out, at least. Remakes and old ideas will be around for a long time to come, but hopefully,
there's also a lot to look forward to. I hope you're following the coverage on Tales of Legendia! There's also
been an announcement of a DS entry into the series; hopefully we see it on this side of the Pacific.
Hee hee hee... watching carpet grow!
Hey Matt and MagRowan.
Tennis its like watching paint dry whilst counting
grains of sand to
the growth of grass in a day. (Shudder)
Too right! The only thing I can picture that is worse
is watching golf... shudder. To me it's like watching
carpet grow... but anyway.
Anyway in this period of waiting between new RPG's
i've finally been
go back to some of the many games that i havn't
passed, like Ys and FF
even have a hankering for Donkey Kong Country 2 which
still in my view
the best 2D platformer to date!
Nothing wrong with going back to the old tried and
true games, or even to complete games started but
never finished. That reminds me that I should
probably go and finish my PC FFVII save soon enough
Anyway since i'm soon going to have
to a US playstation with Valkerie Profile, FF
Tactics, Legend of Mana
Chrono Chross what would you suggest I play first?
Boy, you guys sure like asking about games I have
little experience with today... I have played a bit of
FF Tactics and I have been and active audience member
for Chrono Cross, but the other two, I shall have to
rely on my second hand knowledge (from magazines and
websites) to try to piece together an opinion.
If I were to pick one to start with it would probably
be either Chrono Cross or Valkyrie Profile. Chrono
Cross because it is the sequel to Chrono Trigger (one
of my favorite games of all time), and because it has
excellent music (a must for any RPG!), or Valkyrie
Profile because I have always been curious about the
title. That and it has wonderful artwork/character
design. Chrono Cross would probably still come in
first because it is a turn-base RPG where Valkyrie
Profile follows the battle system of Star Ocean (go
As for FF Tactics, if you are a tactics fan, it is a
rather enjoyable game. My fall through is that I'm
not much of a tactics gamer... But it did manage to
hold my attention for a while before the next shiny
object came to distract me which is no small feat!
(oooh! shiny object...)
Mana? Ummm... Errr... Ummm... Err.... No idea, nope,
none at all. I think I played one of its predecessors
on the spinach green GameBoy long, long ago...
By the way Ys is disapointingly short but is the only
game of recent
to have the same feel to it as Terranigma.
Yours in a Sunburnt Country, with golden soils and
Remember your sunblock! We gamers, who spend too much
time indoors slaving to the consoles, tend to get
extra crispy in anything that approximates natural
And that does it for the questions of today. Thanks to everyone who wrote in, as usual! I'm sure you'll
all agree that my co-host did a fine job indeed; thank you very much for helping me out, MagRowan! May all
of your paths be lined with gold, or chocolate, or lime sherbet, or whatever your heart desires.
Most of you did pretty well in the SOCK, today, though not as many of you are submitting your answers
any more (as compared to a couple of months back). Is it getting boring? Tiresome? Is something on your mind?
You can talk to me... Ah well; this is a chance for
you underdogs to come from behind and take over the Top Ten scoreboard over on the right, there.
As for yesterday's questions, #85 asked what Canadian political party has a leader's name that is an anagram
of "Herpes Panther". If you do some clever unscrambling, you can make "Stephen Harper" out of what you've got there;
he is the leading member of b) The Conservative Party of Canada, unfortunately. Regardless of your political
views, getting that one right was worth 50 points.
The answer to #86 was a) Imitation of Life, for 30 points. I have next to no knowledge of non-video-game
music whatsoever, unless it relates to piano-playing. As a matter of fact, I only have one "real" CD, and that was a
present. Does that make me a gigageek? Anyway, all of those points were enough to shake up the top ten a bit:
Kanato has penetrated through, at long last, and Belthasar2 is roaring not far behind. Keep it up!
On my old RPGamer bio page which has since been updated, which of the following body parts was referred to,
regarding my picture? (45 points)
Things to work for (the SOCK item shop!):
Given the title tag - 0x ^a"The Journal Gourmet" -
what value would the indicator field represented by x
need to set to, to get the title to display starting
with Journal? (70 points)
200 points: Tilde (infinite number remaining!)
700 points: The Final Fantasy 1 "Official" Crazed-Chipmunk-Hold-your-Ears Zipfile Soundtrack (3 remaining!)
1000 points: The Mattie's Mom Cookie Recipe Compilation (5 remaining!)
2000 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #2 (5 remaining!)
That's the name of that tune. That's also all we have to say for the day. Keep sending in your very best
questions, answers, or what-have-you, because I like hearing what's on everyone's minds. Truly. So, for the near
future, talk to me about what you think of the games to come, or the games that should come. What announcements
are we long overdue for... what games do you wish we'd hear more about? Kingdom Hearts II, perhaps? What about
Final Fantasy III DS? I leave you with that to ponder.
See you next time!
***Matt is campaigning for 27-hour days! Sign his petition.
Alas, for the world turns too quickly for my tastes. Where's a good meteor when you need
Jan. 16 - Matt
Jan. 15 - Cast
Jan. 13 - Cast
Jan. 12 - Matt
About the Host
Matt's Newest Unhealthy Addiction
Another Unhealthy Addiction
Matt's Top 3 Current Games:
1. Dragon Quest VIII
2. Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
3. Mario Kart DS
Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:
1. Final Fantasy III
2. Disgaea II
3. Children of Mana
8. Arros Raikou