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ASK XLASH & MATT
Wunderbar March 3, 2006

Xlash - 01:09 EST

RAWR!

The axe has fallen on a new age. Ourobolus's reign of terror has ended and a lone dwarf has emerged victorious to claim SOCK mountain. I, Xlash, will be your co-host for today as we explore the worlds of game violence, short games and Shadow Hearts. Word of warning to Matt, "When me axe be a swinging stay oot 'o range if ye know whits gid fer ye."





L E T T E R S
Does size really matter?


Hey Matt,

I noticed in the letter from the guy who commented about Rhapsody being terrible and it's only redeeming feature was its merciful shortness of gametime, was that he's right. And I don't just mean about Rhapsody.

Xlash

Honestly I don't even notice game length unless I'm just not that into the game for whatever reason. In those cases I many not even complete the games, like Chrono Cross. Having never played Rhapsody I have no comment there.

We need some shorter RPGs again. Now before you all start slapping me about not getting your money out of it or reducing the replayability factor, I'd go so far as to argue that shorter games INCREASE replayability by making it more practical for you to go through it again. As much as I loved Dragon Quest VIII, I'll probably never play it again, if only because my first run through cost me 90+ hours. When I noticed that I was clocking over 60 hours on storyline alone, I knew that I'd have to get every ultimate item and secret so I wouldn't have to play through it again.Compare this with say... Final Fantasy VI, or even Shadow Hearts where they were completable around the 30 hour mark. Many others also fall into this category from the SNES and PSX generations and, as I can recollect, I definitely played those games more than I have my current PS2 games.

Xlash

If game length is really such an issue then I would avoid DQ games completely. Just about any well made games can become so addicting that the time factor doesn't even register until you finish and then its like wow that was 120 hours of my life I'll never get back! But seriously I don't really notice game length unless I'm not enjoying the overall experience and for me that is all it boils down to right there. I can say I use a scale of Story > Gameplay > Customization > Aesthetics and so on but really its an overall feeling you get from the experience. If its something good then of course you will want to do it again. If it seems like more work than its worth than probably not.

You might correlate this with growing up, adding responsibility, developing outside dependencies and priorities but I also find my interest waning after a certain point. Somewhere around the 30 hour mark, my interest dissipates and I have to put down the game for a month or so before getting back to it. And this is during my summer vacation! When I am free from the horrors of university assignments and deadlines to meet! I just feel like we need a good, old-fashioned, fast-paced RPG that we can whip through in 30-40 hours, be immensely entertained and rewarded. I think game companies have it all wrong when they boast about 100+ hours of gameplay! Please tell me I'm not crazy when I say this.

Xlash

Even during my stress-filled school + work years I managed to have time for RPGs, even it was only the weekends. Now I'm all grown up and work with a cool boss that managed to pull me into playing EQ while at work; now if there just enough room to bring a TV and console I'd never have to worry about working late again. Yes that is the horror that is my adult life. Feel free to pity me now.

Matt

Also, I'd say that it's really a shortcoming of the game itself if you're losing interest after thirty hours. If a game remained absolutely compelling for so long, of course you'd want to keep playing it. If you don't feel that way, though, something isn't "right quite", as Geyser might say. Typically, that's a very difficult task to perform, though, and so you're certainly not crazy. I still prefer longer RPGs, but, you know, people are different.

Also, do you remember that SNES game E.V.O. by Enix? Man, I loved that game. A side-scrolling adventure game telling an abridged (and misinformed) story of evolution with RPG customizability in creature creation? Heck yes!

Derek


Xlash

Never played that game but this link here may just be the next stage in evolution games. Sorry I couldn't resist the pun, and thanks to Odd for the link.

Matt

E.V.O.... LOVED it!! It was so wonderfully different in a horribly unscientific way. If only we came from half-cats/half-bunnies. Actually, I know some people who could be adequately described in that fashion...



Sillies


Ok, this isnt really about RPGs, but i just felt like getting published somewhere and see people's reactions, and since this is my favorite site, well...

As of today, March 2nd, in Canada, people called "Sikh" have the right to bring their symbol of religion, a small knife they call a "Kirpan" to public schools. I am extremely angry right now. No, this isnt about racism, but still, these people come over to our country, make us drop religion classes in public schools so we do not force them to learn of our religion, they ask us to remove all crosses refering to Jesus in hospitals, and then, they force US to accept THEIR religions. I think this is outrageous. Young people cant wear caps, or chew gum in classes, but these guys wear KNIVES.

Matt

Canada prides itself on being a multicultural nation and as such, the beliefs of people must (and should be!) accommodated! It isn't a matter of being "FORCED TO ACCEPT THEIR RELIGIONS"... it's allowing other people to practice the things that they believe in. Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees everyone the right to practice the religion of their choice. There is no clause that says that one religion is better than any other. They may have removed the crosses from hospitals, but did they replace the crosses with symbols from any other religion? I don't think so. Public institutions shouldn't appear to favour any single religion, because dammit, there are a lot of different people in this nation of ours! Sorry to burst your bubble...

I'm sure that if a problem results with the Sikh daggers, the students in question will be addressed... JUST like if a kid decided to whip out a perfectly-legal rosary and strangle someone with it.

The charter of rights says everyone is free to practice any religion they like, but it also says that everyone has a right to feel safe, and i DONT feel safe sending my children to a place were others are allowed to carry knives. What next? I start a religion where we always wear a 9mm glock and i go to court asking for my children to have the right to take their's to school? Where's the limit?

Matt

That's an invalid slippery slope argument, and you know it. It's the exact same sort of argument that certain members of the Conservative Party of Canada used when the subject of Same Sex Marriage came up. "What, people can marry members of the same sex?! What's next? People will be marrying their pets, and trees!" Your argument holds no water at all, because no one is asking 9mm glocks to be carried into schools. Also, those rosaries look like they could cause some serious neck-burns...

Hell, if i take vacations to Morocco, my girlfriend cant even wear a skirt because it's against religion there. I go to mexico for a single week and i try to learn a few spanish sentences, to try and fit in better when i'm there. People move to Canada, and they dont even bother to learn a word of english, even if they,ve been here for years!

Matt

Canada is not a melting pot... it's a "multicultural patchwork quilt", and it certainly isn't a religion-state where other people must become borgishly assimilated. If you don't like it, then no one's stopping you: move somewhere else! These people are very often hard workers that contribute greatly to our country's wealth, whether you like it or not.

If you move from your country to ours, its probably because you thought something was not right over there. Dont bring the bad things here! Whats the point! I am proud to live in a country where weapons aren't allowed, and im pissed off knowing that kids will have a right to go to school wearing knives.

Aw... thats better.

-Yulrick


Matt

I'm glad you feel better, and I understand your concerns, but this is an intolerant attitude with an unacceptable tone, in my opinion. We could stand to learn a lot from those who are different than us. Perhaps, by responding with respect instead of irrational fury, this could be accomplished.

If you don't like it, then don't write in concerning non-video-game-related topics! This isn't exactly the best place for discussions like these, but human rights issues hit close to home, and I couldn't help but address your letter. I hope that you at least attempt to see at least a few of my points. And, so that this letter isn't COMPLETELY off-topic, Dragon Quest VIII is a really great game. Now, would someone please send me some REAL mail?



A splash of Australian questions


To XSLASH and, or, but probably not Matt.


Xlash

Well since XSLASH isn't around today I think I will take this one.

I ask this first to every reader, has anybody else found any glitchs in Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time? I've had sectional freezes (Baby Mario's spitted water) and the game has even froze on me. Maybe this is only on the Australian version.

Xlash

I'm sure other readers and probably Matt will reply but as I have never played this game I have no comment here (I hope this trend doesn't continue).

Matt

Doesn't it suck when you feel like you can't answer anything?? That's okay, it happens to me from time to time, and then I feel inadequate for awhile before shaking it off and sticking out my tongue.

Anyway, nope. During my 19 hour, 12 minute trek through Mario & Luigi, I didn't have a single "technical" problem of that nature, so you might just be unlucky. Maybe some other readers had a problem or two? I'd be surprised... Nintendo's games are usually really "stable" in that respect.

Anyway as game music/themes seem to be the in thing at the moment what is your favourite RPG song and non RPG song?


Xlash

RPG song - Cyan's theme plays in my head quite a bit.

Non RPG song - If this really must be game songs I'm really not familiar with any non-RPG music I like, but I will cheat and say that most anything that plays on the radio in GTA:VC since I love 80's music. If you just want favorite song not from a game I would have to say Hotel California.

What at the moment is your most played RPG?


Xlash

To avoid a boring one line response I'll list my top 3.

#1 Final Fantasy VI
#2 Wizardry : Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord
#3 Final Fantasy I

What is your favourite RPG moment?


Xlash

Odin vs Cleyra or Aeris's back vs Masamune...what? Don't judge me!


What is the worst RPG you have ever played?


Xlash

Well I guess the only game that comes to mind right now is Chrono Cross. As much as I enjoyed CT, CC felt so far removed and un-fun that I could not endure playing through even with a guide. I still have the game and I always meant to give it another try but now that my PS1 is dead, that dream is gone.


Um no other questions.

Bainick still can't believe that this joke hasn't died!


Xlash

Good cause I'm only on my second letter and already want a break. My appreciation of you QNA hosts has risen even more.

Matt

Awww, poor thing...you're doing a swell job so far. :)

Just so you don't tire yourself out, I'll do the next one. *bling* (not sure what I'm "blinging" for, but, whatever)



A rerebuttal!


Matt -

I always find it a wonderful thing that when someone speaks up for something that they enjoy, as I did recently with Rhapsody, and sites reasons why, that people who think otherwise will, without fail, chime in using words like "stupid" and likewise try to put into question the maturity, sexuality etc. of the person who did enjoy it.

Matt

I'm really glad that you did write in, too, you know... this would be a really boring column if every single person had the same point of view, and I doubt many people would come back to read very often. If you liked Rhapsody, then by all means, you're entitled to share. I, myself, wouldn't intentionally insult you in the least.

I mean, come on now... there are alot of adults who enjoy Disney movies and the like, and they can easily be argued that the music/animation is 'Bad' or the stories 'Stupid' (or ripped off, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms).

I just fail to see the point of people bashing things they don't enjoy. If you don't like something, saying you don't like it is fine, but why jump the line and start being hateful or insulting of others? Personally what I'm wondering is, if the graphics were sooo horrible (they weren't that bad for the time) then why buy the game, if that's a major complaint?

Matt

Well, you know, since this IS an opinion column, people are going to write in about which games are enjoyable and which games aren't. If some found Rhapsody to be very bleckity, they have just as much right to have their letters posted as yourself. At the same time, it's always a good idea, for any writers, to try and keep the sarcastic banter to a reasonable level; it's not much fun when people get offended.

Also, as far as the music goes, there was an option to listen to the songs in japanese (which I recommend). Did the person who so immediately jumped on the bandwagon bother trying with that? I'd wager not.

How about the battle system? Simple and easy? Absolutely. Sometimes it's nice to be able to sit with a game when you only have an hour or so a day to play and not have to worry about over-contrived battle systems with timed button presses and tekken-like combos, especially when that hour is filled with distractions.

Considering the way I played DQVIII (heavy on exploration and whatnot) I was always far over levelled for the areas I was moving through, and, having a rapid fire controller, a rubber band could have won every random battle I got into. Bad battle system? You be the judge, but I think not. I actually know someone who's chair came out victiorious in the last battle of Final Fantasy VII, and I wouldn't call it "too easy" or "bad" in the way of battle systems. It's all about engrossment to me.

Matt

And, you know, people play RPGs for different reasons. If you are very thorough and explore absolutely every nook and cranny of Dragon Quest VIII, it IS an easy game, I'll agree; however, it isn't necessarily that way. On the other hand, it really does sound like Rhapsody is easy regardless of what strategy you take. Since challenge, for me, is a very important aspect of an RPG, I would probably get bored in a game without any. But, nothing says YOU can't enjoy games that aren't challenging.

Also, I'd argue that a game could have an incredibly complex, grandly orchestrated battle system, yet still be too easy. A game could, on the other hand, have a super-simplistic battle system and remain incredibly difficult. The quality of a battle system has nothing to do with the challenge of a game, so, yeah, I just had to say that.

I realize this is heavy on the rant, but people really need to chill out. They're video games, and there for enjoyment. If you're (general you) getting so bent out of shape that you feel the need to jump on a bandwagon and flame and rave because someone enjoys a game that you didn't, then maybe it's time to get some new hobbies.

Considering I see this sort of trend alot nowadays in the gaming community, maybe "they" are right, and games do have an adverse effect on some people. Or then again, maybe it's just a matter of parenting.

-Crow Devonrae, with his own opinion.


Matt

Ha ha ha... of course! Games ARE games for the sake of fun and fun alone, unless you work for a video game company, and then they're for money and fun. If nothing else, Crow, you can go home knowing this: You can kick up your feet, eat some popcorn, and have fun playing the games you like to play, while everyone else beats each other up arguing over whether or not they're "actually good". You don't need anyone's permission to enjoy yourself. So, enjoy yourself.



A Shadow Hearts Questione


Hi my name is Xavier and I have a question on Shadow Hearts that really need answered. I recently bought Shadow Hearts: Covenant becasue the person in store told me that It was the first shadow hearts game. Now I did research and I found another Shadow Hearts that was released earlier. My freiend told me that it is better playing Covenant first becasue it is a prequal to shadow hearts.Is this true. I mean Ive have seen in the website of gamestop that the first Shadow Hearts costs more than Covenant. I am really confused. Is covenant really a prequal? Why is the first shadow hearts more expensive? Witch is better off playing first to understand the story? Thank You.


Xlash

Oh a quick and easy one for me. Well first of all Covenant is the second Shadow Hearts game but from my understanding is actually number 3 in a series started by Koudelka (yeah I had never heard of it before either). Covenant was the first game of the series I played too and while it is a direct sequel to Shadow Hearts you do not need to have prior game experience to understand or progress through. Because the game does reference Shadow Hearts plot points quite a bit there are understandably many spoilers to that game throughout and may ruin the story for you if you choose to later play Shadow Hearts. I still plan on getting the previous games and the next in the series(Shadow Hearts: From the New World) cause Covenant converted me into a fan. I am not sure why the prices are the way they are but my recommendation is if you don't want the story spoiled for you play SH1 before SH2. However if you don't think you will ever get SH1 you can play SH2 fine and have a full story. Sorry if all that was a little wordy but hopefully it answered your questions.



Ohoho, well then, um, rebut, good sir. What's with rebuttals today?


Two Ts said lots: "Ha ha... outrageous, huh? And why would you say that?"
- Because you seemed to imply that FF2 was the worst case, when some of its spells are quite powerful. (Even FF1 seems to have it worse. But that's due to the Intelligence-bug, where it doesn't factor into the formulas.)

Matt

Are you serious?? What's the purpose of Intelligence, then? Spell defense? Or random-statmanship? And, in my experience, "Ultima 11" did like 400 Damage on all enemies by the end, as opposed to KILLER SOLDIER OF DEATH who did severalfold more. I dunno.

"Firstly, who is the "mage" character? Indeed, why must one even exist,"
- The concept of a "Mage" is one who dedicates their energies into spellcasting, thus becoming more powerful than an undedicated magic user. (I.e. The stats gain/losses of FF2, would favour them over a jack of all trades.) - As for existance, mostly for a balanced party. But no, they aren't a "must".

Matt

I know, and I could never really play an RPG that has wide-open character possibilities and NOT include a magically-focused character of SOME kind. No matter how useless they are, they're still cool.

"especially when physical attacks do far more damage right from the beginning of the game yet cost nothing at all?"
- I disagree. Physical attacks start off inaccuracte, tending to miss quite annoyingly and they won't do significant damage, to those with high physical defences. While damage spells always hit and ignore physical defences. (Plus 2 multi-targeted spells can wipe out large groups, early on at least.) Later on they do fall slightly behind (except against high defences). But by then you could have better spells. Damage spells aren't necessarily the most powerful ones!

Matt

I grant you that; at the beginning of the game, you're right that physical attacks aren't really anything to write home about, and yes, they're terribly inaccurate. It's not nearly as painful, though, as FF1, and their accuracy increases pretty quickly as well. Fighters become useful fairly fast!

Also, you're absolutely right that damage spells aren't the only spells. The thing is, though, that if I had the choice between putting an enemy to sleep and KILLING it by a well-placed physical attack, well, there's no choice to be made! When you couple that with the fact that by no means is the effectiveness of the spell a guarantee, it makes the decision even easier to make. I never understand WHY indirect "strategic" spells fail to work at least MOST of the time. If they're going to do nothing half the time, what's the friggin' point when you could concentrate your efforts towards just getting rid of the enemies altogether? Most of the Final Fantasy series specifically is pretty bad in this area, I find.

"it takes far too much effort to level up spells. You really honestly have to use them during every single attack in every single battle to get them to even respectably powerful strengths."
- Agreed, but is it really a bad thing? I would think the mage's time is well spent, if they were using their spells with a reason! (See bonus question at bottom of message.)

Matt

Maayyyyybe, but I argue that in that case, spells shouldn't cost anything at all. It's... antimageism!

"And yes, she was wearing magician's garb, as far as I can remember."
- Note: Now that is a proble m with FF2; not telling enough of the equipment statistics. (I'm sure many people fall into the trap of thinking gloves sound alright!)

Matt

Grrr... you people and your strategy guides. Or, if not: Grrr... you people and your meticulous habit of equipping of every-single-item and recording the results in an easy-to-refer-to table to look up at future times at your convenience!

"Not only is non-level-gaining a policy of mine in all RPGs, the only reason I stopped to build my strength was just TO increase the effectiveness of spells."
- By overlevelling I didn't mean to the extend that the next boss is rather easy. I meant hours of training to the point that bosses fall, before their first action. Leaving you with a easy and rather dull game to play. (I wasn't trying to suggest that you made those mistakes.)

Matt

*pat pat*

"You have to employ vast amounts of effort and go waayyyy out of your way to get a magician who is as powerful with his/her magic as opposed to the effort you have to put in to get a powerful warrior, where you can easily just attack, attack, attack every turn! That, my friend, is what I am saying."
- Well no, it only takes vast amounts of effect, (etc,) to make all your spells powerful. But powerful Mages don't need to do all 16 spells, in the same way a good Fighter won't need all 8 weapon skills! If you do play favourites, then you only need train a few of them vigorously. (I.e. A powerful "White Mage" might only have Life, Mini & Cure at 8. Maybe a few like Blink & Esuna at 6. And the rest at 4, or so. A "Black Mage", maybe Osmose & Toad at 8. Haste, Berserk & a favoured Damage spell at 6 and some others at 4.)

Matt

That's definitely true, but it's also definitely boring. What kind of mage knows six stupid spells? Not any mage under *my* control, that's for sure. (Maybe... herein lies my problem...? NO, I refuse to give in!)

Note: If you hadn't noticed, I prefer spells which instantly kill off most of a random encounter and let the "Fighters" mop up what's left. (Now that's power!)

Matt

Um, yeah. Oh, right, Toad actually KILLS enemies outright in that game, doesn't it? Or, well, yes, it turns them into toads with a dubious probability, but it effectively does the equivalent of death from an experience standpoint. I suppose your strategy might be worth looking into, but blah, meh, hmm, grmph, ooga... still, lotsa work.

Bonus Question:-
Obviously pure Magic users (in any RPG), can't be casting their most powerful spell as every single action. So what are your favourite pastimes for them, between such assults?

I guess I do like systems where they can use the cheaper, weaker spells. While disliking those which have the enemy suffer the stick waving of little consquence!


Matt

Hmmm... decent question. It depends on the game, I guess. In Final Fantasy games, I tend to either Defend or use weapons as items (mostly in FFIV). I'll occasionally cast a support spell, but you know, most of the time, the foregone conclusions of 99% of the battles are that "you will win anyway", so what's the point? It's not like anyone is judging you for style points. Ooh, now there's an idea...

In other series- say, Xenosaga and Dragon Quest especially, support spells can be absolutely vital. I'd say, though, that despite everything, if I don't feel like casting a spell, I'll often times just be lazy and "attack" for negligible harm. I figure they need the exercise (lazy magicians).



V-Chips remind me of Megaman: Network Transmission!


Dear Matt/XLASH

Concerning the violence in video games controversy, it's starting to get out of hand, IMO. You know about those V chip things that you can put into your television in order to block certain stations at certain times? It basically lets parents make sure that certain violent or adult programs can't be seen by their children. I believe there's also a way to make it so that your children can't access certain Web pages on the Internet without a password. If the game violence controversy gets out of hand, I bet some courts are going to suggest that game companies program a rating identifier of sorts into their games, and console manufacturers add some kind of ratings detector into their consoles. This way, it's like a V chip for games, not allowing certain games to be played if you deem them unplayable for your children. Such a notion would be ludicrous, of course, as it can't be so easily done, but considering how little these people actually know about games, they might think, "Oh, this works for televisions, so why not just do the same for video game systems?"

Xlash

I can see where this might indeed come to pass and really how hard would this be to implement? I mean my used PS2 still asks for parental password for R rated DVDs so while this wouldn't be retroactive for existing games it could be added to next gen games/consoles in some form relatively easily I would think. All that said I don't think it would really accomplish all that much. I mean really when was the last your parents setup any electronic device? Mine were complete techno-phobes and I was always the goto guy for any electronics problems/configurations. While I'm sure there are more tech-savvy parents these days I'm not entirely sure they are any more informed into what their kids are playing.

It seems to me like things such as the V chip are meant to be substituting actual parenting. They're mostly for people who don't want to or can't spend time monitoring their children, so they say, "Let these products do the parenting for us!" For parents who have given up trying to get their kids to understand, these seem like reasonable alternatives. Of course, these can't control what their children see and do OUTSIDE the home, like in other people's homes where they can play GTA and watch Transporter and stuff.

Xlash

I agree. But I see the V chip method you described as more of yet another stop gap in stopping kids from playing mature games without parental consent. In a perfect world such things would work and kids would be shielded from such games but we all know that no system is perfect and kids are a resourceful lot when they really want something.

Matt

Of course, what is the moral of this story? Something along the lines of "There is no substitute for actual parenting, even if it has a flashy cool name," I dare say.

In my opinion, they only way to solve the problem is with communication. Simply taking away GTA and access to violent programs and porn sites from your children won't get them to see what's harmful about them. In fact, they may resent you for it and go find these things elsewhere, outside the home. What's worse is how children with these feelings toward their parents and how they retreat to these violent products can develope urges to act on that anger with what they are being entertained by. That's where communication comes in. Get your children to understand why you do what you do with them, it's because you love them and want what's best for them. Kindly explain to them why certain programs and games aren't for them, and throw in a few hugs for good measure. As for what they do outside the home, the only way to remedy this is to form a trusting relationship with them. Make sure they understand all that is mentioned above and that you love them, and that you trust their judgment. This way, they'll carry that understanding with them wherever they go and know not to betray that trust, no matter how much people pressure them. This is how you teach them right from wrong and develope a close, healthy relationship with your children.

Xlash

Wise words for all parents to follow and works for more than just violent games and programs.

It always disappoints me seeing how so many parents these days say they don't have time to bring up their children (you should never be too busy for your family) or are somehow afraid to get close to their children (something I'll never understand). The rising rate of divorce and juvenile delinquency certainly don't help things. It makes me feel thankful that I come from an intact family with lots of communication and love between us. What do you think?

Alan


Xlash

Thanks Alan for your wonderful letter. I agree with what you said but I have never personally experienced such healthy family dynamics before and am always a little envious of those that have.

This also marks the last letter I get to answer this time through. Hope I didn't make a complete fool of myself and I look forward to doing this again. Until we meet again, may your axe swing true.

Matt

Thanks muchly, Xlash, for your help, and thanks Alan, for the letter. Families are complicated animals, and they differ from case to case, obviously. Life can be really difficult, sometimes, for families with multiple children and two working parents, and it's understandable that exerting an extra effort to be really conscientious of kids' activities might make be an extra burden. I think, though, that that's part of the package with kids: If a couple decides to have children, they really should ensure that they DO have the time to discuss things with them and truly care about what they're up to. I think that it can really make a major difference. On the other hand, it's really easy for me to say, being a 23-year-old graduate student with no plans to have children anytime soon.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

And so, that's about it. You might have seen it if you're one of the few people that frequent my Livejournal, but the great seminar o' death turned out to be absolutely golden. It went so remarkably well, I'd go as far as to say that I'd be VERY surprised if I didn't get above a 90 on it, and that, my friends, is a happy thing.

Also, thanks again to Xlash; hosting can be time-consuming but it's always a lot of fun, and man, we're touching on some pretty strong issues as of late. A note for everyone, for the future: Try to keep the political commentary to a minimum. I used Yulrick's letter as an example, but this is a place to discuss video games and related topics; I'm sure that if you wanted to read about rights, you'd go visit a different website! So, while you're free to write in about anything, there is very little chance that I'll actually post something if it doesn't pertain at least somewhat to appropriate subject matter. Fair enough?

Flashay!


Thursday's questions were a little bit over-the-top, I'll admit, and while there are definitely answers that are absolutely correct, they might require some random guessing. On the other hand, they were worth a total of 260 points, so I'm not really that apologetic.

#127 asked about the first game I ever played on my (now) dysfunctional PS2. Well, I've mentioned a couple of times in history that I went out and bought FFIX the day after Christmas that year because I *NEEDED* it, but the very first game that I played was d) Summoner, on a very dark-screened TV in the family room. It was brutally hard to read the text, I'll tell you that much. 125 points and much joy to those who answered correctly!

#128, on the other hand, was completely random; I basically grabbed the take-out menu off of my desk randomly and decided to ask. #87 on the takeout menu is my very favourite item they have: e) Thai Spicy Noodles with Tiger Shrimp, good for 135 delicious sock points, which you can serve with fish sauce, if you like.

Question #129:
Which of the following is the first game that I ever played on ANY Playstation console? (125 points)

a) Summoner
b) Megaman X4
c) Spyro the Dragon
d) Final Fantasy VII
e) Final Fantasy VIII

Question #130:
Ask Xlash!-->Question #130:
During his last Renaissance Festival visit, Xlash most resembled which of the following RPG characters? (125 points)

a) Minwu
b) Edge
c) Shadow
d) Raijin
e) Auron


Things to work for (the SOCK item shop!):

800 points: Tilde (infinite number remaining!)
2,000 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #2 (4 remaining!)
5,000 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #3 (5 remaining!)


We'll have more co-hosting fun next week, when the great REXY sits by my side, and perhaps another; I can't quite remember exactly who I offered the spot to. Hmm... I shall get on this in time for Tuesday, anyway. In the meantime, send lots of mail to Tiptail, who (really) will be taking my spot this weekend, unless meteors shower down and end the world or something.

Thanks so much, everyone, for another great week, and for making RPGamer such a great place to discuss the ins and outs of your favourite games! I'll see you soon again.

slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt thinks Xlash's SOCK question is really hard!


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Xlash wants me to tell you all "PRIME NUMBERS!! PRIIIIME NUMBERS!!!" Why? No reason. I don't mind; my class is "MathWiz", after all.

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About the Host


Matt's Newest Unhealthy Addiction

Another Unhealthy Addiction

Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. Dragon Quest VIII

2. Mario Kart DS

3. Wild Arms: Alter Code F

Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Mother III

3. Disgaea II

SOCK standings:

1. Xlash
3,015 pts

2. MagRowan
2,608 pts

3. Kanato
2,592 pts

4. Bainick
2,435 pts

5. Rexy
2,333 pts

6. Flamethrower
2,310 pts

7. Ourobolus
2,093 pts

8. Arros Raikou
2,030 pts

9. Dermot
1,890 pts

10. Belthasar2
1,797 pts

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