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ASK MATT
Q-Nut Butter June 14, 2006

Matt Demers - 18:56 EST

WHO EVER WOULD HAVE thought that Dairy Queen Blizzards actually have a fan club? I bought one last night- a "Monster Cookie" one, as part of a promotion- for the first time in months and months. On the cup, however, was a contest, telling me to log in to BlizzardFanClub.com or something like that to play a contest using a code written on the cup's surface. I did, and found myself playing for the dangerous prize of Free Blizzards for a year. I thankfully didn't win, and later calculated the odds of winning any game as roughly one in fifty-three thousand. I'm sure my jeans' buttons are even happier about the loss.

Ice cream is sweet, but so are your letters! Let us now dive into the old mailbag to take a look at today's offerings:




L E T T E R S
That Blizzard had chunks of soft peanut-butter-oatmeal cookies in it! OMG yum.


Hey Matt,

First off I would have to say #224 d) Lita and #225 d) Gryphon Dome.

Secret Answer #5 z) 91.

Its true that we all have different opinions about what makes for a good game. I can't really comment on SoM as I have never even played a Mana game before. The big three games I played that left bad taste in my mouth were: Crono Cross, Breath Of Fire: Dragon Quarter and Kingdom Hearts. While each one had some good qualities, I just could not force myself to finish them.

Matt

Hmm. If you haven't tried a Mana game of any sort, you should. They're interestingly different than the norm, and most of them manage to capture a "feel" common to the series that you can't really find anywhere else.

Your three bad-tasting games would be better, I'm sure, with some sort of sauce. I'm not really sure what kind of sauce goes with RPGs, but I'm going to stop this quasi-joke now before I regret starting it.

Interesting, though; with those three choices, you've managed to pick one of my favourite games (BoF: DQ), one game that really doesn't turn me on at all (KH) and one that was very "comme ci, comme ça" for me in the end (CC).

As for games I loved that hardly anyone else did, would have to be the Wizardry series. For the longest time I felt like I was the only person that knew they existed. I remember somebody else talking about more games needing to give you full party control like DWIII did and Wizardry has always delivered in that respect(maybe not IV, but that title was more of a spin-off where you play as the villian from the first game). Also, you get the option to carry your party over from one game to the next so you can really get attached with your party of six characters. Yes thats right you get to bring SIX people into a party and later games added 2 slots for NPCs! Anyway its an old series that brought me into the world of RPGs, so I like to give credit where its due. Also if the 'graphics' are too oldschool for some there were ports to consoles that were prettier. Didn't mean to rant on Wizardry there.

Matt

Do not worry- your "rant" is hardly offensively long or annoying. Wizardry is "known" to many but it isn't a game that has actually been experienced by most of those people. I'd bet you that if you took a poll of people that read or work at this site, 50% or more will have heard of the series, but less than 10% will have actually played it. I'm one of 'em. I have no idea how I'd be able to get into the series at this point, unless the Wii's Virtual Console shines through.

In other news I have gotten my first handheld console(please hold your applause). I went looking at the DS games cause I was tempted to get a DS Lite but sadly none of the games interested me and all the games I wanted to start with were GBA. While I know the system is backward compatible I wasn't willing to shell out the big bucks for something I don't need until September! So I got a deal on a GBA SP and 3 Final Fantasy titles all for $60 instead. I am 6 hours into FFI(dawn of souls edition) and already have 3 crystals lit. I've replayed the original so much its hard for me to get lost. The bonus dungeon will be new for me though and then I can move on to II which I have only played a few times so I'm sure I won't rush that. The other 2 games are FFIV Advance(which I am anxious to play) and FFTA which I am leary to give a second chance. FFTA remains to this day the only FF I ever started to play and quit. Mostly I blame on having the GBA for a weekend. Now I'll have no excuse. I guess that's all the news I have for now.

Matt

I can hardly blame you for taking a deal like that, and it's true that there aren't really very many RPGs out for the DS at all that are truly worth picking up. Besides, if those keep you busy for long enough, perhaps you'll have the chance to pick up a DS in a year after a potential price cut. By then, all sorts of RPGs should be on the market!

There were many topics that came up since E3 that I wish I had had a chance to comment on but I hate beating a dead horse so I shall hold off for now.

Xlash the dwarf berserker


Matt

Oh, anyone interested in talking about E3 here would definitely not be beating a dead horse! E3 was just a month ago, and it's the biggest show of the year. If you have any questions, this is the place to ask 'em, and I promise that I'd never bite your head off (I start from the feet).



To have and to hold, to love and to hate.


Hi Matt,

I like the topic on guilty pleasure rpgs and there counterparts. My guilty pleasure list is actually fairly large.

Here are the games I own and love and the reasons why:

Matt

The floor is yours.

Breath of Fire III-I have no idea why, I just do

Star Ocean II- I know exactly six people that like this game. The battle system is awesome, and Dias Flac is one of favorite characters.

Final Fantasy IX- Though not universally hated, it has a fair number of detractors. The love is obviously born of nostalgia, but the game itself is a better than average title really.

Arc the Lad I - Again, don't know why.

Arc the Lad II - I love this one because of the easy to understand strategic battle system, magic is marginalized, great story, and I could bring over all my friends from Arc I.

Lunar II Eternal Blue - It was just like Lunar I, so of course I loved it.

Dragon Warrior VII - I thought it was fun and engaging.

Matt

Well, that's not a terrible list. Let me say a few things, here.

-Breath of Fire III is a game that I've tried hard to get into twice, but failed both times. I don't know why. I want to get further, if only because I think spending $30 on five hours of game-time is a giant waste.

-You can add seventh and eighth fans to your list of people who like Star Ocean II, because I really liked the game and it's one of my brother's absolute favourites. Sure, the story was a little obtuse at times, but the battle system was awesome and the music was great, too.

-Final Fantasy IX hatred is overdone. I agree with dissenters that it has some shortcomings, but come on... it's not that bad of a game. I prefer it to its sequel, personally.

-Arc the Lad is something that people write in about from time to time; there's a quiet but loyal fanbase out there who will fiercely defend those games if necessary. Anyone who gets to 100,000 Points in my contest will get to try the collection out, too.

-Lunar is a series I haven't dabbled in, but I'm about to start very shortly. Not with Eternal Blue, though, so I still can't say.

-Dragon Warrior VII was disappointing but made me happy as a huge DW fan. It gave me hope that the series wasn't quite gone for good in North America, and that made it sweeter still.

The list of games I hate and others love is much longer :

Final Fantasy Tactics - The combat was like pulling teeth.

Disgaea - Combat was a chore without revival spells, and I didn't think it was funny.

Paper Mario - Just felt weird.

Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask - Battles were hard due to poor targeting

Suikoden - Which one? All of them. 108 stars of destiny is about 100 too many.

MMORPGs - Which one? All of them. Especially WoW.

Elder Scrolls series- Never got the appeal of having a character so customizable that they have no coherent connection to the story at all.

Castlevannia series- no rpgs in the bunch. 'nuff said.

Kingdom Hearts 1&2 - Keep your cartoon corporate shills out of my rpgs.

I could keep going but I won't.

cap


Matt

It sounds like Tactical RPGs aren't your thing, Cap. I really liked Final Fantasy Tactics, until Mr. Cheapo joins your group. Oh, Orlandu... why did you have to easify such a wonderfully challenging game? Disgaea I like just for the crazy customization and the kookiness. The storyline itself wasn't the funniest thing (usually) for me; it was the little things like the bizarre item descriptions and NPC dialogue.

A brief synopsis of my feelings on the above:
I really love Paper Mario games, even though they're rather divisive. Not everyone loves 'em, but I just think they're hilarious to play. Majora's Mask is a game that I never got all the way through but would love to. The only Suikoden I ever played unfortunately bored me (perhaps as an immature 15-year-old). MMORPGs are the devil, in my opinion, as most of you probably have detected over the past several months. Elder Scrolls... I actually played Oblivion at E3, and I'm sorry, but it's just not my style, despite how cool it seemed and how nice it looks. I haven't played Castlevania since the SNES era, but they certainly weren't RPGs then- it's weird to imagine them as RPGs now. And Kingdom Hearts? Not my thing, either. I guess we're about 50-50 on the "bad" side, hmm?

Phew. Thanks for writing in, Sir Cap!



Hating the ratings.


Hi Matt.

I just read this over at GamesAreFun.com: http://www.gamesarefun.com/news.php?newsid=6521

Apparently there was a bill signed in Oklahoma regarding restrictions of games depicting "inappropriate violence" and fining minors buying M- or AO-rated games.

Matt

Hmmm, I'm not so sure that I agree with that. They're "minors" for a reason; the responsibility, to me, should lie elsewhere. Please go on.

They specify exactly what inappropriate violence means, according to the law. I don't have much of a problem with most of the criteria (although, as always with such things, they're pretty general), except for a few points:

"uses brutal weapons designed to inflict the maximum amount of pain and damage" That would mean practically every single game in existence, especially RPGs, considering how in almost all RPGs you upgrade weapons.

Matt

Indeed, that's some pretty vague language. It could be taken as meaning "any game with a most powerful weapon in it cannot be tolerated" by those that hate video games, and of course that would cover ANY game with a weapon. On the other hand, it could also mean "any game where there is a weapon to which absolutely nothing could be added to make it worse/more gruesome/more devastating", and since you can always add a stronger poison to the tip, or more explosives to the mix, or something... you can ALWAYS come up with something worse, theoretically.

In any case, I love the hypocrisy, considering the maximally destructive and painful weapons that the US just happens to have stashed away. I don't really mean to stir politics into the mix, but how can a government preach about fictitious video game weapons when it has more deadly weapons stockpiled than the rest of the countries of the world put together?

"endorses or glorifies torture or excessive weaponry" Another issue which would exclude game such as FFVIII for example, which is rated T. Well, that might not be true since the torture scene isn't "glorified", I suppose. Still, by the end they do say "let's take a chance at destroying reality and see if we can fix it back".

It seems incredibly difficult to write a law that deals with such issues (all the more reason to leave those decisions with parents, I think).

Matt

Exactly. Clauses like those are subject to massive interpretation, and reading them leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I agree with you; parents and guardians should be the ones responsible, here. Why target video games, anyway, when the movie industry seems to be FAR, FAR worse these days? Did anyone see Saw? Hostel? What a terrible (potential) double-standard.

There are four parties involved in the "violence in gaming" debate - the gaming industry (publishers and creators), the parents, the children and the government.

I don't think it's the industry's job to censor itself. I think it is the publishers' responsibility to inform the rest of the world about what kind of game they're putting out there. Which is exactly why the ESRB is for.

Matt

Absolutely right, as far as I'm concerned. Movies are subject to ratings guidelines, and so games should be as well. Nothing more, and nothing less. The ESRB informs consumers of what they're buying at the electronics store without taking away their right TO buy whatever they choose. The movie industry would tank if the only films to ever make it to release were rated PG, don't you think?

I don't think children can always judge what's good for them or not, although they're very often underrated. It's amazing how some people don't know how to speak with children...

Obviously, the parents have a great responsibility in this matter. However, they usually don't play what their children play or monitor them while playing. So they have to rely on the ESRB and legislature regarding games.

Matt

But I'd say that usually it's the parents that buy the games for younger children, so they should be very aware of what exactly they're buying. Parental ignorance is an easy thing to brush aside when fingers can be pointed at video game companies and the blame-game can be played. I would hope, though, that with that attention to the ratings system, this extra legislative business should be unnecessary.

As for the legal system, I think it has some responsibility as well. There *is* a place for it, if only in monitoring that the ESRB are doing their job. However, such a law as stated above tries to override the ESRB, created its own set of measures to a game. That hurts all parties because people could get contradicting opinions from both organizations (it's not specified in the article exactly who's supposed to rate the games with these standards).

So, who has the ultimate responsibility? Is there an ultimate responsibility at all, or a need to monitor anything? I'm pretty sure most people agree kids shouldn't be allowed to play everything. Who gets to determine that line, and where?

Matt

I think that the system that is in place works well enough as it is. If anything, make it so that M-rated games are illegal to buy until the age of 17 without permission, and T-rated games until 13, etc, even though I think that's still a little over-the-top. I just hope that game developers are never restricted FROM making these types of games, because that would be a significant strike against video gaming when no such strike is needed, as far as I'm concerned.

It reminds me also of the story I read (but I don't know a lot of details, so I could be wrong) about China only allowing a censored version of Google on there. I always though the web is a free thing, it's a bit frightening that a government can so easily control a part of it.

Zohar Gilboa


Matt

Yes indeed. I read an article recently, interestingly enough, about how there are some politicians in the United States who are pushing for a "regulated Internet" of some sort, involving prioritized traffic flow for different types of sites, fees, and other things that I can't quite remember clearly. Pretty scary; I guess that we had better not take for granted the freedom that we have today in the online world.

Thanks, Zohar, for the charged letter. I have a feeling that it will invoke much response.



Another vote against MMOs!


You know Matt, one RPG series I play that most people really don't like (or haven't heard of it) is Persona. Yeah I know I talk about Persona a lot, but I love Persona. It kinda made me wanna study human minds and emotions, and the facets of human souls in general, which I in turn, use in my poetry and such.

Matt

Persona is a series that is closely tied to the Megami series in a way I'm not entirely sure of, since I haven't played EITHER yet, semi-sinfully. Well, that's not entirely true; I did play a bit of the demo of Persona 3 at E3, and I have to admit that it looked pretty neat. The problem with demos, though, is that the people showing them off always try to appeal to the popular masses. I heard lots about "how cool this graphic looks" and "how cool this summon is" but didn't really hear a whole lot about the internal systems and storyline of the game, which are things that I personally put at the top of my priority list.

Conversely, I'm not too keen on WoW, or Starcraft, or any MMORPG that has the word "craft" in it's title. I just never got into it that much. Not too big on Everquest either.

Short and sweet this mornin' Matt, as I'm about to head to work! Farewell!

~Donovan


Matt

I often wonder why there seems to be so many anti-MMORPG people that read this column. There has to be a lot of them out there somewhere, or else these types of games wouldn't exist. But I get next to NO mail about Final Fantasy XI, World of Warcraft, or any other MMORPGs, which is probably good anyway, since I would be hard-pressed to find answers. Perhaps the types of people that enjoy MMORPGs tend to shy away from or dislike columns like this one for some reason. Who knows? Then again, you didn't say you're anti-online-gaming; you said you didn't like online games with "craft" in their names. Perhaps my wondering is meaningless after all.

In any case, have a great day, Donovan, and thanks for writing in!



Eww, parsnips! I hate all vegetables now!


Greetings once again O' Slime of Wonder,

It's funny to see that (apparently) my 1-2 letters have garnered a group of fans. Or so the guest host on Friday would have me believe. Anyway, before I get started I just want to confirm that this Irish Ninja is, in fact, a guy. There seemed to have been some confusion.

Matt

May it be known to all of the world, then!

Isn't it fun to get an unsolicited fifteen minutes of fame?

As for my question, it is rather short in itself but requires some backstory. You see, last summer I bought a copy of Star Ocean 3 for my PS2 because (a) it had some good reviews for it, and (b) was only $20. Plus, I thought the sci-fi aspect of the game could make it interesting. Skipping ahead a few weeks later, I found that I absolutely hated the game. The battle system was horrid, towns were an absolute pain to navigate, the story didn't seem to be moving much at all, and at the point I quit playing, the science-fiction setting had barely been touched. I finally sold it off to a friend and bought something more to my liking. Since then, I've been very cautious of real-time battle systems in RPGs. I've also been shying away from sci-fi themed RPGs, like Xenosaga or the upcoming Phatasy Star Universe.

So on to my point: have you ever disliked a game so much that it turned you off to any similarly themed titles?

~ The Irish Ninja


Matt

Argh. Not really? No, I don't think I have had that happen. I know that a "parallel" thing is true, for sure, though: I've experienced many games that have caused me to seek out more similarly-themed games because of how good they were.

See, while I wasn't terribly fond of Star Ocean 3, either, I went ahead and tried another games with a similar battle system soon afterward, when I got Radiata Stories. It's neat to see variations and refinements of a similar idea, and besides, I knew that I liked the battle system in Star Ocean 2 despite the annoying AI of Number 3.

It didn't really turn me off to similar-themed games, also. I guess that while I could categorize games in my mind into similarly-backdropped groups, I tend to focus on game mechanics and battle systems as being of primary importance in my games. Everyone, of course, is different.

Also, while I am a heavy critic on many different games, I like to give 'em all at least a fair chance. Except for Young Merlin. I really knew that was going to be a loser as soon as I switched on my poor Super Nintendo's power button. Oh, and MMORPGs with monthly fees. NOT happening.



No man's land... what now?


Hi Matt

I've been meaning to write to you for a while now to say thanks? Thanks for what? Well, based mainly on all your positive comments in your columns, I ordered my own copy of Dragon Quest VIII last December. It remember the day it arrived very clearly, as it also happened to be my birthday! I must have played the game for at least 7 hours that day, and I remember when I eventually had to go back to work in the New Year I'd clocked up over 45 hours in the space of around 10 days! The rest of the game took rather longer to complete, as I had to fit it around my daily schedule, but eventually in early March I finished off the game after 73 hours of gameplay.

Matt

Good for you! I'm glad that you enjoyed the game, which was definitely one of the strongest RPGs of last year. It's nice to know that there is another style of older-school gaming, still, and it's reassuring that so many people have been able to find this traditional feel to be such a positive experience! It gives me lots of hope that the future of this sub-genre isn't so bleak after all.

Since finishing the game however I find myself in a bit of a RPG slump. I've tried playing various games from my backlog, only to lose interest about a third of the way through and stop. Nothing seems to match up to DQVIII for sheer quality. I have gone through this before, when I couldn't bring myself to finish Final Fantasy VIII - but then Skies of Arcadia snapped me out of it. It remains one of my favourite RPG's to this day and is the only one I have played more than once. Has this sort of "RPG apathy" happened to you when you've played a game that's just so good it serves to highlight how boring everything else is?

Matt

Oh, definitely. I had a severe case of it after finishing up Final Fantasy VII, and more recently, like you, with Dragon Quest VIII. I try not to dwell on it, though; a good thing to do is to take up an old and familiar, fun game that you know you like, and play it through again. Fill up that pit of apathy with the love of past games! Of course, you need a little bit of free time to employ such a strategy, but it works. Another, newer strategy that I've taken is to just open my mind to other, less-trodden series that I haven't tried before. Sure, it hasn't worked too well yet, but it's neat to broaden your horizons and see just how much is out there that you haven't yet sampled, I find.

The only game I'm playing right now that has managed to sustain my interest is Final Fantasy I&II: Dawn of Souls which I'm playing on my DS. I've activated two crystals and gone through the class change - I guess that makes me about halfway through? (Not including the extra stuff). While the high encounter rate is a bit annoying, I'm actually finding the relative simplicity very enjoyable, and it's a great game to play during my 30 minute commute to and from work everyday. I've never played an FF pre VII, although I do own them all (except III) on GBA or PS1. I've got 5 more games to look forward to (6 if you include FF XII, more if you include the Tactics games as well).

Oh well, maybe after I've finished FFII I will give Shadow Hearts Covenant, Wild Arms Alter Code F, Xenogears or Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time another chance.

Matt

It's only too bad that you won't get to experience IV, V, and VI except in those Playstation ports. I'm sure that you've heard, but they're really, REALLY bad. When I say "really", I really mean EXTREMELY. I'd almost recommend waiting until the GBA remakes come hither, because I'm just worried that the load times and weird glitches will leave you with a terribly sour taste in your poor mouth.

Those other games have a good handful of fans apiece, so don't be surprised if you grow to love at least one of them. Just approach them with an open mind, and see what happens!

I nearly forgot to ask - have you seen the trailer for DQ: Rocket Slime? It's rather corny, but quite funny nonetheless. The Official Nintendo magazine here in the UK gave away a disk this month with all sorts of Wii and DS videos and that was one of them, as well as FFIII and Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. I'm really glad the DS has proven to be such a runaway success, it really deserves it. I will finally get my hands on my brand new shiny exclusive black DS Lite in less than two weeks. I can't wait!

Phew, I've gone on rather longer than intended. I would like to try your SOCK quiz as well but quite frankly the questions are beyond me this time so I will have to guess:

#222 - d?
#223 - e?

Thanks for your time Matt, keep up the excellent work you're doing on Q&A!

IceTiger


Matt

Oh, I know. Damn, I want a DS Lite, but I can't justify buying another DS when I already own one. Maybe someone will buy this one off of me, even though the touch screen is slightly scuffed by this point...

Also, not only did I see Dragon Quest: Rocket Slime, but people were playing it at E3! I haven't heard anything except that it's a whole lot of fun; the feel is reportedly kinda like a strange mix of Zelda and slimes. I can't wait to see it on store shelves within the next few months!

Thank you, IceTiger, for your letter! And remember... even if the questions might be beyond you, and you get both of them wrong... you get 100 points per day JUST for trying. So, don't despair!



Je suis un dum-dum.


Heres one completely random uninteresting fact:English is hard to learn because believe it or not there are actually quite a lot of irregular verb endings.Hohohho What a random piece of information.

Matt

Very good. Don't many languages have a lot of irregularly-conjugated verbs too, though? There seems to be no end to them in the French language, though to be honest, I really don't have a lot of linguistic experience beyond the "Canadian double-team", if you catch my drift.

Hmmm Fire Emblem. I still have nightmares on how i restarted several of the last fights for the 1000000000th time because i couldnt stand to have ONE charecter dead. Shiver.

Matt

For Fire Emblem to be a "real" story, I'd want to play through the game and just take whatever losses occur as reality, living with the consequences forevermore. It's a neat idea, but I want to get through it perfectly, first. Where are those 27-hour days??

I have never never never NEVER skipped text in an RPG.For me the story is incredibly important,one of the most important aspects that set RPG's apart from other genres.Well the gameplay has to be good too but the story gets me interested.

The only time i have skipped text(whoops i just contradicted myself)was when i was playing an RPG with an incredibly bad/uninteresting storyline or maybe even bad voice acting.Then i would get stuck just because i didnt listion.Ah maybe im just to picky.Thank God for gamefaqs anyway.

Matt

Well, so it wasn't "NEVER". But "almost never" is nearly as good. I never intentionally skip text in RPGs, but how many of you have accidentally done so, only to get frustrated when you begin wondering if you missed some vital information? I generally do that a couple of times per game, and it bothers me a WHOLE lot; it usually happens when some odd window will close automatically without me being aware, so my press of the X button (or whatever button) ends up closing the next window instead. How irritating!

Methinks that me DS really does love me.Everytime i look at my PSP i think it wants to kill me,as Sony programmed it to.So with every PSP owner dead Sony can finally take over the world by force.Hold on that wouldnt work.DAMN YOU ALL YOU HELL!

Ahem anyway,the PSP just gives off an aura of corparate nastiness.While the DS is,i guess,more friendly looking.And its made by Nintendo,who has a more family friendly feel i guess.

Matt

I guess. You and TV's Adam both have this odd view on things. How does a piece of plastic give off a "corporate" aura? What does a corporate aura even feel like? I guess my own opinion is just based on the fact that every single game that anyone has ever tried to get me to play on a PSP has been dislikable. For example, my cousin Justin came up to me trying to show off his flashy new PSP, and got me to play this UBER-NEAT RACING GAME. It had gorgeous graphics, sure, but ugh. It just felt like EVERY other "realistic racer" I've ever played. If I ever had the urge to play such a detestable thing, I'd put a loonie into a theatre arcade game instead.

My E3 experience was the first enjoyable one I've ever had with that handheld. Blade Dancer was refreshingly neat to play a bit of, and LocoRoco looked absolutely bizarre and interesting.

I was never moved by Yuna's sending scene in FFX.Ah my heart is so cold.But seriously,i found all of the charecters in FFX annoying when compared to the other FF' s.And i swear to god they couldnt pronounce Tidus's name right in the voiceacting.

Matt

Of course they couldn't, because they never once tried to. In Kingdom Hearts, however, they kept referring to him as *shudder* Tee-dus. GAH! GACK! SPUTTER! Not. Acceptable.

The whole shebang with the Wii and PS3 made me think back to the ORGINAL gameboy,yep the big grey brick that could play black and white tetris and its rival the sega gamegear.Which i guess were in a similiar position if you swap the battery life with the price tag.

Matt

It still amazes me that the original Game Boy held up SO well to the Game Gear and other handhelds that were so vastly superior to it. That proved, I guess, that graphics and power aren't everything. Pricing, games, battery life, and many more things help to balance the equation.

Im pretty much a fan of Sci-Fi as well as RPG's so i was interested in star oceon and Xenosaga.Although they were both pretty dissapointing.In fact there needs to be a good Sci-Fi RPG.

Enough of my pestering,its time for me to go and play......Something.

From the diobolical Dr.T,this time with and added full stop in between the Dr and T.
Have a nice day.


Matt

Hey! You should be super-excited about Final Fantasy XIII, then! You can Agito it up, or Versus it up, or whatever. I don't even get what's with this multiple-versions thing, but one thing was made clear by the trailer: If you want a sci-techy RPG, FFXIII may have at least the setting you're looking for.

Thanks for the letter, and have a nice day yourself!





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Yech. This column felt so serious. Surely we tackle some serious issues from time to time, but I found it remarkably difficult to inject humour into anything today. So, I hope you didn't die during this, the most boring edition of Q&A ever to hit RPGamer's front page! I sincerely hope that you drank some Jolt or Red Bull before daring to read.

Flashay!


***Answers to June 13th's Questions***

#224. b) Norn - 300 points/600 for purelunatic (Thanks for the submission, meow!)

#225. d) Gryphon Dome - 320 points (This is the most ugly place to hold a convocation- it's a prism-shaped canvas dome used to play indoor sports during the winter.)

Bonus: z) 91 - 1 Star (Wind Man and Knight Man! Whoo-hoo!)


***Today's New Questions***

Reader-Submitted #226: Which of the following Tales of Symphonia characters has a name that can be changed into that of a bride in another RPG by simply swapping a single vowel? (325 points)

a) Colette
b) Kratos
c) Raine
d) Sheena
e) Presea


#227: Which of the following is true about the town of Silvera? (320 points)

a) There are more pigs than frogs.
b) There are more frogs than pigs.
c) There are equal numbers of little people, pigs, and frogs.
d) The number of little people, the number of pigs, and the number of frogs are all divisible by 2.
e) The number of little people, pigs, and frogs summed together is divisible by 3.

Side contest scores: (look for the hidden link in every column to compete for Ouro's 2,094 points!)

5-Star People
Dermot
Macstorm
BigWook
Erika
JokingChimer
Gilgamesh

4-Star People
Aurelius
DMJewelle
MagRowan
LufiaLvr

3-Star People
Xlash

2-Star People
Cap
Knighttrain
Leaper

1-Star People
Bainick
Gaijin
Belthasar2
Arros Raikou
BenOblong


SO, the competition continues! There is another link hidden in this column. Find it and answer the bonus question to gain another star! We're going to go until we have ONE person left in the lead, and that person gets bonus points equal to 2,094.


--------------------------
STRAGGLERS: (people who need to check their e-mail because they have unclaimed items- if you fall off the list, it's TOO LATE FOR YOU! Check your spam/trash folders for my messages if you're not getting them)
  • Kyre7Lar
  • Alexander
----------------------

SOCK's Item List

*You may obtain these items upon reaching the listed point benchmarks!*

2,000 points: Your choice of Blind Spell(2 left) or Point Doubler(1 left)
3,500 points: Your choice of Blizzard Spell (2 left) or Sneak Glove (1 left)
5,000 points: Your choice of Esuna Spell (2 left) or Fira Spell (2 left)
7,000 points: Your choice of Mithril Armor (3 left) or Damage Deflector (2 left)
10,000 points: Your choice of Ultra Sneak Glove (1 left) or Confuse Spell (2 left)
14,000 points: Your choice of Blizzara Spell (2 left) or Annoying Curse (2 left)
19,000 points: Your choice of Rename Card (2 left) or Vanish Spell (2 left)


Click Here For Item Descriptions and Contest Rules!

SOCK's Prize Shop

*You may SPEND points here in order to obtain any of the following prizes- new ones may appear at any time*

2,000 points: Matt's Mom's Cookie Compilation- 6 fantastic recipes right out of Matt's mom's amazing kitchen! Yours, upon request. (5 left)

4,000 points: Intro Paragraph Cameo- If you feel like having a piece of Q&A all to yourself for a day, but you're not up for answering a bunch of questions, this option might be just for you! Say the word, and the Intro Paragraph is yours to do whatever you want with for a day. (5 left)

15,000 points: Nintendo Wii Canvas Carrying Bag- It's simple and white, with blue print, and two drawstrings; I picked this up while waiting in the nigh-infinitely long line to play Nintendo's new console at E3 2006. If you'd like it, I'll mail it to you free of charge! (1 left)

15,000 points: Pokémon 10th Anniversary game case- Not as special as it sounds, but useful for carrying up to 4 DS games or 2 DS games and 2 Game Boy Advance games. Translucent plastic with a silver Pikachu and print on the front. (1 left)

15,000 points: Bonus Cohost Opportunity- I like giving these out because I don't have to pay for shipping. (3 left)

20,000 points: Cohost Opportunity #4- It might sound like a lot, but it'll be here before you know it. Your next chance to reign over Q&A with yours truly. (5 left)

22,000 points: Slime Keychain Dangler- Fresh from the Square Enix booth at E3 2006, this cute little guy can be yours. (1 left)

22,000 points: Slime Snail Keychain Dangler- Anyone remember Slime Snails from Dragon Warrior III? I managed to snag one of these, too. Strut with Dragon Quest pride!! (1 left)

25,000 points: Full Host Opportunity #1- This is it. Write your own Q&A section, without having me interrupt, break in, or steal your sunshine. Be RPGamer's new idol for a day! (1 left)

30,000 points: Nintendo DS Lite Carrying Case- This won't quite fit old-model DS handhelds, but it's lightweight and flashy. White and black with an extra zippered pocket for carrying games, and a hook to attach to clothes, backpacks, or whatnot. I received this at Nintendo's Pre-E3 Media Briefing. (1 left)

30,000 points: Your choice of Megaman X4, X5, or X6 for the PSX. If you're into the Megaman series as much as I am, and you don't own any of these, I don't need them any more, now that I have purchased the collection. You can take your pick, and I'll send it to you in the mail with a handwritten note of congratulations from myself. They aren't RPGs, for sure, but I'm working on it for the future. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (3 left)

50,000 points: Suikoden for the PSX. Play the game that started off the entire series! Josh was generous enough to donate this exciting prize, so it would be cool to send this to a good and loving home. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (1 left)

100,000 points: Arc the Lad Collection, for the PSX. Donated by ~Sean~~, so thank him! This collection contains four RPGs from an often-overlooked series. If you can get to 100,000 first, you can call this your own. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (1 left) *********************************************************


Phew. There will be more in the morrow. Whether the questions will be lighthearted or similarly serious is up to the lot of you! For now, though, it's time for me to crawl back into my hole. Bye-bye!

slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt likes dank, dark places... unless it's nice 'n' sunny out!


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Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. The New Super Mario Brothers

2. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

3. Radiata Stories

Matt's Top 3 Gaming Desires:

1. Disgaea II

2. Final Fantasy III

3. Xenosaga: Episode III

SOCK's Top 25:

1. Bainick
15,431 pts

2. Dermot
15,236 pts

3. Macstorm
14,305 pts

4. BigWook
13,896 pts

5. Alan Tse
12,993 pts

6. Xlash
12,977 pts

7. Colabottle
11,196 pts

8. Alexander
10,044 pts

9. Flamethrower
9,161 pts

10. FinalDelerium
9,147 pts

11. Aurelius
9,144 pts

12. Cap
7,564 pts

13. Erika
7,375 pts

14. Kanato
7,177 pts

15. TV's Adam
6,635 pts

16. Knighttrain
6,604 pts

17. DMJewelle
5,765 pts

18. MagRowan
5,552 pts

19. JokingChimer
3,700 pts

20. Leaper
3,505 pts

21. Gaijin
3,258 pts

22. LufiaLvr
3,010 pts

23. Belthasar2
2,823 pts

24. Purelunatic
2,695 pts

25. Gilgamesh
2,693 pts

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