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Try, Try a Hen
May 23, 2007

Matthew Demers - 21:19 EST

LONG WEEKENDS FLY BY way too quickly. I managed to zoom home for a bit to spend some time with the family, which was nice. Gaming-wise, I played some Pokémon with my brother, but more importantly, I discovered that my family really is newly obsessed with a board game called Settlers of Catan, which we played at least four times over the two-day period. 'Twas fun, but the weekend is over, and here I am.

I don't really have too much more to say than that, so let's begin with today's letters!




LETTERS
I wonder how many people would actually feel this way...


Hello, Matt, long time reader, first time writer (among the many thousand).

I've been thinking about the "save point" question, and that inspired me to actually write in. You see, I'm the type who would (cough) "abuse" such an option. I bet I'd probably kill more than one person or worse, just to feel what it's like, then reset. Then I got to thinking how I could use this to be productive, and realized that if I ever did something like that in a video game, I had to make sure I was on the right track. Most video games are self-explanatory in this, but some have some secret little thing that should have been gotten before you went down this path. At these points, I usually use an faq or a guidebook, so I then began to wonder what life would be like with a guidebook. Not really a guidebook for a certain destination in life, like being a certain profession, just a guidebook to what you want most in life.

I figured it would be pretty linear and boring, but let's say that you lose a day of your life for every page that you read. One day per page may not be bad, but if you realize how many pages something like this would be, and how many times you would probably re-read pages for clarity, it might be an interesting affair. So what do you think?

Matt

Yeahh... if you figure out how to "unlock" everything, you end up not being able to live long enough to do so! Perplexing.

I think that a lot of people would simply do the things they'd want to do to, as you say, see how it would feel. Have you ever sat in a plane and had a couple in front of you yammering on about nothing for three hours straight? I'd never go and punch them out in real life, but it'd be fun to see what would happen if I did. I'd save first, and then fist would meet face. Or faces. Then I'd get thrown in jail for assault, probably, but that's okay... I'm kind of curious to see what jail life would actually be like. After all, it'd just be a matter of hitting "Reset" if things weren't going too well. Reset buttons would thus let you experience ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in life, and would in general make it very easy for a person like me to become dreadfully irresponsible.

On a less... mental scale, I recently finished Super Paper Mario and was very disappointed in the ending. Just boring. The Thousand Year Door was very surprising, especially for a Mario game, and I very much enjoyed the final battle. This one was kind of anti-climactic. I can't spoil the game for you (or can I?), but the final boss is very underwhelming.

Matt

The final battle of Thousand-Year-Door was fantastic. The game on the whole had a wonderfully surprising challenge level, so yeah, I'm a bit saddened by the fact that Super Paper Mario is an utter breeze.

I think that on my next time playing through, I'll do my best to avoid monsters and thus leveling up, just to create some artificial difficiulty. I'm finding that what keeps me coming back to SPM is definitely the writing-style/translation/humour, which is just out of this world.

I also have been a huge fan of Fire Emblem since the first one came to America. I remember we had a snow day, and my friend rented it because Roy from Smash Brothers was supposedly in it. I had been playing Advance Wars at the time, and was turned off to any game not as awesome as that. Then I saw him playing the game, and noticed that the characters were small... and the field was gridded... Could it be? Then I asked to play (more commanded), and wasted my entire snow day on his couch, practically drooling to the game (I got through Chapter 9 in one sitting). Since then, I now very much love Fire Emblem.

Anyways, what I was getting at was the new one coming out on the Wii. If you haven't seen the wikipedia entry, please do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Emblem_Wii Pretty much everything is cool, but the new gameplay mechanics make me want to wet myself.

Matt

Fire Emblem is one of my favourite series, too. I discovered it so recently, though: Only last summer, another RPGamer staff member pushed me into getting one. I don't know why I waited so long... it's a tactical RPGamer's dream. The gameplay seems so simple until you get into it and realize how incredible the system really is. The Wii version is one of my MOST wanted games right now, and I can't wait to hear more about a North American release. Whenever we hear anything here at the site, you'll know!



...and this was supposed to be the QUIET year for RPGs!


"Don't you hate it when you're addicted to buying games you can't play?"

You have no idea how much I hate this. Especially with everything that's coming out in the next half of the year. I run down my list of confirmed titles and with stuff like Blue Dragon, Dragon Quest Monsters -- Joker, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, and Jeanne d'Arc coming out just to name a few, I realize that once again I will have no free time at all. I must continue to be picky and risk missing out a limited release games, but I have no choice in the matter. If I could go out and kill tons of randomly spawning creatures in the area behind my house for money, I would. Sadly, they don't drop cash.

Oh well, I guess I must once again ask what your big 3-5 confirmed games for the rest of the year are currently.

- Macstorm

Matt

Man, this is exactly why I have to put this thing called Pokémon behind me. I have too many other things to play.

First and foremost, I want to put an end to Super Paper Mario and Zelda: Twilight Princess, finally. Following that, I'm finally going to get into Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria and, time permitting, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. If I can do that before August, I'll be in good shape. Why August? A certain company came out over the past few days and announced that Metroid Prime 3 will be released on August 20, making little boys and girls cry out with glee across the land.

Handheld-wise, there are too many things to list. I already have a copy of Lunar Knights and Mega Man ZX, so I pretty much have to play them next. If I can get those out of the way, I'll be looking forward to finally getting into Etrian Odyssey, and by the time I'm through that, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker or Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings might just be out. I was really looking forward to Heroes of Mana, but given how hit-or-miss the series has been lately, it's not at the top of my priority list.

Time will tell if I can actually achieve these goals, but I'll be damned if I don't go down trying!



EXACTLY! Argh.


Addicted to buying games that I have no time to play yet? Guilty. But consider this, if you don't buy them now, they might not be obtainable easily after a short time.

*Eyes her copy of Skies of Arcadia Legends for the GC*

MagRowan

Matt

I know. This is precisely why I ended up getting Lunar Knights back when it came out. I knew that it was a game that I wanted to play, but I also knew that it was a game that likely wouldn't sell as well terribly well. So, the consequence of an unpredictable shelf-life made me do it. Is unpredictable shelf-life the devil? It might just be.

I understand how it is, Maggie. We're all there. We all need to quit our jobs and have a game-playing party of some kind. Ooh, I just thought of something: If I become a real-life professor someday, I'll get to go on sabbatical semesters every now and then. This could be very useful...



Some of this, some of that.


Yo! So I just got killed in Dragon Quarter, so I'm restarting... I had indulged in the dragon form, so my D-Counter was around 78% anyway. I'm really liking it. The limited save coins and the small inventory space make it even more challenging.

Matt

Yeah man... the fact that you can only save a limited number of times is an incredibly difficult thing to adjust to. I don't know about you people, but I'm one of those guys who has to save, and then save again just to make absolutely sure that I saved my game before moving on. Only being able to save once per hour or so of game-time is incredibly hard to deal with until you get into the game. Then, it just makes your heart race. Ah, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter... I wish more people understood your greatness.

I really like the fairy colony as well. Here's my question: would you rather see one well-developed minigame, or many smaller/simpler minigames?

Matt

Oh... I think that it largely depends on whether the minigames are enjoyable or not. If done right, then yes, I'd say that having ONE really well-developed minigame is far preferable to me. Triple Triad, for instance, in Final Fantasy VIII is far superior to the collection of crap found in Final Fantasy X-2. Well, except for Gunner's Gauntlet. That, my friends, was a sad addiction of mine for a good three hours.

I have tried Pokemon a few times, but it doesn't appeal to me in the end. For me, it's because you don't really develop a certain few Pokemon throughout the entire thing. I tended to collect whatever Pokemon I needed to beat the Gym Leader of that town. Then move on to the next town, pick up the Pokemon needed for this leader, etc... I didn't like it because there wasn't much investment in each one: you developed it a little bit and then moved on to the next one.

So I don't despise Pokemon but I don't like it either.

-Leviathan

Matt

This is one thing that I actually love about Pokémon: No two people play it in the same way. Yes, between each area, I will often find some new creature and decide to level him/her up. However, I almost always have a "base" two or three characters who are almost always in my party as back-up. They don't usually do the killing- I leave that to weaker Pokémon to try and level them up. However, they're always there to step up in case of emergency.

Eh, it's not for everyone. But, at the same time, I think it IS for more people than those people might think. So, those people... play Diamond or Pearl, and discover what you've missed all these years!

Thanks, Leviathan. Write again soon! :)



QUICKIES

Hey Matt,

What's your take on Second Life-worthy enough to be classified an MMORPG or just a fancier version of MySpace and FaceBook?

BLG

Matt
I couldn't call it an MMORPG and feel right about doing so. For my mom, though, it'd be as close as she'd ever get. Quite honestly, I could see her getting into something like that more than I could see myself. That's not an insult or anything... just purely the truth. I have a Facebook account, by the way... add me if you dare.

IN CLOSING

The lazy days of summer are at our doorsteps. What games are you going to be playing under the warm sun? Or... inside, surrounded by the cool goodness of air conditioning, if you prefer? Talk to me! I need your letters, as they are the lifeblood of this place.

I'm personally also interested to know more about Odin Sphere. I haven't had the chance to read up on it much, and it seems to be going over very well. RPGamer has reviewed it and given it a high score, yet I currently have no plans to invest in it. Have you given it a try? If you have, why should I?

I'll be back tomorrow to continue the question-answering and answer-questioning, so take care until then!



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On my Wishlist:

1. Dragon Quest IX

2. Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn

3. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

4. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker

5. Metroid Prime 3



On my Portable Playlist:

1. Pokémon Diamond

2. Lunar Knights/Final Fantasy VI

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2. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria

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