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Friday Special July 28, 2006

Matt Demers - 00:53 EST

YECH! I leave on the train at 6:50 tonight, so I hurried together last night to throw an extra Friday special together. Sure, there are no bells or whistles or competitions or anything, but they'll return next week! For anyone reading this and shocked that they didn't get their SOCK answers in on time, don't worry- this is a BONUS column, and there are no new questions, so you have until next Tuesday to answer. The link to yesterday's column is right here if you want to go back and answer 'em still!

Next week will be a bit abnormal too, since I'm heading out to Montreal for a few days. Thus, I'll only be posting columns on Tuesday and Wednesday. Two weeks after that, I'm taking a week off and going home to do some serious relaxing, so I won't be doing any columns then either! The question is, can you live without me for six days out of the next three weeks or so? After that, I should be back and on my regular schedule, but I thought I should warn you all!

Now, let's get this show started, shall we?




LETTERS
Why, SE? Why?


Dear Matt,

Well, joy of all joys, this game is getting fun. The prizes are great, the game is simple, and it helps keep me on my toes with RPG trivia. The blind spells are always fun to try to decipher.

Matt

It's only going to get crazier as we get closer to the major prizes! With dozens of people in play, and endless possibilities for item-use and such, it's going to be entirely unpredictable. I can't wait!

Ok, so now to the Q of A. SE just released their summer games list and FFIII was not on there for September. The major online gaming sites are guessing at the generic Nov. 1 date. Ugh, I really want to know when it is coming. FFXII is Oct. 31. FFV Advance is officially Nov. 6. Now, I just need to know FFIII's date.

Matt

Me too! We know it has to be close... there were English demos at E3, after all! I care about this game at least as much as I do about Final Fantasy XII, so I'm as concerned as you are, Mac.

That being said, I'm so very happy that they finally made an announcement about Final Fantasy V Advance!! I was starting to worry just a bit that it would get swept under the rug amidst all the release-chaos this fall, but it looks like they'll be honouring the remake after all! Now, to see what they include...

Well in the meantime we are getting Xenosaga Ep. 3, Disgaea II, FFVII: DoC, and Mario Hoops 3-on-3. Yes, I just brought Mario Hoops into the conversation. What FF fan would not like to 3-on-3 with a Ninja, White Mage, and Cactuar against Mario, Luigi, and Peach? It's hopefully going to be Nintendo WiFi playable so that RPGamers everywhere can show others the power of a Cactuar on the court. Who would foul him? Not I. Though I don't understand how a Cactuar would be able to dribble without popping the ball. Oh well, time will tell.

Macstorm shoots the J and is blocked by a cactus.


Matt

You wrote in a day too soon, I'm afraid. Square Enix dropped a small bomb, or so I've heard through the grapevine. It doesn't look like Mario Hoops 3-on-3 will feature Wi-Fi play or single-card DS Download play. Why would Square Enix make such a silly decision?? There were so many awesome potential fun things that could have been done! Oh well... we'll just have to fall back on the rest of the long, long lineup.

And you're exactly right... no one would be able to touch Cactuar, but his ball-needlification would make it awfully difficult for him to get from Point A to Point B on the court without travelling.



So I'm a little bored.


..... uh hey how's it going?
SOCK

270)A
271)B

gilgamesh


Matt

It's going very well, thank you. It's still Thursday night right now, so this is kind of like a mini-time capsule, but I must say that I'm doing all right. I'm really annoyed that I have to get up at 6:45 in the morning to go to the last day of this math conference ordeal, but once I'm finished, I'll belt it home, upload this very column, and then be on my way home!

My plan is to bring Fire Emblems on the train; I still have to finish off The Sacred Stones perfectly, but I have a saved game right at the end. I want to get a start on my new one, though! I'm also going to bring Lunar home, in the hopes that I'll get a few spare hours to fiddle with it sometime over the next few days.

So, I'm in a good mood! And I can't wait for Montréal next week; it's going to be one massive party. I'm even meeting up with our very own ~Sean~~; yes, the one with the tildes who is supplying Suikoden and PAL games. If you want me to say "hi", this would be the time to ask me!

Other than that, not much is "going". But thanks for asking!



The "Summer of Adventure"... I like it.


Hey there, Matt,

Looks like another summer of adventure from Square. But... is it just me or is the lineup of titles somehow inferior to the one six years ago? At least until they get around to releasing Final Fantasy III DS... and speaking of which, does its absence on the list mean that it's been delayed?

-CW


Matt

It really IS the summer of adventure. We keep hearing all of these teasers, and all of this information, and it's ALL coming to a huge boil ALL at once!

Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus was announced in September 2004. We've been hearing about Final Fantasy III's remake for the past three years by this point. And Final Fantasy XII was first revealed in 2001, more than FIVE years ago!! THIS is the year, everyone, for all of these games and so much more... and this is just one company! Add to this the fact that we have not one, but two new consoles coming out, and a plethora of other exciting games, and is it really any wonder why so many people are so excited? See...I'm so excited, I'm using an annoying number of italic/bold tags, and capitalizing random words here and there. I wish there was another way to show enthusiastic emotion in text, but alas! The italics, bold, and caps shall have to suffice!



The pretty warrior girl with the name of a hideous space dragon. That's right, it's Ridley!


I've always been a fan of non-human PC's. I initially disliked FFVIII for it's lack of non-humans, in fact. Or maybe, I should say non-humanoid to exclude sissy elves and faeries, and aliens that are almost identical to humans except for a third eye or something. I'm talking about moogles, dogs, robots, frogs, clouds, moon-rabbits and turnips. Sometimes even beast-types like Kimahri or Radiata's Sonata, but not female cat-types. They're annoying like elves and faeries. Lions and wolves, not cats, to be precise.

Matt

I highly recommend that you don't play Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana if you don't like your cat-girls, because meow, Norn will become very, very annoying in an awfully big hurry, meow! When I tell you that all of this is voice acted, meow, you might understand exactly how it could be THAT irritating, meow!

I like a little bit of variety among my characters, too. I don't like it to be inserted just for the sake of having a wide representation, of course, but there are lots of games that manage to construct a diverse party quite naturally. Breath of Fire games were always neat for just having walking, talking animals just about everywhere you went, and it was neat because it didn't feel "weird" or artificial in any way.

Bizarre characters such as these help add memorable and uniques experiences to RPG's. Instead of saying, "That game with those 6 teenagers," you can say, "That game with the Cactus and the tennis shoe." What's your take? Speaking of Radiata Stories, did you hear that they're releasing a manga series (miniseries, possibly) all about Ridley? It'd probably be a nice read, considering the story ended up a little flat at the end.

Matt

That's neat. I didn't realize the game was popular enough to inspire something like that, but it's good to hear.

Manga is something that I never really got into. Growing up in the country near a small city, I had next to no access to any english-language comics, let alone international goodies, so I feel a bit out of the loop at this point whenever people talk about their favourite Japanese series.

I agree with you in that diverse types of characters can help make for a more memorable experience, but it runs a few risks. It's really easy for their characters to lack depth; atypical characters often come with atypical personalities and a general lack of development in favour of boosting the potential for funny moments. Look at characters like Umaro, from FFVI, or Gabo, the wolf-kid, from Dragon Warrior VII. They contribute next to nothing to their respective stories except for providing the occasional laugh. Granted, I love RPG humour, so sometimes characters like these are indispensable. But, I wouldn't want a surplus of them unless special care was taken to develop them all.



...and one from a Dwarf Berserker to wrap up the week!


Long letter envy:
The rash of essays coming in lately makes me feel all insecure and sad. Stop the madness I say! That is all.

Matt

You and me both! It took me two full hours to construct the response to yesterday's monster. JuMeSyn is a crazy man, though he does write a mean letter.

What does everyone think about letter length? Do you prefer long letters? Short letters? Or is a nice variety better? I like a variety, myself, but different people have different tastes. Ultimately, it's up to the lot of you, since YOU'RE the people who build these letters in the first place.

Do you think you will ever try to do another "Follow me" segment with SOCK again? Those were good times.

Xlash the dwarf berserker


Matt

I'd love to! It's been difficult to lately, though, since my playing time has been cut so short, due to work, school, and this very column, let alone the fact that I amazingly am able to keep up some excuse for a social life. Not bad, eh? In reality, though, to create those "Follow Me" style questions, I'd have to have the ability to play every night, and since I've gotten to play about once per week on average lately, it doesn't work out so well that way.

Thanks for the input, Xlash! Have a nice weekend!





IN CLOSING

Well, I did it! The Friday column has been completed, and so I leave you all in Ouro's trust for the next three days. Write him lots of letters, because I think he has something really awesome in the works for everyone, too!

Please, have a safe, fun, and all-around wonderful weekend. We'll be one step closer to one of the craziest autumns in video game history next week, so many exciting announcements are bound to cascade forward anytime now! All you have to do is watch, wait, and enjoy the ride.

Bye, everyone!


slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt wrote TWO whole Q&A columns in one day... crazy!


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But I had fun doing it!! My only hope is that y'all have half as much fun reading 'em. :)

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