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ASK MATT
There's Always Tomorrow November 16, 2005

Matt Demers - 02:14 EST

THERE'S AL-WAYYYYS... to-mor-rooooow... for dreeaams... to come true.
Be-lieeeve in your dreams, come what maayyyy...
There's alwayyyyys to-mor-rooooww with so much to doooooo...
And so little time in a daayyyy...

We all... pre-tend... the rain-bow has an end,
And you'll... be there my friend, somedaaaayyyy.
There's al-wayyyys to-mor-rooooww for dreeaaams to come truuuue;
Tomorrow is not far a-waaayyyy!!

Oh, Rudolph... what would we do without your seasonal special? I'm sure we'll see that hit the airwaves sometime soon, though they've edited it in recent years for some inexplicable and likely ridiculous reason.

For bleepity's sakes, I'm dying in this city. The guys at Electronics Boutique in Stone Road Mall told me that they'll have it either later today, or tomorrow. However, the conversation unfolded a little bit amusingly (and predictably). Let's let the guy behind the desk be named Georges. This is pretty much how our exchange went:

Georges: Hey, how can I help you?

Me: I preordered Dragon Quest VIII, and I was wondering if it was in yet?"

Georges: (types furiously) Hmm, we should be getting it sometime tomorrow, but there is a chance that we could get it later today. You pre-ordered, so you don't have to worry.

Me: (nods knowingly)

Georges: (excitedly) You realize that a free Final Fantasy, um, Twelve demo comes with this game, don't you?

Me: ...

Me: I know. I don't really care, though.

Georges: (visibly taken aback) Ugh, it hurts to hear you say that!

Me: I'm a huge Dragon Quest fan, and I've been waiting for this for years. See you again soon! (leaves)

The FF overshadowing has begun, dammit. I will fight, as the little old me that I am, to make sure that people remember that Dragon Quest VIII ALSO comes with Dragon Quest VIII.

Onto the letters, hmm?




L E T T E R S
On one hand...


Hi Matt,

Fellow TA here. [Flashes secret TA hand signal]

About Kingdom Hearts - I agree that the gameplay is not too hot. It mostly involves button mashing. And the gummy ship system was impossible to figure out. But I really got into the story. Having grown up with Disney movies, I got a certain thrill from seeing those old characters in a game. I particularly enjoyed the Hundred Acre Woods levels - interacting with Winnie and co. I suppose if you're not a Disney fan, there wouldn't be much to like. But I think it was a game for Disney fans. I'm very excited about the sequel - the Steamboat Willie level looks great. (No I wasn't around when the original Steamboat Willie cartoon came out.)

Puddles

Matt

Hey, I'm not going to entirely ignore the game: I'll pay attention to the news updates and what people have to say. It's just that the original wasn't particularly inspiring to me. Sure, I've seen most the Disney movies and liked them just fine. Yes, I'm a big fan of Final Fantasy games. Sticking Sephiroth, Selphie, and Auron together in a game with Donald Duck, though, seems quite like mixing together lobster, chocolate ice cream, spaghetti, and gummi bears. Sure, all of these things are wonderful on their own, but a combination of them all into a single dish would be truly unthinkable (and disgusting). Maybe, then, for me and many others, it's a slightly psychological thing, and much more of a "principle of the thing" thing. I think it goes further, though, when considering that yeah, the battle system isn't exactly deep, and the currency is known as "munny".



...but on the other


I hated Kingdom hearts!!! its was the most tedious, boring, and horrible game!!! I hate the idea of having to search around for a particular section of a world just for the story to continue!!! its just a cheap way of extending the game, especially when your not given any indication where you are supposed to go!!! i was tired of the game by the tarzan world, and i almost died from boredom in the little mermaid world!!!

Jared

Matt

Mmmm, this is true, and while I never really got into the game too much to begin with, that problem rears its ugly head in many games out there. Whether searching for Beautiful Potions in Final Fantasy IX, searching for random crap for the entirety of Golden Sun: The Lost Age, or doing anything at all in Chrono Cross, I agree that RPGs can be infuriating for that reason. Having JUST played through Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, I know freshly the pains of walking back and forth and to and fro to get stupid things done.


On the other side of the coin, though, I don't think Kingdom Hearts would be the MOST tedious, MOST boring, and WORST game ever. I can think of several games that I have much less desire to play through, despite my griping.



Not enough cash in the kitty


Matt,

Is it just me, or does Novemeber exist specifically to suck the cash out of RPGamer wallets? I mean... Dragon Quest VII, Magna Carta, WIld Arms, Legend of Heroes, Mario & Luigi 2... and there's probably a game or two I forgot. Now, I realize that November is probably the biggest month for shopping in the year, but still, it seems ridiculous to release so many great games so close together.

Matt

Yeah, unfortunately, and especially this year. I guess it goes to show you that there aren't that many RPGamers around here worried about buying certain new Microsoft consoles; I haven't had a single letter talk about the XBox 360 and how it will change the world, etc etc.

The thing is, with so much good stuff on our plates, we don't even need to think about new consoles holding limited promise at a hefty price tag. At least, not yet. Did anyone catch wind of any of those "bundle deals" awhile back? For only $1,199, you can own two of every 360 peripheral like a pretentious moneywasting videogaming fool! Sounds fun to me.

I'm finding it really difficult to stay on-topic enough to answer your question. Yes, November is expensive for us. Before the end of the year, I'll have spent hundreds of dollars on related stuff, whether they're presents for me or Christmas presents for my family members. It's a good idea to have your own source of income if you really want to sample all of these new wares and still find extra bucks for stuff like food. Certainly though, if you're patient enough, many of these games will surely come down in price, eventually, so even if you can't afford it now, never give up! (Trust your instincts!)

Also, I've noticed that people don't seem to be super excited about the FF XII demo... lukewarm is the best description I can think of. Everybody I know seems to be far more excited about other RPGs, and barely even acknoledge the existence of FF XII. In fact, all of the OLD FF games scheduled for remakes seem to be drawing far more attention than XII. Could it be the Final Fantasy's supremacy may be drawing to a close? I can only hope.

- DDX

Matt

Zing!

I don't know: Judging from the exchange I had earlier today, I'm not entirely certain that that's true. I DO know that there are a loooot more Final Fantasy fans out there, and rightfully so: It's a good series. Final Fantasy XI was a disappointing exercise in online exclusivity, and X-2, Crystal Chronicles, and Tactics Advance were all less than the best that Square Enix could be offering. The games HAVE had a phenomenal past though, with incredible success, and regardless of how you or I feel about the upcoming XII, there are going to be a huge number of fans waiting to jump on it. It will undoubtedly take a LOT to dethrone Final Fantasy at this point in the game, methinks.


Man, though, if it ends up being mission-based, I will blow a nut; I swear.



Dragon Quest VI, Dragon Warrior VII, and taking good with the bad


Hey, there.

Well, if I were to pick my favorite Dragon Quest game, it would have to be... VI. Maybe not the most popular choice -- I'm not entirely sure, but it had something that hooked me from the second I fired it up, and it was something I didn't get quite as much from the installments before it.

It's good that the game was very long, too, but it largely lacked a lot of VII's own pacing flaws and had a pretty good class-change system at the time. It was ALSO the first to shock me with any particular plot revelation, though that was a bit later on... and I won't spill, if you haven't acquainted yourself with the game.

Matt

Mmhmm. In this land o' the west, Dragon Quest V and VI are quite unknown as of yet, although I personally think they're right up there with IV in terms of greatness. VI has the length and the challenge of DWVII without the boringness, I agree. Also, because of the fact that the wagon is still around, along with a party of up to ten characters, it can make the job system SEEM to be a lot more fast-paced than it is in the sequel. Regardless, both job systems are both simple and wonderful. Hopefully we'll see these games over here one day. One day...

Despite all of that, though, I'm in the league of people who mildly enjoyed VII. Not on a 'Woah, this is a classic!' level, but the combat moved along at a very fast clip and, strangely, the computer's A.I. was largely pretty good.

I also had a lot of fun playing with the class system and herding sheep to destroy all who opposed me. I admit, though, if not for a particular area that never stopped giving you credit for your class, no matter what level you were, I would have been GREATLY annoyed. Still, some of the stories for the various quests you went on to gather the map fragments and such were pretty good, and the game begins to kick into gear about halfway through, for what it's worth.

Matt

Yeah. It's no secret that I think that Dragon Warrior VII doesn't live up to its predecessors, but I won't lie: I DID enjoy the game a lot, despite its shortcomings. It was good 'n' challenging; the way RPGs are supposed to be. Combat WAS involving and strategic, and the monster animations were wonderful (sometimes ha-ha-hilarious).

To go with the spirit of asking questions, how about... the good things about bad games(in your opinion) you've played? One of the things I was genuinely sort of impressed with, with a game that I found to be less than impressive, was the Palmira action system used for the three characters in Forever Kingdom that allowed for some sexy real-time linkage attacks.

~Aion Dormitoire.

Matt

I think I touched on this a couple weeks back!

I think that MOST terrible RPGs are produced when good ideas go bad. I don't know of many games in which every single aspect is atrocious. Au contraire; usually an RPG that would be good otherwise is dragged down into mediocrity by means of one or two awful things that really stand out. Take, for instance, Atelier Iris, which I just finished. It left a really sour taste in my mouth, but there were a lot of really solid, creative, fun ideas in it: Synthesizing items and changing ingredients to experiment was pretty cool, I'll admit. The problem was just the context: The cool ideas were surrounded by a pool of liquid poo.

Thanks, Aion!



Some of column A, a little of column B


Hi Matt

Well third times a charm in writing you this letter and I do hope that you get this letter as destiny on both ends of the Web are trying to stop me. Why you ask, only one line for the phone and internet, and the fact that Broardband is only at the three Km mark from the nearest city. Anyway first up the 3rd guessed answers for your questions.

44:D
45:C
Yesterday I was going to ask you why a lot of your questions are area based, and as one of the Sock prizes could we ask our own questions like; How many land masses could you ressurect in the opening chapter of Terranigma? I also asked if you had problems with family members, for example your mum, coming into your room whilst you are sleeping and playing video games?

Matt

I never ever came across such problems, because I never owned handheld systems in my youth (I wasn't allowed to) and I didn't have a TV in my room, presumably because my parents knew I'd just spend all night playing games or looking for exciting late night programming instead of actually sleeping. Also, my mom had a bad knee for my entire childhood, so a trip up the stairs for her happened only when it was time for the semi-annual bedroom cleaning dreadfest. How I hated those days...

I often have geography problems for Sock, because they're easier to think up. I don't know pop-culture very well, and I don't want everything to be science or math-related. I know nothing about literature. The random questions arise most easily for me out of the topic of geography, I guess, but now that you've brought it up, I'm going to end up being way too cautious about my randomness in order to ensure that it is, indeed, more random. Damn you!

Oh and Pokemon XD has been released five days early in Australia as in Monday and Mario Kart DS is being released on Friday also a week early. I hope my wallet can cope!

Matt

*quivers with excitement over Mario Kart DS*

You were saying?

On Kingdom Hearts, I didn't mind the game, the story wasn't the greatest, the camera angles wern't the greatest either, but everytime I play the Tarzan level Weird Al's 'Hardware Store' comes into my head. I guess the game ranks a 6 from me but at least its easier to play then Chain of Memories.

Lastly what is your opinion on Freeware RPG's. I've been playing a great one called Crazy Cross about a guy with staplers and staple removers and the movies are like twenty different artists have pased there own sketches together.

Your favourite Australian
~Bainick~

Matt

Gehhh... Chain of Memories, combining the illness of Kingdom Hearts with the barfiness of card-based battle systems. Thanks, but no thanks.

My opinion on Freeware RPGs is that they, um, don't cost you a thing! They might also be entertaining... but far more liable to be crappy, in all likelihood, or ripped off of other series (not that every commercial game is exempt on both counts). Of course, I can't really have much opinion at all, since I've never delved into that mine of RPG possibilities. From the sounds of it though, you have yourself quite an odd game there.

*goes to find a GoldenStapleGun+6*



Not enough cash in the kitty


Over the past 2 weeks I've sent you guys a review, a fanfic, and 2 questions and not only did they not get postedd, but I never got any rejection emails! Are you guys just not getting them or do you hate me? T_T

As far as RPGs go, Im sunk. My PS2 doesn't work, so it would be futile to buy any new games. For now Im stuck with Fire Emblem and the old Final Fantasies.

Also, question, what game would you say had the best chrachters evar? I vote Tales of Symphonia.

With deep brooding hatr--- I mean love,
~Tical

Matt

First things first: We're a pretty big site, as far as sites go, and different people run different departments. It's just chance that your stuff hasn't made it up, and it's certainly possible that stuff is in the middle of being processed; but certainly, I cannot know, because I'm not in charge of things like reviews and fanfics! If it's any indication, though, it took a few days for this letter to get up. Sometimes there's a backlog, and sometimes a letter just won't GO with the flow. In general, it is a fairly safe bet that if you send to Q&A regularly, you'll get a fairly large fraction of your letters published. Hopefully, that clears things up!

Anyway, to answer your question, I think that there are a lot of games out there with fantastic characters. Obviously, Final Fantasies IV and VI are easy ones for me to say, but I really liked the original Lufia games (and especially Lufia II) too, as far as characters are concerned.

And of course... thanks for the letter!





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

So, I have a little bit of good news! Over the course of typing this puppy up, I got a little phone call from the EB games people!! It looks like I'll get my prize today after all, doesn't it?? I think it's time to burst into song! If only I didn't have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning to just RUIN everything. I'll be a happy man by tomorrow NIGHT, I'll tell you that.

By the way, yesterday was the first time in nearly two weeks that I actually got to sleep before three o'clock. Amazingly, I was up by 7:30 and full of energy. It totally changed my day! Yay for reasonable bedtimes (or more reasonable, such as the case may be).

Flashay!


It's baaaaaaaack!

After several days of repetitive, boring #44 and #45, the Sock is back on track, and today I'll bring you all the way up to Question #50!

Before I do, though, let's look, finally, at the answers:

The question was a little evil, maybe, but how many crates are in Nikeah? 42! Yes, there are 28 in the main town. YES, there are 40 if you count the ones on the dock. But there are clearly two more at the inn, and thus there are a grand total of d) 42. 20 points for all you keen counters!

Question #45 had to do with my (admittedly) favourite game show. The correct answer is e) $75,000, a ridiculous amount that the quasi-famous Ken Jennings obtained on one show. Another 15 points awarded for that one!

Three people passed the 100 barrier: RedBeastMage (congrats!), Xlash (EXCELLENT... you've made quite the strong showing in the last week!), and Jeremy (I <3 you). A trio of tildes go to the trio consisting of the three of you, so enjoy.

~ ~ ~


With this, we now have the first TEN people above 100 points, and unfortunately, that means that the price for future tildes is going up! Never fear; questions are slowly inflating in value as well, and that puts the pressure on people like Jbumi and DDX who have done so well! You might end up writing a question or two to THEM next week as well as me!

Question #46: (10 points) Follow me!--> In Chrono Trigger, what does Lucca's experimental battle robot sing at the Millenial Fair?

a) "My name is Gato
Fight me to earn 15 Silver Points
Unless I knock you down
With my metal joints"


b) "You cannot beat me
Fight me if you dare
I hope you saved your game
Before you came to this fair"


c) "They call me Gato
I have metal joints
Beat me up
And earn 15 Silver Points"


d) "My name is Gato
This is my motto
Get past my metal joints
and earn 15 Silver Points"


e) "Beat me up enough
to prove you're tough.
My name is Gato
Now it's time to battle!"


Question #47: (15 points) Follow me!--> What does Taban refer to Lucca's invention as at the Millenial Fair display?

a) Super Dimension Warp
b) Ultra Teleporter
c) Mega Warp Shift
d) Dimension Shift Max
e) Mega Teleport Deluxe

Question #48: (20 points) Follow me!--> Crono and friends obtain a special item from a drawer in the Cathedral labyrinth that does not appear in your list. In the item's chemically uncharged state, what group on the Periodic Table of Elements would it exist under?

a) Earth Metals
b) Alkaline Earth Metals
c) Transition Metals
d) Halogens
e) Inert Gases

Question #49: (15 points) In complex analysis, what is 1/i equal to?

a) i
b) e
c) -i
d) -1
e) ei

Question #50: (20 points) What is the phone number for the Electronics Boutique in Stone Road Mall in my city?

a) (905) 445-2111
b) (905) 387-9915
c) (519) 627-4422
d) (519) 205-6830
e) (519) 767-9882

If you call in today and get ALL of them wrong, you'll still take home a minimum of 10 points, so give it a shot! You're bound to gain something!

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

200 points: Tilde (infinite number remaining!)
500 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #1 (5 remaining!)
700 points: The Final Fantasy 1 "Official" Crazed-Chipmunk-Hold-your-Ears Soundtrack (5 remaining!)
1000 points: The Mattie's Mom Cookie Recipe Compilation (5 remaining!)
2000 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #2 (5 remaining!)

Phew! That was big! Now, I look forward to tomorrow... hopefully I'll get to spend some quality time with my new toy. Have fun tinkering with the questions! And for next time, tell me what you think about the XBox 360. Does it turn your crank? Do you just GOTTA get one? Or do you not care too much? Also, what is your stance on mission-based games? What will be your reaction if this is how the Great Final Fantasy XII operates?

Ta-ta for now! And for all of you who didn't get what you wanted today: "There's al-wayyys to-mor-rooowwww..."

wonderslime@rpgamer.com
***Matt ended up getting a Brownie Batter Blizzard today


Send a Question

Ironically, I have a dentist's appointment for a cleaning tomorrow morning.

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About the Host


Matt's Next Unhealthy Addiction

Another Unhealthy Addiction

Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. Dragon Quest VIII

2. Makai Kingdom

3. Warioware: Twisted!

Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Mario & Luigi: PiT

3. Wild ARMs: Alter Code F

A PC Game for Christmas?

Current Leader
Planescape: Torment

Recommended by:
DDX

Cookie o' the Week:

Mattie's Chocolate Celebration Cookies

Another REAL recipe! These sweet treats are the perfect things to munch on while playing a brand new game, whatever that new game may be. If you wanted, you could shape them into little slimes if Dragon Quest VIII is what your desire is, like me!

-1 c Butter

-1 1/2 c Sugar

-2 Eggs

-2 tsp Vanilla

-2 c All-purpose flour

-2/3 c Cocoa

-3/4 tsp Baking soda

-1/4 tsp Salt

-2 c Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F. In large mixer bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Munch away!

SOCK standings:

1. Jbumi
380 pts

2. Ourobolus
355 pts

3. DDX
342 pts

4. Arros Raikou
196 pts

5. Flamethrower
184 pts

6. ~Sean~~
150 pts

7. Binser
135 pts

8. MagRowan
130 pts

9. Bainick
123 pts

10. Jeremy
122 pts

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