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ASK MATT
A Moment of Joy
October 26, 2006

Matt Demers - 22:37 EST

THE PRESENTATION WENT WELL! One more obstacle, vanquished! With that, I'm now officially 30% finished the last course of my graduate career, and one step closer to the day that I'll be able to play video games more freely.

It kind of dawned on me on the way home on the bus today that Final Fantasy XII is coming out in just a few days. Holy crap, how time has flown! I'm really excited to finally get my hands on it and play through it before some idiot goes and spoils it for me (I hate those darn idiots).

We are going to have... well, a lot of cohostings (six or seven, I think?) over next few weeks from the nefarious Boojum, too, by the way, though you might have been expecting that. If you have anything to ask him, you can send it to me anytime, and I'll start saving up some mail for those days.

For now, though, we're going to have just a plain old regular boring column starring yours truly, today. Let us begin.




LETTERS
Any gamer's most frustrating topic.


Greetings Matt!

Now for an actual letter. (has been a long time since my last one, maybe not long enough?)

What Zohar talked about happened to me too. I was tuned on one of my countries stations (we only have two by the way) and was away from the TV when suddenly I heard the opening theme of Xenosaga. They played while advertising their upcoming shows, and I just thought that someone should notify Yasunori Mitsuda of that.

And throughout the last year Roche (a large swiss company) aired a commercial with a background music, which was nearly the same as "Chronopolis" from Chrono Cross. (The just changed a few notes here and there).

Matt

Well, Mr. Mitsuda, if you happen to be reading this column, you know now! (Idly, I just started wondering if any celebrities have ever visited RPGamer and/or read Q&A...wouldn't that be fun?)

But indeed. Music from video games is copyrighted just like any other music is. Music is frankly artwork for the ears, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm sure that many painters would be more than a bit cheesed if someone ripped off their hard work and creativity without first obtaining permission.

Concerning game ratings: About a month ago I heard of the "Truth in Video Game Rating Act" which, among other things, would oblige the ESRB to play through a game completely before they are allowed to rate it. In general maybe a good idea, but then again we aren't in the 80's anymore. Today games have so many features that it would require a too big amount of money and time to look at all possible things presented in the game. Not to mention more open ones like TES: Oblivion.

This Penny-Acade comic pretty much sums up my fears with it: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/10/2

But I haven't heard much about the act in the past weeks, do you know anything new about it?

Matt

It's so true. Yes, it can be really frustrating when the reality is that people putting down regulations and restrictions on games have absolutely no perception of what the games are actually like, but how often do we see things like this in our world? In Canada, we currently have a government in power where the Agriculture Minister who has never farmed in his life; this hits close to home. This person is in charge of doing things that only farmers could really understand, and thus it's no wonder that several people in the farming industry are quite unsatisfied with what this government has proposed (though it gets little public attention, since "farming" is a pretty boring subject for most people, all in all). I won't get into details, though, because this is stuff for a different site's Q&A column.

My point is that the ESRB is likely made up of a bunch of people who have almost no concept of what video games are except for the 30 seconds of World 1-1 they played on Mario Bros. at their nephew's house twenty years ago. There's no way around it; not until our generation grows older and takes over, anyway.

As for this act, I haven't heard anything, no. On one hand, it does make a bit of sense; I didn't actually realize that the ESRB does not have access to the games themselves right now outside of demos. On the other, I guess this gives them even more reason to go nuts on games.

"A bar-room brawl in Dragon Quest VIII? You mean, people are DRUNK in this game!? Ack, let it not be true! This garbage should be rated M!"

Of course, the real irony is that all the while, the kids of these people are at home watching dead bodies dangling from some incredibly disgusting and bloody ceiling in Law and Order. But viewer discretion is advised...

You know, about all these new games we get these months it just came to my mind that the more older we get the more money we have to buy them but at the same instant less time to play them, don't you think?

Darn you, poetic justice!

Matt

Yes. Yes, that's right. I've come to learn that over the last year or so. It's a depressing, depressing reality.

That's it for today I suppose, so long,
Belthasar2

P.S: Due to our national holiday today our main TV Station aired a live concert of the Philharmonic Orchestra. Now that's good music, I just wish I could have been in the opera listening to it.

Matt

Awesome! I'd love to go see an orchestra play someday, when I have the means. Actually, it's been awhile since I've gone to a show of any sort, hasn't it? Well, I went to that Lord of the Rings performance over the summer, I guess. Ah well.

Anyway, thanks! It's good to hear from you. :)



Contact versus Earthbound: Which is the amusinger of the two?


As for the humor in Contact, it's there, but not nearly as funny as Earthbound.

During the game, your play screen is the touch screen on the bottom, while the top screen shows the professor who helps you out. Occasionally, he'll have a comment on the enemy you're fighting or the area you're traveling in, but mostly he just talks to his pet dog/cat, Mochi. The professor is funny, but everything else is pretty normal. So far, anyway. I'm only 4 hours in or so.

-MrMSTy


Matt

Hopefully it ends up being worth your while. Even if it is easy or simplistic, it sounds absolutely original and different from anything else out there. Sometimes it's nice to sit back and play something unique for a change, and the DS is obviously a suiting system for such a game to make an appearance. Enjoy the ride while it lasts! I hope it'll be an enjoyable journey for you, even if it is no Earthbound.



Uh, whoops.


Hey Matt!

Quiet releases? I'm not worried about new releases. Since I've resigned myself to the fact that I shouldn't logically spend the money on a completely new game system (I'm getting mature in my old age), I'm suddenly seeing the opportunity to go back and clear out all the old games that I never got around to buying. Plus, I'll save lots of money. So, everyone, avoid the hype of the new games! Look for older ones like Ys VI, Shadow Hearts: To the New World, and Paper Mario!

Matt

You haven't played The Thousand year door yet!? Oh, man. It's honestly one of my Top... Five favourite games, I'd say, out of those released in the last two years. No, seriously. It's such a "refined" version of the original Paper Mario, and I loved so many things about it. Despite a few minor flaws, I thought the game was extremely enjoyable, and surprisingly challenging. I really hope you'll like it!

Anyway, you and many others are adopting that strategy this fall. Why buy a system when there are few/no enticing games slated for release for at least awhile? I don't blame you in the least!

Thanks, BigWook!

Yeah, a lot of people are going to listen to that...

352) D. 1.2 billion (and change)
353) D. One eyed knife thrower (I'm going to go with the one marked "THE ANSWER!" since I have no idea. You realize the hell you're going to catch if this was a goof on your part. :) )

Thanks!

Matt

Yes. Yes, I know. This is what happens when I've got three hundred other things pressing on my mind at once. Columns don't get properly proofread, and humourous errors occur like that one. Indeed, I forgot to remove "THE ANSWER" marking which one was correct at first, so many of you caught me with my pants down and got the right response for free. *shrug* Things happen. No big deal. Embarrassing, though. Thanks to those of you who caught my mistake early and warned me!



Oh... it's nothing.


As anyone who knows me well, i'm a bit of a clutz, but whilst answering one of todays questions (Mainly the Tales of Symphonia one) I hit a new low. I usually stub toes, in a varying level of pain and damage but just before I stubbed my knee. I don't know how I did it, but IT BLOODY HURTS!!!!

Matt

Ow. You're not supposed to do that!

That reminds me of a funny story I forgot to tell you guys; last weekend when I was home for my cousin's wedding, I was being a goofball one night and did an impression of Shion for my brother and sister, whereupon I just randomly collapsed in the middle of the kitchen floor, got up, dusted myself off, and said "Oh, it's nothing." Unfortunately, it was more of something than I bargained for; I have a scabbed over scrape on my right elbow that is still looking pretty ugly nearly a week later! Ah, the price of humour...

Anywho with that question (Bainick changes white and yellow cords over, opens GC, takes out Super smash brothers melle and inserts TOP, Turns on.) And I wonder, why don't more games have anime cut scenes instead of the push for more realistic graphics? I'd more then happily enjoy watching anime cutscene anyway, I still want to see the anime series of Star Ocean the 2nd.

And on Kingdom Hearts 2, if you've seen the Extra end movie of said game, who wants to play KH3 now? If only there wasn't the postponement!

350: D kratos doesn't swing his sword around like Minsc in one of his beserker rages.

351: C? Bah anywho... bah

(Still waiing for Suikoden 5, anydya know, yes, anyday *rocks gently in fetal position*

Bainick wants to..... Oh my god, I didn't realise that much skin came off! MEDIC!!!!!

Matt

Do put yourself back together, Bainick!

And yes, Kingdom Hearts 3 seems to be pretty much a foregone conclusion by now. Even if you have to wait a little extra time for it in Australia, hopefully it will be worth it for you in the end. Not that there's much to look forward to right now; there haven't really been any announcements except for that ending teaser, has there?



Now THAT would take some dedication...


Matt

Heh, SOCK question 352 reminded me of a rather odd experience of mine back in the day. Whenever I lost a bid for that 1/1200th of an airship (or a Chocobo, or an Imp Robot) to Papa, it always made me wonder if there was some secret to this. The airship pieces looked just like Setzer's old airship, making me think that these pieces were actually scavaged portions of his airship. Then I wondered if it were possible for Papa to actually get all 1200 pieces and rebuild the airship. Therefore, I had this crazy idea to keep track of ALL the airship pieces that he buys until he gets 1200 of them, at which point the old airship might be put together again. I don't how I got that idea, maybe I actually got it from a rumor on the Net, but I really don't know. I played the game for hours everyday, going to the auction house again and again and again, wondering if he would really reconstruct the airship, but I eventaully gave up doing it after... oh, a few weeks of this, deciding that there can't be a secret that requires this much nonsense. And if there were, it sure wouldn't be worth it.

I was quite the obssessed FFVI fan back then. I just felt like sharing that.

Matt

Oh, I often wondered the same thing too, but you know quite well by now, I'm sure, the number of ridiculous rumours out there regarding many things in the video game world. Did you hear, though? *changes to Forum-speak*

"lol in the ffvi remake, thar IS a wa ythat u can actualy buy the imp robot and summon him in battle and if u do it while you've got all teh imp armor equiped u get the ULTIMITE imp weapons!!!!!!!"

Ahem. It's true, I'm telling you.

Anyway, Alan, thanks for sharing! We were all young and impressionable kids once, and many of us really did think that Aeris was revivable at one point or another (a few of us probably still do, too).





THE NEXUS

Tonight, I'm going to finally dig into this DS Castlevania game to see if it's any good! I'm also quite interested to see exactly how RPG-like it is, since it's the kind of game that comes under fire often for not being a "true RPG". I'll see soon, won't I?


Caption


For complete contest rules, click here!


Answers to October 18th's Questions

#352. d) 1,200,022,406 GP - 1,000 points
This wasn't hard if you've played Final Fantasy VI. One man in the auction house always gets the last word in on certain "silly" prizes; he pipes up and bids 1,000,000 GP if the 1/1200th of an airship (in the second half of the game). 1,200 x 1,000,000 is 1.2 billion, and when you add in those pesky labour expenses, the sum swells to match answer d). Good job, all ye correct-guessers!

#353. c) A one eyed knife thrower from a ghastly circus - 1,000 points/2,000 for Witecat
No, this was not the answer just because it had "(THE ANSWER!)" besides it for a few hours. According to Witecat: "This question is about the bosses that chase you in the game Clock Tower 3 (I know, not an RPG, but still...). Of all the loonies that chase Alyssa around, you don't encounter any knife throwers, though this is a reffrance to the sword swollowers from Psychonauts that inhabit the Meat Circus." Thanks for the submission, and sorry about the carelessness. Ouch.



Today's New Questions

#354:
In what game can you find this piece of music? (1,000 points)

a) E.V.O.: Search for Eden
b) Megaman X2
c) Castlevania: Dracula X
d) Paladin's Quest
e) Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics


Reader-Submitted #355:
Which of the following World War I battles is the least significant to the war's course? (1,000 points)

a) Tannenberg
b) Ypres III
c) Caporetto
d) Gallipoli
e) Somme II


Yeah, about that second one? I've been pressured to put this in, after inserting some purely mathematically-based ones. I can't really argue against that, but damn, it feels like this sort of thing is a lot more debatable than anything in the world of calculations. Well, this guy seems to know his stuff, anyway, so let's give it a shot. If there's any debate, I'll send you in the submitter's direction, and you can duke it out with him.



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  • Flamethrower


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QUICKIES

I'll admit that Tony's is not my favorite out of the bunch, but is probably the most well-known throughout the area.
Matt, what exactly is mulligatawny?
And in regards to your question about the Ultimania...I believe it's a strategy guide/story that goes along with KH2 and was only released in Japan. Much thanks to DMJewelle for that "no-fair" question. >^P (with lots of spittle spraying from the tongue!)

Matt
*listens to conversation*
Oh, mulligatawny is a creamy curried soup, and my version contains chicken, carrots, peppers, onions, garlic, and green apples (yes, it sounds gross, but the final product doesn't have an apple taste at all).
And I see! You can probably tell how close I follow that series...

I just started playing .hack//GU #1, and (this is no spoiler, as it's revealed in the manual), you can upload saved games from the previous .hack series, as is tradition. Unfortunately, thinking I didn't need 'em anymore, I deleted my saved games from the first three (and only saved the ones from Quarentine). You ever get the sinking feeling that you skipped over something important, and it's gone forevermore? (Not just between games, within a game - darn saving habits!) And can anyone reassure me about this particular instance?

Matt
Yes. Well, kinda. When I started playing Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, my memory card misbehaved when I tried to store battle trophy data on it at the beginning. Instead of trying to get it to work, I just played on, and I felt like I ended up missing out on what was reportedly a fun part of the game for some. Hey: You could always look at this as an excuse to go back and replay the original games, though I don't know what your feelings are on that.

I can't talk for Contact (yet), but if you want an absolutely hysterical game to play, go pick up Tales of the Abyss. It's such a good game!

Carabbit

Matt
Great. Like I need something else to add to my list. TotA was a game I was planning on dodging this fall originally, but maybe that's not such a wise choice after all. Thanks for the recommendation!



IN CLOSING

One more column will round out my week in Q&A. Not only that; it will be the last column I'll be publishing before the release of one of Square Enix's most anticipated games ever! Are you excited? I sure am! In any case, I'll be back tomorrow, so expect more questions, answers, and the continuation of the not-so-everlasting contest, at that time.

Farewell!



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Matt is about to play Castlevania!


My 200th column is only three days away! Next Thursday will be the special day, unless aliens or strangers abduct me.

Most Recent

Oct. 25: Matt

Oct. 24: DMJewelle & Matt

Oct. 23: Arpijy & Josh

Oct. 19: Alethea



Links

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What I Want to Play:

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Final Fantasy XII

3. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

4. Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn

5. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl



What I'm Playing:

1. Xenosaga: Episode III

2. Disgaea II

3. Fire Emblem GBA



SOCK's Scoreboard

Dueling Glove Holder:
BLG
-----------

Summon in Play:

-BOREAS-
HP: 14,300
----------
1. Boojum
503,002 pts

2. BigWook
69,880 pts

3. Erika
56,786 pts

4. JokingChimer
50,966 pts

5. Kanato
37,429 pts

6. Belthasar2
37,186 pts

7. Ourobolus
29,658 pts

8. DMJewelle
29,290 pts

9. Alan Tse
28,956 pts

10. Alexander
28,883 pts

11. JuMeSyn
28,649 pts

12. MagRowan
28,484 pts

13. TV's Adam
28,121 pts

14. BLG
27,812 pts

15. MrMSty
26,930 pts

16. Prismatic
26,410 pts

17. Arros Raikou
23,595 pts

18. Thinkfreemind
23,336 pts

19. Kharamain
23,329 pts

20. Leaper
22,365 pts

21. Erunion
21,735 pts

22. Arpijy
21,257 pts

23. Dermot
20,146 pts

24. Hunter B
19,406 pts

25. Jwcooley
17,220 pts

26. Sundoulos
16,885 pts

27. Bainick
16,717 pts

28. William T.
15,990 pts

29. Laurie
14,850 pts

30. Draconn
14,085 pts

31. LufiaLvr
13,490 pts

32. Waterfiend
11,350 pts

33. DDX
11,098 pts

34. Carabbit
10,215 pts


35. Gaijin
10,138 pts

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