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Goodbye, Internet January 15, 2006

Josh - T-6 hours before Armageddon

Well, I'm sure that you all know by now...it is the End of Days. I'm sure Matt will try to write a column tomorrow, but none of you will be able to view it, because...8 million people will be cluttering up the Internet with...World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade. And we all know that the internet is made of tubes, no one will be able to see anything because all of the tubes...will be full. Sorry.




L E T T E R S
This isn't the first time I've heard this.


There is such a thing as Honey Nut Chex Mix?! I like the cereal, but now there is a mix for all times of the day (inclusive of breakfast but not exclusive of lunch and dinner) you enjoy its sweet goodness?! You see, Ouro, it's the little things like this that make you a god to me.

Josh

Well, it's actually called Chex Mix Sweet n' Salty, but it had honey nut clusters in it. Either way, I probably ate more than I should have.

Working on a novel, eh? Admirable...I also fancy myself as something of a writer, but unfortunately all of my free time is absorbed into the my arduous task of creating the eighth and final wonder of the world...a statue of the mighty Ouro constucted entirely of Rolo wrappers. I sincerely apologize if the quality of the construction materials is not to your liking, but your humble servant could not afford gold leafed bronze. I hope my offering of gold-colored foil will be sufficient.

I am presently at an impasse in my project, however. You see, Rolo wrappers have the nasty habit of refusing to stay together once they reach a critical mass. I do not wish to adulterate your beautiful statue with various adhesives, but I cannot let this project end as it is (a lonely, but altogether glorious, golden eyeball). Perhaps welding?...

Josh

Well, you can always go grab some silver! That'll accentuate my golden eyes. You'll need gold for the hair, though. And don't forget the muscles...can't forget the muscles.

Hmmm...whoa, sorry about that. I think my crazy rant is over. This is what happens when I have to come into work on national holidays. *shakes fists at the heavens* I've been praying to MLK Jr. all day to use his reknowned powers of violent vengeance to smite my foes/employers, but so far my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. MLK Jr., lord of destruction, my foot... The one day a year he's supposed to rain devastation from the heavens...aw, crap, I think I thinking of Kukulkan....

*looks above and winces* Okay, let's wrap this piece of crap up with something vaguely related to RPGs. I gotta thank you and Kezzy for tipping me off about Sega Genesis Collection. By Odin's Hammer, this has everything! I gotta pick it up on my way back from work. My Genesis died a few years back, but this collection has it all! Altered Beast! Comix Zone! Columns! Sweet, precious Columns! The Golden Axes!! The Phantasy Stars!!! I'm practially whizzing my pants...no, yeah, I actually am now. The only things this collection is missing is the Shining Forces. I had both for Genesis, and damn, I miss those games. Don't get me wrong I miss Phantasy Star IV big time, but not like Shining Force I and II. Every time I hear Metallica, I think of Shining Force, which makes the nostalgia all that much more poignant. Anyway, which Genesis RPG is your fave?

Vicissitude

Josh

Yeah, it's looking like a pretty sweet collection. On another note, the Virtual Console is getting better and better, it looks like. I think they just added Comix Zone (or will be adding soon).

While I never owned a Genesis, I did get my fair share of Shining Force in, and yes, that would also happen to be my favorite Genesis RPG. Great game, and also started me in liking TRPGs. Though I don't think I was able to play another one until Vandal Hearts, which pretty much cemented my interest in the genre. Soon though, I'll be playing the Phantasy Stars in that collection, so...we shall see...



Why am I drinking Diet Coke at 9AM?


Christmas list, eh? I had a rather RPGful Christmas, I'd say. I only asked for two RPG's for Christmas, as I'm already backed up quite a bit. I, fortunately, received both of which I requested: Suikoden V, and Kingdom Hearts II. I managed to complete Xenosaga III (absolutely brilliant, by the way. It was everything I had hoped for and more) AND Kingdom Hearts II over the three week break. I found this to be rather impressive, as it usually takes me at least a month to complete ONE RPG, let alone TWO superb ones in THREE weeks. A word to the wise with Kingdom Hearts II, however. No one ever told me (nor did I read anywhere) that you could get the 'secret' ending by JUST completing the 'proud' mode. Stupidly, I selected the medium one. By the time I realised you have to complete all of Jimminy's journal on medium mode, I was half-way through the game. Being a trooper, however, I did it and managed to get the secret ending.

Josh

I usually play through on the hardest setting the first time I play through a game. Saves me the trouble of having to play through again if I become disinterested. But hey, you overcame adversity! Good on you. :)

Anyway, my query for you today would be Suikoden V. College has resumed once more, but I find myself sitting around on a three day MLK break. I've started Suikoden V, and am roughly 6 hours into it. So far I'm thoroughly enjoying it. The voice actors are quite excellent, and I've noticed several actors from Xenosaga (including Shion and Margulis, to name two). The buttons seem a bit odd, however. I've read this in a few reviews as well -- sometimes when you push a button to talk or open something, nothing happens. You have to be in a specific spot, apparently. Also, the menu activates by using the SQUARE button. What game uses THAT? It's completely weird (I HATE when games switch up the menu button -- Final Fantasy, Xenosaga, Suikoden! It's all a different bloody button)!

Josh

Yeah, why can't the menu button always be Triangle? It's the least accessible of the four right buttons, leaving the three other buttons open for field actions! And, while Xenogears is one of my favorite RPGs, its menu button is Square. Stupid.

The music and battle system has been right on par with what I've expected -- it's well done. Sadly, I can't figure out a way to PAUSE during a voice-scene. This really irks me, as sometimes I like to write down intriguing quotes from video games. That, and the fact that if my phone is ringing during a vital scene, I can't pause the game?! Bother.

Regardless, I was curious if you've played (or beaten) Suikoden V yet? I know you must be an avid fan, considering your THONG contest is based on Suikoden! I own Suikoden II, III, IV, Tactics, and now V. I've never played part I, sadly, but I do fancy all the others (even IV, despite the horrid reviews). If you've played V, did you enjoy it? What did you dislike/like about it?

Tabor.

Josh

I've really only played Suikoden and Suikoden 2. I didn't really like the battle system of III, and IV just was dull. I've heard great things about V, though, so I intend to give it a shot one of these days. I am a big Suikoden fan, it's just that Suikoden V was released at a time when I was bogged down with thirty other games I was trying to beat, and I just haven't caught up yet. So...you guys just keep singing its praises, and I'll just sit here and furiously pound through my games on the way to it. Sigh...



You are getting sleeeeeeeepy...


Hey Ouro, welcome back! May the culture shock be brief and mild.

I heard about Dragon Quest 9 and I have to admit Iím not a big DQ fan but Iím wondering if the game will have any Wi Fi related features that will really inspire the console gamers to make the jump. The only negative thing I can think about the switch is the obvious downgrade in graphics & sound from one system to another. If DQ9 is going to be on the DS, itís going to have to make use of all the bells and whistles the DS has to offer.

Anyways, glad to hear youíre settled in and hereís to a good 2007.

Bucket

Josh

All I've heard so far is that the game will feature some form of 4-player online co-op play. What that specifically entails, I have no idea, but it would be neat if that meant you could go through the story like that. No idea how that would work, though. So far, the graphics don't look bad at all. Nothing terrible, and while maybe not on par with its PS2 counterpart, isn't hard on the eyes. And I bet the music will be stellar, as well. I'm interested to see what the hell they use the stylus for, though.



Well, there goes my New Year's resolution...


Hello Ouro! For a while there I wasnít sure youíd be coming back.

Josh

Well, had I known YOU'D still be here, I might have been gone longer.

Well, I got a pile of games for Christmas and made significant progress towards catching up on all of the PS2 games I still want. For non-rpgs, I got Sonic Mega Collection Plus and Capcom Classics Collection 1. I also got Sega Genesis Collection which has a pile of Phantasy Star games. For RPGs, I got Disgaea 2, La Pucelle Tactics, and Digital Devil Saga 2. Iíve been playing Disgaea 2 quite a bit. It is very similar to the first, but thatís not a bad thing. I got addicted to it all over again. My brother got Castlevania PoR for his DS, so Iíve been playing that a lot too.

Josh

Yeah, I'm at the last chapter in Disgaea 2, and I just need to get around to hooking up my PS2 and finishing it. There's so much extra crap in that game, it's disgusting. I also picked up La Pucelle Tactics with some Xmas money, just adding to my backlog...sigh. But hey, TRPGs. Thumbs-up.

With all of these and all of the great PS2 RPGs I donít even own yet, next gen is looking so far away. I still havenít modded my PS2(financial reasons), and thereís the chance that I too will succumb to the DS.

Iím still planning on getting a PS3 eventually, but thatís looking like late 07, early 08 at best. By then the next gen picture should be a lot clearer. Iím honestly a little worried about the PS3 right now. It seems to have lost all of itís momentum, and doesnít really have any good games. On the other hand, Enchanted Arms is getting ported to the PS3. This, IMHO, is a very bad sign for the 360ís JRPG lineup. JRPGs donít get ported that often. Every JRPG that I can think of that has been ported, excluding MMORPGs and ports many years later, have been from systems that have failed. Has there ever been a port from one system to another of an offline RPG within a couple of years where the original system didnít fail? I realize in this generation this may only apply to Japan, but since the overwhelming majority of the games I own are from there, itís an issue for me.

Iím still not convinced about the Wii. Itís looking very good right now, but for the last few generations, Nintendo has had an issue with 3rd part support on their consoles. Iím just not sure itís here to stay. Iíd rather own a $600 console that releases 6-8 games I want a year than a $250 console that releases 1-3 games I want a year, unless one of those games is a FF or a Suikoden. And looking at the GC, 1-3 is generous. If Nintendo can get a steady stream of games to come out, it may be the system to own.

Like I said before, my current plans are still for a PS3. Iím just very glad the PS2 library is big enough for me to put off acting on it for a while.

Slashlen

Josh

Well, the PS3 didn't really have any momentum to begin with, that's the problem. Sony has pretty much placed its foot squarely in its mouth with the release of the PS3. As for the 360, it's not the system for RPGs. The Xbox wasn't, and neither will the 360. End of story. But, it will still survive, because it does contain a good collection of other genres. I dunno, right now, the PS3 has a total of 0 games I want to play, while the Wii has quite a few. I definitely want a Wii, but my decision about the PS3 won't be finalized until Sony finally releases a hit, which WILL happen, but who knows if it will be enough to save it?



Well, there goes my New Year's resolution...


Okay, here's a question for you. If you had to design the perfect RPG for a handheld console, what would it be like? You can use elements from existing or upcoming RPGs, if you like.

Josh

1. Save anywhere, or allow the system to sleep.
2. Short levels, but plenty of them, without horrible repitition.
3. Some form of Co-op mode.

Those are pretty much the only constants that need explaining. Good story, music, and whatnot are all implied.

Mine would feature the graphic goodness of Final Fantasy III (chibis are soooo cute!), while the storyline would be something off the beaten track, like Valkyrie Profile. The job/ability system from Final Fantasy V Advance would be in there. The main character would be customizable a la Elder Scrolls IV, but the supporting characters (the rest of the team) would be quirky, humorous, and element based like the team in Magical Starsign (can you tell that I'm a DS fanboy yet?). So you could have a dragoon who specializes in casting wind spells, or a white mage with an elemental affinity for light. Oh, and can't forget the music. I'm thinking the opening music could be by Utada Hikaru, something in the vein of "Simple and Clean" from Kingdom Hearts. Battle themes would be Final Fantasy-esque, while dungeon and overworld music would feature lots of gentle choir arrangements.

What do you think? Would you play it? Or can you think of a better design? Note that I intentionally omitted any influence from Final Fantasy XII, since I think it did such a great job of spotlighting new innovations that I can't think of any improvements.

Sorry for the lengthy letter, but you asked!

-Jeffrey

Josh

Well, it sounds fine, but I don't see the actual relevance to the fact that it's portable. Sure, those are great qualities in general for -any- RPG, so what would you want for it to be for a handheld system? That was basically my philosophy in designing my criteria. So what you have is a good start, but what would you add to move it over to the portable realm? So keep the ideas coming, and get back to me. :)



QUICKIES


Can't get my blue magic jones, but at least I got game again.

So here's a question I'll probably ask both hosts eventually: what system do you think will be "king of RPGs" in the near future? I think it was pretty well locked up by the PS2 last "generation," but it's a whole new ball game now, especially with the Dragon Quest news (altho' would most hardcore fans really count it as an RPG?), so it's hard to say. Whaddya think?

That's a toughie. The Wii is far, far ahead at the moment, and I don't really see it stopping any time soon. I think the PS3 will eventually get around to putting up a decent fight, I really do. It'll just take some time. In the near future, however, the Wii will win, hands down. On the portable side, the DS will win. Nintendo certainly knows what it has when it comes to that genre!

In Final Fantasy tactics for the PS1 what happens when you lv.8 and master all jobs, does anything special happen.

If you master all the jobs with 3 characters (including Ramza), then you get a special ending where Delita rides off into the sunset with a Chocobo, and they make sweet, sweet love down by the fire. Worth every hour I spent levelling.



S E G U E

PureLunatic, let me know when you want me to send your XSIII book.

Bucket will be cohosting on January 22.



T H O N G
Combat Log

Luca Phase:
Luca Blight charges up!

Movement Phase:
Leaper moves to Tile 49.
BLG moves to Tile 38.
Arros Raikou moves to Tile 12.
Bucket moves to Tile 11.
Draconn moves to Tile 55.
Slashlen moves to Tile 55.
Arpijy moves to Tile 44.
Vicissitude moves to Tile 40.
Aurelius moves to Tile 51.
Tabor moves to Tile 55.


Previous THONG Rounds!

Selections for characters can be found at the following sites:

Suikoden Characters

Suikoden 2 Characters

Click here for the rules and lists of items and prizes!

Click here to see previous trivia!

Luca Blight

Great, now Ouro outranks me.

Answer to #L40: A. Gilgamesh
Yes, Gilgamesh will be making an appearance as an Esper in Final Fantasy VI Advance. Surprise!

#L41.
In which game can you find a book of Cantrips?

A. Chrono Trigger
B. Xenosaga II
C. Suikoden II
D. Azure Dreams
E. Beyond the Beyond
F. Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2

THONG Question

Answer to #40:C. Final Fantasy III
Arc is one of the main characters in FFIII, and and arc is a segment of the circumference of a circle!

#41.Difficulty: Hard, Potch: 350
Who is the captain of the Lorbenian Army?

A. Terat
B. Kratos
C. Samson
D. Aguro
E. Steiner

C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

May your week be better than your weekend...and remember, don't give in! The end is near! Run!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh will play Guild Wars instead.


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Why? Because WoW doesn't wow me. </lame>

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Josh's Top Distractions:

Air Force Training

Not Ailise. ^^;

Current Order of Game-Playing:

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Castlevania: PoR

3. Disgaea 2

4. Bully

5. GTA: LCS/VCS

Novel Progress:

2,788/70,000 words

THONG Players:

1. Roku
Flik  TP: 2
550p

2. Bainick
Hero 2  TP: 21
3400p

3. Leaper
Antonio  TP: 2
1725p

4. Macstorm
Mazus  TP: 1
1050p

6. BLG
Sid  TP: 23
5825p

7. Arros Raikou
Kage  TP: 20
6075p

8. Xlash
Gijimu  TP: 0
200p

9. Donovan
Clive  TP: 2
900p

10. Slimey
Gadget  TP: 11
2000p

11. Bucket
Millie  TP: 20
2400p

12. Draconn
Mondo  TP: 6
1025p

13. Genjuu
Pesmerga  TP: 6
1575p

14. Alan Tse
Hoi  TP: 14
5425p

15. TheBluick
Fu Su Lu  TP: 0
0p

16. Gouden Draak
Rubi  TP: 1
725p

17. Slashlen
Lorelai  TP: 10
350p

18. JuMeSyn
Odessa  TP: 21
3425p

19. PureLunatic
Viktor  TP: 11
1575p

21. William.T
Killey  TP: 6
4750p

22. Arpijy
Hix2  TP: 15
825p

23. Spiffyness
Badeaux  TP: 2
525p

24. Reivax
Kasim  TP: 1
200p

25. Carabbit
Viki  TP: 7
1975p

26. Vicissitude
Clive2  TP: 16
325p

27. JDX
Kuromimi  TP: 7
1025p

28. Kupomogli
Kinnison  TP: 7
875p

29. Aurelius
Kahn  TP: 4
2800p

30. Omm
Yoshino  TP: 2
1225p

31. Aylee
Luc  TP: 14
4450p

32. Tabor
Ted  TP: 4
1550p

33. TvsAdam
McDohl  TP: 2
875p

34. Sundoulos
Hai Yo  TP: 15
3475p

Anyone else?

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