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ASK ARROS RAIKOU & OURO
Here It Is February 5, 2007

Arros Raikou - 10:54 CST

This is my third time doing this so let me get all of you caught up with what has happened since the last time I co-hosted.

In non-gaming news I have lost my old job and gained a new one at a Subway, which has served to further convince me that I infact hate a good chunk of society ^^;; and it taught me that I infact can destroy tomatoe slicers with great ease... whoops ^^;;

Other non gaming news, I plan to start my webcomic in 10 days so look forward to it, I've also started a fairly decent manga colection(to use as refrence foir drawing stuff ^^;;) as well as purchasing a FF7's Sephiroth's Masamune replica(it's a Katana so how could I resist ^^;;)

And I have also had a birthday meaning that infact I can now no longer be the young bright eyed hero but I am infact doomed to be the seasoned vet who probably dies if you follow rpg stereotypes ^^; btw I am 22

In gaming news I now own a Wii though at present I have no games for it outside of Wii Sports ^^;;

I'm currently playing Children of Mana and Inuyasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel for the DS, and still nibbling along on FF12 for the PS2

But enough about me let's get to your questions ^^




L E T T E R S
Wasn't that guy...? Never mind.


Hello!

Arros Raikou

Why hello to you as well Sysiphus

First of all, it is too cold in the Great Lakes region! As I look at my weather app, it's a toasty 2 degrees Fahrenheit outside here in Cleveland...phun stuff. Anyways, on to RPG stuffs.

Arros Raikou

Brrr...

What is your opinion on the Piano Collections for the various Final Fantasy soundtracks? I just ordered the FFVII and FFX PCs off of Play-Asia and cannot wait to get them..I've listened to the clips off of iTunes many times, and they sound great. I like the idea of getting roughly an hour of music transposed to my instrument of choice, rather than necessarily listening to 3+ hrs of MIDI music...not that it's not good in its own' right, but I can better not annoy my roommmate with the "real instrument" versions as well...

Arros Raikou

Unfortunately I have no experience with game music outside of the games themselves and the bonus soundtracks they sometimes have, so sadly I have no opinion on them outside of the fact that RPG music usually sounds nice to me.

Also, have you any experience with FFVII for PC? I just started it the other day, and have come to the conclusion that it is far better with a controller...As I could not bring my PS2 to college, I may just have to buy one of those $10 Logitech USB controllers that are total knockoffs of the PS2 controller.

Arros Raikou

Sadly again I have no knowledge of FFVII on the PC, way back in my youth I wanted the game because I thought it would have different parts to it that the PS1 version did not, but sadly I never had the money or system resources for it so sadly I never pursued it.

Finally, do you see that DS as a viable RPGaming platform in its own right, now that it has the 3 GBA Final Fantasies, FFIII, etc?

Thanks,
Sysiphus

Arros Raikou

Yes the DS has quite a few RPGs in it's own library not to mention the GBA RPGs it could(and does) borrow from via backwards compatability and it is easy to see that the DS is an RPGamer's handheld of choice.

You are welcome Sysiphus, I'm sure Ouro looks forward to hearing from you again.



You will get the mail you get, and like it!


Dear Ouro

Arros Raikou

*uses his magic marker to scribble in Arros*

Ah that's better ^^''

Since there was some talk this past week about the desire for Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger to be on the Wii VC, I thought that this might interest some people. It think it's great to hear that Square-Enix will support all systems, and that they are still open to a Chrono sequel. However, what bugged was how he said that Chrono Trigger has a 50-50 chance of being on the VC. Ugh, to that I say "Why the hell SHOULDN'T it be on the VC?!" Seriously, where did he pull that "50-50" remark out from? Is there some kind of calculative formula for all VC release decisions that we don't know about, and when applied to Chrono Trigger, it equates to 50%? It should be a no-brainer to me. He also basically said that Secret of Mana won't be on the VC for the foreseeable future. That's a shame as well. Come on, Square-Enix, everyone is pining for you to show us some VC love too!

Arros Raikou

I agree they should re-release Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana for the Wii's VC, DS or something else, simply because both are great games that the current gaming generation might not ever get to play otherwise, it would be like if the only movies you could buy were from 2000 onward to 2007 instead of being able to buy older better movies, the whole concept of old games being obsolete is a ridiculus one that just isn't present in other entertainment genres.

Furthermore, I see a lot of RPGamers here talk about what RPGs they want to have available on the VC. But how about Xbox Live Marketplace and Playstation Network? They have the potential to offer cheap, classic RPGs too (the former has already given us SotN). Now I know that it's likely because most RPGamer readers own Wiis instead of 360s and PS3s, but I still didn't expect to see so little talk on those consoles' plans for online distribution of classic games. Especially considering how many quality RPGs the Playstation had, and how many of those RPGs the Playstation Network could offer us, I expected a whole lot more talk on that at least. What say you?

Alan

Arros Raikou

Me personally, I could care less were the classic RPGs of yesteryear wind up as long as I can go back and play the classics then I'll be a happy camper, and if any of the 3 consoles have previously unreleased old titles up for grabs then that is even better ^^

It has been nice hearing from you Alan, I hope you didn't mind me getting your letter instead of Ouro ^^;;



Actually, I'm pretty sure he's answered one before.


Ah! (Annoying child falls down): What's that!?

Goeden Dag, Arros Raikou! From one traveler of the RPG paths less taken to another, salutations!

Arros Raikou

Good day to you JuMeSyn, though your paths are far far less taken or known than mine ^^;;

Well let's see here, now that I can finally play it again I've resumed Tales of Phantasia. Just beat Dhaos for the first time, after getting massacred several times in his castle of the past (not by him, by deadly groups of spellcasters). Apparently I've got a lot left though.

Arros Raikou

I think you are nearing the end but I wouldn't swear to it, it's been awhile since I finished that game ^^;; And I am glad that you are once again able to play.

Let's see - I also started up Napple Tale on the Dreamcast. You may have heard of it, but if not - it's a 2.5D action RPG that is damn different. The music by Yoko Kanno is... ethereal and frequently beautiful, if unlike the music in just about any other game I've ever heard. Bonus points for everything being live instruments - no synthesizers here. As for the play, it's annoyingly reliant upon my constant running around to talk with people and get areas unlocked. Blah. Interesting though, especially the part where I mix elements together to create animal helpers.

Arros Raikou

I remember seeing the name somewhere before but outside of that I sadly know nothing ^^;; Though it sounds rather interesting.

Sooo - what've you been playing lately? Give particular notice to any games people haven't been sounding off about ad nauseum, please - I KNOW FFXII is worth playing. I won't be playing it until the next decade at least. Lately I have decided that random battles need to stop forever. Anything that involves a little more effort from the programmers and a greater feeling of player involvement is better. What say you?

Arros Raikou

Currently FF12 <.< though I look forward to finishing it and starting Rogue Galaxy, since it seems like it could be an interesting experience, and on the DS is SRT: OG1, Inuyasha: Secret of the divine jewel and Children of Mana.

As for random battles it really depends on the game, your time constraints, and other factors, I think after you've cleared a dungeon or section of the world you should have the option of "turning off" encounters with the weak foes in that area. So you'd have to fight the enemies until you reached a goal then that area would be safe to traverse if the player wanted

I'm just gonna describe an incident from Tengai Makyou IV (which I will get back to playing once the backlog of system modifications is complete) and see what you think. So there I was in San Francisco, just having rescued some geisha girls from some evil Madame. Then they talked my character into rescuing their friends on Alcatraz, and I got the SashimiMarine to do this by going underwater. I got caught, had to escape from Alcatraz, and then chased the architect of the evils plaguing California towards Los Angeles.

To get there I had to bust down some barriers, and was given the SukiyakiTank to do this. Then King Manto (a giant gorilla) walked by and knocked a bridge down, which meant I got the TempuraFly to continue the journey to Hollywood. Later on all these vehicles combined in Death Valley to form Robo Geisha, with which I did battle unto King Manto.

Yep. That's all in the game, and more....

Arros Raikou

Sounds delightfully weird and sushi filled ^^;; a robo geisha versus a giant gorilla in California sounds just weird and fun but mostly weird here's to you Japan, you weird game developing people ^^;;

So what's YOUR take on Sakura Wars? I've been spouting off about it for months now, ever sampled it? Oh, and I finished 3 (might've guessed thanks to my review being up). Awesome stuff.

Arros Raikou

While I have no first hand experience with it at all with Sakura Wars, it seems like it would be something I'd be interested in ^^;;

I'm gonna have to choose between LandStalker and Shadowrun on the Genesis to play when I'm done with Napple Tale (I don't have any SNES RPG's on hand I haven't played). Suggestions?

Arros Raikou

Sadly no I don't have any suggestions because the only obscure SNES games I know about I learned about from you and the other column writers ^^;;

I probably shouldn't harp on this so much - but if you'd read my trio of Shining Force III reviews and give commentary, I'd be oh-so happy. Tell Ouro that they all play exactly the same, so if he's able to play Scenario 1 he'll be able to play 2 and 3 without trouble.

Arros Raikou

I'll make sure to pass the word along to Ouro. As well as read your reviews once I have the time.

Recollection from my friend regarding WoW: he told me that about a week ago he was playing with some other people and his character was a priest. He was doing a pretty good job healing (no one died) but one other guy kept cussing him out. Finally my friend let the braggart do the healing. In an unsurprising development, everyone died. The braggart essentially stated 'Whoops. Oh well.' The moral of the story, as related by my friend, is that 95% of the people playing WoW are morons.

Arros Raikou

That is just really stupid of the braggert to want to do a job and then fail completely, then again the way I feel is that 95% of the human population are morons until they prove to me otherwise, the visiters of RPGamer are obviously in the other 5% pool ^^;;

Ever heard of Soldnerschild? I recently tried to find some info on it and came up empty. Maybe you'll have better luck.

Maybe you can find something on Farland Saga too.... From what I can tell the first is a relic while the second (Farland Saga Toki no Michishirube) is pretty decent. Anything?

I guess I'm done. Enjoy the co-hosting!

TURN IT OFF!!
JuMeSyn

Arros Raikou

Sadly I found out nothing about either of those games ^^;; I certainly will enjoy the co-hosting. Thanks for writing in JuMeSyn.



Yossarian!


Greetings Josh!

Hm, is this the first letter I sent to you? If it's not then forgive me. ^^; I tend to send letters on the weekday so their usually read by Matt, but for some time I've been meaning to send one to you. Though it's Tuesday as I type this, I had read Seth's letter on the Jan 27th column and felt I had to reply.

Josh

I'm pretty sure you've sent one in before...ah well!

Thus, you've uncovered my dark secret about my inbox. I do this on the weekend, when most people don't work, but most people send letters when they're bored at work. Damn you, Catch-22!!

It's true that RPG stories are not that original. I've had my fair share of teenage boys with a ordinary life who suddenly takes on the challenge of saving the world. Really though while a unique story is great now and then, what I care about is how the story and characters are executed. To me originality is not as important as a game's writing. I'll take for example one of my most favorite RPGs, Tales of Symphonia (CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD).

Josh

I'm gonna go ahead and agree so far, but I think I should read on. Besides, a commercial is on. :)

Tales of Symphonia is perhaps the very definition of a cliched, "un-grown-up" RPG. The game begins with your average 17-year-old spikey-haired orphaned boy known for being less-than-bright and a bit rash living near a small town (one Lloyd Irving). He is friends with Colette Brunel, your average cute, innocent main female character/love interest who is also the Chosen who must regenerate a dying world. They join up with other party members and unlock seals so Colette would become an angel. Eventually they find out that there is a parallel world that shares the same mana with their world and the regeneration just causes the mana to flow from one world to another. Though not exactly like everything else, it's still pretty standard stuff. Even the big plot twist is not too original (though it surprised me the first time I played: The shifting flow of mana, two worlds, and journey of regeneration are all part of a plot to keep both worlds subjugated and eventually make everyone the same kind of being to end discrimination. Oh and the world religion is a lie.

Okay I kind of got caught up in the story there, but I'll get to my point. The story is not that original, I must admit. It's been compared countless times to Final Fantasy X and the Seiken Desnsetsu series in terms of plot. I still thoroughly enjoyed the story though. Why? Because it was still told well. Namco did a fantastic job on localizing the game. I loved every moment of it, even if I saw a few things coming (oh my, Kratos is Lloyd's father, I never saw that coming <_<). Most of all though, I loved the characters. Yes Lloyd is your average RPG protagonist, yes Colette is much like many main girl characters, yes Kratos is like many stoic, serious older characters, yes Zelos is much like several playboy characters. That doesn't mean they aren't well developed and loveable. What I love most about them is how surprisingly real and deep they are, both main characters and villains alike. The game goes into each of their backgrounds (though some more than others) so they feel more like real people. To me the characters are Tales of Symphonia's best attribute and why it'll remain a favorite of mine for a long time to come.

Heh, got sidetracked there again, but I got my point across, right? Overall, originality is not that important, so long as it is a good story. So what if the plots don't "grow-up" with us? I can still enjoy a game about a unlikely hero and his band of misfits toppling an evil empire so long as the said hero and misfits are well-developed and the game's actual writing and execution is done well.That's just my opinion of course. Everyone is entitled to their own after all. Ultimately, we play games to have fun right and so far I'm still having fun playing RPGs.

I think I wrote enough for now, so I'll end here. Thanks so much for reading Josh!

-Strawberry Eggs

Josh

Well, eventually run out of stereotypical characters. What I mean is, you have this 'stock' from which to choose your personalities. Honestly, even in reality, while there are an infinite amount of personalities (ok, finite, whatever), all of them are generally just slight distortions from some standard cliche. The frat guy, the sweetheart, the crotchety old man...they're all there, just slightly different, though sharing many aspects with each iteration.

Writing can save a game's story, yeah. But honestly, which stories do you end up remembering? The story that was cliched to hell, yet had magnificent writing, or the game whose writing was mediocre, but there was that one scene where you jumped up screaming, "Oh my God! I never saw that coming?!?!" Sure, those games may be few and far between, but yeah, you remember them.

That was just Devil's Advocate, though. Honestly, a game with good writing can be the key to making a player actually remember the game. When compared to other games, Final Fantasy tends to stay on the top. Sure, they've got relatively good graphics and such, but they also employ many cliched elements in every game, yet we still love the stories they tell. I'm not an FF fanboy by any means, but I still agree with that sentiment.

Thanks for writing in!

More predictions...


Hi Ouro,

This is my first time writing to you since I usually turn off my computer on the weekends, but I have news that needs to be shared with the wide-wide world. I bought a Wii! After many trials, tribulations, and exploits of high adventure (and one very unfortunate run-in with an Orc from WoW), I have emerged singed but triumphant and now feel as if the world bows before me in my Wiiness. As for the Wii itself, it is so much fun I almost can't stand it. My wife can't leave the thing alone for five minutes, and my arms are sore from all the Wii Boxing. Twilight Princess delivers on its hype, in spades, and Red Steel is a flawed but unique adventure. That being said in two days when Rogue Galaxy is released, my PS2 will promptly reclaim its spot as top console in the house, which brings me to my second topic.

Josh

I agwii (groan). I just got my own Wii, and damn if it isn't the most fun I've had in a long while. I haven't gotten TP yet, but I'm enjoying Wii Sports, Wind Waker, and LttP for the time being. ^^

I think the Wii is going to be around for a long time and believe the Wii as concept to be a revolutionary moment in video game history and perhaps in media in general, but Sony is still going to win out in the end. Why do I say that? Well, the PS2 is still selling like hotcakes even though it doesn't have to remain dominant. Which indicates that even though Microsoft and Nintendo are now well on the way to some success in the next gen market, Sony is effectively using its previous gen console to tighten its strangle hold on current gamers. This market lead will give Sony enough time to fix its three major launch issues: lack of supply, lack of games, and backward compatibility. While the PS3 isn't outselling anybody right now, that is not an indication that Sony is behind the curve. In fact Sony is still so far out front, Nintendo and Microsoft still have yet to catch sight of them. People will buy the PS3 once the system has an adequate supply of must-play games (three to four should do the job), and Sony is an expert at cherry picking games. Genji: Days of the Blade may be the first in a long line of truly earthshattering titles for the PS3, and once that takes place Microsoft, who hasn't really gained as much as they should have with the 360, won't be able to keep up at all. The Wii on the other hand will be a part of just about everyone's home along the PS2 and possibly the PS3, but Sony will always have an edge on it.

My two cents,
cap

Josh

Exactly. The PS3 will definitely be a major contender...it will just take awhile. The Wii will be the top for the next few months...then once Halo 3 releases, it will pretty much sell 360s. But I foresee the PS3 actually maintaining some sort of hold on the market. You're absolutely right about the PS2 though. They are still selling, largely in part to the massive library the system can play, and sure, it'll keep gamers sustained until Sony figures out what the hell they messed up with the launch (the backwards compatibility thing is largely fixed already, by the way). I will disagree with you about Genji, though, because I got that for my bro for Christmas, and I thought it was pretty bad. It was just a standard beat 'em up with pretty graphics. Nothing groundbreaking at all. I really don't think anything spectacular will happen with the PS3 until FFXIII and MGS4 come out. Until then, we can only hope for some sort of sleeper hit.

Thanks for sharing, cap!

QUICKIES


Just looking around a bit and saw a couple of PC RPGs pending release in the next month or so that I hadn't even heard of. What do you think of the upcoming Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Silverfall?

Vicissitude

Arros: Sadly I have no information about either of them because I'm just not a PC gamer however I'd think they should both have a news page somewhere on the site so check them or wait until they are released and await reviews.

Thanks for the quickie Vicissitude.



S E G U E

And, JDX has reached the Game tile without incident! What will he pick, I wonder?



T H O N G
Combat Log

Luca Phase:
Luca Blight takes a moment to rest (12.2% HP remaining).

Damage Phase:
JDX resists a spell!
Slashlen falls 5 spaces!
Slashlen is frozen!

Movement Phase:
Leaper moves to Tile 56.
JuMeSyn moves to Tile 6.
Arpijy moves to Tile 53.
JDX moves to Tile 60.
Tabor moves to Tile 57.


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 #L45: C. Wal-Mart
I was in Warner-Robins, Georgia, looking for an apartment, and I just happened across the Wii in Wal-Mart. After asking whether it was a display model or a real one, I promptly purchased the bloody thing. I had a great night otherwise (the Wii wouldn't work with the hotel TV), but I was pleasantly surprised once I got to play it.

#L46.
Which of the following of my favorite games was just announced to be ported to PSP?

A. Xenogears
B. Castlevania: SOTN
C. Chrono Trigger
D. Final Fantasy VI
E. Metal Gear Solid
F. Unreal Tournament

THONG Question

Answer to #45:A. Chrono Trigger

There is a tank known as "Chrono Twigger," and it looks like a tree.

#46.Difficulty: Hard, Potch: 400
Persona 3 isn't released yet, but there's something odd about it. What made me laugh?

A. When summoning, the characters shoot themselves in the face.
B. Before battle, the characters taunt the enemies in different costumes.
C. The main character actually has a goat as a brother.
D. One character attacks with a Necronomicon.
E. Upon victory, the characters perform an almost NFL-like victory dance.

C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Congratulations, JDX! Please let me know what prize you want!

To the rest of you, there are a few prizes left, so if you want one, feel free to go for it. I think next weekend, I'm going to impose a time limit on the rest of the game, so hurry up! :)

Make sure to send Matt some mail this week. He could probably use it. Take care!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh is almost a bowling PRO!


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Josh's Top Distractions:

Air Force Training

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: 25
4375p

3. Leaper
Antonio  TP: 3
525p

4. Macstorm
Mazus  TP: 1
1050p

6. BLG
Sid  TP: 28
7350p

7. Arros Raikou
Kage  TP: 21
7000p

8. Xlash
Gijimu  TP: 0
200p

9. Donovan
Clive  TP: 2
900p

10. Slimey
Gadget  TP: 11
2000p

11. Bucket
Millie  TP: 21
2750p

12. Draconn
Mondo  TP: 11
875p

13. Genjuu
Pesmerga  TP: 6
1575p

14. Alan Tse
Hoi  TP: 21
6725p

15. TheBluick
Fu Su Lu  TP: 0
0p

16. Gouden Draak
Rubi  TP: 1
725p

17. Slashlen
Lorelai  TP: 16
2150p

18. JuMeSyn
Odessa  TP: 22
4775p

19. PureLunatic
Viktor  TP: 11
1575p

21. William.T
Killey  TP: 6
5150p

22. Arpijy
Hix2  TP: 13
575p

23. Spiffyness
Badeaux  TP: 2
525p

24. Reivax
Kasim  TP: 1
200p

25. Carabbit
Viki  TP: 7
1975p

26. Vicissitude
Clive2  TP: 5
1225p

27. JDX
Kuromimi  TP: 7
1025p

28. Kupomogli
Kinnison  TP: 7
1675p

29. Aurelius
Kahn  TP: 4
3000p

30. Omm
Yoshino  TP: 2
1225p

31. Aylee
Luc  TP: 14
4450p

32. Tabor
Ted  TP: 1
675p

33. TvsAdam
McDohl  TP: 2
875p

34. Sundoulos
Hai Yo  TP: 15
3475p

Anyone else?

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