February 10, 2007
Josh - 4:50 CST
Pro in Tennis and Bowling! Also downloaded Zelda:LttP, Mario 64, and Mario World. I'm waiting to see what comes out this Monday, though.
I've had entirely too much fun with the Wii. The mechanics of the system are just so intuitive, I've just been in a constant state of...uh..."impressed-ness" since I turned the bloody thing on. I get giddy with the frickin' NEWS channel, for god's sake. The globe is just a really nice touch. I could probably gush for awhile now, but...let's move on.
This is ridiculous:
You have to see it to believe it.
Yeah, I know! I saw that a bit earlier and my head exploded.
First off, it made me giggle when the kid said that the DS "has a lot of graphics," as if he understood what all of the words in that sentence meant. But I digress.
Yes, Pictochat works in a way that allows you to essentially converse with anyone in the relatively immediate vicinity. I also am fully aware that the security measures on it are...nil. But, if a parent is going to give their child a toy, I think it's not something extreme to ask for them to take the time to understand how the toy operates. Not only that, but they could educate their children about giving information to strangers and the like. Hell, the NDS Owner's Manual pretty much states that they should make sure that their children aren't being idiotic. Ah well...unfortunately, there will always be someone out there that will mess everything up for the rest of us.
FFVI Advance does look mighty fine, but there are still two concerns I have
that have not been answered by any review. First, do you if the battle
glitches finally been fixed (so that having the Dark status actually means
something)? Second, is the Coliseum still auto-battle? The game would be so
much cooler to me if it didn't contain all those clumsy bugs that made
battles too easy, and if the Coliseum didn't insist on battles in which you
can't control you character. These would make or break my purchase decision.
Well, Dark was 'fixed,' though I don't really remember it being bugged in the original (though it's been some time), and sorry for you, the Coliseum works the same way. They did fix a lot of other bugs like the Sketch bug and the Evade glitch, so at least they addressed those.
Also, have you ever played the online fighting game called M.U.G.E.N.? I've
only heard about it a few months ago, and if it weren't for my backlog, I'd
like to check it out. It even has a ton of famous RPG characters! Now if
only I could tell whether or not my computer could actually run it.
I've never played it - only heard of it. The reason why there are a bunch of RPG characters is that the game is practically fully customizeable, if you have enough knowledge about how to manipulate the series of text files that provide the game with data. Theoretically you can have whoever fight whoever. Too bad its license ran out...
Hmm, the hyperlinks in my last two posted letters didn't show up. Well, in
case anyone is still wondering, the Hiromichi Tanaka interview that I
referred to in Sunday's column was this
And the "clip" that I referred to in Thurday's column was this
Whew, I hope those work.
Yep, they work! Sorry about the mixup last weekend!
Is game music better or worse than in the old days?
In the 2D age of RPGs you tended to see a small collection of music,
and generally in MIDI format, in all games (not just RPGs) because
disk space was so limited. In the NES days, the hardware was too
limited to have really good music. I think there was a sound output
hardware limitation with the NES that kept music from sounding better.
You saw graphical improvement as in-cart expansion hardware kept
getting better, but the music always sounded a little "Tinny."
With the SNES there was more disk space, but still not enough. Most
music was still done in MIDI because of disk space limitation. That
said, the SNES era music sounds quite close to today's game music.
IMHO LoZ: A Link to the Past has about the same quality music as LoZ:
Wind Waker. An important advance during this era was the ability to
play more than one instrument at the same time. Some of the late-era
games like FF3 US and Tales of Phantasia had excellent music.
In the modern era, you tend to see large collections of music because
of the large amount of disk space available. Okami for example has
more than 100 different pieces of music. Playback tends to be
compressed wave format rather than MIDI. It is still compressed b/c
that shortens disk loading time. The drawback to a big amount of music
is it tends to be hit-and-miss with some good, some average, and some
bad pieces, whereas there isn't one bad piece in LoZ: A Link to the
Past. The key here for developers is to make sure music (and sounds,
for that matter) that the player hears most often are high quality.
Poor battle music and footstep sounds will just kill a game. With
modern systems, some titles employ 5.1 sound in certain situations,
but I have a poor home theater setup (I can never hear the rear
speakers or subwoofer) so I cannot say whether 5.1 sound significantly
changes the game music experience.
So in summary, I think SNES-era music and later is better than NES-era
and earlier, but further than that I draw no distinctions. Anyway,
thanks for reading.
I do agree that SNES music is generally better than NES (though Mega Man games still stick with me), but I think that pre-32-bit and post-32-bit era music should really be seperated. Mostly due to the fact that because most games back then had such simplistic music, most notably in the areas of multiple instruments, it was easier to make a song 'catchy.' Now you've got all of these songs in games nowadays that concentrate on setting up ambience and fanfare rather than -trying- to make a catchy tune.
While a lot of tunes does make it so that there's more probability for error, that also means that there's the same amount of room to make good music. Probability sucks, no? So much action goes on in games nowadays, that the sounds are more prevalent than the music. Looking back on SNES/NES games during that era, how often were you impressed by the blips and bloops of, say, Mario jumping, or Fighter slashing his sword? Not so much, probably - which is why we needed the music like it was. Now, however, there so much dialogue in games, or realistic sound effects, etc., that music sorta takes a backseat. This isn't always the case, though (Shadow of the Colossus), but if you listen hard enough, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.
Pity will get you nowhere!
*Hobgoblins on golf cart, beware!*
I found a source for Sakura Wars music, and am currently listening to the
ending of the third game, Voyage. Very soothing, since all the ladies in
the game(s) can sing pretty well. You probably don't care though, since in
addition to the games not being your thing, sitting with a FAQ in front of
you for translation purposes is mandatory unless you want to scroll through
a LOT of text without a clue as to its meaning. So go ahead and ignore my
ramblings like usual.
Flattery will get you nowhere. :P
Started LandStalker two nights ago. Very nice so far. It's an amusing
Zelda-ish title that is quite intuitive, although the isometric view (as
usual) is annoying from time to time. Haven't gotten very far though,
because I'm putting in 40 hours this week. Stupid need for money.
Actually, I did try LandStalker a few weeks ago. Somehow, though, I managed
to not see the door leading out of the very first room. I somehow thought
that the statue I started close to could be moved, or jumped onto, or
something, and I fiddled around with it in futility for about 10 minutes
before giving up. This time my eyes worked correctly! Must be time for an
I've done that countless times, and usually in Zelda games or some such. Usually something stupid like not seeing the lever because it blends in with the background. Stupid lever.
Random question: what's the big deal with Resident Evil? I can't remember
if I ever touched one of them, although apparently 4 is a sweet ride.
The games are a lot of fun, but I don't find them scary at all. They've also decreased in difficulty ever since the original (that game was HARD). I've beaten the first 3, and I have 4, just haven't gotten around to it yet. I hear it's stellar, though.
Another random question: way back when (2001) I heard that Star Fox
Adventures was Zelda-ish. Does that make it sort of an RPG for the
Gamecube? I have no idea, so I'm asking you.
I guess theoretically you're right. Zelda is more like the exception rather than the rule to the Action-RPG formula. So, yeah, I guess Star Fox Adventures would qualify like-wise, since it's basically the same type of game.
Still not done with Tales of Phantasia - in fact I have a lot to go. Lately
I reached the future, so I'm wandering around getting into fights with
enemies that yield enough experience to make it worth my while. I get
almost all of my playing done in the break room though, since that's a far
better use of my breaks than wandering into Borders just to see that they
don't have anything new. Any particular places that make you break out the
portable systems, or is it less patterned?
I tend to bring 'em into the bathroom. Either that or a book. ^^;
Car trips, or if I've got a moment during lunch. Or if I'm sitting in bed. I dunno, sometimes I'm just in the mood to play some portable gaming goodness.
Oh, you're gonna love this: I want you to decide whether Iron Storm merits
inclusion on RPGamer or not. It's a World War II-based tactical game on the
Saturn that was Working Designs' first localization effort on the system.
Check around and say yea or nay.
I suppose it should...maybe. It's a turn-based strategy game...still. The difference, in my opinion, of a Strategy game and a TRPG are the scale of the battles. If you're out there controlling huge armies, then it's generally perceived as a strategy game, but if you're individually controlling a group of about 10 characters, then it's a TRPG. So by my logic, I guess it doesn't belong, but that's just me.
Who's your party in this playthrough of Seiken Densetsu 3? And what classes
Carlie, Kevin, and Lise. Carlie went Light, Kevin went Dark, and Lise went Dark. I'll eventually end up with LL for Carlie, DL for Kevin, and DD for Lise.
Possibly against my better judgment, I picked up ActRaiser 2 off eBay. This
once I didn't care enough to get a box or manual, I just bought it.
Sometime I'll feel like suffering through it, and then I can finally treat
everyone (most likely) to a truly scathing review, since I haven't reviewed
anything I thought completely sucked before. Maybe I'll finish Sword of
Vermilion too, and get some hatred out of my system.
Okay, Phantasy Star II is hard. Believe me, you WILL need to spend a lot of
time fighting. And the dungeons are true labyrinths that may require a map
to navigate. Phantasy Star III is fairly easy and fairly unmemorable, at
least to me. Your mileage may vary. Phantasy Star IV is where it's at.
Think you'll be experiencing any of them any time soon?
I actually picked up the Sega Genesis collection for PSP recently...but it's still sitting there due to my luck of finding a Wii. I guess I'll get to it at some point...hehe.
Hell, I'm too tired. Nothing else except to say that Letters From Iwo Jima
is superb filmmaking. You be sure to go and see it, support Clint
Eastwood's devotion to challenging movies!
*Santa's reindeer laughter - From Hell!*
I may at some point. I need someone to go with to the movies. Hopefully things will start working out with this girl I'm seeing...
Thanks for writing in!
Ok, announcement time!
JDX has nabbed Final Fantasy XII. That leaves 3 prizes left in the shop. Grandia III, Riviera, and the PSU stuff. Since most of you seemed to be going for FFXII (sorry!), I'm going to begin shutting THONG down, gradually. So - this weekend is the LAST weekend to pick up Co-Hosting Opportunities, then until 2/19, you can claim Full Hosting Opportunities, and until 3/5, you can get the other prizes. After that, THONG2 will officially be over!
Luca Blight takes a moment to rest (12.2% HP remaining).
Leaper falls to Tile 54.
Tabor falls to Tile 55.
Leaper moves to Tile 56.
BLG moves to Tile 47.
Slashlen moves to Tile 52.
Arpijy moves to Tile 57.
kupomogli moves to Tile 16.
Tabor moves to Tile 57.
Previous THONG Rounds!
Selections for characters can be found at the following sites:
Suikoden 2 Characters
Click here for the rules and lists of items and prizes!
Click here to see previous trivia!
Great, now Ouro outranks me.
Answer to #L46: B. Castlevania: SOTN
Yep, it comes coupled with a remake of Rondo of Blood.
In the beginning of Phantasy Star II, what's the only spell your party knows?
Answer to #46:A. When summoning, the casters shoot themselves in the face.
#47.Difficulty: Easy, Potch: 150
In Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, after you've made it to the Dark World, what's the only item you need to get in order to access the 4th Crystal Dungeon?
B. Fire Rod
D. Mirror Shield
I guess now we can start concetrating on letters even more! So, are there any recommendations anyone can make for my Wii? How about that newfangled FFXII DS Lite they're showing around? Or that the PS3 is getting a downgraded version of Oblivion? There's always plenty to talk about, so let's see what we can do, ok? Have a good night, guys.
***Josh needs to not talk on the phone til 4AM.
Feb. 9: Matt
Feb. 8: Matt
Feb. 7: Matt
Feb. 6: Matt
About the Host
Josh's Top Distractions:
Air Force Training
...Maybe Ailise. ^^;
Current Order of Game-Playing:
1. Final Fantasy III
2. Castlevania: PoR
3. Disgaea 2
5. GTA: LCS/VCS
Flik TP: 2
Hero 2 TP: 25
Antonio TP: 4
Mazus TP: 1
Sid TP: 29
7. Arros Raikou
Kage TP: 21
Gijimu TP: 0
Clive TP: 2
Gadget TP: 11
Millie TP: 21
Mondo TP: 11
Pesmerga TP: 6
14. Alan Tse
Hoi TP: 21
Fu Su Lu TP: 0
16. Gouden Draak
Rubi TP: 1
Lorelai TP: 16
Odessa TP: 22
Viktor TP: 11
Killey TP: 6
Hix2 TP: 8
Badeaux TP: 2
Kasim TP: 1
Viki TP: 7
Clive2 TP: 5
Kuromimi TP: 7
Kinnison TP: 7
Kahn TP: 4
Yoshino TP: 2
Luc TP: 14
Ted TP: 3
McDohl TP: 2
Hai Yo TP: 15