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ASK OURO
En Vivo June 24, 2006

Josh - 9:18 EST

::Deep breath...::

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
LLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I watch the World Cup on Univison. Wanna fight about it? ^^

Did anyone else see Argentina's second goal against Mexico today? Jesus tap-dancing Christ that was amazing.




L E T T E R S
Why do I keep coming back to this column?


And now for a letter...

Since people have brought up FFX, I wanted to put my two cents in. The first time I played it through, I really wasn't all that impressed. The story seemed lame, the world bizarre, and the characters annoying. Interestingly enough though, I happened to be bored one day (ever happen to you? happened to me) and picked up FFX again. This time the game was fresh to me. I enjoyed the foreshadowing (now that I knew it for what it was), appreciated the foreign beauty of Spira, and even managed to appreciate SOME of the characters. Long story short, FFX has something very few RPGs seem to have anymore: replay value.

Many games go out of their way to give the illusion of replay value. The most common feature is clear data that gives some free stuff if you start a new game. Other games unlock movies, characters, or other goodies. These little curiousities rarely, if ever, cause me to play a game through again. I really need a story/setting with little eccentricities that I may just happen to miss with one play through. The only RPGs I've played through multiple times are FFVII, FFX, FFT, Suikoden I and II, Fallout I and II, and Torment. What games have you been compelled to play through a second time (or third or fourth or...)? What keeps you coming back for more?

Vicissitude

Josh

I really don't know why I bothered to play FFX again. I guess just out of boredom. I tried to get as far as possible without using the sphere grid (I forget how far that was...at the very least to Luca). Honestly, there are so many games that I have played over and over, and while I know there's some innate reason why I'm doing it, I can't really put my finger on it.

Maybe it's picking up the little intricacies in the story that I missed the first time around. Rarely is it because I missed some awesome item. I've probably played each Final Fantasy several times, and the reasons have been because I liked the story, or I wanted to impose some challenge on myself because RPGs often lack a difficulty setting.

Chrono Trigger was unique in that it had so many different endings that I just had to see (and, since it was my first RPG, it was just something I HAD to do). Games with branching stories generally keep me coming back, such as the SaGa games, or games that provide you with a host of options for customizing your party, a la Final Fantasy Tactics. Changing from what you did the first time and seeing if you can pull it off is always fun for me.



I'm probably going to regret posting this.


Hello again Josh,

First, a stylistic query. Am I the only one who frequently finds sprites from (usually) the 16-bit era to be more appealing visually than 3D representations? This is hardly a new line of thought, I realize. But thinking about Chrono Cross (which I've never played, lacking a Playstation, but have seen numerous pictures of) made me think about how less aesthetically appealing it is than Chrono Trigger.

Will there ever be a new Shining Force title in the style of play that made the older ones great? Again, lacking a Platstation of any generation means I haven't played these newer Shining titles - but from my information-gleaning efforts it appears they have gone the Gauntlet route (I use Gauntlet because I played an unhealthy amount of it years ago - so it's my standard bearer in this type of play). This style of play has a place in the game world. I have been known to enjoy it overmuch. But it's not Shining Force.

Josh

The nice thing about sprites was that there really was no limit to how you wanted the characters to look. Sure, they would be two-dimensional, but you could draw them however you wanted to. Back in the early days of 3D, you were very limited by the amount of polygons that would make up a character. However, it eventually becomes a nuisance to draw out every frame of a sprite, and then 3D models became the norm.

I actually thought that the models in CC were quite good, regardless of the rest of the game's quality. The game came out several years after the PSX's release, so Square had plenty of time to refine their modeling. There's always a place in my heart for sprites, but it's all a matter of whether you want to be looking at something realistic or a cartoon.

As for Shining Force...I'd love for them to release one similar to the old ones. I don't really know what they are doing with all of these other games, but I'm finding myself not interested. Sadly, I have yet to hear any news of it being reverted, so...I feel ya.

And now I'll go back to that smelly, dirty can of worms I opened last weekend.

Josh

::looks down::

#$%&.

The US Civil War's repercussions were very different from those of any other civil war I can think of. Consider: after the Russian Civil War, were those who had fought against the forces of Lenin allowed back into society? Not a chance - they mostly got decamped to Siberia or killed outright or fled the country. After the Spanish Civil War those who had fought against Franco also got killed or fled, and France clamped down tightly onto Spain for 36 years. But after the US Civil War almost no repercussions were forthcoming from the Northern side. The commandant of one prison camp was put to death, no one else. Whereas ex-Confederates ran rampant through the former Confederacy under the guise of the KKK or other sinister groups, intent upon beating down any effort to change the status quo more than the war had already done. And while the North's military forces were present for 12 years after the war's end, they did not make the necessary effort to prevent this.

What does this mean to the present day? It means that many Confederate descendants or supporters are able to convince themselves that they never really lost - which is partially true, given the enormous amount of racism and blatant discrimination the US sank into during the early years of the 20th century. The opportunity to rub the ex-Confederates' noses into their losing was lost over a hundred years ago. Their supporters in this day and age tend to be ignorant and intolerant - a bad combination to any prospective game publisher. Terrorists can be home-grown too, and tend to spring up over issues that ignorant and intolerant people obsess upon. Whew! That was altogether too serious a subject; I hope the entire column today hasn't been darkened by the tone. Barring a tumult of public outcry for similar subjects, I'll end this with a declaration that an RPG set in the grand days of Islam (what for Europe was the Dark and Middle Ages) would be a great change of pace, very interesting, and have the possibility of being excellent.

Whenever the shortened version of your name (Ouro) is used, I have a hard time eliminating thoughts of the other Oro I am familiar with. If you're a viewer or reader of Naruto, I need say no more. Otherwise just conjure images of a very snake-like fellow.

JuMeSyn

Josh

...Ow. My...brain hurts. Where do you people find the time to study history, and why are so many of you knowledgeable about the Civil War?

Uh...wait. Don't answer that. Games, people! Games!!!

I don't read/watch Naruto, but Ourobolus (and its other spellings) IS a snake...just Google "Urobolus" or "Ouroboros" to find out.



I could give you some speed...that might help.


Hi there Ouro,

Today I'll bring backlogs to the table since I realised yesterday how big my backlog is ^^;;

Basically yesterday I crammed all of my unfinished games into a drawer then I counted them I have 61 yes 61 unfinished games, of which 56 are rpgs and there will likely be more games added on in the upcoming months so yeah...

Which do you think will happen first me going clinically insane or me finishing all the games in my backlog? I would list them but that'd take too long ^^

Also I didn't mean to sound high and mighty though I probably did, but the idea of collecting something and never ever using it is a ridiculus concept regardless of what you collect and never use, also we RPGamers are the elite let us take down the FPS masses forthwith mwahaha

Arros Raikou

Josh

I collect classical literature, mostly antique books (my pride of my collection is an 1896 copy of Dante's Divine Comedy). I haven't read all of them yet, but I plan on it. People really don't write books like that anymore, and it's saddening. But I digress.

61 games. Wow. I...uh...wow. How on earth did you amass that many that you haven't beaten? I guarantee you will go (go further?) clinically insane before you finish all of those. Go take a year off of school, play them to completion, then resume where you left off. Trust me, you'll feel better. ^^

As for being high and mighty, that's MY job here! I'm right, you're wrong. Hehehehehehehehehe!



Yar?


To Sideshow Ourob

Oha dn for a quicky I ask of you What music worst fits a scene of an RPG fame that you've played?

Bainick is running out of questions for both Ouro and Slimey

Josh

Yes, I was too lazy to make a damn quickies section for today. Die.

Ah, I was actually thinking about this the other day. In the ending of Xenosaga (not really gonna spoil anything...), when KOS-MOS is escaping, that Joanne Hogg song comes on and is just...really, really out of place. Pain, that's the name of it. You've got this nice, soft song playing while stuff is exploding all around you.

Running out of questions? Well, start thinking, or Mog is just going to sit there, plotting...always plotting.



Formatting? Where?


Just a few days ago i walked into my local games shop (gamestation in England) and......Dun Dun Dun!I stumbled apon Astonisia story.
Ah,what the hell?I thought and bought the game because:
1.The cover artwork was pretty nice,actually
2.It was an RPG for the PSP.

I've just got home and i immidiatly decided to search the game on RPGamer.I didnt come out with much,only the announcement,not even the logo.In fact i havnt even played the game yet.So i guess the question all boils down to (if you bothered reading):
Is there any info on the game?
What the hell was i thinking of buying the game without knowing a thing?
Is the PSP really that desperate for RPG's?(Well,hell yeah)
(Although i think the real question is:Is my hope of valkyrie profile silmeria/lenneth ever being released in the UK too optimistic?)

Josh

Hahahaha...you bought a PSP RPG...what a sucke...ahem. Que? ^^

To answer your questions....

  1. Not on this site. Here's a bit more info if you want. :P
  2. You weren't.
  3. Yeah, a bit. I'm waiting for the VP stuff too, but I hope you guys can get a taste of it too!

Anywho recently i've gone into the habit of not bothering to listion to in-game music because 99.9% of the time i dont really like it. I dont mind orchestras etc. But they dont really tend to stir up anything in me.So instead i listion to a band called...DragonForce,as you can guess there lyrics are all fantasy.PERFECT for an RPG.

Josh

I can't do that. I HAVE to hear the game music. If the game's music sucks, then I can't play the game. I'm very picky when it comes to aural satisfaction. It's sad, but if developers aren't going to take the time to produce music that both fits the scene and is pleasing to actually listen to...then I'm not going to take the time to play their half-assed game.

As for game lyrics...I've become quite a fan of the current slew of vocal tracks, but why on earth can't they be relevant to the game? What on earth does Simple and Clean/Hikari have to do with Kingdom Hearts, or even Suteki da Ne for FFX?

I dont think the word overrated is snobbish,it can and is often (mis)used in that context but it can also be used properly to some up your feelings about a game that you genuinly dont like but all of your RPG cracking amigo's do.The word has just been abused,and is probaly off somewhere crying in the corner of the Oxford dictionary.

Josh

Psh. Overratedness is overrated.

Ahhh,PC RPG's,i used to a lot of those,my personal favorite was sacred,a sort of 3D single player spiced up version of diablo.

FFXII......Having played nothing of the demo(surprise surprise!)but having heard much of how its different from...."THE others" im actually quite excited,jebus,i think we need a Final Fantasy thats different.Sure it steals parts off other games but hey thats only natural.All games steal ideas,and that doesnt make FFXII anyworse for stealing a lot of ideas.They could all well go together well.Sure the staff is has also changed but hey those people could be as talented.Then again what the hell,i hav'nt played the demo sooooo.....meh.

Josh

Steals stuff...? I don't know what you're referring to, other than the standard RPG stuff that appears in every game. I thought the system was fairly different, not only from Final Fantasy, but from the genre as a whole.

Man,the recent confession of...people not watching the stars wars trilogy brings back memories for star wars,how many times have i watched a new hope?1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11.. .........OK...........Please dont hate me.

Josh

O_o

I...uh...wha?

::applies a strong sedative to Dr. T::

YAY!Blade Dancer is coming to europe!(falls down in tears and prayer)hold on....autum????""?!?!?!!

Arghh...Well thats be it for today my hearty's!
Sorry for the "i live in da UK and it sucks" empathy.But i cant help being bitter.It'll stop,next time......

Dr.T

Josh

Well, if I was in your shoes, I'm sure I'd be the same way. Europe gets shafted on most releases, and dates for those releases rarely are set in stone...they just kinda happen. So don't worry about it, it doesn't bug me...too much. ^^b





T H O N G
Combat Log

Gouden Draak moves 1 space to tile 5. (Note: Forgot last time. >_<)
Bainick casts Bolt 1!
Arros Raikou falls 1 space to tile 8.
Bainick moves 2 spaces to tile 9.
Vicissitude moves 1 space to tile 10.
Ourobolus casts SLOW on Vicissitude!
Vicissitude falls 1 space to tile 9.
Arros Raikou moves 3 spaces to tile 11.
Chinroku moves 3 spaces to tile 6.
The Bluick moves 2 spaces to tile 3.
Alan Tse moves 2 spaces to tile 3.
soulofbass moves 3 spaces to tile 3.


For lower resolutions, click here

Presenting...

THE HOPEFULLY OUTSTANDING NEW GAME!

Or, THONG for short. For now, the prizes will be limited to Guest-Hosting opportunities, since this is essentially an experiment. I'm positive that it will turn out well, though! Now, for the setup:

This is the game board. If you ever talk to CactuarJoe, make sure to thank him for the wonderful job he did! Thanks Joe!

If you want to join: Please send me your top 3 choices for characters for your game piece. A list of them that can be used can be found here. Please only choose from the "PARTY" or "NPC" links. Also make sure that the character has a left/right-facing sprite, and a front/back facing sprite. Thanks!

  • Everyone begins the game on START.
  • For every letter you write in, I will roll a 3-sided die (I'll use RPGamer's resident Random Number Generator, DiceyBot). That will determine how many spaces you move.
  • You may only get credit for one letter, per day - max 3 per weekend. Timestamps will be checked, and only letters sent during Friday - Monday before my column will be counted towards that weekend. Letters sent at other times during the week will not count until Saturday.
  • Letters must be addressed to me, at either qna@rpgamer.com or ourobolus@rpgamer.com. Letters will get credit even if they are unanswered, or even if Matt answers them.
  • If you land on a Spell Tile, you MUST use the spell listed on the Tile. Spells and their effects are listed after the rules.
  • The Trivia Tile MUST be landed on before you may enter the FINISH Tile. Answering the trivia question correctly will automatically grant you entry into the FINISH Tile, and you will receive the prize.
  • If you reach the Trivia Tile, another reader who is participating in the game will ask you a question. However, the person who lands on the Tile decides WHICH reader asks the question, as well as WHICH RPG from which the question will be asked (e.g. "Wonderslime wants Bainick to ask him a question about Chrono Trigger").
  • If the person who provides the question has not played the game, they may use anything necessary to come up with a question. Failure to provide a question over 2 days of my column will result in the same effect as if the receiver answered the question right, and he/she will progress to the FINISH Tile.
  • The Prize for this initial board will be 5 Guest Hosting positions. Once those are completed, a new board will be created, probably with more prizes.
  • The effects will go as such. Movement->Spells Cast->Effects. Everyone will move at the same time, all spells will be cast at the same time, and all effects will happen at the same time. Attack spells will be cast at the beginning of the day after they were landed on.

Spell effects are as follows:

  • Bolt 1: Player chooses another player to push back 1 tile.
  • Bolt 2: Player chooses another player to push back 2 tiles.
  • Stop: Player must send in a letter to lose the 'Stop' status, at which point he may send in a letter the next day to resume rolling.
  • Haste: Player receives an extra roll which will make him/her advance 1-3 tiles.
  • Slow: Player receives an extra roll which will make him/her retreat 1-3 tiles.
  • Merton: Player chooses another player to push back 4 tiles, at the cost of Player moving back 2 tiles.
  • Roulette: I roll a 20-sided die. Any players standing on that numbered tile are pushed back 2 tiles.
C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

There! I fixed it! THONG should be back up-to-date, and we can resume where we left off. Sorry for the incovenience, but things happen that are...well...dumb. So start sending in letters!! :)

Also, thanks CJ for the sig image. To view the whole thing, go here. Buy a print, too. Hehe ^^b.

So what's on y'all's minds? Got any new games you've been loving? Hate anything recently? Purchase a copy of Half-Life 2 that took you an hour to install and 3 days to figure out how to stop it from skipping when it hit an audio loop (ok, that was just me. Don't answer that. ^^)?

See ya tomorrow!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh is in a government position!


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Josh's Top 3 Distractions:

1. Guild Wars: Factions

2. Sleeping

3. Plotting to take over this site

RPGs I'm currently playing:

1. Grandia III

2. Xenosaga II

3. Romancing SaGa

4. Radiata Stories

5. Wild Arms: ACF

THONG Players

1. Carabbit
Fairy Esper

2. Gouden Draak
Blue Dragon

3. Macstorm
General Leo

4. Genjuu
Shadow

5. Carlisle
Ghost

6. Bainick
Mog

7. Angel
Celes

8. Wonderslime
Gestahl

9. Powerlord
Ultros

10. Vicissitude
Wedge

11. Bucket
Relm

12. Donovan
Setzer

13. Roku
Locke

14. JCIV
Umaro

15. Arros Raikou
Sabin

16. The Bluick
Imp

17. Chinroku
Owain

18. Xlash
Duncan

19. Alan Tse
Siegfried

20. AcidKnight
Figaro Soldier

21. soulofbass
Gogo

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