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I Swear I'm Not in Class July 31, 2006

Josh - 3:01 EST

Apologies for yesterday. Sunday is usually crunch time for our papers up here, as they are due the next morning, and this one was quite formidable. However, I'll (probably) be doing a couple days during the week sometime soon while Matt takes a break, so we'll make it up then. As for now, I hope you guys are excited for the new edition of THONG, as it is coming along nicely. Check Friday's column if you missed some of the information that I leaked...

But for now, let's get on with your letters!




L E T T E R S
The first step is admitting you have a problem.


Holler to ya. i actualy can't remember what this was going to be about.
OH wait yes.

After reading the Q&A yesterday I found i could relate well to whoever it was that sent in the letter.

I tend to go through games with roughly the same party and it always ends up that there will be some boss where I am obliged to use one of my other characters. So I always end up losing the 1st time, or they'll most likely die and gain no EXP from the battle. When that happens I usually hit reset and run around for too long trying to make them better.

I was playing Magna Carta yesterday and the same thing happened! And I was just starting to get into the story (after bloody hours of wading through the pointless extra bits to the main story). I was burdened with two healers. And I didn't even get a choice in the matter! One of them was fairly high leveled, one wasn't. This would've been ok if the more experienced character was a fighter, and could be healed a little by the other. But no. They both used healing magic. So I have to sneak past every single monster I come across. NOT easy!!
It didn't help that they were both female. I've written in before about how I generally dislike the females in the game, bar a couple of pretty decent ones. These 2 were not in that category! It's painful!

Anyhoo! I was just wondering whether you even up your characters, or, as I do, stick to your solid team that you've built up from the start? It's a bad habit but I can't help it!

Cheers m'dear
Steffiscope.
[my computer keeps searching every link on this page for each letter I type. **smashes**]

Josh

I usually end up sticking with the same party. Every once in awhile, I'll sit down and maybe gain the lower guys a few levels, but nothing too grand. Most RPGs at least give you a little bit of a notice before launching you into a boss battle with a character you haven't used in awhile, so if all of a sudden I lose a character for no good reason other than to advance the plot, THAT'S when I'll sit down and level up another party member. I do agree with you on the whole "getting-shoved-into-a-boss-battle" thing. My character usually dies as well, so I try not to concentrate on healing them and I try to survive with just the rest of the other members. I can always level them later if I really need to.

Like I've mentioned before, though...I tend to play through RPGs severely underlevelled compared to the norm. My main reason is that I hate grinding for levels, so I tend to just kill everything on the way to the boss and try not to backtrack unless I went down the wrong path or something. I rarely run away from battles, so that helps too.

Your first mistake, though, was playing Magna Carta. ^^

*grabs his rolled up newspaper*

No. *bops Steffiscope on the snout*

=p



Crack Crack Crack the egg into the bowl!


Dude, go and get a toaster oven man! At least you can cook some small things in that.

-james

Josh

Yeah yeah...I know. I'm just lazy, and I don't feel like fronting the money for one. I'll be leaving here in a week or two anyway. Then, I am going to go home and make a cheesecake. That's right, a ginormous cheesecake, all for myself. Then I'll try to suddenly forget how to run 8 miles. Oops.



'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift...never mind.


G'day Ouro.

I though I'd write about RPG's on Nintendo console systems today. The main point about Nintendo RPG's is the fact that there are so few of them post SNES.

For the 64 I think there were Holy Magic Century (Quest 64), Aydins Chronicles, Hybrid Heaven, Paper Mario, Harvest Moon, Ogre Battle and the two Zelda's. Three I enjoyed (They just happened to be the Nintendo made ones), two let me down (One due to the many bugs still in it and one due to the amount of content cut out to release it),two were either not released to us PAL gamers or had such a limited release that Australia got overlooked in the distribution, and one by the sounds of things thankfully never had the chance to play! Now for a system that had a good 7 yo 8 years of life, and it could only produce 8 RPG's (willing to be corrected), hurts those who had loved playing the RPG's of the SNES era. Yes it isn't easy to make 3D games on cartridges but could you maybe have tried the same sprites that the SNES used but with better detail? I think we know the answer to that.

Then the GC came out and my RPG hopes rose with anticipation for a nintendo system that was using CD's, not that I hated the cartridges at all, but maybe this would entice the RPG makers back to the nintendo system. And yes there were more RPG's like Tales of Symphonia and Lost Kingdom but many of the RPG;s were either ports (Skies of Arcadia, Summoner, Animal Crossing) or poorly made (Pokemon FF: CC, Phantasy Star). Yes there were good RPG's like the afore mentioned Tales of Symphonia, LOZ: Windwaker, PM: TYD and Fire Emblem, but it seemed like even though Nintendo had the system to produce RPG's, developers didn't seem too interested in making them.

Now with the Wii soon to arrive, what I want to know is will this new system, that isn't for the amount of information it can produce, but for the simplicity of the gamer, be able to deliver to the RPG world the RPG's nintendo has been lacking since 1996?

Bainick bets this letter is still not as long as a JuMeSyn one!

Josh

The N64 had a "good" 7 or 8 years? What? Well, it was released in 1996, and they stopped producing games for it in 2002, and I wouldn't even say most of those 6 years were "good." I'd give it 2, at best. It simply was overshadowed by the PSX.

The only decent games for that system, in my opinion, were...Goldeneye, Mario 64, The Zeldas, Paper Mario, Mario Kart (noticing a pattern?), and maybe most of the Rare games. Let's face it, if Nintendo didn't have Rare back then, the N64 would have tanked much more quickly.

Even with the Gamecube Nintendo had problems with RPGs. While Nintendo itself managed to produce several quality RPGs, third-party companies were much less inclined. By the time the Gamecube arose, the PS2 had been out for a year, and with not only the RPG library of the PSX, it had several RPGs that lured developers over to that platform once they saw what it could do. Then, the GCN went with a proprietary format, etc...It was just a mess.

Well, we shall certainly see...I guarantee you that the Wii will be able to deliver the RPGs that the world has been lacking FROM 1996...^^; What I think will happen is that we'll start seeing a slew of innovative new RPGs for the Wii, but only a third of them won't be annoying and a pain to play. Developers are going to try to get a head start on the usage of the Wiimote, and it's to be expected that it will end up with good and bad ideas, but probably bad for the most part. But that's where the good RPGs will shine, and then the creators will learn their lessons about what works, and we'll see much better games in the coming years.

The reason I bring that up is that because of all of that, I doubt we'll see such 'simplistic' RPGs for some time, with the possible exception of Dragon Quest IX, should it get sent to the Wii. So...might have to wait a bit, sorry!



The world is flat!


Recently, I've been trying to go through past games and play them again, and I've really noticed something: the games with 2d sprites age much more gracefully than RPGs in the era of primative polygons and heavy pixelation. Which RPG do you think has aged the most gracefully? I would say Suikoden II. I don't what it is, but that game gets more fun every time I play it. It also helps that the graphics don't make my eyes bleed. It's really amazing how spoiled I've become. Games that came out ten years ago and blew me away with their "awsum grafix!!!" now give me an anerism just to look at them.

Vicissitude

Josh

I've never really disliked a game due to horrible graphics (except for Azure Dreams...that game was just UGLY), but I do know what you mean. I often find myself staring at older 3D games and thinking, "How on earth did I ever think that game looked incredible?" I even do that with games like Chrono Trigger, which was freakin' amazing to gaze upon back in 1995.

As for aging...while Suikoden II is a good choice, I'm going to have to go with either Alundra or LoZ:LttP. We can debate the ARPG/Not an RPG thing later, but both of these games still have graphics that are pleasant to look at. Link to the Past is still one of my favorite games, and for an early SNES game, it's still doing quite well. The same goes for Alundra, as its use of sprites and pseudo-3D still look pretty sweet nowadays. Gotta love 2D, even if many franchises are switching to full-blown 3D!



Now if only I could go back and get 100% on life...


Hey Ouro,

Interesting setback here for me on THONG with a one-two, Merton-Slow punch. Anyway, in response to your question about what brings me back to replaying games, in my case its when I don't get everything 100% the first time I play a game. For example, the last game I played was FFX-2, and in my last play thru, instead of playing thru every nook and cranny in that game to accumulate enough percentage points to get 100%, I just blurred through most of the game after the end of Ch. 3 just so I could see what the ending would be like. (I enjoyed it, with happy ending and all.) Now, I'm just waiting for the next wave of games to come out with my sights set on FF12 when it comes out, but maybe Disgaea 2 if I can spare the cash.

Anyway, in terms of an original question, when you mentioned how Matt is goofy, and you're donald, err, I mean evil, it got me thinking about your predacessor Andrew and how he repsonded bitterly and bastardly in his weekend columns. One thing he used to do is cut the letters of stupid people who wrote in with a simple *snip* to denote cutting a letter short. So, my question to you is has there ever been a time when you had to cut a letter short because of its stupidity or redundancy? Or pretty much act Andrew-style evil to someone who wrote in to the column immaturely?

One more thing...AOL Radio has Final Fantasy music as a station now, playing anything and everything FF. What do you think about that?

Time to muse about life in general,
Knight of Cydonia BLG

Josh

I also replay games in the hopes of getting 100%...but I couldn't do FFX-2 again. The fact that 100% means -watching all the cutscenes- rather than collecting something is really annoying, because if I miss something, I DON'T want to go through it again. FFX-2 had a fun battle system and all, but I got sick of the plot pretty fast. But, on those lines, I need to go finish all the bonus stuff in Disgaea before Disgaea 2 comes out!

Well, I'm pretty goofy as well, but when I'm approached by something that is just begging to be made fun of, I just can't resist. I'm not necessarily mean, but there are just some things that are irrelevant to this column, usually from hard-to-understand letters that are asking for help in a game. If I'm feeling generous, I'll give them the help he or she needs, but I'll usually just point them to GameFAQs, since you can find practically anything there, and it's usually faster than writing me a letter. I can point you to a couple of columns...

I'm a giant smart-aleck, so at times I just go with it. I don't cut letters short unless there's something blatantly offensive to the readers in it. Now, if I get something idiotic in the length of a letter like a JuMeSyn letter, then I may have to consider cutting it. :P

I think that's pretty cool. AOL gets +1 in my book. Now it only needs about 100 more points to get back to 0.





T H O N G
Combat Log

BLG moves 2 spaces to Tile 11.
Vicissitude moves 1 space to Tile 19.


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 4-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 MAY use the spell listed on the Tile (excluding Haste, Slow, Roulette, and Stop). You do not have to, 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.
  • If you are on the Trivia Tile, you are invulnerable until the first question has been completed.
  • 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. Spells are cast only if the character is on the space at the -end- of the day.

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: The next time Player sends in a letter, it will take 2 days for the roll to take place.
  • 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. Can only be used twice.
  • 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:

Two more people have gained the coveted Guest Host position, Macstorm and Roku! This means I get to have my boss...as my assistant! Yay! Mwahahahahahahahaha...my plan is unfurling nicely...

I went ahead and moved Sean's game list to the sidebar for the time being.

Be good to Matt! Don't rough him up too badly.


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh will be so glad to get this last paper finished.


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Josh's Top 3 Distractions:

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RPGs I'm currently playing:

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3. Romancing SaGa

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THONG Players

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Mog

7. Angel
Celes

8. Wonderslime
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9. Powerlord
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10. Vicissitude
Wedge

11. Bucket
Relm

12. Donovan
Setzer

13. Roku
Locke

14. JCIV
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15. Arros Raikou
Sabin

16. The Bluick
Imp

17. Chinroku
Owain

18. Xlash
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19. Alan Tse
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24. Leaper
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