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Plowing Through August 19, 2006

Josh - 9:20 EST

All right! It is BACKLOG time! I've got a list of games longer than the drug session involved with the creation of Snakes on a Plane, and only 11 days in which to do it!

Backlog:
Megaman X
Megaman X2
Megaman X3
Megaman X4
Megaman X5
Megaman X6
(I've beaten 1-4 before, but I need to do it on the collection!)
Ico
Grandia 3 (On 2nd Disc, Vejas Jungle. SEVERELY underlevelled - lv 26)
Wild ARMs Alter Code: F (About to get Earth Golem)
Xenosaga II (Omega System)
Radiata Stories (beginning)

Needless to say, it's going to be interesting. I'm tackling Grandia 3 now, and I may have to go level up a little...I was curious as to what other people thought that the recommended level was for where I'm at, and they seem to be around level 39!! I'm THIRTEEN levels lower than that!! Either I'm extremely lucky, or my skills are shining through...but I'm always underlevelled. Sheesh. ^^;

Also, I forgot to mention last time...If you played THONG Round 1, you are eligible to choose your characters before August 25th, when it will be open to everyone. Characters are on a first-come, first-serve basis, so send in several choices. What I forgot to mention, though...Also send in which RUNE you would like to use. I posted the runes in the THONG section.

Rules for the next round are also posted below.

Bainick will be cohosting on Monday, so send lots of mail for him to answer! ^^




L E T T E R S
Oh yeah! Totally forgot about this thing.


To whom it may concern,

A lot of people have been complaining about about the disappearance of the Phantasy Star trilogy for PS2. I thought I would mention that November 11th is the date for the Sega Genesis Collection for PS2. It will have Phantasy Star 2-4 and Sword of Vermilion, along with a bunch of non-RPGs, such as Some Sonic, some Ecco, and some Golden Axe, among others. I was afraid this might slip under the RPGers radar, so there is my piece.

Draconn

Josh

I know! I'm excited for this collection, and just so you readers know, it's being released for both PS2 and PSP. I'm looking forward to playing it on my PSP, because frankly, until more goodness comes out for it, I'm happy with it essentially being an emulator for ports of games. If any of you have missed the Phantasy Star games in the past, this is a good chance to see 'em in action!

Thanks for bringing that up, Draconn!



Choices suck sometimes.


Hello, RPGamer staff (as I'm not sure who's handing QA at the moment)!

Josh

Well, I should be here for the forseeable future for the weekends, so...me! :P

I'm a huge RPGamer and have been ever since Mom first brought home the original Final Fantasy when I was very young. As a matter of fact, watching her play the game spurred me to learn to read so that I would be able to play as well. I've been enjoying Squaresoft/Square-Enix titles ever since. Squaresoft was the reason I switched from N64 (which I bought out of blind loyalty to Nintendo) to the Playstation. Square-Enix is the reason I bought my Gameboy Advance SP and my brand-spanking-new Nintendo DS Lite. Inevitably, Square-Enix will also be the deciding factor on the next generation console I get.

Josh

I'll admit that FFVII going to PSX rather than N64 was a big factor in my getting a PSX. My dad also forced me to write up a cost analysis about each of the three systems, and, as he knew nothing about enjoying games, cost was essentially a big factor for him. Luckily, inexpensiveness coincided with the PSX (compared to N64), so...yay!

But that's the cause for my current frustration. While I am thrilled that they decided to bring back and expand upon the FFVII universe with Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus (which I just completed a few minutes ago). However, I am frustrated with their decision to bring Crisis Core to the PSP while Final Fantasy III and Children of Mana will be made on the DS. I don't have a limitless income and the DS offers far more titles that I am interested in including the aforementioned games. Whereas the only games I've ever been interested in for the PSP have been the re-release of Valkyrie Profile and Crisis Core (ironically, both released by SE). Needless to say, I bought the DS; there's no point in paying 200 dollars for a system that only has two decent looking games at this date.

But I can't help but eye Crisis Core and wonder what I'll be missing. It's not quite the same when the experience is reduced to reading game scripts and Wikipedia plot summaries.

I don't really understand why Square-Enix is releasing two different mainstream Final Fantasy games (as opposed to a distantly related spin-off like Crystal Chronicles) on two different platforms with no plans, as far as I know, to offer ports for either game. While this may be financially lucrative for Square-Enix--that being deciding factor behind any corporate decision--it also alienates fans like me who can't afford two portable systems and wouldn't buy the PSP even if they COULD afford it. It's just not fair to make gamers choose between the remake of the only Final Fantasy yet unreleased in America and the prequel to one of the most beloved RPGs ever! I really wish Square-Enix would just pick a platform and stick with it. Square-Enix has insane brand loyalty - hell, I bought Dirge of Cerberus and I don't even like the genre. Instead of trying to expand their market with high-profile games across multiple platforms as part of their 'polymorphic content' marketing strategy, it seems like it would make more sense to just pick a platform and let your fans follow.

And so, I wondered what the RPGamer staff and community's thoughts are on Square-Enix's 'polymorphic content.'

Love the site, keep up the great work!

Ben

PS: I won't even dignify SE's cell-phone games with a rant.

Josh

Well, I can understand why they're doing it. From a business standpoint...more systems + more people = more profit. By releasing games on the PSP and DS, they can cater to both audiences. See, while you see yourself as being an alienanted customer, what's going on is that YOU are getting to play a game that people on the other system won't get to play. So...the people that DO have the money for both systems who recognize the brand name may go purchase the other system, which means more profits for Sony and Nintendo, which incites S-E to create more games, etc.

I'll admit I'm rather annoyed that FFIII is going to DS, and I own a PSP. I'm not especially excited for Crisis Core (at least not until I know more about it), but I may pick it up. So yes, it is unfair that you are forced to choose. However, even though they did this, will you lose your 'loyalty' to the company? Doubtful. S-E knows this, and frankly, after being the leading RPG company in the past two decades, they know what limits to push. When FFVII went to PSX, thousands of Nintendo fans screamed out in horror, as they already planned on purchasing the N64. This stuff happens, and just go borrow a friend's system or something ^^;

Hope it goes well for ya!



Wait...wha?


When be here we get it in usa?

Josh

It's not coming. Sorry man.

Story going abot ?

Josh

No, seriously, it's not coming.

Compete new ?

Josh

Look man, give it up!

Don't ever know about it?

Josh

Don't make me call security.

never play star ocean:second story?

Josh

I'm dialing...lalalalala...

but wonder ir where can get it?

Josh

Dude, they're on their way. I can hear them in the stairwell.

I playing till end time

Josh

There is no English Blue Sphere! Stop lying to yourself!

good game

Josh

Look, behind you! A three-headed monkey!

email me if that blue sphere is in us

Josh

Gentlemen, he's over here. Yes, if you could just take him away, that'd be great. He keeps mumbling something about Blue Sphere, I think it's code for crack. Be careful.



I'm awash in a sea of RPGs!


Hey, Ouro!

First of all, I'd like to choose Gadget from Suikoden II for my Round Two THONG character, and if he's not available, Sid or Gengen will do!

Second of all... a lot of people have probably heard me go on about this fall's "RPGlut" enough. But what do you think about it? Sure, it's great that we're faced with this mass of games (a MUCH different story from last year, that's for sure) but I think there is a very real danger that some really great games will easily fall through the cracks as everybody blindly rushes out to pick up Final Fantasy XII and III. What are you going to play this fall? And what advice would you give your fellow RPGamers to ensure that optimal game-discovery is achieved?

That's all!
Matt

Josh

Oh yeah, we're gonna get creamed again. Disgaea 2 will probably be overshadowed by XSIII, and FFXII will take care of all the others. I am going to somehow try to get ahold of Disgaea 2, XSIII, FFXII, Kingdom Hearts 2, Wild ARMs 4, Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria, SMT:Devil Summoner...ugh. I am so SCREWED.

For all of you out there...do what I'm doing. Clear out your backlog so you can devote as much time as possible to the new stuff! Only buy one game at a time. Reasons are:

  • You can FOCUS.
  • The games you wait to buy may drop in price by the time you get to them!

And for the most part...just...good luck. ^^;





T H O N G

Previous THONG Rounds!

I learned a few things from the last round of THONG. The letters thing didn't work for all of the casual players, so I took a hint from Matt's brain and reverted to trivia! Seems to be a bit better! I hope this encourages many of you to play!

Selections for characters can be found at the following sites:

Suikoden Characters

Suikoden 2 Characters

Round 1 players have first dibs on characters until Aug. 25th. After that, anyone can take their pick!

Rules:

  • Every player must select a character and a rune. The runes are designed to be balanced, so no one rune is better than all the others. Runes are unlimited in supply, and the option to change your rune exists somewhere on the new THONG board!
  • You may change your rune as many times as you wish BEFORE the game begins.
  • New runes and items may be added over the course of the game.
  • Everyone begins the game on START.
  • Every day, I will provide one trivia question. Answer it right, and you get to roll 1d3, which determines how many spaces you move.
  • As you progress down the board, you will pass some TP+1, TP+2, and TP+3 tiles. You will gain THONG points (TP) whenever you pass over these tiles. These points can be used to cast THONG spells, described later.
  • Spells may be cast at any time, provided you possess the necessary amount of TP.
  • TP for each player is capped at 29. To gain more TP, you must cast a spell.
  • Answering a question correctly will also net you 100 potch for purchasing items (will be released later). For simply trying the question, you get 25 potch.
  • When you get near a prize that you want, you must email me to let me know that you want the prize. You may wait until after you have passed the prize if you wish.
  • I will provide a trivia question of variable difficulty whenever someone is going for a prize. The question must be answered correctly to claim the prize.
  • Once a prize is claimed, that character is sent back to START.
  • And remember, have fun! You may pound on each other as much as you like, and there is some strategy involved...so do your best!

Here is the list of spells and their descriptions:

Berserker Rune
CostNameEffectRange
4 TPGalePush target back 1 space.One
7 TPRushing BlastFeeling unlucky? Roll the max amount!Self
15 TPBlind RageRoll twice and knock everyone you pass back 1 space.Self

Thief Rune
CostNameEffectRange
4 TPDrainSteal 1 TP from target.One
7 TPMega DrainSteal 3 TP from target.One
15 TPPower LeakRemove a total of 10 TP from target(s).One to Five

Trickster Rune
CostNameEffectRange
4 TPLurePull target 1 space towards you.One
7 TPFreeze TrapStop all players who land on target tile for one day.Tile
15 TPFlame TrapAll players who land on target tile receive 1d2 rolls per answer for 3 days.Tile

Protector Rune
CostNameEffectRange
4 TPDispelRemove any harmful effect on caster.Self
7 TPWallNullify one spell cast on you. Lasts 2 days or until hit with spell.Self
15 TPReflectReflect spell cast on you towards the caster. Lasts 2 days or until hit with spell.Self

Pyro Rune
CostNameEffectRange
4 TPInfernoPush target back 2 spaces.One
7 TPFlame BurstPush target back 4 spaces.One
15 TPFire StormPush two targets back 5 spaces each.Two

Manipulator Rune
CostNameEffectRange
4 TPFloatTarget does not receive TP when passing over tiles that day.One
7 TPToxicAll players who land on target tile lose 1 TP per day for 3 days.Tile
15 TPForceForces target player to randomly cast a Lv 1 or Lv 2 spell at a random player.One

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PLAYED. ROUND 2 WILL ARRIVE SOON!

Look for new prizes, including games, E3 swag, and your standard slew of hosting options...as well as some interesting other items....^^

C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Remember, Bainick is cohosting on Monday, so be sure to send him some love too!

Until then, as Matt pointed out, what is the deal with this sudden slew of RPGs? What are your plans for surviving the flood? I shall see you all tomorrow, and maybe the THONG board may be ready soon! Take care!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh wrote this whole thing with one hand!


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