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Watch the Weather Change December 4, 2006

Josh - 8:03 EST

I've decided I figure out a good analogy for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' music. It's like an RPG. You've got these really awesome, enthralling choruses (boss battles), with a bunch of mindless lyrics (random battles) scattered in between. I really don't know why I like their music, 'cause I mean, it certainly isn't because of the lyrics. They are a good band though, despite the odd randomness.

Also, John Rzeznik, please stop letting Robby Takac sing. It's like listening to Chef Tony taking a mouse to a cheese grater. It's horrible, and it definitely isn't helping you sell any CDs.




L E T T E R S
See, this is why I love these games.


I didn't have time to write about it when you first posted it, but I completely hear you about your traffic woes from last weekend, especially that I went to a job interview in Philadelphia today (coming from the South Jersey shore). The New Jersey Highway System(TM) really does suck, a lot of it's just not very well designed. Even better is the tendency for New Jersey drivers to automatically think anyone out of state doesn't know how to drive just because they're not used to the whole New Jersey driving thing. Then again...I live in South Jersey, which is actually a completely different state than North Jersey in everything except...well, what the government papers say. We gotta find a way to work around that.

Josh

I actually have a friend up here from South Jersey, and she said the same thing about the differences between North and South Jersey.

I have my own philosophy that seems to work wonderfully, in regards to drivers. Here's my step-by-step process of starting to drive.

  1. Get in the car.
  2. Buckle up.
  3. Check mirrors, get my music going, etc.
  4. Assume everyone else on the road is an idiot unless they prove themselves otherwise.

That 4th step is the key. ^^

Now to keep this RPG-related so I can try and get posted again: this came up yesterday while I was at the mall with friends. What's a good RPG to recommend to someone, preferably for a system still being marketed and not too expensive, for someone who's afraid to branch out into RPGs outside of the Final Fantasy series? I was trying to help a friend who says he got scarred a bit when he tried to branch out by playing Xenogears, which he hated. While we were there, I recommended Wild ARMs 3 to him simply because we found it in the bargain bin and I liked the game, but admittedly, it probably wasn't the best choice for anything besides the convenience of it actually being there. Any thoughts?

-- Arpijy

Josh

Hm...any SaGa game is probably a bad idea...

Star Ocean 3 might be a good choice. It's a Greatest Hit now, so it's at most $19.99. Grandia III is also quite good. Hell, you could probably go grab the original Kingdom Hearts. If he's up for a taste of TRPGs, Disgaea would be a good choice, although it has a bit of a learning curve to understand all of the features. However, I don't really think that Wild ARMs 3 was a bad diagnosis for his ailment. It's not a difficult game to get into, and it's also a really good game!



Oh, come on. Grip it!


Hi dear QnA host,

Like many others who wrote recently, I'm also a long time reader but a first time writer. I was discussing with my girlfriend the other day about male characters in RPGs ( I'm one of those lucky guys whose girlfriend enjoy video games) and we came to a conclusion: to us, they're getting worse and worse. From the recent games I've played,( mostly PS2 ones, FFs,SO3, going through Magna Carta at the moment), it seems there are two main types of male characters in RPG: the girly guy and the stupid brute. Look at Vaan, Tidus, or even Zidane ( I'm taking some most RPGamers know): there isn't much manliness there. And when is the last time you saw a young man having facial hair in an RPG? It would make sense to me if they'd at least show us that they shave regularly or something...

Josh

First off, Magna Carta. Ew. Stop playing, before it's too late!

It's true, though. There are an incredibly large amount of characters that have some sort of girly quality. However, a lot of it isn't necessarily about their effeminate personalities, so much as the fact that most lead heroes are, what, 16, 17, maybe 18 years old? Take Yuki from Grandia III. He's just really frickin' young. He's got a wide-eyed outlook on life, and I don't think any of it stems from any sort of girliness. But let's think of some other examples...

  • Laharl - Disgaea
  • Hero - DQVIII
  • Jack - Radiata Stories

...to name a few.

Another common cliché about men in RPGs is the all-physical warrior, who usually fights with a ridiculously large weapon and has little left in the intellectual department. Quick exemples that come to mind: Barret, from FFVII, Dylan, from Valkyrie Profile 2, Joachim from Shadow Hearts and more could be found if I thought about it more.

Josh

Yeah, there are also a lot of these. But hey, you've gotta have some meathead that can pull the heavy punches.

In my opinion, though, there are still pretty good male characters: Yuri from Shadow hearts combined good looks with a great personnality. Auron was also a really good character, especially with such good voice acting.

So, what do you think of male characters in RPGs? I may be exagerrating, but that's the conclusion we came to. Good day to you!

Simon

Josh

Your argument isn't that much off target, but there are definitely characters that don't fall into these categories. The lead character has to be someone that people can identify with, which generally leaves the supporting characters to fill out the slew of stereotypes. Because of this phenomenon, the lead is usually some plucky, young, potentially prepubescent lad who may or may not exhibit some feminine characteristics, least of which may include his looks.

Also, have you ever been to Japan? There are entirely too many younger men over there that look like women. I'm talking the late-teens. Just turn on any J-Pop video and you'll see what I mean. ^^;



Another firstie!


Hi Josh,

You had made the comment yesterday that you didn't understand how your little brother could enjoy watching you play video games. I very much enjoy watching my friends play through games for a number of reasons. If it's a game I've already beaten, I get to re-experience the game without having to replay it myself.

Other games I have no intention of playing myself for various reasons, yet I still get to experience the story, music, etc. by watching them. Prime example (and I know I'm going to be hanged for this) is Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. Disgaea has 2 major strikes against it (more than enough to warrant a non-purchase in my book): experience system and genre. I couldn't stand the idea of only receiving experience when a kill is made; healers are very much left out in the cold. I know there are ways around this (skill levels for a spell, weakening an enemy so that a healer may kill it, etc.) but I just didn't like it. And yes, I am aware that Disgaea 2 has fixed this. The other problem is the genre. I've never been very good at any sort of tactical RPG, and my experience with Fire Emblem can prove that. The genre doesn't like me and I don't like it. Thus, if I wanted to experience Disgaea, I did it by watching someone else play.

I'd have to say that I might not have played a lot of the RPGs I did if it wasn't for watching my friends play. They've introduced me to Shadow Hearts, Persona 2, Okage: Shadow King, Tales of Eternia, and Wild ARMs 3. That's no less than 4 series that I may never have experienced if it wasn't from watching them. Spoilers aside, the game was much more rewarding to play on my own because I got to re-experience all the little bits I saw of their games, only in a logical order. Of course, they may never have played games like Dark Cloud and Ys: The Ark of Napishtim if it wasn't for watching me.

Point is, I find RPG watching other people play RPGs to be a very rewarding experience. It's a nice alternative when I feel like an RPG, but too lazy to actually play one myself.

Wishing he was done with work so he could go home and play more Devil Summoner,
venus577

Josh

Well yeah, I agree with you on most of your points. In my case, they were games that my brother was playing at the same time as me, and when I was playing, he'd be seeing what's ahead, including spoilers, and potentially devastating tactics for later on. If that was me, it would drive me insane, since I'm one of those people who HAS to figure out everything on his own the first time through a game, barring some extreme circumstances.

But yes, if it's a game I've never played or have yet to hear of, then I do not have a problem with watching, if only to see what the game is like to see if I should take the plunge. If it's a game I never plan on playing, then I'll gladly sit back, grab a soda, and watch them demolish it.

This only seems to pertain to RPGs and games like Metal Gear Solid. You know, plot-heavy games. I couldn't have cared less if I had known the entire plot of Halo 2 before I played it, just because the gameplay was fun, and there really weren't any incredible plot twists that would have ruined the game for me.

Now, if I had watched someone play Xenogears before I did? *shudder*



Yes! Another convert! Mwahahahahahaha!


Doht! Why did I listen to those Shining Force voice clips? I'm much sadder and stupider for having done so.

I know I've complained about this before, but why the hell do people love BoF V so much? What an absolute waste of a game... I guess I can forgive you, since you touted Fallout.

Josh

Blasphemer!!

The glory that is BoF V stems from its excellent use of TRPG battles with an RPG-like feel. I also think the music was great, and the plot was pretty cool, too. The only problem I had with the game was that it was nearly impossible to win several of the final boss battles without having to resort to Dragon Mode. I made it all the way to Vexacion without ever using Dragon Mode in a fight, and then I was disheartened since I pretty much had to succumb to it. But really, why don't you like it? I honestly think it's a tremendous game.

Man, I hate this time of year. Crunch time. Usually my grades are decent enough that I don't have to freak out as much as some people, but I still get no time to play precious, precious RPGs. I STILL haven't got a chance to beat FFXII, and haven't had time to play for two and a half weeks (damn...has it been that long...now I'm really sad :^D). My backlog is insane. I think I now have more games in my apartment that I haven't played than those I have.

Josh

Well, my backlog is slowly going away, but it's going even more slowly now, since I have to graduate in a few weeks, and I rather NEED to pass my classes. The only one I'm worried about is my Complex Analysis class, which I've been doing B work in the entire semester, until I took the second midterm and just suddenly forgot everything once I walked in the room. It screwed up my grade royally, so now I need something like a 70 on the final to pass. It's not impossible, but I'm going to have to buckle down even more than normal. Sigh...

Hmm...question time...Um, it's a lot easier to come up with RPG questions when I'm actually playing them...Well, what RPG do you buy for the RPGamer who's played everything? X-Mas is coming up, and I usually get my bro a game. Seems like that guy's played everything though. He even plays all those handheld games I miss out on, so I'm kinda stumped. Any ideas?

Vicissitude

Josh

Sheesh. Uhhhhhhhhhhh...

Well, I'm sure you could ask JuMeSyn for import advice...heh. I dunno, man, you're just going to have to look for the more obscure ones. I know a lot of people like myself haven't played many of the Shadow Hearts or Shin Megami Tensei titles, just because they seem to be so difficult to find. I'd recommend looking for titles like that. You know, ones you have a better shot of finding on eBay.



Yes! Another convert! Mwahahahahahaha!


Graaaaaaaaaaaaaah! (Seen Zombie Nightmare yet?)

Josh

Nope, not yet.

This week I attempted to play Langrisser III. Unless I find a FAQ that actually details what the hell all the options are, I won't try it again either. Masaya tried something new with the game, and I have no idea what the hell is going on. Now the troops and their commander move simultaneously, along with the enemy. When they collide, something happens and battles that sorta look like Dragon Force happen - but I have no idea if I have any control! Spastic camera, fighting that I don't understand, lots of options I can't figure out the effect of when they're in Kanji - argh. Even the voice acting isn't great - and if I can tell it's not great in Japanese, something's wrong.

Josh

Am I the only one that, when watching Anime, actually prefers to hear the characters speak English rather than Japanese? Is that weird?

I also picked up Dark Savior again. Lemme tell you, this game could have been great. The opening segment's completion time seems to determine how the entire story will denoue, the areas are well-constructed, fighting is bizarre but so rare as to be welcomed instead of abhorred, music is rather compelling. But it's not JUST the isometric view, although that's caused me great frustration. It's the NO DIAGONAL MOVEMENT. Who made the decision that diagonal movement in an ACTION-RPG was a bad idea? Whoever did this thing, I want shot. In the head. Without a helmet.

Josh

Hey, the original Zelda wasn't that big on diagonal movement, yet it was still good. ^^

As for the motivation behind the Khans; pretty much they thought Mongols were better than everybody else and valued subjects as objects of exploitation, perfectly expendable. Oh, and they hated cities with a passion. Living in the countryside builds character.

Maybe in the Shadow Hearts games we can have Woodrow Wilson be a villain. Don't think he fits? Let's go: he segregated the entire federal government, displaying his own neo-Confederate feelings blatantly and helping to usher in the nastiest race-relations era for the past 100 years. He loved throwing US troops around Latin America for obvious corporate interests, including sending half of the existing Army into Mexico for six months chasing after Pancho Villa until public pressure (along with a very angry Congress) made him pull out. He ALSO dumped quite a few US troops into Russia after WWI ended to try supporting the non-Communists in the Civil War, which made a lot of people angry (would YOU be happy if from the French trenches you went to Siberia?). And he threw a young Ho Chi Minh out of his office during the Versailles peace conference because he wanted nothing to do with self-determination for non-white people. Oh, and under Wilson's government suppression followed by anti-Communist hysteria J. Edgar Hoover attained prominence. Sure the 19th amendment passed; but he'd had a stroke and the government was being run by his wife!

Josh

Sorry man, but I'm just going to have to smile and nod here. My history sucks, and I don't even try to analyze it.

Gotta give you some more remixes. Here they are: FFVI http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR00977/, Chrono Trigger http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR00312/, Lufia II http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR00645/, SMRPG http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR01027/, Castlevania: CotM http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR00854/, and a Link to the Past http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR00791/. So how do they work?

Josh

Excellent! I especially like the Chrono Trigger and Link to the Past one. The other ones are so-so, but not bad by any means.

Let loose link land loveliness! http://www.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3155556 and http://www.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3155392 are complaints I did not write and do not necessarily find accurate regarding the new consoles. Matt got irate and stressed about this, when I thought it was pretty ludicrous. http://www.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3154540 So what does the Ouro say about that lengthy litany the writer lists?

Josh

Note: People will always complain about things. And honestly, the Wii list was just dumb. The PS3 list seems to coincide with many people's problems, so it's no surprise that those are all on there. Hopefully Sony will pull its head out of its ass soon so my prediction will come to fruition!

And here's something I think we can all be amused by! http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?s=e3fb6eae0ee511bafbb2fcab7813426d&threadid=2187783&perpage=40&pagenumber=1 Please, if it strikes someone as valid, do come up with some entries for this particular showcase!

So what?
JuMeSyn

Josh

Heh. Made me giggle a bit. Entirely too many RPGs have instances of '...'



QUICKIES


Penn State vs. Tennessee

It's like Ouro vs. Mac! Let the battle begin!

Oh and for an RPG question. Did you take down the "Ancient Man of Mystery" in FFXII? Man, that battle was fun. I fought him at level 44. The first fight was easy, but man that second fight had to be the most challenging, entertaining battle I've ever fought in an RPG.

Did you fight any of the optional Espers? They may suck to actually use, but the fights to obtain them are fun.

- Macstorm

You're going down, southern boy.

I haven't fought any of the marks since I've beaten the game, sadly. Been too busy. But I'm up to 31! 14 more to go!

I did fight a few of the optional Espers, including the useless insta-kill Esper, and while terrible to actually have, was a fun, razor thin-win battle.

When does pokemon diamond and pearl come out ???!

It came out on September 28, c'mon, man!

Oh, you mean the English version. Not a clue. ^^



S E G U E

Well, I'm going to be nice! I've released the descriptions of the 29 TP spells. However, you still need to purchase an Anima if you wish to use them.

Also, if it hasn't been apparent, the game is still up for grabs! You could even join now and still net yourself some neat stuff! So if you've been reluctant to join because it's been going on for awhile, never fear!



T H O N G
Combat Log

Luca Phase:
Luca Blight charges up!

DAMAGE Phase:
Tabor falls to Tile 49.
Arpijy falls to Tile 40.
PureLunatic falls to Tile 40.
Leaper falls to Tile 39.

Movement Phase:
Leaper moves to Tile 42.
Draconn moves to Tile 53.
Slashlen moves to Tile 48.
PureLunatic moves to Tile 43.
JDX moves to Tile 49.


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

I didn't have enough time last weekend to perform all the EVIL I wanted to!

Answer to #L36: A. Triangle
Back in Lunar: SSSC, inputting the code Up, Down, Left, Right, Triangle, Start allows you to play Lords of Lunar!

#L37.
Before the Humans were able to become Dragoons, this race enslaved both Human and Dragon.

A. Centaurs
B. Winglies
C. Angelics
D. Eternals
E. Endless
F. Zyxenfryxes

THONG Question

Answer to #36:C. 10
Link can gain a total of 20 hearts. The only hearts you get for defeating bosses are for the 3 pendants and the 7 crystals. The other 10 are as follows: 3 at the outset, 6 from the 24 pieces of heart, and the one gained after rescuing Zelda in the beginning.

#37.Difficulty: Hard, Potch: 350
If I have 6 enchantments on me, and I have a Mysticism level of 7, how much Health and Energy will I gain after those enchantments end?

A. H: 84 E: 18
B. H: 42 E: 12
C. H: 84 E: 12
D. H: 42 E: 18
E. H: 126: E: 18

C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Hope you guys had a good weekend, and send Matt some love! Later!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh is enjoying the evening!


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And time to go work on my midterm...

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Back to the backlog!

Current Order of RPG-Playing:

1. Final Fantasy XII

2. Final Fantasy V Advance

3. Okami

4. Disgaea 2

5. Wild ARMs 4

THONG Players:

1. Roku
Flik  TP: 2
550p

2. Bainick
Hero 2  TP: 19
2850p

3. Leaper
Antonio  TP: 29
3450p

4. Macstorm
Mazus  TP: 1
1050p

6. BLG
Sid  TP: 21
5050p

7. Arros Raikou
Kage  TP: 16
5500p

8. Xlash
Gijimu  TP: 0
200p

9. Donovan
Clive  TP: 2
900p

10. Slimey
Gadget  TP: 11
1800p

11. Bucket
Millie  TP: 15
1800p

12. Draconn
Mondo  TP: 18
250p

13. Genjuu
Pesmerga  TP: 6
1375p

14. Alan Tse
Hoi  TP: 14
5225p

15. TheBluick
Fu Su Lu  TP: 0
0p

16. Gouden Draak
Rubi  TP: 1
725p

17. Slashlen
Lorelai  TP: 19
2175p

18. JuMeSyn
Odessa  TP: 20
3000p

19. PureLunatic
Viktor  TP: 10
1025p

21. William.T
Killey  TP: 6
4350p

22. Arpijy
Hix2  TP: 18
1575p

23. Spiffyness
Badeaux  TP: 2
525p

24. Reivax
Kasim  TP: 1
200p

25. Carabbit
Viki  TP: 7
1975p

26. Vicissitude
Clive2  TP: 8
1350p

27. JDX
Kuromimi  TP: 5
500p

28. Kupomogli
Kinnison  TP: 7
875p

29. Aurelius
Kahn  TP: 14
2900p

30. Omm
Yoshino  TP: 2
1225p

31. Aylee
Luc  TP: 14
4250p

32. Tabor
Ted  TP: 2
775p

33. TvsAdam
McDohl  TP: 2
875p

34. Sundoulos
Hai Yo  TP: 15
3475p

Anyone else?

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