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ASK SEAN
Column 15: Backlog Catch Up
September 16th, 2007

Sean - 6:05pm EDT

Since I didn't get many (read: any) letters today, I decided to go with a simple concept--go to the communal Q&A-mail inbox and grab everything. The plan is to answer as many letters as I can until I can't go anymore.

Today was a day chock full of Wild Arms goodness. As such, I didn't get anything else done or wanted to get anything else done. A perfect score!

Let's get to the letters!




LETTERS
Not playing Dragoneer's Aria while writing this today! Too much anyways.


Hey Matt,

Just wanted to put in my two cents on some of the current topics.

1) I'm pretty sure the first RPG I played (I don't count Zelda) was the original Dragon Warrior, back when Nintendo Power was giving it away free with subscriptions. However, I wasn't truly hooked on RPG's until I played Final Fantasy II/IV. I rented it about 4 or 5 times, having to start over at least once. I begged my mom to get it for me for my birthday that year. My birthday was a Tuesday that year, and I couldn't get enough of it, so I couldn't resist when I had the opportunity to rent it again the Sunday before. My mom was pretty upset when she found out about that, haha. She had indeed bought it for me, and thought that it would then be a waste of her money. It most definitely was not. I have no idea how many times I've played through that game now. And dammit, the DS remake had better be worth buying a FOURTH copy of the game, because I won't be able to stop myself.

Sean

I got my Dragon Warrior a few weeks before I subscribed to Nintendo Power. That in turn was a few weeks before they were giving away Dragon Warrior with a subscription. I wasn't happy. I became hooked when I picked up Final Fantasy.

2) I've mentioned to you probably in almost every letter I've written that Eternal Sonata is the game for me this fall. It's arriving on my doorstep on Tuesday, yay! I haven't picked it up just yet, but Metroid Prime 3 is pretty high on my list too.

Sean

Eternal Sonata... I want. But, I will wait for the PS3 version.

3) Like you, 10 hours in one sitting is about as far as I can push myself. Pretty sure that honor goes not to an RPG, but to Super Metroid. Although I do seem to remember some late-night sessions with Super Mario RPG, and I blew through the original Breath of Fire pretty quickly.

Sean

Lately, six hours is as far as I go. I tend to get the feeling that I am wasting my time by about that point. Even though I obviously am not.

4) From TGS, I'm hoping for more info on the upcoming expansion for FFXI, Wings of the Goddess. Even just some hints about the new jobs they're working on would be enough to drool over. Of course, nothing would make me happier than an announcement about FFXIII for the 360...

Sean

I would like to see Time Mage. As soon as they get announced, you will hear from me whether or not I will be resubscribing, although I wouldn't hold my breath at this point.

5) My available game time doesn't really change much throughout the year. That's one of the advantages to being an office worker. Of course, I do have to be ready to travel pretty much any given week, so that could potentially limit *what* games I can play. Fortunately, being a developer, I'm not required to be on-site with our clients very often. I think it's only been three weeks out of this year so far. But when I do, I've got my trusty DS, plus FFXI loaded on my company-owned laptop!

Take care.

-Straadin

Sean

My time is limited by work and classes. When I am just working I have steady playing hours, but the school thing just bites into my playing time. I hate it when it gets to the end of semester... This Christmas break will be a gaming paradise for me!

Thanks for writing in, Straadin!



Actually, I was playing it...


Matt,

Sexuality is a mixed bag in RPGs. Western games, which tend to be more open ended, tend to be much less sexually explicit and handle the subject with a couple of inconsequential subquests at best. Eastern games, being character-driven, often have extremely sensual character designs but handle romance only as another plot element. Sexuality seems to be a matter of big boobs, tight clothes, little girls dressed as maids, and a few tender conversations. Even in 'mature' games, itís a matter handled very immaturely, as something naughty and without consequence.

Sean

I agree with you there. Sex is just a part of them, and it isn't treated like anything special. Take a look at what you could do in Fable.

Seeing Breath of Fire II on the front page of RPGamer reminded me of something else... you almost never, ever see the consequences of sexuality in games. Near the end of Breath of Fire II, you briefly play as a pregnant woman. The people in the village wonít let you leave because youíre such a fragile and delicate little thing and itís purely for plot purposes, but even this is so incredibly rare that I donít think weíve seen it before or since. Peter Molyneaux pointed this out when talking about family in Fable 2. Is the affirmation of the life cycle so taboo? Do designers worry their female characters will lose their sexual appeal if theyíre pregnant? Or is it a more utilitarian reasoning, as RPGs are usually combat driven and developers want to avoid the controversy of a pregnant woman getting beat up? Maybe being a parent just isnít very 'heroic.' Or maybe itís for the sake of the poor 3D model designers that donít want to make a half-dozen different versions of each outfit and suit of armor?

Sean

It would be a new thing to play as a pregnant woman in a game. I guess the devs just don't want to even breach that subject at all. Especially as a pregnant party member--can you imagine what death would be like for her? Would the baby rise from the dead with her? Ugh, I don't want to discuss this anymore. It would be nice to see such things amongst the NPCs though.

Games deal with complex issues, including self-identity, religion, government, philosophy, morality, and power. So why is the original, most primal motivation so unexplored?

Thanks Matt, and youíll be missed. :(

Dances-With-Lobsters

Sean

I am not sure why, DWL. All I know is that a lot of those things tend to get edited when they come out over here. I just don't know.



But I turned it off.


Hiya, Matt. I noticed your mention of Disgaea (easily one of my favorite games of all time) at the end of the Thursday Q&A and felt compelled to write.

I think that when it comes to numerical scales in RPGs, it's not so important what numbers are used as how well the developers make the progression work. As long as everything seems to flow correctly, you'll have a good game whether you beat the last boss with a max HP of 40 or 400,000. A big part of levels/HP progression is whether it feels like your character is really becoming stronger as you quest, I think; whether it's realistic or not becomes far less important than whether the player is having a good time going from some no-name farm boy (well, in a lot of cases, at least) to the great hero that saves the world. After all, who doesn't like getting just a bit more powerful and taking revenge on some boss that beat you last time?

Sean

I like revenge! Also, the scale isn't important as long as it is balanced. In the afore-mentioned Disgaea has anyone actually hit level 9999? Or even came close to it? I haven't met the person yet that has...

Getting back to Disgaea (and Nippon Ichi's games in general), I like how they've tuned the system so that players can progress reasonably through the main story and beat the final boss with HP numbers that aren't that unusual for RPGs in general. But for the people who really want to do everything, you can turn each member of your team into a terrifying force with gigantic stat values; and you'll need to, if you want to beat everything they've put in there. (On that topic, one of the cooler game experiences I've had was having a Divine Majin win a toe-to-toe brawl with an Item God 2 in Disgaea after my thief stole its weapon.)

Sean

I don't like the requirements for beating the extra stuff in NIS games. I would rather play three other games than spend the time leveling up a party to take on a useless bonus boss. But for the regular stuff in the games they to be fine.

Going off on a bit of a tangent, I love the HP system in Odin Sphere; actually gaining HP experience independent of attack power experience, and having to balance the two, was a stroke of genius. (Getting even more off-topic, wouldn't it be nice to have more beautiful 2D sprite games like this?)

Sean

Yes, but I would rather see them on handhelds. I haven't played Odin Sphere, so I don't know how it looks, but the pictures I have seen make it look like a PSP game.

As for why there's such a difference in HP systems across RPGs: of course, in the old days, memory was so restricted that everybody was using small HP values to reduce the requirements. With modern systems, this is no longer a restriction, so each team making RPGs is free to come up with a system that feels right for their game. I haven't played Paper Mario, so I don't know how appropriate the HP values felt to players, but I can't think of any games I've played in which I felt that the system used too small or too large of numbers. As long as the player and enemy HP values seem appropriate, I'm content.

Sean

I have the same problem. Take a look at FFX--the arena has some fights where the monsters will kill your entire party with damage that is outside the regular range for HP. Situations like that bother me. Another example: Dragoneer's Aria. I have around 5000HP per character now, yet the enemies can kill them all of in one turn, if they feel like it. Damage is dealt way too quickly and without a means to cast a party heal (that I have found yet), the balance is lost. Think about it this way--imagine playing a game where every evenly-matched enemy can kill a character in 2-3 hits, starting at level one. Not too much fun, is it? (unless you are Matt and like a challenge, in which case, get this game!)

Hmm, I guess I haven't really asked you much, have I? I guess I'll ask you this, then: what RPGs on next-gen systems are you looking forward to/enjoying? As for me, I sadly don't have any next-gen systems, but Eternal Sonata looks like it will be very nice, and I'll have to find a way to play Disgaea 3 eventually (maybe after a few price drops on the PS3?)

Laethiel Makaze

Sean

I have a Wii and PS3. The RPGs I am looking forward to are Eternal Sonata, FFXIII and White Knight Story. I would have added Mass Effect, but I don't intend to get a 360 for a while yet.

Thanks for writing in!



I don't feel like playing it now.


What's up!

I was just reflecting on the days when memory cards used to be the bane of gamers that actually saved their games. I mean, with the good ol' cartidges, the most basic way to accidently lose saved data was to lose the game itself.

Sean

I have never lost a memory card, or a game. I've only lost saves when people overwrote them. That sucked--especially when I was currently playing the game I lost the data from.

I had a real problem with memory cards, multiple times. Especially with the we'll-give-you-47382-gigs-with-this-cheesecake Madkatz. One day, for some unknown reason, I lost 30 hours of saved game time on Breath of Fire 3. I was young then. No responsibilities, no job to worry about, no social life, etc. I could play games as long as I wanted, more so during summer. I decided to make up those 30 hours right there.

I couldn't do it. But I DID manage to get in 23 hours before I turned the PS off (it was overheating, I think.)

Sean

Those were the days. I remember them fondly. The problem was that I didn't have any money to buy games to fill that time with.

And I have to say! I wish they'd make a Kirby RPG! It'd be perfect for leveling up special abilities and boss battles and a storyline and even some party members ^.^

Sean

That I would need to pass on, my friend. I am not a fan of Kirby in general. When I was a kid, it graced my gameboy, but my love for the puffball has since waned. But I do hope you eventually get your wish!



No, I am not continuing the discussion on the game. New titles henceforth!


Hiya Sean. I'm wondering if seeing it with a friend I don't get to do things with very often is reason enough to patronize Rush Hour 3. Thoughts?

Sean

Only if s/he wants to see it. I wouldn't go see that in theater anyways. Maybe rent it. Jackie Chan is worth that much to me at least. Otherwise, pick something else. Balls of Fury, perhaps? If so, let me know how it is--I am a bit curious about it.

Dragon Ball prompts visceral reactions from many. It sucked many hours away from me years ago, and I refuse to let it do so again! My horror story is this: I now possess every episode, movie, and special on VHS - subtitled. These take up a lot of shelf space.

As the DB song didn't make it onto your playlist, let's try another series with an entirely different focus: Bubblegum Crisis. http://gh.ffshrine.org/song/6810/26 The strange thing is that I'm watching Bubblegum Crisis 2040 instead of the original, but am listening to the music from the original. So: how's this one?

Sean

I'll have to listen to that sometime that people aren't watching tv in the room. I saw a few episodes of that show a few years ago--it didn't take. I feel the tape pain--I have a ton of anime dvds that I will never watch again.

I do listen to one of the theme songs though. The Hurricane one that plays for like ten minutes in one of the first episodes.

Now then, what was I doing last time... ah yes, the Saturn's English library. I'm going to say a little bit more about Dragon Force. As I have not played both, the comparison is unfair for me to make. But it has been said by some of those fortunate enough to have played Dragon Force and Final Fantasy Tactics that the former is preferred. As stated, I cannot make any declarations on a personal basis. All I can say is that Dragon Force remains unique in the annals of tactical titles (save for its Japan-only sequel). Also, there is no need to play it eight times if that bothers you: there are simply eight characters to play as who each have a different storyline.

Sean

Do they all follow similar paths? Or do they intertwine and all come together in the end? Or is it more like a fighting game where all the stories are mutual exclusive?

Oh, and Magic Knight Rayearth on Saturn is totally different from the SNES version. I haven't tried the SNES but apparently it's a more-or-less standard RPG that is very easy. The Saturn title is a colorful and cute action-RPG with another witty Working Designs translation. Also, the Saturn's story has some differences from the anime, which is in turn different from the manga. The game's story only goes through the first season though; hard to stitch the return to Cephiro into the same game.

Sean

Yeah, it would be hard to put them all together. I do have the first season on DVD and the full set of manga. I know they are different.

Shining the Holy Ark is similar to Shining in the Darkness, just better. Considerably better. I wouldn't call it a system-seller, but if you owned a Saturn and didn't grab the game 'twould be foolishness. Same for Albert Odyssey - the only RPG I've ever played featuring a castle guard threatening to open a can of whup-ass on me.

Speaking of action-RPGs, you might like Shining Wisdom more than I did. Very Zelda-ish to me. Unfortunately the thing just didn't keep me interested as the few Zelda titles I've played have managed. It seemed to involve a lot more rooting about in hopes of finding necessary tools than I wanted, though Zelda does that too.

Legend of Oasis is another action-RPG I just didn't get involved in. It plays rather like Beyond Oasis, which I also gave up on. If that means nothing to you (highly probable given your lack of a Genesis) it's a top-down title with a lot of martial arts moves and combos usable by the protagonist.

Sean

I think there was an Oasis game that came out on the Wii. I might have downloaded it too. Very likely, too.

Or there's Mystaria, a most unremarkable tactical title I couldn't get into. Waitaminute, that's not gonna catch your interest except as something to always avoid. So: avoid it. Quick kudos to Jonezy for making me feel a little less alone in Saturn respect.

Or a few titles I still don't own. The Horde seems to be sort of a tactical/RTS hybrid with Kirk Cameron. Oh yeah. Virtual Hydlide I only know gets disparaged by just about every source in existence. Traditional RPG, highly polarizing execution. And Heir of Zendor, another title that gets disparaged every time I see it mentioned. SFIII you know my stance on, but something tells me it wouldn't have the same effect on yourself.

Sean

I never heard of any of these. Well Street Fighter 3, I have. Not as good as Street Fighter 2 though.

So I started up Final Fantasy V on my work breaks recently. I'm enjoying it so far, including the unusual need to restart after getting annihilated a couple of times. The Job system does not make me long to fight infinite random battles, but it's interesting. Story, despite translation being spiffy, is unimpressive. You've played it, right?

Sean

Many times. You really need to level up a few of the jobs early, but avoid some of the others. Time Mages rock.

I can't match Draconn's backlog for sheer numbers, but mine is larger than your own. I suppose enumerating it is possible but only if you really want me to. And of course many titles that never left Japan are on it.

JuMeSyn

Sean

Ugh, I should mark down these backlog numbers to prove that I am rather tame. My girlfriend would never believe me. And JuMeSyn--I can't wait for you to play a game within the new generation. I'll get out your game soon, I promise. Thanks for writing in!



The Ex is a pretty funny movie


Flamethrower's first rule of soundtracks:

A good soundtrack cannot make a bad game good; it can only make a good game better.

Sean

I agree. Music is nice to have, but I can just turn it off and play without it.

That said, here are some of my favorites:
Chrono Trigger
Final Fantasy 6
Final Fantasy 7
Valkyrie Profile
Yggdra Union
Shining Force 2
Riviera Promised Land
Okami

What makes a soundtrack good?

Number of tracks: It needs to be enough to keep a player interested throughout the course of the adventure. This, of course, depends on game length.

Quality: The quality of a track is of course subjective. To qualify as "Good," a soundtrack needs to have very few poor quality pieces. This is where FF12's soundtrack falls apart - There are too many poor quality tracks, even if there are a few good ones.

With earlier games, track lists tend to be small. You can tell that time was put into each track to make it the best it can be. Newer games tend to go overboard with their track lists which in my opinion reduces overall quality.

Flamethrower

Sean

I don't like having too many tracks. It takes me too long to get into a song--I don't want it to be over before I get into it. I don't buy game soundtracks, unless they have lyrics. That being said, I am not a fan of what I have heard from Blue Dragon.

I must say I really like the Wild Arms 5 soundtrack so far. Have you given it a listen to? Thanks for writing in, Flamethrower!



I will try for better titles next week. Sorry, everyone!


Matt,

I'm pretty amazed at the lukewarm reviews of Blue Dragon. I guess it goes to show that todays american audience is influenced more and more by what is generally accepted and "cool" and what can keep that 2 second attention span quenched with twitch trigger shooting and HD sports scoring.

Sean

Or it could be that the typical 360 owner isn't interested in RPGs (especially those released around Madden time) or it might just actually be just that average of a game. We won't know unless we try it!

The game is amazing. Simple as that. Its a JRPG with no apologies to the fact that it takes its time and holds true to its roots while introducing numerous enjoyable updates to its already tride and true battle system. If it had the name "Dragon Quest" attached to it, it would be loved out of the gate. If it was a Final Fantasy spin-off, it would be hailed as a wonderful addition to the series. But, it is Blue Dragon, and people are looking to knock it down a few rungs for all the obvious reasons, including the fact that it is on the Xbox 360 (oh no!).

Sean

Didn't I already knock it for that reason? It is good to hear that someone likes it! But... what makes it amazing? Why are the demo-players complaining so much about it? By the way, my boss in included in that group.

People need to stop playing a game for 5 hours, thinking that they've experienced enough to make a fair decision on how good the game was...which i believe is the case with about 50% of the reviews out there.

Sean

Reviews here at RPGamer require that the game be finished. The same for the majority of news outlets. If that isn't possible a certain amount of time needs to be put in the game to meet a minimum quota.

In any case, five hours is too much time to hook a player. The average player will need to be interested within the first hour or they will simply move onto a different game. RPGs are not the exception to this--in fact they need to sink their hooks in deeper than other games. I know a lot of players who won't play a 100 hour game, unless they get hooked to it in the first few hours--they simply wouldn't care to spend that much of their precious free time getting to the end. That is even if someone tells them that the last three hours or ending is totally worth it. They just think that the 97 hours to get there is a waste that could be spent on 97 hours of fun playing other games. Just my two cents.

Also, as a quick side-note, people need to take much less stock in what some of the major game sites say, because I don't trust reviews of people forced to finish a game within a set timeframe who may not even be into the type of game that they are reviewing! Anybody else realize how they could really send a review down the tubes very quickly? I would never want to be forced to finish a game faster than I wanted, or be forced to play a game I didn't want to. That would quickly become a "job", and at a job, I'm generally not having the time of my life.

Matt D.

Sean

As a former IGNer, I know a bit about this side of things. The truth is that major media outlets get copies of the game much quicker than they hit the market. Usually when you hear that the game has gone gold, the media already has them in their hands. I've received quite a few games well before their targeted release in order to make sure that I am done with what I need to do on time. And yes, I have been forced to do things that I don't want to do. And yes, it is a job. But a good reviewer will always be objective--that is a requirement of the job. Those that aren't don't keep their jobs for too long. But yes, I do agree on a low level that a Maddenite reviewing the latest RPG is not a good thing for us. That is why you shouldn't ever just read one review. Unless of course, you read the reviews here on RPGamer--we are trustworthy!

Thanks for writing in!



This came in at the last minute.


Sean,

How long did it take you to write to column yesterday? You were playing DA the whole time, right? And Valen went from level 56 at the beginning of the column to level 63 by the end? Either that game levels your characters quickly, or you spent about half of your day writing that column. Even if you are the host, you shouldn't obligated to devote THAT much of your time just for us, you know!

Sean

About two hours yesterday. I column'd from about 9:30pm until 11:30pm. The game levels you really fast, if you are in the right place. They require 500xp per level and everything is scaled. I was gaining levels every second fight. If I hadn't hit the boss when I did, I would have been easily level 70 by column's end. Today's column has been in the works for eight hours, but not constant work.

I asked two other hosts this question before, but I don't think they ever responded to it. I understand that Naruto discussions are off limits, but I thought no harm in trying. Have you ever noticed some similarities between the FFVIII and Naruto's *ahem* "education" systems? In both stories, the main characters attend a school where they are trained in combat as well as academics. When they reach a certain grade, they will be assigned missions from outside patrons in need of mercenary work, bodyguard duty, etc. Each group is composed of three students (two boys and one girl for BOTH stories, no less!) and one teacher, who grades their performance. Both stories even have rival schools from different nations that come to give them trouble at some points. I wonder if one really did influence the other, or if this is a common and often-used storyline. If it's the latter, are there any other similar ones that you can think of?

FirstAid

Sean

Naruto discussion is not off-limits. Discussing the direction of the current storyline is. No spoilers!

That being said, this is a non-taboo subject. Now that I think of it, I do see the similarities. And unfortunately, I am too tired to think of something constructive to use as an example. So as it is within my power to do so, I am pretty sure I can get some of the readers to do the work for me. Ok readers--help me out here!

Thanks for writing in, FirstAid. I think I posted like five of your letters here today!



QUICKIES

Hi Matt...
The longest I've played an RPG in one sitting is likely when I was playing Digital Devil Saga 2. I brought it home, played it for a while that night, went to bed, got up and started playing it at around 11, and played probably at least until midnight... with a couple intrusions for food and random chores assigned by my mom. So... it was insane, but the game is really that good.
-Kharamain

Sean
That it is. It took me over two months to finish that game. Not because it wasn't good, but because stuff came up and I had no time to play. As soon as I did, I finished it very quickly. The end was a little too easy, but it was a great game nonetheless.

"What has my poor column turned into?
Oh, don't tell me that you weren't expecting this the moment you typed "Which RPG characters tickle your fancy? Yes, in that way" as a hot topic.

Sean
Yeah, I expected some fallout from that comment. Errr... topic. And it happened--a little anyways.

Hi Matt,
.... and don't even get my started on BOF1's soundtrack. It was pure awfulness. Why couldn't I fight the real final boss? My hero had enough magic power to go into the dragon form that was unavailable for the rest of the game, but it still wouldn't let me... so anyway, the regular boss music ended up being the final boss for me. ... Whatever. Never bother with that game.
-Kharamain

Sean
I finished that one on the GBA a while back. I thought the music from the SNES games was ok. They weren't that good in that department.

Hi Matt,
Breath of Fire 2's soundtrack was also enjoyable, although it was a little short. Actually, I should say that the town music is perhaps the worst town music to 'grace' the RPG world ever. What do you think about it?
-Kharamain

Sean
I would tend to agree, but only because I can't think of any examples of worse town music tracks.

http://www.rpgamer.com/news/Q3-2007/091107a.html What? Okay, that's just weird. Or could it be that Namco Bandai was actually teasing PS3-owners? If so, then that sure was mean. But then again, maybe it could go the way of Enchanted Arms someday soon. I wonder if this would mean is MistWalker's 360 games could go that route too, given the 360 performance in Japan compared to the PS3, especially if it has to do with RPGs.

Sean
I am banking on this being true. It has to be. I want it now. Wasn't it announced in Japan for sure now?

Hi Matt, just thought I'd throw a couple of quick links your way.
Anyone who hasn't heard the voice acting in Star Ocean 2 can hear some examples at Audio Atrocities: http://www.audioatrocities.com/games/starocean2/index.html
And I believe this is the Blue Dragon boss music that was mentioned in the last Q&A: http://youtube.com/watch?v=q08So0gixwE
Laethiel Makaze

Sean
Meh. It isn't that bad, but it could do without the lyrics. My desire to get the game has dropped a point.

Whenever RPGamer posts a media update for a game on the main page, they also give people a chance to post their reactions of it on a forum. The link would be right below the update, so it's easy to access. But how about when it comes off of the main page? When I go to a game's screenshots/art/propoganda from their Games page, I can't seem to find a link that directs me to their forums. Is there any quick way (other than going through pages upon pages under Message Forums) to access these forums easily?

Sean
Nope, not at the moment. Sorry.

About what you said about the MLB someday using replays to determine strikes and balls, well, they actually already are using eletronic quipment to track that stuff now. I'm not sure how it works, but I've seen some games where they show you a diagram with the pitcher and catcher's positions, using colored sections to signify strike and ball zones. And they actually use some motion tracking technology, I assume, to track the ball's trajectory to determine strikes and balls. I assume they mainly use this for boadcasts or to prove or disaprove questionable calls by the umpire, but I wouldn't be surprised if they may eventually outright replace umpires with this. It seems thas as technology advances, we need less and less "manpower" to do things, which could mean less work for people and/or more lazy people.

Sean
I would assume that it would only be used seldomly, like replays in other games. Calling for one would need to be penalized, if not favorable for the caller.

Hi Matt!
On yesterday's Q&A, Sean got a letter from Zohar Gilboa about siblings stealing consoles. Well, when I was a kid, my older brother had a SNES and he was crazy possessive about it. I had "The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse" (I still love the game, check out some of its music!) and I had to sneak into his room when he was away at school to play. A few times he came back early and got really mad at me for being in his room. Ah, the good old days...
I've been playing Suikoden Tactics after finding a new copy in a Toys'R'Us for $11. It's kinda slow and restrictive. I wish the movement was similar to FFTactics (one of my favorites) in which you can open up a little menu for party management from the world map. It's my first foray into the Suikoden universe, but it's still too early for me to say whether I like it.
Alright, time for band! Thanks for all the hard work on SOCK2 by the way, it's great!! Seeya, -Leviathan

Sean
Yeah, we all need to thank Matt for SOCK2. If more tRPGs were like FFT, I would be in heaven.



IN CLOSING

I didn't quite get through all those that I intended to. I got a little tired, and interested in the movie playing, and pretty much everything else going on. But it is still a long column! And I hope that those that got multi-posted aren't too mad at being forced into a single column. Sorry!

RIP Robert Jordan. Your fans will miss you. I am not one, but I was intending to get into your work eventually. I will take a moment of silence for you and your loved ones today.

On a more positive note, this week looks like a lot of Wild Arms 5. That is a good thing. I'll see you all next weekend!

Peace out!



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3. Two Swords--Is it worth the admission price to play it?
4. Know any main heroes that shouldn't have the role?
5. How big is your backlog, and what limits do you set for it? What is the RPG to non-RPG ratio?



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