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The Nitty and the Gritty September 19, 2005

Matt Demers - 01:16 EST

WHO WOULD have thought-- silly Matt weaseling his way into the last two and competing in the final week for a chance to win such a prestigious prize.

On Jeopardy, they do tournament finals double-header-style, with the three contestants competing for two grueling days in a row. On Survivor, they air three-hour specials interspersed with countless commercials from companies willing to pay for overpriced airspace.

But HERE, the people in charge are making us do a lovely three-day marathon of columns apiece! That's right, it's Bucket and I all week this week, so if you don't like us- then you're quite out of luck, especially considering that half of us will remain for the long haul to answer your letters (assuming that we don't randomly cease to exist thereafter or spontaneously combust or something).

This whole thing has been a fun experience, and whatever the outcome, I'm sure that the Q&A section will be a lively section for a long time to come: Andrew's sticking around (and he's gonna do a column soon if you bug him enough).

Here goes... the first third of my turn in the limelight. Behold:




L E T T E R S
More...stinky...reruns


QnA Host,

Why would nintendo port FF4? Don't get me wrong...it's a good game. But we all know that the true gem in FF series is FF6. I'm guessing that if 4 gets a port...6 will eventually. Does this seem likely?

an RPGfan


Matt

It's a disappointment to me too, despite the fact that I think it's a great game too- but my disappointment is for MUCH different reasons than your disappointment is. Seeing as both 4 AND 6 have already been re-released before, back in the Playstation-era, I really wouldn't be surprised if they did decide to try for yet another whack at the wallets of gamers by "producing" something that has already been produced (twice).

However, Forget Final Fantasy 6... I'm still waiting for this Final Fantasy 3 thing to become a reality- the one they promised a looooong time ago. I feel like this little GBA token is just a way to get fans to shut up about number 3, temporarily. After all, baby birds don't chirp continually if they're stuffed full of chewed up worms...and trust me, by this time, number FOUR is definitely chewed up.



PSP: Pretty Shoddy Plays


Dear Current Contestant,

Now I bought my PSP with the knowledge of how buddy buddy most rpg makers are with Sony. I figured sqeenix or NIS would have a UMD ready to be spun in my PSP real fast. Now we all realize that isnt the case, is ther any light at the end of the tunnel. When is the first RPG coming out? How many should we have by christmas? Whats the best looking one down the tunnel? Help a desperate sony fanboy have faith again.


Matt

I'm very sorry that you decided to purchase a PSP (see what happens when you cross the dreaded Nintendo handheld monopoly?) ...tsk, tsk. Well, regardless, we can work through this together.

It is true that there are very few RPGs, as of yet, released for the system in question. However, there are a few in development: Not many have played an Ys game around these parts, but there is one slated for release in October on the PSP, if you're interested. Two bucks to anyone who can pronounce "Ys", by the way***.

Let's see... Popolocrois is also coming out in the next few weeks, if you want to get your hands on that one. Makai Wars is apparently in the works for next year, sometime-- who knows when we'll hear more about that. Also, while I'm not much for the idea of Final Fantasy VII spinoffs- if they make you tingle inside, Square Enix announced a couple of them awhile back. Of course, Square Enix announces a lot of things... (see the above letter for my rant).

So, to answer your questions, I'd say there will be one or two out in stores by the holiday season- and if I had to pick one out, I'd choose Popolocrois, because it's a series I'd like to know more about, and I tend to not-like Action RPGs more than Turn-Based RPGs. Hmm... that is, I LIKE Action RPGs less frequently than I like Turn-Based RPGs. You know what I mean.



The Sky is Falling!


Guys,

Is there ever going to be a Skies of Arcadia sequel? That was one of the best rpgs Id ever played and I played it on the Dreamcast too!! Overworks should definitely make one. We should create a signup sheet, sign it, and then send it to Sega/Overworks.

Zachary BeHage


Matt

There has been talk, but it's unclear as to how progress is- well, progressing. There was an itsy mention of a sequel "in the planning stages" back in the early part of 2003... but that was then, and 2.6-or-so years have passed without another breath. It may be the case that it's still in development, but that would be purely speculation. I'd love to just be able to say "It's a-comin'", but I'd probably cause quite a stir.

To sum it up: Nothing official yet, but rest assured that if any news pops up about Overworks or Skies of Arcadia, you'll find it here.



Control Freaks


Matt:

Congrats on making it to the final week... hopefully you'll become the new columnist ^_^ You have my vote already.

Anyway.

What do YOU think about the Revolution's controller? There has been a lot of controversy in the message board on it. I started out like everyone else, but once the shock wore off I could see the light. I am personally looking forward to it, what about you?

~"Fallen" Angel0886 ^_~


Matt

Ahhhhhh....I thought I'd find a question or three in the mailbox about this- the "big news" this week.

I think that just about everyone's first reaction to this controller has been one of shock and dismay. I will personally confess that when the image loaded up onto my screen (you know how they load online- from top to bottom, one chunk at a time, in three or four chunks)... my heart sank further and further with each unveiled chunk. My initial protest was "But-- but-- but-- How can you even reach more than one button at a time?!?"

But, I thought about it a little, and thought some more; then, I thought a little more still. And the more I thought, the more I grew to accept the idea. The reason that there is so much backlash is because it's so radically different. If anything, my mom and dad, when playing Mariokart, won't be able to complain about "their hands getting tired" as easily-- with this, it appears that you can use the control stick just about anywhere relative to the rest of the controller- how's that for ergonomics? Also, they brought back the trigger that I so loved from the N64 days... that scores some points with me.

It concerns me though, the controller might not be so RPG-friendly. There aren't very many buttons, to be sure, and if they make me move around my character by using the motion sensor thingamajig, I will be unimpressed. I'm secretly hoping that some games- especially RPGs and puzzles- might somehow turn the controller on its side, to orient it quite like one of those elderly NES controllers--allowing for a more traditional controller set-up. I'm sure that ol' Shigeru would be disappointed in my lack of creativity.

In the end, I think it's worth our attention BEFORE judgement is passed. All dissenters: Approach it with an open mind; it seems that you need to do that a lot with Nintendo these days. When you do, it's usually worth it.



Do you have a craving to play Final Fantasy 9?


Hello,

This is my first time writing to you guys here at RPGamer. This contest is cool, and I wish the best of luck to the winner. Anyway, I'm a big fan of RPGs, and I don't like to nit-pick other peoples opinions of cool games, but I do have a question that may break my own rule. Does FF VII really live up to the hype that everyone thinks is a god-send from above? It was an awesome game, no doubt, but I actually think that VI and IX were MUCH better. Especially IX. (Please don't kill me...)

Matt

You horrible fiend; consider yourself killed. *kill*

Back to my question answering duties....

Final Fantasy IX was certainly not my pick of the litter, though I have the worst "cravings" to go back and play it from time to time (more so than either of the other Playstation installments) and I'm not quite sure why. I must admit, some of the storyline twists were pretty cool, however predictable. Of course, the music was top-notch as well, and the four-character party made me a happy person.

However, the game was really, really easy. I didn't really like the characters much either- and gameplaywise, it had such a tragically disappointing magic system compared to the previous three games in the series.

Final Fantasy VII is as popular as it is because for many, it's the first RPG they ever played. For me, it swept me away when I first played it for several reasons... it had an even more complex storyline than FFVI, with at the time- absolutely incredible graphics and sound. I only owned a Super Nintendo when FFVII came out, so I had to rent a Playstation in order to play the game. It was absolutely incredible for me (--and the rest of my family, who sat around the TV watching in awe, saying things like "OOOH!! You can hear that pink-dress-girl's footsteps, like, EXACTLY when her shoes hit the ground!!"--) ... so yes. That's what I have in my memory banks: it's the FEELING it left behind after playing it that made me like it as much as I did. And the final boss music.

My second and final question is this: Do you feel that Dragon Quest/Warrior Parts 1 - 4 (released on the NES) will ever be re-released all together in one collection for either the PS2 or PS3? I know these games were re-made before, but I feel that with games as cool as these four, and with DQ8 coming out, they should release all four, maybe with updated graphics or something similar, so that everyone can experience TRUE RPG fun.

Thank you very much! Oh, and for the record, Chrono Trigger is indeed one of the best games ever, if not THE best. I saw that argument here in these letters.

Thanks,
-Greg in Philly

Matt

Excellent... another Dragon Quest fan. My ultimate plan is working PERFECTLY! Bwahahaha...

I'd really love to see a remake of Dragon Quests 1 through 4 in the upcoming style of DQ8- it could be so fantastic. Even more fantastic though, would be remakes of Dragon Quests 5 and 6, which we haven't yet seen here. This depends completely upon how well Dragon Quest does here. If no one buys DQ8, then even if they compiled such a collection and released it in Japan- you can bet we wouldn't see it here. If on the other hand, it does really well... we might see Square Enix take advantage of the potential lucrativity of the trademark by launching more DQ upon our fine continent.

Obviously, the only conclusion is to buy Dragon Quest 8 when it comes out this fall, because it will assuredly be the best thing since sliced bread (and horizontal controllers).





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

And that's it for today: I've got to wrap things up so it can be posted promptly, so I can get my beauty sleep and be back tomorrow for another whack at rocking your Q&A world.

No one called me on my Sound of Music errors last week... I'm surprised, but as soon as I read the column after it appeared on the site, I hit myself in the head- I'm pretty sure that the "adieu" is repeated thrice, and not the "yeu", like I wrote. Oh well- I'm not contesting to be a Julie Andrews Q&A person, so I guess it doesn't matter.

Important: SEND lots of letters this week, if you'd like to see high-quality columns from both of us! There's lots of news abuzz lately, so there should be no shortage of things to chat about.

Bye everyone- see you tomorrow.

Matt

***Matt has a herd of deer out back. To claim your two bucks, please send $79.95 S/H to me. Paypal is fine. Offer not valid in Quebec.
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My culinary practices seem to be a little bit more effective than I previously thought. With ZForce out of the way, I have just one final unlucky baked-good-sampler to go...

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