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Column 50: Fifty Down, More to Go
January 9th, 2008

Sean - 5:13pm EST

My 50th column... Wow. I really didn't expect to last this long at the helm of Q&A. Thanks everyone for reading, writing and helping out!

Monday's plea got me enough letters to prep the column a day early. This saves a lot of time on column day, as I tend to be able to do a lot of the work on my lunch break at work. As a bonus, I have posted the first six (instead of the regular five) letters that I received. Isn't that yay-worthy?

I received some TV advice from a couple of readers: thank you for the help. I've had a few more discussions about TVs lately, but since I bought myself a 360 VGA cable, I am no longer in a rush to get a new TV. It can wait until I move out, which looks like it may happen in the spring. In any case, no more boring details. It is now time to read some letters.

Iggy Pop - Nover 'Got' Him

Geez, I didn't write because I had the flu! But if the need is so great for letters... I submit that Star Trek could be adapted into RPG form. I inquire of you as to how this would be done, mostly because I'm not completely over the flu and need sleep.


That is easy. Tell BioWare to reskin Mass Effect. It could then go on and win all kinds of awards.

Also: I can throw small letters together pretty easily, but my big ones do take up column space. In case that's necessary.



Big letters, small letters, it doesn't really matter. They both suit different moods. Today I seem to be in a small letter mood, as I am really looking forward to a Diabolos run with my Promathia static. I am excited as I am but two battles away from where I was on my old character. Finally some new stuff!


Hey Sean,

Here's my question: why aren't you as good as Matt?


I am not mathematically inclined and SOCKless. Easy answers!

Okay, just kidding, Matt's a friend of mine, I'm just teasing you. He's actually really glad to be done with the time-consuming chore. Thanks!



Chore? It is only a chore when there is no time to do it. When the time is there, it is a lot of fun actually. I miss the guy though. Apparently he didn't get a PS3, PSP or 360 for Christmas, but rather walked away with a nice selection of games. Poor him! Matt, will be back for a few columns in the future, so be sure to look out for him!

Q/A topic


If you could read Japanese fluently and had the money to buy an import console. What games would you play?

Thank you,


p.s If this has been asked before could you point to the right column.


It is ok to ask the same question again, but just don't try it with Lusipurr. I can already see the violence should that occur. If I spoke Japanese and had the money, I would pickup a Japanese cell phone and get all the nifty games that we will never see for it. That would be my choice.

Hey Sean

Hey Sean! (Or that other dude who hates FFX)

Iíve been away from the site for awhile, what happened to Matt?


He moved on. He is supposedly spending more time on his PhD stuff, but I think it was all an excuse to game more often. He is still doing the SOCK2, I think.

Anyway, Iíve been playing a lot of Tales of the Abyss, and I must say, I think this game is pretty underrated story wise. I donít mean the setting or anything (enough with the weird Fonon stuff) but the characters in this game, with mostly excellent English voice acting make this game. I love how Luke makes fun of a lot of the elements of the game world early on, and the extra optional conversations to read range from funny, to touching, to just insightful (and some boring yes). Iím only 21 hours in as well, so hopefully the story keeps up. Itís certainly far from perfect, but given the garbage Square-Enix has been putting out of late, itíd be nice if games like this got some more love.


You mean the Mana games? Well, yes. But not everything they make is trash. Look at... ummm... Wings of the Goddess! We gave it an 11/5 in our official review! You can't top that! I regret to inform you that Tales of the Abyss is in my posession and it is still shrink-wrapped. Yes, I heard it is an amazing game, but I am just one man!

On another note, is it just me, or does it seems like mainstream reviewers have it out for Japanese RPGs? I know we havenít exactly gotten the best crop of games in past years, but it annoys me when I see reviews that say things like "A traditional RPG with great story that doesnít break the mold very much" and then see them give great ratings to FPS games that do nothing new, or great ratings to another Grand Theft Auto game thatís just a remake of GTAIII in a different location with a few new features.

Anyways, happy holidays!

-Mike A


Ugh. I had this discussion with my boss yesterday when going over the "Best of 2007" lists. Japanese RPGs get such lackluster reviews since the mainstream players don't care for them. The Final Fantasies do not lack for anything in this regard though, so at leas they get some attention.

I found an item that you do not mention in your guide for Xenosaga

Hi, this is Jeffrey and I found an item in Xenosaga that you do not mention in your guide. I don't know if I over looked it in your guide, but have you ever found "star hat"? It increases E.Pts by 25% (similar to the swimsuit that increases T.Pts by 25%). Let me know if you knew about this item or not. Have a good day.



Hmmmmmmm... I am not really sure. It has been a really long time since I played, so I really don't remember. I tend to not re-read the guides that I write, as I tend to find them largely uninteresting unless I am having problems with a game I am replaying. ^^;

Thanks for the letter though. Did you pick up the guide at IGN? As far as I know, only that site has the rights to post it. It is kind of funny to get these questions at RPGamer though...

qna letter

Hey Sean,


Hello again.

You seem to be pretty lacking in letters on Monday so I thought Iíd send you a letter.

I was pretty surprised by some of your comments about Blue Dragon from the other day. While the story/setting/art certainly arenít everyoneís cup of tea (what is the Japanese obsession with kids being world savors?) the last thing I expected to see you have an issue with is the music. While far from Uematsuís greatest works, Iíve found most of the tracks save for the boss music enjoyable.


Some are, but I don't find them altogether that good.

Moving on, in an age were we seem to be getting all sorts of Japanese RPGs, from blockbusters to niche titles, why is it that Namco seems bent on not bringing a lot of Tales titles here? Granted besides for Tales of Symphonia they havenít exactly flown off the shelves, but have they really sold that badly or does Namco just have too high expectations? I mean I canít imagine a lot of the RPGs Atlus and NIS American are bringing over are selling any better. Having recently become a fan of the series thanks to Tales of the Abyss, its very disappointing to see. I hope they at least bring over the Tales of Symphonia sequel.


Well, seeing as to how they don't really sell and the fact that they must not all be good, it is easy to see how come they don't all come here. Sorry.

Also I saw you mentioned A Game of Thrones at the start of Mondayís column. Presuming you mean the first book in George R.R. Marinís song of ice and fire series and not some other book, I suggest dropping all else and reading the next three books. The series only gets better.

Till next time

-Mike A.


Yes, but the fact that I can't read 5-7 right now stops me from rushing. Why rush when I can savor them? If I rushed them I would just be pissed off that I can't continue the series. I usually collect full series before beginning one. Well, usually anyways. Thanks for the letters!


Well, other than more FFXI, I don't expect to do much else for the next few days. Send Lusipurr some letters!

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