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ASK SEAN
Column 54: Way to Go Giants!
February 5th, 2008

Sean - 5:31pm EST

Before I begin: Yay Giants! That was an amazing game! Now, back to your regular scheduled programming.

The tough time at work may very well be over now. Friday was a fifteen-and-a-half hour day--the longest one I have pulled at work in over a year. My hours should slowly shift back to normal and for that I am glad. I have so much gaming to catch up on and I made sure to get some in this weekend. And yes, I got quite a bit in.

The weekend started off with the purchase of nine games. Yes--nine. I purchased: five Spellforce games, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, Ratchet Deadlocked, Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters, and Kameo. I haven't tried any of them yet. Instead...

  • FFVIA: I am outside of the Opera House. I am savouring every moment of the game!
  • Devil May Cry 2: I started and finished it with both Dante and Lucia. The game wasn't spectacular but neither did it suck outright either.
  • Link's Crossbow Training: This game is not for me. I don't have a steady enough hand to do too well. I did manage to get bronze medals on every course though. The gun is really awkward.
  • Devil May Cry: Special edition: This is one fun game. I really like it so far. I'm on mission seven, but I can already see that this game is worlds ahead of what the previous title showed us. I wanted to try to finish it before I get my hands on the fourth game later this week. Does Vergil have a different storyline?
This week's column will be a little shorter than the last one. Why? I don't have the letters I did the last time. Too bad I decided to answer them all last week. Oh well. On to the letters, I guess.




LETTERS
Q&A


Sean,

I want to thank you for the game that you gave me! I hope to play it when I get a 360 someday. Part of the reason that I chose this game was because I wouldn't have to feel guilty about taking a game that you COULD have played and enjoyed, seeing as you didn't have a 360 at the time. But now that you do, I hope you don't feel like you regret giving me this game, as you now actually have the means to play it, and only gave it to me out of obligation. If you do get too curious about the game and want it back, just tell me so. It's not like I can currently play it anyway.

Sean

I was actually trying ro figure out an excuse to get out of giving it away, but I made the only decision I could have. If I want to play it, I can always purchase it again. I did play the PC version through, so it is won't be missed as much. Keep it.

Speaking of the 360, I was quite surprised to see Eternal Sonata win GOTY. Given the comparatively greater praise that Persona 3 has been receiving from readers and staff alike, I thought for sure that it would win hands down. That being said, I do trust RPGamer, and I have no doubt that I would be all over Eternal Sonata once I get a 360 someday (I keep saying that, don't I?)

Sean

In the staff channel there was very high praise for Eternal Sonata. I haven't played it or Persona 3 yet, so I doubt I would be a fair judge. They are both high on my list, so we'll likely see soon.

And speaking of the awards, I personally found the Most Completed one really strange. For one, it just seems funny for RPGamer to admit that not everyone on the staff actually completed most of the games on the list. If the staff were to pick a GOTY objectively, then ideally, they would have actually completed it, as well as all likely candidates. After all, to know a game's full merits (and hence, know if it's worthy of GOTY), one would have to play EVERY BIT of it, ideally. Otherwise, it seems like FFVIA was the game that most of the staff knows the full merits of, and hence, one could argue IT should have been GOTY that way. But it didn't win anything else at all, despite the possible fact that, by default, it was the one game that the staff actually enjoyed the most. Don't worry, I'm not criticizing or anything. I'm just stating that that seemed rather amusing to me. Overall, I really did like and was satisfied by the award-winners, and I hope I can play them all someday (I'll need new hardware for Eternal Sonata, Folklore, and The Witcher, though).

FirstAid

Sean

As unpaid staffers, we don't have the time or desire to play through all the games in a given year. Take myself, for example: I work 40-60 hours a week and I went school for two semesters last year. There was no time to play all these titles, even if I had all the hardware necessary (which I do now...) When it was time to fill out my ballot I had a hard time with it. The majority of the games on the list were ones that I had not had the opportunity to play. I will try to do things a little differently this year and play the new games when I get them so I can be a little more informed when the voting period comes around again.

This doesn't mean that I will play every game! I still have my limits for what I will and will not buy. I still won't pick up a Pokémon game, so don't expect me to have any opinions on them!



No More Heroes


RPGamer,

You mentioned wanting to know how No More Heroes turned out. Well, i must say it is pure genius and deserves parades and awards. Sadly, it will not get these most likely, but for those RPG enthusiasts out there that enjoy action games, NMH has lots of stuff to "collect" and purchase, weapons to upgrade, skills to learn, ect ect.

It is very addictive, challenging and fun....and is the perfect time game to take a break with in the middle of your 80 hour run through Persona 3, or whatever RPG you're currently tackling.

That is all!

Matt D.

Sean

I like "weekend" games. I got through two of these this weekend and I had a blast. Sometimes a break from RPGs is all that I need to renew my love in the genre! Next on my plate: Devil May Cry 3! And after that? Likely Rogue Galaxy, Lost Odyssey and Devil May Cry 4! I am getting the PS3 version, by the way.

Thanks for the advice, Matt. I think that with the reviews I read, I will pass on it for now. When it drops in price... it will be fair game!



And then there was cheese


Greetings, Sean.

I'm probably the worst person in the world to ask about playing multiple games at once. At last count, I'd started some 50 (non-replay) games that are currently unfinished, with about 150 more waiting in the wings. Of the ones I've started, about half are RPGs or action-RPGs, which as you can imagine kinda puts a damper on the whole finishing games thing. I've been trying for a year or so to narrow that down, playing one console and one handheld game at a time until they were done, but I find that difficult--particularly with my ever-increasing attempts to play classics I've missed (though I played games from the NES era onward, I didn't get really serious about them until the PS2 came out). Actually my current plays aren't even RPGs, which strikes me as odd, since it's pretty much my favorite genre. (God of War and Phoenix Wright if anyone's wondering.) Am I alone in this? Total accessible backlog: 195. Yes, I keep track.

Sean

Ugh. I would hate that. If my backlog would climb above 100, I would need to purge some. At last check I already had almost all the games I wanted from what is already out, which is a good thing. Now all I need to do is narrow that list down a little!

I played Symphony of the Night twice in the last two months. Once before I got Dracula X Chronicles, and once after. It's a good game, though I really fell in love with the Rondo remake more when I played it. That said, I've noticed the general opinion is that the newer version (of SotN) isn't really worth playing if you're familiar with the original. I beg to differ, in one respect. And no, it's not Maria. The credits music. Well, the new voices aren't bad (despite some people's inexplicable claims that Alucard now sounds high-pitched. Have they ever *met* a real tenor?), but it's the credits music. And I loved I am the Wind. Actually that's why I replayed SotN before getting DXC--to earn the song again. But the new track actually makes the entire playthrough worth it for me. (It helps that I got the game for free, granted, but I would've bought it myself if my fiance's mother hadn't given it to me for Christmas.) Have you ever felt that way about a song? That whatever you had to do in the game to get it, ignoring the widespread availability of downloads, was worth it just to hear that music and feel the feelings that go with it?

Or am I just a crazy pianist who likes music too much?

I leave history to decide. Or at least you.

--
Erunion

Sean

Yes, I had that feeling once before. I really enjoyed the whole 1000 Words part of FFX-2. I would replay that game to see the video, if I had the time and it wasn't already at my fingertips. I can't get into Rondo of Blood. I guess I just like the newer breed of Castlevania games.

Game music isn't something that drives me. Honestly, I can turn the music off for most games and never notice the difference. That is starting to change as I am getting into the whole high-definition gaming thing. When playing Ratchet and Clank Future and Mass Effect, you better believe that it was all cranked up to the max. Devil May Cry 3 has excellent music--it really fits the mood I am in when playing it. Lusipurr and the old Matt are much better people to talk to on this subject. So in short--no you aren't crazy! You just appreciate it more than me!



Why If Only We Were All Wiener Dogs Our Problems Would Be Solved!


Alrighty Sean, Nick Fury is not a name that EA came up with. While I've not delved deeply enough into all the Marvel lore to explain this fully, Nick Fury has been and probably will again be the leader of SHIELD, which is essentially one of those secretive government forces designed to protect the public from things without the public ever having to know. His name may not be the greatest, but he's a good character.

...I have the sudden compulsion to go read some X-men. Interesting. I'll squelch the compulsion for now.

Sean

I have never been a real comic book junkie. I do like manga, though. My childhood forays into comics were limited with some Legend of the Dark Knight, TMNT, Transformers and GI Joe. I never really got into the whole Marvel and DC scenes. Nowadays I tend to keep in touch via the movies. I like most of them even though they tend to be stupid.

Also, I tend to be able to write reviews very quickly. This dates from me essentially ignoring most of those damned 'writing process' steps English teachers were adamant about, because I usually get the thing right with one go. Rarely do I devote more than two hours to the writing of a review, which is good considering how many I've written for the site.

Sean

As a staffer, I don't have the luxury of ignoring the process. Everything I write needs to be gone over with a fine-toothed comb. It is a little annoying sometimes, but I am learning a lot by going through it, so it is all good in the end.

And as to how I play my games; one on console, one on handheld. I suppose I could vary it more than that but constantly venturing behind the TV to change out the connectors is annoying, and having to take a game out only to put it back in a little while later adds to the horrible clutter of my room. My attention span might have something to do with it also... no wait. AD/HD afflicted action movies confuse and stupefy me, so perhaps my attention span is not that lacking.

Sean

I wish I could do that now. Well, right now I have three play areas. The portable area (everywhere when I can't be in the other two), the basement (PC, PS2, Wii, 360), or upstairs (PS3, 360, Wii). So I am technically allowed to have three games on the go at the same time--not fifteen.

A little note about Wonder Boy in Monster Land. Specifically, this relates to the final boss, which is considerably harder than anything else in the game. I found it grating. Phase one is easy enough, but phase two is horrible. Partly because conveyor belts are the bane of any action game, and this one features a conveyor belt with a sawmill blade on it moving back and forth while the belt randomly changes the direction it is moving in. Added onto this find two lasers shuttling about overhead with beams that can shift their trajectory once after firing and the nasty game condition of being unable to attack in midair after taking a hit (and the final boss cannot be hit from ground level) to produce one obnoxious fight.

Sean

Sounds like a real winner right there. I liked the game as a kid, but I never got anywhere close to finishing it. It sounds like I should be glad I didn't--I still have my hair.

Come now, you know a couple of other Saturn games that I've tossed into the discussion prior! Remember Guardian Heroes and Shining the Holy Ark and Albert Odyssey? I thought so. And despite your lack of enthusiasm, Dragon Force has become enmeshed within your mind. It sits between the ears, an irremovable itch that cannot be scratched.

Sean

Never! Dragon Force is an abomination! Never shall it become enmeshed within my mind!

Still haven't seen Juno: the idea was to see it with someone else but her schedule and mine keep not syncing. Instead I have watched, via Rifftrax, Eragon and Transformers and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. None of which I have a high regard for.

JuMeSyn

Sean

I really enjoyed Transformers and the Fantastic Four. I have yet to see Eragon, but I have heard that it is nothing special. I might try to introduce my girlfriend to Star Wars. I don't foresee positive results.



QnA


Hello

I too have changed from a one game at a time person to a multiple game playing schizo. I have a problem with dropping a game and starting a new one and never getting back to it. I still have a game in Dark Cloud 2 and Wild Arms 3 that I'm not sure if I will get back to anytime soon. I'm even worst with DS games. I have so many on the go, I don't even want to list them,

Sean

I did that with Dark Cloud 2 and then sold it. I never even thought about it afterwards. What a dull game. Right now, according to my sidebar, I am avoiding way too many games.

On a different note I bookmarked an interview with Yoshitaka Amano on 1up.com a long time ago. Today I finally finished reading the article. At the end of the interview Amano was asked about upcoming video game work. Here's what he said:

Sean

An article backlog? Wow.

1UP: So, as our final question, do you have any plans to work with Sakaguchi-san and Mistwalker any time soon?
YA: Sakaguchi has already asked me to collaborate with him, but he's backed up with two titles at the moment, so after he finishes with that, I'll probably do something with him. Any time Sakaguchi asks me to work on something together, I'll definitely go forward with it. But as of right now, there's no solid plan, but we will be doing something in the future.
[Amano's manager, Mariko, informs him about something...]
YA: Apparently, Sakaguchi would like to work with me on a Nintendo DS title. [Laughs] I didn't know about that.

I then went and did some searching to see if there was more information about this game. So far I haven't found any DS games that have Amano's name attached. I was wondering if you have heard of anything related to this?

Thanks
Kenny "Zumbi" Brace

Sean

No, I have never heard of this game. To be frank, I don't really know (or care) about the names attached to a game. They go in one ear and out the other. I just want quality games, you know. It doesn't matter who they are made by.



IN CLOSING

The backlog that I had listed contained a pair of errors. I don't own Resident Evil 4 (my sister's) and the Tetris DS belongs to my girlfriend. I have no intention of playing them, so I removed them from the list. I also found a couple of games that I had forgotten to list. There are a few more games that I am thinking of purging from my collection. I will be thinking about them for the next week or so. I've tried them all out recently, and I really can't see myself playing them to completion, if such a thing is possible.

Fighting games, like sports games and racing games, tend to put me off. There is no middle ground: I either love them or detest them. It doesn't matter how much I like them when I first get them either. Of course, it doesn't stop me from picking them up on occasion. Unlike RPGs, I cannot power my way through games in those genres. Does anyone else have a genre that they buy and can't stand to play after a while?

I am thinking of starting up a simple contest again. This time, I will offer smaller prizes, be a little less random, and will come right out with the questions. Possible prizes will be a set item (like a book, DVD, or something else I no longer need), or the power to make me drop my current game and pick up something from my backlog (unless it is a review title, in which case it will be played after the review is finished). Picking some titles will force me to play a prequel, if I own it and it is on my backlog. For example, Tales of Legendia will be finished before Tales of the Abyss and so forth. The zones will be followed, so be careful when making your choice! I will try to come up with something for next week.

That's it from me this week. I hope you all enjoyed the big game!



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Now Playing:

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My Reviews

  1. Dragoneer's Aria
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  3. Lord of the Rings Online
  4. Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom
  5. Folklore
  6. Dungeon and Dragons Tactics
  7. The Witcher
  8. Warriors of the Lost Empire
  9. Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch

My Backlog:

    360:
  1. Blue Dragon
  2. Eternal Sonata
  3. Kameo: Elements of Power

    PS3:
  4. Enchanted Arms
  5. Marvel Ultimate Alliance
  6. Motorstorm
  7. Ridge Racer 7
  8. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
  9. Virtua Fighter 5

    Wii:
  10. Bleach: Shattered Blade
  11. Excite Truck
  12. Metroid Prime 3
  13. Soul Calibur Legends
  14. Super Mario Galaxy
  15. Zack and Wiki

    PS2:
  16. Dawn of Mana
  17. Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition
  18. Jak 2
  19. Jak 3
  20. Odin Sphere
  21. Onimusha 3
  22. Onimusha: Dawn of Warriors
  23. Persona 3
  24. Ratchet and Clank 2
  25. Ratchet and Clank 3
  26. Ratchet Deadlocked
  27. Rogue Galaxy
  28. Romancing Saga
  29. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner
  30. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
  31. Sly 2
  32. Sly 3
  33. Suikoden V
  34. Tales of Legendia
  35. Tales of the Abyss
  36. Wild Arms 4
  37. Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner

    Gamecube:
  38. Baten Kaitos
  39. Mega Man Battle Transmission

    PC:
  40. Age of Empires III
  41. Age of Empures III: The Warchiefs
  42. Guild Wars: Nightfall
  43. Guild Wars: Prophecies
  44. Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East
  45. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
  46. Planescape: Torment
  47. Spellforce: The Order of Dawn
  48. Spellforce: The Breath of Winter
  49. Spellforce: Shadow of the Phoenix
  50. Spellforce 2: Shadow Wars
  51. Spellforce 2: Dragon Storm
  52. Tomb Raider Anniversary

    Nintendo DS:
  53. Bleach
  54. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker
  55. Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings
  56. Lunar Knights
  57. Mega Man ZX
  58. Mega Man ZX Advent
  59. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

    PSP:
  60. Astonishia Story
  61. Blade Dancer
  62. Bleach: Heat the Soul 4
  63. Daxter
  64. Dungeon Maker
  65. FFT: The War of the Lions
  66. Gurumin
  67. Jeanne d'Arc
  68. Legend of Heroes 3
  69. Monster Hunter Freedom 2
  70. Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner
  71. PoPoLoCrois
  72. Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters
  73. Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology
  74. Untold Legends 2: Warrior's Code

    Game Boy Advance:
  75. Final Fantasy VI Advance
  76. Summon Night 2

    PS1:
  77. Persona 2

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