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ASK ETHOS
All You Want For Christmas Is Me
December 7, 2008

Ethan Pipher - 04:23 EST

So Prince of Persia is just as fabulous as I expected. I have to retrain myself from all the button mashing that has been drilled into my brain, but the end result is a smarter rhythm-based experience that blends beautifully with the whimsical world. We don't cover it here at RPGamer so I'm taking this opportunity to highly recommend it.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT
Oliver, Lusipurr and I have a very special QnA planned for the new year and would love the questions to start flowing for that particular column as soon as possible. Let me give you all the details and instructions that I am allowed to release thus far.

1. Please clearly state that your letter/question is written for the New Year QnA Special.
2. Please indicate the person who you want to answer your letter/question. (No promises!)
3. Please do not feel restricted to ask RPG or even game related questions for this particular column. Personal questions are acceptable for this Special. Be creative.
4. Letters for this Special can be addressed to the QnA mailbox, or Oliver or my personal RPGamer addresses linked at the top of this column.
5. Please feel free to continue to write letters to the regular column as well.

That is all! Let your imaginations run wild with what we have planned. It might not be what you're expecting.

Anyway, that lazy dolt, Montok doesn't want to deal with you guys again this week, so here I am. Let's get to it.





The Letters
In which Wassup reigns


Wassup Montok

Ethan

It's a little disconcerting that for the second time in a row, "Wassup" has opened up the letters. But I do approve the use of "Montok"

I would like to note that in your hot topics section you failed to include all of the above, though if I had to choose 1 I think I would have to go with boob. Though he is quite entertaining in a vaguely annoying kind of way.

Ethan

SiliconNooB is, of course, talking about when Oliver filled the "Hot Topic" section with Ethos-related insults. Silicon continues to try to give me what I can only guess is an insult. But tough luck, NooBerson! Entertaining and vaguely annoying is what I'm going for!

But for kicks and giggles, let's recall Riddles' entirely bitter Hot Topic list.
1. Is Ethan a dunce?
2. A fool?
3. A boob, perhaps?
4. A sot?
5. A clod?

and for SiliconNoob I will add:
6. All of the above.

Anyway I thought I would write in after reading the letter shooting in the dark. I also like random encounters, they have a certain charm probably lost on those who only made the conversion to jrpgs after the release of Blue Dragon, and if nothing else they do make levelling more of a straight forward process.

Ethan

I will agree with you to a degree here, SillyNooBerton. I don't really have a problem with random encounters. Most RPGs are in a fantasy setting and therefore the "enemies appearing out of nowhere" argument doesn't really make sense to me. I don't always want games to emulate reality. In fact, I often play games to escape reality. I know I'm far from alone there. Although I don't know if random encounters make leveling more of a straight forward process than say a system from Tales of Vesperia.

Iím also a huge fan of FF Xís CTB (and turn based in general) which is in every way superior to whatever it was that FF XII used (turn based real time bastardized hybrid or some such).

Ethan

I will counter your false statement with the following truth: XII is superior to X in almost every regard. Including battle system.

Anyway I get that you really love FF XII and were fast losing patience with a nearly indecipherable letter/argument, but IMO I donít think losing your temper and calling them ignorant served you well in making your point, by the time you resort to insults youíve pretty much already lost the argument. Furthermore I donít think it is strictly necessary to trash traditional jrpg game mechanics in order to validate your preferences.

Ethan

Well we can join forces here, Siliconnie.

You hear that, Montok? SiliconNoob is trashing your argument of trashing arguments!

Aside from my impeccable wit, I love traditional jrpg mechanics, and typically prefer a good Final Fantasy to a Mass Effect. That said, I stand by my truth that FFXII is a top-notch title with a great battle system.

Anyways thatís my two cents, keep up the great Q&A column and be sure to keep Ethos away from your editorial duties.

Peaceout,
SiliconNooB.

Ethan

Bahah ha ha ha ha! Joke's on you, NooBicon! Little did you know that Ethos would be the one answering your letter!

Victory, as always, is mine!

But what is with the recent trend of calling this column an editorial? I suppose it is, but we never refer to it as such, do we? E-MAIL ME AND EXPLAIN.

See you later, CilisonBooN.



In which it is re-enforced that Operation Darkness is a bad game.


Dear QnA,

Ethan

I feel it would be more appropriate if you called it "Q&Ethos", thank you.

I purchased an atrociously bad RPG last night. I'm an old school RPG-er and I thought who better to gripe to than RPGamer. They'll feel my pain.

Ethan

Yes, we love being griped at.

Wait, did I say "love"? I meant to say "are used to".

Of course, we're talking about the Atlus game Operation Darkness. I'll do my best not to review it, that's your job, but there's a story behind this one. A story all we RPGamers have been through.

Ethan

Well it's my job to review it, yes. I am a reviewer (supposedly). It is not Oliver's job. REMEMBER THAT WELL.

So I head down to Game Stop. I browse the shelf and I see CoD 5 begging to be bought. But, hold on, what's this? Operation Darkness? An RPG for the Xbox 360? There are so few RPGs for the 360. When I see the Atlus logo I immediately pick up the game. Vampires + Werewolves + Nazis + RPG + Atlus = good game. I forget all about CoD 5 and walk out with this anticipated masterpiece. Never heard of it. Never read a review.

Ethan

Ugh, I see where this is going. I think we all do, fine readers. Please continue. I am biting my nails.

So I get home. This game sucks. I've been playing games for 21 years and this may be one of the worst games I've ever played. Horrible interface, horrible camera angles, dialog, plot, controls, graphics. This game fails in every department. Get this, if a character dies and you fail to revive them before the battle ends you lose that character FOREVER. Cause, that's what RPGs are all about. Leveling up characters, investing time into characters just so you can lose them forever (cough, Aeris, cough).

Ethan

This reminds me of when I bought that terrible Lunar game for the DS because I knew the name "Lunar" garnered fanboy drool. Should have read a review...

How do games like this get past QA testing? Are you kidding me? I had to pop in Mass Effect for about an hour just to get the sick taste out of my mouth. For the love of RPGs, Atlus, port Persona 4 to XBox 360. We can't ride the Fallout 3 / Oblivion / Mass Effect wave forever.

So I guess what I'm saying is, facepalm.

- Giza

Ethan

Thanks for sharing, Giza. If for whatever reason, somebody hasn't read Adriaan's review, and only reads this column, then they have been warned! Hopefully talk soon, Giz.



In which Ethos hits Riddles back just a little bit.


To Metaridley,

Ethan

WRONG.

1-The best way to address you is...? You know, Cause you seem to be irritated to be called Riddles, and I hate pissing people off.

Ethan

Riddles doesn't actually mind being called Riddles. It's more the "Montok", and "RidleyLaCoco" and "Olisucks" and "RiddlesSmellsLikeTrash" that bothers him. Therefore I encourage it! How ridiculous of a nickname can you create for Riddles? E-mail me and let me know!

2-What happened to the Currents column? Are you still hiring, making it down for now, or is it cut completely?

Ethan

Erm...it's been in full force again for a while now. Manny's been doing a bang-up job and you should go catch up!

3-Is Ethos poised to be the new QnA guy if you get too busy, or is he subbing for you until your college life dies down? You know, with your finals, your job, and your girlfriend?

Ethan

Oh dear, NDF, it appears as though I have underestimated you. While appearing to be a mild-mannered chap who has Oliver's best interests in mind, you are actually writing in to hit him below the belt!

Luckily, below the belt is exactly where we want to hit Oliver!

Dear readers, the thought of our dear Riddles having a girlfriend is akin to the thought of Keanu Reeves deserving an Oscar. It is akin to the thought of Final Fantasy X having well-directed cut-scenes. It is akin to the thought of HD-DVD making a comeback. If somebody has any of these thoughts and voices them, the best course of action is to laugh for an eternity!

But to answer your question yes I'm out for Oliver's job.

Thank you for time,
Nobody Dragon Fan

Ethan

Hey, no problem.

That'll be $12.50.



In which Ethos addresses a legitimate concern in a flippant manner


How come RPGamer doesn't have Valkyria Chronicles listed in the recently Released Games list? I don't remember seeing a Review, Preview or it being featured on the Upcoming Games list at all.

It almost feels like someone there is trying to downplay one of the best RPGs released this year.

Ethan

Hrm, interesting. We actually have three staff members at least who are playing it and adore it.

In fact, I believe Oliver to be one of these people! BARRAGE HIM WITH E-MAILS.

As for me, Unnamed, I don't have a PS3. I can't help you.



In which Ethos has his soul crushed


What up Motok!

Ethan

Enwib! Ol' buddy! Ol' pal! Good to hear from you! Always a pleasure!

So indeed might I say, that the lengths of some letters writ, are most definitely entirely too long, just like the words used to describe them in this sentence!

Ethan

Oh Enny! So full of wit! I can't wait to read more!

Anyway, have you ever bought a game that is moderately decent, yet you have no desire to play through the rest of the game, and still you relentlessly try, start lying to yourself that the game is all right, just to make yourself feel like you didn't waste the money you used to purchase it?

Ethan

Totally! I can relate to that. Jeez, you explain things so well, Wibs.

I never used to do this, and I always condemned my friends for doing so. The game I'm doing this with is Brave Story for the PSP. While the game is all right, it just has no pizz-azz if ya know what I'm saying. I bought it upon Mike Tidwell's review of the game, and it's just the same old thing, which usually I can warm up too, but this is just TOO much of the same old thing. It's too bad... what is happening to me in my reaching my mid twenties..............................*sigh*

Ethan

Well the moral of the story is "never listen to Mikel Tidwell!"

But do not fear, Enwib, you are still young!

So yeah, might I say that there was some bastardization of the column do to circumstances that were in your control, but let us never speak of this "Ethan", this "Ethos" character again, lest it be the Ethos of the Gears, Xenogears that is!

E N W B

Ethan

Oh Enwibpants! You...wait...what? You...

...you don't like me?

But...I thought we were pals!

I might just have to retreat to my favourite crying corner. Again. For the fifth time...

...Today...

P.S. To anyone who doesn't like FFXII, why in the world are you even playing RPG's then....? Worrrrd.

Ethan

*sniff*

Well I do agree here at least. I don't know if I can read anymore letters after this devastation.



IN CLOSING

Huttah!

So that's it! I have more letters, but I felt like this was a good length. So keep writing and since I seem to be doing this rather regularly now, I'll likely get around to your questions and short letters in the near future!

Until next time, enjoy the holiday season, dream of our QnA Special, make fun of Montok, and above all else: play Prince of Persia.

Ta!

_ethos



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November 30: Ethos the Great

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What I can't wait for:

1. Our New Years QnA special

2. Anything Kingdom Hearts

3. Mountain Dew Code Red to reappear in Canada

4. Final Fantasy XIII

5. Thirty thousand dollars



On my Playlist:

1. Prince of Persia

2. Tales of Vesperia

3. ...ugh...Dokapon Kingdom...



Hot Topics:

1. I actually like FFX

2. I didn't really mention that, I just talked about FFXII being better.

3. Truly, I like a lot of things about FFX.

4. But I bet nobody will read this and I'll get lots of hate mail.

5. Oh, we're having a New Years QnA special with myself, Riddles and Lusipurr.



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