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ASK AILISE
First Time for Everything December 17, 2006

Alicia - 10:20 EST

Hey all!

Hope you had a wonderful week, I sure did. This past Thursday was my birthday, and I'd have to say it was the best one yet :D So many wonderful people in my life~

I'm sure you guys miss your regular hosts, but until then you get folks like me. I'm currently the co-head of the News Department here at RPGamer, which is probably why none of you have heard of me since a lot of my work goes on behind the scenes. And it's because of that that I offered to take one of Josh's columns while he was away; I thought I'd try to get a bit better aquainted with you readers. You all seem like a nice bunch~

Now without further ado...




L E T T E R S
Mad World


Hey Ailise.

Having started playing RPG games when my brother and I rented Secret of Mana due to its "pretty cover", I ask what introduced you into the RPG world?
Alicia

Wow, that's a little frightening, I got into RPGs the exact same way. No lie. My little brother and I were perusing our local video store and the cover caught our eye. We peeked at the back and thought it sounded good, so we gave it a shot. We've both been RPGamers ever since. Small world I guess huh?

Also with the slew of RPG's released this year and whats going to be released next year, what games are you looking forward to getting?

Bainick bowled his best figures ever of 6.4 Overs, 7 Wickets for 15!

Alicia

As for what's coming up, I'm really hoping for Tales of the Abyss to be under the tree this year. I haven't played a Tales game I haven't liked, so I'm looking forward to another. What I'm looking forward to most though is the next installment of .hack//G.U. I know not too many people are into it, but I am a ridiculous fangirl when it comes to this series; I pretty much have everything associated with it. I know, pretty lame :P. More people should really give it a shot though, the story is deep and riddled with twists, although I think it's the complexity and span across several forms of media that turns a lot of people off. Oh well, I love it~



Means to an End


Hey there, Matt!

Alicia

Uhh...yeah...Matt. That's the ticket.

I was watching a Numb3rs episode last night (I have the first season on DVD), and I realized something. Larry was playing a video game. Why is that such a big deal? Well, unlike certain other crime shows, Numb3rs doesn't treat gamers as criminals.

Alicia

Numb3rs a lot nerdier too though, so naturally there's more love for the gamers.

I think before the Urban Hellraisers episode of CSI: Miami, I had been optimistic that the series would turn itself around. But that episode last season was easily the least researched, most poorly written episode of any CSI show (and I'm a furry, if that tells you anything).
-there are supposedly many teens/young adults playing this real life version, but there is only one team actually doing the crimes. So much for a new breed of criminal, Horatio.
-the CEO of the gaming company doesn't want to reveal what comes next in the game, and says that the CSIs'll have to play it if they want to figure out what the next real life crime is going to be. Okay, first thing wrong with the statement: the writer of the episode hasn't heard of strategy guides. Second thing wrong with the statement: the writer of the episode hasn't heard of GameFAQs. Third thing wrong with the statement: just get a lawyer, get a warrant and subpoena the company. At the rate that Ryan Wolfe has been getting through the levels, the sub poena would be quicker. The right tool for the right job, after all.
-a gamer, one who was (if I recall correctly) for a moment suspected of being the ringleader in all of this, is found dead in front of a game console, with the TV still on. Bottles of a certain yellow liquid were found beside him. Apparently he was too addicted to attend to his own needs, and ended up playing the game to death. And yet, in an earlier episode, they demonstrated a simple concept that this writer forgot: the pause button! The game wasn't even an MMORPG, it was an off-line game. It doesn't matter how addictive a game is. If I have to go, I have to go!

Alicia

Actually, a couple of years ago, a few Asian gamers died in Internet cafes from exhaustion after pretty much playing to death. While they did tend to some of their needs like bathroom breaks and maybe small bits of sleep, it's still sadly possible to kill yourself gaming. Doctors that had been investigating the deaths said that what happens is that the brain is under the impression of being constantly under attack, since we chemically respond to virtual fighting in the same way we do to an actual survival situation, albeit to a lesser extent. Eventually the body just has it after pumping so much into you for so long, and that's that. So make sure to take breaks guys! And get some fresh air and sunlight while you're at it :P

-at the end, the CSIs arrest a girl who was revealed to be the one with the most points in the RL game. Why was she playing? She just wanted to be noticed by her peers. Right. Video gaming guys who don't notice a girl playing a video game? The writers obviously haven't typed "I am a girl" in World of Warcraft before.

Alicia

Well, it is a television drama. Without all the sensationalization, it'd be reality TV. And we all know how entertaining that is.

Anyway, in other news, I bet no one saw that coming! DQ9 for the... DS?! I was... kinda expecting DQ9 would be on a Nintendo console, but I didn't think it would be announced for a handheld, and not this soon! What say you? -CW "A DQ approaches. Command?"

Alicia

Ok, I'm prepared to be slaughtered for this, but I'm not a huge fan of the Dragon Quest series ^^;. I've tried a couple, but I just could never get into it. I'm a little particular when it comes to the storyline of a game, and none from that series have ever grabbed me. Although, I do know how big of a deal the series is, so I was a bit surprised to hear it coming out for the DS. But at the same time, my business sense tells me that this may have been more of a financial move. PS3 sales aren't great, and who knows when they'll get better, if at all. So I guess they figured it was time for a change again. However, the obvious flaw in this logic is why not the Wii. In any case, it's an interesting move for such a popular and profitable franchise. Guess we'll have to see how it all works out. :D



The Sound and The Fury


Well, greetings to you fair Alicia. I don't recall communicating with you prior to this occasion, so a quick introduction on the off-chance you're unfamiliar with me is in order. I'm the odd fellow constantly going on about the wonderful world of Sega RPGs thanks to my never having owned (still true) any form of Sony hardware. Systems I own currently are the Genesis, Sega CD, Saturn, Dreamcast, SNES, and a rather broken GBA (probably turning into a DS by the end of the month). Why no PS? Well, I detailed it to Josh awhile back, but finding that column on dial-up is a pain, so suffice it to say that I like to acquire dead consoles in order to have access to their entire library at once. Also - acquiring a good Saturn library required a LOT of money. Whew, that was my intro. Care to reciprocate?

Alicia

Well from the sounds of the rest of your letter, love, you've already read my bio. So I'd say we're well acquainted. :D

Speaking of my good friend the Saturn (and if you have a Saturn, it would be your friend), I'm currently playing through Tengai Makyou The Apocalypse IV. A game that gets massive points for taking place in 1899 America, although it bears little resemblance to the actual country at the time. Looking at the world map, I see Florida on it, although for some reason Atlanta is in Florida.

Alicia

Well back in the day it was, but the city soon realized how abysmal it is down here, and promptly moved.

Currently I'm wandering around Arizona, where I just witnessed something damn different. Seems someone EVIL named Madam Apetite (French spelling - I mangled it) is convincing the people of Tombstone that 'big is beautiful' and making them force it onto others! Via FMV I witnessed a young woman attacked in the middle of the night having a lot of pills force-fed, which promptly tripled her girth! How DASTARDLY! Upon completion of Tengai Makyou IV I anticipate hooking up my Dreamcast to play through the newly-arrived Sakura Wars 3, which I have amazing expectations regarding. What have you to say regarding Sakura Wars? And if information is needed, well, I have reviewed the first two titles and the reviews are posted on RPGamer! I'd hate to have them sit unread, so please take a peek and tell me what impressions come to mind!

Alicia

Well, I'm not a big importer, so I have little experience with that particular series. Though from what I do know of it, it looks like a lot of fun. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole mecha aspect, I was never too into that style of game, but the romance oriented part of the storyline and dating-sim portions do sound appealing. I'm a chica, so sue me :P

On the OTHER hand - there are quite a few import Saturn titles (and a few English ones I haven't gotten to) for me to play. Such as Lunar: Magic School. Maybe I should take that one out for a spin first... advice? And a glance through my review list ought to reveal I'm not a Lunar newbie.

Alicia

Hmmm, well I'm a little biased when it comes to anything Lunar; it's one of my all time favorite series. As for Magic School (or Walking School, whichever you prefer) I've played the older version. It's certainly nothing like the two main titles in the series, but it's still not too bad. I'm not sure what they changed for the Saturn version, but it can't be anything but for the better.

So what kind of importing experience do you have? As a Secret of Mana lover, I would be surprised if you've never taken Seiken Densetsu 3 out for a spin. Actually there are an enormous number of worthy Super Famicom titles, many of which are currently sitting on my shelf awaiting a playthrough. I'll shut up so you can talk now.

Alicia

Like I mentioned earlier, never been huge on importing. But I have indeed played Seiken Densetsu 3, and I love it. I only dug it up recently so I haven't finished it, but it's a gem. Too bad it came in on the dying breaths of the SNES; I would have loved to have seen it localized.

On that note, which titles have you always pined for an English release of? Anyone Q&A regulars know my top pick without prompting, but since you're not a regular, it's Shining Force III (the bastardization of which I will forever curse Sega of America for).

Alicia

I've always wanted them to bring over the direct sequel to Star Ocean 2, Star Ocean: Blue Sphere. I LOVED that game! I would have been all over a chance to get a little more out of that story. Other than that, I can't really think of anything I've really been wanting or anything.

PoliSci major, eh? Good choice (spoken by a History major). I don't suppose you can give a quick analysis of Turkey's prospects for joining the EU? C'mon, give it a shot...
I threw out the topic of Theodore Roosevelt joining on the protagonist's team to Josh last week, but his poor historical knowledge means he couldn't say much about it. Theodore Roosevelt definitely had the energy to be a good addition, and if nothing else (we're talking about TR, so plenty else applies) it would allow 'Bully!' to be said a lot. What say you?

MST3K quote to end! 'I thought you were Dale!'
JuMeSyn

Alicia

I say that this may not exactly be the time and place for these topics love, much as I'd enjoy discussing them. Another day perhaps ;)



Pretty in Pink


Hey there Alicia ^^

You recently aquired a shiny new DS right? I was wondering, what RPGs and WiFi games are you looking forward to the most that are already out or will come out over the next few months?

-Roku

Alicia

Hey you! You're right, I picked up a cute little pink DS Lite for myself while Christmas shopping the other day. Considering I asked for a few DS titles for Christmas, it would have been a little silly to not have the system. Can't think of too many games right now, but I definitely want to pick up FFCC: Ring of Fate when it comes out. I had a blast with the GC version, and the style of the game couldn't be any better for a handheld or WiFi.



Knowing is Half the Battle


Dear Ailise,

I demand to know your thoughts on the current state of handhelds! What do you think about DS RPGs? Does the PSP still have legs? Pontificate!
-CJ

Alicia

Hey Joe~

Handhelds huh? Well it's pretty clear to me that the DS is dominating the market, and rightfully so. The PSP just doesn't have the games to back itself up. There are a few titles that I wouldn't mind trying, but none of them are RPGs, nor do they make me want to buy the system. The DS delivers in the genre though: I know there's hope at my house for Santa to bring Final Fantasy III or Children of Mana this year. Not to mention all the goodies that are on the way in the not too distant future.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Well that was actually a lot of fun~, despite being a little time consuming. I was prepared for that though; I'm often Josh's sounding board when he's putting together these columns for you guys. :P

Nevertheless, I would love to give this another go around, so you may be seeing me again pretty soon. In the meantime, I don't know who you'll be getting next time, whether it's Aethelred or someone else, but keep those letters coming! Someone will answer, I promise!

Until next time, savor your breaks if you're on them, or otherwise just enjoy the season! Happy Holidays!

***Alicia just can't get enough of Christmas~

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Well, I sure don't *feel* 19 ^^;

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Alicia's Current Order of RPG-Playing:

1. .hack//G.U.

2. Tales of Legendia

3. Grandia III

4. Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga

THONG Players:

1. Roku
Flik  TP: 2
550p

2. Bainick
Hero 2  TP: 20
3225p

3. Leaper
Antonio  TP: 29
3825p

4. Macstorm
Mazus  TP: 1
1050p

6. BLG
Sid  TP: 22
5425p

7. Arros Raikou
Kage  TP: 16
5800p

8. Xlash
Gijimu  TP: 0
200p

9. Donovan
Clive  TP: 2
900p

10. Slimey
Gadget  TP: 11
2000p

11. Bucket
Millie  TP: 15
2000p

12. Draconn
Mondo  TP: 19
625p

13. Genjuu
Pesmerga  TP: 6
1575p

14. Alan Tse
Hoi  TP: 14
5425p

15. TheBluick
Fu Su Lu  TP: 0
0p

16. Gouden Draak
Rubi  TP: 1
725p

17. Slashlen
Lorelai  TP: 23
2550p

18. JuMeSyn
Odessa  TP: 20
3250p

19. PureLunatic
Viktor  TP: 11
1575p

21. William.T
Killey  TP: 6
4725p

22. Arpijy
Hix2  TP: 15
1925p

23. Spiffyness
Badeaux  TP: 2
525p

24. Reivax
Kasim  TP: 1
200p

25. Carabbit
Viki  TP: 7
1975p

26. Vicissitude
Clive2  TP: 9
525p

27. JDX
Kuromimi  TP: 8
875p

28. Kupomogli
Kinnison  TP: 7
875p

29. Aurelius
Kahn  TP: 11
3600p

30. Omm
Yoshino  TP: 2
1225p

31. Aylee
Luc  TP: 14
4450p

32. Tabor
Ted  TP: 4
1150p

33. TvsAdam
McDohl  TP: 2
875p

34. Sundoulos
Hai Yo  TP: 15
3475p

Anyone else?

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