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Circulation May 24, 2006

Matt Demers - 16:50 EST

AFTER A FEW unplanned hours of concerted effort last night, I managed to finally succeed in finishing a significant section of my thesis-related programming. I've been working with a new form of image compression, and I finally got down the last possible orientation of all of my pixel-blocks, which has left me feeling light, airy, and generally in a good mood ahead of my weekly meeting with my supervisor/professor. What could put me in an even better mood? I uh... don't know. Ah, I know! Lots of letters in my inbox?? I haven't checked it yet, but I'll check it now, and then start the responding as I usually do. Just watch and you shall see!

Wishes... and wishful thinking.

Hey Matt!

Long time no write, huh? You've asked a very interesting question. What RPGs would I like to see that I didn't see at E3? I'd love to see another Lunar game...a good one. I'd also love to see Vagrant Story 2. I heard a rumor about it, but I don't think it'll happen. Also...I wouldn't mind seeing a new Chrono game...or Lufia...or even a new Ys. Breath of Fire holds a special place in my heart...but I never cared for Dragon they could throw one of those my way. Matt, did you hear anything on Mother 3? I want to play it. Thanks for listening Matt! Seeya!



Yeah, I'm pretty sure that another Vagrant Story game is just a rumour at this point. Interestingly enough, though, if you fish around on Google, you'll see the occasional person whispering here or there that Final Fantasy XII might feel like a sort of sequel to the game. I don't really know what to say about that.

It would be interesting if ever another Chrono game were to be released. Even though some people hated Chrono Cross with a fiery, burning passion, I'm sure that any sequel would do extremely well here. With the hype of the series, I really don't think it's an issue of "if" as much as it is "when"... kind of like that enigmatic Final Fantasy VII remake I keep predicting.

As for Mother 3, that was definitely the disappointing no-show at the expo for me. Nintendo might have stolen the spotlight, but there was something big missing for me, and I felt a little hollow sadness when it became evident that the game wasn't on the floor. I think our chances for a translation now lie pretty close to zero, which is an incredible shame.

How depressing! I choose to try and look on the bright side most of the time, but every cloud has its dark, thundery black bottom.

Another reader, same tale!

Titles that should be remade....hmmm.....

I know! Kid Icarus! Or maybe not.... I thought of that because the Super Smash Bros. demo at E3 had Kid Icarus as a playable character. Are the rights to Kid Icarus owned by Nintendo?


Oh, how I'd love such a thing. Kid Icarus is such a spectacular example of an endearing-but-definitely-mediocre old school game, and a sequel would be incredibly awesome. And yes, Nintendo has Pit (the main character) locked up somewhere in its headquarters, but we'll see bits and pieces of him... he's been revealed as a playable character for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which is most exciting, and IGN has a Wii sequel listed, which is somewhat curious to me. I hope for the best!

Mother 3 or EarthBound or whatever - Was this game at E3? It got no coverage from G4 or RPGamer which leads me to believe it wasn't there.


Nope, and I searched for and wide. Biggest disappointment of the show for me, but I'm probably the only one there who found that to be the biggest disappointment. Earthbound is my favourite... :(

We haven't seen the next gen "Lunar: Silver Star Story" or similar. Perhaps the terrible recent DS release finally killed the license.


That's true. Thankfully, the series escaped the doomed Working Designs before its collapse, but it seems to have come at the fairly steep price of gaining massive amount of suck, from the sounds of it. Maybe it's just a matter of chance, but I still haven't played a Lunar game, so I can't really say anything from first-hand knowledge. Hopefully if a sequel occurs, it represents an elevation above its reportedly lacklustre DS incarnation of yesteryear.

I would like to see a remake of Dragon Quest 5 and Dragon Quest 6, perhaps in a neat little package as in Final Fantasy Anthology. This would be the original release of these games here in the US. Have any of those been announced?


You and me both, brotha! That would be enough to send chills down my spine... if Dragon Quest V and VI are ever translated and brought over, I swear my life will be complete. But no, there's no word on any such compilation at this point in time.

The last Ogre Battle release was "Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis" for the GBA in 2002. After that, Square-Enix acquired the publishing rights and so far has released zero (new) games in the series. It is about time for another release, if the series could be made viable on current or next-gen platforms.


Aye, and good strategy RPGs are very few in number these days. Good call. And I think it's perfectly viable, too, as long as Square Enix is willing to put forth the developer-power.

Another Square-Enix series suspiciously missing from development is Chrono Trigger. It's not like Square doesn't have their plate full. With about five Final Fantasy games, 2 Valkyrie Profile Games, and the next game in the Mana series under development, it seems the company is focusing on their better established franchises.



It's true that they do have a lot on the go at the moment, but I think that the fact that they did make the decision to suddenly revisit Valkyrie Profile is very promising for RPGamers. It at least gives people hope that the less-well-known franchises are still being tossed around... perhaps Ogre Battle and Lufia aren't quite dead yet.

Thanks, Flamethrower, for your letter!

PS: I have more letters about the Sony's next generation, too!

Hey Matt,

So here’s my take on the price of the PS3. When you look at it from Sony’s perspective, it actually seems like it may be a wise decision to make the starting price so high. Why? Because there WILL be people out there that will buy it at that price. People these days seem to be so fanatical about having the latest technology that they’ll shell out whatever amount in order to be the most “up-to-date.” And we know that there are plenty of people out there right now who can certainly afford to pay almost $100 in gas to fill up their SUVs. And, unfortunately, I have relatives who I know would without a second thought spend that much money on their spoiled rotten kids for Christmas, even though they are by no means wealthy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I agree with it, but our society is the type that doesn’t care about putting itself in debt as long as it can keep it hidden and let others think that the money is pouring in. “Let’s just open up another credit card account and pay off the PS3 later on down the road. What’s another $600 when our bills are already in the $10,000 range?” Those people are stupid, but they’re out there. But enough of that. Sony knows that it’ll get the rest of us poor people when it drops the price, so why not try to make as much profit as it can in the beginning? Of course, from a consumer’s perspective I think its ridiculous too, but with as many games as there are for the PS2 and Gamecube right now that I still want to play, I could almost not care. I’m going to entertain myself with what I have. When the hype is over, the price more affordable for me, and I’m bored with my current stuff, I may get a PS3. We’ll see what happens. As for Sony’s infamy for making stuff that breaks, they’ve actually surprised me lately. I remember my parents constantly having to buy me new Walkmans, CD players, etc. because they always stopped working. I always complained that Sony’s stuff was crap, but for some reason they kept getting Sony brand electronics. Go figure. Anyway, I have yet to have any problems with my PS2 and I got it right after FFX came out. Maybe being a later model has something to do with it? In fact, when my Dad’s fancy DVD player/burner refuses to work right, I always pull out my trusty PS2 and all is well. And in the one case I’ve seen where a PS2 did malfunction, we called customer support, they told us to send it in, and they fixed it with no charge. So at least Sony seems to be on par with Nintendo in that respect.


Absolutely, it might be a decent idea for the company, but especially because even at that incredibly high price, I've heard that they'll STILL be losing money with every console sold! This, to me, is just evidence that they might be pushing it a little when it comes to including new technologies. Cutting-edge is cool, but not if it's going to push costs up to phenomenal levels. What's the NEXT next generation going to bring? My problem is that at that high of price, not everyone will buy it. Everyone was all abuzz over the PS2 when it was released, and everyone wanted one on release day. If you've noticed, every single person to write in on the subject here (and every single person I've talked to in real life) has stated that "they'll wait until the price falls". That has to translate into a somewhat significant portion of their potential clients, doesn't it? And, what happens if the rest of us are wooed by Nintendo/other systems before that ever happens? BANG, they've lost some of their market share, necessarily. This is why I'm not so sure that it's a good decision on their part.

I'm glad that your experience with Sony's customer support was a positive one! Perhaps there is some hope. Coincidentally enough, I tried watching a movie with a friend last night on my DVD player, and it failed miserably. Left with a very heavily-ailing PS2 and no DVD player all of a sudden, I'm almost driven to go out and just buy a new PS2 sooner than later, to save both worlds. Should I? Can I afford to? Would that be repeating a horrible mistake? Argh, I wish I had a real job...

Whew! This is getting long. But one more thing before I go...

If there’s a company that’s aggravating me right now, it’s Square-Enix. FFIII for the DS. FFVII: Before Crisis for some stupid mobile phone. FFVII: Crisis Core for the PSP. I don’t know what the status is for BC right now, but is this what we’re gonna have to deal with in the future? And how are the Japanese affording it? Had I not wanted to play FF III since forever, and had I not seen Advent Children and therefore not become more interested in the whole FFVII universe, it would have been ok. Yeah, I know that S-E has to market to different platforms, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Then there’s those GBA remakes of FFV and FFVI.... Square-Enix, you’re killing us! What am I gonna do? Oh I said the stuff I have cheap access to. Heh.

Well, Matt, if you pray for me that I hit it big in Las Vegas next month, and I do, I’ll buy out Sony and give all of us poor grad students free PS3s. ;^)

Thanks for your time and doing a great job!


Evil, evil game companies, releasing RPGs faster than we can play them! At least they've chosen some mostly exciting things. Another Mana game or two? We're due. A full Final Fantasy III remake? My dream come true at long last! Valkyrie Profile? Cool. FFXII? I've been waiting for a not-online sequel for FIVE YEARS now, and thank goodness it's almost here! I could do without the FFVII business, but we can't win 'em all, can we?

The remakes of V and VI are icing on the cake, honestly... and I dunno about you, but icing is definitely my favourite part of any cake. No cake is nearly as good without delicious dallops of sweet, sugary icing!

I'm already praying, too, and that's saying a lot, given my personal religious beliefs. ;)

Have fun in Las Vegas, and promise that you'll play a game of Blackjack for me!

I was hoping he'd ask about the African Tree Swallow instead...

Greetings slime type person *sounds dirty*


Yeah, it does sound a little dirty. Do you know how interesting it is to tell important people on the floor of E3 that your e-mail address is "slimey at"? Yeah, it's a bit embarrassing. Obviously, I lack a certain amount of foresight. Alas...

I have returned from the grave. I haven't been around since the last year I have been taking about 20 hours a semester at school, and still have a class this summer before getting my degree in environmental engineering.

I have some quick questions to ask. First, what is your name? What is your quest? And what is the air-speed velocity of an unlaiden swallow? And what all happened at E3?


I'd insert a certain Princess Bride quote to answer your first two questions, but I think that it's becoming a bit of a cliché, even if it is still wonderful. What a wonderful movie...I was just talking about it last night with a friend over MSN Messenger, too. ^_^

To answer more plainly, the name is Matt, and my ultimate goal in life would be to control the world, Kefka style, though my light of judgment wouldn't fry towns so much as it would cause cute guys to come and say hi to me from time to time. The whole "ruling from the top of a giant tower protected by dinosaurs that cause meteors to rain down" thing is pretty cool, though. I'd guess the swallow's speed to be about 30 knots. And E3 was pretty much like this, in an abridged, excited format:

"AHH, airplane! Yay, I'm there! Final Fantasy XIII is in three pieces?!? $600 PS3...WHAT?!? MORE Controller features for Nintendo? Wow! Holy LA smog! Holy LA traffic causing smog! Jeez, people everywhere! Goodness, big LA convention centre! Holy crap, loud inside! SUPER SMASH BROTHERS BRAWL!? Gah, look at the ungodly Wii lineup! Yay, free slimes from Square Enix! My feet are tired and I haven't eaten all day! Boy, FFXII's demo blows. Wow, Disgaea II's demo rocks! OK, I guess I'll stand in this line-up. Stands. Moves forwards two feet. Stands. Moves forward two feet. Stands... (x2352) ... yay, the insides of the booth! Cooooool... OK, time to go home now!"

And that's what happened at E3.

As a sidenote, what games in the last year you reccomend getting? I have only gotten Suiko V in the last year due to time and money issues, but will hopefully in the next month or so get hired by some company for a regular good-paying job.

Imperial Mog


Dragon Quest VIII, if you haven't played it yet! Radiata Stories is much liked by some as well, and I'm enjoying it off and on, but DQVIII is a masterpiece in the opinion of most. If you have any old-school in you whatsoever, you'll appreciate it ten times more, too.


So yeah, I was going to wait until this little section to let it be known that my poor DVD player has died, but I let it loose earlier on. It's always so difficult to figure out what to write here... it's like the purgatory of my column. Anyway, I would just go get the DVD player fixed, but since it only cost $99 in the first place, it would feel silly paying $30 or $40 for repairs. What to do? I have no clue.


***Answers to May 23rd's Questions***

#200. d) above Yumel in Lightning - 325 points (yet another Riviera question. This puzzle begged for an appearance in SOCK when I encountered it)

#201. d) besusuraimu - 240 points/480 for Colabottle (thanks for the submission!)

***Today's New Questions***

#202: Which of the following doesn't belong? (300 points)

a) Melissa
b) Furball
c) Shirley
d) Calamity
e) Montana

Reader-Submitted #203: In the Australian Pokémon tour of 1999, where could you not find Mew? (270 points)

a) Chadston (VIC)
b) Garden City, Bouragoon (WA)
c) Bankstone Square (NSW)
d) Penrith Plaza (NSW)
e) Bay City Plaza, Geelong (VIC)

Now, if this doesn't inspire some serious item-usage, I don't know what will! Macstorm, after investing 10,000 points in a co-hosting position, cleverly used a Warp Stone and wound up back in second, gaining 9,000 back immediately, much to the chagrin of Kanato, who had the bad luck of being chosen. Three co-hosting positions remain at the 10,000 level... who will get them first?

SOCK's Item List

*You may obtain these items upon reaching the listed point benchmarks!*

1,000 points: Your choice of Scan Spell (1 left) or Point Halver (1 left)
2,000 points: Your choice of Point Doubler (2 left) or Wait Mode (1 left)
3,500 points: Your choice of Blind Spell (1 left) or Auxiliary Point Generator (1 left)
5,000 points: Your choice of Warp Stone (1 left) or Fire 3 Spell (2 left)
7,000 points: Your choice of Fire 2 Spell (2 left) or Drain Spell (2 left)
10,000 points: Your choice of Wait Mode (1 left) or Point Doubler (1 left)
14,000 points: Your choice of Auxiliary Point Generator (1 left) or Blind Spell (1 left)

Click Here For Item Descriptions!

SOCK's Prize Shop

*You may SPEND points here in order to obtain any of the following prizes- new ones may appear at any time*

1,000 points: Matt's Mom's Cookie Compilation- 6 fantastic recipes right out of Matt's mom's amazing kitchen! Yours, upon request. (5 left)

2,000 points: Intro Paragraph Cameo- If you feel like having a piece of Q&A all to yourself for a day, but you're not up for answering a bunch of questions, this option might be just for you! Say the word, and the Intro Paragraph is yours to do whatever you want with for a day. (5 left)

10,000 points: Cohost Opportunity #3.5- Ah, why not? Cohost days are fun, so here are a couple of extra chances for you to snag, if you're so inclined. (3 left)

15,000 points: Nintendo Wii Canvas Carrying Bag- It's white with blue print, and two drawstrings; I picked this up while waiting in the nigh-infinitely long line to play Nintendo's new console at E3 2006. If you'd like it, I'll mail it to you free of charge! (1 left)

15,000 points: Pokémon 10th Anniversary game case- Not as special as it sounds, but useful for carrying up to 4 DS games or 2 DS games and 2 Game Boy Advance games. Translucent plastic with a silver Pikachu and print on the front. (1 left)

20,000 points: Cohost Opportunity #4- It might sound like a lot, but it'll be here before you know it. Your next chance to reign over Q&A with yours truly. (5 left)

22,000 points: Slime Keychain Dangler- Fresh from the Square Enix booth at E3 2006, this cute little guy can be yours. (1 left)

22,000 points: Slime Snail Keychain Dangler- Anyone remember Slime Snails from Dragon Warrior III? I managed to snag one of these, too. Strut with Dragon Quest pride!! (1 left)

25,000 points: Full Host Opportunity #1- This is it. Write your own Q&A section, without having me interrupt, break in, or steal your sunshine. Be RPGamer's new idol for a day! (1 left)

30,000 points: Nintendo DS Lite Carrying Case- This won't quite fit old-model DS handhelds, but it's lightweight and flashy. White and black with an extra zippered pocket for carrying games, and a hook to attach to clothes, backpacks, or whatnot. I received this at Nintendo's Pre-E3 Media Briefing. (1 left)

30,000 points: Your choice of Megaman X4, X5, or X6 for the PSX. If you're into the Megaman series as much as I am, and you don't own any of these, I don't need them any more, now that I have purchased the collection. You can take your pick, and I'll send it to you in the mail with a handwritten note of congratulations from myself. They aren't RPGs, for sure, but I'm working on it for the future. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (3 left)

50,000 points: Suikoden for the PSX. Play the game that started off the entire series! Josh was generous enough to donate this exciting prize, so it would be cool to send this to a good and loving home. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (1 left) *********************************************************

More Q&A shall return tomorrow as usual! If you aren't tired of talking about what games you'd like to see, keep sending your ideas in. If you ARE tired of that subject, let me know what games, if any, did surprise you at E3, and which look most appealing to you. Children of Mana? Valkyrie Profile? Rogue Galaxy? Pokémon? What are you hungry for now, my friends? Also, watch out... the next wave of co-hosts shall commence by the end of this week!
***Matt is hungry for dinner!

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I bought lobster yesterday from the grocery store. $4.99 for whole, pre-cooked, frozen lobsters. Score!


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About the Host

Quote Archives

Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. The New Super Mario Brothers

2. Riviera: The Promised Land

3. Radiata Stories

Matt's Top 3 Gaming Desires:

1. Disgaea II

2. Final Fantasy III

3. Xenosaga: Episode III

SOCK standings:

1. Dermot
10,888 pts

2. Macstorm
10,325 pts

3. Bainick
10,136 pts

4. Arros Raikou
9,511 pts

5. Colabottle
9,246 pts

6. Alan Tse
9,231 pts

7. Xlash
9,107 pts

8. Flamethrower
8,861 pts

9. Erika
7,350 pts

10. BigWook
6,488 pts

11. FinalDelerium
5,537 pts

12. Alexander
4,874 pts

13. TV's Adam
4,565 pts

14. Cap
3,394 pts

15. Knighttrain
2,814 pts

16. Aurelius
2,490 pts

17. Rexy
2,334 pts

18. Ourobolus
2,094 pts

19. Gaijin
2,073 pts

20. Kanato
1,292 pts

21. TalonX13
1,285 pts

22. DMJewelle
1,260 pts

23. Leaper
1,150 pts

24. CW
1,143 pts

25. Kyre7lar
935 pts

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