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ASK MATT
1000 Needles
April 3, 2007

Matt - 14:51 EST

SO, IT WAS A PRETTY relaxing weekend, all in all. I did a little bit of work, but not much, and inched a little closer to getting through both The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Final Fantasy VI Advance. I'm enjoying both games quite a bit, and I still don't really understand why some people insist that the newest Zelda is a mediocre piece of crap. If you think so, you should write in and tell me why!

My other announcement is that this will be the last column from me for the week. Thanks to the upcoming Easter weekend, I'll be headed home tomorrow to spend time with my parents. I know you'll miss me and all, but I'll be back soon enough.

With that... let's do this thing we always do.




LETTERS
Off to the Far East...


Hey ho Matt!

It's got to have you back! (for nearly a month no less)

Matt

And here I am, about to flee once again for a mini-break. If the stars will it, though, I'll get the chance to put yet another game to rest during this weekend.

I too have been busy with University (finally acquired Bachelors degree, it's not much but it's the first step) and the last 2 weeks with Oblivion and Skies of Arcadia.

Matt

Whoo, congratulations!

You should tell me more about Oblivion, darn it. I've given it a bit of a spin in the past, but it wasn't terribly inspiring for me, and not being a PC-gamer or Xbox 360 owner, I haven't played it since. For one of the "biggest" recent RPGs, few people go on about it here. It's pretty strange, but as I've conjectured in the past, Oblivion is an RPG that's more popular with non-RPGamers, for some reason.

Skies of Arcadia? Yeah, I know, I know, I need to play that too, sometime. Agh! (Only so many hours in the day...)

Anyway, first things first: I would very gladly participate in Sock 2 and therefore choose a fighter as my Alter Ego. Glad to hear you worked out ways to lighten the amount of work you'll have with sock, we still need you (a little bit) sane, you know?

Matt

More importantly, I will need me to be at least a little bit sane, too. I did some work on that, too, this weekend. Exciting times, 'twill be.

On hot topics: I choose favorite Hero, since I didn't have a chance to play ANY 2007 game, damn, not even FF XII and that's 2006. I don't care so much about the "class" of a hero as long as he or she is believable and has a decent background and reason to fight, which rules the "Idiot Hero" out.

Matt

I was just thinking about this, sort of, over the weekend, and I'd really like to know why Square (Square Enix) has taken to making the hero some sort of thief-like class (or something close to it) so often. It seems like it's far too common. We had Zidane in Final Fantasy IX, and Vaan in XII... and... well, okay, that's about all. Tidus is thiefish even if he isn't a THIEF, since he's the, you know, agile-fighter type. Bleah, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about after all. *cancel paragraph*

It would just be neat to have a Dragoon or a Red Mage or a Chicken Tamer... or something off the beaten path, for a change. Anybody agree?

And yes, this holds true for villains as well. I still have to go with Ken too, in wanting a more seasoned and/or capable hero from time to time. I think this is one of the reasons why Cloud was so much liked: He was a 1st class SOLDIER (or so you thought at least) a freaking ex-Elite commando mercenary, at your disposal.

Matt

I think Cloud was interesting because while he appeared to have a great handle on his skills from the getgo, it became quickly evident that he didn't have such a great handle on his psychology; it was that weakness that he grew to overcome by the end in order to become a "true hero."

Are games chiefly an art form?

The really good ones are, I strongly believe (especially RPGs). Why? The tell you a story, like a movie; show you fantastic graphics like pictures; and many times encourage your phantasy and make you live with the protagonists, like a book.

Of course, today still many people wouldn't agree, but think about it, how long did it take films to be considered as "Art"? (And because Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins nearly always have something for game-subjects: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2000/03/01)

Matt

Heh, how true. Unfortunately, though, there aren't many art museums out there that display a video games exhibit, I'm afraid. That's not to say there aren't museums out there strictly devoted to games: Check it out. Anyway, we have a long way to go.

Oh, and the following I have to share with everyone I know (forgive me please): Although it is not 100 % sure (90% at the moment, still need official acknowledgment by the other University), I will very likely take a foreign semester this fall.

This means, starting in October till March I will be studying at the lovely University of Kôbe.

Now would be a good time to get my Japanese skills in order, I think.

Matt

What a great opportunity! There are thousands of other RPGamers out there who would love to be able to speak Japanese, let alone visit the hub of video gaming. You lucky duck, you. You'd better bring me back something (like an as-of-yet-untranslated Dragon Quest game or two...)

Anyway, your humble reader here wishes you a good day, and take care, as always.

Belthasar2

Watashi wa ureshiidesu!

Matt

Bye bye Belthasar2, and thanks for your letter-donation!



...but why Chopin?


Hello Matt,

It feels like forever since I last wrote in. I forget why, but for the last six months or so I haven't been following the news on RPGamer. I feel like I must have missed a lot (though I still keep up on general gaming news, so I'm not completely in the dark). And hey, what happened to SOCK? I was surprised after reading the most recent mailbag that there was no trivia.

Matt

It felt strange for awhile to not have to come up with the questions, but yeah, the contest has been done since the middle of November, after Boojum won the grand prizes in a huge storm of surprise and strategy. It was a cold, calculated play that left the rest of the contestants wondering what the heck happened. In any case, we're pretty close to the contest's sequel, which is only about a month away!

On to a more focus subject though, have you been able to play Rogue Galaxy at all? I bought the game when it was released and, oh boy, I'm starting to see why Level 5 is so renown among gamers. Though not nearly perfect, this game is stuffed with content. The weapon fusion system is the only reason I ever switch my party members around (since I can't create better weapons until I level up the current ones). And the revelation board is perhaps my favorite feature. I like how similar it is to the sphere grid system from FFX, but that it requires ordinary items rather than level-ups to progress. There are only two problem I've encountered with the revelation board: (1) certain items aren't easy to obtain at all, and (2) I'm so focused on the Revelation Board that I end up using items that I need to fight the option bosses. I should also add that Rogue Galaxy's battle system is everything that Star Ocean 3's should have been. As I play, I notice similarities between the two (such as only being able to attack so many times before needing to "rest"), but this system feels so much better.

Matt

I haven't played with the final product, I'm afraid. I can safely say, though, that I played the game way before most people had the opportunity to! At E3 last May, I was lucky enough to try my hand at the game, and it was one of my favourite game experiences offered on the floor. I remember feeling like the battle system was zippy and fun, so I'm not surprised by your positive comments (or everyone else's, for that matter). If I were smart, I'd get the game now, before it gets harder to find, even if I have to develop some super-awesome time-bending machine in order to play it. Too bad I was too stupid to understand undergraduate physics.

As much as I like the game though, as I approach the end the story really takes a turn for the worst. Early on the game has a very nice Skies of Arcadia feel, but after reached the final planet, it has quickly turned into another cookie-cutter "save the world because you're the chosen one" tale. It's frustrating to have an otherwise great title be weighed down by a mediocre story. It's been quite detrimental to my progress lately, as I haven't really had the desire to play RG for the last week or so.

Matt

Hum- that's unfortunate. Maybe there will be a last minute twist to save the day, you never know. To be honest with you, though, I think it's been a very, very long while since I've played a game where that isn't the premise to the game, more or less, by the end.

In other news, I'm thinking I may in fact be forced to buy a 360. A lot of factors go into this, but there are two in particular are of interest: Blue Dragon and Eternal Sonata (Trusty Bell). I know I had my doubts about PS3/360 RPGs and how they could improve an already fantastic experience on the last gen consoles (DQVIII stands out in particular), but the trailers for these games have made me a believer. These worlds look absolutely gorgeous. I love Toriyama-san's artwork, so Blue Dragon is a no-brainer for me, but Eternal Sonata... I'm not sure what to say. It's like an Anime in game-form. Anyway, I was curious about your take on these games since you also seem interested in buying a 360 (judging from the last mailbag).

*Exhales* I think I've babbled enough for now.

- The Irish Ninja

Matt

You know, I have no idea what to think about Eternal Sonata. It's such an original idea, but somehow, I'm weirded out by it. The screens look gorgeous, but the idea of a game surrounding a historical identity as random as a classical composer is just bizarre. I should embrace it, though, and I probably will if I follow your lead and jump into X360 land one day.

Thanks, Ninja! Good to hear from you.



That villainous Nintendo!


So I read online the (conspiracy) theory that the big N is withholding hardware. That means not producing as much as needed to meet demand, or shipping only a fraction of hardware actually produced while stockpiling the rest.

In my opinion they are guilty. There is no way that after 4+ months of shortage Nintendo would not have ramped production to the right level to meet demand. This is true for both Wii and DS. Nintendo's suspected reasons for doing this are wide and varied; I will leave it to your imagination.

Of course with no hard evidence this remains, sadly, a conspiracy theory.

Flamethrower

Matt

Of course, the longer that people have to wait to get a system, the more they'll want it... but only to a point. If you make the crowds wait out in the cold for too long, they'll go home. Or, better yet, they'll buy a different console, easy as that. Nintendo has repeatedly claimed to be working at full capacity to try and meet demand, so it's our word against theirs, really.

It's important to note that they did end up recalling and clawing back hundreds of thousands of Wii Remotes back in December, so they had a fair gap to fill, but yeah, they should have been caught up by sometime in January, I think. Just look at it this way: A year from now, all of this will just be a fuzzy memory (hopefully).



Hot Topics, five.


To whoever's got Q&A's back today,

As I write this, I've got Rogue Galaxy patiently waiting in the PS2 tray for me to get back to it -- once work & school cool down a little. I have to admit that I didn't know quite what to think of the game there for awhile, as characters were being introduced, and the game events were unfolding, but after a few hours, it really started to pick up steam for me & I've had a hard time putting the controller down for the last 10-15 hours of game-play (which is always a good sign to me). So, to anyone that's been thinking about giving it a try, if you do, be sure to give it some time to get its feet as it seems to be a really good, entertaining game as it unfolds.

Matt

So, some people think it starts off slow and catches steam, while others (read abooove) think that it starts off strong and dwindles towards the end. Interesting. Very.

It's nice to see a new, original title make it kind of big, though. It doesn't happen very often; half of everyone that visits this site is chiefly interested in Final Fantasy and nothing more. And while Final Fantasy is a fantastic (no pun intended) series, there's more to life. It's like dinner; baked potatoes might be delicious, but humankind can not live on baked potatoes alone.

Anyhow, on to recent questions:

What's your favorite type of hero?

I suppose, in the end, that I prefer to play the idealistic (if sometimes flawed) hero. Whether it's a budding, hopeful, character like Alex in Lunar: Silver Star Story who wants to be just like his childhood hero and travel on his own adventures, or even a great character like Yuri in Shadow Hearts: Covenant, who doesn't quite realize how strong he is there for awhile, but pushes forward nonetheless as he learns more about himself and what he really wants out of life (I would reckon that there are more than a few people that put him in the edgy, angsty category, but I'm not sure that I'm one of them). There's also the silent, but wholly noble and interesting protagonists like KOS-MOS, and Link that come along and really blow you away at every turn with their mysteries and abilities that I'd put into this category of favorite characters that I like to play.

Matt

...even if they're a little shallow. Link hasn't said a word since... ever, has he? KOS-MOS was programmed. But somehow, both possess a sort of heroic aura; that's helped along a lot in Zelda by what I consider to be funkily-produced movie sequences. Really, at the end of the day, I think that Link is more heroic-seeming because seeing that droopy green cap and sword in hand is simply nostalgic. Meanwhile, in Xenosaga, there are just so many facets of KOS-MOS and her history that spur interest in the player, so she's interesting in the fact that she's simultaneously shallow but deep, in a nonoxymoronic (what a wonderful word) sense. You play the game just to learn more about her.

Which game has your favorite storyline?

Xenosaga, thus far, has offered me one of the most enjoyable/memorable storylines that I've had the privilege of participating in. What's more, is that they took an already deeply involving storyline, and made it bett[er] than I would have thought that they could with the limitations of what appears to be the final installment. I wasn't prepared for all we'd learn about KOS-MOS, Shion, Ziggy & Jin etc, and it was awesome! I also really enjoyed the simple, yet entertaining & engrossing storylines of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker & Twilight Princess, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword & The Sacred Stones, Lunar: Silver Star Story, and a number of others:

Matt

Wow. The Fire Emblem games really and truly do have wonderfully-told simple stories, considering that they're really completely secondary to the battle systems of the games. I loved both of those storylines too, even though they were fairly one-dimensional. There's something appealing about a story that doesn't have three hundred layers to peel through, though. Yeah, I love a more complicated storyline like that of Xenosaga, but you have to give your poor brain a rest from time to time. That's where Dragon Quest Heroes came into the picture for me last month. So wonderful.

The Xbox 360:in a new light?

I actually own a 360 already. For a long time there I had very little interest in the console. I had owned the original Xbox there for awhile, and while it had a few exclusives that I really enjoyed, most of the games I played most were available on either the PS2 or Gamecube as it was, or were available for all three consoles -- and little by little it saw less and less use. For the first year, it looked like the 360 was shaping up to do the same kind of thing. Then I heard about Blue Dragon, and being a huge Akira Toriyama & Dragon Quest fan I certainly took notice, and mulled over the possibility of getting the console more and more. After that, a number of announcements were made, such as Eternal Sonata, Mass Effect, Rainbow Six: Vegas and several others that I was interested in, so me and my brother-in-law decided to bite the bullet and pick it up (which helped cut the cost in half for me). And to tell you the truth, even as I wait for Blue Dragon to release stateside, I've been having a lot of fun with it, and certainly hope that we see more RPG's, etc. for it in the months and years to come. I also plan to purchase the Nintendo Wii (whenever the heck I can actually find one) and eventually, the PS3 (I'm hoping for a price break before Ratchet & Clank: Tools Of Destruction releases).

Matt

Then you won't care what consoles games are released for, putting you in a rather unique position! If I had the $1200 to blow in order to possess all three new-gen systems, I would. But I don't. Sad. The problem is that most people don't, I fear, and for the first time, this generation, many will be forced to pick and choose between the three. I mean, I can't even imagine ten years ago what my reaction would have been if somebody had told me that to get all three, I'd have to spend $1500. It seems ludicrous to me even now, but that could of course just be an indication that I'm getting to be a grizzled old geezer already at the tender age of 24.

5. Are there too many healing/save points in RPGs these days?

Tough question. On the one hand, I can say that the saving aspect of games, and RPG's in particular, has veered towards the safe side in recent years, and a little of the stress, anxiety, and even excitement is relieved as a result, but on the other hand, I think I'm alright with that -- at least as a fan that doesn't have quite the time that I did as a yung-un. Take Rogue Galaxy, for example. It utilizes a save feature similar to Xenosaga where upon finding the next checkpoint, you're able to heal your party, and warp to previous save points in order to search for items, play mini-games, gain experience, etc. The save points are fairly frequent throughout the game, but managed in such a way that there's still some definite gambling involved. I've actually died more times in this game than probably any other RPG (you'll see what I mean, I think), but it's not quite as painful knowing that all it's going to cost me is a little inconvenience, as opposed to losing an awful lot of time & effort leveling, obtaining weapons, etc. There's still some real skill & management necessary in other words. It also provides another kind of excitement, as opposed to the one where you fear for your life! There's definitely a place for games like that, and there are some that I love, but I also think there's something to say for a game that allows the player a little more control -- particularly one that might not have the time to invest 8-10 hours of game-play at a time. In saying that, I don't want things to become so easy that no real effort is required on the player to use his/her own judgment, weigh the scales in going forward , etc. but if an extra save point here and there can alleviate some real loss of time and frustration, I'm alright with that as well. In the end, it comes down to how well it's implemented though; I imagine a poor job could be done on either side of the scales just as easily as it could the good.

Some good questions, there.

K.D. McCallister

Matt

I can see your points. The problem is, with too many save points, or worse still, a "Save-Anywhere" system as can be found in Pokémon or the Lunar game I played through, battles become completely trivial. Why care about battle? It doesn't ever matter if you die, because bammo, you get revived on the spot. Big deal. I feel like implementing a save system like that can have serious repercussions including a loss of depth of the battle system itself, just because the player will be less likely to give a rat's ass about figuring out the best ways to do this or that. I don't know. Plus, I personally love that terrible feeling of risk; you knew that. I think, however, that if Save Points are rare, a system like Dragon Quest's should be implemented, in which you don't lose your progress entirely upon defeat. Also, a Quicksave feature is a helpful 'n' hot commodity, too, these days. If you don't have much time to play games in long stretches, then being able to do a temporary save anywhere can be a big help, but it seems to be more of a handheld feature than anything else. It's true that a feature like that makes a game more portable, but why not include it in console RPGs too? *shrug*

Anyway, thanks, K.D.! If those were good questions, you've provided some good answers in return.



A storm is coming...a Lightning storm.


Hey Matt,

A couple topics to hit here, in response to some of what I've seen in the Q&A lately. First, I wanted to say that Final Fantasy has had a leading lady before in FF VI. Although some could make the case that Final Fantasy VI had more of an ensemble cast, it doesn't remove the fact that much of the game is focused around Terra Branford and how she's involved in everything. Granted, her influence in things dies down once you hit the World of Ruin, but she still plays a part there.

Matt

It's true. But the fact is that she really wasn't *the* starring role, I'd say. Truthfully, you're forced to use Locke for a much greater portion of the first part of the game, and Celes is the main character of the second half. The "ensemble" nature of the cast, as you call it, is one of the strongest parts of the game, I feel. Not many games can make it feel like so many different characters are genuinely significant. My point last week, anyway, was to say that Lightning is likely going to be the first heroine, front-and-centre-by-herself, of a Final Fantasy game other than X-2, which totally doesn't count due to various reasons.

Also, on the note of battles wasting the player's time, I think one of the best systems made to deal with this is the one used in Earthbound. Get into a battle with something ridiculously weaker than you, and the battle system just assumes that you've won, and gives you the rewards without making you sit through the fight.

Matt

What a great example! I loved that feature of Earthbound, because you got such a great feeling of "getting stronger" whenever that would happen for the first time. Very neat idea. I wonder if that was also implemented in Mother 3, in the end?

Finally, I can think of another reason someone might buy a GBA after owning a DS aside from multiplayer though, and that's the fact that aside from GBA games, they can also play Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, which the DS cannot. It was sort of a bummer when they said that the DS wouldn't be able to play them, and that's the whole reason I've kept my GBA around.

Matt

Yes, we touched on this last week too. Admittedly, I haven't touched my GBC/GB collection since I got my DS. That's likely because my "collection" was a little lacking to begin with; I never owned a GBC or a GB, in fact, and I only bought Dragon Quest Monsters games, the Dragon Warrior remakes, and Final Fantasy Legend III... and that was waayyyy back in the day before "DS" or "PSP" ever became household names.

Anyway, I think that's all I have to say from now. Looking forward to the SOCK this time, I missed out joining in on it last time.

~FoxKelfonne

Matt

I've put "waylots" of effort into organizing this contest so far, believe me. I think it's going to be quite a ride once we begin, so keep your eyes peeled for the starting date... which will be announced soon(ish)!



Sooo much music.


Another anime theme, this time a rocker: http://gh.ffshrine.org/song/5039/2 This is the second opening to Full Metal Alchemist, an uncommonly good show. 51 episodes may sound like a lot, but it flies by.

Matt

Well, it's a fair number. Have you played the games at all? If so... what do you think?

Two messages to those who gave me messages. Dracus, thanks for the kind words. Some people can't handle long letters, and I salute your feat in reading the entirety of Q&A. DMJewelle, Baroque does intrigue me. The heavily randomized element (random dungeon floor components = cautious JuMeSyn) makes me less prone to immediate purchase. Riviera and my soon-to-be-played Yggdra Union do inculcate curiosity about further Sting RPGs. Oh, and I have to play Treasure Hunter G also (Sting developed).

Matt

Yes, your letters are long. And I must admit, sometimes they're infuriating to turn into html, especially when you include a thousand musical links. But, that's part of my job, and I shouldn't really complain. And of course, anyone who doesn't want to read your letters should feel more than welcome to scroll past them, right? I really do enjoy hearing about games that I'm unfamiliar with; I have a lot of holes in my RPG history, and they need some good filling.

With regard to Lufia: while I disagree regarding the merits of Lufia 1 (since I remember a long dreary slog), Lufia 2 is most assuredly a fine title and one that I'll have to replay. But wait, there are two OTHER Lufia entries. So enjoy these fine eBay links to appreciate how 'valuable' they are: http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&satitle=lufia+ruins and http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&satitle=lufia+returns I remember your words regarding these, and am dissuaded from plunking down such funds upon them.

Matt

Yeah, they aren't the best of the bunch. If you want to get into the Lufia series, these are not the games to jump into. I think there actually is some value to The Legend Returns, but yeah, pretty much none to the Ruins of Lore, outside of a few fun musical tracks. Staying away would probably be a decent idea.

Swordcraft Story 2 is different from many RPGs in that it employs a pseudo-fighting game engine. As you never mention fighting games, I infer that you do not play them much if at all. So tell me, Sir Slimer - how would your composure fare upon playing, in fighting game fashion, formidable bosses that are cheap?

Matt

Nah, Super Smash Brothers just about does it for me. I don't play other fighters just because as the unskilled player, I don't know any ridiculous combinations of buttons that will help me out, and I always end up feeling trapped and claustrophobic when there's no way to escape being bludgeoned, basically making me unable to do anything. At least in Smash, you know what your possible moves are, and there are so many potential random things to make any situation possible. Anyway, I'm sure that if I was fighting something "cheap" in a mainstream fighter, I would be unhappy.

And recently I played Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. What I got out of it: a great deal of boredom. The fact that the player can keep choosing not to give up after defeat means true defeat is impossible. So there is no risk. And the final dungeon was incredibly lazy - aside from some palette-swapped former bosses, there were NO new enemies at all! Save the final boss.

Matt

Booo. And now you know why the game is widely regarded as a piece of awful! I think it's safe to say that Mystic Quest is one game that even Square Enix wouldn't remake anytime in the future. Did you know that you can damage the final boss by healing it, somehow? I've never done it myself- I've just heard things.

After that I snapped out the tabs in my newer SNES and put FEDA in. What is FEDA, you ask? It is something of a Shining Force game on the Super Nintendo, making it quite the pity never to have been released in English. I tinkered with it for about half an hour last night, cementing the Shining Force resemblance (particularly in looks, the character artist for the first Shining Force did these designs). Though with a choice of where to go instead of a linear path, which is interesting.

As to snapping out the tabs - those tabs are all that keep imported games from playing on a Super Nintendo. No electronic separation exists. I did it before, but then I took a trip and didn't pay attention to Amtrak's warning of what can happen by keeping sensitive goods in the checked luggage. Damn you, Amtrak!

Matt

Yeah, the low-techness of the "region locking" in generations-past is pretty remarkable. I learned this while doing some research about a year ago while writing the column, and I was a bit astounded, and a lot dumbfounded. Anyway, tactical RPGs are always welcomed; I only pity the fact that no Fire Emblem games were ever translated until the age of the Game Boy Advance. It's a little tragic.

I'm deliberately not finishing Tengai Makyou IV quickly. I took a break to play FFMQ (though that was hardly worthwhile). Now FEDA is a new break. Why the breaks? Well, partly so that I can savor TM to its utmost. Speaking of TMIV... let's have some more musical numbers from it! We'll start with the piece for Candy Land. http://gh.ffshrine.org/song/6603/26 Candy Land is noteworthy because it is a plastic city built over the Indian town of Seattle. Seattle is now the garbage dump of Candy Land. Oh, and Candy is trying to corrupt the youth of America through her pop music.

Then we have ... Hollywood! http://gh.ffshrine.org/song/6603/41 It's a swingin' town, man! Just watch out for those tycoons who have goons toting Uzis in the studio lots!

One more for the road - the Carlsbad Caverns! http://gh.ffshrine.org/song/6603/61 Which are quite pretty, just those annoying bats keep wanting to be killed.

Matt

I dunno, man. When I think of "great video game music," this isn't the kind of thing that comes to mind. I guess I'm just a much bigger fan of the dramatic classically-styled pieces, overall. While the Hollywood theme sounds swanky and fit for a casino, I can't picture myself sitting down and listening to this for fun while relaxing at night, you know? (I actually do that with a lot of my other vg music... yes, I know.)

I keep sending music from games you haven't played because, if I sent stuff from games you HAVE played, you already know it and either like it or don't. Sure we can commiserate the joys of mutual experiences, but I'd rather send you something new and interesting.

Matt

True- but as I've said in the past, it's difficult, sometimes, to be able to appreciate some themes without having actually played the game itself. Being able to place a music in context pulls the ol' heartstrings in a strange sort of way. Do you see what I mean? I worry that I can't fairly pass judgment on music from games I haven't played, because I can't associate them with anything.

Speaking of that, here's an aspect of Phantasy Star IV I haven't seen replicated: the fighting from vehicles. When a random battle hits while in a vehicle, the vehicle itself does the fighting. Complete with unique enemies and special attacks unique to the vehicle. Also complete with unique music: http://gh.ffshrine.org/song/712/25 Wie findest du es?

Matt

Vehicle fighting is by no means reserved to Phantasy Star! Pick up a copy of Xenosaga. Or Final Fantasy III, for that matter: I think it's great fun to see the airship "Invincible" actually demonstrate some of its prowess in air fights, rare as they are. It's too bad that the monsters you fight in the air are all stupidly simple to defeat in the first place. The ship in Dragon Warrior VII also fights for you... once per turn, I think it launches a volley of cannon fire at the enemies. Cool stuff.

How many words am I up to? Better not risk the reaper. Read my spoof reviews out on April 1 because I tried very hard to make them funny!

JuMeSyn

Matt

Yes, they were very creative- especially your Chrono Trigger and Link to the Past ones. That urban-speak voiced in the Secret of Mana spoof just has to go, though... it's so not you. Hahaha.



QUICKIES

Uh, Hi. I was wondering about the Kingdom Hearts Final Mix plus. According to your website, It says that it has already been released in Japan, I just wanted to know if there is any possibility that it would come to North America?

Matt
Uh, hi yourself. I don't think there's any concrete evidence of this so far, but seeing as each game has done remarkably well over here, I wouldn't be surprised in the least! Stay tuned.

hey matt,

i was wondering if you would happen to know all three of the ephemeral fantasia games endings i am having a really hard time finding them all

signed stephen

Matt
I have no idea, and my abilities to Google-search do not exceed yours. Why don't you just try to get past the game?

IN CLOSING

So, that's all I've got for now, and for this week. However, make sure you keep the inboxes brimming, because that's not the end of Q&A for the week! Macstorm is coming to fill in one day, and we might have another new host somewhere along the way. So, play nice, and make them feel welcome.

To everyone celebrating Easter, have a good one! Consume much in the way of modified milk ingredients and cocoa butter, and I'll see you again next Tuesday.



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slimey@rpgamer.com
Matt thinks that his most-recently obtained Zelda item is the stupidest Zelda item ever, possibly.


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On my Wishlist:

1. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl

2. Super Paper Mario

3. Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn

4. Metroid Prime 3

5. Super Smash Bros. Brawl



On my Portable Playlist:

1. Final Fantasy VI

2. Lunar Knights

3. Mega Man ZX



On my Console Roster:

1. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

2. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria

3. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance



Hot Topics:

1. Have you been bitten by Puzzle Quest yet?

2. What's your number one game of 2007 so far?

3. Which game has your favourite storyline?

4. Do you think that Zelda: Twilight Princess is sub-par?

5. Are there too many healing/save points in RPGs these days?



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