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April 27, 2007

Matthew Demers - 17:11 EST

I WENT TO TRY and submit my thesis start packing my boxes earlier today, but again, a certain game got in the way. This really is a problem.

But you know what? It's not my fault!! It's my brother's fault. We've been doing Wi-Fi battles every night, and the problem is that I have to keep up with him! Unfortunately, since he has nothing to do with his life right now, it's a rather difficult thing for me to accomplish (the keeping up). Chris, give me a break!!

First, in error...

Hey Matt!

I don't know if you're still on, and you may be getting a barrage about this, but you accidentally duplicated a stretch in Boojum's reply in the middle of JuMeSyn's message. There's consecutive paragraphs that repeat. Hopefully you get the chance to catch it.



Uwaaa! Ugh, sorry. It's true! Thanks for letting me know. Doing a column every day, there's bound to be a few things that slip through every now and then. Now, I have to preserve this mistake so that future generations may look back on this as an artifact of my humanity and imperfection. (Read this as: "Matt is too lazy to go and change it")

Thanks nonetheless. Sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused anybody, though no one else mentioned it... perhaps that is saying something in itself.

Ether Crash... Filtering Colander... Grotesque Cookies...

Me, my brother, and someone else were discussing the various Final Fantasy VII spin-offs, and my brother mentioned the "A-B-C-D" thing.

To which I responded, "What are you talking about?"
"Didn't you ever notice?
Advent Children (AC)
Before Crisis (BC)
Crisis Core (CC) and
Dirge of Cerberus (DC). See?"


Yeah, I noticed that independently too, awhile back, when discussing it with my own brother (the evil crazy Pokémon one. Who knows if it was intentional? Maybe Square Enix purposefully made Dirge of Cerberus suck ass so that they could end this stream of FFVII-related stuff; then they wouldn't have to come up with an "IC" or "QC" or "ZC" one day. I can see it now: "Final Fantasy VII: Quasi-Carrot." That was the first thing that came to mind... scary, eh? Unfortunately for me, quasi-carrots already exist... they're called parsnips and they aren't terribly yummy.

Well, how about that?

Oh yes, I have also become painfully aware of my absence in SOCK II, which I wish to remedy immediately by enlisting as a Fighter.

Alexander M. DeMichiei


MOST SPLENDID! Welcome to the club! Slay somebody for me. I'll be there watching every step of the way!

It's kind of refreshing to get a gigaletter from somebody other than the usual.

Hey Sock-for-brains!

You must be happy that your Thesis is done... I have two more semesters at one course each until I get mine. I want to play games. Life sucks.


It does! The worst part is that even THOUGH the thesis is officially done and submitted, it feels like there are still a thousand other things to worry about. NO REST FOR THE WEARY! This is exactly why I'd love to, you know, just disappear for a month or eight? Flee to a desert island to reside upon alone. Well, I guess I wouldn't mind the company of a few good-looking people... people that also maintain some sort of personalized power grid to allow me to bring video game systems with me, and that could potentially double as hunters/gatherers for my personal needs. You know, life would be better that way.

So, last weekend I took some cash that burned through my pocket and picked up a PSP and three games (Valhalla Knights, Legend of Heroes 3 and Blade Dancer). Valhalla Knights is a lot of fun (creating my own party rocks!), but I haven't had a chance to try the other ones. Readers - are there any other games that I should pick up? They don't have to be RPGs! (Is Daxter worth it?) I want Dungeon and Dragons Tactics...


See, it's surprising. A lot of reviews I've read have treated Valhalla Knights rather scathingly, and I really haven't heard much positive sentiment about it. I like to create my own parties from the ground-up as well-- which is exactly why I get so absorbed into games like Disgaea-- and it's a feature that isn't very common in this day and age. It's not just a matter of that feature being there, though; it has to be executed well. Keep me updated on how it goes!

I am still having the problem with having too many games on the go:

1 Heroes of Might and Magic V (25 of 30 missions done)

2 Valkyrie Profile (Chapter 5)

3 SMT: Digital Devil Saga 2 (sometime after Serph leaves the party)

4 Valhalla Knights (played around 10 hours)

5 Super Paper Mario (Completed Chapter 3, and the first pit of trials)

6 Twilight Princess (completed level 3 now have a hookshot!)

Why do I have so many on the go? Why can't I finish one and go back to my usual 2 game limit (one portable, one PC or console)?

The difficulty of the first three might be the cause, but I like to blame it on Vanguard.


Yeah, that's a lot. I'm about as guilty, though. I started Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance after I got it for Christmas, lost a couple of key party members, and then kind of abandoned it with the intention of going back sometime soon. The summer? I hope. I'm counting on it.

7 Vanguard (level 25 shaman)

What is Vanguard? It is the new game by that guy that made EverQuest. Its addictive. I play a single player game for two days... then back to Vanguard. The next time I play something that isn't Vanguard... I pick something new and play it for a couple of days. Then... I switch back to Vanguard (on so called weekends) and then later come back to a different game, unless I feel sorry for a previous game and want to give it another chance at completion. Why am I like this now? I have no clue. I used to be so loyal to the game in my machine... until it is used up and useless to me.

I guess I will really need to sit down and finish all of them... or maybe wait until I am "done" with Vanguard (or simply want to take a break). It is really easy to play with all the hockey that is on tv.


Aiieeee. This is reason #203492 why I don't do the whole MMORPG thing. Pure, unadulterated, gaming danger.

My old roommates (the ones that got absorbed into the black hole of World of Warcraft) USED to be in a different black hole, and that was Everquest. How they escaped the one black hole and got into another escapes me, but then again, I dropped out of my physics major once upon a time for a reason.

Anyways, lets look at these so-called hot topics...

I don't play awful games. Every game I play, I play because there is something I like about them. A flaw for some people can be a feature to others. Secret of Evermore, for example, received horrible reviews. Its flaws? Not three-player multiplayer (but how many people used that?) and not Secret of Mana 2. I didn't expect it to be the same game, so I found myself enthralled in a different story with a similar and loved battle system (I soooo did not miss having to power weapons up 8 levels blah). And Mystic Quest was fun. I bought it the day before a snow day. It rocked and made my day in a time when RPGs were few and far between.


Ahh, to me, the weapon thing is the one valid complaint. I hate the fact that you can invest so much experience into one weapon, but you KNOW it's practical to make the switch to a better one, just because the potential is there for something greater. Why invest so much time into the first crappy weapons, then? There isn't any real reason.

Well anytime that I play a game like Super Princess Peach, I feel embarrassed at a certain level (even though it was such super fun!). The only games I play that give me a feeling of embarrassment when my friends find out are the Mega Man Battle Network games. These have been branded as kiddy (much like the Pokemon games), even through they are super difficult and a blast to play.


Oh, I totally forgot about Super Princess Peach! Yeah, I was mortified when I bought that game, but I loved playing the whole thing, even if it was a bit on the easy side. There's something a bit, you know, I dunno, about carrying a cute little DS box out of the game store decorated with twelve shades of pink and little juicy-looking hearts all over the place.

I hope the PSP is a worthy buy. I noticed that there are a lot of tactical games coming out for it. I am not the biggest fan of the genre, but have played some games from it (FFT, FFTA, Disgaea, etc). Most of them I find boring and not my cup of tea (Phantom Brave, Makai Kingdom, Tactics Ogre, Kartia, etc). But so far I see Crisis Core, Jeanne D'Arc coming out, and I see Legend of Heroes 1-3, Blade Dancer and Valhalla Knights available and on the shelves. They might not be the best games, but they are something. (Strangely I don't see many good RPGs for the DS other than the tons from the GBA and FF3 at least nothing that caught my attention and convinced me to purchase them).


Pokémon has taken over my life, Lunar Knights is something that's waiting on the roster of things I have to play, Etrian Odyssey is weeks away, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings looks neatocool, and... Dragon Quest IX. Oh, my. (I still can't believe that it's going to feature traditional gameplay after all!)

Comfort games? I tend to like to replay Zelda 1, Mega Man 2, Dragon Warrior 1 and Final Fantasy 1 from time to time. They are just too good.


Heheheheh... yes! It's so true. I can't tell you how many times I've played the latter three (though honestly, I much prefer Mega Man 3 and 4 :P). Zelda 1 is a game that I've played but not "played through." I've got it on Virtual Console, though, so I might be able to take a weekend and blast through it sometime. Fun.

I like to see games where the different pieces of equipment makes a difference. Lately a lot of games don't really reward you for picking up new stuff mostly a 1% or so difference, especially after all the time it took to farm the cash to buy it. I miss the good old days where equipment would make or break your party. In DDS2, I don't care what my guys are using. In VP2, they all just learn skills who needs to use anything other than training armor (when the difference is only a couple damage anyways). In Super Paper Mario there is no longer any armor or equipable items. Also, games where your guys only wear rings or similar items... It drives me nuts. How is a bangle going to protect you from being skewered on an enemy sword? Remember how taking a Bamboo Pole in DW1 was soooo inferior to the Club, that no one would ever take it? Or traveling to the next town, since you really wanted to see what the items in the shops would be, and then sticking around to buy them because they are *needed*?


It's so true. I loved the fact that Final Fantasy XII returned to having the whole gamut of armor- it never feels right to equip a "Mythril Scarf" or something and call it a day. I'm not a huge fan of Super Paper Mario's battle system, to be perfectly honest. Well, that's not entirely true; I WOULD be, if killing monsters wasn't already trivial. What's the point of obtaining cards for double/triple damage when your normal attack destroys them in a single hit already? *shrug*

Anyways, Word shows me at 958 words (before this line), so I might as well wrap up with a couple questions.

1 Can I always attack Boojum in SOCK 2? Or Jumesyn? Who cares about the monsters?


Sure, you can always attack anyone. Unfortunately, these actions happen publicly... rampaging after the same person again and again will surely earn you bad PR and get you slapped with a "Villain" label by others early on!

2 Are you returning to Montreal this summer?


Unknown. Since I'm teaching this semester, it's hard to say if I'll get the chance to make the journey.

Anyways, enjoy your weeks off, Slime-boy. I need to get back to work anyways.




*sniffle* If only they were really weeks off. God knows I could use 'em.

Thanks Sean!! More later, yes?

RPG crossovers... FROM HELL!

Hey Matt,

Two links for you...first one a fake, the second one maybe not...

My question I pose to you is what unthinkable videogame character crossover would make a good RPG? I KNOW Kingdom Hearts would count, but I'm talking about combinations you would never think about. Like Halo and Metal Gear Solid crossing over due to a time-travel crisis as an example. What ideas do you have?



How about crossing-over-crossings-over? For instance, we take the Mario & Luigi series and blend it with Mega Man Battle Network, to get an Strategic-Turn-Based-Mario-and-Mega-Man-Action-RPG. Even better, though, is the idea of marrying together two completely different styles. For instance, smush together the insane humour and fun lightheartedness of Disgaea with the somber seriousness of Final Fantasy XII. Can't you envision it?


Ashe: We shall endure. We have no choice but to endure... endure we must. Endure, endure, endure...

Etna: We won't "endure" if you keep yammering on and on like that! Besides, your level is way too low! Ahahahaha! <3

Basch: L-levels? Nay, have no doubt; we will succeed and the Empire will know the name of the true inheritress of the Royal Crown, but only after we determine the source of this naughty picture of Laharl.

Laharl: You IDIOTS! You're MY vassals and you'll do as I say! And the first THING you'll do is to DESTROY THAT PICTURE! Besides, if I have to hunt one more stupid mark, I'm NOT GOING TO BE VERY IMPRESSED!

Hee hee hee... are those decent? We could also cross Wild Arms with the Brain Training DS games; whoever did the localization for Alter Code: F could use quite a bit (training... of the brain). Anyone who has played the game and who also has Grade 5 English under their belt will almost certainly have noticed the blatant and horrible errors in that game's translation. Icky indeed.


So I hear you like Mudkips. Sorry, sorry but seriously mudkip is the like the worst starter ever, what were you thinking?

Aww! I really liked the Swampert that my little guy turned into; yeah, he's not so hot when it comes to Grass-type attacks, but holy crap... this was a Water type Pokemon that is immune to Electricity! Whoa. And, Mudkip was way too cute. Also, I'm totally hating the Fire type that I chose this time around; it's actually difficult to keep him alive.

Draconn - you should try Guardian Heroes, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Shining the Holy Ark for starters. Oh, and get SF III Scenarios 2 and 3. There's a translation of both at, so no excuses about not understanding them. You'll thank me later.

Argh, I dunno. I think there are still excuses. It's just not the same without the translation in-game. I'm not going to have the translated text on my computer screen looking back and forth during big important scenes; it's distracting and stupid.


Yeah, there's not much there, but that's because some of the letters that I thought I had were actually spam, and so the Q&A writers haven't been out as much as I thought they were, and I'm also trying to keep a healthy stash handy for Casto over the weekend. And thus, this column comes to an end.

Next week is the last week of no Sock for a long while! It's hard to believe my breaktime is over already. For the weekend though, let's discuss some new stuff. Did anybody hear the news about certain important people at Sony stepping down? What about that Dragon Quest IX news? If you have anything to contribute, your thoughts and opinions are welcomed here warmly!

Thanks for reading. More next week.

Send a Letter!

Unanswered Letter Backlog: 12 - not bad
Matt is getting ready for the big move...

Ugh, I hate moving. Almost as much as I hate Young Merlin. But not quite.

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