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Yes, Really
June 1, 2007

Matt Demers - 23:46 EST

ALAS FOR SOME OF YOU, but as promised, there will not be any socking today, since I have a squishy two hours to get this column written up. Please enjoy another edition, however, of the main event, which should prove to be an enjoyable mix of (who'd have thought) answers and questions.

Because I don't really have much else to say, let alone anything remotely interesting, I believe that we should begin with those letters posthaste.

Ahead of its time... and unfortunately so.

Hey matt and everyone else

I'm with you Matt about the ps2's graphical abilites. Here they have a system the third party groups have finally figured out how to program for and make awesome and well they toss it to the side saying this overly redundant and horribly expensive paperweight. Odin sphere.. love it.. sadly i've been having to play through dawn of mana.. the game wasn't hard till the final confrontation in the mana fortress and poof.. i got pwned. i'll play more odin later. though i love they're take on odin.. huge huge guy... with chicken legs. Now about Dawn of Mana.. in the end its not a bad game. Seriously wish they hadn't had to strip you of all of your awesomeness at the end of every stage but what can you do?

ahh well till next time Otaku Nick out


I know... I'm totally convinced that companies are releasing next-generation systems just because it's become an expectation or tradition every few years to do so. But here's a thought: What would happen if Sony just kept running with the PS2, a system that 100 million people already have... and presumably, are satisfied with? What would happen if developers just kept pushing out new PS2 games, using the things they've learned from past games to do better and better? Final Fantasy XII and Odin Sphere have helped to prove that the PS2 has yet to reach its full potential, so why are we already dealing with the next generation? It baffles me.

Anyway, I'm with you on Dawn of Mana. I have no idea what the people were thinking when they gathered around a meeting table and said "Ghuh, I've got a GREAT idea! Let's level the player down and take away ALL their hard work after every level! That's sure to please." How unfortunate. I was really, really looking forward to this game, too.

That's all. Thanks Otaku Nick!


Hiya Matt!

My thoughts on Dragon Quest remakes? Yes, I want them and it's not like they even need to completely remake all of them for North America. The remade DQIV was almost sent over here and DQV has been given a makeover, SE just needs to decide to send it our way. I suppose they could just bundle DQ 1-3 (ala FF 1+2) and release them for the DS and I would buy them just like SE has trained me to do.


Not only that: The Dragon Quest IV remake was for the original PlayStation... nothing that the DS (and certainly not the PSP!) shouldn't be able to handle, power-wise. The Dragon Quest V remake would be unbelievable, though; those few screenshots that we did see looked go-ho-horgeous and the game looked exceptionally fun, not even from a hardcore DQ-fanatic's point of view, but for anybody, I think. Yeah, if they were re-released in North America on the DS, I would go bananas, and you would all know it, too. If they were re-released in North America on the PSP, I would first buy a PSP, and then I would go bananas, and you would all know about it just the same.

I know the topics old, but I wanted to tell you one of the games I always enjoyed but nobody else seems to, because you mentioned it on Tuesday's QnA. Breath of Fire 3 was my first taste of a non-Squaresoft RPG and for all its mediocrity, I rather enjoyed it. The battle system took a while to get used to and you never really got very powerful, but it was fun testing out all the different dragon transformations and building a fairy village. Also, that final battle remains one of the toughest I've ever played, I totally worried my parents after doing my victory dance around the house.


I knoooow. It's one of those games that I just have to sit down and PLAY one day, just so that I can say that I did. Then I'll be able to fairly criticize the poor thing, instead of the current state of affairs: "It's crappy because the first hour bored me to tears."

As for whether or not I think any great RPG could be made for a portable system, I will say that because of the size of the screen or perhaps the fact that I always have to keep the sound low or off, portable games are a bit more difficult for me to get immersed in or it might be the fact I can't play portables for more than an hour at a time. It's just that portable gaming for me is more about playing for a few minutes whenever I get the chance and less about devoting myself to one game. Of course that's just me and I fully believe it is just a matter of time before a portable RPG gets considered up there with the best of the best.(If there isn't one already)


Maybe this is why I wake up some mornings with completely bloodshot eyes. I swear I'm not a problem-drinker or drug addict or anything, but I loves my DS, I do, and trust me when I say that I can play it for a LOOOOOT longer than an hour at a time. Yikes.

Well, that's too bad. I suggest you get some headphones, shrink down to the size of, oh, a squirrel, say, and then perhaps you'll be able to truly appreciate the handheld RPG phenomenon.

On the Non-Rpg front, I finally got a chance to give God of War a go. It took a while to get used to not being able to heal whenever I needed it, I've also never used the Square button so many times in my life. I must say Kratos has the makings of a great RPG anti-hero, although I really couldn't see any other character wanting to follow him to Hades and back.(I would find it forever amusing if someone tried to join him by walking into his body, not that that would ever happen.) All in all, it wasn't a bad way to waste an afternoon, slaying beasties and solving puzzles.



Well, as I've often said in recent days, crossovers are becoming more and more "all the rage" and really, I wouldn't be surprised to see some of these big PS2 and Xbox 360 hits twisted into an RPG packaging and released with the intent of grabbing some new audience members in the future. I'm glad you're enjoying the game, though! My non-RPG life lately has consisted of, well, nothing. I have Mega Man ZX for the DS still sitting in its packaging... I s'pose I should open that up someday soon.

Thanks, Whitney!

Aye, the DS should stand for "Destroyer of Something" ... argh, can't think of anything wittier... I lose.

Hello Matt, once again, from everyone's favorite Irish Ninja.

So I think I'm all set on the RPG front for a while. It'll be ages until I can afford a PS3 or X360, what with going off and being a poor college student, so I've been working with what I have. Namely, I'm stockpiling RPGs for the PS2 that I can weed through during the coming years. FFX-2, Odin Sphere (more on this later), and maybe I'll even find a copy of Dragon Quarter. Not only that, but I received a DS for earning my AA degree, and if the GBA was any indication the DS shall keep me satisfied for years to come. Dragon Quest IX, FF:CC Rings of Fate, FFTactics A2... the prospects really warm my gamer soul.


That sounds like a decent plan. There are, after all, an incredible number of great games out there for the PS2, and many on the way for the DS. Heck, there are still a few on the way for the PS2-- more than there are for its little brother, that's for sure. Add to that the fact that there are really quite few RPGs announced for any of the new-generation systems, and I think that your plan of attack is the winning one.

Nintendo's DS is one remarkable little device. I'm going to be playing the hell out of it for as far as the eye can see, and I think it's going to be a great ride.

And of course, the DS means one thing: Pokemon! I'm currently capturing the Diamond variety of critters, and initially I think this is a much stronger entry than Ruby and Sapphire. Plus the prospects of battling trainers around the world has me excited. In my entire poke-career, I've only had one match with a human opponent, but now I can really join the ranks and learn from better trainers than I. I'm not sure whether you have the game yet, or what level your party is (I'm around 20 thus far), but if you're interested, my FC is 1976 6953 3442. I look forward to potential battles.


Hahahaha, is that even a question? Of COURSE I have the game! I've been obsessed with it for the past month. I have gotten past it, but I have a wide variety of monsters with which I could battle you. My code is 5026 0921 8039, if you or anybody else wants to add me to your/their Pal Pad. Just let me know what your code is, if you're in the "anybody else" category.

Now that I'm past it, I can agree that on a technical level, the game is much better and cleaner and better balanced (and a little harder) than Ruby/Sapphire; however, I feel that it doesn't quite achieve some of the things that Ruby/Sapphire did. I feel that the world of Ruby/Sapphire was more interesting and that the Pokémon species were more diverse. Other than the starter and its evolutions, there are no new Fire Pokémon in this version. I mean, what?! How can this be?

Now on to the game everyone is talking about: Odin Sphere. I don't have a lot to say about the game - my DS acquisition has somewhat distracted me from the title - but I will say that this game is hardcore in the truest sense. The Ice world is currently kicking my ass with no end in sight. I'll probably switch to easy difficulty soon if it keeps up (I've become quite... vocal during play).


I'll take that to mean colourfully vocal in the unhappiest of ways, then. Yeah, I can get a little vocal myself when frustrated, but I'm definitely not one of the "throw down the controller in a rage and stomp around swearing I'll never play this game EVER AGAIN before trying again five minutes later" kinds of guy. Hmm, what a great idea for a hot topic...

Interestingly enough, the feature I cared least about (i.e. the Japanese language track) has actually become my favorite aspect of Odin Sphere. I started off with the English dub, and was bothered not only with the overall low quality of the voicework (except for Velvet), but the long pauses reminded me of the campy Godzilla dubs from decades ago. With the Japanese track, both problems are alleviated while at the same time keeping me abreast in Japanese (which I've been studying). Even when I don't understand the words, it doesn't feel odd. My time with Okami has me used to the seeming gibberish.

That being said, I think I'll return to my pokequest.

- The Irish Ninja


Yeah, Okami really reminds me of playing Banjo-Kazooie back in the day. "Rah reh, rah-reh-rah-reh!" said Gruntilda.

As much as I hate bad dubs and poor voice acting, I can't say that I'm a big fan of listening to Japanese tracks for the simple fact that I don't know the language. Subtitles are... well, I have to be in the right mood for them. It's just like ordering the mahi-mahi special at a restaurant. It's not something I'm really up for every day, but if done well, then sure, I can appreciate it. Certainly, I can understand why you feel the way you do.

Anyway, hopefully Odin and Poké will keep you plenty busy and pleasantly so. Hope to hear from you again soon!

Videogame Multiplatforming... it almost sounds like work.


Last Q&A FoxKelfonne wrote in inquiring about the most obscure RPG you owned and I thought I'd throw in a couple of my own. The three of my games that come immediately to mind are: 1. Koudelka-the prequel to the Shadow Hearts games; 2. Kartia-a nice jewel of a tactics game by Atlus in which you play through as two differenct characters wielding these cards of life; and 3. Brigadine-another tactics game but not so much a jewel as a way to waste time when there's nothing else to do. I also have the original Valkryie Profile which used to be obscure but is now just impossible to find.


Well... until Square Enix went and decided to remake it last year. I wonder if they have more plans for that series, or if we'll have to wait another eight years? We shall see.

Yeah, those are probably a lot more obscure than any games I own. I took that question and thought about it while I was on my jog yesterday, and yeah, I really couldn't think of anything terribly "out there" that I have... unless you count the GBC and GBA Lufia games, which aren't even mine (they're my brother's).

Too many games on a wait/wish list has been a fairly common theme for me most of my life, I must admit, but for the first time since...well...ever I've discovered that I have another more dire problem pressing upon me: there are too many systems out that I want. I've always been a single system person, I was with Nintendo from the original NES up to the 64 and then traded that it for a PS and I've been a Sony fan ever since. Now I'm pretty content with my PS2 and so I'd decided to hold off on the new systems until one really struck my fancy. But the longer I wait the more I realize that I really want a Wii because it looks cool but there are games out for the 360 that I'd give my left-hand to play (Blue Dragon, Mass Effect, Eternal Sonata to name a few). And to make matters worse there are now games on the handheld systems that I actually want to play not just while I'm on a trip or in between console games but as a game in and of itself. Originally, I told myself that I was going to go DS all the way but now there are games coming out for the PSP that I'd give my left foot to play (don't worry, I have one-handed controller and who needs two feet anyway?)


Oh, I think that many gamers are having the same problem. I never had a Gamecube or Xbox, and I stuck with Nintendo systems all the generations before. Now I have a Wii, but the idea of a 360 has been creeping up on me too. And damn that Final Fantasy XIII... if it wasn't for that damn game, I wouldn't give a flying you-know-what about the system. But who knows; if it does end up being a PS3 exclusive, I might have to take the plunge one day. I've never considered being a multi-console-guy either, so I feel your pain.

The long and the short of it is: I thought I was making a financially sound decision by waiting for one of the new systems to pull ahead like has happened in the past, how was I supposed to know that RPGs have gained enough popularity lately to make owning multiple systems a viable and perhaps even required option? There are so many RPGs coming out that I have no idea which I should get first or at all for that matter. It's such a horrible life


Just terrible, you know- all this choice and variety! At least you could look at it this way: No matter WHICH system you choose, you'll probably end up doing okay, in the end, one way or the other, as far as your RPGaming life goes. It'll become clearer before too much longer which console will make the best choice, but frankly, I think that this is why handhelds have come up so often lately. The DS and PSP are where to go for the best RPGs these days.

Well, since I can't make up my mind about the new games I think I'm going to go play an old one again. Dragon Quest VIII in particular has been eyeballing me lately so I think I'll give that one a go.

Koala Bob


Yay, Dragon Quest VIII! What a fantastic game... I can't believe it's been more than a year and a half already. Whack a slime or two for me!


Herr Doktor Professor, if you were to submit a review to RPGamer for every game you are eligible to review, how many submissions would the aggregate be?


Oh, somewhere around 70, I think, at last count. Not too bad, I think. I've done 4, but it's been a long while since I last submitted a review. Maybe I should one day when I get a minute...


That's all I've got for this week. I'm headed home by rail, and the train leaves in just a couple of hours, so hold the fort down for me while I'm gone. There aren't very many letters left in the inbox, so be good to Andrew and send him some (so that he doesn't have an excuse to miss his weekend columns, ahahaha). New hot topic: Are you a person who gets easily flustered and frustrated by video games? Does the controller-break-risk-o-meter escalate incredibly whenever you see the words "Game Over"? If so, then cool your temper and write in to tell me or my weekend counterpart, and we shall do our best to get back to you as soon as possible!

I'll be back next Tuesday, of course, with more questions, more answers, and a serving of Sock 2. Until then, have a great weekend!

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Matt is gonna have a niiiice nap on the train.

What was Selphie's train song again? It was so cute and whimsical~

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On my Wishlist:

1. Dragon Quest IX

2. Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn

3. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

4. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker

5. Metroid Prime 3

On my Portable Playlist:

1. Pokémon Diamond

2. Lunar Knights

3. Mega Man ZX

On my Console Roster:

1. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess/Super Paper Mario

2. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria

3. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

Hot Topics:

1. Playing Odin Sphere? Tell me about it!

2. Dragon Quest remakes (possibly)?!? What are your thoughts?

3. Are handheld RPGs inherently limited in their potential for greatness?

4. What is it about an RPG that keeps you coming back for more? Graphics? Story? Gameplay?

5. Which console RPG would you like to see legitimately in handheld form?

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