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Poor Man's Puzzle
June 8, 2007

Matt Demers - 21:53 EST

THE HOT WEATHER IS back, instilling in me that age-old desire to do nothing but sip icy cold gingerale while lazily sprawling out in front of my TV playing video games. Of course, I didn't get the chance, as I had a lecture to do, and now a column to write, but that urge is within me nonetheless.

I know this isn't RPG news, but I just read this morning that Super Smash Brothers Brawl will use ANY control style: Remote with Nunchuk, Remote-held-sideways, Classic Controller, OR Gamecube Controller. Awesome news, I think.

In the RPG world?? Pokémon is a frustrating game. I can level things up until I'm sick of the game, go to fight my brother, and have them fall in one hit anyway. So GRR, why bother?? It's such a waste of my life, I don't know why I'm not moving on to bigger and better things. GRR again!

Hmm, it's about to storm outside. Let's see if I can write this column before the power goes out.

Too late, it's already started.

Hey Matt!

Ahhh, finally, the school year is over, and I've hit the summer lull on my tutoring. As much as I love it, it's been a hectic month leading into finals and the June SAT. It's been forever since I wrote a letter, I'm happy I've been able to get my Sock 2 answers in. As such, all the Hot Topics are new to me, so I'll take my shots at some of them.


Eh, no worries! Life goes on, you've been busy, and hey, I've been doing fine here one way or the other. It's so NICE to actually get some downtime though, you know? After a few months of rushing everywhere and doing everything, taking the time out to catch up on your humanity and getting some gaming in is a feeling unlike anything else in the world. So, whatcha gonna play first?

I would love to see remakes of old Dragon Quest games (excepting VII), so long as Square Enix puts them on a system that I have, such as the PS2. As I've said in the past, I am not a handheld gamer, and the thought of all those games out there would drive me insane. Considering everyone I've heard talk about playing Dragon Warrior I-IV have raved about them, and what I've heard about the untranslated V and VI, it would really hurt to pass those up.


Yeahh... that's too bad that you're so adamantly against them. I mean, I can understand for some people, don't get me wrong, but perhaps a solution will come for you soon. There's hope, at least: Past Nintendo systems have always had "Game Boy Player" add-ons, and so I don't think that having something similar for the DS/Wii is out of the question by any means. I have to say, though, that I'd bet a lot that if DQ remakes were to be made, they'd be made for either the PSP or the DS.

I don't get why anyone would bash the DS. While I'm not a handheld gamer, that's not something directed personally at any one system. I just don't have the travel time to put it to good use, and having spent my whole life with consoles, I guess I have a fixed mindset of how I play games in my free time. That said, there's a few games I'd love to play, and I only half pay attention. The New Mario Bros, Mario Kart DS, Partners in Time, Lunar Knights, the upcoming Revenant Wings, there's a whole variety out there. I can't see why anyone would bash the system. Perhaps that's just me.


It's true- and you're just scratching the surface there. You know, I used to feel the same way about handhelds. I'd play my brother's Game Boy Color for long car rides and such, but not much more. Now, though, it's like my lazy way of gaming. If I feel like it, I'll just switch on the DS, flop down on my bed or couch, and play the afternoon away. It also doubles as a great thing to do before bed. I used to read a chapter of my favourite book before drifting off, but now I play an hour of whatever game I've got in the system. It's just more convenient for me than having to, you know, arduously turn on the TV and be anchored to one place. (That's just being 50% facetious, sadly.)

But yeah, back to your point: I don't see why anyone would bash it either, especially when the other current systems aren't exactly producing a wealth of RPGs themselves. Call me when the PS3 gets something else worth watching other than White Knight or FFXIII, and then we can talk.

When it comes to RPGs, it's story and characters that keep me coming back. I usually get my full workout of the gameplay my first time through, and if something intrigues me I'll let it sidetrack me the first time through. Graphics are nice and have an initial "Wow!" factor, but they're not something that will make me replay an entire game (give me a movie viewer, though, and I'm a happy man). But a good plot and fun characters to take the ride with make it worth my while. I'd be more likely to replay one of the PSX Lunar games before I replayed FFXII, just because I'd have more fund replaying them. Recent games that would probably fit into this mold? I'd probably take another go at Dragon Quest VIII, although I'd do less exploring and enjoy more challenge with lower levels. Shadow Hearts: Covenant would be worth a replay, although that should probably wait given that To the New World is in my backlog.


Indeed, though the New World one is reportedly not nearly as good as Covenant, which is unfortunate.

For me, I think that on my first time through, it's definitely the characters and story that keep me coming back, though the gameplay is very important too... and becomes vitally important for future playthroughs. I will never feel the urge to go back and play a game again if the gameplay sucks. I already know what the story is, and I already know how characters will develop, but if the game is just fun to play in itself, then that's the thing that will get me to put the game back in the slot months or years into the future.

I've finally gotten back to Twilight Princess, and I think my time away has gotten me to soften my stance on it. It still feels very familiar, but I've really enjoyed the past couple hours I've put into it. Maybe I gave myself some time to drop my expectations. It feels odd to say that about a Zelda game, but there's already been enough discussion about how it is a step forward, not a leap.




That's a good way of putting it. I really love the game just because of the clever dungeons with just the right amount of puzzling-style challenge. I'd complain about the actual difficulty of the game, but it feels like I yammer on and on about how games are all too easy these days, and it makes me sound like an old Cranky Kong. (Seriously though, those bosses are way, way too unchallenging.)

Thanks much, BigWook! Have a good weekend.

I found one!

Hi, Matt (I hope Matt answers me, if not, hi to anyone)

Im from Argentina, and Im a big fan of Final Fantasy, Wild ARMs and a couple of RPG Sagas. I really enjoy playing this kind of games, more than Survival Horror or Plataforms. It always has an amazing story to tell about. Im actually playing FFXII for third time: It must be me the only one in the planet who think that is an excellent game. Its kind of addictive, I think but its OK for me. I was (Im still) really excited when RPGamer put the news that FFXII International was gonna be a reality. I hope buy a copy when be released. Speaking of FFXII: ¿do you know a way to make the concurrence "Black Hole"?


Are concurrences the weird things that happen after Quickenings at times? If so, I think that you just get the really big ones by making long, long, long chains. My record was 16, and I got a special-extra-bonus "concurrence" (if you want to call it that) that I'd never seen before. I'd assume that if I went even longer, I'd get something even more special. Keep trying!

I don't think you're the only person in the world who loves Final Fantasy XII... not by a long shot. *I* love the game too, but I honestly think that it could have been a lot better if a few things had been tweaked. Most irritating? The battle system wasn't my favourite, to be honest, the license board was too confining, and the randomly-generated treasures are nearly unforgivable. Overall, though, the game was still pretty awesome.

Any way... Im dissapointed with Dawn of Mana. I played Legend of Mana in the PSX, and was a good game: different kinds of magics, weapons, accesories and monsters, with the ability of keep the level up, and a bunch of good missions, secrets and bosses. DOM is a bad game. With the exception of a few games (FFXI, FFXII, Radiata Stories, DQVIII), since Squaresoft fuse with Enix, they do only a few regular games. I hope dont screw FFXIII. In the future, probably stay with the Sony Consoles and a PC. FFXI is close to enter to my gaming life. The thing is ¿How I enter in a Server and get accepted? I wonder what are the conditions to fill in order to let a Latinamerican enter in a server. Well ¿who knows? Well, I think is enough for this mail. I see you soon. Bye.



I'm sure that it can't be that difficult for someone to join the world of FFXI regardless of where you live. Of course, I'm not familiar with the game at all, so perhaps I don't know what I'm talking about. Chances are, though, that if the game is sold in your neighbourhood, then people must be playing the game somehow!

I've heard very little positive about Dawn of Mana with the exception of the graphics and music, which is dismaying. This is sadly just another example of a developer spending way too much time on the things that are least important, just for the sake of generating publicity with "schweeet" screenshots. And people go for them. *sigh*

As for Final Fantasy XIII and the PS3? You can do what you will, but there's no way this guy is dropping $700 to buy a system on which only one game looks interesting. I could do a lot with that kind of money...

And one last thing: If Square Enix DOESN'T get FFXIII right, then the PS3 is in a whole lot more trouble than anyone would have thought. I don't think anyone has held such high expectations for any one game before. Just take a look at random forums, and it will become apparent: Whenever the PS3 is criticized, the people who are totally behind Sony all point to FFXIII as the system-saver. Hopefully their faith is not misplaced.

Thanks for writing in!

The ugly side of TP.

Hey Matt,

Ever adopt any sayings (or other habits, consciously or subconsciously), that came directly from video games? I don't think I'd ever done so in the past (I've occasionally adopted quotes from The Princess Bride and such, but not video games), but after playing Super Paper Mario, I've been adding the suffix "nerr" to any overly expository talking or nerdy thing that I do, at least in the presence of RPG groups and those that would understand...nerr. And yes, I am aware of the infinite loop that could occur, so I don't nerr the saying of the word "nerr"...nerr.



Man, if you stepped into my house, you'd be swept away in a rushing river of RPG-derived jargon. My brother, sister, and I regularly use strange noises to communicate. For instance, while playing Risk, my brother will imitate little Dragon Quest attack noises whenever he successfully blasts somebody out of their territory. Also, if you've ever played the original Final Fantasy, you know that enemy names often look like this: "GrOGRE" or "EvilLION" or "CandyAPPLE." My brother and I will often refer to different random things by applying the necessary vocINFLCTNs to indicate the correct emphasis.

One final thing we often do is refer to groups of people as allies in a party. For instance, if my brother had to go and pick up my Grandma for some strange reason, but had his friend Marc along for the ride, it has become very common for ANYONE in my family (even my older sisters and mom!) to say "THAT's a strange party." My brother and sister and I started this saying after playing too many RPGs, and it has spread to the rest of my oddFAMILY. So, there you have it (and really, this is just the tip of the giant, floating iceberg).

In defense of the DS...

Hey Matt,

Up until about four or five months ago, I was one of those "I'm never going to buy a DS" people. I'm glad I changed my mind. My GBA's L and R buttons were on the fritz (perhaps a drawback to that thing being pocket-sized; I'm sure that stuffing it in my pockets so often lead to the demise of those buttons), which was mostly inconvenient but occasionally important (for, say, Mario Kart especially, or for seeing item descriptions in that Fire Emblem game) and its battery was holding less and less of a charge over the years. I actually didn't buy any DS games for a little while, but I was immediately impressed by how much sharper and clearer my GBA games looked. Also? A normal headphone jack! Hooray! Maybe not the greatest reasons to drop $130, but they're nice perks. And the upcoming games? Well, they're the real reason I figured this would be a worthwhile investment.


You know, I'm already noticing a slight difference in the charge on my DS, come to think of it, presumably because I play it all the time. I guess I'm getting my money's worth, anyway.

There are a lot of neat perks, and with the release of Pokémon, I've noticed another: Having free Wi-Fi with that game is essentially like having free long-distance to anywhere in the world. No, really. I had a battle with Bainick just the other night, and we were chatting away. The voice quality is surprisingly clear, especially given how tiny that microphone slot looks.

I've been really happy with my choice thus far, even though I only own four games, two of which aren't RPGs (For one, I have an unhealthy obsession with Mario Kart). I feel like Hotel Dusk is a pseudo-RPG, though. It has a decent plot and the requisite puzzles and all, but... that's about it. The visual style is fantastic, though--the game feels like a noir comic book most of the time. It's a fun change of pace if you're burned out on traditional games, anyway.


I'd really argue that Mario Kart DS is far and away THE best Mario Kart game to be released for any console. The tracks are awesome, the game is huge, and the Wi-Fi ability is really neat too. It definitely took over my life for quite awhile after I started playing it, but thankfully, I grew out of it. Now, if the same thing could happen with other nameless current games, I'd be set.

I've never played Hotel Dusk, but I've heard lots of good about it. It sounds like you've made two decent purchases.

I picked up Etrian Odyssey and I think it may be the perfect play-sporadically-when-you-get-the-time game. In so many games these days, if you set it down for an extended period of time (stupid real life happening, how dare it!), you forget what's going on and waste time re-acclimating to the plot (what was I supposed to do next, again?) and occasionally the mechanics of the game. But EO has virtually no plot, a simplistic battle system, and saves maps of areas that you've been through (well, it saves whatever you draw, anyway). As much as I hate to not be able to play through a game in one fell swoop, games like this help to satisfy my RPG fix and maintain a healthy regular life!


GAH! Gamers can't have real lives! *scoff* What is this blasphemy?

Sounds cool. I'll be diving into Etrian Odyssey before the summer is out, hopefully, so maybe we can play it together. <3

Anyway, so, my question! Have there been games you've had to set down and found difficult to "get back into"? Or maybe you just quit entirely? My personal list includes games like Atelier Iris (the first one), X-Men Legends, and, at the moment, Final Fantasy III. Maybe someday I'll finish them; it'd be nice, but for now, there's no time for that.


All the time. It's sad, too, but it's almost impossible for me to jump back into a game after months (or years) of not playing something. My two biggest regrets? Zelda: Majora's Mask, for the N64 (I got past the second dungeon, got too busy, went off to university, and that was that), Shadow Hearts (I'm not sure what happened there), and Xenosaga (too boring, and I was in second-year advanced calculus at the time, which was like three hundred pounds of pure stress loaded on). Wait, that's three. And there are more, too, trust me.

This goes back to something I was talking about above; games need to have an engaging story with interesting characters, OR great gameplay in order to boost their chances of getting played to completion by me. I think that for some reason, Shadow Hearts never really gripped me much over the first ten hours or so, and I kind of lost interest.

Along the same lines, are there other games like Etrian Odyssey that are relatively easy to pick up and put down as life goes on? You know, for when I eventually do manage to finish and/or get tired of this one. Heh.

Thanks! 'Til next time.



I don't know, Josh(ua) (does it matter?). To me, that's the reason I have games like Tetris and New Super Mario Brothers and Wii Sports and so on. Those are the games that are easy for me to pick up and put down without worry. On the other hand, I haven't found many RPGs out there that I can do the same thing with. If I had to choose something, though, I'd probably go with Disgaea (or other similar NIS games), Pokémon, or, for a recent example, Super Paper Mario. Disgaea isn't hard to get back into because of the way the game is structured... if you've played it, you'll know what I mean. Pokémon and SPM both have basic underlying stories, but who cares? You play those games for other reasons, and they aren't hard to get into the swing of after months without.

That's what I have to say about that! I appreciate the letter.

The few drawbacks of Odin Sphere, and the joys of RPGs.

I like Odin Sphere as much as the next guy. You wanted some words of warning so here they are.

Do not buy this game if:

You hate long load times: The game needs to load often and takes its time doing so. Check out this YouTube video (Not mine) for an example: I heard a rumor that load times are shorter when you play on the PS3 but I don't know if it's true.


Yes, I have heard this too. I don't know about the PS3 thing, but it's hardly going to be relevant to most people who are currently playing the game, I think. (There are fifty times as many PS2 owners than there are PS3 owners at present!)

I can deal with the load times unless I'm feeling uncharacteristically sleepy. Then, I'd just not be able to take it, and conk out, like I always used to do in my first-year Biology class.

Your ego is hurt by playing on easy mode: This game is very difficult. I think the game is the most fun to play on easy but to each his own. There isn't penalty for dying in this game. However, you might find it annoying and frustrating because you die so often.


Hmm... no penalty at all? I'm not sure I understand. Do you just get to do a "Retry?"-style thing? I think Waterfiend mentioned something like this in his emotional love letter I published the other day.

That's pretty much all I can think of. The RPGamer reviewer got it right: The score of 4.5 is well deserved.


Good. It's nice to see that despite the fact that the world is slowly moving on to bigger and better things, a good PS2 title can still receive a good score and wholeheartedly deserve it. Hopefully the other PS2 titles that are on the way (Persona 3, Wild Arms V) can live up to that, too.

#4 on hot topics: What is it about an RPG that keeps you coming back for more? Graphics? Story? Gameplay? -

What you are asking here is what makes an RPG "Good" or in other words fun to play. I want to answer this question by working backwards: Start with a known good game and subtract things until it no longer is. By going through a process like this it is possible determine what makes the game good.

So with the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, if you left everything in place but replaced the graphics with something like Ocarina of Time level graphics, you would have transformed one of the best Zelda games into a decidedly mediocre one.

Now lets put back the graphics and replace the story in the game with a bare-bones story composed entirely of back-to-back fetch quests. I think the game would still be great even if they did this. The Zelda franchise doesn't rely on story very much. Other games rely more on the story (Like Odin Sphere)


That's an interesting comparison, but I think that Wind Waker takes a special place because of the fact that the graphics of the game were... somewhat more important to it than usual. One of the major points of the game was to do a Zelda game in a totally different style, and so without the graphics, you're right, that whole purpose is destroyed. I don't know if that argument extends to a lot of other games, though...

Gameplay doesn't need mentioning. It is gameplay that makes games what they are (Games). Taking away a game's gameplay leaves only a long chain of cut scenes (See the Xenosaga series) which is hardly a game. Professional game reviews - Including most on this site - focus on gameplay much more than graphics, music or story and rightfully so - Enjoyment of a game comes mostly from the gameplay. Controls, difficulty, and level design (Or more broadly "Game design") all fall under the gameplay category.



Now that's something I can agree with... except for your little jab at Xenosaga. I think that Xenosaga's whole point was to convey a really interesting story, and yes, story is definitely placed before gameplay in that series. However, the gameplay that is there is really quite good, I find... and I'm the guy who loves Dragon Quest, the original, with the only real story found in a beat-up instruction manual.

Episode II's battles were a little bit repetitive, but I really honestly quite enjoyed the challenges that especially Episodes I and III provided. I think that they definitely did enough to be rightly considered as real games, despite what other people might think of 'em.

But, ah well, to each his/her own.

Just one more thing: I totally think that game control is one element that often goes overlooked in reviews. A lot of games are made really irritating by bizarre or poorly-thought-out control schemes, but that never gets reflected in game reviews. I think that Radiata Stories is a prime example of this... anybody agree?

Does it pay to go international?

Reading the recent "Run to the Sun: Square Enix Interview," I noticed a particular Question-then-Answer:

"Well, we seem to be striking out. What about Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Final Fantasy XII International, or the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV?"

Charlie: Tactics A2 will be coming. Final Fantasy XII International we already have here, it's called Final Fantasy XII. *laughs* No, Final Fantasy XII International is a game for Japan, much like Final Fantasy X International before it. Final Fantasy IV DS is almost a given. Of course, we have nothing official on it, but it will most likely come our way.

So let me get this straight: Final Fantasy XII International is a For-Japan only game? So we (as in Not-Japan) can get 2 versions of FFV, 3 versions of FFVI, and 4 versions each of FFI,II, and IV, but we can't have an extra, improved version of FFXII? Or X or X-2?


Nope. This is nothing new, but the "International" versions of lots of games (not just FF) never seem to get brought over, for some reason. And what that dude is saying is a bit of a lie, isn't it? Our version isn't the International version, because I thought I heard awhile back that the International version will have special features like special individualized License boards. (THAT would be excessively fun, and should have been there in the first place.)

The 12-International already has English Voice Action as a option, it's only a few small changes from a full localization. (Even though I know it's never really as easy as that.) I think the reasons that it won't make it over is that:

1) It will cannibalize current FFXII sales upon announcement. Customers will no longer buy the current version with a better on just around the corner. Apparently Japanese customers don't have this problem.


That's possible, but I think that the vast majority of people who will play the game and live in North America have already purchased it. The target audience for FFXII International would be the same people who just bought the game six months ago, I think, and I don't know how many people would go for that hook so soon again.

and 2) They may not want to go through the effort on such a high profile game. All the recent remakes on handhelds, despite being popular with the older and retro crowds, are not as spotlighted as much as a major console release.

Although Kojima and Konami don't have these problems...

Christopher DeMichiei


Whatever the reason, it's an unfortunate reality. We have to take what we can get, even if "what we can get" happens to be thirteen remakes of the same game. I do question whether or not the effort would be worth it for the company. I mean, if they spend a million bucks on releasing a new version, and then they sell 100,000 copies total, making 10 bucks on every copy, then there will have been very little point. Of course, I have no idea what the actual cost/return would be like, since I'm not really into that whole side of the business.

Of course, if it IS ever announced, you can be sure that you'll hear it promptly from RPGamer.

Thanks, Chris!


'There's colours on the street, red white and blue
People shuffling their feet, people sleeping in their shoes
There's a warning sign on the road ahead
There's a lot of people sayin' we'd be better off dead
Don't feel like Satan but I am to them
So I try to forget it any way I can!'
You probably don't recognize those lyrics, but that's an awesome song they come from.


Sometimes, I wonder if I would be better off dead. And then I recall that life is a precious thing that must not be squandered, which is exactly why I don't spend hours listening to music I don't care much for.

I wasn't necessarily trying to persuade you to play Evolution Worlds, just describing the game briefly for you. Evolution 2 is... better but still not terribly good. Even though there are set dungeon layouts now, they still feel like a random layout thanks to everything looking about the same. The music is absolutely great if you love Enya. I can only take so much Enya, so I can't listen too long.


That reminds me of my experience with Dragon Warrior Monsters. The first one put me off with its randomly generated dungeons, and while the second game did away with those, the set dungeons that WERE there were so ugly and stupid that they almost seemed like they might as well have been randomly generated at times. Not a fan.

Awhile back you asked me about anime-derived RPGs, and why I'm kinda reluctant to investigate them very often. Perhaps it will make sense if I say this: they're the equivalent of a game based on a movie. Indeed, it's identical - anime encompasses a large percentage of the films in Japan. I'll still investigate a few if I've seen the source material (dear gods, did I actually play through that SNES DBZ RPG twice?) but it's an iffy endeavor.


Ah, good point. And if there ever were a place that I'm closed-minded in the video game or RPG world, that would be the place. The movie-to-RPGs? Not my thing, nor will they be.

I shall henceforth only include one musical link per letter, and that if it be uncommonly good. There are several that could qualify from Treasure Hunter G, but I deem this one my favorite: I suppose this is the final boss's theme, though it doesn't have that feel because the Dark Lord (whatever his name is) has just been beaten and this is played while fighting the dragon skeleton Yormugand that he unleashed. Very wistful, elegant feel - yes?


Oh sigh. Even the world doesn't want you to post musical links anymore. This is what I got:

"Problem with file. Services contacted and it will be resolved soon"

So yeah, I guess that's elegant. The sound of silence is pure and beautiful, if that's what you're in the mood for.

Heh. Boojum, you are accurate in that I mildly regret not being able to play Odin Sphere. Still, I content myself with having played a truly superb game in Princess Crown that could not have been done on the PS1. Now here's something interesting: Though all of that is at least neat to note (particularly the racing game with only Soviet cars), I'm curious if you agree to the site's definition of that trailer as 'RPG.' I'm giving attention to this because Polish RPG's are essentially nonexistent.


But this is what I've been getting at lately... it's a little bit in-style right now to call something an RPG or an RPG crossover, even if it has just the slightest hint of RPG elements. Really, though, what's in a name?

More TMIV madness! Today we turn to Salt Lake City, where reading a children's book turns the entire party blue (Ace doesn't want to turn blue, but Zengo jumps on and clings with his legs to ensure there is no escape!). Subsequently walking around and talking to Salt Lake City residents turns them blue too. The only way out - go into the pop-up book. And the only way to do THAT is with the aid of an artist, yourself! Design the face of your 2D NPC who will guide you into the 2D pop-up book! Yes, it's all 2D in here, and you must find the castle in which the evil Puupupupuupu dwells. Puupupupuupu (I may have misplaced a 'u') looks rather like a demonic Pokemon.


It sounds like a bizarre cross between Paper Mario and Earthbound. I kind of wanted to start my own "happy is blue" cult after I played through that incredibly creepy scenario. And then that "I'm blue, abadeeabadah" song came out around the year 2000 and made me wonder if the writers had had a bit too much fun with Carpainter as well.

Hopefully, Puupupupuupu's castle isn't as smelly as it sounds...

Why is this significant? Because this 2D stretch that looks and acts 2D was done in 1997, years before ANY Paper Mario! Nintendo took the idea from this game, I defiantly assert with no evidence save the dates to back me up! Oh, I've played a few newer games. That's why I have the DS. As to console stuff, I dote on Halo and fondly remember a day when I slaughtered five challengers in a row during multiplayer. And I did get to play a bit of Mario Kart: Double Dash thanks to a cool neighbor on my floor. But if I was to get a new console, take a wild guess what it would be. Hint: it would allow me to play more Tengai Makyou. Double hint: the console did much better in Japan than here. Triple hint: it has a CD add-on that is region free.



Oh, it's certainly possible. I think that Paper Mario kind of runs with the idea and employs a lot of creative additions, though, so it's more than just a direct rip-off. As for your guesses-three trivia, I really have no idea. You already have a Saturn, and the other games in the series, according to Wikipedia, anyway, are on systems that don't have add-ons, except for the Neo Geo, and I can't iamgine that you could ever find one of those for anything less than the price of a used car nowadays. Priorities!



Heard anything about Itadaki Street DS? If so, wouldn't you love to see a US version? I know I would.


Yes, I have! It's such an incredibly strange crossover, too, but you know I'd have to buy it if it were ever ported over. Unfortunately, Dragon Quest is hardly commonplace in North America, so I think that these hopes are nothing more than pipe dreams (how fitting, for Mario). I DO have to admit, though, that it does give me a little sparkle of hope that I could play a Super Smash Brothers slime one day...


I never thought that I'd spend so much time talking about Smash Brothers here in an RPG column, but it just seems to be coming up naturally these days, and I frankly can't WAIT for the game. So, you might hear about it more in the weeks and months to come.

I'm done for this week, but you should keep the letters coming, because Andrew will be more than happy to answer some mail himself over the weekend. I'd like to hear from you about control schemes: Are there any games (RPGs, preferably) out there where you just can't stand the way the controller is set up? Does Radiata Stories' control scheme annoy you as much as it did for me? Write in, and let us know! We'll be glad to hear from you.

'Tis all from me. Have a great weekend, everybody.

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Unanswered Letter Backlog: 21 - Man, you guys are rocking lately.
Matt will try to get as many answered as possible!

*yawwwwn* What a wonderful, lazy Friday.

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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

2. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria

3. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

Hot Topics:

1. Is there anybody out there who DOESN'T like Odin Sphere?

2. What is your favourite RPG class... and why?

3. The DS: Hunk of trash, or rich with greatness?

4. Which games have frustratingly poor control schemes?

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

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