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ASK MATT
Elephant Pants
June 27, 2007

Matt Demers - 21:20 EST

THESE LAZY SUMMER DAYS make it very easy to roll over and do nothing all day. Unfortunately, however, I haven't had the opportunity, so writing today's column might take a bit of effort. Hmm, it's starting to storm. This can not be good. I hope the power doesn't go out. Okay, okay, I'll get started, but today's column will be made exclusively of pretty-short letters! Let me begin.




LETTERS
Check this out!


Hi Matt, it's me bothering you once more!

Matt

Never a bother, blah blah blah, you know that. Whatcha got for me?

Concerning the new topics, this is what I've got to say:

1. A RPG hero that would be awesome in a fighting game... Magus from Chrono Trigger, of course! He's so sinister, and being drawn by the same guy who does Dragon Ball, his ties to a fighting game are even closer. Oh, before people start saying that he's not a hero, don't forget you can let him join your party later in the game.

Matt

Yeah, he wouldn't be bad, though I don't think he would be the best, either. Why? He doesn't have any funky single techs at all, if I remember correctly. He knows a few spells, sure, but big whoop... lots of RPG characters know a little bit of magic. I'd rather see Lucca or Frog on the battlefield!

5. Well, it depends on the class. If the price for being able to heal any kind of wounds, or even raise the dead, was wearing a white robe around all day, I'd do it for sure!

Matt

And perhaps it would be more commonplace, since I'll wager that lots of people would enjoy having that ability. Thus, you might not stand out in the crowd as much anyway, and everybody wins, just like in Communism.

Since we're talking about heroes, I thought that my Interesting Link of the Day should be related to it. So here's the link:

http://www.youtube..com/watch?v=61DVEEIQ2-g

This video shows Alex from Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete becoming Dragonmaster Alex, as he pulls Dragonmaster Dyne's sword from his grave. One of the most heroic scenes in all of RPG history!

That's all folks!

-- Alael ---

Matt

Aww, that brings back memories of last summer, when I played through that interesting game. Yeah, it had its ups and downs, but my memories are mostly fond ones, thanks to a fun translation, compliments of Working Designs.

PS: Wait Mode sucks ^_^

Matt

Hey- it might come in handy for you one day! For me, I have a special term for Wait Modes: "Defrag time." You have no idea how much energy Sock 2 drains from my poor mortal self.

Thanks for the letter!



A correction!


Hey Matt,

Actually rereading one thing you said about Squaresoft not pushing games to be multiplatform is actually wrong. While RPGamer actually says nothing about it, word was released of a Square-Enix RPG that's being released on the PS3 and the XBOX360. The game is called "The Last Remnant."

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Matt

You're absolutely right, and I've reported the oversight to the people who take care of that sort of thing here! I remember hearing about this game a little while back, but it slipped my mind the other day. Thanks much, for keeping us on our toes.



Mmm, delicious money.


Found a use for the Magic Armor in Twilight Princess. Being a completist, it annoyed me I could'nt have the option of still taking the rupees from a chest if my wallet was full. So now I equip the Armor and wait for the rupee total to go below what I need to get the chest contents.

Joel

Matt

I see! Well, you've left me in the dust on this game, since I have yet to get this rupee-consuming armor (at least I assume that's what it does). I have to admit, it is pretty irritating to not be able to get all treasure chests in a dungeon simply because my wallet is too full. I can't help it if I'm a rich, but dammit, I hate leaving a dungeon with treasure chest symbols hanging around on the map. It makes me feel like I've missed something.



The science of Q&A.


Bwahahahaha - we Auxiliary X Generator users are burying you in mails! Soon you'll be doomed! Doooooooooooomed!

Matt

Truly. I'm pretty much doomed now. I could just make like the old days and not publish everything that people write me... but that would be mean, wouldn't it?

Ahem. So what do you do when you have this many letters to choose from? Do you go by time stewing? Topic?

Matt

I laugh maniacally, and then I try to fit as many letters from various subjects as I can, taking a bunch of "oldest" letters while trying to include a couple of brand new ones too. If there are any "first time writers," I'm quicker to use their letters, too.

The problem arises when a lot of people respond in the same way. If three people have very similar-sounding letters, I generally try to stagger them over a few days, but sometimes, that's just not the way it goes.

Who knew that the art of column-construction went so deep?

As for sidequests: you can never have too many, that's my motto. Grandia 3 was cool, but I was disappointed at the relentless focus on the main storyline. But then, I'm the guy for whom Atelier Iris 3 is almost entirely redeemed BECAUSE it's almost all subquests!

Matt

Wow! Well, that's an interesting point of view, and one that I wouldn't be TOO uncomfortable with except for one thing. It almost always seems that the games that have a ton of sidequests are the same games without a fantastic central story. Gems like Chrono Trigger that can balance both are very, very rare.

Merci pour ta something, and write again soon!



Y'know, back when I had teeth...


I think we still have great games coming out. It's just we also have good games and not so good games as well. We tend to forget about the non-gems from past consoles. When people talk about PS1 games, it's FFVII, not Beyond the Beyond. *vomits* It's the same way with movies and TV shows. I bet a lot of bad movies came out each year, but we forget about them. We only remember the great ones. We even forget a lot of the good ones. Then we look at this years crop, and wonder why we don't see as many greats as we have in all the years past combined. It's not realistic.

This is all aside from the fact that "Great" seems to depend on "who you talk to". As far as I know, I'm still the only person putting Front Mission 4 in the "Great" category. As scary as it sounds, somewhere out there, there is a being that thinks that Beyond the Beyond *vomits* is a great game.

Matt

This is exactly why I try to keep an open mind about the games of today. I feel like those of us who are quick to condemn the newer, flashier games as "worse than yesterday" are starting down a dangerous path that might one day lead to 70-year-old-semi-senile-complainer syndrome. You all know what I'm talking about: Grandpas and such that go on and on about how "Back in MY DAY, we used to have real TV shows! None of this reality crap!" ...or "Your grandmother and I, back when she was around, used to have to shovel our way out of our house by November! Winters these days just aren't the same."

To those grumblers: It may all be an illusion. You've growing up, and games just aren't hitting you in the same nostalgic way that they used to, because you're old, you're busier, grumpier, decidedly more cynical, the magical world of youth has turned into a mundane reality of adulthood, and so on. If you can realize this fact, you won't become one of these grandpas (or grandmas, such as the case may be).



More oniony seekers.


I personally like the way that Final Fantasy 3 DS makes you change Jobs often. It helps you find out which Jobs you enjoy using faster. By the way, my friend code is 193362018507. I really want the Onion Knight job, yet I live nowhere near any RPG lovers. Please add me.

Matt

Added! And now that I think back, I don't think I added the person from earlier this week. Argh. There we go, you're both on my list. What a productive column! That's two in as many days.

Feel free to send me a letter, but beware: Some idiot at Square Enix decided to put the spacebar button on a completely different page than the alphabet characters. It's unbelievably stupid, and you'll see what I mean soon, if you haven't already.

Do [change page] [space] [change page] take [change page] [space] [change page] care!



Someone who really, REALLY got into the game...


Hey Matt! I actually loved Final Fantasy III. That's why when I heard the DS version was coming out, my jaw just dropped to the ground. I actually think it is one of my favorite games of all time because it introduces so much of what we know and love about Final Fantasy today! (summons, a more complicated job system, and, I may be wrong about this, one of the first rpgs to have the damage text pop up on the enemy instead of a box on the bottom). I also loved the musical score. One of Uematsu's best.

Matt

One of the things I looked forward to most in the DS remake was the redone music. When I first played the demo at E3 2006, I was very disappointed that the sound was drowned out by the roar of everything else around me. In the end, though, I think that the remake did a fantastic job in that department.

And, it is really cool when you think about exactly how many new abilities were introduced in that game that are now commonplace in the Final Fantasy series. Summoning, yes, but also thieves stealing, dragoons jumping, knights covering, scholars scanning, and much more. Very fun.

In fact, I loved the game so much; I did my college essay on it. I noticed a lot of Taoist influences in the story and discussed the importance of both light and dark in the world (After all, you can't have one without the other). I just thought the whole balance deal was so unique for a game of it's time.

Matt

Whoa- you know you really like a game when...

I tried to include images from Dragon Quest VIII in my thesis, since my research does things with images. Unfortunately, when I sent a request to Square Enix, I was met with a staunch and snooty "no, you can't." The bastards.

Well, anyway, I just wanted to let you know it's good to hear someone else who appreciates how cool this game really is!

-Max

Matt

It's good to hear from you, Max!



The climax is over, over.


Hi!

So I decided to skip all the side quests of FFXII and just finish it off. It's amazing how much easier the story battles are compared to the optional stuff. I suppose it's a nice ending (certainly pretty) but story really isn't the game's strongest point. I was very surprised to see the final boss didn't have angel wings at one point or another. Also, there was nothing following the credits but a "The End". Then again, we did get a special thanks for all FF fans, so I guess it kind of compensates for it. The ending theme reminded me of Suikoden V.

Matt

Well, not all Final Fantasy bosses have had angel wings over the years, though you have to admit that this one came close in a strange, almost disturbing way.

I was surprised about "The End" not being the actual end as well, seeing as there are so many games now that have a little scene afterwards, or a "Save the Game?" option that lets you unlock 300 more hours of not-really-that-fun extras.

Back to Devil Summoner and Pokemon Diamond it is! Right after I finish my exams, though. I guess it's "back to solving PDEs" then... Not as exciting.

Zohar Gilboa

Matt

Ugh. My next PDEs class is filled with promises of doom and despair, all in the name of learning. Oh, it should be a good time.

Congratulations on your victory! Now the wait begins for FFXIII...



QUICKIES

Don't you just hate it when NPC's constantly get in your way?

-Whitney

Matt
Especially when you're on your bike in Pokémon trying to make an egg hatch. Oh, it burns me up when somebody wanders into my path and slows me down. Argh!

Quickie: Where do you find those monster designs for SOCK 2?

FirstAid

Matt
Really? They're all, 100% me. I've spent more than my share of time with MS Paint in recent months. If it was real paint, I'd have gone high off the fumes a long, long time ago.



IN CLOSING

I am beat! Beat, beat, beat.

Speaking of beat, what's the last game you've beaten? Do you get a sense of happiness and relief once you're finished, or do you get a sort of depressed, "no it's over!" feeling that courses through your system? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this interesting issue, so send me a letter if you get the chance!

Until next time...



Send a Letter!

Unanswered Letter Backlog: 51 - Phenomenal



slimey@rpgamer.com
Matt needs to quit staying up until 3 a.m.


I would do a lot to have a normal, human sleep schedule...

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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. Have sidequests in RPGs gone a little bit overboard recently?

2. Are you an RPG Packrat? (Do you hoard items and then never use them?)

3. How important are graphics and presentation in RPGs?

4. Does game-completion make you happy? Sad? Or something else?

5. Are Final Fantasy III's job-change-requirements refreshing or annoying?



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