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ASK MATT
A Startling New Development July 20, 2006

Matthew Demers - 18:03 EST

IT'S NOT REALLY *THAT* startling of a development, but it does add to my current goings-on quite nicely. This morning, the phone started ringing at about 9:30. Of course, I was still completely out of it, laying in bed, but I growled, rolled over, clumsily grabbed the phone, and answered groggily. The guy on the other end was heavily accented and I had difficulty making out what he was saying at first, until I realized that he was calling me for my tutoring services, services that I had forgotten that I'd offered awhile ago through the university's math/stats department. Unfortunately, in my half-asleep state, I had to almost ad-lib the details, and I must have sounded terrible, because I did a lot of "ahhh..."ing and "uhhhh... ing" and wondering out loud, because as it stands, my next few weeks are rather busy. In any case, I have something new to worry about now... something that might make me a smidgen of extra money, too.

It's time, though, to answer a smidgen of your questions. Maybe I'll do a bit more than a smidgen. How much is a smidgen, exactly?




L E T T E R S
Suikoden, Atlus, and weird crossover basketball games!


Dear Matt-man

Ooh, are we talking about Suikoden then? Good, the series needs some advertising. Yes, in the third Suikoden getting all the 108 stars allowed you to go through the story as the villians, but thankfully only the parts when they were active are shown. None of that dungeon crawling, which is good, since you've already beaten the game by that point, and at some point dungeons need to stop.

Matt

Wait, that's not really true. Not in

INFINITY LAND!

Urp, I didn't mean for that to escape...

The other suikodens generally have the best kind of reward: one that affects the story. Its most noticeable in the first and second, and nearly not at all in the fourth. Interestingly, in all the games except the third, the reward is the saving of someones life, usually someone vey close to the main character. I guess if you prefer gameplay to story Suikoden isnt your cup of tea, but I consider it among my favorites.

Matt

Neato. And that's absurd! I may generally like games for their gameplay, but that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy them for a masterfully told story, as well. I'm all about those shades of grey; I like a bit of both in an RPG experience, or even a lot of both.

Suikoden fans collectively have one of the most powerful voices, perhaps second only to Final Fantasy. Well, third, maybe, to Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, though that might be slightly biased thinking on my part. I don't think so, though. Oh, but I forgot about those noisy Kingdom Hearts fans! In any case, this is totally besides the point; all I mean to say is that you and many, many others strongly love the series, so there must be something about it that really makes it shine to you all.

Speaking of gameplay, you really oughta play SMT: Nocturne. I absolutely adore it. The story is there, and is good, but the focus is totally on gameplay, and fortunately that focus is not wasted. Though I guess you're going to have your plate full soon enough...as will we all. I really dont know what game I'm most anticipating, but Ive been waiting for rouge Galaxy for a year or two now, so hopefully it remains as good as it apparantly was at E3.

Matt

Rogue Galaxy probably had one of the "surprisingest" E3 showings as far as RPGs are concerned. I'd say that while most people walking in had no idea what the game even was, everyone I talked to who tried the demo absolutely loved it. I have to agree; the battle system was remarkably fun, and the gameplay looked varied and interesting. There were three different scenarios that people could play in, if I remember correctly, taking place in everything from what looked like the interior of a businessy-looking place to the interior of a lush jungle. The controls were spot-on, too. I honestly think that Rogue Galaxy is the best-looking RPG that no one, unfortunately, is talking about, in the face of games like Xenosaga: Episode III, Final Fantasy III, and of course, the big bad Final Fantasy XII. I have to admit that by far, I enjoyed RG's demo more than I did FFXII's...

And have you heard of that new gmae atlus is bringing over, called Rule of Rose? I guess its technically not an RPG, but it sounds interesting. And its being brought over by Atlus, which is a very good thing. Ive read in your column of people praising working designs, and I feel the same about Atlus. They've just always been so nice, and they're usually not afraid to throw in a soundtrack with a preorder and whatnot. And Im a total sucker for extras. My favorite is art books (from video games) though. I only have the pre order bonus from Makai kingdom and Suikoden V, but both are wonderful. And I couldnt resist the Collectors edition stratagy guide for Kingdom Hearts 2...I would never have gotten the normal guide, but a COLLECTORS edition made the difference. As it will for FF12. I think its part of the collectors syndrome you mentioned..like bying games because they're "rare." I do that, Ill admit, but I darn well intend to play the games, and I certainly plan on looking at the bonus content I get with whatever collectors edition I pick up.

Matt

And hey, that might be very important to someone who actually considers themselves to be collectors of video games in the most "collectorlike" of ways. I don't really care about the bells and whistles, to be honest, but that's mostly because I barely have room to keep all of my games as it is, without having to worry about oversized cases and special bonus merchandise.

As for Atlus, I really like them too. They're not afraid to publish unique and fun games, despite the fact that many of them might not end up being widely well-received or even well-known. And yes, they're responsible for the Shin Megami Tensei games; my brother is currently playing Digital Devil Saga 2, and just gave me a fresh lecture last night about why I need to play the games sometime. Oh, bother. Oh, bother, brother.

I mean, if I decided to not use it, but instead tried to show it off, my friends would laugh at me, and if they were true friends theyd scorn me for being foolish. When I payed 80$ for suikoden 2, I CERTAINLY was going to get my moneys worth out of it, and I can attest to it being worth every penny (in my mind).

Matt

If it's worth the extra ten bucks to you, then why not? If you're looking for neat extras, you'll only get one chance. Well, one chance at a reasonable price; I'm sure that many eBay snakes will be more than glad to sell stuff like that a couple of years down the road for a premium.

And one last thign I want to say, regarding emulation....

Its not fun playing games on a computer. Thats just how it is. Theres no gaming vibe like you get when playing on a console. Try playing tetris on a calculator. It just is not the same as playing it on a gameboy. Its the same with games. And thats why emulation can never really hurt gaming. I would play a game on a tv any day over one on the computer, and have. I played FFIV, V, and VI on the computer, and the second I heard they were out for the playstation I went and bought them. Well, actually I had to find a copy for sale first because I didnt even get a ps1 till 2001 which made many a ps1 game rarer thatn normal for myself. But I digress. The point is that gaming is meant to be played on a console, and those that emulate all the time and dont pay for games will never actually play any game. And for myself, half the fun of buying a game is the cover and manual. I hate it when used games dont come with manuals...

Matt

Me TOO! I hate it so much that I actually did go to eBay to buy my copy of the first Game Boy Advance Fire Emblem, a game which I actually haven't received yet. There was no way I was paying $40 or more for a stupid cartridge and nothing more, which is all that EB Games online could guarantee me. The $14.99 shipping fee, too? A little excessive, guys, for any EB Games-people reading right now; this isn't 1878, and it isn't like you have to march over deserts and through swamps to get here. Canada has had paved roads and airports for at least a year now...

Oh, one last last thing. Did you see about that mario hoops 3 on 3 game for the ds? Since square is making it, they threw in a bunch of square characters (read: Final Fantasy) like cactuar and moogle and white mage and...I believe I saw a ninja at one point. If my poor (and cheaply obtained) DS had a working touch screen, or a valid warently, Id most certainly be looking forward to it.


Matt

Oh dear... did someone drop theirs from a ten-story building and then offer it to you for ten bucks? Perhaps if the damage isn't too bad, you could take it somewhere or call Nintendo support to get it fixed right up, good as new, for at least a small fee, even if your warranty is void. I don't really know how that whole thing works, to be honest with you; I've never once had to call Nintendo for tech support, if that says anything.

Also, it's funny that you mention the Mario Hoops game. It is, far and away, one of the most random ventures I've ever seen from Square Enix in a long time. I think it really, really symbolizes that Square Enix and Nintendo have shaken hands and are willing to move on, past their rocky history. The only thing weirder than seeing Mario besides Cloud would be, like, I dunno, seeing Disney charact... er, never mind.

Thanks very much for taking the time to write in!



This "name" conversation has gone much longer than I ever thought it would...


Since the name topic just won't die I thought I'd expand a little bit. The history of my name traces back to when my dad was born one late December 31 evening (missed being a New Years baby by a matter of hours). Being their eighth(and last) child they decided to go with something easy to remember and he ended up with the initials DEC. Years later when my parents were expecting me, they settled on Juan Carlos Collins because it had my hispanic heritage and the same initials as my grandpa. Of course since I happened to be born on December 1st it just felt right to keep the same name. Now I just need to have a son born around Decmeber 15-16 to continue the legacy.

That may be too much personal info from me but I sometimes wonder what my life would be like had I been named Juan instead. I might have actually learned to speak spanish then...


Matt

Thanks for sharing, Xlash! I guess that this letter has nothing, really, to do with RPGs at all, but I've definitely had a rather heavy amount of mail about the name subject, with everyone wanting to contribute something about what they're named, and I want to include as many people as I can.

In other news, I'm listening to music from Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire right now, and it almost makes me want to cry with happiness. I remember playing through that game during my second year and logging an incredible amount of time on it preparing teams for my brother to try besting whenever I'd come home. It's not even that the music is spectacularly good (though it certainly isn't bad!) ...it's just the memories that are tied to the music that make me smile. I can't wait to play the sequel!

And you thought I couldn't twist this into something to do with RPGs? Ha!



Random game trivia!


Matt,

[...] I was thinking about RPGs I used (USED!!!) to emulate when I was younger, and I remember this RPG where you were this young kid who used to go around battling monsters and adding them to his team, all for the purpose of saving his kingdom thingy. I'm pretty sure it was for the SNES, and that it was never released in the UK, and that it had Monsters in the title. Oh yeah, the kid never actually fought, he just got the monsters to fight for him, and I'm also pretty sure there was a Ahriman/Floating Eye-like creature in it that you started off with. And no, it wasn't Digimon, Pokemon or any of those games. Hmmm, it may also have had Dragon in the title, although I can't be sure.

So can you figure out what game it is from my very vague memories?

SOCK:

#262 e) Cid

#263 c) 67,108,864 Total Random guess, but I'm guessing its something to do with those three bars of colours you can move <(^-^<)

Have a nice day
- Genjuu likes Wheatabix


Matt

Genjuu...

I don't think that you were emulating SNES at that point, because what you describe to me sounds remarkably like Dragon Quest Monsters or its sequel (or its second sequel, which was never released here). The games were all released on portable systems, with the first two being released for the Game Boy Color.

Though you don't start with an Ahriman-like creature, there are a couple of monsters that could fit the bill; Floattrees (or whatever they are called) are winged, one-eyed stumps that are versed in confusion magic and look quite similar to Ahrimans from the FF series.

My feelings are mixed on Dragon Quest Monsters. I have a few fond memories of it, because DQM was Enix's first North American title in years, and I can remember getting very, very excited about the game upon its release. The random dungeons were very tiresome, and the lack of ability to directly control your monsters at times was annoying to me, as was the fact that they severely messed with some monsters' stats (Babbles/bubble slimes should NEVER have over 100 HP if you fight them in the wild). Dragon Quest Monsters 2 was a marked improvement over the original, because it pumped up the story while maintaining the gameplay and the addictive breeding aspect, and also largely got rid of the terrible random dungeons. Dungeon design was, I think, still a weak point of the game, but it was much better than the original.

So perhaps that's what you played! Many people criticize this series as nothing more than a Pokémon ripoff, but those people are severely mistaken, because it's very clearly inspired by Dragon Quest V, for anyone who has played the game. In that game, you could recruit monsters right out of random battles in much the same way, and as for timing, Dragon Quest V predated Pokémon by four years. You learn something new every day, don't you?

Thanks for writing in, Genjuu! And yes, the number of possible backgrounds DOES have something to do with those slidey-bars. :P



More Wii bits of speculation...


Hey Matt!

I was thinking, with Sega being signed on with the Wii's Virtual Console, what do you think the odds are of the old Phantasy Star games showing up on it? With the PS2 remakes never making it over to the US (AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!), and the fact that the Wii is the only console remotely in my price range (the base XBox just ain't worth it to me), I'm kind of curious as to what you think the odds are that they will make it over (and how many sets of parentheses I can fit in one sentence). I'm not even expecting any kind of fancy upgrades, although if Sega were to port over the PS2 remakes...yeah, that's asking a bit much...

260) B. Lack of flight ability
261) B. Green (mmm, save game at the final boss...good thing I reread the question, it starts out blue and I nearly answered that. )

Thanks!

BigWook


Matt

Phantasy Star was the RPG for Sega fans (well, I guess there was Shining Force, too). I actually feel that the chances this game will make the cut are quite high, BigWook. Not only is this a popular and often-asked about old series, Nintendo supported it with the Gamecube release of Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II.

I'm really hopeful, too!! I've never played a PS game, and Wii's Virtual Console might be a major source of hope for me and many others. With that hole filled, I can turn my attention towards Suikoden and Shin Megami Tensei, and make all of my constant nags happy. <3 (just kidding, of course)



Bibbity. Bobbity. Raikou!


Hi there Matt,

No random jibberjabber today just a question, Does the spell name Esuna have any meaning at all? Or is it just some made up word or do you even know?

Cause Fira is just Fire without the e and with an a, but where does Esuna come from that has plagued me for years and seeing it brought up in the collumn today made me want to ask about it I'm so weird o.o

Arros Raikou
*Wants to make his own magic language one day*


Matt

That's a really good question, Arros. I did some hunting around online for the better part of an hour and I couldn't come up with much at all, either. I don't think it means anything in Japanese, from what I can tell, though I could very well be wrong about that; it's too bad, because that would have been my best guess.

Does anyone around here have an explanation for this interesting name? I had never really thought about it before, to be honest. I just thought it sounded "nice and soothing", which would be fitting for a spell of that nature.



This might be long, but it's not the longest!


Dear Matt (or whoever else is answering; I really can't keep track of you all),

I've been meaning to write in for a while. You are my premier source of entertainment during the lunch break, so I thought it would be fun to participate once in a while.

Matt

What a coincidence! You're my premier source of entertainment right now, as I sit here writing this. I'm glad you've chosen to send a message, and I very much encourage anyone else to write in to get involved with the site!

First, I'd like to weigh in on PC RPGs, as so many others have done. Although I like them ok, and even own a few, I find that the argument most often employed in their favor, that you get to have free reign over who you are and what you do in the world, to be a little flimsy. Exactly how many choices do you have? Your dialogue is often limited to less than half a dozen responses, and your adventures are just the same list of quests again and again, perhaps completed in a different order each playthough. Your only sense of freedom comes from the fact that you're given very little information about where to go or what to do next, which hardly seems like a positive quality. In the real world, you hardly ever just wander around with no idea what you should be doing; you always have some kind of specific goal. These games aren't limited by your own imagintion; they're limited by the that of the developers, and the deadlines they're forced to meet. The fact that I have no name and no backstory (except maybe that I'm a Rising Star with a Dark or Mind-Blowing Secret) doesn't make me feel like I get to determine what kind of hero I am; I still feel like I'm playing a predetermined person, and a thoroughly uninteresting one at that, because with a relatively bare-bones game system (compared to the choices available in a tabletop) and no sentient beings with which to interact, I have no opportunity to give myself any of the details I sorely lack.

What's so awful about these disadvantages is that they come at the cost of what might otherwise be a gripping plot, as we (ideally) find in a console RPG. This is slowly changing, I'll grant; PC RPGs, and really games in general, are all becoming a little more plot-heavy. But until the past couple years, I usually found it to be the case. I think that what PC has on its side is combat, which is often a great deal more fast-paced and sophisticated than in console offerings. That and multi-player. The ability to go through the plot, however mundane it may be, with a few friends is why I own the games I do for my PC.

Matt

It's good to have you weigh in on the subject. I think that as games get bigger in size and scope, PC RPGs will have the opportunity to increase the amount of apparent freedom that the player has within his/her world. Surely, games like Fable and Oblivion offer it in much bigger doses than many games of long ago ever could, thanks to the greater power that computers have now that they didn't used to.

Unfortunately, as I've mentioned in the past, the idea of that open-ended concept doesn't do much for me, and the same can be said for many other people who enjoy playing through a creatively written and focused plotline. Add that to the fact that I usually don't prefer fast-paced battles to the turn-based ones that you'd more likely find on consoles (I know I'm in the minority there). Perhaps a lot of these people, including myself, just haven't given PC RPGs a chance. Some, like yourself, have.

An interesting idea arises now: You mention that the main characters of PC RPGs are often nondescript and devoid of much backstory or "identity" beyond what you create. Really, though, isn't that the case for many RPGs? Even in some games with very well-developed characters, it can be true that the main character is left quite underdeveloped, presumably to have the player step into his or her shoes. It's not true all the time, by any means, but just look at Crono, for example, or most heroes from Dragon Quest games. I'm sure there are many other examples of this.

MMOs, on the other hand, are a different animal altogether. I'll save those for another letter, so I don't end up writing a book.

Matt

Mmm, fair enough! Then everyone wins. I get more mail, you get to appear twice, and everyone else gets to read more about how much I refuse to play MMOs, and won't that be fun for all?

Shifting gears, my question is this:
What is your favorite era of RPG graphics? For me, it's probably the non-FF PSX RPGs, like Breath of Fire III and IV, Star Ocean 2, Grandia, and Xenogears. Oh, and FFT, that counts. I'll admit, it probably has to do with the fact that I started out on that system, but there's other parts to it, too. 16-bit and earlier, while a work of art in its own right, just doesn't immerse me enough. In a town, all the buildings look alike; in combat, a character swings a sword and creates a blinding flash of light on a creature from across the screen. It just doesn't sufficiently convince me that I'm watching real people having real adventures that are worth really getting interested in. On the other hand, newer games don't seem to leave enough to the imagination. Voice acting can completely change my perception of a character, and cutscenes, much like movies, can greatly influence the impact of a scene via cinematography and the like. It's great that a developer's vision can be more accurately translated onto my TV now, but I do kind of miss having characters move around like pieces on a chessboard while I did all the acting and directing in my head. Also, and maybe I'm just crazy, I much prefer to read text dialogue. Without voice acting to consider, the script can be a lot longer and more complex or wordy, which may explain why the plots of newer games seem so much simpler than they used to.

Man, and I was so determined not to make this a long letter. I'll do better next time.

Chris


Matt

My personal favourite graphical era for the RPG genre is the late-SNES period, which was especially great in that spilled over into three or four bonus years, once the Game Boy Advance made its awesomeness known to the world.

To me, the switch to 32-bit-and-beyond graphics was awesome at first, but quickly became tiresome. Only very recently have more realistic-looking games really made me appreciate the beauty of high-quality graphics, with games like Xenosaga and Final Fantasy X leading the pack.

On the other hand, I just got really attached to sprites over the years, and I'm sure that at least part of my own feelings derive from the fact that the games I love most all came from that era. It's not just that, though; a really awesome amount of detail can be included in a two-dimensional game. Final Fantasy VI was like a work of art, and that was evident from start to finish. Chrono Trigger had hilarious details in the sprites for both characters and monsters, too; expressions like that would never, ever translate well into the three-dimensional polygonal graphical realm. Could you even imagine?

I agree with you on the text thing, too. I recently popped Final Fantasy X into my PS2 to come up with a SOCK question, and I was absolutely appalled when I heard Tidus' voice... it was far worse than I remembered it to be. Surely, there have been many great masterpieces of voice acting in the past, but like you, I like some things to be left to my imagination, and often, I'd agree that voices should be one of those things.

While there are definitely things that I like about many other graphical eras, those are my feelings on the subject! Take 'em or leave 'em. Oh, and don't worry about the length of your letter. Did you see JuMeSyn's on Tuesday? Now that is a long letter!





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

I played a little bit more Lunar last night! I'm slowly getting into it, though I have to say that Luna is one of the most annoying characters I've ever, ever encountered in the RPG world. Not only is she totally fickle when it comes to Alex, she's moody, and sings way too much. Her magical "La, la... la-la laaah!" sequence drives me 99% of the way to insane, honestly.

Flashay!


***Answers to July 19th's Questions***

#262. e) Cid - 375 points/750 for Leaper (Most of you managed to get this one right; I guess it's a bit unsurprising, seeing how popular the movie is with most people. Thanks, Leaper, for submitting the question!)

#263. e) 79,228,162,514,264,337,593,543,950,336 - 450 points (It's true. That's seventy-nine OCTILLION, or 7.9 times 10 to the 28th power. Why? There are 256 possibilities on three sliders on each of four corners- NOT 255, since the scales start at zero, and not one. Thus, for one single corner, there are 256 x 256 x 256 = 16,777,216 possibilities... but every one of those individual possibilities then has 16,777,216 other possibilites EACH for every other corner to consider. Essentially, the answer is 256 to the twelfth power, or 16,777,216 to the fourth power, which gives e) as the answer. I promise: No more math for at least a little while.)


***Today's New Questions***

Reader-Submitted #264: What is Xlash's middle name? (325 points)

a) Earl
b) Edward
c) Eugene
d) Eric
e) No name- just the letter E


#265: Dekar, a character from Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, appeared in another less-popular game as well. What system was that other game released for? (450 points)

a) Super Nintendo/Super Famicom
b) Sony Playstation
c) Sega Saturn
d) Game Boy Advance
e) Sega Game Gear


Just a reminder: A quick way to generate points is to submit your own questions, if you haven't thought about it before! The more creative you make them, and the more work you put into them, the more likely they'll be to make the cut; well-thought-up, creative questions will likely be worth more points, too. If your submission makes it into the column, you'll be awarded double the points that the question is worth!

Also, our first piece of merchandise has been purchased from the shop. Congratulations to Alexander, who decided to spend some points to obtain a Slime keychain-dangler thingie, fresh from E3 2006!

--------------------------
STRAGGLERS: (people who I love, but who still need to check their e-mail or somehow get in touch with me because they have unclaimed items- if you fall off the list after a week, it's TOO LATE FOR YOU! Check your spam/trash folders for my messages if you're not getting them, and I'll check mine, too!)
  • none to speak of!
--------------------------

Click Here for a Complete List of SOCK Items and Rules!

SOCK's Item List

*You may obtain these items upon reaching the listed point benchmarks!*

2,000 points: Your choice of Mythril Sword (2 left) or Aux. Point Generator (1 left)
3,500 points: Your choice of Point Tripler (1 left) or Mythril Armor (1 left)
5,000 points: Your choice of Ultra Sneak Glove (1 left) or Haste Spell (1 left)
7,000 points: Your choice of Blizzaga Spell (2 left) or Damage Deflector (3 left)
10,000 points: Your choice of Merton Spell (2 left) or Confuga Spell (2 left)
14,000 points: Your choice of Magic Pearl (1 left) or Killer Sword (2 left)
19,000 points: Your choice of Economizer (2 left) or Staff of Aid (2 left)
25,000 points: Your choice of Demiga Spell (2 left) or Nightmare Staff (2 left)


SOCK's Prize Shop

*You may SPEND points here in order to obtain any of the following prizes- new ones may appear at any time*

2,000 points: Matt's Mom's Cookie Compilation- 6 fantastic recipes right out of Matt's mom's amazing kitchen! Yours, upon request. (3 left)

4,000 points: Intro Paragraph Cameo- If you feel like having a piece of Q&A all to yourself for a day, but you're not up for answering a bunch of questions, this option might be just for you! Say the word, and the Intro Paragraph is yours to do whatever you want with for a day. (5 left)

15,000 points: Nintendo Wii Canvas Carrying Bag- It's simple and white, with blue print, and two drawstrings; I picked this up while waiting in the nigh-infinitely long line to play Nintendo's new console at E3 2006. If you'd like it, I'll mail it to you free of charge! [Pictured] (1 left)

15,000 points: Pokémon 10th Anniversary game case- Not as special as it sounds, but useful for carrying up to 4 DS games or 2 DS games and 2 Game Boy Advance games. [Pictured] [Inside, Pictured] (1 left)

15,000 points: Bonus Cohost Opportunity- I like giving these out because I don't have to pay for shipping. (1 left)

20,000 points: Cohost Opportunity #4- It might sound like a lot, but it'll be here before you know it. Your next chance to reign over Q&A with yours truly. (5 left)

22,000 points: Slime Keychain Dangler- Fresh from the Square Enix booth at E3 2006, this cute little guy can be yours. Not really a keychain as much as it is something to put ON a keychain, but better used as a figurine, I think. [Slime Snail, Pictured] (1 left)

25,000 points: Full Host Opportunity #1- This is it. Write your own Q&A section, without having me interrupt, break in, or steal your sunshine. Be RPGamer's new idol for a day! (1 left)

30,000 points: Nintendo DS Lite Carrying Case- This won't quite fit old-model DS handhelds, but it's lightweight and flashy. White and black with an extra zippered pocket for carrying games, and a hook to attach to clothes, backpacks, or whatnot. I received this at Nintendo's Pre-E3 Media Briefing. [Front, Pictured] [Back, Pictured] (2 left)

30,000 points: Your choice of Megaman X4, X5, or X6 for the PSX (NTSC). The instructions are in each, but the jewel cases are cracked from use. (3 left)

50,000 points: Vandal Hearts (PAL) for the PSX. One of the earliest tactical RPGs of the Playstation era. Latch onto this if you're a PAL gamer and you have enough points! Thanks to Sean for the donation. (1 left)

50,000 points: Final Fantasy VII (PAL) for the PSX. If you're a PAL gamer who still hasn't experienced the greatness of this game, this is your perfect chance! This is another donation by Sean! (1 left)

50,000 points: Suikoden for the PSX. Play the game that started off the entire series! Thanks so much to Ouro and Sean for donating these - it would be cool to send them to a good and loving home. (1 left in NTSC-format, 1 left in PAL-format!)

100,000 points: Arc the Lad Collection (NTSC), for the PSX. Donated by Sean, so thank him! This collection contains four RPGs from an often-overlooked series. If you can get to 100,000 first, you can call this your own. (1 left) *********************************************************


Tomorrow, Bainick will be joining me for his third turn in the co-hosting chair. If you haven't read a column written by Bainick, beware! While he's not entirely crazy, he definitely keeps things interesting. Of course, that's what guest hosts are for. You guys would surely get tired of seeing the same-old me every day if there wasn't a hiccup every now and then to spice things up!

So please! Give him your full attention tomorrow, and if you have something that's on your mind, or if some subject just won't stop bugging you, or if you just want to say hi, feel free!! I'll be back in the morrow.

slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt is feeling dizzy.


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Oog... that nap definitely threw me off-kilter.

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What is Matt playing?

1. Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete

2. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

3. Radiata Stories

What does Matt want to play?

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Xenosaga: Episode III

3. Disgaea II

SOCK's Top 25:

1. Macstorm
21,090 pts

2. Aurelius
20,366 pts

3. Alan Tse
19,048 pts

4. Kanato
17,909 pts

5. Xlash
17,068 pts

6. Erika
16,868 pts

7. MagRowan
15,262 pts

8. JokingChimer
14,483 pts

9. DMJewelle
13,810 pts

10. TV's Adam
12,270 pts

11. Cap
11,974 pts

12. Dermot
11,596 pts

13. CW
11,568 pts

14. Colabottle
11,176 pts

15. Tabor
10,620 pts

16. LufiaLvr
10,000 pts

17. Belthasar2
9,513 pts

18. Finaldelerium
9,147 pts

19. Purelunatic
8,740 pts

20. Leaper
8,548 pts

21. Flamethrower
7,753 pts

22. Arros Raikou
7,586 pts

23. BLG
6,802 pts

24. Knighttrain
6,566 pts

25. Gilgamesh
5,743 pts

26. DDX
5,658 pts

27. Gaijin
5,478 pts

28. Donovan
4,272 pts

29. Megan
4,125 pts

30. Bucket
3,235 pts

31. JuMeSyn
3,004 pts

32. Kyre7Lar
2,520 pts

33. Rexy
2,284 pts

34. Genjuu
1,535 pts

35. Alexander
1,230 pts

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