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ASK MATT
Brainchild
September 28, 2007

Matt Demers - 24:43 EST

OK, THIS IS THE TIME during a new Dragon Quest's development period where we see new screenshots here and there, from time to time. I get so excited over the strangest things. I've said it in the past, but one of my little joys about every new Dragon Quest game is to see which monsters they bring back from previous games. There are always a few that they include that we haven't seen in a long time, and seeing them "make a comeback" makes my heart swell in the strangest way.

And oh my freaking god, there will be Wolves! My very favouritest enemy from the original Dragon Quest, it hasn't ever been brought back for another game... until now! AHHH!

*breathes into a paper bag*

Where were we? OK, let's wrap this week up with a few more letters.




LETTERS
Back to that Crystal Ball...


Oh! Predictions are fun. Here are mine:

Matt

Awesome, I landed me a fortuneteller. Do me next!

Microsoft will continue to add Media Center / Tivo like functionality to its Xbox software and it will become more valuable as an entertainment device than a gaming device, therefore making them continue to lose money on more and more consoles sold but less software. (Although given their continuous high attach rates, that might be unreasonable.) Bill Gates will retire as planneed, only to be caught at home by the paparazzi playing Tetris on a Sega Dreamcast with Stephan Hawking over a dial-up network.

Matt

The scandal! Hey, it's about time that the media shifts its attention from the stupid old "celebs" anyway. This kind of shocker, now that might make me pick up a cheap 'n' bad magazine.

Sony will launch HOME to much fanfare and even though they finally have shifted their gameplan to realize the game has shifted to software and subscription / download / microtransactions, they will still be late to the party and hemorrage money until at least 2010. HOME will be a complete failure when World of Warcraft 2 launches. Ken Kutaragi will commit suicide in shame, only to be ressurected 5 years later when the Playstation is finally profitable again and mesh technology research on the PS3 network finds a cure to death. (Duh, Pheonix Down....)

Matt

You know, joking aside, you're probably not that far off the mark. I don't even get what this Home thing is... it just looks like some Sims ripoff or something involving actual people. I dunno about you, but I'd rather just have a life than live some strange not-really-that-exciting version of one online.

The thing you're so wrong about is Ken Kutaragi. He has no shame; he is incapable of shame. He is 100% pure (not from concentrate) pride. It's more likely, frankly, that he'd stand atop the tallest building in Japan proclaiming the greatness of his creations years after they're dead, than he'd take the leap off that building.

Nintendo will launch another DS with a wide-screen double-pixel density HD-esque top screen and 802.11n wireless compatibility to bring portable movie downloads to the masses. They will shed GBA backwards compatibility in favor of higher-processor guts and multiple memory card slots and flash drive space to allow higher, better res games with more muscle. Martha Stewart will come out with her own line of DS's that contains all her cleaning tips and attaches to a Roomba to intelligently clean your house, further expanding the market for the DS.

Matt

Gadzooks, and you think that Dr. Phil and the mothers are fretting about the DS and the Wii's online capabilities now? With downloadable movies comes well, you know- the utter fear that pornography will somehow download itself onto some poor teenage boy's system, causing irreparable mental damage.

I would most definitely invest in one myself, though, if it were to come with the promise of a no-fuss super-cute maintenance mascot. As I look around me, my bedroom seriously needs a good dusting right now; I just haven't mustered the ah, something, to do it.

Nintendo will also come out with a new version of the Wii with more power and HD graphics. It will come with a new technology that turns any TV you have into a touch-screen interface, thus being branded as the Wii Touch! Sadly, their success will end in failure as a errant translator within the company gives final approval to their latest attempt to expand the market, this time to female children, an untapped market. The result? The Wii Touch! (Little Girls Edition), which will result in Congressional hearings and ban the sale of the console in America by newly-elected President Hillary Clinton.

Jeremy Hoekstra

Matt

Hahaha, exactly. Between this and the unfortunate new abilities of the souped-up DS, Nintendo will be doomed in North America. Wait- does this mean that Microsoft is destined to win this war after all?!? Stay tuned: 2010 is only 825 days away!

Thanks, Mr. Jeremy. ;)



Another lesser-liked gaming moment.


Most Powerful Godmaster Matt,

When I think of all the RPGs I've played over the years, the one that immediately comes to mind as my most hated would have to be Legaia 2: Duel Saga. I had a lot of fun with Legend of Legaia on the PS1, so when I saw Legaia 2 I bought it as well. Although the combat seemed roughly the same, the world itself just seemed so... generic! There was no major plot hook to get me interested in it from the beginning, and the voice acting was utterly atrocious. I tried to suffer through it, and tried to like it, but now it sits dormant on my shelf of PS2 games, probably plotting to someday unleash its evil upon the world when the next unsuspecting fool opens the case.

Matt

From the way you describe it, there are few redeeming qualities to this game. You have to wonder, honestly, if the developers ever play through their own games and say to themselves "Holy crap, this game we've made is absolutely awful." I'm sure it's happened, but how demoralizing that would be, eh? (Spoken like a true Canadian- I don't know what people would do without the word "eh" sometimes.)

I have no idea who's going to win the console race this time, as although Sony has made mistake after mistake, and suffered through many a horrible PR fiasco (the latest being the addition of rumble to their controllers, which they pushed away as a "Last-gen" feature), they still seem to keep going on. Eventually decent RPGs will hit for the PS3, and I may have to look into it sadly. The same thing happened with the PSP. I ignored it for so long, but then I started hearing news about FFT, Wild ARMS XF, Castlevania Dracula X, and a whole bunch of other things and couldn't resist. Granted, it doesn't get used nearly as often as my DS, but it's still there waiting for its chance to shine.

Matt

Yeah, I don't know why more people aren't calling Sony on this one- they sat around and acted all frickin' pompous and everything about the last-gen controllers of the competition, before going completely hypocritical. Note that this is AFTER they came out and me-too-ly announced motion control only weeks after Nintendo genuinely shocked the public by revealing the Wii Remote. Grrr, just recalling it makes me bring a little bit of extra anger back to the surface.

I'm sure that one day, the PS3 will be more of a bargain, and it'll have a few games that are worth the plunge. But right now, that plunge is just way, way too deep for someone like me, who just wants to dip their toe in the water.

My console of choice this time though is rapidly leaning toward the Wii. I don't have much interest in the 360 because I wasn't really a fan of the original XBox, and as stated above, nothing on the PS3 has made me lean toward purchase as of yet. Especially at the $599 price tag. I love playing the games I have for my Wii though, and I'm really looking forward to a lot of things coming this fall and winter. Fire Emblem is way up there on the list, but there's just so much more I'm interested in. I almost hate the fall / winter gaming season, because it means there's so many things trying to do damage to my paycheck.

Matt

I really enjoy the games too. A lot of people criticize Wii games for sticking gimmicky "waggle" in everywhere, and others criticize it for being infested with a thousand mini-game collections. There's one thing I can say about the console though: The good games that it does have are all really worthwhile. Zelda was phenomenal, Super Paper Mario was mostly a blast, and I'm having a great time with Metroid. With Fire Emblem on the way (holy crap), it'll seal the deal for me: The Wii is worth it.

I think it's easy for me to say the same thing: The idea of the original Xbox made me cringe, and so I never thought about it seriously. The fact is, though, that the 360 has obtained a fair number of RPGs already, while the other systems seem to hold somewhat limited promise in that respect. I wouldn't say that it's a write-off by any means.

Anyway, I think that's all for now, time to go off and do something Black Magey.

~FoxKelfonne

Matt

Barbeque something for dinner with a well-placed Fire spell! I'll be over at 6.



Tricks of the trade


Hiiiiiiiii Matt,

What's your favorite "rare" RPG ability? Something one character in one game had one time but virtually no one has had since? I'm hard-pressed to choose just one. In 7th Saga, the green healer dude had this bizarre ability to restore ALL of a target's HP and MP. (It was fittingly called "Elixir.") It's just sort of hilarious that a game would build a skill like that in. I'm also occasionally fond of the rarely-useful Runic ability Celes had in FFVI, and the Calculator's funny number-based abilities in FFT. Height Prime Number Flare!

'Til next time,

Josh

Matt

Oh god, I was actually going to answer Calculator skills, despite my lack of skill with Number Theory, but now that you've already mentioned it, I feel obligated to come up with something new!

OK, actually, this wasn't hard at all: The sheep stampede technique from Dragon Quest VII just has to win hands down. What would I give to have more RPGs where you can summon hordes of sheep with the snap of your fingers? Quite a lot, that's how much.



SPOILERS! Giant, huge spoilers!! On The 7th Saga, too!


Matt, in regards to fighting the characters in 7th saga, I had the same trouble fighting them. However, you have the option of having them join you instead of fighting them. This is what I did after around 7 or 8 fights against the green wizard guy. He just kept casting some ice spell on me, so I instead let him join me and kicked out my other party member. Even so, that game was still awful, though I played it to completion. Just so you know, (spoiler) the ending sucked too. The king who sent you on the original quest was the final boss. Simply awful.

Mr. Snuggles

Matt

*gasp*

You gave it away! How could you?

Actually, I heard the haunting, airy, early-90s-quality overworld music just a few weeks ago and was suddenly filled with the urge to pick up the game and try again, just because now I'm a more patient 24-year-old. Except I know in my mind that I'm anything but patient; I'm just sadistic, and the real reasons for playing it would be the same as the ones I have for slogging through the original Metroid. That is, pure nonsensicalness- if that's even a word.

Thanks, O snuggly one!



SPOILERS! Giant, huge spoilers!! On The 7th Saga, too!


Matt, in regards to fighting the characters in 7th saga, I had the same trouble fighting them. However, you have the option of having them join you instead of fighting them. This is what I did after around 7 or 8 fights against the green wizard guy. He just kept casting some ice spell on me, so I instead let him join me and kicked out my other party member. Even so, that game was still awful, though I played it to completion. Just so you know, (spoiler) the ending sucked too. The king who sent you on the original quest was the final boss. Simply awful.

Mr. Snuggles

Matt

*gasp*

You gave it away! How could you?

Actually, I heard the haunting, airy, early-90s-quality overworld music just a few weeks ago and was suddenly filled with the urge to pick up the game and try again, just because now I'm a more patient 24-year-old. Except I know in my mind that I'm anything but patient; I'm just sadistic, and the real reasons for playing it would be the same as the ones I have for slogging through the original Metroid. That is, pure nonsensicalness- if that's even a word.

Thanks, O snuggly one!



A fun DW2 question! How delightfully rare.


Hey Matt/Sean,

Earlier today, I heard on local radio a DJ who was happy to be playing Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest on the original NES when she was younger, and it felt good to hear that. Why? Any mainstream acceptance of RPG's as cool games to play are cool in my book, don't you think?

Matt

Absolutely! I just about fell out of my chair when I saw an olympic synchronized swimming pair do a routine to the main theme of Final Fantasy VIII. It's cool to know that somewhere, out there, other people do indeed like the games that we do. Because sometimes, it seems like an awfully lonely world in that respect.

PLUS, she mentioned this link as well, which might be fun for JuMeSyn...
http://cinemassacre.com/Movies/Nes_Nerd_videos.html

Have a good day,
BLG

Matt

Hahaha, this is hilarious. I spent a few minutes watching the rant on Castlevania II. I actually loved the game, way back when, but so many of his points are so bang-on true that I can't help but smile. Thanks for the link, BLG! Hopefully some other people get a laugh out of this too.



QUICKIES

K.I.S. (Keep it Simple)

I'm rooting for whatever system will have the most RPGs

The Anime Man

Matt

Fair enough, TAM. I think that's as good an answer or better as any!



IN CLOSING

And that does it for another week. It's time for the baton pass; Sean will be taking care of the place for the weekend.

A new hot topic? Sure, let's take Joshua's. That is, which unique or "rare" abilities like Calculator skills, Runic, or summoning stampedes of sheep, are your favourites of all time?

Thanks so much for writing and reading, everybody. I'll be back on Tuesday.



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Matt is having some surgery done tomorrow!


Seriously. Not MAJOR surgery, but it's surgery nonetheless.

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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 IV DS

5. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass



On my Portable/VC Playlist:

1. Etrian Odyssey/Metroid Original

2. Shining Force

3. The Legend of Zelda (NES)



On my Console Roster:

1. Metroid Prime 3

2. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance/Valkyrie Profile 2(?)

3. Tales of Symphonia



Hot Topics:

1. Nearly a year into the console race, who do you think is gonna "win"?

2. What is your favourite unique RPG ability (like Runic, for example)?

3. What is your most HATED RPG?

4. What's the most exciting piece of news to come from TGS '07?

5. Are new video games and consoles overpriced?



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