Whose Fault is This?
October 26, 2005
Matt Demers - 00:48 EST
YOU FEEL THE MOST lazy when the professor of your
only class decides to skip town for a week and a half's time, but only after extending your
ONLY assignment by that long, plus some. The result? While I'm busy with ALL of life,
it seems, I feel slothful at the exact same time. Slothful feelings breed excess
lethargy, which is evident in the fact that I fell asleep on the city bus coming back
from campus today.
Oh well, what's life without a little narcolepsy? I'm sure Starbucks appreciates it; that
much is certain.
Now for letters:
I'm playing Radiata Stories right now and though it's
a lot of fun, I've encountered a problem - the game is
too massive and has too many things you can miss.
Obviously you've heard that it has 177 recruitable
characters and obviously I must have them all! Alas,
I'm resorted to using an FAQ (although it's not very
detailed) to get all the characters and not miss out
Hey-- if an RPG is going to have a problem, this is the problem to have, don't you think? We complain far more
often that games don't contain enough stuff, after all. 177 characters DOES seem like a little
overkill, though since I have yet to play the game, I can't really pass a fair judgment.
How do you feel about using an FAQ on the first
playthrough? I usually resort to an FAQ only before
the last battle/dungeon so I can complete all the side
quests. Do you enjoy games more if they're a bit more
linear but you know you're doing everything you can?
Do you prefer to have a lot of possibilities at any
moment, when you know choosing one option will
restrict you from choosing others later on?
I suppose it helps with replay value but I don't mind
playing games twice even if they don't have added
bonuses or a New Game+ mode. So I just like to keep
things simple, as uncreative as it may seem...
I am firmly against the use of FAQs, walkthroughs, internet sites, strategy guides, hint books, cheat codes,
cheap tricks, knowledgeable friends during the first playthrough.
Why? I'm just too concerned with keeping a new RPG pure, "pristine" and clear. I want to walk in the freshly fallen snow
and make the first footprints, not walk in somebody else's. The worst thing in the RPG world for me is when someone tells
me (purposefully or not) who is about to leave your party, when the world is going to end, or who the final boss is.
That said, I'm not entirely against their use altogether: these resources were built for following re-playthroughs.
SEE what you can discover on your own first, and then once you've finished the experience, play it again. Find out what you
could have accomplished the first time around, and allow yourself a chance to see everything else the game has to
offer. If the game was adequately well-made, the second time around should be just as great as the first, whether the
second time is a week later or a year later.
Great Debate o'er games people hate?
First my SOCK answers: 25)e 26)b
I don't really know if there really is significantly more division on PS1
rpgs then there are for todays. Out of the titles you listed, I'd say the
PS2 Suikoden titles get debated more fervently than the PS1 games. I'd say
the same for the Xeno games too. But if there is, perhaps it can be
attributed to being a dividing line of sorts between old school and new
school. I think the Chrono games makes a good example of this, I've always
thought of CT's gameplay as 'old school', and CC's is much more
experimental. Same thing with the older FFs versus, say, FF8. I think if
there's a debate, it's generally based on gameplay more than it is based on
the platform. This is especially true within series - stay the same? or
try something new?
See, I think that it's more widely agreed upon that Suikoden III and IV are ungood and doubleplusungood, respectively.
You're right, though, that there is much disagreement over the quality of the Xenosagas of today.
The amount that games deviate within a single series is a very touchy issue. Gaming companies want to be able to provide
more of the same goodness by releasing a sequel to a popular game, so they have to include a certain number of familiar
elements when they produce one. However, they run a risk by not changing enough. Magazine reviewers seem to like to pick on
games that don't change much from previous titles, and the last thing a video game company wants is for a moneymaking idea
to "get stale".
I'm with you on PC RPGs. I really don't know why I don't play them, but
it's pretty rare for me to even look them over. I haven't really played
anything on PC since Starcraft. I've heard good things about Fallout and
Planescape: Torment though so maybe someday I'll check those out. But
there's so much to play on consoles now, I just may never give myself time
to do so. At least 1-2 titles a month catch my interest, so where's the
time for the PC.
Yeah, and since consoles are designed solely for the playing of games, you know that with a console game,
you're not going to be missing some random driver, you're not going to lack adequate disk space, and you're not going
to have to worry about the game running at a sub-optimal level for whatever technical reason. It seems like risky
business on the technical side, which is compounded by the fact that I'm very unsure about the inherent game quality of
any particular title; combine the two and you get an unlikely customer out of me as an end result.
Soo...onto questions. Since you're a big DW fan, I'd like to hear what you
think about 7. It's been quite a while since I've played it myself...I
still haven't beaten it, for some odd reason I just stopped playing after I
got to the very end 105 hours after I started. I like the gameplay and it
has a decent storyline. It has a lot of backtracking, and while that
doesn't bother me maybe that's why it put some people off. You spend a LOT
of time going in and out of those ruins. So I guess while I wouldn't put it
up there with 3, it's still a really good game if you ask me.
Thank you for listening...or reading I guess. hehe
Oh Jeremy, Dragon Warrior VII is far from a pleasant experience for many people who play it. It's very long.
The storyline isn't the strongest in the world. The out-of-battle graphics are detestable to anyone who likes eye
candy, and the music, while superb, gets repetitive nonetheless through a 120-hour quest. The translation is okay,
but messy. The game is long. And finally, the game is really long.
The biggest problem for me, though, is none of these things. My biggest problem with Dragon Warrior VII is that
it lacks the openness and exploration of every previous Dragon Warrior game, and this is something I hold very dear
to me. Sure, it's true that you get to create the world, one island or continent at a time, and the idea is unique
and interesting; however, the end result
for me is something incredibly linear in comparison to every other title of the series, and that is not something that
is pleasing to me.
It's not all bad, though... far from it. Dragon Warrior VII maintains the perfect battle formula that the rest of
the series boasts; the perfect amount of challenge, an excellent-yet-simple job system, and obviously, more than
its share of old-school gameplay, which is something I can really appreciate, since it's hard to come by these days.
My final say? If you are a fan of the old-school, and you have patience, this is a game to seriously consider picking
up. On the other hand, it's probably one of the weakest titles of the series.
Square Enix looks to have addressed
so many of these issues for the upcoming DQVIII, though, that I have been truly shocked and impressed. It
really seems that they've worked hard to listen to RPG fans in North America, and with some luck, they will deliver
in spades in three weeks' time. Advice: Use your Luck Seeds, now, everybody!
As of late, I find myself being more interested in the games of the past.
The new games, I just cannot get into e.g... Romancing Saga, DDS, etc.. I
have a sickness it seems. I have played through most of Star Ocean 3, and
Xenosaga Episode II, but I cannot finish them. I enjoy the games, but
something just clicks in me and I start something new. I grow bored with
I find myself playing old games, and doing everything in the game,
sidequests, level building, but I quit right before the end...
Do you find this ever happens with any games for you? I have a list of
about probably 8 or 9 games I have done this with.
25: I would say Final Fantasy VI, unless you are playing the SNES version,
I cannot see anyone putting themselves through the torture of the PSX
remake. AHHH runaway !!
26: (b) should be the answer, the northern lights are what they were
looking at when the comment was made.
A lot of people have this disorder, you know, and while it hasn't been named medically, it certainly is
common. The only game I can think of that ever did this to me was, somewhat ironically, the game that many
call their favourite. This happened to me in Chrono Trigger indeed, and as I've mentioned before, I have yet to
finish it after many years. It's something about spending so much time fighting a single boss, and then losing. I
hated losing that hour-plus of my life, and for some reason (school, other games, or whatever) I never felt motivated
enough to try again.
Some people just get hung up in mini-quest-land, notably in games like Final Fantasy VII or X, with such a huge
number of optional extra things to do. My sister Diane and my friend Lesley are two people who are guilty of this:
Some people are just more interested in the optional quests than they are in getting through the main one. Or, as
you mentioned, it's easy to grow bored, too, especially if the storyline isn't a captivating one.
If you don't fit into any of those categories, then the answer is simple: Your attention span is that of a hamster.
Go buy Grand Theft Auto: InsertPlaceName.
Legend of Dragoon...drags on
As a fan of Legend of Dragoon, I'm curious about your reasons for
maligning it, though of course I've heard many before.
To be honest with ya, it's been awhile since I last played it. Legend of Dragoon was interesting, because it integrated
a lot of cool ideas together, especially when it came to the battle system: "Layered" characters that can morph into
bigger and better ones (somewhat like the Ryus of Breath of Fire games), along with an interesting
timed-button press element. The storyline was okay, and the characters were "just" okay.
My biggest beef with Legend of Dragoon was with its pacing. All-in-all, it was just "blah". Despite a unique and
interactive battle system, battles still seemed to go on forever in a most horrible manner (especially when in need
of healing: "DEFEND... DEFEND... DEFEND... DEFEND..." was a major strategy of mine), and the experience reaped from
these battles was horribly meagre indeed. Indisputably, the experience curve of the game was remarkably bad--one of the
worst of all time, I'd argue, in that
you needed to get through quite literally hundreds of battles at times for a level-up in an area where the boss,
when defeated, levelled-up all of your characters twice-over.
Otherwise, I found the game to be just generally boring (and yes, I know, THIS coming from a Dragon Warrior VII
fan... shuddap). I can't tell you why, and not because it's a secret.
I wouldn't be too surprised if they stopped making numbered Final
Fantasies. I would, however, be sad, as I'm a fan of the traditional
"console-style" RPG and the Final Fantasy series has done a good job of
upholding that tradition (With the exception of FFXI). If they must put
the series to rest, though, I think they should end it with FFXIII, just
because 13 is a nice ending number. And the final FF should seem
conclusive in some way, though the how of that would require a lot of
I don't know what SOCK stands for, but here I go anyway:
26. C (Because the Pomeranian Bay makes me think of a sea of fluffy dogs)
SOCK stands for... oh, wait... maybe I'll make that a cheap question for today. What DOES it mean, anyway?
Um, that was an interesting spin on the Final Fantasy question. I personally don't think that it's going anywhere
anytime soon, but I do think it's possible that they'll drop the numbers within the next few installments. Doesn't
the idea of going up to the counter and saying "I'd like Final Fantasy Sixteen, please!" seem odd, for some reason?
I bet that within the next five-or-so years, they'll switch to subtitles, instead: for example, "Final Fantasy: Echidna of
Glory", or something like that, though presumably they'll choose something far more enticing than that.
On the other hand, I thought that "Final Fantasy Nine" sounded stupid, back in the day, so what do I know? I think
it would be fun to go to the Gamestop at the nearest space station in 2065 to buy Final Fantasy XXVIII, but I doubt
it will happen, if only because there's a point where just too many people won't be able to read the Roman Numerals anymore;
damn the stupid masses!
Vegemite huh, its not that bad. One container that is equiverkant to a Peanut Butter container will last up
to 10 times as long. The secret to eating Vege or any other Mite (there are a few) is to spread it very, very, thinly
and use lots of butter. A good way to make money is to get a small container (palm sized) and dare someone to eat the
contents within 10 seconds. $50 dollars should do it.
Yech... and that's even less in Canadian funds. Increase the offer tenfold
and get back to me.
Finally what do you suggest for an Aussies stocking, i'm thinking about getting
Makai Kingdom on the 28th (oct) is there anything worth getting this year.
P.S. My moms cookies can last the distance and make great paperweights, door stops,
and shot puts!
P.P.S. Big hint. When playing Morrowind on an X Box, make sure you have 2 save slots
and double save, over 60 hours of work down the drain.
A sad Bainick
My favourite Bainick!! I'm sorry to hear. All mothers should come fully equipped
with a wonderful cookie-making ability, and grandmas should be able to back that up if
need be. If all else fails, grab a cookbook. Cookies aren't that hard, unless you cook
them for too long, in which case you've learned too much from your mom.
Also, Makai Kingdom isn't a bad choice. Sure, it isn't the game-to-end-all-games, but
it's far from being bad. I see that Magna Carta is slated for a European release, too, if you're
looking for something possibly new and different, as I view
the upcoming games list, so maybe you'll be lucky enough to see that on store shelves
upon your island all the way down there. It might be worth a shot!
Also, sorry about your luck. This is just reason #3143 to not by an XBox!
Hi there Wonderslime,
Question #25: e) Dragon Warrior VII
Question #26: d) A harvest moon
I say a series can go as far with numbers as it's fans
are willing to buy, though honestly tacking a number
on or off doesn't change the game or series, Zelda is
still going strong after ditching the numbers so is
Castlevania, though with Final Fantasy the numbers
distinguish the main games from the weird off shoots
or at least it did until 11... some game series don't
even use the same name per title...(soul
blazer/illusion of gaia/terranigma) so I'd say numbers
nor titles really matter in the long run of a series
You make some good points... some good points indeed. Well, maybe not for
Castlevania, though. The change-to-subtitles coincided with a slight change-of-genres,
and I still prefer the old side-scrollers.
*Matt <3s the music from Super Castlevania IV!!
As far as the love hate relationship with PS1 games
goes, one it was one of the early times if not the
earliest(Arros sucks at history...) when rpgs went 3D
that accounts for some of the love/hate and secondly
companies started trying weirder concepts to spice
rpgs up, and thirdly more companies equals more games
which changes the cool stuff to crap stuff ratio
Has no questions
No questions, but plenty to say!
I think you bring up many more great points. Certainly, the Playstation era was the
budding age for the transition to three-dimensions in many genres, including RPGs, as
the Nintendo 64 did very little to contribute to that area.
I'm quite sure that many Q&As from many sites would have been flooded with outcries
from people scared of the change (many still do hate the 3-D ones, even today). The
ones that rose to embrace the new graphical styles and original ideas probably set themselves
apart from those fiercely defending the more "traditional" stylings. Maybe you're right.
People have never been hugely fond of change, to be sure...
Remakes and retranslations?
I just had a question about the GBA port about FFIV. I looked around, but I haven't seen
this answered before...
Will this new FFIV have a new translation as well? I remember reading something about
the early FFIV translation not being all that great.
As a matter of fact, will the new DS FF III be newly translated as well?
Thanks a lot, man
Congrads on the column
I doubt that we'll see a new translation for Final Fantasy IV. It is my understanding
that they re-translated it for the Playstation remake back when that happened, so I'm
GUESSING that they'll re-use at least most of it. Of course, with new material added,
including another dungeon, they'll have to come up with some new stuff regardless, so
anything is possible. The original translation for the SNES was a very, very stinky
one indeed, so you've read correctly.
Final Fantasy III, of course, will have to undergo a new translation, because an "original
translation" didn't exist to begin with. This should be an absolutely spectacular game,
and it looks like Square Enix has really pumped a lot of work into it. Here's hoping for
Time for a trip to the guilt store!
With all of this gaming goodness during the holiday
season wouldn't you be even more excited if they
announced a Breath of Fire sequel? No!? Well, I would!
No!? You'd assume I'd say NO!? Of course I would. I was very impressed with what
the turned the series into with the last installment, and it would be very cool to
see if it continues to evolve and improve.
I really thought that Breath of Fire was sinking, since I didn't really like III incredibly
lots, and I wasn't fond of IV either, but man... did Dragon Quarter prove me wrong!
Anyway, do you ever find yourself buying new RPG's
when you have yet to finish your old ones? Or
sometimes trudging (is that a word?) through an old
RPG you don't really like for the sake of completing
them so you can move on to your new RPG's?
I recently purchased Fire Emblem and Digital Devil
Saga 2 and felt the guilt for having started DDS2 when
it first came out then I ditched it for Fire Emblem,
then I felt guiltier and went back to Xenosaga 2 which
I purchased the first day it came out and recently
Is such guilt reasonable?
P.S. The side-quests in Xenosaga II suck fatty.
Yeah, dammit. Those sidequests were the most tacked-on things I've played in such
a long time. Honestly, you go from an epic, dramatic quest to rearranging books to
dealing with random panels of light-colours for no reason... in thirty-five seconds flat.
I'm always trudging through old ones, come on. Every RPGamer has a little twinge of
guilt when they think about the games they deposited six or more months ago and still
need to "get back to". Zelda: Majora's Mask is one of those for me, and another one
I've mentioned more often is Shadow Hearts, which I just couldn't stay interested in.
Maybe one day...
Trust me, though, the guilt is more widespread- and understood- than you might think. :)
Due to previously unforeseen circumstances, there aren't going to be any questions for
me to sock at you tonight. My internet died for some accursed reason, so I'm frantically
trying to get this typed up on Tom's computer before he hits the hay for the night.
I PROMISE it will be up again soon, along with updated scores and all. I might even throw
in an extra question for good measure!!
Anyway, for tomorrow, the last one o' the week for me: What games are YOU looking forward
to most this winter? For the holiday season? Can you wait that long? And why?
I <3 you all, and shall see you soon again. Ta ta!
***Matt is a kind-hearted soul with only the occasional crazy outburst.
*twiddles thumbs* What? You mean you want me to write something here? Well, fine.
Oct. 25 - Matt
Oct. 24 - Matt
Oct. 23 - Cast
Oct. 22 - Cast
About the Host
Matt's Next Unhealthy Addiction
Another Unhealthy Addiction
Matt's Top 3 Current Games:
1. Makai Kingdom
2. Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana
3. Warioware: Twisted!
Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:
1. Dragon Quest VIII
2. Final Fantasy III
3. Mario & Luigi: PiT
Cookie o' the Week:Mattie's Mid-Semester Cookies
You can do lots of fun things with these; if midterms are making you suicidal, you can eat
them, or you could use them as projectiles to whip at your teachers/professors-of-choice!
-1 1/2 cups butter
-1 1/2 cups flour
-2 tbsp gunpowder
-1/2 tbsp cement mix
-3 oz. cactus spines
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix together the butter, flour, gunpowder, cement mix, and eggs until very well combined.
Roll into balls, and place outside, preferably when sunny, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until moist but firm.
One at a time, press cactus spines into balls to create an urchin-like result.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until rock-hard, and then sprinkle with cinnamon.
Use one of the cactus spines as a fuse to create a needle-bomb, or simply whip at detestable
people for fun!
5. Arros Raikou