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ASK MATT
Shock Time November 8, 2005

Matt Demers - 01:20 EST

SINCE WHEN is shrimp a value-priced item, suitable for students on a budget?!? I went shopping tonight to look for something to make for my dinner, and I was feeling remarkably uninspired, but through inspection of all of the boneless meats, I discovered that shrimp was, bizarrely, of the best value. I had a seafood dinner for $2.50! TWO FIFTY, I say!

Also, I was just thinking last night, and I firmly support the idea of planting a new holiday somewhere around the beginning-to-middle of November; at least in Canada. The U.S. has Thanksgiving, but with our earlier version, we have two and a half months without a break up here in the cold, not-so-snowy north. My school doesn't even give a reading week in the fall, and I dare say BOO to that! Maybe I'll just take a week off on my own, voluntarily... maybe starting, say, next Tuesday?




L E T T E R S
Hey- YOU try writing it better


Hidiho good buddy err...Andrew or that Matt guy,

I've been a long time reader but never written, but with your resent lack of letters and something with to say that actually seem too protean to the topic I thought I would. While the new screen shots of FF4 remake for GBA look rather unimpressive from the fact they look mostly like the WSC version, there where a few things that peaked my interests. Go back and look closer at the Red Dragon heat ray attack one and what do you see. Yes you see a crew of Cecil, Porom, Rosa, Rydia, and Yang fighting a Red Dragon in the Lunar Core getting zapped by a heat ray attack with the white magic command open. Now I reiterate Porom and Yang, neither of these should be here if it was the original. Seems that they've added hot swapping of characters at the end of the game so you can have odd parities of say Cecil, Polom, Porom, Edward, and Cid. This also would seem to indicate that there are new weapons and armor, because Edward with charm harp would just suck. Either way I think it's an interesting idea since it give more versatility at the end, maybe you can even play as Golbez just hoping.

Matt

Evidently, they've had this party-select idea in mind for quite awhile now. I can't wait to see what the new pieces of equipment are like, either... I'm 100% certain that they'll introduce new gear, because it would be a bit unfair for Palom and Porom to be stuck with their Gaea robes and cutie-rods, or Edward to have to fight behemoths with his old weaponry. Weaponry, indeed...

It would be very fun to control Golbez... perhaps in a bonus dungeon? He was a killer Sorcerer, after all... he should know just about every Black spell in the books. Maybe more? What would his special attacks be like, if any? It's so exciting, isn't it?

I have to say that I AM looking forward to this more than I was before. Remakes are much worthier when it is evident that effort is being put into them, and it seems to be the case for this title. Hopefully we see more of the same for Final Fantasy V and VI!

As for that virus sound effect yes, death to Square if they changed it. That is my second favorite Sound effect in FF4, the first would be the Trap Door's Disrupt attack sound.

-Lynn

That Matt Guy

Oh yes, that is a good one... it's the same sound effect as is used by Golbez's pet, Shadow... something like "gobuhlkluh-neeeer!" with the "neeeer" part being highest in pitch. However, I think I prefer Virus better... which has a remarkably similar pronunciation, but is much quicker and... something. COOL. That's the word.

On a completely unrelated note, onomatopoeia brings joy to my life!

Oh, yeah, and it would be very disappointing for either of those sounds to be altered in any way at all, it's true. It would be the aural equivalent of removing the "Spoony Bard" comment that everyone loves so much. It can't happen!



Game Boy Advance lives on!


Yo Q and A guru how ya doing? me im sick. got a sinus infection. anywho i got questions for you.

since final fantasy IV is coming out in december. when do you think we will see news and a release date of V and VI?

Matt

I've been quite healthy lately, in fact, which is surprising when considering that everyone around me seems to be in the abyss of illness. My immune system must be fully armed and ready to attack!

I'd be somewhat surprised if we didn't see both of them released by Christmas of next year, though with FIVE Final Fantasy Titles slated for release now: IV, V, VI, III-DS, and XII-PS2... it might be an incredible feat to do it all in a year's time. If Final Fantasy VI isn't out by then, I'm sure it won't be long afterwards: Maybe Spring 2007 would be a good guess for the "latest likely release for the GBA", but I don't claim to have any real knowledge about this; I'm just guessing, like anyone else would.

also is square-enix in your opinion done with remakes for the gba in your opinion? i still think after VI we will see chronotrigger and secret of mana as the game company is testing to see how much money it can make off the IV-VI before giving us more snes game remakes for the gba?

Matt

With these three, I can't really say. I would GUESS probably, though I suppose there is the off-chance that they'll decide to remake Chrono Trigger as well. In all honesty, though, I doubt it... I personally see all of these remakes as a way to build up some hype towards the release of FFXII, finally, late next year, and CT wouldn't really be a part of that. I could, of course, be wrong.

also do you think nintendo will let us see mother 1+2 stateside as well as 3?

Matt

I'll take what I can get, thanks! All bets are off with this franchise... we've been led on too many times before, and my trust in Nintendo has been shaken over it. I suspect that if Mother 3 actually does get released, and does quite well, that Mother 1+2 might be a likely prospect for North America, so yes (a VERY CONDITIONAL YES!!)

and finally we square and nintendo making up do you think we will see super mario rpg before the gba system is retired? i hope we see it as well as mother 1+2 and 3 as well as chronotrigger and secret of mana.

Matt

Super Mario RPG? Go play Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, if you haven't already, and you'll see why they don't need to remake the original... you'll be too hungry to play the sequel, which happens to be coming out in just a few weeks!

and finally my last question

since taito is owned by square-enix do you think we will see lufia 1 and 2 for the gba?

Paine.

Matt

With so many Final Fantasy games being released in the next year or two, I'm not sure that Square Enix would have any desire to publish other titles that could potentially compete against its main franchises for sales. True, I'm not a business expert, but I really doubt we'll see much in the way of Lufia for quite some time at the very least, unfortunately.

Thanks for your collection of questions, anyway! You've been a real PAINE.
HAHAHA... Paine... sounds like "pain".



The good, the bad, and the ugly


Hey... Matt?

Have you played the Dragon Quest VIII demo? I think it's pretty good.

Matt

Um, who do you think you're talking to?

Have I? Of course I have! I'm the Dragon Quest freak o' the world, or at least, of Guelph. I agree with you 100%; the demo was an incredible tease. Looking into the distance, you can see mountains and waterfalls that look like pretty backdrops, when in fact they aren't backdrops at all; you just have to walk far enough to see them up close for yourself. You feel SO free while you're playing. The world is so big and open, and includes so many little details here and there, that taking a trip in-game really does feel like taking a stroll through a gorgeous park on a sunny day. I can't wait to play the real thing!

In a recent column, you (or a reader) reminded me of The 7th Saga. I didn't play it when it came out but many of my friends did. And none of them liked it enough than to give more than rental or two. So, only a few years ago I started playing it at the protest of my friend who owned it, but didn't like it very much. I think it sucks but somehow, I felt the need to finish it. Maybe it was because it was so hard... I don't know. But it is the worst RPG that I've ever finished.

What's yours?

Matt

The worst RPG that I ever finished... what a good question! I commend you, because while thinking back, all of the games that I call "worst" that I can think of off the top of my head are games that I never did actually finish.

In the end, I guess I'd have to go with Final Fantasy Legend III (an early SaGa title, for all of you people out there that like jumping on top of Q&A hosts to correct them). It was unmemorable and boring, mostly, and while I did finally finish the game, it was with a sigh of relief.

Just while writing that, though, I remembered Quest 64. I rented that one and played it all the way through in three days. THQ had a huge potential with that title, given the sparseness of RPGs for the Nintendo 64, and what did they do with it? Almost nothing, that's what; the game's only saving grace was its music, some of which was actually quite good.

I do have one other question: Have you or anyone who know actually played a lot of or even finished Hoshigami? No game in the history of gaming let me down more. I was *really* looking forward to it and it was just crazy. It seemed like story/etc could have been fine but the battles were insanely hard and must've required insane leveling (from the few I did). Plus, leveling up (unless I'm missing something) was something that could NOT be done in any way other than extremely tediously battling.

--Mike

Matt

Woo, extremely tedious battling? That sounds like the original Final Fantasy! Anyone remember saving up for the armour sold in Melmond? I sure did... boy, I must have been bored.

I'm sorry your experience was so terrible, but not every game is going to be amazing, unfortunately. There's always a worst/most disappointing/slimiest/chewiest item in any set of things, whether that set is a set of games-played, movies-watched or steaks-eaten. Anyway, I can't share in your woe, because I didn't play the game myself, nor any of my friends. Based on these reviews, though, you don't appear to be alone.



A sound discussion


Salutations Matthew

I want to know from everyone out there. Has your Playstation 2 created a big circular ring onyour C.D. that your playing when a game has frozen. ( I now do not own Dynasty Warriors 5, at least I have a back-up system to play my shiny new KOEI game, Makai Kingdom).

Matt

Uhhh... that doesn't seem normal. It certainly hasn't happened to me, anyway, though my PS2 has had a curious habit of having disc-read errors in recent times. It is obvious that Sony's motto isn't "built to last", at any rate.

Anyway I looked at your replys Matt and I noticed I made a big mistake as I meant Star Ocean 3 not Suikoden 3 ( as Suikoden 3 never made it past North America). There is a huge difference I know. Silly Me.

Matt

Silly indeed. And no, there is no other Star Ocean past the third, though many forget about the yet-untranslated Star Ocean: Blue Sphere that was released in Japan a few years back for the Game Boy Color. The LOST SEQUEL!

*insert mysterious music*

Secondly I forgot one inportant game that to me contains the greatest soundtrack in a non RPG game. That is Donkey Kong Country 2. Where else can you have so aptly themed music for each area. With a vast difference of styles. Umm where did I put my SNES?

Matt

Oh, the Donkey Kong Country games DO have spectacular music. Not only that, but they are some of the best platformers that have ever been made. Bramble Scramble's music... I could just close my eyes and listen to it to relax... ahhhhh...

Why are you asking me where you put your SNES? I didn't take it. Maybe you should check your pockets; I'm always leaving receipts, packets of gum, or random consoles there accidentally, and none of those do particularly well in the washing machine.

So my questions for you are what are your favourite 5 non RPG games for the soundtrack alone (Mine being Donkey Kong Conutry 2, Super Mario World, Theme Hospital, Bubsy 1, and Banjo Kazooie. and if you could have a game croosover what would it be. Mine would be a Nintendo vs Sega, Smash Brothers Style. Finally I could have my revenge on those Sega fans!

Thanks as always A very sore Bainick.
P.S. From sport

Matt

My FIVE favourite? In order? Man, I don't know... why do you people put me through this sorting game? GRAGH.

Well, I think that you're probably right... Donkey Kong Countries 2 + 3 are extremely good, musically, but otherwise, I think Square Enix owns the show: Final Fantasy IX has one of the best soundtracks in the history of RPGaming, and Final Fantasy X is not too far behind. Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter has wonderful music as well. On a COMPLETELY different note, though, I just thought of Tetrisphere for the Nintendo 64, and Mega Man X5, both of which I adore for their musical qualities. How do I condense?!

First Place: Final Fantasy IX
Second Place: Final Fantasy X
Third Place: Tetrisphere
Fourth Place: Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter Fifth Place: Donkey Kong Country...thrrrreeeetwooothreeee. Three it is; the mysterious underwater music of Donkey Kong Country 3 is just too awesome to let the game fall out of the top five.

There you go! I hope your day has been made!



A few helpings of bitterness


Hey rpgamers! I wonder if I am the only one out there that is scared of re-releases or remakes of old games, especially when the originals were so amazing. This message goes out to everyone waiting for Wild Arms : AlterCode F. I really hope that they haven't changed too many things about the game. Last time I checked, updated graphics and extended storyline is usually a bad idea. The original WildArms was so amazing, a well balanced game and it ranks in my best of all time listing. I am scared that the new release wiil tarnish the image of the original PS version with 2D field travel and "amazing" 3D polygon graphics for battles.

Matt

Certainly not! I'm petrified. I'm just one of the naive ones who didn't play the originals, so in this case, I'm just not sure what I'd be missing in the first place. Ignorance is bliss; that's why you're never supposed to read the book BEFORE you see the movie.

I half-disagree with you, though: Graphics need to be updated every now and then, or else no one will buy the game, so unfortunately, remakes are going to have to go through a graphical upgrade, and that shouldn't matter too much IF they preserve the storyline, which is where I half-agree with you: I don't think I'd be too impressed at all if someone were to change my favourite RPG's plot even slightly.

This commentary is based on what I have seen so far in the screenshots and the multiple posts on the internet I have read, although a lot of those people don't know what they are talking about. It looks ok from a graphics point of view, but I'm worried about the new characters that have been introduced and the parts of the story they added. The original was pretty much air tight with the story focused on the three original characters and did this nicely. The problem with the "new game" coming out shortly, is that the added features will most certainly screw up the chemistry of the whole game. However I hope, nay I pray that it is just as good as the original, or maybe the developers will destroy it like everything else RPG they touch. I know, I know I'm getting carried away, damn it, it always happens when I talk about RPGs. I guess I'm just pissed at all the button mashing zombies that grew a brain and destroyed the RPG industry, why the hell did they have to americanize it. Couldn't they just translate it and leave it alone. Now, I don't want to take anything away from the developers that are actually trying to put out a quality product, maybe all they need is a bit of guidance, it would probably be better for them if they asked us what we wanted to play.

Matt

Now now... try not to look at it so cynically. Yes, it is possible that things won't be as good, but it's also possible that they'll do a really good job. Maybe the game will be spectacular... we can't really pass a fair judgment until we play it, can we?

Also, this isn't a matter of "americanization"...it's simply gamers all across the globe hungering for eye candy made available by new technologies. After all, it's not as if remakes are a US-only phenomenon; indeed, most of them start in Japan.

Whatever, let's get to my question. I wonder if Tri-ace, I think, ever thought of hiring, or did hire any of the producers or designers from StarOcean a second story (The one with Claude and company) and if they did what the hell were they thinking when they made Radiata Stories. What a waste of my time and there time and there money. Logically if your going to spend a couple million on a video game shouldn't you make it better than it is? Now for my real question. Is there a laps of talent in the videogame industry or is there something going on that we don't know about?

I think this would resume my views about what the hell is going on; When baking a cake it is better to follow the recipe.

Thanks,

Roger

P.S. Sorry if you are trying to make sence of what I wrote its been a while since I wrote in English.

Matt

My goodness! One thing is certain: You're certainly passionate about your games. I think you should go for a walk and clear your mind. Take a few deep breaths of some fresh air, and perhaps run yourself a nice bath.

I guess that's another one for the NO column as far as Radiata Stories goes, but I think that the YES side is still winning out. It's too late, though, since my mom's big Christmas shopping trip was last weekend. I suspect that if that is a present I'm getting, it's already been purchased. Of course, there's always Santa Claus, but I can't be 100% sure he can be trusted... he's pretty old; senility has got to be on the way one of these years. I guess if wake up next Halloween to find presents under our pumpkins, we'll know something's up.



The fetch quests haven't defeated me yet!


Matt aka Slimey:

Thanks for the one lined farewell for SOCK yesterday. And I still think the logo thing is cute ^_^

I think you have me talked into Dragon Quest VIII. Its only fair, since I talked you into Atelier Iris. So, I will be buying it when I can afford it. Which will be about three weeks. Let's hope I can still find one then...or I'll have to go to other sources.

Matt

You're most welcome!

Hopefully your experience with Dragon Quest VIII turns out to be a little better than the love-hate relationship I'm currently having with Atelier Iris. The game is so good in some ways, but infuriates me in so many others. With a little bit more care, it could have been a masterpiece for me; that said, others seem to have really enjoyed it. Obviously, I used this week's cookie recipe as an opportunity to take out some frustrations on the game, but it's not without its merits (the game, not the cookie).

And I have to ask your opinion on this. Why is it that right after I finished writing about how I *can't* play a game, I ended up picking up Final Fantasy VI again? (Also, your fault).

^_~
Angel0886

Matt

Well, it's not my doing as much as it is Square's. I don't know of many people who don't think Final Fantasy VI is just an incredible game. In fact, I don't know if I know anyone who does. I have some friends (more than one) who refuse to play it on the basis that "they just wouldn't be able to get past the graphics". To those people, I just shake my head in laughing disbelief.

THEIR LOSS.



More Final Fantasy VI


Hey Matt,

Trying to follow up my previous FFX "bad ending" rant with a equally compelling "good ending" rave seems to have left me at a loss for ideas.

Very few ending really stick out for me but the one that sticks out as one of the most fun to play all the way through, even counting the many side quests, would be FF6. The range of characters and skills brought to the mix, the customization of magic from Espers, and of course Kefka all add to one of the most re-played games I own.

Thinking about FF6 led me to ask this pointless question: What area in a game do you enjoy the most?

For me it would have to be the Veldt. Gau has always been one of my favorite characters and the fact that you can run into any monster party there made it less boring place for me to casually learn spells/rages/lores and in fact I would spend lots of time with Gau/Gogo/Relm/Strago and taunt the monsters with their own skills. So much fun.

Anyway that's all for this time and next time I'll try to have better questions.

Matt

Thanks for the opinion! I've had MANY people e-mailing me throwing in their support for Final Fantasy VI when it comes to great endings, and I'd have to agree. Not only does it specifically address every character, it does so in a memorable way. I even know the ending's background music by heart, and I can't say that about very many other games.

Now, Gau is one of my LEAST favourite characters in the game, but that's only because he isn't quite as versatile as some other people are. I would have liked it if he came with an option to "shut down" instead of going into berserker- mode after impersonating his favourite monster. Vincent of FFVII possesses this same shortcoming.

My favourite area in Final Fantasy VI is certainly the floating continent. It's just... SO cool... and SO difficult... and SO dramatic all at once, it gave me shivers the first time I played it through (and the second, third, and fourth times as well).



Mmmm... Windows Calculator


Matt,
Okay, so I got those two questions horribly, horribly wrong. I am ashamed. But, thankfully, I own both FFVI and a globe, so the answers are E for #38 and, I believe, C for #39.

And for the legally required RPG-related question, did you manage to finish both Claude and Rena's stories in SO2, plus Level 225 in each and beat Indalecio Limiter Off? Don't let my image of you as an incredibly hardcore gamer/math head down. By the way, what is the square root of 5630? -Neclordsword "It's not 2!"

Matt

It's not really legally required, but if you want your letter to be posted, it should probably have at least a loose connection to the topic of RPGs.

Anyway, I'm not that psychotic. Star Ocean 2 was a decent enough game despite a few flaws, but I'm not interested in spending an extra hundred hours pumping my people to ridiculous strengths. My brother, on the other hand, did get all of his characters to Level 255, and proudly showed me one weekend a couple of years back when I came home for a visit. Of course, he is also a bit- you know- well, I shouldn't say that on here.

Also, the square root of 5630 is approximately 75.0333259292162791, if you round it off to the nearest ten-quadrillionth.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

I've had more people e-mail me about Final Fantasy VI than anything else today, which seems peculiar to me. Sure, I'm playing it through right now too, and I've brought it up in the contest a couple of times, but for me personally, there's something about this time of year. It might sound stupid, but the first night I ever played the game, it was a crisp October evening, and I distinctly remember having to sell chocolate bars for a school fundraiser before starting to play (I was in Grade 8, and we had to raise money for our year-end field trip). Anyway, I just associate the sights and smells of the fall season with the game, now.

Maybe that's a hint that this series has had a major impact on my life. Too major?? Never!


Flashay!


Looking at yesterday's questions, most of you were able to hit the first one on the head. The answer is e) Green Cherry, though this is something that I had forgotten all about until I battled him last weekend. How could I!? Oh well; 10 points to the right-answerers.

#39 required a little bit more legwork on your part. Some of you guessed Sapporo, Japan, but that's actually the furthest north, though all of the options are within a couple of degrees of latitude from each other. The CORRECT answer is again e) Madrid, Spain, for 15 points.



Finally, Flamethrower crosses the 100-line to become the newest tilde-obtainer, after a close call yesterday. Here it is, freshly typed:

~


Do that four more times, and you've got yourself a co-hosting position, if there are any left. For those of you who are worried that you'll never make it, don't worry: There will be other opportunities, and inflation in the future will guarantee that you'll always be in the game; trust me on this one.

Question #40: (10 points) Follow me!--> Which of the following espers comes does not grant a stat-bonus if equipped at a level-up?

a) Maduin
b) Phoenix
c) Starlet
d) Odin
e) Raiden

Question #41: (15 points) Which is not a symbol of an element from the Periodic Table?

a) Ca
b) Ce
c) Ci
d) Co
e) Cu

Things to work for (the SOCK item shop!):

100 points: Tilde (infinite number remaining!)
500 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #1 (5 remaining!)
700 points: The Final Fantasy 1 "Official" Crazed-Chipmunk-Hold-your-Ears Soundtrack (5 remaining!)
1000 points: The Mattie's Mom Cookie Recipe Compilation (5 remaining!)

Keep sending me your thoughts, your opinions, and your questions! You might just get featured in the next edition of Q&A.

Goodbye!

wonderslime@rpgamer.com
***Matt scowls at snotty-nosed children


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I fully support the idea of having 27-hour days... my sleep schedule seems to have been built around such a world.

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About the Host


Matt's Next Unhealthy Addiction

Another Unhealthy Addiction

Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. Makai Kingdom

2. Warioware: Twisted!

3. Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana

Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:

1. Dragon Quest VIII

2. Final Fantasy III

3. Mario & Luigi: PiT

A PC Game for Christmas?

Current Leader
Planescape: Torment

Recommended by:
DDX

Cookie o' the Week:

Mattie's Atelier Iris Cookies

Get ready in advance for these by lacing up your best hiking shoes. Dr. Scholl's cushions help immensely too.

-1 piece of Spoiled Meat
-1 cup of Bread Crumbs
-1 stack of magic paper
-1 Metal Pole
-1 stalk of Tall Magi Grass
-2 helpings of brown sugar

Go into the nearest forest and kill a wolf to find the meat and a badge. Walk east until you reach the first town you get to and exchange the badge with a random shopkeeper for the Magic Paper. Scout the area for Tall Magi Grass; if you don't find any, walk away and come back again and again until some happens to appear, and take a stalk. If in your walking back and forth, you happen upon a werecat, beg it for some Berry Mousse and take that two towns over to exchange for a metal pole. If they aren't sold out of it, buy brown sugar from the local store; if they are, travel back to the FIRST town and purchase it there, but talk to the girl in the bakery before you go six different times until she reveals her recipe for bread crumbs. Buy a few dinner rolls from her and use them to synthesize bread crumbs; then buy THOSE. Now, you have all of the ingredients! Throw them all together, and they'll change remarkably in appearance into something delicious, prompting a humourous bit of banter between your allies. Enjoy!

SOCK standings:

1. Jbumi
330 pts

2. Ourobolus
275 pts

3. DDX
262 pts

4. Arros Raikou
147 pts

5. Binser
135 pts

6. Flamethrower
124 pts

7. ~Sean~
115 pts

8. Jeremy
87 pts

9. MagRowan
80 pts

10. RedBeastMage
75 pts

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