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A Different Kind of Yes November 17, 2005

Matt Demers - 01:06 EST

SO, I'VE begun the long-awaited game! Sure, I had played the demo beforehand, so I mostly knew what to expect. My initial response is just as incredible as ever: The world is so gigantic, and taking a walk through the overworld is quite like taking a hike through a forest in real life. If you stray off a beaten path, prepare to get lost and possibly face some close calls unless you have Chimaera Wings with you. The voice acting is absolutely wonderful, and it's one of my favourite parts of the experience so far.

It's not perfect, though: I've only logged 2 hours, but I feel like the game is starting off a little slowly. Perhaps this is because I've already played through it on the demo, but perhaps not. The battle system seems to be a little less gradual or "even" as well, than past DQ games; the balance feels a bit worse than I'd like. Of course, being so early in the game, I can't really fairly judge at all, and overall, the bad is MUCH outweighed by the amazing.

I shall be playing more soon! Damn the rest of life and its annoying tendency to get in the way! Time to half-ass this column so I can get back to what counts!!

(just kidding... I put all of my HP into this column... it's my baby. Does that make the lot of you readers the baby bottles that feed it and help it grow into a big strong person?)




L E T T E R S
My territory


Hey Matt, I've never played any real Dragon Quest games before (Dragon Warrior Monsters doesn't really count because of its random-dungeonness, I guess), but all this coverage on RPGamer has really gotten me interested in DQ8. So my question is: do you think it would be a good game to start the series with? If not, what would be another good Dragon Quest game to play?

Matt

To start the series off, I think that Dragon Quest VIII would be a very good bet, and I would say that with five times as much emphasis if you aren't a major old-school gamer. Why? Well, there aren't really that many other options out there. It would be pretty difficult or expensive to get your hands on the "good" NES versions of the original four, and I'd only really recommend I and II for the experienced Dragon Quest fans to begin with. VII would be suggestable except for the fact that it isn't liked by everybody due to its incredible length and dragging storyline; so, I'd save that one for later, if you really come to like the series. III or IV would be better suggestions, and they are my personal favourites, but it really looks like the newest one might be most likely to beguile new gamers like yourself!

Zat is my opinion.

Also, I've just recently gotten my first PS2, along with Katamari Damacy, which is loads of fun... But anyway, I have missed out on most of the RPGs realeased in the last ...hmm... 5 years, So if you were to recommend me one game for PS2, what would it be? (preferably one that I could find in the local gamestop) As a reference, my favorite games are the Mario RPGs, and of course Chrono Trigger.

Thanks,
ill Scott

Matt

For the Playstation 2? If I had to choose any ONE single RPG dating from 2000 through today, I'd probably invest in Final Fantasy X, to be quite honest. There really aren't many people that DESPISED the game, and many people thought it was a wonderful experience. I know I bitch and complain about it quite often, but I still really love it... it was a really inspiring and beautiful game, evidently with a lot of effort behind it, despite the relative lack of challenge and ultralinear gameplay.



They so should have called Microsoft's next-gen system the "YBox". Y? It's funner.


Hi Matt!

I'm glad EB ended up coming through for you!
Matt

Me too, Jeremy... me too!

It's a bummer when you've waited so long for something...then you have to wait again just a -little bit- longer. I work in a department store that sells games (NOT a game store, big difference), and usually the only games we actually receive on the release date are the FPS of the week, sports games, anything released by EA, and our favorite ones of all; the licensed games. We received like 15 copies of Catwoman for crying out loud. It's kind of like working in a candy store, but only getting black licorice in your freight shipments. I'm -hoping- it comes in within the next couple days, but I'm not very optimistic.

I wonder how many people are going to buy it just for the FF12 demo. Kind of like when people pay for a movie, then leave the theater after they see the new Star Wars trailer. I guess it shouldn't matter, but it makes me kind of sad. It's just a necessary tradeoff I guess...more sales = higher chance of more DQ games brought to us in the future.

Matt

What a shame, though... such people have more money than brains, as far as I'm concerned. I have yet to break open the Final Fantasy XII demo myself, but I should soon, so I can report exactly how bad the battle system really is.

By the way, I TOTALLY agree with you: Black licorice is the sorriest excuse for candy I've ever seen, and mostly only old people enjoy it at all. Give me a break... if you're going to take a stroll down the candy aisle, and there's shelf after shelf of delicious chocolate staring at you, what on earth would make you reach instead for something so vile in comparison?

I don't see myself buying any new console anytime soon...I have quite enough to keep me occupied as is. The $400 the new XBox costs could instead buy a year's worth of current gen RPGs....HMMM what to choose... Not to say that I won't be paying attention to what gets released on these new systems for when I do make the jump. Are there any next gen titles that have captured your attention?

Matt

Yeah, no kidding, and how much are games? Extra controllers? The demos I've seen up and running in stores for the XBox 360 have impressive graphics, but they're not THAT impressive compared to the already powerful XBox. To me, this is just an excuse to gouge gamers (or their parents) who would probably have been just as happy as if no announcement were ever made in the first place. As you say, I'd be much happier investing in the seven or eight games I could choose to buy instead. My opinion hasn't changed much: Microsoft's consoles exist only for the pure graphics-whores, and to be very honest, only people who I dislike own one. Note, of course, that this hate was not bred BY their XBox-ownership... I'm merely making an observation.

Anyway, the answer is no; there is no next gen title that has caught my eye to this point. Since there were approximately three games that EVER caught my eye for the first XBox, I'm not expecting much either.

Do you like the Fire Emblem games? The first one they brought over here (#7 I think?) for GBA is loads of fun...it can be a little frustrating, but the combat certainly lived up to my expectations. I didn't know what to expect from it's story and characters, but both turned out to be very satisfying. Sacred Stones received some decent scores too, and it seems Path of Radiance is off to a pretty good start. It even got into the top 10 in sales from what I saw in Currents last week. This may be kind of a stale question but I guess it never hurts to ask; what do you think are the chances of seeing the rest of the series come over here?

Also, thank you for the ~. It made my day. =)
Jeremy

Matt

You're welcome! You earned it, after all.

I'm inexperienced with Fire Emblem, but it sounds very much like a solid, challenging series long-overdue in North America. I'm sure that sooner or later, I'll have the opportunity. I'm sure, like with most games, that Nintendo's translation experiments do well enough sales-wise that we might see some more in the future, sure. It's all about business in the end, my friend!



Moogles on the road!


TThewy said "However, Moogles didn't debut in the Final Fantasy series in number VI! Oh no. They came onto the scene in Final Fantasy V"

Not so. Since there were Moogles in FFIII. Found inside Dorga's house. (Note: Official names pending first translation.)

There was also "Final Fantasy Adventure", if you wanted an English release that's before FF6!

Kupo!

------------------------------------- Matt, you said Moogle's came onto the scene in Final Fantasy V. Well, actually if my memory serves me correct, Moogle's were actually in Final Fantasy III, which was on the NES. They were in Dorga's house.

Matt

Yes, O nameless pair of correcters. That means that Moogles have been around for a good 15 years! In Canada, they could get their preliminary licenses next year if they wanted to...

Anyway, thanks for your knowledge! I have, once again, been trumped.



Languages, for games' sake


Hello Matt,

Great Column you got here. Keep up the good work.

Now onto my question, what is the current position for Videogame companies (Console makers and publishers) regarding sell and distribution in Latin America? As far as I know there are not official releases for games and/or consoles in Spanish whatsoever. In the case of my country, Dominican Republic, all we do is import our games/consoles from the USA or buy them at our retail stores for a much bigger price (if we dare).

Thanks,

Johnny Nouel

Matt

I have a friend down there who is in your exact situation (a Dragon Quest fan; his name is Cesar), and I'm afraid that there isn't any indication that things are going to change much in the short term. With increased demand, though, and three new consoles hitting the stores next year, maybe one of the "big three" will choose to try and expand in ways that would be beneficial to you someday.

Until the day that that happens, though, use 'em as an excuse to keep brushed up on your English (or Japanese, for that matter... Cesar actually imported the Japanese version of Dragon Quest VIII).



Stop the mission-based games!


Hi there Wonderslime and/or Castomel,

Regarding Mission based RPGs, I hate them, because missions cause for the game's story to falter in my opinion, I perfer linear games with side quests etc over a game were just run arround and do what you please without any affect on anything... cases in point I loathe Legend of Mana, FFX-2, FFTA

Matt

Um, me too, in general. Mission-based RPGs seem like a lazy-way-out for programmers, and almost every mission-based game that I've played has been "just okay", including two of the titles you mentioned. It IS possible to have a nonlinear game without missions, but it takes masterful development to pull it off with superb success.

Regarding FF12 I've yet to play the demo because my copy of DQ8 has yet to make it here, but regarding what I've heard I'm not to thrilled about it, it seems like it could be another huge blow to my faith in the FF franchise, I'm not too big on AI(Accurate Incompetance) controlling my allies in battle, I like being in full control, and from what I've heard that doesn't seem the case with FF12...

Matt

It seems that way, doesn't it? It greatly concerns me as well, but even more worrisome is that there appears to not be a battle theme or a victory music of any sort. Could this be the end of one of the things I look forward to more than anything?? I used to make up battle musics on the piano before playing a new Final Fantasy, to try and guess what it would sound like. Of course, I'd never come close, but it'll be depressing if there isn't any in the final product.

Watch me put my foot in my mouth next week, when I come back and do a column AFTER having actually played the demo. Hopefully, I'm wrong. Hopefully, Square Enix will prove that their biggest project has some promise!

Regarding the 360 if they get a game from a franchise I love exclusivly for it , or if there is a game or two or three that is so good I have to have it for the 360 then yes I'll get one otherwise I'm passing on Microsoft's new venture into consoles

Matt

'Tis my stance as well: I go where my games go. If the big RPG names flock to Microsoft's new baby, then well, I won't have much of a choice in the matter, will I? I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that Final Fantasy at least won't stray far from the only-slightly-less-evil Sony.

Questions:

What do you think of the rumors that Square-Enix might make the main FF and DQ series exclusive to the 360?

And What is your opinion on the Dragon Quest VIII TV commercial? if Square-Enix is really trying to rope in new DQ fans/rally up old ones that commercial was the wrong way to go about it in my opinion

Arros Raikou

*Thought the commercial was for some new cheesy horror movie*

Matt

I highly doubt that such rumours are true, but I guess anything could happen, what with the world being strange and the birds getting flu and all that jazz.

Also, I seem to be the last person on the planet who hasn't seen the Dragon Quest VIII commercials. My housemate saw them yesterday, and he thought that they were pretty good. Thus, I guess I don't really know what to go by, though I have heard from others that they're on the bad side of mediocre. Frankly, any advertising campaign would be better than the one Enix put on for Dragon Warrior VII; oh yeah, there WAS NONE.



A quick Chrono Trigger blippity


Questions:

What does the naga-ette bromide do for your party when carried, if anything? How do you like CT so far?

Thanks,
Flamethrower

Matt

Yeah, I'm really not sure what it does at all, but they sure didn't want Crono & Friends to get it, did they? I haven't found an apparent use for it as of yet, so maybe it'll be used to perform Naga-ette Chemistry Experiments.' Normally for a question like this, I'd look it up in an FAQ or Walkthrough, but I don't want to wreck the experience... I haven't played the game in over five years!

On that note, it's going very well, and bringing back quite a few memories! The cheapness of Lucca + Crono's Flame Whirl pisses me off as much as I remember, but that's the only irritating thing, which is a pretty minor gripe. The music, of course, is incredible. We'll see within the coming weeks if I manage to win this time around!





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

I was awakened an hour prematurely, just after eight this morning, by a phone call. No dentist appointment for me; the secretary at the other end claimed that the air compressor wasn't functioning, or something along those lines. Hence, my appointment was rescheduled to next Monday morning. Interestingly, I never received an offer for some money back; funny, since if I called in an hour before MY appointment to cancel, I'd get charged a handsome sum. Crooks!

Flashay!


There were EIGHTY points available yesterday; that's enough to put people dangerously close to the 500 mark! Although there are only five opportunities available, never fear; as you can see, the Sock Shop just got the second opportunity in: It's on the shelf for the low, low price of 2000 points. Keep earning away!

The answers to my questions five WERE:

#46: "My name is Gato, I have metal joints, Beat me up and earn 15 Silver Points" is the song, so c) was what would have netted 10 points.

#47: a) Super Dimension Warp was what Taban referred to Lucca's invention as, for 15 points!

#48: The substance was Naga-ette Bromide, and Bromide is the anion of Bromine, which is in Group VII of the Periodic Table, and thus is a d) Halogen. Good work to those that got it: 20 points for you!

#49: c) -i is correct. The easiest way to see this is by multiplying the fraction by i/i (= 1). Thus, 1/i = i/-1 = -i
15 more points were available there!

#50: I don't know if you used the Yellow Pages, or what, but I beg you not to actually call any of the other numbers, since I have no idea whose they are. For 20 points, the right answer was d) (519) 767-9882.

Hopefully you had fun with them! I kinda liked 'em, myself.

Now onto the next set of fifty. We begin with:

Question #51: (15 points) Follow me!--> In Chrono Trigger's 2300 AD time era, what power of two is the Laboratory between Arris Dome and Proto Dome numbered with?

a) 1
b) 2
c) 3
d) 4
e) 5

Question #52: (25 points) Follow me!--> In which Space Quest game do you start off by controlling your character in Space Quest XII?

a) Space Quest III
b) Space Quest IV
c) Space Quest V
d) Space Quest VI
e) Space Quest XII

Now, my e-mail is still not up, so please send all of your responses to the qna address and not my own. Sooner or later, things will be back to normal!

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

200 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!)
2000 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #2 (5 remaining!)



Have a good weekend everybody!! I guarantee you I'll spend lots of quality time with my new toy in the next few days. Hopefully it's been a good week for you all, and I shall see more of you in just a few days. Be good to Andrew!

wonderslime@rpgamer.com
***Matt hates Wednesdays and their long, drawn-out ways.


Send a Question

Curses! Dragon Quest VIII is teasing me! It's been calling my name allll night long, and at this rate, I'm going to yell back pretty soon.

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Matt's Next Unhealthy Addiction

Another Unhealthy Addiction

Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. Dragon Quest VIII

2. Makai Kingdom

3. Warioware: Twisted!

Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Mario & Luigi: PiT

3. Wild ARMs: Alter Code F

A PC Game for Christmas?

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Planescape: Torment

Recommended by:
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Cookie o' the Week:

Mattie's Chocolate Celebration Cookies

Another REAL recipe! These sweet treats are the perfect things to munch on while playing a brand new game, whatever that new game may be. If you wanted, you could shape them into little slimes if Dragon Quest VIII is what your desire is, like me!

-1 c Butter

-1 1/2 c Sugar

-2 Eggs

-2 tsp Vanilla

-2 c All-purpose flour

-2/3 c Cocoa

-3/4 tsp Baking soda

-1/4 tsp Salt

-2 c Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F. In large mixer bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Munch away!

SOCK standings:

1. Jbumi
425 pts

2. DDX
422 pts

3. Ourobolus
355 pts

4. Flamethrower
264 pts

5. Arros Raikou
241 pts

6. Jeremy
202 pts

7. MagRowan
195 pts

8. Xlash
190 pts

9. Bainick
183 pts

10. ~Sean~~
170 pts

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