Feast On Your Eyes
November 23, 2005
Matt Demers - 03:01 EST
THOSE DASTARDLY LITTLE cheaters! I'm always looking for the good in people,
and particularly the students that I work with every day. However, during Test 4 today, my rose-coloured glasses were
ripped off of my face, thrown on the floor, and then stomped upon a few times for good measure.
We caught not one; not two; not three; but FOUR different students in the same quadrant of the lecture hall today
with their eyes straying from their papers quite obviously intentionally. The general rule in such a case is to go
and stand near them as a TA, but the little brats were audacious enough to not even care about that! One girl was
so bad that I actually went and gave her a warning, which she well deserved. The end result is that I ended up
standing in the same section of seats for the entire test, so about a quarter of the class is going to think that
I'm the most evil teacher's assistant of all time.
Onward, to the complaining, musing, guessing, and all-around question-answering:
Star Ocean: Till the End of my patience
I keep hearing of your difficulties with the AI in Star Ocean 3. I donít remember having
any great difficulty with them. In fact, I would often run around avoiding the enemies
and let my allies decimate the enemy while the bonus gauge built up. Cliff, especially,
was able to lay out damage and combos like nothing else.
I believe there were skills you could upgrade that would influence the AIís behavior.
If my foggy memory is right, it was possibly to upgrade HP, MP, Attack and Defense. The
latter two influenced the way in which the AI handled the charactersí battles, not their
power and resistance to damage. But I also seem to remember that the balance being wrong
could lead to some really bad AI decisions (like raising Defense too high). I think
the system is flawed, but if you know what youíre doing, your allies can be really
helpful, and I had a ton of fun with it.
Itís not much of a question, but did you take this into account when forming your
views of the AI in SO3?
Thanks for your insight. The thing is, that my brother actually gave me heck for ONLY
levelling-up those very attributes of attack and defense (or at least, putting SP into them
over HP and MP most of the time).
Where am I coming from? I played Star Ocean: The Second Story. By and large, the AI
was good. I'm big on defensive battling, so I would always have a healer (or two, if
possible!) in my party. In that game, they were always on top of things with a Fairy Light
or Revival spell as soon as needed. In Till the End of Time, I found that it didn't matter
to what degree of wiped-outness my party became, or what strategy I had healers set to;
they just took their good old time to get out their recovery magic, if they EVER did.
In fact, on many occasions, they would spend the time instead standing completely still
(NOT because they were on that setting either) or hopping around like a mindless jumping
bean on steroids.
You don't speak of such characters; you speak of attackers. For the most part, my Cliff
and Nel performed "all right" in battles. My Fayt, however, did not. It didn't matter
what strategy I had him set to; if the computer was controlling him, it always chose
for him to cast spells that would do meagre hundreds of damage rather than
ultra-fear-instilling apocalyptic attacks that would have done tens of THOUSANDS
of damage. It made no sense to me, and it happened with such a frequency that I wanted
to throw my controller at the monitor on more than one occasion.
Anyway, I don't have an explanation. Maybe my game was a glitchy one... it DID freeze on
me twice, and it corrupted my save data as well. Perhaps Tri-Ace is just trying to drive
me craaazy! Well, unfortunately for them, it's FAR too late.
MWAHAHAHAHAHA... foiled again! Go work on Star Ocean 4, fools. Sorry I couldn't arrive
at a different conclusion, Tyke!! Does anyone else share my opinions though? Am I really
I Finally have it, its mine, my own, my precious!
What? What do you have? Oh, right, Mario Kart. Damn you! I hate you... lovingly, as always, of course, but I
still hate you.
Anyway I've heard a lot of complaints about the new Revolution and PS3 controller's but I don't know what the fuss
is about? A Third party manufactorer will more and likely make an actual controller that we can use so there shouln't
really be any comparison to a system justb by its controller. (Though we own 7 joystick broken '64 controllers).
So do most of you really use third-party controllers? I'm sure they may make them more
allegedly "usable", but back in the day, a third-party controller for the NES was the cause
of incredible interference on my TV screen. In fact, I thought that my console was "broken"
for the longest time (in fact, during my very first playthrough of Dragon Warrior IV)
because every time I would turn on the system, I'd get a fuzzy, very snowy, illegible
version of it (as if it were on the wrong channel). Well, I went to try "one last time"
one day, and when the same thing happened, I dropped my hands in dramatic despair, and
accidentally yanked the controller out of the port. At that very instant, I immediately
heard cheery music and was met with a brightly lit screen free of any interference
whatsoever. That was another of the "happiest moments of my life", few as they may be!
Lesson learned? I've never used third-party equipment since.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to at least the Revolution's controller. What we've seen of
PS3's controller makes me wonder about what they're attempting to say with those lengthy
controller handles; last time I heard, it wasn't size that counted; or pointiness, for
that matter. All the better to stab your friends with, I guess! Or maybe... never mind.
Also yesterday I passed over Xenosaga 2. Was that a smart idea as to the fact that number 1 was never released over
in PAL shores (number 2 came with number 1's FMV sequences. Anyway Mario Karts calling, and i've still havn't
passed all the missions yet!
That DOES seem a bit kooky, I must admit, considering that a) the first Xenosaga
was superior in many respects to the second; and b) there's a fair amount of continuity
between the two... the quick summaries given in the sequel don't do Episode I justice.
Oh well, stranger things have happened.
Have fun Karting!
Okay, I had to laugh when you were bemoaning the
difficulty of opening of game packages especially
controller packages. It made me think about my own
recent adventures with a controller package.
I had purchased a game recently (an action game, so I
shall not name it here), and I was all fired up to
play it. I finally got some time with the TV for
playing games (read outlasted everyone in the waiting
to go to bed game) and popped the game in. Much to my
chargrin and horror I was presented with a screen
telling me that my controller was not appropriate to
play my game. I had to use an official PS2 controller
(read Sony only).
Well, howdy-doo! That's really weird... you people must be conspiring together or something.
Honestly, too, I read your letter for the very first time only AFTER I responded to Bainick's
letter. There must be something in the air besides Christmas cheer and hormones
So, yeah, I was really cheesed off that my fully
compatable (even the packaging said it was fully PS2
compatable) controller was deemed unworthy. But,
desparate to play the game, I saved up to purchase an
official controller, and two weeks later, I bought the
object that would end my game obstruction.
But, I still had one more problem. The stupid,
consarned packaging! And what was worse, I could not
find a pair of scissors! Ever find yourself in such a
situation? I find myself in it often. The only time
it is worse is trying to open the packaging for a new
pair of scissors... which requires a pair of scissors.
Hahaha!! A LOVELY case of irony. I grant you a free tilde for that one~
Anyway, long story short (too late!), I finally found
a pair of needle-nose pliars and used them to pull at
the plastic until it weakened into a tiny whole. I
then spent the good part of 15 minutes just pulling
and prying with the scissors against the obstinate
packaging, trying to get the whole large enough to
wedge the controller out. By the time I finished, the
packaging looked like a face-hugger had burst from it.
But I got my controller.
Well, it's still not terribly short, but it's funny! Pliars totally beats me; to
get into my last controller package, I gave UP on scissors and instead tried to saw into
the plastic packaging using the Miracle Blades in the kitchen. I came a trifle too close
to sawing through a wire though, too, and that would have been most unfortunate.
I bet this is some sort of conspiracy just WAITING to be figured out.
Worst part of this story is that the game turned out
to moderate at best... *sigh* Have you ever found
yourself jumping through hoops for a game you're dying
to play to only find that after your herculean effort
it's mideocre at best?
Done with Random Thoughts,
Hells yeah! It's the story of my life! I think the best example of this was probably
when Dragon Warrior Monsters was released, signalling the series' return to North
America. I went well overboard whining to my poor mother for the longest time
that I wanted it for my birthday, since I had no money as an about-to-go-to-school
seventeen-year-old, and I made absolutely sure that she pre-ordered, picked it up
immediately, etc, etc. I played it for HOURS and HOURS the first night, and I've never
been so disgusted by a game in history. This is not because it was the WORST game of all time,
but it was such a big step down from my much-loved series. Oh sigh... who first thought
up the whole "random dungeons" dealie anyway?
Games of today and tomorrow to look forward to!
I finally got DQ 8, so I started that up just last night. I'm only a little
over an hour in, but I have to agree with all of the positive impressions,
and I'm so glad that this has lived up to my expectations so far. It brings
the older RPGs to mind, not just because of the combat though. It has a
certain atmosphere to it that I really can't quantify except for it
being...good somehow. I like the colors, everything is really brought to
life. The voices work very well. I love seeing all the monsters and their
attack animations. Yeah, pretty much the same stuff everyone is saying I
guess, but it's worth mentioning again and again.
Have you followed any of the news that has been posted about Disgaea 2?
What do you think of it so far, dood? All of my anticipation was sorta
spent on DQ 8, but I'm sure I'll get revved up about that one too soon
Hello hello! I'm glad you're having a great time with the game so far! It should give
you just as much pleasure a hundred times again, thanks to the massive length, no innuendo
Disgaea 2 is among my biggest desires for next year! Once the dust settles with this
string of current releases, that's the game I'll be looking forward to most. This is
a chance for redemption after the disappointments of Phantom Brave and Makai Kingdom, and
I really hope that they do it well. The first one was fantastic, and if NIS plays its
cards right, they could make a masterpiece of a sequel!
Ya hit the nail on the head!
I would first like to say that I too started at an early age with RPGs. I
believe I must have been 5 or 6 when I first played through Final Fantasy
(what year did this come out?) and Dragon Warrior 1. I have not played
through Final Fantasy 1 in a long while, but I remember when I was a child,
I could just not get past this underwater dungeon - Perhaps it was the
dungeon where you fight Kraken? So many years later, I just cannot
remember. In any case, I played through Dragon Warrior on my own, and from
there I was hooked. My absolute favourite was DW4. I've played it through
so many times I cannot even count. In fact, I still have the old NES
cartridge at home in Ottawa, even though I don't have a Nintendo. The third
chapter with Taloon and fourth chapter with Nara and Mara are my
favourites. The plot was so epic, and as a fresh and innocent child, it
made a big impact. So too did FF4, which actually moved me to tears, but I
That's not that much of a digression... come on, if you read Q&A once-weekly, you'll
know that I start talking about crazy, off-topic things all the time, and for no
real reason at all. I'm not sure why this is, but it could be from my mom; she
was always a bit absent minded, and we tease her about it regularly. I feel bad
though, lately, because I don't want her feelings to actually get hurt. I miss
my mommy... but I digress.
I'm now playing DQ8, and I'm completely thrilled with it. I am about 25
hours through. My favourite monster so far - the Dancing Devil with his
Sultry Dance. Oh, how it makes me laugh. I've caught the dancing fever! In
any case, I'm trying to locate some kind of source online which gives a
little bit of assistance with alchemy. I've been trying to .. alchemize? a
better boomerang for my hero, and to do so it says it needs a regular 'ol
boomerang, and something pointy. Well, all the pointy items I've tried have
failed, and I've been forced to move onto another weapon. Any ideas? Have
you come up with any neat alchemy concoctions?
I got asked this very question earlier in the night! That SPECIFIC question!
Now, I don't want to give any spoilers away, but I've made a few cheesy delicacies
through trial-and-error. Is it just me, though? Amazingly, I figured out the "pointy
object" right away, and I'm STILL equipped with that boomerang five areas later, but
other people are having problems.
I'm not big on spoilers, so I'm not going to answer many SPECIFIC Dragon Quest VIII
questions for quite awhile. However, you get the pointy object from a barrel, or
something, in the same place that you find the recipe for the item requiring it... as far
as I remember, anyway. I managed to figure it out on first glance, so take a
second look through your TOOLBAG for something that fits the bill of being "pointy",
and get back to me. ;)
A shorter column today, I'll admit, but it was fun to write up. It's just been a LONG,
LONG day full of torturous things. If someone wanted to top it off for me, they could come
up and say "Hey Matt! You missed question 5 on the assignment!!" I'd much rather
consume copious amounts of ice cream. Hey, I need some sustenance, so that I'm not TOO
envious of all of you Americans and your turkeys and stuffing and such. I think Canada
should have TWO Thanksgivings...
I haven't had as much response, letter-wise, or SOCK-wise over the past couple of days, no
doubt due to Thanksgiving vacation that many are currently enjoying, though I should check
to make sure I don't just have bad breath or body odor.
I've been trying to make these SOCKlings more difficult, and I think I puzzled a good number
of you with yesterday's, which makes me proud.
#55 was pretty tough, I'd say, and I stumped at least half of you. The screenshot was
taken somewhere down the chute in b) Arris Dome. 25 points to everyone who
managed to correctly identify it! And good eye...
How much do you guys pay attention? well, some of you went through and did the calculations,
and some of you guessed. As I've mentioned a few times, I take the #52 bus most of the time.
If you visited my staff bio, you would have discovered that I'm at the elderly age of 22.
Finally, yesterday's column was the 29th of my RPGamer career, and thus (55 + 22 - 29) was
the correct answer; in other words, I was looking for a) 45, for 20 more points.
Follow me!--> What exactly is Crono charged with at Guardia castle and tried for in
court near the beginning of the game? (20 points)
a) Willful Princess Kidnapping
b) Unauthorized Royalty Theft
c) First Degree Capture of Royalty
d) Premediated Abduction of Royalty
e) Princess-Snatching with Intent
Question #58: (30 points)
Which of the following items do I have the "least luck with", traditionally, in that I almost
ALWAYS lose the item nearly immediately after obtaining it, for some reason or another?Things to work for (the SOCK item shop!):
a) Red Pens
b) Lead for Mechanical Pencils
c) Scotch Tape
d) White Erasers
Remember! QNA mail continues until further notice, so if you want to send in your best
guesses, send here.
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!)
Well well, everyone! Keep telling me what's on your minds! Is anyone doing anything RPG-
related for Thanksgiving? Is that even a legitimate question? A better one, addressed above:
Who agrees that the Star Ocean: Till the End of Time battle system is wonderful? Please write
in!! OR, tell me I'm right. Either way, you might see your letter answered tomorrow!
On that note, farewell!
***Matt does not enjoy 5 centimetres of snow.
I have never owned a mechanical pencil in my life.
Why have I told everyone? Everybody raves about sweet endings, right? I just want
you to have a sweet ending, too!!! A hint here or there might help to further that cause!
Nov. 22 - Matt
Nov. 21 - Matt
Nov. 19 - Zack
Nov. 18 - Cast
About the Host
Matt's Newest 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?
Cookie o' the Week:Mattie's False Delight Cookies
Ah, a recipe full of delicious almosts and not-quites, great for someone who "sort of" has a palate.
Give these to guests that you don't really like, and maybe they won't overstay their welcome for just as long.
Final Fantasy XI and X-2 fans might like these as well.
-1 1/2 cups white flour
-1 cup oil
-1 cup Splenda
-3 portions egg substitute
-1 tsp imitation vanilla extract
Combine the wet ingredients, then add the flour and stir until doughy! Bake in an Easy-Bake Oven until they look
like cookies. Try to just about enjoy them!
6. Arros Raikou