November 24, 2005
Matt Demers - 04:30 EST
SICK AS A DOG AGAIN, for the third time this semester, is what I am.
I felt a little "under the weather" yesterday, but today, I was bad enough that I skipped out of my class and the
last part of my tutoring to come home and rest. I've been coughing and hacking ever since, and as a matter of
fact, I have been rendered half-voiceless!
It was actually pretty funny to start the day, because I woke up to the phone ringing at the ungodly hour of 9:30.
I answered it groggily, not realizing at all that my voice was completely coated in gobs of phlegm.
It was so high-pitched and gooey, I couldn't even believe it, and I almost started laughing out loud because I was
so shocked to hear it myself. Apparently, the guy on the other end was a bit taken aback, too, because there was
about a three-second pause before he actually asked for me. Not in the mood to chat, of course, I screeched
"Matt isn't available right now. Bye!" and hung up the phone. Later ON, when I went onto campus to try and be
productive, I had the secretaries in the math office all laughing hysterically at my poor raspy self. Then, they
told me to skip class and go home, so I did just that!
Enough about my sickness... I seem to always be ill these days. Let's do something more fun, like rant about
games, consoles, and life in general. Oh yeah... and Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I'll be going to East Side
Mario's to have pasta or something... no sweet potato pie for me! :(
Ah, we'll start off with a shorty tonight!
So, how are things? Alright then, let's cut the crap and get down to brass tacks. The FF 12 demo plays somewhat
like FF 11 or Vagrant Story if they did it right (Zing!). Agree, disagree, stab me in the heart with my own sharpened
- Eric Mills
I wouldn't dream of such a thing... certainly, one of your ribs could be sharpened to a much finer point,
after all, and with the slight arch, it would make for a nice, ergonomically-sound stabbing arc.
Also, let me put it this way: Final Fantasy XII had better have one helluva good story.
Let us give thanks...for Xenosaga and Star Ocean!
Happy Thanksgiving Matt!
For this feasting holiday, I shall indeed be playing
an RPG. I decided to break out Kingdom Hearts again
since my 5 year old second cousin and aunt are in town
visiting. They're both big Disney fans, so I thought
I'd indulge them.
Mmm... I can't wait to show my grandma Dragon Quest VIII when she comes over at Christmastime. She showed me
where the series started, and I love to keep her updated on where it has gone since then! It's fun to show
typically non-video-game fans that they can, in fact, be fun.
Otherwise, I'm going to usurp the TV time during the
parade and see how long I can play Katamari Damacy and
get away with it.
TV time is a valuable commodity during the holidays, and I never get my hopes up, because with FIVE kids home,
plus extra family members, plus the ones that normally reside there, everyone wants on one of the electronic
media devices at some time or another. We really need to set up a sign-up sheet of some sort...
I hope you have better luck on your end!
As for this SO 3 thing... I haven't played it yet
myself, but I've decided that after the holiday
season, I'm going to break down and try it for myself.
Probably end up buying it since it's $20 new. Not
too much to lose considering.
I've also noticed that Xenosaga II has dropped to the
$20 price point as well (at least where I am locally).
Now, I've played the first one and I liked it. It's
certainly not a favorite, but still, it is fun to play
and a real thought provoker. But, I've heard that the
second entry is not so good. Have you played Ep. II
yourself? More often than not, the top complaint I
keep hearing about is the character-generic fighting
system. It it worth the play or a definite pass over?
Gobble, snarf, snap...
Mmmm, ghost food.
For $20? It depends on your income. If you're twelve years old with a $5 weekly allowance, I'd save up for bigger and
better things. If you have a little cash hanging around, then sure. $20 isn't much to spend on the game, and I think
that both of those titles are worth at least that, despite their shortcomings. I actually quite liked Xenosaga II...
enough that I'd pay full-price for the last episode. It wasn't perfect, but it continues the same atmosphere set by
Episode I, improves some things, and destroys others. You'll see what I mean, and then you'll write back.
I need my infamous crystal ball for this one...
System I'm most looking forward to: Nintendo
Reason: It will likely be the most affordable, and
will have the games I want to play (Zelda, Metroid,
I think you're probably correct on most of those accounts. Nintendo is certainly poised to make the least expensive
of the next-gen consoles, especially because they made a vague announcement about that rather recently.
Though we've seen Mario, Zelda, and Metroid about 1000, 100, and 10 times before respectively, I'm sure that their next
incarnations will be glorious and well-done as well. All-in-all, Nintendo makes higher-quality, consistently fun games
on average in comparison to the PS2 or the XBox; at least, to me. I'm interested in playing a bigger ratio of
all Gamecube titles released than for any other console, at any rate, so it's too bad I
have to go home to play them on my brother's machine, since I am Gamecubeless.
The capability of playing older games is nice, but not
a factor in my decision. Its more of a gimmick.
By 2009/10 a feature I will definately be looking for
is some kind of virtual-reality monitor that comes
with the system. I expect it to look like a pair of
glasses or goggles with 2 embedded monitors (for
stereo vision). I think such a device would provide
for an interesting and unique gaming experience.
I think that what you said is what immediately springs into everyone's mind: Virtual Reality. Super-funky
"real" 3-D graphics. I think that while these might be cool ideas, they aren't very realistic, because I can
just imagine how cost-prohibitive they might end up. I can see it now... the "XBox 720" going on sale for a cool
grand in five years. Also, Nintendo tried something different a decade ago and it failed miserably. The Virtual Boy
ended up feeling like a giant gimmick on a stand, though really, I don't think it's any more than what you describe:
An attempt to provide something new and innovative, graphically speaking.
I guess that only time will tell, hmm?
What a fun letter this is...
I had some free time and I decided that I would actually send some qna-mail for a change!
I'm just gonna cut to a question since my free time is not that plentiful - which things in RPGS do you consider to be
unforgivable sins? My list is as follows:
1 - Enemies can smash your items to pieces and you can't repair them when out of battle with a skill, but must do so
I haven't played many games that are that evil, but I DO hate it when enemies just STEAL your items away.
If the monsters can have the steal command, you should darn well be able to steal the stolen item back!
2 - An item, once smashed, can never be repaired.
That would indeed be irritating. Was it like that in Final Fantasy Tactics? I can't remember...
3 - A character dies/gets captured/leaves and 2 minutes later a carbon copy joins the group.
Ugh, Cait Sith. Ugh, last character in Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana. Ugh, it happens too often.
4 - The main character hits for 600 damage a round, companions hit for max 100. Why so overpowered?
THIS is my biggest beef with one of my favourite games otherwise; Earthbound. Why should the hero be so VERY heroic
compared to the others? They simply pale in comparison to his might, and I feel sorry for them.
In situations like that, though, my crazy insanibrother just gets
enraged, kills the main character, and stomps around levelling the others up until they adequately surpass him/her.
He just HATES main characters with a fiery passion, especially if they're stronger-than-average, which they usually are.
5 - The game doesn't let you pick targets, or doesn't change targets when a current one dies.
Aww...my old Dragon Warrior loves. I really didn't mind this before like other people, just because it meant that
you had to strategize your attacks to be as efficient as possible. It meant that you got to know your characters'
strengths and weaknesses better, possibly. Of course, there's an element of frustration, but come on! Frustration
At least DQ8 finally implemented specific targetting, hmm?
Let's move on.
6 - Getting to a new town requires around 10 hours of mindless tasks (not leveling) to be able to max yourself out.
Hmm, I'm not quite sure what you mean, but yes, I agree. Wait a second...
7 - All characters do the same things - no uniqueness a la Final Fantasy V-VIII - just have to learn them all the same
skills! Ever seen a party use Ultima every possible chance against Kefka?
Yeah, it is kind of sad, though I have no problem with a "reasonable level" of customizability.
Insert also Final Fantasy II and III.
8 - Sequels that don't have you carrying over your stats. Why have the option if all you get is a swimsuit?
And... how does one lost all their power in 3 months? Seems kinda weird to me!
Welcome to 99% of RPG direct sequels ever created! If Golden Sun did something right, that was it.
9 - The Hero says he needs to go on alone and his companions say no. He does and gets his ass kicked. And then
tries to do the same thing like 10 more times...
I know, but have you ever checked the Hero's Int stat? It's not usually very high, so I'm never really that
surprised when such things happen.
10 - Last one for now... heroes that would be better suited battling the unknowns of puberty rather than saving
the world from a super powerful wizard that can kill armies with a wave of his hand.
...and coming soon, to a store near you: Final Fantasy III DS, where you'll be controlling four pre-pubescent
warriors of whatever! I can't wait.
I'll get back if I find some more!
Lunar 3 fails me at the following - 1-6, 9, 10. Hopefully I will be able to finish it tonight.
Anything bother you like this?
Wonderful, please do! I personally don't like it when you can save absolutely anywhere in an RPG. It takes the
fun, challenge, and virtually any element of risk out of the game. Also, games without money bother me greatly;
pick up a copy of Quest 64 to see why!
First off I would have to say #57 d) Premediated
Abduction of Royalty and #58 e) Stamps (only cause
they seem to vanish on me regardless of where I may
Never played the Star Ocean games but did they even
allow for manual control of the other characters or
was it all AI?
As a rule, you're always controlling one character at any given time in Star Ocean, while the rest of your
allies presumably take directions from the machine, each according to the tactical option you have selected for them.
Evidently, the horrible AI is SONY'S fault!
In a related question, what games have you found the
best AI? And if its optional when if ever do you use
it? The only times I really let AI take over is when
I'm way over leveled and feeling lazy or if its like
FFT and I want the best result from my Calculator
Thats all for now and I at least will be here to read
and answer your column so don't feel all alone. And I
say go ahead and celebrate a second thanksgiving with us!
Xlash the dwarf berserker
Ohhh, none. I don't like AI at all, and it bugs me that it's going to take a front seat in Final Fantasy XII. I don't
know if I've ever played a game where I said "Gee, I'm going to turn ON this AI function". In the end, I'd have
to frighteningly say Summoner, if you can believe that, just because the computer could manipulate the horrible
battle system far more effectively than I could ever hope to.
And bah, don't worry about Q&A! Enjoy the holiday! Gain 10 pounds, and have some extras on my behalf! I want some turkey...
In DQ8, is there any point at all to leveling up "fisticuffs"? It seems ridiclulous
to fight without a weapon, but maybe I'm missing something...
Absolutely! If you put points into Fisticuffs, then you won't NEED a weapon to dole
out massive damage, because your stats might increase while unequipped, and several
very powerful barefisted techniques may become available to you. Why "might" and "may"?
Well, I haven't concentrated on those abilities, myself, so I'm not really sure! Just
rest assured that there is, indeed, a point.
A quiet end to the week, for sure, but things will pick up soon again! I just hope that for all of
you American folk out there, you're having a very happy Thanksgiving with family and/or friends. Take the opportunity
to relax, before the onslaught of Christmas is upon us all! Man... I have so much shopping to do.
Let's get right to the answers of yesterday, shall we now?
Most of you saw right through #57 and picked up the twenty points for guessing d) Premeditated Abduction
of Royalty, because that is the right answer. I tried to think of suitable other possibilities, but either
they just weren't good enough, or you're all just too obsessed with Chrono Trigger.
Almost NONE of you, on the other hand, got #58 correct. Many of you tried to deduce that "red pens" was the answer,
thanks to my TA-ing habit, but I've always got one laying around. An eternal curse of mine, however, as a math major,
is that I always write in pencil and thus need good erasers every now and then. Whenever I go out of my way to obtain
such a high-quality white eraser, though, I always end up losing it almost immediately. Thus, d) White Erasers
was correct. I knew that this one would be hard, so I actually provided a hint in the hidden text yesterday... apparently,
none of you picked it up! WAHAHAHA!
The next two take us all the way to the sixtieth!
Follow me!--> In Chrono Trigger, which of the following characters muses about consuming
which other at one point? (20 points)
Question #60: (25 points)
What is the product of all factors of the number of this question?Things to work for (the SOCK item shop!):
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!)
And remember; it's never too late to get involved with this Spectacular Ongoing Contest of Knowledge!
Sure, you won't be in the Top Ten right away, but
if you keep at it, you'll have a good chance: Inflation is underway slowly, as you may have noticed, so the 500
points you'll have to make up won't be that big of a deal. Also, inflation will take complete misses up a notch,
so as of next week, even if you send in and get nothing right, you'll leave with at least 8 more points to your
Furthermore, if you aren't in the Top Ten, but you'd still like to know what your current rank is, just pass a message
to me, and I'll let you know where you stand!
Anyway, this is where I'll bow out. I will you all soon! Please have a safe and happy weekend;
remember to send in more questions for Andrew, and for me next week.
***Matt is ready for some good Dragon Questing!
Bwahahaha... it will be awhile before I put another hint here. Eeheeehee!
Nov. 23 - Matt
Nov. 22 - Matt
Nov. 21 - Matt
Nov. 19 - Zack
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